Python Tigris. Daud.
The race of this wily and sanguinary animal, which is unsurpassed in all the terrible characteristics of its tribe, and yields to the tremendous and ferocious beasts, to the illustration of whose habits and manners our previous pages have been devoted, in none of their dreaded attributes, excepting only in size and strength, is spread almost as extensively over the surface of the Old World as that of the Lion himself. From the shores of the Mediterranean to the immediate neighbourhood of the Cape he is familiar to every part of the monster-bearing continent of Africa; while in the east of Asia his fatal spring and murderous talons are equally known and dreaded by the mild and timid Hindoos, the polite but still barbarous Chinese, and the fierce and savage Islanders of the great Sumatran chain. Throughout this immense tract of country he varies but in a trifling degree, and that merely in his comparative magnitude, in the size, shape, and disposition of his markings, and in the greater or less intensity of his colouring: in the more essential particulars of form and structure, as well as in character and disposition, he is every where the same.下载
The characters of the genus to which this curious little animal belongs resemble so closely in the most important particulars those of the other plantigrade Carnivora, that it will here be sufficient to explain those points alone in which the Coatis differ from their immediate affinities. From the Bears they are essentially distinguished by the general form of their body, which in some measure approaches that of the viverrine group; by their physiognomy, which is altogether peculiar, and by their elongated tail, which is nearly equal in length to their body. From the Racoons their generally lengthened form, and especially that of the snout, which is in fact their most obvious and striking characteristic, are fully sufficient to distinguish them. In the Coatis this organ is produced in a most remarkable degree; and it is terminated by a muzzle so extremely flexible that, when the attention of the animal is excited, it is kept in constant action and moved about in all directions.下载
These are two males and one female, belonging to the most elegant as well as the most intelligent variety of the species, that to which Linn?us, on account of the high degree to which the latter quality was carried in them, gave par excellence the epithet of sagax. They were presented by Major, now Colonel Denham, on his return from the most successful expedition that has perhaps ever been made into the evil-omened regions of Central Africa, from whence they were brought by that gallant traveller, who also gave Mr. Cops the following account of their qualifications for the chase. He had repeatedly, he said, made use of them in hunting the Gazelle, in their pursuit of which he had observed that they displayed more cunning and sagacity than any dogs with which he was acquainted, frequently quitting the line of scent for the purpose of cutting off a double, and recovering it again with the greatest facility. They would follow a scent after an hour and a half or even two hours had elapsed; and the breed was therefore commonly employed in Africa for the purpose of tracing a flying enemy to his retreat. They are in fact, both for symmetry and action, perfect models; and there are few sportsmen who will not regret that there appears no chance of crossing our own pointers with this interesting breed. A mixed race, combining the qualifications of both, would unquestionably be one of the most valuable acquisitions to our sporting stock; but, unhappily, this union seems to be altogether hopeless; for although they have now been more than three years in England, and are in excellent health and condition, they appear, like many other animals restrained of their liberty and kept constantly together, to have no disposition to perpetuate their race. The males are remarkably good tempered; the female on the contrary is surly and ill natured.下载
THE AFRICAN PORCUPINE.下载
It cannot be doubted that the lighter and slenderer shape of the Lioness, and her consequently greater activity, tend in an especial manner to the formation of that more lively and sensitive character by which all her actions are so strongly marked: but there is another cause, no less powerful than these, which operates with peculiar force, in the vivid excitability of her maternal feelings, which she cherishes with an ardour almost unparalleled in the history of any other animal. From the moment that she becomes a mother, the native ferocity of her disposition is renovated as it were with tenfold vigour; she watches over her young with that undefined dread of danger to their weak and defenceless state, and that suspicious eagerness of alarm, which keep her in a constant state of feverish excitation: and woe be to the wretched intruder, whether man or beast, who should unwarily at such a time approach the precincts of her sanctuary. Even in a state of captivity, and however completely she may have been previously subjected to the control of her keeper, she loses all respect for his commands, and abandons herself occasionally to the most violent paroxysms of rage.