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The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of Animal Life
A Chanticleer Press Edition By Foreword by Les Line, Editor of
Ralph Buchsbaum Audubon magazine
Mildred Buchsbaum
Doris M. Cochran Introduction by John Farrand, Jr.
E. Thomas Gilliard
Earl S. Herald
Robert F. Inger
Alexander B. Klots
Elsie B. Klots
Lorus Milne
Margery Milne
Ivan T. Sanderson
Karl P. Schmidt
The Audubon Society
Encyclopedia of
Animal Life

Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. /Publishers

Distributed by Crown Publishers, Inc., New York
All rights reserved under the International Copyright Union by Chanticleer Press,
Inc.No part of the contents of this book may be reproduced in any form without the
written permission of Chanticleer Press, Inc., 424 Madison Avenue, New York,
New York 10017

This 1982 edition is published by Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. One Park Avenue, New ,

York, New York 10016, and distributed by Crown Publishers, Inc. by arrangement ,

with Chanticleer Press, Inc. This edition is based upon the seven-volume World of
Nature series published by Doubleday & Company, Inc.

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 82-81466

ISBN 0-517-54657-4

Printed and bound by Dai Nippon Printing Co. , Ltd. , Tokyo, Japan.

Prepared and produced by Chanticleer Press, Inc. New York: ,

Publisher: Paul Steiner

Editor-in-Chief: Gudrun Buettner
Senior Editor: Milton Rugoff
Managing Editor: Susan Costello
Project Editor: Mary Suffudy
Natural Science Editor: John Farrand, Jr.
Marketing: Carol Robertson
Production: Helga Lose, John Holliday, Anna M. Duke
Art Assistants: Laurie McBarnette, Ayn Svoboda
Picture Library: Joan Lynch, Edward Douglas
Drawings: pages 10—12, Paul Singer; pages 14—19, Dolores R. Santoliquido
Captions: Mary Suffudy, John Farrand, Jr. Ann Hodgman ,

Design: Carol Nehring

Illustrations pages 2—3 , left to right: Everglades Apple Snail (Pomacea paludosa); Grasby
(Petrometopon cruentatus); Tree Frog (Agalychnis); Anole Lizard (Anolis); Hawk-headed
Parrot (Deroptyus accipitrinus); Gelada (Tberopitbecus gelada).
Page 7, top to bottom: Mouse-lemur ( Microcebus murinus); Red-footed Booby ( Sula sulaj;
Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus collaris); Red-legged Salamander (Plethedon jordani
shermam); Hawkfish (Paracirrbites hemist ictus); Barbershop Shrimp (Stenopus hispidus).

Foreword 8

Introduction i (


Chordata: Chordates 25

Cephalochordata: Lancelets 385

Urochordata: Sea Squirts and Their Kin 385

Hemichordata: Acorn Worms and Their Kin 385

Echinodermata: Echmoderms 386

Chaetognatha: Arrow Worms 39 1

Brachiopoda: Lamp Shells 391

Entoprocta: Entoprocts 392

Bryozoa: Moss Animals 393

Phoronida: Phoronid Worms 394

Pentastomida: Pentasromid Worms 394

Arthropoda: Arthropods 394

Onychophora: Velvet Worms 483

Tardigrada: Water-bears 484

Pogonophora: Bearded Worms 485

Annelida: Segmented Worms 485

Echiura: Echiunds 488

Mollusca: Mollusks 489

Sipuncula: Peanut Worms 498

Priapulida: Pnapulids 498

Acanthocephala: Spiny-headed Worms 498

Nematomorpha: Horsehair Worms 499

Nematoda: Roundworms 499

Kinorhyncha: Kinorhynchs 502

Gastrotricha: Gastrotrichs 502

Rotifera: Rotifers 502

Rhynchocoela: Ribbon Worms 502

Mesozoa: Mesozoans 503

Platyhelminthes: Flatworms 503

Ctenophora: Comb Jellies 510

Cnidaria: Hydroids, Jellyfishes, Sea Anemones,

and Corals 5 12

Porifera: Sponges 530

Protozoa: Protozoans 534

Notes on the Authors 545

Picture Credits 547

Index 331
Ivan T. Sanderson Mammals 24-87
The mammals are warm-blooded, fur-bearing
animals that suckle their young. Highly varied,
they include the predatory carnivores, the
plant-eating antelopes and deer, the marine
whales and porpoises, the Hying bats, and man.

E. Thomas Gilliard Birds 88-199

Distantly related to the ancient dinosaurs, the
more than 9,000 kinds of birds differ horn all
other animals in possessing feathers. Because
they can fly, they have established themselves in
almost every habitat on earth, from the polar ice
caps and remote oceanic islands to lush, tropical
rain forests.

Karl P. Schmidt Reptiles 200-263

Filbert F. Inger The crocodihans, turtles, tuataras, lizards and
snakes are cold-blooded vertebrates whose skins
are covered with scales. Although the Age of
Reptiles ended millions of years ago with the
extinction of the dinosaurs, there are still sev-
eral thousand species surviving today.

Doris M. Cochran Amphibians 264-319

Cold-blooded and usually with soft, scaleless
skin, the caecilians, salamanders, frogs, and
toads represent that early stage in evolution
when the vertebrates began to emerge from the
water and colonize the land.

Earl S. Herald Fishes 320-383

Bewildering in theit diversity, the fishes make
up more than half of all vertebrate species. They
dwell in almost all the waters of the world, from
the abyssal depths of the ocean to hot desert
springs and icy lakes high in mountains.

Ralph Buchsbaum Invertebrates 384-541

Mildred Buchsbaum The thirty major groups of animals without
LorusJ. Milne backbones range from one-celled protozoans to
the Giant Squid, nearly fifty feet long. Taken
Margery Milne
together, their numbers dwarf those of the
Alexander B. Klots vertebrates, and include the hordes of insects
Elsie B. Klots and crustaceans, the shelled mollusks, the cni-
danans, and many lesser groups.
" a

Foreword Fifteen years ago, in an essay for Audubon magazine, the great naturalist-philosopher
Joseph Wood Krutch expressed dismay at what he saw as "The Demise of Natural
History. "Dr. Krutch was particularly distressed at how Webster's Third New Inter-
national Dictionary defined natural history: "A former branch of knowledge
embracing the study, description, and classification of natural objects." While he
considered that obituary to be somewhat premature, "the tendency of much official
science has been in a direction which makes it approximately true," he wrote. "And
that means nothing short of a calamity to those of us whose attitude toward nature is
both esthetic and emotional as well as scientific, and to whom, for that reason,
conservation is a primary concern.
The love of nature, he continued, "provides the most effective motive for the
preservation of our wild heritage. " But in this century the biologist has become "less
and less a man of the out-of-doors, more and more a man of the laboratory. And in the
laboratory he has been led further and further away from everything which tends to
establish an empathy between himself and the subjects he studies. . . Instead of

watching a bird in the forest or on the seashore, the modern biologist is more likely to
be found peering inside a cell or trying to analyze the chemical constitution of the
chromosome and its genes."
To illustrate this point, Dr. Krutch had a favorite story. He had asked the
botany professor of a small college about a flowering tree he had seen on campus.
The professor replied in quite condescending terms that he was a cytologist —

specialist in the study of cells and could not recognize a dozen plants by name.
That kind of attitude toward nature is harmful mainly to the professor's students,
and to the generations they may influence.
But such is not always the case. Several years ago, a noted American ornithologist
ran afoul of federal laws for encouraging collections around the world to provide him
with eggs of extremely rare species for use in an obscure research project. Having
paid a substantial fine, the scientist was quoted as saying that his research was more
important than the individual birds whose lives he had destroyed, and that "bird-
conservation groups are composed of people ruled by their emotions and with little or
no knowledge of bird populations."
How wrong he was. As Dr. Krutch wrote, "One need not be ignorant of science
in order to love nature. Some of us would, nevertheless, rather be ignorant of
biochemistry than as incapable of loving nature as some biologists apparently are."
For eloquent support, he turned to the writings of William Morton Wheeler, a
renowned American entomologist of the early twentieth century whose concern for
natural history was as great as his technical expertise.
"Why animals and plants are as they are," Wheeler said, "we shall never know;
how they came to be what they are, our knowledge will always be extremely
fragmentary; but that organisms are as they are, that apart from members of our own
species they are our only companions in an infinite and unsympathetic waste of
electrons, planets, nebulae, and stars, is a perennial joy and consolation.
Like so many of the naturalist-authors whose writings and wisdom guided my
formative years, Joseph Wood Krutch is no longer with us. But the thoughts he
expressed in this particular essay are no less pertinent today than when penned several
years ago. True, there is a handful of field biologists who want to know their subjects
first-hand. But I have seen no evidence of any migration from the laboratories and test
tubes to the woods and prairies, the swamps and seashores. Indeed, the journals of the
various biological sciences are filled with papers on esoteric research projects by
technicians who may never have seen their study subjects living and free and—
couldn't care less.
Second, in these difficult times, conservationists have been forced to abandon the
love of nature as a primary justification for saving wild places and wild things.
Because economic concerns are constantly being weighed against environmental
losses, and because businessmen and bureaucrats and politicians always have their
thumbs on the scales, it is no longer enough that a salt marsh or bald eagle, for
instance, be saved for their esthetic values.
Instead, one must assess how many dollars each acre of marsh is worth for
commercial and sports fishing, for aquaculture, for tertiary waste treatment, for
storm protection, for production of oxygen, and judge these figures against the value
of the land for oil refineries or vacation homes or port sites. That is all well and good,
for any facts that might sway decisions toward the side of preservation are welcome.
But 1 one day soon the environmental movement, like the biological
fear that
sciences, will be peopled by solemn technicians who view the natural world with
calculators and computers, who also hold mere nature lovers in contempt, and who
have never experienced the "joy and consolation" that is the foundation of their
cause. And that will be a calamity.
For the moment, however, there still exists —
among both laymen and professional
biologists —
a strong core of men and women who are proud to be called naturalists,
who rejoice in the infinitely varied wonders of the natural world. They, like myself,
will welcome the appearance of The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of Animal Life. The
basis for this book, the seven volumes of the World of Nature series, are among the
most-used titles in my personal and office libraries. At times, I simply turn to random
pages and begin reading for the pure joy of discovery. In this new Encyclopedia, the
major groups of animals have been arranged so that the best-known and most
popular —
the mammals, birds, and other vertebrates —
come first, and the lesser
known invertebrates follow. The entire text has been carefully updated. The result is
an immense, copiously illustrated volume that can either be consulted as a reference
or read for pleasure.
I trust that the day will never come when books such as this, left dusty and

unopened on library shelves, are the only remaining evidence of "a former branch of
knowledge" embracing the study and love— of nature.—
Les Line
Editor, Audubon magazine

The Evolution of Animals

Millions of Years Ago





280 •





-* •" .«
Precambrian • ••
••••••••• • • • ••••••• • • • • • •

Protozoans I Ribbon Worms

* Sponges


Cnidanans Gastrotrichs

Combjellies Kinorhynchs

Flatworms Roundworms

Mesozoans Horsehair Worms
The Evolution of Animals

In scientific classification, animals are

placed into one of 33 phyla; each phylum
contains members ivith characteristics that
set them apart from other animals or groups
of animals. The origin of the various phyla
are traced on this chart, as are the origins of
different classes of the Phylum Chordata,
which includes the familiar fishes, am-
phibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
Solid vertical lines on the chart mark the
appearance of the groups within a geological
period; dotted lines indicate the presumed
occurrence of a group for which there is no
fossil record.

Introduction Estimates vary, but most authorities are agreed that the number of animal species,
from microscopic, one-celled protozoans to man, is well over two million. So large a
number is difficult even to comprehend, and the only way we can deal with the
diversity of animals in the world is to divide them up into smaller and more
manageable categories. The moment we begin to sort animals into categories we
are engaging in classification. Our own modern classification of animals has its
origins in the work of naturalists in the 17th and 18th centuries, and can to some
extent be traced back to Aristotle. All known cultures have applied some form of
classification to the animals around them. All classifications, both the present-day
scientific one and those of other cultures, are based upon similarities in the appearance
of the animals. When we speak of "birds" or "fishes" or "insects," we are classifying
the many kinds of animals covered by each of these general terms, recognizing the
obvious similarities between chickens and robins, sharks and trout, or beetles
and ants.
In the classification used by modern science, the highest and largest category is the
phylum. Whether the phylum contains a million or more species, as does the Phylum
Arthropoda, that includes the insects, crabs and spiders, or fewer than a dozen, all of
its members share a large number of features, characteristics that both unite them and

mark them as distinct from all other animals. In this book we recognize 33 phyla.
Many of the phyla are very large, or contain well-defined groups within them, so that
further subdivisions are necessary. These major subdivisions of a phylum are called
classes. Thus, the Phylum Chordata contains seven classes, each one containing
animals that are easily distinguished from the members of other classes. The Class
Mammalia, for example, includes the warm-blooded, fur-bearing mammals, obvi
ously different from the featheicd birds or the cold-blooded reptiles, amphibians, andj
various classes of fishes. Just as a phylum may be divided into classes, so a class is
divided into orders. One of the orders of mammals is the Order Carnivora, which
contains the dogs, cats, bears, weasels, and other flesh-eaters. Orders are further
divided into families; the dogs and their allies are placed in the Family Canidae, the
cats in the Family Felidae, and so on. Within a family, closely related species are
placed together in the same genus and it is the name of the genus that forms the first

part of the scientific name of a species. Many members of the dog family belong to the
genus Cams; the Wolf is Canis lupus, and the domestic Dog, in all its varieties, is
Cams jam i liaris
Up until the middle of the 19th century, scientific classifications were based 11

entirely on and structure, and those who classified

similarities in appearance
animals sought to place them in some sort of system, usually intended to indicate the
work and design of the Creator. Then, in 1859, Charles Darwin elaborately set forth
his Theory of Natural Selection. Now, an additional burden was placed on the
classification of living things. Since animals were now thought to have evolved and
changed during long periods of geological time, with one kind of animal giving rise)

to another, the arrangement of animal groups in a classification was expected

to show how the groups were related to one another in this historical and evolu-
tionary sense.
This dual purpose in the classification of animals, dividing them up into con-
venient groups and at the same time indicating their evolutionary relationships,
presents the modern zoologist with many problems. If there were a clear fossil record
of the origin of the phyla, the task would be a simple one. But the needed fossils have
not been found. Most of the phyla evidently arose during the Precambrian, an
immense span of geological time that ended about 590 million years ago, so long ago
that few fossils from that ancient time have survived. Moreover, most animals are
soft-bodied and seldom leave a fossil record. The oldest known fossils of many of th<
animal phyla already have all the characteristics of the phylum, and tell us nothing
about the origin of the animals. And for many phyla, there is no fossil record at all.
In arranging the phyla of animals, then, scientists have had to resort to other kinds
of evidence. One of the chief types of evidence is the same as that used by pre
Darwinian scientists —
structure and appearance. The fact that a segmented body is
found both in the insects and other members of the Phylum Arthropoda and in the
leeches and earthworms of the Phylum Annelida suggests that these two phyla are
related. In many cases, information on the structure of the animals is all that is neede<

to place them But to arrange the groups in a sequence that reflects their
in groups.
relationships to one another, one needs additional evidence. In the 1860s, the
German zoologist Ernst Haeckel proposed that the evolutionary history of an animal
is reflected in the development of its embryo. While later research has shown that

evidence from embryology must be used with caution, it does offer many useful clues,
as we shall see in the following pages.
These two kinds of information, anatomical and embryological, form the basis of
our modern classification of animals. Sometimes, the evidence they provide is
inconclusive or even contradictory. There are still many unanswered questions about
the origins and relationships of the 33 phyla recognized in this book. A glance at
several college-level zoology textbooks will show wide disagreement about the
position of some of the phyla. The arrangement followed in this encyclopedia is a
reasonably conservative one; most authorities agree with its basic outline, but in some
cases the position of a phylum is far from definite. In the absence of a good fossil
record, it is possible that some of these fundamental questions about the relationships
of animal groups will never be answered to everyone's satisfaction.
All modern classifications begin with the simplest animals and gradually proceed
to more complex ones. The simplest animals are presumed to be the most primitive,
and to have evolved earlier.

olvox The Protozoa

Experts are agreed that the Phylum Protozoa forms a logical starting point. Proto-
zoans are mostly single-celled animals and so must be considered more primitive than
the other animal phyla, all of which are metazoans, or many-celled animals. While the
single-celled condition of the Protozoa places them at the base of the family tree, they
are, in their own way, as highly specialized as any group treated in this book. As
single cells, they cannot form organs or tissues, but each cell can carry on all the
functions performed by different parts of the body, each one consisting of many cells,
in the higher animals. The protozoan cell contains organelles capable of locomotion,
respiration, food-getting, digestion, excretion, and reproduction. Some protozoans
are parasites in the bodies of other animals, and these may show a reduction in some of
these functions. Others, while retaining all of the many capabilities of the protozoan
cell, gather into colonies. One such colonial protozoan is Volvox, which forms a
hollow sphere of cells, each one bearing two whiplike flagella for locomotion. The
hollow ball of a Volvox colony bears a striking resemblance to one of the first stages in
the development of an embryo. After fertilization, an egg cell undergoes a number of
divisions to form a solid cluster of cells. This cluster soon develops into a simple,
hollow sphere, with a wall one cell thick, known as a blastula. The cavity inside a
blastula is called a blastocoel. The resemblance between a Volvox colony and a blastula
is one of the foundations of Haeckel's principle that the evolutionary history of

animals is reflected in the development of an embryo. The Volvox colony is therefore a

starting point in the story of evolution of the many-celled animals as indicated
by embryology.

The Sponges
The sponges of the Phylum Porifera represent the simplest advance over the single-
celled condition of the protozoans. Sponges are many-celled, an individual sponge
consisting of cells of several different types, each one specialized for a particular
function. Some of the cells line the water passages in the sponge and are responsible
for catching particles of food or taking in oxygen for respiration; others live inside the
substance of the sponge, carrying nutrients from the food-capturing cells to other
parts of the body; and still others secrete the spicules that form the sponge's skeleton,
or cover its surface in a sort of skin. These cells are not organized into tissues and
organs; each cell acts independently, and the systems — digestive, nervous, repro-
ductive —seen in higher animals are not found in sponges. If a sponge is pushed
through a fine strainer so that all of its cells are separated, they can survive and
gradually migrate back together to form a new sponge. One might almost look upon
a sponge as a highly integrated colony of protozoans. The sponges are therefore
considered a very early offshoot of the protozoans, a blind alley that never led to the
evolution of any higher group.

Cnidarian Polyp The Cnidarians and Comb Jellies

Another very early and primitive offshoot is represented by the jellyfishes, sea
anemones, and hydroids of the Phylum Cnidaria, and the comb jellies of the Phylum
Ctenophora. These animals are radially symmetrical, with their body parts arranged
around an axis like the spokes of a wheel. Radial symmetry is usually associated with a
sedentary life-style, or one in which the animal floats in.the water. Cnidarians and
comb jellies are the first animals in which we see tissues, clusters or groups of cells
specialized to perform a particular function, as well as organs, tentacles, nerve fibers,
and gonads. Although they vary greatly in body form, these animals all have only a
single body cavity, used for digestion, and one opening, the mouth, between this
cavity and the outside. The body wall is composed of two cell layers, an outer
epidermis and an inner gastrodermis lining the digestive cavity.
In these two features, the single body cavity with a single opening, and the
possession of only two cell layers in the body wall, the cnidarians and comb jellies
provide another example of Haeckel's principle. In the development of an embryo,
Gastrula the hollow, spherical blastula is followed by a stage known as the gastrula. At a point
on the surface of the blastula, the single-celled layer begins to fold inward, partly
filling the blastocoel. The result is a gastrula, a hollow structure with a single
opening to the outside, called a blastopore, and a wall composed of two cell layers. The
outer layer of the body wall is the ectoderm, and the lining of the interior cavity is called
the endoderm. In the subsequent development of the embryo, the ectoderm gives rise

to the skin and the nervous system, while the endoderm goes on to form the digestive
system and, in some cases, the respiratory system. This is one of the earliest stages in
the life of an embryo, and yet the cnidarians and comb jellies have not progressed any
farther than this. The implication, accepted by nearly all zoologists, is that these two
phyla are among the most primitive, and so they are placed very low on the family
tree, just above the protozoans and sponges.
blostoioel (remnant)

The Fiatworms
As the development of an embryo continues, a third layer of cells appears. Because it
comes to lie between the ectoderm and the endoderm, it is called the mesoderm, from
the Greek mesos, "middle. " In those animals that have this third cell layer, it gives rise
(cross section ot a Hatworm)
to muscles, reproductive organs, and kidneys. All of the animals placed higher in the
classification than the cnidarians and comb jellies have mesoderm, and with one
exception — the starfishes and other echinoderms —
they are all bilaterally sym-
metrical. In an animal with bilateral symmetry, the body can be divided longi-
tudinally into two halves that are mirror images of one another. Bilaterally sym-
metrical animals usually have a front end and a hind end, not found in cnidarians and
comb jellies, and distinct upper and lower surfaces. Bilateral symmetry, a distin-
guishable head end, and upper and lower surfaces are associated with animals that
move about, just as radial symmetry is usually associated with animals that remain
in one place.
The simplest of the animals with all three cell layers and with bilateral symmetry
are the fiatworms of the Phylum Platyhelminthes. In the fiatworms, the ectoderm
and endoderm are separated by a thick, solid mass of mesodermal cells, and the
mouth, if present, is located either at the front end of the body or on its underside.
Fiatworms may be free-living or parasitic, and in one group of parasites, the
tapeworms (Class Cestoda), there is no mouth or digestive system; the animal absorbs
nutrients from its host directly through the body wall.

The Mesozoans
The Phylum Mesozoa contains a few dozen microscopic, wormlike animals that are
parasites in the body cavities of other invertebrates. Their structure is extremely
simple; a mesozoan consists of little more than a short string of cells. They have only
two cell layers, but the missing layer is thought to be the endoderm rather than the
mesoderm, and, like the tapeworms, they have no digestive system. Because they
have mesoderm, their simplified body plan is usually considered to be the result of
their parasitic habits, and so they are placed near the fiatworms. Some authorities,
however, think that their structure indicates that they are more primitive, and that
they should be listed closer to the protozoans.

The Ribbon Worms

Except for the sponges, all of the many-celled animals we have seen thus far have a
Complete Digestive System digestive system with only one opening, the mouth, derived from the embryonic
longitudinal section ot a nematode worm)
blastopore, or else are internal parasites with no digestive system at all. There now
1 l i i i i
appears a second opening, where the digestive system has broken through the body
ii ii i i i i i i i i I I I I I I i I I I ) i i i i i i i i i i i i rr
wall at the opposite end of the body from the mouth. This is a major improvement,
one that marks the remaining phyla as more advanced, for now food can move
li M ±X
; i i i i i i i i

through the digestive tract in one direction, and different sections of the tract can
become specialized for processing the food more efficiently. The ribbon worms of the
Phylum Rhynchocoela are the first group to have such a"complete"digestive system,
and while they share many characteristics with the flatworms, we are justified in
considering them a more advanced group of animals.

The Pseudocoelomate Phyla

As we have seen, the flatworms and ribbon worms have three cell layers, with the
mesoderm forming a solid mass of cells between the ectoderm and the endoderm.
Embedded in this cell mass are the kidneys, the reproductive organs, and the
digestive system. The digestive system, lined with endoderm, is the only body
cavity. In the next group ol phyla, a second body cavity appears, a fluid-filled space
surrounding the digestive system and the other internal organs. This cavity is
thought to be the remains ol the blastocoel, the hollow space inside the embryonic
blastula. The groups with this kind of body cavity are called the pseudocoelomate
phyla, and the cavity is termed a pseudocoelom In many ot these animals, this

fluid-filled pseudocoelom serves as a kind of skeleton; by contracting muscles in the

body wall, the animal creates pressure on the fluid, and this provides the animal with
rigidity just as il there were a hard internal skeleton. The pseudocoelomate phyla are
considered to be the next stage in evolution after the flatworms and ribbon worms,
animals filled with solid mesoderm. They include the Rotifera, Gastrotricha, and
Kinorhyncha, three groups of microscopic, mainly free-living animals; the Nema-
tomorpha, larger, wormlike animals that are free-living as adults but parasites when
young; the Nematoda, a very large group of worms that are either free-living or
parasitic; and the Acanthocephala, worms that are exclusively parasitic. In all these
groups the body is covered by a tough, noncellular cuticle, secreted by the ectoderm, a
useful protection for a parasite in the acid-filled digestive systems of other animals.

The Schizocoeiomate Phyla

We next come to a large number of phyla that also have a second body cavity, but one
that is formed in a totally different way from that of the pseudocoelomate animals.
Instead of being derived from the embryonic blastocoel, the body cavity in these
animals appears much later in the development of the embryo, when spaces suddenly
open up in the mesoderm that surrounds the digestive system and the other internal
organs. Such a body cavity, derived from and lined by mesoderm, is called a true
loelom Formation coelom and is distinguished from the earlier blastocoel cavity called a pseudocoelom or
schizocoelom) "false" coelom. When the coelom appears as a result of this splitting open of the
mesoderm, it is called a schizocoelom from the Greek schizo-, "splitting," and the

animals possessing it are known as the schizocoeiomate phyla.

According to one school of thought, this new body cavity may first have appeared
in the form of chambers to house the gonads or sex organs. In the segmented worms
of the Phylum Annelida, to which the earthworms belong, many of the parts of
the body are repeated serially down the length of the animal, and there are many such
chambers, each one containing a pair of gonads and separated from adjacent
chambers by thin partitions. If these partitions were to disappear, the result would be
a single coelomic cavity. This is just what we find in the other great group of
segmented animals, the Phylum Arthropoda, and in the smaller but allied Phylum
Onychophora. In both of these groups, many parts of the body are repeated serially
down the length of the animal, but there is a single coelom. In the segmented
waterbears of the small Phylum Tardigrada, the coelom is reduced to a tiny chamber
containing a single pair of gonads, while in the Pentastomida, a small group of
parasites sometimes included in the Arthropoda, there is a single coelom and little
trace of segmentation.

The annelid worms and the arthropods, both segmented, are two of the three major
groups of schizocoelomate animals. The third is the Phylum Mollusca, the clams,
snails, and their allies. In the mollusks there is a single coelom. Most show no trace of
segmentation, although some experts believe that Neopilma, a primitive mollusk
recently discovered off the west coast of Mexico, may show some indication of
Trochophore Larva
segments. But even though they may never have been segmented, the mollusks are
clearly related to the annelids, and are therefore bona fide members of the schizo-
coelomate group. In both annelids and mollusks there is a highly distinctive larva
known as a trochophore, a microscopic, top-shaped creature that swims through the
water by beating a row of threadlike cilia around its front end. A trochophore larva is
also found in the Phylum Echiura and the Phylum Sipuncula. This larva, found in no
other groups, thus links the Annelida, Mollusca, Echiura, and Sipuncula, despite the
great differences between the adults of these phyla.
The Phylum Pogonophora, a group of slender worms that live in soft mud on the
bottom of the sea, is thought to have a coelom formed in the same manner as that of
the annelids and other schizocoelomate phyla, but beyond that, little is known about
the relationships of these animals.
The Phylum Priapulida is a very small, poorly known group of marine worms with
a distinct body cavity. Some authorities claim that this cavity is a true coelom,
formed by splitting of the mesoderm, while others insist that it is a remnant of the
embryonic and therefore a pseudocoelom. If the latter view is correct, then
this phylum belongs with the Nematoda, Rotifera, and other pseudocoelomate
phyla, rather than where it is placed in this book.

The Lophophorate Phyla

In four phyla, the Phoronida, Bryozoa, Entoprocta, and Brachiopoda, the mouth is
surrounded by a ring of fleshy tentacles called a lophophore, which serves to draw food
into the mouth. In these animals, there is no trace of segmentation, but the body
cavity arises as chambers in the mesoderm. No one knows for sure where these
groups, collectively called the lophophorate phyla, fit into the family tree, or even
whether they all belong together. They seem to be an early offshoot of the schizo-
coelomate animals, but they are usually placed on a higher branch of the family tree
than the mollusks, annelids, and arthropods.

The Deuterostomes
In all of the many-celled animals we have discussed so far, the primitive opening into
the embryonic gastrula gives rise to the mouth, and in those animals with a complete
digestive system, the second opening, the one that breaks through the body wall, is
the anus. In the remaining phyla it is the other way round. The anus develops from
the original opening of the gastrula, or very near it, and the mouth is the secondary
opening. These animals are called deuterostomes, from the Greek for "secondary
mouth," while all the earlier ones are called protostomes, Greek for "first mouth. "This
is a very fundamental difference and marks a major division in the animal family tree.

Clearly the deuterostomes branched off very early, but nothing is known about when,
Coelom Formation or about what group among the protostomes might be their closest allies.
(from pouches in digestive system) The deuterostomes have a coelom, but it too arises in a very different way. Instead
of appearing as chambers in the mesoderm, the coelom in these animals develops as a
series of pouches in the wall of the digestive cavity very early in the life of the embryo.
These pouches are lined with mesoderm, and so the body cavity that results
from them is a true coelom, called, in this case, an enterocoelom The deuterostomes

include the arrow worms (Phylum Chaetognatha), the starfishes, sea urchins and their
allies (Phylum Echinodermata), the acorn worms (Phylum Hemichordata), the sea
squirts and tunicates (Phylum Urochordata), the lancelets (Phylum Cephalo-
chordata), and the vertebrates (Phylum Chordata). Perhaps because man is a
deuterostome, these phyla are placed at the top of the family tree and considered the
most advanced.
The arrow worms are a small group of free-living, dart-shaped marine worms with
fins. They are related to the rest of the deuterostomes by virtue of the origin of the
mouth and the manner in which the coelom is formed, but they share little else with
the other members of this group.


The echinoderms have radial symmetry, something we have not seen since we left
the cnidarians andcomb jellies far down near the base of the family tree. But this
radial symmetry does not mean that the starfishes and sea urchins are related to the
primitive cnidarians; it has appeared secondarily. Only the adults are radially
symmetrical, the larvae being bilaterally symmetrical like the other deuterostomes.
In many deuterostomes, water is brought in through the mouth and passes
through a series of fine slits in the wall of the pharnyx, in the forward part of the
digestive system. As the water moves through these slits, oxygen and food particles
Notochord and Gill Slits in Larval Sea Squirt are filtered out. Because they are used for respiration, these slits are called gill slits.
Such gill slits unite all of the highest phyla among the deuterostomes; they are found
in the acorn worms, the sea squirts, the lancelets, and, among the vertebrates, in the
fishes and some amphibians. In the higher vertebrates — the reptiles, birds, and

mammals they appear for a time during the development of the embryo, a brief
reminder that the land-dwelling snakes, chickens, and even man himself are all
descended from aquatic animals that had gills.
gill slits
In the sea squirts, lancelets, and vertebrates, there is a stiff, rodlike structure
located above the digestive tract but below the nerve cord that runs down the back.
This rod, called the notochord, gives the body rigidity and serves as a skeleton. It is
present in the tails of free-swimming larval sea squirts, but not in the sedentary
adults. It runs the length of the body in the lancelets, which are free-swimming both
as larvae and as adults. It can be found in the embryo of vertebrates, but disappears in
most of them before birth or hatching, its support function taken over by the
vertebral column. The notochord is often used as a basis for uniting all three of these
groups in a single phylum, called the Chordata, but it now appears that this structure
may have a different origin in each of the three, and so we have placed each group in a
phylum of its own, reserving the name Chordata for the vertebrates.

The Vertebrates
Despite their diversity, the vertebrates all have many characteristics in common.
They have a notochord, gill slits, and a nerve cord running down the back, features
they share with the sea squirts and lancelets. They also have structures that are unique
to vertebrates. Chief among these is an internal skeleton of cartilage or bone. Part of
this skeleton is the vertebral column, a series of vertebrae that runs the length of the
back, providing a flexible yet firm support for the body, attachment for muscles, and
protection for the nerve cord, which passes through channels in the vertebrae.
This internal skeleton, since it is hard and durable, often lasts long after the death
of the animal, and so the vertebrates have left a rich fossil record, one that tells us
much about their evolution.

The Jawless Fishes

The earliest group of vertebrates, the jawless fishes of the Class Agnatha, are
represented today by the lampreys and hagfishes. These slender, eel-like animals have
little sign of a vertebral column. Above the notochord, which persists throughout the
life of a lamprey or hagfish, there is a series of delicate arches of cartilage. Without

jaws, and with the notochord forming the major skeletal support for the body, these
primitive animals seem but little advanced over the lancelets.

The Cartilaginous Fishes and Bony Fishes

Gill Arches Between the gill slits of these lower vertebrates are the delicate gills themselves, and
(origin or jaws)
slender rods of bone or cartilage to support them; each gill with its blood vessels and
supporting skeleton is known as a gill arch. A major advance in the evolution of the
vertebrates took place when the first gill slit shifted forward around the mouth and
came to function as jaws. The evolution of jaws, often bearing teeth, allowed the
more advanced fishes to make use of a far greater variety of food sources than had the
jawless fishes before them. The jawless fishes were limited to bottom-feeding
siphoning food particles off the bottom like a vacuum-cleaner, or, as in the modern
lampreys, to living as parasites, attached to the bodies of other fishes. With paired
fins for more efficient swimming, two groups of active, jaw-bearing fishes arose about

gill arches
400 million years ago. One of the cartilaginous fishes (Class Chondrichthyes) had a
skeleton wholly of cartilage, and survives today as the sharks and rays. The other

group, with a skeleton of bone, includes all the rest of the fishes, the so-called
bony fishes (Class Osteichthyes). In both, the vertebral column has become fully
developed, and has largely or entirely replaced the notochord.

The Amphibians
The bony fishes soon occupied aquatic habitats of all kinds. Members of one group,
called the lobe-finned fishes because the base of each fin was enlarged and contained
many small bones, became adapted to life in shallow continental waters, marshes and
lakes that occasionally dried out or became stagnant. To survive these periods
when they could not absorb oxygen through gills, these fishes developed lungs,
air-filledchambers in the body where atmospheric oxygen could be taken into
the blood stream. Their skin was soft and without scales; as long as it was kept moist,
it too could absorb oxygen through the air. Their lobed fins evolved into clumsy

limbs that enabled them to move from one body of water to another; the small bones
at the base of the fins evolved into the humerus, ulna, femur, tibia, and the other
familiar limb bones of four-footed vertebrates. Another major evolutionary advance
had taken place. These air-breathing, limbed animals were the first amphibians, the
ancestors of modern frogs, toads, salamanders and caecilians, and of all other
terrestrial vertebrates.

The Reptiles
The conquest of the land by the amphibians was only a partial one. They could leave
the water at will, but had to return to it frequently, not only to keep their soft skin
moist, but because their eggs, delicate and without a shell, had to be laid in the
water. Two
key advances completed the conquest of the land and gave rise to the
reptiles. One was
the development of the shelled egg; an egg with a firm shell could
retain water, and could therefore be laid anywhere. A skin protected by scales was
likewise protected from drying out, and its possessor was free to wander over the
landscape, returning to water only for a drink. The earth was soon populated by a
variety of reptiles. From their origin some 300 million years ago until the end of the
age of dinosaurs, about 65 million years ago, the reptiles were the dominant group of
land-dwelling vertebrates. Today the Class Reptilia is represented by the croco-
dilians, lizards, snakes, and turtles, a total of more than 2200 species.

The Birds
During their long reign, the reptiles have given rise to both of the other classes of
land-dwelling vertebrates. About 140 million years ago, there lived a small creature
that walked upright on its two hind legs, had a long tail and teeth in its jaws, and
possessed so many reptilian features that one might readily classify it as a reptile, were
it not for the fact that this animal, known as Archaeopteryx, had feathers and was able

to fly. Although experts disagree on which group of reptiles were the ancestors of
Archaeopteryx, and on how and for what purpose feathers evolved in the first place,
there is is the earliest known bird and that it was itself the
no doubt that Archaeopteryx
ancestor of the roughly 9000 members of the Class Aves alive today. Feathers, which
set birds apartfrom all other animals, not only serve for flight but also for insulation.
An animal whose body is insulated by feathers can control and stabilize its body
temperature, and colonize the colder regions of the earth that are off limits to reptiles,
whose body temperature is largely dependent upon the temperature of the air around
them. These two features, flight and the ability to maintain a high internal tempera-
ture, account in large part for the success of birds, which today exceed in number of
species the amphibians, reptiles, and mammals.

The Mammals
The first mammals appeared about 200 million years ago, when the earth was ruled
by dinosaurs. Known from a few fragmentary fossils, these early mammals were very
small, the size of a mouse or shrew. But they had already evolved the major
characteristics of mammals. Like the birds, they were able to control their internal
temperature, as they were insulated by fur or hair. With a higher body temperature
they were more active than their reptilian ancestors, and had a more efficient system
for circulating blood, so that high levels of oxygen were always available to their cells.

Early in the evolution of the mammals, a number of different lines evolved, all but
two of which soon became extinct. The two surviving groups are represented today by
the monotremes, primitive mammals that lay eggs like their reptilian ancestors, and
the rest of the mammals, which give birth to live young and have well-developed
mammary glands. When the age of dinosaurs came to an end, the mammals were
quick to replace them as the dominant group of land-dwelling vertebrates. Many
orders and families evolved, adapted to a wide variety of habitats and food. The age of
mammals began some 65 million years ago, and has lasted until today.
Man, who has placed himself at the very top of the family tree of the animals, has a
very long and complex evolutionary history. He is a many-celled animal with all three
germ layers, including the mesoderm. He has a complete digestive system, with the
mouth as its He is an animal with a true coelom, formed from
secondary opening.
pouches in theembryonic digestive system, and with gill slits and a notochord as an
embryo and a vertebral column of bone later in life. He has four limbs and hair on his
body. His young are born alive and are nursed for a time after birth. Finally, he has
a brain that has developed to the point where he can think about such things. One of
the reasons we classify animals is to find out who we ourselves are. This, in a way,
is the answer.

John Farrand, Jr.


To the Reader Organization of the Encyclopedia

Before you begin to use this Encyclopedia, read the Introduction on pages 14-2 1. It
explains the organization of the animal world and the relationships among various
groups of animals.
The Encyclopedia is divided into six sections, of which the first five contain
members of the Phylum Chordata. Mammals (Class Mammalia), are followed by
Birds (Class Aves), Reptiles (Class Reptilia), Amphibians (Class Amphibia), and
Fishes (Classes Osteichthyes, Chondrichthyes, Cephalaspidomorphi, and
Pteraspidomorphi). Further breakdown of groups — order, family, genus, species
as explained in the Introduction, is dictated by the size and complexity of each
Within each of these sections, animals are arranged in scientific sequence. Thus in
the Mammals section the first animals to be discussed are the primitive monotremes,
such as the Australian Platypus, and last come the very advanced bovids, which
include sheep and antelopes.
The final section of the book, Invertebrates, contains members of the remaining
32 phyla, and here, the order of discussion ranges from the most advanced to the most
primitive animals.

English and Scientific Names

While only some animals are well known enough to have a standardized English
or "common" name, allanimals have a scientific name, which is composed of two
words of Latin or Greek origin. The first of these words is the genus name, and
it is followed by the species name. A genus may include more than one species. Thus

the scientific name of the Spanish Ibex, Capra pyrenaica, indicates that this animal
is one of several true goats of the genus Capra; the species name, pyrenaica, refers to the

Pyrenees, the mountains between Spain and France, where this species is found. This
system of naming animals, devised by Linnaeus in the mid-eighteenth century,
provides an international language, understood and used by zoologists throughout
the world.

About the Photographs

Photographs appear on or within four pages of related text. Under each photograph,
the English name of the animal depicted appears; if there is no English name, the
scientific name is given. Following the English or scientific name, a page num-
ber guides you to the text heading under which the animal or its closest relatives are
discussed. These headings are repeated above the captions and, again, guide you to
pertinent text. The captions themselves supplement the text and contain specific
information about the photographs.
The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of Animal Life


South American Sea Lion , p. 65

Mam s

Spiny Anteaters 25

having five digits with sharp claws. The feet are Bats
PHYLUM CHORDATA webbed. The animal can roll this webbing under
the pads of its hands when it is walking about on Mexican Freetail Bat (Tadarida)

Mammals land or when digging, which it does most indus- During the day millions of Freetail Bats may bang
(Class triously. The head is small and flattened, and the from the walls of a single cave; at night the bats
mammals small eyes and earholes can be enclosed at the emerge to feed on insects.
From the human point of view, the are

themost highly evolved and the most important same time between two movable ridges of skin.
group of animals. Without them, man would The front of the head bears a stiff but pliable rub- Old World Monkeys
probably not survive. Without some of them we bery structure resembling the bill of a duck. This
Mandrill Papio sphinx)

would have to alter our entire mode of living and billand the mouth behind it are lined internally
with hard ridges of a horny substance used for The dazzling facial colors of male Mandrills
we might very well succumb to hordes of insects.
crushing food. deepen as the animals threaten lower-ranking
Yet while everybody is familiar with the terms
The most unexpected feature of all, which the mem Ivn of the troop.
"fish," "reptile," and "bird," there is no really
popular name for the forms of life we are about to Platypus shares with the spiny anteaters, is sharp,
describe. The trend today among English- recurved spurs the males carry on the insides of
speaking peoples seems to be to call them simply their ankles. The spurs are connected to glands Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta)
"animals" in a contrasting sense to fishes, birds, which secrete a poison that is quite deadly to At one time hyenas were considered to be exclusively
reptiles, and so forth. This is misleading, first some small animals and can give intense pain to a scavengers, but they are now known to be accomplished
because all material things that are not vegetables human being if he is well jabbed. The mono- hunters as well. Working in packs, they capture and
or minerals are animals, and second because sci- tremes are the only truly venomous mammals kill animals as large as Zebras. The group shown
ence has adopted this word to define a particular known, though the bites of certain of the shrews here has brought down a Wildebeest.
group of living things. The mammals are but one are poisonous.
minor subdivision of the Kingdom of Animals. Platypuses are found only in the eastern third Bovids
Out of the million or so different kinds of of Australia and in Tasmania. They are semi-
Gnu ( Connochaetes taurinus
animals known to inhabit the earth, not more aquatic, paddling about at the bottoms of rivers,
Large herds of migrating Gnus, or Wildebeests, are a
than 4,300 species are mammals. They are the streams, lakes, and ponds, looking for worms,
common sight on East African savannas.
only animals that have, at the same time, hinged insects, and other food. They dig
backbones, warm blood, true hair, and a four- complicated burrows beneath the banks. Most
Steinbok Rachicerus melanotis
( >

chambered heart, and that also breathe air and burrows are inhabited by a pair, but when eggs
Unlike many other antelopes, the Steinbok is
suckle their young. are on the way the female goes off and digs a nest
not gregarious. It is a secretive animal that hides in
Mammals come dozens of completely differ-
in from which her mate is excluded, and in which
ent forms. They can be fishlike ones —
the whales; she retires for a period of three weeks. The little
tall grass; when approached, it freezes instead

birdlike — the bats; lizardlike —

certain tiny Aus- three-quarter-inch eggs are incubated for about
of running away.

tralian marsupial mice; froglike —

humans; or two weeks, the mother holding them on her
tortoiselike —armadillos. They range in size curled-up body. Nor does she leave the nest until
from a shrew which can just counterbalance a the eggs are hatched and the young have learned Lion (Leo leo)

dime, to the Blue Whale, which has been meas- to suck from her fur the milk that seeps through Lions regularly prey on gazelles, Wildebeests, and
ured at 1 12 feet and can weigh as much as 170 certain special, enlarged pores in her skin. The Zebras. Lionesses do most of the hunting; while
tons. eyes of the young open after 1 1 weeks and the feeding, adults are apt to wrangle, and males may
In habitats, also, the mammals are incredibly babies remain in the nest for 6 more weeks before snatch food from their mates.
varied. They found throughout the earth, in
are weaning.
the air, in the ground, in rivers, lakes, seas, and
New World Monkeys
oceans, on deserts and ice caps. Because of their Spiny Anteaters (Family Tachyglossidae). The Red Uacari (Cacajao rubicundus)
warm blood, their extremely efficient mechanism spines of these animals are really much enlarged Uacaris A mazon forests They are the
live in troops in .

for maintaining their temperature both in heat or hairs, yellow or white with sharp black tips.
only New World monkeys with short tails; they have
cold, and their varied methods of insulating their Those on the sides are round in section, but virtually bald heads, and their bodies are covered
bodies, they survive in environments that are elsewhere they are interspersed with softer, flat-
with long, thin hair.
lethal to almost all other animals. tened, smaller spines. The form found on the
island of Tasmania, Tachyglossus setosus, is covered Lemurs
Egg-layers in a thick coat of brown hairs interspersed with
Mouse-lemur ( Microcebus)
(Order Monotremeta) short spines on the back but longer and inter-
The smallest of Madagascar's primates, the nocturnal
The most remarkable of all living mammals were locked over its There are five toes bear-
rear end.
Mouse-lemur measures only 1 1 inches.
not even known except to some Australian and ing stout claws on the front feet and five on the
New Guinea tribesmen until 150 years ago. They hind, the inner being very small but the next
Eared Seals
are called monotremes because they have a single immense, while the other three decrease in size
ventral opening for the elimination of both liquid down to a small outer one. The long one is used South American Sea Lion (Otanafiavescens)
and solid wastes as well as for sexual conjugation for scratching, combing, and cleaning between With the coming of the Antarctic summer, breeding
and, in the female, birth. Birth, moreover, is the spines. The head is very small arid tapers to a South American Sea Lions become segregated from
accomplished in a surprising and, for a mammal, hard, naked beak with nostrils. The mouth is at other members of the herd. In the breeding herd
unorthodox manner, by the deposition of small, the tip and food is collected by a long, thin are bulls with their harems, mature females and
rubbery eggs. tongue lubricated by a sticky saliva. There is no newborn sea lions.
Monotremes live only in Australia, Tasmania, tail.

New Guinea, and sundry neighboring islands. Spiny anteaters live both in open wooded and
They come in two different forms known as grassy areas, but they seem to prefer rocky
duckbills and spiny anteaters; there are two very ground. In order to obtain sufficient ants and
distinct kinds of the latter. other insect food they have to lead active lives.
They are constantly crawling about, snuffling,
Duckbills (Family Ornithorhynchidae). There is turning over stones, and probing under things
only one species, known as the Platypus (Orni- with their snouts. Their strength is prodigious,
thorhynchus anatinus). Covered with dense, woolly and their principal method of defense is to dig
fur, it has a flattened tail like that of a beaver, hastily with all four feet and thus sink quickly
short limbs with outsized hands and feet, all down into the ground until only an oblong dome
. )

26 Pouched Mammals

Common Opossum, p. 27
American Opossums
Common Opossum ( Didelphis marsupialis
After a gestation 13 days, as many as 14 tiny
of only
opossum embryos climb up through their mother's hair
and enter her pouch. Each offspring is attached to one
of the mother's nipples for 2 months. The young then
climb out of the pouch and, after another 3 or 4
months, become independent

Spiny Anteaters
Three-toed Spiny Anteater (Zaglossus bruijni)
The Three-toed Spiny Anteater is an inhabitant
of New Guinea. When it is young, its body is

covered with thick hair and short spines but the ,

spines disappear from the back and flanks as the

animal matures.

Three-toed Spiny Anteater , p. 25

— )

Bandicoots 27

of spines is left above the surface. This usually are five distinct groups of dasyunds, but the first

balks any enemy completely. four, although different in external appearance,

The Three-toed Spiny Anteater (Zaglossus bru- are more closely related anatomically, and consti-
ijni) of New Guinea is a different animal. It tute a single family. The fifth is most curious.
stands up on comparatively long legs, the head
its The first lot of dasyurids are called pocket-
is larger, is not well defined, being
and the beak mice (Phascogale) in but are better
more an extension of the head and reaching the known as phascogales. There
an almost bewil-

ground. Its hind feet turn outward and back- dering variety of these small carnivorous beasts
ward. The body when young is thickly clothed but they can be divided into seven distinct groups
with hair and small, short spines but aged indi- of genera. All are small —
varying in size from
viduals may lose almost all of both over the back that of a small house mouse to a fairly large rat
and flanks. and display a great range of characteristics. It is
unlikely that anybody except a keen Australian
Pouched Mammals naturalist will ever see any one of them alive.
(Order Marsupialia) The second group of dasyurids is made up of
There is no doubt that the mammals that have the four kinds of "native cats," the so-called
pouches in which to carry their young are not Tiger Cat (Dasyurops maculatus), and the famous
only descendants of some of the earliest mam- Tasmanian Devil (Sanophilus harrisii).
mals, but are actual survivals, which is some- The Tiget Cat and the native cats are irregu-
thing quite Marsupials were once
different. larly spotted; in the native cats, like the Eastern

found all over the earth, but today they are con- Australian Native Cat (Dasyurus viverrinus), the
fined to North and South America, Australia, spots are confined to the body, while in the Tiget
and a belt of islands north of that continent. Cat the spots extend onto the tail. The Tasman-
Although designated pouched mammals, not ian Devil is jet black with white blotches and a
all marsupials have pouches. Some like the kan- bright pink nose, ears, feet, and tail. All these
garoos, have large bags, others have shallow animals are predators. They were once found all
cups, others only flaps of skin, and some have over Australia and Tasmania but the range of the
none at all. In all cases, however, the young are native cats is now greatly restricted in the former
born so early that they are no more than half- while the Devil is now confined to Tasmania. The
di veloped embryos. These usually find their own native cats live in all types of country apart from
way to the pouch, ot at least to the teats, to which the full deserts; the far western ones are often
they attach themselves for weeks. beachcombers. The Tiger Cat is arboreal. The
Devil is a burrower but when cornered it will
American Opossums (Family Didelphidae) often dive into the water and swim a long dis-
There are seven groups of marsupials with repre- tance before surfacing under banks or overhang-
sentatives still alive today. The first of these, the ing vegetation.
didelphid|oppossums, are found only in the The remaining three groups of dasyurids are
Americas and vary in size from the Common most extraordinary and each forms a quite dis-
Opossum of the U.S. (Didelphis marsupialis vir- tinct subfamily of its own. They are the Pouched
gimanus) to the mouse-oppossums (Marmosa) of Wolf (Thylacinus cynocephalus) of Tasmania; the
South American forests, some of which are only beautiful little Numbat (Myrmecobius fasaatus)
three inches long. In all, there are some 60 quite which eats insects; and the extraordinary Marsu-
distinct kinds of didelphids, divided into 12 pial Mole (Notoryctes typhlops).
genera. They
all eat just about everything that The Pouched Wolf, also known as the Thyla-
can be digested, from live insects and other ani- cine, is the largest known living carnivorous mar-
mals to leaves, fruits, carrion, and not infre- supial that has been scientifically examined. The
quently each other. Thylacine is exactly like a sleek, short-eared wolf
The Common Opossum, which ranges from with a tapering tail. It is of a dull brown gray
Canada to Panama, is represented in South Amer- color, with lighter jaws and throat, but has a
Tiger Cat, p. 27
ica by more slender, less furry forms. The Woolly number of black stripes starting on the shoulders Phalangers
Opossum (Caluromys lanatus) has two flaps of skin and increasing in length to the hind legs, and
Spotted Cuscus (Phalanger macu/atus)
instead of a pouch; the Gray "Four-eyed" Opos- then retreating upwards again to the tail-base. A
discuses of Australia are slow-moving tree-dwellers
sum (Philander opossum) of South America has no few Thylacines are thought to survive in the
pouch, while the Central American Brown with retiring habits.
mountains of Tasmania, hunting in pairs or small
"Four-eyed" Opossum (Metachirus nudicaudatus) family parties by night, using a permanent lair in
has a fully developed one. The mouse-opossums
the daytime, and being grossly and maliciously
have silky fur, range in size from that of a mouse persecuted. Tiger Cat [Dasyurus viverrinus
to a small rat, and occur from Mexico to The Numbat is a termite-eater; its whole feed- The Tiger Cat is an inhabitant of Tasmania. Like a
Argentina. ing apparatus is designed to extract the insects
true cat, this marsupial preys on birds and other
Nothing is known of the habits of the short- from the galleries they excavate in rotten wood. small animals.
tailed Shrew-Opossums (Monodelphis) which live The rare Marsupial Mole has no eyes and only
under leaf litter and in hollow logs on the forest minute holes for ears. It burrows under sand and
floor. The smallest is less than five inches long. loose earth in the desert areas of central Australia
The oddest didelphid of all is the Yapok, or and eats insects.
Water Opossum (Chironectes minimus), of moun-
tain streams. Its feet are fully
webbed, the tail is Bandicoots (Family Paramelidae). In their
and scaly but not prehensile. It ranges
ratlike habits, the bandicoots are somewhere between
from Guatemala to Btazil through the moun- the predominantly carnivorous phascogales and
tains. the more herbivorous phalangers and kangaroos.
Bandicoots are active little animals ranging in
DasyuridS (Family Dasyundae). The dasyunHs size from that of a rat to a hare, and while some
are the carnivores of the marsupial world. There creep about like shrews, others hop like rabbits,
. 1

28 Rat Opossums

and the odd Pig-footed Bandicoot (Chaeropus'

ecaudatus) stands up more like a small chevrotain. I

In Australia, they take the place of the insecti-

vores and to a certain extent that of some of the;
rodents and rabbits of other countries. There are
about 20 species of bandicoots, all found in Aus-|
tralia, New Guinea, and neighboring islands.

Rat Opossums (Family Caenolestidae). These

shrewlike marsupials are rare, terrestrial animals]
found in the Andes of South America, from
Colombia south to Chile, where they inhabit for-
ests. Active mainly at night, they feed on small
invertebrates. They have long, pointed noses and
sensory whiskers. The best-known species is the
Inca Rat Opossum (Lestoros inca), which is con-
fined to Peru. It feeds on insects and their
larvae and, like other members of this family, has
no pouch.

Phalangers (Family Phalangeridae). Phalangers

are found all over Tasmania, Australia, New
Guinea, and the East Indian Islands, north and
west to Amboina, Celebes, and Timor. The
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), the pert, tubby,
tailless little animal that provided the model for
the first Teddy Bear, is unique among marsupials.
Having a backward-opening pouch, which is a
queer arrangement for a tree-living animal, this
harmless little animal has been grossly persecuted
for its fur, harassed by dogs, and starved by the
clearing of its food trees. Koalas have large, rub-
bery noses, small eyes, fluffy ears, handlike fore- j

paws with the first and second fingers opposable,

an opposed big toe and combined second and
third toes. They have thick, woolly, gray fur, and
terribly strong, sharp claws. They are arboreal
and feed exclusively on the leaves of certain euca-
lypts, but only for a certain period each year when
that tree is producing specific oils.
One or two young are born at a time, and are
only about three-quarters of an inch long. They
remain in the pouch for six months and until
about six inches long. After this, they ride on
their mother's back for a year, though still using
the pouch as a retreat for three months.
The most extraordinary of marsupials is the
little Noolbenger (Tarsipes spenserae), which
Koala, p. 28
haunts the shrubbery of the extreme southwest of
Phalangers Australia. It is only the size of a small mouse but

Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) with an exaggerated, almost proboscislike snout

Koalas feed exclusively on the leaves of certain
from which sprouts a mass of sensitive whiskers.
eucalypti, and they spend all of their time in trees.
Most odd is the long, extensible tongue, clothed
in short hairs and with a tuft of hairs at the end.
They have thick woolly fur, and their claws are

strong and sharp The lips have accessory flaps which are used to
convert the whole mouth-opening into a sort of
suction pump. The animal feeds exclusively on
Great Glider (Schoinobates volans)
nectar, honey, pollen, and small insects gathered
With a total length of as much as 35 inches, the
from flowers by a violent pumping action.
Great Glider is the largest flying marsupial
The remaining phalangerids fall into two
in Australia.
groups. The first comprises about 30 species of
animals in 10 genera. These are the cuscuses
Spotted Cuscus (Phalanger maculatus)
(Phalanger); the brush-tailed phalangers or Aus-
The Spotted Cuscus has large, orange-rimmed eyes
tralian possums (Trichosurus); the Pigmy Gliding
that may be red, yellow, or bluish green, and which
Phalanger (Acrobates pygmaeus); the Pen-tailed
are adapted for night vision.
Phalanger (Distoechurus pennatus); the dormouse
phalangers (Cercartetus); the rare Leadbeater's
Possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri); the gliding
possums (Petaurus); the striped phalangers
(Dactylopsila); and the little-known Scaly-tailed
Possum (Wyulda squamicaudata).
Cuscuses are completely nocturnal, slow-

Great Glider, p
Kangaroos and Wallabies 29
moving tree-dwellers, with retiring habits and
vicious tempers. Their range is surprisingly wide
for an Australian marsupial, reaching to the Cele-
bes, Timor, and the Solomon Islands.
The brushtails are nocturnal tree-dwellers that
feed on leaves, fruits, and nuts. About the size of
a half-grown cat, they are compact and sturdy,
with long tails.
Closely related are the gliding possums and the
Pigmy Gliding Phalanger. The latter is less than
three inches long with a prehensile tad just over
three inches long. The former are silky-furred
and a silvery blue gray in color. They eat insects,
leaves, honey, nectar, some flower petals, and the
hard congealed gum from eucalyptus trees.
The striped phalangers are for the most part
confined to New Guinea, while the remaining
types in this group are of interest only to
The other group of tailed phalangers comprises
20 species, divided among 5 genera. Fifteen of
these are commonly called ring-tailed phalangers
(Pseudocheirusand Pseudocheirops) and are found all
over New
Guinea, Australia, and Tasmania.
The only remaining phalanger is the Great
Glider (Schoinobates volans). This is over three feet
long and, when in flight, looks not unlike a
swept-wing plane, with its tail like a Jetstream.
It can soar hundreds of feet from tree to tree, and

lives mostly in open eucalyptus forests.

Wombats (Family Phascolomyidae). The wom-

bats have developed both internal and external
characteristics rather like some large rodents.
They have only two upper and two lower front
teeth, and these grow continually; the other teeth
are rootless and also grow all the time, being
worn down on top and continuously replaced
from below. They are great diggers, some of the
holes they make being over a hundred feet long
and usually ending in a capacious nest lined with
leaves and bark. Their principal diet is grasses.
They have close fur, short sturdy limbs, no tails,
and nail-shaped claws for digging. They are the
size of a large, heavyset dog. There are two kinds
of wombats, the Coarse-haired Wombat (Vomba-
of southeastern Australia, Tasmania,
tus ursinus)
and Flinders Island, and the three species of
hairy-nosed wombats (Lasiorhinus), widely dis-
tributed on the Australian continent.

Kangaroos and Wallabies (Family Macropodi-

dae). The three remaining groups of marsupials
are customarily joined into one family and called
collectively kangaroos, although the word kanga-
roo is rightfully applicable only to a few species.
The strange little animal which has become
known popularly as the Musky Rat-kangaroo
(Hypsiprymnodon moschatui) lives on the ground
among damp, dense vegetation in certain limited
areas of Queensland. It is only about 18 inches
long, including a 6-inch tail, and is of a bright
reddish brown color, turning almost orange
below. It looks like a large rat, but has a very
strong, musky odor.
There are about a dozen different kinds of
potoroos or rat-kangaroos found throughout Aus-
tralia and Tasmania and associated islands. They
are divided into four quite distinct genera.
Although they look just kangaroos
like tiny
externally, they eat insects and some other animal
as well as vegetable food; they also have well-
Spotted Cuscus, p. 28
30 Kangaroos and Wallabies

Tree-kangaroo, p. 29

!** Jf *^J*' 1&&*JutiPt

Red Kangaroo, p. 29
. )

Hedgehogs and Gymnures 31

developed canine or eyeteeth, whereas the walla- ered snouts and scaly tails. They are fierce animals,

bies and kangaroos have either minute canines or about a foot long, and feed on insects, lizards,
none at all. Like the latter, however, they have no and carrion. There are two species; the Cuban
big or first toes, and their tails are well furred. Solenodon (Solenodon aibanus) is found in the
The tree-kangaroos (Dendrolagus) are quite Sierra Maestra in Cuba, while the Hispaniolan
common in the forested
the great island of New
mountain fastnesses of
Guinea, on small, nearby
Solenodon (5\ paradoxus) is found in Haiti and the
Dominican Republic. Their closest relatives are M$ ? 1
islands, and in parts of northern Queensland. probably the tenrecs, which live thousands of
There are over half a dozen different kinds, of miles away in Madagascar.
colors varying from almost black to pale fawn or
grayish. They spend much time on the ground TenreCS (Family Tenrecidae). The tenrecs are
but sleep in trees, and they feed on all manner of confined to the great island of Madagascar off the
fruits, leaves, ferns, and even grubs. They get east coast of Africa. The Common Tenrec (Tenrec
about trees very well but are by no means per- ecaudatus) bulbous, prickly beast that may
is a
fectly adapted to do so; they descend trunks back- measure 18 inches from the tip of its long snout
ward and are rather awkward among small limbs. to the place where its nonexistent tail should be,
However, they make prodigious leaps especially and is thus by far the largest of all insectivores.
from tree to ground with the tail stretched stiffly Other species are the striped tenrecs (Hemicen-
behind as a rudder. Leaps downward of as much the Madagascar hedgehogs (Setifer and Echi-

as 60 feet have been measured. nops) which look like hedgehogs, dig burrows,
We come now to a rather large assemblage of and hibernate; and the rice-tenrecs (Oryzorictes)
animals of similar structure but varying consider- which are molelike with stout claws for digging.
ably in size and coloration which are collectively The long-tailed tenrecs (Microgale) are mouse-
called kangaroos but which are known by various sized and -shaped, but have, in relation to the
names. The smallest are the four called hare wal- length of the body, the longest tails of all mam-
labies (Lagorchestes) which fit their name in form, mals. The water-tenrecs (Limnogale and Geogale)
color, and habits. They are nocturnal and even are rat-sized, and have webbed feet and long tails

make "forms" or nests like hares. They are now flattened from side to side.
very rare. Then there are the rock wallabies (Petro-
gak) which display most bizarre colors, one Otter-Shrews (Family Potamogalidae). Through-
having a black and yellow banded tail. They out the forests of equatorial Africa, from Nigeria
behave like chamois, leaping about rocky moun- to Zaire, the Otter-shrew (Potamogale relax) may
be found in rivers. A sleek, otter-shaped animal,

I tains with carefree abandon. The nail-tailed wal-

labies {Onychogalea) are tiny, silky-furred kan- it reaches a length of about two feet. The head is

garoos which have a whiplike tail that ends in a shovel-shaped, with the mouth underneath; the
horny spur, and very long legs. eyes are tiny, the ears mere flaps, and the fur
The eleven species of true wallabies {Wallabia) glossy. The tail is blade-shaped and covered by
are lighter in build than the true kangaroos. They rubbery black skin with a plush of fine fur. The
have long, fully furred tapering tails, short arms, soles of the hind feet have strange fins rising from
handlike forepaws with strong claws, and large their outside edges. The Otter-shrew eats frogs,
deerlike ears that they can flip about. Standing freshwater snails and clams, and occasionally
between them and the big kangaroos is the Wal- fishes, and makes holes in river banks wirh an

laroo (Osphranter robustus) which lives in rocky entrance under water.

country. It has short broad feet with roughened In these same waters, but much rarer, are two
pads to give it a grip in climbing. Finally, there species of dwarf otter-shrews (Micropotamogale) ,

are the Forester or Great Gray (Macropus giganteus) one in West

Africa and the other in mountain
and the Great Red Kangaroos (M. rufus), the streams in eastern Zaire and the Ruwenzori.
Australian equivalent of our deer, being browsers Unlike their larger relative, the dwarf otter-
and grazers. They go about in large "mobs" led shrews reach a length of about one foot, and their Great Gray Kangaroo, p. 29
by the biggest male. tails are not flattened. Very few specimens have
Kangaroos and Wallabies
been found, and almost nothing is known of their
Insectivores habits beyond the fact that they are nocturnal Tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus matschiei)
(Order Insectivora) and aquatic. Sharp claws, foot pads and elongatedforelimbs enable
The strange assortment of curious little animals the Tree-kangaroo to leap from branch to branch high

that make up this order of mammals are all basi- Golden (Family Chrysochloridae).
Moles In in the canopy of the Australian rain forest.

but less closely so than the members

cally related Africa south of the Sahara there are areas where
of any of the other orders of living mammals. the earth is seen to be crisscrossed by little mean- Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus)
They form a sort of zoological catchall into which dering ridges. These are made by golden moles, Kangaroos travel at speeds up to 34 wiles per hour,
a number of very ancient forms have been tossed. animals with bulb-shaped bodies and pointed clear obstacles almost 10 feet high, and execute
Perhaps the most unexpected thing about the snouts with a horny prow. The limb bones are horizontal leaps of nearly 30 feet.
insectivores is the enormous number of individ- inside the body, the projecting hind feet have
ual animals in this order. Not only are they found four toes with long claws and the front feet two Great Gray Kangaroo Macropus giganteus

all over the world (except in the greater part of immense and a tiny
talons placed side by side, Although kangaroos usually give birth to a single
South America, the whole of Australia, the polar rudimentary claw on either side and underneath young, they often have an undeveloped embryo in
regions and some of the driest deserts), but many these. The eyes are under the skin and there are no reserve, in case the firstborn does not survive.
species occur in untold millions over truly vast external ears. Golden moles feed on earthworms
areas. The insectivores are probably the order that and are wholly subterranean. About 20 species,
gave rise to the primates, the group of mammals in 5 genera, have been found.
to which man belongs.
Hedgehogs and Gymnures (Family Erinacei-
Solenodons (Family Solenodontidae). Soleno- dae).This family is composed of two groups of
dons resemble large rats, with narrow, bewhisk- animals that look totally unalike
32 Elephant-shrews

Bats There are three genera of hedgehogs, and

about ten species, spread over all of Europe south
Fruit Bat (Pteropidae)
of the boreal pine forests, Africa except for the
About 1 30 species make up the Old World family
Pteropodidae. Fruit bats travel great distances — as
really wet areas of equatorial forest, and Asia !

far as 9 miles — tojeed: iffruit becomes unavailable,

except southern China, Burma, the Indochinese
peninsula, Malaya, and the Indonesian islands.
the bats may disappear Jrom a given area altogether. Except for their faces and undersides, they are I

The individual shown here was photographed on covered with sharp spines, and they can roll
Java. themselves into a ball when threatened by a pred-
ator. The most familiar species, the gymnures,
are rat-shaped, with long, scaly and bristled
tails, a thick underwool and an overcoat of hard
bristles. There are four distinct kinds spread from
west-central China to the Philippines, Burma
and Indochina and Malaya to the islands of
Borneo and Sumatra.

Elephant-Shrews (Family Macroscelidae). In

Africa's drier areas there exist countless numbers
of little animals resembling miniature kanga-
roos. These have become known as elephant-
shrews. They range in size from that of a mouse to
a rat. Zoologists have divided up the group into
five genera, but with the exception of a large,
Hedgehog, p. 31
rather short-legged type from East Africa known
as the Rock Jumper (Petrodomus) there are no

popular English names to use in differentiating


Shrews (Family Soricidae). Shrews are distrib-

uted over Eurasia, Africa, and North, Central,

and parts of South America. There are 265 known

species of over 20 genera which may be grouped I

under heads
three —
those with orange-red-
tipped teeth (the Soricinae), those with white
teeth (the Crocidurinae), and a single form (Scuti-
sorex) from Zaire that has a backbone and rib
structure unlike any other animal, constructed
like the girdering of a steel bridge. All shrews are
much alike in appearance and vary in size from
that of the smallest (
mammal, Sorex nunutus of
Europe, to that of a rat.
All shrews are highly irascible, fighting and
eating each other if confined. In fact they have to
eat all the time and they will tackle anything they
can chew and swallow. They are all nocturnal,
around by the billions though seldom
_'*>«& and
They keep down insects and other pests and
Long-tailed Shrew, p. 32 without them we probably could not grow many
Hedgehogs and Gymnures of our most valuable crops.
The red-toothed group comprises the common
Hedgehog (Ermaceus europaeus)
shrews of Asia, Europe, and North America; the
One of Europe's best-known mammals, the Hedgehog
short-tailed shrews (Blarina, etc.) of North
is valued because it consumes harmful insects, worms,
America and eastern Asia; and the common
snails and slugs The Hedgehog body is covered with
. 's
water-shrews of Europe and western Asia. The
as many as 8,000 spines, which are erected when the
most prominent of the white-toothed group are
animal is threatened.

the musk-shrews (Suncus) of Africa.

Shrews Moles (Family Talpidae). Moles may be divided

Long-tailed Shrew (Sorex dispar) into five groups, two of which are properly mole-
The Long-tailed Shrew is rare; few live individuals like in form and habits, two of which are not, and

have been observed. All shrews are nervous and the fifth of which is bizarre. Moles inhabit Europe
irascible, fighting and even eating one another if
and Asia north of the Himalayas. They also
confined. Because they must eat continually to stay inhabit North America but there is a moleless
alive, they will attack anything they can chew and belt running down the Rockies. The oddest
swallow. group of "moles" (Urotrichus) look like shrews.
One is found in the North American northwest,
Moles another in Japan, and the third in Tibet.
Another group, the desmans (Desmana and
Eastern Mole (Scalopus aquaticus)
Galemys), lives in Russia and northern Spain
Virtually blind, Eastern Moles rely on their tactile
respectively. Large, with long tails, they have
snouts to locate food as they burrow underground. The
webbed rear feet and are aquatic. third really

Eastern Moie, p. 32

Bats 33

odd form of mole is the Star-nosed (Condylura

cristata) of eastern North America. It spends
much time in water. Its amazing feature is a
22 bright pink, naked, fleshy tentacles
rosette of
arranged radially like petals around its snout.
These are mobile, semi-retractable, and
All remaining moles are truly mole-shaped but
they may be divided two groups
clearly into
the Eurasian, with one genus in Europe and three
others in Asia; and the Pacific moles. The former
have great paddlelike forefeet, live underground,
and raise molehills. The Pacific moles are repre-
sented by three kinds in North America, Scapanus
in the west, the Eastern Mole {Scalopus aquatints)
on the central plains and in the East, and a smaller
east -central species, the Hairy-tailed Mole (Para-
scalops breweri),which does not appear to burrow.
Then there are some forms in China and the
shrew-moles, Utrotricbus in Japan and Neuro-
truhus gibbsi in western North America.

Gliding Lemurs
(Order Dermoptera)
Everything about these extraordinary and ab-
strusemammals is "wrong" either by our con-
cepts of a mammal or by simple definition.
Nonetheless, they are one of the most interesting
and objectively important of all living types.
A'though they have been assigned to the bats, the
insectivores, and the primates via the lemurs, no-
body has yet decided quite how to classify them.
They are about 18 inches in length with a 10-
inch tail and are truly singular. The face is much
like that of certain Malagasy lemurs, notably the
Ringtail. The body is somewhat streamlined,
and the limbs are long and of equal length. The
tail is long and tapering. However, there is a

double-skin, furred patagium or parachute

extending from the neck to the front paws, which
are completely webbed and thus continue this
chute, and thence to the hind feet which are also
fully webbed and spread when in flight, and
behind the feet from the little toe to the tip of the
tail. Thus, when the animal leaps from a tree and

spreads its limbs it opens a furry kite much more

extensive than that of any other mammal.
There are two very distinct types: one (Cyno-
cephalus variegatus) found in upper Malaya, Siam,
Sumatra, Borneo, and Java; the other (C. volans)
in certain of the Philippine islands. Their brains
have two curious folds not observed so far in any
other mammal. Most odd of all are their teeth,
the incisors or "front" teeth being very wide and
slotted like combs though growing on a narrow
base, and the two outer, plus the upper dogteeth,
having two fangs inserted in the bone of the
jaw —something known in no other mammal.

(Order Chiroptera)
The bats form the second -largest order of mam-
mals, both in number of forms and, by estima-
tion, of individuals alive at any one time. They
are all constructed along the same lines but may
be divided into the Megachiroptera or great bats
which are fruit-eaters confined to the Old World
and have ball-and-socket shoulder joints for sus-
tained flight; and the Microchiroptera or small
bats which are spread all over the land surfaces of
the earth between the polar circles. Lesser bats
mostly eat insects but there are bird- and fish-
Fruit Bat, p. 33
34 Bats

Bats, p. 33



^Bk^k «,-
^v.^k\ jj

Kv Pi*
HpMki.lt Jkj»,

Pallid Bat, p. 33 Long-eared Bat, p. 33

) ) ) .

Lemurs 35

waters, some fruit-eaters, and two forms that can and resting by day either alone or in small family Bats
digest only the blood of other animals. parties in isolated nooks, under
crannies, or
Western Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus hesperus)
There are over 200 described kinds of Mega- leaves, in small holes in trees, or sometimes in
The Western Pipistrelle, the smallest bat in the
chiroptera which can be divided into 3 major isolated parts of the very caves inhabited by a vast
groups —
the small-tongued (Pteropinae), the army of metropolitans. United States, is usually the first hat to be seen in
evening, and may even fly during the day.

large-tongued (Macroglossinae); and the tube- The most interesting thing about bats is their
nosed (Nyctimeninae). They are together spread sonar. Bats keep uttering tremendous bursts of
supersonic sound, ranging as high as 30,000 fre- Fishing Bat Pizonyx vivesi
from West Africa to Cyprus and east through the

Orient almost to Japan, south to Australia, and quencies per second and as little as one two- This fish-eating bat is found along the Pacifu coast of
east to Samoa and the Tonga Islands. The first hundredth of a second each, and maintained con- Mexico. It roosts near the water, sometimes in sea
includes the fox-bats (Pteropus), the largest of tinuously while the animal is in flight. These turtle shells that have washed ashore
which are as big as ravens and live in vast flocks. sounds are broadcast through the nostrils. The
Even more extraordinary are the tube-nosed bats sound waves on striking an obstacle such as an — Bats (Order Chiroptera)
(Nyctimene) of southeastern Indonesia and Aus- insect in flight — are reflected backward to the The flight of a bat is not affected if its eyes are cm ered.
tralia which have the nostrils extended into two bat, which picks them up with its extremely Bats navigate by sonar; if one ear is taped closed, they
divergent tubes. Almost all Megachiroptera have complex ears and thus pinpoints the object. will fly in circles and bump into obstacles.
well-developed thumbs with big claws on the
first finger. Primates Pallid Bat ( Antrozous pallidas
The Microchiroptera contain at least 16 fami- (Order Primates) This species is the only North American bat that feeds
lies, broken down into a hundred genera, and sev- The primates are an enormous group, exceed- mainly on the ground. Its diet consists of insects.
eral hundred different They vary in size
species. ingly varied. Their living representatives display
from the great fruit-eating Javelin Bat (Vampyrum all the states from the wholly bestial to busy and Long-eared Bat V Plecotus auritus
spectrum) of South America to the minute butter- ingenious twentieth-century man. It is necessary
The remarkably long ears of this central European bat
fly bats (Glauconycteris) of Africa, forms with head to divide them first into no less than eight
lie back u 'hen the animal is resting but become erect if

and body measuring less than an inch and a half groups. The normal such division is into three, disturbed.
it is
stretched out. Although all are built on the same namely the lemurlike, the monkeylike, and the
fundamental plan, there are also some extremely manlike, but modern researchers have clearly
odd features found among them. The smoky bats demonstrated that this is altogether too simple
(Furipteridae) of South America have only a knob and altogether misleading.
for a thumb; the disk-wings (Thyroptera) on the Primates appear to be above other orders of
other hand have a large well-clawed thumb, and a mammals in what we call intelligence and inge-
large sucker disk under the thumb with which nuity, but this is because certain of our ancestors
Ithey can adhere upside down, even to glass. somewhere about the Tarsioid stage started the
The sheath-tailed bats (Emballonuridae) have special development of their hands and their
the tail enclosed in a sheath and protruding from brains.
the top of the inter-legmembrane. One, Dicli- Except for man and a few monkeys that reach
durus, is creamy white. The hare-lipped bats Europe and northeastern Asia, the primates are a
(Noctilionidae) of tropical America eat other tropical group.
bats, mice, insects, and scoop fishes from the
surface of the water. The true vampires Tree Shrews (Family Tupaiidae). The first divi-
(Desmodontidae) of tropical America can digest sion of the primates consists of small squirrel-
only blood. shaped animals found in the Oriental region;
The remaining four families encompass the these in no way resemble the rest of the order
majority of lesser bats. They are the horseshoe externally. Even specialists can hardly bring
bats (Rhinolophidae) and the leaf-nosed bats themselves to believe that they are primates, and
(Hipposideridae and Phyllostomatidae) of the many still prefer to place them with the insecti-
Old and New Worlds respectively; the mastiff vores. Their position in the scheme of life is
bats (Molossidae) of both hemispheres, with somewhere between these two orders, which
narrow tapering wings which they can fold and so most clearly demonstrates the fact that the pri-
run about like mice; and the vast family of ordin- mates sprang directly from insectivore-type ani-
ary little species called loosely the evening bats mals. There are two kinds of tree shrews.
(Vespertilionidae). To the family belong the A number of species, divided among four
Brown, Pipistrelle, Long-eared and the other genera range from India, through Burma, Siam,
well-known species of temperate climes. Indochina, South China, the greater East Indies,
Bats, unlike birds, actually swim through the to the Philippines. They have long, shrewlike
air, reaching forward with their widespread pad- snouts with lots of whiskers, five fingers and toes
dlelike hands, curving their fingers around a all with sharp claws, and long bushy tails.
piece of air, and then pulling their bodies past it. Pen-tailed Tree-Shrews (Ptilocereus lowt) are
Bats may be divided into three classes com- — mouse-sized arboreal animals found in Borneo
muters, metropolitans, and isolationists. The and on the Malayan Peninsula. They have shorter
first live either in caves or in vast tree-roosts fur'and black, scaly tails, the terminal third of
whence they go roaring off on a precise time which have featherlike fringes of stiff, white hairs
schedule, together, every evening, to prese-
all on either side.
lected feeding grounds, and from which they
return all in a rush ro their sleeping quarters every Lemurs. We now come
to the lemurs, about
morning. The second live in vast communities in a score of distinctiveprimates found only on the
caves, large hollow trees, or buildings, from great island of Madagascar and its natural depen-
which they emerge about dark individually and dencies, the Comoro Islands. The smallest is
to which they may return throughout the night slightly larger than a mouse, the largest about
since their labors outside are within easy flight four feet in overall length. The smaller and more
distance. The third kind shun their own and primitive are very like the bush babies of Africa;
other kinds, moving about extensively by nighi the larger are monkeylike and not unintelligent
36 Lorises and Galagos

by our standards. All except one (the Indri) have they point almost directly away from the four
long, usually bushy tails, and all have pointed fingers and other toes. They are nocturnal and eat
faces with the nostrils at the tip of the snout. a wide variety of animal and vegetable food.
With the exception of the first, very odd, animal, The Slender Loris (Loris tardigradus) is a much
they all have nails on all fingers and toes except smaller animal — about eight inches long — with
for the second toe, which carries a stout curved very long, thin legs and enormous eyes. It is

claw. They may be divided into four groups. found only in the forested part of southern India
The Aye-Aye (Daubentoma madagascariensts), and in Ceylon. Its hands and feet display a further
the only member of the Family Daubentoniidae, stage in specialization; all the fingers and toes are
is about the size of a cat, but has a huge bushy tail shorter than in the species discussed above.
that it carries in a downward curve. The small, The Potto (Periodicticus potto) is found through-
woolly-furred lemurs (Cheirogaleus) have elon- out the forested areas of West, central, and East
gated ankle joints, pronounced finger and toe Africa. It is a little longer but slimmer than the
pads, and large|eyes. They are all nocturnal and Slow Loris. The hands and feet go one stage fur-
small. The mouse-lemurs (Microcebus) are the ther in that both the second fingers and toes are
smallest of primates, being less than eight
all reduced to mere stumps.
inches with the tail. They inhabit open scrub- The Golden Potto (Arctocebus calabarensis) is
land, build spherical nests, and retire for the hot less than half the bulk of the Potto. The second
season. finger has gone altogether, giving the hand the
The large woolly lemurs include the weasel- appearance of a parrot's foot. The second toe also
lemurs (Lepilemur) whch are gregarious, noctur- is a mere stub. They are found around the "cor-

nal leaf-eaters and have no uppet front teeth. ner" of West Africa from the Niger to the Congo
The gentle lemurs (Hapalemur) are larger still and rivers. The tail is about half an inch long and
live in dense bamboo thickets and feed on their concealed in the fur.
shoots; but one, the Broad-faced (H. simus), often The thumbs and big toes of bush babies are
lives on floating islands of reeds that it builds in large and opposed, but not so much so as in the
marshes. lorises, and the fingers and other toes are long,
There are six distinct species of common fairly slender, and provided with huge, fleshy ter-
lemurs {Lemur) including the Gray, Ring-tailed, minal clinging pads. There are three distinct
Black-spectacled, and Rock-dwelling of south- kinds, the first and principal type (Galago) occur-
central Madagascar, (L. catta) and the startlingly ring throughout the forested areas of Africa. The
colored, black and white Ruffed Lemur (L. varie- Pigmy Bush Baby (Galagoides demidoru) is only
gatus). In the first species the tail is bushy and about a foot in overall length and is found all over
composed of black and white rings. They are the forest area from West to inner East Africa.
ground-living and run about on all fours with the The Needle-clawed Bush Babies (Euoticus elegan-
tail held straight up in the air, but they sit on tulus) inhabit the tall forests from the Niger River
their haunches to eat, and hold food in their in the west to the Congo.
The Ruffed Lemur is normally black and Tarsiers (Family Tarsiidae). In the forests of
white, though no two are exactly alike. Ruffed Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Celebes, and the Philip-
Lemurs are the only common lemurs that make pines, and in a number of associated smaller
nests; they have the strange habit of sunning islands, painstaking search in holes at the tops of
themselves in the morning. trees or among matted vines, dead leaves, and
The remaining four living lemurs the silky — parasitic plants may sometimes bring to light
lemurs (Family Indriidae) —
are divided into pairs of somewhat hysterical little animals about
three quite distinct genera, Sifakas (Propithecus), the size of rats. These are known as tarsiers (Tar-
Avahis (Avahi), and Indris (Indrt). They are sius) and they stand alone as the sole survivors of a

slower-moving than the common lemurs, de- most ancient lineage.

Brown Sifaka, p. 35 scending trees backward with great care and They and wholly nocturnal,
are insect-eaters
Lemurs walking about on the ground on their exception- but catch their food with their hands and bring it
ally long hind legs or hopping along. They are up to their mouths to eat. Their faces are domin-
Brown Sifaka (Propithecus) pure vegetarians and they bear only a single ated by a pair of colossal eyes, completely circu-
Sifakas display a wide variety oj color patterns young at a time. Their hands and feet are propor- lar, close together and directed straight forward.
combinations. They have naked blackfaces and large tionately very large; the thumb is small and only
eyes with rather long lashes. slightly opposed, but the big toe is enormous and Marmosets (Family Callithricidae). The mar-
diverges at more than a right angle from the other mosets are a South American group composed of
toes, which are held together by webbing and act several dozen very small animals with squirrel-
as a single unit. shaped bodies. They come in a great range of
colors and include some of the most exotically
Lorises and GalagOS (Family Lohsidae). This clothed of all mammals. Anatomically they are
strangely assorted group of lemurlike mammals like the South American monkeys, but they are
comes in two very different modes the slow- — highly specialized, and have retained a number of
moving lorises and the agile bush babies, or primitive features, notably claws on all fingers
galagos. Two of the lorises are Oriental and two and toes except the big toe, which bears a nail in
are African, while all the galagos are African. all but the two most monkeylike types. Neither
The slow lorises (Nycticebus), the largest meas- the small thumb nor the tiny big toe are opposed.
uring up to 16 inches, are almost tailless. They They may be divided into three very unequal
are found in ten distinguishable forms from the subgroups.
Bramaputra River in Assam east to Tongking and The largest marmoset is not as bulky as a large
thence south to Singapore and beyond to the Black Rat, and the smallest is as small as, if not
islands of Sumatra, Java, and Borneo. Their lighter than, the smallest Mouse Lemur, an adult
thumbs and great toes are so widely opposed that male weighing only three ounces, and may thus
Marmosets 37

Black Lemur (Lemur macaco)

Unlike other lemurs, male and female Black Lemurs
are noticeably different: the nuzle is jet black, whereas
the female is reddish brown.

Slow Loris (Nycticebus coucang)

This nocturnal prosinuan ranges from Southeast Asia
to Java, Borneo and the Philippines.

Bush Baby (Galago senegalensis)

These small nocturnal primates of African rainforests

often rei'eal their presence by their harsh, high-pitched

Slow Loris, p. 36 Bush Baby , p. 36

) )

38 New World Monkeys

be the smallest primate. Marmosets are diurnal
gregarious animals with very bright eyes, nakec
faces, mouths rilled with sharp teeth, and pro
nounced tusks.
There are nine very distinct forms of marmo
sets distributed throughout the South Americai
forests. The Pygmy Marmoset (Cebuella pygmaea)
a tiny, olive-colored creature, comes from the up-
per Amazon. The lion marmosets (Leontideus
come from the coastal forests of eastern Brazil; the,
plumed marmosets (Callithrtx), with black
white plumes come from th
in front of their ears, ;;;

same forests but have a wider distribution.!

Coeldi's Marmoset (Callimico goeldu) is an
exceedingly rare and little-known animal. The
fur is silky and long and forms a domed cap on tht
head, a separate erectile mane over the neck, and
a slight cape over the hind body. The remaining
commonly called tamanns (Sagutnus).
species are
They have naked faces, chins, and throats. In tht
Guianas they are represented by the Black Tarn
arin (S. tamarin), a naked-eared, beetle-browed,
low-crowned form with a black face. In north-

Vervet Monkey, Colobus Monkey, west Amazonia dwell a large assemblage of simi-
p. 39 /' .-19
lar animals but which have weird facial markings
and one of which, Tamarinus imperator, sports
immense, white handlebar moustaches. The twe
species of pinches, from northwest of the
Andes, are very long-legged, with long tails, a
white fuzz on their faces, and topknots which in
one species form a huge white headdress.

New World Monkeys (Family Cebidae). New,

World monkeys are only distantly related to the
Old World monkeys. There are ten very distinct
kinds, four of which may be called "halt-
monkeys" and the remainder, "hand-tailed mon-
keys," for they are the only ones out of 460 kinds
of monkeys that have prehensile tails. They are
spread from southern Mexico to the Argentine
throughout the forest only.
The most lemurine is the Douroucouli (Aotes
trivtrgatus). It is nocturnal, sleeping in holes in

trees, and has enormous eyes. It eats mostly fruits

and leaves but takes some insects, snails, and
other small animals. The sakis (Pithecia) have
most gloomy countenances with small eyes close
together, moplike bonnets, and are clothed in
Patas Monkey, /?. jy coarse fur with immense bushy tails. Like all the
Old World Monkeys half-monkeys, their hands are extraordinarily
human in shape but with long slim fingers. The
Vervet Monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops)
thumb is opposed but the first finger can be also,
The long-legged, long-tailed Vervet Monkeys travel
so that it often moves with the thumb in holding
in large troops over the open savannas of Africa.
on to branches.
They are intelligent and fearless, and will attack The uacaris (Cacajao) are altogether ridiculous-
even the larger baboons.
looking creatures with stumpy, stiff, short tails,
almost bald heads and naked ears, and are clothed
Colobus Monkey ( Colobus in sparse, long, lanky hair. They live in troops in
These handsome African monkeys grow to a length of the upper canopy but descend to the ground to
They are leaf-eaters and their stomachs are
three feet. ,
gather fallen fruits.
divided into a number of chambers in which leaves are Included with the half-monkeys are the squirrel
monkeys (Satmiri), beautiful, little, active, gre-
ganous creatures that are colored greenish above
Patas Monkey ( Erythrocebus patas
and yellow below with white "spectacles" and
Large, red Patas Monkeys have limbs of almost equal black muzzles and tail-tips. They are diurnal and
length. Mothers carry even well-grown babies under stay near the banks of great rivers. They are basic-
their bellies. ally fruit-eaters but take a lot of insects. Some
troops number in the hundreds.
Macaque (Macaca) The tins (Calltcebus) consist of three species
Macaques are short-tailed Old World monkeys found found in forested areas in most of northern South
mainly in southern Asia. America. They feed on buds, fruits, leaves, birds'

eggs, and insects.

Old World Monkeys 39

The prehensile-tailed monkeys comprise three southern Arabia, and again in Asia from Pakistan
of the best-known and two of the least-known of" to Japan and south to Ceylon and Indonesia. Two
all cage and pet primates. In fact, apart from the forms —
the Moor Macaque (Af. maurus) and the
ubiquitous Rhesus of the Orient, the rowdy, Black Ape (Af. nigra) —
extend into the Austral-
intelligent, and ingenious little capuchins (Cebus) ian region, beingfound on the Celebes.
best typify the popular idea of a "monkey.'' The The most famous of all monkeys, the Rhesus
neat Black and White Capuchin (C. capucinus) is (Macaca mulatta) of India, was known to the
Central American, the nondescript brown ones ancients, and has played a prominent role as an
usually called "Ringtails'' come mostly from experimental animal as well as being the first
northern South America, and the heavy-bodied, earth-dwelling creature in space. Other
dark brown ones with peaks or dual head-crests, macaques include the Lion-tailed (Af silenus); the .

from Trinidad, the Guianas, and the Amazon. Crab-eating (Af. cynomolgus) which ranges from
The woolly monkeys (Lagothrix) are slow- upper Burma across Indochina to the Philippines
moving, heavy-bodied animals clothed in a and south to the island of Bali; the Stump-tailed
dense, woolly fur. They all have "tragic" expres- (Af. fuscata) of Japan and coastal China; and the
sions like little old men, but in temperament Pig-tailed (Af. nemestrina) of the west side of
when full grown they can be savage. They are Burma and Malaya and some of the offshore
essentially fruit-eaters but in cold periods appar- island groups.
ently must have some meat. The spider monkeys In Africa we find five kinds of large, long-
(Atcles) are large forms with very long, slim tailed monkeys called mangabeys (Cercocebus).
limbs, and tails which are fully prehensile and They have either peaked, crested, capped, or
which they use not only in climbing but to grasp plain crowns. They are forest animals but spend
and hold food. They are spread all over the forests time on the ground.
of Central and South America from Mexico to the The remaining dog-faced monkeys are the
Argentine border. They go about in large troops, baboons (Papio) of the open bush and savannas of
swinging through the trees like trapeze artists. Africa, including the caped Hamadryas (P. harn-
The last of the New World monkeys are the adryas) of the Sudan, Ethiopia, and southern
large and magnificent howler monkeys (Alou- Arabia, which the ancient Egyptians trained to
atta). There are several species spread all over the stack firewood and do other menial chores, and
closed-canopy forest areas from southern Mexico, the forest-dwelling Drill (P. leucophaeus) and the
where they are jet black, to the southern fringe of Mandrill (P. sphinx) with their outrageous,
the Amazonian forests. They also go about in large- naked, wrinkled bright blue and red muzzles.
troops but they keep as far away from human Both these live in West Africa.
clearings as possible. The males have large beards The last group of the Old World monkeys, the
due mostly to a spherical bony box about the size coloboids, are found all across forested Africa and
of a hen's egg under their chins. These are sound in most of Asia to central Indonesia. The African
boxes attached to the windpipe and with them forms are called guerezas and come in three major
these animals give rise to really terrific growls, forms. The first is a small monkey from West
roars, and echoing ululations. These calls mark a Africa (Procolobus) that seems to be a remnant of
troop s feeding territory. the original stock from which all others arose.
These fall into two big groups —
the large black
Old World Monkeys (Family Cercopithecidae). and white forms (Colobus polykomos)- and the low-
The true monkeys of the Old World form three land forms (C. badius) which come in brown, red,
major groups —
the long-tails or cercopithecoids, and other color combinations.
the doglike or cynopithecoids, and the leaf -eaters The guerezas are represented in Asia by the
or coloboids. langurs, among them the sacred monkeys of
The guenons There
(Cercoptthccus) are African. India, and a group of very odd creatures known as
are well over a hundred forms described, grouped the snub-nosed monkeys (Presbytiscus, Simias, and
into about a dozen full species. Two related Rhinopithecus) and the Long-nosed or Proboscis
genera are tiny forms —
the Swamp Monkey Monkey (Nasalis larvatus). There are four species
(Allenopithecus nigroviridis) of southeastern Gabon of true langurs (Semnopithecus), other than the
and northwestern Zaire, and the Talopoin temple monkeys of India, one of which lives amid
(Myopithecus talapoin) of the Congo Basin, the snow-clad coniferous trees of the higher
Angola, and the Ruwenzori. Himalayas. The second genus is the purple-faced
Another singular form is Patas (Erythrocebus monkeys (Kast) and comes from the Ghats of
patas) which lives for the most part in the orchard southwest India and the Nilgiri Hills. The third,
bush and on the savannas, has limbs of almost the largest of all genera of primates, the Lutongs
equal length, and goes about in troops. It ranges (Trachypithecus), are found east of India. Another
from Senegambia in the west, right across central group, the banded-haired leaf-monkeys (Pres-
Africa north of the forests to Ethiopia and thence bytis), spread throughout much the same area, are
south to Tanzania. represented by some 20 kinds.
The guenons (Cercopithecus) are fruit- and nut- The remaining coloboids are even more
eaters and vary widely in color, color pattern, and bizarre. The largest is the Snub-nosed Langur
adornments. They may be divided into several (Rhinopithecus roxellanae^ found in the mountains
distinct groups of species, such as the Dianas (C. of southwestern China and in eastern Tibet. This
diana), the Debrazzas (C. neglectus), and the Ver- species is iridescent gold in color with a bright
vets (C. aethwps) of the open country. blue face. But odder still is the huge Proboscis
The second great group of Old World mon- Monkey (Nasalis larvatus) of Borneo in which the
keys, the dog-faced, are far more varied in shape noses of the adult males hang down
over the
and and are distributed all across Africa from
size, mouth. They live along rivers and are great
Gibraltar in Europe —
the famous Barbary Ape swimmers — one was "rescued" swimming in the
(Macaca sylvanus) —
to the Cape, Somalia, and sea miles out of sight of land.
Macaque, p. 39
) )

40 Apes

Pangolins Apes (Family Pongidae). These topmost pri- Sloths (Family Bradypodidae). There are twe

African Tree Pangolin Mams tricuspm (

mates comprise two groups. One consists of man, kinds of sloths —
the two-toed (Choloepus) and the
and the other comprises 10 species of apes. First three-toed (Bradypus), each consisting of a num-
This pangolin is arboreal and has a prehensile
Other members oj its genus, however, are terrestrial
there are the so-called lesser apes —
the gibbons ber of species. They move about forest trees up
and the Siamang (Symphalangus) of the
(Hylobates) side down hanging from their hooked
and walk on their hind legs,
using their long tails Jot-
Oriental region; and then the great apes the — claws, but some of were ground
their ancestors
Orangutan (Pongo) of Borneo and Sumatra; the living beasts as big as elephants which ranged
chimpanzees (Chtmpansee) and the gorillas north into what is now the United States. They
Sloths (Gorilla) of Africa. are leaf-eaters, the two-toed sloths eating almost
Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus) The gibbons may be separated by a simple exclusively the wild pawpaw. This beast has
Sloths spend most oj their time hanging upside down formula. The Hooloch of the eastern Himalayas long, shaggy, cream colored hair and red eyes and
from the limbs oj jorest trees. Although thought of as and the northern half of Indochina is black with in the hair lives a curious kind of parasitic moth.

"slothjul, " they can move rapidly and are excellent white "eyebrows" and has a fully furred rump. Although indeed normally "slothful" they can
swimmers. ' The Lar (H. lar) and Agile Gibbon (H. agilis) get about the trees at great speed and, surpris-
have partially naked rumps and a light fringe ingly, they are very good swimmers.
Armadillos around their faces; the Wow-Wow or Silvery
Gibbon (H. leuciscus) has no such white fringe. Armadillos (Family Dasypodidae). The arma-
Nine-banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus
The Concolor (H. concolor) has an inflatable sac dillos are digging animals covered in hard bony
The body oj an armadillo is protected by an armor oj
protruding through the throat only in the male; shells coated with scales formed from congealed
horny plates arranged in bands that slide against
the Siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus) has them hair and hinged in various ways. They are insect-
each other. Armadillos always bear jour young; all
in both sexes. All gibbons are small, long-limbed eaters. The Giant Armadillo (Priodontes giganteus)
jour are oj the same sex, as they are really two sets oj
apes and are forest animals, living in troops and grows to over four feet and is immensely strong.
identical twins derivedfrom a single jertilized egg.
The smallest, the Pink Fairy Armadillo (Chlamy-
rushing about mostly by the acrobatic, trapeze
method called brachiating. They also run along phorus truncatus), is not much larger than a rat,
branches. burrows in sand, is clothed in long, silky, white
The great apes consist of the slow-moving, fur, has a horny snout, and is blind. The others
cautious Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) of the include the hairy armadillos (Chaetophractus),
islands of Borneo and Sumatra, a forest animal which are circled by six hinged bands of scales
that moves over wide areas throughout the year and have profuse hair, the Pebas (Tolypeutes), from
following the fruiting of various trees; the various the Argentine pampas, that have only three
races of chimpanzees of the African forests; and bands but which can roll themselves up into a ball
the two forms of gorillas —
the so-called Moun- for protection, and the commonest forms,
tain (Gorilla gorilla beringei), and the Lowlands Dasypus, which have nine bands. One form of the
(G. gorilla gorilla). Actually, while the former is latter is now spreading through the southern
confined to a limited area in the mountains lying United States.
between Zaire and Uganda and Burundi on the A very curious thing about some of them is
west side of the string of great African lakes, the that they invariably have four young all of the
latter are spread over a considerable area of Zaire, same sex, all derived from a single ovum which,
the Gabon, and the Cameroons. These are not when it begins to divide, unlike all other mam-
confined to the lowlands; several large popula- mals, gives rise to four separate embryos.
tions live only in the mountains at the upper
limit of the forested zones. The chimpanzees are Pangolins
distributed allthrough the forests of West and (Order Pholidota)
central Africa, and an outlier was found a few The pangolins, or scaly anteaters, are a group of
years ago far south in what is now Zambia. seven species of toothless, long-nosed mammals,
resembling a true anteater in shape, but differing
Anteaters, Sloths, and Armadillos by having the hair everywhere but on the under-
(Order Edentata) side of the body congealed into hard, horny scales
Orangutan , p. 40 This is a widely assorted, small group of primi- that overlap like the scales of a fish or pinecone.

Apes tive but highly specialized mammals confined to All of the species belong to the genus Mams; four

South, Central, and southern North America. are found in tropical Africa, and three in Asia.
Orangutan Pongo pygmaeits) Some species are arboreal, while others live in
There are only about a score of distinct kinds
The Orangutan's jorest habitat is now being cut down divided between three very distinct groups. burrows in the ground. All feed on insects,
by timber companies and only a jeu thousand oj these

mainly at night, tearing open the nests of ants

animals exist in Borneo and Sumatra. and termites and picking up their prey with a
Anteaters (Family Myrmecophagidae). There
are three anteaters, the Giant (Myrmecophaga long, sticky tongue.
tridactyla), the Lesser (Tamandua tetradactyla),
and the Pigmy (Cyclopes didactylus). The first is Pikas, Hares, and Rabbits
ground-living, the others are arboreal, and all are (Order Lagomorpha)
quite toothless. The Giant Anteater reaches six A comparatively small group of mammals is that
feet in length, half of which is an enormous of the hares, pikas, and rabbits. They are numer-
haired tail shaped like a sail. It has enormous ous in species and in individual numbers; in fact,
incurved front claws and a long, narrow, down- they are among the most numerous mammals on
curved head. Like its two cousins it eats ants and earth, being spread all over Eurasia, North and
termites which it gathers with an immensely Central America, and North Africa. They have
long tongue coated with sticky saliva. The Lesser been introduced to Australia where they have run
Anteater is the size of a cat, is colored black and riot. Apart from the little Pikas, they are all very

yellow, also has a long, narrow head and huge much alike.

front claws but has a prehensile tail. The Pigmy

Anteater is a tiny creature with a short pointed PikaS (Family Ochotonidae). Pikas (Ochotona) are
muzzle and a prehensile tail. All three are con- small, compact creatures that inhabit the upper
fined to the tropical forest areas. mountain slopes of Eurasia and North America.
Pikas 41

Nine-banded Armadillo, p. ~t0

42 Rabbits and Hares

They live in large communities and keep up

continuous high-pitched cacophony of whistle
day and night. They spend most of their tinv
making small haystacks of dried vegetation out
side their rocky retreats; these they tote insid
when it rains, and bring out again when the ba(
weather has passed.

Rabbits and Hares (Family Lepondae). Rabbit

and hares are really all very much alike. There an
about 50 species of only about 9 genera. The;
vary in size from the Pygmy Rabbit (Sylvilagu
idahoensis) of western North America, to th(
Arctic Hare (Lepus arcticus) of northern Canada
and Greenland, which reaches a length of mort
than two feet.
The best-known member of the family is prob-
ably the true Rabbit {Oryctolagus cumculus) o!
Europe. The Rabbit is a communal animal, and is
the only truly burrowing species. It lives in
underground warrens, from which it forages. It
was once a great pest in Australia, where it had^
been introduced, but its numbers have been
greatly reduced by myxomatosis, a deadly disease
that can be artificially introduced into its com-
munities. The domestic rabbit is descended from
this species.
The largest genus is Lepus, which contains
about 26 species, and is found in Eurasia, Africa,
and North America. The European Hare (L. euro-
paeus), the Varying Hare (L. amertcanus) of North
America, and the several jackrabbits of the Amer-
ican West are members of this group. These arej
long-legged, fleet-footed animals; one species,
Lepus alien i of the southwestern deserts, is aptly
called the Antelope Jackrabbit.
The western hemisphere is the home of the cot-
tontails of the genus Sylvilagus, smaller, brush-
inhabiting rabbits that occur from southern
Canada to Argentina. Their rapid rate of repro-
duction, and their skill in hiding from predators
have made them favored game animals and have
enabled them to thrive even on the outskirts of
large cities.
The rock rabbits (Pronolagus) of Africa are four
species that inhabit open, rocky areas, using crev-
ices among the rocks to hide when danger threat-
Varying Hare, p. 42 The remainder of the rabbits are rather distinc-
Pikas tive species that live in small, isolated areas.
Among these are the Ryukyu Rabbit (Pentalagus
Pika (Ochotona princeps)
furnessi), a very short-eared rabbit found only on
These gregarious animals of western North America
the Ryukyu Islands south of Japan, and the
produce a high-pitched whistling call as a means of
attractive Sumatra Hare (Nesolagus netscheri),
communication between individuals and colonies.
boldly striped and found only in the mountain
forests of Sumatra.
Rabbits and Hares
Varying Hare Lepus amertcanus)
This inhabitant of northern coniferous forests is called (Order Rodentia)
theVarying Hare because its pelage changes from This is by far the largest order of mammals, con-
brown in summer to white in winter. taining over a third of the known genera and half
the total of known species of living mammals.
The actual number of species is the subject of
much debate, resulting in estimates from 2,500
to 5,000. Rodents are found in every type of envi-
ronment from the centers of deserts to the arctic
barren lands, the farthest subantarctic lands, and
the edge of the perpetual mountain snowfields.
They are arboreal and some can glide; they live on
the ground and below it, and many are aquatic.
In the form of Black (Rattus rattus) and Brown
(R. norregicus) rats and the little House Mouse
Beaver 43

Mus musculus) they have gone everywhere with

-nan. They immensely diverse in form and
!_>ize, ranging from that of the three-foot capy-

Daras (Hydrochoerus) to the two-inch harvest mice

[Reithrodontomys). They may be divided into three
great groups. These are those of the Sciuromor-

pha or squirrel-like rodents; the Myomorpha or

mouselike; and the Hystricomorpha or porcu-

Sewellel (Family Aplodontidae). There are 17

kinds of Sciuromorphs. The first is composed of
only a single very primitive creature known as the

Sewellel (Aplodontia rufa) that found only in the


northwestern mountains of the United States.

They are tailless animals with small eyes and ears
that live in communal burrows usually near
water, and feed on succulent herbage.

Squirrels (Family Sciundae). There are seven

major and some subsidiary groups of these active

little animals. The typical forms, represented by

the Eurasian Tuft-eared Red Squirrel (Sciurus vul-


garis) and the North American Gray Squirrel (S.


carolinensis), comprise some 200 forms spread al-


most all over Eurasia, the Orient, Africa, and the

Americas. They are leaf-, fruit-, nut-, and insect-
and make nests in holes in trees or banks, or


on branches. There are four subgroups of typical

sqiirrels that may be singled out the little red—
sq'irrels (Tamiasciurus) of the pine forests of North
America; the palm squirrels (Funambulus, etc.) of
| Africa and the Orient; the Oriental tree-squirrels
(Callosaurus, etc.); and the African ground-
squirrels (Xerus, etc.). The palm-squirrels contain
the gaudily colored, plume-eared ratufas (Ratufa)
of the Orient and the giant booming squirrels of
tropical Africa. The Oriental tree-squirrels form a
large assemblage; they vary considerably in color
but do not make nests. Among them is the Black-
eared Squirrel (Nannosciurus melanotis), a greenish
form, the smallest of all squirrels, which is only
about the size of a small shrew. The ground squir-
rels of Africa have sparse, bristly fur, with tails that
often display a herringbone pattern due to the
banding of the individual hairs.
In Eurasia and North America are to be found a
gtoup of giant terrestrial squirrels known as mar-
Black-tailed Prairie Dog, p. 45
mots, woodchucks, or groundhogs (Marmota).
Related to these are hosts of smaller, more typi- Squirrels
cally squirrel-like creatures going by various
Black-tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus)
names such as ground squirrels or susliks (Spermo-
The name prairie dug"
is derived from the animal's
philus), chipmunks (Tamias, Eutamias), and
barking call. Prairie dogs live in burrows, each
prairie dogs (Cynomys). The marmots are diggers
entrance o) which is surrounded by a large mound.
and extend their range high up mountains; the
prairie dogs live in vast communal, underground
African Ground Squirrel (Xerus erythropus)
cities some of which once covered as much as
Ubiquitous in tropical Africa, Ground Squirrels live
25,000 square miles.
in holes in the ground on savannas and in semi-desert
A final and very distinct group of squirrels is
somewhat misleadingly called the flying squir-
rels. They do not fly, but glide from tree to tree

by means of furred parachutelike flags of skin that

extend from their fore to their hind limbs. There
are a dozen distinct subgroups of these distrib-
uted all over the forested parts of Asia, Europe,
and North America. Most inhabit Asia, but one,
Pteromys volans is found in eastern Europe, and

another, Glaucomys is found all across North



Beaver (Family Castondae). A very distinct

animal that is classed with the sciuromorphs
African Ground Squirrel, p. 43
44 Pocket Gophers

White-footed Mouse, p. 45 Ground Vole, p. 45

. ) )

Myomorphs 45

because of its anatomy is the Beaver (Castor). This leaving hands and feet free. Idiures live in large Beaver
arge, semiaquatic rodent, with a paddle-shaped communities in the tops of the largest hollow
forest trees, sometimes hundreds together. The
Beaver (Castor canadensis)
.ail, webbed feet, and tremendous teeth once
The Bearer's litter usually contains 3 young.
ised to be spread all over Europe and North gliding mice are so small and light that they do,
Parents, the latest litter, and offspring from the
\merica. It is now nearing extinction in the in almost fly, and, while sailing along
previous year share a dry sleeping platform within
ormer and, after a near shave with a similar fate slowly, can rise and fall on air currents like a
their lodge, which has an underwater entrance.
n the latter, is once again on the increase. Bea- soaring bird.
/ers are famous for their damming of streams,
The Springhaas
digging of canals, felling of trees, and construc- Springhaas (Family Pedetidae).
:ion of winter lodges in ponds and lakes in which or "Jumping Hare" is set apart from other Muskrat (Ondatra zibetbicus)
:o winter and raise their young. rodents. It is nocturnal, about the size of a rabbit, The adaptable Muskrat is at home in fresh or salt

but has a long, very bushy, black-tipped tail. The water, in marshes, lakes and rivers across North
POCket Gophers (Family Geamyidae). Although eyes are large and the ears held erect. The fore- America. It feeds primarily on aquatic vegetation,
undoubtedly sciuromorphs, the next group
still limbs are very small and held under the chin, the but may also eat clams, frogs and fish.
of rodents highly specialized and looks very
is back is enormous and the animal makes prodi-
different from the foregoing. These are the gious leaps but does not really go very fast. Northern Red-backed Vole
pocket gophers, burrowing animals leading Strangely, they go much better uphill than ( Clethrionomys rlit 1 1 its
wholly subterranean lives. They are found all over down. Springhaas eat roots, leafage, some fruits, The Northern Red-backed Vide is found in coniferous
the western half of North America from Alberta insects, and some flesh, and dig their own holes.
forests and tundra in northwestern Canada and
in the north to Honduras in Central America in Alaska, and also ranges from Siberia to Norway.
the south, and from the Pacific Coast east to the Myomorphs. The mouse- or ratlike rodents form
foothills of the Appalachians. They have heavy the largest tribe within the order. They are all Red Tree Vole ( Phenacomys longicaudus
bodies with enormous front teeth and claws, and comparatively small, ranging from the tiny Har-
The Red Tree Vole feeds almost exclusively on needles
short, often naked These tails are used as

feelers when the animals go into reverse, which

vest Mouse Rat (Lophi-
to the cat-sized Crested
omys imhausi) of East Africa. The number of spe-
Douglas fir
of the

one of the most specialized diets
among any North American mammal.
they can do readily in their tunnels. cies of myomorphs is presently undetermined but
there are scores of genera. They can be divided
White-footed Mouse (Peromyscus leucopus)
Pocket Mice (Family Hetromyidae). come We into ten groups. They eat insects, and live in
The genus Peromyscus is confined to the Netv
next to an enormous group of small creatures that holes or under trash, are very prolific breeders,
World. In South America there are literally hundreds
range widely over North and Central America. and also sometimes swarm. One species of vole
of different species
Th have fur-lined pouches in their cheeks.
v (Microtus) once infested vast areas of the North
There are three major subgroups the pocket — American West to the tune of 12,000 per acre 1

Ground Vole (Arvicola terrestris)

mice (Perognathus, etc.) of the far west, from The Florida Water Rat (Neofiber alleni) and the
This animal often inhabits burrows in the banks of
British Columbia to Panama; the kangaroo rats larger Muskrat (Ondatra) of North America are of
streams. Despite its name, the Ground Vole is an
(Dipodomys, etc.) of the drier parts of the same particular interest in that the latter is really,
extremely good su i miner.
range from Idaho to Central America; and the today, the staple of fur trade. It has been adventi-
spiny rats (Heteromys, etc.) of Central and north- tiously introduced Europe where it has
ern South America.. The first have either naked, become a pest due through
to its habit of boring
lightly furred, or crested tails. They are nocturnal dikes and thus flooding lowlands. It is a husky
seed-eaters, take some insects, and seldom if ever animal with large, webbed hind feet and a naked,
drink. The second have long, silky fur, enormous scaly tail that is flattened from side to side. It
back legs, very short front ones, and very long builds winter lodges in swamps with neat little
tails. They leap about like miniature kangaroos balls of herbage.
and use their tails as rudders. The third are found Quite different but nonetheless closely related,
from semideserts to the jungles. They have are a whole host of little animals that look like
pointed heads and long tails. They are clothed in "mice." Of course, they are, but they are not by
soft, flattened spines. any means the same as the true or original mice
The remaining animals classed with the sciu- such as the common House Mouse. These are
romorphs are all in their various ways very confined to the New World and are typified by
strange and are of obscure origin. There are two the beautiful little deer mice (Peromyscus) of
kinds: the African flying squirrels or anomalures North America. In South America there are liter-
(Anomalurus) and their relatives, the nonflying ally hundreds of different kinds. Then, there are
anomalure (Zenkerella), gliding mice (Idiurus); the astonishing grasshopper mice (Onychomys) of
and the distinctive Springhaas (Pedetes) of the the West which are fat-bodied, short-tailed
open plains of South and East Africa. insect- and flesh-eaters with distinct cannibalistic
Anomalures (Family Anomaluridae). These Today, the best-known member of the Family
arboreal animals inhabit the tropical forests of Cricetidae is the Golden Hamster (Mesocricetus
Africa. They range from the size of large squirrels auratus) of Syria which, starting from one female
to that of a slender cat. From neck to wrist, then with 12 young imported into the United States in
to the tip of a cartilage that sticks out from the 1938, has become one of the most popular pets
elbow, on to the ankle, and thence to a point at and also a very useful experimental animal that
the side of the tail, there extends a thin, furred has largely replaced the proverbial Guinea Pig.
extension of the skin. When these animals make The true Hamster (Cricetus cricetus) is a much
their prodigious leaps among the trees, the limbs larger animal, native to Europe, where it used to
are fully extended and this skin flap forms a large swarm and do much damage to crops, though it

rectangle. made good eating.

The gliding mice (Idiurus) are mouse-sized, In the drier parts of eastern Europe, Asia, and
covered in short, soft fur, and have furry para- Africa there dwell another host of mouselike crea-
chute membranes too, but these are not as full as tures known as gerbils. They are root- and seed-
those of the anomalures, as they extend from the eaters and take the place of the voles.
wrist to the ankles and thence to the hind thigh, The largest group of cricetids includes the
46 Myomorphs

lemmings (Lemmus, etc.), the voles and water rats there is a giant species almost twice that size.
(Ari'icola)of the Old World, and the Muskrat The third family of subterranean myomorphs,
(Ondatra) of North America. Most distinguished the Bathyergidae, contains the blesmols or strand
are the lemmings of the far north which periodi- rats (Bathyergus, etc.) and a creature called the
cally over-multiply and then move out from their Naked Mole Rat or Sand Puppy {Heterocephalm
native habitat in all Those that reach
directions. found in the drier areas of East and
glaber). All are
the sea may swim out and drown. Typical voles South Africa. These are strange-looking crea-
are nondescript creatures that feed on seeds, herb- tures, clothed in thick, soft fur, with tiny eyes,
age, and some roots. no tails, short limbs with long claws, and two
Two other kinds of cricetines are very distinc- pairs ofenormous teeth sticking out at the front
tive. The first is the largest of all myomorphs, the end beyond 'the fur. They spend their time tun-
Crested Rat (Lophiomys imhausi), which is found neling along with their teeth, and tamping the
in northern East Africa. The Crested Rat is a earth back to plug the hole, so that they live in a
leaf-eater and an agile tree-climber, but in no way moving capsule of air.
looks like a rat. It is and
as large as a rabbi The popular name of the Family Ghridae is the
clothed in long, coarse, wavy, black and white dormice, meaning "sleeping mice" because the
hairs. The hairs along the ridge of the back form a European forms hibernate and the only form
crest that can be "opened" at will. found in the British Isles is mouse-sized and has a
The sokhors (Myospalax) are dwellers beneath furred but nonbushy tail. This form (Muscardinus
the earth, molelike in form, with short, very avellanarius) is better called the Hazel Mouse as it
thick fur and tiny eyes. They are found through- is quite different from the squirrel-tailed forms of

out central Asia. Eurasia (Glis, Dryomys, Eliomys, etc.) and of Africa
The true rats and mice of the Family Muridae (Graphiurus). This is a most engaging little inhab-
Bushy-tailed ixxlrat, p. 45 may be broken down into five unequal sub- itant of bushes, about twice the size of a mouse
groups, one of which far exceeds the others and — and clothed in silky, short fur, black at the base
all other groups of rodents —
in numbers of but orange brown at the end. It makes a summer
forms, populations, and interest. This is that of nest low down and a large winter nest higher up
the typical rats and mice (Rattus, M/<j, etc.) in which it hibernates and bears its young. It is a
including among dozens of genera, the pest varie- nut-eater, especially favoring hazelnuts.
ties which are known to everyone. The House Its larger cousins are mostly gray in color and
Mouse (Mm musculus) one of the most successful
is squirrel-shaped, with medium-long bushy tails.
of all living creatures and has spread all over the There are several species of five genera found all
earth with man. Although destructive of our food the way from western Europe to Japan, and
supplies and furnishings and a creator of messes, another genus is distributed all across forested
it is actually a master exterminator of other worse Africa down to the temperate woodlands of the
pests such as noxious insects. The Brown Rat Cape. The Common Dormouse of Europe was
{Rattus norvegicus) and the Black Rat (R. rattus)ate considered a table delicacy by the Romans.
of quite another ilk. The former is a terrestrial The two remaining myomorph groups, the
burrowing animal that originally came, it is families Zapodidae and Dipodidae, look some-
believed, from the lowland plains of central Eura- what alike superficially, but are distinct from
sia; the latter is an arboreal animal that probably each other. The first comprises the striped mice
originated in the Orient. Both have covered the (Sicista) of eastern Europe and central Asia on the

earth in the company of man and are not just pests one hand, and the little but long-tailed jumping
but probably, apart from insects, our most dan- mice (Zapus and Napaeozapus) of North America.
gerous competitors for survival and even for our The former are about two inches long with naked
very existence. The Black Rat is the notorious tails of equal length, and live in tunnels under

carrier of bubonic plague, transmitted to man by grass. The jumping mice are fragile, with long
its fleas, and it is also a dangerous pest in other hind limbs and slender tails. There are species in
Mongolian Five-toed Jerboa, p. 45
respects; but the Brown Rat is tougher, more China and Siberia as well as in North America.
Myomorphs ubiquitous, and even more dangerous. Brown They live under grass and trash and nest in deep
Bushy-tailed Woodrat (Neotoma cinerea) Rats transmit'manyidiseases to man and other holes in which they hibernate. They are insect-

The original "pack rat," this animal is attracted by animals, and they destroy many billions of dollars and berry-eaters and they are prodigious jumpers
shiny objects and will abandon anything else it might worth of garnered foodstuffs and other material for their size.

be carrying in order to pick up items such as tin cans, goods every year. The Dipodidae or jerboas are spread all over

coins, or bits of glass. The remaining myomorphs are even more vari- eastern Europe, western Asia, and North Africa.
ant and comprise eight very distinct families all They are desert animals and have short front legs

Mongolian Five-toed Jerboa (Allactaea of which are really so gathered together more by and long hind ones, and long tails bearing a tuft.
The Mongolian Five- toed Jerboa is a nocturnal, default than by design. The first three families are When alarmed, they go high-tailing it off across
burrowing inhabitant of steppes and deserts. In the burrowing animals that spend almost all their the sand. There are a dozen genera of three sub-

colder parts of its range it may hibernate for as long as time below ground. The mole tats (Spalax, groups. They range in size from three inches with
Family Spalacidae) range from eastern Europe to a six-inch tail to ten inches with a foot-long tail.
7 months.
Iran and south via Israel to upper Egypt. They are Some have short, rounded ears, others long ones
Marsh Rice Rat (Oryzomys palustris) large and furry, with small paws and large feet. like those of rabbits; they are insect- and seed-
They burrow along about 18 inches under the eaters, and live in burrows by day.
This animal swims underwater, where it feeds on
surface of the earth but make huge food stores
aquatic plants. Although chiefly an inhabitant of
about 4 feet down. HystricomorphS. This group comprises a tre-
marshes, it is also found among sedges in drier areas.
The African mole rats (Family Rhizomyidae) mendous range of creatures of all sizes from that
of East Africa and the Orient are not quite so of a pig to a small mouse. The porcupinelike
Woodrat ( Neotoma >
profoundly subterranean in habit and often live ones, however, while less in number, are much
There are 22 species in this genus of North and
under the dry trash that accumulates at the bases more distinguished in forms.
Central America. Neotoma builds a bulky nest of
of clumps of giant bamboos. The common Indian The porcupines are most extraordinary rodents
sticks and twigs, often surrounding a bush.
form is about a foot long, but in the East Indies distributed over more than half the land surface of
Hystricomorphs 47

the earth. They are clearly divided into two fami-

lies,with a half a dozen genera in the Old World
and another five in the New.
Longest known to the Western world are the
large Crested Porcupines (Hystrix) of the Medi-
terranean periphery, Africa, and western and
southern Asia. The largest ranges from the
Gabon to the Cape and grows to 30 inches, with
an 8-inch tail. The body is clothed in long, flexi-
ble quills alternating with stout, sharp-pointed
ones. The plume on the head and mane is com-
posed of pliable bristles; the quills of the tail are
hollow. These animals have extremely powerful
teeth and live on vegetable matter. They are
given to rattling their quills and, if attacked, are
exceedingly swift, rushing at their adversaries
backward with quills erect. These quills are
barbed and will drop off when stuck into a foe.
To the east of the range of the above, in Indo-
china and south to Sumatra and Java, are similar
animals but without crest. Then, in West and
west-central Africa, and in Indochina, Malaya,
Borneo, Sumatra, and Java, there are two brush-
tailed porcupines (Atherura). They are about two
feet long with one-foot tails that are naked and
scale-covered but bear terminal brushes of spe-
cialized spines alternating broad and narrow in
the Asiatic and composed of a string of hollow
capsules in the African. These can be agitated like
the tails of rattlesnakes. Both forms live in holes
and eat insects as well as vegetable food. Their
bodies are covered with hard, sharp-pointed
spines that increase in length backwards and can
be elevated at will. Finally in the Old World
there are some very strange rat-shaped animals
covered in stiff fur mixed with bristles and spines
known as Tricbys, or Rat Porcupines. They are
found in Borneo, Sumatra, and Malacca.
The New World porcupines (Family Erethi-
zontidae) come in two models with some rare
intermediate forms. First, in North America
there are the large, ground-living and tree-
climbing species of Erethizon with nonprehensile
tails. The eastern form, E. donation, has a longer

tail and shorter fur from which protrude short,

strong, barbed spines and a rather sparse overcoat
of long, pliable bristles; the western is much
larger and is covered with a dense growth of very
long, broomlike hairs.
At the the other end of the New World porcu-
pines are the Coendous or prehensile-tailed
forms, that inhabit the tropical forests of Central
and South America. Those of the northern group
are fully furred with short, sharp spines; the
southern are naked but for the spines. Both have
long, sturdy, naked, ratlike scaled tails by which
they can hang.
The next group of the hystricomorphs are the
so-called guinea pigs (Family Caviidae), known
in their native South America aspereas, moats, and
cuts. From one of these the Andean Amerinds cen-

turies ago developed the domestic variety for

food. Their wild relatives are nondescript little
tailless rodents that live in burrows or in tunnels
under low vegetation from mountain tops to low-
land swamps but always outside the forests.
Another member of this family is the Mara
(Dolicbotis) which lives on the drier, open plains
of Argentina. It is communal, diurnal, digs its

own burrows, and is very nervous. Like some

ungulates, it displays white rump-patches which
". m are spread as a warning.
Woodrat , p. 45
48 Hystricomorphs

Related to the above are a group of very larg

rodents of three families, the first, the Hydro!
choeridae, containing only the largest of all
rodents, the Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochoeris)
the Dinomyidae only the Pacarana (Dinomys bran-,
icku); and the Dasyproctidae, the pacas (Agouti),]
the agoutis (Dasyprocta) and the little acouchis
(Myoprocta). These are all terrestrial dwellers, but
the Capybara is semiaquatic. Capybaras have
been known to reach over 200 pounds in weight.
The pacas are also bulky animals clothed in short,
brown hair with lines of yellow spots along the
flanks. The Pacarana is quite different, shaped
more like an enormous rat. It is an inhabitant of
the Pacific northwest of South America. Pacas
range from Mexico to the Argentine; the Capy-i
bara on the eastern side of the Andes. The first'
Pacarana was found in a yard in a small Peruvian
town in 1870.
The agoutis are smaller, light-bodied animals
with long legs. They are shy, and extremely
swift. There are several species defined mostly by
the coat color, which ranges from brown gray to
rich reddish orange. Acouchis are still smaller
and more slender, and are inhabitants of marshy
Next comes a really very interesting group of
aberrant rodents of large size, the Family Capro-
myidae. First, there are the Cuban hutias of
mainland Cuba and the Isle of Pines. They look
like huge rats. The short-tailed hutias (Geocaprv-
mys) are rabbit-sized ground-dwellers. One spe-
cies lives on the Plana Caya of the Bahamas, one
in the mountains of Jamaica, and a third on half-
mile-long Swan Island in the Gulf of Honduras.
Another prehensile-tailed form, Plagiodontia,
lives in Haiti. It looks like a huge, tailed guinea
Another member of the Capromyidae is the
now-famous Coypu (Myocastor coypu), the fur of
which is called nutria. This is a South American
semiaquatic animal half the size of the beaver and
leading much the same life, but not indulging in
damming or ditch-digging activities. It was
introduced into North America some decades ago
and has now spread widely.
Many groups of mammals have given rise to
fossorial forms and the hystricomorphs have
given us the tucotucos (Family Ctenomyidae) of
the Argentine. These are not so adapted as moles,
having normal sized eyes and well-developed
limbs. They live underground by the millions
and are notable for throwing up mounds of earth
and keeping up a chorus of strange tapping
The Family Octodontidae is another group of

larger rodents spread over South America. It


comprises a dozen known genera, and it would

take a whole book to describe them, but they are
of interest, with one exception, only to special-
ists. The exception is the Degu (Octodon degus), a
ratlike animal with a short, tufted tail that it
carries arched over its back. On lowlands and in
forested areas of tropical America there dwell still
another host of small rodents. These constitute
the Family Echimyidae, or porcupine rats. There
are about a dozen genera.
The last New World group of hystricomorphs
is wholly South American, and consists of the

chinchillas (Families Abrocomidae and Chin-

chillidae). There are four outstanding forms. The
little chinchilla rats (Abrocoma) from the Andean

Coendou,/>. 46
) )

Right Whales 49

ltiplano have large ears and silky fur, and live in

nail communities. The Common Chinchilla

Chinchilla laniger) lives in communal burrows in
upper montane regions of Chile, Bolivia, and

eru. Their fur is so soft you cannot feel it with a

inger tip if your eyes are closed, and this once
arly caused their extinction, because their pelts
)mmanded enormous prices in the fur trade,
lowever, in 1922 an American engineer named
[. F. Chapman managed to bring 14 pairs back

) the United States alive and they proved to

reed well in captivity. Closely related is the
luch larger Mountain Chinchilla (Lagidium) that
wells on the highest ranges of Chile, Bolivia,
nd Peru up to 16,000 feet. It grows to 20 inches
l length with a foot-long bushy tail. The ears are

irge and erect, and the whiskers may be eight

iches long. It lives in holes and feeds on mosses,
rasses, and some roots and is an adept rock
limber. In color it is a soft gray above and yellow
>elow. The last of the chinchillids is the Viscacha
Lagostomus maximus), which is still larger and
nuch heavier-bodied, with shorter ears and tail,
."his type lives in small communities which make

normous warrens with huge entrance holes and

vhich clear all the vegetation for hundreds of feet
The remaining hystricomorphs are African and
; re very dissimilar. The African Rock Rat (Petro-
nus typicus) lives in South Africa mostly around
vlamaqualand. It is six inches long with a six-
nch, tapering tail. It feeds on the flowers of

fertain plants and is active day and night.

The African cane rats (Thryonomys swinderianus)
ire shaped somewhat like a beaver but with a

ihort, tapering tail. They are found all over

\frica south of the Sahara, except in deserts,
scrublands, or closed-canopy forests. They crop
grass on open places in the woodlands during the
light hence —
their West African name,
Perhaps the most obscure of all rodents are the
gundis of the Family Ctenodactylidae. There are
our recognized genera all over Africa throughout
:he scrub and semidesert belts. They are almost
ill pale colored and firm-haired and about the size
of voles. They have only four fingers and toes but
:he inner two toes bear strange horny combs on
heir inner sides covered with rows of stiff, curv- Coypu, p. 46
ng bristles. These are used to comb the fur. Hystricomorphs Coendou (Coendou prehensilis
The prehensile-tailed porcupines of Central and South
Vhales, Dolphins, and Porpoises North American Porcupine
America are nocturnal and arboreal Their tails have

Order Cetacea) (Erethizon dorsatum)

no spines and are naked on top; they are wrapped
Apart from the higher primates and the ele- Porcupines mate in the same fashion as do other
under, rather than over, branches.
phants, the most intelligent things living on this mammals. When the female becomes aroused, her
planet are the whales —
which, of course, means quills relax and she lifts her tail over her back. A Capybara Hydrochoerus
The Capybara

the world's largest rodent. Gen-
also the dolphins, porpoises, and related types. single offspring is born after a gestation of almost 7
There are about a hundred species of these mam- months. Although the newborn has well-formed erally aquatic, it feeds mainly on water plants and is
mis quills, the mother not harmed; the baby born a fast swimmer. On land, Capybaras move slowly.
living today in all oceans, seas, many rivers, is is

and few lakes, and they are divided, on anatom-

a headfirst, enclosed in a placental sac, and its quills
ical grounds, into two suborders, the Mysticeti, are soft.
Coypu ( Myocaster coypu)
or whalebone whales, and the Odontoceti, or This large rodent of South America can remain
toothed whales. The Suborder Mysticeti includes South African Porcupine underwater for several minutes. Young Coypus are
the Families Balaenidae, Balaenopteridae, and f Hystrix afrtcaeaustralis I able to swim within 24 hours of birth.

Eschrictiidae; these whales have fringed plates of The four species that make up the genus Hystrix are
whalebone, or baleen, in their mouths, used for the largest of the porcupines .
If alarmed, the porcupine
marine organisms out of the sea-
filtering small quickly retreats, its long quills rattling. If charged,
water. The remaining families belong to the Sub- it erects its mass of quills and, moving backward,
order Odontoceti. points them toward the enemy.

light Whales (Family Balaenidae). So called

aecause they were the "right" whales to hunt
) ) ,

50 Rorquals

before the coming of the exploding harpoon gui

and the steam whale-chaser which made it possi
ble for the rorquals to be taken. Right whale
float for a time when killed; the rorquals sink
There are three kinds of rights —
the Black Righi
Whale (Balaena glaaalis) on which the first Euro
pean whaling industry was founded, the Arctic
Right Whale (B. mysticetus), which is circum-
polar in range; and the rare Pygmy Right Whale
(Caperea margtnata). The first two lack dorsal fins
These two are enormously rotund with small flip
pers and tail flukes, but immense mouths; the
lower jaw forms a scoop, the upper has a filter
composed of hundreds of triangular, fringed
plates of what is called baleen projecting from
either side of the roof of the mouth, and arranged
transversely. These are made of keratin, the same
substance as our nails, and the whole structure is
really an exaggeration of the ridges you can feel
across your palate with your tongue. These ani
mals feed on small crustaceans called collectively
krill, which they obtain by the ton per day by
cruising along with their mouths open, so that I

Killer Whale, />. 37 the small food is filtered out by the hairs on the
edges of these plates, which form a domed mat.
The whale then closes its mouth and scoops the
food back into its throat with its one-ton tongue.
The Black has a strange excrescence on the top of
its snout that is usually infested with barnacles
and othet parasites.

Rorquals (Family Balaenopteridae). There are

five species of these, one, the Blue Whale (B.
musculiis), reaching a record length of 1 12 feet and
thus being the largest known animal ever to have
lived on this planet. The formula for weighing
whales is by computation at \Vi tons per foot of
length. This would make this record weight 168
tons, yet these animals can leap clear out of the
water! The drive for such a feat comes from the
muscles of the tail which forms a bit over a third
of its total length and ends in the huge horizontal
flukes. The tail goes up and down in swimming
but almost imperceptibly, while the flukes per-
form a double sculling motion that almost
amounts to the rotary drive of a propellor. Fin
Whales (B. physalus) appear to be even swifter.
The other species are the Sei Whale (B. borealis),
Blackfish,/*. 3/
Bryde's Whale (B. edeni), and the Minke Whale
Dolphins, Porpoises, and Killer Whales Common Dolphin < Delphinus delphis (B. acutorostrata). The last is much smaller and is
Unlike land mammals, which are usually born a fish-eater, and has, as its name implies, a sharp
Killer Whalejf Orcinus orcaj
headfirst, cetaceans are often born tailfirst, a position snout. All rorquals are more attenuated than the
The Killer Whale is the largest member of the dolphin
that may prevent drowning of the infant during the Rights and have small dorsal fins placed far back
family. Although it feeds chiefly on fish, it also preys
birth process. The mother dolphin is a devoted parent at the middle'of the tail.
on other whales, seals, dolphins and sea lions. It
and other adults assist in protecting the newborn until Like all the rorquals, the Humpback (Megap-
attacks large baleen whales in groups like wolf packs,
it is able to hunt for itself. tera novaeangliae) has a deeply fluted throat and
and can swallow small seals whole.
belly. There are dozens of deep grooves in the
skin (and blubber) like pleats in a skirt and, like
Blackfish (Globilcephalus
pleats, they can open when the animal swims
These gregarious cetaceans travel in groups that may
along with its mouth agape. The Humpback,
number more than 100 animals. No
knows why
like the rorquals, feeds but takes some
on krill,
blackfish sometimes become stranded on beaches. One
squid and small fish that may drift into its vast
theory is that their sonar navigation is impaired in
maw. It is a short-bodied form, very deep in the
shallow water, where the floor of the ocean slopes
belly, dark above and light below. The long
upward toward shore.
flippers are more like oars, indented along their
hind edge.

Gray Whales (Family Eschrictiidae). The Gray

Whale (Eschricttus robustus) appears to be the most
primitive of the baleen whales and is confined to
the North Pacific along the coast of which it
migrates annually as far south as Japan on the

Dolphins, Porpoises, and Killer Whales 51

west, and California on the east, it has a succes-

sion of low, laterally compressed bumps on
top of
the tail in almost triangular
place of a dorsal fin,

tail-flukes, and large, spatulate flippers. It is dap-

pled gray in color but the white marks are where
barnacles and other parasites have been rubbed off
by the animals on rocks in shallow water. Grays
stay along the coast and may come almost to
beaches in pursuit of small nsh.

Sperm Whales (Family Physeteridae). The

Sperm Whale (Physeter catodori) is without doubt
the typical whale to most people even today,
since it formed the basis of the storied American

whaling industry. It is a chunky creatute with a

huge, square-ended forehead, rilled with a light
wax called spermaceti, the purpose of which is to
act as a hydrostatic organ, as the Sperm is a squid-
and octopus-eater and a deep diver. The lower
jaw is narrow and armed with a row of huge, peg-
like simple teeth, somewhat widely spaced,
which fit into sockets in the horny sheaths that
clothe the upper jaws. The flippers are compara-
tively small but very broad, and again there is a
bumps down the back but no dorsal
series of fin.

The Sperm Whale is an open ocean dweller.

Beaked Whales (Family Ziphiidae). These are a

primitive kind of small whale with one character-
istic in common —
their elusiveness. There are
five distinct forms only one of which is commonly
known even to whalets. This is the Bottle-nosed
Whale (Hyperoodon) upon which a small industry
was run almost a century by Norse-Scots fleets
of small schooners because it rendered highly val-
uable oil and other products. Large males reach
30 feet in length and have a very large sperm tank
on their heads. They were hunted in the Atlantic
but have been seen in the Pacific.

Belugas and (Family Monodonti-

dae). There are two and they are in cer-
of these,
tain respects vety different. One, the Beluga
(Delphinapter/ts leucas) is, in its adult stages, a pure
white. It grows to about 18 feet in length, has a

rounded head and rather pronounced, pursed

lips. Belugas make a great variety of sounds and
mariners once dubbed them "sea canaries." The
other member of the group is the Narwhal (Mono-
dim monoceros) which is in one respect absolutely
unique. It has some stumpy crushing teeth
embedded gums when young, but then
in the
loses them except for the left upper canine of

males (occasionally both canines) which grow

directly forward like a spear, but always with a
lefthand or sinistral twist. Spears over ten feet
long and seven inches in diameter at the base have
been described. What they are used tor is frankly
not known.

Dolphins, Porpoises, and Killer Whales

(Family Delphinidae). This is a quite large group
that is now usually broken down into four sub-
groups —
the typical dolphins (Delphimnae), the
Cepbalorhynchmae the Oranae, and the Lissodei-

phinae. About 45 full species are now recognized,

divided between 13 geneta but, while all are dol-
phins, a few are quite special and in two cases
spectacular. The average dolphin runs about 8 to
12 feet in length but the Killer Whale (Orcinus
una) and the Blackhsh (Globilcephalus) grow to 30
52 River Dolphins

The Killer Whale has a mouth armed with i

terrifying array of sharp teeth. It is a glistening

black in color with a white chin and throat anc
other irregular pure white markings that vary in
extent and position very widely. Its dorsal fin is
very tall and may turn over at the top like a dog's
The typical dolphins constitute five genera
St amila, Lagemirbynchus, Tutstops, Delpbinus, and
Grampus. All except the Grampus (G. griseus).

which has a blunt snout, are very much alike

apart from their coloration. All have "beaks"
which may be short and puglike or greatly ex-
tended and pointed. While Delphinus delpbis is
the original dolphin of classical art and of folklore
it has been replaced in popularity in modern
times by Turswps truncates, the first Cetacean to
be successfully kept in captivity and trained to do
A somewhat different member of the Delphin-
idae is the Rough-toothed Dolphin (Steno rostra-

tus) which has a rather fishlike, pointed head,

large dorsal fin and flippers and is covered with
large white spots on a sort of olive background.
However, the other members are quite unlike
this externally. They are five species of the genus
Sousa, all of which ascend larger rivers from South
China, around the Indochinese peninsula, the
Bay of Bengal, the west coast of India, and the
East African coast. In South America, relatives
called Boutus (Sotalia) are found off the east coast
but ascend the Amazonian and Orinoco river
complexes to the first cataracts.
Porpoises are very different animals; seven in
number, divided between three genera Pho-
caena, Phocoenoides, zndNeomeris. The Common or
Harbor Porpoise (Phocaena phocaena) is found in

coastal waters all around the northern hemisphere

from almost the ice-front in summer to southern
Japan and Baja California in the Pacific, and Cape
Hatteras and Gibraltar in the Atlantic. Dall's
Porpoise {Phocoenoides dalli) is black with a
white oblong patch on either flank; True's (P.
truei) is barrel-shaped and has almost the whole
flanks pure white. Neomeris phocoenoides is odd,
having a blunt head, a tiny mouth and eyes, large
flippers, small tail flukes, and no dorsal fin, but
instead, a long, low ridge. It is found in the Bay
of Bengal, throughout Indonesia, and in the
western Pacific.

River Dolphins (Family Platanistidae).

Although classed with the other toothed whales,
these four strange little freshwater Cetaceans are
quite unlike all others. One, Platanista gangetica,
is found in the Ganges and some other large Ori-

ental rivers; Lipotes vexillifer is found in one or two

inland lakes in central China from which it
spreads through canals, rivers, and even drainage
ditches over quite a wide area. The other two are
South American, Inia geoffroyensis of the Ama-
zonian and Orinocoan basins and some rivers in
the Guianas, and Pontoporia blainvillei of the La
Plata Basin.

(Order Carnivora)
This large and varied order contains many of the
best-known of mammals but also obscure little
beasts that are of great importance to the peoples
native to the countries where they are found. The
carnivores are predominantly flesh-eaters but

Humpback Whale, p. 50
Flesh-eaters 53

Common Dolphin , p. 5 7

Humpback Whale {Megaptera novaeangliae)
The Humpback is distinguished by greatly elongated
flippers, exceeding one-fourth oj its body length.
Wartlike knobs on the head oj the calj (shown here)
bear stiff sensory hairs like the whiskers of a cat.

Dolphins, Porpoises, and Killer Whales

Common Dolphin {Delphinus delphis)

Among the swiftest cetaceans, Common Dolphins
cruise at speeds of up to 25 knots. They travel in
groups, usually of about 20 individuals.

River Dolphins

Amazon Dolphin (Inia geoffroyensis)

Isolated for millennia m the turbid water of South
American rivers, the Amazon Dolphin has very poor
eysight. Instead, it navigates by echolocation.

Amazon Dolphin, p. 52
) ) , — —
54 Cats

Cats many include vegetable mattet in their diets. rion, is that of the lynxes. There are four of these,
They may be divided into seven large families allbut one of which are very closely related. They
Leopard I Leo pardus the cats (Felidae), the civets and mongooses are spread all over North America and Eurasia,
Adaptable predators offorest and open bush, Leopards (Viverndae), the dogs (Canidae), the raccoons the exception being the Caracal (Lynx caracal)
range widely in Africa and Asia. They are cunning (Procyonidae), the bears (Ursidae), the hyenas which inhabits North Africa, the whole of East
solitary, and, considering their size, very strong. (Hyaenidae), and the weasels (Mustelidae). The and South Africa all around the forest bloc, Israel
Leopards even prey on animals as large as elands. dogs, bears, raccoons, and to a certain extent the north to Syria and thence east via Iran to the
hyenas are the most closely related to each other. whole central dry area of India. In northern
Lynx iLynx lynx) Europe, Asia, and Canada large species (L. lynx
Outside the Soviet Union and Finland the European Cats (Family Felidae). There are 36 species of and canadensis) are found though they are now
Lynx sun n es only in mountainous regions but at one . cats, including the Cheetah} (Acinonyx jubatus), greatly restricted in range. They are confined to
time it was a lowland forests, inhabiting
creature of which has several features that are not catlike. the boreal coniferous forests. A smaller species
areas of Europe from Scandinavia fo the Mediter- These may be broken down into several groups. widespread in North America, is the Bobcat
ranean. Five of these cats are singled out as the "great (Lynx rujus). All of these animals are distin
cats," on the ground, admittedly rather arbi- guished by tasselled ears.
Cheetah Acinonyx jubatus
{ trary, that their throat construction makes it Going in what is apparently another evolu
The fastest living land animal, the Cheetah races possible for them to roar. They are the Lion (Leo tionary direction from the lynx stem we come to a
across the savanna at speeds greater than 62 miles per leo), the Tiger (Leo tigris), the Jaguar (Leo mica), number of smaller cats mostly of a grayish or yel
hour. Because the Cheetah tires quickly, a potential the Leopard (Leo pardus), and the Snow Leopard lowish tone but with wavy patterns of darker to
victim can survive if it maneuvers until the cat is (Uncia uncia). With one exception the Snow — black markings. These have an enormous range,
exhausted. But young, old or diseased animals have Leopard —
these are too well known to warrant from Scotland in the west to Manchuria and
little chance of escaping. any basic description but there are some less- thence south to South Africa on the one hand and
known points about them that are worth men- Malaya on the other. Among them would seem to
tioning. be the ancestors of our "Western" domestic cats.
The Lion was once spread over a very large area In Europe there is the original Wild Cat (Felis
from central southern Europe to western Asia and silvestris) still lingers on in
that Scotland and
south into India, Iran, Iraq, and parts of Arabia. several areason the mainland east to Russia. They
Today its range has shrunk to the upland and have long fur, almost bushy tails, tremendous
semidesert areas of Africa, and the Gir Forest of whiskers, bright yellow eyes and carry their ears
western India. These animals do not enter closed- horizontally. This species does not seem to have
canopy forests and appear to take only the amount participated in the formation of the Western
of game they require. domestic cats; close African relatives on the other
Tigers are woodland, open-iurest, and hand seem to have done so. These are Felis lybica
orchard-bush animals and are found all over east- of the woodlands, savanna, and desert scrub belts
ern Asia, from Siberia to India, Indochina, and of North Africa, the Sahara, Egypt, Ethiopia,
the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Borneo, and and the uplands of East Africa. Throughout the
Java. They appear to have originated in the far closed-canopy areas of Africa a similar animal is
north where today they still grow to their greatest found and named Felis ocreata. These are hardly
size. Tigers are aggressive hunters, sometimes distinguishable from the standard domesticated
kill more game than they need, and in special cir- tabby. Somewhat larger is the Jungle Cat (F.
cumstances turn into "man-eaters." chaus), which has a very short tail and slightly
The great cats of the closed-canopy forests are tassellated ears, and a uniformly colored gray
the Jaguar of Central and South America, which brown coat. It is distributed throughout North-
ranges from southern Arizona to the mid- east Africa, India, and the Oriental region.
Argentine, and the Leopard of equatorial Africa From these the transition, on the one hand to
and the Orient. However, these cats range also the desert and sand cats, and on another to certain
out to the scrub and sometimes even onto the Oriental forms, is but a step. The former
desert. Leopards are still found in the Caucasus Pallas' Cat (F. manut) and the Chinese Desert Cat
Tiger, p. ")4 and northern Iran. Black, or melanistic, forms of (F . bieti) — are long-haired, light-colored cats
Cats both are known and those of the leopard are so with rather flat heads that look like, and may have

common as to be called "panthers." been, the origin of our domesticated Petsian cats.
Tiger (Leo tigris)
The one great cat that is different is the Snow The former inhabits central Asia from Kurdistan
Tigers hunt by ear. They have a weak sense of smell
Leopard, a magnificent creature with long, silky, to the east border in Tibet and ranges south to
and their t 'is ton is poor; they are apparently unable to
white fur and diffuse dark spotting except for Kashmir and Ladak. The is found to the
distinguish motionless prey from a bush.
intense smaller spots on the head. It has a wide northeast and is a true desert dweller. ulti-

range throughout central Asia from the Pamirs to mate of these cats is the exttaordinary little Sand
China and north to the Altai. It inhabits montane Cat (F. margarita) which occurs all over the east-
forests but moves up onto the treeless area, to ern Sahara, in Arabia, and away to the northeast
14,000 feet in summer, following its food. in Transcaucasia. This is so flat-headed that it can
There comes next a group of larger cats that do wedge into crannies that one would never believe
not roar — although they make an astonishing even a mouse capable of entering.
variety of noises. These are the Puma, Mountain Small, vividly spotted cats are found through-
Lion, or Cougar (Felis concolor), which ranges from out the forested areas of both the Old and New
Alaska to Patagonia and once spread all across Worlds in tropical and subtropical latitudes, and
North America. A population survived in Florida some like the Ocelot in America range into the
and recently it was determined that a few cougars temperate belts both norrh and south. The iden-
still range the Appalachians from Nova Scotia to tification and relationships of most of these have
Georgia. Closely related is the Golden Cat (Felis not yet been determined.
aurata) of forested West and central Africa, and The largest of the "spotted" cats is the com-
its diminutive relative, Temminck's Cat (F. tem- mon Ocelot (F pardalis) which ranges from the

mincki), of Southeast Asia and Sumatra. southern rim of the United States throughout
The next group of cats, using size as a crite- Central and South America to the deserts of Peru
Civets and Mongooses 55
and the pampas of the Argentine. This animal
varies very considerably in size from that of a
large house cat to a small leopard, and in color
from a very dark olive gray green with black
hollow blotches to a cream yellow with rusty fill-
ings in large black markings.
The plain colored Jaguarondi (F. yagouaroundi)
ranges from the United States border to the
northern rim of the pampas, but does not appear
to enter the Amazonian closed forests or ascend
above the timberline on mountains. The Jaguar-
ondi is a rather short-legged animal with an
elongated muzzle, and it is either a shade of gray
or reddish with a brindled overlay.
The most distinctive of the cats is the Cheetah
{Acinonyx jubatus), which used to range in the
orchard, savanna, and scrub belts all around
the forest blocks of Africa, across Arabia, and in
the drier parts of the Near East north to southern
Russia and east to central India. It is now rare in
India, and seems to have gone from the rest ot
Asia. Cheetahs have claws that are blunt like
those of dogs and that are only slightly retract-
able. They are exceedingly swift and their accel-
eration from a standing start is astonishing. They
can attain 70 m.p.h.

Civets and Mongooses (Family Viverridae).

This is and varied group of small
a very large
animals, spread all over the warmer and notably
forested areas of Madagascar, Africa, and the
Orient. Out of 85 full species now recognized,
there are only 2 kinds that are popularly known,
even in the Old World. These are the civets and
the mongooses, which are terms for dozens of
species of several genera. There are four species of
civets: the African (Viverra civetta), the Indian (V.
zibetha), the Large-spotted (V. megaspila), and the
Malayan (V. tangalunga). The first occurs almost
all over tropical Africa and is marked with black
bands, rings and spots on silver gray. It is a dog-
like animal that has anal glands that produce a
substance used as a fixative for perfumes and com-
mands a very high price. The Indian Civet ranges
over Burma and South China as well as India. The
Large-spotted replaces it in Indochina, and the
Malayan overlaps the range of this and extends on
to Sumatra, Borneo, the Celebes, and the Philip-
pines. A quite different animal is the much
smaller Viverricula indica, which ranges from
Ceylon to southern China, and throughout the
islands east to Bali.
Closely related to the civets are the smaller
genets (Genetta) of which there are about ten valid
species, one of which is so distinct as to warrant
the English name of the African Linsang and sep-
arate generic status, as Poiana richardsoni. One
form is found all around the Mediterranean and
on its larger islands. It appears to have been
domesticated as a mouser long before the cats,
and it was one of the animals called "cat" by the
ancient Greeks.
Related to the civets is a very beautiful and
remarkable animal, the Water Civet (Osbornictis
piscivora), which has a deep reddish color, with
white facial markings and a black tail. It is
known from only three specimens obtained by an
American expedition to the eastern Congo in
Linsangs look much like genets but are from
the Orient and have short and thick, soft fur and
very long tails. Like the genets, their claws are

56 Civets and Mongooses

very sharp, catlike, and retractile. They are noc,

turnal forest dwellers and inhabit most of Indc
china, Malaya, Borneo, Sumatra, and Java. Thi
Banded Linsang (Prwnodon linsang) is the one tha
extends to the islands; the Spotted Linsang (Pi
pardicolor) is known only from the mainland.
There are half a dozen species of palm civets
the commonest form, Paradoxurus hermaphrodi
tus, ranging all over India, Ceylon, Burma, Indo
china, Borneo, Sumatra, Java, the Celebes, th(
Philippines^ and several Pacific islands. Relatec
species are confined to Ceylon, and the Soutl
Chinese areas. They are short-legged, long
tailed, brownish animals that live in low tret

heads — notably palms — but have a predilectior

for the thatched roofs of houses, even in th(
centers of large towns. Closely related are tru
larger Masked Palm Civet (Paguma lari'ata) thai
also ranges widely over the Indochinese area.;

Sumatra, and Borneo. All these animals eat fruii

as well as small animals.
The Binturong is by far the
(Arctictis binturong)
largest of the viverrids and
about four feet long

including the fully long-haired tail which is pre-|

hensile. It is a low-chassised animal with a broac
face, and tassels on its ears. It is a fruit-eater and
The hemigalines are a beautiful assemblage o!
small, alert, long-tailed, civetlike animals with a
most remarkable distribution. There are foui
quite distinct groups of them, two in Southeast
Asia, the other two on the great island of Mada-
gascar. In Asia we have the true hemigales (Hemi-,
gains hosei and H. derbyanus), the first only from!
Borneo, the latter from that island, Sumatra, and
the mainland ot the Indochinese area. These ani-;

mals, along with their close relative the so-called

Banded, or Otter Civet (Chrotogale owstoni) of the
Indochinese mainland are arboreal animals but all
seem to stay neat water and to feed on small ani-
mals, insects, and some fruits. The Madagascar!
forms are called falonkas {Fossa) and falanookas
(Eupleres). It should be understood that the j

falonka, although technically named Fossa, is not

the same animal as the popularly named Fossa
(Crytoprocta ferox), which is the largest carnivore!
in Madagascar. Smooth brown with a long,
tapering tail, the true Fossa may measure six feet
in overall length. It has rounded ears that are]
erect, and complex facial markings, notably
white patches over the eyes above which are dark
triangles. This is a unique animal in that it has
retractile claws like cats but is otherwise anatom-
ically a civet. Yet, it seems nearer to Eupleres but
displays some even more primitive features.
There are three distinct kinds of Madagascan
mongooses Galidia, Mungotictis and Salanoia,

with four very distinct species in the first, and-


two species in the second and third genera. They

are very rare and almost totally unknown even to
the inhabitants of their island home.
Finally, among the viverrids, we come to the
enormous group of small, agile mammals that
can only be called the "mongooses." Of these
there are no less than 40 distinct and identifiable
species. They are distributed all over the Medi-
terranean area, Africa, and the Orient, extending
to the Philippines, Borneo, Sumatra, and Java.
One species has been introduced to the West
Indies —
where it has played havoc with the
indigenous small fauna —
and to many of the
Indian Ocean and Pacific islands. On the latter it

Large-spotted Genet , p. 55
— — ) )

Dogs 57

is done very well, but instead of eradicating the facts known about it that set at nought almost
its, for which purpose it was initially intro- everything believed about it previously. Those
uced, it has taken to molesting the smaller interested can read the large library available on
omestic animals. Instead of trying to sort out the subject; only a few points may be mentioned
: lis mass of small, nondescript creatures, we will here. These animals seldom corral men; they are
eal only with those that may be known or are retiring and shy, extremely resourceful and have a
utstanding. very clear-cut social order. They are, of course,
The "original" mongoose was an animal to predators but are fine "conservationists" and
'hich the name Herpestes ichneumon was given. It ought to be protected, though their numbers are
lhabited, and to a large extent still ranges over, controlled.
ie periphery of the Mediterranean and some The only other wolf is the Coyote (Cams
ther northeastern areas in Africa. It was partially latrans) ofNorth America. This creature does a
omesdcated by the ancients as a mouse-hunter considerable amount of marauding of domestic
nd as the traditional controller of poisonous animals. However, it is invaluable as a control of
'nakes. It is only one of about a score of similar, rodents and its senseless slaughter is a disgrace.
nd closely which are distributed
allied, species Nearest to domestic "dogs" on the one hand
ver Africa, east through the Near and Middle and the wolves on the other are the jackals of the
iast to India and on to Indochina, and the Indo- Near and Middle East and Africa. There are now
lesian islands of Borneo, Java, Sumatra, and the four recognized species, the Golden Jackal (Cams
'hilippines. It is probable that a species named aureus) that ranges all along North Africa and
he Indian Brown Mongoose (H. fuscus) was the through the Near and Middle East to India and
hero" — or culprit — of Kipling's classic, beyond to South China, the Black-backed Jackal
Rikki-tikki-tavi." (C. mesome/as), the Side-striped Jackal (C. adus-
and central Africa there is to be found a
In East tus), and the Simenian Jackal (C. simensis) which Wolf,/'. 57
lcsely related group of about half a dozen species is an enormous wolf-sized form from Ethiopia.
bf what is called the Dwarf Mongoose (Helogale The Black-backed and Side-striped are scattered
<arva). These are predominantly insect-eaters and all over Africa outside the forests. They stand

>ften take up residence in termites' nests. There in appearance —

almost exactly between the
re then four species of animals known as cusi- wolves and the foxes. It is now agreed there are a
!nanses (Crossarchus and Liberttctis) which are dozen species of foxes. There are two main
nh, bitants of central, closed-canopy forested types — the big, fully furred and typical foxes,
\frica. Somewhere near them stands the Marsh and the Kit (Vuipes re/ox) and Corsac Foxes (V. leu-
Alongoose (Atilax paludinosus), a crab-, insect-, copus) of the desert regions of North America and
".nd, apparently, frog-eater. Asia respectively, to which may be added V. rup-

Other so-called "mongooses" are almost dog- pelli and V. pallida, the sand foxes of North
ike in habits as well as form. They comprise half Africa and the Near and Middle East to India.
dozen species of three genera Ichneumia, Bde- The Red Fox (V. vuipes) which is found all over
ga/e, and Rhyncbogale. They are woodland and North America, North Africa, and Eurasia,
orest animals, stand upon straight, long legs, occurs in a bewildering variety of colors and color
ind have bushy tails. Some exceed three feet in patterns, both intrinsically and seasonally. There
ength, a third of which is tail. They have sharp, is a small desert-dwelling form found in central

oxy faces and muzzles and range in color from )et Asia (V. ferrilatd) that has exceptionally large
ilack to almost pure silvery white, usually with ears, and which seems to point the way to the
ilack stockings. They are true predators and sub- delightful little Fennecs (Fennecus zerda) which
•ist mostly on forest-floor rodents and other small range all across North Africa, Arabia, and the
nammals, but take also frogs, lizards, snakes, Near East to the Middle East throughout the
ind snails and land crabs. desert belt.
There are two animals that are commonly
)0gS (Family Canidae). These are the animals called foxes but which stand considerably apart. Red Fox, p. 57
hat all of us call "dogs." However, this is a very These are the Arctic Fox (Alopex lagopus) and the Civets and Mongooses
nisleading term. There are creatures called Gray Fox (Urocyon anereoargenteus). The first ap-
Large-spotted Genet Genetta ( tigrina
wild dogs," the Dholes (Cuon alpinus) of the pears to be circumpolar and ranges all over the
Jrient and the Hunting Dogs (Lycaon pictus) of arctic ice in winter, moving about at tempera- Among the prey oj the Large-spotted Genet of sub-
Saharan Africa is the Crested Guinea/owl (Guttera
Africa, but there is no known true wild dog. The tures as low as 40° below zero. In summer it is
edouardi). Although it is a viverrid, the Genet has
)ingo (Cams dingo), now confined to Australia rather "tatty" looking, and of a brownish tint,
retractile claws like those of a cat.
ind semidomesticated by the native people, may but in winter it puts on a magnificent long, fluffy
ie the nearest breed of "dog" to the ancestral coat which may be pure white or mauvish gray
ype, but again, there is no evidence of that type, brown which is then known to the iur trade as
^d a considerable gap exists between the Dingo Blue Fox. Its principal food is thought to be lem- Wolf Cams
ind the nearest woli'(Canispallipes) of India that is mings which it burrows under the snow and of
for Wolves are social animals, living in packs of up to 15
hort-haired and of the same coloration. which it makes caches in the fall for later use, just individuals, usually led by a dominant male. The
There appears to be one species of true Wolf as we put meat in deep-freezers. However, people wolf mates for life, and all members of the pack
Cants lupus) that is spread all over temperate who have spent winters upon ice have wondered, cooperate to care for the young.
North America and Eurasia. There are two forms and justifiably, just what else they feed upon in
that may be full species that live on lowlands winter so as to be so plump and active. Red Fox ( Vuipes vuipes)
;outh of this circumpolar belt. These are the so- The Gray Fox is quite another animal, a short- Red Foxes are found in North America, Eurasia and
Red Wolf (Cams mger), ranging over the
.alled haired, long-legged inhabitant of the New Africa. They are omnivorous, feeding mainly on
.outh-central area of North America, and the World with an enormous range throughout vegetation and insects in summer and on mammals
light-colored C. pallipes, which is found from almost all types of habitat except the tropical and birds in winter. In winter adult foxes seldom live
south of the Elburz, east to Bengal south of
Iran, closed-canopy forests. It ranges from Canada to in dens, but instead curl up in the open, and may
the Himalayas. The typical Wolf is too well Panama, and is particularly prevalent wherever sometimes be totally covered by a snowfall.
<nown to need description, but there are many there is growth of coniferous trees thar form open
) —
58 Dogs

Bears forests. Itis a tree-climber as well as a runner, and it will take any small animal food that it can r

itseems to be able to subsist on a very wide vari- down and kill.

American Black Bear (Euarctos amerkanus) ety of both animal and vegetable foods. The Raccoon Dog (Nyctereutes procyonoid
In trees, Black Bears find protection and seeds which
The South American jackals are a rather bewil- looks like a small, skinny raccoon, yet is, hoi
are only one component of an extremely varied diet. dering array of foxlike animals that are almost ever, classed as a true canine. found ovei It is
Trees are useful in another way; bears rub against unknown to all but a few of the native inhabitants very wide area in northeastern Asia from Siber
them in an attempt to shed loose hair and relieve
of South America. There are now ten distinct spe- to Amuria, Korea, and Japan. It is semiaquat
itching. cies recognized, divided among three genera and feeds mostly on frogs, shellfishes, and oth
eight species of Dusicyon, or "foxes," the so-called water life, and may even be a beachcomber. Tl
Sloth Bear Melursus ursinus
Small-eared Fox (Atelocynus microtis), and the fur is quite valuable and consequently, the.
Anatomical indicators of the Sloth Bear's insec- Crab-eating Fox (Cerdocyon thous). Zoologists, animals have been introduced all across Eurasia i

tivorous habits are a long, pointed muzzle and a very

however, do not have a clear overall picture of eastern Europe.
long tongue. these South American canids.
Species of Dusicyon are found all over South Bears (Family Ursidae). It has been said M
Polar Bear Thalarctos maritimus
I t
America and, variously, in all types of country bears are nothing but giant, tailless dogs. This
Ranging over sea ice hundreds oj miles from shore, the
from closed-canopy lowland forests to the Alti- actually not a bad description and ties in very we
Polar Bear preys on seals and young walruses. plano way above the treeline in the Andes. with their evolutionary origin, as far as we know
Azara's Dog, on the other hand, is confined to the There are only seven types of bears living today
coastal lowlands, and the Crab-eating Fox appar- —
and they are all similar with the exception c
ently to the mangrove swamps where it does, Melursus ursinus, the Sloth Bear of India.
indeed, subsist mainly on the multitudinous The first group is commonly called the "brow
crabs. The Small-eared (microcyon) is a mystery bears" (Ursus) but, since it includes the grizzlies
animal that turns up from time to time in diverse it is perhaps better to follow the more pragmati
areas. usage, and call them "dish-faced bears." Thi
There are six very distinct and extraordinary means those with concave upper surfaces to thei
canids, each of which probably warrants at least muzzles, as opposed to convex, like the America:
subfamily status. Although all are basically dog- Black Bear (Euarctos americanus), the Polar (Thai
like to the eye, they are anatomically very differ- arctos maritimus), and others. Just how many tm
ent, and all somewhat undoglike. We take first species and forms there are is not in any wa^

the Wild Dog (Cuon alpinus) of Asia, including decided. These were once found all across Europ'
Sumatra and Java. This looks for all the world and Asia; they ranged over western North Amet
like a very pretty, sharp-faced Alsatian. It is a ica, east over the central plains and northeast t(
most organized creature that hunts game of all the Ungava Peninsula of Canada. Today, they art
sizes in packs and has been known to knock down found spottily in Europe proper, more commonly
tiger, gaur, and bear, and then eat them. It in Russian territory, rarely in the Near anc
ranges throughout the woodlands and forests of Middle East, but quite commonly in the coolei
India, through the Indochinese peninsula, and regions of the Asiatic northeast. In North Amet-
up the great mountains into eastern Tibet. ica, in various forms they still occur from the
All over the open orchard-bush, savanna, and Alaskan tundra to the United States coasta!
scrub areas of eastern and southern Africa, there ranges and east to the edge of the plains, and
are found great packs of animals called Hunting across half of Canada.
Dogs (Lycaon pictus). No two have ever been found These bears have been slaughtered since time
to be exactly alike in colotation which is com- immemorial but have managed to hold their own
posed of large blotches of black, white, and in many areas. The dish-faced bears vary greatly
yellow. Unlike all other canids, they have only in size, from the little Syrian desert bear to the
four toes on their front feet. These creatures hunt largest of carnivorous terrestrial animals living'
in packs with marvellously organized precision today —
the Kodiak Bear (U. arctos middendorffi)
like relay-racers, and apparently never give up of Alaska. The confusion is compounded byj
Hunting Dog, p. 5 7 until the selected quarry is run down. They have "grizzlies." This is not even a special race, but

Dogs been reported to have taken almost every game merely a color type that appears within regional
except elephants. populations of dish-faces and may become the
Hunting Dog (Lycaon pictus) In Africa there is another strange little canid dominant type. "Grizzlies" are brown, and range
These African hunters live in groups composed of about known as the Bat-earedFox (Otocyon megalotis) and from light fawn to deep reddish.
a dozen animals. Hunting is a cooperative effort; a more delightful, gentle, and retiring animal The common bear of North America is the
when one dog tires, its place is taken by another could not be imagined. It is a tiny creature with much smaller Black Bear. This seems once to
animal from the rear, which has conserved its energy. enormous ears, a bushy tail, and tiny feet on have been ubiquitous and is still quite common
which it minces about. It is an insect-eater and all over the continent from the northern treeline

lives in burrows usually under termites' nests. to Mexico, and is even making a comeback
In South America are two remarkable within what is now called "megalopolis" along
animals —the Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachy- the northeastern seaboard. Bears bear the small-
urus) and the Bushdog (Speothos venaticus). The mammalian young in proportion to the
est of all

first inhabits the lowland woodlands, and even size of the parents, young American blacks being
some forests throughout central South America, rat-sized.

in Brazil, Paraguay, and the Argentine. It is In South America, a large black bear (Tremarc-
omnivorous and hunts deer and all smaller forms tos ornatus)with white around its eyes and thus
of life, rooting like a pig for worms and snails. It popularly called the Spectacled Bear, is found
is a solitary animal. The little Bushdog is shaped rather sparingly down the Andes from Colom-

like a dachshund, with a very low chassis, small bia to Chile. appears to be a rather ancient

rounded ears, and a very short, stumpy but bushy offshoot of the general bear stock. Then, on the
tail. It inhabits the peripheries of the open wood- other side of the world in East Asia, and ranging
lands, orchard-bush, and savanna, hunts in the from northern Iran to the south island of Japan in
forest by night and on the grasslands by day, and the mountain forests, is found the Moon Beat
Bears 59

Polar Bear,/;. 58
60 Raccoons and Their Allies

named because it is noc-

(Selenarctos thibetanus), so
turnal. black but has a curious pure white
It is

"V" on its chest, the tines of which extend onto

the shoulders. In Southeast Asia, from Assam to
Malaya and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo,
there is the very small Sun Bear (Helarctos malaya-
nus), which grows to only about four feet in
length, and is unique in that it inhabits the tropi-

cal lowland forests. It is black with a light muzzle

and short, sleek pelt. Like all bears, it is com-
pletely omnivorous.
The two remaining bears are quite different. In
fact, the Sloth Bear (Meiursus ursinus) of India and
Ceylon is a sort of offshoot of the main stock,
being an insect-eater, a tree-climber, and having
a long, pointed muzzle and very long tongue. It
is clothed in long, shaggy black hair, has a yellow

muzzle and "V" on its chest, and its claws, espe-

cially on the front feet, are immense. It has no
upper front teeth and all others are reduced. In
tact, an "anteater" in that its principal food
it is

consists of tree ants, termites, bees, and wasps,

and their eggs, larvae, pupae, and stored foods,
like honey.
The last of the living bears is the Polar Bear
(Thalarctos maritimus). This is a semiaquatic,
marine animal that ranges all around the north
polar region and wanders over the arctic ice raft in
winter. Polars are very nasty customers and have
been known to deliberately stalk humans,
though this should not be read to imply that the
action was directed against men, per se. They
simply hunt down anything edible on land, on
the ice, or in the sea. Seals are the principal food
of Polar Bears, but they also take fishes, and in
summer may chew on seaweed, lichens, mosses,
and other vegetable matter.

Raccoons and Their Allies (Family Procyoni-

dae).These assorted creatures are well named as
they do, indeed, appear to be those "that came
before the dogs." They are clearly divided into
the pandas of eastern Asia, and the raccoons and
their allies, which inhabit North, Central, and
South America, from the mid-northern forests to
about the same line in the southern hemisphere.
There are two of these species of pandas, anatom-
ically related but very different animals. The
Giant Panda (Ailurupoda melanoleuca) was tor cen-
turies a "mystery animal," but one that finally
turned up in a succession of somewhat dramatic
incidents. almost exclusively a bamboo-eater
It is

and appears be confined to a number of moun-

tainous districts between Tibet and south-central
China. It has been known to the Chinese for
millenia as the "Bei-Shung" but it was not until
the nineteenth century that a skin of one was
obtained by a French missionary and sent to
Paris. But the hunt for it was not on until this
century, when live specimens were finally ob-
tained by a Chinese hunter named Young, and
brought to the United States by Mrs. Ruth
The Lesser Panda (Ailurus Julgens) is an entirely
different animal: a bit longer than the average
fox, clothed in long, thick, reddish fur and hair,
with a white face, and a very bushy, vaguely
ringed tail. It inhabits a swath of forested terri-
tory from the eastern Himalayas to southern
China, and thence south into Cambodia. It is a
tree-climber and feeds on all manner of fallen
fruits and bamboo.
Giant Panda, p. 60
— . ) )

Hyenas 61

There are two distinctive species of true rac-

oons, one of which extends from Canada to
anama and has several island races; and, sec-
ndly, there is another quite different animal
le Crab-eating Raccoon (Procyon cancrivorus) of
ne coastal mangrove swamps of the eastern sea-
oard of Central and South America from Nica-
igua to the mouth of the Amazon. The typical
Laccoon (P. lotor) needs no description but it
aries considerably in color and length of pelt
ccording to season and general range of tempera-
ure. Those in the farthest north are veritable fur-
iuffs; those in Central America almost sleek,

are omnivorous, good tree-climbers

nd swimmers, and generally very competent
reatures. The Crab-eater is quite different,
>eing semiaquatic and confined to the seacoasts
vhere it does feed principally on the crabs that
warm in the mangroves.
Nearest to the true raccoons are the cacomix-
les (Bassanscus) of which there are two kinds
3. astutus of North America from Oregon south

:o southern Mexico, and B. sumichrasti of the Cen-

ral American forests south to Costa Rica. The

ormer is a very alert animal with white patches

ibove its eyes, short limbs, very thick, soft,
golden fur, and a long, bushy, vividly ringed
black and white tail. It prefers dry and even
desert areas and is primarily omnivorous. The
southern form is much larger, gray, with shorter
fur and no underfur, a vividly marked face, and a
very long ringed tail. It is a tate arboreal animal
and appears to be predominantly a fruit-eater.
Next along the procyonid line is the Kinkajou
{Potos flavus) and its relatives the olingos (Bassari-
icyon). The hands are almost monkeylike and they

have fully prehensile tails — something seen

otherwise among carnivora only in the Bintu-
rong. They inhabit trees in the tropical forests all
the way from Mexico to Argentina. They are also
omnivorous, but have excessively long, slender
tongues devised for extracting tree ants, ter-
mites, and bees and theit grubs and honey from
nests. The olingos have quite a different person-
ality; their tails are not prehensile and may be
vaguely ringed; they have more pointed muzzles,
longer fur, and eat fruit.
The last of the procyonids are commonly
known as coatis (Nasua and Nasuella) because of Rac
their very long, mobile snouts. There are many Raccoons and Their Allies
varieties, and some genuinely different species of
Giant Panda Atiuropoda melancoleuca
Nasua, one of which (N. nelsoni) has extended its
Giant Pandas inhabit mountain forests of China.
range north as far as Oklahoma in the United
Their prodigious consumption of bamboo is no doubt
States. Coatis range like small armies. They are
due to the plant's low nutritional value.
omnivorous and will clean out the whole area
they invade, climbing trees, going into all holes
large enough, raking over leaves, turning over
Raccoon (Procyon lotor
Female Raccoons give birth to as many as 7 young.
stones, and fishing in shallows. They make all
manner of small grunts, whines, and shrieks; and
Bom in the spring, the young are weaned by late
summer and some are ready to go out on their own by
they "chitter" when enraged, which is fairly
often. They have long slender, sharp canines and
can give a very bad bite.
Lesser Panda ( Ailurus Julgens i

Hyenas (Family Hyaenidae). The smallest family Like its Giant Panda, the Lesser
larger relative the

of carnivores, the Hyaenidae are clearly divided Panda feeds on bamboo in its mountain habitat. Both
species may venture above the limit of bamboo to pine
into two groups. One consisrs of the three true
hyenas, and the other contains only the Aard- andfr forests, and sometimes climb almost as high as

Wolf. There are rhree recognized forms of true the snowfields atop their mountain homes.
hyenas —
the Striped (Hyaena hyaena), the Brown
(H. brunnea), and the Spotted {Crocuta crocuta).
The first weighs a hundred pounds and is clothed
in a shaggy coat with vague vertical stnpes on

Lesser Panda
) !

62 Weasels

its Hanks and horizontal ones on its limbs. It has sels,with longer fur and different markings, anc
large earsand a bushy tail. The body slopes down one of them has become domesticated in the Ok
backward to weak hind limbs and it is not a fast World. This is the albino form of the Eurasian
runner. It has powerful jaws and is a great digger species (Mustela putorius), which was trained cen-|
for buried carrion. It is found from western North turies ago to hunt small game. The Black-footed
Africa through the Near and Middle East to the Ferret of the North American plains (Al. mgripes)\
Oriental region. The Brown Hyena is a retiring is not just a representative of the polecat, but al

creature with shaggy fur; it is nocturnal and most distinct species. It used to prey principally
inhabits southern Africa. It appears to be more on prairie dogs and is very rare.
carnivorous and less necrophagus than the other Of slightly shorter and more compact form,!
hyenas. and with even thicker and more lustrous fur are
Spotted Hyena, p. 61 The Spotted Hyena is still very common over a the semiaquatic minks of Eurasia (Al. lutreola)]
* m very wide range in Africa south of the central and North America (Al. vison). They are now |

Sahara. It is a taller, more robust animal of light apparently extinct in Europe west of the Baltic
yellowish browns with darker spots, a heavier states, East Poland, and south of the Carpathians.
head and throat and large, hair-fringed ears. The They are still found throughout Finland and in ,i

tail is short and the body slopes downward to the Russia south to the Black Sea and east to the Ural j

back. It is a great digger. It is also a carrion- Mountains. Beyond that point their place is
feeder and is not nearly so much of a coward as taken by another species (Lutreola stbirica).

tradition would have us believe. It hunts in Strangely, the fur of the mink was regarded as
packs, bringing down
prey as large as zebras. Its hardly worth a trapper's effort to collect until this
jaws can crack the leg bone of an ox, and it is century; now it is more prized than any but the
somewhat "hysterical," an anthropomorphism true Sable (Martes), and millions of minks are
that is enhanced in our eyes by its ability to make raised in captivity. Minks subsist on fishes, frogs,
noises — like the Striped — which sound very and other water animals and live in holes near
much like insane human laughter. streams and ponds.
The Aard-Wolf (Proteles cristatus) is one of the The next group of weasels in point of both size
most remarkable relics of the mammalian world. and interest are the martens, of which there are \

It isfound throughout the eastern upland area of now eight recognized species. These include the j

Africa and in some other areas. It lives in burrows Pine Marten {Martes martes) and the Stone Marten
and is a retiring insect-eater. The teeth are most (Al. foina) of Eurasia; the American Marten (Al.

odd, being small and very widely spaced. It is a americana) of northern North America; the Japa-
"loner" and seems singularly inept, but it can nese Marten (Al. melampus); and the two Asiatic |

squirt an effluvium from anal glands that is as Yellow-throated Martens (Al. flavigula and Al.
effective as that of a skunk. gwatkinsi) which are found in both India and
Indochina. The genus also includes the famous
Weasels (Family Mustelidae). The last of the Sable (Al. zibellind) which is the most prized of all
seven families of the carnivores is that of the pelts for human adornment. It is an inhabitant of ;

weasels. This is an immense and greatly varied northeastern Eurasia, but is now being bred by
family that may be broken down into four major the Russians.
groups, popularly known as the true weasels In North America, there is also the Fisher (Al.
(Mustelinae), the badgers (Mellivorinae and pennanti), a much larger animal. It is closely j

Melinae), the skunks (Mephitinae), and the related to the Tayra (Tayra barbara) of the tropical
otters (Lutrinae). forested areas of the Americas. It is three feet
There are five Eurasian weasels: the Stoat, long, with a low chassis and a long, bushy tail.

called Ermine (Mustela erminea) in the white Not too far removed from the Tayras are the
winter phase, though it is not by any means the grisons (Galtctis), also of South America; they
only weasel to turn white in winter; the original dwell on the forest floor. They are the "weasels"
Pine Marten, p group Europe, central
of species, Al. nivalis, of of the tropical American forests, and they behave
Hyenas Asia, and North Africa; and the Alpine, Yellow- as such.

bellied, and Siberian (Al. altaeca, kathia, and The Banded Weasels (Poecilictis libyca) of
Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta)
stbirica respectively), all from eastern Eurasia. In North Africa and the Striped Weasel (Poecilogale
The Spotted Hyena lives in burrows arid has a wide
Southeast Asia there are three odd weasels that we albinucha), which crops up all over the eastern
range south of the central Sahara. It has remarkably
strong jaws with which it can crush the bones of the
group together arbitrarily —
the Back-striped half of the continent south of the Sahara, are the
(Al. strigidorsa) of the mainland; the Javan (Al. most malodorous of all mammals, far outdoing
large mammals on which it preys.
lutreolina), a water-loving creature of that island; the skunks in this respect.
and the so-called Bare-footed (Al. nudipes) which Close to the striped weasels is the Zorille (Icto-
is found on the mainland and also on Sumatra and nyx striatus), an inhabitant of the drier areas of
Ermine ( Mustela erminea Borneo. East Africa. It is strikingly skunklike, with soft
In summer the Ermine's coat is rich brown above and Very close to these are the American weasels fur, vividly marked in black and white; and it has
whitish yellow below. But in winter, in the northern that range from the Arctic tundras to Yucatan a huge, plumed, white tail. It also ejects a fluid
parts of its range, the animal turns entirely white and the drier areas of the Pacific coast of Central from the anal glands for defensive purposes.
except for its nose, its eyes and the tip of its tail, which America. The forms of these are almost endless The Wolverine (Gulo gulo), also known as the
are black. This white pelage is the highly prized but they appear to fall into two lots by size and Glutton, is circumpolar in distribution, and it
"ermine" of the fur trade, and was once reserved for length of tail —
large and long-tailed like Al. once ranged as far south as central North Amer-
royalty. frenata; or small like the Least, or Pygmy, Weasel ica, Europe, Russia, and the Mongolian Barrier.

(Al. rtxosa) that can get through a hole the diame- Today, the Wolverine has been pushed back to its
Pine Marten Martes martes)
ter of a quarter. They are hunters and truly vora- more northern limits. It is a chunky animal, with
Diurnal hunters found in forests throughout much of cious, and can slaughter much larger animals in a very powerful jaws and claws, huge feet, and can
Europe, Pine Martens have a varied diet composed of manner that seems quite wanton and unnatural. grow to three and a half feet in length. It is an
everything from small mammals to berries. The name "polecat" as applied to the skunks is industrious hunter of small game and is reputed
a misnomer. The true polecats are just large wea- to be able to pull down young reindeer.

Weasels 63

The Wolverine is classed as a "weasel"; the

(Mellivora capensis) as a kind of badger.
However, they are very close in both general
.ppearance and anatomy. The Ratel is found in
ndia, through the Middle and Near East to sub-
aharan Africa to the Cape. It eats all manner of
nsects, reptiles, small mammals, and even pulls
lown the smaller ungulates just as the Wolverine
loes. It has a predilection for honey, and it has a
leliberate association with the little birds called
^oneyguides {Indicator indicator); it follows the
>irds to bees' nests and then opens up the nests to
he benefit of both.
Typical badgers are a considerably mixed
'roup which contain several very distinct types.
There are two standard badgers the Eurasian —
I Meles meles) and the North American (Taxidea
Yaxus). Both are heavy-bodied with thick skins,
Jense fur, and powerful limbs bearing digging
;laws. The American species is prodigiously

powerful, especially in heaving things off the
ground with its back. They grow to some three
feet in length, are very stocky, have large digging
claws and are omnivorous.
The hog-badgers (Arctonyx collaris and Mydaus
javanensis), so called because they stand up on
long legs and have piglike heads with truncated
snouts and droopy small ears, are found through-
the mainland Oriental region, and on
Borneo, Sumatra, and Java.
I erret-badgers (Melogale) come from forested
areas in central and southern China, from the
|whole Indochinese peninsula, and from Burma,
Assam, Nepal, and Borneo and Java. Although
true badgers, they are shaped more like polecats
and are only 18 inches long. They are nocturnal
and more vegetarian in their diet than other
There are three genera of skunks — the striped
(Mephitis), the spotted (Spilogale), and the hog-
nosed (Conepatus). Of the first, there are two spe-
cies, the Common (AI. mephitis) of North America
and the Hooded (AI. macroura) which looks con-
fusingly like some hog-nosed forms and the range
of which is contiguous in Centroamerica. The
skunks are famous for rheir noisome excretions
but the unpleasantness of this is not only greatly
exaggerated but, as blindfold tests have shown,
to some extent psychological. They are extremely Wolverine, /> 62
clean and have no offensive smell of themselves. Weasels
They are omnivorous.
Badger i Meles melts I

The Striped Skunk ranges very far north in

Like North American relative, the Eurasian
Canada and covers the continent of North Amer-
Badger is a heavy-bodied animal with thick \kin,
ica; the Hooded is confined to the extreme South-
dense jur, and powerful limbs.
west and Mexico. The spotted skunks range from
British Columbia in the west to Maryland in the
Spotted Skunk ( Spilogale putorius
east, and south to Nicaragua. The hog-nosed
Although it prefers small mammals, the Spotted
skunks barely enter the southern fringe of the
United States, but inhabit the whole of Central Skunk also feeds on fruit and insects. This species is

highly prized for its silky fur.

and South America to Patagonia.
With one exception, the otters are much alike. Wolverine (Gulogulo)
They are divided inro four genera that may be and are
Wolverines weigh up to J 5 pounds reputedly
called the Common (Lutra), which ranges all over
the strongest mammals They are omnivo-
of their size.
Eurasia, the Orient, including Sumatra, Java,
rous, but have a preference for carrion They mark .

and Borneo, Africa, North, Central, and South

their food with musk, which is repellent to other
America; the Small-clawed (Aonyx) of the Orien-
tal region and one area in Africa; the Forest (Para-

onyx), of which there are three species in the main

central closed-canopy forest bloc of Africa; and,
finally, the remarkable Giant Otter (Pteronura
which grows to over seven feer in
length and inhabits the rivers of the Guianese and
64 Seals

California Sea Lion, /;. 65

Eared Seals
California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus)
Sea lions a re accomplis hed u miners and di 'en u -nil
s 'i i ,

equipped for lije in their watery habitat. Their legs

have ex 'oh <ed into flippers , and their ears and nostrils
close when the animals go underwater. During much
o] the day sea lions s leep and bask in the sun . A t night
the) enter the water to hunt.

Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus)
The Walruses tusks are a significant factor in deter-

mining dominance among males. They are also used

as weapons and to haul the huge animals out of the

California Sea Lion, /;. 65

Eared Seals 65

nazonian forests of South America. All otters

-? semiaquatic but the Giant is almost as wholly
uatic as the Sea Otter. Its legs are so short that
prefers to "hump" over mudbanks like a seal,
d it also sleeps floating on its back. Frogs are its
incipal food.
The unique Sea Otter (Enhydra lutrts) in many
lys points toward the seals. This animal, about
ur feet long, is completely aquatic and marine,
inting, sleeping, and breeding in that environ-
ent. It comes ashoreto whelp but it spends
ost of about the great kelp beds off the
its life

''est Coast of North America, from the Aleu-

ans to California. It dives for shellfishes, sea
•chins, and other bottom-dwelling marine life,
id then makes a leisurely lunch of them, float-
ig on its back with its food on its chest.

)rder Pinnipedia)
[he seals and their allies, the sea lions, the
v'alrus,and the sea elephants, were at one time
iciuded in the Order Carnivora but they are as
istinct from them as from any other living or
<tinct mammals, and there are no known fossil
r living links between the two groups. The pin-

ipedes are a close-knit group in appearance and

abits and may be divided into three families:
lat of the eared seals {Otariidae), the Walrus
)dobaenidae), and the earless typical seals (Phoci-
ie) which include the enormous sea elephants.
i"hey are primarily cold-water animals but a few
(re found in warm temperate and even tropical

/aters. They are carnivorous.

iared Seals (Family Otariidae). Of the sea

ions, Eumetopias jubatm and Zalophui california-
iis are found around the North Pacific, the latter

anging south as far as the Galapagos Islands,

ground southern South America Otaria byronia,
nd around New Zealand Phocarctus are found,
v'hile Neophoca occurs in South Australia and

apan. The California Sea Lion (Zalophus ca/i-

\rnianus) is the widely known "trained seal" of
ircuses and other animal acts. These animals are
ommunal and maintain permanent "rookeries"
>n rocky coasts but they range widely on the open

ea. They eat fish and squid and are astonishingly

wift. They have retained rather well-developed

imbs the hind pair of which, though flipper-
haped, can be turned forward and the animals
an hump along on firm ground at considerable
peed. There is also a rather long neck so that the
lead can be turned all about.
Of the fur seals Arctocephalus and Callorhinus
renins, the first is a southern form found all
iround the Antarctic up to the southern parts of
•South America, Africa, Australia, and New Zea-
and. The second inhabits the North Pacific and
s famous for its great breeding ground on the
ribilof Islands in the Beting Sea. During most of
:he year they range widely but they all return to
he breeding ground every year at the same time.
The males maintain harems and drive the young,
A'eak, and very old into bachelor quarters. The
oat consists of soft, thick underfur and a long
:irm overcoat that grows from a layer of fat under
che skin. Hunted for their pelts, their numbers
declined almost to the point of extinction, the
totalpopulation of the Pribilofs being only 5,666
in 1947. Protection has now brought them back
to about two million. HKnHSSMBHMHBI
Walrus, p. 66
66 Walrus

Walrus (Family Odobaenidae). There is only one

species of Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus), which is
circumpolar in distribution. It is a huge beast,
and born with sparse, hard fur, almost all of
which wears off with age. The record male mea-
sured 16 feet, but 10 to 12 feet is normal and
specimens may exceed 3,000 pounds. There are
no external ears and the tail is some three inches
long. The skin is thrown into folds, and the short
hind limbs can be turned forward. The large
tusks of the males are used for grubbing at the
bottom of the sea for mollusks and sea urchins,
which are swallowed whole along with some peb-
bles to grind them up in the stomach. They are
normally retiring and rather amiable beasts, but
can defend themselves with their tusks most ably.

Typical Seals (Family Phocidae). The remain-

ing pinnipedes also have no external ears, no
necks, and cannot turn their hind limbs forward.
The Phocidae are almost worldwide in distribu-
tion, being found in some landlocked seas and
even in freshwater Lake Baikal in Siberia. They
may be divided into four distinct groups: the Ringed Seal, p. 66
northern seals (Phocinae), the monk seals (Mona-
chinae), the southern seals (Lobodontinae), and
the crested seals (Cystophorinae).
The first, as their name implies, are confined to
the northern hemisphere. There are eight species
distributed between three genera and the best
known is the little Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina) of

the North Atlantic and Pacific, which ranges

from the ice front to Spain, New Jersey, Cali-
fornia, and the Kamchatka coasts. It is about six
feet long, gray, and has a small head and long
whiskers. It is a fish-eater, and often ascends
rivers. This seal has the curious ability to sleep
under water, rising to the surface to breathe every
15 minutes or so without waking up. The second
species is the "hair seal" of commerce also known
as the Greenland, Harp, or Saddle-back (Pago-
philus groenlandicus). These assemble to breed on
ice in great numbers, notably in the Gulf of St.
Lawrence where their pure white, fluffy young are
slaughtered for their pelts.
The ringed seals (P/isa) are the smallest of all
the seals, slender and with longer limbs than the
Harbor Seal. They inhabit the Arctic of both
Atlantic and Pacific and stay in a limited area all
year. As this freezes annually, the animals make
holes in the ice into which they rise to breathe.
They are dark gray with numerous oval white
rings above and almost white below.
The last of the common northern forms is a
small species confined to the Bering Sea and adja-
cent parts of the Arctic Ocean, and is colored
chocolate brown but displays vrvid yellow rings
around its neck, the base of its flippers, and
somewhat ahead of its hind limbs hence its —
name, the Ribbon Seal (Histriophoca fasciata). The
two remaining northern forms are the Gray and
the Bearded. The Gray Seal (Halicboerus grypus) is
large, the males reaching over 12 feet. Gray Seals
are found on both sides of the Atlantic from the
ice front to central western Europe and some-
times as far south as Maine on the American side.
The Bearded Seal (Erignathus barbatus) occurs
sporadically from Newfoundland north to the ice
front, and again in some isolated spots in the
Bering Sea, around Iceland, and off Norway. It
has a tough hide and a moustache of huge, spiny
Ringed Seal , p. 66

Elephants 67

The monk seals (Monachus) are confined to

armer and even tropical waters. They are small
iirk brown forms, one of which (M. monachus)
ihabits the western Mediterranean, Madeira,
nd African coast down to the Bissagos
.lands;another (Al. tropualis) is found in the
aribbean, and a third (M. schauinslandi)m waters
ff the Hawaiian Islands .

The southern seals are quite distinct and are

jnfined to the cold waters of the Antarctic and
ab-Antarctic, the best-known being the so-
il ledLeopard Seal (Hydrurga leptonyx). These are
trge seals of a dingy brown color covered with
arker and lighter spots. They have the longest
iws and by far the most formidable array of teeth
)und among all the pinnipedes. They will grab
nimals that fall or jump off ice floes and they
Dmetimes hang around whaling factory ships
ke sharks grabbing for scraps. They are found all
ver the southern oceans north to the southern
oasts of South America, Africa, Australia, and to
<Jew Zealand.
Ross's Seal (Ommatophoca rossi) is widely dis-

ributed but rarely seen. It is a bottom-feeder and

Elephant Seal, p. 66
>ossibly a very deep diver as it has enormous eyes,
nd appears to eat both small, soft-bodied ani-
nals and some seaweed. Weddell's Seal (Leptony-
botes weddelli) lives around the ice front and is the

ommonest seal in Antarctica. It is pale gray

potted with white above and yellow below with
arg eyes and small teeth.

There are two types of crested seals. The first,

ijhe Hooded Seal (Cystophora cnstata), grows to

Ibout nine feet in length with small flippers but
arge, fan-shaped hind paddles with huge outer
oes and extended webbing. Old males develop
trange bladderlike crests supported by a bony
idge on their snouts, which can be inflated at
vill and which connect with the nasal passages.

These are open-water animals and can be very

The other crested seals are the mighty sea ele-
gants (Mirounga). There are two species, one
M. leonina) on sub-Antarctic islands, the other
M. angustirostris) on the west coast of North
\merica. The males reach over 18 feet in length,
md they are immensely bulky. Males are adorned
vith a short trunk that droops over the snout but
vhich can be inflated and held vertically. They Elephant Seal, p. 66
nolt their whole outer skin once a year, at which Typical Seals Elephant Seal {Mirounga leonina)
lme they are pale pink. The subadult male Elephant Seal shown here with a

Ringed Seal i Phoca bispidaj pup) will reach a length of about 20 feet and will
Aardvarks The Ringed Seal is the smallest Antic seal. For most weigh more than 3 tons. In order to establish terri-
Order Tubulidentata) of the year it inhabits waters under shorefast ice. tories and gather harems, breeding male Elephant
There are about a half dozen different forms of the With their strong claws these seals enlarge cracks in Seals threaten each other by inflating their 1 8- inch
\frican Aardvark {Orycteropus afer); some are the tee to maintain breathing holes. Females gtt'e birth trunks and emitting loud bellowing noises that can be
ilmost naked, while others are clothed in long, in March or April; they shelter their calces between ice heard a mile away.
.oarse bristles. The Aardvark is a nocturnal ani- ridges.

nal that lives in a wide variety of habitats, but

loes not occur in the dense tropical forest. Aard- Harp Seal Pagophilus groenlandicus

arks feed almost exclusively on termites, and use The female Harp Seal bears a single pup. Weighing
heir enormous front claws to tear open the nests 12 pounds at birth, the newborn will have attained a
jf these insects. They are probably the most pow- weight of 1 00 pounds 2 weeks later. At this juncture
erful diggers of all animals, and have been said to it is left to fend for itself.

3e able to burrow out of sight into the ground

before a man can dismount from his horse. They
reach a length of over six feet.

Order Proboscidea)
That the living proboscideans are mammals is
undeniable, but they are in all respects quite

68 Elephants

African Elephant ( Loxodonta africana
Some scientists believe that elephants came into being
in rain forests, and that, as their forest habitat
dwindled, they became adapted to grasslands These .

huge creatures of the savanna feed during much of the

day. Their foraging begins about 3 hours before
sunriseand continues through the late morning, at
which time they respond to the midday heat by resting
quietly in the shade or in lakes and rivers. As soon
as afternoon temperatures become cooler, feeding is
resumed and continues until midnight. The birthrate
and life cycle of the elephant is keyed to the environ-
ment. When food is in short supply birthrates

diminish and puberty among females may be delayed

by as much as 10 years.

African Elephant, p. 67
Hyraxes 69

unique. Did we not have massive fossil evidence

of their origins and ancestry, we might be per-
mitted to regard them as standing quite apart on
the scheme of things. Proboscideans appear to
have once inhabited a wide swath across northern
Africa and Eurasia. Today, there are but two spe-
cies left, theAsian or Indian Elephant (Elephas
maxim us) of tropical Asia, and the African Ele-
phant (Loxodonta afrkana) of Africa south of the
There are some noticeable racial differences as
between isolated wild populations of the Asian
Elephant such as those of Ceylon, Sumatra, and
Borneo, while the African Elephant occurs in two
quite distinct types that are considered by some
to be separate species. These are called the Bush
and the Forest elephants, being found on the
open scrub and savannas and woodlands, or in the
closed-canopy forests, respectively. The former is
larger in body build, the record being an aston-
ishing bull obtained in Southwest Africa by J. J.
Fenykovi in 1955. This animal measured 13 feet,
2 inches at the shoulder. It has been mounted and

ison exhibit in the Smithsonian Institution in

Washington, D.C. The forest form (Loxodonta
afrkana cyclotis) never grows to this size, tall bulls
reaching only about eight feet at the shoulder.
However, they can develop tremendously long,
almost straight tusks which have measured as
much as 11 feet. The Bush Elephant (Loxodonta
afrkana afrkana) can also bear enormous tusks.
There is of course endless debate about the rec-
ords, principally because the earliest ones are very
unreliable, but a pair measuring 11 feet, 5V2
inches and feet are on record with a combined
1 1

weight of 293 pounds. Another pair, both

exactly 10 feet long, weighed 336 pounds. The
British Museum has a pair weighing 440 pounds,
but the all-time high seems to have been the
famous "Kilimanjaro Elephant," not a particu-
larly big animal, but one with tusks weighing
460 pounds and measuring 24 feet around their
curves when placed end to end. The Asian Ele-
phant carries tusks weighing only about 100
pounds and a single tusk at 157 pounds seems to
be the record.

(Order Hyracoidea)
These strange little animals have caused more
trouble to zoologists than any other mammals.
For many years, nobody really knew how ro clas-
sify them, as their anatomy fitted in nowhere
except for their teeth, which were once thought
to show a relationship with the rhinoceroses! It is

now that they are very primitive and rather

generalized leftovers from a stock from which the
sirenians and the elephants arose. There are two
kinds, the rock hyraxes (Procai'ia and Heterohyrax)
and the tree hyraxes (Dendrohyrax).
There are seven species of the rock hyraxes, dis-

tributed all over Africa outside the closed-

canopy forests from Senegal to the Sudan and
Ethiopia, and thence south to the Cape of Good
Hope. These animals live in isolated communi-
ties through central Africa on mountaintops, and
there are others sprinkled all the way up in the
northeast of Africa and over into Israel and
The Rock Dassy (Procavia capensis) is com-
munal and lives in holes. Although humble in
appearance, it is a vigorous little fighter, ex-
. ) —
70 Dugongs and Manatees

tremely aggressive, and can give a very good and the distinction between horses, asses, and

account of itself especially the males, which zebras almost trivial, the first two being plairj
have four interlocking, razor-sharp tusks that are colored while the latter are striped, and the horses
triangular in section. The Rock Dassy eats insects have short ears, as opposed to the long ears of tha
and carrion as well as all kinds of vegetable asses. The origin of the domestic horse (Equui
food — even the bark of certain trees. caballus) is a matter for continuing debate. It is
There are three species of tree hyraxes, distrib- probably multiple, since there appear to have]
uted spottily all over the forested areas of Africa. been more than one distinct species in western!
They live in holes in trees and are nocturnal and Eurasia that are now extinct, but which may have
make the most infernal noises. They are rabbit- given rise to early domestic forms. Today there is
sized, have very short legs, and bear little hoofs but one truly wild horse, the Mongolian Wild
on their toes. The undersides of their hands and Horse (E. przewalsku), confined to a limited areal
feet are naked and form suction cups with which in southwestern Mongolia. It is reddish brown in!
they can scamper over bare rock faces or up trees summer and lighter in winter, has an erect mane,
in a most incredible manner. and a light belly and muzzle. It has a dorsal and a
shoulder srripe and a rather long black tail. The
Dugongs and Manatees truly wild horses of North America were never
(Order Sirenia) domesticated and have left no descendants,
The sirenians do not seem ever to have been very having become extinct before the coming of the
numerous and their evolutionary origin is uncer- white man. The wild horses of today's West are
tain. There are two families, the Dugongidae, descended from domestic horses.
containing the Dugong (Dugong dugong), of the There are six forms of asses, all of them indige-
Indian Ocean and the northern coasts of Aus- nous to the desert belt of Northeast Aftica and
Rock Hyrax,/? 69 tralia, and the extinct Steller's Sea Cow (Hydro- central Asia. The name "donkey" is best reserved
damalis gigas), formerly of the Bering Sea; and tor the domestic form (Equus astnus asinus), which
three manatees (Family Trichechidae) found in appears to have been derived from a now extinct
West Africa (Trichechus senegalensis), southeastern wild form of North Africa, related ro the Nubian
North America, and some of the West Indies (T. (E. a. africanus) and the Abyssinian (£. a. somali-
manatus), and another in South America (T. ensis).
tnunguis). The Dugong has a two-fluked, whale- The three Asiatic asses have shorter ears and are
shaped tail that is carried horizontally. It lives in more horselike generally. The Onager or Persian
shallow coastal waters and ascends rivers, Wild Ass (E. hemionous onager) is found in Iran and
browsing on sea grasses. It has a distinct neck and Afghanistan and there are races in India and pos-
almost armlike front limbs with remnants of sibly still in northern Syria. The Mongolian
nails. The males develop tusks in the upper jaw Chigetai (E. h. hemionus) is slightly larger, red-
but the mouth is otherwise armed with horny dish in summer, grayish in winter. This animal
plates above and below, a few vestigial incisors, used to range all across the upland massif of
and cheek teeth that are several times replaced, northeastern Asia but is now pushed back into
like those of elephants. Dugongs are found all the Gobi. The third and largest Asiatic form is
along the east coast of Africa, in the lower Red the Kiang (E. h. kiang) of Tibet.
Sea, around India and Ceylon, the Bay of Bengal, The zebras form one of the most difficult
the East Indies and north to Formosa, east to groups of mammals to classify since the two prin-
Samoa, and south to Australia. cipal species vary in a most misleading way, not
The manatees are chubbier, lack a noticeable only geographically, but even within the herds
neck and tusks, have pointed fore-paddles and themselves. There are seven living forms, and
rounded, somewhat spoon-shaped tails. They one, called the Quagga (E. quagga), became
also inhabit both shallow coastal sea waters and extinct at the end of the last century. Anothet,
rivers, but range much farther inland, especially known as Grevy's Zebra (E. grevyi), is the largest,
Manatee, p. 70 in Africa and South America. They have profuse and is shaped rather like a mule. It lives in a dry
Hyraxes moustaches of stiff, incurving bristles, and di- area in southern Ethiopia, Somalia, and north-
vided upper lips with which they grasp and pluck ern Kenya, and is distinguished by its large head
Rock Hyrax (Procavia capetisis)
their aquatic vegetable foods. The South Amer- and ears. It has numerous narrow stripes covering
Because its jeet are equipped with suction pads, the
ican form may reach 16 feet in length. the body and legs right down to the hoofs, a
Rock Hyrax can easily scale almost perpendicular
white belly, and a tall, erect mane. It is a browser
rock faces.
Odd-toed Hoofed Mammals rather than a grazer, and goes about in small
(Order Perissodactyla) family groups.
Dugongs and Manatees
A hoof is not quite so easily defined as might be The remaining six forms may be divided be-
Manatee (Trichechus inunquis) supposed, yet people have since time immemo- tween two species E. burchelli and E. zebra.
Manatees consume up to 66 pounds of plants each day. rial grouped together a very large and varied There is much debate as to just how many valid
They are valued by man for their ability to clear range of mammals as being "hoofed." Further, subspecies of each there are because of their great
vegetation-clogged waterways these were early divided into two lots on what variation in markings, but based on geographical
seems like an entirely empirical basis —
whether distribution, the following are now recognized.
Horses they had an even or an odd number of toes. Yet Off. zebra there are two; the first is appropriately
both definitions are valid, for the three very named E. zebra zebra and is also known as the
Wild Ass (Equus hemwnus)
different-appearing groups with an odd number Mountain Zebra. once was very commo in the
The Wild Ass is now rare, but was once widely
of toes are indeed related. These form by far the upland area of eastern South Africa but has now
distributed in Asian deserts.
smaller of the two major groupings and are today, been reduced almost to extinction. It is a small
the horses, the tapirs, and the rhinoceroses. form with very wide stripes, the black being
Burchell's Zebra (Equus burchelli
much broader than the white. Hartmann's Zebra
Burchell's Zebras are abundant in eastern Africa.
During periods Horses (Family Equidae). The 15 living and— (E. z. hartmanni) is larger and the white stripes
of drought, zebras, unlike cattle,
subsist on very dry grass.
one recently extinct —
forms of horses are very are much wider than the black, so that the whole
much alike. All belong to the single genus Equus, animal looks almost white at a distance. It is
Rhinoceroses 71

found along a scrip up the western side of South-

west Africa and Angola.
The remaining zebras are of the Burchell's
group. These are spread over an enormous range-
south and east of the equatorial forests but north
and east of the ranges of the typical zebra species.
Typical E. burchelh burchelli was found in what
used to be called the Orange Free State, but it is

now extinct.
The East African form (£. b. boehmi) starts in
eastern Zambia and ranges through Tanzania and
Kenya to Uganda, Somalia, Ethiopia, and the
Sudan. This is the truly common zebra usually

seen in films. Both these forms go about in large

herds mixing freely with other game and forming
the principal diet of lions. The limbs are com-
pletely striped right down to the hoofs. Shadow
stripes are usually absent but may be quite prom-
inent in some individuals. All zebras are heavily
with internal parasites that aid them
in tested in
digesting their food.

Tapirs (Family Tapindae). There are four recog-

nized species of tapirs alive today, all of the same
genus (Tapints) but having a very strange distri-
bution. Three inhabit the American tropics from
central Mexico to the Argentine; the fourth
ranges from southern Burma and Thailand,
through Malaya, to the island of Sumatra. Tapirs
are the only members of the Perissodactyla that
have four toes on their front feet. This animal
measures up to eight feet and stands three and a
half feet at the shoulder. It may weigh over 500
pounds. The Malayan Tapir (T. indicus) of the
Orient is )et black, but the body from ]ust behind
the front legs is white to an abrupt line across the
upper thighs. This marking constitutes one of
the most perfect examples of camouflage since it
breaks up the animal's outline in moonlight and
during the day conceals it as it rests in boulder-
strewn riverbeds. These tapirs are nocturnal and
live in the heavily forested lowlands, preferring
the wettest localities and spending a great deal of
time in rivers.
The largest of the tapirs is the Central Amer-
ican Band's Tapir (T. bairdu), which ranges from
Mexico to eastern Panama. It moves about both
by day and night and browses on herbage; it
inhabits the lowlands as well as the montane for-
ests where it makes endless paths at all levels. In
South America there are two other species, the
Brazilian (7". terrestris) and the Mountain (T. pin-
chaque).The Lowland, the smallest of the tapirs,
is browser and prefers damp areas. The Moun-
tain Tapir is really quite a different animal,
having a longer neck and narrow, piglike head.
There is no mane and the body is clothed in
kinky, almost soft, close fur. It is confined to the
upper montane forests of Colombia, Ecuador,
and northern Peru.

Rhinoceroses (Family Rhinocerotidae). There

are five species of rhinoceroses still alive today.
The simplest way to divide them is by the num-
ber of horns that they bear. The horn of a rhino-
ceros is actually a conical mass of congealed hairs
that grows from the skin and stands on the ani-
mal's nose in a central position, one behind the
other if there are two. There are two species with
only one horn, the Indian rhinoceroses (Rhinoceros
unicornis and R. sondaicus). Both are found only in
tropical Asia. The forms with two horns are, in

JurcheU's Zebra, p. 70
72 Rhinoceroses

Asia, the Sumatran Asiatic Two-horned (Didei

mocerus sumatrensis) and in Africa the Blac
(Diceros bicomis) and the White, or Square-lippe
(Ceratotherium simum). Actually it is possible th
the mainland form of the so-called Javan (R
sondaicus), which once ranged from India throug
Burma and Malaya to Sumatra, may still exist i

isolated pockets, and be a distinct form.

The Great Indian Rhinoceros (R. unicornis) i

now confined to specialized areas of giant ree

beds and "low, damp vegetation in Nepal
Bengal, and Assam, but until comparativel
recently it ranged from central China to centn

India. had been almost exterminated a few dec


ades ago mostly because its horn, like those of a

the rhinos, was, and still is, considered a power
ful aphrodisiac by Chinese druggists who obtai
an enormous price for this substance. However
some intense modern conservation measures hav
stopped this desperate decline so that its tota
numbers seem to have increased and it is precan
ously holding its own. It is a huge beast, measur
ing up to 14 feet in length, standing 6 feet at th
shoulder and weighing about 2 tons. Its hide
thick and hairless except for some bristles on th
tips of its ears and tail. The hide is thrown int
deep folds and is "embossed" or "studded" lik
armor. The single horn is massive and blunt anc
is not used for offense. Instead, the animal bite

with two considerable, tusklike, lower inciso

teeth. On the whole, however, it is a retiring
placid beast, and a loner, having individual mm
wallows and paths through the reed beds. It is
grazer and eats mostly grasses. The gestatioi
period is 18 months and the single young weigh
over 100 pounds.
The other single-horned species is the so-callec
Javan, which is much smaller, and the females o
which are, with rare exceptions, hornless. Then
are less than a score left now in more or less non
managed reserves in Java. This too is a lowland
swamp dweller, but does go up into mountainou
districts. There were still a few left both ir
Burma and Malaya during World War II, anc
reports of them still keep coming out of Sumatra
in which there are extensive uninhabited fores
areas where they may have survived.
The type misleadingly called Sumatran Rhi
Lowland Tapir, p. 71 noceros is the smallest living form and was for
Tapirs merly found from Southern Bengal and Assam
through Burma, Thailand, and Malaya to Suma
Lowland Tapir (Tapirus terrestris)
tra and Borneo. There are still rumors of its exis
Using its flexible, trunklike upper lip, the tapir
tence in the first countries; there are definite!)
consumes leaves and grass as well as aquatic vegeta- some in Malaya, Sumatra, and Borneo; but the)
tion. The Lowland Tapir of South America is the are on the decline in the islands. The island forrr
smallest member of its family.
(D. s. born with a covering of curl;
sumatrensis) is

brown hair lost with growth so that th;

which is
Rhinoceroses animals are naked. They also have the two tusk
Indian Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) like lower incisors like the one-horned forms.
The Indian Rhinoceros was once hunted to the edge of The two African rhinoceroses are really veq
extinction because its horn was prized as an aphro- different animals. Despite their popular names ir
disiac. Rhinoceroses are solitary and generally English, both are gray in color. The designatior
retiring. They frequent streams and rivers, usually "White" for Ceratotherium simum is a misnomer,
wallowing beneath the surface. These huge creatures derived from the Dutch weid for wide, whicr
may be 14 feet long and weigh 2 tons. referred to the wide, square front of the muzzle o
the animal, as opposed to the pointed upper lipo<
the Black Rhino. The latter is a browser and use;
this prehensile upper lip to draw leafage to it:
mouth. The size, shape, and angle of growth oi
both horns in both animals varies greatly. The
average for the Black is about 18 inches for the
front and 7 inches for the back.

Pigs 73

The Black mostly confined to reserves in the


gone from the northeast down to

east. It has also
Uganda but is still found in the Chad area in the
northwest and there are rumors of it, or a related
forest form, in Liberia. It prefers the scrublands
but always stays near water. One young at a time
is normal and the gestation period is up to 18

months, and it is known to live up to 30 years.

The White Rhinoceros was originally very
common on the uplands of South Africa as it is a
grazer, but it was reduced to isolated groups in
two game reserves there. Recently its numbers
have increased and stock taken for release in other
areas. However, just when its decrease was most
rapid, another race was discovered 2,000 miles to
the northeast in the Sudan (C. s. cotton:) in 1900.
This proved to be the second-largest living land
animal! Old males can measure over six feet at the
shoulder and weigh over three tons. The single
young is nursed for a full year.

Even-toed Hoofed Mammals

(Order Artiodactyla)
Currently there are 194 species of hoofed mam-
mals with an even number of toes recognized by-
zoologists, but the total may be given as at least a
round 200. They are odd in having multiple
stomachs —
four-chambered in the case of the
deer, giraffes, the pronghorn, and all the bovids.
Their classification is extremely complex in that
they cannot simply be broken down into a
number of groups like the rodents. All groupings
of them are of different status, so that the last of
them (the sheep) are sub-sub-sub-subgroups of
the general order. Nonetheless, we can deal with
them in groups under recognizable English
names. The first of these is the pigs.

Pigs (Family Suidae). There are nine of these,

divided into five genera. However, the actual
number of species of the ordinary pigs of Eurasia
(Sus) debatable since there are some island
is still

forms that are regarded as quite distinct.

Throughout Europe there used to be wild pigs
the Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) —from which most of
our domesticated breeds are presumed to have
been derived. This animal, in recognizable local
forms, ranged all over Asia and North Africa also,
and still is quite a common wild animal in some
areas, notably in India.
Wild boars are a tough lot that go about in
large family parties and prefer wooded areas.
They are omnivorous, eating almost anything
digestible, and they are, it is said, particularly
fond of the half-digested contents of the stomachs
of the ruminating animals. The males may be
over five feet long and stand three feet at the
shoulder and, being armed with tusks up to eight
inches long, can be most dangerous.
The strangest of all the Old World wild pigs is
the tiny Sus salvanius of the forested mountains of
Nepal, Sikkim, and Bhutan which stands only
about a foot tall when full grown. Its coat is a
mixture of black and reddish brown bristles. The
largest of the pigs are found on the East Indian
islands and there are distinct forms in the Philip-
pines, Borneo, Java, and the Celebes. There is
considerable doubt about the status of those in
the Philippines and the Celebes, but the Bornean
are quite distinct. These are the largest of all, and
a skull of one almost two feet long is on record.
These are tall, narrow beasts and, when adult, are
idian Rhinoceros, p. 11
74 Peccaries

almost without hair except fot a sagittal crest and The White-lipped Peccary is a larger anim;
a sort of beard depending from the cheeks. A with populations more sparsely distributed fro
form of this animal is found in Sumatra. The southern Mexico to the southern edge of tli

Philippine and Celebesean pigs belong to the forests in Paraguay. The White-lipped Pecca;
same group. does not like open woods. It is more carnivoroi
Before turning to the pigs of Ethiopian Africa, than the Collared Peccary, and goes about
we may describe an astonishing creature called large droves. This animal can be exceeding
the Babirusa (Babyrousa babyrussa) which also dangerous to a lone person.
dwells in the Celebes. This, when adult, is basi-
cally a plump, more or less hairless pig, with Hippopotamuses (Family Hippopotamidae
small feet and ears, and a rather small head. How-
ever, the males have the ultimate in tusk develop-
There are only two forms of hippopotamus tl —
large Hippopotamus amphibius, and the Pygrr
ment in that the upper canines grow upward (Choeropsis liberiensis).
through the upper lips and then curve backward The ordinary hippopotamus was originall
and downward, while the lower canines grow in a spread all over Africa but progressive desiccatio
similar direction outside the upper. The upper of the north, east, and south reduced its range t.

tusks may be 18 inches measured around their the larger rivers in open country and the greaw
curve. river systems of the forested areas. They an
The pigs of Africa south of the Sahara are a common throughout the latter and in some plaa
strangely mixed lot which may be called the Bush they have become too numerous for modern cori
Pig (Polamochoerus porcus); the Forest Hog (Hylo- ditions, since they forage at night and consum
choerus meinertzhageni); and the Warthog (Phaco- enormous quantities of the softer vegetativ
choerus aethiopicus). There are three kinds of the growths, including those in gardens and farms'
first, which are very short-bodied but tall
all of
They spend the day either basking or in dee
for their length and very narrow. They are clothed water from which they rise every few minutes t
in long, firm hair that forms plumes on the ends breathe. In the water they are somewhat unpn
of the ears, and a drooping mane on the neck and dictable; they can swim by a gigantic paddlin
shoulders. They are forest animals and go about motion that resembles a dog-trot at an une>
in large sounders, moving and feeding on roots pected speed, and raise the whole forepart of the
by night. One form is the only remaining ungu- huge bodies clear of the surface. On land, if the
lateindigenous to the island of Madagascar. It is are alarmed, they may attack anything that get
the smallest and is a strange, brindled, reddish between them and the water. They can chew up
brown and black with an almost white head, a canoe in one bite. They normally form familj
mane of mixed white, brown and black hairs, and parties of about a score of all ages, but sometime
jetblack limbs and shoulders. they gather in great numbers and then the ol
The two remainingAfrican pigs are most re-
bulls become very aggressive and fight amon
markable and appear to be fairly closely related. themselves.
One, the giant Hylochoerus meinertzhageni some- A most peculiar feature of these animals is tha
how managed to escape detection until this cen- their front teeth and tusks grow continuously lik
tury, but is now known
to inhabit the deep
the incisors of rodents, and if not constantly wor
forests all across Africafrom Kenya in the east to down can get out of hand and grow off at an angl
the Atlantic coast of the Cameroons. It is a huge so that they are not worn at all. Cases of sue!
animal with long but scanty black hair, and a rogue teeth up to six feet long are known. Th
long tail and sturdy tusks in the upper jaw. It is a front teeth in any case look somewhat inefficien
retiring beast but can be extremely dangerous to
for a grazing animal, being widely separated lik
other animals if surprised.
the teeth of a harrow; but this is just what the
This animal's representative outside the forest are, as they are used to grub out the herbag
is the famed Warthog, one of the most grotesque
much as we use a garden fork, so that the leafage
Hippopotamus,/;. 74 of all living animals. This creature lives in large
may be cropped with the enormous lips.
Pigs burrows into which it invariably retreats back- The Pygmy Hippopotamus is an entirely dit
ward so that it may present its hideous and busi- ferent animal known only from certaii
and is
Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) ness end to intruders. It is still common all over
swamp and West Africa. Comparei
lake areas in
Wild Boars, presumably the ancestors of most domes- the savanna of tropical Africa.
to its relative, which may stand 5 feet at th
tic pigs, travel in large family groups and feed on shoulder, and weigh up to 4 tons, the Pygmy i

virtually any available food. only about 6 feet long, less than 3 feet at th<
Peccaries (Family Tayassuidae). The pigs of the
New World are quite different animals. There are shoulder, and weighs only about 400 to 50(
Hippopotamuses three distinct species —
the Collared Peccary pounds. It is a very compact, neat-appearing
Hippopotamus {Hippopotamus amphibius) (Tayassu tajacu), the White-lipped Peccary (T. animal with comparatively long legs and tiny ear:'
Cattle Egrets (Ardeola ibis) frequent spots where albirostns), and the recently discovered T. wag- that wiggle all the time. It does not have "peri

hippopotamuses feed, consuming worms and insects nen, of Paraguay. The first ranges from the south- scope" nostrils or eyes like the ordinary hippo
unearthed by the larger beasts. Vegetarian hippos western United States to Patagonia. It is a com- but its ears are collapsible, forming watertighi
graze all night, and an adult may eat over 44 pounds pact little animal with light limbs, a short body, lids to the auditory passages.

of grass per feeding. and very large head. It goes about in small or Though not uncommon in its own area, tru
large droves and is omnivorous. In color it is a discovery of this animal formed quite a saga, as it:
Camels brindled, dark greenish black, the hairs being existence was rather heartily denied for a lon£
individually banded black and yellow, and it time. It is a retiring beast and spends much of it;
Guanaco Lama guanicoe)
sports a yellow "collar." Peccaries have down- time wandering about in the deeper forests of the
'J he Guanaco is the wild ancestor of the domestic growing upper tusks and a musk gland on the lowlands where there are endless creeks anc
Alpaca and Llama. It lives in small herds on the ponds. It is not known to assemble in parties ol
midback somewhat ahead of the base of the tail.
pampas of South America.
The Collared Peccary is found in all types of more than the basic family unit. It suckles its

country from deserts to mountain mist forest and young on land rather than in the water as does its

the closed-canopy equatorial forest. greater cousin.

Camels 75

imels (Family Camelidae). It must be under-

iood that in passing from the hippos to the
inels, we are making a considerable jump.
lacing these groups next to each other does not
aply any close connection phylogenetically; it is
nerely that the so-called hoofed animals are a
;ry heterogeneous lot which contains several

>rtsof "'leftovers" of most ancient ancestry. The

imels are odd and not only because of their
resent-day distribution which is the desert areas
f both the New and Old Worlds. And, when we
ly "desert"we mean not just sand deserts but
rid uplands and near-deserts like prairies and
There are two large species in the Old
/hich are commonly The first has
called camels.
ne hump and has been called the Dromedary
\Camelus dromedarius), a most misleading name
iecause a "dromedary" is only a certain breed of
he species which itself is now a purely domestic
nimal. It was evidently native to North Africa
nd Arabia, and thence northeast through the
owlands of central Asia to the great barrier which
uts across the continent from northern Iran to
Siberia. To the north and east of the barrier, the
3actrian or Two-humped Camel (C. bactrianus) is

ound. This was thought also to be now purely

Jomestic, but truly wild herds were found some
>0 years ago in Mongolia. These look very unlike
;he great shaggy-coated domestic form, being
ilee:, long-legged, light-bodied, short-haired
mimals that look very much like some breeds of
irhe Arabian type except that they have two

liumps instead of one. In fact, all the camels we

5ee and which are so well known from depictions
throughout the ages are actually man-created just
like cattle. Of the Two-humped, there is one
outstanding breed —
a huge beast of burden that
has plodded all over Asia for centuries if not
millennia in vast straggling armies, moving un-
countable tons of produce over tens of thousands
of miles every year.
As everybody knows, camels can go for long
periods without water. They can take on 15 to 18
gallons at a time but this is, of course, not stored
in their humps which are tatty and act as reserve
sources of food and as "cooling" devices. The
water is numerous globular pockets
stored in
leading from their stomachs. They have flaps to
close sand out of their nostrils and their feet are
large and pudgy, which aids them in traversing
both sand and snow.
New World are today con-
The camels of the
fined to the uplands of the Andes and the low-
lands of the Argentine. They are four in number
— the Llama (Lama glama) now purely domestic;
the Guanaco (L. guanine), a purely wild form; the
Alpaca (L. pacos), that is now known only in the
domesticated state; and the very different Vicuna
(Vicugna vicugna) of the Altiplano. They are all,
simply, little camels.
The Llama is the pack animal of the Andean
Indians and major source of leather,
is also a
wool, and food. Guanacos stand some 4 feet tall
and may weigh over 250 pounds. They are found
from sea level to the upper vegetation limit at
some 14,000 feet in altitude. They travel about
in small herds today, led and watched over by a
lead male, but before the arrival of the Europeans
in South America, they gathered in tremendous
herds on the lowlands of Patagonia. •
The Alpaca is also unknown in the wild state *

Guanaco, p. 75

76 Giraffes

and is also of great value to the inhabitants of the

Andes. It is shaped like a couch turned on its side
with lour short legs to support it and an erect
neck with a dopey face, rising from one end.
These animals are clothed in curly, shaggy hair
with a thick underwool, and are shorn every other
year. A large male yields as much as ten pounds of
highly moisture-resistant wool.
The Vicuna is a much smaller, lighter animal
living wild on the mountain uplands from
between 13,000 and 17,000 feet, all the way
down the Andes; it is highiy protected. It has
never been domesticated but used to be merci-
lessly hunted especially for a curious "dewlap" of
fine fur developed by the males at certain seasons,
from which the finest fabrics were made. They
form small herds defended by a dominant male.

Giraffes (Family Giraffidae). The giraffes are

hoofed but in most other respects they also are
quite unlike any other ungulates. There are two
very distinct kinds of these animals the giraffes—
of the orchard-bush savannas and scrublands, and
the Okapi (Okapia johnstoni) of the closed
canopy forests of Zaire. Both are today African
but both previously existed in Europe or Asia.
Giraffes appear to have existed in India contem-
porary with Stone Age man.
There is only one true species of Giraffe
(Giraffa camelopardalis) with 12 distinct subspe-
cies. These varying types come from different
localities; north of the equator there is the Nige-
rian (G. c. peralta), the Nubian {camelopardalis)
from the northern, and the Kordofan (antiquorum)
from the southern Sudan respectively, the
Reticulated (reticulata) from Somalia, and the
Congo (congoensis), the Baringo (rothscbtldi), and
the Lado (cottoni) from adjacent areas in East
Africa on the equatorial line. South of the equator
there are distinct forms in Angola (angolensis),
Kenya and Tanzania (tippelskirchi), Rhodesia
(infumata), the Transvaal (wardi), and the Cape
(capensis). Although all the same shape, the coat
color and pattern of these animals are as distinct
as those found in different breeds of cattle.
Giraffes go about in small bands but lone indi-
viduals may be encountered; big males have been
taken that stood over 18 feet. They browse on the
top foliage of acacia trees, shun forests and wet
places though they like to drink regularly, but
can get along in virtual deserts for long periods
without drinking. They have tongues almost 18
inches long with which they grasp their prickly
food, and very mobile and prehensile lips with
which to hold it. Giraffes make many gurgling
and whistling sounds and mothers "speak" to
their offspring in a veritable language. Males
fight by whacking each other with their heads
sidewise and all of them defend themselves by
kicking forward with their front feet. A game
warden once saw a mother kick a lion's head clean
off! Giraffes give birth to a single young after a
gestation period of almost a year and a half. They
bear small horns —
actually bony protuberances
that are covered with skin and fur and bear short
tufts — and these vary in number up to five
according to the races.
The Okapi stands only about five feet at the
shoulder when full grown but is a rather bulky
animal with a comparatively long neck and slop-
ing back. It is a browser and lives in the true
recesses of the equatorial forest and, although
Giraffe,/'. 76
Deer 77

ard of by rumor for a long time, was not actu- through Szechwan to eastern Tibet and Burma. It
ly brought to light until the early years of this has tiny horns that curve inward and between
ntury. The males, which are rather surprisingly these it bears a tuft of long hair. The males have
uch smaller than the females, bear a pair of long upper canines.
tort horns similar to those of giraffes, but with The Chinese Water Deer (Hydropotes inermis) is
iked, horny tops. a very small deer found in the marshy areas of
northern China, still in great numbers in the reed
hevrotains (Family Tragulidae). Another beds that line the lower Yangtze Kiang River.
range and isolated group of ungulates from the There are no horns but the males have long upper
oint of view of the tree of animal life, are the canines that form tusks. They are diurnal and go
levrotains. One form, the Water Chevrotain about singly. Strangely they have three or more
is found all across forested
iyemoschus aquaticus), young at a time.
from Gambia in the west to the
quatorial Africa The Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) is the stan-
orders of Uganda in the east. Another, Tragulus dard small deer of most of the forests and wood-
iminna, occurs in the forests of southern India lands of Eurasia, ranging from the British Isles to
nd in Ceylon. The other two —
the Greater Korea. There are four recognizable forms but
Malayan (Tragulus napu) and the Lesser (T. javan- their differences are slight. They are only about
:us) —are found throughout Malaya, on Su- four feet long and stand a over two feet at

natra, Borneo, and other islands, and in south- the shoulder. Their horns are three-pronged and
rn Indochina. reach a foot in the Siberian form. They live in
Chevrotains are agile little creatures that stand small family parties, breed in July when the
inly about a foot tall at the shoulder and live near males fight very seriously, and the gestation
;nd partially in water in the densest ground cover period is nine months.
hey can find. They have exceptionally large eyes, The Moose (Alces alces) occurs both in North
ire crepuscular and nocturnal, and are one of the America and in Eurasia, where it is confusingly
ew ground-living mammals that prefer moon- called the Elk. This is the largest of the deer, the
ight to its absence. They feed on all manner of Alaskan form sometimes standing over six feet at
vegetation but the African form eats snails, crabs, the shoulder and having gigantic spreading ant-
ind some insects. The males develop pronounced lers of the well-known multipronged, spatulate

tusks that may show below the upper lips. All are form. Moose are browsers, but spend much time
hornless. in summer in lakes, feeding on water plants. In
winter they congregate in "yards" that they
jDeer (Family Cervidae). The deer constitute a create by trampling down the snow. They mate
large and varied group of hoofed animals that are in the fall and the males fight with horns and

of considerable economic importance to us. There hooves as they are polygamous and there is much
are some 50 recognized species, constituting no rivalry.
less than 17 genera. Members of this group are The (Duma) are smaller deer of the
fallow deer
distributed all over North and South America woodlands southern Eurasia and the Oriental
and Eurasia. Deer have been introduced into New region. They are notable for their spotted coats,
Zealand, and some species have been moved especially insummer, and their large, gracefully
about from one continent to another, such as branching antlers. There are two species, which
European Red Deer to Argentina, and the Orien- are indigenous to the Mediterranean from Spain
tal Sikas to Europe. Among them are some primi- to Iran, with a large form in Mesopotamia. They
tive and specialized forms, and we will deal with have been introduced into northern Europe. East
these first. of the desert belt, their representatives are the
The Musk Deer (Moschus moschiferus) is the only Axis Deer or Chital (Axis axis) of India and
known living example of a rather specialized sub- Ceylon, and the Hog Deer (A. procinus) which
family of cervids. It stands about 20 inches at the ranges from northern India east throughout the
shoulder but some 23 inches at the rump. Both Indochinese peninsula. Two young at a time is Moose, p. 77
sexes are hornless, but the males carry long tusks the rule and the fawns are often not spotted, Giraffes
that descend below the lower lips. Males also which is a curious reversal of the condition found
Giraffe (Qiraffa camelopardalis)
have a musk gland on the stomach, the exudate in so many mammals.
Giraffes are savanna creatures, avoiding forested
from which is highly prized as a fixative for Pere David's Deer (Elaphurus davidianus) is the
areas. They can, however, survive near-desert condi-
expensive perfumes. For this reason the animals last of the "odd" deer and has a very strange
tions, as it is possible for them to go without water for
have been persecuted throughout their range, history. It is the only deer that is unknown in the
several weeks.
which extends from the Himalayas up the west- wild state, having been exterminated except for a
ern mountains of China and Manchuria to Sibe- herd kept in the Chinese emperor's hunting park
ria, Amuria, and Korea. south of Peking. It was discovered there in 1865
There are six recognized species of muntjacs by the missionary Pere David who contrived to Musk Deer (Moschus moschiferus)
(Muntiacus), 16- to 22-inch deer, distributed smuggle some out to Paris and England where Although both sexes lack antlers, male Musk Deer
throughout the Otiental region. The Common, the Duke of Bedford was able to establish a herd. have tusks that protrude 3 inches below their lower
Indian, or Barking Deer (Al. muntjak) is found on All those remaining (several hundred) are de- lips.The animals have been heavily hunted for the
the islands of Sumatra, Borneo, and Java. Munt- scended from that herd as the original one was musk that is exuded from a gland on the male's
jacs bear small, simple antlers with only a single, wiped out during the revolution in China in stomach and that is used in making perfume.
short brow tine, and the males have long, sharp 1900. These deer are rather cowlike with long
tusks. They inhabit dense woods and secondary bovine tails and strange dual-branching but Moose (Alces alces)
growth but come out onto open land to graze at straight antlers. They appear to have originally The Moose is the world's largest deer, with males
night. In addition to their bark which sounds been marsh-dwellers as the feet are large and weighing up to 1 ,500 pounds. These animals fre-
very much like that of a small dog, they make a broad, and they love water. quent swampy areas, where they feed on aquatu
strange clapping noise in unison when alarmed. In several respects, the reindeer or caribou are vegetation; up to 60 pounds of food may be consumed
The Tufted Deer (Elaphodus cepbalophus) is a actually the oddest of all deer since both sexes in a single day.
very small deer found in southern China, and bear antlers, and as a group they are specially

78 Deer

adapted to cold climates. The best authotities from the Marsh Deer (Blastoctrus dichotomus) to tfu
now recognize six distinct forms two Eutasian — terrier-sized Chilean Pudu (Pudu pudu). Th<
reindeer, Rangifer tarandus tarandus of the west widest ranging is the White-tailed Deer (Odo-
and R. t. sibtricus of the east; and four subspecies coileus virginianus), which is still found almost
in North America —
the Barren Ground Catibou everywhere from Canada to the Florida Keys, and
(R. t. arcticus); the Newfoundland Caribou (R. t. west almost to the Pacific in Oregon, and south to
terranovae); the Woodland Caribou (R. t. cari- central South America. Along the West Coast
bous);and the Mountain Catibou (R. t. montanus). and as far north as Juneau, Alaska, and back into
The reindeer of northern Europe have been
little the western mountains, its place is taken by the
domesticated from time immemorial and appear Mule Deer (0. hemionus). These are essentially
to have been indigenous to the Scandinavian pen- forest or woodland animals and they are browsers
insula but are now probably extinct as truly wild always remaining near shrubbery. The young of
animals. There are still wild herds of the other these deer are vividly spotted, and twins are very
form from northeastern Europe, the Arctic common. The horn arrangement is quite dif-
islands, and Siberia but the people of those areas ferent from that of the true deer.
have also semidomesticated these animals for The largest genus of these American deer is
millenia so that it is hard to say which herds are that of the brockets (Mazama) of which there are
truly wild, feral, or part feral. They are very small, reddish
ten distinct species.
The feet of all reindeer are largely and widely brown deer with simple spiked horns, and are
splayed and the false-hoofs are also enlarged so variously marked with white below, on the tail,
that the animals can walk or trot in their strange, throat, and chin. One, the Brown Brocket (M
"knees-up" manner over snow or muskeg bogs. slmplicicornis), ranges from the Amazon south to
The Eurasian animals stand only about four feet the Argentine, while a closely similar form, M.
at the shoulder and the American arctic forms are gouazoubira, ranges north toGuatemala and Vera-
not much bigger. The Newfoundland, Wood- cruz. They are deep-forest dwellers.
land, and Mountain are much larger. The Taruga (Hippocamelus antisensis) and the
There are ten known species of true deer, one of Heumal (H. bisulcus) are mountain dwellers and
which, Schomburgk's Deer (Cervus schomlurgki), feed above the treeline in the Andean regions of
is probably extinct as it was known only from a Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and the Argen-
very restricted area in Siam. All but three of the tine. They have simple horns with one tine going
rest seem very much alike, apart from size. The forward so that they form a lopsided "Y" when
distinct forms are the Thamin
which is
(C. eldi), seen in silhouette.
found in various subspecies from Man-pur to the On the dry plains of Paraguay, Uruguay,
island of Hainan and south to Malaya, and has Brazil, and Argentina there found large
are to be
wide-spreading but curiously incurved horns; the numbers of small, delicate deer, reddish brown
Spotted Deer (C. nigricans) of the Philippines, above and white below with white eye-rings,
which is dark brown with yellow spots and chin, and throat. These are the Pampas Deer
underside, and light gray cheeks and back of (Blastocerus bezoarcticus). In the tropical forests
head; and the Barasingha or Swamp deer (C. from the Guianas and tanging south to meet theit
duvauceli) of northern India and Assam. northern limits there is a relative, the Marsh Deer
Thorold's Deer (C. albirostris) inhabits eastern (B. dichotomus). This also is red brown and white
Tibet and western China but is rare and little below but has jet black stockings.
known. The horns are a waxy yellow, very long The smallest of all deer are the tiny pudus
and slender, and with few tines. The three forms (Pudu pudu and P. mephistophiles) of Chile, Ecua-
of the Sika (C. ntppon nippon, taiouanus, and hortu- dor, and Colombia. These are animals of moun-
lorum) grade in size in that order from the smallest tain forests, with three-inch, straight horns and
of the true deer to hortulorum, the size of a Euro- rich, reddish brown coats.
pean Red Deer. They are found on Formosa, in
Caribou, p. 11 japan, and throughout Korea, Amuria, Man- Prrjnghorns (Family Antilocapridae). The
Deer churia, northern China, and East Siberia. Pronghorn (Antdocapra americana) stands alone
The four remaining species are divided clearly among hoofed mammals, and it displays some
Red Deer (Cervus elaphus)
As rutting season approaches, the male Red Deer's into two groups, one —
the Sambar (C. unicolor) really odd anatomical features. The most aston-

and his His loud and the Rusa (C. timoriensis) —

in the Oriental ishing are its horns which are constructed in a
neck swells appetite diminishes.
region; the other — the Red Deer
and (C. elephus) manner unlike those of any other living animal
bellow announces his readiness to do battle for the
right to mate. At the end of the breeding period, which the Wapiti (C. canadensis) —
and North
in Eurasia and yet show some similarity to those of the
mountain plateaus America. The Sambar is found in Ceylon and bovids which have permanent bony cores covered
lasts 6 weeks, stags gather on high
now India, east to China and Formosa, and south to with horny sheaths. However, the Pronghorn
The fierce rivalry that existed during the rut has
Malaya, Borneo, and Sumatra. The smaller Rusa sheds the sheaths periodically. Even more remark-
vanished. Like many other animals , Red Deer
" summer occurs on Sumatra, Java, the Moluccas, and the able is the manner in which this is done, for the
migrate "vertically. During the they
Celebes. horns are branched, having a forward-pointing
inhabit mountain pastures but in winter heavy snows

The Red Deer- Wapiti group is recognized in tine. What happens is that a furry skin grows up
force them to seek lower elevations.
some 20 different subspecies and were once and covers the bony horn-core each year and as
White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virgtnianm) spread all over forested temperate Europe, North rhis and the bone within assume greater volume,
Found in woods throughout most of the United States, Africa, Asia,and North America. The North the old horny sheath splits and finally falls off.
the White-tailed Deer is most active at night usually
, American Wapiti once roamed all over the north- The fur is then rubbed off and the skin on which
hiding with the approach of daylight. ern half of the continent but is now confined to it grew hardens into a new horny sheath com-

the Rockies and the Northwest. posed of the same material as nails and hoofs.
Caribou Rangtfer tarandus)

There are several deer that are strictly New This animal is one of the swiftest mammals
Caribou migrate seasonally in herds containing tens
World in origin and range, though possibly de- afoot. However, it cannot jump, and barbed-wire
of thousands of animals. Wintering in forests to the
rived from an offshoot of a common stock in the fences at first proved lethal to it, but now it seems
south, they journey to the tundra in spring to breed.
Old World. There are now five genera, and a to have learned how to cope with them by going
debatable number of species. They range in size between the strands.
J^^r I

Caribou, p. 77

80 Bovids

BovidS (Family Bovidae). All the remaining

ungulates or hoofed mammals are grouped in ont
enormous and varied family. The cattle fall into
three distinct groups — the European, the giant-
horned of Africa, and the hump-backed of Asia
of which there are 12 distinct wild species. The
nearest to the domestic forms are the mighty
Gaur {Bos gaurus) of Southeast Asia, the largest of
the oxen; the Kouprey (B. sauveli) of Indochina
which may be feral; the Gayal (B. frontalis),
which is like a small Gaur and is thought by some
to be a semidomesticated breed of that animal
the Banteng (B. banteng) of Burma, Malaya
Sumatra, Borneo, Java, and Bali; and the Yak (B
grunniens) which was originally found wild all
across Tibet from Kashmir to Kansu, but which
has been extensively domesticated. The Gaur is
olive brown in color with white stockings. It lives
in hill forests but grazes on clearings. The Ban-
tengs are reddish but also have white stockings.
The Kouprey has caused much controversy as to
whether or not it is a truly wild form. There is an
enormous dewlap in both sexes, and the horns of
the bulls which grow first backward, then out-
ward, upward and forward, and finally turn
inward and backward, bear a fringe of shredded
fibers near their tip. The Yak still exists wild on
some isolated plateaus at elevations of 14,000 to
20,000 feet, where it subsists on a diet of coarse
Apparently most closely related to the above
group are the bison of Eurasia and North Amer
ica. These were once immensely numerous over
both the grasslands and forests. Today, the
Wisent (Bison bonasus) of Europe survives as sev
eral hundred animals in zoos and roaming free in
preserves. It was previously widely distributed
through the forest areas of Europe. In North
America there are two forms of Bison (Bison
bison), the Plains and the Woodland. The former
once ranged from Pennsylvania and Georgia to
the Rockies, north to the Canadian forest edge
and south onto the central plateau of Mexico. By
1900 there were less than a thousand left but they
have now been brought back to a point where
their numbers could be multiplied at will. The
larger Woodland form is still found wild in the
Canadian Northwest Territories.
Wild Yak,/;. 80 The third group of wild cattle are commonly
Bovids known as buffalo and there are five distinct kinds.
First, in the Oriental region there is the Water
Wild Yak (Bos grunniem) Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) which has been domesti-
Wild Yaks inhabit the steppes of northern Tibet at cated for centuries but of which wild herds still
altitudes higher than 16,500 feet. Domestic forms oj exist in Indochina and in Borneo. It may stand
this animal have existed in Tibet for centuries. They almost six feet at the shoulder and have huge,
are smaller than their wild relatives, which weigh wide-spreading horns reaching almost seven feet
over a ton, and they may be white, reddish, black, or measured around the curve. The African Buffalo
a combination of these colors, whereas Wild Yaks are (Syncerus caffer) once ranged all over the eastern
grayish brown. Domestic Yaks are used as beasts of part of the continent from the Cape to the Sudan.
burden. They are slaughtered for their tasty meat, They are huge animals with laterally spreading,
and their butter is used to flavor tea. upwardly curving horns that meet over the fore-
head to form a massive double horny boss. They
Bison (Bison bison) are gregarious and rather touchy beasts that can
The Bison has a great tolerance to cold. When be highly dangerous if they are provoked.
blizzards rage across the North American prairie, The Tamarau (Anoa mindorensis) found only on
Bison lower their heads and face directly into the the island of Mindoro in the Philippines has
storm. In winter the vegetation on which these heavily cross-ribbed horns, and is gray in color. It
animals feed may be blanketed with snow; this pre- bears a white band on its throat and has light
sents little problem, however, as the Bison use their spots on either side of the lower jaw. The smallest
hooves and massive heads to brush away the snow. of the buffalo, standing only about three feet tall,
is its relative, the Anoa (A. anoa) of Celebes. This

is black with very sparse hair, and has small,

Bovids 81

backwardly directed and somewhat down-curved

horns.They go about in small family parties and
seem to prefer mountainous areas, unlike the
Tamarau which is a lowland swamp-dweller. The
Dwarf Water Buffalo (A. depress icornis) is also
found in Celebes.
The deer-oxen are a very mixed little group,
comprising only two animals, the large Nilghai
(Boselaphus tragocamelus) and the Chousingha
(Tetraceros quadncornis),both inhabitants of India.
The former smooth little horns that
has small,
curve slightly forward. It is a cow-sized animal
but with long legs, a sloping back with a slight,
heavily haired shoulder hump, a dewlap and, in
the males, a beard halfway down the neck. The
males are of a bluish gray color with black stock-
ings, and white markings on hocks and hoofs,
face, throat, and ears. The cows are brown and
hornless. They inhabit
the open woodlands of
northwest and central India and are browsers.
Their relative the Chousingha is tiny, red brown,
white below, and unique in that it bears two pairs
of horns. The back pair are straight and may reach
four inches; the front ones are half that length. It
lives in pairs inopen woodlands, grazes, and is
found throughout India but prefers to be in hilly
country near water.
Despite a considerable range in size, habitat,
color,and horn structure, there is a close relation-
ship among the twist-horned antelopes. There
are ten distinct forms, all African. The largest is

the Derby Eland (Taurotragus derbianus) which

has the general form and coloration of the Com-
mon Eland (T. oryx), but has large and more
widely spreading horns and mane while the dew-
lap extends up to the chin. It is found all across
Africa, north of the forests from Gambia to the
Sudan but only in patches. The common ox-
sized species once ranged all over Southwest,
South, and East Africa outside the forests and
north to Ethiopia, but it has now gone from
South Africa, apart from conserved herds.
Next in order is the magnificent Greater Kudu
(Strepsiceros strepskeros).The Lesser Kudu (S. imber-
bis) is similar but smaller and darker. It also lacks
the shoulder hump and the furred dewlap. The
females of both species are hornless. The Greater
is still a common animal from the Cape to Ethio-

pia and prefers rocky hills and mountains; the

Lesser is rarer and inhabits the thorn scrub from
Ethiopia and Somalia to southern Tanzania. They
are both browsers.
The deep-forest representative of these animals
is the beautiful Bongo (Boocercus eurycerus). Both
sexes carry horns. The body is sturdy, bright
orange red in color with vivid white lateral verti-
cal stripes, and black and white markings on the
face. Old males go very dark and have almost
black faces, undersides, and legs. The horns are
large and widely spread. They are found in lim-
ited areas, from Sierra Leone in the west to
eastern Zaire and there are isolated populations
tain forests of Kenya.
The next group, the Sitatunga {Limno-
of the
tragus spekei), is much
smaller with slender,
slightly twisted horns in the males only. It has
taken to a semiaquatic life in swamps. Various
forms are spread all across Africa from Senegal to
the Sudan and south through the forested area to
southern Rhodesia.
Of completely different habits and habitat are
the Nyalas, Tragelapbus buxtoni of the Arusi Pla-
lison , p. 80
82 Bovids

V % * * M

Nyala,/>. 80
Nyala (Tragelaphus angasi)
Female Nyalas are hornless, short-hatred and
reddish in color, whereas males have twisted horns
and shaggy ,
grayish brown coats.

Gemsbok {Oryx gazella)

This inhabitant of dry plains in southern Africa has
sharp horns up to 4 feet in length. Present in both
sexes, the horns are formidable weapons against
predators, but male Gemsboks, butting heads to

establish dominance, rarely injure each other.

Gemsbok , p. 80
Bovids 83

iau in Ethiopia, and T. angasi, found only in a These are some of the most well-known antelopes
irip of forested country from Natal to Malawi, and include the waterbucks (Kobus ellipsiprymnus,
he former is almost the size of the Greater Kudu defassa, and kob); the lechwes (Onotragus leche and

:. id looks like it but lacks the hump and dewlap 0. megaceros); the Kob (Adenota kob) and the Puku
id has a continuous fringe of long hairs along (A. vardoni); the reedbucks (Redunca arundinium,

le back. The horns are less twisted. The female redunca, and fulvorufula); and finally the Rhebok
fyalas are hornless, short-haired, and usually of a (Pelea capreolus), a small antelope with upright
iore reddish color. horns, enormously long ears, and a strange
The last members of the group are the High- woolly, gray coat. The Rhebok is still found in
ind Bushbuck (Tragelaphus cklamarei) of Kenya South Africa.
nd Tanzania, and the Lowland bushbuck (T. A detailed description of these very various
riptus),which ranges throughout the forest of animals is impossible in this compass but, start-
ne west from Gambia to Zaire. These are beauti- ing with the Common Waterbuck (A', ellipsi-
jl little antelopes of a reddish brown color, prymnus), one type, the Defassa (K. defassa), is
ighter below and with complex black and white reddish with dark legs and a white rump and is
narkings on face, ears, throat, and limbs, and spread all across Africa from Nyasa to the extreme
/irh stripes and spots on the flanks. They are west and north to the Sudan but is absent from
ssentially browsers but also graze on lush vegeta- the uplands of East Africa where it is replaced by
ion near streams. the common type. The lechwes are of much
The Zebra Duiker (Cephalophus zebra), which lighter build and have less manelike neck pelage.
nhabits only the deep forest of Liberia and Sierra The Red and the Black (0. leche) are found in a
.eone, is of a bright orange reddish color with limited area of Botswana and Rhodesia; the third
olue black vertical stripes on its flanks. Closely species (0. megaceros) only in the Bahr el Ghazal
elated are the Gray Duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia) marshes of the Sudan, a thousand miles to the
ind the Blue (Cephalophus simpsoni). The former is north. The females of all these animals are horn-
'he only nonforest duiker and is spread over the less,and they are usually of a more reddish hue.
;entral and West African forest. It is of a grizzled The kobs are distributed all across central
grayish brown color, with black muzzle and fore- Africa from Senegal in the west to the Sudan and
legs, and one form in West Africa has a rich Uganda in the east. They are essentially upland,
orown frontal tuft. The Blue Duikers are small open country grazers. The Puku (A. vardoni) is a
antelopes with tiny horns and are truly a slaty smaller southern representative but with heavier
(blue. They range throughout the coastal forests of horns. It once inhabited a large area from the
the west and through the Congo Basin to Zambezi River north to the Tanzania border but
Uganda. is now restricted in range.
Among the horse-antelopes are the famous The reedbucks look very much like North
sable and roan antelopes and the oryxes and their American White-tailed Deer, though their horns
ally, the Addax. There are nine ot these. The are simple, slightly forward-curved prongs. They
largest and rarest is the Giant Sable (Hippotragus stay in reed beds but come out to graze on the
variant), found only in central Angola. It is of a shorter grasslands. The mountain form (R. ful-
rich dark red brown to black with vivid white vorufula) assembles in large herds and is less
undersides. The horns of this form are larger than dependent upon water or even reed beds.
those of the standard Sable (H. niger), which is The gnus and hartebeests are a small but
found from Kenya to the Transvaal. The Roan varied, widespread, and numerous group. There
(H. equinus) is second in size only to the Giant are a number of clearly distinct forms, including
Eland among the antelopes, is roan in color and the three gnus (Connochaetes gnou, taurinus, and
has long ears usually with red tassels. Like the albojubatus); the hartebeests (Alcelaphus busela-
sables, it has a distinct mane. Roans are found phus, caama and lichtensteinii); Hunter's Antelope
from Chad to the Sudan and Ethiopia and thence (Beatragus hunteri); and the damalisks (Damalis-
south to South Africa. cus korrigum, D. lunatus, D pygargus, and D. Kob, p. 80
The oryxes lack a mane and are more horse- albifrons).
shaped, though with rather slender delicate The above animals of the savannas, with
are all Kob (Kobus kob)
limbs. There are four: the Gemsbok (Oryx gazella) horse-shaped but extremely narrow, slender Traveling in small herds, Kobs occupy open meadows
from the desert areas of Southwest Africa; the bodies, long legs, and long necks. Their tails are near swamps and rivers in central Africa. These are
Beisa Oryx (0. beisa) which ranges from the Sudan oxlike and their horns are often of a crazy design. handsome red animals, with males having lyrate
to southern Tanzania; the Arabian (0. leucoryx) The gnus are almost grotesque creatures which horns.
which is now almost exterminated in southern look alarmingly like aggravated oxen with out-
Arabia but which has been established in colonies sized heads and widespread, heavy horns. They
in America; and the Scimitar-horned (0. tad) have beards which are considerably developed in
which ranges across Africa from Mali to the the White-bearded (C. albojubatus) of Kenya and
Sudan. Tanzania. The White-tailed (C. gnou) exists
These animals have rapierlike, gently curved today only in zoos and a semidomesticated condi-
horns with which they can give a good account of tion on some farms and in reserves in the Repub-
themselves. A sort of adjunct to these animals is lic of South Africa. The tail is long and white, the
the Addax (Addax which was once
nasomaculatus), neck and beard are black, and there is a large tuft
found all around the Sahara but seems now to be of erect black hairs on the forehead and muzzle.
confined to the same range as the White Oryx. Its The Brindled and the White-bearded forms are
horns are widely spread and are curved, not found south of a line drawn about the tenth paral-
twisted, into spirals. south, and north to Kenya, respectively.
Another group of antelopes has horns that may There are seven very distinct kinds of harte-
be called "lyrate," but some make simple back- beests, which are divided into three species the —
ward-set curves, others have an angle halfway up, Cape (Alcelaphus caama) restricted to Bechuana-
and others may be simple and curve forward. land; Lichtenstein's (A. lichtensteinii) found
84 Bovids

around Zambia; and five forms of A. buselaphus.

They range through much of central Africa.
The damalisks are lighter-bodied, more ante-
lopine animals with basically a lyrate form to
their horns. There are six distinct forms of four
full species —
the Senegal of the west; the Tiang
from the Sudan west to central Africa and south
to Lake Albert; the Topi which inhabits the next
area south and west of the forest from Uganda to
Nyasa; the Sassaby south of the tenth parallel;
and, finally, the Bontebok of the Cape that is now
found only in one national park.
The dwarf antelopes are a large, highly assorted,
bewildering group of very small hoofed mam-
mals. There are 18 full species, with innumerable
subspecies, divided clearly between 8 genera.
They are distributed more or less all over the
central belt of equatorial Africa. The best-known
form is the Klipspringer (Oreotragus oreotragus),
found in rocky upland areas of South Africa. They
are alert little jumpers with small, upright horns
and rather large ears, thick pithy fur, and some-
what goatlike hoofs. The females are usually
hornless. They stand about 20 inches at the
shoulder and weigh about 40 pounds.
Closely related is the Oribi (Ourebia ourebia),
distributed all over the grasslands of Africa, but
now becoming scarce very rapidly. The horns,
carried by the males only, are short, straight
The largestgroup of dwarf antelopes consists
of the little dik-diks (Madoqua), of which there
are at least half a dozen species. These are distrib-
uted all over the uplands of the eastern side of the
continent. They are tiny, slender-legged animals
with large ears and spiked horns, and have rather
prolonged snouts.
The Blackbuck (Antilope cervuaprd) is a loner
and stands apart from the rest of the group. It is
very dark brown to almost black above and white
below and has very pronounced white rings
around its eyes. The females and young are yel-
lowish but white below. Their horns are ribbed
like those of goats, but spirally twisted and
spreading in a wide "V." They stand about 32
inches. They are grazers and stay in herds
with a dominant male in charge. They have large
scent glands on their faces with which they mark
out territories. They are exceedingly swift and
great jumpers and, being inhabitants of the open
country, have been a target for sportsmen often —
using trained cheetahs —
since time immemorial.
Another group is made up of the typical
gazelles and their allies. There are four of the
latter, all placed in distinct genera. The Impala
(Aepyceros melampus) is a delicately built speedster
with graceful lyrate horns. The females lack
horns; they range from South Africa to Uganda.
There is then the famous Springbok (Antidorcas
marsupialis) of South Africa which once roamed
that area in horizon-to-horizon herds. They are
cinnamon to buff in color above, pure white
below but with a dark brown lateral stripe sepa-
rating the two. From midback
aft they have a
white dorsal crest that then merges with the
white rump. Both sexes carry horns.
Two animals, the Dibatag (Ammodorcas clarkei)
and the Gerenuk (Litocranius walleri), are like
exaggerated gazelles with excessively long necks.
The former are found in the Somalian-Ethiopian
region, and the males alone bear horns. They,
like the Gerenuk, are various shades of sandy

Gnu, p. 80
. )

Bovids 85

ffs and browns. In the latter animal the neck is

, ?n more elongated and only the horns of the
lies are lyrate.
The remainder of this assemblage are a bewil-
ring lot of graceful, medium-sized antelopes
at are commonly called gazelles. There are
ore than a dozen full species and innumerable
bspecies of many of these. These animals were
ice spread over an enormous area encompassing
>en forest, orchard, savanna, scrub, and even
from the Atlantic coast of Africa in the
e desert
est to central Asia and India in the east and
lence south down the whole eastern side of
frica to the Cape. They are still quite common
restricted areas throughout this vast range and
>me of them show signs of exploding popula-
on. The five gazelles that inhabit either North
frica and parts of Arabia and Southwest Asia, or
the Mountain (Gaze/la gazella), the
idia are:
Jonas) of North Africa from Algeria to
•orcas (G.
gypt and the Sudan; the Arabian (G. arabica)
hich ranges from Sinai to Aden, and the Omar
j. muscatensis) of northeastern Arabia; the
lender-horned and Loder's (G. leptoceros) also of
Jorth Africaand Southwest Asia; and finally the
ndian Gazelle or Chinkaro (G. bennetti), of which
orns are often absent in the females. The Edmi
j. cuvieri) of the Atlas and adjacent ranges from
Morocco to Tunisia appears to be distinct.
In Ethiopian Africa south of the Sahara we have
rst rhe Zorin (G. rufifrons) which ranges all the

ay from Gambia in the west to the Sudan in the

and thence south to Uganda. Very closely

elated is the now well-known Thompson's (G

bompsont) of the uplands of Kenya and Tanzania,
ufous above and white below with a broad black
>and along the lower flanks. The two largest
jazelles are Grant's (G. grant/ granti) and
loberts' (G. g. robertsi) which have white rump
matches and long, widely spreading horns.
Three Asiatic forms are of particular interest.
These are, first, the Goitered Gazelle (G. gutte-
^osa) of Iran, which develops a long winter coat
irid in which the females usually lack horns. The
nales develop a strange enlargement of the larynx
n the breeding season. Closely related but war-
anting a genus to themselves are the two gazelles
jf central upland Asia, the Zeren (Procapra picti-
audata ptcticaudata) and the Goas (P. p. przewal- Grant's Gazelle, p. 80
kii). These are rathet heavy-bodied but slender- Impala (Aepyceros melampus)
legged animals with thick winter coats that are
Gnu Connochaetes taurinus
Impalas are able jump as high as
to W
jeet and cover
.ound respectively in Mongolia from the Altai {
distances as great as 33 jeet. These graceful inhabi-
Mountains to inner Manchuria, and on the One of the most dramatic seasonal migrations is that
tants oj African savannas occur in herds of up to 60
Tibetan Plateau, east to China. The females are <>j the Wildebeest, or Gnu. During dry periods,
animals, and are often seen in the company of other
without horns. Their tails are very short and the groups numbering hundreds oj thousands oj indi-
species. Male Impalas are extremely territorial; they
horns are semilyrate and grow backward. viduals ma) travel, single pie, in search oj water.
gather harems that average 21) females.
The relationship of the Zeren, Goa, and goi- When alarmed, on the other hand, these animals fke
tered gazelles to the Saiga (Saiga tartarica) and the in unruly, fragmented groups.
Grant's Gazelle Gazella grant i
( >

Chiru (Pantholops hodgsoni) is actually much Grant's Gazelle travels in small herds during rainy
slighter than their classification would indicate.
periods; when the dry season approaches, however,
The females of the former are hornless but the these animals congregate in herds that may number
horns of the males are erect, semilyrate, ringed, -(00 individuals. Occurring at altitudes higher than
and honey colored. They range over the South 16,51)0 feet, Grant's Gazelles seek forage at lower
Russian steppes from the Caspian Sea, east to When migrating herds encounter
delations in fall.
Lake Balkhash. The Chiru or Tibetan Antelope each other, there are apt to be ritualized displays
has very tall, slim, almost straight horns, a thick
among males. These ceremonious interactions do not
coat, especially in winter, and a black face and
normally lead to injury.
front to its forelimbs. It dwells in the highlands
at altitudes ranging from 1 1,000 to as much as
18,000 feet.
The rock-goats
are four mountain-dwelling,
hoofed animals that stand somewhere between
86 Bovids


Ibex (Capra ibex)

European mountains The
Ibexes live above treeline in .

largestwild animal throughout most of its range, the

Ibex may weigh up to 265 pounds.

Nubian Ibex (Capra ibex nubiensis)

The Nubian Ibex inhabits mountainous regions of the
Middle East. Fights to establish dominance are
common between males.

Wild Goat {Capra aegagrus)

On Crete, Wild Goats are known from the Minoan
Period. Ancestors of domestic goats, they inhabit
mountains in Turkey, Iraq, Iran, as well as Crete.

Mouflon (Ovts musimon)

Native to Sardinia and Corsica, the Mouflon has
been introduced in mountains throughout much of

Chamois Rupuapra( rupicapra)

Chamois inhabit high mountain slopes from Spain to
Asia Minor. Extremely agile, they are able to clear
rock crevasses that are 20 feet wide.

Mouflon,/). 80 Chamois, p. 80

Bovids 87

ieantelopes and the true goats. The most like an invitation to extinction in face of firearms and and appear originally to have spread all across
. itelope is the Chamois (Rupkapra rupkapra) of they were slaughtered wholesale, and were cleaned Eurasia from the far western isles to eastern Siberia
urope, indigenous to the Alps, Apennines, Car- out of Alaska by the middle of the last century. and thence over into North America and south
ithians, and the Caucasus, as well as the Pyre- In 1930 a herd was captured in Greenland and throughout the Rockies and othet western moun-
ees and Cantabrian Mountains of Spain. They shipped via Norway, New York, and Seattle to tains to Mexico. The origin of the domestic sheep
ave short erect horns that curve backward at Seward in Alaska where, under rigid protection, is another source of endless technical debate, but
leir ends, with short tails, boxy bodies, and they began to multiply rapidly. it would seem that a gtoup of wild species known

)ugh Their principal distinction is their

fur. There are a number of mountain animals that popularly as the Mouflon and the Red Sheep are
mountaineering abilities, for they gal-
lcredible can be called true goats — the ibexes, turs,mark- the most likely candidates. The Mouflon (0.
vant along precipitous rock faces, and make hors, and the tahrs. Of the ibexes, there are six musimori) inhabits the islands of Corsica and Sar-
rodigious leaps onto tiny ridges that we often species. First there is Capra burns, which many dinia in the Mediterranean. To the east occurs the
innot even distinguish. people feel is the ancestor of the domestic goat. Red Sheep from Cyprus, Turkey,
(0. orientalis),
Near the Chamois but of rather different exter- These range from the Caucasus and Turkey Armenia, and Iran to the Ladak on the Tibetan
al appearance is the so-called Mountain Goat through Iran to Sind. To the east are found other border, Afghanistan, Sind, the Punjab and
Oreamnos amerkanus) of North America, which is species, from Kashmir across the Himalayas to Baluchistan.
jund all down the northwestern mountain areas Bhutan, and from Kashmir northeast through The eastern Eurasian representatives of these
f the continent from Alaska to Idaho and west- the Tien Shan and Altai Mountains to Siberia. are known as Argalis (Otis amnion) and are animals
rn Montana. These animals are clothed in white, Going west from Asia Minor we find first the Ibex of magnificent proportions with huge widely
haggy hair, have small erect, recurved horns, or Steinbok (Capra ibex) which once occurred all spread and widely sweeping horns that are ribbed
jnd the males develop big beards, tall neck and over the Swiss, north Italian, and other East and ridged in various ways and may make more
houlder ruffles, and what used to be called "plus- European montane blocs, but which is now re- than two complete twists in their spirals. One
:Ours" around their front and back legs. They are duced to a few highly protected herds. Far off occurs in southern Siberia from the Altai to
most conspicuous except on a snowy background. to the west we then find another form (Capra Baikal, others in the Tien Shan, Ala Tau, and
There are two species of serows. Caprkornis pyrenaka) in the mountains of Spain and Portu- other central Asiatic tanges, and Marco Polo's
umatrensis is distributed from Sumatra north to gal. South of the Mediterranean, ibexes again Argali (0. a. pnln) is found in the Pamirs. The
he eastern Himalayas and western China in crop up in North Africa, Israel, Arabia, and the record for a ram of this form had horns measuring
nountainous regions. It is a somewhat shaggy, Red Sea Hills of Egypt (C. nubiana), and still 56 inches in spread, not measured around their
ather nondescript animal with small, back- another form (C. walk) is found in Ethiopia but curves.
urving horns and a mane and pronounced confined to the isolated Simien Plateau. All these In North America there are numerous forms of
hroat fringe. The other species, C. crispus, is a animals have huge, backwardly curved horns the Bighorn Sheep (Oris canadensis), one of which
.mailer animal with a blacker pelt of a thick with strong frontal ribbing, and all except the is SO extreme in appearance that it has been made

woolly nature. The last of the rock-goats is the first have pronounced beards. Their variations in into a separate species, the Dall Sheep (Oris dalli).
Coral (Naemhoredus gorat) which lacks the long size, color, and horn structure are beyond our This pure white in Alaska and the north-
latter is

Fringes of the serows. It is very widely distributed scope to describe and have to be sought in tech- ern part of range, but gradually blends south-

From the eastern Himalayas, through the moun- nical literature. The Tur {Capra caucaska) is really ward into a stone gray form conveniently called
tains of western China north to Manchuria, a markedly different animal with very dark Stone's Sheep (0. d. Uunei). These animals are
\muria, and Korea. It is much smaller than the undersides and stockings, and massive horns. It smaller and lighter and have more slender horns
i.erows and is adept at concealment in thick scrub is found in the Caucasus. than the typical Bighorns that inhabit the moun-
bn rocky faces. This animal has small, curving The markhors are two in number and, although tains from British Columbia to Mexico.
horns. called subspecies Capra fakoneri fakoneri and C. Another branch of the species lives in eastern
The sheep-oxen are extremely odd ungulates /. megaceros — are really very different-looking Asia in Siberia and Kamchatka. They are of vari-
the relationships of which were for long debated. animals. The found in Kashmir, has a
first is ous gray brown colors with lighter muzzles and
There are two species —
the Takin (Budorcas taxi- tremendous beard and neck mane, and wide- their massive horns have in exceptional cases been
dor) and the Musk-ox (Orilm\ moschatus) of arctic spreading, twisted but sttaight horns forming a measured with as much as a 50-inch spread. It is
Canada. The Takin has a pronounced hump on backwardly sloping "V." The second is found obvious that these are most closely related, if not
the shoulders and another on the midback, a only in the Kabul district of Afghanistan, has less identical to, the North American forms.
beard, and shaggy hair on the back of the fore- frontal ftinge, and enormous horns that form
legs, along the midbelly, and on the back of the spiral twists. There are other races (or subspecies)
hind legs. The tail is short but hairy. Both sexes that have intermediately shaped horns and live in
:arry horns that arise side by side on the forehead, the central Asian area.
then go outward, backwatd, upward and finally There are three kinds of tahr, found all along
have inturning tips similar to those of the gnus. the southern face of the Himalayas from Kashmir
They are stocky with comparatively short legs to Bhutan (Hemistragus jemlahkus); in the uplands
and they carry their heads down by the ground. of southern India (H. and in south-
One form, in Szechwan, is a vivid iridescent eastern Arabia (H. hylocrius). These animals are
gold. Those in the Mishmi Hills are gray but distinguished by having rather small, simpiy
those in Shensi Province are light cream without curving horns that grow backward.
any dark markings. Including domestic breeds, there- are eight
The Musk-ox is a large, very shaggy, ox-sized species of true sheep. Two of these are placed in
and ox-shaped animal with very wide-based horns separate genera — the Bhatal (Pseudois nayaur) of
that form a casque over the forehead, as in buf- the Asiatic highlands from India to Manchuria;
falo, and then curve downward, forward, out- and the Aoudad (Ammotragus lervia) of the moun-
ward, and then upward. They have very splayed tain tanges that ring the Sahara. The former is of a
feet which assist them in traversing soft snow. bluish gray color above and white below with
There are three recognized forms that were once complex black markings on its face and separating
spread from Alaska to Greenland and the great the dark and light areas. The horns of these
Arctic Islands. They are herd animals and when animals are very like those of the Tur described
attacked —
notably and almost exclusively by above, and they stand halfway between the goats
wolves —
the adults form a ring with their lowered and the sheep. The Aoudad is a magnificent, pale
heads pointing outward and surrounding the colored animal with wide-spreading heavy horns.
calves, nursing females, and others. This was an It is the only wild sheep of Africa.
effective maneuver against wolves but a veritable The rest of the sheep are all in the genus Oris
Rock Ptarmigan, p. 1 15

f** > #r '

^ *^F- *


^^^ryW* ^

Great Frigatebird, /;. /0i

Violet-chested Hummingbird, p. 142 Roseate Spoonbill, p. HH Atlantic Puffin, p. 132

Scarlet Macaw, p. 134 American Coot, p. 120


Emus 89
Rheas Oystercatchers
(Order Rheiformes)
American Oystercatcher
The rheas (Family Rheidae) of southern South
< Haematopus palItat us
America, although shorter than the true Ostrich
Oystercatchers use their unique bladelike bill to probe
lass Aves) of Africa, are the largest birds found in the New
in sand or mud for minute animals as well as to dice
seem to have aroused interest in man since

;rds World. Like the Ostrich they are flightless,

open clams, oysters, and other shellfish.
s most primitive beginnings. An important although the wing is proportionately longer.
ason for this is the extraordinary adaptability Like the emu and cassowary, rheas have three
idmobility that have permitted birds to reach toes. The male is distinctly the larger and
ery portion of the world, including the most
acquires six or more females for his harem. All the Red Bishopbird (Euplectes orix)
mote oceans, the frozen vastness of the Antarc- females lay their eggs, up to five dozen, in a The brightly coloredplumage of the male Red Bishop-
c, the depths of deep caves, the top slopes of the single nest on the ground, which the male alone bird is worn only during the breeding season. During
umalayas, the mud bottom 200 feet below the attends. In one species the eggs are yellowish, in the rest of the year the males wear a streaked brou n
irface of the sea, and the darkest recesses of the the other dark greenish. Later the male devotes plumage like that of the females.
ingle. Their ability to navigate still confounds his energies to rearing the young during a period
lan, although he himself finds his way through of at least six weeks. Rheas feed on vegetable Hummingbirds
:>ace to the moon. matter of many kinds, as well as on land mol-
Violet-chested Hummingbird
Birds are distinguished chiefly by their feath- lusks, lizards, and worms. (Sternoclyta cyanopectus)
rs. Because of them, birds cannot be confused The pampas and highland savannas of Brazil
The Violet-chested Hummingbird is found only in
ith any other creatures in the animal kingdom, and Argentina are the home of the Greater Rhea
Venezuela. Here it may be seen in dense mountain
imong vertebrates birds are a fairly numerous (Rhea americana), the more abundant of the two
forests, visiting red flowers for nectar and small
roup. The approximately 9,000 species of birds species. It is brownish gray above and dull white
re exceeded only by the 18,000 species of fishes; below, with a black crown and nape and black on
nammals number only about 3,500, and reptiles the neck and upper chest. Its sides are bluish
nd amphibians add up to about 5,500 species. gray. The female is grayer. In the mountains of
The natural ecological balance of much of the Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina is found the Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao)
vorld has been drastically altered by man, and Lesser Rhea (Pterocnemia pennata). It is smaller and Macaws are found only in the American tropics. They
ertain animals have come into conflict with what darker, often with whitish spots. usually travel in pairs, and are often seen flying over
nan believes, at least for the moment, to be his the forest in search of a tree laden with fruit.
>wfi best interests. Sometimes these species, Cassowaries and Emus
lubbed "pests," may be birds, such as the black- (Order Casuariiformes) Grebes
pirds or finches that destroy grain. More often, Cassowaries (Family Casuariidae). Cassowaries
Western Grebe ( Aechmophorus occidental is)
lowever, birds are of vital importance in keeping arehuge flightless birds occurring only in the
The courtship of the Western Grebe involves a bizarre
n check the insects, rodents, and other animals New Guinea region, on a few nearby islands, and dance m which a pair, arching their necks and
hat may cause serious crop damage. But the in northern Australia, dwelling in thick forest
strenuously paddling their feet, dash across the surface
onservation of bird should not hinge mainly
life and along jungle rivers. All six species have a
of the water.
>n economic factors. Hundreds of thousands of bony helmet, or casque, used in fending off
people the world over watch and study birds, obstructions as the huge bird rushes through
Ibises and Spoonbills
;ither from scientific curiosity or for pure esthetic thick underbrush. The rudimentary wings are
pleasure. The birds of the world are everyone's modified to bear black spines. They curve Roseate Spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja)
latural heritage, and we owe our descendants the slightly to conform to the body but in action are The Roseate Spoonbill was once hunted nearly to
privilege of enjoying them. extended to thrust aside vegetation. When the extinction in the southern United States. Now
bird runs, its head is forward and it slithers completely protected, it is again common in parts of
Ostriches between obstructions. Florida and along the Gulf Coast.
(Order Struthioniformes) Despite their size, cassowaries are wary and
The Ostrich (Struthio camelus), the only living hard to detect. When frightened they can run at Rails, Gallinules, and Coots
member of the Family Spheniscidae, has only two speeds of 30 miles an hour through all sorts of American Coot ( Fulica americana)
toes, whereas all other birds have three or four. obstructions, leaping prodigiously, plunging, Like other heavy-bodied diving birds, coots must
Ostriches formerly occurred over much of Asia, and even swimming. sprint across the surface of the water in order to become
but today they are found only in Africa. A large Cassowaries feed almost entirely on fruit, but airborne.
male Ostrich stands nearly 5 feet high at the back insects and plants are also eaten. After the female
and may weigh over 300 pounds; the female is deposits from three to six granular-surfaced, Grouse
considerably smaller. It can run at speeds of about huge, green eggs on a mat of leaves near the foot
40 miles per hour. There is no truth in the tale of a forest tree, the male assumes the responsibil- Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus)
that the Ostrich hides its head in sand in time of ity of incubating, brooding, and feeding the
Ptarmigans are famous for changing color with the
danger. seasons to match their background. They are white

young for some seven weeks.

The Ostrich
has a long neck, a small flattish The most abundant species is the Two-wattled
during the winter and mottled with brown during the
j'lead and a broad, shallow bill. It has powerful, Cassowary (Casuarius bicarunculatus) of the coastal rest of the year.
aearly naked thighs and long legs. Male Ostriches swamplands. It stands four feet high, and has the
have the body plumage black and the plumes of neck brilliant cobalt blue washed with scarlet and Frigatebirds
che wing and pure white. Females are gray-
tail two pendulous wattles of a yellowish hue. A Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor)
ish. Ostriches can go without water for days, but bladelike casque crowns the head. The Australian A courting male Great Frigatebird inflates his large
relish frequent drinking and bathing; as many as Cassowary (C. casuarius), which reaches a height red throat pouch in front of the white-breastedfemale.
600 have been seen at water holes in the dry of more than five feet, has the largest helmet in
season. the family and grotesque, deeply cleft, red- Auks, Murres, Guillemots, Dovekies
As breeding time approaches males fight with tipped wattles below a cobalt blue throat. and Puffins
their beaks and necks and powerful kicks. Each
male usually mates with three or four females. He Emus (Family Dromaiidae). The second -largest Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica)
scrapes a shallow nest cavity, and in this the of living birds, the Common Emu (Dromaius When an Atlantic Puffin arrives at its nesting
females deposit their eggs, each weighing about novaehollandiae) of eastern Australia, is rapidly grounds on an offshore island, it often carries several
three pounds, straw yellow or buff in color, very being extirpated in many areas. The emu stands small fish in its bill. No one knows how these birds
hard and shiny. fully five feet tall. This huge bird competes with hold onto one fish while catching another.
90 Kiwis

Ostrich, p. 89
Penguins 91
chosen habitat, grasslands; because it
irtle in its Penguins Rheas
harmful to agriculture and destroys fences it is (Order Sphenisciformes)
uch disliked by farmers and cattlemen. All penguins (Family Spheniscidae) are flightless,
Greater Rhea ( Rhea americana)
Emus differ from cassowaries in having the The pampas and savannas o} southern South America
robust birds of medium and large size. The neck
are the home of the Greater Rhea. Males are larger
ad and neck feathered and in lacking the is short, the bill is strong, the tail is short, the
lmet. They have much more rudimentary than females, and take on the burden of incubating
feet are webbed and
flat, and the legs are short
ings without long, wirelike quills. In color and back on the body so that on land the
set far
the eggs and raising the young.
nus are earth brown and gray. The sexes are bird must assume a nearly erect stance. Although
milar and the young are sooty with buff stripes,
penguins are descendants of flying birds, their
tiey resemble the cassowaries in nesring habits, wings are very short, flipperlike, with the bones Ostrich (Struthio camelus)
ie male doing most of the incubation, brooding, strongly fused. The body is covered with scalelike A large male Ostrich stands nearly 5 feet high at the
id rearing of the young. After laying, the female feathers. Penguins are the most completely back and weighs over 300 pounds; the body plumage
imetimes attempts to incubate the eggs and aquatic of living birds. Power for propulsion is is black and the plumes on the wings and tail are
jes so until driven off the nest by the male. derived from a kind of underwarer flight, the feet white. Females are grayish.
playing no part in swimming.
[wis Penguins abound around the edges of Antarc-
)rder Apterygiformes) tica and sometimes breed hundreds of miles
iwis (Family Apterygidae) are shy, flightless inland, marching to and from the sea, their only
irviving relatives of the extinct moas of New source of food. Their ability to fast for as much—
ealand. They differ from all living birds in as four months —
makes it possible for them to
aving the openings of the nostrils near the tip of occupy icy wastes beyond the reach of other non-
ie long, slender bill, and have a well-developed flying vertebrates. Elsewhere penguins follow
;nse of smell. The birds thus locate their earth- cold water such as the Humboldt Current, north-
orm prey. The wings are so rudimentary that ward along the western coast of South America to
ley cannot be seen on the outside of the body, equatorial latitudes, and the Benguella Current,
here are no tail feathers. The body is covered off the West African shore.
ith long hairlike feathers. The Emperor and the King penguins are sur-
Kiwis range over all of the main islands of New face nesters and are They
social in their activities.
Zealand. The Common Kiwi (Apteryx australts) is engage in communal care of the young. Almost
ie largest and has the widest range, occurring on immediately after the egg of an Emperor Penguin
Jonh, South, and Stewart islands. Two other is laid, the male takes full charge and the female
oecies, the Great Spotted Kiwi (A. haastn) and goes off to sea for two months. The incubating
ijie Little Spotted Kiwi (A. owenn), have limited
male then huddles in a cluster with others and
anges on South Island. All species are very simi- fasts for about two months. When the down-
lar in form, but the Common Kiwi is generally
covered young are able to hobble about they join a
rownish or brownish gray with blackish streaks, creche, sometimes by the hundreds. A few adults
/hile the others have bars instead of streaks. seem to have the task of looking after the creche
and providing a windbreak by standing close
inamous together, but sometimes snow may cover the
Order Tinamiformes) young as they snuggle together.
finamous (Family Tinamidae) inhabit the grass- When spring comes, the Adelie Penguin (Pyg-
ands and jungles of the New World, some as far oscelis adeliae) of Antarctica marches over the ice to
lorth as Mexico and others as far south as Pata- its At times it falls on its
ancestral nesting areas.
;onia. They are terrestrial, volant birds related to chest and toboggans along. The route changes
he flightless ratite, or ostrichlike, birds. Tina- with every storm, yet it finds its way to the very
nous have relatively heavy bodies and small same nest, and often pairs again with its former
The neck is slender,
and equipped with
the wings small,
relatively weak
mate. Upon arrival, the male builds or rebuilds a m
nest some using small stones;
six inches high,
nuscles. The legs are slightly elongated. Most Two-wattled Cassowary, p. 89
this serves to protect the eggs from the water of
pecies have four toes, others only three. All have melting ice. Cassowaries
ery short tails, the latter in some species being The largest and most southerly of penguins,
lidden under the feathers of the rump. Two-wattled Cassowary
the Emperor (Aptenodytes forsteri) reaches 4 feet in
In tinamous, the roles of rhe sexes in parental (Casuanus bicarunculatus)
length and 75 pounds in weight. Above, it is
are are reversed. The male clears a shallow nest
Normally a shy, jorest-inhabittng bird, the Two-
bluish gray with much black on the head and
irea on the ground and then incubates the eggs wattled Cassowary can be very dangerous if cornered-
throat; below, it is white. Distinctive sulphur
Striking out suddenly with its sharply clawed feet, a
hat his mate or mates deposit on a thin mat of orange areas occur on the upper neck. Smaller but
iead leaves. The eggs, which vary from pale blue cassowary can inflict a serious or even fatal injury.
similarly dressed is the King Penguin (A. patago-
o rich vinaceous, depending on the species, have nica), which breeds at the southern tip of South
glossy, almost porcelainlike texture. Female America and on various islands such as South
inamous are larger and more aggressive than Georgia and Kerguelen.
heir mates, and, while one male is busy The Macaroni Penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus)
incubating, the female is apt to solicit another. of the southern Atlantic and Indian oceans owes
Some species, such as the 15-inch Great Tina- its name to its peculiar head feathers. The Jackass
mou (Tinamus major) and its smaller relatives in Penguin (Spheniscus demersus), so called because of
the genus Crypturellus, live in deep forests from its donkeylike bray, inhabits the southern coast
Mexico to southern Brazil. Others, such as the of Africa. It is a black and white species that
Spotted Nothura (Nothura maculosa) and the reaches some 30 inches in length. Close relatives
Rufescent Tinamou (Rhynchotus rufescens), of live along the shores of southern South America.
South America, are birds of the grasslands. Still The Little Blue Penguin (Eudyptula minor) is the
others, including the Curve-billed Tinamou only species that occurs commonly in Australian
(Nothoprocta curvtrostris) of Ecuador and Peru, waters. It is a bluish gray above and largely gray-
inhabit the bleak high Andes.
ish white below. The Galapagos Penguin (Sphenis-
92 Penguins

Adelie Penguin, p. 91
Penguins Hi
Yellow-eyed Penguin (Megadyptes antipodes)
Yellow-eyed Penguins have an elaborate courtship
ritual in which the male and female perform compli-
cated bowing and billing movements in perfect
synchrony. This ritual serves to strengthen the pair-

Adelie Penguin f Pygoscelis adeliae)

The Adelie Penguin of A ntarctica marches over the ice
each spring to reach its ancestral nesting areas.
Despite changes in the landscape caused by winter
storms, the birds return unerringly to the same nesting
burrow each year. /
Loons /
Common Loon (Gavia immer)
The most familiar of the four species of loons in North
America is the Common Loon, which nests on lakes
throughout the forested parts of Canada and the
northern United States.

Common Loon, p. 93
Grebes 93

a mendiculus), a 20-inch bird, inhabits equato-

al waters at the northern terminus of the Hum-
oldt Current. It is the only penguin that lives
itirely in the tropics.

)rder Gaviiformes)
he lour species of loons (Family Gaviidae) live in
plder regions of the northern hemisphere,
icluding even those of the Arctic where the
ater thaws for only a few months each year. All
ions live almost continuously in water usually —
keanic waters in winter and fresh waters in
I immer. They on fish.
live largely
The cumbersomely from the
larger loons rise
'ater, flapping their powerful, narrow wings and
;jnning on the surface with their webbed feet.
Chen takeoff speed has been achieved, they rise
ito the air in straight-line flight. In landing, the
irds hit the water with the chest rather than
/ith the feet as in ducks, and send up a high
The nest may be a large, bulky affair of grass
nd reeds; almost always it is located on an island
>r on a shore and is placed so close to the edge that

he attending bird can slip unobtrusively into the
eggs are laid. These are generally
dive green with blackish mottling,
to olive
ncubation is performed alternately by the sexes.
The young are very active and take to the water
lm >st as soon as they are hatched. There they
iccompany the adults and often ride on the backs
|f their parents.
I" In America, the best known of the loons is the
lommon Loon which reaches 36
(Gai'ta immer),
nches in length. It nests in Canada and in the
lorthern United States, Greenland, and Iceland,
tnd winters south to the gulfs of Mexico and
lalifornia. The sexes are similar. In summer the
plumage is boldly and evenly checked with white
ipots on black, with a checked collar and throat
ipots; in winter the plumage changes to dull dark
>ray. The flight feathers of the wing and tail are
iiolted more or less simultaneously, with the
"esult that loons are completely flightless for a
ew weeks each year.
The Arctic Loon (G. arctica) is a 27-inch bird
:hat breeds in the northern British Isles, Scandi-
navia, the shores of the Baltic Sea, and eastward Great Crested Grebe, /

:o Alaska and the Canadian Arctic. In winter it Grebes

reaches the Mediterranean and the shores of
Little Grebe ( Podiceps rujicollis)
China and Mexico.
The Little Grebe, also known as the Dabchick, is a
The smallest species is the Red-throated Loon
common bird in man) parts oj Eurasia and A/ma. It
[G. ste/lata), which reaches a length of more than
builds a floating nest oj marsh vegetation.
two feet. It is unlike the other loons in that it
sometimes nests in colonies or on shores near salt
Great Crested Grebe < Podiceps cristatus I

water. It also takes off easily and prefers flying to

The Great Crested Grebe is Jound from western
diving when fleeing from intruders. The other,
Europe to Australia. During the breeding season n
the Yellow-billed Loon (Gavia adamsii), is very
sports long head plumes, uhich are erected during
similar to the Common Loon except for the color
courtship display f.
ind shape of its bill. It breeds in western Canada,
Alaska, and eastern Asia. It winters farther north
than the other three species, seldom going south
of Scandinavia and southern Alaska.

(Order Podicipediformes)
Grebes (Family Podicipedidae) are virtually cos-
mopolitan in their distribution. They somewhat
resemble ducks, but their slender, pointed bills
make them easy to distinguish. Grebes feed,
sleep, court, and mate in water, and when pur-
94 Tube-nosed Swimmers

sued they dive and swim away underwater and

often perform such escapes with their downy
young clinging to their backs. When alarmed
they may compress the plumage and the air in
internal reservoirs. This causes changes in their
buoyancy so efficiently that a grebe floating high
on water can lower itself beneath the surface
almost magically, leaving the head above water as
a periscope.
Many grebes are ornamented with crests, ruffs,
and patches of color about the head and neck
during the nuptial season. There the grebes
indulge in aquatic dances, which are among the
most spectacular sights in nature. The Western
Grebe of North America and the Great Crested
Grebe of the Old World, which are among the
largest species (each is about 28 inches long), are
the most renowned dancers.
Following the courtship dances, both sexes
participate in building a nest composed of buoy-
ant aquatic vegetation. It forms a floating island
and thus can adjust itself to changes in water
level. From three to seven eggs are laid. When
leaving the nest the parents cover the eggs with
damp vegetation like that used in the construc-
tion of the nest. Both sexes incubate, and the
female continues adding material to the nest
while doing so. Upon hatching, the chicks are
covered with pale down and a striping of dark
Grebes fly strongly but have difficulty in rising
from the water, their takeoffs involving much
running on the surface. They can barely manage
to get about on the ground, and as a result never
resort to land when in danger. Their food consists
of fish, insect larvae, crustaceans, an occasional
frog, and vegetable matter, most of it gathered
underwater. Grebes winter in fresh water or
along the edges of continental shelves in places
free of ice. Often they congregate in large flocks
and with the coming of spting migrate north-
ward by night to their freshwater breeding areas.
The largest grebe in North America is the
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentals), which
ranges in western North America south to
Mexico. It reaches a length of more than two feet
and has a long, slender neck and vividly contrast-
ing black and white plumage. It is unique among
grebes in having unstriped young. Probably the
widest-ranging of the grebes is the Eared or
Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) of Eura-
sia, Africa,and the New World. One species, the
Flightless Grebe (Centropelma micropterum) of Lake
Titicaca in the high Andes of South America, has
reduced wings and cannot fly.
The Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) is
found widely in the Old World, with breeding
populations occurring from Scandinavia to Aus-
tralia. It has long, blackish horns extending
backward along the sides of the crown and prom-
inent reddish brown and black fans springing
from the back of the head. As in other grebes,
these ornaments disappear during the nonbreed-
ing season. The wide-ranging Pied-billed Grebe
(Podilymbus podiceps) of the New World chiefly fre-
quents small inland lakes. Its name is based on a
vertical black mark on its whitish bill.

Tube-nosed Swimmers
(Order Procellariiformes)
Albatrosses (Family Diomedeidae). The no-
madic, self-sufficient albatross can go to sea for
Black-footed Albatross, p. 94
. — . )

Storm-Petrels 95

eks or months, sleeping on the ocean's surface, itspartner or to exchange duties. After some 7 Albatrosses
'linking seawater and returning to land only to weeks of incubation the young hatch; and 10 to
Buller's Albatross Dmmedea I bulleri
leed. An albatross banded at Kerguelen Island 12 weeks later they finally leave the nest, looking
Butler's Albatross breeds only on oceanic islands near
the southern Indian Ocean was captured about like adults.
Of New Zealand, but when not nesting, it wanders over
tree years later near Cape Horn, some 6,000 circumpolar distribution is the Northern
the Smith Pacific and visits the coasts of Peru and
iles away. Some albatrosses may make one or Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), a large, whitish or
Chile. It is one of the smaller albatrosses .
will a
ore trips round the world between breeding smoke gray, gull-like bird that reaches 20 inches
ic i rigs pan of 6 or 7 feet.
osons. in length. The breeding grounds of this bird are
Albatrosses are essentially birds of the cold on small Arctic islands and southward as far as
Black-footed Albatross (Diomedea nigripes i

eans of the southern hemisphere, where they England; in winter it reaches the latitude of
A pair of Black-footed Albatrosses takt turns
nge northward to the tropics from the borders Japan, Mexico, New York, and Spain.
intubating their single large egg. which hatches in
Antarctica. One species, the Waved Albatross Unlike most other species of the Procellan-
about two and a half months. According to a recent
)iomedea trrorata), breeds in the Galapagos Is- formes, it nests on cliff ledges in the open, depos-
estimate, there are about 300,000 Black-footed
nds, and three others breed on small islands in iting its chalky white egg in a slight depression,
Albatrosses: these birds nest only on islands in the
e central Pacific. usually lined with grass. It is chiefly diurnal in its
central Pacific.
The bill is strong, plated with horny seg- nest activities. Sometimes hundreds of thousands
ents, and tipped with a powerful hook. Alba- nest together in colonies, but after the nesting
osses feed to a large extent on small marine season they scatter in small groups over the ocean
umals such as cuttlefish. from the edge of the ice down to the beginning of
The Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans) warm seas.
,is a wingspan of nearly 12 feet. The bird may The largest member of the family, the Giant
'>ar hour hour on fixed wings, tacking
after Petrel (Macronectes giganteus), sometimes reaches
ross the wind, descending rapidly to the waves, three feet in length and resembles a small alba-
cending steeply and tacking again. tross, but is stouter and has shorter wings. This
During courtship, albatrosses grunt and cry, bird lives in the southern seas from Antarctica to
reening clumsily, bowing to each other and litt- the Temperate Zone. It comes in a white phase,
[g the bills skyward. They are highly gregari- most often found near the Antarctic, and a dark
is. Albatrosses lay a single chalky egg in a bare brownish one, most often found in warmer seas.
»ea of ground or on a simple grass nest. Both Recent evidence suggests that the antarctic and
pees share the incubation which, in the Royal subantarctic forms are really two species, which
lbaiross (D. epomophora), lasts 80 days.70 to breed side by side on Macquarie Island.
She young The chick
are fed by regurgitation. There are about 20 species of shearwater (Puf-
ay be brooded some 42 days and the young of finus and Calonectris), nesting on islands in all of
le Royal Albatross stay aground until its wings the world's oceans. Those at the southern hemi-
•e very long —
a matter of 229 to 25 1 days. sphere often migrate to northern waters in the
nonbreeding season.
etrels, Fulmars, and Shearwaters (Family
rocellariidae). The members of this family of StOrm-PetrelS (Family Hydrobatidae). Storm-
>mberly colored oceanic birds are so much at petrels are the smallest of webfooted birds,
ome on the high seas that they come ashore only although they are close relatives of the mighty
) breed. Some are as large as small geese; others albatross. Superstitions concerning petrels have
'e smaller than pigeons. Nearly all are excellent long circulated among sailors because of their
iers and certain —
especially the shearwaters almost magical appearance at the onset of storms,
'e among the finest of aerialists. Most lay their even in the remote reaches of the broadest oceans.
;;gs in a cavity or on the bare rock or ground, Long ago seafarers, noting how their feet pattered
he Procellariidae regularly visit every open on the water, as though they were walking on it,
j:ean of the world. Some species land on the sur- called them "petrels " after Saint Peter.
ice of the sea to feed on squid, fish, and all Storm-petrels come to land only to breed,
Northern Fulmar, p. 95
lanner of floating animal life, alive, dead, and remaining at sea for months at a stretch. Their
ecomposed —
not excluding the waste scattered legs are so weak that on land they cannot be used Petrels, Fulmars, and Shearwaters

y man. Others execute shallow dives in quest of without support from the wings. Storm-petrels Northern Fulmar Fulmarus ( glacialis i

linute animal life; and still others prey on feed on minute marine organisms, picking these One abundant and successful
of the world's most
mailer seabirds. All of this matter may be con- with their small bills from the surface of the sea. seabirds, the Northern Fulmar feeds on fishes, mol-
erted into the musky liquid that is regurgitated When they land on water, they float high like lusks, shrimp, and scraps thrown overboard from
o feed the young corks. They are small, generally sooty birds often fishing vessels. Fulmars are voracious feeders, some-
All Procellariidae have the bill sharply hooked with white rumps. A few species, such as the times gorging themselves to the point when the) are
t the tip. Air is carried back in paired tubes White-faced Storm-Petrel (Pelagodroma marina) temporarily unable to fly
long the ridge of the bill to the nostrils. The feet of the southern oceans, are largely white below.
re webbed. In many species the wings are They have narrow, sharp wings and long, thin
ointed and comparatively long. When steady legs. Their bills are hooked and their nostrils are
inds blow, the wings may remain fixed in the tubular and joined in a single, forward-directed
;lide position for long periods as the bird shears orifice opening midway along the top edge of the
hrough the air, often within inches of the sea. bill.
When breeding time approaches, the far- All storm-petrels breed in burrows which they
pandering birds converge, sometimes in huge excavate themselves, or in rock crevices. The
oncentrations, on an ancestral breeding island. breeding sites are oceanic islands, and rocky
Vfter a few days of mass courtship in rafts at sea coastlands scattered over a vast area of the globe.
nd over the island at night, the pairs split up and Some species breed in very limited areas, but
>egin the nest. The incubating bird remains on between breeding seasons range far and wide over
he single white egg both day and night until the world's oceans. Such is the Wilson's Petrel
eplaced by the mate. The latter remains at sea by (Oceanites oceanicus), which breeds on subantarctic
lay but often returns to the nest by night to feed islands and on Antarctica but ranges into the
96 Diving Petrels

Pelicans North Atlantic and North Pacific. The most Atlantic and Pacific. The Red-tailed Tropic-bi
widely known species is Leach's Petrel (Oceano- (P. rubrtcauda) roves over vast distances and ne
American White Pelican
droma leucorhoa), which breeds on islands in the on islets throughout warmer regions of the Indi
Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
Bering Sea, the Pacific, and the North Atlantic. and Pacific oceans. It is one of the most beautil
Each Jail, large flocks of American White Pelicans
During the nonbreeding season it wanders to of water birds.
migrate south to spend the winter in marshes and
waters along the southern coasts of Asia, South
lagoons in the southeastern United States and in
America, and Africa. Pelicans (Family Pelecanidae). The eight sped
The burrow of Leach's Petrel is a wrist-
nest of pelican, six of which occur in the Old Wor
sized hole one or more feet deep and requiring and two in the New, are aerial acrobats par exa
about three nights to excavate. After the single lence, but.have difficulty in rising from the wat
Red-billed Tropic-bird (Phaethon aethereus) white egg is laid on bare earth deep in the tunnel, and to do so must run vigorously, the broad
Clumsy on land, Red-billed'Tropic-birds are graceful one bird incubates and the other goes to sea to webbed feet pounding the surface. Despite the
and swift when in flight. They dive into the water in find food. After they leave the nest, the young go size, these birds float buoyantly and fly nimbi
pursuit of small fish, much as terns do. This species to sea for months and then return with uncanny partly because their skeletons are very pnei
nests on islands in the tropical Atlantic and Pacific accuracy to the same colonies where they were matic, and also because they have large air rese
reared, and their parents often occupy the same voirs in the body.
nest holes year after year. The white pelicans (five species) have deve
oped a form of group hunting. Teams of birc
Diving Petrels (Family Pelecanoididae). Diving gather on the water with their wings partly oper
petrels belong to the tube-nosed assemblage, They range themselves in a line to drive shoals <

which includes albatrosses, true petrels, and fish intoshallow waters, or they form large circU
storm-petrels. But unlike all of these strong- around the fish and gradually close in on their
winged birds, the diving petrels fly only halt- As in flight, the movements of the birds are syr
ingly and dive continually. They often gather in chronized. This is most striking when the fis
immense flocks on the surface of the sea. have been concentrated and all the members c
Diving petrels nest on small islands in the cold the team suddenly tip their bodies and submerg
waters ringing Antarctica. Cold currents carry their heads simultaneously.
them in the nonbreeding season as far north as the The pelican moves the bill from side to sid
coasts of Peru, Australia, and other southern land under water, with the massive bag open an
areas.The nest is a burrow drilled in soft earth. deep. The top of the pouch is attached to the side
Both parents dig the nest and, after the single of the lower mandible over its entire length
white egg is laid, both incubate and feed the which in some species is more than 15 inches
young. Like the building of the nest, the feeding The capacity of the bag may exceed 12 quarts.
of young goes on mostly at night, with small The Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)
fishes and other small marine animals constitut- which in summer ranges from the southern coasr
ing the food. When feeding underwater, they of western Canada to southern South America
"fly"with their wings in pursuit of prey. and does all its fishing in salt water (its relatives
The Peruvian Diving Petrel (Pelecanotdes gar- the team hunters, nearly always hunt in frest
noti), the largest of the five species, reaches a water), has developed a totally different metho-
length of about nine inches. It is blackish above of hunting. It dives into the sea, often from
and whitish below and has bright bluish feet and considerable height, striking the water witl
a black bill. The Common Diving Petrel (P. wings partly folded and trailing far back from th<
urinatrix), six and one-half inches in length, is shoulders. In the dive the head and neck ar<
the smallest of the family and the most retracted, with the neck crooked in a loop frorr

4& ^ vV
widespread, with breeding populations on
subantarctic islands around the world.
the chest to the upper back; thus the head ride
close over the body and the bird strikes the wate
with the forward part of the body.
Pelicans and Their Allies The five species of white pelicans make then
Brown Pelican, p. "6
(Order Pelecaniformes) homes on large inland lakes, where they breed ir
Pelicans TropiC-birdS (Family Phaethontidae). Tropic- isolated islands sometimes by the tens of thou

Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) birds are found in all the warm oceans of the sands. Pelicans display great adaptability in nest
The Brown Pelican is the only one of the eight world. All three species have two very long, ing. The nest may be a mound of pebbles and

of pelicans that feeds exclusively in salt water, and the

narrow, central tail feathers that distinguish sand or it may be a structure of sticks in a tree sev-

only one that catches fish by diving from the air. It

them from all other seabirds. They fly rapidly and eral inches high.

nests in crowded colonies on islands, where

directly, but are also adept at hovering, which The American White Pelican (Pelecanus eryth-
it is safe
from predators. they do most frequently over shallow fishing rorhynchos) ofNorth America, a huge bird with a
grounds around oceanic islands. White is the wingspread often feet and a bill five times as long
predominant color in all tropic-birds. as its newly hatched young, regurgitates a watery
On land tropic-birds are clumsy, as their legs food during the first days of feeding, and, keep-
are disproportionately small. On the ledges and ing its bill shut, manages to dribble this into the
crevices where they breed they often use the mouths of the nestlings. Later, when the chicks
wings to steady themselves as they waddle about. are stronger, the parent opens its huge mouth for
No nest is made. The single egg is generally laid them, folding the lower jaw tightly against the
in a protected niche or hole in rock, but on breast and lifting the maxilla to expose the gullet;
remote coral islands it is sometimes placed on a each youngster then roots around in the throat,
flat open area. Both parents feed the young bird, sometimes burying its bill and head as it devours
which hatches with a heavy covering of down. the offering of partially digested fish.
The Yellow-billed or White-tailed Tropic-
bird (Phaethon lepturus) reaches a length of 32 Gannets and Boobies (Family Suhdae). The
inches. Despite its name, its bill is bright orange bills of gannets and boobies are long, pointed,
red when adult and yellow only when immature. and roughly conical, not hooked as in their rel-
It breeds in the Caribbean and far and wide in the atives, the cormorants and pelicans. Beneath the
Gannets and Boobies 97

Red-billed Tropic-bird, p. 96

98 Gannets and Boobies

bill is a small gular pouch, which is partly naked

as is part of the face. In flight, the legs ar
extended backward and concealed beneath thi

under-tail coverts. The bill, head, neck, body

and wedge-shaped tail form a straight projectile
like shape.
Flocks seen in the neighborhood of oceanic
islands or headlands usually indicate the presence
of schools of fish. To obtain this quarry the)
perform twisting dives of great velocity. These
plunges carry them far below the surface, where
they capture fish with the bill. Once underwater
they swim with both the wings and the feet.
Gannets and boobies inhabit outer coastal
waters and islands and usually do not wander far
out over the ocean; they seldom visit the land
except to breed. As the breeding season ap-
proaches, they return to favored cliffs and islets to
court, each pair fencing with the bill and assuming
strange breast-to-breast postures. The nest is a
shallow cavity scraped in the ground, or it may be
constructed of seaweed and sometimes sticks. In
all gannets and boobies both sexes share in the
incubation and rearing of the young.
The Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus) nests on
islets hinging the British Isles, the Faroes, and
Iceland. In the New World the largest gannetry
is that on Bonaventure Island near the mouth of
the St. Lawrence River. The Cape Gannet (M.
capensis) breeds off the extreme southern coast of

Africa, and the Australian Gannet (Al. serrator)

breeds off the coasts of South Australia, Tas-
mania, and New Zealand.
The remaining species of this family are all
tropical and are known as "boobies" because of
the ease with which they are caught. One is the
Red-footed Booby (Sula sula), which breeds on
islands in the Caribbean and the tropical Atlantic
as well as in the Indian and Pacific oceans. Unlike
other members of the family it usually nests in
bushes rather than on the ground. The Brown
Booby (S. leucogaster) breeds on tropical islands
encircling the globe. Probably the most wide- ,

spread and numerous species, it reaches a length

of 30 inches and is distinguished by its solid
brown upperparts and white underparts.

Cormorants (Family Phalacrocoracidae). Cor-

Northern Gannet, p. 96 morants are almost cosmopolitan in the lakes and
Gannets and Boobies littoral regions of the world. For the most part
the adults are black, or black and white, often
Blue-faced Booby (Sula dactylatra)
with deep metallic reflections in the dark plum-
The Blue-faced Booby found in tropical oceans

age. They range in length from about one and

around the world, nests in colonies. A single egg is
one-half to three feet. The bill is sharply hooked,
usually placed on the ground, but may sometimes be
slender and compressed. The short, strong legs
put in a crude nest of seaweed in a tree. Boobies feed at
land to roost at
are located far back on the body so that the birds
\ca during the day, but return to
appear extremely clumsy and unsure when walk-
ing; the four toes are joined by broad webs. The

Northern Gannet (Morns bassanus) gular pouch, as well as part of the face, is usually
The scientific name of the Northern Gannet quite naked, and often these areas are brightly
bassanus, refers to Bass Rock, an island off the colored.
Cormorants are highly gregarious. In hunting
British coast, where one of the largest nesting colonies
North Atlantic seabird is found. During the they usually fly over the water in small groups or
of this
head ofa gannet takes on a golden in large skeins andlines or in sharp Vs. When a
breeding season the ,

school of fish is spotted, they land on the water

and swim low, with the bill pointed forward and
upward. To submerge they lunge forward with
little splash and then plunge headfirst out of
sight. Beneath the water they swim with both the
wings and the webbed feet.
Cormorants display a wide tolerance for nest-
ing sites and nest in colonies with other water
Snakebirdsor Anhingas 99

i;ds. Many build on the tops of flatfish, sea-

ished rocks or on ledges, while other species
ild nestsof sticks in bushes or trees. The terres-
al nests are usually placed very close together

d are, in the main, constructed of seaweed and

The Guanay Cormorant (Phalacrocorax bougatn-
'///),which ranges along the western coast of
;ntral and South America to Chile, has been
lied the most valuable wild bird in the world
cause of the immense tonnage of valuable
lano which the Peruvian government has long
•en harvesting for use as fertilizer. The Guanay
xmorant is chiefly dark greenish black above
id white below, and has a naked red face and a
een eye ring.
Cormorants are relatively silent birds except
iring the mating season, when they utter harsh
lies and croaking noises. At the onset of the
eeding season both sexes acquire nuptial plum-
;e. This may consist of elongated crests growing

om the forehead and crown, of tufts and fanlike

jrns, or of elongated ornamental plumage inter-
>ersed among the feathers of the neck and the
des. Before the young are fledged the adults
;gin to lose this nuptial plumage.
Fourteen species of cormorants are large, with
lack plumage above and below. These occur in
3th the northern and the southern hemispheres,
bout 1 1 species of large, medium, and small
ormorants are black above but white below,
hese occur only in the southern hemisphere.
Included in the first group is the Great Cormo-
int (P. carbo), which has the most extensive
inge and is the largest cormorant known, reach-
lg a totallength of 40 inches. This is the species
sed tor fishing in India and China. It breeds at
lany points around the globe between the lati-
ides of Norway and New Zealand. The unique
lightless Cormorant (Nannopterum harrisi) is
)und in the Galapagos Islands. Its wings are
unced and it walks on land with an uptight,
enguinlike waddle.
In North America the most widely distnbuted
pedes is the Double-crested Cormorant (P. aun-

ts), which breeds in large colonies scattered from

daska and Canada south to the Bahamas and

.entral America. During the breeding season
iiis species sports ragged tufts of curly feathers
Black-faced Cormorant, p. 98
n either side of the crown. It is found both Cormorants
iland and along the seaside.
Black-faced Cormorant
The smallest of the family is the Little Pied
(Phalacrocorax Juscescens)
,ormorant which ranges from
(P. melanoleucus) ,
While most of the world's nearly three dozen species o)
lalaysia to New
Guinea, Australia, and New cormorants are solid black, some species, all found in
'ealand. Another southern species is the Spotted
the southern hemisphere, have flashing white under-
.ormorant (P. punctatus) of New Zealand coasts.
parts. Among these is the Black-faced Cormorant, an
Australian species.
nakebirds Anhingas (Family Anhingidae).
caching nearly a yard in length, snakebirds Flightless Cormorant {Nannopterum harrisi)
lerive their name from which corn-
their necks, The largest member of its family the Flightless

rise one-third of their total length. They often

Cormorant of the Galapagos Islands has tiny wings,
wim with the bill, head, and serpentine neck useless for flying. Even so, it spends much of its time
ompletely or slightly above water level and with standing on rocks near shore with its wings spread out
he remainder of the body submerged. tu dry in the sun, just as the flying cormorants do.
The straight bill is needle-sharp and slightly
ipeurved, and is attached to a head so small and
lender that it looks hardly larger than the neck.
rhe latter is abruptly crooked in the middle. The
:ervical vertebra forms a Z-shaped kink with the
oreneck, head and bill. Together these parts
become a "triggered spear" when the kink
prings open. After impaling their quarry under .£>.,
Flightless Cormorant, p. 98

100 Frigatebirds



\ZzM-^ j25

,*^jl i
^ie /
Anhinga, />. 99

Magnificent Frigatebird, /?. 70/
Snakebirds or Anhingas

Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga)

The Anhinga is an exclusively American bird; the
other three species are found m the Old World tropics
A nhingas use their sharply pointed bills to spearfish.
Once the bird has impaled a fish on its bill, it comes to
the surface, tosses the fish into the air, and catches it

again, swallowing it headfirst.


Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens)

The largest member of its family, the Magnificent
Frigatebird nests in the tropical Atlantic and Pacific
oceans. A single egg is laid in a nest of sticks in a hush
or small tree.

Magnificent Frigatebird, p. 101


Herons and Bitterns 101

ter,snakebirds swim to the surface and tree the Long-legged Waders

1with violent retracting motions of the head. (Order Ciconiiformes)
Although very similar in size, structure and Herons and Bitterns (Family Ardeidae).
bits, the four species of snakebirds differ in Herons, egrets, and bitterns are wading birds
[oration. One, the Anhinga (Anbtngaanhinga), with very long legs and a long neck kinked in the
:urs in the Americas from the southern borders middle so as to form a tight S when retracted, as
the United States to Argentina. The other in flight. Another function of the highly versatile
ree species are found in the Old World tropics. neck vertebrae is to enable the slender, sharp bill
Snakebirds have long tails composed of 12 to act as a hunting instrument —
a kind of spear.
oad, stiff plumes. The central pair of tail feath- When prey is spotted, the bill is quickly pro-
> and the tertial wing leathers are uniquely jected forward, often spearing the victim but
jpled or corrugated. The
feathers of the back sometimes pinching with the mandibles. During
d scapulars are long and lance-shaped, and each the breeding season, both sexes of many species
s a central stripe of silvery gray. Otherwise the generally have specialized ornamental plumage
umage is generally dark with a metallic luster, on some part of the body, and brighter leg and
ale and female snakebirds differ in their plum- face colors.
e: usually the female is pale brown on the neck One of the notable ornithological events of
d underparts. recent history was the crossing of the South
Snakebirds are usually encountered sitting on Atlantic by the Cattle Egrets (Bubukus ibis).
>ating logs or in trees and bushes growing in These emigrants, which arrived, probably in
/amps, lakes, or rivers. Their flight is ordinarily British Guiana, shortly before the turn of the
rect, but they often soar like vultures, when century, have increased so rapidly that their New
leirlong necks, wings, and tails give them a World range today extends deep into South
liquely cross-shaped silhouette as they circle America and north to Canada. Banded Tiger Heron, p. 101
gh above their swampland habitat. The Ardeidae are divisible into several princi-
pal groups. The bitterns, a group of 12 species,
igatebirds (Family Fregatidae). Frigate, or differfrom the herons in having the legs generally
an-o'-war, birds are peerless marauders of the shorter and the body usually shorter and stockier.
opical oceans. They can soar effortlessly for Most bitterns are solitary inhabitants of marshes
on end, stay out over the ocean, usually
jurs where concealment is possible,
of the cattail type,
ithin sight of land, wheeling high one minute, whereas herons usually keep to the more open
Lrling the wings and gliding steeply the next, or edges of streams and swamps. Correlated with
ving to within inches of the waves to snatch this is another distinction between herons and
Djects from the water's surface. This agile flight bitterns: the tendency of the former is to take
employed to harass and steal food from many flight when alarmed, and of the latter to use their
i:her birds, including boobies, pelicans, cormo- cryptic plumage and poses to mimic swamp vege-
mts, terns, and gulls. Once its victim has tation.
(topped its prey, the man-o'-war dives down and The large bitterns, ofwhich there are four
itches it in the air. species, are generally streaked and reed brown in
Although it has such complete mastery of color. They occur nearly throughout the world.
light, a man-o'-war is land-bound. Its tremen- Best known are the European Bittern (Botaurus
ous wings are so sail-like, its body so small, and stellaris) and the American Bittern (B. lentigino-
s legs so short and fragile that, once down on sus). The American Bittern stands about 28 inches
ater, it can never gain the air again by itself and high. It breeds in North America and winters
ill die. The bird lands only on rock promonto- south to Panama. Its nest is a platform of bent-
es, snags, and treetops —
places from which it
lunge into the air. Evidence that it is a
over grasses placed on the ground in dense reeds,
in and from three to five pale greenish eggs are laid.
escendant of birds that once swam strongly is The eight species of small bitterns, of which American Bittern, p. 101
le vestigial webbing that links its four toes. In the Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exiiis) of temperate
le male, during the courtship season, an inflata- and tropical America is typical, are extremely Herons and Bitterns
le red sac develops under the chin on the front of secretive inhabitants of grassy swamps. In this Banded Tiger Heron ( Tigrisoma limatum)
he neck. Another unique character is the long, group are found the only members of the family The Banded Tiger Heron a bird offorest rivers and

.issor-shaped tail. in which the females are differently colored from mangrove swamps. Active mainly at night, it stalks
Frigatebirds are quite gregarious, roosting and the males; generally they are lighter and more through the shallows, preying on small fish and
esting together in colonies. Favored nesting boldly streaked. aquatiiinsects. The adult has a chestnut neck and
reas are in the tops of bushes, mangroves, and The second group of the Ardeidae contains the brown upperparts, while young birds are boldly
mall growing on
trees uninhabited oceanic true herons, including the tiger herons, the night handed with buff and dark brown.
plands, but nests are sometimes placed on rock herons, and the typical, or day, herons. The tiger
>ps. They are formed of sticks arranged in fragile herons are generally dark brownish with streaked American Bittern ( Botaurus lentiginosis
latforms. A single chalky white oval egg is laid, or barred plumage. Like the large bitterns, they When danger threatens, the American Bittern
stretches its neck and points its bill skyward. In
oung frigatebirds are hatched naked but later have a deep booming voice, are chiefly solitary,
>ecome covered with white down. streaked pattern makes it almost impos-
protectively colored, and resort to cryptic camou- position, its

All frigatebirds are predominantly blackish flage when in danger. Unlike the large bitterns, sible to see against a background of marsh grasses and
bove with varying amounts of white below. The the immature and adult plumages of tiger herons reeds.

smales are whiter and larger than their mates. may be radically different in pattern. In this
Che male Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor), group is found the Banded Tiger Heron (Tigri-
vhich reaches 40 inches in length, is found in the soma /ineatum), which occurs widely through
ndian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. It is distin- tropical America.
;uished from the Magnificent Frigatebird (F. There are nine species of night-feeding night
tagnificens)of both tropical coasts of the New herons, all of which have well-developed head
X/orld by the color of its bill and face skin. There plumes. Stocky of body, with relatively short legs
re three other species. and a broadened bill, these birds occur through-
) ) '

102 Herons and Bitterns

Herons and Bitterns out the world and may be either solitary or gre- chiefly nocturnal Boat-billed Heron (Cochlear
garious. Best known is the Black-crowned Night was once given its own family,
Green Heron (Butorides virescens)
Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), which is virtually stands some 20 inches tall and in most respe
The Green Heron is a secretive bird, puking way
worldwide in distribution, being absent only in save the bill resembles the night herons, bei
along the margins ofponds and streams , now and then
Australia and the adjacent Pacific. It is some 28 mostly gray above and on the flanks, with mu
seizing a small jrog, fish, or insect. Because of its
inches long with crest plumes like slender wires black on the head and neck and with long, r;
small size and the fact that it feeds on correspondingly
reaching to the lower back. The nests are made of bonlike ornamental feathers springing from t
small prey it does not compete for food with its larger
back of the head.

sticks usually placed over or near water and are

relatives; it is therefore one of the most widespread of
generally found in large groups. From two to five The bill of the Boat-bill appears large a
American heroin.
pale bluish green eggs are laid. swollen and is tipped with a small hook. As th
The typical herons include well over half of the food is like that of other herons, the function
Great Blue Heron Ardea f herodias)
Ardeidae (36 of the 63 recognized species). These the huge bill is unknown.
Both adults of a pair of Great Blue Herons incubate
are medium-sized up to the largest of the herons,
the eggs. When one bird arrives near the nest to relieve
the most colorful and the most highly orna- Hammerhead (Family Scopidae). The Hammi
the other, it performs a greeting display , while the
mented. Most of the species are highly gregari- head (Scopus umbretta) of tropical Africa, Arab,
sitting bird rises and spreads its plumes in an
ous, feeding and nesting together. and Madagascar is a dark brown bird with
answering display.
The Cattle Egret has struck up a profitable crested head and a large bill which is lateral

Little Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis

association with grazing animals, both wild and compressed, and thus more bladelike than the
domesticated. As mentioned earlier, this heron is of the herons. Its legs are strong and its toes, as
When danger threatens . nestling Little Bitterns react
just as their parents do, pointing their bills straight
moving into new areas all over the world; wher- storks, are narrowly webbed, but the middle t
ever it goes, it joins grazing animals, feeding has a pectinated comb as in herons.
up in imitation of reeds. The Little Bittern is a
mostly on the ground on insects disturbed by the Its nest is unique, as the following descriptii
common marsh-inhabiting species in the warmer parts
movements of the animals. It even rides on the by Richard Lydekker indicates: "This is a hug
of the Old World.
backs of water buffalo and cattle, feeding on domelike structure of sticks. Internally
. . .

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ( ibis insects that disturb the beasts, so that the associa- contains three chambers —
a hall, a drawing roor
Pure white during most of the year, the Cattle Egret tion is one of mutual benefit. and a sleeping compartment, with entrances
wears bujj brown plumes in the breeding season. The Green Heron (Butorides virescens) or tropi- small that the bird can only creep in. The slee
Short!) before mating, a pair engages in a round of cal and temperate North America, which breeds ing-chamber occupies the highest portion of ti
billing. as far north as Nova Scotia and Manitoba and nest, in order to be safe from floods, and in i

winters south to northern South America, is the upon a bed of water plants, are laid the whi
second-smallest North American heron (it stands eggs, wheh are incubated by each parent in tur
12 inches high). It is probably the best-known The middle chamber serves for the young whe
American species or the family. Its purplish black they are too big for the inner one, while the hall
crown, greenish back, and deep chestnut neck used as a lookout station.
and chest, as well as its squawking alarm call, are Hammerheads feed on small crayfish, gras
easily distinguished. hoppers, water insects, and frogs. Sluggish 1

Worldwide in distribution is a group of day, they become active at twilight.

medium-sized herons that have often been di-
vided into many genera, but are now usually Whale-headed Stork (Family Balaenicipitidae
combined into the genus Egretta. Many species The Whale-headed Stork, or Shoebill (Balaenta
are pure white at all times; others may have white rex),of the papyrus marshes of the White N
and pigmented individuals, even in the same and its tributaries, stands 40 inches high ar
brood, and in one species, the Little Blue Heron carries an enormous swollen bill shaped like ;.

(E. caerulea), the juvenile white and the adult

is inverted wooden shoe. The maxilla is equippc
slate blue with a maroon head and neck. with a ridge that terminates in a strong nail-lil<
The most famous members of this group are hook. The Shoebill is dull gray with a powde
the aigrette-wearers, the true egrets. Typical bloom pervading a faint greenish sheen.
examples include the Great Egret (E. alba), The Shoebill breeds in tall grass, usually in
which is nearly cosmopolitan; the yellow-footed, swampy area, assembling a nest mound of wat
black-legged Little Egret Old
(E. garzetta) of the plants sometimes a yard high. The eggs a;
World; its American counterpart, the Snowy blunt-oval in shape and chalky white, althoug
Egret (E. thula); and the dimorphic Reef Heron when first laid they have a blue tint. Storklike

(E. sacra),almost ubiquitous on coasts and small the fact that these birds make clapping noise
islands from southeast Asia throughout the with the bill. In flight they draw the massive bi
Pacific. Egrets develop long, lacy or ribbonlike back to the chest, normally flying close to th
plumes used in courtship displays. ground. They keep to the shallow waters of nvt
The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) breeds swamps remote from man. Unless disturbed the
from northern North America to the northern remain on foot, standing motionless for Ion
coast of South America. This stately bird is periods, like a heron. They teed on fishes, bab
mainly bluish and grayish. A white form (A. crocodiles, frogs, and small turtles. Shoebills als
occidentals), formerly considered a separate engage in cooperative fishing, striding side b,
species, is called the Great White Heron. This side with partly opened wings, thus driving the
species reaches a length of more than 50 inches prey to shallow water.
and is one of about 12 similar herons of medium
to very large size that range around the world in Storks and Jabirus (Family Ciconhdae). Sever
the temperate and tropical regions. They hunt teen species of storks occur widely throughou
both by day and by night, stalking game with the tropical and temperate regions of the world|
great patience in shallow waters. This group in- Those of the colder areas are migratory. The!
cludes the largest of all species, the Goliath range in size from medium to very large and havi

Heron (A. goliath) of tropical Africa. robust bodies and strong, long legs. Having n
An aberrant heron living in tropical freshwater syrinx or voice box, storks are mute. Toovercom,
swamps from Mexico to southern Brazil, the this last shortcoming they resort to a loud clatter
Storks and Jabirus 103

Great Blue Heron, p. 101 Little Bittern,/;. Wl Cattle Egret, p. Wl


104 Ibises and Spoonbills

ing of the bill. In flight the neck and legs a

stretched out to the maximum, and the win
flapping is interspersed with soaring. Storks fe<
chiefly on small animals caught in water and
swamps and marshes. Some species, howeve
live on carrion.
The nest is a solidly constructed platform
sticks containing three to five eggs, which may I

built on trees or ledges or, in one species, on tc

of human habitations. This is the famous Whi
Stork (Ciconia ciconia) of Europe and Asia. ]

Europe it is protected by common sentiment an

the widely held belief that it brings good lud
This stately bird, which reaches a length of a
most four protected in Africa, whei
feet, is also
it winters. The White Stork is white, with blac

in the wings, and has a dark red bill and pinkis

red legs.
The largest New World stork is the Jabir
(Jabiru myctena), which ranges from Argentina t
Mexico. Chiefly white, it has the head and uppe
half of the neck naked and blue black, becomin
bright orange and scarlet at the base of the nake*
area. It is one of the largest flying birds in th
New World, attaining a length of 55 inches.
The larget and least attractive of all storks
the Marabou or Adjutant Stork, of which ther
are three species in Asia, India, and Africa. Th
African Adjutant or Marabou (Leptoptilus crurrnn
iferus) attains a length of some 60 inches. It
generally whitish with grayish back, wings, an>
tail. Its neck is largely naked and dull pinkish ti

brown, as is the bill, and a naked skin-coverei

pouch hangs down a foot or more from the throat
These birds have a military gait and a pompou
bearing which reminded British Colonial troop
of their adjutants. The Adjutant is fairly commoi
in tropical Africa, where its favorite food is tht

carcasses of animals — mostly those killed b

lions and hunters.
The open-bills are small storks of Asia anc

Africa. They getname from the fact that thi

maxilla and mandible are so bowed that, whei
closed, a gap remains in the middle. The Indiai
Open-bill (Anastomus oscitans) is the smallest o
the Asiatic storks. It is white, with greenisl
.wEfe- black in the wings and and has a dull green

ish This stork is common over much o:

Painted Stork, p. 1(J2
southern Asia. Its oddly shaped bill is designee
Storks and Jabirus Ibises and Spoonbills for feeding on freshwater snails and mussels, bui
it also takes fishes and invertebrates. The Paintec
Black-necked Stork (Xenorhynchus asiaticus) Roseate Spoonbill (Ajaia a]aja)
Stork (Myctena leucocephala), found in Asia, has
The Black-necked Stork, which stands over four feet The bright pink and red plumage of the Roseate
yellow bill and orange face. Its relative, tht
tall, is found from southern Asia to Australia. Spoonbill distinguishes from other spoonbills, all of

While some storks feed on land and often forage in

American Wood Stork (Myctena americana), is the
which are pure white. All spoonbills feed in the same
only species that nests in the United States. It is
flocks, this species is largely aquatic and usually manner, swinging their bills from side to side in
chiefly white with glossy black wings and tail. Its
hunts alone. shallow water, snatching up small fish, snails and
head and upper neck are featherless and scaly,
Painted Stork ( Myctena leucocephala
suggesting the local names "flinthead" and
The Painted Stork Asia
of southern is highly gre-
garious, nesting in large colonies in trees and feeding
Ibises and Spoonbills (Family Threskiomithi
in groups. It is a close ally of the American Wood
Stork (M. americana), a bird with similar habits dae). Ibises and spoonbills occur in most of the
but without the bright colors of the well-named warm regions of the world; of the two groups tht
Painted Stork. ibises have curved, slender bills, and the spoon
bills have spatula-shaped bills. Both fly with the
neck extended. Ibises are especially gregarious,
often nesting together in the thousands, whereas
spoonbills are more inclined to nest alone or in
small clusters scattered among colonies of herons
and other water birds.
Perhaps the most beautiful of these birds is the
Scarlet Ibis (Eudoamus ruber) of tropical South
Flamingos 105
America, which reaches rwo feet in length and is
scarletwith black primaries. It is identical in size
and form with the White Ibis (£. albus) of Vir-
ginia south to northern South America, the only
difference being that suggested by their names.
The Sacred Ibis (Threskwrnis aethiopica) is one of
three species representing a group that ranges
almost throughout the Old World. It favors the
wetter parts of Africa and Asia, where it feeds on
frogs and. other small animals. The Sacred Ibis
reaches a length of two and one-half feet and has a
rather large body and fairly short legs. The head
and neck naked and sooty black, but it is
otherwise largely white with black in the wings
and some buff shading.
Ranging around the world are the glossy ibises,
of which one, the Eastern Glossy Ibis (Plegadis
falcinellus), a heron-sized blackish brown bird
glossed with green and purple, lives in the warm
parts of eastern North America and has recently
extended its breeding range as far north as New
England; it isalso widespread in the Old World
tropics. It is some two feet in length.
The four Old World species of spoonbills are
largely white and very closely related, whereas
the Roseate Spoonbill {Ajata ajaja), the lone
spoonbill occurring in the New World, is quite
distinct. It is rose-colored with carmine wing
coverts, and in the adult has a bare head. Other-
wise it has the neck, back, and breast largely
white and the feet pale pink.
One of the two members of this family found
in Europe is the Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leu-
corodia), which breeds north to Denmark, and
wanders as far north as Finland. It differs from the
New World spoonbill in that it nests not only in
trees, but often in bushy marshes, with nests
raised a foot or so above the mud and usually
surrounded by water. It hunts in the characteris-
tic spoonbill manner by sweeping the flat bill
back and forth like a scythe to filter minute
crustaceans from water

Flamingos (Family Phoenicopteridae). Fla-

mingos are among the most beautiful and grace-
ful of all birds. Some reach a length of six and
one-half feet and stand more than five feet in
height. All have the legs and neck tremendously
elongated. In flight the neck is extended forward
and the legs trail backward, both sagging slightly.
The bill of the flamingo differs from that of any
other bird. The flamingo's lower mandible re-
sembles an expanded box, and the upper mandi-
ble a thin, profusely laminated lid that just fits
into it. Both are sharply bent just in front of the
nostrils, so that the bill in the inverted position
may be raked backward and forward like a scoop,
sieving small invertebrates and vegetable matter
from the mud. Flamingos have two kinds of filter
bills, one a shallow-keeled type like that of the
Greater Flamingo, and the other a deep-keeled
type such as that of the Lesser Flamingo (Phoeni-
conaias minor). These rwo forms are so different
that the two species can hunt side by side without
All flamingos nest in very similar ways. A flock
of several hundred to many thousand gathers, and
each pair scoops mud and piles it in a mound that
is about 15 inches in diameter and may be from

several inches to l'/2 feet high. This mound be-

comes very hard and potterylike. One or two
MMDBQ chalky white eggs are laid on its concave top.
loseate Spoonbill, p. 104
106 Waterfowl and Screamers
The three large flamingos of the world resem-
ble one another enough so that some authors con-
sider them all to be members of one species. They
differ strikingly in color and also in some propor-
tions, and are here divided into two species. The
Old World race of the Greater Flamingo (Phoeni-
copterus ruber roseus) is white with a rosy cast except
for the flight feathers, which are black, and the
scapulars, which are scarlet. It breeds in huge
numbers in the brackish marshes of southern
Europe and the warmer parts of western Asia, and
winters in Africa. Much more brilliantly colored
is the American race (P. r. ruber), which breeds in

colonies from the Bahamas to the coasts and

islands of northern South America, with an out-
lying population in the Galapagos Islands. The
Chilean Flamingo (P. chilensis) differs somewhat
in being smaller and distinctly paler, and has
bluish legs with bright red at the joints. It inhab-
its the highlands of southern South America,

migrating to the lower elevations.

The three small species include the African
Lesser Flamingo, mentioned earlier, and two
little-known three-toed species of the high Puna
zone of southern South America, the Andean
Flamingo (Pheonicoparrus andinus) and James' Fla-
mingo (P. jamesi).

Waterfowl and Screamers

(Order Anseriformes)
Geese, Swans, and Ducks (Family Anatidae).
There are about 140 species of waterfowl with
representatives in virtually every part of the
world. The major types — the geese, swans, and
ducks — although superficially distinct, are much
alike in structure and behavior. Most modern
classifiers divide the family Anatidae into two
subfamilies: the geese, swans, and whistling
ducks, and the rest of the ducks inone and the
Semi-palmated Goose (Anseranas semipalmata) of
Australia, the most primitive of waterfowl, in the
All the waterfowl have the legs rather short,
and all have the bill short, straight, and bordered
by laminations along the edges. The most aber-
rant bills are those of the fish-hunters, the mer-
gansers, which have the laminations developed to
toothlike edges. All of the Anatidae have the
plumage very dense and heavily underlaid with
down. In many the down is plucked for lining the
nest, and in some it is used to conceal the eggs
when they are left unattended. The young readily
swim within a day of hatching.
Another general characteristic is pronounced
gregariousness. Flocking is most pronounced
during spring and fall migrations of northern-
nesting species. After the breeding season the
geese and swans move as families to the wintering
grounds. In both, the pair bond is very strong,
possibly lasting for life. In the majority of ducks,
pairing takes place on the wintering grounds
before the northward migration. In almost all
species the female does the incubating. The males
generally assist in the care and feeding of the
To achieve flight, many kinds, particularly
among the geese and swans, run on the water,
pounding the surface with their webbed feet and
often striking it with their wing tips. An exam-
ple is the Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) of Eurasia,
which has been introduced into North America
and Australia. Others, such as teals and mallards,
Mute Swan, />. 106
Geese, Swans, and Ducks 107

; directly from a sitting position in a kind of

icopter takeoff.
Fourteen species of geese, and six of swans,
-nprise one tribe. The best-known geese are the
nada Goose (Branta canadensis) of North Amer-
, and the Graylag Goose (Anser anser) of Eura-
,from which our domestic goose arose. All of
is tribe have the characteristically gooselike
sture with the neck elongated, and the same
.image and similar display calls in both sexes;
molt feathers only once a year.
The eight species of whistling, or tree, ducks
mprise a tribe of their own. Unlike the other
embers of the family, except the Black Swan,
e males assist in incubation. Most of the species
st on the ground, but some nest occasionally in
;es. These ducks walk with ease on land. The

llvous Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna bicolor) of

>th the New and Old World tropics, which is

group, is 22 inches long, mostly

pical of the
st brown, and has white upper-tail coverts and

latively long legs.

The various tribes of the remainder of the
orld's ducks include sheldrakes, river ducks,
xhards, perching ducks, sea ducks, stiff-tailed
jcks and torrent ducks. These diverse and wide-
.nging birds are linked by the tact that all have a
auble annual molt, scalelike scutellations of the
rsus, and audible and visual displays that differ
rearly between the sexes. The sheldrake tribe
icIi des such species as the Common and Ruddy
jieldrakes, the Egyptian, Orinoco, Andean,
[agellan, and Kelp "Geese," and the very large
ray steamer ducks.
Nearly cosmopolitan is the tribe of surface-
eding ducks. Most are smaller than the shel-
rakes, and in about half, the males are brightly
ressed. In the other half the sexes are similar,
he Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) is the best
nown of these river ducks." Most of them live
fresh water or along the coasts in shallow
/ater, where they feed on aquatic plants, insects,
nd mollusks, usually securing these by dabbling
t the upended position.
Among the other river ducks are the Common
'intail (A. acuta) of the northern hemisphere, a
rayish 28-inch bird with long, sharply pointed
ail feathers; the Blue-winged Teal (A. discors) of
Jorth America, only 15 inches long, the speedi-
Common Pintail, p. 106
st flyerand one of the strongest migrants (one of Geese, Swans, and Ducks Canvasback (Ay thya valistneria)

hese, banded in Alberta, Canada, was recap- The Canvasback is one of the diving ducks and feeds
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
ured in Venezuela 3,800 miles away one month mainly on the roots and foliage of aquatic plants.
Despite name, the Mute Swan is not a silent bird;
ater); the little, brownish Laysan Teal (A. laysan- Because of its diet, its flesh is highly esteemed by
it a loud hiss when it is angry or frightened,
nsts), which, like species on the Hawaiian and sportsmen, who also find a challenge in its swift
and also has a soft barking call. A native of northern
vlariana islands, has largely replaced the bright flight.
Eurasia, the Mute Swan has been introduced into
bale garb with the costume of the female in both North America and Australia, where birds now
both sexes; and the gadwalls, widgeons, and breed in the wild.
Common Pintail ( Anas acuta)
Ihovellers. Like other ducks, the Common Pintail bathes by
Some dipping its head underwater and then raising it,
14 species comprise the pochards. All
|iave the legs far back on the body and lack sending a shower of drops over its back as it flutters its

wings. But because one of the courtship displays of this

netallic colors on the wing. All are good divers.
Among them is found the Canvasback (Aythya species includes these same motions, it is sometimes

\alisineria) of North America, the most prized impossible to tell whether a bird is taking a bath or

sporting" duck in America. It has the back being amorous.

finely barred with black and white and the head

ind neck reddish brown.
Most of the perching ducks, which include 13
species from many regions of the world, nest in
tree holes well above the ground. Most are inhab-
itants of the tropics and subtropics. Some have
metallic colors in the plumage and most have a
spurlike knob on the bend of the wing. Among

108 Screamers

Geese, Swans, and Ducks this group are the North American Wood Duck
(Aix sponsa), a beautiful 18-inch bird with a long,
Wood Duck ( Aix sponsa) green, purple, and white crest; the African Spur-
One of the world's most beautiful waterfowl the
is winged Goose (Plectropterus gambensis); the Pygmy
Wood Duck, a bird of wooded swamps and streams in Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus) of the Indian,
North A menca Wood Ducks usually travel in pairs
Malay, and Australian regions, which is the
even outside the nesting season, and, unlike other
smallest member of the family; and the heavily
ducks, are seldom seen in flocks.
wattled Muscovy Duck (Catrina moschata) of trop-
ical America, which has been taken around the
Hooded Merganser (Mergus cucullatus) world as a domestic bird.
In one of
its courtship displays, the drake Hooded
Sea ducks comprise a tribe of 2 1 species, among
Merganser rises up out of the water andfans its white,
which are eiders, scoters, golden-eyes, the Buf-
black-bordered crest. Hooded Mergansers are found
flehead, and the mergansers. Included also are the
only in North America, where they nest in hollow
extinct Labrador Duck and the colorful Harle-
quin and Old Squaw. With few exceptions these
are truly sea-loving birds that walk with dif-
Common Merganser ( Mergus merganser)
ficulty on land. All are expert divers. Excepting
The Common Merganser breeds both in North
the scoters and eiders, most species nest in hollow
America and in Eurasia, where it is known as the
trees or rock crevices and feed on mussels and fish,
Goosander. Common
Mergansers have long, slender
the eiders and scoters swallowing such food
bills equipped with saw-tooth edges that are usefulfor
whole. Except for the extremely rare Brazilian
catching fish.
Merganser (Mergus octosetaceus), most species
breed in the cold parts of the temperate zones.
Stiff-tailed ducks have the legs so far back that
walking is very difficult, and they lay relatively
the largest of duck eggs. The male assists in
caring for the young. They are expert divers. In
this group are the Black-headed Duck of South
America (Heteronetta atricapilla), which deposits
its eggs in the nests of other ducks or even coots;
the Australian Musk Duck (Biziura lobata),
which has a decided odor and the North Ameri-
can Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis), which is
characterized by long, stiff tail feathers that it

usually holds up at a jaunty angle while swim-

ming. The final tribe contains one species, the
handsome Torrent Duck (Merganetta armata),
which lives on rushing streams in the Andes. It
has wing spurs and a stiff tail resembling that of
the Ruddy Duck.

Screamers (Family Anhimidae). In tropical and

subtemperate South America are found three spe-
cies of swan-sized birds called screamers. Despite
many anatomical differences, screamers are
believed to be distant relatives of waterfowl.
They have massive legs, chickenlike bills and
large, unwebbed toes. Perhaps their most unus-
Crested Screamer, p. 108 ual characteristic is a skin filled with small bub-
Screamers bles of air. This covers the body and legs and is
about a quarter of an inch in thickness. Nothing
Crested Screamer Chauna ( torquata)
quite like it is known in other birds. Screamers
Despite its distinctive appearance, the Crested
also have excessively long intestines and pairs of
Screamer is related to the geese, swans, and ducks.
strong spurs on the bend of the wing.
Screamers are often seen soaring high overhead,
Screamers are named for their harsh resound-
uttering loud trumpeting calls. On the ground, they
ing calls. They walk, wade, or swim through
feed in marshes and moist grasslands.
flooded forests and marshes. In taking off from
water they rise heavily, but, once airborne, fly
strongly and often soar in groups. The nest is an
islandlike pile of rushes that rises several feet
from a watery base, usually in thick reeds. The
downy young desert the nest a few days after
hatching and follow the parents like ducklings.
The Horned Screamer (Anhima cornuta) of trop-
ical South America has a spine up to six inches in
length growing forward in a curve on the head
between the eyes. The Crested Screamer (Chauna
torquata) of southern South America is slate-
colored with a black neck ring and red around the
eyes and legs. A third species, the Black-necked
Screamer (C. chavana), of northern Colombia and
Venezuela, is similar but darker.
Hooded Merganser, p. 106
Screamers 109

. .i-.S&S&f*''"

Common Merganser, p. 106

110 Diurnal Birds of Prey

Diurnal Birds of Prey the snake on the ground. When a snake is tcl

(Order Falconiformes) large to be stunned ot killed in this mannet, tr|

New World Vultures (Family Cathartidae). The bird wings into the air with it, flies high, anl
seven living species of American vultures include kills the snake by dropping it on hard earth. Tfj

u l some of the largest flying birds. All are recogniza-

ble by their naked heads and perforated nostrils,
which have no partition and give the impression
nest of the Secretary Bird is a platfotmlike strut
ture of sticks several feet wide, which may H
largeenough to support a man. It is placed frorj
of a hole drilled through the bill. Another unique 10 to 25 feet up in the flatfish top of a thorr
character is their complete lack of voice, due to mimosa, or acacia tree.
the absence of a syrinx. They live on carrion,
which some can locate by a well-developed sense Hawks, Old World Vultures, and Harrier
of smell. (Family Accipitridae). The diurnal birds of pre!
Most widely distributed is the Turkey Vulture are a highly varied group of flesh-eaters, man
(Cathartes aura), which occurs commonly famous in fable and heraldry. About 200 specie
throughout much of temperate and tropical occupy most of the world, exclusive of Antarctic
America and is distinguished by its naked red and large areas of Oceania. They range from chl
head and neck. This brownish black bird attains a dove to nearly that of the Andeai
size of a small
length of two and one-half feet and has a wing- Condor, but all are closely similar in structur.
span of up to six feet. In Central and South Amer- and habit. The bill is always strongly hooked
ica are found two similar species, the marsh- and the nostrils are located in an area of soft I

Ss loving Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture (C. burro- leathery skin called a cete. The feet are strong!

Andean Condor, p. 110
vianus) and the little-known, recently discovered
Greatet Yellow-headed Vulture (C. melambrotus).
An aptly named species is the Black Vulture
with the toes atmed with long, sharp nails. Irl
many species the female is considerably large:
than the male. Both sexes generally take part ir
(Coragyps atratus), which ranges from the south- the building of the nest, the incubating of th<
ern United States through South America. This eggs, and the brooding, feeding, and protection
square-tailed bird with a naked black head scav- of the young.
enges for food in villages, towns and cities and is The first of the eight groups or subfamilies o;
thus truly useful to man. diurnal birds of prey are the Elaninae, whicr
In Central and South America occurs the great occur in most of the warmer regions of the world
black and white King Vulture (Sarcorhamphus They are long-winged and mostly long-tailed
papa). Its habitat is pure forest and semiforested birds that are particularly adept at soaring, cir-,
plains. Its head and foreneck are naked and cov- cling, and gliding. They habitually forage over|
ered with bright, many-colored warts and wat- semi-open country, wings cocked at a slight
tles. It is white above and below, with much dihedral angle. Best known of this group is the
black in the wings, tail, and rump. White-tailed Kite (Elanus caeruleus), which
In the mountains of southern California the ranges almost throughout the Old and New
California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus) still Worlds. It is a strikingly handsome bird, with
survives, but stands on the verge of extinction. pale gray, black, and white plumage and large
With wings spanning more than ten feet, this dark eyes.
orange-headed bird is the largest flying creature Typical of the next subfamily, the Perninae, is
in North Ametica. the Honey Buzzard (Pernts aptvorus), which
In the Andes from Venezuela to Patagonia ranges over much of Eurasia and usually usurps an
occurs one of the largest flying birds in the world, old crow nest for its eggs. This species digs into
the Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus), whose wing- the ground for honeycombs and the larvae of
spread may reach 12 feet. The naked head and wasps and bees, its favotite source of food; how-
neck of this great bird are dark gray and wrin- ever, it also small insects, frogs,
Secretary Bird, kled, and the male has a wattle on his forehead. rodents, and birds. Probably the most beautiful
p. lit)
New World The species lives primarily in mountains between is the Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus),
7,000 and 16,000 feet, but in the far South it which is found from southern United States to
Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus) visits cliffs bordering the sea. southern South Ametica. It has slender black
One of the largest flying birds, with a wingspan of as wings with greenish reflections, contrasting with
muchas 12 feet, the Andean Condor can glide effort- Secretary Bird (Family Sagittanidae). The Sec- a body and head that are largely white. Its grace-
lessly over the crags and cliffs of its mountain home in retary Bird (Sagittarius serpentanus) is found over ful black forked tail is normally carried like a pair
South America. almost the whole of Africa in sparsely wooded of opened shears.
grasslands or veldts. It reaches four feet in height, The third subfamily consists of the true kites
Secretary Birds with most of this height due to its gangling, (Milvinae). One is the Black or Pariah Kite (Mil-
cranelike legs. Secretary Birds usually wander in vus migrans), about 20 inches long and generally
Secretary Bird (Sagittarius serpentanus)
scattered pairs or families, communicating by dark brown with the tail forked. It is encountered
The Secretary Bird is one of the most conspicuous birds
means of deep hoots. If chased, they keep to the almost throughout the warmer parts of the Old
of the African plains as it stalks about in search of
ground, where they can walk faster than a man World. Unlike most of the diurnal birds of
reptiles. Its nest is conspicuous, too, a huge mass of
can run. When pursued on a horse, they may run prey, it is largely a scavenger. The Everglade Kite
sticks and twigs in an acacia tree.
until exhausted, and not attempt to fly to safety. or Snail Kite (Rostrhamus soaabilis) is almost ex-
Yet they are expert aerialists. tinct in Florida, its northernmost outpost, but
Secretary Birds feed primarily on rodents, liz- abounds in marshes in the American tropics. It

ards, tortoises, and insects. The species is best has a long, curved, sharp maxilla, which is used
known, however, for its ability to kill snakes up to spear snails when they are partway out of the
to six feet long. The stalking bird walks errati- shell.
cally, frequently raising its wings; then it pins The bird-catching accipiters, or true hawks,
down the snake with its foot, parries the strikes include about four dozen species of swift, fierce
with its wings, and seizes the reptile behind the killers, ranging throughout the world. The most
head with its strong bill. The bird then batters famous of this group is the Northern Goshawk

Hawks, Old World Vultures, and Harriers 111

(„:iptter genttlts), which is also one of the largest.
I > found in coniferous forests around the north-
e hemisphere, and readily kills prey as large as
£ use and hares.
home of the best-known members of the family
t ong Subfamily Buteoninae, which is
to the
v cually worldwide in its distribution. The most
% lely distributed in the New World is the Red-

t ed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), a heavy-bodied

I d found from Alaska south to

Panama and the
Ibst Indies. The adult has a conspicuously red-
qh brown tail; the upperparts are dark brown,
i\ I the underparts whitish with varying amounts
((black streaking. Although primarily rodent-
fiders, the Red-tail and its relatives are all too
f quently shot for "chicken-hawks.
The best-known member of the genus Buteo in
] rope is the Common
Buzzard (B. buteo), which
i ound from Scandinavia south to the islands of
I : Mediterranean. There is a definite tendency
i;vard variability in color in many species of this

inus, and particularly toward the development
( a dark color phase. In the Common Buzzard
i is variability is carried to an extreme.
Several groups of large diurnal birds of prey,
I I particularly closely related to one another, are
(lied "eagles." The original "aquila" of the
icient Romans is the Golden Eagle (Aquila
tiysaetos).Originally found in the wild moun-
unous areas of most of the northern hemisphere,
ie (/olden Eagle has been much reduced in

«/eral portions of its range, including most of

i|tern North America and the British Isles.
Best known of the eagles in North America is

ie Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) The .

row-white head and tail of the adult is not

gained until the bird is seven years of age. The
ild Eagle is a member of the group known as

:i-eagles; its Old World counterpart is the Gray

^a-eagle (H. albicilla), in which the tail but not
e head is white.
Tropical forests around the wotld are the home
a group of huge, crested, immensely powerful
gles of which the Monkey-eating Eagle (Pitheco-
>aga jefjeryi) of the Philippines is an example,
us rare and spectacular species has
a shaggy
an exceptionally heavy, sharply hooked

11, powerful feet, and bright blue eyes.

The fourteen species of middle-sized eagles in Ferruginous Hawk, p. / 10

e Subfamily Circaetinae are found only in Eura- Hawks, Old World Vultures, and Harriers
i, Africa, and Madagascar. All have dispropor-

onately large heads crowned with fanlike

Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regain)
The Ferruginous Hawk is a bird of the vast plains oj
:pandable crests. The best-known is the Short-
the North American interior. Although it nests in
>ed Harrier Eagle (Circaetus gallicus) of Eurasia
trees when they are available, it frequently builds it\
id Africa, which hunts by quartering open
bulky nest of sticks on a rocky ledge, or even on a gently
Test and bushy grasslands, Hying slowly and
sloping hillside. This species feeds mainly on small
jvering before it falls steeply on its reptile prey.
mammals; ground squirrels are a favorite prey item.
Most spectacular of all is the Bateleur Eagle
ecaudatus), which ranges widely
irough the grasslands and open forests of Africa,
his imposing bird has a rufflike crest, most of
ie underparts and head black, and most of the
pperparts, including the very short tail, reddish
rown. Because of the short tail the total length
f the female is only about two feet. The male is

)me four inches shorter. At the onset of the

reeding season Bateleurs engage in aerial dis-
lays, gliding, flailing the wings, and uttering a
arking "caw."
The harriers (Subfamily Circinae) are found in
11 of the major land areas of the world. All are

;markably similar in structure and habits. They

Ferruginous Hawk, p. 110
112 Hawks, Old World Vultures, and Harriers

Hawks, Old World Vultures, and Harriers

Marsh Hawk (Circus cyaneus)
Coursing swiftly over the ground, the Marsh Hawk
takes its prey by surprise, dropping on rodents
whose movements the bird has detected with its keen

Marsh Hawk,/?. 1 10
Laughing Falcons, Caracaras, Falconets, and Falcons 113
are graceful birds that almost always hunt over
open, often swampy ground. Unlike most hawks,
the sexes in their adult plumage are colored very
differently from each other. Harriers may have a
wingspan of four feet, but they are extremely
light, some weighing less than two pounds.
Their legs are long and slender, and their faces
bear disks of feathers something like those of
owls. Harriers usually nest on the ground, con-
structing a nest of reeds, grasses, and sticks.
Unlike most of the hawks, the female does nearly
allthe incubating and brooding, while the male
hunts and carries food to her and to the young.
The most widely distributed species is the
Marsh Hawk or Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus),
which ranges around the world in the northern
hemisphere. The male of the North American
race has pale gray upperparts and a prominent
white area on the rump. Below, it is chiefly white.

The female is dark brown above and cinnamon

brown below.
The carrion-feeders known as Old World vul-
tures (Subfamily Aegypiinae) range widely
through Europe, Africa, and Asia, but are absent
from Malaya and Australia. Some are among the
largest of all flying birds, with wings spreading
ten feet and bodies reaching a length of lour feet,
but one species is hardly larger than a chicken.
All but one species have the head partially naked
or clothed in soft downlike feathers. They are
generally considered to be eagles that have be-
come modified for carrion-eating. The legs are

and the toes weak and blunt.

relatively short
The most abundant of the Old World vultures
is the Egyptian Vulture {Neophron

which ranges to all of the countries bordering the

Mediterranean and eastward to southern Asia. It
has an immaculate white body with a ruff around
the neck and naked yellow skin on the head and
throat. The Griffon Vulture (Gypsfulvus) is one of
the largest of the carrion-eating birds of prey. In
Nepal and India it preys on the human bodies
that often fall from funeral pyres before being
reduced to ashes.

Ospreys (Family Pandionidae). The sole repre-

sentative of this family, the Osprey (Pandton hali-
aetus), is a large hawk occurring
almost all temperate and tropical regions of the
world. Although chiefly a habitant of coastal
waters, this majestic bird is also found along the
edges of inland rivers and lakes. When fishing,

the Osprey usually flies 50 to 150 feet over the

water. When the target is sighted, it partly furls
the wings and rockets down on the water, its
needle-sharp talons extended. The Osprey differs
from other hawks in having the outer toe reversi-
ble, as in the owls, and all the talons

mately the same length and strongly curved. The

pads lining the underside of the toes are modified
with sharp scales to assist in gripping slippery
The lower and head of the Osprey
parts, neck,
are chiefly white,and the back and wings chiefly
dark brown. The chest is collared with brown
spots, and the head is ornamented with a
blackish crest and a dark eye streak.

Laughing Falcons, Caracaras, Falconets,

and Falcons (Family Falconidae). This group

includes the magnificent long-winged hunting
hawks that have fascinated sportsmen since
) M
114 Laughing Falcons, Caracaras, Falconets, and Falcons

Egyptian times. In medieval England theGyrfal

con {Falco rusttcolus) was preserved for royal use
the Peregrine (F. peregrinus) was used by earls

and sporting priests were given the €0010101"

Kestrel (F. tinnunculus) to hunt with.
There are four subfamilies, the first being typi
fied by the large-headed Laughing Falcon (Herpt
totheres cachmnans) of tropical America. The cara
caras of Central and South America form tht
second subfamily. Largest and best-known is tht
Crested Caracara (Caracara plancus), which feed:
largely on carrion. It has long, naked legs and,
black cap and crest surmounting a partially nake<
face. It occurs from southern United States tc
southern South America.
The third subfamily, the falconets, occurs in

South America and Africa, but its stronghold is

in the Indo-Malayan regions. A tiny bird of pre)

is the Philippine Falconet (Microhierax erythrogo-
nys),only six inches long. Black above and shiny
white below, it hunts like a flycatcher from the
tops of trees, and nests in old woodpecker holes.
The true falcons, which range to all the contin-
ents and large islands except Antarctica, are
among the most aggressive of all birds. The Pere-
grine is generally credited with being the most
wide-ranging diurnal land bird known. Tht
upperparts are dark slate,with the head and flight
feathers more blackish. Below, the coloration is
generally whitish with black barring.
All members of this subfamily have the wingj
sharply pointed and a sharp "tooth" on the cut-f
ting edge of the bill. A well-known small species'
of the northern hemisphere, the Merlin (F. colum-
barius), is very similar to the Peregrine in general
shape and color but has no ventral barring and is
only a foot long.
The Gyrfalcon inhabits the Arctic around the
world, and in winter it occasionally flies as far
south as the northern United States, England,
and middle Asia. It is a fierce hunter, preying on
waterfowl and ptarmigan.
The Gyrfalcons differ from most other hawks
in building their nests on the ground. Peregrines
generally nest on cliffs. Other members of the
genus Falco generally use nests of their own con- ;

struction built in trees, or on old crow or magpie

nests. The American Kestrel (F. sparverius) takes
Peregrine, p. 1 12
quickly to life in cities. It is about ten inches long
Laughing Falcons, Caracaras, Falconets, and is perhaps the commonest bird of prey in the
and Falcons Americas. It generally lays its eggs in old wood-
pecker holes or even nest boxes. Its food is chiefly
Peregrine Falco peregrinus
insects and small birds.
The most widespread species, the Peregrine may be
found on every continent except Antarctica. The
Game Birds and Hoatzins
advent ofagricultural pesticides in the years following
(Order Galliformes)
World War 11 led to drastic population declines in
Megapodes (Family Megapodiidae). Megapodes
North America and parts of western Europe, and the
are gallinaceous birds that occur in Australia,
Peregrine virtually disappeared as a breeding bird
New Guinea, Malaya, and the islands of Micro-
from large areas where it had formerly been common.
nesia east to Samoa and north to the Philippines.
The chemicals had been picked up by the birds from
In all megapodes the wings are short and
their prey , and caused reproductive failure. Now that
rounded, the and the legs and
tail fairly large,
the most dangerous of these substances have been
feet very strong and tipped with powerful claws.
withdrawn from the market, and with artificial
They eat fallen fruit, seeds, insects.
breeding programs, there are signs that this noble bird
ofprey may be staging a modest comeback.
Megapodes are the only known birds — and
indeed the only vertebrates above the level of rep-
tiles — that utilize heat other than that of the par-
ent's body for the incubation of their eggs. Of the
three basicmethods by which megapodes harness
natural heat for incubation —
warmth generated
by decomposing vegetation, warmth captured
from the sun, and warmth thrown off by subter-

Grouse 115

n! ;an volcanism —
the first system, as used by Curassows, Guans, Chachalacas (Family
tl Scrub Fowl (Megapodius freycinet), the most Cracidae). In the New World
from the southern
W espread species, is the most remarkable, if borders of the United States to Argentina is found
Oi / because or the extraordinary work involved, a group of game birds known collectively as cur-
'airs or groups of birds rake together the assows. Some live in forests as much
as 8,000 feet
d| ris that lies under tangled brush. Each bird above sea level, and some have taken to warm
I ids on one foot and rakes powerfully with the grasslands, but the greatest concentration occurs
0, er, sending litter backward toward an accu- in lowland tropical forests. The largest species,
n: Sometimes the mound reaches a
lating heap. the true curassows, roost in trees and spend a
h ght of 15 feet, and one nearly 50 feet in diame- large portion of their time on the forest floor
t<|was reported from Australia. But usually they scratching for food. Guans are medium-sized spe-
al 5 to 7 feet high, about 30 feet in diameter, crown of
cies, chiefly fruit-eaters that live in the
a I roughly conical. The largest mounds are the jungle. The smallest species, the chachalacas,
a lost certainly the product of many generations are birds of the forest edge and bushy grasslands.
c )irds and are very durable. The large curassows of the genus Crax occur in
completion and maturation, the com-
After tropical forests fromMexico to Argentina. All
r.;;tlike mound warms to about 96° F. It is then wear a shaggy and all the males have con-
t ,t the heat-sensitive female excavates high on trasting black upperparts and partially white
t side of the heap a hole several feet deep and underparts. In some the base of the bill is bul-
s,nted steeply inward. In this she lays her large, bous, and generally the females are differently
cite, thin-shelled eggs, drilling a new
oval, colored with bars and patterns of brown. An
each egg. A full clutch probably is from
le for equally large black and white relative is the Hel-
IE to eight eggs, yet dozens are sometimes taken meted Curassow (Pauxi) of the Andes from Vene-
[m a mound during the course of the year, indi- zuela to Peru, which wears on the forehead a large
I ing that some mounds
communal. Each are upward-projecting casque that resembles a par-
Sir of Scrub Fowl remains for many months tiallyshriveled fig or a cashew nut. The rare
ending the mound, which must be aerated and Horned Guan (Oreophasis derbianus) of the moun-
I've its temperature regulated. The period of tain forests from southern Mexico to Guatemala,
cubation, up to 63 days, is the longest known which is nearly as large as the largest curassows
birds. and, like them, is semiterrestrial, differs from
W*ien the young megapode finally emerges them in having a long spike, completely nude
i»m its incubator, its is so well devel- and bright orange red, growing straight up
Sed that, if necessary, it can spring into the air between the eyes.
d although it is still relatively small.
fly, Occupying a feeding niche in the crown of the
The Brush Turkey (Alectura lathami) of Aus- forest above that of the true curassows are the
ilia is ashy bird of hill forests. It builds a struc- guans of the genus Penelope. These birds are
re that isroughly pyramidal and may be ten smaller and more graceful than the others, and
;t tall, and normally uses it year after year. The generally have the plumage dark grayish or
male lays from 7 to 12 eggs, placing them in a greenish with coppery reflections and the face and
rcle about 2 feet down and always with the large throat partially naked. One of the most wide-
id up. The three species of New Guinea Tale- ranging (Mexico to Argentina) is the Crested
ila —
all forest birds —
are blackish brown with Guan (Penelope purpurascens), which, with its long
iked pink heads and necks showing through a tail, is about three feet in length and slender in
arse covering of tiny black feathers. They con- appearance.
ruct their mounds on steep slopes above the The largest group in the family, the noisy
'astal lowlands, which are occupied by the chachalacas, falls in the genus Ortalis. The Plain
rub Fowl. Chachalaca (Ortalis vetula), which ranges up to
The Maleo (Macrocephalon maleo) of the North two feet in length, is fairly typical. It is rather
Plain Chachalaca, p. 1 15
glebes is the only megapode
and Sanghir Islands plain brownish olive with a long dull greenish
ith short toes. It handsome bird with black-
is a tail washed with metallic green and tipped with Megapodes
1, glossy upper plumage and reddish and pink- pale gray. Like the other members of the Craci-
h white underparts. Surmounting its naked builds a nest of sticks, vines, and leaves in
Brush Turkey (Alectura lathami
dae, it
The Brush Turkey inhabits rain forests and moist
;ck and head is a grayish black helmet. At bushes and trees. The eggs are white, and are
scrublands in eastern Australia. Like other mega-
eeding time the Maleo swarms out of the hill incubated chiefly by the female for 22 to 24 days.
podes, it does not incubate its eggs but buries them in
rests to the relatively few areas of beach that are Like the young of all of the Galhformes, young
the ground, where they are kept warm by the heat given
ack and composed of coarse, pebblelike sand, curassows are covered with down and extremely
ere, in August and September, the pairs dig off by decaying vegetation. When the eggs hatch, the
)les four to five feet in diameter, each hole serv-
young Brush Turkeys dig their way to the surface,

ready to fend for themselves without assistance from

g as a communal incubator, with many females Grouse (Family Tetraonidae). Many of the spe-
their parents.
ining to lay their eggs one or two feet down in cies of this family are considered the finest of
ie same excavation. The much greater capacity game birds. All dwell in the northern portions
black sand —
which appears where old lava of the northern hemisphere. Structurally, the
Curassows, Guans, and Chachalacas
iters the sea —
to store heat is the reason for the Tetraonidae are fowl-like, but have the tarsus Plain Chachalaca (Ortalis vetula)
loice of these areas. mostly or entirely feathered and the toes either The curassows and their relatives are confined to
Many populations of Maleos resort to still edged laterally with comblike filaments or cov- the warmer parts of the New World. The Plain
lother source of heat. These birds excavate holes ered with feathers, which in snow serve rather Chachalaca is the only member of the family that
the earth of cool mountain forests, lay their like snowshoes. All have the nostrils cloaked in reaches the United States, where it is common in dense
;gs in theground, and cover them up. The first feathers, and most have bare skin over the eye. thickets along the Rio Grande.
egg pits were greatly
ituralists to discover their Many have distensible, naked or nearly naked air
izzled as to how the eggs survived. Soon they sacs on the neck.
und that the holes were always in the vicinity of Two very different types of breeding behavior
)t springs. are found in the Tetraonidae: in one the pairs are
116 Grouse

Blue Grouse, p. 115

Greater Prairie Chicken, p. 115 Greater Prairie Chicken, p. 115

. , )

Pheasants, Quails, and Peacocks 117

hh igamous and the male assists in the teating much more pointed and the plumage more spot- Grouse
of e young by temaining on guatd and plays a ted, less regularly barred.
ous part in defending the offspting; in the The Sage Grouse (Centrocercus urophastanus) is
Blue Grouse (Dendragapus obscurus)

the male is polygamous if not promiscuous, the largest of the North American grouse. Males A male Blue Grouse signals his readiness to mate by
staking out a small territory in the forests oj western
taining a kind of fluctuating harem, com- reach a total length of nearly two and one-half
with many othet males fot the females but feet, the tail accounting for much of this length. North America, inflating a brightly colored pouch on

ng no part in the rearing of the family. During a full display thisornament is erected like each side oj his neck, fanning his tail, and giving a
an extended fan and forms a background for the series oj loud hooting calls Females pay brief visits
le ptarmigans (Lagopus) exhibit the primi-
. to

monogamous type of mating behavior. All head and the pair of grossly inflated orange sacs these displaying males and then go off to rain their
worn high on the chest. families by themselves.
the tarsus and toes very heavily feathered.
ay large clutches of eggs which the female
bates and the male defends, often using dis- Pheasants, Quails, and Peacocks (Family Greater Prairie Chicken Tympanuchus f cupido

ion displays to divert attention from the Phasianidae). The Family Phasianidae contains Each male Greater Prairie Chickens gather

ile. The Rock Ptarmigan (L. mutus) lives in the most economically important birds in the at traditional dancing grounds to perform their

ocky, barren grounds of the far north around world, as well as many of exceptional beauty. stylized courtship rituals. Well known to American
world and in the mountains of Eurasia, nest- They range from about the dimensions of a spar- Indians, these displays inspired many of the dances of

row to those of that universally known species, the tribes living on the Great Plains. In the last
an the ground. This bird has developed three
net plumages: during the bteeding season, the peacock. The majority have chickenlike century much oj their prairie habitat has been turned

n the ground is usually exposed, it wears a bodies with long, naked legs and toes; and in into farmland , and these birds are now threatened
with extinct mn.
bi vn body plumage; in autumn, when the vege- nearly all species the males are more highly col-
tapn is dry and grayish, its dorsal plumage is ored and often wear spurs.
gij in winter, when the ground is snow-covered,

The family has distinctive New World and
it )ns pure white body dress. Old World groups. The New World quails occur
he Red Grouse (L. scoticus) of the British Isles almost throughout the Americas. The only native
isotable as the only ptarmigan that lacks a white member of the family in the eastern United States
w ter plumage. This is its chief difference from is the Bobwhite (Colinus virgimanus). It ranges

:1 Willow Ptarmigan (L. lagopus) of the New west to Colorado and south to Mexico. The Bob-
i\ Old World Arctic, and most authors believe white is a stocky brownish bird some nine inches
:1 two are geographic races of a single species. long.
imnng the monogamous relatives of ptarmi- Typical of the tour species of the genus Calli-
>s L\ing in North America are the Ruffed pepla in the southwestern United States south to
Ruse and the Spruce Grouse. The Ruffed Grouse Mexico is the California Quail (C. caltfornica). In
[Imasa umbellus) occupies deciduous woodlands this species the male differs from the female in
:bughout the northern two-thirds of America having an erect recurved plume growing from the
n Alaska to Newfoundland. The male is chiefly
i crown, olive brown upperparts and a bright
•;i brown, with erectile, blackish tufts on the chestnut abdomen. This bird can live without
1 k, which it elevates in display. Spruce Grouse drinking water, if provided with succulent vege-
inacbites canadensis) occupy a wide, but gen- tation. It is chiefly an inhabitant of bushy grass-
tly more northern, range and are largely re- lands and semideserts, but can adapt to urban
i cted to coniferous forest. Slightly smaller than parks.
I Ruffed Grouse and darker in coloration, the At the onset of breeding time the males hght
irless Spruce Grouse was called "fool hen" by and call from specific territories which they select
: ly settlers. and in which the nest is made. The female usually
Of the polygamous species, the most beautiful incubates the eggs, with the male aggressively
he Black Grouse (Lyrurus tetrix) of the forests of guarding the territory. Latet, both parents take
i rope and Asia. In both sexes the area above the charge of the young
Is is furnished with scarlet wattles. The male is Mearns' Quail (Cyrtonyx montezumae) is an
urnished black, with some white in the wings eight-inch, clown-faced bird which inhabits the
Ruffed Grouse, p. 115
i white undertail coverts, and has a lyre- open, rugged mountain grasslands from south-
iped tail. Approximately five inches longer western United States to Mexico. Both sexes of Grouse
in the gray female, it is roughly the size of a Mearns' Quail incubate and care for the young. In Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus)
ge chicken. The Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), winter large flocks execute a kind of walking The drumming of the male Ruffed Grouse is a

gest of the grouse, formerly occurred in the migration down to valleys from the high slopes. familiar sound of spring in the forests of North
iginal pine forests covering the British Isles and In the forests of Central and South America the America. Called the Partridge by hunters, this species
northern portions of Europe and Asia. The
e 16 species of the relatively little-known spotted experiences drastic population fluctuations u hose cause
ale, nearly a yard in length, is almost a foot wood-quails (Odontophorus) are found. These birds is not yet understood. The birds may disappear sud-
nger than its mate. It is notoriously hard to are generally brown and are so cryptically colored denly from a region where they have been numerous
proach in the canopy of pine forest where it that they melt into the floor of the jungle which is and then, after several years, they may just as sud-
eds on pine needles and buds. their home. All have the head crested, and the denly become common once again.
In the New Wot Id three species of grouse are females are not sharply differentiated from the
)lygamous. Best known is the Prairie Chicken males as in the other quails.
ympanuchus cupido) of the American West from The only strongly migratory member of this
anada to Texas. This pale brown species wears family is the European Quail (Coturntx coturnix),
xk epaulettes composed of stiffly pointed black which has a very wide range in Eurasia and Africa.
id brown feathers, which ride nearly straight up Slightly smaller than the average American Quail,
hen the large, orange-colored air sacs are in- it has a white throat and is cryptically marked
ited during display, during which the males with brown and black.
ince on the community courting stage. Sharp- The European Gray Partridge (Perdix perdix) is
iled Grouse (Pedioecetes phasianellus) follow a a swift-flying, medium-sized bird easily recog-
milar pattern of behavior in open pine and aspen nized by its black, horseshoe-shaped abdominal
irklands of western North America. Like the patch and generally grayish plumage. This bird,
tairie Chicken in size, this species has the tail which is a resident of the middle portions of
118 Pheasants, Quails, and Peacocks

Pheasants, Quails, and Peacocks Europe and Asia between sea level and 15,000 broadened and elongated, and is painted w
feet, was long ago introduced into North Amer- round colorful markings which, because of th
Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus
ica. The francohns (Francolinus) include about 35
similarity to huge eyes, caused the bird to
A native of the Old World, the Ring-necked Pheasant
species extending over Eurasia and Africa. Most named after the Greek monster with one hund
was introduced into North Amenta in 185 7 It is .

of these have the legs sharply spurred, sometimes eyes. Another pheasant with eyelike markings
now the most abundant upland gamebird in the
even the females having such armor, and in some its plumage is the Ocellated Pheasant (Reinar,
United States; each year, millions are taken by
the males are equipped with twin sets of spikes. ocellata) of Indochina and Malaya. It is very
hunters. Most males in North America have a white s

Most of them are found in bushy grasslands. They and secretive. The feathers of this species
ring around the neck but some, descendedfrom

range from about 12 to 18 inches in length. The the largest wild feathers known, the central
birds imported from eastern Asia, lack it. p
smallest bird in this family is the Chinese Painted being almost six feet long and six inches wide.
Quail (Excalfactoria chmensis) of eastern Asia, the The peacocks oflndia and Africa comprise
Common Peacock (Pavo cristatus i
Indo-Malayan region, and Australia, no larger last group of the Family Phasianidae.

In the wil
The jeathers that form the tram of the Common than a sparrow. The male is blue gray with vivid peafowl live in parties, usually in dry open fote
Peacock- are not its tail, but greatly modified feathers
white markings on the head and neck; the female They habitually roost in tall trees. The males us
just above it. The bird's tail consists of shorter, suffer
is earth brown with buffy markings. ally display solitarily. The huge tail coverts i
feathers that support the train during the display .

Turning from the partndgelike members of elevated to form a massive, lacy fan, support
the family to the more colorful pheasants, the from behind by the unadorned tail feathers. Tl
monals are among the most glitteringly beautiful train extends from side to side over the back ar
of the pheasants. One, the Impeyan Pheasant is tilted forward over the head.
(Lophophorus impejanus), is colored with iridescent In 1937 Dr. J. P. Chapin discovered apeaox
blues, greens, and bronzes, giving the impres- in the forests of Central Africa, an area f
sion of a bird of burnished metal. removed from the previously known range
Tragopans differ from all other members of the Asia. While clearly a peacock, this bird was <

Phasianidae in their habit of building a bulky different that a new genus had to be erected fot i

nest of leaves and twigs in a tree. They breed near The male Congo Peacock (Afropavo congensts)
the snow line in the Himalayas. All are quite bril- glossy blackish with a tuft of white plumes in tl
liantly colored and marked. The Satyr Tragopan crown. The females are brown and green an
{Tragopan satyra) of Nepal and Bhutan is largely more nearly resemble their Oriental relatives.
orange scarlet with a black head and white spots.
The cock has two large hornlike wattles, blue Guinea Fowls (Family Numididae). The domes
ornaments that stand up from their concealment tic guinea fowl is descended from the Commo
under the crown feathers when the male displays Guinea Hen (Nurnida meleagris), one of seven spe
to the female. cies of a family restricted to Africa and Madagas
The true pheasants have the tail generally long car. All have the plumage usually blackish o
and pointed and the sides of the head usually deep bluish, with profuse white or gray spotting
highly colored and naked. There may, in addi- The most wide-ranging is the Commoi
tion, be wattles or combs of bare, colorful skin on Guinea Hen, which has red on the naked pottion
the head, and in the male there is always at least of the head and helmet and on the wattles or
one pair of sharp spurs. The female is drab, and either side of the mouth. The neck is washed witl
smaller than her mate. red and blue. Three species of crested guinea hen
The most cosmopolitan of the pheasants is the (Guttera) wear black feather tufts above thei
Ring-neck (Phasianus colchicus), a handsome bird naked faces. The most distinctive species is the

that grows to a length of three feet. The Ring- Vulturine Guinea Fowl (Aery Ilium vulturinum) o
neck that is now America's most popular game eastern Africa, in which the head is shaped lik(
fro Qri »* bird is actually a mixture of several Old World that of a small vulture and the naked areas are
races of the species, some of which lack the white bright blue in color.
collar. Guinea fowls move warily over the ground,
The Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) is a running rather than flying when escaping from
Blyth's Tragopan, p. 1 17
fabulous creature of gold, scarlet, green, and enemies. Traveling in large flocks, they move
Pheasants, Quails, and Peacocks black. Because of its color and beauty, plus its many miles per day, but at night they roost in
readiness to live and breed in captivity, it has trees. They feed on vegetable matter such as
Blyth's Tragopan Tragopan satyra) (
become a very common zoo bird, although in the seeds, berries, and tender shoots, and on inverte-
One ofthe most beautiful ofall pheasants, and indeed
wild areas of Tibet and China, its original home, brates such as slugs.
of all birds, Blyth's Tragopan is an inhabitant of
it is now quite uncommon. The Reeves Pheasant
scrubby hillsides in the Himalayas. Despite their
(Syrmaticus reevesi), one of the longest birds in the Turkeys (Family Meleagndidae). The Common
bright colors, these birds are hard to see as they
world, is a wondrous gold and black bird of China Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) of North America
skulk through the dense vegetation. Because of this
that reaches a length of eight feet, counting its and the tableland of Mexico and the Ocellated
and because of the remoteness of their habitat, few
immense train of tail feathers. Turkey (Agrtocharis ocellata) of the lowlands of the
ornithologists have ever seen one alive.
The Red Jungle Fowl (Gallus gallus), which Yucatan Peninsula and adjacent Guatemala
ranges in the wild state throughout the Oriental and British Honduras are the sole representatives
region from sea level to altitudes of 5,000 feet, is of this family. They resemble pheasants and may
the ancestor of domestic poultry. It closely re- be descendants of a pheasant stock that long ago
sembles a domestic chicken, having the charac- invaded the New World from Asia.
teristic long, high-arched tail, twin-wattled Common Turkey gobblers are polygamous and
throat, and saw-toothed frontal comb. In the keep a harem, which is defended as a group from
wild, the chicken lives in flocks in the deep other males and is escorted closely. The male
woods, along the forest edges and in bushy fields. spends much time displaying to the group and to

In the air it has the typical pheasant flight con- individual birds. The female hides her nest on the
sisting of bursts of wing beats followed by glides. ground under a bush and lays from 12 to 20 eggs.
An especially beautiful species is the Great The young leave the nest soon after hatching.
Argus Pheasant (Argusianus argus) of Malaya and The Ocellated Turkey is much like the Com- I

Borneo. It has the inner wing feathers greatly mon Turkey in size, form, and behavior; how-
Turkeys 119

ing-necked Pheasant, p. 11',



ammon Peacock, p. 117

120 Hoatzins
ever, unlike the Common Turkey, which in the grass, land quickly, and run on the ground. inches thick and several feet wide. Young cran
Mexico high mountain pine and oak
lives in the Unlike true quail, however, the button-quail can leave the nest on the day they are hatchec
forests, the Ocellated inhabits bushy, semifor- lacks the hind toe (hallux). Also unlike quail, the despite the fact that they are only about one-oi
ested lowlands. This splendid bird lacks the kind female button-quail, much larger than the male hundredth the size of the adult. They must befe
of beard sported by the Common Turkey gobbler and more richly dressed, plays the aggressive role and protected by the parents for periods of up i

and has brighter coppery colors. The neck and in courtship. The male incubates the eggs and six months. They cannot fly until they are aboi
head are bare, blue, and profusely covered with tends the young. tour months old.
coral-colored pimples. A good example of the family is the Painted Cranes are most abundant in Eurasia, both 1

Button Quail (Turntx varta) of Australia and New species and number of birds. An example of th
Hoatzins (Family Opisthocomidae). The Hoatzin Caledonia. The sexes are much alike below, being species found in this region is the Sarus Crai
(Opisthocomus hoazin) of the hot river valleys of dull whitish with broad gray areas on the chest (Grus antigone), a huge gray bird with red on t!

northern South America is one of the most per- and upper abdomen, but above, the male is dark head and upper neck. It occurs commonly in paii
plexing and remarkable of all birds. It has usually brown with blackish markings, whereas the around ponds and rice fields.
been placed in the Galliformes, but some recent female is bright chestnut on the upper back, Africa is the home
of some of the most beaut,
evidence suggests affinity with Cuckoos. Some- lower neck and shoulders. Painted Button Quail ful cranes. One, the Crowned Crane (Balearic
what longer than a crow but more slender in are fond of seeds and insects. They scour the pavonina), ranges from the middle Nile to th
body, with large rounded wings and a long tail, it ground in grasslands, scurrying haltingly about, Cape. It wears on its head a fan of strawlik
wears a shaggy longitudinal crest atop a small frequently stopping stock-still, then picking up bristles, in front of which is a velvety pad c
head, which is partially naked and bright blue. It termites, beetles, and other insects or vegetable blackish feathers. Otherwise, the Crowned Cran
is dark brown on the upperparts with much pale food. The most aberrant button quail, the Lark is generally dark, with white in the wings.

streaking, and tan on the lower parts with a large Quail (Ortyxelos meiffrenii), is found in Africa in
patch ot rufous on the lower abdomen. arid grass regions. Structurally, this little cinna- Limpkins (Family Aramidae). The heron-sizec
Young Hoatzins differ from those of all other mon-backed, white-breasted bird looks more like Limpkin (Aramus guarauna) of tropical Ametic
birds. They are hatched with functional claws on a tiny lark than a quail. The male and female are from the southern United States to Argentina i

the second and third digits of the forehmb, but much alike in coloration and size, about four related to both the cranes and the rails. In it

the parents show no trace of these claws. The inches in length. skeleton and Limpkin tesembles
its flight the
quadrupedal nature of the young bird disappears crane, but in general form and plumage textur,
after a few days. Plains-wanderer (Family Pedionomidac). The and in the fact that the young are hatched covered
behavior of the Plains-wanderer (Pedionomus tor- with blackish down, it is like a rail.
Cranes, Rails, and Their Allies quatus) of the arid parts of Australia is much like Limpkins are dark brown, with streaks am
(Order Gruiformes) that of the button quail, the male incubating spots ot dull white in the plumage. They skull
Mesites and Monias (Family Mesitornithidae). eggs and feeding and protecting the young. It along the edges of shaded waterways, with muc!
The three species comprising this small family differs in structure, however, having a well- tail-switching, lifting their feet high betweeij
live on Madagascar. Although they have func- developed hind toe; its eggs are more pointed, steps and frequently snapping their heads up t(
tional wings, they do not fly. and it possesses two carotid arteries. look around. The bill is driven into mud in quesi
The White-breasted Mesne (Mesoenas vane- In the single species of this family, the female of freshwater snails and mussels.
gata), a bird of the deep forest, is thrush-sized is about five inches long. It is gtayish brown with
with reddish brown upperparts, a gray collar, a vivid chestnut chest patch and
a broad collar of Trumpeters (Family Psophndae). Trumpeters, ol
much white on the sides of the face and chest, and black and white. The male is duller in color and which there are three species, dwell in the humic
the chest heavily spotted with black. The Roatelo an inch smaller. Plains-wanderers rarely fly, pre- tropical jungles of South America. They are vir
{M. unicolor), a tare bird inhabiting the humid ferring to hide by squatting in the grass. Their tually restricted to the floor and the lowest tier o.
forest floor, is somewhat smaller and stockier. chief foods are seeds and insects. The nest is a the forest, where they travel in flocks of six ti
Above, it is solid reddish brown, and below, grasslined scrape in which three to four dull about twenty. They follow large, arboreal, fruit
chestnut. The Monias (Monias bemchi) is common grayish, blotched eggs are laid. and nut-eating animals to pick up food that sue!
on the forest floor and on brush-covered sandy species drop.
plains. Above, it is gray; below, the male is white Cranes (Family Gruidae). Cranes are tall, stately Trumpeters hardly use the wings except whei
on the throat and chest and the female is dull birds occurring throughout the tropical and tem- startled.Normally they seek safety by running
brick red. Both sexes have a white line over the perate regions of the world, with the exception of but they may flush from the jungle and fly across a
eye and spotting on the chest. large areas of Oceania and South America. Of the river. Some fall into the water and complete the
The male Monias, working alone, constructs a 14 species, some are on the verge of extinction. crossing by swimming.
thin nest of sticks four to six feet up in a bush One of these is the Whooping Crane (Grus amen- Trumpeters are highly gregarious. They roost in
usually in sandy grasslands. It is reached by way cana) of North America, the more spectacular of trees, where they are sometimes loud and quar-

of an inclined trunk, so that there is no need tor the two species found in the New World. The relsome by night. Their deep notes are delivered
the bird to fly at any time. A single egg is tallest of American birds, it stands nearly five feet with the bill closed and motionless, and the
deposited on the platformlike nest. This bird in height and has wingspread of seven and one-
a sound reverberating from deep within the body.
apparently is the only tree-nester in which the half feet. It is immaculate white, with black The three species are the White-winged
male takes full responsibility for the nest and flight feathers and red, naked areas on the sides of Trumpeter (Psophia leucoptera), the Common
eggs. The young are covered with brown and the head and neck. The powerful bill serves as a Trumpeter (P. crepitans) of northern South Amer-
white down and are precocial. sharp hammer tor killing snakes, small alliga- ica, and the Green-winged Trumpeter (P. viridts)

Nests of the Roatelo (Mesoenas unicolor) are thin tors, frogs, and other prey. of Brazil. The last named is the largest, being
platforms of sticks with scant lining placed in All cranes have exceptionally powerful voices. some 20 inches in length, with a blackish body,
sloping trees a yard or so from the ground. The The convolutions ot the windpipe enlarge and long, bright green legs, and a short green bill
Mesite chicks are covered with a blackish, rail- lengthen as the crane ages and eventually, in old The feathers of the neck and head are so soft and

like down. birds, resemble serpentine coils and penetrate the short that they feel furry to the touch. They are
walls ot the breastbone. In the Whooping Crane black and glossy with purplish reflections. The
Button Quails (Family Turnicidae). The dozen the trachea reaches five feet in length. In migra- lower back and wings are rusty brown and the
species of button quails are found in the tem- tion the voice is used constantly, presumably to wings are mostly light gray.
perate and tropical portions of the Old World. keep the birds together, and frequently a flock
Although related to the cranes and the bustards, leader does most of the calling. Rails, Gallinules, and Coots (Family Rallidae).
these secretive, elusive birds live in brushy grass- Cranes lay two eggs in a nest of grasses and Rails, gallinules, and coots occur virtually
land and act very much like true quail. They sit reeds that both the male and the female build on throughout the world. All have compressed
tight, flush with a whirr of wings, fly close over marshy ground. The nest platform may be several bodies and are able to thread their way through
Rails, Gallinules, and Coots 121

* I


Wattled Crane (Bugeranus carunculatus)
The Wattled Crane is a rather rare bird found in

marshes in eastern and southern Ajnca, where it

probes the mud for snails and u orms and takes insects
from the marsh vegetation.

Limpkin (Aram us guarauna)
The sole living member of its family, the Limpkin is
found only in the warmer parts of the western hemis-
phere. It feeds mainly on snails, but also takes frogs,
insects, and crayfish. Its loud, wailing call, heard
most often at night, has given it the local name
•crying bird."

White-winged Trumpeter ( Psophia leucoptera)
The White-winged Trumpeter is the most widely

distributed of the three species of trumpeters, occurring

throughout much of northern South America.
*J\ «\

Limpkin, p. 120 White-winged Trumpeter, p. 120

122 Rails, Gallinules, and Coots
Rails, Gallinules, and Coots
Sora (Porzana Carolina)
One ofthe short-billed rails usually known as crakes,
the Sora is a familiar bird of North American marsh-
lands. Although its numbers fluctuate depending on
rainfall during the nesting season —
too much rain
is as bad as too little —
the Sora is still abundant
enough to be legally hunted.

American Coot, p. 120

Rails, Gallinules, and Coots
American Coot (Fulica americana)
The American Coot is an accomplished swimmer and
does not skulk about in dense vegetation like a typical
rail. The eight species of coots all have wideflanges on
their toes to aid them in swimming.

Black Crake (Limnocorax flavirostra)

One of the commonest birds of African wetlands, the
Black Crake spends much of its time prowling along
dark passageways under the marsh vegetation. Clad
in black, it is all but invisible here, except for its

bright yellow bill that seems to glow like a beacon.

American Purple Gallinule

I Porphyrula martinica)
More brightly colored than most members of the rail
family, the American Purple Gallinule is also more
adaptable. In addition to skulking about in marsh
vegetation and swimming easily, this species can also
climb into bushes in pursuit of insects, snails and
fruit, and it has been known to hold an item of food in
one foot while balancing on the other.

American Purple Gallinule, p. 120

Kagus 123
ck labyrinths of vegetation. Some species surface. They have
the toes broadly lobed, and
ell in marshlands, some live on the floor of belong to one genus, Fulica. Coots generally
ck tropical and mountain forests; others live in build nests of floating vegetation in flooded fresh-
issy fields. The second group of rails, called water reed beds. Typical is the American Coot
llinules, are equipped with long toes to walk (Fulica americana), which ranges from Alaska to
floating vegetation. The third, the coots, have South America, is sooty blue black and smoky
cen to the water much like the ducks. gray with the head and neck almost solid black,
Rails are generally secretive so secretive that — and the bill strong, whitish, and extending onto
e may them calling many times and yet
hear the forehead as a shield.
rely see them. They will fly if they are closely The Horned Coot (Fulua cornuta) of the high-
essed. While the flight seems weak and is usu- land of southern Bolivia, Chile, and northwest-
y of short duration, many rails nevertheless ern Argentina is not only one of the largest coots
ecute long migrations, traveling mostly at but is unique in its manner of nesting. Because it
ght. This instinct for migration has led to the nests in frigid lakes in the Andes, so high (usually
tabhshment of rails in many parts of the world. above 13,000 feet) that the surrounding terrain is
lere are endemic species on many remote is- nearly devoid of vegetation, it has taken to build-
nds in the middle of the vast Pacific. Several of ing with stones.
ese island species have become extinct. Most
ils monogamous, but some have several
are Finf00tS Or Sun-grebes (Family Hehormthidae).
ates.The nest is usually built of marsh vegeta- This family consists of three aquatic birds living
on by both members of the pair, and both share in widely separated regions of the world one in —
the incubation of the eggs. South America, one in Africa, and one in Asia.
The Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris) of North They are all very much alike in general con-
menca and northern South America — a grayish formation and habits. All have the bill grebelike
rown, long-billed rail nearly 15 inches in length, with perforate nostrils and all have lobed toes like
ith a pale cinnamon or gray breast and barred grebes and coots. They have the neck elongated,
anks — is a good example of the type of rail the legs short, and the tail rounded and stiffened.
voring salt marshes. Finfeet live in small tropical and subtropical
Another true rail is the tiny Black Rail (Later- freshwater streams, usually surrounded by lush
llus jamaicensis), a five-inch bird that is largely vegetation. They swim very low in the water and
lack with a reddish nape and white barring on hunt from low or partially submerged perches,
ie back. This species, which ranges over much often standing still for long periods. They eat
I temperate North America, is so secretive that snails, shrimps, millipedes, prawns, and even
is rarely seen, yet its calls are not uncommon to small frogs.
pined ears. Many island rails have lost their Best studied of the three species is the African
owers of flight. Most are small, but in New Zea- Fintoot (Podica senegalensis) of tropical Africa, the
ind the chicken-sized Weka (Gallirallus austra- male of which is about 16 inches long. Above, it
s) is flightless, although it has the wings well is dark brown, with vivid black and white spot-
eveloped. The Weka is chiefly a bird of the ting on the upper back. Below, it is whitish, with

JDrest, sleeping in burrows under roots by day a sooty gray throat and a vivid white line extend-
Ind calling shrilly at night. This rail eats rodents, ing from the eye along the neck to the body. The
lestling birds, and eggs. female is smaller, with a white throat. Both sexes
The rails that have taken to the water and walk have barred flanks. The nest is platformlike, built
n floating vegetation are less wary and secretive of reeds and grass in debris as much as five feet
han those of swamp and The best-known
forest. above water in deep forest.
f these are the gallinules, which range round the In Bengal, Malaysia, and Sumatra is found the
v'orld and are found wherever there are extensive Asian Fintoot (Heliopais personata), which is some
>odies of semistagnant water. Gallinules nest in 20 inches in length. Unlike the African and
lumps of grass over water. In walking they lower American species, it is said to dive well. The American Coot, p. 120
he head and elevate the tail straight up parallel smallest is the 12-inch American Fintoot (Heli- Rails, Gallinules, and Coots
o the back, displaying the usually white under- which ranges from Mexico through
ornis fulica),
American Coot (Fulica americana)
ail feathers. The head is constantly bobbed and South America. It is seldom seen and chiefly
The eggs of the American Coot usually number 8 to
he small tail is constantly flicked. Gallinules, inhabits sluggish, heavily wooded streams.
1 2 and are laid in a shallow, floating nest oj marsh

ike rails, highly migratory. Both groups

plants. The parents take turns incubating, and the
vandered to New
Zealand ages ago. Some be- KagUS (Family Rhynochetidae). This family in-
eggs hatch in about 2^ days. When dry, the newly
ame flightless and then were wiped out. One cludes only a single heron-sized bird (Rhynochetus
hatched chick is black with orange down on the head,
fossil" turned up alive in 1949- It was the giant jubatus) found only on the island of New Cal-
neck and shoulders . Until they are old enough to take
lightless Takahe which had
(Notornis mantelli), edonia. It is chiefly nocturnal, sleeping by day in
tare of themselves, the young are tended by both
lot been seen tor halt a century. Today it is rocky niches and under the roots of trees. Its
parents, but the male generally broods them at night.
stimated that a few dozen birds comprise the habitat today is in the remote interior mountains,
otal population, living 2,000 or more feet above but formerly it ranged throughout all the forests
he sea. of the island.
One of the best-known gallinules is an excep- The Kagu has a rather large head and a big,
lon among this generally brightly colored group, shaggy crest. Its color is dark gray above and pale
rhis Moor-hen (Gallinula chloropus), a dark
is the gray below and its wings are barred with vivid
?ray birdwith a brownish back, its only spot of markings in black and white. In display, the
)nght color being its red bill. It is found vir- wings are opened laterally, much like the Sun-
ually throughout the world. A shy bird over bittern.
nuch of its range, it has become a tame bird of During courtship the pairs sometimes face
:itypark ponds in England. each other, standing very erect with the crests
Coots are rails that are as aquatic as ducks, peaked and the wings open. Both the male and
fhey dive and feed as far as 25 feet below the the female participate in building a nest of twigs
) 1

124 Sun-bitterns

and leaves. Both take turns incubating the sin^

egg, which is a bright rust color with large da|
brownish blotches.

Sun-bitterns (Family Eurypygidae). The Sin

bittern (Eurypyga helias), sole member of i

family, occurs in the tropics from Guatemala i|

southern Brazil. Sun-bitterns fly very little an

habitually walk with the neck extended forwan
often parallel to the ground. They inhabit den
tropical forest and swamps, feeding on insec
and small fishes.
Sun-bitterns are very quiet, apparently utte
ing only plaintive, whistling notes. After pair
ing, sexes cooperate in building the nest, ina:
bating the eggs, brooding and feeding the younj;
The nest, composed of sticks, grass, and mud
may be placed on the ground or in bushes ot lo\
The normal set is two eggs, bright rusty
trees. t

brown in color and with vivid dark blotching

and marks.

Cariamas or Seriemas (Family Canamidae). h

southern South America occur two species o
large, cranelike land birds, the cariamas. One
the Crested Cariama (Cariama cristata), is fount
in pampas and grasslands, and the other, Bur
meistet's Cariama (Chunga burmeisteri), is founc
in forests and wooded savannas. The grasslant
species is about 32 inches long and stands some-
inches taller than its woodland cousin. It is more
generally brownish, while the forest species is
more grayish, and it has a crest some five inches}
long, whereas the forest species has a crest that is
only an inch or so in length.
The Crested species nests generally on the
ground, whereas Burmeister's Cariama usually
nests in bushes or trees. The young are heavily
covered with down and marked with blackisr
li neat ions at hatching. They feed on insects, rep-

tiles, and fruit.

Bustards (Family Otididae). The heaviest flying

birds in the world are found in this primarily ter-

jsbs?? restrial Old World family. Although chiefly cen- i

tered in Africa, bustards also occur in Europe,

Asia, and Australia. All are exceptionally shy
birds, living in grassy savannas and semideserts.
Killdeer,/>. 125 They are three-toed and have long legs and well-
Finfoots or Sun-Grebes developed wings which they are very reluctant to
use, preferring, when in danger, to run with
African Finfoot {Podua senegalensis
great speed. The nest is a natural depression in]
The African Finfoot is a secretive diving bird of
an open grassy field or perhaps a slight hollow
streams and lake margins. It is usually seen swim-
scraped and then lined with a little grass by the
ming along quietly, close to the edge of the water, in
the shelter of overhanging vegetation.
The Great Bustard (Otis tarda) is one of the
largest flying birds in the world. It reaches a
Plovers and Lapwings
weight of about 30 pounds and a length of about
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) 45 inches and stands nearly 4 feet tall. The male
Like certain other ground-nesting birds, the Killdeer is heavier and larger, being about a foot longer

engages in " injury-feigning, "fluttering helplessly than his mate. He wears a long whitish beard, is
on the ground as if mortally wounded. A predator generally rufous above and black and white below
deceived by this behavior is usually ledfar away from and has a bright chestnut breast. The female lacks
the nest and usually cannot find it again. the chestnut markings as well as the beard.
This species ranges from Central Europe east to
Bustards Japan, and winters in India, Persia, and northern
Africa. Unfortunately, this great bird has long
Great Bustard (Otis tarda)
been hunted for its flesh and in many regions it
the largest landbirds of Europe, the
Bustard is found in small flocks
in Spain, Poland,
has now been extirpated —
in the British Isles as
early as 1838. The Great Bustard performs a
and Hungary.
bizarre group courtship dance, the males hissing
lM; and barking and inflating huge air pouches.
Great Bustard, p. 124
Sandpipers, Snipes, Woodcocks, and Turnstones 125

The Australian Bustard (Chorions australis) is phes semicollaris) is about ten inches long with a The other lapwings of the world are rather sim-
r .bably the heaviest or all flying birds, wirh greenish and flesh-colored, red-tipped bill. The ilar in appearance. Some lack the crest of the

i les weighing 32 pounds on record. This great male builds a slight nest of rushes on wet ground. European species, while others have sharp spurs
v ight borne aloft on wings that span about
is Three eggs comprise the usual set. The Old at the bend of the wing. Most are found in the
sj en feet. In Africa, the stronghold or the bus- World Painted Snipe (Rostratula benghalensts) is a warmer areas of the Old World, but three species
t ds, the small, wide-ranging Black-bellied stocky bird with much chestnut, gray, buff, and live in South America. Best known of these is the
]; stard (Lissotis melanogaster) likes burned areas white marking and a broad buff crown stripe. Tero-tero (Vanellus chilensts), a large and noisy
l|t will tolerate grass a yard high. Irs food is This bird lays tour yellowish eggs, densely species inhabiting wet grassy areas throughout
i rmally insects, but occasionally flower buds are streaked and blotched with dark brown. The nest the continent.
en. may be a depression in the ground lined, if the In North America, where no lapwings occur,
ground is very wet, with grass or rushes. other shorebirds fill their place. Chief among
iorebirds, Gulls, and Auks these is the ten-inch Killdeer (Charadrius vocife-
irder Oystercatchers (Family Haematopodidae). Oys- rus), which breeds widely in meadows, pastures,
y-trotters Or JacanaS (Family Jacanidae). This tercatchers are large and spectacular shorebirds, and similar locations. Its black breast rings are
;ll-marked family of slender, long-necked birds ranging from 16 to 2 1 inches in length, occur- double, and they contrast unmistakably with the
curs in warm freshwater marshes of most con- ring along most of the coasts of the world. All are white of the body and the bright chestnut brown
sents and many islands. Their chief distinction predominantly black and white or pure black and of the lower rump and tail coverts. Like other
nails that sometimes reach four inches in length, have brightly colored legs and bills. The most members of the family, the Killdeer is extremely
'canas can walk on rafts of floating lilies and distinctive feature of these birds is a bill about noisy, calling its alarm note, kill-dee kill-dee, at
iioyant water plants in sluggish streams and two and one-half times as long as the head. It is the least sign of danger.
Vamps, where their long toes and immense nails laterally compressed, knitelike, and has a tip like The Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula), a
stnbute their weight over a large area. Jacanas a chisel. The feeding techniques of oystercatchers plump species measuring seven inches, is canvas
ive a metacarpal spur, which grows like a sharp are probably unique. During the brief period of brown above and white below with a black chest
orn from the bend of the wing. Most species ebb tide, when shellfish hold their lips open as band and orange legs. It breeds in northern
ive naked wattles and lappets growing on the they normally do underwater, the oystercatcher climes around the world and winters along equa-
:ad. drives his strong, specially formed bill deep into torial shores. One of the smallest of the group is
In jacanas the usual roles of the sexes are largely the open shell, severing and paralyzing the ani- the Piping Plover (C. melodus), which is about five
versed. The female displays aggressively to the mal within. inches long. It breeds from Virginia northwatd
and her mate does most of the incubating
ale, Oystercatchers usually nest along oceanic and winters south to Mexico and the West Indies.
id cares for the young. Jacanas perform a group beaches. The eggs, which number from two to Its upperparts are amazingly similar in color to
splay with the flocks frequently flying up, cir- four, are deposited on the bare sand in a mere the sandy beaches it usually inhabits.
ng and landing. The American )acana (Jacana
,i , scraped depression, sometimes with a meager The best-known and most widespread plovers
ynosa), ranging from southern Texas to Argen- lining of bits of vegetation and chips of shell and are the two species of golden plover, which breed
na, performs such maneuvers. These are usually stone. The eggs are the color of dull sand, with in the Arctic around the world and winter in the
receded by raising, holding open, and fluttering prominent black and brown markings. Incuba- tropics. In migration these birds make long over-
le prominent, lemon yellow, concealed portions tion is shared by the male and female for a period water passages and transequatonal flights that
the wings. of 26 or 21 days. The young leave the nest a tew frequently follow circuitous routes. The Amer-
Jacanas feed on soft vegetable matter and small hours after hatching. They are brooded and fed by ican Golden Plover (Pluvialis dominica) winters
ivertebrates. They build small nests of buoyant both parents. south to Patagonia, and the larger Old World
vamp plants among thick concealing vegeta- The American Oystercatcher (Haematopus pal- species (P. apricaria), in South Africa, Tasmania,
on. The young,
hatching, have the toes and
at liatus) is found along most of the temperate and and New Zealand. Golden plovers are blackish
ails well developed and soon can follow the male tropical coasts of the New World. Above and on below and brownish above, with conspicuous
ver the rafts of floating vegetation. the neck and upper chest the bird is black; below, golden yellow spots. The vivid blackish under-
The largest of the seven species is the Pheasant- it is white. The bill and eye are red and the large, pays are replaced by pale grayish plumage in
tiled Jacana (Hydrophasianus chtrurgus) of Asia, longish legs pinkish. The Black Oystercatcher winter. Although the golden plovers visit coastal
his beautiful 12-inch bird is found from sea (H. bachmani) of the west coast of North America lagoons, they are chiefly inhabitants of interior
vel to the high lakes of Kashmir. The female and the Sooty Oystercatcher (H. Juliginosus) of meadows.
ith its long tail is unmistakable, reaching 20 Australia are sooty black with flesh-colored legs. Perhaps the most unusual member of the
iches in length. The African Jacana (Actophtlor- Both are chiefly inhabitants of rocky coasts. group is the Wrybill Plover (Anarhynchus fron-

ts africanus) is about a foot long with a bright The European Oystercatcher (H. ostralegus), talis) of New Zealand. It is unique in having the
rown body and a blue forehead. It has been more than any of its relatives, leaves salt water outer quarter of its bill bent to the right. It feeds
bserved walking on mossy rocks and along the and breeds along the grassy edges of interior on rocky beaches and pursues small insecrs,
lores of swamps, which is very unusual for a lakes, even in fields far from water. which attempt to seek refuge under water-worn
icana. stones. The angled bill is thought to be an adap-
Plovers and Lapwings (Family Charadriidae). The tation that assists this plover in capturing its prey
ainted Snipes (Family Rostratulidae). There are Charadrndae range from small to medium size in such situations.
ivo species of painted snipe, one found in south- and are found throughout the world. The family
n South America, the other in Africa, Madagas- is divided into two segments: the lapwings Sandpipers, Snipes, Woodcocks, and Turnstones
ir, the Indo-Malayan region, and the Australian (Vanellinae), of which there are 11 species, and (Family Scolopacidae). This large family reaches
.gion. the true plovers (Charadrnnae), of which there every coast of the world. Compared with the
Structurally the painted snipes differ from true are some 36 species. The majority are shore- nearly related plovers, rhe typical sandpiper is
lipes in having a hard and inflexible bill. The loving birds, but many plovers frequent the up- slender, with a smaller head and a longer bill and
lost striking difference, however, is in the lands. legs. Almost all these birds breed in cold north-
•achea of the female, which executes several The most widespread species of Vanellinae is ern regions and winter far to the south, many of
>ops before entering the lungs. In the male the the very striking Common Lapwing (Vanellus them in the southern hemisphere. In general,
indpipe is straight and the voice is a mere chirp, pane//us) of Eurasia, which has a long, graceful, four eggs are laid in a depression made in ground,
'hereas the female's is deep and resonanr. The glossy black crest and squarish wings. It is about sand, or among pebbles and lined with a meager
male painted snipe is more colorfully dressed a foot long, blackish above and white below with amount of grass. Within a few hours after hatch-
id larger than mate and takes the initiative in
its a broad black chest band, and its dark plumage is ing, the downy, cryptically colored young can
iurtship. The male builds the nest, incubates enriched with iridescent green and bronze. It follow the adults. They may be cared for by either
ie eggs, and cares for the young. winters in the warm parts of Asia and Africa, or both of the parents. The Solitary Sandpiper
The female American Painted Snipe (Nycticry- often migraring southward in huge flocks. (Tringa solitaria) of North America and the Green
126 Sandpipers, Snipes, Woodcocks, and Turnstones

Sandpiper (Tringa ocbropus) of the Old Wij

have nesting habits that seem quite out of c I
acter for sandpipers; they deposit their egg I

the abandoned nests of arboreal birds, sue! %

thrushes, pigeons, and blackbirds.

All of these birds feed on small invertebta
chiefly insects, but certain species take bers
during the breeding season, and others cai
small fish.

Woodcocks (Scolopax) are equipped with lc

sensitive bills that are flexible over the outer th


of their length. In probing the ground usu;

damp swampy terrain — the bill is inser
straight down like an awl, and in this position
tip can be opened to clasp a worm.
Found in swampy grassland, often far from
shore, another group of shorebirds that h;

their eyes set far back in the head like the woe
cock. These are the snipes (Gallinago), lor
billed birds found in all major land areas. Th
are mottled and striped with grass brown, blac
ish, and buff, are adept at evasive flying and
therefore highly regarded as sporting birds. Mc
widely distributed is the Common Snipe (Galh
ago gallinago).
The curlews are tall, stately birds with Ion
slender, down-curved bills. The largest of t

family is the Madagascar Curlew (Numemusmad

gascariensis), which reaches a length of 24 inch
and attains a wingspread of 42 inches. Tl
Whimbrel (N. phaeopus) of both the New and
World reaches a length of 18 inches and has a bi

4 inches long. Above, it is dark brown andgn

with a barred tail, and its white underparts a,
heavily streaked both on the breast and on tt
flanks. Also in this genus is the Bristle-thighe
Curlew (N. tahitiensis), which migrates across th
Pacific to winter on the islands of Polynesia sour
to New Caledonia, fully 6,000 miles from i

place of breeding in Alaska.

The Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularia) i

probably the best-known American shorebird

; This seven-inch species is gray above. In summt
it is white below with profuse small black spots

and it is plain white in winter. It breeds almos

throughout its wide range in North America
from the edge of the sea to the shores of mountaii
lakes.The smallest member of the family is th'
Spotted Sandpiper, p. 125 Least Sandpiper (Calidns minutilla), a six-inc!
bird which above is blackish with buffy browr
edging, and below is whitish and has mud-darl-
streaking. About 13 species belong in this grour
of worldwide, diminutive, and exceedingly
abundant shorebirds, collectively known as

In Eurasia a species of sandpiper, the Ruff
(Philomachus pugnax), has developed traits extra
ordinarily different from those of other members
of the family, especially in its elaborate courtship
ceremony. The males are about 1 1 inches in
length, considerably larger than the females. Inj
the bteeding season the male Ruff grows a mas-
sive erectile ruff, ear tufts of feathers, and facial

warts. These ornaments are lost at the end of the

breeding season, and for the rest of the year both
sexes are dull brown and inconspicuous. The
males and females live apart for all but a few min-
utes of the year, remaining in distinct flocks even
in winter. In spring the male returns thousands of
miles to ancestral courtship areas.
The two species of turnstones were formerly
placed with the plovers, but are now believed to
Long-billed Curlew, /?. 72

Sandpipers, Snipes, Woodcocks, and Turnstones 127

Lily-trotters or Jacanas
African Jacana ( Actophilorms africanus)
The African Jacana spends its life walking about on
floating vegetation in marshes. In this habitat, safe
from most predators , these birds need not molt their
flight feathers one at a time to maintain year-round
flight capabilities. Instead, the flight feathers are shed
all at once, and the birds are flightless for about a

Sandpipers, Snipes, Woodcocks,

and Turnstones
Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularia)
Although it is one of the most familiar birds of North
America, the Spotted Sandpiper managed to conceal
one of the most important aspects of its breeding
behavior until very recently. Not until 1972 did
ornithologists discover that in this species the usual
roles of the sexes are reversed; the females establish and
defend territories, and the males are the ones that
incubate the eggs and care for the young.

Long-billed Curlew Numemus americanus (

When it hatches, a young Long-billed Curlew has a

straight bill no longer than its head. But as the bird
matures, its bill becomes curved and grows at a rate

much faster than the rest of the body. An adult may

have a bill nearly rune inches long —
half the length
of its body.

Ruff ( Philomachus pugnax)

Each spring male Ruffs acquire striking plumes on the
head and neck and gather for communal courtship
displays. The females, known as Reeves visit these ,

gatherings to mate, and then raise their broods

unaided by the males. The Ruff nests throughout
northern Eurasia, and has recently been found
breeding in Alaska.

128 Phalaropes

be more closely related to the sandpipers. T!

Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) breeds cl

islands and coasts ringing the Arctic and winte

south to Chile, South Africa, Australia, and Ne
Zealand. One of the most vividly colored of a|
shorebirds, it is marked above with large brigh
areas of chestnut and black, and with a whin
lower back and a white zone on the upper ta
coverts. Below, it has a black chest band, a whit
abdomen,, and orange legs. The Rudd
Turnstone frequents marine beaches, where i

turns over small stones and beach debris in ques

of food. The closely related but less colorful Blao
Turnstone (A. melanocephala) is much more re

stricted in distribution, breeding along thecoas