صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

Length of the head,

0 feet 6 inch. Ditto ditto neck,

0 5 Ditto ditto shell,

3 1
Ditto ditto tail,. .

0 4
FAM. THALASSIDÆ, OR TURTLES, Dum. and Bibr.

GEN. CHELONIA, Brogniart.
Body covered with horny plates ; fins with one or two nails.

Sub-Gen. Chelonia liberce (Chelonées franches). Dum. and Bibr. Discal shields 13, not imbricate ; muzzle short, rounded; upper jaw slightly notched in front, toothed on the sides ; lower jaw formed of three pieces, and with the edges deeply toothed; the first finger of each fin nailed.

CHELONIA VIRGATA, Schweigger. Syn.-Turtle of the Red Sea, Bruce.

Chelonia virgata, apud Cuvier, Guerin, Duméril and Bibron, Gray :

Catal.
Chelonia midas, Var. D. Gray.
Chelonia fasciata, Cuvier, apud Schlegel.

Pinyú” of the Malays of Pinang. Young.--Head, shell and fins greenish black; margin of the shell and fins and sternum white.

Adult.-Head and fins chestnut, scales edged with yellow ; shell greenish yellow with chestnut rays and spots; sternum gamboge, or greenish yellow. HABIT.-Malayan Seas.

Teneriffe, Rio Janeiro, Cape of Good Hope, New York, Indian

Ocean, Red Sea. This species is at all seasons plentifully taken in fishing stakes in the straits of Malacca, and is the “Green Turtle" of the European inhabitants of our Malayan settlements, and of the sea-ports of India. In size it equals Chelonia midas, Schweigger, which it rivals in flavour. About December and January is the season when the female deposits her eggs in the sandy beach of some sequestered island, and then the fishermen watch during the moonlight nights to “turn turtles.” The eggs are of a spherical shape, about one inch in diameter, covered by a soft hemitransparent membrane of a pale yellow colour. The expert eye of the fishermen baffles the pains with which the turtle conceals her eggs, and prodigious numbers are disinterred,

[ocr errors]

They are very rich, flavoured like marrow, and will keep for weeks although exposed to the air.

M. M. Duméril and Bibron have pointed out the differences between the adult of the present species and Chelonia midas, Schweigger, principally consisting in colours, and in the form of the vertebral and costal shields, to which may be added the comparative greater length of the fronto-nasal shields in Chelonia virgata, in which the breadth is one-third of the length, whereas in Chelonia midas it is one-half, and these proportions appear to be constant in all ages of the two species. The very young of both greatly resemble each other in colours and shape. Six living young of the present species were all of the following dimensions : Length of the head,

07 inch. Ditto ditto neck,

04 Ditto ditto shell,

2 Ditto ditto tail, The following slight differences are the result of a comparison between the living young of Chelonia virgata and the representation of Chelonia midas given by Schoepff. Tab. XVII. Fig. 2. Chelonia virgata.

Chelonia midas. 1. Shell cordiform; the length 1. Shell ovate ; the length exexceeds the breadth by one-eighth. ceeds the breadth by more than

two-eighths. 2. 2d vertebral shield much

2. 1st and 2nd vertebral of broader than 1st, and is altogether

equal dimensions. the largest of the series. 3. 2d costal shield larger than

3. 2d and 3d costal equal. the 3d.

4. Sincipital plate broader than 4. Sincipital plate longer than long

broad. 5. Breadth of fronto-nasal 5. Breadth of fronto-nasals one shields one third of their length. half of their length.

6. Each fin with a single nail. 6. Each fin with 2 nails. Sub. Gen. Cheloniæ imbricate, (Chélonées imbriquées,) Dum. and Bibr.

Discal shields 13, imbricate; muzzle long, compressed ; jaws with the edge straight, not toothed, at the extremity slightly recurved : each fin with 2 nails.

[ocr errors]

CHELONIA IMBRICATA, (Linné.)
SYN.-La Tortue Caret, Dutertre.

Scaled Tortoise, Grew.
Caret, Labat, Fermin, Lacép., Bosc, Cuvier.
Testudo marina americana, Seba.
Hawksbill Turtle, Brown, Catesby.

Gmelin.
Pennant.

Donnd.
Testudo imbricata, Linné, apud Latreille.

Schoepff.
Schneider.

Shaw.

(Daudin.
Testudo caretta, Knorr.
La Tuilée, Daubenton.
Caretta imbricata, Merrem, apud Gray : Catal.
Chelonia multiscutala, Kuhl ?

Prince Maxim.
Chelonia imbricata, Schweig- Duméril and Bibron.

Gray.
ger, apud.

Prince Musignano.

Bell.
Chélonée faux caret, Lesson.
Chelonia caretta, Temminck, and Schlegel.
Kúra-kúra” of the Malays of Pinang.

Head brown, scales edged or rayed with yellow; shell yellow, marbled or rayed with rich brown ; sternum yellowish white. In the young the areola of the sternal shields black.

HABIT.-Malayan Seas.

Atlantic and Indian Ocean. The largest individual observed was of the following dimensions : Length of the head,

0 feet 44 inch. Ditto ditto neck,

0 Ditto ditto shell,

1 7 Ditto ditto tail,..

0 2

34

Sub. Gen. Caouana, (Caouanes,) Dum, and Bibr. Discal shields 15, not imbricate; jaws at the extremity slightly recurved.

CHELONIA OLIVACEA, Eschscholtz : Atlas.
SYN.-Chelonia caouana, Var. B. Gray.

Chelonia dussumierii, Dum. and Bibr.
Caouana olivacea, Gray : Catal.

Young.–Above blackish olive, lighter than in the adult ; shell and fins edged with pale yellow; sternum pale greenish yellow, washed with chestnut, areolæ blackish.

Adult.Head brown; shell blackish green ; some of the marginal scales of the fins yellow; sternum yellow, washed with chestnut ; 27 marginal shields; fins with one nail.

[blocks in formation]

The shell is broad sub-cordiform, (its length exceeding its breadth by half an inch,) three-keeled, the vertebral keel strongest, dentated behind; the marginal shields 27, obliquely placed. The 1st and 4th pair of costals, and the 4th vertebral shield each divided in two pieces.

In a not quite full-grown specimen, in the Museum of the Asiatic Society, the length of the shell is 2ft. 19 inch ; its greatest breadth is 2ft. 04 inch, the length exceeding the breadth by one inch. The vertebral shields are still slightly keeled. The 1st and 4th pair of costals, the 2nd left costal, and the 4th vertebral are divided. The central part of the margin is slightly curved upwards. The edges of the jaws are not toothed, but they are transparent with fine white vertical lines, which give them a fringed appearance.

The flesh of this turtle, though relished by the Chinese settlers, is unpalatable to Europeans.

SAURIA. FAM. CROCODILID.E, Bonaparte (ASPIDIOTES, Dum, anul Bibr.)

Sub. Gen Crocodilus, apud Curier. Muzzle oblong, depressed ; teeth unequal, the 4th of the lower jaw fitting into lateral notches, and not into hollows of the upper jaw. Skull behind the eyes with two large holes, perceptible through the integuments. Hind-feet with an external dentated crest, and the toes palmated.

CROCODILUS VULGARIS, Cuvier.- Var. B., Dum, and Bibr.
Syn.-Crocodilus palustris, Lesson.

Crocodilus vulgaris, Var. E. Gray.
Crocodilus biporcatus raninus, Müller, Tab. 3, Fig. 7.
Crocodilus palustris, apud Gray: Catal.

Buaya” of the Malays. Muzzle a little widened, thick, transversally very slightly curved ; head covered with angular rugosities ; lateral margins of the skull not raised. Above greenish-olive, speckled with black ; beneath yellowish or greenish-white. Habit.- Malayan Peninsula and Islands.

Java, Sumatra, Tenasserim, Bengal, Coromandel, Malabar. It inhabits not only rivers and estuaries, but also the sea-coasts, and may in calm weather be seen floating at a distance of two to three miles from the shore. Although numerous at Pinang and the opposite coast, it appears to be less so than Crocodilus biporcatus. Fishermen while working the nets are not seldom attacked by Crocodiles, and would, but for their presence of mind, oftener than they do, forfeit their lives. When seized, they force the fingers into the eyes of the Crocodile, which immediately lets go its victim, who is farther rescued by his comrades.-From 1812 to 1845 amputations from accidents of this description, were unfortunately of no rare occurrence in the General Hospital at Pinang.

Individuals, 15 feet in length are not uncommon; some attaining to 20 feet and upwards are reported to occur.-In rivers a single one will often appropriate to himself a limited district, which if it happens to be in the vicinity of a village, will soon be perceived in the loss of the grazing cattle. Instances of Malays, who, to avenge the loss of a relative, have watched the crocodile, and by diving from below, plunged a Kris into its

« السابقةمتابعة »