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But, however falsely used heretofore," &c. &c. Now I had several times even pointed out, to different friends, who have accompanied me to the Calcutta bazar, how to distinguish legs of Sheep mutton from legs of Goat mutton, by the invariable token here alluded to ; and I therefore felt some surprise at Mr. Hodgson's assertion : but as he recommends me to “ look at nature, instead of books,” and as some tame Goats were immediately at hand, I of course had them caught and examined them; when I found that they do possess interdigital pores on the fore-feet only-not on the hind-feet,--a piece of information which I infer to be as new to Mr. Hodgson as the existence of pores on the fore-feet proved to myself. But I say nothing about an “important oversight,” on his part, in having (when once about it) overlooked the circumstance of the non-existence of interdigital pores on the hind-feet of the common Goat : but will merely remark on the probability that Ammotragus was not so misdiscriminated by Mr. Blyth,” after all, but that it will be found to differ from the Goats in having, like other Sheep, interdigital orifices on all four legs.
We next come to my " oversight equally important,” in the fact of my not having mentioned that 0. burrhel was deficient in the suborbital sinuses, any more than Mr. Hodgson mentioned the same deficiency in 0. nahoor, in his elaborate and latest description of the latter species, published in X. 231 ! To be sure, Mr. Hodgson alludes to my being “a professed naturalist:" but at the time I drew up the 'Mono. graph of the species of wild Sheep,' I was surely, in every respect, quite as much an amateur in the matter as himself, either then or now, and was very considerably his junior in such investigations. The different new species described in that paper are, indeed, the first novelties in the class of mammalia which I ever published !* Nevertheless, I cannot think of admitting the implied distinction between an amateur naturalist and a “professed” one. Whoever undertakes to describe new species of organized beings, by so doing professes himself a naturalist ;
And, therefore, I maintain that the somewhat harsh (not to say captious) tone of Mr. Hodgson's remarks on this labour of mine is altogether uncalled for, under the circumstances. Can Mr. H. cite a paper of his own which shows, on the face of it, anything approaching to the same amount of research amongst the labours of his predecessors? Or one that could have cost himself more labour in other respects ? Or that has alded more to the previous knowledge of the subject ?
and credit will of course be given him for having duly studied the writings of his predecessors, or he is unqualified for the task, and should be content to borrow the assistance of those who do profess to have done so.
But I am pleased to see that Mr. Hodgson now admits my Oris burrhel, as a good species : because, not very long ago (in XI, 283), he stated, positively, that “Mr. Blyth's Ovis burrhel is no other than my náhoor. Mr. Blyth's" (i.e. the Zoological Society's)“ specimen of which was dyed brown by a preservative lotion that was applied by the killer and curer of it, Lieutenant Smith, 15th Native Infantry !!” (Vide also note.) Captain Smith has lately favored me with sundry items of information respecting Himalayan mammalia ; comprising a notice of 0. burrhel, nobis, as distinct from 0. náhoor, which I shall presently have occasion to cite.
In the course of a note which I appended to Mr. Hodgson's above quoted remark on my 0, burrhel, I took occasion to observe (XI, 284, and there is another reminder in XV, 153), that “ With respect to 0. ammonoides, Hodgson, it will be remembered that I had dedicated this animal to Mr. Hodgson himself, terming it Hodgsonii, some time before the publication of the name ammonoides," i. e. in the . Proceedings of the Zoological Society' for July 1840, whereas Mr. Hodgson's paper descriptive of O. ammonoides, and published in the Society's Journal for 1841, p. 230, bears his own date of March for that year. I camot, therefore, understand upon what principle Mr. IIodgson adheres to the latter appellation ; and the more especially as he is known to be particularly tenacious of his own nomenclature.*
* On the same occasion, I pointed out that Captain 1Iutton's Ovis cycloceros had been priorly named by me 0. Vignei: and Captain Hutton, accordingly, adopts the latter name in preference to that of his own coining, in XV, 152. Nor is the above the only instance of the kind I have reason to complain of, on the part of Mr. Hodgson, who must show a little more respect for the claims of others if he expects his own to be upheld. For example, some time ago Mr. Hodgson will remember sending me a bird by the name Chelidorhynx chrysoschistos, which I informed him that I already had in print, by the name Rhipidura hyporantha, XII, 935 : and in correcting the proof, I inserted an acknowledgment of the receipt of Mr. Hodgson's specimen (in the following page), adding that I then adopted his genus Chelidorhynr; which, however, has since proved to be true Rhipidura, as opposed to Leucocerca, Swainson (vide XV, 290). Yet Mr. Hodgson had no compunction in publishing his Chelidorhynx chrysoschistos as a new species in the 'Proceedings of the Zoological Society' for 1845, p. 32; and at p. 26 he
And I must further take the liberty of recalling Mr. Hodgson's remarks (in X, 915), concerning a critique on his own labours. “It is well known," writes Mr. Hodgson, “that when Mr. Ogilby wrote, several successive catalogues of mine, embodying the improving results of new information, and greater skill in the appreciation of it, existed ; and had Mr. Ogilby consulted the whole of them, according to their dates, he might have spared a great part of his cursorious remarks.” Thus, with regard to tame Sheep with naturally short tails, Mr. Hodgson will find, in XV, 153, my printed statement that—“The fighting rams of India seem to me to be of a race descended from Oris l'ignei, of which they preserve the crescent horns and short tail :” and in the following page,—“Whether any long-tailed Sheep, with horns describing more than a spiral circle, could have descended from the crescenthorned and short-tailed 0. musimon (which is closely allied to 0. V'ignei), is extremely doubtful.” Mr. Hodgson might, therefore, to be consistent with himself, have qualified a little his remarks on this subject (in XV, 343).
We would now return to the paragraph which I commenced by quoting, and examine whether really I founded "many species” of wild Sheep " upon an inspection of the horns solely:" but I will first remark that Mr. Hodgson has himself founded various species of mammalia upon what I consider much less satisfactory data than those afforded by the horns of different wild Sheep, which, in general, (as must be admitted by all who are acquainted with them,) supply exceedingly good specifical distinctions.
Martes (?) tufæus, H. (XI, 281). “Ilave several fine skins from Lassa and Seling, but as they want the teeth and talons and tail, I can but conjecture from information and the specimens as they are, that the animal is a Marten. Thus judging, I should say that the Toufee has much of the size and proportions of the last or flavigula, but its pelage is much richer and softer. * * * Probable length from snout to vent 20 to 22 inches, mean height 7,” &c. Now there is a Tibetan Marten which I have lately had occasion to describe, which I feel very confident to be this M. tufæus : but its size does not exceed that of the two European Martens (to which it is very nearly allied), gives, as another new species, Dimorpha ? rubrocyana, H., which I likewise distinctly informed him was my Muscicapulu hyperythra (vide p. 127, ante)!!!
being considerably smaller than flavigula ; and I infer, therefore, that the dimensions above given are those of exceedingly stretched skins.
“ Mustela (?) calotus, H.” (Calcutta Journal of Natural History, II. 221, and pl. IX; a figure which I, for one, would certainly never have ventured upon publishing). I can give no opinion of my own respecting this animal ; but in Mr. J. E. Gray's 'List of Specimens of the Mammalia in the British Museum,' (p. 139,) I see “ Mustela calotus, Hodgson," placed as a synonyme of Sciurus europeus !!!* In XI, 286, two Tibetan animals are enumerated as—“ 39. Equus,
E, kiang, Moorcroft ; † E. hemione” (quære hemionus ?), “ Auct ? Found generally throughout Tibet. I have no specimen."--" 40. Asinus equioides, mihi. Species want verification, spoken of by Moorcroft and others : called wild Ass by the Tibetans, and said to be common on the plains of Tibet. Possess no specimen.” Mr. Hodgson, nevertheless, does not hesitate to give a name to the latter animal, which I am satisfied refers to E. hemionus, or the Kiang (vide XV, 146); while the other is, I suspect, the same wild type of Equus caballus as was described, and the foal figured, by Pallas. I
Mr. Gray's note of interrogation refers obviously to the work in which M. calotus is published, not to the identification of the animal.
+ Vide Moorcroft's Travels, I, 312, and 442, and other notices in the same work. E, B.
# While this article was proceeding through the press, the 28th No. of the Calcutta Journal of Natural History came to hand, containing a paper by Mr. Hodgson, entitled “ Description of the Wild Ass and Wolf of Tibet,” in which he now states—" There is, I believe, no species of wild Horse in Tibet, and only one species of wild Ass, viz., the Kiang:" and though fully aware that Moorcroft had named this animal Equus kiang, and that he had himself termed it Asinus equioides, it is now a third time wantonly named Asinus polyodon! The last name, too, being founded on the mistaken supposition that the little præmolar in front of the series of upper grinders in the Kiang is peculiar to that animal ; whereas (it is needless to remind the generality of Zoologists) this tooth is normally present in the Horse and Ass (!!), if not in every other species of the genus ; but is subject to be occasionally lost, when its socket becomes gradually filled up, and disappears totally. Referring to five skulls of Horses in the Society's Museum, I find this tooth or its socket present in three of them, but lost and the socket completely atrophied upon one side of one of these three ; and in an Ass's skull I find it on both sides, as in Mr. Hodgson's figure of the series of upper molars of the Kiang : so much, then, for the name (or rather synonyme) polyodon! With regard to Pallas's assertion (as quoted by Pennant and Shaw), that the hemionus has only 38 teeth in all, or two fewer than in the Horse and Ass, it is difficult to imagine which are here meant as being deficient, in aldition to the two little upper præmolars ; and I confess to entertaining doubts on the subject. The colour of the Kiang, I can safely assert to be ab
Mr. Hodgson's subgenus Pseudo-cervus (X, 914, and XI, 284), refers, in my opinion, decidedly, to a young truly elaphine Stag (Cerrus Wallichii, Duvaucel), of the third year ; the horns of which had not attained the size and figure which they would have exhibited in the mature animal. It is most probably identical with the great truly elaphine Stag of Kashmir. So much for this alleged subgenus .'*
Indeed, Mr. Hodgson should be the very last person to complain of " innumerable vague and shadowy species” being “the plague of Zoological science,” (vide XV, 335,) inasmuch as he has burdened science with a frightful list of cumbersome and useless synonymes (vide for instance, those reduced in my papers on birds), based upon no distinctive characters whatever. Witness his catalogue of Nepalese Mynahs, (V. 771 :)+ and even when convinced of error, instead of hastening to
solutely similar to that of several specimens which I have seen alive of Equus hemionus : the Society's skin of the former is in summer garb; and I have repeatedly witnessed, in England, the seasonal changes of the hemionus, which are just as Mr. Hodgson has described those of the Kiang. In fact, my opinion remains unchanged that the Kiang will prove, upon actual comparison, to be identical with Equus hemionus.
Mr. Hodgson's Lupus laniger is another familiar acquaintance, of which he might have seen three fine mounted skins, in different states of pelage, when he visited the Society's Museum : but I cannot accede to his opinion that it has any claim to be regarded as a peculiar species, after what I have seen of the variation of Wolves of different countries, and even of the same country; but I must reserve the discussion of this subject for a more convenient opportunity.
Some remarks on the transverse shoulder-stripe incidental to the Asinine subgroup of Equus, will be found in a note to vol. XI, p. 286: since writing which, I have observed a domestic Ass with a second transverse stripe, and another with four (!) and not equi. distant cross-stripes, varyiug too in length, and the last crossing the loins. Buchanan Hamilton, I think, somewhere states that the Asses of Madras are sometimes without any cross-stripe : and finally, I may remark that those of Lower Bengal are very commonly more or less. barred with black on the limbs, at all ages. That the supposed Equus asinus (ferus) of Prof. Gmelin was an individual variety of hemionus, with a small cross-stripe on the shoulders, I scarcely feel any doubt whatever.
* I have indeed been assured that Mr. Hodgson's Cervus affinis, or great elaphine Stag of the Nepal sál forest (X, 721), was founded on a skull and horns purchased from a ship in the port of Calcutta by the Nepal Vakeel, Luckman Pardia, who presented it to the then prime minister of Nepal, Bim Sen, by whom it was presented to Mr. Hodgson. It certainly would appear that Mr. H. has never since been able to procure another specimen.
+" We have seven species," writes Mr. Hodgson, “all abundant in Nepal. - 1. religiosa.-2. cristelloides, (nob.)-3. Tristoides, (nob. ) -—-4. sylvestris, (nob.)-5. Afinis, (nob.)-6. Communis, (nob.)—7. Terríclou, (nob.)-- And Mr. Hodgson has since