The elegant Albino now in the Tower was brought from Bombay by Captain Dalrymple of the Vansittart, and remained for a considerable time at Sand Pit Gate, where it was an especial favourite with his Majesty, as well on account of the gentleness of its disposition, as for its rarity and beauty. It bears its confinement in the Menagerie with perfect resignation, and is remarkable for the mildness and tranquillity of its deportment.
If to these two kinds of Menageries we add that which has every where and under all circumstances accompanied the first dawn of civilization, and which constitutes the distinguishing characteristic of man emerging from a state of barbarism and entering upon a new and social state of existence, the possession of flocks and herds, of animals useful in his domestic economy, serviceable in the chase, and capable of sharing in his daily toils, a tolerable idea may be formed of the collections which were brought together in the earliest ages, and were more or less the subjects of study to a race of men who were careless of every thing that had no immediate bearing upon their feelings, their passions, or their interests.
THE CIVET, OR MUSK CAT.下载
But the presence of this one anomalous characteristic is accompanied by so many striking discrepancies in other parts, that, limited as this tribe is in number, most of the principal forms of Mammalia find analogous representations among its groups. Thus the Opossums exhibit characters in some measure intermediate between the Quadrumana and the Carnivora, to which latter the Dasyuri, another Marsupial group, closely resembling the Civets in form and habits, approach very nearly; while the herbivorous races of the tribe might occupy a station between the Rodent and Ruminant Orders, with each of which they exhibit various degrees of relationship. This want of uniformity in the essential parts of their organization necessarily gives rise to much difficulty in determining their position in the system. The mode of classification now most generally followed is perhaps, under all the circumstances, the best that could at the present moment be adopted; although it must be owned that the purely herbivorous species arrange themselves with a very ill grace under a subdivision of the order Carnivora. Placed, however, as they are at the end of that order, and immediately before the Rodentia, the regular gradations from the type of the former to that of the latter, which occur in their different groups, become most distinctly manifest.下载
THE MALAYAN RUSA-DEER.