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ance early in summer, and begins its flight in the dusk of the evening. It principally frequents the sides of woods, glades, and shady walks; and is frequently observed to skim along the surface of pieces of water. It pursues gnats, moths, and nocturnal insects of every kind. It feeds upon these ; but will not refuse meat wherever it can find it. Its flight is a laborious, irregular movement; and if it happens to be interrupted in its course, it cannot readily prepare for a second elevation; so that if it strikes against any object, and falls to the ground, it is usually taken.* It appears only in the most pleasant evenings, when its prey is generally abroad, and flies in pursuit with its mouth open. At other times it continues in its retreat, the chink of a ruined building, or the hollow of a tree. Thus this little animal, even in summer, sleeps the greatest part of its time, never venturing out by daylight, nor in rainy weather; never hunting in quest of prey, but for a small part of the night, and then returning to its hole. But its short life is still more abridged by continuing in a torpid state, during the winter. At the approach of the cold season, the bat prepares for its state of lifeless inactivity, and seems rather to choose a place where it may con. tinue safe from interruption, than where it may be warmly or conveniently lodged. For this reason it is usually seen hanging by its booked claws to the roofs of caves, regardless of the eternal damps that surround it. The bat seems the only animal that will venture to remain in these frightful subterranean abodes, where it continues in a torpid state, unaffected by every change of the weather. Such of this kind as are not provident enough to procure themselves a deep retreat, a here the cold and beat seldom vary, are sometimes exposed to great inconveniences, for the weather often becomes so mild in the midst of winter as to warm them prematurely into life, and to allure them from their holes in quest of food, when nature bas not provided a supply. These, therefore, have seldom strength to return; but, having exhausted themselves in a vain pursuit, after insects which are not to be found, are destroyed by the owl, or any other animal that follows such petty prey.
The bat couples and brings forth in summer, generally from two to five at a time: of this I am certain, that I have found five young ones in a hole together; but whether they were the issne of one parent, I cannot tell. The female has but two nipples, and those forward on the breast, as in the human kind. Thus far this animal seems closely allied to the quadruped race. Its similitude to that of birds is less striking. As nature has furnished birds with extremely strong pectoral muscles, to move the wings, and direct their flight, so has it also furnished this animal As birds also have their legs weak, and unfit for the purposes of motion, the bat bas its legs fashioned in the same manner, and never seen to walk, or, more properly speaking, to push itself forward with its hind legs, but in cases of extreme necessity.
If we consider the bat as it is seen in our own country, we shall find it a harmless, inoffensive creature. It is true that it now and then steals into a larder, and, like a mouse, commits its petty thests upon the fattest parts of the bacon. But this happens seldom ; the general tenor of its industry is employed in pursuing insects that are much more noxious to us than itself can possibly be; while its evening flight, and its unsteady wabbling motion, amuse the imagination, and add one figure more to the pleasing group of animated nature.
TAMB Bar.Mr. White, in his “Sel- notion that bats go down chimneys, and gnaw borne,” gives an account of a tame bat: “ It men's bacon seems no improbable story. would take flies out of a person's hand; if While I amused myself with this wonderful you gave it any thing to eat, it brought its quadruped, I saw it several times confute the wings round before the mouth, hovering and vulgar opinion, that bats when down on a hiding its head, in the manner of birds of flat surface cannot get on the wing again, by prey when they feed. The adrvitness it rising with great ease from the floor. It ran, showed in shearing off the wings of fies, I observed, with more dispatch than I was which it rejected, was worthy of observation, aware of, but in a most ridiculous and gro and pleased me much. Insects seemed to tesque mannner."--NATURAL HISTORY or be the most acceptable, though it did not SELBORNE. refuse raw flesh when offered, so that the
The varieties of this animal, especially in our country, are but few; and the differences scarce worth enumeration. Of foreign bats, the largest we bave any certain accounts of, is the Rousette, or the Great Bat of Madagascar. This formidable creature is near four feet broad, when the wings are extended ; and a foot long, from the tip of the nose to the insertion of the tail. It resembles our hat in the form of its wings, in its manner of Aying, and in its internal conformation. It differs from it in its enormous size ; in its colour, which is red, like that of a fox; in its head and nose also, which resemble those of that animal, and which have induced some to cail it the flying fox; it differs also in the number of its teeth ; and in having a claw on the fore foot, which is wanting in ours. This formidable creature is found only in the ancient continent; particularly in Madagascar, along the coasts of Africa and Malabar, where it is usually seen about the size of a large hen. When they repose, they stick themselves to the tops of the tallest trees, and hang with their heads downwards. But when they are in motion, nothing can be more formidable; they are seen in clouds, darkening the air, as well by day as by night, destroying the ripe fruits of the country, and sometimes settling upon animals, and man bimself: they devour indiscriminately fruits, flesh, and insects, and drink the juice of the palm-tree: they are heard at night in the forests at more than two miles distance, with a horrible din ; but at the approach of day they usually begin to retire : nothing is safe from their depredations; they destroy fowls and domestic animals, unless preserved with the ntmost care, and often fasten upon the inhabitants themselves, attack them in the face, and inflict very terrible wounds. In short, as some have already observed, the ancients seem to have taken their ideas of harpies from these fierce and voracious creatures, as they both concur in many parts of the description, being equally deformed, greedy, uncleanly, and cruel.*
(New Species of Bat.) New Species or Bar.—l'espertilio brane, which is continued down the side of Auduboni.—The new species of this little the body; and extending on the leg as far flying quadruped, which we are now about to as the tarsus, also unites the legs and tail. notice, belongs to a very large and respectable Agreeing so universally in this particular, family. In the days of Linnæus, they all, from they form a very natural family, under the their appearance at twilight, went by the fa- appropriate term, Cheiroptera, constructed mily name of Vespertilio. They further belong from two Greek words, signifying hand and to the order Carnivora, their teeth being con- wing. structed for masticating flesh, though some, The vespertilio are again divided into and in this they resemble ourselves, are also GENERA and Species, divisions which are fond of fruit. In one important point, the grounded on certain peculiarities of dental whole race has a common character, in their structure, and various developements of the organ of flight. The bones of the fingers are brachial, digital, and interfemoral appendages, extremely elongated, and united by a mem- with other modifications of the organs of An animal not so formidable, but still more mischievous than these is the American Vampyre. This is less than the former ; but more deformed, and still more numerous. It is furnished with a horn like the rhinoceros bat; and its ears are extremely long. The other kinds generally resort to the forest, and the most deserted places; but these come into towns and cities, and, after sunset, when they begin to fly, cover the streets like a canopy.(g) They are the common pest both of men and animals; they effectually destroy the one, and often distress the other. “ They are," says Ulloa,“ the most expert blood letters in the world. The inhabitants of those warm latitudes being obliged, by the excessive heats, to leave open the doors and windows of the chambers wbere they sleep, the vampyres enter, and if they find any part of the body exposed, they never fail to fasten upon it. There they continue to suck the blood; and it often happens that the persou dies under the operation. They insinuate their tooth into a vein, with all the art of the most experienced surgeon, continuing to exhaust the body, until they are satiated. I have been assured," continues he, “by persons of the strictest veracity, that such an accident has happened to them; and that, had they not providentially awaked, their sleep would have been their passage into eternity; having lost so large a quantity of blood as hardly to tind strength to bind up the orifice. The reason why the puncture is not felt is, besides the great precaution with which it is made, the gentle refreshing agitation of the bat's wings, which contribute to increase sleep, and soften the pain."
The purport of this account has been confirmed by various other travellers; who all agree that this bat is possessed of a faculty of drawing the blood from persons sleeping; and thus often destroying them before they awake. But still a very strong difficulty remains to be accounted for; the manner in which they inflict the wound. Ulloa, as bas been seen, supposes it to be done by a single tooth; but this we know to be impossible, since the animal cannot jutix one tooth without all the rest accompanying its motions; the teeth of the bat kind being pretty even, and the mouth but small
. Buffon, therefore, supposes the wound to be inflicted by the tongue ; whicb, however, appears to me too large to inflict an unpainful wound; and even less qualified for that purpose than the teeth. Nor can the tongue, as Buffon seems to suppose, serve for the purposes of suction, since for this it must be hollow like a syringe, which it is not found to be. I should therefore suppose, that the animal is endowed with a strong power of suction; and that, without inflicting any wound whatsoever, by continuing to draw it enlarges the pores of the skin in such a manner that progression. These genera include species the Pennsylvania hospital: on the subsequent which are discovered in every habitable part evening a male individual, of the same speof the globe, of various maguitudes, from the cies, was also taken in the same manner. In size of a half-grown cat, to that of a half- August, 1830, a very fine specimen was grown mouse.
brought to the Academy of Natural Sciences, of this numerous family, only three genera, and Mr. Audubon informs me that the species of modern authors, inhabit the United States, has very recently been observed in New York. viz. Rhinopoma, Vespertilio, and Taphozous. The natural characters of the species are:Seven species, exclusive of the present, are General colour black, sprinkled with grey all that have been hitherto discovered in above and beneath; ears black and naked; North America.
auriculum, short and broad or obtusely trianWe propose to dedicate this new species to gular; iuterfemoral membrane, sparsely hairy; our valuable friend, the justly celebrated natu. last joint of the tail free: two incisors with ralist, J. J. AUDUBON, as a small tribute of notched crowns, on each side of the canine respect to his eminent talents, and the highly teeth of the upper jaw, with a broad interimportant services he has rendered science. vening space without teeth. The drawing which accompanies this paper, The dimensions are, total length 3 inches is from his inimitable pencil.
7 tenths; tail 1:7; length of ear 0-5; breadth This species was first observed during the of ear 0:4; length of leg 1:7; spread of summer of 1829, when an individual female wings 10-7; inhabit Pennsylvania and New flew into the apartment of the late Dr. Ham. York, and probably the southern states.-ARmursly, then one of the resident physicians of CANA OF SCIENCE, 1833.
(8) Ulloa, vol. i. p. 58.
the blood at length passes, and that more freely the longer the operation is continued; so that at last, when the bat goes off, the blood continues to flow. In confirmation of this opinion we are told, that where beasts have a thick skin, this animal cannot injure them; whereas, in horses, mules, and asses, they are very liable to be thus destroyed. As to the rest, these animals are considered as one of the great pests of South America ; and often prevent the peopling of many parts of that continent: having destroyed at Barja, and several other places, such cattle as were brought there by the missionaries in order to form a settlement.*
The gradations of nature from one class of beings to another are made by imperceptible deviations. As we saw in the foregoing chapters quadrupeds almost degraded into the insect tribe, or mounted among the inhabitants of the air, we are at present to observe their approach to fisbes, to trace the degrees by which they become more unlike terrestrial animals, till the similitude of the fish prevails over that of the quadruped.
THE OTTER.t-In the first step of the progression from land to amphibious animals, we find the otter, resembling those of the terrestrial kind in shape, bair, and internal conformation; resembling the aquatic tribes in its manner of living, and in having membranes between the toes to assist it in swimming. From this peculiar make of its feet, which are very short, it swims even faster than it runs, and can overtake fishes in their own element. The colour of this animal is brown ; and it is somewhat of the shape of an overgrown weasel, being long, slender, and soft skinned. However, if we examine its figure in detail, we shall find it unlike any other animal hitherto described, and of such a shape as words can but weakly convey. Its usual length is about two feet long, from the tip of the nose to the insertion of the tail : the head and nose are broad and flat; the mouth bears some similitude to that of a fish; the neck is short, and equal in thickness to the head; the body long; the tail broad at the insertion, but tapering off to a point at the end ; the eyes are very small, and placed nearer the nose than usual in quadrupeds. The legs are very short, but remarkably strong, broad, and muscular: the joints are articulated so loosely, that the animal is capable of turning them quite back, and bringing them on a line with the body, so as to perform the office of fins. Each foot is furnished with tive
Bats." Bats seem to be gregarious ani- measured nearly fifteen inches from the tip mals. Vast numbers of them were lately of one wing to the tip of the other. Its ears found under the roof of an old building in were very short, and its fur of a chestnut coRichmond Park. I had two sorts of them lour. The place where it was found had a most brought to me, neary similar in shape, but offensive and noisome smell. These larger one considerably larger than another. It is bats were quite as numerous as the smaller probable that we had formerly a larger breed species. A great number of them were also of bats in this county than we find at present found in an old building in Coombe Wood, One of the workmen employed in the remains adjoining Richmond Park, and subsequently of Cardinal Wolsey's hall in Hampton Court ten in a decayed tree in that park. This Palace, brought me the skeleton of a bat, circumstance shows that they do not migrate, which he found at the end of one of the as Mr. White thought they did.—G1.EANINGS. rafters of the ceiling. The animal when alive + The otter differs in no respect from the must have been as large as a pigeon.” The weasel kind, except in having the feet webbed, one brought from Richmond Park, Mr. Jesse and in living almost constantly in the water, conceives to be the Vespertilio altivolans, from whence they chiefly derive their food, mentioned by White in his Selborne. It which is fish.