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worlds. This can be allowed, however, only with exceptions. It is true the king of vultures and the armadillo are peculiar to Southern America ; and the zebra is equally unknown out of Africa, where it is seen to frequent districts, so widely apart as Congo, Ethiopia, and the neighbourhood of the Cape. It is true, also, that the antelope is a stranger in America, and that the humming bird has never been seen in Africa ; but the Bush-cat of Whyda is the Agousti of Brazil ; and the plaintive note of Whip-poor-will charms the wanderer on the banks of the Congo, as well as on those of the Oronoko. The Tapir was also supposed to be confined to the new world; but a new species of it was discovered in 1819, in Malacca, and the forests of the Malay Peninsula. It is also said to be a native of Sumatra; but exceedingly scarce a.
OF FABULOUS AND EXTINCT ANIMALS.
In New Holland and New South Wales there are some animals entirely peculiar. It is true, the water-mole is known there ; and eels, herons, widgeons, plovers, and pigeons : quails, wild turkeys, bustards, and pelicans. But they have all distinguishing characteristics. In the interior, there is a species of pigeon, seen no where else. On its head it wears a black plume ; the back part of its head is of a flesh colour ; its wings are streaked with black; the breast is fawn-coloured ; its eyes are red ; and its downy feathers golden, edged with white. In that country, too, is the black swan, and the ornithorynchus paradoxus, the male of which has spurs like a
. It is described in Asiatic Researches, vol. xiii. p. 418, 4to. The rump, back, belly, sides, and tips of the ears, are white ; every other part black.
b In the Museum of Natural History at Paris, is a specimen of a swan having a black neck and white body. It was sent from Brazil by Mons. Hilaire. The black swan is now familiarised to the European naturalist. I once saw a curious battle between a black swan, and two white ones which had attacked it, in the Regent's Park : they killed it-Oct. 1827. For an account of this battle, see Arcana of Science, 1828, p. 98.
cock. It is oviparous; but it belongs, strictly, neither to the class of birds, beasts, nor fishes.
A few observations may be now introduced, relative to fabulous and extinct animals. Of the former are the centaurą, the minotaur, the phenix, the griffin', the pegasus,
a Pliny believed in the existence of this monster.-(Nat. Hist. vii. c. 3.)--He says he actually saw one embalmed in honey. And another is said to have been found on a mountain in Arabia, which the king sent to Cæsar, when in Egypt. It died from change of climate. Cæsar had it embalmed; and it was sent to Rome and exhibited.
The earliest account of the phoenix is given by Herodotus; and this has been copied by Pliny, Tacitus, Pomponins Mela, Mariana, and other writers : among the rest our old English writer, Bartholomew Glantville, (as translated by Trevisor, and printed in black letter by Wynkyn de Worde, in 1498) says :" St. Ambrose, in Exameron, sayth : of the humoure or ashes of fænix ariseth a Dewe byrde and wexeth, and, in space of tyme, he is clothed with fethers and wyngis, and restored into the kind of a byrde, and is the most fairest byrde that is most like to the pecock in fethers, and loveth wilderness, and gadereth his meate of cleane greenes and fruites. Alanus speketh of this byrde, and saith, that whan the hyghest byshop Onyas had buylded a temple in the citie of Helyopolys in Egypt, to the lykeness of the temple of Jherusalem, and the fyrste daye 'of Easter, whaune he hadde gathered moch sweete smellyng wood, and sette it on fyre uppon the altar to offer sacrifyce, to all mennes syghte suche a byrde came sodaynely, and fell into the myddel of the fyre and was brente anone to ashes in the fyre of the sacrifyce; and the ashes abode there, and was besely kept and saved by the commandemente of the preeste; and within three dayes, of these ashes was bred a lyttel worme, that took the shape of a byrde atte the laste, and flew into the wyldernesse.” * Alluded to by Æschylus in his tragedy of Prometheus :
-- Thus the gryphins,
Glare with one blazing eye. Thus described by Servius :-“Gryphes autem, genus ferarum, in hyperboreis nascitur montibus. Omni parte, leone sunt, aliis, et facie, aquilis similes, Apolloni consecrati.”—This animal was supposed to have been generated between a lion and an eagle. Some have affirmed, that the dromedary was originally the offspring of a hog and a camel. Anciently it was supposed, that the leopard sprang from a lion and a panther; the quacha from an ass and a zebra ; the camelopard from a panther and a leopard, or a leopard and a camel. An origin, equally illegitimate, has been attributed to the lama, since it unites the sheep, the hog, the camel, and the stag. The ichthyosaurus, or fish-lizard of ancient times, is described as having had “ the snout of a porpoise, the teeth of a cro.
the chimæra, and other monsters engraved upon the monuments of Egypt, and on the temples of Persia“, India, Ethiopia, Arabia, and many parts of China, Japan, Mexico, and Perub. Of the latter we may, in the first instance, allude to the behemoth, the leviathan, the flying serpent, the roc, and the unicorn.
The existence of these has been doubted for many ages ; yet surely with no sufficient reason. The behemotho was, doubtless, a species of hippopotamos; and the leviathand a
codile, the head of a lizard, the vertebræ of a fish, and the breast-bone of that paradoxical animal of New Holland, the Ornithorhynchus.”
The plesio-saurus, also, is described as having had a lizard's head, with cro. codile teeth, set on a serpent-like or rather swan-like neck of great length (the vertebræ being about thirty-three), a trunk and tail with the proportions of those of an ordinary quadruped, the ribs of a cameleon, and the paddles of a whale.
What a mass of fable would have descended to us, had the ancients known the bonassus of the Apalachian mountains! This animal has horns resembling those of an antelope; the head and eye of an elephant; the beard of a goat; the foreparts of a bison ; the hind parts of a lion. It has a flowing mane ; is cloven-footed ; and chews the cud. It is active, strong, and savage; but it is said to emit no sound, even when irritated. The Mahometans believe, that one of the great signs of the last day will be the appearance upon earth of a beast, composed of various others :- the head of a bull, the eyes of a hog, the ears of an elephant, &c.
Ducks have certainly been known to be impregnated by toads. There are two instances on record. One as occurring at Thorne's Lane, near Wakefield ; and another at a village near Grantham.- Vid. Literary Panorama, 1807, p. 1083.
a As the martichore; having the tail of a scorpion, the body of a lion, and the head of a wren.
o Imaginary animals are not undreamt of in the Highlands of Scotland. Of these one of the most remarkable is the water-bull. Dr. Maccullough thus describes it :-" This animal is supposed to reside in several of the lakes, in Loch Rannoch and Loch Awe, for example; combining powers and properties, worthy of the pen of Spenser. He is occasionally angled for with a sheep, made fast to a cable, secured round an oak; but as yet no tackle has been found sufficiently strong to hold him.”_Descr. West. Islands of Scot. vol. ii. p. 185.
Job xl. v. 15. d Job xli. v. 1. Some have supposed the leviathan to be the great sea-serpent. Isaiah says, that“ the Lord shall punish leviathan, that piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon, that is in the sea.”—Ch. xxvii. v. 1. The sea-serpent has been seen on the coast of Norway, on that of Coll, among the Orkney Islands, and on the coast of North
crocodile whalea. That flying serpents once existed there surely can be little doubt, since they are mentioned by Isaiah ", Pliny, and Marcellinus : while Herodotus expressly states, that he saw the bones of winged serpents on a plain in Africa"; and Aristotle, in his first book of Animals, speaks of them as existing in Ethiopia. Strabod, Æliano, and Pausanias, also allude to them. “ I have never seen winged serpents,” says Pausanias ; “but I believe in their existence, because a Phrygian once brought a scorpion into Ionia, which had wings, similar to those of a locust f.”
Æschylus has a fine passage in his description of Clytemnestra's dream.
She fancied she had given a dragon birth.
ÆschylusThe Choephoræ.-Potter 8.
America. The authorities for the existence of this animal on the Norwegian coast are De Ferry of Bergen ; Olaus Magnus, lib. xxi. c. 27.; Ramus, Descript. Norway; Happelius, Mundus Mirabilis; Peter Undalinus, cap. vii.; Pontoppidan, vol. ii. p. 203. Milton, also, alludes to it. B. i. 1. 201.
a These are now extinct in the Mediterranean. In a few years, perhaps, whales will be extinct on the east coast of Greenland; for it is even now nearly exhausted of fish, as the Bay of Biscay was, some few centuries ago.
b Ch. xiv. v. 29. Ch. xxx. v. 6. • He mentions also two animals, alluded to by no other author; the Diclyes and Boryes. dLib. xv.
e Lib. xyi. c. 42. f Lib. ix. 21. Pausanias also says, that Ctesias mentioned, in his “ History of the Indians," an animal called martiora. It had a triple row of teeth in one of its jaws, and stung by the extremity of its tail, and hurled its stings, like arrows, at a distance. Pausanias is incredulous, however, in regard to the existence of such a creation. He mentions, also, an animal, called the alce, found in Gaul, between a stag and a camel (c. 41); and bulls, existing in Ethiopia, having horns growing out of their nostrils. Lib. v. c. xii.
& That serpents with two heads have existed, also, is not to be denied. In the Museum of the Asiatic Society at Calcutta, there is a serpent with two heads, brought from Nepaul: and a letter from Charleston states, that there was killed, in the town of Ogden, a large snake, containing 106 live snakes ; one of which had two complete heads and necks, with one body: another had
The Dodo is extincta. That the Roc once existed is ren- . dered probable by the circumstance of Mr. Henderson b having found in Siberia the claws of a bird, which measured a yard in length: and he was assured by the Yakuts, that skeletons and feathers of this bird were often seen in their hunting excursions. The quills, it is said, are of a size so large, that they will admit a man's arm into their interior.. :
Cæsar o speaks of several animals, existing in his time in the Hercynian forest ; no longer known :-viz. bulls, resembling stags, with only one horn, rising in the middle of the forehead, dividing at the top into several large branches :
two heads, with one neck and body; a third had one and a half heads, with one neck and two bodies : all of which were as sprightly and active as the others.
a Several pictures of this extraordinary bird still remain.-Vid. Clusius' Exoticorum, lib. v. 160.5; Herbert's Travels in 1634; Bontius' work on the Natural and Medical History of the East Indies ; and Willoughby's Ornithology. It is supposed to have been a native of the Mauritius. Herbert gives the following account of it:-“ The dodo comes first to our description, here, and in Dygarrois ; (and no where else, that ever I could see or heare of. is generated the dodo.) (A Portuguize name it is, and has reference to her simplenes,) a bird which for shape and rareness might be called a Phænix (wer't in Arabia ;) her body is round and extreame fat, her slow pace begets that corpulencie ; few of them weigh lesse than fifty pound: better to the eye than the stomack : greasie appetites might perhaps commend them, but to the indifferently curious nourishment, but prove offensive. Let's take her picture : her visage darts forth melancholy, as sensible of nature's injurie in framing so great and massie a body to be directed by such small and complementall wings, as are unable to hoise her from the ground, serving only to prove her a bird ; which otherwise might be doubted of: her head is variously drest, the one halfe hooded with downy blackish feathers ; the other, perfectly naked; of a whitish hue, as if a transparent lawne had covered it: her bill is very howked and bends downwards, the thrill or breathing place is in the midst of it; from which part to the end, the colour is a light greene mixt with a pale yellow; her eyes be round and small, and bright as diamonds; her cloathing is of finest downe, such as you see in goslins : her trayne is (like a China beard) of three or four short feathers ; her legs thick, and black, and strong; her tallons or pounces sharp, her stomack fiery hot, so as stones and iron are easily digested in it; in that and shape, not a little resembling the Africk Oestriches : but so much, as for their more certain difference I dare to give thee (with two others) her representation."
b Philosoph. Mag. vol. lv. p. 75. c De Bell. Gall. vi. 25.