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(RUMINANTIA. endless diversity of form, size, and colour ; nor, wide diffusion, the Zebu is subject to as great indeed, were we to devote our labour to the ut- a variety of colours as those which affect the Eumost in the endeavour, is it probable that we ropean race.
Its most common hue is light ashy should arrive at any thing like a satisfactory con- grey, passing into cream colour or milk white; clusion. Our aim will be, therefore, to take a but it is not unfrequently marked with various glance of the various domestic races as they now shades of red or brown, and occasionally it bepresent themselves, and then to notice a few of comes perfectly black. The hump is sometimes those species which are truly distinct, and which elevated in a remarkable degree, and usually reroam the plains and the morasses at large, un- tains its upright position, but sometimes it besubdued by man.
comes half pendulous, and hangs partly over toTo dwell upon the utility of this tribe of ani- wards one side. Instances are cited, in which it mals would be superfluous; we have but to con- had attained the enormous weight of fifty pounds. sider the benefits derived from it, its importance A distinct breed is spoken of as common in in a national point of view, and the allusions to Surat, which is furnished with a second hump." it in the Holy Scriptures, to be convinced that The Hindoos, it is well known, treat the whole it is one upon which the human race is more im- of the breeds of oxen with superstitious venemediately dependent than upon any other which ration, holding it sinful to deprive them of life, the Almighty in his wisdom has created. Herds and regarding the feeding upon their flesh with of cattle, of sheep, and of goats, were the wealth the greatest abhorrence. To the larger breed in of ancient days ; and, indeed, are they not so particular they pay the utmost reverence; and now? for what are gold and silver but the re- in many towns and villages numbers of these presentatives of these and of other things, privileged animals wander at ease about the without which man would drag on a miserable streets, supplied by the hands of superstitious existence?
devotees. Emboldened by the toleration they The races of cattle, as we find them in Eu- experience, they make free with every vegetabie rope, are all pretty nearly alike, differing only to which they take a fancy, no one daring to in such particulars as are produced by different resist or drive them away : often they lie down modes of feeding, and which are too trivial for in the street; no one must disturb them; every us to notice. When, however, we pass into In- one must give place to the sacred Ox of Brahma: dia, we are struck with the contrast of characters thus they frequently prove nuisances which suwhich the various breeds there present; charac- perstition alone would endure. We might be ters which, but that we know what domestication inclined to smile at all this, did we not see in it can effect, would almost lead us to imagine we proofs of a moral and intellectual debasement, were contemplating a distinct species. Instead exciting us, at the same time, to pity and conof the straight back, the square-turned head, the demn. Idolatry and superstition seem to have small ears, the fiery eye, and the short muscular made their strong hold in the East from the relimbs of our cattle, the INDIAN Ox, or Brahmin motest times, fencing themselves around with a Bull, as it is commonly called, (Bos taurus, var. panoply of rites and observances as absurd as Indicus,) (See Engraving, No. 59,) is distinguished cruel. Heavy is the galling yoke of idolatry ; by a more elongated form of skull, with a decidedly painful and degrading are all its observances ; concave line of profile, an arched neck, a hump but oh, how different are the precepts of that of fatty substance rising from the withers, an pure and holy faith proclaimed by the blessed arched back sinking and rounded off on the crup- Redeemer, whose “yoke is easy, and whose burper, an enormous dewlap hanging down in folds, den is light !" these purify and exalt, and give a long pendulous ears, a mild and sleepy eye, and dignity to our nature which it never had before ; limbs long and taper. This race, of which nu- and while they bid the “weary and heavy laden" merous breeds occur, varying in size from that approach and find relief, they teach them to of a large mastiff dog to that of a full grown buf- place their affections on things above, and not falo, are spread more or less extensively,” says on things below. the author of "The Gardens Delineated," " over The domestic breed of European cattle has the whole of Southern Asia, the islands of the been carried into various regions where it was Indian Archipelago, and the eastern coast of Af- previously unknown; and in some it has emancirica from Abyssinia to the Cape of Good Hope. pated itself from the dominion of man, and inIn all these countries, the Zebu, (for so is the creased in great abundance. In South America, humped variety termed,) supplies the place of the for example, where the Ox was first introduced Ox both as a beast of burden, and as an article by the Spaniards, herds wander at pleasure over of food and domestic economy. In some parts of the rich savannahs and plains teeming with a India, it executes the duties of a horse also, being luxuriant vegetation, fleet and wild. The Mexieither saddled and ridden, or harnessed in a car- can hunts them on horseback; and, singling out riage, and performing in this manner journeys an individual, throws his lasso over the horns or of considerable length with tolerable celerity. around the limbs with unerring precision; the Some of the older writers speak of fifty or sixty end of this lasso or noose of leather is fastened miles a day as its usual rate of travelling; but to the girths of the horse, which is trained to the more moderate computation of recent authors resist the sudden strain of the wild and furious does not exceed from twenty to thirty. Its beef bull rushing in his headlong course. One lasso is considered by no means despicable, though is scarcely fixed before another rider, galloping far from equalling that of the European ox. The by, throws his also; another, and perhaps anhump, which is chiefly composed of fat, is reck- other, succeed : the plunging, struggling beast, oned the most delicate part. As might naturally thus securely enveloped, is dragged along to the be expected from its perfect domestication and slaughter, or slain on the spot.
THE AUROCHS-CAPE BUFFALO-ARNI-GOUR-GYHAL-YACK.
The Scripture allusions to the Ox are too nu- as it proceeds, sweeps downwards in a lateral merous for us to recapitulate, and will not fail to direction, and then turns upwards, ending in a suggest themselves to the reader's recollection. conical point. The weight of these formidable From various hints, we learn how nearly the instruments is very great, requiring amazing same as in the present day were the uses for power in the neck and shoulders. which it was anciently employed in the East: it hang down; the limbs are short and bony; the applied its neck to the yoke, it dragged the body muscular ; the hair is dark brown, harsh, plough, and trod out the grain upon the thresh- thin, and straggling. The hide is of great thicking-floor; and laws were instituted, by the com- ness, and forms a hard impenetrable leather; the mand of God, to regulate its treatment and its flesh is coarse, but, it is said, not unpleasant. reward : “ Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn,” Deut. xxv. 4.
India produces many wild species ; of these,
the ARNI is confined to the central regions. It There is in Europe an animal of this genus is distinguished by the size and figure of its which has never been reclaimed, and which was horns, which rise upwards with a sweep outonce spread over the greatest portion of that wards, and gradually incline together at the continent; but which, since the advance of cul- points, so as to give a figure' somewhat lyretivation, has become bounded in the limits of its shaped ; their length is often five feet. habitat. The animal we allude to is the Au. The Arni, (Bos arni,) is supposed by some to ROCHS, or Zubr, (Bos urus.) Some naturalists be a variety of the Common Buffalo, (Bos bubahave supposed the Aurochs to be the wild origin lus,) an animal which is spread from India of our domestic race. This opinion, however, through the adjacent countries, and was formerly, is without foundation ; it is truly a distinct spe- as in the present day, used as a beast of burden cies ; and this distinction rests not on external in Egypt, Greece, and Italy. In the latter councharacters only, but on a singular anatomical try, herds of the common buffalo exist wild in difference, which at once decides the question. the morasses and woods of the Maremma, a reIn all domestic cattle, however, the breeds may gion extending from the sea-shore to the lower vary in size or other distinctions of a similar ridges of the Apennines. nature, their internal anatomy remains unmodified: we find the number of ribs on each side to Besides the arni, India produces the Gour, be uniformly thirteen ; but in the Aurochs we (Bos gour,) which lives in small herds in the find the number increased to fourteen; and in forests of the interior. Its horns are short, but an allied species in North America we shall find thick and ponderous, and bending downwards at a still additional rib, making fifteen. The Au- the point; its colour is deep bluish black; the rochs is the largest of European mammalia ; it tail is thick and bushy. It was first discovered is characterized by the breadth and the convexity in the mountains of Myn-pat; and it is said to of its forehead, by the attachment of its horns be fierce and bold. below the occipital ridge, and by the elevation of its limbs. A sort of crisped wool, intermingled The GYHAL, (Bos frontalis,) is another of the with shaggy coarse hair, covers the shoulders, Indian races, and is chiefly found in the eastern head, and neck of the male, and forms a full districts of Bengal. In its general characters it beard beneath the throat; its voice is hoarse and much resembles the common domestic breed; grunting; its colour is dirty greyish brown. but the horns are flattened from before back
The Aurochs is a savage and ferocious animal, wards, and proceed without any angle or twist, thinly scattered through the marshy forests of in a lateral direction, more or less upwards. The Lithuania. Little is known of its habits; it lives hair is short and black, except on the forehead secluded in the deepest recesses, where a rank and along the spine, where it is grey or yellowand luxuriant vegetation supplies it with food. ish ; the limbs being white. In the mountainous When Europe was a mighty forest, when the districts of the north-east of India, the Gyhal is lands now enclosed, and teeming with harvests, domesticated and used for burdens. were morasses and swamps, this creature was the chase of the savage hunter throughout all the In Eastern Tartary we find a singular species, central regions ; but, like all savage beasts, its the YACK, (Bos grunniens, Lin.,) frequenting numbers have dwindled, and its range has be- the woods and recesses among the mountains of come restricted by the introduction of arts and Thibet. The Yack is not unlike the buffalo in letters.
its general form, but of smaller size ; it is distin
guished by the tail being furnished with full Southern Africa produces the CAPE BUFFALO, Howing hair, like that of a horse, and by a sort (Bos Caffer,) an animal of enormous size and of of mane along the neck and back; the hair of great ferocity, inhabiting the woods and jungles the body is smooth, and short in summer; but it by marshes and rivers, where it wallows in the becomes thick and harsh in winter; its colour is mud like the rhinoceros, remaining concealed black. This animal is savage and dangerous ; during the heats of the day. The aspect of the it is, however, domesticated by the Mongols ; Buffalo is cunning and savage; the eyes being and its tail forms the standards of battle, and deeply sunk, and overshadowed by the horns, regulates the distinctions of rank and titles ; which arise each from a flattened base of enor- hence the pachas are classed as those of one, mous thickness, rough with irregular ridges, in two, or three tails. It was known to the ancontact at the roots, and covering the whole cients, and is mentioned by Ælian. upper part of the skull with an impenetrable mass of horn ; from this solid portion the horn, Having thus glanced at the principal species
THE BISON-MUSK OX.
of this genus which the older continents afford, immediate effects of the injuries he received, it remains for us to notice those which are ex- but died a few months afterwards. Many other clusively natives of America, and which in the instances might be mentioned of the tenaciousplains and forests there represent the wild breeds ness with which this animal pursues its revenge; of Europe or Asia. These races we have seen and we have been told of a hunter having been to be pretty numerous and extensively diffused, detained for many hours in a tree by an old each country having its peculiar species. Ame- bull which had taken its post below to watch rica possesses two species, and both are peculiar him.” In contending with a dog, the Bison to the higher latitudes of the northern portion. strikes violently with his fore hoofs. Its mode Of these, the first we shall notice is the Bison, of running is singular, leaning as it gallops (Bos Americanus, GMEL.) The Bison associates along for a short space of time, first to one side, in vast herds, which roam over the uninhabited and then to the other alternately. Its flesh is plains of the countries bordering the Mis- excellent; the tongue, and the haunch, covering souri, the great Slave Lake, and other districts the spinous processes of the first vertebræ of the where European civilization has not hitherto back, are reckoned especial delicacies. Its hide advanced.
is valuable, and, when dressed with the fine At no distant date the Bison was found abun- woolly hair on, forms an excellent blanket or dantly in the western parts of Pennsylvania and travelling wrapper, and sells in Canada for three in Kentucky; but the species has gradually re- or four pounds sterling. tired before the influx of white population, and The aspect of the Bison is fierce, wild, and the southern and eastern limits of its range malicious, the eyes being small, fiery, and half are bounded by the Ohio and the Mississippi. hid in the profusion of long shaggy hair, interFormerly the migrations of this animal west- mingled with wool, which envelopes the head, ward were limited by the Rocky Mountain neck, and shoulders. The head is large and range; but they have of late opened for them- ponderous, with a convex line of profile; the wiselves a passage across the mountains near the thers are high, owing to the elongation of the sources of the Saskatchewan, and their numbers spinous processes there for the attachment of the to the westward are annually increasing.” The ligament, and of the enormous muscles of the Bison delights in level prairies, covered with neck, serving for the support of the head; beluxuriant vegetation, bordering the hills of lime- sides which there is added a fatty deposition or stone formation, where saline springs or marshes sort of hunch. From the withers, the back graabundantly occur. Wherever there are salt- dually declines, the hind quarters appearing dislicks, as these saline springs are called, there proportionably weak and small
. All this part herds of this animal are sure to congregate, and of the body is clothed with shorter wool. The remain throughout the year, scraping away the limbs are rather short, and possess amazing snow in winter to obtain the herbage beneath. power; the tail is tufted with coarse straight hair; In other parts, however, they migrate, with the the horns are short, tapering, and erect; the seasons, in search of pasturage. The Bison is general colour is dark umber brown, becoming a shy and wary animal; usually it flies before tinged with a greyish hue in winter. its pursuers; but it sometimes happens that, led The height of the Bison at the shoulders is upby an infuriated individual, the whole herd will wards of six feet; its weight is twelve or fourturn and rush towards the hunters, trampling teen hundred pounds. The female is smaller. them down in their headlong course. Nor is it Of the distinction of species between the Bison safe for the hunter to show himself after having and all others of its genus, there can be no doubt
. wounded a Bison, for, though the creature be We stated, it will be remembered, that in the heavy, it will easily overtake the fleetest runner. domestic ox, and its numerous varieties, the Dr. Richardson, (vide Fauna Boreali-Americana,) number of its ribs on each side was always thirin speaking of the danger of attacking the teen; that in the Aurochs of Poland, the number Bison, says, “ Mr. Finnan M‘Donald, one of the was increased to fourteen; in the present animal, Hudson's Bay Company's clerks, was descending we find an additional increase, the number being the Saskatchewan in a boat, and one evening, fifteen. Anatomical tests are of all others the having pitched his tent for the night, he went surest: Nature cannot err; and in following her out in the dusk to look for game. It had be- characters, the naturalist will never find himself come nearly dark when he fired at a Bison Bull, bewildered in the mazes of conjecture; but in a which was galloping over a small eminence,
and genus like the present, where outward forms as he was hastening forward to see if his shot seem peculiarly liable to change, according to the had taken effect, the wounded beast made a rush combined operation of united causes, such anatoat him. He had the presence of mind to seize mical minutiæ are of tenfold importance. the animal by the long hair on its forehead as it struck him on the side with its horn, and being Our next and last example is the Musk Ox, a remarkably tall and powerful man, a struggle or Oomingmak of the Esquimaux, (Bos moschaensued, which continued till his wrist was tus, GMEL.) The Musk Ox has been placed by severely sprained, and his arm was rendered Blainville in a genus separate from that of Bos
, powerless : he then fell, and, after receiving two in consequence of the want of a naked muzzle, or three blows, became senseless. Shortly after- which is possessed by the rest of the race; hence wards he was found by his companions lying being, according to his views, an intermediate bathed in blood, being gored in several places, link between the ox and the sheep. The genus and the Bison was couched beside him apparently thus characterized is termed by him Ovibos ; but waiting to renew the attack had he shown any we have retained the old generic name, because signs of life. Mr. M‘Donald recovered from the we are unwilling to separate a single species