Skip to main content

Full text of "The quadrupeds of North America [microform]"

See other formats



.0^. %^ 





u lis 

Hf lit 




lA 11 1.6 




WEBSTER, N.Y. 14580 

(716) 872-4503 















Collection de 

Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions / Institut Canadian de microrei^.'oductions historiques 

Technical and Bibliographic Notes/Notas techniques et bibliographiques 

The Institute has attempted to obtain the best 
original copy available for filming. Features of this 
copy which may be bibliographically unique, 
which may alter any of the images in the 
reproduction, or which may significantly change 
the usual method of filming, are checked below. 


Coloured covers/ 
Couverture de couleur 

□ Covers damaged/ 
Couverture endommagde 

□ Covers restored and/or laminated/ 
Couverture restaurie et/ou peiliculie 

□ Cover title missing/ 
Le titre de couverture manque 

□ Coloured maps/ 
Cartes gdographiques en couleur 

□ Coloured ink (i.e. other than blue or black)/ 
Encre de couleur (i.e. autre que bleue cu noire) 

□ Coloured plates and/or illustrations/ 
Planches et/ou illustrations en couleur 




Bound with other material/ 
Relii avec d'autres documents 

Tight bindinp may cause shadows or distortion 
along interior margin/ 

Lareliura serree pout causer de I'cmbre ou de la 
distorsion le long de la marge intdrieure 

Blank leaves added during restoration may 
appear within the text. Whenever possible, these 
have been omitted from filming/ 
II se i^ut que certaines pages blanches ajouties 
lors dune restauration apparaissent dans ie texte. 
mais, lorsque cela 4tait possible, ces pages n'ont 
pas iti filmies. 

Additional comments:/ 
Commentaires suppl^mentaires; 

L'Institut a microfilm^ le meilleur exemptaire 
qu'il lui a eti possible de se procurer. Les details 
de cet exemplaire qui sont peut-dtre uniques du 
point de vue bibliographique. qui peuvent modifier 
une image reproduite, ou qui peuvent exiger una 
modification dans la m^thode normale de filmage 
sont indiquds ci-dessous. 


I ! Coloured pages/ 

Pages de couleur 

Pages damaged/ 
Pages endommagees 

Pages restored and/oi 

Pages restaurdes et/ou pelliculees 

Pages discoloured, stained or foxet 
Pages ddcolor^es. tachet^es ou piquees 

Pages detached/ 
Pages d^tachees 


Quality of prin 

Quality indgale de I'impression 

Includes supplementary materia 
Comprend du materiel supplementaire 

Only edition available/ 
Seule Edition disponible 

[~n Pages damaged/ 

I I Pages restored and/or laminated/ 

r~1 Pages discoloured, stained or foxed/ 

I I Pages detached/ 

r~~| Showthrough/ 

□ Quality of print varies/ 

I 1 Includes supplementary material/ 
I I Only edition available/ 


Pages wholly or partially obscured by errata 
slips, tissues, etc.. have been refilmed to 
ensure the best possible image/ 
Les pages totalement ou partiellement 
obscurcies par un feuillet d'errata. une pelure, 
etc.. cnt dt§ film^es A nouveau de facon a 
obtenir la meilleure image possible. 


or il 



This hem is filmed at the reduction ratio checked helow/ 

Ce document est film* au taux de reduction indiqu* ci-dessous. 

10X 14X 18X 22X 











The copy filmed here has been reproduced thanks 
to the generosity of: 


Indian and Northern Affairs 

L'exemplaire filmd fut reproduit grflce d la 
g6n6ro8lt6 de: 


Affaires indiennes et du Nord 

The images appearing here are the best quality 
possible considering the condition and legibility 
of the original copy and in keeping with the 
filming contract specifications. 

Les images suivantes ont 6t6 reproduites avec le 
plus grand soin, compte tenu de la condition et 
de la nettetd de l'exemplaire filmd, et en 
conformity avec les conditions du contrat de 

Original copies in printed paper covers are filmed 
beginninv^ with the front cover anc ending on 
the last page with a printed or illustrated impres- 
sion, or the back cover when appropriate. All 
other original copies are filmed beginning on the 
first page with a printed or illustrated impres- 
sion, and ending on the last page with a printed 
or illustrated impression. 

The last recorded frame on each microfiche 
shall contain the symbol -^ (meaning "CON- 
TINUED "), or the symbol y (meaning "END"), 
whichever applies. 

Les exemplaires originaux dont la couverture en 
papier est imprimde sont film6s en commengant 
par le premier plat et en terminant soit par la 
dernidre page qui comporte une empreinte 
d'impression ou d'illustration, soit par le second 
plat, selon le cas. Tous les autres exemplaires 
originaux sont filmds en commenpant par la 
premidre page qui comporte une empreinte 
d'impression ou d'illustration et en terminant par 
la dernidre page qui comporte une telle 

Un des symboles suivants apparaitra sur la 
dernidre image de cheque microfiche, selon le 
cas: le symbols —^^ signifie "A SUIVRE", le 
symbols V signifie "FIN". 

IVIaps, plates, charts, etc., may be filmed at 
different reduction ratios. Those too large to be 
entirely included in one exposure are filmed 
beginning in the upper left hand corner, left to 
right and top to bottom, as many frames as 
required. The following diagrams illustrate the 

Les cartes, planches, tableaux, etc., peuvent dtre 
filmds d des taux de reduction diff6rents. 
Lorsque le document est trop grand pour dtre 
reproduit en un seul clich6, 11 est filmd d partir 
de Tangle sup6rieur gauche, de gauche it droite, 
et de haut en bas, en prenant le nombre 
d'images ndcessairw. Les diagrammes suivants 
illustrent la mdthode. 





















THE REV. JOHN LACHMAN, D.D., &c. <fec 




8 1 2 lij 


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


in il e Clerk's Office of the District Coun of tlie Southern District of New-York. 


" " ■—-■—- —- I - - i Dor'n rur ii nj^j 

liENUS LUTRA.— Ray., Cuv.,Mustela spec, Linn., Aonyx, Lksboh. 




Incisive -; Canine ~; Molar ^ =36 

1—1 a_« 

The second inferior incisor on each side, a little receding in most of the 
species ; the canine much dilated, hooked ; first superior molar, small, 
blunt, and sometimes deciduous ; the second, cutting; the third, of'similar 
form, but larger; the fourth, with two external points, but furnished with 
a strong spur on the inner side ; the fifth has externally three small points 
with a broad spur internally. The inferior molars in this genus vary 
from five to six, the first being wanting in oome of the species. 

Head large and flatfish, terminating in a blunt muzzle ; ears short and 
round; tongue slightly paplllous. Body long and slender; legs short; 
toes five on each foot. In some of the species the fifth toe on the hind 
ibot is rudimental. Toes webbed, armed with short claws which are not 
retractile. Tail, not as long as the body, thick, and flattened hori- 

Body covered externally with long, rigid and glossy hair, with u softer 

shorter, downy fur intermixed. 

On each side of the anus, there is a small gland secreting fetid matter 
All the species are good swimmers, live along the banks of rivers and 

ponds, and feed on fish. 

The generic appellation is derived from Lutra-an Otter : from the 
Greek >»t/»» (lous), wash. 

There are eleven species enumerated by authors, inhabiting the follow- 

VOL. II. 1 




ing countries: Europe 1, Island of Trinidad 1, Guyana 1, Brazil 1, Kaint- 
schatka 1, Java 1, Malay 1. Pondicherry 1, The Cape of Good Hope 1, 
and North America a. 


Canada Otter. 

PLATE LI. — Male. 

L. vellore nitido, saturate fusco ; mento gulSque fusco albis ; L. vii]. 
^are major. 


Larger than the European Otter, L. Vulgaris. Dark glossy brown • 
chin and 'hroai dusky white ; five feet in length. 


LouTRE DE Canada, Buffon, vol. xiii., p. .326, t. 44. 
Common OnEn, Pfiinniit, Arctic Zoolog., vol. i., p. 053. 
Land Oiter, Waidun's Hist. U. S., p. 200. 
LuTiii Canadensis, Siibine, Franklin's Journ., p. 653. 

" Brasiliensis, Hiirlan, Fauna, p. 72. 

" " Godinan, Ivat. llist., vol. i., p. 222. 

" Canadensis, Dekay, Zool., p. 1., p. 30. 


Head, large and nearly of a globular form ; nose, blunt and naked ; 
lips, thick ; ears, round, slightly ovate, and closer together than in L. 
Vulgaris, clothed densely with short hair on both surfaces ; bodj', long, 
cylindrical; neck, long; legs, short and stout; moustaches, very rigid, 
like bristles ; soles of the feet, thinly clothed with hair between the toes, 
tubercles at the roots of the -law.s, naked ; feet, webbed to the nails ; 
Tail, stout, gradually tapering toward the extremity, de|)resi';ed at the base, 
continuing flattened through half its length ; at the base there are two 
oval glands. The longer hairs covering the fur, are glossy and rigid ; 
fur, soft, dense, and nearly as fine as that of the Beaver, continuing through 
the whole extc'.. of the body even to the extremity of the tail, but shorter 
on the forehead and extremities. 






We overlookrd the opportunity of iiistitiifinj,' j, cnrcful oomparison lir- 
tvveen the skulls and tcctli of tlw European and American Otters, and 
have now no aeeess to specimens of the former. We therefore tjuoto the 
Ixnjj^iuu'e of Dr. Dekav, whose ohservations in this respect corresnond 
with our recollections of a {roner;il com|)arison made at the Berlin Museum, 
eleven years ago. "In their dentition the Otters are eminently charaeteri/.ed 
hy the enormous dilation of the two posterior cheek teeth in the upiuTJaw. 
Our species, in this particular, oflors Swuie variations from the Euro|)ean 
Otter. The pemiltimale, jaw tooth, in our species, has a broad internal 
heel directed o!)li(iuely forward, with a deep fissure dividing the surface 
into two rounded and elevated portions ; and the ])ointed tubercle is broad, 
with a high shoulder posteriorly, and comparatively little elevated. The 
last tubercula- tooth sul)(|uadrate, nearly as large as the preceding, and its 
greater axis directed obliiiuclj backwards with four or rather six distinct 
elevated points; but the outer raised margin, which is so conspicuous in 
the European Otter, appears to be indistinct or simply elevated into two 
pointed tubercles, or wanting entirely, in the American." 

In age, tlie canine as well as tlie anterior molars becDme much worn. 
In a specimen from Carolina, the incisors are worn down to the upjjcr 
surface of the jaw teeth; in another from. Georgia, all tlie teeth are worn 
down to the gums. A specimen from Canada and another from Texas 
have the teeth very j)ointed, and the canine projecting beyond the lips. 
These were evidently younger animals. In older specimens we liave on 
.several occasions found the two anterior jaw teeth entirely wanting, as 
well as some of the incisors, the former appearing to have dropped out at 
about the fourth year. 


A specimen from Lower Canada. Moustaches very Hght brown, mnnv 
being white, those on the sides of the face diiiiry white ; up|)er lip anil 
chin light grayish brown, a shade darker under the throat ; the long hairs 
covering the fur are in one half of their length from their roots (liiit;v 
white, gradually deepening into brown. The general colour on the 
upper surface is that of a rich dark chcsnut brown, a shade lightcT 
on the whole of tlie under surfnce. Richardson states: "The Can.ida 
Otter may be distinguisiied from the European species by the fur of 
its belly being of the same shining brown colour with that of the 
back." In this particular our obscM-vations do not correspond with 
those of our distinguished friend. Out of more than a hundriul speci- 
mens of American Otters which wc have examined, many of which ca 





trom Canada and the Rocky Mr.iinfains, we have but with one or two ex 
ceptions found the colour on the under surface lighter than on the back. 

A specimen from Caroiiim, an old male, teeth much worn. 

Upper lip from the nostrils, chin and throat to near the chest, -rayish 
whife ; the fur on the back, although tiot quite so long as that of snec i- 
mens fron. Canada, is (,uitf, dense and silky, and very nearly equal in 'fine- 
ness. It is whitish at the roots, with a bluish tinge lowards the extremities 
The longer hairs which conceal the fur and present the external colouring 
are very nearly of the same tint as in those procured in Canada, so that 
the specimens from these widely separated localities can scarcely be re- 
garded even as varieties. 

A specimen from Colorado, Te: :..^. 

(Tl.e form 's, precisely similar to the Otters of Canada anJ those existing 
:n various intermediate States. The palms are naked, with a little less 
uair between the toes on the upper and under surlaces.) The colour is 
throughout two shades lighter than that of specimens from Cana-la. but 
the markings are similarly distributed. Fur on the back from the roots 
soiled white, inclining .o brown at the tips. The long and rigid hairs on 
the upper surface lightish brown at the roots, then dark brown, tipped with 
lightish brown. 


Specimen from Canada. — Adult male. 

From point of nose to root of tail, 


From point of nose to eye, - 
From point of nose to ear, 
Height of ear, - - . . 
Breadth of ear at base, 

Specimen from Carolina. 

From point of nose to root of tail. 


Point of nose to eye, - . . . 
" to ear, - . . . 

Height of ear, 

Breadth at base, 

Weight, 23 lbs. 

































Specimen frum the Colorado, in Texas. 

From nose to root of aiil, 

Leny:th of fail, 

From p. iiit oliiose to eye, 

to ear, - - - . . 
Between the ears, ---... 


Aroiiiul th<- body beliind the shoulder, 

Around the body, (middle,) 

Weight 20 lbs. 


^Ye concludecl our first voltm.e svi.h a brief account of Sprrmo,.,,;/„s 
liuhordsonn, the last animal figured in plates I to .".u inHusive of our 
Illustrations of the Quad u,,eds of North A.neriea.^ si,,;,, th-.t 
volume was written, published about 00 more plates, wo nou'^.k/u,. ,.,u- 
pen to portray the habits and describe ,h. forms and colours of tl e specie, 
figured .a p ates .51 to 100 inclusive, and shall, we hope, be able to 
give our readers tolerably goo.l accounts of them; aWhough, alas- the 
days o, 0U-. youth are gone, when, full of, and anxious to 
exa,nu.e every ob,ect m nature within our .-eaeh. the rising sun never 
found us slumbenng away the f^esh hours of the morning but beamed 
upon our path through the deep forest, or lighted up to ^ ndTa^^^ 
ness the hd. or mountain top, which we had gainH , 
quest of the birds or the beasts that were to be met with; an L 
we often prolonged our rambles until the shades of even ni tZ 
us yet at a distance from our cau.p, ,„.ded with wild turC du 
geese, and perchance an Otter. turKcjs, ducks, 

Fresh and pleasant in our mind i^ the recollection of our earlv exne 

tzr^rT^'^^r' ^'""^^^^ -visited shor.:::;!:: 

country , and although more than forty years of varied r.nd busv l.T. K 
passed since the Otter was shot and dr.-'.wn, whose -"1' '" 

^ Will try to t^. you wi.h us to a spot o-i' the ^^^ Z^^^Z^l 
Omo It .s a cod .vmtry morning : the earth concealed bv a slight <., 
«ng of snow, and the landscape in all its ori^^innl wildness IT . 

•impid charact-^r and h....^ " '"''^^'"^•r clear and 

, y*- see a ciai k ohjcrf making its way 



cowards the spot on which we stand, through the swiftly dividing ele 
ment. It has not observed us : we remain perfectly still, and presently 
It IS distinctly visible ; it is an Otter, and now witluii the ran-o ot our old 
rm "T.'ar Jacket," we take but one moment to raise our piece and fire ; 
ti.e water is agitated by a violent convulsive movement of the animal 
our dog plunges into the river, and swimming eagerly to the Otter, seizes 
It, bui the latter dives, dragging the dog with it beneath the surface 
and when they reappear, the Otter has caught the dog by the nose and 
Js struggling violently. The brave dog, however, does not give up but 
in a few moments drags the wounded Otter to the shore, and we imme- 
diately despatch it. Being anxious to figure the animal, we smooth its 
disordered fur and proceed homewards with it, where, although at that 
time we had not drawn many quadrupeds, we soon select a position ir 
which to figure the Otter, and accordi.igly draw it with one Ibot in a 
steel-trap, and endeavour to represent the pain and terror felt bv the 
creature when its foot is caught by the sharp saw-like teeth of the tr'ap. 
.,^"t^?:''*!:r'^*' town of Henderson, (Kentucky), but on the opposite 
sue of the Olno river, in the State of Indiana, there is a pon.l nearly one 
mile in length, with a depth of water varying from twelve to fifteen feet. 
Its shores are thickly lined with cane, and on the edge of the water stand 
many large and lofty cypress trees. We often used to seat ourselves on a 
lallen trunk, and watch in this secluded spot the actions of the birds .nd 
animals which resorted to it, and here we several times observed Otters 
engaged in catching fishes and d.-vouring them. When pursuing a fish 
they dn-ed expertly and occasionally remained for more than a minute' 
below th, surface. They generally held their prey when they came to the 
opofthewater,bythe head, and almost invariably swatn with it to a 
half-sunken log. or to the margin of the pond, to eat the fish at their ease 
havn.g dotie which, they returned agai.i to the deep water to obtain' 

One mornhigwe observed that sotne of these animals resorted to the 
neighbourhood of the root of a large tree which stood o.i the side of the 
pond opposite to us, and with its overhanging branches shaded the water 
After a at.gumg walk through the tanghd cane-brake and thick under- 
yoodwluch bordered the sides of this lonely place, we reached the oppo- 
te SHleofthe pond near the large tree, a.ul u.oved cautiouslv thr 'u' ^l. 
the mud and water towards its roots: but th. hoMring or si-^ht of ,)„. 
Otters was attracted to us, and we saw several ..Itlu.n. hastily^make ojf 
at our approach. On sounding the free with the but. of onr gun we d^- 
covered that it was hollow, and then having placed a large stick in a 
slanting position against the trunk, mc succeeded in reaehin.. the lowest 


lividing ele 
nd presently 
ro of our old 
cc and fire ; 
the animal, 
Otter, seizes 
he surCace, 
le nose and 
ive up, but 
I we imme- 
i smooth its 
igh at that 

position in 
* loot in a 
felt by the 
the trap. 
10 opposite 
nearly one 
lifteen feet, 
rater stand 
selves on a 
i birds uiid 
•ved Otters 
nine; a fish, 

a minute 
ame to the 
ith it to a 
their ease, 

to obtain 

rted to the 
^ide of ihc 
the water, 
ick under- 

the oppo- 
ly thrnii^iJi 
inlit of ili(> 

make oJf 
11, we d'v- 
■iliek in ,i 
he lowest 



t)ough, and thence climbed up to a broken branch from which an aperture 
into the upper part of the hollow enabled us to examine the interior. At 
the bottom there was quite a large space or chamber to which the Otters 
retired, but whether for security or to sleep we could not decide 

Next morning we returned to the spot, accompanied by one of our 
neighbours, and having approached, and stopped uo the entrance under 
water as noiselessly as possible, we cut a hole in the side of the tree four 
or hve feet from the ground, and as soon as it was large enough to admit 
onr heads, we peeped in and discovered three Otters on a sort of bet' 
composed of the inner bark of trees and other soft substances such .s 
water grasses. We continued cutting the hole we had made, larger and 
when sufficiently widened, took some green saplings, split them at the 
I'ut-end, and managed to fix the head of each animal firmly to the 
ground by passing one of these split pieces over his neck, and then press- 
ing the stick forcibly downwards. Our companion then crept into the 
hollow, and soon killed the Otters, with which we returned home 

The American Otter frequents running streams, large ponds, and more 
.sparingly the shores of some of our great lakes. It prefers those waters 
which are clear, and makes a hole or burrow in the banks, the entrance 
to which is under water. 

This species has a singular habit of sliding off the wet slopin- banks 
into the water, and the trappers take advantage of this habit to ca'tch the 
an.mal by placing a steel-trap near the bottom of their sliding place. -. 
that the Otters occasionally put their foot into it as they are swiftly 
gliding toward the water. ^ 

In Carolina, a very common mode of capturing the Otter is by tyinc^ a 
pretty large fish on the pan of a steel-trap, which is sunk in the w^ter 
where It is Irom five to ten feet deep. The Otter dives to the bottom to 
seize the is caught either by the nose or foot, and is generally 
lound drowned. At other times the trap is set under the water without 
bau, on a log, one end of which projects into the water, whilst he othe 
rest on he banks of a pond or river ; the Otter, in endeavouring to moun 
the log, IS caught in the trap. 

_ Mr. GcoMAN, in his account of these singular quadrupeds, states that 
their avounte sport is sliding, and for this purpose in winter the hi-H.esL 
ndge ot snow .s selected, to the top of which the Otters scramble, where 
lying on the beily wi,h the fore-feet bent backwards, they giv them.' 
-H- an nn,.lsewi,h .heir hind legs aiK. glide he'l-fbreZt 
<.oxvn tiu., sometimes for the distance of twenty yards This 

spor they continue apparently with the keenest enjoyment until fatigue 
or hunger induces them to desist." '"."Bue 



This statement is confirmed by Cartwright. Hearne, Richardbon, and 
more recent writers who have given the history of this species, and is in 
accordance with our own personal observations. 

The Otters ascend the bank at a place suitable for their diversion, and 
sometimes where it is very steep, so that they are obliged to make quite an 
effort to gain the top ; they slide down in rapid succession where there arc 
many at a sliding place. On one occasion we were resting ourself on the 
bank of Canoe Creek, a small stream near Henderson, which empties 
into the Ohio, when a pair of Otters made their appearance, and not 
observing our proximity, began to enjoy their sliding pastime. They 
glided down the soap-like muddy surface of the slide with the rapidity of 
an arrow from a bow, and we counted each one making twenty-two 
slides before we disturbed their sportive occupation. 

This habil of the Otter of sliding down from elevated places to the 
borders of streams, is not confined to cold countries, or to slides on the 
snow or ice, but is pursued in the Southern States, where the earth is 
seldom covered with snow% or the waters frozen over. Along the reserve- 
dams of the rice fields of Carolina and Georgia, these slides are very 
common. From the fact that this occurs in most cases during winter, 
about the period of the rutting season, we are inclined to the belief that 
this propensity may be traced to those instincts which lead the sexes to 
their periodica! associations. 

Richardson says that this species has the habit of travelling to a great 
distance through the snow in search of some rapid that has resisted the 
severity of the winter frosts, and that if seen and pursued by hunters on 
these journeys, it will throw itself forward on its belly and slide through 
the snow for several yards, leaving a deep furrow behind it, which move- 
ment is repeated with so much rapidity, that even a swift runner on snow 
shoes has some difficulty in overtaking it. He also remarks that it dou- 
bles on its track with much cunning, and dives under the snow to elude 
its pursuers. 

The Otter is a very expert swimmer, and can overtake almost any fish, 
and as it is a voracious animal, it doubtless destroys a great number of 
fresh water fishes annually. We are not aware of its having a preference 
for any particular species, although it is highly probable that it hits. 
About twenty-five years ago we went early one autumnal morning to 
study the habits of the Otter at Gordon and Spring's Ferry, on the Cooper 
River, six miles abovi; Charleston, where they were represented as being 
quite al)undant. They came down with the receding tide in groups or 
families of five or six together. In the space of two hours we counted 
forty-six. They soon separated, ascended the diflerent creeks in tiie salt 


ARD80N, and 
;s, and is in 

version, and 
ikc quite an 
■re there are 
rself on the 
ich empties 
3e, and not 
me. They 
rapidity of 

aces to the 
ides on the 
the earth is 
the reserve- 
es are very 
ing winter, 
belief that 
he sexes to 

? to a great 
resisted the 
hunters on 
ide through 
'hich move- 
ler on snow 
that it dou- 
o\v to elude 

ost any fish, 
number of 
I prolerenee 
hat it hiis. 
morning to 
the Cooper 
ed as being 
1 groups or 
ve counted 
in liie salt 


marshes, and engaged in capturing mullets (Mugrl). In most cases they 
carne to the bank with a fish in their mouth, despatching it in a minute, 
and then hastened again after more prey. They returned up the river to 
.heir more secure retreats with the rising tide. In the small lakesand 
ponds of the mterior of Carolina, there is found a favourite fish with the Ot- 
ter, called the fresh-water trout {Gn/stes sahmides 

Although the food ofthe Otter in genera! is fish, yet when hard pres d 
by hunger, it will not reject animal food of any kind. Those we had in 
confinement, when no fish could be obtained were fed on beef, which 
they always preferred boiled. During the last winter we ascertained 
that the skeleton and feathers of a wild duck were taken from an Otter', 
nest on the banks of a rice field reserve-dam. It was conjectured that 
the duck had either been killed or wounded by the hunters, and ua. in 
this state seized by the Otter. This species can be kept in confinement 
easily m a pond surrounded by a proper fence where a good supply of fish 
is procurable. 

On throwing some live fishes into a small pond in the Zoological 
Gardens m London, where an Otter was kept alive, it immediately 
plunged off- the bank after them, and soon securing one, rose to the sui-- 
face holding its prize in its teeth, and ascending the bank, rapidly ate it 
by large mouthfuls, and dived into the water again for another This it 
repeated until it had caught and eaten all the fish which had been thrown 
mlo the water for its use. When thus engaged in devouring the luckless 
fishes the Otter bit through them, crushing the bones, which we could hear 
snapping under the pressure of its powerful jaws. 

When an Otter is .shot and killed in the water, it sinks from the wei-ht 
of Its skeleton, the bones being nearly solid and therefore heavy, and the 
hunter consequently is apt to lose the game if the water be deep ■ this is, however, usually caught in strong steel-traps placed and baited 
in Its haunts ; if caught by one of the fore-feet, it will sometimes gnaw 
the foot off, in order to make its escape. 

Otters when caught young are easily tamed, and althou-h their gait is 
ungainly, will follow their owner about, and at times are quite plavful 
We have on two occasions domesticated the Otter. The individuals 'had 
been captured when quite young, and in the space of two or threo davs 
necame as tame and gentle as the young of the domestic do-^ Thin- 
preferred mil'.: and boiled corn meal, and refused to eat fish or^ meat of 
any kind, until they were several months old. They became so attached 
to us that at the moment of their entrance into our studv they commenced 
crawling into our lafv-mounting our table, romping am'ong our books and 

VOL. II. — 2 

;^ ^ , 



writing materials, and not unlrequently upsetting our ink-stano and de- 
ranging our papers. 

The American Otter has one litter annually, and the young, usually 
two and occasionally three in number, are brought forth aijout the mid- 
dle of April, according to Dr. Kuiiardson, in high northern latitudes. In 
the Middle and Southern States they are about a month earlier, and 
probably litter in Texas and Mexico about the end of February. 

The nest, in which the Otter spends a great portion of the day and in 
which the young are deposited, we have had opportunities of exam- 
ining on several occasions. One we observed in an excavation three leet 
in diameter, in the bank of a rice field ; one in the hollow of a fallen tree, 
and a third under the root of a cypress, on the banks of Cooper river, in 
South Carolina ; the materials— slicks, grasses and leaves— were abun- 
dant ; the nest was large, in all cases protected from the rains, and above 
and beyond fhe influence of high water or freshets. 

J. W. Audubon procured a fine specimen of the Otter, near Lagrange 
in Texas, on the twenty-third of February, 1810. It was shot whilst play- 
ing or sporting in apiece of swampy and partially flooded ground, about 
sunset, — its dimensions we have already given. 

Early writers have told us that the common Otter of Europe had long 
been taught to catch fish tor its owners, and that in the houses of the 
great in Sweden, these animals were kept lor thnt purpose, and would go 
out at a signal from the cook, catch fish ^nd bring it into the kitchen in 
order to be dressed for dinner. 

This, however improbable it may at first appear, is by no means un- 
likely, except that we doubt the fact of the animal's going by itself for 
the fish. 

Bewick relates some anecdotes of Otters which captured salmon and 
other fish for their owners, for particulars of which we must refer our 
readers to his History of Quadrupeds. 

Our late relative and friend, N. Bertiioud, Esq., of St. Louis, told us 
some time since, that while travelling through the interior of the State 
of Ohio, he stopped at a house where the landlord had four Otters alive 
which were so jrentle that they never fnilod to come when he whistled 
for them, and that when they approached their master they crawled 
along slowly and with much apparent humility towards him, and looked 
somewhat like enormous thick and short snakes. 


The geographical range of this species includes almost the whole con 



na and de- 

ig, usually 
at the mid- 
it udes. In 
arlier, and 


day and in 
1 of exam- 
1 three feet 
falhm tree, 
er river, in 
.vere abun- 
and above 

.'hilst play- 
und, about 

B had long 
i?es of the 
I would go 
kitchen in 

means un- 
y itself for 

ilmon and 
t refer our 

is, told us 
the State 
tters alive 
B whistled 
f crawled 
nd looked 

hole con 

tineni of North America, and possibly a portion of South America. It 
has, however, been nearly extirpated in our Atlantic States east of 
Maryland, and is no longer found abundantly in many parts of the 
country in which it formerly was numerously distributed. 

It is now procured most readily, in the western portions of the Uni- 
ted States and on the Eastern shore of Maryland. It is still abundant 
on the rivers and the reserve-dams of the rice fields of Carolina, and 
is not rare in Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. 

A considerable number are also annually obtamed in the British pro- 
vinces. We did not capture any Otters during our journey up the 
Missouri to the Yellow Stone River, but observed traces of them in the 
small water courses in that direction. 


Much perplexity exists in regard to the number of species of American 
Otters, and consequently in determining their nomenclature. Ray, in 
1()!>3, described a specimen from Brazil under the name of Braziliensis. 
It was subsequently noticed by Brisson, Blumexbach, D'azara, Marcorave, 
ScriREBER, SiiAW, and others. We have not had an opportunity of com- 
paring our North American species with any specimen obtained from 
Brazil. The loose and unscientific descriptions ve have met with of the 
Brazilian Otter, do not agree in several particulars with any variety of 
the species found in North America ; there is, however, a general resem- 
blance in size and colour. Should it hereafter be ascertained by closer 
investigations that the species existing in these widely removed localities 
are mere varieties, then the previous name of Braziliensis (Rav) must be 
substituted for that of L. Canadensis, Fr. Cuvier. 

In addition to the yet undecided species of Ray, Fp. Cuvier has sepa- 
rated the Canada from the Carolina species, bestowing on the former the 
name of L. Canadensis, and on the latter that of L. Lafa.vina. Gray has 
published a specimen from the more northern jmrtions of North America 
mider the name Lataxina Mollis ; and a specimen which we obtained in 
Carolina, and presented to our friend .Air. Watrrhouse of London, was, we 
believe, published by him under another name. 

Notwithstanding these high authorities, we confess we have not heon 
able to regard them in any other li-ht than varieties, some more strongly 
marked tlian others, of the same species. The /.. Lataxina of Fr. Cuvier, 
and the specimen published by Wateriiocse. do not present such distinctive' 
characters as to .justify us in separating the species from each other or from 
L Canadensis. The specimen published by Richardson under the name 




of Z. Canadensis, (Fauna Boreali Americana,) was that of a large animal, 
and the Mollis of Gray was, we think, a tine si)eciinen of the Canada 
Otter, with fur of a particular soilness. Wc have, after much deliberation, 
come to the conclusion that ail these must he regarded as varieties of one! 
species. In dentition, in general form, in markings and in habits, they are 
very similar. The specimen from Texas, on account of its lighter colour 
and somewhat coarser fur, differs most from the other varieties ; but it does 
not on the whole present greater differences than are often seen in the 
common mink of the salt marshes of Carolina, when compared with speci- 
mens obtained from the streams and ponds in the interior of the Middle 
States. Indeed, in colour it much resembles the rusty brown of the Caro- 
lina mink. In the many specimens we have examined, we have disco- 
vered shades of difference in colour as well as in the pelage among indivi- 
duals obtained from the same neighbourhood. In many individuals which 
were obtained from the South and North, in localities removed a thousand 
miles from each other, we could not discover that they were even varieties. 
In other cases these differences may be accounted for from the known effects 
of climate on other nearly allied species, as evidenced in the common mink. 
On the whole we may observe, that the Otters of the North areof a darker 
colour and have the fur longer and more dense than (hose of the South. As 
we proceed southward the hair gradunlly becomes a little lighter in colour 
and the fur less dense, shorter, and coarser. These changes, however, are 
not peculiar to the Otter. They are not only observed in the mink, but in 
the raccoon, the common American rabbit, the Virginian deer, and nearly 
all the species that exist both in the northern and southern portions of our 
We shall give a figure of L. Mollis of Gbay, in our third volume. 



Swift Fox. Kit Fox. 

PLATE LII,— Male. 

V. gracilis, supra cano fulvaque varices, infra albus ; v. fnlvo in^ior. 


Smaller than the American red fox, body slender, gray above, varied with 
fulvous; beneath, white. 


Kit Fox, or small burrowing fox of the plains. Lewis and Clark, vol. i. p 400 

Vol. iii., pp. 28. 29. *^ 

Canis Vklo.\, Say. Long's Expedition, vol. ii., p. 330. 
" " Harlan's Fauna, 91. 

" Godman's Nat. Hist., vol. i., p. 282. 

Canis Cinereo Aroentatl-s, Sabine, Franklin's Journey, p. 058. 
" (vulpes) Cinereo Aroentatus, Richardson, Fa. B. Ame. p. 98. 


This little species of Fox bears a great resemblance to our American 
red fox, in shape, but has a broader face and shorter nose than the latter 
species ; in colour it approaches nearer to the gray fox. Its form is h^nt 
and slender, and gives indication of a considerable capacity for sp-ed ; the 
tail is long, cylindrical, bushy, and taperinp; at the end. 

The entire length from the insertion of the .superior inci.sors to the tip of 
the occipital crest, is rather more than four inches and three-tenths- the 
lea,st distance between the orbital cavities rine-tenths of an inch ; between 
the insertion of the lateral muscles at the junction of the frontal and pi 
rietal bones, half an inch. The greatest breadth of this space on the 
parietal bones, thirteen-twentieths of an inch."— (Say.) The hair is of 
two kinds, a soft dense and rather woolly fur beneath, intermixed with 
longer and stronger hairs. 


The fur on the back, when the hairs are separately examined, Is from 




the roots, for three-fourlTis of its length, of a light hrownish gray colour, 
then yellowish brown, then a narrow rin^ of hhu-k, then a hir-er rin? 
of pure white, siijihtiy tii)pe(l at (he apical part with hlaelv. Tl,.. up[M-r 
part of the nose is pale yellowish brown, on each sid,, of whi.l. ihcre 
is a patch of brownish, givin- It a hoary appearance in consequence of 
some of the h.-.irs being tipped wilh white; mouslncjies black; „pp,,p 
lij) margined by a stripe of while hairs. There is a narrow blackish 
brown line between the white of the posterior angle of the mouth, which 
is prolonged around the margin of the lower lip. The upper j)art of 
the head, the orbits of the eyes, the cheeks and superior surface of tne 
neck, back, and hips, covered with intermixed hairs, tipped with brown, 
black, and white, giving those parts a grizzled colour. Towards the pos- 
terior parts of the back there are many lon<r hairs interspersed, 
are black from the roots to the tip. The .'^ides of the neck, the cnesi. 
the shoulders and flanks, are of a didl reddish orange colour; the lower 
jaw is white, wilh a tinge of blackish brown on its margins; the throat 
belly, inner surface of legs, aad upper surface of feet, are white. The 
outside of the forelegs, and the posterior parts of the hindlegs, are brown- 
ish orange. The slight hairs between the callosities of the toes are 
brownish. The tail is on the under surface yellowish gray with a mix- 
ture of black, and a few white hairs ; the under surlkce is brownish 
yellow and black at the end. 


From point of nose to root of tail, - . . 

Tail, (vertebrfP,) 

" to end of hair, 

From tip of nose to end of head, 

Between the eyes, 

Breadth between the ears, 

Weight 8i lbs. 

Measurement of a young animal killed at Fort Union. 
From point of nose to root of tail, 

Tail, (vertebrre,) 

" to end of hair, ---.,. 

Width at the shoulders, 

Length of head, . - . . . 

Between the eyes, ... , . 

Breadth between the ears, - - . . . 















1 gray colour, 

I hu-'^er ring 

Tlif upficr 

wliicli |licr(> 
nsc'({ii('iice of 
lack ; upper 
'ow hlackisli 
iioutli, wliicli 
|)pcr part of 
irl'acf of tne 

with brown, 
ards llio po.s- 
s|)crsc(l, tliac 
ik. the cnesi, 
I" ; fiK' lower 
; the throat, 
white. Tile 
, are brown- 
lie toes are 
with a mix- 
is brownish 









Tlie First Swift Fox we ever saw alive was at Fort Clark on the upper 
Missouri riv;'r, at whieh place we arrived on the 7th of June, 18i;j. |t 
had been cauj,'ht in a steel-trap by one of its fore-leet, and beh.nired 1o Mr. 
CiiARnoN, the principal at the Fort, who with great kindness an.l politeness 
presented it to us ; assuring us that good care would be taken of it during 
our abs,M,ce, (as we were then ascending the river to proceed to the base 
of the Kocky Mountains,) and that on our return to th« Mandan village, 
we might easily take it with us to New- York. 

Mr. Charuon informed us that this Fox was a most expert rat catcher 
and that it had been kept in a loft without any other food than the rats' 
and mice that it caugl t there. It was a beautiful ani.nal, and ran will,- 
great rapidity from one side of the loft to anoth.M-, to avoid us. On our 
approaching, it showed its teeth and growled much like the conunon red 

Soon after we left Fort Clark, between the western shore of the Mis- 
souri river and the hills called the " Trols mamelles" by the Canadian and 
French trappers, on an open prairie, we saw the second Swift Fox we met 
with on this Journey. Our party had been shooting several bulfaloes and 
our tnend En. H.ku.s, Esq., and ourself, were approaching the hu'n-ers 
apace. We were on foot, and Mr. H.rh.s was mou.ited on his buffalo 
horse, when a Swift Fox darted from a concealed hole in the prairie almost 
under the hoofs of my friend's steed. My gun was unfortunately loaded 
wPh ball but the Fox was chased by Mr. Harris, who tookaimat i, seve- 
ral t.mes but could not draw sight on the animal ; and the cunning fellow 
doubled and turned about and around in such a <lexterous mann.M- that it 
hnally escaped in a neighbouring ravine, and we suppose gained 'its bur. 
row, or s eltered itself in the cleft of a rock, as we did not see it start r 'Z 
1 his shght adventure with this (so called) Swift Fox convinced us thj the 
accounts of the wonderful speed of this animal are considerablv exalgo- 
• ated ; and were we not disposed to retain its name a.s given bv^Mr Stv 
we should select that ot Prairie Fox as being most appropriate for i M ' 
Harris, mounted on an Indian horse, had no difficulty in keeping up wUh 
n and overrunning It, which caused it to double as Just men tione.l. H . 
our guns been loaded with buck shot we should no doubt have k lie 
is ne-psary to say, perhaps, that all the authors who have written abou; 
us .X most of whom appear to have copied Mr. Sav'.s accou no i ) . 
sert hat its extraordmary swiftness is one of the most remarkable char e 
tensticsoftheanimal Gooma. observes that the fleetest antX or l;; 




when running at full speed, is passed by this little Fox with the greatest 
ease, and such is the celerity of its motion, that it is compared by the cele- 
brated travellers above quoted, Lewis and Clark and Mr. S.w, ""to the 
flight of a bird along the ground rather than the course of a (juadruped." 
There is nothing in the conformation of this species, anatomically 
viewed, indicating extraordinary speed. On the contrary, when we com- 
pare it with the red fox or even the gray, we (ind its body and legs 
shorter iu proportion than in those .species, and its large head and 
bushy tail give it rather a more heavy appearance than either of the 
foxes just named. 

Dr. Richardson inform-s us that the Saskachewan river is the most 
northern limit of the rr.ngc or the Kit Fox. Its burrows he snys are 
very deep and excavated in the open plains, at some distance I'rom the 
woody count rv. Lewis and Clark describe it as being extremely vigi- 
lant, ajid say that it betakes itself on the slightest alarm to its burrow. 
On our return to Fort Union after an excursion through a part of the 
adjacent country, we found at some distance from the stockade a young 
Swift Fox whicli we probably might easily have captured alive; but 
fearing that its burrow was near at hand, and that it would .soon reach 
it and rvade our pursuit, Mr. HarrIs shot it. This was the last speci- 
men of this Fox that we were p))le to observe during our journey ; we 
have given its measureme-^ in a .'"ornr.- part of this article. On our re- 
turn voyage, we found on arriving at Fort Clark that the living Swift 
Fox given us by Mr. Ciiardon was in excellent condition. It was placed in a 
strong wooden box lined in part with tin. and lor greater security against 
its escape, had a chain fastened to a collar around its neck. Ihiring 
)ur homeward journey it was fed on birds, squirrels, and the flesh oi 
other animals, and finally safely reached our residence, near New-York 
where it was placed in a large cage box two-thirds sunk beneaih the 
surface of the ground, completely tinned inside, and half tilled with earth. 
When thus allowed a comparatively large space and plenty of earth to 
burrow in, the Fox immediately began to make his way into ihe loose 
ground, and soon had dug a hole large enough to conceal himself entirelv. 
While in this commodious prison he fed regularly and ate any kind of IVesh 
meat, growing fatter every day. He drank more water than foxes gene- 
rally do, seemed anxious to play or wash in the cup which held his supply, 
and would frequently turn it over, spilling the water on the floor of the 

The cross fox which we described in oui first volume does not tc 
require water, during the winter months at least, when fed on fresh meat . 
as one that we have had in confinement during the past winter would not 


1 the greatest 
I by the cele- 
Say, "to the 
leii we com- 
)dy and legs 
?, head and 
ither of" the 

is the most 
he s.'iys are 
loe from the 
rcmely vigi- 
I its burrow. 

part of tlie 
ide a young 
'. alive; but 
I soon reach 
' last speci- 
ourncy ; we 

On our re- 
living Swift 
s placed in a 
jrity against 
■k. During 
the flesh of 

beneaih the 

with earth, 
of earth to 
() ihe loose 
^elf entirely, 
cind of fresh 

foxes gene- 
l his supply, 
floor of the 



drink any, and was not supplied with it for two or three monttis. Proba- 
bly in a wild state all predatory animals drink more than when in con- 
finement, for they are compelled to take so much exercise in the pursuit 
of their prey, that the evaporation of fluids, by perspiration, must w on 
rapidly; besides which, they would probably often try to appease the 

cravings ofhunger by drinking freely, when unabie to procure sufficient 


The Swift Fox appears to l)e found on the plains of the Columbia river 
valley, as well as the open country of the region in which it has generally 
been observed, the extensive prairies of the eastern side of the Rocky 

It does not appear to be an inhabitant of New Mexico, Texas or Cali- 
fornia, as far as our information on the subject extends. 


Our esteemed friend. Sir John Ric.iARnsoN, (Fauna Boreali Americana, 
p. 98,) has supposed that SciiREiiER's description of Cams cinerco argen. 
tatus, applied to this species, and hence adopted his specific name, to*the 
exclusion of Sav's name of C. Vclox. In our first volume, (p. 172,) we 
explained our views on this subject. In the descriptions of C. Virginianiis 
of ScHREBER, and C. Argenleus, Erx., they evidently described mere varie- 
ties of the gray (ox, (F. Virginianvs) ; we have consequently restored 
Say's specific name, and awarded to him the credit of having been the 
first scientific describer of this animal. 

)r appe^ir tc 
fresh meat , 
r would not 

voh. II. — 3. 




Texan Skunk. 


M. Vitfa solitaria media antice (in verticr> rotundata, icque lata ad 
basin caudae usque continuata, hac fota alba. 


The whole hack, from the forehead to the tail, and the tail, white ; 
not covered ivith hair. 



Mephitis Me80leuca, Lichtenstein. Darstellung neuer oder wenig bekannter Sau- 

gethiere. Berlin, 1827, 18.34. Tab. 44, Fig. 2. 
Mephitis Nasuta, Bennett. Proceedings of the Zoological Societv, 18.S.1. p. 89 
M. Mksoleuca, Licht. Ueber die Quttung Mephitis. Berlin, 18.38, p. 23. 


In form, this species bears a considerable resemblance to the common 
Am-rican skunk, {Mrphifis chhiga.) Like all the other species of skunl: 
this animal has a broad and fleshy body ; it is wider at the hips than at 
the shoulders, and when walking, the head is carried near the gmnnd 
whilst the back is obliquely raised six or seven inches higher; it stands 
low on its legs, and progresses rather slowly. Forehea.l, slisrhlly rounded ■ 
eyes, small ; ear.s, short and rounded ; hair, coarse and Ion- ; 'under fur' 
sparse, won!!y, ai.d not very fine; tail, of moderate len-th and bushy;' 
nose, for thre^-lburths of an inch above the snout, naked. This is a char- 
a/;feristic rr,u. k, by -.vL-ch it may always be distinguished from the common 
American skunk, the latter being covered with short hair to the snout. 
Palms naked. 


The whole of the long hair, including the under fur on the back, and the 
tail on both surfaces, is white. This broad stripe commences on the fore- 
head about two inches from the point of the nose, running near th^ ears, 

que lata ad 

white; nose 

kannter Sftii- 

83.1, p. 89. 
). 23. 

^he common 
^s of skuRl;. 
lips than at 
the gr'iini(j^ 
' ; it stands 
ly rounded ; 
under fur, 
md bushy ; 
s is a char- 
he common 
) the suout. 

ck, and the 
<n the fore- 
r th'^ ears, 






and in a straigni line along the sides and over the haunches, taking in the 
whole of'the tail. The nails are white ; the whole of the under surface of 
the body black, with here and there a white hair interspersed. On the 
forefeet around the palms and on the edges of the under surface, there are 
coarse whitish hairs. 

The peculiarities in the colour of this species appear to be very uniform, 
as the specimens we examined in the Berlin Museum and in the collection 
of the Zoological Society in London, corresponded precisely with the speci- 
men from which this description has be.'- made. 

Ft. iDchea. 










From point of nose to root of tail, ... 

Tail (vertebra-), 

Do. to end of hair, 

Breadth of head between the ears, - - . 

Height of ear, 

Length of heel to longest claw, .... 
Breadth of white stripe on the middle of the back, 

Weight, 5 lbs. 


This odoriferous animal is found in T^-as and Mexico, and is very sim- 
ilar in its habits to the common skunk of the Eastern, Middle and South- 
western States. A specimen procured by J. W. Audubon, who travelled 
through a portion of the State of Texas in 1845 and 6, for the purpose ol 
obtaining a knowledge of the quadrupeds of that country, was caught alive 
in the neighbourhood of the San Jacinto ; it was secured to the pack saddle 
of one of his baggage mules, but managed in some way to escape during 
the day's march, and as the scent was still strong on the saddle, it was not 
missed until the party arrived at the rancho of Mr. McFadden, who kept 
u house of entertainment for man and beast, which by this time was greatly 
needed by the travellers, 

The almost endless varieties of the Mephitis chinga, the common skunk, 
many of which have been described as distinct species by naturalists, have, 
from our knowledge of their curious yet not specific difierences, led us to 
admit any new species with doubt ; but from the peculiar characteristics 
of this animal, there can be no hesitation in awarding to Prof. Lichtenstein 
the honour of having given to the world the first knowledge of this inter- 
esting quadruped. 

The Mephitis Mesoleuca is found on the brown, broomv sed«"/ nl.ainp, a^ 



well as in the woods, and the cultivated districts of Texas and Mexico 
Its food consists in part of grubs, beetles, and other insects, and occa- 
sionally a small quadruped or bird, the eggs of birds, and in fact every- 
thing which this carnivorous but timid animal can appropriate to its 

The retreats of this SUunk are hollows in the roots of trees or fallen 
trunks, cavities under rocks, &c. ; and it is, like the northern species, easily 
caught when seen, (if any one has the resolution to venture on the experi- 
ment,) as it will not endeavour to escape unless it be very near its hiding 
place, in which case it will avoid its pursuer by retreating into its burrow, 
and there remaining for some time motionless, if not annoyed by a dog, or 
by digging after it. 

The stomach of the specimen from which our drawing was made, con- 
tained a number of worms, in some degree resembling the tape worm, at 
times found in th* human subject. Notwithstanding this circumstance, 
the individual app<ared to be healthy and was fat. The rainy season 
having set in (or at least the weather being invariably stoiniy for some 
time) after it was killed, it became necessary to dry its skin in a chimney. 
When first taken, the white streak along the back was as pure and free 
from any stain or tinge of darkness, or soiled colour as new fallen snow. 
The two glands containing the fetid matter, discharged from lime to time 
by the animal for its defence, somewhat resembled in appearance a 
soft egg. 

This species apparently takes the place of the common American skunk, 
{Mephitis cMnga,) in the vicinity of the ranchos and plantations of the 
Mexicans, and is quite as destructive to poultry, eggs, &c., as its northern 
relative. We have not ascertained anything about its season of breedin", 
or the time the female goes with young : we have no doubt, however, that 
in these characteristics it resembles the other and closely allied species. 

The long and beautiful tail of this Skunk makes it conspicuous amon" 
the thickets or in the musquit bushes of Texas, and it most frequently 
keeps this part elevated so that in high grass or weeds it is first seen by 
the hunters who may be looking for the animal in such places. 


The Mephitis Mesoleuca is not met with in any portion of the United 
States eastward and northward of Texas. It is found in the latter State 
and in most parts of Mexico. We have, however, not seen any skunk from 
South America which corresponds with it. 

''^Sl' -'^'- . * ^ ^ ' "H 




Naturalists have been somewhat at a loss to decide on the name by 
which this species should be designated, and to what author the credit is 
due of having been the first describer. 

The specimens obtained by Liciitenstein were procured by Mr. Deppe, 
in the vicinity of Chico, in Mexico, in 1825, and deposited in the museum 
of Berlin. In occasional papers published by Dr. Liciitenstein, from 1827 
to 1834, this species with many others was first published. In 1833, Ben- 
nett published in the proceedings of the Zoological Society, the same spe- 
cies under tht: name of M. Nastita. The papers of Lichtenstein, although 
printed and circulated at Berlin, were not reprinted and collected into a 
volume till 1834. Having seen the original papers as well as the speci- 
mens at Berlin, and being satisfied of their earlier publication, we have 
no hesitation in adopting the name of Liciitenstein as the first describer 
and publisher. 





Brown or Norway Rat. 

PLATE LTV. — Males, Female, and Yodng. 

Mus, Cauda longissima squamava, corpore setose griseo, subtus albido 


Grayish-brown above, dull white beneath, tail nearly as long as the body 
feet not webbed ; of a dingy while colour. 


Mus Decumanus, Pallas, Glir., p. 91-40. 

" " Schreber, Saujrthiei-e. p. 645. 

" " Linn., Syst. Nat. ed. Gmel., t. p. 127. 

Mus Aquaticus, Gesner's Qiuidr., p. 732. 
Mis Decumanus, Shaw's Genl. Zuol., ii., p. 60 t. 130. 

Surmulat, Buff., Hist. Nat. viii., p. 206 t. 27. ' 

Mus Decumakus, Cuv., Regne Animal, 1, p. T9?, 

" " Godman, vol. \i,, p. 78. 

" " Dekay, p. 79. 

Mus Americanus, Dekay, American Black Rat, p. 81. 


Body, ; head, long ; muzzle, long, but less acute than that of the 
black rat ; eyes, large and prominent ; moustaches, long, reaching to the 
ears ; ears, rounded and nearly naked ; tail, generally a little shorter than 
the body, (although occasionally a specimen may be found where it is of 
equal length,) slightly covered with short rigid hairs. There are four toes 
on each of the fore-feet, with a scarcely visible rudimental thumb, protected 
by a small blunt nail ; five toes on each of the hind feet ; the feet are 
clothed with short adpressed hair*. The fur seldom lies smooth, and the 
animal has a rough and not an inviting appearance. 


Outer surface of the incisors, reddish-brown ; moustaches, white and 
black ; the former colour preponderating ; the few short scattered hairs 
along the outer edges of the ear, yellowish brown ; eyes, black ; hair on 



the back, from the roots, bluish-gray, then reddish-brown, broadly tipped 
with dark brown and black. On the under surface, the softer and shorter 
hair is from the roots ashy-gray broadly tipped widi white. 


1st. We have on several occasions, through the kindness of friends, re- 
ceived specimens of white rats which were supposed to he new species. 
They proved to be albinos of the present species. Their colour was white 
throughout, presenting the usual characteristics of the alliino, with red 
eyes. One of this variety was preserved for many months in a cage with 
the brown rat, producing young, that in this instance all ])roved to be 

2d. We have at diflerrnt times been able to procure specimens of a sin- 
gular variety of this species that seems to have originated in this country. 
For the first specimen we were indebted to our friend Dr. Samuel Wilson 
of Charleston. Two others were sent to us from the interior of South 
Carolina. One was presented to us by a cat, niul anotlier w;is caught in a 
trap. In form, in size, and in dentition, they are ])recisely like the brown 
rat. The colour, however, is on l>oth surfaces quite i)l;ick. In some spe- 
cimens there is under the chest and on the abdomen, n loiigitudiMal white 
stripe similar to those of the mink. The specimens, .-irtcr being preserved 
for a year or two, lose their intense black colour, which gradually assumes 
a more brownish hue. We examined a nest of 1 lie common brown rat 
containing 8 young, .'> of which were of the usual colour, and 3 black. 
The specimen obtained by Mr. Bfj.l of New- York and published by Dr. 
Dekav, New-York Fauna, p. 81, under the name of .1///.9 Americanus, 
undoubtedly belonged to this variety, which appears to have of late years 
become more common in the Southern than in the Northern Sliites. This 
is evidently not a hybrid produced between Miis Dvcumanus and Mus 
Rattiis, as those we have seen present the shape and size of the former, 
only differing in colour. 


From point of nose to root of tail, 


From point of nose to ear, 
Height of ear - . . . 









The brown rat is unfortunately but too well known almost in ev« t" 
portion of our country, and in fact throughout the world, to requiic an 
elaborate account of its habits, but we will give such pnrticiilars as may 
we hope be interesting. It is one of the most prolific and destructive little 
quadrupeds about the residences of man, and is as fierce !is voracious. 
Some cases are on record where this rat has attacked a man when he 
was asleep, and we have seen both adults and children who, by their 
wanting a piece of the ear, or a bit of the end of the nose, bore painful 
testimony to its having attacked them while they were in bed ; it has >ieen 
known to nibble at an exposed toe or finger, and sometimes to have bitten 
even the remains of the shrouded dead who may have been exposed to its 

The Norway Rat is very pugnacious, and several individuals may often 
be seen fighting together, squealing, biting, and indicting severe wounds 
on each other. On one occasion, we saw two of these r.its in furious 
combat, and so enraged were they, that one of them whose tail was turned 
towards us, allowed us to seize him, which we did, giving him at the same 
time such a swing against a gate post which was near, that the blow 
killed him instantly — his antagonist making his escape. 

During the great floods or freshets which almost annually submerge the 
flat bottom-lands on the Ohio river at various places, the rats are driven 
out irom their holes and seek shelter under the barns, stables, and houses 
in the vicinity, and as the increasing waters cover the low grounds, may 
be seen taking to pieces of drift wood and floating logs, &c., on which 
they sometimes remain driving along with the currents for some distance. 
They also at such times climb up into the lofts of l)arns, smokehouses, &c., 
or betake themselves to the trees in the orchards or gardens. We once, 
at Shippingport, near the foot of the falls of the Ohio river, whilst residing 
with our brother-in-law, the late N. Bertiioiid, went out in a skifl", during 
a freshet which had exceeded those of many previous years in its altitude, 
and after rowing about over the tops of fences that were secured from 
rising with the waters by being anchored by large cross-timbers placed 
when they were put up, under the ground, to which the posts were dove- 
tailed, !ind occasionally rowing through floating worm-ti-nces which had 
broken away from their proper locations and were lying flat upon the sur- 
face of the flowing tide, we came to the orchard attached to the garden. 
and found the peach and apple trees full of rats, which seemed almost as 
active in running among the brandies as squirrels. We had our gun with 




in evf" 
requiit an 
irs as may 
ctive little 
1 when he 
0, by their 
Drc painful 
it has been 
lave bitten 
wsed to its 

rnay often 
!re wounds 

in furious 
was turned 
it the same 
, the blow 

bmerge the 
are driven 
and houses 
iunds, may 
, on which 
le distance. 
lOuses, &c., 
We once, 
ilst residing 
kifl", durins 
its altitude, 
cured from 
lers placed 
were dove- 
which had 
)on the sur- 
the ;rarden, 
i5 almost as 
ir gun with 


us and tried to shoot some of them, but the cunning rogues dived into the 
water whenever we approached, and swam off in various directions, some 
to one tree and some to another, so that we were puzzled which to follow. 
The rats swam and dived with eciua! facility and made raj)id |)rogresN 
through the water. Many of them remained in the orchard until the 
Ireshet subsided, which was in the course of a few days. Whether they 
caught any lish or not during this time we cannot say, but most of thtin 
found food enough to keep them alive until they were able once more to 
occupy their customary holes and burrows. During these occasional 
floods on our western rivers, immense numbers of spiders and other in- 
sects take refuge in the upper stories of the houses, and the inhabitants 
find themselves much incommoded by them as well as by the turbulent 
waters around their dwellings. Such times are, however, quite holidays 
to the young folks, and skiffs and batteaux of every description are in re- 
quisition, while some go about on a couple of boards, or paddle from street 
to street on large square pine logs. When the flats are thus coversd, 
there is generally but little current running on them, although the main 
channel of the river flows majestically onward, covered with floating logs 
and the fragments of sheds, haystacks, &;c., which have left their quiet homes 
on the sides of the river many miles above, to float on a voyage of discov- 
ery down to the great Mississippi, unless stopped by the way by the exer- 
tions of some fortunate discoverer of their value, who rowing out among 
the drifting logs, roots and branches, ties a rope to the frail floating tene- 
ment, and tows it to the trunk of a tree, where he makes it fast, for the water 
to leave it ready for his service, when the river has again returned to its 
quiet and customary channel. Stray flat boats loaded with produce, flour, 
corn and tobacco, &c., are often thus taken up, and are generally found 
and claimed afterwards by their owners. The sight of the beautiful Ohio 
thus swplling proudly along, and sometimes embracing the country with 
its watery margin extended for miles beyond its ordinary limits, is well 
worth a trip to the West in February or March. But these high freshets 
do not occur every year, and depend on the melting of the snows, which 
are generally dissolved so gradually that the channel of the river is suffi. 
cient to carry them ofl^ 

In a former work, (Ornithological Biography, vol. 1, p. 155,) we have 
given a more detailed account of one of the booming floods of the Ohio 
and Mississippi rivers, to which we beg now to refer such of our readers 
as have never witnessed one of those remarkable periodical inundations. 

Mr. Ogden Hammond, formerly of Throg's Neck, near New- York, furnished 
us with the following account of the mode in which the Norway Rat cap- 
tures and feeds upon the small sand clams which abound on the sandy 
vol.. n. — 4 



places along the East river below high water mark. lie repaired to a 
wharf on his farm with one of his men at low water: in a few moments a 
rat was seen issuing from the lower jjart of the whari", j)eeping cautiously 
around before he ventured from his hiding place. Presently one of the 
small clams I Jiied in the soft mud and sand which they inhabit, threw 
up a thin jet of water about a foot above the surface of the ground, uiM)n 
M^.'ing which, the rat leaped quickly to the spot, and digging with its ton- 
paws, in a few moments was seen bringing the clam towards his retreat 
vhere he immediately devoured it. 

When any of these clams lie too deep to be dug up by the rats, they con- 
..nue on the watch and di^ after the next which may make known Us 
wherealiouts by the customary jet ot water. These clams are about J oi 
an inch long and not more tli;in t of an inch wide ; their shells are slight, 
and they are sometimes used as bait by fishermen. 

The Brown or Norway Hat was first introduced in the neighbourhood of 
Henderson, Kentucky, our old and hapi)y residence for several years, with- 
in our recollection. 

One day a barge arrived from New-Orleans (we think in 1811) loaded 
with sugar and other goods ; some of the cargo belonged to us. During 
the landing of the packages we saw se'eral of these rats make their escape 
from the vessel to the shore, and run off in diti'crent directi<)ns. In a year 
from this time they bad become quite a imisance ; whether they had been re- 
inforced by other importations, or had multiplied to an incredible extent, wo 
know not. Shortly after this period we had our .- jkehousc floor taken up 
on account of their having burrowed under it in nearly every direction. 
We killed at that time a great many of them with the aid of our dogs, but 
they continued to annoy us, and the readers of our Ornithological Biography 
are aware, that ere we lefl Henderson some rats destroyed many of our 
valued drawings. 

This species migrates either in troops or singly, and for this purpose 
takes passage in any conveyance that may offer, or it plods along on foot. 
It swims and dives well, as we have already remarked, so that rivers or 
water-courses do not obstruct its progress. We once knew a female to 
secrete herself in a wagon, loaded with bale rope, sent from Lexington, 
(Ky.) to Louisville, and on the wagon reaching its destination, when the 
coils of rope were turned out, it was discovered that the animal had a lit- 
ter of several young ones : she darted into the warehouse through the iron 
bars which were placed like a grating in front of the cellar windows. Some 
of the young escaped also, but several of them were killed by the wagoner 
How this rat was fed during the journey we do not know, but a.s the wagons 



aired to a 
moments a 
one of the 
iibit, threw 
ounil, upon 
ith its l'or»» 
his retreat 

S they con- 
known ItH 

about J oi 
are sliglit, 

ourhood of 
rears, with- 

ni) loaded 
s. During 
heir escape 
In a year 
lad been re- 
! extent, we 
or taken up 
y direction, 
ir dogs, but 
lany of our 

lis purpose 
ng on foot, 
at rivers or 
a female to 
, when the 
,1 had a lit- 
igh the iron 
iws. Some 
le wagoner 
the wagons 

stop every evening at some tavern, the probability is that she procured food 
for herself by getting out during the night and picking up corn, &c. 

The Norwiiy Rat freejuently deserts a locality in which it ims for some 
tifne remaini'd and provfd a great pest. When this is the case, the whole 
tribe Journey to other (piarfers, keeping together and generally appearing 
in numbers i:i their new locality without any previous warning to the un- 
lucky farmer or housekeeper to who;, -^remises they have taken o fancy. 

When we first moved to our ret rear, nine miles above the city of New- 
York, we had no rats to annoy us, and we .)oped it woi:'; be some time b.'- 
fore they discovered the spot where we > ' '^caf^d i jr jlves. But in the 
course of a few months a great many ot i... 1.1 appeared, and we have 
occasionally had eggs, chickens and ducklings carrieu > /^by them to the 
number of six or more in a night. We have never been able to get rid of 
this colony of rats, and they have even mjide large barrows in the banks 
on the water side, where they can hardly be extirpated. 

The Norway Rat is quite abundant in New-York and mosc other mari- 
time cities, along the wharves and docks, and becomes very large. These 
animals are frequently destroyed in great numbers, while a ship is in port, 
after her cargo has been discharged, by smoking them ; the fumes '•'.' sul- 
phur and other suffocating materials, being confined to the hold by closing 
all parts, windows and hatches. After a thorough cleaning out, a large 
ship has been Unown to have had many thousands on board. Our old 
friend, Capt. Ciimingh, who in early life made many voyages to the E?'st 
Indies, relates to us, that one of his captains used to have rats caugh., 
when on long voyages, and had them cooked and served up at his table 
as a luxury. lie allowed his sailors a glass of grog for every rat thev 
caught, and as the supply was generally ample, he used to invite his mates 
and passengers to partake of them with vlue hospitality. Our friend, who 
was a mate, had a great horror of the captain's invitations, for it was some- 
times difficult to ascertain in what form the delic;ite animals would appear, 
and to avoid eating them. Not having ourselves eaten rats, (as far as we 
know,) we cannot say whether the old India captain's fondness for them 
was justified by their possessing a fine flavour, but we do think prejudices 
are entertained against many animals and reptiles that are, after all, pretty 
good eating. 

In the account of the black rat in our first volume, {Mus rattu.i,) pp. 190, 
191, and 192, we gave some details of the habits of the present species, 
and stated our opinion in regard to its destroying the black rat. Dr. God- 
man considered the Norway Rat so thorough an enemy of the black rat, 
that he says, (vol. 2, p. 83,) in speaking of the latter, that it is now found 
only in situations to which the Brown Rat has not extended its migrations. 


I Jf. 



According to the same author, who (|Uotes 11. Smith, Uat Catcher, p. 5, 17(18, 
(sei! GouMAN, vol. 2, p. 77,) the Urowr> Hat was not known ev<n in Europe 
prior to the year 1750. Kichardnon says, (probahly quoting' from IIari.av, 
Fauna, p. 141),) that it was brought I'roin Asia to Europe, according? to the 
accounts ol'historiaiis olihe seventeenth century, and was unknown in Eng- 
hm.l l).'(ore 1 7:{(). 1'ennan r, writinjr i„ 178.",, says he has no autho- y for con- 
sidering it an inhabitant ofthe new continent (America). Harlan states 
that the Norwegian rat did not, as he was cre(ni)ly inlbrmed, maiio 
its appearance in the United States any length of time previous to the 
year 1775. Harlan does not give the Brown Rat as an American species, 
giving only what he considered indigenous species. 

The Brown Uat brings forth from 10 to 15 young at a litter, and breeds 
several times in a year. Fortunately for mankind it has many enemies : 
weasels, skunks, owls, hawks, &c., as well as cats and dogs. We have never 
known the latter to eat them, but they may at times do so. Rats are also 
killed by each other, and the weak ones devoured by the stronger. 

This species becomes very iat and clumsy when living a long time in 
mills or warehouses. We have often seen old ones so fat and inactive 
that they would fall back when attempting to ascend a staircase. 

We will take our leave of this disagieeable pest, by saying, that it ,.i 
omnivorous, devouring with equal voracity meat of all kinds, eggs, poul- 
try, fish, reptiles, ve^'^tables, &c. &c. It prefers eels to other kinds of lish, 
having been known to select an eel out of a large bucket of fresh fishi 
and drag it off to its hole. In vegetable gardens it devours melons, cu- 
cumbers, &c., and will cat into a melon, entering through a hole large 
enough to admit its body, consuming the tender sweet iruit, seeds and 
all, and leaving the rind almost perfect. Where rats have gained 
access to a field or vegetable garden, they generally dig holes near the 
fruits or vegetables, into which they can make an easy retreat at the ap- 
proaeh of an enemy. 

We have represented several of these rats in our plate about to devour 
muskmelons, for which they have a strong predilection. 


The Mus Dicumanut is found in all the temperate parts of th;^ world 
when; man has been able to carry it in ships. It has not as yet penetrat- 
ed into the fur countries, to the Rocky Mountains and California. The 
Nrotoma JJrummondi would probably be able to destroy it, being quite 
s fierce and much larger, should its wanderings lead it into the territory 
-jccupied by the latter. The Brown or Norway Rat is met with almosl 


!r, p. 5, 17(18, 
rn ill Europe 
rorn IIaki.av, 
•idiiif? to the 
own ill Eiig- 
u' Y Jor coii- 

ARLAN States 

rined, rniiivu 
svioiis to the 
ican species, 

, and breeds 

ny enemies : 

B have never 

[ats are also 


long time in 

ind inactive 


g, that it i.i 

eggs, poul- 
:inds of lish, 
)!' fresh fish, 
melons, cii- 

hole large 
, seeds and 
ive gained 
Bs near the 
t at the ap- 


every where from Nova Scotia to and beyond our southern ranjc, except 
in the western and northern regions above, tientioiied, and there even it 
will soon be found in California, at the mouth of the Columbia river, and 
among the settlements in Oregon. 


We had assigned to Linnaii-s the credit of having been the first descriher 
of the Brown Rat. On turning however to his 12th edition, wo find no 
notice of this species. In a subsetiuent edition published by Gmei-in in 177b. 
a description is added. It had however been previously describet' bv Pai^ 
LAS in J7()7 under the name which it still retains. He is therelore entitled 
tu the priority. 

t to devour 

th;! world 
it penetrat- 
rnia. The 
leing quite 
le territory 
i^ith almost 





Red-Tailed Squirrel. 


S. supra sub rufus cano mistus, subtus sordide flavus, magnitudine Intel 
8. cino) eum et s. migratorium ; cauda auriculisque rufis. 


Inte} mediate in size between the cat squirrel (S. Cinereus) and the North 
em gray squirrel {S. Migratorius) ; ears and tail, red ; body, light-brown 
mixed w tk gray above, soiled buff beneath. 


In for. n this species resembles the northern gray squirrel, possessing 
evidently all its activity ; its proportions are more delicate, and it weighs 
less, than the cat squirrel. It is considerably smaller than the great-tailed 
squirrel of Say, (S. Sayi). Although a little larger than the northern gray 
squirrel, its tail is shorter, and its fur a little coarser. The only specimen 
in which we were enabled to examine the dentition, had but twenty teeth ; 
the small front molars which appear to be permanent in the northern gray 
squirrel, and deciduous in several other species, were here entirely wanting. 


The fur on the back is in half its length from the roots, plumbeous, suc- 
ceeded by a narrow marking of light brown, then black, tipped with 
whitish, a few interspersed hairs are black at the apical portion ; on the 
under surface the hairs are yellowish-white at the roots, and reddish-buff 
at the tips. The long hairs on the under surface of the tail are red through 
their whole extent. On the upper surface of the tail the hairs are reddish 
with three black annulations, tipped with red. Moustaches, black ; ears, 
around the eye, sides of face, throat and neck, inner surlace ol legs, u|)per 
surface of feet and belly, dull buff: tail, rufous. 




tudine in^ei 

i the North- 


Length, from point of nose to root of tail, 
Do. vertebra;, •---.. 
Do. to end of hair, . . . . 

Height of ear, ---..- 

Heel to end of longest nail, 




12 j 


We have obtained no information in regard to the habits of this species, 
but have no doubt it possesses all the sprightliness and activity of other 
squirrels, particularly the Northern gray and cat squirrels, as well as the 
great tailed squirrel, to which in form and size it is allied. 


, possessing 
nd it weighs 
>rthern gray 
ly specimen 
i'enty teeth ; 
jrthern gray 
;ly wanting. 

ibeous. suc- 
tippcd with 
fion ; on the 
red through 
, are reddish 
ilack ; ears, 
legs, ujiper 

The specimen from which our drawing was made, was procured in the 
State of Illinois. This squirrel is also found in the barrens of Kentucky: 
vvc possess a skin sent to us by our good friend Dr. Crogiian, procured we 
Dciieve near the celebrated Mammoth cave, of which he is proprietor. 

Mr. Cabot, of Boston, likewise has one, as well as we can recollect, in 
his collection. We sought in vain, while on our journey in the wilds of the 
Upper Missouri country, for this species, which apparently does not extend 
its range west of the well-wooded districts lying to the east of the great 
prairies. It will probably be found abundant in Indiana, although it has 
been hitherto most frequently observed in Illinois. Of its northern and 
southern limits, we know nothing, and it may have a much more extended 
distribution than is at present supposed. 




^ Incisive -; Canine — ; Molar — =32. 

" 0—0 6—6 

Head, large and broad ; forehead, slightly arched; h.rns, placed before 
the salient line of the frontal crest; tail, short; shoulders, elevated ; hair, 
soft and woolly. 

The generic name is derived from Pliny, who applied the word Bison, 
wild ox, to one of the species on the Eastern continent. 

There are five species of Buffalo that may be conveniently arranged 
under this genus : one existing in the forests of Southern Russia in Asia, 
in the Circassian mountains, and the desert of Kobi ; one in Ethiopia and 
the forests of India, one on the mountains of Central Asia, one in Ceylon 
and one in America. In addition to this, the genus Bos, which formerly 
included the present, contains five well determined species, one inhabiting 
the coun.ry near the Cape of Good Hope, one in Central Africa, one in 
the Himalaya mountains and the Birman Empire, one in India, antl one 
m the forests of Middle Europe. 


American Bison. — Boffalo. 


PLATE LVII. Female, Male and Youno. 

B. capite magno, lato, fronte levifer arcuata; cornibus parvis, b-evi- 
bus, teretibus, extrorsum dein sursum versis ; cauda breve, crurib'us gra- 
cilibus armis excelsis, villo molli, lanoso. 


Forehead, broad, slightly arched ; horns, small; short, directed lateral;,, 
and upwards ; tail, short • legs, slender ; shoulders, elevated ■ hair, soft 
rtnd woolly. 




Taurus Mexicanus, Hernandez, Mex., p. 587, Fig. male, 1651, 
Taureau Sauvaoe, Hennepin, Nouv. Discov., vol. i., p. 186, 1090. 
'I'iiK Buffalo, Law.son's Carolina, p. llo, fV. 

" Catesby's Carolina, Appendi.x .\x.\ii., tab. 20. 
" " Hearne's Journej', p. 412. 

" " Franklin's Finst Voy., p. 113. 

" " Pennant's Arctic Zool, vol. i., p. l. 

Long's Expedition, vol. iii., p. 68. 
" Warden's U. S., vol. i.. p. 248. 
Bos Amekioams, Linn., S. N., ed Gmel. 1, p. 204. 

Cuv., Regno an 1, p. 270. 
Bos Amekic'anijj, Harlan, 268. 
" " Godman, vol. iii., 4. 

Richardson, Fa., p. 79. 
Buffalo, Hudson's Bay Traders, Le Boeuf, Canadian Voyagers. 
Ameuican Ox, Dobs, Hudson's Bay, 41. 

|lj ! 


Male, killed on the Yellow Stone river, July IGth, 1843. 
The form beans a consid.i able re-semblance to that of an overgrown dri- 
mestic bull, the top of the hump on the shoulders being considerably higher 
than the rump, although the fore-legs are very short ; horns, short, stout, 
curved upward and inward, one foot one inch and a half around the 
curve ; ears, short and slightly triangular towards the point ; nose, bare •, 
nostrils, covered internally with hairs ; eyes, rather small in proportion 
to the size of the animal, sunk into the prominent projection of the skull ; 
neck, and forehead to near the nose, covered with a dense mass of shagg J 
hair fourteen inches long between the h ^irns, which, as well as the eyes 
and ears, are thereby partially concealed, these hairs become gradually 
shorter and more woolly towards the muzzle. Under the chin and lower 
jaw there is an immense beard, a foot or upwards in length 

Neck, short ; hairs along the shoulder and fore-legs about four inches long, 
rhe beard around the muzzlt; resembles that of the common bull. A mass 
of hair rises on the hind part of the fore-leg, considerably below the knee. 
A ridge of hairs commences on the back and runs to a point near the in- 
sertion of the tail. On the flank.s, rump and fore-legs the hairs are very 
short and fine. 

On the hind-legs there are .straggling long hairs extending to the kner, 
and a (i-w tufts extending six inches below the knee ; hind-legs, an] 
tail, covered with short hairs; within a few inches of the tip of the tail 
ther.- is a tuft of hair nearly a foot in length. The pelage on the head 

vol. II. .") 




has scarcely any of the soft woolly hair which covers other parts of the 
body, and approaches nearer to hair than to wool. 

A winter killed specimen. 

From the neck, around the shoulder and sides, the hody is covered with 
a dense lieavy coat of woolly hair, with much longer and coarser hairs in- 
termixed. There is a fleshy niend)rane between the forelegs, like that in 
the common domestic bull, but not so pendulous. 


In form and colour ihe female bears a strong resemblance to the male; 
she is, howevei-, considerably smaller, and of a more delicate structure. 
Iler horns are of ihe same length and shape as those of the male, but are 
lliinner and more perfect, in consequence of the cows engaging less in 
combat than the bulls. The hump is less elevated ; the hair on the lore- 
head shorter and less bushy ; the rings on the horns are more corrugated 
than on those oi'our domestic cattle. 

Spinous processes rising from the back bone or vertebra; of the bull, and 
forming the hump : they are flat, with sharp edges both anteriorly and 
posteriorly; the two longest are eigliteen and a quarter inches long, 
three inches at the end which is the widest, and two inches at the 
narrowest ; the first, fifteen inches ; second, (largest,) eighteen and a quar- 
ter inches in length ; third, sixuen and a half; fourth, sixteen ; the fifth, fif- 
teen inches, and the rest gradually diminishing in size ; the fifteenth spinous 
process being three and a half inches long; the remainder are wanting in 
our specimen. The whole of the processes are jjlaced almost touching 
each other at the insertion and at the end, and their breadlh is parallel to 
the course of the back-bone. In the centre or about half the distance from 
the insertion to the outer end of them, they are {ihv bone being narrower 
in that part) Irom a quarter to one inch ai)art. The ribs originate and in- 
cline outward backward and downward Irom between these upright 
spinous bones. 


A summer specimen. 

Head, neck, throat, fore-legs, tail and beard, dark l)rownish-black ; 
hoofs, brown ; rum]). Hanks, line on the back, blackish brown ; horns nearly 
Llack. Up])er surface of body light-brown; the hairs uniform in colour 
from the roois, the whole; under surl'ace blackish-brown. 

Tiie colour of the female is similar o thai of the male. 

At the close ol' the summer when the new coat of hair has been obtairedj 



tht! Buffalo is in colour between a dark umber, and liver-shining brown ; 
as the hair lengthens during winter, the tips become paler. 

Young male, twelve months old. 

A uniform dingy brown colour, with a dark brown stripe of twisted woolly 
upright hairs, extending I'roni the head over the neck slioulders and back 
to the insertion of the tail. . The hairs on the forehead, which form the 
enormous mass on the head of the adult, are just beginning to be deve- 

Under the throat and along the chest the hairs extend in a narrow line 
of about three inches in length ; the bush at the end of the tail is tolerably 
well developed. Hairs on the whole body short and woolly. 

A calf, six weeks old, presents the same general appearance, but is 
more woolly. The legs, especially near the hoofs, are of a lighter colour 
than the adult. 

A calf taken from the body of a cow, in September, was covered with 
woolly hair ; the uniform brownish, or dim yellow, strongly resembling 
the young of a domesticated cow. 


' t i 


Whether we consider this noble animal as an object of the chase, or as 
an article of food for man, it is decidedly the most important of all our con- 
temporary American quadrupeds ; and as we can no longer see the gi- 
gantic mastodon passing over the broad savannas, or laving his enormous 
sides in the deep rivers of our wide-spread land, we will consider the 
Hudiilo as a link, (perhnps sooner to be forever lost than is generally sup- 
posed.) which to a slight degree yet connects us with larger American ani- 
■iials, i)elonging to extinct creations. 

But ere we endeavour to place before you the living and breathing herds 
of Buffaloes, you must journey with us in imaginalion to the vast west- 
ern prairies, th,- sechided and almost inaccessil)le valleys of the Rocky 
Mountain chain, and the arid and nearly impassable deserts of the western 
tai)le lands of our country; and here we may be allowed to express our 
deep, though unavailing regret, that the world now contains only few and 
imporfcot remains of the lost races, of which we have our sole knowledge 
through the rcsearciies and profound deductions of geologists ; and even 
fhousrh our knowledge of the osteolo<j:y oIllKMiiore recently exterminated 
species i)e si.H .i.-nt to place them before our " mind's eye," we have no de- 
scription a . MO fitrures of the once living and moving, but now de- 
parted pos . of these woods, plains, mountains ani waters, in which, 

: i II 





ages ago, they are supposed to havp ikvw If r f i 

humble efforts .ay atlast ^^Zl t pe'l ^t 7^7^ T' ''T ""' 

species as the Give,- ofal, ,ood has .^loS^^Z^ ^ thl fth "=' 


In .he days of our boyhood and youth, Bu.laloes roan.ed over the srrall 
-.d be.uu,„d .nunc, of Indiana and Illinois, and herds of the,. .I^d 
; . ^ the open woods ofKentucky and Tennessee ; but they ha U ^ 
' -.. - a lew stragglers, which resorted chiefly to ,he ''Barr " ' 
-urds the years i808 and 18„9, and soon after entirely dislpear d Tl 
range has since that period gradually tended wes wu^ C 
must direct your steps " to the Indian countr " Td " ,' " T ^ 
n^ies beyond ,he .hir valleys of the Ohio, t^al t ; ^^^i^": ^ 
of mountauis which forms the backbone ofNorth-Americ^ . 
reach the Buffalo, and see him roving in his st d in '"" "'" 

vajf ele.-.ed .ains. which extend ^ th^C i:;^ 1^:^-^' ''^ 

Hie w„h us then to the West ! lot us quit the busv streets of S • 

once co..idered the outpost of eivi.i.ation; but now 1 ^ i^ !^;^t 

scattered lor hundreds of miles beyond it; let us leave ,he busy haun s'of 

rnen, and on good horses take the course that will lead us in, ,^ B^ffU 

-g^n,_an when we have arrived at the sterile and ex.en.Ied p,ai:s^ ie^ 

wedeszretoreach, we shall be recompensed Ibr our toilsonu and t di u 

journey: for there we may "nd thousands of these noble aninu.l T 

enabled to study theh- habi.s, as they graze and -amble over .^ ^^H^ 

or migrate from one range o,' country to another, crossing on e "" He 

water-ccHU-^s, or swinnning rivers at places where th..- o^n plu " : 

chemuddy bank inu> the stream, to gain a san.l-bar .• .hoal n,i,I va 

e r.ver. that affords them a resting place, from which, af,er a Mule L 
hey can d.rect their course to the opposite shore, when, having rea h d i * 
|M- just scramble up the bank, ere they can gain the ^.en pl^rle 

There we may also witness severe combats between ihe valiant bulls 
- the season, hear their angry bellowing, and observe t u ' ! . 1 
city as well as courage, when disturbed by the approach of man ' ^ 

The An.enoan Bison is much a.ldiced to wandering, an.l the v-.rious 
herds annual^- remove from the Nor.h, at the approach o vint . 
|-y n^., be f und, during that season, remaining in high la^lud M 

n, c.i ly. Durmg a s.-ve. ,■ winter, however, numbers of the.n ppr^sb 
especally the old. and the very young ones. The breedn.g .ealn 'gel 



emlly the months of June and July, and the calves are brousht forth in 
April and May ; although occasionally they are produced as early as March 
or as late as July The BulFalo most frequently has hut one calf at a 
time, hut instances occur of their having two. The females usually re. 
tire fi-om the herd either singly or several in companv, select as solitary a 
spot as can he found, remote from the haunt of wolves, bears, or other 
enemies that would he most likely to molest them, and there produce their 

Occasionally, however, they bring fort', their ofTspring when the herd 
IS migrating, and at such times they are left by the main body, which they 
rejoin as soon as possible. The young usuallv follow the mother until 
she IS nearly ready to have a calf again. The Bulfalo seldom produces 
young until the third year, but will continue breeding until very old 
When a cow and her very young calf are attacked by wolves, the cow 
bellows and sometimes runs at the enemy, and not unfrequentiv fri-htens 
him away; this, however, is more generally the ease x^lwn srVeivdcous 
are together, as the wolf, ever on the watch, is sometimes able to secure 
a calf when it is only protected by its mother. 

The BulTalo begins to shed its hair as .-arly as Pebruarv. This l\x\\u'<r of 
the winter coat shows first between the fore-legs and around the udder in 
the female on the inner surface of the thighs, &c. Next, the entire pela-e 
of long hairs drop gradually but irregularly, leaving almost naked patches 
in some places, whilst other portions arc covered with loosely han<Mncr 
wool and hair. At this period these animals have an extreme"lv ra--ed 
and miserable appearance. The last part of the slunlding process takes 
place on the hump. During the time of shedding, the Bison searches for 
trees, bushes, &c., against which to rub himself, and thereby facilitate 
the speedy falling oif of his old hair. It is not until the end of Septemi)er, 
or later, that he gains his new coat of hair. The skin of a Buffalo, killed 
in October, the hunters generally consider, makes a good Buffalo' robe ; 
and who is there, that has driven in an open sleigh or wa-on. that will 
not be ready to admit this covering to be the cheapest and the best, as a 
protection from the cold, rain, sleet, and the drifting snows of winter ? for it is 
not only a warm covering, but iiiif)ervious to water. 

The Bison bulls generally select a mate from among a herd of cows 
rnd do not leave their chosen one until she is about to calve. 

When two or more males fancy Ihesan... female, furious battles ensue 
and the eonqu.'ror leads off the fair cause of the .contest in triumph. Should 
the cow be alone, the defeated lov.>rs follow the hapi)y pair at such a re- 
spectful distance, as will ensure to them a chance to make their eseap... 
if they should again become obnoxious to the victor, and .at the same time 


mx I 

I: '' 

I i 



enable them to take advantage of any accident that might happen in theii 
favour. But should the light have been caused by a female who is in a large 
herd of cows, the (iiscomfitcd bull soon finds a sul)sf itute for his lirst passion. 
It frequently linpi)ons, that a bull lends oil' a cow, !ind remains with her 
separated (ln'-ng the season from all oliiers, either male or female. 

When the i^uti'alo hull is working himself up to a heiligerent state, 
lie |)aws the ground, bellows loudly, and goes through nearly all the 
actions we may see performed by the domesticated bull under similar 
circumstances, and finally ruslies at his fi.e head foremost, with all his 
speed and strength. Notwithstanding the violent shock with which two 
bidls thus meet in mad career, these encounters have never been known 
to result fatally, probably owing to the strength of the spinous [)rocess 
commonly called the hump, the shortness of their horns, and the (juan- 
tiry of hair about all their fore-parts. 

When congregated together in fair weather, calm or nearly so, the 
bellowing of a large herd (which sometimes contains a thousand) mav 
be heard at the extraordinary distance often miles at least. 

During the rutting season, or while lighting, (we are not sure which,) 
the bulls scrape or paw up the grass in a circle, sometimes ten feet in di- 
ameter, and these places being resorted to, from time to time, by other 
fighting bulls, become larger and deeper, and are easily recognised even 
afler rains have filled them with water. 

In winter, when the ice has l)ccome strong enou<rli to bear the 
weight of many tons, Bufialoes are often drowned in great numbers, lor 
tliey are in the ha])it of crossing rivers on the ice, and should any alarm 
occur, rush in a dense crowd to one place ; the ice gives way J)eneath the 
pressure of hundreds of these huge animals, they an; preci|)itated into the 
wafer, and if it is deep enough to reach over their backs, soon perish. 
Should the water, however, be shallow, they sculTle through the broken 
and breaking ice, in the greatest disorder, to tlie shore. 

From time to time small herds, crossing rivers on the ice is the spring, 
are set adrift, in consecjuence of the sudden breaking of the ice after a 
rise in the river. They have been seen floating on such occasions in 
groups of three, four, and sometimes eight or ten together, althougli on 
separate cakes of ice. A few stragglers liave been known to reach the 
shore in an almost exhaust.-d stat(>, but the majority peri.^h from cold and 
want of food rather than trust tliemselves boldly to the turbulent waters. 

Buflalo calves are often drowned, from being unable to ascend the steep 
banks of the rivers across which they linve just swam, as the cows cannot 
help them, althougli they stand near the bank, and will not leave them to 
their fate unless something alarms them. 



On one occasion Mr. Kipp, of the American Pur Company, caught eleven 
calves, their dams all the time standing near the top of the bank. Fre 
quentiy, however, the cows leave the young to their fate, when most ol 
them |)erish. In connection wifh Ihis part of the subject, we may add, 
that we were informed when on the Fppe. Missouri river, that v/hen tlie' 
banks of tliat river were practicable lor cows, and their calves could not 
Ibllow tliem, they went down again, after having gained the to{), and 
would remain by them until forced away by the cravings of hunger. 
When thus forced by the necessity of saving themselves to quit their 
young, they seldom, if ever, returned to them. 

When a large herd of these wild animals are crossing a river, the calves 
or yearlings manage to get on the backs of the cows, and are' thus con- 
v.'ved safely over ; l)ut when the heavy animals, old and young, reach the 
slion-, I hey sometimes find it muddy or even deeply miry ; the strength of 
the old ones struggling in such cases to gain a solid footing, enables I hem 
to work their w.ay out of danger in a wonderfully short time. Old bulls, 
indeed, have been known to extricate themselves when .hey had got into 
the mire so deep that but little more than their heads a!id backs could be 
K 11. On one occasion we saw an unfortunate cow that had fallen into, 
or rather sank into a quicksand only seven or eight Ibet wide ; she was 
quite dead, jmd we walked on her still fresh carcase safely across the ra 
vine which had buried her in its treacherous and shifting sands. 

Tlu! gaits of the Bison are walking, cantering, and galloning, and when 
.•It full speed, he can get over the ground nearly as fast as the b(!st horses 
found in the Indian country. In lying down, this species bends the fore 
legs first, and its movements are almost exactly the same as those of th. 
eonunoii cow. It also rises with the same kind of action as cattle 

When surprised in a recumbent posture by the sudden appro.aehofa 
hunter, who has succeeded in nearing it under the cover of a hill, clump 
of trees or other interposing object, the Bison springs from the groimd and 
is in lull race almost as quick as thought, and is so very alert, that one 
can scarcely perceive his m.nnner of rising on such occasions. 

The bulls never grow as fat as the cows, the latter having been oeen- 
sionally killed with as much as two inches of fat on (he boss or hump and 
along the back to the tail. The fat rarely exceeds half an inch on the 
sides or ribs, but is thicker on the belly. Tlie males have only one inet 
of fat, nnd their flesh is never considered to that of the females in de- 
licacy or flavour. In a, herd of Bullaloes many poor, and even at the 
best se.ison it is not likely all will be found in good condition ; and we 
bnve occasionally known a hunting party, when Bullalo wus scnrce, con.- 
peiled to feed on a straggling old bull .as tough as leather. For ourselves, mis 







was rather uncn.forfablo, as we had lu.ibrtunately lost our molars Ions 

Tlu> 15is,„. is sonu.fimrs moro al)uiulavt in particular districts one yeai 
thai.un<.thcr. .-..ul is ,„„lMl,ly ii.liucnc.i i,. its vvund.-rin-s l,v the mil.lness 
or scvcrily ..I. he w.a.h.T. as well as l,y the choice it makes of (he best 
pasturafic and most quiet portions of the prairies. While we were at Fort 
Union, th.. hunters were durinfr tl.e month of Jun.- ohiit^od to go out twenty- 
hve or thutyuiih-s to procure IJuliaio meat, aithou-h at other times the 
animal was quite ahun.h.nt in sight of, he (bri. The ola large 
herd, in wet weather, cuts up the soft clayey soil ofth.. river bottoms (ue 
«Io not not .Mean tlu- bottom of rivers,) into a complete mush. One' day. 
wlu-n on ourjourn.-y up the Missouri river, we landed on one oCthe nar- 
row stnps of h.ndealle,! bottoms, which Ibrmed the margin of the river 
nnd was back,.! by hills of consi.lerabh- height at a short dislanee At 
this spot the tracks of these animals were literally innumerable, as 
lar as the eye could rea.-h in ev.-ry direction, the plain was covered wi.h 
them; and in s.ane places the soil had been so tran>ph-d as to rrscmble 
nm<l or clay, wh.m j.repared fur making bricks. The trees in the vicinity 
wer,> rubbed by these bulfaloes, and their hair and v.'ool were hangin-^ on 
t u- rough bark or lying at tluMr roots. We collected soua- ..f this wool? we 
tinnk.t .uight be usefully worked up into coarse cloth, an.l consider it 
worth att.M.tion. The road • that are made by th.-se animals, so umch re- 
semble the tracks left b, a large wagon-t rain, that the in..xperienced 
traveller may occasionally imagine hims,.|C (i,|i„,ving the course of an or- 
dinary wagon-road. These great tracks run for hundreds of miles across 
the prairies, and are usually found to lead to s„me salt-spri„g, „r some 
river or creek, where tiie animals can allay their thirst. 

The captain of the .steamboat on which we'asc.Mul-d the Missouri inform- 
ed us. that on his last annual v,.\ Mi,e up that river, he had caught' .several 
Bullaloes. that were swimming the river. The boat was run upon 
hem th,.y were lassoed by a Spaniar.l, who happene.l to be on board, an.l 
then hoisted on the deck, where they were butchered secun.knn arlem One 
day we saw.several that had taken to the water, and were .•oMmr^ towards 
our boat. We passed so near them, that we fired at them, but did not nro'- 
cure a single one. On another occasion, one was killed from the shore and 
brought ;-.; .nard, when it was imme.liately divided among the m.Mi ' W 
were greatly surprised to see some of the In.lians, that wen- goin-^ up witl 
us, ask (or certain portions of the entrails, which they devoured with the 
greatest voracity. This gluttony excited our curiosity, and being alwav- 
Willing to ascertain the quality of any sort of meat, we tasted some of tius 



Bort of tripe, ,i.n. loi.n.l it very good, altl.oiiRh at first its appearance was 
rather revolliiiy. 

'J'he Indians soinetitnes eat the carcasses of Ruiraloes that iiave been 
drowned, and some of those on lu.ard the; Onw^ii one day asked the cap- 
lain most earnestly to allow t!,eni to land and got at the bodies ol ihren 
J{t'lial<.es which w.. passed, that had lo.lfred among the drift-logs and were 
pi-ohably hair putrid. In this extraonlinary rcpiest some of the sipiaws 
joined. That, when sfimnlal.'d by the gnawings of l.ung.-r, Indians, or even 
Whites, should fe(!d upon carrion, is not to be wondered at, since we have 
many instances of caimi alism and other horrors, when men are in a state 
of starvation, but th(!s.; Indians were in the midst of plenty of wholesome 
Ibod and we are inclined to think their hankering afteV tliis disgusting 
flesh must be attributed to a natun.1 taste for it, pro»)ably acciuired" when 
young, as tliey are no doubt sometimes obliged in their wanderings over the 
pr.iiries in wint<-r, to devour carrion and even l)ones and hides, to pr.-serve 
their lives. In the height of the rutting-se.-.son, the flesh of the Buffalo bull is 
quite rank, and unfit to be eaten, except from necessity, and at this time 
the animal can be scented at a consi(''jrable distance. 

Wlu^n a lierd of Bisons is chased, although the bulls run with great swift- 
ness their sj)eed cannot be compared with thatoftlie cows and yearling 
calves. These, in a few momejits leave the hulls behind them, but as they 
are greatly preferred by the hunter, ^e always (if well mounted) pursues 
them and allows the bulls to escape. During the winter of 1812 and 43, 
as we were told. Buffaloes were abundant around Fort Union, and dur' ig 
the night picked up straggling handfuls of hay that happened to be 
scattered about the place. An attempt was made u> secure some of them 
alive, by strewing hay as a bait, from the interior of the old fort, which 
is about two hundred yards off, to .:■-" Jistance from the gateway,' hoping 
the animals would feed along into tlic enclosure- They ate the hay to the 
very gate ; but as the hogs and common cattle were regularly placed there, 
for security, during the night, the Buffaloes would not enter, probably on 
account of the various odours issuing from the interior. As the Rufi'aloes 
generally found some hay scattered around, they soon became accustomed 
to sleep in the vicinity of the fort, but went off every morning, and dis 
ajjpeared behin.'. the hills, al)out a mile off". 

One night they were fired at, from a four-pounder loaded with musket- 
balls. Three were killed, and several were wounded, but this disaster did 
not prevent them from returning frequently to the fort at nighr, and they 
were occasionally shot, during the whole wi.iter, quite near the fort. 

As various accounts of Buffalo-hunts have been already written, we 
will pass over our eariiest adventures in that way, which occurred many 

VO!,. II. — 

ri I 



>eaM H'^o, iind ffivv. you mcroly ii Nki-tcii i)f the mode in wliiilj we killec? 
them <liiiiii« oiir.JDunify fo till! West, in lN|;j. 

OiH! niorniii- in July, oim' jiiiify and p.'rMons nffnclird to Fort 
Union, (lor w,. wnv iIi.mi Iocmi.mI iIut.",) ,T(,.(i il„. ,iv,.r. I.indrd ..|,|,„- 
Nite the lbrt,iind passing tlnontrli t\w rid. allnvial hrll of woodland wl.icli 
nmr-ins tin- riv.-r, wvn- .ariy on our way to tli.- adjacrnt prairi.-, hi-yond 
the hills. Oar <'(|ui|)ni(Mit consisl.'d „!,! J.-rscy wa«on, to which wo 
hadlwohorst's allaehcd, tandem, driven hy .Mr. C. i.mansnN, principal at 
the lort. Tliis wa>,'on carried Mr. Kakkih, IJr.i.i,, and ourselves, and we 

were followed hy two carls, which lained the rest „r the party, while 

hehind came the rmmin« horses or himlers, led carelully alonir. After 
crossing' the lower prairie, we ascended hetween ;lie sK'cp hanks of iho 
nitrxed ravines, imlil we reached the hi«h nndnlalin^r plains above. On 
turnins: to take a retrospective vi.-w, we beheld ih,' fort and a e(.nsid,.r. 
nbic expanse of broken and prairie-land l)eliin(l us, and the course- of tlie 
river was seen as it wound alonjj, li.r some distance. Uesumin^r „ur ad- 
vance we soon saw a of anielopes. some of which had youn-? ones 
Willi them. Alh-r travelling,' about len miles farther we approached the 
Fox river, and at this point one of the party espied a small herd of jjisons 
at a considerable distance olf. Mr. Ciii.nKRrsoN, after seanrhin;,' for them 
with the telescope, handed it to un and showed us where ihey were. They 
verc! all lyinj; down and apjx-ar.-d perfectly unconscious of the cxisf.Mico 
of our party. Our vehicles and horses were now turned towards them 
and wc travelled cautiously to witiiin about a (piarter of a mile of the herd, 
covered by a hi-li ridjr.' of land which concealed us from their view.' 
'I'he wind was favourable, (blowini,' towards us.) and now the hunlers threw 
aside their coats, tied ' Midkercliicfs around their heads, looked to their 
guns, mounted their siei as, and moved slowly and cautiously towards the 
f;iimc. The rest of the party crawled carefully to the top of the ri(I<fe to 
seethe chase. At the word of command, driven by Mr. Cn.nERrsoN, the 
hunters dashed forward after the bulls, which already be-an to run olt 
in a linc^ nearly parallel with the rid-j;e we were upon. The swift horses, 
ururedonby theircaser riders and th.Mr own impetuosity, soon bejran to 
overtak.. the aini-hted animals; two oflhem separated* from the others 
and were pursued by Mr. Cui.i.krtson and ."Mr. IJki.i, ; presently the former 
fired, and we could see that he had wounded one of the bulls. It stopped 
aft.>r jioiny; a little way and stood with its head han-,'infr down and its 
nose near the j;round. Tiie blood appeared to be pourin- from its mouth 
and nostrils, and its droopin- tail showed the a<?ony of the poor beast. • 
Yet it stood lirm.Mnd its sturdy le-s iiplield its ponderous body as if nou-ht 
had happened. We hastened toward it but ere we approached the spot, 



Ihc wouiidcd 


iiiiifTi!(l (Vll, rolled on itHsiil*', and fxpimd. It was quit m\ 

t'lnu' Mr. Mr.r.i. hiid (jontim.ii' l.ra 

lii'ii \V(! rcK-linl if. [ii il 

II' inciin 

haste jil'trr llic oflicr, and Mr. llARRrs and Mv. Sui-mii: liad 

and wtTr folic 

<',!!;ii Sf 

)!" th. 


lollowiH}? i>nv oi tnc rnai 
took I'lr.ict in the \mtU,vks of tlie animal. At this moment Mr. Suimrk'.s 
horse threw him over his head Inlly ten leet : he fell <.n his powder-horn 
an I was sevendy »)ruised ; he '!a!!ed to some on,^ to stop liis In.rse and was 
soon on his le^^s, hut felt siek for a few mom.Mits. Friend IFarrls, who 
was perfectly eool, nrared his bull, shot it throu-h (lu; lnns,'s, and it 
fell dead on tlu^ spot. Mr. »km. was still in pursuit of his wonn'ded ani- 
mal and Mr. Harris and Mr. Sd./iRi: joine.l and lollowed the fourth, whinh, 
however, was soon out ofsi-ht. We saw Mr. Hi-.m. shoot two or thrnn 
titn.-s, an.l heard -uns (in..l, either by Mr. Harris or Mr. Suihrk, but thn 
weather was so hot that fearful of injuria- their horses they were 
obli-ed to allow the bull they pursued to osoapc. The one shot by Mr. 
Hkm,. tumbled upon his knees, jrot up a<,'ain, and rushed on one of the 
lumters, who shot it oneo mor<s wlien it paused, and almost immodiatelv 
fell dead. ^ 

The rtesh of the RulHiloes thus killed was sent to the fort in the cart, and 
we continu<"d our route and passed the ni-ht on the prairie, at a spot 
about half way betw;'(Mi the Yellow-Stone .and the Missouri rivers. Hero, 
just before sundown, seven more bulls were dise(.v(M-ed by tlu! hunters, and 
Mr. Harris. Mr. Bi:i,i, and Mr. Cui.bkrtsov each killed "one. In this' part 
of the prairie we observed sev.-ra! burrows made; by the swift fox, but 
could not see any of thos,> anianls all h..u-h we watched far sometime 
in hopes of doinjr so. T'-ey probably scented our party and would not ap- 
proach. The hunters on the prairies, either from hun-.'r or bv!cause they 
hav.' not a very dc-licate appetite, sometimes break in the skull of a b- ffalo 
and eat the brains raw. At siuirise we were all up, and soon had our coffee, 
after which a nuilatto man called Lai-lehr, an excell m t hunter at- 
tached to the American Fur-Compat.y, acc^ompanied Mr. L., .h and Mr. 
IhuA. on a hunt for antelopes, as wv. wanted no mon; Bulfalocs. After 
waitin- the return of the party, who came back unsuccessful, we broke 
up our eanij) and turned our steps homeward. 

The hulfalo bulls which have be.-n with their fair ones are at this 
season wretchedly jx.or, but some of them, which appear not to have much 
fondness for the latter, or may have been driven off by their riv.-Us, are 
ill |)retty -ood condition. The prairies are in some places whitened with 
the. skulls of the Buiralo, dri,.,! and bleached by the summer's sun and the 
frosts and snows of those severe latitudes in winter. Thousands are killed 


If ' 



merely for their tongues, and their large carcasses remain to feed the 
wolves and other rapacious prowlers on the grassy wastes 

A large Bison bull will generally weigh nearly two thousand pounds 
and a fat cow, abour twHvc hundred. VVe wdghcd one of the bul.rk" led 
by our party and lound it to reach sevont...n hundred and twenty s , 
pounds although it had already lost a good deal of blood. This U 1 
old bull ..u„l was not fat ; it ha.l probably weighed n.o.-e at p el 
period. We were told that at ,his season a great n.any half-breed In 

uironT ^"'''"' "'k'"""^" ^''^"'' •""" ^"""^' ^""'^ «-h ^- ^ 
use, on Moose river, about 200 miles north of us. 

When these animals are shot at a distance of fifty or sixty yards thev 
rarely, , ever, charge on the hunters. Mr. Cu...™,. told us h; S 
killed as many as nine bulls from the same spot, unse.M^ by these terrible 
animals. 1 here are times, however, when they have been known to gore 
both horse and nder, after being severely wounded, and have dropped down 
dnn,! but a few minutes afterwards. There are indeed instances of bulls 
rece.vnig many balls without being immediately killed, and we saw one 
which during one of our hunts was shot no less than twenty-four times be- 
tore It dropped. 

A bull that our party had wounded in the shoulder, and which was 
thought too badly hurt to do much harm to any one, was Ibund rith r d"" 
gerous when we approached him, as he would dart forward at the nearest 
01 his foes, and but that his wound prevents him from wheeling and turn- 
uig rapidly, he would certainly have done some mischief We fired af him 
rom our six-barrelled revolving pistol, which, however, seemed to have 
bttle other ellect than to render him more savage and furious. His an- 
pearance was well calculated to appal ,he bravest, had we not felt assured 
that his strength was fast diminishing. We ourselves were a little too 
con dent, and narrowly escaped being overtaken F>y hi,„ „,,„,,,, ,„, J, 
pru ence We placed ourselves directly in his front, and as he adva. ced 
•red at his hea.l an.I ran back, not supposing that he could overtake s-' 
but he soon got within a few feet of our rear, with head lowered and' 
t'veo' preparation made for giving us a hoist ; the next instant, however 
we had .jumped aside, and the animal was unable to alter his headlon.^ 
course quick enough to avenge himself on us. Mr. Hku. „ow put a ball 
rect y t roug his lungs, and with a gush of bloo<l from the mouth and 
no tri s, lie h.| upon his knees and gave up the ghost, falling (as 
usual) on the side, quite dead. 

On another occasion, when tlie same party were hunting near the end 
of the mc.,.h o, .lulv, Mr. Su.iki: wound..! a bull twice, but no blood How- 
mg from the mou... it ^yas concluded the wounds were only in the flesh 



and the animal was shot by Mr. Culbertsox. Owen McKenzie, and Mr 
SuuiR., again. T.his renewed fire only seemed to enrage him the more' 
and he made a dash at the hunters so sudden and unexpected, that Mr' 
bdu.RE, attempting to escape, ro<h, between the beast and .t ravine whid, 
was near, when the bull turned upon him, his horse became Irightened 
and leaped down the bank, the Butlalo fbllowing him so closely that he 
was nearly unhorsed; he lost his presence of mind and dropped his gun • 
he, however, fortunately hung on by the mane and recover.-d Ips sea^ 
Thehon,e was the fleetest, and saved his life. He told us subsequent v' 
that he had never been so terrified before. This bull was fired at several 
tunes alter Squire's adventure, and was ibund to have twelve balls lod.^ed 
in h.m when he was killed. He was in very bad condition, and bein.rin 
the ruttmg season we found the flesh too rank for our dainlv palates and 
only took the tongue with us. 

Soon afterwards we killed a cow in company with many bulls and 
were at first afraid that they would charge upon us, which in similar 
cases they frequently do, but our party was too large and thev did not 
venture near, although their angry bellowings and their unwillin.'ness to 
leaxe the spot showed their rage at parting with her. As the sun was 
now fast towards the horizon on the extended prairie, we soon be- 
gan to make our way toward the camping ground .u id passed within a 
moderate distance of a large herd of BuHhIoes, which we did not stop to 
molest but increasing our speed reach,xl our quarters ibr the ni-ht just as 
tne shadows of the wester.i plain indicat, d that we should not behold 
the orb of day until the morrow. 

Our camp was near three conical hills called the Mamelles, onlv about 
thn-ty mdes from Fort Union, although we had travelled nearly fifty by 
the time we reached the spot. After unloading and unsaddling our tired 
beasts, all hands assisted in getting wood and bri.iginir water, and we 
were soon ,,uietly enjoying a cup of eoflVe. The time of refreshment to 
the weary hunter is always one of interest : the group of stalwart frames 
stretched in various attitudes around or near the blazing watch-tire, re- 
ealls to our minds the masterpieces of the great delineators of night scenes • 
and we have often at such times beheld living pictures, far surpass!,,.' 
any ot those contained in the galleries of Europe. 

There were signs of grizzly bears around us, an<i during the nr ht we 
heard a numberof wolv.-s howling among the bush.>s in the vicinity The 
service berry was abun.lant and we ate a good many of them, and after a 
hasty prepiiration in the morning, started again after the Bullaloes we had 
seen the pre vio,.s even ng. Having rode for some time, one of our part v who 
waa Ml advance as a scout, made the customary signal irom the top ..f a 

*s i 




i 'I 

if i| 

i '1 


ll h,Il. that Buffaloe^ were in sight ; this is doneby walking the hunter's 
horse backward and forward several tinges. We hurried !»!„': d 

oj^ seo^t , close to Us horse's neck, as it^.sleep on the back on^^^^^^^^^ 
.-nal. He ponited out where he had discovered the jrame but fh., . ■ 
.oneoutofsight,and(as he said) were traveHin; , Hhe h Jd 1 t! 
composed ofboth bulls and cows. The hunters .no^nted'at once and l," 
lopod on n, rapul pursuit, while we Ibllovved n,ore leisurely over hills: d 
phuns and across and broken ground, at the riLf our ne ks 

vh-Vr. T "" '""" "^ '''' ^""^^''•^' -"^ occasionally the BuIf"; e ' had ta en a direction toward the Fort. At last we Cached nn^^^^^ 
nence fron, we saw the hunters approaching the BuUaloes in ord • 
U>eg,n the chase ,n earnest. It scenes that there is no e,i,uette a.non! 
Buffalo hunters, and this not being understood beforehand Ly our friend 
Harhis he was disappointed in his wish to kill a cow The country w" 
not as favourable to the hunters as it was to the flying herd. The nde 
.separated iron, the n,ales, and the latter turned in our direction and pled' 
V lun a few undred yards of us without our being able to fire at't^.el 
Indeed we wdhngly suffered them to pass unmolested, as they are always 
very dangerous when they have been parted from the cows. Only one 
female was killed on this occasion. On our way homeward we made 
towards toe coupee, an opening in the hills, where we expected to find 
water for our horses and „u,les. as our supply of Missouri water was only 
enough lor ourselves. •* 

The water found on these prairies is generally unfit to drink, (unless as 
a matter of necessity,) and we most frequently carried eight or ten gallons 
from (he nver, on our journey through the plains. We did not find water 
where vye expected, and were obliged to proceed about two miles to the 
eastward, where we luckily found a puddle suliicient for th<. wants of our 
horses and mutes. There was not a bush in sight at this place, an.l we 
collected Buffalo dung to make a fire to cook with. In the winter this 
prmneiuel is often too wet to bun. and the hunters and Indians have to 
eat their meat raw. It can hosvev.T hunilv I... now to our readers to hear 
that they are often glad to get any thing, either raw or cooked, when in this 
desolate region. 

Young Buffalo bulls are sometimes castrated by the Indians, as we were 
told, lor the ,,urpose of rendering ,hem larger and falter ; and we were in-^ 
formed, that when full grown they have been shot, an<I found to be far su- 
perior to others in (he herd, in size as well as flavour. During severe 
wmters the Buflaloes become very poor, and when the snox. has covered 
the ground lor several months to the depth of two or three feet, they are 
wretched objects to behold. They frequently in this emaciated state lose 



Jhelr hair and become covered with scabs ; and the magpies .light on their 

foIlo^I'''wh !'"' ";.-'^ T^''' "''^" ^^"-"'^^ young,was related to us, as 
io bus. Whenu cal/ ,s talcen, if the person who captures it places on^ of 
s fingers:,, us mouth, it will follow him aiterwarL, whetlL o„ fb o or 
on horseback, for several miles 

August 7th, 184.3, a Buffalo cow was killed and brought into the fort 
a.ul to the astonishment of all, was Ibund to be near her time of ca vh.l 
Ths was an extraordinary circumstance at that season of the year ^' 

August 8th, The young Buffaloes have commenced shedding t'eir first 

a man s hand. The new ha.r is dark brownish black. We caughrone 

01 these calves with a lasso, and had several men to h.ld hirn u on an 
proaching to pull off some of the old hair 1... k-inL- i . ^" 

a. U however ,ake„.„,„e p„. p„.,, aL ^itZJl^Z'Z 
cU„ e,„,„| , a. we c.uld ,,„„d|e i,, „„., „„ ,<„, „,r ,„„,^ ; ^ ^ ^ 
..1.1 pcU,ge. ,vl„cl, hu„s ,„ .he «i,le „i„, „„pMsi„K ,e„aohv. 

Ihe proce., „f butchering or e„t,i„g „p ,he ea,ca.» o( the Duffilo is 
-.erally po,,.™. i„ a slovenly and .,is,„s,i„, manned, hfu- 
ami .he choices, pa,,, only are ,ave,l, unless .bod is scarce. The 1 e ' , 'd 
hr,uns are eagerly sough. ,o,, and the h„,„p is excellcn. wl e, r, "e 
Ihc pieces of llesh lion, the sides are called l,y the French mie., ,T 

tX: " r^ ""'"°" 'r^'-" »"'"»"-"'" °"'. »^ .he ^a^ih : 

hf lipped of Its covering of lat. P'^untu is 

Some i,Iea of the immense number of Bisons to be still seen on the wild 
pnunes, may be formed from the io. lowing account, give o,,' 
K , one of the principals of the American Fur Company. " W L he 
was travelling from Tra vers' Rtv t« »»,„ AT i vvnue ne 

August in 'i Lt 1 • . , . ""''"' "■'*'""'" *''« ™>"th of 

daTb 's ; he-;'y '-'-'. iH^ I'a.ssed through herds ol-flufialo for six 

da m su ce.s.on. At another time he saw the great prairie near Fo 
CU on the M.ssour. river, aln.ost blackened by these animals, which I 

^X I'n ;;:.t r ' ''-' '-'-' ''- '- ^" ^" '"----- -^ p-^- 

Wl...„ ih. Hi.sons first see a person, whether white or red, they trot or 

.aze on h^ur loe lor a lew „,ome„,s, then take a course and go off at full 
.speed untd out of night, a.ul beyond the scent of man. 

h H 



Although large, heavy, and comparativelj clumsy, the Bison is at times 
hrisk and fVolicksome, and these huge iuiimals often play and gambol about, 
kicking their heels in the air with surprising agility, and throwing their 
hinder parts to the right and left alternately, or I'rom one side to the other, 
their heels the while flying about and their tails whisking in the air. They 
are very impatient in the fly and mosquito season, and are often seen kick- 
ing and running against the wind to rid themselves of these tormentors. 

The different Indian tribes hunt the Buffalo in various ways: some pur- 
sue them on horseback and shoot them with arrows, which they point with 
old bits of iron, or old knife blades. They are rarely expert in loading or re- 
loading guns, (even if they have them,) but in the closely contested race 
between their horse and the animal, they prefer the rifle to the bow and 
arrow. Other tribes follow them with patient perseverance on foot, until 
they come within shooting distance, or kill them by stratagem. 

The Mandan Indians chase the Buffalo in parties of from twenty to fifty, 
and each man is provided with two horses, one of which he rides, and the 
other being trained expressly for the chase, is led to the place where the 
Buffaloes are started. The hunters are armed with bows and arrows, their 
quivers containing from thirty to fifty arrows according to the wealth of 
the owner. When they come in sight of their game, they quit the )iorses 
on which they have ridden, mount those led for them, ply the whip, soon 
gaiu the flank or even the centre of the herd, Jind shoot their arrows into 
the fattest, according to their fancy. When a Buffalo has been shot, if the 
blood flows from the nose or mouth, he is considered mortally wounded j 
if not, they shoot a second or a third arrow into the wounded animal. 

The Buffalo, when first started by the hunters, carries his tail close • 
down between the legs ; but when wounded, he switches his tail about, espe- 
cially if intending to fight his pursuer, and it behooves the hunter to watch 
these movements closely, as the horse will often shy, and without due care 
the rider may be thrown, which when in a herd of Buffalo is almost certain 
death. An arrow will kill a Buffalo instantly if it takes effect in the heart, 
but if it does not reach the right spot, a dozen arrows will not even arrest one 
in his course, and of the wounded, many run out of sight and are lost to the 

At times the wounded Bison turns so quickly and makes such a sudden 
rush ujjon the huuter, that if the steed is not a good one and the rider per 
fectly cool, they are overtaken, the horse gored and knocked down, ana 
the hunter thrown off and either gored or trampled to death. But if the 
horse is a fleet one, and the hunter expert, the Bison is easily outrun and 
(hey escape. At best it may be said that this mode of Buffalo hunting is 

^ -r-- 



riangcrous sport, and one requires both skill and nerve to come off success 

The Gros Ventres, Blaekfeetand Assinaboines often take the Buffalo in 
large pens, usually called parks, constructed in the following manner. 

Two converging fences built of sticks logs and brushwood are made, 
leading to the mouth of a pen somewhat in the shape of a funnel. The 
pen itself is either square or round, according to the nature of the ground 
where it is to be placed, at the narrow end of the funnel, which is always 
on the verge of a sudden break or precipice in the prairie ten or fifteen feet 
deep, and is made as strong as possible. When this trap is completed, a 
young man very swift of foot starts at daylight, provided with a Bison's 
hide and head, to cover his body and head when he approaches the herd 
that is to be taken, on nearing which he bleats like a young Buffalo calf, 
and makes his way slowly towards the mouth of the converging fences 
leading to the pen. He repeats this cry at intervals, the Buffaloes follow 
the decoy, and a dozen or move of mounted Indians at some distance behind 
the herd gallop from one side to the other on both their flanks, urging them 
by this means to enter the funnel, which having done, a crowd of men wo- 
men and children come and assist in frightening them, and as soon as they 
have fairly entered the road to the pen beneath the precipice, the disguised 
Indian, still bleating occasionally, runs to the edge of the precipice, quickly 
descends, and makes his escape, climbing over the barricade or fence of the 
pen beneath, while the herd follow on till the leader (probably an old bull) 
is forced to leap down into the pen, and is followed by the whole herd, which 
is thus ensnared, and easily destroyed even by the women and children, 
as there is no means of escape for them. 

This method of capturing the Bison is especially resorted to in October 
and November, as the hide is at that season in good condition and saleable, 
and the meat can be preserved for the winter supply. When the Indians 
have thus driven a herd of Buffalo into a pen, the warriors all assemble 
by the side of the enclosure, the pipe is lighted, and the chiefs smoke to the 
honour of the Great Spirit, to the four points of the compass, and to the 
herd of Bisons. As soon as this ceremony has ended, the destruction com- 
mences, guns are fired and arrows shot from every direction at the devot- 
ed animals, and the whole herd is slaughtered before the Indians enter the 
space where the Buffaloes have become their victims. Even the children 
shoot tiny arrows at them when thus captured, and try the strength of theii 
young arms upon them. 

It sometimes happens, however, that the leader of the herd becomes alarm 
ed and restless while driving to the precipice, and should the fence be weak, 
breaks through, and the whole drove follow and escape. It also some- 
VOL. n. — 7. 




times occurs, that after the Bisons are in the pen, which is often so lill 
ed that they touch each other, the terrified crowd swaying to and 
fro, their weight against the fence breaks it down, and if the smallest 
gap is made, it is immediately widened, when they dash through and 
scamper off, leaving the Indians in dismay and disappointment. The side 
fences for the purpose of leading the Buffaloes to the pens extend a«t 
times nearly half a mile, and some of the pens cover two or three hun- 
dred yards of ground. It takes much time and labour to construct one 
of these great traps or snares, as the Indians sometimes have to bring 
timber from a considerable distance to make the fences and render 
them strong and efficient. 

The Bison has several enemies : the worst is, of course, man ; then comes 
the grizzly bear ; and next, the wolf. The bear follows them and succeeds 
in destroying a^ood many ; the wolf hunts them in packs, and commits 
great havoc among them, especially among the calves and the cows 
when calving. Many Buffaloes are killed when they are struggling in the 
mire on the shores of rivers where they sometimes stick fast, so that the 
wolves or bears can attack them to advantage ; eating out their eyes and 
devouring the unresisting animals by piecemeal. 

When we were ascending the Missouri river, the first Buffaloes were 
heard of near Fort Leavenworth, some having a short time before been 
killed within forty miles of that place. We did not, however, see any of 
these animals until we had passed Fort Croghan, but above this point we 
met with them almost daily, either floating dead on the river, or gazino- at 
our steamboat from the shore. 

Every part of the Bison is useful to the Indians, and their method of 
making boats, by stretching the raw hide over a sort of bowl-shaped frame 
work, is well known. These boats are generally made by the wo- 
men, and we saw some of them at the Mandan village. The horns are 
made into drinking vessels, ladles, and spoons. The skins form a good 
bed, or admirable covering from the cold, and the flesh is excellent food, 
whether fresh or dried or made into pemmican ; the fat is reduced and 
put up in bladdnrs, and in some caset. used for frv'ng fish, &c. 

The hide of the Buffalo is tanned or dressed altogether by the women, 
or squaws, and the children ; the process is as follows : The skin is first 
hung on a post, and all the adhering flesh taken off with a bone, toothed 
somewhat like a saw; this is performed by scraping the skin dov/n- 
wards, and requires considerable labour. The hide is then stretched on 
the ground and fastened down with pegs ; it is then allowed to remain 
till dry, which is usually the case in a day or two. After it is dry- 
thc flesh side is pared down with the blade of <» knife fastened in a 



bone, called a grate, which renders the skin even and takes off about a 
quarter of its thickness. The hair is taken off with the same instrument 
and these operations being pcribrmed, and the skin reduced to a proper 
thickness, it is covered over cither with brains, liver or grease, and left for a 
night. The next day the skin is rubbed and scraped either in the sun or 
by a fire, until the greasy matter has been worked into it, and it is nearly 
dry ; then a cord is fastened to two poles and over this the skin is thrown, 
and pulled, rubbed and worked until quite dry ; after which it is sewed to- 
gether around the edges excepting at one end ; a smoke is made with rot- 
ten wood in a hole dug in the earth, and the skin is suspended over it, on 
sticks set up like a tripod, and thoroughly smoked, which completes the tan- 
ning and renders the skin able to bear wet without losing its softness or 
pliability afterwards. 

Buffalo robes are dressed in the same manner, only that the hair is not 
removed and they are not smoked. They are generally divided into two 
parts : a strip is taken from each half on the back of the skin where the 
hump was, and the two halves, or sides, are sewed together after they are 
dressed, with thread made of the sinews of the animal ; which process be- 
ing finished, the robe is complete and ready for market 

The scrapings of the skins, we were informed, are sometimes boiled with 
berries, and make a kind of jelly which is considered good food in some 
cases by the Indians. The strips cut off from the skins are sewed togeth- 
er and make robes for the children, or caps, mittens, shoes, «kc. The 
bones are pounded fine with a large stone and boiled, the grease which 
rises to the top is skimmed off and put into bladders. This is the favourite 
and famous marrow grease, which is equal to butter. The sinews are used 
for stringing their bows, and are a substitute for thread ; the intestines 
are eaten, the shoulder-blades made into hoes, and in fact (as Wd have al- 
ready stated) nothing is lost or wasted, but every portion of the animal, by 
the skill and industry of the Indians, is rendered useful. 

Balls are found in the stomach of the Buffalo, as in our common domes- 
tic cattle. 

Having heard frequent discussions respecting the breeding of the Bison 
in a domesticated state, and knowing that Robert Wickliffe, Esq., of Ken 
tucky, had raised some of these animals, we requested his son, then on his 
way to Europe, to ask that gentleman to give us some account of their ha- 
bits under his care, and shortly afterwards received a letter from him, da- 
ted Lexington Nov. Oth, 1843, in which he gives an interesting account 
of the Bison breeding with the common cow, and other particulars con- 
nected with this animal. After expressing his desire to comply with our 
request intimated to him by his son, he proceeds to give us the following 

I :i| 

! ' ; i 

1 ':•: 




information : "as far," he writes, " as his limited know^f tl^eofnatural history 
uiul his attention to these nninials .vill permit him to do." He proceeds: 
'The herd orBiitihlo I iiowpossess havedeseeiid<'d from oncor twocows that 
I purchased Iroin a niiin who broujilit them I'roin the country called the Up- 
]ier Missouri ; I have had them lor about thirty years, hut Irom giviny them 
away and the occasional killing ol' them by mischievous persons, as well 
as other causes, my whole stock at this time does not exceed tenor twelve. 
1 have sometimes conlined them in separate parks I'rorn other cattle, but 
generally they herd and feed with my stock of farm cattle. They graze 
in coinpany with them as gently as the others. The Buifalo cows, I think, 
go with young about the same time the common cow does, and produce 
once a year ; none of mine have ever had more than one at a birth. The 
approach of the sexes is similar to that of the common bull and cow under 
similar circumstances at all times when the cow is in heat, a period 
which seems, as with the common cow, confined neither to day, nor night, 
nor any particular season, and the cows bring ibrth their young of course at 
dilferent times iind seasons of the year, the same as our domesticated cattle. 
I do not find my Bufl'aloes more i'urious or wild than the common cattle 
of the same age that graze with them. 

"Although the Bufl'alo, like the domestic cow, brings fonh its young at 
different seasons of the year, this I attribute « "le eifect of domestication, 
as it is different with all animals in a state of nature. I have always heard 
their time for calving in our latitude w\as from March until .Tuly, and it is 
very obviously the season which nature assigns lor the increase of both 
races, as most of my calves were from the Buffaloes and conmion cows at 
this season. On getting possession of the tame Buifalo, I endeavoured to 
cross them as much as I could with my common cows, to which experi- 
ment I found the tame or conmion bull unwilling to accede, and he was al- 
ways shy of a Buffalo cow, but the Buifalo bull was willing to breed with 
the connnon cow. 

" From the domestic cow I have several half breeds, one of which was h 
heifer ; this I jiut with a domestic bull, and it produced ahull calf. This I 
castrated, and it made a very fine steer, and when kilh>d produced very fine 
beef. I bred from the same heifer several calves, and then, that the experi- 
ment might be perfect, I put one of them to the Buffalo bull, and she 
brought me ahull calf which I raised to be a very fim^ large animal, per- 
Iifips the only one to be met with in the world of his blood, viz., a three quar- 
ter, half (juarter, and half (luarter of the common blood. After makin" 
these experiments, 1 have left them to propagate their breed themselves, 
so that I have only had a few half breeds, and tliey always prove the same, 
even bv a Buffalo bull. The full blood is not as large as the improved 



stock, but as large as the ordinary cattle of the country. The crossed or 
half blood are larger than either the Buffalo or common cow. The hump 
brisket, ribs and tongue of the full and half blooded are prclerable to thosu 
ol the common beef, but the round and other parts arc nmch inferior. The 
udder or bag of the Buffalo is smaller than that of the common cow, but 1 
have allowed the calves of both to run with their dams upon the same pas- 
ture, and those of the Buffalo were always the fattest ; and old hunters have 
told me, that when a young Buffalo calf is taken, it recjuires the mijk of two 
common cows to raise it. Of this I have no doubt, having received the 
same information from hunters of the greatest veracity. The bag or ud- 
der of the half breed is larger than that of full blooded animals, and they 
would, I have no doubt, make good milkers. 

" The wool of the wild Buffalo grows on their descendants when domesti- 
cated, but I thiidc they have less of wool than their progenitors. The do- 
mesticated Buffalo still retains the grunt of the wild animal, and is incapa- 
ble of making any other noise, and they still observe the habit of having 
select places within their feeding grounds to wallow in. 

" The Buffalo has a much deeper shoulder than the tame ox, but is light- 
er behind, lie walks more actively than the latter, and I think has more 
strength than a common ox of the same weight. I have broke them to the 
yoke, and found them capable of making excellent oxen ; and for draw- 
ing wagons, carts, or other heavily laden vehicles on long journeys, they 
would, I think, be greatly preferable to the common ox. I have as yet 
had no opportunity of testing the longevity of the Buffalo, as all mine that 
have died, did so from accident or were killed because they became aged. 
I have some cows that are nearly twenty years old, that are healthy and 
vigorous, and one of them has now a sucking calf. 

" The young Buffalo calf is of a sandy red or rufous colour, and com- 
mences changing to a dark brown at about six months old, which last colour 
it always retains. The mixed breeds are of various colours ; I have had 
them striped with black, on a gray ground like the zebra, some of them 
brindled red, some pure red with white faces, and others red without any 
markings of white. The mixed bloods have not only produced in my stock 
from the tame and the Buffalo bull, but I have seen the half bloods repro- 
ducing ; viz. : those that were the product of the common eovv and wild 
Buffalo bull. I was informed that at the first settlement of the country, 
cows that were considered the best for milking, were from the half blood, 
down to the quarter, and even eighth of the Buffalo biood. But my experi- 
ments have not satisfied me that the half Buffalo bull will prosluce 
again. That the half breed heifer will be productive I'rom either race, as 
I have before atated, I have tested bej'ond the possibility of a doubt. 



"The domesticated BufTalo retains the same haughty bearing that dis- 
tinguishes him in his natural state, lie will, however, feed or fatten on 
whatever suits the tame cow, and requires about the same amount of 
food. I have never milked either the full blood or mixed breed, but 
have no doubt they might be made good milkers, although .' <'ir bags 
or udders are less I ban those of the common cow; yet from the Htrength 
of the calf, the dam must yield as much or even more milk than the 
conuiion cow." 

Since reading the above letter, we recollect tha* tlie Buffalo calves 
that wert> kept at Fort Union, though well fed every day, were in 
the habit of su(!king each other's ears for hours together. 

There exists a singular variety of the Bison, which is however ve-y 
scarce, and the skin of which is called by both the hunters and I'ur 
traders fi " l)caver robe." These are valued so highly that some have 
sold for more than three hundred dollars. Of this variety Mr. Cui,- 
iiERTsoN had the goodness to ])resent us with n superb specimen, 
which we had lined with cloth, and find a most excellent del'ence 
against the cold, whilst driving in our wagon during the severity of 
our northern winters. 



The range of the l]ison is still very extensive ; but although it was 
once met with on the Atlantic coast, it has, like many others, receded 
and gone west and south, driven onward by the march of civilization 
and the advance of the axe and plough. His habits, as we have seen, 
are migrator,, iv.u the extreme northern and southern limits of the wan- 
dering herds not exactly defined. Authors state, that at the time of the 
first settlement of Canada it was not known in that country, and 
Sagabd TiiEODAT mentions having heard that bulls existed in the far west, 
but saw none himself According to Dr. Uichardsom, Great Slave Lake, 
latitude 00°, was at one time the northern boundary of their range; 
but of late years, according to the Ic^stimony of the natives, they have 
taken possession of the flat limestone district of Slave Point on the north 
side ot' that lake, and have wandered to the vicinity of Great Marten 
Lake, in Latitude 03° or 04°. The Bison was not known formerly to 
the north of the Columbia river on the Pacific coast, and Lewis and 
Ci.ARK foniui Btillalo robes were an important article of traffic between 
the inhabit.'mts of the east side and those w^est of the Iloeky mountains. 

The Bison is spoken of by Hernandez as being found in New Spain 
or Mexico, and it probably extended farther south. Lawson speaks of 



two Buffalops that, were killed in one sea^■.<)n on Cape Fear river, In 
North Carolina. The Bison formerly existed in South Carolina on the 
seaboard, and we wore informed that from the last herd seen in that State 
two we ; in the vicinity of Columbia. It thus appears that at one 
period this animal ranged over nearly the whole of North America. 

At the present time, the Buiraio is found in vast herds i.i some of the 
great prairies, and scattered more sparsely nearly over the whole length 
and breadth of the valleys east and .vest that adjoin the Rocky Moun- 
tain chain 




White Weasel. — Stoat. 
PLATE LIX— Male and Fbmale in summer peliige. 
P Hycmc alba ; aistate supra rutila, infra alba caudae apice nigro. 


White, in winter ; in summer, brown above, white beneath ; tip of the tail, 




MusTELA Erminea, Briss. R^gne An., p. 243, 2. 

" Linn., Syst. Nat., 12. i., p. 08. 7. 

" Schrch., Stiugtli., p. 4i»0, 11 t. 137. 

" " Er.xlobon Syst., p. 474, 13. 

ViVEKA EuMiNEA, Sliiiw, Gen. Zool., i., 2 p. 4i;C t. 9!>. 

" " Pcnniint, Arctic Zooloiry, i., p. 7;,, 

Hermine, Buffon, C. C, p. 240, t. 
MusTELA Erminea, Parry's First Voyage, Sup. 135. 
" " Parry's Second Voy., App. 294. 

" Franlvlin's Fir.'^t Journey, p. 052. 

Godman, Ame. Nat. Hist., vol. i., p. 103, fig. 1. 
" Harlan, p. 02. 

PuTORius N0VEBORACEN8IS, Dekay, Nat. Hist. New-Yorl;, p. 36. 


Body, long and .slender, with a convex nose and forehead ; limbs, short, 

and rather stout ; tail, long and cylindrical ; moustaches, long, extending 

beyond the ears; ears, low, br.)ad and round, do not entirely surround the 

auditory opening, sparingly covered with short hairs on both surfaces. 

There are five toes on each foot, the inner toe much the shortest ; the 

toes are clothed with hairs, covering the nails ; fur, soft and short ; tail, 

hnir)-, and bushy at the end. There are two glands situated on each side 

ofthe under surface ofthe tail, which contain an offensive white muskv 




In winter, in fl.e latitude of Pennsylvania and Now- York, a 1 iho hairs 
are snowy white Iron. th,> roots, exeept those on the end of the tail, which 
forahout one and three-fourth inches is black. We received specimens irom 
Vn-ginia obtained in Jaiiuary, in which the colours on the back had inirtcr- 
poiH! no chanfT.', and re.nain.ul brown ; rtnd from the upper and michlle iis- 
tricls of South Carolina kilh-.l at the same period, when no change had taken 
place, and it was stated that this, the only species of Weasel touted theie 
remaine.1 brown through the whole year. These specimens are now in our' 
possession, and we have arrived at the conclusion that the farther South wo 
Jidv,in.;e, (he less perfect is the chan-e from brown to white. We hive spe- 
cimens from Lonj? Island, obtained in winter, which retain shades of brown 
on the head and dorsal line. Those liom the valleys of the Vir^-inia 
mountains have broad stripes of brown on Ihe back, and specimens Irom Ab- 
bcnilh; and I.exington, S. Carolina, have not undergone the slightest change. 
We wore informed by our friend Mr. BRoMPiELn an eminent botanist of 
England, that in the Isle of Wight, the place of his residence, the Ermine 
underwent only a partial change in winter. 

In summei, the upper surlace of the body is of a chesnut-browii colour, 
a little darker on th.; dorsal line ; under surface, the upper lips to the 
nose, chin, throat, inner surfr.ces of legs, and belly, whice ; the line sepa- 
rating the colour ofthe back from that on the under surface, is very dis- 
tinct, but irregular, and in some specimens, the white on the belly extends 
further up along the sides than in others. Whiskers white and black j 
the former preponderating: end of tail, as in winter, black. 


Old male. 

Nose to root of tail, - - . . 

Tail (vertebnr), - - . . . 

" to end of hair, .... 

Breadth between the ears, ... 
Length of head. .... 

Stretch of legs from end, to end of claws, 
Length of hind foot, to end of nails, 

" lore-foot, to " » 

Black tip of tail, - - . . 

VOL II. — S 






b IHi 

I* ' 1 1 

' 11 






The name of Ermine is associated with the pride of state and Inxurj' 
its fur liaving from lime immemorial been the favourite ornament of the 
robes of princes, judges and prelates. From its snowy whiteness it is 
emblematic of the purity which they ought to possess. 

To us the Ermine, in its winter dress, has always appeared strikingly 
beautiful. On a wintry day, when the earth was covered with a broad 
sheet of snow, our attention has sometimes been arrested by this little ani- 
mal peering out from a log heap, or the crevices of a stone fence ; its eyes 
in certain sh:ides of light appearing like sapphires, its colour vicing in white- 
ness and brilliancy with the snowy mantle of the surrounding landscape. 

Graceful in form, rapid in his movements, and of untiring industry, 
he is withal a brave and fearless little fellow; conscious of security 
within the windings of his retreat among the logs, or heap of stones, 
he permits us to approach him to within a few feet, then suddenly with- 
draws his head ; we remain still lor a moment, and he once more re- 
turns to his post of observation, watching curiously our every motion, 
seeming willing to claim association so long as we abstain from becoming 
his persecutor. 

Yet with all these external attractions, this little Weasel is fierce and 
bloodthirsty, possessing an intuitive propensity to destroy every animaJ 
and bird within its reach, some of which, such as the American rabbit, 
the ruded grouse, and domestic fowl, are ten times its own size. It is u 
notorious and hated depredator of the poultry house, and we have known 
forty well grown fowls to have been killed in on<; night by a single Er- 
mine. Satiated with the blood of probablj- a single fowl, the rest, like 
the flock slaughtered by the wolf in thr; shcepfold, were destroyed in obe- 
dience to a law of nature, an instinctive propniisify to kill. We have 
traced the footsteps of this bloodsucking little animal on the snow, pur- 
suing the trail of the American rabbit, and although it could not overtake 
its prey by superior speed, yet the timid hare soon took refug<' in the hoi 
low of a tree, or in a hole dug by the marmot, or skunk. Thither it was 
pursued by the Ermine, and destroyed, the skin and other remains at the 
mouth of the burrow bearing evidence of the fact. W<' observed an Er- 
mine, after liiivinn' captured a hare of the above spcM-ies, first behead it and 
then drag the body some twenty yards over the fresh fallen snow, be- 
neath whi(-h it w;is coneeah'd, and the snow tiiihtly pressed over it; the 
little prowler displaying thereby a habit of which we became aware for 
the first time on that occasion. To .avoid a dog that was in close pursuit, 




.t mounted a tree and kid itself flat on a limb '^bout twenty x''eet from 
the ground, from which it was finally shot. We have ascertained by 
successful expcrirnonts, repeated more than a hundred times, that the 
Ermine can be employed, in the manner of the ferret of Europe, in 
driving our American ral)l)it from the burrow into which it has retreat- 
ed. In one instance, the Ermine employed had been captured only a 
few days before, and its canine teeth were filed in order to prevent its 
destroying the rabbit ; a cord was placed around its neck to secure 
its return. It pursued fhe hare tlirough all the windings of its burrow 
and forced it to the moutli, where it could be taken in a net, or by the 
hand. In winter, after a snow storm, the rufi'ed grouse has a habit of 
plunging into the loose snow where it remains at times lor one or 
two days. In this passive state the Ermine sometimes detects and de- 
.stroys it. In an unsuccessful attempt at domesticating this grouse by 
fastening its feet to a board in the mode adopted with the stool pigeon, 
and placing it high on a shelf, an Ermine which we had kept as a i)ct,' 
I'oinid its way by the curtains of the window and put an end to our 
experiment by eating off the head of our grouse. 

Notwithstanding all these mischievous .and destructive habits, it is 
doubtful whether the Ermine is not rather a benefactor than an enemy 
to the farmer, ridding his granaries and fields of many depredators 
on the product of his labour, that would devour ten times the value 
of the poultry and eggs which, at long and uncertain intervals, it 
occasionally destroys. A mission appears to have been assigned it 
by Providence to lessen the rapidly multiplying number of mice of 
various species and the smaller rodentia. 

The white-tooted mouse is destructive to the grains in the wheal 
fields ai d in the stacks, as w ell as the nurseries of fruit trees. Le Co.nte's 
pine-mouse is injurious io the Irish and sweet potato crops, causing 
more to rot by nibbling holes into them than it consumes, and Wilson's 
meadow-mouse lessens om- animal product of hay by f.M'ding on the 
grasses, and by its long and tortuous gaUeries among their roots. 

Wherever an Ermine has taken up its n^sidence, the mice in its vicin- 
ity for half a, mile round have been found rapidly to diminish in nmn- 
ber. Their active little enemy is able to force its thin vermiform body 
into the burrows, it tollows them to the end of their galleries, and destroys 
whole families. We have on several occasions, r.fler a light snow, fol- 
lowed the trail of this weasel thnuigh li.-lds and .uendows, and witnessed 
the immense destruction which it occasioned ir. a shigle night. It enters 
every hole under stumps, logs, stone heaps j-nd fences, and evidences of 
its bloody deeds are seen in the mutilated rcm.ains nf the mice scattered 

I •■ 

> I 



on the snow. The little chipping or ground s(,uirre!, Tamias Lysteri, takes 
up its residence in the vicinity of the grain fields, and is known to car- 
ry off in its cheek pouches vast quantities of wheat and buckwheat, to 
serve as winter stores. The Ermine instinctively discovers tliese snug'rc- 
treats, and in (he space of a few minutes destroys a whole family ol 
these beautiful little TniniiB ; without even resting awhile until it has con- 
sumed its now abundant food its appetite craving for more blood, as if 
impelled by an irresistible destiny it proceeds in search of other objects 
on which it may glut its insatiable vampire-like thirst. The Norway rat 
and the common house-mouse take possession of our barns, wheat stacks, 
and granaries, and destroy vast (juantities of grain. In some instances 
the farmer is reluctantly compelled to pay even more than a tithe in con- 
tributions towards the support of these pests. Let however an Ermine 
find its way into these barns and granaries, and there take up its winter resi- 
dence, and the havoc which is made among the rats and mice will soon 
be observable. The Ermine pursues them to their farthest retreats, and in 
a few weeks the premises are entirely free from their depredations 
We once placed a half domesticated Ermine in an outhouse infested with 
rats, shutting up the holes on the outside to prevent their escape. The 
little animal soon commenced his work of destruction. The squeakin" 
of the rats was heard throughout the day. In the evening, it came 
out hcking its mouth, and seeming like a hound after a long chase 
much fatigued. Aboard of the lloor was raised to enable us to ascer- 
tain the result of our experiment, and an immense number of rats were 
observed, which, although they had been killed on different parts of the 
l)uil(ling, had been dragged together, forming a compact heap. 

The Ermine is then of immense benefit to the farmer. We are of 
the opinion that it has been over-hated and too indiscriminately perse- 
cut(-(l. If detected in the poultry house, there is som.. excuse for de- 
stroying it. as, like the dog that has once been caught in the sheepH.ld, 
It may return to connnit farther depredations; but when it has taken 
up its residence under stone heaps audiences, in his fields, or his barns 
the farmer would consult his interest by suffering it to remain as by 
thus inviting it to a home, it will probably destroy more forinidable 
enemies, relieve him from many petty annoyances, and save him many 
a bushel of grain. 

Let us not too hastily condemn the little Ermine lor it;^ bloodthirsty 
propensities. It possesses well-developed canine teeth, and obeys an in'- 
stinet of nature. Man, with organs not so decidedly carnivorous, and 
possessed ol the restraining powers of reason and conscience, often com- 
mits a wanton havoc on the interior animal*, not so much from want of 



food, as from a mere love of sport. The bufTalo and the elk he has 
driven across the Mississippi, and their haunts are now restricted to the 
prairies of the far West. Even now thousands are slaughtered for 
amusement, and their tongues only are used, whilst their carcasses are 
left to the wolves. Iln fills his g;imo bag with more woodcock, par- 
tridges and snipe, tlian he requires; his lishing-rod does not remain idle 
even after he has provided a full meal for his whole family ; and our 
youngsters are taught to shoot the little warbler and the sparrow as 
a preparatory training for the destruction of larger game. 

The Ermine is far from being shy in its habits. It is not easily 
alarmed, and becomes tolerably tame when taken young, for we have 
on several occasions succeeded in our attempts at domesticating it, but; 
it appeared to us that these pets were not quite as gentle as many 
ferrets that we have seen in Eurojjc. When not kept in confinement, 
they were apt to stray ofl' into the fields and woods, and finally be- 
came wild. The tracks of this species on the snow are peculiar, exhibit- 
ing only two footprints, placed near each other, the succeeding tracks 
being far removed, giving evidences of long leaps. We have frequenti} 
observed where it had made long galleries in the deep snow for tw(Mitv 
or thirty yards, and thus in going from one burrow to another, instead ot 
travelling over the surface, it had constructed for itself a kind of tunnel 

The Ermine is easily taken in any kind of trap. We have on seve- 
ral occasions, when observing one peeping at us from its secure hole in 
the wall, kept it gazing until a servant brought a box trap baited 
with a bird or piece of meat, which was placed within a few feet of its 
retreat. The Ermine, after eyeing the trap for a few moments, gradujilly 
approached it, then after two or three hasty springs backwirds returned 
stealthily into the trap, seized the bait, and was caught. We find in our 
note-book the following memorandum : "On the lOlh .Tune, 18 Ki, we baited 
a large wire trap with maize : on visiting the trap on the following day 
we found it had caught seven young rats and a Weasel ; the throats of 
the former had all been cut by the Weasel, and their blood sucked ; but 
what appeared strange to us, the Weasel itself was also dead. Th( .-Mts 
had been attracted by the bait : the Weasel went into the trap and killed 
them ; and whether it met its death by excessive gluttony, or from a wound 
inflicted by its host of enemies, we are unable to determine. 

This s])eoies does not appear to be very abundant any where. We have 
seldom found mori" than two or three on any farm in the Northern or 
Eastern States, We have ascertained that the immense number of tracks 
often seen in the snow in particuhir localities were made by a single ani- 

•! liil 





mal, as by capturing one, no signs of other individuals .vere afterwards 
seen. We have observed it most Jibundant in stony regions : in Dutchess 
and Ontario counties in New-Yoriv, on the iiills of Connecticut and Ver- 
mont, and at the foot of the AHeghanies in Pennsylvania and Virginia. It 
is solitiiry in its habits. ;.s w(> have seldom seen a ]r.m togi'ther except 
in the rutting season. A family of yoUng, however, are aj,t"to n-main in 
the same locality till autumn. In winter they separate, and we are in- 
clined to think that they do not hunt in couples or in packs like the wolf, 
but that, like the bat and the mink, each individual pursues its prey with- 
out copartnership, and hunts ibr its own benelit. 

The only note we have ever heard uttere.l by the Ermine is a shrill 
•luerulous cry: this ^v as heard only when it was suddenly alarmed or 
received a hurt, when its sharp scream was always alt.Muled with' an 
emission of the offensive odour with which nature has furnished it a^' 
a means of defence. Although nocturnal in its habits, the Ermine is fre- 
<iuently met with at all hours of the day, and we have seen it in pur- 
suit of the common rabbit und.'r a bright shining sun at noon-day 

We doubt whether the Ermine ever digs' its own burrows, and although 
when fast..ned to a chain in a state of connnement we observed it dig- 
ging shallow holes in the ground, its attemj)ts at burrowing were as 
awkward as those of the rat ; the nests we have seen were jilaced un- 
<ler roofs of trees, in stone heaps, or in the burrows of the ground squir- 
rel, from which the original occupants had been expelled. The rut- 
ting season is in winter, from the middle of February to the beginning 
of March. The young, from four to seven, are born in May, in the 
latitude of New-York. We were informed by a close ohserveV, that in 
the upper country of Carolina, the young had been seen as early as 
the 2rnh of March. The colour of the young when a week old, is 
pale yellow on the upper surface. 

The Ermine avoids water, and if forcibly thrown into it, swims awk- 
wardly like a cat. It does not, like the fi.sher and pine marten, pursn.. 
its prey on trees, and seems never to ascend them from choice ; but from 
dire necessity, when closely pursued by its implacable enemy, the do- 
One of the most singular characteristics of this species, viz.,"its change 
of colour Irom brown in summer to pure white in winter! and from 
white in spring to its summer colour, remains to be consideivd. It is 
well known that about the middle of Oet(.ber the Ermine gradual 1\ 
loses its brown summer-eoat and assumes its white winter-pelage, whicl", 
about the mid.lle of March is replaced by the usual summer 'colour- 
As far as our observations have enabled us to form an opinion on 
this subject, we have arrived at the conclusion, that the animal sheds 



itb coat twice a year, i. e., at the periods wiien these sei ii-aiinual changea 
take place. In autumn, the suuiiiier hair gradually and almost imper- 
ceptibly drops out, and is succeeded by a fresh coat of hair, which in the 
course of two or three weeks becomes pure white ; while in the spring 
tlie animal imdcrgotis its change from wiiite to brown in consequence 
of shedding its winter coat, the new hairs then coming out brown. We 
have in our jjossession a specimen captured in November, in which the 
change ol" colour has eonsidenibly advanced, but is not com[)leted. The 
whole of the under surface, the sides, neck and body to within half an inch 
of the back, together with the legs, are white, as well as the edges of 
the ears. On the upper surface, the nose, forehead, neck, and an ir- 
regular line on the back, together with a spot on the outer surface of 
the fore-leg, are brown, showing that these parts change colour last. 

In reference to the change of pelage and colour as exhibited in spring, 
we add some notes made by the senior author of this work, in March, 
184'2, on a specimen sent to him alive by Hammond, Esq. 

The Weasel this evening, the 6th of March, began to show a change of 
colour ; we were surprised to see that all around its nose, the white; hair 
of its winter dress had changed suddenly to a silky black hue, and 
this extended to nearly between the ears. Here and there also were 
seen small spots of black about its rump, becoming iriore appare?it toward 
the shoulders, and forming as it were a ridge along the back of the animal. 

March lOth. By noon the change was wonderfully manifested. The 
whoh; upper surface of the head had become black to the eye, as 
well as the ridge of the back, the latter part having become' quite 
clouded, and showing an indescribable motley mixture of closely-blended 
white, black, and blackish brown. 

18th. This day the change of colour reached the root of the tail, 
where it formed a ring of about one inch, of the same reddish blark colour. 
All other parts remained white, slightly tinged with pale lemon colour. Ix ' 
fed, as we perceived, more voraciously than ever since we have had it 
in our possession. No less than three or four mice were devoured to-day, 
and what is very strange, it left no remains of either hair, skull, feet, or 
any other part of these animals; and on this day, the 18th of Mr.rch, 
it ate a very large piece of fresh beef, weighing nearly half a pound. 

inth. Last night our Weasel made great progress, for this morning 
we found the coloured ridge on the back broader and less mottled. The 
!)osteri<)r eoloureil part of the head had .joined the ridge ol" the back. 
The posterior part of the hind legs had beeouK; brown, aiici we ob- 
served a small spot the s\/.v ol' a sixpence on each upper part of the 
thighs. At this juncture we think the ar.imal is beautiful. 




22(1. This morniiig we (buiul all the white hair on the outward ridp;e 
of the back had fallen, and portions of the thighs and shoulders had 
become broader ; the coloured parts were of a rich brown to the very 
nose, and there existed indications of small dark spots coming from 
the sides of the belly, somewhat like so many beads strung on a thread, 
separatee from the lower edge of the back ridge by a line of white 
of al)()ut half an ineli. The weasel continues as lively as ever. 
When asleep, it curls its body around, and the tail encircles the whole 
animal, the end covering the nose. The eyes appear to be kept care- 
fully uncovered. The general tints of the coloured parts of this Wea- 
sel were very much darker than in any other specimen which we have 
in our collection. When angry, it emitted a sharp shrill cry, and snapped 
with all its might at the objects presented to it. It was very cleanly 
in its habits, never rendering its sleeping apartment disagreeable. 

28th. Our Weasel got out of its cage by pushing the wires apart, 
passing through an aperture not exceeding five-eighths of an inch, as we 
suppose by putting its head diagonally through the bars. The door and 
windows of our room were closed, however, and, when we entered, our 
little fellow looked at us as if well acquainted, but soon ran behind a 
box. It devoured last night at least half a pound of beef, kept in the 
room for its day's ration. We placed the cage, with the door open, on 
the floor, and by walking round the box that concealed it, the animal 
was induced to run towards the cage, and was again secured in it. 

We have often observed this species whilst retreating ; if near its 
place of concealment, it does so backwards, and we observed the same 
movement when it passed iVoni one section of its cage to the other, drag- 
ging its food and concealing it among the straw. While we were sitting 
at a distance from its retreat, it proceeded by leaps very swiftly to with- 
in two or three feet of us, when it suddenly threw itself round and re- 
treated backward, as mentioned before. 

The purplish brown was now augmented on the thighs and shoulders to the 
knee joints, no white hairs remaining mixed with those that were coloured. 
Beneath the jaws, separate small brown spots appeared at equal distances, 
leaving an intermediate space of white, as was the case along the flanks. 
The root of the tail had acquired no farther change. Since last week our 
animal has diflused a very strong disagreeable odour, musky and fetid, 
which may be attributable to this being its breeding season ; we observed 
that I lie smell was more disagreeable in the n>ornings and evenings, than 
at mid-day. 

April. — t »!! |)aying our accustomed visit to our Weasel this evening, 
we i'ound it d' ad, which put a stop to any further observation of its habits 
Its measurements nro as follows : 


From point of nose to end of tail, .... lyi 

Tail (vertebrae), --..... 5 

Tail to end of hair, .-.-... g 

Height of ear, 1 

Breadth of ear, • 

Fore claws and hind claws stretching out to the black hair 
of the tail, j^i 


If, as we feel confident after having examined more than a hundred 
specimens from both continents, the American Ermine is identical with 
that of Europe, it will be found un have the widest range of any quadruped 
at present known. It exists in ihe colder portions of Asia, and in the 
temperate, as well as in all the Northern States of Europe. We have seen 
specimens from England and Scotland, from France, Germany, Switzer- 
land, Denmark, Sweden, and Russia. 

In America, its geographical range is also very extensive. Dr. Dekav 
(see Fauna, N. Y., p. 37) supposes it to be a northern animal, found as 
far south as Pennsylvania. We agree with him in his supposition that it 
is a northern animal, as it is only found in the Southern States where the 
country is mountainous or considerably elevated. It exists in the polar re- 
gions of Ama-ica as far north as Franklin, Parry, UicHARDsoy, Lyon and 
other explorers were able to penetrate. It is found in Nova Scotia and 
Canada, and in all the Eastern and Northern States. We observed it 
along the whole chain of mountains in Virginia and North Carolina. We 
obtained a specimen from Abbeville in South Carolina, from our friend 
Dr. Barrett, a close observer and a good naturalist ; and another from 
Mr. Fisher, from Orangeburg District. We have ascertained that it 
exists in the mountains of Georgia, where we are penning this article. 
We saw a specimen procured by To^nsend in Oregon, and have heard of 
its existence in North Calif-:. ua. It is, however, not found in the maritime 
districts of any of the Southern States, and in Carolina and Georgia does 
not approach within fifty miles of the seaboard ; and even when it exists 
on the most elevated portions of country, it is, like the ruffed grouse in 
similar localities, a rare species. 



tit' I 


Writers on Natural History, up to the time of Harlan, Godman and 
Richardson, without having instituted very close comparisons, considered 

VOL. 11. 

i ! II 



the existing in Asia. Europe and America, to be identical. Al 
a somewhat later period, however, naturalists, discovering on patient and 
close mv'estigation that nearly all our species of quadrupeds as well as 
birds differed from the closely allied species on the eastern continent 
began to doubt the identity of the Ermine existing in Europe and Ameri-' 
ca. We have been unable to ascertai.i whether these doubts ori-^i- 
nated from any difference in specimens from these countries, or from% 
bel.ef that so small an animal could scarcely be found on both con- 
tments, and thus prove an exception to a general rule. We admit that 
were an animal restricted to the temperate climates on cither continent 
and not found in the polar regions, there would be a strong presump-' 
tive argument against the identity of closely allied species existing in 
Europe and America. The Ennlne of the eastern continent is known 
to exist where the two continents nearly approach each other, perhaps 
occasmnally have been united by a solid bridge of ice, and probably 
may be so again during some of the coldest seasons of the polar winters 
aPd being capable of travelling on the snow, and resisting the severest 
cold, this animal is fully able to cross from one continent to the 
other, like the white bear, or Arctic fox, species which are admitted as 
Identical on both continents. Our species, moreover, is kn ^n to exist 
equally far north, and has been traced nearer to the poles than even the 

We observed, in the Museum of the Zoological Society, that the speci- 
men brought by Richardson was regarded as a new species by C. L 
Bonaparte, Esq., (now Prince of Muisignano.) 

In the recent work of Dr. Dekav, we perceive it has been described 
as a new specie^ under the Uixme of Putorius Novcboracensis. In a spirit 
of great fairness and candour, however, he states: " I have never seen 
the true Ermine in its summer dress, and only know it from Pennant's 
description : ears edged with white ; head, back, sides and legs, pale taw- 
ny brown; under side of the body white; lower part of the tail brown end 
black." The only point of difference, then, is in the ears .nlged with 
white. Pennant's specimen unquestionably was obtained at the period 
of time when the animal had only partially changed colour, as in all 
these cases the specimens before us, both from Europe and America, have 
Iheir ears edged with white. We have compared a great number of spe- 
cimens from both continents, and have several of each lying before us ; the 
edges of the ears in summer colour are all brown, and neither in size, den 
tition, nor colour, can we observe a shade of diffirence. 






■i - 



i'iiiL(< l.\lll 

I! S 

iV. .■'Kini- IwWK llil-ticork 

( /-.///(/r / , ///,f/- ////,//,, 


''wwi; 'i\-<m Natui;: ' ■.,' ,' *mi!4! jt:.''I' 








PI^TE LVm.— Male add Fsmalk 

S. Magnitudine, S. migraiorium superaens, S. Carolinensi cedens ; 
supra cinereus flavido-undutus, subtus saturate aureus, cauda corpora 
longiore. * 


Size intermediate between the Northern gray and the little Carolina 
squirrel; tail longer than the body ; colour, above, gray, unth a wash of yel- 
low ; beneath, deep golden yellow. 


OoLDEN-BELUED Squirrel, Sciutus Sub-auratus. — Bachman, Mon. Genus Sciui-us, 
p. 12. 


In the two specimens now before us, which arc very similar in size and 
markings, there is no appearance of the small anterior upper molar found in 
several other species of this genus. We conclude, therefore, that it either 
does not exist at all, or drops out at a veiy early period ; and accordingly 
set down this species as having only twenty teeth, viz. : 

. . 8 <*— 

Incisive - ; Canine — - ; Molar 

9 0—0 ' 


The upper incisors are of moderate size ; their colour is deep orange 
brown ; the lower incisors are a little paler ; head, of medium size ; ears 
short and pointed, clothed with hair on both surfaces, ''"he body seems 
more formed for sprightliness and agility than that of the small Caro- 
lina Squirrel, and in this respect comes nearest to tlie northern gray squir- 
rel. The tail is long, and nearly as broad as that of the last rianied 




The whole upper surface gray, with a distinct yellow wash. The 
hairs which give this outward appearance are grayish slate colour at 
their base, then broadly annulated with yellowish, then black, and near 
the tips annulated with yellowish-white ; sides of the face and neck, 
the whole of the inner side of the limbs, feet, and the under parts, deep 
golden yellow ; on the cheeks and sides of the neck, however, the hairs 
are obscurely annulated with black and whitish ; the ears are well clothed 
on both surfaces with tolerably long hair of the same deep golaen hue 
as the sides of the face ; hairs of the feet mostly blackish at the root, 
some obscurely tipped with black ; hairs of the tail, black at the root, and 
the remaining portion bright rusty yellow; each hair annulated with 
black three times ; the under surface of the tail is chiefly bright rusty yel- 
low ; whiskers, longer than the head, black. 

















I.engthof head and body, .... 

" of tail, (vertebrae,) 

" including fur, 

of palm to end of middle fore-claw, - 
of heel to point of middle nail, - 

" of fur on the back, 

Height of ear posteriorly, - - . . 

Breadth of tail with hair extended. 

Weight U lbs. 


During the winter season the city of New-Orleans is thronged by na 
lives of almost every land, and the Levee (which is an embankment ex- 
tending along the margin oi the river) presents a scene so unlike any- 
thing American, that as we walk along its smooth surface we m.iy inin- 
gine ourselves in some twenty difl'erent countries, as our eyes fall upon 
many a strange costume, whose wearer has come from afar, and is, like 
ourselves, perchance, intent on seeing the curiosities of this Salnuigiindi 
city. Here a Spnnish gentleman from Cuba, or a Mexican, next a pirate 
or thief, perhaps, from the same countries; all Europe is here represented, 
and the languages of many parts of the world can be heanl whilst walk- 
Ing even half a mile; the ''escendants of Africa are h.^re metamorphosed 



into French folks, and the gay bandanna that turbans the heads of the co- 
loured women, is always adjusted with good taste, and is their favourite 

But the most interesting figures are the few straggling Choctaw and 
Chickasaw Indians who bring a variety of game to the markets, and in 
their blankets, red flannel leggings, moccasins and bead finery, form a 
sort of dirly picturesque feature in the motley scene, and generally attract 
the artist's eye : many of these Indians have well formed legs and bodies, 
and their half-covered shoulders display a strength and symmetry indica- 
ting almost a perfect development of the manly I'orm — their sinews 
and muscles being as large as is compatible with activity and grace. 
Whilst conversing with one of these remnants of a once numerous race, 
it was our good fortune to see for the first time the singular and beau- 
tiful little Orange-bellied Squirrel which the Indian hunter had brought 
with him along with other animals for sale, having procured it in the 
recesses of the forest on the borders of an extensive swamj). 

Rarely indeed does the Orange-bellied Squirrel leove its solitary haunts 
and quit the cypress or sweet-gum shades, except to feed upon pecan- 
nuts, berries, persimmons, or other delicacies growing in the ujjlands ; and 
it does not hoard up the small acorn from the swamp-oak until late in 
the autumn, knowing that the mild winters of Louisiana are seldom 
cold enough to prevent it from catching an unlucky beetle from time 
to time during the middle of the day, or interfere with searches (or 
food among tiie dry leaves and decaying vegetable substances in the 
woods. Besides, early in the year the red-inaple buds will alford a treat 
to which this little squirrel turns with as much eagerness as the horst 
that has been kept all winter upon hay and corn, dashes into a fine fiel/ 
oi" grass in the month of May. 

The hole inhal)ited by the present species is generally in some tal 
tree growing in the swamp, and perhaps sixty or one hundred yard^ 
from the dry land, and the animal passes to it from tree to tree, o' 
along some fallen monarch of the woods, over the shallow watei 
keeping his large eye bent upon the surrounding Innds in fejir of souk- 
rnemy ; nnd, in fiiith, he runs no liltle risk, for should the red-slu;-!)- 
dered liawk, or the sharped-shinned, dnrt upon him, h(> is an easy prev: 
or, on a warm d^y, a snake, called the " Wiitcr moccasin," cm-led up in 
his way, might swallow him, "t.'til and all." Hut good fun it nuist be 
to see the sportsman following in pursuit, splashing and floundering 
through the water, sometimes half-leg deej), and at others only up to 
the ankles, but stumbling occasionally, and n)aking the "water fly;" 



so that when he has a chance to pull trigger, he is certain to snap both 
barrels ! 

Of the breeding of this species we know nothing, nor can we say more 
of its habits, which are yet to be farther investigated. 


We have not heard of the occurrence of this species farther north 
than Louisiana, and think it probable its range will be found to ex- 
fend west and south of that state into Teixas, and perhaps Mexico. 



Bridled Weasel. 

PLATE LX.— Males. 

P. magnitudine P. erminefB, supra fulvus, infra ex flavicante alDU8 • 
naso, dorso, majore capitis parte, auribusque nigris; macula inter aures 
et vitta frontali albis. 


Size of the ermine ; none, back part of the head, and ears, black ; a white 
spot between the ears, and a band over the forehead, ivhite ; yellowish-brown 
above, yellowish-white beneath. 


MusTELA Fre-ata Lichtenstein. Dar.tellung neuer oder wenig bekanntcr Seluge- 
thiere XLIL, Tafel. Berlin, 1827-1834. " 


This species in form bears a considerable resemblance to the Ermine 
of the more northern parts of America. It is however rather stouter, the 
nock shorter, the ears narrower and higher, and the tail a little longer. 
In its dentition it is also similar to the common weasel, being a true pw- 
torius, with thirty.four teeth, having only four molars on each side of 
the upper jaw, and five beneath, whilst the genus Mustela is characterized 
by having thirty-eight teeth, five on each side of the upper jaw, and six 
beneath. The ears and tail are clothed with hair, the fur is a little shorter 
and slightly coarser than that of the Ermine. 


Moustaches, ears on both urfaces, nose, and around the eyes black • 
a broa.l band of white rises in the forehead above the nose, extending 
aroun.1 the head between the eyes and ears, reaching the neck and throat 
.neluilinsi the .-hin, the colours of which as well as the inner surfaces 
of the l«re.|egs are white ; there is also a white spot on the back of the 
head between the ears. The colour is dark brownish !!!a<^k from the 



neck, reaching the white bund on the forehead, where the lines of scptb 
ration are distinctly but irregularly j)reserved. On the under surface from 
the chest fo the tail including tlu^ inner surface of the thighs, a light 
fawn colour; tail, the colour of the back till within an inch of the 
tip, where it gradually darkens into black. The black at the end of 
the tail id not only shorter but less distinct than the corresponding parts 
on the ermine in summer colour. 

'J'lie colour of the l)ack and outer surfaces of the legs is light yel- 
lowish brown, gradually darkening on the neck till it reaches and blends 
with the dark brown colours on the hind head. 


From point of nose to root of tail, 
Tail (vertebra'), 

Do. to end of hair, ... 
Height of ear, ... 

Breadth of skull, ... 

From heel to end of longest nail, 








We have personally no knowledge of the habits of this rare and com- 
paratively new species. The specimen from which Dr. Liciitknstkin 
made his description and figur(>, was obtiiined by F. DnnTE, Fisq., in the 
vicinity of the city of INTexico, where the animal was indiscriminately 
called Conifidrrja, Oroinilo and Omito. He was unable fo collect n?i\ 
inlbrmation in regard to its liabits. The specimen from which our de- 
scription and figure were mad(\ was ca])tured by Mr. .Tohn K. Town- 
send. We conversed with an American olUcer, who inlbrmed us that 
he occasionally seen it near iMonterey in Mexico, that it there bore 
no b(^tter character than its congener the Ermine in the more northern parts 
of America; that it was destructive to poultry and eggs, and very com- 
monly took up its residence in the outhouses on plantations, and under 
such circumstances was regarded as a great nuisance. Fortunately lor 
them, the species was considered as (]uite rare in the northern M^rifi 
of Mexico, as the Mexican who pointed out this animal to our oflici r 
stated, this was the first CoiiKKlnja he had seen in five years. 

<;l'.0(iHM'HH.'AI, IM.srHUIl TION. 

As we have not heard ot' llie existence of our Ermine in Mexico, 
we are inclined to the belief that this species takes the place of the 



Eniimc ill Ukj Soulli, uiid that, willi similar roviiifj; and predacious 
habits it lias a more i-xtnid.-d Kcogiaphioal rari^'e than is at present 
known. The field of natnral history in Texas, Caliibini.i, and Mexico, 
has l)..,-n as yet very iiuperlectly explored. We have (.niy heard of the 
llridled W(N-iscl as l)einj,' fouiid in Cour widely separated localities— in 
Texas bt^tweeii the Colorado and liio Grande, in iMexico in the vicini- 
ty oC the capital, and in thi; northern parts near Monterey, and in the 
valh^ys of the n)oui;tains south-west oC that city. 


In ooin|)arin« this sin^'ularly marked species with others from the 
Kast(;rn and VVesteru hemispheres, we have been struck with thc^ uni- 
formity existing on l)oth continents in the nearly equal distribution of 
predacious animals, and in their close r(;semblance to each other, in 
size, form and habits. The badjrer in Europe {Mdcs vulgaris) L in 
Ameri(;a replaced by M. I.ahnnlnria. T\w. i-'.uropean Otter {Lulra vul- 
gari.-;) has its representative in America in our Canada otter {Lulra 
Canmlcnsis). The; European mink {P. lutreola) is replaced by our near- 
ly similar (/'. vison). The Europeaji ferret {P. furo) by our western 
l)laek-footed ferret {l\ nigrl/us). The ermine and common weasel of 
(lie north of Europe (/'. aminca) and (/>. mlgaris) by our ermine and 
brown weasel (/'. rrmhim) ami (P. fusca) in the Northern and Middle 
States of America, and tli(. Jav-i ferret (P. nudipc.s) has its represent- 
ative near the tropics m America in our {P. frcnnla), nearly of the 
same size, and wilf. simil.-.r habits. There is evidently great wisdom 
ill this arrang.Mnent of Providence. Countries under similar latitudes 
producing larg.. n.mib,-rs of the smaller rodentia, require a certain num- 
l)er of carnivorous animals to prevent their too rapid multiplication, which 
m the ai.sence of such a provision of nature would be destructive of the 
interests of the liusbandman. 

'i ' 


VOi,. If. 





Incisive-; Canine —; Motor — = 40 

6 •— 1 6—6 

Muzzlo, pointed and projecting beyond the lower jaw; ears, short .-uul 
oval ; tail, l)iishy, and lony;. Feet, live toed, with Htronjr nails not retrac- 
tile ; soles of I'eet, (posterior^ naked; the species rest on the heel, but 
walk on the toes. Mammae, six ventral ; there is a gland on each side of 
the anus which secretes a slightly olTensive fluid. 

The generic name is derived Ironi (he Greek t^», before, and xvjit, a 

Two species only have been noticed : one in the northern, and the other 
in the southern parts of North America. 

P R C) C Y O N L O T O R.— Linn. 


PLATE LXI.— Male and Young. 

P. corpore supra canescente plus minus in nigrum vevgentc, infra, au- 
riculis pedibusque alhicantihus ; facie albida, fascia sub oculari obliqua 
nigra, cauda rufescente annulis 4-5 nigris. 


Body above, grayish mixed irith hiarh ; cars, and hcneafh, wki/ish ; a 
hliirh patch across the eye. Tail with 4 or 5 annulations of black and gray. 


AuKCON, Smith's Voyages, xiii., p. 31. 
Ukscs Lotoh, Linn., 12th ed., p. 7(). 

Er.xlrlKMi, Syst., p. l(ir)-4. 

Schreber Siiugth,, p. 521, 3 t. 143. 
Lk Raton, Bufl'on. vol. viii., p. ji. .'!;i7, t. xliii. 


Raccoon Bear, Pennant's Arct. Zool., vol. i., p. 69. 
PnocYON LoTOu, Cuv., Rrgne Animal, vol. i., p. U3. 

" " Siibine, Jotinifil, p. G49. 

" Hiirliin, p. 53. 

" " Godman, vol. i., p. ,5.'). 

" " Dekay, New- York Fauna, p. 20. 

PuocYON NiVEA, Gray, Magazine of Nat. Hist., vol. i., 18.37, p. r)80. 


The body is rather stout, the legs of moderate length, and the appear- 
ance of the animal would indicate that although he is not intended for 
great speed, he is still by his compact and well org.anized structure, his 
strong and muscular limbs and short and stout claw.s, capable of a tolera- 
bly rapid race, and is able to climb, although not with the agility of the 
scpiin-el, still with greater alacrity than his near relative the bear. 

Head, rather round nose, tapering, sharp, and the snout moveable; 
point oCihe nose, naked ; eyes, round, and of moderate size : moustaches, 
H'W, very rigid, resembling bristles, extending to the chin ; ears, low, erect. 
ellil)lical, with their tips much rounded, clothed with hair on both sides ; 
on the inner surface the hairs are longer and less dense ; tail, of moderate 
length and bushy. In its feet the Raccoon is partially plantigrade, hence 
it was classed by Linn^mjs among the bears, under the genus (Irs us ; soles 
of feet, naked. When it sits, it often brings the whole, hind sole to the 
ground, resting in the manner of the bear. The canine teeth are large 
-•ind extend beyond the lips. The nails are strong, hooked and sharp, not 
covered with hair. The body is densely clothed with two kinds of hair ; 
tlH! outer and longer, long and coarse ; the inner, .sorter and more like 


Point of nose, and soles of feet, black ; nails, dark brown ; moustaches, 
nearly all white ; ear.^ lips, above the snout and chin, dingy white ; above 
the eyes, and around the forehead, light gray. A dark brown patch ex- 
tends from each side of tiie neck and passes the eyes, over the nose 
nearly reaching the snout, and gradually fading on the loreliead into the 
colours of the hack ; eyes, black ; the longer liairs on the back are dark 
brown at the roots, tliiMi yello^\■ish-white for half their length, iiiid are 
broadly tijtped with black; the softer fur benealli, pale brown throughout 
the wliole body; on tlu; sides and belly, the longer hairs are diiigv white 
from the roots ; t lie tail has about six distinct black rings, and is tipped 
with black; these rings alternate with five light yellowish-brown un- 




nid male, received from Dr. John Wright. 

Nose to anterior canthus, 

" " corner of mouth, 

*' " root of ear, 

" " " of tail. 
Tail, (vertebra^), .... 

" to end of hair, - - . , 
Length of head, - . . , 

Breadth of head, - . . . 

Weight, 22 lbs. 





The Raccoon is a cunning animal, is easily tamed, and makes a plea- 
sant monkey-like pet. It is quite dexterous in the use of its fore-feet, and 
will amble after its master in the m;inner of a bear, and even lollow him 
into the streets. It is fond of eggs, and devours them raw or cooked wiih 
avidity, but prefers them raw of course, and if it finds a nest will feast on 
them morninff, noon and night without being satiated. It will adroitiv 
pick its keeper's pockets of anything it likes to eat, and is alw.tys on flif 
watch for dainties. The habits of the muscles (iiiiios) that inhabit our 
fresh water rivers are better known to tlii. Raccoon tlian to most cone ,oI- 
ogists, and their flavour is as highly relished by this animal as is that of 
the best bowl of clam soup by the epicure in that condiment. 

Reing an expert climber, the Raccoon ascends trees with facility and 
frequently invades tlie nest of th( woodpecker, although it may be secure 
against ordinary thieves, by means of his fore-feet getting hold of the 
eirgs or the younir birds. He watches too the sol't-shelled turtle when she 
is about to deposit her eggs, for which purpose she leaves the wat(>r and 
crawlinii- on to the white sand-bar, di-rs a hole and places them under- 
neath the heated surface. Quickly does the rogue dig up the elastic ova 
although ever so carefully covered, and appropriate them to his own use 
notwithstanding the efforts of the luckless turtle to conceal them. 

Sometimes, by the margin of a pond, shrouded, or crouched amonir tall 
reeds and -rasses. Grimalkii.-iike. the Raceoon lies still as death, waitiu" 
with patii nee for some ill-fated duck that may come within his reaeh. 
No negro on a pJantalion knows witli more aeeiu-acy when the corn 
(maize) is juicy and ready for the connoisseur in roastinsr ears, and he 
does not require the aid of fire to improve (ts flavour, but attacks if mor,' 



voraciously (han the squirrel or the blackbird, and is the last to quit iho 

The favourite resorts of tlio Raccoon are retired swampy lands well 
covered with lofty trees, and throu-h which are small water-courses. In 
such places its tracks may be seen lollowin- the margins of the bayous 
and creeks, which it occasionally crosses in search ol' frogs and nuiscles 
which are found on their banks. It also follows the margins of rivers for 
the same purpose, and is dexterous in getting at the shell-fish, notwith- 
standing the hardness of the siliceous covering witli wlncii nature has 
provided them. In dry seasons, the re.!.;ding waters sometimes leave the 
mn.scles exposed to the heat of the sun, which destroys their life and 
causes their shells to open, leaving them accessible to the first animal or 
bird that approaches. 

In the drnary montlis of winter should you be encamped in any of the 
great Western forests, obii-ed by the pifil.-ss storm to remuin for some 
days, as we have been, you will not be un'haiikful if y,,., have a fat 
Raccoon suspended on a tree above your camp, for whim kept awhile, 
the Hesh of this species is both tender ami well-flavoured. 

The Raccoon when lull grown and in good condition we consider auite 
a handsome animal. We have often watched him with interest, can- 
tiously moving from one trunk to another to escap," his view. His briirht 
eye, however, almost invariably detect.'.l ns ere we could take aim at hiin. 
and he adroitly fli-d into a hollow tree and escaped from us. 

We once met with one of these animals whilst we were travelling on 
horseback from Henderson to Vinceimes, on the edge of a large praii-ie in 
a copse, and on approaching it ran up a small sapling from which we 
shook it otr with ease ; but as soon as it reached the ground it opened its 
mouth and made directly towards us, and looked so fierce, that drawing 
a pistol from our holster.s, we shot it dead when it was only a few fee't 
frotn us. 

The young are at llieir birth quite small ; (about the size of a liahl 
grown rat ;) some that we saw in Texas were not more; than two days 
old and were kept in a barrel. They uttered a plaintive cry not uidikc 
the wail of an infant. 

The Raccoon usually produces from four !o six young at a time, wlii.di 
are generally brought forth enrly in May, although the period of their 
littering varies in dilferent latitudes. 

When the Indian corn is ripening, the Raccoons invade the fields to 
feast on the rich milky grain, as w.; have just stated, and a." the stalks are 
too weak to bear th.; weight of these marauders, thev generally break 
them down with their fore-paws, tear olf the husks from the ears, and 



witing season, the 

ut various aniii lis 

II the merry school- 

iig 1(11" his iiidultfi ncfi 

then munch them at their leisure. During 
Raccoon is not the only trespas-ser on the corn i. 
are attracted thither to receive their portion, iind 
boy .shares the feast with f hem, at the riisk of p 
by incurring the necessity of a physician's pi >cri|)tion th< next day. Th< 
havoc committed in the Western States by.yqui.rel8 and other animals 
is almost incalcidable, and no vigilance of the farmer can guard ;igain»t 
the depredations of these hungry intruders, which extenu Iron rm to 
farm, and even penetrate to embosomed in the foresis, vvheiu settle- 
ments are few and far between. 

The Raccoon is not strictly a nocturnal animal ; and although it gene- 
rally visits the corn fields at night, sometimes feeds on the green corn 
during the day ; we have seen it thus employed during the heat of sum- 
mer, and it will occasionally enter a poultry house at mid-day, and 
destroy many of the feathered inhabitants, contenting itself with the head 
and blood of the fowls it kills. 

The nest or lair of the Raccoon is usually made in the hollow of some 
broken branch of a tree When tamed, these animals are seldom induced 
to lie or sleep on a layer of straw. 

There exists a species of oy.ster in the Southern States of inferior 
quality which bears the name of Raccoon Oyster: it lies imbedded in 
masses in the shallow waters of the rivers. These oysters are covered !)>■ 
high tides, but are exposed at low water. On these the Uaccoons are 
fond of feedins, and we have on several occasions seen them on the oyster 
banks. We have however never had an opportunity of ascertaining by 
personal observalion the accuracy of a statement which we have fre- 
quently heard made with great confidence, viz., that the Raccoon at low 
tide in endeavouring to extricate these oysters from the shell, is occasion- 
ally caught by the foot in consequence of the closing of the valve of the 
shell fish, when numbers of these being clustered and indicdded together, 
the Raccoon cannot drag them from their bed, and the returning tide 
drowns him. 

The naturalist has many difficulties to encounter when inquiring into 
facts connected with his pursuit : every one acquainted with the habits 
of even our common species must know, that the information gained 
from most of those who reside near fheir localities, from their want of 
particular observation, is generally very limited, and probably the most 
mteresting knowledge gained by such queries, would be the result of a 
comparison cf the accounts given at different places. From the Alle- 
ghany mountains, thr vwamps of Louisiana, and (he marshes of Carolini^ 



uad sly tricks thp i. co... procuring food. 

We add the tbil.nviu,. no. „„ a Ruccoou kept ibr a considerable time 
in a tame state or pa.iially domesticated. 

Whoa it first came into our possession it was about one-third grown. 
Bykmd treatment it soon beean.e very docih, but from its well known 
mischievous propensities we always kept it chained 

It was truly omnivorous : never relusing any thing eatable, vegetable 
or anmial. cooked or uncooked, all was devoured with e,,ual avidiry Of 
some art.cles however it seemed particularly (bad : as sugar, honey, chest- 
nu s, ,,h and poultry. The would almost frantic when 
either of the two first was placed near it. but beyond its reach. No 
means would be left untried to obtain the dainty n.orsel. It woul.l ru<h 
orvvard as far as the chain permitted, and stretch out a toward 
tlie object of ,ts wishes to its utmost extent, which failing to reach it the 
other was extended ; again disappointed, the hind limbs were tried in sue 
cession, by which there n-as a nearer approach to the food, on account 
of tlie animal l)emg chained by the neck. 

On being offered food when hungry, or roused up suddenly from any 
cause, or when in active play, the eye was of a lustrous green, changino- 
apparently the whole countenance. 

It had a strong propensity to roll food and other things under its paws • 
eegars in particular, especially when lighted. We have observed a simi- 
lar propensity in young bears. 

On placing a pail of water within its reach, it ran to it, and af>er drink- 
ing would examine the contents to the bottom with the fore-paws s.-emin- 
ly expecting to find some fish or frog. If any thing was Ibui'id it 
speedily brought to the surface and scrutinized. We have seen it throw 
chips, bits of china and pebbles, &c., into the pail, and then fish them out 
tor amusement, but never saw it put a particle of its fbod in to soak ex- 
cept in a few instances when it threw in hard corn, but we do not think 
It was for this purpose. 

After pla. Mg fbr a short time in the water it would commonly urinate 
in It and then upset the pail. 

We gave it a fish weighing two pounds. The Raccoon turned it in all di- 
rect.ons in search of a convenient point of attack. The mouth, nos^ fins 
^ ent, &c., were tried. At length an opening was made at the vent, into whi..h 
a paw was deeply inserted ; the intestines were withdrawn and eaten with 
HVKlify. At the same time an attempt was made to insert the other paw into 
'i».^ niout h of the fish to meet its fellow. This disposition to use the paws in 
concert, was shown in ahnost every action, sometimes i 







^ Ir lllllM 

£ lii 112.0 

U 111,6 

'V %. 





WESSTER.N.Y. 14580 

(7i6) 872-4503 









manner. On giving the animal a jug, one paw would be inserted in the ajKT- 
ture, and a hundred twists and turns would be made to join its fellow on 
the outside. 

After devouring as much of the fish as it wished, it placed the paws on 
the remainder and lay down to doze, until hunger returned, watching tbp 
favourit« food, and growling at any animal which happened to pass near it.. 
By degrees this propensil} to del'end its food passed oil" and it would al- 
low the dog or fox to partake of it freely. We placed a half-grown fox 
within its reach : the Raccoon instantly grasped it with its legs and paws 
and commenced a close examination. It thrust its poMited nose in the ear 
of the tbx to the very bottom, smelling and snuffing as if determined to 
find out the nature of the animal. During this time it showed no dispo- 
sition to injure the fox. 

The Raccoon can scent an object for some distance .vith accuracy. We 
suffered ours to go loose on one occasion, when it made directly for some 
small marmots confined in a cage in another room. 

Our pet Raccoon whose habits vv-e arc relating evinced a singular pro- 
pensity to listen to things at a distance, ho\\^ever many persons were around 
him, even though he might be at the moment eating a I'rog, of which food 
he was very Ibnd. He would apparently hear some distant noise, then 
raise his head and continue listening, seeming every moment more ab- 
sorbed ; at last he would suddenly run and I;lde himself in his burrow. 
This seems to be connected with some instinct of the animal in his wild 
state, probably whilst sitting on a tree sunning himself, when he is in the 
habit of listening to hear the approach of an enemy, and then hurrying to 
his hole in the tree. 

Enjoying the hospitality of a friend one night at his plantation, the con- 
versation turned on the habits of animals : and m speaking of the Raccoon 
he mentioned that it fed on birds and rabbits generally, but in winter 
robbed the poultry houses. The negroes on his plantation he said kept 
good dogs, and relied on them tor hunting the Raccoon. 

VVhonever a Raccoon was about to attack the poultry house, the dogs 
scenting him give a shrill cry, which is the signal for his owner to com- 
mence the hunt. He comes out armed with an axe, with a companion or 
two, resolved on a Raccoon hum. The dog soon gives chase with such 
rapidity, that the Raccoon, hard pressed, takes to a tree. The dog, close 
>\i his heels, changes his whining cry while running to a shrill short sharp 
')iirk. If th(! tree is small or has limbs near the ground so that it can be 
easily ascended, the eager hunters' climb up afier the " coon." lie per- 
ceives his danger, endeavours (o avoid his pursuers by ascending to thefar- 
'hcst topmost branch, or the extremity of a limb ; but all his elForts are in 
v,un, his ri'lentless pursuers shake the limb until he is compelled toletgohi:> 



hold, and he comes toppling heavily to the ground, and is instantly seized 
by the dogs. It frequently happens however that the trees are tall and 
destitute of lower branches so that they cannot be climbed without tlie risk 
of life or limb. The negroes survey for a few moments in the bright moon- 
light the tall and formidable tree that shelters the coon, grumble a little 
at the beast for not having saved them trouble by mounting an easier tree, 
and then the ringing of their axes resounds through the still woods, 
awakening echoes of the solitude previously disturbed only by the hooting 
of the owl, or the impatient barking of the dogs. In half an hour the tree, 
is brought to the ground and with it the Raccoon, stunned by the fall : his 
foes give him no time to define his position, and after a short and bloody 
contest with the dogs, he is despatched, and the sable hunters remunerated, 
—for his skin they will sell to the hatters in the nearest town, and his flesh 
they will hang up in a tree to freeze and furnish them with many a savoury 

The greatest number of Raccoons, however, are killed by log-traps set 
with a figure of 4 trigger, and baited with a bird or squirrel, an ear of 
corn, or a fish : either the appetite or curiosity of these animals will entice 
them into a trap or entangle them m a snare. 

Another mode of destroying this species is by fire-hunting, which requires 
good shooting, as the animal only shows one eye from behind the branch of 
a tree, which reflecting the light of the fire-hunter's torch, shines like .-i ball 
of phosphorus, and is generally knocked out at twenty-five or thirty yards 
by a good marksman. 

The Raccoon, like the bear, hibernates for several months during winter in 
the latitude of New- York, and only occasionally and in a warm day leaves 
its retreat, which is found in the hollow of some large tree. We once how- 
evei tracked in deep snow the footsteps of a pair of this species in the 
northern parts of New- York, and obtained them by having the tree in which 
they lay concealed cut down. They had made a circle in company of 
about a mile, and then returned ♦:o their winter domicil. 

The specimen from which the large figure on our plate was taken 
was a remarkably fine male, and was sent to us alive by our friend, the 
late Dr. John Wright of Troy, New- York. 


The Raccoon has a very extensive geographical range. Captain Cook saw 
skins at Nootka Sound which were supposed to be those of the Raccoon. 
Dixon and Pari/fock obtained Raccoon skins from the natives of Cook'.s 
River in latitude 00°. It is supposed by Richardson that this animal extends 


farther north on the shores of th^ Pacific, than it does on the eastern side 
of the Rocky Mountains. He farther states, that the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany procured about one hundred skini from the southern ])arts of the 
fur districts as far north as Red River, latitude 50". We have not been 
able to trace it on the Atlantic coast farther north than Newfoundland. It is 
'bund in the Eastern, Northern and Middle States, and seems to become more 
ibundant as we proceed southwardly. In some of the older States its num- 
bers have greatly diminished, in consequence of the clearing of the forests, 
and the incessant wars waged against it by the hunters. In South Carolina, 
Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, it is still found in great num- 
bers, is regarded as a nuisance to the corn fields, and is at particular sea- 
sons hunted at night by sportsmen and negroes. We have been informed 
by our friend Daniel Morrison, Esq., of Madison Springs in Georgia, that 
in his frequent visits to Arkansas between the Washita and Red Rivers, 
the Raccoons are very plentiful and are frequently seen travelling about in 
open day, and that many corn fields are nearly destroyed by the Raccoon 
and the bear. 

It was seen by Lewis and Clark at the rvi^h of the Columbia river. 
We possess several specimens obtained in Texas, and were informed by a 
friend, that although he had not seen it in California, he had heard of its 
existence in the northern parts of that State. 


As might be expected, an occasional variety is found in this species. 

We possess a specimen nearly black ; another yellov/ish white, with the 
annulations in the tail faint and indistinct. A nest of young was found 
in Christ Church parish in South Carolina, two of which were of the 
usual colour, the other tvvo were white ; one of them was sent to us ; 
it was an albino, with red eyes, and all the hairs were perfectly white 
with the exception of Riint traces of rings on the tail. We have no doubt 
that a similar variety was described by Gray, under the name of Procyon 

We have accordingly added his name as a synonyme. Our friend Dr. 
Samuel George Morton of Philadelphia kept one for some time alive 
which was of a yellowish cream colour, and was also an albino. 


GENUS ELAPHUS. — Grippitb 


Incisive - : Canine 

— ; Molar — = 34. 

0-0 «-d 

Horns, (existing only in the male,) round ; verj' large ; antlers termi- 
natin^< in a fork or in snags from a common centre, suborbital sinus j 
canine teeth in the male, in the upper jaw ; a muzzle. 

The generic na ne in derived from the Greek £A«^#(, a Stag, or Elk ; the 
name was applied by Pliny, Llvn^eus, and other naturalists, to designate 
a particular species existing in Europe, Cervus Elaphus. 

Three well-determined species may be arranged under this genus- 
one existing in Europe, one in Walhihii, (the Nepaul Stag,) and one in 


American Elk. — Wapite Deer. 

PLATE LXII._Male and Femaik. 

E. Cervus Virginianus robustior cornibus amplissimis ramosis tere- 
tibus, frontal ibus amplis ; cauda brevissima. Color rufescens, hieme fus 
cescens, uropygio flavicante stria nigra circumscripto. 


Larger than the Virginian deer. Horns, large, not palmated, with brow 
antlers ; a naked space round the lachrymal opening. Tail, short. Colour 
yellowish brown above, a black mark extending from the angh of the mouth 
along the sides of the lower jaw. A broad pale yellowish spot on the buttocks. 




Stag, Pennant, Arctic Zool., vol. i., p. 27. 

Wkwaskiss, Hearne, Journal, p. 360. 

Rkd Deer, Umfreville. 

Do. do. Ray, Synops. Quad., p. 84. 

C. SiitoNGyi.ofEFios, Schreber. Silugetiiiere, vol. ii., p. 1074, pi. 247, F. q. G. 

Alces Ameuicanls, Jefl'erson's Notes on Virginia, p. 77. 

The Elk, Lewis and Clark, vol. ii., p. 107. 

C. Waptite, Ijarton, Med. and Phys. Journal, vol. i., p. 36. 

Elk, Sniiili, Med. Reports, vol. ii., p. 157, fig. Male, Female, and Young. 

Cervus (Elai'iius) Canadensis, (The Wapite,) Synopsis of the Species of Mam 

nialia, Griffith's Cuvier, p. 776. 
C. Canadensis, Harlan, p. 236. 
Do. do. Godman, vol. ii., p. 294, fig. Male. 

Cervis Strongyloceros, Richardson, (The Wapite.) p. 251. 
Elai'hus Canadensis, Dekay, New- York Fauna, p. 118, plate 28, fig. 2. 



The Elk is of an elegant, stately and majestic form, and the wholo 
animal is in admirable proportion. It bears so strong a resemblance to 
the red deer of Europe, tliat it was for a long time regarded as a mere 
variety of the same species. It is, however, much larger in size, and on 
closer examination differs from it in many particulars. 

Head, of moderate size ; muzzle, broad and long, rather small, not very 
prominent ; ears, large ; legs, rather .stout, finely proportioned ; hoofs, 
rather small. 

From between the horns to the end of the frontal bone, beyond the nasal 
opening sixteen inches, length of horns following the curvature of the main 
branch four feet ; with all the roots three and a quarter inches, by two 
and a quarter thick. There are six points on each horn, irregularly dis- 
posed, varying in length from nine to sixteen inches, excepting one which 
is two and a half inches only in length. At their points the horns curve 
backward and upward, and are about three feet five inches :ipart, at about 
half the distance from their roots to the extreme tip of the longest point or 
main branch. The horns at the insertion are three and three-quarter inches 
apart from the ring or crown at their roots. 

In examining a number of elk horns we find a very remarkable variety 
no two antlers being exactly alike on the same animal. We possess one 
pair which has a blunt prong extending downward on the right side of the 
face about nine inches, whilst the corresponding prong on the opposite side 
ts turned upwards. The horns of this individual have five prongs on ona 



horn and seven on the other. The horns are longitudinally channelled 
most of the prongs inclining forward and upward, especially those nearest 
the roots of the main horn. All the horns are large and round, with brow 
antlers. The weight of the horns on full grown animals, as we have as- 
certained by weighing about a dozen of large size, is from thirty to forty 
five pounds. 

The three hindermost teeth in the upper jaw are double ; the remainder 
smgle. There are in the upper jaw of the male two very small canine 
teeth inclining forward almost on a line with the jaw. There is a short 
rudimentary mane on the fore-shoulder, and under the throat during the 
winter there are long black hairs. 

There is a space on the outer side of the hind legs covered by a tuft 
which is of an irregular oval ^hape, of about one and a half inch in length] 
the hairs which cover it being an inch long, lying flat and backwards, with 
shorter hairs extending down the leg several inches below the space. 

The hairs on the body generally are very coarse, rather short ; longest 
on the back of the ham, where the whitish patch and the black line on the 
latter unite. 

The tail, which in summer is not bushy, is thinly clothed with hair run- 
ning to a point. A young male has its horns which are in velvet, nearly 
perpendicular, running but slightly backwards to the length of fburtcn 
inches, where they divide into three .short prongs. 

; il 


Isifc ■ 



Muzzle, nostrils, and hoofs, black ; head, dark brown ; neck, rather 
darker, being nearly black; on each side of the tinder jaw there is a 
longitudinal white patch, between which there is a large black stripe 
extending along the lines of the under jaw, dividing about four inches 
from the mout i, and continuing downward to the throat, where it unites 
again and is diffused in the general black colour of the tliroat and neck, 
leaving in its course a white space between the bone of the lower jaw] 
nearly as large as a man's hand. 

There is no light-coloured ring, or space, around the eyes as in the Euro- 
pean red deer, but in the present species the space arout.d the socket of 
Ihe eye is scarcely a shade lighter than the surrounding parts of the h-ad. 

Under surface of the ear, yellowish white, with a hue of dark brown 
on the margin; on the outer surface of the ear, there is a white patch 
nhout four inches in length and nearly two inches wide, covering about 
aih.rd of the ear, and running from near the root of the ear upwards at 
the lower edge 

■! ;!: 

t m 




In the younger males the hoad, (Jicc and hack of the neck are not near- 
ly as d.irk as in spooimens of old animals ; the under jaw and throat how- 
ever as well as as|).i(<»' above the nostrils are hlack as in flie lattir. The 
upper and under snrfaees of hody and legs arc ii^lit brownish gray, I ho 
legs being rather darker than tlie body. 

On the rump there is u broad patch of light grayish white conuneneing 
nine inches a'bovc^ the root of the tail, spreading downward on each side 
to a point in the ham, ten inches below the tail. It is fourteen inches 
across oi)posite the root of the tail, (from one ham to the other,) and 
twenty-two inches in length from the back to the termination on the thigh 
or ham below the tail. This grayish white patch is bordered on the thigha 
by a strongly marked black space which also separates it all around, al- 
though less conspicuously from the general colour of the body. We 
have observed that in young specimens this jiale mark on the rump is less 
conspicuous, and in one specimen is not even perceptible, and this peculi- 
arity has most probably misled some of our authors in regard to the spe- 

In specimens of about two years old the light but scarcely perce|)tible 
markings on the rump gradually change to jvmyish brown between the hind 
legs. In a still younger sjiecimen of a male about eighteen months old 
which has the horns three inches in height, (which are comi)leteIy clothed 
with sod brownish hairs to their summits,) there is scarcely any black on 
the neck, and the white on the rump is not visible. 

Female in summer colour. 

We possess this animal in a state of conlinemont : slie has like all the 
females of this species no horns. She bears a strong resemblance in form 
and colour to the male. Her neck is rather thinner and longer, and her 
legs and body more slender. Her eyes are mild, and she is in her dispo- 
sition very gentle and docile. The hair in summer is like that of the 
male, uniform in colour from the roots to the surface. 

Winter colour. 

Hoth males and females in winter assume a very heavy coat of dark 
gray hair all over the body. These hairs are about two and a half inches 
to three long and are moderately coarse and strong. 

When examined separately they have a wavy or crimped appearance. 
The white patch on the rump is strongly developed m contrast with 
the dark iron-gray colour of the winter coat. At this season the male 
has a i-emarkable growth of hairs on the throat as well as on the back 
of the neck, which increase considerably in length, so that the latter 
Tiight easily be mistaken for the rudiment of a mane. 




Adult male (Ivilled on the Upper Missouri River). 

From nose to root of tail, 
Leiiylh of tail, 

" ofoye, - . . . 
From tip of nose to root of ear, 
L(!njj;th of ear, 
lloi^'lit to .shoulders, 


Girth l)ack of fore-legs. 











I ho fomales we measured were rather smaller than the above : one 

I^>1 <'d on the Yellow Stone Uiver measured seven feet six an.l a half,.s from to root of tail, and four feet seven inches from top of 
shoulder to the ground. 


On our plate we have represented a pair of Elks in the foreground of 
aprMTie scene, with a group of small figm-os in the distance; it gives 
but a famt u lea of this animal in its wild an.l glorious prairie home : Ob- 
serve the splendid buck, as he walks lightly, proudly, and gracefully 
along, t ,s the season of love : his head is raised above the willows bor- 
denng the large sand-bar on the shores of the Missouri, his spreadin.. 
ant^lers have ac.,uired their full growth, the velvet has been rubbed off 
and they are hard and polished. His large amber-coloured eyes arJ 
bnghtened by the sun, his neck is arched, and every vein is cMstended.' 
He looks aroMud and snufTs the morning air with dilated no.strils : anon 
he stamps the earth with his fore-feet and utters a shrill erv somewhat 
hke the noise made by the loon. When he discovers a group of females 
he h.s head, inclines it backward., and giving another trumpet-like 
wln.tle, dashes off to meet them, making the willows and other small 
trees yield and crack as he rushes by. He soon reaches the group, but proba- 
bly finds as large and brave a buck as himself gallanting tV- \ir objects ot 
h.s pursui^t, and now his eyes glow with rage and jealousy, his teeth are 
(.ercely champed together making a loud harsh noise, his hair stands 
.>rect and with the points of his immense horns lowered like the lance 
of a doughty knight in times of yore, he leaps towards his rival and im^ 






mediately a desperate battle endues. The furious combatants sway back 
Wards and forwards, sideways or in circles, each struj^gling to get with 
in the otlitr.s point, twisting their brawny ne-ks, and writiiing as they 
endeavour to throw their opponent otf the ground. At length our valorous 
Elk triumphs and gores the other, so (hat he is worsted in the Hght, and 
turns ingloriously and flics, leaving the field and the females in posses- 
sion of the victor : for should there bo any young Elks present during such 
a combat, they generally run oif. 

The victorious buck now ranges the tangled woods or leads the does 
to the sand-bars or the willow-covered points along the broad stream. 
After a certain period, hf)vvever, he leaves them to other bucks, and to- 
wards the latter part of February his antlers drop off, his body is much 
emaciated, and iie retires to some secluded spot, where he hopes no ene- 
mies will discover him, as he is no longer vigorous and bold, and would 
dread to encounter even a single wolf. 

When we first settled (as it is termed) in ths State of Kentucky, some 
of these animals were still to be met with ; but at present we believe none 
are to be found within hundreds of miles of our then residence. During 
a journey we made through the lower part of the State, armed as usual 
with our double-barrelled gun, whilst passing through a heavy-timbered 
',ract not far from Sinithland ;it the <th of the Cumberland River, we 
espied two Elks, a male and female, which started out of a thicket not 
more than forty or fifty yards from us. Our gun being loaded with balls, 
we fired successfully and brought down the buck. The tavern keeper at 
8mith!and went after the animal with a wagon and brought him into the 
little village. The hunters in the neighbourhood said they had not seen 
or heard of Elks in that part of the State for several years, although 
some were to be found across ihe Ohio, in the state of Illinois. 

At the time we are writing (1847) the Elk is not seen in any numbers 
until you ascend the Missouri River lor a great distance. In that part of 
the country, where the points in the river are well covered with wood 
and under-brush, they are to be found at times in considerable numbers. 
These animals however do not confine themselves to the neighbourhood of 
the water-courses, but roam over the prairies in large herds. Unles? 
disturbed or chased, they seldom leave a secluded retreat in a thickly 
wooded dell, except to go to the river to drink, oi sun themselves on the 
sand-bars. They are partial to the islands covered with willow, cotton 
wood, Slc, and fringed with long grass, upon which they m.ake a bed 
duritig the hot sultry hours of the day. They also form a bed occa- 
sionally in the top of a fallen tree. 

During hot weather, when mosquitoes abound in the woods, they rtv 



Mre to p,nd8 or proceed to the rivers and Immerse their bodies and 

tt^:;rtr ^^'^ -'' " ^^"^ -- ^^-« ^"« -- - -.:: 

a ,^;^';\.";;7"^-"^.^»'*' Missouri river in the steamer Ome.a. we observed 
bank I ''"'", one morning running along the shore under a high 

mnk. It was covered with yellowish white spo.s. was as nimble and at 
•ve as a latten. and soon reached a place where it could ascend the an 
when .scampered off amid the tall grass. Wc had on board a servant oj 
Mr CuRooN named A.kx.s LABOMOARnE who was a most expert hunter 
W soon saw another fawn, and A,.ex.s went after it, the .oat having stop: 
ped to wood. He climbed the bank and soon overtook the little anita' 
b ha mg no rope or cord with him. was at a loss how to secure his cap. 
mnn J . °'''''Y"«P^"''«''« -"^ with these a..d his pocket-handkerchief 
managed to fasten the fawn around the neck, but on attempting tldrnj 
. toward the boat the suspenders gave way and the fawn droppej 1 h! 
stream, and a few yards lower down, where it again lande one 
oi our par y wUnessed from the steamboat the ineffectual efforts of lIbom 
JOK and ran up to his assistance, but also without a rope or cord a„d 
after much ado the animal again swam off and escaped 

The food of the Elk consists generally of the grass found in the woods 
he wddpea^vmes. the branches of willows, lichens, and the buds oi 

wTth ; r TV^'' r"*" ^'^^ ^^^^P^ '"^^ «-- ^-- the ground 
^alltees. "' ''' '^"'^^ '"^'^ ^"*^ ^^^'^ °^ ^^-bs and 

.^ir\ '"vT^ ^""' ^^'""'^ "' '''''' P^^^^"*'^^ "^y Mr. PicoT wuh 
a mo t splendully prepared skin of a superb male Elk. and a pair of horns. 
The latter measured four feet six and a half inches in length; breadth 
between the points twenty-seven and a half inches. The circumference 
of the skull or base ten inches, the knob twelve inches, between the 
knobs three mches. This animal, one of the largest ever seen by Mr 
PicoT, was killed in the month of November, 1832. 

IlEARNE says that the Elk is the most stupid of all the deer kind • but 
our experience has led us widely to differ from that traveller as v^e 
have always found these animals as wary and cunning as any of the 
deer tnbe with which we are acquMnted. We strongly suspect Hearnb 
had reference to another species, the American reindeer. 

We chanced one day to land on a sand-bar covered with the broad 

deep tracks of apparently some dozen Elks : all the hunters we had in our 

boat prepared to join in the chase, and we among the rest, with our old 

rusty double-iarreJled gun, sallied forth, and while passing through a 

large patch of willows, came suddenly upon a very large buck ; the noble 

t/OL II. — 12 

rl JJI 






animal wuh not more than a Hiw HtP|)H iroiii wlu-rc \\v sto(nl : our gun 
wna lcv«'lle(i in an inctanf, ami \vc piillcil liiKK'"'', but the cap did not ex- 
plode. The KIk was startled by the noise of the I'ltiiinK hammer, and 
wheelih",' round, throwiny; up the h>ose soil with iiis hoofs, j,'al!ope(l olF 
umoiiii th< sviUows towai'ds the river, mahiuK a clear path throu>;h 
the small trees and jrrass. We ran to intercept him, but were too late, 
and on reachinfi the bank the F,lk was already far out. in the stream, 
8\vinuninK rapidly with its shoulders and part of it« back abov(! water. 
On the oppoHile shore there was a narrow beach, and the moment the 
Elk lou.'hed the bottom, it spranjj; forward and in a bound or two was 
out of sif^ht behind the fri'i^inK mirtfin of trees o!i the shore. This, wo 
are sorry to f.ay, \\,\a the only Elk we had an opportunity of lirini; at 
whilst on o'.ir last western expedition. 

The pair from which the ti>.'ure:' on our plate were taken we purcluised 
at Philadelphia: they had been caujrht when young in the western partoi 
Pennsylvania; the male was supjjosed to be four or five years old, and 
the female also was full j;rown. These T'jlUs were transported from IMul- 
adelphia to our place near New- York- and we had a capacious and hij^h 
enclosure made for them. Ti;e mnl«; retained much of its savage habits 
when at liberty, but the female was quite gentle. When she was first 
put in the pen, where the buck Wijs already pacing round seeking for a 
weak ])oint in tlie enclosure, he rushed towards her, and so terrified her 
that she made violent exertions to escape, and ran at full spetul with her 
head up and her nostrils distended, round and round, until we had the 
Ifi.rge box in which she had been brought up from Philadelphia p'aced in 
the enclosure, when she entered it as a pi, ice of refuge, and with her head 
towards the opening stood on her deleuce, on which the male gave u]) the 
pursuit, and this box was afterwards resorted to wlienever she wished to 
be undisturbed. 

We had some difiiculty in taking the bridle ofT from the head of the buck, 
as he kicked and pranced fiu-iously whenever anyone approached for tliat 
purpose, and we were forced to secure his head by ; leans of a lasso over 
his horr.s, and drawing him by main force to a strong post, when one of 
our men cut the leather with a knife. 

While these two Elks were kept by us they were fed on green oats, hay, 
Indian corn, and all such food as generally is given to the cow, excepting 
nrnips. which they would not touch. 

We found that the pair daily ate as much food as would have sufficed 
for two horses. They often whistled (as the hunters call this remarka- 
ble noise, which in calm weather can be heard nearly u mile) ; this shrill 
sound ippears to be produced by an almost spasmodic effort, during which 



the animal turns its head .ipwards and then i)arltwar(I.s. While we worf 

outlining? thn m.I,., w •■..„ .,!.s,tv.-.I ln,„ r« dilat., .!.,, iarhrymal spac... 

or o|u.nin«s ...I joining the cyrs, s;. timt thry ^^■vu■ ahnoNf as wi,|,. as I„„^r 
Wh«-n w,. ,lnnv near \w wonhl inclin.. his h.-a.i ,si(i,.\v!,vs, .•ml hack hi. 
uppT lip. and show a poilion <.t his t..Mmi(. .md .'in.. wliU, which last h.. 
ground orfrrat.Mlu.jjHlH.r. lurni.u: his h„ad the while Cron, side to si.lo, 
f r.d ey.'in^' us with a i<).>k .)(• an^'ry Huspicion. Ills eyes enlarRed and his' 
v/hole fitfure part.xik (d'thc .x.-itciMciit he Iclt. 

The process of ruhhin« otl' the velvet from the horns was soon ac- 
ompl.she.l hy this animal ; he hc-an the moment he had taken 
outof liishox, fo rub .-ifrainst the small d.ig-wood and other trees that 
.sto..d within tl... en.-losnre. At a later period of the year we have 
obs,.rv,.,l the Elk ruhhin- his antl.-rs against small trees, and actinj. as if 
rn-aKcd in fiKht ; whether this mancruvr.. h-i performed for the p-npose 
o! looMMun- th,- horns, town:ds the p,.rio.I wh.-n they annually drop off 
we, in parliamentary Ian' . , are not i)ivpar. d \o say. 

Elks at tiTies con-re,:;,,*, from th., numh.M- oflifty to sev.-ral luindn.ds 
and in tl -se cases the whole herd follow the movements of their U-.uU-v 
which is -..nerally th.- lar-cst and the strongest ma!.- of the party. They 
all st<.p when he stops, and at tiuK-s th.'y will nil fnrn about with as nmch 
ord.-r an.l with far greater c.-lority than a troop ol" horse, of which, when 
thus seen in array, they forcibly remind us. 

Fromacchlentor otherwis.. great diderences exist in the formation of 
the antlers of the Elk, although the horns of all the American Ccrvii 
are so specifically .listinct as to enable the cl.,se observer to tell al- 
most at a glance to what species any shown to him belonged. The 
ease with which these animals pass, encumber.<l with .heir pon.lerons 
and wid.-spr.-ading antl.'rs, through th.- h.-avv-timber.-.l lands of the 
West, is truly marv.-ilons ; and «e .-nn liMrdly 1 elp wondering tl.n, they 
are not opener caught and ..ntangl,.d bv their h..rns. Inst;..,,-... q.ere 
doubtless are of th,.ir perishing Imm getting fastea.u l>etween vines or 
tluck growing trees, but such cases are rare. 

The ma!.. Elk drops his h,n-ns in Fc n-uary or March. The one we 
ha.1 .lropp,.d one on tl... ninth of March, an.l ns the o(her horn hcl.i on for 
adayortwobnger, the animal in this situation hnd quite an awkward 
appearance. After th,. horns fall, the head looks sore, and sometimes 
f... placs Iro.n which they have been detached are tinged with blood 
As soon as the hug,, antlers drop off, the Elks lose their fierce and pu- 
nae.ous character, and the lemaie^ are n„ longer afraid of them ; whiL 
on the other hand, the males show thera no farther attentions whatever 




The young, sometimes one, but usually two m number, are brought 
forth in the latter end of May or June. It is stated by Godman, we 
know not on what authority, that when twins are produced they are 
generally male iird female. 

A friend of ours related to us some time ago the following anecdote. 
A gentleman in the interior of Pennsylvania who kept a pair of Elks in a 
large woodland pasture, was in the habit of taking pieces of broad or a 
few handluls of corn with him wlien he walked in the enclosure, to 
feed these animals, calling them up for the amusement of his friends. 
Having occasion to pass through his park one day, and not having provi- 
ded himself with bread or corn for his pets, he was followed by the buck, 
who expected his usual gratification : the gentleman, irritated by the per- 
tinacity with which he was accompanied, turned round, and picking up 
a small stick, hit the animal a smart blow, upon which, to his astonish- 
ment and alarm, the buck, lowering his head, rushed at him and made a 
furious pass with his horns : luckily the gentleman stumbled as he at- 
tempted to fly, and iell over the prostrate trunk of a tree, near which lay 
another log, and being able to throw his body between the two trunks, 
the Elk was unable to injure him, although it butted at him repeatedly 
and kept him prisoner for more than an hour. Not relishing this pro- 
ceeding, the gentleman, as soon as he escaped, gave orders lo have the 
unruly animal destroyed. 

The teeth of the Elk are much prized by the Indians to ornament their 
dresses ; a " queen's robe " presented to us is decorated with the teeth of 
fifty-six Elks. This splendid garment, which is made of antelope skins, 
was valued at no less than thirty horses ! 

The droppings of the Elk resemble those of other deer, but are much 

The Elk, like other deer, lie down during the middle of the day, and 
feed principally at er-'ly morning, and late in the evening. They drink a 
good deal of water. 

This species can be easily domesticated, as we have observed it in 
menageries and in parks both of Europe and America. The males, like 
those of the Virginian deer, as they advance in age, by their pugna 
cious habits are apt to become troublesome and dangerous. The Elk 
lives to a great age, one having been kept in the possession of the elder 
Peale of Philadelphia for thirteen years; we observed one in the Park 
oi' a nobleman in Austria that had been received from America twenty 
five years belbre. 




.lu^E k st.ll exists, .n s.nall and decreasi.., „u„,ho..s, .asr ,>C„. Mi o " 

and these remnants probably „,• la.^e herds would un.lonbtediv i- ,o 

^.where were they not restricted to their present wild n.ounta w ^^ ^ 

haully accessible range, by the extensive settlements on the wel lid 

Mr Pka,,k of Philadelphia mentioned to us some .'ifieen vears a.., that 
te only region in the Atlantic States where he oonid pn.ure sp.;im'^ 
o the E!k was the highest and most sterile mountains in ,he , orth e 
of PennsylvanIJ^ w.c-e he had on several occasions gone ,o hunt ,1 

Beach and \ au,;„an, two hunters in whoso statements eonli.len.-e e^uld 
be placed that as late as 1826, Elks were seen and killed on th 
>.-aneh o the Saranac. On a visit to Western A'irginia in 11 
heard ol the existence of a small herd of Elk that had been kno v n ' 
many years to range along the high and sterile mountains a ! 

rndestothewestofthe Red Sulphur Springs. The herd was eo X 
of eight males, whose number was ascertained bv .l,eir tracks i e 
«now. One of these had been killed 1, a ,l,e num l w 
reduced to seven. Our inibrmant, a friend in who„. ,he hi.hest eo ; " 
could be placed, snpp„«ed, as all the individuals in ,|,e herd ha.l h..r ! e 
race would soon disappear from the mountains. As, h,.w,.ver, the mal.'s -.t 
certam seasons ke,.p in separate groups, we have n,. doubt there was • 
.undar or larger enl of .Wnales in the same range ; but the ni;:.:ri: 
doubtless a.mually lessening, and in all probability it will not be many 
years before the Elk wHl be entirely extirpated, to beyond seve a hun 
■Jred miles west of the Mississippi. " 




fo I ^r.t ' *"r "^ *' T^tc„.Rasn., does not extend its range farther 
to the north than the 56th or 57th parallel of latitude, nor is if found 

he sT^tT ' "l'"'^" ''"" ^'^ ^""'^ '^'"' «^ Lake Winnep.:: . 

h Saskatchewan .n the 103d degree of longitude, and from thenc till it 
strikes the Elk nver ,n ,he IHth degree. It is found on the western, and ranges along the eastern sides of the mountains in Texas 
and New Mexico It is also ibund in Oregon and California. Its mos 
southern geographical range still remains undetermined. 


with the true deer (Ce..«.v,) to which they are very closely allied in their 
character and habUs. As that ge^ms however has been greatly enlarged 
m consequence of the discovery of new species, the deer have been conve 
n.ently d.v,dedmto several sub-genera, of which our species is the lar- 
gest and most interesting among the true Elks {Elophus) 

The Amencan Elk, Wappite, or Stag, was for a long period consi.lered with the European red deer, (C. Ehrphus,) and was, we believe 
first treated as a distinct species by lUv. It was subsequently noticed by' 
Jefferson and described and figured in the Medical Repository. The dill 
lerence between these two species is so great that they may be distin 
guished at a glance. Our Elk is fully a foot higher at the shoulders than 
the European red stag. The common stag or red deer is of a uniform 
blackish brown, whilst the Elk has all its upper parts and lower jaw yel- 
lowish brown. It has also a black mark on the angle of the mout h which 
IS wanting in the other. In the European pecies the circle around the 
eye is white, in the American it is brown. There are other marks of dif- 
ference which it is unnecessary to point out, as the species are now re- 
garded by all naturalists as distinct. 

Our esteemed friend Dr. R.ctahdsc^v has applied to this species the name 
oi Cermts strongyloceros of Sohremer, because the figure of Perrault 
(Mem. sur les an. vol. 2, p. 45) did not exhibit the pale mark on the rump 
and he thought it not improbable that Perrault's figure was that of the 
black-tailed deer {Ccrvus rnacrolis). We do not believe that the latter spe- 
cies ever reaches the latitude where Perrault'h specimen was procured • 
but as we have already stated in this article, younger specimens ofou; 
Elk exhibit only faint traces of this pale mark on the rump, and in some 
they are entirely wanting. We have scarcely a doubi that Rav's de- 
script.onwas intended to apply to our American Elk, and we have there- 
fore adoj)ted his specific name. 












m ■ 




Black Tailed Hare. 

I., magnitudine, L. glaciafem adaequans, supra flavescente fusco 
que varius, subtus albus; auribus pedibusque pr^longis, Cauda longa 
nigra. ° ' 


i 'I 


Size Of the polar hare ; ears and legs, very long ; tail, long and black; 
mottled with gray and yellowish-brown above, beneath, while. 


Lkpu8 Caliotih, Wagler, 1832. 

" ,g3^;'"'"^,^"''^^'^,^' B«7«- P'-o^^edi^g^ of the Zoological Society of London. 
1 833, p. 4 1 , marked ,n tlie Catalogue of the Zoological Society, 582 
LEPue ^IOKICAUDATus, Bachman. Journal of the Academy Nat. Sciences, PhUadel- 
plua, vol. vm., pt. 1, p. 84, an. 1839. ^nuaaei 


This interesting species is similar to others composing a certain group 
of hares found in America, characterized by being large, and havin- very 
long ears, and long and slender legs and bodies, the whole form indicatinL' 
capacity frr long leaps and rapid locomotion. In all these characteristics 
Lepus Callotts approaches nearest to Townsexd's hare, {Lepus Town- 
sendn,) which may be considered the type of this group. 


The whole of the upper surface, fawn colour, tipped with black ; hair^ 
on the back, silvery gray for one-third of their length, then pale fawn 
then black, then fawn, tipped with black. Back of the neck, brownish 
black, slightly tipped with lawn. A number of hairs of unusuai len-^th 
(two and one-fourth inches,) and delicately interspersed along the sides 
•n the greatest abundance along the shoulders. These hairs are black 
from the base for two-thirds of their length, the remainder pale fawn • 



I III' -f 

sides, and under parts of the neck, dingy pule fawn, gradually becoming 
white on the chest ; haunches, lcf,'s and under surface white ; the hairs 
on the rump annuiated with black, and near the root of the tail almost 
entirely black; t'le wliole of the tail on the upper surface to the extrem 
ity black ; on the under surface the hairs are black from the roots, slightly 
tipped with grayish brown. Hairs on the under surface of the feet, in 
some specimens red, in others a soiled yellowish-brown. Ears, posteriorly 
for two-thirds of their breadth black at the roots, gradually blending into 
fawn, and on the inner third the longitudinal line of demarcation beins? 
very distinct; this fawn colour is mixed with black hairs, edged at the tip 
with black, the remainder if the edge fawn ; the outer margin of the pos- 
terior surface to its apex pure white. Inner surface of the ears nearly 
naked, except at the outer edge, where they are clothed with short griz- 
zled brown hairs. Whiskers white and black, the former predominating ; 
chin and throat, white. The marginal line of demarcation between t.xe 
colour of the back and that of the under surface, is somewhat abrupt 
across the upper portion of the thighs, and very distinctly marked. 


Length from point of nose to root oftsil, 
Tail (vertebra?), - - - - . 
" including fur, .... 
From heel to longest nail, - - . 
Head over the curve, .... 
From eye to nose, - . - . 
Ears posteriorly, .... 

Greatest breadth, .... 







(>ur account of this species is principally derived from the journals ot T. 
W. Audubon, kept during his journey through pait of Texas, made for I he 
Durpose of procuring the animals of that State, and obtaining some knowl- 
edge of their habits for our present work, in 1845 and 1846, with an ex- 
tract from which we now present our readers. 

"One fine morning in January, 1845, at San Anionio de Bexar, as 1 
mounted my faithful one-eyed chesnut horse, admiring his thin neck and 
bony legs, his delicate head and flowing flaxen tail and mane, I was 
saluted with a friendly good morning by Mr. Calaiian, then holding the 
important office of mayor of the little village ; and on his ascertainiii^ 
that my purpose was to have a morning hunt on the prairies and through 



±c chapparal, which I did day after day, he agreed lo accompany me in 
search of the animals I was anxiously trying to obtain, and in quest of 
which I rode over miles of prairie with my bridle on the knobbed pum- 
mel of my Texan saddle, the most comfortable saddle I have ever tried 
(Semg a sort of half Spanish, half English build,) my horse with his neck 
btretchod out and his head about on a level with his shoulders, walking 
between four and five miles an hour, turning to the right or to the left 
agreeably to the slightest movement of my body, so well was he trained 
leavmg both hands and eyes free, so that I could search with the latter 
every twig, tussock or thicket, and part the thick branches of the chap- 
paral of musquit, prickly holly, and other shmbs, which I am inclined to 
thnik quite equal to any East-Indian jungle in offering obstructions to the 
progress of either horse or man. 

Mr. Calahan having mounted, we set out, and after about an hour's 
hard work, occupied in crossing one of the thickest covers near the 
town, gamed ^he broad and nearly level prairie beyond, across which to 
the west we could see varied swelliiig undulations, gradually fading into 
the famt outline of a distant spur, perhaps of the rocky chain of mountains 
that m this latitude lie between the wp.ter courses flowing toward the Gulf 
of Mexico, and the streams that empty into the Gulf of California : so far 
away indeed seemed these faint blue peaks that it required but a little 
stretch of the imagination to fancy the plains of California but just at 
the other side. I was enchanted with the scene, scarcely knowing whether 
the brilliant fore-ground of cacti and tropica] plants, the soft indefinite dis- 
tance, or the clear summer blue sky, was most beautiful. My compan- 
ion observing my enthusiasm, warmed into praises of his adopted country 
he had, he >aid, fought hard for it, and exclaimed, it is a country worth 
fighting for ; when my reply, of whatever nature it might nave been, was 
prevented, and all ideas of blue mountains, vast rolling prairies, «fec., were 
cut short by a jackass rabbit bounding from under our horses' feet ; he 
was instantly followed by my worthy friend the mayofnt full speed on hi- 
white pony, to my great annoyance, for otherwise he would have stoppel 
in a hundred yards or so. Away they went, and as my friend's horse 
was a running nag, he doubtless expected to overtake the Hare, which had 
only gained about fifty yards start during our momentary surprise. The 
Hare, as I quickly observed, did not make much shorter leaps than the 
horse. I could see it at each bound appear like a jack-o'-lantern floating 
with the breeze over a swamp, but in less time than I have t .ken to write 
•his, they had ran a mile, ihe Hare doubled and was a hundred yards in 
advance, but could not stop and look behind, for he had such a race 
that he knew well no time was to be lost in gaining some bod 
/OL n. — 13 

1. ! 









cactus or chappaial. Now on came both Hare and hunter, and 
the race was oCfhe swiftest when anotlier double caused the rider tc 
pull up with such force that his stirrup leather broke, and the space be- 
tween tiie mayor and the object of his pursuit was widened to a quarter 
of a mile, and the chase ended ; our friend dismounting to relit. We hud 
not the good fortune to start another of these hares that day. 

Some time afterwards while at Castroville, a little place of about a 
dozen huts and one house, this Hare was procured by a party of Indians 
and brought to J. W. Audubon, who writes : " I chanced to be visited by 
some of th( Shawnee Indians who were in the neighbourhood on a hunt- 
ing expedition. They were highly astonished and pleased with my draw- 
ings, which I exhibited to them while trying to explain what animals ] 
wajited. 1 made a hasty sketch of a hare with immensely long ears, at 
which I pointed with an approving nod of the head, and then made anoth- 
er sketch smaller and with shorter ears, at which lust I shook my head 
and made wry faces ; the Indians laughed, and by their gutteral eugh, haugh, 
li, gave me to understand that they comprehended me ; and in a day or 
two, I had a beautiful specimen of the B|ack-tailed Hare brought to me 
but with the head snot off" by a rifle ball. The Indians were quite dis- 
appointed that it did not answer my purpose, and smoothed down the fur 
on the body, which is the only part of the skin they generally preserve, and 
what they thought I wanted. 

The specimen I drew from was shot by Powel, one of Colonel Hays' 
rangers, from whom I received many attentions and who acted most 
kindly while with me on one of my excursions from San Antonio. This 
Hare is so rare in those parts of Texas that I visited, t;»at I can say little 
of its habits. It appears to be solitary, or nearly so, fond of high open 
prairie with clumps of trees, or rather bushes and thickets about them, 
trusting to its speed for safety and only taking cover from hawks and 
eagles. Near San iVtruchio, as I was informed, this Hare is more abun- 
dant than in this vicinity, and two or three of them can occasionally be 
started in a morning's ride." 

The specimen from which Mr. Bennett described and named this Hare 
(Lepus nigricaudaUts, Bennett, Zoological Proceedings, 18.33, p. 4l), has a 
iT!'.re definitely marked line of" white along the sides and legs than the one 
I drew from ; but this species varies so much in its markings, tha '^oure 

with the characters given is probably as like thv? majority as j 

The line of white and black near the tip of the ears extende. .u- 

dinally, is by many considered a good specific character, but it does not. 
1 think, hold out in respect to this animal. 


lect.ons of Europe ; I only two. and di.l not hear of the existence of 
any ,n the nu.eun. which I had not an opportunity of examininT 
om'r ^'w ;""" ;"'^•'^'''^«°"^ — ' '-ve been «ent kJe by our 
kt 1 r : "'"""" o^ -Xnowled^in, the receipt of a Hne 

sk.nirom L eutenunt Ab.rt. who also favoured us with some skins of 
quadrupeds from the vicinity of Santa Fe. which we shall ha""cls io" to 
no.ce elsewhere, and for which we return him our best thanks 
_ J^h. specxes ,s called the Jackass Rabbit in Texas, owing to the length of 


<loe. not, however, occur near the shores of the lower R^H Rl„.. 

tudc 30 , Iron, which parallel to the southward i, becomes more abundant 
and may be sa,d to he the common Hare of Mexico. Whether it is founS 
beyond the hmit, of North America we are nnablc t. say, butsnpp , n„, 

™r::h° h T '"" -r ""■" ^""""-^ "'*«-"■ ' -°' » 

ZT , ; * ""^ """""" P°"'°" »f *= Western hemisphere 

and as already observed, do not contain more than the two .pecir^T^^ 

r toZ .roaSrt: ^"" '° "- '- --- -- -"- 


There is a specimen in the Berlin Museum, labelled Lepus Callotis Wao 
|..a d,sc„bed by him in 1832. This .specimer. corresponds in al IsJ^^^^^^ 

bcnbed by Bennett. Hence we are oblieed to idnnt w . 

l.-iu«the priority as the first scientific dlwht'"" "*"'' '"' 



The Small Weabbl. 

mliul^^!'^'^ ^"^ "^"°'' ' ''"'' breviuscula. Supra rufo-fhsca. 


A third smaller than the Ermine; tail rather short; Colour, brcwn 
above white beneath. ' 


MusTEtA (PUTonius) Vulgaris, Bach, Fauna Bor. Am., vol. i., n 45 
i". Vulgaris, Emmons, Mass. Report, 1840, p. 44 >!'«'• 

MusTELA PusiLLA, Dekay, Nat. Hist. N. Y.', p. 34. 


This is much the smallest of all our species of Weasel, if we are to jud^e 
from two specimens tha, are in our possession, which appear to be full 
grown. The tail ,s about one-fourth the length of the body, and is a lit- 
tie longer than that of the common Weasel (M. Vulgaris) of Europe It 
.s. however, a still sn^nller animal, and differs from it in several other 
particulars: its ears a.e less broad., its feet smaller, the colour on the 
back IS a shade darker, the white on the under surface extends much far- 
ther along the sides, towards the back, and the dividing li„e between the 
colours on the upper and lower surface is more distinct. The head is 
man, neck slender, and the body vermiform. Whiskers the length of 
the head, ears very small, toes and nails slender, covered with hairs. 


wil?' w""l'"'' '" """''""' '''"' '^'' '''''''' '^"^^ "°^ b«««-« -hite in 
mn er We a small weasel alive throughout a winter in our boy 

hood, but cannot now decide whether it was this species or another, 

(P F«.c.«,,) which we will describe in our next volume. That specie 

underwent no change in winter. It is more glossy ,han the ermine in 


summer pelade an.I a shacio paLr in colour. U is li^ht yellowish hrow. 
en he head, neck, ami the whole of , he upper HudUce ; this colour pre 
va.l8 on the outer portions oCfhe lore-legs to near the (bet. the oute 
face ol the hin.l-legs. the rump, and the whole of the tail, which is not 
Upped black as in the ermine. The white on the under surface com- 
mencfs on the upper lips and extends alo„« the neck, inner surface ol 
the lec-s, rises high up along the sides, including the outer and inner 
surfaces of the feet. The moustaches are white and black, the former 
colour predotninating. 


! 'I 



Length from point of nose to root of tail. 
Head and neck, . . . . 

Tail (vertebra)), - • . . 

" including fur, - . . 






From theforni and structure of this species, we might naturally pre- 
sume that It possesses all the habits of the ermine. It feeds on insects, 
eggs of birds, and mice, but from its diminutive size we are led to sun- 
pose that It is not mischievous in the poultry house, and would scarcely 
venture to attack a full-grown Norway rat. 


The jpecimens from which our descriptions were made, were obcained 
m the State of New-York, one at the Catskills, and the other at Long 
Island. If ,t should prove to be the species we once had in captivity it 
exists also in the northern part of New-York, where we captured it 
Richardson asserts that it exists as far to the North as the Saskatchewan 
river, and Captain Bayfield obtained specimens at Lake Superior. 


Sir John Richardson states that this species, like the ermine, becomes 
white m winter in the fur countries. We are .lisposed to believe that 
this ,s not the case in the latitude of New- York. This fact, however 
.s no evidence that the species in those widely separated localities 
are different. The ermine in the northern part of Virginia seldom un- 
dergoes a perfect change, and in Carolina remains brown throughout the 
whole year. Sir John Richardson states (p. 4.5) that the specimens pre- 
sented to the Zoological Society by Capt. Bavpield, agreed in ail respects 

I i : 



with the common weasel of Europe. We, however, examined ilusc 
specimens and compared them with the European weasel, and found nc 
difficulty in discovering characters by which the species are separated. 
We have an indistinct recollection that the prince of Musignano nanu;d 
the specimen in the Zoological Society ; but as he did not, as far 
iS we know, describe it, we have, according to our views on these subjects, 
assigned to Dr. Dekay the credit of the specific name. 



Little Harvest Mouse. 

PLATE LXV.-MALE3 ato Females. 

M. corpore supra rutilo-cinereo, et quoad baccas et lineam in utrisque 
Jatenbus ferrugineo ; subt,;s flavo-albente. M. musculus minor. 


Smaller than the house mouse ; colour, reddish-gray ahore ; cheeks and 
line along the side, light ferruginous ,■ beneath, tohite with a yellowish tinge. 


Mus„, Bach Read before the Academy of Nat. Sciences, 1837. Journal 
Acad., vol. vii. 

\IusHUMius,Bach., Acad. Nat. Sciences, Oct. 5th, 1841. 


Incisors, small and sbort ; head, much more rounded, nose, less pointed 
and skull proportionably broader than the corresponding portions in the' 
common house-mouse ; legs, rather short, and slender ; there are four 
'oes on the Ibre-leet, with a minute and almost imperceptible nail in the 
pince of a thumb ; on the hind-lbot there are five toes ; claws short weak 
sharp, and slightly hooked ; nose, short and pointed ; the moustaches are' 
composed of a few hairs, not rigid, of the length of the head ; the eyes 
are smaller and less prominent than those of the white-footed mouse re 
srmbling those of the common ; the ears are of mode'rate 
size, broatl at base, erect, ovate, clothed on both surfaces and around the 
niges with short adpres.ed hairs, extending a little beyond the fur • 
palms naked ; upper surface of feet covered with hairs to the end of niils- 
the tail IS round when the animal is in a living state, but after the speci' 
.nrns are dne,!, beconu-s s,,uare ; it is thinly clothed with short hairs ; the 
lur on the wholo body is slioil, glossy, and very fine. 




Teeth, yellow ; nails, white ; eyes, hliicli ; moustaches, mostly white 
a. few near the nostrils hiaek ; n()S(>, (rheeivs, ears on both surlaees, imd a 
line extending; I'roni the sides of tlie iieek nnniinj^ aioiiy; the siioulder and 
separating- the eolonrs of the l)acli; and under surface, dark hull"; on the 
back, the iiairs are plumbeous at the roots, tiien yellowish fawn colour; 
n|>|)cr lips, chin, and throat, white; neck and under surface of body 
white shaded with bull". 


I'^oni point of nose to root of tail-, 
Tail. .... 

IJi'ight of car, . . _ 



By the casual obs(>rver, this diminutive little species, on beiiiR started 
iVoiii its retreat in the ionfj ki'!»ns. or under some fence or pile of brushwood, 
ini<,dit be mistaken for the yeunj? of the white-footed mouse (^fus leitcopits), 
or that of the junipinL!: mouse {]rrri()iirx Amrrinnius). It however dillers 
widely tVoin either, and bears but a general lesemblance to any of our 
American species. 

About twenty years ajro. whilst we were (uideavouring to make our- 
selves iicciiiiiinted with the species of smaller rodentia existing in the 
Southern States, we discovered this little Mouse in the grass fields and 
along the fences of the plantations a few miles from Cliarleston. S. C. 
We procured it in the way in which Held mice and other small ijuadru- 
peds in all countries can be most easily obtained, by having what are 
denoMiinalcd tignreof t traps, set along fences and ditches in the evening, 
bailed with meat and seeds of various kinds. On tin; following morning 
we usually were rewarded witli a number of several interesting s|)ecies. 
We (in two occasions preserved this Afouse in a domestic stale, once for a 
yeiir, during which time it produced tsvo broods of young: the (irsi 
consisting of tour were born in May, the second of three in .Inly. 
Tliey reai'c<l all their young. We fed them at lirst on pea or ground nuts, 
(Hif/xi^nd (inir/iix,) eornmeal, (mai/e.) the latter they preferred boiled, but 
al"i(M' iiavinir lenijitcd their appetites with the seeds of the I'igyptian 3Iil- 
let, {I'l iiiiisiliiiii tip/i()i(lnuii.) we discovered that they relished it so well, 
we allowed it linally to become their exclusive food. They refused meat on 


1 Of) 
nil occasions. Thov woro von- cr,.»#i-. ,.11 j .. 

' '" '""""• " '"■" ''""'■ "■"'■ "■■'l-.l a m.l, l.„. i„ . vL lL"|. 'r bT 

::■ "T:ir:, ; ■■ '• r " :""" ""■" » p«-.'U": ;:■ „ ; 

-'' • ... a ca... with a ,n ,1.- .fth.. whi...n,o,.l .aous.: ,h.v u'Zlut^ 

«.o sam. fomah, with ,hn male oCth. co,„,no„ .J,,,, ' -„!•," ' 
^;U.y c n.. ., n.h,in. wi.h ou- litH. pet. an., J!: I;! ;;:;: 
Mas lo, n,l ,,oa,l m tho c,,«... bitt.-n and mutilated in various places 

1 ns ,, „.s ,s a rare ; urCT ,, search ol' twc-nfy years wo h«. 
ohta.ncd only a .iozcn specimens from ,he fields. The nerwT. ch w 
have..lte^r seen thnn their occupants, were placed Tt'^^ :; 
the ,roun., amon. ,he Ion« .ras, composed of^ soft withered «ras s a 

-. .t M, „,, „„,,^ „, ^,,.^ ^^^^,^.. .^^ ^___^|^^ brush-heaps and henel 

the rails „l lences, similarly constructed 

We doubt whether this species is of much injury to the fhnner It 
consumes but Httle is more lond of,,, m-ar ... : ; ^ 
n^' soe.h< <>| it s.,,. .....„„ ,h. ,„...„ ,,.,,. ^ ;^;; 

observed 1.. ,ts ..est su.;.ll sto.-es of ...-ass se.'.ls .J, . . ,''''''' 

in.i Ti , ' a Iciiiah; ciintured on th.. 

1 XI. necembe,-, ,,nd containing four you... in its n.„..iv. 'e ,. 
therefore thnt this snecie. liie .1. r i. • • "'""'• ^^'' presume 

OEOr.RAPl.lCAr, IltSTRnitmON. 

Wo have met with this species sparingly in South O:,rolina -.lo..-. the 
-■•.Loard. and received i, lr.„u !),, M.„„,,„, .„■ Abbeville S C V 
cured a specimen in ri.e..,.,,.,. (c • v ^i '"cmik , .X 0. We pi-o- 

-■7'">- '■'■■ - '"„ « i" "•,,:■:: ;:;.', ''';';'• 

north-east as the St-.f,. ,.c v \- 1 i'-kui .is (ar to the 

'■'"^ '-w;:.,:,ti:;':;;,:x »"■—"'' 

VOL. II, It. 

iii !! 

m . f il 

i M 





We sent a minute description of this species to the Academy of Natural 
Sciences in 1837, which was read by our friend Dr. Morton ; although 
informed that it was published in the transactions of the Society, we have 
not seen it in print. A second description was published in the transac- 
tions of the same Society, October, 1841. We have not ascertained that 
the species has been noticed by any other naturalist. 

In examining the teeth of this species, we have found that the tuber- 
culous summits on the molars were less distinct than in those which le- 
gitimately belong to the genus Mus, and that there are angular ridges on 
the enamel by which it approaches the genus Arvicola ; it is in fact an 
intermediate species, but in the aggregate of its characteristics perhaps 
approaches nearest to Mus, where we for the present have concluded to 
leave it. 




Incisive '^., Canme^; Mo/ar ^^' or ^^ =48 or 50. 

ro-fn^H '"'"f T'^ ''"'?''' '' "'"'"''' P''^"*^^' «•*••«' l'^'-g«' membraneous, 
rounded, and almost naked ; tongue, acculeated ; internal toe of the hind 
foot, opposable to the fingers, and destitute of a .ail, pendactylous; nails 

4';?::!::^"^^ '^ '^'^^' '^°™ ^'^^ ""'-'' ^^^^ -- - ^-^'e. and 

The interesting group of the Marsupi alia has recently been arranged 
by Owe. mto five tribes and families, and sixteen gener'a ; these „eS 
about seventy known species, to which additions are continually mak„, 
the Virgmxan Opossum being, however, the only species k„"wn in 
America north of Mexico. Most of the other species'of this genls (Is 
at present restricted,) inhabit tropical America. It is comp.«ed of fi V 
species, some of which are still doubtful ^ '^'" 


Virginian Opossum. 

PLATE LXVI._Female, and Young Male seven month, old. 

D. pilis laneis basi albis, apice fuscis; sericeis longis albis- iacie 
rostro colloque pure albis; auriculis nigri. apice flaviLtibus •' cauS 
corpore breviore basi pilosa tota albicante. 


whilM hair. "' *^'' "'«■'"' ""■'* 




Virginian Opossum, Pennant, Hist. Q.ia.l., vol. ii., p. 18, pi. (J3. 
., " " " Arctic ZouU>gy, vol. i., p. 73. 

^ARiouK DEs Illinois, Bull'., sup. 0. 
Ofossiim Amkhicam's, D'A/ara, Quad, du I'aragtiuy. 

DiUKLPlllS \lli(ilMANA, Sluiw's Zool., Vol. i., p. 73. 

Mausuimall A.ME1UCANU.M, l>son, ill Phil. Trans., No. 23S> p 105 
towpEit, hid., No. 290, j). l.-))!-). 
Opos.sLM, tatesby's f'an)lina, p. 120, fig. e. 

liurto.i's Facts, Ol.scvations and Conjectures relative to the j-on^ 
„ , '■"*'"" ^'* *''^' <^>l'"s«iini of N. Am., London, 180J> and 1813 

- ossiiM, l.awson's Carolina, p. 120, (ig. c. 
J). V'iiujinjanus, Harlan, Fauna, p. 1 fj). 

(Todnian. vol. ii., p. 7^ fig, 
ViRG. Opo.ssl'm, (jriflith, vol. iii., j). 24. 

" " Dckay, Nat. Hist. N. Y., p. 3, fig. 2, pi. 15. 

Opossum, Notes on the generation oftheVirginian Opossum. (Didelphis Virginiana ) 
J. Baehinan, D. i)., Transactions of the Acad, of Nat. Sciences. April 
1818, p. 40. ' 

Letter from M. Michel, ?.r. D., on the same subject, Trans. Acad. Nat. 
tecieuces, April, 1848, p. 40. 


Body, stout and clumsy ; head, long and conical ; snout, pointed : the 
nostrils at the extiviaity of the long muzzle open on the sides of a protru- 
berant naked and glandulous surface. Ears, large, thin, and membra- 
neous ; mouth, wide, and borders rounded ; jaws, weak ; eyes, placed high 
on the foreliead, small, and without external lids, oblique ; moustaches, on 
the sides of the lace, and a i'pw over the eye, strong and rigid. The 
tongue is covered with rough papilUe. Nails, of moderate length, curved ; 
inner toe on the posterior extremities destitute of a nail ami opposable to 
the other toes, thus forming a kind of hand. Tail, (which may be con- 
sidered a u.seful appendage to the legs in aiding the motions of the ani- 
mal), prehensile and very strong, but capable of involution only on the 
under side, long, round, and scaly, covered with a few coarse hairs for a 
few inches from the base, tiie remainder with here and there a hair scat- 
tered between. Soles of the hind feet, covered with large tubercles. The 
foiimle is lurnished with a pouch containing thirteen mamma; arranged 
in a circle, with one in the centre. 

The fur is of two kinds, a .soft woolly hair beneath, covered by much 
longer hairs, which are. howev.M-, not sufficiently dense to conocal the un. 
der coat. The woolly hair is of considerable xcngth and fineness, especi- 
ully ill winter. 




»-.'"r;;::^^:: :;^,;r::x"r r- "^" "'- »'"- '^ 

line or,la,.k brow,, u„dor the cha" 2 f ,, "''"""'''"■''-'I''"-'' « -I"" « 
i«l> blaok • w^ 1,.,„ ' '" "'"" *»»'""="» are brown. 

i.row„ ;,!:;,::;::' '="»"--''-' »- whe. .h=y „». ..d,* 

i, : '"''°'"' ""■ '""«' '"""S 'l-i'o whit,, wilh a v„ry ,li,„„c, b|„ck 





A Well grown female : 

From point of nose to root of tail, 

Length of tail, ---!.'*' 

Height of ear, . . , _ 

Breadth of ear, .... 

Orifice of the distended pouch in diameter, " ." 
Teats measured immediately after the young had been 
withdrawn, .... 

Weight, 121bs. 

Tail, --...".'"'" *^ 

Weight, 22 grains. 


nature thif nw.I- V^ ^ '"'^ ""^"^ unheard-of objects in 

r I— ^.. :ii, v'pOiaUm WHS 

5, ii 



m m 

regarded by Europeans when they first saw it. Scarcely any tiling was 

known of the marsupial animals, as New Holland had not as yet opened 

its unrivall.d stores of singulariti vs to astonish the world. Here was a 

strange animal, with .< he.-d and ears of the pig, sometimes hanirir.fe- on 

the limb of a tree, and occasionally swinging like the monkey ny cb? tail ' 

Around that prehensile appendage a dozen sharp-nosed, sicek-h.-ad-j 

yoimg, had entwined their own tails, and were sitting on the mother's 

back ! TIk •istonished traveller approaches this extraordinary compound 

of an animal and touches it cautiously with a stick. Instantly it seems to 

be struck with some mortal disease : its eyes close, it falls to the ground, 

ceases to move, and appears to be dead ! He turns it on its back, and 

perceives on its stomach a strange apparently artificial opening. He 

puts his fingers mto the extraordinary pocket, and lo ! another brood of a 

dozen or more; young, scarcely larger than a pea, are hanging in clusters on 

the teats. In pulling the creature about, in great amazement, he suddenly 

receives a gripe on the hand— the twinkling of the half-closed eye and the of the creature, evince that it is not dead, and he adds a new 

term to the vocabulary of his language, that of" playing possum." 

Like the great majority of predacious animals, the Opossum is nocturnal 
in its habits. It suits its nightly wanderings to the particular state of the 
weather. On a bright starlight or moonlight night, in autumn or winter 
when the weather is warm and the air calm, the Opossum may every 
where be found in the Southern States, prowling around the outskirts of 
the plantation, in old deserted rice fields, along water courses, and on the 
edges of low grounds and swamps ; but if the night should prove windy or 
very cold, th.! Ix-st nosed dog can scarcely strike a trail, and in such cases 
the hunt for that night is soon abandoned. 

The gait of the Opossum is slow, rather heavy, and awkward ; it is not a 
trot like that of the Ibx, but an amble or pace, moving the two legs on one 
side at a time. Its walk on the ground is plantigrade, resting the whole 
heel on the earth. When pursued, it by no means stops at once and 
feigns death, as has ollen been supposed, but goes forward at a rather 
slow sp,>ed, it is true, but as fast as it is able, never, that we are aware 
of. increasing it to a leap or canter, but striving to avoid its pursuers by 
sneaking off to some thicket or briar patch ; when, however, it discovers 
that the dog is in close pursuit, it fiies for safety to the nearest tree, usu- 
ally a sai)ling. and unle>s m„i,.sto(l does not ascend'to the top, but ;-eeks 
an easy resting plMn," in some crotch not twenty feet from the ground, 
where it waits silently and immoveably. till th<. dog, finding that his 
master will not .-ome to his aid. and becoming weary of barking -.a the 
foot of the tree, leaves tlw Opossum to follow the bent of his incll. 


nations, and conclude his nijji.tly round in .search of foo,K AlthouH. . 
sbw traveller, the Opo.ssu.n, ,.y keepin. on n 7: i^ 
he greater part of the hunts over much ground, and has b n 
known to make a circle of a mile or two in one ni,h,. l.s ran-.. W- 
ever, appear to be restricted or extended accor.lin. to its necersit'ies. as 
whenu has taken up i,s residence near a corn field, or a ciuu.p of ipc 

isfied, and U early and slowly carries its fat and heavy body ,„ its ouiet 
home, to spend the remainder of the night and the succeeding dav i le 
enjoyment of a quiet rest and sleep. " 

The whole structure of the Opossum is admirably adapted to the 

wans of a sluggish animal. It possesses strong powers of s no whlh 

a.d at m Us search after food ; its mouth is eapadous, and its j a Jl? a greater number and variety of teeth than any othe 'ou; 

animals, evdencmg its omnivorous habits; its fore-paws, althon! „o 

to the mouth The construction of the hind-foot with its soft yllcHn.^ 
ubercles on the palms and its long nailless opposing thund,. enal^U 
to use hese feet as hands, and the prehensile taif aids it in ho din" \; 
the hmbs of trees whilst its body is swinging in the air; i„ thi mann 
we have observed it gathering persimmons with its mouth and for. pa " 
and devounng them whilst its head was downwards and its bodv su'^ ' 

';' hT:^: 2„r " ^" -'-'''- -'' '- ^^"^-'■- -^ -^'. '^- <'^n 

We have observed in this species a habit which is not uncommon 
among a few other species of quadrupeds, as we have seen it ZZZ 

rh:utrr:;?b'"'^ ''°""'"" ''^- '-^-'-^ ^^^y^^^- ^^^^ 

.or hours m the sun, bemg apparently dozing, and seeming to enjoy this 
posmon as a change. Its usual posture, however, when asleep i eithe 
.ng a full length on the side, or sitting doubled up with its '^ TZ 

Loo: '' "' "": '""^'''''''^ ^'°'"'^^^"' "^^^^•' — of the 

The Opossum cannot be called a gregarious animal, j Au-in^ summer 
a brood composing a large family may be found together bu^Z he 
young are well grown, they usually separate, nn<l each in'dh ,1 h ft 
tor bmself ; we have seldom found two together ia the same r tea t 
autumn or wuiter. >t.iie,u,i in 

Although not often «„ abroad in verycol.l weather in winter thi, ani 
mal „ far Iron, falling inU, that state of to whicl t „ Z ' 
jumpmg nnoe. and several other specie, of ,„„.,r„peds are sol ec T J 
Southern .States, there .re not ,„a„y clear „i,hts of starlight „ n,„„„* 



in which they may not be found roaming about ; and although in I heir fur 
thest northern range they are seldom seen when the ground is covered with 
snow, yet we recollect having come upon the frank of one in snow a foot 
deep, in the month of March, in Pennsylvania ; we |)ursued it, and captured 
the Opossum- in its retreat— a hollow tree. It may be remarked, that ani- 
mals like the Opossum, raccoon, skunk, &c., that become very fat in autu.nn 
require but little food to support them through the winter, particularly 
when the weather is cold. 

The Opossum, although nocturnal in its general habits, is not unfrequent- 
ly, particularly in spring and summer, found moving about by day. We 
have on several occasions met with it in the woods at mid-day, in places 
where it was seldom molested. 

Nature has wisely provided this species with teeth and organs indi- 
cating its omnivtjrous character and its possessing an appetite for nearly 
all kinds of food ; and in this particular it exhibits many of the pro- 
pensities and tastes of the raccoon. It t-nters the corn fields (maize), crawls 
up the stalks, and sometim^-s breaks them down in the manner of the rac- 
coon, to feed on the young and tender grains ; it picks up chesnuts, acorns, 
chinquapins and beach nuts, and munches them in the manner of the bear. 
We have, on dissection, ascertained that it had devoured blackberries, 
whortleberries, and wild cherries, and :ts resort to the persimmon tree is pro- 
verbial. It is also insectivorous, ar.d is seen scratching up the leaves in 
search of worms, and the larvae of insects, of which it is very fond. In 
„arly spring it lays the vegetable kingdom under contribution for its 
support, and we have observed it digging up the roots of the small atama- 
masco lily, {Zepherinn atamasco,) and the young and tender shoots of the 
China brier, {Smilax rotundifolia,) as they shoot out of the ground like as- 
paragus. It is moreover decidedly carnivorous, eating young birds that 
it may detect on the ground, sucking the eggs in all the partridge, towhee- 
bunting and other nests, it can find in its persevering search. It destrovs 
mice and other rodentia, and devours whole broods of young rabbits 
scratching about the nest and scattering the hair and other materials of 
which it was composed. We have observed it squatting in the grass and 
brier thickets in Carolina, which are the common resort of the very abun- 
dant cotton rat, (Sigmodon hispidum,) and from patches of skin and other 
mutilated remains, we satisfied ourselves that the Opossum was one amoii" 
many other species designed by Providence to keep in check the too rap- 
id increase of these troublesome rats. We must admit that it sometimes 
makes a sly visit to the poultry house, killing a few of the hens and 
playing havoc among the eggs. The annoyances of the farmer, however, 
from this mischievous prooensity, are not as great as those sustained from 



some of the other species, and cannot for a moment be compared with the 
destruction caused by the weasel, the mink, or the skunk. 

1 he domicile of the Opossun. in which it is concealed during the da> 
and where U brm,s forth its youn,, which we have often examiae ' 

..un ,n vanous localities. This animal isatolerable di,,e, .^tho gh 

usua ly un.ler the roots of trees or stump., when the .round is so ele- 
.a ed as to secure it from rains and in.ndations. The hollow of a large 
.Hllen tree, or an opening at the roots of a standing one. also serve L 
a convement place for its nest. The material which w have u ually 
».und e,>n.pc..„g this nest along the seaboard of Carolina is the , on' 
.aoss(/,/W.. .W.V); although we have sometimes found i com 
posed of a bushel or more of oak and other leaves 

On firing into a squirrel's nest which was situated in the fork of a tree some 
iorty feet Iron, the ground, we brought down an Opossum, which Le^i 
dently expelled its egitimate occupant. The Florida rat is nown to I e 
heaps o st.c s and leaves, and construct nests sometimes a yard in cia n 
er and two feet high : these are usually placed on the ground, bu Z 
requently .-n the entangled vines of the grape, smilax, and supple jaclf 
Zr~.,,ns .W„W,,) i„ these nests an Opossum may occasionally b found 
do mg as cozd. as if he had a better right than that of mere poLssion ' 
lun mg the Opossum is a very favourite amusement among domestics 
and field labourers on o„r Southern plantations, of lads broke loose from 
schoo, the hoiidav;. and even of gentlemen, who are sometL^mor" 
fond of th.s sport than of the less profitable and more dangerous and Z 
t.guu,g one o, hunting the gray fox by moonlight. Although w have 
never part.c.pated in an Opossum hunt, yet we have observed that it Tf 

ZlZ^l77T '" ''"^ ^^"^ ^""^ ^'"^^ '" ''^ '"^J-'^^' °^ •-nan- 
ces make up the huntmg party, and we have on two or three occasions 

been he ..lent and gratified observers of the preparations that were go'g 

on tbeant.c,patxons mdulged in. and the excitement apparent around us. 

On a bright autumnal .lay, when the abundant rice crop has yielded to 

li'hlwh^T 'V"'"^^ '"'^^"^^ ^''^^^ ^''^^'^^-^ »"' -h-on or two 
shght wh.te trosts have tinged the field, and woods with a yellowish hue 

npened the persimmon, and caused the acorns, ehesnuts an'd chinque s' 

(C.sna.ra jn.nvlJa) to rattle down from the trees and strewed them oter the 

ground, we hear arrangements en.ered into for the hunt. The Opossums 

aave been hvmg on the delicacies of the season, and are now in fine order 

end some are fiumd excessively fat ; a double enjoyment is anticipated 

Ihe^fian of eatchu,g and the pleasure of eating this excellent substitute fo,' 

vol.. !i 15. 


", men." says one, " be lively, let us finish our tasks by four o'clock, 
a 1(1 after simdown we will have ;v 'possum hunt." " Done," says another, 
" and if an old eoon conwv* in the way of my smart do- I'im-her, I \h>. bound 
llir it, he will d,. lif,, out of him." The labourers work with in- 
.• alacrity, their fares are brif?htened with anticipated .■nioym,.ni, 
and ever un'^ Mon the old familiar son;,' of " 'Possum up thr ^'um tree '' 
is hummed, whilst the black driver can scarcely restrain the ulmle wan- 
from breaking: out into a h)ud chorus. 

The parapheniiilia belon-injr to this hunt arc neither showy nor cxpen 
sive. There are no horses caparisoned with elegant trappin-.^-ao costly 
Kin.s imported to order-no pack of hounds answering to the echoinjr 
horn ; two or curs, half hound or terriers, each havin- his appropri- 
I'te name, and each regarded by his owner as the best do;r o„ ih,. plantation, 
are whistle.l up. They obey the call with alacrity, and ih.'ir looks and intel- 
ligent actions frive evidence that they too , well aware of th,- pirasuie 
that awaits them. One of these luunble rustic sportsu.en shouhh-rs an 
ax(; and another a torch, and the whol,. armn-cm<>r,t f.-r th(> hunt is com- 
plefed. The glarin- torch-light is soon m-en .lispcrsing the shadows 
of the forest, and like a jack o'lantern, gleaming along the skirts of the 
.liHtant meadows and copses. Here are no old .rails on which the cold- 
nosed hound tries his nose for half an hour to ci*f ,-h the scent. The tongues 
of the curs are by no means silent-cvcr an<l anon there is a sudden start 
and an uproarious outbreak : "A rabbit in a hollow, wait, boys, till I twist 
him out with a hickory." The rabbit is secured and tied with a strin- 
arojindthe neck : another start, and the pack runs off for a quarter of a mil^, 
at a rapid rate, then double around the cotton liclds and among t\w. ponds 
in the pine lands-" Call off your worthless do^r, ji,„^ ,„^. pj^J,,,,, ,,,,^ j„^ 
much sense to bother after a fox." A loud scram and a whistle brings the 
pack to a halt, and presently they come panting to the call of the Uack 
huntsman. Aller some scolding and threatening, and resfioir ^ ,p,..i,-ter of 
an hour to recover their breath and scent, they are one more hied for- 
wards, yoon a (rusty old dog, by an occasional shrill yelp, gi ves evidence 
that he has struck some trail in the swamp. The pack gradually make 
out the scent on the edges of th.. pond, and marshes of the rice fields, 
grown up with wi:..,vvs and myrtle bushes (.>////vW/ cvrifcni). \t iemjth the 
mingled notes c-!" shrill and discordant tongues give evidence tlmt the 
game is up. The race, though rapid, is a long one, through the deep swajnp, 
crossing the muddy branch info the pine lands, where the dogs come to a 
halt, unite in conclav<', and set up an incessant b.-irking ;it the loot of a 
pine. "A coon, a coon ! din't I tell you," says Monday. " that iiPincher come 
across a cocn, he would do he work ?" An additional piece of split light- 

t I. ( 

I' ! r 


wock: is a,l.le.l t„ tl.o forch, and tho eo„„ is s,-.... .lo„l.l..,l up iu the 'Wnn of 
a horn.., s „ i,. „.e vn-y ,o,. of ,1... I,.n.-I...v..,l pi„... (,>. ,,.W/.) 

M I. 1 .■.!. 1... Klonous l.uttl. that .msu.-s, ,1... of.h.clo.s, un.l 
he cptur. o( tl.o con. (ollow as a „.at,n- uf l-ourse. See our arfiJlc «„ 
th. raeeoun, pp. 80, HI. where we have briefly .ieseribe.l sueh a scone 

Another trail is soon struck, an.l the do^^s all open upon it ,o . rce ' in 
nn u.s,ant they rush, pell mell, with a lou.I burst ofmin,He,l tonjrues. upon 
some anunal aIon,r the ,..|,,e of an old field destitute of tree- h 
proves to be an Opossum, detecte.l in its ni.^htlv prowlin,^ e.p,.di. 
t.on At f.rst, it lei.nis death, an.I. rolling, i.self into a ball, lies still 
0.1 the ,n-ound; but the do^s ,,re up to this -"possum pl,,vin,^" and sei.e 
upon .t at onee. It now leels that they are in earn/.s,. and are not 
to be decnved. It utters a low ,n-owl or two, shows no (i^ht, opens 
WKle US larjre mouth, an.I, with lew stru.^i,les. surrenders i.self ,', its 
iMle. 1 ut our hunters are not yet satisfied. eith.M- with the sport or the 
"x-Mt : Ihey have larire fan.ilies and a host of friends on the plantation, the 
« is ab.mdant. a,.d the labour in procuring' it not fatis,n,in.^ so tlu.v 
once^ more hie on the .lo^s. The Opossum, by its slow j,ait ^nd heav'y 
tread, leaves its foot-prints and scent behind it on the sof- ,nud and d,mn 
crass. Another is soon starte.l, and hastens up the first smnil .^um o.k 
or persunmon tree, within its reach ; it has clambered up to the hi'.rhest* 
Innl), and sits erouehin- up with eyes closed to avoid the li-ht. "Off jacket 
Jim. and shake him down ; show that you know more about 'possum than" 
your Koo,l-for-nutten fox-doj;." As the Ic How ascends, the animal .■ontinues 
"H.untu.jr hi.dier to j,^et beyond his reach; still he in pursuit 
until the ailriuhted Opossum has reached the farthest twitron the extreme 
branch.'s of the tree. Th,> ne-ro now commences shaking.' (he tall pliant 
tree top ; while with its hin.l hands rendere.l convenient and (lexible l,v its 
opi)osms thumb, and with its prehensile tail, the Opossum holds <,n with 
ffreat tenacity. But it cannot lonp: resist the rapidly accumulating jerks 
ami shocks: suddenly the feet slip from the smooth tinv limb, and it han-^s 
suspended fi,r a few moments only by its t,.il. i,- ihc"menntime trvin-^^o 
re-am its hold with its idn.l hands ; but another sudden jerk br.-",ks"lhe 
tw.s, and down comes the poor animal, doubled up like a ball into 
t.eopen,.d of ea-cr and relentless canine foes; the poor creature 
drops, and yields to fate without a struffffle. 

In this manner half a dozen or more Opossums arc som,.times captured 
before m.dnight. The sul,sequent boasts about the superior noses speed 
ind courage of the several dogs that compo.'*ed this small motley pack- 

( •• 1 




the fat feast that succeeded on the following cveninj^, prolonged beyond 
the hour of midnight, the boisterous laugh and the merry song, we leavt 
to be detailed by others, although we confess we have not been uninter 
ested spectators of such scenes. 

" Lot iKit nnibitioii mwk their iisufiil toil, 
" Their homely joys and destiny ohscnre, 
" Nor grnndeur lieiir with a (hsdiiinful smile, 
" The siiiiplo pleiusures of the humhle jioor." 

The habit of feigning death to deceive an enemy is common to several 
species of (luadrupeds, and we on several occasions witnessed it in our com- 
mon red fox (V. Fuivus). But it is more strikingly exhibited in the Opos- 
sum than in any other animal with which we are actiuainted. When it 
is shaken from a tree and falls among grass and shubbery, or when detect- 
ed in such situations, it doubles itself into a heap and feigns death so 
artfu'ly, that we have known some schoolboys carrying home for a quarter 
of a mile an individual of this species, stating that when they first Haw it, 
it was running on the ground, and they could not tell what had killed it.' 
Wo would not, however, advise that the hand should on such occasions be 
suffered to come too familitirly in contact with the mouth, lest the too 
curious meddler should on a sudden be startled with an unexpected ami 
unwelcome gripe. 

This species has scarcely any note of recognition, and is remarkably 
silent ; when molested, it utters a low growl ; at other times its voice re- 
sembles the hissing of a cat. The Opossum displays no cunning in 
avoiding traps set to capture it, entering almost any kind of trap, very 
commonly being taken in a log traj) called a dead fall. 

From its very prolific nature it can afford to have many enemies. In 
addition to the incessant war waged against it by men and dogs, we have 
ascertained that its chief enemy among rap.-icious birds is the Virginian 
owl, (*V/vj,' Virginiana,) which ilying abroad at the same hour in which the 
Opossum is on foot, pounces on it, and kills it with great ease. We htive 
heard of an instance in which it was seen in the talons of the white-hetided 
eagle, {HtilieUi<! Icucocrphalus,) and of two or three in which the great hen- 
hawk (F. Borcnhs) was observed feeding upon it. W(> recollect no instancti 
of its having been killed by the wild cat or the fox. The wolf, it is said, 
seizes on every Opossum it can find, and we have heard of two instances 
where half-grown animals of this species were found to have been 
.,»val lowed by the rattlesnake. 

Although the dog hunts it so eagerly, yet wc have never been able to 
hscertain that it ever feeds upon its llesh ; indeed, we have witnessed the 



(loR passing hy the body of a frrsli killed Opos.sum, and goiii<,' ofTlialf n 
mile fhrtht!!' to Trod on soiiu- oH'ciisive caiTasc. 

TheOpossmn is easily (ioincsticatcd wlicii ciiptiircd yonii-^. \Vf liavo 
in cndcavourinfj: to invrsti>,'at(! oncol'the very extraordinary characteristics 
of this species, prcsiwved a considerahle ninnbcr in coulineiiieiit, and our 
experiments were continued ihrough a succession of years, 'i'iieir nocturnal 
habits were in a considerable degree relinquished, and they followed the 
servants about the premises, becoming troublesome by their familiarity 
and their mischievous habits. They associated familiarly with a dog on 
the premisec., which seemed to regard them as necessary api^'udages 
of the motley group that constituted the family of brutes in the yard. 
They devoured all kinds of food : vegetable's, boiled rice, hominy, meat both 
raw and boiled, and tlie scraps thrown from the kitchen ; giving the pre- 
ference to those that contained any fatty substance. 

On one occasion a brood of young with their mother mad(( their escape, 
concealed themselves under a stable, and became partially wild ; thev 
were, in the habit of coming out at night, and eating scraps of food, but we 
never discovered that they committed any depredations 0:1 the poultry or 
pigeons. They ap|)eared however to havt^ ell'eclually driven oil' the rats, 
as (luring the whole time they were occupants of the stable, we did not 
observe a single rat on the premis(!S. It was ascertaincid that they 
were in the habit of clambering over fences and visiting th(! neighbouring 
lots and gardens, and we occasionally found that we had repurchased one 
of our own vagrant animals. 'J'hey usually, hoW(;ver, returned towards 
daylight to their snug retreat, and we believe would have continued in 
the neighbourhood and multi|)lied the species had they not in their nightly 
prowlings been detected and destroyed by the niMglibouring dogs. 

A most interesting part olthe history of this animal, which has led to the 
adoption of many vulgar errors, remains to be considcreil, viz., the gene- 
ration of the Opossum. 

Our investigations on this subject were commenced in early life, and 
resumed as time and op|)ortunity were allbnled, at irregular, and some- 
times after long intervals, :ind were not satisfactorily concluded until with- 
in a month of the period of our writing this article, (June, IH 1!)). The 
process by which we were enabled to ol)laiii the facts and arrive at our 
conclusions is detailed in an article published in tht; Transactions of the 
Academy of Natural Sciences, April, IHIS, p. 10. Subscipient investiga- 
tions have enabled us to verify some of these facts, to re mo re some obsen- 
ritifis in which the subject was yet involved, and finally to be prepared to 
giv: a correct and detailed history of a peculiarity in the natural history 
of this quadruped, around which there has hitherto been thrown a cloud 
af mv-terv and doubt. 




Our early authors— Margrave, Pison, Valent[nk, Beverly, the Mao. 
auis or CiiAyTEi.Lux, Pennant, and others. ooiitoiKlcd that "the pourh wiis 
the matrix of tlif younj,' Opossum, and that the mainiiiir aro. wilh rc<r;ird 
to the younjr, wliat stalks are to their IVuils." Di: 13i.ainvii,i,e and I)r 
Barton speak of two sorts of gestation, one uterine and the other mam- 
mary. Blumeniiacii calls the young when they are first seen on (he 
mammfp, ahortions ; and Dr. Barton's views (we quote from Griffith) 
are surprisingly inaccurate : " Tlie Didelphes," he says, " put fortli, not 
foetuses but gelatinous bodies; they weigh at their first appearance gener- 
ally about a grain, some a little more, and seven of them together weigh- 
ed ten grains." In 1810, Geoffroy St. IIili.aire propounded to natunviisfs 
the following question: "Are the pouched animals born attached to 
the teats of the mother?" Gorman, in his American Natural History, 
published in 1820, gave to the world a very interesting article on the 
Opossum, full of information in respect to the habits, &c., comprising all 
the knowledge that existed at that day in regard to this sp(^cies. lie was 
obliged, however, to admit, vol. 2, p. 7, " the peculiarities of its sexual in- 
tercourse, gestation, and parturition, are to this day involved in profound 
oi)scurity. Volumes of facts and conjectures liave been written on the 
subject, in which the proportion of conjecture to (act has been as a thou- 
sand to one, and the ditliculties still remain to be surmounted." And De- 
KAY, in the work on the Quadrupeds of the State of N. York, (Nat. Hist, ot 
N.York, 1842, p. 4,) states : "The young are found in the external abdomi- 
nal sac, firmly attached to the teat in the form of a small gelatinous body, not 
weighing more than a grain. It was along time believed that there (>xiste(i a 
direct passage from the uterus to the teat, but this has been disproved 
by dissection. Another opinion is, that the embryo is excluded from the 
uterus in the usual manner and placed by the mother to the teat ; and a 
third, that the embryo is formed where it is first found. Whether this 
transfer actually takes place, and if so, the physiological considerations 
connected with it, still remain involved in great obscurity." 

The approaches to truth in these investigations have been very grad- 
ual, and the whole unusually slow. Cowper, Tyson, De Blainville, Home 
and others, by their examinations and descriptions of the organs of the 
MarsupialiiP. prepared the way for farther developments. A more judi- 
cious examination and scientific description by Owen and others, of the 
corresponding organs in the kangaroo, the largest of all the species com 
posing these genera, and the discovery of the f(Btus in utero, enabled natu- 
r.'ilists to conclude, that the similar structure in the Opossum would 
indicate a corresjjonding result. No one, however, was entill(><l to speak 
with positive certainty until th.e young were actually detected in the 



uterus lior could an explanation oft!,,, peculiarity in the growth of the 
(<Etus be made until it was examined in its original bed. 

We have been so fortunate in five instances as to have procured spoci- 
mens m winch the young were observed in this position, and therefore 
feel prepare.1 to speak will, c-ertainty. We are not aware that the young 
of the Virginian Opossum had been previously detected in the uterus 

All our mvestigalions were made in South Carolina, where this is a 
very abundant species. For some years we attempted to arrive at the object 
of our research..s by preserving these animals in a state of cor.finement. But 
they were subject to many accidents : they fre.iuently made their escape 
trom their cages, and some of them became overburdened with fat and 
proved sterile, so that we did not succeed in a single instance in obtain- 
ing young from females in a state of confinement. From this cause the 
naturabsts of Europe, and especially those of France, who were desi- 
rous of makmg investigations i,i regard to our Opossum, have been so 
long unsuccessful. Their usual complaint has been, "Your Opossums do 
not breed m confinement." In this, Dr. U.kton and our young friend Dr 
M.cnBL were more fortunate, but in both eases the young were produced 
before they were enabled to .letect them in their previous existing posi- 
tion. We varied our experiments by endeavouring to discern the precise 
period when young were usually produced. We ascertained, bv havin- a 
number of females procured with young in their pouches, that' about the 
close ot the first week in March, a little earlier or later, according to the 
age ot the individual, or warmth, or coldness, of the previous winter 
was the time when in this latitude this event usually occurs. Here how' 
ever, another difiiculty presented itself, which for several successive sea- 
sons, thwarted us in our investigations. In the third week of February 
1847, by o(l,.rmg premiums to the servants en several neighbouring plan- 
tations we obtained in thre.> nights thirty-five Opossums, but of that 
number there was not a single female. A week afterwards, however 
when the young were contained in the pouch, we received more females 
tlian males. From this circumstance we came to the conclusion that 
during the short periml of gestation, the females, like those of some other 
species of quadrupeds, particulariy the American black bear, conceal 
themselves in th.-ir burrows and can seldom be found. We then changed 
our instructions for c-.pturing them, by recommending that they should 
be searched for in the day time, in hollow logs and trees and places where 
they had been previously known to burrow. 15y this means we were en- 
abled atdilFerent times to obtain a small nmnber in the state in which 
we were desirous of examining them. We feel under great obligations 
to several gentlemen of Carolina for aiding us in our investigation- U. 

! M 





|'i-<'<-miM- s|),>ci,n,<iis. .-specially onr n-lalivrCloiirl ITabkei.i., Mr. Joiinsoi^ 
mid .1a>ii;s h'lsiir.u. I.:s,|.. a ,.|„s.> ,.l)s,.f\ .>r and inl.dlij^cnl naturalist. The 
Intlcr. !.y Lis p.-rsrv.Tin- rllorts, pursued lor sonic y.-ais at Jordan's 
lAlills.on 111,, upprr walrr,-. of lli.- I'Misfo. olitaincd iwo iVnialfs in ?.Iav, 
lNli>. in (li,< p; win,.!, lu- knew we w.-re anxious to procinv 
.'"MM. and l.rou-l.l ilinnloiis wiilionl having been proviou.sly uwaro thai 
we liad piil)lishi'd (lie I'acls a year hrlbro. 

'I"h.- Opossums w(- W(-rc .Mialilcd lo cxaininr were dissoctcd on the IKh, 
1 Hh and ISih l'\l)ruar;;. IHIS, and on th.> l-Jlli and -J-Jd May, INM). Soum' 
ol'lh.-s,. hadadvan.-cd to near the timo of parlurilioii. The" yoiuiK oCtliosn 
hvou'j:Ut us by >lr. I'ishkr ra.-h w,M-hrd ^ frrains. Those of ono, snit 
iisl.yCol. llASKix.,.w.-ii;li,-d;?M:n,ins; and the youiiir of another which wo 
"I'taincd l)y a, Ca'sarian oix-ralion, at a moment when all (h.- rest liad 
l)t<Mi exeiiided, and (his individual alone remained, weij^hed I frn,ins. 
We remarked, that this however was a little the largest, of six that 
compos,..! (h<. funily, live of which were already in the pouch and attached 
to tlu> teats. Tla> on,> wei-hed HI and another .'H jr,.,.,ins. 
Tlie weii^ht, then, of the yotmu: ()p,)ssum at the moment of hirth, is b, rweeii 
.•{ and Uniiins. xaryin- a little in did'erimt specimens as is (ho casein 
the younii' of all animals. 

Th,- diMir.'e of life and animation in youny: Opossums ;it tlie mo- 
iiK'iit of hirlli has l.een sreiitly underrat..d. Th.-y are neith.-r abortions, 
as Hi.eMK.NnA.-ii repiTsent..d llw-ni. nor as Dr. Uauto.n has .l.-serihed them— 
"nol f.eluses. bul iivlatinous l)odi.-s. W(-iirhinfr about a ^rnin more or less, 
seven of them to-i-th.-r w.-i-hiny; 10 grains "-but little creatures that are 
nearly as well develope.l at birth as the yuun- of the white-footed mouse 
and s,.vcral other sp.-cies of rodenlia. They an- covered by an infeuum«.nt. 

nourish,-(l by ih.Mnninina.. breathe lhroujihn.)strils,p,M-lorin"the<)perations of 
nature, are eapabl,. of a projiressive movement at the moment of their birth, 
and arc remarkably tenacious of lile. Tin- individual which was dissected 
from the parent in th.- manner abov,- detaih'd, moved several inches on the 
labh- by crawlin- and rollinir. and survived two hours ; the thermom.'ter in 
the room wasj.l (he time standinj; .at (iti° Fahrenheit. Th.- period of;r,.sta. 
tion is froju tift.M-n to sixl.M-n .lays. W.- recMv.-.l a liMiial,. Ih.m a s.-rvant 
who infor.n.Ml us. that h.. had that m..rninir s.-.-n it in inte.vours,> wi(h 
tlic male. \V,- (irst saw (he younj,' on (he mornini!; of (he 17(h day. Om- 
iViend Dr. ^ Minu:i„ .a jrendeman of hi-h schMitilic attamments. 

•";'' ;'''"^ '"■"' '"'"-' " <>i^.'-,mI in iiivestijratin;; the charact..r8 an.l habits 

ul (his species, in a coimmmi.Mtion mail,- (,> us. (Trans, of ihe Aca.l. Xat 
Sci.Mi.vs. April. ISIS. p. I,;.) j.ssuivd us from his p,.rs..nal ol)s,.rva(i.m in 
which h.' was careful to nole the hour of th.. .lav, the exact i)crio.l is 




1 r, (liiys. As hv [.oss,.,ssf<l hotter .)p|,<,.t,imiti«;.s of deciding in regard to tlif 
tun.", fh.. aninmls being in a statt, ofdomostication, we are rather more 
disposed to yield to his ob.serva-ions than to our own; there is, however 
only the .lid'crence ofa day bet-,veen lis. 

The young, when lirHt horn, iue naked and Ih'sh-coioured ; the eye.s, to- 
gether with the ears, are covered by a thin inl.-gument through whicii these 
organs and the protuberances of tlie ears are di.stinef ly visibl.;. The mouth 
iB closed, with the exception of a small orifice, sufficiently large to receive 
(1... teat, which is s«, thin and attenuated that it .seems no larger than the 
Ixxly of a pin. Length of body, 7-liiths of an inch; of tail, a-lothi 
The, nails, which can be seen with the naked eye, are very distinct when 
viewed with a microscope, and are of a dark brown colour, small and 
int.<-h hook.ul. The nostrils are open ; the lungs filled with air, and 
whiMi placi-d in water, th.; young float on the surface. 

'I'he number of young usually found in the pouch appear to be less 
'han those that are born. The highest number we have found in the pouch 
was thirteen, the smallest six ; whereas the preserved uterus brought to us 
by Mr. Vm,m, eont.iined fifteen. In all such cases, where a greater num- 
hv.v of young are produced than there are teats, the last of the brood 
must inevitably p.-rish, as those that are attached appear incapable of 
relincpiishing their hold. 

The manner in which the young at birth reach the pouch, and become 
attached to the teats, has been the subject of much speculation and in- 
•iniry. We had an opportunity of examining this process in part, without 
how,-ver, having been aware at the time that it was going on. We 
inteiKle.! to dissect a small female Opossum, which had been a few days 
in our possession, but ascertained in the morning at seven o'clock on the 
.lay .,ur examination was to have been mad.^ that she had three young 
in her pouch ; supposing from her small size, that she would produce no 
additional number, we concluded to spare her life. She wasonfined in a 
box in our study ; when we occasionally looked at her, we found her ly 
ing on one side, her shouhh-rs elevated, her body drawn up in the shape 
of a ball; the poucli was .jccasionally distcmded with her paws— in this 
position the parts reache.l the edge of the pouch ; she was busily em- 
pl.iyd with her nose and mouth licking, as we thought, her pouch, but in 
which we afterwards ascertained, were her young. 

At six o'clock in the afternoon we w.-re indued to examine her again 
in of having observed that she had for several hours appear- 
e.l very restless, when w.s .liscovcred that she had added four more to h.T 
pr.-vi()us number, making her young family now to eonsistof seven. With no 
inconsi.lerable labour and the exercise of much patience, we removed 

vol,, JJ. lis. "^IIIUYCU 


I \u 


I -2 -2 



three of th(i yoiiMi; iVoin llu' teals, one of wliicli pciislicti iiiidcr I lie pro- 
cess, we re|)liieeil tlie two liviiij^ ones in tlie poiieli ; ut nine o'elock ex- 
amined lier Mf^ain and found hotli fh(\ joini;;: once more altaclicd. We 
eaoK^ to the eoiiclusion, thai, slie sliovcd llicm into the pouch, and 
Willi her nose or lontjuc moved lliem to ihc vicinily of llie leals, 
wiiere by an instinet of niitiu'e, the leal wasch'awn itilo the sin.ill oiilice of 
tlie moulh liy snelion. We ohserved suhseiiueiilly, liiiil a yoiiii;,^ one llial 
had l)eeii exiracled I'roiu its parent a few moments helbre the lime wlien 
if would have been born, and wliich had l)een rolled up in warm cotton, 
was instinctively eii>i:a<j;ed in suckinii? at the lihres of the cotton, and had 
succeeded in drawins; into its month a considerable leni,'th of thread. A 
nearly similar process was observed by our friend Dr. Micrii;i.. lie 
slahis : "'I'he female stood on her hind le!j;s, and the b(»dy beinj^ much 
bent, the younjj; appeared and were licked into tlu^ j.ouch." 

There is a great ditlicully in deciding the question, whether the motlie: 
aids the yoimg in finding the teats, in conse(iuenee of iIk^ impossibility ol 
tlie speclators being able to know what she is actually doing, whilst her 
nose is in the pouch. We believe the; majority of naturalists who had an 
opportunity of witnessing our ex|)criments.caine to the conclusion, that the 
mother, after shoving them info the pouch, left them to tiieirown instinct, 
and they became attached without her assistance. We tried anotlnM- ex- 
periment that suggested itself fo us. Relieving that the mother woidd 
not readily adopt the young of another, or all'ord them any assistance, we 
removed six out often that composed her brood, returned two of her own 
fothe pouch, together with three others fully double the si/e. th.'it had been 
obtiiined from another female. She was soon observed doubled up with 
her nos(! in the pouch, and continued so for an hour, when she was exam- 
ined and one of her own small ones was Ibiiiid attnclied to the teat. 
Seven hours afterwards she was examiin>(l .again, and both the small ones 
were attached, but the three larger ones still remained crawling about 
the pouch. On th<^ following morning, it was ascertained that tlu! mother 
had adopted the strangers, as the v.diole family of dili'erent sizes were 
deriving sustenance IVom her. 

On another occasion, a female Opossum had been sent to us enught by 
a dog and much wounded, in consecjuence of which she died a few days 
afterwards, hut first producing seven young which to every appearance 
had been still born, ^'ef they were in tne pouch, and it ai)|ieared to us 
that the mother's uncontrollnble attachment fo her young, induced her 
to place her o(lsprin>r in the pouch, even after they were deiid. 

An interesting: iiiipiiry remains to be answered: Is the 0|)ossum a 
placental or non-i)lacenfni animal '. Until we were favoured with a 
recent opportiinily of carefully examining a uterus, containiiiir nine 



youn;^ o„ on,, side, an.l six ..n fl„. „tl.,.r, kin.lly Lrouj^ht to m l.y ou. 
n.-n.l Jamkh Flsuhk, w.. u..,-,. u.kU.I.. Cully „, unswnr this qm-stion 
<>".•,.,.|,„ns ,„..! ,.x:n,nM.ti„„s wn-,, wit„,.(l l,y Pn,|„rs M,vu. 
ruiK, [|..,,|.:, Drs. ll„K,,nK.K Min.r,,., Pu.u' i.n.l ..tlnTs 

Tho ()p„ssu,n is, as litr us w,. m-,- ul,N, ,o jn.lj^. Ir„m the s,M.ciM.n.s 
CXHUUM...I, a non-pla.M.nUil animal, inasmuch as there coui.i not he do 
tected.h,.sli:,.l„ ,.,liH.sion hetween the exterior meml.rane ofthe fe- 
tus and the inh-rnal surface of Ihc mother. Th,- meml.rnnrs consisted of 
a Vitellme sac, (illcd with ramilieations of omphalo-mescntcrie vessels 
there was a sli^'ht appearance of an un.hilical cord and umhilieal v^s' 
•sels, eons.itut.n;,^ a tru,. allantois, l.ut no portions of ihe.n were attached to 
the uterus. Tlier.^ was no appearance of a placenta. 

The Krowd. of tne youn^r Opossum is suprisin^^jy p,,,,i,i. y;,, ^^j,,,^,,, 

the lar«:es. youn:; on,- at a week old an.l foun.l it ha,l in,-reas,.,l (Von, .T* 

fXr.uns to ;j,) jr,,,!,,.. l,,,,,.,), of h,.;,d an.l horly exclusive of (nil I ' inel,* 

tM.I, - uu-h. Th,. youni, at this a^e were v.-ry (..naeious oflilc.' al on re' 

n.ovM,jr,„,,,,h,.y n.nain,..! alive on the Moor .vilhou. .inv ..overin.Mhrou.'b 

a e,,o| n.j,d.l, n. a roon, containinif no fir,-, an,l still ,,.d a sli-^.t 

•"ot.on attwelve o'clock ,.n ih,. Il.llowinjr -lay. The teats of th,- mother aller 

they,.nn;,H.a,l l.,-,-,, ^M-ntly drawn off n.ea.sured an inch in len«,h, havin-^ 

.>een much distended, and appeared to have h,-en drawn into the stomach of 

the young. The pouch,.s of the younj,- Icmah-s were quite apparent ; thev 

used then- prehensile tails, which could now l,e frequently seen entwin,-d 

uroun.l (he necks of others. At twelve day.s old the eyes were still close.l had ma.Ie their app,-arance on the moustache ; the orifice of 

thv ears were beginning to be develop,-d, and the nails were quite visible 

and sharp. 

When the young are four weeks ol.I, they begin from time to time to 
relax the.r hold on the teats, and may now be seen with their heads occa- 
s.onally out of the pouch. A week later, ami they venture to steal occa 
sionallylrom their snug retreat in the pouch, an,l are often .seen on the 
mother's back .securing themselves by entwining their tails around hers 
In th,s situation she moves from place to place in search of foo,l, carry- 
ing her whole family along with her, to which .she is much attached an.l in 
whose delenc. she exhibits a con- iderable degree of courage, growlin- at 
any intruder, and ready to use her teeth with great .severity on man or 
Hog. In travelling, it is amusing to sc-e this large familv moving about. 
Some ol the young, n,-arly the size of rats, have their tails entwined around 
the legs ot the mother, and some around her neek. thus they are dra--ed 
along. They have a mild and imiocent look, and are sleek, and in-line 
coid.tion. an,I this is the only age in v,-hieh the word pretty can be ap- 

! 1! 

5' f 

I 4 


& i 



ve 'hf T, '^' ^TT ;"' '^"' " "'"^"' ^" '^"•^ half of her previous 
weght. The whole fam.Iy of yomigremaia with her about two months 
and cont.nue m the vicinity till autumn. In the meantime, a second and' 
often a th,rd brood is produced, and thus twoorn.ore broils of difiv".u 
ages may be seen, soinctimes with the mother, and at other times not ihr 

prlt'lr"'"' "f ^'^V^^^P^'- °f «"•• g'-ay rabbit, is one of the most 
prohhc of our quadrupeds. We consider the early parts of the thrPP 
months of March May and July, as the periods in LTcaro inl vh^ 
they successively brmg forth; it is even probable that they breed stU 
more frequently, as we have observed the young during aU the sprt 
and summer months. I„ ,he month of May, 1830, whilst searching! a 

the of the Florida rat. we were startled on finding our boot uncere 
momously and rudely seized by ,.n animal which wc^ soon ascer led 
was a female Opossum. She had in her pouch five very small ^1 
whilst. seven others, about the size of full grown rats were'dZ d^:; 
ing from under the rubbish. The females produce young at a year old 

but' haTth "^ '^'' '° ""^ '^^"^ ^""^ ^' ^^^'•>- - 'h-^- - Mar 
but have their young as soon as the middle ,.f the succeeding May 

There IS, of course, in this as wrll as in other species, some degree of 

irregularity in the time of their producing, as well as in the num'er of 

the r young We have reason to believe, also, that this species is more 

prolific in the southern than in the Middle States. 


The Hudson River may be regarded as the farthest eastern limit of the 

the east of the Hudson, m the southern counties of New-York as well as 
on Long-Island and the warmer parts of the Eastern States, as the living 
animals ai-e constantly carried there, and we have little doubt that if it was 
considered important it could be encouraged to multiply there It has 
been stated to us that in New-Jersey, within five or ten miles of New- York 
as many as ten or fourteen of these animals have within a few years past' 
been taken in an autumn by means of traps, but that their number is gradu- 
ally diminishing It is common in New-Jersey and Pennsylvania, becom- 
mg more abundant as we proceed southwardly through North Carolina. 
South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas, to Mexico ; inhabiting 
.n great numbers the inter-tropical regions. To the west we have traced 



il in all the south-western states. It exists in Indiana, Mississippi Mis- 
sour., and Arkansas, and extends to the Pacific ; it is said to exist in Cali- 
fornm. It is somewhat singular, that in every part oi' America, as ih- as 
we have been able to observe. ,he geographical ran^e of the Opossum is 
very nearly the same as that of the persinmn tree, of whose fruit it is so 
tond. 1 h.s we rej^ard, however, as merely accidental, as this food is not 
essentml to ,ts support. The Opossum .either ceases to multiply or to 
thrive m seasons m which the persimon has failed. 


In our plate, we gave Pennant as the originator of the scientific nan.. 
of this We find, however, that he only calls it the Virginia 
Opossum, with a reference to the Didelp/n,s mnrsupialis, L.nnehs. Gmemn 
subsequently arranged it un^Ier DuMj.Iu,. nunsupMs. As Shaw, in 
1800, as far as we have been able to ascertain, seems to have been the 
firs who applied the Latin specific name, D. Virginiano, we have, in ac- 
cordance with the rules laid down bj naturalists, given him the credit of 
trie sprcinc name. 

! fl 

I Nl 

If; i 




Incisive-; Canine—-; Molat =4). 

1 — 1 6— C 

The three first in the upper jaw, and the four in the lower, trenchant 
but small, and called also false molars. The preat carnivorous tooth ah, ve 
bi-cuspid, with a small tubercle on the inner side, that bclo^v with the 
posterior lobe altogether tubercular, and two tuberculous teeth behind each 
of the great carnivorous teeth. Muzzle, elongate ; tongue, soft ; ears, 
erect, (sometimes pendant in the domestic varieties.) Fore feet, pendacty- 
lous • hmd feet, tetradactylous. Teats, both inguinal and vental. 

CANIS LUPUS.— Likn.—(Var. Ater.) 

Black American Wolf. 
PLATE LXVn. Male. 
C. niger, magnitudine, formaque C. lupi. 

»; li 


Size and shape of the Common American Wolf; Cams, lupus occidenta. 
lis ; colour black. 


Loup Noir de Canada, Buffon> vol. ix., p. 364-41. 
Black Wolf, Long's Expd., vol. i., p, 05. 

" Say, Frank). Jour., vol. i., p. 172. - 

" Griffith, Anim. King., vol. 2., p. 348 

" Godman, Nat., vol. i., p. 267. 

Canis Lyacon, Harlan '.s Firana, p. 82. 
Vak. E. Lupus atek, Black Amor. Wolf, R.ichardson, Fauna Borcali Amer.. p. 70. 




We regard this animal us amen, variety of the Common .AM>ricai. 
Woll to be hereafter closeril,,.,!. un.l nvvd only h,-re observe, that all 

Wlute VVolt. the Red Texan Wolf and Ihe IJIaek Wolf, aiv of the same form. 
ullhou-1, in size the White Wolf is considerably the largest. 


Faee, loj^^s, point of tail and under jaw, black ; bodv, irrec.„|arly and 
transversely barred with blackish brown and greyish ; sides of the neck, 
greyish brown ; behind the shouhlers, under the belly and on the Ibrehead 
givyish brown. Some sj.ecimens are darker than others— we have ex- 
ammed several that were perfectly black on the whole surface of the body 


Length of head and body - 
Do. of tail vertebrjB 
Do. including fur 

Height of ear 

Fetl. Inchw. 

- 3 2 


- 1 1 



Not an indi- "dual of the party saw a Black Wolf during our trip up the 
Missouri, on the prairies near Fort Union, or along the shores of that por- 
tion of the V,.llow Stone River that we visited. Mr. Sav speaks of its 
being the most common variety on the banks of the Missouri, but. unfor- 
tunafely, does not state precisely where. 

Wolves of this colour were abundant near Henderson, Kentucky, when 
we removed to that place, and we saw them frequently during our rambles 
through the woods after birds. 

We found a Black Wolf in one of our wild turkey pens, early one morn- 
ing. He observed us, as we approached, but instead of making his escape, 
scpiatted ciose down, like a dog which does not wish to be seen. We came' 
up within a few yards of the pen. and shot him dead, through an opening 
between the logs. This Wolf had killed sev<.ral fine turkeys, and was 
in the act of devouring one, which was, doul)tless, ihe reason he did not 
atlempt to make his escape when we approached him. 
There is a strong feeling of hostility entertained by the settlers of the 

I' i f 

K I \ i 



wild poll ions of the coiiiilry, lowiinl tin- WoH", as Ium Nln'tiRlh, nKility, and 

cunninir, (in wliicli liisl (|Maliliciilion, lie is scarcci)' iul'crior to liis relative, 
tlie I'ox.) lend to render liini tlie most destnielive enemy of tlieir |ii;:s. 
slieep, or yoiuiK enlves, wliieh ran^e in tlie Hiresl ; liierelore, in our eoim 

try, he is not -e niereirnlly dealt with tlian in any otlier part ol' ihi 

world. Traps and snares of varions sorts are .set lor caloliinK iiirii in those 
dislriels in which lie still abounds. Heinj,' more (leet and perhaps lietler 
winded than the lox, the Woil" is .seldom pursued with hounds or any 
other do<;s in open chase, uidess Wounded. AIiIioukIi Wolves are hold 
iiini sHvaj;«', lew instances occur in oin- temperate re^:ions ol'lheir making 
an alt.ick on man ; and we have only had one such case conn' under 
our own notice. 'I'wo youn^? ney;roes, who resided near the hanks ol'tlu! 
Ohio, in the lower jjnrtorthe Stale of Kentucky, about thirty years af^o. 
had sweethearts livinj,' on another plantation, four nules distant. After 
the labours of the day were over, they frequently visited the fair ladies of 
their choice, llie nearest way to whose dw Miu},' lay directly across a lar<ie 
cane brake. As to the lover every moment is precious, they usually took 
this route to save time. Winter had set in cold, dark and gloomy, and after 
sunset scarcely ii glimpse of light or glyw of warmth were to he found 
in that dreary swamp, except in the eyr-s and bosoms of the ardent youths 
who traversed these gloomy .solitudes. One night, they set forth over a 
thin crust of snow. Prudent, to a certain degree, the lovers carried their 
ax(-s on their shoulders, and walked as briskly as the narrow path would 
fillow. Some trunsient glimpses of light now and then met their eyes in 
tlit> more open spaces i.clwet>n the trees, or when the heavy drifting clouds 
p:irling at time- allowed a star to peej) forth on the desolate scene. Fear- 
fully, a long and frightful howl burst upon them, and they were instantly 
aware that it proceeded from a troop of Hungry and perhaps despente 
wolves. They paust-d lor a moment and a dismal silence succeeded. All 
was dark, save a lew feet of the snow-covered ground immediatel . in front 
of them. They resumed their pace hastily, wilh their axes in their hands 
prepared for an .attack. Suddenly, the foremost man was assailed by 
several wolves which seized on him, and inflicted terrible wounds with 
their fangs on his legs and arms, and as they were followed by many 
others as ravenous as themselves, several sprung at the breast of his 
companion, and dragged him to the ground. Hoth struggled manfully 
airainsf their foes, but in a pliort linn- one of the negvoes had ceased to 
move : and the (>ther. reduced in strength and perha])s despairing of aiding 
his mifortunate comrade or even savimr his o\\n\ life, threw down his axe. 
spning on to the branch of a tree, and speedily gaine<l a place of safety 
i.r.\\(] the boughs, llerc i:c passed a miserable night, and liie next morn» 



n« >l.. honc-s of lri..„,l lay s..H,t..n..l .r..un,I .,„ th. snow, whi.-h was 

and M-. M lu,. u ulatf, tli« t(,rrihl,, calust r.,,,1,,.. 

A ..ut -. , .. .. . ,,., t,.is ..,,oi,m,.n(3,.. as w« wore truvdlin^' br,twn,m 
• t:;.;.;- ""7"-; -7'""-' "^"'* '"■•"-.'«'.' Ao... .us 
S.U. ol .„,|.H„H.) Ar,erpu.,i„,.u,.our. ...os an.l rnrn.shin^„ur.dr .'.„- 
.;- mto ,M.nv,.rsa,ion with „„.. w<.rt..y host, and wore invited by ' U. u 
■Mt.h.. vvol jmsuh.d. h.. had constn.ot.<I .houthalfa mi!. V,,, .,, 
>us. (.lad or tlH, o,,po,.tuni,y. w. a.oo,n,.aniod hi.n across ., (i.. M 
»..-. sk.rts ot the adjoini,,, fo,...s,. where he had three pits withi. ,. -ew 
-;; •" y-d. oreaC. oth.. rhey were about ei,.., L deep, broad I 
"' >'"' "»'oM. H<. as to render it i.npossihl. H.r the u.ost active animal to 
e cape ,rom ti.e.n. The ,nouth of .-aeh pit was with a revd n^ 
|.l.-^.<or„. of bo..,hs and twi.s. interlaced to«..h.. and at ac Ld tc: ' 
•..•-| o. tnnber. . hioh served for an axle. On this sort o phu, Z 
w ..,. was huiane..,! by a heavy stick of wo<.l .H.t< .1 to the u,!dc Me' 
a hux.. p,cc<, o( ,,u;:-.d v,,„ison was (i,-d for bait ' f . 

Pi., we re.rned to the nous. .. .4::::L:Z Zr ^ ^ 
h. nt o v.s.,,„, his pits daily, in order to see that all was ri«ht Th ' 

wo yes ha.l bn-n very bad that season ; had oestroyed nearly a I'nh 
an ... ..Hied one of his eol.s. •' iUu." added be, " ,L Z^^^^^ 
"Hull, and .. I have any luck, you will see son.e fun in the uli ' - With 
th.,s expeetatton we retired to rest, an.l were up at "I thik " 
sa.d our host, "that all is ri«ht; fbrlsee the dogs are anxious to , a^a, 
to the pits, ami althouj^h they are nothing but curs „n« '^ 

keen t.r wolves." As he took up his .u^ a:dr;:^: ^^ :::f ^ 
^ogs .,e,an to how land bark, and whisked around us as if f.^ or" Mil 
When we reached the first pit, we found the bait had been distu b d .' 
.1... platfonn was sotnewhat injured, but the animal was not i I p 'o„ 
;•> .unu.g the second pit, we discovered three famous fel.ow If' lul 
m .. ^o black and one brio, ,., all of .^ood si/,. Tl, , ^ 

I-. e„,..h, wuh ch.. ea. e,.,. .!„„.„ wZlrhi., w;:;^;!:'^" 

(ear n>ore than anj^er. To our astonishm„n^ fi V '"'Ucati. 

u.r .„ .,„„,„„.„ With U,c wolvex, shouU y „„„e „.„ hiX,!' , " 


' >, 1 'li 

•? f ^A.' 




and le.'iviiiR his rifie to our care. We were not a little .surprised at the 
cowardice of the wolves. The woolman stretched out their hind leys, in 
succession, and with a stroke of the ivnife cut the principal tendon above 
the joint, exliihitinj? as little fear, as if he had been marking lambs. As 
soon as he had thus disabled the wolves, he got out, but hud to return to the; 
house for a rope, which he had not thought of. lie returned quickly, and, 
whilst I secured the platform in a perpendicular position on its axis, he made 
a slip knot at one end of the rope, and thn^w it over the head of one of the 
wolves. We now hauled the terrified animal up ; and motionless with 
fright, half choked, and disabled in its hind legs, the farmer slipped the 
rope from its neck, and left it to the mercy of the dogs, who set u\ on 
it with great fury and worried it to death. The second was dealt with 
in the same manner ; but the third, which was probably oldest, showed 
some spirit the moment the dogs were set upon it, and scullled along on 
its forelegs, at a surprising rate, snapping all the while furiously at the 
dogs, several of which it bit severely ; and so well did the desjjerate animal 
defend itself, tli.-it the farmer, iipprchcnsivc of its killing some of his pack, 
ran u|) and knocked it on the head with his axe. This wolf was a female, 
and was blacker than the other dark-coloured one. 

Once, when we wen; travelling on foot not far from the southern boundary 
of Kentueky, we fell in with a Black Wolf, following a man with a ride 
on his shoulders. On speaking with him about this animal, he assured us 
that it was !is tame and as gentle as any dog, and that he had never met 
with a dog that could fr.-.Il a deer better. We were so much struck with 
this account and the noblti appearance of the wolt', that we offered him one 
hundred dollars for it; but the owner would not part with it for any price. 

Our plate Wiis drawn from a line specimen, although not so black a one 
as we have seen. We consider the Dusky Wolf and the Black Wolf as iden- 
tically the same. 

As we shall have occasion to refer to the characteristics of Wolves gener- 
ally agam, we shall not prolong this article ; the Black, as already stated, 
being, in fact, only a variety. In our account of the Conunon Gray Wolf of 
the North, and the While Wolf of the Prairies, which last is very common, 
we shall give farther and more specific details of their breeding and other 


All packs of American Wolves usually consist of various shades of colour 
and varieties, nearly black, have occasionally been found in every part of 
the United States. The varieties, with more oi' Ic^s of black, eontiinie to in- 
crease as we proceed fart her to the soutii.und in Florida the prevailing colour 



of th wolves .s black. We have seen two or three skins procured in 

tclTTru ?? "k '''^""'" " ^^" ^"^'^""^ «^ ^h« Philosophical 
Socety ot Charleston, obtained at Goose Creek, a few years a^o, that is 
several shades darker than the specimen from which onr d.rwin. wa. 
made ; and u. a ^an>, of seventeen wolves, which existed in CUeton Di.s. 
tnct, S. C, a few years ago. (sixteen of whicli were killed by the hunters 
m ejghteen months), we were infonned that about one fif.h were Id 
and the others of every shade of colour-from black to dusky ,rey and ye 

r "'"^•. .^'^^ "^r '^*"' °' ^^'^ ^^"^^>^ - *•- -"'hern par f 
Missouri, Louisiana, and the northern parts of Texas. 




Fox Squirrei-. 

S. magnus. colorem variens ; naso auriculisque albis ; piUs crassis- 
Cauda corpore longiore. ' 


She, large; tail, longer than the body; hair, coarse; ears and nose 
white ; subject to great mriefy in colour. 


SciuRus Capistratus; Bosc, Ann. du Miis., vol. i., p. 281. 

" VuLPiNus? Linn. Ell. Gmel., 1788. 

" NioKii; Ciitesby. 
Hlack Squiruel; Bartram's Travels in North America. 
ticiuKLs Cai'isthatls; Desm. Mamninlogie, p. ;}82. 
Vakieoatls ; Desm. Manimalogie,. p. 303. 
Capistuatus; Cuv., Regne Animal, vol. i., p. 189. 
Fo.x SijimuEi., Lawson's Carolina, p. 124. 
SciiJKus Capistratus ; Harlan. 
SciURus VuLPiNus ; Godman. 


This is the and most interesting species of the eenus, found in 
the United States. Although it is subject to great varieties of colour 
occasioning no little confusion by the creation of several nominal 
species, yet it possesses several striking and uniform markings by wliich 
It may, through all its varieties, be distinguished at a glance from any 
other. •' 

The Fo.x Squirrel is furnisb.ed with the following teeth, viz :— 

r • • • ^ . 00 4-4 

Incmve Cavme -; Molar —~ 20. 

' 00 |_4 

But although we have thus given to this species but four grinders in (he 
upper jaw. which peculiarity applies to nearly all (he .specimens that may 





■■»n frin. Himi 


I'IhIc IA\I 

-.huNnar, »,|i<^l,jjj,^,j|)| 5 

^.V . //^^/^/(/ 

ti*PmiMtO«'krJl St. 



1 ) 

'■ 1 

\ 1 
i i 



be examined,— yet, in a very young animal, obtained on the 5th of April, 
in South Carolina, and which had apparently left the nest but a day or 
two, we observed a very minute, round, deciduous, anterior grinder on each 
side. These teeth, however, must be shed at a very early period ; as in 
two other specimens, obtained on the 20th of the same month, they were 
entirely wanting. The teeth of all our siquirrels present so great a simi- 
larity, that it will be found impossible to de.jignate the species from these 
alone, without referring to other peculiarities which the eye of the practi- 
cal naturalist may detect. In young animals of this species, the tubercu- 
lous crowns on the molars are prominent and acute ; these sharp points, 
however, are soon worn off, and the tubercles in the adult are round and 
blunt. The first molar in the upper jaw is the smallest, and is triangular 
in shape ; the second and third one a little larger and square ; and the 
posterior one, which is about the size of the third, is rounded on its poste- 
rior surface. The upper incisors, which are of a deep orange colour ante- 
riorly, are strong and compressed. d*^ep at their roots, flat on their sides ; in 
some specimens there is a groove anteriorly running longitudinally through 
the middle, presenting the appearance of a doable tooth ; in others, this 
tooth is wanting. In the lower ja;", the antrrior grinder is the smallest ; 
the rest increase in size to the last, which is the largest. 

Nose, obtuse; forehead, slightly arched; whiskers, a little longer 
than the head ; ears, rounded, covered with short hairs on both surfaces ; 
there is scarcely any projection of fur beyond the outer surface, as is the 
case in nearly all the other species ; the hair is very coarse, appearing in 
some specimens geniculate ; tail, broad and distichous ; legs and feet, 
stout ; and the whole body has more the appearance of strength than of 


In the ."^rey variety of this species, which is — as far as we have ob- 
served — the most common, the nose, extending to within four or five lines 
of the ey«?s, the ears, feet, and belly, are white ; forehead and cheeks, 
brownish black ; the hairs on the back are dark plumbeous n^ar the loots, 
then a broad line of cinereous, then black, and broadly tipped with white, 
with an occasional black hair interspersed, especially on the neck and 
fore shoulder, giving the animal a light grey appearance ; the hairs of the 
tail are, for three-fourths of their length, white from the roots, then a ring 
of black, with the tips white. This is the variety given by Bosc and other 
authors as Sciiinis aqnstratus. 

.Second variety : the Black Fox Squirrel. Nose and ears, white ; a few 
light-coloured hairs on the feet ; the rest of the body and tail, black ; there 



are, occasionally, a few white hairs in the tail. This is the original Black 
Squirrel of Catesby and Barpram, (Set. Niger.) 

Third variety. Nose, mouth, under Jaw and ears, white ; head, thighs 
and belly, black ; back and fail, dark <rrey. This is the variety alluded 
to by Desmarest, (Ency. Method, Maininalogie, 333.) 

There is a fourth variety, which is very common in Alabama, and 
also occasionally seen in the upper districts of South Carolina and Georjria. 
which has on several occasions been sent to us as a distinct species. The 
ears and nose, as in all the other varieties, are white. This, indeed, is a 
permanent mark, running through all the varieties, by which this species 
may be easily distinguished. Head and neck, black ; back, a rusty black- 
ish brown ; neck, thighs, and belly, bright rusty colour ; tail, annulated 
with black and red. This is the variety erroneously considered by the 
author of the notes on McMurtrie's " Translation of Cuvier," (see vol. i., 
Appendix, p. 433,) as Sciurus rufiventer. 

The three first noted above are common in the lower and middle dis- 
tricts of South Carolina ; and, although they are known to breed together, 
yet it is very rare to find any specimens indicating an intermediate variety.' 
Where the parents are both black, the young are invariably of the same 
colour— the same may be said of the other varieties; where, on the other 
hand, there is one parent of each colour, an almost equal number are of 
the colour of the male, the other of the female. On three occasions, we 
had an opportunity of examining the young produced by progenitors of 
both colours. The first nest contained two black and two grey ; and 
the third, three black and two grey. The colour of the young did not, in a 
majority of instances, correspond with that of the parent of the same sex : 
although the male parent was black, the young males were frequentiv 
grey, and vice versa. 


Length of head and body - 
" tail vertebrae 
*' tail to tip - 
" palm and middle fore claw 

" sole and middle hind claw 

" fur on the back - 

Height of ear, posteriorly 














Although there isagenerrl similarity of habit in all the species of 
Sciurus, yet the present has some peculiarities which we have never 


noticed i„ any other. The Fox Squirrel, instead of preferrin. rich low 
lands. ,h.ckiy clothed with timber, as is the case with the Ca^oi • G.^^ 

rul^ch, ^^he,e the trees are not crowded near each other, and where ti^ere 
« an occasional oak and hickory interspersed. It is also fec,ue„t ^".^1 n 
.he v^cnuty o. nch valleys, to which it resorts for nuts, acor s and c Zl 
Vl>^ic.sua.apu„^^^^^ .hich such soils produce. In' some a J . : .' 

o llo t:r •" ' ?'f •"'^"' '"''' ^ '^'^' ^^^-^* '•- •'-"• -d mate a 
hollow tree of any kmd is sufficient lor its purpose if Nature has prepared 
a hole, a . occupied, if otherwise, the animal finds no difiicu.ty ingZ 
.nj,^ one or several, for its accommodation. The tree selected is in n 

^jMUfiA .sponsu) too, IS irequent V a comnefitor fnt- fk„ 

.ts rsgs or young i„ such silualinns ■» scl.lom oiecte,] -r, "^ '"" 

f«™.;.,e ,„.„„.„„, „„, ,„ cha.„,a„.n,ea;;^: h j,:":.r„t:;; 

N,„„.,Tl ,hai may approach .heir „e«, nor ar, they id,c ,v h "l bTk 

".1 .o„.nc, b„. co„,inuc,, his,,.,,. „„„ clapping , hoi ;„':„ 
'l"'",lr„dcr,.,<,xpcllc,l. On ,he other han.l, when ,he Souirre]! 
youa, in ,he hoic of a .ree, and i. „ „ oi.hor 4^- , ^ 

L°r f „ro,:r ^r;:. "-" --■•■■*:-«--" :i: 
.;.;. an. vi.o„r ■:x.::::j^-!z: :Z rr ::r 

m.ler on the p„,«.„ion, of o.her,, as if conscious „f ,he iujSe „f i" 
ae s, cv,nce» a .Icgree of pusillanimity and cowardice 

111 the vi(-ni!ty of the permanent residence of the P,.v «„ • 1 




FOX .scillliUEL 

that scnrcely bears any rosemhlaiicc, to the l)arkiii<; which they utter or 
other occasions. The young are produced from the beginning of Mnrcfi, 
and soMictinies earlier, to April. The nests containing I lien), whicti we 
have had iipj)orlunlties of examining, \V(M'e always in liollow trees. They 
receive the nonrislmient of the mother for four or live weeks, when they 
are leil to shift lor tliemseh'es, but continue to reside in t..e vicinity of, and 
even to ->ccupy the same wests with, their parents till autumn. It has been 
asserted .)_, several planters of Carolina, that this species has two broods 
(luring the season. 

The food of the Fox Scjuirrel is various ; besides acorns, and differ- 
ent kinds of nuts, its principal subsistence ibr many weeks in autumn 
is the fruit extracted from the cones of the pine, especially the 
long-leaved pitch pine, (l^inus paluxtris.) Whilst the green corn is 
yet in its milky state, this Squirrel makes long journeys to visit 
the (ields, and for the sake of convenience frequently builds a tempo- 
rary summer-house in the vicinity, in order to share with the little Caro- 
lina siiuirrol and the crow a portion of the delicacies and treasures of 
Ihf husbandman ; whore he is also exposed to the risks incurred by the 
thief and plunderer: for these fields are usually guarded by a gunner, and 
in this way thousands of squirrels are destroyed during the green corn 

season. The Fox Stjuirrel does not appear to lay up any winter stores 

there appears to be no Ibod in any of his nests, nor does he, like the red 
scjuirrel, {Sciurns hiidsonius), resort to any hoards which in the season of 
abundance were buried in the earth, or concealed under logs and leaves. 
During the winter season he leaves his retreat but seldom, and then only ibr 
a little wliile and in line weather in the middle of the day. He has evidently 
the power, like the marmot and racoon, of being sustained for a consider- 
able length of time without much suffering in the absence of food. When 
this animal makes his appearance in winter, he is seen searching 
among the leaves where the wild turkey has been busy at work, and 
gleaning the refuse acorns which have escaped its search ; at such times, 
also, this squirrel does not reject worms and insects which he may detect 
beneath the bark of fallen or decayed trees. Towards spring, he feeds on 
the buds of hickory, oak, and various other trees, as well as on several 
kinds of roots, especially the wild potato, {A/tios luherosu.) As the spring 
advances farther, he is a constant visitor to the black mulberry tn .•, 
{\forus rubra,) where he finds a supply for several weeks. From this 
tunc till winter, the fruits of the field and forest enable him to revel in 

Most other species of this genus when alarmed in the woods innufdiately 
betake themselves to the first convenient tree that presents itselli — not so 


wifh rho F„x Scnirrel. When ho is awaro ol' l.Hn, ..iscovered whilst 1 
ho «ro„nc he push.s ,,i....„y for a hollow tree, which i.s oOen a quart 
of a m.le chstanf, and it n^iuire. a .^ood do., a man on hors.-l,,.' ,, . 
very.sw.(t runnn-, to induce him to alter his eourse. or hi.n to 
a cen any other tree. When he i.s silently seated on a tree and in.a.i.'s 
..mse unperee.ved ly the p,.rson approaching hin., he sud.lenly spreads .„y on the liu.l. , n.ovin. to the opposite sid.- o.L by 

th. stratagem escapes detection. When, however, he is on a small tree 
and IS made aware of being observed, he utters a few querulous barkin^^ 
notes, and uumediately leaps to the ground, and hastens to a more secure 
retreat. If overtaken by a dog, he defends himself with great spirit, and 
IS often an overuuttch for the small terriers which are used for the purpose 
01 treemg hmi. ' ^ ' 

He is very tenacious of life, and an ordinary shot gun, although it ma- 
wound hun repeatedly, will seldom bring him down from the tops „ th; 
h gh PUJ.S to wh,ch he retreats when pursued, and in such situation 
nfle IS the only certain enemy he has to dread. 

This Squirrel is seldom seen out of its retreat early in the mornin^ and 
evemng. as ,s t e habit of other species. He seems to be a a'^ris 
and ly makes his appearance at 10 or ,1 o'clock, and retit^s to hi^ 
om,e e long before evening. He does not appear to indulge so n" en |y 
n> the barkuig propensities of the genus as the other and smalhr 'ped 
Th,.s note, when heard, is not very loud, but hoarse and gutteral i^ 

oasdy domesfc^Ued, and is occasionally seen in cages, but is less act ve 
and sprightly than the smaller species. 

As an article of food, the Fox Squirrel is apparently equallv good with 

any other species, although we have observed that'the litt e C^ o i . 

qu.rrel ts usually preferred, as being more tender and delicate. W 7 

rkL7or""'''' are very abundant, men soon become surfeite.l with 

generally considered a great delicacy. 

This species, like all the rest of the squirrels, is infested durin^ the 

tiri":r^ i ;? ^""""-'-^ '^^^-^ ^''-"■-^' -'-•'> fastenm ;; ,'; 

on t neck or shoulders, must be very annoying, as those most a^-eeted 

i oweTler ""•'"?■ '7 '^"" ''-''' '■•• ^'''''- ^•"" -^" "'-"--' 
m the oZ; "'"t ? '"'•■•"'"" '■'"" birds of prey and wild beasts 

pau > of owls, so destructive to the Cnrolina squirrel. We have seen it 
>. defiance to the attacks of the red-shoulderil hawk (fVe wl ' 

VOL. ili^— lfi( 



pox sgnuuKi. 

: It 

and opoH \vo()(!«, to vvliiohtlie liix mid wild «'at Mildoin n-sort, during (In 
iniddio of fho day, ho thiif iiiiiii is iiliiiost (lii> onlj- riuiny it \im to dnad. 


This spocics IN sdid in ixist xpniitiKly in NfW Jcrsry. Wr linvc not oli- 
Hrr\«'d i( (iirtlii>r iiorlli tlmii ViiKiniii, n<n- could \v«- lind it in ilir imoiiii- 
tuiiioUH districts ol'tlmt stalo. In the pine (iircsis ol' Noilh ('nidlin.i, il 
becomes more coniiuon. In the middle and maritime districts of S.nlli 
Caroliiin it is almost daily met with, although it cannot he said lo he a 
very abundant species anywhere. It exists in lieorKia, Alaliama, Missis- 
sippi, Florida and Louibiuim. 


This Squirrel has been fr^ lueiitly described under dillerent names, [{.mo 
appears to be entitled to the credit of hcviii>,' bestowed on it the earliest 
sjiecilie name., in 17SH, mimed it S. ntfpinu.s. The black squirrel 
orCATBDUv is the black variety of the present specios. 


GENUS C01VI)YLl/llA.-I,,u«„. 


Incmvr - ; Caninr. ^~-\; Molar^ - An 
Mm.;.,., I„n... „x.r,„„i.y ciliat.,1 ; ,.ar,, „„„,., ,„,„„„, „„„„ , 

!::L';;:;;;'.""'^ - '""•'""■ '"-«' «-'«.i.«-.K™„ Jhi;,.:::i' 

(M...IUS) ,,„,l W5, (ct.Kla) " luu.l.l,,.,! mil " 
There is Ua one wdl .l.tonni..., species of this .onus at present known. 


CoMMdN Star-IVoheii Mdlk, 


C. narihus c/iruncuiat..s ; chu.Iu .,« pc..»> breviore • v«II.., . 
dnereo, nigricans, suhtus clilutior. ' ^""' "'"*'="'''' 


Kouttx ruisTAT(T8, Linii., Ed. 1*2 p 7'{ 

I-N. .M.«„ MO..E. l^.„„a„t^s Hist Q..a.l., >.,) ..„ p. 2^2 t„ 90, f. 2 
Pennant's Arct. Zo,,]., v.,i. i., „ 140 

iALPA I-ONOICAUDATA KUX. Hyst., «.,>.. i, ,, 188 ' 

Lo.u.,..,„ Mo... a,„d,.ura a lo..,u..,,„..ue, .>...., f. i., p. ,58 
^ Undyiura cnstata, Harlun, p. y(}. ' '^ ''• 

" (Jodm. vol. i., |), 100. 
J " C. inacroura, Ifarlan, p. ;«). 

C longip^uduta, Uichiu-dsonFaiinn n 1^ r> 
- " C. cristata, Do K.,. N. Ilist N J.'p lb """"™' '^ "^ 








In the upper j;i\v there are two larfje incisive teetli Ironr i.i 
tlie shaiK» ol' a spoon. The next tootli on each side is Ion-;:, |)oinfe(l, coni- 
eal, with two tubercles, one before and the other behind at the base, re- 
seinl)lins: in all its characters a canine tooth : these are succeeded by live 
small molars on each side, the posterior one heim; the larirest. There are 
three true molars on "ach side, with two acute tubercles on the inner side 
—the first or anterior of these molars is the largest, the second a little 
smaller, and the third or posterior one the smallest. In the lower jaw 
there are four large incisors, spoon shaped, and bear-ng a strong resem- 
blance to those in the upper jaw. The next on each side are tolerably long 
sharp, conical teeth, corresponding with those above which we have set 
down as canine. The four succei aing teeth on each side, which may be 
regarded as false molars, are lobed and increase in size as they approach 
the true molars; the throe molars on each sit! > resemble those above, hav- 
ing two folds of enamel forming a point. 

In the shape of its body this species bears a considerable resemblance 
to the Common Mole of Europe {Taljxi Eurojmi) and to Brewer's Shrew 
Mole {Scolops Brewcrii); in the indications on th(! nose, however, it dilfers 
widely from both. The body is cylindrical, about as stout as that of our 
Common Shrew Mole, and has the appearance of being attached to the 
head without any distinct neck. Muzzle, slender and elongated, termi 
nated with a cartilaginous fringe which originated its English name — 'he 
Star-nosed Mole. This circular disic is composed of twenty cartilaginous 
(ibres, two of which situated beneath the nostrils ;ire shortest. The eyes 
are very small. Moustaches, few and short. There is tin orifice in place 
of an external ear, which does not project beyond the skin. Fore feet, 
longer and narrower than those of the; Common Shrew, feet longer and 
narrower than those of the Common Mole; palms, naked, covered with 
scales ; claws, flattened, acute, channelled beneath ; hii d extremities lon- 
ger than the fore ones, placed far back ; feet nearly naked, scaly; tail, sub- 
cylindrical, sparingly covered with coarser hair. It is clothed v/ith dense 
soft fur. 


Eyes, black ; nose and feet, flesh colour ; point of nails and end of car- 
tilaginous fringe, roseate. The fnr on the whole body, dark plumbeous at 
the roots, and without nny amuilatiotis. (Ice|)ening towards the apex into a 
brownish black. In some shades of liyht the Star Nose appears perfectly 
black throughout. On the under surface it is a shade lighter. In the- 




I i 

colour of the feet we have seen some variations: a specimen before us 
has dark brow.i feet, another pale ashy brown, and a third vdlowish 
whit^ ; the majority of specimens, however, have their feet brownish 
white. One specimen is marked under the chit,, throat and neck with 
light yellowish brown, the others arc darker in those parts. 





From point of nose to root of tail 


From heel to end of claw - - . . 
Breadth of palm 


As far as we have been able to ascertain, the habits of this species do 
not differ very widely from those of our Common Shrew Mole. We doubt 
however, whether its galleries ever run to so great a distance as those oi 
the latter animal, nor does it appear to be in the habit of visiting hi-^h 
grounds. It burrows and forms galleries under ground, and appears "to 
be able to make rapid progress in soil earth. Its food is of the same na- 
ture as that of the Common M )le, and it appears to prefer the viciniry 
ot brooks or. swampy places, doubtless because in such localities earth 
worms and the larva; of various insects are generally abundant. 

The proper use of the radiating process at the end of the nose has not 
been fully ascertained, but as the animal has the power of inovin- these 
tendrils in various directions, they may be useful in its search after worms 
or otlier prey, as is the moveable snout of the Shrew Mole. When con- 
hned m a box, or on the floor of a room, this Mole feeds on meat of almost 
nnj kind. It is not as strong as the Common Mole, nor as injurious to the 
larmer, since it avoids cultivated fields, and conlines itself to mea^lows 
and low swampy places. 

During the rutting sr ason the tail of the Star-no«ed Mole is greatly en 
largeJ, which circumstance caused Dr. Harlan to describe a specimen 
taken at that season as a new species, uinler the name Condylura 

J)r. CJouMAx'. account of the abundance of this species does not coincide 
with our own experience on this subject. He says, "In many places it 
IS seanvly p-ssibk- to advance a st,.p without breakin^^ down their -ralle- 
r'.'s. by which the surface is thrown into ridges an.! the .uriace of the 
green swani in no slight degree disliKured." Wo have sometimes sup- 
posed that he might have mistaken the galleries of the Common Shrew 

^f i! 




i ! . 

Mf.Ie for thos.> made, by tlu^ Star-Nose, as to us it has always appeared 
a rar(> species in every part of our Union. 

In a ti'w localities where wt^ were in the habit, many years a^o, of ob- 
taining the Star-nosed Mole, it was always found on "the banks '>f rich 
meadows near running streams. The galleries did not run so near the 
surface as those of the Connuon Shrew Mole. We caused one of the. gal 
leries to be dug out, and obtained a nest containing three young, appa- 
rently a week old. The radiations on the nose were so slightly developed 
that until we carefully examined them we supposed they were the young 
of the Common Shrew Mole. The nest was spacious, composed of withered 
grasses, and situated in a large excavation under a stump. The old ones 
had made their escape, and we endeavoured to [)reserve the young ; but 
the want of proper nourishment caused their death in a couple of days. 

The specimen of the Star-nosed Mole, from which our plate was drawn, 
was sent to us by our highly esteemed friend Jamks G. King, Esq., having 
l)een captured on a moist piece of ground at his country seat in New Jersey. 
opj)osite the city of New-York, 


This species is Ibund sparingly in all the northern and eastern 
states. Dr. Richardson supposes it to exist as far north as Lake Su- 
perior. We obtained a specimen iive miles from the Falls of Niagara, 
on the Canada side, and have traced it in all the New-England States.' 
We received specimens from Dr. Brewc.r, obtained near Boston, .-nd from 
W. O. AvRES, Esq., from Long Island. We caught a lew of these animals 
near New- York, and obtained others from various parts of the state. We 
saw a specimen at ^'ork, Pennsylvania, and found another at Frankfort, 
east of I'hiladelphia. We captured one in the valleys of the Virginia' 
iMountains, near the lied Sulphur Springs, and received another from the 
valleys in the mounlains of North Carolina, near the borders of South 
Carolina, and presume it may follow the valleys of the Alleghany ndge as 
far to the soulh as those latitudes. We have never found it in South Ca- 
rolina or Georgia, but to the west we have traced it in Ohio and the 
northern parts of Tennessee. 


We have been induced to undertake a careful examination of the teeth 
of this species, which forms the type of the genus, in consequence of the 
wideiliti; reiices existing among authors in regard to the characters of the 
iccth. Dkmarkst ga\c six incisors above ;ind lour below in the under ja,w 

star.nosb:d mole. 


cheek-teeth fourteen above and sixteen beneath. In this arrangement he 
IS followed by Harlan, Gudman, GRiFFrn., Db Ka7 and others. The de- 
scription of the teeth, by DrsMA,u«r, is very accurate, and so is the very 
recent one of Dr. Dk Kav. F. Cnvncu, on whose jud.anent, in regard to 
cliaracfers Ibunde.l on d.Mi.ition, we would sooner rely than on that of any 
other naturalist, has on th.. other hand, (/;..v dents dcs mmmifSrcs, 182.1 
p. 5G,) g-ven descriptions and figures of th(^se teeth, there being two in- 
ciswe, two canine, and sixteen molar above, and two incisive, two canine 
and fourteen molar below. Our recent examination of a series of skulls 
IS m accordance with his views, and we have adopted his dental arrange- 
ment. The dilFerence, however, between these autiiors is more in appear- 
ance than in reality. The incisors, canine, an.l false molars, in their cha- 
racter so nearly approach each other, that it is exceedingly dilficult to 
assign to the several grades of teeth their true position in the dental 

LiNN^us described this species under the name of Sorex cristatm in 
177(5, (12th edition, p. 73) ; Pk.xant, in 1771, gave a description and poor 
figure of what he called the Long-tailed Mole ; and in 1777, Euxlkiien 
bestowed on the animal thus figured, the name of S. longicandata. 
1 knnant's specimen was received Irom New- York, and although it was 
badly figured it was correctly characterized " Long tailed Mole, with a 
radiated nose," and in his " Arctic Zoology " he describes it as " the nose 
long, the end radiated with short tendrils." The whole mistake we con- 
ceive was made by Desmarest, whose work we have found exceedingly 
inaccarate, misled, probably, by Pennant's figure, without looking at his 
description. He gives one of the characters '' point des crates namlcs» 
when Pennant had statedquite the reverse. Hence the error of Harlan ' 
whose article on Comlylura longicandata is a translation of Desmarest 
We leol confident that this supposetl species must be struck from the list 
of t.-ue species in our Fauna. 

The Condylura macroura of Harlan, {Fauna Americana, p. 30,) was re- 
garded as a new species, in consequence of a specimen with the tail 
greatly enlarged. It was a second time published by RrcnARi.soN, who 
adopted Harlan's name; Gouman first suggested the idea that this 
might be traced to a peculiarity in the animal at a ,,articular season. 
It IS known that a similar enlargement takes place annually in thfl 
neck ol the male deer during the rutting season. We have examined 
several specimens where the tail was only slightly enlarged, and the 
swelling was just commencing, and we possess one where one half 
of the tail from the root is of the usual large size of C. macroura 
and the other half towards the end is abruptly .liminished so as tJ 


I t 


8TAR-N()Si;i) MOLK. 

leavo one Imlf of Iho tail to ,l,.si>,M.,.(„ „, ,h>w sp.M.ics „n.l (1„. othrr 
nuir Ibrciiif,' it baolf to its l.-ili.M.dr plan, i.i tl.r systmi oC 

Tl.o singular rl.ani<-t.T (kn<,l,l.,.,l tail) on winch this (Jmns was , r- 
roni-ously lomKlrd should sii-rrsi, to the naturalist tho i.c-.-ssiiy „C cau- 
tion. 'l'h.< tails of ,,ua(lru|).Mls in drying ollrn assume a v.-ry dilllMvnt 
shajH' Iroui that which tlioy oii^Mnally possessed. This is "rspcciallv 
the cas„ anions the Shivws and u.ic.'. that an; dcscril.,.,! IV.. u. .iricd 
speoinii-ns, as square-tailed, angular or knobbed, whereas in nature tliii 
tails Were rouud. 


' . .Jtwwei.aii WW J 



lncm.,\, Utcralinc^s^ve or false Canmr, from'Jlt; Molar frrnn ? '^f . 

from ao to 34 leeth 

Fncisivo teeth in the upper Jaw in.lentcd at; in the lower 
pr..cee,h„. from their aveoii an,l turned up;ards owll' 
therp,„„ts where they are usually of a brown eolour/ lateral ^ 
or hUse eonieal, s.nall, shorter than the cheek-teeth 

Muzzle and nos,-. much elongated ; snout, moveable. Ears an.I eves 
«mal; pendactylous; nails, hooked. A series of glands along the hnk' 
exu.hng u scented unctuous matter ' 

fiell'lt'"'" "'"" '•' '"■'"' '"'" ^^'^ '^^^^•" --' ^--' a Shrew. 

Authors have described about twenty-three species of Shrews twentv on the Eastern continent and thirteen in N. America. Z! 

ot are not as y.-t determin,.!, we can scarcely doubt 

We know no genus in which the American naturalist has a greater 
prospect of success in adding new species than that of Sorex 






Say's Least Shrew, 

vol.. II, 





/'()(/(/ ii/kmv biownish <tsh, nitininis lutinj/i. 'I'vrl/i hlitch, iml short 


I A 

-^OIUX I'AUVIiti S:iy, Lttlljj's l'',\|ii'(l., \ol I . I> KIM. 

' " Liiisl)}', Am. .Imii'iml, vol. xxmx., |». ;iH8. 

" Ilarliin. )). •.»«. <mmIi«hii, miI. i., |i. VH. |il., fig. 'i, 

*' " Uck.iv. Nat. llisl. N. \ p. ID. 

niwcKin ION. 

URN r A 1. H Y ' r k m . 

Im'tsivt ' ; Lnlmil inrisiir ; 




In ll\t' npp(>r j.'wvs (ln> incisors juc miwiII. iiuicli hooked, iiiid Imvc 
!V posterior lulx ; llic siici't-i'dini: lMl("ri\l i'licisors, tii'c iiiimitc, coiiiciil. 
i\ot lohcd. till' 'wo imtcrior ones miiic!i llii' larjicsl. 'riic tirsl ^jriiidcr 
is siiiallor than tlic sccoiid .uid lliird, (lie fourth is lh(< sinallcsl. In 
fh«' hiwcr.jaw tlu' incisors arc a li1th> smaller llian those in tlie npper 
They nvv iniicli nior<' hooked and have eiicli a lar^e |)Osteri(;r hihe. 
The two hiteral incisors are small not lolied — tin- >,'rinder.«i have each 
i \V0 sharp points ri^in^j ahoxe tlic enamel. 'l"he second loolli is larnesl. 
and the third smallest. ,\(isc slender and lonir. l>iit less .so than that 
ot" inanv other species, es|)eciall\ that of N. /miiiinixlris i.nd N. I{irh<tnl- 
tot.ii. M ii/,.'.le, hi-lohate, naked ; moustaches, luuncrinis, Ion;;, reaching 
to ihe slK)ulders ; i)ody, slender; eyes. vt>ry small, ears, noiu' ; the audi- 
forv oiit>i-\inii' heinsx covered hv a round lolie. wilhoul anv I'olds uhovo ; 
t'Tt spiirjely clothed with minute iiairs. palms naked ; tail thickly (dotlied 
with minute h.-iirs, tur, short, close, soft, and silky. 


.Ml the teeth are nt their points inten.sely hl.aok ; \vnisker.«<, wliite 
:uid black; point of nose, feet, and nails, whitish; the hair is, on the 
upper surface pluMil)eous from the roots, and of an ashy-hrown at the 
tips; a shade lifrhter on the under surl'ace : under the chin it, i.s of an 
a-hv >;rey ^jraduallv bh-ndin;:; with the colours on ilic buck. 




rnmi point, oC im.s»? to root of tail 




TliiH littl(, (iiTiitiirc. to wliicli III). „1 



follic Iforky Mount 
i( \\fts I'oiiiiil ill 

••ii|>liirc(l hy Mr. 'IV 


l{. I 

•ovf niitrK- wjiH (itt(i(!|ic(| |,y Sav, 

'I'.Ai.i;, (liirinii: \. 

l''M)k III, the pifilf. redder, ;u„| 

'lins, lit lOiiKiiiccr (Juiilotunrnt on tli 
pilliill exmvdle.l lor (•ut.!llin^r wolves. 

'ON'iM Hxpediiion 

iN.Moini, wliere 


••xntninintr (lie pit, inieM.le.j (or llie d 

nii^ine tlie nstoni.slnoe,,! of ihe (, 



pr.'il'-ies, when, iiislead of ll 

estrilelion oC (I,,. 



pereeivrwl (lijs, ||,r |,easl SI 


'trill lialiils lo ll 

Illy lo wliiidi this Shrew 

We has 
orex, found I 

le mole 
seen a (i 


"■ f,'.iine that he intended to enliap, 

■|.V riiiiiiiiii,' (icrosH the holloni. 

'ttKH. i.s .soinewhal, allied in (or,,, 

irew, liiiiii 

i"'iiiy speeie.s are now prohahly extinct. 

iiKiiK'iit oC a fossil icnninder of '' 

y our ytxiwtr fri,.„d |),.. [ 

nnnintr i-,.^ri„„ adjoining Lake S 



h;i,ve !)(■( 

iipenor, fro,,, the 

X' tooth of a 
Mu,sri'., of New- York, in iho 

■" '" l<-iist n, yard h.n^r, and no do„| 

size of whieh. thi 


nnrnivoroiis te,.th, a ll.nnidahle, of 

)t w 

l.^ Wl 

th it!' 

mid winiiiH of a eorrespondii 

|>''<7 ; whether it hud 

nilioii, is a, mutter of 
of ;;,'e(do«;Js|,s have tin 

i/e to feed upon, in its d 


inlial.iliinls of the aiieient 

mere eonjeeimc. us even the, wonderful d 
■own liiil Mill,. Ijjriit „„ ,1 

• y Utlfl ironc. 



world. ultlioiiL'l 

If modes of life of tl 


'"••'III time to lim,. |,v | 

t,'h some; whole skidetons 



'I'lie Least Shrew fei'd.N 

leir res(.arelies. 

or uiiy deud hird or heust tliut 

111)1)11 ins(-(!ts uiid lurvie. wor 

It ul 

«'!irth, hilt s( 

so cuts seeds und j,'ruins of ditf 

it muy ehanee to diseo 

lis und the IJesh 


•■ront kinds, [t hurro 


'k' nade, and rii 

•ks its food ,„„re upon the siirfuee of tl 

lis with euse 

scmir. birds of |,|-,.y |,„||| 

uroiind its In 

ws in tho 
10 tcround tliun 

irrow about fenei^s und | 

m-ekiiiH: its food 

'•<■ upon tlie Shrew, whilst it is i»| 


smell, it i 

on the (,'russ, (, 

s commonly |,.c, .^n,.^. | 

nt -'IS it has u miiskv. dis; 

|)iuyinir or 




killcfl, to rot 

on III 

"'^■•' l'i'^>^'''l "P .•' Kood many of these liitl.. ,p,a,lru„ed 
H-aruncc hud b..,Mi killed by either cuts owl 

on tho (ijround. 


a PI 

irises from a seereti 

s or hawk^ 

which tf 

ic sid(.s of the ai 

on .•xud..d from jr|ands whicl 



INI.O), This secivtion, like that o| ((Jcolfroy, Mem. Mils. If 

I are pluocd 
ist. Nut., Vol. i.. 

au-e, the scuson. &c 



inimals, varies acconiuiKto tho 

I lirovuiJs more i.. fnal»H ,i,an fema 

-;i ' 




Of the mode in which the Least Shrew the winter we have 
no very positive information. It is capable of sustaining a great degree 
of cold. We have never found one of these animals in a torpid state, 
when examining burrows, holes, or cavities in and under rocks or stones 
fee, for the purpose of ascertaining, if possible, the manner in which 
they passed the winter. We have seen minute tracks on the surface 
of the snow where it was lour feet in depth in the Northern parts of 
New- York, which we ascertained were the foot-prints of a Shrew which 
was afterwards captured, although we cannot be certain that it was 
this species. It had sought the dried stalks of the pig weed .{chenopo- 
(bum album) on which the ripened seeds were still hanging and upon 
which it had evidently been feeding. 
We are unacquainted with any other habits of this minute species: 


If authors have made no mistake in the designation of this species 
as we strongly suspect, it has a wide geographical range : according 
to Richardson, it is found as far to the north as Behring's Straits. I'he 
specimens from which our figures were taken, were obLined in the im- 
mediate vicinity of New- York. Dr. Dekav, in his Nat. Hist, of Nrw- 
York, p. 20, mentions that although he had been unsuccessful in obtaining 
it in New- York, a specimen was found in Connecticut, by Mr. Lixslky'! 
We have not ascertained its southern range, all we know'of its exist- 
ence in the west, is from Say's short description of the only specimen 
obtained west of the Missouri. 


All our authors seem anxious to obtain Say's Least Shrew, and we 
have seen dozens of specimens of young Shrews of several specie's, labeled 
in the cabinets "Sorex Parvus." 

Although there were few more accurate describers than Say, yet his 
description of S. parvus, is too imperfect, to enable us to feel confident 
of the species. There was no examination of its dental system, and 
his description would easily apply to half a dozen other species. ' The 
characters by which we may separate the different Shrews are not 
easily detected, they very much resemble each other in form, colour 
and habits ; they are minute nocturnal animals and not easily procured. 

There exist but few specimens in our cabinets to enable us to in- 
stitute comparisons, and a century will pass away before all our species 
ure discovered. We have very little doubt, that when the species which 



was obtained in the far West and described by Sav and that nf R 
BO. from the far north, and ours from the 'vie n^ of NeJ Yt'"''" 
Ob amed and cornj.ared and their dental system caret M^"' ^ 
w.l. be ascertained that they are three diJti cTs^ec '.„d oT ' '' 
cessors will be surprised that the old authors gave o t^^ Shr '"" 
wide a geographical range. ^ '^^"'''^' -'^ 

Say's description is siihim'n r«- 
above b.„w„li„i„e.„„: £l„ '"IZZla TrT' " '^' 
ears concealed, whisker, 1„„, ,.'"'"'"""' '""^ elongated, eye, and 

imes. of tail rt ?(; " d . •'' inches lour 

Ho„; d„:t:;:;,H ^:raz: a^nLrTenrr'-r" :: "rr'^ 

a...l body .„, inches three liaea, tail one Lh '' "" °' """^ 




Prairie Wok. — Hapkino Wo^r. 


C, oano cinerous nigris et opace puivo-ciii imeo-variegatus ; lateri- 
bus; fasciS taise Idta brevinigrS; cauda rectfi fusiformi 
cinfraceo-cinnameoquc variegata apice nigra. 


Hair cinereous grey, varied ivith black above and dull fulvous ciima- 
mon ; suhs pahr than the hack, obsoletel,/ fasciate, with black above the 
lesrs : fail straight, bushy, fusiform, varied with grey and cinnamon, Up 

y ^ 


Small Woi vks, Dr Praly, Louisiana, vol. ii., p. 54, 
Prairie Wolf, Gas-,. Journal, p. 50. 

Pkairie Wolf and Bukhowivo Doo, Lewis and Claik, vol, i., p. 102, 13, 203, 
vol. iii., pp. 102, 1.36, 20.3. 

" " Schor,!(.r,ift's Travels, 285. 
Cants Latravs, Say, Long's 'Ixped. i,, p. 108. 

'■ " Harl.m, p. 33. 
" God., 1 vol.. 26. 

" " Richardson, F. B. Ar. 76. 
Ltcisous Cajottis, Hamilton Smith, Nat. Lib., v iv., p. 164, p. 6. 


The Barking or Prairie Wolf is intermrdinfe in size, between the 
large American Wolf and the grey Pox {V. vinrinn/niis.) It is a 
more ' dy animal than the former, and possesses a cunning fox-llKr 
countp ,ince. In seeing it on the prairies, and also in menageries, 
in a state of domestication, \v,! have often been struck with its quick, 
restless manner, and with many traits o'' haracter that reminde.i ^ of 
sly reynard. 

The nose is sharp and pointed ; nostrils moderately dilated and naked 
—the upper si,, face to (he forehead covered with compact short hairs; 
eyelids placed obliquely on tlic sides of the head. Eyes rather small— 



rr.mstaches few, very rigid, extending to the eyes, four or Hve stiff 
nairs rising on the sides of the neck I,, low the ears. Head rather I road ; 
Ears, erect, broad at base, ruanin- to an obtuse point, ciotJied with 
compact soft fur in which but few of the longer hairs exist ; body, toler- 
ablyst.M.t; legs, of moderate h-ngth, shorter in proportion frhan ihose 
ot the common Wolf; Tail, large and bushy, composed like the cover- 
mg ol the body of two ki.uls of hair, the inner soft and woolly, the outer 
longer and coarser and from two to three and a half inches in len-th 
Soles of tiie feet naked, nails rather stout, shaped Ilk- those of 'the' 
(log. The whole structure of the animal is indicative of spc.ul, but from 
Its compact shape and rather short legs we would be led to suppose 
that U was rather intended for a short race than a long heat. 


Nostrils, around the edges of the mouth, and moustaches, black ; upper 
surface of nose, and around the eyes, reddi«h brown ; upper lip, around 
the edges ot the mouth, and throat, white; eye-lids, yellowish ' white ; 
hairs on the forehead, at the roots reddish brown, then a line of 
yellowish wiute tipped with black, giving it a reddish grey appear- 
ance. Inner surface of the ears (which are thinly clothed with hair) 
wh^te; outer surface, yellowish brown; the fore legs reddish hrown 
with a stripe of blackish extending from the fore shoulder in an irreg- 
ular black line over the knee to near the pans. Outer surface of the 
huid legs, reddish brown, inner surface a little lighter. 

On the back the sort under fur is dingy yellow ; the longer hair 
from the roots to two-thirds of its length black, then a broad line 
of yellowish brown, broadly tipped with black. Neck, reddish brown • 
throat nnd all beneath, yellowish white, with bars under the throat 
and on the chest and belly of a reddish tinge. On the tail the softer 
hair IS plumbeous, the longer h;iirs are like those on the back, except 
on the tip of the tail where they are black for nearly their whole 
length. The description here given is from a very fine specimen obtained 
at San Antonio ir- Texas. There is not however a uniformity of colour 
m these animals, although they vary less than the large wolves. The 
specimen whicU Richardson described was obtained on the Saskatch- 
ewan. We examined it in the Zoological Museum of London : it differs 
in some shades " colours from ours -its ears are a little shorter 
Its nose h>ss pointed, and the skull less in breadth-but it was evi- 
dently the ..„.,. species, and could not even be regarded as a distinct 
variety. The m.uiy specimens we examined and compared in 
various tints of colour differed considerably, some wanting the brown 

'^' H 




> W^' 




lints, being nearly grey, whilr niiiny liiul \>\ii.cM niarkinfi!;. on <ho shin 
and forelegs which were iil)s«'nt in others. In nil descriptions .»t 
wolves, colour is a very uncertain guide in the designation of species. 



From point j; m« t root of tail . 
Tail vertebr »•, .... 

Do. to end of liuir 

Height of ear, .... 

lireudth of do. at the base, 
From heel to end of longest nail, 
Point of nose to corner of eye, . 
Breadth of skull, .... 

Fore shoulder to end of longest nail, 
Breadth across the forehead. 
























We saw a good numl)er of these small wolves on our trij* up the 
Missouri river, as well as during our excursions through those portions 
of ihe country which we visited ))ordoring on the Yellow Stone. 

This species is well known throughout the western parts of the 
States of Arkansas and Missouri, and is a familiar acquaintance of the 
" voyagcurs" on the upper Missouri and Mississippi rivers. It is also found 
on the Saskatchewan. It has mueli the appearance of the common 
grey Wolf in colour, but ditfers from it in size and maimers. 

The Prairie Wolf hunts in packs, but is also often seen prowling 
singly over the plains in search of food. During one of our morning 
rambles near Fort Union, vrc happened to start one of these wolves 
suddenly. It made off at a very swift pace and we fired at it with- 
out any effect, our guns being loaded with small shot at the time ; after 
running about one hundred yards it suddenly stopped and shook itself 
violently, by which we perceived that it had been touched ; in a few 
moments it again started and soon disappeared beyond a high range 
of hills, galloping along like a hare or an antelope. 

The bark or howl of this wolf greatly resembles that of the dog, 
and on one occasion the party traveJIing with us were impressed by 
the idea that Indians were in our vicinity, as a great many of these 
'volves were about us and barked during the night like Indian dogs. 
We were all on the alert, and our guns were loaded with ball in 
readiness for an attack. 



In Tj'Xfis th<- Pmi.i.« Wolvrs arc pcrhapM more abundant than the other 
species; ihey hunt in packs of six or;ht, which are se.a to most ad- 
vantii-e ia iIk- eveiiinii', in piirauit of deer. It is anuwinR to bco tlien; 
cut across the curves made by the latter when tryinj,' to e:Hca|)e, the 
hindmost Wolves thus saving some distance, and finally striking in ahead 
of the poor deer iind surrounding if, when a single Wolf would fail 
in the attempt to capture it. liy its jiredatory and (h'siruclive habits, 
this Wolf is a great annoyance to the settlers in the new territories of 
the west. Travellers and Imnters on the prairies, dislike it for killing the 
deer, which supply these wanderers with their best meals, and furnish 
them with part of thrir clothing, the buok-skin breeches, the most durable 
garment, lor the wo- 'h or plains. The bark or call-note of this Wolf, al- 
though a wild sound u. the inhabitant of any .settled and cultivated part' of 
the country, is sometimes welcomed, m it often announces the near api)roach 
ofdaylight; and if the wanderer, aroused from his slumbers by the how- 
ling of this animal, raises his blanket and turns his head toward tli 
east, from his camping-ground und<-rneath the branches of some broad 
spreading live-oak, he can see the red glow, perchance, that frir.ges 
the misty morning vapours, givi-g the promise of a clear and cairn sun- 
ri.seinthemildclimateofTexa. renin th. . oft, of winter. Should 
day-light thus be at hand, the true hunter 1. .( once a-foot, short 
.space of time doer; he recpiire for the duties of the toilet, and soon 
hi. has made a fire, boiled his coffee, and broiled a bit of venison or wild 

This Wolf feeds on birds, small and large quadrupeds, and when 
hard pressed by hunger, even upon carrion or carcasses ol' buffaloes, &c. 
It is easily tamed when caught young, and makes a tolerable com- 
panion, though not gifted with the good qualities of the dog. We 
had one once, which was kept in a friend's store in the west, and 
we discovered it to bt; something of a rat catc+ier. This individual 
was very desirous of being on iriendly terms with all the dogs about 
the premises, especially with a large French poodle that belonged to 
our friend, but the poodle would not permit our half-savage barking 
Wolt to play with him, and r'enerally returned its attempted caresses 
withan angry snap, which r-., further. friendly demonstrations out 

of the question. Ors day we missed our pet from his accustomed 
place near the back part of the ware-house, and while we were won- 
deriP'; what had become of him, were attracted by an unusual uproar 
in the street. In a moment we perceived the :mise was occasioned 
by a whole pack of curs of lu :., and low degree, which were in full 
cry, and m pursuit of our Prairie Wolf. The creature thus hard beset. 

VOL !!. — 2(1. 


^ ' 


.(- j 






before we could interfere, had reached a point opposite a raised window 
and to our surprise, made a sudden spring at it and jumped into the 
warehouse without touching the edges of the sills, in the most admir 
able manner, while his foes were completely baffled. 

After this adventure the Wolf would no longer go out in the town 
and seemed to give up his wish to extend the circle of his acquaintance. 

The Barking or Prairie Wolf digs its burrows upon the prairies on 
some slight elevation, to prevent them fr^^m being filled wifh water. 
These dens have several entrances, like those of the red fox. The 
young, from five to seven and occasionally more in number, are brought 
forth in March and April. They associate in greater numbers than 
the larg. r Wolves, hunt in packs, and are said by Uiciiardson to be 
Hecter than the common Wolf. A gentleman, an experienced hunter 
on the Saskatchewan, informed him that the only animal on the plains 
which he could not overtake when mounted on a good horse, was the 
prong-horned antelope, and that the Prairie Wolf was next in speed. 

All our travellers have informed us, that on the report of a gun on the 
prairies, numbers of these Wolves start from the earth, and warily 
approach the hunter, under an expectation of obtaining the off^al of the 
animal he has killed. 

The skins of the Prairie Wolves are of some value, the fur being soft 
and warm ; they form a part of the Hudson Bay Company's exportations, 
to what extent we are not informed. RiciiA.iDsoN says they go under 
the name of cased-wolves skins, not split open like those of the large 
Wolf, but stripped off and inverted or cased, like the skin of a fox 
or rabbit. 


According to Richardson, the northern rar ge of this .species is about 
the fifty-fifth degree of latitude. It is found abundantly on the plains of 
the western prairies and sparingly on the plains adjoining the wood' 
shores of the Columbia river. It exists in California, and is found in 
Texas and on the eastern side of the mountains in New Mexico. 
We have traced it to within the tropics, but are not aware that it reaches 
as far south as Panama. Th(> eastern branches of the Missouri river 
appear to be its farthest eastern ran|>;e. 





There has been but little difliculty in the nomenclature of this spe- 
cies. Hamilton Smith, we perceive, has given it a new naine, from a 
specimen obiained m Mexico. The description of its habits, by LEwrs 
and Clarke, is full and accurate and in accordance with our own ob- 


C A N I S L U P U S.— Linn.— (Vau. Aldus.) 

White American Wolk. 

PLATE LXXn.— Malb. 

C. magiiitudiiie formaque C. lupi ; vcllere Havido-albo ; lu 

ISO cane- 

1: I 


She arid shape of f he g re,, wolf fur over the whole body of a yellowish- 
white colour, with a slight tinge (f grey on the nose. 


WniTE Wolf, Lewis and Clark, vol. i.. p. To7, vol. iii.. p. 263. 
Canis Lupus, Albus, Sabine. Frank. Joiirn.. p. 0.v.>. 
White Wolf, Frank. .lournal. p. ;ilJ. 

" Lyon's Private .lournal, p. 270. 
Li I'us Aluus Vak. B. Wiim: Woi.i-. llichardson, F. B. A., p. 68. 


In shape, thi.s Wolf all the othor varieties of lar-e North 
American Wolves. (The prairi<. orharkin- Wolf, a .listinet and ditfere,,^ 
Mpeci.>.. excepted.) It is lar,H>. ,s,out. an.! eo.npaclly l,„i|, ; ,1„. ,ani„e 
te«^ ;,rr Inns ; others stout, lar-c rather short. Eyo.s, small. Ears vhorf, 
and^tnaru^nhr. Feet, stout. Nails, strong and trenchant. Tail, lon^ and 
l.nshy. Hairs en the l.ody. of two ; the nnder coat composed of 
.short, solt and woolly hair. inters,„.r.sed with longer hair five inches 
• n length The hairs on the head and lejrs are short and sn.ooth, havinc^ 
none of t],e woolly appearance of iho^- on othn- portions of th,. body. '^ 


The short fur ber.eafh the lonir white ooaf, yellowish white, the whole 
outer surface white, there is a sli.^ht ti„«c «<' «r, yish on the nose. Nails 
black ; teeth white. 

Another Specimen.-Snow-wb.u on ev..n' parr of the body except th. 
fail, which IS slightly tipped with I ,ck. 



Another — Lijrht grey on the sides legs and tail ; a dark brown stripe 
on the hack, through whicii many white hairs protrude, giving it th-e ap- 
pearance of being spotted wilh brown and white. This variety resem- 
bles the young Wolf noticed by Richaruson, (p. 08) which he deuimiinates 
the pied Wolf. 


Prom point of nose to root of tail, 
])o. tail, vertebrm, ... 
Do. do. end of hair, 
Height of ear, • - 

l''aet Inclioa. 
4 (( 

I 2 

1 8 



The White Wolf is far the. most common variety of the Wolf tribe to 
be met with around Fort Union, on the prairies, and on the pliii.s bor- 
dering the Y<'llow Stone river. When we first readied Fort Union we 
found Wolves in great abundance, of several different colours, white, 
trrey, and brindled. A ^jood numy were shot from the walls during our 
residence there, by Edwaro Harris, Esq., and Mr. .1. G. Bell. We ar- 
rived at this post on the l'2th of .lane, and although it might be supposed 
at that season the Wolves could procure food with ease, they seemed to 
be enticed to tlic vicinity of the Fort by the cravings of hunger. One day 
soon after our arrival, Mr. Culhertson told us that if a Wolf made its 
appearance on tlie prairie, near the Fort, he would give chase to it on 
horseback, and bring it to us alive or dead. Shortly after, a Wolf coming 
in view, he had his horse saddled and brought up, but in the meantime 
(he Wolf became frightened and began to make oft", and we thought Mr. 
CiiLnr.HTSON would never succeed in capturing him. We waited, how- 
ever, with our companions on the platform inside the walls, with our 
heads only projecting above the pickets, to observe the result. In a lew 
moments we saw Mr. Cilher tson on his prancing steed as he rode out of 
the gate of the Fort with gun in hand, attired only in his shirt, l)reeehes 
and boots. He put spurs to his horse and went off with the swiftness 
of a Jockey bent, upon winning a race. The Wolf trotted on and every 
now and then sto|)])<Hl to gaze at the horse and his rider, but soon finding 
that he could no longer iiidubjfe liis curiosity with safety, he suddenly gal- 
lopped olfwith all his s])ee(l, but he waf too late in taking the alarm, and 
the gallant steed soon began to gain on the poor cur, as we saw the horse 
r.ipidly shorten the distance between the Wolf and his enemy. Mr. Cijl- 
iinnsoN fired oil' liis gun as a signal to us that 1.,. felt sure of bringing in 




thcbe.ast, and althoush the hills wnv Rainrd by the fugitive, he had not 
time to make for the brok.n srouiul and deep rasines, which he would have 
reached in few minutes, wlieii we heard the erack of (h*- <,nui aixaiii, and 
Mr. CuLBKRTsoN <,-alloping along dexlerousiy picked up the slain Wolf willi- 
out dismounting from his horse, threw him across the puuunel of his sad- 
die, wheeled round and rode back to the Fort, as fast as he had gone 
forth, a hard shower of rain being an additional motive for quickening 
his pace, and triumphantly jjlaced the trophy of his chase at our disposal. 
The time occupied, from the start of the hunter, until his return with his 
prize did not exceed twenty minutes. The jaws of the animal had 
become fixed, and it was quite dead. Its teeth had scarified one of 
Mr. Culbeetson's fingers considerably, but we were assured that this 
was of no importance, and that such feats as the capture of this wolf were 
so very common, that no one considered it worthy of being called an 

Immediately after this real wolf hunt, a sham Bufi-alo chase took 
place, a j)rize of a suit of clothes being provided tor the rider who 
.should load and slioot the greatest number of times in a given distance. 
The horses were mounted, and the riders started with their guns empty- 
loaded in a trice, while iit speed, and fired first on one side and then 
on the other, as if after Bufi"aloes. Mr. Culbertson fired eleven times 
in less than half a mile's run, the others fired less rapidly, and one of 
them snapped several times, but as a sniq) never brings down a Buf- 
falo, these mishaps did not count. We were all v/ell pleased to see 
these feats performed with nmch ease and grace. None of the riders 
were thrown, although they suflered their bridles to drop on their 
horses necks, and plied the whip all the time. Mr. Culbertso.n's mare, 
which was of the full, black loot Indian breed, about five years old, 
was highly valued by that gentleman, and could not have been pur- 
chased of him for less than four hundred dollars. 

To return to the wolves. — These animals were in the habit of 
coming at almost every hour of the night, to feed in the troughs 
where the ofi^al from the Fort v.-as deposited for the hogs. On one 
occasion, a wolf killed by our party was devoured during the night, 
probably by other prowlers of the same species. 

The white Arolves are generally fond of sitting on the tops of the 
eminences, O!' -mfili liills in the prairies, from which points of vantage 
they can easily (S-cover any passing object on the plain at a consider- 
able distfince. 

We subjoin a few notes on wolves generally, taken from our journals, 
made during our voyage up the Missouri in 1S43. 



Thpsfi animals are extremely abundant on the Missouri river, and 
in the adjacent country. On our way up that extraordinary stream, 
we first heard of wolves being troublesome to tlie farmers who own 
sheep, calves, youn- colts, or any other stock on which these ravenous 
ucasts feed, at Jellcrson city. iIk; seat of goverment of the State of 
Missouri; but to our great surprise, while there not a black wolf 
was seen. 

Wolves are said to feed at times, when very hard pressed by hun- 
ger, on certain roots which they dig out of the earth with their fore- 
paws, scratching like a coinmuii ,|.,g in the ground. When t\w,y have 
killed a Bulfalo or other large animal, they drag the remains of the 
carcass to a conceded spot if at hand, then scrape out the loose 
soil and bury it, and often lie down on th.> top of the grave they have 
thus made for their victim, until urg,.d again by hunger, they exume 
the body and feast upon it. Along the banks of the river, where oc- 
casionally many Hulfaloes perish, their weight and bulk preventing them 
from ascending where the sho.-e is precipitous, wolves are to be seen 
m e..nsi(I<>ral)l<! numi)ers feeding upon the drowned Bisons. 

Although extremely cunning in hiding thems<.|ves. at the report of 
a gun \volves soon come forth from dilferent (luarters, and when the 
alarm is over, you have only to eoncenl yourself, and you will soon 
see them advancing towards you, giving you a fair chance of shooting 
them, sometimes at not mort^ tlian thirty yards distance. It is said 
that althougii they fretiuently pursue Bulfalo, &c., to the river, they 
seldom if ever follow them after they take to the water. Their gait and 
movements are precisely ilic s.une as thos<' of the common dog, and their 
mode of copulating, and \\w number of young brought forth at a litter 
is about the same. Tin- div.-rsity of their size and colour is quite re- 
markable, no two being cjuite alike. 

^ Some (lays while ascending the river, we saw from twelve to twenty- 
five wolves ; on one occasion we observed one apparently bent on cross- 
ing the river, it swam toward our boat and was fired at, upon which it 
wheeled round and soon made to the shore from which it had started. 
At another time we saw a wolf attemjuing to climb a very steep 
and high bank of clay, when, after falling back thrice, it at last reached 
the (op and disappeared at once. On tin; opposite shore another was 
seen lying down on a sand bar like a dog, and any one might have sup- 
posed it to be one of those attendants on man. Mr. Bku. shot at it, 
Duttoo low, and the (ellow scampered off to (he margin of the woods,' 
there stopped to take a last lingering look, and then vanished. 

In hot w(>ather when wolves go to the river, they usually walk in 

ii ! 



li' ' 


up to tlieir sides, aad cool themselves while lapping the water, pre- 
cisely in the maimer ol' a dog. They do not cry out or howl when 
wounded or wlien suddenly surprised, but snarl, and snap their Jaws to- 
gether furiously. It is said when sutlering lor want of food, the strongest 
will lixll upon the young or weak ones, and kill and eat them. Whilst 
prowling over the prairies (and we had many opportunities of seeing them 
at such times) they travel slowly, look around them cauliously, and will 
not disdain even a chance bone that may I'all in their way; (hey bite 
so voraciously at the bones thus left by the hunter that in many cases 
their teeth are broken olF short, and wc have seen a number of speci- 
mens in which the jaws showed several teeth to have been fractured 
in this way. 

After a hearty meal, the wolf always lies down when he supposes 
himself in a place of safety. We were told that occasionally when 
they had gorged themselves, they slept so soundly that they eould be 
approached and knocked on the head. 

The connnon wolf is not unfre([uently met with in company with 
the Prairie woW {Cauls /alrfins.) On the afternoon of the llJth of .Tuly, 
as Mr. Bell and ourselves were returning to Fort Union, we counted 
eighteen wolves in one gang, which had been satiating themselves on 
the carcass of a JJutfalo on the river's bank, and were returning to 
the hills to spend the night. Some of them had their stomachs dis- 
tended with food and appeared rather lazy. 

We were assured at Fort Union tiiat wolves had not been known 
to attack men or horses in that vicinity, but they will ])ursue and kill 
mules and colts even near a trading post, always selecting \\w fattest. The 
number of tracks or rather patiis made by the wolves from among 
and around the hills to that station are almost beyond credibility, and 
it is curious to observe their sa<.;ae(ty in choosing the shortest course 
und the most favourable ground in travelling. 

We saw hylirids, th(' oli'spring of the wolf and the cur dog, and 
also their mixed l)roo(is : some of which resemble the wolf, and others 
the dog. M.'iny oi' the Assiniboin Indians who visited Fort Union 
during our stay there, had both wolves and their crosses with the 
common dog in their trains, and tlieir dog carts (if they may be so 
called) were drawn alike by both. 

The natural gait of the American wolf resembles that of the New- 
foundland dog, as it anihlcs, moving two of its legs on the same side 
at a time. When there is any appearance of danger, the wolf trots 
oil", and generally makes for unire j'lented hilly grounds, and if pursued, 
gallops at a quick pace, ;;liuost equal to that of a good horse, as the 



read.!!- will perceive from the following account. On the 10th of July 
18i;j, whilst we were on ii liulFalo hunt near the banks of the Yel- 
low Stone river, and all eyes were bent upon the hills and the prairie, 
which is very broad, we saw a wolf about a quarter of a mile from 
our encampment, and Mr. Owkn McKe.vzie was sent after it. The wolf 
however ran very swiftly and was not overtaken and shot until it. had 
ran several miles. It dodged about in various directions, and at one 
time got out of sight behind the hills. Thi-: wolf was captured, and 
a piece of its flesh was boiled for supper; but as we had in the mean 
time caught about eighteen or twenty Cat-fish, we had an abundant 
meal and did not judge for ourselves whether the wolf was good eating 
or not, or if its flesh was like that of the Indian dogs, which we have 
liad several opportunities of tasting. 

Wolves are frequently deterred from feeding on animals shot by 
the hunters on the prairies, who, aware of the cautious and timid cha- 
racter of these rapacious beasts, attach to the game they are obliged 
to leave behind them a part of their clothing, a handkerchief, &c.,or scat- 
ter gun powder around the carcass, which the cowardly animals dare not 
approach although they will w^tch it for hours at a time, and as soon as 
the hunter returns and takes out the entrails of the game he had left 
thus protected, and carries off the pieces he wishes, leaving the coarser 
parts for the benefit of these hungry animals, they come forward and 
enjoy the feast. The hunters who occasionally assisted us when we 
were at Fort Union, related numerous stratagems of this kind to which 
they had resorted to keep ofl" the wolves when on a hunt. 

The wolves of the prairies form burrows, wherein they bring forth 
their young, and which hitve more than one entrance; they produce 
from six to eleven jit a birth, of which there are very seldom two 
alike in colour. The wolf lives to a great age and does not change 
its colour with increase of years. 


This variety of wolf is found as far north in the Arctic regions of 
America as they have been traversed by man. The journals of Hearne. 
Frankliv, Sahinb Richardson, and others, abound with accounts of their 
presence amid the snows of the polar regions. They exist in the colder 
parts of Canada, in the Russian possessions on the western coast ol 
America, in Oregon, and along both sid, s of the Rocky Mountains, to 
California on the w.-st side and Arkansas on the east. We examined 
a specimen of the White Wolf killed in Erie county, N. Y., about forty 

VOL.11. 21. 




compared wUh .hose .r M:,o.,.lIZ ij '^Xr "»' "'"" 


Cold seems necessary to produce the Wolves of white varietv a , • 
regions from their alf;t,i,>„.. a- . .•_ variety. Alpme 

"» - . Lap.:: t:ir:::ranT. ts .!;:;:, 'ir 

are some of thpm «rl,;f„ t cl . '""o" giey colour — there 

An,..e„„, European, and A. ir wZ! alXr, 7""!"^ '"t'-^^ 

i^ociet}. We found specimens from the Norf-m nr.i ai • °'°°'<^'^' 

bo.h o„„U„e«, h„,e a s,r„„, re JbL;; „ 1^ 7;?'°''^ "[ 
.ize, their shades of eolour differed oalv i„ ^T . ™ "'"' 

either eountrv and we n„,ir„ . u ^ '"' 'f™'""!"' from 

who shouldTe able o Id^d! , ""r""'™'™ """ *' "»"-"« 

'n,o differen. ;:1, h d "a; '^di XT '" """'" "" "*" 
possess. " ' '"' ■""' penetration than we 

although we 
Id not when 


ty. Alpine 
ARD informs 
ilour — there 
ame colour, 
smpared to 
th countries 
ig the large 
lent British 

■ regions of 
1 form and 
Tiens from 

the Wolves 
n than we 












^ 1^ III 2.0 

- 6" 

iA 11.6 














WEBSTER, NY. 14580 

(716) 872-4503 


^^ >* 


GENUS OVIS.— Linn., Briss., Erxleben, Cuv., Bodd., Geopp. 


Incisive - ; 

Canine — ; Molar — = 32. 

0-0 0-6 

Horns common to both sexes, sometimes wanting in the females, they 
are voluminous, more or less angular, transversely wrinkled, turned 
laterally in spiral directions, and enveloping an osseous arch, cellu- 
lar in structure. 

They have no lachrymal sinus, no true beard to the chin, the fe- 
mnles have two mamma; ; tail, rather short ; ears, small, erect ; legs, 
rather slender ; h.iir, of two kinds, one hard and close, the other wool- 
ly ; gregareous. Habit analogous to the goats. Inhabit the highest 
mountains of the four quarters of the globe. 

The generic name is derived from the latin Ovis — a sheep. 
There are four well determined species, one the Mouflon of Buffon, 
Atusmon {Ovis Musmon) is received as the parent of the domesticated 
races. It is found in Corsica, Sardinia, and the highest mountain chains 
of Europe. One inhabiting the mountains and steppes of northern Asia, 
Tartary, Siberia and the Kurile Islands, one the mountains of Egypt, 
and one America. 


Rocky Mountain Sheep. 
PLATE LXXIII. Male and Femalk. 

O. cornibus crassissimis spiralibus ; corpore gracile ; artubus elevatis ; 
pilo brcvi rigido rudi badio ; clunibus albis o ariete major ; rufo cinereus. 


Longer than the domestic sheep, horns of the male long, itrong and tri- 
angular, those of the female compressed ; colour deep rufo\it grey, a large 
u)hite disk on the rump. 

I ' - i 

! 1 

! i 

I :j 


I ; 




Akoali, Cook's third voyage in 1778. 
W iLD SuEKP OF California. Voncgus. 

White Buffalo, McKcnzie voy. |i. 7(5. An. 1789. 
Mountain Goat, Uinfreville, Hudson's Bay. p. 104. 
Mountain Ham, McGillivary, N. York. Med. Her .sit. vol. G. p. 238. 
Bio Morn, Lewis and Clark, vol. 1. p. 144. 
'isLim Sauvage d'AMERiQUE. Geofi; An. du. mu.-,. t. 2. pi. 00. 
UooKY Mountain Sheep. Warden. U. S. vol. 1. p. 217. 
MouFFtoN d'AMERiQUE. Desm. Mamm, p. 487. 
Bio Horned Sheep. (Ord.) 

" " Blainv. in Jour, do Physic. 1817. 

Ovis Amnion. Harlan. Fauna. j>. 250. 
The Argali, Godm. Nat. Hist. vol. 2. p. 329. 
Ovis Montana. Richardson. F. B. Ainer. p. 271. 
Ovis- PvoARjAs VAR OVIS AMMON. Griffith An. King. Spec. 873. 


Male. This is a much larger animal than any variety of our largest 
.sized sheep. It is also considerably larger than the Argali on the east- 
ern continent. 

The horns of the male are of immense size. They arise immediately 
above the eyes, and occupy nearly the whole head, they being only 
separated from each otljt;r l)y a space of throe-fourths of an inch at 
the base. They Ibrm a regular curve, lirst backwards, then downwards 
and outward— the extremities being eighteen inches apart. They are 
liattencd on the sides and deeply corrugated, the horns rising immedi- 
ately behind. 

The ears, are short and oval, clothed with hair on both surfaces. The 
general form of the animal is rather elegant, resembling the stag more 
than the Sheep. The tail is short. 

The hair bears no resemblance to wool, but is similar to that of 
the American Elk and Reindeer. It is coarse, but soft to the touch, 
and slightly crimped throughout its whole length ; the hairs on the 
back are about two inches in length, those on the sides one and a 
half inches. At the roots of these hairs, especially about the 
shoulders and .sides of the nock, a small quantity of short soft fur is per- 
ceptible. The legs are covered with short compact hairs. 

The female Rocky Mountain Sheep resembles some of the finest spe- 
cimens of the common Ram. Its neck is a little longer, as are also the 
head and legs, and in consequence it stands much higher. Its horns 



resemble more those of the goat than of the Sheep, in fact, whilpt the 
fino erect body of the male reminds us of a large deer with the head 
of a ram, the female looks like a fine specimen of tlie antelope. The 
horns bend backwards and a little outwards, and are corrugated from 
the roots to near the points. Tail very short and pointed, covered with 
short hairs. Mamma; tivo ventral. 


The whole upper surface of the body, outer surface of the thighs, 
legs, sides and under the throat, light greyish brown, forehead and ears 
.X little lighter. Rump, under the belly and inner siu-face of liiiid legs, 
greyish white ; the front legs, instead of being darker on the outside 
and lighter on the insiJe, are darker in front, the dark extending round 
to the inside of the legs, and cn'ering nearly a third of the inner sur- 
lace. Tail and hoofs black. A i.'tvrow dorsal line from the neck to 
near the rump, conspicuous in the male, but comparatively (juite ob- 
scure in the female. Richardson stt.tes that the old male > are almost 
totally white in spring. 


Male figure in our plate. 


Height at shoulder .... 

Length of tail 

Girth of body behind the shoulders 
Height to rump ..... 
Length of horn around ilie curve 

Do. of eye 

Weight 344 lbs. including horns. 

Female figure in our plate. 

jNose to root of tail .... 
lail • . . • . . • 
Height of rump . . . . 

Girth back of shoulders 
Horns — 44^ lbs. 

(Killed July 3d, 1843.) 













• • 









Weiglit 240 lbs. 


It was on the 12th of June, IS 13, that we first saw this remarkable 
animal ; we were near the confluence of the Yellow Stone river with 

i' i 










Ti 1 




the Missouri, when a group of them, numbering twenty-two in all, came 
in siglit. This flock was composed of rams and ewes, with only one young 
one or lamb among them. Tliey scampered up and down the hills much 
in the manner of common sheep, but notwithstanding all our anxious 
efforts to get within gun-shot, we were unal)lo to do so, and were oblijrcd 
to content ourselves with this first sight of the Rocky Mountain Ram. 
The parts of the country usually chosen by these animals for their 
pastures, are the most extraordinary broken and precipitous clay hills 
or stony eminences that exist in the wild regions belonging to the 
Rocky Mountain chain. They never resort to the low lands or plains 
except when about to remove their quarters, or swim across rivers, 
which they do well and tolerably fast. Perhaps some idea of the 
country they inhabit (which is called by the French Canadians and 
hunters, "mauvaise terres") may be formed by imagining some hun- 
dreds of loaves of sugar of different sizes, irregularly broken and trun- 
cated at top, placed somewhat apart, and magnifying them into hills 
of considerable size. Over those hills and ravines the Rocky Moun- 
tain Sheep bound up and down among the sugar loaf shaped peaks, 
and you may estimaie the difficulty of approaching them, and con- 
ceive the great activity and sure-footedness of this species, which, 
together with their extreme wildness and keen sense of smell, enable 
them to baffle the most vigorous and agile hunter. 

They form paths around these irregular clay cones that are at times 
from six to eight hundred feet high, and in some situations are even 
fifteen hundred feet or more above the adjacent prairies, and along these 
they run at full speed, while to the eye of the spectator below, these 
tracks do not appear to be more than a few inches wide, although they 
are generally from a foot to eighteen inches in breadth. In many 
places columns or piles of clay, or hardened earth, are to be seen eight 
or ten feei. abc • the adjacent surface, covered or coped with a slaty flat 
rock, thus resernbling gigantic toad stools, and upon these singular places 
the big horns are frequently seen, gazing at the hunter who is winding 
about far below, looking like so many statues on their elevated pedestals. 
One cannot imagine how these animals reach these curious places, es- 
pecially with their young along with them, which are sometimes brought 
forth on these inaccessible points, beyond the reach of their greatest 
enemies, the wolves, which prey upon them whenever they stray into 
the plains below. 

The " mauvaise terres" are mostly formed of greyish white clay, very 
sparsely covered with small parches of thin grass, on which the Rocky 
Mountain Sheep feed. In vet weather it is almost impossible for any 



man to climb up one of these extraordinary conical hills, as they are slip- 
pery, greasy and treacherous. Often when a big horn is seen on the top of 
a hill, the hunter has to ramble round three or four miles before he can 
reach a position within gun-shot of the game, and if perceived by the 
animal, it is useless for him to pursue him any further that day. 

The tops of some of the hills in the "mauvaise terres" are composed 
of a conglom.M-ated mass of stones, sand, clay and various coloured 
earths, frequently of the appearance and colour of bricks. We also 
observed in tliese masses a quantity of pumice stone, and these hills, 
wc are inclined to think are the result of volcanic action. Their bases 
ol'ten cover an area of twenty acres; there are regular horizontal 
strata running across the whole chain of these hills, composed of different 
coloured clay, coal and earth, more or less impregnated with salt and other 
minerals, and occasionally intermixed with lava, sulphur, oxide and sulphate 
of iron; and in the sandy parts at the top of the highest hills, we found 
shells, but so soft and crumbling as to fall to pieces when we attempted 
to pick them out. We found in the " mauvaise terres, " also, globular 
shaped masses of heavy stone and pieces of petrified wood, from frag- 
ments two or three inches wide, to stumps of three or four feet. thick, 
apparently cotton wood and cedar. On the sides of some of the hills 
at various heights, are shelf-like ledges or rock projecting from the 
surface in a level direction, from two to six and even ten feet, gene- 
rally square or flat. These ledges are much resorted to by the big horns dur- 
ing the heat of the day. Between these hills there is sometimes a growth 
of stunted cedar trees, underneath which there is a fine sweet grass, and 
on the summits in some cases a short dry wiry grass is found, and quanti- 
ties of that pest of the Upper Missouri country, the flat-broad-leaved Cac- 
tus, the spines of which often lame the hunter. Occasionally the hills 
in the "mauvaise terre> " are separated by numerous ravines, often 
not more than ten or fifteen feet wide, but sometimes from ten to fifty feet 
deep, and now and then the hunter comes to the brink of oiie so deep and 
wide as to make his head giddy as he looks down into the abyss below. 
The edges of the caSons (as these sort of channels are called in Mexico) 
are overgrown with bushes, wild cherries, &c., and here and there the Bison 
will manage to cut paths to cross them, descending in an oblique and zig- 
zag direction ; these paths however are rarely found except where the ra- 
vine is of great length, and in general the only mode of crossing the ravine 
IS to go along the margin of it until you come to the head, which is gen- 
erally at the base of some hill, and thus get round. 

These ravines exist between nearly every two neighbouring hills, al 
though there are occasionally places where three or more hills form only one 













All of them houevor rui, to ,m-vt .-ud. ol Iut and cmnect -.vith the hu-est the 
Size ol which bears its proporliou to that ofjts trihutarie.s a.ul .h,.i,- „u,nl,er these ravines have no outlet into a sprinjj or water course ,hev 
have subterranean drains, and in some of the valleys and even on the toj.s 
of the hdls, are cavities called "sinkholes;" the earth near thes. 
holes .s oceus.onally undermined by the water running, round in circles un- 
derneath, leavin^^ a erust insullicient to bear the wei,^ht of a man, and 
when an unfortunate hunter treads on the dec-itful s.u-face it gives way 
and he finds himself in an unpleasant and at times dangerous predican.ent.' 
Ihese holes sometimes gradually enlarge and run into ravines below them 
t IS almost imi.ossible to traverse the "mauvarse terres" with a horse, un- 
less with great care, and with a thorough knowledge of the country The 
chase or hunt after the big horn, owing to the character of the country (as 
we have described it,) is attended with much danger, as the least 'slip 
imght precipitate one headlong into the ravine below, the sides of the hills 
being destitute of every thing to hold on by excepting a projecting stone 
or tult ol worm wood, scattered here and there, without which even the 
most daring hunter could not ascend them. 

In some cases the water has washea out caves of different shapes and 
sizes, some ol which present the most fantastic forms and are naked and 
barren to a great degree. The water that is found in the springs in these 
broken lands is mostly impregnated with salts, sulphur, magnesia, &c • but 
unpleasant as it tastes, it is frequently the only beverage for the hunter 
and luckily is often almost as cold as ice, which renders it less disagree' 
able. In general this water has the eiiect very soon of a cathartic and 
emetic. Venomous snakes of various kinds inhabit the "mauvaise terres" 
but we saw only one coj)pcr-head. ' 

Conceiving that a more particular account of these countries may be 
interesting, we will here insert a notice of them given to us by Mr • 
Dewey, the principal clerk at Fort Union. He begins as follows : 

"This curious country is situated, or rather begins half way up White 
river, and runs from south east to north west for about sixty miles in 
length, and varying from fifteen to forty miles in width. It touches the- 
head of the Teton river and branches of Chicune, and joins tlie Black Hills 
at the south fork of the latter river. The hills are in some places five 
or SIX hundred yards high and upwards. They are composed of clay of va 
nous colours, arranged in layers or strata running nearly horiz'ontallv 
each layer being of a different colour, white, red, blue, green, black 
yellow, and almost every other colour, appearing at exactly the same 
height on every hill. 

"From the quantity of pumice stone and melted ores found throughout 



them, one nught suppose that they had been reduced to this state by vol- 
canic actK,n. From the head of the Teton river, to cro^s these hills to White 
r. ver is about fifteen miles ; there is but one place to descend, and the road 

1 "I r? I ',°"'^ "^^^ *" P'^'"''' '^ *° SO round the erl of them on 
the banks of the White river, and following that stream ascend to the de- 
sired pomt. In four day', march a man will make about fifteen miles io 
crossing through the "mauvaise terres." At first sight these hills look like 
some ancient city in ruins, and but little imagination is necessary to give 
tliem the appearance of castles, walls, towers, steeples, &c. The descent 
is by a road about five feet broad, winding around and among the hills, 
made at first probably by the bisons and the big horn sheep, and now 
rendered practicable by the Indiansandothers who have occasion to use 
it. It is however too steep to travel dow. with a loaded horse or mule, 
say about one foot in three, for a mile or so, after which the bases of 
the hills are about level with each other, but the valleys between them are 
cut up by great ravines in almost every direction from five to twenty and 
even fifty feet deep." 

*'In going over this part of the country great precaution is necessary, for ' 
a slip of the foot would precipitate either man or horse into the gulf below. 
When I descended, the interpreter, B. Daumine, a half breed, (having his 
eyes bandaged) was led by the hand of an Indian." Something like cop- 
peras in taste and appearance is found in large quantities, as well as pumice 
stone, every where. This country is the principal residence of the big horn 
sheep, the panther and grizzly bear ; big horns especially are numerous, 
being in bands of from twenty to thirty, and are frequently seen at the 
tops of the highest peaks, completely inaccessible to any other animal. 
There is but one step from the prairie to the barren clay, and this step 
marks the difference for nearly its whole length. These "mauvaise terres" 
have no connexion or affinity to the surrounding country, but are, as it 
were, set apart for the habitation of the big horns and bears. The sight ot 
this barren country causes one to think that thousands of square miles of 
earth have been carried off, and nothing left behind but the ruins of what 
was once a beautiful range of mountains. The principal part of these 
hills is white clay, which when wet is soft and adhesive, but the coloured 
strata are quite hard and are never discoloured by the rain, at least not to 
any extent, for after a hard rain the streams of water are of a pure milk 
white colour, untinged by any other, and so thick that ten gallons when 
settled will only yield about two gallons of pure limpid water, which, how- 
ever, although clear when allowed to stand awhile, is scarcely drinkable 
being salt and sulphurous iu taste. The sediment has all the appearance' 
of the clay already mentioned, which is nearly as white as chalk. There 
VOL. u. — 22. 


' t ! 




is only one place where wood mid pure; swetst water can be found in the 
whole range, which in at a spring nearly in the centre of the tract, and one 
day's journey from the White river, towards theChicune. This apjiears a 
little singular, lor if it were not lor this the voyageur would be obliged to 
take a circuitous route of from four to live days. This spring is surrounded 
by a grove of ash trees, about two hundred yards in circumference. It 
innnediateiy loses itself in the clay at the edge of the timber, and near 
the spring the road descends al)out sixty feet and runs through a sort of 
avenue at least half a mile wide, on each side of which are walls of clay 
extending horizontally about lifteen miles, and eiglity feet high, for nearly 
the whole distance. Between these walls are small sugar-loaf slia|)ed 
hills, and deep ravines, such as I have already described. The colours of 
the strata are preserved throughout. The principal volcano is the -'Cdle 
de tomierre," from the mouth of which smoke and fire are seen to issue 
nearly at all times. In the neighbourhood and all around, an immense quan- 
tity of pumice stone is dej)osited, and from the noises to be heard, no doubt 
whatever exists that eruptions may Irom time to time be expected. There 
is another smaller hill which I saw giving forth heated vapours and smoke, 
but in generE.; if the weather is clear the summits of the Black hills are 
obscured by a mist, from which circumstance many superstitions of the 
Indians have a isen. The highest of the Black hills are fully as high aa 
the Alleghany mountains, and their remarkable shapes and singular cha- 
racters deserve the attention of our geologists, especially as it is chiefly 
among these hills that fossil petrefactions are abundantly met with. 

The Rocky Mountain Sheep are gregarious, and the males fight fiercely 
with each other in the manner of common rams. Their horns are exceed- 
ingly heavy and strong, and some that we have seen have a battered ap- 
pearance, showing that the animal to which they belonged must have but- 
ted against rocks or trees, or probably had fallen from some elevation on to 
the stony surface below. We have heard it said that the Rocky Mouu- 
tain Sheep descend the steepest hills head foremost, and they may thus 
come in contact with projecting rocks, or fall from a height on their enor- 
mous horns. 

As is the case with some animals of the deer tribe, the young rams 
of this species and the females herd together during the winter and spring, 
while the old rams form separate flocks, except during the rutting season 
in December. 

In the months of June and July the ewes bring forth, usually one, and 
occasionally, but rarely, two. 

Dr. Richardson, on the authority of Drummond, states that in the retired 
parts of the mountains where the hunters had seldom penetrated, he 




(Drijmmonu) found no diflieulty in approaching the Ilocky Mountain Sheep, 
which there exhibited the simplicity of character so rernarkal)le in the 
domestic species ; but tliat where they had been often fired at, they were 
exceedingly wild, alarmed their companions on the approach of danger by 
a hissing noise, and scaled the rocks with a speed and agility that baffled 
pursuit. He lost several that he had mortally wounded, by their retir- 
ing to die among the secluded precipices." They are, we are farther in- 
formed on the authority of Drummond, in the habit of paying daily visits to 
oeitain caves in the mountains that are encrusted with saline efflorescence. 
Tlie same gentleman mentions that the horns of the old rams attain a 
size so enormous, and curve so much forwards and downwards, that they 
efiectually prevent the animal from feeding on the level ground. 

All our travellers who have tasted the flesh of the llccky Mountain 
Sheep, represent it as very delicious when in season, superior to that of 
an_, species of deer in the west, and even exceeding in flavour the finest 

We have often been surprised that no living specimen of this very in 
teresting animal has ever been carried to Europe, or any of our Atlantic 
cities, where it would be an object of great interest. 


This animal is found, according to travellers, as far to the North as lat 
08, and inhabits the whole chain of the Rocky Mountains on their highest 
peaks down to California. It does not exist at Hudson's Bay, nor has it 
been found to the eastward of the Rocky Mountain chain 


The hif?tory of the early discovery of this species, of specimens transmitted 
to Europe from time to time, obtained in latitudes widely removed from 
each other, of its designation under various names, and of the figures, some 
of which were very unnatural, that have been given of it, are not only in- 
teresting but full of perplexity. It appears to have been known to Father 
PicoLO, the first Catholic missionary to California, as early as 1697, who 
represents it as large as a calf of one or two years old; its head much like 
that of a stag, and its horns, which are very large, are like those of a ram ; 
its tail and hair are speckled and shorter than a stag's, but its hoof is large, 
round, and cleft as an ox's. I have eaten of these i)easts ; their flesh^is 
very tender and delicious." The Californian Sheep is also mentioned by 
Hernandez, Ci,avi,jero, and other writers on California. Vanegas has 
given an imperfect figure of it, which was for a long time regarded as the 





Siberian Argali. Mr. David Doiiolass, m thn Zoological Journal, in, 
1820, describes a sprcics un'Ier the name of (hi^ Calif ornica, which he' 
supposed to be the sheep mentioned by Picoi.o. Cook, in liis thin! voyage 
evidently obtained the si<in of the RocUy Mcimtain .Sheip on tiie north 
west coast of America. Mr. McISii.mverv, in IHJ.'J. presented to the 
New-Yorit Museum a specimen of this animal, and pul)lished an account 
of it in the Medical Repository of New- York. This specimen being after- 
wards sent to France, a description and figure of it were published. Lkwih 
and Clark, some years afterwards, brought male and female specimens to 
Philadelphia, which were figured by Griffith and Godman. 

Several eminent naturalists, and among the rest Baron Cuvier, consider- 
ed it the same as Ovis Ammon, supposing it to have crossed liehring's Straits 
on the ice. We have never had an opportunity of comparing the two spe- 
ciec, but have examined ther- separately. Our animal is considerably (he 
largest, ar' differs widely in the curvature of its horns from those of the 
oastern continent. We ha no doubt of its being a distinct species 
from Ovis Ammon. 

We doubt moreover, whether Ovis Californim will be found distinct from 
Ovis Montana ; the climate in those elevated regions is every whe/e cold 
There are no intermediate spaces where the northern species ceases to 
exist, p,nd the southern to commerce, and when we take into consideration 
the variations of colour in different individuals, as also in the same indi- 
vidual in summer and winter, we should pause before we admit O'jis Cat- 
i/oniica as a true species. We have therefore added this nrme as a 
synonyme of Ovis Montana. 



SCALOFfi r!ii:WKRI.- Bach. 

Brkwkr'h Skrew Mole. 


S. lanugiiie serioea, vellusobicmo cinortio nigricans subtu.s fuscesoene, 
piilma3 anguste, cui'da dcprcjsa, latiis pili.« hirsuta. 


Glossy cinereous black above, brbwimh beneath, palms nnrroW, Inil flat, 
broad and hairy. 


Teeth, Incisive-; fahc mulars ^~; true molas "■ ^. 4.\. 

Tho head of Scahps Brcweri is narrower and more olonRatod than that, 
of .:?c. Aqnalicus. The cerebral portion of the wkuli is less voluminous, thp 
inter-orbital portion is narrower, each of the intermaxillary bonos in .Sv. 
Af/uaticus throws out a process, which projects upwards and forms the 
upper boundary of the nasal cavity, and very slightly separated by the 
na;«i! bonos, whilst in Sc. Brcweri these processes are shorter and scarcely 
project upwards above the plane of tho nasal bone. Thus when we view 
the snout of Sc. Aquaticus, laterally, it is distinctly recurved at the tip, 
whereas in Sc. Breweri the upper surface is almost plain. But the most 
striking differe.,ce between these skulls is exhibited in the dentition, inas- 
much as, m our present species, there are altogether forty four teeth in 
Sc. Aquaticus there are but thirty-six. Thus in the number of teeth Sc 
Breweri resembles Sc. Townsendi. 

The body of Brewer's Shrew Mole is perhaps a little larger than that of 
Sc Aquaticus. Its snout is less flattened a,nd narrower ; its .lostrils, instead 
of bei..g inserted in a kind of boutir, as in the European Tnlpa. and the 
swme, or on the upper surface of the muzzle, as in the common sh. »w 
mole, are placed on each side, uoar the extremities of the nose. This 
species IS pentadactylous, like all the rest of the genus, claws longer thin- 
ner and sharper than the common shrew mole. Palm much narrower Its 
most striking peculiarity, however, is its tail, which, inste'-.d of being round 



and nearly naked, like that of Sc. Aquaticus, is flat a..d broad, resembling 
ir some respects that of the Beaver, and is very thickly clothed, above and 
beneath, with long stiff hairs, which extend five lines beyond the vertebrtE. 


The colour, above and beneath, is a glossy cinereous black, like ve'vet • 
precisely similar to that of the European mole (r«//« Europea) with 
which we compared it. Under the throat there is a slight tinge of brown 
the tail is ashy brown above, light beneath. The ewe is about one. third 
longer than that of the common shrew mole. 






Length of the head and body 

Tail vertebrjB 

Do. including fur 

Breadth of tail 

Do. of palm . . . 

Length of do to end of middle claw 
In the Museum of the Zoological Society of London there is a specimen 
obtained from the United States, which evidently is the same specie^ 
It IS marked in the printed catalogue No. 145, "&. Breweri Bachman's 
M. SS It however differs in having the fur more compact, and shorter 
the colour somewhat darker, and in fact almost black. The hairs of 
the tail, instead of being brownish ash colour, are black, and the hind leet 
instea(' of being covered above with brownish white hairs, as in our 
specimens, are brownish black. 


Sc, Aqunticus 
S. Toionsendi 
S. Breweri 

IKOBM. llNi,. 

1 4 




8 7 

0* 8| 




m a collection of the smaller rodentia procured for us in New England 
byourfViendT„OM.sM. Brewer, Es,. an i.tcHigent naturalirwe t 
surprused and gratihed at finding this new species of shrew mole ; the spe^ 
cimen having been obtained by Dr. L. M. Yale, at Martha's Vineyard ^n 
■sland on the coast of New Englan.l. In its habits it approaches much 



noarer the star-nosed mole {Condylura cristata) than any species of shrew 
mole. Its burrows are neither as extensive or so near the surface of the 
earth as those of the common shrew mole. We observed that the meadows 
in the valleys of Virginia, where this species is found, seldom exhibited any 
traces of their galleries, which are so conspicuous where the common spe- 
cies exists. We only possessed one opportunity of seeing this species alive. 
It ran across the public road near the red sulphur springs in Virginia ; in 
its mode of progression it reminded us of the hurried, irregular and awkward 
manners of the common shrew mole. It had, as we ascertained, pursued its 
course underground, at about five inches from the surface, until t reached 
the trodden and firm gravelly road, which it attempted to cnss and was 
captured. It evidenced no disposition to bite. From the fact of our having 
seen three specimens, which were accidentally procured in a /.^ek, we 
were led to suppose that it was quite common in that vicinity. We have 
not found its nest, and regret that we have nothing farther to add in regard 
to its habits. 



Our first specimen, as we have stated, was received from Martha's Vine- 
yard. Our friend, the late Dr. WRronx, procured four specimens m the vi- 
cmity of Troy, N. Y. We obtained specimens in Western Virginia. It no 
doubt exists in all the intermediate country. 


We suspect that this species has hitherto been overlooked in consequence 
of its having been blended with the common shrew mole. We observed 
two specimens in the museum of the Zoological Society, London origi- 
nally marked ^^Talpa Europea from America." On examining the^ 
however, we found them of this species 

i ! 




Cakolina Shrew. Maleb and Fkmales. 


S. carolinensis, corpore griseo — cinerascente ; cauda brevis, depres.sti. 


Carolina Shrew, toith a short flat tail; ears not visible; body of a nearly 
uniform iron grey colour. 


Intermediary incisors 

Lateral tncisors ^; Molars, — = 34, 

»- .» 3 — 3 

The four front teeth are yellowish white, with their points deeply tinged 
with chesnut brown ; all the rest are brown, a little lighternear the sockets. 
The upper intermediary incisors have each, as is the case in most other 
species of this genus, an obtuse lobe, which gives them the appearance 
of having a small tooth growing out from near the roots. The three late- 
ral incisors are largest; the posterior ones very small ; the first and fifth 
grinders are the smallest ; the jihor three nearly equal. In the lower jaw 
tlie two first teeth are lobed ; the lateral incisors are comparatively large 
and crowded near the grinders. The molars are bristled with sharp points 
except the last, which is a tuberculous tooth. 

The muzzle is moderately long and slender, and pointed with a naked 
deep lobed lip. The whiskers are composed of hairs apparently all white, 
a lew of those situated in front of the eyes extending to the occiput, the rest 
ratlicr short. There are no visible ears, even where the fur is removed ; 
the auditory opening is an orifice situated far back on the sides of the head 
running obliquely. The orifice of the eye is so small that it can only be 
discovered by the aid of a good magnifying glass. The tail is flat, thickly 
covered with a coat of close hair, and terminated by a small pencil of 
hairs. The lore ieet are rather broad for this genus, measuring a line and 
a half in breadth, rcf^embling in some respects those of the shrew mole 
{Sculops canadensis.) The toes are five, the inner a lirile shorter than the' 



!'-r .ill 
i ill 

^^'\ROLI^A stminv. 


outer one ; the third and fourth nearly equal. The nails are sharp, rather 
lonsr, a little arohed, but not hooked. The hind feet are more slender than 
the fore ones ; naked beneath, and covered above, as are also the fore feet, 
by a thin coat ofshort adpressed hairs. 


The fur presents the beautiful velvety appearance common lo most 
species of this p^enus. The colour of the whole body is neni uniform, 
considerably lustrous on the upper surface, and in most li-hfs dark iron 
gray, rather darker about the head ; on the under surface the f.,r is of nearly 
the same general appearance, but is a shade lighter. 


T.ensrth of body 

" of tail . . . . 

" of head .... 

of palm to the end of nails 
" of hind feet 





It is difficult to know much of the habits of the little quadrupeds com- 
posinj? this genus. Livin? beneath the surface of the earth, feeding princi- 
pally on worms and the larvfc of insects, shunning the liirht, and restricted 
to a little world of their own, best suited to their hnbits and enjoyments, 
they almost present a barrier to the pryins cijriosity of man. They are 
occasionally turned up by the plough on the plnntations of the south, when 
they utter a faint, squeaking cry, like young mice, nnd make awkward and 
scrambling attempts to escape, trying to conceal themselves in any tuO of 
grass,^ or under the first clod of earth that may present itself. On two 
occasions, their small but compact nests were brought to us. They were 
composed of fibres of roots nnd withered blades of various kinds of grasses 
They had been ploughed up from nbout a foot bencnth the surface of thf 
enrth. and contained in one nest five, and in the other six younjr. Tn 
diffging ditches, and plousrhing in moderately hieh grounds, smnll holes 
are frequently seen runnin? in all directions, in a line nearly pnrnllel with 
thesurfnce. nnd extendinsr to n srreat distance, evidentlv mnde bvthis spe- 
eies. We observed on the sides of one of the«e irnlleries. n smnll cavitv 
eontnining a honrd of coleopterous insects, principnlly composed of a rnre 
species (Sirnrahn'm ^Vvw.v). fully the size of the animnl itself : some of them 
u-cre nerirly eniiNUmfd. and the rest matila.fed. althousrh still living, 
vci,. n. — 23. 

■! i 




This quadruped is found in various localities, both in the upper and 
maritime districts of South Carolina. Wc recently received specimens from 
our friend Dr. Barhett. of Abbeville District ; and we have been informo.l 
by Dr. Pickkrino, to whose inspection we submitted a specimen, and who 
pronounced it undoubtedly an undescribed species, that it had been observed 
M far north as Philadelphia. 

i ■■ 1 



, M008B Dbrr. 

PLATE LXXVI, Old Male tm Youko. 

C. magnitudine Equi ; capite permagno, labro aaribusqne elongatis ; 
coHo brevi, dense jubato, cornibus palmatis, cauda breyissima, vellere 
fusco cinereo, in nigrum vergente. 


Size of a horse. Head, very large ; snout and ears, long; neck, short, 
with a thick mane. Horns spreading into a broad palm. Tail, short 
Colour, hlackish-gray. 


Elan, Stag, or Aptaptou. De Monts Nova Francia, p. 250. An. 1604. 
Eblan ou Orinal. Sagard-Theodat, Canada, p. 749. An. 1636. 
OiMNAL. La Ilontan, Voy., p. 72. An. 1708. 
MoowE Dkkr. Dudley, Phil. Trans, No. 368, p. 165. An. 1721. 
OniNAL. Charlevoix. Nouv. France. Vol. v., p. 185. An. 1741. 

" Dupratz, Louis. Vol. i., p. 301. 
M008K Dkkb. Pennant, Arct. Zool. Vol. i., p. 17, Fig. 1784. 
MooBK. Umfreville, Iluda. Bay. An. 1790. 

« Ilerriot's Travels, 1807, Fig. 
C. ALCKS. Harlan. Fauna, p. 229. 

" Godnian, Am. Nat. Hist., Vol. ii., p. 274. 
Thk Elk. Hamilton Smith. 

" Griffith's Cuv., Vol. v., p. 303. 

American Black Elk. Griffith's Cuv., Vol. iv., p. 72., plate of head. 
Elk. In Nova Scotia, proceedings of the Zoological Society, 1849, p. Oa. 
Cehvub ALCK8. De Kay, N. Hiat. N. Y., p. 115. 


! I 


This is the largest of any known species of deer. Major Smith (Cm 
An. Kingdom, by Griffiths, Vol. iv., p. 73) says, "For us, who have the oppor- 
tunity of receiving the animal in all the glory of his full grown horns. 



,1 I , 

1 :m 

amid tlin scener}- of his own wilderness, no aniuial could appear more 
majestic or m(/,e imposinj,'." Having ourselves on one occasion bet;!! I'avour- 
ed with a similaropporlunity, when we had the gralilicalion of bri'if^inj; 
one down wilh a riUe and of examining him in detail as he lay before us, 
we confess [w. ajipeared awkward in his g.-dt, clumsy and disproporfioned 
in limbs, uncouth and inelegant, in form, and possessing less synmu^try 
and beauty than anv other s])ecies of the deer family, llis great 
size, enormous liead, and face like a horse, and the thundering noise of 
the sa|)lings bending and sna|)ping around him as he rattled ov»t the fallen 
logs, was to us the only imposing part of the si)ectacle. To do justice, 
however, to the description of the moose, by Smith, who was a close 
observer and a naturalist of considerable attainments, we should quote 
his succeeding observations: "It is, however, the aggregate of his appear- 
ance whicii produces this elfect ; for when the proportions of its structure 
are considered in detail, they certainly will seem destitute ofthat harmony 
of parts whicli in the imagination produces the feeling of beauty." 

The head forcibly reminds us ofthat of an enormous jackass ; it is long 
narrow and clumsily shaped, by the swelling on the upper part of the 
nose and nostrils ; the snout is long aJid almost prehensile — the muzzle 
extending four inches beyond the lower lip. The nostrils are narrow and 
long, five inches in length. The eye is deep-seated, and in proportion to the 
large head is small. The ears are long, 14 inches, heavy and asinine. 
The neck is very short, and is surmounted by a compact mane of moderate 
length composed of coarse rigid hairs. There is in both sexes a -tufl; 
of coarse hairs, resembling hog's bristles, beneath the throat, which is 
attached to a pendulous gland, more conspicuous in young than in 
old animals; this gland with the attaclied hair is ten inches long. 
The horns, which are found only on the males, are, wlien a year old, merely 
short knobs; they increase in size after each annual shedding, and after 
the fourth year become palmated, and may be termed full grown about the 
(iflh year. The palms on the horns of the Moose are on the widest part on 
a moderate-sized male about 1 1 inches wide. The space between the roots, 
(>i inches; greatest breadth at the root, (5^ inches; from the root to llie 
extremitj', measuring around the curve, 2 lieet 10 inches. The first branch 
or prong on the inner side of the horn commences nine inches from the base 
It here divides into two branches, one being ten and the other eleven in- 
ches in lensrth, measuring in a curve from the root to the largest point 2.'> 
inches. These two prongs on each side incline forward, are almost round, 
and are pointed like those of elk horns. The palms on tlie iriain branches 
of <lie horns not only dill'er in dilferent individuals, but do not often cor- 
respond on the head of the same animal. In the specimen from which 



we are describing, the lower and longest point on the palm- is on one side 
la inches, and on the corresponding one on the opposite side only 4 inches; 
on the remainder of the palm there arc on one side six points, on the other 
seven ; the pjilin is about half-an-inch in breadth at the centre, thickening 
towards the base to one inch. 

The horns are irregularly and slightly channelled, and are covered with 
whitish marks on th(! irotit surface, somewhat resembling the channels and 
irregular windings of grubs or sawyers between the bark and wood in 
old decayed trunks of trees ; on the posterior suriace these; marks in 
form bear considerable resemblance to veina in the leaves of ferns. The 
width across the horns measuring irom the outer tips rises 3 feet 4 inches ; 
weight of the horns, 42 pounds. 

The nose, including the nostrils, is thickly clothed with short hair— a tri- 
angular spot on the nose bare. The hair on the mane is coarse and compact, 
10 inches in length ; both surfaces of the ears are covered with dense hairs. 

The outer hair is throughout coarse and angular ; it is longer on the neck 
and should<!rs than on any other part of the body ; under these long hairs 
there is a shorter, woolly, more dense and finer coat. 





The teeth are white; horns brownish yellow, the extremities ot 
die prongs becoming yellowish white. The eyes are black ; nose, fore- 
head and upper lip, yellowish fawn ; inner surface of ears, yellowish white ; 
outer surface, grayish brown. .Sides of head, yellowish brown. On the 
neck, dark grayish brown, composed of hairs that are white, black and yel- 
low ; under the chin, yellowish brown. Hairs on the appendage under the 
throat, black ; lower lip and chi.., dark gray, formed of a mixture of white 
and black hairs ; the softer, shorter hairs on the body are ashy gray ; the 
long hairs when examined separately are whitish at the base, then cinere- 
ous and tipped with black, giving it a brownish black appearance. 

On the under surface of the body the colour is considerably lighter than 
on the back, having a tinge of yellowish white ; under surface of the tail, 
ashy white. The young animals, for the first winter, are of a reddish 
brown colour ; individuals even of the same age often differ in co- 
lour, some being darker than others, but there is always a striking diffe- 
rence between the summer and winter colours, the hairs in winter be- 
coming darker ; as the moose advances in age, the colour continues to 
deepen until it appears black ; thence it was named by Hamilton Smith 
not inappropriately as regards colour, " the American Black Elk " 















From point, of nose to root of tai), - . - 

Tail (vfi-trl)ru)), 

Tnil to end ol'liiiir, --.-.. 
From slioulder 111 point of hoof, - • 

llt>ij?ht of eiir, •---.. 

FVom point of nose to interior canthus of eye, - 
Weight of horns, 5(> pounds. 
Weight of the whole animal, from 800 to 1200 pounds. 

Dimensions of a Male procured in Ontario County, N. Y., in 1800. 

Feet. Inche«. 

Length from point of nose to root of tail, -••12 

of tail, 11 

Height at shoulder, ----... 5 00 
Width of horns at tip, -•••-•28 

Widest part, .-81 

Weight of horns, 09 pounds. 


We were favoured by Mr. Kkndau,, of the Literary Society of Quebec, 
with the following account of the Moose Deer, with which we will begin 
our article on this noble quadruped. 

" The Moose are abundant to the north of Quebec and in the northern 
parts of the state of Maine. In the neighbourhood of Moose River and thf 
lakes in its vicinity, they are very abundant. In the summer they are fond 
of frequenting lakes and rivers, not only to escape the attacks of in- 
sects which then molest them, but also to avoid injuring their antlers 
which during their growth are very sott and exquisitely sensitive, and 
besides, such situations atford theni abundance of food. 

•' They there feed on the water-plants, or browse upon the trees fringing 
the shores. In the winter they retire to the dry mountain ridges, and 
generally 'yard', as it is termed, on the side facing the south, where there are 
abundance of maple and other hard-wood trees upon which to feed, either 
by browsing on the tender twigs or peeling the bark from the stems of 
such as are only three or four inches in dinmeter. Their long, pendu- 
lous upper lip is admirably adapted for grasping and pulling down the 
branches, which are held between the fore legs until all the twigs are 
eaten. They peel oil' the bark by placing the hard pad on the roof of the 



mouth against the tree, and scraping upwards with their sharp, goiinrclikr 
teeth, c()ini)l( denuding the tree to thn h.-ight of seven or eight feet 
from the surface of the snow. They reni.iin near tiie same spot as long 
as a«y food can l)e obtained, seldom breaking fresh snow, but keeping to 
the same tracks as long as possibh;. 

"The antlers begin to sprout in April, and at first appear like two blael 
knobs. They complete their growth in July, when the skin which coven 
them peels off and leaves them perfectly white ; exposure to the sun and 
air, however, soon renders them brown. When we consider the iiruncuiso 
size to which some of them grow in such a short period of time, it seems al- 
most incredible that two such enormous excrescences could be deposited 
from the circulating system alone; the daily growth is distinctly marked on 
the velvety covering by a light shade carried around them. The first year 
the antlers arc only about one inch long ; the second year four or five 
inches, with perhaps the rudiment of a point; the third year about nine 
inches, when each divides into a fork still round in form ; the fourth year 
they become palmated, with a brow antler and three or (bur points; the 
fifth season they have two crown antlers and perhaps five points j the 
points increasing in size each year, and one or two points J.eing addod 
animally, until the animal arrives at its greatest vigour : after which 
period they decrease in size and the points are not so fully thrown out. 
The longest pair I ever met with had eighteen points, (others have seen 
them with twenty-three points,) they expanded five feet nine inches to the 
outside of the tips; the breadth of palm, eleven inches without the points ; 
circumference of shaft, clear of the burr, nine inches ; weight, seventy 
pounds ! The old and vigorous animals invariably shed them in Decembers 
some of four and five jears old I have known to carry them as late as 
March, but this is not often the case. 

" The rutting season commences in September ; the males then become 
very furious, chasing away the younger and weaker ones. They run bel- 
lowing through the forest, and when two of equal strength meet, have 
dreadful conflicts, and do not separate until one or both are severely in- 
jured. I bought a pair of antlers from a Penobscot Indian, with one of the 
brow antlers and the adjoining prong broken short off. The parts were 
at least Ij inches in diameter, and nearly as hard as ivory. At that 
season they ure constantly on the move, swimming large lakes and crossing 
rivers in pursuit of the female. 

" The female brings forth in May. The first time she produces one fawn, 
but ever afterwards two. It is supposed by hunters that these twins are 
always one a male and the other a female. 
" In summer the hair of the Moose is short and glossy— in winter long and 


i' r 



! I 

very coarse, attached to the skin by a very fine peliclo, and renderrti warn^ 
by a thick coat of short, iliie wool. The hiiir on the Inco ^'rovvs upwards 
from the nose, gradually turning and ending in a thick, bushy tuft under the 
jaws. The young males have generally a long, pendulous gland, growing 
Irom the centre of this tuft, and covered with long hnir, sometimes a foot 

" Their flesh is very coarse, though some people prefer it to any otlier 
it is apt to produce dysentery with persons unaccustomed to use it 
The nose or moitfle, as it is generally called, if properly cooked is a very 
delicious morsel. The tongue is also considered a delicacy ; the last entrail 
(called by hunters the bum-gut) is covered with round lumps of suely fat, 
which they strip off and devour as it comes warm from the animal, with- 
out any cooking. Also the marrow warm from the shanks is spread upon 
bread, and eaten as butter. I must confess that the disgusting luxury 
was rather too rich to tempt me to partake of it. I have seen some 
officers of th^ Guards enjoy it well enough ! 

" The seasons for hunting the Moose are March and September. In 
March, when the sun melts the snow on the surface and the nights are 
frosty, a crust is formed, which greatly impedes the animal's progress, as 
it has to lift its feet perpendicularly out of the snow or cut the skin from 
its shanks by coming in contact with the icy surface. 

"It would be useless to follow them when the snow is soft, as their 
great strength enables them to wade through it without any difficulty. 
If you wish to see them previous ;^ shooting them from their "yard," it is 
necessary to make your approach to leeward, as their sense of smelling 
and hearing is very acute: the crack of a breaking twig will start them, 
and they are seldom seen any more, until fatigue compels them to knock 
up, and thus ends the chase. Their pace is a long trot. It is neces- 
sary to have two or three small curs (the smaller the better), as they can run 
upon the snow without breaking through the crust ; their principal use 
is to annoy the Moose by barking and snapping at their heels, without 
taking hold. A large dog that would take hold would be instantly 
trampled to death. The males generally stop, if pressed, and fight with 
the dogs ; this enables the hunter to come up unobserved and dispatch 
them. Sometimes they are killed after a run of an hour, at other times 
you may run them all daj', and have to camp at night without a morsel 
of provisions or a cloak, as everything is let go the moment the Moose 
starts, and you are too much fatigued to retrace your steps to procure 
them. Your only resource is to make a huge fire, and comtbrt yourself 
upon the prospect of plenty of Moose-meat next day. As soon as the 
animal finds he is no longer pursued, he lies down, and the next morning 



he will l)e too stiff to travel far. Generally, a male, femule, and two lawns 
are found in a 'yard.' 

" When obliged to run, the male goes first, breaking the way, the others 
treading exactly in his tracks, so that you would think only one has 
passed. Often they run through other 'yards,' when all join together, 
still going in Indian file. Sometimes, when meeting with an obsta le they 
cannot overcome, they are obliged to branch off for some distance and 
again unite ; by connecting the different tracks at the place of separation 
you may judge pretty correctly of their number. I have seen twelve 
together, and killed seven of them. 

A method of hunting this animal is as follows : 

" In September, two persons in a bark canoe paddle by moonlight along 
the shore of the lake imitating the call of the male, which, jealous of the 
approach of a stranger, answers to the call and rushes down to the com- 
bat. The canoe is paddled by the man in the ster. with the most death- 
like silence, gliding along under the shade of the forest until within short 
shooting distance, as it is difficult to take a sure aim by moonlight ; the 
man in the bow generally fires, when if the animal is only wounded, 
he makes immediately fo- shore, dashing the water about him into foam; 
he is tracked by his blood the next day to where he has lain down, and where 
he is generally found unable to proceed any further. Many are killed in 
this manner in the neighbourhood of Moose River every season. 

Hunters sometimes find out the beaten tracks of the Moose (generally lead- 
ing to the water), and bend down a sapling and attach to it a strong hempen 
noose hanging across the path, while the tree is confined by another cord and 
a sort of trigger. Should the animal's head pass through the dangling snare, 
he generally makes a struggle which disengages the trigger, and the tree 
springing upward to its perpendicular, lifts the beast off his legs, and he 
is strangled !" 

Mr. John Martyn, of Quebec, favoured us with the following notes on 
the Moose deer : "This animal in the neighbourhood of this city (Quebec) 
is mostly found in the hard woods during the winter. At this season sev- 
eral associate together and Ibrm groups of two, three, or four, and make 
what is called ' a yard,' by beating down the snow ; and whilst in such 
places tliey feed on all the branches they can reach, and indeed even strip 
the trees c:^ their bark, after which they are forced to extend their 'yards,' 
or pel , (J -Tne ether place, but rather than leave the first, they will 
even b. jk ^w .ches as large as a man's thigh. In skinning off the bark, 
the animai piaces its upper lip firmly against it, whether upward, down- 
ward or sidewayd, and with its teeth, which are all on its lower jaw 
VOL. II. — 24. 





tiikes a llim hold and tears it away in snips more or ess long n:\d 
broad, according to the nature of the bark of the tree. 

If is ascertained by the hunter whether a Mi>ose lias been lately or not in its 
yard, by removing the surface of the snow from around the foot of the trees 
already ' irked above, and if they have been barked belov the surface of the 
snow, the animal has left the spot lor sometime, and it is not worth while 
to follow any of its tracks. The contrary, of course, takes place wii'-i dif- 
ferent observations. At this season the female is generally accompanied 
by two of her calves, one two years old and generally a bull, the other the 
eaif ofthe preceding spring. 

These animals vary much in their colour, some being grayish 
brown, and others nearly bla 'k. The grayish Moose is generally 
ttie largest, often reaching the height of seven or eight feet. The 
females receive the males in the month of October, and at this period 
he latter are excessively vicious and dangerous when approached, whilst 
the females evince the same lierceness at the time of having calves. In 
some instances during the rutting season, when two males accidentally 
meet, they fight prodigiously hard, tearing up the earth beneath 
for yards around, and leaving marks of blood sufficient to prove that their 
encounter has been of the severest nature. 

Their usual mode of defence consists in striking at their enemies 
with their forefeet; but in fighting with each other the males use 
both feet and horns, and they have sometimes been killed with marks 
of old wounds about their head and other parts of the body. As an 
instance of the force with which the Moose strikes, the following an- 
ecdote may be related: a bull-terrier in attempting to seize one by he 
nose, was struck by the animal with its forefoot, and knocked olTto a dis- 
tance of twenty feet; the dog died next day. 

The Moose deer frequently turn against ilie hunters, even befon ' ing 
shot at or in the least wounded. They walk, trot, and gallop, and can kap a 
great distance at a single bound ; like other species of deer they bend their 
bodies verv liw rtt times, to pass beneath branches of fallen trees, not 
even half then b. ighi, from the earth. When pursued, they enter the most 
tangled tl r' i .ir pass ihrou^ii them as if not feeling the impediment.s 
the brushwood, lallen logs, &c., opposed to the huntcrV progress. The calves 
when born are about the size of a lew days old coit, but are more slender, 
and look very awkward on account of their apparent disproportionate 
long and iarge lege. When caught at three months old, they eat leaves, 
&c. ; but how long they are suckled by their dam we have not been able 
to ascertain. 

" During the summer they frequently resort to the shores of rivers, 


crBcks or lakes, on tliD mzirg.,is of which tlielr tracks are seen, like those 
of common cattle ; thpy enter thr water and immersn their bodies to save 
thriiisclvt's fniiii the hites of flies, &.c. 

In nil prohiilnliiy, where wolves are yet abundant, these are their 
most dangerous enemies besides man ; but at the present time, few 
of these rapacious animals are to be found in the neighbourhood of 
Quebec. The Moose deer are frequently killed while in the water, 
or on the shores of some pond, lake or river; but when their young 
are with them, they will run and chase the hunter, audit is sometimes 
difficult for him to escape, unless he is so fortunate as to shoot and bring 
them down. 

" The flesh is considered very good, especially the moitfflon, which forms 
the upper lip, and is very rich, juicy and livbitinous. Tins is cleaned and 
dressed in the same manner as ' calvps' iiead.' The hunters salt their meat 
for winter use. The steaks are as good as beef steaks ; but the Moose are 
not generally fat, although their flesh is juicy and at times tender. The 
joung at the age of twelve months are never toiigli. and their (lesli is prefer- 
able to that of the old beasts. The inside of the mouth above, or palate, is 
extremely hard, and lays in folds, giving this iinimal the powerof gripping 
( seizing) the bark or the branches of trees, by which means it tears them 
off with ease. This pad is placed immediately beneath the extremity of 
the riKuifflon, and is about two inches long. 

" These animals feed principally on the birch, the moose-wood, the aspen, 
and various kinds of leaves and grasses ; in captivity they eat hay and 
other dry food, even hard ship-biscuit. The females are called • cows,' 
the males ' bulls,' and the young ' calves.' Their droppings resemble those of 
the deer kind. Although the Moose swim well they ar* not known to dive, 
they swim with the hend and part of the neck above water, like cattle. When 
pursued in boats they frequently attempt to upset them, and at times open 
their mouths and make a loud snorting noise, striking at the same time 
with their forefeet, and occasionally sink the canoes of the Indians or hun- 
ters. Upon one occasijn, a young man going fishing, and having his fowl- 
ing-piece along, on turning a point of a lake, saw a large Moose in the 
water and fired at it with shot, tickling it severely. The Moose at once 
made for the canoe ; and whilst the alarmed fisherman was attempting to 
escape, his boat became entangled in the branches of a fallen tree, when 
he was forced to give up the canoe and gf* away as he best could ; the 
animal on reaching the boat completely demolished it. Unfortunately, the 
females are sometimes killed when they are with calf. They do not gene- 
rally make any noise in the woods, unless when provoked, but in captivity 
they utter a plaintive sound, much resembling that made bv the black bear 

f I "i 



rl » 

They never are seen on the ice like the rein-deer ; it would seem by the 
formation of their hoofs that they might walk well on the rocks, or on the 
ice, but they keep in the woods, and when walking over snow their feet 
usually sink into it until they reach the earth. 

" A Mr. Bell, residing at Three Rivers, has a Moose which has been 
taught to draw water in a cart or in a sleig', during winter, but there is 
no possibility of working it during the rut»i g season. We have never 
heard of any attempt to ride on the Moose dei r. Their horns, which are 
large, palmated, and heavy, are dropped in the months of December and 
January, begin to show again in the latter part of March, and in two 
months or thereabouts attain their full size. When covered over 
with ' velvet,' as it is called, they are very curious. A pair of good Moose 
horns sells at the high price of twenty dollars ! The velvet is scraped off 
against trees and bushes in the manner employed by our Virginian deer. 
Horns have been measured when reversed and standing on the ground 
four feet seven inches, and ordinary pairs often measure five feet and up- 

"It is said that the Moose can smell at a very great distance, and that the 
moment they scent a man or other enemy they make off and are not easily 
overtaken. On the first glimpse of man, if they are lying down they rise 
to their feet and are off at once, and often before they are observed by the 
hunter. When closely pursued, they turn and make a dash at the enemy, 
scarcely giving him time to escape, and the hunter's best plan in such cases 
is to keep cool a, 2 sV-oot the animal as it rushes towards him, or if unpre- 
pared, he had best ascend a tree with all convenient dispatch. Sometimes 
the hunter is obliged to save himself by dodging around a tree, or by 
throwing down some part of his dress, upon which the Moose expends 
his fury, trampling on it until torn to tatters. 

" Moose-hunting is followed by white or red skinned hunters in the same 
manner. He, however, who has been born in the woods, possesses many 
advantages over the 'civilized' man. The white hunters generally pro- 
vide themselves, previous to their starting, amply with provisions and 
ammunition to last them about three weeks, and sometimes go in a sleigh. 
The guns used are mostly single-barrelled, of ordinary size, but suited for 
shooting balls as well as shot,— rifles are rarely used in Canada. Afte: 
leaving the settlements, the first day's journey takes them ten or twelve 
miles, when they select a proper place in a snowy district, as near a 
stream as possible. 

" If the weather is fine, they cut down trees and make a camp, some of the 
party provide water, and others light the fires and clear off the snow for 
yards around, whilst evergret-.n trees are stripped of their branches tc 




make up a floor and covering for them in their temporary shelter. The 
hunters having made all snug, cook their meat and eat it before a fire that 
illuminates the woods around, and causes the party to appear like a set 
of goblins through the darkness of night. On muny such occasions the 
bedding is singed, and per chance a whisker ! The feet may be partially 
roasted, whilst the shoulders, the hands, and probably the nose, are suffer- 
ing greatly from the severity of the weather, for the thermometer may be 
occasionally thirty degrees below zero! The march to this spot is fre- 
quently made on snow-shoes, which are taken off, however, whilst the 
party are forming the encampment, clearing away the snow, and 
making a path to the water, which being covered with snow and ice, re- 
quires to be got at by means of shovels and axes. Before daylight, tk; 
kettles are put on the fires, tea and coffee are made, breakfast swallowed 
in a few moments, and the party on foot, ready to march toward the hunt- 
ing-ground. On the .y, every one anxiously looks out for tracks of the 
game, and whether hares or grouse come in the way they are shot and 
hung up on the trees; but if game of any kind has been thus hung up by 
others, whether Indians or white hunters, the party leaves it sacredly un- 
touched—for this is the etiquette of the chase throughout this portion of 
country. When they at last reach the ground, the party divide, and 
seek for the Moose in different directions. It is agreed that no one shall 
shoot after separating from the rest, unless it be at the proper game, and 
also that in case of meeting with Moose, or with fresh signs, they are. to 
return, and make ready to proceed to the spot together next day. Some- 
times, however, this rule is broken through by some one whose anxiety 
(excitement) at sight of a Moose makes him forget himself and his pro- 
mise. As soon as a 'yard' has been discovered, all hands sally forth, and 
the hunt is looked upon as fairly begun. If on approaching the ' yard,' 
their dogs, which are generally mongrels of all descriptions, start a Moose', 
the hunters, guided by their burking and the tracks of the pack and the 
Moose through the snow, follow with all possibi*; celerity. The dogs 
frequently fcake hold of the Moose by the hind legs, the animal turns, and 
stands at bay, aod the hunters thus have an opportunity to come up 
with the chase. 

"On approaching, when at the proper distance (about sixty to eighty 
yards) the nearest man takes a decided aim, .as nearly as possible under 
the forearm and through the neck, and fires, or, if fronting the beast, in 
the centre of the breast. 

" If wounded only, the second hunter fires also, and perhaps the third, 
and the animal succumbs at last, though it sometimes manages to 
run, stumble, .and scramble for miles. After skinning the j\Io<«e, 






the heart and liver, and the mnrrow-bones, are taken out, and a good 
large piece of the flesh is taken to ' camp,' and is speedily well cooked 
and placed smoking hot before the hungry hunters. After killing alj 
the Moose of a 'yard' or that they can find near their camp, the party 
pack up :heir material, break up the camp, and return home. 

It not unfrequently happens, that a wounded Moose, or even one that 
has not been wounded, will turn upon the hunter, who then has to run for 
his life, and many instances of such incidents are related, including some 
hair-breadth escapes. One of these I will relate : Two Indians bei^g on a 
hunt and having met with the game, one of them shot, and missed; the 
Moose turned upon him, and he fled as (list as he could, but when about 
to reach a large tree, from behind which he could defy his opponent, his 
snow shoes hooked in some obstacle and threw him down. The Moose 
set upon him furiously and began trampling on him, but the Indian drew 
out a knife, and succeeded in cutting the sinews oC the forelegs of the 
animal, and finally stabbed him so repeatedly in the belly that he fell dead, 
but unluckily fell on the prostrate hunter, who would have been unable' 
to extricate himself, had not his companion come to his assistance. The 
poor man, however, had been so much injured that he never recovered en- 
tirely, and died about two years afterwards. 

During some seasons the snows are so deep, and at times so soft, 
that the Moose cannot go over the snow, but have to make their 
way through it, giving a great advantage to the hunters, who, on 
broad snow-shoes can stand or run on the surface without much 
difficulty. On one occasion of this nature a Moose was seen, and 
at once followed. The poor animal was compelled to plough the snow, 
as it were, and the hunters came up to it with ease, and actually placed 
their hands on its back. They then endeavoured to drive it towards their 
camp and secure it alive. The Moose, however, would not go in the proper 
direction, and they finally threw it down, and attempted to fasten its legs 
together; but as they had no ropes, and could not procure any better sub- 
stitute for them than withes, the beast got away, and after a long chase 
they, being very much fatigued, shot it dead. When the snow is thus soft, 
the Moose deer has been known to evade the hunters by pushing ahead 
through tangled thickets, more especially hachnctnck and briary places 
which no man can go through for any length of time; without extreme labour. 
The Indians, however, will follow the Moose in such cases day and night, 
provided the moon is shining, until the animal is so fatigued that it can 
be overtaken and killed with ease. Instances have been known where as 
many as i\\c have been killed in one day by two Indians. The Moose is 
not unfrequently caught in the following manner : A rope is passed over 

\ 3SE DEER. 


a horizontal branch of a tree, with a large noose and slip-knot at one end, 
whilst a heavy log is attached to the other, hanging across the limb or 
branch, and touching the ground. The Moose, as it walks along, passes 
its head through the noose, and the farther it advances, the tighter it finds it- 
self fastened, and whilst it plunges terrified onwards, the log is raised 
from the ground until it reaches the branch, when it sticks, so that no 
mjitter in what manner the Moose moves, the log keeps a continued strain, 
rising and falling, but not giving the animal the least chance to escape, 
and at last the poor creature dies miserably. They are also ' pitted' at 
times, but their legs are so lor/, that this method of securing them seldom 
succeeds, as ihey generally manage to get out." 

The Moose is well known to travellers who have crossed the Rocky 
Mountains, where this animal is principally called by the French name, 

Whilst at Quebec, in 1842, ^"e procured the head and neck of a very 
large male, (handsomely mounted) ; whitih was shot in the state of Maine, 
where the Moose is still frequently found. 

Moose deer are abundant in Labrador, and even near the coast 
their tracks, or rather paths, may be seen, as distinctly marked as the 
eow-paths about a large stock-farm. In this sterile country, where the 
trees are so dwarfish that they only deserve the name of shrubs, and where 
innumerable barren hills arise, with cold clear-water ponds between, the 
Moose leeds luxuriously on the scanty herbage and the rank summer 
grasses that are found on their sides; but in winter the scene is awfullj 
desolate, after the snows have lallen to a great depth ; the whistling winds 
unimpeded by trees or forests, sweep over the country, carrying with them 
the li"ht snow from the tops and vi'indward sides of the hills in icy clouds, and 
soon forming tremendous drifts in the valleys. No man can face the storm- 
driven snows of this bleak, cold country ; the congealed particles are 
almost solid, and so sharp and fine that they strike upon the face or hands 
like small shot ; the tops of the hills are left quite bare and the straggling 
Moose or rein deer seek a precarious supply of mosses along their 
sides. At this season the Moose sometimes crosses the Gulf of St. Law- 
rence on the ice to Newfoundland, or follows t'he coast towards the shore 
opposite Nova Scotia, and there passes the Gulf and wanders into more 
woody and favoured regions for the winter. 

The following is from our friend S. W. Roiimav, Esq., of Boston, an excellent 
siioitsiuiin. and a lover of nature, to whom wo are indebted for many kindnesses. 

" O'lr party was rctmninsf from lake Miraniichi, aJioiit the midillo of'July, by 
the mai'sliy brook, wliieh couneets it with the Miianiiehi river. The canoe men 
were poling slowly and silently, in order not to disturb the numerous ducks which 

breed in those \ini 

P^.,l,:t(>(l soUtiulcs. as we woroanxiou-* to vary onroonstiint fish 

,]\ I 

:almon ei 

ther boiled or " skinned" being set before us morning, noon and 

■' I 

■! i 




night. Wc harl not fired ,i gun to disturb the siii'iico. My ofrn and my hrother's 
canoes were ch).se together, when I saw an animal suddenly spring on to its feet 
from the long marshy grass about forty yards in advance of us. I said quickly 

' Caribou," " Cariboo," "stoop low ;" which wo all did and continued moving on. It 
was about the size of a yearling heifer, but taller, of a bright, light, red colour, with 
long cars pricked forward, and a large soft eye ; and stood perfectly still, looking 
it us. We had gone perhaps ten yards, when there apjjcared from the long grass 
i)y its side, first the ears, then the huge head and muffle of an old cow Moose, the 
first one being as I now knew her calf, of perhaps four or five months old. She 
gradually rose to her knees, then sat upon her haunches, and at last sprang to her 
feet, her eyes all the time intently fixed upon us. The calf in the meanwhile had 
moved slowly off. At this moment we both fired without any apparent effect, the 
shot ])eing too light to penetrate the thick hide. She turned instantly, showing a 
large and apparently well filled udder, struck into the tremendous trot, for which 
the Moose is so celebrated, crossed the deep brook almost at a stride, then the nar- 
row strip of meadow, and disappeared, crashing through the alders which inter, 
vened between the meadow and the dark evergreen forests beyond. 

Our oldest woodsman. Porter, assured us that she was one of the largest of her 
kind, and that it was rare good fortune to approach so near to this noblest denizen 
of our northern forests. We were much gratified, but our regret as sportsmen 
was still greater, at not having been prepared to take advantage of such an oppor- 
tunity as will probably never again occur to either of us. We constantly both bo 
fore and afterwards saw the tracks of cariboo and Moose about our camps." 


Capt. Franklin, in his last expedition, states that several Moose were 
seen at the mouth of Mackenzie River, on the shores of the Arctic Sea. in 
latitude (JO**. Farther to the eastward towards the Copper-mine River, we 
are informed by Richardson, they are not found in a higlier latitude than 
05". Mackenzie saw them high up on the eastern declivity of the Rocky 
Mountains, near the sources of the Elk River ; Lewis ami Clark saw tnem 
at the mouth of the Oregon. To the sast they abound in Labrador, Nova 
Scotia, New-Brunswick, and Lower Canada. In the United States they 
are found in very diminished number.s in the unsettled portions of Maine 
and at long intervals in New-Hampshire and Vermont. In the state ot 
New- York, according to the observations, made by Dr. Dekay, (Nat. Hist. 
N. Y., p. 117), which we believe strictly correct, they yet exist in Herkimer, 
Hamilton, Franklin, Lewis and Warren counties, and their southern limit 
along the Atlantic coast is 43' 30'. 


We have considerable doubts whether our Moose deer is identical with 
the Siandinavian elk {Ccrvus olrrs, of authors), and have therefore 
not quoteJ any of the synonymes of the latter, but having possessed no 
favourable oppcn-tuiiitics of deciding this point, wc have not ventured on 
the tidoi)tion of any of the specific names which have from time to tiiiif 
been propotscd for i]:r Annr'cjtn Moose. 





Incisive - ; Canine — ; Molar — = 32 

0-0 ' 6-6 

Horns common to both sexes ; small in the female ; horns persistent, 
greatly compressed, rough, pearled, slightly striated, with an anterior 
process, and the point inclining backwards ; eye large ; no suborbital 
sinus ; no inguinal pores ; no muzzle ; facial line, converse ; no canines ; 
no succentorial hoofs ; tail very short ; hair stiff, coarse, undulating, 
flattened ; female, mammse. 

Habit, peaceable, gregarious, herbivorous, confined to North- America. 

Only one well determined species belongs to this genus. 

The generic name Antilocapra, is derived from the two geneva. AntUope 
and Capra, Goat Antelope. 

i t 

1 : 



PLATE L XXVI I. Male and Female. 

Cornibus pedalibus compressis, intus planis, antife granulatis striatisque 
propucnaculo compresso procurvo cum cornum parte posteriore retrorsum 
uncinata furcam constitutiente ; colore russo fuscescente, gutture, cluni- 
umque disco albis : statura, Cervus Virginianus. 


Horns compressea, flat on the inner side, pearled and striated, with a com. 
pressed snag t„ the front ; colour, reddish dun ; throat and disk on the hut- 
tocks, white. Size of t/ie Virginia deer. 
vol.. II. — 25 

i i. 

i. >^'\' 




Tecthlamacam.*;. Ilcniaiidoz, N()v.-Ilis|)aii, p. '.Vi4, Hfj. J524. An. 1(551, 

Lk SlJlJKNDTON. 1 list. (I'.\lurli(|llc, |). 175. All. \1'2',i. 

Siji'iNAToN. l)<il>lp's, lluilsiiii's ISav, |i. 'il. An. 1711. 

Antiloi'k, ('AiiiiK on <J(iAr. (iiiss tloiirniil, \)\i. 4U, 111. 

Antii.opk. Lewis anil Clarko .loiiiii., N'oi. !., ]<\>. 75, "JOH, .'('.Mi; Vol. ii., p. KJO. 

Anth.oi'k ;\mi;kk'ana. Old, (iiitliiif's (icofiiiiiili} . KSlft. 

Ckuvus hamah's. Blainvillc, MouvlJiill. Socioty. ISlC. 

Antii.oc'AI'ua Amkkicana. Ord, .lour, do I'livs., |). HO. 1818. 

;\niii.<)1'k Fi'iu'iKKit. ('. Ilanultc n Smith, Lin. 'IVans., N'ol. xiii., jilati' 2. An. 1823 

Antilopk i''ia. Sniitli, (jiillitli, ("iiv., Vol. v., p. ;i2.'!. 

ANTii.orE Amkkicana. lla'Ian I'.uiiia. |i. "J'tO. 

■" (lodnian, Nat. Hist., Vol. ii., p. ;}21 

ANTiLorK FunciFKK. Kicliaidson, h\ ii. A,, d. 201, j)iatc 21. 


Tlic Proiifr-liornrd Aiifelopo possesses a stately and clcj^ant ConTi. and 
resenihios more the antelope lluin tlie deer family. It is slioiter and more 
con-.paetly built tlian the Vir^jfinii deer ; its head and neek ai-e also shorter 
and the skull is broader at th(\ base. The horns of the male are curved 
upwards and baekwards with a short trianjriilar prony: about the centre, 
ineliiied inwards, not wriidded. Immediately above the pron<? llie horn 
diminishes to less than half the size, below the pronj;; the horn is flat and 
very broad, extremity of the horn iiup and pointed, and of the prong 
blunt. There are irrejrular little poie >n the horns of the male, two or 
three on each side. One si)eeinien has tv.'o on the inside of each horn and 
one on the outside irrejinlarly disposed. 

Nostrils larpe and opr^i, ])hiced rather tar back, eyes large and promi- 
nent, ears of moderate size, acuminate in .shape ; on the back of the neck in 
winter specimens there is a narrow ridge of hairs resembling a sliort 
mime. In summer there only remains of this mane a black stripe on the 
upper surf ice of the neck; eyelashes profuse; there i.s no under-fur. 'J'lie 
hairs are of a singular texture, being thick, soft, wavy and slightly crimped 
beneath the surface : they are brittle, and when bent do not return to their 
original straight form, interiorly they are white, spongy and pithy; scrotum 
pendulous. There is not the slightest vestige of any secondary hoofs on 
either of its fore or hind legs, such as are seen in deer and other animals. The 
hoofs are strong and compact, small and diminishing suddenly to a point. 


The nose is yellowish brown, eye lashes black, the orl)ils with a blackish 
brown border, outer edge and points of the ears brownish black. There i& 



a white briiid about two itichos widriti front of and partly oncirclin-,' the 

throat, narrowing to a point on each side of the neck; Ix-ncath tliis is a 

brown i)an(i about tlic samo breath, unchinmath wiiich is a grayish white 

spot of nciirly a tri.iiii-iilar shape ; lliis is formed by a p.itdi on eaeii si(h; of 

the throal of yellowish brown. The ela^sl, belly, and sides to within live 

or six Inches of tiie back are t,'rayish white. A lar^'c light-eoloured patch 

of nine indn-s in breadtii exists on the runip, similar to that on the Rocky 

Mountain slieej) and the «"lk. This wliitish patch is separated l)y a brown- 

yellowisli line, running along tlu; vertebra' of the back to the tail. Legs, 

l)ale brownish yellow, approaching to dull buff colour, all the upper surface 

yellowish brown ; under.jaw and cheek, pale or grayish white ; lips, whitish, 

Fvinnlc. — The I'eniale is a size smaller than the male. The neck is 

shorter. The form is similar, except that tin markings are rather faint<"r; 

the brownish yellow which surrounds th(^ dillerent whitish or grayish 

white spots and bands being nundi paler than in \\m male. The horn is 

destitute of a prong; it is only three inches in length, nearly straight, and 

running to an acute point. The female possesses no mane 


From point of m)se to root of tail, 
Height, to shoulder from end of hoof, 
Length of ear, .... 

Length of prong. 

F»T. Incuri. 

4 2 
3 1 




Reader, let us carry you with us to the boundless plains over whicli the 
pnmg-horn speeds. Hurra for the prairies and the swift antelopes, as 
they (le(>t by the hunter like flashes or meteors, seen but for an instant, for 
(luiekly do they pass out of sight in the undulaling groimd, covered wilh 
t;ill rank grass. Observe now a flock of these beautiful animals; they 
are not aliii id of man— they pause in their rapid course to gaze on the hun- 
ter, and stand with head erect, their ears as well as eyes directed towards 
him, and make a loud noise by stamping with their forefeet on the hard 
earth ; but suddenly they btjcome aware that he is no friend of theirs, and 
away they bound like a (lock of frightened sheep— but far more swiftly do 
the gracefid antelopes gallop ofl", even the kids running with extraordinary 
speed by the side of their parents — and now they turn around a steep hill 
and disappear, then p(>rhaps again come in view, and once more stand and 
gaze at the intruder. Sometimes, eager with curiosity and anxious to 

; , I 




examine the novel object wli ch astonislirs as well as alarmii them, (hi: 
antelopes on seeing a hunter, advance toward him, stopping at intervals, and 
then again advancing, and should the hunter partly conceal himself, and 
wave his handkerchief or a white or red rag on the end of his ramrod, he 
may draw the wondering animals (piite close to him and then (piickly seiz- 
ing his ride send a hall (lirough the fattest of the group, ere the timiv' „jea. 
tures have time to fly from the fatal spot. 

The Indians, we were told, sometimes bring the antelope to within ar- 
row-shot (bow-shot), by throwing themselves on their backs and kicking 
up their heels with a bit of a rag fastened to them, on seeing which mov- 
ing amid the grass the antelope draws near to satisfy his curiosity. 

The atmosphere on the western prairies is so pure and clear that an an- 
telope is easily seen whea fully one mile ofl', and you can tell whether it 
is feeding quietly or is alarmed ; but beautiful as the transparent thin air 
shews all distant objects, we have never found the great western prairies 
equal \\\v floucry descriptions of travellers. They lack the pure streamlet 
wherein the hunter may assuage his thirst— the delicious copses of dark, 
leafy trees ; and even the thousands of fragrant flowers, which tln^y are poet- 
icaliydescribedas possessing, aregenei-allyof the smaller varieties; and ihe 
Indian who roams over them is far from the ideal being — all grace, strength 
and nobleness, in his savage freedom— that we from these descriptions con- 
ceive him. Reader, do not expect to find any of the vast prairies that 
border the Upper Missouri, or the Yellow-Stone rivers, and extend to the 
Salt Lakes amid the Califbrnian range of the Rocky Mountains, verdant 
pastures ready for flocks and herds, and full of the soft perfume of the 
violet. No ; you will find an immense waste of stony, gravelly, barren soil 
stretched before you ; you will be tormented with thirst, half eaten up by 
stinging flies, and lucky will you be if at night you find wood and water 
enough to supply your tire and make your cup of coffee; and should you 
meet a band of Indians, you will find them wrapi)ed in old buffalo robes, 
their bodies filthy and covered with vermin, and by stealing or begging 
they will obtain from you perhaps more than you can. spare from your 
scanty store of necessaries, and armed with bows and arrows or firearms, 
they are not unfrequently ready to murder, or at least rob you of all your 
personal property, including your ammunition, gun and butcher knife! 
The Prong-horned Antelope brings forth its young about the same time 
as the common deer: from early in May to the middle of .Tune ; it has gen- 
erally two fawns at a birth. We have heard of no case in which more 
than that number has been dropped at a time, and probably in some cases 
only one is fawned by the dam. The young are not spotted like thf fawn 
of the common deer, but are of a uniform dun colour. The dam 



remains by her yxang for some days after they are born, feeding immedi- 
ately around the spot, and afterwards Krarliially enlarjjinK lier range ; when 
the young are a I'orfiiigiit old ihey have gained strength and speed enough 
to escape with their llt'et-footed mother from wolves orotiier four-footed 
foes. Sometimes, however, the wolves discover find attack the young 
when they are too feeble to escape, and the mother then displays the 
most devoted courage in their defence. She rushes on tliem, butting and 
striking with her short horns, and sometimes tosses a wolf heels over head, 
she also uses her forefeet, with which she deals severe blows, and if the 
wolves are not in strong force, or desperate with iiunger, puts them to 
flight, and then seeks with her young a safer pasturage, or some al- 
most inaccessible rocky hill side. 

The rutting season of this species commences in September, the bucks 
run for about six weeks, and during this period fight with great courage 
and even a degree of ferocity. When" a male sees another approacli- 
ing, or accidentally comes upon one of his rivals, hofh parties run at each 
other with their heads lowered and their eyes flashing angrily, and while 
they strike with their horns they wheel and bound with prodigous activity 
and rapidity, giving and receiving severe wounds,— sometimes like fencers, 
getting within each others " points," and each hooking his antagonist with 
the recurv(!d branches of his horns, which bend considerably inwards and 

The Prong-horned Antelope usually inhabits the low prairies adjoining 
the covered woody bottoms during spring and autumn, but is also found on 
the high or upland prairies, or amid broken hills, and is to be seen along 
the margins of the rivers and streams : it swims very fast and well, and oc- 
casionally a herd when startled may be seen crossing a river in straggling 
files, but without disorder, and apparently with ease. 

Sometimes a few of these animals, or even only one or two by them- 
selves may be seen, whilst in other instances several hundreds are con- 
gregated in a herd. They are remarkably shy, are possessed of a fine 
sense of smell, and have large and beautiful eyes, which enable them to 
scan the surface of the undulating prairie and detect the lurking Indian or 
wolf, creep he ever so cautiously through the grasses, unless some inter- 
vening elevation or copsewood conceal his approach. It is. therefore, 
necessary for the hunter to keep well to kiicanl. and to use extraordinary 
caution in "sneaking" after this species; and he must also exercise a 
great deal of patience and move very slowly and only at intervals, when 
the animals with heads to the ground or averted from him, are feeding or 
attracted by some other object. When they discover a man thus stealthily 
moving near them, at first sight thej fly from him with great speed, and 

I i 

li • M 






often retire to i'.,s brokon 

KioiiikLs of (he clay hills, from which 

which they are 
not oDcM tempfed to stray a -n-iit (lislaiicc at any (iitic. As we h.iv." ..ireiidy 
mrntionrd. there are ine;ms, however, to ••x<'ite the timid anlelope to 
draw near iIk- Imnler, l.y aroiisinfj; his eiiriosiiy nnd deeoyin;; liiii. lo his 
ruin. 'I'he antelopes of ih.^ Tpper Missouri eounlry are Imjuenlly shot hy 
the Indians whilst crossing; the river; and, as w.; were infortned, preCerreil 
the nor'' m side of the Missouri ; whieli. no doubt, arises from the pr<'va- 
•'•' . on that bank of the river of certain plants, trees or grasses, that Uiey 
are most fond of. Males and females are found together at all seasons of 
the year. We have been fold that probably a thousand or more of these 
animals have been seen in a single herd or llocU at one time, in the spring. 
It was supposed by the hunters at Fort Union, that the prong-horned 
antelope dropped its horns; but as no person had ever shot or killed one 
witliout thes(> ornamental and useful appendages, we managed to prove 
the contrary to the men at the fort by knocking off the bony part of the 
horn, and showing the hard, spongy membrane beneath, well attached to 
the skull and perfectly inmioveable. 

The Prong-horned Antelope is never found on the Missouri river below 
i:,(in f/iii voiirt ; but above that stream they are found along the great 
Missouri and its tributaries, in all the country east of the Rocky Moun- 
tains, and in many of the great valleys that are to be met with among these 
extraordinary " big hills." None of these antelopes are found on ihe shores 
of the Mississippi, although on the headwaters of the Saint Peter's river 
they have been tolerably abundant. Their walk is a slow and somewhat 
pompous guit, their trot elegant and graceful, ;d their gallop or " run" 
light and ii-conceivably swift ; they pass along, up or down hills, or along 
the level plai.' with the same apparent ease, while so ra[)i(Jly do their legs 
perform their graceful movements in projielling their bodies over the 
ground, that like the spokes of a fast turning wheel we cixn hardly see 
them, but instead, observe a gauzy or tilm-likc appearance where thev 
should be visible. 

In autumn, this species is fatter than at any other period. Their liver 
is much prized as a delicacy, and we have heard that many of these ani- 
mals are killed simply to procure this choice morsel. This antelope feeds 
on the short grass of the prairies, on mosses, buds, &,c. ; and sutlers greatly 
during the hard winters experienced in the north-west; especially when 
the snow is several feet in depth. At such times they can be caught bv 
hunters provided with snow shoes, and they are in this manner killed, even 
ill sight of Fort Union, irom time to time. 

It is exceedingly dillicult to rear the young of this species; and, although 
many attempts have been made at Fort Union, and even an old one caught 



iind hiouK'lit within an enclosure to keep (be young eoinpany, ihey became 
furious, (vnd nui uiid butted ultermitely th(! picket-wall or fence, 
until they were too inucb bruised and exhausted to recover William 
BuuLK/rrK, Esij., of St. I^ouis, Missouri, however, brouj^ht with hiin lo that 
cil/a leinale antelo|Ks caught when (|uite young on the prairies of the 
far west, which grew to maturity, and was ho very gentle, that it would go 
all over the house, mounting or descending the Btairs, and occasionally 
going on to the roof of th ■ building he lived in. This female was aiive 
when we lirst reached Nt. Louis, but ifot being aware of its existence, w<' 
never saw it. It was killed belbrj we lell by •. )uck-elk, belonging to the 
same gt^ntleman. 

Whilst (m our Journey in the fai u, in 1813, on one occasion, we had 
tli(! gratitieation of seeing an old female, in a h.,. '. of eight or ten antelopes, 
suckling its young. The little beauty performed this operation pnscisely in 
the manner of our common lambs, almost kneelir g down, bending its head 
upwards, its rump elevated, it thumped the bag of its molher, from time 
to tim<', and reminded us of far distant scenes, whciv peaceful flocks leed 
and repos(! under the saleguard of our race, and no prowling wolf or hungry 
Indian deleats the hopes of the good shepherd who nightly lolds his stock of 
the Leicester or Bakewell breed. Our wild antelojjes, h vvever, as we 
ap|)roached them, scampered away; and we were delighted to see that 
(irst, and in the van of all, was the young one ! 

On the 21st July, 1813, whilst in company with our frirnc", Edward 
Harris, Esq., during one of our hunting excursions, we came in sight of an 
antelope gazing at us, and determined to stop and try if we could bring 
him toward us by the trick we have already mentioned, of throwing our 
legs up in the air and kicking them about, whilst lying on our back in the 
grass. We kicked away (irst one foot and then the other, and sure enough, 
the antelope walked slowly toward us, apparently with great caution and 
suspicion. In about twenty minutes he had advanced towards us some two 
or three hundred yards. He was a superb male, and we looked at him tor 
several minutes when about sixty yards off. We could see his fine pro- 
truding eyes ; and being loaded with buck-shot, we took aim and pulled 
trigger. Off he went, as if pursued by a whole Black-foot Indian hunting 
partj'. Friend Harris sent a ball at him, but was as unsuccessful as our- 
selves, for he only ran the faster for several hundred yards, when ho 
stojjped for a few minutes, looked again at us, and then went ofl, without 
pausing as long as he was in sight. We have been informed by LArLKUR, 
a man employed by the Company, that antelopes will escape with great 
ease even when they have one limb broken, as they can run fast enough 
upon three legs to dely any pursuit. Whilst we were encamped at the 




■ i f 














" Thn*p Miimolli's," about sixty miles wrst ol' Fort I iiion, eixrly one inorning 
im aiitelopti wiis lirunl .iiiurtiiig, and was sccti hy soiiu- ofoui |)arty for a 
few iiiiiuitcN only. Tliis siiortiiiy;. us it is ciillcd, res, mblcs a loud whistlinju' 
8in;L?in;Li; sound proioiifjcd, and is very dilii-rcnt I'roin tlic loud and clear 
snorting ofoiir coinnion deer ; hut it has always appt'ared to us to he almost 
useless to attempt to describe it ; and idtliou^,'h at this moment we have 
the sound oi'the antelope's snort in oiirrdr.s, >ve feel quite ur de to give 
its etjuivalent in words or syllahlps. 

The antelope has no lachrymal pits under the eyes, as have deer and 
elks, nor has it any gland on the hind leg, so curious a feature in many ol 
those animals of the deer tribe which drop their horns aimually. and oidy 
wanting (so far as our knowledge extends) in the Crnui.s liivlKinlsonii, 
which we consider in eonse(ju<'nce as approacliing the genus AhIHojh; and 
in a small deer from Yucatan and Mexico, of which we had a living 
specimen for some time in our possession. 

The ])roiig-hornrd antelope often dies on the open prairies during severe 
winter weather, and the ri in.uns ofshockingly poor, st;irved, miserable indi- 
viduals of this species, in a state of the utmost emaciation, are now and then 
found dead in the winter, even near Fort Union and other trading posts. 

The present species is caught in pens in the same manner nearly as the 
bison, (which we have already descril)ed at p. 97) but is generally despatcn- 
ed with clubs, principally by the women. In the winter of 184(1, when the 
.snow was deep ir. ihe ravines, having drifted, Mr. I,\idlaw, who was 
then at Fort Union, caught some of them by following them on horse- 
back and forcing them into these drifts, which in places were as much as 
ten to twelve feet deep. They were brought to the fort in a sleigh, and 
let loose about the rooms ; they were to appearance so very gentle that 
the people suffered their children to handle them, although the animals 
were loose. They were placed in the carpenter's shop, one broke its 
neck by leaping over a turning-Iatlie, and the rest all died ; for as soon as 
they had appeased the cravings of hunger, they began to fret for their 
accustomed liberty, and regained all their original wildncss. They leaped, 
kicked and butted themselves against every obstacle,untiltoomuchexhaust- 
ed to recover. — These individuals were all captured by placing nooses, 
fixed on the end of long poles, round their necks, whilst they were embedded 
in the soft and deep snow drifts, to which they had been driven liy Mr. 


There are some peculiarities in tiie gait of this species that we have 
not yet noticed. The moment they observe a man or other strange object 
producing an alarm, they l)oniid olf lor some thirty or forty yards, raising 
all their legs at the same time, and bouncing, at it were, from two to tiiree 



fePt above tho ground • nfter this they stretch their bodies out and gallop 
at an extraordinary speed. Wo have seen some which, when started, 
would move off and run a space oCseveral miles, in what we thought did 
not exceed a greater number of minutes ! 

From what we have already said, it will be inferred that the wolf is 
one of the most formidable enemies of this species. We have, however, 
not yet mentioned that in some very cold and backward seasons the young,' 
when first born at such times, are destroyed by these marauders in such 
numbers that the hunters perceive the deficiency and call them scarce for 
the next season. Antelopes are remarkably fond of saline water or salt, 
and know well where the mlt-licks are found. They return to them daily] 
if near their grazing grounds, and lay down by them, after licMng the' 
salty earth or drinking the salt water. Here they will remain for hours 
at a time, in fact until hunger drives them to seek in other places the 
juicy and nourishing grasses of the prairie. This species is fond of taking 
its stand, when alone, on some knoll, from which it can watch the move- 
ments of all wanderers on the plains around, and from which a fair chance 
to run in any direction is secured, although the object of its fear may be con- 
cealed from view occasionally by a ravine, or by another projecting ridge 
like its own point of sight. 

We had in our employ a hunter on the Yello"- -Stone River, who killed 
two female antelopes and broke the leg of a ..: rd at one shot from an 
ordinary western rifle. The ball must have passed entirely through the 
two first of these animals. 

We have represented on our plate two males and a female in the fore 
ground, with a flock of these timid creatures running at full speed in the 

We subjoin the following account of the Antelopes seen by J. W. Audubon 
and his party on their overland journey through Northern Mexico and 
Sonora to California. 

•' Leaving Altar, Sonora, the country was flat and uninteresting, except 
that large patches of coarse grass, sometimes miles in length, took the 
place of the naked clay plains we had been riding through. The tall 
cactus, described by Fremont and Emory, in its eccentric forms was remark- 
able enough even by daylight, but at night, a very little superstition, with 
the curved and curiously distorted forms, produced in some cases by dis- 
ease of the plant, or by the violent gales that periodically sweep those 
prairies, might make the traveller suppose this was a region in which 
beings supernatural stalked abroad. The shrill whistle of the Antelope, new 
to us all, added to the wild and unearthly character of the scene. The 
Maricapos Indians were said to be friendly, but we did not hiow it, and 
VOL. ir. — 2C) 

I:, i 



lif ! 

II ^ 



after our long watchings against Camanche, Apatche.Wako and Paramanii, 
who among us, as we knew how Indians sometimes personate the animals 
of the section they live in, but listened with intense interest to the slightest 
noise foreign to our previous knowledge. The short quick stampings of" im- 
patience or nervousness, continually repeated by the animals, were, how- 
ever, soon distinguished in the stillness of our prairie camp at night, and 
feeling thus assured that only one of the deer tribe was the cause of 
our anxiety, blankets and tent soon covered us, and we left the beautiful 
and innocent creatures, now that we knew them, to their own reflections, 
if any they made, as to who and what we were, until morning. 

At day light, Khoades and Van Horn, two hunters good as ever ac- 
companied a train across the broad prairies ranged over by Bufl^alo, 
Elk, or Deer, looked out the trails, and reported Anteloj)es ; but brought 
none to camp ; not expecting to see any more of this herd, we started on 
our tramp towards the great Sonora Desert. 

Stevenson had a new horse, and as he had never ueen mounted with- 
out blindfolding him, after the Mexican fashion with young horses, being 
wild, his owner, by way of making him more gentle, commenced beat- 
ing; him with a stick that might havfe been selected to kill him ; before 
I had time to know what was going on and interfere for the poor 
horse, he had looked to his own interests, pulled away, and with a 
bounding gallop went off, like an escaped prisoner, leading four of our 
best men and horses some ten miles ahead of the train, and when the 
runaway was at length overtaken, Van Horn, Pennvpacker, Mc. Cusker, 
and myself were greatly in advance ; the curve we had made from the 
road was slight, and on reaching it again, no trail told that the company 
had passed, so we had time to look about us, and loitered to rest our tired 
horses, when simultaneously we saw the back of a deer or Antelope ; its 
head was hidden by the tall grass in which it was grazing on the soft juicy 
young shoots at the roots of the old tussocks: Van Horn, with his unerring 
nim and Mississippi rifle, the eccentric twist of which, no doubt taken from 
Wesson's patent, renders these guns superior to all we have tried, was told 
to kill it. For a few seconds he was lost to our sight, though only a 
hundred yards from us, so low did he squat in the sparse tufts of def\'l 
grass and stinking wormwood. How curious it is to stand waiting the 
result of the skill and caution of the well iried hunter, at such a time ; 
again and again we saw the back of the Antelope, as he passed one bunch 
of shrubbery after another, but never saw our hunter: at every moment 
we expected to see the wary animal with sense of smell so keen as nine 
times out often to save him from his enemies, bound away ; but how difle- 
rent was his bound when he did leap, not forward, but straight upward 



And now we saw Van Horn, a quarter of a mile off, running to where the 
last leap was made by his prey, and then came on ihe sluggish air, the 
crack of his rifle, almost after we had forgotten to listen for it, as a rifle 
cracks nowhere except on prairies, where neither woods, rocks or hills send 
back the sound. When I saw this beautiful creature, a most magnificent 
male, the first I had ever seen in the flesh, thougb the drawing for the 
' Quadrupeds ' had been long made and published, "how I wished to redraw 
it! delicate even to the descriptions of the gazelle, muscular and sinewy 
as the best bred grey hound that Scotland ever produced. 

I anticipated a treat, as Van Horn gave me a hind quartei for our men, 
which I tied doubly secure to my saddle. But when night came, afl;er ten 
hours' ride, although we enjoyed our steak .he deer of the Cordilleras was 
too fresh in our memories to permit us to say that this Antelope was the 
best meat we eaten." 

* * * " The eastern spurs of the coast range were just behind us ; the 
black-tailed deer was scarcely past, for a few miles back, high up on one 
of theconical velvety hills of this range, we had seen three, looking at us 
from under one of the dwarf oaks that grow at a certain altitude, in forms 
peculiar to this country; above or below, either a different formation 
or total absence of shrubbery occurring. We were winding along the 
base of a moderate line of hills of the Sierra Nevada, when what we 
took for a flock of sheep, the trail of which we had been following for three 
days on the way to the mines from Los Angeles, was discovered, and we 
hoped for nmtton, to say nothing of the company we anticipated ; but our 
flock of sheep was like the ' Phantom Bark,' for it ' seemed never the 
nigher,* au contraire, turning a hill went out of sight, and we never got 
another view ; we saw another flock some miles on, and at first, suppos- 
ing it the same, wondered how they could travel so fast. This was 
probably another portion of the one we had trailed for so many days. 
Wc were gratified by the whole flock running ne.-ir us, from which we 
argued we were in the chosen country of tlie Antelope, the broad Tule 
valley. The flock ran 'shearing' about, as the formation of the land com- 
pelled them to turn to the right or left, showing their sides alternately in 
light and shade. When they are on the mountain sides and discover a 
foe, or any object that frightens them, the whole flock rush headlong for 
the plains, whether the enemy is likely to intercept them or not, and they 
seem to fly with the single idea, that they are in a dangerous place, and 
must change it for some other, no matter what ; at times a whole flock 
would run to within shot of our company, determined as it were to go 
through the line, and I believe in one or two instances would have done 
so, if they had not been shot at by our too impatient party. When on 


1 f 



the plains, the same desire possesses them to get to the hills, and back 
they go a hundred or two in a flock, seldom slackening their speed, ex- 
cept for a few seconds to look again, and be more frightened than ever 
at what had first startled them. The rolling hills of the western line of 
the Sierra Nevada were their most favourite locality in this valley, as 
far as wc saw, but Layton and myself met an accidental individual or 
two, nearly up to Sacramento city, as we travelled through the beautiful, 
park-like scenes of this portion of California to the diggings of the head 
waters of the " American Fork." 

As to the shedding of the horns of this species, I never was able to as- 
certain it, but a fine buck we killed, late in November, had a soft space 
between the head and horn, over the bone, that looked as if it had grown 
that length in one season. A young Antelope is better eating than a deer, 
but an old one, is decidedly goaty. 


The Prong-horned Antelope is an inhabitant of the western portions of 
North America, being at no time found to the east of the Mississippi 
river. Its most northerly range is, flccording lo Richardson, latitude 53° 
on the banks of the north branch of the Saskatchewan. They range 
southerly on the plains east of the Rocky Mountains into New Mexico. 
The precise latitude we have not been able to ascertain, but we have seen 
specimens that were said to have been obtained along the eastern ridge of 
the mountains within the tropics in Mexico. The account given by Hernan- 
dez, as well as his bad figure of his Teuthlnmucame, can apply to no other 
species ; this was obtained in Mexico. Lewis and Clarke found it on the 
plains west of the Columbia River, and it is now known to be an inhabi- 
tant of California. It has, therefore, a very extensive geographical range. 

general remarks. 

We have after much reflection and careful examination, concluded to 
adopt Mr. Ord's genus Anlibcapra for this species. It diflfera in so many 
particulars from the true Antelopes, that naturalists will be compelled 
either to enlarge the character of that genus, or place it under one already 
formed. Its horns are branched, of which no instance occurs among all 
the species of Antelope ; it is destitute of crumens or lachrymal openings, 
and is entirely deficient in the posterior or accessory hoofs, there being 
only two on each foot. 

Major Hamilton Smith, (Cuv. Animal Kingdom, Vol. v., p. 321,) formed 
a genus under the name of Dicranocerua, under which he placed a second 
species which he named Apalmata. Although the generic name given by 



Smith is m many respects preferable, as being more classically correct, 
still, if we were to be governed by the principle that we should reject a 
genus because the compoi I lul word from which it is derived is composed 
of two languages, or if it does not designate the precise character of the 
species, we would be compelled to abandon many familiar genera, estab- 
lished by Linnaeus himself. 

The specific name of Ord, we have also adopted in preference to the 
more characteristic one "furcifer" of Smith, under a rule which we have 
laid down in this work not to alter a specific name that has been legiti- 
mately given. 

We havo added the A palmata, palmated Antelope of Major Smith, as a 
synonyme. We have compared so many specimens differing from each 
other in shades of colour and size of horns, that we have scarcely a doubt 
of his having described a very old male of the Prong-horned Antelope. 












! I 




Mule Deer. 

?LATE LXXVIII. Female— Summer Pelage. 

C. cornibus sub-dichotomo-rarnosis ; auriculis longissimis ; corpore 
supra pallide rufescente-fusco, cauda pallide rufescente cinere^, apice 
compresso subtus nudl-osculo nigro. 


Horns cylindrical, twice forked ; ears very long ; body above, broivnisli 
grey ; tail short, above, pale reddish ash colour, except at the crircmity on its 
upper surface, where it is black. Hair on the body coarse, like that of the 
Elk ; very long glandular openings on the sides of hind legs. 



Jumping Deer. Umfreville, Hudson's Bay, p. 164. 

Black Tailed or Mule Deer. Gass Journ. p. 55. 

Black Tailed Deer, Mule Deer. Lewis and Clarke, Vol. 1, pp. 91, 92, 10(5, 

152, 239, 2G4, 3-J8. Vol.2, p. 152. Vol. 3. p. 27, 125. 
Mule Deer, Warden's United States. Vol. 1, p. 245. 
Cekf Mulet. Desmarcst Mam., p. 43. 

Black Tailed or Mule Deer. James Long's Exped. Vol. 2, p, 276, 
Cervus Macrotis, Say, Long's Expedit. Vol, 2, p, 254, 

" Harlan Fauna, p, 243. 

" Sabine. Franklin's Journey, p. 667, 

«• Godman's Nat. Hist, Vol, 2, p, 305, 

Great Eared Deer. Griffith's An, King, Vol. 4, p, 133 ; Vol. 5, p. 794. 


In size this species is intermediate between the Elk and the Virginian 
Deer, and a little larger than the Columbian Black Tailed Deer, to be 
noticed hereafter. It is a fine formed animal, bearing a considerable re- 
semblance to the Elk, its long ears constitute its only apparent defor- 

Male, — Antlers slightly grooved, tuberculated at base, a small branch 
near the base, corresponding to the situation and direction of those of the C. 
Virginianus. Thr curvature of the anterior line of the antlers, is similar in 




i ; ■ 

i ■ 

.1 i ' 




i ■ * 


' ; 

i I 





I f 






mm msmmm ! ■. 







'Si ' 







direction but less in degree than in the Common Deer ; near the middle of 
the entire length of the antlers they bifurcate equally and each of these 
processes again divides near the extremity, the anterior of these smaller 
prongs being somewhat longer than the posterior ones. The lateral teeth 
are larger in proportion to the intermediate teeth than those of the Virginia- 
nus. The ears are very long, extending to the principal bifurcation, about 
half the length of the whole antler. The lachrymal aperture is longer than 
m the Virginian Deer, the hair is coarser and is undulated or crimped like 
that of the Elk ; the hoofs are shorter and wider than those of the common 
Deer, and more like those of the Elk, the tip of the trunk of the tail is some- 
what compressed and almost destitute of hair. 

Female. — Summer Pelage, — In the length and form of its ears, the animal 
from which we describe constantly reminds us of the mule, and in this parti- 
cular may noc have been inappropriately named the Mule Deer. The fe- 
male is considerably larger than the largest maleof the Virginian Deer we 
have ever examined. The head is much broader and longer from the eye 
to the point of the nose, the eye large and prominent, the legs stouter, and the 
tail shorter. The gland on the outer surface of the hind legs below the 
knee, covered by a tuft of hair, is of the unusura length of six inches, 
whilst in the common deer it is only one inch long. Around the throat, 
the hair is longer than in the corresponding parts of the Virginian Deer, 
and near the lower jaw under the throat, it has the appearance of a small 
tuft or beard. The tail of the summer-specimen is slightly tufted, indi- 
cating that in winter it might have a distinct tuft at the end. It is 
rounded and not broad and flat like that of the Virginian Deer. 

The hair on the body is coarse, and lies less compact and smooth, that 
on the thighs near the buttocks, resembles white cotton threads cut off ab- 


Upper portion of nose and sides of face ashy grey ; the forehead is dark 
browo, and commences a line running along the vertebrae of the back, 
growing darker till it becomes nearly black. Eyebrows and a few streaks 
on and along the neck dark brown. Neck, and sides of body, yellowish 
brown. Outer surface of legs a shade lighter than the sides of the body. 
Under the chin, inner surface of legs, and belly, greyish white. Belly 
between the forelegs brownish or yellowish-brown, a line of which colour 
runs up to the neck. It differs from the Virginian Deer in being destitute 
of the dark markings under the chin, and has them less conspicuous around 
the nose. From the root of the tail extending downwards on both but- 







tocks there is a lightish patch seven inches in diameter, making an ap- 
proach to the yellowish white spot on the buttocks, so characteristic 
in the elk, rocky mountain sheep, and pronged liorned antelojje. From the 
root of the tail to near the extreirrity the hairs are ashy white. Point of 
tail for two inches black. 

There are no annulations on the hair, which is uniform in colour from 
the roots. 


Nose to anterior canthus of eye 
Length of eye 
Nose to opening of ear 
« end " " 

Breadth of ear ... 
Nose to point of shoulder 
Nose to root of tail 
Tail vertebrae ... 

End of hair ... 

Tip of shoulder to elbow 
" " " to bottom of feet 
Height to rump 
Girth b.ick of sh' aider 
Round the neck 
Nose to angle of mouth 
Between eyes at anterior canthus 
Behind the eyes round the head 

Weight, 132 lbs. 

Dimensions of a Male, as given by Say. 

Length from base of antlers to origin of basal process, 
From basal process to principal bifurcations 
Posterior branch .... 

From anterior base of antlers to tip of superior jaw 
^fthe ears - - . . - 

Trunk of the tail .... 

Hi'ir at thi tip of tail - • 






























44 to Ct 
24 to 3 

3 to 4 




The first opportunity was afforded us of observing this magnificent 
animal, on the 12th of May as we were ascending the Missouri, about 
eleven hundred miles above Fort Leavenworth. On winding along the 
banks, bordering a long and wide prairie, intermingled with willows and 
other small brush wood, we suddenly can.e in sight of four Mule or black- 
taded Deer, which after standing a moment on the bank and looking at us 
trotted leisurely away, without appearing to be much alarmed. After they 
had retired a few hundred yards, the two largest, apparently males, ele- 
vated themselves on their hind legs and pawed each other in the manner 
ot the horse, ^hey occasionally stopped for a moment, then trotted off 
again, appearing and disappearing from time to time, when becoming 
suddenly alarmed, they bounde.l off at a swift pace, until out of sight 
Ihey did not trot or run as irregularly as our Virginian Deer, and they 
appeared at a distance darker in colour, as the common Deer at this 
season is red. On the 2.5th of the same month, we met with four others 
which m the present instance did not stop to be examined ; we saw them' 
at a distance rapidly and gracefully hurrying out of sight. On the evening 
ot the same day, one of our hunters brought to us a young Buck of this 
species, the horns of which, however, were yet too small to enable us to 
judge what would be their appearance in the adult animal. When on the 
Upper Missouri, near Fort Union, we obtained through the aid of our hun- 
ters, the female Black-tailed Deer, from which our figure, description and 
measurements have been made. We regret exceedingly that we were so 
unfortunate as not to havs been able to procure a male, the Jelineation 
of which wp must leave to our successors. 

The habits of this animal approach more nearly those of the Elk than 
of either the long-tailed or Virginian Deer. Like the former they remove 
far from the settlements, fi,, --^m the vicinity of the hunter's camp and 
when once fairly started, run lor a mile or two before they come to a 

The female produces one or two young, in the month of June. 

We have figured a female an summer pelage, and have represented the 
animal in an exhausted state, wounded through the body, and about to 
drop down, whilst the hunter is seen approaching, through the tall grass, 
anticip_ ing the moment when she will reel and fall in her tracks. 


The Mule Deer range along the eastern sides of the Rocky Mountains, 
through avast extent of country; and according to Lewis and Clauke 
vol 11.- --'.>/. 










are the only species on the mountnins in the vicinity of the (irst falls of the 
C()luml)iii llivcr. 'I'licir lii^licst nortlicrn riiny;c, fict-ordiiiy; to RiriiAUDHoN, is 
the banks of the Saskiifchewaii, in .-ilmiit latitude Ti 1° ; they do not come to 
the eastward of lonuiMide lOS in that parnllel. He represents them us 
numerous on the Guamash Hats, which border on the Kooskooskie River 
We found it a little to the east of Fort Union on the Missouri River, It 
rani^es north and south aloiii^ the eastern sides of the Rocky Mountains 
through many [)arallels of latitude until it reaches north-western Texas, 
where it has recently been killed. 


Since the days of Lewis and Clarke, an impression has existed among na- 
turalists that there were two species of black-tailed Deer; the one exist inj; 
to the east of the Rocky Mountains, and the other, bordcrin}? on the Pacilic, 
and extendi;^}^ through upper California. Although the descriptions of those, 
fearless and enterprising travellers are not scientific, yet their accounts 
of the v.irious species of animals, existing on the line of their travels, have 
in nearly every case been foun<l correct, and their description of habits 
very accuralte. They state that "the black-tailed fallow I)e«'r are peculiar 
to this coast (mouth of the Columbia.) and are a distinct species, partaking 
equally of the qualities of the Mule and the common Deer (C. Virgimduus.) 
The receptacle of the eye more conspicuous, their legs shorter, their bodies 
thicker and larger. The tail is of the same length with that of the common 
Deer, the hair on the under side, white ; and on its sides and top of a di op 
jetty black; the hams resembling in form and colour those of the Mule Deer, 
which it likewise resembles in its gait. The blnck-tailed Deer never runs 
at full speed, bm bounds with every foot from the ground at the same time, 
like the Mule ^ jr. He sometimes inhabits the woodlands, but more often 
the prairies and open grounds. It may be generally said that he is of a size 
larger than the comm>:n Deer, and less than the Mule Deer. The flesh is 
seldom fat, and in flavour is far inferior to any other of the species ! It will 
be seen from the above, that they regarded the Mule Deer of the plains of 
Western Missouri as a distinct species from the black-tailed Deer, which 
existed along the Pacific coast near the Columbia river. 

Say gave the first scientific description of the Mule Deer, which he named 
" Cervus Macrotis" which having the priority we have retained. Richard- 
son, whilst at the Saskatchewan, sought to obtain specimens of this animal 
for description, but it being a season of scarcity, the appetites of the hunters 
proved superior to their love of gain, and they devoured the Deer they had 
shot, even to their skins. When after his return to Europe, in 1829, he 



published the animals ohtair ed in the expedition, he very properly added 
such other species as had been c«»llected by th,- labours ol" Don.; ^ r- -i;„. 
MOM) and other njtfiiralists, who Iwid explored the norther- kI J 

porfions of Auieric;!. Findinyr in the Zoological Musecn- -jio i ,i 

black-tailed Deer, procured on the western coast of Am; lic i.> i; m, :ig, 
he concluded that it was the species described by Say, ( . '»■ utis ; at 
the close of his article, he refers to the animal mentioned by LEwir. and 
Ci.ARKK, as the black-tailed Deer of the western coast, of which he states, 
that he had seen nospeci-nen, designating it (F.B. Am. p. 2.57) C. marrotis, 
var. ColumhUinti. We have, however, come to , the conclusion the 
animal described by Richardson was the very western species to which 
Lewis and Clarkk refer, and that whilst his description of the specimen 
was correct, he erred in the name, he having described not the Mule Deer 
of Lewis and Ci,ark and Say, but the Columbian black-tailed Deer, oui 
drawing of which was made from the identical specimen described and 
figured by Richardson. We have named it, after its first describer, Cervux 

The following characters will serve to designate the species. 

C. Richiirdsonii, considerably smaller than C. macrotis, the male of the 
former species being smaller than the female of the latte-. The hair .if 
C. iiuicrofis is very coarse and spongy, like that of the elk, that of C. 
Richardsuniiis much finer and more resembles that of the Virginian Deer. 
The ('. Richurdsoiiii has no glandular opening on the outer surface of the 
hind leg below the knee joint, approaching in this particular the antelopes 
which are also without such openings, whilst the corresponding portion in 
C. macrotis is longer than that of any known species of Deer, being si\ inch- 
es in length. They difler in the shape of their horns, C. Richardsonii having 
the antlers more slender, much less knobbed, and leds covered with sharp 
points than those of the latter. They are also destitute of the basal pro- 
cess, so conspicuous in C. macrotis. We regret exceedingly that from cir- 
cumstances beyond our control, we have been enabled to give a figure 
of the female only of C. macrotis, and of the male ily of C. Ricliardxonii. 
The former was figured from the specimen we ined at F'ort Union, 

and for the latter we are indebted to the directors ol the Zool. Society of 
London, who very kindly permitted us to make a drawing from the spc- 
cinieii previously described and figured by Richardson. 

Note. — In connection with tliis subject, we arc deeply p.nined to be comiiellcd to notice 
the obstnu'timis thrown in the way of our pursiil;.' l>y the directors of the National InKtituto 
at Wasliinfjton, whiclt city we vi-<iled sliorlly after the return of our explorinj; expedition, 
when we were kindly invited hy Mr. Peale to an examination of tiie valuable specimens of 
Natural History, collected by our adventurous countrymen. We pointed out to iiim one 
ortwo skins of the blacktiiiled Deer from the Western coast, whijli we bcth agreed diifered 





from tlie C. Macrolis of Say. We proposed to him that he should give ii short descrip- 
tion of the species, and select the name, wliich we would afterwards adopt in our worii 

tiiis is in accordance with the mode usually pursued, and would have only occupied an hour. 
After the lapse of several years, we made an ai)|)lication by letter to the directors of the 
Institution for the privi]i'i,'e of making a drawing of the specimen ; tiiis we were not only 
refused, but were even denied the privilege of looking at the si)eeimen, which wo were very 
an.xious to sec, in order to bo enabled to point out in the most satisfactory manner the 
characteristics by which these two closely allied species of Doer inhabiting our country 
could be distinguished from each other. 

We cannot but contrast the narrow-minded policy pursued towards us in our application at 
Washington, with the liberalitj and generosity which was at all times extended to us in Eurojjc 
under similar circumstances. When we visited England in 1 838, the Directors of the Zoologicid 
Society opened its museum and assigned to us a private room, of which they gave us the 
key, and which we occupied for nearly a month — the specimens were tiiken from the cases 
by theu- attendants and brought to us, and when we discovered in the collection undos^cribed 
species, we were encouraged and aided in descril)ing them. The same facilities were aiTorded 
us in the British museum, and in those of Edinburgh, Paris, Berlin, Dresden, and Zurich. 
The British Government, as well as our own, gave us all the assistance which could be 
rendered by cither, consistent with other public services, and we di'rived material advantages 
from the aid afforded lis by the revenue service and the various military stations we have 
visited in our researches, in Labrador— in Florida — in the tar West, and in Texas. 

We know not who were the Directors of the National Institute when our reasonable 
request was so cavalieriy rejected, nor have we inquired whether any changes in policy 
have since taken place in regard to the collection of animals at Wasiiington, but we feel it 
our duty publicly to protest against a conduct so narrow, selfish, and inconsistent with the 
liberality of our free institutions and so little adapted to nromote one of the objects sought 
to be gained by the exploring expeduion — viz ; the advancement of natural history. 

When the Hudsons Bay Company received an intimation that we would be glad to obtain 
any specimens they could furnish us from their trading posts in the arctic regions, they im- 
mediately gave orders to their agents and we secured from them rare animals and skins, prf>- 
cured at considerable labour and expense, and sent to us without cost, knowing and belitv. 
ing that in benefitting the cause of natural stdence they w ould receive a sufficient reward 




S. Super cervinus, pilis nigris, interspersis, subtus albido. CaudS cor- 
pore longiore, annulis, 17-20 nigris. 


Reddish-hrown ahow, speckled with black beneath. Tail, lohich is longer 
than the body, annulated, with from seventeen to twenty black bands. 


Spekmophilus Annulatus. Aud. & Bach. Transactions of the Academy of 
Natural Sciences, Oct. 5th, 1841. 


In size, this species is scarcely larger than the Hudson's Bay Squirrel 
OSf. Hudsonins.) I„ the shape of the head it resembles Spermophilus 
i'arryt. The ears are quite small, being scarcely visible above its short 
coat of rather coarse, adpressed hairs; they are thickly covered with hair 
on both surfaces. The nose is sharp ; whiskers, (which are numerous,) 
the ength of the head. Eyes of moderate size, situated on the sides of the 
head. The os-frontis is rounded between the orbits, as in S. Frauhlimi. 
The cheek pouches are pretty large, and open into the mouth immediately 
anterior to the grinders. The body is more slender than the spermophiles 
in general, and in this, and .several other peculiarities which will be men- 
tioned, this species approaches the genus Sciurus. On the fore-foot a 
slmrp, conical nail is inserted on the tubercle which represents th., thumb 
There are four toes, covered to the extremities with a close, smooth coat 

* \7' , 1' T' '""' '^" '''""'■'^ '"" ^'•^ "'' •"•l"''^' '^"'^^fh. The second 
and third, which are longest, are also uniform in length. The nails are 
short crooked and sharp, like those of the Squirrels, and not like those of 
the Marmots and Spermophili in general, which are long and slender 
and but slightly curved. The legs are long and slender. The hair on 
the back IS rather short, and lies close and smooth. The short fu, 
beneath this coarser hair is rather sparingly distributed. On the under 



! : t 






surface, the hairs are longer, and so thinly and loosely scattered as to 
leave the skin visible in many places, especially on the abdomen, and 
inner surface ol the thighs. The hind feet, which are thiciciy covered 
with short, smooth hairs, have five toes. The soles, as well as palms, are 
naked. The tail, by its great length and singular markings, presents 
a distinguishing peculiarity in this species ; it is flattened, and the hairs 
admit of a distichous arrangement ; but the tail is narrower, and less 
bushy than those of the Squirrels. 


The incisors are deep orange ; nails, brown ; whiskers, black ; nose and 
sides of the face, chestnut-brown. There is a line of soiled white above 
and around the eyes. The hairs on the upper surface are yellowish- 
brown at the roots, barred about the middle with black ; then another 
line of yellowish-brown and tipped with black, giving it a dark, greyish- 
brown, and in some lights a speckled appearance. The small spots are, 
however, no where well defined ; upper surface of the feet and legs, 
yellowish-brown ; the under parts, chin, throat, belly, and inner surface of 
the legs and thighs are white. The tail is annulated with about nineteen 
black, and the same number of cream-coloured bands, giving it a very con- 
spicuous appearance. These annulations commence about three inches 
from the root of the tail, and continue to be well defined till near the 
extremity, where the colours become more blended, and the rings are 
scarcely visible. On the under surface, the tail is pale reddish-brown, 
irregularly, and not very distinctly barred with black. 


Length from point of nose to root of tail, 

" tail vertebra?, --.... 

" to end of hair, ...... 

From heel to end of middle hind claw, .... 

Height of ear, posteriorly, ..... 

Length of longest fore-claw, ..... 

Length of longest hind claw, ..... 


We po5;3ess no knowledge of the habits of this species, but presume 
from its form, that it possesses the burrowing propensities of the genus. 
All the SpcrmophiH avoid thickly wooded countries, and are either found 
in rocky localities, or burrowing in the prairies. 
















The specimen we have described above, was obtained on the Western 
Prairies, we believe on the east of the Mississippi river ; the locality was 
not particularly stated. It was politely presented to us by Professor 
Si'ENCER F. Baird, of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, a young Naturalist of emi- 
nent attainments. 


general remarks. 

In every department of Natural History, a species is occasionally found 
which forms the connecting link between two genera, rendering it doubt- 
Ail under which genus it should properly be arranged. Under such cir- 
cumstances, the Naturalist is obliged to ascertain, by careful examination, 
the various predominating characteristics, and finally, place it under the 
genus to which it bears the closest affinity in all its details. The Sper- 
mophili are intermediate in character between the Squirrels and Mar- 
mots. They have the lightness of form of the former, and burrow in the 
ground like the latter. By their cheek pouches, of which the true Squir- 
rels and Marmots are destitute, they are distinguished from both. The 
second inner toe on the forefoot of the Spermophili is the longest, whilst 
in the Squirrels the third is longest. But in these closely-allied 
genera, there are species which approach those of another genus. 
Thus our Maryland Mnrmot, {A Monax,) has a rudimentary cheek-pouch, 
in which a pea might be inserted, yet in every other particular it is a 
true Arctomys. The downy Squirrel, {Sciurus lanuginosus, see Journal 
Acad. Nat. Science, Vol. 8th, part 1st, p. 07,) by its short ears, broad 
head, and not very distichous tail, approaches the Spermophili, yet by its 
being destitute of cheek-pouches, by its soft, downy fur, and its hooked, 
sharp claws, of which the third, as in the Squirrels, is longest, it is more 
allied to Sciurus. On the other hand, the species now under considera- 
tion has the long legs, slender form, and sharp, hooked claws ol" the 
Scjuirrel. The two middle toes of the fore-feet being of equal length, 
prove its affinity to both genera ; but in the general shape of its body, its 
cheek pouches, its short ears, and smooth, rigid hair, it must be regarded 
as belonging to the genus Spermophilus. We consider this species and 
the downy Squirrel as connecting links between Sciurus and Spermo- 
philus, as we regard Sciurus Hudsonius tlio connecting link between 
Tamias and Sciurus 

j; i- 

! ! 



Leconte's Pine-Mouse. 
PLATE LXXX.— Male and Female. 

A. Capite crasso ; naso obtuso ; vellere curto ; molli bombycino, instar 
velleri Talpae ; supra I'usco-cana, subtus plumboo. 

Head large, nose blunt ; fur short, soft, silhj and lustrous, like that of the 
mole. Colour, above, brown, beneath^ plumbeous. 


PsAMMOMv's PiNETORUM, Lo Coiitc, Annals of the Lyceum of Niitural History 

of New-York, Vol. III. p. 3, p. 2. 
Akvicola ScALOpsoiDES, Mole Arvicola. Aud, and Bach. Transactions Acad. 

Nat. Sciences, October, 184L 
Arvicola Oneida, De Kay, Nat. Hist., N. Y., p. 88. 


This species bears some resemblance to Wilson's Meadow Mouse ; it 
is, however, less in size, and its fur is shorter, more compact and glossy ; 
body rather stout, short and cylindrical ; head large and short ; nose blunt, 
and hairy, except the nostrils, which arc naked; incisors of moderate 
size ; moustaches, fine, and nearly all sliort, a few reaching the ear ; 
eyes very small ; auditory openings large ; ears very short, not visi- 
ble beyond the fur, thin and membranous, with a few scattered hairs 
on the upper margin ; neck short and thick ; logs short and slender, 
covered with very short, adpressed hairs, not concealing the nails ; 
palms naked. There are four toes on the fore foot, of which the 
second, on the inner side, is the longest, the first and third nearly equal, 
and the fourth shortest ; in place of a thumb, there is a minute, straight, 
but not blunt, nail. The hind feet have five toes, the middle longest, 
the two next on each side being of equal length, and a little shorter 
than the middle one ; the inner toe is considerably shorter, and tlip 
fourth, placed far back, is the shortest. The nails are weak, nearly 
straight, sharp, but not hooked. Th(! fur on the whole body is short, 
compact and soft, and on the l)ack, glossy. 




The eyes are black ; nostrils flesh-colour ; incisors light yellowish • 
moustaches nearly all white, with a few interspersed of a dark brown 
colour. Hair from the root plumbeous, tipped on the upper surface with 
glossy brown. These tips are so broad that they conceal the ashygrey 
colours beneath ; cheeks chestnut-brown, upper surface of tail brown 
feet, hght-brown, nails, whitish. The hairs on the under surface are 
shorter than those on the back, and instead of being broadly tipped with 
brown, like those on the back, are very slightly tipped with very pale 
brown and whitish, giving the chin, throat, neck and inner surface of legs 
and whole under surface of body a pale ash colour. The line of demarc- 
ation between the colours of the back and under surface, is very distinct 
in most specimens, commencing on the edges of the mouth, running along 
the sides of the neck, thence along the shoulder, including the fore legs- 
along the sides, the two opposite lines meeting near the root of the tail 
We have observed in this species a considerable difference in different 
specimens, both in size and colour, having met some which were but 
little more than three inches long, whilst others were five. In some the 
colours on the back were of a much deeper brown than in others whilst 
in others, the blown markings on the cheeks were altogether wanting, 
It should be observed that in this species, as well as in all our field mice 
the colours are much lighter, and inclined to cinereous after the shedding 
of the hair in summer ; the colours gradually deepen and become brighter 
toward autumn and winter, and are most conspicuously dark brown in 


From point of nose to root of tail, - 

Another Specimen. 

Length of head and body, 







The manners of this species do not diff^er very widely from those exhibit- 
ed by many other field mice. They however, avoid low grounds, so much 
the resort of the meadow mice, and prefer higher and drier soils 

This mouse is rather an inhabitant of cultivated fields than of woods, and 
IS seldom found in the forest far removed from the vicinity of plantations, to 
which It resorts, not only to partake of the gleanings of the fields, but to lay 
Its contributions on the products of the husbandman's labours, claiming a 
share before the crops are gathered. In the Northern states, it is found 

• i 

oi,. ir. 


II'. I I .-. 



in potato fields and in vegetable gardens, gnawing holes into the sides of llw 
potatoes, carrots, ruta-baga, and common turnips, following the rows whtsre 
fireen peas and corn have been planted, bringing down threats of ven- 
gcance I'rom the tarnicr on the poor ground mole, which, feeding only on 
worms, is mside a kind of cal's-{)aw by this mischievous little field mouse, 
which does the injury in most cases, wliilst the other is saddled with the 
blame. In the South it is, next to the Norway rat, the most troublesome 
visitant of the cellars and banks in which the sweet potato is stored, 
destroying more than it consumes, by gnawing holes into the tubers, and 
causing them to rot. Wherever a bed of Guinea corn, Egyptian millet, 
or Guinea grass is planted, there you will soon observe numerous holes 
and nests of this species. We have recently seen an instance where a 
large bed of kohlrabi was was nearly destroyed by it ; the bulbs appear 
ing above the surface were gnawed into holes, which, in some instances, 
penetrated to the centre. Our friend, the owner, had, as usual, laid the 
mischief on the broad shoulders of the hated and persecuted ground mole, 
of whose galleries not a trace could be seen in the vicinity. A number 
of small holes at the root of a stump, in the garden, indicated the true 
author of these depredations, ana on digging, about a dozen of Le- 
conte's field Mice were captured. This species is particularly fond of 
the pea or ground nut, (hypogea.) On examining the beds where this 
nut is cultivated, we have observed the rows on whole acres perforated 
in every direction by small holes, giving evidence that this troublesome 
little pest had been at work. In endeavouring to save and collect the 
seeds of the Gnma grass, {Tripsricinn (iarti/loidcs.) we generally found 
ourselves forestalled by this active and vorjicious liltle rat. 

This species has young three or foiu" times during the summer. One 
which we had in confinement, produce:! young three times, having three, 
seven, and four, in the difl'erent broods. The young were nearly all raised, 
but, when full-grown, became pugnacious and persecuted each other so 
much that we were obliged to separate them. They were almost exclu- 
sively fed on ground nuts, corn meal and sweet potatoes, but seemed to 
relish both boiled rice and bread. We have seen nine young taken from 
one nest. 

The nest of this species is generally found under ground, at the distance 
of about a foot from the surface ; it is small, and composed of light, loose 
materials, collected in the vicinity. 

This prolific field rnt possesses many enemies to diminish its numbers. 
The house cat not only watches for it about the fields and gardens, but is 
fond of devouring it, whilst the bodies of shrews and ground moles are 
not eaten. The very common Owl, (Si/niiiim luhulumtiii,) the Bam 



Owl {StHx Americauf,,) the Weasel, Ermine, and Mink, all make this 
species a considerable part ol' their subsistence. 

The only note we iiave ever heard Irom this mouse is a low squeak, 
only uttered when it is eiliier struck suddenly or greatly alarmed. In a 
state of confinement it was remarkably silent, except when two were en- 
gaged in fighting. 


Le Conte's Field Mouse has an extensive geographical range. We 
have received specimens Irom our friend. Dr. Brewer, obtained in Massa- 
chusetts. It is found in Conncolicut, is quite abundant on the farms in 
Rhode-Lsland, and in the immediat<" vicinity of New- York. We found it 
at Milestown, a few miles from Philadelphia. Mr. Hi. ffin sent us several 
specimens from Virginia. We procured it in North Carolina, and re- 
ceived a specimen from Dr. Barritt, Abbeville, South Carolina. It 
becomes more abundant as you approach the seaboard, in Carolina and 
Georgia; and we have specimens sent to us from Alabama, Mississippi and 
Florida. We have traced it no farther south, have not heard of it to the 
west of the Mississippi, and are inforgied that it does not exist in Texas. 


From the diminutive figure in Wilson's Ornithology, we might be led 
to the conjecture that he had this little species in view. The accurate 
description given by Orh. applies, however, only to the Arijicola Penn- 
tijlvanicM. The first scientific description that appears of this species was 
given by Le Conte, (Annals of the Lyceum of Nat. Hist. N. Y., Vol. HI., 
p. 3.) Finding that there were some variations in the dentition from the 
long estai)lish('(l genus Armcohi. he formed for it a new genus, under the 
name of P.saiiwiiuis. As this name, however, had been p-e-occupicd by 
Riii'PEi. for an Arabian species, the American translator, (Dr. McMiiRTRiig 
of Cuvier's Animal Kingdom, proposed changing the genus to Pilyniis, Pine 
Mouse. The variations in the teeth, however, we have found by compari- 
son, do not allurd sufiicient cliaracters to warrant us in removing it from Ar- 
vicoh, to which, from its shape and hal)its, it seems legitimately to belong. 
We do not feel warranted in changing the specific name of Lb Conte 
bur, that name is not expressive of one of its characteristics, as, although it 
may have been found in the pine woods, we have never, in a single in- 
stance, detected it in such loealilies. We have auvays found it either in 
the open fields, or along fences, in llie vicinity of gardens and farms. 

This species is subject to many changes in coloin-, and is so variable in 
size, that it is easy to mistake it ; hence we have added as synonymes, our 
A, Scalupsoides, and the .1. Oneida oi" Dr. De Kay. 





Common American Deer. 

PLATE CXXXVl.— Male and Female.— Winter pelage. 

C. cornibus mediocribus, ramosis, sub-complanatis, retrorsum valde in- 
clinati-s, dein antrorsum versLs ; ramo basali-interno retrorso ; ramis 
plurimis posticis, retrorsum et sur.sum spectantibus, sinubus .siiborbifalibus 
plicam cutaneam formaiitibus; vellere aestate fulvo, hyeme canescente- 


Horns middle sized, tending to jlatten, strongly bent hack and then for- 
wards ; a basal antler on the interval side, pointing baclarards ; several 
snags on the posterior edge, turned to the rear, and upwards ; suborbital sinus 
making a fold; colour, fulvous in sumt .; gray-brown in winter. 


VmaiNiAN Deer. Penii. Syn., p. .51 

« «' Penn. Quadrupeds. Vol. 1, p. 104. 

" «« Shaw's General Zoology. Vol. 2, p. 284. 

Amkrikanischer Hirsch. Kalm Reisc. Vol. 2, p. 320. 3d p. 482. 
ViHGiNiscnER Hirsch. Zimmerm. Geogr. Gesch. Vol. 2, p. 129. 
Cekf de la Lol'isiane. Cuv. Regn. An., lere p. 256, 
Cervus Vjrginiancs. Gmel. Vol. 1, p. 179. 
Dama Americanos. Erxl. Syst., p. 312. 
C. ViRGiNiANus. Harlan. Fauna Am., p. 239. 

" Godm. Am. Nat. Hist. Vol. 2. p. 306. 

C. Mexicanus kt clavatus. Haniilton Smith, p. 315. Griff. Cuv. Vol. 4. p. 127. 

Vol. 5, p. 315. 
C. ViRGiNiANus. Dekay's N. Y. Fauna, p. 113. 


Muzzle sharp ; head rather long ; eyes large and lustrous ; lachrymal 
pits covered by a fold of the skin. Tail moderately depressed. Legs 



slender. A glandular pouch surrounded by a thick tut't of rigid hairs in- 
side of the hind legs. 


The Virginian Deer varies considerably in colour at different periods of 
the year. In the spring it is of a dusky reddish or fulvous colour above, 
extending over the whole head, back, upper surface of the tail and along 
the sides. In the autumn it is of a bluish or lead colour, and in winter 
the liairs on the upper surface are longer and more dense and of a brown- 
ish dark tint. Beneath the chin, throat, belly, inner surface of legs, and 
under side of tail, white. There is no perceptible difference in colour be- 
tween the sexes. 

The fawns are at first, bright reddish-brown, spotted with irregular lon- 
gitudinal rows of white. These spots become less visible as the animal 
grows older, and in the course of about four months the hairs are replaced 
by others, and it assumes the colour of the old ones. 



Length from nose to root of tail, 
of tail, (vertebrte), 
" including hairs, 
" Height of ear, 

Feet, rnebea. 
3 1 

1 1 


Perhaps no species of wild animal inhabiting North- America, deserves to 
be regarded with more interest than the subject of our present article, the 
Common or Virginian Deer ; its symmetrical form, graceful curving leap 
or bound, and its rushing speed, when, flying before its pursuers, it passes 
like a meteor by the startled traveller in the forest, exciting admiration, 
though he be ever so dull an observer. 

The tender, juicy, savoury, and above all, digestible qualities of its flesh 
are well known ; and venison is held in highest esteem from the camp of 
the backwoodman to the luxurious tables of the opulent, and, when not 
kep^ too long ( a common error in our large cities by the way) a fat haunch 
with jelly and chafing dishes is almost as much relished, as a "hunter's 
steak," cooked in the open air on a frosty evening far away in the west 
The skin is of the greatest service to the wild man, and also useful to the 
ilweiler in towns ; dressed and smoked by the squaw, until soft and pliable 




it will not shrink with all the wettings to which it is exposed. In the form 
ol'mocasins, iejjgings, and hunting shirts, it is the most nmterial j)art ofthe 
dress of many Indian tribes, and in the civilized world is used for breeches, 
gloves, gaiters, and various other purposes. 

From the horns are made beautiful liandh's for various kinds of cutlery. 

The timidity ofthe Deer is such, tiiat it hurries away, even from the 
sight of a child, and it is but seldom that the hunter has ^ n' danger to ap- 
prehend, even I'rom a wounded buck ; il does but little injury to the fields 
ofthe j)lanter, and is a universal favourite with old and young of both sexes 
in our Southern States. 

The Viryiniiin, eras we wish to designate it, the Common Deer, is the 
only large animal, if we except the bear, that is not driven from the vici- 
nity of man by the report of the de'ir-driver's gun, or the crack of the hun- 
ter's rifle ; the bufTalo and the elk are now rarely seen east of the Mis- 
sissippi. Hunted by hounds and shot at from day to day, thc! Deer may re- 
treat from this persecution for a little while, but soon returns again to its 
original haunts. Although it scarcely ever occupies the same bed on suc- 
cessive nights, yet it is usually ibund in the same range, or drive as it is 
called, and often not fifty yards from the pla?e, where it was started before. 
It is fond of lingering around fences and old fields, that are partially over- 
spread with brush-wood, briar-patches and other cover, to screen it from 
observation. In the southern Stares the Deer, especially in summer when 
they are least disturbed, are fond of leaping the outer fences of plantations, 
lying through the day in some tangled thicket, overgrown with cane, vines 
and briars ; and in such places you may be so fortunate as to start an old 
buck in August or September, and many an overgrown denizen of the 
forest has bowed his huge antlers and fallen a sacrifice to his temerity in 
seeking t resting-place too near some pea-patch, where his hoofs left traces 
for many weeks of his nightly depredations. 

This habit of resting during the day in the near vicinity of their feed- 
ing ground, is however not universal. We during last summer were 
invited to visit a large cornfield in which a quantity of the Carolina cow- 
pea had been planted among the corn. This had been the nightly resort 
of the Deer during the whole summer — their tracks of various sizes cov- 
ered the ground, as if flocks of sheep had resorted to it, and scarcely a 
pod or even a leaf was remaining on the vines. The Deer, however, were 
not in the vicinity, where there were sc^veral favourable and extensive 
covers ; they were trailed to some small islands, ii^ a marsh nearly two 
miles off. We ascertained that the ] k-cr inhabiting the swamps on the 
east side of the Edisto river, where there are but few cultivated farms, 
were in the nightly habit of swimming the Edisto and visiting the pea- 



fields in Barnwell, on the opposite side, returning before duy-light to theii 
customary haunts, some lour or live miles distant. 

The localities selected by Deer as places of rest and concealment dur- 
ing (he .lay are various, such as the season of the year and the nature of 
the country tni-l climate may su-rgest to the instincts of tin animal. Al- 
though we have occa.sioMally in mountainous regions, especially in the 
iiigher mountains of Virginia and the Green Mountains of V.-rniont, de- 
tected a Dec-r lying without concealment on an elevated ledge of bare 
roeli, iiite the ibex and chamois on the Alps, yet as a general habit, the 
annnal may be said to seek concealment, either among clumps of myrtle 
or laurel bushes, (Knhnia), in large fallen tree-tops, briar-patches, clus- 
ters of alder bushes, (ulnus), or in tall broom-grass, {Andropo^ron ]iissiti. 
floras). In cold weather it prefers seeking its repose in some sheltered 
dry situation, where it is protected from the wind, and w.-irmed by the 
rays of the sun; and on these occasions it may be found in briar-patches 
which face the south, or in tufts of broom-grass in old uncultivated liclds. 
In warm weather it retires during the day to shady swamps, and may of- 
ten be started from a clump of alder or myrtle bushels near some rivulet 
or cool stream. To avoid the persecution of moscheto,.s and ticks, it oc 
casionally, like the moose in Maine, resorts to some stream or pond and 
lies for a time immersed in the water, from which the nose and a part of 
the head only project. We recollect an occasion, when on sitting down 
to rest on the margin of the Santee river, we observ(Hl a pair of antlers 
on the surface of the water near an old tree, not ten steps from us. The 
half-closed eye of the buck was upon us; we were without a gun, and he 
was, therefore, safe from any injury we could inflict on him. Anxious to 
observe the cunning he would display, we turned our eyes another wav 
and commenced a careless whistle, as if for our own amusement, walkin- 
gradually towards him in a circuitous route, until we arrived within a 
few feet of him. He had now sunk so deep in the water that an inch 
only of his nose, and slight portions of his prongs were seen above the 
. surface. We again sat down on the bank for some minutes, pretendin- 
to read a book. At length we suddenly directed our eyes towards hi.n 
and raised our hand, when he rushed to the shore, and dashed through the' 
rattling canebrake, in rapid style. 

The food of the rominon Deer varies at difTerent periods of the year. In 
wmter, it feeds on buds of several kinds of shrubs, such as the wild rose 
the hawthorn, various species of bramble, {Rubux,) the winter green 
{P'/rolo,) the Partridge Berry, {MilckcUa repens,) the Deer Leaf, {Hopea 
tuictorm,) the bush Honeysuckle, (Azalea,) and many others. In sprino 
and summer it subsists on tender grasses, being very select in its choice 


; ( 




II, ' 


h :«J: 

and dainty in its taste. At these seasons it frequently leaps fences, and 
visits the fields of the plai.ter, talting an occasional bite at his young wheat 
and oats, not overlooking the green corn, (Mtihr,) and givin^,' a decided 
|)refer(Mi .> to a field planted with cow-peas, which it divests of its joiiii:^ 
jiods and tender leaves ; nor does it pass lightly by berries of nl, kinds, 
such as the lluekleberry, Blackberry and 8!'>e, {Vihurniim piunifuliiim.) 
We are informed by a fric^nd that in th*? vicinity of Nashville, (Tenesse«s) 
ther(! is an extensive park containing about three hundred Deer, the prin- 
cij)al food of wiiicli is the luxuriant Kentucky blue-grass, {Pun pratcnsis.) 
In autumn it finds ii.i abundance of very choice food in the chestnuts, chin- 
quepins and beech-nuts strewn over tlie ground. The localities of the 
various oaks are resorted to, and we have seen its tracks most abundantly 
under the Live Oak, {Qiicrciis firrns,) the acorns of which it appears to 
prefer to all others. We once observed three deer fci,ding on these acorns, 
surrounded by a flock of wild turkeys, all eagerly engaged in claiming 
their share. The fruit of the Persimmon tree, after having been ripened 
by t!u! frosts of winter, falls to the ground, and also becomes a favourite 
food of the Deer. 

Possessing such a choice of food, we might suppose this animal would 
be always fat: this, however, is not the case, and, except at certain 
seasons of the year, the Deer is rather poor. The bucks are always 
in fine order from the month of August to November, when we have 
seen some that were very fat. One which we killed weighed one 
Imndred and seventy-five pounds. We have been informed that some 
have reached consideranly over two hundred pounds. In November, and 
sometimes a little earlier, the rutting season commences in Carolina, when 
the neck of the buck begins to dilate to a large size. lie is now con- 
stantly on foot, and nearly in a full run, in search of the does. On meet- 
ing with other males, tremendous battles ensue, when, in some rare in- 
stances, the weaker animal is gored to death ; generally, however, he flies 
from the vanquisher, and follows him, crest (alien, at a respectful and 
convenient distance, ready to turn on his heels and scamper off at the first 
threat of his victorious rival. In these rencontres, the horns of the com- 
batants sometimes become interlocked in such a manner that they cannot 
be separated, and the pugnacious bucks are consigned to a lingering and 
inevitable death by starvation. We have endeavoured to disengage these 
horns, but found them so completely entwined that no skill or strength of 
ours was successful. We have several times seen two, and on one occa- 
sion, three pairs of horns thus interlocked, and ascertained that the .skulls 
and skeletons of the Deer had always been found attached. These battles 
only take place di'.iing the rutting season, when the horns are too firmly 



attached to be separated from the skull. Indeed, we have seta d horn 
shot «ir i,i the middle by a ball, whilst the stump still continued tirmly 
seated . , the skull. The rutting .season continues about tw- months, 
the largest and ol.lest does being enrliest sought for. and those of eighteen 
moi;fh8 at a later perio.l. About the month of January, the bucks 
drop their horns, when, as if conscious of having been .shorn of their 
strength and honours, they seem humbled, and congr.^gate peaceably 
with each other, seeking the concealment of the woods, until they can 
once more present their proud antlers to the admiring herd. Immediately 
aOer the rutting season, the bucks begin to grow lean. Their incessant 
travclhng during (he period of vencry-their fierce battles with their 
rivals, and the exhaustion consequent on shedding and replacing their 
horns by a remarkably rapid growth, render them emaciated and feeble 
for several months. About three weeks alter the old antlers have been 
shed, the elevated knobs of tlie young horns make their 
I bey are at first soft and tender, eontaining numerous blood-vessels and 
the slightest injury causes them to blee.l IVeely. They possess a conside- 
rable degree of heat, grow rapidly, branch off into several ramifications 
and gradually hard.n. They are covered with a soft, downy skin, and 
are now in what is called " velvet." When the horns are fully grown 
which IS usually in .Tuly or August, the buck shows a restless pronen.sity 
to nd himself of the velvet covering, which has now lost its heat, and 
become dry : hence he is constantly engaged in rubbing his horns against 
bushes and saplings, often destroying the trees by wounding and tearing 
the bark, and by twisting and breaking off the tops. The system of bony 
development now ceases altogether, and the horns become smooth, hard, 
and solid. 

The does are fattest from November to January. They gradually get 
thinner as the season of parturition approaches, and grow lean whilst 
suckling their young. 

The young are, in Carolina, produced in the month of April ; young 
does, however, seldom yean till May or June. In the Northern States 
they bring forth a little Inter, whilst in Florida and Texas the period is 
earlier. It is a remarkable, but well ascertained fact, that in Alabama 
and Florida, a majo.ity of the fawns are produced in November. The 
doe conceals her young und, r t prostrate tree-top, or in a thick covert of 
grass, visiting them occasioiK.iiy during the day, especially in the morn- 
mg, evening, and at night. The young l-iwns, when only a few davs old. 
are often found in ho sound a sleep that we have, on several occasions, 
seen them taken up in the arms before they became conscious that they 
were captives. They are easily domesticated, and attach themselves to 
vf.t,, ft. — 29. 

' I 





their keepers in a few hours. A fric-^J possesses a young deer that, 
when captured, during the last summer, was placed with a she goat, 
which reared it, and the parties still live in habits of mutual attachment. 
We have seen others reared by a cow. A goat, however, becomes the 
best foster-mother. They breed in confinement, but we have found them 
troublesome pets. A pair that we had for several years, were in the 
habit of leaping into our study through the open window, and when the 
sashes were down they still bounced through, carrying along with them 
the shattered glasses. They also seemed to have imbibed a vitiated and 
morbid taste, licked and gnawed the covers of our books, and created con- 
fusion among our papers. No shrub in the garden, however valuable to 
us, was sacred to them; they gnawed our carriage harness, and finally 
pounced upon our young ducks and chickens, biting off their heads and 
feet, leaving the body untouched. 

The doe does not produce young until she is two years old, when she 
has one fawn. If in good order, she has two the following year. A very 
large and healthy doc often produces three, and we were present at Goose 
Creek when an immense one, killed by J. W. Audubon, was ascertained, 
on being opened, to contain four lat-ge and well formed fawns. The 
average number of fawns in Carolina is two, and the cases where three 
are produced are nearly as numerous as those in which young does pro- 
duce only one at a birth. 

The wild doe is attached to her young, and its bleat will soon bring her 
to its side, if she is within hearing. The Indians use a stratagem, by 
imitating the cry of the fawn, with a pipe made of a reed, to bring up 
the mother, which is easily killed by their arrows. We have twice 
observed the doe called up by this imitation of the voice of the young. 
She is, however, so timid that she makes no eflbrt in defence of her cap- 
tured offspring, and bounds off at the sight of man. 

The common Deer is a gregarious animal, being found on our western 
prairies in immense scattered herds of several hundred. After the 
rutting season the males, as we have before stated, herd together and it is 
only during the season of intercourse that both sexes are found in com- 
pany. The does, however, although congregating during a considerable 
portion of the year, are less gregarious than many species of African an- 
telopes, the buffalo, or our domestic sheep; as they are found during the 
summer separated from the rest of the gang or troop, and are only accom- 
panied by their young. 

The Deer is one of the most silent of animals, and scarcely possesses 
any notes of recognition. The fawn has a gentle bleat that might be 
heard by the keen ears of its mother at the distance probably of a hundred 



j'ards. We have never heard the voice of the female beyond a mere 
murmur when calling her yoiins, except when shot, when she often bleats 
loudly like a calf in pain. The buck wh^n suddenly started sometimes 
utters a snort, and we have at night heard him emitting a shrill wliistliiig 
sound, not unlike that of the chamois of the Alps, that could be 
heard at the distance of half a mile. The keen sense of smr-ll the 
Deer possess enables them to follow each other's tracks. We have ob- 
served them smelling on the ground and thus following each other's 
trail for miles. We were on an autumnal morning seated on a log 
in the pine lands of Carolina when a doe came running past us. In the 
course often minutes we observed a buck in pursuit, with his nose near 
the ground, following in all the windings of her course. Half an hour 
afterwards came a second buck, and during another interval a third small 
buck pursued the same ^rail. The sense of sight appears imperfect— as 
we have often, when standing still, perceived the Deer passing within a 
few yards without observing us, but we have oiten noticed the alTrighted 
start when we moved our position or when they scented us by the wind. 
On one occasion we had tied our horse lor some time at a stand ;— on his 
becoming restless we removed him to a distance— a Deer pursued by 
dogs ran near the spot where the horse had originally stood, caught the 
scent, started suddenly back, and passed within a few feet of the spot 
where we were standing, without having observed us. Their sense of 
hearing is as keen as that of smell. In crawling towards them in an open 
wood, against the wind, you may approach within gun shot, but if you 
unfortunately break a stick, or create a rustling among the leaves, they 
start away in an instant. 

This animal cannot exist without water, being obliged nightly to visit 
some stream or spring for the purpose of drinking. During the present 
year (1850) a general drought prevailed throughout our southern country. 
On the Hunting Islands between Beaufort and Savannah, the Deer, we 
were informed, nearly all perished in consequence of the streams or 
these Islands having dried up. Deer are fond of salt, and like many 
other wild animals resort instinctively to salt-liciis or saline springs. 
The hunters, aware of this habit, watch at these " licks," as they are 
called, and destroy vast numbers of them. W'; have visited some of these 
pools, and seen the Deer resorting to them in the mornings and evenings 
iuid by moon light. They did not appear to visit them lor the mere purpose 
of drinkinsr. but after walking around the sides, commenced licking the 
stones and the earth on the edges, preferrinj; in this manner to obtain this' 
agreeable condiment, to taking a sudden draught and then retiring. On 
the contrary they lingered lor half an !iour around the spring, inwl after 


1 I 




having strayed away for some distance, they often returned a second and 
even a third time to scrape the sides of it, and renew the licking process. 
Our common Deer may be said to be nocturnal in its habits, yet on the 
prairies, or in situations where seldom disturbed, herds of Deer may be 
seen feeding late in the morning and early in the afternoon. Their 
time for rest, in such situations, is genpraiiy ihe middle of the day. In 
the Atlantic States, where constantly molested by the hunters, they are 
seldom seen after sunrise, and do not rise from their bed until the dusk of 
the evening. The Deer is more frequently seen feeding in the day time 
during spring and summer, than in winter; a rainy day, and snowy 
wintery weather, also invite it to leave its uncomfortable hiding place 
and indulge in its roaming habits. We have no doubt, that in localities 
where Deer have been constantly hunted, they, from a sense of fear, 
allow you to approach much nearer to their place of concealment than 
-in situations where they are seldom disturbed. They continue lying 
still, not because they are asleep or unaware of your approach, but because 
they are afraid to expose themselves to view, and hope by close con- 
cealment to be passed without being observed. We have seen them 
lying with their hind legs drawn under them ready for a spring— their 
ears pressed flat on the sides of the neck, and their eyes keenly watch- 
ing every movement of the intruder. Under these circumstances your 
only chance of success is to ride slowly around the animal as if he 
was not observed, and suddenly (ire before he leaps from his bed. 
This effect of fear, on your near approach, is not confined to our Deer; 
it may be seen in the common partridge, the snipe, and other game 
birds. Before being hunted, they are restless — are unwilling to assume 
the crouching posture called setting, and rise at a distance from their 
pursuers; but after having been a few times disturbed and shot at, they, 
in the language of sportsmen, become tame, and permit themselves to be 
nearly trodden on before they can be induced to rise ; this apparent 
tameness is in reality wildness, and their squatting and hiding the effect 
of terror to which they are prompted by an instinct of self-preservation. 
The gait of this Deer is various. In walking it carries its head very 
low, and pursues its course cautiously and silently, occasionally moving 
its ears and whisking its tail ; the largest animal is usually the leader of 
the herd, which travel in what is called Indian file, there seldom being 
two abreast. Walking is the ordinary pace of the Deer unless frightened, 
or in some state of excitement. When first started, without being much 
Planned, it gives two or three springs, ali^rhting with apparent awk- 
wardness on three feet — and immediately afterwards resting on the oppo- 
site side, erecting its white tail and throwing it from side to side. A fe w 



high bounds succeed, whilst the head is turned in every direction to enable 
it to detect the cause of alarm. The leaps and high boundings of the 
Deer are so graceful, that we have never witnessed them without excite- 
ment and admiration. When, however, the Deer observes you before it is 
routed from its bed, it bolts off with a rush, running low to the ground, 
vyith its head and tail on a line with the body, and for a few hundred yards 
rivalling the speed of a race horse. But this rattling pace cannot be kept 
up for any length of time— after the first burst its speed slackens, it foams 
at the mouth, and exhibits other evidences of fatigue. We have some- 
times seen it overtaken and turned by an active rider in the open wood, 
and under other favourable circumstances, and on one occasion a fat buck 
was headed by a fearless driver, lashed with his whip, brought to bay, 
and finally knocked in the head and taken without having been shot. 
We have witnessed a few instances where a pack of hounds, after a four 
hours' chase, succeeded in running down a Deer. These cases are, how ever, 
rare, nor would we give any encouragement to this furious Sylvan race, 
in which the horse and his mad rider are momentarily exposed to the 
danger of a broken neck from the many holes in the pine lands. The Deer, 
after an attempt at bringing it to bay, frequently succeeds in escaping 
from the hunter and the hounds, by dashing into a swamp or crossing a 
river, and even should it be captured, after a long chase the venison is 
found to be insipid and of no value. 

In riding through the woods at night in the vicinity of Deer, we have 
often heard them stamp their feet, the bucks on such occasions giving a 
loud snort, then bounding off for a few yards and again repeating the and snorting, which appear to be nocturnal habits. 

Deer take the water freely, and swim with considerablo rapidity ; their 
bodies are on such occasions submerged, th(>ir heads only being 
visible above the surface. We have witnessed them crossing broad rivers 
and swimming the distance of two miles. When thus under way, they 
cleave the water with such celerity that a boat can scarcely overtake 

Along our southern sea-board the Deer, when fatigued by the hounds, 
plunge into the surf and swim off for a mile or two, fioating or swim- 
ming back with the returning tide, when they ascend the beach near the 
same place where they entered the water. 

As already remarked, the llesh of our common Deer is the best flavoured 
and most easy of digestion of all tlH> spi^cics with which we are acquainted, 
except the black-tailed Deer; it is superior to the Elk or Moose of our 
country, or the red Deer or Roebuck of Eurojje. It is, however, only a 
delicacy when it is fat, which is generally the case (Vnm the beginning of 

I I 

i i 



In I 

I !: 

August to the month of December. In Carolina, the haunch and loin 
only are served up on the tiibles of the ])lanters, tlie shoulders and skin 
are the perquisites of the driver, or negro huntsuian. The Indians eiit 
every part of the Deer, not omitting the entrails and the contents of the 
stomach — the latter many of the tribes devour raw, williout subjecting 
them to any cooking or roasting process. It is stated, even by white men, 
that the stomach, with all its half-digested ingredients, is very palatable. 
Hunger and hardships seldom fail to give a zest to the appetite. Vege- 
table food is scarce in the wilderness or on the prairies. The traveller 
who has long been obliged to sleep in a tent and make his toilet in the 
woods, soon becomes indilferent to the etiquette of civilized life, and does 
not inquire whether his dish has been prepared according to the recipe of 
the cookery-books. A Deer paunch contains a mixture of many ingre- 
dients, picked up I'rom various shrubs, seeds, and grasses, and m;iy become 
a sul)stitute for vegetables where the kitchen-garden has not yet been in- 
troduced. According to a northern traveller (Lyon's Narrative, p. ~'l'i), 
who referred, however, to another animal, the reindeer of our continent, 
it is " acid and rather pungent, resembling a mixture of sorrel and radish 
leaves," its smell like " I'resli brewer's grains." As we have never been 
subjected to the necessity of testing the virtues of this primitive chowder, 
we are unable to pronounce it a delicacy, find must leave the decision to 
those who may be disposed to make the experiment. 

The ca])ture of the common Deer exercised the ingenuity and patience 
of the Indian, ages before the pale faces intruded on his hunting-grounds, 
with their rifles, their horses, and hounds. lie combatted with the wolf 
and the cougar for their share of the prey, leaving on our minds a melan- 
choly impression of the near approach of the condition of savage life to 
that of the brute creation. Dilferent modes of hunting were suggest- 
ed by the peculiar face of the localities of the countrj', and the de- 
grees of intelligence or native cunning of the several tribes. The bow 
and arrow evi<lently must have been in ccmnnon use throughout the whole 
length and breadth of our land, as the numerous arrow-heads still every 
where turned up by the plough abundantly attest. 

The Rein Deer, inhabiting the extensive, cold, and inhospitable regions 
of the British possessions to the north of Quebec, were caught in snares 
manufactured from the hide, and sometimes of the sinews, of the animal. 
During the season of their annual migrations, rude fences of brusli-wood 
were constructed, which were a mile or two apart at the entrance, nar- 
rowing down to nearly a point at the other end, in which the snares were 
placed, and at the termination of this "cul de sac" was erected a high 
fence or pound, secured by stakes, stones, and other strong materials, in 



which the Deer that escapv^J from the snares were finally enclosed and 
sliot with arrows. The common Deer, however, is more suspicious and 
timid, and will seldom sufTer itself to be circumvented in this manner. 
The American Rein Deer is also brought near to the hunter lying in wait 
t)eliind tlu; concealment of a clump of bushes, or lt(!ap of stones, by the 
waving of a small flag of cloth, or a deer's tail, wtiich, exciting its atten- 
tion, it falls a saerilice to its curiosity. This stratagem is also successfully 
practised on our western prong-horned Anlelope. 

The ConnnoM Deer is frequently brought within bow-shot by the Indians 
who call up the does, as we have already mentioned, by imitating, with a 
pipe made of a reed, the bleating of the fawn, and also th(! bucks, by an 
imitation of the shrill, whistling sound which they emit during the rutting 
season. The wily savage often clothiis iiimself in the hide of a Deer, 
with the horns and ears attached— imitating the walk and other actions 
of the anim;il, by which means he is enabled to approach and almost 
mingle with the lierd, and kill several with his arrows before they take 
the alarm. Since the introduction of fire-arms, however, many trii)es of 
Indians have laid aside the bow and arrow, and adopted the gun. The 
traders who visit them, usuiilly supply them with an inferior article, and 
we have never seen any considerable number of Indians expert in the use 
of the rifle. The late Dr. Leitner informed us that the Florida Indian.s 
Bcidom shot at a Deer beyond twentj'-five or thirty yards, exercising great 
patience and caution before they ventured on firing ; the result, however, 
under these favourable circumstances, was usually successful. W(! believe 
the Indians of North America never used poisoned arrows in the destruc- 
tion of game, like the natives of CaflTraria and other portions of Africa, or 
the aborigines of Br.izil and the neighbouring regions of South America. 
The white man conducts his hunting excursions in various modes suited 
to his tastes and adapted to the nature of the country in which he resides. 
In mountainous, rocky regions, where horses cannot be used with advan- 
tage, he goes on foot, armed with a rifle, carries no dog, and seeks for 
the Deer in such situations as his sagacity and experience suggest. He 
either espies him in his bed, or silently steals upon him behind the covert 
of the stem of a large tree whilst he is feeding, and leisurely takes a 
steady and fatal aim. On the contrary, in situations adapted to riding, 
where the woo<ls are thickly clothed with underbrush, where here and 
there wide openings exist between briar-patches, and clumps of myrtle- 
bushes, as in the Southern States, the Deer are almost universally chased 
with hounds, a!id instead of the rifle, double-barrelled deer-guns, of 
diflerent sizes, carrying from twelve to twenty buck-shot, are alone madc 
Uhe of by the hunters. 


1 1 

.' , ! 




It may not hv uiiiiitcrcstiiiy; to our rciidcrs ii' \vc point, out 1\h' dilTcrent 
modes in wliicli Deer liiinis arc conducted. 

In llic early scttlcni<>nl ol' onrcounlry 
lore llicv accus 

, when nuin Imutnd for food, and he- 

toiued llieuiselves lo study tlieirease and couHort even in the 
ciiase. "still liiuitin;,%" as it is termed, was universally ptaclised. 'I'Im! 
wolves and oilier depreilatin^^ animals, l>y wlii<-li the colonists were siu'- 
rounil(Ml, as well as l!ie proxiniily ol' hosiilo Indians almost, preolucUid 
Iroin raisinii^ a snilicient, supply of slieep, l»o>?s, innl 

lliem lor manv vears 


'riu" eullivatioii ol" a f^nia 

II Held I'ui-nislied lliem with hread, 


Idle for uu-al tliev were cliielly dependent on the ^un. Hence ii portion 

of their time was 

from a kind of necessity devoted to the chase 




an for lumtin:; seems however lo Im' inaale with many person.s, and 
have observed thai il oflen rims in families and is transmilled lo their 
posterity, as is knowuto he the case with the descendiints of the hunters m 

ven now many persons in our country, who devote. 

the .\l| 



■e are t 


•ks and months to tin- precarious cmi)loymcnl of Deer lumlinj;, when 

half the iudnstrv ami faliuue ii\ re 

rular labour would allord t'aeir families 

everv m-cessary ami cond'ort. llnntinfi is a, ph-asant r<-cn-ation, hut a 
prolitahic trade ; il often leads to idleness, intempenince, and 

very un 

l'\)r ^uccess in slill-huntini;- it is essen 

tial that the individual who en- 

giif^es in it, sliould he actpi 

ainted with the almost imiH-nelrahle de|)ths ofihe 

forest, as w< 

the rille. possess a 

to endure iireat fatiijuc 

■11 as the habits of the Deer. He umsl be expert in the use. of 

larj^e stock of patience, and be constitutionally Hda|)le,d 

Before the dawn of dav, he Ireads the \m\hH 


to th 

iiloni: which the animal strays in rcturninj;- from its na-litly rambles 
covert usually its restin<i-plaee for ihe day. lie ascends an eh'valion, lo 
ascertain whcliierhe may not observe the object of his s.-arch fcediiif; in 
the vallie.s. If the patience and perseverance of the n»)rnin« are not at- 
tended with .success, he seeks for the Deer in its bed— if il should be starl- 
(ed l)v his stealthy tread and sprins; up, it stops foramonieni before bound- 

uur awav. an( 

1 thu> 

illords him the chance of a, shot ; even if the animal 
hould keep on its course without a pause, he iVeipn-ntly takes a running, 

or what is called a chance shot, and is often suceessfid. 

There is anot 

her mode of deer huntiufj; we saw practised many years 

ay;o in the Western parts o 

f Ihe Stale of New-York, which we ret^ard as 

still more fatisiuinu; 
unt'ortu.i.ite animal 

to ihelumttM', and as an unfair advantage taken of tho 

The parlies sally out on a deep snow, cove 


rd by 

crust, w hicii sometimes succeeds a rain during winter. 1 hey u.s( 


and s(>ek the Deer in situations where in the manner of I ho 
mouse of Nova Scotia, they hu\e trampled i)alhs through the snow it) 

suov. -shoes 



thf> virinifyof fl„, slirubs on whicli f,l„,y food. When started from those re- 
tr.' ih.-y ar<^ lore.-d t<. phiiii,'.- iiKo thr. dr.-p snow ; imd hreakinj,' throutrJi 
t\w. eru.M leave at every leap traces of hlo,.,! Cnmi their wounded le«s ; 
thev are soon overtaken, sometimes hy(l(,>,'H, at other times hy the hunters, 
who advance fastctr on their snow-shoes than th.^ exhausted Deer, which 
'■•II an easy prey either to tlie Jinnler's knile or his ^un. In this manner 
thousands olDeer were Ibrnierly niassaercul in th(! Northern States. 

We have ascertained that our(!oirnnon Der-rniay he easily taken hy the 
grey-hound. A pair of the hitter, introduced into Carolina hy Col. CATTKr,, 
fn<pi<nlly caught them aft.^r a run ol' a few hundred yards. The Deer 
w.'re trail(..! and started hy h(N-ij,'les-tli.- j^n-y-hounds Kenerally kept in 
advance of them, makinf? hi-,di leaps in order to jjet a glimpse of the Deer 
wliicli wer.-. soon overtaken, seized hy the throat, and thrown down. The 
nature of the country, liowever, from its swamps and tfiick covers often pre- 
v.Mit.^d tlie huntsmen from coming up to the captured animal before it was 
lorn and mutilatcMl hy tla^ hounds, and many l).-er could not hr. found, as 
the pack becomes sil.-nt assoon as the IhivA- is taken. We predict, however, 
that this will bccom.. the favourite mod(! of taking Deer on the open wes 
tern prairies, wlwtv. there an; no trcies orotluu- obstructions, and the whole 
scene nuiy be; enacted within view of th(« hunters. 

Some hunters, who are engaged in supplying the salt and red Sulphur 
Springs of Virginia with venison during summer, practise a novel and an 
erpially objectionable mode in capturing the Deer. A certain number of 
very larg.; stcsel-traps made; by a blacksmith in the vicinity, are set at night 
in the waters of dilierent streams at the crossing-plaoes of the Deer. 
Thr. animal wlien thus captured instead of tearing off its hig by violent 
struggles is said to remain standing still, as passive as a wolf when simi- 
larly entrapped. Another and still more cruel mode is sometimes prac- 
liod in the South : The Deer hav.- particular places where they leap the 
fences to visit the pea-fu'lds ; a sharpcn(ul stake is placed on the inside of 
the fence— the Deer in leaping over is perforatcul through tlie body by 
this treaclierous spike, and is found either dead or dying on the following 
morning. It is .also a frecjue-t practice in the South for the hunter during 
clear nights to w.Icii a pea-field fre.piented by De,;r. To make sure of 
thisgam^ :,e mounts some trei;, seats himself on a crotch or limb which is 
above the current that would convey the* scent to the keen olfactories of 
the; D(!er, and from this elevation leisurely waits for an opportunity to 
make a sure slutt. 

In some parts of th.. Northern and Middle States the Deer are captured 
by the aid of boats. We observed this mode of hunting pursued at Sara- 
toga and other lakes, and ascertained that it was frequently 'attended with 


Vol.. M 





success. The hounds are carried to the hills to trail, and start the Deei 
before day light. Some of the hunters are stationed at their favourite cross- 
ing places to shoot them should they approach within gun shot. After 
being chased lor an hour or two the Deer pushes for the lake. Here 
on some point of land a party lie in wait with a light and swift boat : 
after the Deer has swam to a certain distance from the shore he is headed 
and approached by the rowers, a noose is thrown over the head, and the un- 
fortunate animal drawn to the side of the boat, when the cajjtors proceed 
to cut its throat in violation of all the rules of legitimate sporting. 

Fire hunting is another destructive mode of obtaining Deer. In this case 
two persons are essential to success. A torch of resinous wood is carried 
by one of the party, the other keeps immediately in front with his gun. 
The astonished Deer instead of darting off seems dazzled by the light, and 
stands gazing at this newly kindled flame in the forest. The hunter sees 
liis eyes shining like two tapers before him ; he fires and is usually suc- 
cessful ; sometimes there are several Deer in the gang, who start off for a 
few rods at the report of the gun, and again turn their eyes to the light. 
Ii' this manner two or three are frequently killed within fifty yards of each 
other. This kind of hunting by firelight is often attended with danger 
to the cattle that may be feeding in the vicinity, and is prohibited by a 
law of Carolina, which is however frequently violated. The eyes of a 
cow are easily mistaken for those of a deer. We conversed with a gentle- 
man who informed us that he had never indulged in more than one fire-hunt, 
and was then taught a lesson which cured liim of his passion for this kind 
of amusement. He believed that he saw the eyes of a Deer and fired, the 
animal bounded off, as he was convinced, mortally wounded. In the im- 
mediate vioinit;; lie detected another pair of eyes and fired again. On re- 
turning the next morning to look for his game, he found that he had slaugh- 
tered two favourite colts. Another related an anecdote of a shot fired at 
what was supposed to be the shining eyes of a Deer, and ascertained to his 
horror hat it was a dog standing between the legs of a negro, who had 
endeavoured to keep him quiet. The dog was killed and the negro slightly 


There is still another mode of Deer hunting which remains to be decrib- 
ed. It is called "driving," and is the one in general practice, and the 
favourite pastime among the hospitable planters of the Southern States. 
We have at long intervals, occasionally joined in these hunts, and must ad- 
mit that in the manner in which they were conducted, this method of Deer 
hunting proved an exciting and very agreeable recreation. Although 
we regret to state that it is pursued by some persons at all seasons of the 
year, even when the animals are lean and the venison of no value, yet the 



more thoughful and judicious huntsmen are satisfied to permit the Deer to 
rest and multiply for a season, and practice a little self-denial, durin- sum- 
mer when the oppressive heats which usually prevail-tho danger of bein- 
caught in heavy showers-and the annoyance of gauzefiies, mosquetoes' 
and ticks, present serious drawbacks to its enjoyment. The most favour- 
able season for this kind of amusement is from the beginning of October 
to January. The Deer are then in fine order ; the heats of summer are 
over ; the crops of rice gathered, and the value of the planter's crop can 
be calculated. The autumn of the Southern States possesses a peculiar 
charm ; high winds seldom prevail, and the air is soft and mellow ; al- 
though many of the summer warblers have migrated farther to the south 
yet they have been replaced by others : The blue-bird, cat-bird and 
mocking-bird have not yet lost their song, and the swallows and night- 
hawks are skimming through the air in irregular and scattered groups 
on their way to the tropics. Vegetation has been checked, but not 
sufficiently destroyed to give a wintry aspect to the landscape. The 
Qpntums Gcrardias am] o^hemutumim] flowers are still disclosing a few 
lingering blossoms and emitting their fragrance. The forest trees pre- 
sent a peculiar and most striking appearance. A chemical process has 
been going on among the leaves, since the first cool nights have sus- 
pended the circulation, giving to those of the maple and sweet gum, 
a bright scarlet hue, which contrasted with the yellow of the hickory,' 
and the glossy green of the magnolia grandiflora, besides every shade of 
colour that can be imagined, irndiM- an American forest, more striking 
and beautiful than that of any other country. It is the season of the year 
that invites to recreation and enjoyment. The planters have been separat- 
ed dui-ing the summer ; some have travelled from home— others have re- 
sided at their summer retreats ;— they are now returning to their planta- 
tions, and the intercourse of the neitrhbourhood, that has been suspended 
for a season, is renewed. We recall with satisfaction some past scenes of 
pleasureable associations of this kind. The space already taken up by this 
article will preclude us from entering into minute detfiil,and restrict us to 
a few incidents which will present the general features of a Carolina Deer 
hunt. We comply with the oft-repeated invitation to make our annual 
visit to our early and long-tried friend Dr. Dnsi;,, at his hospitable residence 
some twenty miles from the city, which his friends have named Liberty 
flail. The mind requires an occasional relaxation as well as the body. 
We have resolved to fly for a day or two, from the noise and turmoil of 
the city— to leave books and cares behind us— to break off the train of 
serious thought— to breathe the fresh country air, and mingle in the inno- 
2ent sports of the field and the forest. Render, you wili go with us and 

V ' , ! 




enter into our feelings Jind enjoyments. \s we ap^proacli the long avenue 
a mile t'mm the residence of the companion ol thirty-live years, we 
are espied by his domestics who welcome us with a shout, and intbrin us 
tliivt their " Hdss" is looking; out for us. Our friciKl soon perceives us, and 
hurries to the jjate. Mow pU-asaiit arc the Kreetin>jsof friendship — the smil* 
inj? look ol welcome, the open hand, and the warm heart of hospitality. 

The usual invitation is sent to ji neij^hbdur. to lunch, ''ine, and meet a 
friend. The evening is spent in sociitl cduverse and r:osed with the 
family bible, and otlerings of gratitude and praise to theGiver of all good. 
The sleep of him. who lias < caped from the din of tl i' city to tlie quiet 
of the country, is always refreshing. The dawn of day invitr ; u.s to a 
substantial breakfast. The parties now load their double-barrelled guns, 
whilst the horses are being saddled. The horn i-i sounded, and the driver, 
full of glee, collects his impatient hounds. The party is unexpectedly 
augmented by several Welcome guests. Our intelligent friend Harris, from 
New-Jersey, has come to Carolina, to be initiated into 'r mysteries of 
Deer hunting. as a preparation to farther ex|doitson the Western praiiies, 
among the elk and the buifalo ; with iiirn coiaes ArorBox, lli< Nestoi if 
American ornithology, and his son, together with Ih. Wu.son. Alh-r the 
first greetings areover, we hasten to ;-,iddle addii onal horses forthose ofoup 
guests, who are disposed tojoin us, Tli old ornithologist, h iving no relish 
for such boyish sports, s"illiesto the swanrps in search of some rare species 
of woodpecker. We proceed to the drives, as fhey are called, viz., certain 
woods, separated by old fields and various openings, in some parts of 
which the Deer have their usual run, where the parties take their stands. 
These drives are designated by particular names, and we are familiar 
with Crane pond. Gum thicket, the Pasture, the Oak swamp, an 5 a number 
of bays, one of which we would be willing to Ibrgef, tor there we missed 
a Deer, and the bay was named after us, to our mortification. The driver 
is mounted on a hardy, active, and sure-footed horse, that he may be 
enabled to turn the course ol the Deer, ifhe attempts to run back, or to 
stop the dosrs. We were carrii il round to our st uids by our host, when 
a Deer bounced up before us; in an instant a loud report is heard waking 
the echoes of the forest — the animal leaps high into tl :ir, and tumbles 
to the ground. Thus, our venison is secured, and we carry on on • farther 
operations from the mere love of sport. Anxious to give our friend II \rris 
an opportunity of killing his I'rst Deer, we place him at the best stand. 
Our mutual wishes are soon gratified. He is stationed at the edge 
of a bay — a valley overgrown with bay-trees {Maifnolia glmii n) — which 
from that day received the cognomen of Harris' bay. The hounds aftef 
considerable trailing rouse two noble bucks, one of them bounds CT.t 



near our friend. Ho is ohlisrfd fo be refidy in a moment, before the 
Deer comes in the line with another hunt..r. At the report of his {?im wo 
perceive that the buck is woutuh'd. "Miti.l," cries out (Viuiid 
"your shot have whistled past me." Friend H. crows pain at the tliougiit 
of havin- endfu. .1 tlie life , another, but we comfort him by stating, 
that his shot liad not reached within (ifty yards of the nervous hunter, 
and moreover, thai >h,> old i,uek was womuled and would soon be his.' 
"We observed where he had laid down in the grass, and was starled up 
a^ain by the dogs. Now for a chase of a wounded buck. He takes 
through an old fi.dd once planted with , otton. now full of ruts and ditches, 
and grown up with tall broom-grass. We agree to h^t the boys have the 
pleasure of the chase whilst we are the silent spectators. They bound 
over ditches and old corn-ludds. (iring as they run. Suddenly the hounds 
become silent, and then the loud sounding of the horn is heard ming- 
led with the whoops of the hunters, which inform us, that the game 
is se<-ured ; it proves fo be a majestic buck. The successful hunter is 
now obliged to submit to the ordeal of all who have fleshed th«ir maid- 
en sword, and killed their first D.-er. "I submit," he said good na- 
turedly, " but spare my spectacles and whiskers." So his loieheadand 
cheeks were crossed with the red blood of the buck, and the tail was 
stuck in his cap. The hunt proceechnl merrily and successfully. Young 
Audubon, however, had not yet obtained a shot. At length a Deer was start'^ 
ed near our host. He would not shoot it, but strove to drive it to his neigh- 
bour. He ran after it, and shouted, stumbled over a root, and in the fall 
threw oir his spectacles : but as he was groping for them among the 
leaves, he ascertained that his generous eflbrts had been successful : 
the Deer had been turned to Mr. Aijoiibon. One barrel snapped— then 
came a sharp rep,, from the other— a loud whooj. su^'ceeded, and we 
soon ascertained th, another Deer had fallen. We now conceived that 
we had our wishes for a successful hunt fully gratified ; the dinner 
hour had arrived. P^ive nobh Deer were strung upon the old pecan- 
nut tree in sight of our festiv vll. The evening passed off in plea- 
sant fonver.-ition -some of tnos. present displayed their wit and poet- 
ical talents by givii,- the details of the hunt in an amusing ballad, which 
however has not yet found its way into print. Thus ended a Carolin.a 
Deer hunt. 

We regret t. he obliged to state, that the Deer are rapidly disaj.^ -aring 
from causes that ought not to exist. There are at present not one- 
fifth of the number of Deer in Oarnlina that existed twen*\ years ago. 
In the Northern and I\!iddle States, where the farms have been sub 
divided, and the forRsi necessarilj cleared, the Deer havt disappeared 

I ! 



s. »' 


" >," 



■! '^ 


because there was no cover to shelter them. In the Southern States, 
however, where there are immc-iise swamps sub'cct to constant inun- 
dations and pine barrens too poor lor cultivation, they wouhl rev ;ua 
undiminished in numbers were it not for the hlle and cruel practi'- • ol 
destroying; tlum by (irelijrht. and huntinj? them in the spring and sumincr 
seasons by overseers and idlers. There is a law of the State fori ''n - 
the killing of Deer during certain months in the year. It is, ho-vever. 
never enforced, and Deer are exposed for sale in the markets of Char!e., 
ton and Savannah at all seasons. In some neishbourhoods, wii^.o 
they were formerly abundant, now none exist, and the planters have 
given up their hounds. In New-.Iersey and Long Island, where tlie game 
laws are strictly enforced. Deer are said to be on the increase. In 
some parts of Carolina, where the woods are enclosed with fences, not 
sufficiently high to prevent the Deer from straying out, but sufficient to 
prevent the hunters from persecuting them in summer, they have greatly 
multiplied and stocked the surrounding neighbourhoods. If Judicious 
laws were framed and strictly enforced the Deer could be preserved for 
ages in all our Southern States, and we cannot refrain from submitting 
this subject to the consideration of our southern legislators. 


. This animal is found in the State of Maine ; north of this it is replaced 
by larger species, the moose and reindeer. It exists sparingly in Upper 
Canada. In all the Atlantic States it is still found, although in diminish- 
ed numbers. Where care has been used to prevent its being hunted at 
unseasonable periods of the year, as in New- York and New-Jersey, it 
is said to be rather on the increase. In the mountainous portions of 
Virginia it is hunted with success. It is still rather common in North 
and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, especially in barren or swampy 
regions, of which vast tracts remain uncultivated. In Mississippi, Mis- 
souri, Arkansas, and Texas, it supplies many of the less industrious in- 
habitants with a considerable portion of their ftrod. It is very abundant 
in Texas and New Mexico, and is a common species in the northern parts 
of Mexico. We cannot say with confidence that it exists in Oregon, 
and in California it is replaced by the black tailed Deer. — C.llichardsonii. 


This species has been given under different names, and we might have 
added a long list of synonymes. The specimens we saw in Maine and 



at N., «ara were nearly double the s.ze of those on the hunting islands 
.n Sou.h Carohna. The Deer that reside permanently in the swan,,s oi 
Caroma are taller and longer legged than those in the higher grounds 
I he deer of the mountains are larger than those on the sea-board, yet these 
diirerences. the result of food or climate, will not warrant ur in multiply, 
ing them into dilferent species. 



i . t 

CAN IS LUPU S.— Linn . V ar. Rufls. 

Red Texan Wolf. 

PLATE L X X X 1 1,— Malb. 

C. Colore supra inter fulvum nigrum variante, subtur dilutior ; cauda 
apice nigro. 


Varied with red and black above, lighter beneath. End of tail black. 


In shape the Red Texan Wolf resennbles the common graj' variety'. It 
iri more slender and lighter than the white Wolf of the North West, and 
has a more cunning fox-like appearance. The hairs on the body are not 
woolly like those of the latter but lie smooth and flat. Its body and legs 
are .ong, nose po'nted, and ears erect. 


The body above is reddish-brown mixed up with irregular patches of 
black ; the shorter hairs being light yellowish-brown at the roots, deep- 
ening into reddiish at the tips ; many of the longer hairs interspersed are 
black from the roots through their whole extent. Nose, outer surface of 
ears, neck, and legs, chestnut-brown, a shade paler on the under surface. 
There is a brown ' ;,e on the fore-legs extending from the shoulders to 
near the pn* . Moustaches few and black ; inner surfaces of ears soil- 
ed-white; nails black ; along the upper lip, under the chin, and on the 
throat, grayish-white. Upper surface and end of tail, as well as a broad 
band across the middle portion, black. 


From point of nose to root of tail, 


2 li 
1 1 




This variety is by no means the only one found in Texas, where 
Wolves, black, white and gray, are to be met with from time to time 
We do not think, however, that this Red Wolf is an inhabitant of the 
more northerly prairies, or even of the lower Mississippi bottoms, and 
h.ive, therefore, called him the Red Texan Wolf. 

The habits of this variety are nearly similar to those of the black and 
the white Wolf, which we have already described, differing somewhat 
owmg to local causes, but showing the same sneaking, cowardly, yet 
ferocious disposition. 

It is said that when visitin? battle-fields in Mexico, the Wolves preferred 
the slain Texans or Americans, to the Mexicans, and only ate the bodies 
ot the latter from necessity, as owing to the quantity of pepper used by 
tiie Mexicans in their food, their flesh is impregnated with that powerful 
stimulant. Not vouching for this story, however, the fact is well known 
that these animals follow the movements of armies, or at least are always 
at hand to prey upon the slain before their comrades can give them a sol- 
dier's burial, or even after that mournful rite ; and if anything cou'ld in- 
crease the horrors displayed by the gory ensanguined field, where man has 
slain his fellows by thousands, it would be the presence of packs of these 
ravenous beasts disputing for the carcasses of the brave, the young, and 
the patriotic, who have fallen for their country's honour ! 

No corpse of wounded straggler from his troop, or of unfortunate travel- 
ler, butchered by Camanches, is ever " neglected" by the prowling Wolf, 
and he quarrels in his fierce hunger in his turn over the victim of similar 
violent passions exhibited by man ! 

The Wolf is met on the prairies from time to time as the traveller slowly 
winds his way. We will here give an extract from the journal kept by 
J. W. Audubon while in Texas, which shows the audacity of this animal, 
and gives us a little bit of an adventure with a uungry one, related by 
Powell, one of the gallant Texan Rangers. 

" Like all travellers, the ranger rides over the wide prairie in long 
■silences of either deep thought or listless musings. I have never been able 
to decide which ; but when, riding by the side of Walker or Havs, who 
would like to say that a vacant mind was ever in the broad brow or be- 
hind the sparkling eye either of him with the gray, or of him with the 
brown ? but at times when watching closely I have thought I could trace 
in the varying expression, castle after castle mounting higher and higher, 
till a creek ' to water at,' or a deer which had been sound asleep and to 
VOL. i[. — 31 

- -omirn gB Mn 



windward of us, started some 30 or 40 yards off our path to wake up tho 
dreamers of our party. No one is certain that liis queries will be wel- 
come to the backwoodsman on a march through a strange country, any 
more than would be those of a passenger, put to the captain of a vessel as ho 
leans over the weather-rail looking what the wind will be, or thinking of 
the disagreeable bustle he will have, when he gets into port, compared 
to his lazy luxury on shipboard : but as I rode by the side of Powell we 
started no deer, nor came to a ' water hole,' but a Red Wolf jumped up 
some two or three hundred yards from us, and took to the lazy gallop so 

common to this species ; ' Run you ,' cried Powell, and he sent a 

yell after him that would have done credit to red or white man for its 
shrill and startlinir effect, the Wolf's tail dropped lower than usual, and 
now it would ha-t taken a racer to have overtaken him in a mile ; a 
laugli from Powell, and another yell, which as the sound reached the Wolf 
made him Jump again, and Powell turned to me with a chuckle, and 
said, ' 1 had the nicest trick played me by one of those rascals you ever 
heard of.' The simple, how was it, or let's have it, was all that he wanted, 
and he began at the beginning. 'I was out on a survey about 15 miles 
west of Austin, in a range that we dkln't care about shooting in any more 
than we could help, for the Camanches were all over the country ; and 
having 1 Hied a deer in the morninj^, I took the ribs off one side and wrap- 
ping tluan in a piece of the skin, tied *♦ <o my saddle and carried it all day, 
. J as to have a supper at night without i, .of ing ibr it ; it was a dark, dismal 
day, and I was cold and hungry when I got to where I was to camp to wait 
for the rest of the party to come up next day ; I made my fire, untied my 
precious parcel, for it was now dark, with two sticks put up my ribs 
to roast, and walked off to rub down and secu*e my horse, while they 
were cooking ; but in the midst of my arrangement l incArd a stick crack, 
and as that in an Indian country means something, i turrsed and saw, to 
my amazement, fori thought no animal would go near the lire, a large 
Red Wolf actually stealing 'my ribs' as they roasted ; insiinct made me 
draw a pistol and ' let drivti' at him ; the smoke came in my face and I saw 
nothing but that my whole supper was gone. So not in the most 
philosophical manner I lay down, supperless, on my blanket; at dayliglit 
1 was up to look out for breakfast, and to my surprise, my half-eooked ribs 
lay within twenty feet of the lire, and the Wolf about twenty yard« off, 
dead ; my l)all having been as well aimed as if in broad daylight." 

We have represented a fine specimen of this Wolf, on a sand-bar. snuff- 
ing at the b.meof a buffalo, which, alas ! is the only fragment of " ani- 
mal mutter" he has in prospect for breakfast. 




In all species of quadrupeds that are widely diffused over our conti- 
nent, it has often appeared to us that toward the north they are more 
sub)^ ;t to become wl.ite-toward the easi, or Atlantic side gray-to the 
sout^ Wack-an,l towar.l the west red. The gray squirrel, (S. nugratorins), 
of the Northern an.l Eastern States presents many varieties of red as we 
proceed westwardiy towards Ohio. In the south, the fox squirrel in 
the maritime districts is black as w(Ul as gray, but not re<l. On proceed- 
ing westwardiy, however, through Georgia and Alabama.a great many ar-> 
found of a rufous colour. In Louisiana, there are in the southern parts two 
species permanently black as well as the foxsquirrel, which in about half 
the specimens are found black, and the re.nainder reddish. The same may 
be said in regard to the Wolves. In the north there is a tendency towards 
white-hence great numbers are of that colour. Along the Atlantic 
coast, in the Middle and Northern States, the majority are gray. / To the 
south, ni Florida, the prevailing colour is black, and in Texas and the south- 
west the colour is generally reddish. It is difficult to account, on any 
principles of science, for this remarkable peculiarity, which forms a sub- 
ject of curious speculation. 

This variety of Wolf is traced from the northern parts of the State of 
Arkansas, southerly through Texas into Mexico ; we are not informed of 
its southern limits. 


The Wolves present so many shades of colour that we have not ventur- 
cd to regard this as a distinct species ; ,nore especially as it breeds with 
those of other colours, gangs of Wolves being seen, :n which this variety 
is mixed up with both the gray and black. 




%^2 &— 8 

Incisive — Canine — ; Molar — = 26, 

Teeth and toes similar to those of the genus Lepus, upper incisors iti 
pairs, two in front and two immediately behind them, the former large and 
the latter small. 

Ears moderate ; eyes, round ; hind legs not much longer than fore legs : 
fur under the feet ; no tail ; m'lmmoe four or six ; clavicles nearly perfect. 

Native of cold and Alpine regions. They lay up stores for winter pro- 
vision which is never done by the true hares. They have a call-note resem- 
bling that of some species of Tamice, 

The name of this sub-genus, Lagomys; is derived from the Greek words 
*«'/»(, {logos), a Hare, and /u/t, {mus), a Mouse. 

Four species of this genus are described ; one, tht, Pika, exists in the 
northern mountains of the Old World, one in Mongolian Tartary, one in 
the south eastern parts of Russia, and one in the Rocky Mountains of North 

LAGOMYS PRINC EPS. —Richardson. 

Little-Chief IIare. 

L. Ecaudatus, fuscus, latere pallidior, subtus griseus, capite brevi ; auri- 
culis rotundatis. 


Taillesa ; colour blackish brown, beneath gray ; head short and thick ; ears 

ors III 
?e and 

; legs : 
3r pro- 


in the 
one in 

; aun- 

; ears 

i i 





\. '' 



> "^ 


.^mni-'i mmfmm 




Lepub (Laoomys Prinoeps). 

Rich. Fauna B. Ain. p. 227. 
Fischer's Mamaliutn. p. 503. 


"On comparing the skull of this animal with that of a true Hare, 
there appears a larger cavity in proportion to its size, for the reception ol 
the brain. The breadth of the skull, too, behind, is increased by very large 
and spongy processes. The bone anterior to thr orbit is not cribriibrm 
as in the Hares, although it is thin, and there is no depression of the frontal 
bone between the orbits. 

The upper anterior incisors are marked with a deep furrow near their 
anterior margins, and have cutting edges which present conjointly three 
well m .'ked points, the middle one of which is common to both teeth, and 
is shorter than the exterior one. These incisiors are much thinner than 
the incisors of the Hare, and are scooped out like a gouge behind. The 
small round posterior or accessary upper incisors, have flat summits. The 
lower incisors are thinner than those of the Hares, and are chamfered away 
toward their summits, more in the form of a gouge than like the chisel-shap- 
ed-edge of the incisors of a Hare. 

Grinders. — The upper grinders are not very dissimilar to those of the 
Hare, on the crowns, but the transverse plates of enamel are more distinct. 
They differ in each tooth having a very deep furrow on its inner side, 
which separates the folds of enamel. This furrow is nearly obsolete in the 
Hares, whilst in the lagomys it is as conspicuous as the separation betwixt 
the teeth. The small posterior grinder which exists in the upper jaw of 
the adult Hare is entirely wanting in the different specimens of the Little- 
Chief Hare which I have examined. The lower grinders, from the depths of 
their lateral grooves, have at first sight a greater resemblance to the grind- 
ers of some animal belonging to the genus Arvicola than those of a Hare ; 
their crowns exhibit a single series of acute-triangles with hollow areas. 
The first grinder has three not very deep grooves on a side, and is not so 
unlike the corresponding tooth of a Hare as those which succeed it. The 
second, third, and fourth, have each a groove in both sides so deep as nearly 
to divide the tooth, and each of the crowns exhibits two triangular folds of 
enamel. The posterior grinder forms only one tnaiigle." — (Richardson). 

In size this species is a little smaller than the alpine /nViw of Siberia. The 
body is thick ; the head broad and short, and the forehead arched. The 
ears are ovate, and do not appear to have any incurvations on their inner 
margins. The eyes are small, re.sembling those of the arvicoluB ; there is a 
marked prominent tubercle at the root of each claw. 




The Little-Chief Hare is, on the upper ii<' dark brown, varied with 

irregular bands of brownish-black runniiiL )m rlie sides aero the ' ek. 
There are slight variations in diftV' nt specimc s, some havitr 
blackish markings more distinct than )th( s. The lur is, for thrie-founris 
of its length, of <a grayish-black colour, then partly yellowish-brown and 
white; on the sides of the head and fore shoulders thi- llowish-brown 
colour prevails more than in other parts. The ears a bordered with 
white ; the whole under surface is yellowish-gray, and the small pro- 
tuberance, which represents the tail, light coloured. 



Length of head and body - 


- 0^ 

" from nose to 

eye - 


■ - i 

Breadth of ear 



Fur on the back 



■ - 1 

Length of head 



• - 2i 

Height of ear 




Length of heel - 

• • 


■ - H 

Little is known with regard to the habits of this animal. 
The following extract is made from the Fauna Boreali Americana: 

"Mr. Dbummond informs me, that the Little-Chief Ilare frequents 
heaps of loose stones, through the interstices of which it makes its way 
with great facility. It is often seen at sunset, mounted on a stone, and 
calling to its mate by a peculiar shrill whistle. On the approach of man, 
it utters a feeble cry, like the squeak of a rabbit when hurt, and instantly 
disappears, to reappear in a minute or two, at the distance of twenty or 
thirty yards, if the object of its apprehension remains stationary. On the 
least movement of the intruder, it instantly conceals itself again, repeating 
its cry of fear ; which, when there are several of the animals in the neigh- 
bourhood, is passed from one to the other. Mr. Dbummond describes their 
cry as very deceptive, and as appearing to come from an animal at a 
great distance, whilst in fact the little creature is close at hand ; and if 
seated on a grey limestone rock, is so similar, that it can scarcely be 
discovered. These animals feed on vegetables. Mr. Dbummond never 




found their burrows, and he thinks they do not make any, but that they 
construct their nests among the stones. He does not know whether the> 
store up h!.v tor winter - not, but is certain, that they "do not come 
al)road dui ig thai '\'isoi 

To the above account, d affords us pleasure to annex the extract of a 
letter, which we received from Mr. Nuttall on the same subject. 

Of tills curious species of Lepus, (L. princcps of IIiciiarumjn), we werp 
not fortunate enough to obtain any good specimens. I found its range to 
be in that latitude {12°) almost entirely alpine. I rirst discovered it by 
its peculiar cry, far up the mountain of the dividing ridge between the 
waters of the Columbia and Colorado, and the Missouri, hiding amongst 
loose piles of rocks, such as you generally see beneath broken clifTs. 
From this retreat I heard a slender, but very distinct bleat, so like that 
of a young kid or goat, that I at first concluded it to be such a cull ; but 
in vain trying to discover any large animal around me, at length I may 
almost literally say, the mountain brought forth nothing much larger than 
a mouse, as I discovered that this little animal was the real author of this 
unexpected note." 


Dr. Richardson states, that this animal inhabits the Rocky Mountains 
from latitude 52° to (iO° The specimen of Mr. Townbend was procured 
in latitude 42°, and therefore within the limits of the United States. 


Until recently it was not supposed, that we had in America any species 
of this genus. We have compared it with the Pika, {Lagomys alpinits), 
ol the Eastern continent, described by Pallas. Our animal is not only 
of smaller size, but diflers from it in the formation of the skull and several 
other particulars. 



^ ^^^ 









iM mil 2.0 


lA IIII16 







,^ ^ J^ /'/ 






WEBSTER, N.Y. 14580 

(716) 873-4503 








f ., • 



*^ #> ^ 








Franklin's Marmot Souirrel. 

PLATE LXXXIV.— Male and Female. 

S. corpore super cervino ferrugineave creberrim6 nigro maculate subter 
albido, vultu ex nigro canescenti, Cauda elongata cylindricd pilis albis 
nigro ter quatorve torquatis vestita. 


Cheek pouches, tht. upper surface of the body spotted thickly with 
black, on a yellowish-brown ground, under surface grayish-white ; face 
black and white, intimately and equally mixed ; tail long, cylindrical, and 
clothed with hairs which are ringed alternately with black and white. 


Arotomys Franhxinii. Sabine. Llnnean Transactions, Vol. 13, p. 19. 

« •• Fi .uklin's Journey, p. 6G2. 

" " Harlan's Fauna, p. 167. 

•• •* Godman, Nat. Hist. Vol. 2d p. i09. 

«* •• Richardson, F. B. Am. p. 108. pi. 12. 


Franklin's Marmot is about the size of the Carolina Gray Squirrel, and 
resembles it in form, its ears however are shorter, and its tail, which is 
narrower, presents a less distichous appearance. The ears have an erect 
rounded flap, and although not as large as those of S. Douglassii, are pro- 
minent, rising above the fur considerably more than those of S, Richard- 
sonii or <S. Annulatus. The body is rather slender for this genus ; eyes 
large and rather pi eminent; cheek pouches small; moustaches few 
and short. 

The legs are shorter than those of the squirrels, and stouter than those 
of S. Annulatus. The thumb has one joint, with a small nail ; the 
second toe from the inside is the longest ; the palms arr naked. The 
soles of the hind feet are hairy fi. r about two-thirds of their length from 



the heels. The claws are nearly straight being much less hooked than 
those of iSf. Annulatus. 

The hair is rather coarse, and the under fur not v^ry dense. 

The tail is clothed with hair, but has on it no under fur. It is capable 
of a somewhat distichous arrangement, but as we are informed by Sir 
.foHN UicHARnsoN, whcn this animal is pursued, the tail is cylindrical, the 
hairs standing out in every direct on. The hind feet, whei\ stretched out, 
reach to the middle of the tail. 


Incisors orange ; eyes and whiskers, black ; nails, dark-brown ; the 
septum and naked margins of the nostrils, and margins of the lips are 
of a light flesh-colour ; eyelids, white ; below the nostrils, sides of face, 
chin, and throat, yellowish-white. Upper parts of the head to beyond 
the ears and neck, light brindled- gray, composed of blackish hairs tipped 
with white, without any admixture of brown. The hairs on the back, 
are at the roots, plumbeous, then brown, succeeded by aline of black, and 
finally tipped with brown, giving it on the back a brownish-speckled 
appearance. On the chest and inner surfaces of legs white, with a 
slight brownish tinge. The hairs on the tail are barred with black a.nd 
white ; they are light-coloured at the roots, then twice barred with 
black and white, and broadly tipped with white, '''owards the extre- 
mity of the tail there is a broader black bar, the apical portion being 
white. When the tail is distichously arranged it presents two indis- 
tinct longitudinal stripes of black. 


From point of nose to insertion of tail. 
Tail (vertebrfe), .... 
To end of hair, .... 
From heel fo end of middle claw, - 
Height of ear, - . . . 




We possess but little information of the habits of several of the Spermo- 
phili of America. None of the species are found in the settled portions of 
our country, whore opportunities are afforded the naturalist to observe 
and note down their habits ; every one has undoubtedly an interesting 
history attached to its life, which yet remains to be collected and written. 
VOL. n. — ;j-2. 




Richardson observes of this species, that it lives in burrows in the sandy 
soil amongst the little thickets of brushwood that skirt the plains. That 
it is about three weeks later in its appearance in the spring than the 
Arctomi/s Richardnonii, probably from the snow lying longer on the shady 
places it inhabits, than on the open plains frequented by the latter. It 
runs on the ground with considerable rapidity, but has not been seen to 
ascend trees. It has a louder and harsher voice than the A. Richard sonii, 
more resembling that of Sciurus Hudsonius when terrified. Its food con- 
sists principally of the seeds of liguminous plants, which it can procure in 
considerable quantity as soon as the snow melts and exposes the crop of 
the preceding year. Mr. Townsend, who observed it in Oregon, does not 
refer particularly to any habit differing from the above. 


This is a northern and western species ; Dr. Richardson having ob- 
tained it in the neighbourhood of Carlton House, and Townsend near the 
Columbia River. 


Although several different Spermophiles bear a strong resemblance to 
each other, we have not observed that this species has as yet been mis- 
taken lor any other, and it has as far as we can ascertain retained its 
name without change in the works of all new describers. 



1 ( 




sive - ; 



Canine — ; Molar— = 16 

0-0 3_3 

Cheek-teeth tuberculous, the first with three, the second with two, 
and the third with one, tubercle. 

Nose sharp, ears moderate; fore-feet short, with the rudiment of a 
thumb; hind legs long, terminated by five toes with nails, each with a 
distinct metatarsus. Tail, very long and slender ; mammJE. from two to 
four pectoral, and from tv^o to four abdominal. 

Habits nocturnal, many hibernate. 

There have been eleven species described as belonging to this genus, 
as it is now restricted ; one well determined species has been discovered 
in North America, the rest are found in sandy and elevated regions, in 
parts of Asia and A frica. 

The word Meriones is derived from the Gr. w«, {merion), the thigh. 


JuMpiNo Mouse. 

PLATE LXXXV.-Male and Female. 

M. Supra saturate fuscus, infra albus, lincS laterali flava inter colorem 
fuscom albumque intermedia ; caudS corpore iongiore. 


Dark reddish.hrownahnoe, with white underneath ; sidex yellow, separating 
the colours of the back from the white beneath ; tail much longer than the body. 


Dipcs HuDsoNicus. Zimmerman. Geogr. Geschich., II. p. 

Amekicanuh. Barton, Am. IMiil. Trans., 4. vol. p. 358—282. A. D. 1788 
OANAnBNsis. Davies' Linn. Trans,, 4. 155. 


■- lUPi 

tl, i 

i i ■ i 

i I 



Oerhillk do Canada. Desm. Mammal., p. 132. 

" l*''- Ciivicr in Diet, des So. Nat., 18. p. 464. 

Meriones Labradorius. Sabine, Franklin's Journ., p. i:,b and 157. 
Ct. Ca>?adensis et Labradorius. Harlan, Fauna, p. 155 and 157. 
" Godnian, vol. 2. p. 94 and 97. 

Meriones Labradorius. Richardson, Fau. Hore. Am., p, 144. 

" Americanus. De Kay. Nat. Hist. N. Y., p. 71. pi. XXIV., fig. 2d, 


Head, narrow and conical. Nose, tolerably sharp, with an obtuse tip 
projecting a little beyond the incisors. Nostrils small, facing sideways 
and protected anteriorly by a slight ventricose arching of their naked 
inner margins. The mouth is small and far back. Whiskers, long, 
extending to the shoulder ; eyes, small ; ears, semi-oval, rounded at 
the tips, clothed on both surfaces with short hair. Fore feet small, nail in 
place of a thumb ; hind legs long and slender ; there are five hind-toes, 
each with a long slender tarsal bone ; the toes, when expanded, res-embling 
those of some species of birds. The soles are naked to the heels ; upper 
surface of hind-feet covered with short adpressed hairs ; tail, long, ."^caly, 
has a velvety appearance, soft to the touch, is thinly covered with such 
soft short hairs, that without a close examination it would appear naked. 
The hair on the body is of moderate fineness, and lies smooth and 


Upper surface of nose, forehead, neck, ears, and a broad line on tim 
back, dark-brown ; the hairs being plumbeous at their roots, tipped with 
yellowish-brown and black ; under the nose, along the sides of the face 
outer surface of the legs, and along the sides, yellowish ; lips, chin, and' 
all the under surface white ; as is also the under surface of the tail in some 
specimens, though in others brownish-white. The colours between the 
back and sides, as well as bcaveen the sides and belly, are in most speci- 
mens separated by a dislinct line of demarcation. This species is subject 
to considerable variations in colour. We have seen some young ani- 
mals, in which the dark reddish-brown stripe along the back was wholly 
wanting ; others where the line of demarcation between the colours was 
very indistinct ; nearly all are pure white on the under surface ; but we 
possess two specimens that are tinged on those parts with a yellowish 




Lenj^t h of head and body - 

do of tail 

Height of ear posteriorly - 

From heel to longest nail - 




This species was familar to us in early life, and we possessed many op. 
portumties of studying its peculiar and very interesting habits. We doubt 
whether there is any quadruped in the world of its size, that can make its 
way over the ground as rapidly, or one that can in an open space so quickly 
evade the grasp .fits pursuers. The ploughman in the Northern and Mid'- 
dle .States, sometimes turns up this species from under a clod of e.rth 
when It immediately commences its long leaps. lie drops his reins and 
hurries alter it ; whilst the little creature darts off with grfeat agility pursu- 
ing an irregular zig-zag direction, and it requires an active runner' 'to keep 
pace with It, as it alternately rises and sinks lika the llving-fish at sea and 
ere the pursuer is aware, is out of sight, hidden probably behind some clod 
or concealed under a tuft of grass. We have frequenUy seen these mic' 
start from small stacks of wheat, where the bundles had been tempo- 
rarily collected previous to their being removed to the barn. In such 
cases they usually effect their escape among the grass and stubble 
A rapid movement seems natural to this animal, and is often exhi- 
bited when it ,s not under the induence of fear, and apparently for 
mere amusement. Our kind Iriend Maj. Le Contf., now of New- York 
informs us, that he has seen it in former times, near the northern end 
of the^ Island of New- York, springing from the ground and passing 
with the velocity of a bird, until its momentum being exhausted it dis^ 
appeared in the tall grass, apparently with ease and grace, again sprin-^. 
mg forth m the same manner. It must not, however, from hence be 
believed that the .Tumping Mouse walks on its hind H-ct only, and procuresses 
at all times by leaps, without using its fore-.'eet. We havj frequentry seen 
It walking leisurely on all its feet, in the manner of the white-footed 
mouse. It is chiedy when alarmed, or on sp.dal occasions, that it makes 
these unusual leaps; the construction of the body proves that this species 
could not for any length of time be sustained on its tarsi. In its leaps 
we have always observed that it falls on all its four feet. 

We experienced no difficulty in capturing thi. species in box-traps, and 

■' 'ii 




preserved a female in a cage from spring to autumn ; she produced ax 
young a few days after bring caught ; she reared both of them, and 
they had become nearly of full size before autumn, when by some accident 
our pets escaped. We placed a foot of earth at the bottom of the cage, 
in this they formed a burrow with two outlets. They used their feet and 
nails to advantage, as we observed them bury themselves in the earth, 
in a very short time. They were usually very silent, but when we 
placed a common mouse in the cage, squeaked with a loud chattering 
noise, like some young bird in pain. They skipped about the cage, wer^ 
anxious to make their escape from the mouse, and convinced us that thh 
species is very timid. They were in their habits strictly nocturnal, scarcely 
ever coming out of their holes during the day, but rattling about the 
wires of the cage throughout the night. 

Weobserv-d that every thing that was put into their cage, however 
great might be the quantity, was stored away in their holes before the 
next morning. We fed them on wheat, maize, and buckwheat. They 
gave the preference to the latter, and we observed that when they had 
filled their store-house with a quart of buckwheat, they immediately form- 
ed a new burrow in which they deposited the surplus. 

We are inclined to believe that this species produces several times dur- 
ing the summer, as we have seen the young on several occasions in May 
and August ; They are from two to four ; we have usually found three. 
The fact of the females being frequently seen -vith the young attached to 
their teats, carrying them along in their flight when disturbed, is well 
ascertained. We have also observed this in several other species ; in the 
white-footed mouse, the Florida rat, and even the common flying squirrel. 
We are not, however, to argue from this that the young immediately after 
birth become attached to the teats in the manner of the young opo'ssoms. 
and are incapable of relaxing their hold ; on the contrary the female we 
had in confinement, only dragged her young along with her, when she was 
suddenly disturbed, and when in the act of giving suck ; but when she 
came out, of her own accord, we observed that she had reliev..d herself from 
this incumbrance. This was also the case with the other species refer- 
red to. 

Dr. Dekay, regards it as a matter of course that in its long leaps, it is 
aidcL by the tail. We doubt whether the tail i;, used in the manner of the 
kangaru ; the under surface of it is never worn in the slightest manner, 
and exhibit.- no evidence of its having been used as a propeller. Its long 
heel and peculiarly long slender tarsal bones on each toe, seem in them°- 
sclves sufficieni to produce those very long leaps. We have often watch- 
ed this species, and although it moves with such celerity as to render an 



examination very difficult, we have been able to decide, as we think, that 
the tail is not used by the animal in its surprising leaps and rapid move- 

The domicilof the Junsping Mouse in summer, in which her young are 
produced, we have always (bund near the surface, .seldom more than six 
inches under ground, sometimes under fences and brushwood, but more 
generally under clods of earth, where the sward had been turned over in 
early spring, leaving hollow spaces beneath, convenient for the summer 
residence of the animal. The nest is composed of tine grass, mixed with 
which we have sometimes seen feathers, wool, and hair. 

We are, however, under an impression that the Jumping Mouse in winter 
resorts to a burrow situated much deeper in the earth, and beyond the in- 
fluence of severe frosts, as when fields were ploughed late in autumn, we 
could never obtain any of this species. It may be stated as a gener- 
al observation, that this animal is a resident of fields and cultivated 
grounds ; we have, however, witnessed two or three exceptions to this 
hnbit, having caught some in traps set at night in the woods, and once 
having found a nest under the roots of a tree in the forest, occupied by 
an old female of this species with three young two-thirds grown ; this 
nest contained about a handful of chestnuts, which had fallen from the 
surrounding trees. 

!t is generally believed, that the Jumping Mouse, like the Hampster of 
Europe, (Cricetus vulgaris), and the Marmots, (Arctomys), hibernates, and 
passes the winter in a profound lethargy. Although we made some 
efforts many years ago, to place this matter beyond a doubt by personal 
observation, we regret that our residence, being in a region where this 
species does not exist, no favourable opportunity has since been afforded us. 
Naturalists residing in the Northern and Middle States could easily 
solve the whole matter, by preserving the animal in confinement through 
the winter. 

To us the Jumping Mouse has rot been an abundant species in any 
part of our country. Being, however, a nocturnal animal, rarely seen 
during the day unless disturbed, it is in reality more numerous than is 
generally supposed. We have frequently caught it in traps at night in 
localities where its existence was scarcely known. 

This species, feeding on small seeds, does very little injury to the farmer ; 
It serves, like the sparrow, to lessen the superabundance of grass seeds, 
which are injurious to the growth of wheat and other grains ; it is fond 
of the seeds of several species of Arnaranthus, the pigweed, (Ambrosia), 
burr-marygold, beggar or sheep ticks, (Bidens), all of which are regarded 
as pests, he therefore should noi grumble at the loss of a few grains of 




wheat or buckwheat. Its enemies are cats, owls, weasels, and foxes, 
which all devour it. 


if there is no mistake in regarding all the varieties of Jumping Mice in 
the northern parts of America as one species, this little animal has a range 
n»^arly as extensive as that of the white-footed Mouse. It exists, according 
to llicHAUDso.v, as far to the North as great Slave Lake, Lat. ««". It is 
found in Labrador and Nova Scotia, and in Upper and Lower Canada. 
We have seen it in the Eastern ana Middle States, and obtained a specimen 
on the mountains of Virginia, but have not traced it farther to the South ; 
although we are pretty sure that it may, like the Sciurus Hudsonius be 
found on the whole range of the Alleghanies. Say observed it on the base 
of the Rocky Mountains, and Mr. Townsend brought specimens from Oregon, 
near the mouth of the Columbia River. We can scarcely doubt, that it 
will yet be discovered on both sides of the mountains in California and 


On looking at our synonymes our readers will discover that this species 
has been described under an endless variety of names. We have omitted 
a reference to RAFiNEsauE, who indicated several new species in the Ame- 
rican Monthly Magazine. We have concluded, that a writer exhibiting 
such a want of accuracy, who gives no characters by which the species 
can be known, and who has involved the science in great confusion, and 
given such infinite trouble to his successors, does not deserve to be quoted. 

We had attached to our plate the specific name given by Dr. Bar- 
ton, (>/. ^/neWcrtrtM.v), this we would have preferred to either of the others, 
especially as it now seems probable, that this is the only si)ecies in Norlh 
America. The names Hu<honius, Lahrwlorius, and Canadensis, are all 
exceptionable, as it appears to be as abundant in the Northern and 
Eastern States, as it is in Hudson's Bay, Labrador, or Canada. Thera is 
an evident impropriety, although we confess when hard pressed for a 
name we have often committed the error ourselves, in naming species 
after localities where they have been found. The Meles Lahmdoria of 
Sabine, and the Lepus Virginianus ofHARi.AN, are both famiUar examples. 
Having recently had an opportunity of consulting, the original description 
of Zimmerman, published between the years 1778 and 1783, we are con- 
vinced that he was the first scientific describer, and we have accordingly 
adopted his name. Barton, at a little later period, published a good 



description with a figure. Dav.e« shortly afterwards published it under 
the name of Drpus Canadensis. published a specimen with a 
muMlated tail, which he named M. La,ru,loriu., J R J^Zl' : 
specmen from the North, which he referred to the northern spec'es 
under the name of 3/. Lal^radonus, supposing there was still anothl;, wbch had been described as G. C^-nadensis. We have compared 
many specimens from all the localities indicated by authors. There is 
a considerable variety in colour, young animals being paler and having 
the l.nes of demarcation between the colours less distinct. There is also 
a great dilference between the colour of the coat of hair in the prtg 
before U .s shed and that of the young hair which replaces the wi er' 
pelage. The tail varies a little, but is always long in all the specimens 
7 he ears, sue, and habits of all are similar. We have thus far seen 
no specmen .h.t would warrant us in admitting more than one species 
into our American Fauna. '^ 


VOL. 11. — US. 



Incisive -' Canine — ; Molar — = 30. 
• 1—1 >— 3 

There are two conical teeth, or false molars, in the upper jaw, which 
are wanting in the genus Lijnx ; a large carnivorous tooth with three 
lobes ; the Iburth cheek-tooth in the iipper jaw nearly flat, and placed 
transversely ; the two anterior cheek-tenth in the lower jaw false. 

Head, round ; ears, short and generally triangular, not tut't.-d ; in many 
species a white spot on their outer surfaces ; no mane ; tail, long; tongue 
roughened with prickles ; anterior extremities with live toes, posterior, 
with four ; nails curved, acute, and retractile. 

Habit savage, feeding in a state of nature on living animals only, which 
they seize by surprise, and not by the chase, as is the habit of the dog 
woli; &c.; leaping and climbing with facility ; speed moderate ; .sense of 
sight good ; that of smell imperfect. 

There are 33 species of Long-tailed Cats described, inhabiting the lour 
quarters of the world. Four species only are positively known to exist 
north of the tropics in America. 

The generic nams is derived from the latin vrord Fclis — a cat. 


Ocelot, OR Leopara)-Cat. 
PLATELXXXVI .—Male.- Winter Pelage. 

F. Magnitudine. Lynx rufus. Cana. {s. potiits Jlava), mnculis ocellaribus 
magnis fulvis nigro-limbatis, in lateribus facias oblequas formantibus ; 
fronte striis 2 lateribus nigricantibus cauda corporis longitudine dimedia. 


Size of the Bay Lynx ; general colour grat/, marked with large fawn- 
coloured spots, bordered with black, forming oblique bands on thejlanks ; two 
black lines bordering the forehead laterally. 





F«Li8 Pardalis. Linn., p. 02. 

Iliirlaii'M Fuiina, p. 06. 
Ciiv. An. King, vol. 8, p. 470. 
GiilfitirH An. King., vol. 5, p. 107. 
Shaw's Zoology, vol. 2d, p. 350. 






Head, short ; neck, long -incl thin ; body, long and slender; .ail. rather 
thick, and of moderate size ; hair, rather soli, and not very dense. 


The outer surface of the ear is bla.-k, 'itha^..: e patch beneath ; chin 
and throat white, with a black bar immediateiv beneath the chin, and 
another under the neck. On the chest and under surface, white, with ir- 
regular black patches. There are small black spots disposed on the 
head, surrounded by reddish-brown, a black line runs longitud.nally on the 
sides ol the head to the neck. The whole back is marked with oval 
figures, and in some specimens with longitudinal black stripes ed-ed with 
fawn-colour. Upper surface of the tail irregularly barred with black and 
whiif, the extremity black. 

Specimens vary much in their markings, and we have not found two 
precisely alike. 


Male, procured by Col. Harsev in Texas, seven miles from San An. 
tonio, December, 1815, 

Frompointof nose to root of tail. ... 

Height from nails to shoulder, - - . . 
" of ear posteriorly, .... 


Length of head and body - - - _ , 
•• tail ---.-.'. 

From nose to shoulder. - - - - . 


Before describing the habits of this beautiful species, we must enterinto 
the difficult task of separating it from several other spotted, leopard-lik« 

Feet. Inches. 

2 11 
1 3 

1 2 

PeeC IncbM 

2 4 
1 1 
1 1 



I I 

li i 


cats, that have been confounded with it. Of these, the most similar in ap. 
pearance is perhaps the Felts mitis, which is found in the tropical portions 
of North America, and in the vvarmer parts of South America. 

The Fvlis mitis has in fact been figured, and described by SirAvv, Vol. ", 
p. 35t), (unless we deceive ourselves), as the Ocelot, (our present species) 
while liis figure of the Jaguar, (opposite p. 354), is probably drawn from 
the Ocelot, although, so poor a figure as to be hardly recognisable. 
The descriptions and figures of the Ocelot, that we find in old works on 
natural history, are so confusing, and unsatisfactory, that we are obliged 
to throw aside all reference to them in establishing any one of the feline 
tribe as our animal, and leave the reader to decide whether Buffon, speak- 
ing of the Ocelot, as two feet and a-half high and about four feet in length, 
meant the subject of our article, which is only two feet-six inches long 
from nose to root of tail, the Felis mitis, or the Jaguar ; and whether Pen- 
nant referred to the same anim-^l, which he de[,cribes, when speaking of the 
Ocelot, " as about four times the size of a large cat," (about the size of our 
specimen of the Ocelot). 

The description of this species in Linn^us is so short, that it is almost 
equally applicable to either the Jaguar, the Ocelot, or Felis mitis : "Felis 
Cauda elongata, corpore maculis supcrioribus virgatis, infcriorihus orhicula- 
tis.^^ Sys. Nat. Gmel. p. 78. Brisson is also very concise in giving the 
character of the Ocelot ; F. rufa, in ventre exalho Jiavicans, maculis nigris 
in dorso longis, in ventre orbiculntis variegata." Quadr. 109. We are on 
the whole inclined to consider the species described by Pennant as the 
Mexican Cat, the Ocelot or Leopard-Cat of the present article, and the lar- 
ger animal described by other authors, as the Felis mitis, as young of the 
Jaguar, or perhaps females of this last named species, and we have not yet 
met with the Felis mitis within our range, although we have seen such an 
animal alive in New- York, one having been brought by sea from Yucatan . 

Our animal is quite well known in Texas as the Leopard-Cat, and in 
Mexico is called the Tiger-Cat, it is in the habit of concealing itself in hol- 
lows in trees, and also by squatting upon the larger branches. It is rather 
nocturnal, and preys upon the smaller quadrupeds, and on birds, eggs, &c., 
when they can be seized on the ground. 

The activity and grace of the Leopard-Cat, are equal to the beauty of its 
fur, and it leaps with ease amid the branches of trees, or runs with swift- 
ness on the ground. These Cats seldom stray far from woods, or thickets 
bordering on rivers, streams, or ponds, very rarely lying on the hill-sides, or 
out on the plains. 

They run like foxes, or wild-cats, when chased by the hunters with 
hounds or other dogs, doubling frequently, and using all the stratagems of 



the gray fox before they take a straight course, but when hard pressed 
and fatigued, they always ascend a tree, instead of running to earth 

Like a 1 the cat tribe, the Ocelot is spiteful when confined in a cage and 
snarls and spits at the spectator when he draws near; but we have never 
seen U stnke through the bars like the leopard, which sometimes inflicts 
severe wounds on the incautious or fool-hardy person, who. to see it better 
approaches too closely its prison. ' 

According to our information, the Ocelot only has two youn^. at a litter 
but we have not had an opportunity of ascertaining 'this Volt '::: 

The specimen from which our figure was drawn, was procured by Gen. 
H.HX.V, who sent it fresh killed to J. W. Acoubov, then at San An- 
^n.o on an expedition in search of the quadrupeds of Texas, for our work 
We here give an extract from his journal. 

" But for the kindness of Col. Hah.vev, I might never have made the draw- 
mg of this most beautiful of all the North American feline race. Col. H 21 
sent for my trunks, and while I waited the return of the sergeant's guTrd 
who went to fetch them, I saw him daily. He introduced me to M ' 

theTT T r\ "' ""'''■ ''^^''^' ^''"'"^^^^ ^y friend, boarded, aid 
the lady of the house made it a home to me. 

I was invited out to the camp, and as I talked of the animals I was most 
anxious to procure all seemed desirous to aid me. Col., fond 
field sports, as active and industrious as he was tall and magnificent-look- 
ing, waked at day light the lone prairies and swamps with shouts of e. 
couragement to his small pack of well-chosen dogs, till they in turn bur t 
forth in full cry on the hot trail of a magnificent specimen of this most n 
cresting snecies. I had just returned from an examination of all my II 
raps ; some were sprung, yet nothing but fur was ieft, showing that a strong 
wolf or lynx had been caught, but had pulled away ; thus preventing 
perhaps, the capture of some smaller animal that I wanted ; and rats, mice 
skunks, or other little quadrupeds, were eaten nightly whilst fast in the 
teel teeth, by these prowlers. I «at down, to think of spring, guns, and Ion. 
for means to prevent this robbery of my traps, when a sergeant came in' 
with the result of Col.'s morning-.s chase, the beautiftl Ocelot? rom 
which my drawing was made. 

This was a new animal to me, as, though I knew of its existence I had 
never se.n one, so that my delight was only equalled by my desire to paint 
a good figure of it. Its beautiful skin makes a most favourite bullet 
pouch, and Its variegated spots are only surpassed by the rich glossy coat 
nnd (ur of the far famed ' black ottc"' ^ 

In his many long hunts. Col. Hak.kv must have often and often past the 

I H 




lurking Wako and Camanche, who quailed at his soldierly bearing, while 
any other man would have had perchance a dozen arrows shot at him. 



We have heard of an occasional specimen of this cat having been ob- 
tained in the southern parts of Louisiana. Nuttall saw it in the State ol 
Arkansas ; our specimens were procured in Texas. It is common in 
Mexico ; its southern range has not been accurately determined. 


Jfuch confusion still exists among writers in reference to the spotted cats 
of i^Iexico and South America, which can only be removed by the 
careful observations of naturalists in the native regions of these closely alii, 
ed species. 



American Red F(ix. 

V. Rufo-fulvoque varius ; collo subtus ventreque imo albis ; pectore 
cano ; antibrachiis antice prodiisque nigris ; digiiis lulvis ; caudS apice 
alha. '^ 


Fur reddish or fuhous ; beneath the neck and helhj white ; chest gray 
front part of the fore legs and feet, black ; toes fulvous; tip of the tail white 


Canis Fulvus. Deam. Mamm. p. 203. 

" Fr. Cuvier, in Diet. des. Sc. Nat. VIII. p, 568. 
REyARD DE VmaiNiE. Palesotde BeauvoisMem. Sor. 
Le Rbnaud. Bullet, Soe. Phil. 
Kei) Fox. Sabine, Franklin's Journ. p. 65G. 
Canis Fulvus. Harlan, 89. 

" Godman, vol. 1, p. 280. 
VuLPEs Fulvus, Rich. Fauna, B. A.'p. 91. 

De Kay, Nat. Hist. N. Y., p. 44, fig. 1, pi. 7. 


Thfe animal bears so strong a resemblance to the European Fox (v vul 
gans), that it was regarded as the same species by early naturalists. No 
one, however, who will compare specimens from both countries, can have 
a doubt of their being very distinct. Our Red Fox is a little the largest its 
logs are less robust, its nose shorter and more pointed, the eyes nearer 
together, its feet and toes more thickly clothed with fur, its ears shorter 
It hits a finer and larger brush, and its fur is much softer, finer, and of a 
brighter colour. 

It stands higher on its legs than the Gray Fox, and its muzzle is not so lono- 
nnd acute, as in that species. It is formed for lightness and speed, and is 
more perfect in its proportions than any other species in the genus with 
wliich we are acquainted. 

The hair on the whole body is soft, silky, and lustrous ; the ears are cloth- 
ed with short hairs on both surfaces, and the feet and toes are so clothed 




with hair, that the nails are concealed. The body of this species has a 
strong musky smell, far less disagreeable, however, than that of either 
the skunk or mink. It becomes less offensive in a state of domestication. 


Point of nose, outer extremity of ears, and outer surfaces of legs below 
the knees, black ; forehead, neck, flanks, and back, bright-reddish, and a 
little deeper tint on the back and fore-shoulders ; around the nostrils, 
margins of the upper jaw, and chin, pure white ; throat, breast andanar- 
row spsice on the under surface, dingy-white ; extreme end of brush 
slightly tipped with white ; inner surface of ears, and base of the outer sur- 
face, yellowish. The hair on the body is of two sorts : long hairs interspers- 
ed among a dense coat of softer, brighter, and more yellowish fur ; on the 
tail the longer interspersed hairs are more numerous, and many of them aro 
quite black, giving the tail a more dusky appearance than rest the of the body 

In addition to the distinct varieties of this species, the black and cross 
Fox, we have seen some shades of difference in colour in the red variety. 
In some the colours on the back are considerably darker than in others 
We have seen several with the nose and chin nearly black, and in others 
the white tip at the tail is replaced with black. 


From point of nose to root of tail. 
Tail (vertebra;) 

*' to end of hair, - . - 
Height at shoulders, - - . 

•* of ears posteriori V - 













This Fox, in times gone by, was comparatively rare in Virginia, and 
larther south was unknown. It is now seldom or never to be met with 
beyond Kentucky and Tennessee. Its early history is not ascertained, it 
was probably for a long time confounded with the Gray Fox, (which is in 
many parts of the country the most abundant species of the two,) and af- 
terwards was supposed to have been imported from England, by some Fox- 
hunting governor of one of the " colonies." It was first distinguishod from the 
Gray Fox and hunted, in Virginia; but now is known to exist in all the 
Kiirthcrn States, and we are somewhat surprised ttiat it should so long 
have been overlooked by our forefathers. No doubt, however, the culti- 



vanon and improvement of the whole country, is the chief reason why the 
lied Pox has become more numerous than it was before the Revolution, 
and a wdl probab y be found going farther south and west, as the wood^ 
and forests give place to farms, with hens, chickens, tame turkeys, ducks 
«&c. in the barn-yards. , "u^">», 

The Red Fox is far more active and enduring than the Gray, and gene- 
rally runs in a more direct line, so that it always gives both dogs and hun- 
ters a good long chase, and where the hounds are not accustomed to follow 
It will frequently beat-out the whole pack, and the horses and huntsmen 
to boot. 

In some parts of the country, however, it is chased and killed with dogs 
.n fine style The following account of the mode of taking the Red Pox' 
at the , ,,^, i„ New-Jersey, near Cape May, is from an interesting letter 
wrmen to us m December. 1845, by oar friend Edward Hakr.s, Esq., of 
Moorestown, m the neighbourhood of Philadelphia ; it is quite different from 
the ordinary mode of hunting the Red Fox. He begins thus ■ 

" ^^T"^""^: t ''''''' ''^°' ^ "^'"^ '° ^"P^ ^^y Court-house, where I 
pent Monday and Tuesday among the quails, Q.rciri. .ir^Uucn^^s), which 
I found exceedingly abundant, but the ground so bad for shooting, that in 
both days two of us shot but thirty-three birds. On Wednesday my friend 
Mr. Holmes took me to Beasi.ey's Point at the northern extremity of the coun- 
y ; here I was sorry to learn that young Beaslbv, who was to have re- 
turned Irom Philadelphia on the Saturday previous, had not yet made his 
appearance ; his father, however, showed agreatdesire to forward my views 
ni regard to "Monsieur Reynard." The next day it rained cats anddogs, and 
Tom Beaslev did not arrive in the stage. In the afternoon it cleared oft 
sufficiently to make a " a drive" in the point, where we started a noble 
specimen m beautiful pelage, but alas! he would not come near the 

The next morning, we drove the same ground, being the only place on the 
main land where there was any prospect of driving a Fox to standers with- 
out dogs, (of which there are none in the vicinity). This time we saw 
none. After dinner I took my pointer, and bagged eight brace and a half 
of quails, having this time found them on good ground. The next day 
Saturday, with three drivers, and three standers, we drove .he beach for 
five and a-half miles, without seeing a fox, and so ended ihis unsuccessful 
expedition I had great hopes of this beach. (PECK's),as it had not been hunt 
e_d since^the winter before the last, althc ..> some of the gunners told m. 
they had seen but few " signs" since that time. 

The mode of driving, which requires no dogs, is for the drivers to he fur 
nished with two boards, or shingles, which they strike together, or with 
VOL. II. — 34. 



what is better, a rattle, similar to a watchman's. The standers are sent 
ahead to a narrow part of the beach, where the creeks of the salt-marshes 
approach nearest to the sand-hills : when they are supposed to have reach- 
ed their stands, the drivers enter, and walk abreast among the bushes, 
between the sand-hills and the marshes, making all the noise they can, 
w'ith their lungs, as well as their boards or rattles ; and these unusu- 
al noises are almost sure to drive the Foxes to the standers, where 
if they pass harmless, they have again to run the gauntlet to the 
end of the beach, at the inlet, where, Mr. Beasley assures me, he 
has known seven Red Foxes cornered, out of which four were killed, and 
three escaped from bad shooting. We made four drives in the five and 
a-half miles. 

The facts in regard to the history of the Red Fox on the Jersey coast 
that I have been able to collect, are few ; such as they are 1 will give 
them to you. 

Certain it is that they frequent the beaches in great numbers, and so far 
as 1 can learn, the Gray Fox is not found in the same places, nor is the 
raccoon, which we know to be po abundant on the sea islands and beaches 
of our southern coast. They pass to the beaches on the ice, in the winter 
season, when the " sounds" are frozen, and have frequently been seen in the 
day time, making their passage, though doubtless it is more frequently per- 
formed in the night. Their means of subsistence there ar« ample, consisting 
of wild fowl of various kinds, upon which they spring while they are asleep 
upon the ponds and creeks, but more particularly upon the wounded fowl 
which escape from the numerous gunners, also crabs and fish, which are 
thrown up dead by the surf, and rabbits and wading birds, in the summer. 
A marvellous story is told of their sagacity in selecting the food they like 
best, which is vouched for by Mr. Beasley, and all the gunners along 
f^hoie, but which 1 think i«:q"ires confirmation, at least so fur as to have 
the fish in question, seen by some naturalist in the state described by the 
narrators, in order to ascertain its name, or describe it, if new, before its 
publication is ventured on. The story is, that a certain fish, called the cramp- 
fish, from its supposed power of paralizing the hand which touches it while 
living, is thrown ashore dead, by the surf in the winter season, that every 
one of these fishes contains a bird, such as the coot, (either fuscu or per- 
spicillata), or a gull, which appears to have destroyed the fish, by its j)rov- 
ing rather hard to digest, without having been plucked. Mr. Fox finds 
the fish that has come to this deplorable end, and either in the vain hope 
of restoring animation to the unfortunate defunct, or for the gratification of 
a less noble impulse, he makes a longitudinal incision into the peritonai'um 
of the subject, and extracts the bird, oi' which he makes a meal ; but, n)ind 



vou Mr. Fox has profited by the avvlb, examp-e before him-he picks the 

B to r '•'": •;■ '''''■^'— •• --">- what you cannoTL't 
But, to be serious, I do not mean to ridicule the f-iK wli.K t T 

cannot answer for it miirht in u^ ,,1 • • , wnicn l 

t,i lor, n migl.t in its plain, unvarni.siied form, without beincr 

wUhTm , I. ""■' '^''^ '" '''''^ '"'"^'''"^^ ♦he length of four-feot 

uith a mouth twenty-twa inches wide, they are sealed, and are said to re 
semb e, somewhat, the sea cat-fish, with which I am no't accuaintl^h The 
Fox on the beach when hunted by hounds, resorts to his usual trick of he ^.ater, to throw the dogs off the scent, by followingthe r t ea 

"n Tb ,"/ "^ "i!"" " '^' ^"'^'^^ ""'' ^^^"' ♦h-^ '.V-^ ^own among the 
and hil s to rest, while the dogs are at fault. In the Lods on the ml n 

land bo h Red and Gray Foxes are abundant, the latter rather predomZ: 

u.g. 1 he Foxes are abundant on some of the beaches, and generally may 

be procured Mr. Slkxcp., of Mount IIollv, has been on a party when 

We have not been able to procure the fish which is alluded to in the 
foregoing, but have no doubt of the correctness of the account. The R.d 
Fox will eat fish as well as birds, and when hard pressed does not refuse 
even camon. It is, therefore, probable that the discovery of the bird 
withm the dead fish, may be the result of accident rather than of instin t 
reason, or keenness of smell on the part of the Fox ; for when he begins 
to devour a hsh he must soon find the more savoury bird in its stomach 
and being fonJer of fowl than offish, he would of course eat the bird Id 
eave the latter. A Fox aller having in this w.y discovered coots, gulls 
or any other bird, would undoubtedly examine any dead fish that he came' 
across, in hopes of similar good luck. Hence the foxes on the beaches have 

sTohTr";"'""'.?"'"''^'^'" '''"•'"'•"-" '^"■'■•^ '■'•"- ♦he stomachs oj 
uch fish as have swallowed them, and are cast ashore .lead by the storms 

on he coast; and they also at times get a plentiful meal from the dead 
birds that float ashore. We received a beautiful specimen of the Red Fox. 
m he flesh from our friend Mr. II.kris, not long af>er the foregoing letter 
and our figure was drawn from it. We represented the Limal jus; 
caught m a steel-trap. '' 

The Red Fox brings forth from four to six young at a litter, although after they are born, with a soft woolly fnr.c,uite unlike the oat of the 
grown anima, and generally of a pale rufous colour. FrequenX ho " 
eve, the cubs in a litter are mixed in colour, there being some' edlnd sle 



bipck-cross Foxes together: when this is the cane it is difficult to tell 
which are the red and which the cross Foxes until they are somewhat 
grown. In these cases the parents were probably different in colour. 

This animal feeds upon rats, rabbits, and othrr small quadrupeds, and 
catches birds, both by lying in wait for them, and by trailing them up 
in the manner of a pointer dog, until watching an ojjportunity he can 
pounce or spring upon them. In our article on the Gray Fox, (vol. 1., 
p. 164) we have described the manner in which this is done by that 
species, and the Red Fox hunts in the same way. 

The Red Fox also eats eggs, and we have watched it catching crickets 
in an open field near an old stone wall. It is diverting to witness 
this — the animal leaps about and whirls round so quickly as to be able to 
put his foot on the insect, and then gets hold of it with his mouth ; we 
did not see him snap-* at them ; his movements reminded us of a kitten 
playing with a mouse. 

We once knew a Red Fr-, that had been chased frequently, and always 
escaped at the same spot, by the hounds losing the track : the secret was 
at last found out, and proved to be a trick somewhat similar to the 
stratagem of the Gray Fox related in our first volume, p. 171 ; the 
Red Fox always took the same course, and being ahead of the dogs so 
far that they could not see him, leaped from a fallen log on to a very 
sloping tree, which he ascended until conce? "ed by the branches, and 
as soon as the dogs passed he ran down and leaping on to his old 
track ran back in his former path. So dexterously was this " tour " 
performed that he was not suspected by the hunters, who once or twice 
actually whipped their dogs off the trail, thinking they were only fol- 
lowing the " back track." 

The Red Fox is in the habit of following the same path, which enables 
the fox hunters to shoo„ this species from "stands," even in a country 
where the animal has room enough to take any course he may choose 
to run. The "hunters" who go out from the city of New- York, are 
a mixed set, probably including Germans, Frenchmen, Englishmen, and 
Irishmen, and each one generally takes his own dog along, (on the 
speed and prowess of which he is ready to bet largely,) and the hunt 
is organized on the height beyond Weehawken in " the Jerseys," where 
a good many Red Foxes are to he found, as well as more Gray ones. 

The men are all on foot, and station themselves along ridges, or in 
gaps in the rocky hilly country, now running to a point, to try and 
get a shot, now yelling to their dogs, and all excitement and hubbub. 
If the Fox doubles much, he is verj apt to get shot by some otio before 
he passes all the "standers," and the hunters then try to start another; 



leal "of As' f ™ f " ""'"'• " ""= ""■'■'"'"'"' " '""k "1 a good 
«c yh.ll „ ,0 s,a„,l, i„ .ho Newark .ar,he,, fa„.i,i„.ly „„.,!„ ^ 

hol,l .h. Fox „ fte,„„„t|y „e„ l,y ,h„ whole company of hun.e , 'nd.he 
eha» ., Ie„,,„e„ed „„. ,„ a r„„ of ,„a„y mile' a, Rel, „," 1 
aga,n toward the high ridge» nearer the Hudson River 

We wdl give an an aeeount of one of these hunts as related by some 
Z:iT • :t° """"^ *"° ""' '"'"=" <'» -"""""= their IrH 

Alter some about among the thickets and ravine,, „-e Ibnnd 
the og, h. straye away down .he side of the hill, nearly t; .he e"" 
of the marshes, and raising our horn to call ,hem up. observed .ha. thev 

where ,n .hem; we ,mmed,a.ely gave a loud halloo, and ur-ed all 
he hound, to the chase. The eur turned .ail a. once, the w^e pact 
opened -after him in full cry, and all .he hun.ers ca^e running M 

Irom .he woods ,o the brow of ,!,„ hill, whence we had a v cT of th. 

most of the hunter, thought he was one •■ certain." he shewed good hot 
^m. took several leap, over the stone walls and feaee,. and dodge, abo, 
and round patches of briars ,a„d rocks with extraordinary agiuly u„,i 
o tt T' """""^ '" """"• "'■™ "" "-^Wvely « strLed 1^= un 

rsLal, flTrT"':', "" ""?"• "' J"'""'" -" '» " «-" "-losing 
a stnal farm yard, and disappeared within, i.nmediately setting up a lou3 

l.ark of deuance. while some of ,he hunlers who had expressed most 

eonfldenee. were loudly laughed at by their comrades. whoM ..eririy 

to '"ur, lllr'^-nilir "'• ^"' " ^° ™'^ "-^ ">^' " ^^ -"^»'. 
Dr. Richardson tells us that tho hp«t f,.v k * • , . 

-;hood.ii,egingthatZ::ret;:;'Lh7e:rre,"^ "■ "^ "^'^^• 
ouj't'hrrurhitLir-'"^*"* '"»'"'-"""' --- -^ '» -„ 

JtJurrir r''""^ "■'""""' '""■ ••■^ "onhem .o .he .South. 

species havmn; ecom(- tTiore numnrons than 



11 ; 

If ' \ 


it was before the Revolution. This i(iea, however, wouhl seem to be over- 
thrown by the oontinuetl ahuiuiiiiice oi'Gmy Foxes in the Eastern States. 
In the early history of our country the Red Fox was unknown south of 
Pennsylvania, that State being its Southern limit. In process of time it was 
found in the mountains of V'irginia, where it has now become more abun- 
dant than the Grav Fox. A few years afterwards if appeared in the 
more elevated portions of North Carolina, then in the mountains of South 
l^arolina, and finally in Georgia ; where we have recently observed it. 

This species was first .seen in Lincoln County, Georgia, in the year 1810, ' 
since then it has spread over the less elevated parts of the country, and is 
not rare in the neighbourhood of Augusta. We are informed by Mr. 
BEri.E, an intelligent observer of the habits of animals, that on one occasion 
near Augusta, as he wf using a call for wild turkey.s, a little before 
sunrise, in the vicinity of Augusta, two Red Foxes came to the call, suppos- 
'm\\ it to be that of a wild turkey, and were both killed by one discharge 
of his gun 

In order to ascertain whether the speed of me Red Fox was as great 
in the south as in the colder regions of the north, several gentlemen near 
Augusta, in the winter of 1844, resolved to test the question by a regular 
Fox chase. They congregated to the number of thirty, with one hun- 
dred hounds, many of them imported dogs, and all in fine running order. 
They started a Fox at two o'clock on a moonlight morning. He took to 
a pretty open country on the west bank of the Savannah river. A 
number of gentlemen were mounted on fleet horses. Mr. Bf.ile rode in 
succession three horses during the chase, two of which \t'ere good hunters. 
The pursuit of the flying beast was kept up till three o'clock in the " 
afternoon, having continued thirteen hours, when the horse ^ and the 
whole pack of hounds were broken down, and the hunt was abandoned. 
This accouni does not accord with that given by Richardson, who states 
(Fauna Boreali. Am. p. 93,) '* The Red Fox does not possess the wind 
of its English congener. It runs for about a hundred yards with great 
swiftness, but its strength is exhausted in the first burst, and it is soon 
overtaken by a wolf or a mounted huntsman." It is quite evident that 
our estimable friend never had an opportunity of participating in the 
chase of the American Red Fox. 

Whilst the Gray Fox seldom is known to dig a burrow, concealing its 
young usually beneath the ledges of rocks, under roots, or in the hollow 
of some fallen tree, the Red Fox on the contrary, digs an extensive burrow 
with two or three openings. To this retreat the Fox only flies afler a 
hard chase and as a last resort. If, as often happens, the burrow is on 
level ground it is not very difficult by ascertaining the direction of the 



?a lencs and sinking a hole at intervals of seven or eight feet to dig 
out and capture the animal. When thus taken he di.splays b'ut mt e 
eourage-.on.eti.e. like the Opossum. Cosing his eyes' aL Sgnlng 

It .s at this period, when the snows in the Northern States are still on 

In. Th ^"' ' ' ''' ^"'■"^'•^ '""* ^'^ P'-«^''^« '■-'^ <■- their 

lurni f 1 ^^IP'^'-*'^"'-'^ ^«-' «^ young lambs, which they carry off 

poultry, and have a bad reputation with the farmer. They likewise feed 

rS:::;:" '"'"'t* ^ ^^^" '- -- '^^^^^^ ^^--'^' -^ A^^^^-t " 

various species, as we have previously mentioned. 


The Red Fox exists in the fur countries to the North, is found in La- 
brador to the East, and in the Russian settlements on the West of tur 
contment. Its Southern limit at present is Abbeville, in Sourclrolina 

siatetT:; ""'rV ' '-'' ""'''''^^^^ ^^- ^«- seen i ose' 
S ates, near the sea-board. It also appears in Tennessee. Kentucky, and 

Missouri. We have not heard of its existence in Florida. Louisiana, o 


It is now so generaUy admitted that the Red Fox of America is a d.s- 

met from the European Fox ; that a comparison seems unneces- 

H^ary. We have seen no specimen in this country that can be referred tc 



W()RM-wcM)i» Hark. 
P I, A T F. 1. X X X V 1 1 1— Malm and Pemalb. 

L. Parvus, cane.sccns,nuclia ct crurilms (lilutp foru^iiH'ls, cuikIii supra 
canescoiis, subtus albn, pula et ventre albis, vellore toto ad basin cano : 
auriculis lungiludine capiiis, tarsus dense vestitis. 


Small ; of a gray colour, pale riifus on the back of the neck arid legs ; 
tail, above, the colour of the body ; beneath, white ; under parts of the neck, 
and lower .surface of the body, white ; all the fur gray at the base ; ears 
as long as the head ; tarsus, well clothed. 


Lepus Artemisia. Pach, Worm-wood flare. Journal Acad. Nat. Sciences, 
vol. 8, p. 1, p. 04. 


This small Hare is a little less than our common gray Rabbit, the 
ears arc longer and more conspicuous. The head is much arched, and 
the upper incisors deeply grooved. 


This species is grayish-black and brownish-white itbove ; the fur is 
soft, pale-gray at the base, shaded into brownish rxfernally, annulated 
with brownish-white near the apex, and black at the tips : under parts, 
and inner sides of the limbs, white ; the hairs pale-gray at the base ; 
neck, with the hairs on the sides, and under parts gray, tipped with 
brownish-white, having a faint yellow hue ; chin and throat grayish- 
white, the hairs being sray at their base, and white at their tips. The 
whole back of tlie nef;k .inc li r>bs exteriorly of a pale rusty-fawn colour; 
hairs on the neck unifora-. ^^. 'he base; soles of the feet, very pale soiled 
yellowish-brown; tail, ^'jioatd above as the back, with an admixture 
of grayish-black hairs, be.ieath, vi^hite , ears, externally on the anterior 



' /, 



: ears 


lit, the 
id, and 

fur is 



base ; 









^ .* 


n ! . 

li I 










part, coloured as the crown of the head ; posteriorly, asny white ; at the 
apex margined with black ; internally, nearly naked, excepting the pos- 
terior part, where they are grizzled with grayish black and white; in the 
apical portion they are chiefly white. 










Length from nose to root of tail. 

From heel to point of longest nail, - 

Height of ears externally, - 

From ear to point of nose, 

Tail (vertebrae) about. 

To end of fur, 


Mr. TowNSEND, who procured this species at Fort Walla-walla, re- 
marks, " it is here abundant but very s'w and retired, keeping constantly 
in the densest wormwood bushes, and leaping with singular speed from 
one to another when pursued. I have never seen it dart away and run 
to a g.-eat distance like other Hares. I found it very difficult to shoot this 
animal, for the reasons stated. I had been residing at Fort Walla- walla 
for two weeks, and had procured only two, when at the suggestion of Mr. 
Pambrun, I collected a party of a dozen Indians armed with bows and ar- 
rows, and sallied forth. We hunted through the wormwood within about 
a mile of the Fort, and in a few hours returned bringing eleven Hares. 
The keen eyes of the Indians discovered the little creatures squatting 
under the bushes, where to a white man they would have been totally in- 
visible. This Hare, when wounded and taken, screams like our common 


"This small Hare," we are informed by Mr. Townsend, "inhabits the 
wormwood plains near the banks of the streams in the neighbourhood of 
Fort Walla-walla. I cannot define its range with any degree of cer- 
tainty, but I have every reason to believe that it is very contracted, never 
having met with it many miles from this locality." 

VOL. u. — 35 





SCIURUS SAYI I.— Auo. and Bach. 

Say's Suuirrel. 


S. Sciurus ciiiereus magnitudine sub a-quans. Corpore supra lateribus- 
que cario-nigroque variis ; capitis lateribus orbitis que pallide caiio-ferru- 
gineis ; genis auriculusque saturate fuscis ; cauda supra ferrugiueo-ni- 
groque varia, infra spleudide ierrugiiieii. 


About, the size of the cnt-sqvirrel {S. cinereus) ; body above, and on the sides 
mixed with gray and black ; sides of the head and orbits, pale ferruginous ; 
check and under the eye, dusky ; tail, above, mixed with ferruginous and 
black, beneath^ bright ferruginous. 


SriuRUS Maorodrus. Say, Long's Exped. vol. 1., p. 115. 

S. Maonicaudatus. Harlan, Fauna, p. 178. 

S. Mackoureus. Godman's Nat, Hist. vol. 2, p. 134. 


In size and form this species bears a considerable resemblance to the 
Cat-Sqii iTpl (-S. cinereus). It is a little longer in body, not quite as stout, and 
has shorter ears. In length and breadth of tail, they are about equal. 
The first molar tooth in the upper jaw, which in some of the species is de- 
ciduous and in others permanent, was wanting in the six .specimens we ex- 
amined: we presume, however, it exists in very young animals ; mamma;, 
8, placed equi-distant, on the sides of the belly ; palms, as is usual in this 
:enus, naked, the rudimental tliiunb protected by a short blunt nail ; 
tlie feet are covered with hair, which extends between the toes, half con- 
cealing the nails; hair on the body, of moderate length, not as coarse as that 
ol' the Fox-Stpiirrel, {S. capistratiis), but neither as fine or woolly as that of 
.S'. cinrrciis. Our specimens were obtained in summer. — Sav has remarked : 

" The i'ur of the back in the summer dress, is from liiree-fifths to seven- 
tenths of an inch long ; but in the winter dress, the longest hairs of the 
middle of the back are from one inch to one and three-fourtlis in length 



He also remarks that it is only in winter that the ears are fringed which 
IS the necessary consequence of the elongation of the hair ; in our summer 
specimens, the ears are thinly clothed with hair, not rising above the mar- 


The fur on the back, is for one half its length from the base plumbeous, then 
pale cmnamon, then a narrow line of black, then cinereous, and broadly 
t.pped with black, giving it what is usually termed an iron-gray colour • 
the hairs on the under surface are of a iight-ash colour at base, and with- 
out any annulations brighten into ferruginous at apex, the paler colours 
beneath giving way to the broader markings on the extremities; the eyes 
anc moustaches are black ; nails, dark-brown ; sides of face, around the eyes 
both surfaces of ears, feet, chin, neck, inner surfaces of legs, and under sn'r- 
l<ice of ta.l. bright ferruginous ; the hairs on the tail, are at their roots red- low, with three black annulations, and are broadly tipped with red- 


From point of nose to root of tail 
Tail (vertebra;) 
** to end of fur - 
Height of ear posteriorly 

Foet, Indies. 





The habits of this Squirrel are not very different from those of the Cat 
Squirrel, to which it is most nearly allied. It does not run for so great'a 
distance on the ground before taking a tree as the southern Fox Souirr^I 
nor does it leap quite us actively from tree to tree as the norther,! Grnv 
Niu.rrel, {S. m>gratorius,) but appears to possess more activity, and a-^ility 
than the Cat Squirrel. " • 

The forests on the rich bottom lands of the Wabash, the Illinois, and 
the Missouri rivers are ornamented with the stately pecan-tree {Can,n 
■>ln'c.fonn,s), on the nuts of which these squirrels luxuriate ; thev also re- 
Hort to the hickory and oak trees, in the vicinity of their residene'e as well 
ns to the hazel bushes, on the fruits of which they feed 

They are becoming troublesome in the eorn-fiei<Is of the farmer, who has 

commenced plantinghiscrops in the remote but rapidly improving states 
and territories west of the Ohio. » -^ 1 » ^C'it«s 



The flesh is represented by all travellers as delicate, and is said to be 
equal in flavour to that of any of the species. 


This squirrelis found along the shores of the Missouri, and in the wood- 
ed portions of the country, lying east and north of that river ; we have re- 
ceived several specimens, from Michigan, and it seems to be observed west 
and north of that State. 


This species was first discovered by Mr. Thomas Say, and by him des- 
cribed and named Scim-us Macrourus. This name, unfortunately, was pre- 
occupied, the Ceylon Squirrel having been so designated : (vide Pennant, 
Hist. Quad. ii. p. 140, No. 330.) 

Dr. Harlan and Dr. Godman in their respective works, seeing this, ap. 
plied other names. The former calls it {Sciurus inngnicnudatus,) the latter 
{Sciunis macroureus.) Authors copied Mr. Say's description almost liter 
ally. Dr. Harlan gives Say's name {S. macrourus,) as a synonyme, and 
Dr. Godman gives his name {Sciurus macroureus) as Say's name ; giving in 
a note intimation that he has taken the liberty of changing the name by 
the addition of a single letter, which he considers suflicient to render 
further change unnecessary. Neither of these gentlemen claimed the dis- 
covery of this species, gave original descriptions, or appear to have ever 
seen the animal ; and, according to all rules which should govern natural- 
ists, they had no right to n. le it. We, therefore, having procured a good 
many specimens, and having from them identified, and described this 
species, have used the grateful privilege of naming it in honour of its dis- 
coverer, Mr. Say, and have given Dr. Harlan's and Dr. Godman's names 
as synonymes. 


Common Mouse. 
PLATE X C._Male, Fkmalk, ato Yotmo. 
M. Corpore fusco ; subtus ciner ascenti. 


Dusky gray above, cinereous beneath. 



Mus MuscuLus. Linn., 12 Ed.^ p. 83. 
Mouss. Pennant, Arct. Zool. vol. 1, p. 131, 
Mu8 MusctTLus. Say, Long's Expedition, vol. 1, p 262 
Harlan, p. 149. 
*' " Godman, vol. 2, p. 84. 


The Common Mouse is more generally and familiarly known than any 
other species, and therefore requires no very minute description. It is 
sma 1 m size; head elongated ; nose, sharp; ears, large, erect, ovate, and 
nearly naked on both surfaces ; legs, slender ; nails, sharp, slightly hooked ; 

IhitTair "'^'^^ ^' '°"^ ^' *^' ^"^^'' ''^'^' ^""^ '''-^^'^ ^"^^'■^'^ ^'*h 


Eyes black; incisors, yellowish; whiskers, mostly black; fur on the 
back, plumbeous at the roots, slightly tipped with brownish, giving it i 
dusky grayish colour; ears a shade lighter ; under surface, and beneath 
the tail, obscure ash-colour. 

There are some varieties :-very rarely one is found black, others spot- 
tod white and black ; one variety is an albino, white with red eyes, breeds 
m conflnpment, and produces young with white colour, and the red eyes 
ot the parents. ^ 





r^f '■ 

Length of head and body 

" Tail 

Height of ear 



V I 

We have attempted to shew a portion of a shelf in a pantry, on which 
stands a china jar, with its indigo-blue peaked mountains, its fantastic trees 
and its (take them altogether) rather remarkable landscapes, reminding 
us more of the sweetmeats it contains than of aaght in the way of nature ; 
and we have also portrayed a plate, with a piece of hard old cheese in it, 
on which a Mouse is standing in the act of listening, while another in the 
plate, and two more on the shelf, likewise appear a little .startled, and are 
expecting to be disturbed ere they can make their intended meal ; the 
little rascals have reason to fear, for the careful housekeeper has heard 
them of late, squealing in their squabblings with each other, has found the 
marks of their teeth on the bread and butter, and is determined to get rid 
of them instanter, if possible; she is calling now to her faithful pussycat, 
and inquiring for the trap. 

But although the thievish Mouse is often frightened, and may be said 
to eat his dinner with "a cat" over his head, although he is assailed 
with pokers, broomsticks, &c., whenever he unluckily runs across the 
lloor, and in foct is killed as often as his death can be compassed by the 
ingenuity of man, or the cunning and quickness of his ally the cat. the 
Mouse will not retire from the house, and even where the supply of Ibod 
for him is small, or in rooms that have long been shut up, he may be 
found ; and would he let our drawings and books alone, wc should will- 
ingly allow him the crumbs from our table ; but he will sometimes gnaw 
into shreds valuable papers, to make a bed behind some bureau or old 
chest. lie in his turn frightens man at times, and should the hard-hearted 
hoarding wretch who has made gold his God, while with aged, trend)ling 
hands, locked in his inmost chamber, he counts his money-bags, but hear 
a little Mouse ; what a feeling of terror shoots through his frame ; despair 
seems for an instant to be written on his face, and he clutches convul- 
sively the metal to which he is a slave; another moment, and he recovers, 
but he is still agitated, and hastily secures with locks and bolts the trea- 
sure which is to him more precious than the endearments of a wife, the 
love of children, the delights of friendship and society, the blessings and 



pZr "' ''' '"^' " ^'^ ^^'"'""'^ -^-« '^'' ^— i'y in his own 

..OU.S ofdarkness. alone in a large old lumbering .Lse ' '' " '''' 

1 he Common Mouse is a graceful, lively little animal-it is almost cm 
nvorous and . a great feeder, although able to live on but liu ""1"; 
the supply .s scanty. This species has from four to ten young at a 1 tte 
and the female suckles her young with tender care. When fir t bol rj 
a.c very small, almost naked, and of a pinkish colour. The Mouse his'sev! 
ral inters every year. We kept a pair in confinement. ^mIZ^ZIZ 
™es. havmg fn,m four to nine in each litter. Dr. Goo.u. quo A^ 
t e wo «ays that "a pregnant female being shut up in a ch e'st of grt . 
.n a short t,me a hundred and twenty individuals were counted " 

On examuung our corn-crib in the spring, and cleaning it out"; although 
n was constructed with a special view to keep off rats and vermin be ^ 
on posts and the floor raised from the ground some three feet, wr'bolds mclm^ng downwards all round, we found and killei n arly fi W 
M.ce_ A basket in the crib, hanging by a rope from a cros^b am n we had put some choice corn for seed, had been entered .yZ^: 
and every gram o corn in it devoured. We found in the basket Lt h n ' 
but husks, and the remains of a Mouse's nest Th. • , 
therefore have climbed up to the roof of tl^c -Mnd th d ^r^edTht 
core, by which the basket of corn was suspended ^^^^^"''^'1 'he 

Tne activity agility, and grace of the Mouse, have made it a favourite 
pet .. h the pnsoner in his solitary cell, and it has been known to anT 
h.s call, and come out of its hiding places to play with the unfortunlte 

Of late years white Mice have been in request in London, where they 
are taugh vanous tr.cks, and are exhibited by boys in the streets. I i' 
ated that m order to mcrease the number of this variety, persoas exclude 
hem irom the hght, this they pretend causes a great many of them 1 L 
born a bmos. We are however satisfied from personal experience "h^t a 
p.urot albmos, accidentally ,.,oduced, would continue to propagate ta of the same colour without the aid of darkness; as fs the tsel 
'he albino var.ety of the English rabbit. 




The Common Mouse is not a native of America, but exists in all conn 
tries where sliijjs liavo landed cargo, and may be said to tread ch)H<-iy on 
the heels of commerce. It was Ijrouj^lit to America in the vessels tliii' 
conveyed to our shores the early emigrants. 

1 " i 




Inctstve J' Caniitf — ; Molar -- - 40 

H«ad large ; body, stout, and covered with a coat of thick hair; ears 
larKc .slightly acuminated. ' 

di.i^ir.' ''""' ' "'" '"""' '""""''"'^ '^'"' '""""^ '"'■^*"^ ^'^^«' ""^'i '»•• 

Tail, short; ,„amrn«^, six. two pectoral and four ventral; no glan- 
dular pouch under the tail. ^ 

The Koneric name is derived from the Latin ursus a Bear 
E.ght species or this genus have been described, three existing in 
urope, one of, the Polar Bear, is common also to America, one in 


Polar Bear.— White Bear. 

PLATE X CI. —Male, 

libus ^,^^^''''''"^'''*' cranio applanato ; collo longo ; pills longis mol 


Head, elongated ; skull, flat ; neck. Ion, ; hair, long, soft, and white 


White Bear. Marten's Spitz. Trans., p. 107. An. 1675 
Ursus Mabitimus. Lin. Syst. 
Ursus Aldus. Bris«on, Regno, an. p. 2G0 
L'Ouns Blanc. Buffon, vol. lij, p. i28. An. 1707 
I'Ksus Marinus. Pallas, vol. 3, p. 69. 
Polar Bear. Pcnn. A rot. Zool., p 53. 
Vol.. n. — 3(5. 

m mt 



lliisua Maritimub. Piirry'^^ \>*t voy(ij»«', Su|>|>., \>. Ih;{, 

luikhii s isi viivHjii', |i 


iirry s yiul v(»yiij;i«, /\|)|)i'ii(lix, p. •■iHS. 
Uicliiii'ilsoii, L''iiiiiiu, |). :io. 
Sa)iO!*l»y's Account dI' tlii) Arctic Ucgioiia, 

I i 


Ilciul and muzzle narrow, proloiiycd on a stniiKlit lino vvilli thd fore 
IumkI, which is (latltMU-d ; snout, naUcil ; <'ars, short; ni'ck, l(in« ; hoiiy, 
lon« in proportion to its hcitihl ; soles of the hind Icct ctiual to one-sixth 
of the length of the body; hair, rijfid, eoinpaet and lonj; on the liody and 
linihs, is from two to three inches in lentil', ^vilh a small (juaiitity of line 
niid woolly hair next the skin. The whole animal wears the appearance 
of great strength without much agility. 


The naked extremitj of the snout, the tongue, margins of the eyelids, 
and the claws, are black ; lips, purplish idaek ; eyes, dark-brown ; interior 
of the month pale violet. The hairs on every part of the body are of u 
yellowish-white colour. 


Specimen in the Charleston Muscimi : — 

Head and body, - - - 
Tai!, (vcrtebra<), - . - - 

" to end of hair, . - - - 
Height of ear, ..... 

Height from shoulil'.M-, - - - - 
Girth around the body. - - - - 

" around the hind leg. 
Length of canine teeth, 

" of incisors, .... 

\Vt> api)ond tlie followini: measurements taken from specimens in the 
Hesh, by Capt. .1. C. Ross, R.N., F.U.8., &c. :— 










Length from snout to end of tail, 
Snout to shoulder, 
Snout to occiput, 
Circumference bclbre the eyes, 







1 :>A> 




At hrnadf^sf part of tUo. hcid, - 
At lar>,'«'st p.iil r.r 111,, jihdorncn, 
I-i'iiy;(li (»r (iljiiw 'iiry canal. 

Thr wri^l.t vari.^s vrry much av.couWuK to the season und condition of 
ton niiinial. 

Th.. larK-'st. nirasurrd 101.5 inches in length, and weighed 1028 lbs 
all hough in poor condition. ' 











We have .io„rneye,I together, friend reader, through many a deep dell 
and woo,!, through swamp and over mountain; vve have stemmed' 
the current of the iMississippi. sail,.,| on our l.road lakes, and on the ex- 
tended sea coast, from [.ai.rador t„ Mexico ; we have coursed the hu-^e 
l.u lalo ov.T the wide prairies, hunted the .leer, trapped the beaveV 
.-n.d ..ughl ,!.,. fox ; we have, m short, already procured, (igured, an.l des- 
er.l.ed. many ol our animals; and now, with your permission, vve will 
send you wUh th,- adventurous navigators of the Polar Seas, ia search of 
the Wlute Bear, for we have not seen this remarkah!,. inhabitant of the 
ley regions of our northern coast ami.l his native fr../.en deserts; and can, little more than such information as may be found in 
the works of previous writers o„ babits. D,„.i„. ,„p vj,), f„ ^..^.p,,,,,, 
in TN3.S, we coasted along to th,- north ;.s far as the Straits of n,.|b.islc 
l.m .t l..'ing midsummer, we saw no Polar Hears, although we heard from 
the settlers these animals were seen there; (on one 
occasion, in.lcd. we thought we perc,.ived three of them on an lce-ber<r' 
hut the distance was too gn-at for us to be certain), although the abundance 
of seals a„d bsl, of various kinds on the shores, would have afforded 
them a plentiful supply of their ordinary food. They are doubtless drifted 
f.-tr to the southwanl on ice-bergs from time to time, but in our voya-^es 
to an.l Irom Europe we n. .er saw any. although we have been for davs 
in the ice. •'' 

The Polar Rear is carnivorous, in fact omnivorous, and devours with 
-••inn! vora.Mty the carcases of whales, abandoned, and drifted ashore bv 
• he waves; seals dead fish, vegetable substances, and all other eatable 
mntters, whether putrid or fresh. Dr. n,n,..usos, in the Fauna 
Boreali Americana, has given a good compiled account of this animal, and 
we shall lay a portion of it before our readers. The Dr. says:- "I 




have met with no account of any Polar Bear, killed of late years, which 
exceeded nine feet in length, or four feet and a-half in height. It 
IS possible that larger individuals may be occasionally found : but the 
greatness of the dimensions attributed to them by the older voy.igers has, 
T doubt not, originated in the skin having been measured after being much 
stretched in the process of flaying." 

The great power of the Polar Bear is portrayed in the account of a dis- 
astrous accident which befel tlir crew ofBARENiz's vessel on his second 
voyage to Waigat's Straits. "On the (ith of September, 1594. some sailors 
landed to search for a certain sort of stone, a species of diamond. During 
this search, two of the seamen lay down to sleep by one another, and a 
White Bear, very lean, approaching softly, seized one of them by the nape 
of the neck. The poor man, not knowing what it was, cried out "who 
has seized me thus behind ?" on which his companion, raising his head, 
said, " Holloa, mate, it is a Bear," and immediately ran away. The Bear 
having dreadfully mangled the unfortunate man's head, sucked the blood. 
The rest of the persons who were on shore, to the number of twenty, 
immediately ran with their match-locks and pikes, and found the Bear 
devouring the body ; on seeing them, he ran upon them, and carrying 
another man away, tore him to pieces. This second misadventure so ter- 
rified them that they all fled. They advanced again, howev(>r, with a 
reinforcement, and the two pilots having fired three times without liitting 
the animal, the purser approached a little nearer, and shot the Bear in the 
head, close by the eye. This did not cause him to cjuit his jjrey, for, 
holding the body, which he was devouring, always by the neck, he car- 
ried it away as yet quite entire. Nevertheless, they then perceived that 
he began himself to totter, and the purser and a Scotchman going towards 
him, they gave him several sabre wounds, and cut him to pieces, without 
his abandoning his prey. 

In Barentz'e third voyage, a story is told of two Bears coining to the 
carcase of a third one that had been shot, when one of them, taking it 
by the throat, carried it to a considerable distance, over the most rugged 
ice, where they both began to eat it. They were scared from their re- 
past by the report of a musket, and a party of seamen going to the place, 
found that, in the little time they were about it, they had already de- 
voured half the carcase, which was of such a size that four men had 
great difliculty in lifting the remainder. In a manuscript account of 
Hudson's Bfty, written about the year 1780, by Mr. Andrew Craliam, 
one of Pennant's ablest correspondents, and preserved at the Ilndsoirs 
Bay house, an anecdote of a different d scription occurs. "One of the 
Company's servants who was tenting abroaf* to procure riil)l)its, (Lrpus 



Amencanus), having occasion to come to the factory for a few necessaries 
on his return to the tent passed througli a narrow thicket of willows and 
found himself close to a White Bear lyin- asleep. As he had nothing 
wherewith to defend himself, he took the ba- off his shouldor and held i"t 
before his breast, bet^veen the Bear and him. Tlie animal arose on see- 
ing the man, stretched himseif an 1 nibbed his nose, and having satisfied 
his curiosity by smelling at the bag, which contained a loaf of "bread and 
a rundlet of strong beer, walked quietly away, thereby relieving the 
man from his very disagreeable situation." 

Dr. Richardson says, "They swim and dive well, they hunt seals and 
other marine animals with great success. They are even said to wage 
war, though rather unequally, with the walrus. They feed likewise 
on land animals, birds, and eggs, nor do they disdain to prey on carrion, 
or, m the absence of this food, to seek the shore in quest of berries and 
roots. They scent their prey from a great distance, and are often at- 
tractea to the whale vessels by the smell of burning kreng, or the re- 
fuse of the whale blubber." 

The Dr. quotes Cai)tain Lyons, who thus describes the mode in which 
the Polar Bear surprises a seal :_"The Bear, on seeing his intended prey 
gets quietly into the water, and swims to tlie leeward of him, from' 
whence, by frequent short dives, he silently makes his approaches, and 
80 arranges his distance, that, at the last dive, he comes to the spot 
where the seal is lying. If the poor animal attempts to escape bv 
rolling into the water, he falls into the bear's clutches ; if, on the con- 
trary, he lies still, his destroyer makes a powerful spring, kills him on 
the ice, and devours him at leisure." Captain Lyons describes the paee 
ot the Polar Bear, at full speed, as " a kind of shuffle, as quick as the 
sharp gallop of a horse." 

The Polar Bear is by no means confined to the land, on the contrary he 
JS seldom If ever seen far inland, but frequents the fields of ice, and swims 
ofl to floating ice or to ice-bergs, and is often seen miles from shore. 

It is said that these animals "are often carried from the coast of Green- 
land to Iceland, where they commit such ravages on the flocks that the 
inhabitants rise in a body to destroy them." Captain ^^abine saw one 
about midway between the north and south shores of Barrow's Straits 
which are forty miles apart, although ther.. was no ice in sight to which 
he could I- sort to rest himself upon. The Polar Bear is said to be able 
to make long leaps or springs in the water. 

This species is found farther to the north than any other quadruped, 
having been seen by Captain Parry in his adventurous boat-voyage be- 
yond HJ degrees of north latitude 



:i w 


ri ; 




Pevnant, who collected from s:oo(l authorities much information rela. 
tive to their ninge, states that th.>y are frequent on all the Asiatic coasts 
of the Frozen Ocean, from the monih of the Obi eastwarl, and abound iii 
Nova Zenihia, Cherry Island, Spitzb.^r-en, Creenland, Labrador, and the 
coi.sts of IJaliin's and Ilu.ison's Hays. Dr. l{r.i.Au„s„N says,— "They 
were seen by Captain Parry within Harrow's 8trails, as far as' Melville 
Island; and the Esquimaux to the westward of Mackenzie river, told 
Captain Franklin that they occasionally, though very rarely, visited 
that coast. The exact limit of their range to the westward is un- 
"'•rtain. but they are said not to be known on the islands in Behring's 
Straits, nor on the coast of Siberia to the eastward of Tchutskoinoss. 
They are not mentioned by LANnsDORFF and other visitors of the North- 
west Coast of America ; nor did Captain Bki-.-iiey meet with any in hi^ 
late voyage to ley Cape. None were seen on the coast between the 
Mackenzie and Copper-Mine River; and Penna /t informs us, that they 
are unknown along the shores of the White Sea, which is an inlet of 
a similar character." 

Dr. UieiiARi..«oN does not think that the Polar Pe.-ir is under the same 
necessity for hibernating that exists in the case of the Black Bear, which 
feeds chiefly on vegetable matters, and supposes that although they may 
all retire occasionally to caverns in the snow, the pregnant females alone 
svclude themselves for the entire winter. In conlirmation of this idea 
the Dr. mentions that "Polar Bears were seen in the course of the two 
winters that Capt. Parry remained on the coast (,f Melville Peninsula ; 
and the Esquimaux of that quarter derive a considerable portion of their 
subsistence, not only from tlie flesh of the female Bears, which they dig to- 
gether with their cul)s irom under the snow, but also iVom the males, "that 
they kill when roaming at large at all periods of the winter. To this 
statement is added IIearne's account ; he says :—'• The males leave the 
land in the winter time and go out on the ice to the edge of the open 
water in search of seals, whilst the females burrow in deep snow-drifts 
from the end of Deceml)er to the end of March, remaining without food, 
and bringing forth their young during that period ; that wlien they leave 
their dens in March, their young, which are generally two in number, 
are not larger than rabbits, and make a loot-mark in the snow no bigger 
than a crown piece." 

'• In winter." says Mr. (Irauam, "the White Bear sireps like other species 
ofthegeniis, but takes up its residence in a, dilferent situation, g(.|ierally 
under the declivities of rocks, or at the foot of a, bank, where the snow 
drifts over it, to a great d.'pth; a small hole, for the adrnissioa of fresh 
nir, is constantly observed in the dome of its den. This, however, has 



regard solely to the she Be-.r, which rc^tires to her" winter-quaiters in No- 
vember, where she lives without I'ood, l)riiigs forth two young about 
Christmas, and leaves the den in the month of March, when the cubs arc 
as large as a shepherd's dog. If, perchance, her ollVpring are tired, they 
iiscend the back of the dam, v/herc they ride secure either in water or 
ashore. Though they sometimes go nearly thirty miles from the sea in 
winter, they always come down to the shores in the spring with their cubs, 
where they subsist on seals and sea-weed. The he Bear wanders abouf 
the marshes and adjacent parts until November, and then goes out to the 
sea upon the ice, and preys upon seals." 

The Esffuimaux account of tiie hibernation of the Polar Bear is curious: 
it was related to Capt. Lyons by one of their most intelligent men, re- 
joicing in the euphonious name of (Mr.) Ooyarrakhioo ! and is as' fol- 
lows :— " At the commencement of winter the pregnant bears are very fat, 
and always solitary. When a heavy fall of snow sets in, the animal seeks' 
some hollow place in which she can lie down and remain quiet, while the 
snow covn-s her. Sometimes she will wait until a quantity of snow has 
fallen, and then digs herself a cave : at all events, it seems necessary tha. 
she should be covered by, and lie amongst, the snow. She now goes to 
sleep, and does not wake until the spring sun is pretty high, when she 
brings forth two cubs. The cave by this time has become much larger 
by the effect of the animal's warmth and breath, so that the culw have 
room to move, and they acquire considerable strength by continually suck- 
ing. The dam at length becomes so thin and weak, that it is with great dif- 
ficulty .she extricates herself, when the sun is powerful enough to throw a 
strong glare through the snow which roofs the den." The Esquimaux 
aflirm that during this long confinement the Bear has no evacuations, and 
is herself the means of preventing them by stopping all the natural'pas 
sages with moss, grass, or earth. The natives find and kill the Bears 
during their confinement by means of dogs, which scent them through the 
snow, and begin scratching and howling very eagerly. As it would be 
unsafe to make a large opening, a long trench is cut of sufficient width to 
enable a man to look down and see whore the bear's head lies, and he 
then selects a mortal part, into which he thrusts his spear. The old one 
neing killed, the hole is broken open, and the young cubs may be taken 
out by the hand, as, having tasted no blood, and never having been at 
liberty, they are then very harmless and quiet. Females, which are not 
pregnant, roam throughout the whole winter in the same manner as the 

The Polar Bear is at certain seasons and under peculiar circumstances 
d dangerous animal. Like tlar Grizzlv Bear it possesses both strength 

ii! iri 

^ !* 



and activity enough to render it ai all times formidable. Although, like 
all Bears, it appears clumsy, can run with great swiftness either on the 
ground or on the ice, and it can easily ascend the slippery sides of ice- 
bergs by the assistance of its claws, being in the habit of mounting on 
their ridges and pinnacles to look out for food or survey the surrounding 
fields of ice. 

When in confinement, the great strength of this Bear is sometimes r.iani- 
fested to the terror of the spectators. One that was secured in a cage 
fronted with rods of inch iron, bolted into a horizontal flat plate of the 
same metal, several inches wide, near the bottom, and well fastened at 
top, in the stout oak boarding of which the cage was constructed, one day 
when we were present became enraged by the delay of his keeper in 
bringing his food, and seized two of the rods with such a furious grip that 
one of them bent and instantly came out, when the huge beast nearly 
made his escape, and was only prevented from succeeding by the prompt- 
ness of the attendants, who instantly placed the wooden front, used when 
travelling, on the open part of the broken cage and closed it effectually 
This Bear, like all others we have seen caged, was very restless, and 
would walk backwards and forwards in his prison-house for hours to- 
gether, always turning his head toward the bars in front, at each end of 
this alternating movement, and occasionally tossing his head up and down 
as he walked to and fro. 

Many anecdotes are related of accidents to the crews of boats detached 
from whaling vessels to kill the White Bear, and by all accounts it appears 
to be exceedingly dangerous to attack this animal on the ice. One of 
these accounts, with others of a different character, we will repeat here, 
although they have been published by several authors. 

Dr. ScoiiESBY tells us, that " a few years ago, when one of the Davis's 
Strait whalers was closely beset among the ice at the ' South-west,' or on 
the coast of Labrador, a Bear that had been for sometime seen near the 
ship, at length became so bold as to approach alongside, probably tempted 
by the offal of the provision thrown overboard by the cook. At this time 
the people were ail at dinner^ no one being required to keep the deck in 
the then immovable condition of the ship. A hardy fellow, who first 
looked out, perceiving the Bear so near, imprudently jumped upon the 
ice, armed only with a handspike, with a view, it is supposed, of gaining 
all the honour of the exploit of securing so fierce a visitor by him.self. But 
the bear, regardless ot" such weapons, and sharpened probably by hunger, 
disarmed his antagonist, and seizing him by the back with his powerful 
jaws, carried him off with such celerity, that on his dismayed comrades 



rising from their meal and looking abroad, he was so far beyond their 
reach as to defy pursuit." 

An equally imprudent attack made on a Bear by a seaman employed in 
one of the Hull whalers, was attended with a ludicrous result. "The 
ship was moored to a piece of ice, on which, at a considerable distance, a 
large Bear was observed prowling about for prey. One of the ship's com- 
pany, emboldened by an artificial courage derived from the free use of 
rum, which in his economy he had stored for special occasions, undertook 
to pursue and attack the Bear that was within view. Armed only with a 
whale-lance, he resolutely, and against all persuasion, set out on his ad- 
venturous exploit. A fatiguing journey of about a half a league, over a 
yielding surface of snow and rugged hummocks, brought him within 
a few yards of the enemy, which, to his surprise, undauntedly faced him, 
and seemed to invite him to the combat. His courage being by this time 
greatly subdued, partly by evaporation of the stimulus, and partly by the 
undismayed and even threatening aspect of the Bear, he levelled his lance 
in an attitude suited either for offensive or defensive action, and stopped.' 
The Bear also stood still ; in vain the adventurer tried to rally courage to 
make the attack ; his enemy was too formidable, and his appearance too 
imposing. In vain, also, he shouted, advanced his lance, and made feints 
of attack ; the enemy, either not understanding, or despising such unman- 
liness, obstinately stood his ground. Already the limbs of the sailor began 
to quiver ; but the fear of ridicule from his messmates had its influence, 
and he yet scarcely dared to retreat. Bruin, however, possessing less re- 
flection, or being regardless of consequences, began, with audacious bold- 
ness, to advance. His nigh approach and unshaken step subdued the 
spark of bravery, and that dread of ridicule that had hitherto upheld our 
adventurer ; he turned and fled. But now was the time of danger ; the 
sailor's flight encouraged the Bear in turn to pursue, and being better 
practised in snow travelling, and better provided for it, he rapidly gained 
upon the fugitive. The whale-lance, his only defence, encumbering him 
in his retreat, he threw it down, and kept on. This fortunately excited 
the Bear's attention ; he stopped, pawed, bit it, and then renewed the 
chase. Again he was at the heels of the panting seaman, who, conscious 
of the favourable effects of the lance, dropped one of his mittens ; the 
stratagem succeeded, and while Bruin again stopped to examine it, the 
fugitive improving the interval, made considerable progress ahead. Still 
the Bear resumed the pursuit with a most provoking perseverance, except 
when arrested by another mitten, and finally, by a hat, which he'tore to 
shreds between his teeth and paws, and would, no doubt, soon have made 
the i!!!^■uJtious adventurer his victim, who was now rapidly losing strength 
vol.. 1? — ni 



but for the prompt and well-timed assistance of hia shipmates— who, oh 
serving that the affair had assumed a dangerous aspect, sallied out to his 
rescue. The little phalanx opened him a passage, and then closed to re 
ceive the hold assailant. Though now beyond (he reach of his adversarj-, 
the dismayed fugitive continued onwards, impelled by his fears, and never 
relaxed his exertions, until he fairly reached the shelter of his .ship. The 
Bear once more came to a stand, and ibr a moment se > r ' • ;':rvey his 
enemies with all the consideration of an experienced g^iK len, find- 

ing them too numerous for a hope of success, he very \s .,oiy wheeled 
about, and succeeded in making a safe and honourable retreat." 

Several authors speak of the liver of the Polar Bear as being poisonous. 
This is an anomaly for which no reason has yet been assigned ; the tact 
seems, however, well ascertained. All the other parts of the animal are 
wholesome, and it forms a considerable article of food to the Indians of the 
maritime Arctic regions. 

The skin of the Polar Bear is n valuable covering to these tribes, end is 
dressed by merely stretching it out on the snow, pinning it down, and 
leaving it to freeze, after w'hich the fat is all scraped o(f. It is then gen- 
erally hung up in the open air, and " when the frost is intense, it dries 
most perfectly ; with a little more scraping it becomes entirely dry and 
supple, both skin and hair ^„-..g beautifully white." " The lime of the 
year at which the sexes seek each other is not positively known, but it is 
most probably in the month of .luly, or of August. IIkarni;, who is an 
excellent autliority, relates that he has seen them killed during this season, 
when the males exhibited an extreme degree of att.cchment to their com- 
panions. After a female was killed, the niiile placed his lore-paws over 
her, and allowed hiiTiself to be shot rather than relinquish her dead body." 

*• The pregnant females during winter seek shelter near the skirt of the 
woods, where they excavate dens in the deepest snow-drifts, and remain 
there in a state of torpid inaction, without ibod, from the latter part of 
December or early in January till about the end of March ; they then 
relinquish their dens to seek food on the sea-shore, accompanied by their 
cubs." — GuDMAN, Vol. I., pp. 152, 153. 

The affection of the female Polar Bear for her young is exemplified 
by several stories in the Polar voyages. Scoresby says, "a she Bear 
with her two cubs, were pursued on tlie ice by some of the men, and w«>re 
so closely approached, as to alarm the mother ibr the safety of her off- 
spring. Finding that they could not advance with the desired speed, she 
used various artifices to ur;;c them forward, but without success. Deter- 
mined to save them, if pos9il)le, she ran to one of the cubs, placed her nose 
under it, and threw it forward as far as possible ; tlien going to the other, 



sh. performed the same action, and repeated it frequently until she h.A 
thus conveyed them to a con.sideral.le distance The vol; n 

m.g . ,l,e full H,lv„„„„e „r,l,e fore, ,xe«cd Cor ,h 'J « .."'^ 

Capt. J. C. Ross states in regard to this snecies • " n.,.; 

At that time we were fortunately in no winf ,.f n. • • u 
our party, tempted by the fine ^Ve^Z^: ^fZT:;^^' T ""' 
meal off the first one that was sho All th.t n 7 T r ^ ^''"'*^' 

plained of a violent headache vvh i'ch t ' '' """ "'^'^'" ''""• 

days, and was followed bv 'si ipl; ! 7;;;"'"^ T^" ^ ''^^^ 
and in some who had probably part!.:: m'o f , .^ ^t^;:" ' ^1 TT ' 
On a former occasion I witnessed a .somewha sfm .'.r o "'''• 

on Sir Edward Parry's Polar Journey. ^..^t^^lZ^r' "^7 
.... two Bears that were shot, the skin Peeled off the f' T ' '^' 

many of the party. It was then attribute .1 .r* "' " T' "'" 
quality of the meat, and to our havin^tel" 1 -n , "" ' ''"" "" 

.hort allowance of provisions. Th E , T^ t7T'""r " ^'^^^' 
periencins any such inconvenience but tir iv "'"''°"' '^''■ 

do.s, and that may possibly be tL ^^ ' l''^ ^7;^"'-" ^ ^•- 
Boothia Felix killed several durin^ their stav i ' • f ^*^"™'^"^ «' 

1830. all males." ^ '" '"'•" "^'ghboi'-rhood in 


n..d Snitzberffen In Am...; ■/• . ' " ^ "'"'""'''^ '" ^«^'a Zembia 

the coLts oi^:fii„; t: r:; t: '"S'^^"-""^"' '^"^•^''^- -^^ «- 

the islands in Behring's Str!uts. ' ' "'"^ ""'' '"^ ^^ ''"""^ «" 


1j ^' 

V > 





McKensib informs us that these animals are unknown in the White Sea, 
or on the coast of Siberia to the eastward of Tchutskoinoss. They have 
been seen on floating icebergs from fifty to a hundred miles at sea. Capt. 
Ross states that this species was found in greater numbers in the neigh- 
bourhood of Port Bowen and Batty Bay in Prince Regent's Inlet, than '<" 
any other part of the Polar Regions that were visited by the several ex- 
peditions of discovery. This he supposed was owing to the food thry 
were enabled to procure in that vicinity, Lancaste. Sound heing but sel- 
dom covered by permanently fixed ice, and therefore affording them means 
of subsistence during the severity of an arctic winter, and also from its 
being remote from the haunts of the Esquimaux. 



LYNX RUFUS-VAIl. MACULATUS.-Hqrspield and Vigors. 

Texan Lynx. 

PLATE X C 1 1 .—Feraalo.— Winter pelage. 

L. rufo-grisea, dorso saturatiore, corporis lateribus memberisque externe 
bruneo-maculatis, guiii, corpore infra, membrisque intern^ albis, bruneo 
latius maculuti auribus pencillatis. 


Brownish-gray on the upper surface, sides of body and outer surface 
of legs, with small brown spots; under surface of body and inner surface 
of legs, white, broadly spotted with brown ; ears, pencilled. 


Fklis Maoulatos. Ilorsfield and Vigors. 

" " Zoological Journal, vol. 4, p. 380. 

** " Reichenbach, Regnum Animale, vol. 1, 

0, pi. 37. 


In size, in shape, in its naked soles— in the form of the skull— the dispo- 
sition and character of its teeth, and in all its habits, this species is so 
much like the Bay Lynx, (L. rufus,) that were it not for the different shades 
of colour, and the peculiar markings of some parts of the body, no 
naturalist would have ventured to describe it as a new species. One of 
the characters given to this supposed species by its original describers is 
that of pencilled ears ; this character, however, exists also in the Bay 
Lynx ; in both cases these hairs drop out when the other hairs are shed 
in spring, and are not replaced till the following autumn. The same pe- 
culiarity exists in many of our American squirrels. There is, as in L. 
ra/Ms, ashort ruff under the throat of the male. The hair is of two 
kinds : the inner, fine, and the outer and longer, not very coarse, and the 
fur, although much shorter, is fully as fine as that of specimens of th(! 
Bay Lynx obtained in Pennsylvania and New- York. 


The hairs on the back are at their roots yellowish-white, gradually 
becoming light-yellow, which colour continues tor three-fourths' the lenglli, 
when they are barred with brownish-black, then yellowish-brown, tipped 
with black ; on the sides, the hairs are tipped with whitr • on the und -t 

> i| 





surface, they are white thron;,'houf, with a shade of pale-yellow at the 
base. Where black spots exist on the body, the hairs are less annuiatcd 
— are dark-browu at the roots, deepening into black ; and in some spots 
on the sides, and the bands on (he tail, the hairs are pure black from the 

Moustaches, white ; around the nose, around the eye, and cheeks, pale 

lawn colour; lips white; forehead, obscurely and irregularly marked with 

longitudinal Mripes of dark-brown on a light-yellowish ground-colour. 

There are two black lines commencing at a point on a line with the 

articulation of the lower jaw, where they Ibrm an acute angle, div^-irging 

from thence to the sides of the neck, and unite with the rulf, where it is an 

inch broad. The ears are yellowish-white on the inner surface, black on 

the outer, with a broad white patch in the middle, including nearly their 

whole breadth. The slight pencil of hairs at the extremity of the ear is 

black ; on the back the colours are waved, and blended with obscure 

yellowish and brown spots — assuming on the dorsal line slight indications 

of narrow longitudinal stripes. The feet, on the uppt surface are dottod 

with small brown spots; on the under surface the ground colour is whitish 

with irregular patches of black. This is more especially the case on the 

inner surfaces of the thighs and fore legs, which present long stripes 

and patches of black, somewhat irregularly disposed. The tail is white 

on the under surface, barred above with rufous and black; towards the 

extremity there is first a bar of black about one-third of an inch wide, ther 

brownish-gray, then an inch of black ; the white on the under surface 

rises above the black, making the tip of the tail white. 


Male.— Weiglif 2r> lb. 

Feet. Iiiuhei 

End of nose to eye, - - - 2 

" " to burr of ear, - 4f 

BetAveen ears, ... - 3^ 

Nose to crown of head, - - 5j 

" to root of tail, - - - 2 9 

Tail (vertebra') - . . 7 

to end of hair, - 7^ 
Hind legs (stretched) beyond tail, 1 1^ 

Fore " " beyond nose, (S^ 

Height of shoulder from ground, 1 7^ 

Round body behind shoulder, 1 1^^ 

" at the loin, - 1 4j 

Female. — Weight ' 


20 lb. 










TIlis variety of Lynx may be called the Common VVild-Caf of Texas, 
where it i.s occasionally found even on the prairies, althou-h it generally 
confines itself to the nei-hl.ourhood of woods and ctiaparal. 

The Trxan Wilrl-Cat is. like the Ay»r , •,;/■«., a wily and audacious depre- 
•iator-he steals the fowls from the ne« ly-estahlished raiidio, or petty 
liirm ; Ibllows the hares, rats, and birds, and springs upon them in th.. tall 
rank grass, or thick underbrush, and will sometimes even rob the ranker 
of a fine turkey ; for should the Wild-Cat be lurking in the dense thicket, 
when the crack of the rifle is heard, and the wild gobbler or hen fulls 
slanting to the earth, he will, instead of (lying with terror from the 
sfarllmg report of the gun, dart towards ti.e falling bird, seize it as it 
touches the ground, and bear it off at full speed, even if in sight of the 
enraged and disappointed marksman who brought down the prize. In 
general, howeve.-, the Southern Lynx (as this species is sometimes called) 
will fly from man's presence, and will only come abroad during the day 
when very hard pressed by hunger, when it may be occasionally seen near 
l.ttle thickets, on the edges of the prairies, or in the open ground, prowl- 
u.g with the stealthy sneaking gait observed in the domestic cat, when 
snnilarly employed. This species of Wild-Cat is better able to 
from an ordinary pack of dogs, than the Common Lynx, being accust<.med 
to the great distances across the high dry prairies, which it must fre- 
<|uenfly cross at full speed. We have known one chased, from 1 1 o'.Ioek" 
in the morning till dark nigh), without being "treed." The animal, in 
fact, prefers running, to resorting to a tree at all times, and will not 
ascend one unless it be nearly exhausted, and hard pressed by the hounds 


This variety of the Bay Lynx is believed to exist throughout Mexico- 
we have seen specimens, obtained in that country, in several xMuseums of 
Carope. especially those of R.-rlin and Dresden ; in the latter, the specimen 
described and figured by Re.chf.nbac,, is preserved. His figure, however 
which we have compared with the original, is likely to mislead'; the le-s 
and tail being much too long. It exists in New Mexico, and we have 
heard that a Wild-Cat, supposed to be the present varierv, is found in 
California. The specimen from which our drawing was made, was pro. 
cured with several others by John W. A.dubon, in the vicinity of Castro, 
ville, on the head waterr. of the Medina, in Texas ; we possessa specimen 




nearly of tlie same markings, procured by our deceased friend, the late 
lamcntoJ Dr. Wuruemann. 


W(! linve admitted this ns a variety of the Buy Lynx with some doubt and 
hesitation, iuul not without niist^ivinj,"< tiiat it might yet be proved to be a 
distinct species. The permanency of its colours, together with the smaller 
size of our specimens, and their sotYer fur, may afford sufficient characters 
to entitle it to the namt; of Muculatus, as given by HoRtiiEFiEM) and Vigors. 
Aware, however, of the many varieties in the Bay Lynx, we have not felt 
aiitliurised to regard it as positively distinct. 


lend, the late 

>me doubt and 
•roved to bo ;i 
sh the smaller 
;nt characters 
-I) and Vigors. 
' have not felt 


' '' m^ 

\ . 




\ . 





Black-Footed Ferret. 
P. Magriitudine mustelam martem equans, fronte, caudse, apice, pedi- 

busque uigris; supra e flavido fuscus infra albus. 


Size of the pine marten; forehead, feet, and extremity of tail, black} 
yellowish-brown above, white beneath. 


FuTORius NiORiPEs Aud. and Bach, Quadrupeds of North America, vol. 2 
pi. 93. 


In its dentition this species possesses all the characteristics belonging to 
putorius and from the number and disposition of the teeth, cannot be 
placed in the genus, mustela. The canine teeth are stout and rather long, 
extending beyond the lips; they are slightly arched and somewhat blunt; 
the two outer incisors in the upper jaw are largest, the remainder are 
smaller, but regular and conspicuous. The first false molar is small but 
distinctly visible, it is without a lobe ; the second is larger and has a 
slight lobe on each side. The great tuberculous tooth has two points and 
an external lobe ; the last molar is rather small. In the lower jaw the 
incisors are small, and much crowded together. The three false molars 
on each side increase in size from the first, which is smallest and simple, 
to the third, which is largest and tuberculated. The great internal tooth 
lias three lobes but no tubercle on the inner side, as is the case in the 
genus mustela ; the last, or back tooth, is small but simple. 

Body, very long; head, blunt; forehead, arched and broad; muzzle, 
short ; eyes, of medium size ; moustaches, few; ears, short, erect, broad at 
base, and triangular in shape, clothed on both surfaces with short hair ; 
neck, long • legs^, short and stout ; toes, armed with sharp nails, very 
slightly arched ; the feet on both surfaces covered with hair even to the 
soles, concealing the nails. 
vol.. ii.— .3f! 

'Jl»6 «L\t"K K<H)Ti:i) rKUllKT 

The pfliiKc is of two kimlH of Ii.iir, ii is sli(.it soli „iul very (im-, llu- 
outrr iiiid inl.Tsprrsod luiirs miv iio( ho (iii,<. hut ;mv iiol lon^' mid v.-ry 
rours... Tlu- fur is IIm.t llial ..t llu- inink ,.r pinr niiul.-n, m.d rv.n 
sl.orl.-r tl.Hti that of t\w vnn\uv. Tli.. lu.i.s hHow ll,,. r,iis, un.l,..- iIm> 
lorraniis miuI l„.||y :.,r llu- .•...•usrM ; ||u, ,„il is o>, and Irss 
vliMMinoiis ll.iu.lhal of (1... .•onlaiuiri- .noro. roarso hair, and l,.,ss 
line fur, than in that aniiniil. 

«'01, (It'll, 

Thr Iouh: hairs on tho ha,-i< an- at tho roots ^^•l.itish, will, a vllowish 

t.nv:.-. broadly ti|.,„-d uitl. lo.l.lish-l.rovv.i ; tho soft uimNt fur "is uhitr 

Nvith a yrilowish liiif^^s oivini,' llu. animal on Iho hark a v.dlowish. 

!.roun ap|,..ura,i.-,., in son.o parts apj.roarhin^. 1., rufous; o„"tl,r suU'h 

■•""'■■"•"l> lh<M-olouris;,|ittlo,-r, ^M'adually lh.lin« into yrllowisl,. 

whil... Wliisk.M-.. whit., aii.l hla.k; nos,-, rars, si.l.vs of fn',,, ,|„.„at 

•■•uI.T surf,.,.,- of „,.,.k. h.lly.aiid u,i,|..r snrfa..,- of tail, whit,., a slia.lo' 

»l brownish on Iho oh.-st h.-tw,-,, Iho fon-h^^s. Tiar,. is a hro.u! hla.-lc 

patc-h c-omnn-noinf,' on th,- for.h,.a,l. rn.-losin^^ Iho .-v,.s. an.i running ,lown 

within ,i (,.w lin,.s of llu- pointof th,- n,.s,- ; out,.r and inn,-r surfa.-.-s of 

tin- 1,.^'s. to n,.ar tlu- shouhh-rs aii,I hips, hla,.k, will, a tin^,. of brownish 

the dp ol the tuil is bhiok, f,.r two iii,.h,.s iVoni th,- ,-xtirinily. 


From point, of nose to root of tail, 
Tail, (vert, bra.) 
]i,-ail to ,-ii,l of hairs 
H,-i>iht of ear |)ost,-ri,)rly, 
I'roiii shoulder to end of lore leir. 


f^Mt, lllcllM. 

1 7 


It IS with sreat pleasure that we intnuluee Ibis handsome new 
speeu-s; ,t was proeur,,! by Mr. C,„.,„.;ktson on llu- Iow,.r wat,.rs of 
ll"- I'latt,- |{iv,.r. a.ul inhabits the woo,l,.,| parts of th,- ,.oui.try to th,- 
Kocky Moi.ntains, and p,i-!.apsis Ihun,! b,-yon,l that ran-,., aitlu.unh ,u,t 
ohserve.l by any lrav,.||,.rs, fnun Lr.uis an,! Clakk to llu- pr,.s,.,^, day 

When we consi,I,.r the v.,.y r.^ inai.n,.r in whi,.), ev,.ry exp,.,liti,;u 

that ha. er,>s.,.,l the Roeky Mo.iMtains,haH h,.en push,.,! lorward, w,. ,-an- 
not wonder ihat many sp.-ci.-s hav,. h,.,-.. entiivly ov,.rl,.,.k,.d, an,! shoul,! 
rather be surpiis.,! at tla- nmnber notict,! by Lvvis and Clark, a..,l l,y 

ni,ACK.F()OTi;!) rKllRET. 


NiiTAU,, TowNSiiNo. and ollicrs. Tlinv lins nrv.-r y(-t, hron a CJovrrmnciit 
rxpcdiiioii |,i„|„.,ly ()r«;iiiti/.c(l, and sent, lorlh lo ohiaii, all tli,. dctiiils, 
which Mich II jKirly, iillowcd limr <>ii(iiiy:h iWr (lioroiij^di iiivcsli«ali<,n,' 
would hriiijr |,.„.i(^ concciiiiMy; llic nafuml hinlory ;iiid' 
natural i-rsomvcs „r the rcKi.Mis oC the far west. '\\v. nearest, appn.acli 
to such an cxpcdiliop having Ium-u tliat. so well conducted hy Lkwis and 
Cakk. Nor do %v.' think it at all pnihal.Io that Clovernment, will attend to 
such inatL-rs lor a l.aiK ti,„„ (,<, ,,„„„.. We must, tlierelbre hope that, 
privalo enterpriNe will Kradually unlold tin, /.(HdoKicml, botanical, and 
mineral wealth of the iiniiKMise territorieH wo own but, do not,, ocoui)y. 

'i'h.^ habits of this speei.>s res.-niblc, as Car as w.^ have learned, of 
llie ferret, „f lOurop,.. ||, (c.mIs <,i, birds, small reptib.s and animals, ,.g«H, 
and various insects, and is a bol.l an.l cunniuK foe to Iho rabbits, hares, 
grouse, and other f>:atiie of om- wc-stera rej^ions. 

'i'he specimen from whicdi wo made our drawinj? was rcceivod by us 
IVom Mr. J. C. |{K.i.i,,to whom it was forwanhul from tlie outskirts «r out- 
posts of the fur traders on the IMatte river, by Mr. Cmikrthon. It was 
stuire<l with the wormwood so abundant in parts (,f that country, and was 
rather a poor specimen, althouKli in tolerable preservation. Wo shall 
have occasion in a future .irlicle l<» thank Mr. Mhi,,, for tho uho of other 
new specimeas,this b,;inK only one of several instances of his kind ser- 
vices to us, and tho zoology of our country, in this way manifested. 


As br'ibre stated, tho specimen whird. wo havo flfrurod and described 
was obtaiiwd on the lower waters of the I'latto river. Wo arc not awaro 
that another .specimen exists in any cubinot 



Nuttal's Hare. 


L. parvus, supra fuscus cum aurco mistus subtus dilute flavo-canescens 
auncuLs ampl.s rotundatisque, cauda longiuscula, subtus albus. ' 


Small ; tail of moderate length, general colour above, a mi.rture of li^ht 
l^Hfr<n,UMbrou,n, beneath, light yeUo.ish grey ; ears, broad and rln^. 
lower .mrjacc of the tail white. ' 


The anterior upper incisors are more rounded than those of the Ameri- 
an rare, but m the deep longitudinal furrows, and in other partrcZs 
theybearastrdcu,.resemblanceto .hose of that species; the access v 
upper u.c.sors resemble those of the H.^-es in ,.nj. The lo J ^^Js' 
are —thu,ner than those of the American Hare, and lil.e the upp" 
or of an oval shape. The upper grinders are furrowed longitu.lina llv 
.ke those of other Hares, and have a slight furrow on the inner sid b [ 
not more apparent than in Lepns a.natiens ; indeed, all the Ame ican 
Hares have th.s furrow, which differs considerably in individuals belong- 
ing to tne same species. ^ 

This Hare bears some resemblance to the young of Lepus syUaticus ; 
he forehead .s more arched, and there is no depression in tl e fronta 
bone, as m the American Hare ; its fur is abo much softer, an., .iiffers Tn 
colour ; the whiskers are nearly the length of the head. The ears appeared 
rather short and shnvelle.I in the dried specimen, but when moist ed fo 
purpose of havmg a drawing of them made became much distended ; 
the mcurvation on their outer margin was as distinct as in other Hares 
beanng no resemblance to the funnel-shaped ears of the ;./.. The tail 
in the hvmg animal must be conspicuous, although in the dried specimen 
. IS conceaed by the long fur of the posteriors. The feet arcthic" y 
clot ed with soft hair, completely covering the nails. There are fiv to s 
on the fore and four on the hind feet. 


Teeth, yellowish white ; whiskers, white and black ; the former colour 



prrdominafinR; tlin whole of llic upper siirCacn of the body, a mixture of 
huir.'uul (lark brown ; under siirlaci^ IIkIiI l)u(i'->^rey. The Cur on tin; hark 
is, lor three-fourths of its Ieii;,Mh from liie roots, phuiilx'ous, liien ii;;lit, 
ash mixed with hulf; and the long interspersed hairs are. all tippc'd with 
black. The ears are pretty well eiotiied, internally and <'xternally, with 
hairs of an ash colour, bordcu-ed with aline of black anteriorly, and edged 
with while. From behind the ears to the back, tlien; is a very broad 
patch of buir, and the same colour, mixed with rufus, pnsvails on the 
outer surface of the legs, extending to the thighs and shoulders, 'i'lie soles 
of the feet arc yellowish l)rown. The; claws, which are slightly arched, 
are light brown for tliree-fourths of their length, and are tii^ped with 
white ; under surface of the tail, white. 


Tjcngth from point of nose to insortion of tail, 

" of Ileiii, 

" Fur on the back, .... 

" of [lead, ...... 

Tleif^iit of ear, .-.-.. 

Tail vertcbraj, .--..• 
lucludiiig fur, - • . • • 







The only information which we have been able to ol)tain of tlie habits 
of this diminutive species is contained in the following note from Mr. 
NiirrAi,, which accompanied the specimen. 

" This little Hare we met with west of the Rocky Mountains, inhabit- 
ing thickets by the banks of several small streams which flow into 
the Shoshonee and Columbia rivers. It was freiiuentiy seen, in the avcu- 
ing, about our encampment, and appeared to possess all the habHs of the 
Lcpus Si/lvuticus.^* 

nEOGRAnncAi, nisTRinuTioN. 

We have not heard of the existence of this Hare in any part of Cali- 
fornia, or New Mexico; and although it is doubtless found in other locali- 
ties than those mentioned above, we cannot venture to assert that it is 
widely distributed 




We described this species from the only specimen we have had an op- 
portun.ty of examining. It would be satisfactory to be able to investi-^tte 
lurlher, as ,t needs more information than we have been able to obt^.in 
t.> pronounce decidedly upon its characters, and give its true geographical 
ujstnbution. o o r 


MUS (CALOMYS) A U R E L U S .— Aud. ano Bach 

Orange-Coloured Mouse. 
P L A T E X C V,— Male and Females. 

M. supra saturate lutcas infra pallide flavus ; auriculis longis, cauda 
corpore curtiore. 


Ears long; tail shorter than the body; bright orange-coloured above, 
light buff beneath. 


This species bears a general resemblance in form to the white-footed 
Mouse, {Mas leucopiis.) It is, however, a little larger, and its ears rather 
shorter. Head, long ; nose, sharp ; whiskers, extending beyond the ears. 
Fur, very soft and lustrous. The legs, feet, and heels, clothed with short, 
closely adpressed hairs, which extend beyond the nails ; ears, thinly 
covered with hairs, which do not entirely conceal the colour of the 
skin ; mammae, four ; situated far back. 


Head, ears, and whole upper surface, bright orange ; the fur being for 
three-fonrths of its length from the roots, dark plumbeous ; whisLrs, 
nearly black, with a few white hairs interspersed ; tail, above and be- 
neath, dark brown ; throat, breast, and inner surface of the forelegs 
white ; belly, light buff. There are no very distinct lines of separation 
between these colours. 




Length of head and body, 
" Tail, - . • - 

" Head, . - . 
" Ear posteriorly, 
" Tarsus, including nail, 







I) ■ 





In symmetry of form and brightness of colour, this is the prettiest spe- 
cies of Mas iiihiibitins our country. It is at the same time a great 
climf)er. VVe have only observed it in a state of nature in three in- 
stances in the oak forests of South Carolina ; it ran up the tall trees with 
KH lit <'if>;ility, and on one occasion concealed itself in a hole (which ap- 
parently contained its nest,) at least thirty feet from the ground. The 
specimen we have described, was shot from the extreme branches of an 
oak, in the dusk of the evening, where it was busily engaged among the 
acorns. It is a rare species in Carolina, but appears to be more common 
in Ccorgia, as we received ii-om Major Lu C(jnte, three specimens obtain- 
ed in the latter State. 


Wo found this species in Carolina, where it is rather rare ; we also ob- 
tained specimens from C.orgia; we have no doubt but further investiga- 
tion will give it a more extensive geographical range. 


We have arranged this species under the sub-genus of Mr. Wateriiousb, 
proposed in the Zoological Society of London, Fcl*. 17th, 1837, (see their 
transactions.) It is thus characterized; "Sub-genus Cnlumtjs, (from K«A<.t 
bcaufifr.l and mas.) Fur. moderate, soft; tarsus almost entirely clothed 
beneatii the hair. Front molar, with threes indentations of enamel on the 
inner side, and two on the outer; and the last molar with one on each 
side. The type mus {ralomys,) himiivuJatus. Two other species hrm 
l)fen described, Irom South America; mus {culomys) ehgans, and 
m. 'jrifiiijies. 



The Cougar. — Panther. 

PLATE XCVI.—Malk:— PLATE X C V 1 1 .— Female and youko. 

F. immaculata I'ulva; auriculis nigricantibus, cauda elongate, apice 
nigra neque floccosa. 


Uniformly tawny-yellow; ears, blackish behind; tail, elongated, apex 
black, without a tuft, 


St ^l 

Felis Concolob, Linn. Syst. Nat., ed. Gmel., 1. p. 79. 
Schreb Saugth., p. 394. 
BufTon, Hist. Nat., t. 9. 
Gonazouara, D'Azara Anim. du Paraguay. 
" " Desmaiest in Nouv. Diet., p. 90, 2. 

Puma, Leo Americanus, Hernandez. 
F. CoNcoLOR, Cuv. Regne Animal, vol. 1, p. IGl 
BiiowN TiQEH, Pennant's Syn. p. 179. 
Black Tioer, " " 180. 

F. Concolob, Harlan, Fauna Am., p. 94. 
" " Godman, vol. 1, p. 2i»l. 

Dekay's Nat. Hist. N. Y.. p. 47. 


Body, long and slender ; head, small ; neck, long ; ears, rounded ; legs, 
short and stout ; tail, long, slender and cylindrical, sometimes trailing ; fur, 
soft and short. 





Body and legs, of a uniform fulvous or tawny colour ; under surface, 
reddish- white; around the eyes, grayish-yellow; hairs within the ears, 
yellowish-white ; exterior of the ears, blackish ; lips, at the moustache, 
black ; throat, whitish ; tail of the male, longer than that of the female 
bcown at tip, not tufted. 

VOL [I. — 30. 


r t 

■ P: 



If I 



Wp have seen several specimens .lilTcring (rom the above in various 
shades of colour. These accidental variations, however, are not sufficient 
to warrant us in rejrardmsf these individuals as distinct species. 

The youn- are beautifully spotted and barred with biaciiish-brown, and 
their hair is soil and downy, 


Male, shot by J. W. Audubon, at Castrovillc, Texas 28th Janur.ry, 1846. 

From point of nose to root of tail 
'I'ail ....._ 

Height of ear posteriorly - - . . 
Length of canine teeth, frouj gums 
Female, killed 2(5th .January, 1840. 

Length of head and body - . . 

•' Tail ...... 

" Height of ear .... 

of canine teeth 

Weight, 149 lbs. 
















The Cougar is known all over the United States by the name of the 
panther or painter, and is another example of that ignorance or want 
of imagination, which was manifested by the " Colonists," who named 
nearly every quadruped, bird, and fish, which they found on our continent, 
after species belonging to the Old World, without regard to more than o' 
most slight resemblance, and generally with a total disregard of propriety. 
^ This character of the "Colonists," is, we are sorry to say, kept up to a 
great extent by their descendants, to the present day, who' in designating 
towns and villages throughout the land, have seized upon the names o'f 
llomf, Carthage, Palmyra, Cairo, Athens, Sparta, Troy, Rabylon, .I.Micho, 
and many other ancient cities, as well as those of Boston, Port ^rnoufh, 
Plymouth, Bristol, Paris, Manchester, Berlin, Geneva, Portland, &c.. &c.', 
from which probably some of the founders of our country towns may have 
emigrated. We sincerely hope this system of nomenclature will hence- 
forth be discarded ; and now let us go back to the Cougar, ..liich is but lit- 
tle more like the true panther than an opossum is like the kangaroo! 
Before, however, entirely quitting this subject, we may mention that for a 
long time the Cougar was thought to be the lion ; the supp, .ition was 
that all the skins of the animal that were brought into the sctilements 
by the Indians were skins of females ; and the lioness, having sonethinp 




the same colour and but ]\Uh mane, it occurred to the colonists that the 
skins they saw couhl brlihir •.<» no other animal ! 

Tiie Cougar is found sparsely distributed over the whole of \orlh 
America up to about latitude 45". In former times this animal was more 
alumdant than at present, and one was even seen a few miles from the city 
of New- York within tlie recollection of Dr. Dkkav who speaks of the 
consternation occasioned by its appearance in Westchester County, when 
he was a boy. 

The Cougar is generally found in the very wildest parts of the country, 
in d«ep wooded swamp;-i, or among the mountain cliffs and chasms of the 
Alleghany range. In Florida ' -; inhabits the miry swamps and the watery 
everglades; in Texas, he is so. etimes tbund on the open prairies, and 
his tracks maybe seen at almof^ every cattle-crossing place on the slug- 
gish bayous and creeks with their quick-sands and treacherous banks. 
At such places the Cougar sometimes (inch' an unfortunate calf, or perhaps 
a cow or bullock, that has become fast in the oozy, boggy earth, and 
from exhaustion has given up its strugglings, and been drowned or sullbcat- 
ed in the mire. 

This species at times attacks young cattle, and the male from which 
our drawing was made, was shot in the act < ( feeding upon a black heifer 
which he had seized, killed, and dragged into the edge of a thicket close 
adjoining the spot. The Cougar, is however, generally compelled to sub- 
sist on small animals, young deer, skunks, raccoons, &c., or birds, and will 
even eat carrion when hard pressed by hunger. His courage is not great, 
and unless very hungry, or when wounded and at bay, he f^eldom attacks 

.1. W. Audubon was informed, when in Texas, that the Cougar would 
remain in the vicinity of the carcase ot a dead horse or cow, retiring after 
gorging himself, to a patch of tall grasses, or brambles, close by, so as to 
keep off intruders, and from which lair he could return when his appetite 
again called liim to his dainty food. In other cases he returns, after catch- 
ing a pig or calf, or finding a dead animal large enough to satisfy his hun- 
gry stomach, to his accustomed haunts, frequently to the very place where 
he was whelped and suckled. 

Dr. Dekay mentions, that he was told of a Cougar in Warren County, 
ill the State of New-York, that resorted to a barn, from whence he was 
repeatedly dislodged, and finally killed. "He shew, d no fight whatever. 
His mouth was found to be filled with the spines of the Canada porcupine, 
which was probably the cause of his diminished wai'iness and ferocity, 
and would in all probability have finally caused his death." 

The panther, or " painter," as the Cougar is called, is a nocturnal am- 



nml mor. hy choice than necessity, as it can see wel. during the day time 
ft steals upon .fs intended prey in the darkness of ni^ht with 'tsie^ 
caufous «tep and with great patience makes its noiseieis way 'h.:' 
the angled th.ckets of the deepest forest. When the benighted travel er 
or the weaned hunter „.ay be slumbering in his rudely and has.iiv con 
strueted b.vouac at the foot of a huge tree, amid the lonely forest his fire 
nearly out, and all around most dismal, dreary, and obscure, he ma^ p r! 
chance be roused to a state of terror by the stealthy tread of the prowWn. 
Cougar; or his frightened horse, by its snortings and struggles to getTo e 
will awaken h.m in time to see the glistening eyes of the dangerou Zll 
.larujg upon him like two burning coals. Lucky is he the' if ll coo 
ne.s does not desert him, if his trusty rifle does not, thro gh s" • 
^.on or snap for want of better flint ; or well off is he. if he c.Tn fri; l^tn 
avvav the savage beast by hurling at him a blazing brand from his nearly 
ox .ngu,s ed camp-iire. For, be sure the animal has not approached im 
v.hou. the gnawing hungcr-the desire for blood, engenclered by , " 

" nc"' h'r^ T' T , '""''^•'^ '''''' '"^ ""' ^-" -t'-n,ica ed in! 

tanc . have been recorded in our public prints, where the Cougar at such 

Mmeshas sprang upon the sleeper. At other times the horses are thrrwn 
mo .such a fr^ht, that they break al, fastenings and fly in every LeZn 
1 he late Mr 1 ob^.t of Cmcinnati, wrote to Dr. Go„m.., tha on of 
e e ammals had surprised a party of travellers, sprung upo. the ho Is 
■nd .so lacerated w,th its claws and teeth their flanks and buttock htt' 
hey the greatest difliculty .succeeded in driving the poor cr at r: 
brio e them next mornu^g, to a public house some miles ofl: This pam' 
nowe ver, had no fire, and were unarmed. ^ ^ ' 

A planter on the Yazoo river, some years ago, related the following anec- 
lote 01 the Cougar to us. As he was riding home alone one night thro" . 
he woods, along what is called a " bridle-path" (i. e. a horsr-trl ?„ 
r hese an.mals .sprang at him from a fallen log, hut owing to his h'^o 
ak„,g a sudden plunge forward, only struck the rump o^ the . 
steed w.,h one paw, and could not maintain his hold. The genH 1 „ 
was lor a moment unable to account for the furious start his h s h' d 
.nade, but presently turning his head saw the Cougar behind and Zt 
.purs u. his horse, galloped away. On examiJng U J 1^ ^ 2 
were observed on his rump eorresponding with the Caws of 1 eV " 



to quret fhcm, thinking somn p.-rson. perhaps a neighbour, had called to 
see him. Tho dogs could not be driven hack, but rushed into the house ; 
he seized his horsewhip, whieh hung inside the hall door, and whipped 
them all out, as he thouglit, except one, which ran under the table. He 
then took a candle and looking down, to his surprise and alarm discover- 
ed the supposed refractory dog (o be a Cougar. lie retreated instanier, 
the females and children of his family fled frightened half out of their 
senses. The Cougar sprang at him, he parried the blow with the candle- 
stick, but the animal flew at him again, leaping forward perpendicularly, 
striking at his face with the fore-feet, and at his body with the hind-!oet. 
These attacks he repelled by dealing the Cougar straight-forwarJ Mows 
on its belly with his fist, lightly turning a„.de and evading its claws, as he 
best could. The Cougar had nearly overpowered him, when luckily he 
backed toward the fire-place, and as the animal sprau- again at him, dodg- 
ed him, and the panther almost lell into (he fire ; at which he was so terd- 
fied that he endeavoured to escape, and darting out of the door was im- 
mediately attacked again by tho dogs, and with their help and a club 
was killed. 

Two raftsmen on the Yazoo river, one night encamped on the bank, 
under a small tent they carried with them, just large enough to cover 
two. They had a merry supper, and having made a large fire, retired. 
•' turned in " and were soon fast asleep. The night waned, and by degrees 
a drizzling rain succeeded by a heavy shower pattering on the leaved and 
on their canvas roof, which sheltered them from its fury, half awakened 
one of them, when on a sudden (he savage growl of a Cougar was heard, 
and in an instant the animal pounced upon the tent and overthrew it. 
Our raftsmen did not feel the full force of the blow, as the slight poles of 
the tent gave way, and the impetus of the spring carried the Panther over 
them : they started up and scuflled out of the tent without furt.ier notice 
"to quit," and by the dim light of their fire, which the rain had nearly ex- 
tinguished, saw the animal facing them and ready for another leap ; they 
hastily seized two of the burning sticks, and whirling (hem around (heir 
heads with loud whoops, scared away the midnitrht prowler. After this 
adventure they did not, however, try to sleep under (licir tent any more 
that night ! 

We have given these relations of others to show that at long intervals, 
an<l under peeuliiir circumstances, when perhaps pinched wifli hunger, or 
in defence of its young, (he Cougar .sometimes altaeks men. These in- 
stances, liowever, .are very rare, and the reladons of an afl'rightened 
traveller must be received with some caution, making a due allowance 
for u natural disposii !<>>>. ii; nsrui (o indulge in the marvellous. 




On. „ ,xporu.n.o ,„ rr«ar,I ,o ,1.. hnhits of spocioH is som.vvhat 
1' >"«-Umh w.- aro o4,l„..,| „, s,at,. ,l.a, in ,I„. ,.m1v ll..v,. ins.a.Kvs i„ 
wind, w.- o»,s,.rv,-,I i, in i,s „a,iv.. IImvs.s. an inM-r^sion was iHi „„ ,.,„■ 
'■"".Is .l.a. ,r was ,1a. na.s, ....war.ll.y oC any sp,..-a.s ..f i,s si.. LHon-nn-^ 
N.<l.,s,MMu,s. 1„ our l.oylu,o.l. whils, in ,1... no.,!...,,, pan ol 
i\ow.\ork-. (orty-riglu yars ai^o. <„. our way ,o s.-Iuu,! Ihrowi,!. a woo.l a 
^..nJ,^.^• n-oss,.,! ,1... ,,^,1, „„,, ,,.„ y,,,|s i„ iv,„„ „,■ „,. ^Vr l.a.l nrv',.,- 
l..'lor.. s....n this sprci.s. and it was, ov.-n at tl.a, rarly,!. ,.xc,..,lin«lv 
rare ,n ,hat vinni.y. Wl.n, tin- (%,n«ar oLs,.,.,.,! ns ho c-onnn.n.-nl a 
»•">•••"•< .vhvat; a small lorri,.,- ,ha. a.vo.npaaio.I ns ...v.. ohas,. ,o (ho 
■•Humal. wlnoh. aftn- running al.ont a hnn.hvd yards, nioun,..! an oak an.l 
ivs...,l on on., of its lind.s ahont twonty foot iVun, thr «ronn,l. W. ap- 
l.r..a..h,-d and rais...l a lon.I whoop, wh.n h. spran,^ .o ihooarlh an.l s.,on 
">"<ie Ins os..apo. H,. was. a C.w .lays hnn....l l.y ,]„. n..i,d.- 
bours an.l sh.,.. Ano,h.-r was ,n...,l a. ni«l„, l.y ... p,,,,v on a ra,-...,on 
»"'"f : it ... 1... a mccoon. ..,„. ..f ih.. n..-n .■iin,l....l th.. Ir..,. 
wi...n ,h,. Co„o:Mr I,.an..d ,.. ,h,. f^n.nn.I, ov.-rtnrnin^^ on,. ..f ih.. yoUn'- 
l'""t.Ts that happ..n,-.l ,o b.. in his way. and n.a.l.- his ..s.-ap... A third 
was ..has..,I l,y onr-dops in a vallry in ,ho vi.-inify of ,h,. Catskil! na.nn- 
tan.s. and allcr half an hour's chase ns.-en.lrd a h,,.,.. II,. pi.,..,.! 
l.""s,-ll .n a crotoh, an.l was tin-d at will, .ha-k-shot al.ont a do/.,.n .in.,.s 
whn, h,. was finally ki!l,.,l, a-..; fH! h..avily to th,- jjronn.l. A Mr. I{vv- 
•"•>>•", ol A'u-inia. r,.|al,.,l to us an auu.sin;,^ an.-,..h„.. of a r.-n.-onlr,. 
which he an.l a Kontuokian had in a vall,.y of,,,,,. „r ,h,. \i,f.,ni,, ,„„„„. 
taw.s with •. C.ujrar. This occurr,.nc.. t....k place about thirty y.ars a^o 
'1 l.,.y had no jinns. but .T'cctinfj l.i.n n.-ar ih,- n.a.l. (h.'v K.-n-.-'ciiasc with 
II...M- h,)rs..s, and al>cr a run of a (i-w hnndr.'.! yanls h,. as,.,.nd,.,l a tree 
KANnn,.rn clind„..l the tr,.,.. an.l the Cnw^^u- sprang d..wn. ay.,i,lin^r ,l,„ 
Kentuckian. wl... r,.ady to attack him with his club. Th,- latter 
asain f,.II.,w,.,l. on his,.. when he tr,.,.,! him a s.-cond lim,.. Han,,.., v„ 
Hfiain elimb.d aft,.r him. but fo,u.,l the animal was comin- down an.l 
<iisp..s..d to liyht his way f<. the -round. He stmuuni him wi(h a blow 

wh.n the Cougar 1,-t jjo his hol,l. (HI f,. ,h..,.arlh, an.l was kil by his 

comrade, wh.> was wailin<r with his elub bel.,w. 

Fn.m all th,- conversations we hav,. l,a,l with lnm(,.rs who in the 
habit of killinsr ,hp rou;rar, w,. hav,. Ihmm. bn-n^ht to the r.,nvi,.ti..n that 
a m;in of m..d..rat.. ,'oura^M.. with a «oo,l rilh^ an.l a s(,.adv arm. aeeom- 
J.anied by (hiv.. or foiu' active d..}r,s, a n,i.xtur.. ..f ,.i,h,.r thV fox.|„.nn,l or 
trri.y-hound. might hunt the Cougar with great safety to himseli; and with 
a toh-rabl,. jirospeet of success. 
This .animal, which has ..xcited ,s„ nujcli terror in the minds of the i-rno- 



mm. mul titni<l,l,as hern nearly oxtwrnhmUn} in all onr Atlantic States 
and we ,Io „,„, ,...c.,lleot a single, well auM.,.,fieale,l instance where any 
hunters hie Cell ji saeriliee in a CoM^ar hunt. ,he inountains „r the head- waters of the .1 atta river, as we 

were int..rnM.d, the (.'..u-ar is so ahundant, that one man has killed Cor 
son.e y.-ars, rr.)n. tw<, t<. liv,., and one, very hani winl.T, he kilh-d seven 
ill this j,art of the country the Co„Kar is hunlr.l with hall-bred hounds 
the lull-l.looded doKs lacking courage to atta.dt s<, lar^.^ a,nd (iere,- look- 
ing an anunal when they overtake it. The hunt is conducted n.uch in 
;^''" "•';"•"''• •"■ ••' <d.ase after the eo.n-not. wild-cat. The Cougar is 
treed alter running about lilt,.en or twenty minutes, a.,d getu'rally 
shot, but sometimes it ..hews light before it takes to a tree, and the hunters 
.•ons.der ,t great sport: we heard of an instance .,f one of these lights, in 
whu-h the Cougar got hol.l of a dug. and was killing it. when the hunter 
II. us aiu.ety to save his ,log, rttsh.-d upon the Cougar, seized him by tho 
l.'iil and broke his back with a singl.-, b|„w ofa,, ,,x(^ 

According to the relations of old hunters, the Cougar has three or four 
young at a litter. We have heard of a., instance of one being found a 
very old len.ale. in whoso ,len there were live yo.n.g, about as large as cats, 
we b.-heve. how,-ver, that the usual numlx-r of yonng. is two. 

The dens of this species are generally near the tnouth of sotne cave in 
the rocks, where the animal's lair is .j„st far enough inside to be out of 
ll.n ram ; and not in this r.-npec-t like the dens of the bear, wbh-h are some- 
tunes ten or twelve yards IV.,,,. the opening of a larg.- eraek or lissure in 
tUi' rocks. In the Southern States, where th,-re are no caves or roeUs the 
lair o( the Cougar is generally in u very dense thicket, or in a eane-brake 
It .s a rude sort of be<l of sticks, wee.Is, leaves, ami grasscH or mosses, 
and where the canes ar<,h over it ; ns they are .nergreen, their 1...,.^ p„i„t. 
ed h-aves turn the rain at all seasons of the year. We have never ob- 
serve,! any bones or fragments of ani.nals they ha.l li-d „p„„, ^t the lairs 
ol the Cougar, and suppose they always feed on what they catch near tho 
s|)ot where they captm-e the prey. 

The tales r.dated of the cry of the Cougar in the forest in imitation of 
the call of a lost traveller, or the cry of a chihl, nntst be receive.I with 
much caution, and may in many of their exaggerations be set down as 
vulgar errors. In a state of captivity, we have never heard the male ut- 
t.-rmg a.,y other note than a low growl ; the female, however, we have 
In-iu.-ntly heard utt.M-Jng a kind of mewing like that of a eat. but a mom 
prolonged and louder note, that coul.l be heani at the distan.-e of about 
two hundred yards. All the n.ah.s. however, of the cat kin.l. at the s.-a- 
,.)n when the sexes seek each other, emit r,.markai,le an.l startling cries 



as.•se^^dencodbythe com.non cat. i„ what Ls dono„.i„atod caterwaul- 

» two .p, c, s of lynx. It ,s not i.npossil.l,., thorolor,., that .ho malr 
C «gar, may at the ruttin, season have peculiar a„. sta ,i ^^^^^^^^^^^^ 
To however, to which persons have IVo.n time to tin.e .ii.^rrl ^ 

"^,Hon,in,to the we were well convinced wlu 
ne ..y c^ er a.nna.s. In one ins.ance. we ascertained them to pr ^ , 

- a red ,„x winch was killed in the hunt, got up for ,he purpose ..f Idll- 
.cd o, h„ ,. ,,,, ^,.^ ^.^^^^,^^,^ ^.^^ ^j^^ ^^.^^ ^^. ^^^.^ ^^^_ ^^^^ 

1 he female Couf^ar is a most alFectionate mother, and will not leave 
her youn, cu s, unless occasionally to procure foo.l to supp<.rt h own 
strength ; she t ere fore offen becomes very lean an<l poor. The Z2 
we have hgured. was in this condition ; we procured one of her u l^ 

!r"irs ;!;ir""""' ''' '""'"" ''"''' '''''"" '^'"'•'^ "°^'^^^'- '^'^« ^ 

The whelps are suckle.l by the dam until about half grown, and then 
hu.^ the oh. ones (which generally go in pairs) un'l the „:!:'• 

Vt'T' "^""' " ^"""^" °"^^ '^"'' '"'^^'^^ '■"•• "-'"-•-s, and begin 

The period of gestation of the Cougar is ninety-seven days, as has l>een 

ascerta.ned at the Zoological Society of London, (Proceedings, ^^l 

i.han abundance of foo.l, and not much inconunoded by the cold, the 
the young have in some instances been .liscov^.n-d in autu.nn. J W 
AuuuBo. found, in Texas, young Cougars nearly half grown in February.' 


This species has a wide geographical range, ft was formerly found in 
all the Northern and Eastern States, and we have seen a speeLen pro- 
cured ,n Uppn- Canada. The climates of Lower Canada. New Toun,!. 

;";;;;;' tt''T "V'''"'"' ''' '" ''" ""•' ''"• '^^ P™>-"^ residence 
n a 1 the Atlant.c States ,t was formerly found, and a fi-w still exist in 

<I.e less cultivated portions. It is occasionally shot in the extensive 

swamps, along the river courses of Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and 

^oms,,-ma ; ,t ,.s found sparingly on the whole range of the Alleghanies. 

runnmg through a cnsi.lerable portion of the United States. It has cross- 

.;d the Rocky Mountains, an.l exists on the Pacific, in Oregon and Cali- 

(orn.a; ,t .s quite abundant in Florida and Texas, is found wiihin the 



tropics in Mexico, and Yucatan, and has penetrated through Panama in- 
to Guyana and South America, where it is sometimes called the Puma 


The variations of size, to which this species is subject, have created 
much confusion among our books of Natural History, and added a con- 
nitltu-able number of supposed new species. AHer having examined very 
carelully v<!ry many sp«!cimens, both in a prepared state, atid alive 
in menageries, procured in most parts of North and South America, we 
have arrived at the conclusion that the Cougar of North America and 
the Puma of our Southern Continent are one and the same species, and 
cannot even l)e regarded as varieties. 
Vol.. u. — 4U. 



Incisive -» Canine 


1-1 -. B-0 

... n—u 

Body, long nnd nithn- sloiulor; Ih-.u), round ; s„„„f, uUenuafo.l liko that 
o( n lox; ,.y,... rallu-r In.K,. :, lalrral ; ears, CM.spicuous, of 
I odcratp si/a; ihcir |)oinfs rounded. 

Tliere are live toes on eacli liM)t ; tail, nearly ti.e length of the body. 

Iliiirs on the body, siior muI densse, inueh longer on the tail. 

The specific name is derived Iron, the Greek, B«»-«v.,,.. (husmris), a little 

This is the only species in th«; f^'mus. 




PLA'^S XCVIII.— Male. 

R. Supra p;ilvus nigro-varleKatus, aurieulis, macula supra oculari et 
ventre flavido-albis ; cauda, annulis octo nigrisque alternantibus. 


Dill/ ycUow, mixed with hlach, above ; a sjwt above the eye, ears, ami 
unikv surface, yellowish-white ; tail, eight times ringed with black and 


CArAMiTzri.i, ncniniidcz. 
Tki'k-N!axti.aton, I Icinandpz, 

Bassakis AsriiTA, l.i.liiinst.iii, Daistellnng neuer, oder wenig bckiuinler Siiu- 
pi'tiiiiMv, TuCel 4a, Berlin, l>27-ly34. 


The first impression made by this inimal on the observer is, :! rt Jie 
has met with a little fox ; its erect cars, sharp nose, and cuimmg loolf, are 



; 1 

i ■: 
■( ■■ 

'■ ' 





all fox-like. It however, by its long and moveable muzzle approaches 
the civets, (uiverra,) the genets, (genneUa,) and 'he coatis (/> '■(/rv.) 

The head is small ; skull, not much flatteni i ; nose, long ; muzzle, point- 
ed, naked; moustaches, numerous, long and ri;;id ; cars, long, erect, ova!e, 
clothed with shorf hair on the outer surface; spari.igly within; neck and 
body, long ; legs, longer than those of the martens, but shorter llian tho>? 
of the fox ; niiils, sharp and much hooked; to i, gov. red with ha'rs con- 
cealing them ; pilms, nnked ; tail, with long con>se h,, s, containing 
scarcely any under fur ; the inner hair on the back, is of moderate fine- 
ness, int'Tspei^ed with rather coar jer and longer hairs. The longer hairs 
on the back are about an inch in length, those on the tail, two inches, and 
the under-fur, on the back, half an inch. 


Thr hair on the back grayi.ii, for three-fourths of its K ngth from the 
roots, thiMi pale yellowish-white, then i-Uowish-l vn, deepening into 
black ai the tips ; the under-fur is first plumbeous, , n<-n yellowish-white : 
this disposition of o(7lours gives it a brindled brownish-black appearance 
on the head and upper surface. Moustaches, black ; point of nose, dark 
brown. Thitre is a light grayish spot above the eye ; ears, chin, throat, 
neck and I'lly, yellowish-white The tail is regularly and conspicuously 
ringed with bars of vhito and bhu k, alternately ; the upper white one 
very indistinct , the n. xt blaek-obscure and increasing in more conspicu- 
ous bands of white an! black to the end, which is broadly tipped with 
black : on the upper surface of tail, the black colours pedominate, and on 
the under surface, the white. 


From pt lit r^ no'^e to root of tail. 
Tail, (vertebraj), . . - 

" to end of hair, 
From point of nose to head, between the 
Height of ear, posteriorly, 
Breadth of eai it base. 
From shoulder to end of toes, 
Length of longest mt istache, 










• H 


■ If 






■ 8i 





The smafer porrion of Texas is prairio-Iand. and it is chiofly along the 
water course., that trees are found ,rovvi„, to,.rher in's su( ei n 
to constitute a "wood." On certain level and el,,yey portions tt 
. pran.e, however, the land is and .s covered with several ki 
of oaks and a few other trees. The well-known „,us,uit tree o u , 
found generally distributed in the western parts of the State It r 
«en.bes the acacia in leaf, and has a small .vhite pea-shaped blossom: 
a a distance ,t looks something like an old peach tree. Its wood is .imi- 
I.trto coarse mahogany in app.-arance, and burns well, in fact beaut i- 

r oi: rth'''^'^ ''"'::" '--' "^"''-' ^^-e wood'givesl'Til 
o no smoke The musqu.t bolton.s are furnished with these trees they 
are small, about the size of the alder, and grow much in the same Z7- 

e musqu.t as sharp thorns. The musquit ,, iHolcus lanntns), H 
sembles what .s called, guinea grass, it is broader, shorter, softer.'and 

The general features of ihe State of Texas, as it will be seen bv the 
forej^ do not indicate a country where many tree-climbing animals 
could be found, and the present beautiful species, which ProfeLor L ! 
jxp.,. rnost appropriatelynamedBassnris ..,„,., is by nomeans common. 
It .s a hveiy. playful, and nimble creature, leaps about on the tree. Z 
has very much the same actions as the squirrel, which it resembles in a'^i'litv 
and gPHce, always havin.: a hole in the tree -ipon which it resides^.,nd 
betaking itself to that secure retreat at once if alarmed. 

The Bassaris Astuta is shy and retired in its habits, and in the daytime 
often stays in its hole in some tree, so that we were only able to procure 
about half a-dozen of these animals during our stay in Texas; among 
which, to our regret, there was not a single female. 

The food of this sp. ies is chiefly small animals, birds, and insects ; 
they also eat nuts, as Me told, descending from their hidin" place 
and travelling to the pecan and other trees, for the purpose of Ivedhvr on 
the nuts which, if true, is singular, as they are decidedly carnivorous in 
their dentition. 

They are much attached to the tree on which they live, which is gene- 
rally a post-oak, a live-oak, or other large tree, and they seldom quit the 
immediate vicinity of their hole, unless when driven out by thrustin^^ a 
stick at them, when they ascend the trunk of the tree, and jump about 
among the higher branches so long as the pole is held close to their nest • 
as soon ns this is withdrawn, they descend and at once re-enter their .lw,.i!- 
ing-nlace an.) hi le themselves. These animals have a singular h.ibit nt 




patinp or pnawing off tSr hark nround the mouth of thrr holes, and 
-.vhero the bark does no' -ip,,, ,-,,• Ih-^hly peeled olFut Iheir hole, y')i,' may 
be cerlaia the animal is ..o' at home, or has deserted the place. 
Their holes are gener. I - the t^ ilt of natunU deeay, am. are situated mi 
knobs, or at the ends o-' bran' ..^ broken short off clos.. to the main trunk. 
They RiMierally select r h, . of this kind on the lower side of a leaning 
tree, probably for better {.ici.uion from the rain ; th<-irhu!es vsry mi deptl,, 
but are seldom more than almut a foot or eighteen inches to the bottom;' 
they are usually furnished with moss or grass, for bedding. .Sometimes 
pecan shells are found in these holes, which no doubt alfords presumptive 
evidence that the Bassaris (eeds upon this nut. 

When scolding or barking at a , intruder, the ring-tailed Raccoon (as 
this animal is called by the Texan.,, holds the tail over its bnc!-. bendin- 
it squirrel fashion ; this animal, however, does not stand upon his hind 
feer like a s.piirrel, and cannot jump or leap so tar. We have not heard 
ol their springing from one branch to another beyond the distance of about 
ten feet, and when frightened at the presence of a man, 'hey v.ill some- 
times run along a branch even toward him, in order to get within jumping 
distance of another, evincing more timidity than a squirrel exhibits in 
springing among the boughs, although they run up the bark with ease 
holding on with their claws, ' 

Sometimes the Ring-tailed Bassaris may be seen squatted on the top of a 
branch, basking in the sun, and half rolled up, appearing almost asleep. 
On the slightest manifestation of danger, however, he darts into his hole 
(which IS always within a foot or tw., of his basking plac(-), and he is seen 
no more. W" have the impression that only one of these singular ani- 
mals IS to be found on a tree at a timc-they, therefore, are not verv social 
in their habits, and, as the live-oak and other trees are generally very 
much scattered, and many of ihem have no holes suitable foi residences 
lor the Bassaris, it is very diincult to procure one. At the foot of manr 
of the trees whereon they dwell, the cactus, brush-wood, and chapperal 
generally are so thick and tangled, that a man would be pretty well 
scratched should he attempt to penetrate the thorny, prickly thicket which 
surrounds the dwelling-place of this solitary and singnba- animal. 

NotwithstiUKling the shyness and retireci habits o.' this species, it is 
easily tame<i, and when it has lieen confined in a cage a sutficient leix'th 
oftime, is frequently lei loose in the houses of the Mexicans, where" it 
answers the purpose of a pi lyful pet, and catches mice and rats. We 
have seen one that was thus domesticated, running about the streets of a 
little Mexican village, and w>. were informed that one was kept as a great 
pet in a Camanche camp, visited by the Indian who hunted for uh duiin^r 




I '•!' 

i M 


our explorat ons o the western part of Texas. As far as we could ascer- 
tan the northern Lrrut of the range of this species is somewhere in the 
ne^hbourhood of the southern frv », -s of Red river. As you travel 
south thej are more abundant, a biy are found throughout all 

Mexico ; we were informed by o. .J, the celebrated Col. IIavs ,he 

ianger that he saw them more r'. ..uant in the mountainous region ^ear 
the head-waters of the San Saba river than at any other place 

The Bassans produces three or four young at a birth, as has been as- 
certauied from the animal kept in confinement. 


This animal exists in Mexico, and is common in the immediate vicinity 
of the capital of that name ; our specimens were obtained in Texas, which 
appears to be its northern limit. 

^! i^ 

t t 


This species is called by the Mexicans caco-mixtle. It is mentioned 
no less than four times by Hernanpe. under the n.-.mes of Cacamiztii and 
Tepe-Maxtlaton. The first specimens were sent to Berlin in 1820 by Mr 
Deppe. and the earliest scientific description was given by L.chtenstein'. 
wjio named it as above. 


Prairie Marmot-Squirrel— Wishtonwish.— Prairie Dog. 
PLATE XCIX.-1. M^LE. 2. P^malk. 8. Yovm. 

S. super cervinuspilisnigris interspersis ; subtus sordide albus, ungue 
pollican conico majusculu, caudSbrevi apicem versus fusco torquatfi. 


Back, reddish brown, mixed with grey and black ; belly, soiled white ; tail 
^hort, banded wUh brown near the tip ; thumb-nail, rather large, and conical. 


Prairie Dog, Lewis and Qark's Exp., 1st vol., p. 67. 
WisHTONWisii, Pike's Expedition, &;o., p. 15G. 
Arotomvs Ludovicianus, Ord, in Guthrio, Geog., 2d, 302, 1815 
AucTOMvs MissouBiENsis, Warden, Descr dos Etats Unis, vol. 5 , p 507 
Abctomvs LuDoviciANus, Say, Long's Exped., 1st vol., p. 451. 
Arot. LuDoviciANUs, Hailan, p. 100. 
" " Godman, vol. 2, p. 114. 


This animal in its external form has more tne appearance of a mar- 
mot, than of a spermophile. It is short, thick, and clumsy, and is not 
possessed «f the light, squirrel-like shape, which characterizes the spermo- 
phth. In its small cheek-pouches, however, being three-fourths of an 
inch in depth, and in the structure of its teeth, it approaches nearer he 
sprrmophil,, and we have accordingly arranged it under that genus. 

The head is broad and depressed; nose short and blunt, hairy to the 
nostrils. Incisors, large, protruding beyond the lips ; eyes, large ; ears 
placed far backwards, short, and oblong, being a mere flap nearly 
covered by the short fur ; neck, short and thick ; legs, short and stout. 
1 his species is pendactylous ; the rudimental thumb on the fore-feet pro- 
tecfed by a sharp, conical nail ; nails, of medium size, scarcely channelled 
beneath, nearly straight, and sharp, extending beyond the h^ir ; tail, shorl 



and bushy ; hair on the body, rather coarse ; under-fur, of moderate fine- 
ness. The female has ten mamma? arranged along the sides of the belly. 


Tho hair on the back is, from the roots, for one-third of its length, bluisli- 
black, then soiled-white— then light-brown ; some of the hairs having 
yellowish-white, and others black, tips. The hairs on the under-surlace'! 
are at the roots bluish, and lor nearly their whole length yellowish-white, 
giving the sides of face, cheeks, chin, and throat, legs, belly, and uiider- 
surtace of tail a yellowish-white colour. Teeth, white ; moustaches and 
eyes, black ; nails, brown. The tail partakes of the colour of the back for 
three-fourths of its length, but is tipped with black, extending one inch 
Irom the end. 





13 inches 

12| inches 

• ■ 

161 do 

IT)! do 


21 d,, 

2i do 


34 do 


1* do 

14 do 

• « 

tV do 

r\ do 


la do 

W^ do 



li do 


24 do 

2 do 


1 do 


1 do 


Nose to root of tail, 

" to end of tail. 
Tail, vertebrae, 

" to end of hair, 
Nose to anterior canthus, 
Height of ear, 
Width between eyes. 
Length of fore-hand, 

" of heel and hind-foot 
Depth of pouch, 
Diameter of ditto. 
Feet slightly webbed at base. 

The general impression of those persons who have never seen the 
'Prairie Dog" called by the French Canadians " petit chien," would be 
far from correct in respect to this little animal, should they incline to con- 
sider it as a small " dog." It was probably only owing to the sort of yelp, 
chip, chip, chip, uttered by these marmots, that they were called Prairie 
Uogs, for they do not resemble the genus Cams much more than does a 
common gray squirrel ! 

This noisy spermophile, or marmot, is found in numbers, sometimes 
hundreds of families together, living in burrows on the prairies ; and their 
galleries are so extensive as to render riding among them quite unsafe in 

oderate fine- 
of the belly. 

sngth, bluisli- 
laiis having 
, and under- 
istaches and 
the back for 
ing one inch 


2i inches 















?r seen the 
" wouhl be 
line to con- 
sort of'ycip, 
lied Prairie 
;han does a 

; and their 
e unsafe in 



many places. Their habitations are generally called •' dog-towns," or 
villages, by the Indians and trappers, and are described as being inter- 
sected by streets (pathways) for their accommodation, and a deVee ol 
neatness and cleanliness is preserved. These villages, or communities, 
are. however, sometimes infested with rattle-snakes and other reptiles, 
which feed upon the marmots. The burrowing owl, {Surnia citnicularia,) 
IS also found among them, and probably devours a great number of the 
defenceless animals. 

The first of these villages observed by our party, when we were as- 
cending the Missouri river in 1843, was near the "Great bend " of that 
stream. The mounds were verv low, the holes mostly open, and but few 
of the animals to be seen. 

Our friend Edward Harris, Mr. Bell and Michaux, shot at them, but 
we could not procure any, and were obliged to proceed, being somewhat 
anxious to pitch our camp for the night, before dark. Near Fort George, 
(a little farther up the river,) we again found a village of these marmots,' 
and saw great numbers of them. They do not Ixn-k, but utter a chip 
ch.p, chip, loud and shrill enough, and ai each cry jerk their tail, not 
erecting it, however, to a perpendicular. 

Their holes are not straight down, but incline downwards, at an angle 
#f about forty degrees for a little distance and then diverge sideways or 
upwards. We shot at two of these marmots which were not standing 
across their lioles apparently, but in front of them, the first one we 
never saw after the shot; the second we found dying at the entrance oi 
the burrow, but at our approach it worked itself backward-we drew 
our ramr<^ ,,r^ put the screw in its mouth, it bit sharply at this but not- 
wMhstanding cur screwing, it kept working backward, and was soon out 
oi sight and beyond the reach of our ramrod. 

Mr. Bki.l saw two enter the «ame hole, and Mr. Harris observed three 
Occasionally these marmots stood quite erect, and watched our move- 
ments, and then leaped into the air, all the time keeping an eve on us. 
We found that by lying down within twenty w thirty steps of their holes 
and remaining silent, the animals re-appeared in fiftert, or twenty minutes' 
Now and then one of them, after coming out of its hob-, issued a lonjj 
and somewhat whistling note, perhaps a call, or invitation to his neigh- 
bours, as several came out in a few moments. T^^ cri^s of this species 
are probably uttered for their amusem^-nt, or nt, h m*^s of recognition 
and not, especially, at the appearance ol -^anger. Thev are, as we think' 
more in the habit of feeding b> night than m tb. day time ; their drop- 
pings are scattered plentifully in the neighbourhoo<t of their villages 
A few days after this visit to the Prairie Dogs, one of our hunters, who 





nml hen. ou, . ,,-,..t part of th. „i,ht. brou.l.r i,. ,hrne oCrhom but th.v 

.^JV..m.ho,,„,„ber„r,,„„i, i„ ,Ke l™„l., ,he ,p„„ie, i, no ,l„„l,. v,^ 
»,, „„r r,.,„r„ ,l„w„ U>o ,i.„r. w,. Idlln.l ,„•„ I'lairi,, Do , ,|„. -U, 

° : " '"""""" » ""' >■""■'"-'■: I"" » 0„, „l, „,„.„, ,, lively Jir 

pert us on .iiiy .siiiiiiiu'r day." ^ 

Tliis is not in accordance wi.J, the accounts of authors who have if ,h..f 
«'<l ahm- the jrround uninjured." We feel .r.v.ilv i.r i. '"'"■''■«"- 

''-"■" '- "•• ^'>- -. >w.^oh, :;,;:;:, i;,,:':;:',.^:::;,,;^;;::;; 

or ac(iu,iiMfs us wiili a I'let ni'v,..,, • . '""^ "« ' M\e(l <>iror, of e.iu.a.e .i, ;,;::,:: :'::•;:;;;: ':':"t' "'"•^-""" 

sion ofnanuv. heM<..-e<i upon son.; iu. tl ' ^tT'"''' ' l"''-^" 

II- rigorous winters of the north • ., th. t v'. ■ '""'' •'"'■"'^' 

vneei,.s .l,..t », ii • .• ,''""'''> ""-'•'"i'"'^' '" ^^ Warmer re-ion 
^ p. « ...s th. t wonhl, n, h,,^h latitudes he cou.pelled to sleep out half Th,. r 
hves eoul e„oy the air and ,i,ht. and luxuriate in the ' use f ' , , 
l.v. all the envlin. ye.r ! We have not heen able to «at e -. v in 

;=:::*;;;::;;::t::::r :••-- 

; • ^"■""■■''- "• '' -,...i ....... :, -ir , :: r: : 

temporary ani.nation ; thus shewi,,.. thit •. ...t ■ . 

:rT""'' '>•• --■ X::r ™ :r ;;i:;t:; 

l..wi« ,„„| Ch.ri< give a v,.ry ,.„„, .,,.„,,p,,,„ „r „,e p„i„, „„^, ,„ 


page ai, vol. 1. They pomrd five barrels of 

without fill 

after di>i;,'in<r d 

iri}? it, but. di8l()(l;,rc(l !iii(i cjiu.'ht tl 

wafer into one of their hoi 


10 owner. Tiiey further say thai 

«ing down anuther of M„. huh's for six feet, they found 

pole into it thattlu.y had not yet dug half-way to ll 


on ruiMiinj; 
n ; tlicvdi> 

which had swallowed one; of the Prairi.' Do-,'s. 

Our friend Dr., now Sir .Io„n R.cnAunsoN^dn the Fauna Boreali Ameri- 
cana,) has well eluei.lated the notices of -his and othe^ species <lescribed in 
Lkw,s and C..HK's '• Expedition," but, appears not fo be certain whether this 
ar.'mal has check-pouches or not, an<I is puzzled apparently by the li.l lowing,: 
He ,,aw . furn,shed wi.h . j.onck fo contain his food, but not so large L 
l... of the common squirrel." The JJr. in a note says-" It is not easy 
N. what the " common scp.irrel is which has ample cheek-pouches." 
We presun.e that this passage can be ,nnde plain by inserting the word 
{rro,n,d so that " eounnon A"o//m/-s,p.irrel" be the readin- The " com 
mon ground s,ui..rel" was doubtless well known to l.nvis^nd C,m„k. and 
Ins an.ple eheek-pouches (see our account of T,n,uos L,s,rrn, vol. 1, p. ,;5 ) explanat.on would no, be volunteered by us but for our respect for 
he knowle.lge and accuracy of L.vv.s and, both of whom we had 
tfi(! pleasure of personally knowing many years ago. 

FV.r an amusing account of a large villag,: of ,l,ese marmots, we extract 
the following from Kknoam/s Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Rxp,.,lifion 
vol. 1, p. 18». '' VVe bad proceed,.,! but a short ,]istance, after reaching 
<h,s beautiful prairi,., helbre we came upon the outskirts of the common- 
wealth, a h>w scattering dogs were so,.n scampering in, their short, sh.rp 
.yelps g.vmg a general alarm to the whole community. The first brief cry 
..t dang,.r from the ..u.skir.s was soon taken up in the centre of the 
e.ry andnow nothing was to be heard or seen in any direction but a dashing, an.l s<.amp,.ring of the m.Tcurial and excitable denizens 
ol lli(> place, each to his burrow. 

Far as the eye coul.l reach the city extended, and all over it the scene 
was the same. We r,,,!,- h-isurely along until we had reached the mor,^ 
flu,.kly setfh.,1 portion of the place. H.-re we halte.I. an,' alter takin^. 
the bndles from our horses to allow iU,u to graze, we prepared for I 
regular attack up, ,, th- i .hal.itants. Th,- bnrrows were not more than 
ten or fifteen yanis ap rt. with well trodden paths leading in different 
duTct.ons, and I even fa.,ci,.,I 1 could discover something like reg.daritv 
in the laying out of the stre,.|s. " 

We sat ,lown upon a ba.dc .mdcr the sha,le of a nu.s.put, and leisurely 
survey,.,l the scene before us. Our approach had driven every one t„ his 
home u. our imm,.diate vicinity, but at the distance of some hundred yanls 



the small mound of earth in front of each burrow was occupied by a Doj; 
sitting erect on his hinder legs, and coolly looking about for tie cause ol 
the recent commotion. Every now and then some. citiz<-n, more adven- 
turous than his neighbour, would leave his lodgings on a flying visit to a 
friend, apparently exchange a few words, and then scamper back as fast 
as his legs would carry him. 

By-and-by, as we kept perfectly sHll, some of our near neighbours were 
seen cautiously poking their heads Irom out their holes, and looking crafti- 
ly, and, at the same time, inquisitively about them. Gradually a citizen 
would emerge from the entrance of his domicil, come out upon his obser- 
vatory, perk his head cunningly, and then commence yelping somewhat 
after the manner of a young puppy— a ciuick jerk of the tail accompany- 
ing each yelp. It is this; short bark alone that has given them the name of 
Dogs, as they bear no more resemblance to that animal, either in appear- 
ance, action, or manner of living, than they do to the hyena. 

We were armed, one w ith a dou!)le-barrelled shot-gun, and another 
with one of Colt's repeating-rifles o( small bore, while I had my short heavy 
rille, throwing a large ball, and acknowledged l)y ;tll to be the best wea- 
pon in the command. It would drive a ball comjdetely through a buffalo 
at the distance of a hundred and fifty-yards, and there was no jumping off 
or running away by a deer when struck in the right place ; to use a com- 
mon expression, "he would never know what had hurt him." Hit one of 
the Dogs where we would, with a small ball, he would almost invariablv 
turn a peculiar somerset, and get into his hole, but by a ball, from my rifle, 
the entin^ head of the animal would be knocked off, and after this, there was 
no escape. With the shot-gun again, we could do nothing I.nit waste ammuni- 
tion. I fired it at one Dog not ten ste|>s off, having in a good charge of buck- 
shot, and thought I must cut him into fragments. I wounded him severely, 
but with perhaps three or four shot through him, he was still able to 
wriirgle and tumble into his hole. 

For three hours we remained in this commonwealth, watching the 
movements of the inhabitants and occasionally picking off one of the more 
unwary. No less than nine were got by the party ; and one circumstance 
I would mention as singular in the extreme, and shewing the social rela- 
tionship which exists among these animals, as well as the kind regard 
they have for one another. One of them had perched himself upon the 
pile of earth in front of his hole, sitting up and exposing a fair mark, whik 
a compa.iion's head was seen poking out of the entrance, too timid, perhaps, 
to trust himself farther. A well-directed ball Iroui my rifle carried away 
the entire top ol' the (brmer's head, and knocked him some two or three 
feet from his post perfectly dead. While reloading, the other i)ol(ily came 

PRAIRIE 1)00. 


out, seized his companion hy one of Jiis ie<,'s, and before we could reach 
the liole had drawn him completely out of sight. There was a touch of 
feeling in the little incident, a something human, which raised the animals 
in my estimation, and ever alter I did not attempt to kill one of them, 
except when driven by extreme liungor.'' 

Mr. Kenpai-l says, further on, of llu'.-^e animals: — "They area wild, 
frolicsome, madcap set of fellows when undisturbed, uneasy and ever on the 
move, and appear to take especial delight in chattering away the time, 

and visiting from hole to hole to gossip and talk over each other's affairs 

at least, so their actions would indicate. When they find a good location 
for a village, and there is no water in the immediate vicinity, old hunters 
say, they dig a well to supply the wants of the community. On several 
occasions I crept close to their villages, without being observed, to watch 
their movements. Directly in the centre of one of them I particularly 
noticed a very large Dog, sitting in front of the door or entrance to his 
burrow, and by his own actions and those of his neighbours, it really 
seemed as though he was the president, mayor, or chief— at all events, he 
was the " big dog" of the place. For at least an hour I secretly watched 
the operations in this comnmnity. During that time the large Dog I have 
mentioned received at least a dozen visits from his fellow-dogs, which 
would stop and chat with him a few moments, and then run off to 
their doir.4cils. All this while he never left his post for a moment, and I 
thought I could discover a gravity in his deportment not discernible in 
those by which he was surrounded. Far is it from me to say, that the 
visits he received were upon business, or had anyfhing to do with the 
local government of the village ; but it certainly appeared so. If any 
animal has a system of laws regulating t'ae body politic, it is certainly 
th(! Prairie Dog." 

This marmot tumbles, or rolls over, when he enters his hole, " with an 
eccentric bound and half-somerset, his hind-feet knocking together as he 
pitches headlong into the darkness below ; and before the spectator has 
recovered from the half-laugh caused by the drollery of the movement, he 
will see the Dog slowly thrust his head from his burrow, and with a pert 
and impudent expression of countenance, peer cunningly about, as if to 
ascertain the effect his recent antic had caused." 

Mr. KuNDALL thinks that the burrowing owl, which he mentions as " a 
singular species of owl, invariably found residing in and about the dog 
towns," is on the best of terms with these marmots, and says, "as he is 
frequently seen entering and emerging from the same hole, this singular 
bird may be looked upon as a member of the same family, or at least, as a 
retainer whose services are in some way necessary to the comlbrt and 




J m 

vvell-boing of the animal whoso hospitaliiy he shares." This idea is 
doubtless incorrect, and we vv„„l,l uitnost hazard the assertion that thf se 
owls prey upon the yonnfr, or evn. the adults, of these marmots; theJ 
also, proi,ahly, devour tiie bodies of those which die in tlieir holes and 
thus may stand toward the animals in the light of sexton an.l undertaker > 
Mr. Kendall is entirely correct in what he says about the rattle-snaice. 
^vlnch dwell in the same lodges with the Dogs. « The snakes I look upon 
as loafers, not easily shaken off by the regular inhabitants, and they make 
use of the dwellings of the Dogs as more comfortable quarters than they 
can find elsewhere. We killed one a short distance frotn a burrow which 
had made a meal of a half:.grown Dog ; and although I do not think they 
can master the larger animals, the latter are still compelled to let thetn 
pass in and out without molestation-a nuisance, like many in more ele- 
vated society, that cannot be got rid of." 

Mr. KiCNPA,,!, and his companions found the moat of this species "ex- 
eeedmgly sweet, tender, and juicy-resembling that of the squirrel only 
that it was much fatter." ' '' 

None of these animals were seen by J. W. Audubon in his journey 
through that part of Texas lying between Galyeston and San Antonio and 
he only heard of one village, to the northward and westward of Tor'rey's 
Lodge; they do not approach the coast apparently, being found only on 
the prairies beyond, or to the westward of the wooded portions of that 
htate. A collector of animals and birds, who has passed the last three 
years m various parts of Mexico, and who showed us his whole col- 
lectioTi, had none of these marmots, and Nve suppose their range does not 
extend as far south as the middle portions of that country. 


This species is found on the banks of the Missouri and its tributaries 
It also exists near the Platte river in great abundance, [t was seen by 
J. W. Audubon in limited numbers in Sonora and on the sandy hills -J the Tulare Valley, and in other parts of California. We do not 
know whether it is an inhabitant of Oregon or nr t. 



Missouri Mouse. 

PLATE C._Female8. 

albidis, cauda curta. 

M. capife aniplo, cruribus robustis. auriculis sub 
corpore supra dilute lusca, infra alba. 

Head, broad; legs, stout; 
iif/ovc, white beneath. 


ears, ichhish ; tail, short, light fawn colour 


AIusM.ssouaiE.sis, Aud. and Bach., Quads. North America, vol. 2. plate. 


At first sight we might be tempted to regard this animal, as one of the 
endless varieties of the white-footed mouse. It is. however a verv if 

11, |"'iiirta , e3es, huge ; ears, short broad -it 

.aches, numerous. Ions, heading Ibrwanb an,l u,nv„r,l, ■ lei I,;, T 
.00, on ,he fore reet, „„h .he rndi.en. ola =h„,n'h, t'c. Jh; t e nt " 
euous na,l , na,l,, rather bn^, slightly hen,, bu, no. h„„l,e,l. The hi ,1,10 
are pcnclacylons , the pahns are naked ; ,he „,her portions o, the , nd 
oes,eoveredw,,h short hairs, which do no,, however, conceal the ,1 
rhe ,a,l „ short, round, stout a. base, grudnally d.minishing to a po^, ! 

:z:z'i^z' "'* '"' *"' '^"■■' "■' '- °" ""^ -*- ;• 


Teeth, yellowish ; whi.sker.s. nearly all white a few hl.,.l. u • • 
snersed The fur ,.„ tK i , • , ^ " ^ ""«• a lew black hairs inter- 
persed. The fur on the back ,s plumbeous at the roots to near the points, 



the hairs on the sides are broadly tipped with yellowish-fawn, and 
on the back, are first fawn, and then slightly tipped with black ; on 
the under surface, the hairs are at the roots plumbeous, broadly tipped 
with white. The ears are nearly white, having a slight tinge of buff on 
the outer and inner surlaces, edged with pure white; on the r-ides of the 
checks, and an irregular and indistinct line along the aides, the colours 
are brighter than those on the flanks, and may be described as light yel- 
lowish-brown. The feet, on both surfaces, belly, and under surface of tail, 
white ; from this admixture, this species is on the back, light fawn, with 
an indistinct line on the back, and upper surface of tail, of a shade' dark- 
er colour. 


From point of nose to root of fail, 

Height of ear, posteriorly, 




We close our second volume with this new species of mouse, of which 
we have given three figures. This pretty little animal was discovered for 
us by Mr Demg, during our sojourn at, and in the neigiibourhood of Fort 
Union in 1813. It was in full summer pelage, having been killed on the 
14th of July. At that time being in quest of antelopes and large annuals, 
we did not give it that close attention, which we should have done. A 
glance at our plate, or an examination of our description, will suffice to 
convince any one of its being entirely new. This species is much larger, 
and has a thicker and shorter tail than ?nus Icucopus. 

Expecting to get more of them we did not make any notes of the 
habits of those killed at that time, and which had doubtless been observed 
by the hunters, who procured them. The next day after they were 
brought in, we left the fort on an expedition to the Yellow-Stone river, 
from which we did not return for some time. 

As a short description of our mode of travelling, &c., the first day's 
journal is here given. "July 1.5. Saturday, we were all up pretty early, 
making preparations for our trip to the Yellow-Stone river. After break- 
fast all the party who were going, announced themselves as ready, and 
with a wagon, a cart, and two extra men from the fort, we crossed the 
Missouri, and at 7 o'clock, were fairly under way; Harris, Beli,, Cul- 
BERTsoN, and ourself in the wagon, Suuires, Provcst, and Owen on horse- 
back, while the cart brought a skifi", to be launched on the Yeliow-Stone, 




itU w 

should arn. cut I „ river. We travelled rather stowly ui, 1 
e hftd crossed a point and licude.l tho ponds on the prairie at the loot 
o^ the ialls opposite the f. W . one sharp-tailed grouse, but al- 

though Mr. Harris scare d.hgently, it could not be started. 

>oon after this we t^,,t one of th.- wheels of our wagon fast in a crack 
or crevu-e m (ho <rrou.ul, and wrenched it so badly that we were oblLr,-,! 
to get om an. .Ik. while the men set to work to repair the wl.,".N 
which were ail m a rickety condition ; after the needful (Ixing-up had 
been done, the wagon overtook us, and we proceeded on. Saw some 
iintelopcs on the prairie, and many more on the tops of the hills bound- 
.ngour view to the westward. We stopped to water the horses at « 
•saline," where we observed ' at buflaloes, antelopes, and other animal. 
had been to drink, and had b, lying down on the margin. The water 
was too hot for us to drink. Alter sitting for near!' an hour to allow the 
horses to get cool enough to take a bait, for if was very warm, we a-ain 
proceeded on until we came to the bed of a .ueam, which during spWng 
overflows its banks, but now exhibits only pools of water here and there 
In one ol these pools we soaked our dry wagon wheels, by way of ti-ht- 
emngthe "tires," and here we refreshed ourselves and quenched "our 
thirst. SauiREs, Provost, and Owen, started on before us to reconnoitre, 
and we followed at a pretty good pace, as the prairie was hereabouts firm 
and tolerably smooth. Shot a red-winged black-bird. Heard the notes 
of NaiTALL's short-hilled marsh-wren.-supposed by some of our party 
to be those of a new bird. Saw nothing else ; reached our camping-place 
at about G o'clock. Unloaded the wagon and cart, hobbled the horses 
and turned them out to grass. Two or three of the men went off to a 
point above our camp, in search of something for supper. We took the 
red-winged black-bird, and a fishing-line, and went to the bank of the famed 
\ ellow-Stone river, (near the margin of which our tent was pitched,) and 
m this stream of the far west, running from the bases of the Rocky Moun- 
tains, we threw our line, and exercised our piscatory skill so successfully 
as to catch some cat fish. These fish we found would not bite at p-ces 
of their own kind, with which we tried them ; after expending our bird 
bait, we therefore gave up fishing. One of our men took a bath, while 
two others, having launched the skifl" rowed across the river to seek for 
deer or other game on the opposite shore. Toward dark the huntin-- par- 
ties all returned to camp without success ; and we found the cat-fish the 
principal portion of our supper, having no fresh meat at all. 

Our supper over, all parties shortly disposed themselves to sleep as the\ 
best could. About 10 o'clock, we were all disturbed by a violent thunder 
btorm, accompanied by lorr.mts of rain and vivid flashes of li^lruiii- • 


II. 11 

















M Hill 2.0 






*» '^' 

V ^ 






WEBSTER, N.Y. 14580 

(716) 8/2-4503 




the wind arose and blew a gale; all of us were a-foot in a few moments, 
and amid some confusion, our guns, loaded with ball, and our ammunition, 
were placed under the best covering we could provide, our beds huddled 
together under the tent along with them, and some of us crawied in on 
top of all, while others sought shelter under the shelving bank of the 
river. This storm benefitted us, however, by driving before the gale the 
mosquitoes, to keep off which we had in vain made a large flre, before 
we laid ourselves down for the night." 

As there is little grain of any kind grown in this part of the country, 
the Missouri Mouse no doubt exists en the seeds and roots of wild plants 
entirely, of which it is able to lay up a store for the winter in holes in the 
ground. It may, however, possibly resort to the patches of corn planted 
by the squaws of some of the Indian tribes, at the time that grain is ripe 
We brought with us from this country, when we returned home, some ears 
of a very small corn, (maize,) which ripens early, and bears its fruit near 
the ground. Having planted it on our place, we found that it was ad- 
vanced enough to be eaten at table as a vegetable, several weeks before 
the ordinary kinds of corn known about New- York. We, therefore, dis- 
tributed some of the seed among our farming neighbours, and likewise sent 
some to England to Lord Derby and other friends, but this was unfortu- 
nately lost. We incline to believe that this corn would ripen well in the 
climate of England or Scotland. Unluckily, ours has become mixed by 
having been planted too near common corn, and is now depreciated or re 
duced to nearly the same thing as the latter. 


This species was discovered in the State of Missouri. 


The Missouri Mouse bears some resemblance to the common and very 
widely distributed White-footed Mouse. Its comparatively heavy and 
clumt;y form — its large head and short tail have induced us to regard it as 
a distinct species. In the mice, shrews, and bats, we have no doubt 
several interesting species m ill yet be detected in our country 


American Eison, . • 



Black Wolf, . 

White do., . 

Red Fo)c, 

Antelope, Prong-horned, 
Annuliited Marmot Squirrel, 
Antilocapra, Genus, 

Americana, . 

Arvicola Pinetorum, 
Barking', or Prairie Wolf, 
Bassaris, Genus, 



Bear, Polar, or white, . 

Bison, Genus, 

— — — AmerieanxiB, . , 


Black American Wolf, . 
Black-tailed Hnre, . 

Black-footed Ferret, , 
Brewers Shrew Mole, . 
Brown or Norway Rat, . 
Bridled Weasel,' . 
BulFalo, , . , 

Canada Otter, . . 

Canis, Genus, 

Lupus (var. Rufus), 

Lupus, (var. Ater), 

Lupus (var. Albus), 

• Latraus, 

Cart)lina Shrew, . , 
Cervus Genus, 

. 32 

. 83 
. 220 
. 126 
. 156 
. 263 
. 193 
. 213 
. 193 
. 193 
. 216 
. 150 
. 314 
. 314 
. 314 
. 281 
. 32 
. 32 
. 32 
. 126 

. 95 
. S97 
. 173 
. 22 
. 71 
. 32 

Cervus Macrotis, 



Condylura, Genus, 


Common Mouse, 

American Deer, 


Deer, Wapite, . 

Moose, . . 


Common American, 

Didelphis, Genua, 

Eliiphus, Genus, . 


Elk, American, 
Ermine, . , 

Fells, Genus, . . 
Pardalis, , 


or Virginian, 



Ferret, Black-footod, 
Fox, Swift, 

Kit, . 

Red, . , 

Fo.\ Squirrel, . , 
Franklin's Marmot Squirrel, 

Genus Lutra, . , 

Bison, . , 

Procyon, . , 

Elajihus, , , 

Didelphis, . , 

Canis, . , 

. 206 



. 139 

. 139 

. 305 
. 83 



. A8 
. 83 

. S3 
. 56 

. 13 
. 13 




M h 



Genus Comljluni, 


Ovis, . 

■ Cervus, . . 

• Aiitilocnpra, 

■ Liigomys, 

Mei-iones, . 




Golden-bellied Squirrel, 

Hare, 'lack-tailed, - 

■ Little-chief, . 


Nuttall's, . 

Texan, . . 

Jumping Mouse, . 

Lagomys, Genus, . 


Lccontc's Pine Mouse, . 

Lcpus Artemisia, 

Calloti.s, . 

Nuttallii, . 

Little-chief Hare, . 

Harvest Mouse, . 

Lutra, Genus, 

■ Canaden««, 

Lynx, Rufus (var. Maculatus), 

Marmot Squirrel, Franklin's 



ili'phitis Mesoleuca, 
Meriones, Genus, . 


Mole, Starnose, . , 

— — — Brewers, . 

Mouse, Lccontc's Pino, . 

Jumping, . 

Little Harvest, . 

Common, . 

Orange Coloured, 

■ Missouri, 

Missouri Mouse, . 


. 139 

. nr; 

. 17!) 

. 19S 





. 314 


. 95 
. 241 
. 3U0 
. 95 

. 251 


Moose Deer, 
Mus iMissouriensls, 

Dccumanus, , 

— - Huniilis, . , 

Museulus, . , 

(Calomys) Aui^.ius, 

Mule Deer, . 

Nuitall > Hare, . 


Opossum, Virginian, 

Orange Coloured Mouse, 

Orange-bellied Squirrel, 

Otter, Canada, 

Ovis, Genus, 


Panther, , 
Polar Bear, 
Procyon, Genus, . 

• Lotor, . 

Prairie Wolf, 

Marmot Squirrel, 

Dog, . . 

Prong-horned Antelope, 
Putorius Erminea, 

— Frenata, 



. 293 
. 293 

. 243 
. 213 
. 18 
. 139 
. 173 
. 103 

Rat, Brown or Norway, 

Red-tailed Squirrel, 
Red Texan Wolf, 
Red Fox, . 
Ring-tailed Bassaris, . 
Rocky-Mountain Sheep, 

Say's, S(juirrel, . 

Least Shrew, , 

Scalops Breweri, . 
Sciurus, RubricaudatuB, 


- Caj)istratus, 


Shrew, Carolina, 
Say's Least, 

. 179 
. 32: 

. 22 


. 277 

. 303 


. 300 

. 858 

. 107 
. 67 
. 163 
. 163 

. 305 

. S&l 

. 74 

. 74 

. 150 

. 319 

. 319 

. )93 


. 71 

. 29", 







. 179 
. 32: 

. 22 

. 277 

. 303 


. 300 

. 858 

. 107 
. 67 
. 163 
. 163 

. 305 
. S&l 
. 74 
. 74 
. 150 
. 319 
. 319 
. 193 
. S6 



Slicep, Rocky Moiiiitiir', 

Skunk, Texiiii, 

Small Weasel, . . 

Sorcx, Genus, 

— — — Parvus, 

— — Carolinensia, . 

Spcfiuophilus, FrankKnii, 



Sqiiirrel, Red-tailed, 

— Golden-bellied, 

— Fox, 

— Say's, . . 

Star-iiosc Mole, 
Stoat, . 
Swift Fox, . 

Texan Skunk, 






. loa 
















Ursus, Genna, . 

Virginian Opossum, 


Vulpes, Vclox, 
Fulvus, . 

VVapite Deer, 
Weasel, White, . 

Bridled, . 


White Weasc;, . 

1!, a-, 

American Wolf, 

Wormwood Hare, 
Wolf, Black American, 

Prairie, or Barking, 

White, American, 

Red, Texan, 


. 281 

. 281 

. 107 

. 220 

. 13 

. 203 

. 83 

. 56 

. 71 

. 100 

. 319 

. 56 

. 281 

. 156 

. 27L 

. 126 

. 150 

. 156 

. 240 











I>utra Canadensis, . 
Vulpes Velox, • . 
Mephitis Mesoleuca, • 
Mus Decumanus, 
Sciurus RubricaudatU8. 
Bison Americanus, . 
Scuirus Sub-auratus, . 
Putorius Errainea, 
Putorius Frenat;!, 
Procyon Lotor, 
Elaphus Canadensis, . 
Lepus Nigrieaudatus, . 
Putouius Pusillus, 
Mils iliimilis, 
Didelpliis Vii'giuiaiia, , 

Canada Otter, 
Swi/l Fox, 
Texan Skunk, 
Brown, or Norway, Rat, 
Red-tailed Squirrel, 
Avierican Bison, or Buffalo, 
Orange-bellied Squirrel, 
White Weasel, Sloai, 
Bridled Weasel, 
American Etn, Wajiiti Deer, 
Black-laUed Hare, 
Small Weasel, . 
Little tlirvest Mous-!, 
Virginian Ojiossum, 







i*; ii 


'' ! 


Canis Lupus, (var. Ater.), 

Sciurus Capistratua, . 

Condylura Cristata . 

Sorex Parvus, . 

Canis Latrans, . 

Canis Lupus (var. Albus), 

Ovis Montana, . 

Stalops Brewerii, 

Sorex Carolinensis, . 

Cervus Alces, . 

Antilocapra Americana, 

Cervus Macrotis, 

Spermophilus Annulatus, 

Arvieola Pinetoruni, 

Cervus Virginianus, 

Canis Lupus (var. Rufas), 

Lagoniys Princeps, 

Spermophilus Franklinii, 

Meriones Hudsonicua, 

Felis Pardalis, , 

Vulpes Fulvus, 

Lepus Artcmesia, , 

Sciurus Sayi, 

Mus Musculus, 

Ursus Maritimus, 

Lynx Rufus (var. Maculatus), 

Putorius Nigripes, 

Lepus Nuttallii, 

llus (Calomys) Aureolus, 

Felis Concolor, 

Bassaris Astuta, 

Spermophilus Ludovieianus, 

Mus MLssouriensis, . , 


. Black American Wolf, . 

. Fox Squirrel, 

. Common Star-nose Mole, 

. Say's Least Shrew, . . 

. Prairie Wolf, 

. White American Wolf, 

. Rocky Mountain Sheep, , 

, Brewer's Shrew-Mole, , 

. Carolina Shrew, 

. Moose Deer, 

. Prong-homed Antelope, 

Mule Deer, 

Annulated Marmot- Squirrel, 

Leconte's Pine Mouse, 

Common American Deer (fawn). 

Red Texan Wolf, 

Little-chief Hare, 

Franklin's Marmot- Squirrel, 

Jumping Mouse, 

Ocelot, or Leopard Cat, 

American Red Fox, 

Wormwood Hare, 

Say's Squirrel, , . . 

Common Mouse, . . 

Polar Bfar, 

Texan Lynx, 

Black-footed Ferret, 
Nuttall's Hare, . 

Orange Coloured Mouse, 

Cougar, .... 

Ring-tailed Bassaris, . 
Prairie Dog, Prairie Marmot- Squirrel, 
Missouri Mouse, , . , 


. lat 


, 145 
, 150 


'Jenus Lutra, 



Genus Ovis, 


" Bison, 




" Procyon, 




« Ehipliu.s 




" Didelpliis, 




" C:inis, 




" Condylura, 




" Sorex, 



Bassaris, . . 

. 314 

. lit 


. 145 
. 150 
. 150 
. 163 
, 173 
, 176 
, 179 
. 193