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CARNIVORA.]

WEASEL-STOAT-FERRET-CAPE ZORILLE-MARTEN.

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depredations. Bewick mentions a case, in which | betrays a departure in a few minor points from “ eleven fine eels,” the fruits of its nocturnal ex- the typical characters, as it differs in colour, in ertions, were taken out of the hole of one of the texture of its fur, and the strength of its these marauders. This occurrence took place in claws, from its northern congeners: circumstances winter, doubtless during a season of scarcity, which have led some authors to form it into a when necessity became, as usual, the mother of distinct genus under the name of Zorilla. The invention. The length of the Polecat is sixteen Zorille is a native of Africa, where it lives in buror eighteen inches, exclusive of the tail, which is rows or holes of its own excavating; hence the four or five. The fur is of two sorts, one short, claws of his fore-feet are remarkably powerful, silky, of a pale yellow, which forms an under- and well adapted for its work. Its hair is long, coat; the other long and coarser, of a dark cho- coarse, harsh, and moderately thick on every colate brown, which, except in the under parts part of the body; the head being excepted, where these hairs are thing is the prevailing co- where it is short and smooth. Its colour on the lour. Woods, copses, or deserted buildings, are back is an irregular mixture of black and white the places where it dwells, digging for itself a longitudinal stripes; the head is black, with a subterranean retreat at the foot of a rock, an old white oval mark on the forehead, and a white wall, or among the gnarled and twisted roots of mark occupying the space between the eyes and a tree, but not unfrequently taking possession of the ears; the under surface and limbs are wholly a burrow previously made, whose original tenant black. The diversity which takes place in the has served it for a meal.

arrangement of the stripes among individuals,

all called Zorille, has led to a belief of there beThe WEASEL, (Putorius vulgaris,) is too fa- ing several distinct species, which, though closely miliar to require particular notice; its destruc- allied, differ amongst each other in minor partitiveness among young broods of poultry, and its culars: a circumstance the more probable, as it antipathy to rats and mice, which it attacks with is in conformity with those laws which the Great the utmost eagerness, are known to all. Not Creator appears to have laid down in the general withstanding the wildness of this little animal, arrangement of nature. several instances are on record of its having been

In the Cape Zorille, the tail, which is furnishcompletely tamed, when, with the playful vivacity ed with long hairs, is carried erect, and the hair natural to it, it has manifested an unexpected, and spread, so as to form a plume: in this respect, therefore the more interesting, degree of affection.

as well as in style of colouring, though not in its The Sroat, (Putorius erminius,) is widely dentition, it betrays an approximation to a race

can, distinguished by an overspread, being found in Europe, Asia, and we be peculiarly An lieve America. It closely resembles the weasel

, powering odour, which is either entirely absent,

or less perceptible in the present animal, and in but is a full third larger, and is besides distin

the rest of the subdivision in which it is at present guished by a singular change of dress, which in that animal is not found to occur. During sum- placed. mer its general colour is a pale reddish brown, but this, as winter comes on, gradually changes very trifling degree from the

Putorii by the ad

The MARTENS, (Mustela, CUVIER,) differ in a to a pure white, which becomes universal, except dition of a false molar tooth on each side above at the tip of the tail, which is at all times black. In its winter livery it is known under the name

and below, and by a little tubercle on the inner of Ermine, and its fur is a valuable article of side of the laniary molars of the lower jaw. As commerce, being imported in large quantities them from the foregoing race, so are they as

their distinctive characters but slightly remove from the north of Europe, where it especially little separated in their habits and disposition, abounds. In England the Stoat seldom assumes

The fur of all the species is exquisitely soft and so complete a purity of whiteness, or such closeness of fur, as it does in Norway or Siberia. We beautiful; that of the PINE MARTEN, (Mustela have, however, seen some from Ireland of ex

abietum,) is highly prized, and an article of ex

tensive commerce. The animal is found in the ceeding beauty. Its predatory habits are the

immense forests of the north, both of Europe and same as those of its relatives.

America, where it lives, like a squirrel, among The FERRET, (Putorius furo,) is known in

the trees, which it climbs with the utmost faEngland only as a domesticated quadruped, (it cility; it is said to usurp the nest of a squirrel indeed an animal manifesting neither attachment

or bird, the original possessor of which has fallen nor those acquired habits of dependence which

a sacrifice to its rapacity; and in this homestead, indicate true subjection can be called domesti

which another's labours have founded, the fecated,) having been most probably introduced at male rears her young. The general colour of the an early period into Spain from Africa, whence it fur, which consists, as is usual, of two sorts of has been spread over Europe.

hair, is a deep chestnut, except on the throat

and margin of the ears, where the chestnut coAmong the foreign species we may notice the lour gives place abruptly to a fine yellow : in CAPE POLECAT, or ZORILLE, (Putorius Capensis.) summer the tints not only become lighter, but the (See Engraving, No. 17.)

fur shorter; and the toes, which during the winIn habits and manners a strong family resem- ter were well protected with woolly hair, are deblance runs through the members of this group, prived of their covering, and the claws are combinding as it were together even species inhabit- pletely exposed. ing distant and opposite portions of the globe, and stamping them with a sameness which can- A still more celebrated fur is that of the SABLE, not be mistaken. The Cape Zorille, however, I (Mustela zibellina,) a single skin having, it is

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SABLE-MEPHITIC WEASELS.

(CARNIVORA.

said, sometimes sold for fourteen or fifteen arduous of labours which can fall to the lot of a pounds; the average ratio is, however, from one wretched exile or desperate hunter. The purto ten pounds, according to the quality, there suit takes place in the winter, (at which time the being a great difference, according to the time of fur is the finest and most valuable,) and the the year, and the age and state of the animal hunters in small troops, carrying with them their when killed: the darker the colour, the more stock of provisions, which too often fail, press onis the fur esteemed. The bellies, of about two ward over frozen plains where many a tempest fingers' breadth, are we believe sold separately, sweeps, into the bosom of mighty woods, where no in bundles of forty pieces, each piece consisting vestige of human beings, save themselves, cheers of a pair; these bundles are stated, we know not the bleak and savage scene ; following the tracks on what authority, to be worth from one to two of the animals over the snow, night and day, pounds each. The skin of the throat, called in with enduring perseverance. Various are the the furriers' shops gills, and that of the tail, are methods used for taking them : some are shot also sold separately. The Sable fur may be dis- with single ball, some caught in traps, some tinguished by the hairs lying any way in which pursued to their retreats, and nets are placed they may be placed ; very little of the true kind over the entrance, while the hunter, suffering finds its way into our market

, the fur of several from cold and often unheard-of privations, has of the American species of Marten, which is very

to watch perhaps for days before he can entrap beautiful, passing in its stead.

his prey. Who can picture to himself without An animal producing an article of luxury so shuddering the case of the condemned Sableprized by the fair sex throughout the whole of hunter? He leaves with heavy heart the last Europe, cannot fail to be an object of interest thinly scattered habitations which border the and curiosity; we know, however, but little re- pathless wilds; a sky of clouds and darkness is specting it, and that little from confused and al- above, bleak mountains and gloomy forests bemost contradictory statements. A writer dis- | fore him ; the recesses of the forests, the defiles tinguished for his talents and depth of research, of the mountains must be traversed; there are begins an elaborate paper on the pine marten, the haunts of the Sable. The cold is below zero: (see “ Gardens and Menagerie of the Zoological but the fur will prove the finer! Nerved by neSociety delineated,”) by observing, that "the cessity, and stimulated by the hope of a share in animals of the weasel family have long been the gains, on he presses. Fatigue and cold exclassed among the torments of zoologists, and few haust him; a snow storm overtakes him ; the have a better title to be so considered than those bearings or way-marks are lost or forgotten; which constitute the genus Mustela, as restrict provisions fail; and too often he who promised ed by Cuvier.” In confirmation of this opinion, to his expecting and anxious friends a speedy rewe have but to turn to the present animal, re- turn, is seen no more for ever. (See Engraving, specting which it is as yet a matter of some uncertainty whether it be not, in fact, identical with Such is Sable-hunting in Siberia, and such the the pine marten, varying only in characters pro- hapless fate of many an exile, who perishes in duced by age, climate, or other causes. The the pursuit of what only adds to the luxuries and principal differences appear to consist in the uni- superfluities of the great. But it is ever thus in form yellow of the throat of the pine marten, the chase of the follies, the trifles, and the things which in the sable is cinereous and irregularly of time; the pursuit is arduous and painful, and mottled ; added to which, the size of the latter the object comparatively worthless, or, if of value, is rather larger, its muzzle a degree more elon- to be possessed only for a season, and parted with gated, and its tail shorter; the head being of a for ever. Man seldom labours so earnestly in grey colour, passing into brown on the muzzle, the pursuit of that knowledge which makes him and hoary about the eyes. Such, at least, are the wise unto salvation." chief characters as given by Pallas, who drew

Besides the above examples of the genus Mushis details from a personal acquaintance

with the tela, our British Isles present us with the BEECH animal during his travels in Siberia. The same MARTEN, (Mustela fagorum,) distinguished by may be said also of Gmelin, the description of its white throat ; India, with that beautiful spewhich was accompanied by a figure so truly bad cies, the Mustela flavigula ; and America with as to be of no avail. The general colour, how several. ever, as he details it, differs considerably from the account of Pallas, affording at least a strong The next genus is that of the MEPHITIC presumptive evidence of “great variation in dif- WEASELS, (Mephitis, CUVIER,) so called from ferent animals, and at different seasons.” Among their intolerable odour. Their dentition is chaother writers, from Linneus downwards, none racterized by two false molars above, and three appear to have inspected the living example, below; the upper tuberculous tooth very large, therefore their works afford no certain guide. and as long as broad; and the laniary molar of Still, however, notwithstanding the distinctive each side in the lower jaw having two blunt procharacters between the Sable and the pine mar-jections on its internal aspect. The nails of the ten are so ill made out, and even so contradic- fore feet are strong, and well adapted for digging; tory, as to leave the subject in a maze of intri- the distinguishing colouring of the genus is black, cacy, we cannot but acquiesce in the assertion of rather abruptly cut up on the back by longitudiPallas, who affirms decidedly that the species are nal „tripes of white; the tail is long and bushy. truly distinct.

These animals are slow in their movements, and The Sable is a native of Siberia, inhabiting the have neither the graceful contour of figure, nor forests and mountains of that inhospitable region, the fine and beautiful fur of the Putorii and Muswhere its chase is one of the most painful and telæ, nor do they possess propensities so tho

No. 18.)

CARNIVORA.)

SKUNK-TELEDU.

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roughly carnivorous, or a disposition so daring. skull, its ears small and nearly concealed by the Their means of defence consist in the property hair; its odour is similar to that of the skunk, they possess of emitting at will a peculiar liquid and equally offensive; its size is about the same. secretion, the odour of which is so horribly dis- The crown of the head, a stripe along the back, gusting, that every animal retreats dismayed from and the tip of the tail, are of a faded straw-colour; their presence:

Few dogs can be brought to the rest of the body being of a dull chestnut borstand it, and then only by keeping their noses to dering on black. The warm clothing of long hair the earth. A single drop on a garment renders in which the Teledu is enveloped, proclaims it to it for ever useless, as it can neither be purified by be a native of at least a temperate climate ; and washing nor exposure to the air, and the whole accordingly we find it not in the burning plains house is tainted where it is suffered to remain. of Java, but along the mountain ridges, where Such is the Yagouaré of South America, describ- the temperature approximates to that of our ed by D’Azzara, who declares that he was not northern clime. even able to endure the disgusting odour which It is to that celebrated naturalist, Dr. Horsa dog that had unfortunately received it from field, who, during a long residence in Java, inthis animal a week before communicated to some vestigated the history of this and many other furniture, although the dog had undergone the animals, of which little had been previously ordeal of washing and scrubbing with sand above known, that we are indebted for our information twenty times.

respecting the present species. Availing our

selves of his account, we take the liberty of preOne of the animals of this genus, which senting the following interesting extract:-“ The abounds in ill defined species, is the Skunk of Mydaus meliceps presents a singular fact in its America, (Mephitis Americana.) (See Engrav- geographical distribution. It is confined excluing, No. 19.)

sively to those mountains which have an elevaThe general colour of this animal is black, tion of more than seven thousand feet above the with two white marks, subject to some variation, | level of the ocean ; on these it occurs with the passing from the occiput the whole length of the same regularity as many plants. The long exback ; a white line also passes down the forehead. tended surface of Java abounding with conical The body measures eighteen inches, the tail about points which exceed this elevation, affords many twelvс. The nose is long and slender; the ears places favourable for its resort. On ascending very small and rounded; the hair long and coarse. these mountains, the traveller scarcely fails to Its odour is painfully insupportable both to man

meet with our animal, which from its peculiariand beast. Mr. Audubon relates a humorous ties is universally known to the inhabitants of anecdote of a gentleman in America, who, not

these elevated tracts; while to those of the plains being acquainted with the demerits of this animal, it is as strange as an animal from a foreign counincautiously pursued one, met with on the way- try: A traveller would inquire in vain for the side during their journey, and received as a les Teledu at Batavia, Semarang, or Surabaya. In son never to be forgotten such a sprinkling of my visits to the mountainous districts I have unithe pestilential liquid, as not only nearly poisoned formly met with it, and as far as the information him, but rendered him a walking terror, from

of the natives can be relied on, it is found on all which all retired with dismay; nor did his cloak the mountains. It is, however, more abundant on ever lose the effluvium. Among others who have those which, after reaching a certain elevation, experienced the same fate, it appears that “ Mr. consist of numerous connected horizontal ridges, Skidder, the owner of the New York Museum, than on those which terminate in a defined conihad a set of clothes spoiled, which, after washing, cal peak. Of the former description are the were hung upon the roof of his house full fifty mountain Prahu and the Tengger hills, which feet high, and yet could be smelt very distinctly are both distinctly indicated in Sir Stamford some distance off in the streets, or the square Raffles's Map of Java: here I observed it in great near the house;" and it is related of professor abundance. It was less common on the mountain Kalm that he was once “ nearly suffocated by one Gede, south of Batavia; on the mountain Unthat was pursued into a house where he slept." garang, south of Semarang; and on the mounIn fact, though formidable neither on account of tain Ijen, at the farthest eastern extremity ; but its teeth nor its claws, the Skunk possesses one I traced its range through the whole island. Most of the most efficacious of weapons in the armoury of these mountains and ridges furnish tracks of of nature.

considerable extent, fitted for the cultivation of

wheat and other European grains. Certain exAnother animal allied to the mephitic weasels tra-tropical fruits are likewise raised with success; is the TELEDU of Java, (Mydaus meliceps.) (See peaches and strawberries grow in considerable Engraving, No. 20.)

abundance, and the common culinary vegetables This singular species, a native of Java and of Europe are cultivated to a great extent. To Sumatra, which forms the type, and as yet the most Europeans and Chinese a residence in these only species of the genus Mýdaus, Horsp., agrees elevated regions is extremely desirable ; and even in many respects with the mephitic weasels of the natives, who in general dislike its cold atAmerica, but differs in several essential particu- mosphere, are attracted by the fertility of the lars, especially in the hog-like form of the head, soil, and find it an advantage to establish vilshortness of the tail, (which is a mere brush,) its lages, and to clear the grounds for culture. Ponearly plantigrade mode of walking, and its tatoes, cabbages, and many other culinary vehabits of turning up the earth with its snout like getables, are extensively raised, as the entire a pig. Its proportions are heavy, its neck short supply of the plains in these articles depends on and thick, its eyes small and placed high on the these elevated districts. Extensive plantations

TELEDU-OTTER.

(CARNIVORA.

36

of wheat and of other European grains, as well | termed amphibious : it is, indeed, capable of conas of tobacco, are here found, wbere rice, the tinuing several minutes under water, and there it universal product of the plains, refuses to grow. pursues its prey. But the term amphibious, with These grounds and plantations are laid out in regard at least to warm-blooded animals, ought to the deep vegetable mould where the Teledu holds be excluded from the scientific vocabulary, since, its range as the most ancient inhabitant of the as popularly used, it conveys an erroneous idca; soil. In its rambles in search of food, this animal for though many mammalia are denizens of the frequently enters the plantations, and destroys mighty deep, born and living amid the “ waste the roots of young plants: in this manner it of seas,” still (as the whale) they breathe air, causes extensive injury; and on the Tengger and cannot exist except for a very limited period hills particularly, where these plantations are below the surface; in short, they differ from more extensive than in other elevated tracks, its other mammalia in nothing, unless in the wonvisits are much dreaded by the inhabitants. It derful adaptation of outward form for the locality burrows in the earth with its nose in the same appointed them by the Great Creator. manner as hogs; and in traversing the hills, its The Otter was formerly abundant, and is still nocturnal toils are observed in the morning, in found plentifully along the more secluded rivers small ridges of mould recently turned up. and lakes of our island, where it makes great

“ The Mydaus forms its dwelling at a slight havoc among the finny tribes, which constitute depth beneath the surface in the black mould, with its sole food. Nothing can be more graceful or considerable ingenuity. Having selected a spot easy than its motions in the water, in which it defended above by the roots of a large tree, it dives and glides along as if without the slightest constructs a cell or chamber of a globular form, effort, displaying the most beautiful and serpenthaving a diameter of several feet, the sides of like evolutions. which it makes perfectly smooth and regular ; To see the Otters feed in the Zoological Gardens this it provides with a subterraneous conduit or is one of the most interesting of spectacles, the avenue, about six feet in length, the external en- clear water allowing the exertions of the fish and trance to which it conceals with twigs and dry the manæuvres of the pursuer to be distinctly leaves. During the day it remains concealed, traced. like a badger, in its hole; at night it proceeds in The Otter is fierce, wild, and shy; its habits search of its food, which consists of insects and are principally nocturnal ; its retreat is in getheir larvæ, and of worms of every kind: it is neral a burrow by the water's edge, extending to particularly fond of the common lambrici, or some distance in the bank, and concealed by earth-worms, which abound in the fertile mould. overhanging brushwood, tangled briers, and These animals, agreeably to the information of herbage, or by the roots of some old tree; in the natives, live in pairs; and the female pro- this it makes a bed of dried grass and leaves. duces two or three young at a birth.”

Hunting the Otter has been a favourite but Its motions are slow, and it is easily taken by cruel sport. The moment he is discovered, he the natives, who whenever they can surprise one betakes himself to the water, where he is more suddenly, prepare it for food, “as the flesh is than a match for the strongest dog. Wearied then scarcely impregnated with the offensive out by his exertions to escape a multitude of foes, odour, and is described as very delicious.” The assailed on every side, covered with wounds, or effluvium of the Teledu, when irritated, spreads transfixed with spears launched at him as he rises to a considerable extent, and is so overpowering to breathe, still his determined courage holds out as to produce in some persons fainting.

to the last, and he dies without uttering a cry.

The Otter is far from being destitute of intelliThe concluding genus of this subdivision is gence and docility : notwithstanding its native that of the OTTERS, (Lutra,) the dentition of fierceness, it may be easily tamed, and has inwhich is thus characterized: three false molars deed been frequently kept in a state of domestiabove and below, a strong projection on the up- cation. Bewick tells us of one kept some years per laniary molar, and a tubercle on the internal since by a James Campbell, near Inverness, side of the lower; these are succeeded both above which that person employed very successfully in and below by a tuberculous molar large and salmon-fishing; it would sometimes take eight strong.

or ten in a day, and was always rewarded with The fur of the Otters consists of a short close a due share of the booty. It followed its master water-proof vest, and a long silky shining upper like a dog, and displayed great confidence and coat; the head is flattened, the muzzle blunt, attachment. the body elongated, with short strong limbs and Few animals exhibit more solicitude for their webbed feet; the tail flattened horizontally; and young. Professor Steller, who notices the the whole conformation adapted for aquatic strength of this instinctive tenderness, says, habits.

“Often have I spared the lives of the female Otters The species composing this genus are pretty whose young ones I took away. They expressed numerous, and from almost every quarter of the their sorrow by crying like human beings, and globe, exhibiting a close agreement amongst followed me as I was carrying off their young, each other in form and manners; our notice, which called to them for aid in a tone of voice therefore, will not extend beyond the well known very much resembling the crying of children. example common to the British Islands and the When I sat down in the snow, they came quite whole of Europe.

close to me, and attempted to carry off their

young. On one occasion, when I had deprived The OTTER, (Lutra vulgaris,) (see Engraving, an Otter of her progeny, I returned to the place No. 21,) is one of those mammalia commonly eight days after, and found the female sitting by

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