« السابقةمتابعة »
Description of a female, 6 years old by the marking of the horns;
In the female the colouring is lighter than that of the male, having more grey; and the throat and foreneck are slatey instead of white, and devoid of the long pendent frill which graces the other sex; the dark dorsal line, which in the male runs in a narrow stripe through the pale disc, ends in the female at the commencement of the disc, and the tail and croup are of the same canescent fawn colour; the disc is far more extensive than that of the male. Along the ridge of the neck above, from the base of the horns to about 10 inches beyond them, there is a mane of true woolly hair 6 inches long, gradually fading into the crisp quilly hair of the dorsal line. There is no dark list down the outside of the limbs, but the colour is pale fawn.
Front surface of horns,
Inner lateral surface,
In both sexes there is a beautifully soft inner coating of fine pushmeena wool of a pale mouse colour.
The height of the animals I have not given, as the limbs are defective in my specimens.
The above measurements were taken with care, and although my male appears somewhat superior in size to Mr. Hodgson's, the general correspondence is evident enough.
Mr. Hodgson's male over all is,.
This species appears to differ from "Ovis montana" of America, in having the hair on the throat elongated into a pendent fringe, while in the latter species, as described in Griffith's Synopsis, it is distinctly stated that there are "no long hairs under the throat." Dr. Richardson (as quoted by Mr. Blyth in No. 35, J. A. S. for 1841) states in speaking of the Rocky Mountain Sheep, that "as the ends of the hairs (in which the colour resides) are gradually rubbed off during the progress of the winter, the tints become paler, and the old rams are thus almost white in the spring." In the male specimen before me, this could not take place, for the colouring instead of being confined "to the ends of the hairs," pervades them, though less intensely, to the base, and the animal by rubbing would assume a slatey grey hue, except on the throat, disc, and belly, where it would be white. In the American species again, the tail is said to be 5 inches long, whereas in the Thibetan animal it is only 3 inches, and the length from nose to tail appears to be superior to that of " O. montana."
On the other hand it would appear to agree very well with the descriptions of " Ovis Ammon," except, that Col. H. Smith states, that the female of that species wants the disc on the croup, while in my specimens the pale disc of the female is larger and more conspicuous than in the male.
Secondly, in the Synopsis, the horns are said to touch on the forehead, while in Mr. Hodgson's description they are 4th of an inch apart, and in my specimen they are th of an inch apart;-in the bare skull they are 14 inches apart. This character however is nullified in the text, where it is said that they are "nearly touching."
Thirdly, it is stated that the horns of "O. Ammon" have "the broadest side towards the forehead," and if this means towards the front, as I suppose it does, then it would seem to prove that our animal is distinct from 0. Ammon, inasmuch as its horns have the narrowest side to the front,-the base of the triangle being 34 inches, and the inner side 6 inches wide! "O. Ammon" is likewise said to be "nearly five feet in length,"-whereas the Bhotan species is more than 6 feet in length!
Unless therefore these published characters of O. Ammon can be satisfactorily proved to be incorrect, it would appear that Mr. Hodgson has good and sufficient grounds for declaring the two animals to be
distinct, and therefore for establishing his "Ovis Ammonoides." The point can only be determined by those who may have the opportunity of comparing specimens of both.
On the Hispid Hare of the Saul forest.-By B. H. HODGSON, Esq.
Lepus hispidus. Pearson.
Caprolagus hispidus. Blyth.
Habitat, The great forest at the base of the Sub-Hima
layas and of their offsets, from Gorakpur to Tipperah.
Having been recently so fortunate as to obtain a fine living pair of the Hispid Hare of the Saul forest, together with some trustworthy information about the habits and location of the species, I purpose to give the results of my examination and inquiries to the Society, the animal being extremely rare, and moreover being one of those species the right understanding of which, in relation to its congeners, is calculated to throw light upon the difficult question of the true nature and limits of generic aggregations.
The sub-Himalayas and that portion of their south-eastern continuation dividing the basins of the Irawadi and of the lower Bruhmaputra, are accompanied all the way from the point where the Ganges intersects them to the sea, by a vast forest which forms their skirt towards the plains of Hindostan and Bengal. This forest, which is one of the largest and most unbroken in the world, having a breadth or depth of from 10 to 20 and even 30 miles throughout its extended course of some 1500 miles, and being inhabited only in spots here and there, is one of the most important features of the Geography of India for the zoologist, owing to the number of animals that are now peculiar to it, because they have found probably in its immense malarious recesses a last refuge from the gradual encroachments of man. Swainson observes that there are no forests or tenants of the forest like those of the new world: but those who have followed the Gaur and Elephant, the Arna and Rhinoceros, the Samber and Barasinga though the Saul forest' as above defined, have felt little disposition to acquiesce in that remark. The popular designation of Saul forest is derived from the prevalence of that