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Region. The only important family of Ungulates not found in the Ethiopian Region is the Deer-family (Cervida). The total absence of this otherwise widespread family it is difficult to explain. Palæontology does not help us much, since the members of the Deer-tribe appear to have been already well established and abundant in Europe during early Pliocene times, and were contemporaneous with Antelopes and other Ungulates, which have availed themselves of the opportunity of spreading southwards to Africa, while the Cervidæ have apparently remained obstinately attached to the Palearctic Region.
The Sub-order Proboscidea containing the Elephants is in these days represented only in the Ethiopian and Oriental Regions. The Hyraxes (Hyracida) are absolutely confined to the Ethiopian Region, and constitute one of its most significant forms of mammal life, as not being elsewhere met with.
Turning now to the Rodents, we find that the Ethiopian Region possesses representatives of a considerable number of genera, twenty-seven of which, out of a total of thirtynine, are confined to the Region. Two of these genera are sufficiently distinct to be entitled to family rank. These are, first, Anomalurus, a form resembling the flying squirrels in having a flap of skin available for imperfect flight extended between the fore and hind limbs. But the Anomalures differ from the true Flying Squirrels (Pteromys) in having a long cartilaginous process extending from the elbow-joint to support the parachute, and also in being provided with strong imbricated scales attached to the lower surface of the tail, which are probably of assistance in climbing.1
A new genus of Anomaluridæ (Zenkerella), lately described by Herr Matschie, has the imbricated scales on the tail, but no parachute. See P. Z. S. 1898, p. 450.
The second peculiar Rodent of family rank is Lophiomys, a curious arboreal animal allied to the rats, but differing from them in several anatomical features, and in having a long crest of hair upon the back. Only one species is known, which is restricted to North-East Africa.
The distribution of a third Ethiopian family of Rodents (Octodontidae) is particularly interesting, as it is represented in South America by a considerable number of genera, and is not found elsewhere except in the Ethiopian and on the borders between the Ethiopian and Palearctic Regions. There are four African genera of this family, each with a single species, so that in the Old World the group appears to be in a state of decay. The only light thrown on this curious case of discontinuous distribution is the occurrence of a fossil genus (Pellegrinia) allied to the African forms in the Pleistocene beds of Sicily. This indicates that members of this family once had a wider distribution northwards than what they now retain.
The Carnivora are well represented in the Ethiopian Region. This is especially the case with the family of Civets (Viverride), only found elsewhere in the Palaarctic and Oriental Regions. Out of a total number of seventeen genera, three only are found outside this region, and out of the remaining fourteen, six are confined to the island of Madagascar.
The Aard-wolf (Proteles), which is so distinct from its fellow Carnivores as to be allowed to constitute a family of itself (Fig. 17, p. 95), is restricted to the Ethiopian Region, and of the Hyenas (Hyænida), only one of the three species strays outside its limits, into the western borders of the Oriental Region.
Another remarkable fact about the Ethiopian Carni
vora is the entire absence of the otherwise widespread family of Bears (Ursidae). This group has existed in Europe since the time when the Upper Pliocene beds were laid down, and remains of Bears have been also found in the Siwalik deposits of India, which are possibly
of even greater age. It seems, therefore, very strange that the Bears should never have reached Africa, when so many of the other genera found in the same deposits have managed to do so.
The Insectivora of the Ethiopian Region are fairly numerous, and show considerable specialisation. Out of
the six Ethiopian families three are not found elsewhere, and one of the others only extends into the Palearctic Region as far as Northern Africa. This is the family of elephant-shrews (Macroscelidæ).
The Bats of this Region present few particular features of interest, belonging nearly all to widely spread genera of widely spread families. Among those that are peculiar the most important is Epomophorus, containing eight or ten species of large fruit-eating bats, with long rather horse-like heads, and expansible and peculiarly folded lips. The Epomophori seem to take the place, in Africa, of the genus Pteropus, which, although represented by several species in Madagascar, and even in the Comoros (which are separated from the mainland by only a comparatively narrow strait), is entirely absent from the African mainland itself.
Among the Lemurs we have two families, one containing only a single species (Chiromyida) confined to Madagascar, the other (Lemurida) containing a large number of genera, of which ten are confined to Madagascar, two are found on the mainland of Africa, and the other two in the Oriental Region.
The Quadrumana of the Ethiopian Region, which are entirely absent from Madagascar, belong to two families, both of them shared with the Oriental. The genera, however, six in number, are all without exception confined to this Region. In the first place this Region is the only home of the Gorilla and Chimpanzee (Fig. 18, p. 97), two of the Apes most nearly allied to Man in structure, and usually placed at the apex of the mammalian series. The Colobs, or Thumbless Monkeys (Colobus), represent the Langurs (Semnopithecus) of the Oriental Region in