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Girth behind the shoulders 18 inches.
Tail and hollow quills, Elbow to wrist 33. Palma Planta and nails 33. The all its details to that of
is from 16 to 20lbs, the occiput 5 inches. Tail only 4 inches. 5. Ear to the fore base 1, to crown, 1. and nails 2. True knee to os calcis 33. structure is typical, or precisely similar in Leucurus, which species however is much larger, being 28 to 30 inches* long from snout to vent and 20 to 22 inches in girth behind the shoulder, and weighing 30tbs and upwards. The long bluff nose, small pig eyes, andromorphous ears, short purely plantigrade limbs, (furnished with 4 toes and a rudiment anteally, and 5 perfect toes posteally) and thick heavy body, give to the crestless porcupine all the ungainliness of aspect proper to his congeners, while the absence of the fine sweeping crest with which they are adorned, adds to the uncomely physiognomy another peculiar feature of dulness in this species. The head, neck, fore half of the body, and entire belly and limbs, are covered with spinous bristles which have a pretty uniform length of from 2 to 3 inches, but are shortest and feeblest on the head and limbs. The hinder part of the body, or croup and tail, only, are armed with true quills of which the longest thick ones are about 7 inches, and the longest thin ones, about 12 inches. The tail is conico-depressed, thick and but one-sixth of the animal's length. Its longest thick quills are 3 to 4 inches; and its longest thin ones, 5 to 6 inches. The rattle at the end of the tail consists of 35 to 40 hollow cylinders of about an inch in length, some of which are closed and some open at the distant end. The skin of the body is pure white. The iris brown. The nudish lips and nude soles of feet, fleshy brown. The spinous bristles black, save on the head, where they are less deep-hued, passing to brown. The white collar is very narrow and vague. The quills white with but one subcentral black ring; those of the inferior surface (only) of the tail, being all white, and the like marginally round the anal and genital organs the nails brown horn. Every part of the body is covered with the appropriate vestment save the mere anal and genital
* "If Col. Sykes be right as to the size of Leucurus, the common sub-Himálayan species, called nepalensis by me is certainly distinct and nearer to cristatus. It has the upper surface of the tail black laterally and white centrally, forming three conspicuous lines of colour on the upper surface. The tubes are all white and so is all the under surface."
organs, which are nude. The anus is large and tumid, being almost entirely surrounded, just within the sphincter, by two rope-like glands, whose extremities nearly meet on the mesial line above and below. The secretion of these glands is puss-like but void of odour good or bad, and is carried off by several palpable pores placed in close apposition with the glands and of which 4 larger and 6 smaller ones may be plainly traced round the margin of the anus. The penis is sheathed as in the dogs, but is directed backwards, pointing ordinarily to the anus, and is furnished with a cylindric bone 1 inch long. The testes are internal. The teats are 8 and are costal, or placed upon the ribs or flanks. The very large incisors are nut-brown. The molars, which are 4 on each side, above and below, have perfectly flat crowns, hardly raised above the level of the gums, and whose surface is transversely marked by a triple fold of enamel, like three or four bits of thread with the ends brought together and the sides approximated curvewise, pretty much as in the Beaver, according to Cuvier's* delineation. The intestines are 30 feet long. The Cœcum, about 11 to 12 inches long and 23 wide, is placed 6 feet from the anal end of the gut, and is sacced and banded, as well as 27 inches of the intestinal canal below it. This cœciform part of the gut has the same width as the cœcum itself. The small gut has an average width of gut of 1 or double.
inch, and the great
The hemispherical stomach has the upper orifice opening centrally, and the lower, terminally, and with a well defined neck. The greater arch of the stomach is 18 inches, the lesser (between the orifices) 1 to 2 inches, exclusive of the neck just spoken of. The stomach is membranous.-Porcupines are very numerous and very mischievous in the sub-Himalayas where they depredate greatly among the potatoe and other tuberous or edible rooted crops. They are most numerous in the central region, but are common to all three regions. They breed in spring and usually produce two young about the time the crops begin to ripen. They are monogamous, the pair dwelling together in burrows of their own formation. Their flesh is delicious, like pork, but much more delicate-flavoured, and they are easily tamed so as to breed in confinement. All tribes and classes, even high caste Hindoos eat them,
* Regnè Animal, Vol. III. p. 96.
and it is deemed lucky to keep one or two alive in stables, where they are encouraged to breed. Royal stables are seldom without at least one of them. The Parbattiahs call them Dumsi; the crested one, chotia Dumsi; the uncrested, anchotia* Dumsi. The Lepchas and Limbus of Sikim do not distinguish the two species, but call both Sathung and O'-é, in their respective languages. The subject of the above description is the uncrested species, and I have only to add that its manners, like its structure, are closely assimilated to those of the white tail or Leucurus; but that it is much rarer than the latter.
The following are the dimensions of a fine old male of our present animal, which I have denominated Alophus to mark the absence of that conspicuous crest which distinguishes the common species both of this country and of Europe.
Rough Notes on the Ornithology of Candahar and its neighbourhood. By Capt. THOS. IUTTON.
[With some Additional Information on the Birds of Afghanistan.By E. BLYTH, Curator of the Asiatic Society, &c. &c.]
1. Falco [peregrinus, L. Young male].*
F. [subbuteo, Lin.] These birds are found around Candahar, but did not seem to be common.
3. F. æsalon, Lin. The Merlin occurs also at Candahar.
4. F. tinnunculus, (L.) The Kestrel. (The "yellow iris" was so recorded on the wrapper of the male specimen when it came from Afghanistan, but whether upon my own authority, or that of some friend, I do not remember).
5. Circus cyaneus, (L.) The Common Harrier. This is rather a common species at Candahar, and frequents the marshy tracts below the city to the south, where, during the winter, Snipe and water-fowl are abundant. I saw them also at Girishk.
6. C. æruginosus, (L.) Also common at Candahar, especially near a small swamp to the south of the city, and along the banks of canals in the cultivated tracts;-one or more might usually be seen sitting on a stone or clod of earth, watching and peering round them, and taking occasionally a leisure sweep above the marsh plants and crops.
7. Accipiter nisus, (L.) Common at Candahar.
8. Nisastur badius, (Lath.) Not uncommon.
9. Aquila bifasciata (?), Gray. A single specimen of what I believe to be this species was captured at Girishk in the month of December. Unfortunately, I took but a scanty memorandum at the time, and did not obtain a second specimen. "Plumage dark brown, two cinereous bands on the wings; feathers lanceolate on head and neck; cere yellow, as also feet; claws and bill black.
10. Milvus ater, (Lin.) The common Indian Kite or Cheel was seen throughout the summer in abundance, became scarce about November, and disappeared as winter set in. They returned early in spring, and
* The "Churk" Falcon, killed near Ghuzni by Mr. Vigne ( Personal Narrative of a visit to Afghanistan,' &c., p. 136), is not the Churgh or 'Cherrug' (F. lanarius, v. F. cherrug, Gray), but apparently a young Peregrine.-E. B.
the young were once brought to me in the end of May, scarcely fledged; this is curious, as at Neemuch the Cheel breeds in December and January.
11. Gypaëtos [barbatus? G.] himachalanus, nobis. This bird is identical with that which is so common throughout the Himalaya mountains, and possesses the dark pectoral band observable in the latter, and which (from its not being mentioned as characteristic of the European species) has led me to entertain doubts of its being the true G. barbatus. They were common throughout the whole of Afghanistan, and were first seen soaring over the rocks of the Bolan Pass; they were again met with around Candahar, and at Girishk on the Helmund.— I never saw a single mature individual either in the Himalaya or in Afghanistan without the pectoral band, as you tell me is the case with Burnes's figure of an Afghan specimen.
12. [Gyps bengalensis, (Shaw):] Vultur leuconotus, Gray, in Hardwicke's Illustrations.' This bird was not uncommon around Candahar during the summer months, but departed as the winter approached. I saw it also at Girishk on the Helmund.
13. Neophron percnopterus, (L.) Common also during the summer, but departed in autumn.*
14. [Bubo bengalensis, (Franklin).] Not uncommon among the rocks near Candahar; the yearling specimen sent was brought to me when only covered with down, and was fed with raw meat, and kept in a box till I left Candahar, when I killed and skinned it, but before it had attained its full plumage.
15. Otus vulgaris, Fleming. Common at Candahar.
16. O. brachyotus, (L). This and the last were common among the ruins of the old city of Candahar, about three miles from the modern town; it was ruined by Nadir Shah.
17. Ephialtes [lettia?, Hodgson]. This did not appear to be plentiful, as I only saw one specimen; it was identical with one common at Neemuch and Bareilly, but whether it be so with the European scops I cannot say, as my specimen is lost.
18. Athene bactrianus, mihi, n. s.? [Strix persica (?) Nouv. Dict.
*The three last mentioned species were seen on the 1st of March, two stages south of Candahar. The Gypaëtos made the Vultures quit their prey.