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would be there; but it was all in vain ; the Vampyre never sucked me, and I could never account for his not doing so, for we were inhabitants of the same loft for months together."—(pp. 174—9).
The very obvious inference is, that the large Phyllostomata, which 'Jr. Waterton, in common with Steedman and the mass of other Barrators of the doings of the Vampyre, have accused of this blood-sucking propensity, are totally innocent of the charge, as regards at least their attacking human beings or other large animals; but that there does exist a true Vampyre, capable of inflicting wounds such as described, which most assuredly the formidable canines of the Phillostomata are quite unfitted for, is equally evident from the above cited testimony alone. According to Condamine, "The Bats, which suck the blood of horses, mules, and even men, when they do not secure themselves from them by sleeping under a tent, are a nuisance, common to most of the hot countries of America, and some of them are of a monstrous bigness [?]: at Borja, and in divers other places, they have entirely destroyed the great cattle, which the Missionaries had introduced, and which had begun to multiply in those parts." In corroboration of this account, an accomplished modern traveller, Mr. Schomburgh, has assured me, that at Wicki, on the river Berbice, no fowls could be kept on account of the ravages of these creatures, which attacked their combs, causing these to appear white from loss of blood. Goats resisted them best, but even hogs were attacked by them.
In the report of the Committee of the French Academy, upon the results of M. Alcide d'Orbigny's late expedition, published in the ' Nouvelles Annales du Museum,' III, 90, we are informed, that "Dans l'ordre des Carnassiers, M. d'Orbigny a surtout ^tudie' les Vampyres, dont il a pu confirmer les habitudes de sucer le sang des animaux, et meme de l'homme, et cela sur ces gens et sur les mulets de sa caravanne. L'avidity de ces animaux pour le sang est telle, que les naturels sont obligees pour y soustraire de passer la nuit dans des moustiquaires, et de renfermer soigneusement leurs poules et autre animaux domestiques. Le Vampyre choisit, en general, la nuque, le cou, ou le dos de la victime, afin qu'elle puisse plus difficilement s'en d'ebarasser; auqu'elle fait cepandant en se roulant But le dos."
Thus far we have still no satisfactory information as to what is the real depredator, for not only is there strong presumptive evidence that this cannot he the Phillostoma, as currently supposed, but the real habits of this group, so far as positively observed, would appear to be solely frugivorous and insectivorous. To Mr. Charles Darwin we owe the solution of this mystery. "The Vampyre", writes this accomplished naturalist, " is often the cause of much trouble, by biting the horses on the withers. The injury is generally not so much owing to the loss of blood as to the inflammation which the pressure of the saddle afterwards produces. The whole circumstance has lately been doubted in England, and I was therefore fortunate in being present when one was caught on a horse's back. We were bivouacking late one evening near Coquimbo, in Chili, when my servant, noticing that one of the horses was very restive, went to see what was the matter, and fancying he could distinguish something, suddenly put his hand on the beast's withers, and secured the Vampyre. In the morning the spot, where the bite had been inflicted, was easily distinguished from being slightly swollen and bloody. The third day afterwards we rode the horse without any ill effect.
"Before the introduction of the domesticated quadrupeds," continues Mr. Darwin, "the Vampyre Bat probably preyed on the Guanaco, or Vicugna, for these, together with the Puma, and Man, were the only terrestrial mammalia of large size, which formerly inhabited the northern parts of Chili. This species must be unknown, or very rare, in Central Chili, since Molina, who lived in that part, says that no bloodsucking species is found in that province."
The specimen here referred to, is now deposited in the Museum of the Zoological Society, and is referrible to the genus Desmodus of Prince Maximilian of Saxe Nieud, or Edostoma of d'Orbigny, differing very widely in its dental characters from Phillostoma, or indeed any other animal previously known. Its entire structure is expressly modified for the Vampyre's mode of subsistence. It has only two upper incisor?, corresponding to the ordinary middle pair of the Primates generally, and which, ordinarily larger than the others, here attain their maximum of development to the exclusion of the latter: they are large, and of singular form, approximated, and occupy the whole space between the canines, are longitudinally bent abruptly inward near the median line, and prolonged and acutely pointed at the tip of the bend, being received into a cavity or sheath behind the lower incisors when the mouth is closed, the under-jaw consequently projecting beyond the upper: together with analogousl ancet-shaped canines, which are thinly compressed laterally; they form an admirable instrument for blood-let
ting, inflicting a triple puncture like that of a leech: the lower canines are small and not compressed, and there are four bilobate inferior incisors, the medial separated by a wide interval. Instead of the sharply tuberculated molars of the Phyllostomes, and of that division in particular styled Vampyrus by systematists, there are even no true molars whatever, intimating that the accustomed food requires no mastication; but there are two false molars immediately behind the canine in the upper-jaw, and three antagonizing with them in the lower, that present only keenly cutting edges, adapted for severing in the manner of a pair o! scissors. Nor is this all:—as in carnivorous animals, wherein the food is more readily assimilated, the intestines are consequently less prolonged than in vegetable-feeders, so in the present most remarkable genus, where blood—warm from the living veins, and even quickened by the vital principle,—constitutes the aliment, the intestines (as I have been informed) proceed almost straight to the anus. In short, we have here an animal duly organized for the mode of life so often described, which the PMllostomata are not; and there can scarcely be a doubt that numerous species of Desmodus exist in tropical America, being everywhere the veritable Vampyres which attack man and other large animals, as a general rule during their sleep, and inflicting wounds so gently with their keenly pointed and lancet-like instruments of incision, that no sense of pain follows to awake their victim. Nevertheless, admitting the great probability of this, there still remain some matters for further explanation, to which my discovery of the predatory habits of the Megaderma seems to afford a key.
Among the South American Vespertilionidte having teeth of the ordinary conformation, Professor Bell describes the tongue of the Phyllostomata to have "a number of wart-like elevations, so arranged is to form a complete circular suctorial disc, when they are brought into contact at their sides, which is done by means of a set of muscular fibres, having a tendon attached to each of these warts."* Now, for what purpose can this be? For drawing forth the juices of fruits? 1 suspect not: and Spix, it may be remarked, expressly designates hi* Glouophaga amplexicaudata, (which, however, presents another modification of the tongue, this being slender and elongate, and furnished with hair-like papillas,) Sanguisuga crudelissima, a very cruel bloodrocker; an expression which would seem to imply habits analogous • Dr. Todd'i Cycl. Anat. and Phys., Art. Cheiroptera.
to those of the Megaderms; for these bite away at their victim in sava: earnest, while drawing the life-blood from its veins. In short, there a two classes of blood-sucking Bats,—one gentle and insidious, wbi attack any large animal during its sleep, are expressly organized ( this purpose, and doubtless derive their whole sustenance in this way,and another openly rapacious, which ferociously attack (it may be pi sumed) any small warm-blooded creature that they can master, ai more especially, it is probable, prey on the smaller and weaker membe of their own tribe, first drawing their blood, and then devouring the as instanced by the oriental Megaderms; and to this latter class, I im gine, many of the large leaf-nosed Bats of South America apperta (though also known to feed both on fruit and insects), and probab also at least the larger Rhinolophi*
With regard to the Megaderma lyra, I am of opinion (foundi on further observation of the captive animal), that it is in no degr whatever frugivorous, and the structure of its mouth would imp that it is no insect-hunter; neither do I think it evinces any di position to attack small birds, either at roost or moving: but am led to infer that the smaller Vesperlilionidee constitute its maL if not sole, subsistence, and suspect that these are seized while on ti wing, and carried off to be devoured at leisure in some quiet reces the preyer meanwhile sucking the vital fluid from the neck of i victim. There is more energy about it than I have observed in ai other kind of Bat, at least during the day: go when you will, it always lively and on the alert; and the expression of its physiognon is far from dull, having comparatively large eyes for a Bat, which a bright and prominent. The species does not appear to be rare aba Calcutta.
I may further remark, that the inguinal teats are well developed this genus, as in the Rhinolophi; equally so, indeed, with the pector teats, insomuch that no one who examined them could suppose tb they are mere sebaceous glands, as suggested by Prof. Bell in tl case of the Rhinolophi. This fact is not uninteresting with relatic to the described position of the teats in the genus Cheiromys.
• The tongue of the Megaderms presents nothing remarkable in its conformant* but the lips are, in this instance, expressly modified for suction, which is not the ct in Phytiottoma. It is not unlikely that the West Indian genus Mormoops, of Lead is another raptorial form.