Imágenes de páginas

The Oriental Region contains representatives of eight out of the nine Orders of terrestrial mammals, the Monotremes alone being wholly absent, while the Mar

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

supials are barely represented by two species of Cuscus (Phalanger) found only in the island of Celebes, which have been obviously derived from the neighbouring Australian Region.

The Edentates, like the marsupials, are also represented by one genus only, Manis (the Pangolin), which the Oriental shares with the Ethiopian Region.

The Oriental further resembles the Ethiopian Region in the variety of its forms of Ungulates, although they are not

[graphic][merged small]

nearly so abundant. Three genera of Antelopes, the Fourhorned Antelope (Tetraceros), the Black-buck (Antilope), the Nylghaie (Boselaphus), (see Fig. 24, p. 126), are peculiar to it, as is also a group of wild Oxen (Bibos), with three species-the Gayal (Fig. 25), the Gaur, and the Banting.

But while the Rhinoceroses, the Wild Asses, the Elephants, and the Antelopes are common to both the Oriental and Ethiopian Region, the Oriental possesses in addition Deer,

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Wild Sheep, and Wild Goats. These three last-named groups have never established themselves in the Ethiopian Region, though a single goat (Capra walie) has penetrated

as far as the highlands of Abyssinia. But representatives of all of them are found in the Palearctic Region.

Among the Rodents of the Oriental Region the Squirrels are especially numerous, there being upwards of fifty species found within its limits, nearly all of which are arboreal in their habits.

Although there are no families of Carnivores peculiar to the Region, there is a considerable number of genera of Civets (Viverride) not found elsewhere, such as the Paradoxures (Paradoxurus) the Binturong (Arctictis) (Fig. 26, p. 128), and the genera Prionodon, Arctogale, and Hemigale. The Bears (Urside), too, which are quite unknown in Africa, are characteristic members of the Oriental Mammal-fauna.

Among the Insectivores we find two peculiar families. One of these has been formed for the reception of Galeopithecus, the so-called Kaguan, an animal of about the size of a small cat, with thin flaps of skin between the fore and hind limbs and tail, which enable it to make flying leaps from tree to tree (see Fig. 27, p. 130). The other family (Tupaiida) contains two genera. One of these, Tupaia, with at least twelve species, is an abnormal Shrew with a curious external resemblance to the Squirrels, with which, however, it has no real connection. The other, Ptilocercus, is distinguished from Tupaia by its peculiar tail, which is provided at the end with a bilateral fringe of long hairs. Both these families are confined to the Malayan portion of the Oriental Region.

Bats are numerous in the Oriental Region, and many of the genera extend eastwards into the Austro-Malayan islands. Only four genera, each with a single species, are peculiar.


Finally, among the Primates there are three genera of Lemurs. Two of these (Nycticebus and Loris) are peculiar,

[graphic][merged small]

but belong to the family Lemurida, and have their nearest allies in Africa. The third (Tarsius), which forms a family

« AnteriorContinuar »