In captivity the Black Bear is distinguished from the brown only by the less degree of docility and intelligence which he evinces: and the habits of the latter are so universally known that it would be useless to dwell upon them here. The specimen figured at the head of this article was presented to the Menagerie, in 1824, by Sir George Alderson, and is remarkably tame and playful. He has, until very lately, shared his den with the Hy?na, with whom he maintained a very good correspondence, except at meal-times, when they would frequently quarrel, in a very ludicrous manner, for a piece of beef, or whatever else might happen to furnish a bone of contention between them. The Hy?na, though by far the smallest of the two, was generally master; and the Bear would moan most piteously, and in a tone somewhat resembling the bleating of a sheep, while his companion quietly consumed the remainder of his dinner.
The Bornean Bear is perhaps somewhat shorter in his proportions than the rest of the group, and the great proportional breadth of his head extends also to the neck and body. The claws are very long, strongly arched, and very gradually attenuated to the point, which is transversely truncated and chiefly fitted for digging the earth; but probably also enabling it to climb with great agility. The fur is short and glistening, somewhat rigid, but closely applied to the skin, and smooth to the touch. On the body, head, and extremities, the Bornean Bear has the same pure, saturated, jet-black tint which is observed in the Malayan. The muzzle, including the region of the eyes, has a yellowish brown colour; and the anterior part of the neck is marked by a large broad patch of a more vivid and nearly orange tint, which is of an irregular quadrangular form, and deeply notched above. The difference in the form and colour of this patch constitutes the chief distinction between the present animal and the Malayan species, in which latter it is crescent-shaped and white.
The Monkeys of the Old and of the New World differ from each other in several remarkable points, some of which are universally characteristic of all the species of each, while others, although affording good and tangible means of discrimination, are but partially applicable. Thus the nostrils of all the species inhabiting the Old World are anterior like those of man, and divided only by a narrow septum. In those of the New World, on the contrary, they are invariably separated by a broad division, and consequently occupy a position more or less lateral. In the former again the molar teeth are uniformly five in number, crowned with obtuse and flattened tubercles; while in the latter they are either six in number, or in the few anomalous cases in which they are limited to five, and which are peculiar to a group that ought to occupy an intermediate station between the Monkeys and the Insect-eating Carnivora, their crowns are surmounted by sharp and somewhat elevated points. The tails of all the American Monkeys are of great length, but they differ more or less from each other in the power of suspending themselves by means of that organ, a faculty which is nevertheless common to the greater number of them, and of which those of the Old World are entirely destitute. On the other hand the American species never exhibit any traces of the callosities or of the cheek-pouches, which are so common among the Asiatic and African races.
These peculiarities of habit, by which the Vultures are strikingly contrasted not merely with the Eagles, but even with the smallest of the Falcon tribe, are the necessary result of their organisation. Their beak, it is true, is like that of the Eagles strongly curved at the point alone, and they also possess all the technical characters of the Rapacious Order; but their talons are far inferior, both in size and in the degree of their curvature, and they are consequently unable to grasp their prey with sufficient force to transport it through the air. Their diminished power of flight renders them incapable of soaring upwards to search abroad with piercing eye for the objects of their rapacity; and they are therefore left dependent upon the acute sensibility of their nostrils, which amply supplies the deficiency. Of the external characters which they exhibit the most remarkable is derived from the want of plumage on the head and neck, which are covered in the greater number of the species by nothing more than a sort of down or by short and smooth hairs. The object of this provision appears to be to enable them to bury as it were their heads in the carrion on which they feed, without exposing their plumage to be soiled by the filth which it might otherwise contract. Their eyes are placed on a level with their cheeks; their heads are rounded above; they have most frequently a ruff of considerable extent round the lower part of their necks; and their legs are usually bare of feathers and covered with large scales. Their very attitudes offer the most perfect contrast to those of the Eagles; the latter constantly maintaining a bold upright posture, with their wings closely pressed to their sides, and their tails elevated, while the Vultures on the contrary are always seen bending forwards in a crouching position, with their wings depressed and separated from their bodies, and their tails trailing upon the ground.下载
It may, however, be observed, that it has been proposed to divide it into two distinct genera, the one containing the Horse alone, and characterized by the flowing tail uniformly covered with long hair, by the absence of a line of darker coloured hairs along the back, and by the presence of callous protuberances on the hind legs as well as on the fore: the other comprehending the Asses and Zebras, and distinguished by the tail having a brush of long hairs at its extremity only, by the presence of the dorsal line, and the absence of the protuberances on the posterior legs. Such a division, resting as it does on striking but not very essential differences, may fairly be admitted for the purpose of separating the genus into sections; but can hardly be regarded as founded on characters of sufficient importance to disunite so well marked and strongly connected, as well as so limited, a group. In the same paper in which this new arrangement was proposed, the beautiful animal which we have now to describe was first specifically distinguished by Mr. Gray from the Common Zebra, with which it had previously been confounded, and characterized by him under the name of the Asinus Burchellii. Still there exists so much confusion between the two Zebras, many naturalists falling into the same error with Mr. Burchell, who first remarked the distinction between them, and regarding the present animal as the Zebra of zoologists, and the common one in reality as the new species; while others have absolutely counterchanged a part of the characters of each, and thus made confusion worse confounded; that we cannot do better than describe with some little detail the markings of the individual now before us.
THE CROWNED CRANE.