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Synonyms. Red-billed Erolia of Asiatic Journal. Ibidorhyncha Struthersii of GouLn's Century.
The denticulation of the bill, and the strictly cursorial character of the feet, (with short, stout, very unequal, full, solid toes, and depressed truncated nails,) constitute, I conceive, the marks of this genus.
The species is 16 inches by 30 in length and extent, and 10 oz. heavy.
The intestines are 20 inches long, larger above than below, tough, frequently semi-convolved or doubled, syphonwise, and at three inches from the anal end, they have two cases, nearly two inches in length, each of them.
The stomach is small, but very muscular and gizzard-like, and the food of the species, chiefly, minute univalve mollusca, which it picks up on the sandy margins of rivers and streams. In such sites it is usually found; nor does it appear to be gregarious.
The generic name Clorhynchus, is derived from Clorios, a Greek term for the curlew. The trivial name bears reference to the conspicuous gorget borne on the bird's breast. Had the former specific name (red-billed) been retained, there must have been tantological intrusion on the generic style, upon turning the specific appellation into Latin or Greek : hence the change.
Time and the discovery of more species will prove whether my generic character be worthy of retention. Quoad the single known species it is, I hope, both accurate and distinctive.
X.—Description of the little Musteline animal, denominated Kiitliiali Nyzil in the Catalogue of the Neptilese Mammalia. By B. H. HODGON, Esq. Resident at Katmamlu.
Species new. P. Ktithialz, mihi. The Kdthiali N3/til of Nepal. Habitat, the Kachér or Northern region. Specific character, deep rich brown above, golden yellow below, chin whitish. Tail, limbs, and ears concolorous, with the body above. Tail cylindrico-tapered, and half the length of the animal. Shout to rump, 10 inches: tail (less hair) 5 inches.
This beautiful little creature is exceedingly prized by the Nepalese for its services in ridding houses of rats. It is easily tamed; and such is the dread of it common to all marine animals, that not one will approach a house wherein it is domiciled. Rats and mice seem to have an instinctive sense of its hostility to them, so much so that as soon as it is introduced into a house, they are observed to hurry away in all directions, being apprised, no doubt, of its presence by the peculiar odour it emits. lts ferocity and courage are made subservient to the amusement of the rich, who train it to attack large fowls, geese, and even goats and sheep. The latter, equally with the former, fall certain sacrifices to its agility and daringness. So soon as it is loosed, it rushes up the fowl’s tail, or goat’s leg, and seizes the great artery of the neck. nor ever quits its hold till the victim sinks under exhaustion from loss of blood.
The Kathiah has the true vermiform structure of the typical musteline animals; its head, neck and body forming a continuous equable cylinder. Its action is purely digitigrade, and even the palms and soles of its extremities are clad in hair beyond the limits of the lines defining the digits, and the halls supporting them and the wrists. The fore and hind legs are of equal and moderate thickness; but the hands are rather larger than the feet: both quinquidactylous, with the thumbs or internal digits a little withdrawn, as in the human hand. Of the rest of the digits, the two central are equal, and the two lateral, sub-equal, especially in the hinder extremities. Four oblong conjunct balls support the bases of the digits, and two the palms, an outer large ball of an elliptic shape, and a tiny round one its inner side. No metatarsal balls exist in the hind feet. The digits are more than half involved in a. dilatable membrane which spreads freely to aid grasping. The talons or nails are all of sub-equal size, compressed, curved, and acute, suited to scansion and tearing, but not so well to digging. The fur is short, shining, and adpressed; that of the tail being a little larger, but not much so. The tail itself ( i. e. exclusive‘ of the hair which projects beyond its termination) is just half the length of the animal, and is slender, round and tapering. The head oval, with a short conical face ending in a clearly-defined round muzzle, having the nostrils entirely to the sides. The eyes are prominent, with round pupils, and they are seated much nearer the snout than the ears. The hairs issuing from the lips, cheeks, chin, and brows, are not rigid or thick; and a slight tuft of a similar character is set on above each carpus, as in some of the squirrels. The ears are lateral, transversely developed, formed upon the general model of the human ear, and more nearly of that of the mungooses. There is helix and antihelix, tragus and antitragus; but no lobe. Those who are familiar with the structure of the ears in the common Indian mungoose (Herpestes Griseus) will understand the exact form of the same organs in our animal, when I tell them that the only differences consist in the helix of the latter being more exserted, but not pro
duced anteally towards the eyes, not reflected on the edge. The helix too, is entire in the mungoose; whereas in the Kfithiah weasel, it has a large simple fissure in the posterior part, resembling that of Marie: Flavigula. The front teeth stand free of the canines in the upper jaw, in contact with them in the lower, wherein the intermediate ones are ranged rather within the line of the rest of the teeth. Molars, §.§. The great carnivorous tooth in the upper jaw has a small flatish heel on the internal side, placed forwards, and at the base of great cutting process. The same tooth in the lower jaw has no transverse or lateral process ; but the third longitudinal tubercle is nearly flattened on its crown, and the hindmost or fifth tooth in this jaw is small, and nearly flat-topped. The hindmost or fourth molar of the upper jaw runs transversely, and has two obtusely-conical points.
A horrible offensive, yellowish grey fluid exudes from two openings, placed laterally just within the sphincter ani. The scrotum is nearly without hair, and not larger (including the testes) than a marrow-fat pea. The omentum as delicate as a spider's web, and without a particle of fat.
The liver divided into six lobes. A small pea-like gall-bladder is deeply imbedded in the largest lobe. The stomach is nearly pyriform, and purely membranous ; the oesophagus entering it close to the fundus. Length of stomach, 3%; inches; greatest diameter, 1% inch. Spleen, 1%inch long, fith of an inch in diameter. Coats of stomach thin, almost transparent, Entire length of intestinal canal, four feet, of uniform calibre, from the pylorus to the vent. No cacum. Length of animal from snout to vent, 10 inches. This gives less than five times the length of body to the intestines. Lungs, six lobes, four right, two left.
I wrote you sometime back that we had fallen upon a shell limestone in the Nowgong district, similar in-all respects to that of Sylhet; there was every reason, therefore, to suppose, that we should find coal associated with the limestone, as to the south of the Kluisia hills, and] have just now the satisfaction to report that this has been realized, and to send you small samples of coal that has been sent down to me by Ensign Bnonm. If I am not mistaken from the appearance, it will turn out to be a valuable and highly bituminous coal, and I shall be much obliged by your reporting upon it. A large
supply of it has been brought down for me to Gowahatti, from which, on my return, I will dispatch a good quantity to you. Of course what we have now to show are merely chance pieces, brought in by persons we put in search, and many of them are slaty and earthy; but what I send you, is suflicient, I hope, to show that there are good coal beds connected with these. I do not exactly know the site of this deposit; but I believe it has the advantage of being within reach of navigable nullahs ; it is on a nullah falling into the Jumuna, a river which divides Cachar from Assam, and joins the Kopili, the Kalung, (a branch of the Bral|maputrn,) and other streams entering the Brahmaputra, a little above Gowahatti. This will be a most convenient site whence to draw supplies of coals, if the quality turns out suitable for steamers, whenever there be occasion for sending any in this direction. It now becomes almost certain that we shall find very large supplies of this invaluable mineral on the south bank of the Brahmaputra ,- we know already of four places where coal has been found, viz. lst, under the Caribfiri hills; 2nd, that of the Dharmpur Pergunnah; 3rd, on the Sufiiy, a nullah near the Borhat salt formation, and 4th, on the Non Dihing, in the Singpho district, south of Sadiya. We may besides of course confidently expect to find coal on many intermediate spots, when we come to be better acquainted with the province.
Nora. —The three specimens of Assamese coal, received with the above note, turn out to be of very respectable quality ; they are rather slaty in fracture, and do not coke ; but burn with a rich flame, being very bituminous: on this account they would be very suitable for steam engine fires, though unfit for the forge, or for the smelting furnaces. Analysed in the usual way, they yielded the following ingredients :
No. 1. No. 2. Na. 3.
Volatile matter, expelled by coking process, . . .. 63.1 56.9 62.8 Carbon, ascertained by incineration of coke, . . . . 29.6 31.1 29.0 Earthy residue,............................. 7.3 12.0 8.2
The weight of the three coals gives a somewhat difierent result, No. 2, being the lightest, and consequently the least earthy, of the three. viz: No. 1. has a specific gravity, . . . . . .. . . . 1.226
2,.... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 1.196
XII.—-Synopsis of Fossil Genera and Species from the upper deposits of the tertiary strata of the Sivdlik Hills, in the collection of the authors. By Capt. P. T. CAUTLEY, Supt. Dodb Canal, and H. FALcomsa, M. D. Supt. Botanical Garden, Se/uiranpur. Northern Doab, Nov. 15th, 1835.
1. M. Elephantoides*
2. M. Angustidens.
M. Latidens. Clift.
ll. Camelus. (Species undetermined : two undoubted.)
13. Antilope. (Species undetermined: numerous.)
14. Bos. (Spec. undetermined: 1 new sect. in the genus.)
" We consider the M. Latidens, and M. Elephantoides of Clift (Transactions of the Geological Society,) to be varieties merely of one species, dependent on age and sex.—-C. and F.