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likewise to serve the same purpose of informing them of the presence of sensible bodies, and hence they have been compared to the antennæ of insects.
But to return to the ornithorhynchus : It is an animal which from the similarity of its abode, and the manner of searching for food, agrees much with the duck, on which account it has been provided with an organ for touching, viz. with the integument of the beak, richly endowed with nerves. This instance of analogy in the structure of a singular organ of sense in two species of animals, from classes quite different, is a most curious circumstance in comparative physiology, and hence the ornithorhynchus is looked upon as one of the most remarkable phenomena in zoology.
We shall close this chapter with an account of THE MAR MOT, or MOUNTAIN-RAT OF SWITZERLAND.-This rat is almost the size of a leveret, and resembles a common rat very much in appearance. These little creatures live together in societies, and have different dwellings for winter and summer; their fore paws are remarkably strong, which qualifies them for scooping out their burrows. The same form is always preserved in the construction of their dwellings, which consist o a long passage, just big enough to let the marmot enter, leading to two apartments; the largest of these serves the whole family for a chamber, where they lie close together, in a torpid state, rolled up like hedge-hogs, during the cold season, as dormice do in England. When they betake themselves to their winter quarters, after having lined their chamber with soft hay, they carefully stop up the entrance with a sort of cement, which they make of earth, mixed with stones and dry grass. Before they collect the grass, either for food, or for their winter habitations, they form themselves into a circle, sitting on their hind legs, looking with a cautious eye on every side. If the least thing stirs that alarms them, the first which perceives it makes a particular kind of cry, which its next neighbour repeats, and so on till it goes round, when they hastily make their escape. They are often seen upon the slopes of the Alps, where grass is in plenty; but they love a warm sheltered situation, and change their residence according to the season
CURIOSITIES RESPECTING ANIMALS.(Continued. )
The Elephant-Fossil Elephant-The Chameleon-The Common Tortoise-Orang-Outang-The Umcorn-The Common SealThe Ursine Seal-American Natural History.
Let no presuming impious railer tax
THE ELEPHANT.-This is a very wonderful animal; and has, both in ancient and modern times, been duly estimated in the Eastern world. His virtues are thus enumerated by Buffon:-To form a just estimation of the elephant, he must be allowed to possess the sagacity of the beaver, the address of the ape, the sentiment of the dog, together with the peculiar advantages of strength, largeness, and long duration of life. Neither should we overlook his arms or tusks, which enable him to transfix and conquer the lion! We should also consider that the earth shakes under his feet; that with his trunk, as with a hand, he tears up trees; that by a push of his body he makes a breach in a wall; that, though tremendous in strength, he is rendered still more invincible by his enormous mass, and by the thickness of his skin; that he can carry on his back an armed tower, filled with many warriors; that he works machines, and carries burdens, which six horses are unable to move; that to this prodigious strength he adds courage, pr dence, coolness, and punctual obedience; that he preserves moderation even in his most violent passions; that he is constant and impetuous in love; that when in anger, he mistakes not his friends; that he never attacks any but those who of fend him; that he remembers favours as long as injuries, that having no appetite for flesh, he feeds on vegetables alone, and is born an enemy to no living creature; and, in fine, that he is universally beloved, because all animals respect. and none have any reason to fear him!
The following account is extracted from Forbes's Oriental Memoirs, a highly interesting work.
"The largest Elephants are from ten to eleven feet in height, some are said to exceed it; the average is eight or nine feet. They are fifty or sixty years before they arrive at their full growth; the female goes with young eighteen months, and . seldom produces more than one at a birth, which she suckles until it is five years old: its natural life is about one hundred