페이지 이미지

vlute spots, which suggest the name of humeralis for the species, should it prove to be new: length about a foot, or rather more; and tail minus the hair about five inches additional. From Darjeeling, as are also the Otters.

5ih. Mr. Boucher has presented us with a stuffed skin of Lutra nair.

6th. Among the recent specimens procured is a fine large female Otter, which appears to be the Tarayensis of Mr. Hodgson (Jour. As. Soc. 1839, 319), differing from the description given by that gentleman only in the under-parts being of ales* whitish, or "pure yellowish-white" hue, and the paws scarcely albescent, but of i lighter and more fulvous brown than the rest. It also accords so nearly with Jtajos's description of the European species (Brit. Vert. p. 13), that I am doubtful if it will Utot prove to be the very same, though (judging from memory of the latter) it appears to me to be rather a stronger and stouter animal. General structure udescribed by Mr. Hodgson, and total length 46 inches, of which the tail (which is 3 inches broad at base, becoming much more depressed and tapering to the extremity,) measured 17£ inches; girth immediately behind the shoulders 15£ inches; limbs rery robust, the anterior measuring 6} inches from elbow joint, and entire naked palm to the extremity of middle toe 3| inches; tarse, to end of middle toe i inch, and hairy for If inch. This animal had Jive large abdominal teats, and not the slightest trace '.internally or externally) of a third anterior on the left side; which circumstance is interesting, as shewing how little dependence can be placed on the number of teats as a specific character: the lactiferous vessels were fully distended, indicating that sie poor creature was giving suck. The fur is short, and (so far as I can remember) absolutely similar in colour to that of the British Otter, having the throat and sides of the face, to a line even with the eye and posterior base of the ear, rather dull or caerascent white, which colour occupies only the tips of the hairs, and less of them 'a the lower part of the front of the neck and on the chest, till beyond the latter the lower parts are but slightly hoary: feet as described; and tail dark underneath; the white of the face, throat, and upper part of the fore-neck only, is abruptly divided fnmthe dark colour of the parts above. This animal was shot on the salt-water lake above Calcutta; and I have had both its skin and skeleton set up.*

The Otters which Or. Pearson has presented agree with none of those described by Mr. Hodgson, but seem to be allied to the L. monticola of that naturalist, from which they differ in being not of a deeper, but of a more rufous, brown than the last,: in the pallid hue of the under-parts being throughout abruptly separated from the brown above ; and in "the intermediate incisors of the lower jaw" being placed in an even line with the rest, at least if the third or central pair be intended by Mr. Hodgson, but, if the second pair (intermediate to the central and the outermost) be Beaut, then there is a slight difference between this and the preceding species, wherein the series of lower incisors forms quite a straight line. Fur longer than in the preceding, more as in L. leptonyx, but much darker than in that animal, of a shining dark colcotAar-brown at base, slightly grizzled with a pale annulation near the utremity, under-parts dull fulvous-white, formed by hairs of this colour, but moderately close, protruding through the dense inner felt which has a brown surface; this fulvous-white, too, is continued underneath to the tail-tip. Size about that of L. nair;

'The same species inhabits the Indus, and I very much incline to the opinion, that it is no other than L. vulgaris. Three living cubs have since been brought to

ae.-E. B.

but the skins have been stretched so completely out of all shape, that admeasurements of them would not be trustworthy. From Darjeeling, as before noticed.

I have also obtained a very tine recent example of Paradoxurus typus, which has been mounted: and two live kittens of the Felis Chaus, Guldenstadt, not of Geoffrey, or F. Kutas, Pearson, Jour. As. Soc. i. 75, and F. erythrotis, Hodgson, ibid, v. 233. This is the common Jungle Cat of Bengal, and has a wide geographic distribution. It was discovered in the Caspian marshes by M. Guldenstadt, and has since been met with in the north-west of Africa by Ruppcll and others, where, however, it must not be confounded with the nearly allied F. caligatus, Tem., or " Booted Lynx," of the Appendix to Bruce's Travels, which is the F. Chaus of M. M. Geoffrey and F. Cuvier. In Persia it is common, as also on the Himalaya, but I am not aware of its occurrence in Peninsular India, where doubtless, however, it exists, nor did I expect to meet with it in Bengal. The young merely differ, as usual, in having the markings somewhat brighter and more clearly defined.

Lastly, I have had a specimen prepared of the common Hare of Bengal, Lepus rvficaudalusi Is Geoff. Diet. Class, ix. 381, seu L. macrotis, Hodgson, Jour. As. Soc. ix. 1183, being a name which, if I mistake not, is pre-ocenpied, beside that it is much more applicable to other species, such as that of Egypt, well represented on some of the antique paintings of that country; alsoL. Indiais, Hodgson, and L. orientalis, Brown, Bengal Sporting Magazine, July, 1836. This very common species was wanting to the Museum, and (as is oftentimes the case with the commonest animah)) is all but unknown in Europe, where the L. nigricoUis is erroneously supposed to be the common Hare of the Gangetic provinces, a species which I cannot learn is found in this part of India. I saw living specimens of the Blacknecked Hare at Madras, and now regret that 1 did not secure some, for this species is wanting to our Museum; but I expected to find it equally abundant here as also certain other animals which I could have procured on the same occasion. The Gangetic Hare is brought plentifully to the Calcutta bazaars, always alive if possible, and both it and L. nigricoUis are remarkable for the loud squealing they emit when handled: they also bite severely if not taken up with caution. The flesh of the Gangetic species is very insipid. This animal is cited doubtfully by Mr. Ogilby as the L. ruficaudatus of M. Is. Geoffrey St. Hilaire, imperfectly described from a mutilated skin, and Mr. Ogilby adds a minute description of a specimen which was taken home by Dr. Royle, who informed him that the species is very common in the Doon and in the neighbourhood of Delhi: this appears to be the amount of what was known to European, naturalists concerning it prior to the arrival of Mr. Hodgson's elaborate description of the species in the Society's Journal for 1841, p. 1183, where some notice occurs of its habits and favorite haunts. A previous description, however, exists in the Bengal Sporting Magazine, for July, 1836, where the following habitat is assigned to the species " Caubal, Punjab, and the continent of India; but as yet unknown to the eastward of the BaTampooter." The same writer adds, "the Hare in this country sometimes takes to earth when hard pushed, but this is no more than has been occasionally known in England.* In this country, too, a Hare has more oppor

* "The Hares of India are small, but very staunch, and have one more chance of escape than their brethren in Europe, namely, by running to ground." Capt. Mundy's Sketches, i. 369. They are occasionally hawked at with the Falco luggur, Jerdoii, ibid. ii. 39.

iunity of putting this stratagem into execution, from the numerous holes or earths of animals all over the country. Their manners are, in every respect, the same as those i Uie English Hare: they are savage and ill-natured in their way, and light with each ■lier to desperation ; and upon being wounded, they often bite and tear themselves ; in consequence, a slight scratch often proves mortal, in some parts of the country they are very numerous, which an English game-keeper would not believe, considering the immber of enemies they have, in the shape of Pariah Dogs, Jackals, Cats, Mongoose, Weasels (Viverrieula), Hawks, Snakes, and though last not least, the native :iukarees, who catch vast numbers of them, and sell them to the natives for two pice each, aid to gentlemen for four annas. They surround a bush with nets about 3 feet high; toe bush is then beat with sticks, when the Hare bolts out into the net, which he attempts to force himself through, and is caught unhurt. It is said that the fleetest Hares are found in Humana, where there are extensive plains; and I have been told that Dogs ■hich could kill Hares with ease at Allyghur, were at a loss at Hansi, at which place 1 have often in vain tried them with the Kampoor and Persian Greyhound. 1 do not recollect ever being able to turn one, much less to catch it. A very superior breed of Dofs has now come into play, and no sportsman is seen with the large tearing down uimals of by-gone times, when a poor little diminutive Indian Fox ora glutted Jackal sere thought fit to contest in speed with long Dogs. The splendid Grey-hounds I lately saw al Meerut assure us those times are gone."'

The genus Lepus, I may remark, has been very largely added to of late years, wherever the specific distinctions have been duly attended to. In North America aione, not less than 14 species have been clearly distinguished and described by my friend, the Rev. Dr. Bachman (Vide Jour. Acad. Nat. Soc. of Philadelphia, vii, parts i. and ii). It is not long since the Irish Hare (L. Hibemicus) was first recognised by the Earl of Derby to be totally distinct from the common species (L. timidus) of Great Britain and Europe,* so that three are now known to be indigenous to the British Islands, besides the Kabbit, which latter appears to have been mtroduced ■ finally from Barbary into Spain, whence it has been naturalized over all temperate Europe. The labours of Kuppell and of Hemprich and Ehrenberg have made known * considerable number of species from Syria and the north-east of Africa; and it cannot be doubted that many remain to be discovered throughout Asia. In the hnjea territories, however, I have been informed by a gentleman long resident, and

* The Irish Hare grows as large, or nearly so, as L. timidus, but is much more Marly allied to L. variabilis; from which it is readily distinguished by the consideraUt more rufous hue of its coat, which is also less dense, and has the inner felt rufous instead of white. The length of a small male, weighing 41bs. 1U ox., which I proeered. was 19 inches, the tail with hair three inches more; ears three inches and shall, and length of fore-limb from elbow joint seven inches, and of hinder from knee to claw eleven inches: tarse with claws five inches and a half: as in L. variabilis, there is no black on the tail, except a few scattered hairs. The fur has the same general a*pei*t as in that species, which is very different from that of L. timidus, being soft, of a saedy-brown colour, with curly hoary tips intermixed; beneath pale. Outside the ears it is mnch longer than in L. timidus; the latter are black-tipped, and pale posteriorly. The flesh resembles that of the Common Hare much more than the Alpine. This Irish species affects marshy situations, and when hunted leaps with "eat agility over the stone walls that divide the country in some parts. A considerable number of the L. timidus have lately been turned out in different parts of Ireland.

I may take this opportunity to notice another European species, which 1 suspect is ttew. I saw several barrels of the skins at one of the enormous collections of peltrv exhibited at the half-yearly sales of the Hudson's Bay Company, where specimens

devoted to zoological studies, that none have hitherto been observed,* nor am I aware that any have been met with in the great islands of the Oriental Archipelago; bnt in China there are doubtless several, and one from that country has been figured by Messrs. Hardwicke and Gray as L. Sinensis, besides which the L. variabilis (or much more probably an allied species, gregarious in its migrations like various other rodents,) is known to inhabit Chinese Tartary. In Little Tibet, my friend Mr. Vigne observed a rather large species, a skull of which he took to England, and which, it may be, is the L. Oiostolus vel ACmodius of Mr. Hodgson (Jour. As. Soe. ix. 1186),f and this or another species is "common everywhere in Afghanistan" (Elphinstone's Cabul, 141). Lieut. Irwin also notices that " Hares are generally diffused" in that country, and that "white Hares are chiefly found beyond the Jazartes. In Cabul only is the Hare kept in a domesticated state, and they may be purchased in the market for half a rupee each. The Rabbit is not found in these countries, India, or Persia" (Jour. As. Soc. viii. 1007), i. «. not in a wild state, for there is no lack of domestic Rabbits in Calcutta.^ In the Indian Peninsula, I know only of L. ruficaudatus (?), which Mr. Hodgson assigns to "the Gangetic plains and SubHimalayas," and L. nigrieoliis, which the same gentleman formerly included in his Catalogue of Nepalese Mammalia (P. Z. S. 1834, 85), as an inhabitant of the Tarai, though the omission of this species in his subsequent lists would seem to intimate that at that time he had mistaken the species. Col. Sykes states L. nigncollis to be "very common in the strong and bushy hills of Dukhun;" and I have some reason to suspect the existence of another upon the Neilghierriea. A curious

from all parts of the world are brought together. On the same occasion 1 observed a pile of several dozen skins of the Kobus ellypsiprymnus (A. Smith) of South Africa. Of Lepus, were some large packages of skins of the Polar Hare, and the present species was known to the dealers by the name of Polish or Russian Habbit, Length about a foot and a half; the ears two inches and a half, and tail with hair nearly two inches, moderately bushy, and pale brown above, having no black on it. Fur in winter about an inch and a half long, the basal third dusky or slate colour, then rather pale fulvous for J inch, the remainder white; of one quality, delicate and lying straight, exceedingly soft, and winter surface appearing pure white; the ears Black at base of hairs, but overlaid with white, the edges alone appearing black. A specimen, apparently killed in autumn, with white hairs growing among the rest, had the summer coat fulvous with black tips, the fulvous changing to white before being shed, and the front part of the outside of the ears brown ; akin remarkably thin and delicate. It is possible that this may be the L. hybridui of Pallas, which 1 do not know; but, if undescribed, it might bear the appellation of L. Sclavonicus.

A species of Hare from Sardinia has lately been described by M. Wagner, by the name L. Medittrraneus. The islands of Sardinia and Corsica are highly remarkable in their Zoology, containing besides a peculiar Weasel (Mustela boccamelaJ, a distinct Stag from that of Italy and the continent of Europe (Cervvs Medittrraneusj, the wild Moufflon Sheep, «c; nor is the botany of the same islands less remarkable. E. B.

• Since writing this, I have been informed that a species of Hare, nearly resembling if not identical with that of Bengal, is common on the Siamese bills, on the eastern border of the Company's territory ; and reverting to Crawfurd's "Kiubassy to Ava" (p. 436), I find it there stated that "the Hare is not known in Pegu, but makes its appearance on the high lands before the disemboguement of the irawadi. It is a small animal, similar, in all respects, to the Indian Hare,"—E. B.

t Described, 1 now find, in Proc. Zool. Soc. for Jan. 26, 1811, as L. Ttbetanus, Waterhouse, and presumed to be identical with L. oistoius, Hodgson; vide An. and Mag. Nat. Hut., Nov. 1841, p. 234.

I Fide the last No. of this Journal, x 979, for another notice of the Hares of Afghanistan.

species has been described by Dr. Pearson from the northern hills, which would ■cutely seem to be either a true Leput, or a Lagomys. "Its hair is harsh and bristly; ears ?ery short, not projecting beyond the fur; length 18 inches, and colour more dusky grey than that of the [Gauge tic J Hue. Inhabits Assam, especially die northern parts of the valley along the base of the Bootan mountains" (McClelland, ■ Proc. Zooi. Soc. 1639, 152). Or. McClelland adds, "I am indebted to Lieut. Vetch of Assam for the skin of this animal, but unfortunately the skull is wanting; but according to Mr. Pearson it is the same as the skull of the common Hare." Were it not for the last statement, I should have conjectured the animal to have been i true Marmot. Dr. Pearson names it L. Mspidtw.

Fossil Mammalia.

la this interesting department, I have the pleasure to record the acquisition of mother tine head, at least the greater portion of one, of Mastodon Elephantoides, chich was purchased for the Society by Mr. Piddington. It was imbedded in a very hard grey limestone, apparently the same as, or differing very little from, the matrix of some of the Sivalik fossils, whence it is probable that it was derived from the same

I have also been so fortunate as to discover, among the numerous valuable reliques from the Sivalik ranges, which were presented to the Society by Col. Colvin (vide Jour. As. Soc. v. 183), part of the head and bouy cores of the horns of a large species of Oetr, nearly allied to, if not absolutely identical with, the O. Amman of Siberia (vel? Hudgsonii, Nobis, seu Ammonoides, Hodgson, of the Himalaya); and a correspondiug portion of a true Ibex, to all appearance identical with the species (Capra Sakeen, Nobis,) which still inhabits the loftiest Himalayan crags. It is unnecessary to dwell acre upon the conclusive proof afforded by the occurrence of these highly interesting remains of the existence of lofty, and even snow-clad, mountain heights in the immediate vicinity of the region then tenanted by the Sivatherium and its extinct contemporaries; but I shall avail myself of the earliest opportunity to draw up a memoir on tie subject, illustrated by figures of the splendid fossils which there cannot be the slightest hesitation in identifying (generically) as aforesaid.

In the same collection of remains, is the frontlet with portions of the cores of the horns of a remarkable large species of ruminant, which being neither referrible to the Oxen, Sheep, nor Goats, has (as is customary in such cases) been assigned to the general receptacle for such non-conformists—the vast pseudo-genus Antilope; but it is as distinct from any of the living forms hitherto discovered and ranged in that empyrical assemblage, as many of the latter are from each other. At present, I hesitate as to which of '-hem it even most approximates.


In the class of Birds, our acquisitions, since the last Meeting, have been so very that I can only notice a few of the more interesting, either as being ew, or rare, or for the purpose of elucidating their synonymy. Prom H. W. G. Frith, Esq. the Society has received a donation of 165 specimens of skins,

« 이전계속 »