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ROMANS, i. 20. 

.A M I M A 

W ;l L L il A M h> W A il KSON", E SO 



'1 iMUlun : 



Gift of C. A. Kofoid 









Reasons against the Belief that Food, Temperature, and other inferior 
Agents, are the primary Causes of the Variation of Man. Limited 
Range of Animals which yet possess great Locomotive Powers. Various 
Opinions on the primary Distribution of Animals. Linnaeus, Prichard, 
and others. Theories upon Animal Geography. Fabricius. Latreille. 
Prichard. Propositions on this Subject stated. Geographic Distri- 
bution of Man. Arctic Regions - - Page 1 



Europe considered as a Zoological Province. This Proposition supported 
by an analytical Survey of its Ornithology. Preponderance of its generic 
Types. Its Analogy to the Caucasian Type -of Man. Results of the 
foregoing Analysis. Its Zoology considered more in detail, under th e 
Three Heads of Arctic, Central, and Southern Europe - - 18 



The Asiatic Province. Its general Character and Divisions. Northern, 
Central, and Southern Asia. The Peculiarities of each, as shown in 
their peculiar Animals. Asiatic Genera of Quadrupeds and Birds - 43 



General Remarks. Its Zoological Features. Divided into Arctic, Tern- 
perate, and Equinoctial America. The Peculiarities and Animals of 
each. General Remarks upon the Climate arid Soil of Brazil, with 
reference to the Distribution of its Animals. American Genera of 
Quadrupeds and Birds - - - - - 56 




On the African Province. Its general Nature. Divided into Northern, 
Equinoctial, and Southern. The Peculiarities and Animals of each. 
Madagascar. African Genera of Quadrupeds and Birds - Page 91 



Its Connection with that of Asia. Distinguishing Features Quadrupeds. 
Birds. Its Three chief Divisions New Guinea, New Holland, and the 
Pacific Islands. Genera of Quadrupeds and Birds belonging thereto 114 




Preliminary Observations. Alleged Difference between Systems and 
Methods. Objections thereto. Diversity of Systems. Natural and 
Artificial Systems Mixed Systems. Requisites of a natural System 122 


Exposition, with critical Remarks, on the principal artificial Systems. 
Aristotle, Willughby, Linnasus, Cuvier. Partial Systems. Illiger, 
Vieillot, Temminck, in Ornithology. De Geer, Latreille, Clairville, 
and Leach, in Entomology. On Binary, or Dichotomous, Systems 132 


On natural Systems. Preliminary Observations. Definition of a natural 
System. Hermann's. Observations. Lamarck's System of the In- 
vertebrated Animals. System of MacLeay in Entomology. Fries in 
Botany. Alterations in MacLeay's System. Remarks thereon. Sep- 
tenary and other Theories. General Remarks on numerical Theories, 
and on the Necessity of proving that Groups are circular - - 196 




The first Principles of the natural System briefly stated as Five Propo- 
sitions, the first Three of which are here discussed ; viz., the Circularity, 
the numerical Division, and the Theory of Representation - - 224 



The Fourth Proposition considered. The primary Types of Nature 

Page 241 


The Fifth Proposition considered. On the relative Rank of the different 
circular Groups in the Animal Kingdom. On Species and Varieties. 
On the Means thus offered by the Laws of natural Arrangement, for 
the Verification of Groups. Familiar Illustration of the Principles of 
Classification here developed. Questions on analogical Comparisons 266 




Preliminary Remarks. Distinction between practical and scientific Na- 
turalists. Qualifications for both as Accuracy of Observation Per- 
severance Concentration of Study Memory. Evils of indiscriminate 
eollecting. Plans for collecting recommended - - 300 


Importance of acquiring first Principles. Reasons for supposing a Plan in 
Creation. Opinions thereon. The Circular Theory, and the different 
Tests which every Circle must undergo, explained and illustrated 317 


On the Rank and Names of the Natural Divisions, or Groups, in the 
Animal Kingdom. Of Species and Varieties - - - 34i 














(!) ON looking at a map of the world we inhabit, 
we find that its surface is divided hetween land and 
water, continents and oceans ; each, for the most part, 
thrown together into vast masses, placed under different 
temperatures, peopled by different races of men., and in- 
habited by peculiar sorts of animals. ' Two questions 
then occur to the mind, What are the causes that 


have produced this dissimilarity of creatures ? and, 
secondly, is there method in all this amazing diversity ? 
Each of these questions is highly interesting, and de- 
mands a separate consideration. 

(2.) MAN, although naturally formed to inhabit but 
one element, is yet enabled, by art, to traverse vast 
oceans; and, by the peculiarity of his constitution, to 
live in all climates which produce vegetation. In his 
natural state, he is among the least qualified of living 
beings for making rapid transitions from one part of 
the earth to another, and yet he has peopled its entire 
surface. A Cf fair-haired " native of Europe migrates 
with his family, and settles among the woolly-haired 
and swarthy inhabitants of Africa. Do his descendants, 
in the lapse of a century, born under a scorching sun, 
begin to assume any of the characteristics of the races 
that surround them ? do their lips gradually become 
thick, their nose flattened, and their complexion black ? 
Assuredly not ; the supposition is refuted by actual ex- 
perience to the contrary. Again, does an African diet, 
or a change of costume, create any change in their form, 
or their mental perceptions ? are their national charac- 
teristics, in short, in any degree lost, so long as their race 
is preserved pure ? Let the Spaniards, settled for more 
than two centuries among the copper-coloured Indians of 
Mexico and New Spain, the Dutch boors of Southern 
Africa, the descendants of the whites who first settled 
in the West Indies, above all, the Jews, now scat- 
tered " among every nation under heaven:" let these, 
we repeat, tacitly reply to these questions. Such living 
testimonies, " known to all, should at once have dis- 
pelled the illusion which many writers, and some of 
them able ones, have indulged in ; that temperature, 
food, clothing, and other secondary influences, were the 
chief causes of that extraordinary variation in the aspect 
of the human species which the different nations of the 
earth exhibit, and which, so long as each race is pre- 
served pure, is unchanging and unchangeable. Upon 
such a subject the modest and ingenuous mind may in- 


dulge conjecture ; but when we attempt to penetrate the 
darkness of primitive ages, and pretend to trace the 
first causes of such things, we wander in regions from 
which human knowledge is excluded. He alone, that 
great First Cause, " by whom all things were made 
that are made/' is alone master of this impenetrable 

(3.) Let us now look to the animal world. Here we 
may see thousands of beings, endowed with powers of 
locomotion which have been utterly denied to man. 
The swallow, darting- like an arrow through the air at 
the rate of sixty miles an hour, seems to mock the com- 
paratively snail-like pace of our swiftest vessels ; the 
curlew runs rapidly on the ground, mounts on the 
breaking surge, or swiftly flies from one continent to 
another, thus traversing, with perfect ease, three ele- 
ments, the earth, the air, and the sea. Thousands, 
in short, of little tiny birds perform journies, every 
spring and autumn, any one of which, to us, would be 
the occupation of a year. Now the theoretical conclusion 
we should make, on considering these facts, would be, 
that animals, so peculiarly gifted with the powers of 
locomotion, would use it to wander in every clime, 
that they would spread their races in every region of 
the earth where food could be procured, or where they 
could enjoy a fit temperature. These deductions, 
theoretically, cannot be deemed otherwise than just. 
Yet they are diametrically opposed and contradicted by 
facts. The swallow of England might reach America 
or China in as short a space of time as it would travel 
to Africa, and in either country would find food and 
warmth congenial to its nature ; but it has been ap- 
pointed to pursue a certain course; and from that course, 
whether to the right or to the left, it never deviates. 
This is only one out of a thousand instances, to prove 
that the limits of every animal have been fixed by 
an Almighty fiat " Hither shalt thou come, but no 
further." Man may do much with those animals which 
B 2 


have been appointed for domestication ; while food and 
temperature will have their accidental or local effects : 
but these causes, when viewed in reference to the 
great harmonies of the animal world, sink into insig- 
nificance ; and can ne\er, for a moment, be justly 
made to interpret the causes of animal distribution. 
Within the limits of the range of every animal there 
are, like islands in the ocean, spots which are not con- 
genial to its nature ; and here the secondary causes, 
just alluded to, come into play : but we should no more 
think of making these spots so many characteristics of 
geographic zoology, than we should say that the sun 
was not a luminous body, because its entire surface is 
not equally bright. 

(4.) That we may not, however, upon so important 
a question, appear to undervalue the opinions of those 
who have already given to the world the results of their 
investigations, we shall, in the first place, lay before the 
reader a condensed statement of what has been published 
upon the subject, and then notice the different theories 
that have arisen on animal geography. 

(5,) It was the opinion of Linnaeus that all races of 
animals, no less than of plants, originated in one com- 
mon central spot; from which they were gradually 
dispersed over those portions of the earth which they now 
inhabit. This opinion appears to receive full confirm- 
ation from the sacred writings ; and, in reference to 
the general interpretation of the deluge, it would appear 
presumptuous to controvert this belief, were not the 
inference here deduced from the Mosaic narrative con- 
tradicted by innumerable and undeniable facts. Jf all 
the tribes of terrestrial animals, now in existence, de- 
scended from a stock preserved in the ark, and subse- 
quently liberated, in what way can we account for the 
remote and partial locations of innumerable families, 
cut off by deserts and oceans from those regions in 
which all the events of Scripture history took place ? 
Contradictory, therefore, as these facts, at first sight, 
may appear to be to the Mosaic account of the deluge, 


the results furnished by zoological science will, never- 
theless,, on a closer view,, rather tend to explain and 
illustrate the sacred records. 

(6.) The hypothesis of Dr. Prichard relative to this 
important question, and in refutation of the above 
opinion, is marked by great intelligence. " It seems 
difficult to maintain, with Linnaeus, that all the tribes 
of land animals now existing descended from a stock 
that was preserved in Noah's ark, because, in that case, 
they must all have been congregated in one spot j a 
supposition which can hardly be reconciled with the 
results of zoological researches. But, perhaps, there is 
no necessity of assuming any such position. It is no- 
where asserted in the Mosaic history; and who can 
prove that the various nations of animals which have 
the centre of their abode, and seem to have had the 
origin of their existence, in distant regions, as Australia 
and South America, were not created since the era of 
that deluge, which the human race, and the species of 
animals that were their companions, survived ? This, 
indeed, seems to be the conclusion which facts, every 
day discovered, dispose us more and more to adopt/'* 
fe The deluge recorded in Genesis," continues our 
author, " was, perhaps, not universal, in the strict sense 
of the word, as it is now understood. The whole earth, 
the kol aeretz, which is said to have been submerged, 
might be only all the ohovfAcvi), or habitable world ; it 
might only extend to the utmost limits of the human 
race ; and other regions, with their peculiar organised 
creations, might be supposed to have escaped ; and this 
hypothesis might, perhaps, be maintained without 
doing any violence to the sacred text, of which every 
expression has received a divine sanction." But this 
supposition, as our author very candidly admits, lt is 
directly opposed to geological phenomena j which, with 
a variety of considerations, render it more probable that 
this deluge was strictly universal. It is incontestable 

* Hist, of Mankind, vol. L p. 81. 
B 3 


that (he fossil remains of animals, every where dis- 
coverable, chiefly belong to races different from those 
which now exist ; these were probably exterminated in 
the great catastrophe. Mankind escaped by the means 
recorded in the sacred, and in many profane, histories ; 
and with them were saved the stock of animals peculiar 
to the region in which, before the flood, they had their 
dwelling, and of which they, and most of the early do- 
mesticated animals, are in all probability the native 
inhabitants. After the deluge, when new regions 
emerged from the ocean, it is probable they were sup- 
plied with organised inhabitants suited to the soil and 
climate of each district. Among these new races, man, 
and the tribes which had survived with him, and which 
were his companions, spread themselves in a later time. 
The scripture history may thus be reconciled with the 
facts established by zoological research." Some per- 
sons will object to this hypothesis that it assumes po- 
sitions not laid down in the sacred narrative, such as a 
partial creation subsequent to the deluge. This must 
be granted, and the proof of such position must be 
sought, not in the scriptural history, but in external 
phenomena. The silence of the Scriptures, in respect 
to such facts, seems to be of little consequence. It is 
not to be presumed that these sacred books contain a 
narrative of all that it has pleased Divine Providence to 
effect in the physical creation, but only of His dis- 
pensations to mankind, and of the facts with which man 
is concerned : and it was of no importance for man to 
be informed at what era Australia began to contain 
kangaroos, or the woods of Paraguay ant-eaters and 

(7.) Other writers, by circumscribing their views to 
the local distribution of a few native animals, have so 
far lost sight of the original question, as to suppose 
that " the geographic distribution of each species may be 
represented by a circle, towards the centre of which 
existence may be comfortably maintained ; but, as we 
approach the circumference, restraints multiply, and 


life at last becomes impracticable." * It has been fur- 
ther added, that the conditions which regulate the geo- 
graphic distribution of species appear to be limited to 
circumstances connected with temperature, food, situ- 
ation, and foes. 

(8.) This hypothesis pretends not to account for the 
total difference in the genera and species of animals in 
two countries,, which are yet under the same parallels of 
latitude, of the same degree of temperature, and fur- 
nished with the same means of supporting and enjoying 
life : it leaves this question where it was, and might, 
therefore, hardly deserve attention in an enquiry directed 
principally to primary causes. The theory of a cir- 
cular range being enjoyed by species, may possibly be 
true in some few instances, although it would be dif- 
ficult, perhaps, to name them : but, when applied to 
animals generally, it is not only opposed by facts in- 
numerable, but is destroyed by the very admission that 
local circumstances exercise a primary influence on the 
range of animals. The peregrine falcon is found in 
America, Europe, and Australia, but it is totally un- 
known throughout the whole continent of Africa, an 
immense region thus intervening between two of its 
habitats. The great bustard of Europe is another fa- 
miliar example: its distribution is latitudinal; it is 
found in the centre of England, through the heart of 
Europe, and to the confines of Asia. Now, according 
to the idea of animals enjoying a circular range, the first 
of these birds should be found in Africa, and the latter 
throughout a circle which would then comprise the 
whole of northern and southern Europe, and Barbary. 

(9) The opinion that those conditions which re- 
gulate the geographic distribution of species are limited 
to circumstances connected with temperature, food, situ- 
ation, and foes, is totally insufficient to account for the 
phenomena of animal geography. We know, indeed, that 
these causes, either singly or collectively, have great 

* Phil, of ZooL vol. i. p. 8. 
B 4 


influence on local distribution, but they have nothing to 
do with the geographic distribution of animals indi- 
genous to large continents : nor will they even explain 
the local distribution of some of the commonest birds. 
It may be said, indeed, that the absence of the night- 
ingale in Northumberland and Scotland is to be at- 
tributed to the greater coldness of those parts, compared 
with the milder air of southern England. But how 
are we to account for this bird being common in the 
more northern kingdoms of Sweden and Germany ? 
Climate, in this case, can have no influence ; neither can 
food, since insects and their larvse, of the same species, 
are found in all these localities : the thickets of Scot- 
land are as favourable for breeding in as those of 
Sweden ; and in regard to foes, no reason can possibly be 
devised. In what way, also, can the circular range of the 
nightingale be made out? Again, we will allow that 
these causes are sufficient to account for the fire -crested 
warbler (Sylvia ignicapitta) being found in the Parisian 
gardens, while it is a stranger to England. The dif- 
ference of temperature, we will say, is the reason : 
England is colder than France. But how are we to 
account for two species of these gold-crested warblers 
being common in North America, in precisely the same 
latitudes, yet totally distinct from those of Europe ? It 
is by such questions, of which every class of animals 
will furnish innumerable examples, that closet theories 
must be tried : at the same time, they will at once point 
out the very distinct nature of local dispersion from that 
of geographic distribution, properly so called. 

(10.) Another theory supposes that the same spe- 
cies of animal or plant has been originally placed in 
many different regions : in other words, to have been 
at the period of their first existence locally diffused in 
countries widely distant. Hence it is, that nearly every 
country in the old world has a particular breed or race 
of the horse, ox, sheep, and dog ; all of which, in com- 
mon language, are termed the original breed of the par- 
ticular countries wherein they are found. Little need 


be said to prove the fallacy of this hypothesis ; for al- 
though it is utterly impossible to trace the origin of our 
domestic breeds to one or more original stocks, since even 
the species cannot now be distinguished from the vari- 
eties, still the whole tenor of zoological facts is totally 
against this belief. The plains of the new world, no 
less than those of Australia,, are as perfectly adapted for 
the comfortable existence of the horse or the ox, as are 
the fields and the pastures of Europe, or the grassy 
deserts of Asia ; yet nature has placed these animals in 
one hemisphere, and denied them to the other. 

(H.) Some other writers might be mentioned, who, 
in attempting to explain the causes of animal distribu- 
tion, have either been but little acquainted with well 
known zoological facts, or have been led into theories too 
wild and fanciful to deserve notice. We may, indeed, 
build a theory upon every thing in nature : but the more 
we investigate, the stronger will be our conviction in the 
following deduction: That the primary causes which 
have led to different regions of the earth being peopled 
by different races of animals, and the laws by which 
their dispersion is regulated, must be for ever hid 
from human research. This conclusion is strengthened 
by the inference which will be drawn from the facts we 
shall subsequently state ; an inference so well expressed 
by a very intelligent writer, that we shall give it nearly 
in his own words. ({ It appears that the various tribes 
of organised beings were originally placed by the Creator 
in certain regions, for which they are by their nature 
peculiarly adapted. Each species may have had only 
one beginning in a single stock ; probably a single pair, 
as Linnaeus supposed, was first called into being, and 
their progeny left to disperse themselves to as great a 
distance from the original centre of their existence as 
was compatible with its physical capabilities, and with 
those unknown laws, by which the Creator has regulated 
the geographic distribution of his creatures." 

(12.) We have now endeavoured to demonstrate the 
insufficiency of all theories on the causes of animal dis- 


persion, and yet experience teaches us, that certain 
divisions of the earth are characterised by peculiar 
animals. We are now to enquire,, what are these divisions? 
how they are to be defined ? and what are their pecu- 
liarities ? We shall, in the first instance, notice the dif- 
ferent theories that have been formed upon these points, 
enquire how far they are in accordance with observed 
facts, and then explain our own views upon this inter- 
esting subject. 

(l.S.) Fabricius appears to have been the first na- 
turalist who ventured on any actual definitions of what 
he conceived to be natural climates or provinces, and 
his views are confined alone to the insect world. He 
considers that there are eight of these divisions, which 
he has named the Indian, 2. Egyptian, 3. Southern, 4. 
Mediterranean, 5. Northern, 6. Oriental, 7. Occidental, 
and 8. Alpine. The first comprehends the tropics of 
the Old and the New World ; the second, the northern re- 
gions immediately adjoining ; the third, the southern ; 
the fourth, the countries bordering the Mediterranean, 
and part of Asia Minor ; the fifth, the northern parts 
of Europe ; the sixth, the coldest regions of northern 
Asia ; the seventh includes North America. Japan, and 
China ; and the eighth, all those mountains whose sum- 
mits are clothed in perpetual snow. 

(14.) The objections to this theory, as urged by 
M. Latreille, are, that the divisions are too vague, and 
at the same time too arbitrary ; and that if heat is to 
be considered as of such primary importance, it is not 
sufficiently correct as to temperature. This learned 
entomologist further observes (what, indeed, must be 
obvious to every one at all acquainted with the subject), 
that in places where the temperature is the same, the 
insects, and, we may add, the animals, in general, are 
totally different. The fact is, that Fabricius, by not 
attempting to demonstrate the correctness of any one 
of his divisions, seems to have subsequently abandoned 
them altogether, since no one, it may be fairly presumed, 


was more qualified than himself to discover the artificial 
nature of his theory. 

(15.) The views of M. Latreille, in reference to the 
geography of insects, do not, however, materially differ 
from those of Fahricius : he divides the globe into 
climates, which he thinks may he made to agree with 
our present state of knowledge, and be even applicable 
to future discoveries. His primary divisions are arctic 
and antarctic climates, according as they are situated 
above or below the equinoctial line ; and taking twelve 
degrees of latitude for each climate, he subdivides the 
whole into twelve climates. Beginning at 84? N. he 
has seven arctic ones, which he names polar, sub-polar, 
superior, intermediate, supra- tropical, tropical, and equa- 
torial ; but his antarctic climates, as no land has been dis- 
covered below 6'0 south latitude, amount only to five, 
beginning with the equatorial and ending with the su- 
perior. He proposes further to divide his climates into 
sub- climates, by means of certain meridian lines : sepa- 
rating, thus, the Old World from the New, and subdi- 
viding the former into two great portions; an eastern, 
beginning with India ; and a western, terminating with 
Persia. Finally, he proposes, that each climate should 
be considered as having 24 of longitude as well as 12 
of latitude. 

(16'.) To these views it has already been objected, 
by a celebrated entomologist, that " any division of the 
globe into climates, by means of equivalent parallels and 
meridians, wears the appearance of an artificial and arbi- 
trary system, rather than of one according to nature." 4 
In this opinion we perfectly coincide. The first defect 
in M. Latreille's theory, which immediately strikes the 
mind, is its complicated minuteness, by which its author 
has lost sight of, and frittered away, those grand di- 
visions of animal geography pointed out by nature,, and 
immediately recognised by every naturalist. What 
entomologist, for example, of ordinary talent, does not, in 

Kirby, Int. to Entom. vol. iv. p. 485. 


eighteen instances out of twenty, instantly recognise the 
butterflies of Africa from those of America ? or what 
ornithologist would now confound the flycatchers or 
the warblers of the Old with those of the New World ? 
These are all indications of those primary and com- 
prehensive divisions, which both Fabricius and Latreille 
have lost sight of from a wish of attaining precision, 
and of entering upon details : they have, consequently, 
produced theories substantially built upon climate and 
temperature. M. Latreille, indeed, would seem to be 
fully aware of the slender foundation of all such specu- 
lations, since he remarks, with great truth, that as places 
where the temperature is the same, have different 
animals, it is impossible, in the actual state of our know- 
ledge, to fix these distinctions of climates upon a solid 
basis. This opinion, it appears, is entertained both by 
M. Humboldt and Mr. M f Leay : and Mr. Kirby joins in 
believing, "that the real insect climates, or those in which 
certain groups or species appear, may be regarded as 
fixed by the will of the CREATOR, rather than as regu- 
lated by isothermal lines." * It cannot for a moment be 
supposed, that the geographic distribution of insects is 
regulated by other laws than those which affect animals 
in general ; although each may possess some few pecu- 
liarities in their minor details : the above objections, 
therefore, although more especially urged against the 
two entomological theories we have here noticed, are no 
less applicable to all others, intending to trace the phe- 
nomena of animal geography to temperature; and to 
fix their natural provinces or climates by degrees of 
longitude or latitude. 

(17.) There yet remains to be noticed another hypo- 
thesis, more recently proposed, not; indeed, by a na- 
turalist, but by one whose physiological researches are 
of the highest value, and whose opinions, therefore, 
merit every attention. Dr. Prichard is the first who 

* Int to Entom. voL iv. p. 481. 


attempted a more natural theory of animal distribution. 
This intelligent writer has looked more to the configu- 
ration of the earth, and to the natural connection or 
separation of its parts by intervening islands or oceans, 
than to absolute limits of longitude or latitude. Ac- 
cordingly, from this very circumstance, his zoological 
divisions are formed with much greater attention to 
nature than any of his predecessors. The following are 
the primary divisions he has proposed: 1. the arctic 
regions of the New and the Old World ; 2. the tem- 
perate ; 3. the equatorial or tropical ; 4. the Indian 
islands ; 5. the islands of New Guinea, New Britain, 
and New Ireland, and those more remote in the Pacific 
Ocean ; 6. Australia proper ; and, lastly, the southern 
extremities of America and Africa.* 

(18.) The objections that maybe stated against these 
divisions chiefly arise from the author not having kept 
in view the difference between affinity and analogy, as 
more particularly understood by modern naturalists. t 
And we may illustrate this position by looking more 
attentively to the animals of two or three of these pro- 
vinces. 1. The arctic regions of America, Europe, 
and Asia, indisputably possess the same genera, and in 
very many instances the same species ; and if it should 
subsequently appear that these regions are sufficiently 
important in themselves to constitute a zoological pro- 
vince, then it is a perfectly natural one ; for not only 
are the same groups, but even the same species, in se- 
veral instances, common to both. But can this be said 
of the second of these provinces, made to include the 
temperate regions of three continents ? Certainly not. 
We find, indeed, analogies without end, between their 
respective groups of animals, but they have each a vast 
number of peculiar genera ; and so few are the species 
common to all three, that the proportion is not perhaps 
greater than as 1 to 50. The genera, with but very few 

* Dr. Prichard's Researches, vol. i. p. 53. f Prel. Dis. N. H. p. 214. 


exceptions, are peculiar, but are represented by analo- 
gous genera ; and each continent is distinctly separated 
in its animal productions by indications as certain and 
as indubitable as those which distinguish their respec- 
tive inhabitants. Can we include temperate America 
in the same zoological province with the parallel regions 
of Europe, when there are not three land or rather 
perching birds common to both ? and when more than 
two thirds of the genera found in America are totally 
unknown in Europe or in Asia ? Look to the bears 
of the temperate regions of the three continents : 
those of America and Europe are similarly constructed, 
but the species are different; while those, again, of 
Asia, are formed upon a totally different model. We 
might fill pages with similar facts ; all tending, as we 
conceive, to exemplify the necessity of preserving these 
relations as distinct in our views of animal geography, 
as we are compelled to do in threading the maze of 
natural arrangement. Dr. Prichard, however, has the 
great merit of having made the nearest approach to such 
a theory of animal distribution as is suggested by the 
natural geography of the earth ; nor need we wonder 
that he has failejl in the application, since others, who, 
from their peculiar studies, might be supposed more com- 
petent to the task, have erred from the very foundation. 

(19.) Since, then, there is as marked a distinction 
between the animals of the great continents as there is 
between the races of mankind by whom they are inha- 
bited, it remains to be considered whether the ge- 
neral distribution of both are not in unison ? Whether 
their DIVINE CREATOR has not, by certain laws, incom- 
prehensible to human understanding, regulated the dis- 
tribution of man and of animals upon the same plan ? 
These questions lead us to the following propositions : 

1. That the countries peopled by the five recorded 
varieties of the human species, are likewise inhabited 
by different races of animals, blending into each other 
at their confines. 


2. That these regions are the true zoological divi- 
sions of the earth. 

3. That this progression of animal forms is in unison 
with the first great law of natural arrangement, viz. the 
gradual amalgamation of the parts, and the circularity 
of the whole. 

(20.) Whether we view the varieties of the human 
species, with M. Cuvier, as first resolvable into three, 
of which the Ethiopian is to comprehend the Malay 
and the American ; or whether, following Blumenbach, 
we consider the number to be five, thus raising the two 
latter to the rank of primary divisions, is of no con- 
sequence to our present enquiry. It is enough that 
all physiologists agree in these distinctions ; and the 
precise countries inhabited by the typical races of each. 
These territories are not only indicated by the pecu- 
liarities of their inhabitants, but are so strongly 
marked by the hand of nature, in their configuration, 
that geographers, looking merely to their natural po- 
sition and boundaries, have long recognised them by 
well-known names. Assisted, therefore, by these im- 
portant indications, let us respectively contemplate the 
animal kingdom as it appears in the following divi- 
sions of the earth ; considered, by all physiologists, as 
the chief seats of the five leading races of mankind. 
1. The European or Caucasian; 2. the Asiatic or Mon- 
golian j 3. the American ; 4. the Ethiopian or 
African ; and, 5. the Australian or Malay. The 
precise limits of the five zoological provinces here 
assumed, will not admit of accurate definition. The 
first great law of nature is harmonious combination. 
Whether in the moral or the physical world, the ma- 
terial or the immaterial, all her operations and all 
her changes are gradually progressive. The past, 
the present, and the future, are continuous. Changes, 
between forms and states the most opposite, are 
effected by transitions so gradual as often to elude 
definition. No axiom is more important, for the na- 


turalist more especially, to be borne in mind than this. 
What beings can be more dissimilar than an African 
negro and a Greek Caucasian ? Yet who has ventured 
to pronounce in what regions the Ethiopian form ac- 
tually blends into that of the Caucasian ? or this, again, 
into the Mongolian ? Such are the difficulties that 
will for ever baffle all attempts at unexceptionable 
definition, or every effort to define the precise limits of 
natural groups or zoological regions. Nature, in fact, 
seems to abhor those arbitrary rules, with which man 
has invested her operations; and which, for centuries, 
have shackled the progress of zoological knowledge. 

(21.) In attempting, therefore, to give a more accu- 
rate definition to the foregoing divisions, we are com- 
pelled to fill up the outline, at the best with diffidence, 
and, in some cases, by conjecture. The following, how- 
ever, may be regarded as some approximation to the 
truth. 1. The European or Caucasian range includes 
the whole of Europe, properly so called, with part of 
Asia Minor, and the shores of the Mediterranean : in 
Northern Africa the zoological peculiarities of this re- 
gion begin to disappear ; they are lost to the eastward 
of the Caucasian mountains, and are blended with those 
of Asia and America to the north. 2. The Asiatic range : 
comprehending the whole of Asia east of the Ural 
mountains, a natural and well-defined barrier between 
the two continents. The chief seat of this zoological re- 
gion is probably in central Asia ; its western confines 
l\ i nd into the European towards Persia, and disappear 
on the west of the Caucasian chain ; it is united to the 
African range among the provinces of Asia Minor ; and 
is again connected with Europe, and also with America, 
by the arctic regions of the three continents ; finally, its 
most southern limits are marked by the islands of Java 
and Sumatra, where the zoological character of the Aus- 
tralian region begins to be apparent. 3. The American 
range. United to Europe and Asia at its northern limits, 
this region or province comprehends the whole of the 
New World ; but into which it blends at the other ex- 


tremity is uncertain. 4. The next includes the whole 
of Africa south of the Great Desert : a part,, at least, of 
the countries bordering on the Mediterranean exhibit 
a decided affinity to the European range; while the 
absence of large animals in Madagascar, and the presence 
of genera peculiar to New Holland and the extreme point 
of Southern Africa,, lead us to the fifth or the Austra- 
lian range. 5. To this region nature has given peculiar 
characters, both in regard to its geographic situation 
and to its animal productions. New Guinea and the 
neighbouring islands mark its limits in that direction ; 
Australia Proper is its chief seat, and it spreads over 
the whole of the numerous islands of the Pacific Ocean : 
whether this province blends with that of America or of 
Europe, remains for future discovery ; but its connection 
with Africa and Asia has been already intimated. 

(22.) In this distribution, the Arctic regions, it will be 
perceived, are contemplated as a common bond of union, 
wherein the three great Faunas of Europe, Asia, and 
America meet, and are united together. They are con- 
sequently excluded from the rank of a distinct zoological 
province, because they do not contain either genera, or 
but very few species, of animals not found in the tem- 
perate latitudes of the other continents. The Polar 
bear, the Arctic fox, and about a dozen other animals, 
are surely insufficient to constitute one of the primary 
zoological divisions of the earth. If we look more 
particularly to the ornithology of these regions, 1 J we 
shall be still more inclined to form such a conclus&n. 
The number of birds, terrestrial and aquatic, which 
occur within the Arctic circle, amounts only to twenty- 
two ; most of which, during the greater part of 
the year, are found in the northern seas of Britain 
and America, and very many extend their range to the 
lakes and swamps of Mexico. Can we, therbfore, say 
of the Arctic regions, as of all the preceding provinces, 
that they are characterised by many exclusive genera, and 
by numerous forms of species ? Certainly not. Not one 
genus of vertebrated animals is peculiar, unless such may 


be found among the marine tribes; but even these 
would enjoy a much wider range, had not the persecutior 
and the increased population driven them., and restricted 
their limits,, to the Arctic solitudes. 








(23.)THE first of the zoological provinces intimated in the 
last chapter appears, on a cursory view, to be the most 
objectionable. For not only has it never been viewed in 
this light, but, from its close connection to that of Asia, 
it is also peculiarly difficult to characterise. Fully im- 
pressed with this difficulty, we considered it essential to 
the clear elucidation of our present theory, to institute a 
minute enquiry into those facts upon which alone all 
such theories can be supported. The quadrupeds of 
Europe are too few, and their original distribution have 
been too much altered by the progress of civilisation, 
to furnish satisfactory results. The insects, on the con- 
trary, are too numerous, and the reptiles too insignificant, 
for our purpose ; while the distribution of the ma- 
rine animals, peculiarly difficult under the most favour- 
able circumstances, has been hitherto neglected.. We have 


consequently selected from the department of ornithology 
those facts which appeared to authorise us in consider- 
ing Europe as one of the primary zoological divisions of 
the earth ; and shall now proceed to lay these facts,, and 
the inferences, before the reader. It has, indeed, been 
objected to this class of animals, that no very certain 
results can attend the study of their distribution. Pos- 
sessing the powers of locomotion in a higher degree 
than any others, and by their migratory nature per- 
petually wandering into distant countries, they would 
seem, of all animals, the most widely dispersed, and con- 
sequently the least calculated to assist such an enquiry. 
How far this may be true, it will be our object to in- 
vestigate. Certain, however, it is, that if, under such 
disadvantages, any definite notions on animal distri- 
bution can be derived from such volatile beings, the 
results will go very far to strengthen our views upon 
two material points : first, that a division of the earth, 
characterised by strong peculiarities jn its ornithology, 
must be, to a certain extent, a natural " division ; and, 
secondly, that we shall be fully authorised in supposing_, 
by analogy, that the same results would attend an equally 
close investigation of other animals ; since it cannot for 
a moment be supposed that man and birds are distri- 
buted according to one plan, and all other animals by 

(24.) Before illustrating the ornithology of Europe, 
with reference to the geographic range of the genera and 
species, we must advert to the difficulties by which the 
enquiry is surrounded. The accounts and relations of 
travellers, not in themselves naturalists, must, upon this 
and every other occasion, be received with great caution. 
Unacquainted with those nice distinctions, on which not 
only the separation of species, but of genera and 
families, are now known to depend, these writers per- 
petually contradict, by a hasty application of well- 
known names, some of the most acknowledged truths 
in animal geography. Nor can the facts collected in 
the compilations 01 more scientific writers be always 
c 2 


depended upon : numerous instances might be men- 
tioned, where not only species, but genera, are said to 
inhabit countries, where, in fact, they are totally un- 
known, and to which their geographic range has mani- 
festly been prohibited. It is the misfortune of those 
who complain of the present refinement in zoological 
nomenclature, that they debar themselves from a know- 
ledge of these interesting facts ; and, by keeping up old 
names, contribute, unintentionally, to the continuance 
of error. It is necessary to state thus much, that the 
reader who may be disposed to go over the same ground 
with us, may be warned of the nature of the road he is 
to travel. He will, however, be materially assisted in 
his researches by the valuable Manuels of M. Temminck, 
the American Ornithology of Wilson, the admirable 
writings of Prince Ch. Bonaparte, and the Northern 
Zoology of Dr. Richardson. Much, however, of what 
we are now to state, has resulted from personal know- 
ledge ; and this has enabled us to reject, as spurious, 
many of the localities assigned to species in the general 
histories of birds. 

(25.) Commencing with the Arctic regions, we must 
again impress on the reader the small number of birds 
which are natives, during any considerable portion of the 
year, of the most northern extremities of Europe and its 
frozen islands. These do not exceed, both in the ter- 
restrial and aquatic orders, the number of twenty-two ; 
the larger proportion of which are also found, during 
the greater part of the year, in the northern parts of 
Britain, America, and probably in Asia : on this latter 
region, however, we possess but slender information. 
The foregoing species are chiefly composed of the nata- 
torial or swimming tribes, of all others, perhaps, the 
most extensively dispersed: the total number of this 
order, hitherto discovered on the shores of Europe and 
Northern Africa, independent of such as are more pecu- 
liar to the Arctic circle, is sixty. Of these, two alone 
have been discovered in the four quarters of the globe ; 
three are common to Europe, Asia, and America j one 


to Europe, Asia, and Southern Africa ; and twenty- 
seven to Europe and North America: yet, notwith- 
standing these deductions, there still remain twenty- 
seven natatorial species (or nearly one half of the total 
number found in Europe), as peculiar alone to the 
European range. 

(26.) Among the Grallatores, or wading birds, we find 
some species so widely dispersed, as to make us believe 
the range of this order is even wider than that of the 
swimming tribes : and this, generally speaking, may 
be the fact. Of the sixty-five species described as 
natives of Europe, thirteen only occur in America, and 
but two can be denominated Arctic birds, although 
several others occasionally frequent those regions : of 
the remainder, four occur in Asia ; two in Asia and 
Africa ; four in Asia and America; seven in Asia, Africa, 
and America ; and the whimbrel (Numenius Phasopus) 
is said to be the same in all the five divisions of the 
globe. It is, consequently, among the wading birds 
that we find those whose range is most extensive ; yet, 
on a general calculation, the number of species peculiar 
to Europe is considerably greater than those of the 
Natatores, the former being as one to two, the latter 
nearly as one to four. This result is highly curious 
and important, since it at once proves that, even among 
birds of the most vagrant habits, the ornithology of 
the European range is characterised by a decided su- 
periority, in the number of its own peculiar species, over 
those which equally inhabit other countries. 

(27.) The rapacious order, next to the aquatic tribes, 
is, of all others inhabiting the land, the most widely 
spread. This is particularly the case among the noc- 
turnal [species. It is remarkable that, of thirteen 
different owls inhabiting Europe, six only are peculiar, 
and two of these more particularly inhabit the Arctic 
regions. Of the rest, four occur in America, two in 
Southern Africa, and one in both Asia and America,. 
The Falconidce, or diurnal birds of prey, in regard to 
c 3 


their species, have a more restricted distribution than 
the nocturnal ; yet, of these, the eagles enjoy no incon- 
siderable range : of four discovered in Europe, one 
is more properly Arctic, three have been found in several 
parts of Africa, and one occurs in America, leaving 
three only to Europe. It is singular that those rapa- 
cious birds which, from the peculiar structure of their 
wings, have been supposed to enjoy the greatest power 
of flight among their congeners, should nevertheless 
have a much more limited range. This is proved by the 
fact, that, of eight genuine falcons inhabiting Europe 
and Northern Africa, two only have been discovered in 
America. It has, however, recently been stated, that 
the peregrine falcon of Australia is absolutely the same 
as that of Europe. Among the numerous species of 
falcon in Southern Africa, not one occurs in Europe : 
the European kestril, long confounded with the mon- 
tagnard of Le Vaillant, being a decidedly distinct 
species. Upon the whole, the distribution of the forty- 
four European birds of prey appears to be thus regulated : 
three are more properly Arctic ; eleven are found also 
in America, two in Asia and Africa, and one in Asia 
and America ; leaving twenty-seven, or more than one 
half, as characteristic of European ornithology. 

(28.) The gallinaceous genera are few. Their wide 
dispersion is decidedly against the theory, that all birds, 
with heavy bodies and short wings, are more limited 
in their geographic range than other terrestrial tribes. 
This argument has been ingeniously made use of, to ac~ 
count for the very restricted limits nature has imposed 
upon the greater number of Indian parrots ; many 
species, as it is stated, being confined to particular 
islands. We must not, however, expect to find a reason 
for every thing : in the present instance, the above con- 
clusion is particularly erroneous. Ornithologists, indeed, 
need not be told, that the wings of nearly the whole of 
the parrot family are peculiarly adapted for strong and 
vigorous flight; while those who have contemplated 


these birds in their native regions, cannot fail to have 
remarked that their flight is particularly rapid : nearly 
all the genera pass through the air with the celerity of 
a hawk. The long- winged macaws and parrakeets of 
the New World are particularly graceful and powerful 
on the wing. The wide dispersion of the European 
gallinaceous birds is very evident. The range of 
the great bustard (Otis tarda L.) extends from the 
western extremity of temperate Europe to the confines 
of Asia ; and the quail, remarkable for its heavy body 
and short wings, performs long and regular annual 
migrations,, from and to Northern Africa, over the 
greatest part of Europe and Western Asia. We do 
not consider any of the European grouse as strictly 
Arctic ; excepting, perhaps, the ptarmigan ; the rest 
appear to occur as plentifully beyond those regions, as 
within them. Many of the meridional European birds, 
as the hoopoe, oriole, roller, &c., might with equal jus- 
tice be classed as tropical birds, since they are found as 
often in tropical Africa as on the shores of the Medi- 
terranean. The colder countries, of course, are the 
more peculiar habitations of the grouse ; but even in 
this family we meet with an insuperable objection against 
the idea of an Arctic province. If we exclude these 
birds from the fauna of temperate Europe, do we find 
the same species in the northern latitudes of America ? 
where, if we admit the existence of an Arctic province, 
it is natural to suppose they would be also found. Cer- 
tainly not. The species of the two continents represent 
each other ; but out of thirteen inhabiting America, 
only two (T. saliciti and Lagopus) have been found in 
Europe : with these exceptions, they are totally distinct : 
there is a beautiful analogy, but no similarity. On 
looking to the whole number of our Gallinacea, we find 
twenty-seven species, fourteen of which have their 
metropolis in Europe : the remainder are thus dispersed : 
five extend to Western Asia, five to the confines of 
the great African desert, two are dispersed over Central 
c 4 


Asia and Africa ; while two only, as before mentioned, 
occur in North America. 

(29.) The swallow-like birds (Fiftsirostres) are well 
known by capturing their food on the wing, and by their 
migratory habits ; only one, the common or European 
kingfisher, being stationary. Hence it is, that most of 
the European species occur in other regions : the pro- 
portion of those which appear confined to Northern 
Africa is as one to three. 

(30.) The finch family, comprising the small seed-eat- 
ing birds, not only contains numerous species, but these 
are very abundant in number. We reckon forty-one to be 
natives of Europe; two of which are common in all the 
northern latitudes, and, at certain seasons, frequent the 
polar regions in large flocks: seven also inhabit North 
America ; and three extend their range to Asia and 
Africa. With these deductions, we find no less than 
thirty species restricted to the European province. 

(31.) The scansorial or climbing birds are few, not 
amounting to more than fifteen species ; yet eight, or one 
half of this number, are unknown in other countries. 

(32.) It is among the insectivorous or soft-billed birds 
that the principal ornithological features of any exten- 
sive region will be traced. The very extensive genus of 
titmice warblers (Sylvicolce Sis.), or the family of hum- 
ming-birds, would of themselves be sufficient to place 
America in a distinct province. To what cause it is 
to be attributed, that birds, by no means defective in the 
power of flight, should yet be so strictly confined within 
certain geographic limits, has not been explained. Of 
eighty-five species belonging to the thrushes, warblers, 
titmice, and flycatchers, eighty-two have not been dis- 
covered beyond the limits assigned to the European 
range. In this number we, of course, include such as 
migrate to Northern Africa and Western Asia ; these 
countries being within the province we are now speak- 
ing of. Yet, if we deduct those which have actually 
been detected beyond the shores of the Mediterranean 


and Western Asia, they will amount only to ten ; leaving 
seventy-two as a marked and very prominent character- 
istic of European ornithology. In further illustration 
of the very limited range of these families, it appears 
that three only, of eighty-five, equally inhabit Ame- 
rica ; and that even the identity of one of these (Parus 
atricapillus L.) with a European species (P. palustris 
L.) is more than questionable. 

(33.) The large omnivorous birds of Europe, compris- 
ing the crow and starling families (Corvidce, Sturnidce), 
appear widely dispersed. Yet, upon the whole, several 
species, and even peculiar genera, are left to characterise 
this portion of the world. We may state their number at 
twenty-one; thirteen of which, or more than one half, 
habitually reside in Europe ; four occur in Northern 
and Central Africa; one the beautiful rose-coloured 
starling (Pastor roseus T.) inhabits likewise the table 
land of Asia, and the deserts of Africa ; while three are 
found in America. 

(34.) These details, of the greatest importance to 
our present enquiry, yet tedious, perhaps, to the general 
reader, it becomes necessary to dwell upon, before 
a competent opinion can be formed on European orni- 
thology. The facts exhibited have never before been 
stated ; and they appear sufficiently strong to justify 
our looking to Europe as the principal seat of a pecu- 
liar geographic division of animals. In this difficult 
and somewhat laborious investigation, we have been 
much assisted by the writings of Wilson, Temminck, 
and Le Vaillant; but more particularly by that liber- 
ality which throws the magnificent Museum of the 
French nation open to the use of all scientific en- 
quirers. Yet, with all these sources of information, and 
perhaps- greater, had such existed, it cannot be supposed 
that inaccuracies may not occur. Such calculations, 
in short, from their very nature, cannot be perfect ; 
for they are founded upon a state of knowledge which 
is ever improving. All we can do, in such cases, 
is to make as near an approximation to truth as 


circumstances admit ; and,, having done this, the result 
may be entitled to proportionate confidence. 

(35.) As a general recapitulation of the foregoing de- 
tails, we may estimate the total number of European species 
at 388, excluding a few, which only appear, at remote 
intervals, as stragglers : of these, thirty-one are more 
peculiar to the Arctic regions of Europe, America, and 
probably of Asia ; the proportion being as one to 
thirteen. Such as occur, also, in temperate Asia and 
America amount to sixty-eight; forty of which are 
aquatic : nine are dispersed over four divisions of the 
globe, to none of which can they be particularly ap- 
propriated ; while one or two extend also to Australia. 
With all these deductions, the number will be reduced 
to about 278. If from these we abstract such as have 
a range beyond the European limits, the number may 
be further reduced to about 250 : so that nearly two 
thirds of the total number of birds found in Europe, 
Northern Africa, and Western Asia, are zoologically cha- 
racterised as peculiar to these countries. 

(36.) Another remarkable fact in European ornithology, 
which deserves attention, is the great number of generic 
types it contains, when viewed with reference to the num- 
ber of species. These genera may be calculated at 108, 
omitting some which have not been generally adopted, 
and others which may more correctly be termed sec- 
tions. The proportion which these genera bear to the 
species (estimated before at 388) amounts to more than 
two to seven ; or, in other words, does not give seven 
birds to two genera. It is further remarkable, that 
most of these genera are typical of their respective 
families. True it is, that such genera are usually very 
widely dispersed ; but in no division of the globe do 
they appear so much concentrated, or so numerous in 
proportion to the species, as in Europe. This remark 
not only applies to the typical genera, but is frequently 
applicable to the number of species they respectively 
contain. One instance will illustrate our meaning. The 
noble falcons, or those to which the generic name of 


Fako is now restricted, are the most typical group of 
their family : of these the kestrel,, and five others, have 
their chief metropolis in the European province. The 
whole of North America has hitherto produced but 
four. Le Vaillant enumerates the same number from 
Southern and Central Africa. Those of Asia Proper are 
not known; but only two are furnished by the vast 
regions of Australia. Now, if we merely look to these 
respective numbers, the difference is sufficiently dis- 
proportionate : but when the great inferiority of the 
European province, to those of America, Africa, and 
Australia, in point of extent, are taken into the account, 
the great proportion of these eminently typical species in 
Europe is particularly striking. The genus Lanius is 
strictly typical of its own family. In Europe we have 
certainly five, and probably six, species ; while only 
three inhabit the whole of the New World. In Africa, 
Le Vaillant discovered five ; but two of these, from 
having their chief metropolis in the heart of Europe, 
cannot be considered as characteristic of the former 
continent. The manifest preponderance of genera in 
the European range is further illustrated by the following 
fact : The total number of species among birds, exist- 
ing in collections, may be safely estimated at 6000, 
since it has been asserted that the Museum of Berlin 
alone contains that number. These have been referred 
to about 380 genera ; but as several of these genera 
comprise others not yet characterised, we will estimate 
the number at 400 : this would leave 1 5 species to 
each generic group ; whlie, if the ornithology of the 
European range is alone considered, the proportion 
which the genera bear to the species is no more than 
as one to three. 

(37.) The above facts serve to illustrate a remarkable 
analogy between the distribution of the feathered tribes, 
and the various races of mankind inhabiting the Eu- 
ropean, or rather the Caucasian, province. A modern 
writer of no mean authority, and to whom the above 
facts were entirely unknown, when speaking of the 


varieties of mankind, observes,, that " the tribes among 
the Caucasians are more numerous than in any other ;" 
and, as if impressed with the singularity of the circum- 
stance,, he again repeats, " Whether we consider the 
several nations, or the individuals in each, bodily dif- 
ferences are much more numerous in the highly civilised 
Caucasian variety, than in either of the other divisions 
of mankind." * Whether we look to the Caucasian 
races of man, or the races of birds, these facts are still 
more curious, since this division is so disproportionately 
small in comparison to either Asia, Africa, or America. 

(38.) That there are instances of typical forms of 
higher groups than genera, which do not occur within 
the European province, does not materially diminish the 
general strength of this analogy. Thus the only bird we 
possess belonging to the tenuirostral or suctorial tribe, is 
the European hoopoe (Upupa Epops L.), which is cer- 
tainly not typical: but this, so far as tribes are concerned, 
is the only exception that can be named ; since, although 
we have no parrots, we possess many woodpeckers, 
which are the most typical of all the scansorial birds. 
It is curious that the above exception should be found in 
that division alone which comprises the smallest and 
weakest of birds (Trochilidce Sw.). If we descend to 
the families of the Insessores (the most perfect of the 
feathered tribe), there is not one, pre-eminently typical, 
which is not European. 

(39.) These results, furnished by facts which are in- 
contestable, are so important to our present enquiry, that 
we make no apology for having so long dwelt upon 
them. The ornithology of Europe is better known 
than that of any other continent, or of any other class 
of animals distributed in the same regions; it has, conse- 
quently, furnished us with facts more unexceptionable 
and more perfect than could have been drawn from its 
quadrupeds, fish, or insects. How far this view of 
European zoology would be strengthened by a similar 

* Lawrence, p. 442. 475, 


investigation of other classes, it is impossible to judge : 
for, even did our present very confined limits permit 
the enquiry, we should have to rely more upon theory 
than upon facts. Many of the quadrupeds originally 
dispersed over Europe, have already become extinct as 
natives, and the races of others are fast disappearing: 
we know not, in fact, the original and natural dispersion 
of these animals. Conclusions, drawn from such as are 
now only known in a fossil state, would be still more 
vague. Geographic ornithology is nearly exempt from 
both these objections : since the paucity of fossil re- 
mains referred to this class, proclaims how few species 
must have been extirpated. Birds, more than any other 
vertebrated animals, seem to have been the least affected 
by the Deluge, or by other changes calculated to modify 
their original dispersion. It naturally follows, that, in 
tracing the distribution of the feathered creation, we 
have selected that department of nature which has left 
us unshackled by geological controversy, and that which 
from possessing the most authentic materials is best 
fitted to illustrate our subject. 

(40.) The conclusions which we must arrive at, upon a 
review of the foregoing statements, are these : First, 
that the European province is strikingly characterised by 
its peculiar animals, and sufficiently so to constitute it one 
of the primary zoological divisions of the world. Se- 
condly, that it occupies those countries which are the 
chief seat of the Caucasian race, with which its orni- 
thology presents many singular and undeniable analogies. 
Thirdly, that these analogies are so remarkable, and so 
manifest, that we must conclude that the same ALMIGHTY 
POWER has distributed both upon one uniform and har- 
monious plan. 

(41.) Having so far pointed out those peculiarities 
which entitle Europe to be considered one of the chief 
zoological divisions of the world, we shall now, viewing 
it in that light, take a rapid survey of its more particular 
features. Our observations will be arranged under the 
three divisions it naturally presents; namely, 1. the 



Arctic ; 2. the Central; and, 3. the Southern. The chief 
seat, however, of this zoological province is between the 
40th and 50th degrees of N. latitude. 

(42.) Arctic Europe comprehends Greenland, Lap- 
land, the islands of Spitzbergen and Iceland, and a con- 
siderable part of Norway, Sweden, and Northern Russia. 
The intense cold of these regions, being highly unfa- 
vourable to animal life, renders the species very few. 
There must be an exception, however, made in favour 
of the marine tribes ofMollusca, and of the aquatic birds : 
vast multitudes of both are regular visitants to these in- 
hospitable shores ; the former class supplying food to the 
latter. Among the quadrupeds, the Arctic foxes, wolves, 
seals, and Polar bears, are well-known inhabitants. 
Otho Fabricius mentions thirty-two species of Mam, 
malia as natives of Greenland, nine of which are seals 
and walruses ; and fifteen belong to the whale class ; thus 
leaving but eight species of terrestrial quadrupeds. The 
number of birds, including occasional visiters to Green- 
land, are fifty-two ; among which, seven are rapaci- 
ous, and only five belong to the warblers and finches; 
the remainder, with the exception of the ptarmigan 
(Lagopus mutus}, belong to the wading and swimming 
orders, to whose nourishment and increase the Arctic 
solitudes are highly favourable. 
Nevertheless, the largest propor- 
tion of these birds occur abund- 
antly in sou them latitudes; and 
many extend even to Mexico, 
Northern Asia, and the shores 
of the Mediterranean. Those 
species, in fact, which are con- 
fined to the Arctic circle, are 
remarkably few. The most 
characteristic bird of Arctic 
Europe is the great snowy owl 
(Strix Nyctea L. fig.\.} } which 
extends its range over all the 
regions bordering upon the north pole. 


(43.) The first indications of the zoology of Central 
Europe may be said to commence towards the 6'0th 
degree of north latitude, where a sensible change in the 
number and in the species of animals may be perceived. 
Vegetation supplies food for insects, no less than for 
birds; while the former become the prey of the latter: 
thus the supplies'^of nature are accurately balanced, with 
a considerate regard to the wants of all her creatures. 
This accession of fertility in the vegetable kingdom is 
accompanied by an accession of animals ; the land birds 
increase, while the aquatic tribes diminish in numbers, 
although not in species. Most of the Arctic birds, how- 
ever, occur in the northern parts of Scotland, and in 
Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Miiller, the celebrated 
Danish naturalist, enumerates fifty-seven quadrupeds 
and 131 birds, as natives of his own country : among the 
former, seventeen only are marine; while the land birds 
amount to eighty-seven, exclusive of twenty-six eagles, 
falcons, and owls. On comparing this statement with 
that already cited of the animals of Greenland, we ob- 
serve a considerable diminution of the marine -Mam- 
malia, arid a large addition to the terrestrial birds, this 
latter fact being accounted for by the circumstances 
above mentioned. As we approach farther south, this 
increase becomes more apparent, and can be traced even 
within the limits of our own islands. Several species 
of the polar regions, common to the north of Scotland, 
are unknown in the west of England ; which, never- 
theless, exhibits a much greater number of others, which 
that kingdom does not possess ; this is particularly the 
case among the insects of the two countries. Even 
among the domesticated animals, a greater developement 
of size is apparent in the horse, the sheep, and the ox 
of England, than in those of Scotland ; while the pea- 
cock, turkey, and Guinea-fowl, so perfectly naturalised 
in our climate, are reared and preserved with great 
difficulty towards the north of Scotland. 

(44.) It appears, therefore, from the foregoing observ- 
ations, that the southern part of Central Europe is the re- 


gion best calculated for studying the peculiarities of this 
zoological province. Confining ourselves to the existing 
wild quadrupeds, we may remark, that, while two species 
alone appear to inhabit the cold country of Denmark, 
there are thirteen described as natives of France and the 
adjacent kingdoms, seven of which are also found in 
Britain. The common brown bear takes the place of the 
Polar species in the central parts of Europe, where, also, 
the black bear was once common, although now nearly 
extinct. The wolf and the fox, under different varie- 
ties, or perhaps species, are distributed over this region ; 
where also we find the wild cat ; and two, if not three, 
species of lynx. The lesser ferocious quadrupeds are 
more numerous ; for no less than eight species of the 
weasel family inhabit Europe. Under the head of 
graminivorous quadrupeds, or such as live more or less 
upon seeds as well as upon flesh, may be mentioned the 
hedgehog, squirrel, and seven species of mice. The beaver 
(fig. 2.) is recorded to have inhabited, at one time, the 

banks of some of the 
Welsh rivers, but has 
long been extirpated 
from these islands, 
and will, doubtless, 
in a few years, entire- 
ly disappear from 
Europe. It may be 
here observed, that 
the different species of mice, now arranged under se- 
veral distinct genera, form an important feature in 
European zoology. The following are their names : 

Arvicola amphibius. Water Rat. 

Arvicola arvalis. Field Arvicole. 

Arvicola fulvus. Yellowish Mouse. 

Arvicola argentoratensis. Strasburg 

Georychus Norvegicus. The Lem- 

Georychus terrestris. Land Lem- 

Mus sylvaticus. Field Mouse. 

Mus campestris. Plain Mouse. 
Mus musculus. House Mouse. 
Mus messarius. Harvest Mouse. 
Mus minutus. Small Mouse. 
Mus agrarius. Setnic Mouse. 
Mus soricinus. Shrew-like Mouse. 
Mus dichrurus. Party-coloured 

Mus Islandicus. Iceland Mouse. 


(45.) Of the hamsters, remarkable for their cheek 
pouches, one species is chiefly found in Siberia ; but an- 
other (Cricetus vulgar is) is distributed over Central and 
Northern Europe. Two species of marmots {Arctomys 
Marmotta and Bobac), and the Spermophilus citittas, or 
Soullsk of the Germans, occur in this region. Four 
species of hare and rabbit complete the list of the Euro- 
pean Glires. 

(46.) On turning to the ruminating order of quad- 
rupeds, we find the elk and the reindeer of the northern 
latitudes giving place to the fallow deer, the stag, and 
the roebuck in the central parts of Europe. The 
lofty and inaccessible precipices of the Alps and Pyre- 
nees still afford shelter to the chamois, the yzard, and 
the ibex, notwithstanding the daring intrepidity of their 
hunters. The musmon is another of the wild Europe^ 
an animals, possessing much interest, from being the 
origin of all our domesticated sheep : it is said, although 
not by any recent authority, still to exist in a state of 
nature among the high mountains of Corsica and Sar- 
dinia ; and although now extirpated from the continent, 
there is good reason for believing that it formerly existed 
on the mountains of Spain. In the early ages, wild oxen 
were common in most parts of temperate Europe ; and 
they are mentioned, even by our own historians, as in- 
festing the forests which then surrounded London ! 
The white ox, formerly wild in Scotland, is now only 
known from the breed having been preserved in one or 
two of the parks of our nobility. 

(47.) The ornithology of Central Europe has many 
peculiarities. On the highest summits of the Alps, and 
in the large and elevated forests which still remain in 
Hungary and the Tyrol, are found all the four species 
of European vultures. Only one of three, the fulvous 
vulture (V.fulvus L.) appears to enjoy a range further 
north ; yet all extend their peregrinations as far as Italy, 
and two are even found on the northermost limits of 
Africa and Western Asia. The great-eared owl 


bubo L., fig. 3.) represents, in Central Europe, the 
snowy species of the Arctic regions. It is common in 
the German and Hungarian fo- 
rests, although very rare in Eng- 
land. The Iceland falcon is not, 
as it name would imply,, con- 
fined to that frigid country, but 
is well known in Germany under 
the name of the Falco caudicans 
of authors. The wide geo- 
graphic range of the class of 
rapacious birds already noticed 
(27.), enables us to account for 
the dispersion of the remaining 
European falcons over all the 
temperate and southern parts of 
this continent, and over the 
northern regions of Africa, in the greater number of in- 
stances. With the exception of the three-toed species, 
all the other woodpeckers, five in number, are found in 
the forests and woods of Central Europe. 

(48.) To detail the varied distribution of the warblers 
and the small insectivorous birds would far exceed 
the limits of this sketch; their northernmost limits, how- 
ever, do not extend beyond Central Europe; nor are 
we aware of any one species found in France and 
Germany, which does not occur in the southern king- 
doms. The few gallinaceous birds, with the exception 
of the grouse, are chiefly found in similar temperatures : 
they consist of three species of bustards, two of part- 
ridges, and one of the quail. The grouse seem to occupy 
an intermediate station between the centre of Europe 
and the confines of its polar extremity : the largest is 
the famous cock of the woods, once an inhabitant of 
the Scottish forests ; which country also produces an- 
other species, the red game of the sportsman, which is 
found in no other part of the world. Four of the most 
beautiful of European birds, namely, the bee-eater, the 
roller, the hoopoe, and the golden oriole, in their 


annual migrations from Africa, visit nearly all the cen- 
tral parts of the Continent, and are occasionally carried, 
by accidental causes, to these islands ; but as we advance 
northward, they are no longer to be met with. 

(49.) We now come to the third portion of the 
European province, comprising the south of France, the 
whole of Spain, Italy, and Turkey, together with the 
coasts and islands of the Mediterranean Sea, bordering 
on Northern Africa and Asia Minor. On the quadrupeds 
of these countries little can be said, as our materials are 
but scanty. There is no evidence that 4 the large rumi- 
nating animals, such as the elk, reindeer, stag, roe- 
buck, &c., exist on the shores of the Mediterranean ; 
although a small species, probably the fallow deer, is 
still to be met with in some of the extensive forests of 
Calabria, and in the vestiges of those which once spread 
over the mountains of Sicily. But, on the other hand, 
there is the porcupine, an undoubted native of Italy, 
still found wild ; and the musmon sheep, already men- 
tioned, truly belongs to this region. The buffalo lives 
in Greece and Italy, as if in its native country, although 
now only seen in a domesticated state. 

(50.) The ornithology of the Mediterranean shores 
presents many interesting facts. The vultures, which are 
seldom found northward of the Alps, occur more fre- 
quently as the climate becomes warmer ; they appear 
to follow the course of the Apennines in Italy, and of 
the higher mountains of Spain and Greece ; whence 
they extend their range on one side to Asia Minor, and 
on the other to Northern Africa. The imperial eagle 
(Aquila imperialis Sw.) is chiefly found in Southern 
Europe, while the golden eagle is more restricted to the 
colder latitudes. The gigantic owls of the northern 
regions are here unknown ; but two or three horned 
species, of diminutive size, follow the migratory flocks 
of land birds in their annual flights across the Mediter- 
ranean from Africa. In the extensive family of war- 
blers (Sylviada Sw.), besides those of Central Europe > 
D 2 


are several others, altogether peculiar to Italy, Spain, 
Sicily, and Sardinia. Here, also, the common starling 
is scarcely known; but its place is filled by another 
species, the Sturnus unicolorT., hitherto found more par- 
ticularly in Sardinia. There are two species of bustard 
(Otis Tetrao and Houbara), which belong more espe- 
cially to Southern Europe, where the Otis tar da is un- 
known. The rocky and uncultivated wastes of Spain, 
Turkey, and Asia Minor, are inhabited by two species 
of rock grouse (Pterocles), of a genus different from those 
belonging to northern latitudes. The beautiful wall 
creeper (Tichodroma phcenicoptera Tern.), with its 
bright rosy wings, is confined to the southern extremity 
of the Alps, and the rocks of Spain and Italy ; while 
large flocks of the bee- eater (Her ops apiaster L.) 
skim over the gardens and olive plantations of Southern 
Italy and Sicily, in every direction, during the spring 
and autumnal migrations. The golden oriole, the roller, 
and the hoopoe, at such seasons, are no less common; 
and we have frequently seen them exposed for sale, with 
many other birds rare in Central Europe ,in the 
poulterers' shops of Messina and Palermo. The union 
of the, European, African, and Asiatic ornithology on 
the shores of the Mediterranean, is further proved by 
the wading and aquatic tribes. The pelican, the spoon- 
bill, and the flamingo, are still to be met with in these 
countries, although now less plentiful, from the great 
attraction which their large size possesses for the sports, 
man. Our researches in these countries have enabled us to 
contribute a noble addition to the birds of Europe, in 
the Ardea pavonia L., or coronated crane, several of 
which were captured in the small island of Lampidosa 
in 1812, and brought to Malta alive. 

(51.) On the insects and other annulose animals, 
our limits will not permit us to dilate, although, perhaps, 
these classes supply more interest to the philosophic 
naturalist than any other. A bare enumeration of the 
genera alone would almost fill a volume. Suffice it to 
say, that the entomology of Southern Europe is emi- 


nently distinct from that of the central and northern 
latitudes. As we approach the provinces of Spain, 
Southern Italy, and the Peloponnesus, we find many 
genera which have their chief metropolis in Asia and 
Northern Africa ; 'while the rapacious family of Cara- 
bidfg does not exhibit one fifth of the number of species 
which inhabit Britain alone. The same may be said of 
the Staphylinida and the Silphidce. On the other hand, 
all those coleopterous, hymenopterous, and other insects 
which delight in a sandy soil similar to that of Africa, 
begin to show themselves; as the genera Scarabteu* 
M'L., Trox, Scarites F., Pimela F., Sphex, Bembex, 
Anthrax, Osmia, Nomada, Chrysis, &c. Ants, as in 
tropical countries, become the universal scavengers, and 
are of numerous species; while of the Termites, or 
white ants, hitherto considered as almost restricted to 
tropical latitudes, one species is found in the south of 
France, and we have discovered another in Sicily. The 
Lepidoptera are less peculiar. One half of the British 
diurnal species are found in Sicily, intermixed with 
others of Central Europe, and with two or three of those 
found in Northern Africa. Among these, the most 
striking and beautiful is the Jasia Europaa Sw., the 
Papilio Jasius of the old authors. This noble butterfly, 
however, seems to be rare even in the south of Italy ; 
where, during many years, we captured only two specimens. 
The Eurymus edusa 
of Britain is like- 
wise common ; as also 
the Pieris Daplicide, 
A.Lathonia, and one 
or two others of our 
rarestbutterflies. The 
Gonepteryx Cleopa- 
tria takes the place of our G. Rhamni ; but all our 
clear- winged Sesice seem to be almost unknown in Italy. 
Scorpions, which are happily strangers with us, are 
frequently met with in the houses of Sicily ; and we were 
D 3 


once fortunate in discovering one of these disgusting in- 
sects crawling under the pillow of the bed : having lost 
the specimen,, we can only give a copy of the original 
drawing, exhibiting the natural size (fig. 4.). The silk- 
worm of the south of Europe is too well known to re- 
quire further notice. 

(52.) The European reptiles are fortunately few. Li- 
zards,, so rarely seen in the temperate latitudes of Europe, 
abound in the south of Italy, and still more so in Sicily 
and Malta, where the gecko, or house lizards, are fre- 
quently seen, upon a gloomy day, running along the 
ceiling of old dwelling-rooms. The viper is the only 
venomous serpent here found, and there are some few 
others scattered in the different temperate latitudes. The 

freshwater tortoises, on 
the other hand, are only 
to be found in the south 
of Italy, where they are 
scarce; and in Greece, 
where we observed them 
very common. /The spe- 
cies of turtle found in 
the Mediterranean is that 
which is usually described by authors as the logger-head 
of the West Indies ; and, in support of this opinion, they 
quote the figure given by Gottwold (fig. 5.). Unfortu- 
nately, we neglected to investigate this question on the 
spot ; but we can vouch for the excellency of this species 
when dressed, for its flavour is fully equal to that of the 
green turtle : the flesh of the logger- head, on the con- 
trary, is described as quite unpalatable. 

(53.) The fish of Southern Europe form one of its 
most characteristic zoological distinctions. Of those inha- 
biting the seas of Spain and Portugal, very little is known ; 
but upon entering the Mediterranean, a large accession 
of peculiar and very beautiful species appear. The enor- 
mous shoals of anchovies (fig. 6.), in an economic point of 
view, are very important annually employing in their 
capture and preparation a great number of men. The 


same may be said, but in a less degree, of the tunny 

fisheries of Sicily. The herring and the pilchard, on 
the other hand, are scarcely known. The coast of Nice 
has been ably investigated, and its productions de- 
scribed by Risso. Of more than 150 species of 
fish minutely examined by us on the coasts of Sicily, 
we believe that not more than one third belong also to 
the ichthyology of Britain and Northern Europe. The 
only one of these new species we have yet described is the 
Ammodytes Siculus Sw *, or 'Sicilian sandlance ; a local 
species, but found in such vast shoals, as to supply, at 
particular seasons, all the inhabitants of Messina with a 
plentiful meal. This fish is highly prized for its delicious 

(54.) The radiated Mottusca (Radiata) of these 
coasts are very numerous. The many harbours, caves, 
and submerged rocks, sheltered from those violent com- 
motions which agitate the Atlantic Ocean, afford them 
protection, and contribute to their rapid increase. 
Their investigation, hitherto much neglected, offers 
a most interesting field for those naturalists who 
can study them in their native seas. Along the rocky 
shores of Sicily, but especially those of Malta, many 
species of sea anemone, and other animal flowers, stud 
the bottoms of the deep caves ; while the purple Echini 
. occur in great profusion in similar situations. The 
stillness and the transparency of the water are such, that 
all these may be seen with perfect clearness at a depth of 
eight or ten feet. The tubular and cellular polypes, 
whose habitations are commonly called corals and coral- 
lines, are more abundant in the Bay of Naples ; which, 
with the coasts of Sicily, has long been celebrated for 
the abundance of the true red coral. 

* Zoological 111. i. pi. 63. 
D 4 


(55.) The testaceous Mollusca, or shellfish, are in 
great variety,, and are much more prized by the catholics, 
as an article of food, than by us. The British oyster, 
muscle, whelk, and cockle are almost unknown ; but, 
in lieu of these, there is an abundance of other species, 
which we do not possess, peculiar to these 
seas. The Lithodomus dactylus Cuv. 
(fiff- 7-)j or date muscle, is found in 
abundance in the rocks of Malta, which it 
perforates as smoothly as if the holes were 
made by an auger. The Pinna nobilis L., 
or great pinna, grows to the extraordinary 
length of two feet, and is much sought 
after by the people of Tarento on account 
of its byssus, O r tuft of silky hairs by which the animal 
adheres to the rocks : this, after undergoing a prepar- 
atory process, is made into gloves and 
stockings ; but the manufacture, as may 
be supposed, is not very extensive. The 
texture of some of these articles, which 
we have seen, was beautiful and glossy, 
and the colour, natural to the substance, 
is either dark cinnamon, or golden yel- 
low, inclining to brown. C. Ulysses, the 
only writer, we believe, with the excep- 
tion of Poli, who has given any connected view of the 
conchology of the Italian seas, enumerates 180 species, 
chiefly found in the kingdom of Naples ; 
while we could add about thirty or 
forty more peculiar to Sicily. Ta- 
rento is so singularly rich in shells, that 
its fisheries are under the immediate re- 
gulations of the governor. If the concho- 
logist who may be in Naples visit the 
fish-market, he will observe noble speci- 
mens of the following large and hand- 
some shells exposed for sale only to be eaten ! Area 
pihsa, Cardium spinosum and aculeatum, Solen sfri. 
Pecten maximum, Murex brandanus {fig. 8.), 



M. trunculus (fig. 9-), Byssoarca NOCK Sw., Isocardia 
Cor; and many other smaller species, which would 
deserve a place in cabinets. It is also remarkable that, 
in these seas, the first indications of the conchology 
of the Asiatic region are found in such shells as Car- 
dium cardissa, Cyprcea mus, Chama gryphoides, Oliva 
(one species), Conus Virgo, C. monachus, and probably 
several other shells; the above being inserted in the 
list of Ulysses.* 

(56.) The fluviatile shells of Europe are chiefly 
confined to its central latitudes. Those little sheltered 
streams, pools, and brooks, which are so abundant in 
this island, and which appear so congenial to these ani- 
mals, are very rarely seen in the warm countries of the 
Mediterranean, where the fervour of a summer sun 
would soon render them dry. In the deeper rivers 
however, of France and of Italy, some species of Unio., 

or freshwater muscle, are found, which we do not pos- 
sess. These are the Unio littoralis (fig. 10. a), the*/. 
batava (6), and the Unio intermedius (c, c); the latter 
being a new species sent to us from Gibraltar. The 
land shells, on the other hand, are more numerous in 
Italy than in England ; and in certain situations, where 
the surface is rocky, several species are found in the 

* Travels in the Kingdom of Naples, 8yo. London, 1795. 


greatest profusion. The cephalopodous Mollusca, or 
cuttle fish, of the Sepia and Loligo genera, although not 
of many species, are sometimes found in great numbers, 
and frequently grow to an enormous size. 

(57.) The genera and subgenera of the quadrupeds 
now inhabiting the European range are as follows : 

Rinolphus C. Bat. 
Plecotus C. Bat. 
Vespertilio L. Bat. 
Erinaceus L. Hedgehog. 
Sorex L. Shrew. 
Mygale C. Desman. 
Talpa L. Mole. 
Ursus L. Bear. 
Meles L. Badger. 
Martes L. Marten. 
Lutra L. Otter. 
Vulpes //. Fox. 
Felis L. Cat. 
Lynx Ant. Lynx. 
Phoca L. Seal. 
Trichecus L. Walrus. 
Castor L. Beaver. 
Arvicola C. Field Mouse. 
Myoxus C. Dormouse. 

Mus L. Mouse. 
Cricetus C. Hamster. 
Gerbillus C. Terbil. 
Arctomys C. Marmot. 
Aspalax. Spalax. 
Spermophilus. Pouch Marmot. 
Sciurus L. Squirrel. 
Pterornys C. Flying Squirrel. 
Hystrix L. Porcupine. 
Lepus L. Hare. 
Lagomys Geoff. Pika Hare. 
Elaphus Ant. Stag. 
Capriolus Sm- Roebuck. 
Antelope Sm. Antelope. 
Rupicapra Sm. Ibex. 
Capra Sm. Goat. 
Oves Aut. Sheep. 
Taurus Aut. x. 

(58.) The genera and subgenera of birds, whose chief 
metropolis, for the most part, is in e European pro- 
vinces, are the following : those mar d (*) are ascer- 
tained to be subgenera : 

Vultur L. True Vultures. 
Grypaetos Storr. Bearded Vul- 

Neophron Sav. 
Falco L. Falcon. 
Aquila Ant. Eagle. 
Accipiter Ray. Hawk. 
Buteo Ray. Buzzard. 
Milvus Ray. Kite. 
StrixZ,. Owl. 
*Bubo B. Horned Owl. 
Lanius L. Shrike. 
Corvus L. Crow. 
Garrulus Ray. Jay.' 
*Nucefraga B. Nutcracker. 
Pyrrocorax C. Rock Crow. 
Bombycilla^. Chatterer.. 
Sturnus L. Starling. 

Pastor Tern. Sheep-bird. 
Merula Ray. Thrush. 
Cinclus L. Ouzel. 
Curruca Sw. Reed Warbler. 
Philomela Sw. Nightingale. 
Sylvia L. Warbler. 
*Erythaica Sw. Robin. 
Phasnicura Sw. Redstart. 
Saxicola B. Stonechat. 
Motacilla L. Wagtail. 
*Budytes B. Whitetail. 
Anthus B. Titlark. 
Accentor B. Finch Warbler. 
Parus L. Titmouse. 
Cuculus L. Cuckoo. 
Picus L. Woodpecker. 
Yunx L. Wryneck. 
Sitta L. Nuthatch. , 


Certhia L. Creeper. 
Troglodytes Cuv. Wren. 
*Tichodroma ///. Wall Creeper. 
Upupa L. Hoopoe. 
Merops L. Bee-eater. 
Alcedo L. Kingfisher. 
Hirundo L. Swallow. 
Cypselus L Swift. 
Caprimulgus L. Nightjar. 
Alauda L. Lark. 
Emberyza L. Bunting. 
LoxiaZ,. Crossbill. 
Pyrrhula B. Bullfinch. 
Coccothraustes B. Grosbeak. 
Fringilla L. Finch. 
Columba. Pigeon. 
Phasianus L. Pheasant. 

Tetrao L. Grouse. 1 

Perdix L. Partridge." 
Hemipodius L. Turnix. 
Glareola L. Pratincole. 
Otis L. Bustard. 
Haematopus L. Oyster-catcher. 
Charadrius L. Plover. . 
Ciconia L. Stork. 
Ardea L. Heron. 
Tringa L. Sandpiper. 
Totanus L. Sand-runner. 
Limosa L. Godwit. 
Sturna L. Tern. 
Larus L. Gull. 
Anas L. Duck. 
Alca L. Puffin. 





(59-) THE second great zoological province of the 
globe comprehends the entire continent of ASIA, and the 
greater part of its numerous islands. Bounded hy the 
ocean on its northern, eastern, and southern confines, 
its demarcation to the west is no less natural, being 
separated from the European range by the lofty chain 
of the Ural mountains. Assimilating in its productions 
to those countries upon which it thus borders, this vast 
zoological region is more particularly blended with those 
of Europe and Africa ; through the medium of Persia 
on one side, and of Asia Minor on the other. It unites, 
likewise, with the American range at its northern ex- 
tremity, where it also forms a junction with Arctic 


Europe ; while to the south it is connected to the Aus- 
tralian division by the islands of Papua or New Guinea, 
New Caledonia, and New Ireland. 

(60.) A region so vast in extent,, and so diversified in its 
temperature and productions, may naturally be supposed 
to be extremely difficult to be characterised, as a whole, 
with precision : nor is this, indeed, necessary to our present 
purpose. It will be a sufficient sanction to the justness of 
considering it as a peculiar division of zoological geogra- 
phy, if, upon attentively comparing its animals with those 
of Europe and Africa, we discover differences so strongly 
marked as to separate it from both. If, however, any 
particular feature in Asiatic zoology be selected as pe- 
culiarly striking, it would undoubtedly be the number 
and importance of those domestic animals which it has 
furnished to the civilised world ; and which are not only 
useful and necessary to the inhabitants of the older con- 
tinents, but even more so to those of America and Austra. 
lia,where there does not appear to have been other spe- 
cies equally destined to supply the wants, or abridge the 
labours, of civilised man. When it is considered that 
the horse is generally supposed to have originally been 
a native of the Tartarian deserts ; that the domestication 
of oxen is conjectured first to have taken place in West- 
ern Asia, by the Caucasian nations ; that all the breeds 
of our domestic fowl have unquestionably sprung from 
southern Asia, which is likewise the native region of 
the peacock; we must admit the justness of the above 

(6l.) The Asiatic range may be divided into three 
sections, or sub-provinces, indicated both by their geo- 
graphic peculiarities, and the nature of their respective 
animals. The first commences from the polar regions, 
and includes the whole of Asiatic Russia : its natural 
boundaries to the west are the Ural mountains ; and to 
the south, the lofty Altain chain the cradle, as it has 
been termed, of the Mongolian race. The second in- 
cludes the little known empires of China and Japan, 
with Thibet, the Tartarian provinces bordering Persia., 


and the eastern shores of the Caspian ; while to the 
south, the stupendous Himalayan mountains seem to 
form a natural boundary to this intermediate region. 
The third division comprehends the remaining portion 
of the continent, together with Java, Sumatra, &c., and 
such islands as lie to the westward of New Guinea. 
We thus exclude the whole of Asia Minor, and the 
regions immediately around Caucasus, because they ex- 
hibit a zoology of no determinate character, further than 
as they present a union of the European, Asiatic, and 
African ; thus concentrating much of the typical cha- 
racters of the whole. The same observation, in a more 
limited sense, may be extended to Persia ; but there the 
African forms almost entirely disappear, and leave only 
the European and the Asiatic the latter evidently 

(62.) The first, or northern Asiatic range, exhibits 
few peculiarities : the genera of quadrupeds, for the 
most part, assimilate to those of Europe and the North 
Pole, but few of the species occur on the western side 
of the Ural mountains. The sandy and desert steppes 
of Siberia afford but little nourishment to large animals, 
but are sufficient to support many of the Glires family : 
hence the chief quadrupeds enumerated by travellers as 
natives, are nearly all referred to the field mice (Ar- 
mcola), lemmings (Georynchus*), rats (Jtfws), and 
hamsters (Cricetus). These generic groups, for the 
most part, are restricted to the cold or temperate lati- 
tudes of Europe, Asia, and America. The field mice 
(Arvicola) and the true mice (.Mw*) occur also in 
Africa. These gnawing animals, however, have a very 
wide distribution, and have obviously been intended by 
nature to inhabit climates subject to the severities of 
winter. The instinct by which they are impelled to 
hoard up large quantities of provisions against the season 
of scarcity ; the length, intricacy, and warmth of their 
subterraneous abodes ; their food, of dried grass, seeds, 
or nuts, in winter, arid of green or fresh vegetables in 
summer ; are all proofs to this effect. We accordingly 


find these industrious and provident little creatures do 
not inhabit tropical countries, where all these instincts 
would be superfluous. The birds, so far as is yet known, 
appear to be of the same genera as those of Europe ; 
and many species are common to both regions. The 
beautiful rose-coloured starling 
(Pastor roseus Tern.), so rare 
in Europe (fig. 11.), is one 
of the most common birds of 
temperate Asia. Many of the 
aquatic species are also similar 
to those of America ; but Pal- 
las enumerates a long list of 
species unknown to either of 
these continents. We may sup- 
pose, therefore, that the other 
animals, were they better un- 
derstood, woulcl agree in these characteristics. The en- 
tomology of these northern latitudes is scarcely known. 
(63.) The animals of the second Asiatic region are 
very imperfectly known ; it is here, however, that we 
begin to see those larger and more bulky quadrupeds 
which are excluded from the frozen regions of Siberia. 
The famous dzeggtai, or Mongolian horse (Equus He- 
mionus Pallas), the wild Asiatic sheep (Ovis Amman.} , 
and probably the Arnee buffalo, may be instanced as 
characteristic of central Asia. To these we may add 
the Tartaric or Yak ox (Bos Poephagus H. Smith), 
whose southern range extends to the mountains of 
Bhotan, where alone it has been hitherto seen. If 
so many quadrupeds, of the first magnitude in their re- 
spective families, inhabit these central regions, how 
many others of a smaller size must still remain unknown 
to science. The elegant little jumping jerboas (Dipus), 
also, belong more properly to the central parts of Asia 
and the warmer latitudes of Siberia : this genus ex- 
tends to Egypt, but has never been found in the New 
World, where it is represented only by that of Meriones 


(64.) The birds of Central Asia are still more im- 
perfectly known than the quadrupeds. We are com- 
pelled, in fact, to form our judgment of them more from 
the paintings executed by the Chinese, than from any 
specimens that have hitherto reached Europe. Many of 
these native painters, however, are particularly exact in 
their delineations of the common sorts ; and we may, 
therefore, place a certain degree of confidence in such 
as have not been actually seen by Europeans. From 
these drawings it becomes evident that there exists in 
Central Asia several large and beautiful gallinaceous 
birds, particularly pheasants, totally distinct from those 
of Southern Asia. It is here, in short, that we first 
detect the chief ornithological feature of Asia ; namely, 
the variety and beauty of its gallinaceous birds. It is 
probable that the golden (Nycthemerus pictus Sw.) and 
silver pheasants (Nyc. argentatus Sw.) of our mena- 

geries, the latter one of the most chastely elegant birds 
of Asia (y?#. 12.), originally came from the interior of 
China. Many others will doubtless be discovered on the 
elevated table land of Asia, since even those species more 
peculiar to India are seldom met with in the maritime 
or low provinces. The splendid Impeyan pheasant 
(Lophophorus refulgem T.), and the other species of the 
same natural group, are stated only to inhabit the hilly 
and elevated districts of India. Our knowledge of the 
entomology of this region is chiefly confined to China. 

(65.) The third division comprehends Southern Asia, 
and presents a zoological region of uncommon interest 


and great magnificence. As heat and moisture princi- 
pally tend to the increase of vegetation, and to its lux- 
urious developement, so is the latter always accompanied 
by a corresponding exuberance of animal forms : both 
are in their highest developement in equinoctial latitudes, 
and both progressively diminish towards the poles. 
It is, consequently, in the southern provinces of India 
that all the features of Asiatic zoology are most con- 

(66.) Commencing with the quadrupeds, we find a 
striking characteristic of this region, in the numerous 
but disgusting race of apes and baboons ; of whose ex- 
istence in Europe, even at the most remote period, there 
is not the slightest record. These satyr-like creatures 
seem to congregate as we advance to the equinoctial 
line : the long armed gibbons being principally found 
on the isthmus of Malacca, while the orc.n_outangs ap- 
pear more especially to be natives of the great islands. 
The subgenera Hylobates, Presbytis, Nasalis, and Sim- 
nopithecus are peculiar to this hemisphere, which has 
already furnished twenty-three species of these apes and 
baboons. The analogy between the animals of Equi- 
noctial India, and those under the same latitudes in 
Africa, is here very strikingly illustrated. The apes 
and baboons of the latter continent occur under similar 
degrees of latitude, and, in several instances, belong to 
the same genera, but the number is greater. Yet, as 
a proof how truly distinct are the two zoological pro- 
vinces, we may remark, as a singular fact, that only one 
species has yet been discovered as a native inhabitant 
of both ; this is the grey baboon, whose geographic 
range is also removed from the equator ; being found at 
Moco, the Persian Gulf, and in Arabia ; countries lying 
on the confines of the two continents. These parallel 
analogies, or mutual representations, are always highly 
interesting. Thus we find the Indian oran-outang, ty- 
pified on the African continent by the Chimpanzee, con- 
sidered by Linnaeus as a wild man, arid still affirmed, 


by the negroes of the Gold Coast, to walk erect. The 
Asiatic elephant is again represented hy that of Africa ; 
so closely, indeed, that it was only of late years ascertained 
to be quite a different species. These resemblances may 
be traced in innumerable instances : they are, indeed, 
so striking, that it is not surprising some authors should 
have deemed them affinities^ from viewing the subject 
without that extensive reference to the other parts of 
creation, which is so essential in guiding our judgment 
in these matters. The zoology of Southern Asia is 
further distinguished from that of the central regions, 
by possessing the orangs and apes; while the nu- 
merous mouse-like animals, as the marmots, lemmings, 
&c., so abundantly spread over Northern Asia, appear to 
be almost unknown in the southern regions. 

(67.) The bears found in other parts of the world, 
occur only in cold, or at least temperate, climates ; but 
there have recently been discovered, in the interior of 
India, three distinct and peculiar species, Ursus labiatus, 
Malayanus, and Thibetanus, all inhabitants of the 
mountainous districts ; and, therefore, in all probability, 
belonging more to the fauna of Central than of Southern 
Asia. One of these, the Ma- 
lay bear (fig. 1 3.), remarkable 
for its mildness and docility, 
has been brought alive to this 
country. The lion of Asia 
(Leo Asiaticus Sw.), was 
thought to be only a varie- 
ty of that from Northern 
Africa (Leo Africanus Sw.); 
but a pair of fine living 
specimens now in the Surrey 
Zoological Gardens has en- 
abled us to ascertain that it 
is a very distinct species from either of those found in 
Northern or Southern Africa. Another species recently 
described in the Zoo/. Trans, is remarkable for the 
shortness of its mane; a circumstance which might 



have suggested a less barbarous designation than 
<( Felis Leo Goojratensis." The species of Rhinoceros 
of these continents are known to be distinct ; yet the 
jackal of Southern India and of Africa seem to be 
the same. The more ferocious quadrupeds, generally 
denominated tigers, are much less abundant on this con- 
tinent, as regards species, than either in Africa or 
America. Yet, unfortunately, their numerical amount 
is unquestionably much greater. The Once ( Felis undo), 

from being found 
on the high moun- 
tains of Persia, 
is probably more 
characteristic of 
Central Asia ; 
while the true 
tiger (Felis Ti- 
gris, jig. 14.) is 
most abundant in 
the low jungles 
of Hindostan, and the humid forests of Sumatra. The 
Asiatic tiger-cats appear restricted to the larger islands : 
none of the species occur in Africa. 

(68.) The ornithological peculiarities of the Asiatic 
range are fully developed in Southern India, more par- 
ticularly in Malacca, and those islands immediately ad- 
joining the southern extremity of the continent. In 
some instances, there is a marked similarity between the 
groups of Tropical Asia and those of Equinoctial Africa ; 
while in others the differences are very great. This 
comparison will tend much to illustrate this part of 
our subject. 

(69.) Among those families of birds concentrated in 
Southern Asia, but which appear also, under the form 
of other species, to be distributed in Africa, are the 
Drongo shrikes (Edolius Cuv.), the caterpillar-catchers 
(Ceblepyres Cuv.), the true flycatchers with long tails, 
typically represented by the paradise flycatcher (Mus- 
cicupa paradisea), the beautiful parrot-plumaged barbuts 


(Bucco L.), the singular short-legged thrushes (Brachy- 
pus Sw.), the long-legged or aquatic thrushes (Cratero- 
pus Sw.), the elegant little finches (Estrelda Sw.), the 
short-billed weavers, or grosbeaks (Amadina Sw.), the 
shining black- coloured grakles (Lamprotornis Tern.), 
and the splendid little sun-birds (Cinnyris Cuv.). All 
these groups extend to the warm latitudes of Africa, and 
several are not unknown in the Australian range; yet in 
Asia they seem confined to the southern region, since no 
examples have occurred either in Persia or Asia Minor, 
much less in Siberia or Europe. 

(70.) On turning to the ornithological groups which 
nature has exclusively restricted to Southern Asia, we 
find this region stamped by very distinct peculiarities. 
The vivid-coloured ant-thrushes (Pitta), with their re- 
presentatives the green bulbuls (Chloropsis Jard.), the 
superb lora or black and azure oriole (7dm Horsf.), the 
true grakles (Gracula L.) the fork-tailed wagtails (Eni- 
curus Tern.), the bullfinch larks (Mirafra Horsf.), the 
broad-tailed thrushes (Timalia H.), and lastly, the 
singular nightfeeders (Nyctiornis Sw.), are all promi- 
nent examples of Indian ornithology, of which no species 
are to be found in other parts of the world. The rhi- 
noceros hornbill (fig. 15.), one of the largest and scarcest 


of its family, is among the most remarkable birds of India. 

But perhaps the most striking birds, to the general observer 

E 2 


are those belonging to the parrot and gallinaceous tribes. 
In the former, Equinoctial Africa is very poor; but the 
same latitudes, in Asia, furnish us with numerous and 
splendid examples, both of genera and species, altogether 
peculiar. The suctorial cockatoos (Microglossum Geoff.), 
the large white cockatoos of Malacca, the elegant ring- 
necked parrakeets of the continent, and the crimson- 
coloured lories of the islands, are appropriated solely 
to these regions. Lastly must be enumerated the splen- 
did peacocks of the continent, and the wild cocks of 
the islands, forming the genera Pavo, Polyplectron, 
Argus, Lophyrus, Lophophorus, and Gallus, not one of 
which has yet occurred beyond the limits of the Asiatic 

(71.) On the remaining vertebrated animals, compre- 
hending the fishes, reptiles, and serpents, peculiar to 
these regions, little can be said; since their geographic 
distribution has received little or no attention. The nu- 
merous species, however, that have been made known by 
the researches of Dr. Roxburgh, Dr. Buchanan Hamil- 
ton, and General Hardwicke, prove that in these classes 
nature is equally prolific, and that she has given to 
India a vast number of genera which do not occur in 
other countries. 

(72.) Of the invertebrated animals we must confine 
ourselves to the Testacea, as embracing the more popular 
study of conchology ; the Indian seas, more than any 
other part of the world, abound with the greatest va- 
riety of shell-fish, and exhibit a remarkable con- 
trast to the paucity of species found under the parallel 
latitudes of Africa and America. It is also a singular 
fact, not hitherto noticed, that nearly three fourths of 
these shells belong to animals entirely carnivorous ; who, 
to support life, must be perpetually carrying on, like 
the ferocious tigers of the continent, a destructive 
warfare against the weaker animals of their own class. 
The conchologist, who looks beyond the empty shell in 
his museum, need hardly be reminded that the immense 
number of species belonging to the genera Conus 3 Oliva, 


Valuta, Mitra, Cyprcea, Turbinella, Dolium, Cassis, 
Strombus, and Harpa, are all inhabited by carnivorous 
Testacea, and that most of these genera have their 
principal metropolis in the great Indian Ocean. Of 
the beautiful group of Cones, for instance, nearly 200 
species have been named, yet scarcely more than ten 
are found beyond the Indian Ocean : Lamarck enume- 
rates sixty-two olives, yet five only belong to other seas. 
The cowries (Cypreea), and the Strombi, or wing- shells, 
are distributed much in the same proportion. The 
volutes, however, are nearly divided between Africa, 
India, and the Australian or Pacific Ocean. The dis- 
tribution of the Acephala, or bivalve shells, is much less 
marked ; but none that we re- 
member are common both to 
India and Africa ; while the 
union of Asiatic conchology 
with that of Australia, as may 
be expected from the situation 
of the two countries, takes place 
towards New Guinea and the 
adjacent islands. The famous 
wentletrap (fig. 16.) (Scalaria 
pretiosa Lam.), the spindle shells 
(Rostellaria Lam.), the hammer 
oysters (Malleus Lam.), the 

Ethiopian and other crowned volutes ( Valuta Ethiopica), 
are good illustrations of Oriental conchology. 

(73.) The paucity of fluviatile shells is truly sur- 
prising, and constitutes a singular character in the 
conchology of Asia. The rivers, inferior only to those 
of the New World, appear almost destitute of shell- 
fish ; for they have hitherto not given more than six 
or seven species to our cabinets, while from North 
America alone we are acquainted with more than 150: 
the genera are mostly the same, but the subgenus Dipsus 
(Leach) has hitherto only been brought from China. 
Terrestrial shells appear to be still more rare; but the genus 
E 3 


Scarabus of De Montfort is restricted to certain of the 
Asiatic islands ; while among the slugs, or shelless Tes- 
tacea, the genus Onchidium, as defined by Dr. Buchanan, 
appears to characterise this part of the world. 

(74-.) To enumerate the tribes of insects, and of 
the other annulose animals, is altogether impossible. It 
will be sufficient to mention, that the entomology of 
Southern Asia presents us with some few of the most 
common butterflies dispersed over Europe. The Papilio 
PodaliriusL.,EurymusEdusa Sw., Cynthia Cardui, and 
Vanessa Atalanta, have been sent from the mountains 
of Nepal, a region, however, from the peculiarity of its 
productions, which might more properly be considered 
within the limits of, or at least bordering upon, Central 
Asia. But these, after all, 
are but rare and nearly so- 
litary exceptions to the very 
general dissimilarity between 
the insects of the two con- 
tinents. The entomology of 
Africa assimilates much more 
closely to that of India ; 
and the latter contains se- 
veral genera, particularly 
among the lepidopterous in- 
sects, which are precisely 
the same as those of tropical 
America. The Indian is- 
lands, but more especially Amboyna, appear to be 
richer in insects, if we may judge from such as have 
18 ^s^^s*^ teen sent to Europe, than 

the continent. That rare 
and lovely butterfly, the 
Amphrisius Priamus Sw. 

_ (fig. 11.), with its velvet- 

'/yl^^ss^^^jTSj^ like wings of intense black 
and rich green, has only 
been received from Amboyna. 

(75.) Most of the marine Crustacea, or crabs, are 


peculiar to these seas, and many appear under the most 
grotesque forms : among these, the Ixa canaliculata 
(fig. 18.) of Dr. Leach* deserves being mentioned. 
Another species, Ixa inermis, when its limbs are drawn 
under its shell, might easily be mistaken for a piece of 
coral. The most valuable pearls in the world are pro- 
duced from a species of pearl oyster (Margarita Si~ 
nensis Leach), which seems confined to the Indian 
Ocean ; those of the American seas being of a totally 
different species. 

(76.) The genera of quadrupeds, and their minor 
divisions, which more particularly characterise the 
Asiatic province, are the following : the numbers de- 
note the species already described : 

Simia L. Orang Otangs, - - 2 

Hylobates III. Gibbons, - - 5 

Presbytes s. Tailed Gibbon, - 1 

Lasiopyga III. Cochin Monkey, 1 

Nasal is Geoff. Nose Monkey, - 1 
Semnopithecus Cuv., - - -5 

Cercopithecus Ili Guenon, - 2 

Stenops III. Loris, - 1 

Nycticebus C. Lemur, - - 3 

Tarsius ///. Tarsier, - - 2 

Megaderma Geoff. Bats, - - 1 

Ptinclphus Geoff. Bats, . - 8 

Nyctens Geoff. Bats, ... 1 

Plecotus Geoff. Bats, ... 1 

Vespertilio L. Bats, - .- - 6 

Nyctinomus G. Bats, ... 3 

Cheiromeles Horsf. Bats, - - 1 

Pteropus B. Bats, ... 9 
Cephalotes C. Bats, - - -2 

Sorex L. Shrew, ... 1 

Tupa'ia Buff. Tupay, ... 3 

Ursu& L. Bear, - - 3 

Genetta. Genett, ... 4 

Mangusta C. Ichneumon, - - 3 
Paradox urus C., - - -3 

Prionodon, ... - 2 

Felis, . - - - - 10 

Marsupiata, Cuv. - - 1 

Phalangista. Phalanger, - - 3 
Georychus, - - - - * 

Dipus, - ... 4 

Pteromys, - - - - - o 

Manis. Manis, - 1 

Elephas. Elephant, ... 1 

Sus. Pig, ... - 1 

Equus L. Horse, - 1 

Camelus L. Camel, - - 2 

Moschus H. Sm. Musk, - . 5 

Elaphus Ant. Stag, ... 8 

Axis H. Sm. Fallow Deer, . 3 

Capriolus H. Sm. Roebuck, - 4 

Stylocerus, .... 3 

Aigocerus, . - - 2 

Gazellatf.Sw. Gazelle, - - 2 

Raphicerus H. Sm. Antelope, 2 

Tetracerus H. Sm. Antelope, - 2 

Nzemorhedus H. Sm. Antelope, 3 

Capra Auct. Goat, - - 2 
Ovis Auct. Sheep, - - .1 

Portax H. Sm. Neel-ghau, - . 1 

Bubalus H. Sm. Buffalo, - 2 

Bison H. Sm. Bison, - - - 3 

(77.) The birds peculiar to the Asiatic range belong 
to the following geographic groups, not one of which 
occurs in Europe, although several of the European 
forms extend to Asia. The present confusion in orni- 
thological nomenclature renders an estimate of the 

Zool. Misc. iii. pi. 129. 
E 4 



species impossible. Some of these genera occur in 
Africa (A.), and others in New Holland (H.). 

Nyctiornis Sw. Night-feeder. 
Macropteryx Sw. Whiskered Swifts. 
Eurylaimus Horsf. Broadbill. 
Analcipus Sw. Weakfoot 
Ocypterus Cuv . Whitebill. (H.) 
Platylophus Sw. Jay shrike. 
Irena Horsf. Fairy Bird. 
Phoenicornis Sw. Redbird. 
Timalia Horsf. Looseweb. 
Ittra Horsf. Pufflback. 
Brachypterix Horsf. Shortwing. 
Prinea Horsf. Wren Warbler. (A.) 
Enicurus Horsf. Fork- tail War- 

Gryllivora Sw. Locust-eater. (A.) 
Calyptomina Raff. Green-crest. 
Mirafra Horsf. Lark. 
Pyrrhulauda Sw. Bullfinch. (A.) 
Ploceus Cuv. Weaver. (A.) 
Vidua Cuv. Widows. (A.; 
AmadinaSw. Grosbeaks. (A. H.) 
Estrelda Sw. Bengals. (A. H.) 

Lamprotornis Tern. Grakle. (A.) 
Gracula L. True Grakle. 
Crypserina Vieil. Satin Crow. 
Paradisea L. Paradise Birds. 
Epimachus Cuv. Hoopoe. 
Plyctolophus Vieil. Cockatoo. (H.) 
Microglossum Geoff. Cockatoo. 
Palaeornis Vig. Ring Parrakeets. 
Lori us Bris. Lories. 
Picumnus Tern. Little Barbut. 
Phoenicophaus Vieil. Redhead, 
Cinnyris Cuv. Sun-bird. (A.) 
Crateropus Sw. Thickleg. (A. H.) 
Pomatorhinus Horsf. Thrush. 
Vinago V. Green Pigeons. (A.) 
Ptilonopus Sw. Green Pigeons. (H.) 
Lophyrus V. Firecock. 
Pavo L. Peacock. 
Polyplectron Tern. Argus Pheasant. 
Lophophorus Tern. Pheasant 
Argus Tern. Pheasant. 









(78.) THE third great zoological province compre- 
hends the whole of the New World. It has been stated 
in the last chapter, that the animals of Asia insensibly 
unite with those of Australasia in the islands of the In- 
dian Ocean, which may, in fact, be considered as so 
many links in the chain of connection. This transition 


is so complete, that it might, perhaps, appear more 
natural to have followed up the developement of this 
change by immediately entering upon the zoology of 
Australasia ; but this transition, striking as it is, is not 
more conspicuous than that which may be traced from 
the zoology of Asia to that of America. It must be re- 
membered, also, that each of these zoological provinces 
are connected with the rest at more than one point. The 
Asiatic blends into the European, both at its northern 
and at it western confines ; and it is again united to 
the African range through the medium of Asia Minor 
and Arabia : nor will it be found less harmonised with 
the zoology of the New World, when we look to the 
productions of Kamtschatka, in Arctic Asia, and the 
opposite shores of California; while the islands of Papua 
or New Guinea, New Ireland, and New Caledonia, as 
before remarked, incontestably prove the union of the 
Asiatic with the Australian range. United, therefore, at 
so many points, it becomes perfectly immaterial from 
which we depart, and commence a further investigation, 
provided we preserve that uniformity of plan so desir- 
able in expositions of this nature. 

(79-) The Arctic regions, as we have already urged, 
can only be considered as equally belonging to the three 
great zoological provinces of Europe, Asia, and America. 
Their productions, at these extreme limits, although not, 
in numerous cases, perfectly similar, belong nevertheless 
to the same natural groups. Several of the northern 
quadrupeds of Asia range over the Arctic snows of 
Europe, and again occur, in similar latitudes, upon the 
American continent. Many, however, remain within 
what may be termed their original boundaries. The 
aquatic birds are more generally dispersed ; and there 
are very few in one continent, that have not been de- 
tected in another. In proportion, therefore, as we leave 
these frozen latitudes, common to animals whose nature 
fits them for extreme cold, and advance to the more genial 
latitudes of these continents, shall we discover a corre- 
sponding developement of their true zoological features. 


(80.) The zoological productions of the New World^ 
when viewed in their typical examples, are as distinct 
from those of the Old, as the animals of Australia are 
from those of Africa or of Asia. There is also a curious 
analogical resemblance between these two insular con- 
tinents, deserving notice. The northern latitudes of 
America present us with European and Asiatic ani- 
mals; and we can trace in the zoology of Australia, at 
its northern limits, a manifest approximation to the 
productions of Southern Africa. But to what zoological 
province those of America and of Australia are united 
at their southern extremities, is a question on which 
we would not even hazard conjectures ; since the pro- 
ductions of Western and Southern Australia, of Tierra 
del Fuego, and of the Pacific Islands, may almost be 
considered unknown. 

(81.) We shall consider the zoology of the New 
World under three heads, as more calculated to corivey 
distinct ideas of the productions of such an immense and 
diversified region. The first may be denominated the 
Arctic or northern ; the second, the temperate or inter- 
mediate ; and the third, the Southern or tropical : a 
fourth might be made to embrace the regions towards 
Cape Horn ; but of the productions of these un- 
frequented parts we are at present almost ignorant. 

(82.) The Arctic or northern division includes those 
icy regions commencing at the shores of the Fro/ei 
Ocean, and extending between the 50th and 60th de- 
grees of north latitude. This demarcation, however, is 
more conjectural than positive, for we are yet without 
that precise information which will point out the southern 
limits of the more northern quadrupeds. For it is natural 
to conclude, that, whatever zoological peculiarities be- 
longed to Arctic America, they would be developed within 
that range, and beyond the northern countries annually 
visited by the migratory or summer birds of the United 
States. Many of these are well known to breed in Ca- 
nada ; and by the more recent researches of Dr. Richard- 
son, in higher latitudes, we find that several of these land 


birds extend their migrations beyond the 60th degree of 
north latitude. It is therefore highly probable, that 
the zoological peculiarities of Arctic America are con- 
fined to much narrower limits than those here specified; 
and are, probably, concentrated in the direction of the 
" barren grounds" and the extensive " prairies" of the 
Arctic navigators. It is, in fact, these grassy plains, 
which seem to be the chief metropolis of the many 
peculiar kinds of grouse, and of large quadrupeds which 
belong to this portion of the New World, mixed, indeed, 
with some few species equally common to Northern 
Europe. On the other hand, it may be said, that, as 
the river St. Lawrence and the vast lakes which it con- 
nects, suggest a natural division of Northern America 
into two portions, so it may be presumed that its zoo- 
logy might more correctly be treated of in the same 
way. Our materials, however, for arriving at a cor- 
rect judgment on these questions, are very defective ; 
and after all, it must be remembered, that where nature 
has made no absolute line of distinction, it is impossible 
to be drawn by man. 

(83.) The fur-bearing animals, as we might expect, 
in regions of almost perpetual snow, are principally 
confined to this part of America ; and the traffic for 
their skins is so important to commerce, that mer- 
cantile associations have been formed by the Europeans 
for this express object. The Hudson's Bay Company 
of England is the best known ; and the number of skins 
they annually import from their different stations, 
would, to many, appear almost incredible. Among 
such species as are known to inhabit the same latitudes 
in Europe and Asia, are the common weasel (Mustela 
vulgaris), the ermine (M. erminea), the pine marten 
(Mustela martes), the wolverine (Gulo luscus), and the 
Arctic fox ( Vulpes lagopus) ; and we may add, the well- 
known Polar or white bear, although its fur does not 
appear much in demand. But the list of truly American 
species is much more considerable ; bearing no pro- 



portion to those which are equally natives of Europe, 
as will be seen from the following list. Three distinct 
bears, the black, the barren ground, and the grisly*; 
the raccoon (Procyon lotor}, the American badger 
(Meles Labradorid), the vison or minx (Putorius vison), 
the Pekan (P. Canadensis}, the Canada otter (Lutra 
Canadensis), numerous varieties of species of wolves 
and foxes, the American beaver (Castor Americanus}, 
the musquash (Fiber Zibethicus}, with no less than 
thirty species of lemmings, marmots, and squirrels. The 
existence of so many quadrupeds, whose geographic 
limits are confined to the more northern latitudes of 
the New World, occurring also in that part of the 
continent where its zoological features are blended with 
those of Europe, at once forbids us to consider the 
Arctic regions as constituting, of itself, a zoological pro- 
vince; while it stamps a character on that of America 
in which no other part of the world participates. 

(84.) On turning to the ruminating or herbivorous 
quadrupeds, we find the facts afforded by their distri- 
bution equally tending to the same results. The Polar hare 
(Lepus glacialis) occurs on both continents ; but three 
others, the American (Lep. Americanus) , the prairie (Lep. 
Virginianus}, and the little chief hare (Lagomys prin- 
ceps Rich.), are exclusive natives of Northern America. 
The large animals, belonging to the genera Cervus, An- 
telope, and Bos, present us with nearly a dozen similar 
instances. The elk, called in America the moose (Cervus 
alces), and the reindeer, here known by the name of 
caribou (Cervus tarandus), are the only species found 
in other continents ; both, in fact, are Arctic animals ; 
while the wapiti (C. strongyloceros), two races of the 
black-tailed deer (C. macrotis R.), the long-tailed deer 
(C. leucurus), and the prong-horned antelope (A. fur- 
cifer), are known only in America. We may include 
also, among these northern quadrupeds, the wild goat 
(Capra Americana R.), and the sheep (Ovis montana 

North. Zool. vol. L 


It.), of the Rocky Mountains, since their existence in the 

19 southern part of 
the chain has not 
been clearly as- 
certained. The 
musk-ox (fig. 19.) 
is truly an Arctic 
quadruped, yet is 
unknown both in 
Asia and Europe ; 
and the ' chief 
range of the American bison is in latitudes but little 
more south. 

(85.) The geographic distribution of the northern 
birds is much more general, particularly in reference to 
the rapacious families, and the wading and swimming 
orders. Uniting our labours with those of Dr. Richard- 
son, in the ornithological volume of the Northern Zoo- 
logy, we have enumerated the following Euro can 
birds of prey, detected by that adventurous traveller in 
Arctic and British America : 

Buteo vulgaris. Common Buzzard. 
Buteo Lagopus. Rough-legged Buz- 


Buteo cyaneus ? Hen Harrier. 
Strix Otis. Long-eared Owl. 
Strix brachyotos. Short-eared Owl. 
Strix nyctia. Great snowy Owl. 
Strix Tengmalmi. Tengmalm's 


Aquila chrysaetos ? The Golden 

Aquila leucocephala. White-headed 

or Sea Eagle. 

Aquila Haliaeetus. The Osprey. 
Falco peregrinus. Peregrine Falcon. 
Falco Islandicus. Jer Falcon. 
Falco ^salon. The Merlin. 
Accipiter palumbarius. The Gos- 


We have thus fourteen species inhabiting the northern 
regions of the two continents, while the following be- 
long exclusively to America : 

Sarcoramphus Californianus. Cali- 
fornian Vulture. 

Cathartes Aura. Turkey Vulture. 

Cathartes atratus. Black Vulture. 

Falco sparverius. Little rusty- 
crowned Falcon. 

Falco columbarius. Pigeon Hawk. 

Accipiter Pennsylvanicus. Slate- 
coloured Hawk. 

Buteo borealis. Red-tailed Buzzard 

Strix cinerea. Great cinereous 

Strix arctica. Arctic horned Owl. 

Strix Virginiana. American horned 

Strix Acadica Wilson. Little Ame- 
rican Owl. 

Strix funerca. Hawk Owl. 


(86.) The ducks, and other swimming families,, are 
nearly the same in both continents ; but very few of the 

American waders re- 
^^ semble those of Europe. 
The grouse of the two 
continents, inhabiting the 
same parallels of latitude, 
are still more distinct ; 
only one, or at most two, 
having been found in 
Europe and America. 
The commonest of these 
is the Tetrao Canadensis L., or Canadian grouse (fig. 20.); 
about the size of the red game, but with the throat and 
breast glossy black. 

(87.) Respecting the other animals of this part of 
America nothing can yet be stated, since the researches of 
Dr. Richardson, whose valuable remarks have furnished 
the materials of the foregoing results, are not yet before 
the public; and little reliance can be placed on the 
erroneous compilations and crude theories regarding 
American zoology, which heretofore have been our only 
guides. Few naturalists have done as much, and, 
perhaps, none have done more, towards elucidating the 
zoological distribution of animals of this country, than 
the diligent observer above named : his simple and un- 
pretending narrative has cleared from our systems a 
mass of " learned error " and unintelligible nomencla- 
ture, which will sink our former authorities upon Arctic 
/oology into oblivion. The entomological collections of 
the northern expeditions, fortunately for science, have 
been placed by Dr. Richardson in the hands of Mr. 
Kirby, who has now been engaged some years in pre- 
paring this volume for the press 

(88.) The second or temperate region of the American 
province comprehends the whole of the United States, 
with a considerable portion, probably, of the north-west 
coast ; while its termination (much better understood 
than its northern limits) is marked by the Gulf of 


Mexico. Our information on the quadrupeds of this 
range is particularly defective : a circumstance more 
to be regretted, from the accurate information we have 
been able to give on the northern animals. 

(89.) The ornithology of temperate America pos- 
sesses many peculiarities. After passing the confines of 
the more northern regions, we meet with numerous 
land-birds belonging to species, and even to genera, 
peculiar to the New World. Our observations upon 
these tribes will be arranged under the heads of the 
Rapacious, Perching, Gallinaceous, and Aquatic orders. 
The Rapacious birds of all countries enjoy the widest 
range of those inhabiting the land. Hence we find that 
few species occur in the warmer provinces of America 
which do not inhabit, either permanently or occasionally, 
the Arctic latitudes visited by Dr. Richardson. This 
will be apparent by the following list, selected from the 
last, which comprises such species of the vulture and 
falcon family ( Vulturidce, Falconidce) as are spread over 
the greater part of North America. 

Cathartes Aura. . . . Turkey Vulture. 

atratus . . . Black Vulture. 

Falco sparverius . . . Little Rusty -crowned Falcon. 

columbarius. . . Pigeon Hawk. 

Accipiter Pennsylvanicus Slate-coloured Hawk. 
Buteo borealis .... Red-tailed Buzzard. 
Strix Virginiana . . . American Horned Owl. 
Strix Acadica Wilson . . Little American Owl. 

These, with about five additional species of falcons (Fal- 
conidce), complete the list of North American rapacious 

(90.) The distribution of the perchers, as usual, is 
much more limited. Numerous families of insectivo- 
rous birds, unknown in the temperate latitudes of the 
Old World, or even in the equinoctial regions of the 
New, spread themselves over the fruitful portions of 
the Union, either as permanent residents, or as annual 
migrators from the more genial shores of the Mexican 



Gulf, where the greater number pass the winter. To- 
wards the commencement of May, when the insect 
world has just assumed life or activity, innumerable 
flocks of warblers (Sylvicola Sw.), flycatchers (Tyran. 
nula Sw.), woodpeckers (Picus L.), maizebirds (Age- 
laius V.), thrushes (Merula, Orpheus Sw.), hangnests 
(Icterus 1).), and other families, make their first ap- 
pearance in the United States, enlivening the forests by 
their varied plumage, and delighting man by their me- 
lodious song. .The arrival of these strangers occasions 
a prodigious increase in the number of the feathered- 
inhabitants; yet Providence has ordained that a pro- 
portionate supply of food should be provided for all. 
These birds generally feed 
upon insects : while for the 
pigeons, blue-birds, the red- 
headed, Carolina, and golden- 
shafted woodpeckers (fig. 21.), 
and such others as partake also 
of fruits and grain, the seasons, 
in due course, provide an ample 
repast of wild berries, the fruits 
of the orchard, or the corn of 
the field. When the process 
of incubation is finished, and 

the young fully fledged, autumn is at hand ; the insect 
world dies, or retires into concealment ; the fruits of 
the earth fall to decay, or are gathered by the husband- 
man. Then it is that the parents and 'their offspring 
are taught to seek their own food in other climates : 
they accordingly depart ; and, either congregating into 
flocks or journeying singly, return once more to the 
genial and ever verdant forests of the Western Indies. 
Many of these have been traced to the islands, and many 
to the adjacent coast of Mexico ; but scarcely more than 
two or three species have yet been detected on the terra 
firma of equinoctial America. 

(91.) The gallinaceae, or birds of game, are re- 
markably few. Two species of grouse occur on the 


ec barren grounds" of Kentucky, and in a few other 
districts : one of these is the Tetrao umbellus, or ruffled 
grouse; called, in America, the 
pheasant. It has an extensive 
northerly range, and was met with 
by Dr. Richardson. The other 
is the Tetrao Cupido, or pinnated 
grouse (fig. 22.) ; so called from 
\ two tufts of pointed feathers on 

fjl. the side of the neck;> resemblin g 
the wings of a little Cupid, and 
which cover a naked skin, in- 
flated like a ball during the season of courtship. There 
is a small-sized partridge, called by the natives, with 
equal impropriety, a quail. To compensate, however, 
for this deficiency of feathered game, the Americans 
can boast of the native wild turkey, a bird so truly 
valuable, that, as Dr. Franklin well observes, it would 
have been a much fitter emblem of their country than 
the white-headed eagle ; "a lazy, cowardly, tyrannical 
bird, living on the honest labours of others, and more 
suited to represent an imperial despotic government than 
the republic of America." However this may be, the 
turkey is entitled to the nobility of the farm-yard. 
Cultivation and population have had their usual effect 
on large animals, and have driven the wild turkeys 
from many of their former haunts ; yet they are still 
to be found, in large flocks, in the back settlements of 
Louisiana, and in a few other states. 

(92.) The aquatic orders, among themselves, show 
a very different disposition. Few of the wading birds 
resemble those of Europe, and even the snipe and wood- 
cock are distinct from ours. The golden plover is the 
same ; but all the rest, with the curlews, most of the 
sandpipers, together with the coot and the water-hen, 
are not only peculiar to America, but very few have 
been found to the south of the line. The American 
flamingo (fig. 23.), fully as tall as the European, is of 
a much more beautiful and intense scarlet ; while the 



wood ibis, in form at least, 
seems to represent the glossy 
ibis, so common in the south of 
Europe. The herons of Caro- 
lina and Florida are numerous, 
and comprise several large and 
beautiful species. The magni- 
ficent scarlet ibis, also, is there 
not uncommon : yet few of 
these elegant wading birds ex- 
tend to the northern parts of 
the United States. Among the 
ducks and other swimming 
tribes, there is a general simi- 
larity in the species to those of 
Arctic America, two or three 
only being restricted to the 
warmer shores of the southern 
provinces. The chief of these 
is the splendid Dendronessa 

sponsa Sw., called there the summer or tree duck of 
South Carolina. The canvass-backed duck (Fuligula 

Vallisneria Bon.,^?</. 
24.) is chiefly found 
in temperate Ame- 
rica, and is prized 
as a delicious food. 
Nearly all the rest 
of the duck tribe 
occur in the northern regions, which they quit for the 
United States during severe winters, and return to 
breed in the spring. America, like Europe, thus pre- 
sents us with a double migration, and both for the same 
purposes; namely, to avoid cold, to procure sustenance, 
and to rear their young. 

(93.) The fish of the Ohio, and the other great rivers, 
are stated to be peculiarly abundant, both in number and 
in species; yet none appear to resemble those of Europe. 
The famous fishing-banks for cod, on the coast of New- 


foundland, are of vast importance to commerce, and 
will be noticed elsewhere. The reptiles offer nothing 
definite in regard to their distribution. The serpents 
are numerous, and many are believed venomous. The 
rattlesnakes are peculiar to the New World ; but those 
of North America are of a different species to that found* 
in Brazil. The immense Boa constrictor, and the equally 
gigantic species with which it has been confounded, are, 
fortunately, strangers to this region. There are several 
land tortoises, but, with one exception, they are all of a 
moderate size. This is a gigantic species, inhabiting the 
Gallipagos, a cluster of islands which come within the 
range of latitude assigned to this zoological region. Dr. 
Harlan, an able and zealous naturalist of America, first 
made us acquainted with this gigantic creature, named by 
5 him Testudo ele- 

phantopus (fig. 25.), 
or the elephant tor- 
toise : other writers 
have more recently 
considered it a variety 
of the Indian tortoise 
(T.Indica), but this 
appears very ques- 
tionable. Some curious salamanders have been recently 
discovered ; and the celebrated Siren is an inhabit- 
ant of the muddy lakes of Georgia and Carolina : this 
singular reptile had long perplexed naturalists, some 
thinking it a tadpole or imperfect frog ; it is now, 
however, fully ascertained to be an adult animal. 

(94.) The third great division of American zoology 
comprises the whole of the southern peninsula, from the 
Gulf of Mexico to the extremity of Paraguay, beyond 
which latitude lie regions whose animals are little known. 
There is, however, no reason to exclude those countries 
from our survey of this portion of America, although 
we have nothing to guide our judgment as to the transi- 
tion which nature may here effect into the Fauna of 
some other region. 

F 2 


(95.) The islands dispersed in the great gulf, but 
more particularly the Isthmus of Mexico, constitute 
that intermediate region that " land debateable" 
in which the Faunas of the two great divisions of 
America meet, and imperceptibly blend into, each other. 
Such are the harmonious transitions of nature through 
all her works; ever varying, her laws are yet the 
same, in whatever light her operations are studied. 
To look for absolute divisions were a fruitless and a 
hopeless task, for they can never be found ; and they 
appear totally repugnant to the laws of creation. It is 
immaterial, therefore, to our present purpose, at what 
degree of longitude or of latitude we draw an imaginary 
line of separation : whether, in short, we consider the 
table land of Mexico as the southern confines of tem- 
perate America, or view it as the northern limits of its 
tropical portion. As a combination of circumstances 
has drawn our attention to this hitherto unknown re- 
gion, a more detailed notice on such of its animal pro- 
ductions as have yet reached us, may prove interesting. 

(96.) On the quadrupeds of Mexico, our information, 
indeed, is but scanty. The short and vague notices 
given by Hernandez, who distinguishes them only by 
the unutterable names of the Indians, affords no clue by 
which we can comprehend their real nature ; and, un- 
fortunately for science, the most intelligent and accom- 
plished of our modern travellers in Mexico one who has 
supplied us with a fund of most important and ster- 
ling information on nearly every other topic had no 
knowledge of natural history. Nevertheless, Mr. Ward * 
occasionally alludes to some of the native quadrupeds. He 
mentions herds of between fifty and sixty deer, as abound- 
ing on the plains of the table-land t: he alludes to wolves 
being caught by the lasso j and to a kind of fox or wild 
dog, which is found in such numbers, that the hunting 
parties, formed by the peasants, frequently kill great 
numbers in one season.^ " The wild animals to be met 

* Mexico, by G. H. Ward, Esq. M. P. 2 vols. 8vo 2d ed. 
f Vol. ii. p. 262. 4: See Ward's Mexico. 


with in the province of Texas, are the buffalo, or bison, 
known in England as the bonassus, and which enters 
Texas from the north, in vast herds, during the winter; 
the panther, leopard, bear, otter, beaver, antelope, deer, 
racoon, black fox, &c. The horses, descended from the 
Spanish Arabians, have peopled the rich plains of Texas 
with droves innumerable. These wild horses are often 
large or heavy, but show blood ; and, if caught young, 
are very docile; although, whenever an opportunity 
offers, they are apt to rejoin their wild brethren." * It 
is impossible to ascertain what animals are here called 
" panthers and leopards," since these names strictly 
belong to African quadrupeds ; nor are we specifically 
acquainted with any determinate species of antelopes or 
deer peculiar to Mexico. 

(97.) On the ornithology of Mexico, our knowledge, 
comparatively, is much more advanced. Several col- 
lections of birds, formed by our countrymen now re- 
sident on the table land, have been transmitted to this 
country, and forwarded for our examination. The 
results are highly interesting. Of 1 14 species t of land 
birds whose characters we have thus had the means of 
ascertaining, sixty-seven, or more than one half, have 
never been discovered in any other country. Eleven 
are natives of Mexico and of South America, and thirty - 
six are found both in Mexico and the United States. 
It may be urged, that so large a proportion of animals, 
in one class only, being found on the American isthmus, 
is surely sufficient to constitute it a distinct zoological 
province : but it must be remembered, that this pecu- 
liarity extends only to species. For it is a singular fact, 
that not more than one new genus (Ptiliogonys Swains.) 
is to be found in the entire number of 114 species. 
This is one of the most interesting genera recently dis- 
covered, being that by which nature has connected the 
family of tyrant shrikes ( Tyranninte), with that of the 

* Mexico, vol. ii. p. 435. 

f These species are enumerated in Murray's Encyclopaedia of Geo- 
graphy, p. 1383. 

F 3 



caterpillar-catchers (Ceblepyrince} : two species have 
been detected, in both of which the males differ mate- 
rially from the females.* Interesting, therefore, as is 
the ornithology of Mexico, in demonstrating the transi- 
tion from the zoological tribes of Northern America 
to those of the Southern, nature has not, as it were, 
paused on her route, and given animal forms to this 
region, which she has withheld from the adjoining. 
There is no distinction between the geographic groups of 
Mexico, and those of the countries to which it is united : 
the genera are common to both; the peculiarity con- 
sists in finding these genera intermixed in one and the 
same spot ; and exhibited in the form of species, which 
appear, for the most part, restricted to the American 
isthmus. The following table of the genera of birds 
hitherto discovered in Mexico, will better illustrate 
our meaning. 

(98.) The genera of birds characteristic of South 
America, found in Mexico, but either unknown, or 
only represented by one species (*) in North America, 
are as follows : 

Prionites III. Motmot 
Trogon L. Trogon. 
Harpya Cuv , Harpy Eagles. 
Polyborus Vieil. Carracara Eagles. 
Cassicus D. Hangnest. 
Tanagra Sw. True Tanagers. 
Pyranga Vieil. Red Tanagers. 
Psittacus L. True Parrots. 
* Psittacarus Sw. Parrakeets. 

(99-) The genera more 
found also in Mexico, but 
(marked *), are unknown 
following : 

Setophaga Sw. Fan tailed Warblers. 
Seiurus Sw. Wagtail Warblers. 
Sialia Sw. Blue Robins. 
Sylvicola Sw. Titmice Warblers. 
Vermivora Sw. Worm - eating 

Macrocercus Vieil. Mackaws. 

Xiphorhynchus Sw. Creepers. 

Crotophaga L. Ano-bird. 

Tiaris Sw. Crestfinches. 

Cynanthus Sw. Fork-tailed Hum- 

Lampornis Siv. Even -tailed Hum- 
ming- Birds. 

peculiar to North America, 
which, with few exceptions 
in South America, are the 

Pipilo Vieil. Groundfinch. 
* Ammodramus Sw. Sandfinch. 
Sturnella Vieil. Crescent Starling. 
Colaptes Sw. Ground Woodpecker. 

(100.) To state the result in a more popular form, 

* See Zool. Illus. 2. pi. 62. 102. 


we may gather from the above facts, that Mexico ex- 
hibits nearly as great a variety in her animal produc- 
tions as she does in her vegetable. Both may be traced 
to the same cause, the astonishing variety of climates 
concentrated in this isthmus ; where the traveller can 
pass, in the space of three days, from the regions of 
perpetual snow, to the burning sands of Vera Cruz. 
Between these two extremes of heat and cold are stu- 
pendous ridges or platforms, at different elevations, of 
table lands ; as if nature, within a single degree of lati- 
tude, intended to represent the climate, the animals, 
and the vegetables of every region in the New World. 

(101.) Aquatic birds are generally more nume- 
rous in cold than in warm latitudes ; yet Mexico 
is a remarkable and almost a solitary exception. All 
travellers agree in stating, that the lakes and marshes 
on the table land are frequented by innumerable water- 
fowl; their numbers, in fact, are so immense, that 
they are killed by batteries placed in a double file, 
and many hundreds are brought down at a single 
discharge.* Yet among all those which have been 
sent to England , we only discovered two new bit- 
terns, the Mexican and the lineated species ; the rest 
were of ducks and waders, well known in the United 
States, and nearly all inhabiting the Arctic regions. It 
would thus appear that the freshwater lakes of the 
isthmus form the southern barrier of all these migra- 
tory tribes, no less than of the insectivorous summer 
visiters of the United States ; since we are,, at present, 
unacquainted with a single instance of a natatorial bird 
of North America having been detected on the Terra 
Firma. Some few of the small sandpipers may, however, 
occasionally pass to the south of the equinoctial line. 

(102.) The only Mexican reptile deserving particu- 
lar notice, is the Phytthydrus pisciformis Br. (the 
Axolotl of Humboldt), allied to the Siren of Carolina. 
It seems to abound in the lakes near tjie city of 
Mexico, and is much esteemed as an article of food. 

* Ward's Mexico, 
F 4 


(103.) The zoology of Mexico conducts us at once 
into the third great division of the American province, 
of whose zoological features we shall now proceed to 
give a rapid sketch. It must first be premised that 
the equinoctial provinces, forming the modern republics 
of Guatemala and Colombia, have never been fully 
explored by modern naturalists ; that, notwithstanding 
the celebrated Humboldt traversed the whole of Chili 
and Peru, his other pursuits left him little or no time to 
collect or to investigate their animal productions ; and 
that many other parts of this vast and fertile continent 
have hitherto been but superficially examined. Our ma- 
terials, therefore, must be chiefly drawn from the immense 
collections that have been made of late years in different 
parts of Brazil ; from our own personal researches in 
that vast empire; and from a few other authentic 
sources. We have before remarked, that both animals 
and vegetables rapidly increase in number and variety, 
the nearer we approach the equinoctial line, where the 
humidity of the atmpsphere is more remarkable, to com- 
mon observers, than any extraordinary degree of heat. 
That the former is more essential to this fecundity than 
the latter, is perfectly manifest, upon looking to the 
deserts of Africa, situated under similar degrees of 
latitude. But the variety of animals in tropical 
America is so much greater than in any other part 
of the world, that we naturally enquire what are 
the causes generally assigned for this excessive exu- 
berance? This question has been so well replied to 
by a celebrated traveller, that we shall here insert his 

(104.) The causes of the general fertility of Ame- 
rica, and more particularly of the southern division, 
assigned by M. Humboldt, are these : " The narrow- 
ness of this variously indented continent; its great 
extension towards the icy pole ; the wide ocean over 
which the tropical winds blow ; the flatness of the 
eastern coasts ; the currents of cold sea- water which 
flow northwards from the Terra del Fuego towards 


Peru ; the number of mountains, the sources of count- 
less springs, whose snow-clad summits tower above the 
clouds ; the abundance of large streams, which, after 
many windings, always seek the remotest coast ; de- 
serts without sand, therefore the less heated ; impene- 
trable forests, which cover the well-watered plains near 
the equator, and which, in the interior of the country, 
where the mountains and the water are most remote, 
exhale immense masses of imbibed or self-producing 
water. All these circumstances give to the flat portion 
of America a climate which, by its moisture and cool- 
ness, forms a surprising contrast with that of Africa. 
To these causes must be ascribed that extraordinary 
luxuriance of vegetation, that exuberant foliage, which 
forms the peculiar characteristic of the New Conti- 

(105.) In applying these observations to Brazil, 
an empire, which nearly absorbs one third of the 
whole continent of South America, some modifications 
and particular exceptions must be made ; and this we 
are enabled to do from personal observation. Vege- 
tation, indeed, covers nearly every part of this immense 
region, but in very different degrees, and with some re- 
markable peculiarities. A stupendous range of virgin 
forests may be said to extend from one extremity of the 
eastern coast to the other ; running parallel with the 
shore, and forming a magnificent belt of verdure 
between that and the interior: in these parts the 
soil is amazingly rich, either a black vegetable mould, 
or a fat red loam. It is in these situations that vege- 
tation attains its highest luxuriance : nearly all the 
large timber tree's are found only in the virgin forests j 
and the ground, when cleared for cultivation, gives an 
astonishing produce. But no sooner does the traveller 
penetrate beyond this natural belt, on his way into the 
interior, than he meets with a totally different country. 
The Sertam districts then commence ; a name applied 
generally to all inland parts situated beyond the virgin 
forests. The Sertam country, however, possesses very 


different features in different localities, and which the 
Brazilians distinguish by appropriate names. The 
Campos are vast plains similar to those on the banks of 
the great Rio St. Francisco, covered with coarse grass, 
and destitute of trees. They are scorched during sum- 
mer, and present little other vegetation during the rainy 
season. The Campos appear, in fact, to be a continu- 
ation of the Pampas of Paraguay and the Rio de la 
Plata, and are analogous to the interior deserts of 
Africa : water, excepting in the great rivers, is equally 
scarce; and in dry seasons, hundreds of cattle pe- 
rish, and whole villages migrate. These dreary plains 
are frequently elevated ; but in such situations, the 
coarse and scanty herbage is generally intermixed with 
stunted trees, growing at short intervals, as in a park : 
clear of underwood, and open to the route of the tra- 
veller in every direction, such tracts are termed Tabu- 
laras, or table-lands, since they are almost always 
raised a few hundred feet above the level of the sea. 
Lands of this description are frequently broken by 
narrow valleys, or gentle hollows, wherein the trees 
become higher, and acquire a more flourishing growth, 
thus forming woods ; yet they are so matted together 
by a thick underwood of Cacti, Bromelife, and other 
spinous plants, intermixed with thickets of coarse-leaved 
flowering shrubs, as to be almost impassable to any but 
the hunter : these are the Catinga woods of the 
Brazilians; and it is here that the numerous and 
splendid family of Epidendrum, and other parasitic 
plants, few of which are yet known to botanists, 
root round the bark, or spring from the stems, of 
the larger trees. The general character of the soil, in 
all the localities here described, is more or less sandy; 
and although never destitute of vegetation, the plants 
have almost always a parched, stunted, and withered ap- 
pearance, except, as before observed, during the rainy 
season. These observations, apparently foreign to our 
present subject, are nevertheless so closely connected 
with it, that, without them, it would be impossible to 


account for the singular inequality of animal dispersion, 
which we shall now proceed to notice. We do not, of 
course, comprehend the mining provinces of Brazil in 
the above sketch : they are more particularly mountain- 
ous ; and must, therefore, be looked upon as an excep- 
tion to the general features of the whole. 

(106.) The dispersion of animals is affected, in a 
surprising degree, by the above variations in the face of 
the country. As vegetation is most luxuriant towards 
the coast, so is the number and variety of animals, on 
the borders or in the recesses of the virgin forests, much 
greater than in the interior. It is in these thick and 
umbrageous retreats that the numerous tribes of monkeys 
are alone found ; for their life is spent, not on the 
ground, but in wandering through the boughs of inter- 
minable forests, leaping from branch to branch, and 
passing from one lofty tree to another by amazing 
springs. In conformity with these habits, more espe- 
cially characteristic of the American monkeys, we find 
the greater part are furnished with a prehensile tail, of 
such strength and construction, as to fulfil the office of a 
fifth hand. No such additional power for climbing Jias 
been given to the monkeys of India, much less to those 
of Africa ; in neither of which is this family so nu- 
merous in species or individuals, or so strongly cha- 
racterised by lofty forests. On turning to the birds, we 
find the toucans (Ramphastidte), manakins (Pipra), 
jacamars (Galbula), motmots (Priorities^, trogons 
(Trogonidce Sw.), tree creepers (Dendrocolaptes, Cer- 
thiadce), and several other groups, are more particularly 
inhabitants of the virgin forests ; while the insects, im- 
posing from their size or dazzling from their brilliancy, 
are found in such incredible numbers, in the more open 
parts, that the entomologist is frequently unable to 
capture one half of those that come within his reach, 
from the time consumed in securing his game. 

(107.) On passing from the deep forests, and entering 
upon the Tabularas, or the more open inland tracts, 
the naturalist finds himself in a new zoological region 



Few insects appear : and he may frequently ride for 
hours without meeting with a single lepidopterous insect 
worth preserving. Vegetation has lost its luxuriance, 
and with it the power of nourishing those innumerable 
insects which feed on the tender and juicy leaves of 
plants flowering in a rich and humid soil. The low 
trees and scanty thickets produce a variety of small 
berries, affording nourishment to the hard-billed ta- 
nagers and finches, few of which are met with in the 
forests of the coast. The Sertem, or inland country, 
particularly the tdbulas, are the chosen haunts of nearly 
all the parrakeets : here they are seen, in flocks in- 
numerable, living upon the berries ; while the harder 
nuts of the different palms so frequently met with in 
the interior, are the favourite food of the larger parrots 
and mackaws. The humming-birds, also, are never 
seen in the recesses of forests ; for, as they principally 
live on vegetable juices, they naturally frequent the 
more open tracts and the thickets of the Catinga woods, 
abounding in small but odoriferous flowers. The 
Catingas, again, have their peculiar inhabitants. The 
animals principally found here are the sloths, armadillos, 
cavies, and squirrels ; while a few of the smaller monkeys 
seem to prefer these lesser woods to the forests. The 
insects are more numerous than on the Tabularas ; 
but they are small, and only interesting to the na- 
26 ^B^ turalist from their locality. 

The bush-shrikes (Thamno- 
philus) and the ant-thrushes 
(Drymophila Sw.) are also 
nearly peculiar to the Catingas ; 
to which many of the fruit- 
eaters (Ampelidcs Sw.) resort, 
at certain seasons, to devour 
the berrries. Few of these 
splendid birds (of which the blue-collared Ampelis 
Catinga L. (fig. 26.) is, perhaps, the most magnificent) 
are found near the coast. 

(108.) The Campos, or plains, are still more thinly 


inhabited ; but as we avoided these districts, as unin- 
viting to the naturalist, so we cannot detail their pe- 
culiarities. The tinnamous (Crypturus 111.) are the 
partridges of America, living among high grass, while 
the rufous baker-birds (Opetiorhynchus Tern.) are 
principally found in arid plains, always walking or 
perching upon the ground. Such appears to be the 
local distribution of the vast variety of animals be- 
longing to this magnificent portion of the New World. 
It now only remains for us to take a hasty glance at the 
general zoology of the whole southern continent. 

(109.) Among the quadrupeds, we have already 
stated that the great variety of monkeys found in tro- 
pical America are essentially different from those of 
Africa and Asia. They are much smaller, more in- 
offensive, and bear little or no analogy to the satyr-like 
apes and disgusting baboons of the Old World : they 
have all tails, generally prehensile ; but are without 
cheek pouches or naked callosities on their hinder parts. 
The howling monkeys (Mycetes 111.) live in the deep 
virgin forests, from which they send forth, morning and 
evening, such tremendous and frightful howls, as to 
impress the listener with the apprehension of some 
gigantic ferocious animal being very near. No less than 
sixty-five species of this family have been described as 
natives of South America. The bats are more nu- 
merous than in any part of the world : here, again, we 
see the wise provision of nature in adjusting the ba- 
lance between the insect world and those animals which 
draw their support from it. Many, however, live also 
upon fruit ; while others, like the large vampires of the 
East, enter the cattle sheds, and even the dwellings of 
man, to suck the blood of both. Horses and mules are 
constantly attacked in this manner during the night; 
and although never killed, are generally too weak to be 
used in work for several days : this we have frequently 
experienced. Very few of the bats above mentioned 
occur to the north of the line; and none either in 
Africa, Asia, or Europe. 

(110.) The carnivorous quadrupeds, or beasts of prey, 


with but two exceptions, are of a small size; and although 
of many species, they appear to be few in numerical 
amount, and are fearful of man. The largest are the 
puma and the jaguar ; the latter alone being truly for- 
midable, the rest are principally small tiger-cats of 
several species, beautifully marked and spotted. The 
lion, tiger, panther, leopard, hyaena, jackal, and the 
whole list of ferocious quadrupeds so common in the 
intertropical regions of the Old World, are here utterly 
unknown. The tapirs, of which two species are known, 
are the largest quadrupeds yet met with in South Ame- 
rica. The sloths, the ant-eaters, and the armadillos are 
peculiarly Brazilian : the latter are harmless little crea- 
tures, very tameable, and are frequently kept as pets in the 
houses. The scale-covered manis represents this group 
in Africa, The lama, and the other wool-bearing animals 
of that description, appear more peculiar to the elevated 
plains on the Andes of Peru and Chili. Travellers 
mention small deer, but the species have not yet been 
well ascertained. 

(111.) Brazil is celebrated for its monkeys ; of which 
large troops are frequently met with in the virgin forests, 
springing from bough to bough with astonishing ce- 
lerity : from the quickness of their motions, and the 
thickness of the foliage, the traveller is only able to 
catch a partial glimpse of them as they cross his path. 
Towards evening he is astonished by dreadful bowlings, 
coming from the depths of the forests, and proceeding, 
as he imagines, from some formidable beasts of prey. 
These alarming sounds, however, 
proceed only from the howling 
monkeys (Mycetes ursinus,fig. 27.), 
peculiar to tropical America, pos- 
sessing neither size nor ferocity 
to make them really formidable. 
The compass of their voice is so 
astonishingly great, that it may be 
heard for miles. They live only 
in the most impenetrable recesses ; 
where, perched upon the summit of 


some lofty tree, they make the forests resound with their 
hideous cries. There is a very beautiful and delicate 
little species, generally called, in this country, the 
lion monkey, but which is the silky monkey of Pen- 
nant {Midas rosalia). The hair is long, soft, glossy, 
and of a bright golden or chestnut orange. This 
elegant little creature is sometimes brought alive to 
England, but seldom survives during the winter. The 
real leonine monkey (M. leoninus} is also found in 
Brazil, but the fur is olive brown, and the face black. 
The disgusting baboons of Africa, and the large apes 
of Asia, are entirely excluded from the New World. 
The true ant-eaters, on the other hand, are found 
only in tropical America : there are three species, of 
which the great or maned ant-eater (Myrmecophaga 
jubata) is the largest. All the species are clothed with 
thick but cool hair ; whereas those of India, forming 
the genus Manis, are covered with horny scales. The 
armadillos, again, are only to be found on this conti- 
nent ; and their vulgar name of hog-in- armour, is cha- 
racteristic at once of their affinity, and the peculiar 
defence which nature has given them. The Bra- 
zilians are particularly fond of these animals, which 
they hunt for food ; and we can bear testimony to 
the delicacy of their flesh, which has all the white- 
ness and the savour of 
young pork. On the 
sides of the rivers are 
found the capibaras ( Hy- 
droccerus Capybara, jig. 
28.). This animal, in 
shape, very much re- 
sembles the Guinea-pig, 
but is greatly superior in size, measuring about three 
feet in total length : the feet are palmated or webbed, 
so that it dives or swims with perfect ease ; and when 
on land it often sits on its hind feet, like the squirrel. 
It is timorous, and seldom goes abroad during the day ; 
for although it swims well, it runs badly : they are said 


to live in families, and seldom to quit the vicinity of 
the place where they were born. 

(112.) The cavies, or agoutis, as they are some- 
times called, are the hares of Brazil (Dasyprocta 111., 
fig. 29.) : they have no tails, 
and feed entirely upon vege- 
tables ; shy in manners, and 
swift of foot, they live only 
in the forests and Catinga 
woods. The cattle and 
horses were first introduced 
into the New World by the 
early Spanish invaders, but they have now multiplied 
into immense herds, and range over the Campos and 
Pampas of the interior. Sheep are very scarce, and in 
many provinces almost unknown* 

(113.) The general ornithological features of Brazil 
have already been dwelt upon ; while, as regards the 
number of species, this region may safely be pro- 
nounced the richest in the world. Not more than one 
fifth of the Brazilian empire, for instance, has been 
explored; yet it has already furnished upwards of 
500 different kinds of birds, and new ones are conti- 
nually sent by travelling collectors to Europe, by which 
the list is increased. We may, in some measure, ac- 
count for this abundance, by the fact that fruits and 
insects constitute the chief nourishment of this class ; 
and that both are peculiarly abundant in countries 
where vegetation is particularly luxuriant. 

(114.) The rapacious birds are very peculiar : large 
black vultures (Cathartes 
30 Jf* atratus,fig. 30., Sw. N. Z. ii. 
p. 6.), fully equal in size to 
our turkeys, are every where 
seen, perfectly tame, sitting 
on trees by the way side, and 
ready to devour offal, or any 
animal substance deprived of 
life. Whether these vultures 
are of the same species as the 



black and turkey buzzards of North America, is still 
a matter of doubt. The king vulture ( V. papa L.) is 
also large ; and its head and neck, although naked, are 
beautifully coloured. But the most remarkable bird of 
this tribe in South America, or in the world, is the 
famous condor of the Andes. 
It appears to extend its range 
over a long extent of those 
immense mountains, but has 
not yet been met with in 
Brazil, or in the less elevated 
provinces on the eastern side 
of the Cordilleras. In these 
flatter and more wooded dis- 
tricts, the place of the condor 
is filled by a bird little infe- 
rior in size, but much more 
cruel and destructive in its 
habits; named, on this account, 
the destroying eagle (Aquila 
destructor, fig. 31.). While 
the condor is restricted to the 
highest mountains, this formidable bird ranges over the 
forests of the coast, and particularly those of Demerara, 
Para, and Brazil. It flies with majestic rapidity, and 
preys only upon deer, sloths, monkeys, and the larger 
quadrupeds ; pursuing them with velocity, and tearing 
them in pieces with its enormous talons. The different 
Caracaras, more resembling eagles than kites, are also 
peculiar to this part of the world. The owls, unlike 
those of the North, are of a small size ; and one spe- 
cies in the gardens of Pernambuco, was, in size, inferior 
to the thrush. 

(115.) The chief families of perching birds we have 
already enumerated ; but many others may be noticed 
for their beauty or their singularity. The numerous 
tyrant flycatchers are seen in all the open tracts and 
gardens, perched on the surrounding branches, and per- 
petually on the watch for insects. The water-chats 


(FluvicolinfB Sw.), analogous to our wagtails, run along 
the sides of the rivers and lagoons, bent on the same 
pursuit, and perpetually wagging their tails: the very 

singular genus Alec- 
turus(fig. 32.), called 
the "little cock" by 
Azara, is found in the 
same situation, and 
has received this name 
from carrying its broad 
and compressed tail 
erect, like that of our 
domestic fowl. The beautiful little ground doves (Chce~ 
mepelia Sw.), frequent all the open tracts, and are com- 
mon even in the gardens and suburbs of the towns ; 
while the humming-birds, although more numerous in 
the interior, are nevertheless to be seen, wherever a tree 
is in full blossom, darting about among splendid butter- 
flies, and blue-winged bees, nearly as big as them- 

(116.) Water-birds are very local : we did not meet 
with them in any abundance, in that range of coast we 
traversed between lat. 8 and 23 S. ; but we are in- 
formed by Mr. Hesketh, his Majesty's consul-general at 
the city of Para, directly under the line, that the swamps 
on the borders of the great river Maranon, extending 
for hundreds of miles, are filled with innumerable 
flocks of aquatic and wading birds, sheltered among in- 
terminable forests of reeds, as old, probably, as the 
creation. Here the splendid 
scarlet curlews are found in 
the greatest abundance ; and 
probably these haunts, im- 
passable to human feet, are 
frequented by nearly all the 
aquatic tribes of South Ame- 
rica. In nearly all the 
swamps and savannahs of Brazil is found the Martinico 
Gallinule (Jig. 31.), or water-hen, whose dark purple 


plumage, yellow bill, and crimson frontlet, renders it 
one of the most elegant of aquatic birds. The spur- 
winged water-hens (Parra), walking on the broad leaves 
of aquatic plants, appear as if they trod upon the sur- 
face of the water, and relieve the solitude of such dreary 

(117-) Our information on the fish peculiar to these 
seas is very defective, and not generally interesting. 
The species materially differ from those of similar lati- 
tudes in the Old World ; while the beautiful chaetodons, 
which form such a prominent feature in the ichthyology 
of India, are but sparingly distributed in the American 
seas. The genus Anableps has been named the double- 
eyed loach, from what appears to be the real eye being 
covered with an elevated membrane : it is found in the 
rivers and fresh waters of Surinam* The Brazilian 
gar-fish is much smaller than ours, and is distinguished 
by the excessive length of the lower jaw, and the ex- 
treme shortness of the other. The fish generally ob- 
served by us in the markets of Pernambuco and Bahia 
were small ; nor did we taste any that could be com- 
pared to the cod, turbot, or salmon of our own seas. 

(118.) The most extraordinary reptile of South 
America is the Surinam toad, disgusting and hideous 
in appearance, but interesting from the manner in which 
Nature has provided for the safety of its young ; the 
back of the mother being excavated into little hollow 
cells, within which the young retreat, and are carried 
about, until able to shift for themselves. The some- 
what marvellous adventures of a recent author, among 
the Cayenne crocodiles of Demerara^ are very amusing ; 
but we cannot tell of such " moving accidents : " those 
we observed in Brazil were small, timid, and more 
anxious to escape from man than to call forth his 
prowess. Another reptile, the horned toad (Ceratophrys 
dorsata Max., fig.34>.) is one of the most singular rep- 
tiles of Brazil. Its colours are beautiful; the back being 
bright green, with stripes of deep black, and the sides 
are variegated with orange : over each eye is a short 
o 2 


but horn-like protu- 
berance,, giving to this 
really harmless animal 
a formidable and re- 
pulsive appearance. 

(119-) Immense 
serpents, not, indeed, 
poisonous,, but nearly 
as formidable from 
their size, are found in 
the wilds of the interior,, principally near the banks of the 
great rivers. The natives assert that they frequently kill 
the young oxen., by strangling them in the enormous folds 
of their body. These monsters are never seen of a large 
size in cultivated districts; they belong to the genus 
Boa, which here represents that of Python, belonging to 
the Old World. The species named Boa constrictor has 
been often described, but probably two or three are still 
confounded under that name. Frogs of a monstrous 
size are every where common in the swamps ; but mus- 
quitoes, their usual attendants,, are much less numerous 
than in the north of Europe. The number of serpents 
in Brazil appear to us to have been much over-rated : 
although constantly in situations where they might be 
supposed to abound, we met with very few. The 
rattlesnake of North America is here unknown, but its 
place is supplied by another species; while the most 
beautiful are the coral snakes, generally about two feet 
long, and elegantly banded with black and crimson. 
The large lizards, called guanas, are common, both on 
the West India islands and on the continent ; and, by 
the inhabitants generally, are considered very delicious 
eating, a fact we can ourselves testify: the flesh, indeed, 
is firm, white, and very delicate. Turtles are well 
known as inhabitants of these seas, particularly the green 
sort, sent to Europe and dressed at our feasts : there is, 
however, a species in the Mediterranean which appeared 
to us equally good. 

(120.) The wingless insects, as spiders, crabs, &c. 


may be briefly noticed. The land crabs are numerous, 
and very curious ; since they live but a part of the year 
in water, and resort, at other times, to the woods and 
forests. They seem to abound more particularly in the 
West India islands ; but whether they are of the same 
species as those found in Western Africa has not, we 
believe, been clearly ascertained. Many of the fresh, 
water crawfish are nearly as big as young lobsters. The 
scorpions are small, and, excepting those of Surinam, 
not much larger than the species found in the south of 
Europe. The venomous centipedes of Africa and Asia 
are strangers to this continent, or, at least, are so rare 
that we never met with one. The bird-catching spider 
Mygale avicularia (fig 35.), as it is improperly called. 

is the largest of this family yet discovered. Madame 
Merian, in her Surinam plates of insects, represents it as 
feeding upon the humming-bird ; but we never found 
it on trees, and suspect this habit is entirely contrary to 
its nature. The silkworm is unknown, either wild or 
cultivated ; but America possesses the cochineal insect, 
of nearly as much importance to commerce ; it has been 
hitherto confined to the republic of Mexico ; and, be- 
sides its use in dyeing, furnishes the rich colour called 
carmine, the most beautiful of all the pictorial reds. 

(121.) To enumerate the tribes of winged insects 
peculiar to South America is altogether impossible j 
yet we cannot pass over this lovely portion of creation 
G 3 


in silence. As the American continent, more than any 
other, abounds in forests of timber trees, so do we find 
that the number of coleopterous insects, which feed, in 
their larva state, within the substance of wood, are 
proportionally numerous ; the comparative relations be- 
tween those of Europe and of Brazil alone being pro- 
bably as one to nine : while of such Cokoptera as devour 
decayed animal substances (here removed entirely by 
ants), the ratio may be inverted. To the abundant 
supply of soft and nutritious vegetable food, we may, in 
like manner, attribute the amazing number of lepidop- 
terous insects : in their va- 
riety, size, and brilliancy of 
colouring, they are certainly un- 
rivalled by any in the world. 
Of the diurnal butterflies, we be- 
lieve that between six and seven 
hundred species alone inhabit 
Brazil. One of these, the Pro. 
tesilaus Leilus (fig. 36.)* is a 
beautiful representation of the 
European swallow-tail. Some 

of the lesser species are more beautifully marked than 
those of larger size and more dazzling colours. The 
genuine Papilionidce, without any very palpable generic 
distinction from those of Africa and Asia, possess a 
certain aspect, or habit (as it is usually termed), which 
immediately betrays their country to the eye of the 
experienced entomologist. The family of Coliadce, com. 
prehending those simply coloured, yet beautiful, yellow 
and orange butterflies, so frequently seen in collections, 
are particularly numerous both in species and individuals. 
The hair-streaks (Thedidce) is another family so abun- 
dant, that we possess near 120 species from Brazil ; but 
the Hesperidce, or skippers, are in still greater profusion, 
since more than 200 different sorts were captured by us 
in Brazil, nearly the whole of which are restricted to the 

* 2ool. Ill ii. 93. 


virgin forests of the coast : very few of the genera com- 
prised in this family are known in other countries. 

(122.) Ants are as numerous as in Western Africa, but 
they all appear to belong to different species. The red 
ants of Brazil are so destructive, and at the same time 
so prolific,, that they frequently dispute possession of 
the ground with the husbandman, defy all his skill to 
extirpate their colonies, and fairly compel him to leave 
his fields uncultivated. - The Termites, or white ants, are 
principally confined to the woods : they are of different 
species ; some building great nests in trees, while others 
are subterraneous; but there is no evidence to prove 
them the same as those of Western Africa. Locusts of 
a beautiful green, with wings resembling the leaves of 
plants, are not uncommon; but they never become 
noxious ; nor is there, we believe, any instance upon 
record of their associating in flocks, and devastating the 
country. They are, in fact, all specifically distinct from 
those of the Old World. The dipterous insects are re- 
markably few, a peculiarity in American entomology, 
for which we know not how to account : but it is sin- 
gular, that spiders, which prey more especially upon 
this order, are still more rare ; we never, in fact, met 
with more than two or three species which spun webs 
yet of the little Saltici, or jumping spiders, which wan- 
der about in quest of their prey, we described, upon the 
spot, more than 100 species. Yet, however deficient 
South America may be in Diptera, there are some be- 
longing to the Aselidce, of dimensions far exceeding any 
in the world. Few persons would believe in the exist- 
ence of a real fly measuring full two inches long ; yet 
several of these are in our museum. 

(123.) The testaceous Mollusca, or shells, are compara- 
tively very few, particularly on the eastern coasts, yet those 
of Chili and Panama have furnished our cabinets with 
many beautiful species : from the latter is brought the 
lovely Mureoc regius Sw., the Murex radix L., with 
many others of less note. From Chili and Peru we 
G 4 


derive the singular Purpura 
Concholepas Sw. (fig. SI .) 
which resembles a limpet; 
and also a considerable num- 
ber of chitons. The marine 
shells of Brazil are com- 
paratively few, and offer a 
singular contrast to the pro- 
lific shores of intertropical 

India, and even to those of Western Africa. The num- 
ber of fluviatile shells bears no comparison with those of 
North America ; but whether this is truly the case in 
nature,, or that it results from the rivers of the South 
not having been sufficiently explored, is still uncertain. 
The genus Hyria Lam. is as peculiar to these American 
latitudes, as Iridina appears to be to Africa; while 

the Lymnadia gigas 
Sw. (fig, 38.) of the 
Oronoko is the most 
gigantic river shell hi- 
therto discovered. The 
apple-snails (Ampul- 
laria L.) abound in 
the swamps and lesser 
rivers, and exhibit nu- 
merous species, none of 
which appear to have been found north of the line. 

(124.) The land shells, although not many, are very 
curious. The large Bulimus ovatus is common on the 
continent ; while another species (B. hcemastomus} ap- 
pears more frequent in the islands. The Achatina mela- 
nastoma Swains, is particularly rare, and none of the 
species from the continent of tropical America may be 
termed common. Jamaica, and several of the neigh- 
bouring islands, are much richer in these productions. 

(125.) The quadrupeds of the American continent 
chiefly belong to the following genera and sub- 
genera : 


Atel '8 Geoff. 
Lagothrix Humb. 
Mycetes /#. 
Cebus Cuv. 
Callithrix III. 
Aotus ///. 
Pithecia III. 
Hapale 111. 


Phyllostoma Cuv. 
Vampyrus Spix. 
Glossophaga Geoff. 
Artibius Leach. 
Monophyllus Leach, 
Mormoops Leach. 
Thyroptera Spix. 
Noctilio Geoff. \ 
Proboscidea Spix. 
Molossus Geoff. 

Ursus L. 
Procyon Cuv. 
Nasua Desm. 
Cercoleptes Desm. 
MeleS L. 
Gulo L. 

Didelphus L. 
Cheironectes Cuv. 
Castor L. 
Echymys Cuv. 
Myopolomus Desm. 
Arctomys Cuv, 
Spermophilus Cuv. 
Pteromys Cuv. 
Spigurus Cuv. 
Erethizon Cuv, 
Hydrochoerus Ex. 
Aperea Marcg. 
Dasyprocta III. 
Coelogenus Gun. 
Bradypus L. 
Dasypus L. 
Myrmecophaga L. 
Dicotyles Cuv. 
Tapirus III. 
Ancbenia III. 

Alee Ham. Smith. 
Rangifer Ham. Smith. 
Elaplms Ham. Smith. 
Mazama Ham. Smith. 
Subulo Ham. Smith. 
Dicranocerus Ham. Smith. 
Aplocerus Ham. Smith. 

(126.) The American genera and families of birds 
are particularly numerous ; and in several instances are 
restricted to the New World. Where, therefore, a 
family group is strictly and exclusively American, the 
genera and subgenera it contains will not be enume- 
rated. Those marked (s.) are subgenera. 

Rapacious Birds. 
VulturL. Vulture. ; 

Polyborus Vieil. Caracara. (s.) 
Harpyia Cuv. Eagle, (s.) 
Morphnus Cuv. Eagle, (s.) 
Cymindis Cuv. Kite, (s.) 
Falco (Harpagus) Vigors. 
Elanus Sav. Kite, (s.) 

Perching Birds. (Fissirostres.) 
Prionites HI. Motmot. 
Trogon L. Trogon. 
Galbula L. Jacamar. 
Monassa Vieil. Hermit-bird, (s.) 
Tamatia Marcg. Puffbird. 
Chaitura Stev, Spinetail. 

: Tenuirostres.\ 

Trochilidae Sw. Humming-Birds. 
Nectarinea III. Flower-sucker. 

Climbing Birds. Scansores.} 
Dendrocolaptes III. Creeper. 
Xiphorhynchus Sw. Creeper, (s.). 
Dendroplex Sw. Creeper, (s.) 
Anabates Tern. Creeper. 
Synallaxis Vieil. Thorntail. 
Zenops III. Turnbill. 
Sittasomus Sw. Creeper, (s.) , 
Lochmias Sw. Creeper, (s.) 
Sclerurus Sw. Creeper, (s.) 
Troglodytes (Thriothorus Vieil.} 
Oxyrhynchus Tern. Sharpbill. 



Colaptes $iu. Woodpecker. 
Malacolophus Sw. Woodpecker. 
Asthenurus Sw. Woodpecker, (s.) 
Macrocercus Vlcil. Mackaw. 
Saurathera Vieil. Rainbird. 
Crotophaga L. Ani. 
Ramphastos L. Toucan. 
Pteroglossus IH. Aracari. 
Fam. Icterinae Sw. Hangnests. 
Sturnella Vieil. Starling, (s.) 
Agelaius Vieil. Maizehird. 
Fam. Tanagrinae Sw. Tanagers. 
Guiraca Sw. Finch, (s.) 
Tiaris Sw. Redcrest. 
Ammodramus Sw. Sandfinch. (s.) 
Pipilo Vieil. Groundfinch. 
Phytotoma Mol. Plantcutter. 


Culicivora Sw. Gnatsnapper. 
Sialia Sw. Bluebird. 
Opaeteorhynchus Tern. Bakerbird. 
Seiurus Sw. Watertit. (s.) 
TrSchas Sw. Yellowthroat. 
Setophaga Sw. Moth catcher. 
Sylvicola Sto. Warbler. 
Vermivora Sw. Wormeater. (s.) 
Mniotilta Vieil. Creeper, (s.) 
Zosterops Fig. & Horsf. White- 
eye, (s.) 

Parus L. Titmouse. 
Hylophilus Tern. Titmouse, (s.) 
JEgithina Vieil. Titmouse, (s.) 


Donacobius Sw. Naked-neck, (s.) 
Icteria Vieil. Chat-bird. 
Orpheus Sw. Mocking-bird. 
Grallaria Vieil. Ant-thrush, (s.) 
Myothera III. Ant-thrush. 
Formicivora Sw. Ant-wren, (s.) 
Drymophila Sw. Ant-thrush, (s.) 
Urotomus Sw. Ant-thrush, (s.) 
Dasicephala Sw. Bristle-head. 


Thamnophilus Vieil. Bush Shrike. 
Cyclaris Sw. Shrike, (s.) 
Sub-fam. Tyranninae Sw. Tyrants. 
Ptiliogonys Sw. Caterpillar- 

Fluvicola Sw. Water-chat. 
Nengetus Sw. Water-chat, (s.) 
Alecturus Vieil. Cocktail. 
TodusZ, Tody, (s.) 
Platyrhynchus Desm. Tody, (s.) 
Psaris Cuv. 'Blackhead. 
Pachyrhynchus Sw. Thickbill. 
Cjuerula Vieil. Fruit-eater. 

Chatterers, or Fruit-eaters. 
Pipra L. Manakins. 
Ampelis L. Chatterers. 
Procnias Hoff. Chatterers. 
Phibalura Vieil. Chatterers. 
Casmorhynchus Tern. Chatterers. 
Rupicola Vieil. Manakin. 
Vireo Vieil. Greenbird. 

Gallinaceous Birds. 
Meleagris L. Turkey. 
Odontophagus Vieil. 
Ortyx Stev. Tree Quail, (s.) 
Crypturus ///. Tinnamou. 
Rhea B. American Ostrich. 
Ourax Cuv. Orax-bird. 
Crax L. Curassow-bird. 
Penelope Mer. Penelope. 
Ortalida Mer. 
Phosphia L. Trumpeter." 
Opisthocomus Hoff. Serpent-eater. 
Chaemepelia Sw. Ground Doves. (s.) 

Wading Birds. 
Aramus Vieil. 
Cancroma L. Boatbill. 
Mycteria L. Jabiru. 
Ereunetes ///. 
Eurypyga III. Snipe. 
Palamedia L. Screamer. 

Many of the foregoing, besides those definitely 
marked as such, appear to be subgenera, and several 
may even be of a lower denomination. 






(127-) THE zoology of this vast peninsula assimilates in 
many respects to that of Western Asia, a circumstance 
naturally to be expected from the junction, in this 
direction, of these two great divisions of the earth j 
while its northern limits,, in like manner, present; us 
with no inconsiderable number of the animals of Europe, 
As we recede, however, from these points, the pecu- 
liarities of the African Fauna become more apparent ; 
and soon convince us of the necessity of considering it 
as a distinct zoological region. That Nature has been 
far less lavish, both in the number and variety of her 
forms, on this continent, than on any other of similar 
extent, may be readily inferred from its peculiar form- 
ation. Vast deserts of naked sand, equal in extent to the 
entire dominions of European sovereigns, are scattered 
over this continent in various directions, affording 
neither " green herb or limpid stream," or even the 
most scanty means for supporting life. These deserts, 
in fact, are uninhabitable to civilised man, and are 
only traversed by wandering savages or migratory qua- 
drupeds. The fecundity of animal and of vegetable life 
is always influenced by the same causes : hence, on the 
western and southern coasts, where the soil is rich and 
moist, nature teems with life. Quadrupeds of the 
largest dimensions are stationary ; the forests echo with 
the notes of birds ; and innumerable insects are sup- 
ported by a luxuriant vegetation. 


v (128.) On taking a rapid survey of the productions of 
Africa, we are naturally led to arrange our observations 
under three heads. First,, as relates to that portion of 
the continent situated north of the Great Desert, and 
bounded by the Mediterranean on one hand and the 
Red Sea on the other. Our second division will com- 
prise Western Africa, and the more equinoctial regions ; 
while the third embraces Southern Africa and the Island 
of Madagascar. 

(129.) The zoology of Northern Africa is no further 
interesting, than as it presents us with the first indi- 
cations of a great change in animal distribution. The 
Mediterranean forms a natural boundary to the northern 
range of many quadrupeds, unknown to, or long ago 
extirpated from, the shores of Europe. The lion is oc- 
casionally seen, and hyenas are not uncommon ; but the 
jackal, long supposed a universal inhabitant of these 
countries, is unknown according to Mr. Ruppel 
either in Egypt, Nubia, or the adjacent kingdoms. A 
few species of antelopes range over the arid tracts of 
Barbary, and are probably peculiar to this side of the 
Great Desert : with these, also, are intermixed several 
quadrupeds of Western Asia. The camel is here the 
chief beast of burthen, and the horses of Arabia are well 
known. It has been generally asserted, that this noble 
animal is truly a native of this part of Africa, and that it 
still exists in its original wild state; but recent travellers 
contradict this statement, and point to Western Asia and 
the regions of Caucasus as the original metropolis of the 
horse. The bats are small, and confined to five species ; 
but in Lower Egypt are found several foxes and wild 
dogs of peculiar habits. The elegant little gerbells, or 
jerboas, are chiefly inhabitants of the deserts; while the 
Felis maniculata of Mr. Ruppel, or the Egyptian wild 
cat, appears, on the testimony of this traveller, to be 
the original species from which all our domestic breeds 
have sprung ; the intermediate gradation being marked 
by the tame cats of the modern Egyptians. 


(130.) The birds of Northern Africa, taken collectively,, 
present but a barren field to the ornithologist : the arid 
soil and treeless deserts sufficiently account for the 
paucity of these beings, whose sustenance is drawn from 
the insect and the vegetable kingdoms. It is generally 
supposed that the greater part of our summer migratory 
birds retire to Western Asia and Northern Africa at the 
approach of winter ; and hence it may be naturally in- 
ferred, that no great difference exists between the or- 
nithology of the two shores of the Mediterranean. But 
as the heat of Africa is so much greater, so do we find 
an increase in the number of those birds whose province 
it is to remove putrid matter : hence the number of 
vultures and of cranes spread over this country, whose 
services are appreciated and rewarded by the care or 

veneration of the in- 
habitants. Among 
these, the Neophron 
percnopterus of Sa- 
vigny, or Pharaoh's 
vulture (fig. 39.), is 
one of the most com- 
mon. It is rather 
larger than a crow, 
with a white plumage and black wings; the bill is 
remarkably slender. For the rest, the only bird of 
considerable beauty is the Barbary shrike (Mala- 
conotus barbarus Sw.*) ; also interesting, as showing us 
the most northern range of this African genus. The 
sacred ibis of the ancients, long confounded with 
some European birds of the same family, is now as- 
certained to be unknown beyond Egypt. The Arabian 
bustard differs from that of Europe (O. tarda L.), and 
is of a small size ; but the quail is of the same species 
as that which annually visits the south of Europe in 
such immense flecks. 

* Zool. Illustrations, il pi. 71. 


(131.) On approaching the equinoctial regions of 
this continent, a material change is seen in the dis- 
tribution of its animals. The Great Desert seems to 
form a natural separation between the northern and the 
tropical Fauna ; although we must include in the latter 
division, Senegal, and the whole range of thickly wooded 
coasts which begins to appear towards Guinea and 
Benin. The pestilential nature of the climate, to the 
European traveller, opposes an insurmountable barrier 
to the investigation of these countries, rich in every 
production of nature, but deadly to the constitution of 
civilised beings. Hence our knowledge is limited to 
the few gleanings made near Sierra Leone, and to the 
productions of Senegal. Of all those ardent but ill- 
fated travellers who have sunk beneath the poisonous 
atmosphere of this country, no one will be more 
deeply regretted, particularly by the naturalist, than 
the late Mr. Bowdich, for no one was more qua- 
lified to reap the harvest of unknown forms which lie 
hid in the forests of Western Africa. In these im- 
penetrable recesses lives the chimpanzee (Troglodytes 
niger Geof.), that satyr-like ape, which, of all animals in 
creation, makes the nearest approach to the human form, 
and which here represents the oran-outang of the Indian 
Islands. This, in short, is the region of the African 
Quadrumana, or four-handed animals. The maned 
apes, Colobus, and the different baboons and monkeys 
forming the genera Papio, Cyanocephalus, Cercocebus, 
&c., are almost exclusively characteristic of equinoctial 
Africa, and correspond to other tribes restricted to 
India and America. In the more inland parts we 
have the scale-covered manis, representing the ar- 
madillo of Brazil : while herds of small antelopes, 
different from those of Northern Africa, inhabit the 
more inland open country on the banks of the river 
Senegal. In general, all animals of rapine have a more 
extensive geographic range than others : hence we find 
the lions, the hyaenas, and other ferocious genera of this 
continent, wandering nearly from one extremity to the 


other ; a wise dispensation of Providence since, were 
they limited to more circumscribed bounds, the animals 
upon which they feed would soon be exterminated. 

(132.) If we are to consider Central Africa as forming 
part of this division of the continent, which cannot, 
in the present state of knowledge, be strictly defined, 
we may here observe, that in Abyssinia, and those 
kingdoms which border upon Central and Northern 
Africa, the elephant and the rhinoceros are not uncom- 
mon, while the Camelopardalia antiquorum Sw., or the 
northern giraffe, has recently been detected by Mr. 
Ruppel, whose elaborate observations have enabled us 
to characterise it as a distinct species from the giraffe 
of Southern Africa (C. australls Sw.). The lion of the 
ancients (Leo Africanus Sw.), in like manner, is a spe- 
cies peculiar to these regions. 

(133.) The quadrupeds of Nubia, from the proxi- 
mity of that kingdom to the more equinoctial latitudes, 
may be also comprehended in this division ; yet they 
are more allied to those of Egypt than to the species of 
Southern Africa. Four sorts of antelopes are enumer- 
ated by Mr. Ruppel ; who also describes four peculiar 
kinds of wild dogs, or rather foxes, as natives of the 
Kordofan deserts. These countries seem not to be in- 
habited by any of the quadrupeds of the western 
coast, while as many are common to Egypt and Abys- 
sinia : it appears, on the whole, to belong more cor- 
rectly to Northern Africa. 

(134.) The ornithological peculiarities of tropical 
Africa are very striking, when compared with those of the 
northern parts. The birds are not only more numerous, 
and more beautiful, but exhibit many remarkable and 
peculiar genera, particularly among the perching tribes. 
The rapacious birds do not appear so numerous as 
under the corresponding latitudes of America. Vultures 
seem to be rare ; since, in all probability, the removal 
of putrid matter is more expeditiously performed by the 
hyaenas. On the coast of Guinea, there is a noble bird, 


of the falcon race, called the 
40 ^tlfev African crowned eagle (Aquila 

coronatus, fig. 40.), and which 
j$$j&^ would seem to typify the Aquila 

destructor of tropical America, 
as the Senegal fishing eagle re- 
presents our Osprey. Five other 
falcons, peculiar to that colony 
have but recently been de- 
scribed; a proof how little we 
are acquainted with the ornitho- 
logy of Western Africa. This 
region is further characterised 
as the chief metropolis of the 
richly coloured bush-shrikes 
(Malaconotus Sw.) ; the spe- 
cies called the Barbary, the olive, the black- collared, 
and several others, being sent from Senegal in consider- 
able numbers ; while from the same locality we derive the 
genus Prionops, or ground-shrike; it is the only example 
yet discovered of this peculiar form, and it represents 
the American bristle-heads (Dasycephala Sw.) : un- 
like all other shrikes, it seeks its food upon the 

(135.) Among the perching order of birds, there 
are numerous other intertropical families, or rather 
genera, entirely unknown in Northern Africa. The 
Drongo shrikes (Edolius Cuv.) are not uncommon 
towards Sierra Leone, where also the caterpillar-catchers 
(Ceblepyris Cuv.), and more particularly the bristle- 
necked thrushes of the genus JBrachypus Sw., have 
been discovered. We here find the beautiful sun-bird 
(Cinnyris Cuv.), representing, under the same degrees 
of 1- ie, the humming-birds of America. Three 
birds o. ,reat beauty the Senegal, the long- tailed, and 
the oh? .ybeate sun-birds are particularly common'; 
while several others, scarcely inferior in brilliancy of 
plumage, have been received from the western coast. 
The richly coloured rollers of these countries have no 


representatives in tropical America ; but those with a 
short bill (Collaris Cuv.) have likewise been found in 
New Holland. In the elegant family of bee-eaters 
(Merops), Western Africa is peculiarly rich ; more than 
two thirds of the species already known having come 
from thence. But the glory of Western Africa is the 
magnificent plantain-eater (Musophaga violacea), nearly 
the size of a crow, with wings of the most lovely 
crimson, glossed with purple. This rare bird seems 
only to have been met with in the interior of Guinea. 
Three or four others, belonging to the same natural 
family, are exclusive natives of these regions. 

(136.) The gallinaceous order of birds, so nume- 
rous towards the equinoctial line in India, and even in 
America, are found but sparingly on the African con- 
tinent. The ostrich is well known to be the largest ; 
and probably should be ranked with the giraffe, as more 
characteristic of Central Africa, as it lives only in the 
deserts, or on sandy plains. It has not been detected on 
the western coast, where the largest birds of this order 
are the Guinea fowls : the most common of these spe- 
cies, long domesticated in Europe, is well known : 
these birds, in a state of nature, associate in flocks of 
two or three hundred, and chiefly frequent the marshes 
and morasses which stretch along the banks of the 
western rivers. Most of the partridges are small ; and 
many belong more correctly to the genus Pterocles, or 
the sand-grouse. 

(137) The only birds common to the whole extent 
of the African continent, and whose migrations are 
even extended to the middle of Europe, are the Eu- 
ropean bee-eater, the golden oriole, the common roller, 
and the European roller. To enumerate the peculiar 
species, however, which may characterise CiyfVftl coun- 
tries, would far exceed our limits. It is SL, .,ient that 
any particular geographic range is found g -Contain 
peculiar genera or forms of animals, by which it 
may be recognised, and by which it is stamped 
with a tangible character. The goatsuckers are well 


known to be dispersed over 
nearly every country ; but 
an extraordinary species, 
the long-shafted goatsucker 
(Macrodipteryx Africanus 
Sw., fig. 41.), may be 
named as one of the most 
curious birds of Western 
Africa: it is not bigger 
than a thrush ; but from 
each wing projects a feather 
nearly twenty inches in 
length, with the shaft naked 
except at the tip : it has 
hitherto been found only at 
Sierra Leone. 

(138.) The rivers and 
coasts abound with fish, 
beautiful in their colours, and nutritious as food ; 
while the swarms of alligators, and the different 
snakes and reptiles, need not be dwelt upon. Many of 
the serpents, however, are not only harmless, but 
highly beneficial. Mr. Smeathman, who lived many 
years on these coasts, observes that the snakes get into 
the thatch of the houses in pursuit of the rats and 
cockroaches ; the former being very harmless, and the 
two latter particularly destructive. The patient negroes 
are not without consolation amidst this heterogeneous 
crowd of inmates. They see the spiders always upon 
the watch for wasps and cockroaches ; the lizards, 
again, attack the spiders ; and these latter not unfre- 
quently fall a prey to the fowls, as the rats do to the 

(139-) On the entomology we may observe, that the 
notes of Mr. Smeathman convey such a lively picture 
of African zoology, that we shall repeat it nearly in his 
own words, particularly as they are contained in the 
preface to a work*, where they are not likely to be 
* Drury's Exotic Insects, 3 vols. 4ta 


sought for. " The whole of tropical Africa/' observes 
Mr. Smeathman, " is one immense forest, except where 
the sandy plains are too unsettled to afford a proper 
footing for vegetation. Whenever a plantation is to be 
made, the trees are cut down and burned to fertilise 
the ground (a practice common throughout South 
America). The people never sow two years together 
on the same spot ; but suffer the trees to grow again 
for two or three years by way of fallow, before they 
get another crop. It is these spots (called recent 
plantations) which afford such an amazing variety of 
insects ; yet so rapid is vegetation, that in the second 
and third year these cleared lands become impassable 
to human feet." There are several edible insects in 
these countries, which supply a wholesome, if not a 
delicious, food. The larvae,, or caterpillars, of all those 
beetles which feed upon decayed wood, Mr. Smeathman 
affirms to be rich and delicate eating ; so that every 
forest affords the traveller plenty of wholesome nourish- 
ment, did he but know where to seek it. Of this kind 
are the Termites, or white ants ; and even the locusts, 
in general, are not only wholesome, but palatable to 
many. The native children, at the proper season, are 
always busily employed in digging out of the ground 
the females of a particular sort of cricket, which is 
then full of eggs, and so enclosed in a bag as to re- 
semble part of the roe of a large fish ; these, when 
roasted, are considered delicate food. The great num- 
ber of locusts and cicadas is particularly remarkable ; 
but in the sandy plains, thinly covered with grass, they 
appear altogether innumerable, and their chirping is 
almost deafening. In such situations they are seen of 
various kinds, sizes, and colours, skipping or flitting 
about in all directions, at every step of the traveller.* 
While upon this subject, we may observe, generally, 
that those prodigious numbers of locusts mentioned in 
history, which have astonished and afflicted mankind at 
remote intervals, have principally taken flight from this 

* Smeathman. 


continent ; where the hot, dry, sandy plains, so con- 
genial to the habits of these insects, occupy such a large 
portion of the surface. Similar deserts occur in Asia, 
from whence have issued forth armies of locusts nearly 
as formidable. 

(140.) The myriads of ants, which Svvarm in 
Western Africa, no less than in tropical America, can 
scarcely be conceived by those who have never visited 
these countries. " Those of Africa," Mr. Smeathman 
continues, " are of numerous species, but all seem intent 
on removing from the face of nature every animal or 
vegetable substance no longer necessary or useful. Like 
the destroying angel, they walk steadily forward in the 
path ordained them, sparing neither magnitude nor 
beauty, neither the living nor the dead. One species, 
which seems at times to have no fixed habitation, 
ranges about in vast armies. By being furnished with 
very strong jaws, they can attack whatever animal im- 
pedes their progress ; and there is no escape but by im- 
mediate flight, or instant retreat to the water." The 
inhabitants of the negro villages, as Mr. Smeathman as- 
sures us he has himself witnessed, are frequently obliged to 
abandon their dwellings, taking v/ith them their children, 
&c., and wait until the ants have passed. Besides these 
ants, nearly twenty other Species are known, of different 
sizes and colours, each possessing peculiar habits. Some 
attack the collections of the botanist; and, in spite of 
weights laid upon his books of dried plants, get in, 
cut the leaves and flowers to pieces, and carry them 
away. Others attack all sorts of victuals. Mr. Smeath- 
man has had four large sugar dishes emptied in one 
night, whenever the least opening has been left or 
made. Some assail the sideboard, and cover every 
glass that has had wine or punch left in it. Nay, in- 
numerable multitudes frequently ascend the table, and 
drown themselves in the very bowls and vessels before 
you." * To this animated entomological picture we 
attach the most implicit confidence, inasmuch as, had 

* Pref. to Drurj 't, Insects, vol iii. 


Mr. Smeathman, in describing the ravages of the ants 
of Western Africa, written his account for those of tro- 
pical America,, he could not have more accurately or 
more forcibly depicted their habits. This observation, 
however, cannot apply to the wandering species he first 
describes, since, although there is one particular ant in 
Brazil of a gigantic size, its habits are altogether so- 
litary j at least, we never found it otherwise than singly, 
wandering about sandy plains. 

(141.) The nests of the white ants peculiar, ap- 
parently, to Senegal and this part of Africa form a 
42 **3i& A A singular feature in its 

scenery : they rise up 
from the plains in the 
shape of sugar-loaves 

> I # : l (^.42.), but of such 
JIM ft a height as to appear 

iiml like the villages of the 
natives; and are so 
firmly constructed, 
that they bear, with ease, the weight of three or four 
men. Other races (like some in South America) build 
their nests on trees, of an oval form ; while those of 
another species (T.arrfa)are cylindrical, nearly three feet 
high, the top terminated by a round vaulted dome, and 
surrounded by a prominent terrace, the whole not 
unlike the shape of a young mushroom. 

(142.) Without entering farther into the details of 
African entomology, it will be sufficient to observe, that 
nearly all the species, and many of the genera, are 
totally unknown in such parts of the continent as border 
upon Asia or the Mediterranean ; while not even one 
may be safely affirmed to inhabit the opposite coast of 
America. The scorpions and other noxious insects are of 
a terrific size, and of a most poisonous nature. The na- 
tives appear to prize, and even domesticate, the land crabs, 
which they keep in fenced yards, as we take care of fowls. 
(143.) On the Mollusca, or shell-fish, we have 
been furnished with some valuable information by 
H $ 



43 Adanson, who minutely examined and 
described those of the coast round Se- 
negal. The typical volutes, as Valuta 
cymbium, proboscidalis , porcina, Olla 
(fig. 43.), &c., appear to be particu- 
larly plentiful, and lead us to consider 
equinoctial Africa as the metropolis of 
this group, as India is of the cowries 
(Cyprcea L.) : both these genera, in fact, 
are closely allied in affinity ; and both 
are predacious, feeding solely upon other shell-fish. 
From the western coasts of Africa we also receive 
many other shells, unknown in the Asiatic seas ; such, 
for instance, as the elegant little Marginellas : the 
Harpa sanguined, or blood-spotted harp ; the Carduum 
costatum, or sharp-ribbed cockle, &c. On the whole, 
the conchology is richer than that of Eastern America, 
but cannot be compared with that of Asia ; the genera, 
however, do not materially differ from such as are com- 
mon to the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. 

(144.) The largest land shells hitherto discovered are 
exclusive natives of these countries, and belong to the 
genus Achatina. There are several varieties, or rather 
species, mostly striped with dark brown on a lighter 
ground, as the Achatina marginata (Jig. 44.) *, and ge- 
nerally tinged with a beautiful 
rose colour round their mouth. 
It is highly probable that the 
inhabiting animals, like the large 
slugs of Britain, are carnivo- 
rous ; and they are themselves 
eaten by the natives, and con- 
sidered nutritive and whole- 
some. Some of these snails are 
full eight inches long. The 
fluviatile species appear to be 
few, but this may originate 
from their not having been duly 
sought after. Some very large 

* Swainson, Zook Illust. i. pi. 30. 


tuberculated Melanice occur in the Gambia ; and others, 
allied to the genus Cerithium, are common in the salt- 
water marshes towards Sierra Leone ; but we have no 
indication of those numerous fluviatile bivalves, so abun- 
dant in the rivers of tropical America. 

(145.) The pearl oysters {Margarita Leach) are 
small, and do not appear worthy of commercial specu- 
lation ; but the small Cyprcea moneta, or money cowry, 
is well known as a substitute for coin among the bar- 
baric nations of Western Africa : we know not whether 
the species is precisely the same as the shell, called by 
this name, so abundant in the Indian seas. 

(146.) Let us now pass to the third great division of 
African zoology, comprehending the remainder of the 
continent south of Angola. In no region of the globe does 
there appear so great a variety of quadrupeds, and of 
such large dimensions. The limits, however, of this zoo- 
logical region are altogether obscure. We are still without 
much information on those animals of Southern Africa, 
which may inhabit the north- western sides of the 
Gariep ; while the borders of the Great Fish River, 
forming the boundaries of the Cape Colony, have not yet 
been explored by the scientific naturalist. The interior 
deserts, indeed, have been penetrated, to lat. 26 S., by 
that accomplished traveller Burchell ; and from him we 
learn, that the animals he observed in these inland 
regions do not materially differ from such as frequent 
the Great Karoos, or those deserts which terminate the 
northern extent of the colony. The chief seat, therefore, 
of South African zoology must lie towards that im- 
mense line of forests stretching along the coast from 
Bosjeveld to the banks of the Great Fish River. These 
forests, in all probability, extend to a vast distance 
beyond; forming, like those of tropical America, a 
gigantic belt of verdure between the arid deserts of the 
interior and the more fertile borders of the coast. We 
shall now briefly notice the most remarkable of eighty 
quadrupeds, described by naturalists as inhabiting 
Southern Africa. 

H 4 


(147.) Among the ferocious or carnivorous species, 
the rare black-maned lion (Leo melaceps Sw.) is one 
of the most remarkable, being quite distinct from the 
common species, which is frequently met with. The 
serval (Felis Servo), and two smaller species of tiger- 
cats (F. capensis and nigricans}, are likewise peculiar : 
besides these, there are two, if not three, kinds of hyaenas, 
differing from those of Northern Africa ; while the 
hunting hyaena of Burchell (Hycena venatica Burch.) 
seems to extend its range through the centre of the 
continent. The polecats, and inferior animals of this 
tribe, are not numerous: the ratel, the zorilla, and three 
kinds of ichneumon, are among the best known ; not to 
mention the common jackal (C. aureus), and another 
(C. mesomalis), peculiar to the Cape. The existence of 
only two species of apes exemplifies the fact, that we 
have now nearly passed the limits of the monkey tribe : 
one of these is the pig- faced baboon (Cyanocephalus 
porcarius), the other the red- vented monkey (Cercocebus 
pygerythrceus. The hares and other kindred families 
furnish us with many novelties. Of the genus Lepus 

there are three species 
the African, the 
red-naped, and the 
rock hare j the latter 
(fig. 45.) living only 
in the most inacces- 
sible retreats. The 
jerboas of Northern 
and Central Africa 
give place to three little elegant kinds of dormouse 
(Myoxis) ; and the true American ant-eaters appear 
represented by that called the Cape ant-eater (Orycte- 
ropus Capensis}. The largest quadrupeds belong, of 
course, to the herbivorous orders. The two-horned 
rhinoceros is well known as peculiar to Southern Africa ; 
but it was reserved for Mr. Burchell to discover a second 
(Rh. sinusus Burch.), equally large, which very pro- 
perly bears his name in common language. The African 
elephant is here by no means uncommon, and is imme- 



diately recognised by the superior size of its ears. When 
to these we add the hippopotamus, we comprehend the 
largest quadrupeds in the creation. 

(148.) But the innumerable herds of antelopes con- 
stitute the chief peculiarity in South African zoology, 
and they appear occasionally in such vast herds that their 
numbers are almost incredible. 
The springbok (Ant. Euchore, 
Forst., y?</. 46.), in particular, 
often congregates in troops of 
between 2000 and 3000 ; the 
name of springing antelope 
has been given to them, from 
their habit of springing over 
bushes and rocks which im- 
pede their running ; and this 
they often do to the height of 
four or five feet,, clearing at a 
single bound ten or twelve 
feet of ground. The variety 
of species is no less remark- 
able ; and naturalists already enumerate nearly thirty 
different sorts, from the size of a goat to that of a horse: 
the gradation, in fact, by which nature passes from the 
delicate and graceful springer, or blue antelope, to the 
heavy and unwieldy ox and buffalo, may almost be 
traced among the animals of Southern Africa alone. 
'Several of these, no doubt, range over the uninterrupted 
line of sandy deserts bordering upon the equator, and, 
geographically, may be as animals equally in- 
habiting the two more southern districts of African 
zoology ; but by far the largest number have only been 
detected within, or on the borders of, the Cape Colony, 
and thus illustrate, in the most forcible manner, the 
peculiar distribution of animals belonging to the southern 
extremity of this continent ; while, on comparing these 
antelopes with the species of Northern Africa, not one 
has hitherto been found common to both regions. 

(149.) The zebras, of which three species are now 
recognised, belong more to the plains of Southern Africa 


than to the central parts ; while the domestic ass, which, 
in fact, is only an unstriped zebra, if it really exist in 
a wild state north of the equator, may represent, in 
those latitudes, its more elegant brethren. 

( 1 50.) The ornithology of the more southern latitudes 
does not exhibit those strong peculiarities which we have 
seen among the quadrupeds, the greater number of its 
genera being also found in Western Africa. It, never- 
theless, offers some interesting features to our notice ; 
since it is entirely destitute of large gallinaceous birds, 
excepting, indeed, the ostrich, which may more properly 
be considered af general inhabitant of interior Africa. The 
plantain-eaters (Musophaga), the bristle-necked thrushes, 
(Trichophorus}, the ground-shrikes (Prionops), and 
some few other equinoctial forms, do not extend to the 
Cape territories ; and in all probability, were we better 
acquainted with the birds of Western Africa, many 
others would be found restricted to those regions. On 
the other hand, some few genera may be named as 
limited to the more southern latitudes ; such, for in- 
stance, as the Gypogeranus, or serpent-eater, a bird 
whose whole conformation and habits are adapted for 
preying upon the reptiles of the deserts. The long- 
tailed honey-sucker (Melliphaga Cafer Sw.) is confined 
to the most southern portion of Africa : this bird is the 
only instance of the genus Melliphaga being found 
beyond the Australian range; and it is a remarkable 
fact, that it should occur precisely in that part of Africa 
which is the nearest to New Holland. 

(151.) Vultures and eagles are numerous, as might 
be expected in a country where quadrupeds, their natural 
food, are in such abundance. The vultures, however, 
prey only upon the remnants left by the lions and jack- 
als, or by the native hunters. Several very large 
species, of both families, are mentioned by Le Vaillant ; 
and nearly all are peculiar to this part of the continent. 
This is likewise the most southern point reached by the 
slender-billed vulture (Cathartes percnopterus}, whose 
range extends through the whole continent, and is only ter- 
minated to the north by the mountains of Central Europe. 



47 The occipital vulture (V. 

occipitalis Burch., fig. 47- ), 
one of the most imposing 
species, is very rare, al- 
though it has been likewise 
observed in Nubia by Mr. 
Ruppel. The Orican is a 
peculiar vulture, very re- 
markable from having its 
ears furnished externally 
\\ith a pendulous wattle. 
The basha, or great crested 
eagle, reminds us of the 
American Aquila destructor: 
it is, however, smaller ; and has been likewise named as 
a native of India. Southern Africa, in short, presents 
us alone with nearly twice the number of vultures found 
throughout the whole continents of America or of Asia ; 
still fewer inhabit Europe ; and it is supposed not one 
occurs in Australia. 

(152.) On turning to the smaller rapacious birds, 
living upon the lesser animals and insects, we trace a sin- 
gular mixture of local and European ornithology. The 
common European buzzard is figured by Le Vaillaut, 
who also notices the great horned owl, the long-eared 
owl, and the scops, or little owl, as all existing in South- 
ern Africa. The most remark- 
able species of this part of Africa 
is the chou-cou of Le Vaillant, 
the Strix Africana of authors 
(fig. 4 8.); ;for it comes nearer inits 
general form, and long tail, to the 
falcons, than even the hawk-owl 
of Hudson's Bay. On the other 
hand, we have received from 
the Cape of Good Hope the 
commcn barn owl of Europe ; 
brighter, indeed, in its colours, 
yet, to all appearance, the same 



species as the British. It must be remembered, how- 
ever, that all these nocturnal birds have a most exten - 
sive range, not only over Europe and Asia, but some 
have been recently detected in Northern America, while 
several others are unknown out of South Africa. 

(153.) The insectivorous birds, in their genera, differ 
not from those generally dispersed to the south of the 
line : one of the shrikes, the wood-chat, is precisely the 
same as ours ; but another (JLanius equinoctialis Sw.), 
confounded by authors with the red-backed shrike, is 
in reality distinct. The Drongo shrikes, called by the 
/ Dutch colonists, from their black colour, Devil-birds, as 
we have already mentioned, are found also in Western 
Africa ; other species occur in India ; and one (Ed. 
australis Sw.) is peculiar to New Holland. The 
curious birds called caterpillar-catchers (Ceblepyrince 
Sw.), from their feeding almost entirely on those soft 
insects, occur very sparingly ; since their chief metro- 
polis is the opposite land of Australia : of this genus, no 
typical examples have yet reached us from Sierra Leone, 
but the kindred genus Phanicornis* appears to be their 
representatives towards the equinoctial line. The fly- 
catchers of all these latitudes are not only of the same 
genera ; but some, as the Paradise, or long-tailed fly- 
catcher,, are of precisely the same species as those of India. 
(154.) Many of the perching birds are of beautiful 
plumage and others are no less remarkable for their 
wonderful instinct. The crested 
kingfisher (Alcedo cristata L.) 
(fig.4>Q.), is nearly the smallest, 
and certainly the most elegant, 
of its congeners. The South 
African sun-birds (Cinnyris 
Cuv.) rival those of India and 
of the Gambia in the brilliancy 
of their colours, while the more 
chaste but elegant green and 
silky plumage of the couracco 
(Corythaix Illig.) renders these 

* Zool. Illustrations, ii. pi. 52. 


lovely birds the glory of African ornithology : nor 

must the honey-guides (Indicator) be omitted ; those 

extraordinary guides to man in the discovery of the 

nests of the African bees. The numerous grosbeaks 

(Amadina Sw.) and weavers (Ploceus Cuv.) form a 

gay and interesting part of this order ; the latter being 

chiefly found towards the equinoctial line, while the 

former appear more numerous in the Cape territories : 

both genera, however, extend to India ; and there is a 

beautiful species of Amadina in New Holland. The 

republican grosbeak, famous for its social habits in 

living and building in large communities, belongs also 

to this genus. On the water birds our information is 

very defective ; but we do not, at this moment, recollect 

any genus which exclusively belongs to the southern 


(155.) Regarding the ichthyology, the following ob- 
servation of Mr. Burchell is peculiarly valuable, since 
it indicates a marked difference in the distribution of 
certain freshwater species. "Eels," observes this scientific 
traveller, " are only found in those rivers which lie east- 
ward of the Cape, while the Gariep silurus ($. Garie- 
pinus, jig. 50.) is equally restricted to those on the 


western side." This department of ^oology, however, 
has been so totally neglected, that neither on this or any 
other occasion can we collect any thing satisfactory on 
the natural distribution of the groups. The reptiles of 
Southern .Africa are, if possible, still more imperfectly 
known than the fish. 

(156.) The insects of the virgin forests towards 
Algoa Bay, and no doubt through the whole extent of 
that coast, are stated to be in great variety. They 
yield, however, both in number and beauty, to those of 
Western Africa ; and few species among the Lepidoptera 


are common to both. The more sandy plains of the 
interior furnish but few butterflies, yet present us with 
many carnivorous beetles of a large size,, particularly the 
genus Manticora of Oliver. The terrestrial Neuroptera, 
including the locust tribe, are every where abundant ; 
while the widely spread European Eurymus edusa Sw. 

(fig. 51.) is found at 
the Cape : but, in ge- 
neral, the forms, and a 
few of the species, co- 
incide more with those 
of Asia than of Europe 
or America. 

(157.) The testace- 
ous Mollusca, or shells, 
have no particular interest ; the continual agitation of 
the sea, and the nature of the coast, appearing unfa- 
vourable to the propagation, or, at least-, to the great 
increase, of these animals. The wrinkled ear-shell (Ha~ 
liotis Midae L.), with limpets of a very large size, are 
common on the rocks of False Bay ; while the Cyprcea 
Algoensis Gray is a very local species. The great 
Achatina Zebra is the largest land shell of this part of 
Africa: but notwithstanding the numerous rivers to the 
westward and eastward, very few fluviatile shells have 
yet been sent to England. 

(158.) The great island of Madagascar may here be 
noticed, as, from its vicinity to the African continent, its 
productions might be supposed in some degree similar : 
yet this is not strictly the case. The zoology of this 
noble island possesses many very peculiar features, and 
differs more from that of Southern Africa than the 
latter does from the equinoctial countries. It is dif- 
ficult to say, in short, under which of the three great 
zoological provinces in this hemisphere Madagascar 
should be included ; since, although its geographic po- 
sition places it nearest to Africa, its zoology is much 
more akin to that of the Asiatic islands, or even to 
New Holland ; at least, such is the inference that may 


be drawn from the very imperfect information we yet 
possess regarding its productions. It is generally as- 
serted, that not one of the large African quadrupeds, 
such as the lion,, elephant, hyaena, &c., have been found 
in Madagascar : and, further, that the country is with- 
out apes or monkeys of any sort; these being represented 
by the family of lemurs, of which no less than seven- 
teen species have already been discovered. These cu- 
rious monkey-like animals are almost unknown in Africa ; 
nor have they been discovered in New Holland ; yet it 
is singular that two, if not three, species inhabit Ceylon, 
and such islands as lie nearest, in that direction, to the 
northern extremity of Madagasca . The dispersion of 
the Galago lemurs, however, forming the genus Otolic- 
nus, is divided between this island and Western Africa ; 
three out of the five being natives of Guinea and Senegal, 
while two other species are peculiar to Madagascar. 
Another point of connection with the Indian islands is 
presented by the genus Tarsius, of which two species 
inhabit Amboyria and Borneo ; the third, together with 
that singular animal the Aye-aye (Cheiromys Cuv.), 
being characteristic of this country. It is, never- 
theless, highly probable that the zoology of this 
island assumes, at present, a more peculiarly isolated 
character than it may really possess. We are, as 
yet, entirely unacquainted with the animals of that 
immense line of coast occupying the eastern shores of 
Africa ; and it is, therefore, quite impossible to say 
what may be the zoological character or peculiarities of 
countries so remote from those of the Cape, and still 
more from the western coast. So far, indeed, as we 
can at present judge, the chief seat of South African 
zoology appears to lie at the southern extremity of the 
continent ; but this, after all, is very questionable ; 
since, until we are better informed on the productions 
of those countries lying nearest to Madagascar, the as- 
sumption is altogether gratuitous. It deserves also to 
be remembered, that we have not found any very striking 
difference between the ornithology of the Cape terri- 


tories and that of Western Africa ; whereas the little 
we yet know of the birds of Madagascar leads us to sus- 
pect, that as great a difference may exist between them and 
the birds of the Cape, as there is between the quadrupeds 
of those two countries. To illustrate this idea,, we need 
only turn to the family of shrikes, where we shall find 
two or three distinct genera (not, indeed, yet charac- 
terised as such), which are only known to inhabit 
Madagascar. Again, we may instance that most ex- 
traordinary and extinct bird the Dodo (the rasorial type 
^^ of the vulture family ).fig.5 2. 

^^^ as certainly belonging to 
the zoology of these regions, 
although it has only been 
recorded by the early voy- 
agers as a native of the ad- 
jacent group of islands. Let 
the naturalist but glance his 
eye on the map, and he 
will then see how incompe- 
tent we now are to form 
any correct ideas on the zoo- 
logy of these regions, unknown as they are to the geo- 
grapher, and unexplored, even in the most superficial 
manner, by the scientific naturalist. 

(159-) The Isle of France is as remarkable for its 
profusion, as the Cape is for its paucity, of shells. The 
olives, the cowries, and the harps, are larger and more 
splendid than even those of the Indian seas. 

(l6'0.) The African quadrupeds, or those more 
especially characteristic of this province, have been 
arranged, by modern systematise, under the following 
genera and sub-genera; some groups (i.) extend to 
Asiatic India, while others (M.) are confined to Mada- 

Apes and Monkeys. I Cercopithecus ///. 

Circocebus Geoff, (i.) 

Troglodytes Geoff. | Cyanocepbalus Briss. (i.) 

Colobus III. I Papio Cur. (i.) 



Lichanotus III. (M.) 
Lemur///. (M.) 
Otolicnus ///. 


Pteropus Briss. (i. M.) 
Nycteris Geoff. 
Rhinolophus Geoff 
Taphozous Geoff. 

Centenes ///. (M.) 
Macroscelides Sm. 
Ratellus Cuv. (i.) 
Mangusta Cuv. (i.) 
Proteles Is. Geoff 
Otaria Peron. 
Arvicola Auct. (i.) 
My ox us. 

Bathyurgus ///. 



ManisZ. (i.) 



Cheiromys Cuv. (M.) 


Aigocerus Ham. Smith. 
Oryx Ham. Smith. 
Gasella Ham. Smith, (i.) 
Antelope Ham, Smith, (i.) 
Redunca Ham. Smith. 
Tragulus Ham. Smith. 
Cephalophus Ham. Smith. 
Neotragus Ham. Smith. 
Tragelaphus Ham. Smith. 
Capra Antiq. 
Ovis Antiq. 
Damalis Ham. Smith. 
Catoblepas Ham. Smith. 
Bos Antiq. 

(l6l.) The ornithological genera and sub-genera of 
which Africa appears to be the chief seat,, or at least 
within their geographic range, are as follows. A few of 
these extend to India (i.V Europe (E.),, and Australia 


Halcyon Sui. Crab eater, (i. A.) 
Muscipeta Cuv. Flycatcher, (i. A.) 
Edolius Cuv. Drongo. (i. A.) 
Trichophorus Tern. Hairneck. 
Malaconotus Sw. Bush Shrike 
Pr ion ops Vieil. Ground Shrike. 
Ceblepyris Cuv. Caterpillar-catcher. 


Drymoica Sw. Warbler. 
Macronyx Sw. Lark. 
Certhilauda Sw. Creeper .lark. 
Brachonyx Stv. Short-claw. 
Ploceus Cuv. Weaver. 
Euplectes Sw. Silk-weaver. 
Vidua Cuv. Widow-bird. 
Amadina Sw. Bengaly. (i. A.) 
Estrelda Sw. Finch, (i. A.) 
Dilophus Vieil. Starling. 
Lamprotornis Tern. Grakle. (i.) 
Buphaga L. Beefeater. 

Colius L. Coly. 
Pogonias III. Toothbill. 
Bucco L. Barbut. (i.) 
Geocolaptes Burch. Ground Wood- 

Leptosomus Vieil. 
Indicator Vieil. Honey Guide 
Centropus ///. Lark Cuckoo. (L) 
Corythaix ///. Touracco. 
Musophaga Isa. Plantain-eater. 
Buceros L. Hornbill. (i.) 
Cinnyris Cuv. Sunhird. (i.) 
Promerops Briss. Hoopoe. 
Vinago Cuv. Pigeon, (i.) 
Numida L. Crane. 
Ortygis ///. Quail, (r.) 
Struthio L. Ostrich. 
Anastomus 111. Openbill. (i.) 
Ibis Antiq. Ibis, (i.) 







(162.) THE extent and limits of the last zoological 
province have been already intimated. In naming 
this the AUSTRALIAN, we not only include the vast 
island of New Holland, and those immediately adjoin- 
ing, as New Guinea, New Zealand, and Van Diemen's 
Land, but likewise the whole of the oceanic clusters 
forming the Polynesian division of some geographers. 
Our first object will be, to show in what manner this 
extensive zoological range is connected with others ; our 
next will be, to detail its most striking peculiarities, or 
those prominent features presented in its animal forms, 
by which it is manifestly separated from all those we 
have already illustrated. 

(163.) The first indication of Australian zoology ap- 
pears to take place in some of the Asiatic islands, to the 
north-west of New Guinea ; for it is there that the Mel- 
liphagous family, or honey-sucking birds, appear under 
the forms of the genera Diceum andArachnotheres; both 
of which occur in Java. Unfortunately, we cannot 
trace the progressive developement of this change, since 
the animals of Timor and the string of smaller islands 
intervening between Java and New Guinea have not 
been sufficiently investigated. It is, however, worthy 
of remark, that, among the few quadrupeds of Timor 
discovered by the French voyagers, there is not one of 
a large size ; so that this island may be supposed to lie 


beyond the geographic limits of the monkey tribe. The 
same paucity of quadrupeds has been remarked in New 
Guinea ; for although no correct inferences can be drawn 
from the partial gleanings yet made on the coast, yet, 
if the interior was inhabited by quadrupeds of any size, 
it is natural to suppose they would have been mentioned, 
or alluded to, by the natives, in some way or other : but 
neither rumour nor tradition assigns any remarkable qua- 
drupeds to New Guinea ; while the largest, mentioned 
in the recent French discoveries, is a peculiar sort of 
pig. So far, therefore, we observe a strong indication 
of the chief peculiarity in Australian zoology ; namely, 
the total absence of large quadrupeds : so that to place 
New Guinea in the same zoological group with Sumatra 
and Java, two islands abounding in apes, elephants, 
and all the large ferine inhabitants of India, would 
be manifestly erroneous. We shall subsequently illus- 
trate this disposition by proofs drawn from the orni- 
thology of these islands. 

(l6'4.) That the southern extremity of Africa contains 
some animals approximating to those of New Holland has 
been already mentioned ; and this approximation is the 
more remarkable, since the distance between the two 
nearest points of these continents is very great. In 
what manner the Australian fauna may disappear through 
the islands of the Pacific Ocean, we have no present 
means of judging. Whether, therefore, it unites again 
with the European, or, what is more probable, with the 
American range, by means of the small islands approxi- 
mating to California, are questions for future naturalists 
to determine. 

(l6'5.) The most distinguishing peculiarities of the 
Australian province are now to be considered. The great- 
est, undoubtedly, is the total absence of large quadrupeds, 
and the paucity of the smaller : these latter, also, are so 
remarkable in their structure, as to appear almost ano- 
malous. Australia has been termed the land of con- 
trarieties : as if nature, in creating the forms intended 
for this region, had departed altogether from those rules 
i 2 


to which she had otherwise so universally adhered. 
That particular form, for instance, which, in other parts 
of the world, she has given to the smallest race of qua- 
drupeds, the rats and dormice, she here bestows 
upon the kangaroos, the largest animals throughout the 
whole of Australia ! Yet still the analogy, although 
unquestionable, is apparently reversed, and most artfully 
disguised ; for these wonderful creatures, instead of 
fabricating, like their representatives, warm and skilful 
nests, beneath the earth, for the protection of their 
young, are provided with a natural nest in the folds of 
their own skin. The marsupial pouch is expressly 
adapted to this purpose ; and within this warm maternal 
nest are the young protected until they can provide for 
themselves. The great kangaroo (Halmaturus gigan- 

teus 111., fig. 53.), 
is the largest qua- 
druped of the Aus- 
tralian range ; and 
although a few other 
marsupial animals 
occur beyond these 
limits, nearly all 
the quadrupeds of 
Australia belong to this tribe. Whether the kanga- 
roos belong to the Linnaean order of Glires, or to 
another adjoining group, has not yet, indeed, been 
satisfactorily determined ; but we feel persuaded, from 
analysis, that the celebrated Ornithorhynchus, peculiar 
to these regions, is the link of connection between qua- 
drupeds and birds, and that this passage is effected, 
not by means of the Glires, but by the most aberrant 
groups of the ungulated quadrupeds. Two thirds of 
the Australian quadrupeds, in fact, are marsupial, and 
make their way with more rapidity by springing in the 
air than by walking. The kangaroos, when using any 
degree of speed, proceed by prodigious leaps ; while the 
flying phalangers (G. Petaurista), of which six species 
are described, are even more remarkable for this habit 


than the flying squirrels of North America. We might, 
indeed, almost be tempted to believe, that if there 
really exists an animal even more bird-like than the 
ornithorhynchus, whose structure would indisputably 
connect the two principal divisions of the vertebrata, 
quadrupeds and birds, such an animal might hereafter 
be discovered in the southern hemisphere. , 

(l6'6.) The chief distinctions of this region, fur- 
nished by its ornithology, is in the vast proportion of 
its suctorial birds, or of such as derive their principal 
support from sucking the nectar of flowers. This pe- 
culiar organisation, restricted, in Africa, India, and 
America, to the smallest birds in creation, is here de- 
veloped very generally, and is given to species fully as 
large as any of our thrushes. The melliphagous genera 
may probably be estimated to comprise nearly one fourth 
of the total number of New Holland perchers ; for not 
only does this character belong to the honey-suckers, 
properly so called (Meliphagidce Sw.), but it seems to 
be possessed by a great number of the parrots. The 
whole of the little green lories (Trichoglossus H. and V.), 
are said to possess brush-like tongues, and to lick or 
suck their food, rather than to masticate it by their 
bills. Independent of these two geographic groups, there 
is a third, still more celebrated. The whole of the 
paradise birds (Paradisida Sw.), being natives of New 
Guinea, belong to this zoological province : these, also, 
although their economy is not very well known, con- 
tain certain species whose tongues have been described 
as formed upon a similar model. The Australian pro- 
vince being thus characterised, it is only necessary to 
notice such particular portions as exhibit local pecu- 
liarities ; hence we may divide the whole region into 
three subordinate districts. The first may comprehend 
New Guinea and its adjacent islands ; the second, Aus- 
tralia, properly so called, with Van Diemen's Land, and 
New Zealand ; and the third, the numerous groups of 
smaller islands clustered in the great Pacific Ocean. 

(167.) The first division, comprehending New Gui- 
i 3 


nea, New Ireland, New Caledonia, and the little islands 
surrounding them, constitutes the remote and little- 
known region of the paradise birds. None of these 
magnificent creatures have been actually detected beyond 
the shores of New Guinea, although it is generally be- 
lieved that they annually migrate for a few months to 
the small islands adjoining. Notwithstanding the prox- 
imity of the Asiatic islands,, they have not as yet fur- 
nished any species intimately related to the paradise 
birds j yet in the New Holland genus Ptiloris, we have 
a bird so closely related to this family, that we know 
not whether, in fact, it does not belong to it. The flying 
phalangers of Australasia seem to be represented in 
New Guinea by the genus Cuscus of M. Lesson. The 
affinity between the zoology of the two countries is 
established in various ways. The great crab-eaters 
(Dacelo Leach), the bald-faced honey-suckers (Philedon 
Cuv.), the helmet-crows (Barrita Cuv.), and the Vanga 
shrikes (Vanga Tern.), are so many indications of Aus- 
tralian ornithology. The carinated flycatchers (Mon- 
archa H. and V.) again, no less than all the preceding 
groups, occur both in New Guinea and in New Hol- 
land^ but are unknown in any other country. The 
splendid promerops (Epimachus Cuv.), the paradise 
birds, and the king oriole (Sericulus chrysocephalus Sw.) 
are peculiar to this first division. 

(16'8.) The great island of New Holland, or rather 
'Australia Proper, may be looked upon as the centre of 
Australian zoology, since the geographic range of its 
animals is circumscribed even more strictly than those 
of New Guinea. The kangaroos and the duckbills 
(Ornithorhynchus), for instance, are only found here 
and in Van Diemen's Land : the ground parrakeets 
(Pezoporus 111.), the lyre-tail (Menura Sw.), the typi- 
cal honey suckers, the flat-tailed lories (Platycercus 
H. and V.), the superb warblers (Malurus VieiL), and 
several others among the perching birds, might be in- 
stanced as purely Australian groups. The genus Pa- 
chycephala Sw., or great-headed chatterers, are entirely 


confined to Australia, and of which the P. gutturalis 
(fig. 54.), or black-crowned 
species, is the most beautiful: 
the body is yellow, the throat 
white, and the breast crossed by 
a black crescent. Yet, in other 
groups, we detect the distant 
ramifications which connect this 
province both with Africa and 
with Asia. The short- tailed and 
the long- tailed finches (Amadina 
and Estrelda Sw.), the Drongo 
shrikes (Edolius Cuv.), and the stonechats (Campicola 
Sw.), are groups belonging likewise to the two adjacent 
continents; while of the genus comprising the Ori- 
ental ant. thrushes (Pitta Tern.), two most lovely species 
have been found in New Holland : here, also, we find 
the Indian genus Ocypteryx, or the swallow shrikes, 
and the cassowary, representing the ostrich of Africa. 

(16'9.) The conchology of New Ireland and New Hol- 
land is so similar, that one half of the species found by 
M. Lesson on the coasts of the former island are no less 
abundant in New South Wales ; while a great propor- 
tion of the remainder occur in the Indian Ocean. On 
the coasts of New Holland are found many of the most 
beautiful and rare volute shells 
known to our cabinets ; the 
snow- spotted volute (Cymbiola 
nivosa Sw.) * is one of the 
rarest (fig, 55.) : it has two 
dark bands upon a flesh-co- 
loured ground, and the surface is entirely covered with 
white dots. 

(170.) The nature of the third division is but ob- 
scurely known, for the Pacific Islands have never been 
visited, since the voyages of the celebrated Banks, by 
scientific naturalists. The quadrupeds are so few that 

Exotic Conchology, plate 5. 

i 4 



they hardly deserved notice ; nor do any of the islands 
seem to possess a single species of kangaroo. The birds 
are little better known. The lories are of that particular 
section named Trichoglossus, or parrakeet lories, a 
group 'dispersed over the whole Oceanic Islands, and 
abundant in New Holland; while the honey-suckers 
are but slight deviations from those forms common to 
Australia Proper. As yet, therefore, we cannot name, 
among the land birds, any distinct genus peculiar to 
this division ; although, in all probability, future dis- 
coveries may bring some to light., 

(l?l.) The paucity of quadrupeds in the Australian 
region will be further apparent from the following list 
of the genera and sub-genera, and the number of species 
described in each : 

Vulpes ? Fox-dog 
Dasyurus. Hairtail 
Thylacinus Tern. 
Cuscus. Lesson. 

Hypisprymus III. - 1 

Halmaturus III. Kangaroo - 8 

Phascolarctas - - 1 

Phascolomys - . . 1 

Hydromys - - 2 

Echidna. Porcupine - -2 

Ornithorhynchus. Duckbill - 2 

(172.) The greater part of the birds are comprised 
under the following genera and sub-genera, some of 
which (*) occur in Africa and (t) Asia : there are ex- 
amples also of other genera, more properly belonging to 
Europe, which it is not necessary to enumerate : 

Podargus Cuv. Kawk Goatsucker. 
t Halcyon Sw. Crab-eater. 
Dacelo Leach* Braying Bird. 
*f Merops L. Bee-eater. 
Falcunculus Viett. Shrike, 
f Ocypterus Cuv. Swallow Shrike. 
Vanga B. Shrike Crow. 
*f Edolius Cuv. Drongo. 
*f Ceblepyres Cuv. Spinebacks. 
f Estrelda Sw. Grosbeak. 
*f Atnadina Sw. Bengaly. 
Malurus Vieil. Soft-tail. 
Acanthiza H. and V. Warbler. 
Pardalotus Vieil. Manakin. 
Pachycephala Sw. Thickhead. 
* Campicola Sw. Stonechat. 
Grallina Vieil. Thrush. 

Short-tailed Thrush. 

Sericulus Sw. Regent Bird. 

*f Oriolus L. Oriole. 

Petroica Sw. Robin. 

Ptilonorhynchus Kuhl. Satinbird 

Glaucopis For st. Wattle Bird. 

Scythrops Lath. Channel-bill. 

Plyctolopha Vieil. Cockatoo. 

Calyptorhynchus H. and V. Cock- 

Psittacarus Briss. Parrakeet. 

Nanodes H. and V. Ground Parra- 

Pezoporus III. Ground Parrakeet. 

Paleornis H. and V. Ring Parra- 

Lorius Briss. Lory. 

Trichoglossus H. and V. Lory Par- 



Dromiceius Vitil. 
Menura Shaw. Menura. 
Megapodius Tern. Greatfoot. 
Chionis Forst. Sheath-bill. 
Ceriopsis Lath. Helmet Goose. 
Mycteria? Lin. Jabiru. 

Climasteris Tern. Creeper. 
Orthonyx Tern. Straight-claw. 
Sitella Sw. Nuthatch. 
Dicaeum Ouv. Honey-eater. 
Melliphaga Lewin. Honey-sucker. 
Ptiloris SKI. Rifle Bird. 
Ptilinopus Sw. Green Dove. 

(173.) In concluding this part of our volume, we 
consider that the facts now stated are sufficiently strong 
to establish the propositions with which this investi- 
gation was commenced. We have seen, 1. That animals 
are distributed upon a plan, sufficiently obvious in its 
leading outlines, to be comprehended and defined ; and, 
2. That this plan is found to harmonise, in many re- 
markable ways, with that circular disposition which is 
the first law of natural classification. 







(174.) THE arrangement of objects, according to a 
scale or table of their supposed relations or qualities, is 
shall consider these words as synonymous, and as imply- 
ing ORDER, without which all knowledge is vague and 
disjointed. By system, therefore, we are able to gain not 
only a more ready acquaintance with an individual spe- 
cies, but also general ideas on the larger groups of 
which it forms but a part. System condenses and fa- 
cilitates knowledge, and is therefore essential to its ac 
quirement. Even if the names of all natural objects 
were arranged alphabetically, as in a dictionary, there 
would be system and order in such a plan, for research 
would be facilitated. Whereas, if all these names were 
entered indiscriminately, the student would be at a loss 
at what page to find the particular name for which he 
was searching. 

(175.) Between a system and a method, many writers 
have drawn a distinction, and have used the two words in 
totally different senses. Kirby and Spence express them- 
selves on this subject in the following words : " Thus 
we hear of a natural method, and a natural system. Linne 
seems to have regarded the former of these terms as re- 
presenting the actual disposition of objects in nature, 
while by system he understands their classification and 


arrangement by naturalists. But, if we consider their 
real meaning a method should signify an artificial, and 
a system a natural arrangement of objects. As many 
systematists, however, have aimed at giving a natural 
arrangement, though with various success ; and none 
having a perfect conception of it, it might, perhaps, 
be as well to call every arrangement whose object is 
confessedly artificial, a method; and that which aims at 
the plan of nature, a system." * The objection, how- 
ever, to this attempt to distinguish systems from me- 
thods, is this, that arrangements, confessedly artificial, 
are sometimes much more natural (that is to say, con- 
taining more natural combinations) than those which 
are here denominated systems, while we are not without 
instances of others, professing to aim at the plan of 
nature, or " arranged according to organisation," which 
are eminently artificial. Such being the case, the dis- 
tinction here proposed, however excellent in theory, 
cannot be applied in practice, and we are thus com- 
pelled to use the two words as synonymous. 

(176.) The diversity of systems, therefore, may be 
infinite, because there is no end to the different modes 
by which we may arrange natural objects, from charac- 
ters or peculiarities belonging to the objects themselves. 
Some of these systems will exhibit much more harmo- 
nious combinations than others. Animals, obviously 
allied in habits and appearance, will be kept together in 
one system, while in another they are dissevered, and 
placed wide apart. Hence has originated the term of 
natural systems as applied to the former, and artificial 
systems as given to the latter. Such are the distinctions 
which most zoologists have made between these two 
modes of arrangement. Yet a little reflection will con- 
vince us that they are equally vague with that just no- 
ticed. An artificial system may be based upon erroneous 
principles, and may present many unnatural assemblages, 
yet parts thereof may be very natural ; on the other 
hand, a natural system, may contain many artificial 

* Int. to Ent. v. 356, 


groups (that is to say, groups which the judgment im- 
mediately pronounces as not to be those of nature), while, 
in other respects, it may preserve the natural series. If, 
therefore, we were to rest content with this difference 
between a natural and an artificial system, we should 
have a difference without a distinction ; both might be 
called natural, and both artificial ; the difference would 
only be in degree; and that degree would rest upon 
individual opinion, because, where there are no fixed 
principles by which the judgment in such matters is to 
be regulated, there could be no unanimity of opinion. 
Besides, it would inevitably follow, that our application 
of these terms to any given system would be subject to 
change. A system, which we would term natural in 
one state of the science, would be artificial in another ; 
so soon as it was supplanted by more recent discoveries, 
and a more harmonious combination of objects. We 
must search, therefore, for a clearer definition of these 
two modes of arrangement. 

(177.) Much metaphysical discussion has arisen on 
the difference between natural and artificial systems, 
which has left the subject pretty nearly in the same un- 
decided state, while some of these discussions have rather 
increased than dissipated the obscurity in which it has 
been involved. Some maintain, that, as all systems 
hitherto promulgated are more or less defective, and 
have failed to reconcile and explain all the intricacies 
of the natural series, therefore, they argue, all systems 
are, and must be, artificial. Mr. MacLeay, in his con- 
troversy with Mr. Bicheno * on systems and methods, 
evidently embraces this view of the subject, and his 
opinion has been more recently taken up by one of his 
disciples. He asks : ' ' Pray let me know where I shall 
find one of these natural systems, and I shall be con- 
tent." Again : " Naturalists have been looking for 
one natural system, only one; and, confined as their aim 
is, they have not as yet been able to attain it ? "f What 

* Zool Journ. vol. iv. p. 409. t Ibid. p. 410. 


are we to understand from this question and remark, but 
that, in the estimation of our author, his own system, 
although unquestionably nearest to nature than any other, 
is, like all others, artificial ? According to this view, the 
natural system can never, by any possibility, be discovered: 
since, in the most perfect human exposition of the laws 
of creation, a " remnant of unknown things" will always 
remain, and the system will thus become artificial. Mr. 
Bicheno, on the other hand, contends, that " to establish 
differences is the end of the natural system;" obviously 
meaning, as it appears to us, that the chief object which 
the naturalist should keep in view, when prosecuting this 
search after the natural system, should be to trace and 
" establish those agreements" which, although unex- 
plained, have, as his opponent truly observes, existed 
since the creation. The same writer remarks, that " di- 
vision and separation is the end of the artificial sys- 
tem," or, in other words, is that object which the 
framer of such a system should keep in view, in order 
to facilitate the more ready discovery of the species. 
Now, both these definitions are unquestionably true. 
For, however objectionable the precise words may be 
in which they have been expressed, it is clear that our 
author understood that difference between an artificial 
and a natural system, which we shall presently in- 
vestigate. We pass over the confused and unintel- 
ligible doctrines of other writers, one of whom main- 
tains, " that in a natural genus, or system, there are 
artificial combinations ;"* thus denying that there is, in 
fact, any natural system, and maintaining the ridiculous 
inconsistency that what is natural may be at the same 

(178.) What, then, is the difference between an artifi- 
cial and a natural system ? The first is, for the ready dis- 
crimination of the species ; the latter, for the elucidation 
of those resemblances which such species bear to others, 
in all their varied and complex relations. The one stops, 

* Philosophy of Zoology, voL il P- Hi. 


where the other begins. We make use of an artificial 
system to become. acquainted with the name of a species ; 
and to learn all that has been written upon its peculiar 
structure. We turn to the natural system, to know the 
probable station of this species in the scale of being, 
the affinities it possesses to others, and the analogies 
by which it is related and represented. Hence the per- 
fection of an artificial system, as we have frequently in- 
timated, consists in. the clearness and precision of its 
subdivisions, and the facilities which it affords to de- 
termine the name of the object we are in search of. In 
this respect, a good artificial system is to be judged by 
the same rules as those by which we should decide on 
the merits of a copious index to a voluminous publica- 
tion, for the purposes of both are the same : both are 
equally useful, and the merit of both lies in clearly 
directing the reader to the precise point upon which he 
desires information. A good artificial system is, there- 
fore, not only a useful, but even, in some respects, a 
valuable, invention, requiring!] much more skill than is 
generally supposed; and it is, perhaps, much more 
adapted for general use than any other. The most 
admirable classification of this sort ever invented, is that 
denominated the Sexual System of Plants, by Linnaeus. 
Many natural assemblages are preserved, without any 
great violation of the principles on which he set out. 
This is always a great recommendation to an arti- 
ficial system, yet it is by no means necessary to its 
formation. Natural affinities may be overlooked, wher- 
ever they interfere with precision of arrangement: 
the first are secondary, the latter primary. We open 
an artificial system to come to the knowledge of a mat- 
ter of fact ; but if we wish to proceed farther, and to 
know how this fact bears upon other facts, we turn to 
the natural system. Such are the uses of the two methods 
of classification upon which we have been speaking, and 
such the theoretic distinctions by which they are sepa- 
rated. Between them, however, is a third sort of 
system, which, from combining artificial division with 


some regard to natural affinities,, are generally termed 
Mixed Systems, or Half-artificial methods, while others 
(and generally among this numher are the authors them- 
selves) have pronounced them natural arrangements. 

(179.) Of these mixed methods, or half-artificial sys- 
tems, it has been said, that, " while they are at utter 
variance with natural affinities, they do not even answer 
the humble purposes of a catalogue." The severity of 
this censure has been objected to ; but we must still 
think there is some truth in the remark. These mixed 
methods are, in fact, called the natural system, by those 
who have never considered in what the latter truly con- 
sists. The Regne Animal, " distributed according to its 
organisation," is, perhaps, one of the most striking ex- 
emplifications of a semi-natural classification that has 
ever been published. By assuming that the series there 
exhibited is natural, it teaches the student to believe 
that nature, and not the author, places eagles next to 
whales, and opossums after seals ; and this is termed 
an arrangement of animals " according to their organ- 
isation," in other words, according to their natural 
affinities. Linnaeus, on the other hand, in his Sy sterna 
NaturtB, makes no such pretensions; the learned 
Swede contented himself with framing such an artificial 
system as would lead to an immediate knowledge of 
species, and thus to qualify those who came after him 
to speculate upon Nature's combinations. The conse- 
quence is, that his classification, as a whole, is much 
more comprehensible than that of Cuvier. Let but the 
genera of the Systema Naturae be looked upon as fami- 
lies, and let their contents be arranged under artificial 
but definite sections, and no one would hesitate to give 
it the preference, for all practical purposes, over the eru- 
dite but cumbrous volumes of the Regne Animal, re- 
plete, as the latter unquestionably are, with a mass of 
new and invaluable materials for the real developement 
of that with which the learned author was totally unac- 
quainted, namely, the very first principles of the 
natural system. We must, therefore, conclude as we 


began, that as these mixed methods of classification do 
not set out with aiming at that which alone bestows 
value upon an artificial system, so they do not answer 
the humble purposes of a catalogue or index ; we have, in 
fact, given an instance, from the most celebrated of their 
advocates, that they are at " utter variance with natural 
affinities." Of all systems, they are, consequently, the 
most objectionable. Having stated the theoretical dis- 
tinction between an artificial and a natural system, and 
dwelt more especially on the merits which should be 
apparent in the former, we shall now proceed to inves- 
tigate the essential requisites which must belong to the 

( 1 80.) It is essential to a natural system that it be 
based on certain fundamental principles, which, so far 
as the laws of nature are known> are found to be general 
throughout all her productions; thus producing that 
uniformity of plan which every principle of sound rea- 
soning convinces us must belong to the system of the 
creation. Every one sees that there is a scale in nature : 
that animals and plants, by the intervention of an infinity 
of intermediate forms, gradually blend into each other, and 
are finally so united that we know not where to draw the 
line of demarcation. This is an acknowledged truth, 
known for centuries ; but whether this series was simple, 
or whether, in its progress, it branched off into other 
ramifications, and became complex, were questions which 
long engaged the attention of philosophers. The dis- 
coveries, however, of this century have at length set this 
question also at rest, and decided that the natural series 
is complex, forming in its progress certain deviations 
which resemble a series of circles.* It follows, there- 
fore, that no system which represents the natural series 
as simple, whatever excellencies it may possess in other 
respects, can be founded on nature, since we now know 
that such is not the natural series. 

(181.) A system can only claim to be natural when 

* The circularity of natural groups has been already dwelt upon in our 
Preliminary Discourse, p. 207. 


it attempts to explain the analogies or resemblances 
between the individuals or divisions of one circular series, 
when they are compared with those of another series. 
It is evident that all natural objects possess two dif- 
ferent sorts of relationship : one which is immediate, 
and another which is remote. The goatsucker and the 
swallow exemplify the first of these relations. These 
genera are intimately connected by structure, habits, and 
economy ; both fly nearly in the same manner, and both 
live upon insects, captured in the same way : but the 
goatsucker, besides this relation, has evidently another to 
the bats, by flying at the same hour of the day, and by 
feeding in the same manner. The first relation is in- 
timate the latter remote. Hence arises the necessity, 
imposed upon all who wish to develope the natural 
system, of possessing clear perceptions of these two sorts 
of relations ; and of becoming well acquainted with the 
difference between affinity and analogy.* The first is 
exemplified by the swallow and goatsucker ; the latter 
by the goatsucker and the bat. Now, as these varied 
relations or resemblances are so universal throughout 
nature, that they have been perceived since science first 
dawned upon man, it is obvious that a writer who makes 
no effort to explain them, or to draw a just distinction 
between such as are immediate and such as are remote, 
neglects one of the most striking and wonderful pecu- 
liarities of the natural system. Nor is a bare mention 
of such relations the only notice which is required ; for 
that carries with it no results : the accuracy of his series 
must depend upon being able to prove that all these 
resemblances follow each other in a uniform pro- 
gression : because it has been repeatedly demonstrated 
that the contents of one circular group represent the con- 
tents of another circular group ; and this principle of the 
natural system has been now so much developed, that not 
a doubt can remain of its prevalence throughout nature. 
Any system, therefore, which aims at being natural, mus$ 

* Preliminary Discourse on Nat Hist. p. 182. ; j 


offer an explanation of these resemblances ; and if the 
theory hy which this is done can he reduced to one sim- 
ple and universal law, we may feel assured that law 
forms part of the system of nature. 

(182.) This brings us, thirdly, to the principle of 
variation, which has long since been pronounced an im- 
portant characteristic of the natural system. The variety 
in nature appears infinite. If we only contemplate 
those beings which have passed under our own exa- 
mination, and which everywhere surround us, we 
cannot fail to be struck with that divine skill which 
could imagine and produce such an extraordinary di- 
versity of forms under which living beings should 
exist. It is obvious, therefore, that these, as ema- 
nating from a divine Creator, must have been pro- 
duced upon some one uniform plan. Hence it follows, 
that no system can be natural which does not aim at the 
partial developement of this plan, so far, indeed, as its 
comprehension is permitted to finite beings. The im- 
mense difficulties of attaining such an insight have in- 
duced many of the most profound philosophers to 
relinquish the search in despair, and have tempted others 
to pronounce it hopeless : but we are yet to learn the 
limits which have been assigned to the human under- 
standing in matters of physical research ; nor are there 
valid grounds for supposing that the discovery of those 
laws which regulate the variation of animals is unat- 
tainable, when those which regulate the motion of the 
heavenly bodies have been detected. It is not enough to 
tell us in what manner such and such animals vary 
from each other ; for that is to communicate nothing 
more than a mere matter of fact : the question is, upon 
what general principle is this variation regulated? 
Why do we observe, for instance, that one peculiar 
division of every natural group is aquatic, and another 
furnished with long tails?* What is the principle, 
in short, of these variations ? and how far is it applicable 

t * See Preliminary Discourse, p. 255. 


to all known animals? In proportion as we can de- 
monstrate the extent of the theory by which we propose 
to answer these questions, so do we approach the de- 
velopement of the natural system, and reduce the ele- 
ments of science to their most simple definitions. 
Finally, it results from these considerations that a theory 
which embraces them all will exhibit a unity of plan 
which cannot possibly be the result of human ingenuity, 
and which will, consequently, be the nearest approach 
to that which must ever distinguish the natural system. 
Such are the obvious considerations by which we are to 
be guided in judging the merits of any classification, 
which professes to be according to nature. In describing 
theoretically what should constitute the developement of 
the natural system, we have only alluded to those cir- 
cumstances which have already been partially developed, 
or which have been admitted as highly probable by 
others, who have, nevertheless, declared their inability 
to reconcile them with observed facts. 

(183.) Of natural systems, strictly speaking, there 
cannot, as we have already seen, be more than one; 
but it is equally clear, that, if we confine this title to that 
one only which makes the nearest approach to nature, 
and which gives the fullest explanation of the pheno- 
mena she exhibits, we must term all other systems 
artificial, and thus confound, under one name, two de- 
scriptions of arrangements, which are grounded on to- 
tally different principles. In order, therefore, to mark 
their distinction with still greater precision, we shall 
consider all those systems to be artificial which are not 
grounded on any universal principles of arrangement; 
which exhibit the animal series without plan or harmo- 
nious connection, and which disregard analogies and 
affinities. On the other hand, we shall consider those 
as natural systems which involve any one or more of 
these considerations, and which, looking beyond the in- 
dividual, attempt to ascertain its station in the scale of 
being, by pointing out the various relations which it 
respectively holds with other objects. From this view 
K 2 


of the subject, it results that there are many natural 
systems, or rather, that there are many attempts to ex- 
plain those complicated relations which belong to the 
natural series. We prefer, in this instance, a compre- 
hensive definition to a metaphysical one because, were 
we to adopt the latter, we should be compelled to con- 
sider the system of Mr. Mac Leay artificial, since many 
properties of natural groups have been since discovered, 
and several combinations detected, which were quite 
unknown when that system was given to the world. 





(184.) THE advantages and the disadvantages of arti- 
ficial systems have been already touched upon (178.), 
and their use explained * ; it remains, therefore, to give 
the reader a general idea of those systems which have 
been most celebrated, or most extensively adopted. As 
artificial systems are" capable of endless diversity, so it 
would be impossible to enumerate, within reasonable 
limits, one half of those which have been already pub- 
lished; setting aside others, which a very slight ac- 
quaintance with nature will enable every student to 
invent. One advantage has certainly attended that de- 
ference and respect with which particularly in this 
country the writings of the great Swede have always 
been treated ; for although an implicit deference to the 

* Preliminary Discourse, c. iii. p. 188. 


Systema Natures may have cramped the energies, and 
stifled the investigations, of those who might otherwise 
have struck out new paths of enquiry, this deference to 
Linnaeus has prevented our shelves from being burdened, 
and our attention distracted, by the innumerable artificial 
systems which have inundated the Continent, and which, 
it is to be feared, will continue to impede the advance 
of true science, so long as such inventions are looked 
upon as authorities, or are quoted as synonymes. 

(185.) The history and exposition of zoological 
systems must not be confounded with the history of the 
science, the latter exhibiting the progress of discovery, 
while the former is properly confined to the arrangement 
of these discoveries. We feel embarrassed, however, at 
the difficulty of selection : for, independently of those 
systems which embrace the whole animal kingdom, 
there are numerous others which relate only to parti- 
cular classes, each of which (like those which have gone 
before, and have passed into oblivion) has, at this 
time, its admirers and its advocates. These also will 
"have their day," and endure for a season, until the natural 
classification shall be developed. M. Lesson has been 
at some pains to perpetuate the memory of no less than 
fourteen systems of ornithology, nearly all of which have 
been proposed by eminent naturalists, and he has added 
the projet of his own, written in 1828, which is, never- 
theless, very different from another, which he published 
two years after. Every year, in short, increases the 
number of these systems ; and in ornithology alone we 
could almost double the above number. Entomology 
has been a fruitful mother of systems ; although, in con- 
chology, few attempts have been made to set aside the 
classification of Lamarck. Were we, however, to ven- 
ture upon a general specification of all these systems, 
we should weary the reader with interminable columns 
of names, and occupy space which might be more pro- 
fitably filled. On the other hand, to omit all details 
on the systematic views of as Aristotle, Lin- 
naeus, Cuvier, llliger, Latreille, and Lamarck, whose 
K 3 


writings will always possess some authority, and whose 
opinions, if not followed, should always be consulted, 
would he an unpardonable omission. Without some 
acquaintance with the labours of these princes of the 
zoological world, no one can hope to extend the bound- 
aries of science; nor will their reputation suffer by 
the occasional fallacy of their opinions ; for that defect, 
incident to all, is amply compensated by the vast acces- 
sion of valuable facts which each has contributed to 
pur science. These systems, however, with the excep- 
tion of that of Lamarck, are artificial, inasmuch as they 
represent the scale of being as simple, and confound 
analogy with affinity. 

(186.) We commence with the system of Aristotle, 
the great father of natural history, whose comprehen- 
sive views of nature first laid the foundation of all that 
has been done by his successors. That part of his 
celebrated work which treats of the vertebrated animals 
will be best understood by the following table, translated 
from that given in the Linnaean Transactions (vol. xvi. 
p. 24.), by one whose labours in the same field renders 
his name worthy of being associated with that of the 
renowned philosopher of Stagyra : 





(187.) The system of Aristotle in regard to insects, 
or annulose animals, has been collected and digested by 
a commentator eminently qualified for such a task. It 
is as follows : 


I Pedetica = Orthoptera Saltatoria Lat. 
I Astomata = Hemiptera Lat. 
\ Psychaa = Lepidoptera. 

PTILOTA - ~{ rMajora=NeuropteraJL Orthop. 

j Tetraptera< tera cUrsoria Lat. 

(_ Opisthocentra = Hymenoptera. 
C Minora = Musca, Tipulae, &c. 
INSECT A -{ IDiptera ? Emprosthrocentra =. Culex, Ta 

C banus, &c. 
PTEROTA simul f Myrmix = Formica L. 

et APTERA (_ Pygolampis = Lampyris. 

(188.) We shall now offer a few observations on 
these arrangements of the two most important divisions 
of the animal kingdom. On looking to the first table, 
we are surprised at the accuracy with which this great 
philosopher has perceived the distinction between the 
Unguiculata and the Ungulccta, or the clawed and the 
hoofed quadrupeds ; a distinction which laid the found- 
ation for one of the best divisions of Willughby's system, 
and some of the most defective in that of Linnaeus. If 
we wished to cite authority in support of our opinion, 
that the Cheiroptera, or Bats, are the representatives of 
the Glires in the circle of the Quadrumana, we might 
appeal to the views of Aristotle, who considered the two 
groups so similar, that he actually places them together. 
His disposition of the oviparous birds is still more 
admirable. There requires no great talent, it is true, 
to perceive that the rapacious, the gallinaceous, the 
wading, and the swimming birds, constitute so many 
orders or primary divisions ; but that Aristotle should 
have seen that the Climbers formed only a division of 
the Perchers (Insessores), and were not to be elevated to 
the rank of a primary division, is most surprising, and 
annuls all the modern claims that have been set up for 
priority in proclaiming a truth, given to the world by a 
Grecian philosopher centuries ago. But if this dispo- 
sition of the vertebrated classes claim our admiration, 
still more must we extol these just conceptions, which 


may be discerned in the general outlines of his ento- 
mological system. Every one of the orders, afterwards 
more correctly defined by Linnaeus, were known to 
Aristotle, at a time when natural science may be said 
to have scarcely existed, when collections were perhaps 
unknown, and when the only materials which furnished 
the bases of such enlarged conceptions, were in all pro- 
bability a few Grecian insects, from the scanty gleanings 
of a small kingdom. Mr. Kirby has not failed to re- 
mark, that this wonderful man tf had no contemptible 
notion of the majority of the orders of insects as now 
admitted. His Coleoptera, Psychce, and Diptera are 
evidently such. His idea of the Hemiptera seems taken 
solely from the Cicada or Tetrioc ; but the manner in 
which he expresses himself concerning it, as having 
no mouth, but furnished instead with a linguiform organ, 
resembling the proboscis of the Diptera, proves that he 
regarded it as the type of a distinct group. Since he con- 
siders the saltatorious orthoptera as forming such a group, 
it is probable that he included the cursorious ones with the 
Neuroptera in his Majora section of Tetraptera; and the 
resemblance of many of the Mantidce to the Neuroptera 
is so great, that this mistake would not be wonderful." * 
We question, however, whether these views, entertained 
by Aristotle, will not erentually be found correct ; the 
" mistakes" lying with those who -have followed him. 
The Cicada, for instance, is one of the most common, 
and certainly the most noisy insect of Greece : it is not 
surprising, therefore, that our philosopher should have 
selected it as a sort of type for his Astomata (or Hemip- 
tera L.), to which order, in our opinion, it truly be- 
longs ; the modern Homoptera, in the natural series, 
being but one of the primary divisions of the Hemiptera, 
as Linnaeus long afterwards perceived. His division Te- 
traptera is in one respect objectionable, although we are 
fully persuaded that, in a natural classification, the New* 
roptera will be found to blend into the Hymenoptera / 
while the Orthoptera, considered by the moderns as a dis- 

* Int. to Ent vol. iv. p. 421. t 


tinct order, are, unquestionably, a part only of the Neu- 
roptera. This will be apparent to any one who analyses 
and studies these groups in detail, and with the requi- 
site degree of attention. It is clear, also, from the 
above table, that Aristotle perceived, theoretically, the 
two great divisions of Insecta, namely, the Ptilota, or 
winged group, and the Aptera, or wingless insects. It 
would, indeed, have been surprising, if, with the few 
dozen of insects which in all probability formed the 
scanty materials that guided his judgment, he had not 
greatly erred in the application of his theory : seeing that 
in almost every family group there are representations 
of the apterous classes : but this is a very minor con- 
sideration, and detracts nothing from his astonishing 
talent, in thus anticipating, in part, the discoveries of 
eighteen centuries. It must ever redound to the fame 
of Linnaeus, that he followed so closely the footsteps of 
the Grecian sage ; for his entomological system, above 
all others, comes nearest to that of Aristotle, and, in our 
estimation, nearest to that of Nature. "Whether we are 
right in this opinion, time only will discover. 

(189.) The zoological system of Willughby, as given 
by Ray, cannot be passed over in this place, although we 
are by no means disposed to unite in the high encomiums 
which have lately been bestowed upon it. In the 
classification of the Mammalia we trace nothing of 
primary importance which had escaped the penetration 
of Aristotle, unless it be the true character of the Glires, 
or mouse-like quadrupeds.* The arrangement of the 
birds, viewed in connection with the injudicious addi- 
tions of Ray, is any thing but clear, definite, or na- 
tural ; while that of insects, as exhibited by Mr. Kirby f, 
and here presented to the reader, has no very high ex- 
cellency. Both this and Swammerdam's are founded 
too exclusively upon metamorphoses ; and by this un- 
fortunate bias entomology made a retrograde movement. 
The primary groups of Aristotle were broken up, and 
the following artificial arrangement was the result : 

* Linn. Trans, vol. xvi. p. 25. 





(190.) In further reference to this table, we may 
give Mr. Kirby's elucidation of many of the groups. 
The Apoda terrestria (a) are allAnnelidce, or red-blooded 
worms ; (6) are larvae ; (c) various Aptera, and the 
bed bug ; (d) Nymphon Fab. ; (e) Scorpio ; (/) Spiders, 
phalangers, and mites ; (g) lulus ; (h) Scolopendra ; 
(i) Annelida : (&) This section is divided by the author 
into thirteen tribes ; (/) Lepidoptera ; (m) Apis, Bom- 
1>us, &c. ; (n) Vespidce ; (o) Andrena, Halictus, No- 
mada, &c. ; (p) Crabro, Philanthus, Cerceris, &c. ; 
(<?) Tenthredo L. ? Ichneumon, &c. ; (r) Trichoptera 
K. ; (s) Pimpla manifestator, and other Ichneumonidce, 
with a long ovipositor. Mr. Kirby justly observes, that 
our great countrymen followed Swammerdam in the 
unnatural separation of those diptera whose metamor- 
phosis is coarctate from the rest ; and in associating with 
them the Ichneumones minuti, whose metamorphosis is 
really different. Into this error both were led by sys- 
tem, or rather by founding their system upon one con- 
sideration, to the exclusion of others. 

(191.) The system of Linnaeus will demand a much more 
ample exposition than any of those coming within our 
present notice ; for not only did the classification of the 
animal kingdom, by this illustrious philosopher, super- 
sede for nearly a century all others, but it developed a 
simplicity and a grandeur of generalisation which was 
admirably suited to the existing state of science. The 
views of natural groups which it unfolded, were, in 
most cases, superior to those of all others ; and, in con- 
junction with that of Aristotle, may be said to have 
indicated the large masses of which the true temple of 
nature is composed. We shall first lay before our readers 
the contents of each of the great classes into which the 
illustrious Swede divides the animal kingdom, and then 
subjoin to each such observations as are suggested by 
their merits or defects. The edition of the Systema 
Natures, which we shall select for our guide on this 
occasion, is the thirteenth, " Vindobonae, 176?." 

(192.) The primary divisions of the Linnaean ar- 
rangement of animals are six, namely : 1. Mammalia, 


or quadrupeds ; 2. Aves, or birds ; 3. Amphibia, or 
reptiles ; 4. Pisces, or fish ; 5. Insecta, or insects ; and 
6. Vermes, or worms. These he distinguishes in the 
following manner : 

Cuv. M'Leay. 

i. r 

Heart with two auricles A Viviparous. Mammalia. Ib. Ib. 

and two ventricles ; blood y Oviparous. Birds. Ib. Ib. 

warm, red - - C 

Heart with o'ne auricle and ^Lungs voluntary. Amphibia. Ib. [ JjJ*, 

one ventricle; blood cold,) External gills. Fishes. Ib. Ib. 

red C 

TTT f Furnished with 7 T * <- TK 

HI. anfonn C l ns 6CtS. Ib. 

Heart with one auricle and ,' -"' "f ' : fh = 
no ventricle ; sanies cold^ g {J Worms< 

t whlte L tentacula. J RADIATA. 

(193.) Considering the period when this scheme was 
drawn up, we must allow it the credit of being much 
more definite and practically useful than any of those 
which it supplanted : we allude more especially to the 
two latter divisions, in reference to the object which our 
author had in view, namely, the ready determination of 
the name of a species. The whole is confessedly an 
artificial system ; and the author has obviously made the 
class Vermes a general receptacle for all those invertebrat- 
ed animals which could not be classed with any other 
class. When, therefore, we express surprise that a genius 
like Linnaeus could have brought together animals so 
totaUy different in their nervous system, their internal 
anatomy, and their external organisation, we must re-. 
member the remoteness of the period at which he wrote, 
the state of knowledge at the time, and the mistakes, 
equally glaring, which from the same causes his predeces- 
sors, even Aristotle himself, have equally committed. Be- 
sides, it must be confessed that the Linnaean Vermes, not- 
withstanding our increased knowledge of their true nature, 
have so many external points of general similitude, that 
we can feel no surprise at the whole being considered as 
one group: nor is it, in fact, at all improbable that they 
actually are so. For if, as there is good reason to sup- 
pose, reasoning analogically, the modern classes of Acrita, 
Mollusca,) and Radiata form a circle of their own, then 


we shall comprehend, in a single group, nearly the whole 
of the Linnsean Vermes, the only exceptions being the 
aberrant or imperfectly organised Insecta ; such as the 
Cirripedes, the intestinal worms, and the Annelides. 
But let us glance at the principles on which the whole 
animal kingdom is first divided into three primary 
groups ; for it is, perhaps, the most defective point in 
the scheme. The heart is fixed upon as the corner 
stone of the system ; and this error, of adopting one 
exclusive character, and giving it a paramount import- 
ance over all others, contributed perhaps more than any 
thing else to blind our author, and prevent him from 
seizing the much more obvious and natural divisions of 
Vertebrata and Invertebrata as the groundwork of his 
system. Be this, however, as it may, a natural group 
will stand any test ; and hence we find, that, although 
the true character of some of these orders were not 
perceived, they are for the most part truly natural. We 
shall now proceed to investigate each of these classes in 

(194.) The primary divisions and character of Mam- 
malia are as follows : 

J. PRIMATES. Fore teeth cutting, the upper four pa- 
rallel, except in some species of bats, which have two 
or three tusks, solitary ; that is, one on each side in 
each jaw; teats two, pectoral; of the feet, two are 
hands ; nails, usually flattened, oval : feed on fruits, 
except a few which use animal food. 

II. BRUTA. Fore teeth wanting ; feet with strong hoof- 
like nails ; motion slow : mostly feed on masticated 

III. FER.E. Fore teeth conic, usually six in each jaw; 
tusks longer, grinders with conic projections ; feet 
with claws, which are subulate : feed on other ani- 

IV. GLIRES. Two cutting fore teeth in each jaw ; tusks 
none ; feet with claws, formed for running and leap- 

, ing : feed on bark, vegetables, &c., which they gnaw. 


V. PECORA. Fore teeth, the upper none, the lower cut- 
ting, many; feet hoofed, cloven : feed on herhs, which 
they pluck, and chew the cud ; stomachs four. 

VI. BELLUL.E. Fore teeth, obtuse ; feet, hoofed ; mo- 
'tion, heavy : feed on vegetables, which they pluck 
like the last. 

VII. CETE. Fins instead of feet ; tail horizontal, flat- 
tened ; no claws or hair : feed upon marine animals ; 
inhabit the ocean. 

(195.) The following table will explain how far these 
divisions correspond with those of M. Cuvier, and the 
arrangement pursued in this work : 

Linncean orders. Cuvier. Cab. Cyclop. 

T, . f Bimana. 

Primates. { Quadrumana . ) Quadrumana. 

Bruta. Pachydermata. Ungulata. 

Ferae. Carnivorae. Ferae. 

Glires. Rodentia. Glires. 

Pecora. Ruminantia. 1 

Bellu*. Solipeda. j 

Cete. Cetacea. Cetacea. 

(196.) It has been well observed, that Linn eeus, by some 
unaccountable oversight, broke up into distinct orders 
the group kept together by Aristotle, and better defined, 
perhaps, by Willughby, by the name of Ungulata: he lost 
sight, in fact, of the whole, in the contemplation of its 
parts ; for his Bruta, Pecora, and Belluce are only de- 
tached, portions of the order Ungulata. This is proved, 
not only from theory, but from minute analysis. With 
this exception, the remaining orders of the Linnsean 
arrangement are strictly natural groups, taken with 
reference to their typical examples. But as the Primates, 
FercB, Cete, and Glires had all been indicated by the 
philosopher of Stagyra, who had, moreover, the merit of 
preserving the Ungulata entire, a retrograde, rather than 
an advanced movement, had been made by the learned 
Swede. M. Cuvier did not fail to perceive this ; and, 
with great propriety, followed Aristotle rather than 



Linnaeus, in keeping the ungulated quadrupeds by them- 
selves; though he also has erred in giving to their sub- 
divisions a higher rank than they really possess. The 
genera characterised by Linnaeus under these orders are 
as follows : 

(" Homo. Man. 

I. j Simla. Monkey. 
PRIMATES, "i Lemur. Lemur. 

tVespertilio. Bat. ' 

f Rhinoceros. 
Elephas. Elephant. 

II. . Trichechus. Walrus. 
BRUTA. i Bradypus. Sloth. 

Myrmecophaga. Ant-eater- 
Manis. Manis. 
Dasypus. Armadillo. 

Phoca. Seal. 
Canis. Dog-. 
Felis. Lion, Tiger, &a 
Viverra. Ichneumon. 
III. , Mustela. Polecat. 
FERE. ~j Ursus. Bear. 

Didelphis. Opossum. 
Talpa. Mole. 
Sorex. Shrew. 
Erinaceus. Hedgehog. 

Hystrix. ' Porcupine* 
Cavia. Cavy. 
Castor. Beaver. 
TV i Mus. Mouse. 

J Arctomys. Marmot. 
GLIRES. Sciurus< Squirrel. 
(Eodentia C.) Myoxus . Dormouse. 
I Dipus. Jerboa. 
\ Lepus. Hare. 
^Hyrax. Hyrax. 

Camelus. Camel. 
Moschus. Musk. 
Camelbpardalis. Giraffe. 
Cervus. Stag. 
Antelope. 'Antelope, 



(Ruminantia C.) j Capra. " Goat. 
Ovis. Sheep. 


.Bos. Ox. 

' Equus. Horse. 

i Hippopotamus. River Horse. 


(Cetacea C.) 

Sea Unicorn. 

Sperm Whale. 
nus. Dolphin. 

(197.) On glancing over this list, however objection 
able are the orders, we perceive that the groups denomi 


nated by Linn eeus genera, are for the most part natural ; 
for they contain assemblages of animals which, in most 
cases, have been preserved in more recent systems, 
although under higher denominations, and split into minor 
divisions. It is clear, moreover, that this series was never 
intended to exhibit the progress of nature; but that our 
author aimed at accomplishing an easy artificial system, 
suited, in fact, to the then state of science. This is 
apparent by his placing the rhinoceros after the bat, 
and the sea-horse between the elephant and the sloth. 
These monstrous combinations all occur in the order 
JBruta ; which is itself such a strange and inconsistent 
group, that we must even feel surprise that Linnaeus 
could, for the sake of convenience, sacrifice to his object 
that keen perception of natural affinities which he most 
undoubtedly possessed in a very high degree. With 
this solitary exception, the internal contents of each order 
are natural assemblages j although the construction and 
situation of several of the orders themselves are de- 
fective, and of course artificial. The Primates, Ferae, 
Glires, and Cete, are almost precisely what they remain 
now, excepting that each has been more subdivided ; 
but the Bruta, Pecora, and Belluce, as before intimated, 
are but parts of one order, the Ungulatce, of Ray. 

(198.) The ornithological system of Linnaeus will 
now claim our attention. The whole class of birds he 
divides into six orders, the names of which are as follows. 
We consider it unnecessary to give the characters in 
detail, but the modern names are added to each : 

Cuvier. 'Cab. Cycl. 

I. ACCIPITRES. Birds of Prey. Raptores Illfger. 

II. Pic*. Perching Birds. PASSERES. Insessores Fig. 

III. ANSERES. Aquatic, or Swimming. PALMIPEDES. Natatores (part) 

IV. GRALL*. Wading Birds. " GRALLJE. Grallatores IlL 
V. GALLING. Gallinaceous, or Fowls. GALLING. Rasores III. 

VI. PASSERES. Perching and Climbing. {|CANSORES }l nsess r es. 

(199-) The first violation of natural order which the 
eye seizes upon in this table, is the division of the land 
or perching birds (Insessores) into two orders, placed 


wide apart, and the introduction of the aquatic orders 
into the gap: so that our author commenced in this 
class, as he had already done in the Mammalia, with 
making a retrograde movement in science, by attempting 
to annul the previous arrangements of the great Ari- 
stotle. In this respect his system is certainly inferior to 
that of Willughby, which, however obscure and confused 
in other respects, preserved a clear distinction between 
the land and the water birds. Even the most devoted 
followers of the Systema Natures as Pennant, Latham, 
Shaw,&c. pretested against this violation of nature, and 
rejected it. As to the division of the perching birds 
into the two orders, of Piece and Passeres, we can 
only account for it by supposing that Linnaeus thought 
the order itself, although natural, was too large for 
artificial arrangement : but in that case, one would have 
thought, he would have done as M. Cuvier afterwards 
did ; that is, keep the perching birds in one order, and 
place the climbers in another r^this would have been more 
easy of comprehension either in a natural or an artificial 
system. With the exception, however, of this oversight, 
the remaining of the Linnaean orders are similar to those 
long before understood by Aristotle j and, indeed, so 
obvious to every one, that it would have been surprising 
had they escaped notice, 

(200.) The genera arranged under these orders will 
now be enumerated. Nothing, perhaps, will show more 
forcibly the admirable clearness and precision with which 
this extraordinary man perceived and defined the es- 
sential or most striking character of his groups, than the 
short synopsis by which each of these genera are cha- 

J. ACCIPITEES. Birds of Prey. Upper mandible with an 
angular projection. 

Vultur. Vultur. Bill hooked, naked. 

Falco. Hawk. Bill hooked, covered at the base with a cere. 
Strix. Owl. Bill hooked, with a frontlet of covered bris- 
Lanius. Shrike- Bill straightish, notched. 


II. PICJE. Bill compressed, convex. ' 
A. Feet formed for perching. 

Trochilus. Humming Bird. Bill bent down ; tongue tubul; r. 
Certhia. Creeper. Bill bent down, sharp pointed. 
Upupa. Hoopoe. Bill bent down, somewhat obtuse. 
Buphaga. Beef-eater. Bill straight, quadrangular. 
Sitta. Nuthatch. Bill straight, wedged at the top. 
Oriolus. Oriole. Bill straight, conic, very sharp pointed. 
Coracias. Roller. Bill sharp edged, the points bent dowr. 
Gracula. Grakle. Bill sharp edged, equal, naked at base. - 
Corvus. Crow. Bill sharp edged ; frontlet reversed. 
Paradisea. Paradise Bird. Bill somewhat sharp edged; 
frontlet velvetty. 

B. Feet formed for climbing (SCANSORES, part) 

Ramphastos. Toucan. Bill serrate ; tongue feathered. 
Trogon. Trogon. Bill serrate, hooked at the point. 
Psittacus. Parrot. Bill hooked ; tongue fleshy. 
Crotophaga. Anoo. Bill wrinkled, angular at the edges. 
Galbula. Jacamar. Bill quadrangular, very sharp pointed. 
Picus. Woodpecker. Bill angular ; tongue worm-shaped. 
Yunx. Wryneck. Bill smooth ; tongue worm-shaped. 
Cuculus. Cuckow. Bill smooth ; nostrils margined. 
Bucco. Barbut. Bill smooth, notched, hooked. 

C. Feet formed for walking. 

Buceros. Hornbill. Bill serrate ; front bony. 
Alcedo. Kingfisher. Bill straight, triangular. 
Merops. Bee-eater. Bill bent down, a little compressed. 
Todos. Tody. Bill linear, depressed, straight. 

III. ANSERES. Swimming Birds. (Natatores Illiger.) 

Anas. Duck. Bill toothed, with a nail at the tip; teeth 

Mergus. Merganser. Bill with a nail at the tip ; teeth'subulate. 

Phaston. Tropic Bird. Bill sharp edged, compressed, serrate. 

Plotus. Diver. Bill toothed, subulate, serrate. 

Rhynchops. Skimmer. Bill with the upper mandible shorter. 

Diomedia. Albatross. Bill with the lower mandible truncate. 

Alca. Awk. Bill with transverse lateral grooves. 

Procellaria. Petril. Nostrils forming a long tube. 

Pelicanus. Pelican. Bill girded ; face naked ; chin pouched. 

Larus. Gull. Bill with the lower mandibles gibbous. 

Sterna. Tern. Bill subulate, compressed at the point. 

Colymbus. Grebe. Bill subulate, the sides a little com- 

L 2 


IV. GRALLJB. Wading Birds. (Grallatores Illiger.) 

Phcenicopterus. Flamingo. Bill toothed, bent as if broken. 

Platalea. Spoonbill. Bill depressed, widened at the end. 

Palamedia. Screamer. Bill sharp, hooked at the end. _ 

Mycteria. Jabiru. Bill bending upwards. 

Tantalus. Ibis. Bill bending down ; chin with a pouch. 

Ardea. Heron. Bill straight, sharp, long. 

Recurvirostra. Auoset. Bill subulate, pointed, turned up. 

Scolopax. Curlew. Bill straight, round, blunt. 

Tringa. Sandpiper. Bill blunt ; back toe raised. 

Fulica. Water Hen. Bill at the root and front bare. 

Parra. Jucana. Bill at the base and front warted. 

Psophia. Trumpeter. Bill a little arched ; nostrils oval. 

Cancroma. Boat-bill, Bill keeled above; nostrils in a fur- 

Hallus. Rail. Bill somewhat keeled ; body compressed. 

Hsematopus. Oyster-catcher. Bill compressed, the tip 
wedged ; feet three-toed. 

Charadrius. Plover. Feet three-toed ; bill roundish, ob- 

V. GALLINJE." Gallinaceous Birds. (Eassores Illiger.) 
Otis. Bustard. Bill convex ; tongue notched. 
Struthio. Ostrich. Bill conic ; wings not formed for flight. 
Didus. Dodo. Bill straight in middle, and wrinkled ; face 

Pavo. Peacock. Bill naked ; feathers of the crown turned 

Meleagris. Turkey. Face and neck covered with naked 


Crax. Globe-crest. Bill covered at the base with a cere. 
Phasianus. Pheasant. Cheeks naked, smooth. 
Numidia. Guinea Hen. Bill with wattles at the base. 
Tetrao. Partridge. A naked coloured skin above the eye. 

VI. PASSERES. Perching Birds. Bill conic, sharp pointed. 

(Insessores Vig.) 

Loxia. Grosbeak. Bill thick, conic, oval. 
Fringilla. Finch. Bill thick, conic, sharp pointed. 
Emberiza. Bunting. Margins of the bill inflexed; lowei 

mandible thickest. 
Caprimulgus. Goatsucker. Bill small, depressed, bristled ; 

nostrils tubular. 

Hirundo. Swallow. Bill depressed, bent in on the point. 
Pipra. Manalcin. Bill subulate, tip bent. 


' * Upper mandible notched at the end. (Dentirostres Sw.) 

Turdus. Thrush. Bill subulate, compressed at the base. 
Ampelis. Chatterer. Bill subulate, depressed at the base. 
Tanagra. Tanager. Bill subulate, conic at the base. 
Muscicapa. Flycatcher. Bill subulate, fringed at the base. 

** Bill straight, simple, tapering. 

Parus. Titmouse. Bill subulate; tongue truncate; front 

Motacilla. Warbler. Bill subulate ; tongue jagged ; hind 

claw moderate. 

Alauda. Lark. Bill subulate ; tongue cleft ; hind claw long. 
Sternus. Starling. Bill subulate, depressed at the point. 
Columba. Pigeon. Bill subarched ; nostrils covered with a 

tumid membrane. 

(201.) Such are the only genera of birds instituted 
by Linnaeus, amounting only to 79. Dr. Latham and a 
few of his other disciples have the credit of defining the 
following, which are incorporated in the edition of the 
Sy sterna Natura edited by Gmelin : some of these we 
have designated by the more classic names since be- 
stowed upon them : 

Scopus. Umber. 
Glareola. Pratincole. 
Cryptura. Tinaumu. 
Penelope. Penelope, or Guan. 
Colius. Coly. 
Phytotoma. Plant-cutter. 

Grypogeranns. Secretary. 
Glaucopis. Wattle-bird. 
Scythrops. Channel-bill. \ 
Prionites. Motmot. 
Aptenodyta. Penguin- 
Cursorius. Courier. 
Vaginalis. Sheathbill. 

(202.) We are to judge of these groups, not as 
regards their combination into orders (for that, as we 
have already seen, is in many respects highly objection- 
able), but as assemblages of species, which our author 
terms genera. Here, in truth, lies the great and striking 
merits of the ornithological labours of Linnaeus, and 
where his vast superiority over all who had preceded 
him is most conspicuous. He placed together a number 
of objects which, in external structure, or rather in 
general appearance, possessed such characters in common, 
as enabled him to give to each a short and clear defi- 
nition. Having attained this, the artificial object of 
his system required him to look no further : he was 
L 3 


not called upon for critical investigation of organs, or 
nice distinctions of habits or economy; he was addressing 
himself to those who had merely a bird before them, 
and who desired to know in what manner its name could 
be ascertained. He framed his system for the practical, 
not the philosophic naturalist. The Systema Naturae 
was to be an " Every -day Book," not a sealed volume; 
and he built the foundation of his system accordingly. 
It seems, therefore, to us, that the very deficiency which 
has been so strongly urged against our author, is, in 
fact, the chief merit for which he should have been 
extolled. No one knew better that his system was arti- 
ficial ; for it was, in fact, intended to be so. Had he 
dwelt upon all those minute circumstances which are now 
known to determine the natural station of a bird; had 
he, in a genus which then consisted of five species, but 
which now comprises thirty-five, minutely described 
the modifications of their structure, or of their generic 
peculiarities; his system might certainly have been more 
philosophical, and possibly more natural, but it would 
have become perfectly useless to all but a very few deep 
thinkers. Nor would this have been the only objection: 
general readers would have turned with disgust from 
such tedious details; and have justly reproached our 
author with mystifying information, capable of being 
conveyed in an intelligible form. The truth is, that 
those who detract from the merits of the Systema Na- 
turce forget the object for which it was written, and the 
state of science when it appeared. Who that compares 
the Synopsis Methodica Avium with the system of 
Linnaeus, but must be struck with the vast superiority 
of the latter ? Let us not, however, institute invidious 
comparisons, but rather allow that both these works 
eminently advanced the progress of science. That the 
genera of Linnaeus, with but few exceptions, are natural 
assemblages, may be seen by the great number which 
have been kept entire by the most eminent ornitholo- 
gists who succeeded him. These groups, indeed, were 
termed by our author genera, a term which he applied 


to the lowest assemblages, formed from species. He 
was obviously ignorant that there were in nature any 
definite groups. The Linnsean genera, therefore, are 
found to be, for the most part, families ; still they 
remain groups, many of which, under subordinate di- 
visions, have been preserved entire. And although 
the orders are objectionable, the series of genera within 
those orders show that Linnaeus consulted natural af- 
finities as much as the artificial plan of his arrangement 
would possibly allow of. Had his disciples, instead of 
being indolently content with treading in the footsteps 
of their master, imitated his example in improving his 
system, as his materials increased, and as fresh light 
broke in upon his subject, had they done this, they 
would have preserved his name in its original splendour, 
and their own from oblivion. Notwithstanding this, 
however, we strongly recommend to every student a 
careful perusal of the Systema Natures, as essential to an 
acquaintance with modern and existing arrangements, 
whether natural or artificial. Of the latter it is unques- 
tionably the best ; and by thoroughly understanding its 
principles, the student will gain a general acquaintance 
with forms, and a conviction how utterly useless all iso- 
lated arrangements now are, when we have to deal with 
such enormous multitudes of species. 

(203.) The reptiles, under the name of Amphibia,, 
were placed by Linnaeus after the birds. It does not 
appear, however, that our author had very definite no- 
tions on this class, as will appear from the three sub- 
divisions under which the whole are arranged; viz. 
1 . Reptiles, furnished with feet ; 2. Serpentes, destitute 
of feet; and, 3. Nantes, furnished with fins, and 
breathing by lateral openings. The first and second 
comprise the modern classes of Reptilia and Amphibia, 
but the third are true fishes. It is, indeed, surprising 
that Linnaeus should have fallen into this mistake, after 
Artedi had pointed out the true situation of these ani- 
mals. The class of reptiles does, indeed, pass into that 
of fish, by means of the ichthyosaurus, and the sharks ; 
L 4 


and, possibly, Linnaeus, when he placed the cartilaginous 
fishes among the reptiles, may have had some indistinct 
perception of their union. It has, however, been re- 
marked, that this arrangement was made on the suppo- 
sition of their being furnished both with lungs and gills; 
an idea which seemed confirmed by the observations of 
Dr. Garden, of Carolina, who, at the request of Lin- 
naeus, examined the organs of the genus Diodon, and 
found, as he conceived, both external bronchiae, or gills, 
and internal lungs. This idea, however, has been shown 
by later physiologists to have been not strictly correct ; 
the supposed lungs being, in reality, only a peculiar mo- 
dification of gills.* The genera of the Amphibia are 
thus characterised : 

I. REPTILES. With feet. 

Testudo. Tortoise. Body four-footed, covered with a shell. 
Draco. Dragon. Body four-footed, tailed, and winged. 
Lacerta. Lizard. Body generally four-footed, tailed, and 


Rana. Frog. Body four-footed, naked, tailless. 
Siren. Siren* Body two-footed, tailed, naked. 

II. SERPENTES. Feet none. 

Crotalus. Rattlesnake. Plates on the belly and tail j with a 


Boa. Boa. As above ; but without a rattle. 
Coluber. Viper. Plates on the belly ; scales on the tail. 
Anguis. Snake. Scales on the belly and tail. 
Amphisbaena. Jllindworm. Rings on the belly and tail. 
Caecilia. Snake-worm. Body with naked lateral wrinkles. 

III. NANTES. Provided with fins instead of feet ; breathe by 

Petromyzon. Lamprey. Spiracles seven, placed on the sides. 
Raja. Ray, or Thornback. Spiracles five, placed beneath. 
Squalus. Shark. Spiracles many, five on each side. 
Chimera. Sea Monster. Spiracle solitary, quadrifid. 
Lophius. Fishing Frog. Spiracle solitary ; ventral fins two, 

like feet. 
Acipenser. Sturgeon. Spiracle solitary ; ventral fins two ; 

mouth without teeth. 

* Gen. Zool. vol. iv. p. 13. 


Balistes. File-fish. Spiracle solitary; ventral fins solitary, 

Ostracion. Tortoise-fish. Spiracle solitary ; no ventrai fins ; 

body mailed. 
Tetraodon. Square-fish. Spiracle solitary; no ventral Jins; 

belly prickly. 
Diodon. Porcupine-fish. Spiracle solitary; body covered 

with spines. 
Cyclopterus. Lump-fish. Spiracle solitary; ventral fins 

united into a funnel. 
Centriscus. Snout-fish. Spiracle solitary ; ventral fins united ; 

snout long. 
Syngnathus. Pipe-fish. Spiracle solitary ; no ventral fins ; 

body crusted, long. 
Pegasus. Sea-horse. Spiracle solitary ; ventral fins two ; snout 


(204.) The following genera, belonging to the order 
Nantes, have been added by the disciples of Linnaeus, 
and incorporated in their editions of his Systema Na- 
turcB : 

Pristis. Saw-fish. Separated from the sharks by Shaw. 
Gastrobranchus. Hag-fish. The connecting link between 

Vertebrata and Annulosa. 
Spatularia. Spoon-fish. Allied to the saw-fish. 

(205.) The class of fish (Pisces}, as may be sup- 
posed, was placed by Linnaeus immediately after his last 
order (Nantes} of reptiles. His primary divisions being 
in number four, characterised as follows : 
I. APODAL. Ventral fins none. II. JUGULAR. Ventral 
fins before the pectoral. III. THORACIC. Ventral fins 
under the pectoral. IV. ABDOMINAL. Ventral fins be- 
hind the pectoral. 

(206.) It is in the arrangement of this class, more 
than in any other, that we find the strongest proof that 
Linnaeus, so far from wishing the Systema Natures to 
be thought the natural system, intended it should be 
essentially artificial. The two great typical divisions of 
the class were undoubtedly known to the learned Swede, 
for he gave them to the world in the admirable volume 
he edited of the works of Artedi ; of whom we shall 
hereafter speak. In that volume, likewise, we find the 
Nantes occupying their proper station among the true 


fishes, and forming the orders Branchiosteges and Chon- 
dropteriges ; but this arrangement, although natural, 
was too philosophic for general use. Linnaeus perceived 
this; and, therefore, intent upon his primary object of 
producing a simple and definite artificial arrangement, 
he had recourse to the position of the ventral fins as the 
basis of his primary divisions : by attention to which, 
every one, at the first glance, could determine where he 
was to search for a particular species. 

(207.) The genera composing these orders will now 
be mentioned : very few of them have yet received En- 
glish names. 


I. APODAL FISHES. Having no ventral fins. 
Muraena. Eel. Aperture of the gills on the side of the 

thorax. Order APODES Sw. 
Gymnotus. Naked-back. Dorsal fin none. 
Trichiurus. Caudal fin none ; body ensiform. 
Anarhichas. Wolf-Jish. Teeth rounded. 
Ammodytes. Sand-lance. Head narrower than the body. 
Ophidium. Body ensiform. 
Xiphias. Sword-fish. Snout ensiform. 
Stromateus. Stromat. Body oval, scaly ; breast simple. 

II. JUGULAR FISHES. Ventral fins before the pectoral. 
Callyonimus. Aperture of the gills on the nape. 
Uranoscopus. Star-gazer. Head large, rough, depressed. 
Trachinus. Vent near the breast. 

Gadus. Cod. Pectoral fins tapering to a point. 
Blennius. JBlenny. Ventral fins of two united rays. 

III. THORACIC FISHES. Ventral fins under the pectoral. 
-Cepola. Ribbon-fish. Body ensiform, naked. 

Echineis. Reniora, or Pilot. Crown flat, transversely furrowed. 
Coryphaena. Dolphin. Head sloping suddenly downwards. 
Gobius. Goby. Ventral fins united into an oval fin. 
Cottus. Bull-head. Head broader than the body. 
Scorpaena. Scorpion-fish. Head armed with prickles. 
Zeus. Silver-fish. Upper lip arched by a transverse mem- 

Pleuronectes. Flatfish. Eyes both on one side of the head. 
Chaetodon. Sand-fish. Teeth setaceous, flexile, crowded. 
Sparus. GUthead. Teeth strong, obtuse ; lip double. 
Labrus. Labbe. Dorsal rays, with a slender skin beyond. 


Sciaena. Sea-perch. Head and gill covers with fixed scales. 

Perca. Perch. Gill covers three-leaved, the upper serrate. 

Gasterosteus. Stickleback. Tail carinate at the sides. 

Scomber. Tunny. Tail carinate at the sides ; several spu- 
f [rious fins between the dorsal fin and tail. 

Centrogaster. Spine-throat. Tail carinate at the sides ; ven- 
tral fins connected by a membrane, the first four rays 
spinous, the other six unarmed. 

Mullus. Mullet. Body and gill covers with large lax scales. 

Trigla. Gurnard. Distinct appendages near the pectoral fins. 

I IV. ABDOMINAL FISHES. Ventral fins behind the pectoral. 

Cobites. Loach. Body hardly decreasing towards the tail. 9 

Amia. Head naked, bony, rough. 

Silurus. Cat-fish. First ray of the dorsal or pectoral fins 


Teuthis. Head truncate on the fore part. 
Loricaria. Body mailed with a bony coat. 
Salmo. Salmon. Hindermost dorsal fin fleshy. 
Fistularia. Snout cylindrical, with a cover at the end. 
Esox. Pike. Upper jaw much shorter than the lower. 
Elops. Branchiostegous. Membrane double, the outer less. 
Argentina. Argentine. Vent near the tail. 
Atherina. Alherine. Body with a lateral silvery stripe. ' 
Mugil. Mullet- Lower jaw carinate inwards. 
Mormyrus. Teeth notched ; scales imbricate. 
Exoco2tus. Flying fish. Pectoral fins as long as the body. 
Polynemus. Distinct appendages near the pectoral fins. 
Clupea. Herring. Belly carinate, serrate. 
Cyprinus. Carp. Gill membrane three-rayed. 

(208.) The additional genera included in the subse- 
quent editions of the Sy sterna Natures are the follow- 
ing: they were chiefly defined by Bloch : 

Gymnothorax. Naked-breast. Ventral and pectoral fins none ; 

body eel-shaped. 
Leptocephalus. Morris. Ventral and pectoral fins none; 

body thin, much compressed. 
Sternoptyx. Great-eye. Ventral fins none ; body oval, naked j 

breast folded. 
Stylephorus. Long-eye. Ventral fins none ; eyes placed on a 

short peduncle. 
Scarus. Scare. Thoracic. Teeth none ; jaws crenate at the 


Lonchius. Thoracic. Caudal fin lanceolate. 
Trachychthys. (Shaw.) Belly armed with large carinate scales. 


These groups, like those of the Linnsean ornithology, 
are, for the most part, natural : many, to be sure, are 
families, which of course have now been subdivided to 
a considerable extent by M. Cuvier and others ; but hi- 
therto no effort has been made to determine the truly 
natural or circular series, even so far as affects the pri- 
mary groups : we must, therefore, at once proceed to 
the next class. 

(209.) The entomological system of Linnaeus, as we 
have already intimated, forms by far the most valuable 
part of his zoological labours ; for it not only surpasses in 
simplicity and perspicuity all that had been done before, 
but it makes a much nearer approach to the arrangement 
of nature than any of the modern methods. It must, 
however, be remembered that the superstructure of this 
system is built upon the foundation originally laid by 
the immortal Aristotle. It has been the custom of late 
years, while the name of its founder is still held 
in reverence, to reject these views, because they 
are totally at variance with the notions recently taken 
up on the same subject. But the cloud which has so 
long obscured the transcendent merits of these philoso- 
phers, in the arrangement of the annulose animals, has 
already begun to break, and a ray of light has penetrated 
through the gorgeous drapery which has been spread 
before our eyes : the time will soon arrive, when we 
shall wonder at our own credulity in so readily adopting 
new theories, and rejecting those which are old. Im- 
pressed with this conviction, we shall transcribe for the 
reader the definition of the class Irisecta, as given by 
Linnaeus. This definition we wish to perpetuate ; for, 
although in some respects faulty, it is, upon the whole, 
in our opinion, infinitely more just and enlarged than 
any which have since been drawn up. 

(210.) INSECTS, as Linnaeus defines them, are small 
animals, breathing through lateral spiracles, armed on 
all sides with a bony skin, or covered with hair ; fur- 
nished with many feet ; and movable antennae or horns, 
which project from the head, and are the probable in- 


struments of sensation. They are destitute of external 
nostrils and ears, though some of them evidently enjoy 
the senses of hearing and smell. 1. The eyes are 
usually two, sometimes more, without eyelids, and rarely 
placed on a movable peduncle. 2. The antennae are 
two, placed on the head, usually before the eyes : they 
are composed of an indefinite number of articulations, 
and convey an unknown sensation, probably that of 
the touch. 3. The feelers are sensorial, movable, 
affixed to the mouth, generally four, sometimes two or 
six ; and consist of two, four, or six joints. 4. The 
mouth is generally placed beneath the head, sometimes 
in the breast, and in a few is wanting : the jaws are 
transverse, and movable laterally. 5. The stemmata 
are three shining spots placed on the crown. 6. The 
trunk is placed between the head and abdomen, sup- 
ported by the feet, with the thorax above; behind which 
is the scutel, or escutcheon, and the sternum and 
breast beneath. 7. The abdomen is usually annulate, 
with five segments ; perforated at the sides with five 
spiracles, or breathing holes, with the back above and 
the belly beneath ; and is terminated by the tail, which is 
sometimes armed with a sting. 8. The wings are 0, or 
two or four : the upper ones are often crustaceous shells, 
covering the lower ; sometimes semi -crustaceous wing- 
cases, or of a substance between the membranaceous wings 
and crustaceous shells. 9- The legs consist of three 
distinct divisions, viz. the thighs, shanks, and tarsi, 
which are articulated, and terminated by nails : some 
have a hand, or chelate kind of claw, with a movable 
thumb. 10. The poisers are composed of a head, af- 
fixed to a small pedicle, and placed under the wings of 
the dipterous order, or such as have but two wings. So 
far for the parts of insects. 

(211.) The changes, or metamorphoses, of what 
Linnaeus considered insects, are thus spoken of : Most 
of them undergo a triple metamorphosis or transform- 
ation, effected by casting off the different coats or cover- 
ings in which the perfect insect is inveloped. The egg 


is first excluded by the female, and contains the insect 
in its smallest state : from the egg is produced the larva, 
grub, or caterpillar, of a moist soft substance, without 
wings, slow in motion ; often with numerous feet, some- 
times with none ; sterile, and very voracious of its pro- 
per food : from this state it passes into that of the 
pupa, chrysalis, or nymph, which is drier and harder 
than the last, confined in a narrow compass, naked or 
enclosed in a web ; often without a mouth ; and some- 
times with, sometimes without feet : escaping from this 
last confinement, it becomes the perfect insect, furnished 
\vith antennae. Such is the general definition given by 
the illustrious Swede of the class Insecta. But we shall 
gain a better insight into his views by looking to "the 
construction of his primary groups. 

(212.) The first divisions of the class are into seven 
orders, as follows: 

Modern Orders. 

2 . Heater.. 

C Wings four; all of them membra 

3. Lepidoptera. < naceous and imbricate with fine > Lepidoptera 

C seal 

f Neuroptera 1 

r Wings four, all of them membra- | Orthoptera. 

4. Neuroptera. -< naceous and reticulate ; tail un { Dermoptera. 

C armed. I Trichoptera. 


5. Hymenopter, { ^\J$*^} Hymenopter, 

6. Diptera. [S. tw ' with * P iser under ] Diptera. 


f Suctoria Lot. 
I Crustacea Lat. 
| Aptera Lat. 
I Myriapoda Leach. 

7. Aptera. ) Wings none in either sex. ( Thysanura Leach. 

j Ametabolia Leach. 
I Arachnoida Leach. 

Acari Leach. 
(_ &c. &c. 

(213.) On comparing these primary divisions with 
those of Aristotle, we observe a marked improvement in 
two essential points. The first regards the separation 
of the Hymenoptera from the Neuroptera, both which 


were considered by the Stagyrite as forming parts only 
of his order Tetraptera. The second is the abolition 
of the " Pterota simul et Aptera," under which the Gre- 
cian philosopher placed the ants and the apterous glow- 
worms. These errors were perceived by Linnaeus, and 
duly rectified. In regard to the Linnaean order Aptera, it 
would be endless to enumerate the host of objections that 
have been raised against it by almost every modern en- 
tomologist; each having proposed a classification, which 
has been set asideby the next writer who followed. A well- 
known countryman of our own, Dr. Leach, has himself 
published two or three different theories on the arrange- 
ment of the Aptera ; and the views of MM. Kirby and 
Macleay are totally different from these, and from each 
other. In such a state of things, the reproach if it be 
one that Linnaeus failed in his arrangement, is equally 
applicable to all those who have succeeded him, with ten 
times the materials and, consequently, the facilities 
which were possessed by the learned Swede. Every 
one, in fact, sees and admits that this order required 
much subdivision ; but, unfortunately, no one has been 
hitherto successful in doing this, upon such natural prin- 
ciples as to satisfy any other entomologist than himself. 
There is consequently good reason to suppose that, in all 
these arrangements, some great error has been committed. 
Nor is it too much to suppose that some important prin- 
ciple of the natural system has never been correctly ap- 
plied to the determination of the natural groups of the 
Annulosa. On this subject, however, we feel disposed 
at present to say but little, further than to intimate, as 
the result of much investigation, that the greatest part of 
the Linnaean Aptera form the principal portion of a 
truly natural group ; which, when united to one of his 
orders (whose affinities to it he himself perceived), will 
constitute the natural sub-typical class of the annulose 
circle. But as we wish not that the reader should be r [in 
possession of our opinion alone, on a matter of so much 
importance, let us refer him to what others have ex- 
pressed on the Linnaean arrangement of insects. 


(214.) MM. Kirby and Spence, speaking of this part of 
the Linnsean arrangement, observe : " His system,, be- 
ing founded upon the absence or presence and character of 
the organs of flight,, is in some degree a republication of 
the Aristotelian. In considering this table of orders, it 
must strike every one acquainted with the subject, 
that, although the assumption of a single set of organs, 
whereon to build a system, can scarcely be expected 
to lead to one perfectly natural, yet that the majority of 
groups here given as orders merit that character. The 
second, indeed, and the last require further subdivision, 
and concerning the fourth no satisfactory conclusion 
has yet been drawn. With regard to the series of his 
orders, it is mostly artificial. Linne has the advan- 
tage of all his predecessors in giving clearer definitions 
to his orders, and in their nomenclature, in which he 
has followed the path first trodden by Aristotle."* 

(215.) The genera of insects, characterised by Lin- 
naeus, deserve to be remembered. As the student will 
find an acquaintance with them of great advantage in 
the early periods of his study, we shall here enumerate 
their characters, since by this plan he will be rendered 
familiar with the types of what are now, for the most 
part, examples of families or very large divisions. 


* ^ntenncc clavate, thickest at the tip. 

Scarabaeus. Beetle. Club lamellate, anterior thighs toothed. 
Lucanus. Stagbeetle. Club compressed, the sides more widely 


Dermestes. Club perfoliate ; head inflexed under the thorax. 
Hister. Club solid ; head retractile within the thorax. 
Byrrhus. Club solid, ovate. 
Gyrinus. Antennae rigid ; eyes four. 
Attelabus. Head pedunculated, or attenuated at the base. 
Curculio. Antennae placed on a horny rostrum or beak. 
Silpha. Thorax and elytra marginated. 
Coccinella. Club of antennae obtuse ; palpi with a truncated 


* Int. to Ent vol. iv. p. 438. 


** Antennae filiform. 

Bruchus. Antennae filiform, thickened at the end. 

Cassida. Body ovate; elytra margined, head covered by a 

Ptinus. Thorax receiving the head. Antennae with the last 
joint lengthened. 

Chrysomela. Body ovate, immarginate. 

Hispa. Antennae porrect, approximate, fuciform. 

Meloe. Thorax roundish, head gibbous, inflexed. 

Tenebrio. Thorax margined ; head exserted ; body oblong. 

Lampyris. Elytra flexible. Thorax surrounding and con- 
cealing the head. 

Mordella. Abdomen with plates at its base ; head inflexed. 

Staphylinus. Elytra very small, covering the wings ; above 
the tail two exsertile vesicles. 

*** Antennce setaceous- 

Cerambyx. Thorax with hard spines on the sides. 

Leptura. Elytra with the tips narrowed. Thorax roundish. 

Cantharis. Elytra flexible ; sides of the body plaited and 


Elater. A pectoral spine, springing from an abdominal pore. 
Cicindela. Jaws projecting, toothed. Eyes prominent. 
Buprestis. Head partly retracted within the thorax. 
Dytiscus. Posterior feet fringed, and formed for swimming. 
Carabus. Thorax somewhat heart-shaped ; truncated behind. 
Necydalis. Elytra shortened ; wings naked. 
Forticula. Elytra short, wings covered, tail forcipated. 

II. HEMIPTERA. Elytra semi-crustaceous. 

Blatta. Mouth furnished with jaws, wings coriaceous, flat, 
legs formed for running. 

Mantis. Mouth furnished with jaws. Anterior feet serrated, 
the claw single. 

Gryllus. Mouth furnished with jaws : posterior feet formed 
for leaping. 

Fulgora. Rostrum or sn<jut inflexed, front projecting, in- 
flated, and capitate. 

Cicada. Snout inflexed ; hind legs formed for leaping. 

Notonecta. Snout inflexed ; hind legs fringed, and formed 
for swimming. 

Nepa. Snout inflexed ; fore legs eheliform. 

Cimex. Snout inflexed ; legs formed for running. Antennae 
longer than the thorax. 

Aphis. Snout inflexed ; body terminated by two bristles, 



Chermes. Snout pectoral ; hind legs formed for leaping. 
Coccus. Snout pectoral ; body, in the males, ending in 

Thrips. Snout obsolete ; wings incumbent on the abdomen, 

which is reflexile. 

III. LEPIDOPTERA. Wings imbricate with scales. 

Papilio. Antennae with the tip club-shaped ; wings erect when 

at rest. 

Sphinx. Antennae thickest in the middle. 
Phalaena. Antennae thickest towards the base. 

IV. NEUROPTERA. Wings reticulated. Body without a 

Libellula. Tail forcipated ; mouth with many jaws ; wings 

Ephemera. Tail with two or three bristles; mouth without 
teeth ; wings erect. 

Myrmelion. Tail forcipated ; mouth two-toothed ; wings 

Phryganea. Tail simple; mouth without teeth; wings de- 

Panorpa. Tail chelate ; mouth with an extended snout ; 
wings incumbent. 

Raphidia. Tail ending in a single thread ; mouth two-toothed ; 
wings deflexed. 

V. HYMENOPTERA. Body armed with a sting. 

Cynips. Sting spiral. 

Tenthredo. Sting serrate ; two-valved. 

Sirex. Sting serrate, projecting from a spine under the ab- 

Ichneumon. Sting exserted or projecting ; triple. 

Sphex. Sting pungent ; wings smooth ; tongue flat, dilated, 
the tip nearly entire. 

Chrysis. Sting pungent ; body arched beneath. 

Vespa. Sting pungent ; superior wings plaited or folded. 

Apis. Sting pungent ; tongue inflexed. 

Formica. Sting obsolete. Neuters without wings. 

Mutilla. Sting pungent. Neuters without wings. 

VI. DIPTERA. Wings two, with a poiser under each. 
* With a proboscis and sucker. 

Diopsis, Head two-horned; eyes terminal (defined after- 


Tipula. Sucker without a sheath; feelers two, projecting, 


Musca. Sucker without a sheath, furnished with bristles. 
Tabanus. Sucker with a single-valved sheath, furnished with 


Empis. Proboscis inflexed. 
Con ops. Proboscis projecting, geniculate. 

** With a sucker, but no proboscis. 
CEstrus. Sucker retracted within the perforated lips. 
Asilus. Sucker straight, subulate. 
Culex. Sheath exserted, valved, flexile, with five bristles. 

Stemmata none. 

Bombylius. Sucker very long, straight, setaceous, two-valved.. 
Hippobosca. Sucker short, cylindrical, straight, two-valved. 

VII. APTERA. No wings. 
* Feet six ; head distinct from the thorax. 
Lepisma. Tail ending in setaceous bristles. 
Podura. Tail forked, inflected, elastic. 
Termes. Mouth with two jaws ; lip horny, four-cleft. 
Pediculus. Mouth armed with an exsertile sting. 
Pulex. Snout inflected, armed with a sting ; feet formed for 

** Legs from eight to fourteen; head and thorax united. 

Acarus. Eyes two ; legs eight ; feelers compressed. 
Phalangium. Eyes four ; legs eight ; feelers chelate. 
Aranea. Eyes eight ; legs eight ; body with textorial pa. 

pilla? ; feelers clavate. 

Scorpio. Eyes eight ; legs eight ; feelers chelate. 
Cancer. Eyes two ; legs eight, the first pair chelate. 
Monoculus. Eyes two; legs twelve, ten of them chelate. 
Oniscus. Eyes two ; legs fourteen. 

*** Legs numerous ; head distinct from the thorax. 
Scolopendra. Body linear, 
lulus. Body subcylindrical. 

(2l6.) Such are the only entomological genera founded 
by Linnaeus. In Gmelin's edition of the Systema Na~ 
turcB are incorporated all those subsequently defined by 
Fabricius up to the period of its publication ; while the 
necessity for a much larger number has been so obvious, 
as new discoveries have been made, that even the dis- 
M 2 



ciples of the learned Swede have relaxed, in this in- 
stance, from their accustomed dread of innovation,, by 
making several genera not to be found in the works of 
their master. 

(21?.) Looking to this list, we perceive that the sys- 
tem is not only more natural than any which preceded 
it, but that nearly all the great families made by more 
recent entomologists are named and characterised under 
the denomination of genera. The combination of these 
groups, however, in many instances are obviously intended 
to be artificial : this is most conspicuous in the order 
Coleoptera, where our illustrious author truly judged., 
that as the differences in the antennae furnished one of 
the most obvious distinctions among insects, so a classi- 
fication founded chiefly upon those organs among beetles 
would offer the greatest facilities to the ready deter- 
mination of the genera. In judging, therefore, of the 
entomological system before us, we should bear this in 
mind, since it cannot for a moment be supposed that 
such a writer as Linnaeus, if he had not this object in 
view, would have placed Buprestis after Cicindela, or 
Necy delis after Carabus ; still less that he could have 
fancied any natural affinity between Silpha and Cocci- 
nella, or Elater and Cicindela. The Coleoptera, in 
fact, is nearly the only order where he found it necessary 
to group his genera into purely artificial sections, in order 
that they might more easily be determined. In his 
other orders these subdivisions were not necessary, and 
we accordingly find the genera following each other in 
a much more natural series,* On this point Mr. Kirby 
has justly observed, that, in general, Linnaeus had such 
a tact for discovering natural groups, that in him it 
seems almost to have been intuitive.t 

(218.) The VEBMES constitute the last class of the 
Systema Naturce, under which are comprehended all 
animals whose bodies are not furnished with limbs. As 
it is curious to perceive how Linnaeus contrived to bring 

* Except in Hemiptera. f Int. to Ent. vol. iv. p. 440. 


into an intelligible shape this immense assemblage of 
animals, we subjoin the characters he gives to the five 
principal divisions or orders under which he arranged 
the whole. However faulty they may now be thought, 
scientifically,, we cannot but admire the ray of genius 
which he has cast over them. 

I. INTESTINE. Intestinal Worms are of a formation, 
the most simple, and live, some within other animals, 
some in water, and a few in the earth. The Gordius 
(hair-worm) perforates clay to give a passage to springs 
and water ; the Lumbricus (or earth-worm) pierces the 
earth, that it may be exposed to the action of the air 
and moisture ; in like manner the Teredo penetrates 
wood, and the Pholas and Mytilus rocks, to effect their 

II. MOLLUSCA. Pulpy Worms. These are naked, fur- 
nished with tentacula or arms, for the most part inha- 
bitants of the sea, and by their phosphorous quality 
illuminate the dark abyss of waters, reflecting their light 
to the firmament : thus what is beneath the water cor- 
responds with that which is above. 

III. TESTACEA. Shell- fish. These are Mottusca co- 
vered with calcareous habitations or shells, which they 
carry about with them, themselves producing and often 
penetrating calcareous bodies : like insects, they are 
multiplied into a vast number of species and varieties, 
and both in form and colours exhibit splendid ex- 
amples of the Almighty Artificer. 

IV. ZOOPHYTA (Coralline Worms} are composite ani- 
mals, holding a medium between animals and vegetables. 
Most of them take root and grow up into stems, mul- 
tiplying h'fe in their branches and deciduous buds, and 
in the transformation of their animated blossoms or 
polypes which are endowed with spontaneous motion. 
Plants, therefore, resemble zoophytes, but are destitute 
of animation and the power of locomotion ; and zoo- 
phytes are, as it were, plants, but furnished with 
sensation and the organs of spontaneous motion. Of 
these some are soft and naked, and are called Zoophytes ; 
M 3 


others are covered with a hard shell,, and are denominated 

V. INFUSORIA (Animalcules}. These are extremely 
minute animals, destitute of tentacula or feelers, and 
generally not visible to the naked eye : they are mostly 
found in infusions of various vegetable substances, and, 
after becoming dry, do not revive upon being replaced 
in moisture. 

(2 1 9.) The genera of these orders are thus defined : 

a. Perforated with a lateral pore. 

Lumbricus. Body round, with fleshy wings. 

Siphunculus. Body round ; head with a narrow cylindrical 

Fasciolaria. Body depressed ; furnished with a ventral pore. 

b.' Destitute of a lateral pore. 

Gordius. Body entirely filiform. 

Ascaris. Body round ; both extremities attenuated. 

Hirudo. Body truncated at each extremity ; head and tail 

dilated when in motion. 
Myxine. Body carinated. Mouth furnished with feelers. 


Actinia. Mouth placed above. Aperture single ; capable of 

Ascidia. Mouth above. Aperture double ; one terminal, 
the other beneath. 

Limax. Mouth placed before. Body with a lateral perfo- 
ration. Feelers four. 

Vent united ivith the lateral pore. 

Aplysia. Mouth and body as in Limax. Feelers four. Vent 

dorsal, posterior. 
Doris. Mouth and body as in Limax. Feelers two. Vent 

dorsal, posterior. 
Tethys. Mouth and body as in Limax. Body with two 

small pores on the left side. 
Holothuria. Mouth placed before, surrounded with fleshy 

tentacula, or feelers. 
Terebella. Mouth placed before, surrounded with fleshy 

tentacula or feelers ; but the feelers capillary. 


Triton. Mouth before. Body furnished with arms. Arms 

12, divided, some chelate. 
Sepia. Mouth and body as in Triton. Arms 8-10, beset 

with suckers. 
Clio. Mouth and body as in Triton. Arms 2 ; membra- 

naceous, dilated like wings. 
Lernaea. Mouth and body as in Triton. Arms 2-3 ; round 

and slender. 
Scyllaea. Mouth and body as in Triton. Arms 6; each pair 

at a distance. 
Aphrodita. Mouth before. Body pedunculated, or with 

feet, ovate ; mouth unarmed. 
Nereis. Mouth and body pedunculated, or with feet ; 

elongated ; mouth with claws. 

Medusa. Mouth inferior, central. Body smooth, gelatinous. 
Asteria. Mouth inferior, central. Body coriaceous, prickly. 
Echinus. Mouth inferior, central. Body crustaceous, spined. 


* Multivalve shells, with many valves. 

Chiton. Shell composed of several transverse plates, ar- 
ranged on the back. 

Lepas. Valves sessile, of different sizes. 
Pholas. Shell bivalve, with accessory pieces at the posterior 

** Bivalve shells, of two valves only, furnished with teeth. 

Mya. Hinge with a broad thick tooth, nqf entering the op- 
posite valve. 

Solen. Shell open at each end; lateral teeth remote from the 
cardinal teeth. 

Tellina. Hinge with the lateral teeth of one valve not let 
into the other. 

Cardium. Hinge with remote, pointed, lateral teeth. 

Mactra. Cardinal teeth triangular, complicated ; the inter- 
stices hollow. 

Donax. Hinge with a remote lateral tooth, not let into the 
other valve. 

Venus. Hinge with three approximate, divaricating cardinal 

Spondylus. Cardinal teeth two, separated by a small hollow. 

Chama. Hinge in one valve, with two oblique, obtuse teeth. 

Area. Hinge with numerous acute teeth. 

Ostrea. Hinge without teeth, but with an ovate hollow. 

Anomia. Teeth none ; the rim with a linear depression ; 
valves unequal. 

M 4 



Mytilus. Teeth none ; hinge with a pointed depression. 

Shell fixed by a byssus. 
Pinna. Teeth none ; valves united at one end, open at the 


*** Univalves, spire regular. 

Argonauta. Shell with one cell ; spire involute. 

Nautilus. Shell with many cells, communicating with each 

other by a siphon. 

Conus. Aperture effuse, longitudinal, without teeth. 
Cypraea. Aperture effuse, linear, longitudinal, toothed each 


Bulla. Aperture a little contracted, and placed obliquely. 
Voluta. Aperture effuse ; the pillar plaited. 
Buccinum. Aperture with a small canal leaning to the right. 
Strombus. Aperture with a small canal leaning to the left. , 
Murex. Aperture with a small straight canal. 
Trochus. Aperture contracted, and somewhat square. 
Turbo. Aperture contracted and orbicular. 
Helix. Aperture contracted, lunate on the inner side. 
Nerita. Aperture contracted, and semi- orbicular. 
Haliotis. Shell with a row of orifices along the surface, ". 

#**# Univalve shells, but without a spire. 
Patella. Shell conic, the aperture widening like a bason. 
Dentalium. Shell slender, subulate, open at both ends. 
Serpula. Shell tubular, mostly serpentine, adhering to other 


Teredo. Shell thin, pierced into wood. 
Sabella. Shell composed of agglutinated grains of sand, 


* With a hard calcareous stem. 

Tubipora. Animal inhabiting a coral, with cylindrical tubes. 
Madrepora. Animal inhabiting a coral with concave stars. 
Millepora. Animal inhabiting a coral with subulate pores. 
Cellipora. Animal inhabiting a coral, with hollow round 

** With a softer stem. 
Gorgonia. Fixed. Stem horny. 
Alcyonium. Fixed. Stem corky. 
Spongia. Fixed. Stem stringy, flexile, absorbent. 
Flustra. Fixed. Stem covered with minute cellular pores* 
Tubularia. Fixed. Stem tubular, filiform. 



Corallina. Fixed. Stem with filiform calcareous joints. 
Sertularia. Fixed. Stem with filiform fibrous joints. 
Vorticella. Fixed. Stem with fibrous gelatinous joints. 
Hydra. Free. Stem medullous, naked. 
Pennatula. Free. Stem coriaceous, resembling a quill. 
Taenia. Free. Stem or body moniliform, articulated. 
Volvex. Free. Body roundish or spherical. 
Furia. Free. Body linear, and ciliate on each side with re- 
flected prickles. 
Chaos. Free. Body a mere point. 

(220.) The most objectionable part of the Linnaean 
system is unquestionably the arrangement of the soft 
invertebrated animals, here placed in the class Fermes. 
But if we bear in mind the state of zoological science 
when this system was formed,, and consider that the 
labours of this wonderful man were spread over the 
whole of organised matter, so far from joining in the 
ill-judged censure that has been cast upon him for neg- 
lecting the lower animals, we shall only be astonished 
that his errors were not greater, or that he was able to 
contemplate them at all. It is, therefore, no disparage- 
ment to Linnaeus that the labours of his successors have 
obliterated this portion of his system from the pages of 
modern science ; yet it must be remembered, that, as the 
three aberrant divisions of the animal kingdom (Acrita, 
Radiata, and Mollusca) form a natural group by them- 
selves, this group, with but very few exceptions, will 
comprise the whole of the Linnaean class of Vermes; so 
that, even here, in the most objectionable part of our 
author's system, it seems highly probable that his views, 
in some respects, are more conformable to nature than 
many of those which have recently been promulgated. 
On the whole, therefore, we must express our convic- 
tion that the name of Linnaeus must ever remain as that 
of the great father of natural history since the revival 
of learning ; and that the benefits he bestowed upon 
our favourite science are as multifarious as they are 
incalculable. By the unrivalled simplicity of his arti- 
ficial system, and the admirable precision of his no- 
menclature, he enticed votaries and students to the 


investigation of nature/ who would otherwise have 
shrunk from those obstacles which he removed. 

(221.) The system of Cuvier succeeded that of Lin- 
naeus, and equally embraced the whole animal kingdom. 
The immense increase that had been now made to our 
knowledge of natural productions called for the insti- 
tution of new genera and subdivisions, and a general 
revision of all the groups. Patronised by his govern- 
ment, and gifted with talents of no common order, 
this illustrious anatomist conceived the idea of a natural 
system, founded exclusively upon the organisation of 
animals. The attempt, however grand, has been emi- 
nently unsuccessful. Like all those which have been 
built on one set of characters, the system of M. Cuvier 
has eventually become most palpably artificial. But as 
we shall have frequent occasion to illustrate this opinion, 
we proceed at once to give a general outline of the great 
divisions of the animal kingdom as proposed in the 
Regne AnimaL 

(222.) In the Cuvierian system all animals are ar- 
ranged under four principal divisions : I. Vertebrated 
animals (Animalia vertebrata). II. Soft or molluscous 
animals {Animalia mollusca). III. Articulated ani- 
mals (Animalia articulatd). And, lastly, IV. Radiated 
animals (Animalia radiata). The principal groups into 
which each of these classes are next divided will be seen 
by the following tables. 

(223.) I. The VERTEBRATA, or vertebrated class, are 
also divided into four groups; namely, 1. Mammalia, or 
Quadrupeds; 2. Aves, or Birds ; 3. ReptUia, or Reptiles; 
and, 4. Pisces, or Fishes. These animals in themselves 
are abundantly different in their external form; but, as 
our author's system professes to be founded on anato- 
mical structure only, he rejects the more plain and ob- 
vious characters, which every one can see, and which had 
been so happily employed by Linnaeus, and makes the dif- 
ferences between these groups to depend upon circum- 
stances which no one but an anatomist can understand. 
Thus Quadrupeds, or Mammalia, are to be known by 


" their double circulation, and by having the respira- 
tory process simple, that is, performed by the lungs 
alone. The quantity of their respiration is superior to 
that of reptiles by reason of the form of their circu- 
lating organ, and to that of fishes by the surrounding 
element which they respire." The primary groups of 
this anatomical system of Cuvier are, in fact, founded 
upon motion and respiration, the external forms of the 
creatures themselves not entering in the least degree 
into his consideration. This is obvious from the fol- 
lowing passage, which appears intended to give the 
essential distinction of these four primary divisions : 
ce From all this result four different kinds of motion, 
for which the four classes of vertebrated animals are 
severally and exclusively designed. I. Quadrupeds, in 
which the quantity of respiration is moderate, are formed 
for walking and running, and their predominant charac- 
teristic is vigour. II. Birds, whose respiration is greater, 
possess the lightness and strength of muscles necessary 
to support them in their airy flight. III. Reptiles, 
which respire more freely, are doomed to creep upon 
the earth, and many of them pass more or less of their 
allotted period in a kind of stupor. Finally, IV. Fishes, 
which move in a fluid almost as specifically heavy as 
themselves, are enabled to execute their peculiar motions 
by an arrangement altogether different from the rest." 
This extract will sufficiently explain the nature of the 
principles upon which this system is constructed ; prin- 
ciples, indeed, of the utmost value, when properly used, 
and combined with other considerations, but eminently 
calculated as the event, in the present case, has proved 
to substitute complex definitions for others which all 
the world can see and understand. 

(224.) The Mammalia are arranged in orders, the 
first of which implies that MAN essentially is an 
animal. The following table will show the ranks of the 
chief groups or families as they are given in the Regne 
Animal; the sub-genera and smaller divisions being 




Spermophilus. American mar- 


Sciurus. Squirrels. 

Simia. Apes and monkeys. 

Pteromys. Flying Squirrels. 

Simla. Apes and monkeys of 

Hystrix. Porcupines. 

the Old World. 

Lepus. Hares. 

Harpales. Apes and monkeys 
of America. 


Lemur. Lemurs. 

Bradypus. Sloths. 

Dasypus. Armadillo. 


Myrmecophaga. Anteater. 

1. Cheiroptera. Flying quadrupeds. 

Manis. Manis. 

Vespertilio. Bats. 


Galeopithecus. Flying lemurs. 

Echidna. Echidna. 

2. Insectivora. Insect Feeders. 


Erinaceus. Hedgehogs. 
Sorex. Shrew Mice. 


Talpa. Moles. 

1. Pachydermata. 

3. Carnivora. 

Elephas. Elephant. 
Hippopotamus. River-horse. 

Ursus. Bears. 

Sus. Sow. 

Martes. Martens. 

Dicotyles. Pecary. 

Canis. Dogs. 

Rhinoceros. Rhinoceros. 

Viverra. Civets. 

Hyrax. Rock rabbit. 

Felis. Cats. 

Tapirus. Tapir. 

4. Amphibia. 

2. Solipedes. 

Phoca. Seals. 

Equus. Horse. 

Trichechus. Walrus. 

3. Ruminantia. 

5. Marsupiati. 

Camelus. Camels. 

Didelphis. Opossums. 

Anchenia. Lamas. 

Dasyurus. Brushtails. 

Cervus. Stags. 

Phalangista. Phalangers. 

Camelopardalis. Giraffes. 

Halmaturus. Kangaroos. 

Antilope. Antelopes. 

Capra. Goats. 


Ovis. Sheep. 

Castor. Beavers. 

Bos. Oxen. 

Arvicola. Lemmings. 
Echimys. Dormice. 


Mus. Mouse. 


Dipus. Jerboa. 


Arctomys. Marmots. 


(225.) The above sketch will give the reader a ge- 
neral idea of the method employed by our author in the 
arrangement of the Mammalia. We observe a vast addi- 
tion to the materials possessed by Linnaeus, and a cor- 
responding increase in the number of divisions and 
subdivisions ; all of which,, as tending to point out dif- 


ferences, are highly valuable. But, in arranging these 
into a comprehensive form, our author falls far short of 
his illustrious predecessor. He has rested his distinc- 
tions, as we have already seen, upon characters which, 
however good, are not always comprehensible, except to 
the anatomist. The utility of his system, for general 
use, is consequently much diminished, and it gives the 
student an impression (certainly an erroneous one) that 
the internal, and not the external, structure of an animal 
alone decides its place in nature. These difficulties are 
further increased by the want of those synoptical tables, 
so admirably constructed by Linnaeus, where the essen- 
tial characters of each group are clearly and luminously 
stated, and where the eye, at a single glance, can em- 
brace them all. On the other hand, we cannot but 
admire the precision with which the anatomical distinc- 
tions of many of the minor groups are made out, and the 
vast additions which this celebrated writer has made to 
the other details of zoology. His work, with all its 
imperfections of arrangement, has been justly designated 
a " mine of wealth, as rich as it is inexhaustible." 

(226.) The class of birds is arranged in the follow- 
ing method ; the whole being divided into six great 
orders, five of which are natural, namely, the Raptores, 
the Insessores, the Rasores, the Grallatores, and the 
Natatores of this work ; the sixth being composed of 
the climbing birds (Scansores}, which Linnaeus, more 
correctly, arranged with the Passeres or, Perchers. 

Vulture Family. 

Cathartes. Astur Ctiv - 


Gypaetos. Buteo Ac*. 

Falcon Family. 
Falc-o L. 
Hierofalco Cuv. 
Aquila Auct. 
Haliteetus Sav. 
Pandion Sav. 
Circzetus Vieil. 

Harpyia Cuv. 
Morphnus Cuv. 
Cymindis Cuv. 

Milvus Beck. 
Buteo Beck. 
Circus Beck. 

Gypogeranus Illiger 

Owl Family. 

Otas (Asio Antiq..} 
Ulula Cuv. 
Strix Sav. 
Syrnium Sav. 



Bubo Cuv. 

Saxicola B. 

Noctua Sav. 

Sylvia Auct. 

Scops Sav. 

Curruca Bech. 


Regulus Ray. 
Troglodytes Ray. 
Motacilla L. 

Shrike Family. 

Budytes Cuv. 

Lanius L. 

Anthus Bech. 

Vanga Buffi 
Ocypterus Cuv. 
Barita Cuv. 
Chalybasus Cuv. 
Psaris Cuv. 
Graculus Cuv. 

Manakin Family. 
Rupicola Briss. 
Calyptomina Raffles. 
Pipra L. 
Eurylaimus Horsf. 

Bethylus Cuv. 


Falcunculus Vieil. 
=1 Pardalotus Vieil. : 

Swallow Family. 

Hirundo L. 

Flycatcher Family. 

Cypselus III. 

Tyrannus Briss. 


Muscipeta Cuv. 

Podargus Cuv. 

Muscicapa L. 

Gymnocephalus Geoff. 


Cephalopterus Geoff. 

Lark Family. 

Chatterer Family. 


Ampelis L. \ 
Tersina Vieil. 
Ceblepyris Cuv. 
Bombycilla Briss. 
Procnias Haff. 
Gymnoderus Geoff. 
Edolius Cuv. 
Phibalura Vieil. 

Conic-billed Groups. 
Parus L. 
Emberiza L. 
Fringilla L. 
Ploceus Cuv. 
Pyrgita Antiq. 
Carduelis Briss. 
Vidua Cuv. 

Tanager Family. 

Coccothraustes Briss.} 

Tanager L. 

Pitylus Cuv. 

Euphonia Vieil. '] 

Pyrrhula Cuv. 

Loxia, Briss. 

Thrush Family. 


Turdus L. 


Myothera III. 

Buphaga Briss. 
Cassicus Cuv. 


Icterus Dand. 

Philedon Cuv. 


Eulabes Cuv. 

Oxyrhynchus Sw. 

Gracula L. 

Dacnis Cuv. 


Starling Family. 



Gymnops. 7 

Crow Family. 

Corvus L. 

Warbler Family. 

Pica Briss.' 1 ' 

Motacilla L. 

Garrulus Briss. 



Caryocatactes Cuv. 
Crypsirina Vieil. 
Glaucopis Forst. 

Roller Family. 
Coracias L. 
Colaris Cuv. 
Paradisea L. 

Sitta L. 
Xenops m. 
Anabates Tern. 
Synallaxis Vieil. 
Certhia L. 

Dendrocolaptes Herm. 
Tichodroma III.} 
Nectarinia ///. 
Dicaaum Cuv. 
Melithreptes Vieil. 
Cinnyris Cuv. 
Arachnothera Tern. 

Humming-Bird Family. 
Trochilus L. 
Orthorhynchus Lacep. 

Hoopoe Family. 
Upupa 7, 
Fregilus Cic. 
Promerops Briss. 
Epimachus Cuv. 

Syndactyle Family. 
Merops L. 
Prionites III. 
Alcedo L. 
Ceyx Lacep. 
Todus L. 
Buceros L. ' 

Galbula L. 
Picus L. 
Yunx L. 

Cuckow Family. 
Cuculus L. 
Saurothera Vieil. 
Centropus III. 
Leptosomus Vieil. 
Indicator Le Vail. 
Monassa Vieil. 
Phaenicophaus Vieil. 

Scythrops Lath. 
Bucco L. 
Pogonias III. 
Tamatia Marc. 
Trogon L. 
Crotophaga L. 
Ramphastos L. 
Pteroglossus ///. 

Parrot Family. 
Psittacus L. 
Ara Kuhl. 
Conurus Kuhl. 
Pezoporus III. 

Turacco Family. 
Corythaix III. 
Musophaga Isert. 


Curassow Family. 
Alector Merrem. 
Crax L. 
Ourax Cuv. 
Penelope Merr. 
Ortalida Merr. 
Opisthocomus Hoffi 

Peacock Family. 
Pavo L. 

Lophophorus Tern. 
Meleagris L. 
Numida L. 

Pheasant Family. 
Phasianus L. 
Gallus L. 
Tragopan Cuv. 

Partridge Family. 
Tetrao L. 
Lagopus Ray. 
Pterocles Tern. 
Perdix Bris. 
Coturnix Auct. 
Hemipodius Tem. 
Ortygis ///. 
Syrrhaptes III. 
Crypturus ///. 

Pigeon Family. 
Columba L. 



Lophyrus Weil. 
Vinago Cuv. 

Megapodius Dup. 
Rail us L. 

Fulica L. 


Gallinula Briss. 

Ostrich Family. 

Porphyrio Briss. 

Struthio L. 

Chionis Forster. 

Casuarius Briss. 

Glareola Gm. 

Phoanicopterus L. 

Plover Family. 

Otis L. 


Charadrius L. 

Grebe Family. 

CEdicnemus Tem. 
Squatarola C. 
Vanellus Bech. 
Haematopus L. 
Tachydromus III. 

Colymbus L. 
Podiceps Lath. 
Podoa III. 
Eudytes ///. 
Uria Briss. 

Dicholophus III. 

Alca L. 

Heron Family. 
Grus Antiq. 
Psophia L. 
Eurypyga ///. 

Phaleris Tem. 
Aptenodytes Forster. 
Catarrhactes Briss. 
Spheniscus Briss. 

Cancroma L. 

Puffin Family. 

Ardea L. 

Ciconia Briss. 

Procellaria L. 

Mycteria L. 
Scopus L. 
Anastomus 111. 

Puffinus Ray. 
Halodroma III. 
Pachyptila 111, 

Dromas Pay. 

Diomedia L, 

Tantalus L. 
Platalea L. 

Gull Family. 

Larus L. 

Snipe Family. 

Lestris Tem. 

Scolopax L. 
Ibis Antiq. 

Sterna L. 
Rhynchops L. 

Numenius Cuv. 
Scolopax L. 

Pelican or Web-footed Family. 

Rhynchaea Cuv. 

Pelecanus L. 

Limosa Bech. 

Carbo Meyer. 

Tringa L. 

Tachypetes Vieil. 

Arenaria Bech. 

Dysporus III. 

Pelidna Cuv. 

Plotus L. 

Falcinella Cuv. 

Phaston L. 

Machetes Cuv. 
. Eurinorhynchus Wilson. 

tuck Family. 

Phalaropus Briss. 

Anas L. I 

Strepsiias III. 

Cygnus Ant. 

Totanus Cuv. 

Anser Ant. 

Lobipes Cav. 

Cereopsis Lath. 

Hemantopus Briss. 

Fuligula Ray. 

Recurvirostra L. 

Clangula Leach. 

Somateria Leach. 

Rail Family. 

Rhynchaspis Leach. 

Parra L. 

Tadorna Leach. 

Palaraedia L. 

Mergus L. 


(227.) On comparing this ornithological system 
with that of Linnaeus, there are several features which 
require separate consideration. First, as to the grand 
divisions of the class j the unaccountable error of Lin- 
naeus, in separating the aquatic orders by the intervention 
of the land birds, is avoided, and the five leading groups, 
recognised in the natural system, are preserved. Unfor- 
tunately, however, the climbing families have been de- 
tached from the Insessores, and elevated to a rank they 
do not, in reality, hold. This departure, however, from 
the views of Linnaeus, is a matter of no moment in an 
artificial system, but rather an advantage ; since it 
tends to bring this remarkable group more immediately 
under the eye of the general reader. Another great 
advantage apparent in this system, is the formation of 
families, or groups intermediate in rank between orders 
and genera. In the days of Linnaeus, the birds then 
known were so few that these intervening divisions 
were not necessary, and they were consequently omitted. 
Here, however, the merits of the system before iis 
terminates. For although the whole is interspersed 
with original and valuable anatomical remarks, and 
additions to correct nomenclature, the fitting in of the 
genera (if we may be allowed the expression) is not 
only unnatural,' and consequently erroneous, but at vari- 
ance with the plan of the work ; namely, that of an 
arrangement founded upon natural organisation. The 
whole is like a building, of which most of the ma- 
terials, in themselves, are good ; but which, by some 
unaccountable mistake of the architect, are combined 
in such a way as to produce any thing but that beauty 
and order which might have been expected. The 
ornithological labours of M. Cuvier, in short, do not 
appear to us to have effected either the establishment 
of an artificial system, or the advancement of the na- 
tural system. This truth has been so often repeated, 
even by those who have done ample justice to his high 
and distinguished merits as a comparative anatomist., 


that we deem it unnecessary to cite particular in- 
stances. The best, indeed, which the experienced orni- 
thologist can possibly have, is the preceding table of 
the series of genera, containing a full exposition of 
the ornithological system of the Regne Animal, which, 
except in the primary divisions, and with reference to 
the materials possessed by each, is inferior to that of 

(228.) The Cuvierian arrangement of the Reptiles 
and Fishes need not be here enlarged upon ; for, inde- 
pendent of the space which the details of these divisions 
would occupy, our own arrangement of these classes 
will be nearly the same as that of the Regne Animal. 
With the class of insects M. Cuvier had no acquaint- 
ance, that having been entirely written by the celebrated 
Latreille, of whose system we shall subsequently speak. 
M. Cuvier' s great merit lies in the anatomical investiga- 
tion of those soft animals, placed by Linnaeus in the 
class of Termes. Here his discoveries and observations 
are so original and valuable, that we feel assured the 
student will be desirous of seeing them noticed some- 
what more in detail. 

(229.) II. The MOLLUSCA, with M. Cuvier, form the 
second of his great divisions of the animal kingdom ; 
and he divides them into the six following classes : 
1. Cephalopoda, or cuttle-fish ; 2. Pteropoda, or wing- 
footed Mottusca ; 3. Gasteropoda, or univalve shell- 
fish ; 4>. Acephala, or bivalve shell-fish ; 5. Brachiopoda, 
or parasitic shell-fish ; and, lastly, 6. the Cirripeda, or 
barnacle shell-fish. The following table, which enu- 
merates most of the family groups, will give a good 
idea of the system pursued : 





Sepia L. 
Loligo Lam. 


Nautilus Lam. 


















Heteropoda Lam. 
Firola Peron. 







Acephala testacea. 





Pecten L. 

Lima Brug. 

Spondylus L, 

Perna L. . 













Acephala nuda. 














K 2 


(230.) III. The third great division of M. Cuvier is 
composed of the articulated animals,, of which INSECTS 
present the typical perfection. The whole group is 
divided into four great sections: 1. The Annelides, 
or red-blooded worms ; 2. The Crustacea, or crabs ; 

3. The Arachnides, or spiders ; and, 4. The Insecta, or 
insects. It is in this part of his laborious work that 
our author has found it necessary to call in the assist- 
ance of M. Latreille, from whose pen the whole of the 
third and fourth volume has proceeded. We advert to 
this fact, as the circumstance has been overlooked by 
some modern writers, who have attributed to one what 
belongs to the other. 

(231.) IV. The fourth and last division of our author 
comprises what he terms the radiated animals, or 
ZOOPHYTES (Animalia radiata) ; although the term 
belongs but to a small part of those he has placed 
under this denomination. The group, in fact, com- 
prises two classes of animals, so totally different, that 
we cannot but feel surprise they should have been asso- 
ciated together. One of these groups constitute the 
Acrita, or polypes ; the other the true Radiata of this 
work. In other respects the arrangement before us is 
highly valuable, and evinces that intimate acquaintance 
with the details of these animals which laid the found- 
ation for the brilliant career of this incomparable anato- 
mist. Under these circumstances we feel compelled 
to be more particular on this class than the last. 

(232.) The class of Zoophytes is divided by M. 
Cuvier into five large groups, viz. : 1 . The Echino- 
derma, or the star-fish and sea eggs, forming the genera 
Asterias and Echinus of Linnaeus. 2. The Intestina, 
intestinal worms. 3. The Acalepha, or medusas. 

4. The Polypi, or polypes. And, 5. The Infusoria, or 
animalcules. Each of these, again, are divided in the 
following manner : 





Asterias. Star-fish 

Medusa L. 

Asterias L. 

Medusa L. 

Alecto Leach. 

Beroe Mull. 

Encrinus M. 

Porpita Lam. 

Echinus L. 

Veletta Lam. 

Cidaris Kl. 

Physalia Lam. 

Spatangus Lesk. 
Conulus Kl. 

Physsophora F. 

Cassidulus Lam. 


Echinanthus Kl. 
Echinocyamus Lesk. 
Holothuria L. 

1. Polypes charnus. 

Molpadia Cuv. 

> Actinea L. 

Minyas Cuv. 

Lucernaria Mull. 

Priapulus Lam. 
Lithoderma Cuv 

2. Polypes Gtlatineux. 

Siponculus Gm. 

Hydra L. 

Bonellia Bol. 

Cristatella C. 

Thalassema Cuv. 


Echiurus Cuv. 

Pedicellaria Mull. 

Sternaspis Otto. 

3. Polypes a polypiers. 


Tubipora L. 
Tubularia L. 

1. Entozoa Nemato'idea Rudolphi." 

Sertularia L. 

Cellularia L. 

Filaria L. 

Flustra L. 

Trichocephalus Eud. 

Corallina L 

Capillaria Bud. 

Antipathes L. 

Oxyuris Rud. 

Gorgonia L. 


Isis L. 


Madrepora L. 

Ascaris L. 

- Millepora L. 

Strongylus Mull. 

Pennatula L. 

Spiroptera Rud. 

Alcyonium L 

Physaloptera Rud. 

Spongia L: 

Leorhynchus Rud. 
Pertastoma Rud. 


Prionodertna Rud. 


Lernaea L. 

I. Rotiferte. ' 

Pinnella Ok. 


Clavella Ok. &c. 




Nemeries Cuv. 


2. Les Parenchi/mateux. 

2. Infusoria homogenea. 
Urceolaria. " 



Haeruca Gm. 


Fasciola L. 


Tffinia L. 


Scolex Mull. 

. Monas. 

Ligula JBloch. 


N 3 



(233.) Notwithstanding the length of the above 
table, we have found it impracticable to insert the 
whole of the divisions and sub-genera which crowd the 
pages of the Regne Animal. Many of these are desig- 
nated only by their French names ; a practice highly 
detrimental to that clearness and perspicuity of nomen- 
clature which should be preserved in works of science : 
and this, added to the want of synoptical tables through- 
out the work, materially diminishes its utility for facile 
reference. We have, however, enumerated the leading 
groups ; and these will sufficiently explain to the stu- 
dent the nature of the whole, and guide him in his 
search after the lesser divisions. 

(234.) We have now given an exposition of the two 
most celebrated systems of modern times ; namely, 
those of Linnaeus and of Cuvier. They are the only two 
which have embraced the whole of the animal kingdom, 
from the higher groups down to 1 the lowest. Several 
othe/s, indeed, have been given to the world ; but they 
are rather compiled than original schemes ; and, from 
not carrying with them internal evidence of adequate 
knowledge, have received neither support from the 
scientific, nor popularity from the public. These may, 
therefore, be passed over in silence. But there are 
others, relating only to particular classes of animals, 
which are not only highly important as emanating from 
men justly celebrated in the ranks of science, but equally 
so as having furnished materials of such value, that 
without them even the Systema Naturae., or the Regne 
Animal could never have been given to the world. 
Like those celebrated works, the classifications we are 
now to notice come also under the head of artificial 
systems, because they merely tend to illustrate the pe- 
culiarities of the individual when viewed by itself, 
without any reference to its analogies or representations 
in the general scheme of nature. The partial system 
of Illiger is confined to quadrupeds and birds ; while 
those of Vieillot and Temminck are restricted to the 
latter only. Those most celebrated in entomology have 
emanated from De Geer, Fabricius, Latreille, Leach, 


and Clairmlle. Following the order of these names, 
we proceed to give a slight sketch of each. 

(235.) Illiger published his classification of quadru- 
peds and birds in 1811. The former he divides into four- 
teen orders, from characters taken from the feet. These 
orders he arranges under two great or primary divisions : 
the first containing the true quadrupeds ; the second 
the aquatic or cetaceous Mammalia, and the seals : thus 
making, at the outset, a retrograde movement from 
natural arrangement. These orders, again, are divided 
into families, under which are arranged the genera. 
As the groundwork of this system is eminently arti- 
ficial, and as the genera (excellent in themselves) have 
been all incorporated in the Regne Animal, there is no 
occasion to enter upon further particulars. In arrang- 
ing the class of birds, our author has been somewhat 
more successful in his higher combinations, although 
here, likewise, he is inferior to Aristotle. He makes 
seven orders of the whole ; considering the Scanscres, 
or climbers, as distinct from the perching birds (In- 
sesso?'es*), whicli he terms Ambulatores ; while he se- 
parates, in like manner, the Cursores, or ostrich family, 
from the Rasores, to which they truly belong : for the 
rest, the genera are all good, although the series in 
which they are placed evinces that the author had no 
idea of the difference between analogy and affinity. 
These genera are all incorporated in the present work, 
under the classical and appropriate names bestowed 
upon them in the Prodromus Syatematis Mammalium 
et Avium of this accomplished zoologist. 

(236.) The ornithological system of M. Vieillot is 
chiefly remarkable for the incorporation of the scansorial 
birds with the perchers, both forming a part of our 
author's second order, Sylvicolee. He likewise rectified 
the error of Illiger, in regard to the ostrich family, 
which he makes the first group among the waders. 
This arrangement is not far from natural ; so that we 
find, for the first time in modern systems, the natural 
series of the five orders of birds. M. Vieillot's system 
N 4 


is further remarkable for the number of new types or 
sub-genera it contains ; nearly all of which, however 
ill-defined, are natural, and combined together with an 
evident perception, in many instances, of natural af- 
finities. Our author, it is true, has availed himself 
largely of the valuable labours of Illiger, and has been 
justly censured for doing this without any acknowledg- 
ment of the aid he thus received ; but, in the formation 
of his groups, and the separation of his genera, he has 
evidently not been influenced by the example of his 
more learned predecessor. It will, nevertheless, be 
unnecessary to give further details of this system ; for 
the genera are so loosely defined that they can be only 
understood by a reference to the type (generally a well- 
known bird) which the author quotes. The priority 
of the nomenclature, also, is not to be relied upon ; 
since, in many cases, new names have been given to 
groups previously defined and named by Illiger, Cuvier, 
and others, all of which are made to appear as emanating 
from the author himself. M. Temminck has publicly 
protested against these plagiarisms, and others have 
spoken of them in terms of severe censure. 

(237-) The system of M. Temminck deserves much 
more attention. Of all those which have been framed 
without a reference to the general laws of the natural 
system, it is decidedly the best. This may appear un- 
merited praise, when we perceive that the very found- 
ation, or, in other words, the primary divisions, are 
forced and unnatural. M. Temminck loses sight of the 
groups of Aristotle, and subdivides the leading orders 
of the class into no less than sixteen divisions. These, 
however, when viewed in reference to artificial arrange- 
ment, and the author is evidently unacquainted with 
any other, are very clear, and, consequently, excellent. 
The genera, it is true, are few, but they are defined 
with great care, and evince an acquaintance with this 
class of zoology far superior to that possessed by any of 
the moderns. Our author's forte, indeed, like that of 
Illiger, is detail ; but he seems, unfortunately for his 



own fame, to have imbibed the ancient notion that no 
genus is to be retained, if the links by which it is con- 
nected to another are discovered. Hence he adopts 
very few of the genera intimated by M. Vieillot, and 
even omits some of those defined by M. Cuvier. His 
merits, however, in the arrangement of his generic 
groups, and the high finish he has bestowed upon them, 
have given to his system a prevalence and popularity 
above all others which have appeared since the days of 
Linnaeus ; next to whom, as an ornithologist, he as- 
suredly ranks. The experienced ornithologist will per- 
ceive the artificial nature of the following orders, but 
the natural connection of a number of the genera they 
contain : 


Menura Shaw. 

Vultur Illig. 
Catharces Illig. 
Gyphaetus Storr. 
Gypogeranus Illig. 
Falco L. 

Pitta Vieil. 
Myothora Illig. 
Thamnophilus Vieil. 
Vanga Vieil. 
Lanius L. 

Strix L. 

Psaris Cuv. 

Sparactes Illig. 


Ocyptcrus Cuv. 

Opisthocomus Illig. 
Buceros L. 
Prionites Illig. 

Edolius Cuv. 
Ceblepyris Cuv. 
Coracina Vieil. 
Ampelis L. 

Nucifraga Briss. 
Pyrrhocorax Cuv. 
Barita Cuv. 
Glaucopis Forster. 
Gracula L. 
Buphaga L. 
Bombycilla Briss. 
Ptilonorhynchus Kuhl. 
Coracias L. 

Casmarhynchus Tern. 
Procnias Hoff. 
Rupicola Cuv. 
Phibalura Vieil. 
Pipra L. 
Pardalotis Vieil. 
Tod us L. 
Platyrhynchus Des. 
Muscicapa L. 

Colaris Cuv. 
Oriolus L. 
Icterus Dandin. 
Sternus L. 
Pastor Tern. 
Paradisea L. 

Malurus Vieil. 
Sylvia Lath. 
Saxicola Bech. 
Accentor Bech. 
Motarilla L. 
Anthus Bech. 

Lamprotornis Tern. 



Alauda L. 

Turdus L. 

Parus L. 

CincluB Bech. 

Emberiza L. 



Tanagra L. 


Ploceus Cuv. 
Loxia Briss. 
Psitti rostra Tern. 

Hirundo L. 
Cypselus Illig. 

Pyrrhula Cuv. 


Fringilla L. 
Phytotoma Moll. 

Columba L. 

Colius Lath. 



Pavo L. 

Callus L. 

Musophaga Isert. 

Phasianus L. 

Indicator Le Vail. 

Lophophorus Tern. 

Cuculus L. 

Polyplectron Tern. 

Coccyzus Vieil. 

Meleagris L. 

Centropus Illig. 

Argus Tern. 

Phrenicophaus Vieil. 

Numida L. 

Leptosomus Vieil. 

Pauxi Tern. (Ourax Cuv.) 

Sythrops Latham. 

Crax L. 

Pteroglossus Illig. 

Penelope Merr. 

Ramphastos L. 

Tetrao L. 

Crotophaga L. 

Pterocles Tern. 

Trogon L. 

Syrrhaptes Illig. 

Capito Vieil. (Tamatia Cuv.} 

Perdix Lath. 

Bucco L. 

Cryptonyx Tern. 

Pogonias Illig. 

Tinamus Lath. 

Psittacus L. 

Hemipodius Tern. 

Picus L. 

Galbula L. 


Yunx L. 

Psophia L. 

Dicholophus Illig. 


Glareola L. 

Chauna Illig. 

Oxyruncus Tern. 

Orthonyx Tern. 


Dendrocolaptes Herman. 
Xenops Illig. 
Anabates Tern. 
Opetiorhynchus Tern. 

Struthio L. 
Rhea Briss. 
Casuarius Briss. 

mis 7 

Certhia L. 
Careba Briss. 

IS /-. 

Cursorius -Lath. 

Trochilus L. 
Nectarinia Illig. 
Climacteris Tern. 

OEdicnemus Tern. 

Tichodroma Illig. 
Upupa L. 

Calidris Illig. 
Falcinellus Cuv. 

Epimachus Cuv. 

Hemantopus Briss. 

Drepanis Tern. 

Haematopus L. 

Meliphaga Lewin. 

Charadrius L. 

Vanellus Briss. 


Strepsilus Illig. 

Grus Pallas. 

Merops L. 

Aramus Vieil. 

Alcedo L. 

Ardea L. 

Dacelo Leach. 

Ciconia Briss. 



Anastomus Illig. 

Chionis Forst. 

Scopus Briss. 

Rhynchops L. 

Phcenicopterus L. 

Sterna L. 

Recurvirostra L. 

Larus L. 

Cancroma L. 

Lestris Illig. 

Platalea L. 

Procellaria L. 

Tantalus L. 

Pachyptila Illig. 

Ibis Antiq. 
Numenius Briss. 

Halodroma Illig. 
Diomedia L. 

Tringa L. 

Anas L. 

Totanus Bech. 

Mergus L. 

Limosa Briss. 

Pelecanus L. 

Scolopax L. 

Carbo Meyer. 

Rynchasa Cuv. 
Eurypyga Illtg. 

Sula Briss. 

Rail us L. 

Plotus L. 

Gallinula Briss. 

Phaeton L. 

Parra L. 

Uria Briss. 

Porphyrio Briss. 

Phalaris Tern. 


Mormon Illig. 
Alca L. 

Fulica L. 

Spheniscus Briss. 

Podoa Illig. 

Aptenodytes Forst. 

Phalaropus Briss. 

Podiceps Lath. 



Apteryx Shaw. 

Cereopsis Lath. 

Didus L. 

(238.) We must here close our enumeration of or- 
nithological systems : very many others are enumerated 
by M. Lesson, who is himself the author of two. The 
prince of Musignano has more recently given the out- 
lines of another,, and we know not how many have been 
lately drawn up by the writers of Germany. 

(239.) Of partial systems,, restricted to entomology, 
that of the celebrated baron De Geer must be first men- 
tioned ; not only because of its priority, but because 
it approaches most nearly to that of Aristotle and 
Linnaeus of any in modern times. The following ex- 
position of the orders will show how nearly the views of 
this great man coincided with those of his two illus- 
trious predecessors. De Geer at once perceived the 
typical peculiarity of the class Insecta to consist in their 
being winged ; and he, accordingly, sets out with di- 
viding the whole into two primary groups : but let us 
look to the annexed table for the details : 


Four wings, 
without wing- 

' Div. I. ALATA. (Ptilota Aristotle.} 

Wings covered with scales, tongue 
tongue and 


Two wings, 
covered by 
two wing- 



Two wings 


a metamor- 


no metamor- 


2. ELINGUIA. (Neuroptera L.) Wines 
teeth none. (Trichoptera K.) 

3. NEUROPTERA. Wings membranaceous, equal reticu- 
lated ; mouth furnished with teeth. 

4. HYMENOPTERA. Wings membranaceous, unequal : 
nervures mostly longitudinal ; mouth with teeth Fe- 
male wjth a sting. 

5. SIPHONATA. (Hemiptera L.) Wings membranaceous ; 
tongue bent under the breast. (Homopetra Leach.) 

6. DERMAPTERA. (Hemiptera L.) Elytra half mem- 
branaceous, half coriaceous, crossed. A pair of mem- 
branous wings, tongue bent under the breast. 

7. HEMIPTERA. Elytra coriaceous, or semi-crustaceous, 
aliform ; a pair of membranous wings : mouth with 
teeth. (Orthoptera Lat.) 

8. COLEOPTERA. Wings hard and crustaceous, with a 
pair of membranous wings beneath : mouth furnished 
with teeth. 

9. HALTERATA. (Diptera L.) Wings two, membrana- 
ceous ; poisers two ; mouth with a tongue, but without 

10. PROBOSCIDEA. (Hemiptera L.) Wings two, mem- 
branaceous. Male without either poisers, tongue, or 
teeth. Female apterous, with a tongue in the breast. 

Div. II. APTERA. (Aptera L.) 

proboscis. (Pule 

11. SUCTORIA. Wings none : feet six : mouth with a 
? '" -Ml*) 

12. AUCENATA. Wings none ; feet six ; head and thorax 
distinct. (Hexapod Aptera, Termes, Psocus.) 

13. ATRACHELIA. Wings none ; feet six or more ; head 
united with the trunk. (Octopod Aptera, Arachnidce, 

14. CRUSTACEA. Wings none ; feet fourteen or; more ; 
head separated from the thorax. j_ (Polypod Aptera, 

(240.) It has been well observed on this system, that 
this great naturalist, whose merits repose on a much 
more permanent basis than mere classification, by 
following too strictly the number and substance of the 
organs of flight, has been led to place in different classes 
insects which ought not to have been so separated.* 
He appears, nevertheless, to have been convinced of the 
propriety of Aristotle's primary divisions of winged and 

* Int to Ent. voL iv. p. 443. 


wingless insects ; but, like him, he had a most imperfect 
conception of the latter group. His departure from the 
orders established by Linnaeus will, by many, be ex- 
tolled as the commencement of all the good that has been 
since matured ; while, by others, it will be designated 
as the first commencement of those erroneous theories 
which, in modern times, have led us astray from nature. 
(241.) Fabricius was the great systematist of his 
day ; but his classification, once so prevalent, has long 
been abandoned. He published two systems; one in 
1775, and the other in 1798. The primary groups of 
the latter, as drawn up by Messrs. Kirby and Spence, 
are here subjoined ; chiefly for the purpose of showing 
the passion for new names, which now began to arise 
among the continental naturalists, and to illustrate the 
different conceptions of entomological groups entertained 
by our author from those of Aristotle, Linnaeus, and 
De Geer : 

1. ELEUTHERATA. (Coleoptera L.) Maxilla naked, free, 


2. ULONATA. (Orthopierous Neuroptera L.) Maxilla covered 

by an obtuse lobe. 

3. SYRISTATA. (NeurojHera L.) Maxilla geniculated at the 

base, and connate with the labrum. 

4. PIEZATA. (Hymenoptera L.) Maxilla corneous, compressed, 

often elongate. 

5. ODONATA. (Neuroptera L.) Maxilla corneous, toothed, 

palpi two. 

6. MITOSATA. (Myriapoda Leach.) Maxilla corneous, vaulted, 

palpi none. 

* * 

7. UNOGATA. (Pulmonary Arachnidce Lat.) Maxilla corneous, 

armed with a claw. 

8. POLYGONATA. (Isopod and Branchiopod Crustacea Lat.) 

Palpi mostly six, maxillae many, placed within the labium. 

9. KLEISTOGNATHA. (Brachiurus, Decapod Crustacea of Lat.) 

Many maxillae without the labium, closing the mouth. 

10. EXOCHNATA. (Macrourus, Decapod Crustacea Lat.) Max- 
illae many, without the labium covered by palpi. 


11. GLOSSATA. (Lepidoptera L.) Mouth with a spiral tongue 
between reflected palpi. 

12. RYNGATA. (Hemiptera~L.} Mouth with a rostrum having 
a jointed sheath. 

13. ANTLIATA. (Diptera L. Anoplura, Leach. Trachean 
Arachnidce, #c.) Mouth with an haustellum without 


(242.) fe In estimating the value of the above system, 
we must hear in mind/' observe Kirby and Spence, 
cc that, according to the statement of its author, it was 
intended to be partly artificial and partly natural ; that 
is, artificial as to its classes and orders, but natural 
as to its genera, species, and varieties." * Whatever 
were the intentions of the author, his system, founded 
in all its parts upon the minute organs of the mouth, is, 
of all others, the most artificial, the most difficult, and 
the most discouraging and repulsive to the student. So 
that whatever merits belong to Fabricius in other re- 
spects, there is great truth in the opinion generally en- 
tertained of his system; namely, that it retarded, instead 
of advanced, the progress of entomological science. 

(243.) The system of the celebrated Latreille, whose 
recent loss we so much deplore, soon superseded that of 
Fabricius. It possesses the advantage of being founded 
on a consideration of the entire structure of these 
animals ; and hence gives us the first example, in theory, 
of the natural principle of classification. To show in 
what manner this principle is applied, we shall copy his 
distribution of insects, given in his last work.f The 
first divisions of the whole class are three ; viz. Crus- 
tacea, ArachnidtB, and Insecta ; each of which is again 
subdivided as follows : 


1. Malacostraca. 
a. Decapoda. 

b. Stomapoda. 


c. Amphipoda. 

d. Laemodipoda. 

* Int to Ent. vol. iv. p. 452. f Rfegne Animal, Sd^ed. 



e. Isopoda. 
2. Entomostraca. 
/. Branchiopoda. 
g. Pcecilopoda. 


h, Trilobites. 









A car ides. 






Parasita (Anoplura Leach). 



(244.) It must be remembered that, although this 
system is by Latreille, it forms part of the Regne Animal, 
and apparently stands under the name of Cuvier : the 
latter, as we have already seen,, places the Annelides, or 
red-blooded worms, in the same class as insects, thus 
making the primary divisions four. We regret our 
space will not permit a fuller elucidation of this sys- 
tem,, which,, however defective in its primary groups, is 
the most elaborate and the most perfect in its details that 
has yet been given to the world. 

(245.) The system of Clairville is chiefly remarkable 
for having given rise to the theory of dividing perfect 
insects into the two great typical groups, as they are 
thought to be, of Haustellata and Mandibulata. The 
following table explains his primary divisions: 




ri. Elytroptera. 
>2. Deratoptera. 
)3. Dictyoptera. 
C4. Phleboptera. 
f 5. Halteriptera. 
s 6. Lepidoptera. 
(.7. Hemimeroptera. 


An?* ? Haustellata. 

8. Rophoteira. 

Wrfgless. j Mandibulata. 

a Pododunera. 


(246.) It has been said " that the principal merit of 
this system is the division of insects, tacitly pointed out 
by Fabricius, into two groups or sub-classes,, from the 
mode in which they take their food." If by this it is 
meant that these two sub-classes are natural, then they 
will form two circular groups exclusive of the Aptera, 
which they do not,, even according to the circular theory 
which has been founded upon them. 

(247.) Dr. Leach, whose labours are so well known to 
entomologists, appears, according to Samouelle,to arrange 
the annulose types under five leading classes ; thus : 

1. Gills for respiration. Legs la Antennae 2 or 4. I.CRUSTACEA. 

2. Sac for respiration. Legs 12. Antennae none. 3 ARACHNOIDEA. 
Q T i f f No antennae. 4. ACAIU. 

3. Trachea for \ r Six thoracic legs. 2. MYRIAPODA. 
respiration. T antennB< -J Six thoracic legs, 7 ,- T,,^. 

but no abdominal.] 5 ' Ij> 

(248.) His divisions of the last class, or that of In- 
secta, have been thus registered in the third volume of 
his ec Zoological Miscellany : " 

I. Sub-class. ) 

AMETABOLIA. f Body ending in bristles. 

Nometamor- (" Body without bristles, 

phosis. ' 

II. Sub-class. 
Metamorphosis - 

1. Thysanura. 

2. Anoplura. 

8. Coleoptera. 

4. Dermaptera. 

5. Orthoptera. 

6. Dictuoptera. Blatta L. 

7. Hemiptera. 

8. Homoptera. 

9. Aptera. 

10. Lepidoptera. 

11. Trichoptera. 

12. Neuroptera. 

13. Hymenoptera. 

14. Rhipiptera. 

15. Diptera. 

16. Omaloptera. 

(249.) We may now be allowed to close this enumer- 
ation of artificial systems, which serve to mark the rise 
and progress of systematic arrangement, but which ex- 
ercise very little influence on the present state of the 
science, pursued, as it now is, upon principles of in- 
ductive philosophy. There is, however, another mode 
of arrangement, which comes under this chapter, which 
we shall now shortly explain, and then dismiss. 


(250.) Binary or dichotomous systems, although re- 
gulated by a principle, are among the most artificial 
arrangements that have been ever invented. This great 
principle upon which the advocates of such tables insist, 
simply consists in arranging animals according to their 
positive and negative characters ; as, for instance, birds with 
perfect wings, and, secondly, birds with imperfect wings ; 
and so on. Now this mode of arrangement is, perhaps, 
the most simple, and the most easy of comprehension, 
of any that has been devised; and was, therefore, the 
earliest in use. It likewise seems to offer a ready clue 
to the discovery of any particular species or genus, be- 
cause the student has no occasion to look beyond the 
table before him : he need not trouble himself about 
affinities or analogies, for he has merely to see what 
particular character his specimen has, and what it has not. 
When, therefore, his object is either to ascertain the 
recorded name of a species, or whether it be described 
or undescribed, he will often find this sort of catalogue 
useful. But the misfortune of the binary methods of 
arrangement is this, that they may be multiplied ad 
libitum. As their advocates profess not to pursue any 
one principle in the selection of their characters, it fol- 
lows that we may have a hundred different binary sys- 
tems, each good in its way, but each different from the 
other. One entomologist may choose to divide all in- 
sects into such as have wings, and, secondly, such as 
have none. Another, looking to the manner of feeding, 
may make his two groups depend upon one having jaws, 
the other none. A third, considering metamorphosis 
as the corner-stone of his system, may divide all insects 
into such as undergo this transformation, and such as 
do not. Hence, it follows, that every one may form a 
binary system of his own, provided he closely attends 
to, and " possesses distinct conceptions on, positive and 
negative characters ;" the only requisite, as its advocates 
affirm, for this mode of arrangement. As for preserving 
the natural affinities of groups, it is by no means ne- 
cessary to the systems in question that any regard should 


be paid to such matters ; their advocates, very judi- 
ciously, do not insist on such considerations, nor do 
they attempt to point out in what way nature gradually 
passes from one group to another. That the reader, 
however, may be better able to judge for himself on the 
merits of a binary or dichotomous arrangement, we here 
present him with a table of the class of birds, as given 
by one who is, we believe, the only advocate of dicho- 
tomy* : 

Order I. FISSIPEDES. Land Birds. Toes free, and formed for grasping 

or walking. 

Tribe 1. TERRESTRES. Tibial joint, feathered. 
Sect. 1. AMBULATORES. Three toes directed antially, and fitted 
for walking or grasping. 

("GALLINAD-E. Bill arched from the 
I. Nostrils hid under an | base; eggs numerous. 

arched covering, wings-{ COLUMB A \>JE. Bill swollen at the 


II. Nostrils exposed, or hid 
only by feathers. 

Sect. 2. SCANSORES. Two toes 

base, nearly straight, and sub- 
ulate towards the extremity. 
ACCIPITRES. Bill and claws 
strongly hooked, limbs strong, 
tongue emarginate. Females 

PASSERES. Bill nearly straight 
at the gape, no cere. Males 

directed antially, and fitted for 

climbing trees. 
Tribe 2. GRALL.E. Waders, lower end of the tibial joint and tarsus 


Order II. PALMIPEDES. Water Birds. Toes webbed to their extremity, 
and formed for swimming. 

(251.) The value of a theory can only be determined 
when we bring it into practice, and when, by following 
it down to its lowest details, we can judge how far it 
is agreeable with our ordinary conceptions of nature, 
and how far it answers the purposes of arrange- 
ment. With this view let us examine the foregoing 
table, which we must presume has been drawn up by 
one having " distinct conceptions on positive and nega- 
tive characters ;" and let us do this, both with reference 
to its natural order, and to the help it gives for the de- 
termination of a species. We need not be -long detained 
on the first, for it is difficult to name any two families 
of birds more unlike each other than the pigeons (Co- 
lumbadai) and the eagles (Accipitres) , which are here 
brought together. A greater violation of nature was 

* Dr. Fleming's Philosophy rf Zoology and British Animals. 


never, perhaps,, ventured upon in any system ; and this 
alone is sufficient to take from the whole scheme any 
pretensions to the claim of a natural series. But the 
merit of Dichotomy, it may he urged, lies in the strength 
of its absolute characters, by which a student can at 
once determine the division to which a genus or a 
species belongs. We will, therefore, test it by this prin- 
ciple. Every ornithologist is aware that the feet of the 
kingfishers (Halcyonidte), bee-eaters (Meropidte), and 
the puff- birds ( Tamatince}, have two toes before and two 
behind, but that these families, so far from climbing, 
like the Scansores, are only able to sit still upon a 
branch, and watch for their prey, which they take upon 
the wing after the manner of swallows. Here, then, is 
an entire natural division, containing nearly 100 species, 
recognised by all modern writers out which, in this 
dichotomous system, has no place whatever assigned to 
it. Again, the family of tree creepers (Certhidce}, well 
exemplified both by our common creeper and nuthatch, 
are eminently scansorial, and live, as it were, on the 
upright trunks of trees ; but the student, knowing this, 
and wishing to find their station among the " Scansores," 
may search in vain either for one genus or the other. 
To multiply further instances will be needless. It 
appears, therefore, that a dichotomous or binary system 
will not even answer the purpose of an index to the 
genera or species, while it makes pretension to placing 
those groups together which every one sees that nature 
has united. The Linnsean arrangement of birds, with all 
its defects, is more natural, and more easy of compre- 

(252.) It is quite unnecessary to particularise the dif- 
ferent binary systems which have been published by 
various hands ; since we, no less than our readers, might 
draw up fifty others, each different from the other, and 
each as worthless for use. 

o 2 









(253.) WE have already touched upon the essential 
distinctions between an artificial and a natural system ; 
hut the latter will now claim more of our attention. As 
every principle of analogical reasoning, and every result 
of minute investigation, leads to the conclusion that 
there is a unity of plan throughout that part of creation 
which embraces the animal world, so it follows that 
there cannot, strictly speaking, be more than one na- 
tural system. It may, therefore, be objected to us, as 
it has already been to others, that, by speaking of na- 
tural systems, we imply that there may be several. Let 
us, there fore, at the commencement, be clearly understood 
upon this point. If, by the natural system, we are to 
understand a complete developement of all the properties 
and relations of animated beings ; the functions they 
are intended to perform; the principles upon which 
their forms have been regulated ; their indisputable af- 
finities among themselves, and their innumerable ana- 
logies to all others, then the natural system is a pinnacle 
of knowledge to which finite beings can obviously never 
reach. But this, though a just definition, is too theo- 
retical for practical use ; seeing that human knowledge 
must be for ever imperfect, while the faculties of the 


mind are limited. In adapting our terms, therefore, to'the 
actual state of tilings, we shall consider that to he a natu- 
ral system which endeavours to explain the multifarious 
relations which one object hears to another, not simply 
in their direct affinity, by which they follow each other 
like the links of a vast chain, but in their more remote 
relations ; whereby they typify or represent other 
objects, totally distinct in structure and organisation 
from them selves, by certain general laws. Hence it 
follows, that there may be many natural systems, or, 
rather, attempts at the partial discovery of that one 
which ALMIGHTY WISDOM pursued in the creation of 
irrational beings. This, therefore, is the true object of 
a natural classification ; and none which professes not 
to set out with this aim, and does not keep it in view as 
the goal to be arrived at, can claim the title of a natural 
system. Our first attempts at such a mode of studying 
nature are comparatively easy : we begin from a given 
point, and the regular gradation which we are able to 
trace from one form to another, leads us to believe that 
the natural series is much more simple and easy of de- 
tection than we at first imagined ; but, as we advance, 
we find the relations of our animals multiply: they 
seem, indeed, to preserve their line of affinity, but to 
branch off in various directions to the right hand and to 
the left, until they blend into other races, far removed 
from that with which we first commenced our enquiries. 
Here, then, our difficulties begin ; and it is here that 
the study of the natural system commences. It may 
well be supposed that, on a subject so intricate, great 
diversity of opinions may arise, and that, while all such 
naturalists are striving at the discovery of one system, 
" the only one of nature," that they may, in reality, 
produce several all, indeed, professing to expound the 
same thing, but all doing so on a different theory, and 
with more or less success. How, then, it may be asked, 
are we to decide on their respective merits, and to 
which are we to give the preference ? Our answer will 
o 3 


be this: The merits of a natural system are in pro- 
portion to the number and universality of the facts which 
it can explain by certain general laws. The system, 
therefore, which developes principles of the widest ap- 
plication, and brings the elements, if we may so term 
them, of natural classification into the narrowest com- 
pass, is that which obviously makes the nearest approach 
to nature, and, therefore, deserves to be distinguished, 
par excellence, as the natural system. 

(254.) From this definition of a natural system, as 
opposed to one that is artificial, it becomes extremely 
difficult to name that naturalist who deserves to be placed 
first on our present list. Many of the groups of 
Aristotle are, undoubtedly, natural, and will stand as 
such, in opposition to the neglect they received from 
subsequent zoologists ; yet others, in the same system, 
are in the highest degree artificial. The same may be 
said both in regard to the systems of Willughby and 
of Linnaeus ; yet both these are more properly artificial 
systems, for they merely attempt to combine the groups 
in detached portions of a simple series, without any 
reference to their remote relations. Now, as this latter 
train of enquiry is that more especially in which the 
essence of the natural system consists, we may probably 
regard Hermann as the first who, in regard to animals, 
entered into any details on this interesting subject. His 
work, entitled Tabula Affinitatum Animalium, printed 
in 3783, contains numerous comparisons, and many 
valuable observations, on the resemblances which differ- 
ent animals bear to each other. But the materials he 
has thus brought together do not appear to have been 
applied to any definite or general result ; and it has been 
justly observed*, that Hermann seemed to have no clear 
perception of the difference between analogy and affinity, 
although, like most others who had gone before him, he 
did not confound them when treating of very remote 

* Linn. Trans. voL xvi, p. 15, &c. 


resemblances. His work, unfortunately, is so rare in 
this country, that, having in vain endeavoured to procure 
a copy, we can only form our opinion of it from Mr. 
MacLeay's paper in the Linn. Trans. From these 
notices, it certainly appears that our author laid the first 
foundation of a natural system rude, indeed, as 
may he expected, but replete with comparisons hitherto 
scarcely noticed. Hermann's system may, therefore, be 
said to have been long superseded ; "for his table, as given 
at the end of his work, is any thing but a diagram : 
it is more confused than the Mappa Geographica of 
Linnaeus, both of which have expressed analogies as if 
they had been affinities."* 

(255.) The system of Lamarck, in regard to the soft or 
invertebrated animals, deserves particular attention, since 
he was unquestionably the first who, by his unrivalled 
perception of natural affinities, " obtained an indistinct 
view of that circular arrangement," which was more 
clearly and fully developed by his successors in this intri- 
cate field of enquiry. This has been most fully and most 
honourably admitted by Mr. MacLeay in the following 
passage: (e In the first volume of his (Lamarck's) cele- 
brated work, he acknowledges that the idea of a simple 
series constituting the whole of the animal kingdom does 
not agree with the evident order of nature, because, to 
use his own words, this order is far from simple : it is 
branched, and is at the same time composed of several 
distinct series. He then presumes, that animals offer 
two separate subramose series, one commencing with 
the Infusoria, and leading by means of the mollusca to 
the cuttlefish (Cephalopoda), and the other commencing 
with the intestinal worms, and leading to insects. Now, 
this notion could only have gained a place in the mind 
of Lamarck from a conviction by experience of its being 
an incontrovertible truth." After enumerating the series 
thus indicated by Lamarck t, our author adds, " Now, 

* Linn. Trans, vol. xvi. p. 11. note. 

f Nat. Hist, des Anim. sans Vert vol. i. p. 456. 

o 4- 


this table of affinities, however confused it may appear, 
or subramose, as it is termed, coincides with the tabular 
view which I have laid before the public.* We have only 
to join the Radiata to the Cirripeda, and the Annalides 
to fishes, and Lamarck's table of affinities, with scarcely 
any alteration, becomes precisely the same as mine." It 
is therefore clear, that the first perception of that cir- 
cular series of affinity which pervades the animal king- 
dom was gained by Lamarck in the year 1815. But this 
was done without the least suspicion arising, on his part, 
that the circularity of natural groups was the first prin- 
ciple of natural arrangement. His studies, in fact, did 
riot extend to vertebrated animals ; but he had an in- 
tuitive perception of natural affinities ; and by follow- 
ing these he traced the natural series, without, however, 
perceiving that it assumed the disposition of a circle, 
which the vertebrated animals would render complete. 
That this fact may be more apparent to our readers, and 
that we may justify our opinion that the system of this 
able but fanciful zoologist was eminently natural, we 
here subjoin the table in question : 

Series of Inarticulated Animals. Series of Articulated Animals. 


Polypi. Vermes. 

" ' Radiata. Anneli 

Tunicata. Radiata. Annelides. Epizoaria. 

Acephala. Insecta 

Crustacea. Arachnid*. 




(256.) Lamarck is chiefly known in this country by his 
admirable arrangement of the testaceous mollusca or shells, 
a department in which he created so great a reformation 

* Hor. Ent p. 213. 


that he has left comparatively little to he done, as regards 
the definition of natural genera, by those who come 
after him. All must admire the acumen, judgment, and 
extensive knowledge which this celebrated man pos- 
sessed, and which shines forth in the admirable manner 
in which he grouped those objects which were his pecu- 
liar study. Yet, while we do justice to his memory in 
this respect, we must reprobate those atheistical theories, 
no less impious than absurd, which he has introduced 
in his writings, theories which are inconsistent with 
his own words, and which are too ridiculous even to be 

(25?.) The circular system of MacLeay, as following 
in the order of succession, is now to be noticed. We have 
seen that Lamarck, so far back as 18 15, had not only po- 
sitively declared his conviction that the natural series was 
neither simple nor linear, but that he had given a table 
indicating a union of all the large divisions of the animal 
world ; but this, after all, was but the first glimpse of 
these important discoveries regarding the fundamental 
principles of the natural system which were first made 
known by the Horce Entomologicce. Lamarck, like- 
wise, although he partially traced the animal circle, had 
no true perceptions of the course it was taking. His 
table, in fact, was not unlike an architectural drawing, 
where the great rules of perspective had been pretty 
well adhered to, but which rules could not be ex- 
plained by the artist upon their true principle, having 
been drawn merely by the help of a remarkably accu- 
rate eye. Here, then, is one of the chief merits of 
the system of Lamarck, a system which must certainly 
be considered as the first promulgation of any uni- 
versal law in natural classification. 

(25S.) The Horce Entomologicte, unluckily for stu- 
dents, can only be thoroughly understood by the adept, 
since the results and observations are explained in dif- 
ferent parts, the style is somewhat desultory, and the 
groups, for the most part, are rather indicated than defined. 
The whole, in short, is what it professes to be, more a 


rough sketch of the leading peculiarities of the great 
divisions of animals, and the manner in which they are 
probably connected, than an accurate determination of 
the groups themselves,, or a demonstration of their real 
affinities. More than this, perhaps, could not have been 
expected, considering the then state of science, and the 
herculean difficulties which the author had to surmount. 
The work in question has now become exceedingly 
scarce, and this will be an additional reason with us 
for communicating occasional extracts from it to the 
reader. Mr. MacLeay's theory will be best understood 
by consulting his diagrams ; for he has not, as we have 
already remarked, defined any of the vertebrated groups. 
Condensing, however, the result of his remarks, we 
shall state them as resolvable into the following proposi- 
tions : 1. That the series of natural animals is con- 
tinuous, forming, as it were, a circle ; so that, upon 
commencing at any one given point, and thence tracing 
all the modifications of structure, we shall be imper- 
ceptibly led, after passing through numerous forms, 
again to the point from which we started. 2. That 
no groups are natural which do not exhibit, or show an 
evident tendency to exhibit, such a circular series. 3. 
That the primary divisions of every large group are ten, 
five of which are composed of comparatively large 
circles, and five of smaller : these latter being termed 
osculant, and being intermediate between the former 
which they serve to connect. 4. That there is a tend- 
ency in such groups as are placed at the opposite points 
of a circle of affinity " to meet each other."* 5. That 
one of the five larger groups into which every natural 
circle is divided, " bears a resemblance to all the rest, 
or, more strictly speaking, consists of types which repre- 
sent those of each of the four other groups, together 
with a type peculiar to itself."f These are the chief 
and leading principles which Mr. MacLeay considers 

* Hor. Ent. 319. t Ibid. 518. 


as belonging to the natural system. We shall now 
copy his diagram, or table of the animal kingdom, and 
then endeavour, with this help, to explain the system 
more in detail. 

(259-) We must, in the first instance, look to the 
above tabular disposition of all animals, as forming them- 
selves collectively into one great circle, which circle 
touches or blends into another, composed of plants, by 
means of the " least organised beings of the vegetable 
kingdom." Next we are to look to the larger component 
parts of this great circular assemblage. We find it, in 
accordance with the third proposition, to exhibit five 
great circles, composed of the MOLLUSCA, or shell-fish ; 
ACRITA, or polypes ; RADIATA, or star- fish ; ANNULOSA, 
or insects ; and VERTEBRATA, or vertebrated animals ; 
each passing or blending into each other, by means of 
five other groups of animals, much smaller, indeed, in 
their extent, but forming so many connecting or osculant 
circles. The number, therefore, as many erroneously 
suppose, is not five, but ten. This is quite obvious ; 


and our opinion on this point is confirmed by the author 
himself, in the following passage, when alluding to his 
remarks upon thewhole: "The foregoing observations, 
I am well aware, are far from accurate, but they are 
sufficient to prove that there are five great circular groups 
in the animal kingdom, which possess each a peculiar 
structure : and that these, when connected by means of 
five smaller osculant groups, compose the whole province 
of zoology."* Now these smaller osculant groups are 
to be viewed as circles, for, as it is elsewhere stated_, 
" every natural group is a circle, more or less complete." 
This, in fact, is the third general principle of Mr. Mac- 
Leay's system, and he has exemplified his meaning of a 
natural group in the above diagram, where all animals 
are arranged under five large groups or circles, and five 
smaller ones. Let us take one of these groups, the 
VERTEBRATA : does that form a circle of itself? Yes; 
because it is intimated that the reptiles (Reptilia) pass 
into the birds (Aves), these again into the quadrupeds 
(Mammalia), quadrupeds unite with the fishes (Pisces), 
these latter with the amphibious reptiles, and the frogs 
bring us back again to the reptiles, the point from whence 
we started. Thus the series of the vertebrated group 
is marked out and shown to be circular ; therefore it is 
a natural group. This is an instance where the circular 
series can be traced. We now turn to one where the 
series is imperfect, but where there is a decided tend- 
ency to a circle: this is the MOLLUSCA. Upon this 
group our author says, <f I have by no means determined 
the circular disposition to hold good among the MOL- 
LUSCA ; still, as it is equally certain that this group of 
animals is as yet the least known, it may be improper, 
at present, to conclude that it forms any exception to 
the rule : it would even seem unquestionable that the 
Gasteropoda of 'Cuvier return into themselves, so as to 
form a circular group ; but whether the Acephala form 

* Hor. Ent'p. 318. 


one or two such, is by no means accurately ascertained, 
though enough is known of the MOLLUSCA to incline us 
to suspect that they are no less subjected, in general, to 
a circular disposition than the four other great groups." * 
This, therefore, our author considers as one of those 
groups which, without actually forming a circle, yet 
evinces a disposition to do so ; and it is therefore pre- 
sumed to be a natural group. But, to illustrate this 
principle farther, let us return to the circle of VERTE- 
BRATA. This, as we see by the diagram, contains five 
minor groups, or circles, each of which is again resolv- 
able into five others, regulated precisely in the same way. 
The class Aves, for example, is first divided into ra- 
pacious birds (Raptores), perching birds (Insessores), 
gallinaceous birds (Rasores), wading birds (Grallatores), 
and swimming birds (Natatores) ; and the proof of 
this class being a natural group is, in all these divisions 
blending into each other at their confines, and forming 
a circle.f In this manner we proceed, beginning with 
the higher groups, and descending to the lower, until at 
length we descend to genera, properly so called, and 
reach, at last, the species; every group, whether large or 
small, forming a circle of its own. Thus there are circles 
within circles, "wheels within wheels" an infinite 
number of complicated relations ; but all regulated by 
one simple and uniform principle, that is, the circu- 
larity of every group. 

(260.) We must return, however, to thenumber of divi- 
sions of which our author considers every natural group is 
composed ; because on this point he appears not strictly 
consistent with himself. We have seen, in the forego- 
ing diagram, that the first division of the animal king- 
dom are resolved into ten circles or groups, five large 
and five small. In the following passage, however, 
when speaking of this diagram, Mr. MacLeay seems to 
lose sight of these lesser circles, and reckons the larger 

* Hor. Ent. p. 322. 

f First pointed out by Mr. Vigors, Linn. Trans. 


only, which are lout five : <e Indeed, when it is consi- 
dered that there were so many affinities to be reconciled 
with this constant use of the number five, it is clearly 
absurd to imagine that I would have hampered myself 
needlessly with such a rule. My sole object has been 
to demonstrate natural affinities ; and in doing this I 
have fallen on a distribution into five groups, so uni- 
formly, that where there seems to be an exception to 
the rule, it appears to be as much the consequence of 
our little acquaintance with the manifold productions of 
nature, as of any other cause whatsoever. No person, 
however, can be more reluctant than I am to make 
any conclusion on this subject precipitately ; and, there- 
fore, in saying that there is a general tendency, in every 
natural group of animals, to be subdivided into five 
others, I would only have this opinion accounted an 
hypothesis, which is riot entirely destitute of arguments 
wherewith we may support its truth. Yet I must ac- 
knowledge that it appears to me, even by what we have 
already seen, to be so far established, that, in future, 
where great chasms occur in smaller groups, I shall con- 
sider myself entitled to suppose that these proceed from 
our ignorance of the productions of nature."* Upon 
the whole, therefore, we are justified in concluding that 
our author believes some groups to be composed of ten 
circles, and others of five, or, what is the same thing, 
that sometimes there are five large groups and five 
smaller ones, and sometimes five only. 

(26l.) We now come to the fourth principle of 
natural arrangement, pointed out by our author, viz., 
that here is a tendency in such groups as are placed at 
the opposite points of a natural circle to unite. But on 
this intricate subject we wMl take his own words, and 
his own illustrations of their meaning. For this pur- 
pose let the reader refer to the diagram of the animal 
kingdom, as to a map, while he peruses attentively the 
following passage : "On the examination of this 

* Hor. Ent p. 822. 


sketch/' observes our author, " we are at first struck 
with the analogy which opposite points of the same 
circle hear to one another, an analogy sometimes so 
strong that it has been mistaken for a relation of affinity; 
and, indeed, I am still unable to state whether this be 
not the fact, and that the opposite points of the curve, 
if I may so express myself, do not meet each other. 
Thus the resemblance which the intestinal Acrita (In- 
testind) or Monogena of Latreille bear to the Nematoidea 
of Rudolphi, and the Annelides, need not be descanted 
on, nor the affinity which the Cirripeda, according to 
some naturalists, appear to have with the branchiopod 
Mollusca. It will be sufficient to state, that as this 
peculiarity of natural distribution was detected by ana- 
lysis in the former part of this work, and the use to be 
made of it was visible among the Petalocera, so the dis- 
covery of it served to prevent my falling into several 
mistakes, which I could not otherwise have avoided, in 
deciding between relations of analogy and affinity, as 
they exist in the more general groups. The quadruped 
reptiles may, in this way, be separated from the Mam- 
malia by the intervention of birds on one hand, and of 
fishes on the other ; and yet Dumeril may, possibly, 
not be far wrong in urging that the paradoxical orni- 
thorhynchus bears a nearer relation to reptiles than to 
birds. But my province more particularly is entomo- 
logy ; and this property of a distribution, which, for 
convenience only, we have considered as circular, will 
serve to make the hex apod Acaridce approach to the 
Anoplura of Leach, as appears to be the case in nature."* 
That the meaning of this passage may be rendered more 
clear to the student, we must beg his attention to the 
following diagram, which, in its outlines, is pre- 
cisely the same as the former, but those groups, not 
now alluded to, are omitted, while those which are sup- 
posed to " meet each other," that is, to unite, are in- 
dicated by dotted lines. 

* Hor. Ent. p. 319. 


(262.) This diagram fully explains our author's 
meaning in the foregoing passage, when he supposes 
that " opposite points of a circle may possibly meet each 
other," and consequently unite. Now, if this, in the 
sense here taken, and in the instances here stated, were 
true, the inevitable consequence would be, that the 
Acrita, the Mottusca, and the Vertebrata, would form 
one great circle of their own, by the union of the intes- 
tinal Acrita with the Annelida, while the circle of Ver- 
tebrata would be divisible in the first instance into two, 
by Ornithorhynchus uniting the reptiles with the qua- 
drupeds (Mammalia). It is somewhat surprising, 
therefore, that our acute author did not perceive the 
inevitable consequences which would result to his own 
theory, by admitting the possibility of such a principle 
of affinity : for either it would, if correct, entirely 
overturn his own theory on the animal kingdom being 
first resolvable into five large and five smaller circles ; 
or it would show that circles of affinity could be ex- 
pressed in more ways than one, in other words, that 
there was more than one natural system. The truth, 
however, appears to be, that some of the foregoing 
resemblances are relations of affinity, while others are 


of strong analogy. The groups in question have so long 
engaged our attention, that we shall venture now to ex- 
press our opinions upon them. The intestinal worms 
(Intestina) do not appear to enter into the circle of the 
Acrita, but rather represent that class among the An- 
nulosa, where they follow, in close affinity, the Annelida 
or red-blooded worms. The Cirripeda, which enter 
also among the Annulosa, may possibly represent the 
' Branchiopod Mollusca; but we think this very doubtful : 
while the analogy between the reptiles and Ornithorhyn- 
chus is neither direct nor natural, seeing that it is by 
this latter form that the Mammalia are connected in 
the most satisfactory manner to birds. If any na- 
turalist should be inclined to doubt this latter theory, 
he will be fully convinced of its accuracy by analysing 
the class of Mammalia to which it belongs. If, however, 
Mr. MacLeay had merely said that the opposite points 
of a circle always evince a strong analogy to each other, 
he would only have illustrated one of his own propo- 
sitions ; for this resemblance follows, as a matter of 
course, if the contents of one circle show parallel rela- 
tions of analogy to the contents of another circle. 

(263.) The fifth proposition of our author, and 
which he considers as one of the characteristics of natural 
groups, is this, that one of the five larger groups in 
every circle contains representations of all the others. 
An instance of this will best explain to the reader his 
full meaning. Mr. MacLeay considers that the polypes 
(Acrita) form one of the five great classes or groups of 
the animal circle ; and he proceeds to explain how this 
group contains types of all the others, together with one 
peculiar to itself. ee At first sight," he observes, ' ' there 
appears to be a want of that symmetry in this circle 
(the Acrita), so observable in the others which compose 
the great divisions of the animal kingdom ; for the Ra~ 
diata (or star -fish) have all a classical type to which 
their several structures may be referred, as also have 
the Annulosa, Vertebrata, and Mollusca; whereas here 
we see nature choosing every possible type of form, and 


sporting, as it were,, with every thing like regularity. 
But this, I apprehend, is the consequence of a too rapid 
glance j since nature, so far from forgetting order, has, 
at the commencement of her work, in these imperfect 
animals, given us a sketch of the five different forms 
which she intended afterwards to adopt for the whole 
animal kingdom. In the soft, mucous, sluggish Intes- 
tina, she has given the outline of the Mollusca. In the 
fleshy living mass which surrounds the bony and hollow 
axis of the Polypi natantes, she has sketched a verte- 
brated animal. In the crustaceous covering of the 
living mass, and the structure, more or less articulated, 
of the Polypi vaginati, we trace the form of the Annu- 
losa ; while the radiated forms of the Rotifera, and the 
simple structure of the Polypi rudes, may, in general, 
remind us of the Radiata." * Assuming, therefore, that 
the Acrita, as here defined, is really a natural group, 
and allowing the analogies for the sake of explaining 
the principle, we see a complete exemplification of our 
author's meaning in one of the primary groups of the 
animal kingdom. We shall now cite another instance 
given by him in one of the smallest groups, namely, 
the typical group of the genus Scarabceus(Gymnopleurus, 
111.). In speaking of this, our author thus expresses 
himself: tf I have thus attempted to find characters 
for the natural groups which appear on disposing the 
Gymnopleuri according to their affinities ; but the proper 
method of considering them all is, as referable to one 
or other of forms which may be expressed by the five 
following species: 1. Azureus ; 2. Flagellatus ; 3. 
Cffirulescens ; 4. Kwnigii ; 5. Miliaris. In almost 
every group which has been set before the reader, he 
must have perceived that one of the five minor groups, 
into which it is resolvable, bears a resemblance to all the 
rest ; or, more strictly speaking, consists of types which 
represent those of each of the four other groups, toge- 
ther with a type peculiar to itself. This is visible in 
the composition of the Acrita among the divisions of the 

* Hor. Ent. 223. 


animal kingdom ; in that of the Ametabola among the 
classes of A nnulosa, and of the Coleoptera among the orders 
of Mandibulata. It is a disposition,, also, which can 
scarcely have escaped our notice on examining the genus 
Phanoeus, the fifth type of which contains insects re- 
sembling all the other types, together with P. carnifeoc, 
which has a form peculiar to this fifth type. What 
this fifth type is to Phanaus, Gymnopleurus is to the 
genus ScarabcBiis ; that is, while it has a form peculiar 
to itself in G. flagellatus, it contains insects varying in 
the structure of those parts which remain constant in 
the other sub-genera."* 

(26*4.) In the foregoing extracts, we trace the first per- 
ception of that system of representation which we have 
elsewhere enlarged upon t, and which there is every pre- 
sumptive evidence to believe exists throughout nature. 
Not only does one of the five groups contain types of 
all the rest, together with a form peculiar to itself; but 
this principle pervades every natural group, whether 
large or small. The principle is, undoubtedly, the dis- 
covery of Mr. MacLeay ; and had he prosecuted his re- 
searches, and followed the clue thus afforded him, 
very little, on this subject, would have been left us 
to elucidate. This representation, which he supposed 
to be partial that is, confined to one only out of the 
five groups we have found to be universal, and belong- 
ing equally to the other four. 

(265.) We have been induced to devote more space to 
the developement of the leading principles of this sys- 
tem, than we should otherwise have done, on many 
important accounts. First, because it is unquestionably 
the first which clearly defined any one philosophic prin- 
ciple of classification ; so that, strictly speaking, we must 
date the first partial developement of natural arrange- 
ment, from the publication of the Horce Entomologicce. 
Lamarck, it is true, traced the outlines of the circle, without 
knowing that he had done so : while Mr. MacLeay, 

* Hor. Ent. 518. f Northern Zoology 


by a totally different process of investigation, arrived 
at the same general result ; but with this difference., that 
he discovered properties, which belonged to this series, 
of universal prevalence in natural groups, and he deter- 
mined several of those laws which regulated the variation 
of animals; a process of induction which heretofore 
had never been dreamed of. These discoveries let in 
a flood of light on the study of nature, and converted 
that which hitherto had been a science of observation 
into one of the deepest philosophy. In such a new and 
untrodden field, it would have been strange indeed, if 
subsequent researches had not detected errors. Our 
surprise, therefore, is, not that this theory should be 
partially defective, but that it should develope so much 
that is to endure so long as science is cultivated. The 
system of Mr. MacLeay is eminently natural ; although, 
as he himself repeatedly declares, it does not claim to 
be the natural system ; meaning thereby, we may pre- 
sume, that many principles of that system, and many 
properties of natural groups, were unknown to him. 
This admission, on the part of the master, should be 
borne in mind, when reading the commentaries of his 
disciples ; for it has unfortunately happened in this, as 
in other instances, that the reputation of this eminent 
naturalist has suffered much more from the zeal of his 
admirers than from the hostility of his adversaries. On 
a careful consideration, therefore, of the principles of 
natural arrangement developed by our author, they may 
be all comprised under one or other of the following : 
1. The demonstration of the circular nature of affinities 
in natural groups ; 2. The component parts of every 
group being regulated, in their variation, by some de- 
finite number ; and, 3. The system of representation, by 
which the contents of one natural group are represented 
analogically by the contents of other groups. This 
last law, indeed, was not suspected to be universal j but 
merely confined to one in every fifth group. The 
theory of analogy and affinity comes also under this 
latter head ; being, in fact, one of the tests or proofs to 


be applied. Such are the fundamental principles of 
classification contained in the HOTCB Entomologicce ; the 
modifications which they subsequently received from its 
author, will be presently stated. 

(266.) The system of M. Fries is the next in order 
of succession; for., although it was applied by this dis- 
tinguished botanist only to a natural group in the 
vegetable kingdom., its principles are too important not 
to be equally deserving the attention of the zoologist. 
It is very remarkable, that this consummate botanist, 
totally ignorant of the previous publication of the Horcs 
Entomologies, should have detected the same principles 
of circular affinities therein developed, and should have 
illustrated them, by analyses,, much more fully. Yet,, 
although these naturalists agree in considering the cir- 
cularity of groups to be the first principle of the natural 
system, they differ in the determinate number of their 
groups ; those of Mr, MacLeay being, in fact, ten (or, ac- 
cording to his subsequent belief, five]; and those of M. 
Fries four. It seems, however, that the centrum, or 
typical group of the German botanist, is always divisi- 
ble into two series (sed centrum obit semper in duas 
series] ; and that each of his series or groups is a circle, 
appears evident from the following words : Omnis sectio 
naturalis circulum per se clausum exhibet, that is, every 
section, series, or group,, forms, of itself, a circle. 
Hence it follows, that, as one of M. Fries's groups, ac- 
cording to his own account, is always divisible into two, 
thus their total number is not four, lout five. The dif- 
ference, therefore, between this theory and the last is 
rather nominal than real : for as M. Fries at the same 
time detected the theory of representation, by which the 
contents of one circle typified the contents of a neigh- 
bouring circle, this, of course, led him clearly to un- 
derstand and to define the difference between analogy 
and affinity. It is plain, therefore, that the three great 
principles of natural arrangement given to the public in 
the first instance by Mr. MacLeay, were also discovered 
by M. Fries; we say discovered, in contradistinction 
p 3 


to adopted; because it is not to be doubted, that our 
author was totally ignorant of the previous publication 
of a theory perfectly resembling that worked out by him- 
self, unaided and unassisted, and solely resulting from the 
profound study he had devoted to the plants whose na- 
tural arrangement he wished to understand. We cannot 
trace, however, either from the valuable paper on this 
subject by Mr. MacLeay *, or from the work of M. Fries 
itself, that any new principle or property was made 
known by the Systema Mycologicum. Those, indeed, 
which had been previously made known, were much 
more fully illustrated than in the Horce Entomologies, 
where two genera only are thoroughly analysed j whereas 
M. Fries applied his theory to the full investigation of 
the whole class of Fungi, through all its minor groups 
or subdivisions. 

(267.) We must now advert to Mr.MacLeay's second 
or quinary theory, which differs from the first in several 
important particulars made known in the writings of 
its author, soon after the publication of M. Fries's work. 
It is much to be regretted, that these deviations from 
the principles advocated in the Horce Entomologies 
were not more clearly stated ; since this circumstance 
has produced much misapprehension on the part of his 
disciples, and has obscured rather than illustrated the 
theory which was to be demonstrated. It is, therefore, 
with the object of placing the whole in an intelligible 
light before the student, that we venture to follow up 
this task. We have seen that, according to our au- 
thor's first theory, every great circle was connected to 
that of the same rank which followed it by a smaller 
circle, so that the animal kingdom was represented by 
five large and five smaller circles ; the same principle 
was also stated in regard to the Mandibulata, where the 
groups are not five, but ten.f These five small or 
osculant groups are, consequently, essential to the first 
theory of Mr. MacLeay. But, in his subsequent paper % 3 

* Linn. Trans, vol. xiv. p. 46. f Ib. p. 42. 

J See Hor. Ent. p. 438. 


written for the purpose of showing the identity of his 
theory with that of M. Fries, we do not discover any 
allusion to these osculant groups. Whether this omission 
originated in a desire to show that, in the main, his 
views were essentially the same as those of M. Fries, 
or whether he had already discovered that these small 
circles were, in fact, hut part and parcel of the larger 
ones, does not sufficiently appear : certain it is, however, 
that this part of his former theory is passed over, both in 
the paper here alluded to, and in the Annulosa Javanica. 
Five is now declared to he the definite number ; and 
nothing is said, so far as we can trace, of the five small 
esculent groups. This alteration, the naturalist will im- 
mediately perceive, not only affects the details of the 
whole theory on the animal circle already exhibited 
(p. 203.), but likewise alters every diagram of the anmi- 
lose groups given in the Horce Entomologies : for if the 
principles laid down in this latter work are adhered to, 
then our author's views, in regard to the number of 
types in every natural group, most materially differ from 
that of M. Fries ; while, if we are to exclude osculant 
groups, as in the subsequent table given by Mr. MacLeay 
of the Ptilota*, or winged insects, then the whole of 
the diagrams given in the Horce Entomologicce require 
re-modelling. This is so obvious, that we very much re- 
gret no explanation, upon so important a change, has been 
given. There is another distinction introduced by Mr. 
MacLeay in his more recent essays on the quinarian 
theory, which also merits attention ; not so much as to 
the effect it has upon the groups themselves, but as 
having given rise to erroneous impressions on their pri- 
mary divisions, and apparently contradicting the former 
definitions. Our author has very clearly shown the 
impropriety of M. Fries considering his centrum, or 
typical group, to be but one ; because, according to M. 
Fries's own definition, this group is composed of two. 
(f Centrum obit semper in duas series ; " yet, per 

* Linn. Trans, vol. xiv. p. 67. 

p 4 



ceiving this error of the German cryptogamist, and join- 
ing him in maintaining that no group is natural which 
does not form a circle, Mr. MacLeay subsequently adopts 
the plan of M. Fries,, by first dividing his group into 
two divisions, one of which he terms normal, and the 
other aberrant. Now, this normal group corresponds to 
the centrum of M. Fries ; that is, it contains two series, 
and not one. We may here repeat our author's words, 
in speaking of the central group of M. Fries, as per- 
fectly applicable to his own binary division of a typical 
or normal group. " In the first place, M. Fries lays it 
down as a rule that he admits no groups whatever to be 
natural_, unless they form circles more or less complete. 
Let us, then, apply this rule to what he terms his cen- 
tral group, and which he makes always to consist of 
two. Does this form a circle ? If not, the group can- 
not be natural, according to his own definition." We 
may, in like manner, enquire, Does our author's admis- 
sion that every group is a circle, apply to that which he 
calls his normal group ? If not, this group, any more 
than the centrum of M. Fries, cannot be natural. Of 
this, indeed, Mr. MacLeay is perfectly aware ; for he ob- 
viously merely uses this term to assimilate his normal 
group with the centrum of Fries, which, as we have 
already seen, contains the two most typical groups of every 
circle. The disadvantages of this mode of division are 
several : first, it has conveyed the impression to others, 
that Mr. MacLeay's system is, in the first place, binary, 
and, in the second, quinary. A countenance has been thus 
given to the binary method, which superficial writers have 
adroitly used, by appealing to this constant and primary 
use of the number two, while others insist that there must 
be always ' ' a great typical group resolvable into two." It 
likewise gives to the term group two distinct meanings : 
one as used to denote an artificial division (every na- 
tural group being a circle) ; and another as denoting a 
natural, and therefore a circular, division. It is to 
be hoped this elucidation of Mr. MacLeay's theory, prolix 
and perhaps tedious as it necessarily has been, will not 


be uninteresting to science. To the student we feel 
assured it will be acceptable ; since no one has yet at- 
tempted to place the subject in a clear light; and the 
Horce EntomologiccB is now so scarce,, that few can hope 
to consult its philosophic pages. We have also felt 
desirous to place the value of Mr. MacLeay's discoveries 
in their true light, and clearly to explain those funda- 
mental principles of the natural system which he has 
the high and undoubted honour of having discovered. 
How far he may have been successful in the application 
of these principles, belongs not to our present enquiry, 
which regards the principles of natural classification,, not 
the results of their application. 

(268.) In connection with the denomination or rank 
assigned by Mr. MacLeay to some of his groups, a few 
remarks are necessary, as they are not considered by him 
in the same uniform light. In some of the diagrams 
he has given to explain the affinities of the annulose 
animals, the very same group which is called typical in 
one, is made aberrant in another. Thus, on turning 
to the diagram of the Annulosa*, we find that the Chilo- 
poda and Thysanura are typical groups : but in the 
diagram of the Mandibulata, the denomination and situ- 
ation of the Thysanuriform type are changed ; it is no 
longer typical, but aberrant ; while the Chilognathiform, 
placed at p. 390. as aberrant, is now made typical : 
this, of course, brings with it a complete change, not 
only in the smaller circle which contains these types, 
but in the situation of every other in these two dia- 
grams. As nothing, so far as we can discover, is stated in 
explanation of these contradictory denominations of the 
same groups, we can only account for it, either by sup- 
posing Mr. MacLeay not to have then discovered that 
the same group which was external or typical in one 
circle, was also external in another, or that, in the 
eager and natural desire to make good his circle of the 
Annulosa, he overlooked this transportation of his groups. 
Certain, however, it is, that this oversight has not only 

* Hor. Ent. p. 390. 


thrown great uncertainty on his circles of Ametabola 
and Crustacea, but alters the position of every group in 
the diagram. If, on the other hand, we are to believe 
that the positions of these groups in the annulose dia- 
gram is correct, then that of the Mandibulata * must be 
reconstructed ; for the Thysanuriform type cannot be at 
once both typical and aberrant ; nor can the ChilognatM- 
form Ametabola be aberrant, and the Chilognathiform 
Coleoptera typical. We are convinced, therefore, that 
this talented author had not ascertained the fact, that 
the denomination of a group is always definite ; that is 
to say, it is either always typical or always aberrant : 
he justly supposes that the contents of one natural 
group represent the contents of another natural group; 
but he did not perceive that one of the consequences of 
this fact was, that the divisions which were typical in one 
would be typical in another; for if otherwise, the parallel 
between the two would fail. This oversight, in fact, 
has not only proved the artificial nature of the ame- 
tabolous circle, but has been no small source of em- 
barrassment to the attempt of arranging the order 
Lepidoptera in conformity therewith. Every entomo- 
logist must perceive that the two typical (or external) 
divisions of the diurnal butterflies, as Shrank and the 
authors of the Vienna Catalogue long ago intimated, are 
represented by the genera Nymphales and Papilio; the 
first being the Chilopodiform stirps of Dr. Horsfield, 
and the latter the Chilognathiform : but if the series of 
the Ametabola is to be adhered to, as given in HOT. Ent. 
p. 390., then this theory must be altogether abandoned; 
the genus Morpho, as corresponding to the Thysanura, 
must be a typical group ; that of Nymphales, the other ; 
while that of Papilio becomes aberrant, leading directly 
out of the circle ! It is clear, therefore, that if, as many 
passages in his work indicate, our learned author enter- 
tained a suspicion that the rank of his groups was de- 
finite, he did not believe that this property was univer- 

* Hor. Ent. p. 439. 


sal, or he would not have abandoned this principle of 
the natural system in the two most important diagrams 
of his essay \ being those, in fact, by which he intended 
to show the natural distribution of the Annulosa, and 
the sum and substance of his entire theory on this class 
of animals. 

(269.) A few other systems, claiming to be natural, 
may be briefly glanced at, as having been intimated or 
projected by subsequent writers, without, however, ex- 
hibiting any attempt at demonstration, much less of 
establishing any new principle of natural arrangement. 
The laborious author of the Cl Systematic Catalogue of 
British Insects," adopting a favourite notion of an emi- 
nent entomologist whose writings we have frequently 
quoted, thinks that seven is the definite number em- 
ployed by nature in the construction of her groups, and 
therefore divides all insects into seven orders ; profess- 
ing at the same time to be " convinced that natural 
objects cannot be arranged agreeably to their affinities, 
otherwise than by a series of circles, returning, as Mr. 
MacLeay expresses it, into themselves." Admitting this 
as an undoubted truth, our author, nevertheless, continues 
" sceptical as to the quinary arrangement being uni- 
versal throughout nature." In pursuance of his be- 
lief in the circular system, he has given a table 
of the supposed affinities of the order Coleoptera, 
and three others of different groups of the Lepidop- 
tera. As no details, however, are entered into, the 
reader is left to make out these affinities as he best 
can, and the tables themselves (possibly by the mode 
in which they are printed) appear to us not well cal- 
culated to elucidate the notions of the author. A 
much more able attempt to revive this system has 
been recently made by the ingenious author of Sphinx 
Vespiformis, wherein he advocates the circular theory 
of Mr. MacLeay, but maintains that the number of divi- 
sions throughout nature are seven. These divisions he 
arranges, so that one, the assumed pre-eminent type, 
occupies the centre of a diagram j the other six being 


disposed around it. No attempt,, however, is made to 
show that there are seven primary divisions in the 
animal kingdom, or in the division of Annulosa ; but 
the order of Lepidoptera is selected as more especially 
containing seven groups ; and to the same number, of 
course, our author restricts the class of Insecta. The chief 
object which Mr. Newman seems to have in view, is that 
of connecting the six minor divisions with the seventh or 
typical one, which he places in the centre. A glance 
at his table of the classes of Insecta will enable the ex- 
perienced entomologist to decide at once how far he 
has been successful in this effort. The Neuroptera is 
his central circle, round which he places the following 
genera: 1. Mantispa ; 2. Psocus ; 3. Psyche; 4. 
Clo'eon ; 5. Termes ; and the 6. he states as unknown. 
These, then, are neuropterous genera : let us now see 
how they are supposed to be connected with the other 
orders ; or, as they are termed, the classes of insects. 

1. Mantispa passes into the Orthoptera by Mantis. 

2. Psocus Hemiptera Aphis. 

3. Psyche Lepidoptera Tinea. 

4. Clo'eon Diptera Chironomus. 

5. Termes Hymenoptera Formica. 

6. Coleoptera unknown. 

(270.) The Neuroptera are defined in these words : 
" Class J. Central, partaking of the characters of all the 
others." (p. 27.) In what manner these insects form a 
circle of their own, so that Mantispa is connected to 
Psocus Psocus to Psyche Psyche to Clo'eon 
Clo'eon to Termes and by what link of affinity we are 
again to reach Mantispa, after leaving Termes, is not 
mentioned. The [mode in which the external orders 
or classes are connected, the author has not explained ; 
how, for instance, we can pass from the Lepidoptera 
to the Diptera, and so on ? The diagram of the sub- 
classes of Lepidoptera is a little more filled up. Here 
we find Papilio p assing on one side into Geometra 
by means of Leilus, Sw. (Urania, Fab.) and Ouropteryx, 
Leach. The union of Papilio with the Bombyces is 


thought to be effected by BarUcornes (an Erycinian 
butterfly) and Lasiocampa. 

(271.) Without entering more into the details of 
the various hypotheses last mentioned, it appears ex- 
pedient, in this place, to recall the mind of the naturalist 
to the essence of those remarks which have been given 
more fully in another place*, and which are applicable 
alike to all theories which set out with the admission of 
the first law of natural classification the circularity of 
groups. It is evidently easy, for it requires no great 
ingenuity, to divide a group into three, four, five, seven, 
or any other given number j but before such a division 
can be called " natural," there are certain peremptory 
conditions, which, in the present state of science, must 
be complied with. The first of these is a demonstra- 
tion of the theoretic principle upon which the author 
builds his system. He is not merely to assert, but he is 
to prove, that his fc natural" orders, or whatever other 
denomination he affixes to his groups, are each of 
them circles of affinity. To profess a belief in the cir- 
cular system, and yet set at nought its practical exem- 
plification, is childish; and, but for its inconstancy, 
would injure science, by despising inductive reasoning. 
An author who fixes upon any definite number, for the 
division of an entomological group, should first prove 
that the same number also exists in the ornithological 
and all other zoological circles t, otherwise he tacitly 
admits the monstrous and exploded supposition that 
there is no uniformity of plan in the creation beyond 
circles. If, therefore, the annulose kingdom, in its 
primary divisions, is resolvable into seven circles, so 
also must be the vertebrated kingdom : otherwise we 
exhibit insects as created upon one plan, birds upon a 
second, and quadrupeds (probably) upon a third. It 
is really most disheartening to find naturalists (especially 

* Preliminary Discourse on Nat. Hist. p. 225. 

f The ingenious author of Sphinx Vespiformis, however, promises to do 
this in a separate essay, already (1832) in a state of forwardness. .We 
hope this will soon appear. If he is successful in establishing a more har- 
monious theory than that which is already known, we shall be the first to 
proclaim the fact. 


entomologists) so confident in their conviction of the truth 
of circular affinities, and yet so unconsciously regardless 
of those principles which must establish this theory in the 
minds of acute reasoners. The proof of a circle of affinity, 
as laid down hy its discoverer, rests, in the first instance, 
upon its complete analysis ; and, secondly, in its con- 
tents intimately and regularly corresponding in analogy 
with the contents of a neighbouring circle. There may 
be seven, ten, twenty, or fifty natural orders, for what 
we know, and they may possibly be circular, and there- 
fore natural ; but with the above conditions of a circle 
before us, we must ever withhold our belief in such di- 
visions, until they rest upon a more solid foundation 
than arbitrary opinion. Although somewhat backward in 
viewing zoology as but a branch of physical science, 
we are happily so far advanced in its philosophy, as to 
consider facts more weighty than assertions, and cautious 
induction more valuable than hypothesis. If, then, the 
number seven is to be substituted for that of five, let it 
be made out analytically and analogically in any two 
groups out of the many which have been assumed as 
" natural," and we will venture to predict that the 
learned author of the Horce Entomologies would be one 
of the first who would proclaim the truth of the demon- 
stration. We offer these observations generally, and as 
equally applicable to any determinate number which 
may be thought the true one of nature. 

(272.) It has been said, in reference to the quinary 
theory, that in most cases the number of divisions in a 
natural group is five, but that in many instances there 
appear to be as many as seven. Now, this may be very 
true in one sense, and very erroneous in another. 1. If 
a circular group is to be divided merely according to the 
fancy of the divider, or according to those marks or 
characters which he thinks most important, without re- 
ference to any other considerations, it is obvious that 
scarcely two persons will agree in the number they 
eventually fix upon : one may make three, another five, 
and another seven. But then comes the first test of accu- 


racy. The question is not,, how many apparent divi- 
sions can be made? but does each division, by itself, 
form a circular group ? If not, they cannot be natural. 
If such writers would only recollect the admission which 
they set out with, that every natural group is a circle, 
" they would not so often flounder about in all the 
difficulties which necessarily attend the supposition of 
two determinate numbers." * 

(273.) Mr. MacLeay makes the following sound ob- 
servations regarding septenary theories ; and they are 
equally applicable to any determinate number which spe- 
culative ideas may give rise to. " The number seven 
might also, perhaps, for obvious reasons, occur to the mind, 
were it allowable in natural history to ground any rea- 
soning except upon facts of organisation. The idea 
of this number is, however, immediately laid aside, on 
endeavouring to discover seven primary divisions of 
equal degree in the animal kingdom. It is easy, indeed, 
to imagine the prevalence of a number ; the difficulty 
is to prove it. The naturalist, therefore, requires 
something more than the statement of a number, before 
he allows either a preconceived opinion, or any analogy 
not founded on organic structure, to have an influence 
on his favourite science. He requires its application to 
nature, and its illustration by facts." f 

* MacLeay's Letter to Dr. Fleming, p. 33. 
f Linn. Trans, vol. xiv. p. 57. note. 





274.) IN submitting to the zoological world for 
he first time in a connected form the result of our 
researches on the first principles of the NATURAL SYSTEM, 
it seems the most simple and preferable method to state 
them, as heretofore *, in the form of distinct propo- 
sitions, which we shall endeavour to substantiate by sub- 
sequent details. 

I. That every natural series of beings, in its progress 
from a given point, either actually returns, or evinces 
a tendency to return, again to that point, thereby 
forming a circle. 

II. The primary circular divisions of every group are 
three actually, or five apparently. 

III. The contents of such a circular group are symbol- 
ically (or analogically) represented by the contents of 
all other circles in the animal kingdom. 

IV. That these primary divisions of every group are 
characterised by definite peculiarities of form, struc- 
ture, and economy, which, under diversified modi- 
fications, are uniform throughout the animal kingdom, 

* See Fauna Boreali-Americana (Northern Zoology), vol. ii. prcf. p. 48. 


and are therefore to be regarded as the PRIMARY 


V. That the different ranks or degrees of circular 
groups exhibited in the animal kingdom are NINE 
in number, each being involved within the other. 

(275.) We shall now proceed, without further com- 
ment, to adduce, in detail, the reasons upon which these 
opinions are grounded, and state these reasons as simply 
and as concisely as their nature will admit of. 

(276.) I. In regard to the first proposition on the 
circularity of natural groups, it seems needless to repeat 
what has already been said both in this and in a pre- 
ceding volume.* For the sake, however, of exhibiting 
collectively the first truths of the natural system in a 
connected series, a popular explanation may not be mis- 
placed. The progression of affinity in any assemblage 
of animals is known to be natural, if it is circular. 
This is shown when, by beginning at some one point of 
the series, and following closely the line of affinity, we 
are imperceptibly conducted to that point again. The 
two extremities of the series will thus obviously be 
united; and this union, of course, gives us the figure of 
a circle. Between the two points, thus blending into each 
other, a greater or lesser number of modifications of 
form, in the intervening animals, will occur, depend- 
ing entirely on the greater or lesser extent of the circle 
we are tracing. These deviations, however (as will be 
hereafter shown), are ail upon a uniform plan ; and, 
besides, in all cases, are secondary, or inferior, to the 
leading characters of the whole assemblage, which in 
one way or other they ail retain. Such a circle is 
called a natural group : the word group being em- 
ployed, on this occasion, to designate, indiscriminately, 
every series or assemblage of beings, whose affinities 
have been so made out. When such a series is so gra- 
dually developed that no link in the chain of continuity 
appears wanting, it is then termed a perfect group. 

* Preliminary Discourse on Nat. Hist. 


But when a part of the series is perfect, and the other 
part presents the idea of a chain where several of the 
links are wan ting, then the group is called imperfect ^^$01* 
this imperfection arises from two causes : either these 
absent links have not yet been discovered, or they have 
been destroyed in the revolutions which have agitated 
our globe. This is the first great law* of the natural 
system ; it is that upon which all others repose, and which 
has been already demonstrated in almost every de- 
partment of zoology, but more especially in ornitho- 
logy. If the reader wishes to see this theory made 
good in the animal world, we must refer him to the 
Horce Entomologies and to the Northern Zoology. We 
may refer him, in the last-mentioned work, to the genus 
Picus, and to the sub- family Piciance, as examples of 
perfect groups ; and to the family Picidce (of the same 
volume) for one that is imperfect. The circle of the 
animal kingdom (p. 203.) is also a familiar illustration 
upon a large scale. Commencing with the Polypes, we 
pass on to the Mollusca; from these we are led to verte- 
brated animals ; thence to insects and radiated animals; 
and, finally, arrive once more among the polypes. Our 
course has thus been circular ; the two ends of the series 
meet ; and we have, theoretically, a natural group. 

(277.) II. We now pass to our second proposition ; 
viz. The primary circular divisions of every such group 
are three actually) and five apparently. 

(278.) As it is manifest that every group, according to 
its magnitude, will exhibit more or less variety in its con- 
tents, the first question which suggests itself is, Are 
these variations regulated by any definite number ? And 
is that number so constant, in all such groups as have 
been properly investigated, as to sanction the belief that 
it is universal ? The answer is in the affirmative. Every 
group, whatever may be its rank or value, (that is, its 
size or its denomination,) contains, according to our 
theory, three other primary groups, whose affinities are 
also circular. One of these is called the typical, the other 
the sub-typical, and the third the aberrant group. This 



latter is so much more diversified in its contents (for 
reasons hereafter to be stated) than the other two, that 
many naturalists reckon five groups in all ; the number 
five being made out by dividing the aberrant group 
into three, instead of considering it as only one. We 
have seen,, however, that the first test of a natural 
group is its circular chain of affinities. If, therefore, 
the three divisions of Mr. MacLeay's aberrant group can 
be shown to form a circle of their own, independent of 
the other two, then we must reckon them as one only, 
thus making the primary divisions of every circle three. 
We, consequently, have, in 
every natural group, three 
primary circles, one of which 
(the aberrant) is divided into 
three secondary circles. A 
good idea of this disposition 
may be gained by the an- 
nexed diagram. If, on the 
other hand, we adopt Mr. 
MacLeay's theory, that every 
group is first divided into five circles (the three aberrant 
not being united into one), then we may express them 
in this manner : 

3 Aberrant 

(279.) Let us illustrate this first division of a -natural 
group by an instance drawn from the animal kingdom. 
Q 2 


Every one knows that vertebrated animals, above all 
others, are the most distinctly marked by possessing an 
internal skeleton. They have been, moreover, demon- 
strated to be a circular group. What, then, are the 
divisions? These are no less obvious. Quadrupeds, birds, 
reptiles, amphibia, and fishes, are acknowledged to be so 
many types of the vertebrated circle. There is, however, 
good reason to believe that the last three of these types 
form a circle of their own ; in which case, we should 
have, in fact, three primary circles of vertebrated animals : 
the first, or typical, comprising the quadrupeds ; the se- 
cond, or sub-typical, consisting of the birds ; and the third, 
or aberrant, including the reptiles, amphibia, and fishes. 
On the other hand, if each of these latter classes of 
animals is found to be of the same rank as quadrupeds or 
birds, then the number of primary divisions will be five. 
In reference, however, to the above exemplification, it 
should here be observed, that the absolute union of the 
reptiles, amphibia, and fishes, into one circle of their 
own, has not yet been demonstrated. That there is, 
nevertheless, a high degree of probability attached to such 
a supposition, will be apparent, when we consider how 
much nearer they are allied to each other, in comparison 
to their affinity with birds and quadrupeds. How 
closely the water serpents and the eels approach each 
other, and how well are they all three characterised by 
their cold blood, while that of birds and quadrupeds is 
warm. There are also similar reasons for believing in this 
union of the aberrant groups in all the other divisions of 
the animal kingdom not yet analysed. In ornithology, 
however, so many analytical details have been gone into *, 
that we consider this proposition to be fully demon- 
strated. If, again, one of these larger divisions is 
analysed, the same results follow, there will be three 
secondary circles united into one ; and thus we go on, 
reducing every group to a smaller one, until we come to 
a genus, where again we find three groups of sub-genera,, 

* See Northern Zoology. 


the aberrant one always being so much diversified, that 
it wears the appearance of being three, making the 
number five. Thus, for instance, the class of birds 
contains three primary groups ; but the aberrant one is 
so large and varied, that we are accustomed, for the sake 
of perspicuity, to divide it into three ; namely, the 
Rasores, the Grallatores, and the Natatores. 

(280.) The difference of considering a natural group 
as divisible into three, instead of five, does not, in the 
least, affect the natural series by which they are united. 
The discovery of the union of Mr. MacLeay's three aber- 
rant groups into a circle of their own, is the addition 
only of a property superadded to that which they were 
known to possess ; this property consisting of uniting 
into a circle among themselves, as well as passing into 
the typical and the sub-typical groups. It is, however, 
a distinction to be kept in mind, since without it 
we should be unable to substantiate that uniformity 
of plan which embraces every natural group, and 
renders them but types of higher assemblages. The 
first divisions of matter, or natural bodies, are obviously 
three, animals, vegetables, and minerals; and this 
number coincides with that found in the primary 
divisions of animals, and in all their inferior groups. 
This, of itself, is strong presumptive and analogical 
evidence. If, on the other hand, every natural group 
was first resolvable intone, then, to support the theory 
of perfect uniformity in creation, we must show that 
there are five primary divisions of natural bodies; 
a division which no one has ventured to point out. 
The plan of nature implies perfect harmony and 
uniformity, not only in generals but particulars. All 
that is yet known by analysis confirms this theoretical 
conclusion ; and this, independent of any other con- 
sideration, is conclusive against the idea that there 
should be only three primary circles in some groups, and 
five or seven in others. 

(281.) It has been observed, however, that, in groups 
termed imperfect, some of the links of connection are 
Q S 


wanting. The question then arises, upon what grounds 
do we contend that such are natural grolips, seeing that 
their circularity cannot be traced ? This leads us to 
consider the different relations which belong to every 
organised being, and to the developement of another law 
of nature, both of which are now to be explained. 

(282.) We are thus conducted to our third pro- 
position. The contents of every circular group are 
symbolically or analogically represented by the contents 
of every other circle in the animal kingdom. There are, 
in nature, two sorts of resemblances, which are termed 
analogy and affinity. We have so fully explained these 
relations in our preliminary volume *, that it is only in 
consequence of our wish to exhibit in a connected series 
all the laws of natural arrangement yet discovered, that 
we now repeat, in some measure, the substance of what 
has already been stated. 

(283.) The most ordinary observer perceives, that 
every created being has different degrees of relationship 
or of resemblance to others. Where this is immediate., 
it is termed an affinity ; where, on the other hand, it is 
remote, it is a relation of analogy.-^ 

(284.) The theoretic distinction between affinity and 
analogy, in a more scientific point of view, has been 
thus stated by the naturalist who first gave a definite 
meaning to the terms: " Suppose the existence of two 
parallel series of animals, the corresponding points of 
which agree in some one or two remarkable particulars 
of structure. Suppose, also, that the general conform- 
ation of the animals in each series passes so gradually 
from one species to the other, as to render any inter- 
ruption of their transition almost imperceptible. We 
shall thus have two very different relations, which must 

* Preliminary Discourse on Nat. Hist. 

t There cannot be a better proof of the low ebb to which the higher de- 
partments of /oology have sunk, and the ignorance of those persons who 
are engaged to write reviews of scientific works for the daily press, than 
the fact of one of those critics, who undertook to censure our former vo- 
lume, being totally unacquainted with the difference between analogy and 
qffinity! To him, it seems, they are only synonymous with "resem- 
blances," and such " resemblances," forsooth, are to be ridiculed ! 


have required an almost infinite degree of design before 
they could have been made exactly to harmonise with 
each other. When, therefore, two such parallel series 
can be shown, in nature, to have each their general 
change of form gradual, or, in other words, their rela- 
tions of affinity uninterrupted by any thing known 
when, moreover, the corresponding points in these two 
series agree in some one or two remarkable circum- 
stances, there is every probability of our arrangement 
being correct. It is quite inconceivable that the utmost 
human ingenuity could make these two kinds of re- 
lation tally with each other, had they not been so 
designed in the creation. Relations of analogy consist 
in a correspondence between certain insulated parts, or 
properties, of the organisation of two animals which 
differ in their general structure. These relations, how- 
ever, seem to have been confounded, by Lamarck, and, 
indeed, all zoologists, with those upon which orders, 
sections, families, and other subdivisions, immediately 

(285.) To illustrate by an example the above de- 
finition, we will take two groups of birds, whose 
relations are unquestionable. The first shall be the 
primary orders of the class ; the second, the primary 
tribes of the perching order. By placing these in ' ( pa- 
rallel series," it will be found that the corresponding 
points of each agree in some one or two remarkable pe- 
culiarities of structure or of habits. 

Orders of Birds. Tribes of Perchers. 

1. TYPICAL GROUP. Insessores. . . Conirostres. 

2. SUB-TYPICAL GROOP. Raptores . . . Dentirostres. 

f Nalatores . . . Fissirostres. 

3. ABERRANT GROUP. -j Grallatores . . Tenuirostres. 

{_ Rasores . . . Scansores. 

Here we have two series of natural groups arranged 
parallel to each other, but of different ranks. The first 

* Hor. Ent. p. 363. 
Q 4 


exhibits the orders or first divisions of birds; the 
second, the tribes of one of these orders, namely, the 
Insessores, or perching birds. Each of these is a cir- 
cular group : for in one column we find the Rasores 
pass into the Insessores on one side., and into the Gral- 
latores on the other; while in the other column the 
Scansores, in like manner, blend into the Conirostres, 
although connected also with the Tenuirostres. We 
shall now show in what way each of these parallel 
series analogically agree in the details of their cor- 
responding points, in some one or more remarkable 
peculiarities of structure. The Insessores and the Co- 
nirostres, besides being the most perfectly organised in 
their respective groups, are remarkable for the com- 
parative smallness of the notch or tooth of their bill : 
here, then, is their analogy. In the Raptores and the 
Dentirostres, the notch is so large as to assume the 
shape of a tooth, a peculiarity which belongs to these 
alone. The Natatores and Fissirostres again preserve 
the same chain of analogy by the smallness and slight 
developement of their feet, and by possessing the greatest 
powers of flight. The Grallatores resemble the Tenui- 
rostres in having very small mouths, and long soft 
bills. Finally, the Scansores and the Rasores are the 
most intelligent and docile of all birds, and have a short 
thick bill, generally entire at the tip. Now as these re- 
semblances of analogy are totally independent of the 
affinity between the groups in each of these two columns, 
and as they follow each other precisely in the same or- 
der, there is, so far, analogical demonstration that this 
arrangement is natural. Here, then, the difference be- 
tween affinity and analogy is exemplified. Analogies 
will be more or less apparent, according as the groups 
compared are of equal value, and approximate to each 
other in the general system. On the other hand, they 
will be more or less faint, and difficult to be traced, as 
the groups differ in value, and are remote. In speaking 
generally of affinity and analogy, we must always take 
into consideration the nature of the groups compared. 


Thus,, if we spoke of the relation which the bat has to 
a bird, we should term it an analogy ; because between 
the two there is a vast number of intervening groups, 
but, if we compare the Ornithorhynchus with a bird, the 
resemblance is an affinity, inasmuch as no quadruped 
yet discovered shows such a decided tendency to con- 
nect these two classes of animals. The foregoing ob- 
servations may be considered as a recapitulation only of 
what has already been stated of these relations generally. 
We must now proceed to a more detailed explanation of 
the relations of affinity than has hitherto been given. 

(286.) Every object in nature has three distinct re- 
lations of affinity : one, by which it is connected with 
that object which precedes it in the scale of being ; an- 
other, by which it is united to that which follows it ; 
and a third, which connects it to some other object 
placed out of its own proper circle. That these may 
be expressed with precision, we term the first two sim- 
ple or internal affinities, and the latter external. 

(287-) Simple or internal affinities must exist under 
any system which notices the progression of nature, 
whether the series be represented as simply linear, or 
circular : they are not, therefore, peculiar to the latter 
theory. The dog, for instance, is intermediate between 
the fox and the wolf; it has, consequently, two direct 

(288.) External affinities are not always so obvious 
as the former, except in those aberrant groups which 
connect two different circles ; for it is manifest that if 
this third sort of affinity did not exist, the two circles 
would not blend into each other, as we see they do in 
nature. But in groups which are unusually abundant 
in species and in slight modifications of form, there is 
reason to believe that these external affinities will be 
found both in typical and aberrant circles. To give an 
instance of this. The annexed diagram explains the 
connection of two families, the shrikes (Laniades), and 
the thrushes (JMeruladcR). Each of these is a circular 
group, their subdivisions perfectly representing each 

Thamnophilinae MyotherinR 

other in many points of strong analogy.* It will be 
seen that these two circles touch, or blend into each 
other (a a), by means of the Edolince (a) in one circle, 
and the Brachypodina (a) in the other. This is the 
usual and most obvious point where circular groups 
respectively meet : but the sort of affinity of which we 
are now speaking also regards the union of the typical 
groups in two distinct circles. In the present instance 
these are the Laniance and Thamnophilinte in one, 
and the Meruladce and Myotherince in another. The 
internal affinities of the Thamnophilince are two ; one to 
the Laniance, the other to the Edoliance ; all three 
groups being parts of the same circle j but then there 
exists, at the same time, such an intimate resemblance 
also between the ThamnophUince and the Myotherince, 
that we believe the relation is one of affinity ; and this 
affinity, being out of the circle, we term external. In 
ordinary cases, where groups so situated are not very 
rich in species, the resemblance between them is not so 
strong, and is then termed an analogy ; but sometimes, 
as in the present instance, we believe that analogies 
blend into affinities, and that the two circles are actually 
united at more points than one. The subject, however, 
of the external affinities of typical groups demands 
much abstruse investigation, before the theory can be 
placed beyond doubt ; and the student will do well to 
pass it over, until he is fully master of such principles 

* See the demonstration of this group, and of all its divisions, in North. 
Zool. voL ii. p. 164, &c. 


of the natural system as have been extensively demon- 

(289.) The nature of external affinities was first in- 
timated in the following passage : " I must now advert 
to another, and, in my estimation, an unquestionable 
principle of natural arrangement : this is, the direct 
union of typical groups, without the intervention of 
those which are aberrant. A vague suspicion of some- 
thing like this first occurred to me when studying the 
affinities of the Laniada, in the year 1824.* This 
property, however, belongs to very few groups, since it 
has only been detected in such as are pre-eminently 
abundant in species, and are not of a higher rank than 
families. Beyond such groups, the higher we ascend 
the more dissimilar are the typical groups in approxi- 
mating circles, until, in looking to a diagram of the ver- 
tebrated animals, not only does all appearance of affinity 
between the external or typical divisions vanish, but it 
becomes even difficult, in some instances, to trace their 
analogy. The theory of external affinities, however, 
belongs to a question so abstruse, and requires such 
nicety of investigation, that, for the present, I should 
rather, perhaps, put it as a query, than consider it as a 
demonstrated fact. At the same time, I must confess 
my utter inability to reconcile, by any other theory, the 
evident and universally acknowledged affinity between 
the Thamnophilinae and the Myotherince ; between the 
MerulincB and the Philomelince, and more especially 
between the typical Setophaga and the typical Sylvicolce. 
Unless these affinities, which I have fully detailed, can 
be disproved or explained by some other mode of rea- 
soning, it seems to be impossible to arrive at any other 

(290.) From the above theory on external affinities 
would result another principle of natural arrangement, 
superadded to those we have already explained as belong- 
ing to natural groups. On this principle we shall not, 

* See Zool. Jo urn. vol. i. p. 302. 

f Swainson, in North. Zool. vol. ii. pref. li. 


however, at present dilate, but merely call the attention 
of the philosophic enquirer to what we have already 
stated elsewhere. " Recent investigations in another 
department of zoology, more abundant in forms and 
species than that of the class AVES, leads me strongly to 
suspect the existence of another property in natural 
groups, which, at present, I shall merely state as an 
hypothesis. It is the union of the most aberrant group 
in one circle with the most aberrant in the next ; so that, 
in a diagram of the order Insessores, formed either on 
Mr. MacLeay's plan of five circles^or of mine upon three, 
one circle would unite all the Tenuirostral types, an- 
other the fissirostral and scansorial, and a third the 
typical and sub-typical. The whole would thus be re- 
presented by three great circles, one within the other, 
and this without the least derangement of the series 
here exhibited. It must, however, be premised that 
this principle cannot be clearly traced in ornithology, 
because the Tenuirostral or grallatorial groups are 
remarkably deficient in their numerical contents. In 
entomology the very reverse of this appears to be the 
case ; and it is there, if my suspicions are well founded, 
that this abstruse property of the natural system may 
hereafter be more especially detected."* 

(291.) Having now sufficiently explained the various 
relations of affinity which animals bear to each other, the 
reader will be better prepared to understand the principle 
of the proposition more immediately before him ; namely, 
the analogical or symbolical representation of the contents 
of one circle with those of the contents of all circles in 
the animal kingdom. This may be distinguished as the 
law of representation. This property of natural groups 
was first intimated in the Horce Entomologies; but it was 
only partially employed as a verification of the groups 
therein mentioned, nor was it at all suspected to hold 
good throughout nature. It was perceived in theory; 
but, the laws by which it was regulated not being then 

* North. Zool. preface. 


discovered, it was often most erroneously applied. The 
result of our researches in following up this law will 
now be given, 

(292.) No law of the natural system is more calcu- 
lated to keep in check the ardour of imagination than 
this. So numerous are the resemblances between ob- 
jects, that, without a better guide than the return of a 
series into itself, we may form circles ad infinitum 
under the idea that they are natural, when, in truth, they 
are artificial. We could even cite many instances where, 
by the help of much ingenuity, parallel relations of 
analogy between artificial groups have been made out, 
and where, in truth, the whole theory has been mis- 
applied. But when, superadded to these, we apply the 
theory of representation in all its bearings, as a third 
test to the accuracy of our groups, it is next to impos- 
sible that we should err or violate the series of nature. 
It is, in fact, as we have elsewhere demonstrated*, 
" the only certain test of a natural group." This will 
be evident when we exemplify the theory by a reference 
to acknowledged facts. 

(293.) The class of Birds, as being that which of all 
others in the animal kingdom has been most analysed, is, 
in consequence, best calculated for our present purpose. 
Every natural group, as we have seen (285.), contains re- 
presentations of the divisions composing a neighbouring 
group. Thus the tribes of the order Rasores f repre- 
sent, by analogy, the tribes of the order Insessores; and 
these tribes, in a similar way, represent the primary 
orders of birds. Now this principle pervades every 
natural group, whatever may be its value, or size, or 
denomination. It extends not only to orders, tribes, 
and families, but even to genera and sub-genera. So 
that, if a sub-genus is sufficiently numerous in species, 
it will contain types of representation of the remaining 
sub-genera composing the entire genus, and, conse- 
quently, of every natural division in the whole class of 

* North. Zool. f See Linn. Trans. voL xvi. p. 45. 


Birds. But the operation of the law does not stop here : 
every thing yet known conspires to prove that, in the 
animal creation at least, it is universal. The classes of 
Birds and of Quadrupeds are each circular groups : their 
minor divisions are, consequently, analogical ; hence it 
follows, that if the types of a genus of birds represent 
the primary divisions of the feathered creation, so also 
must they represent the primary groups in the circle of 
quadrupeds. The principle which regulates one extends 
to all, or there would be no uniformity of plan or har- 
mony of parts. This result, theoretically, or arguing 
upon abstract reasoning, we should expect; and, ac- 
cordingly, the more we study nature, the more is this 
theory confirmed by analysis, and facts are explained 
which by no other theory can be explained. Nor is this 
principle of the natural system circumscribed to the 
animal world ; although so little attention has been be- 
stowed on the natural groups of plants, that, as yet, the 
primary groups only of the vegetable kingdom have been 
recently pointed out. We have elsewhere * illustrated 
this theory in so many groups, of different denomina- 
tions, in the class of Birds, and have shown its preva- 
lence in others, that to go into further details, in this 
place, would be superfluous. 

(294.) One of the most important results of the law 
of representation is the clue that it affords to the location 
of types, and to the determination of such chasms as 
occur in imperfect groups. If the divisions of one 
circle represent those of all others, it follows that each 
of these divisions must have certain definite peculiarities, 
either of structure or of economy, by which they can 
be distinguished, and which belong only to them, and 
the groups by which they are represented. If, there- 
fore, a perfect group is compared with one that is im- 
perfect, that is, with one whose affinities appear 
broken and interrupted, we are materially assisted in 
determining the nature of the missing types, and know, 
with almost mathematical certainty, the true station 

* North. ZooL vol. ii. The Birds, 


which they would occupy in our imperfect group. Let 
us illustrate this by an example. The perching, or 
insessorial, order of birds, collectively,, is a perfect 
group, because its primary divisions are all known; but 
the rapacious order is imperfect, because one of its 
primary divisions is extinct, or, at least, undiscovered. 
We say one, and not two, as is generally thought, be- 
cause the Dodo was, in our opinion, the rasorial type of 
the raptorial order. By comparing these two series, 
we shall at once see which is the missing type in that 
of the Raptores. 

Imperfect circle. Analogical Perfect circle. 

RAPTORES. characters. INSESSORES. ', 

Vulturidae. Notch of the Conirostres. 

bill obsolete. 
Falconidse. Notch very Dentirostres. 

Strigidae ? Head very large, Fissirostres. 

flight rapid. 

Bill long, soft. Tenuirostres. 

Didiadse. Wings very short. Rasores. 

(295.) The structure of the Dodo is essentially that 
of a large vulture; but, as it should represent the gallina- 
ceous birds in some one respect, we consequently find it 
possessed of very short wings. This is one of the pecu- 
liarities of all rasorial types, and is never found in those 
of the tenuirostral structure : hence we are led, by 
analogy of reasoning, to conclude that the imperfection 
of the raptorial circle consists in the tenuirostral type 
being unknown. The Raptores, in fact, when we con- 
sider its rank, is the most imperfect, as a group, in the 
whole class of birds. It is, therefore, one of the best 
which could be cited, on the present occasion, to illustrate 
an imperfect circle. 

(296.) The theory of symbolical types involves, in its 
application, another principle, from inattention to, or ig- 
norance of, which great mistakes have arisen*, and are 
still likely to arise. In tracing the analogy between two 

* As in Linn. Trans, vol. xvl p."4& 


series of animals, we can never compare a typical group 
in one circle with an aberrant group in another ; for 
these groups, being of different denominations, would 
destroy at the very outset the harmony of the com- 
parison : it would render the law in question indeter- 
minate, and, therefore, no law. Every perfect group 
has its own typical and aberrant forms ; and these are 
represented by the typical arid aberrant forms in an- 
other perfect group. When, therefore, the toucans 
(Ramphastida), as a whole, are made to represent the 
entire group of Conirostres, the analogy or represent- 
ation is false ; because the Ramphastidce are admitted 
by all to be an aberrant family in the scansorial circle ; 
and the Conirostres are likewise admitted to be the 
typical group of another circle. But when, on the other 
hand, the Conirostres are stated to represent the Inses- 
sores } then the analogy is true, because both of these 
groups are pre-eminently typical in their respective 
circles : although unequal in their rank or extent, they 
are equal in their denomination. This rule, however, 
by no means affects the comparison of the contents of a 
typical with those of an aberrant group ; for as each 
have types of perfection, so these types should justly 
represent each other. To vary our examples, we shall 
take an instance from two familiar animals in the class 
of quadrupeds/ The Feres and the Ungulata are two 
natural orders ; but one is typical, and the other aber- 
rant : yet as each of these are circular, so their re- 
spective typical and aberrant groups may justly be 
compared as representing each other ; and this they ac- 
cordingly do. The tiger is one of the typical forms of 
FerfBj and we see how beautifully it corresponds to the 
zebra, which is a typical form in the Ungulata. This 
analogical resemblance does not consist merely in 
the remarkable similarity of stripes on the two ani- 
mals, but actually extends to their moral character : 
both are vicious, wild, and untameable, and both are 
inferior to that form which is pre-eminent in each 
genus ; namely, the lion in one, and the horse in the 


other. This instance of analogy, which must come 
home to the comprehension of the most unpractised 
naturalist, may he cited as one of the innumerahle proofs 
of the universality of symbolical representation; a prin- 
ciple which extends from the very highest groups of 
ponderable matter, down to the series in which in- 
dividual speties follow one another. We know not, in 
fact, which to admire most, the vast and unlimited 
extension of the principal itself, or the simplicity of 
those laws by which it is regulated. 




(2970 IN the last chapter we endeavoured to elucidate 
the truth of the three first laws, upon which the 
System of Nature, or, in other words, natural classifica- 
tion, is framed. We now come to our fourth proposition, 
which maintains that the primary divisions of every cir- 
cular group are characterised by definite peculiarities of 
form, structure, and economy ; which, under diversified 
modifications, can be traced throughout the animal king- 
dom; and are, therefore, to be regarded as the PRIMARY 
TYPES OF NATURE. Upon this generalisation we have 
not been enabled to receive any assistance from the la- 
bours of our predecessors, since we are not aware of its 
having hitherto been hinted at. 

(298.) It would seem to follow, as the next stage of 
induction, after gaining the law of representation, that 
this representation necessarily involves the prevalence of 
certain definite forms, following each other in a uniform 
series, and, therefore, capable, from these circumstances, 
of a general definition. But, unfortunately, the few 
eminent naturalists who have prosecuted these higher 
objects of the science have limited their studies.; for the 


most part, to one department of zoology; and have, 
therefore, been unprepared to state in what manner 
the forms therein contained re-appear, as it were, under 
an almost infinite variety of modifications, in other di- 
visions of the animal kingdom, totally different from 
that which has been the object of their peculiar study. 

(299.) Before proceeding, however, to the main ob- 
ject before us, a few observations become necessary on 
the characteristic properties of the different denomin- 
ations of groups. In using the term denomination, we 
apply it not to the rank or station of a group among 
its congeners, but solely in reference to its typical or 
aberrant nature; in other words, whether it exhibits 
the greatest perfection of any particular structure, or 
whether this perfection is deteriorated, so to speak, by 
the admixture of other characters belonging to a neigh- 
bouring group. 

(300.) As every natural group is first divided into 
three circles, so it follows that there are three primary- 
denominations of groups ; and these, as we have already 
explained, are called the typical, the sub-typical, and 
the aberrant : by these names we express their denomi- 
nation, and we shall now treat of each in detail. 

(301.) I. The first distinction of TYPICAL groups is 
implied by the name they bear. The animals they con- 
tain are the most perfectly organised : that is to say, are 
endowed with the greatest number of perfections, and 
capable of performing, to the greatest extent, the func- 
tions which peculiarly characterise their respective circles. 
This is universal in all typical 'groups ; but there is a 
marked difference between the types of a typical circle, 
and the types of an aberrant one. In the first we find a 
combination of properties concentrated, as it were, in cer- 
tain individuals, without any one of these preponderating, 
in a remarkable degree, over the others ; whereas in the 
second it is quite the reverse : in these last, one faculty is 
developed in the highest degree, as if to compensate for 
the total absence, or very slight developement, of others. 

(302.) Let us exemplify this proposition by fami- 


liar instances. The crow has been most truly consi- 
dered the pre-eminent type of all birds*, it is also 
the type of a typical circle. It consequently unites, 
in itself, a greater number of properties than are to be 
found, individually, in any other genus of birds : as if, 
in fact, it had taken from all the other orders a portion 
of their peculiar qualities, for the purpose of exhibiting 
in what manner they could be combined. From the 
rapacious birds this " type of types," as the crow has 
been justly called, takes the power of soaring in the 
air, and of seizing upon living birds like the hawks, 
while its habit of devouring putrid substances, and 
picking out the eyes of young animals, is borrowed 
from the vultures. From the scansorial or climbing 
order it takes the faculty of pecking the ground, and 
discovering its food when hidden from the eye, while 
the parrot family gives it the taste for vegetable food, 
and furnishes it with great cunning, sagacity, and 
powers of imitation, even to counterfeiting the human 
voice. Next come the order of waders, who impart 
their quota to the perfection of the crow, by giving to 
it great powers of flight, and perfect facility in walking, 
such being among the chief attributes of the grallatorial 
order. Lastly, the aquatic birds contribute their por- 
tion, by giving this terrestrial bird the power of feeding 
not only upon fish, which are their peculiar food, but 
actually of occasionally catching it.f In this wonderful 
manner do we find the crow partially invested with the 
united properties of all other birds, while in its own or- 
der that of the Insessores, or perchers it stands the 
pre-eminent type. Here, then, is an example of the 
characteristic properties of the type of a typical circle. 

(303.) Let us now look to the type of an aberrant circle. 
The woodpecker is of this description, for it is the pre- 
eminent type of the climbing birds (Scansores^), which 
is an aberrant tribe. Here, instead of finding a com- 
bination of diversified characters, similar to those be- 

* Linn. Trans, vol. xiv. p. 445. 

f Wilson's American Ornithology, article, Fishing Crow. 
B 2 


longing to the crow,, the whole structure becomes adapted 
for one particular purpose that of climbing trees,, and 
extracting from them the allotted food. The energies 
of nature are concentrated,, as it were, to the production 
of that form most adapted for one especial purpose. 
Every part of the structure of a woodpecker, not im- 
mediately essential to its peculiar habits, is found to be 
in a subordinate state of developement, for the best of 
reasons, because their greater developement is unneces- 
sary. Its flight is comparatively feeble, for it merely 
journeys from tree to tree even in its migrations : the 
feet almost incapacitate the bird from moving upon the 
ground, for there its food does not exist : the position 
of its legs, placed very far back, gives it an awkward 
appearance on an even surface ; but what is this to a 
bird which usually sits in a perpendicular position ? Its 
food is almost entirely restricted to particular insects ; 
and to procure these it is gifted with powers which are 
withheld from all other birds. It is the type of the 
climbing race; and, consequently, exhibits the scansorial 
structure, and no other, in the highest degree of per- 
fection. Great muscular strength, for striking blows 
which may be heard half a mile ; a bill as hard as ivory, 
formed on the model of a perfect wedge ; a strong rigid 
tail, acting as a buttress to the body when the bird is at 
labour ; short robust feet, armed with strong claws for 
grasping the bark, and a long spear-shaped tongue 
for inserting within its clefts, these are the typical 
distinctions of the family before us, which, however 
inferior to the crow in the number of its perfections, 
far exceeds it in one, that one being the characteristic 
of its whole tribe. The union of many properties is, 
therefore, the usual character of types of typical groups ; 
while the highest developement of some one property 
is the distinguishing mark of types belonging to aber- 
rant groups. In the former, this perfection of structure 
is seen in the mammalia among vertebrated animals ; 
in the winged insects, or the Ptihta of Aristotle, in the 
sab-kingdom Annulosa ; in the testaceous shell-fish 


among the Mottusca, and in the Medusa in the circle of 
radiated animals. In short, there is no end to the 
proofs which illustrate both these principles. 

(304.) Perfection in the number of species or of forms 
is also a remarkable and very general character of pre- 
eminently typical groups. This is not, indeed, apparent 
in the mammalia which stands at the head of the verte- 
brated circle, and the reasons are obvious ; but in the 
order Quadrumana, which is the pre-eminent type of 
quadrupeds, and in the Insessores, which is the same in 
birds, we have the largest groups in their respective 
circles. Among the Annulosa, also, the Ptilota, or 
winged insects, are probably ten times more numerous 
than all other annulose groups put together. In tracing 
this peculiarity in the lower divisions we see it very 
prevalent; and in looking to natural genera we find 
that the genus Picus, Sylvicola, Sylvia, and several 
others among birds, and that of the restricted sub-genus 
Scarab&us (MacLeay) among insects, are all remark- 
ably abundant in individuals, when compared with the 
remaining contents of their respective circles. This 
numerical preponderancy is not, however, by any means 
universal, because in very many instances nature seems 
to make up by number what she withholds in size. The 
infusorial animalcula are, therefore, the most numerous 
of all organised beings. 

(305.) II. SUB-TYPICAL groups, as the name implies, 
are a degree lower in organisation than those last de- 
scribed; and thus exhibit an intermediate character 
between typical and aberrant divisions. They do not 
comprise the largest individuals in bulk, but always those 
which are the most powerfully armed, either for inflict- 
ing injury on their own class, for exciting terror, pro- 
ducing injury, or creating annoyance to man. Their 
dispositions are often sanguinary ; since the forms most 
conspicuous among them live by rapine, and subsist on 
the blood of other animals. They are, in short, symbol* 
ically the types of evil ; and in such an extraordinary 
way is this principle modified in the smaller groups, 
n 3 


that even among insects, where no other power is pos- 
sessed but that of causing annoyance or temporary 
pain, we find, in the sub-typical order of the Annulosa 
(Aptera Lin.), the different race of scorpions., Acari, 
spiders, and all those repulsive insects, whose very aspect 
is forbidding, and whose bite or sting is often capable of 
inflicting serious bodily injury. If, again, we look to 
the sub-typical groups of quadrupeds and of birds, this 
principle of evil is developed in the highest degree ; 
both are armed with powerful talons, both live on 
slaughtered victims, and both are gloomy, unsocial, and 
untameable. The formidable toothed bill, which so 
strikingly distinguishes rapacious birds, will be found 
in every group which represents them in the entire or- 
der of perchers, and these groups amount to more than 
one hundred. Even in the genus Sylvicola, among the 
warblers, the bill of the sub-typical group represents in 
miniature that of the rapacious order, the peculiar cha- 
racter of which consists in a conspicuous tooth or notch, 
placed more remote from the end of the upper man- 
dible than it is in all other types. Even in the smaller 
sub -typical groups of larger circles, which are themselves 
typical, this extraordinary characteristic is manifested, 
although in a much slighter degree. Take, for instance, 
the American group of monkeys (Cebidte Sw.) which 
belong to the typical order of Quadrumanes ; of that 
circle it is the sub- typical group, and we accordingly 
find, that while the family of true apes (Simiadce} live 
in a state of nature upon vegetable diet alone, the Ce- 
bidce are partially carnivorous, and that many prowl about 
to destroy life by feeding upon insects, and even small 

(306.) The above are sufficient demonstrations of 
this law in larger groups ; but as the best test of a 
theory is to follow it down into the lowest form of ana- 
lysis, we will now see in what manner it is exemplified 
in species of the same genus. Let us first look to that 
of Bos, where we have the ox and the bison actually 
following each other in close affinity, and yet no two 


animals,, in their moral character, can be more opposite : 
the one is the most useful, docile, and tameable of the 
brute creation ; the other wild, revengeful, and showing 
an innate detestation of man. The ox is the typical 
example of the genus ; the bison is the sub-typical. In 
the genus Equus, as already intimated (p. 240.), the same 
beautiful and wonderful prevalence of this universal law 
of nature is manifested ; the horse being the typical, 
while the zebra is the sub-typical form of the genus. 

(307.) In regard to the numerical contents of these 
groups, they are almost universally less than those which 
are typical, and the reason is manifest : were it otherwise, 
we should have the carnivorous tribes extirpating those 
which had not their ferocious dispositions : the wild 
beasts of the forests, were they equal in number to the 
peaceful inhabitants of the plains, would in process of 
time effect their entire destruction ; while the same result 
would be accomplished by the rapacious birds upon the 
rest of the feathered creation : nor would the insect world 
preserve its nicely adjusted balance : the carnivorous spi- 
ders and scorpions, were they as numerous as the flies, 
and others upon which they feed, would soon destroy all 
the tribes of herbivorous insects. It is therefore wisely 
ordained, that the animals belonging to sub-typical 
groups (especially such as are pre-eminently so) should 
be comparatively few, and that their increase should be 
slow. Eagles and hawks rarely lay more than two eggs, 
and fecundity is well known to be much greater among 
the smaller quadrupeds than with the Ferae. The 
singular threatening aspect which the caterpillars of the 
sphinx moths assume, on being disturbed, is a remark- 
able modification of the terrific or evil nature which is 
impressed, under one form or other, palpable or re- 
mote, upon all sub-typical groups ; for this division of 
the Lepidopterous order is precisely of this denomination. 
How then, it may be asked, is this repulsive property 
shown among the true butterflies (Papilionides Sw.), 
which are the pre-eminent types of the order ? The 
Papilionides are a circular group ; consequently they 


have, like all other circles, a sub-typical division of their 
own. These are distinguished hy their caterpillars 
heing armed with formidable spines or prickles,, which 
in general are possessed of some highly acrimonious or 
poisonous quality capable of injuring those who touch 
them. In short, the infinite variety of ways by which 
this peculiarity is modified is so wonderful, as, but for 
unquestionable facts, would appear incredible. The 
suspension of the chrysalis is another intimation of the 
same symbolical character. That of the butterfly, the 
pre-eminent type of annulose animals, is fixed with its 
head upwards, as if it looked to the pure regions of 
heaven for the enjoyment it is to receive in its last and 
final state of perfection ; but the chrysalis of the brush- 
footed butterflies (Nymphalides Sw.), whose caterpillars 
are. stinging, is suspended with the head downwards to 
the earth, thus pointing to the world as the only habit- 
ation where its innumerable types of evil are permitted 
to reside : or to that dark and bottomless region, where 
punishment awaits the wicked at their last great 
change. It is only when extensive researches bring to 
light a uniformity of results, that we can venture to 
believe they are so universal as to deserve being ranked 
as primary laws. Thus, when a celebrated entomologist 
denounced as " impure " the black and lurid beetles 
forming the Saprophagous Petalocera of Mr. MacLeay, 
a tribe living only upon putrid vegetable matter, and 
hiding themselves in their disgusting food, or in the 
dark hollows of the earth, neither of these celebrated men 
suspected the absolute fact, elicited from our analysis of 
this group, that this very tribe constituted the sub-typical 
group of one of the primary divisions of coleopterous 
insects : nor had they any suspicion that by the filthy 
habits, and repulsive forms of these beetles, nature had 
intended that they should be types or emblems of 
hundreds of other groups, distinguished by peculiarities 
equally indicative of evil. On the other hand, the 
Thalerophagous Petalocera, forming the typical group 
of the same division, present us with all the perfections 


and habits belonging to their kind. These families of 
beetles live only on fresh vegetables : they are diurnal, 
and sport in the glare of day,, " pure " in their food., 
elegant in their shapes, and beautiful in their colours. 

(308.) III. The characters belonging to ABERRANT 
groups, when viewed as a whole, for reasons already given, 
are too varied to admit of general application, further 
than that they depart much more from those which belong 
to pre-eminent types than these latter do from the sub- 
typical. It will, therefore, be necessary to consider aber- 
rant groups as naturally divided into three distinct types. 
We shall, for the present, distinguish these by the names 
which we have assigned to them in ornithology, the only 
division of zoology wherein they have been accurately 
traced. It may be objected to this plan, that to desig- 
nate a type of quadrupeds or of insects by the same 
term as that which is appropriated to birds will lead to 
a confusion of ideas. But, on the other hand, as these 
types, throughout the animal kingdom, are found to 
present certain characters in common, the advantages of 
designating them by common names are abundantly 
obvious. Hereafter, when the subject has undergone 
deeper investigation, we shall suggest more compre- 
hensive and appropriate names. For the present, there- 
fore, we shall term them the Aquatic, the Suctorial, 
and the Rasorial : these, collectively, form the aberrant 
circle of every group in the animal kingdom. 

(309.) The NATATORIAL or AQUATIC types, represented 
by the natatorial order of birds, as the name implies, are 
more especially inhabitants of the waters. They possess 
many and striking peculiarities, modified, indeed, in the 
most astonishing manner, but more conspicuous, perhaps, 
throughout all natural groups than any of those be- 
longing to other types. We shall consider these cha- 
racters under the heads of structure and economy, and 
exemplify our remarks by some familiar instances. 
I. As to structure, aquatic types are chiefly remarkable 
for their enormous bulk, the disproportionate size of 
their head, and the absence or very slight developement 


of the feet. If we look to the primary divisions of the 
vertebrated animals, we see one of these peculiarities 
very strongly marked in the fishes, the only class 
wherein the feet, in all the individuals, are entirely 
wanting, while every one is aware that no fish can exist 
unless in its own element. On taking a wider survey of 
the animal world, we find that the radiated mollusca 
(Radiata) are pre-eminently aquatic, destitute of any 
organs analogous to feet, but often swimming with their 
arms, in the manner of the cuttlefish (Cephalopoda), 
which are, in fact, the aquatic types of the testaceous 
Mollusca. These latter are the largest of all invertebrated 
animals, and thus unite three of the great characteristics 
of the aquatic natatorial type ; namely, an aquatic nature, 
enormous size, and a large disproportionate head. It may 
be urged, indeed, that the absence of feet cannot be looked 
upon as a peculiar mark of the natatorial structure, seeing 
that these organs are wanting, not merely in one but in 
three of the chief divisions of the animal world; but it 
must be remembered, that a natural group rests not upon 
any one single and exclusive character, but upon a com- 
bination of several. Thus, although fishes and medusse 
are aquatic, and move without feet, they are not the 
largest animals, either among the vertebrated or inver- 
tebrated, and, therefore, do not possess all the cha- 
racters of the natatorial type ; but those which they do 
possess are more developed in them than in any other 
of the chief divisions of animals, or of the classes of the 
vertebrata: hence, although they do not possess all, they 
exhibit some, of the characters of their type, which cha- 
racters are not found in any other of those which we term 
primary types. As we approach the more perfect animals, 
we begin to see the developement of another singular 
feature ; namely, a very large, thick, and obtuse head, 
furnished with jaws capable of great expansion, and 
terminated by a blunt or truncated muzzle or snout. 
This structure implies the peculiar power of seizing 
their food by the mouth alone, without the assistance of 
feet or claws ; and as this power would only be necessary 


to such animals as lived upon others, we accordingly 
find that nearly all natatorial types are carnivorous : the 
medusa), the cuttlefish, the whales, and innumerable 
other groups demonstrate this, but none more perfectly 
than the order Natatores among birds, the owls among 
the Raptores, and the Fissirostres in the circle of the 
perchers (Insessores}. Sub-typical forms, as we have 
already seen, are pre-eminently carnivorous, but they 
differ from the natatorial (which always follow them) 
in this, that the food is captured by the aid of the claws, 
whereas in the types we are now speaking of the mouth 
alone is the instrument of capture. 

(310.) We are thus led to the feet of this type, the 
absence or slight developement of which, in natatorial 
forms, is almost universal. As Fishes constitute the 
pre-eminent natatorial type of vertebrated animals, so we 
find that those groups which represent them in other of 
the vertebrated circles have the feet transformed, as it 
were, into fins. How beautifully is this exemplified in 
the whales and porpoises (forming the natatorial order 
of quadrupeds), the swimming order of birds, and 
the Elaniosauri, or fin-footed reptiles ! Analogies, if 
they are true, are universal ; and thus we find the same 
general structure, under different modifications, both in 
the Mottusca and in the Annulosa. The Pteropoda, 
the Cephalopoda, and the Crustacea, or crabs, employ 
the same organs for swimming : these animals, above all 
others in their respective circles, are the most expert 
swimmers, and the most adapted for inhabiting a watery 
element. Even when we descend to more minute 
groups, the same general structure, under new and sur- 
prising modifications, can be distinctly traced. The 
apodal larvae, for instance, of all the Ptilota or winged 
insects, are natatorial types ; while the order Neuroptera, 
in the circle of Ptilota, is precisely of the same de- 
scription, being analogous to the Crustacea, or crabs. 

(311.) II. As to the economy of the aquatic types, 
we have already premised that they are almost entirely 
carnivorous, a habit which is naturally to be expected 


in any group which joined,, and immediately blended into, 
the sub-typical (304.). We have seen that the feet 
are slightly, and often not at all, developed : an incapacity 
for quick motion is the natural result of such an organ- 
isation ; and hence it might theoretically he concluded 
that the feet are never used in the pursuit or capture of 
their prey. Now this is truly the case in numerous 
instances : natatorial types seize their food by the mouth 
alone ; and all such as do not swim, or pursue their 
prey by their wings, dart upon it from a fixed station, 
as if incapacitated to rove about in its search, like other 
animals, by the imperfection of their feet : the king- 
fishers, the herons, flycatchers, and innumerable other 
groups, are all well known instances of this habit, not to 
mention the whole tribe of Fissirostres among perching 
birds. The Cirripedes, or barnacles (the natatorial type 
of the Annulosa), and all others whose body is fixed, 
show us the same principle developed under a different 
aspect ; for here the habits of the animal at all times are 
so sedentary, that they seem absolutely incapable of 
moving from the spot where they complete their last or 
final change of form. The Hesperian butterflies (Hes- 
peridfe) are the most sedentary, in their larva state, of 
all true insects, for they fabricate and live in a little cell, 
formed by a leaf rolled into a cylinder. Every natural 
group, in short, contains some one representation of this 
type : we have not yet determined, however, whether all 
internal feeders are of the natatorial (or apod) type. 

(312.) Let us now look for verifications of the fore- 
going theory among some of the best known animals ; 
all of which, in their own respective circles, belong to 
this type of form. First we have the whales, the 
leviathans of creation, before whose stupendous size 
even the elephant shrinks into moderate dimensions: 
the head is nearly as large as the whole body, the 
mouth is of vast size, and although a quadruped, it is 
apodal, or without feet. It lives in the waters, and the 
snout is so obtuse and blunt, that the extremity appears 
as if cut off. Next to these gigantic animals the hippo- 


potamus, or river horse, but for the extreme shortness of 
its legs, would vie in bulk with the elephant : this 
also is a natatorial type, and we find it possessed of all 
the leading characters, under new modifications : a large 
head, thick and blunt snout, short and imperfect feet, 
and aquatic habits, leave the analogy indisputable. The 
ostrich is the largest bird in existence : it is not nata- 
torial, because it belongs to a different order ; but nature 
has contrived that all the other indications of its type 
should be preserved: the bill (corresponding to the 
snout of quadrupeds) is broad, depressed, and obtuse, 
and the wings (the chief organs of motion among birds, 
as feet are among quadrupeds,) are so short as to be 
almost useless. Crabs, among annulose animals, are 
the largest and the most aquatic of all wingless insects 
(Apterq L.), for in that division were they placed by 
Linnaeus, and to that they truly belong : the head is 
enormous, and in many is so confounded with the thorax 
that the two parts appear but one. If we pursue the 
analogy to the winged orders (Ptilota), we find the 
gigantic Neuroptero J} at the head of which stand the 
dragon-flies, living the greater part of their lives in 
water, and the genus Mantis far surpassing all other 
insects in bulk. We shall hereafter endeavour to point 
out the probable station of those stupendous fossil rep- 
tiles, the ichthyosaurus, plesiosaurus, &c., and which we 
consider as constituting the natatorial type of the 
Reptilia; preserving, even in their fossil remains, all the 
properties of such types. Now, to prove that these 
examples are not taken at random, but are actually sup- 
ported by analysis, we shall place before the reader 
a table of the aberrant types of some of the groups we 
have here intimated : 

Aberrant Group of the 

Series of Series of Verte- Series of the Series of the Series of 
Quadrupeds. brata. Pachydermata. Rasores. the Ptilota. 

Ungulata. Reptiles. Megatherium. Guan. Hymenoptera. 
Glires. Amphibia. Hyrax. Pigeon. Coleoptera. 
Cetacea. Fishes. Hippopotamus. Ostrich. Neuroptera* 


(313.) Let us for the present suppose, theoretically, 
that each of these columns is a circular group. One of 
the tests, therefore, of such a group is, that it finds its 
contents represented in all others j hence, the results in 
the present instance completely confirm what has just 
been advanced : we find the cetacea, or whales, repre- 
senting the fishes, the hippopotamus, the ostrich, and the 
Neuropterous dragon -flies. By this series we know, 
therefore, to demonstration, that the analogies are cor- 
rect, because they are the result, not of a studied adapt- 
ation, but arise, as it were incidentally, from following 
closely the line of affinity in each column j the affinities 
being expressed perpendicularly, and the analogies hori- 

(314.) We are now to consider the SUCTORIAL type of 
form : this corresponds with the tenuirostral type among 
perching birds, the grallatorial in the orders of that 
class, the gliriform among quadrupeds, and the onisci- 
form and vermiform in the class of insects. We shall, 
however, designate all these under the common name of 
suctorial, because it is more generally applicable to the 
habits of the animals here alluded to than to any other. 
One of the chief peculiarities of this type is, that the 
food is imbibed by suction ; a mode of nourishment 
which is, of course, accompanied by many remarkable 
deviations from the structure of all other types. These 
are' always the smallest in point of size, the most feeble 
and defenceless in structure, and the most defective in 
the organs of mastication. In all these characters, the 
suctorial stands in direct opposition to the natatorial 
type. In such as belong to the vertebrated circle, the 
feet are always fully developed ; for these animals are 
peculiarly active, and enjoy, in a remarkable degree, 
the power of running and of leaping. The suctorial 
form is also widely different from the natatorial in other 
respects ; there is a great length or attenuation of the 
body, the head is always very small, generally pro- 
longed into a pointed snout, and the mouth, as adapted 
for sucking, is uncommonly small : in some few in- 


stances it is not, in fact, apparent. All animals be- 
longing to this type are shy, and evince little or no 
propensity to become domesticated. They are without 
offensive protection ; but nature, as if to screen them 
from their enemies, has endowed them with great 
caution, uncommon vitality, and in many cases has 
protected them either with a hard skin or a coating of 
bony armour, which entirely envelopes their body, and 
repels all injury. When compared to the pre-eminent 
examples of their respective circles, the suctorial type may 
be viewed as the most imperfect ; that is, the most simple 
in its organisation, and the most dissimilar from all others. 
(315.) Let us now see in what manner this type is 
developed in the more comprehensive divisions of the 
animal world. The polypes and the animalcula (Acrita) 
are the smallest of all living beings. Thousands are in- 
visible to the naked eye ; and these, even when viewed 
under the microscope, appear but as grains of sand, 
mere particles of matter, so simple in their structure as 
often to be without limbs, and only recognised as animals 
from being endowed with voluntary motion. In what 
manner they are nourished, whether by absorbing the 
fluid in which they live, or by sucking the juices of 
other beings still more imperceptible than themselves, 
is immaterial to our present purpose, as both are 
obvious modifications of the suctorial process. In 
the vertebrated circle, comprehending the most perfect 
of all animals, this type of imperfection is confined 
to a very small number. Of these the siren of Lin- 
naeus is probably the type : it is, perhaps, the most 
defenceless of animals ; living, like the worms, in the 
muddy bottoms of ponds, destitute almost of eyes, with- 
out teeth, and whose feet are so inefficient as to appear 
like unserviceable appendages. In the great division of 
annulose animals we have all these types represented by 
the intestinal worms ; whose structure, indeed, is so im- 
perfectly jointed, that in some of the modern systems 
we find them referred to the Acrita or polypes : they are 
nevertheless truly annulose, and give us the most perfect 


idea of the suctorial structure. That well-known animal, 
the common medicinal leech, represents the suctorial 
Vermes in the circle of the Annelides, or red-blooded 
worms, and brings before us some of the most striking 
properties of this type. As we proceed to trace these 
characters in the groups of more perfectly constructed 
animals, we find in the tortoises the faintest develope- 
ment of the vertebrated structure ; while the singular 
defence with which nature has provided them, is again 
produced in the more immediate groups of Dasypus and 
Manis (the armadillo and scaly ant-eaters) among 
quadrupeds, in the remoter instances of the Coleoptera 
among the Ptilota, and the larva of the EricinidcB 
among the Lepidoptera. The singular resemblance 
which the chelonian fishes, forming the order Branchio- 
steges, bear to the tortoises and turtles, must strike every 
one ; and it is worthy of notice, that throughout these 
groups the mouth is particularly small, and in very 
many instances entirely destitute of teeth. The suc- 
torial types among the quadrupeds contain all those 
which have the jaws or muzzle produced to an ex- 
traordinary length ; witness the moles, the ant-eaters, 
the armadillos, the pigs, and the whole family of mice. 
Now, this is precisely the structure of all the types of 
the suctorial birds : for the Grallatores, or waders, have 
the longest bills and the smallest mouths of any in the 
whole class ; while the humming-birds (by which the 
waders are represented in the great order of Insessores} 
live entirely by suction, and are remarkable both for 
the great length and slenderness of their bill, and the 
extreme narrowness of their gape. 

(3 16.) In regard to the motion of suctorial types, 
we have said that they exhibit amazing powers of leap- 
ing ; but this does not appear to be a character of such 
universality as many of those we have noticed. The 
flea is, nevertheless, a well known and familiar example 
among insects, as the jerboa and the kangaroo in the 
circle of quadrupeds ; while the wading birds, although 
not saltatorial, are the swiftest runners of the feathered 


creation. In no one instance do we find that suctorial 
types, like the natatorial, are fixed, as are the Polypes 
and the barnacles, to one particular spot : free powers of 
locomotion, and these generally accompanied with great 
agility, are, consequently, among its chief characters. 
Nearly all the animals which, from imbibing their nour- 
ishment by sucking the juices of others, and whose struc- 
ture at the same time is very simple, are of this type : it 
might, from this fact, be termed parasitic, for it comprises 
almost every animal which usually bears that name. The 
intestinal worms, the common Cimeac, Pediculus } a.nd Pu- 
lex, the gold wasps (Chrysis], the Acari, or harvest bugs, 
and the Cocci, or cochineal insects, are a few out of the 
multitude of examples which can be proved, by analysis, 
to be modifications of this primary type. Among qua- 
drupeds, this latter character is not strongly developed ; 
but every one knows the parasitic nature of the cuckow, 
and the cow-pen bunting of America (Molothrus pecoris 
Sw.); while the Gastrobranchus, among fishes, illustrates 
this peculiarity in the most striking manner. 

(317-) The RASORIAL type, so termed in ornithology, 
is the third and last which enters into the aberrant cir- 
cle which circle is always closed by the union of this 
type with the NATATORIAL ; hence it follows, that both 
approximate in their general characters. First, as to 
the form and structure of rasorial types. They are, in 
general, remarkable for their size ; being inferior only to 
the natatorial. From these they are further to be dis- 
tinguished by the strength and perfection of their feet ; 
the toes of which, in vertebrated animals, are never 
united so as to be used for swimming. This perfection, 
however, is of a very peculiar kind ; since it is confined 
to the powers of walking on dry land, or of climbing 
among trees. These scansorial powers, in fact, although 
occasionally found in other types, are so very frequent 
and remarkable in this, that it may be considered one 
of the peculiarities of the rasorial structure. This is the 
type so remarkable for the greatest developement of 
tail ; and of those appendages, for ornament or defence, 


\vhich decorate the head. If we went through the 
whole class of birds,, and selected those, beginning with 
the peacock, wherein the tail was most conspicuous, 
either for its size, its singularity, or for the beauty of 
its colours, we should, unknowingly, fix upon those 
birds which analysis has already demonstrated to be ra- 
sorial types. The same result would attend a similar 
selection of quadrupeds, and of winged insects. All these, 
collectively, would furnish many hundred proofs by 
which the uniformity of this type is preserved. Ap- 
pendages to the head, whether in the shape of horns, 
crests, or fleshy protuberances, are no less a prevalent 
character of the type now before us. Among birds, 
indeed, we scarcely know of more than two or three 
groups furnished with crests, which do not appear to be 
rasorial types ; and this very circumstance is sufficient 
to raise a doubt on their real denomination. But it 
seldom happens that both these peculiarities are united 
in the same group. Nature will sometimes indicate her 
types by two only of its leading characters, while she 
withholds a third, in order to bestow it, in its full de- 
velopement, upon another group modified upon the same 
general principles. Thus we see that the horse, one of 
the types of the rasorial order of ungulated quadrupeds 
(Ungulata), is superior to all the Mammalia in the 
beauty and elegance of its tail : but then this noble 
animal is destitute of another indication of its type; for 
the head is without either horns or protuberances : 
these, however, are bestowed upon the ruminants, be- 
longing to the same circle, who, on the other hand, are 
destitute of the flowing tail of the Solipedes. We 
thus see how two of the typical characters of the raso- 
rial structure is distributed between two groups*, which, 
nevertheless, collectively belong to the same order. 
This, in fact, seems to be one of the principles by 
which CREATIVE WISDOM has produced such infinite va- 
riety in His works ; for if, in reference to the horse and 

*'This is still more stronply exemplified in the two primary groups of 
the Scansorcs the Psittno'tfce raid the Pmdce. 


ox, the former were to have horns, and the latter a flow-f 
ing tail, how closely would they resemble each other ! 
On such principles, that beautiful and astonishing va- 
riety, which constitutes one of the most remarkable 
features in the creation, would be destroyed; and if 
each type were to exhibit all the properties or peculiar- 
ities theoretically belonging to it, we should have but 
five unvaried forms of living beings. This is the rock 
upon which many naturalists, who have not sufficiently 
reflected on the subject, are continually splitting. They 
argue after this fashion : How can you maintain that a 
bat represents a mouse or a wading bird, when the first 
has wings, the second none, and the third has but two 
long legs ? or, how can you draw up a set of characters 
purporting to belong to the rasorial type, when many of 
the animals you bring forward in support of your 
theory are actually without some of these characters ? 
Such reason ers appear to forget, that if a mouse had 
wings, it would be no longer a mouse it would be a 
bat ; while the analogy of these quadrupeds to a wading 
bird, from being very remote, must not be made an im- 
mediate object of comparison, but must be traced through 
a number of intermediate analogical forms. 

(318.) The economy and instinctive dispositions of 
the rasorial type are stamped with many remarkable 
circumstances, deserving our deepest attention. So 
little, however, is known of such invertebrated animals 
as come under this denomination, that we must, in the 
following observations, be understood to speak more 
particularly of the rasorial types of quadrupeds and of 
birds ; thus selecting our illustrations from the most per- 
fectly organised, and the best known, of vertebrated 
animals. The economy of this type is in direct oppo- 
sition to that of the natatorial; for it is strictly ter- 
restrial : we know not, in fact, a single instance where 
the individuals belonging to it frequent water or its 
vicinity. This propensity to live removed from that 
element does not, however, confine these animals to the 
bare ground ; for they either walk upon the surface with 
s 2 


ease, or climb trees with singular facility. These~ fa- 
culties, nevertheless,, are never found in the same in- 
dividuals ; but are distributed on the same principle as 
that illustrated by the instance of the horse and the ox. 
This is manifestly the case in the rasorial order of birds, 
and the Scansores, or rasorial tribe of the perchers. The 
first never climb, but seem to delight in dry soils ; they 
never perch upon trees but to roost ; whilst the Scan- 
sores, comprehending the parrots and woodpeckers, re- 
verse the picture, and show us the climbing property 
Of the type in its greatest perfection. The same dis- 
position is observed among the rasorial groups 'of qua- 
drupeds. The habits of the ruminants are those of the 
gallinaceous order of birds, while those of the sloths are 
precisely similar to the climbing habits of the wood- 
peckers. The food, in conformity to their dispositions, 
is almost always vegetable. The peaceful order of 
ungulated quadrupeds seek their food from the vegetable 
world, and the parrots live entirely upon fruits. This 
is, again, one of the strong points of opposition between 
this and the last type ; for natatorial groups are almost 
always purely carnivorous ; and it is only among such 
forms as serve to connect the two, that we find species 
that live both upon animals and vegetables : the trogons 
(Trogonidfs) and the toucans (Ramphastidce) are striking 
examples of this union of different foods. 

(319.) But what more especially distinguishes the 
type we are now describing, is the superior degree of 
intelligence and docility that runs through all the 
groups of vertebrated animals belonging to it. It seems 
to have been ordained, by ALMIGHTY WISDOM, that there 
should be one type, above all others, whose powers were 
to be more especially devoted to MAN, and which should 
evince an aptitude and a disposition to submit to his 
dominion, far above all other created things. This is 
the grand characteristic of all rasorial types among the 
more perfectly formed vertebrated animals, whose size 
or structure are in any way adapted to answer the end 
proposed. This principle of nature was partially per- 


ceived by Linnaeus, when he compared the ruminating 
quadrupeds to the gallinaceous birds ; an analogy, in- 
deed, so apparent to the commonest observer, that we 
can only feel surprise at its ever having been questioned 
by any one, much more by those who are naturalists. 
Nature seems to have intended that a few of her ana- 
logies should be stamped by such striking and indis- 
putable resemblances, that the most ordinary capacities 
should acknowledge them ; and by giving us, as it 
were, these landmarks, or stations, to depart from, she 
seems to have invited and encouraged our further re- 
search into the more complicated parts of her system. 
Any theory, therefore, which sets out with denying 
what the rest of mankind have long perceived, requires 
more than ordinary proofs of demonstration ; and, at 
best, is calculated to excite onr caution in its adoption, 
if not our suspicion of its correctness. There is no 
one truth in natural arrangement capable of such varied 
and overwhelming demonstration as that upon which 
reposes the analogy of the ungulated quadrupeds ( Un- 
gulata) to the rasorial order of birds ; both of which 
show the highest intelligence, the greatest docility, and 
the most cheerful contentment under the domestication 
of man. We are surrounded with proofs of this, which 
meet us in every direction. All our quadrupeds of 
burthen or of food are taken from the Ungulata. The 
horse, the ox, the sheep, and the goat are in our 
meadows and pastures ; while the dog is a rasorial type 
of the Ferce. 

(320.) Let us now look to the feathered creation. 
The varied contents of our farmyards belong solely and 
exclusively to the rasorial type ; for even the common 
duck, although a natatorial bird, is yet the rasorial type 
of its own family: this we have elsewhere proved by 
strict analysis * ; and on the same conclusive evidence 
can be established the accuracy of the original opinion en- 
tertained by Linnaeus regarding the Ruminantia and the 
Rasores. But this is not all. It has been our especial 

* Journal of the Royal Institution, new series, No. iv. p. 11. 
s 3 


object, in another work*, to demonstrate the particular 
fact of which we have just spoken, by tracing the ra- 
sorial type through the vast order of perching or land 
birds ; and had our limits there permitted, we should 
have continued the demonstration, by giving the result 
of a similar analysis of all the orders in the feathered 
class. But it is not among birds only that the sociality 
and docility of the rasorial type is manifest: the same is 
apparent through all the chief groups of quadrupeds ; 
while it can be traced, with equal clearness, in many^of 
those belonging to the Annulosa. The hymenopterous 
order of the Ptilota, or winged insects, is, in its own 
circle, a rasorial type ; and we thus find that the ants 
and the bees the most useful insects to man_, and the 
most intelligent and social of annulose animals are 
actual representatives of the ruminating quadrupeds and 
the gallinaceous birds. In proportion as we recede from 
those animals whose size, intelligence, and structure 
renders them fit companions or assistants to man, and 
advance towards the invertebrated groups, this analogy, 
of course, becomes fainter and fainter. Thus, on look- 
ing to the testaceous Mollusca, as the rasorial division 
of the animal kingdom, their services are simply con- 
fined to the power of supplying us with a wholesome 
and nutritious food : for it is remarkable, that nearly the 
whole of these animals are edible; while, in the natatorial 
division of the Radiata, where we have the Medusa, 
the star-fish, and the Echini, scarcely one species is used 
as food by the most uncivilised people. This property, 
however universal, is nevertheless modified in an in- 
finity of ways. It is seen in its greatest developement 
in the ox, the elephant, and the horse ; for these qua- 
drupeds actually labour in our service. In the dog it is 
manifested by affectionate attachment ; in the domestic 
fowls, by perfect contentment in a state of partial con- 
finement. The Robin shows his attachment to man by 
living near his dwelling ; the honey-guide (Indicator), 
by assisting him to discover what, in Africa, is an im.^ 

* Northern Zoology, vol. ii. The Birds. 


portant article of food ; while the bird called by Le 
Vaillantthe/mpor&m, accompanies him in his woodland 
rambles.* All these instincts are evident modifications 
of one and the same principle ; and this is so strong, 
that, it is sometimes extended to the indirect repre- 
sentations of rasorial types in other groups : hence we 
find that the swallows, although a natatorial type, 
always build, by preference, in the vicinity of human 
habitations ; there being a parallel analogy between this 
family and the rasorial parrots (Psittacidce}. Yet not 
one of the natatorial types can be domesticated. 

(321.) That the characters of the rasorial ^type may 
be rendered more apparent, we shall now bring before 
the reader a more condensed enumeration of the chief 
types in which they are conspicuous; leaving him to in- 
vestigate, through the natural history of the animals 
themselves, the degree of analogy they respectively 
possess. These rasorial types are arranged in columns, 
indicating the developement of each of those rasorial 
characters which have already been explained. To 
those who, in a good or in a captious spirit, have ob- 
jected, that we are perpetually talking of demonstration, 
when not one demonstration in these volumes has yet 
been given, we shall here, once for all, address a few 
words. Wherever in this, or in the Preliminary Dis- 
course, such an appeal has been made, we have referred 
to the previous and well-known labours of Mr. Mac- 
Leay and of others; or to our own in the work so often 
quo ted. t No demonstration is, or was intended to be, 
given in that volume ; nor is there one in this, because 
such proof depends upon analysis, and not one group of 
animals has yet been analysed in these volumes. Results 
of previous analysis, indeed, have been often quoted, as 
at p. 234. When, therefore, the supposed errors of the 

* Oiseaux d'Afrique, vol. in. p. 41. Andropadus viridis Sw., N. Zool, 485. 

f Had one of our reviewers known any thing of the Fauna Boreali- 
Americana, beyond the title-page, he would not have asked why constant 
reference'was made to that .volume rather than to Wilson's American Orni- 
thology : the first containing all those demonstrations of the ornithological, 
groups to which we have appealed ; while the latter, as every one knows, 
is a mere history of species. 

s 4 


' . 

2 s 







llll : 




or orna 
ted tails. 

w 8 ^ * " 


eo 8 

3 '* 

1 if i iiiit 


S ' 




facts upon which these results are founded, be pointed 
out, it will then be time enough to talk of " want of 
demonstration." We would even wish, that every thing 
that has been hitherto said upon the natural system were 
considered as an hypothesis, which remained to be 
proved in those volumes where the details of each class 
of animals are to be entered upon. 

(322.) There is one question which the reader may 
possibly wish answered, arising out of the assertion 
just made, that the dog is a rasorial type ; and it would 
be this : The dog belongs to the carnivorous order of 
FercK ; how, then, can it be of a different type ? does 
not this imply a contradiction ? By no means. The 
Ferce, as a whole, is a sub-typical group (305.) j but 
as it is a natural group, it contains, within itself, a ra- 
sorial division. Hence, although this animal belongs to 
the Ferce, it is one of the rasorial examples of that 
order ; and, accordingly, we find it the most intelligent 
and docile of all its congeners. If the order Ferce had 
no rasorial types, then it would be an imperfect group; 
and so, from not being circular, there might be reason 
to suspect it was not a natural one. But, as all its 
divisions assimilate to the other types here defined, it is, 
therefore, presumed to be both natural and perfect. So 
in like manner, among birds, Melanerpes Sw. is the 
aquatic (or fissirostral) type of the sub-family of wood- 
peckers (JPiciance Sw.) ; although this group, of which 
it forms a part, is, as a whole, a scansorial type. 

(323.) In substantiating the proposition with which 
we commenced this chapter, we have endeavoured to 
consult, in our definitions and examples, brevity and 
perspicuity. It is obvious, that where the modifications 
of a particular form pervade the whole animal creation, 
the difficulty of definition becomes vastly increased. We 
have, therefore, drawn our explanations and illustrations 
chiefly from the best known vertebrated groups, and 
from such only as have been submitted to analysis. A 
far greater number might have been adduced from the 
annulose kingdom, reposing on the same grounds ; but 



their introduction in this place would have extended 
our remarks to a volume, and have so embarrassed our 
definitions,, that, although the adept could have under, 
stood them, the student would have been perplexed. 
When each class of animals, in the succeeding volumes 
of this series, comes to be treated of separately, we 
shall then, and then only, enter upon demonstration. 






(324.) THE fifth and last proposition with which we 
commenced this part of our volume, is as follows : 
That the different ranks or degrees of circular groups in 
the animal kingdom are nine, each being involved within 
the other. The full demonstration of this law would 
obviously require an analytical exposition of the whole 
number of circles here mentioned ; which, to do tho- 
roughly, would in itself require a volume. We can, 
therefore, only offer presumptive evidence on its appa- 
rent accuracy, drawn from facts, observations, and in- 
ferences already before the public, and which have 
remained unquestioned. Species and varieties will next 
claim our attention: and, finally, we shall conclude 
this division of our volume with a brief enumeration 
and a familiar application of those laws by which na- 
tural groups are to be verified. 

(325.) We have seen that the whole animal kingdom 
is composed of an infinite number of circles, touching 



and blending into each other at different points of con- 
tact ; and representing each other by innumerable ana- 
logies. If we begin with species, we find they form a 
little circle of themselves : several of these little circles 
congregate, as it were, and unite into a larger one ; this 
circle in its turn unites to others, and is again involved 
in a larger one ; " another and another yet succeed." 
And thus does nature proceed ; every combination being 
greater than the last : small circles are absorbed in 
larger; until she finally combines them all into one, 
composed of the whole animal kingdom. It follows, 
therefore, that although all natural groups are circles ; 
yet are these circles of different sizes, ranks, and value. 
It consequently becomes necessary to designate these 
different groups by particular names, that their com- 
parative value may be understood, and that they may 
become efficient instruments for reasoning. 

(326.) It was long a favourite and an unqualified 
assertion among naturalists, even of late years, that the 
only absolute divisions in nature were species ; an as- 
sertion which must now, however, be relinquished.. 
Species are as much connected among themselves, as are 
genera ; the progression of affinity, in most cases, being 
as gradual in one as in the other. Every natural group, 
when perfect, is definite ; because it not only shows a 
circular series of affinities, but also a series of types or 
representations. Thus, in many cases, we can demon- 
strate the precise station of an animal ; at least, so far 
as to form a pretty accurate opinion whether it stands 
within the range of one circle, or enters the confines of 
another immediately contiguous. The intervals between 
one species and another is not wider, or more de- 
cidedly marked, than that between two kindred genera : 
for it frequently happens that varieties, as they are 
called, occur between two supposed species, which leaves 
us in doubt what to term them ; whereas we seldom 
find that one genus blends into another so completely as 
to render it impossible to say to which of them a par- 
ticular species belongs. Nature's groups are, therefore. 


more definite than her species; and it must conse- 
quently follow, that, as they are of different ranks, 
there must he some prevalent number of these ranks. 

(327.) Upon this abstruse question little has been 
said or written, although all naturalists have long been 
accustomed to use different names to denote the relative 
value of their divisions. Mr. MacLeay, looking to annu- 
lose animals alone, in speaking of the rank of the genus 
Scarabteus, seems to think that there are eight different 
descriptions of circular groups ; but this opinion is the 
result, as he himself premises, more of conjecture than 
of analysis. It is, nevertheless, much nearer the truth 
than could have been supposed ; for if he had been 
aware that sub-genera are likewise circular, the number 
would have been nine. Now, this is precisely the very 
highest number of circular groups, differing in value 
each from the other, that can be traced in ornithology; 
and in the typical divisions of the order Lepidoptera 
among insects. This fact, in both instances, rests not 
upon theoretical supposition, but upon demonstrative 
analysis. We mean not to assert that there can be 
no divisions of sub-genera, which may not, in them- 
selves, be circular ; because it seems to be a law of 
nature to carry this principle into her I6west assem- 
blages ; but hitherto we have not clearly detected any 
sub-genus of this description. Should the divisions of 
sub- genera, in such cases, really be, in themselves, dis- 
tinct circles, they may be detected, probably, in the 
family of Carabida Sw., composed of the Carabidce and 
HarpalidtB of authors. 

(328.) The animal kingdom, then, may be pre- 
sumed to contain nine different ranks or gradations of 
circular groups, commencing with the highest, and ter- 
minating with the lowest assemblages. These groups 
have received the following names, which at once indi- 
cate their relative value: 1. Kingdom; 2. Sub- 
kingdom ; 3. Class ; 4. Order ; 5. Tribe ; 6. Family ; 
7. Sub-family ; 8. Genus ; 9. Sub-genus. This latter 
is the lowest description of circular group hitherto de- 


tected in nature : for although, when a sub-genus is very 
perfect, it sometimes contains the five types of form 
common to all circular groups j yet, as we have just 
observed, no instance has yet been pointed out, wherein 
each of these types is also circular. 

(329.) It is clearly impossible to define any of these 
groups by characters which are applicable to all such as 
hold the same rank ; nor can their value be known by 
any other rules than those resulting from analysis and 
comparison. The characters which belong to a family 
in one tribe, are totally different from those which cha- 
racterise a family in the next; while such as are 
exhibited in a third, will be very different from either. 
Nor can we tell, at first sight, the difference between a 
tribe and a family ; or whether any particular form is 
the representation of a genus or a sub-genus. The 
true rank of a natural group, in short, can only be de- 
tected by analysis and analogy ; and the more extensively 
these enquiries are carried into the neighbouring groups, 
the more likely are we to understand its true rank. But 
as this mode of investigation is not only laborious, but 
too difficult to be extensively prosecuted, it is the cus- 
tom with most writers to throw several genera into a 
group, and call that group a family, or a sub-family. 
This is all very well, and really useful, if it be consi- 
dered, as it truly is, but a temporary expedient, a 
mode of abridging labour, by assuming what has not 
been proved, and pointing out to the reader the most 
probable station of the group or species under his con- 
sideration. But no faith can be placed in such tables or 
scales of gradation*, until their circular arrangements 
and analogies have been made out by analysis. We 
shall now proceed to make some general remarks upon 
these groups. 

(330.) The common consent of mankind has sanc- 
tioned the belief in the three kingdoms of nature, the 

* Such, for instance, as that in the Introduction to Entomology, 
vol. iv. p. 39 'J. 


animal^ the vegetable, and the mineral. These divi- 
sions are palpable ; and our belief in them is not to be 
disturbed by the subtleties of philosophy or the argu- 
ments of metaphysicians. From this point, therefore, 
if we wish to pursue the synthetic mode of investi- 
gation, we may start, as from an incontrovertible truth. 
The animal kingdom is admitted to be a circular group : 
its first divisions are, therefore, into sub-kingdoms. 
Vertebra ted animals form one of these sub-kingdoms ; 
and annulose animals, or insects, generally speaking, 
another. These are next divided naturally into classes, 
of which description are quadrupeds, birds, fishes, rep- 
tiles, and Amphibia in one ; and winged insects, apter- 
ous insects, barnacles (Cirripeda), &c. in the other. 
So far we can have no doubt as to the kingdom, sub- 
kingdom, or class to which an animal, whose rank we 
wish to ascertain, belongs ; and we will suppose this to 
be the common-bearded titmouse (Parus biarmicus}. 
Every one sees that this is a bird not formed either for 
swimming, wading, or running upon the ground : we 
consequently conclude that it perches, and refer it at 
once to the division of birds named, from this circum- 
stance, Insessores ; and by this means arrive at its 
order. Its perfect and well-proportioned feet guide us 
to the particular tribe of Insessores which is distin- 
guished by these characters ; and we then proceed, by 
still further examining its structure, to refer it to the 
family of warblers, and to the sub-family of titmice 
(Parlance)* The sharp conic bill, and other minute 
peculiarities of structure, show that it belongs to the 
genus of Parus ; and to that little group, or sub-genus, 
which contains the most typical examples, or Pari 
proper. But even a sub- genus, as we have already 
seen, contains in its own little circle, when perfect, a 
representation of all the types of nature ; and thus the 
bird before us, as representing the natatorial or aquatic 
type, inhabits the marshy borders of lakes and rivers, 

* Northern Zoology, vol. ii. p. 203. 


and lives only in such situations. Now, if this aquatic 
division of the sub-genus Parus, instead of merely 
containing this one bird, comprised twenty or thirty 
species, we have every reason to conclude, judging from 
analogy, that it would of itself form a little circle ; and 
would, consequently, contain a new set of represent- 
ations of the usual types. But this, as we have 
already remarked, does not occur in the class of birds ; 
although it may possibly be found among insects. We 
therefore terminate our series of circles with the sub- 
genus Parus proper ; and thus get the following scale 
of rank in the groups we have progressively passed 
through. As the same results would attend our search 
after the station of the common swallow-tailed butterfly 
(Podalirius Machaon Sw.), we shall give the results of 
both enquiries together the number being tliree times 


1. Kingdom. Animalia. 1. Kingdom. Animalia. 

2. Sub-kingdom. Vertebrata. 2. Sub-kingdom. Annulosa. 
3. Class. Aves. 3. Class. Ptilota. 

4. Order. Insessores. 4. Order. Lepidoptera. 

5. Tribe. Dentirostres. 5. Tribe. Diurnes. 

6. Family. Sylviadae. 6. Family. Papilionidffi. 

7. Sub-family. Parianae. 7. Sub-family. Papilionas. 

8. Genus. Parus. 8. Genus. PapUio. 

9. Sub-genus. Venus, proper. 9. Sub-genus. Podalirius. 

(331.) There are several deductions of the highest 
importance to be made from this table, but at present 
we must view it only with reference to the value of the 
groups in the first columns. That these, and these 
only, so far as the bird in question is concerned, are 
natural, is, to be inferred from the fact that they are 
each circular groups, already demonstrated as such by 
rigorous analysis.* Each circle, according to its supe- 
rior rank, embraces all those that are beneath it; the test 
or proofs of the accuracy of each reposing on precisely 
the same principles. We traverse, in fact, eight circles, 
one within the other, before we arrive at that which 
brings us directly to the bird before us. It would, no 

* Northern Zoology, vol. ii. p. 200, &c. 


doubt, be easy to divide the family of warblers in twenty 
different ways, if mere division were the object; and thus 
to increase or diminish the number of the groups : but 
to do this in more ways than one, so that each division 
shall be a circular group, is utterly impossible ; and it 
therefore follows, that these groups, and their relative 
value, exist as truly and as absolutely in nature, and are 
as capable of being defined, as quadrupeds are from 
birds, or fishes from insects. It will be our object, at 
a more convenient season, to exhibit an analysis of the 
second column. This analysis, in short, has been made : 
and as the results have been procured by the same 
means, we could not withhold from our readers so in- 
teresting a coincidence of the definite number and rank 
of natural groups, taken from two different classes ; al- 
though the truth of one must at present be assumed. 
1 *(332.) Althougl^ we have not yet been able to detect 
any circular groups below the rank of sub-genera, the 
species composing these little assemblages, when they 
are numerous, always present us with representations of 
those primary types of form already defined, and to 
which nature so tenaciously adheres. We see an ex- 
ample of this in the bearded titmouse, which is the 
natatorial or aquatic type of a sub- genus j while Poda- 
lirius Machaon, in like manner, is an aquatic or fissi- 
rostral type. The student must not, however, look to 
these two series with any expectation of tracing trans- 
verse analogies : for although the two orders of Inses- 
sores and Lepidoptera really happen to represent each 
other, and are typical orders, the other groups are of 
different denominations; and therefore cannot, as we 
have already explained, be analogous. 

(333.) In further proof of the universality of these 
groups, both as regards their number and their rank, we 
shall now produce two other series : one of which is 
selected from the class of Mollusca, for the purpose of 
ascertaining the rank of that lovely shell, the Harpula 
Vexillum Swains. ; and the other from the sub-kingdom 


of insects (Annulosa), pointing out the probable station 
of the Scarabfsus Sacer of Mac Leay. 

HARPULA VEXILLUM, Zoo/. ///. 2. pi. 77. SCARAB.SBUS SACER MacL. ' 

1. Kingdom. An'nnalia. 1. Kingdom. Animalia. 

2. Sub-kingdom. Mollusca L. 2. Sub-kingdom. Annulosa. 
(Mollusca, Kadiata, Acrita, 
3. Class. Testacea. (Mollusca 3. Class. Ptilota Arist. 

, 4. Order. Gasteropoda Cuv. 4. Or-der. Coleoptera Lin. 

5. Tribe. Zoophaga. 5. Tribe. Chilognathiform 


6. Family. Volutidas. 6. Family. Scarabaeidas.Sw. 

(Petalocera Sapropliaga 

7. Sub-family. Volutina?; 7. Sub-family Scarabae : na 

Ste. (Scarabajidce MacL.) 
8. Genus. Harpula Sw. 8. Genus. Scarabasus 


9. Sub-genus. Harpula proper. 9. Sub-gen?/s. Helio- 

cantharus Auct. 

(Scarabffius proper. ) 

The demonstration of all these groups cannot, of course, 
now be entered upon, although full details will be given 
in their proper place. These, however, are the results ; 
and illustrate, in the most intelligible manner, the deter- 
minate number of graduated ranks of circles in the 
animal kingdom. 

(334.) Although we have not yet detected in the 
scheme of nature more than nine gradations of circles, it 
by no means follows that all these are constantly to be 
met with in every circle of superior magnitude; as, for 
instance, in classes or orders. This inequality in the 
contents of two groups of the same analogical rank has 
already been fully accounted for.* Sometimes, as in. 
the order Raptores, the primary groups do not appear 
of a higher rank than the families of the Insessores; and 
even of these, one, if not two, entire families are extinct. 
Aberrant groups are almost always fewer, both in point 
of numbers and of divisions, than such as are typical ; 
and sometimes an aberrant genus, instead of having 
many species, so as to contain its own types of form, 
will be only represented by a single individual. This, 

* See Preliminary Discourse on Nat. Hist. p/23L 


as we have before explained*, may be accounted for in 
two ways, either by our imperfect acquaintance with 
the productions of nature, or by the extinction of those 
animals which would render such groups perfect. 

(335.) Having now laid before the reader a few of 
those facts which serve to verify the general truth 
of the five propositions with which this division of our 
volume commenced, we must revert to a subject in- 
timately connected with the definite character of natural 
groups, and of which they are, in fact, composed ; we 
mean species and varieties those individuals, in short, 
which constitute the assemblages in question, and whose 
variation leads to a knowledge of all higher combin- 
ations. We alluded to a theoretic belief, even now com- 
mon among naturalists, that species are the only absolute 
divisions of nature. So far, however, from such being 
the fact, we believe that the truth consists in this posi- 
tion being reversed ; in other words, that if there are 
any absolute natural divisions, they are to be found in 
the different gradations of groups arid types here pointed 
out, but that in numberless cases it is utterly impossible 
to discriminate species from varieties ; species, in short, 
being, to human apprehension, the most indeterminate 
of all the links in the chain of being. This opinion is 
borne out by the sentiments of one whose peculiar line 
of study renders him, on this subject, one of the highest 
authorities in this country, t Setting aside, however, 
those exceptions which give rise to these opinions, and 
where the discrimination of species from varieties is 
impossible, we shall now proceed to describe those pe- 
culiarities which generally constitute a species ; and we 
do this fully, because we think the subject has not re- 
ceived that attention, in introductory works, which it 

(336.) A species, in popular language, may be de- 
fined as " a natural object, whose differences from those 
most nearly related to it are, as far as observation has 

* See Preliminary Discourse on Nat. Hist. p. 213. 

f J. F. Stephens's Catalogue of British Insects, preface, p. xvi. 


extended, permanent; and are therefore presumed to 
have had their origin when it came from the hands of 
its Creator." Domestication and other causes will often 
produce some variation of these characters ; hut, in a 
state of nature, such variations are seldom, if ever, 
perpetuated through many generations. Species are 
very generally considered the only distinct or definite 
divisions in nature. But, if this were correct, we should 
not have some naturalists calling that a species, which 
others contend is a variety. The theory of variation, 
again, hy which natural assemblages are regulated, clearly 
proves that groups are more definite than species. 

(337.) It is difficult, if not impossible, to lay down 
any general rules for the positive discrimination of 
species ; hut we may suggest to the student a few of 
those distinctions which are most absolute : these chiefly 
relate to form, sculpture, and colour. The form of an 
animal is as much distinctive of the group it belongs 
to, as of its specific character ; but so infinitely may the 
same general form be modified, either in the shape or 
the proportion of the whole, or of its parts, that, 
perhaps, the form, rigorously speaking, of no two 
species is the same. Under the general term of form, 
we comprehend size or bulk, contour, or shape, and the 
proportion of the parts to each other. In regard to 
the first of these, the size of all animals will vary ac- 
cording to the scarcity or abundance, the richness or 
poorness, of their food : their size will also be affected 
by their locality ; that is, by the temperature of the 
particular climate they have lived in. Animals which 
are found to be most abundant in cold or temperate 
regions, will, in proportion as they extend their range 
to others much warmer, become smaller than their 
brethren who had not quitted the central region as- 
signed to the species. The convolvulus sphinx of 
Europe, judging from the perfect insect, seems to be 
precisely the same in India as in Australia, in form, 
colour, and markings ; but the latter specimens are nearly 
one third less than the European examples; thus showing 
T 2 


that a warm temperature, upon some animals, produces 
the same effect as cold does upon others, whose natural 
metropolis is in warm latitudes. This variation in 
size will often occur in individuals found in the same 
country, or even on the same spot ; just as we observe, 
among a family of children, different degrees of height 
and of robustness. This variation, however, is more 
observable among insects than among quadrupeds, while 
in birds it is somewhat rare. We do not here include 
domesticated races as examples, because it is well known 
that the several breeds of horses, pigs, cattle, fowls, &c. 
not only vary in size in a most remarkable manner, but 
assume, in a state of domestication, such different mo- 
difications of their usual characters, that, were we to 
discover them in a wild state, they would be viewed as 
distinct species. The most variable species of birds, in 
regard to their size, are the hangnests of America ; but 
more especially those of the genus Cassicus the largest 
of which, the elegant crested cassican*, varies almost 
in every district it inhabits : and yet it is still doubt- 
ful whether a better acquaintance with some of these 
supposed varieties, particularly those of the red-rumped 
species t, may not make known peculiarities of habits 
and of manners, which may justify us in considering 
them distinct species. Generally speaking, however, 
there must be something more than a mere difference 
in size, to authorise our making it the only ground of 
specific difference. 

(338.) Shape, or contour, is the second property 
of form: there are scarcely any instances in which 
animals, possessing a peculiarity of shape, however 
slight it may be, are not distinct species from their 
congeners. A peculiarity in the shape of the wing- 
feathers, or of the bill in birds ; in the direction of 
the horns of oxen, antelopes, and beetles ; in the 
shape of the antennae, or of its joints, in almost all 
insects ; and many other peculiarities which will readily 
suggest themselves; may all be taken as good and 

* Cassicus cristatus, Ornithological Drawings, pi. 32. 

t Caw. hcemorrhous and affinis, Ornithological Drawings, pL 1, 2. 


sound distinctions for species, or at most among 
insects for permanent or sexual differences. We re- 
collect no instances among wild animals, in which these 
marks are known to vary : no better or more tangible 
character, indeed, can be named, than the relative shape 
of the wings of birds, in cases where the size and colour 
of two or more species are perfectly the same. A striking 
instance of this may be seen in the greenlets (Fireo V.) 
of America; where the different shape of the wings con- 
stitutes the only specific distinction of three, if not of 
four, species.* The possession of horns, protuberances^ 
enlargements, &c. are mostly characters of types, but 
their particular shape is a sure indication of species. 
When, however, the shape and direction are the same, 
but there is merely a difference of size or developement, 
such circumstance cannot constitute a species. Let us 
look, for examples of this, to the hornbills (Buceridai) 
among birds ; the Scarahceidce and the Cerambycidte 
among insects, and the Muricidce among shells. The 
young hornbills have seldom any of those protuberances 
on their bill, which they acquire with maturity; and 
even then they increase in size, without altering much 
in form, unto advanced age : from ignorance of this fact, 
former writers were very apt to describe the young 
and the adult bird as two different species. An analo- 
gous case to this is met with among the ' saprophagous 
beetles (particularly in the group of bulky Dynastida 
MacL., and in the genus Phcenius of the same author) : 
the hornlike protuberances, which, in the last, distin- 
guishes the male sex, vary, in their length, in almost 
every individual ; so that in some they are very promi- 
nent, while in others they are merely like short tubercles. 
It would be curious to ascertain whether this difference 
results likewise from age. The spines upon the different 
rock shells (Murex}, and on the coronated volutes 
(Cymbiola Sw.), vary in like manner ; some specimens 
having acute and prominent spines, while others are 
nearly smooth. These are the most remarkable excep- 

* See Northern Zoology. 
T 3 


tions to the foregoing rule that at present occur to us ; 
they relate almost as much to the size as to the shape 
of an ohject ; but peculiarities drawn from the latter 
circumstance are much more to be depended upon than 
those of the former. 

(339.) A form is modified by difference in its pro- 
portions. Hence, the comparative shortness or longness 
of an animal, or of its parts, when compared to another 
which it closely resembles, is (with the exceptions last 
mentioned) usually a sign that it is a distinct species. 
The comparative length of the tail in quadrupeds and 
birds, and of the wings in birds and insects, are excel- 
lent specific distinctions : the antenna? of insects do not 
supply, in all cases, so good a criterion ; for they often 
,vary considerably, both as to structure and length, in 
the sexes of the same species : the same uncertainty 
attends the employment of specific characters drawn 
from their legs. In birds and quadrupeds, however, 
the structure of these latter members afford distinctions 
for groups; and these latter modifications give us a cer- 
tain index for the determination of species. The 
entomologist should pay particular attention to the pro- 
portions of two insects, which come so close to each 
other, that he may be in doubt as to their specific dif- 
ference : the greater enlargement of the thorax, the 
wings, the feet, or even of the antennae, may frequently 
indicate a real difference. 

(340.) The most general distinction of species is 
manifested by their colours : among these, however, we 
must not include black ; for not only are nearly all the 
species of entire families (as the Harpalida; MacL.) and 
sub-families (Edolina Sw.) of this colour, but nearly 
the whole of the saprophagous beetles are of the same 
sombre hue. Colours, among quadrupeds, unless when 
domesticated, seldom vary in individuals of the same 
species ; and still more rarely among birds, when arrived 
at maturity. It should be remembered, however, that 
in the feathered creation,, young birds are almost always 
clothed in the garb of their mother ; and that among the 


species of vultures, hawks,, gulls, and a few others, the 
adult plumage is not put on until after two, three, or 
even four years. Humming-birds, and nearly all their 
splendid coloured congeners, during the first year, are 
devoid of those richly coloured plumes which they ac- 
quire in the second. These instances are sufficient to 
set the young ornithologist upon his guard ; and yet, in 
mature life, the colours of birds are their best and most 
obvious distinctions. Among insects, also, they afford 
considerable help, especially in the Lepidoptera ; where 
the ground tint and the pattern are almost invariable 
in the individuals of one species, although there may be 
some trifling variation in the latter. The ocellated 
spots, for instance, in our well known meadow but- 
terflies, forming the groups of Hipparchia and Polyom- 
metus, will frequently vary as to their size and number, 
although the pattern of the wings will be, in other re- 
spects, precisely the same. In this order, the colours 
of the sexes are rarely different ; although there are some 
remarkable exceptions to this rule among the exotic 
diurnal tribes. In the Hymenoptera, also, the same 
species of bee will appear very different upon first 
emerging from the pupa, and when his short career is 
drawing to a close : the delicately coloured hairs, with 
which his body was at first defended, will be partly 
worn off; and the dark colour of the abdomen, appearing 
beneath, will give the whole insect a different aspect to 
that which it had in youth. Let the young entomologist, 
if he wish to ascertain this fact, capture some of those 
species he will find on the wing at the end of July, 
and then renew his captures, in the same locality, in 
the month of September ; in all probability he will meet 
with the same species, but apparently clothed in dif- 
ferent hues. Colours, in the neuropterous order, are 
very evanescent. Those which ornament the bodies of 
the dragon flies, not only fade after death, but vary in 
individuals of the same sex : the beautiful green, so 
prevalent among the locusts, generally changes, in the 
preserved specimen, to a light brown : the under wings, 
T 4 


however, of the grasshoppers (GryllmcB Sw.) retain 
their colours very well ; and they never vary in the same 
species. The colour and patterns of shells, particularly 
those of the marine tribes, afford very good specific 
distinctions ; for, upon the whole, they seldom vary to 
any great extent. When we except two or three species 
of olives (Oliva Lam.), a few land shells, and the tellin 
"bivalves ( TellijicB) we specify the chief, if not the only, 
exceptions to the universality of this observation. It 
must be understood, however, that no dependence can 
be placed upon the presence or the number of bands, 
which often cross the whorls both of the land and the 
marine genera : these, and the precise pattern of the 
markings, will often vary in the same species ; of which 
the common garden snail is a noted example. The pat- 
tern, also, of the angular zigzag markings, seen on the 
hat volutes * and other coronated species forming the 
genus Cymbiola, are scarcely alike in two individuals out 
of twenty, although the general style of these markings 
will be precisely the same. Passing from these few 
exceptions, the cowries may be cited as a group of shells 
remarkable for the specific uniformity of their colours : 
indeed, but for this, so slight are their modifications of 
form, that there are many species which we should find 
it difficult to distinguish in any other way. 

(341.) There are other remarkable ways in which 
colours vary among .insects, of which the student should 
be apprised. In numerous species of the Chrysomelidce, 
golden green is the prevalent hue ; yet varieties of each 
are often found of a rich green blue, or of a greenish 
gold colour. The brilliant American Eumolpi fre- 
quently exhibit these variations, among individuals ob- 
viously of the same species. Most of all, the saltatorial 
Galleruci of tropical America, when alive, have a large 
proportion of pure white about them ; yet when they 
die, and as they are seen in cabinets, these parts appear 
of a light ochre or dull yellow colour. Some of the small 
light-coloured Cassidce of the same region are still more 

* See Cymbiola Fespertilio, Zool. Ill ser. ii. pL 83. 


deceptive : see them alive, and they look like drops of 
burnished gold ; look at them in cabinets, and they appear 
like different insects, entirely of a dull yellowish colour : 
yet let these very specimens be plunged in warm water, 
and, while the moisture continues, all their rich metallic 
hues will revive, as if by magic. The colours of many 
of the apterous insects, especially of the spiders, would 
enable us to discriminate the species with much pre- 
cision ; but unfortunately they are more evanescent than 
those of any other insects, nor has any method been yet 
discovered for preserving them. We are therefore 
obliged, reluctantly, to seek for other means to define 
the species. The same remark applies to a large pro- 
portion of the crabs ; although they will exhibit, if well 
preserved, some faint indication of their original hues. 
Changes of colour, in individuals of the same species of 
birds, will be effected by extreme age : the green plumage 
of parrots changes to yellow ; and aged females of the 
gallinaceous order are known to assume the plumage and 
colours of the male bird. We know not whether this 
circumstance has been observed in wild birds ; but many 
instances of this change are upon record in the cases of 
pheasants, fowls, and other domesticated species. 

(342.) Sculpture is the last distinction of species 
which we shall here enumerate. This term compre- 
hends all those various modes by which nature has 
diversified the naked parts of birds, the elytra or ex- 
ternal wings and other parts of insects, the scales of 
reptiles and of fish, and the hard or testaceous covering 
of molluscous animals. The bodies of quadrupeds and 
birds, being covered either with hair or feathers, show 
very little of this peculiarity : the horns of the ruminating 
animals, however, present us with different kinds of sur- 
faces, as shown in the rings and nodules upon them ; 
these are greatly diversified, and almost invariably in- 
dicate a difference in species. Sculpture, in birds, is 
restricted to grooves upon the bill of certain species 
of hornbills and toucans ; and to the form, and mode 
of division, of the scales on the feet. These latter 


characters,, however, are found so uniformly prevalent 
through the species of a natural group, that they are 
mostly employed in defining genera and sub-genera : 
slight alterations from such standards nevertheless occur 
in species ; and they consequently claim the especial 
attention of the ornithologist. That he may be con- 
vinced of this, let him compare the form, size, and 
manner of disposition of the scales upon the feet of a 
few different groups ; as, for example, a crow, shrike, 
chatterer, and flycatcher ; and he will at once perceive 
how singularly they are diversified. So, likewise, are the 
scales of reptiles and of fish. On proceeding to insects, 
we find this character rising in importance, particularly 
in the coleopterous order. Sometimes the wing-cases 
are punctured, either irregularly or in lines ; in others, 
they are either grooved, ribbed, wrinkled, spined, or 
tuberculated ; and each of these are again diversified in 
an almost infinity of ways. Better distinctions for 
species than these, cannot possibly be obtained ; and they 
accordingly are used for this purpose by the best 
writers. The same diversity may be observed both among 
the univalve and the bivalve shells ; the surface of which 
are diversified according to the species either 
with spines, nodules, tubercles, wrinkles, grooves, 
ridges, simple lines, or punctured lines ; and sometimes 
these lines cross each other like the fabric of a basket, 
and they are then termed cancellated. The sculpture 
of corals, and of the spines upon the different sea eggs 
(Echini), afford excellent specific distinctions, and may 
always be so employed. Lastly, we may notice, under 
this head, that partial clothing on the surface of many 
animals, otherwise naked, which is termed pubescence. 
This is chiefly confined to insects ; and consists of downy 
hairs, of different degrees of density and length, spread 
either wholly or partially over their body. The highest 
developement of this is seen in the field bees (Bombus) ; 
but it is very prevalent among beetles, particularly such 
as represent, in their different circles, the order of 
Hymenoptera. This pubescence is either partial or 


general ; sometimes covering the body and limbs, while 
in other species it is restricted to only one of these 
parts. Many of the Capricorn tribe (Capricornes Sw.) 
have their antennae ornamented by elegant circular tufts 
of hairs, radiating in all directions., like the bristles of a 
bottle-brush : these tufts, again, in other species, are 
scattered at regular intervals over the elytrae and thorax, 
from whence they seem to spring. Many of the African 
BuprestidcB and the Sicilian Cetoniadce are so orna- 
mented. Sometimes, although much more rarely, the 
hinder legs are tufted, as in some Capricorn beetles ; 
while we have a pretty vernal bee having these orna- 
ments upon its middle legs. Few of the true Cicades, or 
singing Hemiptera, possess more than a slight pubes- 
cence ; but several of those of tropical America and 
India have long tufts, resembling the finest cotton, pro- 
jecting from the end of their bodies. Lastly, pubescence 
shows itself under the form of a very fine powder, either 
white or coloured, as in many of the Cocci, or plant lice. 
All these, and many other modifications, should be 
noted in the comparison of species ; and they may be 
used, with confidence, as distinguishing characters. 

(343.) It is unnecessary to expatiate further upon 
the diversified appearances in the external covering of 
animals ; for, whether that covering be hard or soft, its 
surface always possesses some characteristic. A species, 
therefore, is distinguished from others with which it is 
immediately connected, either by a very slight difference 
in its form, the relative proportions of its parts, its 
colour, its surface, or its sculpture : these characters, 
moreover, however refined they may be, are quite suf- 
ficient to point out a specific difference, provided they 
are permanent ; that is to say, that they are discern - 
able in all the individuals that have been seen or col- 

(344.) Difference of country, or of geographic dis- 
tribution, when coupled with other considerations, may 
frequently excite a well-grounded suspicion that two 
individuals very closely resembling each other, are of 


distinct species. Before naturalists had discovered the 
necessity of that nice examination which is now so es- 
sential, it was customary to depend more upon the 
general aspect of an animal, than upon its minute de- 
tails of structure ; and in this way it not unfrequently 
happened that a host of true species were classed as 
varieties. Experience, however, has now taught us 
that the productions of every quarter of the globe have 
a marked and peculiar character; and that, although 
there are, for instance, some species of birds or insects 
common alike to the Old and the New World, yet that 
this wide geographic range is enjoyed by so very few, 
that they became rare exceptions to one of the most 
prevalent laws of nature. As a striking instance of 
this, we may cite the lions ; which naturalists, up to this 
day, have viewed as constituting but one species. The 
fact, however, will turn out to be, that there are no 
less than five, if not six. One inhabits the north of 
Africa, and is that species best known to the ancients 
(Leo Africanus Sw.) : another, now in the Surry Zoo- 
logical Gardens, is peculiar to Asia ; and which, upon 
its arrival, was examined and designated by me as the 
Leo Asiaticus* : the third is the black-maned lion, 
mentioned by Mr. Burchell (Leo melaceps Sw.) ; and 
the fourth is the lion of Southern Africa (Leo Australis 
Sw.). In like manner, we have ascertained that the 
giraffe of Northern Africa (Camelopardalis Antiquorum 
Sw.) is quite distinct from that of the southern part of 
the same continent (Cam. Australis Sw.). The hare of 
Europe, again, according to Mr. Gray, seems to be a 
different species from the hare of Nepaul : while very 
many of the lepidopterous insects of North America, 
until their larvae were made known by Abbot and Smith t, 
were considered identical with those of Europe. On 
the other hand, too much stress must not be laid even 

~ * The description and name of. this species were communicated from 
these gardens to the editor of the " Naturalist's Library," but no allusion is 
made to the previous examination and name 1 had given it. 

t The Lepidopterous Insects of Georgia. See Introductory Discourse, 
on Nat. Hist p. 66. 


upon the most remote differences of locality. The 
Sphinx convolvuli and the Cynthia cardui both well- 
known British insects are likewise found in different 
parts of Asia, and even occur in New Holland. That 
pretty yellow butterfly, the Eurymus Electro, of the 
south of Europe, and of Southern Africa, cannot be 
discriminated from those found in this country. 

(345.) Individuals of a species which show any de- 
viation from the usual characters by which that species 
is discriminated, are called varieties. These deviations 
from the ordinary characteristics of their race originate 
from a variety of causes ; among which, climate, food, 
and domestication are the most influential. In nearly 
all cases, however, a variety is not permanent ; for, the 
local or influential causes being removed, the generation 
which succeeds assumes all the genuine lineaments of 
the race from whence it originally sprang. Animals, 
whose chief metropolis is in a temperate climate, be- 
come smaller when they extend their limits into a 
warmer region, and vice versa. The size of an animal 
is greatly influenced both by the quantity and quality 
of its food, no less than by its location ; and both these, 
again, affect its colour. Variation in the colour of 
quadrupeds, in a state of nature, is more rarely observed 
than in birds ; although, in a domesticated state, the 
former seem most disposed to deviation from the natural 
standard. The ox, dog, and cat are familiar instances of 
this fact ; where the diversities of colour are much more 
remarkable than in the fowl, duck, goose, and turkey. 
Insects of the lepidopterous and the neuropterous or- 
ders are more prone to these variations from their 
original type, than any other. This is observable 
in the spots upon the wings of the Satyridce, or Argus 
butterflies, and in the colours of the genus Agrion. The 
testaceous shellfish, however, are sometimes very incon- 
stant in their colours : strong instances of this are seen 
in many species of Helix, of Oliva, and of Tellina, as 
already intimated. 

(346.) The radiated animals are much more con- 


stant ; but the corallines assume an endless diversity of 
form, although the general structure of the species is 
essentially the same. Much experience, therefore, is 
sometimes necessary to discriminate a species from a 
variety : in general, however, a variety may be defined 
as local or accidental, whose peculiarities are not per- 
petuated in the next generation, and which cannot be 
traced in more than a few individuals. It must be 
again mentioned, nevertheless, that these observations 
are applied only to animals in a state of nature ; since 
it is well known that the greatest variation of form, 
colour, and even of structure, have been produced by 
long domestication. 

(34-7.) Having now sufficiently developed all those 
principles of the system of nature with which we are 
as yet acquainted, it follows that no arrangement of her 
groups yet discovered can be natural, unless they exhibit 
these principles in their details. It has frequently been 
observed, and with great truth, that " a natural arrange- 
ment will stand any test." But the test itself must 
first of all be proved genuine. It is not a sufficient 
test of our groups, that the individuals composing them 
are placed in a circular series ; because hundreds of such 
circles can be made out, the fallacy of which, did no 
other test exist, can never be discovered. Neither is a 
group sufficiently verified by making out its parallel 
relations of analogy with another group; because, as all 
contain the same denomination of types, we may happen 
to compare a family with a genus, and, finding that 
both have parallel analogies, may be led to fancy that 
both are of equal value : both groups, indeed, may pos- 
sibly be natural; but if we merely confine our analysis 
to these, without investigating others which are con- 
terminous, we may combine them falsely, and thus 
throw a whole order into confusion. Parallel relations 
must also be of a definite character, or the imagination 
may be led astray : hence the necessity of verifying every 
group, not only by the system of representation, but 
also by the law of variation and succession of the pri- 


mary types explained in the preceding pages. If, in 
short, a zoological group be natural, it will not only 
bear a comparison with every other in the same class, 
but will give and receive a flood of light to and from 
all with which it is compared. 

(348.) It follows, from the preceding remarks, that 
the verifications of a natural group are three : 1 . The 
circular series of its contents ; 2. The parallel rela- 
tions of its parts to other groups ; and, 3. The sym- 
bolical representation of the primary types of nature. 
On some of these points we have expatiated * ; but this 
is the proper place for treating the subject in a more 
definite, clear, and connected manner. 

(349.) There are no absolute rules, of universal ap- 
plication, independent of analysis, which can be laid 
down for the discovery of a zoological circle. We 
must begin, in fact, by arranging the objects with the 
nicest attention to their apparent affinities, and then 
testing the result. If these affinities are real, and the 
group is natural, there will be an evident tendency to a 
circle ; and this tendency will be more or less strong, in 
proportion to the number of objects which enter into the 
series. When we consider, however, 'that the relations of 
objects are complicated, and by no means confined to those 
which precede, or those which follow them, in the series 
of affinity, it is obvious that false circles may be made ; 
and that their fallacy can only be discovered by further 
tests. Before the naturalist proceeds to these, it is 
absolutely necessary that he endeavours to make out 
the two immediate circles which pass into that with 
which he has first begun. If, for instance, he was 
investigating the genus Picus Sw., as now constituted, 
after simply tracing the circular affinities of this group, 
he should proceed to investigate the two others which 
more immediately join it ; namely, Chrysoptilus Sw. 
and Melanerpes. Unless this were done, he will have 
no definite ideas on the probable demarcation of his 
first circle, at those points where it touches, and passes 

* Preliminary Discourse on Nat. Hist. 


into, the two adjoining ones. It may, indeed, be pos- 
sible to discover a circular group without such collateral 
helps ; but the discovery is highly improbable, and it 
may be laid down as a rule that his first arrangement 
will be more or less natural in proportion as he is 
acquainted with the objects immediately surrounding, 
or connected to, those which he is investigating. This 
plan, moreover, of making out the circular series of 
contiguous groups, is absolutely necessary for testing 
the contents of that circle more immediately under 

(350.) II. The second test to which our supposed 
circle must be brought, is that of analogy; in other 
words, those relations which its contents bear to the 
neighbouring circles, and to all others in its own class 
or order. It is an easy matter to place a series of 
animals in a circle, and call it a natural group, and to 
repeat the same operation with such others as come 
near to the first; but to make the contents, or divisions, 
of these circles tally with each other is a very different 
matter, and imposes a check upon the fancy which will 
dissipate many illusions. No circle whose contents 
will not bear such a comparison can be natural. It 
may, indeed, happen, that one or even two of its sub- 
divisions are wanting, while in the group with which 
it is compared they are present ; yet even under these 
circumstances there will be so strong a resemblance 
between the two, in all other parts, that we may begin 
to hope our arrangement of both is correct. We should 
not, however, rest content with one or two tests of this 
sort, but bring our group, thus far safe, to encounter 
all the comparisons which we can institute. Should it 
be, for instance, the genus Picus ; after tracing its 
subgenera, or divisions, in the two neighbouring genera, 
we should compare it with the sub-families of its own 
circle, and then with the families of the Scansores. If 
our arrangement is natural, we shall find parallel rela- 
tions of analogy will result from these and all other 
comparisons we make, and thus proceeding to the 


tribes and orders of the whole class, we bring forth new 
and unexpected proofs of the harmonious simplicity of 
nature, and demonstrate our group by a mass of evi- 
dence perfectly unanswerable; but, to establish analogies, 
we must not be left to vague suppositions or fanciful 
conceits, and this obliges us to test our group by de- 
termining its types. 

(351.) III. The system of representation, by which 
the types or divisions of a natural group are determined, 
is the third and last test. It is by this that we can judge, 
whether our group is perfect or imperfect ; and by this 
we can calculate, from analogy, the probable extent of 
the gaps that may occur in a natural series. It is easy 
to divide the smallest circular groups, into three, four, 
five, or seven divisions, for the propriety of these 
divisions (they not being circular) cannot be con- 
troverted by the answer that has been given, of "putting 
them to the test of returning into themselves." The 
naturalist, therefore, requires something more to guide 
him in correctly dividing his group, not only as to the 
number of its divisions, but as to the structure or pecu- 
liarities which each should possess. Without this guide, 
he will be unable, in many cases, to establish the parallel 
analogies, and he must wander in all the uncertainties 
of conjecture. Hence it becomes necessary to compare 
his divisions with the characters of the types in the 
animal kingdom. If these exhibit a conformity, how- 
ever remote, whether in their structure, nature, or habits, 
and if they follow each other in the same progression, he 
has no need of looking farther. His group is one of 
Nature's ; discovered, it may be, by himself, but existing 
" from the beginning." 

(352.) But theory without analysis is like precept 
without example : we shall choose, therefore, an illustra- 
tion to show the full force of these remarks. For this pur- 
pose we select one of the best known of our native birds, 
the hedge-sparrow (Accentor modularis Cuv.) ; chiefly 
because we have felt much interested in the delightful 
history which has been given of it by the amiable and 


intellectual author of that charming volume " The Journal 
of a Naturalist ;" a book which should be in the hands of 
every lover of nature, no less than on the shelf of every 
philosophic zoologist. As it is important that the 
reader should have this history before him, and that, 
before proceeding to what follows, he should duly con- 
sider every part, we shall transcribe the whole passage. 
(353.) " The hedge-sparrow, or shuffle-wing (Mota- 
cilia modularis Lin.), is a prime favourite. Not in- 
fluenced by season or caprice to desert us, it lives in 
our homesteads and our orchards through all the year, 
our most domestic bird. In the earliest spring it 
intimates to us by a low and plaintive chirp, and that 
peculiar shake of the wing which at all times marks 
this bird, but then is particularly observable, the 
approach of the breeding season ; for it appears always 
to live in pairs, feeding and moving in company with 
each other. It is nearly the first bird that forms a 
nest ; and this being placed in an almost leafless hedge, 
with little art displayed in its concealment, generally 
becomes the booty of every prying boy ; and the blue 
eggs of the hedge-sparrow are always found in such* 
numbers on his string, that it is surprising how any of 
the race are remaining, especially when we consider the 
many casualties to which the old birds are obnoxious 
from their tameness, and the young that are hatched 
from their situation. The plumage of this Motacilla is 
remarkably sober and grave; and all its actions are 
quiet and conformable to its appearance. Its song is 
short, sweet, and gentle. Sometimes it is prolonged ; 
but generally the bird perches on the summit of some 
bush, utters its brief modulation, and seeks retirement 
again. Its chief habitation is some hedge in the rick- 
yard, some cottage garden, or near society with man. 
Unobtrusive, it does not enter our dwellings like the 
redbreast, but picks minute insects from the edges of 
drains and ditches, or morsels from the door of the 
poorest dwelling in the village. As an example of a 
household or domestic bird, none can be found with 


better pretensions to such a character than the hedge- 
sparrow. I have often thought that this bird, the 
chaffinch, and some others, obtain much of their sup- 
port in the winter and spring seasons, especially when 
the ground is covered with snow, by feeding upon the 
capsules or fertile heads of various mosses, having fre- 
quently noticed them pecking and masticating some- 
thing upon the walls and in such places where these 
plants abound, and nothing besides, that could afford 
subsistence to any animated creature, particularly Bryum 
subulatum (Dillenius); and these races perfect their 
capsules principally during those periods in which other 
matter, which could afford them sustenance, is sparingly 
found. The object of the existence of many of these 
lowly plants has been considered as obscure, and their 
profusion a general subject of admiration. If this 
conjecture is correct, that they afford nutriment to 
these poor little creatures in a season of destitution, it 
affords us another instance of the benevolence of their 
Creator, extending, as far as we can perceive, through 
every department of creation: we cannot trace this 
chain, because we are ignorant of consequences, nor 
perceive the termination, because it is of infinite dura- 
tion ; but to attest any perception of wisdom and of 
goodness is a laudable and a just homage of the 
creature who observes it." * From this account we 
gather the following facts : 1. That the hedge-sparrow 
(c is a most domestic bird ;" evincing an innate and 
peculiar attachment to the haunts of man, feeding and 
building near his habitation, and by its familiarity 
courting his protection. 2. That its disposition is 
social towards its own species. 3. That its nest is built 
with little art. 4. That its plumage is plain, and that it 
seeks its food upon the ground ; living as much upon 
seeds as upon insects. 

(354.) Let us now enquire how far these peculiarities 
can be explained, and in what manner they are in 
unison with the station occupied by this bird, in the 

* Journal of a Naturalist, p. 148150. 

u 2 


system of nature. Having already gone into all neces- 
sary proofs and details respecting the family to which 
it belongs, in another work *, we shall at present merely 
recapitulate the results thereby obtained. The Syl- 
viadfB, or warblers, are a circular group, holding the rank 
of a family in the tribe of Dentirostres, or tooth-billed 
birds. This family is again divided into sub-families 
corresponding to, and representing, the primary types of 
nature. Now, one of those types is the Rasorial, 
which is the same as the Scansorial among the Perchers, 
and in it we consequently find all those warblers which, 
like the titmice, climb among trees more than any 
other warblers, and thus aptly represent the Scansorial 
parrots and woodpeckers. Still proceeding to analyse 
the contents of every minor division, we have shown 
that the Parlance, or titmice, form a circle of their own, 
and are again divided into genera, the characters and 
analogies of which have been thus stated t : 

Sub-Family PARIANJE. Titmice. 

Analogical Characters. Genera. Analogies. 

1. Typical group. , *- , 

Sill short, strong, conic, entire. Parus. CONIROSTRES. INSESSORES. 

2. Sub-typical group. 

Sill more lengthened and slen-~) 

der, slightly notched some. > Sylvicola. DENTIROSTRES. RAPTORES. 
what remotely from the tip. J 

3. Aberrant group. 

Feet more especially adapted! Setophaga. } FISSIROSTRES NATATORES. 
either for perching, walking, J-Trichas. >TENUIROSTRES. GRALLATORES. 
or climbing : bill various, j Accentor, j SCANSORES. RASORES. 

(355.) Thus it is shown that although the Pariana, 
as a whole, represent the scansorial and rasorial division 
of the warblers, still that this division contains within 
itself representations of all the other types, and is there- 
fore a perfect and circular group. If we spoke of the 
titmice generally, we should consequently term them 
the scansorial division or type of the warblers ; but, 
if we wished to be more particular, and to name the 
precise rank of the genus Parus, in its own circle, we 
say that it is the typical genus. M. Cuvier has long 

* North. Zool. voL ii. p. 203. 


ago placed the hedge-sparrow in the genus Accentor, 
in which he has been followed hy all succeeding orni- 
thologists : this genus, preceded by Trichas, and fol- 
lowed by Parus, is found to occupy a station in its own 
circle precisely corresponding to that of the rasorial 
type of birds, which it therefore represents. 

(356.) But as a diagram will bring these comparisons 
more immediately before the eye of the reader, we sub- 
join the following : the dotted lines showing the mutual 
analogy of the respective groups. 

Insessores Parus 

Natatores Setophaga 

All these relations of analogy will be found substan- 
tiated, not merely by external structure, but by natural 
habits and economy. Our present enquiry, however, 
is entirely confined to the demonstration of the latter, 
and simply as regards the fact of the analogy between the 
hedge-sparrow and the rasorial type of the class of birds. 
Bearing in mind, therefore, the characters already 
given to this type (317-)> let us now trace in what way 
nature has exhibited them in this instance ; so that the 
hedge-sparrow should represent, symbolically, the Ra- 
sores, or the gallinaceous order of birds. 

(357-) The rasorial races, of all birds, are the most 
familiar, the most domestic, and the most fearless of 
man : this is their chief characteristic ; and this is 
equally true of the hedge-sparrow j of all our warblers 
(with the exception of the robin, also a rasorial type), 
it is the most familiar ; it pecks about our window with 
a certain degree of humble confidence and trusting secu- 
rity which is seen in no other of its family j it is, in short, 
u 3 


as our observing naturalist truly remarks, < a most 
domestic little bird." The Rasores are conspicuous for 
a permanent attachment between the sexes, long after 
the season of incubation, and when most other birds 
separate and disperse ; but our little hedge-sparrow pos- 
sessess the constancy of its type, for te it appears always 
to live in pairs, feeding and moving in each other's 
company." Next, as to its nest : the loose slovenly way 
in which their habitation is fabricated by the Rasores is 
well known ; so also is that of the hedge-sparrow, for 
" it has little art displayed in its concealment," or, com- 
paratively, in its construction ; and as rasorial birds build 
their nests for the most part upon the ground, so does 
the hedge-sparrow place hers but a short distance above 
it.* Both live and seek their chief supply of food upon 
the earth, pecking about for seeds, however small; and 
both, for such a life, are gifted with unusual strength 
in tljeir legs. Rasorial birds are well known to have 
short convex wings, and a strong entire bill ; so also 
has the hedge-sparrow, while the bill of the type of its 
genus, the Accentor alpinus, is so thick, that it might 
be compared to that of a finch. One of the great 
typical divisions of the gallinaceous order is remarkable 
for the variegated yet plain and homely colours of their 
plumage ; witness the whole of the grouse, partridges, 
and bustards ; so also is that of the hedge-sparrow ; its 
colours, on close inspection, are prettily varied, yet the 
general effect is " remarkably sober and grave." Finally, 
it is among the Rasores we see that peculiar intelligence 
of parent birds in the preservation of their young, which 
is so well known in the partridge ; either one or both 
the parents will entice those whom they fear away from 
their nest or infant brood, by feigning lameness, in a 
variety of ways. Now, the only native bird, in the 
whole of this division of warblers, that will do this, is 
the hedge-sparrow. Bewick, who was aware of this 
fact, observes, that, " during the time of sitting, if a cat 
or other voracious animal should come near the nest, 

* Bewick, vol. i. p. 222. 


the mother endeavours to divert it by a stratagem, similar 
to that by which the partridge misleads the dog ; she 
springs up, nutters from spot to spot, and by such means 
allures her enemy to a safe distance." * Finally, it may 
be incontestably proved, that although this bird is no 
sparrow, yet that this name has been, in one sense, 
rightly bestowed upon it. The true-sparrow (Pyr- 
gita, C.) and the genus Accentor, mutually represent 
each other ; for, by comparing the circles to which they 
respectively belong (as we have just done with the hedge- 
sparrow), these two groups stand in opposite or parallel 
relations : hence the general similarity of their colours, 
their familiarity, their mode of feeding, and the common 
nature of their food ; and hence the name of hedge- 
sparrow. Both, in short, are rasorial types, and much 
which we have said of one belongs likewise to the 

(358.) When, therefore, it can be shown, as in the 
present instance, that every fact, however trivial or appa- 
rently unimportant, that has yet transpired on the struc- 
ture or habits of an animal can be accounted for by the 
application of a few general laws, we may feel all the 
assurance that demonstration can give, that our arrange- 
ment is that of Nature. It seems impossible to conceive 
that the ingenuity of man can invent those innumerable 
proofs, and complicated verifications, thus applied to 
a natural group. The first test is that of affinity, the 
next of analogy, and the third of representation : and 
these having been now illustrated down to the lowest 
stage of analysis, we cannot conceive under what form fur- 
ther demonstrative evidence can be produced. We have 
selected for our purpose a faithful narrative of a familiar 
bird, and which has been drawn up by one who could 
have had no idea of the use that would subsequently be 
made of his remarks. But numerous others could have 
been cited, in addition to those whose affinities have 
been already explained upon the same principles! in a 

* Bewick's Birds, vol. i. p. 222. 

t See various other examples in Northern Zoology, vol. ii. 

u 4 


similar way j particularly the American redstart (Seto- 
phaga ruticilla) and the common domestic duck. * 

(359') Our exposition of the natural system must 
here terminate. We have endeavoured to treat the sub- 
ject with that simplicity and clearness suited to an ele- 
mentary work of this nature, but we foresee that many 
will consider it too abstruse for general application : 
this, indeed, must be granted; for although the arrange- 
ment of nature, as we have seen, can be reduced to the 
most simple and universal principles, the right appli- 
cation of these principles, amid the infinite diversity of 
her productions, can only result from study and expe- 
rience. A knowledge of particulars as well as of generals, 
is equally essential to the discovery of a natural assem- 
blage of beings, or, to speak technically, analysis and 
synthesis must walk hand in hand. Let not the student, 
however, be discouraged ; for although there is no royal 
road to this or to any other science, his path, we trust, has 
been smoothed, he is in possession of that knowledge 
which has been the progressive growth of ages, and many 
of the stumbling-blocks, which heretofore impeded his 
way, are removed. Much has been done, but incalculably 
more remains for future discovery ; new and untrodden 
regions lie before him : let him become qualified for 
their investigation : remembering that the boundaries of 
science are nowhere fixed, like the pillars of Hercules, 
nor inscribed with a ne plus ultra. 

(360.) To those who are already distinguished as 
profound observers of nature, we shall now, in conclu- 
sion, address a few remarks on questions of a somewhat 
intricate nature. We have elsewhere expressed an 
opinion f, that the doctrine of analogical representation, 
at that period, was most imperfectly developed ; subse- 
quent attention, nevertheless, has thrown much light 
upon this subject. We now believe that the true analogies 
of a group, when compared with the higher assemblages 
of which it forms a part, can only be detected when the 
typical division of one is placed opposite to the typical 

* Journal of the Royal Institution, new series, No. iv. p. 11. 
f North. Zool. vol. ii. p. 199. 


division of another. If the group under comparison be 
natural, all the other analogies of the types will be ap- 
parent. Thus, if we wished to test the tribe of Te- 
nuirostres with the order of the Insessores, and the 
orders of the class Aves, the three series would stand 
thus : 

1. Typical. 
2. Sub-typical. 

3. Aberrant. 

< Paradisida?. 
C Promeropidffi. 





For although the Trochilida are pre-eminently the 
tenuirostral type of the Insessores, they are not to be 
so denominated in their own circle. This,, indeed, will 
be abundantly evident, when we consider that this very 
pre-eminence places them at the head of their own 
tribe, precisely on the same principle that the Insessores 
stand in the same relative situation among the orders 
of the whole class. In further proof of this mode of 
judging, we find that the climbing Meliphagidee come 
opposite to the Scansores, and the syndactyle-footed 
Promeropidce represent the Fissirostres and the web- 
footed Natatores. None of these beautiful relations 
would be apparent, if the series of the Tenuirostres 
had been so placed that the Trochilidice stood parallel to 
the tenuirostral division, in the column of the Inses- 
sores : it seems, in fact, absolutely essential to reduce 
every group to its primary divisions, before the analogies 
of the group itself can be properly verified. 

(36l.) Against the above opinion, however, there 
seems to be a serious objection ; inasmuch as that, upon 
looking to the last table, it will be perceived that the 
tribes of the Insessores follow each other, in the column, 
precisely in the same order as they do in nature, but in 
that of the orders of birds (Aves), the series is irregular, 
because, naturally, the Natatores, and not the Rasores, 
come after the Raptores ; the question therefore is, In 
what manner can this be accounted for ? does it result 
from placing the Trochilidce as representatives of the 
Conirostres, rather than of the Tenuirostres? or is 


this transportation occasioned by our ignorance of some 
unknown law of variation in analogies, resulting from the 
peculiar situation of the groups compared, in the higher 
circles to which they belong ? Let us first try to verify 
the former supposition, and see what results would attend 
such a disposition of the analogies. 

Circle of the Tenuirostres. Circle of the Insessores. Circle of the Class Aves. 

Trochilidze. Tenuirostres. GRALLATORES. 

Cinnyridae. Fissirostres. NATATORES. 

Meliphagidaa. Scansores. RASORES. 

Paradisidas. Conirpstres. INSESSORES. 

Promeropidas. Denttrostres. RAPTORES. 

(362.) It might be perfectly easy to show analogies 
(whether true or false is not now the question) between 
the TrochilidcB and the Tenuirostres, the Meliphagides 
and the Scansores, the Paradisidee and the Coni- 
rostres ; but when we proceeded to the others, and en- 
deavoured to make out what possible resemblance, even 
the most remote, can be found between the Cinnyridce 
and the Fissirostres, the Promeropidce and the Denti- 
rostres, we must give up the whole theory of stating 
analogies on these principles ; for only three out of five 
wear the least appearance of truth, and even these violate 
many other conclusions of a more certain nature. The 
Melliphagidce, for instance, are related to the Scansores 
by affinity and not by analogy., because they form the 
immediate passage, or point of connection, between the 
Tenuirostres and the climbing birds. 

(363.) Nor shall we get over this difficulty by stating 
the question under another form, viz., by preserving 
the natural series of the insessorial and the primary 
circles, but transposing that of the Trochilidte, thus : 

PW./M< r"w/e Transposed Circle of True Circle of True Circle of the 
Primary Circles. fhg TrocMid(B v thc Insessores . Orders. 

1. Typical. Trochilidae. Conirostres. INSESSORES. 

2. Sub-typical Cinnyridas. Dentirostres. RAPTORES. 

(" Promeropidae. Fissirostres. NATATORES. 

3. Aberrant. -< Paradisidze. Tenuirostres. GRALLATORES. 

(. Meliphagidaa. Scansores. RASORES. 

But here our difficulties, so far from being diminished, 
are increased : in the first place, we make absolute 
affinity subordinate to the purpose of preserving an ap- 
pearance of regularity in our analogical series; for it can 


be indisputably proved by analysis, that the Meliphagidce 
follow the Cinnyridce, and not the Promeropidce. This 
disposition, again, would destroy the union of the three 
aberrant groups into one, a fact which is all but esta- 
blished by the Ptiloris paradiseus Sw. *, independent of 
the many other mutual resemblances, of a general nature, 
between the Promeropidce and the Meliphagidce ; it 
seems, therefore, that we must account for this per- 
plexing disturbance of such series on some other prin- 

(364.) This brings us to the second question, whe- 
ther this partial transportation of the series does not 
depend upon mathematical principles of variation, re- 
sulting from the different position which the groups on 
one side of a circle occupy to those upon the other. 
After much consideration on this abstruse question, I 
regret not being able to answer it more fully : does it 
not, in fact, belong more to the mathematician ? Be 
this, however, as it may, I have uniformly observed 
that similar transportations occur when typical are 
compared with aberrant groups; but when all the groups 
compared are typical, then these different types fall 
into their natural series. As an instance of this, it must 
be remembered, that, of the two groups we have been 
comparing, one is an aberrant tribe, the other is a ty- 
pical order : the subject, however, deserves much more 
attention than I have yet been able to give to it. The 
naturalist will readily perceive, however, that these ques- 
tions are totally unconnected with -that which regards the 
definite denomination of groups, already noticed (268.), 
whether they are typical or aberrant. 

(365.) This principle of definite denomination is most 
important, as, from not having been then discovered, 
all the diagrams of the " Horae Entomologies," where 
these transportations occur in the situation of the groups, 
are rendered completely erroneous. It is one of the 
primary laws of nature that a typical group can never 
become an aberrant one, and vice versa. 

* See Zool. Journal, vol. i. p. 479. ; also North. Zool. vol. ii. p. 167. 









(366.) To those naturalists who have already acquired 
a knowledge of the actual state of our science, and to 
those few who are competent to extend its limits, we 
have devoted a large proportion of this volume. But as 
a much greater number of our readers will be students, 
anxious to see the first principles of zoology explained 
in familiar language, we feel that our labours may be 
usefully directed to this object ; for it is desirable that 
the rudiments of all sciences should be condensed and 
simplified. There is, indeed, no " royal road" to zoo- 
logy, any more than to other branches of sound know- 
ledge ; but its first principles may be explained in 
simple language, and illustrated by familiar examples ; 
its difficulties may be smoothed by avoiding unnecessary 
technicalities; and words and expressions, which may 
perplex the beginner, may be rendered intelligible as 
they occur, and thus become fixed upon the memory. 
We shall, therefore, in the following pages, occasionally 
adopt a style more colloquial than didactic ; we shall 
converse rather than compose, and endeavour to smooth 
that path of instruction which every student must tread 


if he is desirous of acquiring solid information or cor- 
rect ideas of the works of nature. In prosecuting this 
object we shall assume it as granted, that the student is 
more willing to he taught than to cavil ; that he will be 
content to receive, as presumed truths, the results of the 
experience gained by his instructor ; and that he will 
not consider it necessary that those difficulties and ob- 
jections, elsewhere alluded to, are to be submitted to his 
fiat, before he is at all qualified to venture an opinion 
even upon the least of them. He must not, in short, 
ascend the stall of the critic before he has quitted the 
form of the scholar. Let him receive what instruction 
we can give him in the belief that it is sound. And 
when he has thoroughly imbibed and completely under- 
stands all that we can teach him, he may then fairly in- 
vestigate for himself whether such things are really 

(367.) Naturalists, in the general acceptation of the 
word, may all be classed under two distinct divisions 
the practical and the scientific. Their more immediate 
pursuits, .no less than their necessary qualifications, are 
very dissimilar, but he only who unites them all is the true 
naturalist. The practical naturalist wanders abroad, 
and observes individuals. The fields and the woods are 
his museum and library. He contemplates living objects, 
but cares little for dead ones ; he busies himself with 
watching the times and seasons when certain animals 
make their appearance ; he strives to know their food, in- 
stincts, habits ; he is dissatisfied until he is acquainted 
with the note of every bird familiar to his neighbour- 
hood ; he studies the construction of their nests, their 
periodical arrivals and departures, their loves, their lives, 
and their deaths. He watches their several changes of 
form, of colour, or of plumage ; he traces how these cir- 
cumstances are modified and influenced by the seasons ; 
and he makes special notes of these things in his common- 
place book. If he discovers that his crops or his fruit 
are injured by insects, he rests not until he traces the 
aggressor through all its series of depredations ; and, 


being armed with a knowledge of its secret modes of 
doing injury, he is the hest man for applying a success- 
ful remedy. As for its scientific name,, that gives him 
no thought ; he cares not whether the name he old or 
new ; it is sufficient for him that it gives to the insect 
an appellation. He will walk through a magnificent 
museum with no more curiosity than is felt by an or- 
dinary person ; and as for systems, and technical terms, 
" he cannot away with them." He wonders how people 
can count the joints of an antenna of an insect, measure 
the quill- feathers of a bird, reckon the grinders of a 
quadruped, or number the rays of a fish's fin. His 
chief, if not his only interest is in the life of an animal. 
While others are poring over ponderous tomes of cramp 
technicalities, he is out in the woods, capturing an insect, 
or looking after a bird. He has, in fine, either a general 
disregard or a thorough contempt according to the 
construction of his mind for systems and their authors, 
and leaves to them to give what names they please to 
his discoveries. 

(36'8.) Such are the general characteristics of a prac- 
tical, or, as he is now usually termed, a field naturalist, 
of the present day, as gathered from the sentiments con- 
veyed by this class of observers in our natural-history 
periodicals. There is not only much to commend in 
such pursuits, as regards their effect upon the individual, 
but the facts which they bring to light form a very ma- 
terial part of the history of nature. This is apparent 
from the writings of White of Selborne, Le Vaillant, 
D'Azara, and Wilson ; all of whom, with little deviation, 
studied nature upon this plan. They were essentially 
field naturalists. They took to themselves that depart- 
ment of research which called them into the open air : 
and they are, of all others, the best qualified to write the 
natural history of species. Every thing, however, past 
this line of enquiry, is beyond their province. Those 
who have been really eminent as original observers, 
candidly confess this, and presume not to entertain the 
preposterous idea that theirs is the only department of 


natural history which deserves cultivation. They are 
satisfied with having gathered a stock of entertaining 
and instructive materials, to he subsequently worked up 
into general results and large generalisations hy another 
set of naturalists,, who take a different department in the 
extension of knowledge. It unfortunately happens, 
however, that men of all ranks are too apt to undervalue, 
or to treat with affected contempt, those acquirements 
of which they are ignorant. And as the business of the 
field naturalist requires little or no exercise of the 
higher powers of the mind, but may be pursued by any 
one possessing a tact for observation, so we find that 
the generality of these observers are too prone to fancy 
that their pursuits alone lead to the only information on 
natural history that is really worth acquiring. They 
will tell you to throw aside books and systems, and as- 
sure you that "a few walks in the fields" are sufficient 
to make <( a very good naturalist." This royal road to 
science is no doubt very enticing to the young student, 
particularly if it is promulgated from the chair of a pro- 
fessor ; but absurdities like this are unworthy of refu- 
tation. We must inform such sanguine beginners, that 
not only many walks must be taken, but many years 
consumed, before he will earn the reputation of being 
" a very good naturalist ;" and that, when this title has 
been acquired, he will then, if he has good sense and 
real talent, be conscious himself that the praise is un- 
deserved. We might be tempted merely to smile at 
such folly, and only to pity the contracted minds of 
those who gave it currency, were it not for the mis- 
chievous effect that such notions may have upon the 
young student, from their tendency to repress all mental 
exertion, and all aspirations after any higher knowledge 
than the composition of a dabchick's nest, or the colour 
of a sparrow's egg. Inflated ideas of our own pursuits, 
and unmeasured abuse of others, are the natural results 
of ignorance and conceit. 

(369-) The business of the systematic or closet na- 
turalist commences where that of the practical observer 


ceases. If he is not a mere catalogue-maker, or a de- 
votee to systematic names a race of worthies which in 
these days is almost extinct,, he treasures all the 
facts communicated by his brethren of the field, and 
applies them, as occasion serves, to their ultimate use. 
While the one collects, the other combines. By means 
of his library, he ascertains which of the facts are really 
new, and which have been previously observed and re- 
corded : he combines the scientific with the natural his- 
tory of an animal. He examines its structure in every 
minute particular, and is thus enabled to trace the par- 
ticular adaptation of this structure for performing all 
those functions which the field naturalist has witnessed 
during its life ; an intellectual gratification, by the way, 
which the latter, if he disregards such minutiae, cannot en- 
joy. He observes all those external peculiarities of shape, 
of colour, or of markings, which distinguish the object 
before him as a species; he refers to his collections, 
compares it with others, and thus ascertains its true 
characters. But all this is but preliminary to other in- 
vestigations ; his business is not only with species, but 
with groups, which are congregations of species ; he has 
to condense particulars into generals ; in other words, to 
search after and obtain general results from a multipli- 
city of isolated facts. He detects natural groups, and 
distinguishes them by characters applicable to the indi- 
viduals which respectively compose them ; he next com- 
pares these assemblages with others, and studies their 
several degrees of relationship. Proceeding in this 
manner, and ascending higher and higher in his ge- 
neralisations, he concentrates the facts, spread into an 
octavo volume of zoological anecdotes and " field" re- 
marks, within the compass of a few pages. And while 
he thus makes use of the diffuse and disconnected ob- 
servations of the field naturalist, he gives to them a 
stamp of importance which even their authors never 
imagined they possessed. Conversant with the different 
relations which one group of beings bears to another, he 
is enabled to trace the most beautiful and unexpected 


analogies throughout the animal kingdom, until he at 
length gains a full conviction of the paucity and sim- 
plicity of nature's laws, amidst the countless variety of 
her forms and modifications. 

(370.) The two departments of study here sketched, 
as pursued by the practical and the scientific naturalist, 
are brought before the reader, not for the purpose of 
vaunting the superiority of one over the other, but that 
he should clearly understand their nature, and make up 
his mind, at the outset, which path of enquiry he will 
pursue. But, indeed, if he be not frightened by the 
difficulties attending an enlarged knowledge of the 
science, he may combine both these trains of enquiry, in 
moderation, without the smallest detriment either to one 
or the other. He may observe in the fields, and study 
in his closet ; and this is usually done by all the rising 
naturalists of the present day. Those who are satisfied 
with being mere amateurs, may confine their researches 
to what they can learn in the open air ; yet even these 
would find a far superior delight in their favourite pur- 
suit, by viewing it in a more intellectual and philosophic 
spirit : just as a person who understands the mechanism 
of a watch derives much more pleasure from knowing 
the relations of its parts, than he did when he merely 
viewed it as an ingenious assemblage of wheels and 

(371.) There are certain qualifications, however, 
which, if not already possessed, must nevertheless be 
acquired by both these classes of observers. These we 
shall now briefly touch upon, and then proceed to speak 
of others more particularly applicable to these separate 
paths of enquiry. 

(372.) Accuracy of observation is one of the first 
qualifications which the student should acquire. A 
quick and discerning eye, accustomed, by practice, to 
distinguish differences which an ordinary observer would 
overlook, is absolutely essential. The most perfect 
acquaintance with all the systems that were ever in- 
vented, and with all the theories that have ever been pro- 


mulgated, will never compensate for the want of this 
primary requisite. In ordinary life, we see some people 
who have an instinctive perception of differences to a 
much greater degree than others : as if, in short,, the 
faculty was natural to them. Such persons will always 
make the best naturalists. This keenness of perception 
can, doubtless., be acquired ; and, as no science requires 
more observation, or greater nicety of discrimination, 
than natural history, so, upon this account only, it is 
the very best pursuit that can engage the youthful 
mind; since it will be thus qualified to apply that 
acuteness and judgment upon greater things, in after- 
life, which may call for the exercise of sound reason and 
just discrimination. Many people, for instance, would 
be utterly at a loss to discover the difference of structure 
between a swift and a swallow, even if the two birds 
were before their eyes. Their colours, it is true, are 
not the same ; but both have little, triangular, short 
bills, long pointed wings, and fly and feed in the same 
manner. A glance, however, at their feet shows a ma- 
terial difference. This difference is so great, that a 
young naturalist would immediately be convinced they 
could not belong to the same genus ; because these op- 
posite structures of the feet indicated a corresponding 
dissimilarity of manners. Again, we hear the names 
of butterfly or moth used indiscriminately, even by well- 
informed people ; who, were they asked why, could 
give no satisfactory answer. A boy, who merely knew 
the first elements of entomology, might immediately 
answer by pointing to the antennae, or horns (as they 
are vulgarly called), of the insect, and stating, that in a 
butterfly these members end in a thickened knob; 
while in the generality of moths they terminate in a fine 
point. This tact for observation, like every other habit, 
is to be acquired by practice ; and the more it is exer- 
cised, the more acute it becomes. The student would 
derive much advantage, in this respect, from placing 
before him ten or a dozen species of insects very closely 
resembling each other : such, for instance, as those com- 


posing the genus Harpalus {beetles of easy acquisition, 
and which any entomological friend will point out to 
him), and then endeavouring to find out, and to define 
in writing, in what manner each species may be charac- 
terised. Occasional exercises of this sort will soon give 
him a keenness of perception, and a tact in discriminat- 
ing, which he will be long in acquiring by other means. 
(373.) Perseverance is another quality, not only re- 
quisite for acquiring, as far as possible, a knowledge of 
every thing already known upon any given object, but 
also in discovering new or unrecorded facts in its history. 
Amateur naturalists are too apt to believe that the his- 
tories of our native animals are complete, seeing that they 
have been so repeatedly described j yet so contrary is this 
from the real fact, that almost every monthly number of 
our natural-history periodicals brings to light some new 
feature, or some hitherto unobserved circumstance, in the 
economy of animals which have been described by fifty 
authors. Strange as it may appear, we may cite even the 
robin as a bird whose habits have been treated of most 
partially and imperfectly. In regard to insects, we are, 
in general, most deplorably ignorant, even on the history 
of such as annually inflict no small injury on the crops 
of the agriculturist. This deficiency of information ori- 
ginates, in a great measure, from want of perseverance 
in establishing facts by repeated observation, and thus 
distinguishing such as are casual and incidental, from 
those that truly belong to the habitual economy of the 
animal. Perseverance is a very different quality from 
zeal : for the one implies patient investigation, the 
other, ardour, or enthusiasm. Perseverance, to a natu- 
ralist, is a quality not easily attained ; for, amid the 
boundless variety of nature, there are so many objects 
which court his attention, so many new investigations 
suggest themselves to his mind, even when employed 
upon the elucidation of one, that he is generally led aw ay 
from that which he should finish, before he has given 
to it half the attention it requires. In this way, he 
finds himself, not unfrequently, involved in several 
x 2 


distinct trains of enquiry, which have probably grown 
out of the one he originally commenced, but which he 
lias not yet completed. Against this fascination of 
teing drawn away to new investigations, before he has 
completed that upon which he first began, the naturalist 
should particularly guard himself. It is here that, if he 
really wishes to make his labours honourable to himself, 
or beneficial to others, it is here that he should call up 
a spirit of determined perseverance, and steadfastly 
resolve to finish what he has begun, before he com- 
mences a new subject. Let not the syren Procrastination 
hire him into the belief that he will return again to that 
which he postpones, with renewed ardour or increased 
knowledge. Setting aside those minor evils, arising 
from a want of perseverance, which affect the indivi- 
duals themselves, how much have the interests both of 
science and the public suffered from its peculiar pre- 
valence among zoological writers ! We may venture to 
affirm, that, of all the works upon naturalhistory which 
have been either announced or commenced in this 
country, within the last few years, not one half have 
been fairly completed. Not only does the cause of 
science suffer from this infirmity of purpose in men 
who have the ability to do her good service, but the 
evil effects fall both upon the innocent and the guilty. 
From the great expense attending zoological illustrative 
works, they are usually published in periodical numbers ; 
but it now so frequently happens that the major part 
of these works are discontinued after a few numbers 
have appeared, that the public, seldom discriminating, 
set their faces against all such publications ; and those 
who, on former occasions, have faithfully performed 
their engagements, are yet looked upon with the same 
suspicion as those who have acted precisely the reverse. 
(374.) Perseverance in discovering new objects, or 
new facts, is likewise to be recommended. No branch 
of human knowledge is more open to such discoveries 
than zoology : whether we look to the chance of finding 
new species, or of bringing to light something in the 


structure, manners, or history of such as are already 
described. If we merely desire the acquisition of new 
objects, there is a wide field in every quarter of the 
globe, particularly in the warmer regions of both hemi- 
spheres. Mr. Stephens, one of the most persevering of 
our entomologists, has published the names of more than 
ten thousand species of insects inhabiting Britain ; yet, 
as every year brings with it fresh discoveries, who can 
say when these are to cease ? The conchology of our 
native seas is still furnishing new species to our col- 
lectors ; while hundreds of the " soft creeping things ** 
of the ocean, of strange forms or minute dimensions, 
may be unknown arid unrecorded, even within the range 
of our own coasts. Let not the young naturalist, there- 
fore, imagine that he can discover nothing new even at 
home: while, if he pursues his researches in foreign 
climes, he may discover much more than he will ever be 
able to investigate. An equally boundless field for ob- 
servation lies open, as already intimated, in the manners 
and habits of well-known species, almost daily before 
our eyes. It is a misfortune resulting from the passion 
for collecting, that nearly all naturalists are more bent 
upon increasing the contents of their cabinets, than on 
studying the economy of those living objects which are 
perpetually crossing their path. 

(375.) The observation of facts, connected with the 
habits and economy of living animals, should therefore 
be a primary object with all naturalists, nor can its im- 
portance be too strongly impressed on the mind of the 
young student. It is not only the most pleasing, but 
one of the most essential departments of zoology ; since 
the knowledge of the system of nature must be mainly 
supported by such facts, brought together, and applied 
to illustrate general truths. It is also the most popular, 
because it may be prosecuted without the aid of scien- 
tific acquirements. Almost every one, having the least 
taste for natural history, will peruse with pleasure a 
well-written account of an animal, whose habits, man- 
ners, and modes of living are not generally known, 
x 3 


although they may have no idea of studying natural his- 
tory as a science. In like manner we may hring to light 
innumerable interesting traits, regarding some of the 
most familiarly known animals,, which are not to be 
found recorded by any writer. In proof of this, let 
any experienced observer read the best accounts we have 
of some of the commonest animals, and then ask him- 
self if he could not add much more from his own ob- 
servation ? What do we know, for instance, of the 
different modes by which the various species of the 
British warblers capture their insect prey ? or what 
is the vegetable food they are respectively fond of? 
We should recommend every lover of nature, or of a 
country life, to possess White's " Natural History of 
Selborne" (a book which we were the first to bring 
under the notice of the present generation), and he will 
there find incitements held out to a constant watchful- 
ness of the animals living in his own neighbourhood ; 
he will see what interest may be given to his walks, and 
he will learn with astonishment that some of the most 
important truths of ornithological science are mainly 
supported by the simple, and apparently trivial facts 
detailed in this interesting book. The (e Journal of a 
Naturalist," more recently published, is by no means 
inferior ; and both are fit companions to the charming 
volume of Izaak Walton. 

(376.) A fixed plan, or a concentration of study, is 
greatly to be recommended. When first a person is 
seized with a passion for natural history, he begins 
collecting every thing ; plants, mosses, insects, shells, 
fossils, pebbles nothing comes amiss all are hoarded, 
and equally prized. By degrees, however, if he has 
good sense, he begins to find he cannot go on in this way. 
He wants more room, and he requires more boxes or 
cabinets than the house can hold. If his new pursuit 
is intended merely as an amusement to fill up small 
intervals of leisure, or to give some interest to a country 
life, he may possibly resolve to circumscribe his collec- 
tions, and content himself with possessing the natural 


productions found in his immediate neighbourhood, or in 
his own parish , or peculiar to the county; but these, if he 
wishes to understand them, will dissipate his mind over 
every branch of zoology, and he will then find it expe- 
dient still farther to restrict his acquisitions; and thus he 
must ultimately be brought to that plan with which, as a 
collector, he should have begun. He must confine himself 
to one department of his favourite pursuit. It is better, 
therefore, to do that first, which generally will be done 
last ; supposing, of course, that his love for natural 
history continues. Let the country naturalist, therefore, 
make an early choice : the ornithology, the entomology, 
or the conchology of his native country have each their 
charms, and they lie before him. If he confines his 
attention to any one of these branches, he will not only 
feel more interest in its undivided pursuit, but he will 
understand it better, and he may ultimately make useful, 
and even important discoveries. But let him not aim 
at more than one department. British entomology alone, 
to be well understood, is the study of a life. Hence it 
has become much more common, than formerly, among 
our young naturalists, to confine the attention even to 
one particular order of insects. The learned and vene- 
rable father of entomology in this country, Mr. Kirby, 
must have devoted several years to the study of the 
Hymenoptera, before he could have written his valuable 
descriptions of the British bees. If the student resolved 
to restrict himself to either of the orders of Coleoptera 
Lepidoptera or Diptera, he would find that any one 
of these would give him full occupation for several years. 
The more, in short, that our study of nature is con- 
centrated upon a given object, the more are we likely 
to make discoveries, and the more interested shall we 
ourselves feel in the pursuit. The mere collector heaps 
together materials which he neither understands nor 
knows how to use : the very extent of his possessions, 
unnamed and unarranged, ultimately engenders discon- 
tent, and not unfrequently terminates in disgust. 

(377') A retentive memory is a desirable, although 
x 4 


not a very essential acquirement; and less so to the prac- 
tical than to the scientific naturalist. The former relies 
upon his common-place book for facts, and troubles 
himself very little about names. But the scientific student 
has great need of a good memory, and should not only 
ba well versed in the terminology of his science, but 
also in its nomenclature, that is, in remembering scien- 
tific names. He must not, however, be frightened by 
the formidable lists of those now in use, as they appear 
marshalled in an index, nor must he suppose that it is a 
necessary part of his studies to remember them by 
rote : such an exertion of memory, even were it pos- 
sible, is not called for. An ornithologist or an ento- 
mologist of the old school, commenced, indeed, with 
learning the names and characters of every genus of 
birds or of insects then established ; and if, in process 
of time, he could get those which designated the prin- 
cipal species also by heart, every thing was thought to 
have been accomplished. At present, however, no natu- 
ralist attempts to learn more than the names and essential 
characters of those minor divisions, or genera, which 
belong to the particular group he may be actually study- 
ing. It is expedient, nevertheless, that a general know- 
ledge should also be gained of the greater divisions as 
the crders, tribes, familie?, and sub-families I of the 
class of animals to which the former belongs. The 
systematic student will be materially assisted in this 
task by the plan of affixing labels to his specimens, im- 
mediately upon ascertaining their names; while, to im- 
press upon his memory the essential characters of the 
larger groups, short synoptical tables may be copied into 
bis common-place book, similar to those which will be 
occasionally inserted in our subsequent volumes. 

(378.) Collecting specimens, in any department of 
zoology, for mere private collections, should be con- 
ducted upon some fixed plan ; not only on the score of 
expense, and the space they require, but from their 
tendency to distract the attention of the student from 
those subjects he is more particularly desirous of under- 


standing. In our volume which will include Taxidermy, 
the reader will find many hints upon this subject, and 
many plans for forming collections, which may materially 
assist him. We strongly recommend his attention to this 
subject, and we proffer him the fruits of our own ex- 
perience in this matter. Looking back to the early 
years of my own life, when I collected every thing, and 
understood nothing, I feel how much more profitably 
time might have been employed, had some judicious 
friend directed my enthusiasm to the accomplishment 
of a definite object, and had guided my exertions into 
a regular channel. The remarks (374.) that have been 
already made on the concentration of study, are equally 
applicable to the concentration of materials for that 
study. The collector of a museum, even under every 
advantage, will find the whole of his time barely suf- 
ficient for the arrangement and the preservation of his 
specimens; to make them the objects of his study, under 
such circumstances, is impossible. It is well for science 
that such collections are often accumulated by wealthy 
amateurs, who liberally permit others to turn them to 
effectual use. But the student, who really desires to 
understand what he possesses, should resist all temptations 
to collect indiscriminately. His mind will be distracted 
from the steady prosecution of any one course of inves- 
tigation, and he will be bewildered in the variety of his 
materials. The passion for collecting increases with its 
indulgence ; and he will finally not be unlike one of our 
modern bibliologists, who went on purchasing entire 
libraries, until obliged, for want of room, to deposit them 
in cases and dark garrets, only to see the light and be 
put again into circulation at the death of their owner. 

(3790 It is obviously impossible to lay down any 
specific rules for the systematic naturalist, in the form- 
ation of his collection ; seeing that so much depends 
upon the opportunities or advantages he may possess of 
acquiring specimens, and upon the nature of that line 
of study he intends to pursue. Should he confine him- 
self either to the birds, the insects, or the shells of his 


own country, the acquisition of which will mainly de- 
pend upon his own exertions, it is obviously the best 
way to collect them as they occur ; without commencing 
on a regular plan of selection. But if he extends his 
studies, in either of these departments, to foreign pro- 
ductions, most of which are only to be acquired by 
purchase, he will find the beneficial consequences of 
proceeding upon a systematic plan. Should he limit 
his attention, for instance, to ornithology, let him first 
procure types of the great orders of birds, which are 
represented by such common species as a hawk, crow, 
fowl, snipe, and duck. These, for the sake of easy 
examination, should be in skins, that is, stuffed, but 
not set up in position with wires. Let him well study 
the different structures displayed by these specimens, 
and compare their corresponding members, until he is 
well informed on the mode in which these members 
vary. Having thus informed himself on the essential 
or primary characteristics of the first great divisions in 
ornithology, he may proceed a step farther, and procure 
examples of the tribes. The crow is the type of the 
perching order (Insessores), the additional tribes of 
which will be represented by a shrike, woodpecker, 
humming-bird, and swallow. These, in like manner, 
should be well examined, and then compared with the 
characters assigned to them in books. A student, in this 
manner, should progressively procure specimens, hus- 
band his resources, and concentrate his attention; 
while, as his knowledge increases, or as opportunities 
occur, he may successively increase his materials by 
examples of the families, sub-families, and genera ; al- 
ways remembering, that, in point of real utility, although 
frequently not of beauty, the acquisition of a generic 
type is infinitely more desirable than that of a species ; 
unless, indeed, the investigation of the contents of a 
genus is decided upon. What has been said upon orni- 
thology is of equal force when applied either to ento- 
mology or conchology. It will sometimes happen, 
however, that the excessive rarity or the great bulk of 


a generic type renders its acquisition either incon- 
venient or unattainable. Few private collections, for 
instance, have space sufficient for an ostrich, a casso- 
wary, or a peacock : while the plantain-eater (Muso- 
phaga^y the Argus pheasant (Polyplectron), and a 
number of smaller birds, which at present stand as 
almost solitary examples of their respective genera, are 
so rare, and bear so high a price, that they are placed 
beyond the reach of ordinary collectors. In such cases, 
our plan is, to make slight but accurate pencil-drawings 
of the, head and feet, of their natural size, whenever an 
opportunity occurs. This advantage, in most cases, 
may be enjoyed by consulting the specimens in the 
British Museum, where many of these rare birds are to 
be seen, and where they are at all times gratuitously 
opened, with alacrity and liberality, for the inspection of 
the scientific student. 

(380.) The practical naturalist, whatever he may 
think on the inutility of a collection to illustrate his 
department, will derive no small advantage from the 
power of referring to specimens at his pleasure ; and 
of enabling others, by examining them, to complete 
the history of an animal, the active properties of which 
he has alone investigated. It is almost impossible, in 
fact, for a field-naturalist, when speaking of the habits 
or economy of a species, to make himself well under- 
stood unless he has sufficient knowledge of his pursuit, 
as a science, to describe the subject itself in such lan- 
guage that it may be understood by those who have 
never seen it ; or unless he preserves specimens for 
future inspection. A remarkable instance, illustrating 
this necessity, has already been mentioned ; where, from 
inattention to these requisites, the naturalists of Europe 
could not make out even the order, much less either the 
genus or the species, to which the Hessian fly of the 
Americans belonged. This was the more extraordi- 
nary, since a pile of reports, pamphlets, and other pub- 
lications, had been expressly devoted to describe the 
injuries it produced. Travellers, who collect the ani- 


mals of the country they go through, and come under the 
denomination of practical naturalists, find that the 
preservation of specimens is absolutely necessary, and 
for the same reasons. It is obvious, however, that the 
principle upon which, in these cases, they should pro- 
ceed, is very different from that already suggested for 
the adoption of the scientific naturalist. There is no 
occasion to preserve objects to which they can attach no 
anecdote or history, unless they collect for the ulterior 
purposes of general science. In either case, however, 
every naturalist and traveller would do well to make 
himself acquainted with the ordinary process of pre- 
serving skins, and of collecting and preserving insects 
and shells. As for the soft mollusca, very little inform- 
ation can be obtained from them, after they have been 
contracted by being put into spirits. 

(381.) Technical words will prove, at first, a great hin- 
derance to the student ; but they are inevitable. They 
constitute, in fact, the language of zoology, since they 
are employed to express ideas which cannot be conveyed 
by words in ordinary use. To lessen this difficulty, we 
shall arrange all the words of this description, as they 
occur, at the end of each succeeding volume, where they 
may be immediately referred to. Such as are of fre- 
quent occurrence had better be copied out in a memo- 
randum book for more perfect recollection ; a plan 
which would tend more to fix them upon the memory 
than any other we could recommend. 

(382.) The assistance of books is as important as the 
assistance derived from specimens : by the latter we 
study nature, while by the former we learn the opi- 
nions of her expounders, and the progress they have 
made in recording her manifold works. Let us re- 
member that the latter are Divine, while the former 
partake more or less of that imperfection which belongs 
to every thing human. 






(383.) IN the foregoing chapter we have laid before 
the student the qualifications which should be possessed 
both by the practical and the scientific naturalist ; and, 
having stated the objects of the former, we must now 
turn to the latter ; with the hope that the reader has both 
the time and disposition to acquire more than a super- 
ficial knowledge of zoology ; and that he is more de- 
sirous of pursuing it as a science, than to rest contented 
with being a mere collector of objects and facts. It has 
hitherto been but little the custom, with the inventors of 
systems, to lay before their disciples the reasons which 
have guided them ; it being generally taken for granted 
that the reputation of the writer rendered such a step 
unnecessary. It seldom happens, indeed, that students 
desire such information ; for if, from whatever cause, 
they resolve to adopt any particular system not connected 
with general principles, they trouble not themselves with 
seeking to know and to criticise the reasons upon which 
a system is founded. It is received by them as a law, 
propagated by a ruler of science, which they have 
neither the disposition nor the knowledge to call in 
question. This feeling continues, until they acquire 
sufficient knowledge to discover the defects (real or 
imaginary) of their favourite oracle. It is then that the 
desire arises to know the reasons which have influenced 
the author, and the principles, if any, upon which he has 
proceeded. The student, in the mean time, has probably- 
become an adept, and feels himself qualified to criticise 
that which, at the commencement of his studies, he 


looked upon as oracular. It may, nevertheless, hap- 
pen, even in systems grounded upon universal prin- 
ciples., that what appeared in the first instance an 
example of defective, unnecessary, or unnatural com- 
bination or arrangement, may he truly unexceptionable 
when viewed with reference to those general principles 
upon which the system itself is founded. 

(384.) Hence it becomes necessary that a general 
knowledge of the principles of natural arrangement 
should be first acquired ; for, as these principles are as 
conspicuous in the smallest groups of nature as they are 
in the largest, they form the basis of every true com- 
bination above that of a collection of individuals of the 
same species. If the student resolved, for instance, to 
confine his attention to the parrot family, of which there 
are probably 200 species, he will discover that the 
natural arrangement of these species, among themselves, 
is regulated precisely by the same laws as those which 
divide the classes of vertebrated animals. In like 
manner, if he studies the lepidopterous order of insects, 
he will find their natural series to tally not only with 
those of the parrots and the vertebrated classes, but 
also (and, of course, more intimately) with those of the 
apterous and the winged insects. A general idea, there- 
fore, of those fundamental principles of classification by 
which all these dissimilar groups are naturally arranged, 
is indispensable. When this is acquired, the student is 
qualified to enter upon the details of that particular 
portion he has selected for study ; he will receive an 
elevated pleasure in tracing these principles in the 
arrangement of the objects before him ; and he becomes, 
in some degree, qualified to judge of their correctness. 
Having, in the last chapter, intimated those requisites 
which should prepare him for this enquiry, we now 
proceed to a familiar explanation of these principles. 
The student, thus prepared, will be qualified not only 
to understand the former disquisitions in this volume, 
but will peruse those which succeed with feelings of 
interest he could not otherwise entertain. 


(385.) No one who believes in the existence of an 
Omnipotent Creator,, can suppose, for a moment, that the 
innumerable beings which HE has created were formed 
without a plan. If an architect sat down and made in- 
numerable models of cornices, entablatures, columns, 
friezes, and all those ornaments used in a stately build- 
ing, yet without any design of subsequently combining 
them, we should naturally say, however much we 
might admire the parts, that his work was imperfect. 
Let us apply this reasoning to the creation : however 
perfect an animal may be in its structure, ty would still 
only resemble one of the ornaments we have just al- 
luded to. It is beautiful in itself ; but it is only when 
we attain some glimpse of the station it occupies with 
its fellows, and of the manner in which it is combined 
with others into one great whole, that we see this beauty 
in its true light. No rational being can therefore suppose 
that the great Architect of the world has created its in- 
habitants without a plan. 

(386.) The plan of creation, therefore, implies uni- 
versality, order, and harmony; and, in the view we now 
take of it, is only another name for the natural system : 
what, then, is the basis of this system ? Has any part 
of it been discovered, or are we still wandering in the 
mazes of error ? Let us briefly consider these questions. 
Had this plan or system been simple, and of easy ap- 
prehension, it had long ago been discovered, or each 
succeeding age would not have produced systems, totally 
at variance with each other. It was long supposed, 
indeed, that this plan, aptly termed the chain of being, 
was in a simple series, beginning with a worm or an 
animalcule, and proceeding step by step, until the series 
terminated in man. This, at first sight, strikes ordi- 
nary minds as the most rational theory ; but when we 
begin to trace this scale, to search after the innumer- 
able steps which are supposed to lead, in a straight line, 
from the despised worm, to man, the lord of the crea- 
tion, we are very soon perplexed; we discover that every 
animal has more relations than one, and that many 


appear,, as it were, to wander out of the series, as if they 
were joined to others which neither preceded nor followed 
them directly. As we advance, these deviations out of 
the simple and direct line, which we are vainly endea- 
vouring to trace, become more frequent and more per- 
plexing ; we relinquish the investigation as hopeless, 
and become convinced that, however rational or probable 
such a supposition may appear in theory, it is utterly 
impossible to exemplify it in its details. This has been 
the conclusion, avowed or implied, at which every phi- 
losopher, who has investigated the subject, has ultimately 

(387.) By another theory, the system of nature has 
been compared to an extensive piece of network, where 
the different knots and meshes represent the mode in 
which different animals are connected together in every 
direction. The advocates of this theory, however, con- 
sider it hopeless to discover by what general principle 
these innumerable ties of affinity are affected, and content 
themselves with asserting the probability of the theory, 
without venturing to its demonstration. It was not 
until the beginning of the present century that a new 
light was thrown upon this interesting question. A be- 
lief that there existed a branched or double progression 
of affinities, which ultimately met together, and united, 
originated with Lamarck ; but this was only the " sha- 
dowing forth" of the discovery that affinities are really 
circular, demonstrated by Messrs. MacLeay and Fries. 
This is called the Circular Theory ; and has now been 
so extensively verified, that it may be pronounced the 
first law of natural arrangement. As the details of 
this theory have been already enlarged upon, our pre- 
sent object is merely to explain its leading peculiarities 
by the most simple and familiar illustrations. 

(388.) The circular series, by which the gradations 
of natural beings are regulated, may be thus explained. 
We will suppose it proved that, in the scale of nature, 
birds are followed by quadrupeds, quadrupeds by fishes, 
fishes by frogs, and these latter by reptiles and tortoises. 


This, the student may probably say, is a simple series, 
beginning with birds, and proceeding in a direct line to 
tortoises ; but if so, the question arises, which is the 
next class ? what animal is there which belongs to a 
class different from that of the reptiles, but which makes 
the nearest approach to a tortoise ? The ornithologist will 
immediately point to the penguins. These are indeed 
birds, but they cannot fly ; they have feathers, but they 
are so formed as to resemble scales ; they have wings, 
but they are transformed into the shape, and perform 
the same office, as the fore-feet of the turtle ; both lay 
their eggs, without a nest, upon the sand, and both seem 
out of their natural element when they are upon the dry 
ground. There still is, it is true, a great difference be- 
tween them ; but that is not the immediate question : 
the point we must keep in view is this, what animals are 
we to place after the tortoises ? They are preceded by 
the reptiles, but by what class are they followed ? if the 
penguins possess a greater similarity to them than any 
other existing race, then these birds must be placed next 
in succession, and we consequently come back again to 
the first class of animals we commenced with, namely, 
birds ; the series thus forms a circle, and this union 
is expressed when it is said, " that the circle returns 
into itself." 

(389-) If any one of our readers find a difficulty in 
fully comprehending the mode by which a series of 
animals forms a circle, let him take a straight piece 
of cane, and affix to it, at equal intervals, the fol- 
lowing labels : penguins, birds, quadrupeds, fish, frogs, 
reptiles, tortoises. That with "penguins " will, of course, 
be the first, and that with "tortoises" the last. Let him 
then bend the cane into a hoop, the first label and the 
last will thus be brought together without deranging 
the rest of the series ; by this contrivance he will im- 
mediately comprehend what is meant by a <e circle of 
affinity," " a circular succession," " the closing of a 
circle," or ee a circle returning into itself;" all which 
phrases are only different modes of expressing that circu- 


lar succession of affinities which is the first great principle 
of the natural system. Between the first group or genus 
of a natural series, and the last, there is no line of ab- 
solute distinction ; the one blends into the other ; and 
the series, to use the expressive phrase, e< returns into 

(390.) Let us now look to what are the natural 
divisions of a circle. Mr. MacLeay considers that every 
circle first divides itself into five minor circles : hence 
the system which he has developed is called quinary; 
five being the primary number employed. As it is 
better that the student should understand this principle 
of division before he proceeds farther, we shall illus- 
trate it by calling his attention to the vertebrated 
animals, or such as have an internal bony skeleton ; the five 
classes of which follow each other in the series mentioned 
in the last paragraph. We begin with birds and qua- 
drupeds, proceed to fishes and amphibious animals, and 
end with reptiles. Here, then, are five divisions of ver- 
tebrated animals, each of which, upon investigation, are 
found to constitute a separate circle of their own; these, 
again, contain five minor circles. Let any one of these 
minor circles be selected for more close examination, and 
the same principle is discovered : every circle, in short, 
whether large or small, comprehensive or limited, con- 
tains five minor circles, and thus we go on, gradually 
descending from the highest to the lowest divisions, 
until we come to the smallest groups in nature, formed 
by the first assemblage of individual species. 

(391.) According to this theory, we have five prin- 
cipal divisions in every circle, the nature of which must 
now be explained. Two of these divisions are called 
typical ; because they contain those animals which ex- 
hibit the greatest perfection of those particular qualities 
which more or less belong to all the five. Thus, the 
vertebrated and the annulose animals are the typical 
groups of the animal kingdom. The birds of prey and 
the perching birds are the typical orders of the feathered 
tribes. The apterous and the winged insects are typical 


of the Annulosa, or insects. The other three divisions are 
termed aberrant, because they lead off from their own 
circle into others, and exhibit the characters of the 
typical groups under a more diminished or less perfect 
form. Thus, reptiles, amphibia, and fishes, are the 
aberrant, or the most imperfect divisions of the verte- 
brated animals. The barnacles (Cirripedes), the worms 
(Fmwes), and the sea-worms (Annelides^), are the 
aberrant divisions of the annular circle, or of insects ; 
and the swimming, wading, and gallinaceous orders hold 
the same station among birds. The aberrant groups 
of a circle, in short, are always the most imperfect of 
their kind, and are the points of connection by which 
the circle to which they belong is united to that circle 
which precedes, and to that which follows. 
; (392.) The nature of the typical and aberrant divi- 
sions may be further illustrated by a more direct exam- 
ple. We will, therefore, look again to the circle of 
vertebrated animals. Quadrupeds and birds are clearly 
higher in the scale of creation than reptiles, frogs, or 
fishes : they are furnished with limbs capable of many 
uses ; their structure is more complicated, and their ana- 
tomy, although peculiar, is still more like that of man 
than what we observe in fishes and reptiles. They are, 
consequently, the two typical divisions of the vertebrate 
circle. Let us now turn to the three others. Reptiles, 
frogs, and fishes are obviously less perfect animals than 
quadrupeds or birds. They seem only to have that 
slight developement of instinct necessary to preserve and 
support existence : many of them have no feet ; and 
their blood is always cold. They are nearly incapable 
of affection towards man, and have never been im- 
proved by domestication. All these circumstances tend 
to show their inferiority to birds and quadrupeds ; they 
are, consequently, the aberrant (or the least developed) 
groups of the five classes of vertebrated animals. The 
student cannot longer be at a loss to comprehend the 
meaning of typical and aberrant forms, groups, or 
genera, so frequently alluded to. Mr. MacLeay has gene- 
Y 2 


rally used the term normal in the same sense as we 
apply the word typical; but we have preferred the 
latter, throughout the whole of this work, as being more 

(393.) We shall now attempt another mode of ex- 
plaining the difference between typical and aberrant 
groups, which will bring the matter home to the most 
ordinary capacity. Let the reader suppose that each of 
his five fingers represents one of the five divisions of 
every circle. Let him further suppose the thumb and 
forefinger to represent the two typical groups, and the 
three others, the aberrant. The first, or typical groups, 
as before stated, are always the most perfect ; that is, 
they are distinguished by possessing more strength, 
and are endowed with greater qualifications or perfec- 
tions, than any others. Now, the thumb and the fore- 
finger are the most important to the human hand : 
consider for a moment the strength and security which 
is given by the thumb to every office which the hand 
performs : how weak would be our grasp, how unsteady 
our writing, how insecure our handling, if we were un- 
fortunately deprived of this member ! The loss of any 
one, or even of any two, of our three last fingers would 
not subject us to half the inconvenience of the loss of the 
thumb. The forefinger is nearly as important : it acts 
more immediately in unison with the thumb, and is only 
inferior to it in strength and utility. It matters not 
whether this prevalent use of the forefinger is the result 
of habit ; nor is it any argument against the assertion 
to urge, that a man who loses his forefinger, or even 
his thumb, may, nevertheless, acquire the power of 
doing almost every thing necessary with his remaining 
fingers. The first two were manifestly intended to be 
more used than the others ; and a greater power, or, 
what is the same thing, a greater perfection, has conse- 
quently been given to them. So far, then, for an illus- 
tration of the two typical groups. The aberrant groups 
are three : they always preserve a sufficient similarity 
to the two others to show their absolute connection 


with them ; but they are lower in the scale of per- 
fection. They seem, as it were, supplementary ; and, 
taken abstractedly, convey a very inadequate idea of 
the typical excellency of the other two groups, to which 
they are, nevertheless, connected : just as children, 
although belonging to their parents, exhibit only the 
immature excellencies and perfections of those who 
are their closest kindred. Now, there is a very sin- 
gular analogy in all this to the last three fingers of 
the hand. They seem, indeed, to be necessary, but 
inferior auxiliaries to those offices chiefly performed by 
our typical fingers. They are material aids, but not so 
vitally essential ; since the loss of any one would not 
prevent an author, a painter, or a sculptor, from going 
on with his pursuits, nearly as well as if his hand was 
perfect. Could this be said, if either the thumb or the 
forefinger was lost ? Certainly not. 

(94.) Let the student now apply these analogical facts 
to the five great divisions of vertebrated animals. Quad- 
rupeds may be compared to the thumb ; they are the 
strongest, the most bulky, the most developed, and the 
most perfect of all animals. Birds, in all these qualities, 
rank next to quadrupeds ; and they may, therefore, be 
compared to the forefinger. The longest of all vertebrated 
animals, in proportion to their circumference, are the ser- 
pents and reptiles ; and the middle finger will remind the 
student of this very peculiar characteristic. The two 
next fingers may be compared to the frogs and other 
Amphibia, and to the fishes : these last seem to be the 
farthest removed from quadrupeds, because they have 
no feet : they comprehend, also, the smallest of all the 
Fertebrata; out yet they are joined to quadrupeds by dol- 
phins and whales. The little finger will remind us of 
many of these facts. As regards size and thickness, it 
is the weakest and the least of all, and is, therefore, 
the most different from the thumb ; but they are the 
only two which are of the same length, and they thus 
preserve the graduated scale which runs through the 
whole. It may be said that such familiar illustrations 
Y 3 


are trifling ; but it must be remembered that no facts 
supplied by one part of creation to illustrate another 
part, can deserve that epithet. On the contrary, the 
more simple the illustration, and the more familiar the 
example, the greater force does analogical reasoning 

(3.95.) The nature of a circle of affinity, and the 
number of natural divisions which compose all such 
circles, have now been sufficiently explained. As these 
constitute the first principles of natural arrangement, the 
student would do well, by frequent perusal, to retain 
them in his memory, or he may consider these familiar 
illustrations as introductory to the fuller exposition, 
already given on these subjects, in the second portion 
of this volume. 

(396.) We shall now lead the student a step farther, 
by calling his attention, first, to the properties of 
natural groups ; and, secondly, to the means by which 
such groups are to be detected and proved. An atten- 
tive consideration of the relations subsisting between 
different groups of animals has led to the discovery of 
certain properties peculiar to each of those which we 
have, in the last section, denominated typical and aber- 
rant. A few of the most remarkable circumstances so 
elicited we shall now briefly explain. 

(397.) By the word group, the reader is to under- 
stand an assemblage, large or small, of individual 
species or higher assortments, possessing among them- 
selves certain characters definite and peculiar. The term 
is used, in a general way, to express either a class, an 
order, a family, a genus, or any other division which 
is employed in system, the class of birds being as 
much a group as is the family of crows. When such 
an assemblage is formed upon characters or circum- 
stances which have no general reference to primary 
laws, the group is termed artificial. The genera Syl- 
via and Muscicapa of the Linnsean school, for instance, 
are good examples of artificial groups : every small 
birdj with a slender bill, was placed in the first ; and all 


those with broad bills were referred to the second ; and 
in neither were habits, analogies, or general structure, 
taken into the account. On the other hand, we deem a 
natural group to be an assemblage which is represented 
by other groups in different classes of animals ; and 
which is characterised not by one or two peculiarities, 
but by distinctions drawn both from economy and struc- 
ture. The toucans, the humming-birds, the lamelli- 
corn floral beetles, and numerous others, are natural 
groups, not so much because they are obvious to the 
inexperienced eye, as because they represent analogically 
other groups in totally different departments of nature. 
Strictly speaking, and using the term in its true sense, 
no group can be termed natural, until its circular tendency 
is detected, and its analogical relations pointed out. 

(398.) We are thus led to seek farther information 
upon the question How are we to prove that a group is 
natural? One naturalist selects one set of characters, which 
by another are slighted j some look only to the internal 
structure, others confine their characters to the external; 
and all are prepared with reasons in support of their 
different theories. How are we then to discover which 
are the essential requisites or properties of a natural 
group ? Now, as the series in which natural objects 
follow each other is circular, it follows that the circu- 
larity of a group is its primary requisite. Every group, 
therefore, which, upon close investigation, does not form 
its own particular circle, or which does not exhibit a 
tendency thereto, may be considered artificial ; while, 
on the contrary, every one which has its affinities re- 
turning into itself, exemplifies the first general law of 
nature, and wears the aspect of being natural. 

(3990 The first property, therefore, which we must 
look for in a natural group, is, that the affinities of the 
objects it contains proceed more or less in a circle. It 
is rarely that a group, which from other circumstances we 
know to be natural, contains so few subjeccs, and these 
so wide apart from each other, as to prevent us from 
detecting their tendency to a circle; while, on the 
y 4f 


other hand, so numberless are the forms of nature, that 
false circles can be made, and are frequently made,, by 
putting in, to fill up our gaps, animals which have no 
real connection with that circle which we wish to ren~ 
der perfect. Hence, although we must first look to the 
circularity of a group as a primary requisite, still the 
accuracy of this circle must be proved by other tests, 
which will be shortly explained. 

(400.) The second property possessed by natural 
groups regards those only which we call aberrant, and 
consists in the three aberrant groups or divisions of a 
circle being united among themselves into one circle, 
independent of their union also with the two typical 
groups. This theory, although it virtually makes the 
primary division of every circle to be three, does not, 
in fact, affect the accuracy of a group which is first 
divided into five, any more than this, that it shows 
these aberrant divisions to have other properties than 
were formally suspected ; so that, besides being united 
to the typical groups, they also blend in a circle of their 
own, as if they were independent of the two others. 

(401.) As we have hitherto looked to the vertebrated 
animals as furnishing one of the most familiar illustra- 
tions of natural arrangement, we will again use them to 
exemplify the union of which we are now speaking. 
Quadrupeds and birds, then, are the two typical groups 
of vertebrated animals ; while reptiles, amphibia, and 
fishes are the three aberrant. Now, if these latter are 
found, upon investigation, to form a circle by themselves, 
it naturally follows that the primary circles in every 
group are three, and not five ; the three aberrant divi- 
sions being merged into one. This union, however, 
cannot always be traced, from the causes elsewhere 
assigned ; and therefore, in dubious cases, it is more ad- 
visable to adhere to the usual method of distinguishing 
each of the aberrant groups separately by themselves. It 
follows, nevertheless, that, wherever it can be demon- 
strated, we must consider that the circle is first divided 
into three others, each of which is again resolved into, 


three lesser ones, and so on, until we arrive at the lowest 
groups in nature, which are called sub-genera. 

(402.) Some other properties of natural groups need 
not here be alluded to, since they belong to a more 
intimate acquaintance with the science than is usually 
aimed at by beginners, and they have already been dis- 
cussed in the body of this work. So soon as the 
student understands so much of the nature of groups as 
we have now endeavoured familiarly to explain, he will 
be fully competent to pursue the subject as discussed in 
the former chapters. There are, nevertheless, certain 
other properties in natural groups, which, the young 
naturalist should be acquainted with ; because they serve 
as tests by which all groups should be tried ; as these 
enter into the laws of verification., they will not now 
be considered. 

(403.) After perusing thus far, the student may pro- 
bably say, " I understand that all natural groups form 
their own circle; and that each circle contains three smaller 
ones, two of which are typical, and one aberrant : but 
in what manner am I to prove my circle, whether it be 
natural, since I have been told that false circles can be 
made ? If, for instance, I am desirous of discovering, 
without the aid of books, the manner in which the 
family of thrushes (Merulida Sw.*) describe their cir- 
cle of affinity, what check have I upon my own arrange- 
ment, after I have placed these birds in such a way as 
to exhibit a circle ? Must I be guided only by what 
appears to be the circle of affinity ? or are there other 
circumstances by which my circle is to be verified, and 
my fancy kept in check ? " 

(404.) These are questions which may naturally be 
asked, and which we shall now proceed to answer. There 
are three modes, or processes, then, by which natural 
groups are to be verified. 1. By their circularity. 2. 
By the parallel analogy of their contents to other groups; 
and, 3. By the order in which their types or subordinate 
divisions occur. This latter may be termed the theory 

* See their natural arrangement in Northern Zoology, vol. ii. p. 149. 


of variation. Having already explained the nature of 
the first of these proofs, we shall now give to the two 
latter a separate consideration. 

(405.) The difference between analogy and affinity 
being well understood, the naturalist is to compare his 
supposed circle with some others, which, from having 
been verified and tested in every possible manner, are 
looked upon as established. To these circular groups, 
so substantiated, he may refer as standards of au- 
thority, with which he must compare his own circle in 
all its component parts. This brings us to the appli- 
cation of the theory of analogy, by which we shall dis- 
cover that the contents of one group will represent, in 
some remarkable manner, the contents of another group. 
This representation, moreover, is not confined to a ge- 
neral similitude, nor does it rest upon one or two par- 
ticular instances, which may be selected, according to 
mere fancy, from a number of others presenting no com- 
mon similitudes ; neither is it irregular, that is, the 
points of resemblance are not to be selected in an in- 
definite manner, in order to make one group tally with 
the other. No. The analogies of two groups, if they are 
natural, will occur in precisely the same order, and in 
the same succession ; and all the parts of one circle will 
represent those of another. When the student finds that 
his group will bear this test in one instance, he must 
proceed to verify it, in the same manner, by another. 
While, in proportion to the extent to which he can carry 
this comparison, and establish such similitudes or ana- 
logies between different parts of the animal kingdom, 
the greater confidence may he entertain that his circle 
is truly natural. 

(406.) Let us now illustrate this precept by an ex- 
ample. We will suppose the student to have investigated 
the family of birds just mentioned, viz. the Merulida, 
or thrushes; that he has arranged them in a circle, and 
discovered the typical and aberrant divisions. His ex- 
position of the whole group will accordingly stand 
thus : 




("Bill gradually arched, slightly notched;' 
1. 3 wings adapted for perfect flight ; legs I 

Typical group. ) moderately long ; toes disunited. True \ 
C Thrushes. 







"Bill abruptly bent, strongly notched; 
I wings short, feeble; tarsi moderate; 
! toes frequently united at the base. Ant 
. Thrushes. 
Bill short, slightly notched or entire;} Brachypodinae. 

wings rourded; legs short, not adapted > Oriolinaj. 

for walking. j Crateropodina?. 




Now this circle is founded simply upon the affinity he 
discovers between the divisions : he finds that the Me- 
rulince insensibly pass into the MyotherineB, that these 
conduct him to the short-legged division, Brachypodince, 
which blend into the Orioles ; that from the Orioles 
the affinity is traced to the long-legged thrushes (Oa- 
teropodincK) , and that these again lead back to the Me- 
rulince. The above is a tabular exposition of this series; 
but if we throw it into a circle, it will stand as fol- 
lows : 

(407.) Now the veri- 
fication of this circle is 
to be accomplished by 
showing that all its di- 
visions are represented, 
in the same order, in 
some other well-known 
and established series. 

"noun* . 

No circular group, for 

instance, is better known than that which exhibits the 
first great orders of the whole feathered creation. These 
divisions are composed of the rapacious (Raptores), the 
perchers (Insessores), the gallinaceous (Rasores), the 
waders (Grallatores), and the swimmers (Natatores). 
Let us now throw this series, like the last, into a circle, 
bring them together, and then see in what manner they 
represent each other : 


(408.) By- this diagram the two circles are brought 
into immediate comparison, and we are now to consider 
their component divisions. The most perfect or typical of 
the minor groups, among the thrushes, are the black- 
birds and throstles ; and the most perfect of all birds 
are the Insessores, or perchers. The typical groups of 
each circle, therefore, agree in analogy, and are there- 
fore placed opposite each other. The ant thrushes 
(Myotherinte) are more especially distinguished by the 
tip of their bill being abruptly hooked, and the notch very 
deep, so as to assume the appearance of a tooth ; this 
character gives us a beautiful representation of the Rap- 
tores, or birds of prey, in the opposite circle, one of 
whose chief characteristics is a hooked bill armed with 
a strong tooth. The two groups further agree in living 
only upon other animals. Next come the Brachypodince, 
or short-legged thrushes, distinguished from all the 
other divisions of their family by the unusual shortness 
of their feet. Now this very circumstance is one of the 
most prominent distinctions of the Natatores, or swim- 
mers ; for it is notorious that the ducks, pelicans, grebes, 
penguins, &c. are the shortest-footed birds in creation ; 
just, in fact, as the Brachypodince are the shortest-footed 
thrushes. To these succeed the orioles, Oriolince, re- 
markable for living only upon the softest nourishment, 
as caterpillars and tender berries. Now this is precisely 
the description of food in substance, although not in 
kind of the great majority of the waders ; with this 
difference only, that, instead of soft caterpillars and 
pulpy fruits, they eat soft worms, and pulpy marine 
animals the caterpillars of the sand, and the fruits of 


the ocean, instead of the forest. These groups, there- 
fore, are analogous, and do not disturb the harmony of 
the series. We therefore pass onward to the last, namely, 
the Crateropodince, or strong-legged thrushes, which we 
compare with the order of Rasores, or the gallinaceous 
birds. If an ordinary observer was asked what were the 
most conspicuous distinctions of the gallinaceous order, 
he would undoubtedly mention as among the first, the 
great size and strength of their feet, and their short and 
comparatively feeble wings. The first of these pecu- 
liarities, in fact, is absolutely essential to them, because 
they habitually live upon the ground ; while the last, 
which in a tribe of flying birds would be an imperfec- 
fection, among these is in perfect harmony with their 
general habits. It would, moreover, be remarked, as a 
third distinction of the rasorial group, that it contains 
the largest birds in creation ; witness the ostrich, cas- 
sowary, bustard, &c. Now what the rasorial order is to 
the whole feathered creation, the Crateropodince are to 
the family of thrushes ; they have, as their name im- 
plies, the strongest feet, they have the shortest wings, 
and they are the largest birds in their particular group. 
With three such strong and remarkable points of analogi- 
cal resemblance, there can be no doubt that the Cratero- 
podince are the representatives of the Rasores; or, in other 
words, that these two groups are parallel and analogous. 
(409.) When results like these attend the com- 
parison of a doubtful circle with one that is universally 
deemed to be natural, there is good reason to believe that 
we have discovered the true series ; for, however fancy 
might deceive us in the first formation of a circle, it is 
impossible to believe that so much harmony would result 
from an erroneous application of a theoretical truth. 
Nevertheless, it must be remembered that our group 
has yet only been proved by one test. It has been 
compared with the circle of the leading orders of birds ; 
but this is not sufficient for complete demonstration. 
The analogies, although strong, are nevertheless remote; 
and it therefore is expedient, if not essential, that our 


group should receive stronger verification; that it should be 
compared with others of its own order, and finally with 
one of its own rank ; as, for instance, with the family of 
shrikes (Laniadte Sw.), and these comparisons are to 
be instituted on precisely the same principles as those 
we have just exemplified. If, therefore, our group will 
bear all these comparisons, and if the same analogical 
results follow, and in the same order, we may then be 
assured that our circle is a true one. And if, to " make 
assurance doubly sure,'' we can extend our comparisons, 
and detect the same analogical resemblances in other 
groups belonging to different classes of animals, we 
not only demonstrate our arrangement of the Merulidce 
with almost mathematical certainty, but we pile ac- 
cumulated proofs upon the thoretical assertion that there 
is but one uniform plan of variation throughout nature. 
(410.) The student will now see the worthlessness 
of all assumed circles of affinity which have not been 
put to these necessary tests, and which merely repose 
on the assertion of their inventors. This, in short, has 
been the rock upon which some of the warmest advo- 
cates of this theory have split. While, from the fallacy 
of their circles having been detected, occasion has been 
given to shallow reasoners to throw doubts upon one of 
the greatest truths in natural science ; truths, in fact, 
of which- such persons have only a partial knowledge, 
by judging of their value from their mistaken appli- 
cation by zealous but ill-informed advocates. The 
family of Merulida, no doubt, might be arranged 
in two or three circular ways, each of which, if their 
analogical resemblances to other groups are dispensed with, 
would appear to be just as natural as the one here given ; 
for we have tried the experiment. Yet the moment 
these assumed circles are brought up for verification, 
their falsity is at once demonstrated, by their discordance 
with authenticated circles. Hence the student will see 
the reason of our former remark, that false circles of 
affinity can be made with every appearance of being 
natural; and that these will " pass muster" with all those 


naturalists who think that other proofs are unnecessary. 
But the verification of such an extensive group as that 
we have now instanced, namely, the Merulida, is by 
no means yet complete. 

(411.) The third test by which a circular group is to 
be verified, consists in its being in unison with the theory 
of variation : that is to say, each of its principal modi- 
fications of form are to follow each other according to a 
definite rule. This rule has been so fully and so clearly 
explained in the body of the work, that it seems hardly 
necessary to repeat it here : familiar examples, however, 
will render it more apparent to the student ; and these 
examples, to prevent the recital of those exceptions 
which must be noted if we attempted to speak generally 
of the whole animal kingdom will be drawn from some 
of the groups of ornithology. We have shown that groups 
can be made to appear natural and circular., when in 
reality they are not so ; and we have now to show that 
their erroneous composition cannot always be detected, 
even by comparing their contents with those of another 
established group, and thus testing them by the theory 
of parallel analogies. An ornithologist of this country, 
now retired from science, who has done much towards 
the determination of the leading families of birds, and 
who in many instances has shown great judgment in the 
location of the groups, has nevertheless been led into an 
arrangement of the shrike family (Laniadce Sw.) which 
exemplifies the error we are now speaking of: he disposes 
the groups of these birds in the following manner : 


Typical. Lanius. True Shrikes. 

Sub-typical Edolius. Drongo Shrikes. 

TTyrannus. Tyrant Shrikes. 

Aberrant. < Ceblepyris. Caterpillar-Catchers. 

(. Thamnophilus. Bush Shrikes. 

(412.) These divisions, it has been said, form a circu- 
lar group, and each division follows in the order of succes- 
sion here stated : and as the bush shrikes, as every one 
knows, blend into the true shrikes, the circle is closed, and 
the whole has a verisimilitude of being truly natural. 


True it is that the author in question did not think it 
necessary to verify this group by tracing its parallel 
analogies in the next (the Merulidce, or thrushes) which 
succeeds to it. Had he done so, he might probably 
have discovered that this, so far as concerns the order 
of the divisions just specified, were in reality an arti- 
ficial circle. And yet this conviction might not have 
been arrived at; for, if implicit reliance were placed upon 
the accuracy of this series, and we merely proceeded 
to fix upon the groups analogical to these in the next 
family circle, we should be at no loss to make them out 
in the following manner : 

SHRIKES. Characters common to both. THRUSHES. 


Edolius. Feet very short. Brachypus. 

Tyrannus. Live in the vicinity of water. Crateropus. 

Ceblepyris. ' Oriolus. 

Thamnophilus. Bill hooked at the tip. Myothera. 

(413.) Nothing'can be more perfect than the parallel 
analogies resulting from comparing these two groups ; 
and yet, as we have elsewhere demonstrated*, although 
the divisions and analogies in both these columns, taken 
separately, are correct, yet both are nevertheless disposed 
falsely. Here then is a group which has undergone two 
tests, in the first instance, it has a verisimilitude of being 
truly circular, and then, being compared with an adjoin- 
ing group, it is found to possess parallel analogies thereto, 
and yet the great error of its composition remains to 
be detected. How then are we to proceed in our pro- 
cess of verification ? or how can a false circle be distin- 
guished from a true one ? It is here that the third test 
we have intimated, namely, the definite system of vari- 
ation, must be resorted to, as a last and final criterion of 
the true value of all groups, supposed to be natural. 

(414.) Now, the principles by which all the vari- 
ations of form throughout the class of birds are regu- 
lated may be thus concisely stated: First, we have, 
in the typical form, a union of the greatest number of 

* Northern Zoology, vol. ii. p. 164. 


different perfections, or qualities ; or, in other words, 
the highest degree of organisation. This is the first,, 
or typical group. Next in succession comes one closely 
resembling it, but deficient in some few points ; which 
deficiency, however, is made up by a superior degree of 
courage or ferocity, and which, with an organisation 
conformable thereto, leads them to feed upon other 
animals: this is the second in rank, or the sub-typical 
variation. Following this, nature proceeds to another, 
characterised by a large head, great breadth of bill, and 
very short feet ; whose instincts lead them to frequent 
water, or to live in its vicinity. This modification 
always succeeds the sub-typical group, and is followed 
by another, whose chief character is the soft nature of 
its food ; but it is also known by the superior length 
of the bill, and, generally, by the length of its legs. 
The last variation to be found in a true ornithological 
circle is manifested by superiority of bulk, very strong 
legs, glossy plumage, crested head, large tail, short wings, 
gregarious habits, and often a marked predilection for 
the society of man. The voice, also, is peculiarly loud, 
and always discordant. This type of form invariably 
conducts to that which is pre-eminently typical, and, 
consequently, closes the circle. As this series of vari- 
ations can be traced, more or less, throughout the whole 
animal kingdom, it may, perhaps, be expedient here- 
after to designate each of them by a general name ; at 
present, however, they may be called after the primary 
divisions of birds: viz. 1. Insessorial ; 2. Raptorial; 
3. Natatorial ; 4. Grallatorial or Suctorial ; 5. Rasorial. 
(415.) This definite mode of variation explains the 
nature of the third and last test for the verification of the 
group of shrikes, which we are now considering. The 
question, therefore, is this, will the series, as before de- 
tailed, correspond with this series of the variation in all 
other birds ? if it will, the group is a natural one ; if 
not, there must be some error in the disposition of the 
seJes. Let us now make the comparison : 


SHRIKES. Distinguishing Characters. TYPES OF BIRDS. 

} f The most rapacious of all} 

_, . , \-Lanius. < the perching birds ; conse- J- Raptorial. 

Typical. j quentlythe 3 

} f Glossy plumage, great tails,} 

, ~" . , >Edolius. < crested heads ; conse- J. Rasorial. 

Sub-typical, j ^ quently the 3 

C C Small short feet, great heads, } 

I Tyrannus. < broad flat bills, dive in the Natatorial. 

C water*; consequently the 3 

3. J /vUtMtiu ' f Live entirely upon soft sub- 7 

Aberrant } ^blepyrus. ^ stances; consequently thej 

Inferior only to the shrikes, } 
l > 

I Thamnophilus. \ in not having raptorial > Insessorial. 
L t claws; consequently the 3 

Here^ then, it is seen, that in this supposed circle the 
Rasorial type of form is followed by the Natatorial, and 
not, as in all other birds, by the Grallatorial ; while 
the genus Thamnophilus, whose structure, being only in- 
ferior to that of Lanius, shows it to be one of the typical 
groups, is placed in the aberrant division. The series 
of variation, in short, in the circle we are now testing, 
turns out to be different from that in all other groups 
of birds, and it therefore cannot be the true one. 

(41 6.) Our imaginary circle, therefore, not being 
able to stand the test supplied by the theory of definite 
variation, we have to retrace our steps, and ascertain 
whether an equally good circle cannot be formed 
by ..placing these divisions in a different series. This 
we find can be done, the new circle is just as 
complete as the old, and we then compare it with the 
types of variation (as above specified), as follows : 

2 } f The most rapacious of all the} 

Typical YLaniut. -s perching birds; therefore S- Raptorial, 

2 r Inferior only to the last, bill } 

Sub tvnieal f Thamnophilus. < conic-shaped, claws not V Insessorial. 
* > L raptorial f therefore the 3 

If Glossy plumage, great tails, } 
Edolius. < crested heads, gregarious > Rasorial. 

C habits; therefore the 3 

Aberrant 1 *~ PSSStUSS^}***!*- 

( Small short feet, great heads, f 

I Tyrannus. < broad flattened bills, dive > Natatorial. 
\ (. in the water; therefore the 3 

* See "Wilson's American Ornithology ; also Northern Zoology, vol. ii. 
p. 136. 


(417-) Thus we see that our new circle has this 
advantage over the old, that the variation of the series 
composing it turns out to be in accordance with the 
variation of all other ornithological groups. It can 
consequently stand three tests, its circularity, its pa- 
rallelism of analogy with other groups, and its coinci- 
dence with the established mode, or progression, in 
which nature varies her groups. The old group would 
not bear this latter verification, notwithstanding it ap- 
peared to be circular, and notwithstanding its analogies 
could be traced in the family ofMerulidce, although the 
series in the latter family, being made to correspond with 
the erroneous disposition of that of the Laniadce, ne- 
cessarily shared in the error, the analogies being correct, 
but the series in which they are made to follow incorrect ; 
the exposition of the two groups, as now re-formed, 
being as follows : 

True Circle of True Circle of 

the Shrikes. the Thrushes. 

Lanius. The most typical of their respective families. Merula. 

Thamnophilus. Bill hooked at the tip. Myothera. 

Edolius. Feet very short. Srachypus. 

Ceblepyrus. Rump feathers more or less rigid. Oriolus. 

Tyrarinus. Frequent the vicinity of water. Crateropus. 

(418.) But it is not sufficient that each of the divi- 
sions in these two families, as divisions, are correct ; for 
some of them are either very numerous in species, or 
contain many striking deviations in their form. Be- 
fore, therefore, we can pronounce that either of these 
families are strictly proved, in all their parts, it becomes 
necessary to institute a further analysis, to select any 
one of the subordinate divisions, and to submit its con- 
tents to the very same tests as we have just applied to 
its family, a* a whole. For instance, the MYOTHERIN^;, 
or ant thrushes, represented by the genus Myothera, is 
one of the divisions, or lesser groups, in the circle of the 
thrushes. Now, is this a truly natural group ? that is, 
is it circular ? We may fairly conjecture it is natural, 
because its most obvious distinctions are in accordance 
with analogies to be traced in other circles, and with the 
principle of variation. But this, strictly speaking, is 
z 2 


not enough for demonstration : its circularity must be 
made out, and its contents submitted to the very same 
tests that have been applied to the entire family. If 
the MYOTHERIN.E, then, form a truly natural, and, there- 
fore, a circular group, its component parts will re- 
present all the divisions of its own family ; and we 
shall find the subordinate variations analogically repre- 
senting Merula, Crateropus, Oriolus, and Brachypus. So 
far is this beautiful uniformity of consistent and definite 
variation from being chimerical, that we have, in another 
work *, selected the MYOTHERIN^E for this especial pur- 
pose, and have demonstrated that they form a natural 
group, capable of the same degree of verification as we 
have been here insisting upon. To that work we must 
refer the reader, who desires to see in what manner 
relations of analogy, in so small a circle, can be made 
out. To pursue the subject farther, on the present 
occasion, will be needless. We have confined our illus- 
trations to ornithology; but it must be remembered 
that the same laws are applicable to every group in the 
animal kingdom. 

(419') Natural groups are thus to be detected by 
three different tests : 1. By their simple series of circular 
affinity ; 2. By the theory of analogy ; and, 3. By the 
theory of variation. We draw the first of these proofs 
from affinity ; but the two latter entirely depend upon 
analogy. No group which will not bear these tests can 
be natural ; whereas, if it will stand such an ordeal, it 
has passed all the trials necessary to establish its cor- 

(420.) We trust that the young naturalist will now 
see the truth of the observation long ago made by a 
well-known naturalist, that nothing can be easier than 
to make circles, provided it is not thought necessary to 
prove them : in other words, to give them more value 
than they possess, either from mere assertion, or from 
wearing an appearance, at first sight, of being really 
what they are affirmed. We trust, moreover, that he 

* Northern Zoology, vol. ii. p. 168. 


will pause before he commits his own fame, and inflicts 
an injury upon science, by publishing to the world 
crude and superficial theories of primary divisions and 
circular groups, which have no foundation but in his 
own heated imagination the result, not of extensive 
experience and matured investigation, but of limited 
materials, and an ignorance of all but one department of 
nature. Let him first become master of all the existing 
knowledge on these subjects, and let him prove the ac- 
curacy of his theories by facts, drawn from all the groups 
of the animal kingdom. He will then be justly entitled 
to have his opinions regarded, and his theories investi- 



(421.) IT is not only convenient, but absolutely es- 
sential, that the different groups of animals should be 
distinguished by names, indicative, in some measure, of 
their size and relative rank ; just as we should distin- 
guish the component parts of an army, or the different 
ranks of those by whom it is commanded. These 
groups, in fact, are divisions., some large, some small, 
to which various systematic writers have given different 
names. As these names, however, have been bestowed, 
for the most part, without any ulterior reference to a 
uniform plan, and the divisions themselves made al- 
together arbitrarily, we have endeavoured, in another 
part of this volume, to place these designations upon a 
more secure footing, and to show that all the divisions, 
hereafter enumerated, do actually exist in nature ; not, 
indeed, in a strictly arbitrary and rigorous sense, but 
z 3 


sufficiently marked to render them recognisable. Whe- 
ther we term these parts of the great system of nature, 
circles, divisions, or groups, is immaterial, the three 
words, in fact, to prevent tautology, will be here consi- 
dered synonymous : the, reader, however, must under- 
stand that they designate/ each and all, an assemblage of 
objects, whose affinities, more or less, are circular. 

(422.) It is obvious that, in proportion to the pre- 
cision which we can attain in the determination of a 
group, so do we also give stability to all that belongs to 
it. So soon as a group, therefore, has been verified by 
the tests enumerated in the last chapter, it becomes, in 
the truest sense of the word, definite : it therefore follows, 
if we can ascertain what is the relative rank or value of 
such a group, in reference to other definite groups, we 
can then give a definite meaning to the name we bestow 
upon it. If, in short, groups are definite, the names 
indicative of their rank must be definite also, provided 
a uniformity in their nomenclature is preserved. Authors, 
indeed, are accustomed to distinguish their artificial 
groups by many of the same terms (as order, tribe, 
family, &c.) which we are about to explain ; but the 
student must remember that, unless otherwise stated 
these terms, which he will meet with in other systems, 
are merely conventional ; being founded, not upon any 
fixed plan of proceeding, but upon the mere opinion of 
the author. It is to Mr. MacLeay and to his dis- 
ciples that our science is indebted for the introduction 
of this definite system of naming groups, the least ad- 
vantage of which is, that, when we now talk of a natural 
family, or a natural order*, we immediately know the 
determinate value of the group spoken of. We shall 
devote this chapter to the explanation and illustration of 
those groups whose rank or value have been ascertained; 
and conclude with a few remarks upon species and 
their varieties. The different ranks of divisions or 

* I regret to observe, however, that very recently some of our entomolo- 
gists call their divisions by these names, without bringing forward any evi. 
dence or proof whatever that they are " natural." 


groups that have been detected in the animal kingdom, 
whose affinities proceed in a circle, are NINE, and they 
are thus designated, commencing from the highest and 
descending to the lowest : 1. Kingdom, 2. Sub-king- 
dom, 3. Class, 4. Order, 5. Tribe, 6. Family, 7. Sub- 
family, 8. Genus, 9- Sub-genus. 

(423.) It has been long customary, not only in 
science, but in ordinary parlance, to designate the three 
great divisions of ponderable matter as the animal, the 
vegetable, and the mineral kingdoms of nature ; and, 
although it is not yet ascertained in what precise manner 
the vegetable, or, perhaps, also, the mineral kingdom *, 
describe their own circles, yet it is sufficient for our 
present purpose that the animal kingdom forms a cir- 
cular group, comprehending all beings which usually pass 
under that name, and all the ranks of groups we are 
about to describe. A kingdom, therefore, is the first 
and greatest circle ; and a sub-kingdom, as its name im- 
plies, is one of the primary divisions of the animal 
kingdom : of these, according to Mr. MacLeay, there 
are five, namely, 1. THE VERTEBRATA, or vertebrated 
animals, having an internal bony skeleton ; 2. THE AN- 
NULOSA, or annulose animals, as insects, where the body 
and legs are jointed, and the hardest parts are outside ; 
3. THE RADIATA, or radiated animals, which, like the 
star-fish, have the mouth in the middle; 4. THE ACRITA, 
or the animalcules ; 5. THE MOLLUSCA, or shell-fish, 
whose nervous system is composed of several scattered 
masses or ganglions, united by nervous threads, and 
whose soft bodies are generally protected by a shell. The 
three last groups, the Mollusca, the Acrita, and the Ra- 
diata, are the aberrant divisions or sub-kingdoms of the 
animal kingdom ; which, if our conclusions be correct, 
form a circle more or less complete among themselves. 
We shall not, however, in this part of our work, pro- 
ceed to alter the definite divisions from five to three, it 
being much better that the first of these numbers 

* See Northern Zoology, ii. Preface, p. liv. 
z 4 


should be here -used, to avoid all confusion in the mind 
of the student. 

(424.) By Class is implied the first divisions of a sub- 
kingdom. The vertebrated animals are first divided 
into classes, which Mr. MacLeay was the first to desig- 
nate and define by their true characters : this name, 
therefore, is appropriated to those divisions which re- 
spectively contain quadrupeds, birds, reptiles, amphibia, 
and fishes: these are the classes of the sub-kingdom Ver- 
tebrata. Those of the annulose animals, on the other 
hand, have never yet been correctly made out ; it will, 
nevertheless, be our object, hereafter, to prove that the 
Ptilota, or winged insects, theAptera, or wingless insects, 
the Cirripeda, or barnacles, the Fermes, or worms, and 
the Annelides, or red-blooded s"ea-worms, are so many 
classes, or first divisions of the sub-kingdom Annulosa ; 
representing, of course, those of the vertebrated circle. 
The classes of the other sub-kingdoms have never yet 
been defined with precision, nor will it be necessary, in 
this place, to cite further instances of this description of 

(425.) Orders come next in rank to classes. Looking 
to the class of quadrupeds, we find there are five natural 
orders, following each other, however, in a somewhat dif- 
ferent series to what has been stated elsewhere.* In 
birds, again, the same groups occur, and they have been 
correctly designated in the following natural series f: 
1. RAPTORES, or birds of prey; 2.lNSESsoRES,or perch- 
ers; S. RASORES, or fowls; 4. GRALLATORES, or waders; 
5.NATATORES, or swimmers. The first divisions, also, into 
which both the apterous and winged insects are naturally 
grouped, are strictly classes ; of which Linnaeus, indeed, 
seems to have had an intuitive perception ; his Cole- 
optera, Hemiptera, Neuroptera, &c., being truly groups 
of this value, notwithstanding the dismemberment they 
have received from some of the best modern entomo- 
logists. In like manner the Acephala, or bivalves, and 
the Gasteropoda, or univalves, among the molluscous 

* Linnzean Transactions. f Ibid. 



shell-fish, when properly restricted, will be found groups 
of the same value, that is, if we consider the Mollusca 
as a class ; but if we view it, with Mr. MacLeay, as a 
sub-kingdom,, then they must be considered as classes. 

(426.) We shall illustrate the rank of Tribes from one 
of the most perfect, and, now, the best-established groups 
in zoology, namely, the order of Insessores, or perching 
birds. This most extensive order has been correctly 
stated* as the only one in the ornithological circle which 
contains tribes, designated and characterised as follows : 
1. Conirostres, with a conic bill, and pre-eminently 
perchers. 2. Dentirostres, or perchers of prey, with 
sharp claws, and living chiefly upon insects. 3. Fissi- 
rostres, with large heads, flat bills, and weak feet, as the 
swifts and swallows. 4. Tenuirostres, with small eyes 
and mouth, and long bills, like the humming-birds. 
And, lastly, 5. The Scansores, or climbers, which brings 
on the woodpeckers, parrots, and cuckoos. These are the 
only tribes, or groups between families and orders, to be 
found in the class of birds. But in most of the orders 
of the Ptilota, or winged insects, tribes are very preva- 
lent. The lepidopterous order, for instance, has the five 
tribes of Diurnes, or diurnal butterflies ; SpMngides, or 
hawk-moths ; Bombycides, or silk moths ; Phalcenides, 
or geometric moths ; and Noctuides, or night moths : 
although, as Mr. Kirby truly remarks, the primary di- 
vision of this order is into three; the three aberrant 
tribes forming one circle. In the coleopterous order the 
tribes are very large, of which we shall cite the Lamelli- 
cornes (Scarabteus Lin.), or herbiverous beetles, and 
the Prcedatores, or rapacious beetles ( Chilopodomorpha 
MacL.) as examples, to be hereafter verified. It is ques- 
tionable whether tribes occur in the aberrant orders of 
either the Annulosa, Mollusca, Radiata, or Acrita, any 
more than they do in the aberrant orders of birds. At 
all events we have not yet detected them. 

(427.) Families are comprehended under tribes, when 
the latter exist; otherwise, as in the case of the Rasores, 

* Linnasan Transactions. 


&c. among birds,, they come immediately after orders. 
This, next to genera and sub-genera, is perhaps, the most 
prevalent description of group in the animal kingdom ; 
it is used, in artificial systems, to designate an in- 
definite number of genera, having a few characters in 
common ; but in natural classification its meaning is as 
determinate as any other of the circular groups here 
named. The crows, shrikes, parrots, woodpeckers, c. 
are so many families, both in a natural and philosophic 
sense of the word, and speak at once to the apprehension 
of the reader. The genera of the old authors are more 
similar to the families of the moderns, in the nature of 
their contents, than to any of the groups here enumerated. 
According to our views, the groups called stirpes, or 
races, by Mr. MacLeay*, are no other than families of 
the Predatorial tribe of beetles. Among birds, the 
shrike, thrush, warbler, chatterer, and flycatcher repre- 
sent the five families of the tribe Dentirostres ; while 
Papilio; Nymphalis, Satyrus, Ericina, and Hesperia 
of Latreille give us the types of the families in the tribe 
of Diurnal butterflies (Diurnes). It is essential here 
to remark, that the names of all families are terminated 
in -ides, as Papiliomcke, NymphaKd^, &c.: a plan of 
nomenclature which at once points out the rank of the 
group bearing a name so constructed. 

(428.) Sub-families constitute the primary divisions 
of the last group ; and, although the term is but seldom 
met with in artificial systems, yet groups of this rank are 
every where to be found in nature. To account for this 
omission, it may be observed, that it is comparatively 
easy, in most cases, to know \hefamily to which a bird 
or an insect belongs, even at first sight, but to ascertain 
into which of the primary divisions of that family it na- 
turally enters, imposes the necessity of a severe and fre- 
quently a laborious analysis, which few have the leisure 
or the opportunity of undertaking. Hence, in describ- 
ing a new object, it is usual to designate the family, 
and then at once proceed to the genus (or rather the 

* Annulosa Javanica, p. 6. 


sub-genus) and the species. That there is an inter- 
vening description of circles, however, between families 
and genera, has been so extensively demonstrated in 
ornithology that the matter has been set at rest, for it 
cannot be supposed for a moment that such groups 
should exist in, comparatively, so small a class as that 
of Aves, and yet not among true insects, whose numbers 
exceed those of birds, as much, probably, as in the pro- 
portion of twelve to one. Following our plan of giving 
examples, we may cite the divisions of the two families 
of shrikes and thrushes (418.) as so many sub-families, 
the genera there named being only typical examples. 
If the student wishes to see the demonstration of one 
of these sub-families, the Myotherinee, or ant thrushes, 
he will find their analysis detailed at some length in 
" Northern Zoology," p. 168., and also that of the sub- 
family PiciancB, or the pre-eminently typical wood- 
peckers, at p. 300. of the same volume. Names desig- 
nating this description of group are made to terminate in 
-inae, as a ready mark of distinction from such as, ending 
in -idse, indicate the names of families. 

(429.) We now come to Genera, of which more de- 
finitions have been given than of any other group in 
nature. It is quite unnecessary to repeat, in this place, 
the various and conflicting opinions of those who by 
supposing there are no really definite groups in the cre- 
ation affix to the term a meaning either so vague or 
so circumscribed as to leave every one at liberty to put 
their own interpretation upon the alleged definition. 
A genus, by the old writers, was the first assembling to- 
gether of species ; but no fixed rules were laid down for 
determining what degree of variation, among these spe- 
cies, would exclude them from being ranked under one 
generic name, or, if laid down, they were so frequently 
violated,' that, in process of time, the original type seems 
to have been lost sight of, and a host of other species 
became associated with it, which frequently bore but a 
mere outward or remote resemblance thereto. Do what 
we will to define a genus, or, in fact, any other 


group, we shall never succeed, unless that definition is 
so constructed that it becomes definite, that itmust have 
certain assigned characters,, and that these characters, 
under different modifications,, will be found in all other 
genera. Mr. MacLeay, no doubt, was impressed with this 
conviction, for he was the first who restricted a genus to 
an assemblage of species, in which five distinct modifi- 
cations of form were discoverable, and which he further 
illustrated by showing their actual existence in the genera 
Phcenius and Scarabceus. Now, as this was the first de- 
finite explanation of a genus, we are surely bound to adopt 
it, not only as emanating from our learned countryman, 
but because, by rejecting this definition, and applying the 
term to another description of groups, we perpetuate a 
confusion of terms, without gaining a single advantage. 
Let every one be at liberty to call an insect or a bird by 
its generic or its sub-generic name ; but let not these 
two sorts of groups be misnamed and lost sight of, even 
in our artificial systems, for they cannot be so overlooked 
in any natural arrangement, without a direct violation 
of that uniformity and consistency which are absolutely 
essential to such arrangements. A genus, like every 
other natural group, must, of course, be circular in 
its affinities, and it must likewise contain within itself 
certain types or divisions which shall correspond with or 
represent those of all other natural genera. We have just 
cited the examples that have been given of natural 
genera among the coleopterous insects; and in the " Zoo- 
logical Illustrations*" the reader will find another, 
taken from the lepidopterous order. The genus in 
question is that of Polyommatus, one of the most in- 
teresting to British entomologists, as containing all the 
beautiful little blue butterflies of our meadows. Up to 
this time these are the only genera in entomology which 
have been so verified. 

(430.) Sub-genera are the leading types or divisions 
just spoken of, as belonging to a genus. It is very 
seldom they are so 'numerous in species that their cir- 

* Second series, Plate 132. 


cularity can be traced ; but in some few instances this 
can be done : we are, therefore, justified in believing 
they would invariably possess this property, were they, 
in all instances, equally abundant in species. Sub- 
genera thus become the lowest circular groups in nature, 
or, in other words, they are the first assembling together 
of species : all of which belong to the same type of form- 
ation. Nearly all the modern genera are, therefore, in 
fact, sub-genera, because every deviation from a type of 
formation is made into fc a genus ;" but no effort is made 
to assemble these types under those intervening groups, 
which come between genera and families. It has never- 
theless been repeatedly proved to demonstration that two 
intervening circular groups do actually exist in nature ; 
and which, as already stated, are bond fide genera and 
sub-families. The modern practice of defining and naming 
these sub -genera is very useful, provided their true dis- 
tinctions are conspicuously noted ; but, as the theory of 
definite variation (415.) has hitherto received no atten- 
tion, at least in entomology, it frequently happens that 
the essential characters are overlooked, and the unimport- 
ant ones brought forward. As an example of sub-genera 
really natural, we must refer to the f( Zoological Illus- 
trations," where the reader will find all those of the 
genus Polyommatus described and figured. It will be fur- 
ther remarked, that these sub-genera are to be regulated 
in their selection by the same laws as are applicable 
to higher groups. Their individual circularity, indeed, 
cannot be always Jtraced, unless they are united in their 
proper genus, as in Polyommatus; they will then re- 
present all the higher divisions of their own order. The 
sub-genus Polyommatus, for instance, stands at the head, 
as representing Papilio Lath. Next follows Lycana, 
or the copper butterflies, united most completely to the 
last, and representing Nymphalis Lath. Na'is comes 
next, as typical of the Hesperidee. Lucia represents the 
Erycinidce; and Erina brings us again to Polyommatus, 
with which it not only unites, but represents in itself 
the Satyridce. Now, each of these, according to the 


nomenclature of the " Horae Entomologicse " and the 
" Northern Zoology/' are strictly sub-genera. They are 
no t each taken by itself circular,, because they have 
really but a few species ; or, what is the same thing 
to the present question, we are only acquainted with a 
few species ; but, taken collectively, they form a cir- 
cular group, or, in other words, a genus, such as we 
have here defined. These are examples of sub-genera 
which are not in themselves circular ; but, from recent 
researches into the large and diversified assemblage of 
forms constituting the genus Papilio of Latreille, we 
feel thoroughly persuaded that, where there is a great 
numerical preponderance, sub-genera are not only circu- 
lar, but that they contain their own internal types, as 
definitely and perfectly as do genera and all higher 
groups. This latter question we shall probably inves- 
tigate in its proper place. In the mean time, having 
now enumerated all the ranks and degrees of circular 
groups yet detected, we shall proceed to make a few 
concluding observations upon species and their varieties. 
(431.) A Species, in the usual acceptation of the term, 
is an animal which, in a state of nature, is distinguished 
by certain peculiarities of form, size, colour, or other cir- 
cumstances, from another animal. It propagates, " after 
its kind," individuals perfectly resembling the parent : 
its peculiarities, therefore, are permanent. When ani- 
mals are domesticated, the changes of life, of food, and 
frequently of country, which they undergo, are known to 
have the effect of altering and destroying those marks 
by which, in a state of nature, they were always distin- 
guished. We see this in all the domestic quadrupeds and 
birds, which, when under the dominion of man, diverge, 
as it were, into endless variety. The discrimination of 
species, in many instances, requires a very practised 
eye ; but where, on the other hand, there is an obvious 
difference in colour, size, markings, &c., the task be- 
comes easy. Sometimes all the species of a whole 
genus will be entirely black, as in the Drongo shrikes 
(Edolius'), and in many of those composing the family 


of Carabidce : these, therefore, must be examined with 
more attention. The size of the bill, and the relative 
length of the quill-feathers, among birds, will often, in 
the absence of other information, decide the question. 
The pattern, form, &c. of the rows of punctures in the 
wing-covers of beetles is also a good criterion. A smooth 
and a hairy beetle can never be of the same species. 
The young entomologist will do well to collect together 
all the specimens he meets with, in his walks, of the 
Linnaean genus Carabus, and then sit down, and endea- 
vour to make out how the different sorts of all those 
which may be of a black colour can be distinguished. This 
plan will greatly awaken his powers of observation ; 
and he will then be surprised to find how many of those 
he first thought were the same, are really different. 
The species, in some genera, much more closely resemble 
each other than in others. Thus, among shells, the 
different tellens (TellincR) are only to be known by nice 
distinctions in their form and sculpture, that is, the 
indented or elevated marks or strife upon their valves. 
These shells are further remarkable for the great variety 
they exhibit in their colours : for, of the same species, 
it will sometimes happen that scarcely two individuals 
will be of the same tint. Colour, moreover, is a most 
uncertain guide for distinguishing the pectens. Our 
common English species varies between every shade of 
dark brown, rich orange, pink, and pure white. The 
form and sculpture, however, in all these varieties, are 
the same j but the most difficult of all shells to cha- 
racterise are those of the oyster family, where even the 
shape varies in different individuals. Lepidopterous 
insects are best distinguished by their markings, as the 
form, number, and relative disposition of their bands 
and spots, both on the upper and under surface of their 
wings. Sometimes the upper surface of the greater 
number (as in the Satyridce) will be uniform brown ; 
while in other groups, as the genera Thecla and Polyom- 
matus, the prevalent colour will be blue. In all these, 
however, the under sides are variegated in a beautiful 


manner,, either with eyelike spots,, or delicate stripes, so 
that the species can be easily detected. As what we have 
already said,, on this subject is intelligible even to the 
student, there seems no occasion to dwell further upon 
the distinctions of Species. 

(432.) Varieties, in a state of nature, have their 
origin from some unusual, local, or accidental cause, 
either in their birth, their situation, or their food : they 
do not perpetuate the peculiarities they possess ; but, 
the causes being removed, nature returns again, as it 
were, to her original type. Scanty food produces dwarfs, 
so also does unusual heat or cold with insects removed 
from that temperature most congenial to their consti- 
tution. Varieties, generally speaking, are rare, even 
where the species from which they vary are common. 
As they are evanescent, so they need hardly be described, 
except to illustrate something more than the bare fact. 

(433.) We have now laid before the young natu- 
ralist the essence of those general principles which have 
been more fully and more scientifically discussed in a 
former part of this volume. He may possibly be dis- 
posed to question the necessity of grounding himself in 
this sort of information, but he may rest assured that 
it will give to his more immediate pursuits, and to his 
future progress, a degree of interest and of facility which 
no other plan of study can produce. The more tho- 
roughly we understand the groundwork of any depart- 
ment of knowledge, the more rapid will be our subsequent 
advancement in its details. These preliminary chap- 
ters, on the principles of his science, should therefore 
be perused until their substance is impressed upon the 
memory; he will then be better qualified to understand, 
and to be interested in, the more enlarged views already 
taken of the subject : while the amateur, not desiring to 
be profoundly versed in the philosophy of that which is 
to him a mere recreation or amusement, may at once 
proceed to the following chapter. 




(434.) HONEST scholar, as Izaak Walton says, I shall 
now throw aside the professor's gown, with which the 
critics have bedecked me, and appear in my every-day 
suit. Let us talk of science as of ordinary matters ; 
and, although I cannot conduct you by a short cut to 
what I have been some thirty years in learning, I may 
still make the way smoother and easier than if you were 
left to pore over strange phrases and unknown circles. 
Think yourself fortunate, by the way, in having a master 
of any sort. When I first began to collect shells and 
catch insects, the only guides we then had were te Da, 
Costa's Conchology," and " Yeates's Entomology;" 
neither of these worthies having any more idea about 
analogy and affinity than I had myself. Times, you 
see, are strangely changed. Now you may choose out 
of twenty systems ; and, if you believe a modern pro- 
fessor, may become a (C very good naturalist," after 
taking " two or three walks in the country." This, to 
be sure, is a most royal, or rather a rail-road, way to 
knowledge ; but who will believe it is the right one ? 
Not you, at least, if you think me worthy of being your 
master. Remember that knowledge implies study ; and 
that both are requisite to make a good pin, as well as 
a good naturalist. "Alphabets" are very useful; but 
of what service are letters if they do not teach us words? 
and what are words without sentences ? So with natural 
history. To get a few Latin names by heart is like 
learning a few letters ; any body can do this. Get some 
knowledge, therefore, of first principles ; and, after read- 


ing the last chapter two or three times over, look upon 
this as a conversation between us. 

(435.) Whatever may be the department of nature 
you feel a predilection for studying, you will find that 
some acquaintance with the general arrangement of that 
class or division of which it forms a part will not only 
be interesting, but highly useful. If, for instance, at- 
tracted by the beauty of their plumage, and by the 
interest which an observance of their manners gives to 
a country walk, you fix your choice upon birds, you 
should begin with understanding what relation they bear 
to other vertebrated animals ; then, upon looking to the 
first great divisions of ornithology, you will perceive 
that the order of Natatores, or swimmers, by constantly 
living in the water, represent fishes; the Grallatores, or 
waders, whose habits lead them as much to the land as 
to the water, typify the frogs and other amphibia ; 
while the gallinaceous birds, forming the order Rasores, 
and comprising the peacocks, fowls, pheasants, &c., all 
distinguished by an uncommon length of tail, find their 
prototypes among the lizards, crocodiles, and other 
groups of the order of reptiles. Eagles and vultures, by 
masticating or tearing their food, resemble quadrupeds ; 
while the great order of Insessores, or perchers, com- 
prehending the most perfectly formed of the feathered 
creation, comprise, of course, the most perfectly organised 
birds. You thus gain, with very little trouble, a general 
acquaintance with the rank or relations of your favour- 
ites, without entering into the further details of those 
groups with which you compare it. There are, indeed_, 
few of the large divisions of zoology wherein, at pre- 
sent, this can be done ; but a general acquaintance with 
the more obvious analogies is all that we can be supposed 
to recommend. 

(436.) You may next proceed to acquire an insight 
into the primary groups, and to understand upon what 
leading characters they are chiefly founded. Should 
you be desirous of studying Entomology, a general 
acquaintance with the manner in which the class 


Annulosa is divided, will point out the distinction of true 
insects from such as are destitute of wings j and you will 
be in no danger of referring an apterous moth or a 
female glowworm to a wrong order. Proceed in this 
manner, gradually entering into further details as you 
approach that particular portion which you intend to 
investigate. The study of any one of the great divi- 
sions of annulose animals is ample occupation for a 
life; and the more you restrict your attention to one 
department, the more will you ultimately rejoice at 
your forbearance, in not wandering over the tempting 
but boundless fields of nature. 

(437.) To discover the name of a species is the 
ultimate object which all amateurs, and many professed 
naturalists, have in view. To do this, by merely turn- 
ing over the plates of a zoological work, is manifestly a 
short and easy road to knowledge ; but the superficial 
acquaintance thus obtained, however convenient and 
useful upon many occasions, will not satisfy the true 
naturalist. Hence, he will begin by studying the com- 
position of groups, before he descends into further 
details ; and this, indeed, is inevitable, whether the 
student willingly consents or not. He finds, for instance, 
a beetle, and he wishes to know its name. He must 
therefore first ascertain to which of the great divisions 
of insects it belongs ; the winged (Ptilota) or the wing- 
less (Aptera) : but this is not enough, he finds there are 
several orders in each of these great divisions, and he 
is detained in his search, until he discovers to which of 
these orders his insect belongs. He finds that all such 
as have hard wing-covers come under the order Coleop- 
tera. He may possibly think his search is now draw- 
ing to a conclusion, but he will be very much deceived. 
He has to compare his insect with the characters of all 
the different tribes, families, and genera of this order. 
If, in the present paucity of good elementary books, he 
succeeds so far as to ascertain the genus of his insect, 
he may consider himself very fortunate. One more trial, 
and he comes to the species. Now it is quite evident 

A A 2 


that, if he first makes himself acquainted with the lead- 
ing characters of the great or primary divisions of 
entomology., he will be at once prepared to commence 
this search among the families or the sub-families,, and 
thus abridge a great part of his labour. The adage 
says, the longest way at first is the nearest at last ; and 
so the beginner will find in the case we have just 
instanced. To learn names by rote is parrot-like ; it 
farther partakes of the scansorial nature, by teaching 
him to be climbing over the wall, instead of pursuing 
the regular road to knowledge. 

(438.) Distinguishing names have been assigned to 
the study of distinct portions of the animal kingdom, 
and are employed to designate its different branches. 
The study of the Mammalia, or quadrupeds has been 
termed Mammalogy, that of birds Ornithology, that of 
reptiles Erpetology, and that of fishes Ichthyology, 
Entomology has been usually applied to the study of all 
the annulose class, although it might be as well, per- 
haps, were it limited to true insects. Conchology, in like 
manner, designates the study of shell-fish. The studies 
of the radiated and of the polypous animals have not yet 
received distinguishing names. The use of these terms 
is of much convenience, and will be employed in the 
following hints. 

(439.) The study of quadrupeds, although they form 
the most important division of all animals, is not 
particularly inviting. Those of our own country are 
very few, and come not daily before us ; while those of 
other countries are but thinly scattered in public 
museums, or are merely seen, in a state of confine- 
ment, in travelling menageries or zoological gardens. 
The species, moreover, from their comparative fewness, 
have been better investigated and are more thoroughly 
known, than those of any other class. Travellers, or 
those who reside out of Europe, may yet make im- 
portant discoveries, both as to new species, or by supply- 
ing information on the natural habits of such as are 
already known. The latter, indeed, even as regards 


our native quadrupeds, is a wide and much-neglected 
field for interesting observation, carrying with it a 
degree of popular information, which interests both the 
man of science and the general reader. 

(440.) There is no work in our language on the na- 
tural arrangement of quadrupeds ; and all those which 
are intended to describe the species, are expensive. The 
best arrangement you can at present follow is that of 
Cuvier's " Animal Kingdom." Keep it as a book 
of reference ; as such it is invaluable : but, if you 
wish to follow up the views exhibited in this volume, 
the less you burthen your memory with the details 
of the arrangement in the " Regne Animal," the better. 
Quadrupeds may probably form the next volume of 
this series : but, if you are in a hurry, procure Cuvier ; 
for to him I shall very frequently refer. As for spe- 
cies, I am really unprepared to say which of the many 
cheap compilations now publishing is the best. Be- 
wick's quadrupeds, however, is a standard book, not- 
withstanding its obsolete names and occasional errors. 
Lesson's fc Manuel," in French, is useful; but Desmarest 
much better. Of works with coloured figures, several 
have been published on the Continent, particularly in 
France ; but they are, of course, partial in their range, 
and very expensive. One of these, by Professor Tem- 
minck *, however, is within a moderate sum, and is ab- 
solutely essential to every one who studies mammalogy. 
You will perceive that upon the teeth of quadrupeds 
most of the modern arrangements are founded ; and as 
the different forms of these organs are often very difficult 
to be expressed by words, yet may be rendered imme- 
diately intelligible by figures, I should recommend your 
procuring the valuable octavo volume of Frederick 
Cuvier, brother to the great anatomist, where you will 
find nearly all the modern genera illustrated by ad- 
mirable plates of their teeth, exhibited in different posi- 

* Temminck, Monographes de Mammalogie, ou Descriptions de quel- 
ques Genres de Mammiferes dont les Species ont t6 observes dans les 
differens Musees de 1'Europe. 1 vol. 4to. in seven numbers. 

A A 3 


tions. Mr. Wood has announced the commencement 
of a general work upon quadrupeds, but I have not yet 
had the opportunity of seeing the first number. 

(441.) No private individual ever thinks of making 
a collection of these animals, for a moderate number 
would fill a house : but a collection of their skulls is 
within compass, and is both instructive and interesting. 
The skulls, for instance, of a monkey, a cat, a dolphin 
or porpoise, a rabbit or hare, and a horse or sheep, will 
give you the types of the leading divisions of this class, and 
these are such common animals, that they can be easily 
procured. Study the differences they exhibit, with a good 
elementary book before you, and you will learn more 
about them, in half an hour, than if you read their details 
in a book for half a day. This is the case in every 
department, and shows the real use of collections ; you 
read specimens as you would a book, with this in- 
calculable advantage, that the eye at once embraces all 
the information which it will take a page to describe. 

(442.) Ornithology is a very delightful branch, for 
it concerns the most elegant of those animals which 
move about us ; and which attract our attention, whether 
we will or no, either by flitting before our path, singing 
their pretty song, or coming about our dwellings. Thus 
the study of our native birds may be prosecuted by 
all who live in the country : their acquisition, which 
leads to healthy exercise, is comparatively easy, and 
their preservation neither difficult nor expensive. If you 
reside in foreign countries, the study of these lovely 
and elegant creatures opens a field for much discovery ; 
while, if you choose to increase your collection of native 
birds by purchasing foreign ones, their price on the 
average is very moderate. In a few years, with the 
requisite knowledge, you may form a very valuable 

(443.) The necessity of acquiring a general knowledge 
of large groups is especially requisite if you study birds. 
You will very soon understand the difference between a 
foot formed for swimming, another constructed for 



wading, a third for scratching and walking ; and so on. 
You will thus be able to decide, at a glance, whether a 
bird belongs to the typical, the sub-typical, or the aber- 
rant orders ; and these are the first divisions. If its 
claws or talons are hooked and retractile, like those of a 
cat, you may be sure it belongs to the order Raptores, 
(Jig. 56.) a, or birds of prey ; if its hind toe is on a 

level with the others, so as to rest upon the ground with 
them, and its claws are merely curved, and are not re- 
tractile, you may conclude it is of the order of perchers 
(Insessores) b while, if the hind toe is wanting, or is 
placed high up on the heel, you may feel assured that 
the species belongs tp one of the three aberrant groups, 
composed of the gallinaceous (Rasores} c, the wading 
(Grallatores) d, and the swimming tribes (Natatores] e. 
I shall now give you a short explanation of these pri- 
mary divisions. 

(444.) In the investigation of the rapacious order you 
will have no difficulty. A vulture, a hawk, and an owl, 
gives you a perfect idea of the Vulturidce, the Falconida, 
and the Strigida: these are the only great divisions yet 
known, and they follow each other in beautiful succession. 
The family of vultures is so small, that you will have 
no great trouble in ascertaining the name of a species, by 
the help of some of the general works upon birds I shall 
presently name. You will also find a valuable paper 
upon them by Mr. Vigors, in the Zoological Journal.* 

* Vol. ii. 
A A 4 


But if you wish to investigate the species of the next 
family (Falconidce), you will be sadly perplexed. It 
will be a great point gained, however, if you know the 
habitat or country of your specimens, since this know- 
ledge will very much abridge your labour. For the 
European species, Temminck's " Manuel " is an autho- 
rity which may be looked upon as almost oracular; while 
for those of Britain, Mr. Selby's work is quite sufficient. 
The volumes of the prince of Musignano, Wilson, and 
ff Northern Zoology," must be consulted for those of 
North America ; Spix for those of Brazil ; while Le 
Vaillant is an oracle upon those of Southern Africa. 
Unluckily, nearly all these are expensive books; so that, 
until their contents are collected and digested into one, 
you will always be in doubt whether a species is new or 
old. Upon the whole, perhaps, the two volumes of the or- 
nithological portion of the <c Encyclopedie Methodique," 
by Vieillot, will be the best manual you can have ; and 
they may be purchased in Paris, or of any of the foreign 
booksellers in London, without the third volume of 
plates, which are not only expensive, but absolute ca- 
ricatures. Birds of prey, when young, have a plumage 
very different from that which they acquire in adult age ; 
and that of the females, as in other birds, is sometimes 
different from the males. It will require a certain de- 
gree of tact (only to be got by experience) to distinguish 
a young from an adult falcon ; but, by examining the 
specimens of these birds in the British or any other 
museum, you will soon get some ideas on this point. 
M. Temminck, who excels all other ornithologists of 
the day in a practical knowledge of this intricate family, 
has figured many of the foreign species in his f ' Planches 
Cojorees ; " all which are incorporated in the ' ' Traite 
d'Ornithologie" of Lesson. The species of owls are as 
difficult to determine as the falcons, and you must con- 
sult for them the same authors. 

(44-5.) Next come the order of Insessores, or perching 
birds, and this order is larger than all the others put 
together ; hence the groups belonging to it are much 


varied. You may perhaps be at a loss to comprehend 
how a swallow, a humming-bird,, and a crow,, can belong 
to the same order. But look to the characters of the 
order. All birds having their hind toe or toes placed 
upon a level with the ground, are perchers, provided, of 
course,, that the claws are not retractile ; for this latter 
circumstance distinguishes the birds of prey. You have, 
therefore, only to see if the foot of a swallow,, humming- 
bird, and crow, are so formed : this is your first point 
to ascertain. Other distinctions follow in their proper 
order. Having, therefore, ascertained this primary cha- 
racter, you next look to the bill, the foot, and the claws. 
If the bird before you has the upper mandible distinctly 
notched, the legs of moderate length, and the toes three 
before and one behind, you may conclude at once that 
it belongs to the tribe of Dentirostres. If, on the con- 
trary, you see that the bill is very slightly, if at all, 
notched near the end, but that the feet are still mode- 
rately long, as in the crow or sparrow, you have the 
general characters of the Conirostres. All other birds 
(and they amount to many hundreds) which do not pos- 
sess these characters, whatever their general appearance 
may be, you may safely throw out of these two prin- 
cipal and typical tribes. You will find that their legs 
are much shorter ; that their toes are either united at 
their base, or placed two and two ; and that their bill 
is without a notch : they, consequently, belong to the 
large aberrant circle of the Curtipedes, or short-footed 

(446.) Here, however, you will begin to see that 
nature's groups cannot be rigorously defined: and 
this f act will become more and more apparent, in pro- 
portion as you proceed into details. It is one of the 
chief, or typical, distinctions of the Dentirostres to have 



istinctly notched ; but this character disappears 

in somefof the titmice (Parus), and is not perceptible 
in all tlie mock-birds (Orpheus). The long-legged 
thrushes (Crateropodina) have the bill entire. All these 
groups, icvertheless, have the feet so long, and so per- 


fectly formed, that you can have no hesitation in ex- 
cluding them from the Curtipedes; while their compressed 
bill, destitute of that thickened, conic form which be- 
longs to the Conirostres, indicates, on the other hand, 
that they still form a part of the Dentirostres. Again, if 
we were merely to judge of the natural station of the 
short-legged thrushes {Brachypodinai), the orioles (On'o- 
Una), or the flycatchers (Todidce), by the length of 
their feet, we should class them in the order Curtipedes : 
but then, the very distinct manner in which their bills 
are notched must be taken into consideration ; and, as 
this character is so very conspicuous, it is sufficient to 
point out that they are of the tooth-billed families, not- 
withstanding their short feet : they are, in fact, aber- 
rant groups ; and all the aberrant groups have only 
some, not all, of the typical characters just as a horn- 
less cow is still a cow, although it has no horns. 

(447.) Having now acquired a general idea of the 
Dentirostral division as a whole, read over the cha- 
racters of the families, and learn their chief distinctions. 
If you could get the skins of a shrike, thrush, warbler, 
chatterer, and flycatcher, you would then have examples 
before you of each family, and might compare them 
with what you read of each. For the present, I must 
refer you, for this information, to e( Northern Zoology," 
where a good deal is said about each of these families : 
but, when I finish the ornithological volume of this 
series, you will want no other introduction to my views 
of arrangement. From the families you proceed, of 
course, to the genera and the sub-genera; thus gradually 
descending from one circle to another, and getting 
general ideas on the nature of each ; without, however, 
endeavouring to commit to memory, as you would do a 
lesson, all that you read. 

(448.) But nothing will make this plan of proceeding 
more intelligible to you than taking an example. Suppose, 
therefore, we select the common blue titmouse (Parus 
CfBruleus L.), as a bird whose family, genus, and species 
you wish to make out. First, you look to the primary 


divisions of birds, to see under which it will come. In 
this there is no difficulty. The structure of its toes, 
three before and one behind ; and this latter resting 
on the same level with the others, shows at once that 
it belongs to the order of Insessores, or perchers. Now, 
as this order is again divided, you carefully look over 
the next set of divisions, namely, the Dentirostres, or 
toothed-billed ; the Conirostres, or conic-billed ; the 
Scansores, or climbers ; the Tenuirostres, or honey- 
suckers j and the Fissirostres, or swallows. Now, here 
perhaps, you will have some difficulty in deciding 
whether your bird belongs to the Conirostres or the 
Dentirostres ; because, in some measure, it unites the 
characters of the two. Its somewhat conic bill, with- 
out a notch, seems at variance with one of the chief 
characters of the Dentirostres; but then its small size, 
animal food, sharp curved claws, and climbing toes, are 
in its favour ; and, therefore, the preponderance of its 
characters decides the question. At the same time, you 
perceive that, as it has not all the dentirostral characters, 
it must belong to one of the aberrant divisions ; in other 
words, to the warblers. To the family of Sylviadce you 
accordingly turn : and here you find a division (or sub- 
family) called Parlance, characterised by their facility 
of climbing, a habit which exactly tallies with your bird. 
To this division, therefore, you refer ; and there the very 
first genus you meet with is Parus, defined as having 
a compressed conic entire bill, strong feet, inner toe 
shorter than the outer, long, curved, and sharp hind 
claw, and wings with the third, fourth, and fifth quills of 
equal length ; all this answering precisely to the bird 
before you. All that now remains is to ascertain the 
species, which depends upon the colour of the plumage. 
Thus, you have traced your bird through the order, 
tribe, family, sub-family, and genus to which it belongs; 
and, having found its specific and common name, you 
may read its particular history in any of the authors who 
have written upon the species. 

(449.) Such is the plan of study and mode of investi- 


gation I should recommend you to pursue. It is true that, 
knowing the bird we have been speaking about was a 
titmouse, you might have saved yourself all this trouble, 
and have turned at once to the page of the book wherein 
you thought it might be described. This mode of pro- 
ceeding will be all very well, when you are so far ad- 
vanced as to know by heart the chief divisions ; but 
if you begin in this way, your reason and observation 
will not be called into exercise ; you will overlook 
things apparently trivial, but upon which a great deal 
depends. You will, in fact, learn your lesson like a 
parrot, without being able to assign reasons when your 
book is taken from you. 

(450.) Here, then, is an example of the mode in 
which you should proceed, not only in ornithology, but 
in every other branch. It is quite useless to multiply 
instances in entomology, conchology, or any of the 
other departments. The names only would differ, the 
principles would be precisely the same. Besides, if you 
wish to follow my plan of study, you must wait until 
the volumes, to which I must inevitably refer you, are 
published. If you are impatient, you may, however, 
in the mean time, pursue this plan with Linnaeus, Tem- 
minck, or on any other of the artificial systems ; although 
there is great fear that, as my scholar, having to unlearn 
a good deal of what you will there learn, your ideas at 
first will become confused, and you will be less pre- 
pared to receive instruction in the system you ultimately 
intend to follow, than if you kept your mind free from 
different impressions. Be this, however, as it may, the 
plan of study I have chalked out is equally applicable 
to any system, no matter who is the expositor ; and I 
shall end with this advice, Follow that arrangement 
which is most agreeable to what you see in nature, and 
most conducive to exhibit the infinite beauty of that 
system, whatever it be, which must belong to the har- 
monious plan of an OMNIPOTENT CREATOR. 



ABERRANT circles explained, 323. 
328. Groups, characters of, 249. 
Various, compared, 253. 
Accentor modularis, 289. . 
Acrita, their diversity explained, 


Affinity, three relations of, 233. 
African animals in general, 91. 
America, temperate, 62. 
American animals generally, 5b. 
Amphrisius Priamus, 54. 
Analogical tables : Insessores and 
Aves, 231. Raptores and Inses- 
sores, 239. Tenuirostres and 
Conirostres, 297, 298. Merulidaa 
and Aves, 332. 

Analogical tests of circles, 333. 
Analogies, different modes of stat- 
ine 296. True and false, 241. 
Of 'the Merulidae, 3^2 
Analogy, theory ot, 288. -96. 
Analogy and affinity illustrated, 

Animal geography, different opi- 
nions upon, 4. First divisions 

Anfm^is of Europe, 18. Asia, 43. 
Africa, 91. America, oo. Aus- 

Ants'S Africa, 98.100. America, 

Aquatic or natatorial forms, 249. 

Arctic America, 58. 

Arctic Europe, 30. 

Arctic regions, animals of, I7- 20. 

Aristotle, system of, 134. 

Artificial systems, 125. 

Australian animals generally, 115 


Binary systems, 193. 

Birds, class of, illustrated, 237. 

Birds of Europe, 19. Feet of th 

Braz4,gener*l view of, 73. Quadru 

peds of, 77. Birds of, 80. Rep. 
tiles of, S3. Insects of, 84. Shells 
of, 88. 


Camelopardalis, two species of, 95. 
Central Asia, 46. 
Central Europe, animals ot, 33. 
Central group of Fries, 216. 
Characters of species, 274. 
Chilopoda and Thysanura, 217. 
Circular arrangement of the animal 
kingdom, 203. Theory explained, 
202. 320. 

Circular arrangement of the class 

Aves and genus Parus, 293. La- 

niadae and Merulidae, 234. Meru- 

lidse, 331. 

Classification, first laws of natural, 

Collecting, plans for, recommended, 

310. Hints for, 315. 
Colour of species, 279. 
Comparison of groups, 330. 
Creation must have a plan, 319. 
Crow, qualities of, 243. 
Cuvier, system of, 170. 


De Geer, system of, 187. 

Denomination of groups, 325. 

Dentirostral birds, remarks upon, 

Diagrams of the first divisions of a 
circle, 227. Of the animal king- 
dom, 203. Of the class Aves and 
genus Parus, 293. Laniadae and 
the Merulidae, 234. Merulidae, 


Dichotomous systems, 193. 
Divisions of a circle, 227. 322. 
Dodo of Madagascar, 112. 

Entomology of tropiral Africa, 98. 
Equinoctial Africa, t6. 



European animals. 1. 
External affinities, 235. 


Fabricius, system of, 189. 
Facts, the observation of, 309. 
False circles, 3 . 

Familiar conversation with begin- 
ners, 353. 

Field naturalist's occupations, 301. 
First principles to be learned, 318. 
Fries, system of, 213. 


Genera of African animals, 112. 
Asiatic animals, 55. American 
animals, 89. Australian animals, 
120. European animals, 42. 

Genus, a natural, illustrated, 210. 
Meaning of the term, 347. 

Group, meaning of the term, 326. 

Groups, primary divisions of cir- 
cular, 2^5. 


Harpula vexillum, rank of, 273. 
Hedge-sparrow, its natural and ana- 
logical characters, 290. 
Hermann, 198. 


Illiger, system of, 183. 


Kingdoms, the three, of nature, 

Lamarck, system of, 199. 

Laniadffi, false circles of, 335. 338. 
True circle of, 338. 

Latreille, system of, 192. 

Laws, primary, of the natural sys- 
tem, 224. 

Leach, system of, 19?. 

Linnaeus, system of, 140. 

Lions, different species of, 284. Of 
Africa, 49. 


MacLsay, system of, 201. 214. 
Madagascar, animals of, 110. 
Man, variations of, 15. 
Memory to be exercised, 311. 

Merulida?, the circle of the, 331.339. 
Mexican birds, 70. 
Mexico, animals of, 68. 
Myotherinas, circle of, 340. 

Names of divisions in the animal 

kingdom, 343. 

Natatorial type described, 249. 
Natural system, the primary laws, 

Natural systems, requisites of, 128. 


Naturalists, two classes of, 301. 
New Guinea, 117. 
New Holland, 118. 
Newman, Mr., theory, 220. 
Northern Africa, 92. 
Northern Asia, 45. 
Nycthemerus pictus and argentatus, 


Observation, accurate, recommend- 
ed, 305 

Orders of birds, 344. 

Ornithology, plan for studying, 358. 
Books upon, 359. Of Eurooe, 

Ox and the bison, 247. 


Pacific Islands, 119. 
Parianse, exposition of the, 292. 
Parus biarmicus, rank of, 271. 
Parus Cferuleus, 362. 
Perseverance recommended, 307. 
Petalocerous beetles, the two first 

groups, 248. 

Podalirius Machaon, rank of, 271. 
Polyommatus, the division of, 349. 
Prichard's, Dr., theory, 5. 14. 
Primary types of nature, 241. 
Properties of natural groups, 32-1. 


Quadrupeds, works upon, 357. 
Quadrupeds of Europe, 32. 
Qualifications of a naturalist, 305. 
Quinary system explained, 205. 

Rank of groups, 343. 

Ranks of natural groups, 367- 


Rasorial type described, 257. 
Representation, law of, 237. 241. 
289. Theory of, 298. 

Scaraba?us sacer, rank of, 273. 
Septenary and other systems, 221. 
Shells of Europe, 40. 
Smeathman on African insects, 99. 
Southern Africa, 100. Asia, 47. 

Europe, animals of, 35. 
Species, a, defined, 350. Characters 

of, 275, 
Study, a plan of, desirable, 310. Ge- 

neral plan of, 355. 
Subgenus, meaning of, 348. 
Sub-typical form described, 245. 
Suctorial type described, 254. 
System of nature, first laws of, 224. 
Systematic naturalist, objects of, 

Systems, artificial, the principal, 

Systems and methods, 122. Mixed, 

127. Natural and artificia', 124. 


Tables of the rank of groups, 271. 
273. Insessores and the class 
Aves, 231. Merulidas, or thrushes, 
331. Pariana?, 292. Raptores and 

Insessores, 239. Rasorial birds, 

Temminck, system of, 184. 

Tests of a natural grpup, 287. The 
circle of Merulidae, 332. 

Theory of representation, 237. 

Thysanura and Chilopoda, 217. 

Titmouse, blue, 362. 

Transportation of groups, 217. 296. 

Tropical America, 67. 72. 

Types of a typical circle, 243. Of 
an aberrant circle, 243. 

Typical and aberrant circles ex- 
plained, 323. 

Typical form defined, 242. 


Variation, principle of, 296. Theory 

of, 335. 337. 

Variety, a, defined, 352. 
Vertebrated animals, circle of, 320. 
Verification of a natural group, 

Vieillot, system of, 183. 


Willughby and Ray, system of, 

Woodpecker, qualities of, 243. 



Printed by A. SPOTTISWOODE, 







M.R.I.A. F.R.A.S. F.L.S. F.Z.S. Hon. F.C.P.S. &c. &c. 


















Printed by A. SPOTTISWOODE, 








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