תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

Woodchuck Beaver

Field Mouse
Skunk
Mufquash

Moles
Opossum
Otter

Quickhatch
Pole Cat
Fisher

Morse
Weasel
Water Rat

Porcupine
Marten
Muskrat

Seal.
Minx

House Mousc

These are divided into three classes ; 1. Beasts of different genus from any known in the old world; of which

are the Opoilum, the Racoon, the Quickhatch, &c. 2. Beasts of the same genus, but of

different species from the eastern con.

tinent, of which are
The Panther
Fallow Deer

Ground Squirrel
Wild Cat
Grey Fox

Flying Squirrel
Buffalo
Grey Squirrel

Pole Cat
Moole Deer Grey Fox Squirrel Porcupine, &c.
Stag

Black Squirrel
3. Beasts which are the same on both continents, viz.
The Bear
Otter

Field Mouse
White Bear
Water Rat

Mole
Wolf
House Rat

Morse
Weasel
Muik Rat

Seal, &c.
Beaver

House Mouse The Mammoth is not found in the civilized parts of America. It is conjectured, however, that he was carniverous, and that he still exifts on the north of the Lakes. Their tusks, grinders, and skeletons of uncommon magnitude, have been found at the falt licks, on the Ohio, in New-Jersey, and other places. The Indians have a tradition handed down from their fathers respecting these animals, · That in ancient times a herd of them came to the Big-bone licks, and began an universal destruction of the bears, deer, elks, buffaloes, and other animals which had been created for the use of the Indians : that the Great Man above, looking down and seeing this, was so enraged that he seized his lightning, descended to the carth, feated himself upon a neighbouring mountain, on a rock, on which his seat and the print of his feet are still to be seen, and hurled his bolts among them till the whole were flaughtered, except the big bull, who presenting his forehead to the shafts, thook them off as they fell; but at length milling one, it wounded him in the side; whereon, springing round, he bounded over the Ohio, the Wabash, the Illinois, and finally over the great lakes where he is living at this day.'

European naturalists have supposed from the bones of this remarkable animal,' that it is the fame with the Elephant; others, that it answers to the hippopotamus or river horse; the turk and skeletons have been ascribed to the former, while the grinders have been given to the latter. But Mr. Jefferson obferves, that the skeleton of the Mammoth (for so the incognitum has been called) bespeaks an animal of five or fix times the cubic va lume of the elephant, as Monsieur de Buffon has admitted ; and that the grinders are five times as large as those of the elephant, and quite of a dit

ferent

ferent shape, and adds that the elephant is a native only of the torrid zone and its vicinities, and that no bones of the mammoth has ever been found further south than the salines of Holston river, a branch of the Taniffee, about the latitude 36° 30' north, and as far north as the arctic circle. The mammoth, then, cannot be the fame animal as the elephant.

The Opossum is an animal of a distinct genus, and therefore has little resemblance to any other creature. lo is about the size of a common cat, which it resembles in some degree as to its body; its legs are mort, the feet are formed like those of a rat, as are its ears; the fnout and head are long like the hog's; the teeth like those of a dog; its boily is covered thinly with long bristly whitish hair; its tail is long, shaped like that of a rat without hair. But what is most remarkable in this creature, and which distinguishes it from all others, is its false belly, which is formed by a skin or membrane, (inclosing the dugs) which it opens and closes at will. In this false belly the young are concealed in time of danger. Though contrary to the laws of natur , it is believed by marly, that there animals are bred at the teats of their dams. It is a fat, that the young ones have been many times seen, not larger than the head of a large pin, faft fixed and hanging to the teats in the false belly. In this state their members are distinctly visible; they appear like an embryo clinging to the teats. By constant observation they have been found to grow into a perfect fætus; and in proper time they drop off into the false belly, where they remain secure till they are capable of providing for themselves. Froin these circumstances it seems that the opoffum is produced, in a manner, out of the common course of nature. But it appears from the diflection of one of them by Dr. Tyfon, that their ftructure is such as is fitted for generation, like that of other animals; and of course he fupposts that they must necessarily be bred and excluded in the fame way as other quadrupeds. But by what method the dam, after exclusion, fixes them on her teats, if this be the manner of production, is a secret yet unknown.

The Burralo is larger than an ox; high on the shoulders; and deep through the breatt. The flesh of this animit is equal in goodnes to beef; jis skin makes good leather, and its hair, which is of a woolly kind, is manufactured into a colerably good cloth.

The TYGIR of America rifombles, in shape, those of Asia and Africa, but is considerably smaller; nor does it appear to be fo fierce and ravenous as they are. The colour of it is a darkib yellow, and is entirely free from spots.

The Cat of the MOUNTAIN resembles a common cat, but is of a much larger size. Its hair is of a reddith or orange colour, interspersed with spors of black. This animal is exceedingly fierce, though it will feldom attack a man.

The Elk is thaped like a dees, but is considerably larger, being equal in bulk to a horse. The horns of this creature grow to a prodigious size, extending so wide, that two or three persons might fit between them at the same time. But what is still more remarkable is, that these horns are shed every year, in the month of February, and by August, the new bres are nearly at their full growih.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

The Moose is about the size of the elk, and its horns almost as large. Like the elk, it sheds its horns annually. Though this creature is of the deer kind, it never herds as do deer in general. Its flesh is exceedingly good food, easy of digeftion, and very nourishing. Its kin, as well as that of the elk, is valuable, making, when drefled, good leather.

The CARRABOU is something like the moose in shape, though not nearly so tall. Its fieh is exceedingly good ; its tongue in particular is in high esteem. Its skin, being smooth and free from veins, is valuable.

The CARCAJOU is a creature of the cat kind, and is a terrible enemy to the elk, and to the carrabou, as well as to the deer. He either comes upon

them unperceived from some concealment, or climbs up into a tree, and taking his station on some of the branches, waits till one of them takes shelter under it; when he fastens upon his neck, and opening the jugular vein, foon brings his prey to the ground. The only way of escape is flying immediately to the water, for as the carcajou has a great dislike 10 that clement, he will leave his prey rather than enter it.

The SKUNK is the moit extraordinary animal the American woods produce. It is of the same species with the pole-cat, for which, though different from it in many respects, and particularly in being of a leis size, it is frequently mistaken. " Its hair is long and thining, of a dirty white, mixed in some places with black. Its tail is long and bushy like that of the fox. It lives chiefly in woods and hedges, and is poflessed of extraordinary powers, which however are exerted only when it is pursued. On such an occasion, it ejects from behind a small stream of water, of so subtle a nature, and so powerful a smell, that the air is tainted with it to a surprizing distance. On this account the animal is called by the French Enfant du Diable, the Child of the Devil, or Béte Puante, the Stinking Beast. The water which this creature emits in its defence, is generally supposed by naturalifts to be its urine ; but Mr. Carver, who thot and diffected many of them, declares that he found, near the urinal vessels, a small receptacle of water, totally diftinct from the bladder, from which lie was satisfied the horrid stench proceeded. The fat of the skunk, when externally applied, is a powerful emollient, and its Mesh, when dreiled without being tainted by its ferid water, is sweet and good.

The PorcUPINE or Hedge-Hog is about the size of a small dog, though it is neither so long nor so tall. Its shape resembles that of a fox, excepting its head, which is something like the head of a rabbit. Its body is covered with quills of about four inches in length, most of which ar", excepting at the point, of the thickness of a traw. These quills ti.e porcupine darts at his enemy, and if they pierce the fleth in the least degre, they will sink quite through it, and are not to be extracted without incision. The Indians use these quills for boring their ears and noses to infert thcir jewels, and also by way of ornament to their flockings, hair, &c.

The Woon CHUCK is a ground animal of the fur kind, about fifteen inches long; its body is round, and its legs short; its fore paws are broad, and constructed for the purpose of digging holes in the grjund, in wich it burrows; its fieth is tolerable food

The

The Racoon is an animal of a genus different from any known on the eastern continent. Its head is much like a fox's, only its ears are shorter, more round, and more naked. It also resembles that animal in its hair, which is thick, long, and soft ; and in its body and legs, excepting that the former is larger, and the latter both larger and shorter. Across its face runs a broad itripe including its eves, which are large. Its snout is black, and roundih at the end, like that of a dog; its teeth also are fimilar to those of the dog, both in number and fuape ; the tail is long and round, with annular stripes on it; the feet have five long slender toes, armed with sharp claws, by which it is enabled to climb trees, and run to the extremities of the boughs. Its fure feet ferve it instead of hands, like those of the monkey.

The last quadruped which thall be particularly described, is the BeaVER. This is an amphibious animal, which cannot live for any long time in the water, and it is said can exist without it, provided it has the convenience of sometimes bathing itself. The largest beavers are nearly four feet in length, about fourteen or fifteen inches in breadth over the haunches, and weigh fifty or fixty pounds. The head of this animal is large ; its snout long ; its eyes small; its ears short, round, hairy on the outside, and smooth within; of its teeth, which are long, broad, strong, and sharp, the under ones stand out of its mouth about the breadth of three fingers, and the upper about half a finger. Besides these teeth, which are called incisors, beavers have tixteen grinders, eight on each side, four above and four below, directly opposite to each other. With the former they are able to cut down trees of a considerable size, with the latter to break the hardest subítances. Their legs are short, particularly the fore legs, which are only four or five inches long. The toes of the fore feet are feparate ; those of the hind feet have membranes between them. In confequence of this they can walk, though but slowly, while they fuim as easily as any aquatic animals. Their tails somewhat resemble those of fish, and there, and their hind feet, are the only parts in which they do not resemble land animals. Their colour is ditferent according to the different climates which they inhabit. In the most northern parts, they are generally quite black ; in more temperate, brown; their colour becoming lighter and lighter as they approach towards the fouth. Their fur is of two forts all over their bodies. That which is longeit is generally about an inch long, though on the back it fometimes extends to two inches, gradually shortening towards the head and tail. This part is coarse and of little use. The other part of it confils of a very thick and fine down, of about three quarters of an inch long, io fost that it feeis like silk, and is that which is commonly manufactured. Cafter, so useful in medicine, is produced from the body of the bearer. It was furmerly believed to be his tehicles, but late discoveries have thewn that it is contained in four bags in the lover belly.

The ingenuity of the reavers in building their cabins, and in providing themselves subfifience, is truly wonderful. When they are about to choose a habitation, they aiemble in companies, sometimes of two or three hundred, and after mature deliberation, fix on a place where plenty of provisions, and all neceflaries are to be found. Their houses are al. ways fituared in the water, and when they can find neither lake nor

poad,

pond convenient, they supply the defect by stopping the current of jome lvook or small river. For this purpose they select a number of trees, carefully taking those above the place where they intend to build, that they may swim down with the current, and placing themselves by threes or fours round each tree, soon fell them. By a continuation of the same labour, they cut the trees into proper lengths, and rolling them into the water, navigate them to the place where they are to be used. After this they construct a dam with as much folidity and regularity as the most experienced workman could do. The formation of their cabins is no less remarkable. These cabins are built either on piles in the middle of the pond they have formed, on the bank of a river, or at the extremity of some point of land projecting into a lake. The figure of them is round or oval. Two-thirds of each of them rises above the water, and this part is large enough to contain eight or ten inhabitants. They are contiguous to each other, so as to allow an easy communication. Each beaver has his place assigned him, the floor of which he curiously strews with leaves, rendering it clean and comfortable. The winter never surprizes these animals before their business is completed; for their houses are generally finished by the last of September, and their stock of provisions laid in, which consists of small pieces of wood difpofed in such manner as to preserve its moisture.

Upwards of one hundred and thirty American Birds have been enumerated, and many of them described by Catesby, Jefferson and Carver. The following catalogue is inserted to gratify the curious, to infor:n the inquisitive, and to thew the astonishing variety in this beautiful part of creation. The Blackbird

Crane or Blue Heron Flamingo
Razor-billed ditto Yellow-breaited Chat Fieldfare of Carolina, or
Baltimore Bird Cormorant

Robin
Baitard Baltimore Hooping Crane

Purple Finch
Blue Bird
Pine Creeper

Bahama Finch
Buzzard

Yellow-throated Creeper American Goldfinch
Blue Jay
Dove

Painted Finch
Blue Grosbeak Ground Dove

Crested Fly-catcher
Brown Bittern Duck

Black-cap ditto
Crested Bittern llathera Duck

Little brown ditto
Small Bittern Round crefted ditto Red-eyed ditto
Booby

Sheldrach or Canvass do. Finch Creeper
Great Booby

Buffels head ditto Storm Finch
Blue Peter
Spoon bill ditto

Goat Sucker of Caro-
Bullfinch
Summer ditto

lina
Bald Coot
Blackhead ditto

Guil
Cut Water Blue winged Shoreller Laughing Guil
White Curlew Little Brown Duck Gcole
Cat Bird
Sprigtail

Canada Goose
Cuc!:ow

Whitefaced Teal Hawk
Crow

Blue winged Teal Fishing Hawk
Cowpen Bird Pied bill Dobchick Pigeon Hawk
Chattering Plover Eagle

Night Hawk
or Kildee
Bald Eagle

Swallow-dil'd ditto

The

« הקודםהמשך »