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Sperm Whales
An interesting species of whale found in the Gulf of St. Lawrence is the Baluga or White Whale, not often exceeding fifteen feet in length, and pure white or light cream in colour.
This is the most numerous family of the Cetacea, but contains species of moderate or comparatively small size. There are generally teeth in both upper and under jaws.
Toothless Animals
ALL the animals belonging to this order are inhabitants of warm countries, and are either toothless or furnished with teeth of uniform shape and size, but destitute of either roots or enamel, and never occupying the front of the mouth. They have usually, however, large claws for climbing, scraping, and digging.
Ant Eaters
These animals have long thick hair and a bushy tail, and no teeth. The snout is long and tapering, the tongue long and slender, and covered with adhesive saliva, to which adhere the ants and other insects on which the animals feed.
These are comparatively small animals, inhabitants of tropical or subtropical America, and characterised by the thick and bony armour covering the upper parts of the body. This armour is not in a solid piece, but is arranged in a series of bony plates, over-lapping at the edges, and between the plates coarse stiff hairs project in all directions.
These animals somewhat resemble the preceding family in habits, and are armoured, but instead of being covered with plates, they are provided with large overlapping scales, between which grow scanty hairs.
The Cape Ant-eater, or Aardvark, is common in South Africa. It is about five feet in length, including the tail, and is almost devoid of hair, having only a few bristles here and there over the brown hide.
Pouched Animals
THIS is a very distinct order of mammals, but containing species which vary widely in general appearance, all, however, possessing certain characters in common. Chief among these is a pouch of skin in front of the body of the female to which the young are transferred immediately after birth, and where they remain, secure from danger, until able to shift for themselves.
The largest and most important group of marsupials are the Kangaroos, confined to Australia and the adjacent islands, remarkable for the curious structure of the limbs and tail.
These are animals of moderate size, which are con-fined to Australia, New Guinea, and the adjacent is-lands. They are thickly clothed with hair, and the tail is large and more or less prehensile.
The Wombats are the most rodent-like in form of all the marsupials, the head being like that of a beaver, although the legs and feet are singularly bear-like.
THE last, but not the least interesting order of mammals, is the Monotremata, distinguished from all the others by the fact that they lay eggs instead of producing living young, and also by their somewhat bird-like beaks, or bills.
Holbcell's Grebe
The American, red-necked grebe, a larger variety of the European species, keeps so closely within the lines of family traditions that a description of it might very well serve as a composite portrait of its clan.
Horned Grebe
Grebes are not maritime birds. Their preference is for slow-moving waters, especially at the nesting season, since their nests are floating ones, and their food consists of small fish, mollusks, newts, and grain, such as the motionless inland waters abundantly afford.
Pied-billed Grebe
The most abundant species of the family in the eastern United States, particularly near the Atlantic, the pied-billed grebes are far from being maritime birds notwithstanding.
The Black-throated Loon (Urinator arcticus), a more north-ern species than the preceding, reaches only the Canadian border of the United States in winter.
Red-throated Loon
Audubon found the red-throated loons nesting on the coast of Labrador, near small fresh-water lakes, in June. The young are able to fly by August, and in September can join the older migrants in their southern flight.
Unlike either grebes or loons, puffins are gregarious, especially at the nesting season. In April great numbers begin to assemble in localities to which they return year after year, and select crevices in the rocks or bur-row deep holes like a rabbit, to receive the solitary egg that is the object of so much solicitude two months later.
Black Guillemot
In the diary kept on the Jeannette, De Long recorded meeting with black guillemots in latitude 730, swimming about in the open spaces between the ice-floes early in May; and Greely ate their eggs off the shores of Northern Greenland in July.
Brunnich's Murre
The Californian murre, the Western representative of these species, differs from them neither in plumage nor habits, it is said. It breeds abundantly from Behring's Sea to California, and the natives of Alaska depend upon its eggs for food.
Razor-billed Auk
In the nesting grounds, where enormous numbers of these razor-billed auks have congregated from times unknown, the females may be seen crouching along the eggs, not across them, in long, seriate ranks, where tier after tier of cliffs rise from the water's edge to several hundred feet above the sea.
These neat little birds, whose form alone suggests a dove, are by no means the lackadaisical creatures their name seems to imply.
Parasitic Jaeger
The Pomarine Jaeger—a contraction of pomatorhine, meaning flap-nosed—(Stercorarius pomarinus) may be distinguished from the parasitic jaeger by its larger size, twenty-two inches; by the rounded ends of its central tail feathers, which project about three inches beyond the others.
It is the larger herring gull that we see in such numbers in our harbors and following in the path of vessels along our coast; but the watchful eye may often pick out a few kittiwakes in the loose flocks, and north of Rhode Island meet with a company of them apart from others of their kin.
Glaucous Gull
The Iceland Gull (Larus leucopterus) looks like a small edition of the burgomaster, its length being about twenty-five inches; but its plumage is identical with that of the larger bird.
Great Black-backed Gull
The black-back shares the distinction with the burgomaster of being not only one of the largest, most powerful representatives of its family, but one of the most tyrannical and greedy.
American Herring Gull
Before the summer is ended the baby gulls will have learned to breast a gale, sleep with head tucked under wing when rocked on the cradle of the deep, and follow a ship for the ref-use thrown overboard, like any veteran.
Ring-billed Gull
In as much as most of the characteristics of the ring-billed gull belong also to the herring gull, the reader is referred to the longer account of the latter bird to save repetition.
Laughing Gull
Formerly these laughing gulls were exceedingly abundant all along our coasts. Nantucket was a favorite nesting resort, so were the marshes of Long Island and New Jersey.
Bonaparte's Gull
A front view of Bonaparte's gull, as it approaches with its long pointed wings outspread, would give one the impression that it is a black-headed white bird, until, darting suddenly, its pearly mantle is revealed. It is peculiarly dainty whichever way you look at it.
Marsh Tern
All manner of beautiful curves and evolutions, sudden darts and dives distinguish the flight of terns, which in grace and airiness of motion no bird can surpass.
Royal Tern
While the terns take life easily at all times, nursery duties rest with special lightness. The royal species makes no attempt to form a nest, but drops from one to four rather small, grayish white eggs marked with chocolate, directly on the sand of the beach, or at the edge or a marshy lagoon.
Common Tern
In May the terns begin to arrive from the south, having apparently mated on the journey. Little or no part of the honeymoon is spent in making a nest, as any little accumulation of drift, or the bare sand itself, will answer the purpose of these shiftless merry-makers that no responsibilities can depress nor persecution harden.
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