Page images
PDF
[ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

are (or were) the RH. LEPTOBHINUS of the later European tertiaries, apparently also the RH. SCHLEIERMACIIERI (v. megarhinus), and lcannot help thinking even the immense R11. :r1oHORHINUs,—all of these exemplifying an Eurasian or Europseo-asiatic (and more or less hair-clad) type of two-horned Rhinoceros, as distinguished from the existing two-horned African type, which is represented by as many as four living species (falling under two groups, with prehensile and non-prehensile upper lip, and browsing or grazing habits accordingly,—those of the latter habit being more gregarious and also more gentle in dispositionit). Figs. 3 and Q of plate IV, represent the front view of the skulls fs. 2 and 3 of pl. III ; but I have reason to suspect that the united nasal bones of f. 41 of plate IV, are rarely so narrow in the female of RH. SUMATRANUS, as in the example represented. With the exceptions of fs. 1 and 4 of pl. IV, all the representations given were photographed together in one focus, so that the

relative sizes are quite accurately rendered. The scale of all is 1% in. to 1 ft.'i'

So far as I can learn, the RH. SUMATRANUS is the only existing species of Rhinoceros which presents secondary sexual distinctions; inasmuch as the horns of the male are very considerably more deve

three Rhinoceroses down to the southward, but was unsuccessful. One, the monarch of the forest, I tracked up a. mountain some 4,000 ft. high, which took me six hours to get up ; and close on the top, he rose up before me within six feet, a magnificent beast. He was sideways towards me, and I distinctly saw his two horns, which were at least ten to twelve inches longer than those I have got. He would have been a great prize; but, unfortunately, I llfldgqflli my rifle in my hand at the time, and the man who was carrying it fell down on his face in a fright, and rolled down the hill. The beast was certainly a rather startling apparition; his advent being so very sudden, as if he had come up through a trap-door in a. pantomime, giving a tremendous roar, something between that of an Elephant and that of a. wild Boar.”

' For figures of the heads of these animals, in a collated group, oide Mr. C. J. Andersson’s ‘ Lake Ngami,’ 2nd edit., p. 986. The afiinity of the extinct European species with Rn. BUMATBANUB has been long ago remarked by Cuvier and Owen. The Siwélik Ru. PLATYBHINUS of Cautley and Falconer is just Rn. BUMATBANUS enormously magnified; and the RH. SIVALENSIS of the same naturalists comes exceedingly close to the existing INDICUS (with the narrow form of skull, and their RE. PALEINIDIOUB to the same with broad form of skull). Can it be the identical species which has lived down to the present time? The discrepancy is, at least, not greater than subsists between BISON PRISGUS and the modern Zubr, which are considered by Owen to be one and the same.

Since writing the above, I have read Prof. Owen’s memoir ‘ On a National Museum of Natural History.’ Even he, evidently, had no idea of the two insular species of Rhinoceros extending their range to the mainland, as appears from his casual notice of them.

1' For these and other photographs of objects of Natural History, I have to thank my esteemed friend '1‘. S. Isaac, Esq., C. E.

loped than those of the female. It further differs from the four existing African species of two-horned Rhinoceros, not only by possessing slight skin-folds, but also by having the bases of the horns separated by a considerable interval: Bell’s figure (in the ‘ Philosophical Transactions’ for 1793) represents, as I believe, their full development in an adult female; as shewn likewise in a (Tenasserim) stuffed head in the Society’s museum, already referred to : and over Bell’s figure of the skull of a male are represented in outline the horns of an ordinary male; not quite so fine, however, as those upon Col. Fytche’s specimen ; and that officer informs me that he has possessed a head with still finer horns, some five or six inches longer. Unfortunately, fine horns of Ru. SUMATRANUS are exceedingly difficult to procure; as they are eagerly bought up at high prices by the China-men, who not only value them as medicines, but carve them into very elegant ornaments.* Still the horns which Dr. Salomon Miiller figures, upon what he calls an adult male, are small ; and when I was at Pahpoon, amid the forests of the Yunzalin district of Upper Martaban, in November last, an animal of this species was killed \vithin five miles of me; but I did not learn of this in time, and was only able to procure the facial bones with the two horns. From their size and appearance 1 took them to be the horns of rather a juvenile male; but, on cleaning the bone, the nasals were found to be most completely and solidly anchylosed and united, and of the usual width in the male sex. The Karens obtained the animal by means of a heavy falling-stake, such as they set for Tigers and other large game ,1‘ and the carcase was completely hacked to pieces by them, and every edible portion of it devoured.

The Rev. Dr. Mason remarks, in his Work on ‘ The Natural Productions of Burmah’ (1850), that the hide of the two-horned Rhinoceros of that region is “ smooth like a. Bufi'a1o’s.” might mislead into the suspicion that the species is not exactly the same as that of Sumatra. Col. Fytche writes word, on this subject,

This expression ——“ I have, myself, shot three Rhinoceroses ; one single-horned, on the borders of Asém [INDIOUs, of course]; and the other two, not far from Bassein in the Yomatoung range separating Pegu from Arakan. I saw the skin of the one whose skull you have got [that of RE. SOFDAICUS (of the narrow type), shot by my friend Dr. Hook of Tavoy near Tavoy Point, where there is a small isolated colony of the species], and it was exactly, in every respect, like the one I shot in Aszim. The two-horned fellows I shot had smooth skins, as stated by Mason; they were, however, very thick, and there were slight rumples or folds about the neck and shoulders, I remember, but nothing to be compared in size to the mailed armour of the singlehorned species.” In Burma, people distinguish only a one-horned kind and a two-horned kind; and though the skull from Tavoy Point, referred to, is very nearly adult and of fair size, Col. Fytche thought it to be that of a small and immature animal, as compared with the huge INDICU that he killed in Aszim. I must frankly confess that I have only quite recently discriminated the two one-horned species; fancying, as a matter of course, that the numerous skulls of single-horned Rhinoceroses in the Society’s museum, from the Bengal Sundarhéns, &c., especially of the broad-faced type, were necessarily of the hitherto reputed sole Indian species. F. Cuvier’s figure of R11. sorrnarous is that of a very young animal ; and, with those of Horsfield and S. Miiller, conveys the appearance of a more evenly tessellated hide than I remember to have seen in any living continental example. I have, however, been comparing our stuffed Sundarbzin example (less than half-grown) with the figure of adult Rn. INDICUS in the Menayérie du Museum d’Hist. Nat., and with the figures of RH. SONDAICUS by S. Miiller and others ; and perceive that it must be referred to the latter and not to the former. The tubercles of the hide are much smaller than in INDICUS; and a marked difference between the two species, as represented, consists in the great skin-fold at the setting on of the head of INDICUS, which is at most but indicated in SONDAICUS. In skulls of adults, however those of both species may vary in width, and especially in breadth anterior to the orbits, the following distinctions are trenchant. Length of skull, from middle of occiput to tip of united nasals (measured by callipers),—in INDICUS 2 ft. (% in. more or less),——in sozmucvs, 12- it. at most. Height of condyle of lower jaw,—-in Y

\

"‘ The anterior horn of Col. Fytche’s specimen is worth (I was told) about fifty rupees, or £5.

I have seen a pair beautifully curved and polished, and set with the bases upward, in a black wooden frame similar to the stands on which Chinese metallic mirrors are mounted; and am sure now that they were the two horns of one individual of R11. BUMATRANUS, of about the same development as those upon Col. Fytche’s specimen.

1‘ Vida Andersson’s ‘ Lake Ngami,’ 2nd edit., p. 258.

« PreviousContinue »