If pushed to extremity, however, the pappan could not be otherwise than formidable; and one unfortunate man, who with a party was trying to catch one alive, lost two of his fingers, besides being severely bitten on the face, whilst the animal finally beat off his pursuers and escaped. When hunters wish to catch an adult, they cut down a circle of trees round the one on which he is seated, and then fell that also, and close before he can recover himself, and endeavour to bind him. The rude hut which they are stated to build in the trees would be more properly called a seat, or nest, for it has no roof or cover of any sort.
The facility with which they form this seat is curious; and I had an opportunity of seeing a wounded female weave the branches together, and seat herself in a minute. She afterwards received our fire without moving, and expired in her lofty abode, whence it cost us much trouble to dislodge her. The adult male I killed was seated lazily on a tree; and when approached only took the trouble to interpose the trunk between us, peeping at me and dodging as I dodged.
I hit him on the wrist, and he was afterwards despatched. The Walk of the Orang-utan. In locomotion the orang disdains the earth and perambulates the vernal terraces of the forest trees. Wallace, "to watch a mias orang-utan making his way leisurely through a forest.
He walks deliberately along some of the larger branches in the semi-erect attitude which the great length of his arms and the shortness of his legs cause him naturally to assume, and seems always to choose those branches which intermingle with an adjoining tree, on [Pg 14] approaching which he stretches out his long arms, and seizing the opposing boughs, grasps them together with both hands, seems to try their strength, and then deliberately swings himself across to the next branch on which he walks along as before.
He never jumps or springs, or even appears to hurry himself, and yet manages to get along almost as quickly as a person can run through the forest beneath. The Strength of the Orang-utan. Wallace, "all declare that the mias is never attacked by any animal in the forest, with two rare exceptions; and the accounts received of these are so curious that I give them nearly in the words of my informants, old Dyak Chiefs, who had lived all their lives in the places where the animal is most abundant.
The first of whom I enquired said, 'No animal is strong enough to hurt the mias, and the only creature he ever fights with is the crocodile. When there is no fruit in the jungle he goes to seek food on the banks of the river where there are plenty of young shoots that he likes, and fruits that grow close to the water. Then the crocodile sometimes tries to seize him, but the mias gets upon him and beats him with his hands and feet, and tears and kills him. He said the mias has no enemies, no animals dare attack it but the crocodile and the python.
He always kills the crocodile by main strength, standing upon it, and pulling open its jaws and ripping up its throat. If a python attacks a mias he seizes it with his hands and then bites it, and soon kills it. The mias is very strong; there is no animal in the jungle so strong as he. The Docility of the Orang-utan. Buffon thus describes an orang-utan that he saw: "His aspect was melancholy, his deportment grave, his movements regular, and [Pg 15] his disposition gentle.
Unlike the baboon or the monkey, who are fond of mischief, and only obedient through fear, a look kept him in awe; while the other animals could not be brought to obey without blows. He would present his hand to conduct the people who came to visit him, and walk as gravely along with them as if he had formed a part of the company.
I have seen him sit down at table, when he would unfold his towel, wipe his lips, use a spoon or a fork to carry his victuals to his mouth, pour his liquor into a glass, and make it touch that of a person who drank along with him. When invited to take tea, he would bring a cup and saucer, place them on the table, put in sugar, pour out the tea, and allow it to cool before he drank it. All this I have seen him perform without any other instigation than the signs or the command of his master, and often even of his own accord.
The Orang-utan's Intelligence. They ate at the same table with us. When they wanted anything, they, by certain signs, acquainted the cabin boy with their wishes; and if he did not bring it, they sometimes flew into a rage at him, bit him in the arm, and not unfrequently threw him down. The male fell sick during the voyage, and submitted to be treated like a human patient.
The disease being of an inflammatory nature, the surgeon bled him twice in the right arm; and when he afterwards felt himself indisposed, he used to hold out his arm to be bled, because he recollected that he found himself benefited by that operation on a former occasion. The Orang-utan's Affection. Tyson in describing one of the earliest specimens of the orang brought to London, says that it conceived a great affection for those with whom travel had made it familiar, frequently embracing them with the greatest tenderness.
A female orang belonging to a Dutch menagerie showed the greatest affection for her attendants, [Pg 16] giving unmistakable signs of her delight in their company and distress in their absence. She would often take the hay from her bed and spread it at her side and with anxious and obvious signs invite her keeper to sit beside her. Palavicini credited a pair of orangs which he had in his possession in with the still more remarkable quality in animals of bashfulness. It is said that the female would shrink from the too persistent gaze of a spectator, and throw herself into the arms of the male, hiding her face in his bosom.
The Maternal Instinct. In his "Marvels and Mysteries of Instinct," Mr. Garrett gives the following instance of maternal affection. In the ardour of the moment, and excited by the hope of possessing an animal so rare, the gentleman forgot everything but the prize before him, and urged on his men by the promise of a reward, should their exertions be successful. Thus stimulated they followed up the chase; the animal, encumbered by her young one, making prodigious efforts to gain the dense and intricate recesses of the wood, springing from tree to tree, and endeavouring by every means to elude her pursuers.
Several shots were fired, and at length one took fatal effect, the ball penetrating the right side of the chest. Feeling herself mortally wounded, and with the blood gushing from her mouth, she from that moment took no care of herself, but with a mother's feelings summoned up all her dying energies to save her young one. She threw it onwards over the tops of the trees, and from one branch to another, taking the most desperate leaps after it herself, and again facilitating its progress until, the intricacy of the forest being nearly gained, its chances of success were sure.
All this time the blood was flowing: but her efforts had been unabated, [Pg 17] and it was only when her young one was on the point of attaining to a place of safety that she rested on one of the topmost branches of a gigantic tree. True to her ruling passion, even in death, she turned for a moment to gaze after her young one, reeled, and fell head foremost to the ground. The sight was so touching that it called forth the sympathy of the whole party. The eagerness of the chase subsided; and so deep an impression did the maternal tenderness and unexpected self-devotion of the poor orang make on the gentleman alluded to, whose heart was indeed formed in 'nature's gentlest mould,' that he expressed the utmost remorse and pity, declaring that he would not go through the same scene again for all the world; nor did the tragical death of the animal cease to haunt his mind for many weeks, and he never afterwards recurred to it but with feelings of emotion.
The preserved skin is now in the Museum of the Zoological Society. Gibbons or Long Armed Apes. The gibbons belong to the genus Hylobates, of which there are several species. They are characterised by the ability to walk almost erect, hence the name Hylobates. They live in the tops of trees, in large companies and possess marvellous powers of locomotion, swinging themselves from tree to tree with such rapidity as to baffle all pursuit.
When on the ground they balance themselves in walking by holding their hands above their heads. The adult gibbon is about three feet in height and has a reach of arms of about six feet.
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The gibbon is tractable and capable of strong affection towards those who show it kindness. One of the Hoolock species petted by Dr. Burrough, became companionable and would sit at his master's breakfast-table, eat eggs and chicken, and drink tea and coffee with great propriety. Fruit was his favourite food, but insects were especially palatable to him and he was an expert in catching flies.
The siamang differs from the other species of long-armed apes in the formation of its [Pg 18] feet and in several other characteristics. It is, however, similar to the Hoolock in its amenity to kindness and its affection for its master, when brought under the influence of kindly treatment.
The gibbons have great strength in their lower limbs, whereby they are enabled to leap surprising distances. Duvaneel said he once saw one of these animals clear a space of forty feet, from the branch of a tree. George Bennet, in his "Wanderings," describes the action of a siamang that belonged to him, which having managed to free himself of his tether, proceeded to embrace the legs of the Malays whom he came across, until he discovered his former master, whereupon he climbed into the Malay's arms and hugged him with the tenderest affection.
Monkeys differ from the apes we have dealt with in the important characteristic, among others, of possessing tails. These vary in length from inches to feet, in some cases being considerably longer than the body and in others little more than stumps. They vary also in form, some being completely covered with hair, and others only partially so; some apparently useful only as ornaments, others being prehensile, that is capable of grasp, and giving their owners almost the advantage of a fifth limb.
The Sacred Monkeys. The protection these monkeys receive on account of the superstitions prevalent concerning them, leads to their large increase in numbers and to many inconveniences arising therefrom. It is said that if a traveller should be unfortunate enough to offend one of these animals he is likely enough to be followed by the whole party howling in a most hideous and discordant manner, and pelting him with any missiles upon which they can lay their hands. There are eighteen species of the Semnopithecus, all of which [Pg 19] are found in the East.
Of these the Entellus is one of the best known species. It is very susceptible to cold, and cannot live long in Europe. The Long-nosed Monkey. The Long-nosed Monkey Semnopithecus Larvatus belongs to this family and is distinguished, as its name implies, by the length of its proboscis. This animal is described by Wallace as about the size of a child of three years of age, while possessing a nose considerably longer than that of any human adult.
From the head to the tip of the tail the proboscis monkey measures about four feet and a half. It is sometimes called the Kahau from its cry which resembles the sound of that word. It is said to hold its nose when leaping to protect it from being injured by the branches of trees. The second genus of this family, of which there are numerous species, belongs to Africa. Cheek-pouched Monkeys. The Cheek-pouched Monkeys form the third family of the quadrumana. They include seven genera, and sixty or seventy species, of which five genera belong to Africa and two to Asia and to the Malay Islands.
The Green monkey and the Vervet monkey are those most commonly seen in England. One of the best known members of this family is the Baboon. The Baboon. The baboon is found in many parts of Africa, and one of its species in Arabia. It is of the genus cynocephalus , and some of its species attain to considerable size; the head and face of one species resembling those of a dog, it is sometimes called the dog-faced baboon. The baboon herds in large numbers, and is said to make apparently organized attacks upon villages during the [Pg 20] absence of the peasants in harvest time, placing sentinels on the look out, to apprise them of danger, while they visit the houses and take possession of all the food they can find.
They are cunning and powerful, and formidable in combat, but, greedy in habit, they eat to excess, and when gorged to satiety fall an easy prey to their enemies. In their wild state they feed on berries and bulbous roots, but when proximity to civilisation gives them wider opportunity, they show their appreciation of a more varied menu.
Among the more familiar species of the baboon are the Chackma , the Drill , the Mandrill , the Anubis , the Babouin , and the Sphinx , all of which belong to the West of Africa. The Arabian Baboon. The Arabian baboon is an animal with a history. It was worshipped by the Egyptians, who embalmed its body after death and set apart portions of their cemeteries for its use.
Sacred to Thoth, the Egyptian Hermes, the God of letters, the baboon sometimes represents that deity in Egyptian sculptures, where it is usually figured in a sitting posture, the attitude in which its body was generally embalmed. The baboon was also held as emblematic of the Moon, and honoured symbolically in other connections. It is commonly represented in judgment scenes of the dead with a pair of scales in front of it, Thoth being supposed to exercise important duties in the final judgment of men.
The baboon was held especially sacred at Hermopolis. According to Sir J.
Wilkinson the Egyptians trained baboons to useful offices, making them torch-bearers at their feasts and festivals. The Imitative Faculty of the Baboon. Like others of the monkey tribes the baboon shows an extraordinary faculty for imitation. Captain Browne in his "Characteristics of Animals" says: "The following circumstance is truly characteristic of the imitative powers of the baboon:—The army of Alexander the Great marched in complete battle-array into a country inhabited by great numbers of baboons, [Pg 21] and encamped there for the night. The Chackma Baboon.
The chackma lives among the mountains of the Cape of Good Hope, where he attains about the size of an English mastiff and even greater strength. He descends to the plains on foraging expeditions, and, when not attacked, will usually make off on the approach of danger, but if aroused to anger can both show and use his teeth, and is far superior to the average English boy in throwing stones.
The Baboon's Utility. Le Vaillant gives an interesting account of a chackma baboon which accompanied him through South Africa, and which bore the name of Kees. He says: "I made him my taster. Whenever we found fruits or roots, with which my Hottentots were unacquainted, we did not touch them till Kees had tasted them. If he threw them away, we concluded that they were either of a disagreeable flavour, or of a pernicious quality, and left them untasted.
The monkey possesses a peculiar property, wherein he differs greatly from other animals, and resembles man,—namely, that he is by nature equally gluttonous and inquisitive. Without necessity, and without appetite, he tastes every thing that falls in his way, or that is given to him. But Kees had a still more valuable quality,—he was an excellent sentinel; for, whether by day or night, he immediately sprang up on the slightest appearance of danger.
By his cry, and the symptoms of fear which he exhibited, we were always apprized of the approach of an enemy, even though the dogs perceived nothing of it. The latter, at length, learned to rely upon him with such confidence, that they slept on in perfect [Pg 22] tranquillity. I often took Kees with me when I went hunting; and when he saw me preparing for sport, he exhibited the most lively demonstrations of joy.
On the way, he would climb into the trees to look for gum, of which he was very fond. Sometimes he discovered to me honey, deposited in the clefts of rocks, or hollow trees. But, if he happened to have met with neither honey nor gum, and his appetite had become sharp by his running about, I always witnessed a very ludicrous scene. In those cases, he looked for roots, which he ate with great greediness, especially a particular kind, which, to his cost, I also found to be very well tasted and refreshing, and therefore insisted upon sharing with him.
In order to draw these roots out of the ground, he employed a very ingenious method, which afforded me much amusement. He laid hold of the herbage with his teeth, stemmed his fore feet against the ground, and drew back his head, which gradually pulled out the root. But if this expedient, for which he employed his whole strength, did not succeed, he laid hold of the leaves as before, as close to the ground as possible, and then threw himself heels over head, which gave such a concussion to the root, that it never failed to come out.
The Tame Baboon. Sometimes he heard the cry of other apes among the mountains, and, terrified as he was, he yet answered them. But, if they approached nearer, and he saw any of them, he fled, with a hideous cry, crept between our legs, and trembled over his whole body. It was very difficult to compose him, and it required some time before he recovered from his fright. The Cunning of the Baboon "Like all other animals, Kees was addicted to stealing. He understood admirably well how to loose the strings of a basket, in order to take [Pg 23] victuals out of it, especially milk, of which he was very fond.
My people chastised him for these thefts; but that did not make him amend his conduct. I myself sometimes whipped him; but then he ran away, and did not return again to the tent until it grew dark. Once, as I was about to dine, and had put the beans, which I had boiled for myself, upon a plate, I heard the voice of a bird with which I was not acquainted. I left my dinner standing, seized my gun, and ran out of the tent.
After the space of about a quarter of an hour I returned, with the bird in my hand, but, to my astonishment, found not a single bean upon the plate. Kees had stolen them all, and taken himself out of the way. When he had committed any trespass of this kind, he used always, about the time when I drank tea, to return quietly, and seat himself in his usual place, with every appearance of innocence, as if nothing had happened; but this evening he did not let himself be seen. And, on the following day, also, he was not seen by any of us; and, in consequence, I began to grow seriously uneasy about him, and apprehensive that he might be lost for ever.
But, on the third day, one of my people, who had been to fetch water, informed me that he had seen Kees in the neighbourhood, but that, as soon as the animal espied him, he had concealed himself again. I immediately went out and beat the whole neighbourhood with my dogs.
All at once, I heard a cry, like that which Kees used to make, when I returned from my shooting, and had not taken him with me. I looked about, and at length espied him, endeavouring to hide himself behind the large branches of a tree. I now called to him in a friendly tone of voice, and made motions to him to come down to me. But he could not trust me, and I was obliged to climb up the tree to fetch him. He did not attempt to fly, and we returned together to my quarters; here he expected to receive his punishment; but I did nothing, as it would have been of no use.
The Loyalty of the Baboon. At this he flew in a violent rage, and, from that time, could never endure the sight of the officer. If he only saw him at a distance he began to cry, and make all kinds of grimaces, which evidently showed that he wished to revenge the insult that had been done to me; he ground his teeth; and endeavoured, with all his might, to fly at his face, but that was out of his power, as he was chained down.
The offender several times endeavoured, in vain, to conciliate him, by offering him dainties, but he remained long implacable. The Intelligence of the Baboon. For a time the eggs, which a hen laid me, were constantly stolen, and I wished to ascertain whether I had to attribute this loss also to him. For this purpose I went one morning to watch him, and waited till the hen announced, by her cackling, that she had laid an egg. Kees was sitting upon my vehicle; but, the moment he heard the hen's voice, he leapt down, and was running to fetch the egg.
When he saw me, he suddenly stopped, and affected a careless posture, swaying himself backwards upon his hind legs, and assuming a very innocent look; in short, he employed all his art to deceive me with respect to his design. I ran after him, and came up to him at the moment when he had broken the egg and was swallowing it. Having caught the thief in the fact, I gave him a good beating upon the spot, but this severe chastisement did not prevent his soon stealing fresh-laid eggs again.
As I was convinced that I should never be able to [Pg 25] break Kees off his natural vices, and that, unless I chained him up every morning, I should never get an egg, I endeavoured to accomplish my purpose in another manner; I trained one of my dogs, as soon as the hen cackled, to run to the nest, and bring me the egg, without breaking it. In a few days, the dog had learned his lesson; but Kees, as soon as he heard the hen cackle, ran with him to the nest. A contest now took place between them, who should have the egg; often the dog was foiled, although he was the stronger of the two.
If he gained the victory, he ran joyfully to me with the egg, and put it into my hand. Kees, nevertheless, followed him, and did not cease to grumble and make threatening grimaces at him, till he saw me take the egg,—as if he was comforted for the loss of his booty by his adversary's not retaining it for himself. If Kees had got hold of the egg, he endeavoured to run with it to a tree, where, having devoured it, he threw down the shells upon his adversary, as if to make game of him.
Kees was always the first awake in the morning, and, when it was the proper time, he awoke the dogs, who were accustomed to his voice, and, in general, obeyed, without hesitation, the slightest motions by which he communicated his orders to them, immediately taking their posts about the tent and carriage, as he directed them. The Bonnet Monkey. The bonnet monkey is of the genus macacus, and is to be found in many parts of India. It is characterized by a bonnet, or cap of hair, which radiates from the centre of the crown. It is known as the Macacus Radiatus.
Indian Monkeys. Many stories are told of the audacity of the Indian monkeys in which those of the genus macacus come in for more than honourable mention. Whether in their native haunts, or in European menageries, they are an [Pg 26] endless source of amusement and not unfrequently one of annoyance. In their free state, they tax the ingenuity of native and European alike by their mischievous habits and thievish propensities. They climb upon the tops of the Bazaars and the slightest relapse from vigilance on the part of the shopkeepers is sure to be followed by the loss or spoliation of their wares.
A common defence against these unwelcome intruders is to cover the roofs with a certain prickly shrub, the thorns of which command respect even from monkeys. Bowdich says: "In some places they are even fed, encouraged, and allowed to live on the roofs of houses;" but this would be where the goods of the householder were beyond their reach. Bowdich, "he has only to sprinkle some rice or corn upon the top of his enemy's house or granary just before the rain sets in, and the monkeys will assemble upon it, eat all they can find outside, and then pull off the tiles to get at that which has fallen through the crevices.
This, of course, gives access to the torrents which fall in such countries, and house, furniture and stores are all ruined. Bowdich gives an amusing description of the way in which one of these monkeys watched his opportunity for making his descent upon a sweet-stuff shop. Taking up a position opposite the shop, "he pretended to be asleep, but every now and then softly raised his head to look at the tempting piles and the owner of them, who sat smoking his pipe without symptoms even of a doze.
In half an hour the monkey got up, as if he were just awake, yawned, stretched himself, and took another position a few yards off, where he pretended to play with his tail, occasionally looking over his shoulder at the coveted delicacies. At length the shopman gave signs of activity, and the monkey was on the alert; the man went to his back room, the monkey cleared the street at one bound, and in an [Pg 27] instant stuffed his pouches full of the delicious morsels.
He had, however, overlooked some hornets, which were regaling themselves at the same time. They resented his disturbance, and the tormented monkey, in his hurry to escape, came upon a thorn-covered roof, where he lay stung, torn, and bleeding. He spurted the stolen bonbons from his pouches and barked hoarsely looking the picture of misery.
The noise of the tiles which he had dislodged in his retreat brought out the inhabitants, and among them the vendor of the sweets, with his turban unwound, and streaming two yards behind him. All joined in laughing at the wretched monkey; but their religious reverence for him induced them to go to his assistance: they picked out his thorns and he limped away to the woods quite crestfallen. The Monkey Outdone. The writer, from whom Mrs. Bowdich quoted the above story, gives a graphic account of the success of a stratagem he employed to rid himself of the unwelcome visits of his monkey friends.
This happy understanding, however, did not last long, and we soon began to urge war upon each other. The casus belli was a field of sugar-cane which I had planted on the newly cleared jungle. The wild elephants came and browzed in it; the jungle hogs rooted it up, and munched it at their leisure; the jackals gnawed the stalks into squash; and the wild deer ate the tops of the young plants.
Against all these marauders there was an obvious remedy,—to build a stout fence round the cane-field. This was done accordingly; and a deep trench dug outside, that even the wild elephant did not deem it prudent to cross. The wild hogs [Pg 28] came and inspected the trench and the palisades beyond. A bristly old tusker was observed taking a survey of the defences; but, after mature deliberation, he gave two short grunts, the porcine language , I imagined, for 'No go,' and took himself off at a round trot, to pay a visit to my neighbour Ram Chunder, and inquire how his little plot of sweet yams was coming on.
The jackals sniffed at every crevice, and determined to wait a bit; but the monkeys laughed the whole entrenchment to scorn. Day after day was I doomed to behold my canes devoured as fast as they ripened, by troops of jubilant monkeys. It was of no use attempting to drive them away. When disturbed, they merely retreated to the nearest tree, dragging whole stalks of sugar-cane along with them, and then spurted the chewed fragments in my face, as I looked up at them.
This was adding insult to injury; and I positively began to grow bloodthirsty at the idea of being outwitted by monkeys. The case between us might have been stated in this way. Ah, ah! If you cultivate the jungle without our consent, you must look to the consequences. If you don't like our customs, you may get about your business.
We don't want you. A tree, with about a score of monkeys on it, was cut down, and half a dozen of the youngest were caught as they attempted to escape. A large pot of ghow treacle was then mixed with as much tarter emetic as could be spared from the medicine chest, and the young hopefuls, [Pg 29] after being carefully painted over with the compound, were allowed to return to their distressed relatives, who, as soon as they arrived, gathered round them and commenced licking them with the greatest assiduity.
The results I had anticipated were not long in making their appearance. A more melancholy sight it was impossible to behold; but so efficacious was this treatment, that for more than two years I hardly ever saw a monkey in the neighbourhood. The Monkey Aroused. Tavernier was once travelling from Agra to Surat with the English president, when passing within a few miles of Amenabad through a forest of mangoes, they experienced the danger of provoking such companies. He says, "We saw a vast number of very large apes, male and female, many of the latter having their young in their arms.
We were each of us in our coaches; and the English president stopped his to tell me that he had a very fine new gun; and knowing that I was a good marksman, desired me to try it, by shooting one of the apes. One of my servants, who was a native of the country, made a sign to me not to do it; and I did all that was in my power to dissuade the gentleman from his design, but to no purpose; for he immediately levelled his piece, and shot a she ape, who fell through the branches of the tree on which she was sitting, her young ones tumbling at the same time out of her arms on the ground.
We presently saw that happen which my servant apprehended; for all the apes, to the number of sixty, came immediately down from the trees, and attacked the president's coach with such fury that they must infallibly have destroyed him if all who were present had not flown to his relief, and by drawing up the windows, and posting all the servants about the coach, protected him from their resentment. That monkeys are capable of very poignant feeling is shown by the following pathetic story.
Forbes, in his "Oriental Memoirs," says:—"On a shooting party one of my friends killed a female monkey, and carried it to his tent, which was soon surrounded by forty or fifty of the tribe, who made a great noise, and in a menacing posture advanced towards it. On presenting his fowling-piece they retreated, but one stood his ground, chattering and menacing in a furious manner.
He at length came close to the tent door, and finding that his threatenings were of no avail, began a lamentable moaning, and by every expression of grief and supplication seemed to beg the body of the deceased. On this it was given to him. He took it up in his arms, eagerly pressed it to his bosom, and carried it off in a sort of triumph to his expecting companions. The artless behaviour of this poor animal wrought so powerfully on the sportsmen that they resolved never more to level a gun at one of the monkey tribe.
American Monkeys. In passing from East to West we lose the cheek-pouch characteristic and we find that of the prehensile tail. The first of the sub-families includes the monkeys with prehensile tails. The Capuchin Monkey.
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The capuchins belong to the genus Cebus which includes the majority of American monkeys. The Spider Monkeys. It is a remarkably sensitive organ, answering the purpose, as the Rev. Wood puts it, of "a fifth hand," being capable of use "for any purpose to which the hand could be applied," and for hooking out objects from places "where a hand could not be inserted. Wood they wrap their tails about them to protect themselves from cold, to which they are very sensitive, and hold on by them to the branches of trees with such tenacity that they remain suspended after death. The prehensile part of the tail is naked and of extreme sensibility.
The tail is also used to preserve balance when walking erect, for which purpose it is thrown up and curled over. The appearance of these monkeys, as they leap from branch to branch in their native woods, swinging by their tails, and often hanging on to those of each other, until a living bridge is formed from tree to tree, is exceedingly picturesque. The Howling Monkeys.
They are chiefly characteristic for the attribute to which they owe their name. The howl is a loud mournful cry which can be heard at a great distance, and is said by Wallace to proceed from the leader of the band who howls for the whole company. These animals are larger and more clumsy than the spider monkeys and therefore less agile; they have powerful, prehensile tails. The "Howler" is much prized by the Indians as an article of food. The Bearded Saki. They are of the genus Pithecia , and some species have broad beards and bushy tails.
The head of the Bearded Saki Pithecia Satanas has a singularly human appearance. It is a small monkey, measuring only thirteen inches, apart from its tail, which is eighteen inches long: It is catlike in some of its habits, sleeping during the day, and prowling about at night in search of food, which it finds in fruits, insects and small birds. It has a catlike mew, though it often makes a louder cry more resembling the noise of the jaguar. The Marmosets. The fifth family of the quadrumana comprises the marmosets, of which there are two genera—the Hapale and the Midas.
These are very small, measuring about eight inches without the tail, which is eleven inches long. The marmoset is one of the prettiest of the monkeys, and, though at first shy, soon becomes playful and affectionate. Marmosets are one of the few species that breed in confinement. Sir William Jardine describes a marmoset who gave birth to three offspring in Paris.
One of these, for some reason, displeased her, and she killed it, but upon the others beginning to suck the maternal instinct awoke, and she became as affectionate as she was before careless. The young generally keep upon the back or under the belly of the female, and Cuvier observed, that when the female was tired of carrying them, she would approach the male with a shrill cry, who immediately relieved her with his hands, placing them upon his back, or under his belly, where they held themselves and were carried about until they became restless for milk, when they were given over to the mother who, in her turn, would again endeavour to get rid of them.
The Lemurs. The lemurs and their allied forms make up the remaining families of the quadrumana. These are three. The lemur is nocturnal in its habits and noiseless in its movements. Some of its species much resemble the cat in appearance though its four hands unmistakably demonstrate its order. Sir William Jones describes a Slow Lemur Nycticebus tardigradus , which he had in his possession, as "gentle except in the cold season, when his temper seemed wholly changed. From half an hour after sunrise to half an hour before sunset he slept without any intermission, rolled up like a hedgehog: and as soon as he awoke he began to prepare himself for the occupations of his approaching day, licking and dressing himself like a cat—an operation which the flexibility of his neck and limbs enabled him to perform very completely.
He was then ready for a slight breakfast, after which he commonly took a short nap; but when the sun was quite set he recovered all his vivacity. He used all his paws indifferently as hands. Bowdich tells of one of these animals, procured by Mr. Baird at Prince of Wales Island, who shared a cage with a dog to whom he became greatly attached, while nothing could reconcile him to a cat, which constantly jumped over his back, causing him great annoyance.
The Tarsier. The tarsier Tarsius spectrum is a small, kitten-faced animal with long hind legs, which enable it to leap like a frog. It is nocturnal in habit, and is found in Sumatra, Borneo, and elsewhere. The Aye-Aye.
The aye-aye Chiromys madagascariensis is [Pg 34] a remarkable little animal resembling, as Professor Owen says, in size and shape the domestic cat, its head and ears being larger, and its hind legs and tail longer than those of the cat. Sandwich, writing of one he had in his possession, says:—"The thick sticks I put into his cage were bored in all directions by a large and destructive grub, called the montouk.
Just at sunset the aye-aye crept from under his blanket, yawned, stretched and betook himself to his tree. Presently he came to one of the worm-eaten branches, which he began to examine most attentively, and bending forward his ears, and applying his nose close to the bark, he rapidly tapped the surface with the curious second digit, as a woodpecker taps a tree, though with much less noise, from time to time inserting the end of the slender finger into the worm-holes as a surgeon would a probe.
At length he came to a part of the branch which evidently gave out an interesting sound, for he began to tear it with his strong teeth. He rapidly stripped off the bark, cut into the wood, and exposed the nest of a grub which he daintily picked out of its bed, with the slender, tapping finger, and conveyed the luscious morsel to his mouth. But I was yet to learn another peculiarity. I gave him water to drink in a saucer, on which he stretched out his hand, dipped a finger into it and drew it obliquely through his open mouth. After a while he lapped like a cat, but his first mode of drinking appeared to me to be his way of reaching water in the deep clefts of trees.
Wing-Handed Animals. The animals which most nearly resemble the four-handed animals or quadrumana are the wing-handed animals,—the bats or Cheiroptera. These are of singular appearance and interesting habit. Wood, "the fingers of a man were to be drawn out like wire to about four feet in length, a thin membrane to extend from finger to finger, and another membrane to fall from the little finger to the ankles, he would make a very tolerable imitation of a bat.
Bats' wings are highly nervous and sensitive, so much so as to render their owners almost independent of sight. Besides being "well adapted for flight," says Dr. Percival Wright, "they are still capable in a small measure of seizing, differing thus from the anterior limbs of Birds. Of these there are numerous genera and a large number of species. The Great Bats abound in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the East, where they live on fruit, and from this circumstance are classified as "fruit-eating bats," though they are sometimes called "flying-foxes.
A large tree serves them for a sleeping-chamber, where, suspending themselves head downwards from the branches, they wrap their wings about them in lieu of blankets and sleep out the sunshine. After sunset they gradually awake and proceed to ravage any fruit preserves which may be within reach, committing serious depredations while the owners outsleep the moon. According to Mr. Francis Day, "they do very great injury to cocoa-nut plantations and mangoe gardens. Day, "are very intemperate, and they often pass the night drinking the toddy from the chatties in the cocoa-nut trees, which results either in their returning home in the early morning in a state of extreme and riotous intoxication, or in being found the next day at the foot of the trees, sleeping off the effects of their midnight debauch.
These bats are chiefly insect-eaters, though included among them are the vampire bats and the [Pg 36] Megaderma lyra which have the reputation of being cannibalistic. The Common English Bats. The Pipistrelle feeds upon insects but will eat flesh if opportunity serves. In his "Natural History of Selbourne," Mr. White describes a tame bat which he saw, which would take flies out of a person's hand.
The adroitness it showed in shearing off the wings of the flies, which were always rejected, pleased me much. Insects seemed to be most acceptable, though it did not refuse raw flesh when offered; so that the notion that bats go down chimneys and gnaw men's bacon seems no improbable story. Wood, "are about an inch and a half in length and have a fold in them reaching almost to the lips," hence its name.
The Vampire Bat. The Vampire Bat which belongs to South America has been invested with a halo of romance by the stories which have been told about its sanguinary character. Wood, "on the blood of animals, and sucks usually while its victim sleeps. The extremities, where the blood flows freely, as the toe of a man, the ears of a horse, or the combs and wattles of fowls, are its favourite spots.
When it has selected a subject, on which it intends to feed, it watches until the animal is fairly asleep. It then carefully fans its victim with its wings while it bites a little hole in the ear or shoulder, and through this small aperture, into which a pin's head would scarcely pass, it contrives to abstract sufficient blood to make a very ample meal. The wound is so small, and [Pg 37] the bat manages so adroitly, that the victim does not discover that anything has happened until the morning, when a pool of blood betrays the visit of the vampire.
The injury is not so much owing to the loss of blood, as to the inflammation which the pressure of the saddle afterwards produces. The whole circumstance has lately been doubted in England. I was therefore fortunate in being present when one was actually caught on a horse's back. We were bivouacking late one evening, near Coquimbo, in Chili, when my servant, noticing that one of the horses was very restive, went to see what was the matter, and fancying he could distinguish something, suddenly put his hand on the beast's withers, and secured the vampire.
In the morning the spot where the bite had been inflicted was easily distinguished by its being slightly swollen and bloody. The third day afterwards we rode the horse without any ill effects. A Traveller's Experience. Captain Steadman, in his "Narrative of a Five Years' Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam," relates, that on waking about four o'clock one morning in his hammock, he was extremely alarmed at finding himself weltering in congealed blood, and without feeling any pain whatever.
This is no other than a bat of monstrous size, that sucks the blood from men and cattle while they are fast asleep, even sometimes till they die; and as the manner in which they proceed is truly wonderful, I shall endeavour to give a distinct account of it. Knowing, by instinct, that the person they intend to attack is in a sound slumber, they generally alight near the feet, where, while the creature continues fanning with his enormous wings, which keeps one cool, he bites a piece out of the tip of the [Pg 38] great toe, so very small, indeed, that the head of a pin could scarcely be received into the wound, which is consequently not painful; yet through this orifice he continues to suck the blood until he is obliged to disgorge.
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Cattle they generally bite in the ear, but always in places where the blood flows spontaneously. Megaderma Lyra. The Vampire Bat of South America has long been credited with sanguinivorous habits, and until recently was supposed to be the only bat having such propensities. Edward Blyth has, however, shown that the Megaderma Lyra of Asia will sometimes prey upon the smaller species of bat with which it comes in contact. Blyth, one evening, observed a rather large bat of this species enter an outhouse, whereupon he procured a light, closed the door to prevent escape and then proceeded to catch the intruder.
In the chase the bat dropped what Mr. Blyth at first took to be a young one, but which proved to be a small Vespertilio Bat, "feeble from loss of blood, which it was evident the Megaderma had been sucking from a large, and still bleeding, wound under and behind the ear. Blyth concluded "that it sucked the vital current from its victim as it flew, having probably seized it on the wing, and that it was seeking a quiet nook where it might devour the body at leisure. Blyth kept both specimens until the next day, and having examined each separately put them both into a cage, whereupon the Megaderma attacked the smaller bat "with the ferocity of a tiger"; finding it impossible to escape the cage "it hung by the hind legs to one side of its prison, and after sucking the victim till no more blood was left commenced devouring it, and soon left nothing but the head and some portions of the limbs.
Blyth, "resembled clotted blood, which will explain the statement of Steadman and [Pg 39] others concerning masses of congealed blood being observed near a patient who has been attacked by a South American vampire. Insect-Eating Animals. Insect-eating animals Insectivora include several families, of which the hedgehogs, the moles and the shrews, are the best known genera. The Colugo is perhaps the most singular member of the order.
According to some writers his proper place is among the lemurs, and except that his feet are adorned with claws instead of nails, it is easy to understand why he might be classed with the quadrumana. The Colugo is covered from head to foot by a furry membrane, resembling an overcoat open in front and ending in a three cornered flap at the tail.
The Hedgehog. The family of the hedgehog contains two genera and a number of species. Its length is from six to ten inches; the head, back, and sides being covered with short spines, the under parts with soft hair. It lives in thickets, and subsists on fruits, roots, and insects. During the winter, it lies imbedded in moss, or dried leaves, in a state of torpidity.
It inhabits Europe, Asia and Africa. It is valuable in the garden for destroying the insects, and in the kitchen for the extermination of cockroaches, beetles and other household pests. For defence, it rolls itself into a ball in such a manner as to present its prickly spines on all sides. In this condition it can suffer considerable violence without injury. Bell mentions a hedgehog that was in the habit of running to the edge of an area wall twelve or fourteen feet high, and without a moment's pause, leap over, contracting into a ball as he fell, and in this form reaching the ground, where it quietly unfolded itself as if nothing had happened and ran on its way.
It is nocturnal in its habits and in its natural state lives in pairs. It is easily tamed. A hedgehog has been trained to serve as a turnspit "as well," says Captain Brown, "in all respects as the dog of that denomination. In [Pg 40] a wild state it has been known to attack and kill a leveret. In attacking a snake it will roll itself up between its bites and thus protect itself against retaliation. The Mole. The common mole "when at rest," says the author of "Tales of Animals," "bears more resemblance to a small stuffed sack than to a living animal, its head being entirely destitute of external ears, and elongated nearly to a point, and its eyes so extremely small and completely hidden by the fur, that it would not be surprising should a casual observer conclude it to be blind.
This apparently shapeless mass is endowed with great activity and a surprising degree of strength, and is excellently suited for deriving enjoyment from the peculiar life it is designed to lead. It is found abundantly in Europe and North America, from Canada to Virginia; often living at no great distance from water-courses, or in dykes thrown up to protect meadows from inundation.
The mole burrows with great quickness, and travels under ground with much celerity; nothing can be better constructed for this purpose than its broad and strong hands, or fore paws, armed with long and powerful claws, which are very sharp at their extremities, and slightly curved on the inside.
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Numerous galleries, communicating with each other, enable the mole to travel in various directions, without coming to the surface, which they appear to do very rarely, unless their progress is impeded by a piece of ground so hard as to defy their strength and perseverance. The depth of their burrows depends very materially on the character of the soil, and the situation of the place; sometimes running for a great distance, at a depth of from one to three inches, and sometimes much deeper.
Moles are most active early in the morning, at midday, and in the evening; after rains they are particularly busy in repairing their damaged galleries; and in long continued wet weather we find that they seek the high grounds for security. Though as Captain Brown points out nothing is more fatal to the mole than excessive rain, which fills their subterranean galleries with water; the following statement made by Mr. Upon the island, the Earl of Airly, the proprietor, has a castle and small shrubbery. I remarked frequently the appearance of fresh mole casts, or hills.
I for some time took them for those of the water mouse, and one day asked the gardener if it was so. No, said he, it was the mole; and that he had caught one or two lately. Five or six years ago, he caught two in traps; and for two years after this he had observed none. But, about four years ago, coming ashore one summer's evening in the dusk, with the Earl of Airly's butler, they saw at a short distance, upon the smooth water, some animal paddling towards the island. They soon closed with this feeble passenger, and found it to be the common mole, led by a most astonishing instinct from the castle hill, the nearest point of land, to take possession of this desert island.
It had been, at the time of my visit, for the space of two years quite free from any subterraneous inhabitant; but the mole has, for more than a year past, made its appearance again, and its operations I have since been witness to. The Use of the Mole. The use of the mole is often said to be far outweighed by the mischief he perpetrates, the truth appearing to be that like many other animals, in his own place he is valuable, out of it he is a source of danger.
Both conditions are illustrated by the following, which I quote from Mrs. Bowdich's "Anecdotes of Animals. By his observations he rendered essential service to a large district in France; for he discovered that numbers of moles had undermined the banks of a canal, and that unless means were taken to prevent the catastrophe, these banks would give way, and inundation would ensue. By his ingenious contrivances and accurate knowledge of their habits, he contrived to extirpate them before the occurrence of further mischief.
Moles, however, are said to be excellent drainers of land; and Mr. Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, used to declare that if a hundred men and horses were employed to dress a pasture farm of or acres, they would not do it as effectually as moles would do, if left to themselves. The Shrew. The shrew family is a large one and widely distributed over the surface of the earth. The common shrew Sorex vulgaris is that best known in England.
It resembles the mouse in general form and varies in size and colour, its usual length, including the tail being about four and a half inches. Its body is moderately full, its neck short, its head tapering to a pointed snout, the fore-feet small, the hind-feet larger and the tail shorter than the body.
The shrew is generally found either in burrows, or among heaps of stones, or in holes made by other animals; near dung heaps or hayricks, they are more numerous than elsewhere. Insects are their principal subsistence, but they seem no less fond of grain, and show a pig's predilection for filth of various sorts. Its principal enemies are the Kestrel and the Barn Owl. A superstition to the effect that if the shrew should run over the legs of a cow or a horse while reposing on the grass it causes lameness, is also responsible for the destruction of many by ignorant country folk.
One species of the shrew enjoys the reputation of being the smallest living mammal ; it is but an inch and a half long with a tail of an inch in length. The water shrew is somewhat larger than the common shrew [Pg 43] attaining to a length of five and a half inches including the tail. The water shrew colonises on the banks of rivers.
As a house-guard he is good and can be trained to be excellent. As a nursemaid to the very young he is exceptional and is amiable under even the roughest treatment received at their hands, from puppyhood he needs firm treatment, for he inherits from the Bulldog a stubborn streak, winch must be mastered immediately it is noted. He makes a wonderful member of any family circle and can offer you great sport in the field, especially where vermin abounds.
The original breed Standard was drawn up in and revised a little in Hitches weigh slightly less, but the important co-ordinating features are type and balance. The Stafford is a wonderful athlete, well endowed with hard, rippling muscle. The head, his prime feature, is very broad in the skull and deep through, with a strong, short foreface and distinct stop. His bite is huge, the mouth opening being capacious, but to conform for show work the upper front teeth should rest over and upon the lower incisors in a conventional terrier mouth. An undershot jaw — the opposite to this, which can be likened to the Bulldog jaw, is quite wrong in the Stafford.
His body can be described as a lot packed into a small frame and his broad shoulders, deep chest and barrelled ribs and clipped-in loins and strongly muscled hindquarters proclaim us power. One interesting feature of his forelimbs is the way the feet turn out a little at the pasterns, allowing him greater flexibility in a fighting turn. His eyes should be round and set to look straight ahead and they are better when very dark, although the Standard does permit them to bear some relation to coat color.
Early Greek writers mention a terrier of Great Britain which had… Yorkshire Terrier History and Development Although the history of the Yorkshire Terrier is somewhat obscure, the breed is not of any great antiquity. In… Dandie Dinmont Terrier History and Development Dandies were first heard of as an established breed in the late 's in the Coquet Water district of… Scottish Terrier History and Development It has been said many times that the origin of the Scottish Terrier dates back several centuries. On this… Bedlington Terrier History and Development The exact origin of the Bedlington Terrier cannot be definitely ascertained, but it is generally believed that it appeared….
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