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“ This apish and unmannerly approach,
This harness'd mask, and unadvised revel,
means of its tail. The prehensible part of the tail is covered with skin only, forming an organ of toucha as discriminating as the proper extremities.
In monkeys the pectoral part of the body is by far the most muscular and robust in its form, while the ventral and sacral parts of its trunk are attenuated, so much so that this portion appears, in some of the species, as if it were nothing more than a stalk to the hind legs; at all events it is never such as to impede their motions or encumber them by its weight. Now the young monkey so applies itself
to the body of its mother that it in no way impedes her motions, and is, in fact, the least possible burden to her that so much additional weight could be.
The shoulder bones are stout and long for her size, by which means the breadth of her chest is ample, and the shoulder joints are thrown wide apart. The fore legs of the young dasp her round her neck and hold on to the immoveable part of the shoulder, between the shoulder-bone and the blade-bone, so that their points of adhesion do not interfere with any of the moving parts. These members in the young monkey are so long that it can reach the pectoral mamme of the mother without weakening its own hold or cramping her motions; and then its hind legs clasp the body so far forwards that they leave the hinder extremities free for every operation of climbing. Therefore, a female monkey loaded with a young one has very nearly, if not altogether, the same use of her organs as though she were without any load, because the young one adheres by its own exertions, which exertion strengthens in proportion to its weight.
179. Why is a particular description of monkey* called the preacher ?
Because it is common for one of these creatures to ascend a lofty tree while a congregation of others of the tribe assemble in the lower branches ; the monkey who is elevated above the rest then sets up a loud and shrill howl, which may be heard at a great distance. The assembled monkeys afterwards join in a noisy chorus.
• Mycetes Beelzebub.
“ All these are ours; and I with pleasure see
Man strutting on two legs, and a ping me.”—Drydex.
180. Why are lemurs included in the same order with the monkey tribes ?
Because although differing from the monkeys of the old and new worlds in their teeth, they are quadrumanous, having opposable thumbs on the fore as well as the hind paws.
181. Why are they called lemurs ?
The Latin lemurs means sprites that walk by night ; and these animals were so named by Linnæus, because of their nocturnal habits, and their large glaring eyes. They wander by night, and subsist upon fruit, insect. ad small birds.
182. In the jungles about Tillicherry, there is a large species of monkey frequently tamed by the natives, and at a village a short distance from this celebrated seaport there occurred an evidence of the extreme sagacity of this animal. A few yards from the house of the person to whom it belonged, a thick pole, at least thirty feet high, had been fixed into the earth, round which was an iron ring, and to this was attached a strong chain of considerable length, fastened to a band round the monkey's body. The ring being loose, it slid along the pole when he ascended or descended. He was in the habit of taking his station upon the top of the bamboo, where he perched as if to enjoy the beauties of the prospect around him.
The crows, which in India are very abundant and singularly a'udacious, taking advantage of his elevated position, had been in the habit of robbing him of his food, which was placed every morning and evening at the foot of the pole. To this he had vainly expressed his dislike by chattering, and other indications of his displeasure equally ineffectual; but they continued their depredations. Finding that he was perfectly unheeded, he adopted a plan of retribution as effectual as it was ingenious.
One morning, when his tormenters had been particularly troublesome, he appeared as if seriously indisposed; he closed his eyes, drooped his head, and exhibited various other symptoms of severe suffering. No sooner were his ordinary rations placed at the foot of the bamboo, than the crows, watching their opportunity, descended in great numbers, and according to their usual practice began to demolish his provisions. The monkey now began to slide down the pole by slow degrees, as if the effort were painful to him, and as if so overcome by indisposition that his remaining strength was scarcely equal to such exertion. When he reached the ground he rolled about for some time, seeming in great agony, until he found himself close to the vessel which contained his food, but which the crows had by this time well-nigh devoured. There was still, however, some remaining, which a solitary bird, emboldened by the apparent indisposition of the monkey, advanced to seize. The wily creature was at this time lying in a state of apparent insensibility at the foot of the pole and close to the pan. The moment the crow stretched out “Far different there from all that charmed before,
The various tcrrors of that horrid shore ;
its head, and ere it could secure a mouthful of the interdicted food, the watchful avenger seized the depredator by the neck with the rapidity of thought, and secured it from doing further mischief. He now began to chatter and grin with every expression of gratified triumph, while the crows flew around, cawing in boisterous chime, as if deprecating the chastisement about to be inflicted upon their captive companion. The monkey continued for a while to chatter and grin in triumphant mockery of their distress ; he then deliberately placed the captive crow between his knees and began to pluck it with the most humorous gravity. When he had completely stripped it, except the large feathers in the pinions and tail, he Aung it into the air as high as his strength would permit, and, after flapping its wings for a few moments, it fell on the ground with a stunning shock. The other crows, which had been fortunate enough to escape a similar castigation, now surrounded it, and immediately pecked it to death.
The animal had no sooner seen this ample retribution dealt to the purloiner of his repast, than he ascended the bamboo to enjoy a quiet repose. The next time his food was brought, not a single crow approached it.
is the third division of the Mammalia called Carnaria?
The name implies lovers of flesh, and is therefore employed to denote those classes of animals which are flesh eaters. The term carnaria is applied to the whole of a great ORDER, which is again divided into sub-orders : 1. Cheiroptera ; 2. Insectivora ; 3. Carnivora.
Sub-order I.-Cheiroptera. 184. Why is the first sub-order of Carnaria called Chciroptera ?
Because the wings of the spe cies composing it, as well as serving the purposes of flight are to some extent capable of
being used hands. The term is derived from two Greek words meaning wing and hand, and signifies wing-handed.
« On a bat's wing will I fly,
After sun-set merrily !”
185. Why are bats not classed with birds, although they are capable of flight?
Chiefly because they suckle their young, which habit refers them to the class mammalia. They breed at the hottest time of the year; and the young, which are usually two in number, are naked and helpless at their birth, capable only of clinging to the teats of their mother, which they do with the greatest firmness. There is no nest in which the mother can leave her young ones ; so she bears them about attached to her body, until they are capable of flight.
186. Why is the wing of the bat furnished with a hook ?
Without this hook, the bat would be the most helpless of all animals. It can neither run upon its feet, and can raise itself from the ground only with great difficulty. The hook takes the form of a bent claw, and is situated at an angle of the wing, by which means the bat attaches itself to the sides of rocks, caves, and buildings, laying hold of crevices, chinks, and protuberances. It hooks itself by this claw, remains suspended, and takes its flight from this position : which operations compensate for the decrepitude of its legs and feet.
187. Why do bats conceal themselves in old ruins, fissures of walls, &c., by day?
Because, being organised for nocturnal flight, the impressions of light are too powerful for them. Their wings being formed of a highly sensitive membrane, they seek sheltered places, where neither light nor currents of air can take effect upon them.
188. Why have bat's wings numerous
Their sight being defective, is compensated by the highlysensitive nature of their wings, ears, nostrils, &c., which vary in different species. Their wings are so susceptible of impressions, that bats, even after their eyes have been destroyed, can fly about amidst numerous objects, and avoid them all with the greatest
“ In chinks and holes
precision. The extreme sensibility to light and touch is shown by bats even in their dormant state. Be their torpidity ever so great, they shrink from the touch, even before actual contact, and appear disturbed at the presence of a candļe, or any other light.
189. Why do bats fly by night?
Because they feed upon night-flying insects. Hence they take the place by night which the swallow occupies by day. Some of the species occasionally fly by day, but that habit is by no means common, and is confined to some of the foreign bats, which are vegetable feeders.
190. Bats issue forth as darkness begins, and by their active flight capture such. insects as are then on the wing-gnats, mosquitoes, moths, beetles, &c., and their wide gape with its formidable teeth is an excellent trap for the capture of such prey. The service which they render to vegetation, by the destruction of insects which in the larva state prey upon it, is very considerable, even in temperate climates; and some of the hot countries in which they swarm by myriads could not but for them be inhabited. In humid places on the margins of tropical forests, mosquitoes are troublesome enough as it is ; but if the bats did not thin their numbers they would be utterly unbearable. Those species, too, which frequent the towns and settlements are useful in other respects. Most of the race are miscellaneous in their feeding, and not very delicate in their taste. They devour indiscriminately all animal substances, whether raw or dressed, and whether in a recent or putrid state.
191. Why do bats hybernate during the winter months ?
Because, as they feed chiefly upon insects, their supply of food fails as the winter approaches, and their office in the great scheme of nature can no longer be fulfilled. Therefore, as the time when, for the same causes, the swallow departs for a sunnier clime where insect food may be found, the bat retires into its hiding places, and sleeps away the months of winter.
SUB-ORDER II.-INSECTIVORA. 192. Why is the sccond sub-order of Carnaria called Insectivora ?
Because they live principally, if not wholly, upon insects. The name is derived from two Latin words-insecta, insects, and voro, to devour.