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The Reptilian Gallery in the Zoological Department of the Museum 
is primarily devoted to the exhibition of specimens of recent 
Reptilia and Amphibia, the extinct forms being displayed in a 
gallery in the Geological Department, to which there is a special 
guide-book. Recent Reptiles cannot, however, be understood with- 
out some knowledge of the extinct kinds ; and it has accordingly 
been deemed advisable to exhibit specimens of a few characteristic 
examples of each of the more important extinct groups. In addition 
to these, from considerations of space, the skeleton of the great 
Dinosaur Diplodocus presented by Mr. Andrew Carnegie is exhibited 
in this gallery. 

The specimens are numbered consecutively, commencing with 
the Crocodilia and going round the gallery to the Chameleons. 
After the latter come the Amphibia. The groups are not described 
in quite the same sequence in this Guide ; at the same time every 
specimen is numbered, and the corresponding number can be found 
in the Guide without any difficulty. 

It must be remembered that only a few selected species are 
exhibited in this gallery, and that the bulk of the Museum collection 
of Reptiles and Amphibians is preserved in the spirit-house and 


store-rooms, to which this Guide does not refer. The process-blocks 
are from photographs of actual specimens in the Museum, and were 
prepared under my immediate superintendence. The Guide has 
been written by Mr. R. Lydekker, F.E.S. Some of the woodcuts 
are borrowed from the 'Cambridge Natural History,' others are 
from publications already issued by the Trustees. 



Bbitish. Museum (Natural History), 
London, S.W. 

March 1th, 1906. 




Characteristics of Reptiles 

Classification of Reptiles 

Order Ornithosauria (Pterodactyles) 

,, Dinosauria (Dinosaurs) . 

,, Crocodilia (Crocodiles) . 

Rhynchocephalia (Tuateras) . 

„ Pelycosauria .... 

,, Squamata (Snakes and Lizards) 

„ Ichthyopterygia (Ichthyosaurs) 

„ Chelonia (Tortoises and Tcrtles) 

,, Sauropterygia (Plesiosaurs) . 
(Placodontia) . 

,, Theromorpha. 



Order Anura (Frogs and Toads) 

,, Urodela (Salamanders and Newts) 
,, Apoda (Limbless Amphibians) 
,, Stegocephala (Labyrinthodonts) 








According to popular ideas, all cold-blooded vertebrate (back- 
boned) animals which do not come under the designation of Fishes 
are denominated Reptiles. The naturalist, on the other hand, 
divides these creatures into two main groups or classes, each 
of which is of equivalent rank to the Mammalia (Mammals) or 
Aves (Birds). 

The first class — Reptilia — comprises the true Reptiles, such as 
crocodiles, snakes, lizards, and tortoises, and is characterised by the 
fact that the young (whether hatched from eggs or born alive) 
resemble their parents in most things except size and, perhaps, some 
details of colouring, as soon as they come into the world and breathe 
atmospheric air. Another feature is that the skull is attached movably 
to the first joint of the back-bone, or first vertebra, by means of a 
single knob, or "condyle" (fig. 1, a), which usually consists of three 
separate portions, one in the middle and two at the sides. In the 
presence of this single knob Reptiles resemble Birds and differ from 
Mammals. They also agree with the former and differ from the 
latter in that the lower jaw consists of a number of separate pieces 
and is joined to the skull by means of an extra bone, the quadrate- 
bone (fig. 1, q). 

The second class — Amphibia — includes, on the other hand, such 
creatures as newts, salamanders, frogs, and toads, in the great 



majority of which the young come into the world as aquatic animals 
(" tadpoles "), breathing the air dissolved in water by means of gills, 
but subsequently undergo a marked change (metamorphosis) into 
the adult form, when atmospheric air is breathed by means of 
lungs. It is true that in some cases the gill-bearing tadpole form 
is retained throughout life (the creature breeding in this condition), 
and also that in other instances the animal comes into the world 
in the permanent air-breathing condition. In the latter case 
the larval stages are passed through within the body of the 

Fig. 1. 

Back view of Skull of Crocodile, without the lower jaw. To show the single 
knob, or "condyle" (o), by which the skull is articulated to the first 
joint of the back-bone, or vertebral column ; and the quadrate-bone (q), 
to the lower end of which the lower jaw would be attached. 

female parent or, more rarely, within the shell of an egg which is 
laid (Csecilians). In existing Amphibians the skull is articulated to 
the first vertebra by means of two knobs, or " condyles," as in 

At the present day Eeptiles and Amphibians are sharply distin- 
guished from one another, and while the former show many decided 
relationships to Birds (still more emphasised in some of their extinct 
predecessors), the latter do not exhibit any such affinity. 

When, however, extinct Reptiles and Amphibians are taken into 


consideration, it is found that there are close approximations between 
the two classes, and that the one group is probably descended from 
the other. The descent is, however, not apparently to be traced 
through a single line. On the contrary, while the great majority 
of Reptiles seem to trace their origin to one extinct group 
of Amphibians (the Microsauria), one particular extinct group of 
the former, namely, the Theromorpha, shows evidence of descent 
from a second group of Amphibians (the Labyrinthodonta). From 
the first great branch of Reptilia, which includes all the " orders " 
in the following table except the last, Birds seem to have been 
derived ; so that the whole assemblage may be termed the Bird-like 

The tenth order of Reptiles, on the other hand, which has been 
long since extinct, exhibits remarkable indications of affinity with 
Mammals, this being displayed in the character of the teeth, of the 
skull, and of the limb-bones ; and it is probable that this group 
represents the ancestral stock from which Mammals are derived. 
Indeed, there are certain South African fossils in regard to which it 
is difficult to say whether they should be referred to Reptiles or 

The following table exhibits the chief sub-divisions of the class 
Reptilia, that is to say, the orders and sub-orders under which the 
various families are arranged. Those groups which are extinct are 
indicated by a f ; and it will be noticed that the proportion of these 
extinct groups is very large indeed — much larger than in the case of 
either Mammals or Birds. The explanation of this is that Reptiles 
are a very ancient group, which attained its maximum development 
when Mammals and Birds were in their infancy ; hence the extinc- 
tion of a large number of groups. 


Order. Sub-order. Case. 

I. fORNITHOSAURIA . . . j . 

(Pterodactyles.) / ' " " 

(Dinosaurs.) ] 3 Omit f opoda . . . . ) 

3 I -r-r-r ,-, -n ( 1. Eusuchia 1 

6 | III. Ceocodilia, or Emydo- 2 +A etosauria ..... Q 

(Cr^diles.)' ■ ' ' [ 3- &£«£*+ « ^ j 

B 2 



IV. Rhynchocephalia 


1. fProtorosauria . 

2. Rhynchocephalia Vera 

3. fAcrosauria 


i 1. Ophidia 
VT „ I 2. Lacertilia 

(Snakes and Lizards.) ' 



VIII. Chelonia 

(Tortoises and Turtles.) 

4. fDolichosauria 

5. fPythonomorpha 

1. Athecse . 

2. Cryptodira . 

3. Pleurodira . 

4. fAmphichelydia 

5. Trionychoidia . 


y (Pleriosaurs.) 


A a 



Of uncertain position 

1. Dicynodontia . 

2. Theriodontia . 

3. Cotylosauria . 

4. Pariasauria . . 





In the gallery the larger specimens are arranged either on stands 
or in table-cases, and the rest in the wall-cases. Owing to differences 
in the sizes of the wall-cases, it has not, however, been found possible 
to make the serial arrangement of the various groups correspond 
exactly with the one adopted in this guide. 

The following is a brief survey of the leading characteristics of 
the different orders and sub-orders of reptiles, and also of the more 
important family groups by which existing orders and sub-orders are 

Order L— ORNITHOSAUBIA (extinct). 

(Case 4.) 

Pterodactyies, as the members of this extinct order are called, 
nourished during the Mesozoic, or Secondary, epoch, and are dis- 
tinguished by the modification of the fore-limbs into wings, the 


AL. H» r 

Fig. 2. 

Fig. 3. 

Fig. 4. 

Figs. 2, 3, 4. — Right Wings op a Pterodactyle (2), a Bird (3), and a Bat (4). 

To show difference in structure of Skeleton. 

(From Lankester's " Extinct Animals.") 

[To face page 5. 


membrane of which was attached to the side of the body and supported 
by the elongated outermost digit, or finger (fig. 2). They are further 
characterised by the fixed quadrate-bone and the double temporal 
arches of the bird-like skull. The teeth, when present, are conical 
and implanted in distinct sockets confined to the margins of the jaws. 

Restoration of a Long-tailed Pterodactyle (RhamjpJiorhynchus phyllurus) , from 
the Upper Jurassic Lithographic Stone of Bavaria ; one-seventh nat. size. 

There are only four digits in the fore-limb, but five in the hind-one. 
Many of the bones are hollow. The tail is of variable length ; in 
the long-tailed Rhamphorhynchus (38) it terminated in a racket- 
shaped membranous expansion. In Pterodactylus, Rhamphorhyn- 
chus (36), and Scaphognathus (36 and 37) teeth are present, but they 
are wanting in Pteranodon of the Cretaceous, some of the species of 
which had a wing-spread of twenty feet. In spite of certain resem- 
blances, Pterodactyles have no affinity to Birds, as is shown by the 
difference in the structure of the wing (figs. 2 and 3). 

Order II.— DINOSAURIA (extinct). 
(Case 4 and middle of gallery.) 

The members of this order, which includes the largest of all 
known land animals, are confined (in the main, at least) to the 
Mesozoic, or Secondary, period of geological history, and thus ceased 
to exist many thousands of years before man made his appearance 
on the globe. In most characters Dinosaurs are closely allied to 
Crocodiles, with the typical forms of which they agree in the fixed 
quadrate-bone and the double temporal arches of the skull, the 
restriction of the teeth, which may be implanted in distinct sockets, 


to the margins of the jaws, the two-headed ribs, the absence of a 
perforation in the lower end of the humerus, and the adaptation of 
the limbs for walking. 

They differ in that the ischia, or anterior elements of the lower 
part of the pelvis, unite in the middle line of the abdomen, and by 
the circumstance that when the vertebrae articulate by cup-and-ball 
joints, the cup (except occasionally in the tail) is behind (opistho- 
coelous). No Dinosaurs have the pitted bony plates found in most 

The group is divided into four sub-orders : — 

I. Sauropoda. — Includes gigantic herbivorous, plantigrade Rep- 
tiles, walking on all four limbs, with teeth in the front of 
both jaws, the pubes of the pelvis simple and meeting in the 
middle line of the abdomen, and the trunk-vertebrae with 
lateral cavities. The teeth are spatulate, with smooth edges. 
Some of the species, like Brontosaurus, were about sixty feet 
in length and ten in height. Generally, as in Cardiodon 
(Cetiosaurus) and Diplodocus (41), the skull is small. 
II. Theropoda. — The members of this group differ from the 
Sauropoda by their digitigrade feet, carnivorous habits, 
laterally-compressed and serrated teeth, and the absence of 
excavations in the trunk-vertebrae. Many of them, like 
Ifegalosaurus (39) and the diminutive Compsognathus, 
assumed the erect posture. 

III. Orntthopoda. — The division of the pubis into a pre-pubic and 

a post-pubic branch, neither of winch meets in the middle 
line of the abdomen, forms a distinctive feature of this 
group, in which the front of both jaws is devoid of teeth, 
while the lower jaw is provided with a distinct premandibular 
bone. Teeth complicated, seldom in separate sockets. All 
the forms are herbivorous. In one section (Stegosauria) the 
feet are plantigrade, with more than three toes, the limb- 
bones are solid, and bony plates and spines protect the body. 
Scelidosaums (42), Stegosaurns, and Hylwosaurus are well- 
known genera. In a second section (Iguanodontia) the 
hind-feet are digitigrade, with three functional toes, the limb- 
bones hollow, and the body unarmoured. The group includes 
Iguanodon (43), Gamptosaurus, Trachodon, etc., all bipedal. 

IV. Ceratopsia. — Includes gigantic quadrupedal Reptiles, with a 

bony neck-shield, a premandibular and a prerostral bone, a 


pubis with only a pre-pubic branch, meeting its fellow in the 
middle line, two-rooted teeth implanted in sockets, and 
plantigrade, five-toed limbs. Bony plates are dotted over 
the skin. Triceratops, of the North American Cretaceous, is 
a well-known type. 

Casts of specimens of a few remains of different members of [the 
group are exhibited in Wall-Case No. 4, in which there is also a 
miniature restoration of the species known as Diplodocus (41). Of the 

Side view of Skull of a Sauropod Dinosaur [Diplodocus), from the Upper 
Jurassic strata of Colorado, U.S.A. ; one-sixth nat. size. The cleft at the 
summit of the head is the nostril, and the large round vacuity the eye- 
socket. The diminutive brain-case is behind and partly between the 
eye-sockets. (No. 47-) 

latter animal, the cast of an entire skeleton, the gift of Mr. Andrew 
Carnegie, is mounted in the middle of the gallery (see Frontispiece). 

Diplodocus is a representative of the Sauropod section, which 
includes the largest of all land-Reptiles, and flourished during the 
Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous epochs, that is to say, when the 
Oolites, Wealden, and Greensands Avere being deposited. These 
Reptiles walked on all fours ; but, despite the light construction of 
the neck and trunk-Yertebree, were probably too heavy for much 
activity on land, and dwelt near the sea or lakes, where they lived in 
the shallows and fed on water-plants ; the long neck and the position 
of the nostrils at the summit of the skull enabling them to breathe 
when wading at considerable depths. Brontosaurus and Atlantosaurus 


are other American members of the group, which was represented in 
England by Pelorosaurus, Cetiosaurus, and Hoplosaurus or Ornithopsis. 
Remains of these are shown in the Geological Department. 

(Cases 1-3.) 

The existing Alligators, Crocodiles, and Gharials, collectively 
forming this order, are large, four-footed, long-tailed reptiles, with 
teeth implanted in separate sockets, which are confined to the 
margins of the jaws, and the quadrate-bone firmly fixed to the skull. 
The bones of the skull are sculptured, and the body is covered with 
large, horny shields, underlain on the back, and sometimes on the 
chest, abdomen, and limbs, by pitted bony plates. The inner 
aperture of the nostrils is situated very far back on the palate, thus 
enabling these reptiles to breathe while holding their prey under water. 
There are five toes to the fore-feet, and four to the hind-pair. 

In the skeleton, the bodies of the vertebrae unite by a ball-and- 
socket joint, of which the ball is behind ; and the ribs articulate to 
the vertebrae by two distinct heads. 

Species of true Crocodiles are found living in the New World as 
well as in Africa and Asia ; the Alligators, with the exception of one 
Chinese species, are American only, and the Gharials are Indian. 

In the earlier extinct members of the group, most of which were 
marine, the inner aperture of the nostrils is situated less far back on 
the palate ; and the vertebrae articulate with each other by nearly 
flat or slightly cupped surfaces. A few of the early forms — notably 
the Jurassic Metriorhynchus and Oeosaurus — had no bony plates on 
the back. The early Crocodilia include long-snouted (Pelagosaurus, 2) 
and short-snouted types (Goniopholis, 4), which may perhaps have 
respectively given rise to the modern Gharials and Crocodiles. In 
these Jurassic Crocodiles the position of the posterior nostrils is 
intermediate between that obtaining in modern Crocodiles and the 
Triassic Parasuchia (Phytosaurus, \), in which last they open almost 
immediately below the external nostrils. These very primitive 
Crocodilia show such a decided approximation to the extinct 
Dinosauria as to indicate a close connection between the two 
groups ; they are also related to the Rhynchocephalia. 

The family Crocodilida is taken to include all the existing 
members of the order Crocodilia. The group is characterised by 
the bodies of the neck-vertebrae articulating by cup-and-ball joints, 

Fig. 7. 

View from above op the Skull op the Mugger or Indian Crocodile 

(Crocodilus palustris). 

X Fourth lower tooth. 

(Photographed from a specimen in the Museum.) 

Fig. 8. 

Side View from Above of the Skull op a S. American Alligator 
(Caiman mger). 

(Photographed from a specimen in the Museum.) 

I To face page s. 


of which the ball is behind and the cup in front {procmlous). The 
nostrils are situated at the extremity of the snout, and their posterior 
openings (choance) carried back to the hinder extremity of the skull, the 
palatine and pterygoid bones developing inferior plates, which meet in 
the middle line and thus prolong the nasal passage. The armour con- 
sists of more than one pair of longitudinal rows of plates on the back ; 
on the under surface of the body armour may or may not be present. 

In common with Alligators and Caimans, true Crocodiles are Cases 1-2. 
distinguished by the shortness and breadth of the muzzle, which is 
either rounded-off or triangular, and the large and stout teeth, which 
interlock with one another and are less numerous than in the 
Gharials. The union (symphysis) between the two halves of the 
lower jaw is also short, and does not include the splenial bone ; and 
the nasal bones enter the aperture of the nostrils. In Crocodiles the 
fourth lower tooth is received into a notch in the upper jaw (figs. 7 
and 9), and the fifth upper tooth is the largest in the whole series. 
The number of upper teeth ranges from 16 to 19, and there are 
14 or 15 lower teeth on each side. There is no bony armour on 
the under side of the body. 

Crocodiles have a much wider geographical distribution than 
any other members of the order. Three species, Crocodilus cataphr ac- 
tus (10), C.johnstoni (9), and C. intermedins, have longer and more 
Grharial-like muzzles than the rest. Other species, like the American 
Crocodile (C. americanus, 16), the Timsa, or Common African Croco- 
dile {C. niloticus, 14), and the Indian Estuarine Crocodile (C. poro- 
sus, 19), have somewhat shorter and broader muzzles. In a third 
group, which includes the Muggar, or Indian Marsh-Crocodile 
(C. palustris, 20), the muzzle is still broader and more Alligator- 
like, and the pits in the temples are smaller than in the other 
groups. One species, the West African Osteolamus tetraspis (3), 
is assigned to a separate genus on account of the production of the 
nasal bones to divide the aperture of the nostrils. 

Together with Alligators and Caimans, Crocodiles are the largest 
and most ferocious of living reptiles ; the Indian G. porosus commonly 
attaining a length of from 15 to 20 feet, and occasionally reaching 
even larger dimensions. Most of the species frequent rivers, 
marshes, or pools, but C. porosus inhabits estuaries, and may be 
met with out at sea. Crocodiles are exclusively carnivorous, and 
generally seize their victims (other than human beings) by the nose 
as they are drinking. A large number of people — especially women, 
as they go to the rivers for water — are annually killed in India by 


these Eeptiles. Crocodiles bury their eggs in the sand, where they 
are hatched by the heat of the sun's rays. 

Four large specimens are exhibited on a stand in the middle of 
the gallery, and the others in the wall-cases. 

Case 3. In case No. 3, two specimens are placed side by side in order to 

show a notable difference between the skull of a Crocodile and an 
Alligator (figs. 7 and 8). In the former (14 a) the fourth lower 
tooth is generally received into a notch on the side of the upper jaw, 
while in the latter (28 «) it bites into a pit. Crocodiles have also 
fewer lower teeth than Alligators ; the number in the former varying 
from 14 to 15, and in the latter from 17 to 22. In most Crocodiles 
the skull is narrower than in Alligators, with the pits in the temporal 
region (shown in the specimens in the upper part of the case) larger, 
but, as mentioned above, some species of the former approximate 
very closely to the latter in these respects. 

Case 3. Alligators and Caimans are broad-nosed Crocodilians, distin- 

guished from Crocodiles, as stated above, by the fourth lower tooth 
being generally received into a pit in the upper jaw, and the small 
size or obliteration of the pits in the temples ; the number of teeth 
being from 17 to 20 in the upper, and from 17 to 22 in the lower 
jaw. In the true Alligators the nasal bones divide the aperture of 
the nostrils, the bony plates on the back are separate, and on the 
under surface these are either very thin or wanting. In the Caimans, 
or South American Alligators, on the other hand, the aperture of the 
nostrils is not divided by the nasal bones, the bony plates of the back 
are articulated together, and a full series of similar plates occurs on 
the lower surface of the body. 

Of true Alligators, one {Alligator mississippiensis, 31, fig. 10) is 
North American and the other {A. sinensis, 32) Chinese — a distri- 
bution explained by the occurrence of allied forms in the Tertiary 
deposits of Europe. The Chinese species alone has thin bony plates on 
the under surface. Both kinds inhabit swamps. The female of the 
North American Alligator constructs a large nest, in which the eggs 
are deposited in layers. Some species of Caiman, which may reach 
20 feet in length, make regular migrations, retreating to the flooded 
forests in the wet season, and returning to the rivers during the dry 
months. In some districts they are called Jacares. 

The Caimans (25-27) are peculiar in possessing a shield of 
bony plates in the skin of the under side of the body. On the 
under surface each plate consists of two distinct pieces, united by a 
transverse suture. In the species of which this armour is exhibited, 

Pig. 9. 

;fl ._'*- M| 

Side View op the Head op the Timsa or Nile Crocodile 

(Crocodilus niloticus). 

X Fourth lower tooth. 

(Photographed from a specimen in the Museum.) 

Fig. 10. 


Side View op the Head op the N. American Alligator 

(A lligator mississippiensis) . 

(Photographed from a specimen in the Museum.) 

{To face page 10. 


*?/\l ►-< 


it is imperfectly developed, but in certain others the greater part of 
the tail is invested by complete bony rings — one to each vertebra — 
and the limbs are covered with small scutes of bone (27 #). 

One very fine specimen of the common Caiman, or Jacare-tinga 
{Caiman sclerops, 27), is exhibited in a table-case. 

The Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus, 5), of the rivers of northern Case l 
India and Aracan, and the False or Malay Gharial (Tomistoma 
schlegeli, 6), of Malaysia, form a group of Crocodilians characterised 
by the length and narrowness of the muzzle, and the number and 
slenderness of the teeth. By most naturalists the group is included 
in the same family as the Crocodiles and Alligators (with which it 
agrees in the position of the inner aperture of the nostrils) ; but by 
others (who regard them as the direct descendants of the long- 
snouted Crocodilians of the Secondary period), Gharials are classed 
in a family by themselves. In addition to the length of the muzzle, 
Gharials are distinguished from Crocodiles and Alligators by the 
wide separation of the nasal bones from the aperture of the nostrils, 
and by the inclusion of the splenial bone in the long union (sym- 
physis) between the two halves of the lower jaw. The true Gharial 
has from 27 to 29 pairs of lower teeth, none of the latter being 
received into pits in the upper jaw. The nasal bones are widely 
separated from the preuiaxillse. In the False Gharial, on the other 
hand, the number of upper teeth is 20 or 21, and of lower teeth, 
18 or 19 ; the tips of those on the sides of the lower jaw being 
received into pits in the upper jaw. The nasal bones are in contact 
with the premaxillse. Gharials feed chiefly on fish, but large indi- 
viduals of the Indian species will occasionally kill and devour human 
beings. In England the Gharial is frequently miscalled Gavial. 

The extinct Phytosaurus (or Belodon, 1), of the Triassic formation Case l. 
of Europe, North America, and probably India, typifies a group of 
Crocodilians (the Parasuchia), which apparently indicates a primitive 
side-branch of this order. They are characterised by the bodies of 
the vertebrae having slightly cupped or nearly flat terminal articular 
surfaces ; by the nostrils being situated far back on the skull, near 
the sockets of the eyes, and by the relatively forward position of the 
posterior openings of the nostrils, which are situated in front of 
the palatine bones. The armour consists of two rows of broad 
plates on the back, and several lateral rows of smaller ones. In the 
nearly allied Steganolepis, of the Trias of Elgin, there is armour on 
both the upper and lower surfaces of the body. Parasuchus, from 
the Trias of India, is a third genus. 



(Case 5.) 

The New Zealand Tuatera (47) is the sole surviver of a Triassic 
and Permian group, which is the most generalised of all Reptiles. In 
the skull the quadrate-bone is fixed ; there are two temporal arches, 
and teeth are present on the palate and the summits of the jaws, to 
which they are welded. The vertebras have concave terminal faces, 
and intercentra are developed in the trunk, and chevron -bones in 
the tail. Each foot is five-toed ; the lower end of the humerus is 
perforated on the inner side, and the abdomen is protected by a 
aeries of small bones. 

The order is divided into : — 

I. Rhynchocephalia Veea, in which the abdominal bones are 
closely packed, with three elements in each transverse series, 
and there are two sacral vertebras, the intercentra being 
sometimes suppressed. 

II. Protorosauria, in which each series of abdominal bones 
consists of a number of elements, and the intercentra are 
fully developed. This group passes into the Microsauria, 
among the Stegocephalan Amphibia, in which the body is 
armoured, the vertebras are completely ossified, and the ribs 
retain two heads. 

Case 5. The Tuatera itself (Sphenodon punctatus, 47, fig- 11) is a 

burrowing lizard-like reptile, now confined to a few small islands 
off the New Zealand coast, having been exterminated from the 
mainland by pigs. These Reptiles share their burrows with birds — 
shear-waters, or petrels. They feed entirely upon small living 
animals, and deposit their eggs in a chamber, forming one side 
of the extremity of the burrow, the shear-water occupying the 
opposite side. 

Casts of skulls of the extinct Rhymhosaurus (50) from the Trias 
of Shropshire, and of Hyperodapedon (49) from the same forma- 
tion in both England and India, are exhibited in the case. Both 
were near allies of the Tuatera, but in Hyperodapedon the teeth 
formed a kind of pavement on the palate. Casts of the skeletons 
of Sapheosaurus (46), from the Oolite of Bavaria, an allied type, 
and of Protorosaurus lincTci (48) are shown. 

J 2 

* a 


Order V.— PELYCOSAUKIA {extinct). 
(Case 5.) 

Although at one time classed with the Theromorpha, the extinct 
Permian Pelycosauria are now regarded as a distinct group, more 
nearly allied to the Rhynchocephala, which they resemble in 
possessing two temporal arches to the skull. The dentition gener- 
ally approximates to that of the Theriodont Theromorphs. Well- 
known genera are CUpsydrops, Dimetrodon, Emlolophorus, and 
Naosaurus • the three latter being characterised by the tall upright 
spines of the trunk-vertebras, which in some cases were equal in 
length to the entire skeleton, and during life probably supported a 
fin-like expansion of skin, as shown in the coloured sketch (46 «) 
exhibited in the case. 


Snakes and Lizards. 
(Cases 11-15 and 18-20.) 

Snakes and Lizards form at the present day the most numerous 
representatives of the reptilian class. They are characterised by the 
circumstance that the quadrate-bone (which forms the articulation 
of the lower jaw) is more or less movably attached to the skull, as 
well as by the presence of only one lateral bar (temporal arch) in the 
latter, and by the teeth being welded to the jaws. The body is 
usually covered with horny scales ; and the aperture of the vent 
is transverse. 

The existing members of the group are divided into three sub- 
orders : — 

I. Ophidia, or Snakes. Characterised by the fibrous union of Cases 
the right and left halves of the lower jaw, or mandible, the 11 ~ 15 - 
absence of functional limbs, of which (at most) only minute 
vestiges remain, and the elongated form of the body. The 
single eye-lid cannot be moved, and is transparent. 
II. Lacertilia, or Lizards. In this group the right and left Cases 
halves of the lower jaw are connected by a bony union. The 18 - 20 - 
great majority possess functional limbs, movable eyelids, and 
horny scales ; but a considerable number have a more or 
less completely snake-like form, with the reduction or loss 
of one or both pairs of limbs ; and in some cases the eye-lids 



Case 20. 

Shown in 

are transparent and fixed as in Snakes, while the scales may 
be rudimentary or wanting. In some of the limbless burrow- 
ing forms the quadrate-bone has become more or less fixed. 
III. Rhiptoglossa, or Chameleons. These differ from Lizards 
in several particulars ; notably the separation of the toes 
into two groups of three and two respectively, so that the 
feet form most efficient grasping organs, and the long 
extensile, club-shaped tongue. The skeleton lacks clavicles 
and interclavicle ; and there are several osteological peculi- 
arities in the skull, which is casque-shaped and often studded 
with tubercles. 

In addition to the above, there are the two following extinct 
sub-orders, the members of which were marine. 

IV. Dolichosaubja. Includes several snake-like forms typified 
by Dolichosaurus of the English Chalk, which was over a 
yard in length, with the two halves of the lower jaw united 
by a bony suture, two sacral vertebrae, a long neck, and the 
limbs partially modified into paddles. 

V. Pythonomorpha. Typified by the gigantic Mosasaurus of 
the Upper Cretaceous, and characterised by the ligamentous 
union of the right and left halves of the lower jaw, the 
presence of only one sacral vertebra (with which the pelvis 
has no connection), and the completely paddle-like form of 
the limbs. 

The following are the sub-divisions of the 


a. Sub-order Ophidia. 
Family Boidce,. 

„ Typhlopidw. 
„ Glauconiidw. 
„ Itysiidm. 
,, Uropeltid(B. 
„ Xenopeltidw. 
„ Colubridce,. 
„ Amity ceplialidce. 
„ ViperidcR. 


1). Sub-order Lacertilia. 
Family Geckonidm. 









* In consequence of the Cases not being all of a uniform depth, it has been 
found impossible to adhere strictly to this arrangement of the families. 

Fig. 12. 

of the 


of the 

A. — Part of the flattened skin of an African Python (Python sebce). 
Showing Claws representing Hind-Limbs, together with their supporting bones. 

B. — Complete Bones of the Hinder Limb-Girdle of another 

Rudimentary Limbs of PY r 

[To face page 15. 



Order SQUAMATA— continued. 

b. Sub-order Lacertilia 
Family Anniellidce. 
„ Helodermatidw. 
„ Varanidce. 
„ Xantusiidce. 
„ TeiidcB. 
„ Amphisbcenidce, 
„ Lacertidw. 
„ Gerrhosauridce. 
„ Scincidm. 


b. Sub-order Lacertilia (con- 

Family Anelytropidm. 
„ DibamidcR. 

c. Sub-order Rhiptoglossa. 

Family Chamcdeontida. 

d. Sub-order Pythono- 

Family Dolichosauridm. 

Sub-order I. — Ophidia — Snakes. 
(Cases 11-15.) 

As the distinctive characteristics of this group have been already Case 14. 
given under the heading of the order Squamata, we may at once 
pass to a brief survey of the more important families. 

The first family is that of the Boidce,, or Boas and Pythons, 
among which are included the largest of living Snakes. The skeleton 
retains vestiges of the pelvis and hind-limbs, and the latter are repre- 
sented externally by small claw-like spurs near the vent (fig. 12). 
On the upper surface the scales are usually small and smooth, but 
those on the lower aspect form two broad series in advance of the 
tail, and either a double or single row on the tail itself. In the 

Fig. 13. 

Skull of a Python ; J nat. size. (No. 291 ) 
m, maxillary ; pm, premaxillary ; q, quadrate-bone. 


skull the quadrate-bone is supported by the horizontally extended 
squamosal, which rests loosely on the side of the occipital region. 
Teeth are carried in the lower jaw, and on the pterygoid, palatine, 
and maxillary bones of the skull ; while in some of the Pythons 
{Pythoninm), as distinct from the Boas (BoincB), they are also borne 
on the premaxillae. In the Boas there is a pair of supra-orbital 
bones, which are wanting in the Pythons, and the scales on the 
under side of the tail generally form a single (instead of a double) 
row. None of the members of this family are poisonous. The 
larger kinds inhabit forests, where they climb trees by the aid of the 
short and partially prehensile tail. They feed by choice on warm- 
blooded animals, the bodies of which they crush in their coils before 
swallowing them. Although a large Python could crush an animal 
as large as a red deer, it is quite evident that it could not swallow 
the carcase. The bodies of small deer are reduced by crushing 
to the condition of a sausage before being swallowed. Most 
Pythons lay masses of eggs, which the female protects by coiling 
herself upon them. 

Two magnificent specimens of the Malay Python {Python 
reticulatus, 291) are exhibited, one measuring 24 feet 11 inches 
in length. Among the smaller species, mention may be made of the 
Australian Carpet-Snake, or Diamond-snake (P. spilotes, 288, fig. 14). 

Fig. 14. 

Australian Carpet-Snake (Python spilotes). (No. 288-) 

The Boa constrictor (300) is an example of a genus common to 
Tropical America and Madagascar. Specimens of part of the skin 


of a Python (287) and a Boa Constrictor (300) are exhibited to display 
the claw-like vestiges of the hind limbs and the rudimentary support- 
ing bones (fig. 12). Eggs of Python sebm (287) are also exhibited. 

The huge Anaconda (Eunectes murinus, 28 1 ) differs from the mem- Table- 
bers of the genus Boa chiefly by the circumstances that the innermost case - 
of the three nasal shields of the head is in contact with its fellow, and 
likewise by the absence of small scales between the labial shields and 
the eye. Moreover, the muzzle is covered with large shields instead 
of small scales. During life the pupil of the eye is vertical. 
Anacondas are both arboreal and aquatic, and thus admirably suited 
to a life in the flooded forests of tropical America. Their food 
consists chiefly of mammals and birds, which are captured (mainly 
at night) both on land and in the water. Specimens are stated to 
attain a length of over 30 feet ; but the one exhibited is only about 
18| feet. These Snakes produce their young alive. 

We next come to the Burrowing Snakes, constituting the families Case 14. 
Typhlopidw, Glauconiidm, Uropeltidm, and Ilysiidm, which are small 
Snakes of more or less completely burrowing habits, in all but the 
third of which traces of the pelvis remain. In the Typhlopidcv (303, 
304) the eyes are vestigial, there are no teeth in the lower jaw, and 
the body is uniformly covered with small scales. They are entirely 
burrowing and insectivorous ; and may be regarded as survivors of a 
generalised group connecting Snakes with Lizards. Most of the 
species belong to Typhlops (303, 304)- The Glauconiidce differ 
chiefly by having teeth only in the lower jaw ; the pelvis and hind- 
limbs are less aborted than in any other Snakes. In the Shield- 
tails, or UropeltidcB (297-299), which take their name from the 
large shield terminating the tail, the eyes are very small, the head is 
not distinct, and the scales on the lower surface of the body are 
but little enlarged. The Ilysiidw (296) differ by the eyes being 
generally free, although sometimes covered with scales. There are 
vestiges of the pelvis and hind-limbs, the latter visible externally 
as spur-like claws by the vent. Teeth (as in the Uropeltidce) are 
present in both jaws, but the short tail does not terminate in a 
shield. Of the few species, Cylhidrophis rufus (296), is exhibited, 
while one of the best known is the Coral-Snake {Ilysia scytalis) of 
tropical South America. All the members of this family feed on 
worms, insects, and small Typldopukc, and produce living young. 
The more completely burrowing species of this group are not unlike 
large worms in appearance and habits, for which, indeed, they are 
not infrequently mistaken. 




Cases 11, 
12, and 15. 

With the family Colubridce we reach the typical Snakes, which 
comprise some nine-tenths of the Ophidia, and may be roughly 
defined as normal Snakes which are neither Pythons (Boidce) nor 
Vipers (Viperidce). In other words, they are Snakes with well- 
developed eyes, without vestige of hind-limbs, and with normal 
upper jaws, usually carrying numerous teeth. The following are 
some of the chief characteristics of the family : A median longi- 
tudinal groove divides the shields on the chin ; the squamosal bone 
of the skull is horizontally elongated and movable ; and the pterygoid 
Fig. 15. .^ Fig. 16. 

Heads of the Smooth Snake (Coronella mistriaca), 
A (No. 261)> an d the Common Snake (Tropi- 
donotus natrix), B (No. 240)- 

Heads of the three British Snakes. 

Head of the Viper 

(Viper a berus). 

(No. 318) 

bone reaches the quadrate. The family is divided into three series 
and eight sub-families, as follows : — 

A. Aglypha. The teeth solid and ungrooved. 

Sub-family 1. Acrochordince. 

„ 2. Colubrincc. Common Snake, Eat-Snake, etc. 

„ 3. Dasypeltinw. African Egg-eating Snake. 

B. Opisthoglypha. One or more of the hinder teeth in the 

upper jaw grooved. 
Sub-family i. Dipsadomorphinm. Indian Tree-Snakes. 
„ 5. Elachistodontince, Indian Egg-eating Snake. 

„ 6. Homalopsina. Oriental Water-Snakes. 

C. Peoteeoglypha . The front upper teeth grooved or perforated. 

Sub-family 7. Elapinca. Cobras and Kraits. 
„ 8. Hydrophiinm. Sea-Snakes. 



The majority of the members of series A. are harmless, but the 
saliva of the Indian Bat-Snake affects small mammals : most' of 
series B. are venomous, but not dangerously so ; but all the species 


Hg. 17. 

prf f ff f t 

Skull of the Common Snake (Tropidonotus natrix). (No. 240) 
From the left side (A), above (B), and below (C). 

Mi. Angular. 

/. Frontal. 

pro. Prootic. 

ar. Articular. 

m. Maxillary. 

pg. Pterygoid. 

bo. Basioccipital. 

n. Nasal. 

ptf. Postfroutal. 

bs. Basisphenoid. 

p. Parietal. 

q. Quadrate. 

ca. Columella auris. 

pi. Palatine. 

•so. Supraoccipital. 

d. Dentary. 

put. Piiemaxillary. 

ste. Supratemporal. 

eo. Exocoipital. 

prf. Prefrontal. 

v. Vomer. 

pg. Ectopterygoid. 

included in C. are deadly. Among the more noticeable specimens 
belonging to the first group, reference may be made to the common 
British Snake {'Tropidonotus natrix, 240) and a continental variety 




(241) of this species distinguished by the absence of black patches 
at the back of the head. The other harmless British species is the 
Smooth Snake (Coronella amtriaca, 261), found in England only 
in the south, and there but seldom. Both these Snakes have large, 
shield-like scales on the top of the head, and thereby differ from the 
Viper, as shown in the accompanying cuts. Other well-known 
Snakes of the group are the North American Water-Mocassin 
(Tropidonotus fasciatus, 242), the Indian Kat-Snake (Zamenis 
mucosus) and the American Black Snake (Z. constrictor, 250), and, 
belonging to another genus, the European Four-lined Snake 
{Coluber quatuor-lineatus, 253), the North American Bull-Snake (C. 
melanoleucus), and the South American Bushmaster (C. corais, 255)- 
The Australian Dendrophis punctulatus (257) is a good example of 
the Tree-Snakes, while the Small-scaled Snake (Coronella micropholis, 
262), with its alternate bands of black and scarlet, displays a type of 
colouring very uncommon among Serpents. 

An extremely interesting Snake in this family is the African 

Fig. 18. 

African Egg-eating Snake (Dasypeltis scabra) ; J nat. size. (No. 272-) 

Egg-eating Snake (Dasypeltis scabra, 272, fig- 18), which typifies a 
sub-family (Dasypeltince) by itself. Its greatest peculiarity is that the 



the Cobra group 
Fig. 19. 

lower spines of the neck-vertebrae pierce the gullet, on the upper 
surface of which they form tooth-like knobs adapted for crushing 
the eggs on which this Snake feeds. An individual of a foot in 
length is capable of swallowing a pigeon's egg. 

Sea-Snakes (Hydrophiince, 308-313) and 
{Elapince) form the assemblage of venomous 
Colubridce known as Proteroglypha (see p. 18), 
and characterised by the grooving of the front 
teeth in the maxillary bone, while those behind 
are solid. In this respect they differ from the 
Opisthoglypha, in which the reverse condition 
obtains. Sea-Snakes (fig. 19), of which there are 
several genera, have the tail, and sometimes the 
body, compressed, for the purpose of swimming. 
The scales are small, those on the lower surface 
being often no larger than the rest ; and the 
pupils of the small eyes are round. These 
Snakes inhabit tropical seas from the Persian 
Gulf to Central America, but one species {Distira 
semperi) dwells in a fresh-water lake in the 
Philippines. They are often seen far out at sea, 
and die if kept long on land. All are viviparous, 
and feed on fishes, which are killed with their 
poison. Indian fishermen are occasionally bitten 
by these Snakes, the bite sometimes proving 
fatal. The largest species is the orange and 
black Hydrus major (308), of which an example is 
shown. Most of these snakes are coloured very 
like mackerel in order to render them invisible 
in the sea. 

The Cobras and Kraits of the Old World, 
together with the species of the American genus 
Elaps, represent the Elapince, or second sub- A Se ^Snake (Hydro- 
family of the group Proteroglypha, which is phisplaturus)hom 
distinguished from the ffydrophiince by the the Indian Ocean, 
cylindrical tail. There are numerous genera of ( No - 312) 
Elapince ; and the sub-family includes the majority of Australian 
Snakes and all the venomous ones. The various species of Cobras 
(an abbreviation of cobra di capello — "the snake with the hood") 
are characterised by the power of inflating the neck into a 
hood-like expansion by an outward and forward movement of the 




ribs. These Snakes are exceeding deadly. Well-known species are 
the Indian Cobra {Naia tripudians, 276), the African Cobra, or 
"Asp" {N. haie, 277), and. the Giant or King Cobra {N. bungarus, 
274). The Ringhals (" banded neck "), Sepedon Jmmachates, is 
another South African hooded Snake. The Kraits differ by the lack 
of the hood ; the true Krait {Bungarus mruleus) causes more 
deaths in India than any other Snake, but the Banded Krait {B. 
fasciatus, 273), although larger, reaching five feet in length, does 
less mischief. The Death-Adder {Acanthophis antarcticus), easily 
Fig. 20. 

The Indian Cobra (Naia tripudians) ; J nat. size. (No. 276-) 

recognised by the spines to its tail, is one of the most deadly of 
Australian Snakes. The South American Maps corallinus is con- 
spicuous for its alternating bands of black and scarlet, separated by 
narrow rings of yellow. 

In this group are exhibited the ordinary and the black phases of 
the Indian Cobra {Naia tripudians, 276, fig. 20), the great Indian 
King Cobra, or Hamadryad {N. bungarus, 274), and the African 
Ringed Cobra (A 7 ", haie annulifera, 277)- Of the still more 
venomous and deadly Indian Kraits, the yellow and black banded 
species {Bungarus fasciatus, 273) is shown. 



It is a common notion that Vipers, Rattle- Snakes, and their like 
(family Viper idee) are the only poisonous Snakes. This is a mistake, 
the Cobra, which is one of the most deadly Snakes, not being a 
member of the Viper family. It is, however, a fact that all the 
representatives of that group are deadly. The Vipers and their 
kindred may be distinguished by the following features. In the 
fore part of the mouth is a pair of poison-fangs, supported by the 
short and otherwise toothless maxillary bones, which are capable of 
being vertically erected ; the scales on the under surface of the body 

Fig. 21. 

The Puff-Adder (Bitis arietans) ; \ nat. size. (No. 315) 

are transversely elongated ; and the eyes are weU developed. The 
poison-fangs are tubular, having a broad hole at the front of the 
base in connection with the poison-gland. Successional teeth are 
developed behind the fangs in use, and take the place of the latter 
when they are broken off or worn out. All the species are viviparous 
as well as poisonous. The family is divided into two groups — True 
Vipers and Pit-Vipers. 

The True Vipers {Viper idee) are confined to the Old World and 
have no pit between the eye and the nose. Among familiar forms 
may be mentioned the Common Viper, or Adder (Vipera berus, 318, 


fig. 16), the Indian Russell's Viper (V. russelli, 320), and the African 
Puff -Adder (Bitis arietans, 315), Gaboon Puff -Adder or Viper 
(B. gabonkas, 317), and Horned Puff -Adder (B. nasicornis, 316). 
All these African Vipers are brilliantly coloured, but the Horned 
Viper (Cerastes cornutus) of North Africa is coloured to correspond 
with the desert-sand. 

The Pit-Vipers (Crotalinm) take their name from the presence of 
a pit, which probably subserves some sense-function, between the eye 
and nose. The typical American forms (Crotalus) are called Rattle- 
snakes from the presence of a number of loose horny rings at the 
end of the tail. Other kinds are the Water- Viper (Ancistrodon 
piscivorus, 330) and the Copper-head (A. contortrix, 329) of North 
America, the South American and West Indian Fer-de-lance (Lachesis 

Fig. 22. 

Skull of Homed Puff-Adder (Bitis nasicornis) , a venomous Serpent. (No. 3I6-) 

m, maxillary, with poison-fang ; a bristle is inserted in the openings of the 
channel at the base and point of the tooth ; d, undeveloped poison-fangs ; 
pm, premaxillary ; q, quadrate bone. 

From a specimen in the Museum. 

lanceolatus, 326 a), the Indian Green Viper (L. gramineus), the 
green Wagler's Viper (Lachesis wagleri, 327) of Malaysia, which 
lives in trees, and the great black and orange Curucucu (L. mutus, 
328) of Surinam. 

The American Rattle-Snakes (Crotalus and Sistrurus), as already 
mentioned, have at the end of the tail a rattle composed of a 
number of horny rings or bell-like structures which fit into one 
another. The oldest, or terminal, bell is really the horny sheath of 
the tail-tip ; and with each casting of the skin the youngest bell 
becomes loose, but is held in place by the new covering. An ever- 
increasing number of loosely-attached bells is thus produced ; but 


occasionally most of the bells (perhaps when worn out) drop off, and 
a new set is developed. Rattles with a dozen or more bells are very 
rare, especially at the present clay. No indication of a Snake's age 
can be drawn from the number of bells in the rattle. Most Rattle- 
Snakes have numerous small scales on the head and are included in 
Crotalus, but in one species, constituting the genus Sistrurus, there 
are nine large shields on the top of the head. 

Specimens of the ordinary North American Rattle-Snake 
(Crotalus horridus, 325) and of a much larger South American 
species (G. conflumtm, 323) are exhibited. 

Sub-order II. — Lacertilia. — Lizards. 
(Cases 18-20.) 

The first representatives of the sub-order Lacertilia (of which Case 18. 
the characteristics will be found on page 13) are the Geckos, con- 
stituting the families GecJconidce, Eublepharidce, and Uroplatidce. 
These reptiles take their name from the cry, " Geck-ko," of the 
common Turkish species. The members of the typical family are 
four-footed lizards, without movable eyelids, and with a broad fleshy 

Pig. 23. Fig. 24. 

Head of Indian Gecko (Gecko verticil- Hind-leg of Indian Gecko, from 
latus), to show form of eye. the lower surface, to show the 

adhesive pads formed by parallel 
transverse plates. 

tongue, slightly notched at the tip, and capable of being protruded 
from the lips. The dentition is of the pleurodont type, that is to 
say, the teeth are attached to the inner side of the outer parapet of 



the margin of the jaws. In the skeleton the bodies of the vertebras 
are cupped at both ends (amphiccelous) ; the clavicles (collar-bones) 
are dilated and perforated near their junction with the breast-bone ; 
and the parietal bones of the skull are separate. In the second 
family the vertebrae articulate by ball-and-socket joints, the eyes 
have movable eyelids, aud the parietals are united. The members 
of the third family show no expansion of the clavicles. 

Fig. 25. 

A, Turkish Gecko (Hemidactylm turcicus), and B, Common Gecko (Tarentola 
matiritanica) . 

The tail varies, being in some cases of ordinary form, and in 
others trowel-shaped. Many species have the toes expanded and 
furnished with adhesive structures, by means of which they are able 
to climb window-panes and adhere to ceilings (fig. 24). The eggs, 
which are nearly spherical and usually two in number, have hard 
shells. Geckos feed on animal matter, chiefly insects, and are quite 
harmless, and for the most part nocturnal. In a limited degree they 
have the power of changing colour according to the nature of their 

Fig. 26. 


Malagasy Bark-Geckos. 

A.— The Lichen Bark-Gecko (Uroplates fimbriatvs liclwni). 

B. — The Common Bark-Gecko (Uroplates fimbriatus). 

(From specimens in the Museum.) 

\To face page 26. 

hi \u£ 


One of the most remarkable instances of protective resemblance 
in this group is afforded by the Lichen Bark-Gecko {Uroplates 
finibriatus licheni, 365, fig'- 26 a), which clings to the bark of lichen- 
Fig. 27. 

A Flying Lizard, or " Flying Dragon " (Draco'.tceniopterus). (Compare No. 366-) 

clad trees. The close resemblance presented by the Lizard to the 
bark is well exhibited by the specimen in the case. Other species 
shown include the Common Gecko (Tarentola maurilanka, 355> 
fig. 25 b), the Fringed Gecko (Ptychozoon homocephalum, 359) of the 



Malay countries, and the curious Short-tailed Gecko {Nephurus 
Icevis, 357) of Australia. 

A small number of snake-like Lizards constitute the family 
Pggopodidce, of which Pygopus lepidopus (386) and Lialis burtoni 
(385) are the best-known. Examples of each are shown in the case. 
These Scale-footed Lizards, as they may be called, are quite destitute 
of fore-limbs, and the hind-limbs are reduced to a pair of scale-like 
The teeth are of the pleurodont type, the eyes are devoid of 

Fig. 28. 

Spine-tailed Lizards (Uromastix acanthurus) ; £nat. size. (Compare No. 377-) 

movable eyelids and have the pupil vertical, and the tongue is 
cleft and extensile. The long tail is very brittle. 
18. The family group Agamidm, typified by the Stellion Lizard 

(Agama stellio, 370) of southern Europe, comprises a large assemblage 
of Lizards differing from nearly all others in that their dentition is 
of the acrodont type, that is to say, the teeth are attached to the 
summits of the jaws (fig. 29 a). Other features are the broad and 
short tongue, and the absence of bony plates or nodules in the skin ; 
but spines, especially on the head and tail, are often present. There 



are about 200 species, arranged in some 30 genera, all confined to 
the Old World. The majority have depressed bodies and are terres- 
trial ; but some, in which the body is compressed, are arboreal. 

Right half of the Lower Jaw of a Stellion Lizard (a), to exhibit the acrodont 
dentition, and of an Iguana (b), to show the pleurodont type of dentition. 

Most of the species are insectivorous, but certain kinds of Agama 
have a mixed diet, and Uromastix (377, fig. 28) and some of its 
allies feed entirely on fruits and herbs. In the Flying-Dragons 

Australian Frilled Lizard (Chlamydosatirus Jcingi), with the frill expanded in 
the " terrifying " attitude. (No. 379-) 

(Draco, 366, fig. 27) the sides of the depressed body carry wing-like 
membranes supported by expansions of the ribs, by means of which 
these reptiles pass from bough to bough, although they are incapable 



of true flight, like that of a bird. The Frilled Australian Lizard, 
Ghlamydosaurus Tcingi (379)? which can run on its hind-legs in a 
semi-upright posture, has an expansible frill round the neck (fig. 30). 

Fig. 31. 

Australian Moloch Lizard {Moloch horridus). (No. 372-) 

In the Indian and African Uromastix (377, fig- 28) the tail is spiny, 
and in the Australian Moloch (372, fig. 31) the whole head and body 
are covered with spines of different sizes, the body being remarkably 
depressed and expanded. 

The Iguanas, family Iguanidce (381-403), are the New World 
representatives of the Agamidcc, from which they differ by the pleuro- 
dont dentition, that is to say, by the teeth being attached to the inner 
side of the external parapet of the jaws (fig. 29 b). Although large 
Lizards from other parts of the world are often miscalled Iguanas, 
the family is chiefly American, with representatives in Madagascar 
and Fiji. There are some 300 species, arranged in about 50 genera, 

Fig. 32. 

Tuberculated Iguana (Iguana tuberculata) . (No. 381 •) 

which display considerable variation in form and habits. Some are 
arboreal, others terrestrial or burrowing, and others semi-aquatic, 
one of the latter resorting to the sea. Many of the species are 


herbivorous, but others subsist on insects. Of the true Iguanas, such 
as Iguana tuberculoma (381, fig*- 32), the flesh is often eaten; the 
species grows to between 5 and 6 feet. Polychrus (402) has the 
chamaeleon-like power of changing its colour. Many species, notably 
the partially aquatic Basaliscus (387), have spines or fin-like ex- 
pansions running down the middle line of the back ; and in the 
so-called Californian Toad {Phrynosoma cornutum, 396, fig. 33) and 
its relatives the whole body is spiny. The last-named Lizards have 
the peculiar power of squirting jets of a red fluid supposed to be 
blood from their eyes. In their depressed form and spine-clad skin, 
these Lizards present a curious parallelism to the Moloch Lizard in 
the Agamidcc. It will be noticed that in the more typical Iguanas, 
Fig. 33. 

Spiny Iguana, or Californian Toad (Phrynosoma cornutum). (No. 396) 

which are arboreal in their habits, the body and tail are much com- 
pressed, and the prevailing colour is green, to harmonise with the 
foliage among which these reptiles dwell. The Sea-Iguana (Anibly- 
rhynchus cristatus, 389), of the Galapagos Islands, spends much of its 
time in the sea, and feeds on sea-weecl. It is represented on land by 
the nearly allied Conolophus subcristatus (403)- Examples of other 
genera, such as the Fijian Brachylophus (398) and the short-tailed 
Hoplocercus (401) of Brazil, are also shown. 

The two families Zonuridm (426-428) and Xenosauridai serve to Case 20. 
connect the Iguanidm with the Anguidai. In both the dentition is 
pleurodont, but the teeth are solid only in the Xenosauridai. In 
that family the anterior part of the tongue is retractile (as in the 
Anguidai), and bony nodules are developed in the skin of the body. 
On the other hand, the Zonuridce have short non-retractile tongues 
like those of the Iguanidce, but bony nodules are developed at least 
in the skin of the head, where they roof over the temporal region. 
The second family is represented only by a single species from South 


Mexico ; but the first has about 12 species, grouped in 4 genera, and 
ranging over South and Tropical Africa. In the typical genus 
Zonurus (426-427), the whole of the body and tail is encased in 
bony plates, the horny coverings of which form sharp spines, especi- 
ally on the tail. These Lizards inhabit desert districts. Specimens 
of several species are exhibited in the case. 
Case 20. The group of Lizards (family Anguidce) typified by the English 

" Slow- Worm " has a pleurodont dentition, with the teeth solid. 
The tongue consists of two portions, of which the front half is 
notched and capable of being withdrawn into the basal half. Bony 
plates are developed in the skin of the body and head, and roof over 
the temporal region of the skull. There is a marked tendency 

Fig. 34. 

The Slow- Worm (Angais fragilis) ; § nat. size. (No. 429-) 

throughout the family to a reduction of the limbs, culminating in 
their complete loss in the Slow- Worm. Traces of the shoulder and 
pelvic girdles always persist. The long, brittle tail is readily 
replaced. All the species (40 or so in number, and arranged in 
seven genera) are terrestrial and feed on animal substances ; and 
some at least, like the Slow-Worm, produce living young. In the 
American genus Gerrhonotus there is a pair of folds running along 
the sides of the body, and the limbs are well developed. Similar 
folds occur in the Glass-Snakes (Opliisaurm, 431), but the limbs are 
represented only by a pair of flaps in the neighbourhood of the vent. 
In the Slow-Worm (Anguis fragilis, 429,fig. 34) no external trace of 
the fold or limbs remains : the notion that the creature is venomous 



is entirely erroneous. Fine specimens of the South European 
Scheltopusik, or Glass-Snake {Ophisaurus apus, 431) are exhibited. 

The so-called Gila Monster {Heloderma suspectum, 424, fig. 35) of Case 19. 
Mexico and an allied species from New Mexico and Arizona, alone 
constitute a family (the ffelodermatidce, or Poisonous Lizards) charac- 
terised by the presence of recurved fang-like teeth loosely attached to 
the lower jaw, which discharge poison through open grooves secreted 
by special glands. The dentition is pleurodont, the tongue is cleft at 

Fig. 35. 

The Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum) ; J nat. size. (No. 424-) 

the tip, and the bony plates in the skin are small, and communicate 
the peculiar granular texture to the upper surface. The Gila 
Monster is a creature of lethargic and nocturnal habits, crawling 
about in the evening in search of worms, frogs, centipedes, and 
Iguanas' eggs. Frogs are paralysed, if not killed, by the bite, which 
is also dangerous to human beings, although rarely productive of death. 
In captivity these Lizards eagerly break eggs and lap up the contents. 
During the hot season they become torpid. 

A very rare Bornean Lizard (Lanthanonotus borneensis) is nearly 
allied to the Helodermatidce, from which it is distinguished by the 



absence of grooved teeth (and therefore probably of poison-glands) 
and of bony granules in the skin. 

The members of the family Varanidm (407-420), which include 
the largest of all Lacertilia, derive their common name of "Monitors," 
or " Warning Lizards," from a confusion between " Ouaran," the 
Arabic designation of a Lizard, and the English word " warning." 
Agreeing with many other members of the sub-order in having the 
teeth attached to the inner side of the outer parapet of the jaws 
(pleurodont type), Monitors are specially characterised by the long, 
smooth, and forked tongue, which can be protruded and withdrawn 
in the same manner as that of Snakes ; and they are further dis- 
tinguished by the absence of plates of bone in the skin of the head 
and body. The group is confined to the warmer parts of the Old 
World (inclusive of Australia), although unknown in Madagascar. 
All the species are included in the genus Varanus, of which the 
largest living representative is the Kabara-goyu {V. salvator, 409) of 
the Singalese. This attains a length of 7 feet, and, like some of the 
other species, is partially aquatic ; but it was considerably exceeded 
in size by a fossil Monitor from N. India which, in its turn, was a 
dwarf to the extinct Giant Monitor of Queensland, of which a 
vertebra (419) is shown in the case. All the Monitors are car- 
nivorous, many of them being in the habit of feeding largely on 
birds' eggs, which they hold and crack in their mouths while their 
heads are raised. 

It will be noticed that the Monitors differ markedly from the 
typical arboreal Iguanas, both in shape and colouring ; their bodies 
being depressed, instead of compressed, and their colour usually 
a mixture of black, brown, olive, and yellow. The reason of these 
differences is that these Lizards are terrestrial, and live among bushes, 
grass, rice, and other covert, to which their type of colouring 
assimilates them. By Europeans in India and Africa Monitors are 
generally mis-called Iguanas. 

The American Lizards typified by the Tejus (family Teiidm) are 
characterised by the solid teeth, which are almost of the acrodont 
type, by the long and deeply cleft tongue, furnished with numerous 
papillse, and the absence of bony plates or granules in the skin. 
Occasionally the limbs are somewhat reduced. The members of this 
family are arranged in nearly forty genera, and display great variety 
of form and habit. Some dwell in forests and are aboreal, others 
frequent hot and dry plains, while yet others are limbless, Blind- 
worm-like creatures. The largest member of the family is the Great 


Teju (Tupinambis teguixin, 421), which reaches a yard in length. 
Draccena guianensis is peculiar in having cheek-teeth of a molar-like 
type. Ameiva dorsalis (423) is a smaller West Indian species. 

The Amphisbaenas (family Amphislwnidw, 436-437) are worm-like L ' ase 20 - 
and for the most part limbless tropical Lizards which take their name 
from their power of progressing either forwards or backwards. They 
are degraded, or perhaps specialised types ; and are characterised by 
having the body covered with soft skin, which forms numerous rings 
and shows only vestiges of scales. The genus Chirotes alone retains 
short and four-clawed front-limbs. About a dozen generic types are 
recognised, of which the typical Amphisbcma (436) contains the 
greatest number of species. Arnphisbasnas lead an underground 
burrowing existence, like worms ; and are often found in ants' nests 
and refuse heaps. Their movements are worm-like, the soft, ringed 
skin enabling them to move with equal facility in either direction. 
Unlike other limbless Lizards and Snakes, which move in lateral 
undulations, Amphisbamas crawl in a straight line with slight 
vertical folds of the body. All are Tropical American. 

The common English Lizard and its allies are the types of a family Case 20. 
(Lacertufre, 440-445) characterised as follows : The teeth are pleuro- 
dont, i.e. attached to the inner side of the margin of the jaws ; the 
long tongue is forked, with either tubercles or folds ; there are bony 
plates on the head ; and the temporal region of the skull is roofed 

Fig. 36. 

The Eyed Lizard (Laccrta occllata) ; J nat. size. (No. 441 •) 

with bone. The family is restricted to the Old World and includes 
less than a score of genera. The most familiar forms of the typical 

n 2 ' 


family are the Common Lizard (Lacerta vivipara), in which the 
young (from 6 to 12 in number) burst the eggs just before or just 
after they are laid, the Sand-Lizard (L. agilis, 443), the Green Lizard 
(L. viridis, 442), the Wall-Lizard (L. muralis, 444), and the beautiful 
Eyed Lizard (L. ocellata, 441, fig- 36). All of these are European, but 
only the first two occur in England. The Spanish Lizard (Psammo- 
dromus Mspanicus) represents a genus distinguished by the absence 
of a semi-lunar collar of enlarged scales on the front of the neck. 

Yariation in the South European Wall-Lizard {Lacerta muralis) 
is illustrated by coloured figures. 

The family Gerrhosauridm (438, 439) comprises a small assemblage 
of African and Malagasy Lizards characterised by their pleurodont 
dentition, the long and slightly cleft tongue, which is furnished with 
tubercles, and the presence of bony plates in the skin of the head 
and body, roofing over the temporal region of the skull. In addition 
to the typical Gerrhosaurus (439), there are the genera Tetradactylus, 
Cardylosaurus, Zonosaurus (438), and Tracheloptychus. 
Fig. 37. 


Stump-tailed Skink (Trachysaurus rugosus) ; £ nat. size. (No. 374)- 

Case 20. The Common Skink is the type of a large and cosmopolitan family 

of Lizards known as Scincidm (455-474), or Skinks, and presenting 
the following characteristics. The dentition is pleurodont, i.e. the teeth 
are attached to the inner side of the margin of the jaws ; the tongue 
is scaly and but slightly notched ; and bony plates are developed in 
the skin of the head and body. Skinks prefer dry sandy ground, on 
which they move rapidly and in which they burrow ; the frequent 
reduction or even loss of the limbs being connected with the 
burrowing habit. Most produce their young alive ; the usual hard 



Fig. 38. 


egg-shell being frequently absent. About 400 species are known, 
which have been grouped in nearly 30 genera. The family attains its 
greatest development in the Austral- 
asian region. 

One of the most remarkable types 
is the Stump-tailed Skink (Trachy- 
saurus rugosus, 474, fig. 37), recog- 
nisable by its large and rough scales 
and short tail. The Australasian Tili- 
qua (457-458) includes large species 
with stout button-shaped teeth. The 
True Skinks have 5-toed limbs with 
the lateral toes serrated ; the common 
species (Scincus officinalis, 463), which 
grows to about 8 inches, has a per- 
fectly smooth skin, and wedge-like 
head. It was once esteemed a 
sovereign remedy for many diseases. 
Mabuia (456), with about 40 species, 
is remarkable for including one semi- 
aquatic form (M. vittata). The Eyed 
Skink {Chalcides ocellatus, 462) of the 
Mediterranean countries, which grows 
to 10 inches, is a member of a genus 
in which the lower eyelid has a trans- 
parent "window," the scales are smooth and shiny, and the limbs 
short or rudimentary (fig. 38). A series of specimens illustrating 
the degradation of the limbs is shown. 

Hind-legs of Skinks, to show 
the gradual abortion. 

a, Chalcides ocellatus. 

b, Chalcides mionecton. 

c, Chalcides tridactylus. 

d, Lygosoma lineo-punctulation. 

e, Chalcides gtientheri. 

Sub-order III. — Rhiptoglossa. —Chameleons. 

Chameleons (446—454) constitute by themselves not only the Case 
family Chamcdeontidce, but also the sub-order Rhiptoglossa — a group 
of equal value with the Lacertilia. From Lizards Chamaeleons are 
distinguished by the structure of the tongue, which is club-shaped, 
and can be extended to a length equal to that of the whole body 
(fig. 39) ; and by the form of the head, which is somewhat helmet- 
shaped. There is no tympanum, or drum, to the ear, and no 
tympanic cavity. The long limbs are also of a peculiar type, having 
two of the toes opposed to the other three, so as to form an effective 
grasping foot (fig. 40). Clavicles, or collar-bones, as well as an 



inter-clavicle, are absent. The long tail, which is not of a brittle 
and renewable type, is prehensile and curled downwards when used 
as a grasping organ. 

The skin is covered with granules in place of scales ; and the 

Head of the Common Chamseleon (Chamteleon vulgaris) 
tongue partially protruded. 

with the 

eyes are very large, with the eyelids united into one fold, having 
a minute central opening. Each eye can be moved independently ; 
and the movements of the limbs are slow and sluggish. As in 
all arboreal Lizards, the body of the Chamseleons is much compressed 

Fore-foot of a Chameeleon. 

laterally. Chameleons are famed for the capacity of changing 
colour according to the nature of their surrounding — a power which 
they share, however, with certain Lizards such as those of the genus 
Galotes. They feed on flies and other insects, which are caught 
at a distance of several inches on the sticky end of the protrusile 
tongue (fig. 39). Most species lay eggs, but a few are viviparous. 
In the majority the prevailing colour is brown or green, but in the 


Arabian Chamcdeou cahjptratus (45 1 ), of which a specimen is exhibited, 
the body is marked by vertical bands of blue and yellow. All the 
species are confined to the warmer parts of the Old World. 

The Common Chamseleon (Chamceleon vulgaris) ; § uat. size. (No. 44-6 ' 

(Case 17.) 

The Ichthyosaurs were AVhale-like marine Reptiles which nourished 
from the period of the New Red Sandstone, or Trias, to that of the 
Chalk. The limbs are modified into paddles, in which the bones 
of the digits exceed the normal number, and are more or less 
shortened and broadened so as to form a pavement-like structure. 
The teeth, which are generally fluted, are implanted in grooves in 
the long jaws. A ring of overlapping bones is developed in the 
white (sclerotic) of the eye. The bodies, or centra, of the vertebras 
are short, doubly-cupped, and separate from the neural arches. 

The Triassic Merriamia and Mixosaurus were comparatively small 
Reptiles, in which the ribs of the trunk are single-headed, the radius 



and ulna of the front-paddle (like the tibia and fibula in the hind- 
limb) are eloD gated and separated by a wide cleft, while the other 
bones of the paddles are also somewhat elongated, often notched on 

one or both borders, and arranged in three rows. In Ichthyosaurus 
(347, 348), on the other hand, the radius and ulna are transversely 
expanded and in apposition, while the other bones of the paddle are 
also very short and broad, and the ribs are two-headed. In certain 
species, the paddle-bones are arranged in three longitudinal rows, 


with notches on the outer border of those of the front row ; but 
in another group there are five or more longitudinal rows of these 
bones, which are generally without marginal notches. In Ophthalmo- 
saarus (351), of the Kimmeridge Clay, a third bone (the pisiform) 
articulates with the humerus, an analogous condition obtaining in 
the hind-limb. Both in Ophthalmosaurus and the allied American 
Baptanodon the teeth were rudimentary. 


Tortoises and Turtles. 
(Oases 6 to 10.) 

Tortoises, Terrapins, and Turtles, which collectively constitute 
this order, are distinguished from all other Eeptiles by the toothless 
horn-covered jaws, and the enclosure of the body in a bony shell, 
which may or may not be covered with horny shields. The shell, 
which consists of an upper half, or carapace, and a lower portion, 
or plastron, is supported by the spines of the vertebrae and the ribs ; 
and consequently Ohelonians present the unique peculiarity that the 
shoulder and pelvic girdles are situated within the ribs. The limbs, 
which are five-toed, may be adapted for walking (Tortoises) or 
modified into paddles (Turtles). Each rib articulates with the 
vertebrae by a single head, and the quadrate-bone is firmly united 
to the skull. This order dates from the Triassic epoch. 

Ohelonians are arranged in two main divisions : the Athecae and the 
Thecophora. In the former group, now represented by the Leathery 
Turtle, or Luth, the vertebrae and ribs are free from the carapace 
(fig. 45), which is composed of small polygonal plates like mosaic, and 
covered with horny skin. In the second group, the vertebrae and ribs 
are fused with the carapace (fig. 44), which is composed of a number 
of bony plates of variable size, the names and relations of which are 
shown in case 6. In this group, as shown in the figure on page 52, 
the number and size of the horny shields do not accord with those of 
the underlying bones. 

The Thecophora are subdivided into the following three groups : 

1. Cryptodira, or those in which the head is retracted in a 

vertical plane by an S-like flexure of the neck (fig. 55), and 
the pelvis is not attached to the plastron. 

2. Pleurodira, or those in which the head is retracted in a 

horizontal plane by a lateral flexure of the neck (fig. 56), and 
some of the bones of the pelvis are welded to the plastron. 



3. Trionychoidea, or those with very flat oval or almost round 
shells, covered with soft leathery skin, and broadly webbed 
limbs, of which only the three middle toes are clawed. 

The following: table shows the chief sub-divisions of the group : 


I. Section Athece. 
Family Spliargidw, or 


II. Section Thecophora. 
i. Sub-order Cryptodira. 
Family Chelydridw. 
., Dermatemydidfc. 
., Cinostemidce. 
„ Platysternidce. 
., TestudinidiB. 

ii. Sub-order Pleurodira. 

Family Pelomedusida-. 

,, Ghelydidcb. 

Plesioclwlydida>.) Ex- 
,, Miolaniidce. jtinct. 

iii. Sub-order Amphichelydia. 
Family PUurosternidm 


iv. Sub-order Tricwychoidea. 

Family Triony chides,. 

Pig. 43. 

Upper (A) and Lower (B) Shells of the Green Turtle (Chelone mydas), to 
arrangement of the horny plates. 


sc. Supracaudal. 

g. Gular. 

a. Abdominal 


im. Inframarginal. 

h. Humeral. 

/. Femoral. 


ig. Intergular. 

p. Pectoral. 

an. Anal. 


Fig. 44. 

Skeleton op Luth or Leathery Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). 
To show complete separation of shell from the ribs. (No. 186a.) 

Fig. 45. 

Skeleton of Green Turtle (C ketone mydas). 

To show union of shell with ribs. (No. 182.) 

(From specimens in the Museum.) 

[To face page M. 

5al ■ » 



Section ATHECiE. 

Leathery Turtles. 

The only living representative of this group is the Luth or Table- 
Leathery Turtle (Dennocheh/s coriacea, 180, fig. 46), the largest of case " 

Fig. 46. 


Luth, or Leathery Turtle (Dcrmochelys coriacea) ; young specimens ; lower 
and upper view. (No. 180) 

existing Chelonians, which sometimes measures as much as six and a 
half feet from the muzzle to the hind border of the carapace, the 
length of the shell being about four feet. Such a specimen would 
weigh about half a ton. In common with a number of allied extinct 
Turtles, mostly referable to the family Sphargida, or Dermochelydidw, 
the Luth is characterised by the vertebrae and ribs being free from 
the carapace, which is composed of small polygonal plates of bone, 
covered with a continuous leathery skin. The limbs are in the form 
of paddles, and the neck cannot be withdrawn into the shell ; there 



Pig. 47. 

Upper and Lower views of Skull of Luth, or Leathery Turtle (Dermochelys 
coriacea), showing the absence of a secondary floor to the palate and the 
consequent forward position of the posterior nostrils. 

is no plastron. The Luth is met with in all tropical seas, though 
it is everywhere rare ; specimens are occasionally carried by the 
Gulf Stream as far north as England. In spring these Turtles 
resort to the Bahamas, Tortugas, and the coast of Brazil, to lay 
their eggs on sandy shores. They are exclusively carnivorous, 
feeding chiefly upon mollusks, crustaceans and fishes. The flesh 
is unwholesome. This species is represented in the gallery by the 
cast of a fine specimen (180) caught on the coast of Trevandrum, 
Travancore, India, and presented by the director of the Trevandrum 
Museum, and also by the skeleton shown in fig. 45. Remains of a 
much larger extinct species (Eosphargis gigas) occur in the London 

The accompanying illustrations (figs. 47 and 48) are intended 
to show the remarkable difference of the bony palate of the Luth 
from that of ordinary Turtles. 


Fig. 48. 

Upper and Lower views of Skull of Hawksbill Turtle (Chelone imbricata), 
showing the presence of a secondary floor to the palate and the conse- 
quent backward position of the posterior nostrils. 


Sub-order I. — Oryptodira (S-necked Tortoises). 

The Cryptodira, or S-necked Tortoises, which constitute the 
majority of living Chelonia, are characterised, as already mentioned, 
by the head being drawn in by an S-like bending of the neck in 
a vertical plane so that the head occupies the centre of the front of 
the shell (fig. 55). Unlike the Pleurodira, in which the bones of the 
pelvis are welded to the upper and lower shells, their bones are free. 
Specimens are exhibited in case 9 to illustrate the essential differences 
between the Cryptodira and Pleurodira. 

Of the three living representatives of the family Ghelydrida (75—77). Case 6. 


Pig. 49. 

Skeleton of a Land Tortoise, in a vertical section through the carapace, 
showing the mode of retracting the neck in a vertical plane. 

c, neck; v, dorsal vertebrae ; t, tail; r, costal plates of carapace; pi, plastron; 
s, shoulder-bones ; p, pelvis. 

or Snappers, two are from North America, while the third is from 
Ecuador ; fossil species occur in the Tertiary rocks of Europe. The 
nuchal bone of the carapace has rib-like processes underlying the 
costals. The large head (which is furnished with a beak) and neck 
cannot be withdrawn into the shell ; and the temporal region of the 
skull is partially roofed. The long tail has the articular surfaces of 
most of the vertebrae cupped behind. Inframarginal horny shields 
separate the marginals of the carapace from the abdominals of the 
plastron, which is cruciform and united to the carapace by a narrow 
bridge. Temminck's Snapper {Macroclemmys femmincU, 75, fig. 50) 
has a ridged, while the two species of Chelydra (76 and 77) have a 
smooth shell. 

Snapping Turtles live in deep pools or sluggish streams, keeping 
mostly to the bottom, although rising from time to time to breathe, 
and occasionally landing. They are carnivorous, feeding on fish 
and waterfowl, and inflict dangerous bites. 

The Tortoises of the small Central American family Dermatemydiche 
(73 and 74), for which there is no collective English name, resemble 
the Chelydridce in that the nuchal plate of the carapace gives off a pair 
of rib-like processes underlying the costals ; and also by the pectoral 
shields of the plastron being separated from the marginals by a 


series of inframarginals. They differ by the open temporal region 
of the skull, as well as by the small size or absence of the gular 
shields, and the short tail. Some of the hinder costal plates overlap 
the neurals so as to meet in the middle line. In Dermatemys (74) the 
large plastron, which is firmly joined to the carapace, carries at least 
eleven shields, and there are four inframarginals. In Stauroty- 
pus (73) the plastron is cruciform, with the front flap movable, and 

Fig. 50. 


Temminck's Snapper, or Alligator-Terrapin (Macroclemmys tcmmincki) ; 
% nat. size. (No. 75.) 

seven or more shields ; the number of inframarginals being two. 
Nothing is known of the habits of either group. 

The Mnd-Terrapins (family Cinostemidce, 66-72) resemble the 
Ghelydridce and Dennatemydidce, in the presence of rib-like processes 
to the nuchal bone of the carapace, but differ from these and all other 
Ohelonia in the absence of an entoplastral bone to the plastron, which 
thus has eight, in place of the usual nine, bones. The neck can 
be completely retracted within the shell, the temporal region of the 


skull is completely open, and the tail is short, with the bodies of the 
vertebras cupped in front. Some of the neural plates of the carapace 
are hidden by the costals meeting in the middle line. Inframarginal 
shields are present, but do not completely cut off the marginals from 
the abdominals. In some species, the plastron has two transverse 
hinges, so that the shell can be completely closed. 

The Burmese Casked Terrapin (Platy sternum megacephalum, 68), 
representing the family Platysternidw, differs from the three pre- 
ceding families by the absence of rib-like processes to the nuchal bone 
of the carapace. In this respect it agrees with the Testudinidcc, from 
which it is distinguished by the presence of inframarginal shields 
between the marginal and the abdominal shields of the plastron. The 
head is very large, and the temporal region of the skull completely 
roofed over by bone, in a manner unknown in any other Terrapin. 
The tail is long, with the articular ends of most of the vertebras 
cupped behind. Except that it is aquatic, nothing is known of the 
habits of this rare and curious Terrapin. 

Cases 6-7. In the more typical Tortoises and Terrapins, constituting the large 
family Testudinidce, (78-175), the nuchal bone of the carapace lacks 
rib-like processes ; and, owing to the absence of inframarginals, 
the abdominal shields of the large plastron abut on the marginals. 
The head, limbs, and tail can be drawn within the shell ; the 
temporal region of the skull is open, and the articular ends of the 
vertebras of the short tail are cupped in front. From the terrestrial 
herbivorous Tortoises to the aquatic carnivorous Batagurs there 
is a transition through the Terrapins. The former have the shell 
vaulted and lay spherical eggs ; while in all the aquatic forms the 
shell is depressed, the feet are webbed and have longer claws, and 
the eggs are oval. 

Case G. The Hinged Tortoises {Cinyxis, 141, 142) of Tropical Africa are 

unique in having the hinder part of the carapace movable, the hinge 
passing between the 7th and 8th marginal and the 4th and 5th costal 
plates. There is no hinge in the plastron. In some species the margins 
of the carapace are smooth, but in others they[are serrated and turned 
up. Of the latter type is Cinyxis erosa (142), a species further remark- 
able for the absence of a nuchal shield to the carapace, and the prolon- 
gation of the front of the plastron, which forms a fork, covered by the 
intergular shields. This species lives on vegetable substances, and is 
said to be partly aquatic, but G lelliana{\^\)h believed to be entirely 
terrestrial. The Spider-Tortoise {Pyxis arachnoides, 143) of Mada- 
gascar is a purely terrestrial species, without any joint in the 


carapace, but with a hinge in the plastron. It does not exceed four 
inches in length. 

The typical Laud Tortoises included in the genera Testuclo Case 7. 
(147-176) and Homopus (144, 145) are characterised by their 
vaulted shells, in which the plastron is normally without a hinge 
and firmly united by a strong bridge to the carapace. The feet, 
of which the hind-pair are clnb-shaped, are not webbed, and have 
not more than two joints to each toe. On the front of the 
fore-limbs the skin carries stout horny shields, sometimes under- 
lain by bony nodules, and large shields cover the head. The tail 
is short. Usually the neural bones of the carapace are alternately 
quadrangular and octagonal, but they may be hexagonal, with the 
shorter lateral surfaces posterior ; the costals are alternately wide 
and narrow at the ends. Generally the supracaudal shield is single. 
Tortoises of the genus Testado range throughout the warmer parts 
of the world except Australasia and some of the Malay Islands. 

The majority of existing Land Tortoises are of small or medium 
size, but a number of island species attained much larger dimensions. 

Within historic times the distribution of species of Testudo large Case 7 and 
enough to be called gigantic has been restricted to two areas. These table- 611 * 
are the Galapagos (Tortoise) Islands, on the Equator off the west cases, 
coast of South America, and certain islands on the western side of 

Fig. 51. 

The Abingdon Island Saddle-backed Tortoise {Testudo abingdoni), remarkable 

for the thinness of its shell, from the Galapagos group. (No. 153) 

From a specimen in the Museum. 

the Indian Ocean, including the Mascarenhas (Reunion, Mauritius, 
and Rodriguez), the Aldabra group, the Amirantes, and the 



Seychelles. From Madagascar they disappeared at an earlier date ; 
earlier still Giant Tortoises inhabited most of the continents. 
Formerly the Tortoises swarmed on the above-named islands in 
the Indian Ocean ; but they were carried off by the ship-load for 
food, and some of the species are only known by specimens which 
had been transported from their native homes. These Tortoises are 
vegetable-feeders, and in the Galapagos subsist chiefly upon succu- 
lent cactuses, leaves, and berries. At certain times of the year they 
collect at particular pools and springs, to which they travel long 
distances, forming regular, well-trodden paths. They ascend the 
volcanic cones to a height of 4000 feet. These Tortoises live to a 
great age. For instance Marion's Tortoise (Testudo sumeirei), living 
in 1902 at Port Louis, Mauritius, was brought to that island in 1766 
from the Seychelles, of which it is a native ; at the time of transport 
it was probably a century old. The North Aldabra Tortoise 
{T. gigantea, 148) survives only in the Seychelles, but the South 
Aldabra species (T. daudini, 152) is still found in its native island. 
Specimens of the former weigh between 350 lbs. and 400 lbs. 
In some of the species, as in T. ephippium (149) and T. abingdoni 
(153, fig- 51) of the Galapagos, and the extinct T. vosmceri of 
Rodriguez, the bony shell is extremely thin, being reduced to 
detached plates in the two former. 

The largest specimen exhibited is that of the North Aldabra 
T. gigantea (148) ; the shell of an extinct species from Madagascar 
{T. grandidieri, 154) is shown alongside. 

The two North American species of Box-Tortoise (Cistudo, 138- 
140) take their name from the circumstance that the plastron (which 
is attached to the carapace by ligament) is divided by a transverse 
hinge into two movable lobes in such a manner that, when the head, 
limbs, and tail are withdrawn, the shell can be completely closed. 
The carapace is vaulted, the toes are almost completely free, and the 
tail is short. 

Box-Tortoises are really Terrapins which have taken to a life on 
land, and to this they are so thoroughly adapted, that they are 
drowned if thrown into water. The shape of the head, the 
vaulting of the shell (which is black and yellow or orange-brown 
in colour), and the short front-toes are adaptations to terrestrial 
life. On the other hand, the long hind-toes and broad feet, the 
smooth covering of the head, the mainly carnivorous habit, and the 
oval eggs proclaim descent from aquatic forms. The Carolina 
species varies greatly in colour, the eyes being red in the males 



and brown in the females. Box-Tortoises are kept as pets in 
the United States, and attain a great age. 

The Pond-Tortoises (Emys, 109, 110) are the typical and least Case 
specialised members of a large, number of, for the most part aquatic, 
genera, which diverge in one direction into the thoroughly aquatic 
Batagurs and in the other into the land Tortoises. They have more 
or less depressed shells and generally webbed feet ; and the majority 
are carnivorous. The distinctions between the different genera are 

Fig. 52. 

The Painted Terrapin (Chrysemys picta) ; J nat. size. (No. 86-) 

chiefly based on the form and relations of the bones of the shell, the 
structure of the skull, etc., so that they are not apparent externally. 
The Pond-Tortoises, of which there is one European and one 
North American species, are thoroughly aquatic, and feed on small 
fishes, worms, etc. ; during winter they bury themselves in the mud. 
Nearly allied is Clemmys (1 1 1-115), one European species (0. leprosa r 
1 15) of which is characterised by its offensive smell and the growth of 
a fungus on the shell. The Avell-known salt-water Edible Terrapin 
(Malacoclemmys terrapin, 91), of the United States, belongs to a 
kindred genus distinguished by the breadth of the palatal surface of 

e 2 




the upper jaw. The Painted Terrapin (Chrysemys pida, 86, fig- 52) 
typifies another North American genus, most of the members of which 
are distinguished by their bright colouring and the elaborate patterns 
on the shell especially when young. Ocadia (101) is now exclusively 
Chinese, although fossil species occur in the Tertiary rocks of Europe. 
Bellia (102, 103) and Damonia (105-108) are Indian, the former 
easily recognised by the balloon-shaped vertical shields of the cara- 
pace. Another Indian genus is Geoemyda (127-130), the members 
of which are to a great extent terrestrial, and thus indicate a transi- 
tion towards those species of land Tortoises, like Testudo emys (172), 
in which the shell is flatter than usual. 

A group of aquatic Oriental Tortoises, for the most part of large 
size, are (from the Indian name of the typical species) collectively 
designated Batagurs. They include the genera Kachuga (96-99), 

Fig. 53. 

Carapace of the Thurgi Batagur (Hardella thurgi), with the horny shields 
removed ; much reduced in size. The wavy lines show the divisions (or 
sutures) between the bones; the firm lines indicate those between the 
overlying horny shields, c. 1-8, costal bones ; m. 1-11, marginal bones ; 
n. 1-8, neural bones ; mi. nuchal bone ; py. pygal bone ; spy. 1, 2, supra- 
pygal bones. (No. 131-) Note that the horny plates do not correspond 
with the bony ones. 



Callagur (94), Batagur (78), Hardella (131, fig. 53), Broolua (100), 
and Liemys (93), of which the two latter are confined to Borneo. 
They are characterised by the strength of the buttresses connecting 
the upper with the lower shell, which project as vertical partitions into 
the shell. In Kachuga the 4th vertebral shield is so elongated as to 
cover 4 or 5 of the subjacent neural bones ; and in the small K. tectum 
the middle line of the vaulted shell forms a ridge terminating in a 
protuberance on the 3rd vertebral. Of the other three Indian genera, 
Batagur is distinguished by having two ridges on the palate (in place 
of one), and only four claws in the fore-limb. Kachuga tectum (96) 
is one of the commonest Tortoises in the dykes about Calcutta. 

The true Turtles, family Chelonidce, have paddle-like limbs, and a Case 

Fig. 54. 

Young Hawksbill Turtles (Chelone imbricata) ; £ nat. size. (No. 181 •) 

flattened heart-shaped carapace, composed of comparatively few bones, 
firmly welded to the ribs and vertebras, and covered with horny shields. 
The short neck cannot be completely drawn into the shell, and the 
temporal region of the skull is roofed with bone (fig. 48). There is no 


rib-like process to the nuchal plate of the carapace ; the entoplastron 
of the lower shell (as in the Chelydridce) is dagger-shaped. Each 
flipper has one or two claws. The existing members of the family 
are marine, but the females come ashore on sandy coasts to lay their 
spherical eggs. In the edible Green Turtle {Chelone my das, \ 82) the 
horny shields, of which there are four costal pairs, do not overlap, 
and there are vacuities between the costal and marginal bones of the 
carapace. The Hawksbill (G. imbricata, 181, fig. 53), the chief source 
of commercial " tortoise-shell," is distinguished by the circumstance 
that, except in old age, the shields of the carapace overlap like slates 
on a roof. The Loggerhead {Thalassochelys caretta, 179), the largest of 
all, differs from the others by having at least five pairs of costal horny 
shields on the carapace, as well as by the obliteration of vacuities in 
the latter when adult. Of extinct forms, the Eocene and Cretaceous 
Lytoloma has the secondary bony floor of the palate prolonged back- 
wards so as to cause the posterior nostrils to open near the occiput ; 
the symphysis of the lower jaw being also extended backwards. 
Allopleurum hofmanni, a gigantic species of the Upper Cretaceous, is 
allied to Chelone in the structure of the shell ; specimens are exhibited 
in the Geological Department. 

Commercial tortoise-shell of the best quality is yielded only by 
the Hawksbill ; specimens are exhibited to show this product in its 
raw state and when polished. 

Sub-order II. — Pleurodira (Side-necked Tortoises). 

The chief distinctive characteristics of this group, which is 
confined at the present time to the southern hemisphere, are given 
above on page 41. The most easily seen of these is the manner in 
which the head is withdrawn into the shell by a lateral movement of 
the neck, as shown in fig. 56. 

The family Pelomedusidw is typified by the African and Malagasy 
genus Pelomedusa (210), but also includes the Great Arrau Tortoise, 
or " Turtle," Podocnemis expcmsa (204), of the Amazons. In all the 
members of this group the neck is completely retractile within the 
shell, and the plastron has eleven bones, in consequence of the presence 
of a pair of mesoplastral elements (fig. 57), which, however, meet in 
the middle line only in Stemothcerus (212). Podocnemis differs from 
Pelomedusa by the roofing-over of the temporal region of the skull. 
The female of the Great Arrau Tortoise is much larger than the 
male. To the natives of Amazonia this species is of great commercial 


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importance, on account of the food-supply afforded by its flesh and 
eggs. Most of the eggs are converted into oil, which is used either 
for food or for burning. • The soft-shelled eggs are laid in holes dug 

Right halves of Upper (A) and Lower Shells (B) of an extinct Egyptian Side- 
necked Tortoise (Stereogenys cromeri) to show presence of a mesoplastral 
bone (Ms.p.). 

ig. intergular; g. gular ; n. humeral; pect. pectoral shields; nu. nuchal; v.'-v. 5 
vertebral ; Pyg. pygal ; Hy.p. hyoplastral ; Hyp.p. hypoplastral ; Ent. ento- 
plastral bones. 

by the females in the sand. The adults, which are mainly aquatic, 
subsist chiefly on fruits falling from the overhanging trees into the 

The Matamatas, as the members of the family Chelydidm may be Case 8. 
collectively called (although that name properly belongs only to the 


typical South American species), differ from the Pelomedusidce by the 
circumstance that the neck cannot be completely withdrawn into the 
shell, and likewise by the absence of a mesoplastral element in the 
plastron, which thus includes only nine bones. A nuchal shield, which 
is invariably wanting in the Pelomedusidce, may be present on the 
carapace in this family. The true Matamata {Ghelys fimoriata, 185, 
fig. 58) is a very remarkable creature, carnivorous in habit, and passing 
its time at the bottom of the Brazilian rivers. The shell is raised into 
several knob-like prominences, and the skin of the neck and the 
sides of the head are developed into a number of moss-like processes, 
which probably serve to attract fishes within reach. On these fishes 
and other vertebrates the Matamata feeds ; owing to the weakness of 
the creature's jaws, it is probable that they are swallowed whole. 

Fig. 58. 


The Matamata Tortoise (Chelys fimbriata) ; reduced. (No. 185) 

Hydromedusa (202), Platemys (200), Rhinemys (195), and Hydrastis 
(192) are also South American, but the other kinds are Australasian. 
The extinct Horned Tortoises forming the family Miolaniidce 
(193, 194) are gigantic, and apparently Pleurodiran, species, charac- 
terised by the presence of large flanges and prominences on the skull, 
one pair of which resembles horns in form and position. The tail is 
also invested in a bony armour recalling that of the Armadillos among 
Mammals. The geographical distribution of the family is very remark- 
able, species of the typical and only genus occurring in Australia and 
Lord Howe Island on the one hand, and in Patagonia on the other. 

Sub-order III. — Amphichelydia (extinct). 

Family Phurosternidce. 

The extinct Oolitic Tortoises of this family, like Plevrosternum 
lulloclci (203), resemble the living Stemothcerus among the Pelome- 



dusirke in having mesoplastral bones (fig. 57) which extend com- 
pletely across the lower shell to meet in the middle line. They differ 
from living Pleurodira in that when the pubic bones of the pelvis 
articulate with the xiphiplastral elements of the plastron, the union 
is not by suture or anchylosis ; hence they are assigned to a distinct 
group, the Amphichelydia. 

Sub-order IV. — Trionychoidea (Soft Tortoises). 

The Soft River Tortoises, or Mud-Turtles (family Triomjchidce, Case 10. 
59), which retract the head and neck in a vertical plane with an 

Fig. 59. 

Young American Soft Tortoises (Trionyx ferox). (No. 226-) 

S-like flexure, after the manner of the Cryptodira, constitute a group 
of equal rank with the latter. They are characterised by the flatness 


of the oval or nearly round shell, which is sculptured externally, and 
covered with leathery skin instead of horny shields. The toes are 
extensively connected by webs, but only the three inner ones on 
each foot are clawed. In the plastron the entoplastral is chevron- 
shaped. Soft Tortoises are carnivorous, and widely distributed ; 
they date from the Cretaceous epoch. 

Most of the species belong to the typical genus Trionyx (222-230), 
nearly allied to which are the Oriental genera Chitra (220) and Pelo- 
chelys (221), the former distinguished by the elongated skull and 
forward position of the eyes, and the latter by an intermediate con- 
dition in these respects. The African Cycloderma (217) and Cyclan- 
orbis (216), together with the Indian Emyda (219), differ not only 
in the nature of the sculpture and the form of the bones of the lower 
shell, or plastron, but likewise in possessing a pair of flaps of skin on 
the lower surface beneath which the hind-limbs can be withdrawn. 

Many of the species have curious eye-like spots on the back, and 
the long extensile neck is often marked with yellow spots on a green 
ground. Indeed, the native Indian name Chitra means spotted. 
These Tortoises, when of large size, are highly dangerous to bathers. 

Order IX.-SAUROPTERYGIA {extinct). 
(Case 16.) 

The larger marine Plesiosaurs may be distinguished from the 
Ichthyopterygia by the absence of a ring of bones in the eye, and 
by the structure of the paddles, in which the bones, although in 
excess of the usual number, are more or less elongated, and do not 
articulate to form a pavement. In the more typical forms the upper 
arches of the vertebrae are welded to the bodies, with which alone 
(in all cases) the single-headed ribs articulate. The teeth have 
separate sockets, and there is but one (the lower) temporal arch. 
Abdominal ribs are developed on the under surface. The bones of 
both shoulder-girdle and pelvis develop large ventral plates ; the 
coracoids and sometimes even the scapula? meeting in the middle 
line. The skin appears to have been naked. The group ranges 
from the Trias to the Chalk. 

In the typical Plesiosaurus (336, fig- 60) of the Lias the head is 
comparatively small and the neck elongated, similar features occurring 
in the Jurassic Cryptoclidus (340) and Muramosanrus and the Creta- 
ceous Cimoliosaurus, which are distinguished by the structure of the 
shoulder-girdle and pelvis. In the gigantic Pliosaurus (339) of the 



Oxford and Kimmeridge Clays the head is large and the neck short, 
while the teeth may be trihedral instead of conical. The upper arches 
of the vertebras were loosely attached to the bodies. 

The smaller Triassic representatives of the group, such as 
Neusticosaurus (343) and Lariosanrus (342), were probably amphi- 
bious or terrestrial, and had limbs of a more normal structure. They 
approach the primitive Rhynchocephalia. 

In some restorations, Plesiosaurs are represented with the neck 


curved in a swan-like fashion ; but from the fact that the vertebras 
of the neck articulate with one another by means of slightly concave 
surfaces (instead of by ball-and-socket joints), such a curvature was 
apparently impossible. 


Group PLACODONTIA {extinct). 
(Case 5.) 
In this place may be mentioned the extinct Triassic reptiles 
known as Placodus and Cyamodus (51), mainly represented by their 
skulls. These skulls are characterised by their broad and flattened 
shape, and by the presence on the palate of a small number of bean- 
like teeth, evidently adapted for crushing hard substances ; in 
addition to which there are two or three pairs of chisel-like teeth 
in the front of the jaws. The systematic position of these reptiles 
is still a matter of uncertainty. The cast of a fine skull of Cyamodus 
is exhibited. 

Order X.— THEROMORPHA (Mammal-like Reptiles— extinct). 

(Case 5.) 
The members of this extinct group are confined to the Permian 
and Triassic epochs, and are abundant in South Africa and Russia. 
They are connected on the one hand with the Stegosaurian Amphibia, 
and on the other with the Monotreme Mammalia, to the latter of 
which they exhibit resemblances in the structure of the skeleton, 
and of which they seem to have been the ancestors. In the skull 
the quadrate is fixed, and there is a large parietal foramen ; the 
pubis and ischium of each side of the pelvis meet in the middle line 
to form a symphysis ; the shoulder-girdle consists of three bones, 
and the humerus has a perforation (entepicondylar) at the lower 
end. The two temporal arches of the skull have coalesced into one, 
corresponding to the cheek-arch of Mammals. The group is divided 
into the following sub-orders : — ■ 

I. Pariasauria. — The skull is completely roofed over by Sculp- 
tured bones, so that the only vacuities on the upper surface 
are formed by the nostrils, eye-sockets, and parietal foramen . 
The teeth are relatively small, and form an even series. 
Pariasaurus (52) was a large uncouth reptile, measuring 
nearly 8 feet in length (inclusive of the short tail) and 
between 2 and 3 feet in height. 



II. Cotylosauria. — Typically a North American group, distin- 
guished by the roofing-over of the temporal region of the 
skull (sometimes with a small foramen), the presence of 
more than 2, 3, 3, 4, 3 joints to the toes (the number in the 
Pariasauria). Procotophon (59) and Empedias (58) are well- 
known genera, in which the cheek-teeth have transversely 
elongated molar-like crowns. 
III. Theriodontia. — The temporal region of the skull shows 
large vacuities, and the single temporal (zygomatic) arch 
in some cases {Cynognathus, 54) exhibits a vacuity indicative 
of its double origin. The teeth are typically differentiated 
into incisors, tusks, and a cheek-series ; the lower tusks 
biting in front of the upper pair. Galesaurus (57) and 
Cynognathus (54) are typical forms. The position of Trity- 
lodon (56), in which the teeth are of a different type, and those 
of the cheek-series extremely Mammal-like, is uncertain ; the 
skull has the pre-frontal and post-frontal bones of Reptiles. 

IV. Dicynodontia. — In this group the teeth are reduced to a pair 

of long per- 

-i Fig. 61. 

man e n 1 1 y - 

growing upper 

tusks, or are 


wanting ; and 

the jaws were 


sheathed in 

horn. The 

quadrate - bone 

is greatly 

elongated, and 

thus forms a 

pedicle for the 

support of the 

lower jaw. 

J) icy n o don 

(63), Udenodon, and Ptychosiagnm, are well-known examples. 

Casts of skulls and other parts of the skeleton of several of the 

more striking forms, such as the theriodonts Cynognathus (54) and 

JElurosaurus (53, fig- fil), as well as Dicgnodon (63) and Paria- 

saurus (52), are exhibited. 

Right side of Skull of a Theriodont (^lurosaurus 
felinus), two-thirds nat. size, with two upper 
teeth nat. size (a, b), from the Triassic Forma- 
tion, Cape Colony. Behind the large socket 
of the eye the skull is broken away. (No. 53-) 





{Table-Case in Middle Line of Gallery. .) 

As already mentioned, Frogs, Toads, Newts, and Salamanders are 
commonly regarded as Reptiles ; but, together with certain allied 
creatures, they differ, as a whole, from true Reptiles by several well- 
marked features, and they are accordingly assigned to a separate 
class, the Amphibia, or Batrachia. A general feature of this class 
is the marked difference between the young (commonly called tad- 
poles) and the adults ; the former living in water and breathing by 
external gills, while the latter are largely terrestrial and breathe by 
lungs. Some types, such as the Olm, are, however, permanently 
aquatic and gill-breathing ; while in certain Frogs the transformation 
process is hurried through within the eggs from which full-formed 
Frogs emerge. In the living kinds the skin is mostly smooth, clammy, 
and devoid of scales. The skull articulates with the first vertebra by 
two knobs or condyles instead of by one, as in Reptiles. The hind- 
limbs (when present) are nearly always five-toed in the adult, but 
the front-limbs are very generally four-toed. 

The following table exhibits the orders and families into which 
the class is divided. 

Order I. 


(Frogs and 



Family Pipidm. 













Bufonidw (Toads) 

5 s 




x 55 







t" 1 

3 / 





\ " 

Ranidce (Frogs). 

\ .»' 


Order II. — URODELA . . . Family Amphiumidce. 

(Salamanders and Newts.) „ Salamandridce. 

,, Proleidce. 

„ SirenidcB. 

„ III.— APODA ... „ GmciliidcB. 


„ IV.— STEGOCEPHALA . „ Lahjrinthodontidce, etc. 


Order I.— ANURA. 

Frogs and Toads. 

The members of this order are sufficiently characterised by the 
fact that in the fully adult condition the tail is completely absent, 

The Common Frog (Bana temporaria) . (No. 442-) 

in addition to which may, however, be mentioned the peculiar but 
well-known form of the body, and the more or less marked elonga- 
tion of the hind limbs. In the skeleton the spinal column is very 
short, and terminates posteriorly in a long spine from behind the point 
where the pelvis is articulated to the transverse processes of the several 



Fig. 63. 

vertebras. There are four front toes. Owing to the absence of ribs, 
Frogs, like other Amphibians, can only breathe by swallowing air. 

The order is divisible into three main groups, the first of which, 
forming the section Firmisternia, includes the Typical Frogs, or 
Ranidw (480-493), the Dendrodatidm (499-500), Engystomatidm 
(494-498), and Dyscophidm (401, 402). All these are character- 
ised by the presence of a tongue and by the union of the two 
inferior bones of the shoulder-girdle, or coracoids, in the middle 
line of the chest to form a firm bar. In the Ranidw the trans- 
verse processes of the sacral vertebra form simple rods, and 
there are typically teeth only in the upper jaw, although in 
Giinther's Frog (Ceratooatrachus guentheri, 490) of the Solomon 
Islands, these are developed in both jaws. The Dendrodatidce have 
both jaws toothless. The Engystomatidm and Dyscophidm differ by 
the expanded sacral transverse processes. In the former teeth are 
lacking in both jaws, but in the latter they are developed in the 
upper one, while in Genyophrys, which may represent a family, the 
lower jaw is alone toothed. Some Ranidm, like Rhacophorus (491), 
are arboreal and have adhesive toe-pads and webbed feet, but it is 
untrue that they use the latter as a 
parachute. Certain species deposit their 
eggs enveloped in foam in mud or grass 
on the banks of ponds. Many kinds of 
Rana, like the Bull-Frog, have internal 
or external dilated vocal sacs. All the 
American Dendro ootid® live in trees. 

The largest representative of the 
group is the huge Rana guppyi (483), 
of the Solomon Islands ; of this Frog 
both the mounted skin and the skeleton 
are shown. Another well-known, al- 
though much smaller, species of which 
a specimen is exhibited is the Indian 
Tiger-Frog, R. tigrina (487). The 
, ;il Common Frog {R.temporariaMD, the 
Frog (Leptodactylus penta- continental Edible Frog (R. esculenta, 
dactylics) to show structure 485), and the American Bull-Frog 
characteristic of the Toad ^ catesoiana, 488), are also shown in 
S rou P- the case. 

The Toads (Bnfonidce, 413-420) may be regarded as the typical 
representatives of the section Arcifera, which also includes the 
families Discoylossidce (435-439), Pelolatida (440-442), HijMcb 



527-534), and Cystignathidm (507-512), and is characterised by the 
circumstance that the coracoid bones overlap one another on the chest 
instead of meeting by their edges in the middle line (fig. 63). The 

Hind Foot of a Tree Frog (Hylobates palmatus) to show expanded 
tips of the toes. 

Common Toad {Bufo vulgaris, 515) and the great Brazilian Water- 
Toad {B. maritius, 520) are shown. The Cystignathidw differ from 
the other families in having the transverse processes of the sacral 
vertebra cylindrical, instead of expanded at the extremities. Of the 
Fig. 65. 

The Pouched Frog (Nototrema marsupiatum) , with eggs in pouch. Ecuador. 

(No. 533-) 

four families in which these processes are expanded, the Hylidw are 
distinguished by having claw-shaped terminal toe-bones. Of the 
three families without claw-shaped terminal toe-bones, the Discoglos- 


sidm are characterised by the presence of ribs and of teeth in the 
upper jaw, while the Bufonidm have neither ribs nor teeth, and the 
Pelobatidm are distinguished by the absence of ribs coupled with 
the presence of teeth in the upper jaw. 

Of the Discoglossidce common European examples are the Fire- 
bellied Toad (Bombinator igneus, 538) and the Mid-wife Toad (Alytes 
obstetricans, 537)- The former is a poisonous species, protected by its 
bright "warning" colours. The males of the latter species carry 
the spawn coiled round their limbs, as shown by a specimen in the 

The Horned Toad (Ceratophrys comuta), Brazil; reduced. (No. 5H.) 

case. The Claw-heeled Toad (Pelobates fuscus, 540) is a familiar 
continental representative of the Pelobatidm. Of the Bufonidm there 
are two British species, the Common Toad (515) and the Natterjack 
(513) ; the largest species being the Brazilian Water-Toad. The 
ffylidw, or Tree-Frogs, are brilliantly coloured arboreal forms. Some 
of these, like the Pouched Frog (Nototrerna marsupiatum, 533, 
fig. 65), carry their eggs in a pouch in the loins, and others adhering 
to the skin of the back. The Cgstignathidce, which may be regarded 
as the South American representatives of the Frogs, include the 



Goliath Frog (Leptodactylus pentadactylus, 508), the Horned Toad 
(Ceratophrys cornuta, fig. 66) of Brazil, and the smaller Esquerzo (C. 
ornata, 510) of Argentina. The latter is a fierce creature, attacking 
and killing animals as large as rats, and uttering a bell-like note. 

The members of the families Dactylethridce, 543 (or Xenopodidce), 
and Pipidce differ from other Frogs and Toads by the absence of the 

Fig. 67. 

The Clawed Toad (Xenopus Icevis), Tropical Africa. (No. 543-) 

tongue. They are consequently arranged in a sub-order (Aglossa) 
of equal value to a second (Phaneroglossa) which includes the sections 
Firmisternia and Arcifera. The Clawed Toads {Xenopus, 543, fig. 67), 
which are the typical representatives of the family Dactylethridce, 
have teeth in the upper jaw and sharply pointed toes, of which the 
front ones are free, while those on the hind-feet are united by webs. 
These toads are entirely aquatic. The Surinam Toad {Pipa ameri- 

f 2 


cana, 544, fig. 08), representing the Pipidce, is quite toothless, and has 
each front-toe terminating in a kind of star ; the fore-toes being free 
and the hind-ones webbed. The shape of this Toad is very peculiar, 
the head being depressed and triangular, and the eyes minute. In 
both sexes the skin is covered with tubercles ; and in the breeding 

Fig. 68. 

A Female Surinam Toad (Pipa americana) with young emerging from 
the brooding pouches of the back. (No. 544.) 

season the skin of the back of the female assumes a spongy structure 
and forms pouches for the reception of the eggs, which are put in 
position by the male. Eventually each egg becomes completely 
concealed in its pouch, which is furnished with a lid ; and in these 
] touches the young undergo their development, until they make their 
appearance as fully-formed Toads. In habits the Surinam Toad is 
completely aquatic. 



Order II.— URODELA. 

Salamanders and Newts. 

The members of this group, which are chiefly confined to the more 
northern countries of the Northern 
Hemisphere, are characterised by the 
possession in the adult state of a tail 
and at least the front pair of limbs, 
whence they are termed Tailed Am- 
phibians. Of the four families, the 
Amphiumidce and Salamandridce, have 
maxillary bones in the skull ; the 
second of these families differing from 
the first by the presence of movable 
eyelids. The Froteidm are distin- 
guished from both the above by the 
absence of maxillae, and the permanent 
retention of external gills ; while the 
Sirenidce, in which the gills are also 
persistent, differ from all the rest by 
the lack of hind-limbs. The larvae 
are always aquatic, but the adults may 
be terrestrial. Occasionally, as in the 
Axolotls of Mexico, the larval condition 
is permanent, although the reproductive 
functions become fully developed. 

Among the members of the Am- 
phiumidm, mention may first be made 
of the Giant Salamanders, a group 
which now contains only two species, 
the North American " Hellbender " 
(Cryptobranchiis aUeghatiiensis, 549) 
and the Giant Salamander of Japan and 
China (Megalobatrach us maximm, 548), 
the latter of which grows to a length of 
5 feet, and differs from the former by 
the absence of a gill-opening. It is 
solely on this difference that the two 
species are assigned to genera apart. 

A third species occurs in the Miocene Tertiary strata of Europe. 
Both the living forms are carnivorous. The Japanese species lives 

The Three-toed Salamander 
(Amphiuma means). (No. 550- 


in small mountain-streams, where it lies concealed under stones, etc., 
and feeds on fishes, amphibians, worms, and insects. Like its 
American relative, it will readily take a bait, and it is caught for 
food by the natives. It does not appear ever to leave the water. 
A specimen has lived in captivity for over 50 years. 

The typical representative of the family is the eel-like Three- 
toed Salamander (Amphiuma means, 550; fig> 69) of North America. 

Passing on to the family Salamandridce, of which the distinctive 
features are mentioned on page 69, we have the North American 
Tiger-Salamander {Amblystoma Mgrinum, 552) as the typical repre- 
sentative of the sub-family AmMystomathuc, which includes seven 

Fig. 70. 

The Axolotl; the egg-laying larval form of Amblystoma tigrinicm, Mexico. 

(No. 552.) 

geuera, characterised by the grouping of the palatal teeth and 
the number (four or five) of hind-toes. Ordinarily A. tigrinum 
undergoes the usual development and transformations, commencing 
life as an aquatic creature with external gills, and passing when adult 
into a terrestrial air-breathing Salamander. Tn the lakes near the city 
of Mexico the species remains, however, permanently in the aquatic 
gill-bearing condition (fig. 70), reproducing its kind while in this 
state. To the natives these permanent larvae are known by the name 
of Axolotl. They are frequently brought to this country and repro- 
duce in the gill-bearing phase, but occasionally, even in captivity, have 
been seen to leave the water and change into gill-less Salamanders. 



The Spotted Salamander is the type of a sub-family (Salaman- 
drince) distinguished from the AmMystomatinm by the palatal teeth 
forming a double series diverging behind. In the true Salamanders 
these teeth form a pair of Ss, while in the Newts they are A-shaped, 
as a rule. Of Salamandra there are three species, the Spotted 
(S. maculosa, 561), the Alpine (S. atra, 562), and the Caucasian Sala- 
mander (S. caucasica). They all have five hind-toes and a rounded 
tail. The young are aquatic, but the adults live under moss or stones. 

Fig. 71. 


The Common Smooth Newt (Molge vulgaris). Male and female. 

The spotted species exudes a poisonous fluid from the skin, which, 
together with its peculiar colouring, has probably given rise to the 
legend of its being fire-proof. The young are born alive. The Newts 
(Molge, 558-560), of which there are some eighteen species, have 
the tail compressed, and frequently furnished, at least during the 
breeding-season, with an upright fin. They frequent cool moist 
situations, and during the breeding-season take to the water, where 
the tadpoles are born ; in winter, like Salamanders, they hibernate. 


There are three British species. They all have five hind-toes, but 
in the genus Salamandrince these are reduced to four. 

The Slimy Salamander {Plethodon glutinosus) is the type of a 
sub-family (Plethodontince) of which all the members except the Sar- 
dinian Salamander {Spelerpes fuscw, 554) are American. They are 
characterised by the transverse arrangement of the palatal teeth, and 
the presence of teeth-bearing plates on the parasphenoid, or basal 
bone of the hinder part of the skull. In Spelerpes (with five hind- 
toes) and Manculus (with four) the tongue is attached only by a 
central stem ; in the other three genera it is fixed along the whole 
middle line, and cannot be protruded. Of these latter, Anaides is 
peculiar in the small number and large size of its teeth ; Batra- 
choseps, in addition to its slender form, differs from Plethodon in 
having four, in place of five hind-toes. Many of the species of 
Spelerpes lay their eggs under stones, in water : but those of Anaides 
are deposited in the crevices of the bark of trees, where the adult 
Salamanders also dwell, and the young are born in an advanced state. 

Two remarkable North American Salamanders (the Mud-eel, 
Siren lacertina, 565? fig- 73, and Pseudobranchus striatus) constitute a 
family (Sirenidce) characterised by the retention of three pairs of 
fringed gills, the eel-like form, the absence of hind-limbs, and the 
short fore-limbs, which are either three- or four-toed. The eyes 
have no lids, but shine through the transparent skin. Curiously 
enough, the external gills of the young shrivel up, but are re- 
developed later. In the adult Pseudobranchus the gills are covered 
Avith skin, so as to be useless. Siren is found in ditches and ponds, 
where it burrows in the banks, but is said to occasionally leave the 
water. When swimming, the limbs are closely pressed to the body, 
movement being effected by the tail. 

The typical representative of the family Proteidce is the Olm 
{Proteus cmguinus, 564, fig. 72) of the subterranean waters of 
Carniola, Carinthia, and Dalmatia, which is carnivorous and lives in 
total darkness. Three pairs of fringed external gills persist through- 
out life ; and there are three front and two hind-toes. The eyes 
are buried beneath the opaque skin, which turns black after long 
exposure to light. 

The subterranean waters of Texas are the home of a very similar 
creature {Typhlomolge rathbuni), with longer limbs, of which the front 
pair has four and the hind pair five toes. 

The ancestral type from which both the above are derived is 
doubtless represented by the North American Four-toed Salamander 


(Necturus maculatus, 462), in which the eyes are functional and each 
limb is four-toed. The thick stalks of the three pairs of external 

Fig. 72. Fig. 73. 

Fig. 72. The Olm (Proteus anguinus), from the caves of Carniola. (No. 554.) 
Fig. 73. _ The Mud-eel (Siren lacertina), from North America. (No. 555.) 

gills are brown, but the terminal fringes during life are blood-red. 
A specimen is exhibited. 



Fig. 74. 

Order III.— APODA. 

Limbless Amphibians. 

The few representatives of this group (often known as Coecilians) 
are worm-shaped burrowing creatures (568) 
from Tropical America and some of the warmer 
parts of the Old World (fig. 74). Limbs and 
their supporting girdles are lacking, the tail 
is short, and the vertebrae, which articulate 
by concave surfaces, carry long ribs, none 
of which meet a breast-bone. The body is 
covered with a slimy skin, which may contain 
embedded scales, thrown into transverse folds 
or rings. The skull is solid, with much of the 
upper surface roofed in by bone, although this 
roof is not comparable with that of the Stego- 
cephala. In some species, at any rate, the 
external gills are shed while in the egg, but 
the larva inhabits the water, although the 
burrowing adult is so completely terrestrial 
that it will drown in that element. The eggs 
of some Indian and African species are ranged 
in a cluster, round which the parent coils her- 
self. Coecilians feed on worms, etc. Some 
kinds are viviparous, and their larvae do not 
enter water. 

Order IV.— STEGOCEPHALA {extinct). 


The earliest known terrestrial four-footed 
creatures occur in the Carboniferous strata, 
and are succeeded by allied types in the Permian 
and Trias. They take their name of Stego- 
cephala from the circumstance that the whole 
upper surface of the skull is roofed in by 
membrane-bones, which are frequently sculp- 
tured. The complicated internal structure of 
the teeth in one group has given rise to the 
name Labyrinthodonts, by which they are also known. Although 

A Limbless Am 
phibian ( Uraotyph 
lus africanus). 



displaying many signs of affinity with Reptiles, they resemble 
Amphibia in having two condyles to the skull (when any are 
present), and the vertebrae are of a simple type. The chest was 
in many cases protected by a shield formed of three sculptured bony 
plates, of which the middle one appears to represent the inter- 
clavicle and the lateral pair the clavicles of other vertebrates. In 
form they were mostly salamander-like. The order is divided into 

Fig. 75. 

The Skull of a Labyrinthodont (Mastodonsaurus giganteus), upper view with 
sculpture omitted, from the Lower Keuper of Wiirtemberg ; about 
one-eighth nat. size. Ep. lateral supratemporal : Fr. frontal ; Ju. jugal ; 
L. lachrymal ; Mx. maxilla ; Na. nasal ; P. parietal ; Pr.f. prefrontal ; 
Pt. postfrontal; Pt.o. postorbital ; Q.J. quadratojugal; S.T. prosqua- 
mosal; S.Oc. inner supratemporal; Sq. squamosal. The double lines 
indicate slime canals. 

four groups : (I.) Branchiosauria, typified by the minute Protriton, 
or Branchiosaurus of the Permian : (II.) the snake-like Aistopoda, 
of the Carboniferous and Permian ; (III.) Microsauria, represented 
by Hijlonomus of the Carboniferous and Hyloplesion of the Permian, 
both small forms approximating to the Rhynchocephalian Reptiles ; 
and (IV.) Labyrinthodonta, which includes the larger forms, such as 
Mastodonsaurus (fig. 75), Loxomma (572), and Rhytidosteus (573), and 
ranges from the Upper Carboniferous to the Trias. Other specimens 
exhibited are Brachyops (570) from India and Capitosaurus (571) 
from England. 


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