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CARNIVORA.]

POLAR BEAR-RACOON.

29

of

the northern coast of America, also, down to young is not, however, peculiar to this species; Hudson's Bay, the present species is by no it is equally striking in all ; and to this characmeans uncommon.

teristic we find a beautiful allusion in Hosea xiii. The Polar Bear is a strong and rapid swim- 8: “ I will meet them as a Bear bereaved of her mer, and dives with the utmost address; as a whelps.” In Samuel, we find also another simiproof of which, it is stated by Cartwright, that lar allusion, which conjures up a strong and gra

once witnessed a trial of skill between one of phic picture : “ For, said Hushai, thou knowest these animals and a salmon, which, notwithstand- thy father and his men, that they be mighty men, ing the known velocity of the salmon's move- and they be chafed in their minds as a Bear ments in the water, he succeeded in capturing. robbed of her whelps in the field,” 2 Sam. xvii. Indeed, if the Bear were not at home among the 8. The Scriptures are ever true to themselves, rough waves of the northern seas, he would be no flaw can be detected ; and even in these passoften much straitened for food, as his chief ing references to the manner of animals we not diet is obtained from the floating carcases of only see great force, beauty, and correctness, but whales and fishes, to which he must often swim an harmonious accordance dovetailing into the far away from the shore. He wages also a per- other portions, and stamping the whole with an petual war upon the seal and walrus, watching irresistible air of genuineness and authenticity. for them as they appear at the openings among The very style of the Scriptures may be offered the ice: nor does he refuse whatever animal ex- as evidence in their favour. uviæ the waters cast upon the land, nor the few berries which the shrubs of these dreary regions Passing from the bears along the series of Planafford.

tigrade carnivora, as they approach a point on the From the best authorities, the males do not eve of merging into that division termed Digitihybernate, as is the case with the others of this grade, so as to constitute a sort of debateable genus, but brave the severities of winter upon ground, we meet with several genera highly inthe ice by the open sea, wandering along the teresting to the naturalist, as forming intermemargin, and swimming from floe to floe in search diate links between more conspicuous portions of

prey: the females, however, do not make the chains, and containing animals of no less intheir appearance, or less frequently, till the ap- terest to the general reader who loves to contemproach of milder weather, when they sally forth plate the First Great Cause of all, in the outfrom their retreat, accompanied by two cubs : at goings of his wisdom and power. From these this period, gaunt, lean, and famished, they are examples we shall select a few of the most chaespecially formidable, hunger, and the presence racteristic, commenting upon them in connexion of their young, adding to their ferocity. with the particular genus to which they may be

The attachment of the females to their young long. The first to which we turn is the Racoon. is strong and enduring; they will fight till they The Racoon, with one or two allied species, die to defend them : they will swim after them is now separated from the bears, among which when carried away, with the utmost persever- its station had been assigned by earlier writers, ance; they will moan over them, and try to raise and forms the type of the new genus Procyon. and support them when wounded, nor leave the The chief characters of the genus Procyon are as spot upon their death till forced by hunger, or follow. The canine teeth are straight and comthey themselves be attacked in their turn. In pressed; the three last molares on each side are the tales of a voyager to the arctic regions, we crowned with blunt tubercles; the toes are five, are presented with several graphic narratives armed with sharp nails; the tail long. Although, evincing the fondness of the Bear for her young, while resting, the entire sole of the foot is applied and the danger of rousing her vengeance by de- to the ground, the heel is raised in walking, so stroying it. Referring to the mate of the Dun- that little more than the toes come in contact

dee, who nearly lost his life in an encounter of with the surface over which the animal passes, a this kind, the writer says:—“ After killing the peculiarity expressed by the word semiplanticub, he fired at her, (the mother,) and struck grade. her on the jaw, which remained gaping as if dis| located, and believing her hors de combat, he got The Racoon (Procyon lotor) (see Engraving,

upon the floe (mass of floating ice) to take pos- No. 12) is exclusively a native of America, being session of her slain offspring. The she Bear, found from the borders of the Red River, north lat. though she had fled, now returned, and rushing 45°, down to Paraguay. Its habits are nocturnal ; towards her enemy, threw him down, but was for the eyes, although the pupil is circular, are disunable to mangle him, for her mouth was wide tressed by light. During the day, the Racoon, open, and she had lost the ability to close it, therefore, remains inactive, rolled up with the nevertheless she mounted upon his prostrate head between the hind legs, and sleeping away body, and trampled it severely before the crew the time till the hour of darkness, when it begins of his boat could come to his rescue. When they to prey about with restless activity for food. did arrive, a sailor who brought a gun lost his Stealing to the river's brink, the edge of the presence of mind at the sight before him, and swamp, or the sea-shore, (localities which this stood staring inactive; others more bold thrust animal especially affects,) it seizes crabs or the bear aside with lances, and the mate being shell-fish, or such of the finny tribe as come freed from its weight arosé, took the gun from within its reach, not neglecting worms, insects, its bearer, and shot away the unlucky lower jaw roots, and the succulent parts of the sugar-cane. Its of the beast completely. She then fell a victim dexterity in opening oysters we have personally to the weapons of his men.”

witnessed. The animal which we saw exhibit The maternal attachment of the Bear for her this feat first broke the hinge with his teeth, by

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THE RACOON-COATI-KINKAJOU.

[CARNIVORA.

ous.

ment.

which means the shells were loosened; it then eggs, reptiles, insects, and worms, which it forced them apart with its fore-paws, dexterously searches for by digging with great avidity. The hooking out the contents, which it seemed to plantations of sugar-cane are said also to suffer relish exceedingly:

from its fondness for the luscious juice. It is The Racoon climbs trees with great facility, easily tamed, but is restless, irritable, and capriand is one of those enemies against whom the cious, and consequently not to be touched withbirds have to guard, as it not only plunders their out caution ; its bite is very severe and dangernests of eggs or young, but often surprises the In size this animal is as large as a fox or parents while fostering their callow brood during racoon, although not so high, its length being the darkness of the night. If taken young, this two feet four or five inches. The tail is long and animal is easily tamed, and when permitted the tapering; the ears small and round. Its voice, liberty of a room manifests an insatiable curiosity, when the creature is irritated or alarmed, is a examining every thing within its reach, and singularly shrill cry; at other times it is silent, hunting into every corner and crevice with un- or utters only a gentle hissing. remitting assiduity. Though not capable of using

To this place in the scale, Cuvier and Lesson the fore-paws, like a monkey, (there being no opposing thumb or pliability of finger,) still it mals with which we are acquainted, the history

have assigned one of the most remarkable animanages to grasp any object by compressing it between both together, and in this manner, sit

of which at present is but imperfectly known. ting upon its haunches , it will take its food, yet discovered of the genus Cercoleptes; the cha

We allude to the KINKAJOU, the sole species as which before eating it usually dips into water.

racters of which are these : incisor teeth in each Water, indeed, seems essentially necessary, if not to its existence, at least to its health and jaw six; canines, one on each side, followed by comfort; and its specific name, lotor, or washer, the other three blunt and tuberculous ; the tail

five grinders, the two first of which are pointed, is taken from the circumstance just alluded to, in connexion with its predilection for this ele- long and prehensile, but covered with fur; the

muzzle short; the tongue long, slender, and The fur of the Racoon is soft and valuable; the hairs are of two kinds, one forming a

very extensible; toes five, claws strong and

hooked; mode of progression semiplantigrade. short woolly undercoat, the other long and silky, ringed with black and white; the general tone The KINKAJOU (Cercoleptes caudivolvolus) (see of colour thus produced is grey; the face is Engraving, No. 14) is a native of the warmer relighter, with a black band encircling the eyes ; gions of South America, where it is known by vathe tail is bushy, and ringed with black and grey rious names among the inhabitants of different alternately; the nose is long and pointed, extend- districts. Baron Humboldt informs us, that among ing beyond the jaws; the body fat and round. the Musica Indians, in the Mesa of Guandiaz, it A more intimate account of its habits in a wild is called Cuchumbi ; in the mission of Rio Negro, state is still a desideratum.

Manaviri ; names preferable to that usually given,

which is a word of uncertain etymology, and said Allied, in many respects, to the racoon are to be one of the appellations of a very different those singular animals which, though not uncom- animal, namely, the glutton of North America. mon in our menageries, are yet little understood, However this may be, we suppose it must be now namely, the Coatis, a tribe peculiar to the warmer retained. The Kinkajou is evidently nocturnal in regions of America, as Brazil, Guiana, Paraguay, its habits, searching for food at night, and reetc. They form a genus under the name of Na- maining torpid during the day, rolled up in sua, characterized, as is that of the racoon, by some dark hole or crevice to avoid the light, which nocturnal habits, a semiplantigrade mode of pro- is borne with difficulty. Its eyes are dark, the gress, and a facility of climbing. The teeth and pupils round, and contracted almost to a point untail are also very similar. The nose is also elon- der the influence of the sun; the ears are round; gated, but to an enormous extent, so as to form the fur thick, close, and of a pale yellowish white; a prolongated snout, ending abruptly, and ex- the naked soles of the feet and paws flesh-cotremely flexible. Their body is, however, longer loured. and more slender; their feet stronger, and well We learn from the observations of Baron adapted for digging. Of the COATI, or COATI- Humboldt, that this animal is a great destroyer MONDI, two species are known : the BROWN, of the nests of wild bees, for the sake of obtain(Nasua fusca,) and the RED, (Nasua rufa,) (see ing the honey, of which it is very fond; hence Engraving, No. 13,) with several acknowledged the missionaries from Spain have given it the varieties ; some, indeed, have suspected this to name of Honey-bear. Its usual food, however, be the case with the brown and red, as in habits, appears to be small animals, birds, eggs, insects, manners, and every particular, except colour, and fruits. Its size is that of a cat, but its limbs they precisely agree.

are shorter, and much more thick and muscular. Of all the senses of this animal, that of smell Our scanty knowledge of the native habits of this seems to be the most highly developed. The Coati beautiful animal may perhaps, in some measure, examines every thing with its long nose, which be atoned for by the observations we have been it turns about in all directions; and as the ani- | enabled to make upon a living individual. Dur. mal is extremely inquisitive, the powers of this ing the day it usually reposed in a little inner organ are in perpetual requisition. In its wild den, but by no means constantly, as, especially state the Coati lives in small troops among the in the afternoon, it came out from time to time, woods, where it climbs the trees with great ad- and readily engaged in play with those to whom dress, and descends with the head foremost. Its it had been accustomed, pretending to bite, and food consists of small animals, birds and their | twisting itself into a variety of antic positions,

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