Uniting to the system of dentition, the general habit and many of the most striking peculiarities of the cats, some of the distinguishing features and much of the intelligence, the teachableness, and the fidelity of the dog, the Hunting Leopard forms a sort of connecting link between two groups of animals, otherwise completely separated, and exhibiting scarcely any other character in common than the carnivorous propensities by which both are, in a greater or less degree, actuated and inspired. Intermediate in size and shape between the leopard and the hound, he is slenderer in his body, more elevated on his legs, and less flattened on the fore part of his head than the former, while he is deficient in the peculiarly graceful and lengthened form, both of head and body, which characterize the latter. His tail is entirely that of a cat; and his limbs, although more elongated than in any other species of that group, seem better fitted for strong muscular exertion than for active and long-continued speed. From these indications it may be gathered that he approaches much more nearly to the feline than to the canine group: we shall therefore follow the example of zoologists in general, by referring him for the present and provisionally to the genus Felis, and proceed to point out more particularly the characters by which he is connected with, as well as those by which he is distinguished from, the rest of that formidable and extensive tribe.
The singular conformation of this bird, so different in many respects from that of the Order to which both in its leading characters and in its habits it obviously belongs, rendered it for a long time one of the torments of ornithologists, who puzzled themselves in vain to assign it a definitive place in the system, and could not agree even with regard to the grand division of the class to which it ought to be referred. Thus M. Temminck was at one time inclined to refer it to the Gallinaceous Order; and M. Vieillot, after repeatedly changing his mind upon the subject, at last arranged it among the Waders, with which it has absolutely nothing in common except the length of its legs. It appears, however, to be now almost universally admitted that its closest affinity is with the Vultures, with which it agrees in the most essential particulars of its organization, and from which it differs chiefly in certain external characters alone, which unquestionably give to it an aspect exceedingly distinct, but are not of themselves of sufficient importance to authorize its removal to a distant part of the classification. It constitutes in fact one of those mixed and aberrant forms by means of which the arbitrary divisions of natural objects established by man are so frequently assimilated to each other in the most beautiful, and occasionally in the most unexpected, manner.下载
The distinctive generic characters of the New Holland Emeu, which forms part of the Ostrich family, and is, with the sole exception of the Ostrich, the largest bird known to exist, consist in the flattening of its bill from above downwards, instead of from side to side; in the absence of the bony process which crests the head of the Cassowary, of the wattles which depend from his neck, and of the long spurlike shafts which arm his wings; and in the equal, or nearly equal, length of all his claws. The Emeus, however, agree with the Cassowaries in the number of their toes, three on each foot, all of them directed forwards and extremely thick and short, the posterior toe, which is common to most of the Order, being in them entirely wanting; in the excessive shortness of their wings, which do not even, as is the case with the Ostriches, assist them in running, much less in flight, of which, in common with the latter, they are absolutely incapable; and in the structure of their feathers, which are for the most part double, each tube being divided near its origin into two shafts, the barbs of which are soft, downy, and distinct from each other, and assume at a distance rather the appearance of a silky covering of hair than that of the common plumage of birds.下载
It may readily be supposed that the taming of these wild and unwieldy creatures is a task of no little difficulty and delicacy: but the experienced keepers by whom it is undertaken seldom fail to execute it with success. It is effected partly by reducing the strength of the animal by restricting him in the quantity of his food, by the employment of caresses or of castigation according to the dispositions he may manifest, by occasionally indulging him in sweetmeats or in other dainty fare, and by subjecting him to the control of the tame elephants, and especially of the females, which are more commonly employed for this purpose. By the application of these means the space of a fortnight is generally sufficient to reduce him to a certain degree of tameness, and in less than six months he is trained to the various exercises which it is intended that he should perform, and his education is regarded as complete. They do not, however, always become familiar and habituated to their new mode of life even within this period of time; for, according to the statement of Mr. Corse, Elephants have been known to stand twelve months at their pickets without lying down to sleep; and this is regarded as a certain sign of want of confidence in their keepers and of a longing desire to regain their liberty. It is probably to some such circumstance as this that we are indebted for the erroneous idea so generally prevalent that these animals always sleep standing; whereas the truth is, that when perfectly at ease and reconciled to their fate, they lie down on their sides and sleep like other beasts.下载
His hair, generally speaking, is longer, finer, and more abundant than that of the Black Bear, and varies in colour to an almost indefinite extent, passing through all the intermediate shades between a light gray and a black brown. The brown tinge is, however, the most common; and it is always more or less grizzled either by the intermixture of grayish hairs, or by the brown hairs being tipped with gray. The hair of the legs and feet is darker and coarser, and diminishes in length as it descends; on the muzzle it becomes remarkably pale, and is so much shortened as to give to the animal an appearance of baldness. His eyes are very small and hardly at all prominent; and the line of the profile is consequently nearly straight. His tail is scarcely visible, being almost entirely concealed by the long hairs which surround it. Of the great size of his feet and talons, some judgment may be formed from the measurements given by Captains Lewis and Clarke, the first travellers by whom the Grizzly Bear was accurately described. These gentlemen inform us that the breadth of the fore foot in one of the individuals observed by them exceeded nine inches, while the length of his hind foot, exclusive of the talons, was eleven inches and three quarters, and its breadth seven inches. The claws of the fore feet of another specimen measured more than six inches. The latter are considerably longer and less curved than those of the hind feet, and do not narrow in a lateral direction as they approach their extremity, but diminish only from beneath: the point is consequently formed by the shelving of the inferior surface alone, their breadth remaining the same throughout the whole of their enormous length, and their power being proportionally increased; an admirable provision for enabling the animal to exercise to the fullest extent his propensity for digging up the ground, either in search of food or for other purposes. It appears, however, on the other hand, to unfit him for climbing trees, which he never attempts; and this remarkable circumstance in his habits affords a striking distinction between him and all the other Bears, which are essentially climbers.下载
From the other animals of the order the Porcupines are so readily distinguished by the long and pointed spines with which their body is armed, that it is unnecessary to dwell on their generic characters. The common Porcupine, when fully grown, as in the remarkably fine specimen figured over leaf, measures more than two feet from the tip of the nose to the origin of the tail. The spines, which are supported by a slender pedicel, thickly clothe the upper and posterior parts of the body, the largest being more than a foot in length; they are regularly surrounded by alternate rings of black and white. The head and neck are crested with long, bristly, black hairs, forming a kind of mane, and all the rest of the body is covered with short black hair.
The beautiful bird, the portrait of which is prefixed to the present article, is one of the rarest of its tribe, and has until very lately been confounded by ornithologists with the Hyacinthine Macaw, a fine but much less splendid species. It is figured by M. Spix in his Brazilian Birds under the name which we have adopted; but is there given without either characters or description. Its claim to generic distinction would seem to depend on the excessive length and powerful curvature of its claws and upper mandible, and on the slight developement of the toothlike process of the latter. Its colour is throughout of a deep and brilliant blue; the beak, legs, and claws, are black; and the cere and a naked circle round each of the eyes are of a bright yellow. Our specimen measures two feet four inches from the top of the head to the extremity of the tail, and the expansion of his wings is four feet. The length of the upper mandible is five inches, and that of the lower, two.
The species of the group, of which the Llama forms the type, have been involved by the imperfect descriptions of naturalists in almost inextricable confusion. No less than five have been admitted; but the variations of colour and of size, and the degree of length and fineness of the wool, differences rather commercial than natural, afford almost the only positive distinctions that have yet been laid down between them; and when we consider that some of them have been for ages in a state of domestication, it will readily be allowed that such characters as these are, to say the least, trivial and uncertain. Our animals, which are nearly four feet in height at the shoulder, and somewhat more than five feet to the top of the head, have the neck, the back, the sides, and the tail, which is rather short, covered with a beautiful coat of long, bright brown, woolly hair. The long and pointed ears, and the small and attenuated head, on which the hair is short, close, and even, are of a grayish mouse-colour; the outside of the legs is of the same colour with the sides of the body; and their inside, as also the under part of the body and the throat, pure white. The hair on the limbs is short and smooth. In these respects they offer but little to distinguish them from any of the animals which have been exhibited in this country under the various names of Llamas, Pacos, and Guanacos. There is, however, at present in the Garden of the Zoological Society, an animal, which besides being of larger size, covered with longer and coarser wool, and entirely white (which latter circumstance may be purely accidental), differs remarkably in the form of the forehead, which in it is perfectly flat, while in our animals it rises in a strong curve. This character, it is probable, affords a permanent ground of distinction, although we venture not at present to speak decidedly respecting it.