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JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, F. II. S.,. fee. cfec. 


THE REV. JOHN HACHMAN, D.D., etc. &c. 



(LATK ROE T.l)CK\V()(lI> A S(>\,) 

' " *%^ 






Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1849, by 


In li e Clc-k's Office of the District Com of tlie Southern District of New-York, 


The father of John James Audubon, at the age of twelve years, left his 
home near Nantes, in France, and shipped as a sailor-boy before the mast 
in a fishing- vessel bound for this country. Soon he becfime captain of a 
small vessel, and by degrees was promoted until he became an officer of 
considerable influence and distinction in the imperial navy of Napoleon. 
While residing in San Domingo, in the West Indies, he made several visits 
to this country, and in one of them he met a lady of Spanish birth in 
Louisiana, whom he married. He died in 1818, at the age of ninety-five, at 
Eochefort on the Loire, where he owned a large estate. 

John James Audubon, the naturalist, was born on his father's plantation 
near New Orleans, in 1780, and was the youngest of a family of three sons 
and one daughter. When quite young, he resided for a short time in San 
Domingo, on his father's estate, before he was sent to France to receive his 

His father's desire was that he should enter the navy, and his studies 
were directed accordingly ; but even then he began to show the bent of his 
mind, and to evince those talents for which in after years he became so 

Not only did he in his frequent excursions in the vicinity of Nantes form 
a large collection of objects in natural history, but even at that early age 
he actually made a collection of upward of two hundred drawings of 
French birds. 

Seeing his son's tastes, and that they interfered seriously with his studies, 
his father soon abandoned the idea of educating him either for the army or 
navy, and sent him at the age of seventeen to attend to his property at 
Mill Grove, on the Perkiomen Creek, near Philadelphia, which he had pur- 
chased in one of his early visits to this country. Here he indulged his 
passion for hunting, fishing, and collecting specimens of natural history; 
and, according to his own statement, first conceived the idea of that great 
work on American Ornithology, which has made him famous. As he after- 




ward .rote, ■' HnntinK. iishing, unci drawing occupied my every moment • 
cares I knew not, and cared uotliiug for them " ' 

Owing to a difficulty witlx an a«ent whom his father sent over partly to 
assjst and partly to advise Inn, and who assumed, he thought, too much 
authont, he suddenly left for New York, n.aking the journey on foot 
mid-wmt^r m three days. IVom that city he sailed for France to lay his 
comp amts before hzs father, who acknowledged they were just, and prom! 
ised to remove his agent. He remained in France over a yea and 
added largely to his collection of drawings and specimens of st'uffed 

On his retm^ to Mill Grove his father recalled his agent, and Audu- 
bon was aga.n free from all control. On his previo.^ visit he h.d 
become acquamted with Lucy Bakewoll. whose father. William Bake- 

rtel ; . "t "• "'"' "' ""'" ^^"^^' '^'' *^^^ acquaintance soon 
npened mto affection. Before consenting to their marriage. Mr. Bake. 

-U adnsed A^ulubon to engage in some mercantile bu;iness; and 

m nt ''T^r 1 '.' "^"'^ *° ""'^ ^'^'^' ""'^ -^-^'^ '^^ -^aU-1- 
Z I '"""'" ''^^'"""- ^^^ ^"•^""^"' ^— r, appears to 

ol birds'" rrr ''• '.^ '^^""*^ P"^'^'^^* °^ gathering specimens ' 
ol buds and natural curiosities than to his business, he soon 
neglected as he had previously done his studies. His rooms were crowded 
with specimens of birds, animal, mosses, eggs, and stones; and. indeed 
^ch an odor emanated from them, owing to the drying of birds' skin, that 
his neighbors made a legal complaint against him on account of the nui- 

irnot mt' 1 r' ''"'' '"""' '"""""' ^""^°"" ^''^ '-^ f--J^^ that he 
wa not fitted for a mercantile life, he gladly returned to his old home 
and his pleasures. 

Soon after, in 1808. Audubon and Ferdinand Rosier, with whom he had 
beconie acquainted in his last visit to France, started far the West, hoping 
to make some investment or enter into some business suited to his tastes 

nv^stfr ---gements accordingly. He sold his property, 

invested the money in good, and was married the same year 

Audubon and his wife, with their merchandise, arrived safely at Louis- 
ville, having sailed down the Ohio from Pittsburg in a flat-bottomed boat 
such as was used for river navigation at that time 

Here again his favorite pursuits engrossed too much of his time and 
caused Lim to surrender the management of his business almost rt'.:!:;' 
to .ios,.er. As might be expected, it soon proved to be uusuccesstul, and 



the partupis cleteriuincd to transfer it to Heuclorsonville, about one hun- 
dred and twenty miles down the river. It was while in business in Louis- 
ville that he first met Wilson the naturalist, and the interview is thus 

described by him in his Ornithological Biography: 

"One fair morning I was surprised by the sudden entrance into our count- 
ing-room, at Louisville, of Mr. Aiexunder Wilson, the celebrated author of the 
'American Ornithology,' of whose existence I had never until that moment 
been apprised. Tliis liappened in March, 1810. How well do I remember him 
as he then walked up to me! His long, rutiier hooked nose, the keenness of his 
eyes, and his prominent clieekbo.ies, stamped his countenance with a peculiar 
chunicter. His dress, too, was of a kind not usually seen in that part of the 
country : a short coat, trousers, and a waistcoat of gray clotli. His stature was 
not above the middle size. He iuid two rolumes under his arm; and as he 
approacluHl tiie table at which I was working I discovered something like 
astonisiuuent in his countenance. He, however, immediately proceeded t^'o dig. 
close tiie object of bis visit, which was to procure subscrijjtion for his work. 
He opcnod his books, explained the nature of his occupation, and requested 
my pat'-onage. I felt surprised and gratified at tlie sight of his volumes, 
turned over a few of his plates, and had already taken a pen to write my name 
in ins favor, wlien my partner rather abruptly said to me in French, ' My dear 
Audubon, what induces you to subscribe to this work ? Your drawings are 
certainly far better; and again, you must know as much of the habits of 
American b' as this gentleman.' Wiiether Mr. Wilson understood French 
or not, or if t_ suddenness wHh which I paused disappointed him, I cannot 
tell ; but I clearly perceived that lie was not pleased. Vanity and the en- 
comiums of my friend prevented me from subscribing. Mr. Wilson asked m- 
if I luid many drawings of birds. I rose, took down a large portfolio, laid it 
on the table and sliowed him,— as I would show you, kind reader, or any other 
person fond of such subjects,— the whole of the contents, with the sam • 
patience with which he bad shown me his own engravings. His surprise 
appeared great, as be told me he never had the most distant idea that any 
other individual than himself had been engaged in forming such a collection 
He asked me if it was my intention to publish, and when I answered in the 
negative, his surprise seemed to increase. And truly such was my intention • 
for, until long after, when I met the Prince of Musignano in Pliiladelphia, I had 
not tlie least idea of presenting the fruits of my labor to the world. Mr Wil- 
son now examined my drawings with care, asked if I should have any objec- 
tions to lending him a few during his stay; to which I replied that I had none 
He tlien bade me good-m*.rning, not, however, until I had made an arran-r- 
ment to explore the woods in the vicinity with bim, and bad promised to pro- 
cure for bim some birds, of which I bad drawings in my collection, but which 
he had never seen. It happened tliat he lodged in the same house with us • 
but his retired habits, I tbougiit, exliiliited either a strong feeling of discon- 
tent or a decided melancholy. The Scotch airs which he played sweetly on 
his flute made me melancholy too, and I felt for bim. I presented him to my 
wife and friends; and seeing that he was all enthusiasm, exerted myself as 



JOHN JAMES AUDUIioN. . as was ii, ,„y ,.,nvor to pn,curo for him the «pc.ciin..>us Ik- uautcd. Wo 
' h.^cther, aad ohtaiued birds, which h. had ..ovcr belbre seen; hu^ 
icadcT, I d.d not .ul,.o.ilK. to his work, lur, ev... a( that tinie, ,nv collection was 
greater than Ins. 1 lunkinj,^ that perha,.. he n>i;,H,l he pleased' to publish the 
resuts ol my researches, I offere.l them to hin,, n.erely oa condition that 
wha r had dra^vn. or might aCterwanl draw and mnd to him, should be 
mentioned in h.s works us comin- frum my p.Leil. At the .smu. lime I offered 
to open a corre.|.ondenco with him. wlueh I thou,.M>t mi-ht prove benelieial 
to i,s both. He made no reply to either proposal, and before nuuiy .lays had 
elapsed left Louisville on his way lo New Orh.ans, little knowin- how'mn.'h 
his talents were ni)preciuted in our little town, at least by myself and mv friends 
"Some time elapsed, during which I never heard of him or his works At 
length, having occasion to go to Philadelj.hia, I in.iuired for liMn, and ,,aid him 
u visit. Ho was then drawing a white-headed eagle. He received me with 
civility, and took me to the exhibition-rooms of Hembrandt IVale, the artist 
who had then portrayed Napoleon crossing the Alps. Y Wilson spoke not 
of birds or drawings. Feeding, as I was forced to do, that my company was 
not agreeable, I parted from him; and after that I never saw him again But 
judge of my astonisliment, some time after, when on reading the thirty-ninth 
page of .he ninth volume of his 'Amorlcan Ornithology,' I found in it the fol- 
lowing paragraph: — 

"'March 23rd, 1810: I bade adieu to Louisville, to which place I had four 
lettf^rs of recomm.-ndation, and was tanght to expect much of everythin.r there • 
but neither received one act of civility from tnose to whom I was recommended' 
one subscriber, nor one new bird; though I delivered my letters, ransacked the' 
woods repeatedly, and visited all the characters likely to subscribe. Science or 
literature has not one friend in this place.' " 

Soon another change was deemed advisable, and the stock was removed 
to St. Genevieve, about twenty miles below St. Louis. Becoming wearied 
of business, Au-lubon sold his interest to his partner in 1812, and on horse- 
back returned to Ilendersonville, where he had left his wife and hib son 
Victor. His journey to St. Geneviovo, and the perils of his return, are 
gi-aphically described in his " Ornithological Biography,' and show him to 
be a man of uncommon endurance and courage. Shortly after hie return 
to Hendorsonville, hin second son, John Woodhouse, was born. These two 
sons, both of whom have recently died, are frequently mentioned in his 
works, and in after years, as artists and naturalists, accorappnied him in 
his various expeditions, and greatly aided him in preparing his great work 
for publication. 

His life here has thus been described by an eloquent writer :— " His new 
domicile at Hendersonville gave him ample opportunities for the prosecu- 
tion of his ornithological inquiries. He was accustomed to make long 
excursions through all the neighboring country, scouring the fields and 


the woods, and fording the lakes and the rivers. He describoa himself as 
setting out early in the luorniug, with no companion but his dog and gun ; 
the faithful tin box, containing his pencils and colors, slung to h's side ; 
now popping down the unconscious warbler that makes the air vooal from 
some neighboring tree ; now hastening to the broad shelter of a venerable 
oak to dnvw the form and paint the variegiitod piui^age of his victim ; now 
crouching for hours underneath some withered trunk, to observe the habits 
of some shy and timid bird ; now climbing the jagged side of a rocky pre- 
cipice, to find the nest-eggs of the eagle that screams and flutters upon 
the dry top of the storm-blasted beech still higher up ; now treading upon 
the huad of the serpent that hisses and wreathes among the thick leave- 
of the copse ; now starting the bear and cougar from their secret lairs in 
the fas aesses ; iw cleaving with lusty sinew, his gun and apparatus 
fastened above his head, the troubled waterr of .woUen stream ; now 
wandering for days t,hrough the illimitable and pathless thickets of the 
cane-brake, at night slet^ping upon the hard ground, or across the branches 
of treec, and by day almost perishing with thirst ; and now hailing with 
pleasure, at sunset, the distant but cheerful glimmer of the lonely log- 
cabin fire." 

While living at Hendersonville he entered into partnership with his 
brother-in-law in business at New Orleans, under the name of Audubon 
and Co., and invested in it all his pvuilable resources. He continued to 
remain, }iowever, at Hendersonville, absorbed in his favorite pursuits, and 
in a short time this new enterprise met the fate of the previous ones. 

About this time his father died, leaving him his estate in France, and 
about seventeen thousand dollars held in trust lor him by a friend in 
Richmond, Virginia. Before he could obtain the proper credentials and 
prove his identity this friend failed, and he received nothing. In after 
years he generously gave t)ie estate to his sister, and sent one of liis sons 
to France to make the legal transfer. 

His financial embarrassments increasing, he gave up all he possessed and 
returned to Louisville, « with his wife, gun, and drawings." At this time 
he was about forty years of age, and all he possessed was his collection of 
drawings. Still, with a dauntless heart, and not at all discouraged at the 
pvospect before him, he prepared to start anew in Life, hoping for better 
times. At Louisville, and afterward at Cincmnati, he commenced taking 
portraits in crayon and giving drawing lessons, and with such success that . 
he was again in comfortable circumstances. 

On the 12th of October, 1820, as we learn from his diary, he left his 




family iu Ciiicinmiti, \vlu!ie lio had been residing for some time, and staitiid 
for tlio Houtli, partly to increase his collection of drawings, and [)artly to 
see what conld bo done for t, o support of his family. Hi.s diary gives uu 
account of the maimer iu which he spent iiis time, which may bo summed 
up in the following extract, dated "New Orleans, Oct. 25, 1821. Rent(Hl a 
house in Dauphin street, at seventeen dollars a inontli, and determined to 
bring my family here. Since I left Cincinnati, one year ago, I have finished 
sixty-two drawings of birds and plants, tliroe quadrupeds, two snakes, 
fifty portraits of all sorts, and have subsisted by my humble talents, not 
having a dollar when I started. I have sent a draft to my wife, and shall 
begin life in this city with forty-two dollars, health, and much anxiety to 
pursue my plan of collecting all the birds of America." 

During all his troubles and wanderings, this great plan seems to have 
taken hold of his mind, and to this everything else bocaiuo subordinate, as 
will be seen in the following extract from his diary :— " Mr. Basterop 
called on me and wished me to join him iu painting a panorama of tho 
city ; but my birds, my beloved birds of America, occupy all my time, and 
nearly all my thoughts, and I do not wish to see any other perspective 
than tho last specimen of these drawings." 

It may be well to remark here that Audubon's diary is full of exciting 
personal adventures, descriptions of scenery, and the manners and customs 
of the times iu what were then the more unsettled parts of this country. 
These he has often introduced iu si arate chapters in his " Ornithological 
Biography," which was Mie title he gave to the text describing the plates in 
his folio edition of the "Birds of America." Some of these incidents we:d 
also incorporated, tbough not so fully, in the smaller edition of his works 
which he afterward published. 

In December, 1821, after fourteen m(3ntlis of separation, his family re- 
joined him. His means continued very limited, so that with the ^'^reatost 
difliculty ho was able to supply them with the absolute necessaries of life. 
In the early part of 1822 Ids diary is very brief, on account of his diffi- 
culty, as he says, " to procure even money enough to buy a book iu which 
to write it." 

In the spring of 1822, despairing of success in New Orleans, he started 
for Natchez, paying for his passage by taking the portraits of the captain 
and his wife. Ou the trip he found that a box containing a large number 
of drawings of birds had been much damaged by the breaking of a bot- 
tle eimtaining gunpowder; a misfortune, however, not nearly so serious as 
the following, which alterward l)efi 11 liim :— 



In ii siugle night two rats destroyed more than two hundred drawings, 
representing several hundred birds, so much so, that only a few pieces 
• of gnawed paper remained of his labor for years. " The burning heat," 
writes Audubon, " which iustiintly ru.shed through my brain, was too great 
to be endured, without alleeting tlui whole of my nervous system. I slept 
not for several laghts, and tliu days passed like days of oblivion— until my 
animal powers being recalled into action through the strength of my con- 
stitution, I took up my gun, my note-book, and my pencils, and went forth 
into the woods as gayly as if nothing had happened." He consoled him- 
self by the thought that he could make better and more faithful ones 
than those which had been destroyed. 

In the fall of that year his wife and family rejoined him at Natchez. 
Notwithstanding all his enthusiasm and determination, it may be a 
question whether he would ultimately have succeeded in establishing his 
reputation as an artist and naturalist, had not his wife encouraged him in 
every way in her power, and by her own personal efforts aided him in the 
sui)port of the family. He writes— "My best friends solemnly regarded 
me as a madman, and my wife and family alone gave me encouragement. 
My wife determined that my genius should prevail, and that my final suc- 
cess should be triumphant." 

After a year of vicissitudes at Nafchez, wliich he describes in his diary, 
Audubon started for Philadelphia, to seek employment as a teacher, and 
in other ways to obtain help to complete his book. 

He took with him his son Victor, then fourteen years of age ; and when 
they entered Louisville, he says he had just thirteen dollars in his pocket. 
Ho managed to find a place for his sou in the counting-house of a friend, 
and to obtain the moans of continuing his journey he took an order to 
paint the interior of a steamboat. 

In the spring of 182i, Audubon roacluHl Philadelphia with his collection 
of drawings, where ho made the acquaintance of Sully, the portrait painter ; 
Lo Suer. the zoologist and painter; Ilembrandt Peale ; Prince Carrino,' 
the son of Lucien Bonaparte ; and other eminent artists. He appears 
to luivo met with little encouragement in Philadelphia, f.)r he soon 
returned to Bayou Sara, where lie had left his wife and youngest son, 
payu.g his expenses in part by taking i^irtraits whenever opportunity 
offered, and suff.-ring oftentinu^s whc-n this resource failed him. He still 
kept up his spirits, for he writes, after visiting the Falls of Niagara-" I 
afterward strolled through the village to fi„,l some bread and milk, and 
ato a good dinner for twelve cents. I went to bed at night thinking of 




Franklin eating his roll in the stroets of Philadelphia, of Goldsmith travel- 
ling by the help of his musical powers, and of other great men who had 
worked their wfj through hardships and difficulties to fame, and fell 
asleep, hoping, by persevering industry, to make a name for myself among 
my countrymen." 

In the spring of 1826 he left his family at Bayou Sara, and sailed for 
England from New Orleans, with the intention of seeking that aid in pub- 
lishing his work which he had failed to find in this country. At Liverpool 
he publicly exhibited his drawings at the Eoyal Institution, with consider- 
able profit; but at Manchester the result was otherwise. At Edinburgh 
he made an arrangement with Mr. Lisars, the engraver of Selby's Birds, to 
engrave the first number of his work, containing five plates, the size 
of life. 

On the 26th of March, 1827, while in Edinburgh, he issued the following 
prospectus of that great work whiea has rendered his name famous. For 
more than twenty-five years it had absorbed all his time and thoughts, 
and to it he had sacrificed both money and comfort. It has been faithfully 
carried out, though at the time he had not money enough to pay for the 
first of the ninety numbers proposed, and which when completed would 
cost more than one hundred thousand dollars. But Audubon was no ordi- 
nary man, and with discouragements on every side, he boldly commenced 
the undertaking, sustained almost entirely by his own indomitable 


" To those who have not seen any portion of the author's collection of original 
drawings, it may be proper to state, that tlieir superiority consists in the 
accuracy as to proportion and outline, and tlie variety and truth of the attitudes 
and positions of the figures, resulting from the peculiar means discovered and 
employed by tlie author, and his attentive examination of the objects portrayed 
during a long series of years. Tiie author lias not contented himself, as others 
have done, with single profile views, but in very many instances has grouped 
liis figures so as to represent the originals at their natural avocations ; and has 
placed them on branches of trees, decorated with foliage, blossoms, and fruits, 
or amidst plants of numerous species. Some are seen pursuing their prey 
through the air, searching for food amongst the leaves and herbage, sitting in 
their nests, or feeding their young ; whilst others, of a diiferent nature, swim, 
wade, or glide in or over their allotted element. 

"The insects, reptiles, and fishes that form the food of these birds, have now 
and then been introduced into the drawings. In every instance where a differ- 
ence of plumage exists between the sexes, both the mule and female have been 
represented ; and the extraordinary ch.inges which some species undergo in tlieir 
prt)gres8 from youth to maturity have been depicted. The plants are all eopicd 



from nature, and as many of the originals are remarkable for their beauty, their 
use Illness, or their rarity, the botanist cannot fail to look upon them with 

" The particulars of the plan of the work may be reduced to the following 
heads : 

"I. The size of the work is double-elephant folio; the paper being of the 
finest quality. 

"11. The engravings are, in every instance, of the exact dimensions of the 
drawings, which, without any exception, represent the birds and other objects 
of their natural size. 

"III. The plates are colored in the most careful manner from the original 

"IV. The work appears in numbers, uf which five are published annually, 
each number consisting of five plates. 

" V. The price of each number is two guineas, payable on delivery." 

From Edinburgh, Audubon went to London, where he made the acquaint- 
ance of the celebrated painter, Sir Thomas Lawrence, through whose aid he 
Bold several pictures at remunerative prices. The following extracts from 
his letters give a fair illustration of the difficulties he encountered, and his 
determination still to proceed. " Without the sale of these pictures I was 
a bankrupt, when my work was scarcely begun ; and in two days more I 
should have seen all my hopes of publication blasted, for Mr. Havell, the 
engraver, had already called to say that on Saturday I must pay him sixty 
pounds. I was then not only not worth a penny, but had actually bor- 
rowed five pounds a few d«vs before to purchase materials for my pictures. 
But these pictures which Sir Thomas sold for me enabled me to pay my 
borrowed money, and to appear full-handed when Mr. Havell called. 
Thus I pa.ssed the Rubicon ! At that time I painted all day, and sold my 
work during the dusky hours of evening, as I walked through the Strand, 
and other streets, where the Jews reigned, popping in and out of Jew- 
shops or any others, and never refusing the offers made mo for the pictures 
I carried fresh from the easel." And again, "July 2nd, I am so com- 
pletely out of spirits, that I have several times opened my book, held the 
pen, and felt anxious to write ; but all in vain. I am too dull, too mourn- 
ful. I have given the copy of my first number of the Birds to Mr. Chil- 
dren—a proof; it is the only one in existence, for which he pjiid me the 
price of all the subscribers, i. e., two guineas ; and I may say with safety 
that these two guineas are the only t vo I have had on account of that 

Audubon appears soon to have recovered his spirits, for he writes :— 

"The King! my dear Book! had my work prosontod to his Majesty by Sir 
Wulte; n aller, ut the request of my most excellent friend, J. P. Children of 



Di ■. ^, iiiLU lis WOICIiy 01 all KlllJrS in ffonprnl 'Plw> 

uchess ot Clarence j.uf ao«>, her name ami all rnv fvf l i J 

"7"'f " f'rf^"' "»•> ••■■»«». i .:x^.:i:::tz:t:^:^;^ 

I. the tall of 1«23, A,u,„l,„„ left Lo„„„„ fo, p,,;,, „„„ ..^ j,^. ,.,". 
h. cty ,v„. ,,,,„„ ,l,e celebrated B„.„„ Cviev, by whom bo „a, iuvile.l 
to the Bojal Insluute, „„.l i„l,.„,l„cecl to its „,embers. Au.)„bo.'. <Iraw- 
mg, were much admired as usual, aud Cuvier was requested to mate a 

r'errtZ^:'!'' --' -'^^- ^- --- - » ---^ 

;;~«o« c„„a„y ,.„ .,.,1 1::;:;^ t;;;:r ;::-:; ---- 

ll. , '""'»•""' liginvs, auj be ,,r„i»sos lo i.,il,lisli tlicni snceessivclv if 

bo rcecivos suBBoicnl mcoiiragcmcut fmni lovers of ^cieiiee A „ rl- f ' ' , 

uu.<^sb,,e to t,.e ,reaL , J ^^^z^^ 'X!:::: ::':ZaV':::^r:^::^ 

. ho„s w, 1, H.„,,<, of luxury, sl.ould be williug to secure it. For , ., 
]M,ropeaM nalurahsts were oblio-ed to n.ako known to America tlu r ches' 1 
possessed ; l>ut ,f work of .Mr. Audubon should be e., npl e Ve Si be 

^^ The result of this report was a subscriptiou by the Institute to his 
Ho r,n,ainea in Paris about two months, and obtained thirteen sub- 



In tlie spiiug of 1829. he returned to this country, with about ten pub- 
lished numbers of his woik; but it waa not until fall that he joined liis 
family. He spent the summer in Peuusylvauia, collecting specimens of 
birds and making drawings. In an account of one of tliese excursions, he 
gives a description of the manner in which he prepared himself for' it 
and which was doubtless his usual custom. "I left Philadelphia at four 
m the morning, by the coach, with no other accoutrements than I knew to 
be absolutely necessary for the jaunt which I intended to make. These 
consisted of a wooden box, containing a small stock of linen, drawing- 
paper, my journal, colors, and pencils, together with twenty-five pounds 
of shot, some flints, a due quantum of, my gun ' Tear Jacket,' and a 
heart as true to nature as ever." 

On his way to Bayou Sara, where he had left his wife, Audubon stopped 
at Louisville, and saw his son Victor for tiie first time in five years. He 
remained at Bayou Sara but a short time, still actively engaged in search- 
ing the woods for nc^v specimens, which he often brought homo alive to 
draw from. He then visited in succession Louisville, Washington (where 
he obtained the subscription of Congress to his work), Baltimore, Phila- 
delphia, and New York, obtaining a few names in each city. He was not 
only tlie publisher of his osvn work, but he was obliged to keep it con- 
stantly before the public by personal solicitation, in order to obtain means 
for Its publication. All this must have added largely to his cares and 
occupied mucli of his time. ' 

From New York, in 1830, he sailed the socond time for En-land His 
list of subscriptions had fallen off a little, not enough, however, to discour- 
age him. During his absence he had been elected a Fellow of the Royil 
Society, an honor which he appears to have appreciated. He visited most 
ot tlie principal cities in England to obtain subscriptions; but these came 
m so slowly, that he was obliged to resort again to painting pictures of 
birds and animals, which he generally sold at fair prices. 

The first of the four volumes of the plates was now completed, and he 
writes : — • 

"I have balanced my account with the ' Birds of America,' and the whole 
bs,.K... really wo,uIern,l;ibi.ytiiousand dollars have ,.La tln^^jty 
hands U" . ;., compleliou of the (irst volume. Who would believe tl,.,f .,1 ., i 
.K^jvidual, ...0 lauded i„ England without a IVieud il/uL w^^i^ ^i^.^ ^ 

^Hh only s.dhc.eut pecuuiary moans to travel through it as a visitor cm 
have ae.,„, .hed such a task as teis puhlieutionv Vho would l^e!^ 
ever .u f.udon Audubou had only one sovereign lell in hi. poeUet, a UM " 

if a single individnuj 

!"■ could apply tu burrow auoLJier, wiiei 





he was on the verge of failure in the very beginning of his undertaking ; and 
above all, who would believe that he extricated himself from all his difficulties, 
not by borrowing money, but by rising at four o'clock in the morning, working 
hard all day, and disposing of his works at a price which a common laborer 
would have thought little more than sufficient remuneration for his work ? To 
give you an idea of my actual difficulties during the publication of ray first 
volume, it will be sufficient to say, that in the four years required to bring that 
volume before the world, no less than fifty of my subscribers, representing the 
sum of tifty-six thousand dollars, abandoned me. And whenever a few with- 
drew I was forced to leave Loudon, and go to the provinces to obtain others to 
supply their places, in order to enable me to raise the money to meet the 
expenses of engraving, coloring, paper, printing, etc.; and that, with ali my con- 
stant exertions, fatigues, and vexations, I find myself now having but one 
hundred and thirty standing names on my list. 

" England is most wealthy, and among her swarms of inhabitants there are 
many whom I personally know, and to whom, if I were to open my heart, there 
would be a readiness to help me for the sake of science ; but my heart revolts 
from asking such a favor, and I will conanue to trust in that Providence which 
has helped me thus far." 

In the autumn of 1831, Audubon again returned to this country, and 
almost immediately started on an expedition to Florida, hoping there to 
find both land and water birds which he had not yet seen. His journal at 
that time is very full, and abounds in most exciting adventures and 

In the next year, with his wife and sous, he went to Maine, and thence, 
in an United States revenue cutter, to the Bay of Fundy, and afterward 
to Labrador, still in pursait of new birds, principally aquatic. In the 
mean time he had sent his sou Victor to England, to attend to his interests 
there while he continued his researches, making drawings fvom birds, 
and re-drawings when he thought that the previous ones might be im- 

In the course of these researches he again made a visit to Labrador, 
which he has very fully described in his diary. The following extract will 
show that these expeditions consumed much money as well as time :— 
" We reached New York on the morning of the Ttli of September, and, 
thank God, found all well. I paid the balance of the Ripley's charter, 
eight hundred and sixty-two dollars, and a balance of four hundred and 
thirty dollars, to * * * which he had advanced to * * * for me. 
I was not very well pleased that nearly the whole burden of the Labrador 
voyage was put on my shoulders, .or rather taken out of my poor purse ; 
but I was silent, and no one knew my thoughts on that subject." 

In the spring of 1834, he made his third visit to England, where he 



remained two years busily occupied in writing the text of the plates, and 
obtaining subscriptions. He gives in one of his letters an amusing ac 
count of a visit to Baron Rothschild, who subscribed to his book without 
seeing it, or inquiring the price ; but when some months after he presented 
his bill for the numbers delivered, amounting to one hundred pounds, the 
baron refused to give more than five pounds, and actually returned them 
because Audubon would not sell them at that price. 

After a residence of about two years in England, he again returned to 
this country with Victor, his eldest son, to collect more materials for his 
work. For nearly two years he travelled through the Southern States, and 
even in Texas— then an independent republic; increasing at the same time 
his collection of drawings and knowledge of birds. He obtained a few 
subscribers, but his expenses far exceeded his receipts. In his estimate of 
the cost of his book, Audubon never took into account these traveUiug 
expenses, which, during its publication, had amounted to a large sum. 

He then made his fourth and last voyage to England, where he wrote 
the fourth and fifth volumes of the text, which, with the last volume of the 
plates, were published in 1839, twelve years after the first drawing was 
placed in the hands of the engraver, and about twenty-four years since he 
first conceived the plan of the work. 

That same year he returned to this country, and immediately, with his 
accustomed energy, commenced the publication of the octavo edition of the 
"Birds of America" in numbers, which he finished in about four years. 
In the life-size, or folio edition, the birds were arranged without any plan, 
except to make the numbers generally uniform in interest, and as Audubon 
could furnish the engraver with drawings. In this edition the bir^V are 
scientifically classified, which adds much to its value as a book of reference, 
and to correspond with this new arrangement the Ornithological Biography 
was entirely rewritten. During the publication of this new edition h^ was 
still engaged in searching for new specimens, so that it actually contains 
many birds not found in the larger work. Its convenient form, and the 
comparatively moderate price at which it was published, with the frmly 
established reputation of Audubon as a naturahst, have given to this edi- 
tion a success which has even exceeded his expectations, and has compen- 
sated him for the loss he must have sustained in the publication of his 
larger work. It will long remain an acknowledged standard on all questions 
relating to the birds of this country, and a monument to the energy and 
ability of its author. 
For several years Audubon, with the aid of his sons and the Rev. John 




Bachman, D.D., Lis brothor-in-law, had been gathering materials for a 
woric on the Quadrupeds of North America. He had not seen the great 
plains of the far West nor the Eocky Mountains, and he felt that he must 
do so, if he would describe properly the animals to be found there, of which 
very little was known. Although he had lost the vigor of youth, and even 
of early manhood, he determined to carry out his long-cherished desire to 
make this journey, which he knew would be more perilous than any he had 
undertaken, and which he also knew would be his last. This journey was 
undertaken in 1843, and is fully described in his diary. When Audubon 
returned from this expedition, he was over sixty years of age, yet he began 
at once the publication of his new work with almost his old energy. 

The first volume of plates was published in 1846, under his own super- 
vision ; but the second and third volumes, published in 1851 and 1854, were 
published under the direction of his sous. The work contained one hun- 
dred and fifty-five magnificent plates, engraved from original sketches, and 
representing three hundred and twenty animals, either of life-size, or their 
scale distinctly given. The animals are drawn with all that accuracy of 
outline, that grace and vigor of action, that fidelity of form and color 
which characterized the pencil of this great naturalist. They seem to be 
living, moving, breathing animals, instinct with life and activity. 

Shortly after the publication of this folio edition, an octavo one was 
issued in i ambers, uniform with the smaller edition of the Birds previously 
published, and containing as many plates as the larger. 

After 1848 his health as well as his mind began to fail, and finally he 
lost the use of his eyes, which had been remarkable for their brilliancy, 
and he was obliged to be led about and watched over by his friends. Just 
before his death, however, they resumed, in part, their former beauty, so 
much so that one of his sons remarked at the time, — " Father's eyes have 
now their natural expression." 

But this varied and eventful life was now drawing to its close. On the 
27th of January, 1851, at the age of seventy-two, surrounded by his 
family, the great American naturalist quietly passed away. His remains 
now lie in the family vault in Trinity Church cemetery, which adjoins his 
own property on the Hudson river, near New York ; and his two sons, so 
often and tenderly mentioned in his works, have since been laid by his 

" For sixty years or more he had followed, with more than religious 
devotion, a beautiful and elevated pursuit, enlarging its boundaries by his 
discoveries, and illustrating its objects by his art. In all climatp« ""d ir, 



all weathers ; scorched by burning suns, drenched by piercing rains, frozen 
by the fiercest colds; now diving fearlessly into the densest forest, now 
wandering alone over the most savage regions; in perils, in difficulties, 
and in doubts ; with no companion to cheer his way, far from the smiles 
and applause of society; listening only to the sweet music of birds, or to the 
sweeter music of his own thoughts, he faithfully kept his path. The records 
of man's life contain few nobler examples of strength of purpose and in- 
defatigable energy. Led on solely by his pure, lofty, kindling enthusiasm, 
no thirst for wealth, no desire of distinction, no restless ambition of eccen- 
tric iharacter, could have induced him to undergo as many sacrifices, or 
sustained him under so many trials. Higher principles and worthier 
motives alone enabled him to meet such discouragements and acconjplish 
such miracles of achievement. He has enlarged and enriched the domains 
of a pleasing and useful science ; he has revealed to us the existence of 
many species of birds before unknown ; he has given us more accurate 
information of the forms and habits of those that were known ; he has cor- 
rected the blunders of his predecessors ; and he has imparted to the 
study of natural history, the grace and fascination of romance." 

G. E. L.— 1870. 



In presenting the following page<^ to the public, the authors 
desire to say a few words explanatory of the subject on 
which they have written. The difficulties they have attempted 
to surmount, and the labour attending their investigations, 
have far exceeded their first anticipations. 

Many of the " Quadrupeds of North America" were long 
since described by European authors, from stuffed specimens; 
and in every department of Natural History, additions to 
the knowledge of the old writers have been making for years 
past; researches and investigations having been undertaken by 
scientific observers in all parts of the world, and many 
specimens accumulated in the Museums of Europe. Com- 
paratively little, ho^vever, has of late been accomplished toward 
the proper elucidation of the animals which inhabit the fields, 
forests, fertile prairies, and mountainous regions of our widely' 
extended and diversified country. 

The works of Harlan and of Godman were confined to 
the limited number of species known in their day. The 
valuable "Fauna Boreali Americana" of Richabdson w„s p^in. 
cipully devoted to the descriptior -.ecies which exist in 

the British Provinces, north of . . ,;. ,d States ; and the 
more recent work of Dr. Dekay protesses to describe only 
the Quadrupeds of the State of New York, although g^ .-ing a 




catalogue of those noticed by authors as existing in other 
portions of North Amei-ica. 

Several American and European Zoologists have, however, 

at different times, given the .esults of their investigations in 

various scientific journals, thus making it important for us 

to examine numberless papers, i)ublished in different cities 

of Euro])e and America. We have, in all cases, sou-hfc to 

discover and give due credit to every one who has in this 

manner made known a new species; but as pof-^^bly some 

author may have published discoveries in a j'-iirnal we have 

not seen, we must at once announce our conviction, that 

the task of procuring and reading all the zoological papers 

scattered through the pages of hundreds of periodicals, in 

many different languages, is beyond our power, and that no 

one can reasonably complain when we take the liberty of 

pronouncing for ourselves on new or doubtful species without 

hesitation, from the sources of knowledge to which we have 

access, and from our own judgment. 

From the observations we have already made, we are in- 
duced to believe that a considerable number of species are yet 
undescribed, while others, now imperfectly knouu, require a 
closer investigation and a more scientific arrangement; and it 
will be a part of our task to give an account of the former 
and define the position of the lati.r 

The geographical range whic^, r.x Lav?, selected for our in- 
vestigations is very extensive, comprising the British and 
Kussian possessions to the north, the whole of the United 
States and their territories, California, and that part of Mexico 
north of the tropic of Cancer, we h&ving arrived at the conclu- 
sion that, in undertaking the natural history of a country, our 





researches should not be confined by the artificial boundaries 
of States— which may be frequently changed— but by those 
divisions the limits of which are fixed by nature, and where 
new forms mark the effects of a low latitude and warm 
climate. In this way America is divided into three i){iit8:~ 
North America, which iucludes all that country lying north 
of the tropics; Central or Troj)ical America, the countries 
within the tropics; and South America, all that country south 
of the tropic of Capricorn. 

Within the tropical region, peculiar forms are presented in 
every department of nature— we need only instance the 
Monkey tribe among the animals, the Parrots among the birds, 
and the Palms among the plants. 

A considerable portion of the country to which our attention 
has been directed, is at the present period un uncultivated and 
almost unexplored wild, roamed over by ferocious beasts and 
warlike tribes of Indians. 

The objects of our search. Quadrupeds, are far less numerous 
taan birds at all times, and are, moreover, generally nocturnal 
in their habits, and consequently obtained with far greater 
difficulty than the latter. 

Although the Genera may be easily ascertained, by the 
forms and dental arrangements peculiar to eac'i, many speoiea 
so neariy approach each other in size, while they are so 
variable in colour, that it is exceedingly difficult to separate 
them, especially closely allied squirrels, hares, mice, shrews, Ac, 
with positive certainty. 

We are, therefore, far from supposing that our ^vork will be 
frec^ from errors, or that we shall be able to figure and describe 
eve.y species that may exist within our range; although we 




have spared neither time, labour, nor expense, in collecting 
materials for this undertaking. 

We have had our labours lightened, however, by many ex- 
cellent friends and gentlemen in different portions of the 
country, who have, at great trouble to themselves, procui'cd 
and sent us various animals — forwarded to us notes upon tht 
habits of different species, procured works on the sulyect 
otherwise beyond our reach, and in many ways excited our 
warmest feelings of giatitude. Mr. J. K. Townsend, of Ph'.la- 
delphia, allowed us to use the rare and valuable collection 
of Quadrupeds which he o])tained during his laborious re- 
searches on the western prairies, the Eocky Mountains, 
and in Oregon, and furnished us with his notes on tlieir 
habits and geographical distribution. Spencer F. Baikd, Esq., 
of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, aided us by carefully searching 
various libraries for notes and information in regard to species 
published in different journals, and also by obtaining animals 
from the wilder portions of his State, tfec. ; Dr. Baruitt, of 
Abbeville, S. C, prepared and mounted specimens of Lepus 
aquaticus, and several other species; Dr. Tuomas M. Brewer, 
of Boston, favoured us with specimens of a new species of 
shrew-mole (Scalops Breweri), and simdry arvicolre; Edjiuxd 
Rui'i'iN, Esq., of Virginia, sent us several specimens of tho 
rodentia inhabiting that State, and obliged us by communi- 
cating much information in regard to their geographical range; 
the late Dr. John Wright, of Troy, K Y., furnished us 
valuable notes on the various species of quadrupeils found in 
the northern part of the State of New York, and several 
specimens; Dr. Wurdeman, of Charleston, supplied us with 
several specimens of various species of bat from Cuba, thereby 



enabling us to compare them with genera and epeciea existing 
in America. To Professor Lewis E. Gibbes, of the College 
of Charleston, we express our thanks, for several specimens 
of rare quadrupeds, and for his kindness in imparting to us 
much information and scientific knowledge. 

Among others to whose zeal and friendship we are most 

indebted, we are proud to name: Dr. Geo. C. Shattuck and 

Dr. Geo. Parkman, of Boston ; J. Prescott Hall, Esq., James 

G. King, Esq., Major John Leconte, Mr. J. G. Bell, and 

our old friend Issachar Cozzens, of New York ; Hon. Daniel 

Wadsworth, of Hartford; W. O. Ayres, Esq. of Sag Har- 

bour. Long Island; Edward Harris, Esq., of Moorestown, 

New Jersey; Dr. Samuel George Morton and Samuel 

BispiiAM, Esq., of Philadelphia; Wm. Case, Esq., Cleveland, 

Ohio; Ogden Hammond, Esq., of South Carolina; Gideon 

B. Smith, Esq., M. D., of Baltimore ; Messrs. P. Chouteau, Jr., 

<fe Co., St. Louis ; Sir George Simpson, of the Hudson's Bay 

Fur Company; John Marttn, Jr., Quebec; Mr. Fothergill, 

of Canada, <fec., &c., <fec. 

In the course of this work, we shall not indulge ourselves 
in the formation of new genera farther than we may find it 
necessary, and we think the genera at present established will 
include nearly all our species: we shall change no names of 
species already given, except in cases where their being retained 
would lead to error. 

We will endeavour to avoid a mischievous habit into which 
many naturalists have fallen, who, by the formation of new 
genera, considered themselves entitled to add their own after 
the specific name, thus taking credit for discoveries to which 
they were not entitled; on the contrary, as it appears necessai-y 




to give some check to this spirit of innovation, we have re- 
solved to attach to each animal the name of the Jirsi describer, 
although it may have been arranged by subsequent authors 
under other genera. 

Conceiving that no author has a right to give a name to 
species which he has neither seen nor described, we have de- 
termined to reject the names proposed by closet naturalists 
who have ventured to name species noticed but not scientifi- 
cally described by travellers. Hence we do not consider our- 
selves bound to adopt the names given by Eafinesque, Har- 
lan, and others, to the animals noticed by Lewis & Clarke, 
who neither imposed on them scientific names nor procured 
specimens. We shall in this respect follow the example of Dr. 
Richardson, and, in illustration of our views, refer our readers 
to his Fauna Boreali Ameiicana, p. 211. 

Lewis & Clarke (vol. iii., p. 39) described an animal which 
they called Sewellel No specimens were preserved, and no 
scientific name was given by them. From the printed account, 
Rafinesque bestowed on it the name of Anisonyx? Rnfa, 
which was adopted by Desjiarest ; and Harlan, without any 
additional information, called it Arctomifs Unfa. Many years 
afterv/ards, Richardson ol)tained a specimen, gave the first 
scientific description, and named it Ajdodontia Leporlna, very 
properly rejecting the names of those who had no right to 
bestow them. 

In ])ursuing our researches, we are often compelled to differ 
from the views of previous writers. In correcting what we 
conceive to be ciTors, Ave will endeavoui- to be swayed simply 
by a love of truth, treating all with respect, "and adopting such 
language as can be offensive to none. 



For the sake of convenience and uniformity, we have written 
m the plural number, although the facts state.! and the infer- 
mation collec-ted were obtained at different times by the authors 
m their individnal capacities. 

Without entering into details of the labours of each in this 
undertaking, it will be sufficient to add that the history of the 
habits of our quadrupeds was obtained by both authors, either 
from personal observation or through the kindness oi friends 
of science, on whose statements Ml reliance could be placed 

For the designation of species, and the letterpress of the 
present volume, the junior author is principally responsiHe 

I^ our Illustrations, we have endeavoured (we hope not 
without success) to place before our patrons a series of plates 
which are not only scientifically correct, but interesting to all' 
from the varied occupations, expressions, and attitudes we have' 
g.ven to the different species, together with the appropriate 
acce^ories, such as trees, plants, landscapes, *c., with which 
he figures of the animals are relieved; and we have 
to descnbe those represented in the first fifty plates, so 'as 
not only to clear away the obscurity which had gathered over 
aome speces, but to make our readers acquainted with their 
habits, geographical distribuHon, and all we could ascer 
tain of interest about them, and the mode of huntin. or 
destroying such as are pursued either to gratify the appetit; to 
hirnish a rich fur or skin, or in order to get rid of dangerous 
or annoying neighboniu 

of7TT"' "'""*'"'■ "' "" ™"*'"-°''^ ^f '"« Q'-'™p«ds 

of North America is now neariy ready for our subscribers, and 
we hope to conclude this portion of the work without much 
irwgulanty or delay in the appearance of the remaining plates 




Our sincere thanks are respectfully offered to our patrons for 
their liberal and generous encouragement of this undertaking, 
and we beg to assure them we shall ever entertain a lively 
sense of the interest they have taken in the work, and the 
substantial support vouchsafed us. A list of subscribers will 
be found appended to this volume, and farther subscriptions 
will be acknowledged in our next. 

Some of the drawings have been executed by J. W. Au- 
dubon, under our direction, and he is now engaged in Europe 
in making figures of those arctic animals of which accessible 
specimens exist only in the museums of that quarter of the globe. 
Many of the backgrounds were painted by V. G. Audubon. 

Of the manner in which the various artists engaged upon 
the illustrations, under the direction of Mr. J. T. Bowen, have 
done their part, our subscribers are able to judge "or them- 
selves : we feel desirous, however, to say that, to our mind, 
the work has been executed in a beautiful style, and we wish 
publicly to express our thanks to Mr. Bowen, to Mr. Trijibly, 
Mr. Hitchcock, and the other artists who transferred the 
original drawings to the stone, and to Mr. Bisbaugh, whose 
impressions from their plates merit our praise. To all the other 
artists employed by us, we also owe our acknowledgments for 
their valual)le assistance. 

Of the style in which the letter-press is printed, we need 
only say, it was done at the establishment of Mr. Henry 
LuDWiG, of this city, and that it has given us satisfaction. 

Nkw-York, November, 1846. 


Lynx Rufus, . . 
Arctomys Monax, 

Lepus Townsendii, . 
Neotoma Floridana, 
Sciurus Uicbardsonii, 
Vulpes Fulvus (var. Decussat 
Sciiinis Caroliiiensis, 
Tamias Lysteri, . . 
Spermophilus Parryi, 

Scalops Aquaticus, 
Lepus Americaims, 
Fiber Zibethicus, 
Sciurus Hudsonius, 

Pteromys Oregonensis, 
Lynx Canadensis, 
Sciurus Cinereus, 
Lepus Palustris, . . 
Sciurus Moir.pilosus, 
Tamias Townsendii, 
Vulpes Virginianus, 
Lepus Syivaticus, 
Mus Rattus, . . . 
Tamias Quadrivittatus, 
Sciurus Lanugitiosus, 
Gulo Luscus, . . . 
Sciurus Liinigcrus, . 
Pteromys Volucella, 
Neotoma Dnimmondii, 
Sigmodon Hispidum, 


Common American Wild Cat. — Bai/ Lynx, a 
Wood-Chuck. — Maryhnid Marmot. — 

Grovnd-Hog, 16 

Townseud's Rocky Mountain Hare, ... 25 

Florida Rat, 32 

Richardson's Columbian Squirrel, ... 41 

American Cross Fox, 46 

Carolina Gray Squirrel, 56 

Chippiny Squirrel. — Hackee, dc., ... 65 
Pann/s Marmot Squirrel. — Parry's Sper- 

mophile, 77 

Common Anurican Shrew-Mole 81 

Northern Ha,re, 93 

Musk-Rat. — Musquash, 108 

Hidson's Bay Squirrel. — Chickaree. — Red 

Squirrel 125 

Oreyon Flying Squirrel, 132 

Canada Lynx, jgg 

Cat Squirrel, 145 

Marsh-Hare, 151 

Soft-haired Squirrel. 157 

Townsend's Ground Squirrel, .... 159 

Gray Fo.r iq^ 

Gray Rabbit, 173 

Black Rat, jgg 

Four-striped Ground-Squirrel, .... 195 

Downy Squirrel, 199 

Wolverene, or Glutton, 202 

Woolly Squirrel, 214 

Common Flying Squirrel, 2I6 

Rocky Mountain Neotoma, 223 

Cotton Rat, 228 




Dycotylcs Torquatus, 
Lopus Glacialis, . . 
Putorius Vison, . . 
Sciurus Niger, . , 
Sciuriis Migratorius, 

Hystrix Dorsata, . . 
Lepu8 Aquaticus, . , , 
Sciurus Ferruginiventris, , 
fjp^rmophi'iis Tridecemlineatus, 
Alus Leucopus, . . , , 
Mustela Canadensis, . . 
Mepliitis Ciiinga, . . . 
Sciurus Leporinus, . . . 
Pscudostonia Bursarius, 
Arvicola Pennsylvanica, . 
Castor Fiber (var. Amerieanua) 
Melos Labradoria, . . . 
Sciurus Douglassii, . . . 
Spermophilus Douglassii, , 
lipermopliilus Ricliardsonii, 


Collared Peecari/, 23'J 

Polar Hare, 212 

■^'n*. 260 

.Black Squirrel, ... 261 

Mifjratory Gray Sqmrnt. - A orthern Gray 

Squirrel, 205 

Canada Porcupine, 277 

StBam2)-Hare, 287 

Red-bellied Squirrel, 292 

Leopard Spermophile, 2BI 

American WiJte-footed Mouse, .... 300 

Pennant's Marten, or Fisher, 307 

Common American Skunk, 317 

Hare-Squirrel, 329 

Canada Pouched Rat, 332 

Wilson's Meadow Mouse, 341 

American Beaver, ... .... 347 

American Badyer, 3(59 

Douylass' Squirrel, 379 

Douglass' Spermophile, 373 

Richardson's Spermophile, 377 


Genus Lynx, 




Sciurus, . 




Scalops, , 
















3 J 





Incisive -; Canine —-; Cheek-Teeth — := 28. 

1 — 1 3_3 

The teeth in animals of this genus, with the exception of there being one 
less on each side, in the upper jaw, do not differ from the dental arrange- 
ment of the genus Felis. The canine are very strong, there are but three 
molars on each side, above : The small false-molar, next to the canine, 
which exists in the larger species of long-tailed cats, such as the lion, tiger, 
panther, cougar, &c., as well as in the domestic or common cat, is wanting 
in the lynxes. There is one false-molar, or conical tootfi on each side- 
one carnivorous, with three lobes and a tubercle or blunted heel, on the 
inner. The third cheelc-tooth is rather small, and is placed transversely. 
In the lower jaw there are on each side, two false, compressed, simple 
molars, and one canine, which is bicusped. 

The head is short, round, and arched ; jaws short ; tongue aculeated ; 
ears short, erect, more or less tufted. 

Fore-feet with five toes, hind-feet with only four ; nails retractile. Tail 
shorter than the head, although nearly as long, in a few instances. 

The species heretofore classed in the genus Feus have been so multi- 
plied by the discoveries of late years in various parts of the world, that 
they have for some time demanded a careful examination, and the sepa- 
ration of such as present characters essentially different from the types 
of that genus, into other genera. 

Some of the distinctive marks by which the genus Lynx is separateJ 





fcom the old genus, are tlie tufted ears and shorter bodies and tails of 
the lynxes, as well ns the slij^ht diflcrcnce above mentioned in the dental 
arrangement of the two genera. In a note in the American Monthly Ma 
gazine, vol. i., p. 137, R.\i'iNEsauE, in a f< w lines, proposed the genus Lynx, 
but gave no detailed characters, although he states that he had increased 
the species of this genus from four tj fifteen ! in which supposition, alas 
ho ^ IjJ sadly mistaken. 

Dr. DiiKAY, in the " Natural History of New- York," a work puDhshed 
By Authority " of the State, has adopted the genus Lvncus, as established 
by Gray. 

We have not seen the work in which Mr. Gray proposed this generic 
name, and are consequently unable to ascertain on what characters it was 
founded, and we prefer the more classical name of Lynx. The name 
Lynx was formerly applied to one of the species of this genus. It is de- 
'•ived from the Greek work At/yf (liigx), a Lynx. Eight species of Lynx 
iiave been described ; one l)eing found in Africa, two in Persia, one in 
Arabia, two in Europe, and two in North America. 


Common American Wild Cat. — Bay Lynx. 
PLATE 1.— Male. 

L. Cauda capite paullo breviore, ad exiremum supra nigra, apice sub- 
albida ; auribus pagina posteriore maculo sub albido nigro marginato dis- 
tinctis; hyeme et auctuinno rufo-fuscus; vere et JEState cinereo-fuscus. 


Tail nearly as hug as the head, exlremitij on the upper surface blacky 
lipped with more or less ichile ; a whitish spot on the hinder part of the ear 
lordered with black ; general colour reddish-brown in autumn and winter, 
■ishy brown in spring and summer ; soles naked. 


Bay Lysx, Pennant, Hist. Quadr., No. 171. Arctic Zool,, vol. 1., p. 51. 

Felis RtFA, Guld. in Xov. Comm. Petross. jx., p. 499. 

Felis Rufa, Temm., Monoif., &c., vol. 1., p. 141. 

Lynx Fasciatus, Ilafin. in Amer. Month. Mag., 1817, p, 48. 

LvNX MoNTANus, Idem, Ibid., pp. 46, 2. 


LvNX F1.0RIDANUS, Idem, Ibid., pp. 4, 64. 

Lv.vx AiHEus, Idem, Ibid., pp. 4(i, 0. 

Felis Cahoi.inknsih,, Mamm., p. 231, 

FfiLis RuFA, Oodin., Amer. Nat. Hist., vol. iii., p. 239 ; Fig. m vol. I. 


In size and form, tliis spccie.s bear.s some resemblance to sma.i speci 
mens of ihn female Canada Lynx, {Lynx Canndums,) the larger lee anu 

more tufted ears of the latter, however, as well as its grayer cole 1 '\\ 

enable even an unpractised observer at a glance to distinguish the di.. , 
enre between the two specie.i. 

Head of moderate size, rounded ; body rather slender ; legs long ; soles 
of feet naked; hind-feet webbed to wifhiu five-eighths of an inch of the 
claws; ears large, nearly triangular, erect, tipped with coarse hairs haK 
an mch long, wliieh drop out in summer ; the inner surface thinly sprinkled 
with loose hairs, outer, thickly covered with short fur. 

A ruff of elongated hairs surrounding the th.oat, more prominent in the 
male than female : tail short, slender, and slightly turned upwards, 
mammae eight ; pectoral and four abdominal. 


The hind-head and back,, with a dorsal line more or 
less di.stinct,ofdark-brown, running from the shoulder to near the inser- 
tion of the tail. A few irregular longitudinal .stripes on the back of the 
same colour. The sides spotted with dark-brown, these spots being more 
Li^linct and in closer approximation in some specimens than in others 

Forehead obscurely striped with dark-brown. Over and beneath' the 
eyes yellowish-white; whiskers nearly all white. Ears, outer surface 
a triangular spot of dull white, dilated towards the outer margin, bordered' 
wih brownish-black; inner surl-tce yellowish white. Under surface of 
body yel owish white spotted with black; tail, above, barred with rufous 
and black towards the extremity a broad band of black, tipped at the 
point and particularly in the centre with white ; under surface of tail 
I.ui.t-gray, interspersed with small and irregular patches of black hairs' 

Foie-leet on the upper surfece, broadly, and towards the toes minutely' 
spotted wi h black on a light yellowish-brown ground ; inner surface du i 
white, with two broad and several narrow bars of black ; paws beneath 
-Hi ha„. between the sole.s, dark-brown. Ili.d-legs barrell and spotted 
similarly to the fore-legs. Chin and throat dull white, with two black 
mes, comnieucing 0.1 a point on a line with the articulation of the 
'..werjaw, where they form an acute angle, and thence diverge to the 



sides of the npfk, mid unite with the ruft', which is black, mixed with yoK 
lowisli-l)rown iiiid firay hairs. 

Tlie Ictnaic is coiisiderabiy smaller than the male, her body more slen- 
der, and her movements have a stronjier resemblance, in their lightness 
and at,'ility, to those of the common house-cat; the markings appear more 
distinct, and the rounded black spots on the back and sides, smaller and 
more numerous. Then; is in this species a considerable diversity in 
colour, as well as in size. In spring and early summtT, before it has shed 
Us winter coat, it is uniformly more rufous, and the black markings arp 
less distinct, than after shedding its hair, and before the new hair is elon- 
gated i" p.utunin to form the winter cjil. 

Our specimens obtain»'d in summer and autumn, are of a light gray 
colour, with scarcely any nuxture of rufous, and all the black markings 
are brighter and far more distinct than they are in those killed in the win- 
ter or spring months. 

'J'luTc are, however, at all seasons of the year, even in the same neigh- 
bourhood, strongly-marked varieties, and it is difficult to find two indivi- 
duals precisely alike. 

Some specimens are broadly marked with fulvous under the throut, 
whilst in others the throat as well as the chin are gray. In some the 
stripes on the back and spots along the sides are very distinctly seen, 
whilst in others they are scarcely visible, and tL„ animal is grayish-brown 
above with a dark dorsal stripe. A specimen from the mountains of 
Tennsylvania presents this appearance strikingly, and is withal nearly 
destitute of the triangular marking under the throat, so that wc hesitated 
for some time in referring it to this species, A specimen from Louisiana 
is of the same uniform colour above, but with more distinct linear mark- 
ings on the face, and with coarse hair, not more than half the length of that 
of individuals from the Northern States. We obtained a specimen in 
Carolina, w hich in nearly every particular answers to the description oi 
FtUs CaroUncnsis of De.^mauest. If the various supposed new species of 
Wild Cat described by Rafinesuue, Harlan, Desmarest, &c., are entitled 
to a place in our Fauna, on account of some peculiarity of colour, we have 
it in our power, from specimens before us, to increase the number to a 
considerable extent ; l>ut in doing so we think we should only swell the 
list of synonymes, and add to the confusion which already prevails in re 
gard to some of the species belonging to this genus. 


Adult Male. — [Finr Specimen.] 

From point of nose to lOot of tail 
Tail (vertebra) ... 

30 inches. 
5 do. 


Tail, to ct'.d of hair - - ► . . 
From nose to end of skull .... 
From nose, following the cuna'ure of the head 
Tufts on the cars ..... 

Breadth of oar ----.. 
Anterior longth of ear . . .. . 

Length of neck ..... 

Weight nlhs. 




- 4i 













The general appearanee of this species conveys the idea of a degree ol 
ferocity, which cannot with propriety be considered as belonging to itu 
character, although it will, when at bay, siiow its sharp teeth, and with 
outstretched claws and iiiliirialed despair, repel the attacks of either man 
or dgg, sputtering the while, and roiling its eyes like the common cat. 

It is, however, generally cowardly when attacked, and always flies 
from its pursuers, if it can ; and although some anecdotes have been re- 
lated to us of the strength, daring, and fierceness of this animal, such as 
it' having been known to ki)' i.t different times a sheep, a full-grown doe, 
attack a child in the woods, &c. ; yet in all the instances that have come 
under our ovvrn notice, we have found it veiy timid, and always rather 
inclined to a retreat, than to make an attack on any animal larger 
than a hare or a young pig. In the American Turf Register, there is an 
interesting extract of a letter from Dr. Coleman, U. S. A., written at Fort 
Armstrong, Prairie du Chien, giving an account of a contest between an 
eagle and a. Wild Cat. After a fierce struggle, in which the eagle was 
so badly wounded as to be unable to fly, the Cat, scratched and pierced in 
many places, and having had one eye entirely " gouged out " in the com- 
bat, was found lying dead. 

In hunting at night for racoons and opossums, in which sport the negroes 
on the plantations of Carolina take great delight, a Cat is occasionally 
"freed" by the dogs ; and the negroes, who seldom carry a gun, climl) up 
the tree and shake him off as they would do a racoon, and although he 
fights desperately, he is generally killed by the dogs. During a botanical 
excursion through the swamps of the Edisto river, our attention was at- 
tracted by the barking of a small terrier at the foot of a sapling, (young 
tree.) On looking up, we observed a Wild Cat, about twenty feet from 
the ground, of at least three times the size of the dog, which he did not 
appear to be much afraid of. He seemed to have a greater dread of 
man, however, than of this diminutive specimen of the canine race, and 
leaped from the tree as we drew near. 



The Wild Cat pursues his prey with both activity and cunning, sometimes 
boundiiij? suddenly upon the olyect of his rapacity, somctim s with stealthy 
pace, approaching it vr. the darkness of nijjjlit, spizin<r it with his strong re- 
tractile claws and sharp teeth, and bearing it oil" to his retreat in the forest. 

The individual from wiucli our figure was drawn had been caught in a 
steel-trap, and was brought to us alive. We kept it for several weeks; 
it was a fine male, although not the largest we have seen. Like most of 
the predacious animals, it grew fat in confinement, being regularly fed 
on the refuse parts of chickens and raw meat, as well as on the common 
brown rat. * 

The Bay Lynx (as this animal is sometimes called) is fond of swampy, 
retired situations, as well as the wooded sides of hills, and is still seen oc- 
casionally in tliat portion of the YVlleghany mountains which traverses 
the States of Pennsylvania and New-York. It is abundant in the Cane- 
brakes (patches or thickets of the Miegia Macrosperma, of INIioiiaux, which 
often extend for miles, and are almost impassable) bordering the lakes, 
rivers, and lagoons of Carolina, Louisiana, and other Southern and South 
Western States. This species also inhabits the mountains and tlie undu- 
lating or roUhig country of the Southern States, and frequents the thickets 
that generally spring up on deserted cotton plantations, some of which are 
two or three miles long, and perhaps a mile wide, and afford, from the 
quantity of l)riars, shrubs, ;i(l young trees of various kinds which hav? 
overgrown them, excellent cover lor many quadrupeds and birds. In these 
bramble-covered old fields, the " Cats " feed chiefly on the rabbits and rats 
that make their homes in their almost impenetrable and tangled recesses; 
and seldom does the cautious V*'il(l Cat voluntarily leave so comfortable 
and secure a lurking place, except in the breeding season, or to Ibllow in 
very sultry weatl>er, the dry beds of streams or brooks, to jiick up the cat- 
fish, &c., or cray-fish and frogs that remain in the deep holes of the 
creeks, during the drought of summer. 

The Wild Cat not only makes great havoc among the chickens, turkeys, 
and ducks of the planter, but destroys many of the smaller quadrupeds, 
as well as partridges, and such other birds as he can surprise roosting on 
the ground. The hunters often run down the Wild Cat with packs ot 
fox-hounds. When hard presstid by fast dogs, and in an open country, 
he ascends a tree with the agility of a squirrel, but the baying of the dogs 
calling his pursui-rs to the spot, the unerring rifle brings him to the 
ground, when, if not mortally wounded, he fights fiercely with the 
pack until killed. He will, however, when |)ursued by himters with 
hourds, frequently eludes both dogs and huntsmen, by an exercise of in- 
stinct, so closely bordering on i( ason, that we are bewildered in the at* 


tempt to separate it from the latter No sooner does he beeome avvaro 
that the enemy is on his track, than, nstead of taking a straight eourso 
for the deepest forest, he speeds to on« of the largest old-fields over-ro^vn 
with briery thiekets, in the neighbourhood ; and having reached this 
tangled maze, he runs in a variety of circles, crossing and re-crossing his 
path many tin,es, and when he thinks the scent has been diffused sufli- 
oiently m ditferent directions by this mana3uvre, to puzzle both men and 
dogs, he creeps slyly forth, and makes for the woods, or for some well 
known swamp, and if he should be lucky enough to find a half-dried-un 
pon or a part of the swamp, on which the clayey bottom is moist anij 
stickj, he seems to know that the adhesive soil, covering his feet and 
legs, so lar destroys the scent, that although the hounds maybe in full 
cry on reachu.g such a place, and while crossing it, they will lose the 

::i"iiti:r""^'^" -"- -^ -- ? -^^- --^ 

of^w";^"":: '" ""^^"^^^^^ ^l--'l t>y tl- dogs, gains some tract 
of bu, at .ood, common especially in the pine lands of Carolina, where 
fallen and up.ght trees are alike blackened and scorched, by he fire 
ha has run among them burning before it every blade of gis ev ry 
eaf an.l shrub, and destroying many of the largest trees in its furl's 
course; and here, the charcoal and ashes on the ground after ZT 

tlie trunk ,,1 a (Men tree, that has bee, charred in the eornlLali,.™ 
«-.n genera,,, pn. any hound, a, fault. Shonid no such clnoe XaS 
^e v„h,„ h„ reach, he doe, no. despair, but exerting his powe^ of flS 

feet distant, as he c.n [-''Z..'<'' <" I"K'> "P iato a tree some 

- c,ose,;,ua..e::;tri t;:::,::,.'*:,:-' "rr 


'^ J; 



!n some parts of Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana, the 
Wild Cat has at times become so great a nuisance as to have aroused the 
spirit of vengeance in the hearts of the planters, who are constant suf- 
ferers from his depredations. They have learned by experience, that one 
Cat will do as much mischief among the pigs and poultry as a dozen 
gray foxes. They are now determined to allow their hounds, which 
they had hitherto kept solely for the favourite amusement of deer hunting, 
and which had always been whipped-in from the trail of the Wild Cat, to 
pursue him, through thicket, briar patch, marsh, and morass, until he is 
caught or killed. 

Arrangements for the Cat-hunt are made over night. Two oi three 
neighbours form the party, each one bringing with him all the hounds he 
can muster. We have seen thirty of the latter brought together on such 
occasions, some of which were not inferior to the best we have examined 
in England, mdeed, great numbers of the finest fox-hounds are annually 
imported into Carolina. 

At the earliest dnwn, the party is summoned to the spot previously 
fixed on as the place of meeting. A horn is sounded, not low and with 
a single blast, as is usual in hunting the deer, lest the timid animal should 
be startled IVom its bed among the broom-grass {Andropagon (li.ssitiforu.i) 
and bound away out of the drive, beyond the reach of the hunter's 
double-barrel loaded with buckshot ; but with a loud, long, and oft- 
repeated blast, wakening the echoes that rise from the rice-fields and 
marshes, and are reverberated from shore to shore of the winding 
sluggish river, until lost among the fogs and shadows of the distant 

An answering horn is heard half a mile off", and anon comes another 
response from a diderent quarter. The party is soon collected, they 
are mounted, not on the lleetest and best-blooded horses, but on the 
most sure-footed, (sometimes called "Old field Tackles,"^ which know 
how to avoid the stump-holes on the burnt grounds o^ i<> pine lands, 
which stand the fire of the gun, and which can not only go with 
tolerable speed, but are, to use a common expression, " tough as a pine 
knot." The hunters greet each other in the open-heartod manner char- 
acteristic of the Southern planter. Each pack of dogs is under the 
guidance of a coloured driver, whose business it is to control the hounds 
and encourage and aid them in the hunt. TIk; drivers ride in most (vises 
the ilcetest horses on the ground, in ord(>r to be able, whilst on a deer 
hunt, to stop the dogs. These men, who are so important to the succesfc 
of the chase, are possessed (tf a good deal of intelligence and shrewd- 
ness, are usumIIv much iitted, and regarding themselves as belonging li 


the aristocracy of the plantation, are apt to look down upon their fellow- 
servants as inferiors, and consider themselves privileged even to crack a 
Joke with their masters. The drivers are ordered to stop the dogs if a 
deer should be started, a circumstance which often occurs, and which 
has saved the life of many a Cat, whose fate five minutes before this un- 
lucky occurrence was believed to be sealed. Orders are given to destroy 
the Cat fairly, by running him down with the hounds, or if this cannot 
be done, then by shooting him if he ascends a tree or approaches within 
gun shot of the stand which the hunter has selected as the most likely 
place for him to pass near. The day is most auspicious— there is not a 
breath of wind to rustle the falling leaves, nor a cloud to throw its 
shadows over the wide joyous landscape. The dew-drops are sparkling 
on the few remaining leavefi of the persimmon tree, and the asters and 
dog-fennel hang drooping . beneath their load of moisture. The dogs 
are gambolling in circles around, and ever and anon, in spite of all re- 
straint, the joyous note breaks forth— the whole pack is impatient for the 
chase, and the young dogs are almost frantic with excitement. 

But we have not time for a farther description of the scene— whilst we are 
musing and gazing, the word is given, "Go!" and off start the hounds, 
each pack following its own driver to different parts ,f the old fields or 
along the borders of the swamps and marshes. Much time, labour and 
patience are usually required, before the «Cat^' can be found by the dogs- 
sometimes there is a sudden burst from one or the otlier of the packs 
awakening expectation in the minds of the huntsmen, but the driver is 
no^, to be so easily deceived, as he has some dogs that never open at a 
mbbit, and the snap of the whip soon silences the riotous young babblers 
Agani there is a wild burst and an exulting shout, giving assurance that 
better game than a rabbit is on foot; now is heard a distant shot 
•succeeded in a second of time by another, and lor an instant all is still • 
the echoes come roaring up through the woods, and as they gradually 
subside, the crack of the whip is again heard stopping the dogs. The 
.story. s soon told: a deer had been started-the shot was too small-or 
tlie distance too great, o, any other excuses (which are always at hand 
among hunters of fertile imagination) are made by the unsuccessful 
sportsman who fired, and the dogs are carried back to the "trail" of the 
Cat that has been growing fresher and fresher for the last half hour. 
At cngth "Trimbush," (and a good dog is he,) that has been working 
"M the cold trail for some time, begins to give tongue, in a way that 
brings the other dogs to his aid. The drivers now a.lvance to each other 
-.oouragin, their .logs; the trail becomes a drag; onward it goes 
""•<•""•' ■'' •"■<«ul marsh at .he head of a rico-lh-ld. "He will soon b. 




started now ! " " lie is up ! " What a burst ! you might have heard 
it two miles olT — it ^unics in mingled sounds, roaring like thunder 
from the muddy marsh and irom the deep swamp. The barred owl, 
frightened from the monotony of his quiet life among the cj'press 
trees, commences hooting in mockery as it were, of the wide-mouthed 
hounds. Here they come, sweepijig through the resounding swamp like 
an equinoctial storm — the crackling of a reed, the shaking of a bush, a 
glimpse I )'■ some object that glided past like a shadow, is succeeded by 
the whole pack, rattling away among the vines and i'allen timbers, and 
leaving a trail in the mud as if a pack of wolves in pursuit of a deer 
had hnrried by. The Cat has gone past. It is now evident that he will 
not climb a tree. It is almost invariably the case, that where he can 
retreat to low swampy situations, or l)riar patches, he will not take 
a tree, but seeks to weary the dogs by making short windings among the 
almost impassable briar patches. He has nov/ been twisting and turning 
half a dozen times in a thicket covering only throe or four acres — let 
us go in !uid take our stand on the very trail where he last passed, and 
shoot him if we can. A shot is lieard on the ojjposite edge of the 
thicket, and again all is still ; but once more the pack is in full cry. 
Here he comes, almost brushing our legs as he dashes by and disappears 
ill the l)ushcs, ])efore we can get sight of him and pull trigger. But we 
see tliat the dogs arc every moment pressing him closer, that the ma- 
rauder is showing evidences of fatigue and is nearly " done up." He be- 
gins to make narrower circles, there are restless flashes in his eye, his 
back is now curved upwards, his hair is bristled nervously forward, his 
tongue hangs out — we raise our gun as he is approaching, and scarcely 
ten yards off — a loud report — the smoke has hardly blown aside, ere we 
see him lilclcss, almost at our very feet — had we waited three minutes 
longer, the hounds would have saved us the powder and shot ! 

One fine morning in autumn, when we had crossed the Ohio river at 
Henderson, in Kentucky, with the view of shooting some wild turkeys, 
geese, and perhaps a deer, we chanced to seat ourselves about fifty 
yards from a prostrate tree, and presently saw a Wild Cat leap on to it 
and go through the manccuvres we have described in a preceding page. 
Ho did not see us, and had scarcely reached one of the higher branches 
of a tall white-oak, after springing into it from the fallen tree, when we 
heard the; dogs, which soon came up, with the hunters following not far 
behind. Tht^y asked, when they perceived us, whether we had seen the 
"Cat" that had given them the slip. Always willing to assist the hunter 
who has lost his g.'iine, and having no piirticular liking towards this 
species, we answered in the aflirmalive, and sliowed them the animal. 



(If tely squatted on a large l)raiich some distance from thi ground. One 
of the party immediately put his rifle to his shoulder and pulled the 
trigger: the Cat leiiped from (he branch into the air, and fell to the 
earth quite dead. Whilst residing in Louisiana some twenty years 
since, we chanced one afternoon to surprise one of these depredators. 
He had secured a hare, (commoidy called rabbit,) and was so eagerly 
engaged in satisfying his hunger as not to observe uh, until we were 
near the spot where he was partially concealed behind a rotten 
i<)g At sight of us, he squatted flat on the ground. As we looked at 
him, we heard a stjuirrel close by, and turned our head for an instant, 
but scarce had we glanced at the S(iuirrel, when looking again for the 
Wild-Cat, he had disapjjeared. carrying the remains of the hare away 
with him. 

About twenty miles from Charleston, South-Cnrolina, resides a worthy 
friend of ours, a -.^ntieman w^ll known for his skill in the sports of the 
field, his hospitality to both friends and strangers, and the excellent man- 
ner in which his plantation is managed. The plantation of Dr. Desel is 
in short, ihe v.-ry ,,lace lor one who likes the sight of several fine bucks 
hanging on the branches of an old Pecan-nut tree; while turkeys 
geese, and poultry of other kinds, are seen in abundance in his well 
stocked poultry yards, aflbrding eerlainty of good cheer to his visitors 

The Doctor's g.-cse were nightly lodged near the house, in an enclo- 
suro which was rendered apj)Mren(ly safe, by a very high fence. As an 
adcbtional security, several watch dogs were let loose about the premises: 
besides an excellent pack of hounds, ^^hich by an occasional bark or 
howl during the night, sounded a note of w^arning or alarm in case any 
marauder, whether biped or rpiadruped, approached. 

Notwithstanding these precautions, a goose disappeared almost every 
night, aiKl no trace of the ingress or egress of the robber could be dis- 
covered Slow in attaching suspicion to his servants, the Dr. waited lor and watchfulness to solve the mystery. At length, the feathers 
and other remains of his geese, were discovered in a marsh about a 

r'''w-, ."r '■; '"'':;,"••'"' "'^' ^'--' -"' ^^-"^ suspicions were fastened on 
the Wild-Cat ; still, as he came at odd hours of the night, all attempts to 
catch or shoot him proved for a time unavailing. 

One morning however, he came about dny-light, and having cap- 
Mn-od a good lat .^oose, was traced by the keen noses of the hounds. 
The chnse xvas kept up for some time through the devious windings of 
"<■ < ;'<-I«.|s, wh,-n his career of mischief was brought to a close by a 
shot Irom the gun of our friend the Doctor, who, in self-defence, beerime 
Ins ,.xeculioner. Thus ended his career. In this respect he tared worse 




than he deserved, compared with those beings of a superior nature, who 
not understanding that "Honestly is the best policy,'' outdo our Wild-Cat 
in his destructive habits, until the laws, so just and useful, when mildly, 
but always, enforced, put an eilectual stop to their criminal proceedings. 
The Wild-Cat is a great destroyer of eggs, and never finds a nest o{ 
grouse or partridge, wild turkey or other bird, without sucking every 
egg in it. Indeed, it t; '. f r>r,",cticable, seize on both young and old 
birds of these and otl.f "e^. Its "penchant" for a youlct nit 

nnturel" has suggested the - ^Aving method of capturing it in Georgia, as 
related to us by our friend Major Leconte, late of the United States Army. 
A large and strong box-trnp is constructed, and a chicken-cock 
(rooster), placed at the farthest end of it from the door, is tied by one 
leg, so that he cannot inove. There is a stout Avire partition about half 
way between the fowl and the door, which prevents the Cat when enter- 
ing the trap, from seizing the bird. The trap is then set, f o that when 
the animal enters, the ojjen door closes behind him by a spring, (commonly 
the branch of some tree bent down for the purpose, and released by a 
trigger set at the entrance or just within the trap.) These traps are placed 
in difl'erent parts of the plantations, or in the woods, and the Wild-Cat is 
generally attracted by the crowing of the cock at early dawn of day. 
Major Leconte has caught many of them by this artifice, on and about 
his plantations in the neighbourhood of Savannah, in Georgia; and this 
method of capturing the Wild-Cat is also quite common in South Caro- 
lina. Indeed, this species does not seem to possess the suspicion and 
cunning inherent in the fox, enabling the latter to avoid a trap of al- 
most any kind. We liave seen the Wild-Cat taken from the common 
log-traps set for racoons. We saw one in a cage, that had been caught 
in a common box-trap, baited with a dead partridge, and have heard 
intelligent domestics residing on the banks of the Santee river, state, 
tliat aff(!r setting their steel traps for otters, they frequently found the 
Wild-Cat caught in them instead. 

When this animal discovers a flock of wild turkeys, he will generally 
follow them at a little distance for some time, and after having ascertain- 
ed the direction in which they are proceeding, make a rapid detour, and 
concealing himself behind a fallen tree, or in the lower branches of some 
leafy maple, i)atiently wait in ambush until the birds approach, when 
he suddenly springs on one of them, if near enough, and with one bound 
secures it. We once, while resting on a log in the woods, on the banks 
01' the Wabash river, perceived two wild turkey cocks at some distance 
below us, under lh(> bank near the water, pluming and picking their 
feathers ; on a sudden, one of them flew across the river, and the other we 

COMMON amb:rican wild cat. 


saw struggling in the grasp of a Wild-Cat, which almost instantly dragged 
it up the bank into the woods, and made off. On another occasion we 
observed an individual of this species, about nine miles from Charleston', 
in pursuit of a covey of partridges, {Orlyx yirginmn(f,)—so intent 
was the Cat upon its prey, that it passed within ten steps of us, as it was 
making a circle to get in advance and in the path of the birds,— its eyes 
were constantly fixed on the covey, and it stealthily concealed itself be 
hind a log it expected the birds to pass. In a second attempt the marau- 
der succeeded in capturing one of the partridges, when the rest in great 
affright flew and scattered in all directions. 

An individual that was kept alive at Charleston, and afterwards for a 
short time at our house, in the city of New- York, showed its affinity to the 
domestic cat, by purring and mewing at times loud 'enough to be heard at 
.some distance. At the former place its cry was several times mistaken for 
that of the common house-cat. In the woods, during the winter season its 
loud catterwauling can be heard at the distance of a mile. 

Although this species may perhaps be designated as nocturnal in its 
habits, it is, by no means, exclusively so, as is shown by the foregoing ac- 
count. We have, in fact, in several instances, seen this Cat engaged in 
some predatory expedition in full sunshine, both in winter and summer. 

It is not a very active swimmer, but is not averse to taking the water. 
We witnessed it on one occasion crossing the Santce river when not 
pursued, and at another time saw one swimming across some ponds to 
make its escape from the dogs. It has l)een observed, however, that 
when it has taken to the water during a hard chase, it soon after cither as- 
cends a tree or is caught by the hounds. 

The domicile of the Wild-Cat is sometimes under an old log, covered 
with vines such as the Smih/j; Zkiphus voluhilus, Riibii.i, &c., but more 
commonly in a hollow tree. Sometimes it is found in an opening twenty 
or thirty feet high, but generally much nearer the ground, frequently in 
a cavity at the root, and sometimes in the hollow trunk of a fallen tree, 
where, after collecting a considerable ouantity of long moss and dried 
leaves to make a comfortable lair, it produces from two to four younsr. 
These are brought forth in the latter end of March in Carolina ; in the 
Northern States, however, the kittens apjirar later, as we have heard ol 
an instance in Pennsylvania where two young were found on the 15th 
day of May, apparently not a week old. OiU' friend Dr. Samit.i, Wn.sov, 
of Charleston, a close observer of nature, has made the following note in 
our memorandum book: "April 15th, 18.39, shot a female Wild-Cat as it 
started from its b(>d, out of which four young ones were taken ; their eyes 
were not yet open." Our friend Dr. Des^ei., whom we have already mention- 




0(1, saw three youiiR onoa taken out from the hollow of a tree which was 
thirty foot from th.. -round. On four occasions, wc have had opporluni- 
lies of counting tlio young, in the n<-st or having h.-cn v,My re- 
cently taken from it. In every case there wen^ tiuee young ones. In one 
instance tlic nest was conijjosed of long .noss, (Tilhauhia usncoides,) wiiieh 
seemed to have been part of an old, deserted, squirrel's nest. 

We onc(! made an attempt at .lomesticating one of tlie young of tliis spe- 
cies, wliich we obt-Jned when only two weeks old. It was a most spiteful, 
growling, snapjush little wretch, and showed no disposition to improve its 
liahits and maimers under our kind tuition. We placed it in a wooden box," 
from which it was constantly striving to gnaw its way out. It, one night,' 
escaped into our li])rary, where it made s;id work among the books, (wMch 
gave us some valuable lessons on the philosophy of pati(!nce, we could 
not have so readily found among our folios,) and left the marks of its teeth 
on the mutilated window-sashes. Finally, we fastened it with a light 
chain, and had a small kennel built for it in the yard. Here it was con- 
stantly indulging its carnivorous jn'opensities, and catching the young 
poultry, wliich it enticed within reach of its chain by leaving a portion (^f 
its food at the door of its house, into which it retreated until an opportu- 
nity offered to pounce on its unsuspecting prey. Thus it continued, grow- 
ing, if possible, more wild and vicious every day, growling and spitting at 
every servant that approached it, until at last, an unlucky blow, nn a 
inmishment for its mischievous tricks, put an end to its life, and with it 
to one source of annoyance. 

The Bay Lynx is generally in fine order, and oOen very fat. The 
meat is white, and has somewhat the appearance of veal. Although we 
omitted to taste it, we have seen it cooked, when it appeared savoury, 
and the persons who partook of it pronounced it delicious. 

The muscular jiowers of this species are very great, and the fore-feel 
-uul legs are rather largt> in proportion to the bodj\ 


The jveographical range of the Bay Lynx is very extensive, it being 
found to inhabit portions of the Continent from the tropics as far north as 
m°. It abounds in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, and both the Caro- 
linas, and is Ibund in all tlie Stat(>s east of these, and likewise in New 
Hriuiswi(!k, and Nova Scotia. W'e have seen it on the shores of the Up- 
()er Missouri more than a thousand miles above St. Louis. We examined 
one that had been taken a few hours before, by some hunters in Erie coun- 
ty, in the State of New-York, and have lienrd of its existing, although 
rather sparingly, in UjiperCanada, where it has been occasionally eii))'Mn <l. 




We arc not, so fortunate as to possess any specnnrn from Ore^'on, 
or the regions west of the Rocky Mountains, to c.ial)!,, us to insti- 
tute a close comparison, and therefore cannot be certain that the Cat 
.les(;rih(!(l by LFAVts and Clark, to which naturalists, without having seen 
i(. have attached the name of Fclis fasciata, or that the individual de- 
scribed by Dr. KicHARusoN, and referred by him to Fclis riifn, arc identi- 
cal with the present species; yet as they do not present greater marks 
ofdidcrence than those observable in many other varieties of it, and as we 
liavc carefully examined scivcral hundred specimens in the museums and 
private collections of Europe and America, and have, at this moment, 
upwards of twenty lying before us, that were obtained in various parts of 
tiic country, from Texas to Canada, our present conclusion is, that in the 
ITnitcd States, cast and north of the Mississippi, there are but two species 
of Lynx— the well known Canada Lynx, and the Bay Lynx— our present 
species, and that the vari(!ties in colour, (especially in the latter animal,) 
have contributed to the formation of many imaginary species. Whatever 
may be the varictii^s, however, there are some markings in this species 
which are permanent, like i lie white ears and nose of the fox squirrel, 
(.Vc. Capistratus,) and which serve to identify it through all the variatioris 
of sex, season, and latitude. All of them have naked soles, and the pecu- 
liar markings at the extremity of the slender tail, which terminates as 
abnrpdy as if it had been aiDputated. It may also be distinguished from 
any variety of the Canada Lynx, (/.. Canadensis,) by a wWte patch 
behind the (sar, which does not exist in the latter. 

This peculiar mark is to be observed, however, in several species of the 
^a•nus FvAAB. We have noticed it in the jaguar, royal tiger, panther, ocelot, 
huntiiif-leopard, and other species. 






0-0 ,, , 5-« 

Canine — ; Molar — = 22. 
ft-o' 4—4 

Incisors stronfr, iiari-ovv, and wedf^c-shaped, anterior surface rounded ; 
molars, with the upper surface thick and heavy. 

Head hu'ge,' mouth small, and placed b-ilow; eyes large, ears short, 
paws strong ; fore-feet with four toes and the rudiment of a thumb ; 
hind-feet with five toes ; nails strong, compressed ; tail bushy ; no cheek 

The name Arctomy is derived from two Greek words : «^«t««, (arktos,) a 
bear, and /Mt, (mits,) . mouse. 

There are, as far as we are informed, but eight known species of the 
genus as it is now defined, five on the Eastern Continent and three in 
North America. 


WooD-CiiucK. INIarvlanii Mar.mdt. Ground-Hog. 
PLATE II. — Fe.male and Young. 

A. Supra fusco einereus, subtus sub-rufus, capite, cauda, pedibusque 
fuscis, naso et buccis cinereis. 


Brownish-gray above ; haul, tail, and feet, dark-brown ; nose and cheeks 
onhy-brown, under surface reddish. 


lus MoNAX, Linn., 12 nd., p. 81. 
iIauylani) Marmot, Pcnn., Arct. Zool, vol. i., p. 111. 
loNAx, on ]\lAiiMoni-; dk CANAn.^ Bufi"., Supp. 111. Marmot, Goilinun, Nat. Hist. vol. ii., p. 100, figure. 
Jauvland Marmot, Grilliths' Cuvi.r, vol. iii., [t 130, ligure. 



QuEDKo Marmot, Pennant, Hi«t. Quad., Ist ed.. No. 250. 

Mrs Emi'ktra, Pallas, Glir., p. 75. 

Aroiomvs Empetua, Salt, Linn., Trans., vol. xiii., p 24 

AucTOMvs E.MPETHA, Godman, Nat. IILst., vol. ii ' p" 208 

"^"sTsst'"' '' ^'"™'"^^^«"-«*' S-^bine, Trans! Linn^^an Soo., vol. xiii.. pp, 

Arctomts E.MPKTBA. K.chardson, Fauna Boreali Americana, p. 147, pi. 9. 


The body is thick, and the logs are short, .so that the belly nearlv touches 
tho ground Head short and conical; ears short, rounded, a^d thinly 
clothed with hair on both surfaces; eyes moderate; whiskers numerous, 
extending to the ear; a membrane beneath the ears, on the posterior parts 
of tlie cheek, and a few seta, on the eye-brows; legs, short and muscu- 
lar; fore-feot, with four toes, and the rudiment of a thumb, with a minute 
nail; hmd-feet with five toes. Toes long an.l well separated, palms 
naked, with tubercles at the roots of the toes. The middle toe longest- 
the first and third, which are nearly equal to each other, not much shorter ■ 
the extremity of the nail of the outer, extends only to the base of the nail 
of the adjoining toe; fore-claws moderately arched, obtuse and com- 
pressed ; the soles of the hind-feet long, and naked to the heel ; hind-feet 
semi-palmated ; nails channelled near the ends. Tail bushy partly dis 
hchous : body clothed with soft woolly fur, which is mixed 'with coarse 
ung hairs. 


This species (like the foregoing one) is subject to many variations in the 
colour of Its fur, which may account perhaps for its numerous svnonymes 
We will, however, describe the animal in its most common ' 'taring 

The finer woolly fur is for two-thirds of its l.ngth from the roots upwards 
of a dark ashy brown, with the extremities light yellowish-brown. The 
long hairs are dark brown for two-thirds of their length, tipped sometimes 
with reddLsh white, but generally with a silvery white. The general tint 
ot the back IS grizzly or hoary ; cheeks, and around the mouth, light gray • 
whiskers black; head, nose, feet, nails and tail, dark brown; eyes black! 
1 1.0 whole under surface, including the threat, breast, belly, and the fore 
and hind legs, roddish orange. 

The specimens before us present several striking varieties of colour- 
among them is one from Lower Canada, coal,^ck ^vith the exception 
of the nose and a patch under the chin, which are light grav; the fur :•> 
short, and very soft; and the tail less distichou. than in other varieties 
of this species. 

1 1 





Adult Male. 

From point of nose to root of tail 

Tnil (vertebra') .... 

Tail, to end of hair . . . - 

Ear, poy*oriorly - . . . 

Girth of body ..... 

From fore to hind claw, when stretched 
We have found some difference in the length of the tai,, in different in- 
dividuals, it being, in some specimens, nearly seven inches long including 
the hair. 

Weight 91b. 1 1 oz. 














In the Middle States many individuals of this species seem to prefr**" 
stony places, and often burrow close to or in a stone wall. When this is 
the case, it is very difficult to procure them, as they are secure from the 
attacks of dogs, and much labour would be necessary in removing 
the large stones, and digging up the earth in order to dislodge them. 

From our own observations, we arc jbliged to contradict the following 
account given of the habits of this species. It has been said that " when 
about to make an inroad upon a clover field, all the marmots resident in 
the vicinity, quietly and cautiously steal towards the spot, being favoured 
in their march by their gray colour, which is not easily distinguished. 

"While the main body are actively engaged '• Topping the clover hejids, 
and gorging their 'ample chcck-pouchcs,'' one or inore individuals remain 
at some distance in the rear as sentinels. These watchmen sit erect, 
with their fore-paws held close to their breast, and ttieir heads slightly 
inclined, to catch every sound which may move the air. Their extreme 
sensibility of car enables them to distinguish the approach of an enemy 
long before he is sufficiently near to be dangerous, and the instant the 
sentinel takes alarm, he gives a clear shrill whistle, which immediately 
disperses the troop in every direction, and they speedily take refuge in 
their deepest caves. The time at which such incursions are made is 
generally about mid-uny, when they are less liable to be interrupted than 
at any other period, either by human or brute enemies," (Godman, Ame- 
rican Natural History, vol. ii., p. 102.) 

We kept two of these animals alive for ..cveral weeks, feeding them on 
different grasses, potatoes, apples, and other fruits and vegetables. We 
found them to be very active at times, though fond of placing themselves 



In nn erect posture, sitting on their rump, and letting their fore-legs and 
feet hang loosely down in iha manner of our squirrels. 

The old liriKilf, when itpj)roa(lu{|, opened her mouth, showed her teeth, 
and mad.- a raltling or clattering noise with the latter, evidently in 
anger. Aeither the female nor the young appeared to hecome in any 
(l.-gree tame during the period we kept them. The former frequently 
emitted a shrill whistle-like n -ise, which is a note of alarm and anger, 
and may be heard wiicn one is at a distance of about tlfty yards from the* 
animal. After we had made figures irom those specimens, we examined 
their mouths, but did not find any pouches like those described by Dr. 
G....MAN, although ihere appeared to be a cavity, not larger than would 
admit a common green pea, and which was the only trace of any thing 
like a pouch in those we procured, and in all that have been observed by us 
When the Wood-Ch.ok is feeding, it keeps its erect position, inclin- 
ing the head and fore-part of its body forward and sideways, so as to 
reach its ibod wilhout extending the fore-legs and feet, which are drawn 
back under it ; after getting a moulhliil, it draws back its head again and 
brings its body to an upright posture by the muscular power of the hind- 
legs and feet. On being surprised or pursued, this species runs very last 
for some eight or ten yards, and thr^n frequently stops short and squats 
down close to the groimd, watching to see if it has been observed; and 
will allow you to approach within a few feet, when it starts suddenly 
again, and again stoi)s and squats down as before. Not unfrequenlly un- 
der these circumstances, it hides its head beneath the dry leaves, or'Imid 
tufts of grass, to conceal itself from the pursuer. You may then gene- 
rally caplurc or kill it with a stick. These animals bite severely an' 
delend ihemselves fiercely, and will, when unable to escape, turn' anc 
make battle with a dog of more than double their own size. Sometimes 
whilst they were lying down as if asleep, we have heard them make the 
clattering noise before spoken of, with their teeth ; reminding us of a 
person's teeth chattering in an ague fit. When walking leisurely, they 
place their feet flat upon the ground at full length, arching the toes 'how- 
ever, as is the habit of squirrels. These Marmots sleep during the g'reater 
part of (he day, stealing from their burroAvs early in the mornin- and to- 
wards evening. They climb trees or bushes awkwardlv, and when they 
have found a comtbrtal)le situation in the sunshine, either on the branch 
ol a tree, or on a bush, will remain there lor hours. They clean their 
faces with (he fore-feet, whilst sitting up on their hind-legs, like a squirrel, 
an<l Ircjuenlly lick their fur in the manner of a eat, leaving the coat 
smoothed down by the tongue. The bodv of (he Wood-Chuck is ex- 
•remely flabby after being killed its flesh is. however, tolp-ably o-ood 





although a little strong, and is frequently purchased by the humbler 
classes of people, who cook it like a roasting pig. Occasionally, and 
especially in autumn, it is exceedingly fat. 

This species becomes torpid about the time the leaves have fallen from 
the trees in the autumn and the frosty air gives notice of the approach of 
winter, and remains burrowed in the earth until the grass has sprung up 
and the genial warmth of spring invites it to come forth. 

We once observed one sunning itself at the mouth of its burrow, on the 
23d of October, in the State of New- York ; and in the same State, saw 
one killed by a dog on the first of March, when the winter's snow was yet 
lying in patches on the ground. 

Where the nature of the country will admit of it, the Wood-Chucks 
select a projecting rock, in some fissure under which, they can dig their 
burrows. In other localities they dig them on the sides of hills, or in places 
where the surface of the ground is nearly level. These burrows or exca- 
vations are sometimes extended to the length of twenty or thirty feet from 
the opening ; for the first three or four feet inclining obliquely downward, 
and the gallery being continued farther on, about on a level, or with a slight 
inclination upward to its termination, where there is a large round chamlier, 
to which the occupants retire for rest and security, in which the female 
gives birth to her young, and where the family spend the winter in torpidity. 
Concerning this latter most singular state of existence, we are gratified 
in being able to communicate the following facts, related to us by the 
Hon. Daniel Wadswortii, of Hartford, Coimecticut. " I kept," said he to us, 
"a fine AXOod-Chuek in captivity, in this house, for upwards of two vears. 
It was brought to me by a country lad, and was then large, rather wild, 
and somewhat cross and mischievous; being placed in the kitchen, it 
soon found a retreat, in which it remained concealed the greater part of 
us time every day. During several nights it attempted to escape by 
gnawing the door and window sills ; gradually it became more quiet, and 
suffered itself to be approached by the inmates of the kitchen, these 
being the cook, a fine dog, and a cat ; so that ere many months had elapsed, 
it would lie on the floor near the fire, in company with the dog, and would 
take food from the hand of the cook. I now began to take a partieulnr 
interest in its welfare, and hud a large l)ox made for its use, and filled 
with hay, to which it became haliituated, and always retired when in- 
clined to repose. Winter coming on, the box was placed in a warm 
corner, and the Wood-Chuck went into it, arranged its bed with care, 
and became torpid. Some six weeks having ])assed without its appear- 
ing, or having received any food, I had it taken out of the box, and 
brought into the parlour ;— it was inanimate, and as round as a ball, its 



nose being buried as it were in the lower part of its abdomen, and covered 
by its tail ; it was rolled over ihe carpet many times, but without effecting 
any apparent change in its leth.-rgic condition; and being desirous to push 
the experiment as iar as in my power, I laid it close to the fire, and hav- 
ing ordered my dog to lie down by it, placed the Wood-Chuck in the dog's 
lap. In about half an hour, my pet slowly unrolled itseli; raised its no°se 
from the carpet, looked around for a few minutes, and then slowly craAVl- 
ed away from the dog, moving about the room as if in search of its own 
bedl I took it up, and had it carried down stairs and placed again in its 
box, where it went to slecj), as soundly as ever, until spring made its ap- 
pearance. That season advancing, and the trees showing their leaves, 
the Wood-Chuck became as brisk and gentle as coidd be desired, and 
was frequently brought into the parlour. The succeeding v\ inter this 
animal evinced the same dispositions, and never appeared to suffer by 
its long sleep. An accident deprived me of my pet, for having been trod- 
den on, it gradually became poor, refused food, and finally died extremely 

Uixy we here be allowed to detain you, kind reader, for a few mo- 
ments, whilst we reflect on this, one among thousands of instances of the 
all-wise dispensations of the Creator ? Could any of the smaller species 
of quadrupeds, incapable, as many of them are, of migrating like the 
swift-winged iidiabi'nnts of the air to the sunny climes of the South, and 
equally unable to find any thing to subsist on among the dreary wastes 
of snow in the frost-bound lands of the North during winter, have a 
greater boon at the hands of Nature than this power of escaping the 
rigours and cold blasts of that season, and resting securely, in a sleep of 
insensibility, free from all cravings of hunger and all danger of perish- 
ing with cold, till the warm sun of spring once more calls them into life 
md activity ? The Wood-Chuck and several other species of (luadrupeds 
whose organization in this respect .lifl-ers so widely from general rules,' 
may be said to have no winter in th.-ir year, but enjoy the delightful 
weather of spring, smnmer, and autumn, without caring for the approach 
of that season during which other animals often suffer from both cold 
and hunger. 

" Whilst hunting one day, (said a good friend of ours, when we were 
last in Canada,) I came across a Wnod-rimck, called in Cannda bj 
the dilferent names of Silileur, GroMi.d-lloir, and occasionally ^rannot, 
with .•• litter of six or sevn young ones by her side. I leaped fre-n 
my horse, (e.-ling confident that I could capture at least one or two 
of then., but I was mistaken; ibr Ihe dani, which seemed to anticipate 
my evil designs, ran round and round the whole of her young ' chucks, 




tirging them towards a hole beneath a rock, with so much quickness— 
energy, I may call it — that ere I could lay hands on even one of her pro- 
geny, she had them all in the hole, mto which she then pitched herself, 
and left me gazing in front of her well-secured retreat, thus baffling all 
my exertions ! " 

We have now and then observed this Marmot in the woods, leaning 
with its back against a tree and exposing its under parls to the rays 
of the hottest sun: on such occasions its head was reclining on its 
breast, the eyes were closed, the fore-legs hanging down, and it was 
apparently asleep, and presented a singular and somewhat ludicrous 

An intelligent naturalist has in his account of these animals, said 
that "their burrows contain large excavations in which they deposit 
stores of provisions." This assertion contradicts our own obsei'vation 
and experience. We are inclined to doubt whether storing up provisions 
at any or for any season of the year, can be a habit of this species. In the 
summer of 1314, in Rensselaer County, in the State of New- York, we 
marked a burrow which was the resort of a pair of Marmots. In the begm- 
ning of November the ground was slightly covered with snow, and the frist 
had jwnetrated to the depth of about half an inch. We now had excava- 
tions made in a line along the burrow or gallery of the Marmots ; and at 
about twenty-five feet from the mouth of the hole, both of them were 
found lying close to each other in a nest of dried grass, which did not ap- 
pear to have been any of it eaten or bitten by them. They were each 
rolled up, and looked somewhat like two misshapen balls of hair, and 
were perfectly dormant. We removed them to a hay stack, in which we 
made an excavation to save them from the cold. One of them did not 
survive the first severe weather of the winter, having, as we thought on 
examining them, been frozen to death. The other, the male, was now 
removed to a c(>llar, where he remained in a jierfectly dormant state 
unt'i the latter part of February, when he escaped belbre we were aware 
of 'lis reaniination. We had handled him only two days previously, and 
could perceive no symptoms of returning vivacity. During the time 
he was in the celliir, tliere was certainly no necessity lor a "store of 
provisions" for him, as the animal was i)erfectly torpid and motionless 
iVom the day he was caught, until, as just mentioned, he emerged from 
that state and made his escape. 

In the month of ^lay, or sometimes in June, the female brings forth 
her young, generally lour or five in number. We have however on two 
occasions, counted seven, and on another eight, young in a litter. In 
about three weeks, they may be seen playing around the mouth of the 



■jurrow, where sitting on their hind-feet in the manner of the Kangaroo, 
they closely watch every intruder, retreating hastily into the hole at the 
first notes of alarm sounded by the mother. 

The Wood-Chuck in some portions of our country exists in considerable 
numbers, although it is seldom found associating with any of its own 
species except while the young are still unable to provide for themselves, 
until which period they are g»nerally taken care of by both parents. 

When the young are a few months old they prepare for a separation, 
and dig a number of holes in the vicinity of their early domicile, some of 
which are only a few feet deep and are never occupied. These numer- 
ous burrows have given rise to the impression that this species lives in 
communities, which we think is not strictly the case. 


We have found the Wood-Chuck in every State of the Union north-east 
of South Carolina, and throughout the Canadas, Nova Scotia, and New 
Brunswick. We have also a specimen from Hudson's Bay; but perhaps 
it is nowhere more plentiful than on the upper Missouri River, where we 
found its burrows dug in the loamy soil adjoining the shores, as well as 
m the adjacent woods, it is not found in the maritime districts either of 
North or South Carolina, but exists very sparingly in the mountainous 
regions of those States. We have also traced it along the eastern range 
of the Rocky Mountains as far south as Texas. A Marmot exists in 
California resembling the present species very nearly, but which wii: 
probably prove distinct from the latter, a point which time and a grcatci 
number of specimens must determine. 



It will be observed that we have united A. monax with A. empetra, 
and have rejected the latter as a species. This must necessarily follow 
from the fact, that if there is but one species, the name monax having 
been first given, must be retained. Schreber appears to have committed 
the first error in describing from a young specimen of a variety of A. 
monax and erecting it into a new species. The old authors followed, and 
most of tJKMn being mere compilers, have constantly copied his errors. 
Mr. Sauinu (Transactions Linn. Soc, vol. xiii., part 2, p. .581) described a 
■spocim.Mi existing in the British Museum, as A. rmpetra, which we, after 
■i car.«ful examination, consider only a variety of A. monax. Mr. SAniNE'a 
description of the latter species is, as he informed us, compiled from 
various authors. Had he possessed a specimen, we think he would not 





have fallen intt the common error. Dr. Richardson, who appears not 
to have known the A. monax, also described it under the name of A. 
empetra, and gave a figure of it. We have, however, been unable to 
discover any specific diflerences between the specimens now before us 
and the one so accurately described and figured by him in the Fauna- 
boreali-Americana. We are, therefore, compelled to consider them all 
as identical. 

'I'he great varieties of colour to be observed in different specimens 
of tiiis ]\iarmot, togdther with the circumstance that no two of them 
are of the same size, have tended no doubt to confuse, those who have 
described it. We have seen them of all colours, from black to brown, 
and from rufous to bluish-gray, although they are most frequently of 
the colour represented in the plate. We have received a specimen 
from an eminent British naturalist as A. empetra, obtained from Hud- 
son's Bay, which does not differ from the present species, and which 
instead of being eleven inches in length, the size given to A. em- 
petra, measures fifteen. As Richardson's species, moreover, was from 
seventeen to twenty inches in length, and as we compared his speci- 
men (now in the museum of the Zoological Society of London) with 
several specimens of the Maryland Marmot, without observing the least 
specific dilference between them, we consider it necessary to strike ofif 
the Canada Marmot, or Arctomys empetra, from the North American 

From the short and very unsatisfactory description, and the wretched 
figure of the Bahama Coney, contained in Catesby, vol. ii., p. 79, plate 
79, it is very difficult to decide either on the species or genus which 
he intended to describe. As however nearly all our writers on natural 
history have quoted his Bahama Coney as referring to the Maryland 
Marmot, we have carefully compared his descriptions and figure with 
this species, and have arrived at the conclusion that Catesbv described 
and figured one of the species of jutia, {Capromys Founiien, Desm.,) 
and that his Cuniculus Buhamicnsis has been therefore erroneously 
quoted as a synonyme of A. monax. 









\- i^ 



J ,?4 




Incisive - ; Canine — • ; Molar — = 28. 

Upper incisors in pairs, two in front large and grooved, and two ira- 
mediately behind, small; lowei- incisors square; molars, with flat 
crowns, and transverse laminae of enamel. Interior of the mouth and 
soles of the feet furnished with hair; ears and eyes large; fore-feet with 
(ive toes ; hind-feet with only four ; hind-legs very long ; tail short ; mam- 
mae, from six to ten. 

The word Lepus is derived from the Latin, lepus, and Greek Eolic, 
Ai^rapii, (Icpon's,) a hai-e. 

There are about thirty known species of this genus, of which rather 
Die largest number (perhaps sixteen or seventeen species) exist in North 
and South America ; while the remainder belong to the Eastern continent. 


Townsend's Rocky Mountain Hark. 

PLATE III. — Male and Femalb. 

L. magnitudine, L. Americano par ; auribus, cauda, cruribus tarsisque 
bngis.simis ; supra diluti cinereus, infra albus. 


^«e of the Northern hare, {L. Americanus :) ears, tail, legs, ana tarsus, 
very long ; colour above, light gray ; beneath, white. 


Upu8Town8endii, Bach., Journal Acad. Nat. Sciences. Philadelphia, vol. viii, 
!>'i'tl,p. 90, pi. 2,(1839,) read Aug. Y, 1838. 




Body, long and slender ; head, much arched ; eyes large ; cars, long 
tail very long, (compared with others of the genus,) in proportion to the 
size of the animal ; legs long and slender ; tarsus very long. The whole 
conformation of this animal is indicative of great speed. 


Crown of the head, cheeks, neck, whole upper parts, and the front of 
the ears and legs, externally, grny ; with a faint cream-coloured tinge. 
Hair, on hack and sides, whitish, or silver gray, at the roots, followed by 
brownish- white, which is succeeded by black, subdued gradually to a 
faint yellowish- white, and iinally tipped with black, interspersed with long 
silky hairs, .some of which are black from their roots. On the chin 
throat, under surface, interior of legs, and the tail, (with the exception of 
a narrow dark line running longitudinally on the top,) the hair is pure 
white from the roots. Iridcs light hazel ; around the eyes white ; back 
part of the tips of the ears black ; external two-thirds of the hinder part 
of the ears white, running down to the back part of the neck, and then 
blending with the colour of the upper surface; anterior third of the outer 
portion of the ear, the same grny colour as the back, fringed on the edge 
with long liiiirs, wiiicli are reddish fawn colour at the roots and white at 
the tips; interior of the car very thinly covered with beautiful fine white 
hairs, being more thickly clothed near the edge, where it is grizzly-black 
and yellowish; edge, fringed with pure <^'- to, becoming yellowish toward 
the tip, and at the tip black. Moustaches for the most part white, black 
at the roots, a few hairs are pure white, others wholly black. 

The sipecimen which was described and first published in the Transac- 
tions of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, was a female, 
procured by J. K. Townsend, Esq., on the Walla-Walla, one of the sources 
of the Columbia river. 

Another specimen now in our possession, the dimensions of which are 
given below, is in summer pelage, having been obtained on the flth June. 
There is scarcely a shade of difTeronce in its general colour, although the 
points of many of the hairs are yellowish-white, instead of being tipped 
with blnck, as in the specimen obtained by Mr. Townsend. There is also 
a white spot on the forehead. The young is a miniature of the adult. 
We observe no other diiiercnces than that tho colour is a little lighter, 
and the tail pure white. 




Adult Male, (killed on the Upper Mis? juri river.) 
From nose to root of tail ... 
Tail (vertebra-) - - - . . 
Do., to end of hair - - . . 

Hei<,'ht of ear, posteriorly ... 
Length of head in a direct line 

" following the curvature 
" from heel to end of claw- 
Weight, 0| pounds. 

Adult Female, (shot by Edward Harris, Esq., on the 27th 
From nose to root of tail 
Tail (vertebra;) .... 
Do., to end of hair ... 

Height of ear, posteriorly 
Between the eyes ... 

From nose to hind feet (stretched out) 
Height from foot to shoulder 
Height to rump .... 
















July, 1843.) 

































From nose to root of tail 
Tail (vertebra)) - - ■ . 
Do., to end of hair - - . - 
Height of ear, posteriorly 
Height from claw to shoulder 
Length of head in a direct line 

" following the curve 
" from heel to end of claw 


We subjoin the following note, received from the original discoverer of 
this Hare, which contains some valuable information in regard to its 
habits :— " This species is common in the Rocky Mountains. I made par- 
ticular inquiries both of the Indians and British traders, as to the changes 
it undergoes at diflVrcnt seasons, and they all agreed that it never was 
lighter coloured. We first saw it on the plains of the Bla kfoot river, 
east of the mountains, and observed it in all similar situation.- during our 
route to the Columbia. When first ^een, which was in July, it wa.s lean 

vf |j J 




mid unsavory, Imviiij,', like r)iir cotiimon species, llie liirvu of uii irispcl 
imbedded in its neck ; Imt when we arrived at Walla-VVMlla, in Septein^ 
i)er, we l<>iind the IndLins iind the persons attached to llit; lort iisinij; if 
as a connnon arlicUi ol' tbod. Inunedi.itely nll-.r wv. arrived wo were re- 
galed with a dish of hares, and I thonyiil I iiad never eaten anytiiing 
more delicious. They are found in great nuinljers on the plains covered 
with wild wormwood, {Artrmi .:.■(/.) Tiiey are so exceedingly lleet that 
no (trdinary dog can catch tliem. I have fretiuently surprised them in 
their fcntiis luu \)t them as they leaped away, hut I found it necessary 
to be very exi)edu. 's and to pull trigger at a particular instant, or the 
game was olF among tiie wormwood and I never saw it again. The In- 
dians kill them v.ith arrows hy approaching them stealthily as they lie 
concealed under the l)usln>s, and in winter take ihem with nets. To do 
this, some one or two hundred Indians, men women and ciiildreii, collect, 
and enclose a large space with a sliglit net about five feet wide, made of 
hem]); the net is kept in a vertical jmsition by pointed sticks attached to 
it and driven into the ground. These sticks are placed aliout live or six 
(eet nj)art, and at each one an Indian is stationed with a short clul) in 
his hand. After these Jirrangemeiits are completed a large number of 
Indians enter the circle and beat the bushes in vwvy direction. The 
iViuhtened hares dart off towards the net, and in attempting to pass are 
knocked on the head and secured. ISIr. l*.\MnKi:\, the su])ennfendenl, of 
Fen Walla-Walhu, from whom I obtained this account, says that he has 
oft(Mi participated in this sport witli the Indians and has known several 
hundred to be thus taken in a diiy. \\\wn captured alive tliey do not 
scream like the connnon gray rabbit, (//. Sf/!ni/inis.)" "This Hare in- 
habits the plains exclusively, and seems particularly fond of the vici lity 
of the aromatic wormwood. Inuncdiately you leave these bushes in 
journeying towards the sea you lose sight of the Hare." 

To the above account we added some farther information on our last visit 
to the far West. On the Nth .line 1813 whilst our men were engaged in 
cutting wood and bringing it on board the steamer Omega, it being neces- 
sary in that wild region to stop and cut wood li.r fueJ for the boat every 
day, one of the crew started a young ll.-ire and after a short chase the 
poor thing squatted and killed by ji blow with a stick. It proved to 
be the young of Lcpiis TowimiuHi, was large enough to have left its dam, 
weighed rather more than one pound, and was a beautiful specimen. 
Its irides were pure amber -olour and the eyes large, its liair was 
s'ightly curled This Hare was captured more than r-velve hundred 
miles east of Ih^- IJocky Mount:ii,is. On the next day in the al'teriioon 
one of tlie negro (ire-tendi'rs being out with a rille, shot two others, both 





on th. spof. The l.a.r, or fur. of this was sli.h.U ..n-l.-.l ,.s in 
tho young o,.,, especially alon,. llu, hack a.ul sides, l.ut, si.^rliy ,ho 
sku.s had I,cc„ prepared this character disappeared. These «pcci,nenH 
are now in our coih'ction. 

Pursuing our Journey up the tortuous and • ,pid sMvam. vve ha.l not 
tho good lortuno to sec auy more of these i>eautifui animals after 
our arnval at Fort Un.on near the mouth of the Y.-ilow Stone river 
where vve es,,d,iished ourselves for some time by the kind pennission of 
til.! gentlemen conneet.'d with the fur trade. 

()» the ooth of .ruly.on our return Irom a huffalo-hunt, when we wore 
some torty or hity miles from the fort sud.Ierdy a fine hare leap..! from 
O.o gnss (.eforc us and stoppe.l within twenty paces. Our friend, Ea- 

us large buck-shot u.teMd..,I for killing an„.lopes; we tired at It 
bu,.d: away .t wen,, and r,,n around a hill, Mr. IT.,un« follower!, 
and ,1 course h.u.jr ,,„„ ,,y ^^^ U,,,, ,,],, observed "Pussy" stealing 
carCully along wuh her ears low down trying to escape the',uiek .■ ^ 
o» her pursuers, the forme- came up to and shot her. 

Th,s, like all others of the same family, is and fearful in 
he extreme. Its speed, we think, far surpasses that of the European 

If the >v« is indicative of character, this animal, from its slender 
body long htnd legs and great length of tarsus must be the fleetest 
'>f the hares of the West. 

Tlnse hares generally place or construct their forms under a thick Mil- 
low bu^, or tf at a distance (Von. the water-courses on the ba k , 
whtch those trees grow, or when they are in the :,pen prairie, the ^ . 

iTJt^ ""''' ^' ^^"^^ ''-'' ^' '^^'^ ^"^ «'-^- o^- - -no or la;g: 

The liocky Motmtain Hare produces from four to six j-oun-^ in the 
.■a.-. Aslar as we have ^ en able to ascrtaln it has but It 
'I.. >oung suck and follow the dam for about six weeks alVer . '^ ^ 
urns then, od and leaves them to provide for tla.nselves. Tl If 

"s.cdd of da.k-coloured, as is the case with the latter. 





shores of the lower Missouri, and has a range of fifteen hundred miles 
east of the great Rocky Mountain Chain. 

According to JMr. Toun\«e\d it is common on the Rocky Mountains 
and exists in considerable numhers on the --.vestern side of that great 
chain; and if travellers have not confounded it with other species it ex- 
ff^nds southwardly as far as Upper California. 

The period may arrive when civilization shall have drawn wealth and 
a large population into these regions. Then will in all probability this 
poor liaro lie hunted liy greyhounds followed by gentlemen on horseback ; 
and whilst the level plains of our vast prairies will afford both dogs and 
horsemen every opportunity of rapid pursuit, the great swiftness of this 
species will try their powers and test their speed to the utmost. 


We have, since this species was first described had some misgivings 
in regard to its being entitled to the name by which we have designated it. 

We had previously (,Toin-n. Acad. Nat. Scien., vol. vii., part. 2, p, 349, and 
vol. viii., part 1, p. 80) described a species from the West, in its white win- 
ter colour, under the name of L. campcstris. We had no other knowledge of 
its summer dress than that given us by Lewis and Clark. Being however 
informed by Mr. Tovvnsend, who possessed opportunities of ijeeing it in win- 
t<'r, that the present species never becomes white, we regarded it as dis- 
tinct and bestowed on it the above name. We have been since assured 
by the residents of Missouri, that like the Northern hare, Lcpits Town- 
sendii assumes a white garb in winter, and it is therefore probable that 
the name will yet require to be changed to L. campcstris. As, however, 
anotluM- hare exists on the prairies of the West, the specific characters of 
which have not yet been determined, we have concluded to leave it as i( 
stands, supposing it possible that the white winter colour may belong 
to another species. 


GENUS NEOTOMA.— Say et Oun. 


Incisive -; Canine — ; Molar — = 16 

Messrs. Say and Ord, who established this genus, having given an ex- 
tended description of its teeth, &c., we shall present a poi ion of it in 
(heir own words. 

" Molars, -;dth profound radicles. Superior jaw.— Incisors even and 
slightly rounded on their anterior face : first molar with five triangles, 
one of which is anterior, two exterior, and two interior. Second molar 
with four triangles ; one anterior, two on the exterior side, and a very 
small one on the interior side : third molar with four triangles ; one an- 
terior, two exterior, and a very minute one, interior. 

"Inferior jaw.— Incisora even, pointed at top: first molar with four di- 
visions or triangles, one anterior, a little irregular, then one exterior, one 
interior opposite, and one posterior : second molar, with four triangl Js an- 
terior :u.d posterior, nearly similar in form, an inttsrmediate one opposite 
to the interior and exterior one : third moliir with two triangles, i,nd an 
additional small angle on the inner side of the anterior one. Tail liuiry ; 
fore-feet, four toed, with an armed rudiment of a fifth toe ; liind-feet' 
five toed. ' 

i ,] 






The grinding surface of the molars differs somewhat from that of the 
molars of the genus Arvicola ; hut fhe large roots of the grind,;rs consti- 
tute a character essentially different. The folds of enamel which make 
the sides of fhe crown, do not descend so low as to the edge of the al- 
veolar i)rocesses; in consequence of this conformation, the worn down 
tooth of an old individual must exhibit insulated circles of enamel on 
the grinding surface. 

Neotoma— Gr. um, {neos,) new ; and r,^m, (/cmno,) I cut or divide. 

Two species of this genus have been described, both existing in North 




Florida Rat. 

PLATE IV. — Male, Female, and Vouno. 

N. corj)ore robusto, plumbeo, quoad liiieani dorsalem nigro mixto, facie 
st lateribus fusco-llavcscentibus, infra albo; cauda corpore paullo cor- 
tiore, vellere molli. 


Bodij ivhiist, lead colour, mixed mkh black on the dorsal line ; face and 
sides fcrrugiiious-ycUow, beneath white, tail a little shorter than the body ; 
fur soft. 


Mrs Fi.oiiiiJAxus, Ord, Nouv. Ihill. dc la Societe Philomatique, 1818. 
Ak\ icoi.A Fi.oiiiDA.M.s, liarliiii, Fauiiii Amer., p. 142. 

Godniiin, Nut. Hist., vol. ii., p. 69. 
Mis " Say,'s Expedition, vol. i., p. 54. 

Ni;oTo.MA Fi.oKiDANA, Say et Old, Journ. Acad. Nat. Sciences, Philadelphia, vol. iv., 

pail. 2, p. ;i52, iigurc. 
NiiOTOMA Flokidana, Giifliths, Animal Kingdom, vol. iii., p. 100, figure. 


The form of our very common white-iboted or fleld-mousc {Mus leuco- 
piis) may be ri'jiardrd as a miiiialuiv of tliai of the present species; it.s 
body Ikis an aj)pcarance of lightness and ajjility, bearing some rescm- 
l)lance fo tliat of the squirrel ; snout elongated ; eyes large, resembling 
those ol' th(> common flying scpiirrel (/'. rolucelhi) ; ears large, prominent, 
lliin, sub-ovate, rlothed so (liinly with line hair as to appear naked ; tail 
covered with soil liair; whiskers reaeliing to the ears; legs robust; toes 
annulate ])enealh ; ihumb, minute; in the palms of the fore-feet there 
are live tubercles, and in the .soles of the hind-feet six, of which the three 
posterior are distant from each other; nails, concealed by hairs, which 
'?xtend considerably beyond them ; mamma?, two before, and four behind. 


Thi I)(h1> iiid hiiid air hud-colour, iiiterinixed with jellowish and 



bmck hair ; the black preaominating on the ridge of the back .ud head 
forming an ind.stinct dorsal line of dark brown, gradually fading awaJ 
into tho brownish-yellow colour of the cheeks and sides ; border of th« 
abdomen and throat, buff; whiskers, white and black ; feet, white ; under 
surface of body, white, tinged with cream colour. 

In a very young specimen, the colour is dark brown on the upper sur- 
face, and plumbeous beneath; differing so much from the adult, that the 
unpractised observer might easily be led to regard it as a new species. 


A.dult Male. 

From nose to root of tail 

Length of tail 

From fore-claws to hind-claws, when stretched - 

From nose to end of ears 

Weight 7f ounces. Weight of an old Female, 8 ounces. 

Young Male. 

From nose to root of tail 

From fore-claws to hind-claws, when stretched - 

From nose to end of ear ... 

Length of tail 

8 inches. 
5} do. 
131 do. 


5-J inches 








^ .1 


1 he specimens from which we drew the figures we have given on our 
plate, winch represents this species in various ages and attitudes on tho 
bnuich of a pine tree, were obtained in South Carolina, and were pre- 
served ahve for several weeks in cages having wire fronts. They made 
I'o att,M,.pt to gnaw their way out. On a previous occasion we preserved 
iiu old lemale with three young (which latter were born in the cage a 
f.'w days after the mother had been captured) for nearly a year; by 
vvlu.h tune the young had attained tho size of the adult. We fed them 
on corn, potatoes, rice, and bread, as well as apples and other fruit, 
ll.ey seemed very fond of corn flour, (Indian meal.) and for several 
months subsisted on the acorns of the live oak. {Qucrcus virens.) 

They became very gentle, especially one of them which was in a se- 
parate cage. It was our custom at dark to release it from confinement, 
upon which it would run around the room in circles, mount the table we' 
were in the habit ..f writing at, and always make ellorts to open a parti- 
filiar .liawer iii ui.icli ue lv<>i.| so.ur ,.|' iis choieest food. 





Tliere aro oonsiderahle clifTerences in the habits of this species In va 
rious parts of the United States, and wc hope the study of these peculiari- 
ties may interest our readers. In Florida they burrow undtT stones and 
the ruins of dilapidated l)uildings. In Gcort:;ia and Soulli Carolina they 
prefer remaining in the woods. In some swampy situation in the vicinity 
of a sluggish stream, amid tnnghMl vines interspersed with leaves and long 
moss, they gather a heap of dry sticlis which they pile up into a conical 
shape, and which, witli grasses, mud, and dead leaves, mixed in by the 
wind and rain, forms, as they proceed, a structure impervious to rain, and 
inaccessible to the wild-cat, racoon, or fox. At other times, their nest, 
composed of somewhat lighter materials, is placed in the fork (branch) 
of a tree. 

About fifteen years ago, on a visit to the grave-yard of the church at 
Ebenezer, Georgia, we were struck with the appearance of several very 
large nests near the tops of some tall evergreen oaks {Qnercus aqiiati- 
ciis) ; on disturbing the ni />ts, we discovered them to be inhabited by a 
number of Florida rats of all sizes, some of which descended rapidly to 
the ground, whilst others escaped to the highest branches, where they 
were concealed among the leaves. These nests in certain situations are 
of enormous size. We have observed some of them on trees, at a height 
of from ten to twenty fet^t from the ground, where wild vines had made 
a tangled mass over heiid, which appeared to r.o larger tliau a cart 
wheel and contained a mass of leaves and sticks that would have more 
thiui iilled a l)arrel. 

Those specimens, however, which we procured on our journey up the 
Missouri river, were all caught in the hollows of trees which were cut 
down by the crew, as we proceeded, for iuel for our steamer. Lewis and 
Ci.ARK, in their memorable journey across the Rocky Mountains, found 
Ihein nestling among clefts in the rocks, and also in hollow trees. In 
this region they appeared to be in the habit of feeding on the prickly pear 
or Indian tig, {CacUis opuiUia,) the travellers having found large quanti- 
ties of seeds and remnants of those plants in their nests. In the Floridas, 
Mr. Pautram also Ibund this species. He says, " they are singular with 
respect to their ingenuity and great labour in the construction of their 
habitations, which are conical pyramids about three feet high, construct- 
ed with dry branches which they collect with great labour and persever- 
ance and pile up without any apparent order; yet they are so interwoven 
with one another that it would take a Ix^ar or wild cat some time to pull 
one of these castles to pieces, and allow the animals snllieient time to se* 
cure a retreat with their young." 

This is a very active rat, and in asccMiding tre(!S, exhibits much of the 



ugility of the squirrel, although we do not recollect having observed it 
leaping from branch to branch m the manner of that genus, 

Tlie Florida rat is, in Carolina, a very harmless species ; the only de- 
predation we have known it to commit, was an occasional inroad on the 
corn.Hftlds when the grain was yet j-uicy and sweet. We have seen 
several whole ears of Indian corn taken from one of th<>ir nests, into which 
they had been dragged by these animals the previous night. They appear 
also to be very fond of the Chinquapin {Castania puinila), and we have 
sometimes observed around their nests traces of their having ied on frogs 
and cray-fish. 

This sppcies is nocturnal, or at least crepuscular, in its habits. In pro- 
curing specimens we were only successful when the traps had been set 
over mght. Those we had in captivity scarcely ever left their dark 
chambers till after sunset, when they came forth from their dormitories 
and continued playful and active during a great part of the night. They 
were mild in their dispositions, and much less disposed to bite when pur- 
sued than tlie common and more mischievous Norway rat. 

Whilst the young are small they cling to the teats of the mother, who 
runs about with them occasionally without much apparent inconvenience; 
and even when older, they still, when she is about to travel quickly, cling 
to her sides or her back. Thus on a visit from home, she may be said 
to carry her little family with her, and is always ready to defend them 
even at the risk of her life. We once heard a gratifying and affecting 
anecdote ol the attachment to its young, manifested by one of this species 
which we will here relate as an evidenc- that in some oases we may 
learn a valuable lesson ft-om the instincts of the brute creation. 

Our friend Ga.l,.ard Stoxkv Esq., sent us an old and a young Florida rat, 
obta.ned under the fbllowing circumstances. A terrier was seen in pur- 
suit of a rat of this species, followed by two young about a third grown. 
He had already killed one of these, when the mother sprang forward and 
sc.zed the other in her mouth, although only a few feet from her relent- 
less enemy-hastened through a fence which for a moment protected her 
and retre.-tted into her burrow. They were dug out of the ground and 
sont to us alive. We ob.s.n-ved that for many months the resting place 
of the young during the day was on the back of its mother. 

From thr,-e to six are produced at a litter, by this species, which breeds 
generally twice a year; we have seen the young so frequently in March 
ami August, that we are inclined to the belief that these are the periods 
of their reproduction. We have never heard them making any otlier 
noise than a squeak, somewhat resembling that of the brown rat. 
Tf.e very playful character of this species, its cleanly habits, its mild, 





promiiKMjt, and hriglit eyes, together with its fine form and easy susoep. 
tibility of domestication, would render it a lar more interesting pet than 
many others that the caprice of man has from time to time induced him 
to 'select. 


This species is very widely scattered through the country. It was 
brought from East Florida by Mr. Ord, in 1818, but not published until 
1825. It was tlien supposed by him to be peculiar to Florida, and re- 
ceived its specific name from that circumstance. Wc had, however, ob- 
tained a number of specimens, both of this species and the cotton rat, 
{Sig7nodon hispidum,) in 181(5, in South Carolina, where they are very 
abundant. In Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, and 
the former States, it is a common species. Its numbers diminish greatly 
as we travel eastward. In North Carolina some specimens of it have 
been obtained. We observed a few nests among the valleys of the Vir- 
ginia mountains ; farther north we have not personally traced it, although 
we have somewhere heard it stated that one or two had been captured 
as far to the north as Maryland. 


On a farther examination of Bartram's work, which is also referred to 
by GoDMAN (Nat. Hist., vol. ii., ]>. 21), wc find his descriptions of the 
habits of this species very accurate ; the first part of that article, how- 
ever, quoted by Dr. Godman, is evidently incorrect. " The wood rat," 
says Bartram, " is a very curious animal ; they are noi half the size of 
fhe domestic rat, of a dark brown or black colour; thin tail, slender and 
shorter in proportion, and covered thinly with short hair." The error of 
Bartram, in describing one species, and applying to it the habits of an- 
other, seems to have escaped the observation of Dr. Godman. The cotton 
rat, or as it is generally called, wood rat {Sig-tmdon hisjndum), answers 
this description of Bartram, in its size, colour, and tail ; but it does not 
build "conical pyramids ;" this is the work of a much larger and very dif- 
ferent species— the Florida rat of this article. 

The adoption of the genus Neotoma, when proposed by Say and Ord, 
was met with considerable opposition by naturalists of that day, and 
some severe strictures were passed upon it i)y Drs. Harlan and Godman. 
(See Harlan, p. 1 1.*}, Godman, vol. ii., p. 72.) They contended that the 
variations in the teeth that separated tl'is species from Mus and Arvicola, 
were not sufllcient to establish genuine distinctions. 

INIore recently naturalists have, ho'-vevcr, examined the subject calmly 



and considerately. It is . rtain that this genus cannot be arranged either 
under Arvicola or Mas, without enlarging (he characters of one or the 
other of these g, iiera. Another species, Irom the Rocky Mountains, has 
been rliscovered by Dr. Richardson, {Neotoma Drummondu,) and wo' feel 
pretty coniident tliat the genus will be generally adopted. 


GENUS SClUllUS. — Linn., Erxleb., Cuv., Geoff., Iluozb- 

Dental Formula. 

,..8 „. 0-0 ,r 1 *-* *-* c^ «„ 
Incisive - : Canine — ; Molar — or — - = 20 or 22. 

}»' 0-0 ♦-4 4-4 

Body elongated ; tail long and furnished with hairs ; head large ; ears 
erect ; eyes projecting and l)rilliant ; upper lip divided. Four toes before, 
with a tubercle covered by a blunt nail ; five toes behind. The four 
grinders, on each side the mouth above and beneath, are variously tubcr- 
culated ; a very small additional one in front, above, is in some species 
permanent, but in most cases uiops out when the young have attained the 
age of from six to twelve wee)cs. Mammae, eight ; two pectoral, the 
others abdominal. 

The squirrel is admirably adapted to a residence on trees, for which 
nature has designed it. Its fingers are long slender and deeply cleft, and 
its nails very acute and greatly compressed ; it is enabled to leap from 
branch to branch and from tree to tree, clinging to the smallest twigs, 
and seldom missing its hold. When this happens to be the case, it has 
an instinctive habit of grasping in itjfs descent at the first object ■\\ liich 
may present itself ; or if about to fall to the earth, it spreads itself out in 
the manner of the flying squir'-ei, and thus by ; !osenting a greater resist- 
ance to the air is enabied to reach the ground without injury and recover 
itself so instantaneously, that it often escapes the teeth of the dog that 
watches its descent and stands ready to seize upon it at the moment of its 
fall. It immediately ascends a neighbouring tree, emitting very frequently 
a querulous bark, wh' ' is either a note of fear or of triumph. 

Although the squirrel moves with considerable activity on the ground, 
it rather runs than leaps; on trees, however, its activity and agility are 
surprising, and it is generally able to escape from its enemies and conceal 
itself in a few moments, either among the thick foliage, in its nest, or in 
a hollow tree. The squirrel usually conveys its food to the mouth by the 
fore-paws. Nuts, and seeds of all kinds, are hekl by it between the rudi- 
montal thumbs and the inner portions of the palms. When disturbed or 
alarnnd, it either drops the nut and makes a rapid retreat, or seizes it 
with the incisors, and carries it to its hole or nest. 

All American >; tcies of this genus, as far as we have been able to 



become acquainted with their habits, build their nests either in the fork 
of a tree, or on some secure portion of its branches. The nest is hemi- 
spherical m shape, and is composed of sticks, leaves, the bark of trees 
and vanous kinds of mosses and lichens. In the vicinity of these nests' 
however they have a still more secure retreat in some hollow tree to' 
which they retire in cold or in very wet weather, and where their first 
litter of young is generally produced. 

Several species of squirrels collect and hide away food during the abun- 
Jant season of autunm, to serve as a winter store. This hoard is com- 
posed of vanous kinds of walnuts and hickory nuts, chesnuts, chinque- 
pins, acorns, corn, &c., which may be found in their vicinity. The spe 
cies, however, that inhabit the Southern portions of the United States 
where he ground IS seldom covered with snow, and where they can al' 
ways derive a precarious support from the seeds, insects, and worms 
which they scratch up among the leaves, &c., are less provident in this 
respect; and of all our species, the chickaree, or Hudson's Bay squirrel 

t^7Zl. '' '' ''' ''' -' ^-'-^^^- -' '^>-« "P ^^« -ates; 
In the spring the squirrels shed their hair, which is replaced by a thin- 
ner and less furry coat; during smnmer their tails are narrower and less 
feathery than in autumn, when they either receive an entirely new coat or 
a very great accession of fur; at this season also, the outer surfaces' of 
f he ears are more thicldy and prominently clothed with fur than in the 
.s|)riiig and summer. 

Squirrels are notorious depredators on the Indian-corn fields of the far- 
mer, m some portions of our country, consuming great quantities of this 
gram, and by tearing off the husks exposing an immense number of the 
unnpe ears to the mouldering influence of the dew and rain 

The usual note emitted by this genus is a kind of tremulous, querulous 
bark, not very unlike the quacking of a duck. Although all our larger 
squirrels have shades of difference in their notes which will enable The 
pmetised ear to designate the species even before they are seen, yet this 
dillerence cannot easily be described by words. Their bark seems to be 
the repetition of a syllable five or six times, quack-quack-quaek-quack- 
qua-eoinmencmg low, gradually raising to a higher pitch, and endin^ 
with a draw on the last letter in the syllable. The notes, however, ^f 
he smaUer Hudson's Bay squirrel nnd i.s kindred species existing on the 
Kooky M„untnu,s, ,li,|er eo.isiderably fVom those of the larger s.purrels ; 
•hey are sharper, more rapidly uttered, and of longer continuance; seem- 
.... ...ermediate between ,he bark of the latter and the chipping calls of 

the .,<Hind.sqmrrels. (T ui,..) The barkh.g of .he squirrel mav^- hear. 




occasionally in the forests durinj? all hours of the day, but is uttered most 
frc(}nenfly ii) ihr morning and afternoon. Any sudden noise in the woods, 
or ihr (li^iinit I'tport of a jjun, is almost certain, durinjr fine weather, to be 
.succcfdid by the barkinj^ of the siiniriol. This is either a note of playful- 
ness or of love. Whilst barkiiiir it seats itself for a few moments on a 
branch ol' a tree, elevates its tail over its back towards the head, .ind bend- 
ing the point backwards continues to jerk its body and elevate and depress 
the tail at tiie repetition of rach successive note. Like the mocking biid 
and the ui^^htingalr, however, the squirrel, very socu after he I gins to sing, 
(for to his own ear, at least, his voice must be musical,) also commences 
skij)ping and dancing ; he leaps playfully from bough to bough, some- 
times pursuing ;i rival or his mate for a few moments, and then reiterat- 
ing with renewed vigour his <iuerulous and monotonous notes. 

One of the most common habits of the squirrel is that ol dodging around 
the tree Avhen approached, and keeping on the opposite side so as to 
comi)letcly bafile the hunter who is alone. Hence it is almost essential 
to the sportsman's success that he should be accompanied by a seoiul 
person, who, by \\alldng slowly round the tree on which the squirrel 
has been seen beating the bushes and making a good deal of noise, 
causes him to move to the side where the gunner is silently stationed 
wailing I'or a view of him to fire. When a squirrel is seated on a branch 
and fancies himself undiscovered, wliould some one approach he imme- 
(lialely (l('i)n'sses his tail, and extiMidiug it along the branch behind him, 
presses his l)0(ly so closely to the bark that he frecpiently escapes the^ 
most practised eye. Notwithstanding the agility of these animals, man is 
not tlicir only nor even their most fotiMidable enemy. The owl makes a 
frequent meal of those sjiecies which continue to seek thi ir food late in 
thf evening and early in the morning. Several species of hawks, espe- 
cially the red-tail< d {Buteo borcalis), and the red-shouldered (Btitco line- 
(iliis). j)ounce upon them by day. The black snake, rattle snake, and 
other species of snakes, can secure them; and the ermine, the U.x, and the 
wild cat, are incessantly exerting their sagacity in lessening their num- 

The generic name Sciurus is derived from the Latin sciunis, a squirrel, 
and from the Gr(>ek Txtcvpot {xlciouros), from inna (sjda), a shade, and ot-^n 
(oitrti), a tail. 

There are between sixty and seventy species of this genus known to 
authors; about twenty well determined species exist in North America 



RiuHARDt'ON's Columbian SutTiRHRi.. 
PIATE —Male and Female. 

S. c.udacorporebreviorc, apice nigro; supra griseu8, subtus sub-albi- 
nus, cs. Hudsoiuco minor. 


I^mallcr than Sciurus Hudsonius ; tail shorter than the body; rusty gray 
aho"\ whitish beneath: extrptniti, nf fhr tnil hlr.^1. 

beneath ; extremity of the tail black. 


BuowN Squirrul, Lewis ana ( larke, vol. iii., p. 37. 

SciuHus llvmomm, var. B. Riclumlson, Fauna Boreuli Americana, n 190 

ScrRfB liici.AnnsoNi,. Baclunan. Proceedings Zool. Soc, LondcH,, 1838, (read 

Aug. 1 1. 1838.) ^ 

Sfiuiius RicHAKDSONii, Bucli., Mag. Nat. Hist., London, new series, 1839, p 113 
" " Bach., Silliman's Journal. 


The upper incisors are small and of a light yellow .lour ; the lower 
are very thin and slender, iid nearly white. The firsi • deciduous mo- 
lar, jis in all the smaller sp.>cieb of pine squirrel that we have examined, 
is \\anting. 

The body of this diminutive species is short, and does not presei that 
appearance of lightness and agility which distin uishes the Sciuru iind- 
mnius. Head less elongated, fordicad more ar<>hed, and nose a Imle 
more blunt, than in th ,t .species. Ears short; feet of noderate size; 
the third t(.e ou the fore-feet but slightly l,„ger than the second .laws, 
compressed, arched, an-i acute; tail shorter th. the bod) rhumb 
nail broad, flat, and blui... 


Fur on the back, dark plumbeous from the roots, tipp. T with ru-'tv 
hro^v„ and black, riving it a rusty gray a, pearance. It is loss rufou 
fhan Si^mrus Hudsonius, and lighter coloured than Sciurus Douglasxn 



Feet, on tlioir upper surface rulbus; on tlie shoulders, lorehead, ears, aiio 
aloug the thighs, there is a sli<,'lit tiii^je of the aatiie colour. Whiskers 
(wliich are a little lou<,'('r than the, lie id,) black. The whole of the under 
surfiice, as well as a line aroutid the eyes and a small patch ahove ihc 
nostrils, hluish-gray. The tail for al)(>ut one-half its len^'th presents oii 
the upptu- surface a dark rufous appearance, many of the hairs bemt; 
nearly black, pointed with light rufous. At the extremity of the tail 
and along it for about an inch and three-quarters, the hjiirs are black, a 
few of them sii^'htly tipped with rufous. Ilind-fcet, from the heel to the 
palms thickly clothed with short adpressed light-coloured hairs; palms 
naked. The sides are marked by a line of black, eonnuencing at the 
shoulder and terminating abruptly on the flanks; this line is about two 
inches in length, and four lines wide. 


Length of head and body • 
Tail (vertebra') 
Do., including fur 
Height of ear posteriorly • 

Do., including fur 
Palm and middle fore-claw 
Sole and middle hind-claw 















The only knowledge we have obtained of the habits of this species, is 
contained in a note from Mr. Townsend, who obtained the specimen from 
which the aliove description was taken. He remarks: "It is evidently 
a distinct species. Its habits are very dilferent irom the Scliirus lliul- 
soniu.i. It frequents the pine trees in the high ranges of the Rocky 
Mountains weft of the Great Chain, feeding upon the seeds contained in 
the cones. These seeds arc large and white, and contain a good deal of 
nutriment. The Indians eat a great quantity of them, and esteem them. 


"The note of this squirrel is a loud jarring chatter, I'ery different from 
the noise of Sciurus Hudxonius. It is not at all shy, frequently coming 
down to the foot of the tree to reconnoitre the passenger, and scolding 
at him vociferously. It is, I think, a scarce species." 


Lewis and Clark speak of the "Brown Squirrel" as inhabiting the 
banks of the Columbia river. Our specimen is labelled, lioeky Moun 



tains, Aug. Vi, lH3i. Fr,„n Mr. Tovvnhf.m.'h nvcmnt, it exists on the 
11)^. ii little west of the i.ifrh,,st rj.lge. h will be Ibuiui no doubt 
to havci a i extensive mnge along tiiosc elevated regions. 

'n tijc 'u-ssirui j)ossessions to the Northward, it is replaced by the. 
.V v?,v '^'^ irrel, {Sc. humginums,) and in the South, near the Calilbrnian 
?roun|. -IS, within the Territories of the United States, by another 
small species. 


The first account we have of this species is from Lewis and Clark, 
who deposited a specimen in the Philadelphia Museum, where it still 
exists. We have compared this spcci.neii wilh thr.t brought by Mr 
TovvNSEND, an,] (i,„! ,!,..„, identical. Tl.e description by Lews and Clark 
(vol. UL, p. HI) IS v.My creditable to the observation and accuracy 
of lh..s.. early explorers of the untrodden snows of the Rocky Mountains 
and the valleys beyond, to Oregon. 

"The small brown S.purrel," they say, "is a beautiful little animal 
about the size and ll.rm of the red squirrel (.Sc. Iludsonius) of the Atlantic' 
8lnt,.s and W.-stern lakes. The tail is as long as the body and neck, and 
formed like that of the red s.purrel; the eves an, black; the whiskers 
long and black, but not abundant ; the back, sides, head, neck, and outer 
parts of the legs, are of a reddish brown; the throat, breast, belly and 
inner parts of the legs, are of a pale red; the tail is a mixture of black 
and tox-coloured red, in which the black j.redominates i.i the middle and 
the red <..i the edges a.ul extremity. The hair of the body is almost' half 
■"' long, and so fine and soft that it has the appearance of fur. The 
I'MH- ol the tail is coarser and double in length. This animal subsists 
chiedy on the seeds of various species of „ine and is always found in the 
pine country." 

Dr. RicMAui.soN, who had not seen a specimen, copied in his excellent 
^york, {F<„u,u liorroli Americana, p. 10,) the description of Lewis and 
Clark Irom which he supposed this species to be a mere variety of the 
S<: H,uls,.„u.s: We had subse,,u,.ntly an opportunity of submitting a 
s|.ecuneu to his inspection, when he immediately became convinced it 
was a diilerent species. 

The diin-rence between these two species can indeed be detected at a 
glanc,, by comparing specimens of each together. The present .species 
HI addition to its being a fourth smaller,-about the si.e of our little' 
clupp.r.g s,iuirrel {Tamias Ay,sVo-/)-has less of the reddish brown on the 
upp.|r surl.ace, and may always be distinguished from the other by the 
blackness ot its tail at the extremity. 




Incisive - ; Canine — ; Molar — = 42. 

8 1— I 7—7 

Muzzle pointed ; pupils of the eyes forming a vertical fissure ; uppei 
incisors less curved than in the Genus Canis. Tail long, bushy, and cy. 

Animals of this genus generally are smaller, and the number of spe. 
cies known greater, than among the wolves ; they diffuse a foetid odour 
dig burrows, and attack none but the weaker quadrupeds or birds, &c. 

The characters of this genus differ so slightly from those of the genuf- 
Cams, that we were induced to pause before removing it from the sub- 
genus in which it had so long remained. As a general rule, we are 
obliged to admit that a large fox is a wolf, and a small wolf may be 
termed a fox. So inconveniently large, however, is the list of species in 
the old genus Canis, that it is, we think, advisable to separate into dis 
tinct groups, such species as possess any characters different from the 
true Wolves. 

Foxes, althcugh occasionally seen abroad during the day, are nocturnal 
in their habits, and their character is marked by timidity, suspicion and 
cunning. Nearly the whole day is passed by the Fox in concealment, 
either in his burrow under ground, in the fissures of the rocks, or in the 
middle of some large fallen-tree-top, or thick pile of brush- wood, where 
ho is well hidden from any passing enemy. 

During the obscurity of late twilight, or in the darkness cA' night, he 
.sallies forth in search of food ; the acutcness of his organs of sight, of 
smell, and of hearing, enabling him in the most murky atmosphere to 
trace and follow the footsteps of small quadrupeds or birds, and pounce 
upon the hare seated in her form, or the partridge, grouse, or turkey on 
their nests. 

Various .species of squirrels, field-rats, and moles, afford him a rich re- 
past. He often causes great devastation in the poultry yard ; seizes on 
the goose whilst grazing along the banks of the stream, or carries off the 
Iamb from the side of its motlier. 

The cautious and wary character of the Fox, renders it excee<lingly 



difficult to take him in a trap of any kind. He eln.des the snaros laid for 
him. and generally disco^-er.s and avoids the steel-trap, however carefully 
covered with brush-wood or grasses. ^ 

In tl.e Northern States, swch as Pennsylvania and New-York, and in 
New England, the rutting season of the Fox commences in the month of 

February. During this period he issues a succession of rapid yells, like 
he quick and sharp barking of a small dog. Gestation conJinues from 60 

to 65 days. The cubs are from 5 to 9 in number, and like young puppie^ 

are born with h,^ir and are blind at birth. They leave 'theii burrows 

generally when three or four months old, and in all predatory expedition. 

each inclividual goes singly, and plunders on his own account, and fo 

his own especial benefit. 
The Generic name is derived from the Latin word vulpes, a Fox 
There are about twelve well-known species belonging to this genus 

—four of which exist in North America. 

VULPES FULVUS.-De.,,: var. Dccussa!„s.-P^,,,„. 

AMERICAN Cross Fox. 

V eruce nigra supra humeros, subtus linea longitudinali nigra, auribus 
ptdibusque nigns. 


A cross on the neck and shoulders, and a longitudinal stripe on the nnne, 
surface, black ; ears and feet black. 


Ren'ard Barue, Tsinantontonguo, Snjr«rd Thoodat., Canada, p 745 
Er,uM.KAN C.osH Fox, var. H . C.-oss Fox. Pennant. Arct., ZoJ.. voi. i., p. 46. 
Cams DKia'ssAics, Geoff., 0,.ll. du Mus. ^ 

Canis Fulvus, Sabine, Fianklin's .[ourniil, p. 650. 

var. B.. (decussatus) Ricli., Fauna Boreali Americana, p. m. 


Form, n^rrees in every particular with that of the common red fox (V 
f^^^ns^ Fur. rather thick and long, but not thicker or more elongated 
than ,n many specimens of the red fox that w, have examined, .^nles of 




the feet densely clothed with short woolly hair, so that the callous spots 
at the roots of the nails are scarcely visible. A black longitudinal stripe, 
more or less distinct, on the under surface. 


Front of the head, and back, dark gray ; the hairs being black at tht 
roots, yellowish white near the ends, and but slightly tipped with black 
so that the light colour of the under part of each hair showing through, 
gives the surface a gray tint; with these Jiairs a few others are mixed 
that are black throughout their whole length. 

The soft fur beneath these long hairs is of a brownish black. Inner 
surfoce of ears, and sides of the neck from the chin to the shoulders, pale 
reddish yellow ; sides, behind the shoulders towards the top of the back, 
slightly ferruginous; under surface, to the thiijhs, haunches, and under 
part of the root of tail, pale ferruginous. I'ur underneath llie long hair, 
yellowish. Tail dark brown ; fur beneath, reddisli yellow ; the long hairs, 
yellowish at base, tmmdly tipped with black; at the extremity of the tail a 
small tuft of whit*; hair. Nose, outer surface of ear, chin, throat, and 
chest, black. A line along the under surface for half its length, and 
broadest at its termination, black ; a i'ew white hairs intermixed, but ntH 
a sufficient luimber to alter the general colour. The yellowish tint m 
each side of the neck and behind the shoulders, is divided by a longitudi- 
nal d.-irk brown liand on the hack, crossed at right angles by another run- 
ning over the slioukl(>rs and extendiiig over the fore-legs, Ibrming a cross. 
There is another cross, yet more distinctly marked, upon the chest ; a 
black stripe, extending downward from the throat towards the belly, being 
intersected by another black line, which reaches over the chest from the 
inside of one ibrc-leg to tlie other. Hence, tlu^ name of this animal does 
not originate in its ill-nature, or by reason of its hiiving any peculiarly 
savage propensity, as might be presumed, but from the singular markings 
we have just described. 


Adult Male. 

From nose to root of tail 
Tail, (vcrtebne) 
Tail, lo end of h' .r 
From nose to end of ear 
" to eyes - 
Weight, 14 pounds. 














o the .Sta e of New YorK, of acquiriu,. some knowledge of the habits o 
the f^ and many other animals, which then we.e al^ndant aro^ u 

Wuhm a few zmles dwelt several neighbours who vied with each othe; 
ni dest foxes and other predacious animals, and who kept a sW 
account of the number they captured or killed each season. Wpp rt 
most of our neighbours were rather unsuccessful-the wary foxre'pe ' 
eiully seemed very soon, as our western hunters would say^to be " up'o" 
trap. Shooting them by star-light from behin.l a hav-stad IL HoWs 
when they had , or some time been baited and the^now c \ted Jl' 

u ell at first, but after a few had been shot at, the whole tribe of fox I 
--red, gray, cross, and black-appeared to be aware that safety wlsno 

!:;r :. -rs:' ^" ''- -'-'^'^ - '-^--«' -^ ^'^ey .lU r 

With the assistance of dogs, pick-axes, and spades, our were An- 
more succe.lul, and we think might have bee^ co.isiderc : p^" ' w 
e e mvi ed to ,oni them, which we did on a ibw occasions, b h.lT^ 
"»'" <'»r Kleas of sport did not accord precisely with theirs J. r 

wi.lulrew fro,n ,his club of pri.nitive fox-hu.fte s Each If t^. " ' ' 
men was guided by his own " rules and regu;:io.^^!; .^f ^^^^ 
'l.c horse was not brought into the llel.l, nor do we remember anv sc'd'et 
coats. I,ach hunter proceeded in the direction that to him > T 

.*>, h„ .„e. he ,„,,_.„ ,.„ „„,,, .-i:c:'; rz ::;- 

".;•' .■.".■.-.i .v„, „ »,„,.„^, pi::;: ;;,,: ;;:;;';;;';;;;:7;' "- 
i'--« "- », »». ... ^ i,, „,„„i^ i I, j ,x ;;;•:"'"'■:'"■ ""'• 

I... lU • ... ' """"•I" <i 'IT iius inc (vnent so;i<nii 



well as by night ; his I'rcsh tracks may be seen in the fields, along the 
fences, and on the skirts of the farm-yard, as well as in the deep forest. 

Nothing is easier than to track the Fox under these favourable circum- 
stances, and the trail havin°; been discovered, it is followed up, until Rey- 
nard is started. Now the chase begins : the half-hound yells out, in tones 
far removed from the mellow notes of the thorough-bred dog, but equally 
inspiriting perhaps, through the clear frosty air, as the solitary hunter 
eagerly follows as fast as his limited powers of locomotion will admit. 
At intervals of three or four minutes, the sharp cry of the dog resounds, 
the Fox has no time to double and shulTle, the dog is at his heels almost, 
and speed, speed, is his only hope for life. Now the shrill baying of the 
hound becomes irregular ; we may fancy he is at the throat of his victim ; 
the hunter is far in the rear, toiling along the track which marks the 
course so well contested, but occasionally the voice of his dog, softened by 
the distance, is borne on the wind to his ear. For a mile or two the Fox 
keeps aliead of his pursuer, but the latter has the longest legs, and the 
snow impedes him less than it does poor Reynard; every bound and 
plunge into the snow diminishes the distance between the fox and his re- 
lentless foe. Onward they rush through field, fence, brushwood, and open 
forest, the snow flying I'rom bush and briar as they dart through the 
eopse or speed across the newly-cleared field. But this desperate race 
cannot last longer. The fox must gain his burrow, or some cavernous 
rock, or he dies. Alas ! he has been lured too far away from his custom- 
ary haunts and from his secure retreat, in search of prey; he is unable to 
reach his home ; the dog is even now within a foot of his brush. One more 
desperate leap, and with a sudden snappish growl In? turns upon his pur- 
suer and endeavours to defend himself with his sharp teeth. For a mo- 
ment he resists the dog, but is almost instantly overcome. He is not 
killed, however, in the first onset; both dog and fox are so fatigued that 
tlicy now sit on their haunches Iheiiig each other, resting, panting, their 
tongues hanging out, and the foam from their lip^ dropping on the snow 
After fiercely eyeing each other ibr a while, both become impatient — the 
former to seize his prey, and the latter to escape. At the first leap of the 
fox, the (log is upon him ; with renewed vigour he seizes him by the 
throat, and does not loose his hold until the snow is stained with his blood, 
and he lies rumpled, draggled, with blood-shot eye and frothy open mouth, 
a mangled carcass on the ground. 

'I'he hunter soon eomes up: he has made several s/inrt ruls, guided by 
th<' bayinir of his honrxl ; and striking the deep trail in the snow again, at 
a point nuu'h nenrer to the scene of the (l(>alh-struggle. he hurries toward 
the place where the last ery was lit aril, and pushes forward in a half run 



unt.i he meets his do., which o.. hearing his master approach generolly 

:o^r;::h:::- :!:;'"^ ^" '-'- '- -^^ ^« ^^- p^- -- ^rs 

We will now have another hunt, and pursue a Fox that is within reach 

s-un dtothe utmost is shortening the distance between himscH' aTd hi 
stronghold; mcreasing his speed with his renewed hopes rsafetv he 

On arrivmg at the spot where the Fox hn« K /• 
'•'.oled." the sportsman surveys the nlL' A . "•^^" ""'""' ^^'""'^^ 

wU„, direction he ,h„ll .li, ,he flr.« pi,. tZ'I: Itl, ^f TT" 
is c.'iierally rievateil n liffl„ ,),„; .i ^^ '^° "' """"'• "f 'he burrow 

i.y ..,.< eJh „h^ .he p': htrbrouir^r"* t-"™ °' "-^ '"■"""■' 

c,„l,a„l™e„t series ,„ keroM.h " ' ""■* "'" ""*''« 

of al,,,nul,rce or limnle, vl r ^ ■ ""'"""""e'l »" a depth 

I'he excavari,,; i- 7 ""= ™«'»"oo of the burrow. 

■" •.■.cer.ti," „ ' , " :"'" "'"' '•■''""'"■"' -"d his „i,| 1, ,oUBh, 
•"; ,. "" ' '"" " ,"" >■'■"'"" 'I- Pox ha, retreated. 

'" ' "^ - "" ■ "" '>•!'- '>'■■" i" "-it. inserlod, ,u,.l 



either reaches him, and th*- huntei' is made aware of his whereabouts by 
his snapping at it and growling, which calls fortli a yelp of fierce anxiety 
irom the dog ; or, as frequently happens, the Fox is heard digging for life, 
and making no contemptible progress through the earth. Should no rock« 
or large roots interfere, he is easily unearthed, and caught by the dog. 

It however very frequently occurs, that the den of the Fox is situ- 
ated on the mountain side ; and that its winding galleries run beneath 
the enormous rootii of some stately pine or oak ; or it may be amongsf 
huge masses of broken rock, in some fissure of too great depth to be 
sounded, and too contracted to be entered by man or dog. What is then 
to be done ? Should a " dead- fall " be set at the mouth of the hole, the 
Fox will (unless the ground be frozen too hard) dig another opening, and 
not go out by the old place of egress ; place a steel-trap before it, and he 
will spring it without being caught. lie will remain for days in his re- 
treat, without once exposing himself to the danger of having a dog snap- 
ping at his nose, or a load of duck-shot whistling round his ears. Our 
hunter, however, is not much worried with such reflections as we have 
just made ; he has already gathered an armful or two of dry wood, and 
perhaps some resinous knots, or bits of the bark of the pine-tree ; he cuts up 
a portion into small pieces, pulls out his tinder-box, flint, and steel, and in 
a few moments a smart fire is lighted within the burrow ; more wood is 
th-rown on, the mass pushed further down the hole, and as soon as it be- 
gins to roar and blaze freely, the mouth is stopped with brush-wood 
covered with a few spadefuls of earth, nnd the den is speedily exhausted 
of pure air, and filled with smoke and noxious gases. 

There is no escape for the Fox — an enemy worse than the dog or the 
gun is destroying him ; ht. dies a protracted, ptiinful death by suffoca- 
tion ! In about an hour the entrance is uncovered, large vommes of 
smoke issue into the pure air, and when the hunter's eye ca i pierce 
through the dense smoky darkness of the interior, he mny perhaps discern 
the poor Fox extended lifeless in the burrow, and may reach him with a 
stick. If not quite dead, the Fox is at least exhausted and insensible ; this 
is sometimes the case, and the animal is then knocked on the head. 

The number of Foxes taken by our neighbours, in the primitive mode 
of hunting them we have attempted to describe, was, as nearly as we can 
now recollect, about sixty every winter, or an avei ge of nearly twenty 
killed by each hunter. After one or two seasons, the nund)or of Foxes 
in that piirt of the country was sensibly dinn'nislied, allliough the settle- 
ments hnd not increased marerinlly ;uul the neighbourhood w.-is at that 
time very wild. 

At this time Pennant's Marten {Mustcla Camidcnsis) was not vprv 



bcarce in Rensselaer county, and we had three different specimens 
brought to us to examine. 

These, the people called Black Foxes. They were obtained by cuttin- 
down hollow trees in which they were concealed, and to which their 
tracks on the snow directed the hunters. 

We cannot now find any note in regard to the number of Cross Foxes 
taken, as compared to the Red, Gray, and Black Foxes; about one-fourth 
of the whole number captured, however, were Gray Foxes, and we recol- 
lect but a smgle one that was perfectly black with the exception of a white 
tip at the end of its tail, like the specimen figured in our work. 

On examining several packages of Fox skins at Montreal, we saw 
about four specimens only of the Cross Fox, and three of the Black Fox, 
m some three lumdred skins. We were inform.-<l during our recent visit 
to the upper Missouri country, that from fifty to one hundred skins of the 
Cross Fox were annually procured by the American Fur Company li-om 
the hunters and Indians. 

The specimen from which our drawing was made, was caught in a 
steel-trap by one of its fore-feet, not far from the falls of Niagara and 
was purchased by J. W. AuD,;noN of the proprietor of the "Museum" 
kept there to gratify the curiosity of the travellers who visit the -real 
Cataract. " 

Dr. Richardson (Fauna Boreali Americana, p. 93) adheres to the 
ojnnion of the Indians, who regard the Cross Fox of the fur traders as a 
mere variety of the Red Fox. He says, "I found on inquiry that the gra^- 
dat.ons of colour between characteristic specimens of the Cross and lied 
Fox are so smrll, that the hunters are often in doubt with respect to the 
proper denominauon of a skin ; and I was frequently told, " This is not a 
Cross Fox yen but it is becoming so." It is worthy of remark, moreover 
that the European Fox {Vulpes vuI^raHs) is subject to similar varieties' 
and that the " Canis crucigera of Gesner differs from the latter animal in 
the same way that the American (toss Fox does from the red one" 
We have had several opportunities ,f examining C. crucigera in the mu- 
scums of Europe, and regard it as a variety of the common European 
<oxM,ut u dUlers in many particulars from any variety of the American 
hi'd J' ox that we have seen. 

'rhe Cross Fox is generally regarded as being more wary and swift 
of loot than the Red Fox; with rega.d to its greater swiftness, we doubt 
the frtct. We witnessed a trial of speed between the mongrel greyhoun.l 
already referred to in this article, and a Red Fox, in the morning, and 
another between the same dog an.' a Cross Fox, about noon on the same 
day. The former was taken after an hour's hard run in the snow, and the 



latter in half that time, which we accounted for from the fact that the 
Cross Fox was considerably the fattest, and from this circumstance be- 
came tired out very soon. We purchased from a country lad a specimen 
of the Cross Fox in the flesh, which he told us he had caught with n 
eommon cur dog, in the snow, which was then a foot in depth. 

In regard to the cunning of this variety there may be some truth in 
the general opinion, but this can be accounted for on natural principles ; 
the skin is considered very valuable, and the animal is always re- 
garded as a curiosity ; hence the hunters make every endeavour to ob- 
tain one when seen, and it wouJd not be surprising if a constant succes- 
sion of attempts to capture together with the instinctive desire for self- 
preservation possessed by all animals, should sharpen its wits and render 
it more cautious and wild than those species that are less frequently mo- 
lested. We remember an instance of this kind which we will here relate. 
A Cross Fox, nearly black, was frequently seen in a particular cover. 
We offered what was in those days considered a high premium for the 
animal in the flesh. The fox was accordingly chased and shot at by the 
farmers' boys in the neighbourhood. The autumn and winter passed 
away, nay, a whole year, and still the fox was going at large. It was at 
last regarded by some of the more credulous as possessing a charmed 
life, and it was thought that nothing but a silver ball could kill it. In the 
spring, we induced one of our servants to dig for the young Foxes that had 
been seen at the burrow which was known to be frequented by the Cross 
Fox. With an immense deal of labour and fatigue the young were dug 
out from the side of a hill ; there were seven. Unfortunately we were 
ol)liged to leave home and did not return until after they had been given 
away and were distributed about the neighbourhood. 

Three were said to have been black, the rest were red. The blackest 
of the young whelps was retained for us, and we frequently saw at the 
house of a neighbour, another of the litter that was red, and differed in 
no respect from the Common Red Fox. The older our little pet became, 
the less it grew like the Black, and the more like the Cross Fox. It was, 
very much to our regret, killed by a dog when about six months old, and 
as far as we can now recollect, was nearly of the colour of the specimen 
figured in our work. 

The following autumn, we determined to try our hand at pro- 
curing the enchanted fox which was the parent of these young varieties, 
as it could always i)e started in the same vicinity. We obtained a pair 
of fine fox-hounds ant' gave chase. The dogs were youiiir, and ];rovod 
no match for the. fox, which generally took a straight direelion tluough 
several cleared fields for five or six miles, after which it began winding 



and twisting among the hills, where the hou.ul.s on two occasions lost the 
scent and returned home. 

On a (hird hunt, we took our stand near the corner of an old field it a 
■spot wr had . wiee observed it to pass. It came at last, swinging its i,rush 
(.■om side 1o side, and running wilh great rapidity, three-,,uarters of a mile 
ahead of the dogs, which were yet out of hearing.-A good aim removed 
the mysterious charm: we killed it with squirrel-shot, without the aid ot 
a Sliver bullet. It was nearly Jet-black, with the tip of the tail white 
ihis lox was 11m female which had produced the young of the previous 
sprmg that we have Just spoken of; and as some of them, as we have 
already said, were Cross Foxes and others Red Foxes, this has settled 
the question in our minds, that both the Cross Fox and the Black Fox 
are mere varieties of the Red. 

.1. W. Aui.uBON brought the specim-^n be obtained at Niagara aliv- to 
New-\ ork, where it was kept for six or seven weeks. It fed on meat of 
various kinds: it was easily exasperated, having been much teased on 
Its ^vay irom the Falls. It usually laid down in the box in which it was 
confined, with its head toward the front and its bright eyes constantly 
lookuiM- upward and forward at all intruders. Som,,.times duriu^^ the 
n.ght It would bark like a dog, and frequently duri.ig the day its move- 
ments corresponded with those of the latter ani.wal. It could not bear the 
.un-l,ght shining into it. prison, and continued shy and snappish to the 

The fur of the Cross Fox was formerly in great demand; a sin-le skin 
sometimes selling for tw^enty-five dollars; at present, however, i^ is said 
not to b,> worth more than about three times the price of that of the Red 



This variety soems to originate only i>i cold climates; hence we have 
not hcjinl ol ,t in the southern parts of the States of New- York and IVnn- 
sylvania, nor farth,>r to the South. In the northern portions or the State 
ot New- York, in New Hampshire. Maine, and in Canada, it is occa- 
sionally met with, in locations where the Red Fox is common It 
also exists in Nova Scotia and Labrador. There is a Cross Fox on tlu 
Rocky Mountains, but we are not satisfied that it will eventually prove 
lo be this variety. ' 


The animal referred toby Saoaro Tur.oo.vr in his History of Canada, 
under the of Reuanl Harr^. Tsinanto.itongue. was evidently this va- 



riety. Pennant probably also referred to it, (vol. .., j- 4fi,) nltliough he 
blended it with the European T'. Crucigera of Gesner, and the KorsracJ 
of the Swedes. Geoff (Collect, du Mus.) described and named it as a 
true species. Desmarest (Mamm., p. 20.3, 308) and Cuvier (Diet, des Sc. 
Nat., vol. viii., p. 500) adopted his views. It is given under this na'ne 
by Sabine (Franklin's Journ., p. 650.) Harlan (Fauna, p. 88) publishc it 
as a distinct species, on the authority and in the words of Desmarest. 
GoDMAN, who gave the Black or Silver Fox {A. argmtotus) as a true spe- 
cies, seemed doubtful whether the Cross Fox might not prove a "mule 
between the Black and Red Fox." Richardson, under the name of the 
American Cross Fox, finally described it as a mere variety of the Red 

We possess a hunter's skin, which we obtained whilst on the Upper 
Missouri, that differs greatly from the one we have described, in its 
size, markings, and the texture of its fur. The body, from point of nose 
to root of tail, is 3.3 inches long; tail to end of fur 18^; the skin is pro- 
bably stri tched beyond the natural size of the animal ; but the tail, which 
is very large in circumference, is, we think, of its proper dimensions. 
The hair is long, being on the neck, sides, and tail, five inches in length ; 
the under fur, which is peculiarly soft, is three inches long. There is 
scarcely a vestige of the yellowish-brown of our other specimen on the 
whole body ; but the corresponding parts are gray. The tail is irregu- 
larly clouded and banded, the tip for three inches white. The colour of 
the remaining portions of the body does not differ very widely from the 
specimen we have described. The ears, nose, and paws of this specimen 
(as in most hunters' skins) are wanting. It is not impossible thai this 
may be a variety of a Iiirgtr species of Red Fox, referred to by Lewis and 
Clark, as existing on both sides of the Rockj Mountains. 



Carolfna Grav Suuirrel. 
PLATE VIL-Male and Fem^l.. 



EcrRKri,. Oris de .a Caroline, Bosc, vol. ii.. p »o nl 20 
SuiuRus Cauolinensis RfiPl, \r t^ ^" ' P'* ^'^^ 


liDwever, so many mnrlfpH ,i;fF„,. • . ""fe"""'*"*;. 1 here arc, 

..>*„, rf nature' r„etr2 "T\ '"'"" """ """"■ '""'""y 
nm,..l specie,. ^ ""•=''"■<' "■" '""'"'"l™ l'«,vee„ ,hc« ,„„ 

w."::l-'zi:;r;LT::,hrr "■: --^ -"--"io-eiy br„.der .ha„ 

anima,. S„„u „„ er „^I h °;? ''•"'"^' ' "»" *-I- 'l"." i" .ha. 
-variably r„„„d it ,0 eS „ , h '"" '"'""""'•"' <"""= "-= 

N. c„„.„e,,b„ ,„,,er ,ha„t I lit rr'^r '"^ ^^°"""''"> " 
Bive i,„liratio„s of ,h„ in,livi,l„.l ' ""■ ""'' "" <"" ''Pccimeas which 
^i"".l. i"s,ea,l of l,avL *,;'?, '■™ .""•«■ '■■»" " y" °M "hen 
■Tooi,.., have a .nsUn^ t^.^^rl i;'' -*'»»''-. "» i" H,c latter 
■""l-s arc not mmj. ualike ,l,„». of f ■•'. ''""''le crown. The other 
'"•■«"f and smaller -tl„. ,„ rr ""i"'""'"" i" far.n, but ,-,„, 

• '" " ' ""■'■""■» '-'"B ..early a lUrd shorter 




V . 4*^ 









1^ IM 



M. mil 1.6 




WEBSTER, NY. 14580 

(716) 872-4503 











^o^ WJ! 







Body, shorter and leas elegunt in shape, and not indicating the quickness 
and vi\ai-ity by which .V. migro/oritts is eminently distinguished. 

The ears, which are nearly triangtdar, are so slightly clothed with hair 
on their interior surfaces, that they may be said to be nearly naked ; ex- 
ternally they are sjmrsely clothed with short woolly hair, whieli how- 
ever does not extend as far beyond the margins as in other species. 
Nails shorter and less crooked; tail .shorter, and without the broad 
distichous appearance of that of the Northern Gray Squirrel. 


Teeth, light orange; nails, brown, lightest at the extremities; whis- 
kers, l)lack ; on the nose and cheeks, and around the eyes, a slight tinge 
of rufous gray. 

Fur on the back, for thrcc-foui ths of its length, dark plumbeous, suc- 
ceeded by a sliglit indication of black, edged with yellowish-brown in 
some of the hairs, giving it on the suriace a dark grayish-yellow tint. 
In a lew specimens there is an obscure shade of light brown along the 
sides, where the yellowish tint predominates, and a tinge of this colour is 
observable on the upper surface of tli(! fore-legs, above the knees. Feet, 
light gray; tail, for three-fourths of its length from the root yellowish- 
brown ; the remainder black, edged with white ; throat inner surface of 
the legs and bcily. white. 

This spec"..-! does not run into varieties, as do the Northern Gray 
Squirrel and the Black Sijuirrel ; tlie specimens received from Alabamn, 
Florida and Louisiana, scarcely present a shade of difference from those 
existing in South Carolina, which we have just described. 


Length of head and body 

tail (vertel)ra') 

" to end of hair - - . . 
Height of oar ---.... 

Palm to end of middh; claws - - - . 

Heel to end of middle nail 

Lenirth of fur on the back 

Breadth of tail (with hair extended) 




















This species difH-rs as mucli in ils habits from ilie Northern Gray Sqiijp 
rfi as it doo in funn and ruUmv. From an inliinale acquainlan.e with 



he habits of the latter, we are particularly impressed with the pec.i 
lanties of the present species. Its bark has not the depth of tone of 
that of the Northern species, and is more shrill and querulous. Ins -ad 
of mounting high on the tree when alarmed, which the latter always 
does, the Sc. Carolincmis generally plr.ys round the trunk, and on the 
sxde opposite to the observer, at a height of some twenty or thirty feet 
often concealing its. If beneath the Spanish .noss ^Tillandsia Usneoides) 
which hangs about the tree. When a person who has alarmed one of 
these Squirrels remains quiet for a few moments, it descends a few feet 
and seats itself on the first convenient branch, in order the better to ob- 
serve his movements. 

It is, however, capable of climbing to the extremity of the branches 
and leaping from tree to tree with great agility, but is less wild than the 
Northern species, .o-id is almost as easily ap,:roached as the chickaree, 
{Sc Hu,lso,uus.) One who is desirous of obtaining a specimen, has only 
to ^ke a seat for half an hour in any of the swamps of Carolina and 
ho ^ull be surprised at the immense number of these squirrels that may 
be seen running along the log. or leaping among the surrounding trees, 
^^''-^t "lany are killed, and their flesh is both juicv and tender, 
llie Carolina Gray Squirrel is sometimes seen on high .^rounds 
among the oak and hickory trees, although its usual haunts Ire low 
TT' m"" " *7^^^'«'-''-»-"- streams or growing near the mar- 
gin of some river. In deep cypress .wamps covered in many places 
with .several feet of water during the whole year, it takes up its conl 
•0 ulence, moving among the entwined branches of the dense fore 

..h great faci hty. Its hole in such situations may sometimes be found 

m the trunk o a decayed cypress. On the large tupelo trees, (Nyssa 

a<iuauca,) which are found in the swamps, many nes^s of this specks 

composed principally of Spanish moss and leaves, are every whe to 

e seen. In these nests, or in some woodpecker's hole, the', p, „ 

M^ili'T-. r '" "","^ «-— ^-. and are brought U;, 
31. ch , It IS well ascertained also that the female litters a second time 
m the season, probably about mid-summer 

o he,. It IS in some degree nocturnal, or at least crepuscular, in its ha 
bits. n ruling along by-p,,ths through the woods, lo g afVer sunset we 
are often startled by the barking of this little Squirr , as ^c " ^he^ 
among he leaves, or leaps from tree to tree, sclittering over th ar h 

bir ai^tr ^;^:r ^'^ - -- - -"^ - -^- 

This species is seldom, if ever, seen in company with the Fox Squirrel 



(.S'c. Capistratus,, or even found in the. same neighbourhood ; this arises 
probably not so much from any antipathy to each other, as Irom the fact 
that very different localities are congenial to the peculiar habits of 

We have observed the Carolina Gray Squirrel on several occasions by 
moonlight, as actively engaged as the Flying Squirrel usually is in the 
evening ; and this propensity to prolong its search after food or its playlul 
gambols until the light of day is succeeded by the moon's pale gleams, 
causei it frequently to fall a prey to the Virginian owl, or the barred 
owl; which last especially is very abundant in the swamps of CaroHna, 
where, gliding on noiseless pinions between the leafy branches, it seizes 
the luckless Squirrel ere it is aware of its danger, or can make the slight- 
est attempt to escape. The gray fox and the wild cat often surprise this 
and other species by stratagem or stealth. We have beheld the prowling 
lynx concealed in a heap of brushwood near an old log, or near the foot 
of a tree frequented by the Squirrel he hopes to capture. For hours to- 
gether will he lie thus in ambush, and should the unsuspicious creature 
pass within a few feet of him, he pounces on it with a sudden spring, and 
rarely fails to secure it. 

Several species of snakes, the raale-snake, {Crotalus durassus,) blaclc 
snake, {Coluber constrictor,) and the chicken snake, {Coluber quadrivitta- 
tus,) for instance, have been found on being killed, to have a Squirrel in 
their stomach; and the fact that Squirrels, birds, &c., although possessing 
great activity and agility, constitute a portion of the food of these rep- 
tiles, being well established, the manner in which the sluggish serpent 
catches animals so far exceeding him in speed, and some of them endow- 
ed with the power of rising from the earth and skimming away with a 
few flaps of their wings, has been the subject of much speculation. Some 
persons have attributed a mysterious power, more especially to the rattle- 
snake and black snake— we mean the power oi fascinating, or as it is 
commonly called, charming. 

This supposed faculty of the serpent has, however, not been accounted 
for. The basilisk of the ancients killed by a look; the eye of the rattle- 
snake is supposed so to paralyze and at the same time attract its intend 
ed prey, that the animal slowly approaches, going through an infinite 
variety of motions, alternately advancing and retreating, until it finally 
falls powerless into the open jaws of its devourcr. 

As long as we are able to explain by natural deductions the very sin- 
gular manoeuvres of birds and squirrels when "fascinated" by a snake 
It would be absurd to imagine that anything mysterious orsupernatur:»l 
13 connected with the subject ; and we consider that there are many 


».nall q„aJ,upe,l . It i. .aid that the distant Toa of,h Z r 

cau.«s.heoxe,,c a„„ ..a„d para ; d V/ ^l^t'jH "'' 
"OLDT relates that in the torPKt^ nf <J ♦! a • ' "° ^'^"- 

.no„.e,, a„d „.„„ j^Jizi tih r rh^nitr "'-' "'■ 

as llio roar ol' tlie Jamn^ il, i "**"• ■"" "« «»" 

and ,nad..nped, a^'; t^, rairirLr*,"'^' '*^- "'"'» 
to draw near to strange objects '-^11!!" ""! /^'^ P'™?" «l"="' 
H-o"ed, by wavin/a ri hind Jotf .rT ia,rL"l '°°"^=" 
a li«.e dog to bonnd backward and forwiri T abTal rT"" 
^.^^sn.e.rn-1, practised b, sportsmen on .1™ bLtlt ^ 'Z 

clo-b is attacbed. or by tbrowL, tbe^lrveton I7't:. TnTl °\ "" 
then- beels up in the air. It anv stran..e „bi,« ., °'""° 

^-ya. such . . .u«ea .^^^7::^f::::::ri^^j^^ 

fowls W.11 crowd near it, and scrutinize it for a long tin J Ev^^^^^^ 
almost may have observed at some time or othe. dozens on,irdsT, ^' 
around a common cat in a shrubberv -, f^.f ■ collected 

Tbe, squirrel is ren.arkable t^tsVL^r S rj";™:^';-'-- 
..mes eorne down from tbe highest branch of a Ire ,„ wiifn T T"" 
of the ground, to take a view of a small searle, snake mt^ . " 

;;™,) not much larger than a pipe-sten,, aud w i h h Jf f I:" °°'"- 
liings, could scarcely master a grassbopner Thi! „T, ! P"'^"""' 
believer,, in the i;.,ein,a,i„g powls'f T^l L I ' T M ,' ''^"''"' ""^ 
of their theories, but they"J.,u,d ,i„d i.'lrat-r.: ^pilX 

jnst, b p^aking „,; the u.i:;c: r :,^ if ::t;.„ rr: 

secured in our carriage box. After we hi«l driven off '^ n 

that in our anx.ety to secure tbe snake w bad leTour LT rT" 
spcointens a. the place where we bad lin,t se r,he htl f ■"" 

ing for it. we once more saw the Squirrol di^b":;"™ "'""'; 
and .skipping „„,„, ,|,„ „„„ „,. „„. JT "'"'. "'.™"''^ 

' 1. 1,' ij 



iliiit if tlic little snake had "charmed" the Squirrel, the same "lasciiial- 
ins" inllurnca was exercised by our tin box ! 

(iiiii(lruj)c(ls Mild birds liave certain antij)iithi(>s: they are capable of 
cxpcricncinf,' many of the feelings that ajjpcrtain to mankind ; they nre 
suscei)tible of passion, are sometimes spiteful and r(!vengeful, an»l are 
wise enough to know their "natural enemies" without a formal introduc- 
tion. The blue jay, brown thrush, white-eyed fly-catcher, and other little 
birds, arc often to be heard scolding and fluttering about a thicket in 
which some animni is conccilcd ; and on going to examine into the cause 
ol' their unwonted excitement, you will probably see a wild cat or fox 
spring forth from the covert. Every one familiar with the habits of our 
feathered tribes must have seen at times the owl or buzzard chased by 
the smallest birds, which unite on such occasions for the purpose of driv- 
ing off a common enemy ; in these cases the birds sometimes approach 
too near, and are seized by the owl. We once observed some night-hawks 
(Chordcilcs Vir^^inianiis) darting round a tree upon which an owl was 
perched. Whilst looking on, we perceived the owl make a sudden move- 
ment and foimd that he had caught one of them in his sharp claws, and 
notwithstanding the cries and menaces of the others he instantly de- 
voui'ed it. 

Birds dart in the same maimer at snakes, and no doii1)t are often caught 
by passiugtoo near — shall we tlu refore coiiclude (hat liiey are fascinated? 

();ie of the most powerful "attractions" which remain to i)e consider- 
ed, is the love of olispring. This leeliiig, which is so deeply rooted in 
ihe system of nature as to be a ruh; almost without an exception, is 
manifested strongly by birds and quadrupeds; and snakes are among 
the most to be dreaded destroyers of eggs and young birds and of the 
young of small species of viviparous animais ; is it not iik"Iy ♦' -jre- 
fore that many of, the (supposed) cases of fascination that are i\ Jed, 
may be referred to the intrepidity of the animals or birds, manifested in 
trying to defend their young or drive awjiy their enemy from their vi- 
cinity? In our work, the "Birds of America," we represented a mock- 
ing-bird's nest attacked by a rattle-snake, and the nest of a red thrush 
invaded by a black snak(> ; these two plates each exhibit several birds 
assisting the pair wliose nest lias been robbed by the snake, and also 
show the mocking-bird and thrush courageously advancing to the jaws 
even of their enemy. Thes(> ])iclures were drawn after the actual oc- 
currence before cnu' ey(>s of the scenes which we endeavoured to repre- 
.«ent in them; and siip])osiiiu- a person but little acquainted with natunil 
history to have seen the birds, as we did, he might readily have fancied 
(hat some of them at least were fa> inated, as he could not probably have 



i.oon near enough to „,ark the angry expression of their eyes, and see 

llicir well concealed nest, auu see 

Our readers will, we trust, excuse us for detaining them yet a little 

onger on ,h,s su,,ect, as .. have ,nore to say of the habits of'the rat ! 

snake in connexion with the subject we are upon 

Tins snake the most venomous known in North America, subsists 
holly on ammal food; it digests its food slowly, and is able to e 

lus nne it ol en increases n. size, and the number of its rattles is au.^^ 

nited. In its natural state it feeds on rabbits, squirrels, rats, birdfor 

any other small animals that may come in its way. It captures i,s pVey 

V vmg in wait lor U, and we have heard of an instance in which one 

-t these snakes remained coiled up for two days before the mouth of the 

nirrow of the Florida rat, (AW.o.. /«,.,) ,„a ,„ ,, ^eing kil ed 

It was found to have swallowed one of these quadrupeds. 

P oj ^^l,h Its fangs, and thus kills it before swallowing it. The bite is 
udoen. and aUhough the victim may run a fow yards after it is struck 
he serpent easily finds it when dead. Generally the common species of 
atle-snake refuses all lbo,l when in a cage, but occasionallv one is found 
hat does not refuse to eat whilst in captivity. When aVat is turned 
1.-S0 .n a cage with one of these snakes, it does not innnediately kil. 
•t, but often leaves it unmolested for days and weeks together. When 
however, the reptile, prompted eitl.r by in-itation or hunger, designs to 
lui the animal, it lies in wait for it, eat-like, or gently crawls up to it 
-.nd suddenly gives tlu- mortal blow, after which, it very slowly and 
delib, turns it over into a proper position and finally swallows it 

Ve have seen a ratfh-snake in a very large cage using every means 
^^ .thin Its power and exerting its cunning for a whole month, before it 
<-ould succeed in capturing a brown thrush that was imprisoned with i^ 
At night the bird roosted beyond the reach of tln> snake, and during the it was too cautious in its movements, and too agile, snatching 
up . s food at intervals, and flying instantly back to its perch, to be struck 
by the unwieldy serpent. We now added a mouse to the number of the 
inmates of tlu- cage ; the affrighted animal retreated to a corner, where 
.Iu> snake slowly crawling up to it, with a sudd,-n blow darted his fangs 
>•'"' ••'-"1 l^'ll'"l it; soon after which he swallowed it. About a week 
'tfter fhis adventure, (h,. snake again resumed his attempts to capture the 
llMMisli. and pursued it all round the cage. 

This experiment offered a fair opportunity for the rattle-snake to exert 
•Is powers of fascination, had it possessed any; but as it did not exhibit 



them, we do not hesitate to say that it was entirely destitute of any 
(iiculty of the kind. 

At'lrr .some hours' Iruitloss manoBUvring, the snake coiled itself up near 
the cup of water from which the bird drank. For two days the thrusli 
avoided the water; on the third, liaving become very thirsty, it showed a 
(H)nstant desire to approach the cup; the snake waited for it to come 
witiiin reach, and in tlie course of the day struck at it two or three tirnes ; 
the bird darted out of its way, however, and was not killed until the 
next day. 

If, notwithstanding these facts, it is arpjued, that the mysterious and 
inexj)licable power ol' fnxciiuil ion is possessed l)y the snake, because birds 
have been seiMi to approach it, and with open wings and ))hiinliv(! voict; 
seemed to wait upon its appetite, we must be prepared to admit that the 
same faculty is possessed by other animals. On a certain day, we saw 
a mocking-bird <>xliibiting every appearance,, according to de- 
scriptions, witnessed wiien birds arc under the influence of iascination. 
It approaclied a hog which was occupied in munching something at the 
foot of a small cedar. The bird fluttered before the grunter with open 
wings, uttered a low and plaintive note, alighted on his back, and 
tinally i)cgan to peck at his snout. On examining into the cause of these 
strange jiroccu'dings, we ascertained that the mocking-bird had a nest 
in the tre(>, from whicli .jevera! of her younglings had fallen, which th*; 
hog was eating! (^ur friend, the late Dr. Wnitiirr, of Troy, informed us 
liiat he witnessed a ne.irly similar scene betwjui a cat-bird and a 
dog which had disturbed her brood, on which occasion the cat-bird 
went through many of the movements generally ascribed to the efTect of 


We have received a specimen of this Squirrel which was procured in 
the market at New Orleans, where it is said to be exceedingly rare. 
We have not traced it fiirther to the Soutli. It is the most abundant spe- 
cies in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. We have seen it in the 
swamps of North Carolina, but have no positive evidence that it extends 
farther to the northward tlinn that State. We have obtained it in Ala- 
jama, and in Mississippi vvc are told it is found in the swamps. Nothing 
las been heard of it west ol' the Mississippi river. 


This species was first described by Omemn, and afterwards noticed and 



figured by Bosc. The doscriptions in ILvk.,,, Goom.., and all other au- 

hors who have deseribed this species under ,he n.n^e of SeiurJcZ 

^.n.. refer to the Nortkrrn Gray Squirrel. W , believe we were 

the h.-.^ to observe and point out the distinctive characters which s" 

p^.m^e the present species from S. migratonus, the Gray Squirrel of the 


GENUS TAMIAS. — Ilugkb. 

T • • ' ^ __ , 5-5 

incisive - : Canine - ; Molar — = 22. 
8 ♦-* 

Upper incisors, smooth ; lower ones, compressed and sharp ; molars, 
vvith short, tuberculous crowns. 

Nose, pointed ; lip, cloven ; ears, round, short, not tufted or fringed ; 
cheek-pouches, ample. 

Tail, shorter than the body, hairy, sub-distichous, somewhat .apering. 
Mamma;, exposed ; feet, distinct, ambulatory ; fore-feet, four toed, with a 
minute blunt nail in place of a thumb; hind-feet five toed; claws, hooked. 

This genus differs from Sciurus in several important particulars. The 
various species that have been discovered have all the same characteris- 
tics, and strongly resemble each other in form, in their peculiar markings 
and in their habits. In shape they differ from the true squirrels and a])- 
proach to the spermojihiles ; they have a sliarp convex nose adapted 
to digging in the earth ; they have longer heads, and their ears are 
placed farther back than those of squirrels ; they have a more slender 
body and shorter extremities. Their ears are rounded, without any tufts 
on the borders or behind them. They have cheek-pouches, of which all 
squirrels are destitute ; their tails are ronndish, narrow, seldom turned up, 
and only sub-distichous. 

The species belonging to this genus are of small size, and are all lon- 
gitudinally striped on the back and sides. 

Their notes are very peculiar; they emit a chipping clucking sound 
differing very widely from the quacking chattering cry of the squirrels. 

They do not mount trees unless driven to them from necessity, but dig 
burrows, and spend their nights and the season of wintei under ground. 

They are, however, more closely related to the squirrels than to the sper 
niophiles. The third toe from the inner side is slightly the longest, as in 
the former ; whilst in the latter, the second is longest, as in the mar- 
mots. The genus Tamias is therefore nearly allied to the squirrels, whilst 
the spermophiles approach the marmots. 

Authentic species of the genus Sciurus are already very numerous, and 
as we have now a number of species, to whi\;h constant additions are 
jnaking by the explorers of our Western regions, which by their cheek- 
noucLss, their markings, and habits, can be advantageously separated 


Tinged 5 

with a 
s. The 
and a])- 
ars are 
ly tufts 
hich all 
•ned up, 

all lon- 

j sound 
but dig 
he sper 
t, as in 
le mar- 
, whilst 

us, and 

ons are 






i'lai.' VIII 

Ih-awrioii Su»fie by H Iretnbiv 

-/ ' - 

>^f t/f'^^f r 

>rawn From llat.ur** i-y J.'nu Jui-on FHS 1- I 5 

Prirt.O'H joy Na^p; EV Weir^ ar t,nor NY 







from that genus, no doubt naturalists will arrange them in the genus 

When this genus was first established by Illiger, but a single species 
was satisfactorily known, and naturalists were unwilling to separate it 
from the squirrels, to which it bears so strong an affinity ; but we are now, 
ho>vever, acquainted with six species, and doubt not that a few more 
years of investigation will add considerably to this number. We have 
couseiiucntly adopted the genus Tamias of that author. 

The word Tamias is derived from the Greek r«^«,, (tamias,) a keeper 
ot ston-s— in reference to its cheek-pouches. 

One species of this genus exists in the Northern portions of the Eastern 
contment; four in North, and one in South, America. We also possess 
an undcscribcd species, the habitat of which is at present unknown to us. 


Chipping Squirrel, Hackee. &c. 
PLA'l'K \(ll — Malk, Fbmalb, and Youno (First Auiuiun). 

T. dorso fusco-cinereo, striis quin.iue nigris, et duobus luteo-albis longi- 
tudinaiibus ornato ; fronte et natibus fusco-luteis ; ventre albo. 


lirownish gray on the back; forehead and buttocks brownish orange ; jive 
longitudinal black stripes and two yellowish white ones on the back; undor 
surface white. 


EcJUEiiii. Suisse, Sagard Tlieodat. Canada, p. 740, A.. D. 1036. 
Gkoond Squirrel, LawsonV Carolina, p. 124. 

Catesby, Carol, vol. ii., p. Ts. 
EuwAuns. vol. iv., p. 181. Kalm, vol. i., p. 322. 
8CIU11US I.V8TE.U, Ray, Synops. Quad., p. 216, A. D. 1693. 
In ijv\»m, Clii'.iiovoix h'ouv. Fr., vol. v., p. 100. 
Sriui-KD Do..Mot:HK, Pennant. Arc. ZooL, 4 vols., "vol. i., p. 12«. 
SciUKiis Cauomnensis, ]3risson, licg. Anim., p. 155, A. D. 1760. 
tvi^KKLMr Si/iMH.'. rF>,,s,ii K,i.' Nfamm. ) N.^U, p. 330, Esp„ 547. 




SciURUS SiiUAius, Hiulan, Fauna, p, 183. 

" " Godman, Nat. Hist., vol. ii., p. 142. 

SciuRus (Tamias) Lysteiu, Rich., F. 15. A., p. 181, plate l.'j. 

" " " Doughty's Cabinet Nat. Hist., vol. ., p. 169, pi, lb 

SciuuL's Striatls, DcKay, Nut. Hist, of N. Y., part 1, p. 62, pi. 16, %. 1. 


Body, rather slender; forehead, arched; head, tapering from th^^ 
ears to the nose, Avhich is covered with short hairs ; nostrils, opening 
downwards, margins and septum naked ; whiskers, shorter tlian the bead. 
A few bristles on the cheeks and above the eye-brows ; eyes, of moderate 
si/e ; ears, ovate, rounded, erect, covered with short hiiir on both sur- 
faces, hot tuited, the hair on those parts simply covering the margins, 
('licek-pouches, of tolerable size, extending on the sides of the neck to a 
little below the ear, opening into the mouth between the incisors and mo- 
hirs. Fore-feet, with four slender, compressed, slightly-curved claws, 
and the rudiment of a thumb, covered with a short blunt n- 11 ; hind-leet, 
long and slender, with five toes, the middle toe being a little the longest. 
Tail, rather short and slender, nearly cylindrical above, dilated on the 
sides, not bushy, sub-distichous. Hair on the whole body short and 
smooth, but not very fine. 


A small black spot aliove the nose ; forehead, yellowish brown ; above 
and beneath the eyelids, white ; whiskers and eyelashes, black ; a dark 
l)rown streak running from the sides of the iiice through the eye and 
reaching tne ear ; a yellowish brown stripe extending from near the nose, 
running under the eye to behind the ear, deepening into ehesnut-brown 
immediately below the eye, where the stripe is considerably dilated. 

.\nterior portion of the back, hoary gray, tlus colour being ibrmed by a 
mixture of gray and black hairs. Colour of the rump, extending to a little 
l)eyond the root of the tail, hips, and exterior surface of the thighs, red- 
dish fawn, a few Ijiack hairs sprinkled among the rest, not sufficiently 
nunu'rous to give a darker shade to those parts. A dark dorsal line com- 
mencing back of the head is dilated on the middle of the back, and runs 
to a point within an inch of the root of the tail ; this line is brownish on 
the shoulder, but deepens into black in its prosrress downwards. 

On each flank there is a broad yellowish-while line, miming from llu 
shoulder to tlie thighs, bordered on rach side with black. The species 
may be characterized by its having live black and two v.'hi(e stripes on a 
gray ground. The Hanks, sides, and upf)er surface of feet and oars, •\rr 



redd,sh-gray; whole under surface white, with no line of demarcation 
bet^. een the co ours of the back and belly. Tail, brown at its root, after- 
wards, the hair being clouded and in some places Landed 
with black ; underneath, reddish-brown, with a border of black, edged 
with light gray. ° 

There are some varieties observable among specimens procured in dif- 
ferent States of the Umon. We have noted it, like the Virginian deer, 
becommg smaller m size at it was found farther to the South. In Maine 
and New Hampshire larger than in the mountains of Carolina and 
Louisiana, arul the tints of those seen at the North were lighter than the 
colouring of the Southern specimens we have examined. We possess an 
albino, sent to us aliv-e, snow-white, with red eyes ; and also another spe- 
oimen jet-l,laek.' We have, however, found no intermediate varieties, 
and in general we may remark that the species of this genus are not ^ 
prone to variations m colour as those of the true Squirrels. 


Length of head and body 
head - '. 
tail (vertebrae) 
tail, including fur 

Height of ear 

Breadth of ear 















The Chipping Squirrel, as this little animal i. usually called, or Ground 
^quirre as it is named almost as f^eqiienHy, is probably, with the excJ^ 
tion of the common flymg squirrel, (Pfcromj,s rolucrlh,,) one of the mos^ 
interesting of our small quadrupeds. It is found in most part of the 
Unrnxl States, nnd boin. beautifnlly mnrked in its colouring, is known to 
every body. From its lively and busy habits, one might co^Z 
nong the quadrupeds as occupying the place of ,he u-ren Long th ea 

-th the utmost grace nnd agility among the broken rocks or imroote' 
...nps of rees abo,.t th. farm or wood pasture; its clnckin. res'ele 
'-I..P, .-hip. eh.p. of ayo,m. cl.ickon, nnd al.l.ou.h no< .aisicarn" 
^ s.ig o, tlK^., .. winter wren, excites agreeable thoughts as it Lm!: 
u the an We fancy we see one of these sprightiv Chipping Squirrell 
as he runs be(<,re us with the speed of a bird, skiaimin^ L^l ~ "-^ 





fence, his chops distended by the nuts he has gathered in the woods; he 
makes no pause till he reaches the entrance of his subterranean retreat 
and store-house. Now he stands upright, and his chattering cry is heard, 
but at the first step we make towards him, he disappears. Stone after 
stone we remove from the aperture leading to his deep and circuitous 
burrow; but in vain is all our labour — with our hatchets we cut the 
tangled roots, and as we follow the animal, patiently digging into his in- 
nermost retreat, we hear his angry, querulous tones. We get within a 
few inches of him now, and can already see his large dark eyes ; but at 
this moment out he rushes, and ere we can "grab'" him, has passed us, 
and finds security in some other hiding place, of which there are always 
plenty at hand that he is well accustomed to fly to ; and we willingly 
leave him unmolested, to congratulate himself on his escape. 

The Chipping Squirrel makes his burrow generally near the roots of 
trees, in the centre of a decayed stump, along fences or old walls, or in 
some bank, near the woods whence he obtains the greater portion of his 

Some of these retreats h.ave two or three openings at a little distance 
from each other. It rarely happens that this animal is cauglit by digging 
out its burrow. When hard pressed and closely pursued it will betake 
itself to a tree, the trunk *>{' which it ascends for a little distance with 
considerable rapidity, occasionally concealing itself behind a large branch, 
but generally stopping within twelve or fifteen feet of the ground 
where it often clings with its body so closely pressed to the trunk that it 
is difficult to detect it ; and it remains so immovable that it appears like 
a piece of bark or some excrescence, till the enemy has retired from the 
vicinity, when it once more descends, and by its renewed clucking seems 
to chuckle over its escttpe. 

We are do»i1>"'ul whether this species can at any time be perfectly 
tamed. We have preserved it in cages from time to time, and generally 
found it wild and sullen. Those we had, however, were not young when 

At a subsequent period we obtained in the State of New- York five 
or six young ones almost half grown. We removed them to Carolina, 
where they were kept during winter and spring. They were somewhat 
more gentle than those we had formerly possessed, occasionally took a 
filbert or a ground-nut from the fingers, but never became tame enough 
to be handled with safety, as they on more than one occasion were dis- 
posed to test the sharpness of tlicir teeth on our hand. 

The skin which covered the vertebrae of their tails was so brittle tliat 
nearly all of them soon had mutilated them. They appeared to have some 



aversion to playing in a wheel, which is so favourite an amusement of 
the true sijuirrels. During the whole winter they only left their nest to 
carry into it the rice, nuts, Indian corn, &c., placed in their cage as food. 
Late in the following spring, having carried on our experiments as far 
as we cared to pursi j them, we released our pets, which were occasionally 
seen in the vicinity for several months afterward, when they disappeared. 

We were once informed of a strange carnivorous propensity in this 
species. A lady in the vicinity of Boston said to us, " We had in our 
garden a nest of young robins, {Tardus migratorius) and one afternoon 
as I was walking in the garden, I happened to pass very close to the tree 
on which this nest was placed ; my attention was attracted by a noise 
which I thought proceeded from it, and on looking up I saw a Ground 
Squirrel tearing at the nest, and actually devouring one of the young 
ones. I called to the gardener, who came accompanied by a dog, and 
shook the tree violer.tly, when the animal fell to the earth, and was in an 
instant secured by the dog." We do not conceive that the unnatural 
propensity in the hero referred to, is indicative of the genuin*^ 
habit of this species, but think that it may be regarded as an exception 
o a general rule, and referred to a morbid depravity of taste some- 
times to bo observed in other genera, leading an individual to feed upon 
that which the rest of the species would loathe and reject. Thus we 
have known a horse which preferred a string of fish to a mess of oats ; 
and mocking-birds, in confinement, kill and devour jays, bluck-birds, or 

We saw and caught a specimen of this beautiful Tamias in Louisiana, 
that had no less than sixteen chinquapin nuts {Castanca pnmila) 
stowed away in its cheek-pouches. We have a specimen now lying be- 
fore us, sent from Pennsylvania in alcohol, which contains at least one 
!ind a half lable-spoonfuls of Bush trefoil {Hcdijsnnim cannahinum) in its 
widely-distended sacks. We have represented one of our figures in the 
plate with its pouches thus tilled out. 

This species is to a certain extent gregarious in its habits. We had 
marked one of its burrows in autumn which we conceived well adapted 
•o our purpose, which was to dig it out. It was in the woods on a sandj 
oiece of ground antl the earth was stroW(>d with leaves to the depth o 
eight inches, which we believi-d would prevent the frost from penetrat- 
ing to any considerable depth. We had tlic place opened in January, 
when the ground was eoverrd with snow about five inches deep. The 
entranf';' of llie burrow liad ■, m dosed from within. We followed the 
course of the. small winding gallery with considerable dilHculty. The hole 
Jescended at first iUmost piu-pendicularly Ibr about three feet. It then 




i Ji 

continuod with one or two wiiuliiiKP, rising a litlle nearer the surlace un- 
til it had advanced about eiglit feet, wlien we came to a hirge nest made 
of onk leaves and dried grasses. Here lay, snugly covered, three Chip- 
ping Squirrels. Another was subsequently dug from one of the small la- 
leral gallei'ies, to which it had evidently retreated to avoid us. They were 
not dormant, and seemed ready to bite when taken in the hand ; but they 
were not very active, and appeared somewhat sluggish and benumbed, 
which we conjectured was owing to their being exposed to sudden cold 
from our having opened their burrow. 

There was about a gill of wheat and buckwheat in the nest ; but in the 
galleries we afterwards dug out, we obtained about a quart of the beaked 
hazel nuts, {Coryliis rostrata,) nearly a peck of acorns, some grains of In- 
dian corn, about two quarts of buckwheat, and a very small quantity ol 
grass seeds. The late Dr. .Ioii\ Wright, o.f Troy, in an interesting com- 
munication ^n the habits of several of our quadrupeds, informs us, in re- 
ference to this species, that "It is a most provident little creature, con- 
tinuing to add to its winter store, if food is abundant, until driven in by 
the severity of the frost. Indeed, it seems not to know when it has 
enough, if we may judge by the surplus left in the spring, being some- 
times a peck of corn or nuts for a single S(iuirrel. Some years ago I 
watched one of these animals whilst laying up its winter store. As there 
were no nuts to be found near, I furnished a supply. AfT-er scattering 
some hickory nuts on the ground near the burrow, the work of carrying 
in was immediately commenced. It soon became aware that I was a 
friend, and approached almost to my feet for my gifts. It would take a 
nut from its paws, and dexterously bite off the sharp point from each end, 
and then pass it to its cheek-pouch, using its paws to shove it in, then one 
would ])e placed on the opposite side, then again one along with the first, 
and finally, having taken one between its front teeth, it would go into 
the burrow. After remaining there for five or ten minutes it would re- 
app(\ar for another load. This was repeated in my presence a great 
number of times, the animal alwajs carrying four nuts at a time, and 
fvl'vays biting off the asperities.'* 

We perceive from hence that the Chipping Squirrels retire to winter 
jarters in small families in the early part of November, sooner or later 
ecording to the coldness or mildness of the season, after providing a 
store of food in their subterranean winter residence. When the snows 
are melted from the early spring, they l(>ave the retreat to which 
tliey had resorted during the first severe irosts in autumn. \Yv have 
seen them sunning themselves on a stump during warm days about tlie 
iarft of February, when the snows were still on the eartli here and there 



In patches a foot deep; we remarked, however, that they remained only 
tor half an hour, when they a-ain retreated to their harrows 

The young are produced in May, to the numher of four' or five at a 
birth, and we have sometimes supposed li-om the eii-cumstance of seeing 
a young hrood in August, that they breed twice a year. 

The Chipping Squirrel does but little injury to the farmer. It seldom 

djs urbs the grain before it is ripe, and i« scarcely more than a gleaner 

ol .he helds commg in for a small pittance when the harvest is nearly 

gathered. It prefers wheat to rye, seems fond of buckwheat, but o-ives 

the preference to mus, cherry-stones, the seeds of the red gum, or penper- 

ulg^ iN,ssa MnlUflora,) and those of several annual plants and grasses. 

1 lus species ,s easily captured. It enters almost any kind of trap with- 

out suspicion We have seen a beautilul muff and tippet made of a host 

ot little skins of this Tamias ingeniously joined together so as to .nve the 

appearruico of a regular series of stripes around the muff, and lo^ntudi- 

nally along the sides of the tippet. The animals had in most cases been 

captured in rat-traps. 

There is, besides, a simple, rustic, but effectual mode of huntin- the 
Ground Squirrel, to which we are tempted to devote a paragraph " 

Man has his hours of recreation, and so has the school-boy; while the 
former ,s fond of the chase, and keeps his horses, .logs and guns the lat- 
ter when released from school gets up a little hunt agreeable to his own 
taste and limited resource... The boys have not yet been allowed to carry 
hre-arms, and have been obliged to adhere to the command of a careful 
mother-" do.i't meddle with that gun, IJilly, it may go off and kill you " 
But the Chip Muck can be hunted without a gun, and Saturday the 
glorious weekly return of their Ireedom and indej)endence from' the 
crabbed schoolmaster and the puzzli.ig spelling-book, is selected for the 
important event. 

There are some very pleasing reminiscences associated with these little 
sports of boyhood. • The lads, hurried by delightful anticipations usually 
meet half an hour before the time appointed. They come with theii 
"shining morning faces" full of glee and talking of their expected sue- 
cess. In lieu of fire-arms they each carry a stick about eight feet Ion- 
They go along the old-fashioned worm-fences that skirt the woo(N— a 
crop of wheat or of buckwheat has just been gathered, and the little 
Ilacket! is busily engaged in collecting its winter store. 

In every direction its lively chirrup is heard, with answering calls <rom 
a.Ijncenv i»nrts of the woods, and here and there you may observe one 
mounted on the top of a f. .lec-stake, and chipping awav as it were in ex- 
ullalion at his elevat.'d «eal. One of the tiny huntsmen now places his. 



pole on a fence rail, tlie second or third IVoni the bottom, along which the 
Ground Sijuirrcl is tixpected to pass; a lew yards behind him is another 
youngster, ready with his stick on another rail, in case the Chip Muck 
escapes the first enemy. One of the juveniles now makes a circuit, gets 
behind the little Hackee and gives a blow on the fence to drive him to- 
ward the others, who tire eagerly expecting him. The unsuspecting little 
creature, with a sweep of his half-erected tail, (juickly descends from the 
top of the fence along a stake, and betaking himself to some of the lower 
rails, makes a raj)id retreat. If no stone-heaps or burrows are at hand, 
he runs along the winding fence, and as he is passing the place where the 
young sportsmen are lying in wait, they brush the stick along the rail 
with the celerity of thought, hitting the little creature on the nose, and 
knocking him off. "He is ours," is the exulting shout, and the whole 
pilrty now hurry to the spot. Perhaps the little animal is not dead, only 
stunned, and is carried home to be made a pet. He is put into a calabash, 
a stocking, or a small bag prepared for the occasion by some fond little 
sister, Avho whilst sewing it for her brother half longed to enjoy the romp 
and the sport herself. Reader, don't smile at this group of juvenile sports- 
men; older and l>igger "boys" are often engaged in amusements not 
more rational, and not half so innocent. 

Several species of hawks are successful in capturing the Chipping 
Stpiirrel. It furnishes also many a meal for the hungry fox, the wild cat, 
and the mink -, but it possesses an enemy in the common weasel or ermine, 
{mnsli'hi ( rmiiiru) more formidable 'lan all the rest combined. This blood- 
thirsty little animal pursues it into its dwelling, and following it to the 
farthest extremity, strikes his teeth into its skull, and like a cruel savage 
of the wilderness, does not satiate his thirst for blood until he has destroyed 
every inhabitant of the burrow, old and young, although he seldom devours 
one tifth of th(! animals so wantonly killed. We once observed one pur- 
sue a Chipping Squirrel into its burrow. After an interval of ten mi- 
nutes it renppcared, licking its mouth, and stroking its fur with its head 
by the aid of its long neck. We watched it as it pursued its way through 
a buckwheat field, in which many roots and stumps were yet remaining, 
evidently in (]uest of additional victims. On the following day we were 
impelled by curiosity to open the burrow we had seen it enter. There 
we found an old female ground squirrel and five young, half-grown, lying 
dead, with the marks of the wfeasel's teeth in their skulls. 


The Chipping Squirrel has a pretty wide geographical range. It is 
somnioii on (lie iiordifrii shuns mT Lakes Huron and Superior ; and hiis 



been traced as far as the fiftieth degree of north latitude. In the 
Easfeni, Northern, and Middle States, it is quite abu.dant ; it exists 
alon- the whole of the Alleghany range, and is found in the mountainou.- 
portions of South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. In the alluvial dis- 
triets of Carolina and Georgia it disappears. We have never found it 
nearer the seaboard of South Carolina than at Columbia, one hundred 
and ten miles from Charleston, where it is very rare. It is found in Ten- 
nessee and throughout Louisiana. 


We have at the head of this article endeavoured to preserve Tamias 
as a valuable genus distinct from Sciurus. We hope we have offered 
such reasons as will induce naturalists to separate this interesting and 
mcreasing little group, mostly of American species, from the squirrels, to 
which they bear about the same affinity as do the marmot squirrels 
(Spehmopiiilus) to the true marmots (Arctomys). We will now inquire 
whether the present species {Tamias Lysteri) is a foreigner from Sibe- 
ria, naturalized in our Western world ; or whether it is one of the abori- 
gines of our country, as much entitled to a name as the grisly bear or 
the cougar. 

Two of our American naturalists, Harlan and Godman, supposed that it 
was the Asiatic species, the «f. striatus of Klein, Pallas, Schreber, and 
other authors ; Dr. Richardson (1829) believed that the descriptions given 
of Sciurus striatus did not exactly correspond with American specimens, 
and as he had no opportunity of instituting a comparison, he adopt- 
ed the specific name of Ray, Sciurus (Tamias) Lysteri, for our species ; 
and quoted what Pallas had written in regard to the habits of the Asia- 
tic animal, as applying to those of our little Chipping Squirrel. Very re- 
cently (1842) Dr. Dekay, in the work on American quadrupeds, published 
by order of the State of .New- York, has again referred it to S. striatus of 
LiNN.Kus, and endeavoured to prove the identity of the two species from 
European writers. We suspect he had no opportunity of making a com- 
parison from actual specimens. 

Reasoning from analogy in regard to the species of birds or quadru- 
peds found to be identical on both continents, we should be compelled to 
admit that if our species is the S. striatus of Asia, it presents a solitary 
exception to a long-established general rule. That many species of wa- 
ter-birds, such as geese, ducks, gulls, auks, and guillemots, which during 
the long days of summer crowd toward the polar regions to engage in 
the duties and pleasures of reproduction, should be found on both con- 
tinents, cannot be a nxatter of surprise ; and that the ptarmigan, the white 





snow-bird, Lapland lonjor-spur, &c., which resort annually to theni, 
8hould at that season take wkig and stray to either continent, is so proba- 
ble a case, that we might think it strange if it were otherwise. Neither 
need we regard it as singular if a few quadrupeds, with peculiar con- 
stitutions and habits suited to the polar regions, siiould be inhabitants of 
the northern portions of both continents. Thus the polar bear, which 
delights in snow and ice, and which is indiHtirent as to whether it 
is on the land or on an iceberg at sea ; the reindeer, which exists only in 
cold regions, and which by alternately swimming and walking can make 
its way over the icy waters in winter, and over rivers and arms of the 
sea m summer, and which migrates lor thousands of miles ; the beaver, 
which is found all over our continent, on the banks of the Mackenzie 
river leading into the polar sea in latitude 08", and in the Russian settle- 
ments near Behring's JSf raits ; the ermine, which riots in the snow-drifts, 
and has been found as far to the north as man has ever travelled ; and 
the common wolf, which is a cosmopolite, exhibits itself in all colours, 
and strays from the tropics to the north pole ; may be found on both con- 
tinents without surprising us : but if this little land-animal, the Chipping 
Squirrel, which is unable to swim, and retires to the earth in cold wea- 
ther, should be found both in Asia and America, it would oppose all our 
past experience in regard to American quadrupeds, and be the only ex- 
ception to a long and universally admitted theory. The highest northern 
range in which this species has ever been seen is above Lake Huron, 
as far as latitude T)!)" ; from thence there is a distance of more than 
90° of longitude and 18° of latitude bcifore we reach its Asiatic range, 
and in its migrations either way it would have to cross Behring's Straits, 
and traverse regions which even in summer are covered with snow and 
ice. From the above facts and from our knowledg of the adaptation of 
various animals for extensive migrations, we must conclude that this spe- 
'^ies cannot possibly exist on both continents, even admitting the correct- 
ness of the supposition that these continents had in some former age been 

Dr. RiciiARusoN says, (p. 181,) "I am not aware that the identity of the 
species on the two continents has been established by actual comparison." 
In this he was quite correct. At the period when his valuable work 
on American quadrupeds was published, nearly all the figures and many 
of the descriptions of Tarnias striatus of the Eastern continent were taken 
from American specimens of Tdmids Lijstcri ; and the authors supposing 
them to be identical, were not sufficiently cautious to note this hnportant 

In 1838 we carded to Europe, American si)ecimens of nearly all thos*^ 



Fpecies wliich had thoir oonKeners on the Eastern continent. We were 
fiurpris.'d at liiidint,' no spcciriicn of the T. strialus in the museums of 
either i:n-land or France. At IJcrliii, however, an excellent opportunity 
was afforded us for iiistitutinf!; a comparison. Througli the kindness 
of Dr. LiciiTENSTEiN, Superintendent of the museum, we were permitted 
to open Ihe cases, (>xaminc several specimens in a fine state of 
'preservation, and comp:ire them with our American species, which 
we placed heside them. The differences, at Hrst sight were so striking 
that we could only account for their ever having been considered identi- 
cal, from the fact that the descriptions of the old authors were so loose 
and unsatisfactory that many minute but important ehaiacteristics had 
not been noted. The following memorandum was made by us on the 
occasion:— "The Tamias striaf-is differs so widely from our American 
Cliipping Stjuirrtd or Hackee, that it is unnecessary to be venj minute in 
making the comparison. The two species can always be distinguished 
from each other by one remarkable characteristic, which I have observed 
running through all the specimens. The stripes on thj Asiatic {'/'. stria- 
tus) running over the back extend to the root of the tail ; whilst those 
on the American (T. Lystcri) do not reacli so far by a full inch. There 
are many other differences which may as well be noticed. T. stria- 
tus is a little the largest, the strii)es on the back are situated nearer 
each other, and are broader than in the other species ; the stripes on each 
side of the back are nearly black instead of yellowish-brown ; on each 
side of the black stripe on the centre of the back of Tamias Lysteri, there 
is a broad space of reddish-gray. In T. striatus this part of the ani- 
mal is yellowish ; being an alternate stripe of blacl and yellowish-wfiite. 
The tail of the latter is black towards the extremity, and tipped with 
white; its tail and ears also are larger than those of T. I.tjsten: in short, 
these two species differ as widely from each other as Tamias Lysten 
diffei-s from the four-lined ground squirrel of Say, (T. quadrivittatus.) 




fncmve - ; Canine — ; Molar — = 22 

9 0-0 4-4 

Tie rf«ntition of tho Spcrmopliilrs did'cw from that of the i.ut mar 
moli in the follovvinj? j)arliculars. Tlic Hrst h)nf;ifu(liiial eminence (col- 
line) is nearly obliterated, and tho curve (talon) which unites the second 
tc the third is prolonyjed much more internally, which makes the mohirs 
Qi tho SiXTmo})Iiilps more n.irrow transversely than lon<,'ifudinaliy, as 
;ompared witli those of the marmots. Tlie fieth of tlic souslik (Sprnno. 
philus citillus) were examined by F. Cuvier, and considered as typical of 
this f^enus. 

Nose, convex ; ears, generally short ; cheek-pouches. 
Body, rather short ; mammne, pectoral and abdominal, from eight to 
t ivelve. 

Feet, of moderate length, adapted for walking on the ground ; nails, 
less in size than those of the marmots, less hooked than those of the 
squirrels ; on the fore-feet, four ,;oes, with the rudiment of a thumb, pro- 
tected by a blunt nail ; second toe from the thumb longest, as in the 
marmots, and not the third, as in the squirrels ; liiiid-fcet, with five toes. 

Tail, generally rather short, aiul always shorter than the body; in 
several of the species capable of a slightly distichous arrangement. 

The species belonging to this genus differ from flic true marmots, not 
only in their teeth, as shown above, but in several other striking 
particulars. They have cheek-pouches, of which the marmots are desti- 
tute. They are by no means clumsy, and in form are rather slender, and 
possess a degree of lightness and agility approaching the activifj- of the 

With the genus Tamias they assimilate so closely, that some of the 
species present intermediate characters, and authors may well differ as 
to which genus they ought to be referred to. Thus Tamias qnadrimUa- 
tus, and Spermoplnlits lateralis, seem to form a connecting T.nk between 
these two gen ;-a. -.; is to l)c recollected, however, t'nat analogous cases 
exist, not on!\ Vi.. p.g ihe mammalia, but in every class of animals and 
more especlahy ia i;irds. 




In referring again to the il.iilUion of thi;sr allied genera, we may n- 
marit that the anterior molar of the upper Jav. which is deciduous and 
falls out at an early p. -ukJ j,, most speeies of true srpiirrels, remains per- 
manently in all species of the genus Tamiah and is smaihT than in the 
Spemiophiles. These genera differ also in the lorm and l(>ngth of th»!ir 
claws. The long nails of the latter, the second claw, moreover, being 
longest, places ...em near the marmots; while the .shorter, weaker, 
and more arched nails of the ground Mjuirrels, in which the third claw,' 
besides, is the longest, approxi:natcs them more nearly to the true 

The clucking notes of the chipping squirrels are replaced in the mar- 
mot-squirreis by the shrill whistling or chattering sounds emitted by the 

The generic appellation 8f ermophiius, is derived from the Greek 
words <ntiffta (xprrmn), a seed, and ^.A»j (phi/os), a lover. 

There are now twelve species of tJirs genus known as existing in North 
America, and three in Europj", and a few are set down as belonging to 
Asia and Africa. Some of the latter may, however, after more careful 
3xaminat;on, be /" und to belong to the genus Arctomys. 



Parrs' Marmot-Squirrel. — Parry's Sp.3RMopini.K. 

PLATE IX.— Male. 

^. Havo-cinerPHs, supra alho variegatus, genis, lateribus. ventre, pedi- 
buscme flavis; fronte aureo, pilis ex flavo et nigro ; ad radices flavis, 
apice nigris 


General colour, yellowish-gray ; upper parts, mottled with white ; cheeks, 
sides, under parts of the body, and feet, yellow; fore-part of the head, deep 
rich yellow ; the hairs varied with yt low and hhick ; at the roots chiefly deep 
yellow, and at the points principality black 




GROosD-SQUinnEL, Heame's Journey, pp. 141 and 386. 

QuEJiEC Maumot, Forster, Phil. Trans., vol. Ixii. p. 378 

Arctomvs Ali'ixa, Parry, SltduiI Voyage, p. CI, narrative. 

Arctomys Pauryi, Richardson, Parry's Second Voyage, App., p. 31C. 

Arctomvs (Spermophilus) Parrvi, Rich., Fauna Boreali Americana, p. 158, pi. 10. 

Skek-Seek, Esquimaux, — THOE-TaiAi Rock-Badger, Chipevvyans, Rich. 


This marmot-squirrel, although for from being as thick and heaNy 
as the Maryland marmot, is not nearly so light and graceful as most 
of the other species of this genus, especially Sp. Doiiglaxsii ; and in 
form resembles the marmots more than it does the ground squirrels. 
The forehead is arched, the nose rather short, thick, and closely co- 
vered with short hair ; ears, short, triangular, and situated above the 
auditory opening ; eyes, prominent, and of moderate size ; a few rather 
slender hairs over the eyes ; along the cheeks are whiskers, arranged in 
five rows. Cheek-pouches, of medium dimensions, and opening into the 
mouth immediately behind the molars. < 

Legs and feet rather short and stout ; toes well separated ; nails long 
feet covered with short hairs ; palms of the fore-feet naked ; soles of hind- 
feet for half an inch next the heei clothed with hair, the remainder naked. 
Pail, rather flat, rounded at base, hairs becoming longer towards the ex- 
tremity ; sub-distichous. The under fur on every part of the body, >■ ~ft' 
glossy, and of a silky appearance. 


Hairs of the back, black at the roots, annulated above with black, 
nearer the tips yellowish-white or white ; extreme tips black. 

The longest hairs black ; the under, black at the base, then whitish, 
and shaded into brown at the points. The whole upper surface is irre- 
gularly and thickly spotted with white ; the spots confluent, especially 
over the shoulders ; on the belly the under-fur is abundant, very soft and 
silky ; grayish-black at the base, and yellowish-white at the tips ; the 
visible portion of the longer hairs, deep yellow on the sides of the body, 
and paler yellow on the belly. Feet, yellow ; hairs on the toes a pale 
yellow; claws blackish-brown; the hinder half of the tarsus covered be- 
neath with brownish hairs ; ujiper surface of the head, as far back as 
the eyes, of a deep rich yellow ; around the eyes whitish ; cheeks yellow ; 
chin, throat, and sides of the muzzle, yellowish-white ; tail, at base, co- 
laured like the body; in the middle, the hairs are yellowish, with twc 



rings or bars of black at the tips. The hairs on the under surface of the 
tail are chiefly of a rusty or brownish-red colour; moustaches black. 


From nose to root of tail 
Tail ^vertebra3) 
Tail, to end of hair 
From heel to end of claw 
From ear to point of nose 
Height of ear 












The only account we have of this handsom . spermophile is that given 

&y its talenfed discoverer, who says of it, 

" It is found generally in stony districts, but seems to delight chiefly in 
sandy hillocks amongst rocks, where burrows, inhabited by different in- 
dividuals, may be often observed crowded together. One of the society 
IS generally observed sitting erect on the summit of the hillocks, whilst 
rho others are feeding in the neigbourhood. Upon the approach 'of dan- 
gor, he gives the alarm, and they instantly betake themselves to their 
holes, remaining chattering, however, at the entrance until the advance 
of the enemy obliges them to retire to the bottom When their retreat 
is cut off they become much terrified, and seeking shelter in the first ere- 
vice that offers, they not unfrequently succeed only in hiding the head 
.md fore-part of the body, whilst the projecting tail is, as usuarwith them 
when under the influence of terror, spread out flat on the rook. Their 
c;ry in this season of distress strongly resembles the loud alarm of the 
Hudson's Bay squirrel, and is not very unlike the sound of a watchman's 
rattle. The Es<,uimaux name of this animal, Scck-Seek, is an attempt to 
express this sound. According to IIkarne, they are easily tamed, and 
are very cleanly and playful in a domestic state. They never come 
abroad during the winter. Their food appears to be entirely vegetable ; 
ilieir pouches being generally observed to be filled, according to the 
season, with tender shoots of herbaceous plants, berries of the Alpine 
•irbutus and of other trailing sl.nibs, or the seeds of bents, grasses, and 
legumi loiis plants. They produce about seven young at a time." 

Captain Ross iTienlioiis tliat soni(> of the dresses of the Esquimaax at 
iiepulse Bay, were made of the skins of this species; these people alsc 
it'.fornied him that it was vtiy abundant in thai ihhospilable region. 

! I 




According to Dr. Richaudson, "tliis spermophile inhabits the barrc.ii 
grounds skirting t!i(^ sfii-coi>st, iVoni Cliuirhill, in Hudson's Bay, round 
by Melville's Peninsula, and the -whole northern extremity of the Conti- 
nent to Behring's Straits, where specimens precisely similar vvert; pro- 
cured by Captnin BEr.riiF.Y. It abounds in the neighbourhood of Fort 
Enterprise, near the southern verge of the barren grounds in latitude 05'', 
and is also plentiful on Cape Parry, one of the most northern parts of the 


Our description of this rare animal was drawn up from a specimen de- 
j.osited by Dr. KiciiARnsoN in the museum of the Zoological Society of 
London, which was said to have been the identical skin from which h\^ 
description was taken. 

We possess another specimen, presented to us by Dr. Richardson. 
which is a little longer in the body and shorter in I'he tail than the on« 
we have Just spoken of; the Ixdy being 12| inches in length, and the 
tail (vertebra^) 3^ inches, including fur 5 inches. The forehead and but- 
tocks of this specimen are reddish-brown. 




Incisv'c |; MUur ~; False-Molars — = 3a 



Incisive -; Molar ^; False-Molars *^ = 44. 


riead, long terminated by an extended, cartilaginous, flexible, and 
vanned ,„uzzlc ; eyes and ears, concealed by the hair, and very minute. 
H.nd-feet short and slender, with five toes and delicate hooked nails; 
fore-feet (or hands) broad; claws, long and flat, fitted for excavating the 

The name Scalops is derived from the Greek ^.aa., (skallo,) and from 
tlic Latin scalpo, I scrape. 

The various species included in this genus, which approaches verv 

I'f H/M'rr""'''^""P^'(''"^«P-"'"°»«') -' -^e believe', 
onfined to North America. There are, so far as we havc been informed 
only five species known at the present time 


Common American Shrew Mole. 
PLATE X—Mals and Fimal.. 

S magnitudine Talpa, Europea, sinrilis, corpore cylindrato. lanugine 
sricea, arirenteo-cinnrnn Jn,l,.f« ' '"S"" 

^ericea, argenteo-cinereo induto 


Sizr of the European mole, (Talpa ,) ho,ly, cylindrical; fur, velv^. , 
colour, sihrnf.irraiiish.hrnwn. ' J '* w^w^V , 




SoREX Aquaticus, Linn. Syst. Nat., I'Jtli ed. coi-rceted, vol. i., p. 74. 

Tali'a FrscA, IVniiant, Brit. Zool.. (^iiadrupi'ds, 314. 

ScALoi'8 Canadknsis, Desm., Mam., p. 115. 

ScAi.oi'K VE Canada, Cuv., lli'gne Aiiin;al, p. 134. 

SiiKfcw MoLK, Godnian, Nat. Hist. vol. i., jj. 84, p!. 5, tijj. 3. 

ScALOPS Canadensis, Harlan, Fauna, p. 32 Young. 

" Pennsylvanica, Hailan, Fauna, p., 33. Adull. 

" Canauenbis, Emmons, Kcpoit on (iuads. of Mass., p. 13. 

" AiiUATicrs, Bachman, Observations on tlio Genus Scalops, Boston Joui 
Nat. Hist., vol. iv.. No. 1., p. 28, 1842. 

'• Aquaticus, Dekay, Nat. Hist, of the State of New- York, p. 15. 


Adult : — Teeth 30, corrcspoiuling with the first dental formula of this 
genus, given on the preceding pnge ; incisors of moderate size, rounded 
on their front surface and flattened posteriorly. Immediately behind 
the incisors, two minute teeth on each side, crowded together — succeed- 
ed by four large false-molnrs, of a cylindrical .shape, and pointed ; the 
fourth smallest, the fiilh a little larger and slightly lobed, and the sixth, 
which is the largest, more conspicuously lobed ; followed by three true 
molars, each furnished with three sharp tubercles. 

In the lower or inferior jaw, sixteen teeth ; the two posterior incisors 
very small, succeeded on each side by anolher much larger, pointed, and 
extending forward; three false-molnrs whi(>h succeed these are pointed, 
and the third and largest slightly lobed; three true molars composed of 
two parallel p-isms, terminated each by three })();uts, and "presenting one 
of their angles on the outer side, and one of their faces on the internal sur- 
face; the two first of equal size, the other somewhat smaller." Part 
of the above description is in the words of Dr. Godman, Irom his very cor- 
rect and interesting article on the Shrew Mole, (vol. i., p. 82.) which 
corn^sponds exactly with the results of our own investigations of the teeth 
of this pnimal, made at various times, during a period of several years. 

Young. — We have found in specimens less than a year old, that the two 
srnjill thread-like teeth inserted behind the incisors in the upper jnw were 
Entirely wanting, as also the fourth lateral incisor on each side, leaving 
vacant spaces between them, and presenting the appearance ascribed to 
them by Baron Civu-r and by DnsMARES-r : the last mentioned teeth arc first 
leveloped, the former appearinir when the animal is full grown and all 
the edentate spaces between the molars are filled up. 

Body, thick and cvliiidrical • neck, shoit, so that the head appears almost 


as if attached directly to the shoulders ; snout, naked, cartilaginous, and 
very flexible, extending five lines beyond the incisors ; the under surface 
prqj..cts a little l)ey()nd the nostrils, which are oblong and open on the 
upper surface ner.r each other; mouth, large, and when open resembling 
sonicwhat (allhough in miniature) that of the hog; eyes, concealed by 
the fur, apparently covered by an integument, and so minute that they 
can with great difficulty be found. The orifice in the skin in which the 
eye is placed is not of larger diameter than would admit a bristle. No 
external ear; there is, however, a very small circular aperture leading to 
the ear, about ihree qnartcrs of an inch behind the eye. The fore-arms 
are concealed by the skin and the palms only are visible, they are 
broad, and might be thought not unlike hands; they are thinly clolhed 
with hair, and bordered with stiff hnirs; the fingers are united at the 
base of the claws; nails, large, sligiifly curved, nearly convex above, 
and flattened on the inner surface ; hind-feet, small and slender, naked 
on the under surface, and apparently above, although a close inspec 
tion shows the upper surface to be covered with fine short hairs; nails, 
small, a little arched, and compressed ; tail, short, round, appears naked^ 
but is very sparingly clolhed wilh short adpressed hairs. On the inside' 
of the thighs, near the tail, is a gland about half an inch long, from 
which a disagreeable musky odour issues, which makes the animal of- 
fensive to delicate olfactories. All our other shrew moles possess simi- 
lar ghmds, and we have perceived the musky smell still remaining strong 
ui skins that had been prepared and stuffed several weeks. 



Snout and palms, in the living animal, pinkish flesh-colour; chin, feet, 
rnd tail, dull white ; bnir on the body, about five lines in length, very soft, 
smooth, and lustrous; for three-fourths of its length, plumbeous; tips light- 
brown, giving th.> surface of the hair, above, a dark-brown colour, which 
varies in difi'erent lights, sometimes exhibiting black, silver-gray, or pur- 
ple, reflections. 

There are many variations in the colouring of different individuals of 
this species, but none of them permanent: we possess some specimens 
which are ne;irly black, and others of a light cream-colour; we also have 
a specimen, the; tail of which is clothed wilh short hnirs, with a consider- 
able luft at the extremity. From these and similar dill'erences in various 
other animnls, it is not surprising that authors have described in their 
works many as new, which, on being closely examined afterwards 
prove to be mere accidental variulies of some vvrcll-knowu species. 




Adult male. 

From nose to root of tail 
Tail - - - - 
Breadth of palm 

A specimen from Carolina.- 
From nose to root of tail 
Tail .... 
Breadth of palm - 












Whilst almost every farmer or gardener throughout the Northern and 
Eastern States is well acquainted with this curious animal, as far as the 
mere observation of its meandering course through his fields and mea- 
dows, his beds of green peas or other vegetables, is concerned, but few 
have arrived at proper conclusions in regard to the habits of the Shrew 
Mole ; and it is generally caught and liilled whenever practicable ; the 
common idea being, that the Mole feeds on the roots of tender plants, 
grasses, &c. ; while the fact that the animal devours great quantities of 
earth-worms, slugs, and grubs, all hurtful to the fruit trees, to the grasses, 
and the peas and other vegetables, seems to be unknown, or overlooked. 

In justice to the farmer and gardener, however, we must say, that the 
course taken occasionally by this species, directly along a row of tender 
plants, throwine: them out of the earth, as it docs, or zig-zag across a 
valuable bed c^ beautiful lawn, is rather provoking, and we have our- 
selves caused traps to be set for moles, being greatly annoyed by fheir 
digging long galleries under the grass on our sloping banks, which 
during a heavy shower soon filled with water, and presently increased to 
large gutters, or deep holes, requiring repairs forthwith. At such times 
also, a Mole-track through loose soil where there is any descent, will be 
found by the gardener, perchance, to have become a miniature ravine 
some twenty or thirty yards in length, and a few (anticipated) bushels of 
carrots are destroyed. In neglected or sandy soils, one of these gutters 
becomes deep and wide in a short time, and we may perhaps not err in 
hazarding the opinion that some of the unsightly ravines which run al- 
most through large estates, occasionally might be traced to no higher 
origin than the wandering of an unlucky mole ! 

We kept one of this species alive for some days, feeding it altoge- 
ther upon earth-worms, but we soon found it difficult to procure a sufli' 



cient supply ; forty or fifty worms of moderate size did not appear too 
much for its seemingly insatiable appetite. At the expiration of four 
days, another of this species which we had in confinement would not 
touch any vegetable substances, although the cage was filled with clods 
covered with fine clover, pieces of sweet apples, bread, &c. 

We were much interested in observing, that no matter how soiled its 
coat might have become in the cage, it would resume its beauty and 
glossiness after the mole had passed and re-passed through the earth eight 
or ten times, which it always accomplished in a few minutes. We fre- 
quently remarked with surprise the great strength of this animal, which 
enabled it to lift the lid or top of a box in which it was kept, although it 
was large and heavy ; the box-top was not however fastened down. 
Seating ourselves quietly in the room, after putting hack the mole into 
the box, the animal supposing itself no longer watched, very soon raised its 
body against the side of the box, which was partly filled with earth, and 
presently its snout was protruded through the small space between the 
box and the cover ; and after a few efl^orts the creature got his fore- feet 
on to the edge of the box, raised itself over the latter, and fell upon a table 
on which we had placed the box. It immediately ran to the edge of the 
table, and thence tumbled on to the floor ; tlas, however, did not at all in- 
connnode it, for it made ofi" to a dark corner of the room at once, and re- 
mained there until again replaced in its prison. 

When this Mole was fed on earth-worms, {Lumbricus terrenus,) as we 
have just related, we heard the worms crushed in the strong jaws of the 
animal, with a noise somewhat like the grating of broken glass, which 
was probably caused by its strong teeth gnashing on the sand or grit con- 
tained in the bodies of the worms. These were placed singly on the 
ground near the animal, which after smelling around for a moment 
turned about in every direction with the greatest activity, until he felt a 
worm, when he seized it between the outer surface of his hands or fore 
paws, and pushed it into his mouth with a contiimally repeated forward 
movement of the paws, cramming it downward until all was in his jaws. 

Small-sized earth-worms were despatched in a very short time ; the 
animal never failing to begin with the anterior end of the worm, and 
apparently cutting it as he eat, into small pieces, until the whole wns 
devoured. On the contrary, when the earth-worm was of a large size, 
the Mole seemed to find some difficulty in managing it, and munched 
the worm sideways, moving it from one side of its mouth to the other. 
On these occasions the gritting of its teeth, which wo have already 
spoken of, can be heard at the distance of several feet. 

We afterwards put the Mole into a large wire rat-trap, and to our sur- 



prise saw him insert his fore-paws or hands between the wires, and force 
them apart .suflieicntly lo ^ivc him room to pass out tliroiiirh them at 
once, and this without any great api)arcnt elfort. It is this extraordinary 
muscular power in the fore-paws and arms, that enables the Shrew Moles 
to traverse the galleries tliey excavate with so much rapidity, in doing- 
which they turn the backs of their palms or hands toward each other 
push them tbrward as far as tiie end of tlieir snout, and then open and 
bring them round backward, in the maimer of a person moving his hands 
and arms when s\ imming. When running along on the surface of the 
ground, they extend the tore-legs as fitr forward as they will reach, turn- 
ing the backs of the hands or paws (as just mentioned) towards each 
other, and placing them edge-wise, inst<\id of flat on the earth as might 
be supposed, and in this manner they run briskly and without any 
awkward movement, crossing beaten-roads or paved walks, and sometimes 
running swiftly twenty or thirty feet before they can get into the ground. 

The .Shrew Mole varies somewhat in its habits, according to our obser- ■ 
vations : for while a solitary individual will occasionally for some weeks 
occupy and root up a large plot of grass or a considerable portion of a 
garden, and on his being caught in a trap, the place will remain free from 
fresh Mole-tracks for a long period, proving that all the mischief was the 
work of a single Mole, at other times we have caught several out of one 
galleiy on the same day ; and while excavating a root-house, the lower 
part of which was rock, four of those animals came during the night 
through one gallery and tumbled down into the pit, where, the rock pre- 
venting their digging a way out, they M-ere found in the morning. No 
others ever came through that gallery while the cllar was in progress, 
and those thus caught may probably have been one family. 

Althou^'h gonerally known to run through the galleries often, so 
much so that the most common method of capturing them is to set a trap 
anywhere in one of these tracks to intercept tliem when again passing 
through it, we have known a trap to remain set in a fresh track for eleven 
days b(!fore the animal passed that way, when it was caught ; and we 
are of opinion that many of their tracks are only passed through once, as 
this aiu'mal is known to travel from one field or wood to aiioth(T, and pro- 
bably the only galleries they regularly traverse are those ad.jacent to the 
spot they have selected for rearing their young. In relation to this .sub- 
ject. Dr. GoDMAN sjiys — 

"It is remarkable how unwilling they are to relinquish a long frequent- 
ed burrow: I have frequently broken down or torn off the snri'aee of the 
sanu! burrow for several days in succession, but would always find it re- 
paired at the next visit. This was especially the case with one individual 



whose nest T discovered, which was always repaired within a short time, 
as olh'ii as destroyed. It was an oval cavity, about five or seven inches 
in lenjrlh by three in breadth, and was placed at about eight inches from 
the surface in a stiff clay. The entrance to it sloped obli(iucly downwards 
from the gallery alout two iuche? from the surface ; three times I entire- 
ly exposed this cell, by cutting out the whole superincumbent clay with a 
knife, and three times a similar one was made a little beyond the situa- 
tion of ihc Ibrmcr, the excavation having been continued from its back 
part. 1 paid a visit to the same spot two months after capturing its occu- 
pant, and breaking up the cell, all the injuries were found to be repaired, 
and another excavated within a few inches of the old one. Most probabl^i 
numerous individuals, composing a whole family, reside together in these 
extensive galleries. In the winter they burrow closer to the streams 
where the ground is not so deeply frozen." 

This species whilst beneath the earth's surface seems to search for 
food with the same activity and untiring perseverance that are observable 
in animals that seek for their provender above ground. It works through 
the earth not only in a straight-forward direction, but loosens it to the 
right and left, beneath and above, so that no worm or insect can escape 
it. When in contact with any one of the objects of which it has been in 
search, it seizes it with remarkable quickness both with its fore-feet and 
its sharp teeth, drawing itself immediately backward with its prize, upon 
which it begins to prey at once. The Shrew^ Mole passes through loose 
soil with nearly the same ease and speed that it displays in running, or 
" scnibbling" along above ground. It moves backward almost as rapidly 
as it goes forward. The nose is often seen protruded above the surface 
of the ground. 

The snout of this species, although apparently delicate, is most power- 
fully muscular, as well as flexible ; the animal can turn it to the right or 
left, upward or downward, and at times inserts it in its mouth, as if for 
the pur])ose of cleansing it, and then suddenly withdraws it with a kind of 
smack of its lips; this habit we observed three times in the course of a few 
minutes. The Shrew Mole is exceedingly tenacious of life ; it cannot 
easily be put to death, either by heavy pressure or strangling, and a severe 
blow on the head seems to be the quickest mode of despatching it. 

AllhoLigh this species, as we have seen, feeds principally on worms, 
grubs, (kc, Ave have the authority of our friend Ot.OEx IIammon-d, Esq., for 
the following example either of a most singular perversity of taste, or of 
habits hitherto totally unknown as appertaining to animals of this genus, 
a,nd nii^riting a farther incjuiry. Whih^ at his testate near Throg's Neck, 
on Long Island Sound, his son, who is an intelligent young lad. and fo'id 



of History, ohsorvcd in c()ini)any vvith an old servant, of fhr family, 
nSlircw Mole in llic net of swallow iii^', or dcvourinir, a conimoii toad — this 
was accornplislifd hy the Mole, and he was then killed, Ixin;,' unable tc 
escape after siicli a meal, and was taken to the house, wlien Mr. Hammonh 
saw and examined tlie animal, with the toad partially protrudinir from its 
throat. This gentleman also related to us some time a^o, tli, i la? once 
witnessed an en;ra;iemeiit between two Moles, that happened to encounter 
eaeh other in one of the noon-ilat/ excursions this species is so much in 
the habit of making. The eond)atants sidled up to one another 
lik(> two little pij^s, and each tried to root the other over, in attempt- 
in;.' which their ell'orts so nuieh resembled the manner of two boars 
ti}j;htin^', that the whole affair was supremely ridiculous to the beholder, 
although no doubt, to either of the bold warriors t\m consequences 
of an overthrow would have been very serious ; for the conqueror 
would vent his rajre upon the fallen hero, and punish him severely with 
his sharp teeth. We have no doubt these conllicts ^'enerally take place 
in tiie love season, and ere caused by rivalry, and that some "fair Mole" 
probably rewards the victor. When approached, the Moles attempted to 
escape, but were both shot on the spot, thus tailing victims to their own 
])assions ; and if we would read aright, :Jfordin« us an instructive lesson, 
either :is individuals, or in a national j)oint of view. 

The Shrew Moles are able to work their way so rapidly, that in soil or 
loamy soil it is almost impossible for the most active man to overtake and 
turn them out with a spade, unless he can sec tlie spot where they arc 
w«)rkiny; by the movement of the earth, in which case they can be thrown 
out easily by sticking the sj)ade in iVont of them or at one sid,* of their 
gallery, and with a (piick movement tossing them on to the surface. 

They have been known to make a fresh track after rain, during one 
night, several himdred yards in length ; oftentimes they proceed for a 
considerable distance in nearly a straight or direct line, then suddenly be- 
gin lo excavate around and across a small space of not more than a few 
teet in diameter, until you could hardly place your foot on a spot within 
this suliterranean hibyrinth without sinking through into their track ; at 
this time they are most probably in pursuit of worms, or other food, which 
may be there imbedded. 

Altlion<:h cold weather a])pears to us to put a stop to the movements of 
the Mole, wc do not led by any means certain that such is the case; and 
virv i)robal)ly th(> hardness of the ground when frozen, and the depth at 
which the IMolc is ihcii ol)ligcd to seek his food, may be a sufficient reason 
for our seeing no traces of this busy creature's movements during cold 
V inter wealhcr. We have, however, often ))erceived their tracks after o 



dayoruv,,.,! w.-aflu-r in Ja.umry, a.i.l have repeatedly ob^rrv,,) 
.hnnahom .Inrinj, a thaw, after ti.e first autumnal frosts had occurred, 
/n Carolina there are not many we.-ks in a winter in wlm-h wo are not 
able to (ind here a.,d then, trae.-s of the aetivitv of the .Mole. We admit 
hovvever, that even in this comparatively mil.l climate, they appear to 
l)e lar less active in winter thmi at other seasons. 

From fl.. forejToin,' facts we are incli.u-d to think the Mole docs not 
h.-come torpul at any lim.-; and in corrol.oration of this idea, we find 
Ihi.t the amn.a! is not at any season found in hi^h Northern latitudes. 
Dr. KrcARDHON thinks "the absence of the Shrew Mole from these 
••'>""<nes IS ou in,, to the fact that the earth-worm on whi.-h the Scalops 
Idu. the co.nn.on Mole. ,,rincipallv feeds, is unknown in the Hudson's Bay 
countries." ^ 

Th(. idea couunonly entertaine.l by uninform.'.l persons, that M<,le8 
have no eyes, ,s an .Mror; althouj,d. our own experience confirms the 
opm.on of others, that they appear to possess the power of seeing only in 
a very Inn.ted d.-j^re... We must not forj^^ct, however, that a wise Provi- 
dence 1ms adapted their oi-ans of vision to the subterraneou- life they 
load. Shut out from th.. lij^ht „f the sun by a law of nature re„ui- 
rm^Mhem to s.-arch lor fbo,l beneath the earth's surface, animaks 
woM.d (n.d a laroe pair of ey.;s one of th,- f,.reatcst of evils, inasmuch a.s 
thev wo.dd be eonstnntiy liable to be filled with sand; thus causing in- 
(iammalion, blindness, and eventually death. 

It is not, however, beyond the reach of possibility, nor contrary t., the 
economy of ^^^^xxv, to suppose that during the night, when this speci^^s is 
seen occas.onal'y above ground, or when engaged in running or fighting 
or lor purposes we have m.t yet .liscovered, this animal may have the power 
of expandmg its minute orbs, and drawing back the hair that entirely con- 
ceals Its eyes. This, however, is a mere conjecture, which we have thrown 
out for the consideration of those who are fond of investigating Nature 
in her minutest operations. 

The inquiry has often b,en mad,^ if the Shrew Mole does not feed up- 
on the grains or roots of the corn, peas, potatoes, &c., planted in rows or 
in lulls, why IS it that this so ingeniously and so mischievously follows 
tlu' rows, and as ..Ifeetnaily destroys the young platits as if it had con- 
sumed them? We answer, it is not the spirit of mischief by which the 
Mo!., is aetuifted ; it is the law of s.-iUpreservation. In the'rows where 
(hese seeds have been sown, or these v.'getables planted, the ground has 
b.'en manured; this. a.,d the consequent moisture around the roots of the 
plants, attracts wor.ns .n<l other insects that are invariably found in rich 
moist earth. To the accusations made against the Shrew Mole as ■» 




destroyer of potatoes, iind other vop;etables, he mij^ht often with great 
fruth plead an alil)i. Leconti/s pine mouse, {Arvicoln pitictonim,) is usu- 
ally the author of the niischiei; whilst all the b'ame is thrown upon the 
innocent Shrew Mole. We are, moreover, incli.^ed to think that whilst 
the earth-worm is the general, it is by no means the only food of the 
latter, and we h.-d an opportunity of discovering to our cost, that when 
in captivity, this species relishes other tare. We preserved one in a 
cage in Carolina, during a winter, for the purpose of ascertaining on 
what kind of food it was sustained, and whether it became dormant. It 
at no time touched grains or vegetables ; the lower part of the cage was 
filled with a loot of moist earth, in which we occasionally placed a pint of 
earth-worms. It devoured pieces of beef, and lor a week was engaged in 
demolishing a dead pigeon. Until the middle of .lanuary we found it 
every day actively running through the earth in search of worms. Sud- 
denly, however, it seemed to have gone to winter quarters, as we could see 
no more traces of its customary burrowing. We now carefully searched 
for it in the box, to ascertain its appearance in a dormant state. But the 
little creature had forced itself through the wooden bars, and was gone. 
We examined every part of the room without success, and finally sup- 
posed it had escaped through the (l')or. The cage i^f the Mole had been 
set on a box, ful' of earth, in which the chrysolides of some sixty or 
seventy species of rare butterflies, moths, and sphinges, had been carefu'lv 
deposited. In this box we a few days afterwards heard a noise, and on 
looking, discovered our little fugitive. On searching for our choice insects 
we found not one left ; they had all been devoured by the Shrew Mole. 
This greatly disappointed us, and put an end to all our hopes of read- 
ing the follow':ig spring a better lesson on entomology than ever could 
have been taught us — either by Fadriciis, Spexck, or Kirby. 

We had an opportunity on two different occasions of examining the 
nests and young of the Shrew Mole. The nests were about eight inches 
below the surface, the excavation was rather large and contained a 
quantity of oak leaves on the outer surface, lined with soft dried leaves oi 
the crab-grass, {Digitaria saniruinalis.) There were galleries leading to 
this nest, in two or three directions. The young numbered in one case, 
five, and in another, nine. 

Our k-nd friend, J. S. Haines, Esq, of Germantown, near Philadelphia, 
informed us that he once kept Severn I Shrew Moles in confinement lor 
the purpose of investigating their b:ibits, and that having been neglected 
for a few days, the strongest of them killed and ate up the others ; they 
also devoured raw meat, especially beef, with grer <- avidity. 




The Shrrvv Molo is fou.ul various parts of the country from 
Canada to Ivcntueky, in consi,l,.ral,lc ninnbers, and is abundant in Care 
Una, Geor^ri-v, Louisiana and Florida. It is, accordin^^ to U.cardson, un- 
known in Labrador, the Hudson's Hay Territories, and probably N..r.h of 
LatiUuIe 50«. Wn did not see any of them in our trip up the Missouri 
river, an.l there are none to be found on the dry prairies of the regions 
immediately east of the great Rocky Mountain chain. The figures in our 
plate were Jiawn from specimens procured near the City of New- York. 
We mention this locality because the colours differ a little from others 
that we have seen, and that have been described. 


In restoring to this animal tlie specific name of its first describer, we 
have adhered to a rule, from which, to prevent t'.ie repetition of synonymes 
we should never depart unless under very peculiar circumstances. The 
name " Afjuatmi.'^r certainly does not apply to ib. habits of this species 
as although it is fond of the vicinity )f moist ground where the earth- 
worm is most abundant, yet it is nowise aquatic. The name of Desmarest 
howrser, viz., "Canadensis," i, equally objectionable, as it is far more' 
common in the Southern portion of the United States than in Canada. 

Some differences of opinion are observable in the works of authors in 
regard to the number of teeth which characterize this species. 

Although the genus was, until recently, composed of but a single ac- 
knowledged spocies {Scalops Canadensis oi'DESM.), its systematic arran-^e. 
ment has caused great perplexity among Naturalists. placed it 
among the Shrews (Sorex), and Pennant among the Moles (Talpa) Barou 
Cuv.ER finally establisht-d for it a new genus (Scalops), in which it now 
remains. The specimen, however, which he made the type of the genus 
contained but thirty teeth. The upper jaw had but three lateral incisors 
or false-molars on each side ; leaving considerable intermediate spaces be- 
tween the inciso^. and true molars. In this dental arrangement he was 
followed by Desmarest, Dr. Harlan, Griffith, and nearly all the Natural- 
ists of that period. Subsequently, however, Frederick gave a 
correct description of the teeth, which he found nmnun.c-.l to thirty-six. 
Dr. Harlan Imdmg a skeleton from the vicinity of Pl.ihuklphia, which in 
Its dental arrangement corresponded generally with the characters given 
by tRED., considered it a new species, and described it under the 
name of Sc. Penmyh-anica (sec Fauna Amevicaau, p. 33). 


' m 



Dr. RicirARDsoN described a specimen which was obtained on the Co- 
lumbia river (F. B. A., p. 9), which contained forty-four teeth, very 
differently arranged. This animal he referred to our common Shrew 
Mole, supposing that the difference in the dentition, as observed by differ- 
ent authors, was owing to tlieir having examin. d and described speci- 
mens of different ages. 

In 1810, Professor Emmons (Report on the Quadrupeds of Massachusetts) 
characterizes the genus as having 44 teeth. In 1842, Dr. Dekay (Nat. 
History of the St.ite of New- York, p. 15) has very erroneously given as a 
character, its having from 34 to 46 teeth, and states that he had once seen 
the skull of one of this species containing 44 teeth. 

In an article in the Boston Journal (vol. iv., No. i., p. 26, 1842), Ave 
endeavoured to explain and correct the contradictory views of former 
authors, and we feel confident we have it in our power to account lor the 
skull seen by Dr. Dekav containing forty-four teeth. 

The specimens examined by Baron Ciivier, DesmaresT and Dr. Harlan, 
each containing but 30 teeth, were evidently young animals, with their 
dentition incomplete. One half of the specimens now lying before us 
present the same deficiency in the number of teeth ; they also exhibit the 
edentate spaces between the incisors and grinders remarked by those au- 
thors. We have, in deciding this point, compared more than fifty speci- 
mens together. Those on the other hand that were examined by F. Cu- 
vier and Dr. Godman, and the skeleton of Dr. Harlan's Scalops Pennsyl- 
vanicn, containing 36 teeth, were adults of the same species. Dr. Richard- 
son's specimen was a new species {Scalops TownscniHi), having 44 teeth, 
(see Journ. Acad. Nat. Sc, Philadelphia, vol. viii., p. 58). With re- 
gard to the skull seen by Dr. Dekay, we have no doubt of its having be- 
longed to Scalops Brewerii (see Bost. Journ. Nat, Hist., vol. iv., p. 32), 
which has 44 teeth, and is not uncommon in the State of New- York, as 
we obtained four specimens from our friend, the late Dr. Wright, who 
procured them in the vicinity of Troy. 



NosTHERN Hare. 

PLATE XII.— Winter Pelage. 

L. hyen.e albus ; pilis tricoloribus, apice albis, ad radices coeruleis 
medio fulvis; aestate, supra rufo-fuscus, infra albus, auribus capite paullo 
brevionbus ; L. Sylvatica paullo robustior. L. Glacialis minor. 


Size, larger than the gray rabbit {Lepus Sylvaticus), less than the Polm 
hare; (L. Glacialis). Colour in summer, reddish-brown above, white be. 
neatk ■ m wmter, ichife ; roots of the hairs, blue; nearer the surface faion^ 
colour, and the tips, white ; cars, a little shorter than the head. 


LiEVRE (Quenton Malisia), Sngard Thcodat, Canada, p. 747. 1636 
Swedish Hake. Kalm's Travels in North America, vol, ii., p. 4.'}. 1749 
American Hare, Philos. Trans., London, vol. L\ii., pp. i], 370. 1772 ' 
Lepus Amkhicam-.s, p:rxk!ben, Syst. regni Animalis, p. 330. 1777. 
" Nanus, Schrcber, vol. ii., p. 881, pi. 234, fig. 

HuDsoNius, Pallas, Glires, pp. l, 30. 
VAnviNo IIari:, Pennant, Arct. Zool., vol. i., p. 95. 
Lki'u.s \- .MNiANis, Harlan, Fauna, p. 19G. 1825. 

VAu.AniMs, var. Godman, Nat. Hist., vol. ii., p. 164. 
Ameiuoan- Vahvino Hake, Doughty, Cabinet Nat. Hist., vol i n 217 nl iq 
Autumn pelage. ' " ^' ' ^ '^' 

The NoiiTHKHN- Hare, Audubon, Ornithological Biog., vol. ii , „ 469 Biida of 
America, pi. 181 (in ih." talons of (he Golden Eagle). Winter pelade 

Lei'US Amkuicam-s, Richardson, Faima Boreali A./p -m; ^' 

" VnuHNiANus. Bach, Acad. Nat. Sciences, Philad'elpbia, vol vii n 301 
" A.MERicAM'8, Bach, lb., p. 403, and lb., vol. viii., p 76 " 

•• AMEracANis, Dekay, Nat. Hist, gt.ute of New- York, p. 95, pi. 26. 


Incisors, pure white, shorter and smaller than in /.. Glacialis ; upper one.s 
moderately grooved ; the two post^-rior upper inci.sors very sumli. The 



margins of the orbits project considerably, having a distinct depressior^ 
in the frontal bone ; this is more conspicuous in the old than in the younger 
animals. Head rather short ; nose blunt, eyes large and prominent ; ears 
placed far back, and near each other; whiskers, long and numerous: 
body, elongated, thickly clothed with long loose hair, vvUh a ioft downy 
fur beneath ; legs, long ; hind-legs, nearly twice the length of the fore- 
legs; feet, thickly clothed with hair, completely concealing the nails, 
which are long, thin, very sharp, and slightly arched. So thickly are the 
soles covered with hair, that an impression by the nails is not generally 
visible in their tracks made while passing over the snow, unless when 
running very fast. Tail, very short, covered with fur, but not very 
bushy. The form of this species is on the whole not very elegant ; its 
long hind legs, although remarkably well adapted for rapid locomotion, 
and its diminutive tail, would lead the spectator at first sight to pro- 
nounce it an awkward animal ; which is, nevertheless, far from being the 
fact. Its fur never lies smooth and compact, either in winter or summer 
as does that of many other species, but seems to hang loosel , on its back 
and sides, giving it a somewhat shaggy appearance. The hair on the 
body is in summer about an inch and a half long, and in winter a little 



In summer, the whole of the upper surface is reddish-brown, formed by 
hairs that are at their roots and for two-thirds of their length of a blue- 
ish ash colour, then reddish-yellow, succeeded by a narrow line of dark- 
brown, the part next the tips or points, reddish-brown, but nearly all 
the hairs tipped wilh black — this colour predominating toward the 
rump. Whiskers, mostly black, a few white, the longest reaching be- 
yond the head ; ears, brown, with a narrow black border on the outer 
margin, and a slight fringe of white hairs on the iimer. In some speci- 
mens there is a fawn, and in others a light-coloured, edge around the eyes. 
and a few white hairs on the forehead. The pupil of the eye is dark, the 
iris lig4it silvery-yellow ; point of nose, chin, and under the throat, white ; 
neck, yellowish-brown. Inner surface of legs, and under surface of body, 
white ; between the hind-legs, to the insertion of the tail, white ; upper 
surface of the tail, brown, under surface Avhite. The summer dress of tliis 
species is assumed in April, and remains without much change till about 
the beginning of November in the latitude of Quebec, and till the middle of 
the same month in the State of New- York and the western parts of Penn- 
sylvania ; after which season the animal gains its winter pelage. During 
winter, in high Norflern latitudes, it becomes nearly pure white with the 



exception of the black edge on the outer borders of the ears In th . r 
tu e f Alban,. New-York, it has a,wa,s . tinge of redZ-br v ^„^: ^ 
con.p.cuou« jn son.e specimens than in others, giving it a wavy apper 

ulTT ;; ''"Z ''' ''''"''' '' ^^^""^"^'' orwhenLfur isin'tS : ; 
a itated In the winter season .he hair is plumbeous at base, then red and xs broadly tipped with white. The parts of the body v h Ih at 
the last to assume the white change, are the forehead and shoulde we 
h-e two wmte.--killed specimens before us that have the forehead aid 
a patch on the shoulders, brown. On the under surface, th ur in mo" 

VVe possess a specimen of the young, about half grown which in its 
general aspect resembles the adult; the colour of the back 7 
■•^ shade darker, and the under surface an ashy white The ^1X7' -^ 

The tail is very shortZk r " '° ''' ""'^''^ «^ ^^« «- 

young become ^v^::).:!!: ^ ^^« 

w nter colouring a l!iH« i„f • .- ^ ' ^^ 'issume their 



The ,i,_e a,rf weigh, of ,he Nonhern hare we have found ,„ vary verv 

.he a.,i, r:„:ro:re:zf;,:i:r 'tr:r' "t " 

our collee,io„. .hot ,«„!,:, T ""' """'' ' "'' " ''°'«" ""^ '" 





From point of nose to root of tail 

Tal (vertebroe) . - . - 

Do. to end of hair .... 

From heel to end of middlf claw 

Height of ear ------- 

Another specimen of moderate size. 

From point of nose to root of tail 

Tail (vertebra?) -..--. 

Do. to end of hair 

From heel to end of middle claw - - . 

Height of ear ------- 3i do. 

Weight : — This species in the beginning of winter varies from three tc 
tiix and a half pounds, but we consider 5j pounds to be the average weight 
of a full-grown animal in good condition. 




















Our difi'crent species of Hares, and more especially the present one and 
the little gray rabbit, have been so much mixed up in the accounts ol 
authors, tliat great confusion exists in regard to their habits, and their 
specific identity'. The assertion of Warden, that the American Hare re- 
treats into hollow trees when pursued, applies to the gray rabbit, for 
which it was no doubt intended, but not to the Northern Hare. We 
are not aware that the latter ever takes shelter either in a hole in the 
earth, or in a hollow tree. We have seen it chased by hounds for whole 
days, and lave witnessed the repetition of these hunts for several succes- 
sive wintc-s, without ever knowing it to seek concealment or security in 
such placts. It depends on its long legs, and on the ihickness of the 
woods, to aid it in evading the pursuit of its enemies. When hunted, it 
winds and doubles among thick clusters of young pines and scrub-oaks, 
or leads ihi' dogs through entangled patches of hemlock and spruce fir, 
until it sometimes wearies out its pursuers; and unless the hunter should 
api)ear. and stop its career with the gun, it is almost certain to escape. 

In deep snows, the animal is so light, and is so well supported by its 
broad furrv-f(>rt. that it |)asses over the surface making only a faint 
impression, whilst the lioimds ])limge dee]) into the snow at every 
bound, and soon give up the liopolcss i)iirsuit. It avoids not only open 
grounds, hi.t even open woods, and conlines itscll' to the densest and 
most impi.i',etial)le loresls. Although it wandns by nighl in many direc- 



-n.s m search of its appropriate food, we have scarcely ever seen its 
tntcks .„ the open fields; it seems cautiously to avoid the cabbie a !^ 
-n,. nelds or the fanner, and seldom eve.f in the most r, el p^ 
makes an encroaclunent on his cultivated grounds 
The food of this species in summer consists of various kinds of juicy 

. 1)^. , and t ese Hares seem to be particularly fond of the young twi^s 
ol the wdd allspice (/...-„., ten.oin), but in winter, when the earth 1 
covered wU snow, they gain a precarious subsistenc; from the buds and 
ba.k of such trees as are suited to their taste. Sometimes they scratch 
up to snow to feed on the leaves and berries of the various spec 11 ' 
/ ,rolu, lound m the Northern States. The bark of the willow b r h .n 1 
poplar^an t e buds of young pines, are sought after by them wi^ avt 

York who T" '"'T^'" ^'-^^^-^'-- P-t of the State of New- 

Yo.k, who were desirous of shooting these animals by moonlight watch 
m. near Amencan black-poplar trees iPopula. HuLnica), w IcHhe; 
nad cu down or the purpose of attracting then, to feed on thO buds and 
tender tw,gs, „. which they were o'-ten successful. Some of hes. iCs 
winch we had „. a don.esticated sta.e, were fed on cabbage leaveTtm •" 
parsnips, potatoes and sweet appl... During one very cold wi. ^4 Z i 
th e could not be conveniently obtained, they were frequently ^ppj 
-th cover- ay, to which, when more agreeable food las Ltge. 
-lu-m, they d.d not evince any aversion; from time to time a"so outJ 
branches ot willow, poplar or apple trees, were thrown il hLi t 
closure, the bark of which seemed to he greatly relished by them. 

I lie Northern Hare, like most others of the genus se-i« ;t« f ^ , 
.y night or in the early part of the evening. T^Zl2t:j^:Z 
c usjvelj. confined during autumn and winter, than in spring and 7ZZ 
In the lat er seasons, especially in spring, these animals are frlentlv 
observed in (ho norning, and as the sun is declining in th! '" ^ 

c^.^.y l.oceeding along some solitary by-patiroriS l^. '"^Z 
three may ofien be seen associa((>d together anne^,rin.r fnli r .- 

.".•.km, „ ,.,..e «> loud ,..,., i. ca„ be heard at »mel.„,4 h S 
H.nv .v,,„l, .,,,„ ,1,0 , ick,.,, ,l„,v si, „,„, ears erec,, seemi ^ h- ' 

M,c n,„.,l, ,, cmmon ,„ ,m,s, hara, a„d rabl.i,,. W,. have „ M , I 




this Hare retires to its form at early dawn, or shelter:; itself under tht 
thick foliage of fallen tree tops, particularly those of the pine and 
hemlock. It occasionally retires to the same cover for a number of 
nights in succession, but this habit is by no means common; and the 
sportsman who expects on some succeeding day to find this animal in 
the place from which it was once started, is likely to be disappointed ; 
although we are not aware, that any other of our species of hare are so 
attached to particular and beaten paths tb" .!■ the «oous, as the one 
now under consideration. It nightly pursue -I i aths, not only during 
the deep snows of winter, but ibr a period ot • jral years, if not killed 
or taken, wandering through them even during sunnner. We have seen 
a dozen caught at one spot in snares composed of horse-hair or brass 
wire, in the course of a winter, and when the snow had disappeared 
and the spring was advanced, others were still captured in the same 
way, and in the same paths. 

The period of gestation in this species is believed to be, (al- 
though we cannot .speak with positive certainty,) about six weeks. 
Two females which we domesticated, and kept in a warren, prodiiced 
yoinig, one on the tenth and the other on the fifteenth of May; one had 
four, and the other six leverets, which were deposited on a nest of straw 
the inside of which was lined with a considerable quantity of hair plucked 
iVom their bot' They succeeded in rearing all their young but 

one, which Avas killed by the male of a common Europeiui ral>l)it. 
They were not again gravid during that season. Ill health, arid more 
important studies, reciuired us <o be absent ibr six months, and when 
we returned, all our j)cts had escai)ed to the w^oods, thereibrc we could 
not satisfactorily finish the observations on their habits in confinement, 
which had interested and amused us in many a leisure hour. 

We, however, think it probable that the females in their wild state may 
protiuce young twice during the season. Tliosc referred to above were 
much harassed by other species which were confined in the same war- 
ren, and might therefore have been less prolific than if they had enjoyed 
their liberty undisturbed, amid the recesses of their native woods. We 
have frequently observed the young of the Northern Hare in May, and 
again in July. last must have been either from a second litter, or 
the produce of a young f(>male of the previous year. The young, at birth, 
were able to see. They were covered with short hair, and appeared 
somewhat darker in colour than the adults, at that season. 'I'hey left their 
nest in ten or twelve days, and from that time seemed to provide for 
themselves, and to dtM-ivc little sustenance or protection from their mo- 
thers. The old males at this period seemed to be animated with renewed 




! 9 

cou age they had previously suffered themselves to be chased and wor 
n. by the co.nn.ou English rabbit, and even retreated from the at- 
.acKs of the gray rabbit; but they now stood their ground, and engaged 
me.-co CO. ats wi.h ,he other prisoners eonlined with them, andl^ne- 
..U V a,ne od victonous. They stamped wi,h their feet, used their teeth 
and claws to a fearful purpose, and in the light tore o.F patches of In 
and mutilated the ears of their former persecutors, till tl e! were L tn 
undisturbed possession of the premises ! " 

The males did not evince the vicious propensity to destroy their young 
vhich IS observed in the domesticated English rabbit ; on the con'ra"v 
t'oZo ,!r""''^' ''' '-'''^ ''^'' '''^ ^•^■"^•>'' -h- ^hey were b^a' 

sit^InslnnT !'"" "7%''" '•'"-" ™- ^° P-^er dry and elevated 

0.1 thu, feet, and after having been compelled to pass through them 
y are tor hours employed in rubbing and drying their paws. In X 
, however when such places are liardened by the frost, th.y not 

n ly have paths through them in every direction, but occasio.ially s e! 

al en tree-top as a uhng or resting place, in the centre of a' wamp 

ttns of wb ;' '•'■ '"■''''^'""^■■^'•'^' (^-'•- /--/«/",) considerable por- 

the « bin "'": "■;"'' """""' ■•' f'""'^'^^ — -^^ I'^ -hat are c.^led 

procuu tan bark, tins speces ,s sometimes so abundant that twenty or 
thu-ty ot then may be started in a day's walk ^ 

r.u.s, Its (lesi. ,s hard, dry, almost juiceless, possessing none of the 

^n-our of the English hare, and much inferior to that of our grav n bb^ 

Lpjcures, however, who often regard as dainties dishes that a^; ^^^ ' 

and who, by the skilful application of the culinary art possess mean ot' 

::;:' ■;:; .v:::r^^""'^ ''-' -- " ^--^-^ ^-^-^ -- ^^i^ 

The Northern Hare, as is proverbially the case with all the species ■ 

o Hu, lo,est, by eagles, by hawks, and by owls. In the northern parts 
^ Mame. m Canada, and i„ the countries lar.her north, their most thrm 
eaenues are the Canada L nx, (I,,,.,. Can.nlrnsis, the ier f).,," 

hnjand .Mates, however, and m New- York, the red-tailed hawlc. {Butco 

I 1 1" 



l{(in(/lis,) is occnsionally .seen with mw oftliosd species in its talons. F{ut 
ils most roniii();il)l(' cntMuy is {he i:;rcat lioriu-d owl, {lUiht yir^iniiniiis.) 
\Vi> iiavc also, on omi occasion, observed a eonnnon liouse-cat (lrajj;i^ia>;; a 
full f,n-o\vn Northern ilare from tiic woods, to feed lier yinuig. Lads on 
their way to school, entrap thcni with snares attached to a l)ent twi;?, 
l)laced alonf" the j)aths they nightly resort to. The hunter linds r-.'crea- 
tion ill {lursuiiig thein with hounds, whilst he j)laces himself in some, 
wood-path where they were last, seen to pass. The Hare runs from fifty 
to a hundred yards ahead of the dogs, and in its windings and turnings to 
escape from t'lcm freciuently returns to the sjiot where the hunter is 
stationed, and falls by a she!, from his gun, 

'I'he Northern Ilare, when rapidly pursued, makes such great ellbrts to 
escajjc, that the poor creature (as we have said already) is occasionally 
successful, and fairly outruns the hounds, whilst the hunter is cunningly 
aAoided by it when doubling. After one of these hard chases, howcner, 
we have known the animal die from the fatigue it had undergone, or from 
having been overheated. We once saw one, which had been closely 
pressed by the dogs nearly all the afternoon, return to a thicket alter tlm 
hounds had been called olf and the sportHlinen had given up the vain ])ursuit. 
Next morning we ex;. mined the place to which it had retired, and to our 
surprise, discovered the hare sitting in its form, under a dwarlish, crooked, 
pine-bush; it was covered with snow and (piite dead. In this instance tie 
hare had no doubt been greatly overheat d by the race of the preceding 
day, as well as exhausted and terrilied; and the poor thing being in that 
eoiulition very suscei)tible of cold was probably chilled by tli(> night air 
and the falling snow, until its palpitating heart, gradually impelling the 
\ ital tluid with fainter and slower pulsufions, at length ceased its throb- 
biiigs liirever. 

Sometimes we have tound these Hares dead in the woods after tlie melt- 
ing of the sno\v in the Spring, and on examination we lt)uii(l they were 
entangled in portions of wire snares, frecpuMitly entwined round their 
necks, from which they had becMi unable to extricate themselves. 

This species when caughl alive cannot be taken into the hand like the 
gray rabbit, with impimiiy; the latter, when seized by the ears or hind- 
legs soon becomes (piiet and is harmless; but the Northern Hare strug- 
gles to escapt% and makes a formidable resistance with its teeth and nails. 
On one occasion a servant wiio was expert at catching tla^ gray rabbit in 
traps, came to us with a rueful countenance holding a hare in his hands, 
fxhibili;ig at the same time siiiidry severe scratcla^s he had received, 
showing us his torn clothes, and a jjlace on his leg which the animal 
had bitten, and decUnng that he had caught "a rabbit as cross as a 




.... W. asocruin,.,! it to 1... h Nortl.n-n 'I.n- i,. i,s suuunn- .l-ss. u.ul 

al.l>U l.y .s ....lour, I... .......inly ......iv..,! . ,.,..,,i,.:.l |,.ss..n i,. ,..uj 

history wlii.rl, |„. ,li,| „„,, ,,„„„ i;„.j,,,f. "'" 

A HviM, i„,livi.lual of sp^i.-s, wl.i.l. uv h:uv i„ Cl..,-I,.s.,,m in 
H u mully .l..,M..Hl..,.U..d stal.., C,,- ,1... ,„„•,„.., ..f tryi... to us...,.,.i,. th., 
ef ...M ol ,. u-,.m. .•Ii.nato on its^r.s ol' coicm-, is particularly cross 
wl..n app.....|.,.„ I., , ,„,,„„, ,, ,,,,,.^ ,^ ,, ^^,^; y -- 

.n....r wul. ahnost a .rowl. an.l is witl. its da.s an,| l,U U^L 
^.<sn.^., „,.l in(li..t a w..m..l .>,. tl.o person who has arons... itslro. 
When thus ..x..,,,.,l it n-M.i„,|..,| us hy i,s attitu.h,s ..C .n an^ry raco..n. 

11- .sl<... o. ,h,. ,N.,r,h..n. ir.n... is so tcn.lnr an.I easily torn, an.l the fur 
>s so apt I., he spoiled and drop olF on l.ein^r |,,„,,|,.,,, „,„ j, j^ ,,i^,.^^,,,^ ^^ 
prepnr,. p..rleet specimens Cor ihe naturalist's ..ahinet, The p.dt is not in 
.m.d. r..., au..,n^ ,1,.. an.l is,l..,l l.y the as' of 

•"'' ^'"'•"■- ".e lun,I-i;...t, however, are used l.y the latfr in a part of 
the process 1^ whi..h the soli, ^h.ssy, surlaee is i„.parte<l to his i;U,ric 
Htid answer the of a sol't liat-hriish. 

<!i;oouArin(\i, [.isTRiiimoN. 

This species ,s Ibun.l in portions ..f th.. IJrilish possessions, ns (-tr as the 
s.Kty-e..hth paralhd of .X..r,h la.i.u.le. ,t is, h...v,.ve, confined to the 
l-.'.stern portn.n ,.l our C.,nlin,.nt; U„;„Aunso.v. who represents it as "a 
"""""••" ■•""'""I '■'• on,. ,.x,r,.M,i.y of ,he Contin,.nt to the other," se.-tns 
^lw,ve nustnl..,. lor it nn..,h..r sp,.ei..s which replaces it on the North 
VVest c..ast. Althouuh it ,l,...s not ran,., as li-.r to the Xorth as th.. 
oh.r hnre, ,t .s deci.l...||y . X,.,,,.,,., species; it is ioun.l at 
l^.^. m ^ew(.,un,Ihu.d, Canndn, al! the New-Mn.lan.I States, and i.. th,. 
>...Hh,.rn por.,..ns ..f X.,w.Vorlc, h.nnsylvania, and Old... M... ,,.,„,,,,, 

» the Northern par ol Vn.,ini,.. I..,. ...^ ,.', wh,.re it i.a.l never before 
-"'>'-.•-.. ,y t ,. inh.l.itants. ().. seeKin. ,or it aHerwanls in the 
N.calMy irotn wluch h.- ohtain,..! it, we unsuceesslul, an.l w,. at-e in- 
^^clU.hehevethatitiso.dy oceasionnlly that some strn..l..r 
80 f. u South a,n.,n,. these mountains, and that its South,.rn liuwl .nav I.,, 
set down at about .10°. • 

I • "l« 


The history of this Hare has been att..,r,,t..d from time to time by 
.. i.Iv und recent travellers and naturalists, an.l m.,st of ,h,.i,. accounts of 



it lire only sou ccs (f iicri'lexity, and .-ulditional (liinciilti«!S in the way of 
the naturalist of the present day. Stran<,'e mistakes were connnitted by 
some of those who wrote on the subjeet, from I'bnnant down to, 
GoD.MA.v, and others still later; and one error appears to have led to anolher. 
until even the ideality of the species meant to be described by diti'erent 
authors, was finally involved in an almost inextricable web of em- 

Ag iar as we liavc been able to ascertain, the Northern Hare was 
first noticed l)y Sagard Tiikodat, (Hist, de Canada,) in lOaO, Kalm, (who 
tra\. lied in America from 1718 to 17.-)I, and whose work was published in 
the Swedish languaf,'e, and soon after translated into German and Enj;lish,) 
speaks of this species as follows :—" Hares are likewise said to be plen- 
tifid even in Hudson's Bay, and they are abundant in Canada, where 
I have often seen, and found them perfectly corresponding,' witfi our 
Swedish hares. In sununer they have a brownish-^^ray, and ir. wititer a 
snowy-white colour, as with us." (Kalm's Travels, &c., vol. ii., p. 45. 
English translation.) 

'J'his judicious and intellifrent traveller, undoubtedly here referred to the 
Northern Hare. He supposed it to be idei- ical with the Al|)ine or vari- 
able Hare, {fjrjJiis variabilis,) which is found in Sweden and other North- 
ern countries of Europe. That species is a little larj^'er than the North- 
ern Hare, and the tips of its ears are black; but allh()U',di it i^: a distinct 
sj.ecies, it so nearly resend)les the latter, that several authors, Gouman not 
excepted, were induced to reifard these two species as identical. Kalm, 
(see vol. i., p. lOa, Eng. trans.,) whilst he was in the vicinity of Philadel- 
phia, where the Northern Hare never existed, gave a correct account of 
another species, the American gray rabbit, which we v/ill notice more 
in detail when we describe that animiil. It is very evident that in these 
two notices of American hares, Kai.m had reference to two distinct spe- 
cies, and that he pointed out those distinctive^ marks by which they are 
.sejjarated. If subsequent authors confounded the two species, and created 
confusion, their errors evidently cannot be owing to any fault of the emi- 
nent Swedish traveller. 

The first sjiecimcMis of the Northern Hare that appeared in Europe, 
.were sent by the servants of thi' Hudson's IJay Company to England in 
1771, (se(^ IMiil. Trans., vol. Ixii., p. i;j.) There were four specimens in 
the collgclion, exliihiting the various gradations of colo-v. \v addition to 
these, a living animal of the same sju'cies was received nl out the same 
time. pro])ably by the ssme ship. It was brou-ht to the notice of the 
Philosoi)hical Society, in a letter from the Hon. Daises Barrinc.ton, read 
lOth .lanuary, 1772. This letter is interesting, since it gives us some idea 



01 he state of natural science in England, at that early .lay. The ani- 
"-1 -.1 lor .so,„e ti„,e remained alive, but had died in the previous n1 
vend,..,.. I, ha.l at that time already changed its sun.rher'colou an^ 
become nearly whUe. It was i.Un,, in order to ascertain whether il was 
a hare or a rabbit, as according to U.v. i," the llesh was brown it was a 
.re d , ... ,„, ,, ^^,^^,^, ^^ „^ ^^^^^.^_^ ^^__^^ ^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^ w.. 

d ti.ire. 1 tie test was stran'^e enmitrl, K„f » i,„ ■ • 

, ,, ,, , 'Mi.uipc (nougii, but the conclusion was correct 

fn May 01 .he same yea, J. R. Fo.srKi, Es.,, F. U. S., describ d h " 
among twenty qua.lrupeds, th.t had been sent Irom Hudson's U.y j^l 
«.vmg an account of. he manner in which it was captured bv s,uu.s hkI 
". H-ass wire an.l pack thread, he designates its size as " bigger tha the 
-bi^it. but less than the Alpine hare." In this he was :;nte c J^ 
e hen goes on to show that its hind-feet are longer in n-opor.ion t o 
'he body than those of the rabbit an.I common hare. Sec L iinal 
speaks of its habits, and here his first error occurs Ka m's ! 
of /.,,„ ,i:fn„.„„f • occurs. IVALM 8 accounts 

ol .« di I,.,, nt s^ were supposed by him u, refer to one species only 
aid whdst .he No,.,hern Hare was ./e.vo.W-some o the /l/^ol n! 
American gray rabbit were incorrectly referred to it. 

As. however, FoHsTER gave it no specific name and his description on 
the whole was but a loose one, it was lelt, to another naturalist to give 
It a .scientidc appellation. ^ 

1.1 1777, EUX1.KBK.V gave the first scientific description of it. and named it 
Lr,us A..nconus. ScuKKn.u, (as we are prepared .o show in our article 
on /.,>«.v s,I,-ancus;) published an account of it immediately afterwards 
"lider the name of Le/;«.v n«„«,v. ^ iti warns, 

This deseriplion, as may easily be seen, was principally taken from 
F-asi... Sai^rK. about the same period, and P....s in 1778, under th" 
name o L. m,lson>c,., r.nd Pk..... in 1780, under that of .l.J.W^W 
followed each other in quick succession. 

In GMnu.'s L,xx.K,., (1788,) it is very impern-ctly described in one 

N t u u "" "'^'"" ^"^'"' "" "-''"' "•■ ^— i» ^ivino. to the 
Northern Hare the habits of ,l.e American gray rabbit 

In .he work of De^,.hkst, (Mammalogie, ou description des especes de 
Mammi.eres p. ...., Pari, 18.0,) a description is given of "Esp'l.ievr 
J Am^nque, .pus Ameneanus." This, howc-ver, instead of beL a de! 
senp,„.n ol ,he .rue L. AnrrHcanu. of all previous authors, i. n most nnr 
|-lars a pn.„y good description of our .my rabbit. IT.k,...v. who ^d.- 

''^'■■••''ly. ••-,. ,o us (aults, (see Fauna Americana, p. 100.) Havin. thu^. 
erroneously disposed of the gray rabbit under the name of L. A:eriZ 
nus. .he .rue Upas Amrrirnaus was named bv him /. Vh.^i,„„nu.. ' The 

I ' 



fdllowiiii? yc.'ir, Dr. Gouman «:avr a dcsciiplio of the Northern Hare, rp* 
ftri'iiijjf it to tin- livpus laiitibilis of Eiiropr! 

AfliM' Dr. liit'iiAKi»s()N'.s return from his pcrihnis journey through the 
Polar regions, he jjrepared in Eiiy;hin(l his vahiahii- Fauna Boreali Ameri- 
cana, whicii was puljlished in IS-JJ). Spoeinieiis hiixlled L. AiiKiieonun 
of Ei(xi.i'.i!i;s, wert! still in the IJrilish Museum, and he puhlisln.'d (h'scrip- 
tions of iiis own speeimeiis under that name. The gray rahhit did not 
ct»me w'thin tlie range of liis iiivestigaticms, hut liaving received a hun- 
ter's skill from tin; vieiiiity of i'le Columhia river, he supposed i*^ to he 
the L \ ir^inioniis iA', and (h-scrihed it under that name. This 
skill, however, lias since proved to i)elong to a dill'erenl species; thr 
Northern liare not heiiig lound in the regions hordering that river. 

In 1887, liaving several new sjieeies of llarc to descrihe, we began lo 
look into this suhject, and ench'avoured to correct tlie errors in regard tc 
the speeu's, that had crept into the works of various authors. 

We had not seen J'wixi.r.nKN's work, and supposing that the species were 
correctly designated, we puiilished our views of the hahhs, &c., of the 
two species, (whose identity and proj)er cognomen we hrve, we hope, 
just estalilished.) under the old names of L. Virgiiihniiis and //. Amrri- 
cdHiis, (see .lour, ol' Acad, of Nat. Sciences of Phila., vol. vii., pi. -J. p. 
28-2.) 'I'he article had scarcely heen printed, before we obtained a copy 
of Eiixi.K.HEN, and we immediately perceived and corrected the errors that, 
had \H'vn committed, giving the Northern Hare its correct name, L. Amcri- 
riitius, and ])estowiiig on the gray rahhit, which, through the mistakes 
we have already dc^scrihed had been left without any name, that ot 
Lcpiis si/lcalicns, (.Tour. Acad. Nat. Sciences of Phil., vol. vii., p. 103.) 
'file reasons for this arrangement were given in our remarks on the 
genus Lra-L-s, in a subscciueiit i)aper, (.Tour. Acad. Sc, vol. viii.. pi. 1, 
p. Tf).) ^vllere we characterized a number of additional new spec , In 
181-,>, Dr. Di:kav, (sec Nat. Hist, of New- York, p. yr>,) acceding to this ar- 
rangenu>nt of the Northern Hare under the specific name of Z. Amcricanits, 
remarks, "This Hare was first vaguely indicated T)y Ekxleden in 1777." 
in a spirit of great fairness, however, that author's original description 
was nulilished at the foot of the article. 

In Older to set this matter at rest, remove this speqies from the false 
position ill which it has so long stood, and give its first describer the 
credit to which he is entitled, we will here insert the description above 
alluded to. 

" Le])us Ainericamis, L. caiida abbreviata; pedibus posticis corpore 
limidio longioribus ; aiii'lcidarinn caudoque apieibus :;riseis. 

"Die Haseii— Kai,'.!. IIikUoii's Ha> 'iuidiuii.. I'. akiuncjion, Phil. Tran'v 



vol. Ixu., p. 370. Maxnitudine mcdius inter L. cuniculum et timidum AI- 
pmmn, (sc. L. timuhis, Forstsr. Phil. Trans, vol. Ixii., p. 37r,.) Auricu- 
lanmn et; apices pcrpetuo prisei _ I'e.les p„,stici lon^iores qi,„rn 
..1 L. t.m.,1., et cuniculo, color j^riseo-fuscus ; Hieme in IriKidioribu. 

"Habitat in America boreali ad fretuin Iludsoni copiosissimus noctur- 
nus Non f.Bdit, de-it sub arborum ra.licibus, inque cavis arboribus 
Pant bis vel seinel in; piillos .,uin(,ue ad septeni; caro bona, colore 
L. tiniidi." 

In great deference, we would submit whether tlie above is not moro 
than a " ougue mdiction " of a species. To us it appears a tolerably full 
descnpion for the era in which the author lived and considering the 
few spi'cies of Hare then known. 

There were at that early period but three Hares with which natural- 
ists were familiar:— A. Ihnidas, the com-^ion European Hare; /^. varinhilis 
the variable Hare ; and L cuniculus, the European burrowing rabbit. With 
these Erxlkiikv compares this species in size and colour. With the excep- 
tion of one of the habits he mentions, this description appears to us ere- 
ditable to him. There have been many occasions, when, perplexed in -uess- 
ing at the species intended to be described by old authors, (the Father'of na- 
tural history, LiNN.Eus himself, not excepted,) we would havi hailed a de- 
scription like this, as a light in darkness. The species Erxlebev h.;d in view 
cannot \w. mistaken ; he dc^scribes it very correctly as " magnkudhir '..cdins 
inter L. cuniculum rt limidum Alpinum." Our American gray ra))bit, in- 
stead of being intermediate between L. cuniculus and the Alpine hare is 
smaller than either. " Pedes postici longiores qwun in L. timido et ami. 
culo." Tile long hind-feet are distinctive marks of the Northern Fare ; 
but those of our gray rabbit are much shorter than those of /.. timidus or 
common hare of Europe. " Hione in frigidioritms alhus." Or, gray rab- 
bit, contrary to the assertion of most authors, does not become white in 
winter in any latitude. '^Habitat in America boreali ad /return Hudsoni 
copiosissimus." Dr. llioiiARnsov, and every Northern traveller with whom 
we have conversed, have assured us that our gray rabbit does not exist at 
Hudson's Bay, where the Northern Hare is quite abundant, and where 
that and the Polar hare, (the last named species existing still further 
North,) are the only species to be found. We havo examined and com- 
pared the original specimen described by Dr. Richardson, and also those in 
the British Museum that have successively replaced the specimens first 
sent to England, and find that they all belong to this species. In fact 
our gray rabbit is very little known in England or Scotland; since after 
an examination of all the principal Museums in those countries we met 



with but. two specimens, one of which was not named, and the other war* 
not improperly labelled, "Lepus Americanus Harlan, non Erxleben." 
The rigid rule of priority will always preserve for the Northern Hare 
the name of L. Americanus, whilst L. nanus, L. Hudsonicus, and L. Vir- 
ginianus, must be set down merely as synonj mes 




fnctsive -; .]folar — =10 

Lower incisors, sharp-pointed, and convex in front; molars, with flat 
crowns, furnished with scaly transverse zig-zag lamina. Fore-feet with 
lour toes and the rudiment of a thumb; hind-feet, with five toes the 
edges furnished with stiff hairs, which assist the animal in swimming in- 
stead of the feet being palmated or webbed; hind-toes, slightly palmated. 
J ail, long, compressed, granular, nearly naked, having but a few scattered 
hairs. Glands, near the origin of the tail, which secrete a white, musky 
and somewhat offensive fluid. Mamma3 six, abdominal. 

This genus differs from the Arvicol^ in its dentition; the first inferior 
molar has one point more than the corresponding tooth in the latter, and 
all the molars acquire roots immediately after the animal becomes an 
adult. We have fre.juently heard complaints made by students of natu- 
ral history, of the difficulties they had to encounter at the very outset 
from the want of accuracy and uniformity in the works of authors when 
seating the characters by which thoy defined the genera they established. 
J lie justness of these complaints may be well illustrated by examining the 
accounts of the present genus as given by several well-known writers 

Iluher says it has four molars on each side, (UtHnqui quaterni,) 
see Prodromus systematis mammaliarum et avum, making in all twenty 
teeth W.r..=MAN and Rutme have given the same dental arrangement, 
see ILuulbu,.]. der Zoologic, Berlin, 1832. F. CirvrEH, who has been fol- 
lowed by most authors, has given it-Incisive |; Canine J~f, = sixteen 
teelh. Giuvvvm, Animal Kingdom, vol. iii., p. 10(5, describes it as having- f ; Cnnin,^ ^-i zz twenty teeth; and in his synopsis of the spe- 
c.-s of mammalia, (sp. 53- ) its dental arrang.Mnent is thus characferized- f, f-f, Cheek-teeth, ^-.}. giving to it the extravagant 
number of twenty-eight teeth. This last statement is most probal)Iv 
only a typogrnphical error. A correct examination and description of 
»I.e teeth „f this genus re.,uires a eonsidernble degree of labour, besides 
great attention an<l .-are. as they are pla,-e.l so close to e.ieh other that 
without a good magnifying glass it is diincult fo find the lines ..f ^enara- 

,.. I 




lion, and almost impossible to ascertain their number witliout extracting 
them one by one. 

The descriptions and figures of their dental arrangement, by Bl on 
CuviER and F. Cuvier, are correct : see Ondatras, dents des mammiteres, 
pi. 53, p. 157, and Ilecherches sur les ossemens Ibssiles, t. 5, p. 1. 

Ii.liger's generic name, Fiber, is derived from the Latin word, Fiber, a 
beaver. There is only one species described as belonging to this genus. 


Mi;sk-Rat. — MusauASH. 

PLATE XIII — Old, and Yolno. 

F. supra, rufo-fuscus; subtus cinereus; Leporem sylvaticum magni- 
tudine sub sequans. 


General colour, reddish-brown above, cinereous beneath ; about the size of 
the American gray rabbit. 


MussAscus, Smith's Virginia, 1620. (Pinkerton's Collection of Voyages and 

Travels, vol. xiii., p. 31.) 
Rat Musque, Sagaid TJieodat, Canada, p. 771. 
Castou ZinnTiucis, Linn. Nat., xii. ed., vol. 1, p. 79. 
L'Ondatua, Button, Tom 10, p. 1. 
MusKRAT, Lawson, Carolina, p, 120. 
Musk Bkavkk, Pcnnunt, Arc. Zool., vol. i., p. 106. 
Musquash, Iluarne, Journey, p. 379. 
Mus ZiDKTincus, Linn., Gmel., vol. i., p. 126. 
FiiiKK ZiDETiiicMs, Sahim, Franklin's Journey, p. 65'J. 
Musk Hat, Godnian'.s Nat. Hist., d. 58. 
O.SDAHiiiA, Huron Indians. 
MusiiUAsii, Watsuss, or Waiiuhk; the animal that sits on the ico m a round 

form. Cree Indians, (ilichardson.) 


Body, of a nearly cylindrical shape, resembling that of the Norway 
rat. Head, short: nrck, very short, and iiidislinct ; legs, shorf ; thigh? 

If . 4 


" s 





















i I; 

! 1 ,'M] 


ii \ ' 
K 1 ! 



hid in the body. Tail, two-thirds the length of the body, compressed, 
convex on the sides, thickest in the middle, tapering to an acute point 
at the extremity ; covered with small scales, which are visible through 
the thinly scattered hairs. Incisors, large ; upper ones, a little rounded 
anteriorly without grooves, truncated on the cutting edge ; lower ones, 
a little the longest; nose, thick, and obtuse; whiskers, moderate in 
length, seldom reaching beyond the ear; eyes, small, and lateral, nearly 
concealed in the fur; ears, short, oblong, covered with hair, and hidden 

by the fur. 

On the fore-legs, the wrist and fingers only are visible beyond the 
body, they are covered with a short shining coat of hair. 

The thumb has a conspicuous palm, and is armed with a nail, as 
long as the adjoining finger nails. Hind-legs, as short as the fore-legs, 
so that the body when the animal is walking touches the ground. 

The hind-feet are turned obliquely inwards, and at first sight remind us 
of the foot of a duck. The two middle toes may be called semi-palm- 
ated and there is also a short web between the third and fourth toes. 
The' margins of the soles, and toes, are furnished with an even row of 
rigid hairs, curving inwards ; under-surface of feet, naked; claws, coni- 
cal, and slightly arched. 

The whole body is clothed with a short, downy, fur, intermixed with 
longer and coarser hairs. In many particulars the skin resembles that of 
the beaver, although the fur is far less compact, downy and lustrous. 


Fur on the upper parts a third longer than beneath ; from the roots 
to near the extremities, bluish-gray, or lead-colour, tipped with brown; 
on the under surface it is a little lighter in colour, and the hairs are 
tipped with brownish-gray. This species, when viewed from above, ap- 
pears of a general dark-brown colour, with a reddish tint visible on the 
neck, sides, and legs; chin, throat, and under-surface, grayish-ash; tail, 
dark-brown. Incisors, yellow; naila, white. The colour of this animai 
so much resembles that of the muddy banks on which it is frequently 
seated, that we have oi\en, when looking at one from a little distance, 
mistaken it for a lump or clod of earth, until it moved. 


Length of head and body 

" of tail - 
From heel to longest nail 
Heinlil of ear 

15 inches. 
10 do. 
3 do. 

i do. 

» I 





Reader ! if j'ou are a native of, or have sojourned in any portion, almost, 
of our continent, and have interested yourself in observing the " beasts of 
the fiijlri ' in our woods or along our streams, to the slightest degree, you 
have probably often seen the Musk-llat; or should you have been confined 
to the busy marts of commerce, in our large cities, you may even there 
have seen his sirin, and thouglit it a beautiful fur. It is, in fact, when 
the animal is killed in good season, superior to very many other 
materials lor making hfuccr (?) hats, as well as for other purposes, and 
thousands of Musk-Rat skins are annually used in the United States, 
while still greater numbers are shipped to Europe, principally to Great 

This species is nocturnal, and consequently its manners and customs 
cannot be correctly ascertained from the occasional glimpses of it which 
we obtain by day-light, as it may chance to pass rapidly through the 
water seeking to conceal itself under the root of some large tree project- 
ing into the deep pool, or as it dives suddenly to the mouth of its hole 
under the shelter of the steep or over-hanging bank of the stream, into 
which it hastily retires when our appearance has alarmed it. 

We have often, in the Northern part of the State of New- York, or on the 
Schuylkill, or near FrankforJ, in Pennsylvania, gone during the day to 
look for and observe these aniinals, 1o places where we knew they 
abounded; but allhough we might patiently wait for hours, with book in 
hand to beguile the time, we could rarely see one, and should one appear, 
it was only for an instant. But at such places, so soon as the last raj-s of 
the setting sun have ceased to play upon the smooth water, and when 
the last bright sparkling tints he has thrown as a " farewell till to-mor- 
row," u])on rock tree and floweret, are succeeded by the deep quiet gray 
of twilight ; th{! placid surface of the stream is agitated in every direction, 
many a living crcriture emerges from its diurnal retreat and may be 
observed in full activity above or beneath the water, and first to 
appear is the ]\Iusk-l{at — wiiich may perchance dart out from un- 
derneath the very old slum]) on which we have been so patiently 
seated ! We are perhaps startled by an unexpected noise and plash 
—and two seconds alter, up (M)mes the head of the animal to the 
surface, at least (iv(^ y.'irds oil'— and, if we happen not to be observt^d, 
we may look on, and si(^ him swimming meiTily with his eompa- 
tiions, or seeking his '• lircaki'ast," for his day has just begun I 

Willi] we wcrt' about scvetiteen years of age, we resided on our 



rarm, " Mill-Grove," situated at the confluence of the Schuylkill river 
and the Perkiominj? creek. 

On the latter, above a mill-dam which then existed, there was an 
island divided from the shore on the southerly side by a small channel not 
more than twenty-five or thirty feet in widlh, in which wc had occa- 
sionally observed Musk-Ilats swimming. Having a friend at our house 
for a few weeks, wc one evening perf^uaded him to accompany us to this 
•spot, with the view of procuring a few of these animals. Accordinglj-, 
after due preparation we made our way toward the creek. We ap 
proached the bank quietly, and seated ourselves on some moss-covered 
stones without disturbing the silence of the night, the only interruption 
to which was the gentle ripple of the pure stream, which, united with 
the broader Schuylkill, still flows onward, and conveys to the now great 
city of Philadelphia, that inestimable treasure pure water. Here then we 
waited, long and patiently— so ,ong, that our companion became restless, 
said that he would like to smoke a cigar, and accordingly lighted a 
"fragrant Havana." We remained watching, but saw no Musk-Rats 
that evening, as these cunning animals no doubt observed the light 
at the end of my friend's cigar. We have since that tune known many a 
sportsman lose a shot at a fine buck, by indulging in this relaxation, while 
at a "stand," as it is generally term.Hl. To return to our Musk-Rats, we 
went home disappointed, but on the next evening proceeded to the sa-me 
spot, and in less than an hour shot three, which we secured. Next day 
we made a drawing of one of them, which was afterwards lost. We 
have now in our possession only two drawings of quadrupeds made by us 
at this early period; one of which represents the American otter, and 
the other a mink. They were drawn with coloured chalks and crayons, 
and both are now quite rubbed and soiled, like ourselves having suffered 
somewhat from the hand of time, and the jostling we have encountered. 
We have sometimes, when examining or describing one of our well- 
known animals, allowed ourselves to fall into a train of thought as we 
turned over the pages of some early writer, which carried us back to the 
period of the discovery of our country, or still earlier explorations of 
wild and unknown regions. We have endeavoured to picture to our- 
selves the curiosity eagerly "indulged, the gratified hopes, and the various 
other feelings that must have filled the minds of the adventurous voyagers 
that first landed on AiwERrcA's forest-margined coast. What were their 
impressions on seeing the strange objects that met their eyes in all 
dir.>ctions? what thought they of the inhabitants they mot with? and 
what were their ideas on seeing birds and quadrupeds' hitherto unheard 
of and unknown ? The most indifferent or phlegmatic temperament 





must have been aroused, and the traveller, whatever his profession — 
whether soldier, sailor, trader, or adventurer — at such times, doubtless, 
would pause for awhile, conceal himself, and noiselessly observe the 
strange movements of the wonderful creature he has just for the first 
time seen — lor all the Creator's works are wonderful — and it is only be- 
cause we behold many of them continually, that we tinally cease to 
marvel at the conformation of the most common domesticated species. 

Something in this way were our reflections directed while turning 
over the pages of Cnpt'^in John Smith, whose life was preserved by 
the fair and heroic Pocahontas. This gallant soldier was, as well as 
we can learn, the first person who gave any account of the Musk-lta(. 
His "General History of A^irginia, New England, and the Summer Isles," 
was published in London, in 1024, folio ; he styles himself, "sometime 
Governor in thoso CountrieM, and Admiral of New England." 

Smith, in this account of Virginia, &c., says of this animal — "A Mus- 
sascus is a beast of the form and nature of our water-rat, but many of 
them smell exceedingly strong of musk." 

La Hontan, in a letter dated Boucherville, May, 1687, (see Trav. in 
Canada,) says — " In the same place we killed some Musk-Rats, or a sort of 
animals which resemble a rat in their shape, and are as big as a rabbit. 
The skins of these rats are very much valued, as differing but little from 
those of beavers." He goes on to describe the manner in which the " strong 
and sweet smell " of musk is produced ; in which he so much betrays his 
ignorance of natural history, that we will not expose the vulgar error by 
repeating it here. But if one Frenchman of the 17th century committed 
some errors in relating the habits of this species, another, early in the 
18th, (1725,) made ample amends, by giving us a scientific description of 
its form, internal structure, and habits, that would do cred't *u the most 
careful investigator of the present day. This accompli h>,d naturalist 
was Mons. Sarrasin, King's Physician at Quebec, and correspondent of 
the Y'^^^^-Sa Academy ; in honour of whom Linn^us named the genus 
Surrasenia. He dissected a number of Musk-Rats, described the animal, 
gave an account of the " follicles which contain the perfume," and noted 
its habits. 

To this intelligent physician, Buffon was principally indebted for the 
information which enabled him to draw up his article on the Canadian 

In 1789, Kalm, (Beschreibung der Reise nach den^ Noerdlichcn Ame- 
rica;) gives a very correct account of the characteristics and habits of 
this Species. 

Musk-Rats are lively playful animals when in their proper element 



tl '• Nvatrr, and many of them may be occasionally seen disporting on a 
calm ni-ht in some mill-j ond or deep sequestered pool, crossing and re- 
crossing in .very direction 1, aving long ripples in the water behind them 
whilst others stand ibr a few moments on little knolls or tnfrs of grass or 
on stones or logs, on which they can get footing above the water, or' on 
the banks of the pond, and then plunge one after another into the water; 
a. 'imes, one is seen lying perfectly still on the surface of the pond or 
stream, with its body widely spread out, and as flat as it can be. Sud- 
denly it gives the water a smart (lap with its tail, somewhat in the man- 
ner of the beaver, and disappears beneath the surface instantaneously- 
going down head Ibremost-and reminding one of the quickness and ease 
with A'hich some species of ducks and grebes dive when shot at. At the 
distance of ten or twenty yards, the Musk-Rat comes to the surface again, 
and perhr ps joins its companions in their sj.orts; at the same time others 
are feeding on the grassy banks, dragging off the roots of various kinds of 
plants, or digging underneath the edge of the bank. These animals thus 
seem to Ibrm a little community of social playful creatures, who only re- 
quire to be unmolested in order to be happy. Should you fire off a Ibvvl- 
ing-piecc whilst the Musk-Ilats are thus occupied, a terrible fright and 
dispersion ensues— dozens dive at the flash of the gun, or disappear in 
their holes; and although in the day-time, when they see imperfectly, they 
iiiay be shot whilst swimming, it is exceedingly difficult to kill one at 
night. In order to insure success the gunner must be concealed, so that 
the animal cannot see the flash, when he fires even with a percussion lock. 
The burrows and houses of this species are not constructed on such ad- 
mirable architectural jjrincijjles as those of the beaver, but are, neverthe- 
less, curious, and well-ad;ii)ted for the residence of the animal'. Having 
enjoyed o])portunitics of examining them in several portions of the North- 
ern States, and having been present when hundreds of Musk-Rats were 
taken, either by digging them out or catching them in traps, we will 
endeavour to describe their nests, and the manner in which the hunt- 
ers generally proceed in ortler to procure the animals that are in 

I«i diirerent localities the Musk-Rat has very opposite modes of 
constructing it; winter domicil. Wlicre there are overhanging clayey 
or loamy banks along tlu; stream or pond, they form a winter retreat 
ni the side of the bank, with openings under the water, and their gal 
leries run sometimes to the distance of fifteen or twenty yards from 
the shore, inclining upward, so as to be above the influence of thf 
high watei-s on the breaking up of th(! i(;e in spring, or during freshets. 
There are usually three or four entran(;es from under the water, which 



all, however, unite at a point some disfanoe from tlie water, ami sti'.' 
ficiently hi<,'li to he secure from imuulation, wliere there is a pretty large 
excavation. In this "central hall" we have seen nests that would fill a 
husliel l)asket. They were composed of decayed plants and grasses, prin- 
cipally sed<,'e, {t'firc.r,) the leaves of the arrow-head, (S(i:,ntt(iria,) and the 
pond-lily, {Nymplucit.) They always contained several dried sticks, some 
of them more than a foot in lenf^th; these were sometimes arranged along 
the sides, but more frequently on the top of the nests. From these nests 
there are several galleri(!s extending still farther from the shore ; into the 
latter the animals retreat, when, after having bei a prevented from .e- 
turning to the water, by stoppi-".' the entrances, they arc disturbed in 
their chamber. Sometimes we hi. -^ found their subterranean f'.rong- 
holds leading into others by transverse galleries. These were never so 
far beneath the surface as those of the fox, marmot, or skunk. On pass- 
mg near the burrows of the INlusk-liat, there is always sutRcient evidence 
of their existence in the vicinity: the excrement of the animal, re- 
sembling that of the Norway rat, l)eing deposite<l around, and paths that 
they have made through the rushes and a(|uatic plants, that grow in thick 
prolusion in the inunediafe neighbourhood, being easily traced ; but it is 
not so easy to discover the eiil ranees. The latter are always under the 
water, and usually where it is deepest near the shore. When the Musk- 
Uat is about to retire to its hole, it swims 4o within a few feet of the 
sliore, and then dives suddenly and enters it. If you are standing on the 
bank directly above the mouth of the hole, the rumbling noise under your 
feet, if ycu listen attentively, will inform you that it has entered it.s bur- 
row. It seldom, however, immediately retreats far into its hole, but has 
small excavations and resting-places on the dry ground a little beyond the 
reach of the water. 

'{"here are occasionally very differently constructed nests of the Musk- 
Rat ; we have seen some of them, in the town of Clinton Dutchess coun- 
ty, and along the margins of swamps in the vicinity of Lake Champla^n, 
in the State of New-York ; and others in several localities in Canada 
A pond supplied chiefly if not entirely by sj.iings and surrounded by low 
and marshy ground, is preferred by the Musk-llats; tbey seem to be aware 
that the spring-water it contains, probably will not be solidly frozen, and 
there they prepare to pass the winter. Such a place, as you may well 
imagine, cannot without great difficulty be approached until its boggy 
anfl treacherous foundation has been congealed by the hard frosts and the 
water is frozen over; before this time the Musk-Rats collect coarse 
grasses and mud, with whi(;li, together with sticks, twigs, leaves, and any 
thing in the vicinity that will serve their |)urpose, <liey raise their li'iit- 




houses from two to four feet above the wa^er the entrance being always 
from below. W. h..,ve (re,,uently opened th, se nests and found in tho 
centre a, lryc-nnf,„.,able bed of «rass, sumcicutly lar^e to accommodate 
several ol ihrni. '.»^hen the ponds are frozen over, and a sli-d.t fall of 
snow .-ovirs the cround, these ediliees resemble small hay-cocks There 
.^ ano.her peculiarity thai, it appears to us, indicates a greater degree of 
u. Hh,..nce m the Musk-Kat ,han we are usually disposed to award to it. 
The annnal secn.s to know that the ice wiu cover the pond in winter, and 
tl>.«t il It has no places to which it can resort to breathe, it will be suffb- 
catrd. Hence you hers and there see what are called breathing places 
Ih. se are coyered ovc-r with mud on the sides, with some loose grass in 
the oentre to preserve them from b.-ing too easily frozen over. We have 
occasionally seen these winter-huts of the Musk-Rat, in the vicinity of 
then- snug summer retreats in some neighbouring rivers bank, and have 
somet.mes been half ...clined to suppose, that for some cause or other 
they gave a preference to this kind of residence. We are not, however 
aware that these nests are maJ.e use ol' by i..e Musk-Rat in spring for 
Ihe purpose of rearing its young. We believe these animals always for 
that purpose resort to holes in the sides of ponds, sluggish streams, 
or dykes. ' 

In such situations we have frequently observed the young, which when 
Ihey hrst make their appearance are seon emerging from a side gallery 
leading to the surface, so that they are not of necessity obliged to "take 
a dive" until they have had a little ac<,uaintance with the liquid ele- 
ment. The, are at this time very gentle, and we have on several occa- 
sions taken them up with the hand without their making any violent 
struggles to escape, or attempts to punish us with their teeth. 

The fur e. this .pecies was formerly a valuable articie of commerce, and 
IS stdl in some demand. But .since so many new inventions are supply- 
ing the public with cheap hats, and the Nutria skin has been ex^ensiyely 
introducul from South Am,>rica, the Musk-Rat is less sought after, and in 
some of our most thickly populate.l districts has greatly increased in 
tmmbers. The country-people, Tiowever, continue to destroy it to pre- 
vent its becoming so numerous as to cause loss, by making holes in the 
rnill-danis. embankments, or ditches, that happen to be inhabited by it and 
.-.llmving th(. water to flow through, .vh(-n frequently much mischief re- 
sults. The .AIusk-Raf has little of the cunning of the fox, the beaver or 
even the common Xorw.'.y rat. and may be easily taken in ahnost any kind 
ft trap; and although it is very proIiHc. it n.ight by proper attention be so 
thinned o(f in a single year as to cease to be a nuisance. A dozen com- 
mon rat-traps carefully a.ui ju.liciously attended to would go far toward 



reducing if not exterminating those pests in a small nei-hbourhood in 
the course of one or two seasons. The traps should be set in shallow wa- 
ter near the edge of the stream or pool, or on a log sunk about an inch 
under the water, witli a cord ten or twelve feet long so as to prevent 
Ihe animals irom running away with the traps when they have been 
caught; one or two slices of parsnips or sweet apples may i)e stuck upon 
small twigs so that they will hang about six inches above the traps. The 
animal, having evidently a good nose, whilst swimming at some little 
distance from the traps when thus set, suddenly turns as it scents the 
bait, swms along the shore toward it, and .caching up to seize it, 
is caught by the foot, and being of course greatly alarmed, jerks the 
trap off- the log or pulls it into the water, where the weight of the 
trap soon drowns it. The Musk-Rat also readily enters and is easily ta- 
ken in a box-trap, but it ought to be lined with tin or sheet iron, for 
its formidable incisors otherwise enable the animal to make its escape by 
gnawing a hole in the box. We have sometimes seen it taken between 
two boards in what is called a figure of 4 trap, with a heavy weight on 
the upper board. 

The following mode of hunting the Mi'sk-Rat frequently affords a con- 
siderable degree of amusement. A party is made up to go : a spade, an 
axe, and a hoe, are carried along, and .- spear, or in lieu of it, a pitch- 
fork ; in addition to these, a hoop-net is sometimes wanted, but what is 
most important, and regarded as a sine qua noii, is a dog accustomed to 
hunting these aquatic animals. The season which promises most suc- 
••ess in this way of hunting them is the autumn, before the heavy rains 
have swelled the waters. The party go to some sluggish stream that 
winds through a meadow or across a flat country where the banks are 
not so high as to render the "digging" that has to be done too laborious. 
The little islands which in such places rise but a few feet above the water, 
are sometimes perforated by the Musk-Rats, and th<>ir holes and exca- 
vations undermine them in a great dc-gree, so that it is difficult to (ind and 
stop all the mouths of these galleries, and thereby render success tolerably 
(•(■rtain. Rut as these are the very places in which the greatest number 
of these animals are to be found, it is (|nite imjwrtant to "invest" them. 
It is necessary to be very cautious in diggitig down along the batdis of 
these islets, in order to reach and stop up the holes, and it usually hap- 
pens that notwithstaiKling r\vv\ precaution is taken, the animals find 
some way to escape. \o sooner is their ancient domicil disturbed, than 
they issui- Ibrlh from their holes under the water, to seek some sall-r re- 
treat along the banks of the main-lar I; one after anotla-r is seen, alter- 
nately rising and diving, and making for the shore. ]f it is ascertained 



that it is not possible to prevent their escape, the hunters resolve to drive 
them all from the little islet. A hole is dug in the centre of the place, 
and the dog encouraged to go in; the few remaining Musk-llats, at this 
last and worst alarm, scamper out of the burrows wiili all haste, and the 
island is left in possession of the allied forces. All this time the hunters 
have been shar])ly looking out to observe to what spot the greatest num- 
ber of Musk-Kats have retired. They have marked the places in front of 
which Ihey were seen to dive, well knowing that they are closely con- 
cealed in some of the holes along the bank. The animals have now re- 
treated far up into their burrows, and are not very apt to make lor the wa- 
ter. The ground is struck with a stick in different places, and where a 
hollow sound is heard, the hunters know there is an excavation, and at 
once dig down to it. In th: way several holes are found, and are suc- 
cessively stopped to prevent the ivlurn of the i\Iusk-Rats to the water 
The digging is then continued till the biuiters reach the nest, which be- 
ing laid open, is entered by the dog, in order that the sagacious animal 
may ascertain the galh-ry into which the Musk-Rats have retired, as a 
last resort. The digging is seldom fatiguing, as the holes run very' near 
the surface. A net to catch them is now placed at the hole, or in "lieu ol 
It, a man stands with a spear touching the mouth of it, placing his foot im- 
mediately behind the spear. As the Rat attempts to rush out, the weapon 
IS driven into its neck. Thus these animals are killed one after another 
until the whole colony is destroyed; sometimes tlu'v are knocked on the 
h.'ad with a club, instead of being spean>d. In some places we have seen 
more than a dozen killed in one hole, and we have known upwards of 
frtty to be taken m this manner in a single day. 

When the Musk-Uats have gone to their winter huts among the marsh- 
es there IS another way of procuring them. The party go to the marshes 
when the ice is sullicie-itly strong to support a man. Thev proceed cmu- 
t.ously to their nests (the manner of building whi. h we hare alreadv de- 
scribed,) where the I{ats are snugly enseonsed in their warm beds, withia 
seven or eight inches of the top. A spear with lour pron^rs, ,bout as lon-^ 
ns those of a pitch-fork, is used upon the occasion. One of the men strikes 
th. spear into the nest with all the force he is capable of exerting, and 
'I !"■ un,,.„ds his business and knows where to strike, he is almost 
sure to ,>m one, if no, two or thr,-e, of the animals to the earth with one 
Mow. Another hunter .lands by with an axe to demolish the little umd 
habitation, and aid in securing the Musk-Rats which have been speared 
-y h.s ..ompanion. 1, often occurs that the water under the ice is shal- 
low and the nv transparent, in which case the animals may be seen mak- 
ng their way through the water, almost tom-hinL' the ice, :,e.d we have 



rii;(|ueiitly seen them stunned by a blow with the axe on the ice above 
th(nii, (in the manner in wiiich pike and other fish are sometimes killed 
in our rivere wlien they arc frozen over;) a hole is then cut in the ice, and 
they arc secured without diiliculty. The houses of the j\Iusk-Rats which 
have been broken up by the hunters are soon restored, the repairs coni- 
•ncnce the following night, and are usu;dly completed by morning! 

In regard to the food of the Musk-llat, our experience induces us to be- 
lieve, that like its congener, the house-rat, it is omnivorous. In 1813, we 
obtained two of this species when very young for the purpose of domesti- 
cating them, in order tliat we might study their habits. They became so 
perfectly gentle that they came at our call, and were frequently carried 
to an artificial fish-pond near the house, and after swimming about for 
an hour or two, they would go into their cage, which was left lor them at 
the water's edge. A few years ago, we received from Lee Allison, Esq., 
residing at Aikin, South C;irolina, one of this species in a box lined with 
tin. We have thus had 0]iportunities of ascertaining tlie kind of food to 
which they gave the ])referenee. AVe would, however, remark, that tlio 
food taken by an aiiimiU in continement is no positive evidence of what 
it would prefer Avhen left to its free clioice in the meadows, the brooks, 
and the tields it inhal)its in a state of nature. Their food in sunuiior 
consistri cliietly of grassci^, roots, and vegetaldes. We liave often watclicd 
them early in the morning, eating the young grass of the meadows ; they 
Boomed very fo:id. especially of the timothy, {Phhum j)Mf<n»\) and red- 
top, (vl_r//vw//,v,)'adeed, the few bunches of clover and other kinds of grass 
remaining in tlieir vicinity gave evidence that tlie Musk-Rats had been 
at work upon tliem. Tlie injury sustained l)y the farmer from these ani- 
nuUs, however, is by tlie destruction of liis enibaiikuients and the excava- 
tions through his meadows, made in constructing tlicir galleries, rather 
than from the loss of any quantity of grass or vegetables they may destroy ; 
although their de])redations are sometimes carried on to the great injury 
of vegetable gardens. 

An aequaintanct who a garden in the neighbourhood of a meadow 
which contained a huge number of Musk-Uats, sent one day to inquire 
wlictlicr we could aid hi discovering the robbers who carried off almost 
every night a (|iiantity of lurnips. We were surprised to find on exannn- 
ing the premises, that the garden h;i(l been plundered and nearly ruined by 
these Hats. There wen" paths extending from the imiddy baidis of the 
stream, winding among the raidv weeds and grasses, passing through the 
old worm I'ence, and leading to the various beds of vegetables. Many of 
the turnips had disappeared on the previous lught — the duck-lik«i tracks 
of the Musk-rats were seen on the beds in every direction. The jniths 



were strewn with turnip leaves, which either had dropped, or were bitten 
off to render the transportation more convenient. Their paths after en- 
ternig the meadow diverged to several burrows, all of which -ave evi, 
dence that their tenants had been on a foraging expedition on the pre- 
vious night. The most convenient burrow was opened, and we discovered 
in the nest so many ditlerent articles of food, that we were for some tune 
.nider an impression that like the chipping squirrel, chickaree, &c., this 
species laid up m autumn a store of food for winter use. There were 
carrots and parsnips which appeared to have been cut into halves, the 
lower part of the root having been left in the ground; but what struck us 
as most smgular was that ears of corn (maize) not yet quite ripe, had been 
dragged mto the burrow with a considerable portion of the stalk attached. 
Ihc corn-stalks then standing in the garden were so tall that the ears 
could not be reached by the Musk-Rats, and on examining the beds from 
which they had probably some days previously taken the corn we found 
m the burrow, we ascertained that the stalks had been gnawed off at 
the roots. 

Professor Lee, who resides at Buncomb, North Carolina, lately in- 
formed us that for several summers past his fields of Indian corn, which 
are situated near a stream frequented by Musk-Rats, have been -reatlv 
mjurod by their carrying off whole stalks at a time, every night for some 
weeks together. The above, however, are the only instances that have 
come to our knowledge of their doing any injury to the vegetable garden 
<.r to the corn-field, although this may probably be frequently the case 
where the fields or gardens skirt the banks of water-courses. 

These animals walk so clumsily that they seem unwilling 'to trust them, 
selves any cUstunce from the margin of the stream or dam on which they 
have taken up their residence. We have supposed, that a considerable 
portion of their food in tl.c Northern States in some localities, was the root 
ol the common arrow-head, (.SV>/'"vV/, .vr/;^/////J,/,V,,) as we have often ob- 
seryed it had been gnawe.l off, and have found bits of it at the mouths of 
then- holes AVo have also se.m of the common Indian turnip. 
{Annn tn,,h„Jhun.) whi,.], were cut off, portions of whi.-h, near the root 
<.|.|H".-.-ed to have been eaten. They also feed on the spice wood, (Luu. 
rns hnnon,.) ItiraAunsux says, "they feed in the Northern districts on 
>t'f' roots and t,.nd,.r shoots of the bulrush and,-e, and on he 
leaves ol varmus eariees and a,|uatie grasses." PKxxAvr savs "ihev -ire 
very fond of the Ann-ns rrrus. „r Vahm„s aronuUicns ^ and Kalm s|V.^ks 
••I Mppl.'s bemg plaod in traps as a, bnit for tlu-ni. NeaHv all our uriters 
.'.. naturaUnstory are ..orrect in saying that fresh wat^r mussHs com- 

pose a poll ion of their food. S 

,,.H,.-Mnu.s --rv,.r;,! bushels of sheli> 

hiav ijt- 




!()und ill a small space near their nests. Our young friend, Si-encer F. 
Ijaiui), Esq., assures us tiiat in the neighhourliood of Carlisle Pennsylva- 
nia, on the Conodogiiinet cre(;k, he has often observed large quantities of 
shells, most ol' which were so adroitly opened by these animals as not to 
be at all broken, and would have made very good specimens lor the con- 
cliologist. He has seen the Musk-Ra.t eating a mussel occasionally on a 
h)g in the watei", holding the shell between i's fore-paws, as a squirrel 
holds a nut. 

We once placed a quantity ol' mussels in a cage, to feed some Musk 
Rats we had domesticated in the North; they carried them one by ono 
info an inner compartment, where they were hidden from view. Here we 
heard them gnawing at the shells; we then removed a slide in the cage, 
which enabled us to see them at work ; they were seated, sometimes up- 
right like a squirrel, at other times like a rat, with the shell-fish lying on 
the floor, holding on to it by their fore-paws, and bn^aking it open with 
their lower incisors. In Carolina, we obtained for the same purpose, al- 
though for a dili'erent family of Musk-Rats, a quantity of mussels of the 
species Unio angii.s/dtiis and Anodon cataracta; some of these were too 
hard to be !,nmediately opened by the animals with their teeth. They 
were carried by the Musk-Rats, as usual, into a separate and darkened 
portion of the cage. W«^ heard an occasional gnawing, but three days 
afterwards many of the harder species of shell still remained unopened. 
We did not again examine the cage till after the expiration of ten days, 
\vhen the shells were all empty. They had probably opened in conse- 
■ijueiiee of the death of the animal within, when their contents were eaten 
Dy the Rats. Oysters were j)lace(l in the cage, which on account of their 
saltness we believed would not be relished; but a week afterwards the 
shells only were left. We procxu'cd a pint of a small species of imported 
snail, {Btilinius (Jccollatus, (J.mki,., iniililiilits, Sav,) that has become very de- 
structive ill many of the gardens of Charleston, and the Musk-Rats im- 
mediately began to crush them with their teeth, and- in a few days no- 
thing but the broken shells remained. We have therefore come to the 
conclusion that whilst vegetables arc the general food of this species, va- 
rious kinds of shcll-lish form no inconsiderable portion of if. Our Musk- 
Rats refused lish, but were, like most ."inimals in coiilinemeiit, fond of bread. 
Till y were generally fed on sweet ])ofatoes, parsnips, cabbage, and ce- 
lery ; the swe<'t ling, (Acorns cdhnii us,) they rt>jected altogether. 

Although the ]\liisk-Rat walks awkwardly, luid proceeds so slowly 
that it can scarcely be said to run, it swims and di 'cs well. We regard 
it as a better swiiiiiuer than the mink, and from its promptness in diving 
lit ihr lla>h of the uiiii, i! iVeiiiu'iitly esenpt's fioiii ils pursuers. It may 



however, be easily drowned. We once observed several of them which had 
been driven from their holes, after struggling under the ice for about fifteen 
minutes rising to the surface; and on taking them out, by cutting holes in 
he ice, they were found to be quite dead. speaks of "their 
being subject at uncertain intervals to a great mortality from some un- 
known cause." We have no doubt that in very cold winters when the 
ice reaches to the bottom of the ponds, and they are confined to their holes 
they devour each other, since we have seen many burrows opened in 
autumn, and except in the instances we have already mentioned, we 
found no provision laid up for winter use. When a Musk-Ilat has been 
caught by one foot in a trap set on the land, it is frequently found torn 
to pieces and partially devoured; and from the tracks around one might 
be induced to believe, that, as is the case with porpoises and many other 
animals, when one is wounded and cannot escape its companions turn 
upon and devour it. When one is shot and dies in the water it is 
very soon carried off by the living ones, if there are any in the vicinity 
at the time, and is dragged into one of their holes or nests We 
have frequently ibund carcasses of these animals thus concealed, but in 
these cases the flesh had not been devoured. This singular habit reminds 
us of the Indians, who always carry their dead off the field of battle when 
they can, and endeavour to prevent their bodies falling into the hands of 
their enemies. 

After a severe winter on a sudden rise in the water before the break- 
ing up of the ice, hundreds of Musk-Rats are drowned in their hole, 
.'specially where there are no high shelving banks to enable them' 
to .'xtond th,>ir galleries beyond the reach of the rising wafer. 
During these occasional freshets in early spring, the Musk-Rats that' 
escape drowning are driven from their holes, and swim about from 
sliore to shore without shelter and without food, and may be easily 
.h-sfrcyed. We r.Mnember that two hunters with their guns, coursing 
u|. and down opposite sides of a pond on one of these occasions, made 
sucli iearJul havoc among these animals that for several years afterwards 
we scarcely observed any traces of them in that locality. Many rapa- 
cious birds as well as quadrupeds seize and devour the Musk-Rat. When 
It makes its appearance on land, the fox and the Ivnx capture it with 
great ease. One of our young friends at Dennisville in the State of 
Maine, informed us that his greatest difficulty in procuring this speci<-« in 
traps arose from their being eaten after they were caught, by the snowy 
owl an,l otber birds of prey, which would frequently sit and watch the 
traps, as it were keeping guard over them, until the poor Musquash 
u:is m lb, tods, on se,.ing which they d,.sce.ule<l and made a l.eartv 



meal at, the trapper's expense, taking? pood care mcamvliile lui!, In exposti 
themselves to his venfj;eaiUM', by keej)iii;i; a sharp look out I'or liiiii in every 
direction. Our friend, however, got the betlei ol' lliese wary thieves bv 
occasionally baiting his traps with meat instead ol" ajjples or vegetables, 
by which means ho often caught an owl or a hawk, inslt!ad of a Musk- 
Rat. Altiiough this species has such a long list of enemies, it is so pro- 
lific that, like the common rat, {Mas tkciimanus,) it •onlinues to increase 
and multiply in many parts of the country, notwithstanding their activity 
and voracity. 

The Musk-Rat has occasionally been known to leave its haunts along 
the streams and ponds, and is sometimes found travelling on elevated 
grounds. We were informed by our friend Mr. Baihd, tliat one was caught 
in a house near Reading, in I'ennsylvania, three-quarters of a mile from 
the water; and the late Dr. Wricht of Troy once discovered one making 
its way through the snow, on the to]) of a iiiil near that city. 

The number of joung produced at a litter varies from three to six. 
|{u'nARnso\ states t'l.-t they sometimes have seven, which is by no means 
improbable. They usually have three litters in a season. 

Although the Musk-Rat does not seem to possess any extraordinary 
instincts by which to .avoid or baflle its pursuers, we were witnesses 
of its sensibility of approaching danger arising from a natiu'al cause, 
manifested in a way we think deserving of being recorded. It is a 
well-known fact, that many species of quadrupeds and liirds are endowed 
by Nature with the faculty of foreseiMug or foreknowing the changes ol 
the seasons, and have premonitions of the coming storm. The swallow 
commences its long aerial voyage even in sunniier, in anticipation of 
the cold. The sea-birds become excessively restless: some seek the 
protection of the land, and others, like the loon, {Coli/inhiis glacialis,) 
make the shores re-echo with their hoarse and clamorous screams, pre- 
vious to excessively cold weather; the swine also are seen carry- 
ing straw in their mouths and enlarging their beds. After an unusual 
drought, succeeded by ii warm Indian-sunnner, as we were oiu; day 
passing near a mill-pond inhabited by some families of Musk-Ra!s, we 
observed numbers of them swinuning about in every direction, carry- 
ing mouthfuls of withered grasses, and building their huts higher or, 
the land than any we had seen before. We had scarcely ever ob- 
^erved them in this loealily in the middle of llic day. and then only lor a 
moment as they swam from one side of the pond to the oliirr; but now 
they se(>med bent on preparing for some approacdiing eveul, Jind the suc- 
cessive reports of se^■('ral guns lired by some hunlers only i)roduced a 
Dause in their operations for live or It n minutes, .\llhough the day was 



bright and fair, on that very night there fell torrents of rain succeeded bv 
an unusual freshet and intensely cold w.-ather. 

This species has a strong musky smell; to us this has never appeared 
particuhuly offensive. It is i„(ini, ly less unpleasant than that of the 
skunk, and we are less annoyed by it than by the smell of the mink, or 
even the red fox. We have, howe\ er, observed in passing some of the 
linunts of this Hat at particular periods during summer, that the whole 
locality was strongly pervaded by ihis odour. 

Tt is sairl, notwithstanding this peculiarity, that the Musk-Rat is not an 
unpalatable article of food, the musky smell not being perceptible when 
the annual h;. been properly prepared and cooked ; we have, indeed, heard 
.t stated that Musk-Rat suppers are not unfrequent among a certain class 
ol uihabitants ,m fl- Eastern shore of Maryland, and that some persons 
prefer them, when well dressed, to a wild duck. Like the flesh of the bear 
and some oth. (luadrupculs, their meat somewhat resembles fresh pork 
and IS too rich to be eaten with much relish for any length of time. 

By what we may aim..- ' look ut as a merciful interposition of Providence 
the Musk-F{at is not found on the rice plantations of Carolina; it approach- 
es wilhni a few miles of fhern, and then ceases to be found. If it existed 
n. the banl-s and dykes of the rice fields, it would be a terrible annoyance 
to the planter, and possibly destroy the reservoirs on which his crops 
depend. Although ii reaches nmch farther South, and even extends to 
Louisiana, it is never found on the alluvial lands widun seventy miles of 
the sea, either in Carolina or Georgia. 

The skins of the Musk-Rat are no longer in such high repute as they 
en,,oye<l (larty-five year^ .go, and they are now only worth from six anil 
a quarter to twenty-five cents each. 

Dr. Richardson states, (in 1821,) that between four and five thousand 
skms were animal ly imported into Great Britain from North America. 



The Musk-Rat is found as far North as the mouth of the Mackenzie 
nver, in latitude 0!)°, on the Rocky mountains, on the Columbia river, and 
..n the Missouri. With the exception of the alluvial lands in Carolina 
t.eorgia. Alabama, and Florida, it abounds in all parts of the United States' 
north of latitude .10°. It exists, although not abundantly, in the mountains 
of Georgia, and the higher portions of Alabama. In South Carolina we 
have obtained it from Aikin, and St. Matthew's parish, on the Congaree 
mer, but have never found traces of it nearer the sea than seventy miles 
from Charleston. 




The Musk-Rat, although the only species in the genus, was moved 
about among several genera before it ibund a resting place under its 
present name. Sciirerer placed it under Mus. Gmelin, and F. Cuvier de- 
scribed it as a LEMMUf. LiNNii;us and Erxleren arranged it with the 
beaver, and referred it to the genus Castor. Lesson, Lacepkde and Cu- 
vier, under Ondatra. In 1811, Illiger proposed changing its specific intc 
a generic name. As Linna:us had called it Castor Fiber, he tiion esta- 
blished for it the genus Fiber. 



Hudson's Ba^ Suuirhel.— Chickakeb.— Red-Squirrsl. 
PLATE XIV.-Male and Fbmalb. 

S. Cauda corpore brcviore, auriculis apice sub-barbatis ; corporc supra 
subrulo, subtus albo ; S. migratorii tertia parte minoro. 


A third mailer than the Northern Gray-Squirrel, (Sc. migratorius ;) tail 
shorter than the body; ears, slightly tufted; colour, reddish above, white le. 


EccBKuiL Common, on Aroupbn, Sagard Theodat, Canada, p. 743 
Common Squirukl, Forster, Phil. Trans., vol. Ixii., p. 378, 177" 
Moiuiius Vulgaris, var. E. Erxleben, Syst., An. 1777. 
SciuRus HuDsoNicus, Pallas, Glir., p. 377. 

SciuRus HuDsoNicus, Gmel, Linn., '. 1788. 

Hudson's I3ay Squiukkl, Penn. Arctic Zool., vol. i., p. 1 10. 
„ " „ " " " I^'st. Quadrupeds, vol. ii., p. 147. 
Common Squirrel, Heames' Journey, p. 385. 
Red Squirrel, Warden's Hist. U. S., vol. i., p. 330. 
Ked Bakkino Squirrel, Schoolcraft's Journal, p. 273 
SciuRus HuDsoNious, Sabuie, Franklin's Journey, n 663 
(Jodman, vol. 11., p. 138. 
" Fischer, Mam., p. 349. 
EoiTREciLDE LA Baie d'Hudson, F. Cuvier, Hist. Nat. des Mammifdree. 
S01URU8 HUDSONICUS, Bach. Trans. Zool. Soc, London, 1839. 
IJekay, Nat. Hist. New- York, 1842. 


On examining the teeth of this species, we do not find the small and 
usually deciduous molar that exists in all the other species of Scurus 
with vyhich we are acquainted; it is possible, however, that it may be 
found in very young animals. It will be perceived, on referring to the 
dental formula of the genus, (which we have given at p. 38.) that the 




molnrs re set as }-J or |-f ; and we will for the present as- 
sign thf former arrangentent to this species. Forehead, very slightly 
arrhed; nose, somewhat obtuse; eyes, of moderate size; ears, broad, 
rounded, clothed on bo ih -ides with short hairs, not distinctly 'lifted like 
those of the European Hciuirrci, (Sc. vulgaris,) althou-,4i the haira, when 
the animal has its winter pelage, project beyond the margins, and resem- 
ble tuits; whiskers, a little longer than thr head; the body presents the 
appearance of lightness and agility; ihe tail is somewhat depressed, and 
linear, not as bushy as in most other squirrels, but capable of a di^ ichous 
arrangement; limbs, robust; claws, compressed, sharp, slightly li.uked; 
third toe a little the longest; palms, and under surface of the toes, 
naked; soles of hind-feet, clothed with hair, except on the tubercles at 
the roots of the toes. 


This species exhibits some shades of difference in colour, and we have 
sometimes, although very rarely, found a specimen that might be regard- 
ed as a variety. General colour, deep ?-eddish-brown on the whole of the 
upper surface; short fur beneath, '.hiinbeous, mixed with so large*, a quan- 
tity of longer hairs, that the colour of the fur does not show on the 
surface. These long hairs are dark at the roots, then brown, and are 
slightly tipped with black. In most specimens there is an orange hue on 
the outer surface of the fore-legs, running up to the shoulder; this coloui 
is also frequently visible on the upper surface of the hind-feet, and be- 
hind the ears. Whiskers, black ; tail, on the upper surface, deep roddish- 
brovra; the hair on the sides may be so arranged as to present a line of 
black near the outer borders; on the under side it has two or three annu- 
lations of light-brown and black ; lips, chin, throat, inside of legs, and 
belly, white ; in some specimens the hairs on these parts of the body are 
plumbeous at the roots, and white to th(> tips, giving it a light, grayish- 
white appearance. There is in a great many specimens a black line, 
running from near the shoulders along the sides tc within an inch of the 


Recent specimen. 

Length from nose to root of tail 
Tail (vertebra') 
Tail to end of hair - 

Inches. Lines. 
3 7 
6 5 




The j,'eiui.s SmuRcs its illustrated in North Arnerica by a greater variety 
of species tliiiii any other ai ony^ tiie variou genera wo shall Ir.vr the 
plfusure of i.itrocliiciii),' to our n.ulers:— Permit us to dwell for . mo- 
xuiMit on the subjcer, and fii r ,,,■.• tlie followui'^r anecdote: 

When we began tlic publication in GreJt Britain, of the "Birds of Aiuu- 
ricu," we were encouraged by the appobafion of many exeelleut fri.mds, 
and by the iuore essential, altiiougl; less artfelt favours, bestowed by 
tiiose n()r: men and gentlemen who kindlv subscribed to the work, and 
without whose aid. it is frankly acknowledged, it could never have been 
completed. Among those whom we then had the honour of calling pa- 
trons, we found as many \arietics of character as among the beautiful 
feathered inhabitants of our woods, l,,kes, and soa-shores, them.telves; 
and had w< time Just now to si)are, we might i idertake to describe 
soMM of th( m. We published as the first plat.; ot the first number ot 
"The Birds of . -nerica," the Wild Turke\ Cock, and gave the Turkc^y 
lien and Young, as the first ph'te of the second number. We 
need not stop to enmnci ite the <> species of birds that completed 

the two numbers; but judge of our surprise, on bein- told gravely, 
by a certain noble subscriber, that, "as the work was to con- 
sist of Tiirli(i/s (>u\\. he begged to be allowed to discontinue his 
subscription !" 

Now, kind n .idcr. we are obliged to follow Nature in the works of in- 
linitt! \ isdoMi, which we humbly attempt to portray; and although yon 
should lind that more Squirrels inhabit our forests than you expected or 
desired to be figured in this work, we assure you it would give us pie, ^ure 
to discover a new sp.-cies at any time' We are not, however, wii in" 
in a due knowledge of the sympathy an i kindness that exist among our 
patrons toward us, and we hope you wit fini' hi- really beautiful genus 
as interesting as any other among the quadrupeds we desire to place be- 
fore you. 

'''he Chickaree, or Hudson"-; B.i' Squirrel, is the coninion pecies 
of ihis iuupcrous genus around A w-V'ork and throughout the lia>t< rn 
States. I a graett'ul, lively animal, and were yon to walk with us 
through the woods in tiie neighbourhood of our great com; ■ciul me- 
tropolis, where boys and sportsmen ^') for years past have bee hunting 
in ev<'ry direction, and killing all the gnme left in the vicinity: where 
woodeo(l> are shot before the first of July, and quails (Virginian par- 
tridges) when they are half-grown, in defiance of the laws for their pre- 
servation, win ould l)e ulad to find the eomparafive silence which now 



reigns amid the trees, interrupted by the spri^ylitly queruhms cry of tiia 
Chickaree, and would pnuse witii us to lool< at liiin as he runs nhmg tlio 
rocky surface of the j^rouiui, or niuihly ascends some tree; for in thcHO 
woods, once no doubt aboiuidin-j; in both beasts and birds, it is now a hard 
task to start anytliing larf,'er tlian a robin, or a lligh-lioir, {Picas aurnUis.) 
Tile lludon's iJay S(iuirrel is fearless and heedless, to a ^reat degree, ot 
the pi'csi'ncc of man ; we have had one occasionally pass through our 
yard, somelimes ascending an oak or a clicsnut, and proceeding leisurely 
tlu'ough our small woody lawn. These little animals are generally found 
singly, although it is not unconunon for many to occupy tlie same piece 
of wood-land, if of any extent. In their (juick graceful motions from 
branch to branch, they almost remind one of ji bird, and tliey are 
always neat and cleanly in tlioir coats, industrious, and wtdl provided 
for the cold of winter. 

In parts of tlie country, the Chickaree is fond of approaching the farm- 
er's store-houses of grain, or other products of the fields, and occasion- 
ally il ventures even so far as to make a nest for itself in some of Irs out- 
buildings, and is not dislodged from such snug quarters without undergo- 
ing a good deal of persecution. 

OiK! of these S(|uirrels made its nest between the beams and the rafters 
of a house of the kind we havt^ just spoken of, and linding the skin of a 
j)eacock in the loft, appropriated the feathers to compose its nest, and 
although it was d(>stroyed several times, to test tlie perseverance of the 
animal, it persisted in re-constructing it. The Chickaree obtained this 
name from its noisy chatt(;ring note, aud like most other Scpurrels, is fond 
of repealing its cries at fre(|uent mtervals. Many of tlu; inhabitants ot 
our Eastern States refuse to eat Sciuirrels of any kind, from somi! preju- 
dice or other; but we can assure our readers that the flesh of this species, 
nnd many others, is both tender and well-flavoured, and when nicely broil- 
ed, does not require a hunter's tippetite to recommend it. 

Th(> hr.bits of this little Scpiirrel are, in several particulars, peculiar; 
whilst the larger Gray Scpiirrels derive their sustenance from buds and 
nuts, chie'iy inhabit warm or temperate climates, and are constitution- 
ally fictt :' to subsist during w liter on a small quantity of food, tlie Chick 
aree exhibits the greatest s|)rightliness aud activity amidst the snow., 
and frosts of our Northern redons, and consequently is obliged, dur 
ing the Avinter season, to consume as great a quantity of food as at any 
other. Nature has, therefore, instructcfl it to make provision in the sea- 
son of abundance for the long winter that is approaching; and the quan- 
tity of nuts iuul seeds it olU'ii lays up in its store-house, is almost incre- 
dible. On one occasion we were present when a bushed aud a half of 



slirll-bjirks {Corijn nll,„\ and chpsinils, w,-i-,. taken from a Ik.' low tree or. 
iM.pird hy a NinRle pair of tliese indiistrroiis creatures; alll.ou^l. Kene- 
rally (lie (juniililv of provision laid up l.y them is ie!ss. The 
(M.iekare(> lias i .« i, „ -li foresijrj.t to trust to a winkle hoard," and it often 
has several, in rlifl. ,.. localili.-s a.iK.MK the Meii,'lil,ourinjr trees or in 
burrows dug . ., ,a H.e .arlh. ( )eeasio„ally these stores are found' under 
loaves, beneath io«H ,. in brnsli-lieaps; at other times they are deposited 
ie holes in tlie rr'-oud, and they are sometimes only temporarily laid 
by in some coiiv; i.i-u. situation to he removed at leisure. When, for in- 
stance, nuts are abundant in the autumn, lar^e <iuantilies ia the fcreen 
state, covered by their thick envelope, are colh-eted in a heap near the tree 
whence they linve falhii ; t!,ey an. then eoven-d up with leaves until the 
pericarp, or thick outer cv.-rin- ..ilhcr falls o(f or ..pens, when the Squir- 
rel is al.h- to carry (.If liie nuts more <;onvenieMtly. In obtaining shell 
barks, butter-nuts, {Jnglam ciiwno,) chesnuts, ha/.el-nuls, &c., this" Squir- 
rel ad..pls the mode of most of the other species. It advances as near t . 
tiie extremity of the branch as it <.an with safety, and gnaws off that 
p(.rtion on whicli the nuts are <lependcnl. This is usually done early in 
the niorninfT, and the noise o.vasion.'d by th.; fallinjr of large bunches 
of chesnut burrs, or clust.-rs of butter-nuts, liickory, or bcech-nuts, thus 
detached from the parent stem, may be heard more than a hundred yards 
oir. Some of tla; stems fittached to the nuts are ten inches or a foot in 
'.englh. After having thrown down a considiirfible quantity, the Squir- 
rel descends and drags them into a heap, as slated above. 

Sometimes the hogs find out thtse stores, and make sad havoc in the 
temporary depot. But Providence has placed much food of a different 
kind within reach (.1' the Ked-Squirrcl during winter. The cones of 
many of our pines and firs in high northern latitudes are persistent dur- 
ing winter; and the Chickaree can be supported by the seeds they con- 
<ain, even should liis hoards of nuts fail. This litth. S,,uirre] seems also 
to accommodate itself to its situation in another respect. In Pennsvlva- 
nia and the soutluTn part of New-York, where th(> winters are com- 
paratively mild, it is very commc.nly satistied with a hollow tree as a 
winter residence ; but in the latitude of Saratoga, N. Y., in the northern 
part of Massachusetts, in New Hampshire, Maine, Canada, and farther 
north, it usually seeks for addilionnl protection from the cold by formin.- 
deep burrows in tlie earth. Nothing is more common than to meet with 
five or six Squirrel-holes in the ground, near tlie roots of some white pine 
or hemlock; and these retreats can be easily found by the vast heaps of 
scales fr(.m the cones of pines and firs, which are in process of time accu- 
mulated around them. This species can both swim and dive We once 



observer! some lads shaking a Red-Squirrel from a sapling that grew or 
the edge of a mill-pond. It fell into the water and swam to the oi)po. 
site shore, performing the operation of swimming moderately well, and re- 
minding us by its movements of the meadow-mouse, when similarly 
occupied. It was i" by its untirihg persecutors on the opposite 

shore, Avhere on 1). »d with sticks, we noticed it diving two or 

three times, not in tn. ceful curving manner of the mink, or musk-rat, 
but with short and iiioiFectual plunges of a foot or two at a time. 

We have kept the Chickaree in cages, but found it less gentle and 
more difficult to be tamed than many other species of the genus. 

Richardson informs us that in the fur countries, "the Indian boys kill 
many with the bow and arrow, and also take them occasionally with 
snares set round the trunks of the trees which they frequent." We have 
observed that during winter a steel-trap baited with an ear of corn, 
(maize,) placed near their burrows at the foot of large pine or spruce 
trees, will secure them wilh the greatest ease. 



The limits of the norlhern range of this species are not precisely deter- 
mined, but all travellers who have braved the snows of our Polar regions, 
speak of its existence as far north as their journeys extended. It has been 
observed in the 08th or fiOth parallel of latitude ; it also exists in Labra- 
dor, Newfoundland and Canada. It is the most common spc Ins in 
New-England and New- York, and i^i by no means rare in Pennsylvania 
and New Jersey, especially in the hilly or mountainous portions of the 
latter State. It is seen, in diminished numbers, in the mountains of Vir- 
ginia, although in ;he alluvial parts of that State it is scarcely known; as 
we proceed soutliv.Mrdly it becomes more rare, but still continues to be 
met with on tlie highest mountains. The most southern locality to which 
we have traced it, is a high peak called the Black mountain, in Bun- 
combe county, N. Carolina. The woods growing in that elevated 
situation are in some places wholly composed of balsam-fir trees, (Afiirs 
bahcniiro) on the cones of which these Squirrels feed. There this litde 
animal is quite common, and has received a, new English name, viz., that 
of, "Mountain boomer." Toward tlie west we have traced it to the 
mountains of Tennessee ; l)eyond tli(> Rocky mountains, it does not exist. 
In the Russian settlements on the Western coast, it is replaced hv the 
Downy Squirr(>l, {Sc. lanu^'nmsns.) In the vicinity of the Columbia, and 
ibr several hundred miles .along the mountains Soulh of (hat river, by 
U'ciiardbun's Columbian Squirrel ; and in the mountainous regions border 



tng on CaliConiia, by another small species much resembUng it, which we 
hope, hereafter, to present to our readers. 


Althouo-h this species, from its numbers and familiarity as well as fron: 
us general diffusion, has been longer known than any other of our Squir 
rels, and has been very Irequently described, it has, with iew exceptions 
retained its name of Hiidsonius. Ehxleben supposed it to be only a variety 
of the conmion Squirrel, S. vulgaris of Europe, and so described it. The 
Sciurus ILidsonius of is a flying Squirrel, {Ptcmmys s,,h-inus,) and 
thi" Carolina Gray Squirrel, which iii Shaw's General Zoology, vol. ii., 
p. 141, is given as a variety of Sciurus Hndsonius, is our own species, 
(-SV;. Carolincusis.) This species was unknown to Linn^us. Pallap ap 
pears to have been the first author who gave the specific name of Hud- 
soniiis, (sec Pall. Glir., p. 377, a. d. 1786,) and Gmelin, in 1788, adopted his 

In examining the form and inquiring into the habits of this species, 
we cannot but observe a slight approach to Tamias, and a more distant 
one to SpEKMoruiLus. Its ears are placed farther back than in the Squir- 
rels generally, its tail is oidy sub-distichous, and withal it often digs its 
own burrow, and lives indiscriminately in the ground and on trees. In 
;tl! those particulars it appears, in connexion with the Downy Squirrel, 
(.SV-. /oiiiigimsiis;) to form a connecting link between Sciurus' and Tamias. 
It has, however, no cheek pouches, and does not carry its food in its 
cheeks in the manner of the Tami^ and Spermophiu, but between its 
front teeth, like the rest of the squirrels. 




2 K K 

Incisive -; Molar — = 22. 

8 4-4 

Dentition similar to that of the genus Sciurus. Head, round ; ears, 
round; upper lip, divided; eyes, large; fore-leet, with lour elongated 
toes, furnished with conipresspd, sharp, talons, with the rudiment of a 
thumb having an obtuse nail ; iiind-feet, with f've long toes, much divid- 
ed, and litted for seizing or climbing ; tail, long, villose ; skin of the sides, 
extending from the anterior to the posterior extremities, forming a thin 
membrane, by the aid of which, when extended, the animal sails through 
the air in a descending curve from a tree or any elevated point, occasion- 
ally for some distance. 

The generic name, pteromys, is (Ji»?ri^-ed from two Greek words, "TTtf^,^ 
(pteron,) a wing, and fttn, (mus,) a mouse. 

There are thirteen well-determined species belonging to this genus, 
l3ne is ibund in the norlh of Europe, lour in North America, and the re 
mainder in Asia and other parts of the old world. 

PTEROMYS O R E G O N E N S I S.— Baciimax 

Oreoox Flvino SciUrRREL. 

PLATE XV.— Malk and Fbmalb. 

P. magnitudine infer P. voluceilam et 1' sabrinum medius, supra fus- 
cus, subfus lutco-albus; auribus P. sabrini auricuiis longioribus ; vellere 
densiore, membrana volatica largiore, pedibus grandioribus. 


Intermcdidte in size hctwccn P. volucilhi, tniil thr Northern sprcics, P. sn- 
hrltnis; curs, longer tlinn in ifir liiffcr, rinil fur mnn roiiipnct ; lobe of the 
flying viemhrnne joining the fore-feet, much longer if. proportion, mtihing 
'hat mfmhrane ttromlcr. Foot large, . gcnernl colour above, brown : be- 
neath, ifellonish-white. 




Pteromys Oregonensis; Oregon Flying Squirrel. Bach., Jour. Acad, of Nat 
Sciences, Phil, vol. viii., pt. i., p, loi. 


This species differs from P. sabrinus, in several very striking particu- 
lars; the arm which supports the flying membrane is Hi lines in length 
whilst that of the latter is only 9. Thus the smaller of the two has the' 
largest flying membrane. 

The fur of P. sabrinus is much the longest, and is white, whilst that of 
f. Oregonensis has a yellowish tinge. The hairs on the tail of the for- 
mer are only slightly tinged with lead-colour at the roots, whilst in the 
latter that colour extends outwardly, (towards the tip.s,) for half their 
length. The diff-crcnt shape of the ear, it being longer and narrower in 
our present species than in P. sabrinus, is a sufficient distinctive charac- 
ter. / . Oregonensis differs from the common flying squirrel {P voluccl- 
la) so entirely, that it is hardly necessary to give a particular comparison. 
Besides being much larger than the latter, and not possessing the beauti- 
ul downy-white on the belly, it may be distinguished from P. volucella 
by the hairs on that species being white to the roots, which is not the 
case with the Oregonensis. Whiskers, numerous, and very long. 


Fur, deep gray at the base, on the back tipped with yellowish-brown • 
lail, pale-brown above, dusky toward the extremity; beneath, brownish- 
white; whiskers, chiefly black, grayish at the tips. Hairs covering the 
#J-ing membrane, mostly black, slightly tipped with pale-brown; leet, 
luK.v; ,tround the eyes, blackish; ears, with minute adpressed brown 
-lairs externally, and internally. 


Lougih from point of nose to root of tail 
Tail, to point of fur - - - . . 
Height of car posteriorly - - . . 
Breadth l«!twfen the outer edges of the flying 

membrane ---... 
Longest hind-toe, including nail . 

" ibrf'-toe, " « , , 

» « « s 

From luel to |)oint of - . . . 
f'Voiii nose to car . . . . 
















The linhits of this hnndsome Flying Squirrel, we regret to say, are al- 
most unkiiowii to us; hut Irom its goiioral appearance, it is undouhtedly as 
active and volalile as our common> species; and much do we regret 
that we have never scmmi it launch itself into the air, and sail from the 
highest branch of one of the enormous pines of the valley of tht; Columbia 
river, to some other tall and magniliceat tree. Indeed, much should we 
like to know ihe many woiks of the Creator that yet remain to be dis- 
covered, examined, figured, and described, in the vast mountain-valleys 
and Ibrests beyond the highest peaks of the great Rocky Chain, 

We hope, however, to obtain a good deal of information through va- 
rious sources ere the conclusion of this work, from the remote portions 
of our Continent that have not yet been well explored by naturalisis, 
and we shall then perhaps be able to say something more in regard to 
the subject of this arlicle. of which we can now only add, that Mr. 
TowN^r.M) remarks, that it inhabits the pine woods of the Columbia, 
near the sea, and has the habits of P. volucdla. 


l>r. Ric-iiAiti)so\ (Fauna Boreali Americana, p. 195) speaks of a Flying 
8([uirrel which was "discovered by Mr. Duummond on the Rocky moun- 
tains, living in dense pine-forests, and seldom venturing from its retreats 
except in the night." This animal he considers a variety of P. sahriniis, 
(var. li. Alj)i>iiis.) The locality in which it was found, and parts of his 
description, however, on the whol«>, incline us to suppose that the speci- 
men procured by Mr. Drummoxd was one of our present species, although 
of a very lai^ye size. Dr. Richardson saj's, " I have received specimens 
of it from the head of Elk river, and -also from the south branch of the 
Mackenzie." So that if this supj)osition be correct, we may conclude that 
it inhabits a very extensive tract of country, and is, perhaps, most com- 
mon on, and to the west, of the Rocky Mountains; in which last locality 
Mr. To\v\st;sD met with it in the woods on the shores of the Columbia 

OENERAL remarks. 

There are no accounts of this species of Plying Squirrel, or of the 
larger one, P. sabrinus, in r.r.uis and Clarke's .Tournal. Those travellers 
not having, as we suppose, heard of either, although they traversed n 


^o,) portioti of the country in wlucl. both species have since been 

Wo hope, whoa presentin-^ an account of the habits of P. sabrinus to be 
able to HlcM.ify the voHe/,, abovo-mentionecl, (P. s.brinus, var. B. Alpinus 
ofR,c„AK„sr.N) and if necessary, correct any errur 1:.. .ur a:.ountofthe 
geographical distribution of the present species (P. Oregouemis) 



x^sNX C A N A D E N s i S.— Geoffrov. 

Canada Lynx. 

PLATE XVI.— Mals. 

L. magnitudine L. rufum superans ; auribus triangularibus, apice pilis 
I'assis nigris erectis barbatis ; cauda capite breviore, plantis villosis; 
supra cinereus, maculis obscuris nebulosus, subtus dilutior. 


Larger ihan F. riifus ; cars, triangular, fipt with an upright slender tuft 
of coarse black hairs ; tail, shorter than the head; soles, hairy; general en- 
lour, gray ahvc, a little clouded with irregular darker spots, lighter 



Loup-CERViER, (anaris qua,) Sagard Tlieodat, Canada, 744, An. 1636. 

or Lynx, Dobb's Hud.^on's Bay, p. 41, An. 1744. 
LvNX, Pennant, Arc. Zool., vol. i., p. 50. 

or Wild-Cat, Hearne's Journey, p. 300. 
Canadian Lynx, Bu<}'., vol. v., .suppl. p. 216, pi. 125. 

" " Mackenzie's Journey, p. 100. 

Felis Canadensis, GeoftVoy, An. du Mus. 

" Canadensis, Sabine, Franklin's Journev, p. 669. 
" Canadensis, Desni. Mam., p. 223. 
Northern Lynx, Godman, Nat. Hist., vol. !., p. 302. 
Felis Bouealis, Tuiniuinck, Monoo-raphie, t. i., p. 109. 
" C.VNADENsi.s, Rich.. F. B. A., p. 101. 

Koicheubach, Regnuni Ajiimale, sp. 551, p. 46, pi. 551. Lio- 
si.Tp, 1830. r f , v 

Lyncus Bokealis, Dekay, Nat. Hist., N. Y., p. 50, pi. 10, 6g. 2. 


This species has a rounder, liroader, and proporHonably shorter head 
than {L. riiftis) the Ray Lynx; nose, obtuse; eyes, barge; teeth, very 
strong; v/hiskers, stiff, horizontal, arninged in three ol)li(]ue series;' ears, 
acute, thickly clothed \vhh hair on both siuMaces, tipped l)y a long and 
slender tuft of coarse hairs: beneath the ears comme,»c,-s a broad rut! 



formed of lo.vger iiairs than tliose on the surronnding parts; this ruff sur- 
rounds the throat aiul reaches the ehin, hut does not extend around the 
neck above. The female has the rulf „,uch shorter than the male. Body 
ruhust thick, and heavy; and from the form, we are inclined to believe' 
that this species is far less fleet than its conj,^cner the Bay Ivnx. The 
fi.-ur has a ^^oolly appearance; under-fur, very dense and sdt, mixed 
with hairs somewhat rigid an.l tw(. inches in length. On the under sur- 
lace, the are thinner and a little longer than those above. Tlm^hs 
strong; legs, thick and, presenting a slight resemblance to those 
ot the bear. Toes, thick, so completely conceale<l by the fur that the 
tracks made in the snow by this animal do not show distinct impressions 
of them, hke those made by the fox, or the Bay lynx. Their tracks are 
round, leaving no marks of the nails unless the animal is running, when 
Us toes are widely spread and its nails leave the appearance of sli.^r 
scratcu-s in the snow. Tail, thickly c.vered with hair, short, slighh 
urned upward. Nails, very strong, much larger than those of the Bay 
Jynx, curved, and acuminate. 


Nose flesh-coloured; pupil of the eye, black ; iris amber colour; mar- 
gm of the hps, and inner surface of the ears, yellowish-brown; face, and 
around the eyes, light-gray; whiskers, nearly all white, a few black; out- 
er margin of the ear, edged with black, widening as it approaches the ex- 
tremity, where it is half an inch broad; tuft of ear. black; the ruff under 
t 10 throat IS light-gray, mixed in the centre of the circle with long tuft« 
of black hair. When the hairs on the back are blown aside, they exhibit 
a dark ye.lowish-brown coluu,. The long hairs on the back, black to 
near the extremity, where tlur.. is an annulation of yellowish-brown 
hnally tipped wi,h black; general colour of the back, gray, with a shade 
ol rufous and slightly varied with shades of a darker colour; under 
surface, dull white, with irregular broad spots of dark-brown situated on 
tl'o inner surface of the fore-legs and extending along the belly; these 
spots are ,,artially covered by long whitish hairs in the vicinity. In one 
of our specimens these .lark-coloured spots are altogether wanting. The 
logs are of the colour of the sides ; upper surface of th. tail, to within an' 
inch of the tip, and exterior portion of the thighs, rufous; beneath yellow- 
ish-white ; extremity of the tail black. 





The IMule represented on the Phite : — Recent. 

From nofso to root of tail .... 

Tail (vertebra;) 

J'ail, to end of hair 

Entire huigth ....... 

From nose to end of skull 

" " " root of ears 

" " " end of ears laid down ... 
Breadth of ears in front .... 

Heif^ht of ears 

Length of tufts of hair on the ear 
Fr(m nose to hind-foot stretched beyond tail 
From do. to end of fore-loot stretched beyond nose 
Distance between roots of ears anteriorly 

tips of do. .... 

Spread of fore-feet, between the claws 

Hroadth of arm - - - i . . . 

Height to shoulder from middle of fore.claw 

Weight 10 pounds; extremely lean. 

33 inches 













A specunen in the liesh from the Petersburg Mountains, east of Troy 
From point of nose to root of tail - - . . 
Tail (vertebrae) ---.... 

Tail, to end of fur 

Height of ear - 

Length of tufts on the ears 

From shoulder to extremity of toes on fore-leet 
From heel to end of hind-claw .... 
Weight 22 pounds. 















In some parts of the State Maine, and in New Brunswick, there are 
tracts of land, formerly covered with large trees but over-run by fires not 
many yefi '""e, now presenting a desolate apjicaranee as you look 
in every direction and see nothing hut tall blacl.ened and charred trunks 
standuig. with only their larger branches occasionally stretching out to 
the righ' ur left, while many of them are like bare poles, half burnt off 



near he roots fH-rhaps, and lookin-^ as if thoy mi«ht Tall to the earth with 
he ,sh..hte«t breath of air. Into one of these "burnt districts," let us po 
o^^ot .er. Nature has already ben:un to rephace the stately trees, whieh 
he destroyn,g elornont had consu.nrd or stripped of all beauty and vi- 
tality, and we find the new growth already advanced; instead of the light 
bnttle, and inflammable pine, the solid and hard, maple, oak, or beech' 
are tlnckly an.l rapidly raising their leafy bran.ues to hide from our view 
the unsightly trunks that, half-destroyed, charred, and prostrate on the 
grou.,.l, a,e strewn in ahr.ost every direction. We must pursue 
our way slovyly and laboriously, .juu,ping over, and sometimes 
creepn.g under or walking along a fallen tree, our progress impeded by 
the new growth, by brambles, hole, in the ground, and the necessity ot 
caut.ously observing the general direction of our crooked and fatiguing 
march; here an.l there we come to a small open space, where the wild 
raspberry tempts us to pause and allay our thi...^, and perhaps whilst 
p.ckmg Its npe fruit, a pack of grouse rise with a whirr-whirr, and attract 
our attent.on-they are gone c>re we can reach our gun: but we are not 
alone;-s,-e, under cov.-r of yon thicket, crouched behind that fallen pine 
tree, .s the Canada Lynx-sfalthily and slowly u.oving along_it is he 
that s artled the game that has just escaped. Now he ascends to th,- lower 
..ranch ol a thick leaved tree, and closely squatted, awaits the approach of 
son.e other prej, to dart upon and secure it, ere the u.^suspecting object of 
.is appetite can eve.i see whence the devourer comes. We move carefully 
toward the concealed prowler-but his eyes and ears are full as good as 
our own-with a bound he is upon the earth, and in an instant is out 
of sight amulthe logs and brush- wood-for savage and voracious as he 
may be when pursuing the smaller animals, he is equally cowardiv when 
oppos^o to his great enemy-man; and as his skin is valuable, lei us ex- 
cuse him lor desiring to keep it whole. 

The Canada Lynx is more retired in its habits than our common wild 
cat, keeping clm^fly far from the habitations of even the settlers who first 
penetrate into the depths of the wilderness. Its fine long fur enables it to 
withstand the cold of our northern latitudes, and it is found both in the 
wocKled countries north of the great lakes, and as far south as the Mid- 
dl,. Strifes, dispersed over a great many degrees of longitude; even occa- 
sionally approaching the sea-coast. The specimen from which we drew 
Uie hgure ol this animal was to us from Halifax, Nova Scotia. It 
had been taken in a wolf-trap, after having (as we supposed) de- 
stroyed several sheep. We kept it alive for a few weeks, feeding it 
on tresh raw meat; it ate but a small quantity at a time and like 
(ill predacious animals, appeared able to support a long flist with 

I I, 




out inconvenience. TIjc precarious life led hy beasts ol" prey, iti fac! 
makes this a wise provision of Nature, but lor whicli many would no 
doubt soon perish, as occ-isionally several days may pass without their 
being able to secure a hearty meal. 

The Lynx we have just mentioned, wlien a dog approached the cage in 
which it was confined, drew back to the iarlhest part of it, and with open 
jaws spit forth like a cat at the intruder. We often admired the brilliancy 
of its large eyes, when it glared at us from a corner of its prison. 
When killed, it was extremely poor, and we ibund tliat otu'. of its legs had 
been broken, probably by a rifle-ball, some considerable time previous 
to its having been captured, as the bone was united again pretty firndy ; 
it was in other respects a fine specimen. 

AVhen alarmed, or when pursued, the Canada Lynx leaps or bounds 
rapidly in a straight direction from the danger; and takes to a tree if 
hard pressed by the dogs. It is very strong, and possessing remarkably 
large and powerful fore-legs and claws, is able to climl) trees of any size, 
and can leap I'rom a consideral'le height to the ground without feeling the 
jar, alighting on all four fe«>t at the same instant, ready lor flight or bat- 
tle. If dislodged from a tree by the hunter, it is instantly surrounded by 
the dogs, in which case it strikes with its sharp claws and bites severely. 

In crossing the Petersburg mountains east of Albanj-, more than 
thirty years ago, we procured from a larnn-r a male Lynx, the 
measurement of which was taken at the time, and has just been given 
l)y us, (see p. 138.) It had been killed only half an hour before, and 
was in very tine order. 'I'he Ihrmer stated that in hunting for the 
pulled grouse, his dog had started this Lynx from u thicket of laurel 
hushes; it made no doublings, but ran about a quarter of a nule 
up the side of a hill, pursued by the dog, when it ascended a tree, 
on which he shot it; it fell to the ground ([uite dead, after having 
hung for some time suspended from a branch to which it clung with 
great tenacity until life was extinct. 

It has been stated that the Canada Lynx "is easily destroyed by a 
blow on the back with a slender stick;" this we are inclined tc 
think a mistake, never having witnessed it, and judging merely by 
the activity and strength manifested by the animal, although we agree 
with the farther remarks of the same writer, "that il never attacks 
man." This indeed is a remark applicable to n(>arly all the beasts 
of prey in our country, except in extreme cases of Imnger or desperation, 
ft is said by Dr. RicjiARnsoN, that the Canada Lynx "swims well, and 
will cross the arm of a lake two miles wide" — this is a habit which 
is. also shared by thi' mon; southern s])ecies, {Lt/iu rii/us.) 



Ihe Canada Lynx, like all other animals of its general habits, breeds 
..ut once a year, generally having two young; ^. hrr . hea,,! of an in 
stance, however offh,,.,. whelps being littered at a time. 

The skin of thi> animal is generally used for mulls, collars. &c. aid i 
ranked ,no,.. he r- autiful materials for these purposes, 't varies 

somewhat i best are much lighler, when killed in good 

season, than the sperimen from which our drawing was made. 

We have been informed by the northern trap{)ers that the Canada Lynx 
1^ 'lally taken in steel-traps, such as arc used for the beaver and otter, 
in u'hich he enters very readily. 

The Indians, we are told, regard its flesh as good eating, which 
may perhaps be ascribed to the excellence of their appetites. Hearne 
(see Journey, p. 3(Hi,) who ate of it in the neighbourhood of York Fort,' 
says, '-tlie Hesii is white, and nearly as good as that of the rabbit." We' 
think we woul.' ve the pn lerence, however, to a buffalo-hump well 
roasted, for either dinner or supper. 

The stories told of the great cunning of this species, in throwing mosses 
from the trees in order to entice .e deer to feed on them, and then drop- 
puig on their backs and tearing their throats, may as well be omitted 
here, as thty fortunately reciuire no refutation at flu; present day. 

The food of the Canada Lynx consists of several species of grouse and 
other birds, tin. northern hare, gray rabhit, chipping squirrel, and other 
(luadrupeds. It has be,-n mentioned to us, that in the territories to the 
north of the tlulf of 8t. Lawrence they destroy the Arctic fox, and make 
great havoc among the lemmings, (Georvciius.) IIearne informs us, that 
in Hudson's Bay th.-y "sHdom leave a place which is frequente'd by 
rabbits till they have kille.l nearly all of them." They are said to pounce 
on the wild goose at its breeding places, and to destroy many marmots 
and spermophiles, by lying in wait for them at their burrows. At a pub- 
lic house in Canada we were shown the skin of one of these Lynxes, the 
animal having b<.cn found quite helpless and nearly dead in the woods 
It appears, that lea|)ing on to a porcupine, it had caught a Tartar, as 
Its head was greatly inflamed, and it was nearly blind. Its mouth was 
full of the sharp quills of that well-defended animal, which would in a 
day or two have occasioned its death. We have hea, one or two ac- 
counts of the Canada Lynx having killed a deer; we are somewhat 
sceptical in regard to this being a general habit of the species, although 
when pressed by hunger, which ren.lers all creatures desperate at times, 
it may occ;vsionnlly venture to attack a large animal. 

IIearne states that he "once saw a Lynx that had seized on the carcass 
'>f a deer just killed by an Indian, who was forced to shoot it before 













ISO ■■■ 








WEBSTER, N.Y. 14580 

(716) 872-4S03 







5^ M^j ^ ^ 

■■'>:. 1, .j 



It would rplinquish the prize." (See Hearne's Journey, p. 372.) Young 
fawns, as wc have ourselves ascertained, are killed by these ivnimaLs, and 
farmers in some of the wilder portions of our Northern States, and of Ca- 
nada, complain of their carrying off their lambs and pigs. The Canada 
Lynx is, however, by no means so great a depredator in the vicinity of 
the farm-yard as the wild-cat or Bay lynx, as his more retired habits in- 
cline him to keep in the deepest recesses of the forests — and besides, for 
aught we know, he may prefer "game" to "pigs and poultry." 

The slow multiplication of this spc, :ies proves that it is not intended 
to be abundant, but to exist only in such moderate numbers as are neces- 
sary to enable it to play its part vvitii other carnivora in preventing too 
fast an increase of many of the smaller animals and birds ; if the hare, 
the squirrel, the rat, and all the graminivorous quadrupeds and birds vi'ere 
allovv'ed to increase their species witiiout being preyed upon by the owl, 
•the hawk, the fox, the lynx, and other enemies, the grass would be cut off, 
and the seeds of plants destroyed, so that the larger animals would find 
no subsistence, and in time, from the destruction of the seeds by the teeth 
of the rodentia, the forest itself would become a wide desert. 

There is then a meaning in this an-angement of Providence ; and the 
more we investigate the works of Him who hath created nothing in vam, 
the more wc are led to admire the wisdom of His designs. 


The Canada Lynx is a northern species — it is known to exist north of 
the great Litkcs eastward of the Rocky Mountains; it is found on the 
Mackenzie river as far north as latitude 60°. It exists in Labrador, and 
in Canada. It still occurs, although very sparingly, in some of the New 
England States. It is occasionally met with in the northern part of New- 
York. We heard of one having been taken some fifteen years ago in the 
mountains of Pennsylvania. Farther south, we have not trac»"d it. It is 
not found in Kentucky, or in the valley of the Mississippi. Westward of 
that river it does not appear to exist. There are Lynxes between the 
Rocky Mountains and the Pa(!ific Ocean ; these seem, however, to be the 
Bay lynx, or a s[)ecies so nearly resembling tiie latter, that they appear to 
be no more than oin; of its numerous varieties. There is a specimen in 
the Museum of the Zoological Society of London, marked F. Imrcalis, 
wliicli is stated to have been brought from Calilbrnia by Douglass, which 
we did not see, having somehow overlooked it. Its characters and history 
deserve investigation. 




Tlie question whether the Canada Lynx is, or is not* identical with 
my species of th^ north of Europe, is by no means settled. Pennant 
considered it the same as the lynx {Fdis lynx) of the old world. Buf- 
FON, after pointing out the distinctive marks of each, came to the conclu- 
sion that they were mere varieties. These naturalists, however, lived at 
a period when it was customary to consider the animals of America as 
mere varieties of those of the Eastern continent. GEOPFROi- St. IIilaire 
named our present species, considering it distinct from the Lynxes of Eu 
rope ; and Temminck des ribed it under the name of F. borealis, as exist- 
ing in the northern parts of both continents, thinking it a species distinct 
from Felis lynx of the north of Europe. 

We spent some time with Professor Reichenbacii, in comparing speci- 
mens of European and American lynxes which exisr. in the museum of 
Dresden. From the general appearance of these specimens, a great si- 
milarity between L. Canadensis and the Lynx {Felis lynx) of the north 
of Europe may undoubtedly be remarked, and tliey might be regarded as 
mere varieties of one species. The forms of animals, however, approach 
each other in both continents where there is a similarity of climate. Many 
of the genera of New- York and Pennsylvania plants are largely repre- 
sented in Germany, and although nearly all the indigenous species are 
different, they are closely allied. In South Carolina, there are several 
oirds, quadrupeds, and reptiles, which bear a striking resemblance to 
those found in Egypt, in nearly the same parallel of latitude. The black- 
winged haw^k (F. dispar) resembles the F. mclanopterus so nearly, that 
Bonaparte published them as identical. Our alligator is a near relative 
of the crocodile, our soft-shelled turtle (Tiionyx ferox) is much like the 
^- ^g'JPticus, and our fox squirrel {Sc. capistratus) has a pretty good re- 
presentative in Sc. Madagascaricnsis. In a mor< iorthcrn latitude, we 
may point to the American and European badgers, to Lcpiis Amerieanus 
and L. variabilis, and to Tamias striatns of Siberia and T. Lystcrii, as ex- 
amples of the near approach of distinct species to each other ; to which 
we may add, that the wild sheep of the Rocky Mountains {Ovis montana) 
bears so striking a resemblance to the Ovis Ammon, another species ex- 
isting on the mountains of Asia, that the two have been confounded ; and 
our Spcrmophilus Townscndii is in size and colour so like the Souslik {Sp. 
gutlatus) of the mountains of Hungary, that Dr. Richardson published 
it ay a mere variety. Taking these facts into consideration, after a 
careful examination of Lynx Canadensis, and after having compared if 




with Fclis lynx of Europe, we pronounce them distinct species vvitliout 

Although the European lynx varii's considerably in colour, especially 
specimens killed at difterent seasons of the year, it is in all the vari<>- 
ties we have seen, of a deeper rufous tint than the Canada Lynx ; tne 
spots on the body are more distinct, and the hair, in some specimens 
from Russia and Siberia, is much shorter than in our animal, while the 
tail is longer and more tufted. Temminck, a very close ol)server, and 
distinguished naturalist, thinks the Canada Lynx is found on both con- 
tinents — in this he may possibly be correct ; we, however, saw no spe- 
cimerjs in the museums of Europe that corresponded with the descrip- 
tion of L. Canadensis, that did not come from America. The name, 
F. borealis, which Temminck bestowed on it, can, however, only be consi- 
dered a synonyme, as GEotTRov described the animal previously, giving it 
the name of Felts Canadensis. We have not been able to find in Ame- 
rica the European species described by Temminck under the name of 
Felis cervaria, which, s he supposes, exists also in the northern part ol 
our continent. 

,n i 





S. corpore robusto, S. capistratus minore, S. majore: crun- 
bus pauUum curtis; naso et auribus nunquam albis; cauda corpor- 
paullo longiore. ' 


A little smaller than the fox squirrel, (S. capistratus;) larger than H. 
northern gray squirrel, (S. migratorius ;) body, stout; legs, rather short r 
nose and ears, never white ; tail, a little shorter than the body. 


SoiURUS CiNEBEUs, Rjiy, Quad., p. 215, A. D. 1693 
Cat-Squirrel, Catesby, Carolina, vol. ii., p. 74, pi. 74, A. D 1771 
Kahn's Travels, vol. ii., p. 409, English' trans 

" " Pcnnant'sArcticZoology, vol. i., p. 119, 1784 
SciURus CiNEREUs, Linn., Gmel., ngg 

Fox-Squirre,.. (S. vulpinus,) Godman, Nat. Hist., vol. ii., p 128 

SciuRus CiNEREus Appendix to American Edition of McMurtrie's Tran.iatiou .f 

l-uviers Animal Kingdom, vol. i., p. 433. 
_ " " Bach, Monog. Zoological Society, 1838 

Vulgo, Fox^QuiRREL, of Ncw-York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, distinct from 
the Fox-Sqmrrel (S. capistratus) of the southern States. 


Head, less elongated than that of ^^ capistratus, (the fox-squirrel,) and 
mc.sor.s rather narrower, shorter, and less prominent than in that spe- 
cie.s. Ears broad at base and nearly round, thickly clothed on both sur- 
faces with hair; behind the ears the hairs are longer in winter than 
during summer, and in the former season, extend beyond the margin oi 
the ear. Whiskers, numerous, longer than the head; neck, .short; body 
stouter than that of S. capistratus; or any known species of Squirrel pe- 
.'Uluir 10 our continent. Fur, more woolly, and less rigid Mian in S "c 
\'J ' ' 



nist7-atus ; not as smooth as in -S. migratnriits. Ilindn- parts heavy, 
giving it a clumsy appearance. Tail, long, broad, ami ll.-it, rather less 
distichous than in »V. cajtistnttiis, or -S. migrdtoriiis; feet, shorter than in 
the former. Nails, strong, compressed, moihu-ately arched, and acute. 


Perhaps none of our squirrels are subject to greater varieties of colour 
than the present; we have seen specimens in (formerly) Peai-e's museum, 
of every tint, from light-gray almost to black. Two others that came 
under our observation were nearly white, and had not red or pink eyes, 
which last are a characteristic mark of that variety in any animal which 
is commonly called an albino. 

Between the varieties of our present species and the almost ecpially 
numerous varieties of the Ibx-squirrel, (S. ciipistrtitiis,) there may be re- 
marked an important ditference. In the latter species the varieties are 
generally perm'xnent, scarcely any specimens being ibund of intermediate 
colour between the well-known shades which exist in dillercnt localities 
or families, whilst in the former, every variety of tint can be observed, 
and scarcely two can be found exactly alike. The prevailing variety, 
or colour, however, is gray, and one of this colour we will now describe 
from a specimen before us. 

Teeth, orange; nails, dark-brown near the base, lighter to the extre- 
mities. On till' cheeks, a slight tinge of yellowish-brown, extending to 
the junction of the iiead with the neck; inner surface of the ears, yellow- 
ish-brown; outer surface of the ear, fur soil and woolly in appearance, 
extending a little beyond the margin, light cinereous edged with rutsy- 
brown. Whiskers l)otli black and white, the black ones most numerous: 
under the throat, i!!ner surface of the legs and thighs, and the whole un- 
der-fur, wliite, producing an iron-gray colon' at the surface; tail, less 
flat and distichous (being rather more roui d, and narrower) than in 
many other species of this genus, composed of hairs which separately 
examined are of a dull wliite near the roots, succeeded by a narrow 
marking of black, then white, ibllowed by a broad line of black, and 
broadly tipped with white. 

Another specimen is dark-gray on the back and head, with a mix- 
ture of black and cinereous on the feet, thighs, and uiuler-surface. Whis- 
kers, nearly all white. The markings on the tail are similar to those of 
the other specimen. A third specimen, obtained i)\nn Pennsylvania, is 
.lark yellowish-brown on tlie upper-surface; legs and belly, of a bright, 
orange-colour. A fourth s|)eeinien, obtained in the New-York market, 
is gravish-brown .above, and black beneath The bones c\' this specie^ 



aremvariably of a reddish-co'our-this is strikingly perceptible after the 
tlesh IS cooked. 

We have represented in the plate three of these P,.,uirrels. all of dif- 
feren. eoIou,-H, but the of tint to be observed in different speci- 
mens cf the Cat-Squirrel, are so great, that among fifty or more perhaps 
we never could find two exactly alike; for which reas'on we selected l^ 
our drawmg an orange-coloured one. a gray one. and one nearly black. 


An old male. — Recent. 

From nose to root of tail 

J ength of tail, (vertebrfe) 

do. of tail, to end of hair .... 

do. from fore-claws to hind.claws, stretched out 
Weight, 1 lb. 13 oz. 
Female specimen ser.t to us, by Mr. Baird, of Pennsylvania. 
Length of body ....._ 

do. of tail, from root to end of vertebras 
do. of tail, « to end of hair 
do. to end of hind-legs . 
Extent of fore-legs - . . . 



Height of ear, anteriorly - - . 
do. of " posteriorly 
do. of " laterally, (inside.) - 
Nose to occiput - . . . , 

Breadth of ear 

do. of tail 

• • •» 

Weight, 2 lb. 5 oz. 










This Squirrel has many habits in common with other species, residmg 
m the hollows of trees, building in summer its nest of ieaves in some 
convenient fork of a tree, and subsisting on the same kinds oflo ItTs 
however, the most inacuve of all our known species; it climbs a tree 
no with the lightness and agility of the northern' gray squirrel, bu^ wfth 

L^tc, >.) After ascending, it does not immediately mount to the top as is 
the case with other species, but clings to the body of .le tree on the s de 

branch. We have seldom observed it leaping from bough to bou-^h 

t ' 



When it is induced, in search of food to proceed to the extremity of a 
branch, it moves cautiously and heavily, and Kf''"'rahy returns <he same 
way. On the ground it runs clumsily and makes slower progress tlian 
the gray squirrel. It is usually fat, especially in autumn, and the flesh is 
said to be preferable to that of any of our other species of squirrel. The 
Cat-Squirrcl does not appear to be migratory in its habits. The same 
pair, if undisturbed, may be found in a particular vicinity for a number 
of years in succession, and the sexes seem paired for life. 

Wflliam Bairu, Esq., of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, says of this species — 
"The Fox-Squirrel, as this species is called with us, will never, unless al- 
most in the very jaws of a dog, ascend any other tree than that which 
contains its nest, differing very greatly in this respect from our gray 

The nest, which we have only seen on two occasions, was constructed 
of sticks and leaves, in the crotch of a tree about twenty feet from the 
ground, and in both cases the pair had a safer retreat in a hollow of 
the same tree above. 

This species is said to have young but once a year. We have no posi- 
tive evidence to the contrary, but suspect that it will hereafter be dis- 
covered that it produces a second litter in the summer, or toward 

On taking some of them from the nest, we found on one occasion three, 
and on another four, young. These nests were placed in the hollows of 
oak trees. 


The Cat-Squirrel is rather a rare species, but is not very uncommon in 
the oak and hickory woods of Pennsylvania ; we have seen it near Easton 
and York; it is found occasionally in Maryland and Virginia, and is met 
with on Long Island and in some other portions of the State of New- 
York, but in the northern parts of that State is exceedingly rare, as we 
only saw two pair durinsr fifteen years' close observation. At certain 
seasons we have found these squirrels tolerably abundant in the markets 
of the city of New- York, and have ascertained that persons who had 
them for sale were aware of their superior value, as we were frequently 
charged 37i cents for one, whilst the common gray squirrel could easily 
be purchased for 12 J cents. The south-eastern portion of New- Jersey 
«eems to be well suited to them. This species is rarely found in Massa- 
chusetts and one we leceived from the north-western part of that Stalf 
was there regarded as a great curiosity. 




This species has been sometimes coiiroundcd with the fox-squirrel, (S 
yipislmtiis,) mul at other times with the northern gray s(iuirrel, (.S*. mi<rra- 
tonus,) and all three have by some been considered as forminf? but*onc 
species; it is however in size intermediate between the two former, and 
has some distinctive marlis by which it may be known from eith(>r. 

The northern gray squirrel has (as far as we have been able to ascer- 
tain irom an examination of many specimens) permanently five molars 
on each side in the upper jaw, and the present species lias but four. The 
Cat-Squirrel, however, like the young ibx-squirrel, has no doubt a small 
deciduous tooth, which drops out in the very young state, and at so early 
a period that we have not succeeded in detecting it. 

Sriurus capistratus is in all its varieties, as far as wi. have observed, 
invariably and permanently distinguished by its having white ears and 
a white nose, which is not the case with S. cinereus. The former is a 
southern species, the latter is Ibund in the middle and northern States, 
l)iit not in the colder portions of New England or in Canada. 

S. capistratus is a longer, thinner and more active species, running 
with almost the speed of a hare, and ascending the tallest pines to so 
great a height that nothing but a rifle-ball can bring it down : the pre- 
sent species is heavy, clumsy, and prefers clinging to the body of a tree, 
not generally ascending to its extreme branches. The hair of .S'. cnpis. 
tratus is more rigid and smoother than that of .«?. cinereus, which is rather 
soft and woolly. 

We have instituted this comparison in order to prove the inaccurnoy ol 
a statement contained in one of the last works published in our country 
on the American quadrupeds. The author says, "We suspect that Gon- 
man's Ibx-squirrel (S. vulpinus) as well as his Cat, {S. cinereus) are varie- 
ties only of the hooded squirrel." Under the above names Godman pub- 
lished only one and the same species, but the hooded squirrel, {S. capis 
tratus,) with white ears and nose, is a very different species, and is no' 
given by Godman. 

The Cat-Squirrel was the first of the genus described from America 
Rav characterizes it as S. virginianus cinereus major. Catesbv gives ? 
tolerable description of it, and a figure, whidi although rather extrava 
gant in the size of its tail, cannot from its short ears, which as well as tlio 
nose are destitute of the white marks of S. capistratus, be mistaken for 
the gray variety of the latter species. 

He says— "These squirrels are as large as a half-grown i-nbbit; the 
whole structure of their bodies and limbs thicker in proportion and of a 





grosser and more clumsy make than our common squirrels." From this 
time it became for many years either lost or confounded with other spe- 
cies by naturalists, Desmareht, under the name of cincrcus, rntrrrly mis- 
took the species, and applied it to two others, the Carolina gray, and the 
northern gray squirrel. Harlan copied the article, adopting and per- 
petuating the error. Godman, by the aid of Le Conte as it appears to 
us, (see a reference to his letter— Amer. Nat. Hist., vol. ii., p. 120,) was 
enabled to correct this error, but fell into another, describing one spe- 
cies under two names, and omitting the southern fox-squirrel (S. capistra- 
lus) altogether, assigning its habits to his S. vulpinus. In our monograph 
of this genus, 1838, we endeavoured to correct the errors into which au- 
tiiors had fallen in regard to this species; time and further experience 
have only strengthened us in the views we then expressed. 

From this 
other spe- 
frrcly mis- 
y, and the 
; and prr- 
appoars to 
129,) was 
r one spe- 
?. capislra- 
which au- 


aV .'^s^ 

























PLATE XVIII.-Male and Female. 

L corpore supra flavo-fuscente, subtus griseo, L. sylvatico min<.re 
aunbus capite in multum brevioribus, oculis aliquantulum parvis cauda 
brevissima, cruribus curtis varipilis. 


Smaller than the gray rabbit; ears, much shorter than the head; eyes ra- 
ther small; tail very short; legs, short; feet, thinly clothed ^oith hair; 
upper parts of body, yellowish-brown; beneath, gray. 


'"'"JZl^"^ Bach Jour. Acud. of Natural Science., Philadelplua. vol. vii.. 

pp. 194, 366, read May 10, ISJiC. ' 

Upi-s BouaLAssii. Gniy, read, Zoological Society, London, Nov. 18.37 
Le-us 1 A,.U8TUi8, Audubon-Birds of America, first edition-pounced upon by the 

common buzzard, (Buteo vulgaris.) Ornithological Biography, vol. iv., p.Vlo! 


tipper incisors, longer and broader than of the gray rabbit, mark- 
ed like all the rest of the genus with a deep longitudinal furrow; the 
small acces.sory incisors are smaller and less flattened than those of the 
gray rabbit, the molars are narrower, and a little shorter. The trans- 
verse measurement of the cranium is much smaller, the vertical about 
equal. (Jrbits of tne eyes one-third smaller. 

This last Is a staking peculiarity, giving this a smaller and less 
prominent eye than that of any other American hare of equal size with 
which we are acquainted. 

The zygomat-c processes of the temporal bone run downwards nearly 
... a vertical line, wnilst those of the gray rabbit are almost horizontnl 
Head, rather largo, Ibrehead, sligh.Iy arehe.I ; whiskers numerous, rigi.h 
nose, bmnt; eyes, rather small; ears, short, rounded, broad, clothed on' 
Kolb sunaces with .hort hairs. Neck, moderately long; bo<iy. short 



Il»'-k. nnd „r rnlhnr a rhimsy ,sl,i,|),>; liairn. n.llirr I.m.k „„,1 ,„„,.h ooarN.T 
llwiM (lies.. „r tl„. o,.,,y L,-s, short, and ralli.T small; ('..,•(, ho 
fhiniy clollic! with Imir. thai llu' nails in uiosr oC (he spccinnMis arc not 
fovrrni, hut projc.-l lu-yond llir hair; fim \\>ri jravr a dislin.-l inipr-s- 
sidii (>r t!.i' to,>v ,,nd daws on tlii> nnid or in moist placrs wlicrc tlu-ir 
ti.icks can I.,, sn-n. II.m>I. short, thiidy rovcir.l uitli hair; nails. Ioiik. 
stont. and v.«ry a.-uir ; tail, slant; scan-rly whilst, the animal i^i 


Troth. yi'Ilowish-whitc; cyos. (hirk-hrown. appoarinK i" r(M-taiii lif,'hts 
<]uit.< I'pprr part of il..- iifa<l. hrown, and ^rayisli-ash. Anamd 

II"' «>rl)ils of lh.« .'vrs. sli!;litly fawn-col vd : whisk.-rs. black; cars, 

dark Krayish-im.wn. Hack, whole upper-parts, an<l tippcr-surfacc of iIm! 
tail, ycliowish-hrown intermixed with many stronj,' l.lack hairs. 'I'he 
hairs, when examined siniily. an- l)lnish-^,r,.,,y ,„ ,i„. ,.„„,^^ ,|„,„ |j^,,„. 
l)rown. and an- lipped witli hiack. Throat, hrownish-Kray. Outer- 
surface of fore-Iei-s. and •ippcr-su, i'acc of tlii^dis, reddish-yeilow. Thn 
fur Ix'n.-ath. is linhi |)hnnheous ; \mder the chin, pay; helly, and 
iiadcrsurfacc of tail. Iii;ht--ray ; the fur beneath, bluish. Kiviiifj il'a dark 
sellowish-brown appearance. rnder-surfacc of the tail, ash-cohan-, 
ed^vd with brown. Duriii); wint.«r the upp.-r siu-face l)ccomes consider- 
ably thirker than in sunnner, and tlic undcr-parls of llio tail in a few spe- 
ciuuMis become nearly white. 


A specimen in the llcsh. 

l.enirth from point of nose to insertion of tail 

do. of tail, (verfel)ra\) 

do. do. do. iiv ludiny; fur 

Heiirhl from end of middle chiw to lop of slionlder 

Lenirfh of head 

do. ears ---... 

do. hind-foot .... . 

Weif,'ht, 'Jl lbs. 

I'i inches 














The Marsh-Hare chielly conlincs itself to the maritime distri, Is of tlm 

southern States, and is ixeiiiM-ally found in low marshy grounds tiiat arn 

sometimes partially iiuuulal.'d. n.<ar rivers sul)ject to frcslwts that occa- 

sioiiallv overllow their baidvs. or near the larne p.aids called in Carolina 



••rcsnrvos,- which an, du,ru„«,| up or ,„,h„rwiHn ,„,«h, to retain .l„ «, 

"";"":■'"'•••' ••• """•• ""• '•--'-•••''5h at th. proper ..son "" 

'n H...S,. ,si,„.ai„„H-,o whi,.h C.w p,.rsn„M lik. to „n account of 

::::';"'"■;■ '"'•":' ^'■""""' """ ••- "'""^ ^'-"y -" --^i^ 

V. s..„ ,.,h..r ol.s,ruc..ons hI.,.„,..| n.-ar ,'...„, ; ...,1 which h.-sid. s 

"'!;; ">' •""-'•' '•••"" "-■• ><'-Kn.u.t wutcrs a vapon w c h 

..y ....crates .nscasc sur. ., ,„ ..„, watcr-saakci an,/ ^^ ^^ 

. . ..s specs rc,s..h.s th,-oa,.ho.,t the year, rarely u.oh,s,,c,l hy man 
-•' ••"'•:■'• »»y ..H .upmric hahits ,,<. „.aiu, up lor any want o. snood 

IJ. with ,rcat facility through n.iry pools, and n.arshcs overgrown 
w..,h ran weeds and willow hushes, ar.d is <putc at its case TnZ 
honu, ,n the u.ost ho,.,.y and .n.salc parts of the swa,nps 

Wc have u.ct with this a. few miles from 'columhia South 
Onrohna one lumd.ed and twenty u.iics north of (.'harleston al ,n.M e 

;r*";\ '- ;'■;•'•• ^••'^'^"^'' -•'- "'..I ."-sh,.s; hut on 'a i .1 

peai-, It IS no lon>{cr to he lound. ' 

r.. Ks n.oven.ent,s it is u.ost of our other hares; it runs low on 

.l-piny. FM-o,n the shortn,.ss of its Ie«s a„d cars, and its general cLnsv 
a,,>nu.anco as wcsecit sHashin. through the mud and mire, or pZ^ 
m. u,to creaks or pond„. it son.cwhat us of an ovor-^rowi Nor- 
way rat ..n.!eavo,jrinff to (vscapn from its pursuers 

The Marsh-Ilar-e is so slow of f,K,t. that hut for thr, protection affonird 
.t I'y l- .nn,v tangled a,.d thorny character of its usuil ha.mts, Twol 
on he overtaken a,.d eau«ht hy any do. of moderate speed WeTa 
-rvcl he ne,r..s of a plantation on a holiday, kil,.;., a .ood many 
•• -n '.y first, settin, tire to the halCdricd grasses and ;ee,ls in a 
....shy p,e,.c of .roun,l d.u-in. n ,lrou,d.t, when the earth had 
ul.orhe,l nearly all the moisture tro.n it. and then surroundin, the pla^ 
w..h St. cks.n their hands, and waitin, ,„.til the dames drov^- thehar"' 
'••'"" the.r retreats, when they were knocked down and secured as they 
;; •;-i>..-.l to pass. Several «ray-rahhits ran out of this place, hut the 
"-. .M not attempt to stop then., knowing thcir superior s^ced 
-cry Marsh fare th.-.t appeared was heade.l. and with a loud who p . 
.'poll on all sides an.l soou c-.pture.l ' 

The ,;.H of the Marsh-Hare .re adn.irahly adapted to its a.uatic h. 
. A tluc cover.,,, of hair on its feet, like that on the solo of othe. 
T :- :;"" '"■ ""•""-"-•" •• M.C. would uot onlv he kept wet fo 




(JiiJidniprds (hat, frequent the water, such as (ho heaver, otter, musk-iat, 
iniiik, »!tc.. and U()ualie hirds, liave nearly naked pahns; and it is this pe- 
culiar structure, together with the power of spreadiii},' out its feet, and 
thus increasing the space hetween each of its toes, (hat enahles this ani- 
mal to swim with ^reat ease and rapi(nty. lis (rack when ohserved 
in moist or nuiddy situations differs very uuicii from (hat of other species. 
Its (ocs are spread out, each leaving a dis(inet impression like those of 
the rat. Some of the luvhits of this Han^ dilfer >,M'eatly from those of 
others of the penus; it seeks the water, not only in order the easier to 
escape from i(s pursuers, hut when in spordvt^ mood; and a sdan^M-r in 
Carolina should he accidentally see one amusiiij,' iiself i)y swinnnin;,' 
about, if unacquainted witli the habits of tin; animal, would be puzzled 
by its manu>uvres. 

When the Marsli-Hare is startled by the approach of danger, instead 
of direct ini? its (lisiht toward hiu:h f,M-ounds like the y:ray rabbit, it hastens 
to the thickest part of the marsh, or plmifjes into some stream, 
mill-pond, or "reserve," and very olien stops and conceals itself where 
the water is nuiny feet deep, auionjif the leaves of lilies or other acpia- 
tie plants. 

Alter a heavy rain had produced a Hood, which immdated some swamps 
and rice-fields near us, we sallied forth to see what had bccoiiu' of tim 
Marsh- Ha res: and on beatinp the bushes, we started many of them wliieh 
ran from their hiding places, plunged into the water, and swam ofT with 
such rapidity that some escaped from an active ^'ewfoun(llaIld d«^' that 
we had with us. 8ev(>ral of them, supposing,' they were unobserved, tiid 
themselves in the water, about fiOeen yards from the shore, protrndinj,' 
only their eyes and the point of their nose above the surface; when iIiuh 
almost entirely under the muddy water, with their ears pressed back and 
flat asjainst their neck, they could scarcely b(> discovered. On rouchiii'^ 
them with a stick, they seemed unwilling: to move until they perceived 
that they wt>r(> observed, when they swam oil' with great celerity. 

A few eveninfjjs atVerwards when the waters had subsided and returned 
to their ordinary channels, we saw a jrood many of these ITares swiuuuiii},' 
in places where the water was seven or eii;ht feet deep, meetiMf,'. or pur- 
suing each other, as if ii\ sport, and evidently enjoying themf^clvcs. 

When (he gray-rabbit approaches (he wa(er. i( griicrally goes aromul 
or leaps over it, bu( (lie Marsh-Hare en(ers it readily and swims across. 

We have on a few occasions seen this Hare take to a hollow Ircii 
when hard pressed by dogs, but (as we have Just remarked) it usuailv 
depends more tor its safety on reaching inar»hy places, ponds, or im 
ponetrable thickets. 



This speoifis possesses ii stronj? marshy smell at all times, even when 
kept in confiiiemei.t and led on the choicest food. Its flesh, however, 
altlioii«h dark, is fully (■(lual if not superior to that of tlie gray rabbit. 

The Marsh-Han, ii.n'.;r, (Imt, we are auar.M)i; visits { or eulti- 
vated fields, but confines itscdf ihroiiKhoiit tla, year to tlu, marshes. It is 
occasionally in places overflowed by salt:, or brackish, water, but 
seems to jjrcder fresh-water marshes, where its food can be inost conve- 
niently olitained. It feeds on various grasses, and gnaws off (he twigs of 
tlie young sassafras, and of tlu; pond-spice {hiurus fr,.nir.ulata.) We have 
seen many places in the low grounds dug up, the foot-j)rints iudicatin- 
that it was the work of (his species in search of roots. It frequontly is 
found digging for the bulbs of the wild potatoe, (.l;,,^ iberosa,) as also 
for (hose of a small spin-ies of amaryllis, {Amfirf/l/is alamasc.o.) 

We kept an individual of this species in confin.iment, which had be(m 
captured when full-grown. It became so gentle in a few days that it 
freely took its food from the hand. It was fed on (urnips and "cabbage- 
leaves, but i)referre(l bread to any oth,.r food that was offered to it. In 
warm veath.-r it was fond of lying for hours in a trough of water, and 
seem.-d restless and uneasy when it was removed: scratching at the 
sides of its cage until the trough was re.dacd, wh.Mi it immediately 
plunged m, burying the great<>r part of its body in the water. 

This species, like all others of the genus existing in this country, 
as well as (he de.T and s(iuirrels, is infested with a troublesome lar\a' 
of an oestrus in the summer and autumn; which pcsnetrating into the flesh 
and eo.itituially enlarging, causes pain to the animal and renders it loan. 
'file Marsh-ll.ire deposits its young in a pretty large nest, frequently 
composed of a species of rush, {Jumms r//-M.v;/.v,)" growing in convenient 
■situations The rushes appear to be cm by it into pieces of about a foot 
in length. We have seen these nests nearly tturrounded by, and almost 
floating on the water. Tli.'v were generally arched liy carefully bending 
the rushes or grasses over them, admitting the mother by a pretty large 
hole in the side. A consideiabh; (|uantity of hair wa,< (bund lining them, 
but wli<«tlier plucked out by the parent, or the result of the natural shed- 
ding of their coat, (it being late in the spring when these animals 
shed their hair,) we wen> unai)le to ascertain. 

The young nun.ber from five to seven. They evidently breed several 
times in [\w season, but we have observed that tlie females asually 
produce their young at least a month la(er than the gray rabbit. 
Tw. '■.',• -one specimens were obtained from the (Xli (o (h(! IKli day of 
Ai)ril; none of the females had produced young that season, although 
some of them would have done so in a very few days. On one occasior 



only, have we seen the young in M.-.rdi. Tli.y l.cur a strong reseinl.lancf 
to the adult, and may almost .-..t a «ian<M- i.<> distir.guishi'd from those ot 
• lie gray rabbit. 

liK.IICKArilK'AI, msl'HlllliTION. 

Jlw Marsh-IIare has been s».M>n as liir north us the swamjjs of I he 
M)ulh.'rn pans of North Carolina. Jn South Carolina, it is i., some lo- 
calities <iuit.' num.^rous. Nearly all the muddy swami)s aiul marshes 
abound with it. We have known two jxMsons kill twenty in llie 
course of a few hours. 

In high grounds it is never seen; it eontinues to increase in numbers 
as we proceed .southwardly. It is al.undant in the swamps of Georgia, 
Alabama, am! Louisiana. We received a living sj)ecimen Irom Key 
West, the southern point of Florida. We have .seen it in Texas, from 
whence the specimen described by (Ikav was brought, and we are in- 
clined to believe that it will be found to .xtend into the, northern part ol 


As a remarkable instance of a species eonlimiing to exist in a thickly 
settled country without having tbund its way into scientific works, we 
may refer to this very common hare. We obtained specimens in Caro- 
lina in the spring of IHl.'V. If. was called by the inhabitants by the names 
of Swjunp, and Marsh, Hare, and generally supposed to be only a variety 
of the gray rabbit. W(> did not publish a descrii)tion of the species until 
18.-u;. In the following year, Gray, who had not th.^n seen the Transac- 
tions of the Acad of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, in which our de- 
scription was contained, described it undi^r the nam.) of Lrpus Doiiglnssii. 
This species may always be distinguished Iron-, our other hares by its 
oolour. its rather short and broad ears, its short tail, which is never pure 
vvliite beneath, by its narrow hind-feet, and by its aquatic babits. 






S. canda corpore curtiore; dorso fusco; iliis partibusque coUi latcrali 
bus nifis ; a})domine cinereo. 


Tail, shorter than the body; hack, dark hrown ; sides of the neck ana 
ff<"'ks, rufous ; under surface, dncrcous. 


*'";;s.."oT".e;r;: r ■ "' '"•■■ '°™"' *»"• »' "»•■ ^"•"-- "•■'*'■ 


A little larger than the chiekaree. (S. Hudsonius;) head, rather large, 
sbghtly arehed; ears, round, broad, but not hi.h, elothed on the o„fe 
and^inner surfaces with short, smooth hairs; whiskers, longer than the 

In form this species does not approach the Tam.^:, as .V. doe, 
.n some d..gree: ^, on the contrary, very much resembles the Caroli,^. 
gray-s.,mrr,.l, S. Carolinensis, which is only an longer 

Legs, robust; toes, rather long; nail., compressed, arched; t.q bushy 
but apparently not distichous, as far as can be Ju.lged from the dri/d' 
.pecmen; hairs of the tail about as long as those of the Carolina gray- 
.qu.rrel. The hairs on the whole of ,he body are sofV, and very .mooth. 


Teeth, light yellow; upper parts, inleuding the nos,-, ears, and outer 
surface ol the tail, dark-brown ; this colour is produced by the hairs being 
l> umbeous at th.. roots, tipped withiight-brown and bla^k. On the sides 
ol the neck, the shoulder, and near the thighs, it is of a reddish-brown 
colour. Ihc ta.1 ,s brown, twice annulated with bhick ; a few of the 



Iiiiirs are tipped with ^ray. On the under surfaee, (lie lips and ehin arc 
prayish-brown ; inner siirliice of iIk; I'ore-lejjjs, throiil, and alxloiner', 
"inereoiis, li{?iiliy tinged in some i)iaeeM wilii riiloiis. 


Len^lii ot'liead and body 
" of tail (vertebra') 

" to end of hair 
Height of ear 
From heel to end of nail 

Inchee. Line*. 

H i\ 



2 1 


This species was procured in Upper California, near the Pacdfic oct^an, 
and we are obliged to eoid'ess ourselves entirely iinac(|iiainted with its 
habits. From its form, however, we have no doubt of its having more 
the matmers of the (^arolinu gray-sciuirrel than those of the chickaree. 
We may suppose that it lives on treys, and never burrows in the ground, 
as the chickaree sometimes does. 

GKoouArnn Ai, histkuiut'on. 

Our specimens were obtained in the northern part of California, near 
the Pacific ocean. 


This species <li(rers so widely in all its details from S. Hunsonms, that 
it is scarcely necessary to point out the distinctive marks by whch it is 
."^eparattnl from the latt(>r. The s|)ace occupied by the lighte ct lours on 
the und(>r surface is nuich narrower than in N. lfu(lsonith<, and there is 
not, as in that species, any black line of separation between the colours 
of the back and under surface. 



ToWNHKNI.'h (iKOIJND-SuolKliei,. 

I'l^ATK XX. 

'■2'>'!Z2,:z2r"'rT'- ""'- «" -■ • 

A^j'Nun iniiKiiuudiiK! siijxsniiiH. 


A Huh larger than Tamtm Lmhri • tail m„rh l 
'lush, „rUo,,nn with ftJJ ,' r ^^^"''' "'''"'' •'"^^'"■«' 


''""'<^'Sirr '"T""'" ^*^"""'' ^'''"'-'' •'--" Acad. .,,■ N 
tts. 1 hiliidelplua, vol. VIII., puit ), iH;ti,. ^^ 

titurul fcicien- 


».T....n .L,;;«!,:;:;;t" :,,;■':;::;. ;"™r""'' ?" '■■""-■ - 

:;■■■ »-■•-, 0,,.,;;;;:;;:,';:: ,;';:;7' ;:t,n ""'"'"" 

/-< , un.s, lonf,', tlie (orr-lcet have four toi'^ wiO. n i- 


Tneth, (lark omnL'e; whiskers hl-ipk. n i;„ /•<■ 

ovtr the e>..brow.s. a.ul (ermi.utfes a little beyond 



Ilicin in II point rl' Ii;,'litt'r colmir; ii patcli of ii siinilar colour commences 
under (lie cyc-lids, and running alonp; llic checks, tcriniiialcs nf llie eiir. 

A lino of dark l)ro\vn, coniinciicin^' at llic IrriiiiMation of tlic nose, 
wlicre it Cornis a point, and liordcrin;; the law n-colonr ahovi', is ^riadually 
blcndi'd willi tlic ccdoiiis of tlic licad ; fur on tlic outer siu'faee of tiio ear, 
brown on tlie anterior parts, with a patch of white coverinj; about, one- 
I'ourth of tlie ear. On the posterior part of tlie car there is a siij!;ii), cine- 
reous tint about six lines in Icn^tJi, tcrininatiufj near tin? siioulder. A 
black stripe conuiuMiccs on tiic hind jjart of tiie head and runs over the 
ceuire <if tlie i)ack, where it spreads out to tiie width of four lines, l«Mini- 
nntinp; in a point at the insertion of the tail; a line of the same colour 
conunences at the shoulders, and ruiniin^ ]mriillel to the first, tenninatfts 
H little beyond the hii)s ; another, but narrower and shorter line of black 
runs parallel with this, low down on the sides, ^'ivin^i it live black stripes 
abeut eiiui-distant from eacli otln-r. On the throat, belly, and inner |)urls 
of the Iciis and thiiihs, the colour is li;jli^ cinereous; there is in» line ol 
seperati')!! between the coi<nn's of the back and belly. The tail is, on the 
upjH'r surface, urayish-black, haviuff a hoary a])|)earance. Underneath, 
if is reddish-brewn for fwinthirds of its breadth, then a narrow line -n 
black, tipped with light ash. Nails, brown. 














Length of head and body 
" tail (vertebra') 

" " includins; fur - 

*• head 

Ileijiht of ear ... 

Length from heel to en ' of nail 


No doubt the ditlerent species of this genus arc ns uniform in the * 
habits as the true squirrels. They are usually found sealed low, on 
stumps or rocks, at the roots of or near which they have th(>ir burrow: 
Their chei'k-pouchcs enable them to carry to these hi(iing-])laces, nuts, 
grains, tS:c.. to serve tliein for food in winter. Mr. Townsenh. wlio pro- 
cuhmI the sp(>cinienfi from which we have drawn up our descript'on, co- 
serve;-, "'!"his pretty little fellow, so much resembHug o'li connnon 1'. 
xlrititiis, (Li/Ktcri,) is (inite common; it lives in holes in tiic ground, run- 
ning over your foot as you traverse the woods. It freijuently perches 
itsell upon ,i log or s(iuii|). .'ind keeps up a continual clucking, vvhicl: is 

\ . 



usually answoml hy a„oth,.r at sorr... ,\\sUmo^, for a consi.lonihle timr 
hnr not. ho much r..s,.,nhl,.s of ,1... ,|,,sky Krou.s... {Trlrao oh,cnrns) 
that I have moro ;,haii onr.- Ixcn deceived l)y if." 


W., hav„ ncani <,C sprcu-s an rxistinj,- fro.n tl.n 37tr, to the 4r,tl. 
.IrKH.,. of Ialitu.1,., on ll,,. Kooky M..untains. ft prol,ahly ,lo,.s not ox.on.l 
to the castwanl of that rhain. as w., Haw nothing, of it o„ .,„, i„t,. ,. ,.. 
'Iition up the Missouri river, to the mouth of the Y(dh)w-Stonc, &c. 


The markings of this Ground-Sqnirrei diffrr widely from those of any 
other known speeies. From Tomias Lysfcri it .lifTers eonsiderabiy 
.o.n^. htr;,er and having' a mueh h.n.^er tail ; it has a white patch 
f'Hiind the ear, ,>nd einereons markings „n Ih.- neck, of whieh the latter 
.s destitute; the ears are a .hird lon^^er than in T. Ly.tcri. The stripes 
on the hack are also very differently arransed. I,, TavUm Lystcri there 
IS fn-st a black dorsal strip.., then a space of grayish-brown, half an inch 
wid.-, then two shorter stripes, within two lines of each other; which 
•larrow intervening portion is yellowish-white. The stripes in the pre 
sent species arc at a uniform distance fro.n each other, the dorsal one 
runnn.K to the tail; whereas, in the other it does not reach within an 
mch of It, and the interveninff spaces arc fill.;d up by a uniform colour 
This species has not the whitish stripes on the sides, nor the rufous colour 
on the hips, wluch are so conspicuous in T. Lysteri. 




Gray Fox. 


V sriseo niRroque variegatus, lateribus et partibus colli latoralibus 
tV'.vis, genis nigris, 


(rrni/, varied with Mack, sidrs of neck and flank, ful;'ou,t ; fdaak on tin- 
Hides of the face between the eye and nose. 


Fox OF Carolina, Lawson, Car., p. 125. 
Gray Fox, Catcsby, Car., vol. ii., p. 78, fig. C. 

" Pennant, Synop., p. 167, 114. 
Canis Vir<!inianls, Scliit'bor, SUugothiere, p. 301, 10 to 92 n, 1775. 

" " Erxlcben, Wyst., p. 667, 10, 1777. 

" " Linn., Syst. Nat., ed. Gmel., vol. i., p. 71, 10. 1788. 

" Cinkrko-Aroentel's, Erxlebt'n, Syst., p. 570, 0. 

" CiNEKEO-AiujENTATi-.s, Say, Long'.'! Exp.'ditinn, vul. ii,, ji. .lu). 

" ViRoiNiANus, Dcsm., Mamm., p. 204. 

" CiNEKKO-Aur.ENTATis, Godnian, Nat. Hist., vol. i., p. 280. Kg '.' 

" (Vlili'es) Vikoiniams, Rich., F. Boreali A., p. 90. 
Vui.PES ViRGiNiANVs, Dckay, Nat. Hist, of New- York, p. 45. 


Head, considerably broad(>r and shorter than that of the red fox, {Vul. 
pes fuhiis;) nose, also shorter, and a little more pointed; teeth, not so 
stout; ears, a little longti- than in the ■ v.-r animal, of an oval shape, 
and thickly clothed ->vith hair on hoih surfaces; whiskers', half the 
length of the head Body, rather thick.,!- aud more clumsy in appearance 
than that of either the swift fox, {V. vclox,) or the red fox; fur, mueli 
coarser than that of the other species. Legs, rather long; nails, strong, 
slightly arched, visible beyond the fuv; soles, with five stout tubeioles, 
not clothed Avith hair; tail, large, bushy, clothe 1 like the body with two 
ki?ids of hair; the fur, or inner hair, being soil and woolly, the outer 
hairs longer and coarser. 





Th.rc are .li^hf clifr,.rences in the colour of difFrrent,n.„s- vv. 
will, however, ^ive a description of one which i.s of tlie colour most com- 
mon to this species in every part of the IJnite.l States. Ilea.l, hrownish- 
KHiy ; n.uzzle, black; a hroa.l patch of dark brown runs from the eve to 
. u, nose, on each side of the face; whiskers, black ; inn.-r surface of ears 
.lul white ; outer surface of ears, sides of neck, outer surface of (bre-IeR.' 
and tlwphs. tawny, a yellowish wash und. r the threat. an,l alon« the 
sues; chm. and aroun.l the mouth, dark-brown; cheeks. and un- 
cer surface ol body, .lull white, occasionally tinned with a eilowi.^. 
a e; un er .suHace of hind and fore-feet, yellowish-brown; upper su- 
(aceof lee and Ie^«, ^m.Ay black and whi.e; nails, dark-brown The 
so.1 umer ,ur on the back, which is about an inch and a half Ion., .s , . 
hal. us ,en.,h from the root, plumbeous, and pale yellowish-white at th 
tips. The Ion,, haus .nve the .General colour to the body above 
are whUe at the.r roots, then for more than a third of their len.U. t k 
hen wh,e. and are broadly tipped wi.h black. ,ivin. the anim:i a hoary 
or dvergray appearance. It is darkest on the shoulder, alon.^ the back 
and posteru,r parts. The fur on the tail has a little more fulvous tin go 
»».- Imt oi t^ back; the longer hairs are much more broadly ti, ped 
-..'. »>lac . When the fur lies smooth, there is. black line aL i' t 
"PPor surface ol the tail from the root ,o the ; end of brusl 
Llack. Some .specimens are a little lighter coloured, having a silver-graJ 
appearance Specimens from the State of x\ew-York are rather more 
lulvous on the neck, and darker on the back, than those of CaroUna . 

z:^::zT''' ' '^ "-^^^ -'-' - ''- ^'^- «^ ^^^ ^^^^ -^^^ - 

We possessed for many years a beautiful specimen of a variety of the 
Gray Fox. was barred on the tail like the racoon, and had a dirk 

:e:rrd:dt BTrJc^ ^'""'^""" — ^-«^«--: which iitte: 

regarded bx Baron as a mere variety of the European fox. 


l-ength of head and body 
of tail (vertebroj) 

to end of hair 
Height of ear 
From heel to end of nai] 

28 inches. 
12i do. 
14 do. 

2i do 

fi do 




Throughout the whole of our Atlantic States, from Maine to Florida, 
and westwardly to Louisiana and Texas, there are but two species ol 
lox known, viz., the red fox, (F. fulvus,) and the present species, (F, ]'»>- 
giniantis,) although there are several permanent varieties. The former 
ma} be regarded as a Northern, the latter as a Southern species. Whilst 
the Northern farmer looks upon the red fox as a great annoyance, and 
detests him as. a robber who is lying in wait for his lambs, his turkeys, 
and his geese, the Gray Fox, in the eyes of the Southern planter, is the 
object of equal aversion. To ourselves, however, who have witnessed 
the predatory dispositions of each in different portions of our country, I* 
appears that the red fox is far more to be dreaded than the gray; the 
latter is a pilfering thief, the former a more daring and cunning plun 
derer. When they have whelps, the females of both species, urged by the 
powerful pleadings of their young, become more bold and destructive 
than at any other time ; the red fox produces its young very early in the 
season, sometimes indeed whilst the snow is still remaining here and 
there in large banks unthawed on the ground, and becomes more daring 
in consequence of being stinted for food ; whilst the present species, 
having its young later when breeding in the Northern States, and finding 
a more abundant supply of food when inhabiting the Middle or Southern 
States, is less urged by necessity to depredate on the poultry of the planter. 

We have never, indeed, heard any well authenticated account of this 
species having entered the poultry-yard of the fan£.er; it is true, it will 
seize on a goose, or a turkey hen, that happens to stray into the w(>ods 
or fields and make its nest at some distance from the house ; but we have 
not heard of its having attempted to kill pigs, or like the red tbx, visited 
the sheep pasture in spring, and laid a contribution, from day to day, on 
the young Iambs of the flock. 

The Gray Fox is shy and cowardly, and the snap of a stick or the 
barking of a dog will set him off on a full run. Although timid and 
suspicious to this degree, his cunning and voracity place him in a con- 
spicuous rank among the animals that prey upon other species weaker 
than themselves. The? wild turkey hen often makers an excavation in 
which she deposits her eggs, at a considerable tlistunce from the low 
grounds, or makes her nest on some elevaied ridge, or under a pile of 
fallen logs covered over with scrub oaks, ferns, tall weeds and grasses ; 
we have often seen tr.-ices of a violent struggle at such places; bunches 
of feathers scattered about, and broken cgg-shelis, giving sulficient evi- 
dence that the Fox has been there, and that there will be one brood 



r!nM r, ? ' "''•^"- '^'''''" «^ P^'-'"J°««- ^v'»«h gene- 
rally at the dusk of tne evening fly into some sheltered place and hide 
:n the tall grass, arrange then....lves for the night in a circle, with 
their tails touching each other and their heads turned outward; the 
Gray Fox possessing a considerable power of scent, winds them like a 
pointer dog and often discovers where they are thus snugly nestled, and 
pounces on them, invariably canying off at least one of the covey 

On a cold, drizzly, sleety, rainy day, while travelling in Caroiina. wc 
observed a Gray Fox in a field of broom-grass, coursing against the 
wmd and hunting m the manner of the pointer dog. We stopped to wit- 
ness nis manoeuvres: suddenly he stood still and .quatted low on his 
haunches; a moment after he proceeded on once more, but with slow 
and cautious steps; at time, nis nose was raised high in the air. moving 
about from side to side. At length he seemed to be sure of his gime and 
wen straight forward, although very slowly, at tir .s crawlinTon h 
earth ; he was occasionally hidden by the grass, so that we could not see 
urn ve.y distinctly; however, at length we observed him make a dead 

mt: b?r "" " T"'"^ " '"■"""'*'' ""^"'"^"^ "''^'^ ^-'' '^ke that 
made by the common house-cat when ready to make a spring bufhis tail 

sec^d resting on the side, whilst his ears were drawn lickt^ ^ I 

aised ony a lew inches from the eaith ; he remained in this attitud 

early hah a minute and then made a sudden pounce upon his prey ; a 

aff.ighted birds took wing; two or three sharp screams succeeded, and 
he successfu prowler immediately passed out of the field with an imfor- 
tunate in his mouth, evidently with the intention of seeking a 
rnore retired spot to make a dainty meal. We had a gun with us and 
he passed within long gun-shot of us. But why wound or destroy 'him 1 
He has enabled us for the first time to bear witness that he is not only a 
dog but a good pointer in the bargain; he has obeyed an impulse of na! 
ture, and obtained a meal in the manner in which it was intended by the 
w..e Creator that he should be supplied. He seized onlv a single b 
whilst man, who would wreak his vengeance on this poacher mg' 
he game, is not .satisfied till he has killed half the covey with the mur 
<erous gun or caugl.t th. whole brood in a trap and wrung off The r 
necks in triumph. Condemn not t),e Fox too hastily; he has a m." 
strikingly carnivorous t.>o,h than yourself, indicating L kind of fod 
.s required to seek; betakes no wan.on pleasure in destroying tl li 
he ex ,b.,s ,o IS companions no trophies of his ski,., and is^onL::!,' 

^ b ;;: ,;:^:'" ^"" -'^ '''''''- -* ^^^^^ -^- y- capaciou. 






That this Fox occasionally gives chase to the gray mbbi), pursuinf? 
hiiTi in (he manner of the doy:, wc liavc stronj; reason to suspect. We on 
one occasion observed a iia-H-f^rowii rabbit dashing by us with great ra- 
pidity, and ruiuiing as if under the influence of fear; an instant after 
wirds a Fox followed, seeming to ke»^p tlu^ object of his |)ursuit fairly in 
sight; scarcely had they entered the woods when we heard the repeated 
cry of the rabbit, resembling somewhat that of a young child in pain, and 
although we were not eye witnesses of his having captured it by sheer 
speed, we have no doubt of the fact. We do not believe, however, that 
the Fox is an enemy half as much to be dreaded by the family of hares 
as either the Hay lynx, or the great horned owl, {Strix Vir^inianus.) 

In the Southern States this species is able to supply itself with a great 
variety and abundance of food, and is consequently generally in good con- 
dition and often (luite f:it. We have followed the track of the Gray Fox 
in moist ground until it led us to the scattered remains of a marsh 
hare, which no doubt the Fox had killed ; many nests of the fresh water 
marsh hen {Rtillus ckgans) are torn to pieces and the eggs devoured by 
this ])rowIcr. In Pennsylvania and New-Jersey, the meadow-mouse \Ar- 
vicolti I'iiinsi/lrdiiicii) is often eat«!n by this sj)ecies ; and in the Southern 
States, the cotton-rat, and Florida ra., constitute no inconsiderable i)or- 
tion of its food. We have seen places where the Gray Vox had been 
scratching the decayed logs and the bark of trees in order to obtain in- 

This species is not confined exclusively to animal food ; a farmer of tne 
State of New-York called our attention to a field of corn, (maize,) which 
had sustained no inconsiderable injury from some unknown animals that 
had been feeding on the unripe ears. The tracks in the field convmced 
us that the depredation had been committed by Foxes, which was found *o 
be the case, and they were afterwards chased sevenil successive mornings, 
and thice of them, apparently a brood olthe previous spring, were captured. 

Although this Fox is nocturnal in his liabits \vv, have fre(iuently ob- 
served him in search of food at all hours of the day; in general, how- 
ever, he lies concealed in some thicket, or in a large tuft of tall broom- 
grass, till twilight invites him to renew his travels and adventures. 

On a cold starlight night in winter, we have frequently heard the 
hoarse querulous bark of this species; sometimes two of them, some dis- 
tance apart, were answering each other in the manner of the dog 

Although we iiave o('(( ti seen this l''ox fairly run down and killed by 
hounds, without his having attempted to climb a tr<'e, y»'t it not nnfre- 
ijuenlly occurs that when his strength begins to fail he ascends one that 
is small .)r sloping, and standing on soun horizontal branch ViO or 3(' 



feet from the ground, looks down on the fierce and clamorous pack which 
soon comes up and surrounds the foot of the tree. We were on one oc- 
casion, in company with a friend, sedunfr (or partridges in an old field 
partially overgrown with high grass and bushes, when his large and ac- 
tive pointer dog suddenly started a Cray Fox, which instantly took to its 
heels, pursued by the dog: after a race of a minute, the latter was so close 
upon the Fox that it ascended a small tree, and our friend soon came up, 
and shot it. We were unable to obtain any information in regard to thJ 
manner in which the Fox climbs trees, as he does not possess the retrac- 
tile nails of the cat or the sharp claws of the squirrel, until we saw the 
animal in the act. At one time when we thus observed the i-'ox, he first 
leaped on to a low branch four o<- five feet from the ground, from' whence 
he made his way upwards by leaping cautiously and rather awkwardly 
from branch to branch, till he attained a secure position in the 'argest 
fork of the tree, where he stopped. On anotlu-r occasion, he ascended 
in the manner of a bear, but with far greater celerity, by clasping the 
stem of a small pine. We have sincu; been informed that the Fox also 
climbs trees occasionally by (he aid of his claws, in the manner of a ra- 
coon or a cat. During win((!r only about one-fifth of the Foxes chased 
hj hounds will take to a tree belbre they suifer themselves to be run 
down ; but in summer, either from the warmth of the weather causing 
them to be soon fatigued, or from the greater number being young ani- 
mals, they seldom continue on foot beyond thirty or forty minutes before 
they (ly for protection to a tree. It may here be observed, that as long 
as the Fox can wind through the thick underbrush, he will seldom resort 
to a tree, a retreat to which he is forced by open woods and a hard chase. 
In general, it may be said that the Gray Fox digs no burrow, and does 
not seek concealment in the earth ; we have, however, seen one instance 
ro the contrary, in a high, sandy, pine-ridge west of Albany, in the State 
of New- York. We thi^re observed a burrow from which a female Gray 
Fox and four young were taken. It dillered widely from the burrows 
of the red fox, having only a single entrance. At about eight feet from 
the mouth of the burrow there was an excavation containing a nest com- 
posed of leaves, in which the young had been deposited. We have on 
^everal occasions seen the kennel of the Gray Fox- it is usually in a 
prostrate hollow log; we once, however, discovered one under the roots of 
X tree. In the State of New- York we were shown a hollow tree, letming 
on another at an angle of about forty-five degrees, from a large hole in 
which two Gray Foxes had been tak.<n ; they were traced to this retieat 
by their (botsteps in the deep snow, and from the appearance of the ues( 
it seemed to have been their resort for a lonir time. 



i I 

This species, in many parts of the oountrj- where caves, fissures, or holes 
in the rocks, offer it a sale retreat from danger, makes its home in such 
places. Some little distance above the city ol" New-York, in the wild and 
rocky woods on the Jersey side of the Hudson river, a good many Gray 
Foxes abide, the number of large fissures and holes in the rocks there- 
abouts furnishing them secure dwelling places, or safe resorts in case 
they are pursued. In this neighbourhood they are most easily killed by 
finding the paths to their hole, and, after starting the animal, maliing the 
best of your way to near the entrance of it, while he doubles about a lit- 
tle before the dogs ; you can thus generally secure a shot at him as he 
approaches his home, which if the dogs are near he will do without look- 
ing to see if he be watched. The Gray Fox is frequently caught in steel- 
traps, and seems to possess far less cunning than the red species ; we 
have never, however, seen it taken in box-traps, into which the Bay lynx 
readily enters ; and it is not often caught in dead-falls, which are very 
successful in capturing the racoon and opossum. 

The Gray Fox does not possess the rank smell of the red fox or the 
European fox ; as a pet, however, we have not found him particularly 
interesting. It is diflicult to subdue the snappish disposition of this spe- 
cies, and we have never seen one that was more than half tamed. It 
does not at any time become as playful as the red fox, and continually 
attempts to escape. 

This species affords good sport when chased, winding and doubling 
when in favourable ground, so that when the hunter is on foot even, he 
can occasionally obtain a "view," and can hear the cry of the pack al- 
most all the while. When started in an open part of the country the 
Gray Fox, however, generally speeds toward some thickly grown and 
tangled retreat, .and prefers the shelter and concealment of a heavy 
growth of young pines along some elevated sandy ridge ; having gained 
which, he threads along the by-paths and dashes through the thickets, 
some of which are so dense that the dogs can hardly follow him. He docs 
not, like the red fox, run far ahead of the pack, hut generally courses 
along from seventy to a hundred yards in advance of his pursuers. 

We have been told that the Gray Fox has been run down and caught 
in the winter season, by a remr\rkably fleet pack of hounds, in forty mi' 
nutes; but a two hours' chase is generally necessary, with tolerably good 
dogs, to tire out and capture him. As many as two or three Foxes have 
been occasionally caught on the same day by one pack of hounds : but in 
most cases both hunters and dogs are quite willing to give over for the 
day, after they have captured one. 



From Maryland to Florida, and farther wes^ through Alabama to Miv 
siss.pp, a.nd Louisiana, fox-hunting, next to deer-hunting, is the favourite 
amusement of sportsmen, and the chase of that animal may in fact be 
regarded exclusively as a Southern sport in the United States, as we be-' 
I.eve the fox IS never followed on horseback in the Northern portions of 
our country, where the roeky and precipitous character of the surface in 
many chstncts prevents the best riders from attempting it ; whilst in others, 
our sturdy mJependent formers would not much like to see a dozen or 
more horsemen leaping their fences, and with break-neek speed galloping 
through the wheat-fields or other "fall" crops. Besides, the red fox 
«' IS more generally fbund in the Northern States than the Gray spe- 
cies runs so far before the dogs that he is seldom seen, although the keep up with the pack, and after a chase of ten miles, daring 
vvh.oh he m.-w not have been once in view, he perhaps takes refuge in some 
deep fissure of a rock or in an impenetrable burrow, which of course 
ends the sport very much to the satisfaction of— the Fox ' 

In the Southern States or, the contrary, the ground is in manv cases 
lavoumble lor this amusement, and the planter sustains but liMle in- 
jury from the passing hunt, as the Gray Fox usually courses through 
woods, or worn-out old fields, keeping on high dry grounds, and seldom 
during the chase running across a cultivated plantation. 

Fox-hunting, as generally practised in our Southern States, is regarded 
as a healthful manly exercise, as well as an exhilarating sporf. which in 
many instances would be likely to preserve young meu from habits of 
Idleness and dissipation. The music of the hounds, whilst you breathe 
the fresh sweet morning air. seated on a high-mettled steed, your friends 
and rieighbours at hand with light hearts and joyous expectations, awa.t- 
mg the first break from cover, is, if you delight in nature and the re- 
creation we are speaking of, most enlivening; and although we our- 
selves have not been fox hunters, we cannot wholly condemn the young 
man of leisure who occasionally joins in this sport; at the same time let 
hnn not forget that whilst exercise and amusement are essential to health 
and cheerfulness of mind; the latter especially was not intended to 
.ntorfere with the duties of an active and useful life, and should never 
be more than a relaxation, to enable him to return the more energetically 
U. the higher and nobler pursuits which are fitted for an intelligent an.l 
iniinorfal mind. 

In fox-hunting, the horse sometimes becomes as much excited as his 
n.lcr, and at the cry of the hounds we have known an old steed which been (urned loose in the woods to pick up a subsistence, prick up his 
ears, fuul M. -u. inslant start ..If lull uull..,, until he nwriook the r-aek 



kf('|)iiif!; in tli(> van iinfil the cliaso was ended. Alfh()ii>f|i exercise and 
amusement are the prineipal indneements (o Inuit the Vox, we may men 
tion tliat it is also a desiraMe <>l)ject in many |)arls of our country, to >jet 
rid of lliis lliievisli aninnil, whieh exists in consideriil)le numlxtrs in some 

We nlil now retui-n to our suhject, and try to mnke you familiar with 
the. mode of InmtinK the Cray I'ox «eiieriiily adopted in Carolina and 
Louisiana. 'I'he ln)unds aie taken to some spot where the animiil is 
likely lo he found, and are ke|)t as much as possil)le out of the "<irives" i'vr 
quented by deer. Thiekets on the edf,'es of old jjlantations, briar patelies 
un.I deserted lields covered with hroom-yniss, jire places in which the Fox 
L-; iMost likely lo lie down to rest. The tr.iil he has left, behind him duriii;; 
his nocturnal rambles is struck, the liounds are encourafji-d by the voices 
of their masters, and Ibllow it as fast, as the devious course it leads them 
will permit. Now they scent the Fox alon^ the field, probably when 
in search of parlridiics. meadow-larks, rabbits, or field-mice; presently 
they trace his tiiotsteps to a larjie lojj, from whence' he has jinnped on to 
a worm-fence, and after walkina; a little way on it, ha:; leajied a ditch 
and skulked toward the borders of a marsh. Thronj^^h all his crooked 
ways th(> saju'iicious hounds follow his path, imtil he is suddetdy aroused, 
perchiiuce I'roin a sweet, dreamy vision of fat hens, jjeese, or turkeys, 
and with a ^'eneral cry the wiiole pack, led on by the staunchest and best 
doRs, open-m(mlh(>(l and eayer. join in the chase. 'I'lie. start. (i F.tx 
makes two or three rapid (loi:blin;j;s, and then suddeidy (lies lo ;• , ver 
perhaps a tpiarter of a mile oil", and sometimes thus |)uls the homitl.s olf 
the .scent for a few minutes, as when cool and at lirst sliirlin;;. his sccnl 
is not so slroni; as of the red fox ; after the chase has continued for 
a quarter of an hour or so, iiowever, and the anim.i! is somewhat heated, 
his track is followed with i;reater eiise and (piickncss and the scene be- 
comrs animatinir and excitinij. Where the woods are free from unde: 
brush, which is ofieii the case in ('arolin;i, the avnsn and bushes bcin-i 
burnt almost anmially, m;iny of the sportsmen keei) up with the doj,rs, 
and the l«\)x is V(My frequently in siijhf and is dashed alVer at the horses' 
jjtre:itest speed. He now resorts to some of th(> mand'uvres for whieh he 
is famous; he ])lunges into a thicket. dotd)lcs, runs into the water, if any 
be at hand, leaps on to a loir, or perhaps jrets upon a worm-fence and runs 
alonj; Ihe t()|) of it for:; hundred yards, ieapinjr from it with a desperate 
hound and coniiiiuiii^ iiis lliuhl inslaiilly. with the hope of escape from 
ilie niciiiless pack. At ieiiuth he becuiins laii^ucd, he is once mure 
:cnceaU'd in a thicket where he doubles huri>iedly; uncertain in what 
direction to retreat, he hears, and perhaps >:ecs, the dogs almost upo'i 



mm, and as a last, resort clir,.l,s a small tree. Th« hounds and lu.nler, 
are almost instantly at the foot of it, and whilst the former are barking 
fiercely at the terrilied, the latter .leter.nine to ^ivo him another 
chance „r Ins life The do,.s are taken olf t<. a little .listar.ce. an<l the 
Fox IS then f„rce,l to leap to the ^^round l.y reaehin^. with a long pole, or 
In-on .n« a billet of wood at him. IFe is allowed a quarter of an hour 
»"''"■•<' 'I"' I'ounds „re pennitted to pursue him, but he is now less able to ihMU belbre ; he has become sfilf un,l chill, is soon overtaken, and 
tails ..,n easy pn-y, tiu-ninK liowever upon his pursu.irs with a growl of 
d.-spmr, and sna,,.,ins at his foes until he bites the dust and the chase is 

The following anecdotes of the saf,'acity of this animal, wo hope may 
".frest our rea.lers. Shortly a-ter the railroa.l from Charleston to f'lam- 
.nr«h. South Carolina, had been constructed, the mils for a portion of the 
distance having? been laid upon timb.Ts at a considerable height from the 
ground, supported by strong posts, we observed a Fox which was hard 
presse<l by a p.-tck of, mo.mling the rails, upon which he ran 
several hundred yards; the dogs were unable to pursue him and he 
thus crossed a deep sw.-.n.p over which the railroad was in this 
suigular manner .■arricd, and made his escape on the opposite side The 
iMte liKNJAM.N C. Yanckv, Ms.i., ,,n ctninent lawyer, who in his youth was 
very fon.l of fox-hru.ting, related th„ following: A Fox had been pur- 
sued, near his residence at IMgelield, several times, but the hounds always 
lost the track at a place where thr-re was a foot-path leading down a 
steep lull. If,., therefore, determined to conceal himself near this decli- 
vity the next time t'he l-\,x was start.-d, in onler to discover his mode ot 
baiilmg the dogs at this place. The was accordingly put up and 
chased, and at first led the hounds through many bayous and ponds in 
the woods, and at length running over the brow of the hill along 
the path, stopped sud.lenly and spread himself out flat and motionless on 
the ground; the hounds came down the hill in pursuit at a dashing pace 
and the whole pack passed and did not stop until they were at th.; hot-' 
torn of the hill. As soon as the immediate dang(,r was over, the Fox • 
casting a I'urtive glance aroun.l him, started up, and ran off at his greatest 
speed on his " back track." 

The Gray Fox produces from three to five young at a time In Ca 
rolina this occurs from the middle of March to the middle of April • in 
the State of New- York they bring forth somewhat later. Gestation con- 
tinues for about three months. 




nRoriHAIMIICAI. ItlH'fHUlI'l'KlN. 

The Gray Fox in scarco in Ncvv-EiikIiukI, mid \vr liiivo not \m\u\ of it 
fo tho north of the Stale of Maino. ; in Canada wv. havti heard ol' its ocom- 
sional, but rare appearance. In the vi«!inily of Alltany, iV. Y., it is not 
ail unconnnon species; south of lliis, lhroiiy;h I'eniisylvjinia. and jNew 
.lorsey. it is aiunit as abundant as the red Ibx. In tlie Soutliern States, 
except in the mountains of Virginia,, it is tlie only speci<!S and is 
abundant. It exists plentifully in I'Morida, Mississippi, and Louisiana; 
it is found on the prairies of the West, and we have received a s|)ecinieii 
from California, scarcely dilieriiif? in any of its niariunjjs from those of 


This species was noticed by Lawson, Catehby, and Pi;n\ant. Soiirkiirr, 
in 177r), p.'ive it a specitic njune ; ho was fol!ow<Ml two years allerwards 
by Erxi-kiu-.n, and in I78S by ( In tli(>. ineMiitinie l'^iuxi,r,ni;\. Sciiui;- 
BER, and C.MEMN jniblishcd a, variety yf the Cray Fox, wiiieh was a litiie 
more cinereous in colour, as a new species, under the name of Conis cinr. 
rro-argrnlius. IlicuARnsoN was correct in haviiiff applied t\w sjiecilic 
name of Viniiiitiiniis to the Cray Vn\, but he erred in referring' tli(> West- 
ern kit-fox or switl-fox, (T. iv/ar,) to C. cinnro-nrij^nitdliis. To us. tin; 
short description of th(>sc authors, of 6\ ciiK'no-dri^nifirfiix, appears to ap- 
ply more strictly to the Gray Fox than fo their accounts of (7. Virginiaims, 
the latter, we know, is intended for th»: present species, as it is the only 
fox in N'irtrinia, with the ev (>|)li()?i of the red (ox, uliicli exists sparinf^ly 
in the mountains. 'I'he views of Dksmakksi' in refj;ard to oiu' American 
foxes are very confused, and the translation by IIaklan partakes of ail 
the errors of tlie oriirinal. Kiciiakdson did not meet with this species in 
the Northern reffions he visited, and on the whole, very little has b(^en 
said of itu habits by any author. 


r^KPUS S YL VATIC us. -JJachman 


I'LATK XXri. Quo Ma.,«, F«ma,.«, .«a Vouno. 

»>. rnrnhus o.,.i,. ,.,„,i„,ih„H, u,.m,M, Mpi,., „ rnur^in,, nut ni^ro- ...r 
poro L. Americano mine-.., .supra ci.u.n.r, nlu.. <• • '"*^'^"' "" 


CONV, Third VovilL'n of tlio Fmrll^,!. i, \r- ■ ■ . 

••i-.^.--...„-s voy.; vol. Jet, ;!;; '"""• '''"' ^^ '""""" "<'^™^'- ^>«™ 

TfAu,.:. IlKooK C„N„;v, J.avvso,, p. 1,2, Catesby, Appendix 28 
Amkhk-an Hakk, Km1,„'s Tn.vols, v,.l. i., p. 105 '^ 
I.KHiH AMKiiicANLs, Dosinim'st, Marn., p. ,u,l. 
" lliirian, Fauna, p. jj);). 

;; ;; «<"'"'■■'-•. Na<.,voi.ii.. p. 157. 

Nanus, Dckay, Na(. Ilis(. „f N.w-York, li;^ 

This species bears some rescinhjanr.. tn th., v 
wil.l »l.u,, |„„ ,|„^g „„( I , "■"'""I I" ""■ lall" m „ 



prrffy well oovprcd, but nran-r t\w orilire thv skin visible throii(?h tlir 
thinly smltcrcd Imirs ; Icrs, of in<.(lcr;it.' sizo ; daws, slronff, sliar|), mid 
nearly strai^-lit, eoneealed by the hair; tail, longer in proportion tliiin 
that of the Northern hare. Fur, compiiet and soil, about an inch and a 
quarter in U .igth in winter. 


Summer dress.— Fur on ii,e back, yellowish-brown; soft fur, Iroin the 
roots to the surliu-,., pbunbeous ; the lonj; hairs which extend beyond the 
liir. and p:ive the jreneral colour to the animal, are for three-fourths of 
their len;.|h lead coloured, tlien yellowish, and ar(> tipp.^d with black. 
Ears, dark-brown on the outer surlac, destitute of th<> distinct black bor- 
der s«-cn in the Northern hare, and not tipped with black like those of tho 
Polar and the variable hare; whiskers, nearly all black; iris, li^ht 
brownish-yellow; a circle of fawn colour around the eye, more conspicu- 
ous neiir(>st the forehead. Cheeks, frrayish ; chin, under surface of body, 
and inner surface of le>;s, li^ht f,'rayish-white ; tail, upper sm-face gray- 
ish-brown, beneath, wiiite. TJreasf, li^rht yellowish-pray ; behind the 
ears, a broad jxitch of fawMi colour; outer surface of fore- legs and Ihigha, 

Winl(<r colour.— \'ery similar to lh(> above ; in a fev/ specimens, the 
hairs arc whitest at the tips; in others, black tips prevail. This Hare 
never becomes white in any part of our country, and so lar as our re- 
searches have extended, we have scarcely found any variety in "its ce- 


\dult Male. 

Length of head and body .... 

head - " 

* ears 

" tail (vert'-bra-.) - . . . , 

** tail, including fur - - - . , 

From heel to end of middle claw - . . , 

Weight, 2lbs. 7oz. 


This species abounds in our woods and forests, even in their densest 
coverts ; it is fond of places ovtM-grown with young pines thickly crowded 
together, or thickets of the higli bush-bin ckberry, (Riihiis viHosus;) and 
is also fond of frequenting farms and plantations, and occupying the cop 















IMces a,u ^rasHy »p„t.s i,. tlu, .,dKl.l,ou,h,..Hl of culi.vaiion, rernaininK in 
.ts .urn. by .lay. cacalod by a b,.,a.Hl..|...ap, a tuff, of «rass, or so.„e h.-.^.- 
.•..wo„fh„ ..,lc.ofa..oldf....,..; fn„n wbi.-b it issues at „i«hf t« 

n-Kal... ...s.. I o„ ,b. Hov.r. tm„i,,,s, or .or-.-d.-LIs of ,1.. nu-.n,.. u 'not 

unlm,«oMtIy d.vestH the you..,, tn-.-s i,. .h.- „u.s..ry of th.-ir hark ; it oft,.. 
nrnkcH inroads upon th« kit,c.hcM,-,rH,,l,.„. f,.as,i„K on Ih. young .,,.,.,. 
|..-ns, l,.t,uo,.., cHbba,..., .^c, and doi,.,. a deal of Id..' f a,.d 
w ..... .t oi.c-e h.ul a., opportunity of ,,t,slin« „.es.. dai..ti.. it nmrnu-M 

«l.( to prevent its .„aki..« a ..i«l.tly visit to tl.e.n. Altl.oup:. W , a.-e 
at which .t entered n.ay be ca.-efully dose,!, the Rabbit is s,... , di« a 
bvsh hob, eve..y ,.ight in its innn„diate vieb.ity ; a..d snares . r 

Kuns, M.-e t,.e best auxiliaries in such cases, soon putting an end to farthi-'r 

This animal, when first started, runs with greater swiftness, and .nakes 
k.w,.r d<.ubl.ngs than the No,-th,.rn ha,-e. (L Americnnu.s ;) having a.l 
v-"-" -t hundred yanis or mo.-e, it stops to listen ; finding itself pursued 
l>y <l.«s, should the woo,Is be op.M. ,.,.d Iron, swa.nps or tl.iekets, it 
runs .hrectly toward hole i,. th,. ro..^ of a t,ve or hollow lo.^ ],. 
the lower parts of Carolina, where it finds prot.-ction i,. briar p^t'ches 
"'"I |.b.c,.s thickly overgrow., with s,..ilax and other vines, it contb.ues 
.....eb iong,-r on foot, an.l by winding and turning i,. places i,mccessible 
to la.-ger a...mals, lrerp.ently makes its eseape ,ro„. its pursues, without 
the neeessity of resorting for shelter to n hollow t.-.-e. 

The Gray Kabbit possess.'s the- habit of all the other species of this 
«e„.,s whieh we a.-e ac.p.ab.fed. of sfampi,.g with its hi,.d feet on 
Il.eea.-.h wi.e.. alarm. ,1 at night, a,.d wh.-n the males are en-^a-'ed i,. 
'■o.nbat It .s also see.. ,lu.-ing the spring s.-ason. in woo.l-patl?s a..d 
aio,.g the edges of fields, seeking food late in the a.ul early in 
th.. afternoons, and during the breeding season even at mid-day: on such 
occas.o,..s it may be app..oached and shot with great ease. This species 
Ike all iho true hares, has no note of recognition, and its voice is never 
heard except when wounded or at the moment of its capture, when it 
utters a sh.-ill, plaintive c-y, like that of a young child in pain ; in tho 
Norlhern ha.-e this c.y is louder, sh.-iller, and of longer continuance 
I he common domesticated European rabbit seems more easily made to 
ci-y out m th.s way than any other of the genus. 

iJr. ]{.r..ARDsoN, in his work on the Amei-ioan .prndrupcls. ,.xp.-ess,.s an 
ni...uon t,-om a careful examination of many specimens in dilferent States 
that the change to the winter dress in the Northern har., is effected not 
by a sheddb.g of its b.i,-, but by a le.igthening and blanching of the sum- 
mer fu.-, IIavi..K watebe,! .he p-oj-ress of (his ,.ha„ge in ih. p.Tsrnt 






spt'oics ill a state of coiinficin»M!t, jiikI huviiifj^ iilso examined many sppci- 
iiuMis at all seasons <»r the year, we have arrived at the opposite coaclii- 
sidii as far as rcjianis the Gray Hahhit. In milumii, the «rent(!r jxirtion, if 
not all, the summer liir drops oil' in spots, and is jjradually replaced by 
the winter eoiit. In this slutc, ns there nre shades of diU'crenee lietween 
tlu" summer and winter eolours, the animal presents a sonu^wlial sin;rular 
appearance, exhihiliiiK at the mime time, like the Northern hare, (al- 
thou^li IJir less conspicuously,) patches of dillerent eolours. The Gray 
iiiihhit. nltlioni,'h it hri'eds freely in enclosed wiirrens, seldom becomes 
tiime, and will prohiildy never he domesticated. When captive, it seems 
to he consliinlly enj,'iiy:ed in tryinir to lind some means of esc!i|)e; and 
thoujih it <lij;s no burrows in a slate of nature, yet, when eoidined, it is 
capable of di<:}iiny: to the depth (tf a foot or more under a wall, m ordei- 
to .'lleet its object. We, however, at the house of Dr. Dk Hf.n.nkvii.i.k. at 
Mileslown, near I'hiladelphia, saw live or six that were lakeii Irom llie 
nest when very younp: and brought up by hand, so completely tamed 
th.'il they came at the call and leapt U|)on the lap of their li'tulcr, they 
lived sociably and wilhout restraint in the yard, anionjj: the dojjs and 
poultry. 'I'he former, itilhou!;!! accustomed to chase the v.ihl rabbit, ne- 
ver moh'stinji: those which had, in this manner, jjrown up wilh ihcm. and 
now ma<le a part of the mo! ley tenants of the poultry-yard. We have 
not only obs( rve<i dofjs peacefully associating with the hare, when thus 
tamed, but have seen hounds accustomed to the chase of the deer, eal- 
inji from the sai'ie platter with one of those animals that was domesti- 
cated and loose in the yard, refraining: from molestiu}^ it, and even dc- 
fendinfj it from iIk- attacks of slran;rcrs of their own sjjocies that hap- 
pened to come into the ])renuses; and when this tame deer, which occa- 
sionally visiti-d the woods, was started by the pack of hounds here re- 
ferred to, they refused to pursue it. 

The Gray Uabbit is one of the most prolilic of all our species of this 
eenu.?; in the Northern States it produces young about three times in the 
season, from live to seven at a litter; wlulsl in (Carolina, its young are 
frecpicntly br<uijiht forth as early as the twentieth of February, as late 
as the middle of Gclobcr. and in all the intermediate months. Nature 
seems thus to liav(> made a wise provision for the preservation of the 
species, since no animal is more dei'enceless or possesses more numerous 
enemies. Althoiurh it can run with considerabl(\ swiftness for soini' dis- 
tance, its strength in a short time is exhausted, and an active dog would 
soon overtake it if it did not take shelter in some hole in iIk? earth, heap 
of logs, or stones, or in a tree with a hollow near its root; in these rt- 
t reals il is often captured by \oung hunters. 



In the Northern and Mi(l<lle States, where the burrows of the Maryhmd 
rnnrmot {Arclomijn momu:) and the holes resorted to by the common skunk, 
{Mrphitis chinga,) arv. numerous, the Grny Rabbit in order to effect its 
escape when pursued betakes itself to them; and as they are generally 
det^p, or placed among rocks or roots, it would require more labour to un- 
earth it when it has taken possession of either of these animals' reueats 
than it is worth, and it is generally letl. unmolested. It it, not always safe 
in these cases, however, for the skunk occasionally is "at home" when 
the Rabbit nms into his hole, and olleu catches and devours the as- 
tonished fugitive before it can retrace its steps and reach the mouth of 
the burrow. 

This species is also captured occasionally by the skunk and other car- 
nivorous animals when in its form. Its most frrmidable enemy, how- 
ever, is the ermine, which follows its tracks until it retires to v.. hole 
in the earth or to a hollow tree, which the little but ferocious cr jature, 
although not one-fourth as large as the timid Rabbit, quickly enters 
and kills it— eating off the head, and leaving the body until a want of 
food compels it to return for more. 

Whilst residing in the State of New- York many years ago, we were 
desirous of preserving a number of Rabbits during the winter from the 
excessive cold and fron. the hands of the hunters, who killed so many 
that we feared the race would be nearly extirpated in our neighbourhood ; 
our design being to set them at liberty in the spring. At this period we 
had in confinement several weasels of two species existing in that part 
of the country, (Pnforius erminm and P. fusca^ in order to ascertain in 
what manner their change of colour from brown in summer to white in 
winter, and vice versa, was effected. 

We bethought ourselves of using one of each species of these weasels 
instead of a ferret, to aid in taking the Rabbits we wanted, and having 
provided ourselves with a man and a dog to hunt the Rabbits to their holes, 
we took the weasels in a little tin box with us, having first tied a small 
cord around their necks in such a manner as to prevent them from es- 
caping, or remaining in the holes to eat the Rabbits, whilst it could not 
slip and choke them. 

We soon raced a Rabbit to its hole, and our first experiment was made 
with the little brown weasel, (P. fusca::) it appeared to be frighten- 
ed, aad refused to enter the hole ; the common species, (P. erminea,) al- 
though we had captured the individual but a few days before, entered 
readily; but having its jaws at liberty, it killed the Rabbit. Relinquish- 
ing the weasel to our man, he afterwards filed its teeth down, to prevent 
it from destroying the Rabbits; and when thus rendered harmless, the 




ermine pursued the Rabbits to the bottom of their holes, and terrified them 
so that they instantly fled to the entrance and were taken alive hi the 
hand ; and although they sometimes scrambled up some listance in a 
hollow tree, their active and perservering little foe followed them and 
instantly forced them down. In this manner the man procured twelve 
Rabbits alive in the course of one morning, and more than fifty in %bout 
three weeks, when we requested him to desist. 

On more than one occasion we have seen the tracks of this species on 
the snow, giving evidence by their distance from each other that the 
animal had passed rapidly, running under the influence of fear. Exam- 
ining the surface of the snow carefully, we observed the foot-prints of the 
weasel, as if in pursuit, and following up the double trail, we found at 
the mouth of a hole a short distance beyond, the mutilated remains of the 
luckless Rabbit. 

The Canada lynx, the Bay lynx, (wild cat,) the red and the gray fox, 
&.C., capture this species by stratagem or stealth ; various species of 
hawks and owls prey upon them, and the rattle-snake, chicken-snake, 
and other serpents, have been killed with the Gray Rabbit in their sto- 
mach. These reptiles probably caught their victims by stratagem, or by 
stealing upon them when in their form, and enclosing them in their twin- 
ing folds, as the boa constrictor captures larger animals. 

lu order to catch or kill the Gray Rabbit, different means are resorted 
to according to the fancy ol 'he hunter or the nature of the locality in 
which the animal may be. In the northern parts of the United States it 
is pursued with dogs, and either shot or taken from the hole or other re- 
treat to which it may have been driven. It is also frequently captured 
in box-traps, or snares, placed in the gaps of some brush-fence made in 
the woods for the purpose. In the Southern States it is generally hunted 
with pointer dogs and shot at the moment when it leaps from its form. 


We have not heanl of the existence of this species farther north than 
the southern counties of the State of New Hampshire, beyond which it 
is replaced by other and larger species. It cannot be said to be abun- 
dant in the New England States, except in a few localities, and it does 
not seem to prefer high mountainous regions. In occasional botanical 
excursions among the Catskill mountains and those of Vermont and New 
Hampshire, where we saw considerable numbers of the Northern hare, 
we found scarcely any traces of the present species, especially in the 
mountains east of the Hudson river. It exists in the chain of the Alle- 
ganies running through Virginia to the upper parts of Carolina, but is 



there far from being abundant. It was exceedingly scarce nortb-east of 
Albany thirty-five years ago, where it has now become far more n.imer- 
ous than the Northern hare, which was then the only species usually met 
with. It abounds in the sandy regions covered with pine trees west of 
that city. From Dutchess county to the southern limits of New- York it 
is found in considerable numbers. In Pennsylvania, New- Jersey, Mary- 
land, and all the Southern States, hunting the Gray Rabbit affords more 
amusement to young sportsmen than the pursuit of any other quadruped 
in the country. We have traced this species through all the higher por- 
tions of Florida. To the west we have seen it in all the Southern States, 
and it is very abundant on the upper Missouri River to nearly 1000 miles 
above Saint Louis. 


This being the most common hare in the Atlantic States of America, 
it has been longest and most familiarly known. Herriott, who gave an 
account of the third voyage of the English to Virginia in 1586, in enu- 
merating the natural productions of that country, under the head of 
Conies, says, " Those that we have seen, and all that we can hear of, 
are of a gray colour like unto hares ; in some places there are such plen- 
ty that all the people, of some towns, make them mantles of the fur, or 
fleece of the skins of those which th.^j. usually take." It is odbsequently 
mentioned by the intrepid Governor Smith of Virginia, by Lawson and by 
Catesby. Kalm, in the 1st vol. of his Travels in America, gave a cor- 
rect description, not only of the animal, but of its habits. The following 
is an extract from his Journal : the entry was made either at Philadelphia 
or his favourite retreat "Racoon," in ihe vicinity of that city, on the 6th 
Jan. 1749. "There are a great number of hares in this country, but 
they differ from our Swedish ones in their size, which is very small, 
and but little bigger than that of a rabbit; they keep almost the 
same gray colour both in summer and winter, which our Northern 
hares have in summer only : the tip of their ears is always gray, and 
not black ; the tail is likewise gray on the upper side, at all seasons ; 
they breed several times a year. In spring they lodge their young one.s 
in hollow trees, and in summer, in the months of June and July, they 
breed in the grass. When they are surprised they commonly take' refuge 
.n hollow trees, out of which they are taken by means of a crooked stick 
or by cutting a hole into the tree opposite to the place where they lie ; 
or by smoke which is occasioned by making a fire on the outside of the 
tree. On all there occasions the grayhounds must be at hand. These 

nares nevor bite, and can be touched without anv danger- In thn H« i-.f ;„... 

, ■■„-.. J ^. 



they usually lie in hollow trees, and hardly ever stir from thence unless 
Ihey be disturbed by men or dogs ; but in the night they come out and 
seek their food. In bad weather, or when it snows, they lie close for a 
day or two, and do not venture to leave their retreats. They do a great 
deal of mischief in the cabbage-fields, but apple-trees suffer infinitely 
more from them, for they peel off all the bark next to the ground. The 
people here are agreed that the hares are fatter in a cold and severe 
winter than in a mild and wet one, for which they could give me several 
reasons from their own conjectures. The skin is useless, because it is so 
loose that it can be drawn off; for when you would separate it from the 
flesh, you need only pull at the fur and the skin follows. These hares 
cannot be tamed. They were at all times, even in the midst of winter, 
plagued with a number of common fleas." 

In 1820 (as we have observed in our article on L. Americanus) Des- 
MAREST mistaking the species, gave a pretty good description of the Gray 
Rabbit, and unfortunately referred it to L. Americanus. He had evident- 
ly been misled by Fouster ScHoirFF. Pennant, Erxleben and Bodd, who 
having confounded these two specie ^, induced him to believe that as he 
was describing sin American hare, only one American species at that 
time being known, it must be the one referred to by previous authors. 
Hence he quoted Gmelin, Schcepff, Erxleben, Pallas and Bodd, and gave 
to the species the extravagant geographical range, from Churchill, Hud- 
son's Bay, to California, and assigned it a habitation in New-Albion, Loui- 
siana, Florida, the two Carolinas, &c. Harlan, in giving an account of 
the American quadrupeds in 1825, finding the Gray Rabbit described by 
Desmakest, translated the arii<le very literally, even to its faults, from the 
French of th:it author, (See F-ncyclopedie de Mammalogie, p. 351.) Har- 
lan's translation represents the fur as " becoming whiter during winter, 
but the ears and tail remaining always of the same gray." In the fol- 
lowing year Godman (Amer. Nat. Hist,, vol. ii.,p. 157) once more described 
this species under the (wrong) name of Lepus Americanus. In speaking 
of its colour, he says, " in winter the pelage is nearly or altogether 
white," and he gives it the extraordinary weight of seven pounds. This 
'.8 rather surprising, as we know no city in the union where the market 
in winter is better supplied with this species of hare than Philadelphia. 

In this singular manner the Gray Rabbit, the most common .iiid 
best known of all the species of quadruj)ods in America, had never r<'- 
ceived a specific name that was not pre-occupied. In 1827, we proposed 
the name of Lepus stjlvaticus, and assigned our reasons for so doing in a 
subsequent paper, (See Journ. Acad. Nat. Sc, vd. viii., part 1, p. 76.) In 
1840. I)r Emmons also, (Report on Quadrupeds of Massachusetts,) de. 



scribed it under the (wrong) name of L. Americanus, giving as synony- 
mous, L. Hudsonius, Pallas ; American hare, Forster, Pennant, Kvc\ 
Zool. Hearne's Journey, Sabine, Parry and Richardson ; who elch de- 
scribed the iNorthern hare, and not this species. He, however, quoted 
Harlan and Godman correctly, with the exception of the name which they 
had misapplied. 

In 1842 Dr. Dekav (See Nat. Hist. N. York, part 1st, p. 93) refers 
this species to Lepus nanus of Schreber, supposing the description of that 
author, (which is contained in an old work that is so scarce in America 
that our naturalists have seldom had an opportunity of referring to it,) 
to have escaped the notice of modern authors. After giving a trans- 
lation from Schreber, he remarks, "The whole history of the habits of 
this species, and its abundance, sufficiently confirm the fact that Schreber 
had our Rabbit in view, although he was misled by Schcepff and Pennant, 
and confounded two species." 

We regret that we are obliged to differ from an author who is gene- 
rally accurate, and who is always courteous in his language towards 
other naturalists, but in this case we must do so. 

In order to save the student of natural history the labour of searching 
for Schreber's work, to refer to his description, we have concluded to insert 
it here, together with our translation of the article adding the references 
to authors, &c., which were, omitted by Dekay, and which we conceive 
very important in pursuing our inquiries. 

extract from schreber. 



Lepus nanus. Lepus auribus extrorsum nigro marginatis, cauda supra 


Lepus Hudsonihs. 

Lepus Aimce Aurium Caud^que Cinereo, Pall., Nov. Spec. Glis., p 30 45 Zim- 
merm., E. E. z. S-IO. ' ' 

Lepus Americanus, Lepus cauda abbreviata pedibus postici corpora dimidio loncno- 

ribus auricularum caud.npque apicibus griseis, Er.vleben. Maitim., p. 330 ^ 
American Hahe. Forster, Phil. Tr, Ixxii., p. 376, Pennant, Hist., p. 372 u. 243 
Hake, Hupob Coney, Lawson, Car., p. 122, Catesbv's App . p xxviii 



Hakar, en art som ftr midt emellan hare ach canin, Kalm, Rese, vol. ii., p. 236, toI. iii 

p. 8, 285. 
Der amerikanische Hase, Forster, von den Thieren in Hudson's Bay, in Sprenge'.s 

Dkb nordamerikanischk Hase, SchoepfF. 
Wabus, (Aluonquinisch,) Jefferson's Notes, (Phil. 1788,) p. 51, 57. 

i ii 


Der Kopf hat nichts Unterscheidendes. Die Backen sind dickharlg. 
Die Ohren dunne, auswertdig diinne behaart, inwendig kahl, und reichen, 
vorwarts gebogen, noch nicht bis an die Nasenspitze ; nach hinten gelegt, 
bis an die Schulterblatter. Ueber den grossen schwarzen Augen vier bis 
fijnf Borsten. Die Bartborsten grossentheils schwarz; einige weiss; die 
I'ingsten scheinen langer als der Kopf zu sein. 

Die Sommerfarbe ist folgende. Die Ohren braunlich, mit einer sehr 
schmalen schwarzen Einfassung am aussern Rande, die an der Spitze 
eben die Breite behalf, oder gegen die Spitze hin gar verschwindet. 
Stirne, Backen, Riicken und Seiten, Aerme und Schenkel auswendig 
leicht braun mit Schwarz uberlaufen. 

Der Umfang des Afters weiss. Die Fusse dicht und kurz behaart, von 
einem hellern leicht Braun, ohne alles Schwarz, an der innern Seite starker 
in grau-weiss abfallend. Der Schwa«z oben auf von der Farbe des 
Ruckens, (vermuthlich starker mit Schwarz uberlaufen, denn Herr Pen- 
nant beschreibt ihn oben schwarz,') unten weiss. Die Kehle weiss ; der 
Untertheil des Halses leicht braun, mit Weiss uberlaufen. 

Brust, Bauch, innere Aerme und Schenkel, einem weiclien Weiss. Die 
Winterfarbe, wo sie verschieden, ist weiss. Backenzahne oben und unten 
auf jeder Seite funf. Die Liinge des Korpers hochstens anderthalb eng- 
lische Fuss, des Schwanzes nicht viel uber zwei ZoU. Das Gewicht 
21 bis 3 Pfund ; nach Herrn Pennant 3 bis 4J Pfund. 

Die underscheidenden Merkmale dieser Art sind nacii den Herren For- 
BTER, Pennant und Schcftf, 1. die Grosse ; or kommt dem gemeinen und 
veranderlichen Hasen lange nicht bei, und ist kaum grosser als ein Ka- 
ninchen, daher er auch in Nord-Amerika nicht seiten den Namen Rabbit 
Oder Kanincher' bekommt. 2. Das Verhiiltniss der Fiisse; die Vorterfusse 
sind kurzer und die Hinterffisse langer als an alien Dreien. 3. Die Far- 
be der Ohren- sie haben eine schwarze Einfassung auswendig, aber 
keinen schwarzen Fleck an der Spitze. Ihre geringerc Liinge unter- 
Bcheidet von den Ohren des gemeinen Hasen. 4. Die Farbe des Schwan- 
zes ; dUese ist oben auf nicht schwarz, oder doch nicht so sattschwarz als 
am Hasen 5. Die Farbe des Korpers. 0. Die Lcbensart und Eigen- 



.chaft™. Er kann also unmogllch etwas anders als cine fll- ,iol, 1,„.^. 

wu„e, * ™a.., ^ir:„r„i:i: rrr or: :„: z 

(Kal„.) ' ''™ ■""■"*" Wintern, unveranclert, 

aer„t" '™°" ""'" '""" """ «'^"«'' *» "»-veraa«ich.„ 

ho had never seen the Prnv T^ . '" ""« """""ion that 

he professed ., de e i£ ^i" t' H , ™ T""""' "■' ™'^ 'P^^ 
B..n.oro». (See volt;; ii/r „":"<) aid r^r '''''*'»" 
called rabbi, a. Hudso„-s Bay," of F™ L"" 1 "^ J """""r" '>''"' 
Which, however had alread/Leived fZ^rf ^t X: i] ^pl^:: 

The „n,e when ,h,s description was made must no, be overlooked A. 

he close of the year im, the Philosophical Transactions comaMn, ,f 

two acconnts of this new American hare, were publish^ No ^ ^ 

lM,n name, such as would accordinir to th. b P""""'"'- "o speeiHc 

.hen into use, entitle thetfdrcr'itrTe sTets "b^a.?: 

!i:sTa:ar.: :;;r/rr, "-'-"-- 

next door neighbour, before their ^yes went ZZh • v .T""' '^'" 
scribe the species. Leavin-^ the Zv .''^'f./^'^'^'^'-'^ '" ^'«t ^-aste to de- 

^< to aseeLn b, ^:J^tf^ ^:^:::t ''-' ^" 

bit. they sought for a Latin cognomen, des^ous IrtJ " ' '''' 

should be handed down to posterky alonL wUUt r """ ""^'^ 

..AB and ScHKKBEH. (the tl ...„! . "^"''^ '\ Hcnce Ekxl.b... 1>,,. 

" ' -^^^ently wiihout (he knowledge ol 

f. i 



tl^e latter,) named the species, very likely, as wc are inclined to think, 
without having had any specimen before them, and simply attaching a 
name to the descriptions of the English naturalists. Be this as it may, 
in less than three years it had already received in Germany alone, the 
several names of L. Amcricanus, nanus, end Hudsonius. If Schreber, 
who had the Philosophical Transactions lying before him when he drew 
up his description, (for he quotes both the accounts,) and who also pos- 
sessed the accountf ■ -' V^xi-ni-.r.:; Pali. as, had examined a different 
species, surely he 'v .t'.,- we made the discovery; but after a careful 
t(xamination, and no. . 'ad description, he gives the size, colour, and 
measurements of the Northern hare, and finally quotes Forster, Pennant, 
ScHCEPFF, &c., as his authorities for the species. 

The name Lepiis nanus, given to it by Schreber, might at first lead us 
to conjecture that as he meant tfa designate the specieo as a small hare, 
and as the Northern hare is rather large, he could not have intended it 
for the latter, but had in view the Gray Rabbit— hence the name, nanus, 
dwarf. There can, however, be no difficulty in accounting for the choice 
of that name. On turning to the eleventh page of the Philosophical 
Transactions, vol. xlii., where the species was first announced, it will be 
perceived that Barrinoiun had been closely investigating the several spe- 
cies of hare with which the naturalists of Europe were acquainted at 
that early day ; aad he gives the following measurements : — 




and Head. 


4^ inches 

G2 inches 

16^ inches 


7S " 


22 " 

Hudson's Bay quadruped 

- Gf " 

10? " 


Alpine hare 

- «i " 

Hif " 


* From uppennost joint to toe. 

Here then we nave the relative sizes of the several species. The 
first is the common wild rabbit of England, (L. cuniculus,) which is a 
little larger than our Gray Rabbit. The second is the common Eng- 
lish hare, (L. timidus.) The third, the American hare from Hudson's 
Bay ; and the fourth, the Alpine or variable hare, (L. variabilis.) Tho 
rabbit being a burrowing animal with ivhife flesh, was not considered a 
tare, and the American animal was smaller than either the European or 
the Alpine hare, measuring only eighteen inches in length, whilst these 
last measured twentj'-two inches each. We perceive, therefore, that it 
was called Lcpus nanus, because it was the smallest of the species then 
known. For the same reason our American woodcock was called scolopat 



minor, because it svas smaller than the English woodcock, although it 
hnaliy proved to be the largest snipe in America. 

Let us compare the description of Sc.reber's L. nanus, with the North 
'^rn hare of which we have a number of specimens (includin^r all ^>- 
various changes of colour) before us, to refer to as we proceed ' 


Lepus nanus. 
The head has nothing peculiar; 
cheeks, thickly haired; ears, thin, 
externally with few hairs, naked 
within, and when bent Ibrward do 
not reach the point of the nose; 
when bent backward they reach 
the shoulder blades. 


Ijepus Americanua 
This description agrees with L. 
Americanus; the ears in our .rito 
specimens are none of them more 
than 3i inches long, whilst from' 
nose to ear they measure 4 inches ; 
the ears therefoie could not reach 
the nose. 

or hve bmllcs ab„™ them, whi,. mc„., „f i. Ameriamus. extent ft, 
kers most , black; some „.c whi.o, c„,„„r of .he eye,, whhih , Tp^l st 
.he,o,,^„appea..oheh,„,er.ha„ oe.he. ,he N„„he„, ha/L .ho 

t-ray Rabbit, and which he must 
have obtained from some other 
source than a dried skin. 

The following is the colour in 
summer: ears, brownish, with a 
very narrow black border on the 
outer margin, being at the tips the 
same breadth, or it even disappears 
towards the tips. 

The very narrow black border on 
the outer margin betrays the spe- 
cies; it belongs to the Northern 
hare, but not to the Gray Rabbit. 
They only become effaced when 
covered with white hair in wi-, £.-; 
and it is evident th s last exprescion 
was taken from Kalm, who says of 
the Rabbit, " the tip of their can 
IS always gray, and not black, as is 
the case in the European, common, 
and Alpine hares." 

Forehead, cheeks, back and sides. All agreeing with the description 
ore and hm.l-legs externally, light of the Northern hare. 
l)rown, mixed with black; around 
the hreech, white. 







Feet, thickly covered with short Such is the colour of the feet of 

hairs of a light brown, unmixed several of our specimens of the N'>r- 

with black, changing on the inside thern hare in summer pelage, 
to a grayish white. 

Upper part of the tail the colour 
of the back, (perhaps mixed with 
black, as Pennant describes it black 
above,) beneath white. 

Throat, white ; lower part of the 
neck, bright brown, mixed with 
white ; chest and belly, inside of 
fore and hind-legs, a dull white. 

The upper part of the tail is like 
the back in most specimens, but it 
is seen how anxious he was not to 
depart from the views of Pennant, 
who describes it as black, which is 
the case in some specimens. 

These distinctive marks all be- 
long to the Northern hare. 

! 1 

Cole iT in winter, when it does 
change, white. 

Molars above and beneath, on 
each side, five. The length of the 
body at farthest eighteen inches, 
the ta^l not over two inches. 

The Gray Rabbit does not become 
white in winter. 

This size applies to the Northern 
hare, and not to the Gray Rabbit. 
None of our dried specimens of the 
former reach quite eighteen inches, 
and none of the Gray Rabbit beyond 
fifteen. Tail of the Northern hare., 
including fur, two inches ; that ol 
the Gray Rabbit is longer. 

These weights were compiled 
from authors. Carver, who had re- 
ference to the Gray Rabbit, gave 
the lesser v. eight ; and Pennant, 
who referred to the Northern hare, 
gave the greater. 

The .Tios*, striking distinctions in Forster says in regard to the 
this species, according to Forster, Northern hare — "The proper cha- 
Pennant, and Schcepff, are, 1st, its racteristics of this species seem to 
size ; it is not near as large as the be, 1 st, its size, which is some- 
common hare or the changeable what bigger than a rabbit, but less 

The weight is from 2^ to 3 lbs. ; 
according to Pennant, from 3 to 4^ 





hare, and scarcely larger than a ^, ^i . ^ , 

rabbit; hence in North America he i'^°» ^ ^^ ^^P'"^ ""' ^^'^'' 

is frequently called rabbit. 

2d, The proportion of the legs. 
The hind feet being longer and the 
fore-fset than either of the 

3d, The colour of the ears ; they 
have a black margin outside, but 
no black spot at tha tip. 

The ear being less in length se- 
parates it from the common hare. 

4th, The colour of e tail ; this 
is on the upper surface not black, 
or as intensely black as that of the 

5th, The colour of the body. 

2d, FousTER says, " The propor- 
tion of its limbs. Its hind-feet being 
longer in proportion to the body 
tlian those of tlie rabbit and the 
common hare." 

3d, " The tip of the ears and 
tail, which are constantly gray, not 
black," Kalm's Travels, vol ii p 

The ears of the Northern hare, 
the species here referred to, are con- 
siderably less in length than those 
of the common European hare. 

The upper side of tlie tail of the 
European hare, (Z. timidus,) 
black, that of the Northern 
generally dark brown. 



6th, Its mode of living and habits. 

That of the European hare is not 
as dark. 

In the description of these habits 
by FoESTER, two species had been 

It can therefore only be a distinct tt ,. . 

species. ^® "^^*"' distmct from those of 


It is a native of all North Ameri- 
ca, from Hudson's Bay to Florida. 
It does not migrate far, but confines 
itself to a narrow compass. 

Tlie Gray Rabbit is not found at 
Hudson's Bay, where the othe' 
abounds. In his views of the South- 
ern range of the xVorthem hare, he 
was misled by Forster, and suppos- 
ing Kalm's rabbit referred to the 

t' ; 




In Hudson's Bay, Canada, and 

Mew-England, it changes in au- 
tumn this sliort summer hair into a 
long silky Cur, white from the roots, 
and only the border of the ears and 
the tail preserve their colour, (Pen- 
nant, Kalm.) 

In the Southern parts, his colour, 
even in the coldest winters, remain.^ 
unchanged, (Kalm.) He might, 
therefore, be properly called the 
half changing hare 


same species, he ((uoted Kalm as 
authority for its rxistcncri as far 
south as Florida. 

The Gray Rabbit does not change 
in this manner. He meant by this 
to show that whilst this species be- 
came white in winter, the border ol 
the ear and upper part of the tail 
underwent no change. 

SciiREDER, never having been in 
America, had to compile his account 
of its habits from others. It is easi- 
ly seen that in this he was misled 
by FoRSTER, who misunderstood 
Kalm ; the latter having here re- 
I'erred to the Gray Rabbit, which 
never changes its colour. 

Dekay conceives Schheder to have descr' /cd the Gray Rabbit, from the 
abundance of the species ; but the Northern hare, where it does exist, is 
not less abundant. In particular localities in the Northern States, it is 
more frequently met with than the Gray Rabbit in the Middle or Southern 

Hearne says that on the south side of Anawed Lake they were so 
plentiful, that .several of the Indians caught twenty or thlrt.v of a night 
with snares ; and at Hudson's Bay, where all the specimens first brought 
to Europe were procured, it is represented as very abundant. 

We think we have now shown that Schreber's account of L. nanus — 
its size, length of legs, the black margin around the ear, its change of 
colour, and his references io authors, all prove explicitly that he had no 
reference to the Gray Rabbit, but described the Northern hare. 

His name must therefore ^tard as a synonyme of L. Americanus^ which 
is to be somewhat regretted, as although the nr me itself is very objec- 
t'nable, his description of that species appears to us the best that was 
given from its first describer, Forster, down to the time of Richardson 
whose description is so accurate that nothing need be added to it. 




^ ^ 







Canine — ; Molar — = 16. 
0—0 a_3 

*Jlieek-teeth, furnished with tubercles; ears, oblong or round, nearly 
naked: without cheek-pouches; fore-feet, with four toes, and a wart 
crvered with an obtuse nail in place of a thumb; hind-feet, pendac- 
fylous; tail, long, usually naked and scaly; fur, with a few long, 
scattered iiairs, extending beyond the rest. 

The generic name Mus is derived from the Latin mus, a mouse, from 
the Greek a**«, (wjusJ a mouse. 

There are upwards of two hundred species of this genus described as 
existing in various quarters of the globe, of which about wine well-deter- 
mined species are found in North America, three of which have been in. 



Black Rat. 
PLATE XXIir.— Old and Youno, of various Cor.ouRS. 

M. Cauda corpore longiore ; podihns anterioribus ungue pro pollice in- 
structis; corpore atro, subtus cinerco. 


Tail, longer than the body; fore-fecf, with a claw tn place of o tl,un,h 
hluish-hlack above, dark ash-coloured beneath. 



Mus Rattus, Linn., 12tli od., p. 83. 

" " Sclireber, Silugetniere, p. 647. 

" " Dv'smitr., in Nouv. Diet., 29. p. 48.' 
Rat, Ruflon, Hist. Nat,, vol. vii.. p. 278, t. 30. 
Rat Ordinaikk, Cuv., RiVpno Anim., p. 107. 
Black Rat, Penn., Arc. Zool, vol. !., p. 129. 
Roller Pontopp., Dun. i., p. 611. 




Mus lUrrus, GriflSth's Animal Kingdom, vol. v., 578, 6. 
" " Harlan, p. 148. 

" Godman, vol. ii., p. 83. 
" Richardson, p. 140. 

Emmons, Report on Quadrupeds of Massachusetts, p. 63. 
" Dekay, Natural History of New- York, vol. i., p. 80. 


Head, long ; nose, sharp pointed ; lower jaw, short ; ears, large, ovai, 
broad and naked. Whiskers, reaching beyond the ear. 

Body, smaller and more delicately formed than that of the brown rat : 
thickly clothed with rigid, smooth, adpressed hairs. 

Fore-feet, with four toes, and a claw in place of a thumb. Feet, plan- 
tigrade, covered on the outer surface with short hairs. Tail, scaly, 
slightly and very imperfectly clothed with short coarse hairs. The tail 
becomes square when dried, but in its natural state is nearly round. 
Mammaj, 12. 


Whiskers, head, and all the upper surface, deep bluish-black ; a few 
white hairs interspersed along the back, giving it in some lights a shade 
of cinereous ; on the under surface it is a shade lighter, usually cinereous. 
Tail, dusky; a few light-coloured hairs reaching beyond the toes, and 
covering the nails. 


Length of head and body 
tail - 

8 inches. 
8i do. 


The character of this species is so notoriously bad, that were we to write 
a volume in its defence we would fail to remove those prejudices which 
are every where entertained against this thieving cosmopolite. Possess- 
ir g scarcely one redeeming quality, it has by its miscnievous propensities 
caused the world to unite in a wish for its extermination. 

The Black Rat is omnivorous, nothing seeming to come amiss to its 
voracious jaws-flesh, lowl or fish, and grain, fruit, nuts, vegetables, &c., 
whether raw or cooked, being indiscriminately devoured by it. It is very 
fond of plants that contain much saccharine or oleaginous matter. 

The lavourite abodes of this species are barns or granaries, holes under 
out-houses or cellars, and such like places ; but it does not confine itself 
to any particular locality. We have seen its burrows under cellars used 



for keeping the winter's supply of sweet potatoes in Carolina in dykes 
surrounding rice-fields sometimes more than a mile from any dwelling 
and It makes a home in clefts of the rocks on parts of the Alleghany 
mountains, where it is very abundant. 

In the neighbourhood of the small streams which are the sources of the 
Edisto river, we found a light-coloured variety, in far greater numbers 
than the Black, and we have given three figures of them in our Plate 
They were sent to us alive, having been caught in the woods, not far from 
a miU-pond. We have also-observed the same variety in Charleston and 
received specimens from Major Leconte, who obtained them in Georgia 
During the summer season, and in the autumn, many of these rats as 
xvell as the common or Norway rat, {Mus decumanm,) and the common 
mouse, {Mus mmculus,) leave their hiding places near or in the farmer's 
barns or hen-houses, and retire to the woods and fields, to feed on various 
wild grasses, seeds, and plants. We have observed Norway ra»s bur 
rowing in banks and on the borders of fields, far from any inhabited 
building; but when the winter season approaches they again resort to 
their former haunts, and possibly invite an ad litional party to join them 
The Black Rat, however, lives in certain parts of the country permanently 
m localities where there are no human habitations, keeping in crevices 
and fissures in the rocks, under stones, or in hollow logs. 

This species is by no means so great a pest, or so" destructive, as the 
brown or Norway rat, which has in many parts of the country either 
driven off or exterminated it. The Black Rat, in consequence, has become 
quite rare, not only in America but in Europe. 

Like the Norway rat this species is fond of eggs, young chickens, ducks 
&c., although its exploits in the poultry house are surpassed by the au-' 
dacity and voraciousness of the other. 

We have occasionally observed barns and hen-houses that were infested 
by the Black Rat, in which the eggs or young chickens remained unmo- 
lested for months together ; when, however, the Rats once had a taste ol 
these delicacies, they became as destructive as usual, and nothing could 
save the eggs or young fowls but making the buildings rat-proof, or kill 
Ing the plunderers. 

The following information respecting this species has been politoK 
communicated to us by S. W. Roiikktu, Esu., civil engineer:— 

"In April, 1831, when leading the exploring party which located tlie 
portage railroad over the Alleghany mountains, in Pennsylvania, I found a 
multitude of these animals living in the crevices of the silicious limestone 
rocks on the Upper Coneinaugh river, in Cambria count), where the large 
viaduct over 'hat stream now stands. The county wns tlun n wlld»r 

i Nil 



I ; i^ill 

.■T'l' I 

I I •• 




ness, and as soon as buildings were put up the rats deserted the rocks 
and established themselves in the shanties, to our great atinoyance ; so 
that one of my assistants amused himself shooting at them as he lay in 
bed early in the morning. They ate all our shoes, whip-lashes, &c., 
&c., and we never got rid of them until we left the place." 

We presume that in this locality there is some favourite food, the seeds 
of wild plants and grasses;, as well as insects, lizards, (Salainandra,) &c., 
on which these Rats generally feed. We are induced to believe that 
their range on the AUeghanies is somewhat limited, as we have on 
various botanical excursions explored these mountains at different points 
to an extent of seven hundred miles, and although we saw them in the 
houses of the settlers, we never observed any locality where they existed 
permanently in the woods, as they did according to the above account. 

The habits of this species do not differ very widely from those of the 
brown or Norway rat. When it obtains possession of premises that re- 
main unoccupied for a few years, it becomes a nuisance by its rapid 
multiplication and its voracious habits. We many years ago spent a few 
days with a Carolina planter, who had not resided at his country seat 
for nearly a year. On our arrival, we found the house infested by seve- 
ral hundreds of this species ; they kept up a constant squeaking during 
the whole night, and the small from their urine was exceedingly of- 

The Black Rat, although capable of swimming, seems less fond of fre- 
quenting the water than the brown rat. It is a more lively, and we 
think a more active, species than the other ; it runs with rapidity, and 
makes longer leaps ; when attacked, it shrieks and delends itself with its 
teeth, but we consider it more helpless and less courageous than the brown 
or Norway rat. 

It is generally believed that the Black Rat has to a considerable extent 
been supplanted both in Europe and America by the Norway rat, which 
it is asserted kills or devours it. We possess no positive facts to prove 
that this is the case, but it is very prob.ibly true. 

We have occasionally found both species existing on the same pre- 
mises, and have caught them on successive nights in the same traps ; but 
we have invariably found that where the Norway rat exists in iiny con- 
siderable numbers the preseirt species does not long remain. The Nor- 
way rat is not only a gross feeder, but is bold and successful in its attacks 
on other animals and birds. We have known it to destroy the donies- 
t'cated rabbit by dozens ; we havi^ seen it dragging a living frog from the 
.anks of a pond; we were once witnesses to its devouring the young ol' 
its own species, and we see no reason why it should not pursue the Bhtck 



Rat to the extremity of its burrow, and there seize and devour it. He 
h,s as ,t may, the latter is diminishing in number in proportion to 
the muU.pbcat,on of the other species, and as they are equally p^olifi^ 
and equally cunning, we cannot account for its decrease on any other 
supposition than that it becomes the prey of the more powerful and more 
voracious Norway rat. 

The Black Rat brings forth young four or five times in a year; we 
have^seen from .s,x to nine young in a nest, which was large and ;om- 
posed of eaves, hay, decayed grasses, loose cotton, and rags of vaZs 
Kmds. picked up in the vicinity. various 


ver?t'^'"T ""T""^ "'""'^ "^°"^ "' ^'"P«' ^"d is found, although 
very paringly, i„ all our maritime cities. We have met with it occa 
-onally m nearly all the States of the Union. On some plantat onsTn 
Carolina, particularly in the upper country, it is the only species and " 
very abundant. We have, however, observed that in some places' There 
t va, very common a few years ago, it has altogether disappeared, and 
has been succeeded by the Norway rat. The Black Rat hasten t ans- 

means of ships, as just mentioned. ^ 


Pennant, Kalm, L.nn^.s, Pallas, Desmaivest, and other European 
writers seem disposed to consider America the Fatherland of this pest of 
the civilized world. Harlan adopted the same opinion, but Bartram (v 
he was not misunderstood by Kalm,) did more than any other to perpe" 
tuate the error. * 

ot'thoFr'"°',\r"' ':^«™^^"«« of commodities, the inhabitants 
ot the Eastern and Western Continents have presented each other with 
several unpleasant additions to their respective productions, especialh- 
among the insect tribe. pei-idu. 

We are willing to admit that the Hessian fly was not brought to Ame- 
nca m straw from Hanover, as we sought in vain for the ilct in Ge . 
many; but we contend that the Black Rat and the Norway rat, which 

now foun.l in our country, were brought to America from the old world 

T here ar. strong evi.lenees of the existence of the Black Rat m Persia 

ong before the discovery of America, and we have no proof that i "i 

known in this country til! many y^-av. nfter it. coIoni.Lio... 1, i^t^T 



there were rats in our country which by the common people might have 
been regarded as similar to those of Europe, but these have now beer 
proved to be of very different species. Besides, if the species existed in 
the East from time immemorial, is it not more probable that it should 
have been carried to Europe, and from thence to America, than that it 
should have been originally indigenous to both continents ? As an evi- 
dence of the facility with which rats are transported from one country to 
another, we will relate the following occurrence : A vessel had arrived 
in Charleston from some English port, we believe Liverpool. She was 
freighted with a choice cargo of the finest breeds of horses, horned cat- 
tle, sheep, &.C., imported by several planters of Carolina. A few phea- 
sants {Phasianus colchicus) were also left on board, and we were in- 
formed that several of the latter had been killed by a singular looking set 
of rats that had become numerous on board of the ship One of them 
was caught and presented to us, and proved to be the Black Rat. Months 
after the ship had left, we saw several of this species at the wharf where 
the vessel had discharged her cargo, proving that after a long sea voyage 
they had given the preference to terra firma, and like many other sailors, 
at the clearing out of the ship had preferred remaining on shore. 

We have seen several descriptions of rats that we think will eventually 
be referred to some of the varieties of this species. The Mus Amcricanus 
of, Mas nigricans of Rafinesque, and several others, do not even 
appear to be varieties ; and we have little doubt that our light-coloured 
variety, if it has not already a name, will soon be described by some 
naturalist who will consider it new. To prevent any one from taking 
this unnecessary trouble, we subjoin a short description of this variety, 
as observed in Carolina and Georgia. 

Whole upper surface, grayish-brown, tinged with yellow ; light ash be- 
neath ; bearing so strong a resemblance to the Norway rat, that without 
a close examination it might be mistaken for it. 

In shape, size, and character of the pelage, it does not differ from tlic 
ordinary black specimens. 



Fcur-Str;ped Ground-Squirrei,. 
PLATE XXV.— Malb, Female, and Youno. 

T, striis quinque sub nigris longitudinalibus, cum quatuor Pub albidis 
Jorso alternatum distributis; corpore magnitudine T. Lystori minore; 
lateribus rufo fuscis, ventre albo. 


Smaller than Tamias Lysteri; five dark brown stripes and four light- 
coloured stripes occupying the whole back; sides, reddish-brown; underneath, 


SciuRus QtJADRiviTTATUs, Say, Long's Expedition, vol. ii., p. 349. 

" Griffith, Animal Kingdom, vol. v., No. 605. 

" Harlan, Fauna, p. 180. 

" Godman, vol. ii., p. 137. 

SciuRus (Tamias) Quadrivittatus, Rich., Zool. Journ.,No. 12, p. 619, April, 18i>y ; 

Fauna Boreali Americana, p. 184, pi. 16. 
Tamias Minimus, Bach., Journ. Ac-d. Nat. Sc. Phila., vol. viii., part 1. Young. 



Head, of moderate size ; nosr, tapering, but not very sharp. The mouth 
recedes very much, (as in all the other .species of Tamias;) cheek-pouches, 
of moderate size ; whiskers, .-bout the length of the head ; eye, small ;' 
ears, erect, of moderate length, clothed on both surfaces with very short 
hairs ; body, rather slender ; fore-f ^et, with four toes and a small thumb, 
armed with an obtuse nail ; palms, naked ; claws, compressed, and curved 
Hke those of Tamias Lysteri. Hind-feet, with five slender toes ; soles, 
covered with short hairs for three-fourths of their length ; tail, long, nar- 
row and sub-distichous 


Forehead, dark-brown, with a few whitish hairs intersnersed • a 





row black line from the nostril to the corner of the eye ; above and be- 
neath the eye, a line of white, which continues downward to the point ol 
the nose. 

A dark-brown dorsal iirie, commencing behind the ears, continues along 
the back to the insertion of the tail ; another line, which is not quite so 
dark, begins at each shoulder and ends on the buttocks, near the tail ; on 
each flank there is another shorter and broader line, which runs along 
the sides to near the haunches ; on each side of the dorsal line there is a 
light-coloured stripe running down to near the insertion of the tail. The 
outer brown stripes are also separated by a line of yellowish-white ; thus 
the whole back is covered by five dark and four pale lines. From the 
neck a broad line of reddish-brown extends along the sides, terminating 
at the hips ; feet, light yellowish-brown ; under surface of the body, and 
inner surface of the legs, grayish- white. 

The tail, which is slightly distichous, is composed of hairs yellowish- 
brown at the roots, then dark-brown, and tipped with reddish-brown ; on 
its under surface they are reddish-brown, then black for a narrow space, 
and reddish-brown at the tips. 


A fine Male (killed Aug. 19th, 1843, on the Upper Missouri river.) 

Nose to anterior canthus 

Nose to opening of ear 

Height of ear ..--.... 

Width of ear 

Between centre of eyes 

Length of head and body 

Tail (vertebra*) 

Tail to end of hair .-..-. 

Heel to end of hind-claws 

Palm and fore-feet to claws 

Weight 4 oz. 



















Wr do. 


This pretty little species was discovered by Mr. Say, during Colonel 
Long's expedition. Mr. Say does not however appear to have seen much 
of its habits, and gives us but the following short account of them : — 

" It does not seem to ascend trees by choice, but nest-les in holes, and 
on the edges of rocks. We did not observe it to have cheek-pouches. 
Its nest is composed of a most extraordinary quantity of the burrs of the 



cactus, and their branches, and other portions of the large upright cactus, 
and small branches of pine trees and other vegetable productions, suffi- 
cient ill some instances to fill an ordinary cart. What the object of so 
great and apparently so superfluous an assemblage of rubbish may be 
we are at a loss to conjecture ; nor do we know what peculiarly danger- 
ous enemy it may be intended to exclude by so much labour. Their prin- 
cipal food, at least at tliis season, is the seeds of the pine, which they 
readily extract from the cones." 

We met with this species as we were descending the Upper Missouri 
river in 1843; we saw it first on a tree; afterwards we procured both 
old and young, among the sandy guUeys and clay cliffs on the sides of the 
ravines near one of our encampments. 

These Ground Squirrels ascend trees when at hand and offering them 
either shelter or food, and seem to be quite as agile as the common 
species Tamius Lysleri. 

Dr. Richardson, who found this Ground Squirrel during his long and 
laborious journeyings across our great continent, says of it—" ft is an ex- 
ceedingly active little animal, and very industrious in storing up pro- 
visions, being very generally observed with its pouches full of the seeds 
of leguminous plants, bents and grasses. It is most common in dry sandy 
spots, where there is much underwood, and is often seen in the summer, 
among the branches of willows and low bushes. It is a lively restless 
animal, troublesome to the hunter, and often provoking him to destroy it, 
by the angry chirruping noise that it makes on his approach, and which 
is a signal of alarm to the other inhabitants of the forest. During winter 
it resides in a burrow with several openings, made at the roots of a tree ; 
and is even seen on the surface of the snow. At this season, when the' 
snow disappears, many small collections of hazel-nut shells, from which 
the kernel has been extracted by a minute hole gnawed in the side, are 
to be seen on the ground near its holes." 

Dr. Richardson further informs us that on the banks of the Saskatcha- 
wan, the mouths of the burrows of this species are not protected with 
heaps of vegetable substances, as described by Mr. Say, and we have no 
doubt the animal adapts its nest (as many of our birds do) to the lo- 
cality and circumstances that surround it. 

These animals bite severely when captured, and probably resemble 
Tamius Lysteri in their general habits and mode of living. 


This species was originally discovered by Say, who procured it on the 
Rocky Mountains, near the sources of the Arkansas and Platte rivers. 


< I 


1 '1 


t'i ' n 



We obtained it on the Upper Missouri, and Mr. Drummond brought spoci 
mens from the sources of the Pearl river. It is found as far north as 
Lake Winnipeg, in lat. 50°. 


When we published Tamias minimus, we had some misgivings lest it 
might prove the young of the present species. The discoverer however 
assured us that the two species did not exist within many hundred miles 
of each other, and that the specimens he sent us were those of full grown 
animals ; we consequently ventured on their publication. Having, how- 
ever, since procured young specimens of T. quadrivittatus, we are' satis- 
fied of the error we committed, and hasten to correct it. In the investi- 
gation of species existing in distant and little known portions of country, 
it alv^ays requires a length of time to settle them beyond the dangor of 
error. The traveller who makes these investigations very hastily, and 
seizes on a specimen wherever there is a moment's pause in the journey, 
is often himself deceived, and the describer, having perhaps only » single 
specimen, is very apt to fall into some mistake. The investigation of de- 
Bcribed species in every branch of natural history, both in Europe and 
America, occupied much of the time of the naturalists of our generation, 
who corrected many of the errors of a former age ; most fortunate are 
they who are permitted to live to correct their own. 


1 1 


Downy Squirrel. 

S. auribas brcvibas. cauda subdisticha; S. Hudsonico paullo robn.tlcr 
8upra castaneo-fuscus, subtus albus, naso concolori; lateribus am-nteis-' 
occipite macule distincto. ' 


Ears, Short ; tail, sub-distickou. ,• light chesnut-brown ov the upper sur- 
/«ce ; srdes, sUrer-gray. A spot on the hind part of the heudLe, and 
u,der surface of body, pure white. A little stouter than S. Hudsonius. 


Head broader than in S. Hudsonius; forehead, much arched; ear^ 
hort and oval; whiskers, longer than the head; feet and toes, shor^ 
hurnb. armed with a broad fla. nail. Nails, compressed and acute ; the 
third, on the fore-feet, longest. 

The tail, (which bears some resemblance to that of the flying squirrel 
Rvnlucello^ is clothed with hairs a little coarser than those on the back 
an . much shorter than the body. On the fore-feet the palms are nel Iv 
naked the under surface of the toes being only partially covered with 
hair; but on the hmd-feet, the under surface from the heel to the el 
tremity of the nails ,s thickly covered with soft short hairs. Fur softer 
and rnore downy than that of any other of our species. The fur indicates 
that the animal is an inhabitant of a cold region. 


Teeth, dark orange; whiskers, brown; fur on the back from the root., 
to near the tip of the hair, light plumbeous, tipped with lighf ohesnut 







lirowii , OR (ho si(lr'< (l\>]yri] with f<ilvfr-u;ruy. A broad line of whftp 
nroiiiul fill' cyt's, ii spot of vvliilc on lln- hiiiii piiK of tlit> hvnd, u little in 
udviiiicc of tlir mitrrior portion of tlir vixrs; nos»', wliitr, wliicli colour 
rxfcndM alon^ tlic forclu'iKl over tlm « y<>s, where it i» (i^radually hh-nded 
with the colour of the Imek ; the whole under siirlhce, I'eet, Jind inner 
Hurl'ace of the lejjs, pure white. 'I'liil, irre^jiilarly eov«'red with niarkintrs 
of hiaek, li;;ht hrown, and white, scarcely two hairs being unifoim in 

In >j:en(>ral it niny be said that the tail, when examined without re- 
terence to its sejmrate hairs, is li>j;ht-aNh at the roots of the hairs, a broad 
but not wt '" ciclined line of li^ht rufous siieceedinj;, then a dark br. wn 
.-•pnco in the lu \ which are tipped with rufous and gray. 


Length of head and body 
■* tail (vertebra-) 

" toil, including fur 

Palm, and middle fore-elaw 

Sol(> and middle liind-elaw 

Length of fur on the back 

Height of ear, measured jxisteriorly 

Distance b«'tween the orl)its 














This downy and beautifully furred squirrel exists in the north-western 
portions of our continent. Tho specimen fron; which our drawing was 
made, is the only one which we have seen, and was brought from near 
SitUa, by Mr. .1. K. Townsrni), who kindly placed k in our hands, in order 
that we might describe it. As the animal was pre^ entcd to Mr. Town- 
send by an ollicer attached to the Hudson's Bay Company, and was not 
observed by him, he could give us no account of its hai)its. We think, 
however, that fro ti its close fipproximation to that group of squirrels of 
which the Hudson's Bay, or chickaree squirrel, is the type, and with 
which we are familiar, we can fonn a pretty corn^ct judgment in regard 
to its general characteristics,- and we will venture to say that it is less 
agile and less expert in climbing than fhi chickaree; it no doubt burrows 
in the earth in winter like the latter species, and as its tail is more like 
that of a spcrmoi)lulc than the tail of a squirrel although (he rest of its 
specific characters are tlu;;" of the true sqiiirrels, w;- ;ir>: disposed to con- 
sider it a closely connecting link between theiie two genera, and it very 


201, ucoonling to ciruimstanceH, adoptn the mode of life commonlv 
'ilmi'r', rd in each. 

aKooRAPiiirAi, DiHTRtinrnoN. 

This Npccos is fon.ul sovc-n,! .h-nn-.-s to tho north of the Oo),„„hia 
nver. and is said to .xt.-.ui .hron^h tho country adjoining, tho sni-ooast 
ns far as into the Kussian sotthunrnts. Mr. Tovvnhpn,, says "It wan 
ollrd on Ihe roast near .Sitka, an.! j,nven me by u.y fri-nd, W. l'\ To,,m.k 
b-u., ,SurK«-on of ttio HciruraMc- IFudson's IJay Comnanv" 
20 ^' 


GENl S GULO.—Storr. 




incisive - ; Canine — ; Molar — = 3^- 
• i-i * *• 

The three first molars in the upper, and the four first in tbe lower 
jaw, small ; succeeded by a larger carnivorous or trenchant tooth, and a 
small tuberculous tooth at the back. 

In the upper jaw the three first molars are uni-cuspidateous, and 
may be called false-carnivorous teeth, increasing successively in size ; the 
following or carnivorous tooth is large and strong, furnished with two 
points on the inner side, and a trenchant edge in front ; the last tooth 
is small, and tuberculous or flatfish. 

In the lower jaw the first four molars are false, each presenting only 
one point or edge ; the fifth is long and large, with two trenchant points ; 
the last molar is nearly flat. All the teeth touch each other successively. 

Head, of moderate length ; body, long ; legs, short ; tail, bushy ; feet, 
with five deeply divided toes, terminated by long curved nails. 

No glandular pouch in some of the species, but a simple fold beneath 
the tail. 

Habits, carnivorous and nocturnal. 

The generic name is derived from the La<in gulo, a glutton. 

Four species of this genus have been described ; one existing in the 
Arctic regions of both continents, two in South America, and one in 


The Wolverene, or Glutton. 


G. subniger; "vscia subalbida utrinquo a humero p(>r ilia product'i, 
fusclis supra coxas se jungentib is; caudft pills longis hirsutl 




Dark-broum, passing into black, above ; a pale band on each side, runnuvr 
from the shoulders around the flanks, and uniting on the hips ,- tail, with long 
hushv hairs. 



MusTELA GuLo, Linn., Syst. Nat., 12tli edit. 
Uiisus Lascus, Linn., Syst., Nai., 12th edit. 
Ursus Gulo, Pallas, do., Schreber, SUugeth., p. 525. 

" F. Cuv., in Diet, des Sc. Nat., 19th edit., p. 79, c. ti^r 
QuicKiiATCH or Wolverine. Ellis, Voy. Hudson's Bay, p. 42 
Ursus Fret. Hud-sonis, Briss, Quad., p. 188. 
WoLVERiNtt, Cartwrignt's Journal, vol. ii., p 407 

WoLVERi.N., Pennant's Hi^t Q„,d., vol. ii.; p. 8, t. 8, Hearne's Journey, p. 372. 
^ULo AR..T1CU8, var. A. Glouton Wolverine., Desm., Mamm., p. 174. 
Gulo Luscus, (Capt.) Sabine, supp. Parry's 1st Voyage, p. 184. 

Sabine, (Mr.) Franklin's 1st Journey, p. 650. 

Richardson's Appendix Parry's 2d Voyage, p. 29i' 

Fischer's Maminalium, p> 154. 
The Gh-tton, Buffon, vol. vii., p. 274, pi. 243. 
Ursus Gulo, Shaw's Gen. Zool., vol. i., p. 46. 
Gulo Vulgaris, Griffith's Animal Kingdom, sp. 331. 
Gui.o Wolvekkvk, Gritfith's Animal Kingdom, sp. 332. 
Gulo Luscus, Ricii., F. B. A., p. 41. 

" Capt. Ross, Expedition, p. 8. 
Carcajou, French Canadians; Quickhatch, English residents. 


Head, of moderate size, broad on the hinder part, much arched, rounded 
on all .ides ; nose, obtuse, naked ; eyes small ; ears, short, broad, rounded 
and partially hid.ion by the surrounding I'ur. The whole head bears a 
strong resemblance to that of some of the varietiea of the dog. 

Body, very long, .stout, and compactly made; back, arched; the whole 
lorm indicating strength without much activity. The Wolverene is 
covered with a very thick coat of two distinct kinds of hair. The inner 
fur, sort and short, scarcely an inch long; the intermixed hair.s, nume- 
rous ngul, smooth, and four inches long; giving the animal the appear- 
ance ol some shaggy dog. 

Leg.s, short ind stout; feet, broad, clothed on the under surface with a 
compact mass of woolly hair. Toes, distinct, and armed with five strong 
rounde.l, and pretty sharp elaw... The tracks made in the slow by this 
species are large, and nol v,tv i nlilu- th< „1' ilu. I,,..,, ti.,,,.,, ..,.,, ,• 



tubercles on the soles of the fore-feet, and foui on the hind-feet ; no tuber 
cle on the heel. 

The tail is rather short, hangs low, and is covered with pendulous 
hairs. "There are two secretory organs about the size of a walnut, from 
which it discharges a fluid of a yellowish-brown colour and of the con- 
sistence of honey, by the rectum, when hard pressed by its enemies." — 


Under fur, deep chesnut-brown, a shade lighltr near the roots; the 
longer hairs are blackish-brown throughout their whole length, the 
hair having very much the appearance of that of the bear. Eyes, nose, 
and whiskers, black ; a pale reddish-brown band commences behind the 
shoulder, and running along the flanks, turns up on the hip, and unites 
on the rump with similar markings on the opposite side. There is a 
brownish-white band across the forehead running from ear to ear. On 
the sides of the neck there are tufts of white hair extending nearly in a 
circle from the inside of the legs around the chest. Legs and tail, brown 
ish-black; claws, dark-brown. The colour varies greatly in diflerent 
specimens, and although there is a strong general resemblance among ;ill 
we have examined, we are not surprised that attempts have been made 
from these varieties to nmltiply the species. There are however no per- 
manent varieties among the many specimens we llavt^ examined. The 
peculiar lateral band, although it exists in all, diflers a few shades in 
colour. In some specimens it is of a chesnut colour, in others light fer- 
ruginous, and in a few cases ash-coloured. We find these diflerenccs of 
colour existing in both continents, and not confined to either. We have 
never seen a specimen of a Wolverene as light in colour as that to which 
LiNNAUjg gave the specific name of liisciis, and we regard it as a mere 
accidental variety. We have found American specimens obtained in the 
Polar regions fully as black as those from Russia. 


Uecent specimen, obtained in Rensselaer county, N. Y. 

From point of nose to root of t;iil . . o 

Tail (vertebra^) o 

Heigh 1, to shoulder i 

" of ear, posteriorly .... o 

Length of hair on l)()dy - . . o 

From heels (<) point of nails . . o 

Ureudtli of hind-toot • - o 











Specimen from which our figure was made. 

From point of nose to root of tail 
Tail (vertebra;) ... 

Tail, including fur - 
Height of ear - . - . . 



Fttt. Iiiclibe. Lilies 
2 6 


1 .J 

The Wolverene, or Glutton as he is generally called, is one of the ani 
mals whose h.story comes down to us blended with t e superstln? "f 
fhe old wnters. Errors when once received and published eZZu- 
■they possess the charm of great singularity or are connected Xta 
of wonder, become fastened on the mind by early readin^r and ih 
pressions formed in youth, until we are ^J^iarid/::^12^Z 
gance and we at length regret to find ideas (however incorrect) TdTp Ld 
ZZ^!:!:: "" '''"''' '' ''' *^ ^"^"^^^- -^ investigatiois ofta- 
The Wolverene, confined almost exclusively to Polar regions where 
men have enjoyed few advantages of education and hence havl fr^ 
bbed without much reflection the errons, extravagances and inv ntil 
"i hunters and trappers, has been represented as an animal poss 
.xtraor mary strength, agility, and cunning, and as being pr'ove • , i. : 

tells us that .t,s wont when it has found the carcass of some lan^e 
east to eat untd its belly is distended like a drum, when it rids Ld tf 
us oad by squeezmg its body betwixt two trees growing near together, 
and agam returnmg to Us repast, soon requires to have recourse to the 
same means of relief." It is even said to throw down the moss which the 
remdeer IS ,o„d of and that the Arctic fox is its jackal or provider, m h.s first description of this animal, seems to have adapted the 
errors and superstitions of O.aus M.,..s, SonoBrr.H, G.s.v.h, and the 
early trave lers into Sweden and Lapland. He savs of this animal (vol 
vn.. p .77,) "the delect of nimbleness he supplies with cunninr J^ 
n wa.t <or an.mals as they pass, he climbs upon trees in or.l r to dar 
pon ,s prey and seize it with advantage; he throws himself dow 
upon elks and reindeer, an.l fixes so firmly on their bo,lios with his clau^ 
an teeth that nothing can remove him. In vain .lo the poor victims y 
and rub themselves against trees; the enemy, attached to the crupper cr 
neck, continues to suck their bloo.l, to enlarge the wound, and to devour 
.lu-m gradually and with ...pial voracity, till they fall down " 

"More ...satiable a..d rapacious than t e wolC if endowed with e.pial 






agility flio Glutton would destroy all the other animals; but he moves so 
heavily that the only animal he is able to overtake in the course is the 
beaver, whose cabins he sometimes attacks, and devours the whole unless 
they quickly take to the water, for the beaver outstrips him in swimming. 
When he perceives that his prey has escaped, he seizes the fishes ; and 
when he can find no living creature to destroy, he goes in quest of the 
dead, whom he digs up from their graves and devours with avidity." 

Even the intelligent Gmelin, who revised and made considerable addi 
tions to the great work of Linn^us, on a visit to the North of Europe im- 
bibed many of the notions of the Siberian hunters, and informs us, with- 
out however giving full credence to the account, that the Wolverene 
"watches large animals like a robber, or surprises them when asleep," 
that " he prefers the reindeer," and that " after having darted down from 
a tree like an tirrow upon the animal, he sinks his teeth into its body and 
gnaws the flesh till it expires ; after which he devours it at his ease, and 
swallows both the hair and skin." 

However, although Buffov in his earlier history of the species adopted 
and published the errors of previous writers, he subsequently corrected 
them and gave in a supplementary chapter not only a tolerable figure but 
a true history. He received a Wolverene alive from the northern part 
of Russia, and preserved it for more than eighteen months at Paris. And 
when the Count was thus enabled to examine into its habits, as they were 
developed from day to day, he found them ot n. very ordinary charac- 
ter, and it was discovered to be an animal possessing no very striking 
peculiarities. He informs us, " He was ho tame that he discovered no 
ferocity and did not injure any person. His voracity has been as much 
exaggerated as his cruelty : he indeed ate a great deal, but when de- 
prived of food he was not importunate." 

" The animal is pretty mild ; he avoids water, and dreads horses and 
men dress(>d in bliick. He moves by a kind of leap, and eats pretty vo- 
raciously. After taking a full meal he covers himself in the cage with 
straw. When drinking he laps like a dog. He utters no cry. After 
drinking, he throws the remainder of the water on his belly with his 
paws. He is almost perpetually in motion. If allowed, he would devour 
more than four pounds of flesh in a day ; he eats no bread, and devours 
his food so voraciously, and almost without chewing, that he is apt to 
choke himself." 

We have seen this species in a state of confinement in Europe ; the 
specimens came, we were informed, from tliii north of that continent. 
In Denmark, a keeper ol' a small caravan of animals allowed us the pri- 
vilege of cxamiuing a Wolverene which .chad exhibited for two years 



We took him out of his cage; he was very gentle, opened his „.outh to 
enable us to examine his teeth, and buried his head in our lap vZ . 
admired his long claws and felt his woolly feet • h. « , , ''^ 

es^pe n.. jHe connnement of .. e.::i^1:J: T^TI:^^^: 
and made awk^^rd attempts to play with and caress us. which rem nled 
s very much of the habit of the American black bea . He h^ been 
taught to sit on his haunches and hold in his mouth a German pte 
We observed he was somewhat averse to the li^ht nl' tK T ^^ 

his e Ha. Closed when exposed to its^::: ^ te^lMltlZ 
hat he suffered a good deal ll-om the heat in warm vveather tTat he 
rank water freely and ate meat voraciously, but consumerlr; n win 
^eha„.„ summer. There was in the same cage a marmot from X 

tth . wr'' """''^''^ '" '''^''^ ^^^ ^«l^--« «-rned much at 
ached When returned to his cage, he rolled himself up like a ball ht 
long shaggy hairs so completely covering his limbs that L presented the 
appearance of a bear-skin rolled up into a bundle 

In the United States the Wolverene has always existed very sparingly 
and only m the Northern districts. About thirtv flv^ vn. 'P'"^'"^'>^' 

in the possession of a country merchant ^ La ^^^^Xr^Z 
skins of this species, that had as we were informe^d ^Loult'onZ 
Green Mountains of Vermont; about the same time we obtled a^pod 
men m Rensselaer county, near the banks of the Hoosack Ter Wh le 
hunting the Northern hare, immediately after a heavy fal of ^ w 
we unexpec edly came upon the track of an animal vvhlh attheZe' 
we suppose^ to be that of a bea, a species which even then wa cared 
known in hat portion of the country, (which was already preltV h ck ' 
se led.) We followed the broad trail over the hills andYrou^i h ' 
V.OUS windings of the forest for about five miles, till within silt of a 
lodge of rocks on the banks of the Hoosack rive, Uen a ." fld^n 
m. t approaching, we were reluctantly compeli;d to g ve uP he p 'l^ 
for that day, intending to resume it on the following morning It snow 
mcessantly for two days afterwards, and believing' tZX' be hadTe 
.redtoh. winter retreat, we concluded that the 'chance of adding tt 
ou collection had passed by. Some weeks afterwards a favouS ser 
^ant who was always anxious to aid us in our pursuits, and" o not 
ly know many cpiadrupeds and birds, but was acquainted with many 
of their habits, mlornied us that he luul on a previous day seen severa 

Tl teT A ^" r ^'H^' '''''''''' ''-'^''^ ^ -- -'' ^^^^ 
. _io.est. As early on the following morning as we could see a tra^k 

hounds, started on what we conceived our second bear-hunt. «.(>..« 




rcacliiii« the spot where the tnicks had been observed, however, we mci 
a fresh trail of the previous nij^ht, and pursued it witliout h)ss of time. 
The animal had joined some foxes wliieh were feeding on a dead horse 
not k- hundred yards from a \og cabin in the forest, and after liaving 
satiated itself with this delicate food, made directly for the Iloosack 
river, pursuing the same course along which we had formerly traced it. 
To our surprise it did not cros the river, now firmly bound with ice, 
.lut retired to its burrow, which was not far from the place where 
we had a few weeks before abandoned the pursuit of it. The hounds 
had not once broke into full cry upon the track, but no sooner had they 
arrived at the mouth of the burrow than they rushed into the large 
opening between the rocks, and commenced a furious attack on the ani- 
mal within. This lasted but for a few moments, and they came out as 
quickly as they had entered. They showed some evidence of having 
been exposed to sharp claws and teeth, and although they had been only 
a moment engaged in battle, had no disposition to renew it. No effort 
•>f ours could induce them to re-enter the cavern, whilst their furious 
barking at the mouth of the hole was answered by a growl from within. 
The animal, although not ten feet from the entrance, could not be easily 
reached with a stick on account of his having retreated behind an angle 
in the chasm. As we felt no particular disj)()sition to imitate the ex- 
ploits of Colonel 1'utnam in his rencontre with the wolf, we reluc- 
tantly concluded to trudge homeward through the snow, a distance of 
five miles, to obtain assistance. On tjiking another survey of the place, 
however, we conceived it possible to efTect an opening on one of its sides. 
This was after great labour accomplished by prying away some heavy 
fragments of the rock. The animal could now be reached with a pole, 
and seemed very much irritated, growling and snapping at the stick, 
which he once succeeded in tearing from our hand, all the while emitting 
a strong and very ofTensive musky smell. lie was finally shot. What 
was our surprise and pleasure on discovering that we had, not a bear, 
but what was more valuable to us, a new species of quadruped, as we 
believed it to be. It was six months before we were enabled, by consult- 
ing a copy of BurFON, to discover our mistake and ascertain that our 
highly prized specimen was the Glutton, of which we had read such mar- 
vellous tales in the school-books. 

In some of the figures that we have seen of the Wolverene, or Glutton, 
he is represented as touching the ground to the full extent of his heel, and 
in several of the descriptions this h;ii)it is also assigned to him. Our 
notes in reference to this point wen^ made in early life, and it is possible 
that we may have laboured under a mistake ; but we are confident, from 



our own observation, tlu, animal tread, upon its hin^ r . • . 
-annor of the dog, „.,,, tl.., impression of the taTsu or ht " '" ^ 
he observed in deen snow ..„,1 .1 * • ■ "''^' ""•" O"'}' 

"..■ »H.i .,„::,:,•,;,"' ^Tj-'-^y -'^ <■"*« ^o™?, 

livint W„lv,.,,.„,. ,ve ,a„ h, T " "° °°"' '" "'8''"' "> 'h. 

n«t .-i-ass ,„■ „,„„„-„.|, '",, In K ' '""■'IkinS, the feet d„ 

won; h,„ ma'' r ..:'';;;",""' ™""- »'■*» r-.oraf„x„r 

- juri,,,. .iH. Whole wrr::, I: ;rr" """"^ ""^ '-'""■"'^ 

"ho spot. It l,a,l l-id „„ „ " "■"'■J' '"'■'""''"■ I"-! to 

i.« ..i'htiy ..:i!:^^z^z r- r; rr™"^ •'"^™''»^ ™ 

for it was very (at. ' '""™™'' ''"'«' "«". 

water. 1„ s-eh 11 J, '' "" '"""'' """"' •"'""•™ «■»"> "he 

which w.,al„ ,„'„ ve,r ,i , 7" ■"" T'"^ "''""' '—•"«»■ 

drivi„,the oocupaatsir . •;r,"""" ""'^ ""•' "-«■-'■" 

woT:::':;r:t re::":,-::: :::: " '"— '- --^ » .^» 

ben,, kille,! fcy aecidon, " t !L ^ °"°"'"""' °'' ""•'""' """ h'"o 


''">• 'v-^ w.e .,„ „„ „„ „ „„,„ie.; , .i,t ■"'; i:;:""' "^ '" "■' 

on.,o„ally captures Ihc ,,,.„u,^ L, ,,„, '" ""' Wolve,-e„e oc- 

u protection ,L the eold, il;.,!,,:,.,,. ' '""'""' """ "" ''«'■ ™- - 

w.":;::r:,ntTr:':::!:,7 -= """^^ - ^■"-'-" ^»- «-i=^ 

however I, „,e| , it"', '''^ " ,""""'>' """■ ■''I"' "P"-! »f 'he hare 
M,el, tha, „ ha, not mad, ,„ (i.„r from the per,everi„B hu< 

it ! 



slow progress of the Wolvprene; and tlie one seen by Uk-iiardsun, in iiis 
efforts to catch the tempting game must have been prompted by a long- 
ing desire after hare's flesli, rather than by any confidence in his ability 
to overtake the animal. 

All Northern travellers and writers on the natural history of the Arctic 
regions,, Pennant, IIeaiinp., Parry, Franklin, Ili('iiARns(3N, &c., speak 
of the indomitable perseverance of the Wolverene in following the foot- 
steps of the trappers, in order to obtain the bait, or take from the traps the 
Arctic fox, the marten, beaver, or any other animal that may be caught 
in them. They demolish the houses built around the dead-falls, in order 
to obtain the bait, .and tear up the captured animals apparently from 
a spirit of wanton destructiveness. Heakne (p. 373) gives an account 
of their amazing strength, one of them having overset the greatest part 
of a large pile of wood, measuring upwards of seventy yards round, to 
get at some provisions that had been hid there. He saw another take 
possession of a deer that an Indian had killed, and though the Indian ad- 
vanced within twenty yards he would not relincjuish his claims to it, but 
suffered himself to be shot, standing on the deer. Hearne farther states, 
"they commit vast depredations on the foxes during the summer, while 
the young ones are small; their quick scent directs them to their den, 
and if the entrance be too small, their strength enables them to widen it, 
and go in and kill the mother and all her cubs ; in fact they are the most 
destructive animals in this country." 

Capt. J. C. Ross, R. N., F. II. S., who gave an interesting account of the 
animals seen in the memorable expedition of Sir John Ross, relates the 
following anecdote of this species: — "In the middle of winter, two or 
three months before we abandoned the ship, we were one day surprised 
by a visit from a Wolverene, which, hard pressed by hunger, had clindied 
the snow wall that surrounded our vessel, and came boldly on deck where 
our crew were walking for exercise. Undismayed at the presence of 
twelve or fourteen men, he seized upon a canister that had some meat in 
it, and was in so ravenous a state that whilst busily engaged at his feast 
he suffered me to pass a noose over his head, by which he was imme- 
diately secured and strangled." 

The Wolverene is at all times very suspicious of traps, and is seldom 
taken in the log-traps set for the marten and Arctic fox ; the usual mode 
in which it is obtained is by steel-tra|)s, which nuist be set with great 
caution nnd conoealed with much art. 

Captain Cartwrioiit in his journal speaks of having caught all he ob- 
tained at Labrador in this manner, and we ha\c seen several skins giving 
evidence that the animals had been taken by the foot. 



Captain Cartwrioht see Journal, vol ii n dni\ . j 

Hill I crossed the Inick or a Wolvcrins Willi our of M,. r 

..ap» on .lis foot; .he f„„s had rollo,™, hll ^LLf ^cr'Ts";"- 

hill, vvhcie the snow was so deep and lish. thai it was with the „e-aest 
dttfleulty CO, d follow him evei, i„ Indian raetets, I was ,„ p" td 
o know how „ had eoatrived to prevent the trap f™„ eatchii,; To d of 
the branehes of the trees or si„l>i„„ i„ the snow. But on eomingup „i,h 
hun diseovered how he had nian„,.ed ; for after making an 'tZZZ 
fly a. me, he took the trap in his month and ran upon .hrje legs. The! 
creature, are surprisingly strong in proportion to their size • tl welh.^ 
only twenty-six pounds and the trap eight : ye. ineluding a I th Z h 
had taken he had carried it six miles." 

The Wolverene produee. young but onee a year, from two to four at a 
litte.. R,c,MKnso.v says the cubs are covered with a downy fur of a pile 
or cream colour. The fur of che Wolverene resemblin. thlt of tLT 
IS much used for muds, and when several sl-iZ 1 '' 

makes a beautiful sleigh-robe. "' ''"^'^ '"^«^^«'- 


The Wolverene exists in the north of both continents. On the Eastern 
contment U inhabits the most northern parts of Europe and AsiToc 
currm, m Sweden, Norway, Lapland, and Siberia, as ZlZ'inZeZ 
the Alpme regions, and in the forests of Poland and Courland In North 
America it is found throughout .he whole of the Arctic circle Th. 
ca^iglit to ,he number often or t.elve every ^.^X^- ^^1^^ 
n Labrador. It exists at Davis' Straits, and has been tr'ced across e 
on^men to the shores of the Pacific. It is found on the Russian^ 

ea, xts bones having been found in Melville Island, nearly in latitude 75» 

t occurs in Canada, although diminishing in numbers the farth we pro' 

ceed southerly. We have seen specimens procured at Newlmdlaid" 

pl-ri^; siif -'T'u^^'-'' -'' ^^-^"^'^' ^^^ 

ronssor J,,,„oss, (1)p,k.„, Nat. Hist, of New. York,) states that it still 
exists in the lloosaek Mounlains of Massaehuset.s We e amined a 
specimen obtained in Jeirerson eoun.y, near Saeke... Harbour ™Yi„ 

' T;r '" "" "'""""' " 'P'"=""°" '" "--"I-' -»"'y. latitude 

« 46' ; we have never heard of i.s existence farther south. 

I ! 

i I 






This ypeoie.N has been arranged by dilli i^iit authors under several 
genera. Linnaeus placed it under both MtJ«TEi,LA and LTnsus. Storr esta- 
blished for it the genus Gulo, which was formed from the specific name, 
as it had been called Ursus Gulo, by Linx.kus. Stork's grnci ' iiaino has 
been since adopted by Cuvier and other modern naturalists. liRAv named 
it Grisoxia. Linn/eus is notwithstanding entitled to the specific name, 
although this is tlit result oi an error into which he was hd in this man- 
ner : Edwards had made a figure from a living specimen imported from 
America. It was a strongly marked variety, with much white on its tbre- 
head, sides, and neck. Linnaeus regarding it as a new species, described 
it as such. In seeking for some name by which to designate it, he ob- 
served that it had lost one eye, and it is supposed applied th« trivial 
name " luscus," one-eyed, to the animal, merely on account of the abov»' 
accidental blemish. 

The vulgar names Glutton, Carcajou, (fee, have given rise to inucli 
confusion in regard to the habits of the species. 

The name ' luKon induced many ancient authors to ascribe to it an 
appetite of extravagant voraciousness. 

Carcajou appears to be some Indian name adopted by the French, arid 
this name has evidently been applied to different species of animals. 
Charlevoix, in his Voyage to America, vol. i., p. 201, speaks of the "car- 
cajou or quincajou, a kind of cat, with a tail so long that he twists it 
several times round his body, and with a skin of a brownish red." He 
then refers to his climbing a tree, where after two foxes have driven the 
elk under the tree, the cat being on the watch pounces on it in the 
manner ascribed to the Wolverene. Here he evidently alludes to the 
cougar, as his lomr tail and coloiu- apply to no other animal in our coun 
try. Lawson refers the same singular habit to the wild cat of Carolina ; 
he says, (p. 118,) " the wild oat talves most of his prey by surprise, getting 
up the trees which they pass by or under, and thence leaping directly 
upon them. Thus he takes deer, which he cannot catch by running, and 
fastens his teeth into Jieir shoulders. They run with liim till they fall 
down lor want of strength and become a prey to the enetiiy." 

In the last work published on American Quadrupeds, Lavvp.v is quoted 
as authority for the former existence of the Wolverene in Carolina, and 
a reference is also made to a plate of that species. On looking over the 
work of Law.«ov, (London, 1709,) we find that no mention is made of the 
Wolverene, and no plate of the animal is given. We have supposed it 



possible that the .u.thor of the "Natural History of New-York " might 
have intended to refer to Catesbv ; but the latter gave no plato of the 
species, and only noticed it as existing in the very northern parts of 
America. V'^ f, ,-1 confident hat the geographionl range of the Wol- 
verene has n. ver extended to Carolina, tliat it ex. ,1 only as strag 
gler ,n tne uunhm portion of the Middlr. States, tnd that it ,s no-.v 
and ever has been, limost c nt.rcly confined to the Northern regions 



i i 




Woolly S(iuirrei« 

Sc. migratorii magnitudine ; pilis longis et lanosis ; cauda ampla, vil- 
losa vixque disticha ; naso, auriculis, pedibusque pene nigris ; vellere 
supra ex cinereo fusco ; subtus dilute fusco. 


She of Sciurus migratorius ; hair, long and ivoolly ; tail, large and 
bushy ; nose, ears, andftet, nearly black , upper surface, grizzly dark gray 
and brown ; under parts, pale brown. 


SciuTtus Lanioerus, Aud. and Bach., Journal of the Acad, Nat. Sc, Philad., 1841, 
p. 100 


Head, short ; forehead, arched ; nose, blunt ; clothed v/ith soft hair ; 
whiskers, longer than the head ; eyes, large ; ears, large, broad at basp. 

Body, .stout, covered with long and woolly hairs, which are much 
longer and a little coarser than those of the Northern gray squirrel. 

Legs, stout , feet, of moderate size ; claw.s, strong, compressed, arched 
and sharp. The third lue, longest ; a blunt nail in place of a thumb. 
Palms, na! od ; toes, hairy to the extremity of the nails. 

Tail, long and bushy, and the hairs long and coarse. 


Incisors, dark orange on the outer surface ; the head, both on the upper 
and lower surface, as far as the neck, the ears, whiskers, fore-legs to the 
shoulder, feet, and inner surface of hind-leg.s, black; with a few yellow- 
ish-brown hairs intermixed. The long fur on the back is for half its 



lengtlj from the roots., light pluinheous, then has a line of light-brown, 
iind is tii)i)f;il with redilisii-brown and black. 

The liuir-s on the tail, in wliicii the aiinulations are very obscure are 
''«ir .. Mhird of their length brownish-black, then light-brown, then h-black, and are tipped with ashy-white. On the under surface 
•ht h«ir,. which are short, are at the base light-plumbeous, tipped with 
hgh» .. jwn and black; the throat is light grayish-brown. 

f. !.»o specimens received from the same locality, the head of one is 
lighter-coloured than that of the other, having a shade of yellowish- 
brown ; in other respects they are precisely similar ; a figure of each is 
given on the plate. 


11^ inches 













Length of head and body 
Tail (vertebrae) ... 

Tail, to end of fur - 
Height of car posteriorly 
Breadth of ear ... 

From heel to end of middle claw 
Hairs on the back ... 


We have been unable to obtain any information in regard to the habits 
of this species. Its form, however, indicates that it is a climber, like all 
the species of the genus, living in forests, feeding on nuts and seeds. Its 
long woolly coat proves its adaptation to cold regions. 


Our specimens were procured froir the northf-rn and mountainous por- 
tions of California. 


The difBculty in finding characters by which the various species of 
this genus can be distinguished, is very great. There is, however, no 
variety of any other species of scjuirrol tliat can be compared with that 
here described. Its black head and legs, brown back and belly, its broad 
ears and long woolly hair, are markings by which it may be easily dis- 
tinguished from all others. 

( ■ ■ «. 





Common Flying-Suuirrel. 

PLATE XXVIIL— Males, Females, and Yolno. 

Pt. Tamias Lysteri magnitudine, supra ex fusco-cinereo et albido, infra 
ex albo. 


Size of Tamias Lysteri ; above, brownish-ash tinged with creain colour ; 
beneath, white. 


AsqAPANicK, Smith's Virginia, p. 27, 1624. 
Sciuiius Ameuicanus Volans, Ray, Syn. Quad. 
Flvino Squirrel, Lavvson's Carolina, p. 124. 
La Palatoiciie, Buff., X., pi. 21. 
SciuRUS VoLUCELLA, Pallas, Glires, p. 353, 359. 

" " Schreher, Saugetliierc, p. 808, 23, t. 222 

" " Gmelin, Linn., Syst. Nat., p. l^~i, 26. 

SciURUs Vir.oiMiANUS, Gmelin, Syst. Nat. 

" Shaw's Gen. Zool, vol. ii., p. 155. t. 15C. 

Flying Squirrel, Catesby's Carohna, vol. ii., p. 76. 

Pennant's Quadrupeds, p. 418, 283. 
Pteromvs Volucella, Desni., Mamm., p. 345, 554. 
" " Harlan, p. 187. 

" " Godman, vol. ii., p. 146. 

" " Emmons, Report, p. 69. 

" " Dekay, p. 65. 


Head, short and rounded; nose, blunt; eyes, large and prominent, 
ears, broad and nearly naked ; whiskers, numerous, longer than the 
head ; neck, short ; body, rather thicker than that of the chippiiii; squir- 
rel. The flying membrane is distended by an additional small bone of 
about half an inch in length, articulated with the wrist. 'I'lie fur on the 
whohi body is very line, soft and silky; legs, rafher slender; claws, feeble 
compressed, acute, and covered with hair; tiiil, fliit, disiiclious, rounded 
It the tip, and very thickly clothed with fine .soft fur. Ten mammu' 











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rrmtfd k Na^el irWfin^srtnerN Y 




A line of black around the orbits of the eye; whiskers, nearly all 
black, a few are whitish toward their extremities. Ears, light-brown. 
In most specimens there is a light-coloured spot above the eyes: 
sides of the face and neck, light cream-colour; fur on the back, dark 
slate-colour, tipped with yellowish-brown. On the upper side of the fly 
ing membrane the colour gradually becomes browner till it reaches the 
lower edge, where it is of a light cream-colour ; throat, neck, inner sur- 
face of legs, and all beneath, white ; with occasionally a tint of cream- 
colour. The upper surface of the tail is of the colour of the back; tail 
beneath, light fawn. 





do. . 





















Length of head and body - - - - . 
head ...... 

** tail (ver' brce) .... 

** tail, including fur . - . . 

Of a specimen from which one of our figuies was drawn. 
From nose to eye ...... 

" " opening of ear 

" " root ol' tail 

Tail (vertebrae) 

Tail, to end of hair 

Breadth of tail, hair extended - . . . 
Spread of fore-legs to extremity of claws - 
Spread of hind-legs 


It has sometimes been questioned whether the investigation of objects 
>f natural history was calculated to improve the moral nature of man, 
and whether by an examination into the peculiar habits of the inferior 
animals he would derive information adapted to the wants of an immortal 
being, leading him from the contemplation of nature up to nature's God. 

Leaving others to their own judgment on this subject, we can say for 
f ursclves that on many occasions when studying the varied characters of 
the inferior creatures, we have felt that we were reading lessons taught 
us by nature, that were calculated to make us wiser and better. Often, 
whilst straying in the fields and woods with a book under our arm, have 
we been tempted to leave Homer or Arist'>ti,e unopened, and attend to 

^ I 






the teachings of the quadrupeds and birds that people the solitudes of 
the wilderness. Even the gentle little Flying-Squirrel has more than 
once diverted our attention I'rom the pages of Griesbach and Michaelis, 
and taught us lessons of contentment, of innocence, and of parental and 
filial affection, more impressive than the theological disquisitions of learned 

We recollect a locality not many miles from Philadelphia, whenj, in 
order lo study the habits of this interesting species, we occasionally 
strayed into a meadow containing byre and there immense oali and beech 
trees. One afternoon we took our seat on a log in the vicinity to watch 
their lively motions. It was during the calm warm weather peculiar to 
the beginning of autumn. During the half hour belbre sunset nature 
seemed (o be in a state of silence and repose. The birds had retired to 
the shell or of the forest. The night-hawk had already commenced his 
low evening flight, and here and there the common red bat was on the 
win^; still for some time not a Flying-Squirrel made its appearance 
Suddenly, liowever, one emerged from its hole and ran up to the top of 
a tree ; another soon followed, and, ere long dozens came forth, and com- 
menced their graceful flights from some upper branch to a lower bough. 
At times one would he seen darting from the toj)most branches of a tall 
oak, find with wide-extended membranes and outspread tail gliding 
diagonally througli the air, till it reached the foot of a tree about fifty 
yards off, when at the moment we expected to see it strike the earth, it 
suddenly turned upwards and alighted on the body of the tree. It would 
then run to the top and once more precipitate itself from the upper 
branches, and sail back again to the tree it had just left. Crowds of 
these little creatures joined in these sportive gambols ; there could not 
have been less than two hundred. Scores of them would leave each 
tree at the same moment, nnd cro.«s each other, gliding like spirits 
through the air, seeming to have no other object in view than to indulge 
a playful propensity. We watched and mused till the last shadows of 
day had disappeared, and darkness admonished us to leave the little 
triflers to their nocturnal enjoyments. 

During the day this species avoids the light, its large ey?s like those of 
the owl cannot encounter the glare of the sun; hence it aj.pears to be a 
dull and uninteresting pet, crawling into your sleeve or poek(>t, and seek- 
ing any dark place of concealment. But twilight nnd darkness are its 
season for activity and pleasure. At such times, in walking through the 
woods you hear a rattling among the leaves and branches, and the fall- 
ing acorns, chesnuls, and beech-nuts, give evidence that this little area 
ture is supplying itself with its Ibod abo\=e you. 




This is a harmless and verj- gentle species, becoming toh-rably tame 
i'l a lew hours. After a few days it will take up its residence in some 
crevice in the chamber, or under the eaves of the house, and it or its 
progeny may be seen in the vicinity years afterwards. On one occasion 
we took from a hollow tree four young with their dam ; she seemed quite 
willing to remain with them, and was conveyed home in the crown of a 
hat. We had no cage immediately at hand, and placed them in a drawer 
in our library, leaving a narrow space open to enable them to breathe ; 
next morning we ascertained that the parent had escaped through the 
crevice, and as the window was open, we presumed that she had^ban- 
doned her young rather than be subject to confinement in such a narrow 
and uncomfortable prison. We made efforts for several days to preserve 
the young alive by feeding them on milk; they appeared indifferent 
about eating, and yet seemed to thrive and were in good order. A few 
evenings afterwards we were surprised and delighted to see the mother 
glide through the M-indow and enter the still open drawer ; in a moment 
she was nestled with her young. She had not forsaken them, but visited 
them nightly and preserved them alive by her attentions. We now 
placed the young in a box near the window, which was left partly open. 
In a short time she had gained more confidence and remained with them 
during the whole day. They became very gentle, a-nd they and their de- 
scendants continued to reside on the premises for several years. 

During the first winter they were confined to the room, boxes were 
placed in different parts of it containing Indian meal, acorns, nuts, &c. 
As soon as it was dark they were in the habit of hurrying from one part 
of the room to the other, and continued to be full of activity during the 
whole night. We had in the room a wheel that had formerly been at- 
tached to the cage of a Norlhcrn gray squirrel. To this they found an 
entrance, and tli.y olien continued during half the night turning the 
wheel ; at times we saw the whole group in it at once. This squirrel, we 
may conclude, resorts to the wheel not from compulsion but for pleasure. 
In an interesting communication which we have rc'ceived from Gideon 
B. Smith, Esa., M. D., of Baltimore, he has given us the following details 
of the singular habits of this species : — 

"After having arrived at the top of a tree from which they intend to 
make their airy leap, they spring or Jump, stretch their fore-legs forward 
and outward and (heir hind-legs backward and outward, by this means 
expanding the loose skin with which they are clothed, and which forms a 
f^ort of gliding elevator. In this way they pass from tree to tree, or to 
iuiy other objCct, not by flying as their name imports, but by descending 
from a high position by a gliding course ; as they reach the vicinity of 






tnc earth, their impetus, aided by their expanded skin, enables them tu 
ascend in a curved line and alight upon the tree aimed at, about one-third 
n« high from the ground as they were on the tree they left. On reaching 
a tree in this m-«nner they run iiriskly up its trunk as high as they wish 
to give them a start for another; in this way they will travel in a few 
minutes, from tree to tree or olyect to object, a quarter of a mile or more. 
There is nothing resembling flying in their movements. 

"They are gregarious, living together in considerable communities, 
and do not object to the company of other and even quite different ani- 
mals. For example, I once assisted in taking down an old martin-box, 
wJiich had been for a great number of years on the top of a venerable' 
locust tree near my house, and which had some eight or ten apartments. 
As the box fell to the ground we were surprised to see great numbers of 
Flying-Squirrels, screech-owls, and leather-winged bats running from it. 
We caught several of each, and one of the Flying-Squirrels wa^s kept as 
a pet in a cage for six months. The various apartments of the box were 
stored with hickory-nuts, chesnuts, acorns, corn, &c., intended ibr the 
vyinter supply of food. There must have been as many as twenty Flying. 
Squirrels in the box, as many bats, and we know there were six screech 
owls. The crevices of the house were alway.s inhabited by the Squirrels. 
The docility of the one we kept as a pet was remarkable ; although he 
was never lively and playful in the day-time, he would permit himself to 
be handled and spread out at the pleasure of any one. We frequently 
took him from the cage, laid him on the table or on one hand, and ex- 
posed the extension of his skin, smoothed his fur, put him in our pocket 
or bosom, &c., he pretending all (he time to be asleep. 

" It was a common occurrence tliat these Squirrels flew into the house 
on a summer's evening when the windows were open, and at such times 
we caught them. Tliey were always perfectly harmless. Although I 
frequenlly seized them in my hand I was never bitten. We caught so 
many of them one season that the young girls bordered their winter "capes 
with their tails, which are very pretty. It was a curious circumstance 
that the Flying-Squirrels never descended to the lower parts of the house, 
and we n.ner knew of any rats in the upjx-r i-ooms. Whether the Squir- 
rels or the rats were the rej)ulsive agents I ,1„ not know ; certain it is 
they never inhabited the lower locaticn in common." 

The Flying-Squirrel, as is shown above, is gregarious. In Carolina, 
we have generally found six or seven in one nest ; it is diflicult, however.' 
to count them, as on cutti!-- down a tree which they inhabit, several es-' 
cape without being noticed. In -^ew .lersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, 
they appear to be more numerous, and the families are larger. 



The Flyincr-SquiriTls never build their nest of leaves oi; the Irees dur- 
ing summer like the true scjuirrels, but oontine themselves to a hollow, 
or some natura. cavity in tiic In-anches or trunk. We liave very fre' 
quently found them inhabiting the eaves and roofs of houses, and we dis- 
covered a eonsiderable number of them in the erevices of a rock in the 
vicinity of the Red Sulphur Springs in Virginia. 

Although the diet of this species generally consists of nuts and seeds 
of various kinds, together with the buds of trees in winter, yet we have 
known many instances in which it manifested a strong desire for animal 
food. On several occasions we found it caught in box-traps set for the 
ermine, which had been baited only with meat. The bait, ^usually a 
blue jay,) was frequently wholly consumed by the little prisoner. In a 
room in which several Flying-Sciuirrels had been suffered to go at large 
we one evening left a pine grosb,>ak, {Con/t/ms cuvlentor) a rare speci- 
men, which we intended to pre, ■ .-ye on the following morning. On 
searching for it however next day it was missing ; we discovered "its feet 
and feathers at last in the box of the Flying-Squirrels, they having con- 
sumed the v/hole body. 

This species has from three to six young at a time. We have been 
assured l)y several persons that they produce young but once a year in 
the Northern and .Aliddle States. In Carolina, however, we think they 
have two litt.>rs in a season, as we hav.^. on several occasions seen young 
in May and in Sept(>mber. 

A writer in Loidun's Magazine, under the signature ol' D. W. C, says 
at p. 571, vol. ix., in speaking of the habits of this animal in confinement 
in England, "I found that as soon as the female was pregnant she would 
not allow any one to approach her; and as the time went on, she became 
more savage and more tenacious of the part of the cage which she had 
lixed upon tor her nest, which she made of leaves put in for that purpose. 
Two of the females produced young last spring. I think the period ot 
their g..station is a month ; but of this fact I am not certain. The young 
are blind tor three W(M>ks after their birth, and do not reach pviberty till 
the next spring. I n<.ver obtained more than two young ones at a tinif, 
nor more than one kindle in a yar from the same'li-male. The young 
were generally born in March or April. The teats of tin- female appear 
through the fur some time belbre she brings forth. ( )ne of them produced 
two young ones without making a distinct nest, or separating hersell 
from the ics,, bui the consequence was that they disappeared on the 
third day." 

"If on any occasion we disturbed the young in their nest, the mother 
removed them to another part of the cage. The common squirrel ol this 



countrj', (EnjiIaiK],) is said to remove her youi'- in the same manner, if 
disturbed. Finding this tlir case, we often took the y..nn- Squirrels . 
ol' their nest for the purpos.. of watching the mother carry them aw, 
which she did by doui)]in<r the little one up under her body with hi 
fore-feet and mouth till she could take hold of the thigh and the neck 
when she would .jump away so fast that it was difficult to see v ether 
she was carrying her young one or not. 

" As the young increased in size (which they soon do) and in weight, 
Mie undertaking became more diiricult. We then saw the mother turn 
the young one on its back, and while she held the thigh in her mouth, 
the fore-legs of the young one were clasped round her neck. Sometimes' 
when she was attempting to jump upon some earthen pots which I had 
placed in the cage, she was overbalanced and fell with her young to the 
ground, she would drop the young Squirrel, so as to prevent her own 
weight from crushing it, which would have been the case if they had 
fallen together. I have seen the young ones carried in this manner till 
they were half-grown." 


This species is far more numerous than it is generally supposed to be ; 
in traps set for the smaller rodentia in localities where we had never se.>ii 
the Flying Squirrel, we IVrquently caught it. We have met with it in 
all the Atlantic States, and obtained specimens in Upper Canada, within 
a mile of (he falls of the Niagara. In Lower Canada it is replaced by a 
larger species, (P. sabrinus,) and we have reason to believe that it does 
uot exist much to the north of the great lakes; we obtained specimens 
in Florida and in Texas, and have seen it in Missouri, jind according to 
LiciiTENSTEiN it is iouud in Mexico. 


T,his species was among the earliest of all our American quadrupeds 
noticed by travellers, t^overnor Smith of Virginia, in 1021, speaks of it 
as "a small beaste they call Assapaniek, but we call them Flying Squir- 
rels, because spreading their legs, and so stretching the largeness of their 
skins, that they have been seen to fly tliirt> or forty yards." Rav and Lin- 
N.i;u« supposed it to be only a vari,>ty of the Em-opean P. vohms, from 
which it dilJers very widely. Linn.k.s arrange.! it under Afu.^ ; Gmelin, 
Pallas, Civier, Rav, and Bri.son, und.r ScurRu.-* ; F. Cuvif.r and Desma- 
RcsT under Sciuroptekus ; Fischer under Petauristls ; and GEoyrHov and 
more recent naturalists, under Pteromys. 



RocKv Mountain Neotoma. 
PLATE XXIX. Winter and Summer colours 

N. subtus albida; supra hyeme fla.o-fuscescens, a^state saturate c.m. 
reus; Cauda crassa, corpore longiore muse decuman., robustior 


Colour, above, yellnnnsh-hrown in winter and dark-ash in summe> ■ 
whmsh beneath;, bushy and longer than the body,- larger than the A'..- 
way rat, 


Rat of the Rockv Mountains, Lewis and Clarke, vol. iii., „. 41 

Myoxus Drummondii, Rich., Zool. Jour., 1828 p 5 7 

Neotoma Drummondii, Rich., Fauna Boreali Americana, p. 137, pi. 1. 


This species bears a striking resemblance to the Florida rat. It differs 
from the Norway rat by its longer and broader ears, and by its bushy 
tail and light active form. Fur, long and loose, bearing a considerable 
resemblance to that of the gray rabbit ; nose, rather obtuse ; the nostrils 
haveav^ry narrow naked margin; the tip of the is covered with 
short hairs ; ears, large, oval, and rounded, nearly nak.d wi.hin, except 
near the margins, where they are slightly clothed with short hairs. On 
he outer surface there are o few more hair.s, but not enough to conceal 
the skin beneath; eyes, small, much concealed by the fur; whiskers hogs bristles, very strong, the longest reaching to the shoulders 
neck, short, and fully as thick as (he head. 

fore-legs, short; feet, of moderate size, with four toes; elaws, small. 
compress,Hl, and pointed. The third ,oe nearly equals the middle one 
uhich IS tne longest, the first is a little shorter, and the outer one not 
more than hall the length of the other two ; there is also the rudiment of 
-i thumb, which IS armed with a minute nail. Th. toes of the hind-fe^t 

1; I f 





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WEBSTER, NY. 14580 

(716) 872-4503 




are longer than those of the fore-lcct, and the claws less hooked ; the 
middle toe is the longest, those on each side of it of nearly an equal 
length : the outer one a little shorter, and the inner shortest of all. The 
palms on the fore and hind-feet are naked ; hut tie toes, even beyond the 
nails, are covered with short, adpresscd hairs. The hairs of the tail 
(whicl. are not capable of a distichous arrangement) are short near the 
root, and gradually lengthen toward the end, where it is large and bushy, 
the hairs being one inch in length. 


fncisors, yellow ; on the whole of the back, the head, shoulders, and 
outsides of the thighs, a dusky darkish-brown, proceeding from a mixture 
of yellowish-brown and black hairs. From the roots to near (he tips, the 
fur is of a dark lead-colour, tipped with light-brown and black. The 
sides of the face and tin ventral aspect, are bluish-gray. Margin of the 
upper lip, chin, feet, and under surface, dull white ; whiskers, black and 
wmte, the former colour predominating ; tail, grayish-brown above, dull 
yellowish-white beneath. ' 

The above is the colour of this species from the end of summer through 
the following winter to the time of shf-dding the hair in May ; when in 
its new coat it has far less of yellowish-brown, and puts on a gray ap- 
pearance on the back, this colour gradually assuming more of the yellow 
ish hue as the autumn advances and the fur lengthens and thickens 
toward winter. 


From point of nose to root of tail 
Tail (vertebra;) - . - 
Tail, including fur 
Height of ear, posteriorly 
Length of whiskers 











We regr- 1 that from personal observation, we have no information to 
give in regard to the habits of this species, having never seen it in a living 
state. It was, however, seen by Lewis and Clarke, by Drummond, DouG- 
LA88, NuTTALi,, aud TowNSENO. Accordiug to the accounts given by thcsn 
travellers, this Neotoina appears to have nearly the same general habits 
as the smaller species, (K Floruhma) the Florida rat, but is much more 
destructive than the latter. It has a strong propensity to gnaw, cut to 



pieces, and carry to its nest every thing left in its way. The trappers 
dread its attacks on their furs more than they would the approach of a 
grizzly bear. These rats have been known to ^«iaw through whole packs 
of furs in a single night. The blankets of the sleeping travellers are 
sometimes cut to pieces by them, and they carry off small articles from 
the camp of the hunter. 

"Mr. Deummond," says Richardson, "placed a pair of stout English 
shoes on the shelf of a rock, and as he thought, in perfect security; but 
on his return, after an absence of a few days, he found them gnawed into 
fragments as fine as saw-dust." 

Mr. Douglass, who unfortunately lost his life in ascending Mouna 
Koa, m the Sandwich Islands, by falling into a pit for catching wild 
bulls, where he was gored by one of those animals, was one of the most 
mdetatigable explorers of the Western portions of our continent, and 
kept a journal of his travels and discoveries in natural history. It was 
never published, but a few copies were printed some time after his 
death, by his friend and patrort. Sir William Hooki^r, who presented one 
of them to us. In it we found the following account of this animal :— 

"During the night I was annoyed by the visit of a herd of rats, which 
devoured every particle of seed I had collected, ate clean through a bun- 
dle of dried plants, and carried off my soap, brush, and razor. As one 
was taking away my inkstand, which I had L^en, using shortly before 
a,,d which lay close to my pillow, I raised my gun, .which, with my faith' 
tui dog, always is placed under my blanket by my, side with the muzzle 
to my feet, ant! hastily gave him the contents. When I saw how large 
and strong a creature this rat was, I ceased to wonder at the exploit,-, 
of the herd in depriving me of my property. The body and tail together 
measured a foot and a half; the hair was brown, the belly white; 
it had enormous ears three quarters of an inch long, and whiskers three 
inches in length. Unfortunately the specimen was spoiled by the shot 
which in my haste to secure the animal and recover my inkstand, I did 
not take time to change; but a female of the same sort venturing to ro- 
Uirn some hours afteo, I handed it a smaller shot, which did not destroy 
the skin. It was in all respects like the former, except being a little 
smaller." This identical specimen is in the museum of the Zoological 
Society of London, where v/e examined it. 

Mr. TowNSEND has kindly furnished us with some remarks on this spe- 
cies, from which we make the following extracts :—" I never saw it in 
the Rocky Mountains, but it is very common near the Columbia river. It 
is found in the storehouses of the inhabitants, where it supplies the place 
of the common rat, which is not found here. R is a remarkably mis 



chievous animal, destroying every tiling which comes in its way — papers, 
books, goods, &c. It has been known not unfrequently to rat entir ly 
through the middle of a bale of blankets, rendering the whole utterly 
useless ; and like a pet crow carries away every thing it can lay its hands 
on. Even candlesticks, porter-bottles, and largo iron axes, being sonie- 
times found in its burrows." 

The food of this species consists of seeds and herbage of various kini's ; 
it devours also the small twigs and leaves of pine trees, and generally 
has a considerable store of these laid up in the vicinity of its residence. 

It is, said by Drummond to make its nest in the crevices of high rocks. 
The nest is large, and is composed of sticks, leaves, and grasses. T'le 
abode of this Rat may be discovered by the excrement of the animal, 
which has the colour and consistence of tar, and is always deposited in 
the vicmviy. It is stated by those who have had the opportunity of ob- 
serving, that this species produces from three to five young at a time. 


We were informed by a gentleman who was formerly engaged as a 
clerk in the service of the Missouri fur company, that this Rat exists in the 
valleys, and along the sides, of the Rocky Mountains, through an extent 
of thirty degrees of latitude. Douglass states that it is very numerous 
near the Mackenzie and Peace rivers, latitude 69°. Townsend foui J it 
in Oregon. We have seen a specimen that was said to have been ob- 
tained in the Northern mountains of Texas, and have heard of its exist- 
ence in North California. 


GENUS SIGMODON.— Say ^nd Obd. 


Incistve-^; Camne — ; Molar — = IG. 

As the present genus was instituted after a careful examination of the 
teetli ofSigmodon hi.spidum, by Messrs. Say and Ord, who first described 
that species, we think it due to those distinguished naturalists, to givB 
the dental formula in their own words, more especially as this species 
was named on the plate in our large edition, Arvicohi hispidus, we having 
had some doubts whether it was sufBciently distinct from the arvicote 
m its generic charact..rH, to warrant us in adopting the Sigmodon, 
to which we afterwards transfered it. 

"Superior Jaw.— Incisor, slightly rounded on its anterior face, truncated 
at tip ; first molar, equal to the second, composed of four very profound, 
alternate folds, two on each side, extending at least to the middle of the' 
tooth ; second molar, quadraf ^ somewhat wider, and a little shorter than 
the preceding, with three profound folds extending at least to the middle, 
two of which are on the exterior side ; posterior molar, a little narrower, 
but not shorter than the preceding, with three profound folds, two of 
which are on the exterior side, extending at to the middle; the inner 
fold, opposite to the anterior exterior fold, and not extending to the middle. 
"Inferior Jaw.— Incisor obliquely truncate at tip, the acute angle being 
on the inner side ; it originates in the ascending branch of the maxillary 
bone, passing beneath the molars ; molars, subcqual in breadth, inclining 
slightly forwards; first molar, a little narrower than the second, with 
five profound alternate folds, three of which are on the inner side ; second 
molar, subquadrate, with two alternate profound folds, the inner one an- 
terior; third molar, about in length and breadth to the anterior 
one, but rather larger and somewhat narrower than the second, with 
which it corresponds in the disposition of its folds, excepting that they 
ure less compressed." 

OBSERVA'l !0\S. 

"The enamel of the molars is thick, but on the anterior face of each fold 
fxcrpting the first 5« obsolete. From the arrangement of the folds, as 






above descrihed, it is obvious that the configuration of the triturating sur- 
face, (occasioned by the Colds of cnnmcl dippinj;; deeply into the body of the 
tooth, in tlic second and tiiird molar of the lower jaw,) accuirafciy repre- 
sents the letter S, which is reversed on ihc rifjht side ; tliat bearing con- 
siderable resemblance to the posterior tooth of the genus, and to 
which also it lias a slight aflinity in the truncature of the inferior in- 
cisors, iriie conliguralion ol" the iatermediale molar of the upper jaw 
may be compared to iho form of the Greek letter 2, whence our generic 

" In respect to its generic afiinities, it is very obvious that its system of 
dentition indicates a proxiniKy to Ahvicoi.a; but the dillerent arrangement 
of the folds, and the eircunjstance of the molars being divided into radi- 
cles, certainly (!xclude it from that genus. WitJi resju'ct to the radicles, 
it resembles the genus Fuikr ; but is allied to this genus in no other re- 

" We may further remark, that tlio teeth of our specimen are consider- 
ably worn, a condilion that materially affects the depths of (he, folds." 

Although the animal described ,below is the only species of Siomodon 
at present admitted into this gemis, there are several well known, and 
one undescribed, .species, that we apprehend will yet be arranged ua 
der it. 


Cotton - Rat. 

S. flavo fuscescens, infra cinereum ; cauda corpore breviore ; auribus 
amplis rotundatisque ; Tamia; Lysteri magnitudine. 


Size of the chipping squirrel, (T. Lysteri;) tail, shorter than the body 
ears, broad and rounded; above, dark yellowish-brown ; cinereous beneath. 


Marsh-Rat, Lawson's Carolina, 1709, p. 125. 

Thk Wood-Rat, Bartram's Travels in East Florida, l"?!, p. 124. 



SioMODON IIispiDUM, Say and Ord. Joum. Ac. Nat. Sc, Phila., vol. iv.,pt. 2, p. 354. 

read March 22d, 182,j. 
Auvicoi-A IIoiiTBNHis, Hurliin, Fauna, 1825, p. 138. 

" Hisi>iuuH, GoDMAN, vol. ii., p. 08, 182(j. 

" HoiiTENsis, Griffith, Cuvier, vol. v., sp. 547. 


In its general external appearance thi.s .species approaches tiearer to 
the genus Arvicola than to Mus. It has the thic'k .short (brm of the former, 
and th(^ broad ajid rather long ears of many species of the latter. The 
fur is long and coarse. 

Head, of moderate size, rather long ; nose, pointed ; whiskers, few, 
weak, and shorter than the head ; eyes, of moderate size and rather pro- 
minent ; ears, broad, rounded, and slightly covered with hair. 

Fore-legs, rather short and slender ; four toes on each foot, the middle 
ones nearly of equal length, the inner one a siz<! shorter, and the outer 
shortest ; there is also a rudimentary thumb, protected by a strong conical 
nail. Hind-legs, .stouter; live toes on each foot, much longer than those 
on the fore-feet ; middle claw longest, the two on each side nearly equal, 
the outer, not one-third the length of the others, and the inner, which 
rises far back, shortest of all ; nails, rather small, sharp, and slightly 
arched; toes, covered with hair extending to the roots of the nails; tail, 
clothed with short hairs, 


Hairs, on the whole upper surface of the body of a dark plumbeous 
colour from the roots to near the extremities, edged with brown, and ir- 
regularly tipped with black; giving it a rusty reddish-brown appear- 
ance. The ears, head and tail, are of the colour of the back ; chin, 
throat, and under surface of body, dull-white, the hairs being ashy-gray 
at the roots, and whitish at the points. 


From pomt of nose to root of tail 


Length of ear 

Brcadtii of ear 

From eye to point of nose f do. 

From point of nose to ear li do. 

From heel to point of longest nail - - . 1^ do. 












ll 1 t 

This is ihc iiinsl i-nininon wimmI-imI cxiMiny in |||(> Soullicrii SlutcN, bt'itiK 
.'Veil nmii' iil>iiti(hiiil lliiiii ;iiiy ol' llir Npccics of mcmlow-iiiici- in llw 
N«-rllicrn nnd I'liislcrii Sliitcs. || is liowcvcr i\ n'sidcn! nillnT ^\^' hri\i(v,s, 
clilclics. iind ilcsiTliMi did licltls. (Iiiiii ol' ^iirdcns or cidliviifcd jjnmiids; it 
ocoiisidns very lilllc injiwy to (lie |iliiiilcr. AIiIioiikIi ils |»(iIIin hit rvcry- 
wlwTo M-cii lliroii^^li llic (iclds. i| docs not seem lo dcslroy iiii;ny pliiiils or 
V('Ko(nld(>s. It IciMis on llic scimIs olCoiirsc ^finsscs iind Icjfiiiiiinoiis piniils, 
iiiui devours M!!' (iiianlily of niiiMiiil food. In il:' liiil)ils il is 
KiT^'arioiis. We linvc seen spots oi" linlf nil ncrc covered over witli tnll 
wei'ds. (Soliilono nnd Eiiiuttoriiim.) wliicli \ver(> trnversed in every direc- 
tion liy the .ind iiiiisl liave coiilaiiied several hundred 

Allhiiiiuh tliis species «loes not reject p:raiiis and jjrasses. it jrives tlio 
prelerence in all cases to animal lood, and we have iie\er foiind any 
species of rat more decidedly carnivorous. Kohins, partridges, or other 
birds that are wounded and drop amoiiu; the loiifj; >j;rass or we<'(ls in the 
neiii:hl)ourhood of their burrows are speedily devoured hy them. 'I'hey 
may sometimes W seen ruimint;- ahoiit the ditches with cravlisli [Astiicus 
liartoni) in their moiilhs, and have been i.nowii to subsist on Crustacea, 
especially llie little erabs oallci! tiddlers. ((,'<l,isiiiiii.s roniiis.) 

We ha\e iVc.piei.lly kept (%)lton-Uats in ca;,'es ; they killed and (h-- 
voiired (>very otlier species placed wiili iiiein, and aOerwards attacked 
each other; the weakest, were killed and eaten by the slroiif^esl. 'I'hey 
li^lit liercely, and one of them will overpower a i'Morida rat twice its 
own si/e. 

The old males when in conlinemeiit almost invarialily destroy llu-ir 

This spiM'ics (l(>!i<<hls in siickin-;- eyns. and we have known a. Virjfinian 
partridge nest as compliMtdy demolished by tliesi." animals as if it h.-id 
boen visited by l!ie Norway rat. They will soinetimes leav<' Indian-corn 
nnd other grain untouched, when placed as a bait for them in (raps, but 
tliey are easily caught when the traps ai'<- baited with meat ol' any kind. 

Alllioujih the (\)tton-Uat is nocturnal in ils habits, it may fre(piently Im! 
soon by day ; and in places where it is st-ldom disturbed, it can generally 
bo found at all hours. 

The iralleries ot" this species often run twenty or thirty yards under 
ground, but not far beneath the surface; ai.l the lidiics thrown up as the 
animals excavate their gallorjcs, can often be traced alontr the Mirface 



of Ihn ciirlh Cur n coriKidc-niblc (liMlmirc, likr (Ikw formed by th« coiiimoii 

l''.Mcli hiiiTdW or lioln ootidiiiiM nppnrcnlly <iiily oim- fiirnily, a pnir of old 
ones ".villi llioir yoiiiiy;; l)iir lli-ir v.irif.iis ^r,,ij,,,.i,,s ,,r"lcii inlcisci^l, nicli 
ollifT. iitid iimiiy iicsis tiiiiy lir fiiiind williin llir (Miinpiiss of n, few yards; 
lliry lire coaiposrd of willit-rrd ^rMNscs, nm not. vnry InrK<% mid may 
nsiially he found williiii a foot of tho siirfaoo. In simiiiirr tlu? nrslH ar« 
ollcii SITU in a cn-vily of llui cartli. on tlu^ snrffHc in some rnoadovv, or 
niiion>j: rank weeds. 

'I'liis is a. v«'ry prolKir, s|)c(;i(',s, prodiieiiiK yoiinj,' early in spring,', and 
llironn;li all the sinniner iimnllis, till lat.n in autumn. We liavn on several 
o<!eiision.s known tlieir youn^ born and reared in e;it,'es. They produno 
from four to ei^lit at a liller. T!ie younjj; are of a bright eliesnut-browri 
••oloiir, and at llie ap' of live or six <lays l)et,'in to leave tlie n;^st, are very 
active and sj)riKlilly, and attain llarir full irrowlli in about tlw. months. 

'Hiis s|H(eit!H has no other note llian a. low S(|ue.ik, a litth^ lionr.ser than 
tliiit of tli(« eomiiion ; when eaptured it is far more .savfi^e, than 
the I'Morid.'i nil. < »n one oeeiision, while seizin-,' one- of lh<'m, wc; were 
bitten eomplelely thn;uKh a linger eovere.d by a, biutkskin «love. 

The Cotton-Hat is fond of burrovvinj,' in the old banks of abandoned riee- 
fields. In such silu.ilions we have, during fre.shel.s, observed that it eouid 
both swim find dive like (he water-rat of Hurope, and Wu.hon'h meadow- 
inouse of (he Middle Slnles. 

This spe-iies supplies a considerable nimil)er of animuls and birds 
with food. lM)Xes and wild-cits especially, destroy tlioiisands; vv(! have 
observed minks eoursint!; alon^ the m;i.rshes in pursuit of them, andiiavc 
fre.iuendy seen them witli one of these; Uats in tlieir mouth. Marsh- 
hawks, and Severn I oilier siiecies, may be crmstantly .seen in the aiitmnu 
uiid winter months sailinjr ov,.r the fields, lookini,' out (or the (;ottr)ii- 
Uat. No animal in the Southern States b(!oomes morr; re;;ularly the 
food of .several sp.-cies of owls thrui this. The barnd owl {S,jrmu,n 
mhiilosinn) is seen as early as the seltinfi: of the sun, (litlin^r aiong the 
edges of old (hdd.s, seeking to make its usual evening meal on it or carry 
itolfas food for its young. \Ni. were invited some years since to ex- 
amine the nest of the Am(Tican barn-owl {Siri,: Amn-lnuin) i„ the lo(( „( 
a sugar refinery in Charleston. There wen; several young of differ.-nt 
sizes, and we ascertained that tla; only food on which they wen; fed was 
this llat, to obtain which the old birds must have g(,ne sevciral mile.s. 

The Cotton-Hat has obtained its name from its supposed habit of mak- 
ing its nest with cotton, which it is said to collect for the purpose in large 
quantities. VV.; have ..ccasioniilly. although very seldom, seen cotton in 





if.M iicNf. hut wo hnvc more ricciuciifly loimd it, coinpoHiMl of leaves 
und widii'iTcl >;niss«'M. Indord, tliix Hprrir.s do.-s not ji|)|)ciir to he v«ry 
rhoicr in sclrcliiiy: itmlniMlN lor hiiildiiij,- its iics!. iisiiijr indiNcnmi. 
Iiiitcly niiy siiiliihic suhstancc in llic vi<-inily. \Vr should Ikivc inrrrnrd 
B inuro rliiir.ictrnslir Hii^lisli ninn(> t'..r this Unl. hut ns it ahcndy hiis 
tliiv.' tiniiws, Cullon-Hat, Hairy Cauipauiiol, and Wood-Kat, thr hilt«T 
l)«'iM«: in Carohna ai)|.nrd holh to this and tho Fhnida rat, w^^ hiivo ron- 
«'hid<(l not to add anothw, aIthow>,di one more M|)|)ro|)riut«' iniKht he linnid. 

aRonRAriucAi. niHTRUiirnoN. 

We have, traced llie Cotton-Rat ns far north as VirKinin, and have seen 
it in North Carolina, near VVrldon and Wilmington. It is exceedinRly 
iihun.Iant in South (\arolina, C.eorKia. and I'Morida ; in Alahania, Missis- 
Kippi, and Louisiana, traces of it arc every where seen. We have re- 
ceived a specimen from Caiveston, Texas, hut have had no oi)i)ortunify 
of n.scertaiiiing wiietiier it exists farther .south. 

nr.NF.RAI,' RF.MARKfl. 

Ahhonph this species was noticed hy I.awson a century and a Iialf nRc, 
it was not descrihed until a com|)arativeiy recent ])criod. Oho ohtnined 
specimens in Florida in 1H18, jiiid it was (,'«<ncrally supposed tliat it was 
not foun<i further to tlie north. In the spring of 1H1.5, thn-e years earlier 
than Mr. Orp, we ])rocured a dozen specimens in Carolina, which we 
neiiloctcd to d(>scril)e. S,\v and Ohu. and descrihed it ahout 
tho same time, (in 18:>.'-.,) and Comman a year alh-rwards. We prefer 
adoi)linu: the name given to it hy the individu.-il who tirst hrouglit it to 
the notice o( naturalists. In its teeth it diflcrs in a lew i)articulars from 
Arvioola, and approaches nearer to Mue. 







I— 1 

Molar — - = ,'J8. 

0— fl 

Tusks or minino teoth, projecting? Hliphtly, not curved r.r»r tlin points 
UH in tho cotrnnon hoj?, (Sum,) Hmiill, trianKiiWir. and v.iry -h.irp ^ niolrtrw, 
with tubercular crowns; tubercles, rounded and irregularly dispoHed.' 
Head, broad and long; snout, straight, terminated by a cartilage ; oairi, 
of moderate size and pointed ; eyes, rather small, pupil round. Fore Teit,' 
with tour toes, the two niiddhi t(.es largest, the lateral toes quite ahoi1,[ 
not, roacrnng to the ground ; hind-feet, with three toes, the external little 
loo of the hog wanting in this genus. 

The metatarsal and metacarpal bor. T the two largest toes on all the 
i\'vX arc; unit«!(l together like those of the ruminantia; all the toes are 
protected by h(M)fs. A gland situated on the baek a few inches from the 
root of the tail, concealed by the hair, discharges an oily ffotid secretion. 
Body, covered with strong, stiff bristles ; tail, a mere tubercle. 

Only two species are known, both inhabiting the warmer climates of 
America; the generic name Dycotyles, is derived from the Greek words, 
in, iilis,) double, and ».t,a,, {kutiilf,) a ccwily ; or double navol, from the 
opening on the back. 



Collared Peccary. 


n. pilis nigro alboque annulatis; vitta albida ab humoris in latere 
oolli utroque decurrenle, 


rOLLARKY l'i:( (;AKV. 


Ifair, iinnulalril with hlork (iiiil white; a I iirht. coloured hand e.ilendiiifi 
from the sides of the neck ,irnund the shoulders, and meeting on the hack. 


Tavtbtou, D'Azfirii, Quiid. du Piimi^miy, vol. i., |>. ,i\. 
Tajacif, Hullbri, vol. v., p. 'J72, |tl. i;i.). 
SiH Tajach, Linn., 12th od. vol. i., p. lo.T. 

QUAVMTI.A CoVMATl,, (^1' AIIKUOTI,, lleiM., McX., 037. 

'J'ajacu, lijiy, (Juiid., p. 1)7. 

Sim TAUAn"\, Erxldu-n, Syst., p. 185. 

8uB TAOAhbA, ScIiU'Iht, SiiunrthiL'r-o, t. .125. 

Ai'jju AiiiiRiOANn a, IJriss., Rt-irnc An., p. ,1. 

T.\.rA;.'C Caaiooana M Ancdit. Flnus., p. 220. 

SliiXiCAN Hoo, IVnniinf, Quiidr., p. 147. 

PoKCUs Mc/scniFKiu!s, Klein, (iuadr., p. 2,5. 

Pkocaiu, Shaw, Gi-n. Zool., vol. ii,, p. 4(t», 224. 

DvnoTYLEB ToKijUATt.-', V. CuviiT, Diet. (I(!s Sciences Niiturelles, torn. ix.. n. sis 

" " Dfsni., Miimni., p. ;in3. 

" " Oiv., Mv.^w An., vol. i,, p. 2;i7. 

" " Pi- Maxim. Ucitr., vol. ii , p. :,r,T. 

" " Uiiiliin, Kamm, p. 220. 

" " Oiillith'.s Animal Kingdom, sp. 740. 



The form of the Collared Peceary bears a very .striking resemblance 
to that of the eominoii (iomesticaicd hoj? ; it is however smaller iu size, 
shorter, and more ;;()mpact. 

Head, rather large; snout, long; ears, upright, and of moderate size; 
eyes, rather small. The cartilage on the extremity of the nose is naked, 
with tlie exception of it few bristles nn the upper !ip. On the upper sur- 
face of the nose, near the cartilage, there is a spot half an inch in length 
that is naked; no.strils, large; the upper tusks, in the living animal, pro- 
trude downward below the lower lips half an inch ; the ears are on both 
surfaces thinly clothed with liair that is softer than that on the remainder 
of the body. The liairs on the head are short. From the hind part of 
the head along the dorsal line on the back, there are long strong bristles, 
which are erected when the animal is irritated. Many of these b.istles 
are five inches in I.MigtIi, whilst the li.iirs on the other parts of the body 
ure generally aboiil three. 

On liie lowei part (;f the back, a flight listaiice from the rump, there 



IS a n»ke(l (-[landnlar orilioe Miirroiirided by a fnw bristles ia a soinnwhnt 
radintrd (lircotion. Vvom tliis orKicn then! exudes ii stron« scented fluid. 
T'.iis piir( ol'llie nnirfial Ims |„.cn vulKdrly supposed to bi; its navel. 

The Ic^'s, wliicli strongly resenibie lliose of tjie eotntnoii lio>,', lire mtlier 
short. Tliere is not even a veslijr,, oflhe sniail upper external hind-toe, 
vvliich is always present in the eonuuon h<.>r. There i.s a rnfl' under the 
throat, prolrudiu},' about thn-e inehes beyond the siirroundini,' hairs. The 
under surface of the body is rather thinly clothed with hair. 

In plac(! of a tail there is a tiiere protulx-rancc about half an inch in 
length, vvhi(!h is rounded and like a knob. 



Kyes, dn',k-l)rown ; nostrils, flesh-oolour. The hairs are at their ro'-ts 
yollowish-white, an thrice aiinu! ♦ed wi.' dark-brown and yellowish- 
white, and are tipped with black. Head, cheeks, and sides of the 
neck, grayish; legs, dark-brown; a whitisti ba-id two inches broad runs 
from the top of the shoulder on each side towan' the lower part of the 
iK^ck. The long hairs on the dorsal line are so broadly tipped with bliick 
thft the aninia! in those parts appears of a I)lack colour; along the (idea 
however the alternate! annulations are so conspicuous that it a deep 
gray or grizzled appearance. On the chest, oute.- surface of shoulders 
and thighs, it is of a darker colour than on the sides. Immediately be- 
hind the lightish collar on the shoulders the hairs are dark, rendering this 
collar or band more conspicuous. 

rhe young have a uniform shade of red. 


Living female. 

Length of head and body 
head - 
" ear ... 

llei;;:ht to shoulder 
Length of tail . « . 

^dult mal(' (recent) obtained in Texas. 
From nose to anterior canthus 
From nose to beginning of car 
licngth of ear ... 

Ilreadth of ear ... 
Length from snout to root of tail 































From knee to end of lioof ... 
Ilind-knee to end ofhoof ... 
Spread of fore-feet ---... 

Girth across the centre of body - - . . 
. Spread of mouth when fully extended 
Breadth between the eyes ... 


The accounts that have been handed down to us of the habits of t.iis 
species by old travellers, Aldrovanda, Fernandez, Mons. De la Borde, 
Marcgrave, Acosta. and others, who furnished the information from which 
BirPFON, Brisson, Ray, and Linn^ous, drew up their descriptions of the 
Mexican hog, are not to be fully relied on, inasmuch as their descriptions 
referred to two very distinct species, the white-lipped peccary, (Z). labia- 
tus,) and the subject of the present article. Neither Linn^us nor his con- 
temporaries seem to have been aware of the difference which exists be- 
tween the species ; and although Bufkon was informed by M. De la Bordb 
that another and larger species existed at Cayenne, he does not appear to 
have drawn any line of distinction between it and our animal. 

D'AzARA, who visited South America in 1783, (Essais sur I'lTistoirc 
Naturelle des Quadrupedes de la Province da Paraguay, Paris, 1801,) 
endeavoured to correct the errors into which previous writers had fallen, 
and gave an account of the present species, which, although . ^mewhat 
unm-3thodical, is nevertheless of such a character that it may on the 
whole be relied on. He commences his article on the " taytetou," as he 
designates this species, by first giving correct measurements ; afterwards 
lie describes tlio colour of the adult and young, points out the distinctive 
marks which separate this species from the white-lipped peccary, which 
he calls « tngnicate," and then gives a tolerable account of the habits ol 
the species now under consideration. From the accounts which travellers 
have given us of the Collared Peccary it appears that this species is gre- 
garious, and associates for mutual protection in pretty large families; it 
is however staled by D'A/.aua that the white-lipped j)eccary is more dis- 
posed to congregate in very large herds than our animal. 

Although they are usually found in the forests and prefer low and 
marshy grounds, like common hogs, P,>ccaries wander wherever they can 
lind an abundance of food, often enter ih,> .Mu-losures of the planters', and 
commit great depredations on the products ol" their fields. 

When attacked liy the jaguar, the puma, the wolf, the dog, or the hun- 



ter, they form themselves into a circle, surrounding and protecting theil 
young, repelling their opponents with their sharp teeth, and in this man- 
ner sometimes routing the larger predatory animals, or severely wound- 
ing the dogs and the hunters. 

When angry, they gnash their teeth, raise their bristles, fxvhich at such 
time resemble the quills of the porcupine,) and their s'lnrp, .shrill grunt 
can be heard at a great distance. 

This species feeds on fruits, seeds, and roots ; and lik.' ib, .iM.-nosticaled 
hog is constantly rooting in the earth in quest of wurr.t;,, insocts. reptiles, 
or bulbous roots. It is said also to devour the eggs of alligators. tiu-Hes, 
and birds; and to be destructive to lizards, toads, and snakes, [n fact, 
like the common hog it is omnivorous, feeds upon every thin;^' that 
comes in its way, and is not particularly choice in the selection '>t its 

Mons. De i,a Borde (D'Azara, Quad, du Paraguay, vol. i., p. 31,) relates 
that "they are easily shot; for instead of flying, they assemble together, 
and often give the hunters an opportunity of charging and discharging 
several times." fie mentions "tliat he was one diiy employed, ahjng 
with several others, in hunting these animals, accompanied by a single 
dog, which as soon as they appeared, took refuge between his master's 
legs. For greater safety he with the other hunters stood on a rock. They 
were nevertheless surrounded by tlw herd of hogs. A constant fire was 
kept up, but the creatures did not retire till a great nun>})er of them were 
slain." "These animals, however," he remarks, "fly after they have 
been several times hunted. The young, when taken in t)ie chase, are 
easily tamed, but they will not associate or mix with the domestic species. 
\u their natural state of liberty they frequent the marshes, and swim 
across large rivers. Their flesh," says he, "has an excellent taste, bnt 
is not so tender as thr of the domestic hog ; it resembles the flesh of the 
hare, and has neither lard nor grease." 

The same author also states that " v.-hen pursued they take refuge in 
hollow trees, or in holes in the earth dug by the aniiadilloes. These 
holes they enter backwards and remain in as long as tli(>y can. Ikit when 
highly irritated they instantly issue out in a body. In onlrr to seize them 
as they come out, the hole is enclosed with branelies of trees ; one of the 
hunters, armed with a pitchfork, stands abov.- the hoi,' to lix them by the 
neck, while another forces them out, and kills them with a sal)re." 

" Where there is but one in a hole. an<l the hunter has not leisure to 
seize it, he shuts up the t, :rance, and is sure of his game next day." 

All authors agree in stating that the dorsal glands of either the male 
ar female should be cut off instantly ailer the uniiiial is killed, for their 

! 'i 


t'()LI-Am;i) I'lX'HAKY 

rclcutioii lor only a Biii^'lo Iioiir givoM tho moiit m» Htrotij;; ■in odoiir that it 
cuii wcnrccly 1m> oati'ii. 

Till- only ivccnt iicconnt \v«- li!ivi« tlnis far iTccivcd. tliiit contaiMH 
ori-,MnaI and antlicnlic intorniation alxml t'lin Hiiif^ular wild hojr, was tiir- 
nislicd UH by Mr. Wii.mam T. Smith. IIo luid lu'cn wnt to this connlry 
l>y ouri'vor kin<l iViiMid. tluf |{iM;Iit llonoural»I.« tlio Kaki.ok Dkimiv, lor flic 
imrposo ofpn.curin.u; livin-j animals to .'iiricli his colkn'tion at Knowsk-y, 
noar l.iviM'iiool. Wi> oiipiMfod him also to olitaiii for uw any raro s|)c<'ioK 
lu> could moot with in Texas, and t(» send dosoriptionn of their haliits, 
and any other information likely to lie of interest to the readers of iIm'h 
work. Mr. SMrra wont to Texas in ISH, and shortly afterwards sent ii.s 

tlio tMlowinjr account of the IVccary. lie says, 

" The Mexican hofj^s previous to the ovorllowiiifjf of the bottom lands in, siriick terror into the hearts of the settlers in their vicinity, oOcn- 
times pursninij the planter whilst hnntinjr or in senrch of the lost track 
of his waiuleiiiifi: callU" -at which lime they lVc(pn>ntly kill d his do^s, 
or«>ven at limes torccd him to ascend n tree for safety, where he wouhl 
sometimes lie o!ili^M«d to wait until the hou;s ijoi tired of dancing' attend, 
ance at the foot ol his place of security, or leO him to no and feed. TIicsa 
animals appeared »niile savage, and would, after ciunin^' to the free in 
which the planter had <'nseons(-(l himself, snap their teeth and run about 
and then li<' down at the root of the tree to wait for their enemy to eomo 
down. At this early period of the settlement of 'I'cxas. (this refers lo 
18;{.S,) they used to Inmt this animal in company, l''rom livt^ lo (iflecn 
planters lop-ther, and occasionally a larger number of hunters, woidd 
.join in the pursuit of lhes(> ravap-rs of their corn-liclds, in order to 
diminish their numbi-r and prevent th(<ir farther depredations, as at timoH 
they would nearly destroy a farmer's crop. Sinc(^ this linie, however 
flieir number has greatly decr(>ased, and it is now u dillicult matt.T lo 
find them." 

"On some parts of the Hrazos they still exist, and in others are quite 

Mr. SMrni further says, "The two 1 send you are the only ones I have 
iicanl of since my arrival in this country. I hap|)cncd, with the assist- 
ance of a person, lo tiud out their i.iir, which is always in some hollow 
tree, allhoush tliey have jnany sleeping places. IleiiiH: late in the day 
1 was determined rot lo disturb them uiiin a more favour!ibh> lime would 
l>rcsent itself, as I was anxious, it' possible, to procure them alive. Some 
liiii(> jiassed, and everything' bcinu: ready, ihc doys soon compelled then, 
lo make for home, when they having; entered, we secured the entrance of 
their hole, and cut a lar«;e opening up the btnly of the tree, a few feel 



Hbove them, from which " point of vnntnpo" vv« wcrn enabled eaHily to 
• In.p a noose roin„| ne.-ks, wl.ii-h we ti^hl,.,,,,,! nrilil we thought 
they were n.-arly sn(l„eat.-(l ; wv then (h-ow thetn „ul, tied their \v^r» and 
feet se.-urely, and Castened their inowlhs hy hindinw ihc-ir jaws together 
will, eords. and then leCt thein lyiriK ,.n the frmniul for a "tiir.e. On (.ur 
'■.•(nrn w.^ I'uund that they had >r<»t over the elleet oC the 'experimental 
liaM>?i.i>,'' they had ^one through. We put then, aei-oss a horse, and in 
trying to yet loose they so ti>,'htei,e(l the I'opes ar,(l e,iitan«l<-d then', ahont 
lluir necks, that they died helor.^ we ohserviu! this on our way home with 
Ih. in. 'I'his is th(^ usual mod<. of taking these animalis alive, although 
some mv enuj,dit in pits. 'I I.ey have a lar^^e. miisk-hajr npon the back, 
iVoin which a very disa>,M-e(!al.lo odour is emitted whilst the anin,al is ex- 
eiled; but this is not observable after they ar<i killed. 'Ihc; (lesh of the 
f<'male is pood at Homo seasons of the year, but that of the male is stronjf, 
c(.ars(- and disaf,Mreabl,- at all times. 'I'heir principal food cm.sists of 
mifs of every descriplion (m.-isl) dui-intr wii.fcr; but in summer they feed 
on succulent plants, with which lb.' bottom lands in the Ura/.os abound. 
The mah( measunnl foi-ty inches fnmi the ti|) of its nose to that of its tail ; 
the female is sho.-ter by two inches. The ,.yes aic very dark hazel 

" As soon as they uet within their d<"n, otie of them, probably th<! o](h,st 
inale, stands sentin.a at the ..nt,-an.;e. Should the hunter kill it, another 
immediately takes its place;, ar,d so in siiee»!Ssion until all are killed. 
This animal, wl,ich in Texas is always called the wild hog, i.s considcrr.'d 
the bravest animal of these forests, for it dreads neitl. - man nor beast." 

The Collarcid IViceary is .easily domesticated, and ])re(!ds readily in 
conlinement. We, saw a pair on board of a ship that arrived in 
Charleston from South Am.n-ica, the femah! of which l,ad produc('d two 
ynnufjr whilst on tlie passage; thc^ were then several weeks old, and 
tieemed to be in a thriving condition. 

M»,iis. M. r.. !■:. MoMRAii Saint Mkrv, the translator of ihr. work of 
D'AzARA, from the Spanish into the French language, states that in 17H7 
he saw at the residence of the Governor General La Luziirni;, a tame 
('ollared I'eccary, whierh he had procured Crom Carthagena, with the in- 
tention of multiplying the speci<'s in San Domingo, (Note du Tradiioteur 
D'AzAUA, torn, i., p. ly.) We observed at the Zoological t;ardens in Lon- 
d<.n, young Peccaries that had l>een born in the menagerie. 'J'his animal, 
however, is less prolilie th„n the eommon domesticated hog, and its o<Ior. 
'WIS gl.'uids being moreover od'ensive, the exteiisiv<« domestication of it 
would not be attended with any profit to the agriculturist. 

We have freiiueiitly se.ii the Collared i'eeeary in eonfinemeul. One 

i I 




tliat is at present (1840) in a menagerie in Charleston, is exceedingly 
gentle, tuUing its food from tlie hand, and allowing itself to be caressed 
even by strangers. It lies down in the manner of a pig, and next to 
giving it food, the greatest favour you can bestow on it is to scratch it 
either with 'he hand or a stick. It however is easily irritated. We no- 
ticed that it has .1 particular antipathy to the dog, and when approached 
In that animal iirunediately phices itself in a defensive attitude, raising 
ils bristles, showing its tusks, stamping its feet, and uttering a sharp 
cry which might be heard at the distance of seventy yards ; when in a 
good humour, however, it occasionally utters a low grunt like a pig. It 
seems to suffer much from cold, and is always most lively and phiyful on 
warm days. It appears to prefer Indian-corn, potatoes, bread and fruits, 
but like the domestic hog evinces no unwillingness to take any kind of 
food that is presented to it. We remarked, however, that it is decidedly 
less carnivorous than the common hog. 

It is stated by authors that this species produces but once a year, and 

brings forth oidy two at a litter. 



The Collared Peccary has a most extensive geographical range. It 
was seen by NirnAi, at the Red River in Arkansas, north latitude 31**. 
Our specimens were obluincd in Texas. It exists in all the lower portions 
of Mexico and Yucatan, and is found every where within the tropics. It 
is said by D'Azara to be abundant at Paraguay, south latitude 37°, thus 
spreading itself through an extent of sixty-eight degrees of latitude. 


This species has been noticed by all the early travellers in South 
America and Mexico. They however almost invariably confounded 
the habits of two species. D'Azara pointed out the distinctive marks 
which separate these species. They ditl'er so much from each other 
that tliey ought never to have been mistaken. Linn^^us applied the name 
Sus tajdcu, but as it is impossible to ascertain which species he had in 
view we cann"t use his name for either. Ray, Erxleben, and Sciireber 
applied the same name, and committed the same error. Brisson gave the 
name Apcr Amcricanus, and Klein that of Forcits musc/iiferns in the same 
manner, without discriminating the species. Baron Cuvier established 
the genus, and F. Ci vii:u iipplied the si)ocific name of torffiiatus. 
Bi;n()N, who had liciird from l\I. De i,a Borde tluit there were two distinct 
species in Cayenne, considered them as mere varieties produced by age, 



liut gave, as he supposed, a figure of each ; his figures, however, which 
are of no value, both refer to the present species, and bear no resemblance 
to the white-lipped Peccary, (D. lahiatus.) 

It is somewhat strange" that Griffith, in his " Animal Kingdom," which 
he states was arranged by Baron Cuvier, should have completely misun- 
derstood D'Azara, (Histoire Naturelle, torn, i., p, 31,) and reversed the 
habits of the two species, (Cuvier, Animal Kingdom, by Griffith, vol. iii. 
p. 411,) giving D'AzARA as authority for applying the habits of the pre- 
sent species, Tajussu, (Dycotyles torqualus,) to those of his Tagnicati, {D. 
labiatus,) giving at the same time a pretty good figure of the latter. It 
may however be easily seen that the whole object of D'Azara's article 
on this species was to correct the very error into which GRiFprnt tias 

h 10 V V S (I I. A (' I A L T S. "Lkaoii. 

rtii.Aii iiai 

ri-ATK XXXII. M,\i,i;. In huiiihk r |ii'ln>,'f. Niiliiiiil h'i/.o. 

I/, losliilf (lilulc cinorcns, livi'ino iiivciiM, I'ilis Hl'ioo ml niditM'm iilhiH ; 
nmiiiiii a|iicil)us iiij^ris; vulpt's iii:i};iiitu(liiu>. 


As liiri/r (IS <t fox ; rohtiir, in siihiiini; tiijht i/nn/ ahorr ,• in winti'i; w/iih\ 
the fniirx (If tloit .i((is(»i hdiKj irhit( fioin the nxits. 7'i/is of (dis, hiack. 

Wwn-V. If \Ul:s, niHcovi-vioM iin.1 Srtll.-miMitn of llii> KiikHhIi in Aiin<iii>iv, from tlin reit^n of 

lli'iiiv II. til llii> flosc 
vvil. xii., ]'. '.'i(i. 

iif Mml. t>l' l,>m>n\ i;ii/.iilpi'lli, iiu. led from I'inki'rlnn'H VoyiigoH, 

Ai.riM. Ilviti:. I'hilosopliii'iil TriiiiHiu'tioiin, l.omloii, vol. Ixvi.,it. ^'""i, An. 1777, 
Lkims 'I'lMlMi s, I'lilui , l''ii\inii (irci'iiliinilini, |i. '.'.">. 
Vmiyimi II \hi:, ri'Miiiinl, Arc. /ool.. vol. i., p. 1)1. 
Wlliri-. II MlK, lli'iirni's .Io\irni'y. (i. '.\^'i. 

('iirtwri|;lil'«.lourniil, vol. ii,, p. 75, 
l.i'.rrs (, lii'iich. /ool. Miwdl my, ISM. 
" " Uoss's Voyiijfo. 

•• " fajiliiin Suliino'M Snppl. I'ihtv'h, Vo.viiKC, p, IMS. 

" " rr;iiikliM',M .lonrniil. p. lilll. 

" " liiclmrdson, App.'iulix to I'lvrrj'.s ^M Voyiigc, p. :WI. 

roi.All II \\{V„ ll:ul:m, Kiinn.'i, p. l!tl. 

lioiliniin, Nat.. Ilisl., vol. ii., p. H)-. 
Li'lTS (Ji.MlAl.l.s Kii'liuv.lson. I''uiinii Itori'iili Anii'vii'iuiiv, p. 'i'i\. 

UiKliniiui, Aiii.l. Niil. Scii'nci'.x, IMiilii., vol. vii., pint,!). 


Tills liiu' spooii's is coiisi 

iltTiiUlv lui<j;i'r lliaii I lie Kno;lisli liiirc, (A. timi 

this.) lload, laririT ami longer than that of tho Kurui.can hare; luro- 
hoa.l, more aivhoil ; body, Ions,'; "'Wi', liluiit. ; i-ycs, lar;.,'o ; ear.s, Ioml;; 


1 of a li'W slitV lonj; hairs; Icijs, long; soles of fi'ol, 
broad, tliieklv eovorml with hair eoneoaliiii' the nails, Avhioh aro long, 



liiodrrnlfly broad, nrul snmo.wUnt nrvhvil Tail, „f rruuh.vnU' l.-riKth 
wo..lly at, Iho roolH,,l will, l„„n,.r [..UrH. Tl,,, fur ot, U„. I.nrk 
is r,.„mrkal,ly rl.,s,> and firw; .Imt, ,.n ll... ,„.,|,.r surfanc, i« Um^,',; and r.ot 
(|iiilr so closd. 


In wintrr, tl,„ I»„|,,r Flan- is,.nlir,.|y,. o,. nv.-ry part, of |,h,, l„.dy 
.•X.TI.I ll,„ (i,,s of 11... ,.„,.«; Mm, l.uirs aro of .1,,, sa,,,.. colour to (,1,„ rootn 
'J'Im, rars arr ti|.|..Mi will, hairs of a l.rowrii,s|,.|,|,,d< ro|„„r. \n lis sum- 
inrr drrss. tl.iH s|„..-i,-s is of a «rayisl,-l,row., ro|„„r on ll.r who!., of iho 
lH-a.I ,.xt,.n.lin^r „, ,h„ ,,„r„. ,„„,^ ,,,„,.,^^ Unv,\vvv,l with whih, on their 
ontrr n.airins; i.n.h'r parts of th(, ,u-vk, and Ihr l.nast, dark UhnsU-Kmy 
\hr whol.. ..f Ih.. Unv.k, li^l.t hrownish-j-ray. Thf fur in.dtT th., lon,r hai'rH 
ol Ih.. I.a.-k is soil, and woolly, „„.! of a Krayish-ash ; lh„ hairs inl.-r- 
N|..-rs,.d ihr fur an* <larl< hluo nmr Ih.- roots, then l,la.,k tipm-d 
with Krayish-fawn r.d.air; a, (rw l,la.-k and whit., hairs ar.. interspersed 
tlM-on«h.,ul. Tin- on th., un.l.,r siu-faee is hlnish-whil.,, intorspersed 
will. loiiK hairs .,f a slate .,.)Iour ; ll... hairs IWrtnin- the whisk.Ts are 
white an.l l.laek. th., for.n.-r i)redonnnatinj?. 'I'h., inn.,r sid.-s of the fore- 
leRH, thighs, an.l .Mid.,r Hurfao.i of the tail, pur., while; th., hairs .,n Iho 
8oh-s are y.'ll.>wish-l,rown ; nails, nearly^c. Ao.,..r<Iinj,' I., ila,-aAR»- 
HON, "th.' iri.!,.s an, ..f a hon.-y.y,.|low .colour." The skin of this species 
appears to be n(,arly as t.,nd.r as that .»f the Northern hare. 


20 inches, 

Rpeeimen, obtained at Labrador. 

Len>!;th of Jiead and l).).ly 

" fnan p.tint of n.)s.' to .'or 

'* of (,ar, ni. asur.'d i)osteri.)rly - 

" tail (vertebra) 

tail, ineliidinj^ fur .... 

whisk. 'rs ----.. 
from wrist-joint I.) p.)int of rni.Idl., claw - 
" beel to nii.l.ll.. daw 

Weight, fp.)rn 7 to 1 1 lbs. 
These measurements w.-n, lak.'i. from the specimen after it had been 
Hfiiffe.1. We are und(,r th., impr.'ssion tliat it was a little longer in its 
recent state. 





MJ do. 
«i do. 


It in to the cold and inhospitable of the North, the rugged valleys 



of Labrador, and the wild mountain-sides of that desolate land, or to the 
yet wilder and more sterile countries that extend from thence toward the 
west, thai, we must resort, to find the large and beautiful Hare we have 
now to describe ; and if we advance even to the highest latitude man has 
ever reached, we shall still find the Polar Hare, though the meicury fail 
below zero, and huge snow-drifts impede our progress through the track- 
less waste. 

Both Indians and trappers are occasionally relieved from almost certain 
starvation by the existence of this Hare, which is found throughout the 
whole range of country extending from the Eastern to the Western shores 
of Northern America, and includes nearly thirty-five degrees of latitude, 
h-om the extreme North to Newfoundland. 

In various parts of this thinly inhabited and unproductive region, the 
Polar Kara, perhaps the finest of all the American hares, takes up its re- 
sidence. It is covered in the long dark v/inter with a coat of warm fur, 
so dense that it cannot be penetrated by the rain, and which is an effec- 
tual protection from the intense cold of the rigorous climate. 

Its changes of colour help to conceal it from the observation of it.s 
enemies ; in summer it is nearly of the colour of the earth and the sur- 
rounding rocks, and in winter it assumes a snow-white coat. The changes 
it thus undergoes, correspond with the shortness of the summers and the 
length of th< Arctic winters. In the New England States the Northern 
hare continues white ibr about five months, that being the usual duration 
of the winters there ; but in the Arctic regions, where the summer lasts for 
about three months only, whilst th. earth during the remainder of tho 
year is covered with snow, were the Polar Hare not to become white till 
November, (the time when the Northern hare changes,) it would for two 
months be exposed to the keen eyes of its greatest destroyers, the golden 
eagle and the snowy owl, as its dark fur would be conspicuous on the 
snow ; or were it to become brown in April, it would wear its summer 
dress long before the earth had thrown off its mantle of white, or a single 
bud had peeped through the snow. 

The eye of the Polar Hare is adapted to the twilight that reigns during 
a considerable part of the year within the Arctic circle ; in summer ii 
avoids the glare of the almost continual day-light, seeking the shade of 
the little thickets of dwarfish trees that are scattered over the barren 
grounds, the woods that skirt the streams, or the shelter of some over- 
hanging rock. 

In addition to the circumstance that the eye of this Hare is well fitted 
for seeing with a very moderate light, it may be remarked that in winter 
the frequent and long continued luminous .appeanvnnp of the heavtu.^ 


caused by the aurora borealis, together with the brightness of the unsuL 
bed snow, afford a sufficient degree of light for it to proceed with its cus- 
ternary occu[)ations. 

During the summer this species is found on the borders of thickets, or 
in stony or rocky places. In winter it is often seen in the barren and 
open country, where only a few stunted shrubs and clumps of spruce fir 
{Abies rubra) afford it .shelter, differing in this habit from the Northern 
hare, which confines itself to thick woods throughout the year, avoiding 
cleared fields and open groum'. 

Captain Ross says of the Polar Hare, "There is scarcely a spot in the 
Arctic regions, the most desolate and sterile that can be conceived, where 
this animal is not to be found, and that too, throughout the winter; nor 
does it seek to shelter itself from the inclemency of the weather by' bur- 
rowing in the snow, but is found generally sitting solitarily under the lee 
of a large stone, where the snow drift as it passes along, seems in some 
measure to afford a protection from the bitterness of the blast that iinpels 
it, by collecting around and half burying the animal beneath it." 

The food of this species varies with the season. IIearxe tells us that 
"in winter it feeds on long rye-grass and the tops of dwarf willows, but 
in summer it eats berries and different sorts of small herbage." 

According to Richardson, "it seeks the sides of the hHIs, where the 
wind prevents the snow from lodging deeply, and where even in the win- 
ter it can procure the berries of the Alpine arbutus, the bark of some 
dwarf willows, (Salix,) or the evergreen leaves of the Labrador tea- 
plant," {Ledum latifoUum.) Captain Lyon, in his private journal, has 
noted that on the barren coast of Winter Island, the Hares went out on 
the ice to the ships, to feed on the tea-leaves thrown overboard by the 

The Polar Hare is not a very shy or timid animal, but has on being ap- 
preached much the same habits as the Nortiiern hare. "It merely "runs 
to a little distance, (says RicnARnsoN,) and sits down, repeating this ma- 
noeuvre as often as its pursuer comes nearly within gun-shot, until it is 
thoroughly scared by his perseverance, when it makes off It is not dif- 
ficult to get within bow-shot of it by walking round it and gradually con 
tracting the circle— a method much practised by the Indians." IIkarne 
had previously made the same observations ; he says also, " the iniddle, 
of the day, if it be clear weather, is the best time to kill them in tliis 
manner, ibr before and after noon the sun's altitude being so small, makes 
a man's shadow so long on the snow as to frighten the Hare before he 
can approach near enough to kiL it. The same may be said of deer wlien 



on open plams, ■wl.ich are frequently more frightened at the long fihadov. 
'ban at the man himself." 

Ail travellers coiuuir in stating the flesh of this animal to he of a finer 
flavour than that of any of oiu- other hares. We ()l)taiiie(l one wliile at 
St. George's Bay, in Newfoundland, and all our party made a meal of it ; 
we pronounced it delicious food. 

A lady residing at that place informed us that she had domesticate,, 
the Polar Hare, and had reared some of ihem for food. 8he said that the 
flesh was fine-flavoured, and the animals easily tamed, and that she had 
only been induced to discontinue keeping them in consequence of their 
becoming troublesome, and destructive in her garden. 

The Polar Hare is stated by Richardson, on the authority of Indian 
hunters, to bring forth once in a year, and only three young at a litter. 
That owing to the short summer of the Arctic regions, it does not produce 
more than once annually, is !io doubt true; but the number of young 
brought forth at a time, we are inclined to believe, was not correctly 
given by the Indian hunters. * 

Cartvvright (see Jour., vol. ii., p. 76) killed a female of this species at 
Labrador on the 11th June, from which he took five young. 

Capt. Ross says, " a female killed by one of our party at Sheriff" Har 
hour on the 7th of June, had four young in" utero, perfectly mature, .5^ 
inches long, and of a dark gray colour. In one shot at Igloolik, on the 
2d June, six young were found, not quite so far advanced." 

An intelligent farmer who had resided some years in Newfoundland, 
informed us that he had on several occasions counted the young of tht 
Polar Hare, and had never found less than five, and often had taken seven 
from one nest. He considered the average number of young to each lit- 
te"- as six. FABRrcius, alluding to the habits of this species as existing in 
Greenland, says, "They pair in April, and in the month of June produce 
eight young at a birth." 

Some idea may be formed of the very short period this species con- 
tinues in its summer colours, from the following remarks of dilferent 
observers. In Bfaciiv's Narrative, (p. 417,) is the Ibllowing notice; — 
"M(iy5tli. The party killed a white Hare, it was getting its summer 
coat." Cartwriout killed one on the lltli June, and remarks that it was 
yet white. We obtained a specimen on the 1.^1 h August, 1833, and ascer- 
tained that the change from summer to winter colours had already com- 
menced. There was a large spot, nearly a hand's breadth, of pure white 
on the back, extem'ng nearly to the insertion of the tail; three or four 
white spots about an inch in diameter were also found on the sides. 



Captain lliss states — "One taken by us on the 28th of June, a few 
days after its birth, soon became sufficiently tame to eat from our hands 
and was allowed to run loose about the cabin. During' the summer we 
fed it on such jjlaiifs as the country produced, and stored up a quantity of 
grass and astragali for its winter coiisum;)lion ; but it preferred to share 
with us whatever our table could alford, and would enjoy peas-soup, 
plum-pudding, bread, barley-soup, sugar, rice, and even cheese, with us. 
It could not endure to be caressed, but was exceedingly fond of company, 
and would sit for hours listening to a convcisation, which was no sooner 
ended than he would retire to his cabin; he was a continual source of 
amusement by his sagacity and j)layfulness." * # # "The 
fur of the Polar Hare is so exceedingly soa, that an Esquimaux woman 
spun some of its wool into a thread, and knitted several pairs cf gloves, 
one pair of which, beautifully white, came into my possession. It resem- 
bled the Angola wool, but was still softer." 

The specimen we procured in Newfoundland weighed seven and a half 
pounds; it was obtained on the 15th August, in the midst of summer, 
when all hares are lean. It was at a period of the year also, when in 
that island they are incessantly harassed by the troublesome moose-fly 
Deer, hares, (fee, and even men, suffer very much in consequence of their 
attacks. The Indians we saw there, although tempted by a high reward, 
refused to go in search of these Hares, from a dread of this persecuting 
insect ; and our party, who had gone on a moose-hunt, were obliged by 
the inflammation succeeding the bites inflicted on them to return on the 
same day they started. 

Dr. Richardson sets down the weight of a full grown Polar Hare as 
varying according to its condition from seven to fourteen pounds. 

In Beaciiy's Narrative there is an account of a Polar Hare, killed on 
the l.'jth May, that n-eighed nearly twelve pounds; and Hearne (see 
Journey, p. 383) says that, " in good condition many of them weigh from 
fourteen to fifteen pounds." 


This species occupies a wide range in the northern portions ot oui con- 
tinent; it extends from the shores of Baffin's Bay across the co t 
Bcliring's Straits. It has been seen as far north as the North v >^ n 
Ishinds, in latitude 7.')°. On the western portion of the American - ,,.- 
tinent it has not been found further to the south than latitude 64°, but on 
the eastern coast it reaches much farther south. Riciiardsov has stated 
that its most southerly known habitat is in the neighbourhood of Fori 



Churchill, on Hudson's Bny, which is in the 58th parallel of latitude, but 
remarks, (hat it may perhaps extend further to the southward on the 
elevated ridy;cs of the Rocky Mount.iins, or on the Eastern coast, in Labra- 
dor. We have ascertained that on the eastern coast of America it exists 
at least ten and a half di'j^rees s()\ith of the latitude a.ssi>^ned to it above 
as we procured our specimen at Njwfoundland, in latitude 47^°, where 
it was <piite conuiion ; and we have been informed that it alsso exists in 
the northern portions of Nova Scotia. To the north-east, it has found its 
way across Baflin's Bay, and exists in Greenland. 


Although the Polar Hare was noticed at a very early period in the his- 
tory of America, until recently it was considered identical with other 
species that have since been ascertained to differ from it. The writer of 
the History of Discoveries and Settlements of the English in America, 
from the reign of Henry A'll. to the close of that of Queen Elizabeth, 
speaking of the animals at Churchill <and Hudson's Bay, (see Pinkerton, 
Voy., vol. vii., p. 270,) says, " the hares grow white in winter, and recover 
their colour in spring; they have very large ears which are always 
black ; iheir skins in winter are very pretty, of fine long hair which does 
not fall ; so that they make very line mufi's." 

There can be no doubt that the Polar Hare was here alluded to. Pen- 
nant remarked that its size was greater than that of the varying hare, 
with which it had so long been considered identical. Hearne, who ob- 
served it on our continent, and Fabricujs, who obtained it in Greenland, 
regarded it as the varying hare. Leach, in 1811, (Zoological Miscellany,) 
characterized it as a new species. It was subsequently noticed by Sa- 
bine, Franklin, and Richardson. As an evidence of how little was known 
of our American hares until very recently, we would refer to the fact that 
in the las <>;rncrcil work on American quadrupeds by an American 
author, published by Dr. Godman in 1820, only two hares were ad.niited 
into our Fauna — Lcpiis Americanus, by which he referred to our array 
rabbit, and Lrpns glacialis, which together with Lepus Virginiunu:> ot 
Harlan, lie felt disposed to refer to Lepus variabilis of Europe, leaving us 
but one native species, and even to that applying a wrong name. We 
hope in this work to be able to present our readers with at least fourteen 
species of true '^arf:; that exist in America north of the tropic of Cancer, 
all peculiar to h.- (MK-ntry, 

In 182!) Dr U i . . of -, gave an excellent description, (Fauna Boreali 
' mericana, p. .i2l,) removing every doubt as to Lepus glacialis being fl 



rue spaces. In 1838. having obtuine.l a specimen in summer pelage 
the only one that as far as - o have learned existed in any collection in 
our country we were induced to describe it. (Journal Acad. Nat 
Sciences, Philadelphia, vol. vjj., p. 886.) 

I t 



I i 




Canine ■—■ ; Molar — 

1 — 1 5—5 


There are two false molars above, and three below ; the great car- 
nivorous tooth below, without an internal tubercle ; the tuberculous tooth 
in the upper jaw, very long. 

Head, small and oval ; muzzle, short and blunt ; ears, short and round ; 
body, long and vermiform ; neck, long ; legs, short ; five toes on each foot, 
armed with sharp crooked claws ; tail, long and cylindrical. Animals of 
this genus emit a fetid odour, and are nocturnal in habit ; they are separat- 
ed from the martens in consequence of having one tooth less on each 
.side of the upper jaw; their muzzle is also shorter and thicker than 
that of the marten. The species are generally small in size, and seldom 
climb trees like the true martens. 

There are about fifteen well determined species of this genus, six Or 
which belong to America, ond the remainder to the Eastern continent. 

The generic name putorius is derived from the Latin word pitlor — a 
fetid smell. 



PLATE XXXIII. Male and Fkmali. 


P. I'ulvus, mente albo ; auribus curtis ; peflibus semi-paimafis ; cauda 
corporis dimidiam longa. Mustoia marte minor. 


Lesi than (he pine marten ; general colour, brown ; chin white ; eur.s 
sfinH ; fee} .ie,ni-p(ilmate ; tail., half the length of the body. 

?at car- 
US tooth 

1 round ; 
ich foot, 
imals of 
jxi each 
er than 
I seldom 

5, six Of 

nitor — -a 

; Cauda 

'.e; eur.s 


ill! Ti 

lifi ^ 




\ — 




Thk Mink, Smith's Virginia, 1624. Quoted from PInkcrton's Voyages, vol. xiii., p. 3 i 

Otav, Sagiird Tiieodat, Hist, dii Can., p. 74 9, A. D. 1«,30. 

FouTEHKAU, La Hontan, Voy. 1., p. 81, A. D. 1703. 

Mink, Kalni's Travels, Pinkerton's Voy., vol. xiii., p, &22. 

Lk Vison, Uuffon, xiii., p. 308, t. 43. 

Mi'.sTELA ViHON, Linn., Gniel., i., p. 94. 

Minx, Lawson's Carolina, p. 121. 

MusTEi.A LuTHKOLA, Forstpr, Piiil. Trans., Ixii., p. 371. 

Minx Oi run, Pennant, Arct. Zool., i., p. 87. 

ViHON Wkase!., Ibid., i., p. 78. 

Jackash, Ilearne's Journey, p. 376. 

Mlstei.a Vison, Cuv., Regiic Anim., vol. i., p. 150, t. 1. fig. 2. 

MusTEi.A LuTUEOLA, Sabiiic, Frank Joum., p. 052. 

Mustei.a Vison, and M. Lutkeockpiiai.a, Harlan, Fauna, p. 03, 65. 

Mink, Godman, Nat. Hist., vol. i., p. 206. 

Purouius Vison, Dekay, Nat. Hist. New- York, p. 37, fig. 3, a. b. skulL 


Rody, long and slender ; head, small and depressed ; nose, short, flat, 
iiiid thick; eye.s, small, Jind placcul Car forward; whiskers, few, and rt-ach- 
iiig to the ears; ears broad, short, rounded, and covered with hair; ncHjk, 
very long ; legs, short and .stout. The toes are connected hy > hort hairy 
webs, and may be described as semi-palmated. Thi-re are short hairs on 
th(! webs above and below. Claws, very slightly arched, and acute. On 
the Ibre-fcet, the third and fourth toes, counting from the inner side, arc * 
about of equal length ; the second a line shorter, the fifth a little less, 
and the first, shortest. On the hind-feet, the third and fourth toes are 
equal, the second and fifth shorter and nearly equal, and the first very 
short. There are callosities on the toes resembling in miniature thoso 
on the toes of the Bay lynx. _ The feet and palms are covered with hair 
even to the extremity of the nails ; taiF, round, and thick at the roots, 
tapering gradually to the end ; the longer hairs of the tail are inclined 
to stand out horizontally, giving it a bushy appearance. There are two 
brown-coloured glands situated on each side of the under surface of the 
fail, which have a small cavity lined by a thin white wrinkled mem- 
{)rane ; they contain a strong musky fluid, the smell of which is rather 
disagreeable. Mainina\ six, ventral. 

The coat is composed of two kinds of hair ; a very downy fur beneath^ 
with hairs of a longer and stronger kind interspersed. Tlie hairs on the 
Upper surl'ace are longer I halt th«K>e on the lower. They are suioo<h anJ 



glossy both on the bodj- and the tail, and to a considerable extent 
conceal the downy fur beneath. 


Under fur, light brownish-yellow ; the longer hairs, and the surface of 
the fur, are of a uniform brown or tawny colour, except the ears, which 
are a little lighter, and the sides of the face, under surface, tail, and poste- 
rior part of the back, which are a little darker than the general tint, lower 
jaw white. In most specimens there is a white spot under the throat, and 
in all that we hav(! seen, a longitudinal white stripe on the breast between 
the fore-legs, much wider in some specimens than in others ; tail, darkest 
toward the end ; for an inch or two from the tip it is often very dark- 
brown or black. 

There arc some striking and permanent varieties of the Mink, both in 
size and colour. We possess a specimen from Canada, which is consid- 
erably darker than those of the United States. Its tail is an inch longer 
than usual, and the white markings on iis throat and chest are much 
narrowTer and less conspicuous than in most individuals of this species. 
{n other respects we can see no difference. 

In the Southern salt-water marshes this species is considerably larger 
ill size, the white markings on the chin and under surface are brvader, 
the hair is much coarser, the colour lighter, and the tail less bushy, than 
in Northern specimens. Those, however, which we obtained on the head 
waters of the Edisto river are as dark as specimens from Pennsylvania 
and New- York. 

Along the mountain streams of the Northern and Middle States, we 
have often met with another species of Mink considerably smaller and 
darker than those found on large water-courses or around mill-ponds. 
This species was figured in the illustrations of our large edition, without 
distinguishing it from the lower figure on the plate, which represents 
the common species. We shall introduce a separate figure of it in the 
present work. 


Length of head and body - 
" tail (vertebrae) - - - 

" tail, to end of fur 

Another specimen. 

Length Iruin ]>oint of uose to rout of tail 

13 inches, 

7 do. 

8 do. 

14 dc 


Length of tail (vertebrae) - 
tail, to end of Lair 


7i inches. 
8 do. 

Dimensions of the small species, (specimen from the Catskill mountains) 

Length ofhead and body ^ j^^^^^^ 

" tail (vertebra}) G do 

tail, to end of hair - . . . 7 do 


Next to the ermine, the Mink is the most active and destructive little 
depredator that prowls around the farm-yard, or the faim-^r's duck-pond • 
where the presence of one or two of these animals will soon be made 
known by the sudden disappearance of sundry young ducks and chickens 
The vigilant farmer may perhaps see a fine fowl moving in a singular 
and most involuntary manner, in the clutches of a Mink, towards a fis- 
sure in a rock or a hole in some pile of stones, in the gray of the morn- 
mg, and should he rush to the spot to ascertain the fate of the unfortunate 
bird, he will see it suddenly twitched into a hole too deep for him to 
fathom, and wish he had carried with him his double-barrelled gun, to 
have ended at once the life of the voracious destroyer of his carefully 
tended poultry. Our friend, the farmer, is not, however, disposed to 
«llow the Mink to carry on the sport long, and therefore straightway 
repairs to the house for his gun, and if it be loaded and ready for use, (as 
it always should be in every well-regulated farm-house,) he speedily re- 
turns with it to watch for the re-appearance of the Mink and slioot him 
ere he has the opportunity to depopulate his poultry-yard. The farmer 
now takes a stand facing the retreat into which the Mink has carried his 
property, and waits patiently until it may please him to show his head 
again. This, however, the cunning rogue will not always accommodate 
hmi by doing, and he may lose much time to no purpose. Let us intro- 
duce you to a scene on our own little place near New- York. 

There is a small brook, fed by several springs of pure water, which 
we have caused to be stopped by a stone dam to make a pond for ducks 
in the summer and ice in the winter ; above the pond is a rough bank of 
stones through which the water filters into the pond. There is a little 
space near this where tlie sand and gravel have formed a diminutive 
beach. The ducks desceiuling to the water are compelled to pass near 
this slony bank. ,, Mink had fixe.l his quarters with certainly a 
degree of .judgment and audacity worlliy of high praise, for no settle- 
ment could promise to be more (o his mind. At early dawn the crowing 
of several line cocks, th, cackling ..f many hens and chickens, and tlu 



paddling:, splashing, a d quacking of a hundred old and young ducks 
would please his ears ; and by stealing to the edge of the bank of stones, 
with his body nearly concealed between two large pieces of broken 
granite, he could look around and see the unsuspecting ducks within a 
yard or two of his lurking place. When thus on the look-out, dodging 
his head backward and forward he waits until one of them has ap- 
proached close to lain, and then with a rush seizes the bird by the neck, 
and in a moment disappears with it between the rocks. He has not, 
however, escaped unobserved, and like other rogues deserves to be 
punished for having taken what did not belong to him. We draw near 
the spot, gun in hand, and after waiting some time in vain for the ap- 
pearance of the Mink, we cause some young ducks to be gently driven 
down to the pond — diving lor worms or food of various kinds while 
danger so imminent is near to them — intent only on the object they are 
pursuing, they turn not a glance toward the dark crevice where we can 
now see the bright eyes of the Mink as he lies concealed. The unsus- 
pecting birds remind us of some of the young folks in that large pond we 
call the world, where, alas ! they may be in greater danger than our poor 
ducks or chickens. Now we see a fine hen descend to the water ; cau- 
tiously she steps on the sandy margin and dipping her bill in the clear 
stream, sips a few drops and raises her head as if ingratitude to the 
Giver of all good; she continues sipping and advancing gradually; she 
has now a])proached the fatal rocks, when with a sudden rush the Mink 
has seized her ; ere he can regain his hole, however, our gun's sharp 
crack is heard and the marauder lies dead before us. 

We acknowledge that we have little inclination lo say anything in 
defence of the Mink. We must admit, however, that although he is a 
cunning and destructive rogue, his next door neighbour, the ermine or 
common weasel, goes infinitely beyond him in his mischievous propensi- 
ties. Whilst the Mink is satisfied with destroying one or two fowls at a 
time, on which he makes a hearty meal ; the weasel, in the very spirit 
of wanton destructiveness, sometimes in a single night puts to death 
every tenant of the poultry-house ! 

When residing at Henderson, on the banks of the Ohio river, we ob- 
served that Minks were quite abundant, and often saw them carrying off 
rats which they caught like the weasel or ferret, and conveyed away in 
their mouths, holding them by the neck in the manner of a eat. 

Along the-trout streams of our Easttn-n and Northern States, the Mink 
has been known to steal fish that, having been caught by some anglet, 
had been left tied together vrith a string wliile the fisherman proceeded 
further in quest of more, A person informed u.- that he had lost in ihi- 



^ay thirty or lorty fine trout, which a Mink dragged off the bank into 
the stream and devoured, and we have been told that by looking care- 
fully after them, the Minks could be seen watching the fisherman and in 
readiness to take his fih.i, should ne leave it at any distance behind him. 
Mr. HuTsoN of Halifax informed iis that he had a salmon weighing four 
pounds carried off' by one of them. 

Wc have ol)served that the Mink is a tolerably expert fisher. On one 
occasion, whilst seated near a trout-brook in the northern part of the 
State of New- York, we heard a sudden splashing in the stream and saw 
a large trout gliding through the shallow water and making for some 
long overhanging roots on the side of the bank. A Mink was in close 
pursuit, and dived after it ; in a moment afterwards it re-appeared with 
the fish in its mouth. By a sudden rush we induced it to drop the trout, 
which was upwards of a foot in length. 

We are disposed to believe, however, that fishes are not the principal 
food on which the Mink subsists. We have sometimes seen it feeding 
on frogs and cray-fish. In the Northern States we have often observed 
it with a Wilson's meadow-mouse in its mouth, and in Carolina the very 
common cotton-rat furnishes no small proportion of its food. We 
have frequently remarked it coursing along the edges of the marshes, 
and found that it was in search of this rat, which frequents such locali- 
ties, and we discovered that it was not an unsuccessful mouser. We 
once saw a Mink issuing from a hole in the earth, dragging by the 
neck a large Florida rat. 

This species has a good nose, and is able to pursue its prey like a 
hound following a deer. A friend of ours informed us that once while 
standing on the border of a swamp near the Ashley river, he perceived a 
marsh-hare dashing by him ; a moment after came a Mink with its nose 
near the ground, following the frightened animal, apparently by the 
scent, through the marsh. 

In the vicinity of Charleston, South Carolina, a hen-house was one 
season robbed several nights in succession, the owner counting a chicken 
less every morning. No idea could be formed, however, of the manner 
in which it was carried off". The building was erected on posts, and was 
securely locked, in addition to which precaution a very vigilant watch- 
dog was now put on guard, being chained underneath the chicken-house. 
Still, the number of fowls in it diminished nightly, and one was as before 
missed every morning. 

We were at last requested to endeavour to ascertain the cause of the 
vexatious and singular abstraction of our friend's chickens, and on a 
careiul examination we discovered a small liole in a corner of the build 



injr, loading to a cnvity between the weather-boardinp ami thn sill. On 
Rontly forcing outward a plank, we perceived tlie brifilW eyes of a Mink 
peering at us and sliiniuR like a pair of diamonds. lie had Umfi; hocn 
thus snugly ensconced, and was enabled to supply himself with a regular 
feast without leaving the house, as the hole opened toward the on 
the floor. Summary justice was inflicted of course on the concealed rob- 
ber, and peace and security once more were restored i.i the precincts of 
the chicken-yard. 

This species is very numerous in the salt-marshes of the Southern 
States, where it subsists principally on the marsh-hen, {Rnlhis crepitans,) 
the sea-side finch, (Ammndramns nKirilhiiiis,) and the sharp-tailed finch, 
{A. candacutus,) which, during a considerable portion oftlui year, feed 
on the minute shell-fish and aquatic insects left on the mud and oyster- 
banks, on the subsiding of the waters. We have seen a Mink winding 
stealthily through the tall marsh-grass, pausing occasionally to take an 
observation, and sometimes 'ying tor the space of a minute flat upon the 
mud : at length it draws its hind-feet far forwards under its body in the 
manner of a cat, its back is arched, its tail curled, and it makes a sudden 
spring. The screams of a captured marsh-hen succeed, and its up- 
raised fluttering wing gives sufficient evidence that it is about to be 
transferred from its pleasant haunts in the marshes to the capacious maw 
of tne hungry Mink. 

It is at low tide that this animal usually captures the marsh-hen. "We 
have often at high spring tide observed a dozen of those birds standing 
on a small field of floating sticks and matted grasses, gazing stupiUy at 
a Mink seated not five feet from them. No attempt was made by the 
latter to capture the birds that were now within his reach. At first we 
supposed that he might have already been satiated with food and was 
disposed to leave the tempting marsh-hens till his appetite called for 
more ; but wc were after more mature reflection inclined to think that the 
high spring tides which occur, exposing the whole marsh to view and 
leaving no place of concealment, frighten the Mink as well as the marsh- 
hen ; and as misery sometimes makes us familiar with strange associates, 
so the Mink and the marsh-hen, like neighbour and brother, hold on to 
their little floating islands till the waters subside, when each again 
follows the instincts of nature. An instance of a similar effect of fear on 
other animals was related to us by an old resident of Carolina : Some forty 
years ago, during a tremendous flood in the Santee river, he saw two or 
three deer on a small mound not twenty feet in diameter, surrounded by 
a wide sea of waters, with a cougar seated in the midst of them ; both 
parties, having seemingly entered into a truce at a time when their lives 



spomed equally in ,je.,par(ly, were apparently disposed peaceably to awail 
the tailing' of the waln-s that surromided them. 

T\w Minks which n-sort to the Southern marshes, being there furnished 
Nvith an abundant supply of food, are always fat, and appear to us eon- 
siderably Iarif(,r than the same speeies in those localities where food is 
less a])undarit. 

This species prefers takin- up its residence on (he bor.lers of ponds 
and along tin. banks of small streams, rather than along large and broad 
livers. It delights in frequenting the foot of rapids and waterfalh 
When pursued it (lies for shelter to the water, an element suited to its 
amplubious habits, or to some retreat beneath the banks of the stream 
It runs tolerably well on high ground, and we have f.,und if on several 
occasions no eiisy matter to overtake it, and when overtaken, we have 
learned to our cost that it was rather a troublesome customer about our 
feet and legs, where its sharp canine teeth made some uncomfortable in- 
dentations ; neither was its odour as pleasant as we could have desired. 
It is generally supposed that the Mink never resorts to a tree to avoid 
pursuit ; we have, however, witnessed one instance to the contrary. In 
hunting for the ru (fed-grouse, (T. umhdlus,) we observed a little dog that 
accompanied us, barking at the stem of a young tree, and on looking up, 
perceived a Mink seated in the first fork, about twelve feet from the 
ground. Our friend, the late Dr. Wright, of Troy, informed us that whilst 
ho was walking on the border of a wood, near a stream, a small animal 
w,. .1 he supposed to be a black squirrel, rushed from a tuft of grass, 
and ascended a tree AfVer gaining a seat on a projecting branch, it 
peeped down at the intruder on its haunts, when he shot it, and picking 
it up, ascertained that it was a Mink. 

We think, howevei, that this animal is not often seen to ascend a 
tree, and these are the only instances of its doing so which are known 
.0 us. 

This species is a good swimmer, and like the musk-rat dives at the 
flash of a gun ; we have observed, however, that the percussion-cap now 
in general use is too quick for its motions, and that this invention bids 
fair greatly to lessen its numbers. When shot in the water, the body of 
the Mink, as well as that of the otter, has so little buoyancy, and its bones 
are so heavy, that it almost invariably sinks. 

The Mink, like the musk-rat and ermine, does not possess much cun- 
ning, and is easily captured in any kind of trap ; it is taken in steel-traps 
and box-traps, but more generally in what are called Jead-falls. It is at- 
tracted by any kind of fl»sh, but we have usually seen the traps baited 
with the head of a ruffed-grouse, wild duck, chicken, jay, or other 





bird Tho Mink is cxrordinuly trnn< foils of Hfo, and wp hav<> found "t 
still alive iindiT !i dfad-ffiil, with a pole iyinij across its body pn'sscd 
down by a weight of ir»() il»s., beneath whieh it had been strii>?(,'linf? foi 
nearly twenty-four hours. 

This speeies, as well as the skunk and the ermine, emits an ofTensivo 
odour when i)rovoked by men or doy;s, and this habit is exercised like- 
wise in a moderate (iey;ree wheni'ver it is enyapjd in any severe struRKle 
with an animal or bird on which it has seized. We were once attracted 
by the peculiar and W('ll known plaintive cry of a hare, in a marsh on 
the side <»f one of our southern riee-lields, and our olfactories were at the 
same time refilled with the stronjjr fetid odour of the Mink; we found it 
in j)ossession of a large marsh-hare, with which, from the appearance of 
the trampled grass and mud, it had been engaged in a fierce struggle for 
some time. 

The latter end of February or the beginning of March, in tho latitude 
of All)any, N. Y., is the rutting season of the Mink. At this period the 
ground is usually still covered with snow, but the male is notwithstanding 
very restless, and his tracks -may every where be traced, along ponds, 
among tho slabs around saw-mills, and along nearly every stream of 
wat(T. Ih' seemf. to keep on foot all day as well as through the whole 
niglit. Having for several days in succession observed a number of 
Minks on the ice hurrying up and down a mill-pond, where we had not 
observed any during a whole winter, we took a position near a place 
whieh we had seen them pass, in order to procure some of them. 

We shot six in the course of the morning, an<l ascertained that they 
were all large and old males. As we did not find a single female in a 
week, whilst we obtained a great number of males, we came to the con- 
clusion that the females, during this periotl, remain in their burrows. 
About the latter end of April the young are produced. We saw six young 
dug from a hole in the l)ank of a Carolina rice-lic-ld ; on another occa- 
sion we found five enclosed in a large nest situated on a small island in 
the marshes of Ashley river. In the State of New- York, we saw five 
taken from a hollow log, and we are inclined to set down that as the 
average number of young tliis species firings forth at a time. 

The Mink, when taken young, becomes very gentle, and forms a strong 
attachment to those who fondle it in a state of domestication. Richard- 
son saw one in the " possession of a Canadian woman, that passed tho 
day in lier pocket, looking out occasionally wlien its attention was roused 
by any unusual noise." We liad in our possession a i>et of this kind for 
eighteen months ; it regularly made a visit to an a(')oming fish-pond both 
morning and eveninr', and returned to the house of its own accord, whera 


MINK. Qljg 

it cnntinuful diirinj? tho rcmairsdrr of tho day. It watfcd war apaiiist tlie 
Nor.vay rats which had their domi.ule in thp (him that formpd fh(! (ish 
pond, and it caupht tho froKs which had taken possession of its hank.s 
We did not perceive that it captured many fish, and it never attacked 
the poultry. It was on yood terms with the do<,'s and cats, and molested 
no one unless if ail or foot was accidentally trod upon, when it invaria- 
bly revenped itself by snapping at the foot of the offender. 

It was rather dull at mid-day, but very active and playful in the morn- 
ing and evenin« and at ni^ht. It never emitted its disagreeable odour 
except when it haxl received a sudden an<l severe hurt. It was fond of 
squattin« in the chimney-corner, and formed a particular attachment to 
an arm-chnir in our study. 

The skins of the Mink were formerly an article of commerce, and were 
used for makint? muffs, tippets, &c. ; they .sold for about fifty cents each. 
IlicnARDsoN sti.tes that they at present are only taken by the traders oi 
the i'ur company to accommodate the Indians, and that they are afterwards 
burnt, as they will not repay the expense of carriage. The fur, however 
although short, is even finer than that of the marten. 

A short lime since, wc were kindly presented by C.-ARLEa P. Ciioutrao 
Esq., with a Mink skin ol a beautiftd silver-gray colour, the fur of which 
is (piite (lid'erenl from t|)(! ordinary coat of the animal. These beautiful 
skins are i xeeedingly rare, and six of them, when they are united, will 
mak»! a muff, worth at least a hundred dollars, A skin, slightly approach- 
ing III.' fine quality and colour of the one just mentioned, exists in tho 
Academy of Natural Sciences at Philadelphia, but it is brownish, and the 
fur is not very good, 


The Mink is a constant resident of nearly every part of the continent 
of North America. Richardson saw it as far north as latitude 06°, on the 
banks of the Mackenzie river, and supposed that it ranged to the mouth 
of that river in latitude (>!)° ; it exists in Canada, and we have seen it in 
every State of the Union. We observed it ou the Upper Missouri and on 
the Yellow Stone rl*er; it is said to exist also to the West of the Rocky 
Mountains and al'ng the shores of tlie Pacific ocean, 

(iENERAI. remarks. 

This species appears, as far as wo have been able to ascertain, to have 
been first noticed by Governor Smith of Virginia, ir 1024, and subsequently 
by Sacakd Theodai and La Montan Tho latter calls it an amphibious 



' I 

sort of little,-"Les fouteriaux, qui sent de petites fomnes am 
nhibies." Kalm and Lawson refer to it: the former stating that he 
English and the Swedes gave it the name of Mink, Moenk bemg the 
name applied to a closely ollied species existing m Sv eden 

The doubts respecting the identity of the American Mmk (P. vrson, 
and the Mustela lutreola of the north of Europe, have not as yet been 
satisfactorily solved. Peasant in one place admits the American ..«« 
as a true species, and in another supposes the M. lutreola to exist on both 
continents. Baron Cuv.kk at one time regarded them as so distinct that 
he placed them under different genera; but subsequently in a note stated 
his opinion that they are both one species. Dr. Godman supposed that 
both the Pekan {Mustcla Canadensis) and vison (P. vison) are nothing 
more than mere varieties o( Mustela lutreola; in regard to the Pekan 
he was palpably in error. Richardson considers them distinct species, 
althou-h he does not seem to have had an opportunity of instituting 
a comparison. We have on two or three occasions compared speci- 
mens from both continents. The specimens, however, from ^f^Y^""']- 
try differ so considerably among themselves, that it is sovnewhat difficult 
without a larger number than can generally be brought together, to in- 
stitute a satisfactory comparison. 

The fact that both species exist far to the iK.rtbward, and conse- 
.mentlv approach each other toward the Arctic circlr, presents an argu- 
ment favourable to their identity. In their semi-palmatcd feet, as well 
as in their general form and habits, they resemble each other. 

The following reasons, however, have induced us, after some hesita- 
tion and not without a strong lesire for farther opportunities of compari- 
son,' especially of the skulls, to regard the American P. vison as distinct 
from the lutreola of the north of Europe. 

P lutreola, in the few specimens we have examined, is smaller than F. 
vison the body of the latter frequently exceeding eighteen inches (we 
have'a large specimen that measures twenty-one inches,) but we have 
never found any specimen of the lutreola exceeding thirteen inches from 
nose to root of tail, and have generally found that specimens, even when 
their teeth were considerably worn, thereby indicating that the animals 
were adults, measured less than twelve inches. 

P lutreola is considerably darker in colour, resembling in this respect 
the small black species mentioned by us as existing along our mountain 
streams. The tail is less bushy, and might be frmed sub-cylindrical. 
P lutreola is, besides, more delicient in while inarkin-s on the und.T sur- 
face than the other speei,.s ; the .■Im, is .MM.endly, but not always, white ; 
but thi-ir is seldom any white eitlier o» -he hro-t n- ehest. 



' .'J 


Black SaurRREL. 

PLATE XXXIV.-M*LB and F«ma«. 

S corpore S. migratorio long.oro; vellere molli nitidoque. aunbas 
naso et omni corpons parte nigerrimis, cirris albis dispersis. 


A liUh la.-f„ rt„„ He Norlhcrn gray ^,.i„-cl , fur. »« »„,( ri„„„ . 


SciuRus NiQEK, Qodman, Nat. Hist., vol. ii., p. 1.33. 

•| Hachina.^ Pr„c,.eding,s Zool. Society. 1838. p. 90. 
L»ekay, Nat, Hist, of New- York, parti,, p 60. 


Head, a litlle shorter and more arched than that of the Northern .rav 
squtrre, On the latter ,peeie,, however, it is often found that « e„ e 

pie»,l sron,.., and of a deep orange colour anieriorlv ; ears ellintioal 
and shBhtly r„„„ded a, the tip, thickly elothod with IW n hi r'faee ' 
he fur „„ the outer surface extending three lines hcyond the margin 
Z"! ";<: '7»ver no distinct tufts, whiskers, a little l„„g„ ,Z ' ,' 
hcod, to,, long, „„, very distichous, thickly clothed with mod„ratll! 
coarse ha,r; the fur i, softer than that of the Northern gmy sjrre,. "^ 


The wiiol.of ti.e uppor and lower surfaces, and the fail, iot 

black; at the roots the hah. are a Httle lighter. Spe i,n^' « 

cured ,.. sunder do not differ rnaterially in colour from tho'e obt neS.^ 

w.nter, except that before the hairs drop out late in spring they re nit 

•so intensely biack. In all we have had an on.K.Huniu . 

■•nil ,111 ()[)(K»iinni(v <it pxaminujg 

! , !S^ 



there arc small tuftb of white hairs irre^uhirly disposed on the iindei 
surface, resembling those on the body of the mink. There are also a 
few scattered white hairs on the back and tail. 


Length of head and body 

" tail (vertobrfc) 

" tail, including fur - 

Palm, to end of middle fore-claw - 
Length of heel to the point of middle claw 

" fur on the back 

Breadth of tail with hair extended 














An opportunity was afforded us, many years since, of obs<>rving tho 
habits of this species, in the northern part of the State of New- York. 
A seat under the shadow of a rock near a stream of water, was for 
several successive sumnuM's our favourite resort for retirement and read- 
ing. In the imuKHliate vicinity were several large trees, in which were a 
number ol' holes, from which at almost every hour of the day were seen 
issuing this sp(!cies of Black Scpiirrel. There seemed to be a dozen of 
them ; they were all of the same glossy black colour, and although the 
Northern gray siiuirrel and its black variety were not rare in that neigh- 
bourhood, during a period of five or six years we never discovered any 
other than the present species in that locality ; and after the lapse of 
twenty years, a specimen (from which our description was in part 
drawn up) was procured in that identical spot, and sent to us. 

This species possesses all iht; sprightliness of the Northern gray squir- 
rel, evidently preferring valleys and swamps to drier and more elevated 
situations. We observed that one of their favourite trees, to which 
they retreated on hearing the slightest noise, was a large white-pine 
{FiniLt strobus) in th(! immediate vicinity. We were surprised at some- 
times seeing a red s(iuirrel, {Sciurus Hittboniits,) which had also given a 
preference to this tree, pursuing a Black Squirrel, threatening and 
scolding it vociftu-ously, till the latter was obliged to make its retreat. 
When the S(|uirrels !ip|)roiH'hed the stream, which ran within a few feet of 
our seat, they often stopped to drink, when, instead of lapping the water 
like the dog itnd cat. they protruded their mouths a eonsiderablf! distance 
into till" strciim, and drank greedily ; llicy would afterwards sit upright, 
suppurli'il by th<' tarsus, and wilii tail i reel, busy theinsj'lves for u quar 




terofan hour in wiping their faces with their paws, the lattei being also 
occasionally dipped in the water. Their barking and other habits did 
not seem to differ from those of the northern gray squirrel 




Many of our specimens of the Black Squirrel were procured throu-^h 
the kindness of friends, in the counties of Rensselaer and Queens, New 
York. We have seen this species on the borders of Lake Champlain 
a Ogdensburg, and on the eastern shores of Lake Erie ; also near 
Niagara, on the Canada side. The individual described by Dr. Richard 
SON, anu which may be clearly referred to this species, was obtained by 
Captain Bavpield, at Fort William on Lake Superior. Black Squirrels 
exist through all our western forests, and to the northward of our c^reat 
lakes ; but whether they are of this species, or the black variety of the 
gray squirrel, we have not had the means of deciding. It is a well 
ascertained fact that the Black Squirrel disappears before the xNor.hern 
sny squirrel. Whether the colour renders it a more conspicuous mark 
for the sportsman, or whether the two species are naturally hostile we 
are unable to decide. It is stated by close observers that in some neigh- 
bourhoods where the Black Squirrel formerly abounded, the Northern 
gray squirrel now exclusively occupies its place. 

general remarks. 

We have admitted this as a true species, not so much in accordance 
with our own positive convictions, as in deference to the opinions of 
our naturalists, and from the consideration that if it be no more than 
a variety, ,t has by time and succession been rendered a permanent race, 
rhe only certain mode of deciding whether this is a true species or mere- 
ly a variety, would be to ascertain whether male and female Black Squir- 
rels and gray squirrels associate and breed together in a state of nature- 
When a male and a female, however different in size and colour, unite 
m a wild state and their progeny is prolific, we are warranted in pro- 
nouncing them of the same species. When on the contrary, there is no 
such result, we are compelled to come to an opposite conclusion. 

We had great doubts for many years whether this species might not 
eventuMJly prove another of the many varieties of the Northern gray 
Hquinvl. (.V. mi-rroiorius.) Although these doubts have not been ;x\\o<r^. 
ther removed by our recent investigations, thev were considerably lessened 
on ascertaining the uniformity in size, shape, colou". and habits of all the 

■ i&m 

1 ( 



individuals we have seen in a living state, as well as all the prepared 
specimens we have examined. 

Much difiiculty has existed among authors in deciding on the species 
to which the name of -S. nigcr should he appropriated. The original de- 
scription hy LiNN/Eus was containr'd in the single word " nigcr" If he 
had made no reference to any author, his description would have served 
quite well, as this was the only species of squirrel purely hlack, that was 
known at that day. He however made a reference to Catesby, who 
figured the black variety of the Southern fox-squirrel, (S. capistratus,) 
and Brisson, Pennant, Erxleben, and Sciireber referred the species in the 
same manner to the description and figure of Catesbv. Our American 
writers on natural history, as M'ell as Dr. Richardson, have however 
adopted the name given by Linn^us, and applied it to this species. We 
consider it advisable to retain the name, omitting the reference to 

It is diflicult to decide, from the descriptions of Drs. Harlan and God- 
man, whether they described from specimens of the black variety of the 
northern gray squirrel or from the present species. 

Dr. Richardson has, under the head of Sciurus nigei; (see Fauna Bo- 
reali Americana, p. 191,) described a specimen from Lake Superior, 
which we conceive to be the black variety of the gray squirrel ; but at 
the close of the same article (p. 192) he described another specimen from 
Fort William, which answers to the description of this species. 





PLATE XXXV.-Mal., Female, and Youno. 

S. S Carolinense robustior, S cinereo minor; cauda cornor,. multo 
loiiffiore ; variis coloribus. ' 


J^ar^er //.«„ ,/.e C«r«/m« Gray Sr.uirrel; smaller than the Cat-sauirrel- 
iml, muck longer than the hod,; subject to many varieties of colour 


Q6AV Squ.uuel, Pennant, Arct. Zool., vol. i„ p. 195, Hist. Quad. N., 272 
tc-iuRus CiNEiiEus, Ilurlan, Fauna, p. 173. ' "^■ 

Cauolinensis, Godman, non Gmel 

BacL, Proceedings of the Zoological Society, p. 91, London. 

Common or LrnLEGuAv Squirrel. Emmons, Report. 1842 n 66 
Sciuuua Leucotis, Deicay, Nat. Hist. N. Y.. p. r,1 ^' 

" VULI'INUS, do. do. do. ' p. 59, 


This Squirrel seems to have permanently twenty-two teeth. A large 

.umber of specimens proeured at different seasons of the year, some of 

w .ch from the manner in which their teeth were worn appeared" be 

old arnmaLs, presented the small front molars in the upper jaw Even 

mcnts of which wil! be g,ven in this article,) the small molar existed. 
Mas permanency in teeth that have been usually regarded as deciduous, 
uould seem to requu-e an enlargement of the characters given to this 

• ETn'ti" I rr^' '' "^" ^'=^* ''''''^' ^'^^' «p^-« - «-"-^ 

this in their dental arrangement. 

Inci.sor.s, strong and comprnsse.l. a little smaller than those of the, convex, and oIm d.-ej, orange colour anteriorly. The uppei 




ones liavo a sharp cittinf? f'lRf^, nm\ am chisd-sliaprd ; the lower are 
much h»n;rer and tliimier. The anterior f^rinder, ahlioiiyrh round and 
small, is as lonj; as liie second ; the remainin*? lour ^^rinders are consider- 
ably more excaA'ated than those, of the Cat-s(juirrel, presenting two trans- 
verse rijlj^es of enamel. The lower grinders correspondin^ij' to those a'jove 
have also elevated crowns. 

The hair is a little softer than that of the Cat.-s()uirrol, bein^ coarsest 
on the Ibrehejid. 

Nose, ratlicr obtuse; forehead, arched; whis - • : ^ long as the head ; 
ears, sharply rounded, conwivc on both sides, covered with hair; on the 
outside the h.-iirs are lenjrest. In winter the fur projects upward about 
three lines bejond the margin ; in sununer, however, tin- hairs covering 
the ears are very short, and do not extend beyond the margin. 

!■ I 

: II 

■ I 

I I 


This species appears under many varieties; there are, however, two 
very permanent ones, which we shall attempt to describe. 

1st, Gray variety. — The nose, cheeks, a space around the eyes extend- 
ing to the insertion of the neck, the upper surface of the fore and hind 
feet, and a stripe along the sides, yellowish-brown ; the ears on theu 
posterior surface in most sj)ecimens brownish-yellow ; in about one 

in ten they are dull white, edged with brown. On the back, from the 
shoulders there is an obscure stripe of brown, brojidest at its commence- 
ment, running (h)wn to a |)()int at the insertion of the tail. In some 
specimens this stri|)e is wanting. On the neck, sides, and liijjs. the colour 
is light gray; the hairs separately are for one half their length dark 
cinereous, then light umber, then a narrow mark of black, Jind are lipped 
with while; a considerable number of black hairs are interspersed, 
giving it a yellowish-brown colour on the dorsal aspect, and a light gray 
tint on the sides; the hairs in the tail are light yellowish-brown fro-.n 
the roots, with three stripes of black, llie outer one being widest, and 
broadly tipped with white ; tlie whole under surface is white. The above 
is the most common variety. 

There are specimens in which the yellowish markings on the sides 
and feet are altogether wauling. Dr. G<ii)Man, (vol. ii.. j). 133.) supposed 
that the golden colour of the hind-l'eet is a very permanent mark. The 
specimens from I'eimsylvania in our possession, and a few from the 
Lfl)per Missouri, have generally this peculiarity, but many of those from 
New-York iind New-England have gray feet, without the slightest mix- 
ture of yellow. 

vJd, Dlack variety. — 'J'liis we have on several occasions seen takea 


With tho Rray variety from the same nest. Both varieties breed and rear 
thoir yoiuif,' together. 

'nH,l.h.ek om-s are of the same size and form as the f,ray ; they are 
dark on the whole „,,,„.,• snrfaee, a little lighter be- 
neath. In summer their eolour is less blaek than in winter. The hairn 
of the back and si.les of the body, and of the tail, are obscurely annulafed y,.l ovv. There is here and there a white hair interspersed among 
the fur of the body, but no tuft of white as in Sciuru.s rJger. 


A Female i<n summer. 

Length of head and body 

" tail (vertebr.-e) 

tail, to thfc tip 

Height of ear 

Palm to the end ol middle claw 
Ileel to the end of middle nail .... 
Length of fur on the back .... 

Breadth of tail with hairs extended 

An old Male in winter pelage, obtained Dec. 16th. 

Length of head and body .... 

tail (vertebra;) - - . . 

tail, to end of hair ... 

Height of ear 

ear, to end cf fur ... 

Heel to end of longest nail 
f-ength of fur on the back 

Weight 1 lb. tJ oz. 






















. This aipears to be the most active and sprightly species of Squirrel 
existing in our Atlantic States. It sallies forth with the sun, and is 
.ndusfriously engaged in search of food for four or five hours in the 
morning, scratching among leaves, running over fallen logs, ascending 
trees, or playfully skipping from bough to bough, often making almost 
mcredible leaps from the high.-r branches of one tree to another. In the 
middle of the day it retires for a few hours to its nest, resuming its active 
labours and amusements in the aOernoon, and continuing them without 
intermission till long after the setting of the sun During the warm 



weather of sprin>r and summer it prepares itself a nest on a ti 3e, but not 
often at its summit. When construclinjr this summer-house it does not 
descend to the earth in search of mrterials, finding them ready at hand 
on the tree it intends to make its temporary residence. It first breaks off 
some dry sticks, if they ciin he procured ; if, however, such materials are 
not within reach, it gnaws off green branches as large as a mail's thumb 
and lays them in a fork of the stem, or of some large branch. It then 
proceeds to the extremities of the branches, and breaks off twigs and 
hunches of leaves, with which a compact nest is constructed, which on 
the inner side is sometimes lined with moss found on the bark of the tree. 
In the preparation of this nest both male and female are usually en- 
paged for an hour in the morning during several successive days ; and 
ihe noise they make in cutting the branches and dragging thJm with 
their leaves to the nest can be heard at a great distance. In winter they 
reside altogether in holes in trees, where their young in most instances 
»ue brought forth. 

Although a family, to the number of five or six, probably the offspring 
of a single pair the preceding sei ion, may occupy the same nest during 
^^^inter, they all pair off in spring, when each couple occupies a separate 
aest, in order to engage in the duties of reproduction. The young, in 
lumber from four to six, are brought forth .n May or June ; " they""in. 
crease in size rapidly, and are sufficiently grown in a few weeks to leave 
the nest ; at this time they may be seen clinging around the tree which 
contains their domicile ; as soon as alarmed they run into the hoh^ but 
one of them usually returns to the entrance of it, and protruding his head 
out of the hollow, Avatches the movements of the intruder. In this stage 
of their growth they are easily captured by stopping up the entrance of 
the nest, and making an opening beneath ; they can then be taken out 
by the hand proteeied by a glove. They soon become tolerably gentle, 
and are frequently kept in cages, with a wheel attached, which revolves 
as they bound forward, in which as if on a treadmill they exercise 
themselves for hours together. 

Sometimes two are placed within a wheel, when they soon learn to 
accommodate themselves to it, and move together with great regularity. 

?Jotwithstanding the fact that they become very gentle in confinement^ 
no instance has come to our knowledge of their having produced young 
while in a state of domestication, although in a suitable cage such a 
result would in all probability be attained. This species is a troublesome 
pet ; it is sometimes inclined to close its teeth on the fingers of the in- 
truder on its cage, and does not always spare even its feeder. When 
permitted to have the freedom of the house, it soon excites the displea- 



sure of the notable housewife by its habits c f gnawing chairs, tables, and 

Duriig the rutting season the mnles (like deer and some other species) 
engage m frequent contests, and often bite a.,d wound each other se 
verely. The story of the conqueror emasculating the vanquished on 
these occasions, has been so often repeated, that it perhaps is somewhat 
presumptuous to sot it down as a vulgar error. It may, however be ad 
vanced, that the admission of such skill and refinement in inflic'tin- re 
venge would be ascribing to the squirrel a higher degree of physiological 
and anatomical knowledge than is possessed by any other quadruped 
From the observations we have been enabled to make, we are led to 
believe that the error originated from the fact that those parts in the 
male, which in the rutting season are greatly enlarged, are at other 
periods of the year diminished to a very small size ; and that, in young 
males especially, they are drawn into the pelvis by the contraction of the 
muscles. A friend, who was a strenuous believer in this spiteful propen- 
sity ascribed to the squirrel, was induced to test the truth of the theory 
by examining a suitable number of squirrels of this species. He ob- 
tained in a few weeks upwards of thirty males ; in none of these had any 
mutilation taken place. Two however out of this number were trium- 
phantly brought forward as evidence of the correctness of the general 
belief On examination it appeared that these were young animals of 
the previous autumn, with the organs perfect, but concealed in the man- 
ner above stated. 

It is generally believed that this species lays up a great hoard of food 
as a winter supply ; it may however be reasonably doubted whether it 
IS very provident in this respect. The hollow trees in which these Squir- 
rels shelter themselves in winter are frequently cut down, and but a very 
smsll supply of provisions has ever been found in their nests On fol 
lowing their tracks in the snow, they cannot be traced to any hoards 
buried in the ground. We have sometimes observed them during a warm 
day in winter coming from great distances into the op.>n fields, in search 
of a few dry hickory nuts which were still left suspended on the trees 
If provisions had been laid up nearer home, they would hardly have un- 
dertaken these long journeys, or rxi)osed themselves to so much dan-er 
in seekmg a precarious supply. In tact, this speeies, in cold elimat^es 
seldom leaves its nest in winter, except on a warm sunny dav; and in i 
state of inactivity and partial torpidity, it requires but little food. 

Although this Sciuirrel is at particular seasons of the year known to 
search for the krva; of different insects, which it greedily devours it feed, 
principally on nuts, seeds, and grain, which are periodically sought for 



by rill the species of tin?; genus ; among these it seems to prefer the shell- 
hark, {Carija nlfxi,) and several species of hickory nuts, to any other kind of 
food. Even when the nuts are so Rreen as to afford scarcely any nourisli- 
ment, it may be seen ffnawing off the thick pericarp or outer shell, 
which drops in small particles to the ground like rain, and then with its 
lower incisors it makes a small linear opening in the thinnest part of tlie 
shell immediarely over the kernel. When this part has been extracted, 
it proceeds to another, till in an incredibly short space of time, the nut 
is cut longitudinally on its four sides, and the whole kernel picked out, 
leaving the dividing portions of the hard shell untouched. 

At the season of the year when it feeds on unripe nuts, its paws and 
egs are tinged by the juices of the shells, which stain them an ochrey-red 
colour, that wears off, however, towards spring. 

Were this species to confine its depredations to the fruit of th;, hickory, 
chesnut, beech, oak and maple, it would be less obnoxious to the far- 
mer ; but unfortunately for the peace of both, it is fond of the green 
Indian-corn and young wheat, to which the rightful owner imagines him- 
self to have a prior claim. A war of exte-mination consequently ensues, 
and various inducements have been held out at different times to tempt 
the gunner to destroy it. In Pennsylvania an ancient law existed olTer- 
ing three pence a head for every squirrel destroyed, and in one year (174G) 
the sum of eight thousand pounds was paid out of the treasury in pre- 
miums for the destruction of these depredators. This was equal t 
040,000 individuals killed. In several of the Northern and Western States 
the inhabitants, on an appointed day, are in the habit of turning out on 
what is called a squirrel hunt. They arrange themselves under opposite 
leaders, each party being stimulated by the ambition of killing the 
greatest number, and fastening on the other the expense of a plentiful 
supper. The hunters range the forest in every direction, and the ac 
counts given us of the number of squirrels brought together at the 
evening rendezvous are almost incredible. 

In addition to the usual enemies of this species in the Northern States, 
such as the weasel, fox, lynx,&c., the red-tailed hawk seems to regard it 
as his natural and lawful prey. It is amusing to see the skill and dex- 
terity exercised by the hawk in the attack, and by the squirrel in at- 
tempting to escape. When the hawk is unaccompanied bv his mate, he 
finds it no easy matter to secure the little animal : unles s the latter be 
pounced upon whilst upon the ground, he is enabled by dodging and 
twisting round a branch to evade the attacks of the hawk for an hour 
or more, and frequently worries him into a reluctant retreat. 

But the red-tails learn by experience that they are most certain of this 



prey when hunting in couples. The male is frequently accompanied by 
his mate, especially in the breeding season, and in this case the Squirrel 
is soon captured. The hawks course rapidly in o|)posite directions 
above and below the branch ; the attention of the Squirrel is thus di- 
vided and distracted, and before he is aware of it the talons of one of 
the hawks are in his back, and with a shriek of triumph the rapacious 
birds bear him off, either to the aerie in which their young are deposit- 
«'d, to some low branch of a tree, or to a sheltered situation on the 
ground, where with a suspicious glance towards each other, occasionally 
hissing and grumbling for the choice parts, the hawks devour their prey. 
This species of squirrel has occasionally excited the wonder of the po- 
pulace by its wandering habits and its singular and long migrations. 
Like the lemming {Lemmtis i\()rrc<ricu.\) of the Eastern continent, it is 
stimulated either by scarcity of food, or by some other inexplicable 
instinct, to leave its native haunts, and seek for adven'ures or for food in 
some (to it) unexplored portion of our land. 

The newspapers from the West contain many interesting details ol 
these migrations; they appear to have been more frequent in former 
years than at the present time. The farmers in the Western wilds re- 
gard them with sensations which may be compared to the anxious ap- 
prehensions of the Eastern nations at the flight of the devouring locust. 
At such j)oriods. which usually occur in autumn, the Squirrels congregate 
in (lilferent districts of the far North-west; and in irregular troops bend 
their way instinctively in an eastern direction. Mountains, cleared 
fields, the narrow bays of some of our lakes, or our broad rivers, present 
no unconquerable impediments. Onward they come, devouring on their 
way every thing that is suited to their taste, laying waste the corn 
and wheat-fields of the farmer ; and as their numbers are thinned by the 
gun, the dog, and the club, others fall in and fill up the ranks, till they oc- 
casion infinite mischief, and call forth more than empty threats of ven- 
geance. It is often inquired, how these little creatures, that on coni- 
mon occasions have such an instinctive dread of water, are enabled to 
cross broad and rapid rivers, like the Ohio and Hudson tor instance. It 
has been asserted by authors, and is believed by many, that they carry 
to the shore a suitable piece of bark, and seizing the opportunity of a 
favourable breeze, seat themselves upon this substitute for a bc,^:, hoist 
their broad tails as a sail, and float safely to the opposite shore. This 
together with many other traits of intelligence ascribed to this species, 
we suspect to be apocryphal. That they do migrate at irregular, and oc- 
casionally at distant periods, is a fact sufficiently established ; but in the 
only two instances in which we had opportunities of witnessing tlie .-.i 


NouriiKUN cuAV sQimmEi. 

Uiiilioiis of (hcsr Siiuirrrls, it iiiipciircd (o us, ;iiat flicy wrro not onlj 
•iiiskiU'iil sailors liiit clumsy swiuuucrs. One ol" llirsc occiisioiis. (iis fur 
us our rcrollfcliiiu serves ns). wiis in llie aiKunm of INOH or IHOII; iroopv 
of Siiuirre-is suildenly aii<i uiie\i)e('leilly Mi.ide llieir a|i|ii'aran. e in lliv 
nei>;liliourlioo»l ; auiouK IIu'im were varieties not previously seen in tliost 
parts; some were l)rou(IIy striped witli yi'llow en the sides, and a lev 
had a l)!aek stripe on eaeli side, hordered with yellow or lirown, re 
semhiinj; the stripes on the sides of the Hudson's IJay Sipiirrel, (S. Itiid 
xoiliiis.) They swam the Hudson in various pliers hetweeii Watei 
ford and Saratojia; those wliieh we observed erossinn the river were 
swinuniiiij deep and awkwardly, their bodies aii.l tails wludly sub- 
merjied; several that had been drowned were carried downwards by tlm 
stream; and those which were so fortunate as to reach the opposite bank 
were so wet and fatijrued, that the boys stationed there with clubs found 
no dilliculty in securing them alive or in killini; them. Their mij^rations 
on that occasion flid not. as far as we could learn, extend farther east- 
ward than the mountains of Vermont; many remained in the county ol 
l{ens<elaer, and it r«>markcd that for several years afterwards sipiirrola 
weie far more mmierous there than before. It is doubtful whetherawy 
ever return to the West, as, tindin^j: forests .and food suited to their tastti 
and habits, thev take up their permanent residence in their newly explor- 
ed counlry, where they remain and i)ropaji;ate their species, imtil they 
are gradually thiimed oil' by the increase of in!iab'lants, new clcurinK.s, 
and the dexterity of the si)ortsmcn around them. The other instance oc- 
curr(>(l ill ISli). when we were desctMidin;,' the Ohio river in a llat-boal, or 
ark. chielly with the intention of seeking,' for birds then unknown tc us. 
About oii(> hundred miles below ("iiiciiinati, as we were lloatiufj; down 
the stream, we observed a lar««^ number of S(piirrcls swimming a' »ss 
the river, and we eontimicd to see them at various places, until we i. ad 
ne.irlv reached Smithlaiid, a town not more than about oiui hundred 
miles above the mouth of the Ohio. 

At times they were strewed, as it were, over the surface of the water, 
and some of them beiiiij: fatigued, souj^ht a few^ inomeiits' rest on our lonj? 
".ste- .inir oar." which huiiiX into the water in a slanting direction over 
♦lie st(>rn of our boat. The boys, aloiiic tla^ sliores and in boats, were kill- 
iiiil the S(iuirrels with clubs in i,Mval numbers, altlioii^di most of them got 
safe across. Alter they had rt<ached the shore we saw some of them 
trimminsi their fur on the fences or on lo^s of drill-wood. 

We kept some of these Sijuinvls alive; they were fed with hickory 
nuts, pecans, and jirouiid or p<'a-nuts, {Ar/ivliis /i!/p(m.(r(/.) Immediately 
alter eatin" a- much as suliieed for a meal, lliey hid away the remaiiidei 


brncath tlir straw and cntUm at tlic Ixttforn of tJuiir ca^r in t\ little heap. 
A vriy turiw and nvi\t\v oiw wv hiul in a room at Slii|,|,inm»ort, nfiar 
Louisvillr, Ki-ntucky, oik-, iiiKlit ate its way into a hurcau, in which wo 
had a .juaiitity of arwriin in powder, and (Hcd n-tt morning a vi.-lim to 
curiosity or app.-litr, prohahly th« latter, for tho bureau also contained 
sumo wheat. 


ThlN speeifis exists as far to the; north as Hudson's Flay. It was for- 
in<-rly very cotnmon in the lVew-Rn«land States, and in their lejist cul- 
tivated districts is still frequently met with. It is abundant in New- York 
anil in the nn>untainous porliotis of Pennsylvania. We have observed it 
on tJH! nt.rtlicrn mountains (.f Vir^iniii, and we obtained several speci- 
mens on tlie Upper Missouri. The black variety is more abundant in 
Upper Canada, in tin- western part of Nev York, and in the States of 
Ohio and Indiana, than (dsewhere. The Nr.rthern Gray S<piirrel does 
not exist in any of its varieties in South Carolina, (Jeoricia, Florida, or 
Alabama; and ainony; s|.ecimeiis sent t«» us from Louisiana, stated to in- 
clude all the .squirrels existiuy in that State, we did no* discover this 


There exists a strong general resemblance amonp: all our species of 
this fjenus, and it is therefore not surprising that there should have been 
Kreat difficulty in tindinp: characters to designate the various species. In 
the museums we examined in F'lurope, we observed that several species 
had been confoimded, and \vr, were every where told by the eminent 
naturalists with whom we conversed on the subject, they coul'' find 
no characters by which the difTcTent species could be distinguished. 
Th(! little Carolina Gray S(|uirr(!l was first described by Desma- 
REHT, who created a confusion amone; the various species of this genus, 
which is almost inextricable, confounded three species — the Northern 
Gray Squirrel, the Southern Carolina Squirrel, and the Cat-squirrel— under 
the name of .Sfr. cinereus, and CT\e them the diminutive size often inches 
sir lines. His article was literally translated by Hari.«n, including the 
measurements, (Desm., Mamm., p. 332; Harlan's Fauna, p. 173,) and he 
also apparently blended the three species — S cinereus, S. mifrratorius, 
and S. Carolinrusis. Godman ealhul the Northern species S. Carolinemis, 
and TiEcoNTK,, who nppenrs to ha\e had a more correct view of the species 
peaerally than all previous authors, (see Appendix to McMcktrik's trans 





latioii of f'dviER, vol. i., p. 433,) regarded the Carolina and the Northern 
Gray Squirrel as identical. 

In 1833 and 1834 Gapper. (Zoological Journal, vol. v., p. 201,) found in 
Upper Canada an individuaf, of what we suppose to be a variety of the 
Northern Gray Squirrel, with white ears, with the upper parts varied 
with mixture of white, black and ochre, and with a stripe of similar 
colour along the sides. Supposing it to be a species different from the 
common Gray Squirrel, he bestowed on it the characteristic name of Sciu- 
rus Leucotis (white eared). In our monograph of the genus Sciurus, read 
befo'e the Zoological Society, (Proceedings Zool. Soc, 1838, Op. Sup., cit., 
p. 91,) we adopted the name of Gapper, without having seen his descrip- 
tion, having been informed by competent naturalists that he had describ- 
ed this species. 

Having, however, aftervv^ards obtained a copy of the articles of Gap- 
per, and ascertained that he had described a variety that is very seldom 
met with, we were anxious to rid our nomenclature of a name which is 
very inappropriate to this species, and which is calculated constantly 
to mislead the student of nature. ^ 

Gapper compared his specimen with the Northern Gray Squirrel, and 
finding that the latter species was gray, and not of an ochreous coloui 
like the one he described, with ears not white but of the colour of the 
back, he regarded his variety as a different species. He designated the 
Northern Gray Squirrel as the Carolina Squirrel, the difference between 
the Northern and Southern Gray Squirrels not having been pointed out 
till it was done in our monograph lour years afterwards. 

As a general rule, we adhere to the views entertained by naturalists 
that it is best to retain a naiae once imposed, however inappropriate, 
unless likely to propagate injportant errors; in the present instance, 
however, we propose the name ofS. migratorius, as applicable to the 
A'ide-ranging habits of this Squirrel, it being the only one in our country 
that appears to possess this peculiarity. 

The name hucotis is appropriate only to the Southern Fox-squirrel, 
which has permanently, and in all its varieties, white ears. 

We have been somewhat at a loss where to place the species given as 
the Fox-squirrel, .V. imlpinns of Dekav, (see Nat. Hist. New-York, p. 59,) 
and have marked our quotation with a doubt. His description does not 
apply very well lo ihe Pennsylvania Fox-squirrel, {S. cincretis,) of which 
Gmelin's S. vnlpiims is only a synonyme. He states indeed, " We suspect 
that GonMAN's Fox-squirrel as well as his Cat-squirrel, nre varieties only 
of the Hooded-squirrel. and not to be referred to our Northern animal." 
We hav'\ in our article on S. cinereus, noticed the errors conlf-ned in the 



above quotation, and only allude to it here as a possible clue to the spe- 
cies he had in view, viz., "not the species" given by Godman as S. cine- 
reus, but another that agrees with the Northern Gray Squirrel " in every 
particular except the size." He further adds, that "its habits and geo- 
graphical distribution are the same as in the preceding," meanin- the 
Northern Gray Squirrel. ° 

He evidently has reference to a larger species of the Gray Squirrel as 
existing in the same localities, with "the hair on the posterior surface 
of the ears projecting two lines beyond the margins," differing from the 
species he had just described as the Northern Gray Squirrel, which he 
characterized as having ears " covered with short hairs ; no pencil of 
hairs at the tips." Although his figure resembles in several particulars 
that of the Cat-squirrel, (S. cinereus,) parts of his description and his ac- 
count of the habits seem more appropriate to the tufted winter speci- 
mens of the present species. The appearance of the ears in specimens 
obtamed in winter and summer pelage differs so widely that we our- 
selves were for many years misled by the tufts and large size of the old 
in winter. We recollect that in our school-boy days we were in the habit 
of obtaining many specimens of the Gray Squirrel during summer and 
autumn, which answered to the description of S. migratorius. havin- their 
ears clothed with short hairs which did not project beyond the margins 
on the posterior surface. During the following winter, however, we oc- 
casionally caught in a steel-trap a specimen much larger, very 'fat and 
with ears tufted like that described as S. vulpinus ; and we prepared the 
specimens under an impression that a new species had made its appear- 
ance in the neighbourhood. The following summer, however, we pro- 
cured in that locality no other than the common Grav Squirrel destitute 
of the fringes on the ears. We now resorted to a different mode of solv- 
mg the problem. We obtained several young Northern Gray S.juirrels 
which we kept in cages ; during the first winter their ears underwent no 
particular change. But in the month of December of the second year 
when they had become very fat and had grown considerably larger' 
their ears on the posterior surface became fringed and exactly corres-' 
ponded with the winter specimens we had previously obtained. As we 
could not feel a perfect confidence in our own notes made more than 
thirty years ago. we recently made in,,Miries from Dr. Lkovarp of Lan- 
singburg. New- York, an accurate and ii.teili-.M.t naturalist whose an- 
swer we subjoin :-" It is considered estal.Iished bv naturalist, and 
observing sportsmen, that the Gray S(,uirrel, after the first year, has 
fringed ears in its winter peiage, and that of course there is but one spe- 
cies. Of ten prepared specimens, which I have recently examined, *-ight 





■' H i' 


w ■ 


^H['.' ^^1 

^^^^K<J ^" 





^B^ H 

r 1 





,., Slit 



have bare ears, and two (one of them being of the black variety) have 
the ears fringed ; differing in no other respect, except the general ful! r 
development of the hair, from the other specimens of their respective 
varieties. " 

We are moreover under an impression that the specimen of the North- 
ern Gray Squirrel, from which Pekay took his measurement, must have 
been a young animal. He gives head and body, eight inches : tail, eight 
inches five lines. Out of more than fifty specimens that we have mea- 
sured in the flesh, there was not one that measured less than ten inches 
in body and eleven inches in tail. 

The true S. cuiercus or iS'. vulpinus has moreover not the same.geogra- 
phical range as the Northern Gray Squirrel. It is not found in Canada, 
where the present species is common, nor in the most northerly parts of 
either New-York or the New-England States. We obtained several 
specimens from the New- York market, and as we have shown in our ar- 
ticle on S. cinereus, it is occasionally found in the southern counties of 
the State ; but it is a very rare species north and east of Pennsylvania, 
and is principally confined to the Middle and some of the South-western 

The Northern Gray Squirrel (-S. migrntorius) may be easily distinguish 
ed from the Carolina Gray Squirrel {S. carolinensis) by its larger size, 
broader tail, and lighter gray colours on the sides, and by its smaller 
persistent tooth. 

S. cinereus or S. vulpinus differs from this species in being a little 
longer, having a much stouter body and legs, and a longer tail. It has, 
in proportion to its size, shorter ears, which are more rounded, and 
have the tufts or fringes in winter much shorter. The fur is also 
coarser, and it has in each upper jaw but four teeth, dropping its milk- 
tooth when very young, whilst the Northern Gray Squirrel {S. migra- 
torius) has five on each side, which appear to be permanent. 




Incisive - ; Canine 

0-0 ' 

4 4 

Molar—- = 20. 

Superior incisors, on the anterior portion, smooth, cuneiform at their 
extremity ; inferior incisors, strong and compressed. 

Molars, compound, with flat crowns, variously modified by plates of 
enamel, between which are depressed intervals. 

Head, strong; snout, thick and tumid ; ears, short and round; tongue 
bristled with spiny scales; fore-feet, four-toed; hind-feet, five-toed; all 
the toes armed with powerful nails. 

Spines on the body, sometimes intermixed with hair ; tail, moderately 
long, in some species of the genus, prehensile. 

Herbivorous, feeding principally on grain, fruits, roots, and the bark 
ut trees— dig holes in the earth, or nestle in the hollows of trees. 

The generic name is derived from the Greek word, J<rT^,g, {hustrix,) a 
porcupine— •», (hus,) a hog, and «^g, {ihrix,) a bristle. 

There are two species in North, and three in South America, one in 
Southern Europe, one in Africa, and one in India. 


Canada Porcupfne. 


H. spinus brevibus, vellere sublatentibus ; sine jubea ; capita et colio 
sefis longis vestitis ; colore inter fulvum et nigrum variante. 


Spines, short, partially concealed by long hair; no mane; long bristles 
m the head and neck ; colour, varying keiwcen Ught-bnmi and black. 

i \ 




Hystrix P1LO8U8 Amerioanus, Catcsby, Cuv., App., p. 30, 1740. 
The PoRCUi'iNE from Hudson's Hav, Edwards' Birds, j) 52. 
Uystrix IIi'DsoNius, IJrissoii, Ri'gm^ Animal, p. 128. 
Hystrix Dorsata, Linn., Syst., Edwards, xii., p. 57. 
" " Erxlcbcn, p. 345. 

" " Schreber, Siiugetliieri!. p. 605. 

L'Urson, Buflon, vol. xii., p. 420. 

Canada Pokoupink, Forst , I'hil. Trans., vol. Ixii., p. 374. 
<• " Peini., (iuadrupeds, vol. ii., p. 126. 

'< " Arctic Zoology, vol. i., p. 100. 

The PoKCUi'iNK, Hcarne's Journal, p. 381. 
EuKTiiizoN DousATi'M. V. Ciiv., in Mom. du Mus., ix.. t. 20. 
Pohc-Epic Vkm', Cuv , H(-gn" Animal, i., p. 20!>. 
Hystrix Dorsata, Sabine, Fianklin's .lourn., p. C04. 
" Harlan, Fauna, p. 109. 
<< " Godman, Nat. Hist., vol. ii., p. 160. 

" PiLOsus, Rich., Fauna Horcali Americana, p. 214. 
HuDsoNius, Dekay, Nat. Hist. New-York, p. 77. 


The body of this species is thick, very broad,, and to a high 
degree elumsy. The back is much arched in a curve from the nose to 
the buttocks, when it declines in an angle to the lail. 

The whole upper surface of the body from the nose to the extremity of 
the tail is covered by long and rather coarse hair, intermixed with a 
dense mass of spines or (juills. These are of a cylindrical shape, very 
sharp at the extremity and pointed at the roots. The animal is capable 
of erecting them at pleasure, and they are detached by the slightest 
touch ; they arc barbed with numerous smiill reversed points or prickles, 
which, when once inserted in the flesh, will by the mere movement of the 
limbs work themselves deeper into the body. There seems to be in cer- 
tain parts of the body of this species a regular gradation from hair to 
spines ; on the nose for instance, the hair is rather soft, a little higher up 
it is succeeded by bristles intermixed with small spines. These spines 
continue to lengthen on the hinder parts of the head, to increase in size 
on the shoulders, and are longer and inon^ rigid on the buttocks and 
thighs. In specimens of old animals, the whole upper surface of the 
body is covered by a mass of (piills, with thin tufts of long hairs, six 
inches in length, on the Ibrehead, shoulders, and along the sides. 

Head, rather small for the size of the animal, and very short; nose, 
truncated, broad, tiattish above, and tcrmin.-iting .'ibruptly. The eyes are 



lateral and small; ears, small, rounded, covered bv shor. r„r „ . 
caled .,y ,hc adjoining ,o„, hair ; ineiso;, large and st:. ""' 

l-t'f(s, very sliort and rather stont • fliw« t,.i„.„i i i 
mode,.,.,..,,. „rc„cd, „„„ „l ,„„:rt'„l7'' '""">■ '""^- "-P---. 

There are tufts of hair ,i,ua.c,l between tl,e ,„e,; palm, naked ^nd 
nearly a,, , , „„, ,„,„„„,„^^^ „^ ^^^ ^__^^_^. ^^ -J^^ alfc r Z 

lees, Ihe »oeond, eounhng from the inside, lo,i™t the tl,:„l . .? 
™«ner, the „r.,t a size U», and the h.nrth' ™S. n h hil S 
*ere are „,„ . ,^ „,,„, eerre,p„„di„, ,„ ,h„,„ „„" ^ ;;;:,' 

Tl r, are .„ th.ekly and hroadly arranged along the side, ofthe ol"; 

hat they g,ve a great apparent breadth to the llK,t, enabling tbi, elum,v 

Ike the hear presses on the earth throughont the whole h.ith „|- 
"los. Ta,l short and thiek, eovere.l above with spines, ben™ h with 
Ug r,g„l l,a,rs; when walking or elimbing, 1. i, ,„,L ;„,„ J^^ 
Four tnamm.T, fill ponloral. upvvarus. 

Whilst, fho vvhol,. upper .surface of the body is covered with spines the 
under surface is clothed with hair intermix^, with fur of a soZ "^^^^ 
To ha,r on the throat and under the belly is rather soft ; alon, the dt 
it as longer and coarser, and under the tail appears like strong bristles 


Incisors, deep orange; whole upper surface, blackish-brown, inter- 

persed v, ,h long hairs, many of them being eight inches in engU • 

hese hau.s are for four-fifths of their length dark-brown, with the points 

rom one to two inches white. There are also long white hairs in ^ 

spewed under the ,bn-.egs, on the chest, and along the sides of the t^ 

The sp„,es or .,u.ll,s, which vary in length from one to four inches are 

or bl.t, k , irequently brown, and occasionally white. On some speci- 

oXt th '"''^^•^''^'^'^"^ ^'"^'''l>^ present a speckled appearance, 
owmg to the preponderance of the long white quills tipped with black 
The and the whole under surface are dark brown. 

There .s m this species a considerable difference both in size and 
colour o( different specimens. 

ver to the above and to the figure on our plate. Another 
....h w. <.ta„,ed at Fort Union on the Mis.souri, is o,' enormous size.' 
™u..„g ,h,,.,een across the back ; the long hairs on the shoulders 
lonluad, .,.,1 .„!,,o, ,,i.i,h, ,,.,, ii^j, ,Hiowisl.-brown. whilst anotlu.; 




specimen from the same locality, which appears to be that of a young 
animal, is (lull white, wilh brown nose, ears and rump. In every speci- 
men, however, the hairs on the hips, upper surface of tail, and under 
surface of body, are dark blackish-brown. In all these cases, it is the 
Ions, overhanging, light-coloured hairs, that give the general whitish 


The difference between these ! lecimens is so striking, that whilst 
those from Lower Canada may be described as black, the others from the 
far West may be designated as light-gray. Except in size and colour, 
there are no especial marks of difference. 






Length of head and body . - - - 

Tail, (vertebra-) 

Tail, to end of fur 

Breadth of nose ' 

From heel to longest nail - - " ■ ^i 

We possess one specimen a little larger than the above, and several 
that are considerably smaller. 


The Canada Porcupine, of all North American quadrupeds, possesses 
the strangest peculiarities in its organization and habits. In its move- 
ments it is the most sluggish of all our species. Although the skunk is 
slow of foot, he would prove no contemptible competitor with it in a trial 
of speed. Under such circumstances the inquiry arises, what protection 
has this animal against the attacks of the wolverene, the lynx, the 
wolf, and the cougar? and how long will it be before it becomes total- 
ly exterminated ? But a wise Creator has endowed it with powers by 
which it can bid defiance to the whole ferine race, the grizzly bear 
not excepted. If the skunk presents to its enemies a formidable battery, 
that stifles and burns at the same time, tlie Porcupine is clothed in 
an impervious coat of mail bristling with bayonets. 

We kept a living animal of this kind in a cage in Charleston fur six 
months, and on many occasions witnessed the manner in which it arrang- 
ed its formidable spines, in order to prove invulnerable to the attacks 

of its enemies. 

It was occasionally let out of its cage to enjoy the benefit oi a pro- 
menade in the garden. It had become very genth^ and evinced no sp.te- 
fu' propensities: when we called toil, holding in our hand a tempting 



7TuT ^ , ■ "; '^I^I''^\" r"'^ *-" '^« head slowly towards us, and 
ZtZ ,r''/"\"'^^'"^ ''f ' -d then with stately steps advance 
and take the fruit from our hand. It then assumed an upright posi- 
on and conveyed the potatoe or apple to Its mouth with its paws. 
If It found the door of our study open, it would march in, and gently 
approach us. rubbing its sides against our legs, and looking up at us 
as If supplicating for additional delicacies. We frequently plac^ued 
•t m order to try its temper, but it never evinced any spirit of re- 
sentment by raising its bristles at us; but no sooner did a dog make 
h.s appearanee, than in a moment it was armed at all points in defence 
It would bend us nose downward, erect its bristles, and by a threatening 
sKleway movement of the tail, give evidence that it was ready for the 

A large, fepocious. and exceedingly troublesome mastiff, belongin.^ to 
he neighbourhood, had been in the habit of digging a hole under^he 
fence and entenng our garden. Early one morning we saw him making 
a dash at some object in the corner of the fence, which proved to be our 
Porcupme. had during the night made its escape from the cage. 
The dog seemed regardless of all its threats, and probably supposing it 
to be an animal not more formidable than a cat, sprang upon it with 
open mouth. The Porcupine seemed to swell up in an ilan't to nei: y 
double ts size and as the dog pounced upon it, it dealt him such a side- 
wise lateral blow with its tail, as to cause the mastilTto relinquish his hold 

and"?' ^1 7 : '""' '""' " ^" ^^'"^ «' P^'"- "''^ --^h, tongue, 

and nose, were full of porcupine quills. He could not close his jkws bu 

hurried open-mouthed out of the premises. It proved to him a lesso; fo,- 
life, as nothing could ever afterwards induce him to revisit a place 
where he had met with such an unneighbourly reception. Although the 
servants immediate^ extracted the spines from the mouth of the dog 
we observed that his head was terribly swelled for several weeks a^ 
terwards, and it was two months before ho finally recovered 

C.H.vv„io„., (Journal, vol. ii., p. 59,) gives a description of the destruc- 
tive habits of the Porcupine, which in many particulars i. so much in 
accordance with our own observation, that we will present it to o^" 

"The Porcupine readily climbs trees; for which purpose he is furnish- 

I belle! ^T'd "' '""^^ ' '^'"' ^" ''' '''"''-'' -"^" '^ --"^« '"^o ^ i 
beheye he does not come down until he has eaten the bark from th,: 

top to the bottom. He generally makes his course through the wood n 

a. straight direction, seldom missing a tree, unless such a^ are old l" 

loves young ones l,.s.. and devours so muel, (only eating the inner part 


I ^! 



of the rin(l) that I have frequently known one Porcupine ruin nearly a 
hundred trees in a winter. 

« A man who is acquainted with the nature of these animals will sel 
dom miss fmdins them when the snow is on the ground. If he can but 
hit upon the rinding of that winter, by making a circuit around the bark- 
ed trees he will soon come on his track, unless a very deep snow should 
have chanced to fall after his last ascent. Having discovered that, he 
will not be long ere he find the animal." 

In reference to the manner in which the Porcupine defends itself with 
its nuills, he makes the following observations : " It is a received opinion 
that a Porcupine can dart his quills at pleasure into a distant object, 
but I venture to affirm that this species cannot, (whatever any other may 
do,) for I have taken much pains to discover this fact. On the approach 
of'danger he retreats into a hole, if possible, but where he cannot find 
one he seizes upon the best shelter that ofliers, sinks his nose between his 
fore-legs, and defends himself by a sharp stroke of his tail, or a sudden 
jerk of his back. As the quills are bearded at their i)oints and not deeply 
rooted in the skin, they stick firmly into whatever they penetrate ; great 
care should be taken to extract them immediately, otherwise by the mus- 
cular motion of the animal into which they are stuck, enforced by the 
beards of the quills, they soon work themselves quite through the part; 
but I ncN er perceived the puncture to be attended with any worse symp 
toms than that of a chirurgical instrument." 

We had on three occasions in the northern and western parts of New 
York opportunities of witnessing the effects produced by the persevering 
efi'orts of this species in search after its simple food. In travelling 
through the forest from Niagara to Louisville a few years ago, we passed 
through two or three acres of ground wiiere nearly all the young trees 
had on the previous winter been deprived of their bark, and were as per- 
fectly killed as if a fire had passed through them. We were informed by 
our coachman, that in driving through this place during the winter he 
had on several occasions seen the Porcupine on one of these trees, and 
that he believed all the mischief had been done by a single animal. We 
perceived that it had stripped every slippery elm (Wm».v/«/r«) in the 
neighbourhood, left not a tree of the bass wood {Tilin glahrn) alive, but 
had principally fensted on the hemlock, {Ahks Canmknsis.) 

Mr. .T Cr. Bei-l, one of our companions in our recent journey to the 
West, met with some Porcupines that resorted to a ravine, in which about 
a hundred cotton- wood trees {Populus anirulotus) were standing, thnt 
had been denuded of both the bark and leaves. They had remamed m 
this locality until they had eaten not only the tender branches, but had 



devoured the bark of some of the largest trees, by which they killed 
nearly every onr. They then were ''orced in their own defence to remove 
to new quarters. Wo were informed -that in a similar to the one 
just spoken of, no less than thirteen Porcupines were killed in a single 
season by a young hunter. 

On a visit to the western portion of the county of Saratoga, New- York 
mthe winter of 1813, a farmer residing in the vicinity carried us in his 
sleigh to show us a Porcupine which he had frequently seen durin- the 
wmter, assuring us that he could find it on the very tree where he 
had observed it the previous day. We were disappointed, finding that 
It had deserted the tree ; we however traced it in the snow by a well 
beaten path, which it seeme.l to have used daily, to a beech tree not 
far distant, which we cut down, and at the distance of twenty feet from 
the root we found the object of our search in a hollow part It 
growled at us, and was particularly spiteful towards a small dog that 
was with us. Our friend killed it by a blow on the nose, the only vul- 
iierable part as he informed us. It seemed to have been confined to a 
space of about two acres of ground through the winter. It had fed prin- 
cipally on hemlock bark, and had destroyed upwards of a hundred trees. 
The observations made on this occasion incline us to doubt the correct- 
ness of the statement that the Canada Porcupine does not leave a tree 
until It has eaten off all the bark, and that it remains for a week or more 
on the same tree; we were on the contrary led to suppose that the indi 
vidual we have just spoken of, retired nightly to its comfortable domicilt- 
and warm bed in the hollow beach, in which we discovered it. 

The Porcupine we kept in Charleston did not appear very choice in 
regard to its food. It ate almost any kind of vegetable we presented to 
It. We gave it cabbages, turnips, potatoes, apples, and even bread, and 
It usually cut to pieces every thing we placed in the cage that it could 
not consume. We had a tolerably large sweet bay tree (Lauras nohilis) 
in the garden ; the instant that we opened the door of the cage the Por- 
cupine would make its way to this tree, and not only feed greedily on its 
bark, but on its leaves also. When it had once fixed itself on a tree it 
was exceedingly difficult to induce it to come down, and our efforts to 
<orce It from the tree were the only provoctives by which it could be 
made to growl at us. We occasionally heard it during the night, utter- 
ing a shrill note, that might be called a low querulous shriek. 

As the spring advanced, we ascertained that the constitution of our 
poor Porcupine was not intended for a warm . limate ; when the hot 
weather came on, it suffered so much that we wished it back again in its 
Canadian wilds. It would lie panting in its cage the whole day, seemed 






restless and miserable, lost its appetite and refused food. We one even- 
ing placed it on its favourite bay tree ; it immediafely commenced gnaw- 
injjf the bark, which we supposed a favourable symptom, but it fell off 
during the night, and was dead before morning. 

Whilst on the Upper Missouri river in the year 1813, as our com- 
panion, Mr. J. G. Bell, was cautiously making his way through a close 
thicket of willows and brush-wood in search of a fine buck elk, that he 
with one of our men had seen enter into this cover when they were at 
least a mile distant, he could not avoid cracking now and then a dry 
stick or fallen branch. He could iiot see more than ten paces in any 
direction, from the denscness of the thicket, and, as he unfortunately trod 
upon a thicker branch than usual which broke with a crash, the elk 
brushed furiously out of the thicket, and was gone in a moment, making 
the twigs and branches rattle as he dashed them aside with (shall we 
say) " telegraphic " rapidity. Mr. Bell stood motionless for a minute, 
\vhen as he was about to retreat into the open prairie, and join his com- 
|)anion after this unsuccessful termination of the elk hunt, his eyes were 
fixed by an uncouth mass on the ground almost at his feet ; it was a 
Porcupine ; it remained perfectly still, and when he approached did 
not attempt to retreat. Our friend was rather perplexed to know how to 
treat an enemy that would neither " fight nor fly," and seizing a large 
stick, he commenced operations by giving the Porcupine (which must 
have been by thi^ time displeased at least, if not " fretful,") a severe 
blow with it on the nose. The animal immediately concealed the in- 
jured organ, and his whole head also, under his belly ; rolling himself 
up into a ball, with the exception of his tnil, which he occasionally jerked 
about and flirted upwards over his back. lie now remained still again, 
and Mr. Bell drew a good sized knife, with which he tried 'o kill him 
by striking at his side so as to avoid the points <*f the quilis as much as 
he could. This fresh attack caused the Porcupine to make violent efforts 
to escape, ne seized hold of the branches or roots within reach of his fore- 
i'eet, and pulled forwards with great force ; Mr. Bell then placed his 
gun before him, which stopned him ; then finding he could not lay hold 
of him nor capture him in any other way, he drew his ramrod, which had 
a large screw at the end for wiping out his gun, and commenced screwing 
it into the Porcupine's back. This induced the poor animal again to 
make violent efforts to escape, but by the aid of the screw and repeated 
thrusts with the kiiit'e, he soon killed the creature. 

lie was now anxious to rejoin his com|)anion, but did not liketorelin- 
riuish his game ; he therefore, not thinking it advisable to stop and skin 
it on the spot, managed to tie it by the fore-legs, and then dragged it on 



file ground after him until he arri\ed at the spot where the hunter was 
impatiently waitins; for him. Hei-e he skinned the Porcupine, and turn- 
ed the skin entirely inside out, so that the quills were all vJithin, and 
then no longer fearing to handle the skin, it was secured to the saddle of 
his horse, and the carcass thrown away. 

A Porcupine that was confined for some time in the garret of a build- 
ing in Br. -Iway, New-Yorlc, in which Peale's Museum was formerly 
kept, made its escape by gnawing a hole in a corner of the garret and 
(as was supposed,) got on to the roof, from whence it tumbled into the 
Htreet, either by a direct fall from this elevation, or by pitching on to some 
Tooi m the rear of the main buildin- and thence into Murray-street. It 
was brought the next day to the museum for sale, as a great curiosity 
The man who br-ought it, of course not knowing from whence it came, 
aid that early in the morning, he (being a watchman) was attracted by 
a crowd in the Park, and on approaching discovered a strange animal 
which no one could catch ; he got a basket, however, and captured the 
beast, which he very naturally carried off to the imtck-house, thinking of 
course no place of greater security for any vagrant existed in the neigh- 

On an explanation before the keeper of the museum, instead of the 
police justices, and on payment of half a dollar, the Porcupine was a-ain 
restored to his friends. He was now, however, watched more closely, 
and bits of sheet tin were frequently nailed in difTereiit parts of the room' 
on v/hich he had a predilection lor trying his large teeth. 

We have mentioned in our article on the Canada lynx, that one ol 
those animals was taken in the woods in a dying state, owing to its 
mouth being filled with Porcupine quills. We have heard of many do-s 
some wolves, and at least one panther, that were found dead, in conle' 
quence of inflammation produced by seizing on the Porcupine. 

Its nest is found in hollow trees or in caves under rocks It pro- 
duces its young in April or May, generally two at a litter; we have 
however heard that three, and on one occasion four, had been found in 
a nest. 

The Indians residing in the North, make considerable use of the quills 
of the Porcupine; moccasins, shot-pouches, Ivaskets made of birch bark 
&c., are ingeniously ornamented with them, for which purpose they are 
dyed of various bright colours. 

The of this species is sometimes eaten, and is said to have the 
taste of flabby pork. 

The following information respecting the Porcupine was received by 
'is from our kind friend William Case, Esq., of Cleveland. Ohio. "This 






animal was several ynars since (bcforo my shootinp days) vory ahundnnl 
in this iTfjion, the CoimccliiMil Wt-sfcrn ({cscrvr ; and no umrv than ten 
years nan oi.e person killed seven or eijilit in llie eonrse of an aClernoonN 
hunt, lor sciuirrels, within tiiree or I'onr miles of this city, whih- now 
prohahly one eould not \h\ lound in a month. They are rapidly heeom- 
in>? extinct ; the chief reason is prohahly the extreme hatred all hiniters 
hear (hem on account of the injuries their 'itiills inflict on their dogs. 
They do not hihernat(% neither do 1 tliink they a^^ particularly conlincd 
to their hollow trees during the coId(!st days in winter. Their move- 
ments irom tree to tree in search of food (hrowsc; and hark) are rather 
slow and awkward: their track in i. . snow very much resemhies that of 
»\ child (with the aid of imafrination). 

"They most delisht in hrowsing and barking? young and thritVy Elms, 
fall ', are generally plenty in Elm or Bass-woad Swail." 


This species, according to Richardhon, has been met with as farnorth 
fts the IVIackenzie river, in latitude (>7°. It is found across the continent 
from Labrador to the Uocky Mountains, and is tolerably abundant in the 
woody portions of the western part of Missouri. To us this has been 
rather a rare species in the Atlantic districts ; we having seldom met 
with it in the Northern and Eastern States. It is found, however, in the 
northern and western parts of New- York, and is said to be increasing 
in some of the western counties of that State. Dr. Leonard, of Lansmg- 
burgh, recently obtained specimens from the mountains of Vermont. It 
exists sparingly in the mountains of the northern jjortion of Pennsylvania, 
and in a few localities in Ohio ; we obtained it on the TTppcr Missouri. 
T>Ewia and Clarke have net enumerated it as one of the species inhabit- 
ing the west of the Rocky Mountains. 

It does not exist in the southern parts of New-York or Pennsylvania. 

Dekay (Nat. Hist, of New-York, p. 70) states, that it is fonnd in the 

northern parts of Virginia and Kentucky. We however sought for it 

without success in the mountains of A'^irginia, and could never hear oi 

t'l existence in Kentucky. 




LI Americani magnitudine , caj.ite. auribun, ctudarjue longis ; pedu 
ousjong. mmus pilosi. quam in L. s.lvatieo ; supra fuscu!; su'btos 


».«»/(*. «br*r„ Wc; /„„,;, „»r,, „n,l ,.,:,, h„^ , f„,, fo„. ,„, 
.«. „,„, *,„. ,4 ,„ ,„»c „fU. sr.., r..m, , 4.w;„4 '„,.ru'JZ 
tsh-hrown above, white beneath. *^ 


I^i-us AuUA-ncuH, Hach.. Journal Acad. Nat. Sc, Philud vol vii „ 2 „ .,0 
read Marcli 21, 1837. ' "nau., vol. vii., p. ^, p. j^j^, 

Upus Douolasbii, var. 1. Gray. Mag.«ino Nat. Hist., London, November. 1837 


The bcciy of this .pecies i.s large, and formed both fur stren-h and 
speed; the hairs dc not hang as loosely .n the surface as of .he 
Northern hare, but lie smooth and co.npact ; the fur is coarser and more than that of the gray rabbit. 

Head, long, and moderately arched; skull, considerably larger than 
that of the Northern hare, (.. Americn.^.^ .ith a larger orbitaf cat ty 
The margms of the orbits project so as to produce a visible depression 
n the anterior part of the frontal bone ; whiskers, half the length of the 
head ; ears. long, shaped like those of the marsh-hare, clothed externalh 
with a dense coat of very short hairs ; internally, they are partialK 
covered along the margin.s, but ncare- the orifice are nearly nakel ' 

The feet bear no resemblance to those of the No.thrrn hare or those 
of the gray rabbit. Instead of being clothed, as in tho.e species with 
a compact mass of hair, they are formed like those of the m-.rsh!hare • 
the toes, when spread, leaving distinct impressions on the earth. The' 



fore-toes are long, and their claws large and considerably curved ; m. 
the, the claws are very stout and broad, nearly double the size 
ofthoseofthe Northern hare. .,.,, , ,u j 

The tail is rather long for the genus, upturned, and thickly clothed on 
both surfaces with long fur. 


Teeth yellowish- white; the whole of the upper part of the body light 
brownish-yellow, blotched on the surface with black; in the winter the 
whole of the back and the sides of tae head become brownish-black, 
with here and there a mixture of reddish-brown visible on the surface ; 
the fur beneath the long hairs is dark plumbeous, tipped with black. 
The Ion- hairs, when examined singly, are dark-blue at the roots, then 
hght buir, and are pointed with black. Behind the ears, rufous, with a 
stripe of a similar colour extending to the shoulders. A line around the 
eves light reddish-buir. Upper lip, chin, and belly, white, tinged with 
blue Nails, in a winter specimen of a young male, dark-brown ; in an 
old female procured in summer, yellowish; whiskers, black; inner sur- 
face of the ears, light grayish- ^hite ; outer surface, above, edged with 
black ; under surtace of the tail, pure white. 


(The following measurements were taken by Dr. Leb, of Alabama, 
from a specimen in the tlesh.) 

Length from point of nose to insertion of tail 

of head 

" of ears, posteriorly . - - ■ 

Height to shoulder 

Lengih of the hind-foot 

« " middle hind-claw 

" of tail (vertebra;) - - " 

" of tail, including fur - - - 
Weight of a female killed in the spring, (when suckling its young, and 
not in good condition,) Olbs. 


The'habits of this animal are very singular, diifori.ig in one remark- 
able peculiarity from those of any o.acr species of hare yet known, with 
the exception of the marsh-hare. Although the are is occa- 
sionally .een on high .round, in the de.ise lores.. .. prele.s low and 

20 inches. 
4i do. 






<: I 

marshy places, or the neighbourhood of streams and ponds of water to 
which it is fond of resorting. It swims with great facility from one little 
islet to another, and is generally found seeking its food in wet places or 
near the w.ter, as it subsists on the roots of various kinds of aquatic 
plants. .«pHniaily on a species of iris growing in the water. 

Persons wno have given us information on the subject of this hare in 
form us, that when first started, and whilst running, its tramplngs' are 
louder, and can be heard at u greater distance, than those of any other 
harp. "^ 

AS it suddenly leaps or bounds from its hiding place ere it is seen u 
IS apt to startle the rambler who has intruded upon its solitary retreat 
and he may be impressed with the belief that he has started a youn^ 
deer. When chased by dogs, the S .vamp-IIarc runs with great swiftness" 
and IS able to escape from them without difficulty; but it almost invari- 
ably directs its flight towards the nearest ponu, as if led by instinct to 
seek an element in which all traces of its scent are soon lost to its eager 
pursuers. There is a specimen of the Swamp-Hare, which we added to 
the collection of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, con- 
siderably larger than the Northern hare; this individual, on being pur- 
sued by hounds, swam twice across the Alabama river, and was not 
captured till it had finally retreated to a hollow tree. 

We have been informed that it is a very common habit of this species 
when pursued, to swim to the edge of some stream or pond, retreat be- 
neath the overhanging roots of the trees that may be growing on its bor- 
der or seek for a .ecure shelter under the hollows made by the washing 
of the banks The swiftness of foot possessed by this Hare, and the stra^ 
tagems to which it is capable of resorting, might easily enable it to elude 
pursuit but for this habit of seeking for shelter as soon as it is chased 
which IS the cause of its being frequently captured. 

When the waters in the swamps are low, it seeks the f.rst hollow tree 
where .t is easily secured. In this manner. Major Lkk inibrmed us, tha; 
mhis vicimty the boys and the domestics eaught thirty or forty in three 

The young of this hare are frequently found in nests formed of leave, 
and grasses, placed on hillocks in the swamps, or in the hollow of some 
alien tree. We have been informed timt it produces young at least 
twice in a season, and from four to six at a litter. 


We have not heard of the existence of this animal to the oast or nortn 
of the Stale ol Alaban.a. but it is numerous in all the sw.unp, „| uu- 




i i 


western part of that State, is still more abundant in the Slate of Missis- 
sipi)i, and in the lower part of Louisiana, and is frequently brought by 
the Indians to the ninrUet of New Orleans. It was also obtained in 
Texas by Douoimss and by J. W. Audubon. Gray states that it exists in 
Cnlii'ornia ; we have how<'ver carefully inquired into the history of the 
specimen in the British Museum, which was received after the melan- 
choly death of Douolash, and have reasor to believe that the label was 
accidentally misplaced, and that it came from the eastern portion of 


Although all our hares bear a stronj]; resemblance to each other, 
particularly in their sunun»'r colours, yet all hav(; dKlerent marks, by 
which they can, with a little attention, be distiiifi;uished. The present 
species, in its colour on the upper surface and in its aquatic habits, is 
closely assimilated to the marsh-hare ; it diliers, however, very widely in 
other respects. ' 

The Swamp-TIare is a third larger than the marsh-hare ; the largest 
specimen of the latter in more than fifty that we measured, was only 
fourteen inches long, whilst the largest Swamji-llare was twetify-two 
inches, and we are i-.formed that it is often nuieh larger. The tail of the 
marsh-hare is exceedingly short, its verfebne being not more than an 
inch long, whilst that of the present species is two inches and an eighth, 
b-ing moio than double the length. The ears diller in the same propor- 
tion. The ui.f'er surface of the fail of tlie marsh-hare is ash-coloured 
mixed wiih brown, whilst that of \\w present species is pure white. Its 
ft>et are thinly covered with hair, an<l its toes (which are capable of 
l)eing widely spread) are well adapted to enable it to swim, and to pass 
over marshy and uuiddy places. 

The tracks of this species, a?i(l of the luarsh-hare, in the mud, leave a 
distinct impression of the foes ; whilst on the contr.ary the tracks of the 
gray rabbit, the Northern hare, and the Polar hare, exhibit no such 
tr.ices, their feet being so thickly clothed with long hair that even the 
points of the nails are scarcely ix-rccptible. The |)rescnt species is 
larger than the gray rabbit, being very nearly the size of tlu^ Northern 
tiare, which it probably exceeds in weight. Indeed, the Northern hare 
and this species, when divested of their hides, are very nearly equal in 
size; but the fur of the former being loose and long, whilst that of the 
pres«>nt species lies compact and smooth, the Northern hare appears to 
be the larger of the two. This species <lill'ers from the gray rabbit in 



other particulars; whilst the points of the hair in the latter animal be- 

''^ZfT"' " "'T' ''"' "' *' ^"^'^-P-H-^ hecome jet-black; 
whilst the gray rabbit strenuously avoids water, the present specie* 
plunges fearlessly into it, and finds it a congenial element 



Red-Bellied Squirrel. 

PLATE XXXVIIl.— Male, Femalk, and Youno. 

Sc. Caroliniano paullulum minor ; cauda corpore longiore ; vellere 
supra albo-cinereo. infra rufo, armis iuscis. 


A size smaller than the Carolina gray squirrel ; tail, longer than the 
body; light gray aboDe, reddish-brown on the shoulders, beneath, bright 



S01URU8 Ferruoinivkntris, Aud. and Bach., Jour. Acad, of Nat. Sc, Philadelphia, 
read October 6, 1841. 


This species in form bears some resemblance to the Carolina gray 
squirrel, but differs widely from it in colour. The forohead is arched ; 
nose, rather sharp, clothed with short fur ; eyes, of mo-'lerate size ; whisk- 
ers, as long as the head ; ears, rather long, broad at base, ovate in shape. 

The body is slender, seeminjjly formed for an agility equalling that of 
Sciurus Hudsonius. It is covered with a soft thick coat of fur, inter- 
mixed with longer hairs. 

The feet are rather robust. Like all the squirrels, it has a blunt nail 
in place of a thumb, and the third toe, counting from the inner side, is 
longest ; palms, nearly naked. 

The tail is long, and capable of a distichous arrangement, but the hairs 
are not very thick or bushy. 


Teeth, j^ellow ; nails, brown ; point of nose and whiskers, black ; ears, 
on the outer edges, tinged with brown, within gray ; behind the ears on 
the neck a line of dull white. On the upper surAice, the head, neck, back, 
and tail, are light gray, formed by hairs which are light plumbeous from 





nidWiitiorr, fJaUiu-bv .1 ] AuJu))..!! !■ fi.) KLS 

i.itlinVtii«lttr,,iM,v IT H,,w,.„ rtiil.Ki 

\\ i 





the roots to near the tips, where they have white and black annulations 
most of the hairs are tipped with white. From the outer surface of the 
fore-legs there is a reddish-brown tinge, which extends over the shoulders 
and nearly meets on the back, gradually fading into the colours of the 
back and neck. The hairs on the tail are black at the roots, then yel- 
lowish, succeeded by a broad line of black tipped with white. The feet 
on the upper surface are grizzled with white and black. Sides of the 
face, chin, and throat, light-gray. All the rest of the under surface of the 
body, a line around the eyes, the neck, and the inner surface of the legs, 
are of a uniform bright rufous colour. 


Length of head and body 

Height of ear, posteriorly 
Length of tarsus - 



























We are unfortunately without any information or account of the habits 
of this singularly marked and bright coloured Squirrel. We have re- 
presented three of them in our plate in different attitudes on a branch of 


Several specimens, differing a little in colour, which differences we 
have represented in our plate, were received from California ; the pre- 
cise locality was not given. 


This species should perhaps be compared with the dusky squirrel 
(S. nigrescens) of Bennet, to which it bears some resemblance. From 
the description, however, which we made of the original specimen of S. 
nigrescem, deposited in the museum of the London Zoological Society, 
we have little hesitation in pronouncing this a distinct species. 

To Sciurus socialis of Wagner, (Boitrage zur Kenntniss der warmblu- 
tigen Wirbelthiere Amerikas, p. 88, Dresden,) the present species also 
bears some distant resemblance but in some of its markings differs 
widely from Wagner's animal. 






Leopard-Sperm jphile. 

PLATE XXXIX.— Malb and Fkmale. 

Magnitudine Tamiae Lysteri ; supra striis octo longitudinalibus dilute 
fulvis cum striis novem fulvis alteniatum distributis ; harum quinque, 
stria media et duabus utrinque proximis guttis subalbidis subquadratus 


Size of the chipping-squirrel {Tamias Lysteri) ; eight pale yellowish 
brown stripes on the back, which alternch with nine broader yellowish-brow^' 
ones; the Jive uppermost being marh with a row of pale spots. 


Leopard Ground-Squirrel, Schoolcraft's Travels, p. 313, and Index, anno 1821. 
SciuRua TitiDECEM LiNKATus, Mitchlll, Med. Repository, 1821. 
Arctomys Hoodii, Sabine, Linn. Trans., vol. xiii., p. 690, 1822. 

" " Franklin's Jouiney, p. 663. 

Si'RiPED AND Si'OTTED Ground-Squikuel, Say, Long's Expedition. 
Spermoi'IUle, F. Cuvier, Hist. Nat. des Mamm. 
Arctomys Tkidecem Lineata, Harlan, Fauna, p. 164. 
Hood's Marmot, Godman, vol. ii., p. 112. 
Arctomys Hoodii, Fischer's Synopsis, p. 544. 
Spermophilus Hoodii, Less., Mamm., p. 243, 654. 

" " Desmarest, in Diet, des Sc. Nat., L. p. 139. 

" " F. Cuv. et Geoff., Mamm., fasc. 46. 

Arctomys Tridecem Lineata, Griffith, sp. 641. 
Arctomys (Spermophilus) Hoodii, Rich., Faunn Boreali Ameiicana, p. 177, pi. 14. 


In form this species bears a considerable resemblance to the very com- 
mon chipping squirrel of the Atlantic States ; by its shorter ears, how- 
ever, and by its longer nails, which are intended more for digging than 
climbing, it approaches the marmots. The head has a convex shape and 
is very much curved, especially from the forehead to the nose ; ".he nose 



is obtuse, and with ihe exception of the nostrils anrl «nn. • 
c.ered with very short hairs. The 2^^1717^ " T''""'''' 
pouches of moderate size. Whi kers Tlhtl. 1^^ u' '^' '^'''^• 

eyes, large; ears, very short, o „ l/J " Xot" 'T I ''^ '^^' ' 
hind and above the auditory ^penir. I. T ^ """ '^'"'* ^'^' ^'■ 

Hairs. The hair on the w^JC;" '^ I^.::! J^L^ ^^^^ 

LcgSi. I feet, mther slcnJer ; nail., „„c .L|„|„ u j ^: 
ndled beneath .„„„„, ,t,i, „„;„,, . "•;^; , f ,^^^ -'■«'. - eW„. 

«.. J..n.., with an „b.u,e nnil, ,he »c„n„ J, gt '(ti Z " 
moph,l«. and,,, the third, as in the sqtnrel, ■) the fir; ^ K "'"■" 
;.f e,u„, ,e„.,h, theron.h ,hor,e., an3 ren, vl, f r b ^ T ^r 

:=itt:„:t,x :J:,r,::„r/:t:er d^' "-- 



A Une around me eye and a »|>„t beneati nner und outer ,„rr , 

he legs, and the whole under part of i, . I J . !? , t 

colour ; „„ ,!,„ side, of the neck the for. '' u . ' ' ^^ '°'"''' 

the hips, there are .i:,«e, ., rSliltb^o^^rr', '""I,''""' """ "" 
.he under-j„„, are dull „,,„,. On .Te™:, ttl'""" "'',"^' """ 

sotnewhat indistinct nl.ernate strinc of , . ""^''''" "'"' 

I.ein„. an extension „, the „r^ t^Z h I I'- ."". »"'-"*-white, 
Mendin. f ,h eolo,,., ^Jr^^^^ ll^-tt' '"" *' '"-"'" 

.r:o:::r;,.":,:rr- - -- e„eh hav., 

™ns frotn the baek par. 'of the iea, , l^d I „ ; ^T; ""T', ""■"'' 
the root of the tail, is a li.tle the brUs T: " , 'f '^ '"* "">:'"'■' 
^.separated fro. each other by straight aadlutln, „'„ 'o7; ,::;T 

"cbally „„,,„,ed a bar of blaeh o^n Jatle of tt'veThl" "''^" " 


Head and body 
Tail (vertebrjt) 

H inches. 
3! fU 



Tail, to end of hair 
From heel to end of nail 
Longest claw on the fore-foot 

Measurement of an old female. 
Nose to root of tail 
Tail (vertebra') 
Tail, to end of hair - 
Fore-feet to end of claws - 
Heel to end of longest claw 
Nose to opening of ear 
Length of pouch, to angle of mouth 

Dr. Richardson measured a male that was nine inches to the insertion 
of the tail. lie remarks that the females are smaller than the males. 





















I i 


We believe it is generally supposed that "birds," with their varied 
and pleasing forms, gay and beautiful plumage, tuneful throats, and 
graceful movements through the air, present greater attractions to the 
student of nature than "quadrupeds," and awaken in him a stronger 
desire to acquire a knowledge of their natures and characters than he 
may entertain to study the habits of the mammalia. 

In addition, however, to the fact that the latter are, like ourselves, 
viviparous, and approach our own organization, it should be remem- 
bered that all the productions of nature are the work of so infinite a wis- 
dom, that they must, in every department of the physical world, excite 
our greatest interest and our admiration, even wtien examined super- 

Among 0<f quadrupeds, there are innumerable varieties of form and 
character; 'j id nlthough most animals are nocturnal, and therefore their 
habits cannf t be studied with the same facility with which the manners 
and cusloni.5 of the lively species of birds may be observed ; yet 
when we follow them in their nightly wanderings, penetrate into their 
retreats, and observe the sagacity and extraordinary instincts with which 
they are endowed, we find in them matter to interest us greatly, and 
arouse our curiosity and astonishment. 

Owls seem to us a dull and stupid race, principally because we only 
notice them during the day, which nature requirf;s them to spend in 
sleep, the structure of their eyes compelluig them to avoid the light, 
and seek concealment in hollow trees, in caves, and obscure retreat* 




But we should recollect that the diurnal birds are. during „i,hf the 
tune for he.r repose, as dull and stupid as owls are dur^g the dly 

at w 1 str k '■' '"' '^''^'"'"'^' '"'^'•^'»««' ^'^-^ -« ™-y 

The H 7' : '^ '" ■' ""'^" '''''-''''' '^•^ -"--% heautiful 

The h.tle anunal whicu i« e presented to you is one of this dr^.rin 

r gulanty of its hnes . ! ^ .,., and in the soil blendings of its various 
s adeso, colour we have evidence that even species whose hab ta 
are under ground, may present to the eye as rich and beautiful a vesture 
as ,s found ,n the garb of a majority of the lively songsters of the wIodT 
In the warm days ol spring the traveller on our Western prairies is 
often diverted i om the contemplation of larger animals, to wat h th 
movements of this lively little species. He withdraws hi; attention T 
a moment fn,m the bellowing buffalo herd that is scampering over the 
prame, to fix his eyes on a lively little creature of exc,uis=te beauty 
seated on a mound at the mouth of its burrow, which seems 
by Its ch,rrupmgs and scoldings to warn away the intruder on its peace- 
ful domams. On a nearer approach it darts into its hole ; but although 
concealed view, and out of the reach of danger, its tongue, like that 

to vent Its threats of resentment againt its unwelcome visitor by a shrill 
and harsh repetition of the word "seek— seek." 

There is a great similarity in the habits 'of the various spermophili 
that compose the mteresting group to which the present species belongs. 

They live principally on the open prairies, make their burrows in the 
earth, and feed on roots and seeds of various kinds, which they carry in 
their pouches to their dark retreats under ground. " 

The holes of this species, according to R.c„ar„son, run nearly per- 
pendicularly. and are so straight, that they will admit a stick to be in 
d;nttlf !h f '"' ^-- or five feet. He supposes that owing to the 
depth of their burrows, which the sun does not penetrate .cry early in 
spring, they do not make their appearance as early .. some others, espe- 

As soon as they feel the warmth of spring they come forth and go 
m viest of thr.r mates ; at this period they seem fearless of dan^rpr ard 
are easily captured by the beasts and birds of prey that frequen; the 
plmns. The males are said to be very pugnacious at this season. 

This IS believed to be the most active and lively of all our known of marmot-squirrels; we recently observed one in Nev-Yoric 
that playe,! in n wheel in the manner of the squirrel We saw in 



1 i 


! f 

! i 

I ! 
f ! 



Charleston a pair in a cage, that were brought from Missouri by ar 
officer of the army. They weve aduUs, had but recently been captured 
and were rather wild. They seemed to keep up a constant angrj 
querulous chattering ; ff- ■ were fed on various kinds of nuts and 
grains, but principally v leal and pea or ground-nuts, {Arachis 

kypogcea.) They would to the bars of the cage and take a nut 

from the hand, but woi "vi luen make a hasty retreat to a little box in 
the corner of their domicile. On our placing a handful of filberts in 
front of the cage, they at first came out and carried off one by one to 
their store-house ; but after we had retired so as not to be observed, 
they filled their pouches by the aid of their paws, and seemed to prefer 
this mode of transporting their provisions. As we were desirous of 
taking measurements and descriptions, we endeavoured to hold one in 
the hand by the aid of a glove, but it struggled so lustily and used its 
teeth so savagely that we were compelled to let it go. 

This species frequently takes up its residence near the fields and gar- 
dens of the settlers ; and in the neighbourhood of Fort Union and other 
places, was represented as particularly destructive to the gardens. 

We found the Leopard-Spermophile quite abundant near Fort Union, 
on the Upper Missouri. Their burrows were made in a sandy gravelly 
soil ; they were never deep or inclined il wnvvards, but ran horizontally 
within about a foot of the surface of the earth. This difference in habit 
from those observed by Richardson may be owing to the nature of the 
different soils. We dug some of their burrows and discovered that the 
holes ran in hU directions, containing many furcations. 

Richardson states that " the males fight when they meet, and in their 
contests their tails are often mutilated." All the specimens, however, 
that we obtained, were peifect and in good order. 

The Leopard-Spermophile has two more teats than are found in the 
majority of the specirs of this genus, and hence it may be expected to 
produce an additional number of young. Richardson informs us that ten 
young were taken from a female killed at Carlton House. This \nas on 
the 17th Mivy, and we from hence presume that they produce their young 
soon alter this period. 


We have not heard of the existence of this species lartlusr to the north 
tlian latitude 55°. It was found by Sav at Engineer Encampment on 
the Missouri ; we found it at Fort Union, latitude 40° 40 ; and it is said 
to extend along the prairies on the Eastern side of the Rocky Mountains 
i'ltr, Mexico. 





The name triderem limatus (thirteeA lined) is not particularly eupho- 
nious, nor very characteristic; yet as it has in conformity with long 
established usages existing among naturalists, been admitted into our 
standard works, we have concluded to adopt it. 

The figures given by Sabine and F. Cuvier of this species are defec 
tive, each having been taken from a specimen in which the tail had 
been mutiJated. That given by RicHARnsoN. Fauna boreali Americana, 
drawn by Landseer, is more characteristic. 


• MUS LEUCOPUS.— Rafinesqur 

American White-Footed Mouse. 

PLATE XL. — Malb, Female, and Youno. 

Cauda elongata, villosa ; auribus magnis ; supra fulvo-tuscesci-ns 
subtus albus ; pedibus albis. 


Tail, long and hairy ; ears, large ; yellowish broum above ; feet and 
lower parts of the body, white. 


Mus Sylvaticus, Forster, Phil. Trann., vol. h'u., p, 380. 
Field-Rat, Penn., Hist. Quad., vol. ii., p. I'uS. 

" Arctic Zool., vol. i., p. l.Tl. 

McscuLUS Leucoi'us, Rafinosque, Amer. Month. Review, Oct. 1818, p. 144. 
Mus Lkdcopcs, Desmar. Mamnr,., esp. 493. 
Mcs Sylvaticus, Harlan, Fauna, p. ITA. 
MuH Agrarius, Godm., Nat. Hi&t., vol. ii., p. 88. 
Mrs Leucdpus, Richardson, F. B. A., p. 142. 
Ahvicola Nuttallii, Harlan, variety. 
Auvicola Emmonsii, lilmm., Report, p. 01. 
Mus Leucopus, Dekay, Na;. Hist. N. Y., pi. 1, p. 82. 


Head, of moderate size ; muzzle, sharp pointed ; eyes, large ; ears, 
large, membranous, rounded above, nearly naked. There are a few 
short hairs on the margins, on both surfaces, not sufficient to conceal the 
integument. Whiskers, longer than the head. 

The form of this species is delicate and of fine proportions; the fur 
(which is not very long) is soft and fine, but not lustrous. 

Feet, slender, and clothed with short adpressed hairs, covering the toes 
and nails ; there are four toes on the fore-feet, with six tubercles on 
each palm ; the thumb is rudimentary, and covered by a very small 
blunt nail. The nails are small, shar, , and hooked ; the hind-feet arc 
long, especially the tarsal bones ; the toes are longer than on the fore 
feet. The tail is round, slender, tapering, and thickly clothed with shon 


hairs; no scales being visible like those on the eommon mouse. (Mas 
musculus.) ' ^ 


Fur, from the roots to near the extremity, dark bluish-gray ; on the 
upper parts, brownish yellow; being a little darker on the erown and 
baek, and lighter on the sides; the colour of the cheeks and hips ap- 
proaches reddish-brown. The above is the colour of this species 

nZs ^r-T "' ""'" '' '^'^'^ '*^ ""''' ''^^« '"^ ^P""«"' -hen it as- 
sumes a blmsh-gray tmt, a little lighter than that of the common 

mouse. Whiskers, white and black; upper surface of the tail, the 
colour of the back. The lips, chin, throat, feet, legs, and the ^hol 
under surface of the body and tail, are pure white. On the sides this 
colour extends high up along the flanks; there is a very distinct line of 
demarcation between the colours of the back and sides 

There are some varieties in this species ; specimens which we ex- 
amined, irom Labrador, Hudson's Bay, and Oregon, were lighter in 
colour ana the white on the under surface extended farther toward tl^e 
back than on those from the Atlantic States; we also observed a strik 

odv whit" 2 '^"'^' '' '''" '''-' ''""^ ''-' ^-^- *»^- ^ '« 
body, whilst others were not much more than half the length. In size 

hey also differ widely ; we have seen some that are scarcely larger than 

the common mouse, whilst others are nearly double that sL ; they are 

considerably larger in Carolina than in the Eastern States. 


fyflrt^h of head and body 
" tail . 
Another specimen. 

I^ength of head and body 
" tail . 

2J inches. 
2i do. 

Si do. 
3| do. 


Next to the common mouse, this is the most abundant and widely dif- 
fus d of mouse in NoHl. Anu rica. We have received it (under 
various names) from every State in the llni... .„d from Labrador H 
ons Bay. and the Columbia River. B.i„. ,K.n.r„al i„ its habit's It i' 
ar more eommon than is gener.ry «u,>posed. In familiar locaii e 
v^icre we had never known of it. .xisten.e. we found it almost he 
only species taken in traps at night. 








The White-footed Mouse is an exceedingly active species. It runs 
leaps, and climbs, with great facility. We have observed it taking up 
its abode in a deserted squirrel's nest, thirty feet from the earth ; we 
have seen a family of five or six scamper from a hollow in an oak that 
had just been cut down ; we have frequently found them in the loft ot 
a corn-house or stable in Carolina ; and at times have discovered their 
nests unde>- stone-heaps or old logs, or in the ground. 

In New-Jersey their favourite resorts are isolated cedars growing on 
the margins of damp places, where green briars {Smilax rotundifolio and 
-S. hcrbncca) connect the branches with the ground, and along the stems 
of which they climb expertly. 

When started from their nests in these trees, they descend along the 
vines in safety to the earth. When thus disturbed, however, if the nest 
is at some distance from the ground, they hesitate before they come 
down, and go out on a branch perhaps, to scrutinize the vicinity, and, if 
not farther molested, appear satisfied, and again retreat to their nests. 
rhey have been known to take possession of deserted bird's nests— such 
as those of the cat-bird, red-winged starling, song thrush, or red-eyed fly- 

In the northern part of New- York we could always obtain specimens 
from under the sheaves of wheat that were usually stacked in the 
harvest fields for a few days before they were carried into the barn. We 
have also occasionally found their nests on bushes, from five to fifteen 
feet from the ground. They are in these cases constructed with nearly 
as much art and ingenuity as the nests of the Baltimore Oriole. There 
are several nests now lying before us, that were found near Fort Lee, 
New-Jersey. They are seven inches in length and four in breadth, the' 
circumference measuring thirteen inches ; they are of an oval shape and 
are outwardly composed of dried moss and a few slips of the inner bark 
of some wild grape-vine ; other nests are more rounded, and are com- 
posed of dried leaves and moss. We have sometimes thought that two 
pair of these Mice might occupy the same nest, as we possess one, nine 
inches in length and eight inches in diameter, which has two entrances, 
six inches apart, so that in such a case the little tenants need not have 
interfered with each other. The entrance in all the nests is from below, 
and about the size of the animal. 

When we first discovered (his kind of nest we were at a loss to decide 
whether it belonged to a bird or a quadruped ; on touching the bnah, 
however, we saw the little tenant of this airy domicile escape. At our 
next visit she left the nest so clumsily and made her way along the 
ground so slowly, that we took her up in our hand, when we diseovered 

I, I 




ha she had four young about a fourth grown, adhering so firmly to the 
eats that she dragged them along in the manner .>f the jumping' mo 
(Menones Amcr^canus), or of the Florida rat. We preserved this 1 tt L 
farnUy ahve or eighteen months, during which time the female produ ed 
several broods of young. During the day they usually concealed hel- 
.elvesm their nests, but as soon as it was dark they became very acti" 
and playfu , running up and down the wires of their cages, robbing each 
o her's httle store-houses of various grains that had b^en canldto 
them, and occasionally emitting the only sound we ever heard them 
utter-a low squeak resembling that of the common mouse. We have 
been „,for„ed by W.luam Coopeh, Esq., of Weehawken, New-Jersey, a. 
m elhgent and close observer, to whom science is indebted for many ex- 
ce lent papers on various branches of natural history, that this species, 
when runmng off with its young to a place of safety, presses i^ tail 
closely under ,ts abdomen to assist in holding them on to the teats-a 
remarkable mstance of the love of offspring. 

The White-footed Mouse seems less car..vorous than most of its kin- 
dred speces. We found it when in confinement always dragging to its 
aest any kind of meat we placed in the cage, but it was generally left 
there uneonsumed. We have often caught it in traps set for larger 
an.mals and baited with meat. Its first object is to drag the meat to its 
little store-house of provisions ; the bait, however, being tied with a 
«tnng to the pan of the steel-trap is not so easily carried off; but mth- 
out much loss of time the Mouse gnaws the string ir, two, and if not 
eaught in the attempt, drags off the meat. Our friend, the late Dr. Johv 
WRrcHT, ot Troy, furnished us with information confirming the above ; 
he says, "In tn.pping lor a weasel last summer I tied bits of beef above 
each trap witii twine. On my first visit to the traps I found the twine 
at one. cut, and the meat in the jaws of the trap. The next day the 
same thing was observed at one of the traps, but another held fast a 
specimen of the Mus leucajms. I am informed that the trapper is not 
und-equently trou))le(l in this manner." 

We have known tliis Mouse to cut into pieces snares set for the ruffed 
grouse, placed in gaps left for the purpose in fences of brushwood. 
Jn its wild suite it is continually laying up little stores of grain and 
grass se(>ds. W,, h;r>,< seen it carrying in its mouth acorns and chinque 
pms. In the NordiL-rn States, these little hoards are often composed 
wholly of wheat; in the South, of rice. This species, like all rats and 
mice, IS fond of Indian-cor.., from which it only extracts the choicest 
sweetest portions, eating the heart and leaving lh<. rest untouched. 
In thickly settled parts ..f the United Slates this Mouse avoid? 

I,' Ml 



dwellings, and even outhouses, and cither confines itself to the woods, oi 
keeps near fences, stone-heaps, &e. ; but in partially deserted houses, or 
in newly formed settlcnienls, it seems to take the place of the common 
mouse. Richardson states that in the fur countries it becomes an inmate 
of the dwelling houses. Dr. Leitner, an eminent botanist, who, whilst 
acting as surgeon in the army, was unfortunately killed in the Florida 
war, informed us that whilst on a botanizing tour through Florida a few 
years ago, he was frequently kept awake during a portion of the night 
by the White-footed Mice which had taken possession of the huts of the 
Indians and the log cabins of the early white settlers. We are under 
an impression that in these localities the common cat, and the Norway 
rat, Avere both absent; as we have reason to believe that this species de- 
serts premises whenever they are trcquented by either of the above ani- 
mals. We kept a pair of white Norway rats (Albino variety) separated 
by a partition from an interesting family of white-footed mice, but before 
we were aware of it, the rats gnawed through the partition and devour- 
ed all our little pets 

This is a timid and very gentle species ; we have seldom known it to 
bite when taken into the hand, and have observed that in a state of con- 
finement it suffered itself to be killed by the very carnivorous cotton ra* 
(Siii/iKx/on fiispitlii/n) without making any resistance. 

We are disposed lo believe that this species produces at least two lit- 
ters of young in a season, in the Northern States, and three, in the 
Southern. In the State of New-York we have seen the young every 
month from May to September ; and in Carolina a female that was 
kept in confinement had young three times, first having three, at a 
second litter five, and having six at a third. 

The White-footed Mouse has many enemies. Foxes, wild-cats, and 
owls, destroy it frequently; the house-cat strays into the fields and 
along fences in search of it. In Carolina some domesticiited cats live 
in the fields and woods in a partially wild state, avoiding houses al- 
together; these subsist on birds and the smaller rodentia, and this species 
furnishes a considerable portion of their food ; but we are disposed to re- 
gard the ermine (common weasel) as its most formidable and voracious 
persecutor. We believe that the White-footed Mouse does not always 
dig a burrow of its own, but that it takes possession of one dug by some 
other small species; in the Northern States, generally that of the chip- 
ping squirrel. Be this as it may, it is certain, that wherever the White- 
footed Mouse can enter, the ermine can follow, and he not only feeds 
ipon it, but destroys whole families. An ermine at one time made its 
t scape from us, carryinsi with it a small portion of a chain fastened aroniid 


its neck: it was traced by a servant over the snow a mile info the 
woods, to a spot where it entered a very small hole. It was dug out 

.Ie"ad n'tr'I' , T' ^''''^ ^^ ^'^ ^^'-' «'' ^^is species, that he founo 
.lead m the hole, having been killed, doubtless, by the ermine. From an- 
pearanceMwo only had been devoured; the remainder we observe" i 
no been se.ed by the throat in the manner of the cat. but had the marks 
of the ermine's teeth in their skulls. 

We do not regard this species as doing very extensive injury either to 
fhe garden or farm, in any of the Atlantic States of America We sus! 
pect that Its reputation in this respect, as well as that of the shrew-mole 
has been made to suffer very unjustly, when in reality the author of 
the mischief is the little pine-mouse iAr.,icola pinetorum, L. CoxtpO o 
perhaps Wi.son's meadow-mouse, Aroicola Pennsyhanica, O.n A hZ 
sutus, EMMO.S, and D.k.v). The formers and gardeners of the No2 
em and Eastern States, however, complain that this Mouse, which they 
generally call the "Deer-mouse," destroys many of their ca bage pla^,N 
and other young and tender vegetables, and gnaws the bark from young 
uit trees; and if they have made no mistake in regard to the sp'eeies 
.t must be much more destructive than we have heretofore considered it' 




j : 


According to RiciMRnsoN, this species is ibund as far north as Great 
Bear Lake. We saw in the London museums several specimens from 
Hud„ns Bay; it extends across the continent to the Columbia River o" 
the Pacific, from whence Mr. brought us several skins We 
received specimens from Florida by Dr. Lkitxp.r ; we found it west'of the 
Mississippi at Fort Union, where it commits depredations in the gard „ 
ataehed tothe Fort, and we have received specimens from Ark nt 

I im 


That a species so widely distributed, and subject to so many varieties 
ny..e. ength of tail, and colour, should have been often descHbed m 
different names, is not surprising. We have ourselves often been in a 
.tate of doubt on obtaining some striking variety. The name Hypud.n. 
„nus of our friend. Major Le Covte, (see Appen.lix to McM^trii'' 
t.-ansla,ion of Cuv. An. Kingd., vol. i., p. ,.,,) ,,,, ,,„,,., ^""^^ 
species as ,t is found in the Souther., Stafes. VVe were for seven.! voars 
deposed to regard i, .s disfinet. and hav,. no, w.,hon, much He.llf^ 

'• n np i .np i 



and after an examination of many hundred specimens, been induced to 
set it down as a variety only. 

We have adopted the name pjiven to it by RAFiNEsauE, in deference 
to the opinions of Richardson, who supposed that it applied to this species. 
Richardson himself, however, — not Rafinesciue, — gave a true description 
of it. 

Godman, in describing Mus agrariu.i, we feel confident, had reference 
to this species. He had, however, never seen the European Mas agra- 
rius of Pallas, else he would not have made so great a mistake ; we 
have on several occasions in Denmark and Germany compared them, 
and found that they scarcely bear any resemblance to each other. Mus 
agrarius has a short tail and short hairy ears. Forster, and Harlan, 
refer this species to Mus syhaticus of Europe. Forster's specimens came 
from Hudson's Bay at an early period, when it was customary to consider 
American species of Quadrupeds and Birds as mere varieties of those of 
Europe. Harlan, instead of describing from an American specimen, 
literally translated Desmarest's description of the European Mus syl- 
Vfiticus and applied it to our species, (see Mam. p. 301,) in doing whiqh, 
by neglecting to institute a comparison, he committed a great error. 

We were favoured with the privilege of comparing specimens of Mus 
si/Iriitirus and M. Iciicnpus, through the kindness of Prof. Liciitenstein at 
the Berlin museum. Although there is a general resemblance, a mo- 
ment's examination will enable the naturalist to discover sufficient 
marks of difference to indue, him to separate the species. Mus Icucopus 
has a little longer tail. Its ears are longer, but not so broad. The under 
surface of the tail o{ Mus sylvnticus is less white, and the white on the 
under surface of the body does not extend as high on the sides, nor is 
there any distinct line of separation between the colours of the back and 
under surface, which is a striking characteristic in the American species. 
But they may always be distinguished from each other at a glance by 
the following mark: in more fiiini twenty specimens we examined of 
Mus sylvaticus we have always found a yellowish line edged with dark- 
brown on the breast. In many hundred specimens of Mus leucopus 
we have without a single exception found this yellow line entirely want- 
ing, all of them being pure white on the breast, as well ns on the whole 
under surface. We have no hesitation in pronouncing the species 







Canine — - ; Molar — = 38 

1—1 6-« 

Head, snmll and oval; muzzle, rather large; ears, short and round, 
body, long, vermirorm ; tail, usually long and cylindrical; legs short- 
five toes on each foot, armed with sharp, crooked, slightly retractile 
ckws. ^o anal pouch, but a small gland which secretes a thickish 
otiensive fluid. Fur, very fine. 

This genus diff-ers from the genus PuTonrus, having four carnivorous 
teeth on each side, in the upper jaw, instead of three, the number the true 
weasels exhibit, and, the last carnivorous tooth on the lower jaw has a 
rounded lobe on the inner side, which renders this genus somewhat less 
carnivorous in its habits than; and consequently a slight dimi- 
nution of the cruelty and ferocity displayed by animals of the latter 
genus, may be observed in those the present. 

There are about twelve species of true Martens known, four of which 
inHabit North America. 

The generic name Mustela, is derived from the Latin word musUlcL 
a weasel. 


Pennant's Marten or Fisher. 
Black Fox or Black Cap op the Northern Hunters. 


Ccipite et humeris cano fuscoque mixtis; naso. labus, cruribus et 
Cauda, fusco-nigris. ' 




Head and shoulders, mixed irith gray and brown 
ttnd tail, dark brovm. 

nose dps, legs 


i i 

Lb Pekan, Buffon, vol. xiii., p. 304, A. D. 1749. 
MusTELA Canadessis, Sohrebcr, Silugethiere, p. 492, 17V5. 
MusTELA Pennasit, Ei'xleben, Syst., p. 470, A. D. 1777. 
FisHEK, Penn., Aict. Zool., 4 vols., vol. i., p. 82, A. D. 1784. 
MusTELA Canaden'sis, Gmcl., Linn., vol. i., p. 95, 1788. 
Wejack, Heame's Journey. 

Fisher, or Black Fo.'c, Lewis and Clarke, vol. iii., p. 26. 
Fisher, Weasel, or Pekan, Warden's United States. 
MusTKLA Pennanti Sabine, Frank. First Journey, p. 651. 
Mlstela Canadensis, Harlan, F., p. 05. 

" " Godman, vol. i., p. 203. 

Mi'stela God.mani, Less., Mamm., p. 150. 
MusTELA Canadensis, Rich., F. B. A., p. 52. 
Pekan or Fisheb, Dekay, Nat. Hist- N. Y., p. 31. 


The head of this species bears a stronger resemblance to that of a dog 
than to the head of a cat. Its canine teeth, in the upper Jaw, are so Ion", 
that with the slightest movement of the lip they are exposed. Head, 
broad and round, contracting rather suddenly toward the nose, which is 
acute. Eyes, rather small and oblique ; ears, low, broad, semicircular, 
and far apart, covered on both surfaces with short soft fur ; whiskers, 
half the length of the head ; body, long, and formed for agility and 

The pelage consists of a short fino down next the skin, intermixed 
with longer and coarser hairs about an inch and a half in length; these 
hairs are longer on the po.sterior parts of the animal than on the 

The feet are robust. Fore-feet, shorter than the hind-feet, thickly 
clothed with rather fine and short hairs ; nails, long, strong, curved, and 
sharp ; soles, hairy ; the toes an all the feet are connected at the base 
by a short hairy web ; the callosities consequently make only a slight 
impression when the animal is walking or running on the snow. 

Tail, long, bushy, and gradually diminishing to a point toward the 

This species has so strong a smell of musk, (like the pine marten,' 



hat we have found the skin somewhat unpleasant to our olfactories 
M veral years atfer it had been prepared as a specimen. 


Fur on the back ,„ ,,,,,, ^he extremity, chesnut-brown 

npped wuh red ish. .d light ,ray. On the head, shoulders, and' 

ore part of the back, ti.ere ,ue so many long whitish hairs interspersed, 
that thej ..duce a somewhat hoary appearance. Whiskers, nose chin 
ears,leg^ et, and tail, dark-brown; margins of the ears, light-bmwn ' and posterior part of the back, darker than the shoulders ; eyes' 
yellowish-brown; nails, light horn-colour. 

In some specimens, we have seen a white spot on the throat, and a line 
of the same colour on tbo belly; others, (as was the case with the one 
from which our draw, was mad.,) have no white markings on the 
body. We have seen ,. pecimen, nearly white, with a brown head 
Another, obtained in Buncombe county, i^orth Carolina, was sli^htlv 
hoary on the whole upper surface. ^ ^ 


















From point of nose to root of tail 

Tail, (vertebra;) 

to end of hair - . . . . 
Breadth of head 

* • • • 

Height of ear - . . . . 
Breadth of ear - . . _ 

From point of nose to eye 

heel to point of longest nail 

Weight, 8i lbs. 


^ Although this species is represented as having been rather common 
rn every part of the Northern and Middle States, in the early .ordTo 
our history and is still met with in diminished numbers, i ,^tZ 
settled portions of our country; very little of its history or h its , ^ 

with t, but It has been to us far from a com.uon species. Even n the 

mountainous portions of the Northern and Eastern States, the F her 

hirty years ago, was as difficult to procure as the Bay Ivnx It has 

->ce become still more rare, and in places where it was the kn A 


rv V ^ %l 



S° MP. 


(/ .^4^\, 




J7 ™«^ 

IIL25 ill 1.4 





9%, j^ 




WEBSTER, NY. 14580 

(716) 872-4503 

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■rt -i 


scarcely any vestige of the knowledge of its former existence can nou 
be traced. 

Dr. Dekay (Nat. Hist. N. Y., p. 32, 1843,) states that, " iu HamiUon 
county, (N. Y.,) it is still numerous and troublesome." On an excursion 
we made in the State of New- York, 1827, we heard of it occasionally 
near the head waters of Lake Champlain, along the St. Lawrence, and 
to the west as far as Lake Eric, but it was every where represented as 
a species that was fast disappearing. 

Whilst residing in the northern part of our native State, (New- York,) 
thirty-five years ago, the hunters were in the habit of bringing us two or 
three specimens of this Marten in the course of a winter. They obtained 
them by following their tracks in the snow, when the animals had 
been out in quest of food on the previous night, thus tracing them to 
the hollow trees in which they were concealed, which they chopped 
down. They informed us that as a tree was falling, the Fisher would 
dart from the hollow, which was often fifty feet from the ground, and 
leap into the snow, when the dogs usually seized and killed him, 
although not without a hard struggle, as the Fisher was infinitely more 
dangerous to their hounds than either the gray or the red fox. They 
usually called this species the Black Fox. 

A servant, on one occasion, came to us before daylight, asking us to 
shoot a raccoon for him, which, after having been chased by his dogs 
th' previous night, had ta,ken to so large a tree that he neither felt dis- 
posed to climb it nor to cut it down. On our arrival at the place, it was 
already light, and the dogs were barking furiously at the foot of the 
tree. We soon perceived that instead of being a raccoon, the animal 
was a far more rare and interesting species, a Fisher. As we were 
anxious to study its habits we did not immediately (hoot, but teased it 
by shaking some grape vines that had crept up near y to the top of the 
tree. The animal not only became thoroughly frightened, but seemed 
furious ; he leaped from branch to branch, showing his teeth and growl- 
ing at the same time ; now and then he ran half way down the trunk of 
the tree, elevating his back in the manner of an angry cat, and we every 
moment expected to see him le.ap off and fall among the dogs. He 
was brought down afler several discharges from the gun. He seemed 
extremely tenacious of life, and was game to the last, holding on to the 
nose of a dog with a <lying grasp. This animal proved to be a male ; 
the body measured twenty-five inches, and the tail, including the fur, 
fiflteen. The servant who had traced him, informed us that he appeared 
to tiave far less speed than a fox, thid he ran for ten minutes through o 
swamp in a straight direction, and then took to a tree. 



can nou 

The oulj opportunity that was ever afforded us ol' judging of the 
speed of the Fisher occurred near the Virginia Gray-Sulphur" Springs, in 
1839. We had ascended Peter's Mountain in search of rare slants for 
our herbarium ; out of health and fatigued, we had for some time been 
seated on a rock to rest, when wc observed a gray squinel pass within 
.en feet of as, seemingly in a great fright, and with all the speed it could 
command, with a Fisher in full pursuit. They were both too much 
occupied with their own affairs to take any notice of us. The Fisher 
seemed to make more rapid nrogress than the squirrel, and we feel con- 
fident that if the latter had not mounted a tree it would have been over- 
taken before it could have advanced many feet farther ; it ran rapidly up 
the sides of a cucumber tree, {Magnolia acminati,) still pursued by its 
hungry foe. The squirrel leaped lightly among the smaller branches, on 
which its heavier pursuer seemed unwilling to trust himself. At length 
the affrighted animal pitched from one of the topmost boughs and 
landed on its feet unhurt among the rocks beneath. We expected 
every moment to see the Fisher give us a specimen also of his talent 
at lofty tumbling, but he seemed to think that the " better part of valour 
was discretion," and began to run down the stem of the tree. At this 
point we interfered. Had he imitated the squirrel in its flying leap, he 
might have been entitled to the prey, provided he could overtake it ; but 
as he chose to exercise some stratc.?y and jockeying in the race, when 
the chances were so much in his favour, we resolved to end the chase 
by running to the foot of the tree which the Fisher was descending. He 
paused on the opposite side as if trying to ascertain whether he had been 
observed ; we were without a gun, but rattled away with a knife on our 
botanizing box, which seemed to frighten the Marten in his turn, most 
effectually ;— the more noise we created the greater appeared to be his 
terror ; after ascending to the top of the tree he sprang to ano'her, 
which he rapidly descended, till within twenty feet of the earth, wh, a he' 
mmped to the ground, and with long leaps ran rapidly down the side of 
the mountain, and was out of sight in a few moments. 

This scene occurred in the morning of a warm day in the month of 
July, a proof that this species is not altogether nocturnal in its habits. 
We arc, however, inclined to believe that the above was only ati ex- 
ceplioii to the general character of the animal. 

Species that are decidedly nocturnal in their habits, lre(|iiontly may be 
seen moving about by day during the period when they are engaged in 
providing for their young. Thus the raccoon, the opossum, and all our 
hares, are constantly met with in spring, and early summer, in the morn 





ing and afternoon, whilst in the autumn and winter they only move 
about by night. 

In the many fox-hunts, in which our neighbours were from time to 
time engaged, not far from our residence at the north, during the period 
when we obtained the inibrmation concerning their primitive mode ot 
enjoying that amusement, which we have laid before our readers, in 
pages 4!) and 50, (where we also spoke of Pennant's Marten as not 
being very scarce at that time in Rensselaer county, N. Y.,) we never 
heard cf their having encountered a single Fisher in the day-time ; but 
when they traversed the same grounds at night, in search of raccoons, 
it was not unusual for them to discover and capture this species. We 
were informed by the trappers that they caught the Fisher in their traps 
only by night. 

The specimen, from which the figure m our plate was drawn, was 
taken alive in some part of the Alleghany Mountains, in the State ot 
Pennsylvania, and we soon afterwards received a letter from our 
esteemed friend, Spencer F. Baird, Esq., of Carlisle, in that State, in- 
forming us of its having been captured, which enabled us, through that 
gentleman, to purchase it. We received it at New-York, in good con- 
dition, in a case tinned inside, with iron bars in front, to prevent the 
animal from making its escape, as it was so strong and so well supplied 
with sharp teeth that it could easily have eaten its way out of a common 
wooden box. In Mr. Bairh's note he says : " All the account I was able 
to procure respecting this species was the following : — It was found in 
company with an older one, in Peters' Mountain, six miles above Harris- 
burgh, about five weeks ago. (His letter is dated Carlisle, March lOth, 
1844.) After a most desperate resistance the old one was killed, after 
having beaten off the dogs, to whose assistance the hunters were 
obliged to come. This individual ran up a tree, and being stoned by the 
hunters, jumped off" from a height of about forty feet ! when being a little 
stunned by the leap, the men ran up quickly, threw their coats over 
it, and thus secured it. The old one was said to have been about the size 
of a pointer dog. The young one is very savage, and emits a rather 
strong musky odour." 

We kept this individual alive tor some days, feeding it on raw meat, 
pioces^of chieken. and now nnd then a bird. It was voracious, and very 
sjjiteful, growling, snarling find spitting when .'ipproached, but it did not 
appear to sutFer much uneasiness from being held in captivity, as, like 
many other predacious quadrupeds, it grew fat, being better supplied 
rt'ilh food than when it had been obliged to cater for itself in the 


0„ «veral occasion, wo have «ee„ the track, ol' the K ife r,h„ 
»ow; ihey rc.,..„,ble these of , he ,,i„o marten, but are doub e tL " z. 

„W,e. „. „UK notes on the hal tX „f ,7:;';;;' "" "';'"'■ -e fur- 
Lake Outatio, he informs us that "a Fishcrls ZTv ,T "^ "'"" 
M..». Port no|K,, who said it w. p T Tl^ ,'7" "'""°'' 
of a pine marten, which he also broush. wiuf i " M^P '""■■"'" 

them l,oth at the time. = '■ >viUMt. Ml. toriiERoiLL stulfed 

the'::;;::f "„::: *"• "■" '» °'°-"™ "«' f-i- -mures n„t omy 

treeZl "°™™' "'' """ '" '""™'" ""^ " '-PB from 


VVe can scarcely conceive in what manner it is able to overtnm .V, 

"wa. derived f„m U, si„r In^Z^rth":! t ;:T„i!^*':i 
Aan„hv,d„„l ofthis species, which had been caught i a" 1^^; „ 







i \ 

4 ' 

The Fisher is represented as following the line of traps set by the 
trappers, and in tlic manner of the wolverene, robbing them of their 
bait. The season for hunting this species is stated, by Dr. Dekay, to 
coinmenc(i in the western part of New- York, about the 10th of Octdxir, 
and to last till the middle of May; and he says the ordinary price paid 
for each skin is a dollar and a half. 

This species brings forth once a year, depositing its young in the 
trunk of a large tree, usually some thirty or Ibrty feet from the ground. 
Dr. li;*"iiARiii<(>N oi)s«^rv(!S that it produces from two to lour young at a 
litter; Dekay coutines the number to two. We once saw three v,x- 
tracted from the body of a female on the 20th of April, in the northern 
part of New- Yolk. 


This species inhabit« a wide extent of country. To the north it 
exists, according to Richardson, as far as Great Slave Lake, latitude 1)3°. 
It is found at Labrador, and extends across the continent to the Pacific. 
It is stated by all our authors that it does not exist further south 
than Pennsylvania. This is an error, as we saw it on the moun- 
tains ol' Virginia. We had an opportunity of examining a specimen 
obtained by Dr. GnniEs, of Columbia, South Carolina, from the neighbour- 
hood of Ashville, iJuncombe county. North Carolina. We have seen 
several skins procured in Ivist Tennessee, and \vv, have heard of at 
least one individual that was captured near Flat-Rock, in that State, 
latitude 3."i°. 

We liavc^ also seen many skins from the Upper Missouri; and the 
Fisher is enumerated, by Lkwis and Clarke, as one of the species exist- 
ing on the Pacilic Ocean, in the vicinity of the Columbia River. 


Notwithstanding the fact that on the large plate of this animal 
in our folio edition we gave to Linna;i;.s the credit of having first 
applied a scientilic name to this species, we must now transfer it to 
SciiREBER, by whom, Linn/Kus having been unacquainted with it, it was 
described in ITiH. It was described two years afterwards by Erxleben, 
and in 178H, i)y Gmelin, &c. It is probable that, by some mistake, 
the habits of the mink have been ascribed to the Fishtr; hence 
its English name seems to be inappropriate ; but as it appears to 
be entitled to it, by right of long possession, we do not feel dis- 
posed to change it. We are, however, not (|uite sure ol' its having no 
claim to till' name lt\ il-- mode of living. Its partially webbed feet si-eui 


:"™t::.':r;;:;:':" •'''•" -"-^ --^ p'-«. r-i^! 

u.-,, aiiu eats ifth when in captiv t.y. We feel nr,.t>,r . ,• i 
it does not dive •ifV,.r f»,.. n . i , ^ "^'^' P'^«^"y «'>'i(i(lent that 

sometimes named the Black Fox h„f m / , ^«w-York it is 

Fi-sher. Accordi-,.- ,n n . ^ 'requently is known as the 

'M. Accordug toDEKAv, It is called the Black r^t h^- th^ • x u 

tants ol-the western portion of New-York. ^ "'•'^'^- 




Incisive - ; Canine -— - ; Molar ■—- = 34 

6 1 — 1 5 — » 

Canine teeth, very strong, conical ; two small anterior cheek-teeth, of 
false molars, above, and three below, on each side. The superior tuber- 
culous teeth, very large, as broad as they are long ; inferior molars 
having two tubercles on the inner side. 

Head, short ; nose, somewhat projecting ; snout, in most of the species 

Feet, with five toes ; toes of the fore-feet, armed with long, curved 
nails, indicating the habit of burrowing in the earth ; heel very little 
raised in walking. 

Hairs on the body, usually long, and on the tail, very long. 

The anal glands secrete a liquor which is excessively fetid. The 
various species of this genus burrow in the ground, or dwell in fissures 
of rocks, living on poultry, bird's eggs, small quadrupeds, and insects. 
They move slowly, and xjldom attempt to run from man, unless they 
chance to be near their burrows. They are to a considerable extent 
gregiirious ; large families being occasionally found in the same hole. 

In the recent work of Dr. Licin-ENSTEiN, (Ueber die Gattung Mephitis, 
Berlin, 1838,) seventeen species of this genus are enumerated, one of 
which is found at the Cape of Good Hope, two in the United States of 
America, and the remainder in Mexico and South America. 

The generic name Mephitis, is derived from the Latin word Mephiti* 
a strong odour. 



Common American Skunk. 

signeta ; cauda longa villosissima. 




OuiNESQUE, Sagard Tlieodat, Canada, p. 748 

L'N.ANT Du DiADu, Charlevoix, Nouv. France, iii., p. 133. 

Skunk-Wk ASK,.. Pennant's Arctic Zool., vol. i., p. 86 

DKUNK, Hearne's Journey, p. 377. 

MKi-Hrns CiuNGA, Tiedimann, Zool. i.. p. 361. (Anh 37 ) 180R 

Pole-Cat Skunk, Kalm's Travels, vol. I, p. .378 ^^ 

ViVERA Mephitis, Gmel. (L.) Syst. Nat., p. 88. 

MusTELA Americana, Desm. Mam., p. 186. A. D. 1820 ' 

Mephitis Americana. Sab.. Frank. Jownal, p. 663. * 

Harlan, Fauna, p. 70. 
The Godm., Nat. Hist., vol. i., p 213 
Mephitis Americana, Var. Hudsonica, Rich!, F. B A p 65 

Chinoa, Lichtenstein, Darstellung neuer oder wenlg bekannter Sftuiro 
thiere, Berhn, 1827-34, xlv. Tafel, 1st figure ^ 

Chinque. Licht., Ueber die Gattung Mephitis, p. 32 BerUn 1838 

Americana, Dekay, Nat. Hist. N. Y., pt. 1, p. 29. 


This .species in all its varieties has a broad fleshy body resembling 

hat of t wolverene; it .stands low on its leg., and is inLhTd "a 

he hips than at the shoulders. Fur, rather long and coarse wi A mLh 

longer, smooth and glossy hairs, interspersed. ' "''' 

Tlic head is small compared with the size of the body; forehead 

somewhat rounded; nose, obtuse, covered with short hair '; the snout 

ft! i •■ ' 



which is naked • eyes, small ; ears, short, broad and roundod, clothfd 
with hair on both surlaces ; whiskers, lew and weak, extending a little 
beyond the eyes ; ieet, rather !)road, and covered with hair coneealinjr 
the nails, which on the i'on'-leet are robust, curved, cotnpressed, and 
acute ; palms, naked. The trunk of the tail is nearly half as lo'n« as 
the body. Hair on the tail, very long and bushy, containing from with- 
in an inch of the root to the extremity, no mixture of the finer fur. The 
glands are situated on either side of the rectum: the ducts are al)out an 
inch in length, and are of a somewhat pyriform shape. The inner mem- 
brane is corrugated; the principal portion of the glands is a muscular 
tendinous substance. The sac is capable of containing about three 
drachms. When the tail is erected for the purpose of ejecting the nau- 
seous fluid, the open orifices of the ducts are percei)til)le on a black disk 
surrounding the anus. The exit from the duct at the aims when dis- 
tcnc'ed will admit a crow-quill. 


This species varies so much in colour that there is sor.e difficulty in 
finding two specimens alike ; we have given a representation on our 
plate of the colour which is most common in the Middle States, and 
which Dr Harlan described as Mephitis Americana, our specimen only 
differing from his in having a longitudinal stripe on the Ibreliead. 

The under fur on all those portions of the body which are dark colour- 
ed, IS dark brown ; in those parts which are ligiit coloured, it is white 
from the roots. These under colours, however, are concealed by a ^hick 
coat of longer, coarser hairs, which are smooth and glossy. 

There is a narrow white stripe commencing on the nose and running 
to a point on the top of the head ; a patch of white, of about two inches 
m length, and of the same breadth, commences on the occiput and covers 
the upper parts of the neck; on each side of the vertebra) of the tail 
there is a broad longitudinal stripe for three-fourths of its length ; the 
tail is finally broadly tipped with white, interspersc-l with a few black 
hairs. The colour on every other part of the body is olackish-brown. 

Another specimen from the same locality has a white stripe on the 
forehead ; a large white spot on the occiput, extending downwards, di- 
verging on the back, and continuing down the sides to within two inches 
of the extremity of the tail, leaving the back, the end oi the tail, and tJ.e 
whole of the under surface, blackish-brown. 

The young on the plate are from the same nest ; one has white stripes 
on the back, with a black tail ; the other hat; no stripes ou the back, but 
the end of its tail is white. 


Jn ge,u.-al we have li «„,! the varieties in a particular locality marked 
wuh tolerable unUormity. To this rule, however, there are Jny exeop 

coun y, N Y wh.,-1. we knew eontai,,,.,! a lar^e family of this species 

We found eleven: they were all full ,rown. but o„ exarninin 'Th "; 

t .. and claws, we concluded that the fan.ily was eo.nposed o I" a p i 

I . .1.1 ones, w,, their lar.e brood of youn. of the previous season. T 1 

n..le ,ul a w .,e stnpe on the forehead; and fro.n the occiput down 

how u,,.,„ ,, ^^^^ ^^^^^^^^ ^^^,^^ ^,^^ inches in beaZ 

.ts ta. was also white. The female had no white stripe on thetre' 

hoad. but had a on.itudinal stripe on each side of the hack, an Z 

un-ow one on the dorsal line; the tail was wholly black. T^e yoZ 

.ilercl very w.dely in colour ; we could not fmd two exactly alik ' 

mal vhdst the largest proportion were intermediate in their mark- 

.« . and some seemed to resemble neither parent. We reeolIecTone 

that had not a white hair, except the tip of the tail and a minut doll^ 

On the other hand, we had in February (the same winter) another 

In bnrovv; they were taken in the course of ten days, and we have 
eason o beheve none escaped. In this .-anuly there wL a very st . 
esenldance. The animals which we considered the ohl pair ha tw^. 
l<>M..tud.nal stripes on the back, with a spot on the foreWad 1 th 
youn. the only difference was, that in some of the s^cimen he whi " 
■no united on the back above the root of the tail, w Is Tn Tthl^^^^ 

others, black We had an opportunity near Easton, Pennsylvani-. of 
eon,, an old female Skunk with six youn,. We had no knowlXe o 
h eolour of the male. The female, however, had two broad s lis 
VK a very narrow black dorsal line; the youn, differed consid Ibly 
m the.r markm^s, some h.-uin-, blao., and others white tails ^ 

In the sand-hills near Columbia, South Carolina, we met aion-. th, 
SKlosof the highway four half.,rown animals of ihisspS 1 I^y^ 
had a ,, ,.„^ ^,^ ^_,^^j^ ^.j^ of the back, andasm.ll wli 

pot on the^forehead ; the tails of two of them were tipped with wl • 
the others had the whole of their tails black ' 

-h>u.sol the dUleren. of this species, we have ..rivod at the 



conclusion, that when a pair aro alilic in colour the young will bear a 
Btrong resenihlancc l.i their markings to the old. When on the contrary 
the parents diller, t)ie young assuuje a variety of intermediate colours. 


From point of nose to root of tail 
Tail (vertebrcD) . . - . ■ 

Tail, to end of hair . . . . 

Distance between eyes ... 
From point of nose to corner of mouth 

Weight, t)4 pounds. 













There is no quadruped on the contine ^t of North America the ap 
proach of which is more generally detested than that of the Skunk: 
from which we may learn that, although from the great and the strong 
we have to ajiprehcnd Janger, the feeble and apparently insignificant 
may have it in their power to annoy us almost beyond endurance. 

Inthehimau species we sometimes perceive that a particular faculty 
has received an extraordinary dmelopment, the result of constant devo- 
tion to one subject; whilst in other respects the mind of the individual 
is of a very ordinary character. The same remark will hold good ap- 
plied to any particular organ or member of the body, which, by constant 
use, (like the organs of touch in the blind man,) becomes so improved as 
lo serve as a substitute for others: but in the lower orders of animals 
this prominence in a particular organ is the result of its peculiar confor- 
mation, or of instinct. Thus the power of the rhinoceros is exerted 
chiefly by his nasal horn, the wild boar relies for defence on Ms tusks, 
the safety of the kangaroo depends on his hind-feet, which not only en- 
able him to make CA^raordinary leaps, but with wliich he deals vigorous 
blows, the bull attacks his foes with his horns, the rattlesnake's deadly 
venom is conveyed through its fangs, and the bee has the means of de- 
stroying some of its enemies by its sting, whilst in every other power for 
attack or self-defence these vnrious creatures arc comparatively feeble. 

The Skunk, although armed willi claws and teeth strong and sharp 
riiongli to eai)tur>! his prey, is slow on loot, apparently timid, and woulil 
he una})le to oscape from many of his enemies, if he were not possessed 
of a power by which he often causes the most ferocious to make a rapid 
retreat, run their noses into the earth, and roll or tunii)le on the ground 
as if in convulsions; and, not uufnspiently, even the bravest of oui 



Wing race is by this litUe animal compelled suddenly to break of! 
h.s^tra.n of thou,..,, ,M „,, and run. as if a lion were at u! 

Among. ho first sp...imens of natural history we attempted to procure 
was the SkunK. and ,he sago advice to •• look before you h-ap." was im! 
pressed on our mind, through several ofour senses, by , his species 

It happened in our e.-rly schoo!-boy .lays, that once, when ,ho ^un had 
just o,. as we were slowly wending our way home from the house of 

e.ghbour we observe.l in the path before us a pretty little animal play. 
f«I as a k.tten, moving <,u.etly along : soon it stopped, as if waitn' I 
us to come near, throwing up its long bushy tail, turning round and Took- 
.at us hko some old acquaintance: we pause and gaze ; what istf 
It .H not a yorng puppy or a cat ; it is more gentle than either; it seems 
de^rous to keep com any w^^ us. and like a pet poodle. app;ars m^s 
appy when onlyafew paces in advance. precedh,g us ns'' o Iw 
1.0 path: what a pretty creature fo carry home in our a.-ms ! it seems 
00 .en.le to b,te ; let us catch it. We run towards it ; it makes no " 
o t .o esca,.o, bat waits for us ; it raises =ts tail as if to invite us to take 
•-•< of us brash. We seize it instanter, and grasp it with the en r^v of 
amzser clutclung a box of dhmonds ; a short struggle ensues, w "en- 
faugh ! we are suffocated ; our eyes, n so. and face, are suddenly ,^^ 
tered the most horrible fetid fluid. Imagine to yourself, reader our 
surpns^, our disgust, the .sickening feelings that aLst overcome us 
We drop our pr.ze and take to our heels, too .stubborn to cry. bat too 
n,uch a armed and discomfited just now. to take another look at he 
cause of our misfortune, and effectually undeceived as to the real cha! 
meter of this .seemmgly mild and playful little fellow 

We have never felt that aversion to the n.usky odour imparted by 
many spee,e, of the ferine tribe of animals, that others evince; but w 
are obliged to admit that a close proximity to a recently killed Skunk 
nas ever proved too powerful for our olfactories. We recollect an in-' 
stance when sickness of the stomach and vomiting were occasioned in 
several persons reading in Saratoga county, N. Y., in consequence of 
one of this species having been killed under the floor of their residence 
during the night We have seen efforts made to rid clothes which have 
been sprinkled by a Skunk, of the offensive odour: resort was had to 
burymg ,hem in the earth, washing, and using perfumes; but after be- 
mg buried a month they came forth as offensive as when thev 
had first been placed in the ground ; and as for the application of odorT- 
erous preparations,, it seemed as if all the spices of Araby could neither 
weaken nor change the character of this overpowering and nauseating 






I ^^H 




n ! 






fluid. Washing and exposure to the atmosphere certainly weaken the 
scent, hut the wearer of clothes that have oeen thus infected, should he 
accidentally stand near the fire in a close room, may chruice to be morti- 
fied by being reminded that he is not aUogetber free from the conse- 
quences of an " unpleasant " hunting ex-, u-sion. We have, however, 
found chloride of lime a most effectual disinfectant when ap])licd to our 
recent specimens. That there is something very acrid in the fluid eject- 
ed by the Skunk, cannot be doubted, when we consider its effects. Dr. 
Richardson states ihat he knew several Indians who lost their eyesight 
in consequence of inflammation produced by its having been thrown into 
them by the animal. The instant a dog has received a discharge of this 
kind on his nose and ej^es, he appears half distracted, plunging his nose 
into the earth, rubbing the sides of his face on the leaves and grass, and 
rolling in every direction. We have known several dogs, from the eyes 
of which the swelling and inflammation caused by it did not disappear 
for a Week ; still we have seen others, which, when on a raccoon hunt, 
did not hesitate, in despite of the consequences, to kill every Skunk thev 
started, and although severely punished at the time, they showed no re- 
luctance to repeat the attack the same evening, if a fresh subject pre- 
sented itself. 

This offensive fluid is contained in two small sacs situated on each 
side of the root of the tail, and is ejected through small ducts near the 
anus. We have on several occasions witnessed the manner in which 
this secretion is discharged. When the Skunk is irritated, or finds it 
necessary to defend himself, he elevates his tail over hih back, and by a 
strong muscular exertion ejects it in two thread-li'e streams in the direc- 
tion in which the enemy is observed. He appears to take an almost un- 
erring aim, and almost invariably salutes a dog in his face and eyes. 
Dr. RicuARDsoN states that ho ejects this noisome fluid lor upwards oi 
four feel ; in this he has considerably underrated the powers of this natu- 
ral syringe of the Skunk, as we measured the distance on one occasion, 
when it extended upwards of fourteen feet. The notion of the old 
authors that this fluid is the secretion of the kidneys, thrown to a dis- 
tance by the aid of his long tail, must be set down among (he vulgar 
errors, for in that case whole n(!ighl)ourhoods would be compelled to 
breath a tainted gale, as Skunks are quite connnon in many parts of the 

The Skiuik, in fact, is a very cleanly animal, and never suffers a drop 
of this fluid to touch his fur; we have fre(iu<iii1ly been at the mouth ol' 
his burrow, and although a dozen Skunks might be snugly sheltered 
within, we could not detect the slightest unpleasant smell, lie 

;s ;is 


sufJe h,s body to come m contact with his poisonous fangs. 
Should the hkunk make a discharge from this all-conquerin. batterv 
unng e day, the fluid is so thin and transparent thai it is^caTe 
percept, ie; but at night it has a yellowish luminous appearance e 
have nouced .t on several occasions, and can find no more apt iom 
panson than an attenuated stream of phosphoric light ThatT 
wh.e a S,,„, Has been killed will be^aiLd L a^slt ^ ^ 
^ well known At a place where one had been killed in autum. ' 
we remarked that the scent was still tolerably strong after the tZ 
had thawed away the following spring. Generally, however the spo 
has scented by the Skunk is not particularly ofrens';e after the exZ 
t.on of aweek or ten days. The smell is more perceptible at n'gh 
and m damp weather, than during the day or in a drou-^ht ^ 

of^esTTf "'''' "''"'"^'^ "^^"^'^^ ''^"^ comained in the sacs 
of the Skunk, have not, so far as we are advised, been fully ascertained 

fluid ;'/^'^"-"^"^"'/'^^™»'«t«'-«J ^o an asthmatic patient a drop of this 
fluKl hree tmies a day. The invalid was greatly benefited n 1 V 
secretions, However, were soon aflected to such a degree thlt'e' be 
h.. ly offensive both to himself and to those near' m Ihe X 
co^ .n..ed the „.edicine, but after having been apparently we 1 " 
me, the djsease returned. He again called on the doctor for ad i e 
1.0 o''' «- tned recipe was once more recommended, but h pat;;; 
deemed taku.g .t, declaring that the remedy was worse than the d KC 
VVe were once requested by a venerable clergyman, an este med menV 
who had for many years been a martyr to violent narox-.m! of 1 
to procure for him the glands of a Skunk ; w flc Record Z ! tT ' 
;^i;^^i;^^^^-^^^^^_^^i^ were kept tightl^ ^^ i t:C 
.^I'l'rJd ^^ "^^ ^'''''' '"^ ''' "°^^ ^^''^" ''^ Woms of his dilei:: 
For some time he believed that he had found a specific for his dis- 
tressu^g oomplamt; we were however subsequently informed thaUnv 
.ng uncorKcd the bottle on one occasion wlule i the pulii du • ^ 
•service, las congregation finding the smell too powerful for their otcto" 
ne^made a hasty retreat, leaving him nearly alone in the church 

We a^e under an impression, that the difliculty of preparing specimen, 
of th,s ammal may be to a considerable extent obviated, by a p op 
care u. .t. If it has been worried and killed b; a dog X 
M.nga rece... .peeinu-n i.. almost insu„,.or,al.le ; but if killnl by a sudden 
l^.ow. u-sho, .a par., so as ,o produ-.. insU... d..a.h, .he SkuH. 




emits no unolcasniit odour, and the preparation of a s[)eciin('n is cvti. 
less unpleusant tluin stuffing a mink. We liave soon several that wore 
crushed in doufhalls, that were in nowise qlFensive. We liad one of 
their i)ini'ows opened to within a foot of the (!xtreinit,y, wJH^re t\w, animals 
wore iiuddled tofijelher. Placing ourse!vt!s a few yards t)ir, we suli'oiod 
tlioni iiuceessively to come out. As they slowly onioi-f^'od and wore walk- 
ing off, they were killed with coarse shot aimed at the shoulders. In the 
course of half an hour, seven, (the number contained in the burrow,) wore 
obtained ; one only was ollc!isivc, and we wc^re enabled without incon- 
vonionoo to prepare six of ihein for spoeimons. 

The Skuidc does not support a good character among the farmers, lie 
will sometimes find his way into the poultry-house, and make some havoc 
with the setting hens; he seems to hiive a peculiar |)oiK'hant for eggs, 
and is not very jjarticular whether they h.'ive boon newly laid, or contain 
pretty large rudiments of the young chicken ; yet he is so slow and clum;>y 
in his movements, and creates such a commotion in the poultry-house, 
that he usually sets the watch-dog in motion, and is generally detected 
in the midst of his depredations; when, retiring to some corner, he is 
either seized by the dog, or is made to fool the contents of the farmer's 
Ibwling piece. In fact the poultry have far more formidable enemies 
th vn the Skunk. The ermine and brown v/easol are in this respect rivals 
with which his awkward powers cannot compare ; and the mink is a 
more successful prowler. 

The Skunk is so slow in his actions, that it is difRcult To discover ii. 
what manner he obtains food to enable him always to appear in good 
condition. In the northern part of New- York the gray rabbit frecpiently 
retires to tlie burrow of the fox, Maryland marmot, or Skiud<. Many of 
them remain in these retreats during the day. We have soon the tracks 
jf the Skunk in the snow, on the trail of tlie gray rabbit, loading to those 
holes, and ha>'e observed tufts of hair and patches of skin scattered in 
the vicinity, betokening that the timid animal had been destroyed. We 
on one occasion marked a nost of the rull'od grouse, {T. innhdlns.) with 
tijo mtontion of placing llie eggs under a ooimnon hen a few days before 
they shouid hatch, but upoii going after ihem we found thoy hnd been 
eaton, and the feathers of the grouse wore lying about the nest. Believ- 
ing the depredator to boon an ermine, we placed a box-trii|) near 
llie spot baited with a bird ; and on the suooooding night cainrlit a 
Skunk, wliioli wo dnuljt not wiis the robber. This spocios also foods on 
mice, froirs, and liziirds ; ;ind during suiiiinor no ineonsidoriiblo |)oilion 
of its li)()(l oonsisis ol' insects, as its oxoromonts usually exhibit the leg.s 
.iud backs oi'a coiisidii'ablo number of boollo.s. 


"•"•I i" a «-ar„h „r.„„ ;t;; '*'"■' ""■" »" >"«' ''-» »Me ,. 

aro ....c,„,-„,.| .uumni, „,„, „,. " " " •' ,„„y„„e„. F„,,,„„,,„3| ,^_,,^ 

f<li".,l< vvl„.„cv,.r (,c can ],„ l,„r I' . ^ °"'' '"''" '" ''««"-"y a 

wc ,,h.,c„ea w„ ,.„,„,„ .,.„„„, ; l^ PJP-I a, a .,p„„i^„, 

eonoIiulfMl from hence that -is ■. h,,. ?. '"'""■'''' ''^"'l w« 

choice in selecting hi/fo^l;;;'.7"T,"[" '"^ '""'>' ^« '^'^ ^-X 
onit. Whi.tW.nn.a,on:^::;:^ ;::;^;'--^^^^ -ke a .e.^ 

a large bird of some spocirs ,?.....- / T^ ''"^ *'^''"'"?. ^e observccj 
^-<1-M.n.„e, and .^ ,^ ' ^ l''^"""""' ^"'^ --"'-'y 
'^-'•''^" - oh, C,.a..vo,x ha^dliX. r^/T '^"^"^"^ "" 

«pot on the (ollowing day and found t ""''• ^^" ^''^'^^•' ^»'« 

'-in. n.ornin, found ou til h 7 '" ^'"^ ^'"'"'^y' «-'» "" the fo|. 

wMH.hadevi.^nt,,eL:dth:ir .rrn-r^T ^-' "-. 
.'^'v," ,.muvia there was no ehnin. I. . '""/^'^"nk. •^'^ in point of ofTen. 

-iy very easily taken t^^^ I t^^Tt ", '"'" '''''^ '' ^-- 
"i'iin. .o taKe the bait. whetL i J et Z '"f 1"' "' ^^"^^'^-^^ 
«.v.-if, annoyance to the hunters whoso . ' '^'' ''"'' P''^^'''^ « 

•-urn. The burrows of n^^.rk;Vr,'"."^ '"^ ^'"' "•^''^ ^^ 
">- .>f the fox. They are ^ v bu T T""' ^" ''' ""^ ^^an 

''""■s of the fox are Ire f^ " t H "" 1 ^""^ '"''^'"^' ^^'^''^^ ^he 

h.-.vo seldom more than oe en' T, " /'^ '''"'^ «^ '^ '""• They 

>"uch nearer the surfacet a f that ''"'""T •'"^' "'y ^'-^ ^kunk runs 
i..^' seven or eight fee at .1 h , ""T"' '^' ^'" '"''• ^'^^^ •'■^"•n<'- 
r-.-, there is a hu-^e ex av^ ,; ' •' '''''''' ^^^° '''' ^--^'»' the sur- 

•^'■•-•■'nngwinte;.^ :; ,:; r;;-^ --— "-t of , eaves, 
""■s species. There a,, on ! ^ "' "'^ "^'^ '" "'"""^^" i-lividuals o, 




This imiiiiiil «;ciuTnlly n.t.ros to his burrow about Dcccmbor, in thf 
Noillierii States, and liis tracks arc, not aj;ain visible until near tht 
tenth of Fel)riiary. lie lays up no winter store; and like the bear, rac- 
coon, and Maryland marmot, is very lat on retiring t(. his winter ciuaricra, 
and docs not seem to be iv.ncli reduced in flesh at his lirst appcaraiuM^ 
toward spring,', but is observed to fall oil" soon afterwards. He is not a 
sound sleeper on theses occasioiis ; on openiai,' his burrow we found him, 
although dull and inactive, certainly not asleep, as his black eyes were 
peering at us from the hole, into which we had made an opciuing, seem- 
ing to warn us not to place too uuich reliance on the hope of finding this 
striped "weasel asleep." 

In the upper districts of Carolina and Georgia, where the Skunk is 
(tccasionally found, he, like the raccoon in the Southern States, docs iu)t 
retire to winter (juarters, but continues actively prowling about during 
the night through the winter months. 

A large Skunk, which hail been in the vicinity of our place, near New- 
York, lor two or three days, was oiu- morning observed by our gardener 
in an old barrel with only one head in, which stood upright near our 
stable. Tlic animal had probably jumped into it from an adjoining pile 
of logs to devour an egg, as our hens were in the habit of laying about 
the yard. On being discovered, tlu^ Skmdt remaiiu-d (piietly at the bottom 
of the barrel, appiU-ently unable to get out, cither by clind)ing or by leap- 
ing from the bottom. \Vc killed him by throwing a, large stone, into the 
open barrel ; — he did not make the least effort to eject the nauseous fluid 
with which he was jjrovided. Had he not been discovered, he would no 
doubt have died of starvation, as he had no means of escaping. At times, 
especially during the summer season, t\w Skunk smells so strongly of ihe 
fetid lliiid contained in his glands, that win-n one or two hundred yards 
disKui!. it is easily known that he is in the ncighboiu-hood. 
* We doubt not the flesli of the Skunk is well tasted and savoury. We 
observed it cooked and eiiten by the Indians. The meat was white and 
fat, iiiul they in-onounced it better than the opossum,— infinitely superior 
to tlie riiceoon. (which llu'V called riink meat.) and fully eipial to roast 
piii-. We now regret that our sipa-amishness prcventiMl us from trying it 
We have seen the young early in May ; tlierc were from five to nine 

in a litter. 

The fur is rather coarse. It is seldom used by the hatters, and never 
wp think by the furriers ; and from the disngreeablt^ task of pr«'pariiig 
the skin, it is not considcrcil an article of eoimnerce. 




i.u. „r „7 . VV„ liavc ,„« will, it l,„i|, i„ y , „,„| , 

(1. 1 I ««"""ih. i[ IS not unlr(^(juent, y met w I h in 

CImrcl, 1 ,.r,«l, l,y l.,,,r,,„„ ,;„„„,„ f^ „,.,, r„„a,-,l,..l a, • 

great cunosily by tho irihal)if-...ts! if i. r,-"*" (i ,is .i 

mil,.s rro,n fh;. i " "'^'''t'l '^s- It l.ocomos moro common a h.m.lrod 
m , s <ro,n fh . s.-ahoar,!, and is not unCmiu-nfly nu,t will, i,, ,1.. sand 
■lis Columbia. To the south wo have tLed it to th tZn 
parts o, Flop. a. and have seen it in Louisiana. To the west 
'.-. seen us far as the banks of the Mississippi. U.y.. and C . 
-.1 others, frenuently saw 8kunl<s west of the'Rocky Moun ns n a" 
hen- w.nter encan,.men,s. but we have as yet had no means of ascer that they were of this species. 


SUu!r^'\-" ''; '"' "'•■"■' '" ''^"•"^^'^'"" ''' -'-- - the American 
sum k as oi much .mportance in deciding on the species, and hence, have 

.ejected as mere vanetios, all those that can only be .listin^uished A-om 

'■"^h o. erby the.r markings, we nevertheless dider very widely f 

Haron (,„v,er (Ossemens Fossiles, iv.) and others, who treat all h" 

A.nencaa Mephites as mere varieties. We have exa.nined ncl cot 

pared many specunens in the museums of Europe an.l America, and p<.s. 

ess others from Texas and other portions of the United Stated, and e 

..M-1 conhdent that both in North and South America several ver; distinct 

hi::X:r^ tl ;'" ^'""^^^""■' ^^ ^^^ '"-^^^^^ •- ^'"^ Presen^ork. to 

... st.g.Ue the.r characters, and describe those species that are found 

...... the range to which we have restricted our in,uiries. We have 

... the uKtseoms of Lonclon examined and cou.pare.l the species describe.l 

>> n.'..N.n-, (P..oceel Zool. Soc, lH,n, p. ,,,) as M. nasnta, which appear. 

.. Lave bee. jmn.ous.y described by Dr. L,e.,TE.s.rE,.v. of Berlin, under 
•l.enameof M. mrsdmcn, (Darst. der Saugeth. tab. 11, fi.. o),,, .,,,„ 
several species characterized by Crav, (Magazine of Nat. Hist.' 1837 ,- 


; i 



tTo Dr '- -'-om..! ,o ..,„. SkunL W. are under ohli,.-. 

^r.iph, (U, her the G.tffuns Mephitis, Berlin, 18.18,) in sixtv-five n-iires 
nuarto, w,th phUes. which contains nn.h h>a,-ne.l .•esl-eh. .^^^J;!^ 
extended onr previous knowledge of the ,enus. He describes se^ t n, aW one African exception. beh.n«in, to North and S u 
Amenca. North of Texas, however, he recognises only two species 
present, and Mrj>,u,s intern,,,,, of R.,..,.,.,,, ; ,,, ..^ter, howev r 's M 
-pures a n.ore careful comparison. All our An^eriean autho I h 
-.ppl.ed the name ^/ey,/./. Amrricn,,, of, to our present ^^^ 
ces. It .s now ascertained, however, that T.r.n.M... descrihLl it twe v. 
years earher under the nan,e of T^f. ./..,.,, which, according to he "d 
tZTl natural.s.s teel bound to adhere, must he r^a.ned a 
'.ve therelore have adopted it 

t i 

! ', 

mnsR collection 
vd museums in 
productions of 
^1 species are 
' unrler ohlifr-, 
Hff neuer oder 
ontains fif,'ures 

Also a mono- 
ixty-five pafifes 
tnd lias greatly 
l)(!s seventeen 
rth and South 
vo species, the 

however, still 
authors have 
ir present spe- 
lled it twelve 
ig to the rigid 
retained, and 




iiiuwn.ji, ;,r.M^ iv W K Ihi.'iiv..! k 



vf /'(' ■' ■'(/ 1 / / /" /'r 


nr,,wT,linn,,„-l,v .1 .1 ,^„.l,lb^,n J'HIW'I.S 

|,,'i',„,i,.,i;ir,.|ii,^ ,n b„w.-n I'ImW- 

ri.ilr XI. I 


I Tbuwrn IMmIj.!- 




Hare Squirrei,. 


S magnitudine S. cinereum inter et S. migrutorium intermedium; 
Cauda corpore longiore, crassa maximeque disticha; vellere supra ex 
cmereo lusco ; subtus albo. 


Intermediate in size between the Northern gray squirrel and the cat 
sqmrrcl. r,nl, longer than the body, large and distichous; colour, grayish- 
brown above, white beneath. '<=> J 


^""Sptb^rsir/roL "^ ^'^'•' '''"""'^^^ °' ^'^ ^'='^- '^^ ^'^'- «"■•• ^^ 


Head, Of moderate size; nose, blunt, covered with short hairs; fore- 
head arched; eyes, large; whiskers, numerous, extending to the ears- 
cars broad at base, rounded at the edges, and forming an obtuse angfe 
at the extremity, clothed with sharp hairs on both surfaces. Body stout 
covered by a coat of thick but rather short hair, coarser than that'of the' 
Northern gray squirrel; limbs, large, and rather long; tail, distichous, 
but not very bushy. 


Teeth, orange; whiskers, black; nose, dark brown; ears, light browt, 
behind the ears, a tuft of soft cotton-like, whitish tv- The hairs of 
the back are cinereous at the roots, then light brc , .,re tipped 

with brown and black, giving it so much the colour c k ^ ^.hsh hare 
that we determined to born.w from it our specific name. Un'ihe sides 
the colour is a shade lighter than on the back ; the tail, which from' 
the broad white tips of the hair, has a white appearance, is t)rown at 
tne ro(»i8, and three times annulated with black. The upper lips chin 






IIAKK t(HllJllKI„ 


! I 

', ! 









iii'tk, !in<l wliolo under Biirfaco, iiv-ludiiifj tho innor siirfnco of tlio IcgH 
rt'hito; the Imir bciii^' of this colour from tho roots. Fi-ct, dull yillouisli! 
Hhili'. On thf oiilfr Mirliu-i'of thu hind li-t?, ahove tho hi.l, a xinall porlion 
of tho fur is liiown; thoro is also a spot of tiic sanio colour on liic ujipcr 
surtitcu of ihu liind-fuut. 


Length of liead and body 

" " tail .... 

Ileiglit of ear .... 

Ileel to end of middle claw 
ISreadlh of tail with luiiis extended 


Tills pppcios, which is one of oin' most beautifully furred Siiuirrels, is 
eN|)ei'ially rcmiirkalilc for its splendid tail, with its broad while border. Wu 
know nothing of its habits, as it was brought from California, without any 
other information than that of it8 locality. 

We have represented two of these Scpiirrels in our plate, on a branch of 
liickory, with a bunch of nearly ripe nuts attached. 

OEoon^vrnicAL DisTuinuTioN. 

The range of this Squirrel through California, is, as well ns its habits 
totally unknown to us. It will not be very long, however, we think, bet()re 
a great deal of information respecting that portion of our continent, so 
rich in rare and new species, luay be expected, and we should not be 
surprised to lind it extending toward the south-western portions of Texas, 
where several sjtecies of Squirrels that we have not obtained, are said to 


This species, in its general appearance, so mncb rp-ienibh-s Bomc 
varieties of A'-vVwv^s inujmtiirius and S. i'i/iercii.% tiiat U:ul it noi been for 
its distant western locality, wc should at first have been temined to set 
it down, without further examination, as one or other of those species. 
Tlieic can, however, be no doubt, from its differing in size and in so many 
di'tiiN of colour from all other sjx'eies, that it must be r-garded as 
distitvt. ?v should be further observed that S. iniyratoriiia has never 






been found souih o Missouri, ami that .V. c,„er.«. is not four..) Mvst of 
he M,, ,„ ecd.the .e .graphical range of the Intfcr tcJinaJ, 
«r.vcM-ai l.un.h. ! nuh-s to ihe eas.wunl of that river a„.| it wZ 
co.arary eo al. our past experience, that a species exilu ^ . U' ,^ 
our connnent should he found in another, separated l,y an xte t 





f ,!< 



_ . . 8 0—0 4 ( 

Incisive - ; Canine — - ; Molar — = 20. 

9 0—0 «— 4 

Incisors, naked, truncated; molars, destitute of radicles; crowns 
simple, oval ; anterior ones, double. 

Head, large and depressed ; nose, short ; month, small. 

The cheek-pouches are large, and open exterior to the mouth. 

The eyes are small and far apart. The external ear is very short • 
auditory openings, large. Body, sub-cylindrical ; tail, rather short, round, 
tapering slightly, clothed with short hairs. 

Legs, short, with five toes to each foot. 

Burrowing in sandy soils, feeding on grasses, roots, nuts, «fec., which 
they convey to their burrows in their capacious cheek-pouches, are habits 
common to this genus. 

There are about six well determined species of Pouched Rats, all ex- 
isting in North America. 

The generic name is derived from ^»t»Jo, (pseudo,) fa[se, aud irT,^a, 
(stoma,) a mouth, in allusion to the false mouths or cheek-pouches of the 


Canada Pouched Rat. 
PLATE XLIV.— Males, Female ato Youho. 
P. supra, rufo-fuscus ; subtus, cinereo-fuscus ; pedibus, albia. 


Ktddish-brown above, ashy-brown beneath ; feet, white. 




Mus BcRSAKius, Shaw, Descript. of the M Bursari, . • t- m 

227 to 228. ilursarj.s in Linn. Transact., vol. v., p 

Mds B.K.SAK.U.S. Shaw'« Gen. Zool., vol. ii., p. loo pi 138 f, • ' 

pouches unnaturally inverted ) ' F ^"u, pi. 133, (figm-eg ^^jj ^^^^^^^ 

M"sBuHSA,uus.Mitchill,SillinWs Journal, vol iv u 18, 
Mus SAcoArus, Mitchill NT V M r i .> ' ^' ^^^• 

q.„ "^s. iuiccniu, IS. \., Medical Renos torv Jm la.Ji 

Saccophokus Bursahuvs, Kuhl. Beit., n 66 ^ ^• 

CKicErf8BuusARa-s,Desm.inNouv.Dict.,H p 177 

^°'^™-' vol. ii., p. 90, fiy. 2. 
n or, " Harlan, p. 13'(. 

Oeomys? Bursarius, Rich, F. B. A., p. 203. 


Head, large ; nose, broad and obtuse, covered wifli h ■ • u 
ception of the margins of the nostril. uT ""''' '^'^^ ^^^ ^'" 

«man oblong openFngs ^11! aoi; ' , "' "'''"'' the nostrils are 

considerably vaulted ^ ' '"'^ '•■' '^'^ '^''''' ««P--'«r margins 

^oove near ^^^ rJlC^i;:^J::^:i;^y^^ ^^^P longitudinal 
the young, they exhibit only a LihH oove T 7" ™^""'" ' ^" 

the base of their respective Alveole viCtny^lw '"•'': ''^"''^"^'^ '° 
crowns are simply discoirlnl t,. 7 ^ '""" "*^'^ '""ots, their 

enamel; the poslLr too L ^irerr ' ^^''TT"'' --^-'' ^^ ^1- 
that of the u^er^aw .as a ::::^ ^I^LIT J:':^- ''' '''-'' ^'^ 
the anterior tooth is donhlp in """"^"t angle on its posterior face; 

n2::;.::c;e;z„r,;:r °"'' -^--'^ '«^'- ^'"»^"». «-' 

.beWyi, broad ld\^/,X:\''"'''', r''- "'»" »« ""i- ^ 
the upper ,„„! lower ,u,.|aoe» „i h Z l' ." 'V'""'^''' °'''"'"'' "•' 'x-h 

33 1 


longest, the fourth is next in length, the second shorter, the fifth still 
shorter, and the first very short ; there is a large callous protuberance 
on the hinder-part of the palms. On the hind-feet the toes are short, 
and the nails are very short, concave beneath, ,ind rounded at tip ; the 
middle nail is longest, the second almost as long, the fourth a little 
shorter, the first still shorter, the fifth very short. This Rat is planti- 
grade, and presses on the earth from the heel to the toes. 

The tail is for one-third of its length from the root clothed with hair 
but toward the extremity is naked. 


Incisors, yellow ; nostrils, light pink i eyes, black. The fur is plum- 
beous from the roots to near the extremity, where it is broadly tipped 
with reddish-brown ; on the under surface it is a little paler, owing to 
the ends cf the hairs being but slightly tipped with brown. 

The head and the dorsal line are a shade darker than the surrounding 

Moustaches, white and black ; nails, and all the feet, white. 

The colours here described are those which this species exhibits during 
winter and the early part of summer. Immediately after shedding its 
hair it takes the colour of the young, light-plumbeous, which gradually 
deepens at the approach of winter. 


From nose to root of tail • - ' - 

95 inches. 

" " to ear 

2 do. 

" " to end of pouch 

4i do. 


2i do. 

Depth of pouc'i 

3 do. 

Fore-foot with longest claw 


1| do. 

Distance between the eyes . - - - 

I do. 

Weight of largest specimen, 14 



During a visit which we made to the Upper Missouri in the spring and 
bummcr of 1843, we had many opportunities of studying the habits of this 
species. In the neighbourhood of St. Louis, at the hospitable residence 
of the late Pierre Chouteau, Esq., we procured several of them alive, 
in that section of country they arc called " Mu!oc;4 

They are considered by the gardeners in that vicinity as great plagues, 
devouring every tap-root vegetable, or grass, within their reach, and 



perforating the earth in every direction, not only at ni^^ht h.,^ nf> 
times during the day. ""'7 at night, but often. 

FI.-ivi„g observed some freshly thrown up mounds in Mr. Chouteau'- 
garden, several servants were .ailed, and set to work to d^! out the 

ed by the Muloes, „, chlTcrent directions. One of the main gallenes was 
bout a loot eneath the surface of the ground, exeept wh re i ^ i 
under the walks, m which places it was sunk rather lower. We Z 
up this ent re "-allorv wliw.I. i,„i . Turin d 

ualks intn 7 7' , . '■'"■"'' ■'' ^'''^^ garden-bed and two 

h. b "^7. "7 ''«'•/•-'' -here we discovered that several Pno plants 
l.acl been kdled by these animals eating off their roots just beneath e 
Bur.ace of the ground. The burrow end.-d near these plant under a 
arge rose-bush. We then dug out another principal burro v bu it' 
ermmus was amongst the roots of a large peach-trel, some of the a 
o whch had been eaten olT by these animals. We could not captu 
an> 01 them at th.s tune, owing to the ramifications of their gal eri s 
avmg escaped our notice whilst following the main burrows. 5n ea e 
tuly exannnmg the ground, we discovered that several galleries ex "d 
that appeared :c run entirely out of the garden into the open fields a 
woods beyond, so that we were obliged to give up the'eha e 'H throws up the earth in little mounds abouf twelve or fifte 
nches .nhcght, at .regular distances, sometimes near each othe and 
occasional y ten. twenty, even thirty paces asunder, generally o .'-nt 
nea a surface we 1 covered with grass or vegetables of difi^eren kills ^ 
1 lo ]>oucl.ed Rat remains under ground during cold weather in an 
■nactn-e s,a e, most probably ,lor,nant. as it is not seen to distu b th 
surtaceo. the earth until the return of spring, when the grass is v^H 
grown. b -> ifl will 

The earth when thrown up is broken or pulveri.od. and as soon as the 
ammal has compile his galleries and chamber, he doses the a^^^ 
on the SK ie towards the sun, or on the top, although more usually! the 
SKle, leaving a sort of ring or openhig about the si.e of his body 

Possessed of an ex,uisi,e sense of hearing, and an acute ni^e, at the 
approach oi anyone travelling on ,hc ground the "Muloes" stp th ir 
abours mstantaneously, being easily alarmed; but if you retir so J 
.wen.y or ,lnr,y paces ,0 irnrar, of the hole, and wait th'ere for a ,u 2 
; - ''•:■"• ;7'>. y-« -ill «oe .he"noph,.,."(,no,ber name .iven ,< 
.hese ammals by ,he of ,|.e S.Ue of Missouri). raisin^Mhe 
eart-. wnh las back and shoulders, and .oreing it out be.ore ...1 a ^u d 
hnn. leaving an aperture open during ,he process, lie now runs a few 




Steps from the hole and cuts the grass, with which he fills his cheek-pouches, 
and then ri 'ires into his burrow to eat it undisturbed. 

You may see tlie Pseudostoma now and then sitting on its rump and basking 
in tlio rays of tlie sun, on which occasions it may easily be shot if you are 
prompt, but if missed it disappears at once, is seen no more, and will even dig 
a burrow to a considerable distance, in order to get out of the ground at some 
other place where it may not be observed. 

This' species may be caught in steel-traps, or common box-traps, with which 
we i)rocured two of them. Wlien caught in a steel-tra[), they frequently 
lacerate the leg by which they are held, which is generally the hind one, by 
their struggles to get free. They are now and then turned up by the plough, 
and we have known one caught in this manner. They sometimes destroy the 
roots of young fruit-trees to the number of one or two hundred in the course 
of a few days and nights ; and tliey will cut those of full grown trees of the 
most valuable kinds, such as the apple, pear, peach and plum. This species is 
found to vary in size very greatly on comparing diiferent individuals, and they 
also vary in their colour according to age, although we found no difference 
caused by sex. 

The commonly received oinnion is, that these rats fill their pouches with the 
earth fiom their burrows, and empty them at the entrance. This is, however, 
quite an erroneous idea. Of about a dozen, which were shot dead in the very 
act of rising out of their mounds and burrows, none had any earth in their 
sacs ; but the fore-feet, teeth, nose, and the anterior and upper portion of their 
heads, were found covered with adherent earth. On the contrary, most of 
them had their pouches filled with either blades of grass or roots of different 
trees ; and W(! think of these iiouches, that their being hairy within, rather 
eorroborales the idea that they are only used to convey food to their burrows. 
This <in'cies appears to raise up the earth very much in the manner of the 
common shrewiiuile. 

Wiien running, the tails of these .animals on the ground, and they 
hobble along at times with their long front claws bent underneath their 
feet as it were, backwards, and never by leaps. They can travel almost 
as fist backwards as forwards. When turned on their backs they have 
great ditfieulty in regaining their position, and kick about in the 
air for a minute or two with their legs and claws extended, before they 
can turn over. They can bite severely ; as their incisors by their size 
and sharpness plainly indicate ; and they do not liesitalc to attack their 
ciicniii's or assniiants with open mouth, squealing when in a rage like the 
coMiinon Norway or wharf rat, {Ifim (kciimanxs.) When they fight 
Miiiong liiemselves they make great use of their snouts, somewhat in the 



«.• f»re-r„at and ,„„, „,Ls lew . T he mat: 7'' ""? 

dunng that ti.„e drank any thin,, although we offlred them both ^T 
and m k. We fed thom ^., „ 1 1 « ""= uuprea tnem both water 

Wc haa ,„a a handkerchief e„„.:!;!S'jL,^r„e?« a, T'f 
securely, but thev discoveml f, •,„ 1 ' "' "" """'^'■t 

the toes, by which they made their exi^ W ' ''''"^ ' '^>"^'<' a hole at 
four n,ure,s of this singular J,te!es ^" "'"^" '" °"^ ^'^^^ 

e jr;;rst, r:::' if::::; r f r v^-""' -^' ^^ -- 

with the hair of the fem-Ue tT T ". "^' "'^^'""^^^ ^^ ^^'^^ ^' 

in a short .aUer^^r Lri ; :^ttttL\r "^' 

others diverging to various poinfs at vh Lh the T '^ """""^'^ 

pursued, and most of which lead 'to L T'"'"' '*'" "^^'^^^ '^ 

ravourite food is abund,!, ""'^' ''^ ^™"»'^'^ ^^ere their 

run about, di. burro i, and^rovidl Z Ulir' ^^'^ ''"'^ ^''' ^" 


The Psri/dosfoma hiirs(inu,<e hr 


md it in .,11 tl. , '''' "^ '^'''*' g'^offraphinal range. We 

liKi II. in all those places we visited •-.«( „f .1 i> 1 ,, 
■^( of the \rissi. ; . ; I . "■ '^'*'"''>' ^^louiUain.. and 

•lie M.s.,.pp, ,,,....... the soil and lood suited .... habit, h 



has been observed as far to the north as hit. 52°. It abounds iu Michi 
gan and Illinois. Farther to the south it extends along the western 
prairies, and it was observed near the shores of the Platte, Arkansas, 
Canadian, and lied Rivers, lo lat. 3P, and probably ranges stil' further 
to the south. 

There are Pouched Rats in Texas and Mexico, but we are at v.« >.'sent 
unable to determine whether they are ol" this species. 


The first naturalist who gave a specific name to this Pouched Rat was 
Dr. SiiAW, in the Linniean Transactions, accompanied by a figure rci)rc- 
senting it as having only three toes. The drawing had been made by 
Major Davies. Subsequently (in 1801) he again described and figured it 
in his General Zoology, vol. ii., p. 100, pi. 138. The pouches in both eases 
are inverted, and hanging down like long sacks on each side. These 
would be very inconvenient, as the animal could not place its nose on the 
earth or fill its sacks, with such an unnatural appendage dangling at its 
mouth. The error seems to have originated from the whim or ignorancit 
of an Indian. It is recorded, that in 1798 one of this species was pre- 
sented by a Canadian Indian to the Lady of Governor Prescott. Its 
[)ouehes had been inverteil, filled, and greatly distended with earth ; and 
from this trival circumstance an error originated which has been per 
petuated even to the present day. 

Rafinesuue, who was either careless or unscrupulous in forming new 
genera and species, and whose writings are so erroneous that we have 
seldom referred to him, contributed to create still farther confusion among 
the s, cies of this genus. He arranged them under two genera : Geomvs, 
with eheek-pouches opening into the mouth, and Diplostoma, with eheek- 
|)()uches opening exterior to the mouth. This last genus he characterizes 
by its having no tail, and only four toes on each foot. (Am. Monthly 
Magazine, 1817.) 

We consider it unfortunate that our friend Dr. Richardson should have 
nrdopted both these genera, and given several species under each. We 
have examined nearly all the original specimens from which his descrip- 
tions wen? taken, and feel confident that they all belong to the genus 


1m rcirard lo tin* present species, Dr. Riciiarhson was undecided uiwlcr 
what genus it slumld be placed. Tlie oppDrtnnities allbrded ns for milk- 
ing a ojireCul examination, leave no room lor any doubt on that snbjc-ct. 

That there are several species of pouched rals on both sides of the 


^^- 339 

*o« ears a„.l tail,. They live u„,ler the ca h L "'""'"" '"™ 

have for yea™ redded i„ Li, im,„edL.e ^,7 alZTr ' ," ! 
observe .race, of .heir exis.e„ee, have never seen ,L aataata ' ' 

h;.i.s a„d deserihi„, .he ierofVL^^i: TSlLtT 


roamed over by fierce savage tribes • that tho Nnni 

T?„. oc^uiijcs, mat me iXorthern regions visitpr? Kxr 

Richardson are exclusively under the cnntml .♦' n . n ^ 

aZZ °'°" ™'"°'' "P"""' "^-P^ f™™ 'he Western shored 
It is ao., therefore, surprising, that in order to become acquain.ed with 

spce,es and another existing in Gcorgrind Vflt jf" T = """"' 
.".probable that P..e,..o«o« ^e„,„L. ma/X^^Jld 'in xraT' ""' 





)| _ 0—0 3—3 

Incisive - ; Canine — - ; Molar -— 

9 ' 0—0 ' 3—3 


Incisors, in the upper jaw, large and cuneiform ; in the inCenor jaw 

Molars, compound, flat on their crowns, the enamel forming angulai 
ridges on the surface. 

Fore-feet, having the rudiments of a thumb, and four toes, furnished 
with weak nails. 

Hind-feet, with five toes, hairy on their borders, armed with claws. 

Ears, clothed with hair ; tail, cylindrical and hairy, shorter than the 
body. From eight to twelve pectoral and ventral mamma;. 

The old family of Mus has undergone many subdivisions. It formerly 
included many of our present genera. The Arvicohc, by the structure of 
their teeth, and the hairy covering of their ears and tail, the latter being 
besides short, may advantageously be separated from the rest. 

They burrow in the earth, and feed on grain, bulbous roots and grasses ; 
some are omnivorous, they do not climb, fre not dormant in winter, but 
seek their food during cold weather, eating roots, grasses, and the bark 
of trees. 

There have been about forty species of Arvicola described ; some ol 
these, however, are now arranged under other genera. Some of the 
species are found in each quarter of the world : about seven species 
inhabit North America. 

The generic name is derived from two Latin words, arvus, a field, and 
colo, I inhabit. 



Wri.soN's Meadow-Mouse. 
PLATE XLV.-Two figures. 


Broronishfan,n.colour above; heneatk, grayisk-uMte ; eyes, small; 
art and round. ' 

short and round. 



Shoht-tailkd Mouse, Forster, Phil Trans., vol. Ixii., p. 380, N., ,8 
Mkaoow, Pennant's Arctic Zoology, vol. i., p. faS 

^'' ^:Z:'C:Sr' ''"^-^ °^ ^^ss.r^...., warden. Description of tl,. 
Arvicola Pennsylvanica, Ord, Guthrie's Geography. 

_ " " '" Wilson's Ornithology, vol. vi.. d1 50 fitr •» 

" Pennsylvanica, Harlan, F. A., p. 144 ^ ^" 

Arvicola Aleo-uufesckns, Emmons, Mass. Reports, p. 60. variety 
Akvicola HiitsuTus, Emmons, Mass. Report. ^' 

Dckay, Nat. Hist. N. Y., p. 86. 


Body, robust, cylindrical, broadest across the shoulders; diminishin.. 
owards thelo,„s; fur, on the whole body, long and fine, but not lus! 
trous, on the upper surface (in winter specimens) half an inch ion- 
but not more than half that length beneath. 

Head, large and conical; forehead, arched; nose, rather blunt; in- 
c ors, projecting; eyes, small, situated equidistant from the auditory 
opemn and the pomt of the nose ; the longest whisker.s, about the length 
of the head: nos nls. lateral; nose, bilobate, clothed with short hai^; 
hps frnged with longer hairs; mouth, beneath, not terminal ; ears 
large, ounded, membranous, concealed by the fur, naked within, excep 
.long the margms. where they have a few long soft hairs; auricula, 




opening, large. The neck is so short that the head and shoulders seem 
united, like those of the .shrew-mole. 

Fore-feet slender, having four toes and a thumb, which is furnished 
with a sharp nail ; nails, small, eompressed, slightly hooked and sharp. 
The toes have five tubercles: the second toe irom tl thumb is longest, 
the thirci a little shorter, the first still shorter, and the outer one shortest. 

The hind-feet are a little longer than tli fore-feet; the tliird and fourth 
toes from the inner side are nearly of equal length, the second toe is a 
little shorter, the fifth still shorter, and the first is shortest. The soles of 
the hind-feet have five distinct tubercles ; all the feet are clothed with 
short, adpressed hairs. The tail is short, scaly, cylindrical, slightly 
clothed with rigid hair extending beyond the vertebrte. 


Teeth, dark orange ; fur, from the roots to near the tips, on every part 
of the body, da'k plumbeous. The colour differs a shade or two between 
wint(!r and summer. It may be characterized as brownish-gray above, 
a little darker on the back. The lips, chin, throat, and abdomen, are 
light bluish-gray. Feet, dark-brown; tail, brown above, and a shade 
ligliter beneath ; eyes, black ; whiskers, white and black. 


Length of head and body 
" " tail - 

Another specimen. 

Length of head and body 
" " tail (vertebra;) - 
** " " including fur 












\\c have had opportunities in New- York, Pennsylvania, and the New- 
England States, of learning some of the habits of this species. It is, in 
fact, the common Meadow-Mouse of the Northern and Eastern States. 

Wherever there is a meadow in any of these States, you may find 
small tortuous paths cut through the grass, appearing as if they had been 
partially dug into the earth, leading to the roots of a stump, or the 
borders of some bank or ditch. These are the work of this linle animal. 
Should you dig around the roots, or upturn the stump, you may find a 
family of from five to ten of this species, and will see them scampering 


off in all directions; an<l although thev do nof r„n r . .u . 

many hi.lin- „|,ic.-s tliaf ,n.l . • ^'''*' ^^''^ ^''^« so 

I'kf'ly to rsca,,,. v„o 'PI, • .. T "^ ' "^°"'' ''"''"■'^. th..y arc 

oruL *,.."„:;;:„;;;;::-:::: H::rr'r" ""f " 

d«Hon. ItisaLsolondoi- hulhs -...ic i '" ^''"«'"-"> »n good con- 

'-■r"-.) »- .... (r";::";;;;:::^;:;;:;r''''--*«. '''""'" 

VVc doubt whether this active liffl, : i 

■t is sol,!,,,,, „,.|, .,„ l,isl, .,„,„,„, s,ill . >loi.mlutor, a, 

p.* .c ,„„ ,:,;, ::;■;, ::.:,*™ :,;;"■' w:;. '"-'■ r- -"'-^ " 

.•"...,. .,.|y ,l„,,roy,.J .luri,,, „ «ve,e wi„,„ by „u, MoaJoJltf ,t Ti: 
iMik .»v,„g lK.e„ B„„wed from ,h. w„„d for „vc,al iachc, f2 Z 

ln.y,»,mtu»ll„.rollo„.i„Kol,»nrvali,„„o„.l,is»,,oci,.,-_ ™'"°"'. "' 

"Two „r tlim, wi„tas ago »vo,al tl.ousand y„u„„ fr„i, ,„„ „„, 
J.-»lroycd ,„ two adjoinl,,,- „„„crie, „oar our oilv ■ Z I ^ 

r:;-'",;"T "'™ "^-■» » -■'™'. «» r^a <^^ L;: 

■ ....hes, tlie lowest part of the denuded surface bein<. nhnn. . u 

Krouod had l,,...„ ,„,„„ vory hard all wiaror, owi„„ .oMT J.j 
.|unn, y ,„ s™,w ,l,„. had fallo,,. , „„p„o,„, „.„, „^^ ,;,,, ,„_";' 
bs., „„ ,h,, ro„« of ,r^»,, had been c. olf fr„„, i,„a y W 
y te ,.o„y hardness ol ,he Rrouod. and had attacked the ,rce. fr„,„ 
.ho „p „ ,1,0 snow. I looked „„,„„., f,„ ,b„ .j „„j J^°"^ 

nnmh,.r ol ,1„. present speeies. omI no other. I strongly ,„pe„, , ™ ,h 

farmer not a little. -^ 

" A few yetirs trgo a farmer gave mo permission t„ „pse,; some stacks 
'f corn „„ a p,eee of low : I „„„„ „„ abun.lance of this spooler-; 







shallow holes under them, and discov«'red some distance up between the 
stalks, ihe remains of cobs and kernels, showing that they had been 
doing no friendly work for the I'armer." 

We suspect, however, that the mischief occasioned to the nursery by 
this species is iulinitely greater than that arising from any depredations 
it commits on wheat or corn-lields. 

The nests of this arvicola are always near the surface ; sometimes 
two or three are found under the siime stump. We have frequently 
during summer observed them on the surface in the meadows, where 
they were concealed by the overshadowing grasses. They are com- 
posed of about a double handful of leaves of soft grasses, and are of an 
oval shape, with an entrance on the side. 

Wilson's Meadow-Mouse swims and dives well. During a freshet 
which covered some neighbouring meadows, we observed several ol 
them on floating bunches of grass, sticks, and marsh weeds, sitting in 
an upright posture as if enjoying the sunshine, and we saw them leav- 
ing these temporary resting places and swimming to the neighbouring 
high grounds with great facility ; a stick thrown at them on such occa- 
sions will cause them to dive like a musk-rat. 

This species does not, in any part of the United States, visit dwellings 
or outhouses, allhough Richardson states that it possesses this habit in 
Canada. We have scarcely ever met with it on high gro'^i.ds, and it 
seems lo avoid thick woods. 

It produces young three or four times during the summer, from two to 
five at a birth. As is the case with the Florida rat and the white-footed 
mouse, the young of this species adhere to the teats, and are in this way 
occasionally dragged along by the mother. We would, however, h(!re 
remark, that this habit, which is seen in the young of several animals, 
is by no means constant. It is only when the female is suddenly 
surprised and driven iioni her nest whilst suckling her young, that 
they are carried olF in this manner. The young of this species that wc 
had in confinement, after satisfying themselves, relinquished their hold, 
and permitted the mother to run about without this incumbrance. 

This species is easily caught in wire-traps baited with a piece of 
apple, or even meat; we have occasionally found two in a trap at the 
same time. When they have become accustomed to the confinement of 
a cagt! they are somewhat familiar, feed on grass and seeds of diirerent 
kinds, and often come to the bars of the cage to receive their food. 

They frequently sit erect in the manner of marmots or squirrels, and 
^vhile in this position clean their faces v. .ih their paws, continuing thus 
engaged for a quarter of an hour at a time. Tiiey drank a good deal 

oi water, and were no(!turnal in th«ip Jwj.u. r» • 



Wc havn found tfus species in all fhn Now-Enrland Sf.f.« . ■ 
^ very eonnnon. It is abun:,ant in a., the meado^^^^^^'^^^^^^^^ " 

pnia. vve have founa t n Maryland nn,l n i„ , "'■■laei- 

Pamunkey [liver i„ Hinovnr . '". P'^°'^"'-«d them on the 

ij iiivt^i, in nanover countv in tU-^t '<t.^t„ u • . 

abundant. We have traced if «« f u ' ''''''"''' '* '^ ^^'^^ 

North Carolina, Z ^S 1: h wt^S:;-^^" '^"'T^ '' 
Canada. F-.s.-.a obtained it from Flu.l.t C nd R ''" ""' ^""^'' 
orU as very aonndant iVom Canada to 0... B^^:.;:^: ::r::: ^'^'^"^^ 

To the westu exist, alon, the banl<s of the Ohio, but mvve e' 
to find ,t m any part of ^he region lying between the Z 
Hocliy Mountains. y"fe '>etwten the Mississipp, and the 


in tl.„ „^- I . ? VI., piate oO, fig. 3; descript on given n -.o 

m the article on the barn-own but then r.r..,nof i • . ' ^'^^"' P- •^''. 
which is „r.,li,,,blc ,„ him a a nUt^, '•''''" '"■ '' ''' °"'' 

other specie, ,ha„ ,hi, T, T, L""'""'""' ""»"'" P"""''/ "Pply K. any 

othcr .PC . of ,w,,e„„, „,,:i„^. ,, J^J^;''' "^ ^o only two 

.neronhi^prrrh";:: c™:::r °^ '-r^- *" -"■"- -- 

Go™„, (Nat. His,.,v„l. ii„p. ,8) ^irir Th "• '° "'''''='' 

ral rc,cm,„a„cc, b„, .he J^..,' a X „ ^'Z: ''""^ ^™«- 
h.. lo,„»a,. „a„.„w„ ea.. p„,„,ai,„ :y„:'°^l:^^Z't 

I ! 

,1 '■ 

i -iJ 

I [ 



shorter, and tho body is more ferruginous on the npper surface than ii 
our species. 

In the last work published on American quadrupeds, the writer en- 
deavours to show that this species, (which he has named A. hirsutus,) 
difl'ers from A. Pennsylvanica. The foUu^ving remarks are made at p. 
87 : — " Upon the suggestion that it might possibly be the Pennsyhanicus 
of Ord and Harlan, it was shown to both those gentlemen, who pro- 
nounced it to be totally distinct." To this we would observe, without 
the slightest design of undervaluing the scientific attainments of the 
respectable naturalists here referred to, that it was taxing their memo- 
ries rather too much, to expect them, after the lapse of fifteen or twenty 
years, during which time their minds had been directed to other pur- 
suits, to be as well qualified to decide on a species as they were when 
they first described it, (with ail the specimens before them,) and when 
the whole subject was fresh in their minds. In regard to Dr. Harlan, 
he candidly wrote in answer to our inquiries respecting this and several 
other species, that having been long engaged in other investigations, 
and never having preserved specimens, he could not rely on his present 
JM(lii[ment with any degree of accuracy. His description, moreover, being 
I'ontained in two and a half lines, cannot be depended on, and is equally 
applicable to a considerable number of species. In regard to referring 
subjects, requiring such minute investigatii i, to the memory, when the 
period at which the specimens were examined has long passed, we have 
in mind the reply of .Johnson, the great philologist, to an inquiry for infor- 
mation in regard to the derivation of a word, and of Newton, when asked 
for a solution of some knotty point in the higher branches of science : 
the former referred tne inquirer to his "Dictionary," — the latter, to his 
" Principia." The description of Mr. Ord is full and accurate, and by 
this we are quite willing to abide. We, moreover, are perfectly satis- 
fied, that when that gentleman has an opportunity of comparing speci- 
mens of the several species found in the vicinity of Pliiladelphia with 
his own description, he will refer the species described and figured aa 
A. hirsutus to his A. Pennsylvanica. 

The arvicola Albo-riifcscens of Emmons is evidently a variety of this 
species. We obtained a specimen from a nest in the northern part of 
New- York, which answered in every particular to his description. From 
the same nest two others were taken, with white rings round their 
necks, and three marked like the common Arvicola Pennsylvanica, 
differing in no respect from ylrr/r la hirsutus. 




Incisive - ; Canine — ; 




- 20. 

Incisors very strong. I„ the upper jaw their anterior .surface is fla, 
a d he. postenor surface angular. The molars differ slightly from eac 
other m size and have one internal and three external grooves In the 
ower jaw the incisors present the same appearance as those of 
upper; but are smaller. In the molars there are three groov ol h 
inner side, with one on the external ^ 

Eyes, small; ears short and round; five toes on each foot. On the fore- 

root of the tai, in whieh L unctlt ' J^L^^r^d! """ "^^^ ^^^ 
Jhere is but one well established species known to belong to this 

The generic name is derived from the Latin word Castor, a beaver. 



American Beaver. 


C. Arct. menace major, supra badius, infra dilutior- 
ovata, squamosa. ' 

Cauda plana, 


.!^Tsl 17 ''"^'^''"":^-'"'^' (^-'"-^'^ ^ono.,.) of a reddish-broron colour 
mth a short downy grayish fur Uneath ; tail, flat, scaly, and oval. ' 




Castor Fiber, Linn., 12th ed., p. 78. 
Castor, Sagiird Thoodiit, Canadii, p. 707. 
Bkavkr, Castoii, Pennant^ Arc. Zool., vol. i., p. 98. 
Castor Ohuinaire, Desm., Mamm. 
Castor Amkkicanus, F. Cuvier. 
Castor Fiber, Lewis and Clarke's Expedition, vol. i. 
Thk Bkavkr, Hearne's Journal, vol. viii., p. 245. 
Beavkr, Cartwi-ight's Journal, vol. i., p. 02. 

" Catesby, App., p. 29. 
Castor Fibkr, Harlan, Fauna, p. 122. 

" " Godman, vol. ii., p. 21. 

" " Americanus, Richardson, F. B. A., p. 105. 

" " Emmons, Mass. Reports, p. 61. 

" Dckay, pi. 1, p. 72. 


The shape of the body bears a considerable resemblance to that of tho 
musk-rat; it is, however, much larger, and the head is proportionally 
thicker and broader. It is thick and clumsy, gradually enlarging irom 
the head to the hips, and then is somewhat abruptly rounded off to the 
root of the tail. 

Nose, obtuse and divided ; eyes, small ; ears, short, rounded, well 
clothed with fur, and partially concealed by the longer surrounding 
hairs, moustaches, not numerous, but very rigid like hogs' bristles, 
reaching to the ears ; neck, rather short. The fur is of two kinds.' 
The upper and longer hair is coarse, smooth, and glossy ; the under coat 
is dense, soft and silky. Fore-feet, short and rather slender ; toes, well 
separat.'(l and very flexible. The fore-feet are used like hands to convey 
food to the mouth. The fore-claws are strong, compressed, and chan- 
nelled beneath. Th« middle toe is the longest, those on each side a 
little .shorter, and the outer and inner ones shortest. 

The hind-feet bear some resemblance to those of the goose. They are 
webbed beyond the roots of the nails, and have hard and callous soles. 
In most of the .specimens we have seen, there is a double nail on the 
second inner toe. The palms and soles are naked. When walking, t,he 
whole heel touches the ground. The Beaver is accustomed to rest ilsolf 
on its hind-feet and tail ; and when in this sitting position contracts its 
fore-elaws in the manner of tl.e left hand figure n^presented in the plate. 
The upper surface of all the feet, with the exception of the nails, which 
are naked, is thickly covered with short adpressed hairs. 



seal's' '%!! 7' '?!' '"?''^' *-.-e-shapecl an.l covered with angular 
scales The root of the tail is for an inch covered with fme fur The 


Incisors^on their outer surface, orange ; moustaches, black ; eyes light 
rovvn The soft under down is light grayish-brown The upp 'fur 
he back .s o, a shining ehesnut colour; on the under surface, a. d a^ou 
he mouth and throat, a shade lighter. Nails, brown ; webs between to 

ZeZT\ ^^^T''-'*^"^"- ^« have seen an occasional varl^ 
Some are black; and we examined several .kins that were nearly white. 


Male represented in the plate.-Rather a small specimen 
V rom nose to root of tail. 
Tail, .....__" 

. From heel to end of middle claw. 
Greatest breadth of tail, 
Thickness of tail, . . . _ 

Weight, Hi lbs. 

S3 inches 
10 do. 

.">} do. 

3J do. 
- 5 do. 


The sagacity and instinct of the Beaver havn fn«,v, f 

.»,, .he ..*,,„. ,„■ „,„„.„,„„ .„, ^x. tI r, "^.Tr;:;: 

»„,„„.„„ have r,.p.„,™t„d it as a raMonal, i„,elM,.c„, amlllt h 
roqniring but, the (acuity of speech t„ rii,e i, , ' . "^' 

some respect, with o„/„w„' pee e T : i T h" "" """''''' '" 
every m„„, whatever tuay he his pride in ,"„hl„, I """'P'"""™ »( 
a greater or less „e,ree t.f superstiU™ ^^^,1 ''T^' \" 

is at best but slow to be enlightened -u,,! ,1 , """'"'"f ^he world 
us by the tales of the nursery J e " „' t 77 i T" "'"""'' 
l".o the uerthern parts of Swede , K^" ^ N ."t "■■■"""'''' 

o...,. M.,.„., ,.: „..,„„ ,<.;::■ j:: tLixTwh": e ::!;;:: 

"m: ,n,,..-,„ary „„,i„„s were ree„r,led l,y ,h,. eredulen; GessI ,» w™ 
marvellous accounts of h„ habits of the Beavers in Nor h' I P 

^irol-U " ""• "■""^>''™— Thescla.,, exeited theenthu 

™sm o( Uereos, whose ro.uantie stories have so fastened thcnselves on 




the mind of childhood, .and liave hocn so gcnerallj'^ made a part of our 
education, that wc now are almost led to regret that three-fourths of the 
old accounts of this extraordinary animal are fabulous ; and that with 
the exception of its very peculiar mode of constructing its domicile, the 
Beaver is, in point of intelligence and cunning, greatly exceeded by the 
fox, and is but a few grades higher in the scale of sagacity than the 
common musk-rat. 

The following account vvras noted down by us as related by a trapper 
named Prevost, who had been in the service of the American Fur Com- 
pany for upwards of twenty years, in the region adjoining the spurs of 
the Rocky Mountains, and who was the " Patroon" that conveyed us 
down the Missouri river in the summer and autumn of 1843. As it con- 
firms the statements of Hearne, Richardson, and other close observers of 
the habits of the Beaver, we trust that although it may present little that 
is novel, it Avill from its truth be acceptable and interesting to our 
readers. Mr. Prevost states in substance as follows. 

Beavers prefer small clear-water rivers, and creeks, and likewise resort 
to large springs. They, however, at times, frequent great rivers and 
lakes. The trappers believe that they can have notice of the approach 
of winter weather, and of its probable severity, by observing the prepa- 
rations made by the Beavers to meet its rigours ; as these animals always 
cut their wood in good season, and if this be done early, winter is at 

The Beaver dams, where the animal is at all abundant, are built across 
the streams to their very head waters. Usually these dams are formed of 
mud, mosses, small stones, and branches of trees cut about three feet in 
length and from seven to twelve inches round. The bark of the trees in 
all cases being taken ofT for winter provender, before the sticks are car- 
ried away to make up the dam. The largest tree cut by the Beaver, 
seen by Prevost, measured (Mgliteen inches in diameter ; but so large a 
trunk is very rarely cut down by this animal. In the instance just men- 
tioned, the branches only were used, the trUnk not having been appro- 
priated to the repairs of the dam or aught else by the Beavers. 

In constructing the dams, the sticks, mud and moss are matted and 
interlaced together in the firmest and most compact manner ; so much so 
tliat even men cannot destroy them without :i great deal of labour. The 
mud and moss at the bottom are rooted up with the animal's snout, some- 
what in the manner hogs work in the earth, and clay and grasses are 
slulFed and plastered in between the sticks, roots, and braiiehes, in so 
workmanlike a way as to render the structure quite water-tight. The 
lams aro sometimes seven or eight feet high, and are from fen to twelve 




£* ill 

e^:"r :"r z;ri:r ':ir t ^"^ ^-'^"^^ --- 

-onally as .nuch as three hun. recT v. 7 u '"^- '^'^^^ ^--^ — 

yond the he.l of the st e.rn i, "^ , '" ''"="'^' ""^ "^'^ -'«»'! '>«- 

ti'nber near the ^^^^l^lZt' ^"™' ^° ^ ^ ---flow al, the 
winte., heap tc^ether T;. T ''"■' '"' ^'"^"" ^"'' ^""^ duri„g 

under the su'fae: Th "w^^ thT'""' "'' ^" ^'"^'" ^" ^^^ «»-'• 

it away; although th^r ^i: „ '^ r;^^?; ^"'•~- -- 

current does not pass over it Thrr , '"'*' ''' P"'^'"°» ^hat the 

in front of the ioclges and vher t ' "! '^"'^^ "' "«"^ -« P'^-d 
to them, takes a p el f Jo! \ ! T""'^' ^^'^ to feed he proceeds 
near the pru,cipal7nt al ulin" T'^ u ''^ ""'^ "' ^'^'^ •^'"'^" ^oles 
the surface of the ground I eH '^"^ ^'^ "''"' ^"'^"""'^ ^^-'^th 
the wood is after JdHL ^t^t ^ '^.^':'"^^?^ '«^--' -^ 

small galleries are more or les... T '^'''""'"^ '^' ''''^'"- These 

animals in the h,d.r T L 1; "I 7 ""'"■'""^' '" *^« --''-of 

-en ^eeindian.;,\j:,;:-r!:,:rv^!.r'-- ^^- 

a great oven. They are placed near th d 'e of h '' '''^"""'"" 
actually built on or in the ground. In ittt I ,/ ""'"'"'' "'^'^""^''^ 

the .nu.l to secure a deptl of wat h t ''^"""r "^'"^^^'^ ''''''>' 
their wood ,Iecp enough to pr vent s b ""'^"'^ ''"^"" ^" ^''"'^ 

tl'e dam is irozon over ^nd loto 11 7^ ""^"'^'^ '" ^^"^ '«^' -'"^^ 
their lodges, .o thaUhe na;;^^^^ T''' "'^'^ '^'^'■'^^^ ^-- 

The top of the lodge is form Jbvnh T 7^ "''*"'' '' '' '— -X' 

-.d, grasses, mo.^ ^c ToJ ther rf ^""'"'' ""' ^''^'^'^ "'^''^■^' ^^th 
theoutsi.le n;m t;^:'trt: ;:^ :;::;f ^^hr. measures on 
feet high, the size depending on H. '^ ' ''"'' '' ^'^ °'" ^'"^t 

ward coating is entirely "mud or /,"" "' "' '"'^^'^'''tauts. The out- 
ed with a trowel A Be.v , ' ""' """•'"^' «''" ^^ '^ P'-'er- 

P.-n we believe t. ; 7 I'en TortlT'^" T" ^" ''' '^■^^-^ - 
this hard-nnish ,o their l.ouseT T Js n " '" "'" """ ''^^'^' ^'' ^'- 
inswimming, but for earryi ^t,,; ^^ i:^ '"^f "^ ^^^^ ^-^^^t 
inj? the young ones which su^ert' •' . '" ' ""^''''''^ ^y ^^''^tch. 
•""•v, using only tU Ind t " l^f ™' '" '"«" '^^ ^'^^ -''' °^ the 

making a noise (h-^t „nv I, , ^^' ''''"' ''' '""'^ "" the water. 

n^ng, L tail ^ ^ ^ t ^ rk .rr'"'";'';" ■ ''^""^^' '^"^ ^" -'■"- 

except the nose and pn t ^f t '. '"" T' "'"■"'^' ^•"""•^■■^-' 
no^lnghke the speed :.ftheo;:::;i:-;r^^ 

J i 



already spoken of, through which they go ir. and out and bring their food. 
The bods ol' these singular animals are separated slightly from each 
other, and are placed around the wall, or circumference of the interior ol 
the lodge ; they are foriuoii merely of a few grasses, or the tender bark 
of trees; the space in the centre of the lodge being left unoccupied. The 
Beavers usually go to the dam every evening to see if repairs are needed, 
and to deposite their ordure in the ^rz^iv'v nef >■ the Jam, or ai least at some 
distance from their lodge. 

They rarely travel by land, unit Mr dams have been carried away 
by the ice, and even then they take the beds of tlie rivers or streams for 
their roadway. In cutting down trees they are not always so fortunate 
as to have them fall into the water, or even towards it, as the trunks of 
trees cut down by these animals are observed lying in various positions ; 
although as most trees on the margin of a stream or river lean somewhat 
towards the water, or have their largest branches extended over it, many 
of those cut down by the Beavers naturally fall in that direction. 

It is a curious fact, says our trapper, that among the Beavers there are 
some that are lazy and will not work at all, either to assist in building 
lodges or (lams, or to cut down wood for their winter stock. The 
industrious ones beat these idle fellows, and drive thetii away ; some- 
time" tting oif a part of their tail, and otherwise injuring them. These 
" Paresseux" are more easily caught in traps than the others, and the trap- 
per rarely misses one of them. They only dig a hole froiri the water run- 
ning obliijuely towards the surface of the ground twenty-five or thirty feet, 
from which they emerge when hungry, to obtain food, returning to the 
same hole with the wood they procure, to eat the bark. 

They never form dams, and are sometimes to the number of five or 
seven together ; all are males. It is not at all improbable, that these 
unfortunate fellows have, as is the case with the males of many species 
of animals, been engaged in fighting with others of their sex, and 
after having been conquered and driven away from the lodge, have 
become idlers from a kind of necessity. The working Beavers, on the 
contrary, associate, males, females, and young together. 

Beavers are caught and found in good order at all seasons of the year 
in the Rocky ^Mountains ; for in those regions the atmosphere is never 
warm enough to injure the fur ; in the low-lands, however, the trappers 
rarely becin to capture tli(>m before the first of September, and they relin- 
quish the pursuit about the last of May. This is understood to be along 
the Missouri, and the (so called) Spanish country. 

Cartwrioiit, (vol. i., p. <)'2,) found a Beaver that weighed forty-five 
pounds, and we were assured that they have been caught weighing 



sixty-one pounds before beins cleaned Tho »»i 
that are eonsidored fine ea^ng/'e V. L ^f T^^^^^ 
the tail, and the liver The tail «n I T ^^^^^' ^^^ ''"'"P. 

, various au.hor, ^ZJ^TtZ ''''''^" °' '^ '''''''''^■^^ ^^ 'y 

^hHr description. ;: h s Z^ r^^^^.T '''' "^ ^f ^ «^-"ed 
oily, and cannot be partaken of unles t "'';™"' ^"* " ^"*^^'- 

r^ • "^ '"'^'' sciison white fpnHpi. o„^ • • 

During winter, when the ire i« fKs i j tender, and jmcy. 

greenwood, .he i^i re:;..:*;: :' " '■"°':™™ '-^ ^'■°'' °' 

plaecl ,vi,l,i„ afcw inchcfrh;r,ilf "'"*'' ''"I'' "'""I"' 

'!« Beaver, a,,e,l e , e,.;; ,1 ,f h'T" T"' "=" "'""'''• "'«' 

a roo. ta orfer .„ „„ i. V^l ZlZt ""T- '1 """" """ "«' 
U Ka. had «.e .„ .hi„U „f .Ms mX: o av ^r^l riT?'' 
Whe„ trapping „„de,- other eireumstances theTn , , *=''""""■■ 
or ,ix htehes of the shore and ahon. ,1 , "^ "^ °°'' """"" «'''• 

of .he, .cured a^d":::!':: ^ aTltW,: tl '"^ ^"'°"" 
™. .hen e« o. .he r.. h, whieh .he, are he^ "f 'r^: t!:i: .re" 

A singular habit ol' the Beaver was men.ioned In „ k ,K 
P..VO.., „f„bi„H „e do no. reeollee. havT„T efrlhea^ '«: .Sr 
when .wo Beaver lodges are in the vieini.v of ., T ,u u " 

proceed from one of them a, n^.h,, J ^ °"'"' ""= ""'""'I' 

reum, and .hen re. r . .^ i 'fl " VhT Be" T' ' ^T' "™' """"• 

cairil' :Tr'' '""'7 '"'•''"'' '""^"""^ '" ^^^ ^''-*^« "f the Beaver is 
called castoreu-n : by .rappers, bark-stone : with ,his the traps are hai'-d 



i ? 

A small stick, four or five inches lonj?, is chewed at one end, and that 
part dipped in the castoreum, which is generally kept in a small horn. 
The slick is then placed with the anointed end above water, and the 
oth»!r end downwards. The Beaver can smell the castoreum at least 
one hundred yards, makes towards it at once, and is generally caught. 

Where Beavers have not been disturbed or hunted, and are abun- 
dant, tliey rise nearly half out of water at the first smell of the casto- 
reum, and become so excite(' that they are heard to cry aloud, and 
breathe hard to catch the odour as it floats on the air. A good trap- 
per used to catch about eighty Beavers in the autumn, sixty or seventy 
in the spring, and upwards of three hundred in the summer, in the 
mountains ; taking occasionally as many as five hundred in one year. 
Sixty or seventy Beaver skins are required to make a pack weighing 
one hundred pounds; which when sent to a good market, is worth, 
even now, from three to four hundred dollars. 

The Indians occasionally destroy Beaver-dams in order to capaire these 
animals, and have good dogs to aid them in this purpose. The Moun- 
tain Indians, however, are not trappers. 

Sometimes the Indians of the Prairies break open Beaver lodges in the 
summer-time, as, during winter, they are usually frozen hard. The Bea- 
ver is becoming very scarce in the Rocky Mountains, so much so, that if 
a trapper now secures one hundred in the winter and spring hunt, he is 
considered fortunate. 

Formerly, when the fur was high in price, and the animals abundant, 
the trading companies were wont to send as many as thirty or forty men, 
each with from six to twelve traps and two good horses : when arrived 
at a favourable spot to begin their work, these men erected a camp, and 
each one sought aione for his game, the skins of which he brought to 
camp, where a certain number of men always remained to stretch and 
dry them. 

The trappers subsist principally upon the animals they kill, having a 
rifle and a pair of pistols with'them. After a successful hunt, rn meet- 
ing each other at the camp, they have a " frolic " as they term it. 

Some old and wary Beavers are so cunning, that on finding the bait 
they cover it over, as if it were on the ground, with sticks, &c., deposit 
their own castoreum on the top, and manage to remove the trap. This 
is often the case when the Beaver has been hunted previously. In places 
where they have remained undisturbed, but few escape the experienced 
trapper. The trappers are not very unfroqucntly killed by the Indians, 
and their occupation is one involving toil and hazard. They rarely gain 
a competence for their old age, to say nothing of a fortune, and in fact 




and he lost his gun and rifle in coming down tirriver n 1 T "' 

and was obliged to make for the shore di! a ho-e wl . ' '^"•"• 

ievv iurs he had left, and travel several' Idr d mH "'". ''""'* ^'" 

berries and roots for his fooH H "" ^°°^ ^^^'^ ""'^ 

the Fort. • "' ^''^ ^"'^^ "^'^^d when he reached 

The Beaver which we brought from Boston to New-York was fWl ■ 

which .,np„r„,„| him /V„m .ha. ,,„r. of .he t,.d "e rlt h '""° ! 
haJ wan<l,.re,I „l,„„. u„,i| h,. Ml i,„n ,v. °""'' "'"' 

"P ou.i.,„ ,h. „.„he„ .;!,;.,:' ' :,.-;;-:: zr^, ■'-' r""" 

having no other chanr-o nf / , ^ "^ entrapped, and 

unluckily fdlel 1 . "'^' " '^" ^''^ '"^« ^^'^"^'^ '- had 

ui.uck.lj .Hen, h. gnawed away at the window-sill and the sash 

on h.s teeth took such eff-ect that on an exam'.tion o th 

premises we found that a carpenter and several dol-^uV wirof . 

p;ve.e„., a.„ .« he .;:ir:h;rur;;;:Th?;r L^ 

wall,,,l „ho„. ,„ „„ „x,nem„ly awliwar,! manner. He fell ill son", alW 
- ha., re,.,.i,.e„ him. „n,l when ,<il,e,l. „„s examine ," T ]^Z 

l::r """ '""-" ''■" "- "- *"""• » "« »' - 0^"^: 

I. is s.a.e,l by some ami,,,,, „„„ „,e Beaver feed, on |i»h. We ,loul,t 
■•elore those we saw ,„ e«p.,vity, ami al.hough ihey were no. verj 



choice in their food, nnd devoured any kind of vegetable, and even bread, 
they in every case sulfered lish to remain untouched in their cages. 

The food of this species, in a state of nature, consists of the bark of 
several kinds of trees and shrubs, and of bulbous and other roots. It is 
particularly fond of Ihu bark of the birc-h, {Ihiiila,) the cotton-wood, 
{Foptilus,) and of several species of willow, {Sdlix ;) it I'eeds also with 
avidity on the roots of some aquatic plants, especially on those of the 
Nuphair lutcum. In summer, when it sometimes wanders to a distance 
from the water, it eats berries, leaves, and various kinds of herbage. 

The young are born in the months of April and May ; those produced 
in the latter month are the most valuable, as they grow rapidly and be- 
come strong and large, not being checked in their growth, which is often 
the case with those that are born earlier in the seaso' . Some females 
have been taken in July, with young, but such an event is of rare occur- 
rence. The eyes of the young Beaver are open at birth. The dam at 
times brings forth as many as seven at a litter, but from two to five is 
the more usual number. The yoi ig remain with the mother for at least 
a year, and not unfrequently twc years, and when they are in a place of 
security, where an abundance of food is to be procured, ten or twelve 
Beavers dwell together. 

About a month after their birth, the young first follow the mother, and 
accompany her in the water ; they continue to suckle some tirr i longer, 
although if caught at that tender age, they can be raised without any dit- 
ficulty, by feeding them with tender branches of willows and other trees. 
Many Beavers from one to two months old are caught in tra|)s set for old 
ones. The gravid female keeps aloof from ihe male until after the 
young have begun to follow her about. She resides in a separate lodge 
till the month of August, when the whole family once more dwell 


According to Richaroson the Beaver exists on the banks of the iNIao- 
kensie, which is the largest river that discharges itself into the Polar 
Sea : he speaks of its occurring as high as 67J )r (58° north latitude, and 
states that its range from east to west extends from one side of the con 
tinent to the other. It is found in Labrador, iVewJjundland, and Canada, 
and also in some paiLs of Maine and Massachusetts. Tl'.ere can be no 
doubt that the Beaver formerly existed in every portion of the United 
States. Catesbv noticed it as found in Carolina, and the local names of 
Beaver Creek, Beaver Dam, «&c., now existing, are evidences that the 
animal was once known to occupy the places designated by these com 


liM vWl ,„ Fl„ri,l,i i„ 1778 nv,i,.h „ -NM ' >"■'" ^If- Uartram,,,, 
existing i„G.„,..i,. „„„ E,,;. P H ' ' u [ X:':,"' " "' '" "■"' '-^ 

ral B<.avi,r-l,iiuses in the noi-lh-wralem nart of lV„w V i T 
though „•. di„ „„. «e the a„™„K „e oCJ.tjZt ' f' 

,pre«,n. ex„t sou.l, of cerlai,, localilic, i„ ,he »,a,„ of Mc«-. Yo k Th 
|:. an error. Only .wo year, a.„ we received a .bo. of e ,h ,„i .^I 

«b»rve„ a Beaver .vi„„i„, „„„,, T r^^^^ZrH/lT:! 
lu!;" 'j;;'^."";«f MU,e,l,evine, Georgia, wi.ere Beavrsae .m 
ound. Oar IriemI, Major Looan, residing in Dallas conn.v li , 
mlor^ed „,.ha. .Key exi. „„ Ms „la„,:,i„„. Ld a "L. hT; 

tmny skms annually, from persons residing in his neighbourhood ' 

Of t Zemr :r r^r r '-"^-^: -- 

near „ende«„„, Ken.ucky, i^ CaTe Ore k . TJir ,t' °"' 
curiosity, .and probably none have been , en i h« ^, -"u" 

zrr b^r "-^ •^" "■.^ Bea:::LrjrZn:„: : 
on .he '^J::z:zziz:^z„ I^;:rr" 

.ains. and along .heir whole range on ho.h side ^ 1 1.' L^""" 
far as .he northern boumbries of Mexieo and i. i „„ ! r , 

Tropie ovrer-r::';-— thi!:: t::::;/::!;:.:::;: 

abundan. .„ .he alluvial lands of Carolina aud Georgia. ZtkXl 





where its (liuns formerly existed jire on pure running streams, and not 
on the slusKisli rivers near lh(! seii-coa.sf. 




It is (louhted by some authors whether the Ameriean Beaver is identi- 
cal witli the Heaver whic^h exists in the north of Europe ; F. Cuviek, 
KuiiL, and others, deseril)ed it under the names of C. Amvrkanus, C. 
Canadensis, »fce. From the ampliihious habits of this aninial, and its 
northern range on both continents, strong; arguments in favour of tlie 
identity of the American and European species might be maintained, 
even without ado|)ting tlie theory of the former connexion of the two ad- 
Jacent continents. We carefully compared many specimens (American 
and European) in tin; museums of Europe, and did not perceive any dif- 
ferenoe between them, except that the American specimens were a very 
little larger than the European. We saw a living Beaver in Denmark 
that had been obtained in the north of Sweden; in its general appear- 
ance and actions it did not differ from those we have seen in confine- 
ment in America. It has b'een argued, however, that the European ani- 
mal differs in its habits from the American, and that along the banks of 
the Weser, the Rhone, and the Danube, the Beavers are not gregarious, 
and that they burrow in the banks like tiie nmsk-rat. But change of 
habit may be the result of altered circumstances, and is not in itself suf- 
ficient to constitute a species. Our wild pigeon {Columbn migralor'ui) 
formerly bred in counnunifies in the Northern States; we once saw one 
of their breeding jjlaces near Lake Champlain, where there were more 
than a hundred nests on a single tree. They still t)reed in that portion 
of the country, but the persecutions of man have cop Mled them to 
ndoi)t a ditlVrent habit, and two nests are now seldom founu on a tree. 

The banks of the European rivers, (on whicii the Beaver still remains 
although scarcely more than a straggler can be found along them now,) 
have been cultivated to the water's edge, and necessity, not choice, has 
driven the remnant of the Beaver tribe to the change of habit we 
have referred to. But if the accounts of travellers in the north of Europe 
are to be relied on, the habits of the Beaver are in the uncultivated por- 
tions of that country precisely similar to those exhibited by the animal in 
Canada. We consider the account of these animals given us by IIkarne, 
(p. 234,) as very accurate. 11^ speaks of their peculiarly constructed 
huts, their living in connnunities, and their general habits. In the ac- 
count of Swedish Lapland, by Professor Lei:ms, published in Danish 
and Latin, Copenhagen!!, 17()7, we have the following notice of the 
Ei.ropean species , (we quote from the English translation in Pinker 

roN'a Voyages, vol. 1., p. 419) ..... „ . . ''^^*^ 

build his houso near the banks „f law' . " '"'*^'"''^'^«'y '-J to 

'••'"' ''ir.-h tree., with vvhic ,1.1 . n "''" ''''''■ ^^' '"^'^'^ ^^''^ his 
'- .int..s ,he woe:, a ;.;':'''';?'' 'V'""^^^"'''-' ■' -t'. '.is teeth 
in this .nanne. one pie^'ii/lZ^L t:;:' ^-^'''^ "^^ "''•^^^-'- ' 
choose. At the lake or river where , *'"'°''""'' '^^'"''^ '''^V 

;:irch .0.. or trunks. eovT, wXt rh ^i;;;;" I';:-"^' ^^'-^ "'^ 
"'■•■.un. a foundation, they complete th e ' t ! ^ 7 """' '""' 
n'uch art and ingenuity as to excite th! T "''''"*-'' '^''"' '^^ 

The house itself is of a round and 1 ^' V'"'*'""-''^""" «'" the behohlers. 
fnrence the ordinary hut of a L in 1 'T' ^''"•'^"'"" '" ^'« «-— 

•-..covered with L^c^l of ^^ t; i ^^'^ '"? "^ "'^"^ ^^ ^'^ "^ 
above, near the edge of a river or I I u" '""^ '"""'"' ^'"' ^ ''"lo 

-d flooring on wlTieh the dwer ^ t i!' " ' ^'"^^" ^'^^ '"""^'^'-" 
-ere a cell, filled with water wh" ?,"'"'"'' ''''*" '' ^"""^'^ - '^ 
put up; on the bark of thftl bJ '! /''V'' " "'' "'" '"^^'^ ^^^ -« 
t-d. If there are more Tm I i s n ? ' "'"' '"''^^'•'' ^'"'^ '"--'- 

another resembling the <W ^^ m^" ' '^''^: ^''^ ''^"^ ""-'•"'"• 
i-^properly name a second stor; IriL Lr^^^Hjt:? 'Z ""7 "" 
'ng consists of branches vervrl„.,.l„ Ihcroofof the dirdl- 

.ne «,„. You have now rZll T ' """ '■"<''""» '"" '" o'- 

-in,„,, ,,u„.„h„; desuHc ;■„ ,::";::j :?" "/;■<■. --^ i.y » b™.„ 

-o 1«« in^cnnU, .h„n co.nmodilri. ""' "''"""''» ""' »•'"■ 

It should be observed thr,-^ i ^ 

»* in .he vicinity „,■ .he Berve^ d no^fl.'':,''"'''''*'-' -"" '=■ 
aervntion,. This account, thoush .ni.cdnn wl? " P"'""'" "b' 

and tht usual vulgar error, r»L.I, , '^ '™'' ««''"ra»Mcles 

..n. the habits o,- .1 n:z 1:^^^;:::;^^^'"'' '"°™ 

«™.l«r to those of that anl,„al on the norther: clunenTo^AZ::'*'' 


GENUS MELES.— Brisson 


« 1—1 4—4 

Incisive - ; Canine — : ; Moltir -— = 34. 

R 1 — 1 5 — a 


« I I 4—4 

Incisive - ; Canine — ; Molar — = 32. 

1—1 4—4 


i ! 
i t 

The canine teeth in this genus are rather large and strong. In addi- 
tion to the four persistent molars on each side in the upper jaw, there ih 
an additional small molar which is deciduous, dropping out when the 
animal is quite young. 

Nose, somewhat elongated, ohtuse at the jwint; tongue, smooth; ears, 
short and round ; eyes, small body, thick-set ; legs, short. Mamma-, Six, 
two oil the lower part of th(! chest and lour on the abdomen. There are 
transverse glandular follicles between the anus and the root of the tail, 
which discharge a i'ctid matter. 

The feet are live-toed, and are armed with strong nails. The fore-feet 
are longer than ihe hmd-feet. 

Three species jf this genus have been described ; one inhabits Europe, 
■me India, and one America. 

The generic name is derived from the Latin word Mclcs, a badger. 


American Badokr. 

Supra fiisco-ferruginea ; infra, subalbida ; capite, fascia longitudinalo 

ulb^i ; cruribus et pedibus iiigris. 




feet, black. ^ ' " "'^''^' *^"^«<^ ' 'c^* "nd 



CVrcajou, Buffon, torn, vi., p. 117 pi 23 
CoMMox lUuoEK, Pennant's Arctic Zool., vol. i.. p. 71 
Baook,, Var. R. A.meuk-an, Pe„„. HLst. Quad., vol. ii" p ,6 
Uhhvh Taxl-s, Sclireber, Suugeth., p. 520 ^' 

Laiikadoriis, Gmel., vol.i., p. 102 
PuARow,, Journal, p. 34. 

R..Anuuu, Lewis and Clarke, vol. i., pp. 50, 137 213 
lAxus LAnHADourcs, Long's Expedition, vol. i., p. 20 1. 
M.,... LAnuAi-ciA, Sabine, Franklin's First Journey, p C49 
American Badger, Harlan, F., p. 57. ^' ^ "• 

" ^. " Godni., vol.i., p. 179. 
Blaireau D Ameriqoe, F. Cuvier, Hist. Nat. des Mamm 
Meles Labradoria, Richardson, F. B. A., pi 2 

Wuterhouse, Trans. Zool. Soc, London, vol. ii., p. ,. p. 343. 


There is a very striking difference between the teeth of fhi« 

:::t rv "-""" -" --'^^^^'^'^:'r:::;;t: 

uousL, 11, Ihe Transactloi.a of the Zool, Socijlv of l,.„„l„„ , - 

I • .. '"ol'iis M. the pt)ster or fiilse mol-n- oC fK„ 

I'Hv.Tjjiw, with an anterior lurire tubrrelp ..„,l / ^ 

- »^> ■• .1. n,,.i..,. an;r,he : ;,:' :,i:;:;r'"°''°'' °"' 

n»l,„ca„„„ ol»,.,,.,„„ ia „„. „™ „,.„,„ ,„„,,„^ „,. » I" ' K„ '^ 
Ia.xidea, furnislies u.s with an intovo^ti,.,, i- i i "PPer j.iw of 

Mil il« »ul,g..,„.ra." '"*"" "'"> MusTHUA 

The body „, Ki, specie, i, .hick, heavy, «.,, „e,y bro,>e. and fl..hv 

■ if 




' S' 



and its whole structure indicates that it is formed more for strength than 

Head, of moderate size, and conical ; the skull, between the ears, 
broad, givinji; it somewhat the api)earance of a pug-faced dog. Tip o. 
the nose, hairy above ; ears, sliort, and ol' an oval shape, clothed on both 
surfaces with short hairs ; whiskers, few, not reaching beyond the eyes. 
The fur on the back is (in winter) three inches long, covering the body 
very densely ; on the under surface it is short, and so thin that it does not 
conceal the colour of the skin. There is, immediately oelow the tail, a 
large aperture leading into a kind of sac. Although there seems to be 
no true glandular apparatus, this cavity is covered on its sides by an 
unctuous matter; there is a second and smaller underneath, in the midst 
of which the anus opens, and on each side of tiie anus is a pore from 
which an unctuous matter escapes, which is of a yellow colour and offen- 
sive smell. Legs, short; feet, robust, pal mated to the outer joint; nails, 
long and strong, slightly arched, and channelled underneath toward 
their extremities ; palms, naked. The heel is well clothed with hair ; 
the tail is short, and is covered with long bushy hairs. 


Hair on the back, at the roots dark-gray, then light-yellow for two- 
thirds of its length, then black, and broadly tijjped with white; giving 
it in winter a hoary-gray appearance ; but in summer it makes a near 
approach to yellowish-brown. The eyes are bright piercing black. 
Whiskers, upper lips, nose, forehead, around the eyes, and to the back of 
the head, dark yellowish-brown. There is a white stripe running from 
the nose over the forehead and along tiie middle of the neck to the 
shoulder. Upper surface of ear, dark brown ; inner surface and outer 
edge of ear, white ; legs, blackish-brown ; nails, pale horn-colour ; sides 
of face, white, which gradually darkens and unites with the brown colour 
above ; chin and throat, dull white ; the remainder of the under surface 
is yellowish-white ; tail, yellowish-brown. 

We have noticed some varieties in this species. In one of the speci- 
mens before us the white line does not reach below the 
eyes, leaving the nose and forchciid dark yellowish-brown. In two of 
them the under surface of the body is yellowish-white, with a broad and 
irregular longitudinal line of white in the centre ; whilst another ;ui(l 
smaller specimen has the whole of the under surface pure white, shaded 
on the sides by a line of light yellow. 

21 inches. 
4 do. 
H do. 
3| do. 
4 do. 
1* do. 
IS do. 
4f do. 
10^ do. 
71 do. 



A male in winfer pelage. 

From point of nose to root of tail, 
Tail, (vertcbnc,) . . '. 

to end of hair, .... 
Nose to root of ear, .... 
Between the ears, 
Height of " . . _ 

Breadth of " . . _ 

Length of head, . . . _ 

Breadth of body, . . . ] 

Length of fore-leg to end of claw. 

Weight, lOi lbs. 

f«ii f,r /u [ ' ' ' ' 30 inches 

tail, (vertebrae,) . 

to end of hair, 
Breadth of body. 
Heel to end of nail, 

Weight, 23 lbs. 
A stuffed specimen in our collection. 
Length of head and body, . 

tail, (vertebras,) - . . 

to end of hair, 
heel to end of nail, 



5 do. 

7i do. 

12 do. 

4 do. 

31 inches 

7i do 
H do. 

During our stay at Fort Union, on the Upper Missonri V ■ . 
summer of 18,3. we purchased a living Bad 'er from !"''' ^'^ 
brought it from some distance to the Fort lb si t hav 'T' "'" ''"' 
»>V another s„uaw at a place nearly two hu d H and J' T '^""'^ 
among the Crow Indians. It was first placed n ''' "" ^'^'^y' 

was ..und to be so very nUschie^u!: H ^ ^r::;^;:" T""' '" 
overy arlicle within its reach trvinJ L H T "^ *° P'^'^''''' 

m m 



cleanly in its habits. In the course of a few dajs it managed to dig 
a hole under the hearth and lire-place nearly hirge and deep enough to 
conceal its body, and we \\tre obliged to drag it out by main force when- 
ever we wished to examine it. It was provoked at the near approach of 
any one, and growled continuously at all intruders. It was not, how- 
ever, very vicious, and would suffer one or two of our companions fo 
handle and play with it at times. 

At that period this Badger was about five months old, and was nearly 
as large as a full grown wood-chuck or ground-hog, {Arctomys monax.) 
its fur was of the usual colour of summer pelage, and it was quite a 
pretty looking animal. We concluded to bring it to New- York alive, if 
possible, and succeeded in doing so after much trouble, it having nearly 
made its escape more than once. On one occasion when our boat was 
niiide fast to the shore for the night, and we were about to make our 
"en nip," the Badger gnawed his way out of the box in which he was 
confined, and began to range over the batteau ; we rose as speedily as 
possible, and striking a light, commenced a chase after it with the aid of 
one of the hands, and caught it by casting a buffalo robe over it. The 
cage next day was wired, and bits of tin put in places where the wooden 
bars had been gnawed through, so that the animal could not again easily 
get out of its prison. After having become accustomed to the box, the 
Badger became quite playful and took exercise by rolling himself rapidly 
from one end to the other, and then liack again with a reversed move- 
ment, continuing this amusement, sometimes lor an hour or two. 

On arriving at our residence near New-York, we had a large box, tinned 
on the inside, let into the ground about two feet and a half and filled to 
the same depth with earth. The Badger was put into it, and in a few 
minutes made a hole, in which he seemed quite at home, and where he 
passed most of his time during the winter, although he always came out 
to take his food and water, and did not appear at ail sluggish or inclined 
to hibernate even when the weather was so cold as to make it necessary 
to pour hot water into the pan that was placed within his cage, to enable 
him to drink, as cold water would hiive frozen immediately, and in fiict 
the pan generally had a stratum of ice on the bottom which the hot 
water dissolved when poured in at feeding-time. 

Our Badger was fed regularly, and soon grew very fat ; its coat 
cluinired completely, became woolly and of a buff- brown colour, and the 
fur by the month of February had become indeed the most effectual pro- 
tection against cold that can well be imagined. 

We saw none of these animals in our hunting expeditions while on 
our journey up \\\v. Missouri River, and observed only a few burrowing 



places which we supposed were the remains of their holes but whi.h 
were at that time abandoned. We wore informed that Le ani, 
had burrows six or seven feet deep runnin, beneath the ground a Thl 
depth to the distance of more than thirty feet. The Indiar speak o 
heir flesh as hem, ,ood ; that of ,he one of which we have been'sp ak 

2ttr:\::;r^' ''-' '''-'' '-'"' -^ -^^^ -^ ^-^^ -- - 

oft'^t'd.!;-''"' 'Tf '''^ '"'"""^' "^ "^^y — •<' ^hat the change 
o coatdurngwmter rom a hair, or furry texture to a woolly cover 
•ng s to be observed in the Rocky-mountain sheep, (Oois .1,2) 
an m other animals exposed in that season to intens; cold. T .^ 
.skm of 0,.s rnontana, when obtained pending the change from winter to 
ummer pelage, will have the outside hairs grown out beyo'd 7h 1 

we tlt^; Tl "^r-^-^r"^ ^" ^heanima. dL-ing the 1 
weather. Ihe wool begins to drop out in early sprin- leavin- in if« 
place a coat of hair resembling that of the elk or'commo7 :r hu 
.Hing as a peculiarity of certain species a change of pela"" uU di ^e, 
ent in character from the ordinary thickening of die coat or ha 
to all ftirred animals in winter, L observed by l ^ ^e^ rr: 

We had an opportunity in Charleston of observing almost da Iv L 
lortmght, the habits of a Badger in a menagerie ; h! trratt ' l' 
n would suffer himself to be played with and fondled by t ^ ' 
l>ut did not appear as well pleased with strangers; he occasL a, J 
growled at us, and would not suffer us to examine him withouTtTep ' 
sence and aid of his keeper. wiuiom mc pre 

ed the Mound. 1 he heel did not press on the earth like that of the bear 
but was only slightly elevated above it. He resembled the m" ^j 

become ™,.„,v .„„,i, „,„, „,• „„,„„„„„„ ^ „,|^,.,_ , mJS,1Z 

*c „,„,„i, „r „„. n,,. ,,„,„; ,„u, he „.„„,,, ,,„ „„„ ,i,.j ,„ ,,';„ "^„ j™ 



with the raccoon, gray fox, prairie wolf, and a dozen other species oi 
animals. He was said to be active and playful at night, but he seemed 
rather dull during the day, usually lying rolled up like a ball, with his 
head under his body for hours at a time. 

This Badger did not refuse bread, but preferred meat, making two 
meals during the day, anu eating about half a pound at each. 

We occasionally saw him assuming rather an interesting attitude, 
raising the fore-part of his body from the earth, drawing his feet along 
his sides, sitting up in the manner of the marmot, and turning his head 
in all directions to make observations. 

The Badger delights in taking up his residence in sandy prairies, where 
he can indulge his extravagant propensity for digging. As he lives upon 
the animals he captures, he usually seeks out the burrows of the various 
species of marmots, spermophiles, ground-squirrels, &c., with which the 
prairies abound ; into these he penetrates, enlarging them to admit his 
own larger body, and soon overtaking and devouring the terrified in- 
mates. In this manner the prairies become so filled with innumerable 
Badger-holes, that when the ground is covered with snow they prove a 
great annoyance to horsemen. 

Richardson informs us that early in the spring when they first begin 
to stir abroad they may be easily caught by pouring water into the holes, 
the ground at that time being so frozen that the water cannot escape 
through the sand, but soon fills the hole and its tenant is obliged to 
come out. 

The Badger, like the Maryland marmot, is a rather slow and timid 
animal, retreating to its burrow as soon as it finds itself pursued. When 
once in its snug retreat, no dexterity in digging can unearth it. Richard- 
son states that " the strength of its fore-feet and claws is so great, that 
one which had insinuated only its head and shoulders into a hole, re- 
sisted the utmost efforts of two stout young men, who endeavoured to 
drag it out by the hind-legs and tail, until one of them fired the contents 
of his fowling-piece into its body." 

This species is believed to be more carnivorous than that of Europe, 
{Mcles taxtts.) Richardson states that a female which he had killed had 
a small marmot nearly entire, together with some field-mice, in its sto- 
mach, and that it had at the same time been eating some vegetables. 
As in its dentition it approaches the skunk, 'vhich is very decidedly car- 
nivorous in habit, we should suppose *hat its principal food in its wild 
state is meat. 

From November to April the American Badger remains in its burrow, 
scarcely ever showing itself above ground ; here it passes its time ii' 



astate ofsemi-torpidity. It cannot, however be a v.r. « a , 

>n winter, as not only the individual .Uey^VelLl^I TcU 1T' 

but even that which we kcnt in N.w v , ^^'^'^ined m Charleston 

through the winter. dL /^ "i^ ont* r"'""l' ^"^"^''^ ^^^'^'^ 
lose .uch flesh, as they are;;re:red ^ ' .^T^^^^^^^^ '''' ^ ""I 
in sprin- As this however L .k • ' ''°'"'"» ^^'"^ad 

_^ The^ American Bajger is .aid ,„ p„d„„e ,™™ .hree ,„ fl™ y„„„, „, 

Sfvpral Eumpran writers, and among the more reren. r 

h.s Animal Kingdom, have represented the bLI "letdtaj "' ",' 
gloomv and snlitip • mp^ u ^ "^tuf^er as leading a most 

tuted like man it xvm.U h^ . ^/'"""^ "^''^t. io a bemg consti- 

..•ound, shuTn:;;rth: Tf tn d ' '7 " " -^ '^ ''^^^^"^" ""^- 
■shadowof nicht butfn th- ■/ u I °"'^ '"™'"^ ^"'"^'^ ""J^'' the 

not be happy'L' 'it We be.f 'Th^^^^^ '°^"^"'' ^"'^ '^ -''' 

created no species whlbf' T ' '^"' ^ ™ Providence has 

-.rilv be n^Lrb e " d w K .f'"" '' '^^ organization, must neces- 
trust'our s^r 1 ^ tr tt;' ' ^T ^" «^~— , rather dis- 
lence of the Creator "'' ''^' ""''""^ ^"^ '^^^^'^ benevo- 







specimen in the museum of the ZooloKi.s.-il Society of London, that was 
brought !)>■ DouoLAsa, which is believed to h.ive come from California. 

It is very doubtful whetlicr it exists on the eastern side of the Ameri- 
can continent. 

We are not aware that it has ever been found either in upper oi 
Lower Canada, and we could obtain no knowledge of it in our re- 
searches at Labriidor. 


The difference between the European and American species of Bad-er 
IS so great I hat it is unnecessary lo institute a very particular com- 
parison. Our sp,.cies may be distinguished from that of Europe by its 
muzzle being hairy above, whilst it is naked in the other; the ibre- 
lunbs are stouter, and the claws stronger ; its head is also more conical 
in (orm. The European species has more conspicuous ears; it has three 
broad white marks, one on the top of the head, and one on each side and 
between them are two broad black lines, which include the eyes' and 
ears; and the whole of the throat and under-jaw are black; whilst the 
throat and lower-jaw of the American species are white ; there is also 
a broau white patch separating the black colours between the sides of 
the forehead and ear. Th(.,re are several other marks of dilFerence 
which It IS unnecessary to particularize, as the species are now univer- 
sally admitted to be distinct. 

Sabine suppose.l the American Badger to be a little the smallest 
There is a considerable difference among difTerent individuals of both 
spe<.i,.s, but we have on an average found the two species nearly 
«''l-'.il 1" >^.ze. Mr. Saiunf/s American specimen was a small one 
measuring two feet two inches in body. B.;ffon's specimen was two 
feet four inches. One of ours was two ieet seven. On the other hand 
Shaw gives the le.igth of hea.l and body of the European species as' 
.•>l)()ut two feet. I-^sci.ER in his synopsis gives it as two and one-third 
Mixi Cin.KR as two and a half We have not found any European speci' 
men measuring more than two feet six inches. 

It was for a long time supposed, and was so stated by Buffov, that 
tliere was no true species of Badg.>r in America ; that author, hovvever, 
afterwards received a specimen that was said to have come from Labra-' 
dor, which was named by Gmf.lin after the country where it was sup- 
posed to be common. The name " Lahrmloria" will b(. very inappro- 
priate should our conjectures prove correct, that it is unknown in that 
country. Buffun's specimen had lost one of its toes ; hence he described 


n, that was 
the Ameri- 

n uppnr oi 
in our n;- 


s of Hji(ly;(>r 
(U)liir coin- 
rope by its 
; the Ibre- 
nre conical 
t has three 
h side, and 
3 eyes and 
whilst the 
ore is also 
he sides of 
)\v univer- 

It as four-toed. GMELm, who gave it a scientific name made " PnlmU 
tetradactylis » one of its specific characters. ' ^"''"" 

ScHRK,,.. fipst considered the American as a distinct species from the 
European; Cuv.a seems to have arrived at a differe„ cllu 
•on; Sn.w gave tolerably good figures of both species oTtL same" 
plate pomtmg out their specific dilFerences ; and S.Lk entere into a 
m nu e comparison R.c.uhoso. (F. B. A.) added considerab y to our 
knowledge of the history and habits of the American Badger and ou 
esteemed fr.end. G. II. W.rKH„ous.. Esq., has given descr pt onf and 
exoelen figures of the skull and teeth, in which the distinc i LTk 
m the dentifon of the two species are so clearly pointed out. ha 
nothmg farther remains to be added in that department 

We have compared specimens of the Blaireu^ of Lewis and Clark 
found on the plains of Missouri, with those obtained by TowJl near 
the Columbm. and also with specimens from the plains of the Sas 
katchewan in the Zoological museum, and found them allbeon^gTo 
the same species. "oiuugmg lo 

! smallest. 
Is of both 
ies nearly 
small one, 

was two 
tlusr hand, 
species as 

ean speoi- 

FFON, that 
)m Labra- 
was sup. 
rn in thai 


n ■ 
■I ' 


Douglass' Squirrel. 

PLATE XLVm—Male and Female. 

;5. Hudsooio quarta parte major ; cauda corpore curtiore ; supra sub- 
niger, infra flavTis. 


About one-fourth larger than the chickaree {S. Hudsonius) ; tail, shorter 
than the body; colour, dark-brown above, and bright-buff beneath. 


ScuRus DouoLAssii, Gmy. Proceedings Zool. Society, London, 1836, p. 88. named, 
but apparently not described. 
Bachman, monograph of the Genus Sciurus, Proceedings Zool. 
Soc., London, 1838. 


fncisors, a little smaller than those of Sciurus Hudsonius ; in the 
upper jaw the anterior molar, which is the smallest, has a single rounded 
eminence on the inner sid(> ; on the outer edge of he tooth there are two 
acute points, and there is one in front ; the next two grinders, which are 
of equal size, have each a similar eminence on the inner side, with a 
r"-:r of points externally; the posterior grinder, although large'r, is not 
unlike the anteri )r one. In the lower jaw the bounding ridge of enamel 
in each tooth forms an anterior and posterior pair of points. The molar-s 
increase gradually in si-^e from the first, which is the smallest, to the pos- 
terior one, which is the largest. 

This species, in the form of its body, is not very unlike Sciurus Hud- 
sonius', its ears and tail, however, are much shorter in proportion, and in 
other respects, as well as in size, it differs widely from Hudsonius.' 

Head, considerably broader ; and nose, less elongated and blunter than 
in the latter ; body, long and slender ; ears, rather small, nearly rounded, 
slightly tufted posteriorly. As usual in this genus, the third inner toe is' 
the longest, and not the second, as in the spermophiles. 

lupra sub- 
it/, shorter 

88, named, 
idings Zool. 

; in file 
5 rounded 
3 are two 
I'hich are 
, with a 
3r, is not 
if enamel 
e molars 
the pos- 

Hs Hud- 
ti, and in 

iter than 
er toe ia 


-I' stone b, 'A''" i I iluohrocK 


~- ^ ' ''<<j' <f/. 

nNdlurfoyjJfluiuboi ,''H; 




!'<'<' n , 


■li.- i'rmieu oj.oi»jij J rjeiiui;--:,;* 




The whiskers, which are loneer thnn th^ v,„„j l, . 

which ,s d.stichous but not broad, is for three-fourths of > , u ' 
colour of the back • in th. r,.iJ^ .""^^''''^^^■'^"'^ths of its length the 

hairs are black W the HT'^T ' " ''' ^^^"""^^ °^ '"^^ ^-' ^he 

eyes, are bright-buir. The colour, 0^1 J", t^l T "'"^ '''■' 
separated by a line of bl-,ct ™„>„ f ""'''"' P""' "^e 

along ,he /ank, ,„ ,he "h 1, TT'"*' "' """ Moulders, and rnnnin^ 
body and isTbraW te\ ," ""^^ '" "-^ '""'^''' "f 'I-" 

a.a r„™ a si,b. ., .„ dU.Ltn"i'ir :;:rs °::: - 


Length from point of nose to insertion of tail 

Tail (vertebrte) - . . . 

Tail, including fur ... 

Height of ear posteriorly 

Palm to end of middle fore- claw - 

Heel and middle hind-claw - 


Our specimens of DougIa..s' Squirrel were procured bv Mr T 
He remarks in his notes :-•' This is a v.rv nlLrr i ^ Tovvnsend. 
pine trees along the shores of the Cormbl^" "IIh^^^^^^^^ ''' 

Carolina .squirrel lays in a great nuantitv of 7 Tf ''"""'°" 

the winter months. This rL":^: .I'tn: riT'"''"" ''T 
few acorns. Late in autumn it may be seen vervh "^'^7'"^' ^''^ « 
trees, throwing down its winter s^ock afte" 17. '• " '^' '"^^ °^^^« 

it gathers in and stows away its l:re: ^l^^ZTl "' '' '""^' 
ration " j , n reamncss lor its long incarce 


















Douglass obtained his specimens of this Squirrel on the Rocky Moun- 
vams, and Townsend found it on the Columbia River. 


This species was found by Douglass and by Townsend about the same 

time. These gentlemen, if we have been rightly informed, met together 

m the far West. We drew up a description from specimens sent us by 

Mr. TowNSENn, and used the grateful privilege of a describer, in namin- 

It {S. Toumscndn) after the individual who we supposed had been the 

first discoverer. Under this name we sent our description to the Aca<I. 

of Nat. Sciences of Philadelphia, whicli was read Aug, 7th, 1838 After 

arriving in England, however, the same year, we saw a similar specimen 

in the Museum of the Zool. Society, and heard that it had been ,mme<l 

by Gray, on the 11th October, 183(i, who had called it after Douglas. 

(S Douglassu.) He ha,l m,t, as far as we have been able to ascertain' 

published any .lescription of it. All that we can find in reference to this 

species is the followi.ig : " Mr. Grav gave a description of two foxes a 

s(iuirrel {Saurus Douglassii), and three hares." The Ibxes and hares 

were descnbed by him in the lAIagazine of Nat. Hist., (new series) Nov 

lH;n vol i., p. .".TS, but for some reason he appears never to have pub- 

fished a <Iescription of this species. 

We, however, supposing that he had described it, immediately chan-ed 
our name to that proposed by Grav, and in our monograph of the genus 
assigned to him the credit of having been the first describer, althou-^h he 
had, it appears, only named the animal. ° 



Douolasb' Spermophile. 


AKcroMi8(SPEUMoP„„.i,B?)DouoLA88n, Richardson P R a ,. 
AU..OMV. (SPKUMOP„a.s) BK.OHEV, Rich"rB •^;p^-lP-_f • 


In the genemi form of fho Imdv Doii,ri.,««' e , .. , 

-imila.e,. .o .h; N^ I™ / '^ ".^ and .he r„™ „n., head, 
clearly dc*„a.„ .he ,e„„, ;„ .hictVM™; ' "■°'" "' '" *"'■ 

lonerrst ; the nails arc of modcrat 

« Nize, and 



slightly hooked. The feet are covered with short adpressed hairs to the 
roots of the nails ; the tail is long and cylindrical, the longest hairs two 
inches in length. Mamma; ten, four pectoral and six abdominal. 


Incisors, dark orange ; moustaches, black ; on the nose and foreheiul, 
a tinge of reddish-brown ; around the eyes, white ; inner surface of ear, 
dull yellowish - brown ; outer surface, dark -brown, becoming nearly 
black at the tips ; sides of the face, yellowish white. The sides of the 
neck and shoulders have a hoary appearance. There is a broad, dark- 
Jirown stripe commencing on the neck, widening in its descent, and con- 
tinuing along the centre of the back for about half the length of the 
body, when it gradually blends with the colours on the sides and hips, 
which are irregularly speckled with white and black on a yellowish- 
brown ground. Nails, black ; inner surface of legs, and whole un- 
der surface of body, dull yellowish-white. All the feet are grayish- 
brt ^yn. 

The under-fur on every part of the back is dark-brown; the longer 
hairs are brown at their roots, then yellowish ; those on the dorsal lino 
are broadly tipped with black, whilst on the shoulders the tips are 
white. The spots on the back and hips are formed by some of the hairs 
being tipped with white, others with black. The hairs on the tail are at 
their roots white, then three times annulated with black and white, 
and are tipped with white ; thus when distichously arranged, (which, 
however, does not seem natural to the animal,) the tail presents three 
narrow longitudinal black stripes, and four white ones. Under-surface 
of tail, dull yellowish-gray. 

There are some variations in the colour of different specimens. An 
old female was suckling her young at the time she was caught had 
the dark dorsal line on the -shoulders very indistinctly visible, and her 
feet were much lighter coloured than in youngsr specimens. 


An old female. 

Length of head and body 

Tail (vertebra;) 

Tail, to end of fur - 

Height of ear 

From heel to longest nail 

From eye to point of nose 



■ 7i 




• i 




- 14 




An old male. 

Length of head and body 
Tail (vertebra;) 
Tail, to end of fur 
Height of ear - . . 

From heel to point of nail 

Length of head and body 
Tail (vertebras) 
Tail, to end of fur - 

Height of ear - 

I'arsus - . . . 























lurnish us with any account of them 

vviiu uiis species, Ur. Richardson states that "Mr fr.,., 
phUe burrow. ,„ great number, in ,he sandy declivitie, „„,! dry pt ™ n 

nouses. Ihey frequently stand upon their hind-lee«! wh^n 1. i • 
round about tbe.. ,„ runuin, tbey carry the tai, s-neSi;™ i 'j 
but when pa.,„g over any little inequality, it is raised a,'f "p ve I 
2,^7 »oded. In rainy weather, and when the iields are weTand 
■brty, they eome but litMe above ground. Thev tate ,i,„ ,i f 

any one parses within twenty or thi^ yardslflta „ ;„'T J - 

an. then enh^r.t, they sooueonte out again, but with eaution, a d i Jll 

Arlemenas and other vegetable matters were found in .heir stomachs." 


One of the specimens obtained by Mr. Townbend is marked "Fall, ot 
tl»3 Columbia IW» another " Walla- walla;" the specimen pr l^d 
by Do,; was obtained on the banks of the Columbia River and 
^ur conjectures are correct, that S. Bccchei^i is the same as the n I 

species, it exists also in considerable numbers in Ca ifomt ' "' 




The first description of this species was giveu by Dr. Richardson, wnj 
received from Douglass a hunter's skin, which, containing no skull, he 
was prevented from deciding on the genus. We have ascertained that in 
its dentition it is a true Spermophile, and in all other respects possesses 
the characteristics of that genus. 

In the valuable collection of the London Zoological Society we ex- 
amined a specimen of S. Beecheyi, brought by Mr. Collie, which so 
strikingly resembles this species, that we are greatly inclined to think 
they will yet be found identical ; we have, therefore, quoted it for the 
present as a synonyme, but marked it with a doubt, as an examination 
of a greater number of specunens might probably change our viewi. 

f i: 



Richardson's Spkhmophilk. 


Scluro IIu(l-.nio nliquantulum major; dorso fulvescente, pilis nigris 
mixtis ; ventre lusco-rulescens ; cauda mediocri, ad extremum ni-'-a 
aoice fulv ; auriculis brevissimis. 


A Hide larger than the Hudson's Bay squirrel; back, yellowish-gray, 
interspersed with black haw ; belly, pale grayish-orang?. ; tail, rather short 
black V.L the extremity, tipped with fawn colour ; ears, very short 


Arctomvs RicnARDSONii. Sabine, Linn. Trans,, vol. xiii., p. 580, t. 28. 
IJem, Fmnkiin's Jour., p. 662. 
" " Griffitii's An. Kingd., vol. v., p. 246. 

Tawney American Mai mot, Oodm., Nat. Hist., vol. ii., p. m. 
Arctomys (Spermophilus) Richaudsonii, Rich., F. B.A., p. 164, pi. H. 


Body, rather short and thick ; forehead, arched ; nose, blunt covered 
with short hairs; margins of the nostrils, and septum, naked; whiskers 
lew, and shorter than the head; eyes, large ; ears, small, rounded' 
clothed with short hairs on both surfaces ; cheek-pouches, of modP-ate 
si:!e. The fur on the whole body is short and fine. 

Legs, rather short ; nails, long, weak, compressed, and slightly arched 
On the fore-feet there are four toes and a minute thumb; the toes are 
covered on the upper surface with short hairs which reach the root of 
the nails. Palms, naked, containing five callosuies. The thumb has a 
very short joint and is covered by a convex nail. Middle toe longest • 
the first and third are of equal length, and the outer one is shortest and 
farthest back. 

On the hind-feet there are five toes. The three middle ones are nearly 
of equal length, the other two are smaller, and are situated f.irtb.,r Hn-k 




the claws are shorter than those of the fore-feet ; the solts are naked, 
but the heel is covered with hairs along the edges which curve over it. 
The tail is not very bushy and is about the size of that of the chipping- 
squirrel, {Tamiax Lystrri.) 



Teeth, light orange ; whiskers, black ; nails, dark-brown ; the back is 
yellowish-brown, intermixed with a few blackish hairs ; on the sides, 
this colour is a shade lighter ; on the nose, there is a slight tinge of 
chesnut-brown. The cheeks, throat, and inside of the thighs, are dull 
white ; belly, brownish-gray. The tail is of the colour of the back; the 
hairs on the margins, near the end, are dark-brown tipped with yellowish- 


Adult female. 

From point of nose to reot of tail 

Head .... 

Tail (vertebrae) 

Tail, to end of hair 

From heel to end of middle claw 

Height of ear 

9i inches, 
2 do. 
2i do. 
3J do. 
li do. 
Oi do. 


We possess no personal knowledge of this species, nearer having met 
with it in a living state. The specimens from which our figures and 
descriptions were made, were obtained by Mr. Townsend, and we are 
indebted to the < xcellent work of Richardson for the following account 
of its habits : " This animal inhabits sandy prairies, and is not found in 
thickly wooded parts. It is one oi the animals known to the residents of 
the fur countries by thr name of Ground-squirrel, and to Canadian voy- 
agers by that of Siffleur. It has considerable resemblance to the squirrels, 
but is less active, and has less sprightliness and elegance in its attitudes. ' 

"It can scarcely be said to live in villages, though there are sometimes 
three and four of its burrows on a sandy hummock or other favourable 
spot. The burrows generally fork or branch ofl!" near the surface, and 
descend obliquely downwards to a considerable depth; some few of 
them have more than one cntranci . The earth scraped out, in fornang 
them, is thrown up in a small mound at the mouth of the hole, and on 
it the animal seats itself on its hind-legs, to overlook the short grass, 

and reconnoitre before it ventures to mak^ an excursion Fn .v. ■ ' 

than one from the same hole unrswhl T ""\' °''"^"^' """'' 
into a burrow already occupie^i lyZ^^' ^^r ^^ ^'^ 
worn pathways diverging from each burrow and some o^tl " ' 
are observed, i.. the spring, to lead directlv to^h M ' '''"^' 

being most probably Lmed by the ZJ^ • "^^^^^°"""^ holes. 

They place L sentL.s. and e e a^P^L rbVL'"^^^ '' t '""^• 
the Tawny Marmots residing in the neTghbourhood '^°"?.^'- , b«*-^- 

ingout tor himself. They never au^ !hp v. 7 ' ''''7 '"^'"'^"^^ '°'''^- 
believe they pass the .^L par ^h itln'a 1 T''' ^"' ' 
.round not being thawed when I was at Cain W ThadTr ^'^ 
portunity of ascertaining bow their sieenin^ .nn . ? """ ''P' 

nor whether they lay up^tores of 1 ir^ot ' Ab^^^^^^^ 
week of April, or as soon as a considerajje por^on The ^ f •' 
bare of snow, they come forth, and when caught o, thei ittfe '' 

sions, their cheek-pouches ffenerallv n«nf • 1 ^ ^''''"'"- 

the pl„,„,. They are fa. when they first appear a, d ,1, f ■ "^ °" 
eoadition ; b„, ,he male., immediately gl -^C^:, : f, ''T '"' " '" ^'»'' 
the e„,jr,e of a fortnight they beoom^.ean IT. 'h if C', ^ j 
off. They run pret.y quick, bu, clumsily, and their .aita aT,b move up and down „i,h a jerkin/motion Tb ,■ "'""' 

urr„„, on, he approach or dan^e!. hu.^: tn.ul 7„t rrr.f:'' 

He ,uiet,y on >>.f^^'t,Xr[Z:tT^' "T"l' '" 

eatin. in .help rt th T™"' 'b J '"1 '^"'""^ ^ "''''«"'"« '-"=-• 
f, ne sprmg the young buds and tender sprouts nf T.^rK. 

Plan^, and ,„ ,he antnmn tbe seed, of ,ra.e, and C^ min „ Ir"' 

. JX ^^j^r. :r::;;t" ""^^■. » "-'? -".iJJefr or 

"SpvLi ^'/'•'^V. '•'^°*^''P''''^'^hc difference in letters 


kr wn to ™b „ ■. ,''°""''"t'" '■•''""' "''"*»'- h"™ =>'» >>"" 

.heirfle hirnXrb b"' T '"■ ""'™ ""^^ ^"""^ '» »-™- - 
lueir nesn is palatable when they are fat.** 




lU > 

This species has not been observed further north than latitude 55^. In 
the appendix to Franklin's Journey, it was said to inhabit the shores 
of the Arctic Sea, but it appears that another species had been mis- 
taken for it. It is found in the grassy plains that lie betw- > u the north 
and south branches of the Saskn^i how.Tn River, It is ver\ comnion in 
the neighbourhood of Carlton House, its burrows being scatti red at short 
distances over the whole plain. Tovvnsend obtained his specimens in the 
Rocky Mountains, (about latitude 45",) and we have traced it as far south 
as latitude 38". 


" The Tawny Marmot Squirrel is most readily distinguished from the 
true squirrels by the smallness of its ears, the shape of its incisors, which 
are larger but not so strong and much less compressed ; the second and 
not the third toe being the 'ai<rest, and its comparatively long claws and 
less bushy tail. It seems l.> be the American representative of A. concolor 
or the Jevraska of Siberia." — (Richardson.) The males of this species 
are represented as very pugnacious in their habits, and we have repre- 
sented one in our plate that has lost the end of its tail, the figure being 
taken from one of the specimens sent to us. 

INI). X 


American nudger, 

Beaver, , , 

Cro;^ Fox, . 

- Wliiu .Dotcd Mouse, 

Arcloni) », Genus, 

— Monnx, 

Arvicola, Genua, , , 
• Pennsylvaiuca, . 

Badger, American, 

Bay Lynx, .... 


Bla. Rat, .... 

Squirrel, . 

Canada Lynx, . . . 

— I'orcupine, . 

Poiiclicd Rat, . 

Carolina Gray Squirrel, 

Castor, Genus, 

Fiber (var. Americiinus), 

'at Squirrel, 
(Jhickiiree, .... 
Chipping .lirrel. 
Collared I'uecary, 
Common Araeriean Skunk, . 

Shrew Mole, 

Wild Cat, 

Flying Squirrel, . 

Cotton Rat, 
Cross Fox, . 

Dougla>>=' Sfiermophilo, 

. 360 Douglass' S(i,.irrel, 

. 347 Downy Squirrel, . 

. 45 D\ otyles, G. nus, 

• 3^0 T'jrquatua, 

. S 

. .u. Fiber, Genus, 

. 340 Zibcthicus, 

. 341 Fisher, 

Florida Rat 

. 360 Flying Squirrel, Common, 

2 Oregon, 

. 347 Fox, American Cross, . 

. 189 Gray, . 

. 261 Four-striped Ground Squirrel, 

. 136 
. 277 
. 332 

. 6., 

. 347 

. ib. 


. 135 
. 65 
. 233 

. ■■! 
. 81 
. 2 
, 228 


'^lenus Arotomys, 






H, strix, 

• Lepus, 






• Neofoma, 



— Putorius, 

— Scalops 

. 870 
. 19() 

. 233 

. 107 
. 108 
. 307 
. 32 
. 216 
. 132 
. 4S 

. iGa 

. 195 

. 16 

. S40 

. 347 

, 233 

. 107 

. 202 

, 277 



3r ' 




1 1 


Genus Sfiurus, . 




Viiljioa, , 

Griiy Fox, . 


Hcjuirrel, Curolinii, 

— Migratory, or Northern, 

Groimd-Honr, , , 

(luld, (leiius, . . 

Luseus, . . 


lliire, Miirsli, 

Norlliprn, , , 


Swamp, , 

■ Townsend's Rocky Mountaip., 

Hare S(iiiirrt'l, 
Miuison's Bay Squirrel, 
Hystrix, Genus, . 
Dorsjita, , 

Lepus, Gen\is, . . 


■ A(|uaticus, 

(ilacialia, . , 

— — — Palustris, 


• Townsendii, 

Leoj: -d Sperniopliile, , 
Iiynx, ' Semis, 




^^arn^nf-Sf|uir^el, Parry's, 
Maryland Marmot, 
Marten, Pennant's, 
Meles, Gemi.s, . . 


38 Migrrutory (Jray Squirrel 

227 Mink 

"78 Mole, ('ommoii Hhrew, . 

(i4 Mouse, Ameriean Wiiite-tboted, 

44 VVilson's Meadow, 

. 202 

Mils, (Jenus, 

. 1(>2 

Leucopus, . 


---Wiittus, . 

. 63 

Musk-Rat, . 


5Iusquasli, , 

. 16 

Mastela, Genus, . 

. 202 



Neotoma, Genus, 

. 65 


. 151 


93 Northern iJray Squirrel, 

242 Hare, . 

25 Ore},'on Flying Sijuirrel, 
125 Parry's Marmot-Siiuirrel, 

277 Sperniophyle, . 

ib. Peccary, Collared, 
Pennant's Marten, 
25 Polar Hare, 
93 l'orcii|iine, Canada, 
287 Poiicheil Rat, Canada, . 
Psuiulo.stoma, Genus, . 










I'teroniys, Genus, . 


Volucella, . . 

Putorius, Genus. 
Vison, , 

Mephitis, Genus, 

Rabbit, Gray, 
Rat, P.lack, . 

77 Canada Pouched, 

16 Cotton, 

J 31 Florida, 

307 Red-bellied Squirrel, . 
360 Squirrel, 

ib. Richardson's Colnrabiati Squirrel, 

3! 6 Sncrmophile, 

317 Rocky Mountain Neotoma . 





. 300 
. 341 
. 189 
. 300 
. 189 
. 108 
. ib. 
. 807 
. ib. 

. 31 
. 323 
. 32 
. 366 
. 93 

. 13S) 

. 77 
. ib. 
. 233 
. 307 
. 242 
. 277 
. 332 
. 332 
. ib. 
■ 132 
. Ib. 
. 216 
. 260 
. iU 

. 173 
. 189 
. 333 
. 228 
. 33 
. 292 
. 125 
. 41 
. 377 
. 325 




. 300 
. 341 
. 189 
. 300 
. 189 
. 108 
. ib. 
. 807 
. il). 

. 31 

. 323 

. 32 
. afl5 
. 93 

. 13S) 

. 77 
. ib. 
. 233 

. 307 
. 242 
. 277 
. 332 
. 3.32 
. ib. 
. 132 
. Ib. 
. 216 
. 260 
. iU 

Sunlopg, Grp '», , , 

■ AquMiio'. 
Sciurns, C », . 

— — — — t'lui lim .' i' 
1 'neroti 

Doiri/lii ,sl|, . 

h'cn .ij,'iiiiventri8, 

IInflMonius, . 

I<iiiiii,'erii8, . 



— — — Mijfi'iitoriua, . 

Mollijulosus, . 

Nirrcr, . 


Shrew Mole, Common American, 
Sigiiiodon, GoiniH, 

- Hisj)i(lum, 

Skunk, Common American, 
Sot't-huircd Squirrel 
Squirrel, Blaok, 

Carolina Gray, 

Cat, . 


Chipping, . 

Common Flying, 

■ Douglass', 

Downy, . 

Migratory Gray, 

Northern Gray, 

Oregon Flying, 


. 81 
. ib. 
. 38 
. 56 
. 145 
. 370 
. 292 
. 125 
. 214 
. 199 
. 329 
. 2G5 
. 167 
. 261 

. 4! 

. 81 

. 227 

. 228 

. 317 

. 167 

. 261 

. 65 

, 145 

H(|iiirr.'l, Red-bcllied, . 

Rirh.'irdson'H, . 

Sperm )|)hiliiM, (umiuh, . 

— DoujrIaMsii, 

— I'arryi, . 

Rieliiirdsonii, . 

— Truleeem lineatus, 

Sperni()|)liilc, Donglasn', 



RichardHon's, . 

Swamp Hare, 

Tamias, Geinis, . . , 

— • Lystori, . 


-— TnvviiHondii, . 

Townsend's Ground Squirrel, 

Rocky Mountain Hare 

Vulpe.s, Genus 

— Fu'vus (var. Decussatus), 


Wild-Cat, Common American, 

White-footed Mouse, . 

Wilson's Meadow Mouse, 



Wooly Squirrel, . 


. 29!! 
. 41 
. 76 
. 373 

. 77 
. 377 
. 294 
. 273 
. 294 
. 77 
. 277 
. 287 

. 04 
. 66 
. 196 
. 159 

. i;6 




. a 





^VV^eTital rj^