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THE RACOON.

All the known species are natives of America, in the vast forests of which they may be said literally to swarm; but happily, like most of the other venomous snakes, they never exert their terrible qualities upon man except in self-defence, and the warning rattle is always heard to give notice of their approach. Their bite is almost uniformly fatal even to the largest animals, and the latter frequently evince such an instinctive dread of them, that, according to M. Bosc, it is almost impossible to compel a horse or a dog to advance towards them. Their food consists principally of the smaller quadrupeds, such as squirrels and rabbits, of other reptiles, and of birds, although they rarely climb trees in pursuit of their prey. It was long believed, and the notion is still popularly[241] current, that they possessed the power of fascinating their victims, which were thought to be so completely under the influence of their glance as to precipitate themselves of their own accord into the open throat of their enemy; but the truth appears to be that they actually inspire so great a degree of terror that the animals selected for their attacks are commonly rendered incapable of offering such resistance as might otherwise be in their power, or even of attempting to escape from their pursuit.

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2021-06-12 21:56:59 [萍乡市网友]

The horns, which form the most distinguishing character of the genus, are perfectly solid throughout their whole extent. Their form varies very considerably in the different races; but they are constantly uniform in the same species, unless accidentally or artificially perverted from their natural growth. In some they are simple at the base and terminate in a broad and palmate expansion, which is variously lobed and divided; in others they are more or less branched, giving off antlers in different directions; and in some few they are short and nearly simple. They fall off and are renewed annually in all the species which inhabit the northern and temperate regions of the earth, and in those in which they attain any considerable size; but Sir T. Stamford Raffles was of opinion, and his opinion has been in some measure confirmed by the observations of Major C. Hamilton Smith, that several of the tropical species with small and nearly simple horns are exempted from this general law. The horns are smaller and less developed in the young than in the full grown and adult animal, and diminish again in size, and frequently become irregular, as he advances in age. In one species alone, the Rein-Deer of the North, the female wears the[187] same palmy honours with the male; but they do not in her reach the same enormous extent.

2021-06-12 21:56:59 [海东地区网友]

THE BEARDED GRIFFIN.

2021-06-12 21:56:59 [临夏州网友]

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2021-06-12 21:56:59 [天水市网友]



2021-06-12 21:56:59 [黄石市网友]



2021-06-12 21:56:59 [甘肃网友]

THE AMERICAN BLACK BEAR.

2021-06-12 21:56:59 [阿勒泰地区网友]

The usual mode of catching the wild Elephants for the purpose of domestication has been so often described that it would be superfluous to repeat it here. It may be sufficient to observe that a herd of them having been driven by the hunters into an enclosure surrounded by palisades and ditches, and provided only with a narrow pass by way of egress, they are there made prisoners one after the other, and attached to the tame elephants, which are employed on such occasions partly as decoys and partly as guards over their captive brethren. The necessity of having recourse to this mode of supplying the wants, or rather of ministering to the pride, of the sovereigns of the East, both native and European, who alike regard these animals as the indispensable appendages of their rank, arises from the circumstance of the breed being very rarely propagated in captivity; the Hindoos being either too ignorant or too careless to adopt the requisite[173] measures for securing its continuance, and relying upon the certainty of being enabled by their hunting to keep up a sufficient supply. But there can be little doubt, from what we observe in other animals, that had a domesticated breed of Elephants existed from the times when their services were first made available to man, they would have been far superior both in sagacity and docility to the half-reclaimed individuals at present employed.