With regard to the sub-orbital sinus, which in this and all the neighbouring species is of very considerable size, its uses are evidently connected with the function of respiration, and probably also with the sense of smell. It is denoted externally by a longitudinal fissure, placed beneath the inner angle of each of the eyes, and leading into a sac or cavity, which in some cases communicates internally with the nose; and its inner surface is lined by a membrane abundantly supplied with follicles for the secretion of mucus, which is sometimes produced in very large quantities. This latter circumstance has induced some naturalists to regard these openings as mere cuticular appendages. That they really, in some species at least, communicate with the nostrils, is proved by the observations of Mr. White of Selbourne, who states that in consequence of this communication the Fallow-Deer are enabled to take long-continued draughts with their noses deeply immersed in the water, the air in the mean time passing through the sub-orbital slits. So singular a statement was naturally enough doubted and called in question; but it has never, so far as we know, been impugned on ocular testimony; while it has received the fullest confirmation from other observations made upon the very species now under consideration, in which the air passing from the sub-orbital sinus, while the animal drinks, may be felt by the hand, and even affects the flame of a candle. Another proof of the connexion of these cavities with the nose is derived from the fact that the animals which are provided with them frequently apply their orifices, equally with those of the nostrils, to the food which they are about to take, opening and shutting them with great rapidity.
A no less striking than apposite instance of the close affinity between the species, and of the difficulty of distinguishing them from each other, especially in their young state, is furnished by the animals whose figures stand at the head of the present article. They are all three very evidently young individuals, and have not yet reached the period when it would be safe to pronounce with positiveness upon the species, or, were we to adopt the Cuvierian system in its full extent, upon the genera even, to which they respectively belong.
The Lion, like all the other cats (the genus to which, in a natural arrangement, he obviously belongs) is armed in each jaw with six strong and exceedingly sharp cutting-teeth, with two formidable canine, and with six others, three on each side, occupying the places of the molar or grinding-teeth, but terminating in sharp protuberances to assist in the laceration of the animal food, which is the proper nutriment of his tribe. Besides these, he has, on each side of the upper jaw, a small tooth, or rather tubercle, placed immediately behind the rest. His tongue is covered with innumerable rough and elevated papill?, the points of which are directed backwards: these also assist in comminuting his food, and not unfrequently leave their traces on the hand which has been offered him to lick. His claws, five in number on the fore feet, and four on the hind, are of great length, extremely hard, and much curved; they are retractile within a sheath enclosed in the skin which covers the extremity of his paws; and as they are only exposed when he has occasion to make use of them, they thus preserve the sharpness of their edge and the acuteness of their point unimpaired. In all these particulars the Lion essentially agrees with the rest of the cats; and it is these which constitute what naturalists have termed their generic character; in other words, they are the points of agreement which are common to the whole group or genus, and form the most prominent and striking characteristics, by which they may be at once connected together and separated from all other animals.
THE MALAYAN RUSA-DEER.
The genus Macrocercus is characterized by the robustness of its beak, which is extremely broad and powerful; by the nakedness of its face, which is sometimes entirely bare, and sometimes partially covered with lines of short and scattered feathers; and by the size and form of its tail, which is longer than the body, regularly graduated, and terminating in an acute apex. The whole of the species are American, and are remarkable for the brilliancy of their colours, which are perhaps more varied and more gaudy than those of any of the other modern divisions of the Linnean genus Psittacus. They are consequently more sought after as objects of luxury and elegance, and bear a higher comparative value than the rest of the Parrots. In common with the entire tribe, they inhabit the tropical regions of the earth, and live chiefly upon fruits and seeds. Among the latter they uniformly give the preference to such as are provided with a hard and shelly covering. These they crack with great dexterity, carefully rejecting the outer coat, and swallowing only the internal nut.
The Monkeys of the Old and of the New World differ from each other in several remarkable points, some of which are universally characteristic of all the species of each, while others, although affording good and tangible means of discrimination, are but partially applicable. Thus the nostrils of all the species inhabiting the Old World are anterior like those of man, and divided only by a narrow septum. In those of the New World, on the contrary, they are invariably separated by a broad division, and consequently occupy a position more or less lateral. In the former again the molar teeth are uniformly five in number, crowned with obtuse and flattened tubercles; while in the latter they are either six in number, or in the few anomalous cases in which they are limited to five, and which are peculiar to a group that ought to occupy an intermediate station between the Monkeys and the Insect-eating Carnivora, their crowns are surmounted by sharp and somewhat elevated points. The tails of all the American Monkeys are of great length, but they differ more or less from each other in the power of suspending themselves by means of that organ, a faculty which is nevertheless common to the greater number of them, and of which those of the Old World are entirely destitute. On the other hand the American species never exhibit any traces of the callosities or of the cheek-pouches, which are so common among the Asiatic and African races.下载