The Baldwin Library
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AN INDl\N SNAKEv-('HARM FIR.
BOY'S OWN BOOK
REV. J. G. WOOD, M.A., F.L.S.
AUTHOR OF THE "ILLUSTRATED NATURAL HISTORY"
WITH THREE HUNDRED AND THIRTY ILLUSTRATIONS
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS, LIMITED
BROADWAY, LUDGATE HILL
RICHARD CLAY & SONS, LIMITED,
LONDON & BUNOAY.
ALTHOUGH the number of works on Natural History
might deter any new writer from venturing on so ex-
tensively handled a subject, there is at present no work
of a really popular character in which accuracy of inform-
ation and systematic arrangement are united with brevity
and simplicity of treatment.
All the best-known popular works on Natural History
are liable to many objections, among which may be named
a want of correct classification, the absence of explanations
of the meanings and derivations of scientific words, the
strange inaccuracy of many of the accompanying illustra-
tions, and of the accounts of many animals. Nor do the
conventional anecdotes chronicled in their pages evince
that personal experience of the animal race which alone
can repress romance and prevent inaccuracy. These de-
ficiencies, it is hoped, are at all events partly supplied in
the present work.
The present volume, although exceeding the limits
originally contemplated, is but a brief digest of a large
mass of materials, derived either from personal experience,
from the most recent zoological writers, or from the kind-
ness of many friends, who are familiar with almost every
portion of the world, and to whom my best thanks are due.
My original intention was to carry the work as far as the
Zoophytes, but it grew so rapidly, especially in the first
two classes, the Mammals and Birds, that it was found
necessary to conclude at the Insects, and even then to give
but an exceedingly short and meagre account of them.
This was much regretted by me, as my experience had lain
so much in the practical entomological part of Natural
History, that during the earliest stages of the work I
looked forward with some pleasure to giving a very much
fuller account of the British Insects than will be found in
the last few pages of this volume.
In arrangement, the order of the Catalogue of the
British Museum has been followed, with the view of
rendering it a useful companion to that most valuable
collection, especially for young visitors. In accordance
with that catalogue, the volume commences with a short
sketch of mankind and of the theories respecting the
different races of humanity; and at the same time a few of
the distinctions are mentioned which so widely separate
man from any other inhabitant of the earth.
As for the illustrations, they will best speak for them-
selves. It will, however, be well to observe that they have
all been designed expressly for the present work, and that
the combined abilities of Messrs. Harvey and Dalziel, as
artist and engravers, are a guarantee for their accuracy and
perfect execution. For the anatomical and microscopical
vignettes, I am myself answerable, as well as for several
of the later drawings, together with parts of a few others,
all of which were drawn from actual specimens.
It has been an object with me in the accounts of each
animal, to give as far as possible new anecdotes. In many
cases, the anecdotes related have never been published
before, and in many more, they have been extracted from
works which, either from their scarcity, their cost, or their
nature, would be very unlikely to be placed in the hands of
I dismiss these pages with almost a feeling of regret,
that a task which has to me been a labour of love, has
come to an end. Indeed, the only drawback experienced
during its progress was its necessary brevity, which
constrained me to omit many creatures, not only beautiful
and wonderful in form, but interesting in habits. I was
also compelled to describe many others so briefly, as to
render the account little more than a formal announcement
of their name, country, and food.
If, however, -the perusal of the following pages should
induce any one to look upon the great plan of Creation
more as a whole than merely as an aggregation of separate
parts, or to notice how wonderfully each creature is
adapted for its peculiar station by Him who has appointed
to each its proper position, and assigned to each its own
duties, which could not be performed so well by any other
creature, or even by the same animal in another place, my
end will be attained.
Perhaps, also, this volume may cause some who have
hitherto been troubled with a causeless abhorrence of
certain creatures against which they have nourished early
prejudices, to examine them with a more indulgent-I
should perhaps say, a more reverent-eye. I say reverent,
because it has long given me deep pain when I have heard
others stigmatizing as ugly, horrid, or frightful, those
beings whom their Maker saw at the beginning of the
world, and declared very good. A naturalist will see as
much beauty in a snake, spider, or toad, as in any of those
animals which we are accustomed to consider models of
beauty; and so will those who have before feared or
despised them, if they can only persuade themselves to
examine them with an unprejudiced eye.
In those three creatures mentioned a few lines above,
there is great beauty even on a superficial examination.
The movements of the snake are most graceful, and the
changing colours of its varied scales leave the imitations of
art far behind. The spiders too are beautiful, even in
colour; some are bright crimson, some pale pink, some
entirely yellow, some banded with broad streaks of alter-
nately velvety black and silvery white; while the eye of
the toad is a living gem of beauty. But when we come to
look closer,-to watch their habits-to note their instincts
-or, by the use of the microscope, to lay open to our view
some of the details of their organization,-then indeed are
we lost in wonder and amaze at the vastness of creation,
which, even in one little, apparently insignificant animal,
presents to our eyes innumerable marvels-marvels which
increase in number and beauty as our power for perceiving
The present edition may rather be termed a condensation
than an abridgment of the larger work. I have en-
deavoured to make no omissions that would destroy one
link of the marvellous living chain that binds all animate
existences of earth into one harmonious whole; and in
compressing the subject into a smaller compass, I have con-
centrated the language without excluding any necessary
Genus . Hoo.
BOSJESMAN AND LION.
Species I. Sapiens (Lat. wise), Man.
MAN holds the foremost place in the order of creation.
The perfection of his bodily form is as far superior to that
of other beings as his intellect surpasses their instinct,
beautiful and marvellous though it be. Between man
and brutes there is an impassable barrier, over which man
INSTINCT AND REASON
can never fall, or beasts hope to climb. It is the human
spirit indwelling in Man that gives consistency and force
to his reason, and therefore, even when fallen from his
high estate, and deprived of the right use of his intellect, he
still holds his supremacy over the lower animals, and owns
no subjection even to the most perfect and powerful
There is but one genus of mankind, Homo, and but one
species, Sapiens; that is, the rational human being. In-
tellect, or reason, differs from instinct in its power of
accommodation to circumstances : whereas instinct ever
remains unchanged. The beaver, when confined in a cage,
still builds dams in order to confine the stream that never
visits it; the captive squirrel, although it is regularly
supplied with its daily meals, still conceals the remnants
of its food for a future repast; the magpie approaches a
dead wasp with the same caution as if it were living; and
the dog flies from a recently flayed tiger skin with no less
fear than if the living tiger stood before him. In those
cases where animals alter their habits to suit the changed
circumstances in which they find themselves, their reason,
not their instinct, acts. On the contrary, the power of
man's reason enables him to alter his habits and actions
according to the change of external circumstances. The
same man can inhabit the burning sands of the tropics, or
the everlasting snows of the north pole; and can defend
himself from the scorching heat of the one, or set at
defiance the piercing cold of the other.
Man, although he is temporarily clothed with material
particles during his short stay upon the material earth, is
essentially an immortal- and ever progressing spirit, and
is, in virtue of this spiritual life, as entirely removed from
the highest of brute animals as they from the vegetables,
which possess vitality but not animation. Some theorists
have asserted that Man was gradually developed from the
lower animals, and that the negro is but an improved
We will briefly examine this theory respecting the hu-
manity of the negro. That monkey, or rather ape, whose
form most resembles that of man, is the Chimpansee. Let
us compare the skull of this animal with that of the Negro
-its thick bony ridges, its irregular promi-
nences, its small capacity of brain, with
the noble sweep of cranium, and the small I
globular surface of the human skull. The
comparative dimensions of the head and ] "
jaws are widely different in the ape and
the Negro, for the face of the ape is an
instrument for procuring food, and a
weapon for attack and defence, while SKULL OF MA.
that of man is an ever-changing index
of the workings of the mind within. We therefore find
that the jaws of the ape are enormously developed,
armed with formidable fangs, and marked with strong
bony ridges, to which the powerful muscles which move
the jaws are attached. On the other hand, as man is
enabled to procure food and to manufacture weapons by
means of his hands, his jaws and teeth are reduced to the
smallest size compatible with the preservation of life.
The habitually erect posture is another characteristic of
mankind. Other animals are not fitted for it; since, when
they attempt to assume that position, their head is thrust
so far forward that its weight destroys their balance, and
the bones of the leg and the pelvis are so formed as to give
them a tottering gait. When the ape attempts to stand
erect, it is forced to balance itself by its immensely long
arms, and cannot walk without assisting itself along by
the knuckles pressed on the ground. The fingers of
the feet, or more properly the hinder hands, prevent the
ape from planting more than the heel upon the ground.
It therefore hobbles along with its body bent, and at best
can only contrive to manage an uncertain and vacillating
shuffle; nor does it ever walk so well or so gracefully in
the erect posture as many of the performers at Astley's do
on their hands, which are apparently less fitted for walking
than those of the ape.
The power of the thumb is much greater in man than
in the apes; it is by means of this instrument that man
MAN AND APE
4 WEAPONS AND FIRE
is able to handle large or small objects, to wield a sword
or a pen, to cast a spear or thread a needle. There are
also many anatomical differences which need not be
The intellectual power in man shows its supremacy over
the instinct of the ape in many ways. We will take as
our example of mankind one of the smallest and the most
abject of the human race, the Bosjesman, as represented at
the commencement of this chapter. Surely that slain lion
was not destroyed by an ape. No ape or monkey was
ever able to manufacture weapons for itself. It may,
indeed, take up a stick or a stone, and defend itself vigor-
ously, although even this statement is generally discredited
by naturalists; but it could never form a bow and arrow,
much less reflect that the juices of certain plants rubbed
on the points of its weapons would cause inevitable death
to any person wounded by them. Yet the diminutive
Bosjesman, who is far lower in intellect, and much less
civilized than the calumniated Negro, boldly attacks, with
perfect certainty of success, an animal before which the most
intelligent ape that ever lived would fly in helpless terror.
Neither can an ape procure fire, nor even renew it. It
will sit delighted by a flame which a chance traveller has
left, and spread its hands over the genial blaze; but when
the glowing ashes fade, it has not sufficient understanding
to supply fresh fuel, but sits and moans over the expiring
The Bosjesman makes a bow and arrow he tips the
arrow with a hard substance to make it penetrate; he
imbues the point with substances which he has learned
are fatal when mingled with the blood, and then sallies
forth in search of some animal whose skin may serve as
a dress, and whose flesh may furnish him a meal. When
by his unerring weapons he has succeeded in destroying
the terrible and ferocious lion, the swift antelope, or the
wary ostrich, he constructs for himself a hut by the side
of his prey, strikes fire, fetches fuel, and dresses his meat.
These are actions which no beast ever performed, and no
ape could ever imitate.
One point of difference between man and brutes has yet
to be mentioned-LANGUAGE. This one word includes
almost every distinction mentioned, as it is by the use of
language that we are enabled to communicate our ideas to
each other, to give the thoughts hidden in our minds an
almost visible shape, to record our experience for the
benefit of others; in a word, it is by language that we are
civilized. The ape has no language, although there is no
apparent anatomical reasoning why apes should not speak,
and therefore, the Orang-outan in the gardens of the Zoo-
logical Society is no more refined, nor does it make a
nearer approach to civilization, than its ancestors in the
time of Adam.
There is but one species of man, although there are
several permanent varieties, which are ordinarily termed
" races by the authors who have written on this abstruse
but fascinating subject. Some writers describe the human
family as divided into five varieties or races: the Cauca-
sian, the Mongolian, the Ethiopian, the Malayan, and the
American; each of these being subdivided into families, as
for instance, the Caucasian race subdivided into the Cau-
casian, the Celtic, the Germanic, the Arabian, the Libyan,
the Nilotic, and the Indostanic families. The division
generally received is that of Pickering, who enumerates
eleven distinct races of men, all of whom he has seen: the
Arabian, Abyssinian, Mongolian, Hottentot, Malay, Papuan,
Negrillo, Telingan, Ethiopian, Australian, and Negro. He
differs from Prichard in several points, but especially in
referring the population of America to the Mongolian race,
whereas Prichard considers it as entirely separate.
The characteristics and distribution of each race are
briefly these. The Arabian race extends over the whole
of Europe, excepting Lapland, about half of Asia, including
the greater part of India, and most of the northern third
of Africa. The complexion is light, the lips are thin, the
nose is prominent, and the beard thick. Number, about
The Abyssinian race occupies a small tract towards the
east of Africa, including part of Abyssinia and part of
RACES OF MANKIND
Nubia. The features are like those of Europeans, the
complexion is light, the hair is crisp, and the beard
moderate. Number about 3,000,000.
The Mongolian race is remarkable for a feminine aspect
in both sexes, so that a stranger is often perplexed to dis-
tinguish a man from a woman at a short distance; the hair
is straight, and the beard is wanting. It extends over the
eastern half of Asia, except Corea, over Lapland, and the
whole of America, except the western coast by California,
and the upper part of South America. Number 300,000,000.
The Hottentot race occupies the southern extremity of
Africa. The complexion is not so dark as that of the
Negro, the hair is woolly, and frequently grows in irregular
patches, leaving a bald spot in the centre of each patch.
This race includes the Bechuanas and the Bosjesmans.
The complexion of the Bosjesmans, or Bushmen, is very
light, and strongly resembles that of an European, with a
few sooty patches irregularly placed. Number about
The Malay race is almost amphibious, and is never
found far inland. It is widely spread, and inhabits the
centre of Madagascar, the whole of the islands in the
Pacific Ocean, except the Fiji, New Hebrides, Solomon's
Isles, Papua, and parts of the Philippines. The parts of
America not populated by the Mongolians are also inhabited
by this race. The complexion is a dark copper, the hair
straight, when cut it stands erect, and the beard is thin.
The Papuan race inhabits about two-thirds of Papua,
and the Fiji islands, where Pickering saw the only indi-
viduals of this race who came under his notice. The com-
plexion is dark, the hair bushy, the beard copious. The
most remarkable point in this race is the skin, which is
astonishingly rough and harsh. Number 3,000,000.
The Negrillo race is like the Papuan in colour, but the
hair is more woolly, the stature is small, and the beard
absent. The Negrillos inhabit part of Papua, Solonion's
Isles, the northern extremities of Luzon and Sumatra, and
the New Hebrides. Number 3,000,000.
DISTRIBUTION OF RACES 7
The Telingan, or Indian race, inhabits the eastern parts
of India, especially about Calcutta, several isolated spots
in other parts of India, and the east coast of Madagascar.
The complexion is dark (best imitated by a mixture of
red and black), the skin is soft, the features are like
those of Europeans, hair straight and fine, and the beard
copious. Number 60,000,000.
The Ethiopian race is darker than the Telingan, the
hair is crisp and fine, skin soft, and the features are more
like European features than those of the Negro. This
race inhabits the north-eastern portion of Africa, including
Southern Egypt, part of Nubia, and part of Abyssinia; a
few detached spots toward the north-west, and a large
tract of country by Senegambia. Number 5,000,000.
The Australian race inhabits Australia alone. The
complexion is like that of the Negro, but the hair is not
woolly like that of the Negro. Number 500,000.
The Negro race inhabits the central parts of Africa,
from the north of Ashanti to a little southward of Zan-
zibar. The complexion is black, the lips are immensely
thick, the nose is flat, and the hair is close and curly,
strongly resembling wool. Number 55,000,000. The
numbers given in this distribution are of course in many
cases only conjectural.
In the distribution of races, it is most interesting
to observe the influence of climate and vegetation on the
character of man. The vast tract of desert extending
from the north-west of Africa, through Arabia, part of
India and Tartary, as far as Mongolia, is inhabited by
nomadic, or wandering tribes, who depend principally on
the milk of their domesticated animals for subsistence.
The interminable and trackless woods of North America
develop tribes whose faculties are moulded to the exi-
gencies of their position. To their practised senses the
tangled forests are as clear as the highway; the moss on
the trees, the sun by day, the stars by night, the rushing
of the wind, or the sounds of animal life, are as broad
roads and legible signs to them, although we could dis-
cover no means to escape from the wilderness of trees.
CUSTOMS AND CLIMATE
Dependent in a great measure on hunting for their sub-
sistence, their keen eye marks the slightest trace of the
expected prey; a drooping leaf, a twisted blade of grass,
a bent twig, a ripple in the stream, are all noticed and all
understood. Ever eagerly bent on the destruction of
inimical tribes, and deeming the number of "scalps"
attached to their dress, each designating a slain enemy,
as the best mark of nobility, they learn to track an enemy
by his footsteps with unexampled patience and untiring
assiduity. No bloodhound ever followed his prey with
more certainty than the American Indian when on his
"war-path" tracks his untiring enemies, and when near
them his approach is silent as the gliding of the serpent,
his blow as deadly as its fangs.
The Malay race, whose lot is thrown amid islands and
coasts, are as crafty and fierce on the waters as the
American Indians in their woods. Accustomed to the
water from their earliest infancy, able to swim before
they can walk, using as their toys waves that would dash
an ordinary swimmer to pieces against the rocks, their
existence is almost entirely passed on the water. As the
American Indians are slayers and robbers by land, so are
the Malays murderers and pirates by sea. They have
been known to capture a ship in the midst of a storm by
swimming to it and climbing up the cable, and many
instances of their crafty exploits in ship-taking are on
record. For a full account of their ferocity, cunning, and
endurance, the reader is referred to Sir James Brooke's
reports on the Borneo pirates.
The Esquimaux, situated among ice and snow, where
mercury freezes in the open air and water becomes ice
within a yard of a blazing fire, pass a comparatively in-
active life. They actually form the ice and snow into
warm and comfortable houses; wrapped up in enormous
fur garments that almost disguise the human form, they
defy the intensity of the frost, and place their highest
happiness in the chance possession of a whale, which will
furnish them with food, clothing, and light through their
All these races, although they differ in habits and ex-
ternal appearance, are not different genera, or even different
species, but only varieties of one species. There is not so
marked a distinction between the European and Negro, as
between the light and active racer and the heavy brewers'
horse; yet no one attempts to deny that these two
animals belong to one species. The varieties in man are
permanent; that is, the child of Negro parents will be
a Negro, and the child of Malay parents will be a Malay,
but that is no proof of a distinct species, as precisely the
same argument may be used with regard to the horse.
The spirit, not the body, is the important element in
THE section QUADRUM3NA includes the apes, baboons,
and monkeys. The name of Quadrumana is given to
these animals because, in addition to two hands like
those of man, their feet are also formed like hands, and
are capable of grasping the branches among which most
monkeys pass their lives.
Apes are placed at the head of the Quadrumana because
their instinct is mostly superior to that of the baboons
and monkeys, of whom the former are usually sullen and
ferocious, when arrived at their full growth, and the latter
volatile and mischievous.
The Chimpansee is a native of Western Africa, and is
tolerably common on the banks of the Gambia and in
Large bands of these formidable apes congregate to-
gether and unite in repelling an in-
vader, which they do with such fury
and courage that even the dreaded .-
elephant and lion are driven from .'
their haunts by their united efforts.
They live principally on the ground, SKULL O CHIMPANSEE.
and, as their name imports, spend
much of their time in caves and under rocks. Their
height is from four to five feet, but they are said not to
reach this growth until nine or ten years of age.
TROGLODYTEs.-(Gr. rpwiyAx7, a hole; 8vw, to creep.)
Niger (Lat. black), the Chimlpnsee.
Several young chimpansees have been recently imported
into this country, and have shown themselves very docile
and gentle; but, had they lived, they would probably in
a few years have become fierce and obstinate, as apes
almost invariably are when they reach their full growth.
The ORANG-OUTAN inhabits Borneo and Sumatra. In
Borneo there are certainly two species of orang, called by
the natives the Mias-kassar and the Mias-pappan. Some
naturalists suppose that the Sumatran orang is also a
This is the largest of all the apes, as it is said that
THE ORANG-OUTAN 11
orangs have been obtained from Borneo considerably above
five feet in height. The strength of this animal is tre-
mendous; a female snapped a strong
spear asunder after having received many -
severe wounds. Its arms are of extra-
ordinary length, the hands reaching the I.
ground when it stands erect. This -./
length of arm is admirably adapted fo cl'._ J 1
climbing trees, on which it principally K>---
resides. Mr. Brooke, the Rajah of Sara- SKULL OF
wak, gives the following account of the OR -OU
S orangs of Borneo. There appears also to be a third
species, the Mias-rombi:-
On the habits of the orangs, as far as I have been
able to observe them, I may remark that they are as dull
and as slothful as can well be conceived, and on no occa-
sion, when pursuing them, did they move so fast as to
preclude my keeping pace with them easily through a
moderately clear forest; and even when obstructions below
(such as wading up to the neck) allowed them to get away
some distance, they were sure to stop and allow us to
come up. I never observed the slightest attempt at
defence; and the wood, which sometimes rattled about
our ears, was broken by their weight, and not thrown, as
some persons represent. If pushed to extremity, how-
ever, the pappan could not be otherwise than formidable;
and one unfortunate man, who with a party was trying
to catch one alive, lost two of his fingers, besides being
severely bitten on the face, whilst the animal finally beat
off his pursuers and escaped. When they wish to catch
an adult, they cut down a circle of trees round the one on
which he is seated, and then fell that also, and close before
he can recover himself, and endeavour to bind him.
"The rude hut which they are stated to build in the
trees would be more properly called a seat, or nest, for it
has no roof or cover of any sort. The facility with which
they form this seat is curious; and I had an opportunity
of seeing a wounded female weave the branches together,
and seat herself in a minute. She afterwards received our
fire without moving, and expired in her lofty abode,
whence it cost us much trouble to dislodge her.
"The pappan is justly named Satyrus, from the ugly
face and disgusting callosities. The adult male I killed
was seated lazily on a tree; and when approached only
took the trouble to interpose the trunk between us, peeping
at me and dodging as I dodged. I hit him on the wrist,
and he was afterwards despatched. I send you his pro-
portions, enormous relative to his height; and until I
came to actual measurement my impression was that he
was nearly six feet in stature.
SINIra.-(Lat. an Ape.)
Satyrus (Gr. dMrvpos, a satyr), the Orang-outan.
"The great difference between the kassar and the pappan
in size would prove at 'once the distinction of the two
species; the kassar being a small slight animal, by no
means formidable in his appearance, with hands and feet
THE AGILE GIBBON
proportioned to the body, and they do not approach the
gigantic extremities of the pappan either in size or power;
and, in short, a moderately strong man would readily over-
power one, when he would not stand a shadow of a chance
with the pappan."
I saw a young Orang-outan not long since. It was rather
spidery in its development, having a very small and very
rotund body, to which were affixed very long and slender
limbs. Its face was like that of a very misanthropical old
miser, thoroughly wearied of life, and contemplating sur-
rounding objects with a calm but derisive pity.
It possessed in a high degree the expressive mobile cha-
racter of the lips, which appeared to express its feelings
much in the same manner as do the ears of a horse. When
it was alarmed or astonished at any object it was accus-
tomed to shoot out both its lips, and to form its mouth
into a trumpet kind of shape. A snail was very effectual
in producing this contortion of countenance.
The creature was very tame, and delighted in walking
about the garden leaning on the arm of its keeper, and if
any lady would venture to be its guide, it appeared as
happy as any such misanthropical being could be.
When young the Orang-outan is very docile, and has
been taught to make its own bed, and to handle a cup
and saucer, or a spoon, with tolerable propriety. For the
former occupation it proved itself particularly apt, as it
not only laid its own bed-clothes smooth and comfortable,
but exhibited much ingenuity in stealing blankets from
other beds, which it added to its own. The young Orang
in the collection of the Zoological Society evinced extreme
horror at the sight of a small-tortoise, and, when the
reptile was introduced into its den, stood aghast in a most
ludicrously terrified attitude, with its eyes intently fixed
on the frightful object.
THE AGILE GIBBON is a native of Sumatra. It derives
its name of Agile from the wonderful activity it displays
in launching itself through the air from branch to branch.
One of these creatures, that was exhibited in London
14 THE KAHAU
some time since, sprang with the greatest ease through
distances of twelve and eighteen feet; and when apples
or nuts were thrown
HYLOBXTES.-(Gr. fVlx, a wood; a(mw, to o her while in the
traverse.) to her while in the
e.) air, she would catch
them without discon-
tinuing her course. She
kept up a succession
; of springs, hardly
touching the branches
in her progress, con-
tinually uttering a
musical but almost
y. "P deafening cry. She
'.' was very tame and
.- gentle, and would per-
*.- mit herself to be
-'. touched or caressed.
S. The height of the
Si Gibbon is about three
feet, and the reach of
the extended arms
about six feet. The
Agilis (Lat. active), the Agile Gibbon, or young Gibbon is
usually of a paler
colour than its parent. There are several species of
Gibbon, amongst which some naturalists include the
Siamang, a monkey chiefly celebrated for the .pains it
takes to wash the faces of its young, a duty which it con-
scientiously performs in spite of the struggles and screams
of its aggrieved offspring.
The KAHAU is a native of Borneo. It derives its name
from the cry it utters, which is a repetition of the word
" Kahau." It is remarkable for the extraordinary size and
shape of its nose, and the natives relate that while leaping
it holds that organ with its paws, apparently to guard it
against the branches. As may be seen from the engraving,
it is not an animal of very captivating appearance; but
THE MANDRILL 15
when it has been macerated in spirits of wine for a few
months, its ugliness is quite preternatural.
The length of the ani- PREST-(G. rpEa an old
mal from the head to the maESTES.- an old
tip of the tail is about
four feet four inches; and
itsgeneral colour is a sandy
red, relieved by yellow
cheeks and a yellow stripe
over the shoulders.
We now arrive at the
BABOONs. This tribe is
principally distinguished "
from the apes by their I, 1.1 )
short and insignificant- t '
The Mandrill, which is
the most conspicuous of
the baboon tribe, is a Larvatus (Lat. masked) Kahau, ci
native of Guinea and Proboscis Monkey.
CYNOCEPHXLUSs.-(Gr. tcuov, a dog; ,ceEpaj, a head.)
Mormon (Gr. Mop~ tv, a bogie), the Maencrill.
16 AMERICAN MONKEYS
Western Africa, and is chiefly remarkable for the vivid
colours with which it is adorned. Its cheeks are of a
brilliant blue, its muzzle of a bright scarlet, and a stripe of
crimson runs along the centre of its nose. These colours
are agreeably contrasted by the purple hues of the hinder
quarters. It lives principally in forests filled with brush-
wood, from which it makes incursions into the nearest
villages, plundering them with impunity. On this account
it is much dreaded by the natives, who feel themselves
incapable of resisting its attacks. It is excessively fero-
cious, and easily excited to anger; and when enraged, so
boundless is its rage, that Cuvier relates that he has seen
several of these animals actually expire from the violence
of their fury.
The greenish-brown colour of the hair of this and other
monkeys is caused by alternate bands of yellow and black,
which exist on each hair. The brilliant colours referred
to above belong to the skin, and fade away entirely after
death, becoming paler when the animal is not in perfect
The AMERICAN MONKEYS, or Cebide, are found exclu-
sively in South America, and are never seen north of
Panama. Their tails are invariably long, and, in some
The Coaita is one of the Spider Monkeys, so called from
their long slender limbs, and their method of progressing
among the branches. The tail seems to answer the purpose
of a fifth hand, as it is capable of being used for every
purpose to which the hand could be applied; indeed, the
Spider Monkeys are said to use this member for hooking
out objects where a hand could not be inserted. The tail
is also of considerable use in climbing among the branches
of trees; they coil it round the boughs to lower or raise
themselves, and often will suspend themselves entirely by
it, and then by a more powerful impetus swing off to
some distant branch. The habits of all the Spider Monkeys
are very similar. They are extremely sensitive to cold,
THE COAITA SPIDER MONKEY 17
and when chilly are in the habit of wrapping their tail
about them, so that this useful organ answers the purpose
of a boa as well as a ATtLES.-(Gr. &TaEs, imperfect.)
hand. They will also, .
when shot, fastentheir .'
tail so firmly on the '.i i','r
branches, that theyre- '
main suspended after
death. The great
length of their tail
enables them to walk
in the erect attitude I
better than most mon- i
keys. In walking,.
they cast their tails
upwards as high as
the shoulders, and '"
then bend it over so
as to form a counter-
balance against the
weight of the body, ::
which is thrown very
much forward in that Paniscus (Gr. navi~r os, dim. of rav, a little
and most other mon- Pan), the Coaita Spider Monkey.
keys. The genus is called Ateles, or imperfect, because
in most of the species the thumb is wanting. The Coaita
inhabits Surinam and Guinea.
The HowLING MONKEYS are larger and not so agile as
the Spider Monkeys, and are chiefly remarkable for the
peculiarity from which they derive their name. These
animals possess an enlargement in the throat, composed of
several valvular pouches, which apparatus renders their
cry exceedingly loud and mournful. An arrangement
somewhat similar may be seen in the throat of several
They howl in concert, principally at the rising and setting
of the sun; one monkey begins the cry, which is gradually
taken up by the rest, precisely as may be observed in a
THE HOWLER MONKEY
colony of rooks. They are in great request among the
natives as articles of food, their slow habits rendering
them an easy prey.
MYCOTES.-(Gr. fuvicvris, a howler.)
Ursinus (Lat. Urscc, a bear-Bearlike), the Ursine Howler.
The Ursine Howler, or Araguato, is common in Brazil,
where forty or fifty have been observed on one tree. They
generally travel in files, an old monkey taking the lead,
and the others following in due order. They feed prin-
cipally on leaves and fruit; the tail is prehensile like that
of the Spider Monkeys.
The MARMOSET is a most interesting little creature. It
is exceedingly sensitive to cold, and when in England is
usually occupied in nestling among the materials for its
bed, which it heaps up in one corner, and out of which it
seldom emerges entirely. It will eat almost any article of
food, but is especially fond of insects, which it dispatches
in a very adroit manner. It will also eat fruits, especially
those of its native country. Its fondness for insects is car-
ried so far, that it has been known to pinch out the figures
of beetles in entomological work, and swallow them.
A beautiful little marmoset in the Zoological Gardens
THE MARMOSET i'
ate a great number of flies which I caught and presented
to it. Its little eyes JACcHUS.-(Gr. 9Iavyos, Bacchus.)
sparkled with eager-
ness each time that :, -
it saw my hand mov-
ing towards a fly
settled out of its
reach, and it even
ventured from its
warm woolly nest,
and climbed up the
wires of its cage as
it saw the fly ap- i
preaching. It was L
also rather expert at
catching for itself the Vulgaris (Lat. commo~), the Marnoset.
flies that settled on
the bars of the cage. A blue-bottle fly was evidently
considered a great prize.
This pretty little Monkey is also called the Ouistiti,
from its peculiar whistling cry when alarmed or provoked.
MacAco (Native name), the Bufflec Lemur.
20 THE SLENDER LORIS
The LEMURS derive their name from their nocturnal
habits, and their noiseless movements. The Ruffled
Lemur is a native of Madagascar. It lives in the depths
of the forests, and only moves by night, the entire day
being spent in sleep. Its food consists of fruits, insects
and small birds, which latter it takes while they are
sleeping. This is the largest of the Lemurs, being rather
larger than a cat.
The SLENDER LORIS is a native of India, Ceylon, &c. It,
like the Lemur, sel-
LonBI. (Native name.) dom moves by day,
but prowls about at
night in search of
food. No sooner does
it espy a sleeping
bird, than it slowly
S advances until within
.. reach; then putting
forward its paw with
a motion slow and
,/ .. ,- imperceptible as the
-movement of the
Shadow on the dial,
Gracilis (Lat. slender), the Slender Loris. it gradually places its
fingers over the de-
voted bird; then, with a movement swifter than the eye
can follow, it seizes its startled prey.
We now arrive at the BATS, or Cheiroptera. This name
is derived from the singular manner in which their fore-
paws, or hands, are developed into wings. If the fingers
of a man were to be drawn out like wire to about four
feet in length, a thin membrane to extend from finger to
finger, and another membrane to fall from the little finger
to the ankles, he would make a very tolerable imitation of
THE VAMPIRE BAT
VAMPnIRvs ("said by Adelzng to be of Servian origin ").
The usual food of Bats is insects, which they mostly
capture on the wing, but some, as the Vampires, suck blood
from other animals, and a few, as the Kalong, or Flying
Fox, live upon fruits, and so devastate the mango crops, that
the natives are forced to cover them with bamboo baskets,
to preserve them from the ravages of these animals, who
would soon strip the fruit trees without these precautions.
Even the cocoa nut is not secure from their depredations.
The membrane of the Bat's wing is plentifully supplied
with nerves, and is extremely sensitive, almost appearing
to supply a sense independent of sight. Many Bats pos-
sess 'a similar membrane on the nose, which is possibly
used for the same purpose.
The object of the elongation of the finger joints is to
give the animal the power of extending the wing mem-
brane or folding it at pleasure. When the bat wishes to
walk, it half folds the membrane, and assumes an attitude
admirably represented in the cut of the Long-eared Bat.
The thumb-joint has no part of the wing attached to it,
but is left free, and is armed with a hook at the extremity
THE VAMPIRE BAT
by means of which it is enabled to drag itself along in that
singular vacillating hobble which constitutes a Bat's walk.
There are five tribes, or sub-families, of Bats, according
to Gray, each tribe including many genera. The British
Museum alone possesses eighty genera.
The Vampire Bat is a native of South America, where it
is very common, and held in some dread. It lives on the
blood of animals, and sucks usually while its victim sleeps.
The extremities, where the blood flows freely, as the toe
of a man, the ears of a horse, or the combs and wattles of
fowls, are its favourite spots. When it has selected a sub-
ject, on which it intends to feed, it watches until the
animal is fairly asleep. It then carefully fans its victim
with its wings while it bites a little hole in the ear or
shoulder, and through this small aperture, into which a
pin's head would scarcely pass, it contrives to abstract
sufficient blood to make a very ample meal. The wound
is so small, and the Bat manages so adroitly, that the
victim does not discover that anything has happened until
the morning, when a pool of blood betrays the visit of the
The wound made by the bat's teeth is no larger than
that made by a needle, and hardly penetrates the skin, so
that the blood must be extracted by suction. There have
been very different accounts of the Vampires from travel-
lers, some denying that they suck blood at all, and others
narrating circumstantially the injuries inflicted upon their
own persons. The cause for these discrepancies is probably
owing to the constitution of the narrators, there being some
persons whom a Vampire will not touch, while others are
This Bat is placed among the Phyllostomina, because
the membrane on its nose resembles a leaf. The length
of its body is about six inches.
THE LONG-EARED BAT.
The LONG-EARED BAT is found in most parts of Europe,
and is common in England. It may be seen any warm
THE LONG-EARED BAT 23
evening flying about in search of insects, and uttering its
peculiar shrill cry. It is very common on Hampstead
H-eath. The 'ears are about an inch
and a half in length, and have a fold in
them reaching almost to the lips, from
which peculiarity the genus is called
SKULL OF COMMON
This Bat is very easily tamed, and BKULAT.CO
will take flies and other insects from
the hand. One that I had in my own possession used to hang
by the wing-hooks during
the whole of the day, and
could hardly be persuaded
to move, or even to eat;
but when the evening
came on it became very HAIR OF LONG-EARED BAT.
brisk indeed, and after
carefully combing itself with its hind feet, it would
eagerly seize a fly or beetle and devour it, always rejecting
the head, legs, and
wings. It was then PLECOTUS.-(Gr. hTIAEXc, I fold ; oSv, an ear.)
very impatient to
be released from the
cage, and would
show its uneasiness
by climbing about
the cage and flut-
tering its wings. It
unfortunately died -
before further in-
vestigations could -_ -
be made, but dur-
ing the short time
that it survived, it
at survive, it Aritus (Lat. auris, an ear ;-Eared),
seemed very gentle, th Long-eared Bat.
and only bit me
once, although I used frequently to handle it.
When the Long-eared Bat is suspended by its hinder
claws, it assumes a most singular aspect. The beautiful
long ears are tucked under its wings, which envelop great
part of its body. The tragus, or pointed membrane visible
inside the ear, is then exposed, and appears to be the actual
ear itself, giving the creature a totally different cast of
THE former sections have been characterized by the
number and properties of the hands. In the section that
we are about to consider, the hands have been modified
into feet. At the head of the quadrupeds, or four-footed
animals, are placed the carnivora, or flesh-eaters, and at the
head of the carnivora, the Felidoe, or cat kind, are placed,
as being the most perfect and beautiful in that section.
The Felide all take their prey by creeping as near as they
can without observation, and then springing upon their
unfortunate victim, which seldom succeeds in making its
escape, as the powerful claws and teeth of its enemy usually
dash it insensible to the ground. The jaws and teeth of
the Felide are very different from those of the animals
already described; their jaws are more powerful, and
their teeth longer and sharper. Their claws, too, are
necessarily very long, curved and sharp, and to prevent
them from being injured by coming into contact with the
ground, they are retracted, when not in use, into a sheath,
which effectually guards them and keeps them sharp.
There are five claws on the fore-feet, and four on the
hinder feet. The tongue of the Felide is very rough, as
may be proved by feeling the tongue of a cat. This
roughness is occasioned by innumerable little hooks which
cover the tongue, point backwards, and are used for the
purpose of licking the flesh off the bones of their prey.
The bristles of the mouth, or whiskers, are each connected
with a large nerve, and are exceeding useful in indicating
an obstacle when the animal prowls by night. Their eyes
are -adapted for nocturnal vision by the dilating power of
the pupil, which expands so as to take in every ray of
The LION stands at the head of the wild beasts. His
noble and dignified bearing, the terrific power compressed
into his comparatively small frame, and the deep majesty
of his voice, have gained for him the name of "king of
beasts." The Lion inhabits Africa and certain parts of
Asia, such as portions of Arabia and Persia, and some parts
of India. It varies in external appearance according to
the locality, but there is little doubt that there is but
The roar of the Lion is one of its chief peculiarities; the
best description, of it is in Gordon Cumming's Adven-
One of the most striking things connected with the
Lion is his voice, which is extremely grand and peculiarly
striking. It consists, at times, of a low deep moaning,
repeated five or six times, ending in faintly audible sighs;
at other times he startles the forest with loud, deep-toned,
solemn roars, repeated five or six times in quick succession,
each increasing in loudness to the third or fourth, when
his voice dies away in five or six low, muffled sounds,
very much resembling distant thunder. At times, and
not unfrequently, a troop may be heard roaring in concert,
one assuming the lead, and two, three, or four more regu-
larly taking up their parts like persons singing a catch."
As a general rule lions roar during the night, their
sighing moans commencing as the shades of evening
envelop the forest, and continuing at intervals through-
out the night. In distant and secluded regions, however,
I have constantly heard them roaring loudly as late as
nine or ten o'clock on a bright, sunny morning. In hazy
and rainy weather they are to be heard at every hour in
the day, but their roar is subdued."
B2 THE LION
The opinion that lions will not touch a dead animal is
erroneous, as they were frequently shot by Mr. Cumming
while devouring gnoos, &c., that had fallen. by his rifle.
LEO. (Lat. a Lion.)
Barblrus (Lat. fierce), the Lion.
Those lions who have once tasted human flesh are gener-
ally the most to be dreaded, as they will even venture to
spring in among a company of men, and seize their victim.
These lions are called Man-eaters.
The Lioness is much smaller than the Lion, and is desti-
tute of the magnificent mane which is so great an ornament
to her mate. As a general rule she is more fierce and
active than the male, especially before she has had cubs, or
while she is suckling them. She has usually from two to
four cubs at a time. They are beautiful, playful little
things, and are slightly striped. They have no mane
until about two years old. While her cubs are small, the
THE LION 27
Lioness knows no fear, and will attack a company of
men, or a herd of oxen, if they come too near
The cubs are remarkably heavy for their age. Many
years ago I had a pair of young lion cubs in my hands.
They were about the size of very large cats, but weighed
considerably more than their size led me to believe. They
were playful little animals, but struck rather too hard to
The Lion when young is easily tamed, and shows a
strong .attachment to its keeper. Those who have seen
Van Amburgh will know what influence man may obtain
over this powerful creature.
There is one remarkable difference in the characters of
the feline and canine tribes. If a man is overcome by a
wolf or a dog, the animal ceases not to mangle its van-
quished foe until life is quite extinct. A dog killing a
rat is a good instance of this trait of character. But if
a lion or any other feline animal vanquishes a man, it
contents itself with the victory for some time without
making any attempt to injure him, unless he tries to
escape, in which case he is again dashed to the earth, and
probably considerably bitten as a warning. A cat treats
a mouse just as a lion treats a man.
This propensity in the lion has been the cause of saving
several lives, the men having been able either to destroy
their foe by cautiously getting out a weapon, or by lying
still until they were succoured.
At the extremity of the lion's tail there is a small hook
or claw, which has been represented as the means by
which the animal lashes itself into fury, using it as a spur.
This is impossible, as the claw or prickle is very small,
not fixed to the bone as the claws of the feet are, but
merely attached to the skin, and falls off if roughly
handled. It is not present in all lions, as Mr. Wood only
discovered it once out of numerous specimens which he
TIGrIS.-(Lat. a Tiger.)
Regalis (Lat, royal), the Tiger.
This magnificent animal is found only in Asia, Hin-
dostan being the part most infested by it. In size it is
almost equal to the lion, its height being from three to
four feet, and its length rather more than eight feet. It
has no mane, but to compensate for this deficiency, it is
decorated with black stripes, upon a ground of reddish
yellow fur, which becomes almost white on the under
parts of the body. The chase of the TIGER is among the
most exciting and favourite sports in India. A number
of hunters assemble, mounted on elephants trained to the
sport, and carry with them a supply of loaded rifles in
their howdahs, or carriages mounted on the elephants'
backs. Thus armed, they proceed to the spot where a
tiger has been seen. The animal is usually found hidden
in the long grass or jungle, which is frequently eight or
more feet in height, and when roused, it endeavours to
creep away under the grass. The movement of the leaves
betrays him, and he is checked by a rifle-ball aimed at
him through the jungle. Finding that he cannot escape
without being seen, he turns round, and springs at the
nearest elephant, endeavouring to clamber up it, and attack
the party in the howdah. This is the most dangerous
part of the proceedings, as many elephants will turn round
and run away, regardless of the efforts of their drivers to
make them face the tiger. Should, however, the elephant
stand firm, a well-directed ball checks the tiger in his
spring, and he then endeavours again to escape, but a
volley of rifle-balls from the backs of the other elephants,
who by this time have come up, lays the savage animal
prostrate, and in a very short time his skin decorates the
successful marksman's howdah.
Tigers are usually taken by the natives in pitfalls, at
the bottom of which is planted a bamboo stake, the top of
which is sharpened into a point. The animal falls on the
point, and is impaled.
The general notion that tigers cannot be tamed is
erroneous. They can be tamed as easily as the lion;
but great caution must be used with all wild animals,
as in a moment of irritation, their savage nature breaks
out, and the consequences have more than once proved
In the British Museum are three cubs bred between a
lion and a tigress. They are not unlike lion cubs, but
the stripes are much darker, and tho colour of the fur is
The colouring of the tiger is a good instance of the
manner in which animals are protected by the similarity
of their external appearance to the particular locality in
which they reside. The stripes on the tiger's skin so
exactly assimilate with the long jungle grass amongst
which it lives, that it is impossible for unpractised eyes
to discern the animal at all, even when a considerable
portion of its body is exposed.
LEOPARDUS.-(Lat. Ico, a lion; pardus, a panther.)
Varius (Lat. varied), the Leopard, or Panther.
The LEOPARD is an inhabitant of Africa, India, and the
Indian Islands. A black variety inhabits Java, and is
not uncommon there. Its height is about two feet. This
and the following Felidoe are accustomed to live much on
trees, and are on that account called Tree-tigers by the
natives. Nothing can be more beautiful than the ele-
gant and active manner in which the leopards sport
among the branches of the trees : at one time they will
bound from branch to branch with such rapidity, that
the eye can scarcely follow them; then, as if tired, they
will suddenly stretch themselves along a branch, so as to
be hardly distinguishable from the bark, but start up
again on the slightest provocation, and again resume their
graceful antics. It is easily tamed, and expresses great
fondness for its keeper, and will play with him like a
cat. A remarkably beautiful specimen in Wombwell's
Menagerie was exceedingly fond of playing with the tuft
at the extremity of a lion's tail, and from the familiar
manner in which he patted and bit it he evidently
THE JAGUAR 31
considered it as manufactured for his own particular
This animal is exceedingly fond of some scents, especially
preferring lavender water, by means of which predilection
it has been taught to perform several tricks.
The Leopard and Panther are considered as the same
animal, on the authority of Mr. Gray.
The JAGUAR inhabits America. It is larger and more
powerful than the leopard, which it resembles in colour,
but has a black
streak across the LEOPArDUS.
chest, and a black
spot in the centre '
of the rosettes. It
is fond of climb-
ing trees, and finds
little difficulty in
when the trunk
is smooth and des-
titute of branches.
It chases monkeys
is said to watch
for turtles on the
beach, and to scoop
out their flesh by
turning them on
their backs, and
inserting its paws Oca (Gr. oca, a prolar name),
between the shells, the Jag ar.
Nor does it confine
its attention to the turtles themselves, for it watches them
lay their eggs, and then scoops them out of the sand with
its claws. It often makes fearful havoc among the sheep-
folds, and is said to depart so far from the usual habits of
the Felide, as to enter the water after fish, and to capture
them in the shallows by striking them out of the water
with a blow of its paw. There have been instances of
the domestic cat acting in the same manner.
When it captures one of the larger animals it destroys
it by leaping upon its back, and twisting the head of its
prey round, until the neck is dislocated.
The PUMA inhabits the whole of America, where it is
held in much dread by the natives. Its colour is an
uniform grey, fading into white on the under parts of its
Conc6lor (Lat. of the same colour), the Puma.
body, and this similarity of colour is the reason that the
name "concolor" has been given to it. It lives much on
trees, and usually lies along the branches, where its uni-
form dusky fur renders it so like the bark that it can
scarcely be distinguished from the branch.
The Americans always speak of this animal as the pan-
ther, or "painter," as it is more familiarly pronounced;
and many authors still term it the cougar, a word con-
tracted from the original elongated unpronounceable
Mexican name, Gouazouara."
THE OCELOT-THE CAT
The OCELOT, one of the Tiger-cats, is a native of Mexico
and Peru. Its height is about eighteen inches, and its
length about three .EOPARDUS.
feet. It is a most
and is easily tamed.
When in a wild state -
on monkeys, which
animal as the wild
Cat, but it is now ,
proved to be a dis- Parltlis (Gr. rdpas, a rard), tl Ocelot,
tinct species, and the difference is seen at once by the
form of the tail. That of the domestic Cat is long and
taper, while that of the wild cat is bushy and short.
The cat is familiarly known to us as a persevering
mouse-hunter. So strong, indeed, is the passion for hunt-
ing in the breast of the Cat, that she sometimes disdains
mice and such small deer," and trespasses on warrens or
preserves. A large tabby cat, residing at no great distance
from White Horse Vale, was accustomed to go out poach-
ing in the preserves of a neighboring nobleman, and so
expert was she at this illegal sport that she constantly re-
turned bearing in her mouth a leveret or a partridge, which
she insisted on presenting to her mistress, who in vain
endeavoured to check her marauding propensities. These
exploits, however, brought their own punishment; for
one day, when in the act of seizing a leveret, she found
herself caught in a vermin trap, which deprived her of one
of her hind legs. This misfortune did not damp her
enthusiasm for hunting, as, although the loss of a leg pre-
vented her from chasing hares, and such-like animals, she
would still bring in an occasional rat.
This instinctive desire of hunting seems to be implanted
in cats at a very early age. I have seen kittens but just
able to see, bristle up at the touch of a mouse, and growl
in a terrific manner if disturbed.
Domestica (Lat. domestic), the Cat.
The Cat displays a great affection for her kittens, and
her pride when they first run about is quite amusing.
While I was an undergraduate at college, a cat belonging
to the baker's department formed a great friendship for
me, and used to come every morning and evening to
obtain her share of breakfast and tea. She continued her
attentions for some time, but one morning she was absent
from her accustomed corner, nor did she return until
nearly a week had passed, when she came again, but
always seemed uneasy unless the door were open. A few
days afterwards she came up as usual, and jumped on my
knee, at the same time putting a little kitten into my
hand. She refused to take it back again, so I restored it
to it, brothers and sisters myself. A few hours afterwards,
on going into my bedroom, I found another black kitten
fast asleep on the bed.
THE CANADA LYNX
Cats are very fond of aromatic plants and several power-
ful scents. My own cat has just been discovered in the
act of eating the green tops
of a musk plant that was
standing in the window. Vale-
rian appears to be the great
attraction for cats; and any
one who is disposed to place
a plant of valerian in his gar- CATS' TAILS.*
den must beware of the cats, for they will come in num-
bers, roll over it, and scratch up the plant until there is
not a vestige of it left. Moreover they will fight for the
fragments in various parts of the garden, and cause great
confusion among the seeds.
There are several varieties of the domestic cat, among
which the Angora cats, with their beautiful long fur, and
the Manx cats of the Chartreuse breed, which have no
tails, are the most conspicuous.
I The LYNXES are remarkable for the pencil of hairs which
tufts their sharply pointed ears.
The CANADA LYNX
is a native of North LYNcus.-(Gr. Ahy, a Lynx.)
America, and is re-
markable for its
gait. Its method of_
progression is by
bounds from all
four feet at once,
with the back
arched. It feeds ._1
principally on the _
American hare, as
it is not courageous
enough to attack
the larger quadru- Canadensis (Lat. of Canada), the
peds. Its length Canada Lynx.
is about three feet.
The natives sometimes eat its flesh, which is white and
1. Tail of Domestic Cat; 2. Tail of Wild Cat,
firm, and not unlike that of the American hare itself. Its
skin forms an important article of commerce, and between
seven and nine thousand are imported yearly by the
Hudson's Bay Company, by whom the grey specimen in
the British Museum was presented.
The CHETAH, or HUNTING LEOPARD, as it is sometimes
called, is one of the most elegant and graceful animals
known. It is a native both of Africa and India, but it is
Jnbata (Lat. crested), thle Cheteh.
only in the latter country that it is used for hunting game,
as the Africans appear not to possess sufficient ingenuity
to train the animal. The method of employing it is
usually as follows :-The Chetah is either led blind-folded
in a chain, or placed upon a hackery, or native cart, and
taken as near as possible to the place where antelopes or
deer are feeding. When close enough, the hunter takes
the band from its eyes, and directs its head towards the
game. Directly the Chetah sees the deer, it creeps off the
cart, and makes towards them as rapidly and silently as it
can, carefully availing itself of the accidental cover of a
THE STRIPED HYENA
bush, or stone, precisely as a cat does when stealing after
a bird. When it has succeeded in unobservedly approach-
ing the unsuspecting herd, it makes two or three tre-
mendous springs, and fastens on the back of one unfor-
tunate deer, brings it to the ground, and waits until its
keeper comes up, who induces it to leave its prey by a
ladle-full of the blood, which he takes care to have ready.
The Chetah is then hooded and led back to his cart. It is
so easily tameable and so gentle that it is frequently led
about the streets by a string for sale.
It is rather larger than the leopard, and differs from it
in the length of its paws, its inability to climb trees, and
the crispness of its fur. It is therefore placed in a different
genus from the leopard. It derives its name of "jubata"
from a thin mane running down the neck.
The HYENINA, or HYJENAS, are remarkable for their pre-
datory, ferocious, and withal cowardly habits. There are
several Hyemnas, the
striped, the spotted, HYENA. "(G.Taiva.)
and the villose, but
as the habits of all
are very similar,
only one will be
very repulsive in
appearance, are yet
very useful, as they
prowl in search of
dead animals, espe-
cially of the larger
kinds, and will de-
vour them even Stridta (Lat. striped), the Striped Hywna.
when putrid, so that
they act the same part among beasts that the vultures do
among birds, and are equally uninviting in aspect. They
not unfrequently dig up recently interred corpses, and in
Abyssinia, according to Bruce, they even flock in numbers
THE CIVET CAT
into the village streets, where they prey on slaughtered men
who are thrown out unburied. One of these animals attacked
Bruce in his tent, and was only destroyed after a severe
battle. Their jaws and teeth are exceedingly powerful, as
they can crush the thigh-bone of an ox -with apparently
little effort; and so great is the strain upon the bones by
the exertions of these muscles, that the vertebra of the
neck become anchylosed, as it is called, that is, become
united together, and the animal has a perpetual stiff neck
in consequence. Before the anatomy of the hyena was
better known, people thought that it had only one bone in
its neck. The skull too is very strong, and furnished with
heavy ridges for the support of the muscles which move
The hinder parts of the Hyena are very small, and give
it a strange shambling appearance when walking. The
Hyena is easily tamed, and even domesticated, so that the
tales of its untameable disposition are entirely erroneous.
The striped Hyana is found in many parts of Asia and
Africa, where it is both a benefit and a pest, for when dead
animals fail it, the flocks and herds are ravaged, and even
man does not always escape.
The VIVERRINA, or CIVETS, are active little animals,
averaging about two feet in length. The whole group is
celebrated for the
VIVERRA.-(Lat. a Ferret.) perfume which is
secreted in a glan-
dular pouch near the
tail, and is of some
importance in com-
The Civet is only
found in North
Civetta (Arabic Zibetta, scent), the Africa, especially in
Civet Cat. Abyssinia, where it
takes up its abode
on uncultivated and barren hills. It feeds upon birds
and the smaller quadrupeds, which it takes by surprise.
THE ICHNEUMON 39
The ICHNEUMONS, or MANGOUSTS, well deserve their
name of Creepers, for with their long bodies and snouts,
their short limbs and slender tails, they insinuate them-
selves into every crevice in their way in search of their
expected food. Few animals are more useful than the
Ichneumons. Snakes, lizards, crocodiles' eggs, or even
young crocodiles themselves, form their principal food,
and their activity is so great that, when these sources fail,
they are able to secure birds, and even seize upon the
swift and wary lizards, which, when alarmed, dart off like
streaks of green light glancing through the bushes.
HERPESTES.-(Gr. p7rj/?STs, a creeper.)
Ichneumon (Gr. i ve6 /ov, a tracker), the Egyptian Ichneumon.
The Egyptian Ichneumon, or Pharaoh's Rat, as it is
sometimes called, is a native of North Africa, and is often
domesticated for the purpose of destroying the various
snakes, and other reptile annoyances, which are such a
pest in the houses of hot countries. Its length without
the tail is about eighteen inches.
We now arrive at the DOG FAMILY, which includes the
Dogs, Wolves, Jackals, and Foxes. The first of the Dogs
is the Kolsun, or Dhale, which inhabits Bombay and
Nepaul. It hunts in packs, as most of the dogs do even
in a wild state, and has been known to destroy tigers
and chetahs. Let us pass to a more interesting animal,
the Newfoundland Dog. This magnificent creature was
originally brought from Newfoundland. It is often con-
THE NEWFOUNDLAND DOG
founded with the Labrador Dog, a larger and more power-
ful animal. Both these dogs are trained by their native
masters to draw sledges and little carriages, and on that
account are highly esteemed. The Newfoundland Dog is
well known as a most faithful guardian of its master's
property. It is remarkably fond of the water, and will
Familiaris (Lat. familiar), the Newfoundcland Dog.
fetch out any article that its master indicates, and lay it
at his feet. Many instances are known of this noble
animal saving the lives of people that have fallen into the
water, and must have perished but for its timely aid.
This is one of the largest of the dogs, as it stands
nearly two feet two inches in height.
THE BLOODHOUND.--There are several varieties of this
animal, inhabiting Cuba, Africa, and England. They all
are endowed with a wonderfully acute sense of smell, and
THE BLOODHOUND-THE FOXHOUND 41
can trace a man or animal with almost unerring certainty.
The Cuban Bloodhound was formerly employed by the
Spaniards to hunt down the natives while endeavouring
to escape from their invasions. A few years since, one of
these dogs saved the life of its master, an American
hunter, by boldly attacking a puma which had sprung on
him in the darkness, and was lacerating him in a dreadful
manner. The sagacious animal had been tied up at home,
but apparently knowing the dangers of the forests through
which his master was about to pass, he broke his chain,
and arrived barely in time to save the hunter from a
The FOXHOUND and BEAGLE are not very dissimilar in
form or habits. They both follow game by the scent, and
are used in hunting. The Foxhound, as its name implies,
is used for hunting the fox, and enters into the sport with
extraordinary eagerness. The height of the foxhound is
about twenty-two inches.
The BEAGLE is used principally for hare hunting. It is
much smaller than the foxhound, and not nearly so swift,
but its scent is so perfect that it follows every track of the
flying hare, unravels all her windings, and seldom fails to
secure her at last. Sportsmen usually prefer the smallest
beagles obtainable. The most valuable pack of these dogs
known used to be carried to and from the field in a pair
of panniers slung across a horse's back. Unfortunately,
this pack was so well known, that numerous were the
attempts to gain possession of it. One ill-fated evening,
as the dogs were returning in their panniers after the
day's sport, the keeper was decoyed away by some strata-
gem, and when he returned, his dismay was great to find
that the dogs, panniers, and horse were all missing. No
traces of them were discovered, and it was conjectured
that they must have been sold on the Continent. It is
a common custom in the military schools, and sometimes
at the universities, to follow the beagle on foot. There
has been for several years a society at Oxford, who thus
hunt on foot. As too much time would be lost in looking
for a living hare, a dead rabbit is trailed along the ground,
and as its fur has been rubbed with aniseed, the dogs can
follow it easily.
THE POINTEi--TIHE MASTIFF 43
The POINTER is used by sportsmen to point out the
spot where the game lies. It ranges the fields until it
scents the hare or partridge lying close on the ground.
It then remains still as if carved in stone, every limb
fixed, and the tail pointing straight behind it. In this
attitude it remains until the gun is discharged, reloaded,
and the sportsman has reached the place where the bird
The group of the MASTIFF dogs is distinguished by the
shortness of the nose and the breadth of the head. This
group includes the mastiff, the bull-dog, and the almost
obsolete absurd little pug-dog. The breadth of their heads
is caused by the large muscles which move the jaw.
The English Mastiff is generally employed as a house-
dog, as its powerful frame and deep voice are well fitted to
scare away marauders, or to repel them if they approach
too near. It is by far the most sagacious of the whole
group, and exhibits much more attachment to its master
than the others. This animal has been called by several
names, of which Ban-dog" is the best known. Bewick
thinks that the ban-dog is a separate species, of a lighter
make than the ordinary English mastiff.
The BULL-DOG is proverbial for courage and endurance.
Unfortunately its social qualities are by no means pleasing,
as, although it has
some attachment to
S"..' t its master, yet it is
for him to disturb
S' it. This dog was
S^.. extensively used in
the cruel sport of
( I bull-baiting, a re-
creation now extinct.
-When opposed to
S the bull, the dog
-' would fly at its
THE BULL-DOG. nose, and there hang
in spite of all the infuriated animal's struggles.
THE ENGLISH TERRIER 45
The TERRIERS never grow to any considerable size.
There are several breeds of terriers, among which the
English and Scotch are most conspicuous. These dogs are
principally used for
destroying rats or
other vermin, and -
are so courageous
that they do not he-
sitate to unearth the .
fox or the badger. .'i
Otters are also hunt-
ed by them, but _
prove by no means ; '' -s.
an easy prey, as their
snake-like body, >
sharp teeth, and
render them very l GLII TE5
difficult to seize, and their tenacity of life will frequently
enable them to escape when the dog considers them dead.
Terriers are extremely attached to their master, and are
capable of learning many amusing tricks.
THE SHEPHERD'S DOG.
46 THE SHEPHERD'S DOG-THE GREYHOUND
The SHEPHERD'S DOG is a rough, shaggy animal, with
sharp pointed ears and nose. It is an invaluable assistant
to the shepherd, as it knows all its master's sheep, never
suffers them to stray, and when two flocks have mixed, it
will separate its own charge with the greatest certainty.
It understands every look and gesture of its beloved
master, and drives the flock to any place which he points
: ilf ,' I ir .',',i ....v
The GREYHOUND is the swiftest of all dogs, and is
principally used in the pursuit of the hare, which amuse-
ment is termed coursing. It has but little delicacy of
scent, and hunts almost entirely by sight. The hare en-
deavours to baffle it by making sharp turns, which the dog
cannot do on account of its superior size, and has there-
fore to take a circuit, during which the hare makes off in
another direction. The hare also has the property of
stopping almost instantaneously when at full speed. It
puts this manoeuvre into force, when it is nearing its
favourite hiding-place. It induces the dog to spring upon
it, and then suddenly checks itself. The dog is carried
twenty or thirty yards forward by its own momentum, and
the hare springs off to her place of refuge.
THE FOX 47
The Fox.-This terror of hen-roosts and delight of
sportsmen is found in most parts of England, and many
other countries. It varies very much in colour and size,
according to the country where it lives.
The habits of this animal are mostly nocturnal. It lies
by day concealed in its burrow, if it be fortunate enough
to possess one, or in the depths of some thicket, if it is
not a householder. Towards evening it sallies out in
search of food, and woe to the unfortunate hare, rabbit,
pheasant, or fowl that comes in its way !
VurLEs.-(Lat. a Fox
Vulgaris (Lat. common), the Fox.
Sometimes he steals into the hen-roost, destroys and
carries off most of its inmates, some of which he devours
on the spot, others he carries home, and the remainder he
buries for a future repast.
When irritated, the fox gives out a strong disagreeable
scent, which lies so long on the ground that it may be
perceived for nearly an hour after the fox has passed.
Partly on this account, and partly on account of its speed,
endurance, and cunning, the chase of the fox is one of
the most admired English sports.
48 THE WEASELS-THE PINE MARTEN
The MUSTELINA, or WEASELS, are easily distinguished
by their long slender bodies, short muzzle, sharp teeth,
and predatory habits. They inhabit almost every part of
the world, and procure their food by creeping on the
unsuspecting victim, generally a rabbit, rat, or bird, and
then suddenly darting at it and piercing its neck with
their sharp teeth. Almost all the weasels devour the
brain and suck the blood of their prey, but seldom touch
the flesh, unless they are pressed by hunger.
Two kinds of MARTENS inhabit England, named, from
their favourite haunts, the Pine and the Beech M 1 t..-!i.
ARTEs (Lat. a Marten.) Some naturalists as-
MARTEs.-(Lat. a Marten.) sethat
sert that these two
martens are not dis-
S tinct animals, but
I- only varieties of the
~ same species. The
Pine Marten is not
uncommon in Der-
S. .byshire, where it is
J, '- much too fond of
chickens and duck-
,. lings to be a de-
s sirable neighbour.
.' .This animal, as well
as the Sable, is much
AbiMtum (Lat. of the Pine-tree), the Paine n c
Marten. sought after on ac-
count of its skin,
which furnishes a beautiful fur, not much inferior to
that of the Sable.
The STOAT, or ERMINE, is also another common English
animal. It is smaller than the polecat, but its habits are
scarcely less predaceous. Hares and rabbits fall easy
victims to their little enemy, who despatches them with a
single bite, penetrating the brain. During the winter,
the stoat becomes partially white, in northern countries
wholly so, except the tip of the tail, which remains black.
In this state it is called the Ermine, and is killed in great
numbers for the
sake of its beautiful
and valuable fur.
The WEASEL is
the least of this
tribe. It is exces-
sively useful to far-
mers, as it wages
unrelenting war on
rats and mice, and
in an incredibly
MUSTrILA--(Lat. a Weasel.)
Erminia. The Stoat.
short space of time extirpates them from a barn or stack.
It hunts by scent like dogs, and tracks the unfortunate
rat with the most
deadly certainty. It MsSTELA.
is a most courage- ;',,
ous little animal,
andwill evenattack IN
men, who have ''. '-
found it by no "'1
means a despicable.
antagonist, as its
instinct invariably Yulgiris (Lat. common), the Veasel.
leads it to dash at
the throat, where a bite from its long sharp teeth would
be very dangerous.
The BADGER.-This harmless and much injured animal
(which is often subjected to such ill treatment that the
term "badgering" a person is used to express irritating
him in every possible way) is found throughout Europe
and Asia. It is not now very common in England, but is
frequently found in Scotland, where it is termed the
The Badger lives at the bottom of deep burrows which
it excavates, and in which it passes all the day, sleeping
on a very comfortable bed of hay and grass. When the
evening approaches it seeks its food, consisting of roots,
50 THE BADGER
fruit, insects, and sometimes young rabbits. It is also
said to attack the wild bee, and boldly to devour the
honey and combs, its thick hair and skin rendering it
utterly regardless of the stings of the enraged bees, who
"might as well attack a barber's block."
The cruel sport of
MELES.-(Lat. a Badger.) baiting the badger
is still continued,
although not so
S .K' openly or frequently
..as a few years back.
The poor creature
il is placed inside a
S .,l kennel, and dogs set
at it, who are not un-
by the badger, as
its bite is terrific,
andits skin so tough,
-and hair so thick,
that the bites of the
Vulgaris (Lat. common), the Badger. dog do not take full
The power of the badger's bite is caused principally
by the manner in which the under jaw is set on. Not
only are its teeth sharp, and the leverage of its jaw
powerful, but the jaw is so contrived, that when the crea-
ture closes its mouth, the jaw locks together as it were,
and is held fast without much exertion on the part of the
Its skin is rather valuable, the hair being extensively
employed in the manufacture of brushes, and its fur being
in some request for holsters. The length of the badger is
about two feet three inches.
The OTTER seems to play the same part in the water as
the polecat and the other weasels on the land. Like the
polecat, it is excessively rapacious; like the polecat, it
destroys many more creatures than it can devour; and as
the polecat only eats the brain and sucks the blood, so the
other daintily eats the flakes at the back of the fish's neck,
and leaves the remainder for less fastidious animals.
It is extremely interesting to watch the actions of this
almost amphibious creature. It slides noiselessly into the
water, turns and twists about below the surface with the
same or greater ease
than a fish, then, LUTRA.-(Lat. an Otter.)
with a graceful
sweep of the body,
it glides to the sur-
face and ascends the ,
bank with almost
the same motion.
While below the
surface it bears a
greatresemblanceto Vulgaris (Lat. common), the Otter.
the seal, the method
in which it disposes its hind feet greatly assisting the
effect. Its rapid and easy movements in the water are
-mostly performed by the assistance of its powerful tapering
The otter is easily tamed, and its predatory habits have
been occasionally turned to account, as it is sometimes
trained to catch fish and bring them to shore, precisely as
the falcon is trained to catch terrestrial game.
The Hindoos have brought the art of otter training to
great perfection, and keep their otters regularly tethered
with ropes and straw collars on the banks of the river.
The BEARS and their allies are mostly heavy, and walk
with the whole foot placed flat on the ground, unlike the
cats, dogs, &c., who walk with merely their paws or toes.
All the bears are omnivorous, that is, they can eat either
animal or vegetable food, so that a leg of mutton, a pot of
honey, a potato, or an apple, are equally acceptable.
The BROWN BEAR inhabits the north of Europe, Switzer-
land, and the Pyrenees. It has been extirpated from
England for many centuries, but is recorded to have been
found in Scotland so late as 1057. The inhabitants of
Northern Europe hunt it with much skill, and take it in
traps and pitfalls.
In the time of Queen Elizabeth the bear used to be
baited, that is to say, the bear was tied to a pole, and
Arctos (Or. iApicXos, a boar), the Bear,
several dogs were set at him, the object being, to see
whether the bear could bite the dogs, or the dogs bite the
bear with the greater force; but this cruel sport is now
The GRIZZLY BEAR.-" Bernardin de St. Pierre said,-
' At the sight of man, all animals are struck either with
love or fear.' He forgot to mention a third impression
made on many animals when they see a man, namely,
THE GRIZZLY BEAR
'hunger, and a great desire to eat him.'" This observa-
tion applies most fully to the Grizzly Bear, a native of
North America. It is the most ferocious and powerful
of its family, and is an animal which must either be
avoided or fought, for there is no medium. If a Grizzly
Bear once sees a man, it will probably chase him, and will
do so with great perseverance. An American traveller
told me lately, that he had been chased nearly thirty
Horribilis (Lat. horrible), the Grizzly Bear .
miles by one of these bears, who would probably have
kept up the chase as many miles more, had not my infor-
mant crossed a wide river, over which the bear did not
choose to follow him.
The Grizzly Bear is marvellously tenacious of life.
Sometimes, it is said, after a party of hunters have been
combating one of these bears, it is impossible to find four
square inches of sound skin in the animal's body, a ball
THE POLAR BEAR
through the brain, or heart, affording the only means of
safety to the hunter.
It is rather singular that this bear has the power of
moving each claw separately, as we move our fingers.
It is able to overcome and carry off the enormous bison,
and to dig a pit in which to bury it.
THALARCTOS.-(Gr. from OerAaora, the sea, and &plcros, a bear.)
--* . ,! ,, -
_Z ""4" %""'- ^ w y ';
^ ^ m .... *: .
Marit mus (Lat belonging to the sa), the Polar Bear.
Marithuus (Lat. belonging to the sea), the Polar Bear.
The POLAR, or WHITE BEAR, called Nennook by the
Esquimaux, lives in the Arctic regions, where it feeds on
seals, fish, and even the Walrus, but it dares not attack
the latter animal openly. It is a formidable antagonist
either by land or water, as it dives with great ease, and is
able to chase the seal amid the waves. As the seals
frequently crawl out of the water upon rocks or fragments
of ice, the Polar bear is forced to swim after them; but
lest they should observe him he makes his approaches by
a succession of dives, and contrives that the last dive
THE RACOON 55
brings him directly under the unsuspecting seal, who is
immediately grasped and killed. Richardson states that
these bears are often drifted from Greenland to Iceland on
fields of ice, and that they find the flocks and herds so
very delicious after a long course of seal diet, that the
inhabitants are forced to rise in a body and put an end to
To give this animal, who is constantly running over
fields of ice, a firm footing, the soles of its feet are thickly
covered with long hair.
The RACOON is an animal about the size of a large fox,
and an inhabitant of Canada and other parts of America.
It derives its name, lotor, from the habit it is said to
possess, of washing its food -before eating it. Its skin is
very valuable, and is much sought after by American
The food of the PiocioN.-(Gr. npokvAwv, a constellation.)
Racoon is princi- ...
pally small animals
and insects. Oysters
are also a very fa-
vourite article of its ,.
diet. It bites off the
hinge of the oyster,
and scrapes out the ."
animal in fragments
with its paws. Like ..
a squirrel when eat- '
ing a nut, the Ra- -
coon usually holds
its food between its Lotor (Lat. a washerr, the lacoon.
together, and sits upon its hind quarters while it eats.
Poultry are very favourite objects of its attack, and it
is said to be as destructive in a farm-yard as any fox,
for it only devours the heads of the murdered fowl. Like
the fox, it prowls by night.
When taken young it is easily tamed, but very fre-
quently becomes blind soon after its capture. This effect
is supposed to be produced by the sensitive state of its
eyes, which are only intended to be used by night; but as
it is frequently awakened by daylight during its captivity,
it suffers so much from the unwonted glare, that its eyes
gradually lose their sight.
The MOLE.-Many ridiculous stories of the Mole and its
habits may be found in several authors, among whom A sop
stands very conspicuous. This much maligned animal is
said to be deprived of eyes, to undergo unheard-of tortures
in forcing its way through the earth, and to spend a life of
misery in subterranean damp and darkness. But so far
from being a miserable animal, the mole seems to enjoy its
life quite as much as any other creature. It is beautifully
fitted for the station which it fills, and would be unhappy
if removed from its accustomed damp and darkness into
warmth and light.
The eyes of the mole are very small, in order to prevent
them from being injured by the earth through which
the animal makes its
TALrA. way; indeed, larger
S eyes would be use-
When, however, the
mole requires to use
its eyes, it can bring
J them forward from
the mass of fur
"-- which conceals and
Europaa (Lat. belonging to Europe), the Aole. protects them when
not in use. The
acute ears and delicate sense of smell supply the place of
eyes. Its fur is very fine, soft, capable of turning in any
direction, and will not retain a particle of mould. But the
most extraordinary part of the mole is the paw or hand
with which it digs. The two fore paws are composed of
five fingers, armed with sharp, strong nails, in order to
scrape up the earth; and to prevent the accumulated
THE MOLE 57
mould from impeding the mole's progress, the hands are
turned outwardly, so as to throw the earth out of its way.
The mole is a most voracious animal, and is incapable
of sustaining even a slight fast. Its principal food is the
earth-worm, in chase of which it drives its long galleries
underground; but it also will eat insects, bits of meat, and
is said sometimes to catch birds, which it takes by surprise,
and then rapidly tears to pieces with its powerful claws.
This ravenous appetite causes it to suffer from thirst if a
supply of water is not at hand. For this reason the mole
always makes a tunnel towards a pond or brook, if there is
one near. If no water is near, it digs a number of little
wells, which receive the rain or dew, and enable it to
quench its thirst.
It is a good swimmer, and can pass from bank to bank,
or from the shore to an island, and when the fields are
inundated by floods it can save itself by swimming.
The construction of the mole's habitation is very singu-
lar and interesting.
Each mole has its-
own habitation and
hunting ground, and -' --
will not permit -_-
strangers to trespass -
upon its preserves, MOLE HILL.
which it guards, not
by "man-traps and spring-gun%," but by its own claws
In order to construct a fortress, the mole selects a secure
place, as the foot of a tree, or the side of a high bank. It
then throws up a heap of earth, which it presses firmly
together, as within this mould its fortress has to be made.
It commences by running a circular gallery near the summit
of the mound, and another larger one near the bottom.
These two galleries it connects by five descending passages.
In the very centre of the mound, and at the level of the
ground, it now digs a circular hole, which it connects with
the upper gallery by three ascending passages. Lastly, it
makes a number of passages from the lower gallery, and
58 THE MOLE
connects the circular chamber with the largest of them, or
high road, by a passage that first bends downwards, and
then rises into the high road a little outside the large gallery.
In the circular chamber the mole sleeps, and can escape
into the high road either by the upper gallery or by the
road from the bottom of its dormitory.
I have already stated that each mole has its own hunt-
ing ground, and permits no intruder. If a strange mole
should happen to trespass upon the domains of another,
there would be a furious fight, and the conqueror would
devour his vanquished foe.
Although each mole has its own hunting ground, yet
there are mostly high roads, which connect the different
hunting grounds with each other, and which are used by
many individuals in common, the only precaution taken
being, that if two males should happen to meet, the weaker
immediately retreats into one of the numerous side galleries
which open from the high road, and permits its aristocratical
neighbour to pass.
All the passions of the mole seem to be furious. Even
its passion for work, i. e. search after its food, has some-
thing fierce in it. The animal works desperately for several
hours, and then rests for as many hours. The country
people about Oxford say that it works at intervals of three
The mode of burrowing by this animal, is by rooting up
the earth with its snout, and then scooping it away with
its fore feet. I have often seen this operation performed.
The depth at which this animal works depends almost
entirely on the time of year. In the summer, the worms
come to the surface, and the mole accordingly follows them,
making quite superficial runs, and sometimes only scooping
trenches on the surface. But in the winter, when the
worms sink deep into the ground, the mole is forced to
follow them there, and as it cannot fast above an hour or
two, it is forced to work at the comparatively hard and
heavy soil, as it did in the light earth nearer the surface.
Moles vary in colour, the usual tint being a .very deep
brown, almost black, but they have been seen of an orange
THE SHREW MOUSE 59
colour, and a white variety is not uncommon. I have a
cream-coloured skin in my possession. There are several
moles known,-the Shrew Mole, the Changeable Mole,
the Cape Mole, and the Star-nosed Mole, are the most
The SHREW MOUSE.-This pretty little animal is very
like the common mouse, but is easily distinguished from it
by the length of the nose, which is used for grubbing up
the earth in search of earth-worms and insects.
The reader must not imagine that the Shrew has any
connexion with the true mice. It belongs to an entirely
different class of animals, its teeth being sharp and pointed,
not unlike those of the mole and the hedgehog, whereas
those of the mouse are broad and chisel-shaped like the
teeth of the rabbit.
A peculiar scent is diffused from these animals, which
is possibly the reason why the cat will not eat them,
although she will readily destroy them.
Many species of shrews are known, inhabiting various
countries. There are, besides the common species, the
Oared and the Water
Shrew, all three in- SoREx.--(Lat. a Rat.)
habiting England. ,,.
The formation of '.
their hair, as seen
under a powerful -_- ,
microscope, is very ,r
beautiful, but quite
distinct from the' .
hair of the mouse or Aranus (Lat. a Shrew), the Shrew Mouse.
rat. In the autumn,
numbers of these little animals may be seen lying dead,
but what causes this destruction is not.known.
This is one of the numerous animals that have suffered
by false reports, and have been treated with great cruelty on
account of those fables. Rustics formerly believed that the
poor little harmless creature paralysed their cattle by run-
ning over them, and that the only way to cure the diseased
Ut) THE HEDGEHOG
animal was to place a bough of shrew-ash on the injured
part. The shrew-ash was made by boring a hole into an
ash-tree, and then plugging up in the hole a living shrew
mouse. By the same process of reasoning a shrew cut in
half, and placed on a wound supposed to be caused by its
bite, was considered a certain remedy.
The HEDGEHOG. is remarkable as being our only English
animal that is guarded with spikes. These spikes are
fixed into the skin in a very beautiful and simple manner.
When the hedge-
ERnNAcius.-(Lat. a Hedgehog.) hog is annoyed it
Scrolls itself up, and
skin causes all its
spines to stand firm
and erect, bidding
defiance to an unpro-
S tected hand. While
Europeus (Lat. belonging to Europe), the rolled up, even the
Hedgehog. dog and the fox are
baffled by it; but
their ingenuity enables them to overcome the difficulty
by rolling it along until they push it into a puddle or
pool, when the astonished hedgehog immediately unrolls
itself to see what is the matter, and before it can close
itself again is seized by its crafty enemy.
Many more fortunate animals have outlived the asper-
sions cast upon their character by ignorant persons, but
the prejudice against the hedgehog is still in full vigour
in the agricultural districts. Scarcely a farmer or labourer
will be persuaded that the hedgehog does not suck the
cows. Now this is an impossibility for the hedgehog; but
I have seen pigs-not hedgepigs, but real bacon pigs-
suck the cows whilst lying down.
The food of the hedgehog consists not of cow's milk,
but insects, snails, frogs, mice, and snakes. Dr. Buckland
placed a snake in the same box with the hedgehog. The
hedgehog gave the snake a severe bite, and then rolled
itself up, this process being repeated until the spine of the
snake was broken in several places; it then began at the
tail, and ate the snake gradually, as one would eat a radish.
White has seen it bore down and eat the roots of the
plantain, leaving the leaves and stem untouched.
The flesh of the hedgehog is said to be good eating, and
the gipsies frequently make it a part of their diet, as do the
people in some parts of the continent.
During the winter it lives in a torpid state, in a hole
well lined with grass and moss, and when discovered looks
like a round mass of leaves, as it has rolled itself among
the fallen foliage, which adheres to its spikes. The en-
graving of the spine, or quill, of this animal shows the
method by which it is retained in the skin. The quill is
as it were pinned through the skin, and retained by the
head. The curvature is such, that when the animal con-
tracts itself, the quills are drawn upright, and form a
strong and elastic covering, useful for more purposes than
merely defence from foes. The hedgehog has been known
to throw itself boldly from a considerable
height, trusting to the elasticity of the
spring for breaking its fall. It will be SPINE OF HEDGEHOG.
seen that when the spines are upright,
the shock of the fall would not tend to drive the end of
the quill upon the animal, but merely spend its force upon
the elasticity of the curved portion.
The KANGAROO.-In the mole we saw that the power of
the body was placed chiefly in the fore legs; we now come
to a family which has the principal power placed in the
hinder part of the body. In the Kangaroos the hind legs
are very long and immensely powerful; the fore legs are
very small, and used more as hands than for walking; the
tail also is very thick and strong, and assists the animal in
The Great Kangaroo inhabits New Holland and Van
Diemen's Land. Its singular formation, peculiarly adapted
to the country, calls forth a corresponding degree of inge-
nuity on the part of the natives, who live much on its
62 THE KANGAROO
flesh. Its method of progression is by immense leaps from
its long hind legs.
The natural walking position of this animal is on all
four legs, although it constantly sits up on the hinder legs,
or even stands on a tripod composed of its feet and tail, in
order to look out over the tops of the luxuriant grass
among which it lives. The leaping movements are required
for haste or escape, the length of each leap being about
'l *' '
Major (Lat. larger), the Kangaroo.
Hunting this animal is a very favourite sport with both
colonists and natives. The natives either knock it down
with the boomerang, spear it from behind a bush, or unite
together and hem in a herd, which soon fall victims to the
volleys of clubs, spears, and boomerangs which pour in on
all sides. The colonists either shoot it or hunt it with
dogs, a pack of which is trained for that purpose just as
we train fox-hounds. The "old man," or boomer," as
the colonists call the Great Kangaroo, invariably leads the
dogs a severe chase, always attempting to reach water and
escape by swimming. It is a formidable foe to the dogs
when it stands at bay, as it seizes the dog with its fore-
legs, and either holds him under water until he is drowned,
or tears him open with a well-directed kick of its powerful
hind feet, which are armed with a very sharp claw.
The female Kangaroo carries its young about in a kind
of pouch, from which they emerge when they wish for a
little exercise, and leap back again on the slightest alarm.
All the kangaroos and the opossums have this pouch, from
which they are called "marsupiated" animals, from the
Latin word marsupium, a purse or pouch.
The length of the Great Kangaroo is about five feet
without the tail, the length of which is about three feet.
There are many species of kangaroo, the most extra-
ordinary being the Tree Kangaroo, which can hop about on
trees, and has curved
claws on its fore- DIDELPHYS.-(Gr. Als, double; SEA~bs, a
paws, like those of pouch.)
the sloth, to enable
it to hold on the
The OPossoru. -- -
This animal inhabits 9
North America, and
is hunted with al-
most as much per-
severance as the ra-
coon, not, however,
for the sake of its
fur but of its flesh.
When it perceives Virginipna (Lat. long to Virgini), the
the hunter, it lies
still between the branches, but if disturbed from its hiding-
place, it attempts to escape by dropping among the herbage
and creeping silently away.
THE COMMON SEAL
Its food consists of insects, birds, eggs, &c., and it is
very destructive among the hen-roosts. The Opossum. uses
its tail for climbing and swinging from branch to branch,
as the spider monkeys use theirs; but the Opossum uses
its tail in a manner that the monkeys have never yet been
observed to do, that is, making it a support for its young,
who sit on its back and twist their tails round their
mother's in order to prevent them from falling off.
It is a most crafty animal, and when overtaken by its
pursuers, can simulate death so admirably, that it fre-
quently deceives the foe, and quietly makes its escape.
The length of the Opossum is about twenty-two inches,
and its height about that of an ordinary cat. When dis-
turbed or alarmed, it gives out a very unpleasant odour.
The SEALS and WHALES, although they are truly mam-
malia, are inhabitants of the water, and specially formed
for an aquatic existence.
The fore-feet of the Seal are used as fins, and the two
hinder feet almost as the tail of a fish, to assist and direct
its course. On land the movements of this animal are
very clumsy; it shuffles along by means of its fore-feet, or
rather paddles, and drags its hind-feet after it.
The COMMON SEAL inhabits the coast of Europe, and is
not unfrequently found in many parts of the Scottish coasts,
where seal-hunting is a favourite amusement. The young
are taken by stretching nets across the narrow straits
which they frequent, but the older and stronger animals
are shot or knocked down with clubs when they attempt
to scramble into the sea, as a blow on the nose instantly
A young seal was tamed by the guard of a small island
in the Frith of Forth, above Edinburgh. It seemed quite
to consider itself one of the party, would accompany their
boat across the water, and when the vessel was made- fast
it used to take its station inside, and watch until the
owners returned. It had the playful manners of a water-
dog, and would snatch a stick from its master's hand, and
dash into the sea with it, where it would toss and tumble
about, sometimes approaching close to the shore, and
swimming off again when its master attempted to grasp
the stick; but it
invariably brought PIocA.-(Gr. Ircs, a Seal. Seal kind.)
back whatever it
had taken. It would
also bring fish out W
of the water, and -"'.-
give them to its
The length of the
Common Seal is Vitulina (Lat. belonging to a calf), the Seal.
about four or five
feet, and its weight often two hundred and twenty-four
pounds. When surprised basking on the shore, it scram-
bles off towards the water; but if intercepted, dashes at
its antagonist, oversets him if possible, and makes its escape
as fast as it can.
There are many Sub-family c. Trichccma.
TRIcHcus.--(Gr. TpLXICds, hairy.)
seals known, among
which are the Sea .
Leopard, a spotted
species; the Harp :
Seal, so called be-
cause the markings
on its back resen-
ble a lyre; the Sea I
Bear and the Sea
The WALRUS in- .
habits the northern 4
seas, but has been Rosmarus (Scandinavian, Losmaer,* the
known to visit our Walrus), the Ycalris, or Morse.
coasts. Three in-
In the Scandinavian tongue, the word 'Ros' signifies horse, and 'lIar' sea. The
mcnning of the word 'Rosniar' is thus 'Sea horse.' Sometimes the two syllables
are transposed, :.. .1 ... i 'Maar-ros,' which we contract into Iorse.'
In the samo e ..... ..... i, is nl i .1 ; ,... of lival-ros, or Whale-horse.
The reader will notice the rcscmblance ,,I I.. .. words to the corresponding
words in German:
66 THE CETACEA, OR WHALES
stances of this have happened, one in 1817, one in 1825 at
the Orkney Isles, and a third in 1839 at the mouth of the
Severn. The most remarkable point in the Walrus is the
great length of its upper canine teeth, which extend down-
wards for nearly two feet, and resemble the tusks of the
elephant. They furnish very fine ivory, and are extensively
used by dentists in making artificial teeth, as teeth made
from them remain white much longer than those made from
the tusks of elephants. These tusks are used by the Walrus
for climbing the rocks or heaps of ice, and also for digging
up the sea-weeds on which the animal mostly subsists. It
will also eat shrimps and young seals.
The Walrus is often hunted for the
f sake of its oil, its flesh, its skin, and its
., ., 1, teeth. It is generally found in troops
Sand if one is wounded, its companions
rush to its rescue, and attack the enemy
with their sharp tusks, which they have
WALRUS'S SKULL. been known to drive through the bottom
of a boat. The length of the Walrus is
about fifteen or sixteen feet, and it yields from twenty to
thirty gallons of excellent oil.
The CETACEA, or WHALE tribe, closely resemble the
fishes, and have often been placed among these animals by
naturalists. They, however, are distinguished by possess-
ing warm blood, and, in consequence, being forced to rise
at intervals in order to breathe the air, instead of separating
from the water, by means of their gills, sufficient oxygen
for supporting life.
Yet the whale remains under water for a time so much
longer than could be borne by any other warm-blooded
animal, that the most indifferent observer cannot fail to
perceive that the whale is furnished with some plan for
supporting life during its stay beneath the water.
The manner in which this object is attained is at once
beautiful and singular. Every one knows that the object
of breathing is to oxygenize the blood, which in its course
through the body becomes deprived of its native qualities,
and is actually poisonous. If the blood is not renewed, it
causes apoplexy and death, as is the case when a person is
strangled or drowned. The most natural way to supply
this want in the whale would be to give it much more
lungs, in order that it might take into its body a reservoir
of air, from which the blood might be renewed. But if
BALxENA.-(Gr. Bdaaiva, a Whale. Whale kind.)
.-V 4p .N
Mysticetus (Gr. M-aTaf, a moustache ; ic0ros, a sea monster), the Whale.
this were the case, the animal would be seriously incon-
venienced by such an amount of air, which would make it
too buoyant, and prevent it from diving into the depths of
the sea. But there must be a reservoir somewhere, and,
therefore, instead of a reservoir of air to arterialize the
blood, there is a reservoir of blood already arterialized.
Along the interior of the ribs there is a vast collection
of blood-vessels, ramifying from one another, and capable
of containing a large quantity of blood, having no imme-
diate connexion with that portion of the blood which is
already circulating in the body. As fast as the exhausted
60 FOOD OF THE WHALE
and poisonous blood returns from its work, it passes into
another reservoir adapted for its necessities, while a por-
tion of the arterialized blood in the arterial reservoir
passes into the circulation. It will be seen from this
statement, that the whale, and others of the same order,
possess more blood in proportion than any animals. By
means of this wonderful apparatus, a whale can remain
below the water for more than half an hour at a time.
The depths to which the whale can descend are astonish-
ing, wounded whales having been known to take down
perpendicularly nearly 800 fathoms of line. The pressure
of the water at this depth is very great, amounting, ac-
cording to Scoresby's calculation, to 211,200 tons. This
pressure would certainly cause the water to burst through
their nostrils, and enter the lungs, were it not that the
nostrils are formed so as to close themselves more firmly
as the pressure of water increases.
The great Greenland Whale is found in the Northern
Oceans, living amid ice and perpetual cold. Many ships
are annually fitted out for the capture of this creature,
which, unhappily for itself, furnishes oil and whalebone.
The oil is obtained from the thick layer of fatty substance,
called blubber, which lies immediately under the skin;
and the whalebone-which, by the way, is not bone at all
-is obtained from the interior of the mouth, where it
fringes the jaws, and acts as a sieve for the whale to strain
his food through. The throat of the Greenland Whale is
so small, that the sailors, who always use forcible ex-
pressions, say that a penny loaf would choke a whale.
The greater proportion of its food consists of a little crea-
ture, about an inch and a
-.. half long, called Clio bore-
S'- alis, one of the marine Mol-
". lusca, belonging to the class
5 Pteropida, or wing-footed
JAW O GREENLAND WHALE. creatures, so called because
it propels itself through
the water with two wing-like organs. The whale, when
it wishes to feed, rushes through the water with its im-
THE CACHALOT 69
mense jaws wide open, enclosing a host of little sea
animals, and a few hogsheads of water. As the whale
only wants the animals, and not the water, it shuts its
mouth, and drives all the water out through the fringes of
whalebone, leaving the little creatures in its jaws.
The Whale shows great
attachment to its young,
which is called the cub, -
and on the approach of '.
danger, seizes it with its '
fin or flipper, and carries it '. '
down out of danger. The
Whale has no fins, properly
so called, as it is not a fish,
but one of the mammalia.
Its flippers, which supply
the place of fins, are in fact .. .
fore-legs, furnished with a FLIPPER OF THE WHALE.
kind of hand covered with
a thick skin. They seem to be principally employed in
balancing the animal. The hind-legs are wanting. The
length of this Whale averages sixty feet. Its tail is placed
transversely, and not vertically, as in the fishes.
The CACHALOT.-This animal is not furnished with
"baleen," or whalebone, but is armed with a number of
strong conical teeth, which are placed in the lower jaw, and
which are often used in defending itself from the attacks of
the whalers' boats. In the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford is
an under jaw-bone of this whale, sixteen and a half feet
in length, containing forty-eight huge teeth. Besides this
method of defence, it has a very unpleasant habit of
swimming off to a distance, and then rushing at the
boat with its head, thereby knocking it to pieces. One
of these whales actually sank a ship by three or four
blows from its head.
Spermaceti is obtained from the head of the Cachalot,
and it is this substance that causes the immense size of
the head. When the whale is killed, a hole is made in
70 THE CACHALOT
the upper part of the head, and the spermaceti is baled
out with buckets. When just procured it is almost fluid,
but is rendered solid and transparent by being first drained
of its oil, then boiled in water, and lastly set to cool in
PIIYSETER.-(Gr. $uvri;jp, a blow-pipe, or bellows.)
S7. 0K. :
Macrocepbi.lus (Gr. Maxpds, long; iKepax, a head), the Cachalot,
or Spermaceti fWhale.
wide pans, where it soon assumes the white flaky appear-
ance so well known in this country. The skull of the
Cachalot occupies a comparatively small portion of the
head, the huge mass at the end of the mouth being com-
posed of a gristly kind of substance. The bone of the
upper jaw occupies about one-fourth of the distance
between the mouth and the top of the snont. It runs
backwards nearly straight until just before the eyes, when
it joins the remainder of the skull with a bold sweep.
That part of the skull is called Neptune's Chair by the
sailors, and is the part where the spermaceti is found.
THE DOLPHIN 71
The layer of blubber is thin, but yields a fine and valu-
Ambergris, so long a riddle to all inquirers, is now found
to be produced in the interior of the Cachalot. This sub-
stance is of the consistency of wax, inflammable, and gives
out a kind of musky odour. It was once in great repute
as a medicine, but is now only used as a perfume.
The Cachalot, although an inhabitant of the Arctic seas,
has sometimes been found and captured off our coasts.
The length of this whale is about seventy feet.
Those readers who have formed their ideas of DOLPHINS
from the very graceful and elegant creatures represented
under that name in the pictures of the old masters," or
the statues of the ancient sculptors, will find that the real
animal differs as much from the ideal, as the red and green
lions wearing golden collars, represented in heraldry, differ
from the lion of
Africa. Sad to DE rIuivs.-(Lat. a Dolphin.)
say, almost the
whole history of -
the Dolphin is
imaginary very i-dh, da t
poetical, but very ,
untrue. The red "
and blue colours of -
the heraldic lion
are not less fa- Delphis, the Dol2phin.
bulous than the
changing tints of the dying dolphin, so dear to poetry.
Alas! our unpoetical Dolphin, when we have harpooned
and brought him on deck, is only black and white, and
all the change that he makes, is that the black becomes
brown in time, and the white changes to grey.
. The creature that really displays these colours when
dying, is a fish called the Coryphene, and not a cetaceous
animal of any kind. The sailors generally call it the
Dolphin, which has led to the mistake.
72 THE PORPOISE
We will leave poetry and its beautiful errors, and pass
on to facts. The Dolphin is, like the whale, a warm-
blooded animal, suckles its young, and is forced to come
to the surface in order to breathe. Its snout is very long,
and is apparently used for capturing such fish, and other
animals, as live in the mud.
The length is from six to ten feet. Several species
of Dolphin are known, of which the British Museum
The PoRPOISE.-These animals may be observed in
plenty playing their absurd antics off every coast of Eng-
land. There are numbers of them off the Nore, a place
which they frequent greatly, as it is the mouth of a river,
and they find more food there than in the open sea.
They tumble at the surface of the water for the purpose
In the olden times, when glass windows were considered
an effeminate luxury, and rushes supplied the place of
carpets, the flesh of the Porpoise constituted one of the
of a public feast,
but it has long since
been deposed from
its rank at the table.
Like most of the
cetacea, its flesh has
a very strong oily
flavour which, how-
ever relished by an
Esquimaux, is not
agreeable to the
palate of an European epicure of the present day.
The voracity of the Porpoise is very great. It feeds
on various fishes, but its great feasts are held when the
periodical shoals of herrings, pilchards, and other fish
arrive on the coasts. In the pursuit of its prey, it fre-
quently ventures some distance up a river, and is then
often taken in nets by the fishermen.
PHOCGENA.-(Gr. i&scatva, a Porpoinr.)
Communis (Lat. commono, the Porpoise,
THE NARWHAL 73
" The teeth of this animal are very numerous, and inter-
lock when the jaws are closed, so that the fish when once
seized cannot escape. Its length is about five feet; its
colour a rich black, becoming white on the under side.
The NARWHAL.-Although the Narwhal has not suffered
from false reports so much as many other animals, yet it
has unwittingly contributed to propagate a very old error.
The spiral tusk of the Narwhal was accustomed to be sold
as the real horn of the unicorn; and as an accredited part
of that animal, forming direct proof of its existence, it
used to fetch a very high price. Of course, when the
MONUDON.-(Gr. Mdvos, solitary ; 5oos, or 6Swv, a tooth.)
...:' -- '--: .. -
'" .g- _' -
Monoclros (Gr. Mdvios-tepas, a horn), the Narwhal.
whale fishery was established, the real owner of the horn
was discovered, and the unicorn left still enveloped in
The name Monodon is not strictly correct, as the Nar-
whal possesses two of these tusks, one on each side of its
head. Only the left tusk projects, the other remaining
within the head. Sometimes a specimen has been found
with both tusks projecting, and some think that when the
left tusk has been broken off by accident, the right one
becomes large enough to supply its place.
Although an inhabitant of the northern seas, it has
several times visited our coasts. Its body is from thirty
to forty feet in length, and its tusk from five to nine.
The Manatees and Dugongs belong to the Cetacea, but
are omitted from want of space.
WE now arrive at the RODENTIA, or gnawing animals,
so called from their habit of gnawing through, or paring
away, the substances on which they feed. For this pur-
pose their teeth are admirably formed, and by these teeth
it is always easy to ascertain a member of the Rodents.
They have none of those sharp teeth called canine, such
as are seen in the lions and in those animals which seize
and destroy living animals, but in the front of each jaw
there are two long flat teeth, slightly curved, and having
a kind of chisel edge for rasping away wood, or other
The constant labour which these teeth undergo, would
rapidly wear them away. To counteract this loss, the
teeth are constantly growing and being pushed forward,
so that as fast as the upper part is worn away, the tooth
is replenished from below. So constant is this increase,
that when an unfortunate rabbit, or other rodent, has lost
one of its incisors, the opposite one, meeting nothing to
stop its progress, continually grows, until sometimes the
tooth curls upwards over the lips, and prevents the
wretched animal from eating, until it is gradually starved
The BROWN RAT, sometimes called the Norway Rat, is
the species usually found in England. It was some years
since imported into this country, and from its superior
THE BROWN RAT 70
size, strength, and ferocity, has so completely established
itself, and expelled the original Black Rat, that it is very
difficult indeed to find a Black Rat in any part of England.
It is at all times difficult to get rid of these dirty, noisy
animals, for they
animals, for they Mus.-(Lat. a Mouse.)
soon learn to keep
out of the way of
traps, and if they
are poisoned they
revenge their fate
by dying behind a e
wainscot or under t
a plank of the
floor, and make the Decuminus (Lat. tenth or large), the Rat.
able. There are, however, two ways recommended to
attain the desired object.
Place a saucer containing meal in a room frequented by
rats, letting them have free access to it for several days.
They will then come to it in great force. When they
have thus been accustomed to feed there regularly, mix
a quantity of jalap with the meal, and put it in the accus-
tomed place. This will give them such internal tortures
that they will not come near the place again.
The second plan is to use the same precautions, but to
mix phosphorus with the meal and make it into a ball.
The phosphorus is said not to kill rats, but to afflict
them with such a parching thirst that they rush to the
nearest water and die there. By this method the danger
of their dying in the house is avoided.
I have not proved either of these plans experimentally,
but offer them for the benefit of those who are afflicted
by the rat pest.
The COMMON MOUSE is so well known, that a descrip-
tion of its form and size is useless. It almost rivals the
rat in its attacks upon our provisions, and is quite as
difficult to extirpate. It brings up its young in a kind of
nest, and when a board of long standing is. taken up in a
THE COMMON MOUSE
room, it is not uncommon to find under it a mouse's nest,
composed of rags, string, paper, shavings, and everything
that the ingenious little architect can scrape together. It
is a round mass,
Mus. looking something
in opened, seven or
-4 1 eight littlemicewill
probably be found
in the interior-lit-
tle pink transparent
creatures, three of
Muscilus (Lat. a little mousee, the Mouse. which could go into
a lady's thimble,
sprawling about in a most unmeaning manner, apparently
greatly distressed at the sudden cold caused by the
opening of their nest.
The two objects here represented are two portions of
the same hair, the larger one being the centre and the
smaller being taken near the
origin. It is worth while
to notice that although to
external appearance the fur
of the mouse exactly re-
sembles that of the bat, yet
HAIR OF MOUSE. when they are placed under
the microscope they are
shown to be differently formed.
A white variety of mouse is tolerably common, and is
usually bred in cages. As it is very tame and beautiful,
it is in great repute as a pet.
The HARVEST MOUSE, the smallest of the British
quadrupeds, discovered by White and described in his
"Selborne," is very much smaller than the ordinary
mouse, a halfpenny weighing down two of them when
placed in a pair of scales. Its nest is raised about a foot
and a half from the ground, and supported on two or
THE WATER RAT-THE BEAVER 77
three straws. It is MIEOMYS.-(Gr. MuLpds, small; vs, a
made of grass, about Mouse.)
the size of a cricket-
ball, and very com-
The WATER RAT
is a native of Eng-
land, and very com-
mon on the banks e
of rivers, brooks,
&c. These animals
exist in great num-
bers round Oxford, i
and I have repeat- I
edly watched them .
feeding. I never i.
saw them eating fish, Minftus (Lat. very small), the Harvest
nor found fish-bones Mouse.
inside their holes,
except when a kingfisher had taken possession; but I
them gnawing the AvYic6LA.-(Lat. arvum, a field; colo, I
green bark from inhabit.)
reeds, which they -
completely strip, '
leaving the mark of
each tooth as they
North America is Amphibius (Gr. Ap1i, on both sides; Ldow,
the principal coun- I live), the Water-rat.
try wherethe Beaver
is found, but it is also common on the Euphrates, and
along some of the larger European rivers, as the Rhone
and the Danube.
The houses of the Beaver are built of mud, stones, and
sticks. They are placed in a stream, and their entrance is
always below the surface. As a severe frost would freeze
up their doors, it is necessary to make the stream deep
enough to prevent the frost from reaching the entrances.
This object is at-
OAsTOR.-(Gr. Kdo[w-p, a Beaver.) trained by building a
AL W_:- dam across the river,
\' : sto keep back the
water until it is
sufficiently deep for
Sthe Beaver's pur-
poses. The dam is
made of branches
-which the Beaver
cuts down with its
strong sharp teeth,
and mud and stones
t, -worked in among
the branches. The
Fiber (Lat. a Beaver), the Beaver. Beavers throw these
branches into the
water, and sink them to the bottom by means of stones,
and by continually throwing in fresh supplies a strong
embankment is soon made.
As many Beavers live together in one society, the form-
ation of a dam does not take very long. By their united
efforts they rapidly fell even large trees, by gnawing them
round the trunk, and always take care to make them
fall towards the water, so that they can transport the logs
easily. The mud and stones used in their embankments
are not carried on their tails, as some say, nor do the
Beavers use their tails as trowels for laying on the mud,
the fact being that the stones and mud are carried between
their chin and fore-paws, and the mistake respecting the
tail is evidently caused by the slap that Beavers give with
that member when they dive. In order that their pond
may not be too deep they always leave- an opening in the
dam to let the water escape when it rises above a certain
During the severe winter their mud-built houses freeze
THE COMMON PORCUPINE
quite hard, and prevent the wolverine, their greatest
enemy, except man, from breaking through and devouring
the inmates. Every year the Beavers lay a fresh coating
of mud upon their houses, so that after the lapse of a few
years the walls of the house are several feet in thickness.
Many of the houses are built close together, but no two
families can communicate with each other, except by
diving below the walls and rising inside their neighbours'
When in captivity the Beaver soon becomes tame, and
will industriously build dams across the corner of a room
with brushes, boots, fire-irons, books, or anything it can
find. When its edifice is finished, it sits in the centre
apparently satisfied that it has made a beautiful structure
to dam up the river-a proof that the ingenuity'of the
Beaver is not caused by reason but by instinct.
The fur of the Beaver, like that of many other animals,
consists of a fine wool intermixed with long and stiff hairs.
The hairs are useless, but the peculiar construction of the
fur causes it to penetrate and fix itself into the felt which
forms the body of a hat. In making the hat, the only
method required to fasten the fur into the felt is to knead
the fur and felt together. The hair is toothed on its sur-
faces, and makes its way into the felt, just as an awn of
barley will travel all over the body if placed up the
The length of the Beaver is about three feet and a half.
The COMMON PORCUPINE is found in Africa, Tartary,
Persia, India, and some parts of Europe. It lives in holes
which it digs in the ground, and only comes forth at night
in order to feed. It eats vegetable substances only, such
as roots, bark, and other similar substances. The array of
spines or quills with which this animal is covered forms
its principal means of defence. If it cannot escape, it
suddenly stops, erects all its quills, and runs backwards
against its adversary, striking the quills against him by
the weight of its body. Occasionally a looser quill than
usual remains in the wound or falls on the ground, which
evidently gave rise to the foolish error that the Porcupine
could dart its weapons at its adversary from a distance.
There are two kinds of these quills,-one kind long and
curved, the other short, thick, and pointed. These last
are the weapons of defence, as the former are too slender
to do much service. When the porcupine walks, its quills
make a kind of rustling sound, caused principally by those
arranged on the tail, which are large, hollow, and sup-
ported on long slender stalks.
HYSTRIX.--("Yoptl, a Porcupine. Porcupine kind.)
.1 4/ /
Cristata (Lat. crested), the Porcupine.
The American Indians use the quills extracted from the
Canada Porcupine, a species living on trees, for ornament-
ing various parts of their dress, especially their moccasins
or skin shoes. The length of the Porcupine is about two
feet, and its spines or quills are from six to fourteen inches
The CAPYBARA or CHIGUIRA is the largest of all the
Rodentia. At first sight, it looks very like a pig, and its
THE GUINEA-PIG 81
skin is covered thinly with hairs like bristles, which add
to the resemblance.
It inhabits the borders of lakes and rivers in many parts
of Southern Ame-
rica. During the HYDvocHERus.-(Gr.'Tspw, water; Xopos, a pig.)
day it hides among
the thick herbage *.
of the banks, only
feed at night, but
when alarmed it
instantly makes t Z
for the water, and -
escapes by diving. Capybira (native name), the Canybdfra.
It is hunted for the
sake of its flesh, which is said to be remarkably good. The
food of the Capybara consists of grass, vegetables, and
fruits. Its length is about three feet six inches.
The GUINEA-PIG, or RESTLESS CAVY, belongs to the sub-
family Caviina. It was originally brought from South
America, and is frequently domesticated in England. Its
beauty is its only recommendation, as it shows little intel-
ligence, and is never used for food. Children, however,
and particularly school-boys, are fond of keeping guinea-
pigs, as they are wonderfully prolific, easy to manage, and
do not make much noise. They are popularly supposed to
keep off rats, and are therefore usually patronised in con-
nexion with rabbit-hutches.
The HARE is one of our most common quadrupeds.
When full-grown, it is larger than the rabbit and ex-
ceedingly like that animal, but its colour is slightly
different, and the black spot on the extremity of its ears
is a simple method of distinguishing it. The Hare does
not burrow like the rabbit, but makes a kind of nest of
grass and other materials. In this nest, called a "form,"
the Hare lies, crouching to the ground, its ears laid along
its back, and, trusting to its concealment, will often remain
quiet until the foot of an intruder almost touches it.
THE HARE-THE RABBIT
Innumerable foes besides man surround this animal.
Foxes, ferrets, stoats, and all their tribe, are unmerciful
enemies, and sometimes a large hawk will destroy a leveret,
LEPus.-(Lat. a Hare. Hare kind.)
as the young Hare is called. Although destitute of all
means of defence, it is often enabled to escape by the
quickness of its hearing and sight, which give it timely
warning of the approach of an enemy, and enable it to
escape to a place of safety.
In cold countries the Hare changes its fur during winter,
and becomes white, like the Arctic fox and the ermine.
The Alpine Hare, inhabiting the northern parts of Scot-
land, is a good example of this change.
The well-known RABBIT is rather smaller than the hare,
but closely resembles it in form. It lives in deep holes,
which it digs in the ground.
The female Rabbit forms a soft nest at the bottom of
her burrow, composed of fur torn from her body, of hay
and dried leaves. Here the young rabbits are kept until
they are strong LEPUS.
enough to shift for
make their own
The tame Rabbit
is only a variety, \\,"
rendered larger by
careful feeding and
attendance. Cuniculus (Lat. a little Rabbit).
The JERBOAS are celebrated for their powers of leaping.
Their long hind legs enable them to take enormous springs,
during which their tails serve to balance them. Indeed a
Jerboa when deprived of its tail is afraid to leap.
In the history of the polar bear it was mentioned that
its feet were prevented from slipping on the ice by a coat-
ing of thick hair.
The foot of the DIrus.-(Gr. Als, double; rovs, a foot.)
Jerboa is defended Il,
in the same manner- ,
by long bristly ,
hairs, which not
only give the crea-
ture a firm hold of
the ground for its
spring, but also de-
fend the foot from
the burning soil on _I'l
which it lives.
The timidity of
the Jerboa is very
great, and on the Egyptius (Lat. belonging to EgyJt),
slightest alarm it the Jerboa.
instantly rushes to
its burrow, but if intercepted, skims away over the plain
with such rapidity that it seems to fly, and when at full
speed a swift greyhound can scarcely overtake it.
04 THE DORMOUSE-THE SQUIRREL
Grain and bulbous roots are its chief food; while eating,
it holds the food with its fore paws, and sits upright on
its haunches, like the squirrels and marmots.
There are many kinds of Jerboa; the Egyptian Jerboa is
rather small, being about the size of a large rat; its colour
is a tawny yellow.
The DORMOUSE is very common in all the warmer
parts of the Continent, and is often found in this country,
especially in the
MYoxus.-(Gr. Muoods, or MvatAs, a Dormouse.) southern and
It lives in copses
d l which it makes
i oi sI its way with such
,;I rapiditythatit is
very difficult to
Sil; becaptured. Dur-
ing the winter it
Avellanarius (Lat. from Avieelan, a filbert), lies torpid, but
the Dormouse. takes care to
have a stock of
food laid up, on which it feeds during the few inter-
ruptions to its slumbers. A warm day in winter will
usually rouse it, but during the cold weather it lies
rolled up, with its tail curled round its body. While in
this torpid state, a sudden exposure to heat kills it, but a
gentle warmth, such as holding it in the hand, rouses it
without injury. It lives principally on nuts, acorns, and
grain. It brings up its young in a nest composed of leaves
and hay, and seems to be fond of society in its household
labours, as ten -or twelve nests have been seen close to
The SQUIRREL is a very common animal in woods, where
numbers may be seen frisking about on the branches, or
running up and down the trunks. If alarmed, it springs
up the tree with extraordinary activity, and hides behind
THE SQUIRREL 85
a branch. By this trick it escapes its enemy the hawk,
and by constantly slipping behind the large branches, fre-
quently tires him
out. The activity Sciairs.-(Gr. ,cid, a shadow; ofupd, a tail.)
and daring of this
little animal are ex-
pursued, it makes .
the most astonish-
ing leaps from
branch to branch,
and has apparently
some method of al- Europeus (Lat. European), the Squirrel.
tering its direction
while in the air, possibly by means of its tail acting as a
It is easily domesticated, and is very amusing in its
habits when suffered to go at large in a room or kept in a
spacious cage; but when confined in a little cramped box,
especially in one of the cruel wheel cages, its energies and
playfulness are quite lost. Men often go about with
squirrels for sale, and generally cheat those who buy them.
In the first place, they constantly try to sell old squirrels
for young, but this imposition may be detected by looking
at the teeth of the animal, which are nearly white if young,
but if old are of a light yellow.
In the second place, let the purchaser beware of very
tame and quiet squirrels. These are generally animals
just caught and perfectly wild, but made sedate by a dose
of opium or strychnine, which in many cases causes their
death in a short time. One of my friends was deceived in
this manner only a few months since, the squirrel dying in
the course of the evening of the day on which it was
The colour of the English Squirrel is a deep reddish
brown, and its tail so large and bushy as to shade its whole
body when carried curled over its back, from whence it
derives its name of Sciurus, or shadow-tail.
The Ox.-The Ruminantia, or animals that chew the
cud, include the oxen, sheep and goats, deer, giraffe, and
camels. They have a peculiar construction of stomach,
which receives the freshly-gathered food, retains it for
some hours, and then passes it back into the mouth to be
Bos.-(Lat. an Ox.)
e '-* -'
Taurus (Lat. a Bull), the Ox.
The Ox is spread widely over the earth, scarcely any
country being without its peculiar breed. In this country,
where it is our most useful domesticated animal, there are
nearly as many breeds as counties, generally distinguished
by the length or shape of their horns. There is the "long-
horned breed" from Lancashire, the "short-horned from
Durham, the "middle-horned" from Devonshire, and the
" polled" or hornless breed. Each of these breeds has its
particular value: some fatten easily, and are kept especially
for the butcher; others give milk, and are valuable for the
dairy. The best dairy cow is the Alderney, a small, short-
horned animal, furnishing exceedingly rich milk.
In some parts of England oxen are used to draw wag-
gons, oi to drag the plough. They are not so strong as
horses, and their movements are much slower.
THE CAPE BUFFALO 87
Every part of the Ox is of value. We eat his flesh, we
wear shoes soled with his skin, our candles are made from
his fat, our tables are joined with glue made from his
hoofs, his hair is mixed with the mortar of our walls, his
horns are made into combs, knife handles, drinking cups,
&c., his bones are used as a cheap substitute for ivory, and
the fragments ground and scattered over the fields as
manure-and soup is made from his tail.
The young ox is called a calf, and is quite as useful in
its way as the full-grown ox. The flesh is termed veal, and
by many preferred to the flesh of the ox or cow, which is
called beef: jelly is made from its feet. The stomach is
salted and dried, and is named rennet. Cheese is made by
soaking a piece of rennet in water, and pouring it into
a vessel of milk. The milk soon forms a curd, which is
placed in a press, and the watery substance, called whey,
squeezed from it. The curd is coloured and salted, and is
Caffer, the Cape Buffalo.
The CAPE BUFFALO is a native of Southern Africa. It
is exceedingly ferocious and cunning, often lurking among
the trees until an unsuspecting traveller approaches, and
then rushing on him and destroying him. The ferocious
creature is not content with killing his 4tim, but stands
over him mangling him with its horns, and stamping on
him with its feet.
The BISON inhabits the plains or prairies of North
America in countless multitudes. Its enorfnous and heavy
mane, its fierce eyes and lowering appearance, give this
animal a most terrific aspect. The American Indians con-
stantly hunt the Bison, which they call by the name of
Buffalo. Their weapons are principally bows and arrows,
apparently weak and small, but which, when wielded by
a skilful Ind, will strike the huge Bison to the heart. In
BIsoN.-(Gr. Bioev, a Buffalo.)
Americanus (Lat. American), the Bison.
Catlin's account of his travels among the North American
Indians are many most interesting accounts of "buffalo
THE BISON 89
hunts." Mounted on a swift horse, and armed with a
spear and bow id arrows, the Indians kill great numbers
of these anim' They ride up close to the Bison, and
with the great t apparent ease bury an arrow up to its
feather in the creature's body. Indeed many instances are
known where. he slight Indian bow, drawn without any
perceptible effort, has thrown the arrow completely through
the body of the huge animal. There are many modes of
destroying this animal in vogue among the Indians and
white settlers. The skin is so valuable that every exertion
is made to procure it. Of the buffalo's hide they make
their wigwams or tents, their shields, their robes, their
shoes, &c. The Indians can also sell the hides to the
traders for a considerable sum, so that an fndian can
almost measure his importance and wealth by he number
of hides that he takes.
The hunters take advantage of the gregarious instincts
of this animal, and hunt them when they are collected
together in their vast herds, which blacken the face of the
prairie for miles. Sometimes they form in line, and drive
the herd to the edge of some tall cliff, over which they fall
in hundreds, those behind pushing on those in the van;
or sometimes they form a large circle, driving the animals
into a helpless and leaderless mass, into which the hunters
spring, leaving their horses, and treading witl the skill of
rope-dancers on the backs of the bewildered1Bisons, whom
they slaughter as they pass, stepping from one to the other,
and driving the sharp blade of their spear through the
spine of the animal whose back they have just quitted.
When only wounded the Bison is a most dangerous
antagonist, and rushes on its enemy with the most deter-
Despite the wholesale slaughter of this animal which is
carried on annually by the Indians, there seems to be no
decrease in their numbers. They are more wary than
before, and have withdrawn themselves into more distant
lands, but their dark masses still crown the plain as of
yore, although it is now impossible to judge as men could
do in former days of the various migrations which the
herds would make. The dreaded fire-arms have had their
effect on the Bison as on every other animal, and it with-
draws as far as possible from the haunts of civilized
. The improvidence of the Indians is much to be regretted.
Myriads of these animals are slaughtered every year, merely
for the sake of their skin, their "hump," or their marrow-
bones, the remainder of the animal being left to the wolves
and the birds.
The principal use of the flesh of the Bison is to make
"jerked meat" of it. This is made by cutting the meat
into long narrow slips, and drying them in the sun. There
is a peculiar art in the cutting these slips. The operator
takes a large lump of the flesh, and holding his knife
firmly in one hand, presses the meat against its edge with
the other, continually turning it round and round, until
the whole piece is converted into one long strip. The
strips thus prepared are pegged out on stakes, as washer-
women peg their clothes, or suspended in festoons on the
branches of trees, like red snakes, until they are dry
enough to be packed up. Three days is considered suf-
ficient for the purpose. The cow is preferred to the bull
for conversion into jerked meat, while the skin of the bull
is more valuable than that of the cow, from the mass of
woolly hair about the shoulders.
The flesh of the Bison is tolerable eating, but the
"hump" appears from all accounts to be unapproachable
in delicacy. It is exceedingly tender, and possesses the
property of not cloying even when eaten in excess. The
fat also is said to be devoid of that sickening richness
which is usually met with in our domesticated animals.
The cow is smaller than the bull, and considerably
swifter. She is also generally in better condition and
fatter than her mate, and in consequence the hunters who
go to "get meat," always select the cows from the herd.
The YAK inhabits Tartary. Of this animal in a native
state little or nothing is known. The name of "grun-
niens," or grunting, is derived from the peculiar sound