HISTORY OF ANIMALS AND LEADING CURIOSITIES OF THE GREATEST COMBINED SHOWS ON EARTH. [1881, 1882, 1883]
An Illustrated History of Animals Contained in the Department of Comparative Zoology With P.T. Barnum's Greatest Show on Earth And The Great London Circus, Sanger's Royal Menagerie And International Allied Shows.
[Editions have variations on this title: HISTORY OF ANIMALS AND LEADING CURIOSITIES & FEATURES WITH THE CONSOLIDATED P.T. BARNUM'S GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH, THE GREAT LONDON CIRCUS, SANGER'S ROYAL BRITISH MENAGERIE AND THE INTERNATIONAL ALLIED SHOW. 3 Circuses in 3 Rings, 2 Menageries in 2 Tents, 1 Hippodrome in 1/2 Mile Track, making 7 Monster United Shows. A Complete Illustrated History of Animals Contained in the Department of Comparative Zoology, and all the Curiosities With P.T. Barnum's Greatest Show on Earth.]
[History Of Animals And Leading Curiosities With The P.T. Barnum & London Shows Combined Ninth Monster Show]
[In the 1881 edition only: WHY P. T. BARNUM'S GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH AND THE GREAT LONDON CIRCUS, SANGER'S ROYAL BRITISH MENAGERIE AND THE INTERNATIONAL ALLIED SHOWS HAVE ENTERED INTO COMBINATION:
When he surprised and astonished the New World with the nightingale notes of Sweden's sweetest songster, Jenny Lind, financiers stood aghast at the immense sum he paid in order to secure her services, and predicted little else for Mr. Barnum than bankruptcy. When he took Tom Thumb and wife across the Atlantic and introduced them to the royalty and nobility of England, the doubting Thomases could be numbered by the thousands, and predictions of his financial crash were in the minds of all who watched the move. We cannot, of course, enumerate in these limited pages one tithe of Mr. Barnum's financial successes in catering for the amusement of the public. His victories over public opinions in these respects have been so frequent, and his success in amusements so signal and so decided, that Mr. Barnum has been encouraged to perfect the present enterprise, which has no limit to its vastness, and which completely dwarfs and overshadows all previous or contemporary amusement organizations. For many years Mr. Barnum recognized no rivalry nor feared none. But "A young Lochinvar came out of the West" in the person of Mr. Jas. A. Bailey, who, as an associate proprietor of the Great London Circus, was putting Mr. Barnum to his metal to outrival him in creating and producing sterling and original attractions, and who was rapidly elevating the "Great London" to an eminence that promised to overtop his own hitherto unrivaled exhibitions. Mr. Barnum probably thought, with Falstaff, "I fear this gunpowder, Percy," and at once conceived and advanced the idea of a consolidation. He admired Mr. Bailey's excellent judgment, nerve and will, and recognizing another master mind in Mr. James L. Hutchinson, whom he had taken from his printer's case in 1870, a triumvirate was formed and the rest is told in a word. A consolidated experimental tour, for the present season only, was planned, and the brilliant result is now before the people. Of course, the expenses are quadrupled, but dangerous as seems the experiment of running so many shows together, for one price of admission, the trio have cheerfully decided to make it. ]
THE GIRAFFE. (Giraffa camelopardalis.)
THE height of a full-sized male Giraffe is from eighteen to twenty feet - by far the tallest and most stately of all the dwellers that ever walked on the face of God's earthly heritage. It is an inhabitant of the various parts of Africa, the color of the coat being darker in the southern than that of the northern regions of that fertile abode of the most marvelous of the zoologic race. It towers above its fellows, unique in its proportions, mild in disposition, majestic in mien, and peerless in the lustre of its large loving eyes. There are in the neck of the Giraffe seven vertebrae, the, same as other animals; but they are extremely elongated, while the articulation is admirably adapted to the purpose they are called upon to fill.
On first looking at this beautiful animal, one would suppose that the fore-legs were longer than the hinder limbs. This, however, is not the fact. The apparent difference lies in the remarkable elongation of the shoulder-blades, and the great depth from the withers to the carotid veins. From the highest point of the shoulder to the caudal there is a gradual slope, or declination, of from twenty to forty degrees, which precludes the possibility of ever making the Giraffe a beast of burden. Upon the head of this strange animal grow two excrescences, resembling obtuse horns - a kind of ossis fungi, in substance bearing a striking likeness to the first developments of the antlers on the heads of the fallow deer. These quasi horns are covered with skin, and on the extreme top protrudes a bush-like tuft of dark hair. Lower down on the forehead, and nearly between the eyes, is another osseous projecture - a kind of apologetic imitation of the horn of the unicorn. As the Giraffe browses almost exclusively on the leaves of the forest how entirely in accordance with the will of a Divine Providence has this marvel of the animal kingdom been physically endowed! In order that it might be able to select and gather that kind of foliage best adapted to a palate of exquisite taste, the tongue of the camelopard is provided with prehensile power, capable of contraction or elongation in a wonderful manner. We are informed by those most familiar with the Giraffe, "that it can contract the tip of its tongue into so small a compass that it can pass into the pipe of a pocket-key," while its prehensile powers enable its owner to pluck the minutest leaf with perfect ease.
By its well-known habits of gentleness and playfulness, the Giraffe may well be denominated the coquette of the antelope tribe. When placed on exhibition in the menagerie, it seems to be delighted with the advent of numerous visitors, whom it scrutinizes in the most bewitching and gallant manner, being an enthusiastic admirer of the gay, fantastic attire in which ladies sometimes appear.
Like the eland and kangaroo, the Giraffe is a silent animal, never uttering a sound as an expression of pleasure, or while suffering the agonies even of death itself. Elevating its graceful neck and head high in air when attacked by an enemy, it will deliver a shower of kicks with such celerity and precision as to daunt the lion, which it sometimes sends coweringly away to the nearest jungle. On rough, uneven soil, the Giraffe possesses great advantage over the hunter; but on level ground, the Kaffre Nimrods, mounted on their Pegasian chargers, will spring the lasso over the head of his spotted highness, and soon overpower him by means of the rope to which he is now hopelessly tethered. Another method of capturing the Giraffe is by means of stalking and the pit-fall - identically the some as is used for trapping the rhinoceros and hippopotamus, only the sharp stake for impaling the latter is not used in the capture of the former.
The color of the Giraffe is a pale, ofttimes creamy light, with large, irregularly-shaped spots covering the neck and body. Its hide is enormously thick and obdurate, capable of resisting almost any force the native hunters, with their imperfect weapons, are capable of hurling against it. It is not easily killed; and yet, as strange as it may appear, it is one of the most difficult of the animal kingdom to acclimate, and made to subserve the purposes of a traveling exhibition. During the last eighteen months there has been three of these valuable animals while crossing the Atlantic lost, which cost from $4,000 to $8,000 apiece. In fact, nearly all the showman at the country have abandoned the idea of attempting to furnish these expensive creatures at all.
THE OSTRICH. (Struthio camelus.)
THE Touyou or American Ostrich is the largest bird upon the American Continent, and was at one time found in large numbers upon all the South American steppes. As civilization increased, the bird fled from the march of the pioneer, until it has become almost extinct in certain sections, where it once roamed in flocks. The plumage is almost gray, with delicate white feathers under the wings and upon the umbilical regions. These feathers are choice, and constitute the Mirabeau head ornaments so much admired and worn by fashionable ladies.
The black African Ostrich is polygamous, the male usually associating with from two to six females. The hens lay all their eggs together - each from ten to twelve - in one nest, this being merely a shallow cavity scraped in the ground, of such dimensions as to be conveniently covered by one of these gigantic birds in incubation. The hens relieve each other in the task of incubation during the day, giving the male charge at night, as his superior strength enables him to protect the eggs or the newly-fledged birds from the jackals, tiger-cats, and other enemies. It is fleet upon foot, and gives its pursuers a long and difficult race. When overcome by hunters, it fights desperately, striking them with its wings, and frequently inflicting terrible blows. It can, when taken young, be rendered docile for a time; but, as it advances in years, it resumes its natural, repulsive belligerent disposition. The specimen exhibited in this menagerie is the only male Ostrich ever exhibited, and the largest now on exhibition at or in any place.
THE CASSOWARY. (Casuarius galeatus.)
The Cassowary is an inhabitant of the islands of the Eastern Archipelago. It stands five feet in height, and is distinguished from the other members of the feathered tribe by the possession of a very peculiar horny crest or helmet upon the head, by the wings being furnished, instead of with feathers, with about five cylindrical stalks, destitute of barbs, and by the large claw on the inner toe. The head and neck are naked and wattled, and these parts are of a bright red color variegated with blue. The body, which is very stout, is covered with long pendent feathers, which resemble hair even more closely than those of the emeu.
THE TIGER. (Tigris regalis.)
The Tiger is one of the most beautiful of the feline species. In strength, prowess, and agility, it exceeds even the lion; while the softness of its exquisitely-marked fur, the gracefulness of its form, and its supremacy over the beasts of the Asiatic jungles, have won for it the distinguished title of royalty. The Tiger is never found in any other country save that of Asia; and, in Bengal, it sustains the same relation to other animals as the lion does in Africa - that of sole monarch over the kingdom of animated nature. Upon a magnificent groundwork of bright, tawny-yellow is mathematically arranged, nearly at right angles, a series of dark stripes, some single and others double, suggestive of the beautiful stripes of the zebra, which distinguish it from all other varieties of the tigrine carnivora. It varies in length according to climate and condition, the largest and finest specimens being thirteen feet from tip of nose to tip of tail, and about four and a half feet in height. In contradistinction to the well-known habits of all other animals, which are so careful in regarding and protecting their offspring, the Tigress, on the apprehension of danger, suddenly converts her young family into a pioneer band, and sends them out ahead to do picket duty, while she cautiously follows on behind, not the "shadow," but the substance of "coming events." Familiar with these habits, the hunters will allow the cubs either to pass on undisturbed, while they reserve their ammunition to make war on the mother, or will capture one or more of the little whelps, and carry them off into captivity.
The Tiger is not an open, but a dangerous foe. Like the lion, it will stalk an unconscious prey, whether it be man or beast, stealing silently and treacherously upon the unwary victim, preferring a woman or a helpless child for the object of its attack. The localities most frequented by this insidious "terror" of the human kind, are the crossings of nullahs, or the silent ravines through which the water-courses run.
The Tiger is possessed of enormous paws. These are loaded with long, sickle-like talons, with which they deliver a rapid succession of blows, cutting like so many sharp knives, which enable it to strike to the earth the largest animals known to zoology. They have been known to kill and devour the largest ox before abandoning it. They are voracious eaters, preferring the fresh, warm blood as it flows from the wound, and rarely leave a carcass, until devoured, unless driven away. There are several so-called varieties of this animal, usually classified by naturalists as the Bengal Tiger, White Tiger, Brazilian Tiger, and the Jungla, etc. But these distinctions exist more in name than in reality. There is no such animal as the Brazilian Tiger. This unique genus of the cat tribe exists only in Asia. What is commonly described and exhibited through the country as Brazilian Tigers are a nondescript or mongrel, between the American jaguar and puma. Those called White Tigers are mere albinoes. The tigrine stripes have become less distinct, through climatic and other influences; the color is partially changed to a creamy-white; but they cannot, upon any principle, either of habit or anatomy, be ranked as permanent varieties. As articles of commerce, the skin, teeth, and talons of the Tiger bring a high market value. The utter extinction of this race of animals is greatly apprehended. Legislation and religious scruples have been the only means of perpetuating his existence. A strange polytheistic mythology has clothed this animal with a sacred mantle, so that it requires much nerve and enterprise to be able to secure them as specimens of zoology to be placed on exhibition. Mr. Barnum has the largest Tigers ever seen in captivity.
The Emeu of New Holland is nearly as large as the African Ostrich, measuring from five to seven feet in height. It has three toes on each foot, and these are furnished with nearly equal claws; the head is covered with feathers, but the throat is naked, and the plumage of the body closely resembles long hairs hanging down on each side of the body from a central line, or parting. The neck is covered with feathers. These birds are abundant in the southern parts of Australia. The only pair ever exhibited in this country are to be seen with this mammoth menagerie.
These birds are natives of Australia and the Indian Islands, where they live in the forests far from the habitation of man, feeding upon seed and soft and stony fruit which their powerful beaks enable them to break with ease. Like most other birds of their species, they make their nests in the hollow of decayed trees, and are easily domesticated and become familiar and even attached to persons, but their imitative powers seldom go beyond a very few words (added to their own cry of "cockatoo"), which they are taught to pronounce very distinctly if properly instructed at an early age.
The Macaw is remarkable for its beautiful color, powerful bill and fleshy tongue, and the power of imitating the human voice. Indeed, their articulation is so perfect that when the bird is unseen it is difficult to suppose that the sounds are not from man. The plumage of this extensive family is of the most rich and varied description, embracing almost every color and gradation of tint. The true Macaws are inhabitants of the torrid zone. The great Green Macaw inhabits the warm district of the chain of the Andes, and is often found at an elevation of three thousand feet. They generally live in pairs; but the blue and yellow Macaws sometimes assemble in large flocks, their favorite haunts being swampy woods
THE INDIAN ADJUTANT. (Leptopilus argala.)
The Adjutant is the name given to this bird by the English residents of India, of which country it is a native. It is of large size, having extremely longs legs, and in erect attitude is upwards of six feet high, its extended wings measuring fifteen feet from tip to tip. Its head and neck are nearly bare, a sausage-like pouch hangs from the under part of its neck, and its bill is enormous. These extraordinary and uncouth-looking birds have only been known to naturalists for about twenty years and the subjects of this sketch are believed to be the only ones ever exhibited in America. The upper part of the thighs furnish the beautiful plumes, superior, in estimation, even to those of the ostrich. It is very voracious, and will swallow cats and rats quite readily, and is of great use in devouring snakes and lizards - these are usually swallowed entire. It is also very fond of fish, which it watches for from a fixed station in a sheltered nook by the side of the river, a projecting rock by the sea-side, over deep water, or standing in the stream when the current is not so powerful as to preclude the possibility of its remaining stationary.
THE LEOPARD, (Leopardus varius.)
There is an essential and marked difference between the tiger, which is a native of Asia, and the Leopard, which is a native of both Asia and Africa. This beautiful creature is one of the most graceful and agile of the cat tribe. In its dimensions it is much less than the tiger; but in the markings of its skin, and the rosette-shaped configurations of its bodily covering, it is in every respect surpassingly lovely. In its anatomy it does not differ materially from the tiger, or any of its confreres in the Western world, such as the jaguar or puma of South America. But it is possessed of an accomplishment which neither the lion nor tiger can boast - that of climbing and sporting in the forest trees. On this account it is called by the natives of India Lakree-bang , or Tree-tiger. It will crouch among the thick branches of trees, watch an opportunity to seize birds, monkeys, or pounce upon the antelopes, elands, camelopards, and even human, beings, which pass by the way. "Therefore will I be unto them as a lion; as a leopard by the way will I observe them." - Hosea xiii, 7.
The prophet alludes very poetically to the swiftness of this animal, while referring to that "hasty nation," the Chaldeans, whose horses "are swifter than the leopards, and more fierce than the evening wolves." - Hab. i, 8.
THE RHINOCEROS. (Rhinoceros unicornus.)
The Rhinoceros is one of the most remarkable of the pachydermatous mammalia, closely allied to the elephant, tapir, and the hippopotamus. There are several varieties still extant, many of the earlier species having become extinct, which can only be recognized by their fossiliferous remains. There are two or three species found in Asia, Sumatra, and Borneo, while there are several inhabiting the various portions of Africa.
There are a few characteristics common to all the varieties of this remarkable group: one is the almost uniform conformation of the body, excepting size, and the other is the horny projection from the nose, the Indian Rhinoceros having but one, while the African varieties have two. This so-called horn is of peculiar structure, and is no way connected with the skull. It seems to be developed exclusively from the skin, and belongs to the same rank as the hirsute, bristles, spirus, and quills of other animals. They grow with the development of the animal, until they become long, sharp, and inflexible, capable of doing fearful execution as a weapon of aggressive or defensive warfare. If closely examined, these cornia will be found hard and smoothly polished at the tip, while the base is rough and split into innumerable filaments, constituting a kind of cushion to soften the concussion caused by its frequent onsets with its enemies. He is an ugly and disagreeable brute, utterly devoid of any sense of gratitude, and irate to the last extreme. No amount of good treatment or caressing will avail with him. In every species, whether of the unicornus or bicornus varieties, the Rhinoceros is defective in sight, from the fact of his not being able to see objects perfectly, in front of him, so deeply are his eyes set in his head. The skin of the Rhinoceros is very thick, capable of resisting the force of an ordinary bullet. In the Asiatic species, the heavy flabby folds in which the skin is gathered hang massively over the shoulders, throat, flanks, and haunches, which give the animal a very rough, uncouth appearance. The skin upon the abdomen is comparatively soft, which, like the heel of Achilles, seems to be the only vulnerable point of attack. The horn of the Indian Rhinoceros is not so long nor well developed; yet, even with this short weapon, he is capable of doing fearful execution in ripping up the earth and defending himself against the onsets of the largest elephants, against many of which he is represented, by experienced hunters, to be more than a match. The average height of the Rhinoceros is about four feet, although they have been known to attain to six feet. Its color is dark purplish brown, approximating, in some of the Borele varieties, to a deep black.
King Ava, who glories in the title of "Lord of the White Elephants," generally monopolizes every white elephant and rhinoceros in his domain, as he employs them, especially the former, in state processions and parades, decorating them with rich ornaments of gold and priceless jewels, quartering them in the most magnificent houses of state. The proprietors of this organization have recently offered $25,000 each for a white rhinoceros, safely landed on the dock in New York City, and hope to be able to gratify the curiosity of their American friends, although at a fabulous price, by affording them an opportunity of seeing the first white elephant and rhinoceros ever witnessed in America.
THE BADGER. (Meles taxus.)
The American Badger, as compared with the European, is generally less in size, and of a lighter make; the head, though equally long, is not so sharp towards the nose, and the markings on the fur are remarkably different. A narrow white line runs from between the eyes for some distance towards the back, the rest of the upper part of the head is brown, the throat and whole under jaw are white, the cheeks partly so; a semi-circular brown spot is placed between the light part of the cheeks and the ears.
The American Badger frequents the sandy plains or prairies, which skirt the Rocky Mountains, as far north as latitude fifty-eight degrees. It abounds on the plains watered by the Missouri, but its exact southern range has not been defined by any traveler. The sand-prairies, in the neighborhood of Carlton-house on the- banks of the Saskatchawan, and also on Red River, that flows into Lake Winnipeg, are perforated by innumerable badger-holes, which are a great annoyance to horsemen, particularly when the ground is. covered with snow.
Whilst the ground is covered with snow, the Badger rarely comes from its hole, and it passes the winter in that climate, from the beginning of November to April, in a torpid state.
VLACKE VARK, or ABYSSINIAN WART HOG.
This animal belongs to the family of swine. In the conformation of its head it bears a striking resemblance to the hippopotamus, although smaller and more densely covered with hair and bristles. It is a formidable-looking beast, and seems to be an intermediate species between the rhinoceros and hippopotamus. The first specimens of this strange-looking animal were imported from Abyssinia to the Zoological Gardens in London, about twenty-five years ago. We happened to be in London when these Emgalla, or Abyssinian Wart Hogs, were first installed at the Royal Gardens, at Regent's Park, London. Of course, all the city was in excitement to see the marvelous nouveaux arrives from the unexplored regions of Abyssinia. We, noticing the interest and excitement which these beasts caused in London, determined to secure one or more our show. But, as remarkable as it may appear, after a lapse of twenty-five years, we have but recently been able to secure for our great Zoological Institute the first ever seen in America. It will be exhibited in conjunction with his Great Traveling Show during the traveling season.
The general color of the Vlacke Vark is of a blackish hue on the crown of its head and neck, and along the ridge of the back, and a dull brown on the remainder of the body, with a grayish tint upon the abdomen. The tusks of an adult male are about twelve inches long, and are a most terrible weapon. They have been known to cut a large-sized mastiff nearly in two, by a single stroke, or sever the fleshy parts of a man's thigh. Its retreating haunts are among the labyrinth of holes abandoned by ant-bears, into which it plunges back foremost, and suddenly disappears out of sight. The structure of the teeth is very curious, and well worthy scientific investigation. This animal is sometimes known as Ethiopian Wild Boar, or the Abyssinian Phacochaere, although it differs materially from that animal. It lives to the age of fifteen or twenty years, and is a terrible pest, on account of its frequent depredations. This specimen will be viewed as an object of great interest by naturalists.
HIPPOPOTAMUS. (Hippopotamus amphibius.)
This show is entitled to the credit of being the first and only manager in America to secure and place on exhibition a live Hippopotamus at great risk of life and property, and at an actual outlay of gold sufficient to constitute the ransom of a king. There are several varieties found in all parts of Africa, always in proximity to rivers and streams of water, in which element they spend more than half their time sleeping or floundering, a terror to both land and marine monsters, and a havoc to all neighboring crops. Their legs are short, but their bodies are of enormous size. Their skin is of a dark reddish-brown color, full of cracks, chaps and cross-etchings, with dapplings of irregular dark spots on the sides and upper portion of the body. The skin is from one to two inches thick, full of pores, through which exudes a disagreeable oily substance - probably the brute's only antidote against disease, arising from its indiscriminate mixture and caperings in all kinds of malarious waters, which abound in the latitude of its habitation. They have been known to grow seventeen or eighteen feet in length, and from five to six feet in height. The enormous feet and tusks are formed scissors-like, with which they clip the vegetation upon which they feed, like a pair of shears. The tusks of the Hippopotamus, or River-horse, are very solid and compact, admirably adapted for making delicate philosophical apparatus and articles of dentistry. It is an expert swimmer, and, like the elephant, possesses the faculty of sinking or rising in the water at will. It is captured by means of traps, pitfalls, harpoons, and massive nets of rope - being able to capsize the largest vessels - used for this purpose. The appetite of this animal is voracious, having a stomach capable of stowing away five or six bushels of provender at a single meal. As its natural element is water, it will be readily seen how difficult and hazardous is the attempt to procure one of these marvelous beasts for exhibition in a traveling show, as it must always be supplied with a tank of water, out of which it will not exist for any length of time. No one but the liberal and audacious proprietors of this mammoth enterprise would think of providing the public with such a rare amphibious specimen of zoology, when the above-named facts are taken into consideration. And yet, in the face of all this, the owners of this Great Show, with the determination that the people shall be gratified, have caused another expedition to be fitted out at an expense of $25,000, which has been successful in capturing and landing safely, in New York City, a splendid and monstrous living specimen, which can be seen daily on exhibition in our Zoological Department.
THE CAMEL. (Camelus dromedarius.)
This animal seems destined by nature to fill a very important part in the affairs of mankind. Its height ranges from six to eight feet. Upon the back of the Arabian Camel is a single large adipose excrescence called hump; upon that of the Mecheri, or Bactrian Camel there are two humps - these being the leading characteristics which distinguish the two species. The color of the single-humped animal is a light brown, with occasional variations of shade, from dark to a dirty white. Among the Bactrian or double-humped species, these variations are more marked in contrast, occasionally there being found one almost white. The one belonging to this Menagerie is of this description, and, with a single exception, the only one of the kind now in the country.
The Dromedary, though not a separate variety, differs somewhat from the common Camel. It is not so large or so well adapted as a beast of burden, but is very fleet of foot, and ordinarily used to make rapid transits across the arid sandy deserts of Arabia. The unusually large herd of Camels exhibited in Mr. Barnum's collection were purchased a few years from King Theodorus of Senegambia, taken by Mons. De Lesseps to work on the Suez Canal, and, at the conclusion of that gigantic enterprise, sold to Mr. Barnum's agents in Europe at an enormous price.
Camels are very intimately connected with ancient history, sacred and profane, as they figure conspicuously in the affairs and wealth of Oriental princes in all the past. Job is said to have had three thousand, while the sons of Reuben captured from the Hagarites, in one battle, fifty thousand of these useful allies. They have often been used in war to carry the baggage of Oriental armies, and even to mingle in the bloody tumult of hand-to-hand combats.
The hair of the Camel is very useful and valuable as an article of commerce. Cloth made from this material was worn by the ancient prophets and princes of Israel. John the Baptist appeared in Galilee in a raiment of Camel's hair, made after a coarse and rude manner, in striking contrast with those who dwelt in palaces and wore "soft raiment." The legs are large and muscular, supported by very large, broad elastic hoofs or feet, while the body is withered into proportions narrow and economic, provided internally with a "reticulum" of honey-comb cells, in which a large quantity of water may be absorbed, sufficient to endure the deprivations of a transit across the dreary desert.
The only pure Black Camels ever in America are those belonging to Mr. Barnum. They are found only in Bucharia, Cabul and some other parts of Persia. They are regarded by the people residing in those places as a present from heaven, and therefore a sacred beast. It is therefore utterly impossible to obtain their consent to their importation. The ones now presented for the first time to the American public were a gift to the "Great Showman" from the High Priest of the Brahmins
THE CHEETAH. (Cynailurus jubatus.)
In its conformation and character this animal seems to combine something of the dog and cat. It has a circular pupil and is chiefly diurnal in its habits. In size and shape it is between the leopard and the hound. The color is yellowish fawn above and nearly pure white beneath. It is covered on the upper parts with numerous black spots from half an inch to an inch in diameter. A slight mane runs along the neck. The intelligence, tractability and fidelity of the Cheetah are such that it has been trained to the chase of the antelope in the East. They are carried to the field in small cages, chained, each one being hooded. When the hunters come in view of a heard of antelopes, a leopard is unchained, his hood removed, and the game pointed out to him; for he is directed in pursuit by his sight. Perceiving the object he steals cautiously along, approaches the herd unseen, and when within killing distance, springs upon his prey and strangles it.
This beautifully-marked, spotted creature has a very ancient history, and figures prominently, in consequence of its bright golden hues, in the Old Testament, forming some of the most beautiful similes of the Hebrew poets.
"Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse," says Solomon; "look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards." - -Cant. iv, 8.
AFRICAN ELAND. (Oreas canna.)
The Eland, or Impoofo, is one of the most ponderous of South-African antelopes, and frequently attains the dimensions of a very large ox. The first specimen sent us was over six feet in height, and such was its enormous size and weight, that it was unable to endure the stormy mid-winter passage across the Atlantic.
The enterprising proprietors of this exhibition, not to be baffled in his purpose of bringing together the largest aggregation of animals ever witnessed in America, forthwith telegraphed to his agent in Europe, and we have the satisfaction of announcing the arrival of another magnificent specimen, which will be found among the antelope collection.
Its flesh is excellent for food, being tender and delicious - a thing most remarkable, when we remember that the meat of most all other animals in Africa, according to the testimony of African explorers, is as dry and tough as sole-leather. As with the camel, so with the Eland; we behold in the economy of its nature the handiwork of an All-wise Creator, which enables it to subsist for months without drinking water. Its color is a pale grayish-brown, tinged with fawn-like stripes dimly outlined on the body of some of the varieties, while the horns are of large size, nearly straight, and spirally twisted. It is extremely ravenous in its appetite for food, the daily rations required making no small demands upon the exchequer, so that what it lacks in liquids is more than compensated in the extra demands for solid matter.
THE YAK. (Poephagus grunniens.)
This rare specimen of the bovine race, as its name implies, is called, by the natives of Asia the Yak or Grunting Ox. The Yak is found among the highest plateaus of the Thibetan Mountains, ranging between the Altai and the Himalayas. It is easily domesticated, and is often brought into requisition to subserve the purposes of man. It is a large, handsome animal, with a high head and a proud look, challenging the admiration of all who behold it. The above cut gives a good illustration of its bodily conformation. The large heavy fringes of hair which depend from the sides and lower parts of the body, and the thick silken tufts of its bushy tail, are extremely valuable as articles of commerce, and constitute one of the staple fancies which decorate the wardrobe of our fashionable belles. It is dyed into all sorts of brilliant colors, and is extensively used to embellish the caps of Chinese officials. The tail of the Yak, when highly colored, is carried before officers of state in their anniversary pageants, the number used indicating their rank.
It is amongst the highest animals of this order that we find the nearest approach in organization to the structure which characterizes man as an animal. The Monkey tribe varies greatly in size, some of the apes exceeding even man in stature, whilst others are not larger than a squirrel. The number and variety of the Ape tribe is almost legion. They are found in Asia and Africa, South America, and in of the islands of the sea.
Among the more prominent varieties are the Gorilla - a genus considered somewhat apocryphal for many years, but now admitted and classified in the compendium of generic distinctions - the Chimpanzee, Orang-Outang, Siainang, the Lar, silvery and agile Gibbon, the Simpal, the Colobos, Genereza, Grivet, Vervet, White Nose, Patas, Diana, Mangabey, Barbary Ape, Wanderoo, Baboons, Gelada, Chacma, Mandrill, Coaita, Marimonda, Ursine Howler, Capucin, and a hundred other American varieties, not necessary to mention in this place.
The Gorilla has been known for upwards of two thousand years, and was long considered as a species of the human race. It was first mentioned by Hanna, a Carthaginian commander, who thought them to be wild human beings, and he vainly attempted to secure a live specimen. From that time, however, little was heard from travelers respecting this species until the return of M. Du Chaillu from Africa, who brought a stuffed specimen of an adult one with skeletons of others. The agents of Mr. Barnum have been authorized to secure some of these man-like creatures, regardless of cost, and it is hoped that even as we write they may have succeeded in their efforts. The largest Mandrill ever placed on exhibition is in fact the only one of the species (Papio mormon) in captivity. There is a strong ridge on each cheek, which is covered with naked skin; in the Drill this is black, but in the Mandrill it is of a most brilliant azure-blue. The extremity of the nostrils and the lips being of a brilliant carmine in color.
The entire group of Simiadae are but a mockery or caricature of the human race, and no person can investigate these strange imps without reflecting how vast is the difference between the brute and the intellectual creatures whom God has so highly favored. And yet the subtlety, cunning, endlessly varied pranks and tricks of these creatures, show them to be the most subtle and intelligent of any creature of the animal kingdom, man alone excepted.
Nothing in a zoological garden will gather a crowd of eager and grinning spectators quicker than a well-filled cage of these famous caricaturists of the genus homo. It is quite likely that Prof. Darwin himself has obtained much of his theory from the well-known characteristics of these heterogeneous caricaturists of our race.
THE ZEBRA. (Equus zebra.)
The Zebra is perhaps the handsomest and most elegantly clothed of all quadrupeds. He has the shape and grace of the horse, the swiftness of the stag, and a striped robe of black and white alternately disposed, with so much regularity and symmetry, that it seems as if nature had made use of the rule and compass to paint it. These alternate bands of black and white are so much the more singular as they are straight, parallel, and very exactly divided, like striped stuff; as they extend themselves, not only over the body, but over the head, thighs, legs, and even the ears and tail; so that at a distance, this animal appears as if he were surrounded with little fillets, which some person had disposed in a regular manner over every part of the body. In the female these bands are alternately black and white. In the male they are brown and yellow, but always of a lively and brilliant mixture, upon a short, fine, and thick hair; the lustre or which increases the beauties of the colors. It is in general less than the horse and larger than the ass - although it has often been compared to these two animals, it is like neither of them,
His disposition is ugly, fierce, and indomitable. His ranges are among the mountainous districts of Senegambia, which he prefers to the arid plains of Abyssinia and Central Africa.
Prof. Rarey, the celebrated horse-tamer, encountered more trouble in his efforts to subdue one of the Zebras of the British Museum than all the wild horses on the Continent. Like a Mississippi mule, it will kick viciously with all four of its feet, and laugh to scorn all attempts at domination or subjection. The specimen connected with this exhibition is remarkably fine and well-proportioned.
BOA CONSTRICTOR. (Boidae.)
The extensive collection exhibited in this great show are greater both in size and number than has ever before been gathered together under one roof. The thrilling spectacle of a human being entering the den of the Pythores and coiling their death-producing folds about his own body, is of itself an act of daring to be seen only under our management. These snakes attain a length of thirty feet, and an instance is on record of one measuring upwards of sixty feet in length, having been destroyed while in the act of coiling itself round a man who was lying asleep in a boat. The victim of the Boidae is destroyed by powerful compression, effected by the snake coiling its body round it, and then gradually tightening the folds. In this manner the body of the animal is reduced to a state fit for being swallowed; and this operation usually takes considerable time. One instance of the occurrence of a gigantic snake on the northern coast of Africa, is that of the serpent which is said to have thrown the army of Regulus into confusion, killing and devouring several of his soldiers. The historian tells us, that this formidable snake was only destroyed by assailing it with the military engines employed in the siege of fortified places. This serpent is said to have measured over one hundred feet; its skin was sent to Rome, when it was suspended in a temple, and remained for many years.
GENERAL CHARACTERS. Few animals appear to have been, in all ages, the objects of more general aversion than the creatures forming this order. Not to enter upon the question of possible theological grounds for their general disgust, we may take the statement in the book of Genesis, that "the serpent was more subtle than any other beast of the field," as a proof that at very early periods the stealthy, creeping movements of these creatures had obtained for them the same reputation for cunning that they enjoy in the present day a reputation which has caused them to become one of the most common emblems of deceit.
THE HORNED HORSE. (Equus cornus.)
The existence of such an animal as a Horned Horse, in the zoologic sense of that term, although frequent attempts to verify it have been made by naturalists of some pretensions, is, from the best sources of information within our reach, somewhat apocryphal. There is, however, an animal very much resembling the wild horse found in Tartary, with horns growing out of his head, somewhat similar to the Cape Buffalo the Impoofo, or brindled gnu - but, on close examination, proves to be closely allied to the bison tribe. The noble creature imported by the proprietors of this establishment differs materially from any ever before exhibited in this country. It has been supposed by some to be the same animal which Job called the "Unicorn," although, if that be the case, it is a misnomer, as that implies an animal with a single horn. What an exquisite and entertaining school for "object-teaching" is the vast collection of these extremely rare and curious animals, placed, almost gratuitously, before forty millions of the American people! Such magnanimity is sure to receive its own appropriate reward.
SOUTH AMERICAN TAPIR.
In many respects the American Tapir differs from that of the Malayan. It is found in large numbers in Central and South America, always in the vicinity of rivers, preferring the thick coverts of dense forests, whence they issue only by night, in search of food. The American variety are good swimmers and divers, and very often elude their pursuers by suddenly plunging in the water and diving out of sight, or so concealing themselves among the shrubbery, brakes and water-lilies, as to avoid detection. Its thick tough hide is capable of protecting the animal from thorns, brambles and thick craggy branches of the forest-trees, through which it passes on its headlong way during the darkest midnight hours. The Tapir, though a large, bulky animal, falls an easy prey to the jaguar, which, concealing itself in the overhanging branches, springs suddenly upon the back of the poor brute, and strikes it to the earth.
THE MALAYAN TAPIR. (Tapirus Malayanus.)
This Tapir is a transition from the elephant to the swine species, about half-way intermediate. There are but two varieties known to zoology, although fossiliferous remains of this animal testify to the fact that, at an early period of the world's history, other and much larger varieties had an existence. The Malayan Tapir exists in large numbers in Malacca and Sumatra; but, being a shy animal, inhabits the dense and inaccessible forests, where it is rarely seen, even by the natives. It is very fond of the water, and contents itself by walking on the bed of the stream only, as it is not an expert at swimming. The color of the adult Malayan Tapir is a dark sepia, almost black, except upon the rear portions of the back and haunches, where it is light, as if a white mantle had been dropped upon its back by some talismanic Elijah of the antediluvian period, giving it a strangely picturesque appearance. There have been very few of the Malayan species imported; they are, therefore, objects of great curiosity among the zoological collection. Indeed, managers of traveling menageries in this or any other country seldom think of assuming the risk or expense of procuring this animal.
The Wolf belongs to the dog family, though dogs seem to be its natural enemies. While the smaller flee from it in terror, the stronger pursue and kill it. And yet it is thought by some that the original dog was a Wolf; and it is asserted that, though this animal is so fierce, it can be tamed when young, and is then as susceptible of attachment to man as the dog is. Wolves commonly hunt in packs or bands, and are very crafty in their modes of taking their prey. Like other wild beasts. they are exterminated as man cuts down the forests and builds his habitations. In the early settlement of this country they abounded even in the States on the Atlantic coast, and they were not wholly exterminated till recently. The story of Putnam and the Wolf is familiar to everyone. They were extirpated in England about 1350, in Scotland in 1600, and Ireland in 1700. They still abound in various parts of Europe and Northern Asia, and destroy great numbers of domesticated animals, as is shown by a report made in 1822 to the Russian Government in regard to the district of Livonia, a tract of country about 250 miles long by 150 broad, The animals stated as having been destroyed by wolves are as follows: Horses, 1,841; cattle, 1,807; calves, 733; sheep, 15,182. lambs, 725; lambs, 726; goats, 2,545; kids, 183; swine, 4,190; young pigs, 312; dogs, 703; geese, 673; fowls, 1,243. The Wolf is 'a gaunt but strong animal, with a skulking gait, and his aspect is marked by mingled ferocity, cunning and cowardice. There are several species of wolves, especially in America, but their habits and character are very much the same.
THE WHITE OR POLAR BEAR.
THE largest of all the family of bears is the Polar Bear (ursus Maritimus), called also the White Bear, the fur of which is an impure white. It sometimes measures nearly ten feet long and five feet high. It is strictly marine in its habits, is never found far from the sea, and inhabits the most northern shores of Greenland, Asia, etc. It subsists chiefly on animal food, and pursues seals and fishes both on the ice and in the water. These bears display a remarkable affection for their cubs. It has not been ascertained whether the Polar Bear usually hibernates or not.
SEA LION. (Otaria jubata.)
The Seal, Walrus, Sea Leopard, Sea Elephant, and Sea Lion belong to a maritime genus called Phocidae, and are remarkable for their habits as well as the formation of their bodies. They are found in the extreme northern solitudes of both hemispheres, their principal food consisting of fish. The Sea Lion is so called from its fancied resemblance to the royal quadruped which reigns supreme in Africa. It attains to from eight to ten feet in length, and when in good condition, weighs from eight hundred to a thousand pounds. The color of an adult male Sea Lion is a reddish-brown, which becomes paler with age. Upon the neck and shoulders grows a heavy mass of stuff - curly, crisp hair - bearing a striking resemblance to the lion. The female is devoid of this peculiar hirsute development. During the months of July and August these interesting creatures are found on the coast of Alaska, where they congregate in immense numbers to rear their young, which they watch with a jealous care during the first few weeks of their life.
We were the first and only managers in America who ever conceived the project of introducing these remarkable animals as rare and curious objects for exhibition. The distance over which they must be transported, the difficulty of capturing them, and the expense and trouble attending their exhibition, render the project hazardous in the extreme. But, with the energy and indomitable perseverance of our agents, nihil impossibile est. It seems to be their growing delight to accomplish what others dare not undertake, and to laugh at what less audacious managers call sheer impossibilities. The magnificent specimens in the Great Traveling Museum were captured recently in the North Pacific Ocean, and shipped to New York in massive water-tanks, at a cost of many thousand dollars. The largest of them weigh one thousand pounds each, and are over eight feet long. They consume about a hundred pounds of fresh fish every day. They are daily viewed by admiring thousands, as the finest specimens ever seen in this country.
THE AVES, OR BIRDS.
China, Japan, South America and Australia furnish the handsomest rich-plumaged birds in the world. The aviary of this great show, so far as the birds are concerned, is the most complete in the world, while the extensive display of Parrots, Macaws, Golden-crested Cockatoos, Silver and Golden Pheasants, Horned and Albino Owls, Lyre Birds, Eagles and Condors, with a myriad tribe of songsters, must challenge the admiration of every visitor, as well as affording one of the most beautiful of the interesting studies found in natural history.
THE PELICAN. (Pelecanus onocrotalas.)
The Pelican measures from five to six feet in length, with an expanse of wing of from twelve to thirteen feet. They live on the banks of levers and lakes and on sea-shores. They swim and fly well, and are able to perch upon trees. The skin beneath the lower bill or mandible, is dilated into a large pouch, in which they store the fish they capture. When fishing, the Pelicans fly over the water at a height of twenty to forty feet, until they see a fish near enough to the surface, when they immediately dart upon it with most unerring certainty, store it away in the pouch, and proceed in search of more. It is found in the east of Europe, Asia and Africa. In feeding their young, the Pelicans are said to press the pouch against the breast to assist in disgorgement of the prey; and it is supposed that the contrast of the red tip of the bill to the snowy feathers of the breast, when the birds are thus engaged, must have given rise to the poetical notion which prevailed amongst the ancients that the female Pelican was feeding her young with her blood.
AFRICAN CROWNED PIGEONS.
AMONG the many additions to our collection of rare beasts and birds, which have been made during the winter of 1880-81, the African Crowned Pigeons are deserving of a more minute and extended notice than the limits of these pages will warrant. Those who have been accustomed to see the many varieties of pigeons which are indigenous, or which have been introduced into America, can form but little idea of the comparatively monstrous size of these curious African birds. They are as large as a full-grown pheasant, uniformly of a beautiful slate color, with irredescent markings on the wing coverts and neck feathers, and crowned with a flossy tuft of feathers of globular shape and eight or nine inches in circumference. They are extensively rare even in Africa, the land of their nativity, and can be seen with no other traveling exhibition in America.
General Characters. - The Rodentia, or Gnawing Mammalia form the first of the truly unguiculate orders. They are all of small size many of them the most diminutive of their class; but the species are exceedingly numerous and usually very prolific. The feed to a great extent upon hard substances, such as nuts, etc., and in order to get at their food they require both sharp and strong teeth They include Hares, Rabbits, Squirrels, Marmots, or Bear-rats, Woodchucks, Ground Hogs, Prairie-dogs, Beavers, Guinea Pigs, the Agontis, the Carvy, the Capybara, the Porcupine, Egyptian Rat, Musk-rat, Mice and Rats.
THE CAPYBARA. (Hydrochaerus capybara.)
The Capybara has had various designations, such as Water-hog, Tailless Hippopotamus and Short-nosed Tapir. It is the largest species in the order, measuring about three feet in length. This animal has the appearance of a small pig, and its body is covered with bristles; it is an inhabitant of watery places in the warmer parts of South America, where it is generally seen in small flocks, and takes to the water when alarmed. It swims well, and the three toes of the hind-feet are united by a short swimming membrane. The flesh of this animal is very good, and it is said to be the favorite prey of the jaguar.
KANGAROO. (Macropus major.)
There are many varieties of Macropidae, the Kangaroo being the largest and most remarkable. These animals are called marsupial, from the fact that in the female there is a pouch, or marsupium, upon the external abdomen, in which the young, after birth, are safely housed and nourished, and whence they come and go with impunity, until they are about ten months of age; the number of young rarely exceeding two at a single birth. There are said to be eighty varieties of the Kangaroo, which is extremely doubtful. The largest and most noted of these are the Giganteus, Woolly, or Red Kangaroo; all others are mere sub-divisions of the same genus, the modifications being more in size than habits or characteristics. Among the smaller of the family may be mentioned the Kangaroo rat, hare, and the brush-tailed bettong. The Tree Kangaroo is so called from its well- known habit of climbing or springing into trees; while the Rock Kangaroo is known from its habits of isolation among the rocks and cliffs where it is often found separated from its more gregarious brethren, preferring darkness rather than light for its depredations. The color of these animals is an ashen-grey, with a gradation of shade, being lighter or darker in the different species; while upon the breast and abdomen of the doe, or female, there is no inconsiderable admixture of pure white. The fore-feet are black, and, from their peculiarity of conformation, answer very well the purposes of a hand and fingers, which they manipulate dexterously.
These magnificent specimens are eight feet in height, and will jump more than fifteen feet at a single spring, and are, beyond all controversy the largest ever seen on this continent. Their method of locomotion is by springs or jumps with the hind limbs, aided by the use of their long and elastic tails, which gives them an extremely comical appearance while in motion, as they are rarely known to use their short fore-legs for that purpose.
A SPECIALTY of this Great Show is the extreme rarity of many of the animals exhibited. AAmong this number is a splendid living specimen of the Nubian Buffalo. This animal is, beyond a doubt, the only animal of its species ever exhibited in America, and was imported expressly for this combination, having been purchased by its African agents, and arriving in New York City February 18th, 1881, per steamer Oder. The Nubian Buffalo differs from the Cape and Water Buffalo of Africa in the length and peculiar curvature of its horns, its larger size, and its more formidable and intractable disposition. When annoyed it is almost ungovernable in its fury and is not easily pacified. For this reason it is necessary to keep him closely confined. This animal, from its rarity, will especially attract the attention of the naturalist.
DWARF SACRED BULL.
Mention is made elsewhere in these pages of the Sacred Cattle worshiped by the Brahmins, and held in holy veneration by almost the entire native population of India. The symmetrical proportions and wild disposition of these beautiful and gentle animals arrest the attention of everybody, and there are no specimens either in the Zoological Gardens of Europe or in the Animal Collections of America, that exhibit the same degree of perfection as those with this exhibition. In striking contrast with these in point of size is the Dwarf Sacred Bull imported in February last by this Great Show, and which is undoubtedly the most diminutive specimen of the Bos genus ever seen in any country. In no way are the wonders of comparative anatomy made more striking than by contrasting this little but perfect1y-formed bull with the giant ox in the same collection.
THE family Bovidae (Bos, an Ox) is distinguished from the other families of Ruminants by the uniform presence of horns in both sexes, and by the bulkiness of their forms. The common Ox is diffused widely in all quarters of the globe, and has a great variety of breeds. The Bos Indicus, the Zebu, or Brahmin Bull, is native of India, and is remarkable for a large fatty hump above the shoulders. In all Southern Asia and Eastern Africa this animal supplies the place of the common Ox, and is supposed to have come from the same origin, instead of being another species. The Hindoos treat it with great reverence and attention. They allow it to go about the streets, which it does with great familiarity, even walking into shops, helping itself to sweetmeats and other articles, and resenting the slightest affronts with a peevish thrust of the horns. But while the bull is thus honored, the Ox is treated without mercy, being urged onin its labor by the cruel goad. The Brahinin cow is treated more kindly than the Ox, but is not reverenced as the bull is.
THE MUSK OX.
THE Musk Ox is a native of the cold regions of North America. It somewhat resembles the Yak. It is covered with very long hair, which almost reaches the ground. It appears in small herds, numbering, perhaps, twenty or thirty. Both this animal and the Yak are rather small, but the thick hair covering them makes them look quite large.
THE MOOSE, or ELK. (Alces malchis.)
In some portions of Europe, an adult male Moose attains to enormous proportions, being nearly as large as a medium-sized elephant. It is the largest of the deer tribe, and has horns of great reach and breadth, widely palmated at their extremities, and so ponderous in weight as to challenge our wonder, it not admiration, at the facile manner with which this magnificent animal wields them. In America, where this noble animal was formerly found in large numbers, it is better known as the Elk. The muzzle is extremely large and lengthened in front, which imparts to the countenance of the Elk an expression decidedly unique, while the nostrils are widely distended, rendering it keen and quick-scented to detect the presence of an unseen foe. Its color is dark-brown, that of the legs being blended with yellowish-white hues, and, with its massive horns thrown gracefully back upon the shoulders, the animal presents a picturesque appearance, notwithstanding the awkwardness of his gait.
In many localities of the United States, beautiful villages have sprung up into existence, called 'Elkland," from the large numbers of these majestic animals found during the earlier settlements of the New World, However, like many of the undisputed wild denizens which occupied these primeval forests in by-gone days, they are slowly but surely passing away.
These animals, which appear like small camels, and represent them in the New World, are, however, readily distinguished from them, not only by the difference of size, but by the absence of dorsal humps and complete division of the toes. This structure of the feet does not adapt them for traveling over such sandy wastes as form the natural home of the camel, but for dwelling on mountains and among rocks, where, in point of fact, their footing is more sure than that of most other animals. Their form is lighter, and more elegant than that of the camel. Their native region is upon the slopes of the immense chain of the Andes, in South America, on all parts of which they occur; and although inhabitants of the tropical climate they are very impatient of heat, and often ascend into the vicinity of the line of perpetual snow. The wild Llamas are very vigilant and shy; they live in flocks at a great altitude upon the mountains, and only descend towards the plains occasionally in search of food. When irritated they eject the contents of their mouths upon the offending party; the substance discharged is exceedingly disagreeable.
When killed, its flesh furnishes an excellent food; and the long woolly hair with which it is covered forms the principal clothing of the Indians. The skin furnishes a good leather.
THE PLATYPUS AND THE EKIDNAH.
THERE are two very singular animals in Australia, about the classification of which there has been some difference of opinion. The first is the duck-billed Platypus. This singular animal has a body like that of an otter and a bill like that of a duck. It was first made known to British naturalists by a stuffed specimen, and it was at once suspected that the bill of some Australian bird had been ingeniously fastened to the head of a quadruped. But it was found to be no deception, and this animal presents the strongest example that we have of an approach in the Mammal tribe to that of birds. It uses its bill precisely as the duck does, searching for insects, small shell-fish, etc., by plunging it here and there in the mud. There is a curious provision in the young to prevent the bill from interfering with the operation of suckling. It is very soft, and does not become hard till it is time for the animal to cease to suckle. The fore feet are formed for digging, and the animal excavates a burrow . sometimes even fifty feet in length, in the bank of the stream, where it lives. Both the fore and the hind feet are fitted for swimming by being webbed. The web on its fore feet extends over its claws, but it has the power of folding it back when it wishes to dig.
The other animal is the Ekidnah, or Porcupine Ant-eater. It is about the size and form of a hedgehog but its spines are stouter. It burrows with great rapidity. When attacked by dogs it quickly, by digging, sinks itself in earth or sand so that they can see nothing but its bristling back, and this they are not disposed to touch.
THE Jackal is found in North Africa, Persia, and India. It is somewhat like the fox in appearance, though it has not so bushy a tail. It is like the wolf, however, in its habits. Jackals, like wolves, hunt in packs. They are concealed in the day, and come forth at night filling the air with their shrieks, which all describe as being horrid. They are very useful in Eastern countries as scavengers, devouring the offal which the uncleanly inhabitants cast out of their houses, and thus often save them from pestilential diseases.
There is no class of animals of which more that is interesting might be said than that of the Ursidae, or Bear family. Their history, habits, forms and characteristics are inwrought in the mind of people everywhere. There is no child, however unenlightened in other matters, but has seen or knows something about "Old Bruin." Already crowded for space, which must grow "small by degrees and beautifully less," the reader will accept as an apology a bare mention of this interesting subject.
The family is not so large as it is wide in extent. It is a native of all climes and will be found in some of its varieties, in all parts of the world. From the hot sands of Borneo to Nova Zembla, from the arctic regions to the pampas of Central and South America, in the British possessions, California and Mexico. will this artful and frolicsome creature be encountered. In its natural condition the Bear is comparatively harmless, is capable of domestication. and becomes playful in its frantic comicalities. But, if driven to close quarters, or desperation from hunger, or the females become robbed of whelps, then it is becoming to "stand from under," for there are few Davids who are able to defend either themselves or their flocks and herds from its ravages. During five months of the year there is but little seen of Old Growler, that is, of the American varieties, as he goes into winter quarters and remains in a state of indifferent stupor, requiring no food of any amount, coming out in the spring-time fat and "sleek as a bear."
Among the varieties known to naturalists are the Black Bear, Brown Bear, Grizzly Bear, Thibetan, Malayan and Bornean Sun Bears, Sloth Bear, Cinnamon and White Polar Bears, Poonah, or Large-Lipped Bear, etc. These differ in size materially but in their essential characteristics, never. Their food is composed of vegetables, nuts, fruits, insects, saccharine, and animal matter - being both herbivorous and carnivorous. The Bear is often spoken of as a fierce, savage animal, but we think, with but very few exceptions, the imputation is unjust. It is only when driven by necessity that the Black Bear becomes savage or dangerous. Every species of the Bear family are to be seen in this Great Show.
Many expressive metaphors have been furnished by the poets of Palestine, from the well-known habits of this interesting animal.
"Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly."- Prov. xvii, 12.
"I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart." - Hosea xiii, 8.
THE Kinkajou is found in South America. It has been called the Honey Bear, because it is so fond of attacking the nests of the wild bee, licking out the honey from the cells with its long tongue. It is also very expert with its tongue in catching flies and other insects. Its tail it uses, like the spider monkey of the same country, in climbing. It is easily tamed, and is as playful as a cat.
Of the Beaver family, the common Beave, so well known in Canada and the northern part of the United States is the type species. It is distinguished from all the other rodents by its flat and scaly tail. Its hind feet are webbed and with these and its tail it is expert in swimming. Its incisor teeth are large and uncommonly hard, and with then it can divide a common walking-stick at a bite with as clean a cut as that of a hatchet. Like the seal, it can close its ears and nostrils when it dives into the water. Beavers are very celebrated for the skill with which they build their dams and habitations, which they always do in companies.
THE Raccoon is about the size of a fox. Like the bear, it has sharp claws and climbs trees. It sleeps in its hole by day, and prowls at night for its food, which consists of s: mall quadrupeds, birds, eggs, insects, roots, etc. It is very dexterous in opening oysters. It bites off the hinge, and scrapes out the oyster with its paw.
THE Wolverine, or Glutton, is a native of the Arctic regions of both continents. It has been called the Quadruped Vulture, because it sometimes preys on the dead bodies of animals. It does great damage to the fur trade. When it finds the hunter's traps set for the martens, it likes the bait which a bit of venison or a partridge's head, or, if there be martens in the traps, it tears them in pieces, and buries them here and there in the snow. Wolverines do not eat the martens, but the cunning foxes on the watch readily scent them out and devour them .
THE Bats are the only animals of_ the class Mammalia that can really fly - that is, which can go upward in the air. The apparatus for flying is made up of a very delicate skin, without hair, on a frame-work of long slender bones. The bones are essentially the same that we find in the arm and hand of man, except that most of them are very much longer. This you can see by observing the skeleton of the bat in connection with the skeleton of man. Beginning at the shoulder, you see first the bone of the arm, then the forearm, and from the wrist extend the bones of the four fingers enormously lengthened. If the bones of the fingers of man were lengthened as much in proportion to his size, his fingers would be about four feet long. What answers to a thumb in the bat is a short projection with a hook upon it. Wood says of this arrangement that, "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 bat." He would need, however, vastly larger muscles than those which move his arm to work such extensive flying machinery.
The wing of a bat is a more extensive and perfect flying apparatus than that of any bird. Hence the exceeding rapidity of its movements. In his flight he is catching flies, mosquitoes, and other insects. In his mode of getting a livelihood he is like the birds of the swallow tribe.
The eyes of the bat are small, and his vision is undoubtedly very poor. How then, can he catch insects on the wing? It is because his other senses are very acute. He hears quickly. Especially is this the case of the Long-eared Bat. The organ of smell, too, is quite extensive, particularly in some species. Then, too, the membrane of the wings is fully supplied with nerves, and is exquisitely sensitive. To prove this, Spallanzani put out the eyes of some bats, and then let them loose in his room, across which he had stretched strings in various directions. The bats in no case flew against them, but readily avoided these and other obstacles. Of Course, they did this with the sense of touch alone, and that chiefly in their wings. They instantly knew in this way when they were coming near something besides air. The senses of smell and hearing would help them to determine whether this something was an insect or such a thing as a string.
The bats of temperate climates are, like the frogs and toads, in a torpid sate through the winter, this being necessary simply because the insects upon which they live are gone. For this purpose they lodge themselves instinctively in some secret place where they will not be likely to be disturbed.
The species of bats are very numerous. Some of the species in tropical climates are quite large animals. The Vampire Bat of South America measures two or three feet from tip to tip of the Wings. It lives by sucking blood from different animals, which it does while they are asleep, and commonly without a waking them. The wound which it makes is very small, and yet it sucks from it quite a large quantity of blood.
The most singular species of bat is found in the island of Java, called the Kalong Bat, its wings expand to the extent of five feet. Its head is like that of a fox. This animal belongs to that division of bats which live principally on fruits. They live, like monkeys, in troops on trees. The division is a small one compared with the insect-eating bats. Their wings are by no means as extensive in proportion to the size of the body, and they therefore fly more slowly, not needing the swift flight of the other division, as they catch no insects. As their eyes are large, they have not, probably, the sensitiveness in their wings which is so characteristic of the insect-eating bats.
THERE is no country in the World in which animal life disports itself in greater variety or exists in such multitudinous forms as in the Continent of Africa, and it will be observed that a very large proportion of the animals in all of the collections of both Europe and America. have been collected in that country. The Antelope genus is there wonderfully prolific in variety, and is represented by about seventy-five distinct species. Of these many have found their way to America, but it has remained for this Great Show to import and place on exhibition the only living specimen of the Simeroux Antelope, one of the most beautiful of the tribe, and which can be seen daily and nightly in our splendid and exhaustive zoological department.
THIS is the rarest as well as the most attractive of the Antelope tribe, and has never found its representative in America until the present season. In February, 1881, the specimen now on exhibition in this Great Show was landed in New York City, having been secured for us by our African agents. He is almost of sable hue and with beautifully-curved semi-spiral horns.
THIS is another recent importation of this Great Show direct from the INterior of Africa, and is positively the only living specimen ever brought to America. Livingston, Speke, Grant, Stanley, and other African travelers all speak of this Antelope as being very difficult to approach, and for this reason very seldom killed or captured.
THE Springbok is one of the most beautiful and agile of the true Antelopes. It inhabits Southern Africa. It derives its name from the habit which it has of springing up to the height of several feet when alarmed. Large herds of Springboks spread themselves over the wide plains. When a drought occurs, as is often the case in the tropical regions, they migrate in large bodies in search of food. Some persons have seen, as they suppose, as many as twenty or thirty thousand together.
THE Cervidae, or Deer family, are distinguished from all the other families of Ruminants in having horns which are cast off at intervals, new ones growing out in their place. In the young animal they are small, but in the full-grown Deer they are very large. These horns are also covered with a velvety skin, and are called antlers. While they are growing there are blood-vessels in this skin, and from the blood in them the antlers are made. You can see on them, after this skin is stripped off, just the course of the large arteries, by the channels for them in the horn. These antlers grow very rapidly. After they have attained their growth there is no farther need of the blood in the "velvet," and it must be got rid of, for if it remained there would be bleeding every time that the Deer should hit anything hard with its antlers. There is a singular process for doing this. In the rings of bone at the foot of the antlers there are openings, through which the arteries pass. These gradually close up, and the supply of blood to the "velvet" is, therefore, gradually cut off. It would not answer to have this done suddenly, for then all the blood going to the head would be turned in upon the brain, and such a rush of blood to that organ would be injurious, perhaps fatal. After blood ceases to be supplied to this skin it dries and readily peels off, and the Deer gets rid of it by rubbing its antlers against the trees.
The females of this family, except in the case of the Reindeer, have no antlers. In those species that are found in extremely cold climates, as the Elk, the antlers are apt to be flattened, as if," says Carpenter, "they were destined to be used by the animal, like shovels, in clearing the snow from off its food." The animals of this tribe are celebrated for both their beauty and speed. They are distributed over all parts of the globe, except Australia and the southern and central regions of Africa, these regions being supplied in place of them with giraffes and multitudes of antelopes.
The Reindeer is seen throughout the Arctic regions of America, Europe, and Asia. It lives in summer on the buds and twigs of small shrubs, and in winter on a lichen growing under the snow, which it digs up with its feet. It is gregarious both in the wild and domesticated state. So important is this animal to the Laplander that his wealth is estimated by the number of Reindeer which he has, just as that of the patriarchs of old, and the Arabs of the present time, is estimated by the number of their herds and flocks and camels. A Laplander in good circumstances has several hundreds, and some have not less than two thousand. The gadfly and the mosquito are so annoying to the Reindeer that the Laplander is obliged to make periodical migrations with his herd to the mountains to escape them.
AMONG the true Antelopes is the Gazelle, so celebrated in the poetry of the East. This is probably the Roe of the Bible. Its eyes are large, dark, and lustrous. Its speed is so great that not even the Greyhound can overtake it. It lives in herds, and is found in Arabia and Syria. It is easily domesticated, and is often seen in the court-yards of houses in Syria.
ORYX AND KUDU.
THE Oryx is a native of South Africa. It is the swiftest of all animals in that region. It has many of the characteristic beauties of the antelopes, but its tail is like that of a horse, and its horns are very peculiar, being perfectly straight and of a dark color. With these formidable horns, two and a half feet in length, it can defend itself even against the lion. When the lion attacks it, it lowers its horns and receives him on its sharp points; and the two have been often known to die together, the Oryx by the violence of the shock and the lion from the wounds of the horns.
The Kudu, also a native of South Africa, is one of the most beautiful of the antelopes. Its horns are nearly four feet long, and their spiral form adds much to their beauty. Although a large animal, it can leap with wonderful activity. The largest of the antelopes is the eland, found in the same region. It is as large as an ox. It is hunted for its flesh, which is highly esteemed.
THE Hedgehog is the only animal in England that has its skin armed with spikes. These are its means of defense. When attacked, it rolls itself up, and such is the arrangement of these spikes that the tightening of the skin makes them all stand out. A dog or a fox will not touch it then. Its food is insects, snails, frogs, roots, etc. Dr. Buckland put a hedgehog in a box with a snake. It gave the snake several quick bites in succession, rolling itself up after each bite. When the snake was sufficiently disabled, the hedgehog ate it leisurely as one would eat radish, beginning at the tail. In winter this animal lies torpid in a hole lined with grass and moss, and if discovered looks like a ball of leaves, these having become fastened to its spikes as it rolled itself among them.
CIVET CAT AND ICHNBUMON.
THE Civet Cats, which are found in the northern part of Africa, chiefly in Abyssinia, are all remarkable for a pouch near the tail containing a perfume which is quite an article of commerce.
The Ichnenumons are singular animals. Having long bodies and short limbs, they creep into very narrow places and run their slender snouts into every crevice in search of their food, which consists of snakes, lizards, crocodiles' eggs, etc. The Egyptian Ichneumon, or Pharoah's Rat, is often domesticated in houses in Egypt, that it may destroy the snakes and other reptiles that so often infest them in that country.
THE ELEPHANT. (Elephas Indicus.)
The Elephant is the largest and most ponderous of the pachydermata, or thick- skinned animals, and, since the days of the mastodon, is one of the most gigantic specimens of zoology known to the human race.
There are found two distinct species, which are well known as the African and Asiatic Elephants. The latter will always be known by the dimensions of the head and ears - one of the most noticeable points of distinction existing between them. The head of the Asiatic Elephant is somewhat elongated, the forehead concave, and the ears of an ordinary size; while the head of the African Elephant is much shorter, the forehead convex, and the ears of great breadth and magnitude, covering nearly a sixth of the entire body. Among the Asiatic Elephants only the male portion are supplied with tusks, while both the male and female of the African species are equally furnished with the long projecting ivories. Both varieties are gregarious - always going in herds, and, when about to cross a river or any body of water, send the smallest first, so that, in case of accident or foundering, the larger ones can come to the rescue.
One of the strangest, yet most useful appendages of the Elephant, is his trunk, or proboscis. This feature of the animal seems to be an extraordinary development of the upper lip or nose. It is perforated through its entire length by the nostrils, and, at the tip of the trunk, is supplied with a finger-like appendage, by means of which it is enabled to pick up objects of the most diminutive size, or thrust it into the vest pockets of the by-standers, and triumphantly seize the most trifling bijou that may be concealed therein. The trunk of this huge animal performs a very important part in his well-being; for, without it, he would very soon starve to death or perish. With it he supplies himself with both food and water. It is not only possessed with great flexibility, capable of extension and contraction, but also with enormous strength.
If we investigate the anatomy of this wonderful creature, we will find that the hoof which incloses the foot is composed of a vast number of horny plates, arranged on the principle of the carriage spring, by means of which the tread of the Elephant is as light, noiseless, and elastic as any of the cat tribe, barring, of course, the vast difference in size. "The points of a good Elephant," says the Rev. J. G. Wood, "are as important in India and Ceylon as those of a horse in Europe." The softness of the skin, the red color of the mouth and tongue, the forehead expanded and full, the ears large and rectangular, the trunk broad at the root and blotched with pink in front, the eyes light and kindly, the cheeks large, the neck full, the back level, the chest square, the fore-legs short and convex in front, the hind quarters plump, five nails on each foot, all smooth, elastic, and round; these are the points of the famous Elephant which was used by this Show for plowing and agricultural purposes. This same Elephant, together with several still larger, and a baby Elephant, are now connected with the Great Traveling Zoological Garden. We are entitled to the credit of converting the first Elephant into a husbandman, or testing his adaptability for general agricultural purposes.
Hundreds of people came many miles to witness the novel spectacle. Letters poured in upon me from the secretaries of hundreds of State and County Agricultural Societies throughout the Union, stating that the presidents and directors of such societies had requested them to propound to me a series of questions in regard to the new power I had put in operation on my farm. Among these were:
1. Is the Elephant a profitable agricultural animal? 2. How much can an Elephant plow in a day? 3. How much can he draw? 4. How much can he eat? 5. Will Elephants make themselves generally useful on a farm? 6. What is the price of an Elephant? 7. Where can Elephants be purchased?
We suppose some of our inquirers thought the Elephant would pick up chips, or even pins, as they have been taught to do, and would rock the baby and do all the chores, including the occasional carrying of a trunk, other than his own, to the depot. While this gigantic co-operative in the primordial occupation of man was daily engaged in the pursuits of the farm, "newspaper reporters," continues the famous autobiographer, "came from far and near, and wrote glowing accounts of his elephantine performances. One of these reporters said this Elephant built all the stone walls on the farm; made all the rail fences; planted corn with his trunk and covered it with his foot; washed windows and sprinkled the walks and lawns by taking the water from the water fountain with his trunk; carried all the children to school, and put them to bed at night, tucking them up with his trunk; fed the pigs; picked fruit from the branches that could not otherwise be reached; turned the fanning-mill and corn-sheller; drew the mowing-machine, and turned and cocked the hay with his trunk; carried and brought letters to and from the post-office (it was a male Elephant), and did all the chores about the house, including milking the cows and bringing in the eggs."
The modes of capturing wild Elephants are numerous. One is to pursue a solitary individual in the wilds of the thick forest, and entangle him with a network of massive ropes. Another is by driving a herd of Elephants into a previously prepared pound, kraal, or "keddah," and then secure the entrance to prevent escape.
Elephants in captivity are frequently seen, as almost every large show that travels through the country is possessed of one or more of them; but they are such that they always seem to be invested with new interest, being objects of universal observation. Those connected with this Mammoth Traveling Museum and Zoological Garden are magnificent representative specimens, several of them being performing or trick Elephants. The Asiatic varieties are the most valuable, and usually the best travelers. They are sometimes rendered very serviceable to a menagerie, as they will push heavily-loaded wagons up a hill, or assist wonderfully in extricating them from muddy roads, pit-holes, and deep morasses. This Show has now the largest herd of wild elephants ever seen in a single exhibition.
THE HORSE FAMILY.
THE Horse family includes the Horse, the Ass, the Zebra, etc. The hoof in this family is one solid piece and so the family is sometimes called solidungula.
The first mention made of the Horse in the Bible is in connection with the sale of corn in Egypt by Joseph, Genesis, xlvii, 17. What the original country of the Horse is is not. known. The herds running wild in Tartary, Carpenter says, are undoubtedly descendants of Horses that have been domesticated, for their habits are the same with those of the herds in the pampas of South America, and these are known to have descended from Horses introduced by the Spaniards. The herd has always a leader which is a male, and when attacked they put the colts and the females in the rear, and make resistance by kicking with their hind feet. The natives catch these wild Horses with the lasso, a noose of leather, which they throw with great skill, and they very readily tame them. There are herds of wild oxen as well as Horses in the pampas of South America, and there is accordingly an immense trade in the hides of both.
The finest Horses in the world are found in Arabia, and nowhere is this animal more highly prized, The Arab treats his horse as one of the family, permitting him to live in the same tent with him, to feed from his hand, and even to sleep among his children. The mutual attachment between the Horse and its master is therefore often of the strongest character, and the most extravagant offers will sometimes fail to induce an Arab to part with his Horse, even when pinching poverty makes these offers very tempting to him.
The Ass was domesticated probably before the Horse. It was, and is now, in many parts of the East, the beast usually ridden in civil life, the Horse being especially devoted to war. The care bestowed upon it there makes it really an elegant and spirited animal. The custom of having persons of distinction ride on white Asses is of great antiquity, as appears from Judges v., 10, "Speak, ye that ride on white Asses." Some Asses are fleeter than the Horse, as the Dzigguetai, which inhabits the greater part of Central Asia. etc.
THE Sloth differs from all other aboreal quadrupeds in its manner of climbing. It always has its back downward, wherever seen. It has been common to consider this animal as imperfectly constructed, and even Cuvier speaks of the "inconveniency of its organization," and says of it that "Nature seems to have amused herself in producing something grotesque and imperfect." But there is perfect adaptation here, as in every other animal, of the organization to the habits. It is constructed to live just in the way that it does, and moves about in the trees with great facility. It has been known to go from the bottom to the top of a high tree in a minute's time. With its strong curved claws it sleeps hanging from the branches of a tree as easily as a bird sleeps on its perch. The three species of Sloths are found only in the forests of the tropical portions of South America. They live on the leaves of trees.
THE family of Felidae, or cats, has the means of gratifying the predacious disposition developed in the highest degree. Unquestionably the most celebrated species of the family is the Lion, which has, in all ages, been regarded as the personification of courage and magnanimity. For his reputation he has, however, been mainly indebted, like many other impostors, to his noble appearance, which is greatly owing to his possession of a large mane of long hairs. In his habits he is as genuine a cat as the tiger, with whose bloodthirsty disposition the supposed good qualities of the Lion have been so frequently contrasted. The Lion is, nevertheless, a magnificent and noble creature, well-deserving his royal title rex animalia. The color of the Lion is a tawny yellow, while upon the belly impinges a soft, beautiful light, making a harmonious contrast with the darker hues upon his back and shoulders - in some of the varieties bordering on black, as it becomes more or less blended with the thick, shaggy mane of the male. The ears are blackish, and the caudal extremity is decorated with a long, thick tuft of black hair, which distinguishes the Lion from all other members of the cat tribe. The Lioness is about one-fourth smaller than the Lion, and has no mane of any pretensions.
Among the collection which has been sent us by our agents in Europe are two Royal Babylonian Lions, and a pair of beautiful Black-maned Lions, second pair ever imported; and, as far we know, the only Black-maned Lions now in America. The color of the eyes is always the same in all the known varieties, being of bronzed yellow, with black, dilating pupils, and, when excited, or viewed in reflected light, have the flash of fire in them perfectly appalling.
As near as we are able to determine, the average [lifespan] of the Lion is about thirty years, although he has been known to attain to nearly twice that period. He arrives at maturity in about five years. The length of the mane increases in the male until he is twenty years old; after that time it begins to fade and lose its luster and brilliancy.
The Lioness usually brings forth her young in the most retired and inaccessible retreats, and, when disturbed, will defend her whelps to the last extremity. In her anxiety to provide for the wants of her little ones, the Lioness will scour the country in every direction, and, at such times, becomes more fierce even than the Lion himself, and has been known to perish in her desperate efforts to secure necessary food. "The old lion perisheth for lack of prey, and the stout lion's whelps are scattered abroad," - Job iv, 11.
Great efforts have been made to domesticate the Lion, but without success. You might as well attempt to change the spots of the leopard. The method of capturing the Lion differs according to circumstances or locality. The old ones are taken by means of a pitfall, kraal, or klooff; but the most successful method is to hunt them in their lair, and, after dispatching the old ones, to capture the young whelps which are "scattered abroad."
The habits of the Lion and Lioness afford many spirited and ofttimes sublime metaphors to the sacred writers, and give to the Hebrew poets some of the happiest allusions and inspirations found in the Old Testament Scriptures. The "Lion of the tribe of Judah" is one of the sublimest sentiments in the entire apocalyptic vision. "Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan." - Jer. i, 44. Isaiah, describing the happy time of the Messiah, says, "The leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf, and the young lion, and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them." "The lion hath roared, and who shall not hear." "The king's wrath is as the roaring lion." Solomon says, "A living dog is better than a dead lion," - showing that death renders those contemptible who are otherwise great, powerful, and terrible. ' "Then went Samson down, * * and behold, a young lion roared against him. And the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand." - Judges xiv, 5, 6. Parallel passages multiply upon the mind, but, fearing the danger of prolixity, we forbear. A number of Baby Lions may always be seen with their mothers in our collection.
THE MONKEY FAMILY.
THERE are three divisions of this sub-class ordinarily recognized: the Simiadae, or monkey tribe of the Old World; the Cebidae, or monkey tribe of the New World; and the Lemuridae, which are found chiefly in the island of Madagascar, and to some extent in Africa and India. All these animals are inhabitants of tropical climates, and live chiefly on fruits, in getting which from trees most of them show greater agility than any other animals. They are disposed to gather in troops, a tree sometimes having nearly a hundred monkeys in its branches.
The Simiadae are classed in three divisions: the apes, which have no tails; the baboons, that have very short ones; and the monkeys, that have long ones.
The Chimpanzee, which is in shape more like man than any other animal, is found in the west part of Africa. Its height is from four to five feet. It commonly goes on all-fours, but it walks occasionally on its hinder hand-feet, though not with the erectness of man. Its ears are very large, and it has long, black, coarse hair, which hangs in heavy whiskers about its cheeks. It climbs trees readily, sometimes for observation, and sometimes to gather food; and it makes a nest for itself by twining branches of trees together, in which it spends much of its time. Its strength is astonishing; it being able to break off branches which two men together cannot bend.
The Orang-outang is an inhabitant of the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. This is the largest of the apes, having been known to be in some cases over seven feet high. Its arms are of great length, reaching to the ground when it is erect. It cannot stand as well as the Chimpanzee can, for it is so bow-legged that the soles of the feet turn in toward each other. Like the Chimpanzee, it is great at climbing, in doing which its long arms are very serviceable. When young it is very teachable, and has been taught to make its own bed, and to manage a cup and saucer and spoon tolerably well. Both the Chimpanzee and the Orang-outang have a gravity and apparent thoughtfulness which are quite laughable.
There are some smaller apes of an interesting character. The Agile Gibbon, so called from the agility with which it leaps from branch to branch, is a native of Sumatra. Its height is about three feet. A female of this species was some time since exhibited in London. She would leap a distance of eighteen feet, and catch apples or nuts thrown up to her as she passed. As she leaped back and forth, which she did with great rapidity, she uttered a very loud but musical cry. She was a tame and gentle animal, and liked to be caressed.
I will notice but two -of the many species of monkeys of the Old World. The Entellus is found in India. It preys upon serpents. In a sly, crouching attitude it steals quietly upon the serpent while it is asleep, and seizing it by the neck, takes it to a stone, and knocks its head against it till it is dead. It then throws the snake to the young monkeys, who play with it as a kitten does with a mouse killed by the old cat. It is regarded with great reverence by the natives, and receives even divine honors from them. Splendid temples are dedicated to these monkeys; there are hospitals for their treatment when sick; fortunes are bequeathed for their support; and though the murder of a man is often punished only by a small fine, the killing of one of these monkeys is invariably punished with death. Thus cared for, they abound in great numbers, and, though they enter houses to plunder eatables, their visits are regarded as a great honor.
The proboscis Monkey, so called from the extraordinary projection of its nose, is a native of Borneo.
The baboons have very short tails. Their bodies are stout and thickset. The temper of most of them is ferocious. and Cuvier says that he has seen several of the Mandrlll species die of rage. These species of baboons that live in Asia, are of a much milder character than those found in Africa. There is only one locality in Europe where any of the Pedimana tribe are found, and that is the Rock of Gibraltar. One species of the baboon, improperly called the Barbary Ape, abounds there. It is probably not a native, but was originally introduced from the African side of the strait.
It is a remarkable fact that the Baboons are the only Mammalia that exhibit bright colors upon their skins. The Mandrill, the largest and fiercest of the class, is prominent in this respect. Its colors are very brilliant and various. Being as tall as a man when erect, it presents a singular and formidable appearance. Its head is large, with very prominent eyebrows, and small, deeply-sunk eyes; the cheek bones are enormous, with large prominences on it of light blue, deep purple, and scarlet; its hair is an olive brown above and silvery gray below, but of deep orange under the chin; the ears are violet-black, and the hinder parts of its body are a deep scarlet. This is Carpenter's description. The colors must vary in different cases, as I find them somewhat differently described by others.
THE Armadilloes are found only in South America. The armor which covers them is different from that of the Pangolins. It is a sort of plate-armor. The natives consider these animals a great delicacy when roasted in their shells. The Armadilloes live on carrion, insects, and fruit. They are all small, except one species, which is called the Gigantic Armadillo, and weighs a hundred pounds or more.
PANTHER OR COUGAR
A carnivorous animal, found throughout South America and a great part of North America, known to Spanish American countries as the American lion, and in the United States as the catamount or wild-cat, end vulgarly as a "Painter." (a corruption of Panther). The adult male is from four to five feet long, has a thick fur, brown above and grayish-white beneath, with the ears and tail nearly black, and sometimes partially striped along the sides. It climbs trees, lives chiefly on deer, and has a shrill scream; is cowardly, and does not voluntarily attack man, but makes a desperate resistance to the hunter. It is easily tamed and becomes quite docile.
THAT singular animal, the Crested Ant-eater, is found in Guiania, Brazil, and Paraguay. It is nearly four feet long. It lives both on common ants and the termites. or white ants. With its strong claws it tears open their habitations, and then thrusts in its long tongue. This, being covered with a gummy saliva, has, when withdrawn, a multitude of ants adhering to it, which the animal swallows.
The Pangolins. or Manidae (plural of Manis), are anteaters, and take the ants in the same way that the Crested Ant-eater does. They are remarkable for being encased in an armor of horny scales. When attacked, they roll themselves up, and raise their sharp-edged scales as the Hedgehog does his spines. The Long-tailed Manis is is a native of Africa.
The Lemuridae, or Lemurs (Latin, Lemures, ghosts), get their names from the fact that their movements are very noiseless, and are made mostly in the night. They live in troops, like the Monkeys, clinging to branches of trees. Their food is various - fruits, eggs, insects, and birds. The posterior extremities, in contrast with Monkeys and Apes, are much longer than the anterior. The muzzle is pointed. The tail is commonly very long, but in some species is nearly wanting. The fur is usually fine and silky. In the island of Madagascar, where these animals most abound, there are no Monkeys. The Graceful Loris is a Lemur that is found in India and Ceylon. It is very skillful in capturing birds, which it does in the night, when they are asleep. Slowly and noiselessly advancing toward its victim, when it gets within reach of it, the Loris puts its hand toward it with a motion so slow as to be almost; imperceptible, and then, with a motion quicker than sight can follow, it seizes its prey.
THE WHALE TRIBE.
The water contains both the largest and smallest of animals. In the sub-class now to be considered, the Cetacea, or Whale tribe, we find the largest animals existing at the present time. Those monstrous terrestrial quadrupeds, the elephant and the hippopotamus, are not to be compared to the Whale; and even the smaller species of this class, the Dolphin and Porpoise, are above the average size of land animals.
The animals of this tribe are, unlike all that we have as yet considered, destitute of both hands and feet. Though they are Mammals, they are fitted to live, like the fishes, in the water. They were classified among fishes by ancient zoologists, and are still spoken of as fish in ordinary conversation. The general shape of the Whales is like that of fishes. The tail is, however, different in one respect. In the Whale it is flat horizontally, not vertically, as in the fish. In swimming, therefore, it moves up and down, while that of the fish moves laterally. Some of its motions, however, are oblique, and not wholly vertical. It is with the tail, as in the case of fishes, that the Whale mostly swims, the flippers answering the purpose chiefly of balancers. When the Whale is killed he turns over on his back, showing that it is by the action of the flippers that he keeps in his ordinary position. Though the Whale has neither hands nor feet, yet the frame-work of the flippers is much like that of a hand. The immense power of the tail in swimming can be judged of by its breadth, which often is twenty feet.
The skin of the Cetacea is very peculiar. In other animals which have much fat, it is accumulated beneath the skin; but in the Whale the skin is enormously thick, and has the fat mingled with its fibres. It. is this mixture of skin and fat which is called blubber. This is sometimes two feet thick, and weighs in some cases thirty tons; and yet, it being fighter than water, it helps to buoy up the monstrous body. When stripped of its blubber the Whale sinks at once. The mingling of the fat with the skin has two objects, one is to enable the Whale to keep its blood warm in the cold water of the frigid regions, fat being one of the best non-conductors of heat, and therefore serving to keep the heat in the body. The other is to enable the animal to bear the immense pressure of the water when it goes down to great depths.
Although the Whale has lungs, like terrestrial animals, it can stay under water for a long time. It has a peculiar provision enabling it to do this. The great object of breathing is to change dark blood into red blood, and that the blood, as it returns to the heart from all parts of the body of a dark color, is sent to the lungs to be changed to red blood, before it is again distributed oven the system. Red blood is necessary to every organ to have life go on; and if it could be supplied to all the organs without breathing, then the breathing could be suspended without destroying life. Now the Whale has large reservoirs where the red blood accumulates while it is up at the surface of the water breathing; When, therefore, it goes down, every part of its body is supplied with red blood from these reservoirs. When the supply is gone, the Whale feels uncomfortable, and rises to the surface to renew the supply. The nostrils are near the highest part of the head, so that it, can breathe as soon as it reaches the surface. These orifices, and also the openings of the ears, have valves, which can close so tightly that, even when subjected to the pressure of a great depth of water, not a drop can enter.
The nostrils are the blow-holes. The Whale has a _curious apparatus for spouting. There are two large pouches under the nostrils, which can be filled with water taken in by the mouth. Here it can be retained by an arrangement of valves till the Whale wishes to spout; and then, by a forcible compression of the pouches, the water is thrown upward through the blow-holes, the valves of which are pushed open.
The true Whales are of two kinds or families: 1. The Spermaceti Whale, which has teeth in the lower jaw. 2. The Whalebone Whale, which has no teeth. Of the Spermaceti Whales there are two species, the most common of which, the Cachelot, or Sperm Whale, will be noticed. When full-grown it is from seventy to eighty feet long. The capture of this animal is attended with even greater danger than that of the Greenland Whale, on account of its formidable teeth. In the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford there is an under-jaw-bone of this Whale, sixteen and a half feet in length, containing forty-eight huge teeth. It can knock a boat in pieces with its tail, or bite it in two with its jaws. In its immense head there is a very small brain, but there is a large reservoir of' mingled spermaceti and oil in nearly a liquid state. A hole is cut in its head by its captors, and this mixture is baled out with buckets. By draining and boiling, the spermaceti is obtained from this separate from the oil. The blubber of this Whale is thin, but yields a fine and valuable oil. The spermaceti obtained from a Sperm Whale of ordinary size amounts to about ten or twelve barrels.
The perfume called Ambegris is found in the intestines of the Sperm Whale. It is of the consistence of wax, is in hard inflamable, and has a musky odor.
The Sperm Whales are gregarious, forming companies of some hundreds, with two of the largest as guards and leaders. Their food is fish, which they can swallow of a large size, for their throats are capacious enough to take in a body of the size of a man. But one young is produced at a time, and this is about fourteen feet long. The milk of the mother Whale is very much like that of quadrupeds. .
Whalebone Whales are as large as the Sperm Whales. There are two species, the Greenland Whale, and the Rorqual. The former is the best known, and is altogether the most valuable, because it furnishes the most blubber and the best whalebone. These Whales have no teeth, but instead have a remarkable apparatus for taking their food, which consists of very small sea-animals of various kinds. The whalebone is the framework of the food-catching apparatus; it is in the head, in laminae or plates to the number of three or four hundred. All of these are fringed with fibers extending down into the mouth. Now, when the Whale feeds, it rushes through the water with its huge mouth wide open, throwing out the water that enters the mouth by spouting through the blow-holes. The consequence is, that as the am water passes through the fringes, the little animals in it are caught by them, and then are swallowed. The threat, in contrast with that of the Sperm Whale, is so narrow, that what an ox could easily swallow would choke this immense animal.
Alligator (corrupted from the Spanish el lagarto, the lizard] a genus of American saurian reptiles (nearly allied to crocodile), which abound in the rivers and swamps of the Southern U. S. They have broader heads, more numerous teeth, and more obtuse snouts than crocodiles. Various reptiles of this genus are called Caymans in South America. They all hibernate in the winter or dry season, when they bury themselves in the mud. The Alligator is about fourteen feet long, including the tail, which is a powerful weapon for defence. It is a fierce and voracious animal, and sometimes attacks and kills men, both on land and water, but it cannot turn quickly on land. During the heat of the day it is often seen basking in the sun on the dry ground. Its back and sides are defended by hard mailed plates, which are proof against a rifle ball. The Alligator is an oviparous animal, its eggs being small but numerous. The parent deposits them in the sand of the rivers, etc., scratching a hole with her paws, and placing the eggs in a regular layer therein. She then covers them with sand, grass, mud, etc., and deposits another layer on top of them, and so on until she has laid from fifty to sixty eggs. These are hatched by the heat of the sun and the decaying vegetable matter.
SPOTTED HYENA. (Crocuta maculata.)
SOMEHOW or other, there is associated with the very name Hyena something that is mean and contemptible. It sustains the same relation to the animal kingdom as the shark does to the fishes of the sea, or the crow and buzzard to the fowls of the air - a scavenger of no mean pretensions. While we admire the economy of Nature, which makes one portion of creation the instrumentality of ridding the earth of putrefaction, we can entertain but little less than contempt for the instrument thus used in its accomplishment. Not so much, perhaps, on account of the instinct of the animal, which compels it to hunt up and devour decomposed or decomposing animal matter, as the abuse of its prerogative in haunting graveyards, and unearthing from their sepulchres the departed dead, and ruthlessly dragging forth to light those whom, through love and affection, we have buried, as supposed, forever out of sight.
There are several varieties of the Hyena - such as the Crested or Striped, Brown, and the Tiger-wolf or Spotted Hyena - which are found in large numbers in Asia and Africa. The habits of these vary but little; the spotted variety being the largest and most powerful, having jaws and teeth of extraordinary strength, and between their tremendous fangs a human body, or the massive thigh-bones of an ox, fly in splinters with a savage crash that makes the spectator shudder. The skull of the Hyena is of a remarkably solid formation, and so rounded and arched as to give it enormous power. The zygomatic arches of bones that extend from the eyes to the ears, and the deep bony crest that projects beyond the brain cavity, serve to attach and knit together the powerful muscles with which this animal is supplied, both in its neck and head. The eyes are wide apart, of a dark, dull, round, repulsive aspect; the muzzle is short; the tongue is rough, thorn-studded, like that of the feline species, for rasping every vestige of flesh from the bones of its prey. The color of the hair is a light-brown or gray, with a long crest or mane on the neck and shoulders, and also on the breast and throat, the tail being comparatively short and bushy. It lives in holes, or among rocky, retired places; and as the sun sinks in the West, it comes forth in search of food.
The voice of the Striped Hyena, under circumstances of excitement, resembles a most unearthly laugh, whence this animal I known as the "Laughing Hyena." When heard at night it is no wonder that this sound produced a supernatural effect on the fertile imaginations of the Orientals; and there is no doubt that the graveyard demons, or Ghoul of the Arabian Mythology, are merely exaggerated representations of the Hyena. It is described by Pliny as imitating the language of men, to induce them to approach it, that it might make a meal of them more conveniently. Notwithstanding the general opinion of irreclaimable ferocity of the Hyena, it has been tamed, and would follow its master about, and fawn upon him like a dog.
THE AMERICAN MONKEY
The American monkeys are different species from those which we find in the Old World. Some of the particulars in which they differ from them I will mention. They are generally much smaller. The thumb is a very diminutive affair, and can not be brought in opposition to the fingers. In some cases it is wanting. The nostrils are wide apart and open sidewise, while in the monkeys of Asia and Africa they are near together, and open downward. This makes a great difference in the aspect of the face. The monkeys of the Old World have cheek-pouches - that is, their cheeks are so loose and bag-like that they can stow away in them quite a quantity of nuts and other fruits as they gather them. These are not seen in American monkeys. The tails of American monkeys are in most species very long, and in many of them it is used as a sort of fifth hand in climbing. They are inhabitants of the northern half of South America. They are especially abundant in the vast forest-plains between the Orinoco and the Amazon. They live in trees, and pass from one tree to another with the same facility that squirrels do with us.
I will notice but three of the many species. The Coaita Spider Monkey uses its tail in climbing. It has been known to hang to a branch by it for some time after being killed by a shot. It uses its tail also to feel with, and to seize small things, such as eggs. For these purposes the end is destitute of hair and is very sensitive. This animal is easily chilled, and in cold weather it winds its tail around its body for warmth.
The Marmosets are distinguished from other Monkeys by their sharp and crooked nails. They are very skilful in capturing insects, which form a part of their food. Mr. Wood speaks of one in the Zoological Gardens in London which was very busy in catching flies. He caught some for it, and the little creature's eyes would sparkle with great eagerness as he saw Mr. Wood's hand moving toward a fly which had alighted out of his reach. In some of the species the tail is very elegant, from the different colors arranged in regular rings.
The Howling Monkeys are larger than most American Monkeys, and are morose in disposition. They have a sort of hollow drum connected with the windpipe, which gives great power to the voice in howling. They howl in concert at sunrise and sunset, often in the night, and also when a storm is threatened. The noise is described by travelers as astonishing.
THE DOLPHIN FAMILY.
The Dolphin family of the Cetacea includes, besides the Porpoise and the Dolphin, many animals ordinarily called Whales. They have all teeth in greater number than any other Mammals, some of them even over a hundred in each jaw. The Porpoise occurs in large numbers in all the seas of Europe, and on the coasts of America. It is abundant in our bays and large rivers. Its length is from four to eight feet. It lives on herrings, mackerel, salmon, etc. It is the most common and abundant of all the Cetacea. The blubber yields a very fine oil. Its skin is tanned, and the leather is used particularly for the upper leather of boots and shoes. It is amusing to see the Porpoises rise to the surface, and then dive down, as they chase each other in their gambols. The Dolphin is quite as sportive as the Porpoise, and much more agile. It often follows ships in numerous herds, executing its playful movements. The stories about the beautifully-changing hues of the Dolphin are untrue; this voracious animal is altogether unpoetical even to death. Its colors are black and white, and the only change which occurs is that the black, after a time, becomes brown, and the white gray.
There are some aberrant genera of the Dolphin family. One of the most remarkable we have in the Narwhal, or Sea Unicorn, as it is commonly called. Its body is from thirty to forty feet long. It has a long, straight, pointed tusk, from five to ten feet in length. It really has two tusks, but only one of them becomes long, the other not projecting sufficiently to be seen. There is much question about the use to which the animal puts this tusk. Some suppose that its chief purpose is to dig up sea-weed for food. Others suppose that the prey of the animal is transfixed by it. It is, at any rate, a very powerful weapon, and the Narwhal has been known to thrust it into the oak timbers of a ship. This animal, formidable as it is, is often taken by the Greenlander, who obtains from it oil, food, weapons, and ropes. He uses the tusk in the manufacture of spears, arrows, books, etc.
THE HAPPY FAMILY.
ONE of the most wonderful and unique sights to be seen in the world is that of the HAPPY FAMILY. These consists of a large cage containing a. collection of animals of the most diverse species and which are generally supposed to live in a state of enmity with each other. There, however, they will be found dwelling peacefully together, and practically realizing that millenial time when the lion shall lie down with the lamb, and the wolf beside the sheep. In this cage will be found cats playing harmlessly with mice; dogs, foxes, monkeys and rabbits peacefully eating food out of the same dish without harming each other; owls, eagles, vultures watching the frolics of squirrels, bats and small birds, their usual prey, without making the least attempt to capture or kill them. In fact such a collection of animals in one cage was never seen since the days of Noah and the animals in his Ark.
Thousands and thousands of people have stood before the cage containing the Happy Family and watched the gambols of the animals within, and the question uppermost in their minds has been, how is it that the stronger and more voracious of these animals have lost their cruel instincts and the weaker animals their terror and dread? Ah, that is a secret which it is not our province to disclose. But, whatever it is, it does not seem to affect the animals; they look healthy, sleek and well-fed, and their joyous gambols and various cries show that they are not in a state of lethargy, as some suppose.
We were the first to originate the idea of a Happy Family and our success caused numbers of our competitors to imitate us in this respect, but, as with all similar imitations, they lamentably failed, and today the only Happy Family in existance is the one attached to this Great Show.
We have even seen the cat and mouse, those types of hunter and hunted, nibbling at the same piece of bread; the cat without the least sign of animosity toward what is generally regarded her legitimate prey, and the mouse not showing the slightest evidence of that fear which seems inherent in all ordinary rodents.
We have also seen monkeys, as frisky and playful as usual, suspended from a limb in their cage by their prehensile tails, playing with the bushy caudal appendage of the fox, and that ordinarily sly renard winking and blinking as if he enjoyed the fun. We have seen a sparrow perch on the bill of the eagle and the monarch of birds never opened its bill to swallow him, which he might have done with one mouthful.
In fact, as we have above remarked, the Happy Family presents a. collection of animals who seem to have lost all their natural instincts, and who dwell with each other in that peace and harmony which is a standing example it many of the human race to follow.
A FEW OF THE MANY NEW FEATURES OF P.T. BARNUM'S GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH AND The Great London Circus, Sanger's Royal Menagerie And The International Allied Shows.
The extraordinary Chinese Giant, "CHANG," standing nearly nine feet high.
The Original and Only GENERAL TOM THUMB and Wife, The Little Married Midget Pair.
GIANT OX, nineteen hands high.
GIANT HORSE, twenty-two hands high.
GIANT SEA LION, weighing twelve hundred pounds.
Pair of GIANT CAMELS, eighteen feet high.
GIANT GIRAFFES, twenty-two feet high.
GIANT RHINOCEROS, nine feet high, and weighing twelve thousand pounds.
Three Separate Rings and Three Simultaneous Performances.
GIANT HIPPOPOTAMUS, the largest in America.
GIANT OSTRICH, eight feet high.
The Largest BENGAL TIGERS ever Captured.
Trained ZEBRAS in Harness.
The Wonderful Trained Fire Horse, "SALAMANDER."
Black and White NUBIAN CAMELS.
Leaping Stag, " LANDSEER."
Trained Ukraine, Arabian, Trakene, Italian and Tartar Stallions.
OUR FAMILY OF GIANTS AND DWARFS.
THE GIANT OF GIANTS.
THE MIDGET MARRIED PAIR.
GIANT SEA LION.
AN INCOMPLETE LIST OF THE FEATURES WITH P.T. BARNUM'S AND The Great London Shows.