Antiques Digest Browse Auctions Appraisal Home

These animals, the true Weasels or the allied forms, are found in all parts of the world except Australia and neighbouring islands, and all the members of the family are noted for their bloodthirsty character and their habit of killing and destroying much more than they can possibly eat.
These animals are almost exclusively American, though one genus, AElurus, scarcely differing sufficiently to be placed in a distinct family, is found in India. They are small animals that walk wholly, or partially, on the soles of their feet, and have long ringed tails.
Bears are extremely playful in their habits, much given to wrestling and boxing with one another, showing great skill and agility in tumbling about, and warding off each other's blows as two prize-fighters might.
Seals live in herds, and gather in large numbers in so-called rookeries," generally on rocks on the shores of islands, to rest or to breed. They swim well, but cannot progress very rapidly on land.
Gnawing Animals
THE order Rodentia includes a great number of animals? many of which have much external resemblance to the Insectivora, but which may always be distinguished from them by the two incisors in each jaw, above and below, the upper pair being very strong, curved and rootless.
The Marmots are allied to the Squirrels, but are more heavily built, the tail is shorter, and none of the family have cheek pouches. They are abundant in the Northern Hemisphere, inhabiting both high mountains and open plains.
The Beavers are aquatic animals, easily distinguished from allied forms by their naked, scaly, and usually flattened tails and webbed hind-feet.
These animals are distinguished by their short fore-legs and long hind-legs, which enable them to take enormous leaps, like the kangaroo. The tail is very long, and either hairy throughout or tufted at the end.
Rats And Mice
The muzzle is pointed, the eyes and ears are rather large, and the tail varies much in different genera, in the Rats and Mice being usually long and scaly.
In appearance and habits the Dormice somewhat resemble the true squirrels, having large bushy tails, rather large eyes and ears, and short fore-legs.
The North American Porcupines constitute a different genus, with two species, and are of stout build, with short, heavy limbs that end in large claws, the hair long and coarse and almost concealing the small sharp quills.
The Chinchilla is a small animal with long silky fur, which lives in large communities at a great elevation in the Andes of South America, like the mar-mots in the Alps of Europe.
Guinea Pigs
This is a small family, including a few South American rodents, with four toes on the front feet and three on the hind feet, and having rudimental or short tails. The ears are large, and the claws broad and hoof-like.
Hares And Rabbits
The Wild Rabbit is a smaller animal than the Hare, not much exceeding a foot in length, without the tail. It is generally of a uniform greyish-brown colour above and whitish beneath, the under part of the tail being conspicuously white, the ears much shorter than the head, and little, if at all, tipped with black.
Hoofed Animals
THIS is an exceedingly important order, including a great number of mammals, differing considerably in structure, and although a few are small, many are of great size, the largest being the elephants, the bulkiest of existing mammals except the whales and the elephant seal, which are marine animals.
Of late years a smaller form has been discovered in Africa, much less in stature than the common African Elephant, with smaller and much more rounded ears, and skin finer in texture, like that of the Indian species.
Tapirs belong to a very ancient form of animal; indeed, they have hardly changed their appearance for many thousands of years, judging from the close resemblance they bear to the fossil skeletons of some of the old-time creatures.
There are five living species of Rhinoceroses, three of them Asiatic and two African.
This family includes the Horses, Asses, and Zebras, which are distinguished from other mammals by having only one toe (the third) developed on each foot. The hair on the body is short and smooth, but the mane and tail are long and bushy.
There are many varieties of domestic cattle, and several wild species, but so far as we know the domestic forms are not descended from the wild species—at any rate, from those of the present day.
Of late years two distinct varieties of this great sheep have been found in the more southwestern parts of the United States and Canada, blue, or smoke-coloured, smaller in stature than the true Mountain Sheep, and having horns more delicate in form.
In certain parts of the high mountains of Thibet and in the Himalayas are other forms resembling the Rocky Mountain Goat in character, though not in colour.
Antelopes are a branch of the order of Ungulates which vary greatly in size, some, like the Pigmy Antelope, being less than a foot in height, while others, such as the Eland, measure as much as six feet at the shoulder.
While the whales and elephants are the bulkiest, the Giraffes are the tallest of all known animals, the largest speciments being at least twenty feet high.
The Deer resemble the antelopes, but are at once distinguished from other ruminants by their horns, or, more properly, antlers, which are solid through-out, generally more or less branched, and cast every year.
Camels And Llamas
The Camels and Llamas form a well-marked family in this group, distinguished by many interesting characters, chief among them being the padded hoofs in all species, and, in the Camels, either one or two humps high up on the back.
This group includes two existing families—the Suidae, or Swine, and the Hippopotamidae or Hippopotami. They are non-ruminant animals, with four toes on each foot (or, rarely, three on the hind feet).
In early times the range of the Hippopotamus was much greater than at present, fossil specimens having been found as far north as France.
A similar animal to the manatee, but more marine in its habits, the Dugong is found on the shores of the Indian Ocean. Very similar species are met with in the Red Sea, and as far eastward as Australia, where they feed exclusively on seaweed.
Whales And Dolphins
THE Cetacea are the largest and most powerful of all mammals. All are strictly aquatic and fish-like in their habits, never coming to shore on any occasion except when stranded, or driven in by storms.
[Page: 301  |  302  |  303  |  304  | 
312  |  313  |  314  |  316  | 
323  |  325  |  326  |  328  |  329  |  330  | 
331  |  332  |  333  |  335  |  336  |  338  |  339  |  340  | 
344  |  345  |  346  |  347  |  348  |  349  |  350  |  More Pages ]

Please contact us at