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THE LIBRARY

OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS

massive and weighty, and describes a gentle unitrom curve from end to end of the culmen : facial portion very small : frontal and cerebral very ample : orbits incomplete posteally : a single very large foramen before them : parietes tumid : longitudinal and transverse cristæ moderate : lower jaw very strong, and so completely locked in the cylindric hinge manner, as to be with difficulty separated. Many of these are general characters of the scull in the Badgers proper (Meles), and are also found, for the most part, in Ursitaxus, Urva and Melictis. But the teeth are more strictly characteristic. They are in number & 1:1 4:4:=32, as in the Ursitax; but, whereas in the Bearbadgers the upper tubercular tooth is disposed transversely and is inferior in size to the carnassier, in the more strictly Melean form of Taxidia, the tubercular is ranged in line with the other molars, and is so large as to equal in size not merely the carnassier, but it and the two falsc molars before it. The first molar of the Tibetan badger is small with a single acutely conic process; the next is larger but of the same form. These two are false molars. The third is the carnassier. It is of trigonal shape, and as much larger than the greater false molar as it is less than the tubercular. Its exterior side is trechant, obtusely conoid (in profile) and compressed : the other two sides include a flattened oblique grinding surface or internal heel. The fourth and last tooth of the upper jaw is the great tubercular. It is of a squarish shape, but longer than broad, and has its crown marked by 3 longitudinal ridges with two furrows between them. Of these ridges the exterior one only is slightly trenchant and has a saddle-like dip in its centre. The two other ridges are nearly or quite rounded. The posterior margin has an oblique flat slope, purely triturant, upon which the little flat tubercular of the lower jaw grinds with its whole surface. In the lower jaw the two first molars bear much the same character as those above, but are rather larger and have tiny heel-like processes before and behind the central cone. These teeth are also slightly compressed. The third or carnassial tooth is long and narrow, equal in size to all the three others of the jaw, and exhibits a central dip or groove receiving the central ridge of the tubercular of the upper jaw, while its two sides, which are brokenly ridged, fall into the two grooves of the same tooth and its anterior part, consisting of three irregular cones, acts trenchantly against the cutting part of the upper carnassier, or grinds against its heel. The laniary teeth are void of any peculiarity, so far as can · be judged, for they are injured. Of the incisors the of upper jaw the two extreme laterals are longer than the rest and pointed. The others have obliquely flattened crowns upon which the incisors of the lower jaw work in a quasi-triturant manner. The incisors of the lower jaw are crushed between the two laniaries, there being scarcely room for them in the interval, though the two intermediates are inserted more backward than the rest, seemingly in order to find room. The Badger is alledged to be a dull animal, defective in all the organs of sense. But in the scull now before me of the Badger of Tibet, as compared with that of several allied genera, I perceive no evidence of deficiency, the cavities for the reception of the auditory visual and olfactory apparatus being sufficiently developed, and the brain-pan being unusually capaci. ous; so that one may suspect that if the Badger were to exert his formidable means of offence with greater alacrity he would command more respect from his human critics. Whatever I have been able to gather as to the habits of the Túmphá, makes them accord with those of the English Badger, and is in harmony with the indications of the scull. The Túmphá dwells in the more secluded spots of inhabited districts, makes a comfortable, spacious and well arranged subterranean abode, dwells there in peace with his mate, who has an annual brood of 2 to 4 young, molests not his neighbour, defends himself, if compelled to it, with unconquerable resolution,* and feeds on roots, nuts, insects, and reptiles, but chiefly the former two, or vegetables not animals, a point of information confirmed by the prevalent triturant character of the teeth. It only now remains to describe the colours of the Túmphá The head above and laterally is of a yellowsh white, and this colour descends so low on the sides of the head as to take in the edge of the lower jaw to its tip. This pale hue of the head is divided lengthwise by a black brown line that runs from the moustache through the eye to the car, both inclusive; but neither the dark nor pale colour extends backward over the neck, both being lost, though without abrupt transition, behind the ears. The ears inside and out are basally black, and terminally white. The neck and body above and laterally are of a yellowish pepper and salt hue, paling as you descend the flanks. The tail is void almost wholly of the darker ingredient of the mixture, being

The captors of mine, were obliged to knock off his eye-teeth, he bit so perseveringly.

scarcely sha-led grey near the body; and elsewhere, pure yellowish white, which colour likewise spreads round the anal and genital organs. With that trivial exception the whole of the inferior surface, from chin to vent both exclusive, as well as the entire limbs, are black, of a more or less sooty tinge. The nude skin, wherever visible, is dark brown, or black as on the belly, where the scanty pelage allows it to be partially seen. The iris is clear brown, and the nails sordid horn colour. The mystaceal and other bristles, blackish : the tongue and palate, pale.

The prevalent grey cast of the colour upon the upper parts of the animal results from the distribution of tints upon the longer or hairy piles and upon the shorter or wooly ones, which likewise are distinctly visible owing to the loose set of the former. The wool, then, wholly, and the basal two-thirds of the hair also, is yellowish white : the terminal third of the hair black, tipt more or less largely with yellowish white; and thus is produced the pepper and salt hue above spoken of, which becomes paler on the flanks than on the back, because the dorsal hairs are more largely and generally furnished with the large black ring than are those of the sides.

Whoever may compare this description of the colour of the Tibetan Badger with those of the English animal furnished by its describers, * will at once perceive how almost absolutely identical the tints and their distribution are in the two animals. I cannot confidently point out a single disparity except that the tail is more entirely white in the Túmphá : and this is a very interesting circumstance as evidencing the intimate affinity of the two sections of the Genus, or Meles and Taxidia. From the English Badger or type of restricted Meles, however, our animal may be at once discriminated without referring to sculls, by its inferior size, greater length of tail, and partially clad planta or footsole. Of the American Badger or Taxidia, two are spoken of, viz. the Carkajou and the Tlacoyotl : but of these the former alone, I believe, yet finds a place in scientific works, and it is distinguished from its Asiatic analogue, the Túmphá, by the following external marks, none of which belong to our animal: belly and throat white : dark vertical bar down the cheek: two more longitudinal ones running from the muzzle to the mid-back, where they meet, enclosing all the way a white space : tip of the tail black.

* See Note, Libr. VII, 148, and English Règne Animal II. 271.

Such being the marks of the only other known species of Taxidia, there can be no doubt our species is new; and I fancy that Zoologists will hail with surprise and pleasure the discovery of an emphatically occidental type in the remote east. Very beautiful illustrations of our animal, from the pencil of my Newar artist, accompany this paper; and, as the Túmphá belongs to a group of animals dubiously suspended, as it were, between the Digiti grades and Planti grades, occasioning infinite debate, I add to the other illustrations of my paper a comparative series of views of the feet of such of these forms as belong to Himalayan Zoology, and are mostly recent discoveries. These are Ursitaxus, Helictis, Urva, Herpestes and Paradoxurus and Ailurus ; to which I add of course Taxidia,* and Helarctos and Viverricula, as illustrative extremes, merely of the other and medial forms.

Dimensions of the Tibetan Badger.

(FEMALE.)
Total length from snout to end of tail tuft,

3 10
Snout to vent,

2 3 0 Head to occiput, straight,

0 5 Snout to foreangle of eye,

0 25 Thence to base of ear,

0 2 Tail and hair,..

0 10 0 Tail only, .

0 7 0 Girth behind shoulder, .

1 6 0 Palma and nails, longest,

0 3 Planta and nails, from os calcis,

0 4 0 Planta only, or nude rest of foot, .

0 Longest forenail,

0 1 Length of hair on body,

0 4 Length of wool,.....

0 2 0 Length of ear, less tuft,

0 1 À Length of ear and tuft, ..

1 2

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1 8

4

0 2 0

* I have not met with Mydaus or Arctonyx or Arctictis in these regions, and I fancy that Duvancel's authority for the last in Bhútán Vel Deva Dharma, is erroneously quoted like mine. The alleged identity of Ursitaxus and Mellivora is yet open to doubt: nor is it by any means certain that the species tenanting the plains of Hindosthan, the Biju is the same as the highland animal or Bhársia. Some of the above details of Taxidia will, I fear, prove tedious reading. But the type is rare and he who has it not before him can judge its characters, especially those of the scull, solely by means of such minute description.

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