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stately and valuable timber tree (Shorea robusta) throughout the tract in question, except near the sea, where it is replaced by the Teak, which may be aptly denominated the pelagic saul.
This primeval forest is the peculiar and exclusive habitat of the Hispid Hare, a species that never ventures into the open plains on the one hand, or into the mountains on the other; and hence it is so little known, deep cover and deadly malaria contributing alike to its happy obscurity. As the black-necked Hare or Nigricollis is the single species of the Deccan, and the Red tail Ruficaudata of Hindosthan and Bengal, so is the Hispid of the vast snb-Himalayan forest; and it is remarkable that the mountains beyond the forest, even up to the perpetual snows, have no peculiar species, the Red tail of the plains being alone found there. Two specimens only of the Hispid Hare are yet.on record.*
These were obtained respectively on the banks of the Tista and in Assam. My two were got near the Cosi, and recently. Previously I had never obtained a specimen, though I have often heard of and even seen the animal as far west as the Gandac, and information on which I can rely convinces me that the species extends, within the saul forest, as far westerly as Gorakpur, and as far east and south as Assam and Tipperah. The Hispid Hare is a habitual burrower, like the Rabbit ; but, unlike that species, it is not gregarious, and affects deep cover, the pair dwelling together, but apart from their fellows, in subterranean abodes of their own excavation, and having, it is supposed, two or three broods in the year, consisting of one or two young each time. Less highly endowed with the senses of seeing and hearing than the common hare or rabbit, and gifted with speed far inferior to that of the former or even of the latter species, the Ilispid Hare is dependant for safety upon the double concealment afforded by the heavy undergrowth of the forest and by its own burrow, and accordingly it never quits the former shelter, and seldom wanders far from the latter, whilst the harsh hair of its coat affords it an appropriate and unique protection against continual necessary contact with the huge and serrated grasses, reeds and shrubs in the midst of which it dwells, and dwells so securely that it is seldom or never seen even by the natives, save for a short period after the great annual clearance of the Tarai by fire. The Meeches, to whom I am indebted for my specimens, call the
Sporting Magazine, August, 1834: Asiatic Journal No. 160 of 1815).
animal the Black Hare or Saul forest Hare, both excellent names -and they tell me that it feeds chiefly on roots and the bark of trees, a circumstance as remarkably in harmony with the extraordinary rodent power of its structure as are its small eyes and ears, weighty body and short strong legs, with what has been just stated relative the rest of its habits. The whole forms a beautiful instance of adaptation without the slightest change of organism ; for neither in the hard nor soft anatomy of the forest Hare is there the least essential deviation from those of the Hare of the open country, but only a modification of the same type suited to the peculiar life of each, as respective tenants of the open and cultivated country and of the rude and dense wild. Why the Hare of the plains, and not that of the forest, should pass into the mountains, apparently so much better suited to the latter species, we cannot conjecture: and, though this fact is an argument in favour of considering the Hispid or forest Hare as a separate type--an argument that may be yet further sustained by those differences in external form which very noticeably segregate it from the common Hares of England and of Hindosthan (Timidus and Ruficaudatus), yet, on the other hand, its essential anatomical identity with these animals, and the manner in which the marked diversity of external form just noticed, as well as other peculiarities of habit above recorded, are gradually lost as we pass to other species of true Hare, are arguments of weight against any generic or sub-generic separation. In the Timid and red-tailed Hares the long ears, the large eyes, the frame as well suited to extreme speed as the eyes and ears to effective vigilance, are certainly in remarkable contrast with the small eyes and ears, heavy frame and short equal legs of the forest hare : but all these distinctions, as well as those of domicile, become less and less tangible in the variable Hare, the Rabbit, the Tolai, and the Tapiti, * in which moreover we have variously reproduced, even to the subordinate peculiarities of the Indian forest Hare, such as its white flesh, its short tail, its subterranean retreat and creeping adhesion thereto, so unlike the dashing career of the redtailed and English species. With these few remarks upon the propriety or otherwise of separating the Hispid Hare from his congeners, I now proceed to what will more fully illustrate that point, viz. a
* See Shaw, Vol. II, voce Tolai and Regne animal ad locum and Naturalist's Library, Vol. xiii. Pl. 28.
caretul description of my specimens. They consist of a male and temale of mature, or advanced age rather, and they were taken together, when in full fur in February. They were very impatient of confinement and died very soon, owing to injuries inflicted on themselves by vain attempts at escape. I describe them as they lie before me, dead, with fine specimens of the common hare and rabbit beside them. The sexes are as near as possible of the same size and colour ; but, if anything, the male is rather the larger and darker. The male measures 19 inches from snout to vent--head to the occiput, 1 ; cars to the lobe 23 ; to the crown 2* ; foreleg from elbow to end of longest toe nail 13. Ilindleg from true knee to longest nail 7. Planta from heel to long toe-nail 3} ; heel to knee 41; scut only 1; scut and hair 21; weight 5, lbs. The female is 19 inches long and 5 lbs. Both have a girth behind the shoulder of 12 inches : but the female's tail is the longer, being 2 inches, or 3 with the fur. Her other proportions are almost identical with the male's. Compared with the common species, which lies beside them as I write, these animals are conspicuously of darker hue and heavier make, but not larger. They have heavier heads, much shorter ears, smaller eyes, shorter tails, limbs shorter, stronger and less unequal-in that respect like a rabbit--and, lastly, their mystaccal tufts are much less, and their fur much harsher. Looking closer into their structure it is observable that the profile of the head is less curved in the Hispid than in the common species, the nails somewhat larger, and the digits slightly different in gradation, the thumb in particular being less withdrawn and the little finger more so, from the front, in Hispidus. But the nails have no peculiarity of conformation and so far from being “very acute,” they are very blunt and worn. The nose and lips agree precisely with those of the common species : but the eye is conspicuously smaller and placed less backwards, or midway between the snout and ears. The ears both in male and female considerably exceed one half of the length of the head, and are broader as well as shorter than in Ruficaudatus or Timidus; and it is remarkable that the tail in the male is shorter than in the female -in both more so than in Timidus. The teats are six, two pectoral, and four ventral, just as in Ruficaudatus ; and the sculls and teeth of the two species are framed upon precisely the same model, general and particular, with this only and striking difference that the skull of the
forest Hare possesses greater strength and solidity with proportional augmentation of the teeth, but especially of the incisors. The skull is rather higher but scarcely so long as in the red-tail. It is also less curved along the culmenal line: the nasal bones are shorter yet more advanced to the front: the solutions of continuity in the bone of the cheeks and palate are smaller ; the alæ of the frontals less developed, and the frontals consequently not sunk between them as in the common Hare and Rabbit : lastly, the groove in front of the upper incisors is continued to their cutting edge so as to notch it. But with all these minute diversities there is a remarkably perfect conformity to one model of conformation even in minutiæ. So too in the internal viscera of the two species, though here the disparity appears somewhat greater and more material, for the intestinal canal of Ilispidus is much shorter, the difference being, however, compensated in the greater size of the coecum and of that portion of the intestine which resembles the cæcum. The stomach also exhibits a greater tumidity and thickening near the pyloric orifice, where there is less of these features, or, instead of them, merely a syphonic bend, in the red-tail and rabbit. The particulars of the viscera are set down in the sequel in figures, and I have only further to remark that the bicornate uterus, which in my specimen was imimpregnated-has precisely the character of the same organ in the redtail; and that the diversity of the other viscera is the less important in as much as several individuals of the same species are apt to show much inequality in this respect, as I have proof before me in regard to the common Hare and Rabbit. With reference to the nature and colours of the fur in the common and forest species, how striking soever the differences at first sight appear, they diminish on closer inspection, for the structure of the hair is exactly the same in both, only with greater thickness and consequent strength in Ilispidus ; and the hues and their distribution into rings are surprisingly alike, with these differences merely that the rufous tints are deeper toned or browner; and that the dark shading is deeper and fuller, in Ilispidus, owing chiefly to the greater abundance of the longer and wholly dark portion of the hairy piles. I have examined the hair and fur, both as to form and colours, with great care; and the above is the result. The general effect may be said to be that the Hispid Hare, as to colour, is of a dark or irongrey with the ruddy-tinge embrowned, and the limbs shaded outside, like the body, with black, instead of being unmixed rufous,
Female. Snout to vent,..
1 7 Head to occiput,
0 4 Greatest depth,
0 23 Snout to eye, .
0 2 Thence to base of ear,
0 2 Ear from anteal base, .
0 23 From crown of head, .
0 23 Foreleg, elbow to long toe-nail,
0 43 -Palma and nails,
0 2 Hind leg, knee to end toe-nail,
0 71 Knee to os calcis,
0 41 Os calcis to toe-nail,
0 33 Girth of chest,
1 0 Weight,
5 lbs. 5 lbs. Length of Intestines.
SMALL. GREAT. CECUM. Male,....
1 S Female,..
1 10 The cæcum is 24 to 2} wide, and 20 to 22 inches of the great gut next it are of like width and similarly sacced. The last 4 to 6 inches of the cæcum are simple and narrow. Average width of intestines inches, exclusive of wide part.
Some account of the “Kalán Musjeed, commonly called the “ kalee
Musjeed,” within the new town of Dehli, by Lieut. HENRY LEWIS, Artillery, Deputy Commissary of Ordnance, and HENRY COPE, Esq.*
The historian says of Feeroz Toghluk, that during a reign of thirtyeight years “he built fifty dams across rivers, to promote irrigation; forty mosques ; thirty colleges; one hundred serais ; thirty reservoirs for irrigation ; one hundred hospitals ; one hundred public baths, and one hundred and fifty bridges, besides many other edifices for pleasure or ornament.”-Elphinstone's History of India, Vol. II. p. 71. * Communicated by the Archeological Society of Delhi.