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numerous and important family Bovidæ, to the variety and extent of which in the present day we have already alluded. The Bovidæ in fact contain nearly two-thirds of the species of Ungulate animals now existing on the world's surface, and embrace at least 200 species belonging to forty-five distinct genera, amongst which are the Sheep, Ox, and Goat, the animals of which the flesh is mostly used for food by civilized man.
According to the arrangement of Flower and Lydekker, the Bovidæ are divisible into about ten sub-families, the seven first of which embrace the mammals commonly known as Antelopes. These are mostly met with in the more open districts of the Ethiopian Region, where in former days they roamed about in exuberant multitudes, but have been sadly diminished at the present time by the persecutions of the sportsman and the hunter. We have not space here to go into the numerous and varied forms of Antelopes, but must refer our readers who wish for special information on that subject to “The Book of Antelopes” now in process of publication. It must suffice to say that the roll of Antelopes numbers some 150 species, of which 9 are attributable to the Palæarctic Region, 4 to the Oriental, and 135 to the Ethiopian Region. Three of the Oriental species belong to peculiar genera restricted to that Region, and the fourth is a Gazelle, a member of a genus which is also well represented in the Palæarctic and Ethiopian Regions. It is therefore evident that the Antelopes, although slightly represented elsewhere, form one of the most predominant and characteristic features of the Ethiopian Region.
The Rupicaprinæ, forming the eighth sub-family of Bovida, and containing what are commonly called the Mountain-Antelopes, have a very different distribution. They are absolutely unknown in the Ethiopian Region, and are found mostly in the Palæarctic Region with stray species in the Oriental and Nearctic Regions. The wellknown Chamois (Rupicapra) is the typical form of this group.
It is confined to the western portion of the Palæarctic Region, and is the single species of the genus. In Eastern Paläarctica it is represented by the genera Cemas and Nemorhædus, some species of which occur also on the higher mountain-ranges of the Oriental Region. In the Nearctic Region the Rocky Mountain Goat (Haplocerus montanus) is the sole representative of the Mountain-Antelopes.
The Goats and Sheep (Caprinæ), which follow next, have nearly the same sort of distribution. It should be mentioned that the distinctive differences between the Goats and Sheep, from a structural point of view, are very difficult to define ; and that the two forms are so nearly allied that it has been proposed by some naturalists to unite them into one genus. The Caprinæ altogether, although by no means satisfactorily worked out at present, may be held to embrace some twenty-six species, of which nineteen are Palæarctic, two are Nearctic, five are Oriental, and one species only (Capra walie of the high ranges of Abyssinia) occurs within the confines of the Ethiopian Region. The Caprinæ are represented in the Nearctic Region by two, or possibly three, species of Sheep, which extend from Alaska, along the main range, nearly down to Northern Mexico.
Finally closing the long list of the family Bovida we have the oxen, or typical Bovinæ, embracing about twelve or thirteen species, and thinly distributed over the Palæarctic and Oriental Regions, but with certainly one Nearctic representative, and two, or possibly three, in the Ethiopian Region. The true origin of our domestic cattle (Bos), is lost in obscurity, but is usually attributed to Palearctic ancestors, although the progenitor of the humped form, or Zebus, may have more probably been Oriental. The two Bisons belong, one to the Palæarctic and one to the Nearctic Regions, and are very nearly allied. The Yak (Poephagus) is confined to the higher mountain ranges of Central Asia, and must be therefore reckoned as Palæarctic. The characteristic Oriental forms of bovine animals are the Bantengs (Bibos), of which subgenus three species are commonly recognized. The Bantengs extend from the mountains of Northern India through the ranges of the Malay Peninsula into the Sondaic Islands. Of the Buffaloes (Bubalus) three species are commonly recognized, one of which is Indian, the parent of the well-known domestic form, while two, or perhaps three, other nearly allied species are peculiar to Africa. Finally, closely allied to the Buffaloes, and hardly distinguishable from them, we have the little Anoa of Celebes, and the lately discriminated Bubalus mindorensis of the Philippine Islands.
SECTION VIII.—DISTRIBUTION OF PRONGBUCKS
The second family of Artiodactyle Ungulates embraces only a single species strictly confined to the Nearctic Region, and constituting one of its most peculiar types. This is the Prongbuck (Antilocapra americana), of the western prairies of the United States, which (as was first
ascertained in this country) carries hollow horns, like those of the Bovidæ, but sheds them regularly every year, like the deciduous antlers of the Stags.
SECTION IX.-DISTRIBUTION OF GIRAFFES
The next family of Arctiodactyles, the Giraffida, consists likewise of what is called a monotypic form, embracing a single species only, and limited, in the present epoch, entirely to one Region of which it is one of the most characteristic animals. The Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is distributed over the greater part of Africa, from Senegal through the Southern Sahara to Upper Nubia, and thence southward throughout Eastern Africa in suitable localities to the Cape. So far as we know at present it is not found within the great wooded regions of the Congo valley and western coast, but is certainly met with on the Niger and on the Upper Gambia. As has recently been well shown by Mr. de Winton (P. 2. S. 1897, p. 273) the Giraffe presents us with two geographical forms, which may be designated either as species or sub-species. The Northern Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis typica) which is met with in Senegal and thence across the Sahara to Upper Nubia, Somaliland, and British East Africa is distinguished from the Southern Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis capensis) by several characters, especially by the great prominence of the third frontal horn which is barely apparent in the southern Giraffe. The Cape Giraffe seems to be met with in suitable localities all up the east coast into British East Africa, where it is stated that the two forms meet. More accurate information about the two forms of Giraffe is, however, highly desirable, and the areas of the two sub-species require to be carefully studied.
SECTION X.-DISTRIBUTION OF DEER
The seventh family of Ungulates which we now come to, though it cannot rival the Bovidæ, is likewise of importance in an economic point of view, the flesh of nearly all the Deer-tribe forming an acceptable food for mankind. In our survey of the deer we shall follow as nearly as possible Mr. Lydekker's “ Deer of all Lands,” the most recent and best authority on the subject. Mr. Lydekker acknowledges eleven genera of this family, containing altogether nearly sixty species. Of these genera ten belong to the typical Deer and one to the Musk-deer (Moschus).
Deer are found in all the six Regions of the world except the Australian and Ethiopian. Their absence in Australia, as is the case with nearly all the highly organized groups of mammals, can be easily understood, but it is difficult to imagine why there should be no Deer in the Ethiopian Region, when in the New World they have passed so abundantly into South America. We are not aware that any explanation can be given of this anomaly, unless it be that their place is taken by the Antelopes. Commencing with the Reindeer (Rangifer) and the Elk (Alces), we find these two types restricted to the northern portions of the Palearctic and Nearctic Regions. Whether it is possible to recognize more than one species of each of these forms is a matter of doubt. At any rate all the local races of both the genera are closely allied.