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senses of hearing and smelling.* The first gives it notice of the most distant appearance of danger; the other directs it, in the midst of darkness, to its food. T'he wants of a subterraneous animal can be but few; and these are sufficient to supply them: to eat, and to produce its kind, are the whole employment of such a life; and for both these purposes it is wonderfully adapted by Nature (8)
Thús admirably is this animal fitted for a life of darkness and solitude ; with no appetites but what it can easily indulge, with no enemies but what it can easily evade or conquer. As soon as it has once buried itself in the earth, it seldom stirs out, unless forced by violent rains in summer, or when in pursuit of its prey, it happens to come too near the surface, and thus gets into the open air, which may be considered as its unnatural element. In general, it chooses the looser softer grounds, beneath which it can travel with greater ease ; in guch also it generally finds the greatest number of worms and insects, upon which it chiefly preys. It is observed to be most active, and to cast up most earth, immediately before rain; and, in winter, before a thaw: at those times the worms and insects begin to be in motion ; and approach the surface, whither this industrious animal pursues them. On the contrary, in very dry weather, the mole seldom or never forms any billocks; for then it is obliged to penetrate deeper after its prey, which at such seasons retire far into the ground.
As the moles very seldom come above ground, (f) they have but few enemies; and very readily evade the pursuit of animals stronger and swifter than themselves. Their greatest calamity is an inundation; which wherever it happens, they are seen, in numbers, attempting to save themselves by swimming, and using every effort to reach the bigher grounds. The greatest part, however, perish, as well as their young, which remain in the holes behind. Were it not for such accidents, from their great fecundity, they would become extremely troublesome; and as it is, in some places, they are considered by the farmer as bis greatest pest.t They couple towards the approach of spring: and their young are found
HEARING OY THE MOLE.—It is a common and to destroy the herbage of the light soils. observation among ourselves, that the loss of What an extraordinary animal is the mole' one faculty, is generally in some measure We constantly see his trace of destructiveness, compeo sated by the perfection of another. but how difficult is it to track him to his We have also frequent occasion to observe, hiding place. The mole is destroyed by a that Nature, to a very considerable extent, trap of peculiar construction, which is disis ever willing to vary and change the physi- charged by the little animal passing through calities of a being, in accordance with its it. The mole-catcher—in general a quiet old circumstances and situation. We need not, man, who passes the winter in making his therefore, be surprised to find that the blind traps in his chimney corner —comes forth at Spalax has the organs of hearing in a very this season with his implements of destrucperfect state. The external ear, indeed, has tion. His practised eyes soon discover the but a very small outward expansion, but the track of the mole, from the mound which he auditory canal is very large, and the whole throws up to some neighbouring bank, or organ internally greatly devoloped. When from one mound to another. It is in this ou the surface, they almost always carry the track or run that he sets his trap, a few inches head raised, apparently for the purpose of below the surface of the ground. As the mole more effectually hearing what is passing passes through this little engine of his ruin, around them; thus relying on their most he disturbs a peg which holds down a strong perfect faculty, for a forewarding of approach- hazel rod in a bent position. The moment ing danger, which they have not the means the peg is moved, the end of the rod which is of detecting by sight. - Griffith.
held down flies up, and with it comes up the + MOLES AND MOLE-CATCHERS. “ The poor mole dragged out of the earth which he moles are beginning to throw up the earth, has so ingeniously excavated, to be gibbeted
(8) Testes habet maximos, parastatas amplissimas, novum corpus seminale ab his diversum ac separatum. Penem etiam facile omnium, ni fallor, animalium longissimum, ex quibus colligere est maximam præ reliquis omnibus animalibus voluptatem in coitu, hoc abjectum et vile animalculum percipere, ut habeant quod ipsi invideant qui in hoc supremas vitæ suæ delicias collocant: 'Ray's Synops. Quadrup. p. 239. Huic opinioni assentitur D. Buffon, attamen non mihi apparet magnitudinem partium talem voluptatem augere, Maribus enim salacissimis contrarium obtinet.
about the beginning of May. They generally have four or five at a time; and it is easy to distinguish among other mole-bills, that in which the female has brought forth her young. These are made with much greater art than the rest; and are usually large. The female, in order to form this retreat, begins by erecting the earth into a tolerably spacious apartment, which is supported within by partitions, at proper distances, that prevent the roof from falling. All round this she works, and beats the earth very firm, so as to make it capable of keeping out the rain let it be never so violent. As the hillock in which this apartment is thus formed, is raised above ground, the apartment itself is consequently above the level of the plain, and, therefore, less subject to accidental slight inun, dations. The place being thus fitted, she then procures grass and dry leaves, as a bed for her young. There they lie secure from wet, and she continues to make their retreat equally so from danger; for all round this hill of her own raising, are holes running into the earth, that part from the middle apartment, like rays from a centre, and extend about fifteen feet in every direction: these resemble so many walks or chases, into which the animal makes her subterraneous excursions, and supplies her young with such roots or insects as she can provide: but they contribute still more to the general safety; for as the mole is very quick of hearing, the instant she perceives her little habitation attacked, she takes to her burrow, and unless the earth be dug away by several men at once, she and her young always make a good retreat.
The mole is scarcely found, except in cultivated countries : the varieties are but few. That which is found in Virginia, resembles the common mole, except in colour, which is black, mixed with a deep purple. There are sometimes white moles, seen particularly in Poland, rather larger than the former. As their skin is so very soft and beautiful, it is odd that it has not been turned to any advantage.. Agricola tell us, that he saw hats made from it, the finest and the most beautiful that could be imagined. without a chance of escape. The trap is very The shrew-mole resembles the common Eurosimple and effectual; but, somehow, the moles pean mole in its habits, in leading a subterflourish in spite of their human enemies. raneous life, forining galleries, throwing up Mulo-catchers, a plodding, unscientific race, little mounds of earth, and in feeding prin. know little of their trade, which requires the cipally on earthworms and grubs. Dr. Godmost accurate study of the habits of the man has given a detailed and interesting animal. There was a Frenchman of the name account of their manners, particularly of one of Lu Court, a man of great knowledge and which was domesticated by Mr. Titian Peale. perseverance, who did not think it beneath He mentions that they are most active early him to devote his whole attention to the ob- in the morning, at mid-day, and in the evening, servation of the mole. He established a and that they are well known in the country school for mole-catching, and taught many, to have the custom of coming daily to the what he had acquired by incessant practice, surface exactly at noon. They may then be the art of tracing the mole fo his hiding taken alive by thrusting a spade beneath place in the ground, and cutting off his them, and throwing them on the surface; but retreat. The skill of this man once saved a can scarcely be caught at any other period of large and fertile district of France from inun. the day. The captive one in the possession dation by a canal, whose banks the moles had of Mr. Peale ate considerable quantities of undermined in every direction. Le Court fresh meat, either cooked or raw, drank alone saw the mischief, and could stop it. freely, and was remarkably lively and playful, Doubts have been entertained, whether the following the hand of its feeder by the scent, moles are really so mischievous to the farmer burrowing for a short distance in the loose as they are generally supposed to be. It has earth, and, after making a small circle, rebeen said that they assist the draining of turning for more foud. When engaged in land by forming their excavations, and that eating he employed his flexible snout in a they thus prevent the foot-rot in sheep."- singular manner to thrust the food into his NATURALISTS' CALENDAR, APRIL.
mouth, doubling it so as to force it directly
backwards. — DR. RICHARDSON'S ZOOLOGY * NORTH AMERICAN SHREW-MOLE. OF NORTH AMERICA.
ANIMALS of the hedge-hog kind require but very little accuracy to distinguish them from all others. That bair which serves the generality of quadrupeds for warmth and ornament, is partly wanting in these ; while its place is supplied by sharp spines or prickles, that serve for their defence.
The hedge-hog, with an appearance the most formidable, is yet one of the most harmless animals in the world: unable or unwilling to offend, all its precautions are only directed to its own security; and it is armed with a thousand points, to keep off the enemy, but
(Hedge-Hog.) not to invade him.
This animal is of two kinds: one with a nose like the snout of a bog; the other, more short and blunt, like that of a dog. That with the muzzle of a dog is the most common, being about six inches in length, from the tip of the nose to the insertion of the tail. The tail is little more than an inch long; and so concealed by the spines, as to be scarce visible : the head, back, and sides, are covered with prickles; the nose, breast, and belly, are covered with fine, soit hair;(g) the legs are short, of a dusky colour, and almost bare; the toes on each foot are five in number, long and separated; the prickles are about an inch in length, and very sharp-pointed; their lower part is white, the middle black, and the points white: the eyes are small, and placed bigb in the head ; the ears are round, pretty large, and naked; the mouth is small, but well furnished with teeth ; these, however, it only uses in chewing its food, but neither in attacking nor defending itself against other animals. Its only reliance in cases of danger, is on its spines; the instant it perceives an enemy, it puts itself into a posture of defence, and keeps upon its guard until it supposes the danger over. On such occasions, it immediately alters its whole appearance : from its usual form, somewhat resembling a small animal, with a bunch on its back, the animal begins to bend its back, to lay its head upon its breast, to shut its eyes, to roll down the skin of its sides towards the legs, to draw these up, and lastly, to tuck them in on every side, by drawing the skin still closer. In this form, which the hedgehog always puts on when disturbed, it no way resembles an animal, but rather a roundish mass of prickles, impervions on every side. The shape of the animal thus rolled up, somewhat resembles a chestnut in the husk; there being, on one side, a kind of flat space, which is that on which the head and legs have been tucked in.
The hedge-hog, like most other wild animals, sleeps by day, and ventures out by night. It generally resides in small thickets, in hedges, or in ditches covered
HEDGE-HOG's have two front teeth in lower; there are four grinders on each side each jaw; those of the upper jaw are distant both above and below; and the body is from each other, those of the lower are placed clothed on the upper parts with sharp spines. near together; the canine teeth are five on There are seven species, of which only the each side in the upper jaw, and three in the common hedge-hog is found in Europe.
(g) Præputium propendens. Linnæi Syst. 75. And of the female he might have said, resupina cupulatur.
with bushes; there it makes a hole of about six or eight inches deep, and lies well wrapped up, in moss, grass, or leaves. Its food is roots, fruits, worms, and insects.
Buffon, who kept these animals tame about his house, acquits them of the reproach of being mischievous in the garden; but then be accuses them of tricks, of which from the form and babits of this animal one would be never led to suspect them. “ I have often,” says be,“ had the female and her young brought me about the leginning of June : they are generally from three to five in number: they are white in the beginning, and only the marks of their spines appear: I was willing to rear some of them, and accordingly put the dam and her young into a tub, with abundant provision beside them; but the old animal, instead of suckling her young, devoured them all, one after another. On another occasion, a hedge-hog that had made its way into the kitchen, discovered a little pot, in which there was meat prepared for boiling; the mischievous animal drew out the meat, and left its excrements in the stead. I kept males and females in the same apartment, where they lived together but never coupled. I permitted several of them to go about my garden; they did very little damage, and it was scarcely perceivable that they were there: they lived upon the fruits that fell from the trees : they dug the earth into shallow holes : they ate caterpillars, beetles, and worms; they were also very fond of flesh, which they devoured boiled or raw.”
They couple in spring, and bring forth about the beginning of summer. They sleep during the winter, and what is said of their laying up provisions for that season, is consequently false. They at no time eat much, and can remain very long without any food whatsoever. Their blood is cold, like all other animals that sleep during the winter. Their flesh is not good for food; and their skins are converted to scarce any use, except to muzzle calves, to keep them from sucking.
THE TANREC AND TENDRAC.–The Tanrec and Tendrac, are two little animals, described Buffon, of the hedge-hog kind; but yet sufficiently different from it, to constitute a differ ent species. Like the hedge-bog, they are covered w with prickles, (Tanrec)
(Tendrac.) though mixed in a greater proportion with hair; but unlike that animal, they do not defend them selves by rolling, up in a ball. Their wanting this last property is alone suffi cient to distinguish them from an animal in which it makes the most strikingTM peculiarity : as also, that in the East Indies, where only they are found, the hedge-bog exists separately also : a manifest proof that this animal is not a variety caused by the climate.
The tanrec is much less than the hedge-hog,(g) being about the size of a mole, and covered with prickles, like that animal, except that they are shorter and smaller. The tendrac is still less than the former, and is defended only with prickles upon the head, the neck, and the shoulders ; the rest being covered with a coarse hair, resembling a bog's bristles. These little animals, whose legs are very short, move but slowly. They grunt like a bog; and wallow, like it, in the mire. They love to be near water; and spend more of their time there than upon land. They are chiefly in creeks and harbours of salt water. They multiply in great numbers, make themselves holes in the ground, and
(g) Buffon, vol. xxv. p. 254.
sleep for several months. During this torpid state, their hairs (and I should also suppose their prickles) fall; and they are renewed upon their revival. They are usually very fat; and although their flesh be insipid, soft, and stringy, yet the Indians find it to their taste, and consider it as a very great delicacy.
THE PORCUPINE.* _Those arms which the hedge-bog possesses in minjature, the porcupine has in a more enlarged degree. The short prickles of the hedge-hog are in this animal converted into shalts. In the one the spines are about an inch long; in the other, a foot. The porcupine is about two feet long, and filteen inches bigh. Like the hedge-bog, it appears a mass of misshapen flesh, covered with quilis, from ten to fourteen incbes long, resembling the barrel of a goose-quill in thick
(Porcupine.) ness ; but taper ng and sharp at both ends. These, whether considered separately or together, afford sufficient subject to detain curiosity. Each quill is thickest in the middle; and inserted into the animal's skin in the same manner as feathers are found to grow upon birds. It is within side spongy, like the top of a goose-quill; and of different colours, being white and black alternately, from one end to the other. The biggest are often found tifteen inches long, and a quarter of an inch in diameter; extremely sharp, and capable of inflicting a mortal wound. They seem harder than common quills, being difficult to be cut, and solid at that end which is not fixed in the skin. If we examine them in common, as they grow upon the animal, they appear of two kinds; the one such as I have already described; the other, long, flexible and slender, growing here and there among the former. There is still another sort of quills, that grow near the tail, white and transparent, like writing quills, and that seem to be cut short at the end. All these quills, of whatsoever kind, incline backwards, like the bristles of a hog; but when the animal is irritated, they rise, and stand upright, as bristles are seen to do.t
Such is the formation of this quadruped, in those parts in which it differs from most others: as to the rest of its figure, the muzzle bears some resemblance to that of a hare, but black; the legs are very short, and the feet have five toes, both before and bebind; and these, as well as the belly, the head, and all other parts of the body, are covered with a sort of short hair, like prickles, there being no part, except the ears and the sole of the foot, that is free from them : the ears are thinly covered with very fine hair: and are in shape like those of mankind; the eyes are small like tbose of a hog, being only one-third of an inch from one corner to the other. After the skin is taken off, there appear a kind of paps on those parts of the body from whence the large quills proceed; these
* The PORCUPINE has two front teeth in Indian Ocean, informs us, that the porcupine each jaw, which are cut obliquely; and eight has a very curious method of fetching water grinders on each side in both jaws; there are for its young. The quills in the tail are said four toes on the fore-feet, and five on the to be hollow, and to have a hole at the extrehiuder. There are five species beside the mity; these the animal can bend in such a common porcupine.
manner, as that they can be filled with water, + Economy.—Professor Thunberg, iu his which is afterwards discharged in the nest second journey to the island Mature, in the among its young.