Zoogeographical Regions










[The Right of Translation and Reproduction is Reserved.]



The present work is an attempt to collect and summarize the existing information on the Distribution of Land Animals; and to explain the more remarkable and interesting of the facts, by means of established laws of physical and organic change.

The main idea, which is here worked out in some detail for the whole earth, was stated sixteen years ago in the concluding pages of a paper on the "Zoological Geography of the Malay Archipelago," which appeared in the Journal of Proceedings of the Linnean Society for 1860; and again, in a paper read before the Royal Geographical Society in 1863, it was briefly summarized in the following passage:—

"My object has been to show the important bearing of researches into the natural history of every part of the world, upon the study of its past history. An accurate knowledge of any groups of birds or of insects and of their geographical distribution, may enable us to map out the islands and continents of a former epoch,—the amount of difference that exists between the animals of adjacent districts being closely related to preceding geological changes. By the collection of such minute facts, alone, can we hope to fill up a great gap in the past history of the earth as revealed by geology, and obtain some indications of the existence of those ancient lands which now lie buried beneath the ocean, and have left us nothing but these living records of their former existence."

The detailed study of several groups of the birds and insects collected by myself in the East, brought prominently before me some of the curious problems of Geographical Distribution; but I should hardly have ventured to treat the whole subject, had it not been for the kind encouragement of Mr. Darwin and Professor Newton, who, about six years ago, both suggested that I should undertake the task. I accordingly set to work; but soon became discouraged by the great dearth of materials in many groups, the absence of general systematic works, and the excessive confusion that pervaded the classification. Neither was it easy to decide on any satisfactory method of treating the subject. During the next two years, however, several important catalogues and systematic treatises appeared, which induced me to resume my work; and during the last three years it has occupied a large portion of my time.

After much consideration, and some abortive trials, an outline plan of the book was matured; and as this is, so far as I am aware, quite novel, it will be well to give a few of the reasons for adopting it.

Most of the previous writings on Geographical Distribution appeared to me to be unsatisfactory, because they drew their conclusions from a more or less extensive selection of facts; and did not clearly separate groups of facts of unequal value, or those relating to groups of animals of unequal rank. As an example of what is meant, I may refer to Mr. Andrew Murray's large and valuable work on the Geographical Distribution of Mammalia, in which an immense number of coloured maps are used to illustrate the distribution of various groups of animals. These maps are not confined to groups of any fixed rank, but are devoted to a selection of groups of various grades. Some show the range of single species of a genus—as the lion, the tiger, the puma, and a species of fox; others are devoted to sections of genera,—as the true wolves; others to genera,—as the hyænas, and the bears; others to portions of families,—as the flying squirrels, and the oxen with the bisons; others to families,—as the Mustelidæ, and the Hystricidæ; and others to groups of families or to orders,—as the Insectivora, and the opossums with the kangaroos. But in no one grade are all the groups treated alike. Many genera are wholly unnoticed, while several families are only treated in combination with others, or are represented by some of the more important genera.

In making these observations I by no means intend to criticise Mr. Murray's book, but merely to illustrate by an example, the method which has been hitherto employed, and which seems to me not well adapted to enable us to establish the foundations of the science of distribution on a secure basis. To do this, uniformity of treatment appeared to me essential, both as a matter of principle, and to avoid all imputation of a partial selection of facts, which may be made to prove anything. I determined, therefore, to take in succession every well-established family of terrestrial vertebrates, and to give an account of the distribution of all its component genera, as far as materials were available. Species, as such, are systematically disregarded,—firstly, because they are so numerous as to be unmanageable; and, secondly, because they represent the most recent modifications of form, due to a variety of often unknown causes, and are therefore not so clearly connected with geographical changes as are the natural groups of species termed genera; which may be considered to represent the average and more permanent distribution of an organic type, and to be more clearly influenced by the various known or inferred changes in the organic and physical environment.

This systematic review of the distribution of families and genera, now forms the last part of my book—Geographical Zoology; but it was nearly the first written, and the copious materials collected for it enabled me to determine the zoo-geographical divisions of the earth (regions and sub-regions) to be adopted. I next drew up tables of the families and genera found in each region and sub-region; and this afforded a basis for the geographical treatment of the subject—Zoological Geography—the most novel, and perhaps the most useful and generally interesting part of my work. While this was in progress I found it necessary to make a careful summary of the distribution of extinct Mammalia. This was a difficult task, owing to the great uncertainty that prevails as to the affinities of many of the fossils, and my want of practical acquaintance with Palæontology; but having carefully examined and combined the works of the best authors, I have given what I believe is the first connected sketch of the relation of extinct Mammalia to the distribution of living groups, and have arrived at some very interesting and suggestive results.

It will be observed that man is altogether omitted from the series of the animal kingdom as here given, and some explanation of this omission may perhaps be required. If the genus Homo had been here treated like all other genera, nothing more than the bare statement—"universally distributed"—could have been given;—and this would inevitably have provoked the criticism that it conveyed no information. If, on the other hand, I had given an outline of the distribution of the varieties or races of man, I should have departed from the plan of my work for no sufficient reason. Anthropology is a science by itself; and it seems better to omit it altogether from a zoological work, than to treat it in a necessarily superficial manner.

The best method of illustrating a work of this kind was a matter requiring much consideration. To have had a separate coloured or shaded map for each family would have made the work too costly, as the terrestrial vertebrates alone would have required more than three hundred maps. I had also doubts about the value of this mode of illustration, as it seemed rather to attract attention to details than to favour the development of general views. I determined therefore to adopt a plan, suggested in conversation by Professor Newton; and to have one general map, showing the regions and sub-regions, which could be referred to by means of a series of numbers. These references I give in the form of diagrammatic headings to each family; and, when the map has become familiar, these will, I believe, convey at a glance a body of important information.

Taking advantage of the recent extension of our knowledge of the depths of the great oceans, I determined to give upon this map a summary of our knowledge of the contours of the ocean bed, by means of tints of colour increasing in intensity with the depth. Such a map, when it can be made generally accurate, will be of the greatest service in forming an estimate of the more probable changes of sea and land during the Tertiary period; and it is on the effects of such changes that any satisfactory explanation of the facts of distribution must to a great extent depend.

Other important factors in determining the actual distribution of animals are, the zones of altitude above the sea level, and the strongly contrasted character of the surface as regards vegetation—a primary condition for the support of animal life. I therefore designed a series of six maps of the regions, drawn on a uniform scale, on which the belts of altitude are shown by contour-shading, while the forests, pastures, deserts, and perennial snows, are exhibited by means of appropriate tints of colour.

These maps will, I trust, facilitate the study of geographical distribution as a science, by showing, in some cases, an adequate cause in the nature of the terrestrial surface for the actual distribution of certain groups of animals. As it is hoped they will be constantly referred to, double folding has been avoided, and they are consequently rather small; but Mr. Stanford, and his able assistant in the map department, Mr. Bolton, have taken great care in working out the details from the latest observations; and this, combined with the clearness and the beauty of their execution, will I trust render them both interesting and instructive.

In order to make the book more intelligible to those readers who have no special knowledge of systematic zoology, and to whom most of the names with which its pages are often crowded must necessarily be unmeaning, I give a series of twenty plates, each one illustrating at once the physical aspect and the special zoological character of some well-marked division of a region. Great care has been taken to associate in the pictures, such species only as do actually occur together in nature; so that each plate represents a scene which is, at all events, not an impossible one. The species figured all belong to groups which are either peculiar to, or very characteristic of, the region whose zoology they illustrate; and it is hoped that these pictures will of themselves serve to convey a notion of the varied types of the higher animals in their true geographical relations. The artist, Mr. J. B. Zwecker, to whose talent as a zoological draughtsman and great knowledge both of animal and vegetable forms we are indebted for this set of drawings, died a few weeks after he had put the final touches to the proofs. He is known to many readers by his vigorous illustrations of the works of Sir Samuel Baker, Livingstone, and many other travellers,—but these, his last series of plates, were, at my special request, executed with a care, delicacy, and artistic finish, which his other designs seldom exhibit. It must, however, be remembered, that the figures of animals here given are not intended to show specific or generic characters for the information of the scientific zoologist, but merely to give as accurate an idea as possible, of some of the more remarkable and more restricted types of beast and bird, amid the characteristic scenery of their native country;—and in carrying out this object there are probably few artists who would have succeeded better than Mr. Zwecker has done.


The general arrangement of the separate parts of which the work is composed, has been, to some extent, determined by the illustrations and maps, which all more immediately belong to Part III. It was at first intended to place this part last, but as this arrangement would have brought all the illustrations into the second volume, its place was changed,—perhaps in other respects for the better, as it naturally follows Part II. Yet for persons not well acquainted with zoology, it will perhaps be advisable to read the more important articles of Part IV. (and especially the observations at the end of each order) after Part II., thus making Part III. the conclusion of the work.

Part IV. is, in fact, a book of reference, in which the distribution of all the families and most of the genera of the higher animals, is given in systematic order. Part III. is treated somewhat more popularly; and, although it is necessarily crowded with scientific names (without which the inferences and conclusions would have nothing solid to rest on), these may be omitted by the non-scientific reader, or merely noted as a certain number or proportion of peculiar generic types. Many English equivalents to family and generic names are, however, given; and, assisted by these, it is believed that any reader capable of understanding Lyell's "Principles," or Darwin's "Origin," will have no difficulty in following the main arguments and appreciating the chief conclusions arrived at in the present work.

To those who are more interested in facts than in theories, the book will serve as a kind of dictionary of the geography and affinities of animals. By means of the copious Index, the native country, the systematic position, and the numerical extent of every important and well established genus of land-animal may be at once discovered;—information now scattered through hundreds of volumes.

In the difficult matters of synonymy, and the orthography of generic names, I have been guided rather by general utility than by any fixed rules. When I have taken a whole family group from a modern author of repute, I have generally followed his nomenclature throughout. In other cases, I use the names which are to be found in a majority of modern authors, rather than follow the strict rule of priority in adopting some newly discovered appellation of early date. In orthography I have adopted all such modern emendations as seem coming into general use, and which do not lead to inconvenience; but where the alteration is such as to completely change the pronunciation and appearance of a well-known word, I have not adopted it. I have also thought it best to preserve the initial letter of well-known and old-established names, for convenience of reference to the Indices of established works. As an example I may refer to Enicurus,—a name which has been in use nearly half a century, and which is to be found under the letter E, in Jerdon's Birds of India, Blyth's Catalogue, Bonaparte's Conspectus, and the Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London down to 1865. Classicists now write Henicurus as the correct form; but this seems to me one of those cases in which orthographical accuracy should give way to priority, and still more to convenience.

In combining and arranging so much detail from such varied sources, many errors and omissions must doubtless have occurred. Owing to my residence at a distance from the scientific libraries of the metropolis, I was placed at a great disadvantage; and I could hardly have completed the work at all, had I not been permitted to have a large number of volumes at once, from the library of the Zoological Society of London, and to keep them for months together;—a privilege for which I return my best thanks to Mr. Sclater the Secretary, and to the Council.

Should my book meet with the approval of working naturalists, I venture to appeal to them, to assist me in rendering any future editions more complete, by sending me (to the care of my publishers) notes of any important omissions, or corrections of any misstatements of fact; as well as copies of any of their papers or essays, and especially of any lists, catalogues, and monographs, containing information on the classification or distribution of living or extinct animals.


To the many friends who have given me information or assistance I beg to tender my sincere thanks. Especially am I indebted to Professor Newton, who not only read through much of my rough MSS., but was so good as to make numerous corrections and critical notes. These were of great value to me, as they often contained or suggested important additional matter, or pointed out systematic and orthographical inaccuracies.

Professor Flower was so good as to read over my chapters on extinct animals, and to point out several errors into which I had fallen.

Dr. Günther gave me much valuable information on the classification of reptiles, marking on my lists the best established and most natural genera, and referring me to reliable sources of information.

I am also greatly indebted to the following gentlemen for detailed information on special subjects:—

To Sir Victor Brooke, for a MS. arrangement of the genera of Bovidæ, with the details of their distribution:

To Mr. Dresser, for lists of the characteristic birds of Northern and Arctic Europe:

To Dr. Hooker, for information on the colours and odours of New Zealand plants:

To Mr. Kirby, for a list of the butterflies of Chili:

To Professor Mivart, for a classification of the Batrachia, and an early proof of his article on "Apes" in the Encyclopedia Britannica:

To Mr. Salvin, for correcting my list of the birds of the Galapagos, and for other assistance:

To Mr. Sharpe, for MS. lists of the birds of Madagascar and the Cape Verd Islands:

To Canon Tristram, for a detailed arrangement of the difficult family of the warblers,—Sylviidæ:

To Viscount Walden, for notes on the systematic arrangement of the Pycnonotidæ and Timaliidæ, and for an early proof of his list of the birds of the Philippine Islands.

I also have to thank many naturalists, both in this country and abroad, who have sent me copies of their papers; and I trust they will continue to favour me in the same manner.

An author may easily be mistaken in estimating his own work. I am well aware that this first outline of a great subject is, in parts, very meagre and sketchy; and, though perhaps overburthened with some kinds of detail, yet leaves many points most inadequately treated. It is therefore with some hesitation that I venture to express the hope that I have made some approach to the standard of excellence I have aimed at;—which was, that my book should bear a similar relation to the eleventh and twelfth chapters of the "Origin of Species," as Mr. Darwin's "Animals and Plants under Domestication" does to the first chapter of that work. Should it be judged worthy of such a rank, my long, and often wearisome labours, will be well repaid.

March, 1876.

Means of Dispersal of Mammalia (p. 10)—Climate as a Limit to the Range of Mammals (p. 11)—Valleys and Rivers as Barriers to Mammals (p. 12)—Arms of the Sea as Barriers to Mammals (p. 13)—Ice-floes and drift-wood as aiding the Dispersal of Mammals (p. 14)—Means of Dispersal of Birds (p. 15)—Dispersal of Birds by Winds (p. 16)—Barriers to the Dispersal of Birds (p. 17)—The Phenomena of Migration (p. 18)—Migrations of Birds (p. 19)—General remarks on Migration (p. 25)—Means of Dispersal of Reptiles and Amphibia (p. 28)—Means of Dispersal of Fishes (p. 29)—Means of Dispersal of Mollusca (p. 30)—Means of Dispersal of Insects and the Barriers which limit their Range (p. 32) 10-34
Land and Water (p. 35)—Continental Areas (p. 36)—Recent Changes in the Continental Areas (p. 38)—The Glacial Epoch as affecting the Distribution of Animals (p. 40)—Changes of Vegetation as affecting the Distribution of Animals (p. 43)—Organic Changes as affecting Distribution (p. 44) 35-49
Principles upon which Zoological Regions should be formed (p. 53)—Which class of Animals is of most importance in determining Zoological Regions (p. 56)—Various Zoological Regions proposed since 1857 (p. 58)—Discussion of proposed Regions (p. 61)—Reasons for adopting the Six Regions first proposed by Mr. Sclater (p. 63)—Objections to the system of Circumpolar Zones (p. 67)—Does the Arctic Fauna characterise an independent Region (p. 68)—Palæarctic Region (p. 71)—Ethiopian Region (p. 73)—Oriental Region (p. 75)—Australian Region (p. 77)—Neotropical Region (p. 78)—Nearctic Region (p. 79)—Observations on the series of Sub-regions (p. 80) 50-82
Classification of the Mammalia (p. 85)—Classification of Birds (p. 92)—Classification of Reptiles (p. 98)—Classification of Amphibia (p. 100)—Classification of Fishes (p. 101)—Classification of Insects (p. 102)—Classification of Mollusca (p. 104) 83-104
Historic and Post-pliocene Period (p. 110)—Pliocene Period (p. 112)—General Conclusions as to the Pliocene and Post-pliocene Faunas of Europe (p. 113)—Miocene Period (p. 114)—Extinct Animals of Greece (p. 115)—Miocene Fauna of Central and Western Europe (p. 117)—Upper Miocene Deposits of India (p. 121)—General Observations on the Miocene Faunas of Europe and Asia (p. 123)—Eocene Period (p. 124)—General Considerations on the Extinct Mammalian Fauna of Europe (p. 126) 83-104


North America—Post-pliocene Period (p. 129)—Remarks on the Post-pliocene Fauna of North America (p. 130)—Tertiary Period (p. 132)—Primates (p. 132)— Insectivora (p. 133)—Carnivora (p. 134)—Ungulata (p. 135)—Proboscidea (p. 138)—Tillodontia (p. 139)—Rodentia (p. 140)—General Relations of the Extinct Tertiary Mammalia of North America and Europe (p. 140)—South America (p. 143)—Fauna of the Brazilian Caves (p. 143)—Pliocene Period of Temperate South America (p. 146)—Pliocene Mammalia of the Antilles (p. 148)—Eocene Fauna of South America (p. 148)—General Remarks on the Extinct Mammalian Fauna of the Old and New Worlds (p. 148)—The Birth-place and Migrations of some Mammalian Families and Genera (p. 153) 129-156
Extinct Mammalia of Australia (p. 157)—Mammalian Remains of the Secondary Formations (p. 159)—Extinct Birds (p. 160)—Palæarctic Region and North India (p. 161)—North America (p. 163)—South America, Madagascar, New Zealand (p. 164)—Extinct Tertiary Reptiles (p. 165)—Antiquity of the Genera of Insects (p. 166)—Antiquity of the Genera of Land and Fresh-water Shells (p. 168) 157-170
Order of succession of the Regions (p. 173)—Cosmopolitan Groups (p. 175)—Tables of Distributions of Families and Genera (p. 177) 173-179


Zoological Characteristics of the Palæarctic Region (p. 181)—Summary of Palæarctic Vertebrata (p. 186)—Insects (p. 187)—Land-shells (p. 190)—The Palæarctic Sub-regions (p. 190)—Central and Northern Europe (p. 191)—North European Islands (p. 197)—Mediterranean Sub-region (p. 199)—The Mediterranean and Atlantic Islands (p. 206)—The Siberian Sub-region, or Northern Asia (p. 216)—Japan and North China, or the Manchurian Sub-region (p. 220)—Birds (p. 223)—Insects (p. 227)—Remarks on the General Character of the Fauna of Japan (p. 230)—General Conclusions as to the Fauna of the Palæarctic Region (p. 231)—Table I. Families of Animals inhabiting the Palæarctic Region (p. 234)—Table II. List of the Genera of Terrestrial Mammalia and Birds of the Palæarctic Region (p. 239) 181-250
Zoological Characteristics of the Ethiopian Region (p. 252)—Summary of Ethiopian Vertebrates (p. 255)—The Ethiopian Sub-regions (p. 258)—The East African Sub-region, or Central and East Africa (p. 258)—The West African Sub-region (p. 262)—Islands of the West African Sub-region (p. 265)—South African Sub-region (p. 266)—Atlantic Islands of the Ethiopian Region;—St. Helena (p. 269)—Tristan d'Acunha (p. 271)—Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands, or the Malagasy Sub-region (p. 272)—The Mascarene Islands (p. 280)—Extinct Fauna of the Mascarene Islands and Madagascar (p. 282)—General Remarks on the Insect Fauna of Madagascar (p. 284)—On the probable Past History of the Ethiopian Region (p. 285)—Table I. Families of Animals inhabiting the Ethiopian Region (p. 294)—Table II. List of Genera of Terrestrial Mammalia and Birds of the Ethiopian Region (p. 300) 251-313
Zoological Characteristics of the Oriental Region (p. 315)—Summary of Oriental Vertebrata (p. 318)—The Oriental Sub-regions (p. 321)—Hindostan, or Indian Sub-region (p. 321)—Range of the Genera of Mammalia which inhabit the Sub-region of Hindostan (p. 322)—Oriental, Palæarctic, and Ethiopian Genera of Birds in Central India (p. 224)—Sub-region of Ceylon and South India (p. 326)—The Past History of Ceylon and South India, as indicated by its Fauna (p. 328)—Himalayan or Indo-Chinese Sub-region (p. 329)—Islands of the Indo-Chinese Sub-region (p. 333)—Indo-Malaya, or the Malayan Sub-region (p. 334)—Malayan Insects (p. 341)—The Zoological Relations of the several Islands of the Indo-Malay Sub-region (p. 345)—Philippine Islands (p. 345)—Java (p. 349)—Malacca, Sumatra, and Borneo (p. 353)—Probable recent Geographical Changes in the Indo-Malay Islands (p. 357)—Probable Origin of the Malayan Fauna (p. 359)—Concluding Remarks on the Oriental Region (p. 362)—Table I. Families of Animals inhabiting the Oriental Region (p. 365)—Table II. Genera of Terrestrial Mammalia and Birds in the Oriental Region (p. 371) 314-386
General Zoological Characteristics of the Australian Region (p. 390)—Summary of the Australian Vertebrata (p. 397)—Supposed Land-connection between Australia and South America (p. 398)—Insects (p. 403)—Land-shells (p. 407)—Australian Sub-regions (p. 408)—Austro-Malayan Sub-region (p. 409)—Papua, or the New Guinea Group (p. 409)—The Moluccas (p. 417)—Insects—Peculiarities of the Moluccan Fauna (p. 420)—Timor Group (p. 422)—Celebes Group (p. 426)—Origin of the Fauna of Celebes (p. 436)—Australia and Tasmania, or the Australian Sub-region (p. 438)—The Pacific Islands, or Polynesian Sub-region (p. 442)—Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa Islands (p. 443)—Society and Marquesas Islands (p. 443)—Ladrone and Caroline Islands (p. 444)—New Caledonia and the New Hebrides (p. 444)—Sandwich Islands (p. 445)—Reptiles of the Polynesian Sub-region (p. 448)—New Zealand Sub-region (p. 449)—Islets of the New Zealand Sub-region (p. 453)—Reptiles, Amphibia, and Fresh-water Fishes (p. 456)—Insects (p. 457)—The Ancient Fauna of New Zealand (p. 459)—The Origin of the New Zealand Fauna (p. 459)—Causes of the Poverty of Insect-life in New Zealand: its Influence on the Character of the Flora (p. 462)—Concluding Remarks on the Early History of the Australian Region (p. 464)—Table I. Families of Animals inhabiting the Australian Region (p. 468)—Table II. Genera of Terrestrial Mammalia and Birds of the Australian Region (p. 473) 387-485
Index to Vol. I 489-503


1. Map of the World, showing the Zoo-Geographical Regions and the
contour of the Ocean-bed
To face page
2. Map of the Palæarctic Region 181
3. Plate I. The Alps of Central Europe with Characteristic Animals 195
4. Plate II. Characteristic Mammalia of Western Tartary 218
5. Plate III. Characteristic Animals of North China 226
6. Map of the Ethiopian Region 251
7. Plate IV. Characteristic Animals of East Africa 261
8. Plate V. Scene in West Africa with Characteristic Animals 264
9. Plate VI. Scene in Madagascar with Characteristic Animals 278
10. Map of the Oriental Region 315
11. Plate VII. Scene in Nepaul with Characteristic Animals 331
12. Plate VIII. A Forest in Borneo with Characteristic Mammalia 337
13. Plate IX. A Malacca Forest with some of its Peculiar Birds 340
14. Map of the Australian Region 387
15. Plate X. Scene in New Guinea with Characteristic Animals 415
16. Plate XI. The Characteristic Mammalia of Tasmania 439
17. Plate XII. The Plains of New South Wales with Characteristic Animals 442
18. Plate XIII. Scene in New Zealand with some of its Remarkable Birds 455


I have detected several misprints and small errors in the final impression, and Dr. Meyer, who has translated the work into German, has kindly communicated all that he has noticed. It is not thought necessary to give here all the smaller orthographical errors, most of which will be corrected in the Index. The following seem, however, to be of sufficient importance to justify me in asking my readers to correct them in their copies.

Page 93, 12 lines from foot, for Hocco read Hoazin.

" 97, line 2, for Hocco read Hoazin.

" 147, 13 lines from foot, for three-handed read three-banded.

" 177, line 6, for Lycænidæ read Zygænidæ.

" 183, line 20, for third read fourth.

" 238, line 18, for Spirigidea read Sphingidea.

" 242, insert | 92a | Tamias | 1 | All Northern Asia | N. America.

" 245, last line, insert in 2nd column (6).

" 309, line 20, for Motacilla read Budytes.

" 327, 12 lines from foot, after Hindostan read and.

" 331, last line, for Icthyopsis read Icthyophis.

" 340, line 15, for Edolius read Bhringa.

" 348, line 17, for Flores read New Guinea.

" 371, 11 lines from foot, for and Borneo read Borneo and Philippines.

" 391, 10 lines from foot, after Celebes add and the Papuan Islands.

" 391, 9 lines from foot, omit New Guinea or.

" 414, 6 lines from foot, for Epimachus read Seleucides.

" 415, line 10 for ditto read ditto.

" 427, line 20, after Celebes add and on some of the Philippine Islands.

" 427, 5 lines from foot, for tusks read jaw.

" 462, 15 lines from foot, for p. 156 read p. 166.

" 474, 9 lines from foot, after Celebes add Papua.








It is a fact within the experience of most persons, that the various species of animals are not uniformly dispersed over the surface of the country. If we have a tolerable acquaintance with any district, be it a parish, a county, or a larger extent of territory, we soon become aware that each well-marked portion of it has some peculiarities in its animal productions. If we want to find certain birds or certain insects, we have not only to choose the right season but to go to the right place. If we travel beyond our district in various directions we shall almost certainly meet with something new to us; some species which we were accustomed to see almost daily will disappear, others which we have never seen before will make their appearance. If we go very far, so as to be able to measure our journey by degrees of latitude and longitude and to perceive important changes of climate and vegetation, the differences in the forms of animal life will become greater; till at length we shall come to a country where almost everything will be new, all the familiar creatures of our own district being replaced by others more or less differing from them.

If we have been observant during our several journeys, and have combined and compared the facts we have collected, it will become apparent that the change we have witnessed has been of two distinct kinds. In our own and immediately surrounding districts, particular species appeared and disappeared because {4}the soil, the aspect, or the vegetation, was adapted to them or the reverse. The marshes, the heaths, the woods and forests, the chalky downs, the rocky mountains, had each their peculiar inhabitants, which reappeared again and again as we came to tracts of country suitable for them. But as we got further away we began to find that localities very similar to those we had left behind were inhabited by a somewhat different set of species; and this difference increased with distance, notwithstanding that almost identical external conditions might be often met with. The first class of changes is that of stations; the second that of habitats. The one is a local, the other a geographical phenomenon. The whole area over which a particular animal is found may consist of any number of stations, but rarely of more than one habitat. Stations, however, are often so extensive as to include the entire range of many species. Such are the great seas and oceans, the Siberian or the Amazonian forests, the North African deserts, the Andean or the Himalayan highlands.

There is yet another difference in the nature of the change we have been considering. The new animals which we meet with as we travel in any direction from our starting point, are some of them very much like those we have left behind us, and can be at once referred to familiar types; while others are altogether unlike anything we have seen at home. When we reach the Alps we find another kind of squirrel, in Southern Italy a distinct mole, in Southern Europe fresh warblers and unfamiliar buntings. We meet also with totally new forms; as the glutton and the snowy owl in Northern, the genet and the hoopoe in Southern, and the saiga antelope and collared pratincole in Eastern Europe. The first series are examples of what are termed representative species, the second of distinct groups or types of animals. The one represents a comparatively recent modification, and an origin in or near the locality where it occurs; the other is a result of very ancient changes both organic and inorganic, and is connected with some of the most curious and difficult of the problems we shall have to discuss.


Having thus defined our subject, let us glance at the opinions that have generally prevailed as to the nature and causes of the phenomena presented by the geographical distribution of animals.

It was long thought, and is still a popular notion, that the manner in which the various kinds of animals are dispersed over the globe is almost wholly due to diversities of climate and of vegetation. There is indeed much to favour this belief. The arctic regions are strongly characterised by their white bears and foxes, their reindeer, ermine, and walruses, their white ptarmigan, owls, and falcons; the temperate zone has its foxes and wolves, its rabbits, sheep, beavers, and marmots, its sparrows and its song birds; while tropical regions alone produce apes and elephants, parrots and peacocks, and a thousand strange quadrupeds and brilliant birds which are found nowhere in the cooler regions. So the camel, the gazelle and the ostrich live in the desert; the bison on the prairie; the tapir, the deer, and the jaguar in forests. Mountains and marshes, plains and rocky precipices, have each their animal inhabitants; and it might well be thought, in the absence of accurate inquiry, that these and other differences would sufficiently explain why most of the regions and countries into which the earth is popularly divided should have certain animals peculiar to them and should want others which are elsewhere abundant.

A more detailed and accurate knowledge of the productions of different portions of the earth soon showed that this explanation was quite insufficient; for it was found that countries exceedingly similar in climate and all physical features may yet have very distinct animal populations. The equatorial parts of Africa and South America, for example, are very similar in climate and are both covered with luxuriant forests, yet their animal life is widely different; elephants, apes, leopards, guinea-fowls and touracos in the one, are replaced by tapirs, prehensile-tailed monkeys, jaguars, curassows and toucans in the other. Again, parts of South Africa and Australia are wonderfully similar in their soil and climate; yet one has lions, antelopes, zebras and giraffes; the other only kangaroos, wombats, {6}phalangers and mice. In like manner parts of North America and Europe are very similar in all essentials of soil climate and vegetation, yet the former has racoons, opossums, and humming-birds; while the latter possesses moles, hedgehogs and true flycatchers. Equally striking are the facts presented by the distribution of many large and important groups of animals. Marsupials (opossums, phalangers &c.) are found from temperate Van Diemen's land to the tropical islands of New Guinea and Celebes, and in America from Chili to Virginia. No crows exist in South America, while they inhabit every other part of the world, not excepting Australia. Antelopes are found only in Africa and Asia; the sloths only in South America; the true lemurs are confined to Madagascar, and the birds-of-paradise to New Guinea.

If we examine more closely the distribution of animals in any extensive region, we find that different, though closely allied species, are often found on the opposite sides of any considerable barrier to their migration. Thus, on the two sides of the Andes and Rocky Mountains in America, almost all the mammalia, birds, and insects are of distinct species. To a less extent, the Alps and Pyrenees form a similar barrier, and even great rivers and river plains, as those of the Amazon and Ganges, separate more or less distinct groups of animals. Arms of the sea are still more effective, if they are permanent; a circumstance in some measure indicated by their depth. Thus islands far away from land almost always have very peculiar animals found nowhere else; as is strikingly the case in Madagascar and New Zealand, and to a less degree in the West India islands. But shallow straits, like the English Channel or the Straits of Malacca, are not found to have the same effect, the animals being nearly or quite identical on their opposite shores. A change of climate or a change of vegetation may form an equally effective barrier to migration. Many tropical and polar animals are pretty accurately limited by certain isothermal lines; and the limits of the great forests in most parts of the world strictly determine the ranges of many species.

Naturalists have now arrived at the conclusion, that by some {7}slow process of development or transmutation, all animals have been produced from those which preceded them; and the old notion that every species was specially created as they now exist, at a particular time and in a particular spot, is abandoned as opposed to many striking facts, and unsupported by any evidence. This modification of animal forms took place very slowly, so that the historical period of three or four thousand years has hardly produced any perceptible change in a single species. Even the time since the last glacial epoch, which on the very lowest estimate must be from 50,000 to 100,000 years, has only served to modify a few of the higher animals into very slightly different species. The changes of the forms of animals appear to have accompanied, and perhaps to have depended on, changes of physical geography, of climate, or of vegetation; since it is evident that an animal which is well adapted to one condition of things will require to be slightly changed in constitution or habits, and therefore generally in form, structure, or colour, in order to be equally well adapted to a changed condition of surrounding circumstances. Animals multiply so rapidly, that we may consider them as continually trying to extend their range; and thus any new land raised above the sea by geological causes becomes immediately peopled by a crowd of competing inhabitants, the strongest and best adapted of which alone succeed in maintaining their position.

If we keep in view these facts—that the minor features of the earth's surface are everywhere slowly changing; that the forms, and structure, and habits of all living things are also slowly changing; while the great features of the earth, the continents, and oceans, and loftiest mountain ranges, only change after very long intervals and with extreme slowness; we must see that the present distribution of animals upon the several parts of the earth's surface is the final product of all these wonderful revolutions in organic and inorganic nature. The greatest and most radical differences in the productions of any part of the globe must be dependent on isolation by the most effectual and most permanent barriers. That ocean which has remained broadest and deepest from the most remote geological epoch {8}will separate countries the productions of which most widely and radically differ; while the most recently-depressed seas, or the last-formed mountain ranges, will separate countries the productions of which are almost or quite identical. It will be evident, therefore, that the study of the distribution of animals and plants may add greatly to our knowledge of the past history of our globe. It may reveal to us, in a manner which no other evidence can, which are the oldest and most permanent features of the earth's surface, and which the newest. It may indicate the existence of islands or continents now sunk beneath the ocean, and which have left no record of their existence save the animal and vegetable productions which have migrated to adjacent lands. It thus becomes an important adjunct to geology, which can rarely do more than determine what lands have been raised above the waters, under what conditions and at what period; but can seldom ascertain anything of the position or extent of those which have sunk beneath it. Our present study may often enable us, not only to say where lands must have recently disappeared, but also to form some judgment as to their extent, and the time that has elapsed since their submersion.


Having thus briefly sketched the nature and objects of the subject we have to study, it will be necessary—before entering on a detailed examination of the zoological features of the different parts of the earth, and of the distribution of the orders, families, and genera of animals—to examine certain preliminary facts and principles essential for our guidance. We must first inquire what are the powers of multiplication and dispersal of the various groups of animals, and the nature of the barriers that most effectually limit their range. We have then to consider the effects of changes in physical geography and in climate; to examine the nature and extent of such changes as have been known to occur; to determine what others are possible or probable; and to ascertain the various modes in which such changes affect the structure, the distribution, or the very existence of animals.


Two subjects of a different nature must next engage our attention. We have to deal with two vast masses of facts, each involving countless details, and requiring subdivision and grouping to be capable of intelligible treatment. All the continents and their chief subdivisions, and all the more important islands of the globe, have to be compared as regards their various animal forms. To do this effectively we require a natural division of the earth especially adapted to our purpose; and we shall have to discuss at some length the reasons for the particular system adopted,—a discussion which must to some extent anticipate and summarize the conclusions of the whole work. We have also to deal with many hundreds of families and many thousands of genera of animals, and here too a true and natural classification is of great importance. We must therefore give a connected view of the classification adopted in the various classes of animals dealt with.

And lastly, as the existing distribution of animals is the result and outcome of all preceding changes of the earth and of its inhabitants, we require as much knowledge as we can get of the animals of each country during past geological epochs, in order to interpret the facts we shall accumulate. We shall, therefore, enter upon a somewhat detailed sketch of the various forms of extinct animals that have lived upon the earth during the Tertiary period; discuss their migrations at various epochs, the changes of physical geography that they imply, and the extent to which they enable us to determine the birthplace of certain families and genera.

The preliminary studies above enumerated will, it is believed, enable us to see the bearing of many facts in the distribution of animals that would otherwise be insoluble problems; and, what is hardly less valuable, will teach us to estimate the comparative importance of the various groups of animals, and to avoid the common error of cutting the gordian knot of each difficulty by vast hypothetical changes in existing continents and oceans—probably the most permanent features of our globe.




All animals are capable of multiplying so rapidly, that if a single pair were placed in a continent with abundance of food and no enemies, they might fully stock it in a very short time. Thus, a bird which produces ten pairs of young during its lifetime (and this is far below the fertility of many birds) will, if we take its life at five years, increase to a hundred millions in about forty years, a number sufficient to stock a large country. Many fishes and insects are capable of multiplying several thousandfold each year, so that in a few years they would reach billions and trillions. Even large and slow breeding mammals, which have only one at a birth but continue to breed from eight to ten successive years, may increase from a single pair to ten millions in less than forty years.

But as animals rarely have an unoccupied country to breed in, and as the food in any one district is strictly limited, their natural tendency is to roam in every direction in search of fresh pastures, or new hunting grounds. In doing so, however, they meet with many obstacles. Rocks and mountains have to be climbed, rivers or marshes to be crossed, deserts or forests to be traversed; while narrow straits or wider arms of the sea separate islands from the main land or continents from each other. We have now to inquire what facilities the different classes of animals have for overcoming these obstacles, and what kind of barriers are most effectual in checking their progress.

Means of Dispersal of Mammalia.—Many of the largest mammalia are able to roam over whole continents and are hardly {11}stopped by any physical obstacles. The elephant is almost equally at home on plains and mountains, and it even climbs to the highest summit of Adam's Peak in Ceylon, which is so steep and rocky as to be very difficult of ascent for man. It traverses rivers with great ease and forces its way through the densest jungle. There seems therefore to be no limit to its powers of wandering, but the necessity of procuring food and its capacity of enduring changes of climate. The tiger is another animal with great powers of dispersal. It crosses rivers and sometimes even swims over narrow straits of the sea, and it can endure the severe cold of North China and Tartary as well as the heats of the plains of Bengal. The rhinoceros, the lion, and many of the ruminants have equal powers of dispersal; so that wherever there is land and sufficient food, there are no limits to their possible range. Other groups of animals are more limited in their migrations. The apes, lemurs, and many monkeys are so strictly adapted to an arboreal life that they can never roam far beyond the limits of the forest vegetation. The same may be said of the squirrels, the opossums, the arboreal cats, and the sloths, with many other groups of less importance. Deserts or open country are equally essential to the existence of others. The camel, the hare, the zebra, the giraffe and many of the antelopes could not exist in a forest country any more than could the jerboas or the prairie marmots.

There are other animals which are confined to mountains, and could not extend their range into lowlands or forests. The goats and the sheep are the most striking group of this kind, inhabiting many of the highest mountains of the globe; of which the European ibex and mouflon are striking examples. Rivers are equally necessary to the existence of others, as the beaver, otter, water-vole and capybara; and to such animals high mountain-ranges or deserts must form an absolutely impassable barrier.

Climate as a Limit to the Range of Mammals.—Climate appears to limit the range of many animals, though there is some reason to believe that in many cases it is not the climate itself so much as the change of vegetation consequent on climate which produces the effect. The quadrumana appear to be limited by climate, {12}since they inhabit almost all the tropical regions but do not range more than about 10° beyond the southern and 12° beyond the northern tropic, while the great bulk of the species are found only within an equatorial belt about 30° wide. But as these animals are almost exclusively fruit-eaters, their distribution depends as much on vegetation as on temperature; and this is strikingly shown by the fact that the Semnopithecus schistaceus inhabits the Himalayan mountains to a height of 11,000 feet, where it has been seen leaping among fir-trees loaded with snow-wreaths! Some northern animals are bounded by the isothermal of 32°. Such are the polar bear and the walrus, which cannot live in a state of nature far beyond the limits of the frozen ocean; but as they live in confinement in temperate countries, their range is probably limited by other conditions than temperature.

We must not therefore be too hasty in concluding, that animals which we now see confined to a very hot or a very cold climate are incapable of living in any other. The tiger was once considered a purely tropical animal, but it inhabits permanently the cold plains of Manchuria and the Amoor, a country of an almost arctic winter climate. Few animals seem to us more truly inhabitants of hot countries than the elephants and rhinoceroses; yet in Post-tertiary times they roamed over the whole of the northern continents to within the arctic circle; and we know that the climate was then as cold as it is now, from their entire bodies being preserved in ice. Some change must recently have occurred either in the climate, soil, or vegetation of Northern Asia which led to the extinction of these forerunners of existing tropical species; and we must always bear in mind that similar changes may have acted upon other species which we now find restricted within narrow limits, but which may once have roamed over a wide and varied territory.

Valleys and Rivers as Barriers to Mammals.—To animals which thrive best in dry and hilly regions, a broad level and marshy valley must often prove an effectual barrier. The difference of vegetation and of insect life, together with an unhealthy atmosphere, no doubt often checks migration if it is attempted. Thus {13}many animals are restricted to the slopes of the Himalayas or to the mountains of Central India, the flat valley of the Ganges forming a limit to their range. In other cases, however, it is the river rather than the valley which is the barrier. In the great Amazonian plains many species of monkeys, birds, and even insects are found up to the river banks on one side but do not cross to the other. Thus in the lower part of the Rio Negro two monkeys, the Jacchus bicolor and the Brachiurus couxiou, are found on the north bank of the river but never on the south, where a red-whiskered Pithecia is alone found. Higher up Ateles paniscus extends to the north bank of the river while Lagothrix humboldtii comes down to the south bank; the former being a native of Guiana, the latter of Ecuador. The range of the birds of the genus Psophia or trumpeters, is also limited by the rivers Amazon, Madeira, Rio Negro and some others; so that in these cases we are able to define the limits of distribution with an unusual degree of accuracy, and there is little doubt the same barriers also limit a large number of other species.

Arms of the Sea as Barriers to Mammals.—Very few mammals can swim over any considerable extent of sea, although many can swim well for short distances. The jaguar traverses the widest streams in South America, and the bear and bison cross the Mississippi; and there can be no doubt that they could swim over equal widths of salt water, and if accidentally carried out to sea might sometimes succeed in reaching islands many miles distant. Contrary to the common notion pigs can swim remarkably well. Sir Charles Lyell tells us in his "Principles of Geology" that during the floods in Scotland in 1829, some pigs only six months old that were carried out to sea, swam five miles and got on shore again. He also states, on the authority of the late Edward Forbes, that a pig jumped overboard to escape from a terrier in the Grecian Archipelago, and swam safely to shore many miles distant. These facts render it probable that wild pigs, from their greater strength and activity, might under favourable circumstances cross arms of the sea twenty or thirty miles wide; and there are facts in the distribution of this tribe of animals which seem to indicate that they have sometimes done so. Deer {14}take boldly to the water and can swim considerable distances, but we have no evidence to show how long they could live at sea or how many miles they could traverse. Squirrels, rats, and lemmings often migrate from northern countries in bands of thousands and hundreds of thousands, and pass over rivers, lakes and even arms of the sea, but they generally perish in the saltwater. Admitting, however, the powers of most mammals to swim considerable distances, we have no reason to believe that any of them could traverse without help straits of upwards of twenty miles in width, while in most cases a channel of half that distance would prove an effectual barrier.

Ice-floes and Driftwood as Aiding the Dispersal of Mammals.—In the arctic regions icebergs originate in glaciers which descend into the sea, and often bear masses of gravel, earth, and even some vegetation on their surfaces; and extensive level ice-fields break away and float southwards. These might often carry with them such arctic quadrupeds as frequent the ice, or even on rare occasions true land-animals, which might sometimes be stranded on distant continents or islands. But a more effectual because a more wide-spread agent, is to be found in the uprooted trees and rafts of driftwood often floated down great rivers and carried out to sea. Such rafts or islands are sometimes seen drifting a hundred miles from the mouth of the Ganges with living trees erect upon them; and the Amazon, the Orinoco, Mississippi, Congo, and most great rivers produce similar rafts. Spix and Martius declare that they saw at different times on the Amazon, monkeys, tiger-cats, and squirrels, being thus carried down the stream. On the Parana, pumas, squirrels, and many other quadrupeds have been seen on these rafts; and Admiral W. H. Smyth informed Sir C. Lyell that among the Philippine islands after a hurricane, he met with floating masses of wood with trees growing upon them, so that they were at first mistaken for islands till it was found that they were rapidly drifting along. Here therefore, we have ample means for carrying all the smaller and especially the arboreal mammals out to sea; and although in most cases they would perish there, yet in some favourable instances strong winds or {15}unusual tidal currents might carry them safely to shores perhaps several hundred miles from their native country. The fact of green trees so often having been seen erect on these rafts is most important; for they would act as a sail by which the raft might he propelled in one direction for several days in succession, and thus at last reach a shore to which a current alone would never have carried it.

There are two groups of mammals which have quite exceptional means of dispersal—the bats which fly, and the cetacea, seals, &c., which swim. The former are capable of traversing considerable spaces of sea, since two North American species either regularly or occasionally visit the Bermudas, a distance of 600 miles from the mainland. The oceanic mammals (whales and porpoises) seem to have no barrier but temperature; the polar species being unable to cross the equator, while the tropical forms are equally unfitted for the cold polar waters. The shore-feeding manatees, however, can only live where they find food; and a long expanse of rocky coast would probably be as complete a barrier to them as a few hundred miles of open ocean. The amphibious seals and walruses seem many of them to be capable of making long sea journeys, some of the species being found on islands a thousand miles apart, but none of the arctic are identical with the antarctic species.

The otters with one exception are freshwater animals, and we have no reason to believe they could or would traverse any great distances of salt water. In fact, they would be less liable to dispersal across arms of the sea than purely terrestrial species, since their powers of swimming would enable them to regain the shore if accidentally carried out to sea by a sudden flood.

Means of Dispersal of Birds.—It would seem at first sight that no barriers could limit the range of birds, and that they ought to be the most ubiquitous of living things, and little fitted therefore to throw any light on the laws or causes of the geographical distribution of animals. This, however, is far from being the case; many groups of birds are almost as strictly limited by barriers as the mammalia; and from their larger numbers and the avidity with which they have been collected, they furnish {16}materials of the greatest value for our present study. The different groups of birds offer remarkable contrasts in the extent of their range, some being the most cosmopolite of the higher animals, while others are absolutely confined to single spots on the earth's surface. The petrels (Procellariidæ) and the gulls (Laridæ) are among the greatest wanderers; but most of the species are confined to one or other of the great oceans, or to the arctic or antarctic seas, a few only being found with scarcely any variation over almost the whole globe. The sandpipers and plovers wander along the shores as far as do the petrels over the ocean. Great numbers of them breed in the arctic regions and migrate as far as India and Australia, or down to Chili and Brazil; the species of the old and new worlds, however, being generally distinct. In striking contrast to these wide ranges we find many of the smaller perching birds, with some of the parrots and pigeons, confined to small islands of a few square miles in extent, or to single valleys or mountains on the mainland.

Dispersal of Birds by Winds.—Those groups of birds which possess no powers of flight, such as the ostrich, cassowary, and apteryx, are in exactly the same position as mammalia as regards their means of dispersal, or are perhaps even inferior to them; since, although they are able to cross rivers by swimming, it is doubtful if they could remain so long in the water as most land quadrupeds. A very large number of short-winged birds, such as toucans, pittas, and wrens, are perhaps worse off; for they can fly very few miles at a time, and on falling into the water would soon be drowned. It is only the strong-flying species that can venture to cross any great width of sea; and even these rarely do so unless compelled by necessity to migrate in search of food, or to a more genial climate. Small and weak birds are, however, often carried accidentally across great widths of ocean by violent gales. This is well exemplified by the large numbers of stragglers from North America, which annually reach the Bermudas. No less than sixty-nine species of American birds have occurred in Europe, most of them in Britain and Heligoland. They consist chiefly of migratory birds which in autumn {17}return along the eastern coasts of the United States, and often fly from point to point across bays and inlets. They are then liable to be blown out to sea by storms, which are prevalent at this season; and it is almost always at this time of year that their occurrence has been noted on the shores of Europe. It may, however, be doubted whether this is not an altogether modern phenomenon, dependent on the number of vessels constantly on the Atlantic which afford resting-places to the wanderers; as it is hardly conceivable that such birds as titlarks, cuckoos, wrens, warblers, and rails, could remain on the wing without food or rest, the time requisite to pass over 2,000 miles of ocean. It is somewhat remarkable that no European birds reach the American coast but a few which pass by way of Iceland and Greenland; whereas a considerable number do reach the Azores, fully half way across; so that their absence can hardly be due to the prevailing winds being westerly. The case of the Azores is, however, an argument for the unassisted passage of birds for that distance; since two of the finches are peculiar 'species,' but closely allied to European forms, so that their progenitors must, probably, have reached the islands before the Atlantic was a commercial highway.

Barriers to the Dispersal of Birds.—We have seen that, as a rule, wide oceans are an almost absolute barrier to the passage of most birds from one continent to another; but much narrower seas and straits are also very effectual barriers where the habits of the birds are such as to preserve them from being carried away by storms. All birds which frequent thickets and forests, and which feed near or on the ground, are secure from such accidents; and they are also restricted in their range by the extent of the forests they inhabit. In South America a large number of the birds have their ranges determined by the extent of the forest country, while others are equally limited to the open plains. Such species are also bounded by mountain ranges whenever these rise above the woody region. Great rivers, such as the Amazon, also limit the range of many birds, even when there would seem to be no difficulty in their crossing them. The supply of food, and the kind of vegetation, soil, and climate {18}best suited to a bird's habits, are probably the causes which mark out the exact limits of the range of each species; to which must be added the prevalence of enemies of either the parent birds, the eggs, or the young. In the Malay Archipelago pigeons abound most where monkeys do not occur; and in South America the same birds are comparatively scarce in the forest plains where monkeys are very abundant, while they are plentiful on the open plains and campos, and on the mountain plateaux, where these nest-hunting quadrupeds are rarely found. Some birds are confined to swamps, others to mountains; some can only live on rocky streams, others on deserts or grassy plains.

The Phenomena of Migration.—The term "migration" is often applied to the periodical or irregular movements of all animals; but it may be questioned whether there are any regular migrants but birds and fishes. The annual or periodical movements of mammalia are of a different class. Monkeys ascend the Himalayas in summer to a height of 10,000 to 12,000 feet, and descend again in winter. Wolves everywhere descend from the mountains to the lowlands in severe weather. In dry seasons great herds of antelopes move southwards towards the Cape of Good Hope. The well-known lemmings, in severe winters, at long intervals, move down from the mountains of Scandinavia in immense numbers, crossing lakes and rivers, eating their way through haystacks, and surmounting every obstacle till they reach the sea, whence very few return. The alpine hare, the arctic fox, and many other animals, exhibit similar phenomena on a smaller scale; and generally it may be said, that whenever a favourable succession of seasons has led to a great multiplication of any species, it must on the pressure of hunger seek food in fresh localities. For such movements as these we have no special term. The summer and winter movements best correspond to true migration, but they are always on a small scale, and of limited extent; the other movements are rather temporary incursions than true migrations.

The annual movements of many fishes are more strictly analogous to the migration of birds, since they take place in large bodies and often to considerable distances, and are {19}immediately connected with the process of reproduction. Some, as the salmon, enter rivers; others, as the herring and mackerel, approach the coast in the breeding season; but the exact course of their migrations is unknown, and owing to our complete ignorance of the area each species occupies in the ocean, and the absence of such barriers and of such physical diversities as occur on the land, they are of far less interest and less connected with our present study than the movements of birds, to which we shall now confine ourselves.

Migrations of Birds.—In all the temperate parts of the globe there are a considerable number of birds which reside only a part of the year, regularly arriving and leaving at tolerably fixed epochs. In our own country many northern birds visit us in winter, such as the fieldfare, redwing, snow-bunting, turnstone, and numerous ducks and waders; with a few, like the black redstart, and (according to Rev. C. A. Johns) some of the woodcocks from the south. In the summer a host of birds appear—the cuckoo, the swifts and swallows, and numerous warblers, being the most familiar,—which stay to build their nests and rear their young, and then leave us again. These are true migrants; but a number of other birds visit us occasionally, like the waxwing, the oriole, and the beefeater, and can only be classed as stragglers, which, perhaps from too rapid multiplication one year and want of food the next, are driven to extend their ordinary range of migration to an unusual degree. We will now endeavour to sketch the chief phenomena of migration in different countries.

Europe.—It is well ascertained that most of the birds that spend their spring and summer in the temperate parts of Europe pass the winter in North Africa and Western Asia. The winter visitants, on the other hand, pass the summer in the extreme north of Europe and Asia, many of them having been found to breed in Lapland. The arrival of migratory birds from the south is very constant as to date, seldom varying more than a week or two, without any regard to the weather at the time; but the departure is less constant, and more dependent on the weather. Thus the swallow always comes to us about the middle {20}of April, however cold it may be, while its departure may take place from the end of September to late in October, and is said by Forster to occur on the first N. or N.E. wind after the 20th of September.

Almost all the migratory birds of Europe go southward to the Mediterranean, move along its coasts east or west, and cross over in three places only; either from the south of Spain, in the neighbourhood of Gibraltar, from Sicily over Malta, or to the east by Greece and Cyprus. They are thus always in sight of land. The passage of most small birds (and many of the larger ones too) takes place at night; and they only cross the Mediterranean when the wind is steady from near the east or west, and when there is moonlight.

It is a curious fact, but one that seems to be well authenticated, that the males often leave before the females, and both before the young birds, which in considerable numbers migrate later and alone. These latter, however, seldom go so far as the old ones; and numbers of young birds do not cross the Mediterranean, but stay in the south of Europe. The same rule applies to the northward migration; the young birds stopping short of the extreme arctic regions, to which the old birds migrate.[1] When old and young go together, however, the old birds take the lead. In the south of Europe few of the migratory birds stay to breed, but pass on to more temperate zones; thus, in the south of France, out of 350 species only 60 breed there. The same species is often sedentary in one part of Europe and migratory in another; thus, the chaffinch is a constant resident in England, Germany, and the middle of France; but a migrant in the south of France and in Holland: the rook visits the south of France in winter only: the Falco tinnunculus is both a resident and a migrant in the south of France, according to M. Marcel de Serres, there being two regular passages every year, while a certain number always remain.


We see, then, that migration is governed by certain intelligible laws; and that it varies in many of its details, even in the same species, according to changed conditions. It may be looked upon as an exaggeration of a habit common to all locomotive animals, of moving about in search of food. This habit is greatly restricted in quadrupeds by their inability to cross the sea or even to pass through the highly-cultivated valleys of such countries as Europe; but the power of flight in birds enables them to cross every kind of country, and even moderate widths of sea; and as they mostly travel at night and high in the air, their movements are difficult to observe, and are supposed to be more mysterious than they perhaps are. In the tropics birds move about to different districts according as certain fruits become ripe, certain insects abundant, or as flooded tracts dry up. On the borders of the tropics and the temperate zone extends a belt of country of a more or less arid character, and liable to be parched at the summer solstice. In winter and early spring its northern margin is verdant, but it soon becomes burnt up, and most of its birds necessarily migrate to the more fertile regions to the north of them. They thus follow the spring or summer as it advances from the south towards the pole, feeding on the young flower buds, the abundance of juicy larvæ, and on the ripening fruits; and as soon as these become scarce they retrace their steps homewards to pass the winter. Others whose home is nearer the pole are driven south by cold, hunger, and darkness, to more hospitable climes, returning northward in the early summer. As a typical example of a migratory bird, let us take the nightingale. During the winter this bird inhabits almost all North Africa, Asia Minor, and the Jordan Valley. Early in April it passes into Europe by the three routes already mentioned, and spreads over France, Britain, Denmark, and the south of Sweden, which it reaches by the beginning of May. It does not enter Brittany, the Channel Islands, or the western part of England, never visiting Wales, except the extreme south of Glamorganshire, and rarely extending farther north than Yorkshire. It spreads over Central Europe, through Austria and Hungary to Southern Russia and the warmer parts of Siberia, {22}but it nevertheless breeds in the Jordan Valley, so that in some places it is only the surplus population that migrates. In August and September, all who can return to their winter quarters.

Migrations of this type probably date back from at least the period when there was continuous land along the route passed over; and it is a suggestive fact that this land connection is known to have existed in recent geological times. Britain was connected with the Continent during, and probably before, the glacial epoch; and Gibraltar, as well as Sicily and Malta, were also recently united with Africa, as is proved by the fossil elephants and other large mammalia found in their caverns, by the comparatively shallow water still existing in this part of the Mediterranean while the remainder is of oceanic profundity, and by the large amount of identity in the species of land animals still inhabiting the opposite shores of the Mediterranean. The submersion of these two tracts of land (which were perhaps of considerable extent) would be a slow process, and from year to year the change might be hardly perceptible. It is easy to see how the migration that had once taken place over continuous land would be kept up, first over lagoons and marshes, then over a narrow channel, and subsequently over a considerable sea, no one generation of birds ever perceiving any difference in the route.

There is, however, no doubt that the sea-passage is now very dangerous to many birds. Quails cross in immense flocks, and great numbers are drowned at sea whenever the weather is unfavourable. Some individuals always stay through the winter in the south of Europe, and a few even in England and Ireland; and were the sea to become a little wider the migration would cease, and the quail, like some other birds, would remain divided between south Europe and north Africa. Aquatic birds are observed to follow the routes of great rivers and lakes, and the shores of the sea. One great body reaches central Europe by way of the Danube from the shores of the Black Sea; another ascends the Rhone Valley from the Gulf of Lyons.


India and China.—In the peninsula of India and in China great numbers of northern birds arrive during September and October, and leave from March to May. Among the smaller birds are wagtails, pipits, larks, stonechats, warblers, thrushes, buntings, shrikes, starlings, hoopoes, and quails. Some species of cranes and storks, many ducks, and great numbers of Scolopacidæ also visit India in winter; and to prey upon these come a band of rapacious birds—the peregrine falcon, the hobby, kestrel, common sparrowhawk, harrier, and the short-eared owl. These birds are almost all natives of Europe and Western Asia; they spread over all northern and central India, mingling with the sedentary birds of the oriental fauna, and give to the ornithology of Hindostan at this season quite a European aspect. The peculiar species of the higher Himalayas do not as a rule descend to the plains in winter, but merely come lower down the mountains; and in southern India and Ceylon comparatively few of these migratory birds appear.

In China the migratory birds follow generally the coast line, coming southwards in winter from eastern Siberia and northern Japan; while a few purely tropical forms travel northwards in summer to Japan, and on the mainland as far as the valley of the Amoor.

North America.—The migrations of birds in North America have been carefully studied by resident naturalists, and present some interesting features. The birds of the eastern parts of North America are pre-eminently migratory, a much smaller proportion being permanent residents than in corresponding latitudes in Europe. Thus, in Massachusetts there are only about 30 species of birds which are resident all the year, while the regular summer visitors are 106. Comparing with this our own country, though considerably further north, the proportions are reversed; there being 140 residents and 63 summer visitors. This difference is clearly due to the much greater length and severity of the winter, and the greater heat of summer, in America than with us. The number of permanent residents increases pretty regularly as we go southward; but the number of birds at any locality during the breeding season seems to increase as we go {24}northward as far as Canada, where, according to Mr. Allen, more species breed than in the warm Southern States. Even in the extreme north, beyond the limit of forests, there are no less than 60 species which breed; in Canada about 160; while in Carolina there are only 135, and in Louisiana, 130. The extent of the migration varies greatly, some species only going a few degrees north and south, while others migrate annually from the tropics to the extreme north of the continent; and every gradation occurs between these extremes. Among those which migrate furthest are the species of Dendrœca, and other American flycatching warblers (Mniotiltidæ), many of which breed on the shores of Hudson's Bay, and spend the winter in Mexico or the West Indian islands.

The great migratory movement of American birds is almost wholly confined to the east coast; the birds of the high central plains and of California being for the most part sedentary, or only migrating for short distances. All the species which reach South America, and most of those which winter in Mexico and Guatemala, are exclusively eastern species; though a few Rocky Mountain birds range southward along the plateaux of Mexico and Guatemala, but probably not as regular annual migrants.

In America as in Europe birds appear in spring with great regularity, while the time of the autumnal return is less constant. More curious is the fact, also observed in both hemispheres, that they do not all return by the same route followed in going northwards, some species being constant visitors to certain localities in spring but not in autumn, others in autumn but not in spring.

Some interesting cases have been observed in America of a gradual alteration in the extent of the migration of certain birds. A Mexican swallow (Hirundo lunifrons) first appeared in Ohio in 1815. Year by year it increased the extent of its range till by 1845 it had reached Maine and Canada; and it is now quoted by American writers as extending its annual migrations to Hudson's Bay. An American wren (Troglodytes ludovicianus) is another bird which has spread considerably northwards since {25}the time of the ornithologist Wilson; and the rice-bird, or "Bob-o'-link," of the Americans, continually widens its range as rice and wheat are more extensively cultivated. This bird winters in Cuba and other West Indian Islands, and probably also in Mexico. In April it enters the Southern States and passes northward, till in June it reaches Canada and extends west to the Saskatchewan River in 54° north latitude.

South Temperate America.—The migratory birds of this part of the world have been observed by Mr. Hudson at Buenos Ayres. As in Europe and North America, there are winter and summer visitors, from Patagonia and the tropics respectively. Species of Pyrocephalus, Milvulus, swallows, and a hummingbird, are among the most regular of the summer visitors. They are all insectivorous birds. From Patagonia species of Tænioptera, Cinclodes, and Centrites, come in winter, with two gulls, two geese, and six snipes and plovers. Five species of swallows appear at Buenos Ayres in spring, some staying to breed, others passing on to more temperate regions farther south. As a rule the birds which come late and leave early are the most regular. Some are very irregular in their movements, the Molothrus bonariensis, for example, sometimes leaves early in autumn, sometimes remains all the winter. Some resident birds also move in winter to districts where they are never seen in summer.

General Remarks on Migration.—The preceding summary of the main facts of migration (which might have been almost indefinitely extended, owing to the great mass of detailed information that exists on the subject) appears to accord with the view already suggested, that the "instinct" of migration has arisen from the habit of wandering in search of food common to all animals, but greatly exaggerated in the case of birds by their powers of flight and by the necessity for procuring a large amount of soft insect food for their unfledged young. Migration in its simple form may be best studied in North America, where it takes place over a continuous land surface with a considerable change of climate from south to north. We have here (as probably in Europe and elsewhere) every grade of migration, from species which merely shift the northern and southern {26}limits of their range a few hundred miles, so that in the central parts of the area the species is a permanent resident, to others which move completely over 1,000 miles of latitude, so that in all the intervening districts they are only known as birds of passage. Now, just as the rice-bird and the Mexican swallow have extended their migrations, owing to favourable conditions induced by human agency; so we may presume that large numbers of species would extend their range where favourable conditions arose through natural causes. If we go back only as far as the height of the glacial epoch, there is reason to believe that all North America, as far south as about 40° north latitude, was covered with an almost continuous and perennial ice-sheet. At this time the migratory birds would extend up to this barrier (which would probably terminate in the midst of luxuriant vegetation, just as the glaciers of Switzerland now often terminate amid forests and corn-fields), and as the cold decreased and the ice retired almost imperceptibly year by year, would follow it up farther and farther according as the peculiarities of vegetation and insect-food were more or less suited to their several constitutions. It is an ascertained fact that many individual birds return year after year to build their nests in the same spot. This shows a strong local attachment, and is, in fact, the faculty or feeling on which their very existence probably depends. For were they to wander at random each year, they would almost certainly not meet with places so well suited to them, and might even get into districts where they or their young would inevitably perish. It is also a curious fact that in so many cases the old birds migrate first, leaving the young ones behind, who follow some short time later, but do not go so far as their parents. This is very strongly opposed to the notion of an imperative instinct. The old birds have been before, the young have not; and it is only when the old ones have all or nearly all gone that the young go too, probably following some of the latest stragglers. They wander, however, almost at random, and the majority are destroyed before the next spring. This is proved by the fact that the birds which return in spring are as a rule not more numerous than those which came the {27}preceding spring, whereas those which went away in autumn were two or three times as numerous. Those young birds that do get back, however, have learnt by experience, and the next year they take care to go with the old ones. The most striking fact in favour of the "instinct" of migration is the "agitation," or excitement, of confined birds at the time when their wild companions are migrating. It seems probable, however, that this is what may be called a social excitement, due to the anxious cries of the migrating birds; a view supported by the fact stated by Marcel de Serres, that the black swan of Australia, when domesticated in Europe, sometimes joins wild swans in their northward migration. We must remember too that migration at the proper time is in many cases absolutely essential to the existence of the species; and it is therefore not improbable that some strong social emotion should have been gradually developed in the race, by the circumstance that all who for want of such emotion did not join their fellows inevitably perished.

The mode by which a passage originally overland has been converted into one over the sea offers no insuperable difficulties, as has already been pointed out. The long flights of some birds without apparently stopping on the way is thought to be inexplicable, as well as their finding their nesting-place of the previous year from a distance of many hundreds or even a thousand miles. But the observant powers of animals are very great; and birds flying high in the air may be guided by the physical features of the country spread out beneath them in a way that would be impracticable to purely terrestrial animals.

It is assumed by some writers that the breeding-place of a species is to be considered as its true home rather than that to which it retires in winter; but this can hardly be accepted as a rule of universal application. A bird can only breed successfully where it can find sufficient food for its young; and the reason probably why so many of the smaller birds leave the warm southern regions to breed in temperate or even cold latitudes, is because caterpillars and other soft insect larvæ are there abundant at the proper time, while in their winter home the {28}larvæ have all changed into winged insects. But this favourable breeding district will change its position with change of climate; and as the last great change has been one of increased warmth in all the temperate zones, it is probable that many of the migratory birds are comparatively recent visitors. Other changes may however have taken place, affecting the vegetation and consequently the insects of a district; and we have seldom the means of determining in any particular case in what direction the last extension of range occurred. For the purposes of the study of geographical distribution therefore, we must, except in special cases, consider the true range of a species to comprise all the area which it occupies regularly for any part of the year, while all those districts which it only visits at more or less distant intervals, apparently driven by storms or by hunger, and where it never regularly or permanently settles, should not be included as forming part of its area of distribution.

Means of Dispersal of Reptiles and Amphibia.—If we leave out of consideration the true marine groups—the turtles and sea-snakes—reptiles are scarcely more fitted for traversing seas and oceans than are mammalia. We accordingly find that in those oceanic islands which possess no indigenous mammals, land reptiles are also generally wanting. The several groups of these animals, however, differ considerably both in their means of dispersal and in their power of resisting adverse conditions. Snakes are most dependent on climate, becoming very scarce in temperate and cold climates and entirely ceasing at 62° north latitude, and they do not ascend very lofty mountains, ceasing at 6,000 feet elevation in the Alps. Some inhabit deserts, others swamps and marshes, while many are adapted for a life in forests. They swim rivers easily, but apparently have no means of passing the sea, since they are very rarely found on oceanic islands. Lizards are also essentially tropical, but they go somewhat farther north than snakes, and ascend higher on the mountains, reaching 10,000 feet in the Alps. They possess too some unknown means (probably in the egg-state) of passing over the ocean, since they are found to inhabit many islands where there are neither mammalia nor snakes.


The amphibia are much less sensitive to cold than are true reptiles, and they accordingly extend much farther north, frogs being found within the arctic circle. Their semi-aquatic life also gives them facilities for dispersal, and their eggs are no doubt sometimes carried by aquatic birds from one pond or stream to another. Salt water is fatal to them as well as to their eggs, and hence it arises that they are seldom found in those oceanic islands from which mammalia are absent. Deserts and oceans would probably form the most effectual barriers to their dispersal; whereas both snakes and lizards abound in deserts, and have some means of occasionally passing the ocean which frogs and salamanders do not seem to possess.

Means of Dispersal of Fishes.—The fact that the same species of freshwater fish often inhabit distinct river systems, proves that they have some means of dispersal over land. The many authentic accounts of fish falling from the atmosphere, indicate one of the means by which they may be transferred from one river basin to another, viz., by hurricanes and whirlwinds, which often carry up considerable quantities of water and with it fishes of small size. In volcanic countries, also, the fishes of subterranean streams may sometimes be thrown up by volcanic explosions, as Humboldt relates happened in South America. Another mode by which fishes may be distributed is by their eggs being occasionally carried away by aquatic birds; and it is stated by Gmelin that geese and ducks during their migrations feed on the eggs of fish, and that some of these pass through their bodies with their vitality unimpaired.[2] Even water-beetles flying from one pond to another might occasionally carry with them some of the smaller eggs of fishes. But it is probable that fresh-water fish are also enabled to migrate by changes of level causing streams to alter their course and carry their waters into adjacent basins. On plateaux the sources of distinct river systems often approach each other, and the same thing occurs with lateral tributaries on the lowlands near their mouths. Such changes, although small in extent, and occurring only at long intervals, would {30}act very powerfully in modifying the distribution of fresh-water fish.

Sea fish would seem at first sight to have almost unlimited means of dispersal, but this is far from being the case. Temperature forms a complete barrier to a large number of species, cold water being essential to many, while others can only dwell in the warmth of the tropics. Deep water is another barrier to large numbers of species which are adapted to shores and shallows; and thus the Atlantic is quite as impassable a gulf to most fishes as it is to birds. Many sea fishes migrate to a limited extent for the purpose of depositing their spawn in favourable situations. The herring, an inhabitant of the deep sea, comes in shoals to our coast in the breeding season; while the salmon quits the northern seas and enters our rivers, mounting upwards to the clear cold water near their sources to deposit its eggs. Keeping in mind the essential fact that changes of temperature and of depth are the main barriers to the dispersal of fish, we shall find little difficulty in tracing the causes that have determined their distribution.

Means of Dispersal of Mollusca.—The marine, fresh-water, and land mollusca are three groups whose powers of dispersal and consequent distribution are very different, and must be separately considered. The Pteropoda, the Ianthina, and other groups of floating molluscs, drift about in mid-ocean, and their dispersal is probably limited chiefly by temperature, but perhaps also by the presence of enemies or the scarcity of proper food. The univalve and bivalve mollusca, of which the whelk and the cockle may be taken as types, move so slowly in their adult state, that we should expect them to have an exceedingly limited distribution; but the young of all these are free swimming embryos, and they thus have a powerful means of dispersal, and are carried by tides and currents so as ultimately to spread over every shore and shoal that offers conditions favourable for their development. The fresh water molluscs, which one might at first suppose could not range beyond their own river-basin, are yet very widely distributed in common with almost all other fresh water productions; and Mr. Darwin has shown that this is {31}due to the fact, that ponds and marshes are constantly frequented by wading and swimming birds which are pre-eminently wanderers, and which frequently carry away with them the seeds of plants, and the eggs of molluscs and aquatic insects. Fresh water molluscs just hatched were found to attach themselves to a duck's foot suspended in an aquarium; and they would thus be easily carried from one lake or river to another, and by the help of different species of aquatic birds, might soon spread all over the globe. Even a water-beetle has been caught with a small living shell (Ancylus) attached to it; and these fly long distances and are liable to be blown out to sea, one having been caught on board the Beagle when forty-five miles from land. Although fresh water molluscs and their eggs must frequently be carried out to sea, yet this cannot lead to their dispersal, since salt water is almost immediately fatal to them; and we are therefore forced to conclude that the apparently insignificant and uncertain means of dispersal above alluded to are really what have led to their wide distribution. The true land-shells offer a still more difficult case, for they are exceedingly sensitive to the influence of salt water; they are not likely to be carried by aquatic birds, and yet they are more or less abundant all over the globe, inhabiting the most remote oceanic islands. It has been found, however, that land-shells have the power of lying dormant a long time. Some have lived two years and a half shut up in pill boxes; and one Egyptian desert snail came to life after having been glued down to a tablet in the British Museum for four years!

We are indebted to Mr. Darwin for experiments on the power of land shells to resist sea water, and he found that when they had formed a membranous diaphragm over the mouth of the shell they survived many days' immersion (in one case fourteen days); and another experimenter, quoted by Mr. Darwin, found that out of one hundred land shells immersed for a fortnight in the sea, twenty-seven recovered. It is therefore quite possible for them to be carried in the chinks of drift wood for many hundred miles across the sea, and this is probably one of the most effectual modes of their dispersal. Very young shells would also {32}sometimes attach themselves to the feet of birds walking or resting on the ground, and as many of the waders often go far inland, this may have been one of the methods of distributing species of land shells; for it must always be remembered that nature can afford to wait, and that if but once in a thousand years a single bird should convey two or three minute snails to a distant island, this is all that is required for us to find that island well stocked with a great and varied population of land shells.

Means of Dispersal of Insects and the Barriers which Limit their Range.—Winged insects, as a whole, have perhaps more varied means of dispersal over the globe than any other highly organised animals. Many of them can fly immense distances, and the more delicate ones are liable to be carried by storms and hurricanes over a wide expanse of ocean. They are often met with far out at sea. Hawk-moths frequently fly on board ships as they approach the shores of tropical countries, and they have sometimes been captured more than 250 miles from the nearest land. Dragon-flies came on board the Adventure frigate when fifty miles off the coast of South America. A southerly wind brought flies in myriads to Admiral Smyth's ship in the Mediterranean when he was 100 miles distant from the coast of Africa. A large Indian beetle (Chrysochroa ocellata) was quite recently caught alive in the Bay of Bengal by Captain Payne of the barque William Mansoon, 273 miles from the nearest land. Darwin caught a locust 370 miles from land; and in 1844 swarms of locusts several miles in extent, and as thick as the flakes in a heavy snowstorm, visited Madeira. These must have come with perfect safety more than 300 miles; and as they continued flying over the island for a long time, they could evidently have travelled to a much greater distance. Numbers of living beetles belonging to seven genera, some aquatic and some terrestrial, were caught by Mr. Darwin in the open sea, seventeen miles from the coast of South America, and they did not seem injured by the salt water. Almost all the accidental causes that lead to the dispersal of the higher animals would be still more favourable for insects. Floating trees could carry hundreds of insects for one bird or mammal; and so many of the larvæ, eggs, {33}and pupæ of insects have their abode in solid timber, that they might survive being floated immense distances. Great numbers of tropical insects have been captured in the London docks, where they have been brought in foreign timber; and some have emerged from furniture after remaining torpid for many years. Most insects have the power of existing weeks or months without food, and some are very tenacious of life. Many beetles will survive immersion for hours in strong spirit; and water a few degrees below the boiling point will not always kill them. We can therefore easily understand how, in the course of ages insects may become dispersed by means which would be quite inadequate in the case of the higher animals. The drift-wood and tropical fruits that reach Ireland and the Orkneys; the double cocoa-nuts that cross the Indian ocean from the Seychelle Islands to the coast of Sumatra; the winds that carry volcanic dust and ashes for thousands of miles; the hurricanes that travel in their revolving course over wide oceans; all indicate means by which a few insects may, at rare intervals be carried to remote regions, and become the progenitors of a group of allied forms.

But the dispersal of insects requires to be looked at from another point of view. They are, of all animals, perhaps the most wonderfully adapted for special conditions; and are so often fitted to fill one place in nature and one only, that the barriers against their permanent displacement are almost as numerous and as effective as their means of dispersal. Hundreds of species of lepidoptera, for example, can subsist in the larva state only on one species of plant; so that even if the perfect insects were carried to a new country, the continuance of the race would depend upon the same or a closely allied plant being abundant there. Other insects require succulent vegetable food all the year round, and are therefore confined to tropical regions; some can live only in deserts, others in forests; some are dependent on water-plants, some on mountain-vegetation. Many are so intimately connected with other insects during some part of their existence that they could not live without them; such are the parasitical hymenoptera and diptera, and those mimicking species whose welfare depends upon their being {34}mistaken for something else. Then again, insects have enemies in every stage of their existence—the egg, the larva, the pupa, and the perfect form; and the abundance of any one of these enemies may render their survival impossible in a country otherwise well suited to them. Ever bearing in mind these two opposing classes of facts, we shall not be surprised at the enormous range of some groups of insects, and at the extreme localization of others; and shall be able to give a rational account of many phenomena of distribution that would otherwise seem quite unintelligible.




The distribution of animals over the earth's surface, is evidently dependent in great measure upon those grand and important characteristics of our globe, the study of which is termed physical geography. The proportion of land and water; the outlines and distribution of continents; the depth of seas and oceans; the position of islands; the height, direction, and continuity of mountain chains; the position and extent of deserts, lakes, and forests; the direction and velocity of ocean currents, as well as of prevalent winds and hurricanes; and lastly, the distribution of heat and cold, of rain, snow, and ice, both in their means and in their extremes, have all to be considered when we endeavour to account for the often unequal and unsymmetrical manner in which animals are dispersed over the globe. But even this knowledge is insufficient unless we inquire further as to the evidence of permanence possessed by each of these features, in order that we may give due weight to the various causes that have led to the existing facts of animal distribution.

Land and Water.—The well-known fact that nearly three-fourths of the surface of the earth is occupied by water, and but a little more than one-fourth by land, is important as indicating the vast extent of ocean by which many of the continents and islands are separated from each other. But there is another fact {36}which greatly increases its importance, namely, that the mean height of the land is very small compared with the mean depth of the sea. It has been estimated by Humboldt that the mean height of all the land surface does not exceed a thousand feet, owing to the comparative narrowness of mountain ranges and the great extent of alluvial plains and valleys; the ocean bed, on the contrary, not only descends deeper than the tops of the highest mountains rise above its surface, but these profound depths are broad sunken plains, while the shallows correspond to the mountain ranges, so that its mean depth is, as nearly as can be estimated, twelve thousand feet.[3] Hence, as the area of water is three times that of the land, the total cubical contents of the land, above the sea level, would be only that of the waters which are below that level. The important result follows, that whereas it is scarcely possible that in past times the amount of land surface should ever greatly have exceeded that which now exists, it is just possible that all the land may have been at some time submerged; and therefore in the highest degree probable that among the continual changes of land and sea that have been always going on, the amount of land surface has often been much less than it is now. For the same reason it is probable that there have been times when large masses of land have been more isolated from the rest than they are at present; just as South America would be if North America were submerged, or as Australia would become if the Malay Archipelago were to sink beneath the ocean. It is also very important to bear in mind the fact insisted on by Sir Charles Lyell, that the shallow parts of the ocean are almost always in the vicinity of land; and that an amount of elevation that would make little difference to the bed of the ocean, would raise up extensive tracts of dry land in the vicinity of existing continents. It is almost certain, therefore, that changes in the distribution of land and sea must have taken place more frequently by additions to, or {37}modifications of pre-existing land, than by the upheaval of entirely new continents in mid-ocean. These two principles will throw light upon two constantly recurring groups of facts in the distribution of animals,—the restriction of peculiar forms to areas not at present isolated,—and on the other hand, the occurrence of allied forms in lands situated on opposite shores of the great oceans.

Continental Areas.—Although the dry land of the earth's surface is distributed with so much irregularity, that there is more than twice as much north of the equator as there is south of it, and about twice as much in the Asiatic as in the American hemisphere; and, what is still more extraordinary, that on a hemisphere of which a point in St. George's Channel between England and Ireland is the centre, the land is nearly equal in extent to the water, while in the opposite hemisphere it is in the proportion of only one-eighth,—yet the whole of the land is almost continuous. It consists essentially of only three masses: the American, the Asia-African, and the Australian. The two former are only separated by thirty-six miles of shallow sea at Behring's Straits, so that it is possible to go from Cape Horn to Singapore or the Cape of Good Hope without ever being out of sight of land; and owing to the intervention of the numerous islands of the Malay Archipelago the journey might be continued under the same conditions as far as Melbourne and Hobart Town. This curious fact, of the almost perfect continuity of all the great masses of land notwithstanding their extremely irregular shape and distribution, is no doubt dependent on the circumstances just alluded to; that the great depth of the oceans and the slowness of the process of upheaval, has almost always produced the new lands either close to, or actually connected with pre-existing lands; and this has necessarily led to a much greater uniformity in the distribution of organic forms, than would have prevailed had the continents been more completely isolated from each other.

The isthmuses which connect Africa with Asia, and North with South America, are, however, so small and insignificant compared with the vast extent of the countries they unite that {38}we can hardly consider them to form more than a nominal connection. The Isthmus of Suez indeed, being itself a desert, and connecting districts which for a great distance are more or less desert also, does not effect any real union between the luxuriant forest-clad regions of intertropical Asia and Africa. The Isthmus of Panama is a more effectual line of union, since it is hilly, well watered, and covered with luxuriant vegetation; and we accordingly find that the main features of South American zoology are continued into Central America and Mexico. In Asia a great transverse barrier exists, dividing that continent into a northern and southern portion; and as the lowlands occur on the south and the highlands on the north of the great mountain range, which is situated not far beyond the tropic, an abrupt change of climate is produced; so that a belt of about a hundred miles wide, is all that intervenes between a luxuriant tropical region and an almost arctic waste. Between the northern part of Asia, and Europe, there is no barrier of importance; and it is impossible to separate these regions as regards the main features of animal life. Africa, like Asia, has a great transverse barrier, but it is a desert instead of a mountain chain; and it is found that this desert is a more effectual barrier to the diffusion of animals than the Mediterranean Sea; partly because it coincides with the natural division of a tropical from a temperate climate, but also on account of recent geological changes which we shall presently allude to. It results then from this outline sketch of the earth's surface, that the primary divisions of the geographer correspond approximately with those of the zoologist. Some large portion of each of the popular divisions forms the nucleus of a zoological region; but the boundaries are so changed that the geographer would hardly recognise them: it has, therefore, been found necessary to give them those distinct names which will be fully explained in our next chapter.

Recent Changes in the Continental Areas.—The important fact has been now ascertained, that a considerable portion of the Sahara south of Algeria and Morocco was under water at a very recent epoch. Over much of this area sea-shells, identical with those now living in the Mediterranean, are abundantly scattered, {39}not only in depressions below the level of the sea but up to a height of 900 feet above it. Borings for water made by the French government have shown, that these shells occur twenty feet deep in the sand; and the occurrence of abundance of salt, sometimes even forming considerable hills, is an additional proof of the disappearance of a large body of salt water. The common cockle is one of the most abundant of the shells found; and the Rev. H. B. Tristram discovered a new fish, in a salt lake nearly 300 miles inland, but which has since been found to inhabit the Gulf of Guinea. Connected with this proof of recent elevation in the Sahara, we have most interesting indications of subsidence in the area of the Mediterranean, which were perhaps contemporaneous. Sicily and Malta are connected with Africa by a submerged bank from 300 to 1,200 feet below the surface; while the depth of the Mediterranean, both to the east and west, is enormous, in some parts more than 13,000 feet; and another submerged bank with a depth of 1,000 feet occurs at the straits of Gibraltar. In caves in Sicily, remains of the living African elephant have been found by Baron Anca; and in other caves Dr. Falconer discovered remains of the Elephas antiquus and of two species of Hippopotamus. In Malta, three species of elephant have been discovered by Captain Spratt; a large one closely allied to E. antiquus and two smaller ones not exceeding five feet high when adult. These facts clearly indicate, that when North Africa was separated by a broad arm of the sea from the rest of the continent, it was probably connected with Europe; and this explains why zoologists find themselves obliged to place it along with Europe in the same zoological region.

Besides this change in the level of the Sahara and the Mediterranean basin, Europe has undergone many fluctuations in its physical geography in very recent times. In Wales, abundance of sea-shells of living species have been found at an elevation of 1,300 feet; and in Sardinia there is proof of an elevation of 300 feet since the human epoch; and these are only samples of many such changes of level. But these changes, though very important locally and as connected with geological problems, need not be further noticed here; as they were not of a {40}nature to affect the larger features of the earth's surface or to determine the boundaries of great zoological regions.

The only other recent change of great importance which can be adduced to illustrate our present subject, is that which has taken place between North and South America. The living marine shells of the opposite coasts of the isthmus of Panama, as well as the corals and fishes, are generally of distinct species, but some are identical and many are closely allied; the West Indian fossil shells and corals of the Miocene period, however, are found to be largely identical with those of the Pacific coast. The fishes of the Atlantic and Pacific shores of America are as a rule very distinct; but Dr. Günther has recently shown that a considerable number of species inhabiting the seas on opposite sides of the isthmus are absolutely identical. These facts certainly indicate, that during the Miocene epoch a broad channel separated North and South America; and it seems probable that a series of elevations and subsidences have taken place uniting and separating them at different epochs; the most recent submersion having lasted but a short time, and thus, while allowing the passage of abundance of locomotive fishes, not admitting of much change in the comparatively stationary mollusca.

The Glacial Epoch as affecting the Distribution of Animals.—The remarkable refrigeration of climate in the northern hemisphere within the epoch, of existing species, to which the term Glacial epoch is applied, together with the changes of level that accompanied and perhaps assisted to produce it, has been one of the chief agents in determining many of the details of the existing distribution of animals in temperate zones. A comparison of the effects produced by existing glaciers with certain superficial phenomena in the temperate parts of Europe and North America, renders it certain that between the Newer Pliocene and the Recent epochs, a large portion of the northern hemisphere must have been covered with a sheet of ice several thousand feet thick, like that which now envelopes the interior of Greenland. Much further south the mountains were covered with perpetual snow, and sent glaciers down every valley; and all the {41}great valleys on the southern side of the Alps poured down streams of ice which stretched far out into the plains of Northern Italy, and have left their débris in the form of huge mountainous moraines, in some cases more than a thousand feet high. In Canada and New Hampshire the marks of moving ice are found on the tops of mountains from 3,000 to 5,000 feet high; and the whole surface of the country around and to the north of the great lakes is scored by glaciers. Wherever the land was submerged during a part of this cold period, a deposit called boulder-clay, or glacial-drift has been formed. This is a mass of sand, clay, or gravel, full of angular or rounded stones of all sizes, up to huge blocks as large as a cottage; and especially characterized by these stones being distributed confusedly through it, the largest being as often near the top as near the bottom, and never sorted into layers of different sizes as in materials carried by water. Such deposits are known to be formed by glaciers and icebergs; when deposited on the land by glaciers they form moraines, when carried into water and thus spread with more regularity over a wider area they form drift. This drift is rarely found except where there is other evidence of ice-action, and never south of the 40th parallel of latitude, to which in the northern hemisphere signs of ice-action extend. In the southern hemisphere, in Patagonia and in New Zealand, exactly similar phenomena occur.

A very interesting confirmation of the reality of this cold epoch is derived from the study of fossil remains. Both the plants and animals of the Miocene period indicate that the climate of Central Europe was decidedly warmer or more equable than it is now; since the flora closely resembled that of the Southern United States, with a likeness also to that of Eastern Asia and Australia. Many of the shells were of tropical genera; and there were numbers of large mammalia allied to the elephant, rhinoceros, and tapir. At the same time, or perhaps somewhat earlier, a temperate climate extended into the arctic regions, and allowed a magnificent vegetation of shrubs and forest trees, some of them evergreen, to flourish within twelve degrees of the Pole. In the Pliocene period we find ourselves {42}among forms implying a climate very little different from the present; and our own Crag formation furnishes evidence of a gradual refrigeration of climate; since its three divisions, the Coralline, Red, and Norwich Crags, show a decreasing number of southern, and an increasing number of northern species, as we approach the Glacial epoch. Still later than these we have the shells of the drift, almost all of which are northern and many of them arctic species. Among the mammalia indicative of cold, are the mammoth and the reindeer. In gravels and cave-deposits of Post-Pliocene date we find the same two animals, which soon disappear as the climate approached its present condition; and Professor Forbes has given a list of fifty shells which inhabited the British seas before the Glacial epoch and inhabit it still, but are all wanting in the glacial deposits. The whole of these are found in the Newer Pliocene strata of Sicily and the south of Europe, where they escaped destruction during the glacial winter.

There are also certain facts in the distribution of plants, which are so well explained by the Glacial epoch that they may be said to give an additional confirmation to it. All over the northern hemisphere within the glaciated districts, the summits of lofty mountains produce plants identical with those of the polar regions. In the celebrated case of the White Mountains in New Hampshire, United States (latitude 45°), all the plants on the summit are arctic species, none of which exist in the lowlands for near a thousand miles further north. It has also been remarked that the plants of each mountain are more especially related to those of the countries directly north of it. Thus, those of the Pyrenees and of Scotland are Scandinavian, and those of the White Mountains are all species found in Labrador. Now, remembering that we have evidence of an exceedingly mild and uniform climate in the arctic regions during the Miocene period and a gradual refrigeration from that time, it is evident that with each degree of change more and more hardy plants would be successively driven southwards; till at last the plains of the temperate zone would be inhabited by plants, which were once confined to alpine heights or to the arctic regions. {43}As the icy mantle gradually melted off the face of the earth these plants would occupy the newly exposed soil, and would thus necessarily travel in two directions, back towards the arctic circle and up towards the alpine peaks. The facts are thus exactly explained by a cause which independent evidence has proved to be a real one, and every such explanation is an additional proof of the reality of the cause. But this explanation implies, that in cases where the Glacial epoch cannot have so acted alpine plants should not be northern plants; and a striking proof of this is to be found on the Peak of Teneriffe, a mountain 12,000 feet high. In the uppermost 4,500 feet of this mountain above the limit of trees, Von Buch found only eleven species of plants, eight of which were peculiar; but the whole were allied to those found at lower elevations. On the Alps or Pyrenees at this elevation, there would be a rich flora comprising hundreds of arctic plants; and the absence of anything corresponding to them in this case, in which their ingress was cut off by the sea, is exactly what the theory leads us to expect.

Changes of Vegetation as affecting the Distribution of Animals.—As so many animals are dependent on vegetation, its changes immediately affect their distribution. A remarkable example of this is afforded by the pre-historic condition of Denmark, as interpreted by means of the peat-bogs and kitchen-middens. This country is now celebrated for its beech-trees; oaks and pines being scarce; and it is known to have had the same vegetation in the time of the Romans. In the peat-bogs, however, are found deposits of oak trees; and deeper still pines alone occur. Now the kitchen-middens tell us much of the natural history of Denmark in the early Stone period; and a curious confirmation of the fact that Denmark like Norway was then chiefly covered with pine forests is obtained by the discovery, that the Capercailzie was then abundant, a bird which feeds almost exclusively on the young shoots and seeds of pines and allied plants. The cause of this change in the vegetation is unknown; but from the known fact that when forests are destroyed trees, of a different kind usually occupy the ground, we may suppose that some such change as a temporary submergence might cause an entirely {44}different vegetation and a considerably modified fauna to occupy the country.

Organic Changes as affecting Distribution.—We have now briefly touched on some of the direct effects of changes in physical geography, climate, and vegetation, on the distribution of animals; but the indirect effects of such changes are probably of quite equal, if not of greater importance. Every change becomes the centre of an ever-widening circle of effects. The different members of the organic world are so bound together by complex relations, that any one change generally involves numerous other changes, often of the most unexpected kind. We know comparatively little of the way in which one animal or plant is bound up with others, but we know enough to assure us that groups the most apparently disconnected are often dependent on each other. We know, for example, that the introduction of goats into St. Helena utterly destroyed a whole flora of forest trees; and with them all the insects, mollusca, and perhaps birds directly or indirectly dependent on them. Swine, which ran wild in Mauritius, exterminated the Dodo. The same animals are known to be the greatest enemies of venomous serpents. Cattle will, in many districts, wholly prevent the growth of trees; and with the trees the numerous insects dependent on those trees, and the birds which fed upon the insects, must disappear, as well as the small mammalia which feed on the fruits, seeds, leaves, or roots. Insects again have the most wonderful influence on the range of mammalia. In Paraguay a certain species of fly abounds which destroys new-born cattle and horses; and thus neither of these animals have run wild in that country, although they abound both north and south of it. This inevitably leads to a great difference in the vegetation of Paraguay, and through that to a difference in its insects, birds, reptiles, and wild mammalia. On what causes the existence of the fly depends we do not know, but it is not improbable that some comparatively slight changes in the temperature or humidity of the air at a particular season, or the introduction of some enemy might lead to its extinction or banishment. The whole face of the country would then soon be changed: new species would {45}come in, while many others would be unable to live there; and the immediate cause of this great alteration would probably be quite imperceptible to us, even if we could watch it in progress year by year. So, in South Africa, the celebrated Tsetse fly inhabits certain districts having well defined limits; and where it abounds no horses, dogs, or cattle can live. Yet asses, zebras, and antelopes are unaffected by it. So long as this fly continues to exist, there is a living barrier to the entrance of certain animals, quite as effectual as a lofty mountain range or a wide arm of the sea. The complex relations of one form of life with others is nowhere better illustrated than in Mr. Darwin's celebrated case of the cats and clover, as given in his Origin of Species, 6th ed., p. 57. He has observed that both wild heartsease and red-clover are fertilized in this country by humble-bees only, so that the production of seed depends on the visits of these insects. A gentleman who has specially studied humble-bees finds that they are largely kept down by field-mice, which destroy their combs and nests. Field-mice in their turn are kept down by cats; and probably also by owls; so that these carnivorous animals are really the agents in rendering possible the continued existence of red-clover and wild heartsease. For if they were absent, the field-mice having no enemies, would multiply to such an extent as to destroy all the humble-bees; and these two plants would then produce no seed and soon become extinct.

Mr. Darwin has also shown that one species often exterminates another closely allied to it, when the two are brought into contact. One species of swallow and thrush are known to have increased at the expense of allied species. Rats, carried all over the world by commerce, are continually extirpating other species of rats. The imported hive-bee is, in Australia, rapidly exterminating a native stingless bee. Any slight change, therefore, of physical geography or of climate, which allows allied species hitherto inhabiting distinct areas to come into contact, will often lead to the extermination of one of them; and this extermination will be effected by no external force, by no actual enemy, but merely because the one is slightly better {46}adapted to live, to increase, and to maintain itself under adverse circumstances, than the other.

Now if we consider carefully the few suggestive facts here referred to (and many others of like import are to be found in Mr. Darwin's various works), we shall be led to conclude that the several species, genera, families, and orders, both of animals and vegetables which inhabit any extensive region, are bound together by a series of complex relations; so that the increase, diminution, or extermination of any one, may set in motion a series of actions and reactions more or less affecting a large portion of the whole, and requiring perhaps centuries of fluctuation before the balance is restored. The range of any species or group in such a region, will in many cases (perhaps in most) be determined, not by physical barriers, but by the competition of other organisms. Where barriers have existed from a remote epoch, they will at first have kept back certain animals from coming in contact with each other; but when the assemblage of organisms on the two sides of the barrier have, after many ages, come to form a balanced organic whole, the destruction of the barrier may lead to a very partial intermingling of the peculiar forms of the two regions. Each will have become modified in special ways adapted to the organic and physical conditions of the country, and will form a living barrier to the entrance of animals less perfectly adapted to those conditions. Thus while the abolition of ancient barriers will always lead to much intermixture of forms, much extermination and wide-spread alteration in some families of animals; other important groups will be unable materially to alter their range; or they may make temporary incursions into the new territory, and be ultimately driven back to very near their ancient limits.

In order to make this somewhat difficult subject more intelligible, it may be well to consider the probable effects of certain hypothetical conditions of the earth's surface:—

1. If the dry land of the globe had been from the first continuous, and nowhere divided up by such boundaries as lofty mountain ranges, wide deserts, or arms of the sea, it seems probable that none of the larger groups (as orders, tribes, or {47}families,) would have a limited range; but, as is to some extent the case in tropical America east of the Andes, every such group would be represented over the whole area, by countless minute modifications of form adapted to local conditions.

2. One great physical barrier would, however, even then exist; the hot equatorial zone would divide the faunas and floras of the colder regions of the northern and southern hemispheres from any chance of intermixture. This one barrier would be more effectual than it is now, since there would be no lofty mountain ranges to serve as a bridge for the partial interchange of northern and southern forms.

3. If such a condition of the earth as here supposed continued for very long periods, we may conceive that the action and reaction of the various organisms on each other, combined with the influence of very slowly changing physical conditions, would result in an almost perfect organic balance, which would be manifested by a great stability in the average numbers, the local range, and the peculiar characteristics of every species.

4. Under such a condition of things it is not improbable that the total number of clearly differentiated specific forms might be much greater than it is now, though the number of generic and family types might perhaps be less; for dominant species would have had ample time to spread into every locality where they could exist, and would then become everywhere modified into forms best suited to the permanent local conditions.

5. Now let us consider what would be the probable effect of the introduction of a barrier, cutting off a portion of this homogeneous and well-balanced world. Suppose, for instance, that a subsidence took place, cutting off by a wide arm of the sea a large and tolerably varied island. The first and most obvious result would be that the individuals of a number of species would be divided into two portions, while others, the limits of whose range agreed approximately with the line of subsidence, would exist in unimpaired numbers on the new island or on the main land. But the species whose numbers were diminished and whose original area was also absolutely diminished by the portion now under the sea, would not be able to hold their {48}ground against the rival forms whose numbers were intact. Some would probably diminish and rapidly die out; others which produced favourable varieties, might be so modified by natural selection as to maintain their existence under a different form; and such changes would take place in varying modes on the two sides of the new strait.

6. But the progress of these changes would necessarily affect the other species in contact with them. New places would be opened in the economy of nature which many would struggle to obtain; and modification would go on in ever-widening circles and very long periods of time might he required to bring the whole again into a state of equilibrium.

7. A new set of factors would in the meantime have come into play. The sinking of land and the influx of a large body of water could hardly take place without producing important climatal changes. The temperature, the winds, the rains, might all be affected, and more or less changed in duration and amount. This would lead to a quite distinct movement in the organic world. Vegetation would certainly be considerably affected, and through this the insect tribes. We have seen how closely the life of the higher animals is often bound up with that of insects; and thus a set of changes might arise that would modify the numerical proportions, and even the forms and habits of a great number of species, would completely exterminate some, and raise others from a subordinate to a dominant position. And all these changes would occur differently on opposite sides of the strait, since the insular climate could not fail to differ considerably from that of the continent.

8. But the two sets of changes, as above indicated, produced by different modes of action of the same primary cause, would act and react on each other; and thus lead to such a far-spreading disturbance of the organic equilibrium as ultimately perhaps to affect in one way or another, every form of life upon the earth.

This hypothetical case is useful as enabling us better to realize how wide-spreading might be the effects of one of the simplest changes of physical geography, upon a compact mass of mutually {49}adapted organisms. In the actual state of things, the physical changes that occur and have occurred through all geological epochs are larger and more varied. Almost every mile of land surface has been again and again depressed beneath the ocean; most of the great mountain chains have either originated or greatly increased in height during the Tertiary period; marvellous alterations of climate and vegetation have taken place over half the land-surface of the earth; and all these vast changes have influenced a globe so cut up by seas and oceans, by deserts and snow-clad mountains, that in many of its more isolated land-masses ancient forms of life have been preserved, which, in the more extensive and more varied continents have long given way to higher types. How complex then must have been the actions and reactions such a state of things would bring about; and how impossible must it be for us to guess, in most cases, at the exact nature of the forces that limit the range of some species and cause others to be rare or to become extinct! All that we can in general hope to do is, to trace out, more or less hypothetically, some of the larger changes in physical geography that have occurred during the ages immediately preceeding our own, and to estimate the effect they will probably have produced on animal distribution. We may then, by the aid of such knowledge as to past organic mutations as the geological record supplies us with, be able to determine the probable birthplace and subsequent migrations of the more important genera and families; and thus obtain some conception of that grand series of co-ordinated changes in the earth and its inhabitants, whose final result is seen in the forms and the geographical distribution of existing animals.




To the older school of Naturalists the native country of an animal was of little importance, except in as far as climates differed. Animals were supposed to be specially adapted to live in certain zones or under certain physical conditions, and it was hardly recognised that apart from these conditions there was any influence in locality which could materially affect them. It was believed that, while the animals of tropical, temperate, and arctic climates, essentially differed; those of the tropics were essentially alike all over the world. A group of animals was said to inhabit the "Indies;" and important differences of structure were often overlooked from the idea, that creatures equally adapted to live in hot countries and with certain general resemblances, would naturally be related to each other. Thus the Toucans and Hornbills, the Humming-Birds and Sun-Birds, and even the Tapirs and the Elephants, came to be popularly associated as slightly modified varieties of tropical forms of life; while to naturalists, who were acquainted with the essential differences of structure, it was a never-failing source of surprise, that under climates and conditions so apparently identical, such strangely divergent forms should be produced.

To the modern naturalist, on the other hand, the native country (or "habitat" as it is technically termed) of an animal {51}or a group of animals, is a matter of the first importance; and, as regards the general history of life upon the globe, may be considered to be one of its essential characters. The structure, affinities, and habits of a species, now form only a part of its natural history. We require also to know its exact range at the present day and in prehistoric times, and to have some knowledge of its geological age, the place of its earliest appearance on the globe, and of the various extinct forms most nearly allied to it. To those who accept the theory of development as worked out by Mr. Darwin, and the views as to the general permanence and immense antiquity of the great continents and oceans so ably developed by Sir Charles Lyell, it ceases to be a matter of surprise that the tropics of Africa, Asia, and America should differ in their productions, but rather that they should have anything in common. Their similarity, not their diversity, is the fact that most frequently puzzles us.

The more accurate knowledge we have of late years obtained of the productions of many remote regions, combined with the greater approaches that have been made to a natural classification of the higher animals, has shown, that every continent or well-marked division of a continent, every archipelago and even every island, presents problems of more or less complexity to the student of the geographical distribution of animals. If we take up the subject from the zoological side, and study any family, order, or even extensive genus, we are almost sure to meet with some anomalies either in the present or past distribution of the various forms. Let us adduce a few examples of these problems.

Deer have a wonderfully wide range, over the whole of Europe, Asia, and North and South America; yet in Africa south of the great desert there are none. Bears range over the whole of Europe, Asia, and North America, and true pigs of the genus Sus, over all Europe and Asia and as far as New Guinea; yet both bears and pigs, like deer, are absent from Tropical and South Africa.

Again, the West Indian islands possess very few Mammalia, all of small size and allied to those of America, except one {52}genus; and that belongs to an Order, "Insectivora," entirely absent from South America, and to a family, "Centetidæ," all the other species of which inhabit Madagascar only. And as if to add force to this singular correspondence we have one Madagascar species of a beautiful day-flying Moth, Urania, all the other species of which inhabit tropical America. These insects are gorgeously arrayed in green and gold, and are quite unlike any other Lepidoptera upon the globe.

The island of Ceylon generally agrees in its productions with the Southern part of India; yet it has several birds which are allied to Malayan and not to Indian groups, and a fine butterfly of the genus Hestia, as well as several genera of beetles, which are purely Malayan.

Various important groups of animals are distributed in a way not easy to explain. The anthropoid apes in West Africa and Borneo; the tapirs in Malaya and South America; the camel tribe in the deserts of Asia and the Andes; the trogons in South America and Tropical Asia, with one species in Africa; the marsupials in Australia and America, are examples.

The cases here adduced (and they might be greatly multiplied) are merely to show the kind of problems with which the naturalist now has to deal; and in order to do so he requires some system of geographical arrangement, which shall serve the double purpose of affording a convenient subdivision of his subject, and at the same time of giving expression to the main results at which he has arrived. Hence the recent discussions on "Zoological Regions," or, what are the most natural primary divisions of the earth as regards its forms of animal life.

The divisions in use till quite recently were of two kinds; either those ready made by geographers, more especially the quarters or continents of the globe; or those determined by climate and marked out by certain parallels of latitude or by isothermal lines. Either of these methods was better than none at all; but from the various considerations explained in the preceding chapters, it will be evident, that such divisions must have often been very unnatural, and have disguised many {53}of the most important and interesting phenomena which a study of the distribution of animals presents to us.

The merit of initiating a more natural system, that of determining zoological regions, not by any arbitrary or a priori consideration but by studying the actual ranges of the more important groups of animals, is due to Mr. Sclater, who, in 1857, established six primary zoological regions from a detailed examination of the distribution of the chief genera and families of Birds. Before stating what these regions are, what objections have been made to them, what other divisions have been since proposed, and what are those which we shall adopt in this work, it will be well to consider the general principles which should guide us in the choice between rival systems.

Principles on which Zoological Regions should be formed.—It will be evident in the first place that nothing like a perfect zoological division of the earth is possible. The causes that have led to the present distribution of animal life are so varied, their action and reaction have been so complex, that anomalies and irregularities are sure to exist which will mar the symmetry of any rigid system. On two main points every system yet proposed, or that probably can be proposed, is open to objection; they are,—1stly, that the several regions are not of equal rank;—2ndly, that they are not equally applicable to all classes of animals. As to the first objection, it will be found impossible to form any three or more regions, each of which differs from the rest in an equal degree or in the same manner. One will surpass all others in the possession of peculiar families; another will have many characteristic genera; while a third will be mainly distinguished by negative characters. There will also be found many intermediate districts, which possess some of the characteristics of two well-marked regions, with a few special features of their own, or perhaps with none; and it will be a difficult question to decide in all cases which region should possess this doubtful territory, or whether it should be formed into a primary region itself. Again, two regions which have now well-marked points of difference, may be shown to have been much more alike at a comparatively recent geological epoch; {54}and this, it may be said, proves their fundamental unity and that they ought to form but one primary region. To obviate some of these difficulties a binary or dichotomous division is sometimes proposed; that portion of the earth which differs most from the rest being cut off as a region equal in rank to all that remains, which is subjected again and again to the same process.

To decide these various points it seems advisable that convenience, intelligibility, and custom, should largely guide us. The first essential is, a broadly marked and easily remembered set of regions; which correspond, as nearly as truth to nature will allow, with the distribution of the most important groups of animals. What these groups are we shall presently explain. In determining the number, extent, and boundaries of these regions, we must be guided by a variety of indications, since the application of fixed rules is impossible. They should evidently be of a moderate number, corresponding as far as practicable with the great natural divisions of the globe marked out by nature, and which have always been recognized by geographers. There should be some approximation to equality of size, since there is reason to believe that a tolerably extensive area has been an essential condition for the development of most animal forms; and it is found that, other things being equal, the numbers, variety and importance of the forms of animal and vegetable life, do bear some approximate relation to extent of area. Although the possession of peculiar families or genera is the main character of a primary zoological region, yet the negative character of the absence of certain families or genera is of equal importance, when this absence does not manifestly depend on unsuitability to the support of the group, and especially when there is now no physical barrier preventing their entrance. This will become evident when we consider that the importance of the possession of a group by one region depends on its absence from the adjoining regions; and if there is now no barrier to its entrance, we may be sure that there has once been one; and that the possession of the area by a distinct and well balanced set of organisms, which must have been slowly {55}developed and adjusted, is the living barrier that now keeps out intruders.

When it is ascertained that the chief differences which now obtain between two areas did not exist in Miocene or Pliocene times, the fact is one of great interest, and enables us to speculate with some degree of probability as to the causes that have brought about the present state of things; but it is not a reason for uniting these two areas into one region. Our object is to represent as nearly as possible the main features of the distribution of existing animals, not those of any or all past geological epochs. Should we ever obtain sufficient information as to the geography and biology of the earth at past epochs, we might indeed determine approximately what were the Pliocene or Miocene or Eocene zoological regions; but any attempt to exhibit all these in combination with those of our own period, must lead to confusion.

The binary or dichotomous system, although it brings out the fundamental differences of the respective regions, is an inconvenient one in its application, and rather increases than obviates the difficulty as to equality or inequality of regions; for although a, b, c, and d, may be areas of unequal zoological rank, a being the most important, and d the least, yet this inequality will probably be still greater if we first divide them into a, on one side, and b, c, and d, on the other, and then, by another division, make b, an area of the second, and c, and d, of the third rank only.

Coming to the second objection, the often incompatible distribution of different groups of animals, affords ground for opposition to any proposed scheme of zoological regions. There is first the radical difference between land and sea animals; the most complete barriers to the dispersal of the one, sometimes offering the greatest facilities for the emigration of the other, and vice versa. A large number of marine animals, however, frequent shallow water only; and these, keeping near the coasts, will agree generally in their distribution with those inhabiting the land. But among land animals themselves there are very great differences of distribution, due to certain specialities {56}in their organization or mode of life. These act mainly in two ways,—1stly, by affecting the facilities with which they can be dispersed, either voluntarily or involuntarily;—2ndly, by the conditions which enable them to multiply and establish themselves in certain areas and not in others. When both these means of diffusion are at a maximum, the dispersal of a group becomes universal, and ceases to have much interest for us. This is the case with certain groups of fungi and lichens, as well as with some of the lower animals; and in a less degree, as has been shown by Mr. Darwin, with many fresh-water plants and animals. At the other extreme we may place certain arboreal vertebrata such as sloths and lemurs, which have no means of passing such barriers as narrow straits or moderately high mountains, and whose survival in any new country they might reach, would be dependent on the presence of suitable forests and the absence of dangerous enemies. Almost equally, or perhaps even more restricted, are the means of permanent diffusion of terrestrial molluscs; since these are without any but very rare and accidental means of being safely transported across the sea; their individual powers of locomotion are highly restricted; they are especially subject to the attacks of enemies; and they often depend not only on a peculiar vegetation, but on the geological character of the country, their abundance being almost in direct proportion to the presence of some form of calcareous rocks. Between these extremes we find animals possessed of an infinite gradation of powers to disperse and to maintain themselves; and it will evidently be impossible that the limits which best define the distribution of one group, should be equally true for all others.

Which class of Animals is of most importance in determining Zoological Regions.—To decide this question we have to consider which groups of animals are best adapted to exhibit, by their existing distribution, the past changes and present physical condition of the earth's surface; and at the same time, by the abundance of their remains in the various tertiary formations will best enable us to trace out the more recent of the series of changes, both of the earth's surface and {57}of its inhabitants, by which the present state of things has been brought about. For this purpose we require a group which shall be dependent for its means of dispersal on the distribution of land and water, and on the presence or absence of lofty mountains, desert plains or plateaux, and great forests; since these are the chief physical features of the earth's surface whose modifications at successive periods we wish to discover. It is also essential that they should not be subject to dispersal by many accidental causes; as this would inevitably in time tend to obliterate the effect of natural barriers, and produce a scattered distribution, the causes of which we could only guess at. Again, it is necessary that they should be so highly organized as not to be absolutely dependent on other groups of animals, and with so much power of adaptation as to be able to exist in one form or another over the whole globe. And lastly, it is highly important that the whole group should be pretty well known, and that a fairly natural classification, especially of its minor divisions such as families and genera, should have been arrived at; the reason for which last proviso is explained in our next chapter, on classification.

Now in every one of these points the mammalia are preeminent; and they possess the additional advantage of being the most highly developed class of organized beings, and that to which we ourselves belong. We should therefore construct our typical or standard Zoological Regions in the first place, from a consideration of the distribution of mammalia, only bringing to our aid the distribution of other groups to determine doubtful points. Regions so established will be most closely in accordance with those long-enduring features of physical geography, on which the distribution of all forms of life fundamentally depend; and all discrepancies in the distribution of other classes of animals must be capable of being explained, either by their exceptional means of dispersion or by special conditions affecting their perpetuation and increase in each locality.

If these considerations are well founded, the objections of those who study insects or molluscs, for example,—that our regions are not true for their departments of nature—cannot be {58}maintained. For they will find, that a careful consideration of the exceptional means of dispersal and conditions of existence of each group, will explain most of the divergences from the normal distribution of higher animals.

We shall thus be led to an intelligent comprehension of the phenomena of distribution in all groups, which would not be the case if every specialist formed regions for his own particular study. In many cases we should find that no satisfactory division of the earth could be made to correspond with the distribution even of an entire class; but we should have the coleopterist and the lepidopterist each with his own Geography. And even this would probably not suffice, for it is very doubtful if the detailed distribution of the Longicornes, so closely dependent on woody vegetation, could be made to agree with that of the Staphylinidæ or the Carabidæ which abound in many of the most barren regions, or with that of the Scarabeidæ, largely dependent on the presence of herbivorous mammalia. And when each of these enquirers had settled a division of the earth into "regions" which exhibited with tolerable accuracy the phenomena of distribution of his own group, we should have gained nothing whatever but a very complex mode of exhibiting the bare facts of distribution. We should then have to begin to work out the causes of the divergence of one group from another in this respect; but as each worker would refer to his own set of regions as the type, the whole subject would become involved in inextricable confusion. These considerations seem to make it imperative that one set of "regions" should be established as typical for Zoology; and it is hoped the reasons here advanced will satisfy most naturalists that these regions can be best determined, in the first place, by a study of the distribution of the mammalia, supplemented in doubtful cases by that of the other vertebrates. We will now proceed to a discussion of what these regions are.

Various Zoological Regions proposed since 1857.—It has already been pointed out that a very large number of birds are limited by the same kind of barriers as mammalia; it will therefore not be surprising that a system of regions formed to suit the {59}one, should very nearly represent the distribution of the other. Mr. Sclater's regions are as follows:—

1. The Palæarctic Region; including Europe, Temperate Asia, and N. Africa to the Atlas mountains.

2. The Ethiopian Region; Africa south of the Atlas, Madagascar, and the Mascarene Islands, with Southern Arabia.

3. The Indian Region; including India south of the Himalayas, to South China, and to Borneo and Java.

4. The Australian Region; including Celebes and Lombock, eastward to Australia and the Pacific Islands.

5. The Nearctic Region; including Greenland, and N. America, to Northern Mexico.

6. The Neotropical Region; including South America, the Antilles, and Southern Mexico.

This division of the earth received great support from Dr. Günther, who, in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society for 1858, showed that the geographical distribution of Reptiles agreed with it very closely, the principal difference being that the reptiles of Japan have a more Indian character than the birds, this being especially the case with the snakes. In the volume for 1868 of the same work, Professor Huxley discusses at considerable length the primary and secondary zoological divisions of the earth. He gives reasons for thinking that the most radical primary division, both as regards birds and mammals, is into a Northern and Southern hemisphere (Arctogæa and Notogæa), the former, however, embracing all Africa, while the latter includes only Australasia and the Neotropical or Austro-Columbian region. Mr. Sclater had grouped his regions primarily into Palæogæa and Neogæa, the Old and New Worlds of geographers; a division which strikingly accords with the distribution of the passerine birds, but not so well with that of mammalia or reptiles. Professor Huxley points out that the Nearctic, Palæarctic, Indian, and Ethiopian regions of Mr. Sclater have a much greater resemblance to each other than any one of them has to Australia or to South America; and he further suggests that New Zealand alone has peculiarities which might entitle it to rank as a primary region {60}along with Australasia and South America; and that a Circumpolar Province might be conveniently recognised as of equal rank with the Palæarctic and Nearctic provinces.

In 1866, Mr. Andrew Murray published a large and copiously illustrated volume on the Geographical Distribution of Mammals, in which he maintains that the great and primary mammalian regions are only four: 1st. The Palæarctic region of Mr. Sclater, extended to include the Sahara and Nubia; 2nd. the Indo-African region, including the Indian and Ethiopian regions of Mr. Sclater; 3rd. the Australian region (unaltered); 4th. the American region, including both North and South America. These are the regions as described by Mr. Murray, but his coloured map of "Great Mammalian Regions" shows all Arctic America to a little south of the Isothermal of 32° Fahr. as forming with Europe and North Asia one great region.

At the meeting of the British Association at Exeter in 1869, Mr. W. T. Blanford read a paper on the Fauna of British India, in which he maintained that a large portion of the peninsula of India had derived its Fauna mainly from Africa; and that the term "Indian region" of Mr. Sclater was misleading, because India proper, if it belongs to it at all, is the least typical portion of it. He therefore proposes to call it the "Malayan region," because in the Malay countries it is most highly developed. Ceylon and the mountain ranges of Southern India have marked Malay affinities.

In 1871 Mr. E. Blyth published in Nature "A suggested new Division of the Earth into Zoological Regions," in which he indicates seven primary divisions or regions, subdivided into twenty-six sub-regions. The seven regions are defined as follows: 1. The Boreal region; including the whole of the Palæarctic and Nearctic regions of Mr. Sclater along with the West Indies, Central America, the whole chain of the Andes, with Chili and Patagonia. 2. The Columbian region; consisting of the remaining part of South America. 3. The Ethiopian region; comprising besides that region of Mr. Sclater, the valley of the Jordan, Arabia, and the desert country towards India, with all the plains and table lands of India and the northern {61}half of Ceylon. 4. The Lemurian region; consisting of Madagascar and its adjacent islands. 5. The Austral-Asian region; which is the Indian region of Mr. Sclater without the portion taken to be added to the Ethiopian region. 6. The Melanesian region; which is the Australian region of Mr. Sclater without New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, which form 7. the Polynesian region. Mr. Blyth thinks this is "a true classification of zoological regions as regards mammalia and birds."

In an elaborate paper on the birds of Eastern North America, their distribution and migrations (Bulletin of Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Vol. 2), Mr. J. A. Allen proposes a division of the earth in accordance with what he terms, "the law of circumpolar distribution of life in zones," as follows: 1. Arctic realm. 2. North temperate realm. 3. American tropical realm. 4. Indo-African tropical realm. 5. South American tropical realm. 6. African temperate realm. 7. Antarctic realm. 8. Australian realm. Some of these are subdivided into regions; (2) consisting of the American and the Europæo-Asiatic regions; (4) into the African and Indian regions; (8) into the tropical Australian region, and one comprising the southern part of Australia and New Zealand. The other realms each form a single region.

Discussion of proposed Regions.—Before proceeding to define the regions adopted in this work, it may be as well to make a few remarks on some of the preceding classifications, and to give the reasons which seem to render it advisable to adopt very few of the suggested improvements on Mr. Sclater's original proposal. Mr. Blyth's scheme is one of the least natural, and also the most inconvenient. There can be little use in the knowledge that a group of animals is found in the Boreal Region, if their habitat might still be either Patagonia, the West Indies, or Japan; and it is difficult to see on what principle the Madagascar group of islands is made of equal rank with this enormous region, seeing that its forms of life have marked African affinities. Neither does it seem advisable to adopt the Polynesian Region, or that comprising New Zealand alone (as hinted at by Professor Huxley and since adopted by {62}Mr. Sclater in his Lectures on Geographical Distribution at the Zoological Gardens in May 1874), because it is absolutely without indigenous mammalia and very poor in all forms of life, and therefore by no means prominent or important enough to form a primary region of the earth.

It may be as well here to notice what appears to be a serious objection to making New Zealand, or any similar isolated district, one of the great zoological regions, comparable to South America, Australia, or Ethiopia; which is, that its claim to that distinction rests on grounds which are liable to fail. It is because New Zealand, in addition to its negative merits, possesses three families of birds (Apterygidæ living, Dinornithidæ and Palapterygidæ extinct), and a peculiar lizard-like reptile, Hatteria, which has to be classed in a distinct order, Rhynchocephalina, that the rank of a Region is claimed for it. But supposing, what is not at all improbable, that other Rhynchocephalina should be discovered in the interior of Australia or in New Guinea, and that Apterygidæ or Palapterygidæ should be found to have inhabited Australia in Post-Pliocene times, (as Dinornithidæ have already been proved to have done) the claims of New Zealand would entirely fail, and it would be universally acknowledged to be a part of the great Australian region. No such reversal can take place in the case of the other regions; because they rest, not upon one or two, but upon a large number of peculiarities, of such a nature that there is no room upon the globe for discoveries that can seriously modify them. Even if one or two peculiar types, like Apterygidæ or Hatteria, should permanently remain characteristic of New Zealand alone, we can account for these by the extreme isolation of the country, and the absence of enemies, which have enabled these defenceless birds and reptiles to continue their existence; just as the isolation and protection of the caverns of Carniola have enabled the Proteus to survive in Europe. But supposing that the Proteus was the sole representative of an order of Batrachia, and that two or three other equally curious and isolated forms occurred with it, no one would propose that these caverns or the district containing them, should form one of the {63}primary divisions of the earth. Neither can much stress be laid on the negative characteristics of New Zealand, since they are found to an almost equal extent in every oceanic island.

Again, it is both inconvenient and misleading to pick out certain tracts from the midst of one region or sub-region and to place them in another, on account of certain isolated affinities which may often be accounted for by local peculiarities. Even if the resemblance of the fauna of Chili and Patagonia to that of the Palæarctic and Nearctic regions was much greater than it is, this mode of dealing with it would be objectionable; but it is still more so, when we find that these countries have a strongly marked South American character, and that the northern affinities are altogether exceptional. The Rodentia, which comprise a large portion of the mammalia of these countries, are wholly South American in type, and the birds are almost all allied to forms characteristic of tropical America.

For analogous reasons the Ethiopian must not be made to include any part of India or Ceylon; for although the Fauna of Central India has some African affinities, these do not preponderate; and it will not be difficult to show that to follow Mr. Andrew Murray in uniting bodily the Ethiopian and Indian regions of Mr. Sclater, is both unnatural and inconvenient. The resemblances between them are of the same character as those which would unite them both with the Palæarctic and Nearctic regions; and although it may be admitted, that, as Professor Huxley maintains, this group forms one of the great primary divisions of the globe, it is far too extensive and too heterogeneous to subserve the practical uses for which we require a division of the world into zoological regions.

Reasons for adopting the six Regions first proposed by Mr. Sclater.—So that we do not violate any clear affinities or produce any glaring irregularities, it is a positive, and by no means an unimportant, advantage to have our named regions approximately equal in size, and with easily defined, and therefore easily remembered, boundaries. All elaborate definitions of interpenetrating frontiers, as well as regions extending over three-fourths of the land surface of the globe, and including places which are {64}the antipodes of each other, would be most inconvenient, even if there were not such difference of opinion about them. There can be little doubt, for example, that the most radical zoological division of the earth is made by separating the Australian region from the rest; but although it is something useful and definite to know that a group of animals is peculiar to Australia, it is exceedingly vague and unsatisfactory to say of any other group merely that it is extra-Australian. Neither can it be said that, from any point of view, these two divisions are of equal importance. The next great natural division that can be made is the separation of the Neotropical Region of Mr. Sclater from the rest of the world. We thus have three primary divisions, which Professor Huxley seems inclined to consider as of tolerably equal zoological importance. But a consideration of all the facts, zoological and palæontological, indicates, that the great northern division (Arctogæa) is fully as much more important than either Australia or South America, as its four component parts are less important; and if so, convenience requires us to adopt the smaller rather than the larger divisions.

This question, of comparative importance or equivalence of value, is very difficult to determine. It may be considered from the point of view of speciality or isolation, or from that of richness and variety of animal forms. In isolation and speciality, determined by what they want as well as what they possess, the Australian and Neotropical regions are undoubtedly each comparable with the rest of the earth (Arctogæa). But in richness and variety of forms, they are both very much inferior, and are much more nearly comparable with the separate regions which compose it. Taking the families of mammalia as established by the best authors, and leaving out the Cetacea and the Bats, which are almost universally distributed, and about whose classification there is much uncertainty, the number of families represented in each of Mr. Sclater's regions is as follows:

I. Palæarctic region has 31 families of terrestrial mammalia.
II. Ethiopian " " 40 " " "
III. Indian " " 31 " " "
IV. Australian " " 14 " " "
V. Neotropical " " 26 " " "
VI. Nearctic " " 23 " " "

We see, then, that even the exceedingly rich and isolated Neotropical region is less rich and diversified in its forms of mammalian life than the very much smaller area of the Indian region, or the temperate Palæarctic, and very much less so than the Ethiopian region; while even the comparatively poor Nearctic region, is nearly equal to it in the number of its family types. If these were united they would possess fifty-five families, a number very disproportionate to those of the remaining two. Another consideration is, that although the absence of certain forms of life makes a region more isolated, it does not make it zoologically more important; for we have only to suppose some five or six families, now common to both, to become extinct either in the Ethiopian or the Indian regions, and they would become as strongly differentiated from all other regions as South America, while still remaining as rich in family types. In birds exactly the same phenomenon recurs, the family types being less numerous in South America than in either of the other tropical regions of the earth, but a larger proportion of them are restricted to it. It will be shown further on, that the Ethiopian and Indian, (or, as I propose to call it in this work, Oriental) regions, are sufficiently differentiated by very important groups of animals peculiar to each; and that, on strict zoological principles they are entitled to rank as regions of equal value with the Neotropical and Australian. It is perhaps less clear whether the Palæarctic should be separated from the Oriental region, with which it has undoubtedly much in common; but there are many and powerful reasons for keeping it distinct. There is an unmistakably different facies in the animal forms of the two regions; and although no families of mammalia or birds, and not many genera, are wholly confined to the Palæarctic region, a very considerable number of both have their metropolis in it, and are very richly represented. The distinction between the characteristic forms of life in tropical and cold countries is, on the whole, very strongly marked in the northern hemisphere; and to refuse to recognise this in a subdivision of the earth which is established for the very purpose of expressing such contrasts more clearly and concisely than by ordinary geographical terminology, would be both illogical and {66}inconvenient. The one question then remains, whether the Nearctic region should be kept separate, or whether it should form part of the Palæarctic or of the Neotropical regions. Professor Huxley and Mr. Blyth advocate the former course; Mr. Andrew Murray (for mammalia) and Professor Newton (for birds) think the latter would be more natural. No doubt much is to be said for both views, but both cannot be right; and it will be shown in the latter part of this chapter that the Nearctic region is, on the whole, fully as well defined as the Palæarctic, by positive characters which differentiate it from both the adjacent regions. More evidence in the same direction will be found in the Second Part of this work, in which the extinct faunas of the several regions are discussed.

A confirmation of the general views here set forth, as to the distinctness and approximate equivalence of the six regions, is to be found in the fact, that if any two or more of them are combined they themselves become divisions of the next lower rank, or "sub-regions;"—and these will be very much more important, both zoologically and geographically, than the subdivisions of the remaining regions. It is admitted then that these six regions are by no means of precisely equal rank, and that some of them are far more isolated and better characterized than others; but it is maintained that, looked at from every point of view, they are more equal in rank than any others that can be formed; while in geographical equality, compactness of area, and facility of definition, they are beyond all comparison better than any others that have yet been proposed for the purpose of facilitating the study of geographical distribution. They may be arranged and grouped as follows, so as to exhibit their various relations and affinities.

Neogæa brace Neotropical Austral zone Notogæa.
Nearctic brace Boreal zone brace Arctogæa.
Palæogæa brace Palæarctic
Ethiopian brace Palæotropical zone
Australian Austral zone Notogæa.

The above table shows the regions placed in the order followed in the Fourth Part of this work, and the reasons for which are {67}explained in Chapter IX. As a matter of convenience, and for other reasons adduced in the same chapter, the detailed exposition of the geographical distribution of the animals of the several regions in Part III. commences with the Palæarctic and terminates with the Nearctic region.

Objections to the system of Circumpolar Zones.—Mr. Allen's system of "realms" founded on climatic zones (given at p. 61), having recently appeared in an ornithological work of considerable detail and research, calls for a few remarks. The author continually refers to the "law of the distribution of life in circumpolar zones," as if it were one generally accepted and that admits of no dispute. But this supposed "law" only applies to the smallest details of distribution—to the range and increasing or decreasing numbers of species as we pass from north to south, or the reverse; while it has little bearing on the great features of zoological geography—the limitation of groups of genera and families to certain areas. It is analogous to the "law of adaptation" in the organisation of animals, by which members of various groups are suited for an aerial, an aquatic, a desert, or an arboreal life; are herbivorous, carnivorous, or insectivorous; are fitted to live underground, or in fresh waters, or on polar ice. It was once thought that these adaptive peculiarities were suitable foundations for a classification,—that whales were fishes, and bats birds; and even to this day there are naturalists who cannot recognise the essential diversity of structure in such groups as swifts and swallows, sun-birds and humming-birds, under the superficial disguise caused by adaptation to a similar mode of life. The application of Mr. Allen's principle leads to equally erroneous results, as may be well seen by considering his separation of "the southern third of Australia" to unite it with New Zealand as one of his secondary zoological divisions. If there is one country in the world whose fauna is strictly homogeneous, that country is Australia; while New Guinea on the one hand, and New Zealand on the other, are as sharply differentiated from Australia as any adjacent parts of the same primary zoological division can possibly be. Yet the "law of circumpolar distribution" leads to the division of {68}Australia by an arbitrary east and west line, and a union of the northern two-thirds with New Guinea, the southern third with New Zealand. Hardly less unnatural is the supposed equivalence of South Africa (the African temperate realm) to all tropical Africa and Asia, including Madagascar (the Indo-African tropical realm). South Africa has, it is true, some striking peculiarities; but they are absolutely unimportant as compared with the great and radical differences between tropical Africa and tropical Asia. On these examples we may fairly rest our rejection of Mr. Allen's scheme.

We must however say a few words on the zoo-geographical nomenclature proposed in the same paper, which seems also very objectionable. The following terms are proposed: realm, region, province, district, fauna and flora; the first being the highest, the last the lowest and smallest sub-division. Considering that most of these terms have been used in very different senses already, and that no means of settling their equivalence in different parts of the globe has been even suggested, such a complex system must lead to endless confusion. Until the whole subject is far better known and its first principles agreed upon, the simpler and the fewer the terms employed the better; and as "region" was employed for the primary divisions by Mr. Sclater, eighteen years ago, and again by Mr. Andrew Murray, in his Geographical Distribution of Mammals; nothing but obscurity can result from each writer using some new, and doubtfully better, term. For the sub-divisions of the regions no advantage is gained by the use of a distinct term—"province"—which has been used (by Swainson) for the primary divisions, and which does not itself tell you what rank it holds; whereas the term "sub-region" speaks for itself as being unmistakably next in subordination to region, and this clearness of meaning gives it the preference over any independent term. As to minor named sub-divisions, they seem at present uncalled for; and till the greater divisions are themselves generally agreed on, it seems better to adopt no technical names for what must, for a long time to come, be indeterminate.

Does the Arctic Fauna characterize an independent {69}Region.—The proposal to consider the Arctic regions as constituting one of the primary zoological divisions of the globe, has been advocated by many naturalists. Professor Huxley seems to consider it advisable, and Mr. Allen unhesitatingly adopts it, as well as an "antarctic" region to balance it in the southern hemisphere. The reason why an "Arctic Region" finds no place in this work may therefore be here stated.

No species or group of animals can properly be classed as "arctic," which does not exclusively inhabit or greatly preponderate in arctic lands. For the purpose of establishing the need of an "arctic" zoological region, we should consider chiefly such groups as are circumpolar as well as arctic; because, if they are confined to, or greatly preponderate in, either the eastern or western hemispheres, they can be at once allocated to the Nearctic or Palæarctic regions, and can therefore afford no justification for establishing a new primary division of the globe.

Thus restricted, only three genera of land mammalia are truly arctic: Gulo, Myodes, and Rangifer. Two species of widely dispersed genera are also exclusively arctic, Ursus maritimus and Vulpes lagopus.

Exclusively arctic birds are not much more numerous. Of land birds there are only three genera (each consisting of but a single species), Pinicola, Nyctea, and Surnia. Lagopus is circumpolar, but the genus has too wide an extension in the temperate zone to be considered arctic. Among aquatic birds we have the genus of ducks, Somateria; three genera of Uriidæ, Uria, Catarractes, and Mergulus; and the small family Alcidæ, consisting of the genera Alca and Fratercula. Our total then is, three genera of mammalia, three of land, and six of aquatic birds, including one peculiar family.

In the southern hemisphere there is only the single genus Aptenodytes that can be classed as antarctic; and even that is more properly south temperate.

In dealing with this arctic fauna we have two courses open to us; we must either group them with the other species and genera which are common to the two northern regions, or we {70}must form a separate primary region for them. As a matter of convenience the former plan seems the best; and it is that which is in accordance with our treatment of other intermediate tracts which contain special forms of life. The great desert zone, extending from the Atlantic shores of the Sahara across Arabia to Central Asia, is a connecting link between the Palæarctic, Ethiopian, and Oriental regions, and contains a number of "desert" forms wholly or almost wholly restricted to it; but the attempt to define it as a separate region would introduce difficulty and confusion. Neither to the "desert" nor to the "arctic" regions could any defined limits, either geographical or zoological, be placed; and the attempt to determine what species or genera should be allotted to them would prove an insoluble problem. The reason perhaps is, that both are essentially unstable, to a much greater extent than those great masses of land with more or less defined barriers, which constitute our six regions. The Arctic Zone has been, within a recent geological period, both vastly more extensive and vastly less extensive than it is at present. At a not distant epoch it extended over half of Europe and of North America. At an earlier date it appears to have vanished altogether; since a luxuriant vegetation of tall deciduous trees and broad-leaved evergreens flourished within ten degrees of the Pole! The great deserts have not improbably been equally fluctuating; hence neither the one nor the other can present that marked individuality in their forms of life, which seems to have arisen only when extensive tracts of land have retained some considerable stability both of surface and climatal conditions, during periods sufficient for the development and co-adaptation of their several assemblages of plants and animals.

We must also consider that there is no geographical difficulty in dividing the Arctic Zone between the two northern regions. The only debateable lands, Greenland and Iceland, are generally admitted to belong respectively to America and Europe. Neither is there any zoological difficulty; for the land mammalia and birds are on the whole wonderfully restricted to their respective regions even in high latitudes; and the aquatic forms {71}are, for our present purpose, of much less importance. As a primary division the "Arctic region" would be out of all proportion to the other six, whether as regards its few peculiar types or the limited number of forms and species actually inhabiting it; but it comes in well as a connecting link between two regions, where the peculiar forms of both are specially modified; and is in this respect quite analogous to the great desert zone above referred to.

I now proceed to characterize briefly the six regions adopted in the present work, together with the sub-regions into which they may be most conveniently and naturally divided, as shown in our general map.

Palæarctic Region.—This very extensive region comprises all temperate Europe and Asia, from Iceland to Behring's Straits and from the Azores to Japan. Its southern boundary is somewhat indefinite, but it seems advisable to comprise in it all the extra-tropical part of the Sahara and Arabia, and all Persia, Cabul, and Beloochistan to the Indus. It comes down to a little below the upper limit of forests in the Himalayas, and includes the larger northern half of China, not quite so far down the coast as Amoy. It has been said that this region differs from the Oriental by negative characters only; a host of tropical families and genera being absent, while there is little or nothing but peculiar species to characterize it absolutely. This however is not true. The Palæarctic region is well characterized by possessing 3 families of vertebrata peculiar to it, as well as 35 peculiar genera of mammalia, and 57 of birds, constituting about one-third of the total number it possesses. These are amply sufficient to characterize a region positively; but we must also consider the absence of many important groups of the Oriental, Ethiopian, and Nearctic regions; and we shall then find, that taking positive and negative characters together, and making some allowance for the necessary poverty of a temperate as compared with tropical regions, the Palæarctic is almost as strongly marked and well defined as any other.

Sub-divisions of the Palæarctic Region.—These are by no means {72}so clearly indicated as in some of the other regions, and they are adopted more for convenience than because they are very natural or strongly marked.

The first, or European sub-region, comprises Central and Northern Europe as far South as the Pyrenees, the Maritime and Dinaric Alps, the Balkan mountains, the Black Sea, and the Caucasus. On the east the Caspian sea and the Ural mountains seem the most obvious limit; but it is doubtful if they form the actual boundary, which is perhaps better marked by the valley of the Irtish, where a pre-glacial sea almost certainly connected the Aral and Caspian seas with the Arctic ocean, and formed an effective barrier which must still, to some extent, influence the distribution of animals.

The next, or Mediterranean sub-region, comprises South Europe, North Africa with the extra-tropical portion of the Sahara, and Egypt to about the first or second cataracts; and eastward through Asia Minor, Persia, and Cabul, to the deserts of the Indus.

The third, or Siberian sub-region, consists of all north and central Asia north of Herat, as far as the eastern limits of the great desert plateau of Mongolia, and southward to about the upper limit of trees on the Himalayas.

The fourth, or Manchurian sub-region, consists of Japan and North China with the lower valley of the Amoor; and it should probably be extended westward in a narrow strip along the Himalayas, embracing about 1,000 or 2,000 feet of vertical distance below the upper limit of trees, till it meets an eastern extension of the Mediterranean sub-region a little beyond Simla. These extensions are necessary to avoid passing from the Oriental region, which is essentially tropical, directly to the Siberian sub-region, which has an extreme northern character; whereas the Mediterranean and Manchurian sub-regions are more temperate in climate. It will be found that between the upper limit of most of the typical Oriental groups and the Thibetan or Siberian fauna, there is a zone in which many forms occur common to temperate China. This is especially the case among the pheasants and finches.


Ethiopian Region.—The limits of this region have been indicated by the definition of the Palæarctic region. Besides Africa south of the tropic of Cancer, and its islands, it comprises the southern half of Arabia.

This region has been said to be identical in the main characters of its mammalian fauna with the Oriental region, and has therefore been united with it by Mr. A. Murray. Most important differences have however been overlooked, as the following summary of the peculiarities of the Ethiopian region will, I think, show.

It possesses 22 peculiar families of vertebrates; 90 peculiar genera of mammalia, being two-thirds of its whole number; and 179 peculiar genera of birds, being three-fifths of all it possesses. It is further characterized by the absence of several families and genera which range over the whole northern hemisphere, details of which will be found in the chapter treating of the region. There are, it is true, many points of resemblance, not to be wondered at between two tropical regions in the same hemisphere, and which have evidently been at one time more nearly connected, both by intervening lands and by a different condition of the lands that even now connect them. But these resemblances only render the differences more remarkable; since they show that there has been an ancient and long-continued separation of the two regions, developing a distinct fauna in each, and establishing marked specialities which the temporary intercommunication and immigration has not sufficed to remove. The entire absence of such wide-spread groups as bears and deer, from a country many parts of which are well adapted to them, and in close proximity to regions where they abound, would alone mark out the Ethiopian region as one of the primary divisions of the earth, even if it possessed a less number than it actually does of peculiar family and generic groups.

Sub-divisions of the Ethiopian Region.—The African continent south of the tropic of Cancer is more homogeneous in its prominent and superficial zoological features than most of the other regions, but there are nevertheless important and {74}deepseated local peculiarities. Two portions can be marked off as possessing many peculiar forms; the luxuriant forest district of equatorial West Africa, and the southern extremity or Cape district. The remaining portion has no well-marked divisions, and a large proportion of its animal forms range over it from Nubia and Abyssinia, to Senegal on the one side and to the Zambesi on the other; this forms our first or East-African sub-region.

The second, or West African sub-region extends along the coast from Senegal to Angola, and inland to the sources of the Shary and the Congo.

The third, or South African sub-region, comprises the Cape Colony and Natal, and is roughly limited by a line from Delagoa Bay to Walvish Bay.

The fourth, or Malagasy sub-region, consists of Madagascar and the adjacent islands, from Rodriguez to the Seychelles; and this differs so remarkably from the continent that it has been proposed to form a distinct primary region for its reception. Its productions are indeed highly interesting; since it possesses 3 families, and 2 sub-families of mammals peculiar to itself, while almost all its genera are peculiar. Of these a few show Oriental or Ethiopian affinities, but the remainder are quite isolated. Turning to other classes of animals, we find that the birds are almost as remarkable; but, as might be expected, a larger number of genera are common to surrounding countries. More than 30 genera are altogether peculiar, and some of these are so isolated as to require to be classed in separate families or sub-families. The African affinity is however here more strongly shown by the considerable number (13) of peculiar Ethiopian genera which in Madagascar have representative species. There can be no doubt therefore about Madagascar being more nearly related to the Ethiopian than to any other region; but its peculiarities are so great, that, were it not for its small size and the limited extent of its fauna, its claim to rank as a separate region might not seem unreasonable. It is true that it is not poorer in mammals than Australia; but that country is far more isolated, and cannot be so decidedly and {75}naturally associated with any other region as Madagascar can be with the Ethiopian. It is therefore the better and more natural course to keep it as a sub-region; the peculiarities it exhibits being of exactly the same kind as those presented by the Antilles, by New Zealand, and even by Celebes and Ceylon, but in a much greater degree.

Oriental Region.—On account of the numerous objections that have been made to naming a region from the least characteristic portion of it, and not thinking "Malayan," proposed by Mr. Blanford, a good term, (as it has a very circumscribed and definite meaning, and especially because the "Malay" archipelago is half of it in the Australian region,) I propose to use the word "Oriental" instead of "Indian," as being geographically applicable to the whole of the countries included in the region and to very few beyond it; as being euphonious, and as being free from all confusion with terms already used in zoological geography. I trust therefore that it may meet with general acceptance.

This small, compact, but rich and varied region, consists of all India and China from the limits of the Palæarctic region; all the Malay peninsula and islands as far east as Java and Baly, Borneo and the Philippine Islands; and Formosa. It is positively characterized by possessing 12 peculiar families of vertebrata; by 55 genera of land mammalia, and 165 genera of land birds, altogether confined to it; these peculiar genera forming in each case about one half of the total number it possesses.

Sub-divisions of the Oriental region.—First we have the Indian sub-region, consisting of Central India from the foot of the Himalayas in the west, and south of the Ganges to the east, as far as a line drawn from Goa curving south and up to the Kistna river; this is the portion which has most affinity with Africa.

The second, or Ceylonese sub-region, consists of the southern extremity of India with Ceylon; this is a mountainous forest region, and possesses several peculiar forms as well as some Malayan types not found in the first sub-region.


Next we have the Indo-Chinese sub-region, comprising South China and Burmah, extending westward along the Himalayan range to an altitude of about 9,000 or 10,000 feet, and southward to Tavoy or Tenasserim.

The last is the Indo-Malayan sub-region, comprising the Peninsula of Malacca and the Malay Islands to Baly, Borneo, and the Philippines.

On account of the absence from the first sub-region of many of the forms most characteristic of the other three, and the number of families and genera of mammalia and birds which occur in it and also in Africa, it has been thought by some naturalists that this part of India has at least an equal claim to be classed as a part of the Ethiopian region. This question will be found fully discussed in Chapter XII. devoted to the Oriental region, where it is shown that the African affinity is far less than has been represented, and that in all its essential features Central India is wholly Oriental in its fauna.

Before leaving this region a few words may be said about Lemuria, a name proposed by Mr. Sclater for the site of a supposed submerged continent extending from Madagascar to Ceylon and Sumatra, in which the Lemuroid type of animals was developed. This is undoubtedly a legitimate and highly probable supposition, and it is an example of the way in which a study of the geographical distribution of animals may enable us to reconstruct the geography of a bygone age. But we must not, as Mr. Blyth proposed, make this hypothetical land one of our actual Zoological regions. It represents what was probably a primary Zoological region in some past geological epoch; but what that epoch was and what were the limits of the region in question, we are quite unable to say. If we are to suppose that it comprised the whole area now inhabited by Lemuroid animals, we must make it extend from West Africa to Burmah, South China, and Celebes; an area which it possibly did once occupy, but which cannot be formed into a modern Zoological region without violating much more important affinities. If, on the other hand, we leave out all those areas which undoubtedly belong to other regions, we reduce Lemuria to Madagascar and its adjacent {77}islands, which, for reasons already stated, it is not advisable to treat as a primary Zoological region. The theory of this ancient continent and the light it may throw on existing anomalies of distribution, will be more fully considered in the geographical part of this work.

Australian Region.—Mr. Sclater's original name seems preferable to Professor Huxley's, "Austral-Asian;" the inconvenience of which alteration is sufficiently shown by the fact that Mr. Blyth proposed to use the very same term as an appropriate substitute for the "Indian region" of Mr. Sclater. Australia is the great central mass of the region; it is by far the richest in varied and highly remarkable forms of life; and it therefore seems in every way fitted to give a name to the region of which it is the essential element. The limits of this region in the Pacific are somewhat obscure, but as so many of the Pacific Islands are extremely poor zoologically, this is not of great importance.

Sub-divisions of the Australian Region.—The first sub-region is the Austro-Malayan, including the islands from Celebes and Lombock on the west to the Solomon Islands on the east. The Australian sub-region comes next, consisting of Australia and Tasmania. The third, or Polynesian sub-region, will consist of all the tropical Pacific Islands, and is characterized by several peculiar genera of birds which are all allied to Australian types. The fourth, consists of New Zealand with Auckland, Chatham, and Norfolk Islands, and must be called the New Zealand sub-region.

The extreme peculiarities of New Zealand, due no doubt to its great isolation and to its being the remains of a more extensive land, have induced several naturalists to suggest that it ought justly to form a Zoological region by itself. But the inconveniences of such a procedure have been already pointed out; and when we look at its birds as a whole (they being the only class sufficiently well represented to found any conclusion upon) we find that the majority of them belong to Australian genera, and where the genera are peculiar they are most nearly related to Australian types. The preservation in these islands {78}of a single representative of a unique order of reptiles, is, as before remarked, of the same character as the preservation of the Proteus in the caverns of Carniola; and can give the locality where it happens to have survived no claim to form a primary Zoological region, unless supported by a tolerably varied and distinctly characterized fauna, such as never exists in a very restricted and insular area.

Neotropical Region.—Mr. Sclater's original name for this region is preserved, because change of nomenclature is always an evil; and neither Professor Huxley's suggested alteration "Austro-Columbia," nor Mr. Sclater's new term "Dendrogæa," appear to be improvements. The region is essentially a tropical one, and the extra-tropical portion of it is not important enough to make the name inappropriate. That proposed by Professor Huxley is not free from the same kind of criticism, since it would imply that the region was exclusively South American, whereas a considerable tract of North America belongs to it. This region includes South America, the Antilles and tropical North America; and it possesses more peculiar families of vertebrates and genera of birds and mammalia than any other region.

Subdivisions of the Neotropical Region.—The great central mass of South America, from the shores of Venezuela to Paraguay and Eastern Peru, constitutes the chief division, and may be termed the Brazilian sub-region. It is on the whole a forest country; its most remarkable forms are highly developed arboreal types; and it exhibits all the characteristics of this rich and varied continent in their highest development.

The second, or Chilian sub-region, consists of the open plains, pampas, and mountains of the southern extremity of the continent; and we must include in it the west side of the Andes as far as the limits of the forest near Payta, and the whole of the high Andean plateaus as far as 4° of south latitude; which makes it coincide with the range of the Camelidæ and Chinchillidæ.

The third, or Mexican sub-region, consists of Central America and Southern Mexico, but it has no distinguishing {79}characteristics except the absence of some of the more highly specialized Neotropical groups. It is, however, a convenient division as comprising the portion of the North American continent which belongs zoologically to South America.

The fourth, or Antillean sub-region, consists of the West India islands (except Trinidad and Tobago, which are detached portions of the continent and must be grouped in the first sub-region); and these reproduce, in a much less marked degree, the phenomena presented by Madagascar. Terrestrial mammals are almost entirely wanting, but the larger islands possess three genera which are altogether peculiar to them. The birds are of South American forms, but comprise many peculiar genera. Terrestrial molluscs are more abundant and varied than in any part of the globe of equal extent; and if these alone were considered, the Antilles would constitute an important Zoological region.

Nearctic Region.—This region comprises all temperate North America and Greenland. The arctic lands and islands beyond the limit of trees form a transitional territory to the Palæarctic region, but even here there are some characteristic species. The southern limit between this region and the Neotropical is a little uncertain; but it may be drawn at about the Rio Grande del Norte on the east coast, and a little north of Mazatlan on the west; while on the central plateau it descends much farther south, and should perhaps include all the open highlands of Mexico and Guatemala. This would coincide with the range of several characteristic Nearctic genera.

Distinction of the Nearctic from the Palæarctic Region.—The Nearctic region possesses twelve peculiar families of vertebrates or one-tenth of its whole number. It has also twenty-four peculiar genera of mammalia and fifty-two of birds, in each case nearly one-third of all it possesses. This proportion is very nearly the same as in the Palæarctic region, while the number of peculiar families of vertebrata is very much greater. It has been already seen that both Mr. Blyth and Professor Huxley are disposed to unite this region with the Palæarctic, while Professor Newton, in his article on birds in the new edition of the {80}Encyclopædia Britannica, thinks that as regards that class it can hardly claim to be more than a sub-region of the Neotropical. These views are mutually destructive, but it will be shown in the proper place, that on independent grounds the Nearctic region can very properly be maintained.

Subdivisions of the Nearctic Region.—The sub-regions here depend on the great physical features of the country, and have been in some cases accurately defined by American naturalists. First we have the Californian sub-region, consisting of California and Oregon—a narrow tract between the Sierra Nevada and the Pacific, but characterized by a number of peculiar species and by several genera found nowhere else in the region.

The second, or Rocky Mountain sub-region, consists of this great mountain range with its plateaus, and the central plains and prairies to about 100° west longitude, but including New Mexico and Texas in the South.

The third and most important sub-region, which may be termed the Alleghanian, extends eastward to the Atlantic, including the Mississippi Valley, the Alleghany Mountains, and the Eastern United States. This is an old forest district, and contains most of the characteristic animal types of the region.

The fourth, or Canadian sub-region, comprises all the northern part of the continent from the great lakes to the Arctic ocean; a land of pine-forests and barren wastes, characterized by Arctic types and the absence of many of the genera which distinguish the more southern portions of the region.

Observations on the series of Sub-regions.—The twenty-four sub-regions here adopted were arrived at by a careful consideration of the distribution of the more important genera, and of the materials, both zoological and geographical, available for their determination; and it was not till they were almost finally decided on, that they were found to be equal in number throughout all the regions—four in each. As this uniformity is of great advantage in tabular and diagrammatic presentations of the distribution of the several families, I decided not to disturb it unless very strong reasons should appear for adopting a greater or less number in any particular case. Such however have not {81}arisen; and it is hoped that these divisions will prove as satisfactory and useful to naturalists in general as they have been to the author. Of course, in a detailed study of any region much more minute sub-division may be required; but even in that case it is believed that the sub-regions here adopted, will be found, with slight modifications, permanently available for exhibiting general results.

I give here a table showing the proportionate richness and speciality of each region as determined by its families of vertebrates and genera of mammalia and birds; and also a general table of the regions and sub-regions, arranged in the order that seems best to show their mutual relations.

Comparative Richness of the Six Regions.

Regions. Vertebrata. Mammalia. Birds.
Families. Peculiar
Genera. Peculiar
Genera. Peculiar
Palæarctic 136 3 100 35 35 174 57 33
Ethiopian 174 22 140 90 64 294 179 60
Oriental 164 12 118 55 46 340 165 48
Australian 141 30 72 44 61 298 189 64
Neotropical 168 44 130 103 79 683 576 86
Nearctic 122 12 74 24 32 169 52 31

Table of Regions and Sub-regions.

Regions. Sub-regions. Remarks.
I. Palæarctic 1. North Europe.
2. Mediterranean (or S. Eu.) Transition to Ethiopian.
3. Siberia. Transition to Nearctic.
4. Manchuria (or Japan) Transition to Oriental.
II. Ethiopian 1. East Africa. Transition to Palæarctic.
2. West Africa.
3. South Africa.
4. Madagascar.


Oriental 1. Hindostan (or Central Ind.) Transition to Ethiopian.
2. Ceylon.
3. Indo-China (or Himalayas) Transition to Palæarctic.
4. Indo-Malaya. Transition to Australian.
IV. Australian 1. Austro-Malaya. Transition to Oriental.
2. Australia.
3. Polynesia.
4. New Zealand. Transition to Neotropical.
V. Neotropical 1. Chili (or S. Temp. Am.) Transition to Australian.
2. Brazil.
3. Mexico (or Trop. N. Am.) Transition to Nearctic.
4. Antilles.
VI. Nearctic 1. California.
2. Rocky Mountains. Transition to Neotropical.
3. Alleghanies (or East U. S.)
4. Canada. Transition to Palæarctic.



A little consideration will convince us, that no inquiry into the causes and laws which determine the geographical distribution of animals or plants can lead to satisfactory results, unless we have a tolerably accurate knowledge of the affinities of the several species, genera, and families to each other; in other words, we require a natural classification to work upon. Let us, for example, take three animals—a, b, and c—which have a general external resemblance to each other, and are usually considered to be really allied; and let us suppose that a and b inhabit the same or adjacent districts, while c is found far away on the other side of the globe, with no animals at all resembling it in any of the intervening countries. We should here have a difficult problem to solve; for we should have to show that the general laws by which we account for the main features of distribution, will explain this exceptional case. But now, suppose some comparative anatomist takes these animals in hand, and finds that the resemblance of c to a and b is only superficial, while their internal structure exhibits marked and important differences; and that c really belongs to another group of animals, d, which inhabits the very region in which c was found—and we should no longer have anything to explain. This is no imaginary case. Up to a very few years ago a curious Mexican animal, Bassaris astuta, was almost always classed in the civet family (Viverridæ), a group entirely {84}confined to Africa and Asia; but it has now been conclusively shown by Professor Flower that its real affinities are with the racoons (Procyonidæ), a group confined to North and South America. In another case, however, an equally careful examination shows, that an animal peculiar to the Himalayas (Ælurus fulgens) has its nearest ally in the Cercoleptes of South America. Here, therefore, the geographical difficulty really exists, and any satisfactory theory of the causes that have led to the existing distribution of living things, must be able to account, more or less definitely, for this and other anomalies. From these cases it will be evident, that if any class or order of animals is very imperfectly known and its classification altogether artificial, it is useless to attempt to account for the anomalies its distribution may present; since those anomalies may be, to a great extent, due to false notions as to the affinities of its component species.

According to the laws and causes of distribution discussed in the preceding chapters, we should find limited and defined distribution to be the rule, universal or indefinite distribution to be the exception, in every natural group corresponding to what are usually regarded as families and genera; and so much is this the case in nature, that when we find a group of this nominal rank scattered as it were at random over the earth, we have a strong presumption that it is not natural; but is, to a considerable extent, a haphazard collection of species. Of course this reasoning will only apply, in cases where there are no unusual means of dispersal, nor any exceptional causes which might determine a scattered distribution.

From the considerations now adduced it becomes evident, that it is of the first importance for the success of our inquiry to secure a natural classification of animals, especially as regards the families and genera. The higher groups, such as classes and orders, are of less importance for our purpose; because they are almost always widely and often universally distributed, except those which are so small as to be evidently the nearly extinct representatives of a once more extensive series of forms. We now proceed to explain the classification to be adopted, as low down as the series of families. To these, equivalent English {85}names are given wherever they exist, in order that readers possessing no technical knowledge, may form some conception of the meaning of the term "family" in zoology.

The primary divisions of the animal kingdom according to two eminent modern authorities are as follows:

Classification of Animals (1869).
Carus and Gerstaeker.
Handbuch der Zoologie (1868).
1. Protozoa
2. Infusoria
    1. Protozoa.  
3. Cœlenterata 2. Cœlenterata.
4. Annuloida 3. Echinodermata.
5. Annulosa brace 4. Vermes.
5. Arthropoda.
6. Molluscoida 6. Molluscoida.
7. Mollusca 7. Mollusca.
8. Vertebrata 8. Vertebrata.

For reasons already stated it is only with the fifth, seventh, and eighth of these groups that the present work proposes to deal; and even with the fifth and seventh only partially and in the most general way.

The classes of the vertebrata, according to both the authors above quoted, are: 1. Mammalia. 2. Aves. 3. Reptilia. 4. Amphibia. 5. Pisces, in which order they will be taken here.

The sub-classes and orders of mammalia are as follows:


Huxley (1869), Flower (1870). Carus (1868).
Monodelphia brace 1. Primates brace 1. Primates.
5. Prosimii.
2. Chiroptera 2. Chiroptera.
3. Insectivora 3. Insectivora.
4. Carnivora brace 6. Carnivora
7. Pinnipedia.
5. Cetacea
6. Sirenia
12. Natantia.
7. Ungulata brace 10. Artiodactyla.
11. Perissodactyla.
8. Proboscidea 9. Proboscidea.
9. Hyracoidea 8. Lamnungia.
10. Rodentia 4. Rodentia.
11. Edentata 13. Bruta.
Didelphia 12. Marsupialia 14. Marsupialia.
Ornithodelphia 13. Monotremata 15. Monotremata.

The above series of orders is arranged according to Professor Flower's Osteology of Mammalia, and they will follow in this succession throughout my work. Professor Huxley arranges the same orders in a different series.

In determining the manner in which the several orders shall be subdivided into families, I have been guided in my choice of classifications mainly by the degree of attention the author appears to have paid to the group, and his known ability as a systematic zoologist; and in a less degree by considerations of convenience as regards the special purposes of geographical distribution. In many cases it is a matter of great doubt whether a certain group should form several distinct families or be united into one or two; but one method may bring out the peculiarities of distribution much better than the other, and this is, in our case, a sufficient reason for adopting it.

For the Primates I follow, with some modifications, the classification of Mr. St. George Mivart given in his article "Apes" in the new edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, and in his paper in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1865, p. 547. It is as follows:

Order—PRIMATES, divided into two Sub-orders:
I. Anthropoidea.
II. Lemuroidea.
Hominidæ Man.
Simii brace 1. Simiidæ Anthropoid Apes.
2. Semnopithecidæ Old-world Monkeys.
3. Cynopithecidæ Baboons and Macaques.
Cebii brace 4. Cebidæ American Monkeys.
5. Hapalidæ Marmosets.
6. Lemuridæ Lemurs.
7. Tarsiidæ Tarsiers.
8. Chiromyidæ Aye-ayes.

Omitting man (for reasons stated in the preface) the three first families are considered by Professor Mivart to be sub-families of Simiidæ; but as the geographical distribution of the Old World apes is especially interesting, it is thought {87}better to treat them as families, a rank which is claimed for the anthropoid apes by many naturalists.

As no good systematic work on the genera and species of bats has been yet published, I adopt the five families as generally used in this country, with the genera as given in the papers of Dr. J. E. Gray and Mr. Tomes. A monograph by Dr. Peters has long been promised, and his outline arrangement was published in 1865, but this will perhaps be materially altered when the work appears.


Frugivora 9. Pteropidæ Fruit-eating Bats.
Insectivora brace Istiophora brace 10. Phyllostomidæ Leaf-nosed Bats.
11. Rhinolophidæ Horse-shoe Bats.
Gymnorhini brace 12. Vespertilionidæ True Bats.
13. Noctilionidæ Dog-headed Bats.

The genera of Chiroptera are in a state of great confusion, the names used by different authors being often not at all comparable, so that the few details given of the distribution of the bats are not trustworthy. We have therefore made little use of this order in the theoretical part of the work.

The osteology of the Insectivora has been very carefully worked out by Professor Mivart in the Journal of Anatomy and Physiology (Vol. ii., p. 380), and I follow his classification as given there, and in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society (1871).


14. Galeopithecidæ Flying Lemurs.
15. Macroscelididæ Elephant Shrews.
16. Tupaiidæ Squirrel Shrews.
17. Erinaceidæ Hedgehogs.
18. Centetidæ Tenrecs.
19. Potamogalidæ Otter Shrew.
20. Chrysochloridæ Golden Moles.
21. Talpidæ Moles.
22. Soricidæ Shrews.

The next order, Carnivora, has been studied in detail by Professor Flower; and I adopt the classification given by him in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society, 1869, p. 4.



Fissipedia brace Æluroidea brace 23. Felidæ Cats, Lion, &c.
24. Cryptoproctidæ Cryptoprocta.
25. Viverridæ Civets.
26. Protelidæ Aard-wolf.
27. Hyænidæ Hyænas.
Cynoidea 28. Canidæ Dogs, Foxes, &c.
Arctoidea brace 29. Mustelidæ Weasels.
30. Procyonidæ Racoons.
31. Æluridæ Pandas.
32. Ursidæ Bears.
Pinnipedia brace 33. Otariidæ Eared Seals.
34. Trichechidæ Walrus.
35. Phocidæ Seals.

The Cetacea is one of those orders the classification of which is very unsettled. The animals comprising it are so huge, and there is so much difficulty in preserving them, that only a very few species are known with anything like completeness. A considerable number of genera and species have been described or indicated; but as many of these are founded on imperfect specimens of perhaps a single individual, it is not to be wondered at that those few naturalists who occupy themselves with the study of these large animals, cannot agree as to the proper mode of grouping them into natural families. They are, however, of but little importance to us, as almost all the species inhabit the ocean, and of only a few of them can it be said that anything is accurately known of their distribution. I therefore consider it best to follow Professor Carus, who makes a smaller number of families; but I give also the arrangement of Dr. Gray in his British Museum catalogue of whales and seals, as modified subsequently in the Proceedings of Zoological Society, 1870, p. 772. The Zeuglodontidæ, a family of extinct tertiary whales, are classed by Professors Owen and Carus between Cetacea and Sirenia, while Professor Huxley considers them to have been carnivorous and allied to the seals.



Fam. (Carus). Fam. (Gray).
Sub-order I.—
brace Balænidæ 36. Balænidæ.
Balænopteridæ 37. Balænopteridæ.
Sub-order II.—
brace Catodontidæ 38. Catodontidæ.
Hyperoodontidæ 39. brace Hyperoodontidæ.
Monodontidæ 40. (Part of Delphinidæ.)
Delphinidæ 41. brace Platanistidæ.
Extinct family Zeuglodontidæ.


The order Sirenia, comprising the sea-cows, consists of a single family:

Family 42.  Manatidæ.

The extensive order Ungulata comprises the three orders Pachydermata, Solidungula, and Ruminantia of the older naturalists. The following classification is that now generally adopted, the only difference of opinion being as to whether some of the groups should he classed as families or sub-families, a matter of little importance for our purpose:


Perissodactyla or
Odd-toed Ungulates
brace 43. Equidæ Horses.
44. Tapiridæ Tapirs.
45. Rhinocerotidæ Rhinoceros.
Artiodactyla or
Even-toed Ungulates
brace Suina brace 46. Hippopotamidæ Hippopotamus.
47. Suidæ Swine.
Tylopoda 48. Camelidæ Camels.
Tragulina 49. Tragulidæ Chevrotains.
Pecora brace 50. Cervidæ Deer.
51. Camelopardidæ Giraffes.
52. Bovidæ Cattle, Sheep, Antelopes, &c.

The two next orders consist of but a single family each, viz.:

Order Fam.
PROBOSCIDEA 53. Elephantidæ Elephants.
HYRACOIDEA 54. Hyracidæ Rock-rabbits.

We now come to the Rodentia, a very extensive and difficult order, in which there is still much difference of opinion as to the details of classification, although the main outlines are pretty well settled. The foundations of a true classification of this order were laid by Mr. G. R. Waterhouse more than thirty years ago, and succeeding authors have done little more than follow his arrangement with unimportant modifications. Professor Lilljeborg, of Upsala, has however made a special study of this group of animals, and has given an original and detailed classification of all the genera. (Systematisk Öfversigt af de Gnagande Däggdjuren, Glires. Upsala, 1866.) I follow this arrangement with a few slight modifications suggested by other naturalists, and which make it better adapted for the purposes of this work.


Simplicidentati brace Murina
brace 55. Muridæ Rats.
56. Spalacidæ Mole-rats.
57. Dipodidæ Jerboas.
58. Myoxidæ Dormice.
59. Saccomyidæ Pouched Rats.
60. Castoridæ Beavers.
61. Sciuridæ Squirrels.
62. Haploodontidæ Sewellels.
brace 63. Chinchillidæ Chinchillas.
64. Octodontidæ Octodons.
65. Echimyidæ Spiny Rats.
66. Cercolabidæ Tree Porcupines
67. Hystricidæ Porcupines.
68. Caviidæ Cavies.
Duplicidentati brace Leporina
brace 69. Lagomyidæ Pikas.
70. Leporidæ Hares.

The Edentata have been classified by Mr. Turner, in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society (1851, p. 205), by Dr. Gray in the British Museum Catalogue, and by Professor Carus in his Handbuch. The former takes a middle course between {91}the numerous families of Dr. Gray, seven in number, and the two families to which Professor Carus restricts the existing species. I therefore follow Mr. Turner.


Bradypoda 71. Bradypodidæ Sloths.
Entomophaga brace 72. Manididæ Scaly Ant-eaters.
73. Dasypodidæ Armadillos.
74. Orycteropodidæ Ant-bears.
75. Myrmecophagidæ Ant-eaters.

The Marsupials have been well classified and described by Mr. Waterhouse in the first volume of his Natural History of Mammalia, and his arrangement is here followed. The suborders adopted by Professor Carus are also given.


Rapacia (Wagner) brace 76. Didelphidæ Opossums.
77. Dasyuridæ Native Cats.
78. Myrmecobiidæ Native Ant-eater.
79. Peramelidæ Bandicoots.
Poephaga (Owen) 80. Macropodidæ Kangaroos.
Carpophaga (Owen) 81. Phalangistidæ Phalangers.
Rhizophaga (Owen) 82. Phascolomyidæ Wombats.


The last order, the Monotremata, consist of two families, which Professor Carus combines into one, but which it seems more natural to keep separate.

83. Ornithorhynchidæ Duckbill.
84. Echidnidæ Echidna.


Birds are perhaps the most difficult to classify of all the divisions of the vertebrata. The species and genera are exceedingly numerous, and there is such a great uniformity in general structure and even in the details of external form, that it is exceedingly difficult to find characters by which orders and families can be characterised. For a long time the system of Vigors and Swainson was followed; but this wholly ignored anatomical characters and in many cases plainly violated well-marked affinities. Characters derived from the form of the sternum, the scutellation of the tarsi, and the arrangement of the feathers, have all assisted in determining natural groups. More recently Professor Huxley has applied the variations of the bony palate to the general arrangement of birds; and still more recently Professor Garrod has studied certain leg-muscles for the same purpose. The condition of the young as regards plumage, and even the form, texture, and coloration of the egg, have also been applied to solve doubtful cases of affinity; yet the problem is not settled, and it will probably remain for another generation of ornithologists to determine with any approach to accuracy what are the most natural divisions of the class into orders and families. In a work like the present it is evidently not advisable to adopt all the recent classifications; since experience has shown that no arrangement in which one set of characters is mainly relied on, long holds its ground. Such modifications of the old system as seem to be well established will be adopted; but the older groups will be adhered to in cases where the most recent classifications are open to doubt, or seem inconvenient as separating families, which, owing to their similarity in general structure, form and habits are best kept together for the purposes of geographical distribution.

The old plan of putting the birds of prey at the head of the class, is now almost wholly given up; both because they are not {93}the most highly organised, but only one of the most specialised forms of birds, and because their affinities are not with the Passeres, but rather with the cormorants and some other of the aquatic groups. The Passeres therefore are placed first; and the series of families is begun by the thrushes, which are certainly the most typical and generally well-organised form of birds. Instead of the Scansores and Fissirostres of the older authors, the order Picariæ, which includes them both, is adopted, but with some reluctance; as the former are, generally speaking, well marked and strongly contrasted groups, although certain families have been shown to be intermediate. In the Picariæ are included the goat-suckers, swifts, and humming-birds, sometimes separated as a distinct order, Macrochires. The parrots and the pigeons form each a separate order. The old groups of Grallæ and Anseres are preserved, as more convenient than breaking them up into widely separated parts; for though the latter plan may in some cases more strictly represent their affinities, its details are not yet established, nor is it much used by ornithologists. In accordance with these views the following is the series of orders and families of birds adopted in this work:


1. Passeres brace Including the great mass of the smaller birds—Crows,
Finches, Flycatchers, Creepers, Honeysuckers, &c., &c.
2. Picariæ brace Including Woodpeckers, Cuckoos, Toucans, Kingfishers,
Swifts, &c., &c.
3. Psittaci Parrots only.
4. Columbæ Pigeons and the Dodo.
5. Gallinæ Grouse, Pheasants, Curassows, Mound-builders, &c.
6. Opisthocomi The Hocco only.
7. Accipitres Eagles, Owls, and Vultures.
8. Grallæ Herons, Plovers, Rails, &c.
9. Anseres Gulls, Ducks, Divers, &c.
10. Struthiones Ostrich, Cassowary, Apteryx, &c.

The Passeres consist of fifty families, which may be arranged and grouped in series as follows. It must however be remembered that the first family in each series is not always that which is most allied to the last family of the preceding series. All extensive natural groups consist of divergent or branching alliances, which renders it impossible to arrange the whole in one continuous series.

A.—Typical or Turdoid Passeres.
1. Turdidæ Thrushes.
2. Sylviidæ Warblers.
3. Timaliidæ Babblers.
4. Panuridæ Reedlings.
5. Cinclidæ Dippers.
6. Troglodytidæ Wrens.
7. Chamæidæ
8. Certhiidæ Creepers.
9. Sittidæ Nuthatches.
10. Paridæ Tits.
11. Liotrichidæ Hill-tits.
12. Phyllornithidæ Green Bulbuls.
13. Pycnonotidæ Bulbuls.
14. Oriolidæ Orioles.
15. Campephagidæ Caterpillar-shrikes.
16. Dicruridæ Drongos.
17. Muscicapidæ Flycatchers.
18. Pachycephalidæ Thick-heads.
19. Laniidæ Shrikes.
20. Corvidæ Crows.
21. Paradiseidæ Paradise-birds.
22. Meliphagidæ Honey-suckers.
23. Nectarineidæ Sun-birds.
B.—Tanagroid Passeres.
24. Dicæidæ Flower-peckers.
25. Drepanididæ
26. Cærebidæ Sugar-birds.
27. Mniotiltidæ Wood-warblers.
28. Vireonidæ Greenlets.
29. Ampelidæ Waxwings.
30. Hirundinidæ Swallows.
31. Icteridæ Hangnests.
32. Tanagridæ Tanagers.
33. Fringillidæ Finches.
C.—Sturnoid Passeres.
34. Ploceidæ Weaver-birds.
35. Sturnidæ Starlings.
36. Artamidæ Swallow-shrikes.
37. Alaudidæ Larks.
38. Motacillidæ Wagtails.
D.—Formicaroid Passeres.
39. Tyrannidæ Tyrants.
40. Pipridæ Manakins.
41. Cotingidæ Chatterers.
42. Phytotomidæ Plant-cutters.
43. Eurylæmidæ Broad-bills.
44. Dendrocolaptidæ American Creepers.
45. Formicariidæ Ant-thrushes.

46. Pteroptochidæ

47. Pittidæ Pittas.
48. Paictidæ
E.—Anomalous Passeres.
49. Menuridæ Lyre-birds.
50. Atrichidæ Scrub-birds.

The preceding arrangement is a modification of that proposed by myself in the Ibis (1874, p. 406). The principal alterations are adding the families Panuridæ and Sittidæ in series A, commencing series B with Dicæidæ; bringing Vireonidæ next to the allied American family Mniotiltidæ; and placing Motacillidæ in series C next to Alaudidæ. At the suggestion of Professor Newton I place Menuridæ and Atrichidæ apart from the other Passeres, as they both possess striking peculiarities of anatomical structure.

The heterogeneous families constituting the order Picariæ may be conveniently arranged as follows:

brace 51. Picidæ Woodpeckers.
52. Yungidæ Wrynecks.
53. Indicatoridæ Honey-guides.
54. Megalæmidæ Barbets.
55. Rhamphastidæ Toucans.
56. Musophagidæ Plantain-eaters.
57. Coliidæ Colies.
58. Cuculidæ Cuckoos.
Intermediate 59. Leptosomidæ The Leptosoma.
brace 60. Bucconidæ Puff-birds.
61. Galbulidæ Jacamars.
62. Coraciidæ Rollers.
63. Meropidæ Bee-eaters.
64. Todidæ Todies.
65. Momotidæ Motmots.
66. Trogonidæ Trogons.
67. Alcedinidæ Kingfishers.
68. Bucerotidæ Hornbills.
69. Upupidæ Hoopoes.
70. Irrisoridæ Promerops.
71. Podargidæ Frog-mouths.
72. Steatornithidæ The Guacharo.
73. Caprimulgidæ Goatsuckers.
74. Cypselidæ Swifts.
75. Trochilidæ Humming-birds.

The Psittaci or parrot tribe are still in a very unsettled state of classification; that recently proposed by Professor Garrod differing widely from the arrangement adopted in Dr. Finsch's monograph of the order. Taking advantage of the researches of these and other authors, the following families are adopted as the most convenient in the present state of our knowledge:

76. Cacatuidæ The Cockatoos.
77. Platycercidæ The Broad-tailed Paroquets of Australia.
78. Palæornithidæ The Oriental Parrots and Paroquets.
79. Trichoglossidæ The Brush-tongued Paroquets and Lories.
80. Conuridæ The Macaws and their allies.
81. Psittacidæ The African and South American Parrots.
82. Nestoridæ The Nestors of New Zealand.
83. Stringopidæ The Owl-parrots of New Zealand.

The Columbæ, or pigeons, are also in a very unsatisfactory state as regards a natural classification. The families, sub-families, and genera proposed by various authors are very numerous, and often quite irreconcilable. I therefore adopt only two families; and generally follow Mr. G. R. Gray's hand-list for the genera, except where trustworthy authorities exist for a different arrangement. The families are:

84. Columbidæ Pigeons and Doves.
85. Dididæ The extinct Dodo and allies.

The Gallinæ, or game-birds, may be divided into seven families:

Fam. Sub-fam.
86. Pteroclidæ Sand-grouse
87. Tetraonidæ Partridges and Grouse.
88. Phasianidæ brace Pavoninæ Peafowl.
Lophophorinæ Tragopans, &c.
Phasianinæ Pheasants.
Euplocaminæ Fire-backed Pheasants, &c.
Gallinæ Jungle-fowl.
Meleagrinæ Turkeys.
Numidinæ Guinea-fowl.
89. Turnicidæ Hemipodes.
90. Megapodiidæ Mound-makers.
91. Cracidæ brace Cracinæ Curassows.
Penelopinæ Guans.
Oreophasinæ Mountain-pheasant.
92. Tinamidæ Tinamous.

The Opisthocomi consist of one family containing a single species, the "Hocco" of Guiana.

Family 93.  Opisthocomidæ.

The Accipitres, or birds of prey, which were long considered to be the highest and most perfect order of birds, are now properly placed lower down in the series, their affinities being more with the aquatic than with the perching birds. The following is the arrangement adopted by Mr. Sharpe in his recently published British Museum catalogue of diurnal birds of prey:—

Sub-orders. Fam. Sub-families.
Falcones brace 94. Vulturidæ brace Vulturinæ Vultures.
Sarcorhamphinæ Turkey-buzzards.
95. Serpentariidæ
96. Falconidæ brace Polyborinæ Caracaras.
Accipitrinæ Hawks.
Buteoninæ Buzzards.
Aquilinæ Eagles.
Falconinæ Falcons.
Pandiones 97. Pandionidæ Fishing-eagles.
Striges 98. Strigidæ Owls.

The Grallæ or Grallatores are in a very unsettled state. The following series of families is in accordance with the views of some of the best modern ornithologists:

99. Rallidæ Rails, &c.
100. Scolopacidæ Sandpipers and Snipes
101. Chionididæ Sheath-bills.
102. Thinocoridæ Quail-snipes.
103. Parridæ Jacanas.
104. Glareolidæ Pratincoles.
105. Charadriidæ Plovers.
106. Otididæ Bustards.
107. Gruidæ Cranes.
108. Cariamidæ Cariamas.
109. Aramidæ Guaraunas.
110. Psophiidæ Trumpeters.
111. Eurypygidæ Sun-bitterns.
112. Rhinochœtidæ Kagus.
113. Ardeidæ Herons.
114. Plataleidæ Spoonbills and Ibis.
115. Ciconiidæ Storks.
116. Palamedeidæ Screamers.
117. Phænicopteridæ Flamingoes.

The Anseres or Natatores are almost equally unsettled. The flamingoes are usually placed in this order, but their habits best assort with those of the waders.

118. Anatidæ Duck and Geese.
119. Laridæ Gulls.
120. Procellariidæ Petrels.
121. Pelecanidæ Pelicans.
122. Spheniscidæ Penguins.
123. Colymbidæ Divers.
124. Podicipidæ Grebes.
125. Alcidæ Auks.

The last order of birds is the Struthiones or Ratitæ, considered by many naturalists to form a distinct sub-class. It consists of comparatively few species, either living or recently extinct.

Living brace 126. Struthionidæ Ostriches.
127. Casuariidæ Cassowaries.
128. Apterygidæ Apteryx.
Extinct brace 129. Dinornithidæ Dinornis.
130. Palapterygidæ Palapteryx.
131. Æpyornithidæ Æpyornis.


In reptiles I follow the classification of Dr. Günther as given in the Philosophical Transactions, vol. clvii., p. 625. He divides the class into five orders as follows:—

Sub-classes. Orders.
I. Squamata brace 1. Ophidia Serpents.
2. Lacertilia Lizards.
3. Rhyncocephalina The Hatteria.
II. Loricata 4. Crocodilia Crocodiles.
III. Cataphracta 5. Chelonia Tortoises.

In the arrangement of the families comprised in each of these orders I also follow the arrangement of Dr. Günther and Dr. J. E. Gray, as given in the British Museum Catalogue, or as modified by the former gentleman who has kindly given me much personal information.


The Ophidia, or Snakes, form the first order and are classified as follows:—

Innocuous Snakes brace 1. Typhlopidæ brace Burrowing Snakes.
2. Tortricidæ
3. Xenopeltidæ
4. Uropeltidæ
5. Calamaridæ Dwarf ground-snakes.
6. Oligodontidæ.
7. Colubridæ Colubrine Snakes.
8. Homalopsidæ Fresh-water Snakes.
9. Psammophidæ Desert-snakes.
10. Rachiodontidæ. colspan="2"
11. Dendrophidæ Tree-snakes.
12. Dryiophidæ Whip-snakes.
13. Dipsasidæ Nocturnal tree-snakes.
14. Scytalidæ
15. Lycodontidæ Fanged ground-snakes.
16. Amblycephalidæ Blunt-heads.
17. Pythonidæ Pythons.
18. Erycidæ Sand-snakes.
19. Acrochordidæ Wart-snakes.
Venomous Colubrine
brace 20. Elapidæ Cobras, &c.
21. Dendraspididæ.
22. Atractaspididæ.
23. Hydrophidæ Sea-snakes.
Viperine Snakes brace 24. Crotalidæ Pit-vipers.
25. Viperidæ True vipers.

The second order, Lacertilia, are arranged as follows:—

26. Trogonophidæ brace Amphisbænians.
27. Chirotidæ
28. Amphisbænidæ
29. Lepidosternidæ
30. Varanidæ Water Lizards.
31. Helodermidæ.
32. Teidæ Teguexins.
33. Lacertidæ brace Land Lizards.
34. Zonuridæ
35. Chalcidæ.
36. Anadiadæ.
37. Chirocolidæ.
38. Iphisadæ.
39. Cercosauridæ.
40. Chamæsauridæ.
41. Gymnopthalmidæ Gape-eyed Scinks.
42. Pygopodidæ Two-legged Lizards.
43. Aprasiadæ.

44. Lialidæ.

45. Scincidæ Scinks.
46. Ophiomoridæ Snake-lizards.
47. Sepidæ Sand-lizards.
48. Acontiadæ.
49. Geckotidæ Geckoes.
50. Iguanidæ Iguanas.
51. Agamidæ Fringed Lizards.
52. Chameleonidæ Chameleons.

The third order, Rhyncocephalina consists of a single family:—

53. Rhyncocephalidæ The Hatteria of New Zealand.

The fourth order, Crocodilia or Loricata, consists of three families:—

54. Gavialidæ Gavials.
55. Crocodilidæ Crocodiles.
56. Alligatoridæ Alligators.

The fifth order, Chelonia, consists of four families:—

57. Testudinidæ Land and fresh-water Tortoises.
58. Chelydidæ Fresh-water Turtles.
59. Trionychidæ Soft Turtles.
60. Cheloniidæ Sea Turtles.


In the Amphibia I follow the classification of Professor Mivart, as given for a large part of the order in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society for 1869. For the remainder I follow Dr. Strauch, Dr. Günther, and a MSS. arrangement kindly furnished me by Professor Mivart.

The class is first divided into three groups or orders, and then into families as follows:—



1. Cæciliadæ Cæcilia.


2. Sirenidæ Siren.
3. Proteidæ Proteus.
4. Amphiumidæ Amphiuma.
5. Menopomidæ Giant Salamanders.
6. Salamandridæ Salamanders and Newts.


7. Rhinophrynidæ brace Toads. 16. Pelodryadæ brace Tree Frogs.
8. Phryniscidæ 17. Hylidæ
9. Hylaplesidæ 18. Polypedatidæ
10. Bufonidæ 19. Ranidæ brace Frogs.
11. Xenorhinidæ 20. Discoglossidæ
12. Engystomidæ 21. Pipidæ brace Tongueless
13. Bombinatoridæ brace Frogs. 22. Dactylethridæ
14. Plectromantidæ
15. Alytidæ


These are arranged according to the classification of Dr. Günther, whose great work "The British Museum Catalogue of Fishes," has furnished almost all the material for our account of the distribution of the class.

In that work all existing fishes are arranged in six sub-classes and thirteen orders. A study of the extraordinary Ceratodus from Australia has induced Dr. Günther to unite three of his sub-classes; but as his catalogue will long remain a handbook for every student of fishes, it seems better to follow the arrangement there given, indicating his later views by bracketing together the groups he now thinks should be united.

Sub-class. Order. Families. Remarks.
Ganoidei brace Teleostei brace 1. Acanthopterygii 47 Gasterosteidæ to Notacanthi.
2. Do. Pharyncognathi 5 Pomacentridæ to Chromidæ.
3. Acanthini 6 Gadopsidæ to Pleuronectidæ.
4. Physostomi 29 Siluridæ to Pegasidæ.
5. Lophobranchii 2 Solenostomidæ and Syngnathidæ.
6. Plectognathi 2 Sclerodermi and Gymnodontes.
Dipnoi 7. Sirenoidei 1 Sirenoidei.
Ganoidei brace 8. Holostei 3 Amiidæ to Lepidosteidæ.
9. Chondrostei 2 Accipenseridæ and Polydontidæ.
Chondropterygii brace 10. Holocephala 1 Chimæridæ.
11. Plagiostomata 15 Carchariidæ to Myliobatidæ.
Cyclostomata 12. Marsipobranchii 2 Petromyzontidæ and Myxinidæ.
Leptocardii 13. Cirrhostomi 1 Cirrhostomi.
Total 116 families.


The families and genera of insects are so immensely numerous, probably exceeding fifty-fold those of all other land animals, that for this cause alone it would be impossible to enter fully into their distribution. It is also quite unnecessary, because many of the groups are so liable to be transported by accidental causes, that they afford no useful information for our subject; while others are so obscure and uninteresting that they have been very partially collected and studied, and are for this reason equally ineligible. I have therefore selected a few of the largest and most conspicuous families, which have been so assiduously collected in every part of the globe, and so carefully studied at home, as to afford valuable materials for comparison with the vertebrate groups, when we have made due allowance for the dependence of many insects on peculiar forms of vegetation, and the facility with which many of them are transported either in the egg, larva, or perfect state, by winds, currents, and other less known means.

I confine myself then, almost exclusively, to the sixteen families of Diurnal Lepidoptera or butterflies, and to six of the most extensive, conspicuous, and popular families of Coleoptera. {103}The number of species of Butterflies is about the same as that of Birds, while the six families of Coleoptera selected, comprise more than twenty thousand species, far exceeding the number of all other vertebrates. These families have all been recently catalogued, so that we have very complete information as to their arrangement and distribution.


Fam. Fam.
1. Danaidæ. 9. Libythæidæ.
2. Satyridæ. 10. Nemeobiidæ.
3. Elymniidæ. 11. Eurygonidæ.
4. Morphidæ. 12. Erycinidæ.
5. Brassolidæ. 13. Lycænidæ.
6. Acræidæ. 14. Pieridæ.
7. Heliconidæ. 15. Papilionidæ.
8. Nymphalidæ. 16. Hesperidæ.


Fam. Fam.
1. Cicindelidæ Tiger-beetles. 4. Cetoniidæ Rose-chafers.
2. Carabidæ Ground-beetles. 5. Buprestidæ Metallic Beetles.
3. Lucanidæ Stag-beetles. 6. Longicornia Long-horned Beetles.

The above families comprise the extensive series of ground beetles (Carabidæ) containing about 9,000 species, and the Longicorns, which are nearly as numerous and surpass them in variety of form and colour as well as in beauty. The Cetoniidæ and Buprestidæ are among the largest and most brilliant of beetles; the Lucanidæ are pre-eminent for remarkable form, and the Cicindelidæ for elegance; and all the families are especial favourites with entomologists, so that the whole earth has been ransacked to procure fresh species.

Results deduced from a study of these will, therefore, fairly represent the phenomena of distribution of Coleoptera, and, as they are very varied in their habits, perhaps of insects in general.



The Mollusca are usually divided into five classes as follows:—

I. Cephalopoda Cuttle-fish.
II. Gasteropoda Snails and aquatic Univalves.
III. Pteropoda Oceanic Snails.
IV. Brachiopoda Symmetrical Bivalves.
V. Conchifera Unsymmetrical Bivalves.

The Gasteropoda and Conchifera alone contain land and freshwater forms, and to these we shall chiefly confine our illustrations of the geographical distribution of the Mollusca. The classification followed is that of Dr. Pfeiffer for the Operculata and Dr. Von Martens for the Helicidæ. The families chiefly referred to are:—


Order 2.—Pulmonifera.

In-operculata brace 1. Helicidæ.
2. Limacidæ.
3. Oncidiadæ.
4. Limnæidæ.
5. Auriculidæ.
6. Aciculidæ.
7. Diplommatinidæ.
Operculata brace 8. Cyclostomidæ.
9. Helicinidæ.







Although it may seem somewhat out of place to begin the systematic treatment of our subject with extinct rather than with living animals, it is necessary to do so in order that we may see the meaning and trace the causes of the existing distribution of animal forms. It is true, that the animals found fossil in a country are very generally allied to those which still inhabit it; but this is by no means universally the case. If it were, the attempt to elucidate our subject by Palæontology would be hopeless, since the past would show us the same puzzling diversities of faunas and floras that now exist. We find however very numerous exceptions to this rule, and it is these exceptions which tell us of the past migrations of whole groups of animals. We are thus enabled to determine what portion of the existing races of animals in a country are descendants of its ancient fauna, and which are comparatively modern immigrants; and combining these movements of the forms of life with known or probable changes in the distribution of land and sea, we shall sometimes be able to trace approximately the long series of changes which have resulted in the actual state of things. To gain this knowledge is our object in studying the "Geographical Distribution of Animals," and our plan of study must be determined, mainly, by the facilities it affords us for attaining this object. In discussing the countless details of distribution we shall meet with in our survey of the zoological regions, we shall often find it useful to refer to the evidence we possess of the range of the group in question in {108}past times; and when we attempt to generalise the phenomena on a large scale, with the details fresh in our memory, we shall find a reference to the extinct faunas of various epochs to he absolutely necessary.

The degree of our knowledge of the Palæontology of various parts of the world is so unequal, that it will not be advisable to treat the subject under each of our six regions. Yet some subdivision must be made, and it seems best to consider separately the extinct animals of the Old and of the New Worlds. Those of Europe and Asia are intimately connected, and throw light on the past changes which have led to the establishment of the three great continental Old World regions, with their various subdivisions. The wonderful extinct fauna recently discovered in North America, with what was previously known from South temperate America, not only elucidates the past history of the whole continent, but also gives indications of the mutual relations of the eastern and western hemispheres.

The materials to be dealt with are enormous; and it will be necessary to confine ourselves to a general summary, with fuller details on those points which directly bear upon our special subject. The objects of most interest to the pure zoologist and to the geologist—those strange forms which are farthest removed from any now living—are of least interest to us, since we aim at tracing the local origin or birthplace of existing genera and families; and for this purpose animals whose affinities with living forms are altogether doubtful, are of no value whatever.

The great mass of the vertebrate fossils of the tertiary period consist of mammalia, and this is precisely the class which is of most value in the determination of zoological regions. The animals of the secondary period, though of the highest interest to the zoologist are of little importance to us; both because of their very uncertain affinities for any existing groups, and also because we can form no adequate notion of the distribution of land and sea in those remote epochs. Our great object is to trace back, step by step, the varying distribution of the chief forms of life; and to deduce, wherever possible, the physical changes which must have accompanied or caused such changes. {109}The natural division of our subject therefore is into geological periods. We first go back to the Post-Pliocene period, which includes that of the caves and gravels of Europe containing flint implements, and extends back to the deposit of the glacial drift in the concluding phase of the glacial epoch. Next we have the Pliocene period, divided into its later portion (the Newer Pliocene) which includes the Glacial epoch of the northern hemisphere; and its earlier portion (the Older Pliocene), represented by the red and coralline crag of England, and deposits of similar age in the continent. During this earlier epoch the climate was not very dissimilar from that which now prevails; but we next get evidence of a still earlier period, the Miocene, when a warmer climate prevailed in Europe, and the whole fauna and flora were very different. This is perhaps the most interesting portion of the tertiary deposits, and furnishes us with the most valuable materials for our present study. Further back still we have the Eocene period, with apparently an almost tropical climate in Europe; and here we find a clue to some of the most puzzling facts in the distribution of living animals. Our knowledge of this epoch is however very imperfect; and we wait for discoveries that will elucidate some of the mystery that still hangs over the origin and migrations of many important families. Beyond this there is a great chasm in the geological record as regards land animals; and we have to go so far back into the past, that when we again meet with mammalia, birds, and land-reptiles, they appear under such archaic forms that they cease to have any local or geographical significance, and we can only refer them to wide-spread classes and orders. For the purpose of elucidating geographical distribution, therefore, it is, in the present state of our knowledge, unnecessary to go back beyond the tertiary period of geology.

The remains of Mammalia being so much more numerous and important than those of other classes, we shall at first confine ourselves almost exclusively to these. What is known of the birds, reptiles, and fishes of the tertiary epoch will be best indicated by a brief connected sketch of their fossils in all parts of the globe, which we shall give in a subsequent chapter.


Historic Period.—In tracing back the history of the organic world we find, even within the limits of the historical period, that some animals have become extinct, while the distribution of others has been materially changed. The Rytina of the North Pacific, the dodo of Mauritius, and the great auk of the North Atlantic coasts, have been exterminated almost in our own times. The kitchen-middens of Denmark contain remains of the capercailzie, the Bos primigenius, and the beaver. The first still abounds farther north, the second is extinct, and the third is becoming so in Europe. The great Irish elk, a huge-antlered deer, probably existed almost down to historic times.

Pleistocene or Post-Pliocene Period.—We first meet with proofs of important changes in the character of the European fauna, in studying the remains found in the caverns of England and France, which have recently been so well explored. These cave-remains are probably all subsequent to the Glacial epoch, and they all come within the period of man's occupation of the country. Yet we find clear proofs of two distinct kinds of change in the forms of animal life. First we have a change clearly traceable to a difference of climate. We find such arctic forms as the rein-deer, the musk-sheep, the glutton, and the lemming, with the mammoth and the woolly rhinoceros of the Siberian ice-cliffs, inhabiting this country and even the south of France. This is held to be good proof that a sub-arctic climate prevailed over all Central Europe; and this climate, together with the continental condition of Britain, will sufficiently explain such a southward range of what are now arctic forms.

But together with this change we have another that seems at first sight to be in an exactly opposite direction. We meet with numerous animals which now only inhabit Africa, or South Europe, or the warmer parts of Asia. Such are, large felines—some closely related to the lion (Felis spelæa), others of altogether extinct type (Machairodus) and forming the extreme development of the feline race;—hyænas; horses of two or more species; and a hippopotamus. If we go a little further back, to the remains furnished by the gravels and brick-earths, we still find the same association of forms. The reindeer, the glutton, {111}the musk-sheep, and the woolly rhinoceros, are associated with several other species of rhinoceros and elephant; with numerous civets, now abundant only in warm countries; and with antelopes of several species. We also meet here with a great extension of range of forms now limited to small areas. The Saiga antelope of Eastern Europe occurs in France, where wild sheep and goats and the chamois were then found, together with several species of deer, of bear, and of hyæna. A few extinct genera even come down to this late period, such as the great sabre-toothed tiger, Machairodus; Galeotherium, a form of Viverridæ; Palæospalax, allied to the mole; and Trogontherium, a gigantic form of beaver,

We find then, that even at so early a stage of our inquiries we meet with a problem in distribution by no means easy to solve. How are we to explain the banishment from Europe in so short a space of time (geologically speaking) of so many forms of life now characteristic of warmer countries, and this too during a period when the climate of Central Europe was itself becoming warmer? Such a change must almost certainly have been due to changes of physical geography, which we shall be better able to understand when we have examined the preceding Pliocene period. We may here notice, however, that so far as we yet know, this great recent change in the character of the fauna is confined to the western part of the Palæarctic region. In caves in the Altai Mountains examined by Prof. Brandt, a great collection of fossil bones was discovered. These comprised the Siberian rhinoceros and mammoth, and the cave hyæna; but all the others, more than thirty distinct species, are now living in or near the same regions. We may perhaps impute this difference to the fact that the migration of Southern types into this part of Siberia was prevented by the great mountain and desert barrier of the Central Asiatic plateau; whereas in Europe there was at this time a land connection with Africa. Post-pliocene deposits and caverns in Algeria have yielded remains resembling the more southern European types of the Post-pliocene period, but without any admixture of Arctic forms; showing, as we might expect, that the glacial cold did not {112}extend so far south. We have here remains of Equus, Bos, Antilope, Hippopotamus, Elephas, Rhinoceros, Ursus, Canis, and Hyæna, together with Phacochœrus, an African type of swine which has not occurred in the European deposits.

It is perhaps to the earlier portion of this period that the Merycotherium of the Siberian drift belongs. This was an animal related to the living camel, thus supporting the view that the Camelidæ are essentially denizens of the extra-tropical zone.

Pliocene Period.

Primates.—We here first meet with evidence of the existence of monkeys in Central Europe. Species of Macacus have left remains not only in the Newer Pliocene of the Val d'Arno in Italy, but in beds of the same age at Grays in Essex; while Semnopithecus and Cercopithecus, genera now confined to the Oriental and Ethiopian regions respectively, have been found in the Pliocene deposits of the South of France and Italy.

Carnivora.—Most of the genera which occurred in the Post-Pliocene are found here also, and many of the same species. Few new forms appear, except Hyænarctos, a large bear with characters approaching the hyænas, and Pristiphoca, a new form of seal, both from the Older Pliocene of France; and Galecynus, a fox-like animal intermediate between Canis and Viverra, from the Pliocene of Œninghen in Switzerland.

Cetacea.—Species of Balæna, Physeter, and Delphinus occur in the Older Pliocene of England and France, and with these the remains of many extinct forms, Balænodon and Hoplocetus (Balænidæ); Belemnoziphius and Choneziphius (Hyperoodontidæ), and Halitherium, an extinct form of the next order—Sirenia, now confined to the tropics, although the recently extinct Rytina of the N. W. Pacific shows that it is also adapted for temperate climates.

Ungulata.—The Pliocene deposits are not very rich in this order. The horses (Equidæ) are represented by the genus Equus; and here we first meet with Hipparion, in which small lateral toes appear. Both genera occur in British deposits of this age. {113}A more interesting fact for us is the occurrence of the genus Tapirus in the Newer Pliocene of France and in the older beds of both France and England, since this genus is now isolated in the remotest parts of the eastern and western tropics. The genera Rhinoceros, Hippopotamus, and Sus, occur here as in the preceding epoch.

We next come to the deer genus (Cervus), which appears to have been at its maximum in this period, no less than eight species occurring in the Norwich Crag, and Forest-beds. Among the Bovidæ, the antelopes, ox, and bison, are the only forms represented here, as in the Post-Pliocene period. Passing on to the Proboscidea, we find three species of elephants and two of Mastodon preserved in European beds of this period, all distinct from those of Post-Pliocene times.

Rodentia.—In this order we find representatives of many living European forms; as Cricetus (hamster), Arvicola (vole), Castor (beaver), Arctomys (marmot), Hystrix (porcupine), Lepus (hare), and Lagomys (pika); and a few that are extinct, the most important being Chalicomys, allied to the beaver; and Issiodromys, said to come nearest to the remarkable Pedetes of South Africa, both found in the Pliocene formations of France.


General Conclusions as to Pliocene and Post-Pliocene Faunas of Europe.—This completes the series of fossil forms of the Pliocene deposits of Europe. They show us that the presence of numerous large carnivora and ungulates (now almost wholly tropical) in the Post-Pliocene period, was due to no exceptional or temporary cause, but was the result of a natural succession from similar races which had inhabited the same countries for long preceding ages. In order to understand the vast periods of time covered by the Pliocene and Post-Pliocene formations, the works of Sir Charles Lyell must be studied. We shall then come to see, that the present condition of the fauna of Europe is wholly new and exceptional. For a long succession of ages, various forms of monkeys, hyænas, lions, horses, hipparions, tapirs, rhinoceroses, hippopotami, elephants, mastodons, deer, and antelopes, together {114}with almost all the forms now living, produced a rich and varied fauna such as we now see only in the open country of tropical Africa. During all this period we have no reason to believe that the climate or other physical conditions of Europe were more favourable to the existence of these animals than now. We must look upon them, therefore, as true indigenes of the country, and their comparatively recent extinction or banishment as a remarkable phenomenon for which there must have been some adequate cause. What this cause was we can only conjecture; but it seems most probable that it was due to the combined action of the Glacial period, and the subsidence of large areas of land once connecting Europe with Africa. The existence, in the small island of Malta, of no less than three extinct species of elephant (two of very small stature), of a gigantic dormouse, an extinct hippopotamus, and other mammalia, together with the occurrence of remains of hippopotamus in the caves of Gibraltar, indicate very clearly that during the Pliocene epoch, and perhaps during a considerable part of the Post-Pliocene, a connection existed between South Europe and North Africa in at least these two localities. At the same time we have every reason to believe that Britain was united to the Continent, what is now the German Ocean constituting a great river-valley. During the height of the Glacial epoch, these large animals would probably retire into this Mediterranean land and into North Africa, making annual migrations northwards during the summer. But as the connecting land sank and became narrower and narrower, the migrating herds would diminish, and at last cease altogether; and when the glacial cold had passed away would be altogether prevented from returning to their former haunts.

Miocene Period.

We now come to a period which was wonderfully rich in all forms of life, and of which the geological record is exceptionally complete. Various lacustrine, estuarine, and other deposits in Europe, North India, and North America, have furnished such a {115}vast number of remains of extinct mammalia, as to solve many zoological problems, and to throw great light on the early distribution and centres of dispersal of various groups of animals. In order to show the bearing of these remains on our special subject, we will first give an account of the extinct fauna of Greece, of the Upper Miocene period; since this, being nearest to Africa and Asia, best exhibits the relations of the old European fauna to those countries. We shall then pass to the Miocene fauna of France and Central Europe; and conclude with the remarkable Siwalik and other Indian extinct faunas, which throw an additional light on the early history of the animal life of the great old-world continents.

Extinct Animals of Greece.

These are from the Upper Miocene deposits at Pikermi, near Athens, and were collected by M. Gaudry a few years ago. They comprise ten living and eighteen extinct genera of mammalia, with a few birds and reptiles.

Primates.—These are represented by Mesopithecus, a genus believed to be intermediate between the two Indian genera of monkeys, Semnopithecus and Macacus.

Carnivora.—These were abundant. Of Felis there were four species, ranging from the size of a cat to that of a jaguar, a large hyæna, and a large weasel (Mustela). Besides these there were the huge Machairodus, larger than any existing lion or tiger, and with enormously developed canine teeth; Hyænictis and Lycæna, extinct forms of Hyænidæ; Thalassictis=Ictitherium, an extinct genus of Viverridæ but with resemblances to the hyænas, represented by three species, some of which were larger than any existing Viverridæ; Promephytis, an extinct form of Mustelidæ, having resemblances to the European marten, to the otters, and to the S. African Zorilla; and lastly, Simocyon, an extraordinary carnivore of the size of a small panther, but having the canines of a cat, the molars of a dog, and the jaws shaped like those of a bear.

Ungulata.—These are numerous and very interesting. The Equidæ are represented by the three-toed Hipparion, which {116}continued to exist till the Older Pliocene period. There are three large species of Rhinoceros, as well as a species of the extinct genus Leptodon of smaller size. Remains of a very large wild boar (Sus) were found. Very interesting is the occurrence of a species of giraffe (Camelopardalis) as tall as the African species but more slender; and also an extinct genus Helladotherium, not quite so tall as the giraffe but much more robust, and showing some approach to the Antilopidæ in its dentition. Antelopes were abundant, ranging from the size of the gazelle to that of the largest living species. Three or four seem referable to living genera, but the majority are of extinct types, and are classed in the genera Palæotragus, Palæoryx, Tragocerus, and Palæoreas; while Dremotherium is an ancient generalized form of Cervidæ or deer.

Proboscidea.—These are represented by two species of Mastodon, and two of Dinotherium, an extraordinary extinct form supposed to be, to some extent, intermediate between the elephants and the aquatic manatees (Sirenia.)

Rodentia.—This order is represented by a species of Hystrix, larger than living porcupines.

Edentata.—This order, now almost confined to South America, was represented in the Miocene period by several European species. Ancylotherium and Macrotherium, belonging to an extinct family but remotely allied to the African ant-bear (Orycteropus), occur in Greece.

Birds.—Species of Phasianus and Gallus were found; the latter especially interesting as being now confined to India.

Reptiles.—These are few and unimportant, consisting of a tortoise (Testudo) and a large lizard allied to Varanus.


Summary of the Miocene Fauna of Greece.—Although we cannot consider that the preceding enumeration gives us by any means a complete view of the actual inhabitants of this part of Europe during the later portion of the Miocene period, we yet obtain some important information. The resemblance that appeared in the Pliocene fauna of Europe, to that of the open country of tropical Africa, is now still more remarkable. We {117}not only find great felines, surpassing in size and destructive power the lions and leopards of Africa, with hyænas of a size and in a variety not to be equalled now, but also huge rhinoceroses and elephants, two forms of giraffes, and a host of antelopes, which, from the sample here obtained, were probably quite as numerous and varied as they now are in Africa. Joined with this abundance of antelopes we have the absence of deer, which probably indicates that the country was open and somewhat of a desert character, since there were deer in other parts of Europe at this epoch. The occurrence of but a single species of monkey is also favourable to this view, since a well-wooded country would most likely have supplied many forms of these animals.

Miocene Fauna of Central and Western Europe.

We have now to consider the Miocene fauna of Europe generally, of which we have very full information from numerous deposits of this age in France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, and Hungary.

Primates.—Three distinct forms of monkeys have been found in Europe—in the South of France, in Switzerland, and Wurtemberg; one was very like Colobus or Semnopithecus; the others—Pliopithecus and Dryopithecus—were of higher type, and belonged to the anthropomorphous apes, being nearest to the genus Hylobates or gibbons. Both have occurred in the South of France. The Dryopithecus was a very large animal (equal to the gorilla), and M. Lartet considers that in the character of its dentition it approached nearer to man than any of the existing anthropoid apes.

Insectivora.—These small animals are represented by numerous remains belonging to four families and a dozen genera. Of Erinaceus (hedgehog) several species are found in the Upper Miocene; and in the Lower Miocene of Auvergne two extinct genera of the same family—Amphechinus and Tetracus—have been discovered. Several species of Talpa (mole) occur in the Upper Miocene of France, while the extinct Dinylus is from Germany, and Palæospalax from the Lower Miocene of the Isle of {118}Wight. The Malayan family Tupaiidæ or squirrel-shrews, is believed to he represented by Oxygomphus, a fossil discovered in South Germany (Wiesenau) by H. von Meyer. The Soricidæ or shrews, are represented by several extinct genera—Plesiosorex, Mysarachne and Galeospalax; as well as by Amphisorex and Myogale still living. Echinogale, a genus of Centetidæ now confined to Madagascar, is said to occur in the Lower Miocene of Auvergne, a most interesting determination, if correct, as it would form a transition to the Solenodon of the Antilles belonging to the same family; but I am informed by Prof. Flower that the affinities of the animals described under this name are very doubtful.

Carnivora.—Besides Felis and Machairodus, which extend back to the Upper Miocene, there are two other genera of Felidæ, Pseudælurus in the Upper Miocene of France, and Hyænodon, which occurs in the Upper and Lower Miocene of France, named from some resemblance in its teeth to the hyænas, and considered by some Palæontologists to form a distinct family, Hyænodontidæ. The Viverridæ, or civets, were very numerous, consisting of the living genus Viverra, and three extinct forms—Thalassictis=Ictitherium, as large as a panther, and Soricictis, a smaller form, occurring both in France and Hungary. Of Hyænidæ, there was the living genus Hyæna, and the extinct Hyænictis, which has occurred in Hungary as well as in Greece. The Canidæ, or wolf and fox family, were represented by Pseudocyon, near to Canis; Hemicyon, intermediate between dogs and gluttons; and Amphicyon, of which several species occur in the Upper and Lower Miocene of France, some of them larger than a tiger. The Mustelidæ, or weasels, were represented by five genera, the existing genera Lutra (otter) and Mustela (weasel); Potamotherium, an extinct form of otter; Taxodon, allied to the badger and otter; Palæomephitis in Germany, and the Promephytis (already noticed) in Greece. The bears were represented only by Hyænarctos, which has been noticed as occurring in the Pliocene, and first appears in the Upper Miocene of France. Seals are represented by a form resembling the Antarctic Otaria, remains of which occur in the Upper Miocene of France.


Cetacea (whales).—These occur frequently in the Miocene deposits, four living, and five extinct genera having been described; but these marine forms are not of much importance for our purpose.

Sirenia (sea-cows).—These are represented by two extinct genera, Halitherium and Trachytherium. Several species of the former have been discovered, but the latter has occurred in France only, and its affinities are doubtful.

Ungulata.—Horses are represented by Hipparion and Anchitherium, the latter occurring in both Upper and Lower Miocene and Eocene; while Hipparion, which is more nearly allied to living horses, first appears in the Upper Miocene and continues in the Pliocene.

Hippotherium, in the Upper Miocene of the Vienna basin, forms a transition to Paloplotherium, an Eocene genus of Tapiridæ or Palæotheridæ. Tapirs, allied to living forms, occur in both Upper and Lower Miocene. Rhinoceroses are still found in the Upper Miocene, and here first appear the four-toed hornless rhinoceros, Acerotherium. The Suidæ (swine) are rather numerous. Sus (wild boar) continued as far back as the Upper Miocene; but now there first appear a number of extinct forms which have been named Hyotherium, Palæochœrus, Chœromorus, all of a small or moderate size; Hyopotamus, nearly as large as a tapir; and Anthracotherium, nearly the size of a hippopotamus and, according to Dr. Leidy, the type of a distinct family. Listriodon, from the Upper Miocene of the Vienna basin, is sometimes classed with the tapirs.

We now come to a well-marked new family of Artiodactyle or even-toed Ungulata, the Anoplotheriidæ, which consisted of more slender long-tailed animals, allied to the swine but with indications of a transition towards the camels. The only genera that appear in the Miocene formation are, Chalicotherium, nearly as large as a rhinoceros, of which three species have been found in Germany and France; and Synaphodus, known only from its teeth, which differ somewhat from those of the Anoplotherium which appears earlier in the Eocene formation. Another extinct family, Amphimericidæ or Xiphodontidæ, is represented by two {120}genera, Cainotherium and Microtherium, in the Miocene of France. They were of very small size, and are supposed to he intermediate between the Suidæ and Tragulidæ.

The Camelopardalidæ, or giraffes, were represented in Europe in Miocene times by the gigantic Helladotherium, which has been found in the south of France, and in Hungary, as well as in Greece. The chevrotains (Tragulidæ) are represented by the extinct genus Hyomoschus.

The Cervidæ do not seem to have appeared in Europe before the Upper Miocene epoch, when they were represented by Dorcatherium and Amphimoschus, allied to Moschus, and also by true Cervus, as well as by small allied forms, Dremotherium, Amphitragalus (in the Lower Miocene), Micromeryx, Palæomeryx, and Dicrocerus.

The Bovidæ, or hollow-horned ruminants, were not well represented in Central Europe in Miocene times. There were no sheep, goats, or oxen, and only a few antelopes of the genus Tragocerus, and one allied to Hippotragus; and these all lived in the Upper Miocene period, as did the more numerous forms of Greece.

Proboscidea.—The true elephants do not extend back to the Miocene period, but they are represented by the Mastodons, which had less complex teeth. These first appear in the Upper Miocene of Europe, five species being known from France, Germany, Switzerland, and Greece. Dinotherium, already noticed as occurring in Greece, extended also to Germany and France, where remains of three species have been found.

Rodentia.—A considerable number of generic forms of this order have been obtained from the Miocene strata. The principal genera are Cricetodon, allied to the hamsters, numerous in both the Upper and Lower Miocene period of France; Myoxus (the dormice) in France, and an allied genus, Brachymys, in Germany. The beavers were represented by the still living genus Castor, and the extinct Steneofiber in France. The squirrels by the existing Scuirus and Spermophilus; and by extinct forms, Lithomys and Aulacodon, in Germany, the latter resembling the African genus Aulacodes. The hares, by Lagomys and an {121}extinct form Titanomys. Besides these, remains referred to the South American genera, Cavia (cavy) and Dasyprocta (agouti), have been found, the former in the Upper Miocene of Switzerland, the latter in the Lower Miocene of Auvergne. Palæomys, allied to the West Indian Capromys, has been found in the same deposits; as well as Theridomys, said by Gervais to be allied to Anomalurus and Echimys, the former now living in W. Africa, the latter in S. America.

Edentata.—These are only represented by the Macrotherium and Ancylotherium of the Grecian deposits, the former occurring also in France and Germany in Upper Miocene strata.

Marsupials.—These consist of numerous species related to the opossums (Didelphys), but separated by Gervais under the name Peratherium. They occur in both Upper and Lower Miocene beds.

Upper Miocene Deposits of the Siwalik Hills and other Localities in N. W. India.

These remarkable fresh-water deposits form a range of hills at the foot of the Himalayas, a little south of Simla. They were investigated for many years by Sir P. Cautley and Dr. Falconer, and add greatly to our knowledge of the early fauna of the Old World continent.

Primates.—Remains of the genera Semnopithecus and Macacus were found, with other forms of intermediate character; and some teeth indicated animals allied to the orang-utan of Borneo, and of similar size.

Carnivora.—These consisted of species of Felis and Machairodus of large size; Hyæna, Canis, Mellivora, and an allied genus Ursitaxus; Ursus, in the deposits of the Nerbudda valley (of Pliocene age); Hyænarctos as large as the cave bear; Amphicyon of the size of a polar bear (in the deposits of the Indus valley, west of Cashmere); Lutra, and an extinct allied genus Enhydrion.

Ungulata.—These are very numerous, and constitute the most important feature of this ancient fauna. Horses are represented by a species of Equus from the Siwalik Hills and the Irawaddy {122}deposits in Burmah, and by two others from the Pliocene of the Nerbudda Valley; while Hippotherium—a slender, antelope-like animal, found in the Siwalik Hills and in Europe—is supposed to form a transition from the Equidæ to the Tapiridæ. These latter are found in the Upper Indus deposits, where there is a species of Tapirus, and one of an extinct genus Antelotherium. Of Rhinoceros, five extinct species have been found—in the Siwalik Hills, in Perim Island, and one at an elevation of 16,000 feet in the deserts of Thibet. Hippopotamus occurs in the Pliocene of the Nerbudda, and is represented in the older Miocene deposits by Hexaprotodon, of which three species have been found in various parts of India. Another remarkable genus, Merycopotamus, connects Hippopotamus with Anthracotherium, one of the extinct European forms allied to the swine. These last are represented by several large species of Sus, and by the extinct European genus Chœrotherium.

The extinct Anoplotheridæ are represented by a species of the European genus Chalicotherium, larger than a horse.

An extinct camel, larger than the living species, was found in the Siwalik Hills.

Three species of deer (Cervus) have been found in the Siwaliks, and one in the Nerbudda deposits.

A large and a small species of giraffe (Camelopardalis) were found in the Siwalik Hills and at Perim Island.

The Bovidæ are represented by numerous species of Bos, and by the extinct genera Hemibos and Amphibos. There are also three species of antelopes, one of which is allied to the African Alcephalus.

We now come to an extraordinary group of extinct animals, probably forming a new family intermediate between the antelope and the giraffe. The Sivatherium was an enormous four-horned ruminant, larger than a rhinoceros. It had a short trunk like a tapir, the lower horns on the forehead were simple, the upper pair palmated. The Bramatherium, an allied form from Perim Island, showed somewhat more affinity for the giraffe.

Proboscidea.—No less than seven species of elephants and four {123}of mastodons ranged over India, their remains being found in all the deposits from the Siwalik Hills to Burmah. A large Dinotherium has also been found at Perim Island.

Reptiles.—Many remains of birds were found, but these have not been determined. Reptiles were numerous and interesting, the most remarkable being the huge tortoise, Colossochelys, whose shell was twelve feet long and head and neck eight feet more. Other small tortoises of the genera Testudo, Emys, Trionyx and Emydida were found, the Emys being a living species. There were three extinct and one living species of crocodile, and one of them was larger than any now living. The only other reptile of importance was a large lizard of the genus Varanus.


General Observations on the Miocene faunas of Europe and Asia.—Comparing the three faunas of approximately the same period, and allowing for the necessarily imperfect record of each, we find a wonderful similarity of general type over the enormous area between France on the west and the Irawaddy river in Burmah on the east. We may even extend our comparison to Northern China, where remains of Hyæna, Tapir, Rhinoceros, Chalicotherium, and Elephas, have been recently found, closely resembling those from the Miocene or Pliocene deposits of Europe or India, and showing that the Palæarctic region had then the same great extent from west to east that it has now. Of about forty genera comprised in the Indian Miocene fauna, no less than twenty-seven inhabited Central and Western Europe during the same epoch. The Indian Miocene fossils are much what we should expect as the forerunners of the existing fauna, the giraffes and hippopotami being the only additions from the present Ethiopian fauna. The numerous forms of the restricted bovine type, show that these probably originated in India; while the monkeys appear to be altogether of Oriental types.

In Europe, however, we meet with a totally different assemblage of animals from those that form the existing fauna. We find apes and monkeys, many large Felidæ, numerous civets {124}and hyænas, tapirs, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, elephants, giraffes, and antelopes, such as now characterise the tropics of Africa and Asia. Along with these we meet with less familiar types, showing relations with the Centetidæ of Madagascar, the Tupaiidæ of the Malay Islands, the Capromys, of the West Indies, and the Echimys of South America. And besides all these living types we have a host of extinct forms,—ten or twelve genera allied to swine; nine genera of tapir-like animals; four of horses; nine of wolves; with many distinct forms of the long-extinct families of Anoplotheridæ, Xiphodontidæ, and the edentate Macrotheridæ. It is almost certain that during the Miocene period Europe was not only far richer than it is now in the higher forms of life, but not improbably richer than any part of the globe now is, not excepting tropical Africa and tropical Asia.

Eocene Period.

The deposits of Eocene age are less numerous, and spread over a far more limited area, than those of the Miocene period, and only restricted portions of them furnish any remains of land animals. Our knowledge of the Eocene mammalian fauna is therefore very imperfect and will not occupy us long, as most of the new types it furnishes are of more interest to the zoologist than to the student of distribution. Some of the Eocene mammalia of Europe are, however, of interest in comparison with those of North America of the same age; while others show that ancestral types of groups now confined to Australia or to South America, then inhabited Europe.

Primates.—The only undoubted Eocene examples of this order, are the Cænopithecus lemuroides from the Jura, which has points of resemblance to the South American marmosets and howlers, and also to the Lemuridæ; and a cranium recently discovered in the Department of Lot (S.W. France), undoubtedly belonging to the Lemuridæ, and which most resembles that of the West African "Potto" (Perodicticus). This discovery has led to another, for it is now believed that remains formerly {125}referred to the Anoplotheridæ (Adapis and Aphelotherium from the Upper Eocene of Paris) were also Lemurs. Some remains from the Lower Eocene of Suffolk were at first supposed to be allied to Macacus, but were subsequently referred to the Ungulate, Hyracotherium. There is still, however, some doubt as to its true affinities.

Chiroptera.—In the Upper Eocene of Paris remains of bats have been found, so closely resembling living forms as to be referred to the genus Vespertilio.

Carnivora.—The only feline remains, are those of Hyænodon in the Upper Eocene of Hampshire, and Pterodon, an allied form from beds of the same age in France; with Ælurogale, found in the South of France in deposits of phosphate of lime of uncertain age, but probably belonging to this period. Viverridæ (civets) are represented by two genera, Tylodon, the size of a glutton from the Upper Eocene, and Palæonyctis, allied to Viverra, from the Middle Eocene of France. The Canidæ (wolves and foxes) appear to have been the most ancient of the existing types of Carnivora, five genera being represented by Eocene remains. Of these, Galethylax and Cyotherium were small, and with the existing genus Canis are found in the Upper Eocene of France. Arctocyon, about the size of a wolf, is a very ancient and generalised form of carnivore which can not be placed in any existing family. It is found in the Lower Eocene of France, and is thus the oldest known member of the Carnivora.

Ungulata.—These are more numerous. Equidæ (horses) are represented by the Miocene Anchitherium in the Lower, and by a more ancient form, Anchilophus, in the Middle Eocene of France. Tapiridæ and Palæotheridæ were very numerous. Palæotherium and the allied genus Paloplotherium, were abundant in France and England in Upper Eocene times. They somewhat resembled the tapir, with affinities for the horse and rhinoceros. A new genus, Cadurcotherium, allied to the rhinoceros and equally large, has been found in the same deposits of phosphate of lime as the lemur and Ælurogale. In the Middle Eocene of both England and France are found Lophiodon allied to the tapir, {126}but in some of the species reaching a larger size; Propalæotherium and Pachynolophus of smaller size and having affinities for the other genera named; and Plagiolophus, a small, slender animal which Professor Huxley thinks may have been a direct ancestor of the horse. In the Lower Eocene we meet with Coryphodon, much larger than the tapir, and armed with large canine teeth; Pliolophus, a generalised type, allied to the tapir and horse; and Hyracotherium, a small animal from the Lower Eocene of England, remotely allied to the tapir.

Among the Artiodactyla, or even-toed ungulates, the swine are represented by several extinct genera, of moderate or small size—Acotherium, Chœropotamus, Cebochœrus and Dichobune, all from the Upper and the last also from the Middle Eocene of France; but Eutelodon, from the phosphate of lime deposits is large. The Dichobune was the most generalised type, presenting the characters of many of the other genera combined, and was believed by Dr. Falconer to approach the musk-deer. The Cainotherium of the Miocene also occurs here, and an allied genus Plesiomeryx from the same deposits as Euteledon.

The Eocene Anoplotheridæ were numerous. The Anoplotherium was a two-toed, long-tailed Pachyderm, ranging from the size of a hog to that of an ass; the allied Eurytherium was four-toed; and there are one or two others of doubtful affinity. All are from the Upper Eocene of France and England.

Rodentia.—Remains referred to the genera Myoxus (dormouse) and Sciurus (squirrel) have been found in the Upper Eocene of France; as well as Plesiarctomys, an extinct genus between the marmots and squirrels. The Miocene Theridomys is also found here.

Marsupials.—The Didelphys (opossum) of Cuvier, now referred to an extinct genus Peratherium, is found in the Upper Eocene of France and England.


General Considerations on the Extinct Mammalian Fauna of Europe.—It is a curious fact that no family, and hardly a genus, of European mammalia occurs in the Pliocene deposits, without extending back also into those of Miocene age. There are, {127}however, a few groups which, seem to be late developments or recent importations into the Palæarctic region, as they occur only in Post-Pliocene deposits. The most important of these are the badger, glutton, elk, reindeer, chamois, goat, and sheep, which only occur in caves and other deposits of Post-Pliocene age. Camels only occur in the Post-Pliocene of Siberia (Merycotherium), although a true Camelus of large size appears to have inhabited some part of Central Asia in the Upper Miocene period, being found in the Siwalik beds. The only exclusively Pliocene genera in Europe are Ursus, Equus, Hippopotamus, Bos, Elephas, Arvicola, Trogontherium, Arctomys, Hystrix and Lepus; but of these Equus, Hippopotamus, Bos, and Elephas are found in the Miocene deposits of India. Owing, no doubt, in part to the superior productiveness of the various Miocene beds, large numbers of groups appear to have their origin or earliest appearance here. Such are Insectivora, Felidæ, Hyænidæ, Mustelidæ, Ursus, Equidæ, Tapirus, Rhinocerotidæ, Hippopotamidæ, Anthracotheridæ (extinct), Sus, Camelopardidæ, Tragulidæ, Cervidæ, Bovidæ, Elephantidæ, and Edentata.

Groups which go back to the Eocene period, are, Primates allied to South American monkeys, as well as some of the Lemuridæ; bats of the living genus Vespertilio; Hyænodontidæ, an ancestral form of Carnivore; Viverridæ; Canidæ (to the Upper Eocene), and the ancestral Arctocyonidæ to the Lower Eocene; Hyænarctos, an ancestral type of bears and hyænas; Anchitheridæ, ancestral horses, to the Middle Eocene; Palæotheridæ, comprising numerous generalised forms, ancestors of the rhinoceros, horse, and tapir; Suidæ, with numerous generalised forms, to the Middle Eocene; Anoplotheridæ and Xiphodontidæ, ancestral families of even-toed Ungulates, connecting the ruminants with the swine; and lastly, several groups of Rodents, and a Marsupial, in the Upper Eocene. We thus find all the great types of Mammalia well developed in the earliest portion of the tertiary period; and the occurrence of Quadrumana, of the highly specialized bats (Vespertilio), of various forms of Carnivora, and of Ungulates, clearly differentiated into the odd and even-toed series, associated with such lower forms as {128}Lemurs and Marsupials—proves, that we have here hardly made an approach towards the epoch when the mammalian type itself began to diverge into its various modifications. Some of the Carnivora and Ungulates do, indeed, exhibit a less specialised structure than later forms; yet so far back as the Upper Miocene the most specialised of all carnivora, the great sabre-toothed Machairodus, makes its appearance.

The Miocene is, for our special study, the most valuable and instructive of the Tertiary periods, both on account of its superior richness, and because we here meet with many types now confined to separate regions. Such facts as the occurrence in Europe during this period of hippopotami, tapirs, giraffes, Tragulidæ, Edentata, and Marsupials—will assist us in solving many of the problems we shall meet with in reviewing the actual distribution of living forms of those groups. Still more light will, however, be thrown on the subject by the fossil forms of the American continent, which we will now proceed to examine.




The discoveries of very rich deposits of mammalian remains in various parts of the United States have thrown great light on the relations of the faunas of very distant regions. North America now makes a near approach to Europe in the number and variety of its extinct mammalia, and in no part of the world have such perfect specimens been discovered. In what are called the "Mauvaises terres" of Nebraska (the dried-up mud of an ancient lake), thousands of entire crania and some almost entire skeletons of ancient animals have been found, their teeth absolutely perfect, and altogether more resembling the preparations of the anatomist, than time-worn fossils such as we are accustomed to see in the museums of Europe. Other deposits have been discovered in Oregon, California, Virginia, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah, ranging over all the Tertiary epochs, from Post-Pliocene to Eocene, and furnishing a remarkable picture of the numerous strange mammalia which inhabited the ancient North American continent.

North America—Post-Pliocene Period.

Insectivora.—The only indications of this order yet discovered, consists of a single tooth of some insectivorous animal found in Illinois, but which cannot be referred to any known group.

Carnivora.—These are fairly represented. Two species of Felis as large as a lion; the equally large extinct Trucifelis, found only in Texas; four species of Canis, some of them larger {130}than wolves; two species of Galera, a genus now confined to the Neotropical region; two bears, and an extinct genus, Arctodus; an extinct species of racoon (Procyon), and an allied extinct genus, Myxophagus—show, that at a very recent period North America was better supplied with Carnivora than it is now. Remains of the walrus (Trichechus) have also been found as far south as Virginia.

Cetacea.—Three species of dolphins belonging to existing genera, have been found in the Eastern States; and two species of Manatus, or sea-cow, in Florida and South Carolina.

Ungulata.—Six extinct horses (Equus), and one Hipparion; the living South American tapir, and a larger extinct species; a Dicotyles, or peccary, and an allied genus, Platygonus; a species of the South American llamas (Auchenia), and one of a kind of camel, Procamelus; two extinct bisons; a sheep, and two musk-sheep (Ovibos); with three living and one extinct deer (Cervus), show an important increase in its Herbivora.

Proboscidea.—Two elephants and two mastodons, added to this remarkable assemblage of large vegetable-feeding quadrupeds.

Rodentia.—These consist mainly of genera and species still living in North America; the only important exceptions being a species of the South American capybara (Hydrochœrus) in South Carolina; and Praotherium, an extinct form of hare, found in a bone cave in Pennsylvania.

Edentata.—Here we meet with a wonderful assemblage, of six species belonging to four extinct genera, mostly of gigantic size. A species of Megatherium, three of Megalonyx, and one of Mylodon—huge terrestrial sloths as large as the rhinoceros or even as the largest elephants—ranged over the Southern States to Pennsylvania, the latter (Mylodon) going as far as the great lakes and Oregon. Another form, Ereptodon, has been found in the Mississippi Valley.

Marsupialia.—The living American genus of opossums, Didelphys, has been found in deposits of this age in South Carolina.


Remarks on the Post-Pliocene fauna of North America.—The assemblage of animals proved, by these remains, to have {131}inhabited North America at a comparatively recent epoch, is most remarkable. In Europe, we found a striking change in the fauna at the same period; but that consisted almost wholly in the presence of animals now inhabiting countries immediately to the north or south. Here we have the appearance of two new assemblages of animals, the one now confined to the Old World—horses, camels, and elephants; the other exclusively of South American type—llamas, tapirs, capybaras, Galera, and gigantic Edentata. The age of the various deposits in which these remains are found is somewhat uncertain, and probably extends over a considerable period of time, inclusive of the Glacial epoch, and perhaps both anterior and subsequent to it. We have here, as in Europe, the presence and apparent co-existence in the same area, of Arctic and Southern forms—the walrus and the manatee—the musk-sheep and the gigantic sloths. Unfortunately, as we shall see, the immediately preceding Pliocene deposits of North America are rather poor in organic remains; yet it can hardly be owing to the imperfection of the record of this period, that not one of the South American types above numerated occurs there, while a considerable number of Old World forms are represented. Neither in the preceding wonderfully rich Miocene or Eocene periods, does any one of these forms occur; or, with the exception of Morotherium, from Pliocene deposits west of the Rocky Mountains, any apparent ancestor of them! We have here unmistakable evidence of an extensive immigration from South into North America, not very long before the beginning of the Glacial epoch. It was an immigration of types altogether new to the country, which spread over all the southern and central portions of it, and established themselves sufficiently to leave abundance of remains in the few detached localities where they have been discovered. How such large yet defenceless animals as tapirs and great terrestrial sloths, could have made their way into a country abounding in large felines equal in size and destructiveness to the lion and the tiger, with numerous wolves and bears of the largest size, is a great mystery. But it is nevertheless certain that they did so; and the fact that no such {132}migration had occurred for countless preceding ages, proves that some great barrier to the entrance of terrestrial mammalia which had previously existed, must for a time have been removed. We must defer further discussion of this subject till we have examined the relations of the existing faunas of North and South America.

Tertiary Period.

When we get to remains of the Tertiary age, especially those of the Miocene and Eocene epochs, we meet with so many interesting and connected types, and such curious relations with living forms in Europe, that it will be clearer to trace the history of each order and family throughout the Tertiary period, instead of considering each of the subdivisions of that period separately.

It will be well however first to note the few American Post-Pliocene or living genera that are found in the Pliocene beds. These consist of several species of Canis, from the size of a fox to that of a large wolf; a Felis as large as a tiger; an Otter (Lutra); several species of Hipparion; a peccary (Dicotyles); a deer (Cervus); several species of Procamelus; a mastodon; an elephant; and a beaver (Castor). It thus appears that out of nearly forty genera found in the Post-Pliocene deposits, only ten are found in the preceding Pliocene period. About twelve additional genera, however, appear there, as we shall see in going over the various orders.

Primates.—Among the vast number of extinct mammalia discovered in the Tertiary deposits of North America, no example of this order had been recognized up to 1872, when the discovery of more perfect remains showed, that a number of small animals of obscure affinities from the Lower Eocene of Wyoming, were really allied to the lemurs and perhaps also to the marmosets, the lowest form of American monkeys, but having a larger number of teeth than either. A number of other remains of small animals from the same formation, previously supposed to be allied to the Ungulata, are now shown to {133}belong to the Primates; so that no less than twelve genera of these animals are recognized by Mr. Marsh, who classes them in two families—Limnotheridæ, comprising the genera Limnotherium, (which had larger canine teeth), Thinolestes, Telmatolestes, Mesacodon, Bathrodon, and Antiacodon of Marsh, with Notharctos, Hipposyus, Microsyops, and Palæacodon previously described by Leidy;—and Lemuravidæ, consisting of the genera Lemuravus (Marsh) and Hyopsodus (Leidy). The animals of the latter family were most allied to existing lemurs, but were a more generalized form, Lemuravus having forty-four teeth, the greatest number known in the order. These numerous forms ranged from the size of a small squirrel to that of a racoon. It is especially interesting to find these peculiar lemuroid forms in America, just when a lemur has been discovered of about the same age in Europe; and as the American forms are said to show an affinity with the South American marmosets, while the European animal is most allied to a West African group, we have evidently not yet got back far enough to find the primeval or ancestral type from which all the Primates sprang.

About the same time, in the succeeding Miocene formation, true monkeys were discovered. Mr. Marsh describes Laopithecus as an animal nearly the size of the largest South American monkeys, and allied both to the Cebidæ and the Eocene Limnotheridæ. Mr. Cope has described Menotherium from the Miocene of Colorado, as a lemuroid animal, the size of a cat, and perhaps allied to Limnotherium. More Miocene remains will, no doubt, be discovered, by which we shall be enabled to trace the origin of some of the existing forms of South American monkeys; and perhaps help to decide the question (now in dispute among anatomists) whether the lemurs are really Primates, or form an altogether distinct and isolated order of mammalia.

Insectivora.—This order is represented by comparatively few forms in the tertiary beds, and these are all very different from existing types. In the Upper Miocene of Dakota are found remains indicating two extinct genera, Lepictis and Ictops. In the Miocene of Colorado, Professor Cope has recently discovered four new genera, Isacis; allied to the preceding, but as large as a {134}Mephitis or skunk; Herpetotherium, near the moles; Embasis, more allied to the shrews; and Dommina, of uncertain affinities. Two others have been found in the Eocene of Wyoming; Amomys, having some resemblance to hedgehogs and to the Eastern Tupaia; and Washakius, of doubtful affinities.

Far back in the Triassic coal of North Carolina has been found the jaw of a small mammal (Dromotherium), the teeth of which somewhat resemble those of the Australian Myrmecobius, and may belong either to the Insectivora or Marsupials; if indeed, at that early period these orders were differentiated.

Carnivora.—The most ancient forms of this order are some remains found in the Middle Eocene of Wyoming, and others recently described by Professor Cope (1875) from the Eocene of New Mexico, of perhaps earlier date. The former consist of three genera, Patriofelis, Uintacyon, and Sinopa,—animals of large size but which cannot be classed in any existing family; and two others, Mesonyx and Synoplotherium, believed by Mr. Cope to be allied to Hyænodon. The latter consist of four genera,— Oxyæna, consisting of several species, some as large as a jaguar, was allied to Hyænodon and Pterodon; Pachyæna, allied to the last; Prototomus, allied to Amphicyon and the Viverridæ; and Limnocyon, a civet-like carnivore with resemblances to the Canidæ.

In the Miocene formations we find the Feline type well developed. The wonderful Machairodus, which in Europe lived down to Post-Pliocene times, is found in the Upper Miocene of Dakota; and perfect crania have been discovered, showing that the chin was lengthened downwards to receive and protect the enormous canines. Dinyctis was allied both to Machairodus and to the weasels. Three new genera have been lately described by Professor Cope from the Miocene of Colorado,—Bunælurus, with characters of both cats and weasels; Daptophilus, allied to Dinyctis; and Hoplophoneus, more allied to Machairodus. The Canidæ are represented by Amphicyon, which occurs in deposits of the same age in Europe; and by Canis, four species of which genus are recorded by Professor Cope from the Miocene of Colorado, and it also occurs in the Pliocene. The Hyænodon is represented by three species in the Miocene of Dakota and Colorado. It occurs {135}also in the European Miocene and Upper Eocene formations, and constitutes a distinct family Hyænodontidæ, allied, according to Dr. Leidy, to wolves, cats, hyænas and weasels. The Ursidæ are represented by only one species of an extinct genus, Leptarchus, from the Pliocene of Nebraska. From the Pliocene of Colorado, Prof. Cope has recently described Tomarctos, as a "short-faced type of dog;" well as species of Canis and Martes.

Ungulata.—The animals belonging to this order being usually of large size and accustomed to feed and travel in herds, are liable to wholesale destruction by floods, bogs, precipices, drought or hunger. It is for these reasons, probably, that their remains are almost always more numerous than those of other orders of mammalia. In America they are especially abundant; and the number of new and intermediate types about whose position there is much difference of opinion among Palæontologists, renders it very difficult to give a connected summary of them with any approach to systematic accuracy.

Beginning with the Perissodactyla, or odd-toed ungulates, we find the Equine animals remarkably numerous and interesting. The true horses of the genus Equus, so abundant in the Post-Pliocene formations, are represented in the Pliocene by several ancestral forms. The most nearly allied to Equus is Pliohippus, consisting of animals about the size of an ass, with the lateral toes not externally developed, but with some differences of dentition. Next come Protohippus and Hipparion, in which the lateral toes are developed but are small and functionless. Then we have the allied genera, Anchippus, Merychippus, and Hyohippus, related to the European Hippotherium, which were all still smaller animals, Protohippus being only 2½ feet high. In the older deposits we come to a series of forms, still unmistakably equine, but with three or more toes used for locomotion and with numerous differentiations in form, proportions, and dentition. These constitute the family Anchitheridæ. In the Miocene we have the genera Anchitherium (found also in the European Miocene), Miohippus and Mesohippus, all with three toes on each foot, and about the size of a sheep or large goat. In the Eocene of {136}Utah and Wyoming, we get a step further back, several species having been discovered about the size of a fox with four toes in front and three behind. These form the genus Orohippus, and are the oldest ancestral horse known. Prof. Marsh points out the remarkably perfect series of forms in America, which, beginning with this minute ancient type, is gradually modified by gaining increased size, increased speed by concentration of the limb-bones, elongation of the head and neck, the canine teeth decreased in size, the molars becoming longer and being coated with cement—till we at last come to animals hardly distinguishable, specifically, from the living horse.

Allied to these, are a series of forms showing a transition to the tapirs, and to the Palæotherium of the European Eocene. In the Pliocene we have Parahippus; in the Miocene Lophiodon, found in the same formation and in the Eocene of Europe, and allied to the tapir; and in the Eocene, Palæosyops, as large as a rhinoceros, which had large canines and was allied to the tapir and Palæotherium; Limnohyus, forming the type of a family Limnohyidæ, which included the last genus and some others mentioned further on; and Hyrachyus, allied to Lophiodon, and to Hyracodon an extinct form of rhinoceros. Besides these we have Lophiotherium (also from the Eocene of Europe); Diplacodon allied to Limnohyus, but with affinities to modern Perissodactyla and nearly as large as a rhinoceros; and Colonoceras, also belonging to the Limnohyidæ, an animal which was the size of a sheep, and had divergent protuberances or horns on its nose. A remarkable genus, Bathmodon, lately described by Professor Cope, and of which five species have been found in the Eocene of New Mexico and Wyoming, is believed to form the type of a new family, having some affinity to Palæosyops and to the extinct Brontotheridæ. It had large canine tusks but no horns.

The Rhinocerotidæ are represented in America by the genus Rhinoceros in the Pliocene and Miocene, and by Aceratherium and Hyracodon in the Miocene. Both the latter were hornless, and Hyracodon was allied to the Eocene Hyrachyus, one of the Lophiodontidæ. In the Eocene and Miocene deposits of Utah, and Oregon, several remarkable extinct rhinoceroses have been {137}recently discovered, forming the genus Diceratherium. These had a pair of nasal horns placed side by side on the snout, not behind each other as in existing two-horned rhinoceroses, the rest of their skeleton resembling the hornless Aceratherium. They were of rather small size.

Next to these extinct rhinoceroses come the Brontotheridæ, an extraordinary family of large mammalia, some of which exceeded in bulk the largest living rhinoceros. They had four toes to the front and three to the hind feet, with a pair of large divergent horns on the front of the head, in both sexes. Professor Marsh and Dr. Leidy have described four genera, Brontotherium, Titanotheium, Megacerops, and Anisacodon, distinguished by peculiarities of dentition. Though most nearly allied to the rhinoceroses, they show some affinity for the gigantic Dinocerata of the Eocene to be noticed further on. Professor Cope has since described another genus, Symborodon, from the Miocene of Colorado, with no less than seven species, one nearly the size of an elephant. He thinks they had a short tapir-like proboscis. The species differ greatly in the form of the cranium and development of the horn-bearing processes.


We commence the Artiodactyla, or even-toed Ungulates, with the hog tribe. These are represented by species of peccaries, (Dicotyles) from the Pliocene of Nebraska and Oregon; and by an allied form Thinohyus, very like Dicotyles, but having an additional premolar tooth and a much smaller brain-cavity. From the Miocene are three allied genera, Nanohyus, Leptochœrus, and Perchœrus. Professor Cope, however, thinks Leptochœrus may be Lemuroid, and allied to Menotherium. The Anthracotheridæ, a family which connects the Hippopotamidæ and Ruminants, and which occurs in the Miocene of Europe and India, are represented in America by the genus Hyopotamus from the Miocene of Dakota, and Elotherium from the Miocene of Oregon and the Eocene of Wyoming; the latter genus being sometimes classed with the preceding family, and lately placed by Professor Marsh, in the new order, Tillodontia. Professor Cope has since described three other genera from the Eocene of New {138}Mexico: Meniscotherium, having resemblances to Palæosyops, Hyopotamus, and the Limnotheridæ; Phenacodus, the size of a hog, of doubtful position, but perhaps near Elotherium; and Achænodon, as large as a cow, but more hog-like than the preceding. Another new genus from the Miocene of Colorado—Pelonax—is said by Professor Cope to come between Elotherium and Hippopotamus.

The Camelidæ are very abundant, and form one of the most striking features of the ancient fauna of America. Procamelus, Homocamelus, and Megalomeryx, are extinct genera found in the Pliocene formation; the first very closely allied to the Old World camel, the last smaller and more sheep-like. In the Miocene two other genera occur, Pœbrotherium and Protomeryx, the former allied to both the camel and the llama.

Deer are represented by a single species of Cervus in the Pliocene, while two extinct genera, Leptomeryx and Merycodus, are found in the Miocene deposits, the latter indicating a transition between camels and deer. Two other genera, Hypisodus and Hypertragulus, of very small size, are said by Professor Cope to be allied to the Tragulidæ and to Leptomeryx.

The Bovidæ, or hollow-horned ruminants, are only represented in the Newer Pliocene by a single species of an extinct genus, Casoryx, said to be intermediate between antelopes and deer.

We now come to an exclusively American family, the Oreodontidæ, which consisted of small animals termed by Dr. Leidy, "ruminating hogs," and which had some general structural resemblances to deer and camels. They abounded in North America during the Pliocene, and especially during the Miocene epoch, no less than six genera and twenty species having been discovered. Merychus contains the Pliocene forms; while Oreodon, Eporeodon, Merychochœrus, Leptauchenia, and Agriochœrus are Miocene. The last genus extends back into the Eocene period, and shows affinity to the European Anoplotheridæ of the same epoch.

Proboscidea.—The Elephantidæ are only represented in America by one species of Mastodon and one of Elephas, in the Newer Pliocene deposits. In the Older Pliocene, Miocene, {139}and Upper Eocene, no remains of this order have been found; and in 1869, Dr. Leidy remarked on the small average size of the extinct North American mammalia, which were almost all smaller than their living analogues. Since then, however, wonderful discoveries have been made in deposits of Middle Eocene age in Wyoming and Colorado, of a group of huge animals not only rivalling the elephants in size, but of so remarkable and peculiar a structure as to require the formation of a new order of mammals—Dinocerata—for their reception.

This order consists of animals with generalised Ungulate and Proboscidean affinities. The lower jaw resembles that of the hippopotamus; they had five toes on the anterior feet and four on the posterior; three pairs of horns, the first pair on the top of the head, large and perhaps palmated, the second pair above the eyes, while the third and smallest stood out sideways on the snout. They had enormous upper canines, of which the roots entered the middle horn cores, no upper incisors, and small molars. Professor Marsh believes that they had no trunk. The remains discovered indicate four genera, Dinoceras (3 sp.), Tinoceras (2 sp.), Uintatherium (1 sp.), and Eobasileus (2 sp.). Many other names have been given to fragments of these animals, and even those here given may not be all distinct.

Another new order, Tillodontia, recently established by Professor Marsh, is perhaps yet more remarkable in a zoological point of view, since it combines the characters of Carnivora, Ungulata, and Rodents. These animals have been formed into two families, Tillotheridæ and Stylinodontidæ; and three genera, Tillotherium, Anchippodus, and Stylinodontia. All are from the Eocene of Wyoming and New Jersey. Perhaps to these must he added Elotherium from the Miocene of Dakota, the other forms being all Eocene. They were mostly animals of small size, between that of the capybara and tapir. The skull resembled in form that of a bear; the molar teeth were of Ungulate type, and the incisors like those of a Rodent; but the skeleton was more that of the Ursidæ, the feet being plantigrade. Professor Cope has since described three new genera from the Eocene of New Mexico, Ectoganus, Calamodon, and Esthonyx, comprising {140}seven species allied to Tillotherium and Anchippodus, and having also relations, as Professor Cope believes, with the South American Toxodontidæ.

Rodentia.—This order is represented in the Pliocene by a beaver, a porcupine, and an American mouse (Hesperomys), all extinct species of living genera, the Hystrix being an Old World type; and Professor Cope has recently described Panolax, a new genus of hares from the Pliocene of New Mexico. The Miocene deposits have furnished an extinct genus allied to the hares—Palæolagus; one of the squirrel family—Ischyromys; a small extinct form of beaver—Palæocastor; and an extinct mouse—Eumys. The Eocene strata of Wyoming have lately furnished two extinct forms of squirrel, Paramys and Sciuravus; and another of the Muridæ (or mouse family), Mysops.

Cetacea.—Numerous remains of dolphins and whales, belonging to no less than twelve genera, mostly extinct, have been found in the Miocene deposits of the Atlantic and Gulf States, from New Jersey to South Carolina and Louisiana; while seven genera of the extinct family, Zeuglodontidæ, have been found in Miocene and Eocene beds of the same districts. Some remains associated with these are doubtfully referred to the Seal family (Phocidæ) among the Carnivora.

Edentata.—Till quite recently no remains of this order have occurred in any North American deposits below the Post-Pliocene; but in 1874 Prof. Marsh described some remains allied to Megalonyx and Mylodon, from the Pliocene beds of California and Idaho, and forming a new genus, Morotherium. As these remains have only occurred to the west of the Rocky Mountains, and in Pliocene deposits whose exact age is not ascertained, they hardly affect the remarkable absence of this group from the whole of the exceedingly rich Tertiary deposits in all other parts of North America.


General Relations of the extinct Tertiary Mammalia of North America and Europe.—Having now given a sketch of the extinct Mammalia which inhabited Europe and North America during the Tertiary period, we are enabled by comparing them, {141}to ascertain their relations to each other, and to see how far they elucidate the problem of the birth-place and subsequent migrations of the several families and genera. We have already pointed out the remarkable features of the Quaternary (or Post-Pliocene) fauna of North America, and now proceed to discuss that of the various Tertiary periods, which is closely connected with the extinct fauna of Europe.

The Tertiary Mammalia of North America at present described belong to from eighty to one hundred genera, while those of Europe are nearly double that number; yet only eighteen genera are common to the two faunas, and of these eight are living and belong chiefly to the Pliocene period. Taking first, the genera which in America do not go back beyond the Pliocene period (ten in number), we find that eight of them in Europe go back to the Upper Miocene. These are Felis, Pseudælurus, Hipparion, Cervus, Mastodon, Elephas (in India), Castor and Hystrix; while another, Canis, goes back to the Upper Eocene and the tenth, Equus, confined to the newer Pliocene or perhaps to the Post-Pliocene in America, extends back to the older Pliocene in Europe. Of the seven European genera which are confined to the Miocene period in America, three, Hyænodon, Anchitherium, and Lophiodon go back to the Eocene in Europe; three others, Machairodus, Rhinoceros, and Aceratherium, are also of Miocene age in Europe; Amphicyon goes back to the Lower Miocene of Europe. Lophiotherium belongs to the Eocene of both countries.

If we turn now to families instead of genera, we find that the same general rule prevails. Mustelidæ (weasels), Ursidæ (bears), true Equidæ (horses), and Bovidæ (oxen &c.), go no further back in America than the Pliocene, while they all go back to the Miocene in Europe. Suidæ (swine) and Anoplotheridæ (extinct) are found in the American Miocene and in the European Eocene. Anchitheridæ (extinct) reach the Upper Eocene in America, while in Europe they range through Upper, Middle, and Lower Eocene. Cervidæ (deer) alone are Miocene in both countries. There remain two families in which America has the preeminence. Camelidæ (camels) were wonderfully developed in {142}the American Pliocene and Miocene periods, abounding in genera and species; whereas in Europe the group only exists in the Post-Pliocene or Lower Pliocene, with one Upper Miocene species of Camelus in N. India. The Anthracotheridæ (extinct), found only in the Upper Miocene of France and India, reach even the Lower Eocene in America.

These facts may be due, in part, to a want of strict co-ordination between the Tertiary deposits of Europe and North America,—in part to the imperfection of the record in the latter country. Yet it does not seem probable that they are altogether due South America and well marked differences to imperfect knowledge; yet we find such important families as the Civets, Hyænas, Giraffes, and Hippopotami absent from America, with the Weasels, and Antelopes almost so; while America possesses almost all the Camelidæ, two peculiar orders, Dinocerata and Tillodontia, and four remarkably peculiar families, Limnotheridæ, Lemuravidæ, Oreodontidæ and Brontotheridæ. If then the facts at present known represent approximately the real time-relations of the groups in question on the two continents, they render it probable that weasels, bears, true horses, swine, oxen, sheep and antelopes, originated on the Old World continent, and were transmitted to America during some part of the Miocene period; while camels originated in the New World, and somewhere about the same time passed over to Europe. Of the extinct families common to the two hemispheres, the Anthracotheridæ alone seem to have had an American origin. Of the genera common to the two countries, almost all seem to have had a European origin, the only genera of equal date being the two rhinoceroses and three Anchitheridæ; but if the Brontotheridæ are allied to the Rhinocerotidæ, these latter may have originated in America, although now an exclusively Old World type. These conclusions are not improbable when we consider the much greater size of the Old World continents, extending far into the tropics and probably {143}always more or less united to the tropical areas; while the evidence of the extinct mammalia themselves shows, that South America has been for the most part isolated from the northern continent, and did not take part in the development of its characteristic Tertiary fauna.

Before speculating further on this subject, it will be well to lay before our readers a summary of South American palæontology, after which we shall be in a better position to draw correct inferences from the whole body of the evidence.

South America.

Unfortunately, our knowledge of the interesting fossil fauna of this continent, is almost wholly confined to the Post-Pliocene and Pliocene periods. A few remains have been discovered in deposits believed to be of Eocene age, but nothing whatever representing the vast intervening period, so rich in peculiar forms of animal life both in North America and Europe.

Fauna of the Brazilian caves.—What we know of the Post-Pliocene period is chiefly due to the long-continued researches of Dr. Lund in the caves of Central Brazil, mostly situated in a district near the head waters of the San Francisco river in the Province of Minas Geraes. The caves are formed in limestone rocks, and are so numerous that Dr. Lund visited thousands, but only sixty contained bones in any quantity. These caves have a floor of reddish earth, often crowded with bones. In one experiment, half a cubic foot of this earth contained jaws of 400 opossums, 2,000 mice, besides remains of bats, porcupines and small birds. In another trial, the whole of the earth in a cavern was carried out for examination, amounting to 6,552 firkins; and, from a calculation made by measured samples, it was estimated to contain nearly seven millions of jaw-bones of cavies, opossums, porcupines, and mice, besides small birds, lizards, and frogs. This immense accumulation is believed to have been formed from the bodies of animals brought into the cavern by owls; and, as these are unsocial birds, the quantity found implies an {144}immense lapse of time, probably some thousands of years. More than 100 species of Mammalia, in all, were obtained in these caves. Some were living species or closely allied to such; but the majority were extinct, and a considerable number, about one-fourth, belonged to extinct genera, or genera not now inhabiting South America. Stone implements and human remains were found in several of the caves with extinct animals. The following enumeration of these remains is from the corrected list of M. Gervais.

Primates.—Extinct species of Cebus, Callithrix, and Jacchus—South American genera of monkeys; with an extinct genus, Protopithecus—an animal of large size but belonging to the American family Cebidæ.

Chiroptera.—Species belonging to the South American Phyllostomidæ, and to two South American genera of other families.

Carnivora.—Five species of Felis, some allied to living animals, others extinct; a species of the widespread extinct genus Machairodus; and a small species referred to Cynælurus, the genus containing the hunting leopard now found only in Africa and India. Canidæ are represented by Canis and Icticyon (a living Brazilian species of the latter genus), and the extinct genus Speothos. Mustelidæ are represented by extinct species of the South American genera Mephitis and Galictis. Procyonidæ, by a species of Nasua. Ursidæ, by Arctotherium, a genus closely resembling, if not identical with, that containing the "spectacled bear" of Chili.

Ungulata.Equus, Tapirus, Dicotyles, Auchenia, Cervus, Leptotherium, and Antilope, are the cave-genera of this order. Equus and Antelope are particularly interesting, as representing groups forming no part of existing South American zoology; while the presence also of Leptotherium, an extinct genus of antelopes, shows that the group was fairly represented in South America at this comparatively recent period.

Proboscidea.—A species of Mastodon, found also in the Pliocene of La Plata, represents this order.

Rodentia.—These abound. Dasyprocta, Cælogenys, Cavia, Kerodon, all living genera of Caviidæ, are represented by {145}extinct species. Cercolabes, the 'tree porcupine' (Cercolabidæ) has two species, one as large as a peccary; Myopotamus, Loncheres, Carterodon, are existing genera of spiny rats (Echimyidæ); and there are two extinct genera of the same family, Lonchophorus and Phyllomys. Lagostomus (Chinchillidæ), the viscacha of the Pampas, is represented by an extinct species. There is also an extinct species of Lepus; several species of Hesperomys and Oxymycterus; and a large Arvicola, a genus not living in South America.

Edentata.—These, which constitute the great feature of the existing South American fauna, were still more abundant and varied in the Cave period, and it is remarkable that most of them are extinct genera. The armadillos are alone represented by living forms, Dasypus, and Xenurus; Eurydon and Heterodon, are extinct genera of the same family, as well as Chlamydotherium—huge armadillos the size of a tapir or rhinoceros, and Pachytherium, which was nearly as large. The ant-eaters are represented only by Glossotherium, an extinct form allied to Myrmecophaga and Manis. The sloths were more numerous, being represented by the extinct genera Cælodon, Sphenodon and Ochotherium, the last of large size. The huge terrestrial sloths—Megatheridæ, also abounded; there being species of Megatherium and Megalonyx, as well as the allied Scelidotherium, supposed to have some affinity for the African Orycteropus.

Marsupials.—No new forms of these appear, but numerous species of Didelphys, all closely allied to opossums still living in South America.


The preceding sketch of the wonderful cave fauna of Central Brazil, is sufficient to show that it represents, in the main, a period of great antiquity. Not only are almost the whole of the species extinct, but there are twenty extinct genera, and three others not now inhabitants of South America. The fact that so few remains of the living animals of the country are found in these caves, indicates that some change of physical conditions has occurred since they were the receptacles of so many of the larger animals; and the presence of many extinct genera of {146}large size, especially among the Edentata and American families of Rodents, are additional proofs of a very high antiquity. Yet many of these cave animals are closely allied to those which are found in North America in the Post-Pliocene deposits only, so that we have no reason to suppose the cave-fauna to be of much earlier date. But the great amount of organic change it implies, must give us an enlarged idea of the vast periods of time, as measured by years, which are included in this, the most recent of all geological epochs.


Pliocene Period of Temperate South America.—We have now to consider the numerous remains of extinct animals found in various deposits in the Pampas, and in Patagonia, and a few in Bolivia. The age of these is uncertain; but as they are very similar to the cave-fauna, though containing a somewhat larger proportion of extinct genera and some very remarkable new forms, they cannot be very much older, and are perhaps best referred at present to the newer portion of the Pliocene formation.

Carnivora.—The genus Machairodus or sabre-toothed tigers, represents the Felidæ. There are several species of wolves (Canis); a weasel (Mustela); two bears of the Brazilian cave-genus Arctotherium; and the extinct European genus Hyænarctos.

Ungulata.—There are two species of Equus, found in the Pampas, Chili, and Bolivia; two of Macrauchenia, an extraordinary extinct group allied to the tapir and Palæotherium, but with the long neck, and general size of a camel. A second species found on the highlands of Bolivia is much smaller.

A more recent discovery, in Patagonia, is the almost perfect series of teeth of a large animal named Homalodontotherium; and which is believed by Professor Flower, who has described it, to have been allied to Rhinoceros, and still more to the Miocene Hyracodon from North America; and also to present some resemblances to Macrauchenia, and though much more remotely, to the curious genus Nesodon mentioned further on.

The Artiodactyla, or even-toed Ungulates, are represented by a species of Dicotyles, or peccary, found in the deposits of the {147}Pampas; by Auchenia, or llama, of which three extinct species inhabited Bolivia, in which country two allied but extinct genera, Palæolama and Camelotherium, have also been found. Three species of deer (Cervus), from the Pampas deposits, complete the list of Pliocene Ungulates.

Proboscidea.—The cave species of Mastodon is found also in the Pampas deposits, and another in the Andes of Chili and Bolivia.

Rodents.—These are not so numerous as in the caves. There are species of the existing genera, Kerodon and Cavia (Caviidæ); Lagostomus (Chinchillidæ); Ctenomys (Octodontidæ); Lepus (hare); Hesperomys and Oxymycterus (Muridæ); Arvicola, a genus not living in South America; and an extinct genus, Cardiodus. There is also a remarkable extinct form, Typotherium, larger than the capybara, and having affinities to Edentates and Ungulates. Three species have been found in the Pampas deposits.

Edentata.—These are as abundant and remarkable as in the cave deposits. Scelidotherium, Megatherium, Megalonyx, Glossotherium and Dasypus, have already been noticed as from the Brazilian caves. We have here, in addition, the huge Mylodon allied to the Megatherium, and the allied genera—Gnathopsis and Lestodon. We then come to the huge extinct armadillos, Glyptodon and Schistopleurum, the former consisting of numerous species, some of which were as large as an elephant. Another genus, Eutatus, is allied to the living three-banded armadillos; and a species of the existing genus Euphractus has been found in Bolivia.

Toxodontidæ.—There remain a number of huge animals rivalling the Megatherium in size, and forming the genera Toxodon and Nesodon, but whose position is doubtful. Several species have been found in the deposits of the Pampas and Patagonia. They are allied at once to Ungulates, Rodents, Edentates, and the aquatic Sirenia, in so puzzling a manner that it is impossible to determine to what order they belong, or whether they require a new order to be formed for their reception. Some are believed to date back to the Miocene period, and they indicate what strange forms may still be discovered, should any {148}productive deposits be found in South America of middle Tertiary age.

Pliocene Mammalia of the Antilles.—These may be noticed here, as they are of special interest, proving the connection of the larger West Indian Islands with the Continent some time in the later Tertiary period. They consist of remains of two large animals belonging to the South American Chinchillidæ, found in cave deposits in the island of Anguilla, and forming two new genera, Amblyrhiza and Loxomylus; and remain allied to Megalonyx from Cuba, which have been named Megalocnus and Myomorphus.


Eocene fauna of South America.—The few remains yet discovered in the Tertiary deposits of the Pampas which are believed to be of Eocene age, are exceedingly interesting, because they show us another change in the scenery of the great drama of life; there being apparently a considerable resemblance, at this epoch, between South America and Europe. They consist of a large extinct feline animal, Eutemnodus; of Palæotherium and Anoplotherium, the well-known extinct Ungulates of the European Tertiaries, and which have never been found in North America; and of three genera of Rodents,—Theridromys, allied to Echimys, and found also in the Eocene and Miocene of France; Megamys, allied to the living Capromys of the Antilles, and also to Palæomys, an extinct form of the French Miocene; and a very large animal referred to Arvicola, a genus found also in the Pliocene deposits of South America, and abundant in the northern hemisphere. No Edentates have been found.

The resemblances of this fauna to that of Europe rather than to any part of America, are so strong, that they can hardly be accidental. We greatly want, however, more information on this point, as well as some corresponding evidences as to the condition of West and South Africa about the same epoch, before we can venture to speculate on their bearing as regards the early migrations of organic forms.


General Remarks on the Extinct Mammalian Fauna of the Old {149}and New Worlds.—Leaving the more special applications of palæontological evidence to be made after discussing the relations of the existing fauna of the several regions, we propose here to indicate briefly, some of the more general deductions from the evidence which has now been laid before our readers.

The first, and perhaps the most startling fact brought out by our systematic review, is the very recent and almost universal change that has taken place in the character of the fauna, over all the areas we have been considering; a change which seems to be altogether unprecedented in the past history of the same countries as revealed by the geological record. In Europe, in North America, and in South America, we have evidence that a very similar change occurred about the same time. In all three we find, in the most recent deposits—cave-earths, peat-bogs, and gravels—the remains of a whole series of large animals, which have since become wholly extinct or only survive in far-distant lands. In Europe, the great Irish elk, the Machairodus and cave-lion, the rhinoceros, hippopotamus, and elephant;—in North America, equally large felines, horses and tapirs larger than any now living, a llama as large as a camel, great mastodons and elephants, and abundance of huge megatheroid animals of almost equal size;—in South America these same megatheroids in greater variety, numerous huge armadillos, a mastodon, large horses and tapirs, large porcupines, two forms of antelope, numerous bears and felines, including a Machairodus, and a large monkey,—have all become extinct since the deposition of the most recent of the fossil-bearing strata. This is certainly not a great while ago, geologically; and it is almost certain that this great organic revolution, implying physical changes of such vast proportions that they must have been due to causes of adequate intensity and proportionate range, has taken place since man lived on the earth. This is proved to have been the case in Europe, and is supported by much evidence both as regards North and South America.

It is clear that so complete and sudden a change in the higher forms of life, does not represent the normal state of things. Species and genera have not, at all times, become so rapidly extinct. The time occupied by the "Recent period," that is the {150}time since these changes took place is, geologically, minute. The time of the whole of the Post-Pliocene period, as measured by the amount of physical and general organic change known to have taken place, is exceedingly small when compared with the duration of the Pliocene period, and still smaller, probably, as compared with the Miocene. Yet during these two periods we meet with no such break in the continuity of the forms of life, no such radical change in the character of the fauna (though the number of specific and generic changes may be as great) as we find in passing from the Post-Pliocene to recent times. For example, in Central Europe numerous hyænas, rhinoceroses, and antelopes, with the great Machairodus, continued from Miocene all through Pliocene into Post-Pliocene times; while hippopotami and elephants continued to live through a good part of the Pliocene and Post-Pliocene periods,—and then all suddenly became extinct or left the country. In North America there has been more movement of the fauna in all the periods; but we have similar great felines, horses, mastodons, and elephants, in the Pliocene and Post-Pliocene periods, while Rhinoceros is common to the Miocene and Pliocene, and camels range continuously from Miocene, through Pliocene, to Post-Pliocene times;—when all alike became extinct. Even in South America the evidence is, as far as it goes, all the same way. We find Machairodus, Equus, Mastodon, Megatherium, Scelidotherium, Megalonyx, and numerous gigantic armadillos, alike in the caves and in the stratified tertiary deposits of the Pampas;—yet all have since passed away.

It is clear, therefore, that we are now in an altogether exceptional period of the earth's history. We live in a zoologically impoverished world, from which all the hugest, and fiercest, and strangest forms have recently disappeared; and it is, no doubt, a much better world for us now they have gone. Yet it is surely a marvellous fact, and one that has hardly been sufficiently dwelt upon, this sudden dying out of so many large mammalia, not in one place only but over half the land surface of the globe. We cannot but believe that there must have been some physical cause for this great change; and it must have been a cause capable of acting almost simultaneously over large {151}portions of the earth's surface, and one which, as far as the Tertiary period at least is concerned, was of an exceptional character. Such a cause exists in the great and recent physical change known as "the Glacial epoch." We have proof in both Europe and North America, that just about the time these large animals were disappearing, all the northern parts of these continents were wrapped in a mantle of ice; and we have every reason to believe that the presence of this large quantity of ice (known to have been thousands of feet if not some miles in thickness) must have acted in various ways to have produced alterations of level of the ocean as well as vast local floods, which would have combined with the excessive cold to destroy animal life. There is great difference of opinion among geologists and physicists as to the extent, nature, and duration of the Glacial epoch. Some believe it to have prevailed alternately in the northern and southern hemispheres; others that it was simultaneous in both. Some think there was a succession of cold periods, each lasting many thousands of years, but with intercalated warm periods of equal duration; others deny that there is any evidence of such changes, and maintain that the Glacial epoch was one continuous period of arctic conditions in the temperate zones, with some fluctuations perhaps but with no regular alternations of warm periods. Some believe in a huge ice-cap covering the whole northern hemisphere from the pole to near 50° north latitude in the eastern, and 40° in the western hemisphere; while others impute the observed effects either to glaciers from local centres, or to floating icebergs of vast size passing over the surface during a period of submersion.

Without venturing to decide which of these various theories will be ultimately proved to be correct, we may state, that there is an increasing belief among geologists in the long duration of this ice-period, and the vast extent and great thickness attained by the ice-sheet. One of the most recent, and not the least able, of the writers on this question (Mr. Belt) shows strong reasons for adopting the view that the ice-period was simultaneous in both hemispheres; and he calculates that the vast amount of water abstracted from the ocean and locked up {152}in mountains of ice around the two poles, would lower the general level of the ocean about 2,000 feet. This would be equivalent to a general elevation of the land to the same amount, and would thus tend to intensify the cold; and this elevation may enable us to understand the recent discoveries of signs of glacial action at moderate elevations in Central America and Brazil, far within the tropics. At the same time, the weight of ice piled up in the north would cause the land surface to sink there, perhaps unequally, according to the varying nature of the interior crust of the earth; and since the weight has been removed land would rise again, still somewhat irregularly; and thus the phenomena of raised beds of arctic shells in temperate latitudes, are explained.

Now, it is evident, that the phenomena we have been considering—of the recent changes of the mammalian fauna in Europe, North America, South Temperate America, and the highlands of Brazil—are such as might be explained by the most extreme views as to the extent and vastness of the ice-sheet, and especially as to its simultaneous occurrence in the northern and southern hemispheres; and where two such completely independent sets of facts are found to combine harmoniously, and supplement each other on a particular hypothesis, the evidence in favour of that hypothesis is greatly strengthened. An objection that will occur to zoologists, may here be noticed. If the Glacial epoch extended over so much of the temperate and even parts of the tropical zone, and led to the extinction of so many forms of life even within the tropics, how is it that so much of the purely tropical fauna of South America has maintained itself, and that there are still such a vast number of forms, both of mammalia, birds, reptiles, and insects, that seem organized for an exclusive existence in tropical forests? Now Mr. Belt's theory, of the subsidence of the ocean to the extent of about 2,000 feet, supplies an answer to this objection; for we should thus have a tract of lowland of an average width of some hundreds of miles, added to the whole east coast of Central and South America. This tract would, no doubt, become covered with forests as it was slowly formed, would enjoy a perfectly {153}tropical climate, and would thus afford an ample area for the continued existence and development of the typical South American fauna; even had glaciers descended in places so low as what is now the level of the sea, which, however, there is no reason to believe they ever did. It is probable too, that this low tract, which all round the Gulf of Mexico would be of considerable width, offered that passage for intermigration between North and South America, which led to the sudden appearance in the former country in Post-Pliocene times, of the huge Megatheroids from the latter; a migration which took place in opposite directions as we shall presently show.

The birth-place and migrations of some mammalian families and genera.—We have now to consider a few of those cases in which the evidence already at our command, is sufficiently definite and complete, to enable us to pronounce with some confidence as to the last movements of several important groups of mammalia.

Primates.—The occurrence in North America of numerous forms of Lemuroidea, forming two extinct families, which are believed by American palæontologists to present generalized features of both Lemuridæ and Hapalidæ, while in Europe only Lemurine forms allied to those of Africa have occurred in deposits of the same age (Eocene), renders it possible that the Primates may have originated in America, and sent one branch to South America to form the Hapalidæ and Cebidæ, and another to the Old World, giving rise to the lemurs and true apes. But the fact that apes of a high degree of organization occur in the European Miocene, while in the Eocene, a monkey believed to have relations to the Lemuroids and Cebidæ has also been discovered, make it more probable that the ancestral forms of this order originated in the Old World at a still earlier period. The absence of any early tertiary remains from the tropical parts of the two hemispheres, renders it impossible to arrive at any definite conclusions as to the origin of groups which were, no doubt, always best developed in tropical regions.

Carnivora.—This is a very ancient and wide-spread group, the families and genera of which had an extensive range in very {154}early times. The true bears (Ursus) are almost the only important genus that seems to have recently migrated. In Europe it dates back to the Older Pliocene, while in North America it is Post-Pliocene only. Bears, therefore, seem to have passed into America from the Palæarctic region in the latter part of the Pliocene period. They probably came in on the north-west, and passed down the Andes into South America, where one isolated species still exists.

Ungulata.—Horses are very interesting. In Europe they date back under various forms to the Miocene period, and true Equus to the Older Pliocene. In North America they are chiefly Pliocene, true Equus being Post-Pliocene, with perhaps one or two species Newer Pliocene; but numerous ancestral forms date back to the Miocene and Eocene, giving a more perfect "pedigree of the horse" than the European forms, and going back to a more primitive type—Orohippus. In South America, Equus is the only genus, and is Post-Pliocene or at most Newer Pliocene. While, therefore, the ancient progenitors of the Equidæ were common to North America and Europe, in Miocene and even Eocene times, true horses appear to have arisen in the Palæarctic region, to have passed into North America in the latter part of the Pliocene period, and thence to have spread over all suitable districts in South America. They were not, however, able to maintain themselves permanently in their new territory, and all became extinct; while in their birth-place, the Old World, they continue to exist under several varied forms.

True tapirs are an Old World group. They go back to the Lower Miocene in Europe, while in both North and South America they are exclusively Post-Pliocene. They occur in France down to the Newer Pliocene, and must, about that time, have entered America. The land connection by which this and so many other animals passed between the Old and New Worlds in late Tertiary times, was almost certainly in the North Pacific, south of Behring's Straits, where, as will be seen by our general map, there is a large expanse of shallow water, which a moderate elevation would convert into dry land, in a sufficiently temperate latitude.


The peccary (Dicotyles), now a characteristic South American genus, is a recent immigrant from North America, where it appears to have been developed from ancestral forms of swine dating back to the Miocene period.

Antelopes are an Old World type, but a few of them appear to have entered North, and reached South America in late Pliocene times. Camels, strange to say, are a special North American type, since they abounded in that continent under various ancient forms in the Miocene period. Towards the end of that period they appear to have entered eastern Asia, and developed into the Siberian Merycotherium and the North Indian Camelus, while in the Pliocene age the ancestral llamas entered South America.

Cervidæ are a wide-spread northern type in their generalized form, but true deer (Cervus) are Palæarctic. They abounded in Europe in Miocene times, but only appear in North and South America in the later Pliocene and Post-Pliocene periods.

True oxen (Bovinæ) seem to be an Oriental type (Miocene), while they appear in Europe only late in the Pliocene period, and in America are confined to the Post-Pliocene.

Elephants (Elephantidæ) are an Old World type, abounding in the Miocene period in Europe and India, and first appearing in America in Post-Pliocene or later Pliocene times. Ancestral forms, doubtfully Proboscidean (Dinocerata), existed in North America in the Eocene period, but these became extinct without leaving any direct descendants, unless the Brontotheridæ and rhinoceroses may be so considered.

Marsupials are almost certainly a recent introduction into South and North America from Asia. They existed in Europe in Eocene and Miocene times, and presumably over a considerable part of the Old World; but no trace of them appears in North or South America before the Post-Pliocene period.

Edentata.—These offer a most curious and difficult problem. In South America they abound, and were so much more numerous and varied in the Post-Pliocene and Pliocene, that we may be sure they lived also in the preceding Miocene period. A few living Edentates are scattered over Africa and Asia, and {156}they flourished in Europe during the Miocene age—animals as large (in some species) as a rhinoceros, and most allied to living African forms. In North America no trace of Edentata has been found earlier than the Post-Pliocene period, or perhaps the Newer Pliocene on the west coast. Neither is there any trace of them in South America in the Eocene formations; but this may well be owing to our very imperfect knowledge of the forms of that epoch. Their absence from North America is, however, probably real; and we have to account for their presence in the Old World and in South America. Their antiquity is no doubt very great, and the point of divergence of the Old World and South American groups, may take us back to early Eocene, or even to Pre-Eocene times. The distribution of land and sea may then have been very different from what it is now; and to those who would create a continent to account for the migrations of a beetle, nothing would seem more probable than that a South Atlantic continent, then united parts of what are now Africa and South America. There is, however, so much evidence for the general permanence of what are now the great continents and deep oceans, that Professor Huxley's supposition of a considerable extension of land round the borders of the North Pacific Ocean in Mesozoic times, best indicates the probable area in which the Edentate type originated, and thence spread over much of the Old World and South America. But while in the latter country it flourished and increased with little check, in the other great continents it was soon overcome by the competition of higher forms, only leaving a few small-sized representatives in Africa and Asia.





These have all been obtained from caves and late Tertiary or Post-Tertiary deposits, and consist of a large number of extinct forms, some of gigantic size, but all marsupials and allied to the existing fauna. There are numerous forms of kangaroos, some larger than any living species; and among these are two genera, Protemnodon and Sthenurus, which Professor Garrod has lately shown to have been allied, not to any Australian forms, but to the Dendrolagi or tree-kangaroos of New Guinea. We have also remains of Thylacinus and Dasyurus, which now only exist in Tasmania; and extinct species of Hypsiprymnus and Phascolomys, the latter as large as a tapir. Among the more remarkable extinct genera are Diprotodon, a huge thick-limbed animal allied to the kangaroos, but nearly as large as an elephant; Nototherium, having characters of Macropus and Phascolarctos combined, and as large as a rhinoceros; and Thylacoleo, a phalanger-like marsupial nearly as large as a lion, and supposed by Professor Owen to have been of carnivorous habits, though this opinion is not held by other naturalists.

Here then we find the same phenomena as in the other countries we have already discussed,—the very recent disappearance of a large number of peculiar forms, many of them far surpassing in size any that continue to exist. It hardly seems probable that in this case their disappearance can have been due to the direct effects of the Glacial epoch, since no very extensive {158}glaciation could have occurred in a country like Australia; but if the ocean sank 2,000 feet, the great eastern mountain range might have given rise to local glaciers. It is, however, almost certain that during late Tertiary times Australia must have been much more extensive than it is now. This is necessary to allow of the development of its peculiar and extensive fauna, especially as we see that that fauna comprised animals rivalling in bulk those of the great continents. It is further indicated by the relations with New Guinea, already alluded to, and by the general character of the various faunas which compose the Australian region, details of which will be found in the succeeding part of this work. The lowering of the ocean during the Glacial period would be favourable to the still further development of the fauna of such a country; and it is to the unfavourable conditions produced by its subsequent rising—equivalent to a depression of the land to the amount of two thousand feet—that we must impute the extinction of so many remarkable groups of animals. It is not improbable, that the disappearance of the ice and the consequent (apparent) subsidence of the land, might have been rapid as compared with the rate at which large animals can become modified to meet new conditions. Extensive tracts of fertile land might have been submerged, and the consequent crowding of large numbers of species and individuals on limited areas would have led to a struggle for existence in which the less adapted and less easily modifiable, not the physically weaker, would succumb.

There is, however, another cause for the extinction of large rather than small animals whenever an important change of conditions occurs, which has been suggested to me by a correspondent,[4] but which has not, I believe, been adduced by Mr. Darwin or by any other writer on the subject. It is dependent on the fact, that large animals as compared with small ones are almost invariably slow breeders, and as they also necessarily exist in much smaller numbers in a given area, they offer far less materials for favourable variations than do smaller animals. In such an extreme case as that of the rabbit and elephant, the {159}young born each year in the world are probably as some millions to one; and it is very easily conceivable that in a thousand years the former might, under pressure of rapidly changing conditions, become modified into a distinct species, while the latter, not offering enough favourable variations to effect a suitable adaptation, would become extinct. We must also remember the extreme specialization of many of the large animals that have become extinct—a specialization which would necessarily render modification in any new direction difficult, since the inherited tendency of variation would probably be to increase the specialization in the same directions which had heretofore been beneficial. If to these two causes we add the difficulty of obtaining sufficient food for such large animals, and perhaps the injurious effects of changes of climate, we shall not find it difficult to understand how such a vast physical revolution as the Glacial epoch, with its attendant phenomena of elevations and subsidences, icy winds, and sudden floods by the bursting of lake barriers, might have led to the total extinction of a vast number of the most bulky forms of mammalia, while the less bulky were able to survive, either by greater hardiness of constitution or by becoming more or less modified. The result is apparent in the comparatively small or moderate size of the species constituting the temperate fauna, in all parts of the globe.

It is much to be regretted that no mammalian remains of earlier date have been found in Australia, as we should then see if it is really the case that marsupials have always formed its highest type of mammalian life. At present its fossil fauna is chiefly interesting to the zoologist, but throws little light on the past relations of this isolated country with other parts of the globe.

Mammalian remains in the Secondary Formations.

In the oldest Tertiary beds of Europe and North America, we have (even with our present imperfect record) a rich and varied mammalian fauna. As compared with our living or recent highly specialized forms, it may be said to consist of generalised types; but as compared with any primeval mammalian type, it must be pronounced highly specialised. Not only are such diversified {160}groups as Carnivora, Perrissodactyle and Artiodactyle Ungulates, Primates, Chiroptera, Rodents, and Marsupials already well marked, but in many of these there is a differentiation into numerous families and genera of diverse character. It is impossible therefore to doubt, that many peculiar forms of mammalia must have lived long anterior to the Eocene period; but there is unfortunately a great gap in the record between the Eocene and Cretaceous beds, and these latter being for the most part marine continue the gap as regards mammals over an enormous lapse of time. Yet far beyond both these chasms in the Upper Oolitic strata, remains of small mammalia have been found; again, in the Stonesfield slate, a member of the Lower Oolite, other forms appear. Then comes the marine Lias formation with another huge gap; but beyond this again in the Upper Trias, the oldest of the secondary formations, mammalian teeth have been discovered in both England and Germany, and these are, as nearly as can be ascertained, of the same age as the Dromatherium already noticed, from North America. They have been named Microlestes, and show some resemblance to those of the West Australian Myrmecobius. In the Oolitic strata numerous small jawbones have been found, which have served to characterise eight genera, all of which are believed to have been Marsupials, and in some of them a resemblance can be traced to some of the smaller living Australian species. These, however, are mere indications of the number of mammalia that must have lived in the secondary period, so long thought to be exclusively "the age of reptiles;" and the fact that the few yet found are at all comparable with such specialised forms as still exist, must convince us, that we shall have to seek far beyond even the earliest of these remains, for the first appearance of the mammalian type of vertebrata.

Extinct Birds.

Compared with those of mammalia, the remains of birds are exceedingly scarce in Europe and America; and from the wandering habits of so many of this class, they are of much less value {161}as indications of past changes in physical geography. A large proportion of the remains belong to aquatic or wading types, and as these have now often a world-wide range, the occurrence of extinct forms can have little bearing on our present inquiry. There are, however, a few interesting cases of extinct land-birds belonging to groups now quite strangers to the country in which they are found; and others scarcely less interesting, in which groups now peculiar to certain areas are shown to have been preceded by allied species or genera of gigantic size.

Palæarctic Region and N. India.—In the caves and other Post-Pliocene deposits of these countries, the remains of birds almost all belong to genera now inhabiting the same districts. Almost the only exceptions are, the great auk and the capercailzie, already mentioned as being found in the Danish mounds; the latter bird, with Tetrao albus, in Italian caverns; and a species of pheasant (Phasianus) said to have occurred in the Post-Pliocene of France, considerably west of the existing range of the genus in a wild state.

In the preceding Pliocene deposits, but few remains have been found, and all of existing genera but one, a gallinaceous bird (Gallus bravardi) allied to the domestic fowl and peacock.

The Miocene beds of France and Central Europe have produced many more remains of birds, but these, too, are mostly of existing European genera, though there are some notable exceptions. Along with forms undistinguishable from crows (Corvus), shrikes (Lanius), wagtails (Motacilla), and woodpeckers (Picus), are found remains allied to the Oriental edible-nest swift (Collocalia) and Trogon; a parrot resembling the African genus Psittacus; an extinct form Necrornis, perhaps allied to the plantain-eaters (Musophaga); Homalophus, doubtfully allied to woodpeckers, and Limnatornis to the hoopoes. The gallinaceous birds are represented by three species of pheasants, some very close to the domesticated species; Palæoperdix allied to the partridges; and Palæortyx, small birds allied to the American genus Ortyx, but with larger wings. There are also species of Pterocles allied to living birds, and a small pigeon. There are numerous living genera of Accipitres; such as eagle (Aquila), {162}kite (Milvus), eagle-owl (Bubo), and screech-owl (Strix); with the African secretary-bird (Serpentarius), and some extinct forms, as Palæocercus, Palæohierix and Palæetus.

Aquatic and wading birds were abundant, including numerous rails, bustards, herons, sandpipers, gulls, divers, and pelicans. There were also many ducks, some allied to the genus Dendrocygna; the Oriental genus of storks, Leptoptilus; Ibidipodia, a remarkable form allied to Ibis and Ciconia; Elornis, near Limosa; Pelagornis, a large bird allied to gannets and pelicans; Hydrornis, allied to the ducks and petrels; Dolichopterus, allied to plovers. Perhaps the most interesting of these extinct birds are, however, the flamingoes, represented by forms hardly distinguishable from living species, and by one extinct genus Palælodus, which had very long toes, and probably walked on aquatic plants like the tropical jacanas.

The Miocene beds of North India have furnished few birds; the only one of geographical interest being an extinct species of ostrich, not very different from that now inhabiting Arabia.

On the whole, the birds of Europe at this period were very like those now living, with the addition of a few tropical forms. These latter were, however, perhaps more numerous and important than they appear to be, as they belong to inland and forest-haunting types, which would not be so frequently preserved as the marsh and lake-dwelling species. Taking this into consideration, the assemblage of Miocene birds accords well with what we know of the mammalian fauna. We have the same indications of a luxuriant vegetation and subtropical climate, and the same appearance of Oriental and especially of African types. Trogon is perhaps the most interesting of all the forms yet discovered, since it furnishes us with a central point whence the living trogons of Asia, Africa, and South America might have diverged.

In the Eocene we find ourselves almost wholly among extinct forms of birds. The earliest known Passerine bird is here met with, in Protornis, somewhat similar to a lark, found in the Lower Eocene of Switzerland; while another Passerine form, Palægithalus, and one allied to the nuthatch (Sitta), have been {163}discovered in the Upper Eocene of Paris. Picariæ of equal antiquity are found. Cryptornis, from the Paris Eocene, and Halcyornis from the Lower Eocene of the Isle of Sheppey, were both allied to kingfishers; while a form allied to Centropus a genus of cuckoos, or, as Milne-Edwards thinks, to the Madagascar Leptosomus, has been found in the Upper Eocene of France. Several Accipitres of somewhat doubtful affinities have been found in the same country; while Lithornis, from the Lower Eocene of the Isle of Sheppey, was a small vulturine bird supposed to be allied to the American group, Cathartes. Among the waders, some extinct forms of plovers have been found, and a genus (Agnopterus), allied to the flamingoes; while there are many swimming birds, such as pelicans, divers, and several extinct types of doubtful affinities. Most interesting of all is a portion of a cranium discovered in the Lower Eocene of Sheppey, and lately pronounced by Professor Owen to belong to a large Struthious bird, allied to the New Zealand Dinornis and also perhaps to the ostrich. Another gigantic bird is the Gastornis, from the Lower Eocene of Paris, which was as large as an ostrich, but which is believed to have been a generalised type, allied to wading and swimming birds as well as to the Struthiones.

Beyond this epoch we have no remains of birds in European strata till we come to the wonderful Archæopteryx from the Upper Oolite of Bavaria; a bird of a totally new type, with a bony tail, longer than the body, each vertebra of which carried a pair of diverging feathers.

North America.—A number of bird-remains have lately been found in the rich Tertiary and Cretaceous deposits of the United States; but here, too, comparatively few are terrestrial forms. No Passerine bird has yet been found. The Picariæ are represented by Uintornis, an extinct form allied to woodpeckers, from the Eocene of Wyoming. Species of turkey (Meleagris) occur in the Post-Pliocene and as far back as the Miocene strata, showing that this interesting type is a true denizen of temperate North America. The other birds are, Accipitres; waders and aquatics of existing genera; and a number of extinct forms of the two latter orders—such as, Aletornis an Eocene wader; {164}Palæotringa, allied to the sandpipers, and Telmatobius to the rails, both Cretaceous; with Graculavus, allied to Graculus; Laornis allied to the swans; Hesperornis a gigantic diver; and Icthyornis a very low form, with biconcave vertebra, such as are only found in fishes and some reptiles—also from Cretaceous deposits.

South America.—The caverns of Brazil produced thirty-four species of birds, most of them referable to Brazilian genera, and many to still existing species. The most interesting were two species of American ostrich (Rhea), one larger than either of the living species; a large turkey-buzzard (Cathartes); a new species of the very isolated South American genus Opisthocomus; and a Cariama, or allied new genus.

Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands.—We have here only evidence of birds that have become extinct in the historical period or very little earlier. First we have a group of birds incapable of flight, allied to pigeons, but forming a separate family, Dididæ; and which, so far as we yet know, inhabited Mauritius, Rodriguez, and probably Bourbon. Aphanapteryx, an extinct genus of rails, inhabited Mauritius; and another genus, (Erythromachus), Rodriguez. A large parrot, said by Prof. Milne Edwards to be allied to Ara and Microglossus, also inhabited Mauritius; and another allied to Eclectus, the island of Rodriguez. None of these have been found in Madagascar; but a gigantic Struthious bird, Æpyornis, forming a peculiar family distinct both from the ostriches of Africa and the Dinornis of New Zealand inhabited that island; and there is reason to believe that this may have lived less than 200 years ago.

New Zealand.—A number of extinct Struthious birds, forming two families, Dinornithidæ and Palapterygidæ, have been found in New Zealand. Some were of gigantic size. They seem allied both to the living Apteryx of New Zealand and the emu of Australia. They are quite recent, and some of them have probably lived within the last few centuries. Remains of Dinornis have also been found in a Post-Pliocene deposit in Queensland, N. E. Australia[5]—a very important discovery, as it {165}gives support to the theory of a great eastward extension of Australia in Tertiary times.

Extinct Tertiary Reptiles.

These will not occupy us long, as no very great number are known, and most of them belong to a few principal forms of comparatively little geographical interest.

Tortoises are perhaps the most abundant of the Tertiary reptiles. They are numerous in the Eocene and Miocene formations both in Europe and North America. The genera Emys and Trionyx abound in both countries, as well as in the Miocene of India. Land tortoises occur in the Eocene of North America and in the Miocene of Europe and India, where the huge Colossochelys, twelve feet long, has been found. In the Pliocene deposits of Switzerland the living American genus Chelydra has been met with. These facts, together with the occurrence of a living species in the Miocene of India, show that this order of reptiles is of great antiquity, and that most of the genera once had a wider range than now.

Crocodiles, allied to the three forms now characteristic of India, Africa, and America, have been found in the Eocene of our own country, and several species of Crocodilus have occurred in beds of the same age in North America.

Lizards are very ancient, many small terrestrial forms occurring in all the Tertiary deposits. A species of the genus Chamæleo is recorded from the Eocene of North America, together with several extinct genera.

Snakes were well developed in the Eocene period, where remains of several have been found which must have been from twelve to twenty feet long. An extinct species of true viper has occurred in the Miocene of France, and one of the Pythonidæ in the Miocene brown coal of Germany.

Batrachia occur but sparingly in a fossil state in the Tertiary deposits. The most remarkable is the large Salamander (Andreas) from the Upper Miocene of Switzerland, which {166}is allied to the Menopoma living in North America. Species of frog (Rana), and Palæophryus an extinct genus of toads, have been found in the Miocene deposits of Germany and Switzerland.

Fresh water fish are almost unknown in the Tertiary deposits of Europe, although most of the families and some genera of living marine fish are represented from the Eocene downwards.

Antiquity of the Genera of Insects.

Fossil insects are far too rarely found, to aid us in our determination of difficult questions of geographical distribution; but in discussing these questions it will be important to know, whether we are to look upon the existing generic forms of insects as of great or small antiquity, compared with the higher vertebrates; and to decide this question the materials at our command are ample.

The conditions requisite for the preservation of insects in a fossil state are no doubt very local and peculiar; the result being, that it is only at long intervals in the geological record that we meet with remains of insects in a recognisable condition. None appear to have been found in the Pliocene formation; but in the Upper Miocene of Œninghen in Switzerland, associated with the wonderfully rich fossil flora, are found immense quantities of insects. Prof. Heer examined more than 5,000 specimens belonging to over 800 species, and many have been found in other localities in Switzerland; so that more than 1,300 species of Miocene insects have now been determined. Most of the orders are represented, but the beetles (Coleoptera) are far the most abundant. Almost all belong to existing genera, and the majority of these genera now inhabit Europe, only three or four being exclusively Indian, African, or American.

In the Lower Miocene of Croatia there is another rich deposit of insects, somewhat more tropical in character, comprising large white-ants and dragon-flies differently marked from any {167}now inhabiting Europe. A butterfly is also well preserved, with all the markings of the wings; and it seems to be a Junonia, a tropical genus, though it may be a Vanessa, which is European, but the fossil most resembles Indian species of Junonia.

The Eocene formations seem to have produced no insect remains; but they occur again in the Upper Cretaceous at Aix-la-Chapelle, where two butterflies have been found, Cyllo sepulta and Satyrites Reynesii, both belonging to the Satyridæ, and the former to a genus now spread over Africa, India, and Australia.

A little earlier, in the Wealden formation of our own country, numerous insects have been found, principally dragon flies (Libellula, Æshna); aquatic Hemiptera (Velia Hydrometra); crickets, cockroaches, and cicadas, of familiar types.

Further back in the Upper Oolite of Bavaria—which produced the wonderful long-tailed bird, Archæopteryx—insects of all orders have been found, including a moth referred to the existing genus Sphinx.

In the Lower Oolite of Oxfordshire many fossil beetles have been found whose affinities are shown by their names:—Buprestidium, Curculionidium, Blapsidium, Melolonthidium, and Prionidium; a wing of a butterfly has also been found, allied to the Brassolidæ now confined to tropical America, and named Palæontina oolitica.

Still more remote are the insects of the Lias of Gloucestershire, yet they too can be referred to well-known family types—Carabidæ, Melolonthidæ, Telephoridæ, Elateridæ, and Curculionidæ, among beetles; Gryllidæ and Blattidæ among Orthoptera; with Libellula, Agrion, Æshna, Ephemera, and some extinct genera. When we consider that almost the only vertebrata of this period were huge Saurian reptiles like the Icthyosaurus, Plesiosaurus, and Dinosaurus, with the flying Pterodactyles; and that the great mass of our existing genera, and even families, of fish and reptiles had almost certainly not come into existence, we see at once that types of insect-form are, proportionately, far more ancient. At this remote epoch we find the chief family types (the genera of the time of Linnæus) perfectly differentiated {168}and recognisable. It is only when we go further back still, into the Palæozoic formations, that the insect forms begin to show that generalization of type which renders it impossible to classify them in any existing groups. Yet even in the coal formation of Nova Scotia and Durham, the fossil insects are said by competent entomologists to be "allied to Ephemera," "near Blatta," "near Phasmidæ;" and in deposits of the same age at Saarbrück near Trèves, a well-preserved wing of a grasshopper or locust has been found, as well as a beetle referred to the Scarabeidæ. More remarkable, however, is the recent discovery in the carboniferous shales of Belgium, of the clearly-defined wing of a large moth (Breyeria borinensis), closely resembling some of the Saturniidæ; so that we have now all the chief orders of Insects—including those supposed to be the most highly developed and the most recent—well represented at this very remote epoch. Even the oldest insects, from the Devonian rocks of North America, can mostly be classed as Neuroptera or Myriapoda, but appear to form new families.

We may consider it, therefore, as proved, that many of the larger and more important genera of insects date back to the beginning of the Tertiary period, or perhaps beyond it; but the family types are far older, and must have been differentiated very early in the Secondary period, while some of them perhaps go back to Palæozoic times. The great comparative antiquity of the genera is however the important fact for us, and we shall have occasion often to refer to it, in endeavouring to ascertain the true bearing of the facts of insect distribution, as elucidating or invalidating the conclusions arrived at from a study of the distribution of the higher animals.

Antiquity of the Genera of Land and Fresh-Water Shells.

The remains of land and fresh-water shells are not much more frequent than those of insects. Like them, too, their forms are very stable, continuing unchanged through several geological {169}periods. In the Pliocene and Miocene formations, most of the shells are very similar to living species, and some are quite identical. In the Eocene we meet with ordinary forms of the genera Helix, Clausilia, Pupa, Bulimus, Glandina, Cyclostoma, Megalostoma, Planorbis, Paludina and Limnæa, some resembling European species, others more like tropical forms. A British Eocene species of Helix is still living in Texas; and in the South of France are found species of the Brazilian sub-genera Megaspira and Anastoma. In the secondary formation no true land shells have been found, but fresh water shells are tolerably abundant, and almost all are still of living forms. In the Wealden (Lower Cretaceous) and Purbeck (Upper Oolite) are found Unio, Melania, Paludina, Planorbis, and Limnæa; while the last named genus occurs even in the Lias.

The notion that land shells were really not in existence during the secondary period is, however, proved to be erroneous by the startling discovery, in the Palæozoic coal measures of Nova Scotia, of two species of Helicidæ, both of living genera—Pupa vetusta, and Zonites priscus. They have been found in the hollow trunk of a Sigillaria, and in great quantities in a bed full of Stigmarian rootlets. The most minute examination detects no important differences of form or of microscopic structure, between these shells and living species of the same genera! These mollusca were the contemporaries of Labyrinthodonts and strange Ganoid fishes, which formed almost the whole vertebrate fauna. This unexpected discovery renders it almost certain, that numbers of other existing genera, of which we have found no traces, lived with these two through the whole secondary period; and we are thus obliged to assume as a probability, that any particular genus has lived through a long succession of geological ages. In estimating the importance of any peculiarities or anomalies in the geographical distribution of land shells as compared with the higher vertebrates, we shall, therefore, have to keep this possible, and even probable high antiquity, constantly in mind.


We have now concluded our sketch of Tertiary Palæontology as a preparation for the intelligent study of the Geographical {170}Distribution of Land Animals; and however imperfectly the task has been performed, the reader will at all events have been convinced that some such preliminary investigation is an essential and most important part of our work. So much of palæontology is at present tentative and conjectural, that in combining the information derived from numerous writers, many errors of detail must have been made. The main conclusions have, however, been drawn from as large a basis of facts as possible; and although fresh discoveries may show that our views as to the past history of some of the less important genera or families are erroneous, they can hardly invalidate our results to any important degree, either as regards the intercommunications between separate regions in the various geological epochs, or as to the centres from which some of the more important groups have been dispersed.








Having discussed, in our First Part, such general and preliminary matters as are necessary to a proper comprehension of our subject; and having made ourselves acquainted, in our Second Part, with the most important results of Palæontology, we now come to our more immediate subject, which we propose to treat first under its geographical aspect. Taking each of our six regions in succession, we shall point out in some detail the chief zoological features they present, as influenced by climate, vegetation, and other physical features. We shall then treat each of the sub-regions by itself, as well as such of the islands or other sub-divisions as present features of special interest; endeavouring to ascertain their true relations to each other, and the more important changes of physical geography that seem necessary to account for their present zoological condition.


Order of Succession of the Regions.—We may here explain the reason for taking the several regions in a different succession from that in which they appear in the tabular or diagrammatic headings to each family, in the Fourth, and concluding part of this work. It will have been seen, by our examination of extinct animals (and it will be made still clearer during our study of the several regions) that all the chief types of animal life appear to have originated in the great north temperate or northern continents; while the southern continents—now represented by {174}South America, Australia, and South Africa with Madagascar—have been more or less completely isolated, during long periods, both from the northern continent and from each other. These latter countries have, however, been subject to more or less immigration from the north during rare epochs of approximation to, or partial union with it. In the northern, more extensive, and probably more ancient land, the process of development has been more rapid, and has resulted in more varied and higher types; while the southern lands, for the most part, seem to have produced numerous diverging modifications of the lower grades of organization, the original types of which they derived either from the north, or from some of the ancient continents in Mesozoic or Palæozoic times. Hence those curious resemblances in the fauna of South America, Australia, and, to a less extent, Madagascar, which have led to a somewhat general belief that these distant countries must at one time or other have been united; a belief which, after a careful examination of all the facts, does not seem to the author of this work to be well founded. On the other hand, there is the most satisfactory evidence that each southern region has been more or less closely united (during the tertiary or later secondary epoch) with the great northern continents, leading to numerous resemblances and affinities in their productions.

In endeavouring to present at a glance in the most convenient manner, the distribution of the families in the several regions and sub-regions, it was necessary to arrange them, so that those whose relations to each other were closest should stand side by side; the first and last being those between which the relations were least numerous and least important. Influenced by the usual opinions as to the relations between Australia and South America, the series was at first begun with the Nearctic, and terminated with the Australian and Neotropical regions; and it was not till the whole of the vertebrate families had been gone through, and their distribution carefully studied, that these last two regions were seen to be really wider apart than any others of the series. It was therefore decided to alter the arrangement, beginning with the Neotropical, and ending with the Australian {175}regions; and a careful inspection of the diagrams themselves, taken in their entirety, will, it is believed, show that this is the most natural plan, and most truly exhibits the relations of the several regions.

In the portion of our work now commencing, we are not, however, by any means bound to begin at either end of this series. Each region is studied by itself, but reference will often have to be made to all the other regions; and wherever we begin, we must occasionally refer to facts which will be given further on. As, however, the great northern continents form the central mass from which the southern regions, as it were, diverge, and as the Palæarctic region is both more extensive and much better known than any other, it undoubtedly forms the most convenient starting-point for our proposed survey of the zoological history of the earth. We thus pass from the better known to the less known—from Europe to Africa and tropical Asia, and thence to Australia, completing the series of regions of the Eastern Hemisphere. Beginning again with the Neotropical region, we pass to the Nearctic, which has such striking relations with the preceding and with the Palæarctic region, that it can only be properly understood by constant reference to both. We thus keep separate the Eastern and Western hemispheres, which form, from our point of view, the most radical and most suggestive division of terrestrial faunas; and as we are able to make this also the dividing point of our two volumes, reference to the work will be thereby facilitated.


Cosmopolitan Groups.—Before proceeding to sketch the zoological features of the several Regions it will be well to notice those family groups which belong to the earth as a whole, and which are so widely and universally distributed over it that it will be unnecessary, in some cases, to do more than refer to them under the separate geographical divisions.

The only absolutely cosmopolitan families of Mammalia are those which are aerial or marine; and this is one of the striking proofs that their distribution has been effected by natural causes, and that the permanence of barriers is one of the chief {176}agencies in the limitation of their range. Even among the aerial bats, however, only one family—the Vespertilionidæ—is truly cosmopolitan, the others having a more or less restricted range. Neither are the Cetacea necessarily cosmopolitan, most of the families being restricted either to warm or to cold seas; but one family, the dolphins (Delphinidæ), is truly so. This order however will not require further notice, as, being exclusively marine the groups do not enter into any of our terrestrial regions. The only other family of mammals that may be considered to be cosmopolitan, is the Muridæ (rats and mice); yet these are not entirely so, since none are known to be truly indigenous in any part of the Australian region except Australia itself.

In the class of Birds, a number of families are cosmopolites, if we reckon as such all which are found in each region and sub-region; but several of these are so abundant in some parts, while they are so sparingly represented in others, that they cannot fairly be considered so. We shall confine that term therefore, to such as, there is reason to believe, inhabit every important sub-division of each region. Such are, among the Passerine birds the crows (Corvidæ), and swallows (Hirundinidæ); among the Picariæ the kingfishers (Alcedinidæ); among other Land birds the pigeons (Columbidæ), grouse and partridges (Tetraonidæ), hawks (Falconidæ), and owls (Strigidæ); among the Waders the rails (Rallidæ), snipes (Scolopacidæ), plovers (Charadriadæ), and herons (Ardeidæ); and among the Swimmers the ducks (Anatidæ), gulls (Laridæ), petrels (Procellariidæ), pelicans (Pelecanidæ), and grebes (Podicipidæ).

In the class of Reptiles there are few absolutely cosmopolitan families, owing to the scarcity of members of this group in some insular sub-regions, such as New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Those which are most nearly so are the Colubridæ among snakes, and the Scincidæ among lizards.

There is no cosmopolitan family of Amphibia, the true frogs (Ranidæ) being the most widely distributed.

Neither is any family of Freshwater Fishes cosmopolitan, the Siluridæ, which have the widest range, being confined {177}to warm regions, and becoming very scarce in the temperate zones.

Among the Diurnal and Crepuscular Lepidoptera (butterflies and sphinges) the following families are cosmopolitan:—Satyridæ, Nymphalidæ, Lycænidæ, Pieridæ, Papilionidæ, Hesperidæ, Lycænidæ, and Sphingidæ.

Of the Coleoptera almost all, except some of the small and obscure families, are cosmopolitan.

Of the terrestrial Mollusca, the Helicidæ alone are true cosmopolites.


Tables of Distribution of Families and Genera.—Having been obliged to construct numerous tables of the distribution of the various groups for the purposes of the descriptive part of the work, I have thought it well to append the most important of them, in a convenient form, to the chapter on each region; as much information will thereby be given, which can only be obtained from existing works at the cost of great labour. All these tables are drawn up on a uniform plan, the same generic and family names being used in each; and all are arranged in the same systematic order, so as to be readily comparable with each other. This, although it seems a simple and natural thing to do, has involved a very great amount of labour, because hardly two authors use the same names or follow the same arrangement. Hence comparison between them is impossible, till all their work has been picked to pieces, their synonymy unravelled, their differences accounted for, and the materials recast; and this has to be done, not for two or three authors only, but for the majority of those whose works have been consulted on the zoology of any part of the globe.

Except in the two higher orders—Mammalia and Birds—materials do not exist for complete tables of the genera brought down to the present time. We have given therefore, first, a complete table of all the families of Vertebrata and Diurnal Lepidoptera found in each region, showing the sub-regions in which they occur, and their range beyond the limits of the region. Families which are wholly peculiar to the region, or {178}very characteristic and almost exclusively confined to it, are in italics. The number prefixed to each family corresponds to that of the series of families in the Fourth Part of this work, so that if further information is required it can be readily referred to without consulting the index. Names inclosed in parentheses—( . . . ) thus—indicate families which only just enter a region from an adjacent one, to which they properly belong. The eye is thus directed to the more, and the less important families; and a considerable amount of information as to the general features of the zoology of the region, is conveyed in the easiest manner.

The tables of genera of Mammalia and Birds, are arranged on a somewhat different plan. Each genus is given under its Family and Order, and they follow in the same succession in all the tables. The number of species of each genus, inhabiting the region, is given as nearly as can be ascertained; but in many cases this can only be a general approximation. The distribution of the genera within the region, is then given with some detail; and, lastly, the range of the genus beyond the region is given in general terms, the words "Oriental," "Ethiopian," &c., being used for brevity, to indicate that the genus occurs over a considerable part of such regions. Genera which are restricted to the region (or which are very characteristic of it though just transgressing its limits) are given in italics; while those which only just enter the region from another to which they really belong, are enclosed in parentheses—( . . . ) thus. The genera are here numbered consecutively, in order that the number of genera in each family or each order, in the region, may be readily ascertained (by one process of subtraction), and thus comparisons made with other regions or with any other area. As the tables of birds would be swelled to an inconvenient length by the insertion in each region of all the genera of Waders and Aquatics, most of which have a very wide range and would have to be repeated in several or all the regions, these have been omitted; but a list has been given of such of the genera as are peculiar to, or highly characteristic of each region.

As this is the first time that any such extensive tables of {179}distribution have been constructed for the whole of the Mammalia and Birds, they must necessarily contain many errors of detail; but with all their imperfections it is believed they will prove very useful to naturalists, to teachers, and to all who take an intelligent interest in the wider problems of geography and natural history.




This region is of immense extent, comprising all the temperate portions of the great eastern continents. It thus extends from the Azores and Canary Islands on the west to Japan on the east, a distance not far short of half the circumference of the globe. Yet so great is the zoological unity of this vast tract, that the majority of the genera of animals in countries so far removed as Great Britain and Northern Japan are identical. Throughout its northern half the animal productions of the Palæarctic region are very uniform, except that the vast elevated desert-regions of Central Asia possess some characteristic forms; but in its southern portion, we find a warm district at each extremity with somewhat contrasted features. On the west we have the rich and luxuriant Mediterranean sub-region, possessing many peculiar forms of life, as well as a few which are more especially characteristic of the Ethiopian region. On the east we have the fertile plains of Northern China and the rich and varied islands of Japan, possessing a very distinct set of peculiar forms, with others belonging to the Oriental region, into which this part of the Palæarctic region merges gradually as we approach the Tropic of Cancer. Thus, the countries roughly indicated by the names—Northern Europe, the Mediterranean district, Central and Northern Asia, and China with Japan—have each well-marked minor characteristics which entitle them to the rank of sub-regions. Their boundaries are often indefinable; and those here adopted have been fixed upon to some extent by considerations of convenience, dependent on custom and on the more or less perfect knowledge we possess of some of the intervening countries.


Zoological Characteristics of the Palæarctic Region.—The Palæarctic region has representatives of thirty-five families of mammalia, fifty-five of birds, twenty-five of reptiles, nine of amphibia, and thirteen of freshwater fishes. Comparing it with the only other wholly temperate region, the Nearctic, we find a much greater variety of types of mammalia and birds. This may be due in part to its greater area, but more, probably, to its southern boundary being conterminous for an enormous distance with two tropical regions, the Ethiopean and Oriental; whereas the Nearctic has a comparatively short southern boundary conterminous with the Neotropical region only. This is so very important a difference, that it is rather a matter of surprise that the two north temperate regions should not be more unequal in the number of their higher vertebrate forms, than they actually are.

It is also to the interblending of the Palæarctic with the two adjacent tropical regions, that we must attribute its possession of so few peculiar family groups. These are only three; two of reptiles, Trogonophidæ and Ophiomoridæ, and one of fishes, Comephoridæ. The number of peculiar genera is, however, considerable, as the following enumeration will show.

Mammalia.—The monkey of Gibraltar and North Africa, and an allied species found in Japan, are now considered to belong to the extensive eastern genus Macacus. The former, however, is peculiar in the entire absence of the tail, and has by many naturalists, been held to form a distinct genus, Inuus, confined to the Palæarctic region.

Of bats there are one or two genera (Barbastellus, Plecotus) which seem to be mainly or wholly Palæarctic, but the classification of these animals is in such an unsettled state that the distribution of the genera is of little importance.

In the next order, Insectivora, we have almost the entire family of the Moles confined to the region. Talpa just enters Northern India; and Urotrichus is common to Japan and {182}North-Western America, but the remaining genera, six in number, are all exclusively Palæarctic.

Among Carnivora we have Nyctereutes, the curious racoon-dog of Japan and North-Eastern Asia; Lutronectes, an otter peculiar to Japan; and the badger (Meles), which ranges over the whole region, and just enters the Oriental region as far as Hongkong; Æluropus, a curious form of the Himalayan panda, inhabiting the high mountains of Eastern Thibet; and Pelagius, a genus of seals, ranging from the shores of Madeira to the Black Sea.

The Ungulata, or hoofed animals, are still more productive of forms peculiar to this region. First we have the Camels, whose native home is the desert region of Central and Western Asia and Northern Africa, and which, even in their domesticated condition, are confined almost wholly within the limits of the Palæarctic region. Of Deer we have six peculiar genera, Dama and Capreolus found in Europe, with Elaphodus, Lophotragus, Hydropotes, and Moschus, confined to Northern China and Mongolia. The great family Bovidæ—comprising the oxen, sheep, goats and antelopes—furnishes no less than seven peculiar Palæarctic genera. These are Poephagus, the yak of Thibet; Addax, a well-known antelope of Northern Africa and Syria; Procapra, Pantholops and Budorcas, antelopine genera peculiar to Thibet and Mongolia; with Rupicapra (the chamois), and the extraordinary large-nosed antelope Saiga, confined to Europe and Western Asia. Besides these we have Capra (the wild sheep and goats), all the numerous species of which, except two, are exclusively Palæarctic.

Coming to the Rodents, we have again many peculiar forms. Of Muridæ (the mouse and rat tribe), we have six peculiar genera, the more important being Cricetus, Rhombomys Sminthus, and Myospalax. Of Spalacidæ (mole-rats) both the Palæarctic genera, Ellobius and Spalax, are peculiar. Ctenodactylus, a genus of the South American family Octodontidæ, is found only in North Africa. To these we may add Myoxus (the dormice) and Lagomys (the pikas or tail-less hares) as essentially Palæarctic, since but one species of each genus is found beyond the limits of the region.

Birds.—It appears to have been the opinion of many {183}naturalists that the Palæarctic region could not be well characterised by its peculiar genera of birds. In Mr. Sclater's celebrated paper already referred to, he remarks, "It cannot be denied that the ornithology of the Palæarctic region is more easily characterised by what it has not than by what it has," and this has been quite recently quoted by Mr. Allen, in his essay on the distribution of North American birds, as if it represented our present knowledge of the subject. But, thanks to the labours of Dr. Jerdon, Mr. Swinhoe, Père David and others, we have now learnt that a large number of birds included in the Indian list, are either mere winter emigrants from Central Asia, or only inhabit the higher ranges of the Himalayas, and thus really belong to the Palæarctic region. The result is, that a host of genera are now seen to be either exclusively or characteristically Palæarctic, and we have no further difficulty in giving positive ornithological characters to the region. In the tables appended to this chapter, all these truly Palæarctic genera will be found printed in italics, with an indication of their distribution, which will sometimes be found more fully given under the respective families in the third part of this work. Referring to this table for details we shall here summarise the results.

Of the Sylviidæ or warblers, no less than fourteen genera are either exclusively or characteristically Palæarctic, of which Locustella, Sylvia, Curruca and Erithacus are good examples. Of the oriental family Timaliidæ, the genus Pterorhinus is Palæarctic. Of Panuridæ, or reedlings, there are four peculiar genera (comprising almost the whole family); of Certhiidæ, or creepers, one—Tichodroma—which extends southward to the Abyssinian highlands. Of Paridæ, or tits, one—Acredula; of Corvidæ, or crows, four—Pica (containing our magpie) being a good example; of Fringillidæ, or finches and buntings, twelve, among which Acanthis, Pyrrhula and Emberiza are good illustrations; of Alaudidæ, or larks, there are two peculiar genera. Leaving the Passeres we next come to peculiar forms among the gallinaceous birds: Syrrhaptes among the Pteroclidæ or sand grouse; four genera of Tetraonidæ or grouse and partridges, and five of Phasianidæ or pheasants, comprising some of the most magnificent birds in the world. Lastly {184}among the far-wandering aquatic birds we have no less than five genera which are more especially Palæarctic,—Ortygometra, the corn-crake, and Otis, the great bustard, being typical examples. We may add to these, several genera almost confined to this region, such as Garrulus (jays), Fringilla (true finches), Yunx (wrynecks) and some others; so that in proportion to its total generic forms a very large number are found to be peculiar or characteristic.

This view, of the high degree of speciality of the Palæarctic region, will no doubt be objected to by some naturalists, on the ground that many of the genera reckoned as exclusively Palæarctic are not so, but extend more or less into other regions. It is well, therefore, to consider what principles should guide us in a matter of this kind, especially as we shall have to apply the same rules to each of the other regions. We may remark first, that the limits of the regions themselves are, when not formed by the ocean, somewhat arbitrary, depending on the average distribution of a number of characteristic forms; and that slight local peculiarities of soil, elevation, or climate, may cause the species of one region to penetrate more or less deeply into another. The land boundary between two regions will be, not a defined line but a neutral territory of greater or less width, within which the forms of both regions will intermingle; and this neutral territory itself will merge imperceptibly into both regions. So long therefore as a species or genus does not permanently reside considerably beyond the possible limits of this neutral territory, we should not claim it as an inhabitant of the adjacent region. A consideration of perhaps more importance arises, from the varying extent of the range of a genus, over the area occupied by the region. Some genera are represented by single species existing only in a very limited area; others by numerous species which occupy, entirely or very nearly, the whole extent of the region; and there is every intermediate grade between these extremes. Now, the small localised genera, are always reckoned as among the best examples of types peculiar to a region; while the more wide-spread groups are often denied that character if they extend a little beyond {185}the supposed regional limits, or send one or two, out of a large number of species, into adjacent regions; yet there is some reason to believe that the latter are really more important as characterising a zoological region than the former. In the case of a single isolated species or genus we have a dying-out group; and we have so many cases of discontinuous species of such groups (of which Urotrichus in Japan and British Columbia, Eupetes in Sumatra and New Guinea are examples), that it is quite as probable as not, that any such isolated species has only become peculiar to the region by the recent extinction of an allied form or forms in some other region. On the other hand, a genus consisting of numerous species ranging over an entire region or the greater part of one, is a dominant group, which has most likely been for some time extending its range, and whose origin dates back to a remote period. The slight extension of such a group beyond the limits of the region to which it mainly belongs, is probably a recent phenomenon, and in that case cannot be held in any degree to detract from its value as one of the peculiar forms of that region.

The most numerous examples of this class, are those birds of the temperate regions which in winter migrate, either wholly or partially, into adjacent warmer countries. This migration most likely began subsequent to the Miocene period, during that gradual refrigeration of the temperate zones which culminated in the glacial epoch, and which still continues in a mitigated form. Most of the genera, and many even of the species of birds which migrate southwards in winter, have therefore, most likely, always been inhabitants of our present Palæarctic and Nearctic regions; permanent residents during warm epochs, but only able now to maintain their existence by migration in winter. Such groups belong truly to the temperate zones, and the test of this is the fact of their not having any, or very few, representatives, which are permanent residents in the adjacent tropical regions. When there are such representative species, we do not claim them as peculiar to the Northern regions. Bearing in mind these various considerations, it will be found that we have been very moderate in our estimate of the number of genera {186}that may fairly be considered as exclusively or characteristically Palæarctic.

Reptiles and Amphibia.—The Palæarctic region possesses, in proportion to its limited reptilian fauna, a full proportion of peculiar types. We have for instance two genera of snakes, Rhinechis and Halys; seven of lizards, Trigonophis, Psammodromus, Hyalosaurus, Scincus, Ophiomorus, Megalochilus, and Phrynocephalus; eight of tailed batrachians, Proteus, Salamandra, Seiranota, Chioglossa, Hynobius, Onychodactylus, Geotriton, and Sieboldia; and eight of tail-less batrachians, Bombinator, Pelobates, Didocus, Alytes, Pelodytes, Discoglossus, Laprissa, and Latonia. The distribution of these and other Palæarctic genera will be found in our second vol. chap. xix.

Freshwater Fish.—About twenty genera of freshwater fishes are wholly confined to this region, and constitute a feature which ought not to be overlooked in estimating its claim to the rank of a separate primary division of the earth. They belong to the following families:—Percidæ (three genera), Acerina, Percarina, Aspro; Comephoridæ (one genus), Comephorus, found only in Lake Baikal; Salmonidæ (three genera), Brachymystax, Luciotrutta, and Plecoglossus; Cyprinodontidæ (one genus), Tellia, found only in Alpine pools on the Atlas Mountains; Cyprinidæ (thirteen genera), Cyprinus, Carassus, Paraphoxinus, Tinca, Achilognathus, Rhodeus, Chondrostoma, Pseudoperilampus, Ochetebius, Aspius, Alburnus, Misgurnus, and Nemachilus.

Summary of Palæarctic Vertebrata.—Summarising these details, we find that the Palæarctic region possesses thirty-five peculiar genera of mammalia, fifty-seven of birds, nine of reptiles, sixteen of amphibia, and twenty-one of freshwater fishes; or a total of 138 peculiar generic types of vertebrata. Of these, 87 are mammalia and land-birds out of a total of 274 genera of these groups; or rather less than one-third peculiar, a number which will serve usefully to compare with the results obtained in other regions.

In our chapter on Zoological Regions we have already pointed out the main features which distinguish the Palæarctic from the Oriental and Ethiopian regions. The details now given will {187}strengthen our view of their radical distinctness, by showing to how considerable an extent the former is inhabited by peculiar, and often very remarkable generic types.

Insects: Lepidoptera.—The Diurnal Lepidoptera, or butterflies, are not very abundant in species, their number being probably somewhat over 500, and these belong to not more than fifty genera. But no less than fifteen of these genera are wholly confined to the region. Nine of the families are represented, as follows:—1. Danaidæ; having only a single species in South Europe. 2. Satyridæ; well represented, there being more than 100 species in Europe, and three peculiar genera. 3. Nymphalidæ; rather poorly represented, Europe having only about sixty species, but there is one peculiar genus. 4. Libytheidæ; a very small family, represented by a single species occurring in South Europe. 5. Nemeobiidæ; a rather small family, also having only one species in Europe, but which constitutes a peculiar genus. 6. Lycænidæ; an extensive family, fairly represented, having about eighty European species; there are two peculiar genera in the Palæarctic region. 7. Pieridæ; rather poorly represented with thirty-two European species; two of the genera are, however, peculiar. 8. Papilionidæ; very poorly represented in Europe with only twelve species, but there are many more in Siberia and Japan. No less than five of the small number of genera in this family are wholly confined to the region, a fact of much importance, and which to a great extent redeems the character of the Palæarctic region as regard this order of insects. Their names are Mesapia, Hypermnestra, Doritis, Sericinus, and Thais; and besides these we have Parnassius—the "Apollo" butterflies—highly characteristic, and only found elsewhere in the mountains of the Nearctic region. 9. Hesperidæ; poorly represented with about thirty European species, and one peculiar genus.

Four families of Sphingina occur in the Palæarctic region, and there are several peculiar genera.

In the Zygænidæ there are two exclusively European genera, and the extensive genus Zygæna is itself mainly Palæarctic. The small family Stygiidæ has two out of its three genera {188}confined to the Palæarctic region. In the Ægeriidæ the genus Ægeria is mainly Palæarctic. The Sphingidæ have a wider general range, and none of the larger genera are peculiar to any one region.

Coleoptera.—The Palæarctic region is the richest portion of the globe in the great family of Carabidæ, or predacious ground-beetles, about 50 of the genera being confined to it, while many others, including the magnificent genus Carabus, have here their highest development. While several of the smaller genera are confined to the eastern or western sub-regions, most of the larger ones extend over the whole area, and give it an unmistakable aspect; while in passing from east to west or vice-versâ, allied species and genera replace each other with considerable regularity, except in the extreme south-east, where, in China and Japan, some Oriental forms appear, as do a few Ethiopian types in the south-west.

Cicindelidæ, or tiger-beetles, are but poorly represented by about 70 species of the genus Cicindela, and a single Tetracha in South Europe.

Lucanidæ, or stag-beetles, are also poor, there being representatives of 8 genera. One of these, Æsalus (a single species), is peculiar to South Europe, and two others, Cladognathus and Cyclopthalmus, are only represented in Japan, China, and Thibet.

Cetoniidæ, or rose-chafers, are represented by 13 genera, two of which are peculiar to South Europe (Tropinota and Heterocnemis), while Stalagmosoma, ranging from Persia to Nubia, and the fine Dicranocephalus inhabiting North China, Corea, and Nipal, may also be considered to belong to it. The genera Trichius, Gnorimus, and Osmoderma are confined to the two north temperate regions.

Buprestidæ, or metallic beetles, are rather abundant in the warmer parts of the region, 27 genera being represented, nine of which are peculiar. By far the larger portion of these are confined to the Mediterranean sub-region. A considerable number also inhabit Japan and China.

The Longicorns, or long-horned beetles, are represented by no less than 196 genera, 51 of which are peculiar. They are {189}much more abundant in the southern than the northern half of the region. Several Oriental genera extend to Japan and North China, and a few Ethiopian genera to North Africa. Thirteen genera are confined, to the two north temperate regions. Several large genera, such as Dorcadion (154 species), Phytæcia (85 species), Pogonochærus (22 species), Agapanthia (22 species), and Vesperus (7 species), are altogether peculiar to the Palæarctic region; and with a preponderance of Leptura, Grammoptera, Stenocorus, and several others, strongly characterise it as distinct from the Nearctic and Oriental regions.

The other families which are well developed in the Palæarctic regions, are, the Staphylinidæ or rove-beetles, Silphidæ or burying-beetles, Histeridæ or mimic-beetles, Nitidulidæ, Aphodiidæ, Copridæ (especially in South Europe), Geotrupidæ or dung-beetles, Melolonthidæ or chafers, Elateridæ or click-beetles, the various families of Malacoderms and Heteromera, especially Pimeliidæ in the Mediterranean sub-region, Curculionidæ or weevils, the Phytophaga or leaf-eaters, and Cocinellidæ or lady-birds.

The number of species of Coleoptera in the western part of the Palæarctic region is about 15,000, and there are probably not more than 2,000 to add to this number from Siberia, Japan, and North China; but were these countries as well explored as Europe, we may expect that they would add at least 5,000 to the number above given, raising the Palæarctic Coleopterous fauna to 20,000 species. As the total number of species at present known to exist in collections is estimated (and perhaps somewhat over-estimated) at 70,000 species, we may be sure that were the whole earth as thoroughly investigated as Europe, the number would be at least doubled, since we cannot suppose that Europe, with the Mediterranean basin, can contain more than one-fifth of the whole of the Coleoptera of the globe.

Of the other orders of insects we here say nothing, because in their case much more than in that of the Coleoptera and Lepidoptera, is the disproportion enormous between our knowledge of the European fauna and that of almost all the rest of the globe. {190}They are, therefore, at present of comparatively little use for purposes of geographical distribution, even were it advisable to enter into the subject in a work which will, perhaps, be too much overburdened with details only of interest to specialists.

Land Shells.—These are very numerous in the warmer parts of the region, but comparatively scarce towards the North. South Europe alone possesses over 600 species, whereas there are only 200 in all Northern Europe and Asia. The total number of species in the whole region is probably about 1,250, of which the great majority are Helicidæ; the Operculated families being very poorly represented. Several small genera or sub-genera are peculiar to the region, as Testacella (West Europe and Canaries); Leucochroa (Mediterranean district); Acicula (Europe); Craspedopoma (Atlantic Islands); Leonia (Algeria and Spain); Pomatias (Europe and Canaries); Cecina (Mongolia). The largest genera are Helix and Clausilia, which together comprise more than half the species; Pupa, very numerous; Bulimus and Achatina in moderate numbers, and all the rest small. Helix is the only genus which contains large and handsome species; Bulimus and Achatina, so magnificent in tropical countries, being here represented by small and obscure forms only. Daudebardia is confined to Central and South Europe and New Zealand; Glandina is chiefly South American; Hyalina is only American and European; Buliminus ranges over all the world except America; and the other European genera of Helicidæ are widely distributed. Of the Operculata, Cyclotus, Cyclophorus, and Pupina extend from the Oriental region into Japan and North China; Tudoria is found in Algeria and the West Indies; Hydrocena is widely scattered, and occurs in South Europe and Japan. The genera of freshwater shells are all widely distributed.

The Palæarctic Sub-regions.

The four sub-regions which are here adopted, have been fixed upon as those which are, in the present state of our knowledge, at once the most natural and the only practicable ones. {191}No doubt all of them could be advantageously again subdivided, in a detailed study of the geographical distribution of species. But in a general work, which aims at treating all parts of the world with equal fulness, and which therefore is confined almost wholly to the distribution of families and genera, such further subdivision would be out of place. It is even difficult, in some of the classes of animals, to find peculiar or even characteristic genera for the present sub-regions; but they all have well marked climatic and physical differences, and this leads to an assemblage of species and of groups which are sufficiently distinctive.

I. Central and Northern Europe.

This sub-region, which may perhaps be termed the "European," is zoologically and botanically the best known on the globe. It can be pretty accurately defined, as bounded on the south by the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Balkans, the Black Sea, and the Caucasus range; and by the Ural Mountains, or perhaps more correctly the valley of the Irtish and Caspian Sea, on the east; while Ireland and Iceland are its furthest outliers in the west. To the north, it merges so gradually into the Arctic zone that no demarcation is possible. The great extent to which this sub-region is interpenetrated by the sea, and the prevalence of westerly winds bringing warmth and moisture from an ocean influenced by the gulf-stream, give it a climate for the most part genial, and free from extremes of heat and cold. It is thus broadly distinguished from Siberia and Northern Asia generally, where a more extreme and rigorous climate prevails.

The whole of this sub-region is well watered, being penetrated by rivers in every direction; and it consists mainly of plains and undulating country of moderate elevation, the chief mountain ranges being those of Scandinavia in the north-west, and the extensive alpine system of Central Europe. But these are both of moderate height, and a very small portion of their surface is occupied either by permanent snow-fields, or by barren uplands inimical to vegetable and animal life. It is, in {192}fact, to these, and the numerous lesser mountains and hills which everywhere diversify the surface of Europe, that the variety and abundance of its animal life is greatly due. They afford the perennial supplies to rivers, and furnish in their valleys and ever varying slopes, stations suited to every form of existence. A considerable area of Central Europe is occupied by uplands of moderate elevation, a comparatively small portion being flat and marshy plains.

Most of the northern and much of the central portions of Europe are covered with vast forests of coniferous trees; and these, occupying as they do those tracts where the winter is most severe, supply food and shelter to many animals who could not otherwise maintain their existence. It is probable that the original condition of the greater part, if not the whole, of temperate Europe, except the flat marshes of the river valleys and the sandy downs of the coast, was that of woodland and forest, mostly of deciduous trees, but with a plentiful admixture of such hardy evergreens as holly, ivy, privet, and yew. A sufficient proportion of these primeval woods, and of artificial plantations which have replaced them, fortunately remain, to preserve for us most of the interesting forms of life, which were developed before man had so greatly modified the surface of the earth, and so nearly exterminated many of its original tenants. Almost exactly in proportion to the amount of woodland that still remains in any part of Europe, do we find (other things being equal) the abundance and variety of wild animals; a pretty clear indication that the original condition of the country was essentially that of a forest, a condition which only now exists in the thinly inhabited regions of the north.

Although the sub-region we are considering is, for its extent and latitude, richly peopled with animal life, the number of genera altogether peculiar to it is not great. There are, however, several which are very characteristic, and many species, both of the smaller mammalia and of birds, are wholly restricted to it.

Mammalia.—The genera wholly confined to this sub-region are {193}only two. Myogale, the desman, is a curious long-snouted Insectivorous animal somewhat resembling the water-rat in its habits. There are two species, one found only on the banks of streams in the French Pyrenees, the other on the great rivers of Southern Russia. The other peculiar genus, Rupicapra (the chamois of the Alps), is found on all the high mountains of Central Europe. Almost peculiar are Spalax (the mole-rat) found only in Eastern Europe and Western Siberia; and Saiga, an extraordinary large-nosed antelope which has a nearly similar distribution. Highly characteristic forms, which inhabit nearly every part of the sub-region, are, Talpa (the mole), Erinaceus, (the hedgehog), Sorex (the shrew), Meles (the badger), Ursus (the bear), Canis (the wolf and fox), Mustela (the weasel), Lutra (the otter), Arvicola (the vole), Myoxus (the dormouse), and Lepus (the hare and rabbit); while Bos (the wild bull) was, until exterminated by man, no doubt equally characteristic. Other genera inhabiting the sub-region will be found in the list given at the end of this chapter.

Birds.—It is difficult to name the birds that are most characteristic of this sub-region, because so many of the most familiar and abundant are emigrants from the south, and belong to groups that have a different range. There is perhaps not a single genus wholly confined to it, and very few that have not equal claims to be placed elsewhere. Among the more characteristic we may name Turdus (the thrushes), Sylvia (the warblers), Panurus (the reedling), Parus (the tits), Anthus (the pipits), Motacilla (the wagtails), which are perhaps more abundant here than in any other part of the world, Emberiza (the buntings), Plectrophanes (the snow buntings), Passer (the house sparrows), Loxia (the crossbills), Linota (the linnets), Pica (the magpies), Tetrao (grouse), Lagopus (ptarmigan) and many others.

I am indebted to Mr. H. E. Dresser, who is personally acquainted with the ornithology of much of the North of Europe, for some valuable notes on the northern range of many European birds. Those which are characteristic of the extreme Arctic zone, extending beyond 70° north latitude, and tolerably abundant, are two falcons (Falco gyrfalco and F. peregrinus); {194}the rough-legged buzzard (Archibuteo lagopus); the snowy owl (Nyctea scandiaca); the raven (Corvus corax); three buntings (Emberiza schœniculus, Plectrophanes nivalis and P. calcarata); a lark (Otocorys alpestris); several pipits, the most northern being Anthus cervinus; a wagtail (Budytes cinereocapilla); a dipper (Cinclus melanogaster); a warbler (Cyanecula suecica); the wheatear (Saxicola œnanthe); and two ptarmigans (Lagopus albus and L. salicetus). Most of these birds are, of course, only summer visitors to the Arctic regions, the only species noted as a permanent resident in East Finmark (north of latitude 70°) being the snow-bunting (Plectrophanes nivalis).

The birds that are characteristic of the zone of pine forests, or from about 61° to 70° north latitude, are very numerous, and it will be sufficient to note the genera and the number of species (where more than one) to give an idea of the ornithology of this part of Europe. The birds of prey are, Falco (three species), Astur (two species), Buteo, Pandion, Surnia, Bubo, Syrnium, Asio, Nyctala. The chief Passerine birds are, Corvus (two species), Pica, Garrulus (two species), Nucifraga, Bombycilla, Hirundo (two species), Muscicapa (two species), Lanius, Sturnus, Passer (two species), Pyrrhula, Carpodacus, Loxia (two species), Pinicola, Fringilla (eight species), Emberiza (five species), Alauda, Anthus, Turdus (five species), Ruticilla, Pratincola, Accentor, Sylvia (four species), Hypolais, Regulus, Phylloscopus (two species), Acrocephalus, Troglodytes, and Parus (six species). Woodpeckers are abundant, Picus (four species), Gecinus, and Yunx. The kingfisher (Alcedo), goatsucker (Caprimulgus), and swift (Cypselus) are also common. The wood-pigeon (Columba) is plentiful. The gallinaceous birds are three grouse, Tetrao (two species) and Bonasa, and the common quail (Coturnix).

The remaining genera and species of temperate or north-European birds, do not usually range beyond the region of deciduous trees, roughly indicated by the parallel of 60° north latitude.

Plate I.—Illustrating the Zoology of Central Europe.—Before considering the distribution of the other classes of vertebrata, it will be convenient to introduce our first illustration,

Plate I.




which represents a scene in the Alps of Central Europe, with figures of some of the most characteristic Mammalia and Birds of this sub-region. On the left is the badger (Meles Taxus) one of the weasel family, and belonging to a genus which is strictly Palæarctic. It abounds in Central and Northern Europe and also extends into North Asia, but is represented by another species in Thibet and by a third in Japan. The elegantly-formed creatures on the right are chamois (Rupicapra tragus), almost the only European antelopes, and wholly confined to the higher mountains, from the Pyrenees to the Carpathians and the Caucasus. The chamois is the only species of the genus, and is thus perhaps the most characteristic European mammal. The bird on the left, above the badgers, is the Alpine chough, (Fregilus pyrrhocorax). It is found in the high mountains from the Alps to the Himalayas, and is allied to the Cornish chough, which is still found on our south-western coasts, and which ranges to Abyssinia and North China. The Alpine chough differs in having a shorter bill of an orange colour, and vermilion red feet as in the other species. In the foreground are a pair of ruffs (Machetes pugnax) belonging to the Scolopacidæ or snipe family, and most nearly allied to the genus Tringa or sandpiper. This bird is remarkable for the fine collar of plumes which adorns the males in the breeding season, when they are excessively pugnacious. It is the only species of its genus, and ranges over all Europe and much of Northern Asia, migrating in the winter to the plains of India, and even down the east coast of Africa as far as the Cape of Good Hope; but it only breeds in the Palæarctic region, over the greater part of which it ranges.


Reptiles and Amphibia.—There are no genera of reptiles peculiar to this sub-region. Both snakes and lizards are comparatively scarce, there being about fourteen species of the former and twelve of the latter. Our common snake (Tropidonotus natrix) extends into Sweden and North Russia, but the viper (Viperus berus) goes further north, as far as Archangel (64° N.), and in Scandinavia (67° N.), and is the most Arctic of all known {196}snakes. Of the lizards, Lacerta stirpium (the sand lizard) has the most northerly range, extending into Poland and Northern Russia; and Anguis fragilis (the blind or slow-worm) has almost an equal range.

Amphibia, being more adapted to a northern climate, have acquired a more special development, and thus several forms are peculiar to the North European sub-region. Most remarkable is Proteus, a singular eel-like aquatic creature with small legs, found only in the subterranean lakes in Carniola and Carinthia; Alytes, a curious toad, the male of which carries about the eggs till they are hatched, found only in Central Europe from France to the east of Hungary; and Pelodytes, a frog found only in France. Frogs and toads are very abundant all over Europe, the common frog (Rana temporaria) extending to the extreme north. The newts (Triton) are also very abundant and widely spread, though not ranging so far north as the frogs. The genera Bombinator (a toad-like frog), and Hyla (the tree frog) are also common in Central Europe.

Freshwater Fish.—Two genera of the perch family (Percidæ) are peculiar to this sub-region,—Percarina, a fish found only in the river Dniester, and Aspro, confined to the rivers of Central Europe. Of the very characteristic forms are, Gasterosteus (stickle-back), which alone forms a peculiar family—Gasterosteidæ; Perca, Acerina and Lucioperca, genera of the perch family; Silurus, a large fish found in the rivers of Central Europe, of the family Siluridæ; Esox (the pike), of the family Esocidæ; Cyprinus (carp), Gobio (gudgeon), Leuciscus (roach, chub, dace, &c.), Tinca (tench), Abramus (bream), Alburnus (bleak), Cobitis (loach), all genera of the family Cyprinidæ.

Insects—Lepidoptera.—No genera of butterflies are actually confined to this sub-region, but many are characteristic of it. Parnassius, Aporia, Leucophasia, Colias, Melitæa, Argynnis, Vanessa, Limenitis, and Chionobas, are all very abundant and widespread, and give a feature to the entomology of most of the countries included in it.

Coleoptera.—This sub-region is very rich in Carabidæ; the genera Elaphrus, Nebria, Carabas, Cychrus, Pterostichus, Amara, {197}Trechus and Peryphus being especially characteristic. Staphylinidæ abound. Among Lamellicorns the genus Aphodius is most characteristic. Buprestidæ are scarce; Elateridæ more abundant. Among Malacoderms Telephorus and Malachius are characteristic. Curculionidæ abound: Otiorhynchus, Omias, Erirhinus, Bagous, Rhynchites and Ceutorhynchus being very characteristic genera. Of Longicorns Callidium, Dorcadion, Pogonochærus, Pachyta and Leptura are perhaps the best representatives. Donacia, Crioceris, Chrysomela, and Altica, are typical Phytophaga; while Coccinella is the best representative of the Securipalpes.

North European Islands.—The British Islands are known to have been recently connected with the Continent, and their animal productions are so uniformly identical with continental species as to require no special note. The only general fact of importance is, that the number of species in all groups is much less than in continental districts of equal extent, and that this number is still farther diminished in Ireland. This may be accounted for by the smaller area and less varied surface of the latter island; and it may also be partly due to the great extent of low land, so that a very small depression would reduce it to the condition of a cluster of small islands capable of supporting a very limited amount of animal life. Yet further, if after such a submergence had destroyed much of the higher forms of life in Great Britain and Ireland, both were elevated so as to again form part of the Continent, a migration would commence by which they would be stocked afresh; but this migration would be a work of time, and it is to be expected that many species would never reach Ireland or would find its excessively moist climate unsuited to them.

Some few British species differ slightly from their continental allies, and are considered by many naturalists to be distinct. This is the case with the red grouse (Lagopus scoticus) among birds; and a few of the smaller Passeres have also been found to vary somewhat from the allied forms on the Continent, showing that the comparatively short interval since the glacial period, and the slightly different physical conditions dependent on {198}insularity, have sufficed to commence the work of specific modification. There are also a few small land-shells and several insects not yet found elsewhere than in Britain; and even one of the smaller Mammalia—a shrew (Sorex rusticus). These facts are all readily explained by the former union of these islands with the Continent, and the alternate depressions and elevations which are proved by geological evidence to have occurred, by which they have been more than once separated and united again in recent times. For the evidence of this elevation and depression, the reader may consult Sir Charles Lyell's Antiquity of Man.

Iceland is the only other island of importance belonging to this sub-region, and it contrasts strongly with Great Britain, both in its Arctic climate and oceanic position. It is situated just south of the Arctic circle and considerably nearer Greenland than Europe, yet its productions are almost wholly European. The only indigenous land mammalia are the Arctic fox (Canis lagopus), and the polar bear as an occasional visitant, with a mouse (Mus islandicus), said to be of a peculiar species. Four species of seals visit its shores. The birds are more interesting. According to Professor Newton, ninety-five species have been observed; but many of these are mere stragglers. There are twenty-three land, and seventy-two aquatic birds and waders. Four or five are peculiar species, though very closely related to others inhabiting Scandinavia or Greenland. Only two or three species are more nearly related to Greenland birds than to those of Northern Europe, so that the Palæarctic character of the fauna is unmistakable. The following lists, compiled from a paper by Professor Newton, may be interesting as showing more exactly the character of Icelandic ornithology.

1. Peculiar species.—Troglodytes borealis (closely allied to the common wren, found also in the Faroe Islands); Falco islandicus (closely allied to F. gyrfalco); Lagopus islandorum (closely allied to L. rupestris of Greenland).

2. European species resident in Iceland.—Emberiza nivalis, Corvus corax, Haliæetus albicilla, Rallus aquaticus, Hæmatopus ostralegus, Cygnus ferus, Mergus (two species), Phalacocorax (two {199}species), Sula bassana, Larus (two species), Stercorarius catarractes, Puffinus anglorum, Mergulus alle, Uria (three species), Alca torda.

3. American species resident in Iceland.—Clangula islandica, Histrionicus torquatus.

4. Annual visitants from Europe.—Turdus iliacus, Ruticilla tithys, Saxicola œnanthe, Motacilla alba, Anthus pratensis, Linota linaria, Chelidon urbica, Hirundo rustica, Falco æsalon, Surnia nyctea, Otus brachyotus, Charadrius pluvialis, Ægialites hiaticula, Strepsilas interpres, Phalaropus fulicarius, Totanus calidris, Limosa (species), Tringa (three species), Calidris arenaria, Gallinago media, Numenius phæopus, Ardea cinerea, Anser (two species), Bernicla (two species), Anas (four species), Fuligula marila, Harelda glacialis, Somateria mollissima, Œdemia nigra, Sterna macrura, Rissa tridactyla, Larus leucopterus, Stercorarius (two species), Fratercula artica, Colymbus (two species), Podiceps cornutus.

5. Annual visitant from Greenland.—Falco candicans.

6.—Former resident, now extinct.—Alca impennis (the great auk).

II.—Mediterranean Sub-region.

This is by far the richest portion of the Palæarctic region, for although of moderate extent much of it enjoys a climate in which the rigours of winter are almost unknown. It includes all the countries south of the Pyrenees, Alps, Balkans, and Caucasus mountains; all the southern shores of the Mediterranean to the Atlas range, and even beyond it to include the extra-tropical portion of the Sahara; and in the Nile valley as far as the second cataract. Further east it includes the northern half of Arabia and the whole of Persia, as well as Beluchistan, and perhaps Affghanistan up to the banks of the Indus. This extensive district is almost wholly a region of mountains and elevated plateaus. On the west, Spain is mainly a table-land of more than 2000 feet elevation, deeply penetrated by extensive valleys and rising into lofty mountain chains. Italy, Corsica, Sardinia, and Sicily, are all very {200}mountainous, and much of their surface considerably elevated. Further east we have all European Turkey and Greece, a mountain region with a comparatively small extent of level plain. In Asia the whole country, from Smyrna through Armenia and Persia to the further borders of Affghanistan, is a vast mountainous plateau, almost all above 2000, and extensive districts above 5000 feet in elevation. The only large tract of low-land is the valley of the Euphrates. There is also some low-land south of the Caucasus, and in Syria the valley of the Jordan. In North Africa the valley of the Nile and the coast plains of Tripoli and Algiers are almost the only exceptions to the more or less mountainous and plateau-like character of the country. Much of this extensive area is now bare and arid, and often even of a desert character; a fact no doubt due, in great part, to the destruction of aboriginal forests. This loss is rendered permanent by the absence of irrigation, and, it is also thought, by the abundance of camels and goats, animals which are exceedingly injurious to woody vegetation, and are able to keep down the natural growth of forests. Mr. Marsh (whose valuable work Man and Nature gives much information on this subject) believes that even large portions of the African and Asiatic deserts would become covered with woods, and the climate thereby greatly improved, were they protected from these destructive domestic animals, which are probably not indigenous to the country. Spain, in proportion to its extent, is very barren; Italy and European Turkey are more woody and luxuriant; but it is perhaps in Asia Minor, on the range of the Taurus, along the shores of the Black Sea, and to the south of the Caucasus range, that this sub-region attains its maximum of luxuriance in vegetation and in animal life. From the Caspian eastward extends a region of arid plains and barren deserts, diversified by a few more fertile valleys, in which the characteristic flora and fauna of this portion of the Palæarctic region abounds. Further east we come to the forests of the Hindoo Koosh, which probably form the limit of the sub-region. Beyond these we enter on the Siberian sub-region to the north, and on the outlying portion of the Oriental region on the south.


In addition to the territories now indicated as forming part of the Mediterranean sub-region, we must add the group of Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa which seem to be an extension of the Atlas mountains, and the oceanic groups of Madeira and the Azores; the latter about 1,000 miles from the continent of Europe, yet still unmistakably allied to it both in their vegetable and animal productions. The peculiarities of the faunas of these islands will be subsequently referred to.

It seems at first sight very extraordinary, that so large and wide a sea as the Mediterranean should not separate distinct faunas, and this is the more remarkable when we find how very deep the Mediterranean is, and therefore how ancient we may well suppose it to be. Its eastern portion reaches a depth of 2,100 fathoms or 12,600 feet, while its western basin is about 1,600 fathoms or 9,600 feet in greatest depth, and a considerable area of both basins is more than 1,000 fathoms deep. But a further examination shows, that a comparatively shallow sea or submerged bank incloses Malta and Sicily, and that on the opposite coast a similar bank stretches out from the coast of Tripoli leaving a narrow channel the greatest depth of which is 240 fathoms. Here therefore is a broad plateau, which an elevation of about 1,500 feet would convert into a wide extent of land connecting Italy with Africa; while the same elevation would also connect Morocco with Spain, leaving two extensive lakes to represent what is now the Mediterranean Sea, and affording free communication for land animals between Europe and North Africa. That such a state of things existed at a comparatively recent period, is almost certain; not only because a considerable number of identical species of mammalia inhabit the opposite shores of the Mediterranean, but also because numerous remains of three species of elephants have been found in caves in Malta,—now a small rocky island in which it would be impossible for such animals to live even if they could reach it. Remains of hippopotami are also found at Gibraltar, and many other animals of African types in Greece; all indicating means of communication between South Europe and North Africa which no longer exist. (See Chapter VI. pp. 113-115.)


Mammalia.—There are a few groups of Palæarctic Mammalia that are peculiar to this sub-region. Such are, Dama, the fallow deer, which is now found only in South Europe and North Africa; Psammomys, a peculiar genus of Muridæ, found only in Egypt and Palestine; while Ctenodactylus, a rat-like animal classed in the South American family Octodontidæ, inhabits Tripoli. Among characteristic genera not found in other sub-regions, are, Dysopes, a bat of the family Noctilionidæ; Macroscelides, the elephant shrew, in North Africa; Genetta, the civet, in South Europe; Herpestes, the ichneumon, in North Africa and (?) Spain; Hyæna, in South Europe; Gazella, Oryx, Alcephalus, and Addax, genera of antelopes in North Africa and Palestine; Hyrax, in Syria; and Hystrix, the porcupine, in South Europe. Besides these, the camel and the horse were perhaps once indigenous in the eastern parts of the sub-region; and a wild sheep (Ovis musmon) still inhabits Sardinia, Corsica, and the mountains of the south-east of Spain. The presence of the large feline animals—such as the lion, the leopard, the serval, and the hunting leopard—in North Africa, together with several other quadrupeds not found in Europe, have been thought by some naturalists to prove, that this district should not form part of the Palæarctic region. No doubt several Ethiopian groups and species have entered it from the south; but the bulk of its Mammalia still remains Palæarctic, although several of the species have Asiatic rather than European affinities. The Macacus innuus is allied to an Asiatic rather than an African group of monkeys, and thus denotes an Oriental affinity. Ethiopian affinity is apparently shown by the three genera of antelopes, by Herpestes, and by Macroscelides; but our examination of the Miocene fauna has shown that these were probably derived from Europe originally, and do not form any part of the truly indigenous or ancient Ethiopian fauna. Against these, however, we have the occurrence in North Africa of such purely Palæarctic and non-Ethiopian genera as Ursus, Meles, Putorius, Sus, Cervus, Dama, Capra, Alactaga; together with actual European or West Asiatic species of Canis, Genetta, Felis, Putorius, Lutra, many bats, Sorex, Crocidura, Crossopus, Hystrix, {203}Dipus, Lepus, and Mus. It is admitted that, as regards every other group of animals, North Africa is Palæarctic, and the above enumeration shows that even in Mammalia, the intermixture of what are now true Ethiopian types is altogether insignificant. It must he remembered, also, that the lion inhabited Greece even in historic times, while large carnivora were contemporary with man all over Central Europe.

Birds.—So many of the European birds migrate over large portions of the region, and so many others have a wide permanent range, that we cannot expect to find more than a few genera, consisting of one or two species, each, confined to a sub-region; and such appear to be, Lusciniola and Pyrophthalma, genera of Sylviidæ. But many are characteristic of this, as compared with other Palæarctic sub-regions; such as, Bradyptetus, Aedon, Dromolæa, and Cercomela, among Sylviidæ; Crateropus and Malacocercus, among Timaliidæ; Telophonus among Laniidæ; Certhilauda and Mirafra among larks; Pastor among starlings; Upupa, the hoopoe; Halcyon and Ceryle among kingfishers; Turnix and Caccabis among Gallinæ, and the pheasant as an indigenous bird; together with Gyps, Vultur and Neophron, genera of vultures. In addition to these, almost all our summer migrants spend their winter in some part of this favoured land, mostly in North Africa, together with many species of Central Europe that rarely or never visit us. It follows, that a large proportion of all the birds of Europe and Western Asia are to be found in this sub-region, as will be seen by referring to the list of the genera of the region. Palestine is one of the remote portions of this region which has been well explored by Canon Tristram, and it may be interesting to give his summary of the range of the birds. We must bear in mind that the great depression of the Dead Sea has a tropical climate, which accounts for the presence here only, of such a tropical form as the sun-bird (Nectarinea osea).

The total number of the birds of Palestine is 322, and of these no less than 260 are European, at once settling the question of the general affinities of the fauna. Of the remainder eleven belong to North and East Asia, four to the Red Sea, and {204}thirtyone to East Africa, while twenty-seven are peculiar to Palestine. It is evident therefore that an unusual number of East African birds have extended their range to this congenial district, but most of these are desert species and hardly true Ethiopians, and do not much interfere with the general Palæarctic character of the whole assemblage. As an illustration of how wide-spread are many of the Palæarctic forms, we may add, that seventy-nine species of land birds and fifty-five of water birds, are common to Palestine and Britain. The Oriental and Ethiopian genera Pycnonotus and Nectarinea are found here, while Bessornis and Dromolæa are characteristically Ethiopian. Almost all the other genera are Palæarctic.

Persia is another remote region generally associated with the idea of Oriental and almost tropical forms, but which yet undoubtedly belongs to the Palæarctic region. Mr. Blanford's recent collections in this country, with other interesting information, is summarised in Mr. Elwes's paper on the "Geographical Distribution of Asiatic Birds" (Proc. Zool. Soc. 1873, p. 647). No less than 127 species are found also in Europe, and thirty-seven others belong to European genera; seven are allied to birds of Central Asia or Siberia, and fifteen to those of North-East Africa, while only three are purely of Indian affinities. This shows a preponderance of nearly nine-tenths of Palæarctic forms, which is fully as much as can be expected in any country near the limits of a great region.

Reptiles and Amphibia.—The climatal conditions being here more favourable to these groups, and the genera being often of limited range, we find some peculiar, and several very interesting forms. Rhinechis, a genus of Colubrine snakes, is found only in South Europe; Trogonophis, one of the Amphisbænians—curious snake-like lizards—is known only from North Africa; Psammosaurus, belonging to the water lizards (Varanidæ) is found in North Africa and North-West India; Psammodromus, a genus of Lacertidæ, is peculiar to South Europe; Hyalosaurus, belonging to the family Zonuridæ, is a lizard of especial interest, as it inhabits North Africa while its nearest ally is the Ophisaurus or "glass snake" of North America; the family of {205}the scinks is represented by Scincus found in North Africa and Arabia. Besides these Seps, a genus of sand lizards (Sepidæ) and Agama, a genus of Agamidæ, are abundant and characteristic.

Of Amphibia we have Seiranota, a genus of salamanders found only in Italy and Dalmatia; Chioglossa, in Portugal, and Geotriton, in Italy, belonging to the same family, are equally peculiar to the sub-region.

Freshwater Fish.—One of the most interesting is Tellia, a genus of Cyprinodontidæ found only in alpine pools in the Atlas mountains. Paraphoxinius, found in South-East Europe, and Chondrostoma, in Europe and Western Asia, genera of Cyprimidæ, seem almost peculiar to this sub-region.

Insects—Lepidoptera.—Two genera of butterflies, Thais and Doritis, are wholly confined to this sub-region, the former ranging over all Southern Europe, the latter confined to Eastern Europe and Asia Minor. Anthocharis and Zegris are very characteristic of it, the latter only extending into South Russia, while Danais, Charaxes, and Libythea are tropical genera unknown in other parts of Europe.

Coleoptera.—This sub-region is very rich in many groups of Coleoptera, of which a few only can be noticed here. Among Carabidæ it possesses Procerus and Procrustes, almost exclusively, while Brachinus, Cymindis, Lebia, Graphipterus, Scarites, Chlænius, Calathus, and many others, are abundant and characteristic. Among Lamellicorns—Copridæ, Glaphyridæ, Melolonthidæ, and Cetoniidæ abound. Buprestidæ are plentiful, the genera Julodis, Acmæodera, Buprestis, and Sphenoptera being characteristic. Among Malacoderms—Cebrionidæ, Lampyridæ, and Malachiidæ abound. The Tenebrioid Heteromera are very varied and abundant, and give a character to the sub-region. The Mylabridæ, Cantharidæ, and Œdemeridæ are also characteristic. Of the immense number of Curculionidæ—Thylacites, Brachycerus, Lixus, and Acalles may be mentioned as among the most prominent. Of Longicorns there are few genera especially characteristic, but perhaps Prinobius, Purpuricenus, Hesperophanes, and Parmena are most so. Of the remaining families, we may mention Clythridæ, Hispidæ, and Cassididæ as being abundant.


The Mediterranean and Atlantic Islands.—The various islands of the Mediterranean are interesting to the student of geographical distribution as affording a few examples of local species of very restricted range, but as a rule they present us with exactly the same forms as those of the adjacent mainland.[6] Their peculiarities do not, therefore, properly come within the scope of this work. The islands of the Atlantic Ocean belonging to this sub-region are, from their isolated position and the various problems they suggest, of much more interest, and their natural history has been carefully studied. We shall therefore give a short account of their peculiar features.

Of the three groups of Atlantic islands belonging to this sub-region, the Canaries are nearest to the Continent, some of the islands being only about fifty miles from the coast of Africa. They are, however, separated from the mainland by a very deep channel (more than 5,000 feet), as shown on our general map. The islands extend over a length of 300 miles; they are very mountainous and wholly volcanic, and the celebrated peak of Teneriffe rises to a height of more than 12,000 feet. The small Madeira group is about 400 miles from the coast of Morocco and 600 from the southern extremity of Portugal; and there is a depth of more than 12,000 feet between it and the continent. The Azores are nearly 1,000 miles west of Lisbon. They are quite alone in mid-Atlantic, the most westerly islands being nearer Newfoundland than Europe, and are surrounded by ocean depths of from 12,000 to 18,000 feet. It will be convenient to take these islands first in order.

Azores.—Considering the remoteness of this group from every other land, it is surprising to find as many as fifty-three species of birds inhabiting or visiting the Azores; and still more to {207}find that they are of Palæarctic genera and, with one exception, all of species found either in Europe, North Africa, Madeira, or the Canaries. The exception is a bullfinch peculiar to the islands, but closely allied to a European species. Of land birds there are twenty-two, belonging to twenty-one genera, all European. These genera are Cerchneis, Buteo, Asio, Strix, Turdus, Oriolus, Erithacus, Sylvia, Regulus, Saxicola, Motacilla, Plectrophanes, Fringilla, Pyrrhula, Serinus, Sturnus, Picus, Upupa, Columba, Caccabis, and Coturnix. Besides the bullfinch (Pyrrhula) other species show slight differences from their European allies, but not such as to render them more than varieties. The only truly indigenous mammal is a bat of a European species. Nine butterflies inhabit the Azores; eight of them are European species, one North American. Of beetles 212 have been collected, of which no less than 175 are European species; of the remainder, nineteen are found in the Canaries or Madeira, three in South America, while fourteen are peculiar to the islands.

Now these facts (for which we are indebted to Mr. Godman's Natural History of the Azores) are both unexpected and exceedingly instructive. In most other cases of remote Oceanic islands, a much larger proportion of the fauna is endemic, or consists of peculiar species and often of peculiar genera; as is well shown by the case of the Galapagos and Juan Fernandez, both much nearer to a continent and both containing peculiar genera and species of birds. Now we know that the cause and meaning of this difference is, that in the one case the original immigration is very remote and has never or very rarely been repeated, so that under the unchecked influence of new conditions of life the species have become modified; in the other case, either the original immigration has been recent, or if remote has been so frequently repeated that the new comers have kept up the purity of the stock, and have not allowed time for the new conditions to produce the effect we are sure they would in time produce if not counteracted. For Mr. Godman tells us that many of the birds are modified—instancing the gold-crested wren, blackcap, and rock dove—and he adds, that the {208}modification all tends in one direction—to produce a more sombre plumage, a greater strength of feet and legs, and a more robust bill. We further find, that four of the land-birds, including the oriole, snow-bunting, and hoopoe, are not resident birds, but straggle accidentally to the islands by stress of weather; and we are told that every year some fresh birds are seen after violent storms. Add to this the fact, that the number of species diminishes in the group as we go from east to west, and that the islands are subject to fierce and frequent storms blowing from every point of the compass,—and we have all the facts requisite to enable us to understand how this remote archipelago has become stocked with animal life without ever probably being much nearer to Europe than it is now. For the islands are all volcanic, the only stratified rock that occurs being believed to be of Miocene date.

Madeira and the Canaries.—Coming next to Madeira, we find the number of genera of land birds has increased to twenty-eight, of which seventeen are identical with those of the Azores. Some of the commonest European birds—swallows, larks, sparrows, linnets, goldfinches, ravens, and partridges, are among the additions. A gold-crested warbler, Regulus Maderensis, and a pigeon, Columba Trocaz, are peculiar to Madeira.

In the Canaries we find that the birds have again very much increased, there being more than fifty genera of land birds; but the additions are wholly European in character, and almost all common European species. We find a few more peculiar species (five), while some others, including the wild canary, are common to all the Atlantic Islands or to the Canaries and Madeira. Here, too, the only indigenous mammalia are two European species of bats.

Land Shells.—The land shells of Madeira offer us an instructive contrast to the birds of the Atlantic Islands. About fifty-six species have been found in Madeira, and forty-two in the small adjacent island of Porto Santo, but only twelve are common to both, and all or almost all are distinct from their nearest allies in Europe and North Africa. Great numbers of fossil shells are also found in deposits of the Newer Pliocene period; and {209}although these comprise many fresh species, the two faunas and that of the continent still remain almost as distinct from each other as before. It has been already stated (p. 31) that the means by which land mollusca have been carried across arms of the sea are unknown, although several modes may be suggested; but it is evidently a rare event, requiring some concurrence of favourable conditions not always present. The diversity and specialization of the forms of these animals is, therefore, easily explained by the fact, that, once introduced they have been left to multiply under the influence of a variety of local conditions, which inevitably lead, in the course of ages, to the formation of new varieties and new species.

Coleoptera.—The beetles of Madeira and the Canaries have been so carefully collected and examined by Mr. T. V. Wollaston, and those of the Azores described and compared by Mr. Crotch, and they illustrate so many curious points in geographical distribution, that it is necessary to give some account of them. No less than 1,480 species of beetles have been obtained from the Canaries and Madeira, only 360 of which are European, the remainder being peculiar to the islands. The Canaries are inhabited by a little over 1,000 species, Madeira by about 700, while 240 are common to both; but it is believed that many of these have been introduced by man. In the Azores, 212 species have been obtained, of which 175 are European; showing, as in the birds, as closer resemblance to the European fauna than in the other islands which, although nearer to the continent, offer more shelter and are situated in a less tempestuous zone. Of the non-European species in the Azores, 19 are found also in the other groups of islands, 14 are peculiar, while 3 are American. Of the European species, 132 are found also in the other Atlantic islands, while 43 have reached the Azores only. This is interesting as showing to how great an extent the same insects reach all the islands, notwithstanding the difference of latitude and position; and it becomes of great theoretical importance, when we find how many extensive families and genera are altogether absent.

The Madeira group has been more thoroughly explored than {210}any other, and its comparatively remote situation, combined with its luxuriant vegetation, have been favourable to the development and increase of the peculiar forms which characterize all the Atlantic islands in a more or less marked degree. A consideration of some of its peculiarities will, therefore, best serve to show the bearing of the facts presented by the insect fauna of the Atlantic islands, on the general laws of distribution. The 711 species of beetles now known from the Madeira group, belong to 236 genera; and no less than 44 of these genera are not European but are peculiar to the Atlantic islands. Most of them are, however, closely allied to European genera, of which they are evidently modifications. A most curious general feature presented by the Madeiran beetles, is the total absence of many whole families and large genera abundant in South Europe. Such are the Cicindelidæ, or tiger beetles; the Melolonthidæ, or chafers; the Cetoniidæ, or rose-chafers; the Eumolpidæ and Galerucidæ, large families of Phytophagous, or leaf-eating beetles; and also the extensive groups of Elateridæ and Buprestidæ, which are each represented by but one minute species. Of extensive genera abundant in South Europe, but wholly absent in Madeira, are Carabus, Rhizotrogus, Lampyris, and other genera of Malacoderms; Otiorhynchus, Brachycerus, and 20 other genera of Curculionidæ, comprising more than 300 South European and North African species; Pimelia, Tentyra, Blaps, and 18 other genera of Heteromera, comprising about 550 species in South Europe and North Africa; and Timarcha, containing 44 South European and North African species.

Another most remarkable feature of the Madeiran Coleoptera is the unusual prevalence of apterous or wingless insects. This is especially the case with groups which are confined to the Atlantic islands, many of which consist wholly of wingless species; but it also affects the others, no less than twenty-two genera which are usually or sometimes winged in Europe, having only wingless species in Madeira; and even the same species which is winged in Europe becomes, in at least three cases, wingless in Madeira, without any other perceptible change having taken place. But there is another most curious fact noticed by {211}Mr. Wollaston; that those species which possess wings in Madeira, often have them rather larger than their allies in Europe. These two facts were connected by Mr. Darwin, who suggested that flying insects are much more exposed to he blown out to sea and lost, than those which do not fly (and Mr. Wollaston had himself supposed that the "stormy atmosphere" of Madeira had something to do with the matter); so that the most frequent fliers would be continually weeded out, while the more sluggish individuals, who either could not or would not fly, remained to continue the race; and this process going on from generation to generation, would, on the well-ascertained principles of selection and abortion by disuse, in time lead to the entire loss of wings by those insects to whom wings were not a necessity. But those whose wings were essential to their existence would be acted upon in another way. All these must fly to obtain their food or provide for their offspring, and those that flew best would be best able to battle with the storms, and keep themselves safe, and thus those with the longest and most powerful wings would be preserved. If however all the individuals of the species were too weak on the wing to resist the storms, they would soon become extinct.[7]

Now this explanation of the facts is not only simple and probable in itself, but it also serves to explain in a remarkable manner some of the peculiarities and deficiencies of the Madeiran insect fauna, in harmony with the view (supported by the distribution of the birds and land shells, and in particular by the immigrant birds and insects of the Azores) that all the insects have been derived from the continent or from other islands, by {212}immigration across the ocean, in various ways and during a long period. These deficiencies are, on the other hand, quite inconsistent with the theory (still held by some entomologists) that a land communication is absolutely necessary to account for the origin of the Madeiran fauna.

First, then, we can understand how the tiger-beetles (Cicindelidæ) are absent; since they are insects which have a short weak flight, but yet to whom flight is necessary. If a few had been blown over to Madeira, they would soon have become exterminated. The same thing applies to the Melolonthidæ, Cetoniidæ, Eumolpidæ, and Galerucidæ,—all flower and foliage-haunting insects, yet bulky and of comparatively feeble powers of flight. Again, all the large genera abundant in South Europe, which have been mentioned above as absent from Madeira, are wholly apterous (or without wings), and thus their absence is a most significant fact; for it proves that in the case of all insects of moderate size, flight was essential to their reaching the island, which could not have been the case had there been a land connection. There are, however, one or two curious exceptions to the absence of these wholly apterous European genera in Madeira, and as in each case the reason of their being exceptions can be pointed out, they are eminently exceptions that prove the rule. Two of the apterous species common to Europe and Madeira are found always in ants' nests; and as ants, when winged, fly in great swarms and are carried by the wind to great distances, they may have conveyed the minute eggs of these very small beetles. Two European species of Blaps occur in Madeira, but these are house beetles, and are admitted to have been introduced by man. There are also three species of Meloe, of which two are European and one peculiar. These are large, sluggish, wingless insects, but they have a most extraordinary and exceptional metamorphosis, the larvae in the first state being minute active insects parasitic on bees, and thus easily conveyed across the ocean. This case is most suggestive, as it accounts for what would be otherwise a difficult anomaly. Another case, not quite so easily explained, is that of the genus Acalles, which is very abundant in all the Atlantic {213}islands and also occurs in South Europe, but is always apterous. It is however closely allied to another genus, Cryptorhynchus, which is apterous in some species, winged in others. We may therefore well suppose that the ancestors of Acalles were once in the same condition, and that some of the winged forms reached Madeira, the genus having since become wholly apterous.

We may look at this curious subject in another way. The Coleoptera of Madeira may be divided into those which are found also in Europe or the other islands, and those which are peculiar to it. On the theory of introduction by accidental immigration across the sea, the latter must be the more ancient, since they have had time to become modified; while the former are comparatively recent, and their introduction may he supposed to be now going on. The peculiar influence of Madeira in aborting the wings should, therefore, have acted on the ancient and changed forms much more powerfully than on the recent and unchanged forms. On carefully comparing the two sets of insects (omitting those which have almost certainly been introduced by man) we find, that out of 263 species which have a wide range, only 14 are apterous; while the other class, consisting of 393 species, has no less than 178 apterous; or about 5 per cent in the one case, and 45 per cent in the other.[8] On the theory of a land connection as the main agent in introducing the fauna, both groups must have been introduced at or about the same time, and why one set should have lost their wings and the other not, is quite inexplicable.

Taking all these singular facts, in connection with the total absence of all truly indigenous terrestrial mammalia and reptiles from these islands—even from the extensive group of the Canaries so comparatively near to the continent, we are forced to reject the theory of a land connection as quite untenable; and this view becomes almost demonstrated by the case of the Azores, which being so much further off, and surrounded by such a vast expanse of deep ocean, could only have been {214}connected with Europe at a far remoter epoch, and ought therefore to exhibit to us a fauna composed almost entirely of peculiar forms both of birds and insects. Yet, so far from this being the case, the facts are exactly the reverse. Far more of the birds and insects are identical with those of Europe than in the other islands, and this difference is clearly traced to the more tempestuous atmosphere, which is shown to be even now annually bringing fresh immigrants (both birds and insects) to its shores. We here see nature actually at work; and if the case of Madeira rendered her mode of action probable, that of the Azores may be said to demonstrate it.

Mr. Wollaston has objected to this view that "storms and hurricanes" are somewhat rare in the latitude of Madeira and the Canaries; but this little affects the question, since the time allowed for such operations is so ample. If but one very violent storm happened in a century, and ten such storms recurred before a single species of insect was introduced into Madeira, that would be more than sufficient to people it, as we now find it, with a varied fauna. But he also adds the important information that the ordinary winds blow almost uninterruptedly from the north-east, so that there would be always a chance of a little stronger wind than usual bringing insect, or larva, or egg, attached to leaves or twigs. Neither Mr. Wollaston, Mr. Crotch, Mr. A. Murray, nor any other naturalist who upholds the land-connection theory, has attempted to account for the fact of the absence of so many extensive groups of insects that ought to be present, as well as of all small mammalia and reptiles.

Cape Verd Islands.—There is yet another group of Atlantic islands which is very little known, and which is usually considered to be altogether African—the Cape Verd Islands, situated between 300 and 400 miles west of Senegal, and a little to the south of the termination of the Sahara. The evidence that we possess as to the productions of these islands, shows that, like the preceding groups, they are truly oceanic, and have probably derived their fauna from the desert and the Canaries to the north-east of them rather than from the fertile and more truly {215}Ethiopian districts of Senegal and Gambia to the east. There is a mingling of the two faunas, but the preponderance seems to be undoubtedly with the Palæarctic rather than with the Ethiopian. I owe to Mr. R. B. Sharpe of the British Museum, a MS. list of the birds of these islands, twenty-three species in all. Of these eight are of wide distribution and may be neglected. Seven are undoubted Palæarctic species, viz.:—Milvus ictinus, Sylvia atricapilla, S. conspicillata, Corvus corone, Passer salicarius, Certhilauda desertorum, Columba livia. Three are peculiar species, but of Palæarctic genera and affinities, viz.:—Calamoherpe brevipennis, Ammomanes cinctura, and Passer jagoensis. Against this we have to set two West African species, Estrilda cinerea and Numida meleagris, both of which were probably introduced by man; and three which are of Ethiopian genera and affinities, viz.:—Halcyon erythrorhyncha, closely allied to H. semicærulea of Arabia and North-east Africa, and therefore almost Palæarctic; Accipiter melanoleucus; and Pyrrhulauda nigriceps, an Ethiopian form; but the same species occurs in the Canaries.

The Coleoptera of these islands have been also collected by Mr. Wollaston, and he finds that they have generally the same European character as those of the Canaries and Madeira, several of the peculiar Atlantic genera, such as Acalles and Hegeter, occurring, while others are represented by new but closely allied genera. Out of 275 species 91 were found also in the Canaries and 81 in the Madeiran group; a wonderful amount of similarity when we consider the distance and isolation of these islands and their great diversity of climate and vegetation.

This connection of the four groups of Atlantic islands now referred to, receives further support from the occurrence of land-shells of the subgenus Leptaxis in all the groups, as well as in Majorca; and by another subgenus, Hemicycla, being common to the Canaries and Cape Verd islands. Combining these several classes of facts, we seem justified in extending the Mediterranean sub-region to include the Cape Verd Islands.


III.—The Siberian Sub-region, or Northern Asia.

This large and comparatively little-known subdivision of the Palæarctic region, extends from the Caspian Sea to Kamschatka and Behring's Straits, a distance of about 4,000 miles; and from the shores of the Arctic Ocean to the high Himalayas of Sikhim in North Latitude 29°, on the same parallel as Delhi. To the east of the Caspian Sea and the Ural Mountains is a great extent of lowland which is continued round the northern coast, becoming narrower as it approaches the East Cape. Beyond this, in a general E.N.E. direction, rise hills and uplands, soon becoming lofty mountains, which extend in an unbroken line from the Hindu Koosh, through the Thian Shan, Altai and Yablonoi Mountains, to the Stanovoi range in the north-eastern extremity of Asia. South of this region is a great central basin, which is almost wholly desert; beyond which again is the vast plateau of Thibet, with the Kuenlun, Karakorum, and Himalayan snow-capped ranges, forming the most extensive elevated district on the globe.

The superficial aspects of this vast territory, as determined by its vegetable covering, are very striking and well contrasted. A broad tract on the northern coast, varying from 150 to 300 and even 500 miles wide, is occupied by the Tundras or barrens, where nothing grows but mosses and the dwarfest Arctic plants, and where the ground is permanently frozen to a great depth. This tract has its greatest southern extension between the rivers Obi and Yenesi, where it reaches the parallel of 60° north latitude. Next to this comes a vast extent of northern forests, mostly of conifers in the more northern and lofty situations, while deciduous trees preponderate in the southern portions and in the more sheltered valleys. The greatest extension of this forest region is north of Lake Baikal, where it is more than 1,200 miles wide. These forests extend along the mountain ranges to join those of the Hindu Koosh. South of the forests the remainder of the sub-region consists of open pasture-lands and vast intervening deserts, of which the Gobi, and those of Turkestan between the Aral and Balkash lakes, are the most {217}extensive. The former is nearly 1,000 miles long, with a width of from 200 to 350 miles, and is almost as complete a desert as the Sahara.

With very few exceptions, this vast territory is exposed to an extreme climate, inimical to animal life. All the lower parts being situated to the north, have an excessively cold winter, so that the limit of constantly frozen ground descends below the parallel of 60° north latitude. To the south, the land is greatly elevated, and the climate extremely dry. In summer the heat is excessive, while the winter is almost as severe as further north. The whole country, too, is subject to violent storms, both in summer and winter; and the rich vegetation that clothes the steppes in spring, is soon parched up and replaced by dusty plains. Under these adverse influences we cannot expect animal life to be so abundant as in those sub-regions subject to more favourable physical conditions; yet the country is so extensive and so varied, that it does actually, as we shall see, possess a very considerable and interesting fauna.

Mammalia.—Four genera seem to be absolutely confined to this sub-region, Nectogale, a peculiar form of the mole family (Talpidæ); Poephagus, the yak, or hairy bison of Thibet; with Procapra and Pantholops, Thibetan antelopes. Some others more especially belong here, although they just enter Europe, as Saiga, the Tartarian antelope; Sminthus, a desert rat;, and Ellobius, a burrowing mole-rat; while Myospalax, a curious rodent allied to the voles, is found only in the Altai mountains and North China; and Moschus, the musk-deer, is almost confined to this sub-region. Among the characteristic animals of the extreme north, are Mustela, and Martes, including the ermine and sable; Gulo, the glutton; Tarandus, the reindeer; Myodes, the lemming; with the lynx, arctic fox, and polar bear; and here, in the Post-pliocene epoch, ranged the hairy rhinoceros and Siberian mammoth, whose entire bodies still remain preserved in the ice-cliffs near the mouths of the great rivers. Farther south, species of wild cat, bear, wolf, deer, and pika (Lagomys) abound; while in the mountains we find wild goats and sheep of several species, and in the plains and deserts wild horses {218}and asses, gazelles, two species of antelopes, flying squirrels (Pteromys), ground squirrels (Tamias), marmots, of the genus Spermophilus, with camels and dromedaries, probably natives of the south-western part of this sub-region. The most abundant and conspicuous of the mammalia are the great herds of reindeer in the north, the wolves of the steppes, with the wild horses, goats, sheep, and antelopes of the plateaus and mountains.

Among the curiosities of this sub-region we must notice the seal, found in the inland and freshwater lake Baikal, at an elevation of about 2,000 feet above the sea. It is a species of Callocephalus, closely allied to, if not identical with, one inhabiting northern seas as well as the Caspian and Lake Aral. This would indicate that almost all northern Asia was depressed beneath the sea very recently; and Mr. Belt's view, of the ice during the glacial epoch having dammed up the rivers and converted much of Siberia into a vast freshwater or brackish lake, perhaps offers the best solution of the difficulty.[9]

Plate II.—Characteristic Mammalia of Western Tartary.—Several of the most remarkable animals of the Palæarctic region inhabit Western Tartary, and are common to the European and Siberian sub-regions. We therefore choose this district for one of our illustrative plates. The large animals in the centre are the remarkable saiga antelopes (Saiga Tartarica), distinguished from all others by a large and fleshy proboscis-like nose, which gives them a singular appearance. They differ so much from all other antelopes that they have been formed into a distinct family by some naturalists, but are here referred to the great family Bovidæ. They inhabit the open plains from Poland to the Irtish River. On the left is the mole-rat, or sand-rat (Spalax murinus). This animal burrows under ground like a mole, feeding on bulbous roots. It inhabits the same country as the saiga, but extends farther south in Europe. On the right is a still more curious animal, the desman (Myogale Muscovitica), a long-snouted water-mole. This creature is fifteen inches long, including the tail; it burrows in the banks of streams, feeding on insects, {219}worms, and leeches; it swims well, and remains long under water, raising the tip of the snout, where the nostrils are situated, to the surface when it wants to breathe. It is thus well concealed; and this may be one use of the development of the long snout, as well as serving to follow worms into their holes in the soft earth. This species is confined to the rivers Volga and Don in Southern Russia, and the only other species known inhabits some of the valleys on the north side of the Pyrenees. In the distance are wolves, a characteristic feature of these wastes.

Plate II.



Birds.—But few genera of birds are absolutely restricted to this sub-region. Podoces, a curious form of starling, is the most decidedly so; Mycerobas and Pyrrhospiza are genera of finches confined to Thibet and the snowy Himalayas; Leucosticte, another genus of finches, is confined to the eastern half of the sub-region and North America; Tetraogallus, a large kind of partridge, ranges west to the Caucasus; Syrrhaptes, a form of sand-grouse, and Lerwa (snow-partridge), are almost confined here, only extending into the next sub-region; as do Grandala, and Calliope, genera of warblers, Uragus, a finch allied to the North American cardinals, and Crossoptilon, a remarkable group of pheasants.

Almost all the genera of central and northern Europe are found here, and give quite a European character to the ornithology, though a considerable number of the species are different. There are a few Oriental forms, such as Abrornis and Larvivora (warblers); with Ceriornis and Ithaginis, genera of pheasants, which reach the snow-line in the Himalayas and thus just enter this sub-region, but as they do not penetrate farther north, they hardly serve to modify the exclusively Palæarctic character of its ornithology.

According to Middendorf, the extreme northern Asiatic birds are the Alpine ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus); the snow-bunting (Plectrophanes nivalis); the raven, the gyrfalcon and the snowy-owl. Those which are characteristic of the barren "tundras," but which do not range so far north as the preceding are,—the willow-grouse (Lagopus albus); the Lapland-bunting (Plectrophanes {220}lapponica); the shore-lark (Otocorys alpestris); the sand-martin (Cotyle riparia), and the sea-eagle (Haliæetus albicilla).

Those which are more characteristic of the northern forests, and which do not pass beyond them, are—the linnet; two crossbills (Loxia Leucoptera and L. Curvirostra); the pine grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator); the waxwing; the common magpie; the common swallow; the peregrine falcon; the rough-legged buzzard; and three species of owls.

Fully one-half of the land-birds of Siberia are identical with those of Europe, the remainder being mostly representative species peculiar to Northern Asia, with a few stragglers and immigrants from China and Japan or the Himalayas. A much larger proportion of the wading and aquatic families are European or Arctic, these groups having always a wider range than land birds.

Reptiles and Amphibia.—From the nature of the country and climate these are comparatively few, but in the more temperate districts snakes and lizards seem to be not uncommon. Halys, a genus of Crotaline snakes, and Phrynocephalus, lizards of the family Agamidæ, are characteristic of these parts. Simotes, a snake of the family Oligodontidæ, reaches an elevation of 16,000 feet in the Himalayas, and therefore enters this sub-region.

Insects.Mesapia and Hypermnestra, genera of Papilionidæ, are butterflies peculiar to this sub-region; and Parnassius is as characteristic as it is of our European mountains. Carabidæ are also abundant, as will be seen by referring to the Chapter on the Distribution of Insects in the succeeding part of this work. The insects, on the whole, have a strictly European character, although a large proportion of the species are peculiar, and several new genera appear.

IV.—Japan and North China, or the Manchurian Sub-region.

This is an interesting and very productive district, corresponding in the east to the Mediterranean sub-region in the west, or rather perhaps to all western temperate Europe. Its limits are not very well defined, but it probably includes all Japan; the Corea and Manchuria to the Amour river and to the lower {221}slopes of the Khingan and Peling mountains; and China to the Nanlin mountains south of the Yang-tse-kiang. On the coast of China the dividing line between it and the Oriental region seems to be somewhere about Foo-chow, but as there is here no natural barrier, a great intermingling of northern and southern forms takes place.

Japan is volcanic and mountainous, with a fine climate and a most luxuriant and varied vegetation. Manchuria is hilly, with a high range of mountains on the coast, and some desert tracts in the interior, but fairly wooded in many parts. Much of northern China is a vast alluvial plain, backed by hills and mountains with belts of forest, above which are the dry and barren uplands of Mongolia. We have a tolerable knowledge of China, of Japan, and of the Amoor valley, but very little of Corea and Manchuria. The recent researches of Père David in Moupin, in east Thibet, said to be between 31° and 32° north latitude, show, that the fauna of the Oriental region here advances northward along the flanks of the Yun-ling mountains (a continuation of the Himalayas); since he found at different altitudes representatives of the Indo-Chinese, Manchurian, and Siberian faunas. On the higher slopes of the Himalayas, there must be a narrow strip from about 8,000 to 11,000 feet elevation intervening between the tropical fauna of the Indo-Chinese sub-region and the almost arctic fauna of Thibet; and the animals of this zone will for the most part belong to the fauna of temperate China and Manchuria, except in the extreme west towards Cashmere, where the Mediterranean fauna will in like manner intervene. On a map of sufficiently large scale, therefore, it would be necessary to extend our present sub-region westward along the Himalayas, in a narrow strip just below the upper limits of forests. It is evident that the large number of Fringillidæ, Corvidæ, Troglodytidæ, and Paridæ, often of south Palæarctic forms, that abound in the higher Himalayas, are somewhat out of place as members of the Oriental fauna, and are equally so in that of Thibet and Siberia; but they form a natural portion of that of North China on the one side, or of South Europe on the other.


Mammalia.—This sub-region contains a number of peculiar and very interesting forms, most of which have been recently discovered by Père David in North and West China and East Thibet. The following are the peculiar genera:—Rhinopithecus, a sub-genus of monkeys, here classed under Semnopithecus; Anurosorex, Scaptochirus, Uropsilus and Scaptonyx, new forms of Talpidæ or moles; Æluropus (Æluridæ); Nyctereutes (Canidæ); Lutronectes (Mustelidæ); Cricetulus (Muridæ); Hydropotes, Moschus, and Elaphodus (Cervidæ). The Rhinopithecus appears to be a permanent inhabitant of the highest forests of Moupin, in a cold climate. It has a very thick fur, as has also a new species of Macacus found in the same district. North China and East Thibet seem to be very rich in Insectivora. Scaptochirus is like a mole; Uropsilus between the Japanese Urotrichus and Sorex; Scaptonyx between Urotrichus and Talpa. Æluropus seems to be the most remarkable mammal discovered by Père David. It is allied to the singular panda (Ælurus fulgens) of Nepal, but is as large as a bear, the body wholly white, with the feet, ears, and tip of the tail black. It inhabits the highest forests, and is therefore a true Palæarctic animal, as most likely is the Ælurus. Nyctereutes, a curious racoon-like dog, ranges from Canton to North China, the Amoor and Japan, and therefore seems to come best in this sub-region; Hydropotes and Lophotragus are small hornless deer confined to North China; Elaphodus, from East Thibet, is another peculiar form of deer; while the musk deer (Moschus) is confined to this sub-region and the last. Besides the above, the following Palæarctic genera were found by Père David in this sub-region: Macacus: five genera or sub-genera of bats (Vespertilio, Vesperus, Vesperugo, Rhinolophus, and Murina); Erinaceus, Nectogale, Talpa, Crocidura and Sorex, among Insectivora; Mustela, Putorius, Martes, Lutra, Viverra, Meles, Ælurus, Ursus, Felis, and Canis, among Carnivora; Hystrix, Arctomys, Myospalax, Spermophilus, Gerbillus, Dipus, Lagomys, Lepus, Sciurus, Pteromys, Arvicola, and Mus, among Rodentia; Budorcas, Nemorhedus, Antilope, Ovis, Moschus, Cervulus and Cervus among Ruminants; and the wide-spread Sus or wild boar. The following Oriental genera are also {223}included in Père David's list, but no doubt occur only in the lowlands and warm valleys, and can hardly be considered to belong to the Palæarctic region: Paguma, Helictis, Arctonyx, Rhizomys, Manis. The Rhizomys from Moupin is a peculiar species of this tropical genus, but all the others inhabit Southern China.

A few additional forms occur in Japan: Urotrichus, a peculiar Mole, which is found also in north-west America; Enhydra, the sea otter of California; and the dormouse (Myoxus). Japan also possesses peculiar species of Macacus, Talpa, Meles, Canis, and Sciuropterus.

It will be seen that this sub-region is remarkably rich in Insectivora, of which it possesses ten genera; and that it has also several peculiar forms of Carnivora, Rodentia, and Ruminants.

Birds.—To give an accurate idea of the ornithology of this sub-region is very difficult, both on account of its extreme richness and the impossibility of defining the limits between it and the Oriental region. A considerable number of genera which are well developed in the high Himalayas, and some which are peculiar to that district, have hitherto always been classed as Indian, and therefore Oriental groups; but they more properly belong to this sub-region. Many of them frequent the highest forests, or descend into the Himalayan temperate zone only in winter; and others are so intimately connected with Palæarctic species, that they can only be considered as stragglers into the border land of the Oriental region. On these principles we consider the following genera to be confined to this sub-region:—

Grandala, Nemura (Sylviidæ); Pterorhinus (Timaliidæ); Cholornis, Conostoma, Heteromorpha (Panuridæ); Cyanoptila (Muscicapidæ); Eophona (Fringillidæ); Dendrotreron (Columbidæ); Lophophorus, Tetraophasis, Crossoptilon, Pucrasia, Thaumalea, and Ithaginis (Phasianidæ). This may be called the sub-region of Pheasants; for the above six genera, comprising sixteen species of the most magnificent birds in the world, are all confined to the temperate or cold mountainous regions of the Himalayas, Thibet, and China; and in addition we have {224}most of the species of tragopan (Ceriornis), and some of the true pheasants (Phasianus).

The most abundant and characteristic of the smaller birds are warblers, tits, and finches, of Palæarctic types; but there are also a considerable number of Oriental forms which penetrate far into the country, and mingling with the northern birds give a character to the Ornithology of this sub-region very different from that of the Mediterranean district at the western end of the region. Leaving out a large number of wide-ranging groups, this mixture of types may be best exhibited by giving lists of the more striking Palæarctic and Oriental genera which are here found intermingled.

Palæarctic Genera.

















Oriental Genera.




























In the above lists there are rather more Oriental than Palæarctic genera; but it must be remembered that most of the former are summer migrants only, or stragglers just entering the sub-region; whereas the great majority of the latter are permanent residents, and a large proportion of them range over the greater part of the Manchurian district. Many of those in the Oriental column should perhaps be omitted, as we have no exact determination of their range, and the limits of the regions are very uncertain. It must be remembered, too, that the Palæarctic genera of Sylviidæ, Paridæ, and Fringillidæ, are often represented by numerous species, whereas the corresponding Oriental genera have for the most part only single species; and we shall then find that, except towards the borders of the Oriental region the Palæarctic element is strongly predominant. Four of the more especially Oriental groups are confined to Japan, the southern {226}extremity of which should perhaps come in the Oriental region. The great richness of this sub-region compared with that of Siberia is well shown by the fact, that a list of all the known land-birds of East Siberia, including Dahuria and the comparatively fertile Amoor Valley, contains only 190 species; whereas Père David's catalogue of the birds of Northern China with adjacent parts of East Thibet and Mongolia (a very much smaller area) contains for the same families 366 species. Of the Siberian birds more than 50 per cent, are European species, while those of the Manchurian sub-region comprise about half that proportion of land-birds which are identical with those of Europe.

Japan is no doubt very imperfectly known, as only 134 land-birds are recorded from it. Of these twenty-two are peculiar species, a number that would probably be diminished were the Corea to be explored. Of the genera, only nine are Indo-Malayan, while forty-three are Palæarctic.

Plate III.—Scene on the Borders of North-West China and Mongolia with Characteristic Mammalia and Birds.—The mountainous districts of Northern China, with the adjacent portions of Thibet and Mongolia, are the head-quarters of the pheasant tribe, many of the most beautiful and remarkable species being found there only. In the north-western provinces of China and the southern parts of Mongolia may be found the species figured. That in the foreground is the superb golden pheasant (Thaumalea picta), a bird that can hardly be surpassed for splendour of plumage by any denizen of the tropics. The large bird perched above is the eared pheasant (Crossoptilon auritum), a species of comparatively sober plumage but of remarkable and elegant form. In the middle distance is Pallas's sand grouse (Syrrhaptes paradoxus), a curious bird, whose native country seems to be the high plains of Northern Asia, but which often abounds near Pekin, and in 1863 astonished European ornithologists by appearing in considerable numbers in Central and Western Europe, in every part of Great Britain, and even in Ireland.

Plate III.



The quadruped figured is the curious racoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides), {227}an animal confined to North China, Japan, and the Amoor Valley, and having no close allies in any other part of the globe. In the distance are some deer, a group of animals very abundant and varied in this part of the Palæarctic region.

Reptiles and Amphibia.—Reptiles are scarce in North China, only four or five species of snakes, a lizard and one of the Geckotidæ occurring in the country round Pekin. The genus Halys is the most characteristic form of snake, while Callophis, an oriental genus, extends to Japan. Among lizards, Plestiodon, Maybouya, Tachydromus, and Gecko reach Japan, the two latter being very characteristic of the Oriental region.

Amphibia are more abundant and interesting; Hynobius, Onychodactylus, and Sieboldtia (Salamandridæ) being peculiar to it, while most of the European genera are also represented.

Fresh-water Fish.—Of these there are a few peculiar genera; as Plecoglossus (Salmonidæ) from Japan; Achilognathus, Pseudoperilampus, Ochetobius, and Opsariichthys (Cyprinidæ); and there are many other Chinese Cyprinidæ belonging to the border land of the Palæarctic and Oriental regions.

Insects.—The butterflies of this sub-region exhibit the same mixture of tropical and temperate forms as the birds. Most of the common European genera are represented, and there are species of Parnassius in Japan and the Amoor. Isodema, a peculiar genus of Nymphalidæ is found near Ningpo, just within our limits; and Sericinus, one of the most beautiful genera of Papilionidæ is peculiar to North China, where four species occur, thus balancing the Thais and Doritis of Europe. The genus Zephyrus (Lycænidæ) is well represented by six species in Japan and the Amoor, against two in Europe. Papilio paris and P. bianor, magnificent insects of wholly tropical appearance, abound near Pekin, and allied forms inhabit Japan and the Amoor, as well as P. demetrius and P. alcinous belonging to the "Protenor" group of the Himalayas. Other tropical genera occurring in Japan, the Amoor, or North China are, Debis, Neope, Mycalesis, Ypthimia (Satyridæ); Thaumantis (Morphidæ), at Shanghae; Euripus, Neptis, Athyma (Nymphalidæ); Terias (Pieridæ); and the above-mentioned Papilionidæ.


Coleoptera.—The beetles of Japan decidedly exhibit a mixture of tropical forms with others truly Palæarctic, and it has been with some naturalists a matter of doubt whether the southern and best known portion of the islands should not be joined to the Oriental region. An important addition to our knowledge of the insects of this country has recently been made by Mr. George Lewis, and a portion of his collections have been described by various entomologists in the Transactions of the Entomological Society of London. As the question is one of considerable interest we shall give a summary of the results fairly deducible from what is now known of the entomology of Japan; and it must be remembered that almost all our collections come from the southern districts, in what is almost a sub-tropical climate; so that if we find a considerable proportion of Palæarctic forms, we may be pretty sure that the preponderance will be much greater a little further north.

Of Carabidæ Mr. Bates enumerates 244 species belonging to 84 genera, and by comparing these with the Coleoptera of a tract of about equal extent in western Europe, he concludes that there is little similarity, and that the cases of affinity to the forms of eastern tropical Asia preponderate. By comparing his genera with the distributions as given in Gemminger and Harold's Catalogue, a somewhat different result is arrived at. Leaving out the generic types altogether peculiar to Japan, and also those genera of such world-wide distribution that they afford no clear indications for our purpose, it appears that no less than twenty-two genera, containing seventy-four of the Japanese species, are either exclusively Palæarctic, Palæarctic and Nearctic, or highly characteristic of the Palæarctic region; then come thirteen genera containing eighty-seven of the species which have a very wide distribution, but are also Palæarctic: we next have seventeen genera containing twenty-four of the Japanese species which are decidedly Oriental and tropical. Here then the fair comparison is between the twenty-two genera and seventy-four species whose affinities are clearly Palæarctic or at least north temperate, and seventeen genera with twenty-four species which are Asiatic and tropical; and this seems to prove that, although South {229}Japan (like North China) has a considerable infusion of tropical forms, there is a preponderating substratum of Palæarctic forms, which clearly indicate the true position of the islands in zoological geography. There are also a few cases of what may be called eccentric distribution; which show that Japan, like many other island-groups, has served as a kind of refuge in which dying-out forms continue to maintain themselves. These, which are worthy of notice, are as follows: Orthotrichus (1 sp.) has the only other species in Egypt; Trechichus (1 sp.) has two other species, of which one inhabits Madeira, the other the Southern United States; Perileptus (1 sp.) has two other species, of which one inhabits Bourbon, the other West Europe; and lastly, Crepidogaster (1 sp.) has the other known species in South Africa. These cases diminish the value of the indications afforded by some of the Japanese forms, whose only allies are single species in various remote parts of the Oriental region.

The Staphylinidæ have been described by Dr. Sharp, and his list exhibits a great preponderance of north temperate, or cosmopolitan forms, with a few which are decidedly tropical. The Pselaphidæ and Scydmenidæ, also described by Dr. Sharp, exhibit, according to that gentleman, "even a greater resemblance to those of North America than to those of Europe," but he says nothing of any tropical affinities. The water-beetles are all either Palæarctic or of wide distribution.

The Lucanidæ (Gemm. and Har. Cat., 1868) exhibit an intermingling of Palæarctic and Oriental genera.

The Cetoniidæ (Gemm. and Har. Cat., 1869) show, for North China and Japan, three Oriental to two Palæarctic genera.

The Buprestidæ collected by Mr. Lewis have been described by Mr. Edward Saunders in the Journal of the Linnæan Society, vol. xi. p. 509. The collection consisted of thirty-six species belonging to fourteen genera. No less than thirteen of these are known also from India and the Malay Islands; nine from Europe; seven from Africa; six from America, and four from China. In six of the genera the Japanese species are said to be allied to those of the Oriental region; while in three they are allied to European forms, and in two to American. Considering {230}the southern latitude and warm climate in which these insects were mostly collected, and the proximity to Formosa and the Malay Islands compared with the enormous distance from Europe, this shows as much Palæarctic affinity as can be expected. In the Palæarctic region the group is only plentiful in the southern parts of Europe, which is cut off by the cold plateau of Thibet from all direct communication with Japan; while in the Oriental region it everywhere abounds and is, in fact, one of the most conspicuous and dominant families of Coleoptera.

The Longicorns collected by Mr. Lewis have been described by Mr. Bates in the Annals of Natural History for 1873. The number of species now known from Japan is 107, belonging to sixty-four genera. The most important genera are Leptura, Clytanthus, Monohammus, Praonetha, Exocentrus, Glenea, and Oberea. There are twenty-one tropical genera, and seven peculiar to Japan, leaving thirty-six either Palæarctic or of very wide range. A number of the genera are Oriental and Malayan, and many characteristic European genera seem to be absent; but it is certain that not half the Japanese Longicorns are yet known, and many of these gaps will doubtless be filled up when the more northern islands are explored.

The Phytophaga, described by Mr. Baly, appear to have a considerable preponderance of tropical Oriental forms.

A considerable collection of Hymenoptera formed by Mr. Lewis have been described by Mr. Frederick Smith; and exhibit the interesting result, that while the bees and wasps are decidedly of tropical and Oriental forms, the Tenthredinidæ and Ichneumonidæ are as decidedly Palæarctic, "the general aspect of the collection being that of a European one, only a single exotic form being found among them."

Remarks on the General Character of the Fauna of Japan.—From a general view of the phenomena of distribution we feel justified in placing Japan in the Palæarctic region; although some tropical groups, especially of reptiles and insects, have largely occupied its southern portions; and these same groups have in many cases spread into Northern China, beyond the {231}usual dividing line of the Palæarctic and Oriental regions. The causes of such a phenomenon are not difficult to conceive. Even now, that portion of the Palæarctic region between Western Asia and Japan is, for the most part, a bleak and inhospitable region, abounding in desert plateaus, and with a rigorous climate even in its most favoured districts, and can, therefore, support but a scanty population of snakes, and of such groups of insects as require flowers, forests, or a considerable period of warm summer weather; and it is precisely these which are represented in Japan and North China by tropical forms. We must also consider, that during the Glacial epoch this whole region would have become still less productive, and that, as the southern limit of the ice retired northward, it would be followed up by many tropical forms along with such as had been driven south by its advance, and had survived to return to their northern homes.

It is also evident that Japan has a more equable and probably moister climate than the opposite shores of China, and has also a very different geological character, being rocky and broken, often volcanic, and supporting a rich, varied, and peculiar vegetation. It would thus be well adapted to support all the more hardy denizens of the tropics which might at various times reach it, while it might not be so well adapted for the more boreal forms from Mongolia or Siberia. The fact that a mixture of such forms occurs there, is then, little to be wondered at, but we may rather marvel that they are not more predominant, and that even in the extreme south, the most abundant forms of mammal, bird, and insect, are modifications of familiar Palæarctic types. The fact clearly indicates that the former land connections of Japan with the continent have been in a northerly rather than in a southerly direction, and that the tropical immigrants have had difficulties to contend with, and have found the land already fairly stocked with northern aborigines in almost every class and order of animals.


General Conclusions as to the Fauna of the Palæarctic Region.—From the account that has now been given of the fauna {232}of the Palæarctic region, it is evident that it owes many of its deficiencies and some of its peculiarities to the influence of the Glacial epoch, combined with those important changes of physical geography which accompanied or preceded it. The elevation of the old Sarahan sea and the complete formation of the Mediterranean, are the most important of these changes in the western portion of the region. In the centre, a wide arm of the Arctic Ocean extended southward from the Gulf of Obi to the Aral and the Caspian, dividing northern Europe and Asia. At this time our European and Siberian sub-regions were probably more distinct than they are now, their complete fusion having been effected since the Glacial epoch. As we know that the Himalayas have greatly increased in altitude during the Tertiary period, it is not impossible that during the Miocene and Pliocene epochs the vast plateau of Central Asia was much less elevated and less completely cut off from the influence of rain-bearing winds. It might then have been far more fertile, and have supported a rich and varied animal population, a few relics of which we see in the Thibetan antelopes, yaks, and wild horses. The influence of yet earlier changes of physical geography, and the relations of the Palæarctic to the tropical regions immediately south of it, will be better understood when we have examined and discussed the faunas of the Ethiopian and Oriental regions.



In constructing these tables showing the distribution of various classes of animals in the Palæarctic region, the following sources of information have been chiefly relied on, in addition to the general treatises, monographs, and catalogues used in compiling the fourth part of this work.

Mammalia.—Lord Clement's Mammalia and Reptiles of Europe; Siebold's Fauna Japonica; Père David's List of Mammalia of North China and Thibet; Swinhoe's Chinese Mammalia; Radde's List of Mammalia of South-Eastern Siberia; Canon Tristram's Lists for Sahara and Palestine; Papers by Professor Milne-Edwards, Mr. Blanford, Mr. Sclater, and the local lists given by Mr. A. Murray in the Appendix to his Geographical Distribution of Mammalia.

Birds.—Blasius' List of Birds of Europe; Godman, On Birds of Azores, Madeira, and Canaries; Middendorf, for Siberia; Père David and Mr. Swinhoe, for China and Mongolia; Homeyer, for East Siberia; Mr. Blanford, for Persia and the high Himalayas; Mr. Elwes's paper on the Distribution of Asiatic Birds; Canon Tristram, for the Sahara and Palestine; Professor Newton, for Iceland and Greenland; Mr. Dresser, for Scandinavia; and numerous papers and notes in the Ibis; Journal für Ornithologie; Annals and Mag. of Nat. History; and Proceedings of the Zoological Society.

Reptiles and Amphibia.—Schreiber's European Herpetology.





Names in italics show families peculiar to the region.

Names inclosed thus (......) barely enter the region, and are not considered properly to belong to it.

Numbers are not consecutive, but correspond to those in Part IV.

Order and Family Sub-regions Range beyond the Region.
Europe. Mediter-
Siberian. Japan.
3. Cynopithecidæ Ethiopian, Oriental
9. (Pteropidæ) Tropics of E. Hemisphere
11. Rhinolophidæ Warmer parts of E. Hemis.
12. Vespertilionidæ Cosmopolite
13. Noctilionidæ Tropical regions
15. Macroscelididæ Ethiopian
17. Erinaceidæ Oriental, S. Africa
21. Talpidæ Nearctic, Oriental
22. Soricidæ Cosmopolite, excl. Australia and S. America
23. Felidæ All regions but Australian
25. Viverridæ Ethiopian, Oriental
27. Hyænidæ Ethiopian, Oriental
28. Canidæ All regions but Australian
29. Mustelidæ All regions but Australian
31. Æluridæ Oriental
32. Ursidæ Nearctic, Oriental, Andes
33. Otariidæ N. and S. temperate zones
34. Trichechidæ Arctic regions
35. Phocidæ N. and S. temperate zones
36 to 41. Oceanic
42. Manatidæ Tropics, from Brazil to N. Australia
43. Equidæ Ethiopian
47. Suidæ Cosmopolite, excl. Nearctic reg. and Australia
48. Camelidæ Andes
50. Cervidæ All regions but Ethiopian and Australian
52. Bovidæ All regions but Neotropical and Australian


54. (Hyracidæ) Ethiopian family
55. Muridæ Almost Cosmopolite
56. Spalacidæ Ethiopian, Oriental
57. Dipodidæ Ethiopian, Nearctic
58. Myoxidæ Ethiopian
60. Castoridæ Nearctic
61. Sciuridæ All regions but Australian
64. Octodontidæ Abyssinia, Neotropical
67. Hystricidæ Ethiopian, Oriental
69. Lagomyidæ Nearctic
70. Leporidæ All regions but Australian
1. Turdidæ Cosmopolite
2. Sylviidæ Cosmopolite
3. Timaliidæ Ethiopian, Oriental, Australian
4. Panuridæ Nearctic, Oriental
5. Cinclidæ Oriental
6. Troglodytidæ American, Oriental
8. Certhiidæ Oriental, Nearctic
9. Sittidæ Nearctic, Oriental, Australian, Madagascar
10. Paridæ Nearctic, Oriental, Australian [?]
13. Pycnonotidæ Oriental, Ethiopian
14. Oriolidæ Ethiopian, Oriental, Australian
17. Muscicapidæ Eastern Hemisphere
19. Laniidæ Eastern Hemisphere and N. America
20. Corvidæ Cosmopolite
23. (Nectariniidæ) Ethiopian, Oriental, Australian
24. (Dicæidæ) Ethiopian, Oriental, Australian
29. Ampelidæ Nearctic
30. Hirundinidæ Cosmopolite
33. Fringillidæ All regions but Australian
35. Sturnidæ Eastern Hemisphere
37. Alaudidæ All regions but Neotropical
38. Motacillidæ Cosmopolite
47. (Pittidæ) Oriental, Australian, Ethiopian
51. Picidæ All regions but Australian
52. Yungidæ N. W. India, N. E. Africa, S. Africa
58. Cuculidæ Almost Cosmopolite
62. Coraciidæ Ethiopian, Oriental, Australian
63. Meropidæ Ethiopian, Oriental, Australian
67. Alcedinidæ Cosmopolite
69. Upupidæ Ethiopian, Oriental
73. Caprimulgidæ Cosmopolite
74. Cypselidæ Almost Cosmopolite


84. Columbidæ Cosmopolite
86. Pteroclidæ Ethiopian, Indian
87. Tetraonidæ Nearctic, Ethiopian, Oriental
88. Phasianidæ Oriental, Ethiopian, Nearctic
89. Turnicidæ Ethiopian, Oriental, Australian
94. Vulturidæ All regions but Australian
96. Falconidæ Cosmopolite
97. Pandionidæ Cosmopolite
98. Strigidæ Cosmopolite
99. Rallidæ Cosmopolite
100. Scolopacidæ Cosmopolite
104. Glareolidæ Ethiopian, Oriental, Australian
105. Charadriidæ Cosmopolite
106. Otididæ Ethiopian, Oriental, Australian
107. Gruidæ Eastern Hemisphere, and N. America
113. Ardeidæ Cosmopolite
114. Plataleidæ Almost Cosmopolite
115. Ciconiidæ Nearly Cosmopolite
117. Phænicopteridæ Neotropical, Ethiopian, Indian
118. Anatidæ Cosmopolite
119. Laridæ Cosmopolite
120. Procellariidæ Cosmopolite
121. Pelecanidæ Cosmopolite
123. Colymbidæ Arctic and N. Temperate
124. Podicipidæ Cosmopolite
125. Alcidæ N. Temperate zone
1. Typhlopidæ All regions but Nearctic
5. Calamariidæ All other regions
6. Oligodontidæ Oriental and Neotropical
7. Colubridæ Almost Cosmopolite
8. Homalopsidæ Oriental, and all other regions
9. Psammophidæ Ethiopian and Oriental
18. Erycidæ Oriental and Ethiopian
20. Elapidæ Australian and all other regions
24. Crotalidæ Nearctic, Neotropical, Oriental
25. Viperidæ Ethiopian, Oriental


26. Trogonophidæ
28. Amphisbænidæ Ethiopian, Neotropical
30. Varanidæ Oriental, Ethiopian, Australian
33. Lacertidæ All continents but American
34. Zonuridæ America, Africa, N. India
41. Gymnopthalmidæ Ethiopian, Australian, Neotropical
45. Scincidæ Almost Cosmopolite
46. Ophiomoridæ
47. Sepidæ Ethiopian
49. Geckotidæ Almost Cosmopolite
51. Agamidæ All continents but America
52. Chamæleonidæ Ethiopian, Oriental
57. Testudinidæ All continents but Australia
59. Trionychidæ Ethiopian, Oriental, Nearctic
60. Cheloniidæ Marine
3. Proteidæ Nearctic
5. Menopomidæ Nearctic
6. Salamandridæ Nearctic to Andes of Bogota
10. Bufonidæ All continents but Australia
13. Bombinatoridæ Neotropical, New Zealand
15. Alytidæ All regions but Oriental
17. Hylidæ All regions but Ethiopian
18. Polypedatidæ All the regions
19. Ranidæ Almost Cosmopolite
20. Discoglossidæ All regions but Nearctic
1. Gasterosteidæ Nearctic
3. Percidæ All regions but Australian
12. Scienidæ All regions but Australian
26. Comephoridæ
37. Atherinidæ N. America and Australia
59. Siluridæ All warm regions
65. Salmonidæ Nearctic, New Zealand
70. Esocidæ Nearctic
71. Umbridæ Nearctic
73. Cyprinodontidæ All regions but Australia
75. Cyprinidaæ All regions but Australian and Neotropical


96. Accipenseridæ Nearctic
97. Polydontidæ Nearctic
Durini (Butterflies).
1. Danaidæ All tropical regions
2. Satyridæ Cosmopolite
8. Nymphalidæ Cosmopolite
9. Libytheidæ All continents but Australia
10. Nemeobeidæ Absent from Nearctic region andAustralia
13. Lycænidæ Cosmopolite
14. Pieridæ Cosmopolite
15. Papilionidæ Cosmopolite
16. Hesperidæ Cosmopolite
17. Zygænidæ Cosmopolite
21. Stygiidæ Neotropical
22. Ægeriidæ Absent only from Australia
23. Sphingidæ Cosmopolite

Coleoptera.—Of about 80 families into which the Coleoptera are divided, all the more important are cosmopolite, or nearly so. It would therefore unnecessarily occupy space to give tables of the whole for each region.

Land Shells.—The more important families being cosmopolite, and the smaller ones being somewhat uncertain in their limits, the reader is referred to the account of the families and genera under each region, and to the chapter on Mollusca in the concluding part of this work, for such information as can be given of their distribution.





Names in italics show genera peculiar to the region.

Names inclosed thus (...) show genera which just enter the region, but are not considered properly to belong to it.

Genera which undoubtedly belong to the region are numbered consecutively.



Order, Family, and | No. of| Range within the Region. | Range beyond the Region.[**P1:period?]

Genus. |Species| | [**asked about 2nd column]


| | |


| | |

Semnopithecidæ. | | |

| | |

(Semnopithecus | 1 |Eastern Thibet) |Oriental genus

| | |

Cynopithecidæ. | | |

| | |

1. Macacus | 4 |Gibraltar, N. Africa, E. Thibet |Oriental

| | to Japan |

| | |


| | |

Pteropidæ. | | |

| | |

(Pteropus | 2 |Egypt, Japan) |Tropics of the E. Hemis.

(Xantharpyia | 1 |N. Africa, Palestine) |Oriental, Austro-Malayan

| | |

Rhinolophidæ. | | |

| | |

2. Rhinolphus | 9 |Temperate & Southern parts of |Warmer parts E. Hemisphere

| | Region |

(Asellia | 1 |Egypt) |Ethiopian, Java

(Rhinopoma | 1 |Egypt, Palestine) |[?] India

(Nycteris | 1 |Egypt) |Nubia, Himalaya

| | |

Vespertilionidæ. | | |

| | |

3. Vesperugo | 1 |Siberia, Amoorland |[?]

4. Otonycteris | 1 |Egypt |[?]

5. Vespertilio | 35 |The whole region |Cosmopolite

(Kerivoula | 1 |N. China) |Oriental, S. Africa

6. Miniopteris | 1 |S. Europe, N. Africa, Japan |S. Afric. Malaya, Austral.

7. Plecotus | 1 |S. Europe |Himalayas

8. Barbastellus | 2 |Mid. and S. Europe, Palestine |Darjeeling, Timor

| | |

Noctilionidæ. | | |

| | |

9 Molossus | 2 |S. Europe, N. Africa |Ethiop., Neotrop., Australian

| | |


| | |

Erinaceidæ. | | |

| | |

10. Erinaceus | 4 |The whole region; excl. Japan |Oriental, Africa.

[**space allowed for marks around _italics_. If is actually smaller font, it will align only in text variety.]

| | |

Talpidæ. | | |

| | |

11. Talpa | 5 |The whole region |N. India

12. Scaptochirus | 1 |N. China |

13. Anurosorex | 1 |N. China |

14. Scaptonyx | 1 |N. China |

15. Myogale | 2 |S. E. Russia, Pyrenees |

16. Nectogale | 1 |Thibet |

17. Urotrichus | 1 |Japan |N. W. America

18. Uropsilus | 1 |E. Thibet |

| | |

Soricidæ. | | |

| | |

19. Sorex | 10 |The whole region |Absent from Australia &

| | | S. America

20. Crocidura | 4 |W. Europe to N. China | [?]

| | |


| | |

Felidæ. | | |

| | |

21. Felis | 12 |The whole region; excl. |All regions but Austral.

| | extreme North |

22. Lyncus | 9 |S. Europe to Arctic sea |America N. of 66° N.Lat.

| | |

Viverridæ. | | |

| | |

(Viverra | 1 |N. China) |Oriental and Ethiopian

23. Genetta | 1 |S. Europe & N. Africa, Palestine |Ethiopian

(Herpestes | 1 |N. Africa, Spain [?], Palestine) |Oriental and Ethiopian

| | |

Hyænidæ. | | |

| | |

24. Hyæna | 1 |N. Africa and S. W. Asia |Ethiopian, India

| | |

Canidæ. | | |

| | |

25. Canis | 4 |The whole region |All reg. but Austral.[?]

26. Nyctereutes | 1 |Japan, Amoorland, N. China |

| | |

Mustelidæ. | | |

| | |

27. Martes | 7 |N. Europe and Asia, E. Thibet |Oriental, Nearctic

28. Putorius | 3 |W. Europe to N. E. Asia |

29. Mustela | 10 |The whole region |Nearctic, Ethiop.,

| | | Himalayas, Peru

30. Vison | 2 |Europe and Siberia |N. America, N. India,

| | | China

31. Gulo | 1 |The Arctic regions |Arctic America

32. Lutra | 2 |The whole region |Oriental

33. Lutronectes | 1 |Japan |

34. Enhydris | 1 |N. Asia and Japan |California

35. Meles | 2 |Cen. Europe, Palestine, N. China, |China to Hongkong

| | Japan |

| | |

Æluridæ. | | |

| | |

36. Ælurus | 1 |S. E. Thibet |Nepal

37. Æluropus | 1 |E. Thibet |

| | |

Ursidæ. | | |

| | |

38. Thalassarctos | 1 |Arctic regions |Arctic America

39. Ursus | 4 |The whole region |Oriental, Nearctic, Chil[** Chile?|F1 no space]

[**space allowed for marks around _italics_. If [sc] is actually smaller font, it will align only in text variety.]

| | |

Otariidæ. | | |

| | |

40. Callorhinus | 1 |Kamschatka and Behring's Straits |

41. Zalophus— | 1 |Japan |California

42. Eumetopias | 1 |Japan, Behring's Straits |California

| | |

Trichechidæ. | | |

| | |

43. Trichechus | 1 |Polar Seas |Arctic America

| | |

Phocidæ. | | |

| | |

44. Callocephalus | 3 |North Sea, Caspian, Lake Baikal |Greenland

45. Pagomys | 2 |North Sea, Japan |N. Pacific

46. Pagophilus | 2 |Northern Seas |N. Pacific

47. Phoca | 2 |Northern Seas |N. Pacific

48. Halichærus | 1 |North Sea and Baltic |Greenland

49. Pelagius | 2 |Madeira to Black Sea |

50. Cystophora | 2 |N. Atlantic |N. Atlantic

| | |

SIRENIA. | | |Tropics & Behring's Strts.

| | |

CETACEA. | | |Oceanic

| | |


| | |

Equidæ. | | |

| | |

51. Equus | 4 |Cent. and W. Asia & N. Africa |Ethiopian

| | |

Suidæ. | | |

| | |

52. Sus | 2 |The whole region |Oriental, Austro-Malayan

| | |

Camelidæ. | | |

| | |

53. Camelus | 2 |Deserts of Cent. and W. Asia and |

| | N. Africa |

| | |

Cervidæ. | | |

| | |

54. Alces | 1 |North Europe and Asia |N. America

55. Tarandus | 1 |Arctic Europe and Asia |Arctic America

56. Cervus | 8 |The whole region |All regions but Austral.

57. Dama | 1 |Mediterranean district |

58. Elaphodus | 1 |N. W. China |

59. Lophotragus | 1 |N. China |

60. Capreolus | 2 |Temp. Europe and W. Asia and |

| | N. China |

61. Moschus | 1 |Amoor R., N. China, to Himalayas |

62. Hydropotes | 1 |N. China |

| | |

Bovidæ. | | |

| | |

63. { Bos | 1 |Europe, (not wild) |Oriental

64. { Bison | 1 |Poland and Caucasus |Nearctic

65. { Poephagus | 1 |Thibet |

66. Addax | 1 |N. Africa to Syria |

67. Oryx | 1 |N. Africa to Syria |Ethiopian deserts

68. { Gazella | 12 |N. Africa to Persia, and |S. Africa, India

{ | | Beloochistan |

69. { Procapra | 2 |W. Thibet and Mongolia |

[**space allowed for marks around _italics_. If [sc] is actually smaller font, it will align only in text variety.]

70. {Saiga | 1 |E. Europe and W. Asia |

71. {Pantholops | 1 |W. Thibet |

(Alcephalus | 1 |Syria) |Ethiopian genus.

72. Budorcas | 2 |E. Himalayas to E. Thibet |

73. Rupicapra | 2 |Pyrenees to Caucasus |

74. Nemorhedus | 7 |E. Himalayas to E. China and |Oriental to Sumatra,

| | Japan | Formosa

75. Capra | 20 |Spain to Thibet and N.E. Africa |Nilgherries, Rocky Mtns.

| | |


| | |

Hyracidæ. | | |

| | |

(Hyrax | 1 |Syria) |Ethiopian genus

| | |


| | |

Muridæ. | | |

| | |

76. Mus | ?15 |The whole region |E. Hemisphere

77. Cricetus | 9 |The whole region |

78. Cricetulus | 3 |N. China |

79. Meriones | 8 |W. and Central Asia to N. China, |Ethiopian, Indian.

| | N. Africa |

80. Rhombomys | 6 |E. Europe, Cent. Asia, N. Africa |

81. Psammomys | 3 |Egypt and Palestine |

82. Sminthus | 3 |East Europe, Siberia |

83. Arvicola | ?21 |The whole region |Himalayas, Nearctic

84. Cuniculus | 1 |N. E. Europe, Siberia |Arctic America

85. Myodes | 1 |North of region |Nearctic

86. Myospalax | 3 |Altai Mountains and N. China |

| | |

Spalacidæ. | | |

| | |

87. Ellobius | 1 |S. Russia and S. W. Siberia |

88. Spalax | 1 |Hungary and Greece to W. Asia, |

| | Palestine |

| | |

Dipodidæ. | | |

| | |

89. Dipus | ?15 |S. E. Europe and N. Africa to |Africa, India

| | N. China |

| | |

Myoxidæ. | | |

| | |

90. Myoxus | 12 |Temperate parts of whole region |Ethiopian

| | |

Castoridæ. | | |

| | |

91. Castor | 1 |Temperate zone, from France to |N. America

| | Amoorland |

| | |

Sciuridæ. | | |

| | |

92. Sciurus | 8 |The whole region |All regions but Austral.

93. Sciuropterus | 4 |Finland to Siberia and Japan |Oriental, Nearctic

94. Pteromys | 3 |Japan and W. China |Oriental

95. Spermophilus | 10 |E. Europe to N. China and |Nearctic

| | Kamschatka |

96. Arctomys. | 4 |Alps to E. Thibet and Kamschatka |Nearctic

| | |

Octodontidæ. | | |

| | |

97.Ctenodactylus | 1 |N. Africa |

| | |

Hystricidæ. | | |

| | |

98. Hystrix | 2 |S. Europe, Palestine, N. China. |Ethiopian, Oriental

[**space allowed for marks around _italics_. If [sc] is actually smaller font, it will align only in text variety.]

| | |

Lagomyidæ. | | |

| | |

99. Lagomys | 10 |Volga to E. Thibet and Kamschatka |Nearctic

| | |

Leporidæ. | | |

| | |

100. Lepus | 12 |The whole region |All regions but Austral.



| | |

Turdidæ. | | |

| | |

1. Turdus | 18 |The whole region (excluding |Almost cosmopolite

| | Spitsbergen) |

2. Oreocincla | 1 |N. E. Asia and Japan, straggler |Oriental and Australian

| | to Europe |

3. Monticola | 3 |S. Europe, N. Africa, Palestine, |Oriental and S. African

| | N. China |

(Bessornis | 1 |Palestine) |Tropical and S. Africa

| | |

Sylviidæ. | | |

| | |

4. Cisticola — | 1 |S. W. Europe, N. Africa, Japan |Ethiop., Orient., Austral.

5. {Acrocephalus | 10 |W. Europe to Japan |Orient., Ethiop., Austral.

6. {Dumeticola | 4 |Nepaul, Lake Baikal, E. Thibet high|

7. {Potamodus | 3 |W. and S. Europe, N. Africa, |

{ | | E. Thibet |

8. {Lusciniola | 1 |S. Europe |

9. {Locustella | 7 |W. Europe and N. Africa to Japan |India, winter migrants(?)

10.{Bradyptetus | 2 |S. Europe and Palestine |E. and S. Africa

11.{Calamodus | ?3 |Europe, N. Africa, Palestine |

12. {Phylloscopus | 6 |The whole region (excluding |Oriental

{ | | western islands) |

13. {Hypolais | 9 |Europe, N. Africa, Palestine, |China, Moluccas, India,

{ | | China | Africa

14. {Abrornis | 2 |Cashmere, E. Thibet |Oriental region

15. {Reguloides | 2 |Europe and China |N. India, Formosa

16. {Regulus | 4 |The whole region (excluding |N. and Central America

| | Iceland, &c.) |

17.{Aedon | 2 |S. Europe, W. Asia, N. Africa |E. and S. Africa

18.{Pyrophthalma | 2 |E. Europe and Palestine |

19.{Melizophilus | 2 |W. and S. Europe, Sardinia |

20.{Sylvia | 6 |Madeira to W. India, N. Africa |N. E. Africa, Ceylon migrants(?)

21.{Curruca | 7 |Madeira to India, N. Africa |E. Africa, India, migrants

22. {Luscinia | 2 |W. Europe, N. Africa, Persia |

23. {Cyanecula | 3 |Europe and N. Africa to |Abyssinia and India migrants

{ | | Kamschatka |

24. {Calliope | 2 |N. Asia, Himalayas, China |Centl. India (? migrant)

25. {Erithacus | 3 |Atlantic Islands to Japan |

26. {Grandala | 1 |High Himalayas and E. Thibet |

[**space allowed for marks around _italics_. If [sc] is actually smaller font, it will align only in text variety. (Genus column 1 char. too short for text.)]

27. { Ruticilla | 10 |Eu. to Japan, N. Afr., Himalayas |Abyssinia, India

28. { Larvivora | 2 |E. Thibet, Amoor, Japan |Oriental

29. Dromolæa | 3 |S. Europe, N. Africa, Palestine |Ethiopian

30. Saxicola | 10 |The whole region |E. and S. Africa, India

31. Cercomela | 2 |Palestine (a desert genus) |N. E. Africa, N. W. India

32. Pratincola | 3 |W. Europe, N. Africa to India |Ethiopian to Oriental

33. Accentor | 12 |W. Europe to Japan; high Himalayas |Himalayas(?) in winter

| | |

Timaliidæ. | | |

| | |

34. Pterorhinus | 3 |Thibet and N. W. China |

(Malacocercus | 1 |Palestine) |Oriental genus

(Crateropus | 2 |N. Africa, Persia) |Ethiopian genus

(Trochalopteron | 3 |E[**P1: .] Thibet) |Oriental genus

(Ianthocincla | 3 |E. Thibet) |Oriental genus

| | |

Panuridæ. | | |

| | |

(Paradoxornis | 3 |Himalayas and E. Thibet) |(?)Oriental genus

35. Conostoma | 1 |High Himalayas and E. Thibet |

36. Suthora | 3 |E. Thibet |Himalayas, China, Formosa

37. Panurus | 1 |W. Europe to W. Siberia |

38. Heteromorpha | 1 |Nepaul and E. Thibet, from |

| | 10,000 feet altitude |

39. Cholornis | 1 |E. Thibet |

| | |

Cinclidæ. | | |

| | |

40. Cinclus | 5 |The whole region (Atlantic Islands |American highlands

| | excluded) |

(Myiophonus | 1 |Turkestan, Thian-Shan Mountains, |Oriental genus

| | 6,000 feet |

| | |

Troglodytidæ. | | |

| | |

41. Troglodytes | 3 |Iceland and Britain to Japan |Neotropical and Nearctic,

| | | Himalayas

(Pnoepyga | 2 |E. Thibet) |Oriental genus

| | |

Certhiidæ. | | |

| | |

42. Certhia | 2 |W. Europe to N. China |Himalayas, Nearctic

43. Tichodroma | 1 |S. Europe to N. China |Abyssinia, Nepaul, high[**P2: missing word?]

| | |

Sittidæ. | | |

| | |

44. Sitta | 7 |W. Europe to Himalayas and Japan |India, Nearctic

| | |

Paridæ. | | |

| | |

45. Parus | 20 |W. Europe to Kamschatka, N. Africa |Nearctic, Oriental, Ethiopian

46. Lophophanes | 6 |Europe and high Himalayas |Nearctic

47. Acredula | 6 |W. Europe to N. China and |

| | Kamschatka |

48. Ægithalus | 1 |S. E. Europe |Ethiopian

| | |

Liotrichidæ. | | |

| | |

(Proparus | 4 |Moupin, in E. Thibet) |Oriental genus and fam.

{245}| | |

Pycnonotidæ. | | |

| | |

49. Microscelis | 1 |Japan |Oriental genus

50. Pycnonotus | 2 |Palestine, N. China, Japan |Oriental and Ethiopian

| | |

Oriolidæ. | | |

| | |

51. Oriolus | |S. Europe, China |Ethiopian and Oriental

| | |

Muscicapidæ. | | |

| | |

52. Muscicapa | 2 |W. and Central Europe |Ethiopian.

53. Butalis | 2 |W. Europe to Japan and China |E. and S. Africa, Moluccas

54. Erythrosterna | 3 |Central Europe to N. China and |Oriental & Madagascar

| | Japan |

(Xanthopygia | 1 |Japan) |Oriental genus

(Eumyias— | 1 |E. Thibet) |Oriental genus

(Cyanoptila | 1 |Japan and Amoor) |Oriental genus

(Siphia | 1 |Moupin, E. Thibet) |Oriental genus

55. Tchitrea | 2 |N. China and Japan |Ethiopian and Oriental

| | |

Laniidæ. | | |

| | |

56. Lanius | 11 |The whole region (excl. Atlantic |Nearctic, Ethiopian,

| | Islands) | Oriental

(Telephonus | 1 |N. Africa) |Ethiopian genus

| | |

Corvidæ. | | |

| | |

57. Garrulus | 7 |W. Europe, N. Africa, to Japan |Himalayas, Formosa

58. Perisoreus | 1 |N. Europe and Siberia |N. America

(Urocissa | 2 |Cashmere, Japan) |Oriental genus

59. Nucifraga | 3 |W. Europe to Japan, and Himalayas |Himalayan pine forests

60. Pica | 5 |W. Europe to China and Japan |S. China and Formosa

| | | migrants[?]

61. Cyanopica | 2 |Spain, N. E. Asia and Japan |

62. Corvus | 12 |The whole region |Cosmopolite (excl. S. Am.)

63. Fregilus | 3 |W. Europe to N. China, Himalayas |Abyssinian mountains

| | |

Nectariniidæ. | | |

| | |

(Arachnecthra | 1 |Palestine) |Oriental genus

| | |

Dicæidæ. | | |

| | |

(Zosterops | 1 |Amoor and Japan) |Ethiop., Orien., Austral.

| | |

Ampelidæ. | | |

| | |

64. Ampelis | 2 |Northern half of region |North America

| | |

Hirundinidæ. | | |

| | |

65. Hirundo | 2 |The whole region |Cosmopolite

66. Cotyle | 2 |The whole region (excl. Atlan. Is.)|Nearctic, Ethiop., Orien.

67. Chelidon | 3 |The whole region |Oriental

| | |

Fringillidæ. | | |

| | |

68. Fringilla | |The whole region |Africa

{246}69. Acanthis | 3 |Europe and N. Africa to Central |

| | Asia |

70. Procarduelis | 1 |High Himalayas and E. Thibet |

71. Chrysomitris | 2 |W. Europe to Japan |N. and S. America

72. Dryospiza | 4 |Atlantic Islands to Palestine, N. |

| | Africa |

73. Metoponia | 1 |N. E. Europe to W. Himalayas |

74. Chlorospiza | 5 |W. Europe, N. Africa to Japan |China, E. Africa

75. Passer | 8 |The whole region |Ethiopian, Oriental

76. Montifringilla | 4 |Europe to Cashmere and Siberia |

77. Fringillauda | 1 |N. W. Himalayas to E. Thibet, high |

78. Coccothraustes | 3 |W. Europe, High Himalayas to Japan |N. America

79. Mycerobas | 2 |Central Asia & High Himalayas |

80[** .] Eophona | 2 |E. Thibet, China, and Japan |China

81. Pyrrhula | 9 |Azores to Japan, High Himalayas |Alaska

(Crithagra | 1 |Palestine) |Ethiopian genus

82. Carpodacus | 12 |Cent. Eu. to Japan, High Himalayas |India & China, N. Amer.

83. Erythrospiza | 4 |N. Africa to Afghanistan and |

| | Turkestan |

84. Uragus | 2 |Turkestan & E. Thibet to Japan |

85. Loxia | 3 |Europe, High Himalayas to Japan |N. America

86. Pinicola | 1 |N. Europe, Siberia |N. America

87. Propyrrhula | 1 |High Himalayas |Darjeeling in winter

88. Pyrrhospiza | 1 |Snowy Himalayas |

89. Linota | 6 |The whole region |N. America

90. Leucosticte | 4 |Turkestan to Kamschatka |N. W. America

| | |

Emberizinæ[**s caps?] | | |

| | |

91. {Euspiza | 4 |E. Europe to Japan |N. America

92. {Emberiza | 25 |Europe to Japan |N. India, China

93. {Fringillaria | 2 |S. Europe, N. Africa |African genus

94. {Plectrophanes | 2 |Northern half of region |N. America

| | |

Sturnidæ. | | |

| | |

95. Pastor | 1 |East Europe, Central Asia |India

96. Sturnia | 2 |Amoor, Japan, N. China |Oriental

97. Sturnus | 3 |The whole region (excl. Atlantic |India, China

| | Islands) |

(Amydrus | 1 |Palestine) |N. E. African genus

98. Podoces | 3 |Cen. Asia, Turkestan, Yarkand |

| | |

Alaudidæ. | | |

| | |

99. Otocorys | 6 |N. Europe to Japan, N. Africa, |India, N. America, Andes

| | Arabia |

100. Alauda | 7 |The whole region (excl. Iceland) |India, Africa

101. Galerita | 2 |Central Europe to N. China, N. |India, Central Africa

| | Africa |

102. Calandrella | 4 |Central Europe to N. China, N. |India

| | Africa |

103. Melanocorypha| 5 |S. Eu.[** ,] N. Africa, N. & Cen. Asia |N. W. India

104. Pallasia | 1 |Mongolia |

(Certhilauda | 1 |N. Africa) |S. African genus

(Alaemon | 1 |N. Africa, Arabia) |Ethiopian genus

{247}105. Ammomanes | 3 |S. Europe, N. Africa, to Cashmere |Africa, India

| | |

Motacillidæ. | | |

| | |

106. Motacilla | 6 |The whole region |Oriental, Ethiopian

107. Budytes | 4 |Europe to China |Oriental, Moluccas

108. Calobates | 2 |Atlantic Is., W. Europe, to China |Malaisia, Madagascar

| | |

Pittidæ. | | |

| | |

(Pitta | 1 |Japan) |Oriental & Austral. genus

| | |

PICARIÆ. | | |

| | |

Picidæ. | | |

| | |

109. Picoides | 3 |N. and Cen. Europe to Thibet & |North America

| | E. Asia |

110. Picus | 16 |The whole region (excl. Atlantic |India, China, N. and[**P1:period?] S.

| | Islands) | America

111. Hypopicus | 1 |N. China |Himalayas

(Yungipicus | 1 |N. China) |Oriental genus

112. Dryocopus | 1 |N. & Cen. Europe to N. China |Neotropical

113. Gecinus | 6 |W. Europe to Thibet, |Oriental

| | Amoor & Japan |

| | |

Yungidæ. | | |

| | |

114. Yunx | 2 |W. Europe to N. W. |N. E. Africa, S. Africa

| | India, Thibet and Japan |

| | |

Cuculidæ. | | |

| | |

115. Cuculus | 2 |The whole region (excl. Atlantic |Ethiop.[** ,] Oriental[** ,] Austral.

| | Islands) |

116. Coccystes | 1 |S. Europe and N. Africa |Ethiopian and Oriental

| | |

Coraciidæ. | | |

| | |

117. Coracias | 1 |Cent. Europe to Cent. Asia |Ethiopian, Oriental

(Eurystomus | 1 |Amoor in summer) |Oriental & Austral. genus

| | |

Meropidæ. | | |

| | |

118. Merops | 2 |S. Europe to Cashmere, N. Africa[**P1:period?] |Ethiopian and Oriental

| | |

Alcedinidæ. | | |

| | |

(Halcyon | 3 |W. Asia, N. China, Japan) |Ethiop., Orien., Austral.

119. Alcedo | 2 |Europe, N. China |

120. Ceryle | 2 |S. E. Europe, Japan |Africa, India, America

| | |

Upupidæ. | | |

| | |

121. Upupa | 1 |S. Europe, N. China |Ethiop. & Oriental genus

| | |

Caprimulgidæ. | | |

| | |

122. Caprimulgus | 5 |Europe to Japan |Ethiopian and Oriental

| | |

Cypselidæ. | | |

| | |

123. Cypselus | 4 |The whole region (excl. Iceland[**P1: )] |Ethiopian, America

124. Chætura | 2 |N. China, Dauria |Africa, India

{248}| | |

COLUMBÆ. | | |

| | |

Columbidæ. | | |

| | |

125. Columba | 6 |The whole region |Africa, Asia, America

126. Turtur | 4 |W. Europe to Japan |Ethiopian and Oriental

(Alsæcomus | 1 |E. Thibet) |Oriental genus

| | |

GALLINÆ. | | |

| | |

Pteroclidæ. | | |

| | |

127. Pterocles | 2 |S. Europe, N. Africa, to W. India |Ethiopian genus

128. Syrrhaptes | 2 |Central Asia, N. China |

| | |

Tetraonidæ. | | |

| | |

129. Francolinus | 1 |Borders of Mediterranean |Ethiopian, Oriental

130. Perdix | 2 |Europe to Mongolia |

131. Coturnix | 1 |Central and S. Europe to Japan |Ethiop., Orien., Austral.

132. Lerwa | 1 |Snowy Himalayas to E. Thibet |

133. Caccabis | 5 |Cen. Europe and N. Africa to N. W. |Abyssinia, Arabia

| | Himalayas |

134. Tetraogallus | 4 |Caucasus to E. Thibet and Altai |

| | Mountains |

135. Tetrao | 4 |Europe and N. Asia |N. America

136. Bonasa | 1 |Europe and N. Asia |N. America

137. Lagopus | 4 |Iceland, W. Europe to Japan |N. America, Greenland

| | |

Phasianidæ. | | |

| | |

138. Crossoptilon | 4 |Thibet, Mongolia, N. China |

139. Lophophorus | 3 |Cashmere to E. Thibet (highest |

| | woods) |

140. Tetraophasis | 1 |E. Thibet |E. Thibet(?)

141. Ceriornis | 1 |N. W. Himalayas (high) |Himalayas to W. China

142. Pucrasia— | 3 |N. W. Himalayas to N. W. China |Himalayas

143. Phasianus | 10 |Western Asia to Japan |W. Himalayas, Formosa

144. Thaumalea | 3 |E. Thibet to Amoor, N. China |West China

145. Ithaginis | 2 |Nepaul to E. Thibet (high) |

| | |

Turnicidæ | | |

| | |

146. Turnix | 2 |Spain and N. Africa, N. China |Ethiop., Orien., Austral.

| | |


| | |

Vulturidæ. | | |

| | |

147. Vultur | 1 |Spain and N. Africa to N. China |

148. Gyps | 1 |S. Europe, Palestine, Cen. Asia |E. Africa, India

149. Otogyps | 1 |S. Europe, N. Africa |S. Africa, India

150. Neophron | 1 |Atlantic Isds. to Palestine |Africa, India

| | |

Falconidæ. | | |

| | |

151. Circus | 5 |Europe to Japan |Almost Cosmopolite

152. Astur | 1 |Europe to N. China |Almost Cosmopolite

153. Accipiter | 2 |Europe to Japan |Almost Cosmopolite

154. Buteo | 4 |Europe to Japan |Cosmopolite (excl. Australia)

{249}155. Archibuteo | 1 |N. Europe to Japan |N. America

156. Gypaetus | 1 |S. Europe, N. Africa |Abyssinia, Himalayas

157. Aquila | 5 |Europe to Japan |Nearctic, Ethiop., Orien.

158. Nisaetus | 2 |E. Europe, N. Africa, W. Asia |India, Australia

159. Circaetus | 1 |E. and S. Europe, N. Africa, W. |Africa, India

| | Asia |

160. Haliæetus | 3 |Iceland and S. Europe to Japan |Cosmopolite (excl. Neotropical

| | | region)

161. Milvus | 4 |Europe to Japan, N. Africa |The Old World & Austral.

162. Elanus | 2 |N. Africa, N. China to Amoor |Cosmopolite (excl. East

| | | U. S.)

163. Pernis | 1 |Europe to Japan |Ethiopian and Oriental

164. Falco | 5 |The whole region |Cosmopolite (excl. Pacific

| | | Islands)

165. Hierofalco | 5 |The whole region |N. America

166. Cerchneis | 4 |Atlantic Islands to Japan |Cosmop. (excl. Oceania)

| | |

Pandionidæ. | | |

| | |

167. Pandion— | 1 |Europe to Japan |Cosmopolite

| | |

Strigidæ. | | |

| | |

168. Surnia | 1 |N. Europe and Siberia |North America

169. Nyctea | 1 |Arctic regions |Arctic America

170. Athene | 4 |Central and S. Europe to Japan |Ethiop., Orien., Austral.

(Ninox | 1 |N. China and Japan) |Oriental genus

171. Glaucidium | 1 |Europe to N. China |America

172. Bubo | 2 |Europe to N. China |Africa, India, America

173. Scops | 3 |S. Europe to Japan |African, Orien., Austral.

174. Syrnium | 5 |Europe to Japan |African, Oriental, Amer.

175. Otus | 2 |Europe to Japan |Almost Cosmopolite

176. Nyctala | 1 |N. Europe to E. Siberia |N. America

177. Strix | 1 |Europe and N. Africa |All warm & temp. regions

Peculiar or very characteristic Genera of Wading and Swimming Birds.

GRALLÆ. | | |

| | |

Rallidæ. | | |

| | |

Ortygometra | 8 |Europe, N. E. Africa |

| | |

Scolopacidæ. | | |

| | |

Ibidorhyncha | 1 |Cashmere & Cen. Asia, N. China |Himalayan Valleys

Terekia | 1 |N. E. Europe and Siberia |India, Australia (migrant)

Helodromas | 1 |E. and N. Europe, N. India |

Machetes | 1 |N. and Cen. Europe, Cen. Asia |India in winter

Eurinorhynchus | 1 |N. E. Asia |Bengal

| | |

Glareolidæ. | | |

| | |

Pluvianus | 1 |N. Africa, Spain |

| | |

Charadriidæ. | | |

| | |

Vanellus | 8 |Europe to the Punjaub |S. America

{250}| | |

Otitidæ. | | |

| | |

Otis | 2 |W. Europe to Mongolia, N. Africa |

| | |

ANSERES. | | |

| | |

Anatidæ. | | |

| | |

Aix | 1 |N. China to Amoor |N. America

Bucephala | 3 |Iceland, N. Europe, and Asia |N. America

Histrionicus | 1 |Iceland, N. Siberia |N. America

Harelda | 1 |North of whole region |Arctic America

Somateria | 3 |North of whole region |N. America

(OE)demia | 3 |North of whole region |N. America

| | |

Laridæ. | | |

| | |

Rissa | 1 |North coasts of whole region |N. America

| | |

Colymbidæ. | | |

| | |

Colymbus | 3 |North of whole region |N. America

| | |

Alcidæ. | | |

| | |

Alca | 2 |North coasts of whole region |N. America

Fratercula | 3 |North coasts of whole region |N. America

Uria | 3 |North coasts of whole region |N. America

Mergulus | 1 |Iceland and Arctic coasts |Arctic America





This is one of the best defined of the great zoological regions, consisting of tropical and South Africa, to which must be added tropical Arabia, Madagascar, and a few other islands, all popularly known as African. Some naturalists would extend the region northwards to the Atlas Mountains and include the whole of the Sahara; but the animal life of the northern part of that great desert seems more akin to the Palæarctic fauna of North Africa. The Sahara is really a debatable land which has been peopled from both regions; and until we know more of the natural history of the great plateaus which rise like islands in the waste of sand, it will be safer to make the provisional boundary line at or near the tropic, thus giving the northern half to the Palæarctic, the southern to the Ethiopian region. The same line may be continued across Arabia.

With our present imperfect knowledge of the interior of Africa, only three great continental sub-regions can be well defined. The open pasture lands of interior tropical Africa are wonderfully uniform in their productions; a great number of species ranging from Senegal to Abyssinia and thence to the Zambesi, while almost all the commoner African genera extend over the whole of this area. Almost all this extensive tract of country is a moderately elevated plateau, with a hot and dry climate, and characterised by a grassy vegetation interspersed with patches of forest. This forms our first or East African sub-region. The whole of the west coast from the south side of the Gambia River to about 10° or 12° south latitude, is a very {252}different kind of country; being almost wholly dense forests where not cleared by man, and having the hot moist uniform climate, and perennial luxuriance of vegetation, which characterise the great equatorial belt of forest all round the globe. This forest country extends to an unknown distance inland, but it was found, with its features well marked, by Dr. Schweinfurth directly he crossed the south-western watershed of the Nile; and far to the south we find it again unmistakably indicated, in the excessively moist forest country about the head waters of the Congo, where the heroic Livingstone met his death. In this forest district many of the more remarkable African types are alone found, and its productions occasionally present us with curious similarities to those of the far removed South American or Malayan forests. This is our second or West African sub-region.

Extra-tropical South Africa possesses features of its own, quite distinct from those of both the preceding regions (although it has also much in common with the first). Its vegetation is known to be one of the richest, most peculiar, and most remarkable on the globe; and in its zoology it has a speciality, similar in kind but less in degree, which renders it both natural and convenient to separate it as our third, or South African sub-region. Its limits are not very clearly ascertained, but it is probably bounded by the Kalahari desert on the north-west, and by the Limpopo Valley, or the mountain range beyond, on the north-east, although some of its peculiar forms extend to Mozambique. There remains the great Island of Madagascar, one of the most isolated and most interesting on the globe, as regards its animal productions; and to this must be added, the smaller islands of Bourbon, Mauritius and Rodriguez, the Seychelles and the Comoro Islands, forming together the Mascarene Islands,—the whole constituting our fourth sub-region.

Zoological Characteristics of the Ethiopian Region.—We have now to consider briefly, what are the peculiarities and characteristics of the Ethiopian Region as a whole,—those which give it its distinctive features and broadly separate it from the other primary zoological regions.


Mammalia.—This region has 9 peculiar families of mammalia. Chiromyidæ (containing the aye-aye); Potamogalidæ and Chrysochloridæ (Insectivora); Cryptoproctidæ and Protelidae (Carnivora); Hippopotamidæ and Camelopardalidæ (Ungulata); and Orycteropodidæ (Edentata). Besides these it possesses 7 peculiar genera of apes, Troglodytes, Colobus, Myiopithecus[**P1:missing comma?] Cercopithecus, Cercocebus, Theropithecus, and Cynocephalus; 2 sub-families of lemurs containing 6 genera, confined to Madagascar, with 3 genera of two other sub-families confined to the continent; of Insectivora a family, Centetidæ, with 5 genera, peculiar to Madagascar, and the genera Petrodromus and Rhynchocyon belonging to the Macroscelididæ, or elephant-shrews, restricted to the continent; numerous peculiar genera or sub-genera of civets; Lycaon and Megalotis, remarkable genera of Canidæ; Ictonyx, the zorilla, a genus allied to the weasels; 13 peculiar genera of Muridæ; Pectinator, a genus of the South American family Octodontidæ; and 2 genera of the South American Echimyidæ or spiny rats. Of abundant and characteristic groups it possesses Macroscelides, Felis, Hyæna, Hyrax, Rhinoceros, and Elephas, as well as several species of zebra and a great variety of antelopes.

The great speciality indicated by these numerous peculiar families and genera, is still farther increased by the absence of certain groups dominant in the Old-World continent, an absence which we can only account for by the persistence, through long epochs, of barriers isolating the greater part of Africa from the rest of the world. These groups are, Ursidæ, the bears; Talpidæ the moles; Camelidæ, the camels; Cervidæ, the deer; Caprinæ, the goats and sheep; and the genera Bos (wild ox); and Sus (wild boar). Combining these striking deficiencies, with the no less striking peculiarities above enumerated, it seems hardly possible to have a region more sharply divided from the rest of the globe than this is, by its whole assemblage of mammalia.

Birds.—In birds the Ethiopian region is by no means so strikingly peculiar, many of these having been able to pass the ancient barriers which so long limited the range of mammalia. {254}It is, however, sufficiently rich, possessing 54 families of land birds, besides a few genera whose position is not well ascertained, and which may constitute distinct families. Of these 6 are peculiar, Musophagidæ (the plantain eaters); Coliidæ (the colies); Leptosomidæ, allied to the cuckoos; Irrisoridæ, allied to the hoopoes; and Serpentaridæ, allied to the hawks. Only one Passerine family is peculiar—Paictidæ, while most of the other tropical regions possess several; but Euryceros and Buphaga, here classed with the Sturnidæ, ought, perhaps, to form two more. It has, however, many peculiar genera, especially among the fruit-thrushes, Pycnonotidæ; flycatchers, Muscicapidæ; shrikes, Lanidæ; crows, Corvidæ; starlings, Sturnidæ; and weaver-birds, Ploceidæ; the latter family being very characteristic of the region. It is also rich in barbets, Megalæmidæ (7 peculiar genera); cuckoos, Cuculidæ; rollers, Coraciidæ; bee-eaters, Meropidæ; hornbills, Bucerotidæ; and goat-suckers, Caprimulgidæ. It is poor in parrots and rather so in pigeons; but it abounds in Pterocles and Francolinus, genera of Gallinæ, and possesses 4 genera of the peculiar group of the guinea-fowls, forming part of the pheasant family. It abounds in vultures, eagles, and other birds of prey, among which is the anomalous genus Serpentarius, the secretary-bird, constituting a distinct family. Many of the most remarkable forms are confined to Madagascar and the adjacent islands, and will be noticed in our account of that sub-region.

Reptiles.—Of the reptiles there are 4 peculiar Ethiopian families;—3 of snakes, Rachiodontidæ, Dendraspidæ, and Atractaspidæ and 1 of lizards, Chamæsauridæ.

Psammophidæ (desert snakes) are abundant, as are Lycodontidæ (fanged ground-snakes), and Viperidæ (vipers). The following genera of snakes are peculiar or highly characteristic:—Leptorhynchus, Rhamnophis, Herpetethiops and Grayia (Colubridæ); Hopsidrophis and Bucephalus (Dendrophidæ); Langalia (Dryophidæ); Pythonodipsas (Dipsadidæ); Boedon, Lycophidion, Holuropholis, Simocephalus and Lamprophis (Lycodontidæ); Hortulia and Sanzinia (Pythonidæ); Cyrptophis[**P1: Cryptophis], Elapsoidea and Pœcilophis (Elapidæ); and Atheris (Viperidæ). The following genera {255}of lizards are the most characteristic:—Monotrophis (Lepidosternidæ); Cordylus, Pseudocordylus, Platysaurus, Cordylosaurus, Pleurostichus, Saurophis and Zonurus (Zonuridæ); Sphænops, Scelotes, Sphænocephalus and Sepsina (Sepidæ); Pachydactylus (Geckotidæ); Agama (Agamidæ); and Chameleon (Chameleonidæ). Of tortoises, Cynyxis, Pyxis and Chersina (Testudinidæ), and Cycloderma (Trionychidæ) are the most characteristic.

Amphibia.—Of the 9 families of amphibia there is only 1 peculiar, the Dactylethridæ, a group of toads; but the Alytidæ, a family of frogs, are abundant.

Fresh-water Fish.—Of the 14 families of fresh-water fishes 3 are peculiar: Mormyridæ and Gymnarchidæ, small groups not far removed from the pikes; and Polypteridæ, a small group of ganoid fishes allied to the gar-pikes (Lepidosteidæ) of North America.

Summary of Ethiopian Vertebrates.—Combining the results here indicated and set forth in greater detail in the tables of distribution, we find that the Ethiopian region possesses examples of 44 families of mammalia, 72 of birds, 35 of reptiles, 9 of amphibia, and 15 of fresh-water fishes. It has 23 (or perhaps 25) families of Vertebrata altogether peculiar to it out of a total of 175 families, or almost exactly one-eighth of the whole. Out of 142 genera of mammalia found within the region, 90 are peculiar to it; a proportion not much short of two-thirds. Of land birds there are 294 genera, of which 179 are peculiar; giving a proportion of a little less than three-fifths.

Compared with the Oriental region this shows a considerably larger amount of speciality under all the heads; but the superiority is mainly due to the wonderful and isolated fauna of Madagascar, to which the Oriental region has nothing comparable. Without this the regions would be nearly equal.


Insects: Lepidoptera.—11 out of the 16 families of butterflies have representatives in Africa, but none are peculiar. Acræidæ is one of the most characteristic families, and there {256}are many interesting forms of Nymphalidæ, Lycænidæ, and Papilionidæ. The peculiar or characteristic forms are Amauris (Danaidæ); Gnophodes, Leptoneura, Bicyclus, Heteropsis and Cœnyra[**P1:Cænyra wrong; see PD] (Satyridæ); Acræa (Acræidæ); Lachnoptera, Precis, Salamis, Crenis, Godartia, Amphidema, Pseudacræa, Catuna, Euryphene, Romalæosoma, Hamanumida, Aterica, Harma, Meneris, Charaxes, and Philognoma (Nymphalidæ); Pentila, Liptena, Durbania, Zeritis, Capys, Phytala, Epitola, Hewitsonia[**P1:see this name in PD!] and Deloneura (Lycænidæ); Pseudopontia, Idmais, Teracolus, Callosune (Pieridæ); Abantis, Ceratrichia and Caprona (Hesperidæ). The total number of species known is about 750; which is very poor for an extensive tropical region, but this is not to be wondered at when the nature of much of the country is considered. It is also, no doubt, partly due to our comparative ignorance of the great equatorial forest district, which is the only part likely to be very productive in this order of insects.

Coleoptera.—In our first representative family, Cicindelidæ or tiger-beetles, the Ethiopian region is rather rich, having 13 genera, 11 of which are peculiar to it; and among these are such remarkable forms as Manticora, Myrmecoptera and Dromica; with Megacephala, a genus only found elsewhere in Australia and South America.

In Carabidæ or carnivorous ground beetles, there are about 75 peculiar genera. Among the most characteristic are Anthia, Polyrhina, Graphipterus and Piezia, which are almost all peculiar; while Orthogonius, Hexagonia, Macrochilus, Thyreopterus, Eudema, and Abacetus are common to this and the Oriental region; and Hypolithus to the Neotropical.

Out of 27 genera of Buprestidæ, or metallic beetles, only 6 are peculiar to the region, one of the most remarkable being Polybothrus, confined to Madagascar. Sternocera and Chrysochroa are characteristic of this region and the Oriental; it has Julodis in common with the Mediterranean sub-region, and Belionota with the Malayan.

The region is not rich in Lucanidæ, or stag-beetles, possessing only 10 genera, 7 of which are peculiar, but most of them {257}consist of single species. The other three genera, Cladognathus, Nigidius, and Figulus, are the most characteristic, though all have a tolerably wide range in the Old World.

In the elegant Cetoniidæ, or rose-chafers, this region stands preeminent, possessing 76 genera, 64 of which are peculiar to it. The others are chiefly Oriental, except Oxythræa[**P1:Oxythyræa?] which is European, and Stethodesma which is Neotropical. Preeminent in size and beauty is Goliathus, comprising perhaps the most bulky of all highly-coloured beetles. Other large and characteristic genera are Ceratorhina, Ischnostoma, Anochilia, Diplognatha, Agenius, and many others of less extent.

In the enormous tribe of Longicorns, or long-horned beetles, the Ethiopian is not so rich as the other three tropical regions; but this may be, in great part, owing to its more productive districts having never been explored by any competent entomologists. It nevertheless possesses 262 genera, 216 of which are peculiar, the others being mostly groups of very wide range. Out of such a large number it is difficult to select a few as most characteristic, but some of the peculiarities of distribution as regards other regions may be named. Among Prionidæ, Tithoes is a characteristic Ethiopian genus. A few species of the American genera Parandra and Mallodon occur here, while the North Temperate genus Prionus is only found in Madagascar. Among Cerambycidæ, Promeces is the most characteristic. The American genera Oeme and Cyrtomerus occur; while Homalachnus and Philagathes are Malayan, and Leptocera occurs only in Madagascar, Ceylon, Austro-Malaya, and Australia. The Lamiidæ are very fine; Sternotomis, Tragocephala, Ceroplesis, Phryncta, Volumnia, and Nitocris, being very abundant and characteristic. Most of the non-peculiar genera of this family are Oriental, but Spalacopsis and Acanthoderes are American, while Tetraglenes and Schœnionta have been found only in East and South Africa and in Malaya.

Terrestrial Mollusca[**P1:period?]—In the extensive family of the Helicidæ or snails, 13 genera are represented, only one of which, Columna, is peculiar. This region is however the metropolis of Achatina, some of the species being the largest land-shells {258}known. Buliminus, Stenogyra, and Pupa are characteristic genera. Bulimus is absent, though one species inhabits St. Helena. The operculated shells are not very well represented, the great family of Cyclostomidæ having here only nine genera, with but one peculiar, Lithidion, found in Madagascar, Socotra, and Arabia. None of the genera appear to be well represented throughout the region, and they are almost or quite absent from West Africa.

According to Woodward's Manual (1868) West Africa has about 200 species of land-shells, South Africa about 100, Madagascar nearly 100, Mauritius about 50. All the islands have their peculiar species; and are, in proportion to their extent, much richer than the continent; as is usually the case.

The Ethiopian Sub-regions.

It has been already explained that these are to some extent provisional; yet it is believed that they represent generally the primary natural divisions of the region, however they may be subdivided when our knowledge of their productions becomes more accurate.

I. The East African Sub-region, or Central and East Africa.

This division includes all the open country of tropical Africa south of the Sahara, as well as an undefined southern margin of that great desert. With the exception of a narrow strip along the east coast and the valleys of the Niger and Nile, it is a vast elevated plateau from 1,000 to 4,000 feet high, hilly rather than mountainous, except the lofty table land of Abyssinia, with mountains rising to 16,000 feet and extending south to the equator, where it terminates in the peaks of Kenia and Kilimandjaro, 18,000 and 20,000 feet high. The northern portion of this sub-region is a belt about 300 miles wide between the Sahara on the north and the great equatorial forest on the south, extending from Cape Verd[**P2: not Verde?], the extreme western point of Africa, across the northern bend of the Niger and Lake Tchad to the mountains of Abyssinia. The greater part of this tract has a {259}moderate elevation. The eastern portion reaches from about the second cataract of the Nile, or perhaps from about the parallel of 20° N. Latitude, down to about 20° S. Latitude, and from the east coast to where the great forest region commences, or to Lake Tanganyika and about the meridian of 28° to 30° E. Longitude. The greater part of this tract is a lofty plateau.

The surface of all this sub-region is generally open, covered with a vegetation of high grasses or thorny shrubs, with scattered trees and isolated patches of forest in favourable situations. The only parts where extensive continuous forests occur, are on the eastern and western slopes of the great Abyssinian plateau, and on the Mozambique coast from Zanzibar to Sofala. The whole of this great district has one general zoological character. Many species range from Senegal to Abyssinia, others from Abyssinia to the Zambesi, and a few, as Mungos fasciatus and Phacochœrus æthiopicus, range over the entire sub-region. Fennecus, Ictonyx, and several genera of antelopes, characterise every part of it, as do many genera of birds. Coracias nævia, Corythornis cyanostigma, Tockus nasutus, T. erythrorhynchus, Parus leucopterus, Buphaga africana, Vidua paradisea, are examples of species, which are found in the Gambia, Abyssinia and South East Africa, but not in the West African sub-region; and considering how very little is known of the natural history of the country immediately south of the Sahara, it may well be supposed that these are only a small portion of the species really common to the whole area in question, and which prove its fundamental unity.

Although this sub-region is so extensive and so generally uniform in physical features, it is by far the least peculiar part of Africa. It possesses, of course, all those wide-spread Ethiopian types which inhabit every part of the region, but it has hardly any special features of its own. The few genera which are peculiar to it have generally a limited range, and for the most part belong, either to the isolated mountain-plateau of Abyssinia which is almost as much Palæarctic as Ethiopian, or to the woody districts of Mozambique where the fauna has more of a West or South African character.


Mammalia.—The only forms of Mammalia peculiar to this sub-region are Theropithecus, one of the Cynopithecidæ confined to Abyssinia; Petrodromus and Rhynchocyon, belonging to the insectivorous Macroscelididæ, have only been found in Mozambique; the Antelopine genus Neotragus, from Abyssinia southward; Saccostomus and Pelomys genera of Muridæ inhabiting Mozambique; Heterocephalus from Abyssinia, and Heliophobius from Mozambique, belonging to the Spalacidæ; and Pectinator from Abyssinia, belonging to the Octodontidæ. Cynocephalus, Rhinoceros, Camelopardalis, and antelopes of the genera Oryx, Cervicapra, Kobus, Nanotragus, Cephalophus, Hippotragus, Alcephalus, and Catoblepas, are characteristic; as well as Felis, Hyæna, and numerous civets and ichneumons.

Birds.—Peculiar forms of birds are hardly to be found here; we only meet with two—Hypocolius, a genus of shrikes in Abyssinia; and Balæniceps, the great boat-billed heron of the Upper Nile. Yet throughout the country birds are abundant, and most of the typical Ethiopian forms are well represented.[**P2: period with a speck of dirt above it?]

Reptiles.—Of reptiles, the only peculiar forms recorded are Xenocalamus, a genus of snakes, belonging to the Calamariidæ; and Pythonodipsas, one of the Dipsadidæ, both from the Zambesi; and among lizards, Pisturus, one of the Geckotidæ, from Abyssinia.

Amphibia and Fishes.—There are no peculiar forms of amphibia or of fresh-water fishes.

Insects.—Insects are almost equally unproductive of peculiar forms. Among butterflies we have Abantis, one of the Hesperidæ, from Mozambique; and in Coleoptera, 2 genera of Cicindelidæ, 8 of Carabidæ, 1 or 2 of Cetoniidæ, and about half-a-dozen of Longicorns: a mere nothing, as we shall see, compared with the hosts of peculiar genera that characterise each of the other sub-regions. Neither do land-shells appear to present any peculiar forms.

The fact that so very few special types characterise the extensive area now under consideration is very noteworthy. It justifies us in uniting this large and widespread tract of country as forming essentially but one sub-division of the great Ethiopian

Plate IV.




region, and it suggests some curious speculations as to the former history of that region, a subject which must be deferred to the latter part of this chapter. In none of the other great tropical regions does it occur, that the largest portion of their area, although swarming with life, yet possesses hardly any distinctive features except the absence of numerous types characteristic of the other sub-regions.

Plate IV.Illustrating the Zoology of East Africa.—Although this sub-region has so little speciality, it is that which abounds most in large animals, and is, perhaps, the best representative of Africa as regards zoology. Some of the most distinctive of African animals range over the whole of it, and as, from recent explorations, many parts of this wide area have been made known to the reading public, we devote one of our plates to illustrate the especially African forms of life that here abound. The antelopes represented are the koodoo (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) one of the handsomest of the family, which ranges over all the highlands of Africa from Abyssinia to the southern districts. To the left is the aardvark, or earth pig, of North Eastern Africa (Orycteropus æthiopicus) which, to the north of the equator in East Africa, represents the allied species of the Cape of Good Hope. These Edentata are probably remnants of the ancient fauna of Africa, when it was completely isolated from the northern continents and few of the higher types had been introduced. The large bird in the foreground is the secretary-bird, or serpent-killer (Serpentarius reptilivorus), which has affinities both for the birds-of-prey and the waders. It is common over almost all the open country of Africa, destroying and feeding on the most venomous serpents. The bird on the wing is the red-billed promerops (Irrisor erythrorhynchus), a handsome bird with glossy plumage and coral-red bill. It is allied to the hoopoes, and feeds on insects which it hunts for among the branches of trees. This species also ranges over a large part of east and central Africa to near the Cape of Good Hope. Other species are found in the west; and the genus, which forms a distinct family, Irrisoridæ, is one of the best marked Ethiopian types of birds. In the distance is a rhinoceros, now one of the characteristic features of African {262}zoology, though there is reason to believe that it is a comparatively recent intruder into the country.

II. The West-African Sub-region.

This may be defined as the equatorial-forest sub-region, since it comprises all that portion of Africa, from the west coast inland, over which the great equatorial forests prevail more or less uninterruptedly. These commence to the south of the Gambia River, and extend eastwards in a line roughly parallel to the southern margin of the great desert, as far as the sources of the upper Nile and the mountains forming the western boundary of the basin of the great lakes; and southward to that high but marshy forest-country in which Livingstone was travelling at the time of his death. Its southern limits are undetermined, but are probably somewhere about the parallel of 11° S. Latitude.[10]

This extensive and luxuriant district has only been explored zoologically in the neighbourhood of the West coast. Much, no doubt, remains to be done in the interior, yet its main features are sufficiently well known, and most of its characteristic types of animal life have, no doubt, been discovered,[**P2: . not ,]

Mammalia.—Several very important groups of mammals are peculiar to this sub-region. Most prominent are the great anthropoid apes—the gorilla and the chimpanzee—forming the genus Troglodytes; and monkeys of the genera Myiopithecus and Cercocebus. Two remarkable forms of lemurs, Perodicticus and Arctocebus, are also peculiar to West Africa. Among the Insectivora is Potamogale, a semi-aquatic animal, forming a distinct family; and three peculiar genera of civets (Viverridæ) have been described. Hyomoschus, a small, deer-like animal, belongs to the Tragulidæ, or chevrotains, a family otherwise {263}confined to the Oriental region; and in the squirrel family is a curious genus, Anomalurus, which resembles the flying squirrels of other parts of the world, without being directly allied to them.

Birds.—In this class we find a larger proportionate number of peculiar forms. Hypergerus and Alethe, belonging to the Timaliidæ, or babblers, are perhaps allied to Malayan groups; Parinia, a peculiar form of tit, is found only in Prince's Island; Ixonotus is an abundant and characteristic form of Pycnonotidæ; Fraseria, Hypodes, Cuphopterus, and Chaunonotus, are peculiar genera of shrikes; Picathartes is one of the many strange forms of the crow family; Cinnyricinclus is a peculiar genus of sun-birds; Pholidornis is supposed to belong to the Oriental Dicæidæ, or flower-peckers; Waldenia is a recently-described new form of swallow; Ligurnus, a finch, Spermospiga, a weaver bird, and Onychognathus a starling, are also peculiar West African genera. Coming to the Picariæ we have Verreauxia, a peculiar woodpecker; three peculiar genera of barbets (Megalæmidæ); the typical plantain-eaters (Musophaga); Myioceyx, a peculiar genus of kingfishers; while Berenicornis is a genus of crested hornbills, only found elsewhere in Malaya. The grey parrots, of the genus Psittacus, are confined to this sub-region, as are two peculiar genera of partridges, and three of guinea-fowl. We have also here a species of Pitta, one of the Oriental family of ground-thrushes; and the Oriental paroquets, Palæornis, are found here as well as in Abyssinia and the Mascarene Islands.

We thus find, both in the Mammalia and birds of West Africa, a special Oriental or even Malayan element not present in the other parts of tropical Africa, although appearing again in Madagascar. In the Mammalia it is represented by the anthropoid apes; by Colobus allied to Semnopithecus, and by Cercocebus allied to Macacus; and especially by a form of the Malayan family of chevrotains (Tragulidæ). The Malayan genus of otters, Aonyx, is also said to occur in West and South Africa. In birds we have special Oriental and Malayan affinities in Alethe, Pholidornis, Berenicornis, Pitta, and Palæornis; while the Oriental genus Treron has a wide range in Africa. We shall {264}endeavour to ascertain the meaning of this special relation at a subsequent stage of our inquiries.

Plate V.River Scene in West Africa, with Characteristic Animals.—Our artist has here well represented the luxuriance and beauty of a tropical forest; and the whole scene is such as might be witnessed on the banks of one of the rivers of equatorial West Africa. On the right we see a red river-hog (Potamochœrus penicillatus), one of the handsomest of the swine family, and highly characteristic of the West African sub-region. In a tree overhead is the potto (Perodicticus potto), one of the curious forms of lemur confined to West Africa. On the left is the remarkable Potamogale velox, first discovered by Du Chaillu,—an Insectivorous animal, with the form and habits of an otter. On the other side of the river are seen a pair of gorillas (Troglodytes gorilla), the largest of the anthropoid apes.

The bird on the wing is the Whydah finch (Vidua paradisea), remarkable for the enormous plumes with which the tail of the male bird is decorated during the breeding season. The crested bird overhead is one of the beautiful green touracos (Turacus macrorhynchus), belonging to the Musophagidæ, or plantain-eaters, a family wholly African, and most abundant in the western sub-region.


Reptiles.—In this class we find a large number of peculiar forms; 13 genera of snakes, 3 of lizards, and 2 of tortoises being confined to the sub-region. The snakes are Pariaspis, Elapops, and Prosymna (Calamariidæ), Rhamnophis, Herpetethiops, and Grayia (Colubridæ), Neusterophis and Limnophis (Homalopsidæ), Simocephalus and Holurophis (Lycodontidæ); Pelophilus (Pythonidæ); Elapsoidea (Elapidæ); and Atheris (Viperidæ). The lizards are Dalophia (Lepidosternidæ); Otosaurus (Scincidæ); Psilodactylus (Geckotidæ). The tortoises, Cinyxis (Testudinidæ) and Tetrathyra (Trionichidæ).

Amphibia.—Of Amphibia, there are 2 peculiar genera of tree-frogs, Hylambatis and Hemimantis, belonging to the Polypedatidæ.

Plate V.




Here, too, we find some interesting relations with the Oriental region on the one side, and the Neotropical on the other. The snakes of the family Homalopsidæ have a wide range, in America, Europe, and all over the Oriental region, but are confined to West Africa in the Ethiopian region. Dryiophis (Dryiophidæ) and Dipsadoboa (Dipsadidæ) on the other hand, are genera of tropical America which occur also in West Africa. The family of lizards, Acontiadæ, are found in West and South Africa, Ceylon, and the Moluccas. The family of toads, Engystomidæ, in West and South Africa and the whole Oriental region; while the Phryniscidæ inhabit tropical Africa and Java.

Insects.—We have here a large number of peculiar genera. There are 10 of butterflies, Lachnoptera, Amphidema, and Catuna belonging to the Nymphalidæ, while four others are Lycænidæ. The genus Euxanthe is common to West Africa and Madagascar.

Of Coleoptera there are 53 peculiar genera; 20 are Carabidæ, 2 Lucanidæ, 12 Cetoniidæ, 3 Prionidæ, 16 Cerambycidæ, and 34 Lamiidæ. Besides these there are 4 or 5 genera confined to West Africa and Madagascar.

Land Shells.—West Africa is very rich in land shells, but it does not appear to possess any well-marked genera, although several of the smaller groups or sub-genera are confined to it. Helicidæ of the genera Nanina, Buliminus and Achatina are abundant and characteristic.

Islands of the West African Sub-region.—The islands in the Gulf of Guinea are, Fernando Po, very near the main land, with Prince's Island and St. Thomas, considerably further away to the south-west. Fernando Po was once thought to be a remarkable instance of an island possessing a very peculiar fauna, although close to the main land and not divided from it by a deep sea. This, however, was due to our having obtained considerable collections from Fernando Po, while the opposite coast was almost unknown. One after another the species supposed to be peculiar have been found on the continent, till it becomes probable, that, as in the case of other islands similarly situated, it contains no peculiar species whatever. The presence of numerous mammalia, among which are baboons, lemurs, Hyrax, and {266}Anomalurus, shows that this island has probably once been united to the continent.

Prince's Island, situated about 100 miles from the coast, has no mammals, but between 30 and 40 species of birds. Of these 7 are peculiar species, viz., Zosterops ficedulina, Cuphopterus dohrni (a peculiar genus of Sylviidæ), Symplectes princeps, Crithagra rufilata, Columba chlorophæa, Peristera principalis, and Strix thomensis.

In the Island of St. Thomas, situated on the equator about 150 miles from the coast, there are 6 peculiar species out of 30 known birds, viz., Scops leucopsis, Zosterops lugubris, Turdus olivaceofuscus, Oriolus crassirostris, Symplectes sancti-thomæ and Aplopelia simplex; also Strix thomensis in common with Prince's Island. The remainder are all found on the adjacent coasts. It is remarkable that in Prince's Island there are no birds of prey, any that appear being driven off by the parrots (Psittacus erithacus) that abound there; whereas in St. Thomas and Fernando Po they are plentiful.

III. South-African Sub-region.

This is the most peculiar and interesting part of Africa, but owing to the absence of existing barriers its limits cannot be well defined. The typical portion of it hardly contains more than the narrow strip of territory limited by the mountain range which forms the boundary of the Cape Colony and Natal, while in a wider sense it may be extended to include Mozambique. It may perhaps be best characterised as bounded by the Kalahari desert and the Limpopo river. It is in the more limited district of the extreme south, that the wonderful Cape flora alone exists. Here are more genera and species, and more peculiar types of plants congregated together, than in any other part of the globe of equal extent. There are indications of a somewhat similar richness and specialization in the zoology of this country; but animals are so much less closely dependent on soil and climate, that much of the original peculiarity has been obliterated, by long continued interchange of species with so vast an area as {267}that of Africa south of the equator. The extreme peculiarity and isolation of the flora must not, however, be lost sight of, if we would correctly interpret the phenomena afforded by the distribution of animal life on the African continent.

Mammalia.—A much larger number of peculiar forms of mammals are found here than in any of the other sub-regions, although it is far less in extent than either of the three divisions of the continent. Among Insectivora we have the Chrysochloridæ, or golden moles, consisting of two genera confined to South Africa; while the Macroscelididæ, or elephant shrews, are also characteristically South African, although ranging as far as Mozambique and the Zambezi, with one outlying species in North Africa. The Viverridæ are represented by three peculiar genera, Ariela, Cynictis, and Suricata. The Carnivora present some remarkable forms: Proteles, forming a distinct family allied to the hyænas and weasels; and two curious forms of Canidæ—Megalotis (the long-eared fox) and Lycaon (the hyæna-dog), the latter found also in parts of East Africa. Hydrogale is a peculiar form of Mustelidæ; Pelea one of the antelopes; Dendromys, Malacothrix, and Mystromys are peculiar genera of the mouse family (Muridæ); Bathyerges one of the mole-rats (Spalacidæ); Pedetes, the Cape-hare, a remarkable form of jerboa; and Petromys, one of the spiny-rats (Echimyidæ). The remarkable Orycteropus, or earth-pig, has one species in South and one in North East Africa. We have thus eighteen genera of mammalia almost or quite peculiar to South Africa.

Birds.—These do not present so many peculiar forms, yet some are very remarkable. Chætops is an isolated genus of thrushes (Turdidæ). Lioptilus, one of the fruit-thrushes (Pycnonotidæ). Pogonocichla, one of the fly-catchers; Urolestes, a shrike; Promerops, a sun-bird; Philetærus and Chera, weaver-birds; and three peculiar genera of larks—Spizocorys, Heterocorys, and Tephrocorys, complete the list of peculiar types of Passeres. A wood-pecker, Geocolaptes, is nearly allied to a South American genus. The Cape-dove, Œna, is confined to South and East Africa and Madagascar; and Thalassornis is a peculiar form of duck. Several genera are also confined to West and South {268}Africa;-as Phyllastrephus (Pycnonotidæ), Smithornis (Muscicapidæ), Corvinella (Laniidæ); Barbatula and Xylobucco (Megalæmidæ); Ceuthmochares, also in Madagascar, (Cuculidæ); Typanistria (Columbidæ). Other remarkable forms, though widely spread over Africa, appear to have their metropolis here, as Colius and Indicator. Others seem to be confined to South Africa and Abyssinia, as the curious Buphaga (Sturnidæ); and Apaloderma (Trogonidæ). Machærhamphus[**P1:Macheirhamphus?] (Falconidæ) is found only in South-West Africa, Madagascar, and the Malay Peninsula.

Reptiles.—There are 4 peculiar genera of snakes,—Typhline, belonging to the blind burrowing snakes, Typhlopidæ; Lamprophis (Lycodontidæ); Cyrtophis and Pæcilophis (Elapidæ), a family which is chiefly Oriental and Australian. Of Lizards there are 10 peculiar genera; Monotrophis (Lepidosternidæ), but with an allied form in Angola; Cordylus, Pseudocordylus, Platysaurus, Cordylosaurus, Pleurostichus, and Saurophis, all peculiar genera of Zonuridæ; Chamæsaura, forming the peculiar family Chamæsauridæ; Colopus and Rhopitropus (Geckotidæ).

Amphibia.—Of Amphibia there are 4 peculiar genera: Schismaderma (Bufonidæ); Brachymerus (Engystomidæ); Phrynobatrachus and Stenorhynchus (Ranidæ). These last are allied to Oriental genera, and the only other Engystomidæ are Oriental and Neotropical.

Fresh-water Fish.—Of fresh-water fishes there is 1 genus—Abrostomus—belonging to the carp family, peculiar to South Africa.

Insects.—South Africa is excessively rich in insects, and the number of peculiar types surpasses that of any other part of the region. We can only here summarize the results.

Lepidoptera.—Of butterflies there are 7 peculiar genera; 2 belonging to the Satyridæ, 1 to Acræidæ, 3 to Lycænidæ, and 1 to Hesperidæ. Zeritis (Lycænidæ) is also characteristic of this sub-region, although 1 species occurs in West Africa.

Coleoptera.—These are very remarkable. In the family of Cicindelidæ, or tiger-beetles, we have the extraordinary Manticora and Platychile, forming a sub-family, whose nearest allies are in North America; as well as Ophryodera and Dromica, the latter an extensive genus, which ranges as far north as Mozambique {269}and Lake Ngami. Another genus of this family, Jansenia, is common to South Africa and South India.

In the large family of Carabidæ, or ground-beetles, there are 17 peculiar South African genera, the most important being Crepidogaster, Hytrichopus, Arsinoē, and Piezia. Three others—Eunostus, Glyphodactyla, and Megalonychus—are common to South Africa and Madagascar only. There is also a genus in common with Java, and one with Australia.

Of Lucanidæ, or stag-beetles, there are 3 peculiar genera; of Cetoniidæ, or rose-chafers, 14; and of Buprestidæ, 2.

In the great family of Longicorns there are no less than 67 peculiar genera—an immense number when we consider that the generally open character of the country, is such as is not usually well suited to this group of insects. They consist of 5 peculiar genera of Prionidæ, 25 of Cerambycidæ, and 37 of Lamiidæ.

Summary of South-African Zoology.—Summarizing these results, we find that South Africa possesses 18 peculiar genera of Mammalia, 12 of Birds, 18 of Reptiles, 1 of Fishes, 7 of Butterflies, and 107 of the six typical families of Coleoptera. Besides this large amount of speciality it contains many other groups, which extend either to West Africa, to Abyssinia, or to Madagascar only, a number of which are no doubt to be referred as originating here. We also find many cases of direct affinity with the Oriental region, and especially with the Malay districts, and others with Australia; and there are also less marked indications of a relation to America.


Atlantic Islands of the Ethiopian Region. St. Helena.—The position of St. Helena, about 1,000 miles west of Africa and 16° south of the equator, renders it difficult to place it in either of the sub-regions; and its scanty fauna has a general rather than any special resemblance to that of Africa. The entire destruction of its luxuriant native forests by the introduction of goats which killed all the young trees (a destruction which was nearly completed two centuries ago) must have led to the extermination of most of the indigenous birds and insects. At present there is no land bird that is believed to be really indigenous, and but one {270}wader, a small plover (Ægialitis sanctæ-helenæ[**P2:and another!]) which is peculiar to the island, but closely allied to African species. Numerous imported birds, such as canaries, Java sparrows, some African finches, guinea-fowls, and partridges, are now wild. There are no native butterflies, but a few introduced species of almost world-wide range. The only important remnant of the original fauna consists of beetles and land shells. The beetles are the more numerous and have been critically examined and described by Mr. T. V. Wollaston, whose researches in the other Atlantic islands are so well known.

Coleoptera of St. Helena.—Omitting those beetles which get introduced everywhere through man's agency, there are 59 species of Coleoptera known from St. Helena; and even of these there are a few widely distributed species that may have been introduced by man. It will be well, therefore, to confine ourselves almost wholly to the species peculiar to the island, and, therefore, almost certainly forming part of the endemic or original fauna. Of these we find that 10 belong to genera which have a very wide range, and thus afford no indication of geographical affinity; 2 belong to genera which are characteristic of the Palæarctic fauna (Bembidium, Longitarsus); 3 to African genera (Adoretus, Sciobius, Aspidomorpha); and two species of Calosoma are most allied to African species. There are also 4 African species, which may be indigenous in St. Helena. The peculiar genera, 7 in number, are, however, the most interesting. We have first Haplothorax, a large beetle allied to Carabus and Calosoma, though of a peculiar type. This may be held to indicate a remote Palæarctic affinity. Melissius, one of the Dynastidæ, is allied to South African forms. Microxylobius, one of the Cossonides (a sub-family of Curculionidæ) is the most important genus, comprising as it does 13 species. It is, according to Mr. Wollaston, an altogether peculiar type, most allied to Pentarthrum, a genus found in St. Helena, Ascension, and the south of England, and itself very isolated. Nesiotes, another genus of Curculionidæ, belongs to a small group, the allied genera forming which inhabit Europe, Madeira, and Australia. A third peculiar and isolated genus is Trachyphlæosoma. The Anthribidæ are represented by {271}2 genera, Notioxenus and Homœodera, which are altogether peculiar and isolated, and contain 9 species. Thus no less than 27 species, or more than half of the undoubtedly indigenous beetles, belong to 5 peculiar and very remarkable genera of Rhyncophora.

It appears from this enumeration, that the peculiar species as a whole, exhibit most affinity to the Ethiopian fauna; next to the South European fauna; and lastly to that of the islands of the North Atlantic; while there is such a large amount of peculiarity in the most characteristic forms, that no special geographical affinity can be pointed out.

Land Shells.—These consist of about a dozen living species, and about as many extinct found in the surface soil, and probably exterminated by the destruction of the forests. The genera are Succinea, Zonites, Helix, Bulimus, Pupa, and Achatina. The Bulimi (all now extinct but one) comprise one large, and several small species, of a peculiar type, most resembling forms now inhabiting South America and the islands of the Pacific. Zonites is chiefly South European, but the other genera are of wide range, and none are peculiar to the island.

The marine shells are mostly Mediterranean, or West Indian species, with some found in the Indian Ocean; only 4 or 5 species being peculiar to the island.

Tristan d'Acunha.—This small island is situated nearly mid-*way between the Cape of Good Hope and the mouth of the La Plata, but it is rather nearer Africa than America, and a little nearer still to St. Helena. An island so truly oceanic and of whose productions so little is known, cannot be placed in any region, and is only noticed here because it comes naturally after St. Helena. It is known to possess three peculiar land birds. One is a thrush (Nesocichla eremita) whose exact affinities are not determined; the other a small water-hen (Gallinula nesiotis) allied to our native species, but with shorter and softer wings, which the bird does not use for flight. A finch of the genus Crithagra shows African affinities; while another recently described as Nesospiza acunhæ (Journ. für Orn. 1873, p. 154) forms a new genus said to resemble more nearly some American forms.


The only known land-shells are 2 peculiar species of Balea, a genus only found elsewhere in Europe and Brazil.

IV. Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands, or the Malagasy Sub-region.

This insular sub-region is one of the most remarkable zoological districts on the globe, bearing a similar relation to Africa as the Antilles to tropical America, or New Zealand to Australia, but possessing a much richer fauna than either of these, and in some respects a more remarkable one even than New Zealand. It comprises, besides Madagascar, the islands of Mauritius, Bourbon, and Rodriguez, the Seychelles and Comoro islands. Madagascar itself is an island of the first class, being a thousand miles long and about 250 miles in average width. It lies parallel to the coast of Africa, near the southern tropic, and is separated by 230 miles of sea from the nearest part of the continent, although a bank of soundings projecting from its western coast reduces this distance to about 160 miles. Madagascar is a mountainous island, and the greater part of the interior consists of open elevated plateaus; but between these and the coast there intervene broad belts of luxuriant tropical forests. It is this forest-district which has yielded most of those remarkable types of animal life which we shall have to enumerate; and it is probable that many more remain to be discovered. As all the main features of this sub-region are developed in Madagascar, we shall first endeavour to give a complete outline of the fauna of that country, and afterwards show how far the surrounding islands partake of its peculiarities.

Mammalia.—The fauna of Madagascar is tolerably rich in genera and species of mammalia, although these belong to a very limited number of families and orders. It is especially characterized by its abundance of Lemuridæ and Insectivora; it also possesses a few peculiar Carnivora of small size; but most of the other groups in which Africa is especially rich—apes and monkeys, lions, leopards and hyænas, zebras, giraffes, antelopes, elephants and rhinoceroses, and even porcupines and squirrels, are wholly wanting. No less than 40 distinct families of land {273}mammals are represented on the continent of Africa, only 11 of which occur in Madagascar, which also possesses 3 families peculiar to itself. The following is a list of all the genera of Mammalia as yet known to inhabit the island:—





Indris 6


Lemur 15

Hapalemur 2

Microcebus 4

Chirogaleus 5

Lepilemur 2


Chiromys 1



Pteropus 2


Rhinolophus 1


Vespertilio 1

Taphozous 1


Nyctinomus 1



Centetes 2

Hemicentetes 2

Ericulus 2

Oryzorictes 1

Echinops 3


Sorex 1



Cryptoprocta 1


Fossa 2

Galidia 3

Galidictis 2

Eupleres 1



Potamochœrus 1



Nesomys 1

Hypogeomys 1

Brachytarsomys 1

We have here a total of 12 families, 27 genera, and 65 species of Mammals; 3 of the families and 20 of the genera (indicated by italics) being peculiar. All the species are peculiar, except perhaps one or two of the wandering bats. Remains of a Hippopotamus have been found in a sub-fossil condition, showing that this animal probably inhabited the island at a not very remote epoch.

The assemblage of animals above noted is remarkable, and seems to indicate a very ancient connection with the southern portion of Africa, before the apes, ungulates, and felines had entered it. The lemurs, which are here so largely developed, are {274}represented by a single group in Africa, with two peculiar forms on the West coast. They also re-appear under peculiar and isolated forms in Southern India and Malaya, and are evidently but the remains of a once wide-spread group, since in Eocene times they inhabited North America and Europe, and very probably the whole northern hemisphere. The Insectivora are another group of high antiquity, widely scattered over the globe under a number of peculiar forms; but in no equally limited area represented by so many peculiar types as in Madagascar. South and West Africa are also rich in this order.

The Carnivora of Madagascar are mostly peculiar forms of Viverridæ, or civets, a family now almost confined to the Ethiopian and Oriental regions, but which was abundant in Europe during the Miocene period.

The Potamochœrus is a peculiar species only, which may be perhaps explained by the unusual swimming powers of swine, and the semi-aquatic habits of this genus, leading to an immigration at a later period than in the case of the other Mammalia. The same remark will apply to the small Hippopotamus, which was coeval with the great Struthious bird Æpiornis.

Rodents are only represented by three peculiar forms of Muridæ, but it is probable that others remain to be discovered.

Birds.—Madagascar is exceedingly rich in birds, and especially in remarkable forms of Passeres. No less than 88 genera and 111 species of land-birds have been discovered, and every year some additions are being made to the list. The African families of Passeres are almost all represented, only two being absent—Paridæ and Fringillidæ, both very poorly represented in Africa itself. Among the Picariæ, however, the case is very different, no less than 7 families being absent, viz.—Picidæ, or woodpeckers; Indicatoridæ, or honey-guides; Megalæmidæ, or barbets; Musophagidæ, or plantain-eaters; Coliidæ, or colies; Bucerotidæ, or hornbills; and Irrisoridæ, or mockers. Three of these are peculiar to Africa, and all are well represented there, so that their absence from Madagascar is a very remarkable fact. The number of peculiar genera in Madagascar constitutes one of the main features of its ornithology, and many of these are so {275}isolated that it is very difficult to classify them, and they remain to this day a puzzle to ornithologists. In order to exhibit clearly the striking characteristics of the bird-fauna of this island, we shall first give a list of all the peculiar genera; another, of the genera of which the species only are peculiar; and, lastly, a list of the species which Madagascar possesses in common with the African continent.

Genera of Birds peculiar to Madagascar, or found elsewhere only in the Mascarene Islands.



1. Bernieria 2

2. Ellisia 1

3. Mystacornis 1

4. Eroessa 1

5. Gervasia 1


6. Oxylabes 2


7. Mesites 1


8. Hypherpes 1

Pycnonotidæ(?)[** .]

9. Tylas 1


10. Artamia 3

11. Cyanolanius 1


12. Newtonia 1

13. Pseudobias 1


14. Calicalicus(?) 1

15. Vanga 4


16. Neodrepanis 1


17. Phedina 1


18. Nelicurvius 1


19. Euryceros(?) 1

20. Hartlaubia 1

21. Falculia 1


22. Philepitta 1


23. Coua 9

24. Cochlothraustes 1


25. Leptosomus 1


26. Atelornis 2

27. Brachypteracias 1

28. Geobiastes 1


29. Coracopsis 2


30. Alectrœnas 1


31. Margaroperdix 1


32. Nisoides 1

33. Eutriorchis 1

Total species of peculiar genera 50


34. Æpyornis 1


Ethiopian or Oriental Genera which are represented in Madagascar by peculiar species.



1. Bessonornis 1


2. Acrocephalus 1

3. Copsychus (Or.) 1

4. Pratincola 1


5. Hypsipetes (Or.) 1

6. Andropadus 1


7. Campephaga 1


8. Dicrurus 1


9. Tchitrea 1


10. Laniarius 1


11. Nectarinia 1


12. Foudia 2

13. Hypargos 1

14. Spermestes 1


15. Mirafra 1


16. Motacilla 1


17. Ceuthmochares 1

18. Centropus 1

19. Cuculus 1


20. Eurystomus 1


21. Corythornis 1

22. Ispidina 1


23. Upupa (?) 1


24. Caprimulgus 1


25. Cypselus 2

26. Chætura 1


27. Poliopsitta 1


28. Treron 1

29. Columba 1

30. Turtur 1


31. Pterocles 1


32. Francolinus 1


33. Numida 1


34. Turnix 1


35. Polyboroides 1

36. Circus 1

37. Astur 3

38. Accipiter 1

39. Buteo 1

40. Haliæetus 1

41. Pernis 1

42. Baza 1

43. Cerchneis 1



44. Athene 1

45. Scops 1


46. Rallus 3

47. Porzana 1


48. Gallinago 1


49. Ibis 1


50. Podiceps 1

Total peculiar species of Eth. }

or Or. genera } 56

Species of Birds common to Madagascar and Africa or Asia.

1. Cisticola cursitans.

2. Corvus scapulatus.

3. Crithagra canicollis.

4. Merops superciliosus.

5. Collocalia fuciphaga.

6. Œna capensis.

7. Aplopelia tympanistria.

8. Falco minor.

9. Falco concolor.

10. Milvus ægyptius.

11. Milvus migrans.

12. Strix flammea.

These three tables show us an amount of speciality hardly to be found in the birds of any other part of the globe. Out of 111 land-birds in Madagascar, only 12 are identical with species inhabiting the adjacent continents, and most of these belong to powerful-winged, or wide-ranging forms, which probably now often pass from one country to the other. The peculiar species—49 land-birds and 7 waders, or aquatics—are mostly well-marked forms of African genera. There are, however, several genera (marked by italics) which have Oriental or Palæarctic affinities, but not African, viz.—Copsychus, Hypsipetes, Hypherpes, Alectrænas[** Alectrœnas?], and Margaroperdix. These indicate a closer approximation to the Malay countries than now exists.

The table of 33 peculiar genera is of great interest. Most of these are well-marked forms, belonging to families which are fully developed in Africa; though it is singular that not one of the exclusively African families is represented in any way in Madagascar. Others, however, are of remote or altogether doubtful affinities. Sittidæ is Oriental and Palæarctic, but not Ethiopian. Oxylabes and Mystacornis are of doubtful affinities. Artamia and Cyanolanius still more so, and it is quite undecided what family they belong to. Calicalicus is almost equally obscure. Neodrepanis, one of the most recent discoveries, seems to connect the Nectariniidæ with the Pacific {278}Depanididæ. Euryceros is a complete puzzle, having been placed with the hornbills, the starlings, or as a distinct family. Falculia is an exceedingly aberrant form of starling, long thought to be allied to Irrisor. Philepitta, forming a distinct family, (Paictidæ), is most remarkable and isolated, perhaps with remote South American affinities. Leptosoma is another extraordinary form, connecting the cuckoos with the rollers. Atelornis, Brachypteracias, and Geobiastes, are terrestrial rollers, with the form and colouring of Pitta. So many perfectly isolated and remarkable groups are certainly nowhere else to be found; and they fitly associate with the wonderful aye-aye (Chiromys), the insectivorous Centetidæ, and carnivorous Cryptoprocta among the Mammalia. They speak to us plainly of enormous antiquity, of long-continued isolation; and not less plainly of a lost continent or continental island, in which so many, and various, and peculiarly organized creatures, could have been gradually developed in a connected fauna, of which we have here but the fragmentary remains.

Plate VI.—Illustrating the characteristic features of the Zoology of Madagascar.—The lemurs, which form the most prominent feature in the zoology of Madagascar, being comparatively well-known from the numerous specimens in our zoological gardens; and good figures of the Insectivorous genera not being available, we have represented the nocturnal and extraordinary aye-aye (Chiromys madagascariensis) to illustrate its peculiar and probably very ancient mammalian fauna; while the river-hogs in the distance (Potamochœrus edwardsii) allied to African species, indicate a later immigration from the mainland than in the case of most of the other Mammalia. The peculiar birds being far less generally known, we have figured three of them. The largest is the Euryceros prevosti, here classed with the starlings, although its remarkable bill and other peculiarities render it probable that it should form a distinct family. Its colours are velvety black and rich brown with the bill of a pearly grey. The bird beneath (Vanga curvirostris) is one of the peculiar Madagascar shrikes whose plumage, variegated with green-black and pure white is very conspicuous; while that in

Plate VI.




the right hand corner is the Leptosoma discolor, a bird which appears to be intermediate between such very distinct families as the cuckoos and the rollers, and is therefore considered to form a family by itself. It is a coppery-green above and nearly white beneath, with a black bill and red feet. The fan-shaped plant on the left is the traveller's tree (Urania speciosa), one of the peculiar forms of vegetation in this marvellous island.


Reptiles.—These present some very curious features, comparatively few of the African groups being represented, while there are a considerable number of Eastern and even of American forms. Beginning with the snakes, we find, in the enormous family of Colubridæ, none of the African types; but instead of them three genera—Herpetodryas, Philodryas, and Heterodon—only found elsewhere in South and North America. The Psammophidæ, which are both African and Indian, are represented by a peculiar genus, Mimophis. The Dendrophidæ are represented by Ahætulla, a genus which is both African and American. The Dryiophidæ, which inhabit all the tropics but are most developed in the Oriental region, are represented by a peculiar genus, Langaha. The tropical Pythonidæ are represented by another peculiar genus, Sanzinia. The Lycodontidæ and Viperidæ, so well developed in Africa, are entirely absent.

The lizards are no less remarkable. The Zonuridæ, abundantly developed in Africa, are represented by one peculiar genus, Cicigna. The wide-spread Scincidæ by another peculiar genus, Pygomeles. The African Sepsidæ, are represented by three genera, two of which are African, and one, Amphiglossus, peculiar. The Acontiadæ are represented by a species of the African genus Acontias. Of Scincidæ there is the wide-spread Euprepes. The Sepidæ are represented by the African genera Seps and Scelotes. The Geckotidæ are not represented by any purely African genera, but by Phyllodactylus, which is American and Australian; Hemidactylus, which is spread over all the tropics; by two peculiar genera; and by Uroplatis, Geckolepis, and Phelsuma, confined to Madagascar, Bourbon, and the Andaman Islands. The Agamidæ, which are mostly Oriental and are represented in {280}Africa by the single genus Agama, have here three peculiar genera, Tracheloptychus, Chalarodon, and Hoplurus. Lastly, the American Iguanidæ are said to be represented by a species of the South American genus Oplurus. The classification of Reptiles is in such an unsettled state that some of these determinations of affinities are probably erroneous; but it is not likely that any corrections which may be required will materially affect the general bearing of the evidence, as indicating a remarkable amount of Oriental and American relationship.

The other groups are of less interest. Tortoises are represented by two African or wide-spread genera of Testudinidæ, Testudo and Chersina, and by one peculiar genus, Pyxis; and there are also two African genera of Chelydidæ.

The Amphibia are not very well known. They appear to be confined to species of the wide-spread Ethiopian and Oriental genera—Hylarana, Polypedates, and Rappia (Polypedatidæ); and Pyxicephalus (Ranidæ).

Fresh-water Fishes.—These appear to be at present almost unknown. When carefully collected they will no doubt furnish some important facts.

The Mascarene Islands.

The various islands which surround Madagascar—Bourbon, Mauritius, Rodriguez, the Seychelles, and the Comoro Islands—all partake in a considerable degree of its peculiar fauna, while having some special features of their own.

Indigenous Mammalia (except bats) are probably absent from all these islands (except the Comoros), although Lemur and Centetes are given as natives of Bourbon and Mauritius. They have, however, perhaps been introduced from Madagascar. Lemur mayottensis, a peculiar species, is found in the Comoro Islands, where a Madagascar species of Viverra also occurs.

Bourbon and Mauritius may be taken together, as they much resemble each other. They each possess species of a peculiar genus of Campephagidæ, or caterpillar shrikes, Oxynotus; while the remarkable Fregilupus, belonging to the starling family, inhabits Bourbon, if it is not now extinct. They also have {281}peculiar species of Pratincola, Hypsipetes, Phedina, Tchitrea, Zosterops, Foudia, Collocalia, and Coracopsis; while Mauritius has a very peculiar form of dove of the sub-genus Trocaza; an Alectrænas[** Alectrœnas?], extinct within the last thirty years; and a species of the Oriental genus of parroquets, Palæornis. The small and remote island of Rodriguez has another Palæornis, as well as a peculiar Foudia, and a Drymœca of apparently Indian affinity.

Coming to the Seychelle Islands, far to the north, we find the only mammal an Indian species of bat (Pteropus edwardsii). Of the twelve land-birds all but one are peculiar species, but all belong to genera found also in Madagascar, except one—a peculiar species of Palæornis. This is an Oriental genus, but found also in several Mascarene Islands and on the African continent. A species of black parrot (Coracopsis barklayi) and a weaver bird of peculiar type (Foudia seychellarum) show, however, a decided connection with Madagascar. There are also two peculiar pigeons—a short-winged Turtur and an Alectrænas[** Alectrœnas?].

Most of the birds of the Comoro Islands are Madagascar species, only two being African. Five are peculiar, belonging to the genera Nectarinia, Zosterops, Dicrurus, Foudia, and Alectrænas[** Alectrœnas?].

Reptiles are scarce. There appear to be no snakes in Mauritius and Bourbon, though some African species are said to be found in the Seychelle Islands. Lizards are fairly represented. Mauritius has Cryptoblepharus, an Australian genus of Gymnopthalmidæ; Hemidactylus (a wide-spread genus); Peropus (Oriental and Australian)—both belonging to the Geckotidæ. Bourbon has Heteropus, a Moluccan and Australian genus of Scincidæ; Phelsuma (Geckotidæ), and Chameleo, both found also in Madagascar; as well as Pyxis, one of the tortoises. The Seychelles have Theconyx, a peculiar genus of Geckotidæ, and Chameleo. Gigantic land-tortoises, which, formerly inhabited most of the Mascarene Islands, now only survive in Aldabra, a small island north of the Seychelles. These will be noticed again further on. Amphibia seem only to be recorded from the Seychelles, where two genera of tree-frogs of the family Polypedatidæ are found; one (Megalixalus) peculiar, the other (Rappia) found also in Madagascar and Africa.


The few insect groups peculiar to these islands will be noted when we deal with the entomology of Madagascar.

Extinct fauna of the Mascarene Islands and Madagascar.—Before quitting the vertebrate groups, we must notice the remarkable birds which have become extinct in these islands little more than a century ago. The most celebrated is the dodo of the Mauritius (Didus ineptus), but an allied genus, Pezophaps, inhabited Rodriguez, and of both of these almost perfect skeletons have been recovered. Other species probably existed in Bourbon. Remains of two genera of flightless rails have also been found, Aphanapteryx and Erythromachus; and even a heron (Ardea megacephala) which was short-winged and seldom flew; while in Madagascar there lived a gigantic Struthious bird, the Æpyornis. Some further details as to these extinct forms will be found under the respective families, Dididæ, Rallidæ, and Æpyornithidæ, in the fourth part of this work; and their bearing on the past history of the region will be adverted to in the latter part of this chapter. Dr. Günther has recently distinguished five species of fossil tortoises from Mauritius and Rodriguez,—all of them quite different from the living species of Aldabra.

Insects.—The butterflies of Madagascar are not so remarkable as some other orders of insects. There seems to be only one peculiar genus, Heteropsis (Satyridæ). The other genera are African, Leptoneura being confined to Madagascar and South Africa. There are some fine Papilios of uncommon forms. The most interesting lepidopterous insect, however, is the fine diurnal moth (Urania), as all the other species of the genus inhabit tropical America and the West Indian Islands.

The Coleoptera have been better collected, and exhibit some very remarkable affinities. There is but one peculiar genus of Cicindelidæ, Pogonostoma, which is allied to the South American genus, Ctenostoma. Another genus, Peridexia, is common to Madagascar and South America. None of the important African genera are represented, except Eurymorpha; while Meglaomma is common to Madagascar and the Oriental region.

In the Carabidæ we have somewhat similar phenomena on a {283}wider scale. Such large and important African genera as Polyhirma and Anthia, are absent; but there are four genera in common with South Africa, and two with West Africa; while three others are as much Oriental as African. One genus, Distrigus, is wholly Oriental; and another, Homalosoma, Australian. Colpodes, well developed in Bourbon and Mauritius, is Oriental and South American. Of the peculiar genera, Sphærostylis has South American affinities; Microchila, Oriental; the others being related to widely distributed genera.

The Lucanidæ are few in number, and all have African affinities. Madagascar is very rich in Cetoniidæ, and possesses 20 peculiar genera. Bothrorhina, and three other genera belonging to the Ichnostoma group, have wholly African relations. Doryscelis and Chromoptila are no less clearly allied to Oriental genera. A series of eight peculiar genera belong to the Schizorhinidæ, a family the bulk of which are Australian, while there are only a few African forms. The remaining genera appear to have African affinities, but few of the peculiarly African genera are represented. Glyciphana is characteristic of the Oriental region.

The Buprestidæ of Madagascar consist mainly of one large and peculiar genus, Polybothris, allied to the almost cosmopolite Psiloptera. Most of the other genera are both Ethiopian and Oriental; but Polycesta is mainly South American, and the remarkable and isolated genus Sponsor is confined to the Mauritius with a species in Celebes and New Guinea.

The Longicorns are numerous and interesting, there being no less than 24 peculiar genera. Two of the genera of Prionidæ are very isolated, while a third, Closterus, belongs to a group which is Malayan and American.

Of the Cerambycidæ, Philematium ranges to Africa and the West Indies; Leptocera is only found eastward in Ceylon and the New Hebrides; while Euporus is African. Of the peculiar genera, 2 are of African type; 3 belong to the Leptura group, which are mostly Palæarctic and Oriental, with a few in South Africa; while Philocalocera is allied to a South American genus.

Among the Lamiidæ there are several wide-ranging and 7 {284}African genera; but Coptops is Oriental, and the Oriental Praonetha occurs in the Comoro Islands. Among the peculiar genera several have African affinities, but Tropidema belongs to a group which is Oriental and Australian; Oopsis is found also in the Pacific Islands; Mythergates, Sulemus, and Coedomæa, are allied to Malayan and American genera.

General Remarks on the Insect-fauna of Madagascar.—Taking the insects as a whole, we find the remarkable result that their affinities are largely Oriental, Australian, and South American: while the African element is represented chiefly by special South African or West African forms, rather than by such as are widely spread over the Ethiopian region.[11] In some families—as Cetoniidæ and Lamiidæ—the African element appears to preponderate; in others—as Cicindelidæ—the South American affinity seems strongest; in Carabidæ, perhaps the Oriental; while in Buprestidæ and Cerambycidæ the African and foreign elements seem nearly balanced. We must not impute too much importance to these foreign alliances among insects, because we find examples of them in every country on the globe. The reason they are so much more pronounced in Madagascar may be, that during long periods of time this island has served as a refuge for groups that have been dying out on the great continents; and that, owing to the numerous deficiencies of a somewhat similar kind in the series of vertebrata in Australia and South America, the same groups have often been able to maintain themselves in all these countries as well as in Madagascar. It must be remembered too, that these peculiarities in the Malagasy and Mascarene insect-fauna are but exaggerations of a like phenomenon on the mainland. Africa also has numerous affinities with South America, with the Malay countries, and with Australia; but they do not bear anything like so large a proportion to the whole fauna, and do not, therefore, attract so much attention. The special conditions of existence and the long-continued isolation of Madagascar, will account for much of this difference; and it will evidently not be necessary {285}to introduce, as some writers are disposed to do, a special land connection or near approach between Madagascar and all these countries, independently of Africa; except perhaps in the case of the Malay Islands, as will be discussed further on.

Land-shells.—Madagascar and the adjacent islands are all rich in land-shells. The genera of Helicidæ are Vitrina, Helix, Achatina, Columna (peculiar to Madagascar and West Africa), Buliminus, Cionella (chiefly Oriental and South American, but not African), Pupa, Streptaxis, and Succinea. Among the Operculata we have Truncatella (widely scattered, but not African); Cyclotus (South American, Oriental, and South African); Cyclophorus (mostly Oriental, with a few South African); Leptopoma (Oriental); Megalomastoma (Malayan and South American); Lithidion (peculiar to Madagascar, Socotra, and South-West Arabia); Otopoma (with the same range, but extending to West India and New Ireland); Cyclostomus (widely spread but not African); and Omphalotropis (wholly Oriental and Australian). We thus find the same general features reproduced in the land-shells as in the insects, and the same remarks will to a great extent apply to both. The classification of the former is, however, by no means so satisfactory, and we have no extensive and accurate general catalogues of shells, like those of Lepidoptera and Coleoptera, which have furnished us with such valuable materials for the comparison of the several faunas.

On the probable Past History of the Ethiopian Region.

Perhaps none of the great zoological regions of the earth present us with problems of greater difficulty or higher interest than the Ethiopian. We find in it the evidence of several distinct and successive faunas, now intermingled; and it is very difficult, with our present imperfect knowledge, to form an adequate conception of how and when the several changes occurred. There are, however, a few points which seem sufficiently clear, and these afford us a secure foundation in our endeavour to comprehend the rest.

Let us then consider what are the main facts we have to account for.—1. In Continental Africa, more especially in the south {286}and west, we find, along with much that is peculiar, a number of genera showing a decided Oriental, and others with an equally strong South American affinity; this latter more particularly showing itself among reptiles and insects. 2. All over Africa, but more especially in the east, we have abundance of large ungulates and felines—antelopes, giraffes, buffaloes, elephants, and rhinoceroses, with lions, leopards, and hyænas, all of types now or recently found in India and Western Asia. 3. But we also have to note the absence of a number of groups which abound in the above-named countries, such as deer, bears, moles, and true pigs; while camels and goats—characteristic of the desert regions just to the north of the Ethiopian—are equally wanting. 4. There is a wonderful unity of type and want of speciality in the vast area of our first sub-region extending from Senegal across to the east coast, and southward to the Zambezi; while West Africa and South Africa each abound in peculiar types. 5. We have the extraordinary fauna of Madagascar to account for, with its evident main derivation from Africa, yet wanting all the larger and higher African forms; its resemblances to Malaya and to South America; and its wonderful assemblage of altogether peculiar types.

Here we find a secure starting-point, for we are sure that Madagascar must have been separated from Africa before the assemblage of large animals enumerated above, had entered it. Now, it is a suggestive fact, that all these belong to types which abounded in Europe and India about the Miocene period. It is also known, from the prevalence of Tertiary deposits over the Sahara and much of Arabia, Persia, and Northern India, that during early Tertiary times a continuous sea from the Bay of Bengal to the British Isles completely cut off all land communication between Central and Southern Africa on the one side, and the great continent of the Eastern hemisphere on the other. When Africa was thus isolated, its fauna probably had a character somewhat analogous to that of South America at the same period. Most of the higher types of mammalian life were absent, while lemurs, Edentates, and Insectivora took their place. At this period Madagascar was no doubt united with Africa, {287}and helped to form a great southern continent which must at one time have extended eastward as far as Southern India and Ceylon; and over the whole of this the lemurine type no doubt prevailed.

During some portion of this period, South Temperate Africa must have had a much greater extension, perhaps indicated by the numerous shoals and rocks to the south and east of the Cape of Good Hope, and by the Crozets and Kerguelen Islands further to the south-east. This would have afforded means for that intercommunion with Western Australia which is so clearly marked in the flora, and to some extent also in the insects of the two countries; and some such extension is absolutely required for the development of that wonderfully rich and peculiar temperate flora and fauna, which, now crowded into a narrow territory, is one of the greatest marvels of the organic world.

During this early period, when the great southern continents—South America, Africa, and Australia—were equally free from the incursions of the destructive felines of the north, the Struthious or ostrich type of birds was probably developed into its existing forms. It is not at all necessary to suppose that these three continents were at any time united, in order to account for the distribution of these great terrestrial birds; as this may have arisen by at least two other easily conceivable modes. The ancestral Struthious type may, like the Marsupial, have once spread over the larger portion of the globe; but as higher forms, especially of Carnivora, became developed, it would be exterminated everywhere but in those regions where it was free from their attacks. In each of these it would develope[**P1:unusual spelling;develop?] into special forms adapted to surrounding conditions; and the large size, great strength, and excessive speed of the ostrich, may have been a comparatively late development caused by its exposure to the attacks of enemies which rendered such modification necessary. This seems the most probable explanation of the distribution of Struthious birds, and it is rendered almost certain by the discovery of remains of this order in Europe in Eocene deposits, and by the occurrence of an ostrich among the fossils of the Siwalik hills; but it is just possible, also, that the {288}ancestral type may have been a bird capable of flight, and that it spread from one of the three southern continents to the others at the period of their near approach, and more or less completely lost the power of flight owing to the long continued absence of enemies.

During the period we have been considering, the ancestors of existing apes and monkeys flourished (as we have seen in Chapter VI.) along the whole southern shores of the old Palæarctic continent; and it seems likely that they first entered Africa by means of a land connection indicated by the extensive and lofty plateaus of the Sahara, situated to the south-east of Tunis and reaching to a little north-west of Lake Tchad; and at the same time the elephant and rhinoceros type may have entered. This will account for the curious similarity between the higher faunas of West Africa and the Indo-Malay sub-region, for owing to the present distribution of land and sea and the narrowing of the tropical zone since Miocene times, these are now the only lowland, equatorial, forest-clad countries, which were in connection with the southern shores of the old Palæarctic continent at the time of its greatest luxuriance and development. This western connection did not probably last long, the junction that led to the greatest incursion of new forms, and the complete change in the character of the African fauna, having apparently been effected by way of Syria and the shores of the Red Sea at a somewhat later date. By this route the old South-Palæarctic fauna, indicated by the fossils of Pikermi and the Siwalik Hills, poured into Africa; and finding there a new and favourable country, almost wholly unoccupied by large Mammalia, increased to an enormous extent, developed into new forms, and finally overran the whole continent.

Before this occurred, however, a great change had taken place in the geography of Africa. It had gradually diminished on the south and east; Madagascar had been left isolated; while a number of small islands, banks, and coral reefs in the Indian Ocean alone remained to indicate the position of a once extensive equatorial land. The Mascarene Islands appear to represent the portion which separated earliest, before any carnivora had {289}reached the country; and it was in consequence of this total exemption from danger, that several groups of birds altogether incapable of flight became developed here, culminating in the huge and unwieldy Dodo, and the more active Aphanapteryx. To the same cause may be attributed the development, in these islands, of gigantic land-tortoises, far surpassing any others now living on the globe. They appear to have formerly inhabited Mauritius, Bourbon, and Rodriguez, and perhaps all the other Mascarene islands, but having been recklessly destroyed, now only survive in the small uninhabited Aldabra islands north of the Seychelle group. The largest living specimen (5½ feet long) is now in our Zoological Gardens. The only other place where equally large tortoises (of an allied species) are found, is the Galapagos islands, where they were equally free from enemies till civilized man came upon the scene; who, partly by using them for food, partly by the introduction of pigs, which destroy the eggs, has greatly diminished their numbers and size, and will probably soon wholly exterminate them. It is a curious fact, ascertained by Dr. Günther, that the tortoises of the Galapagos are more nearly related to the extinct tortoises of Mauritius than is the living tortoise of Aldabra. This would imply that several distinct groups or sub-genera of Testudo have had a wide range over the globe, and that some of each have survived in very distant localities. This is rendered quite conceivable by the known antiquity of the genus Testudo, which dates back to at least the Eocene formation (in North America) with very little change of form. These sluggish reptiles, so long-lived and so tenacious of life, may have remained unchanged, while every higher animal type around them has become extinct and been replaced by very different forms; as in the case of the living Emys tectum, which is the sole survivor of the strange Siwalik fauna of the Miocene epoch. The ascertained history of the genus and the group, thus affords a satisfactory explanation of the close affinity of the gigantic tortoises of Mauritius and the Galapagos.

The great island of Madagascar seems to have remained longer united with Africa, till some of the smaller and more active {290}carnivora had reached it; and we consequently find there, no wholly terrestrial form of bird but the gigantic and powerful Æpyornis, well able to defend itself against such enemies. As already intimated, we refer the South American element in Madagascar, not to any special connection of the two countries independently of Africa, but to the preservation there of a number of forms, some derived from America through Africa, others of once almost cosmopolitan range, but which, owing to the severer competition, have become extinct on the African continent, while they have continued to exist under modified forms in the two other countries.

The depths of all the great oceans are now known to be so profound, that we cannot conceive the elevation of their beds above the surface without some corresponding depression elsewhere. And if, as is probable, these opposite motions of the earth's crust usually take place in parallel bands, and are to some extent dependent on each other, an elevation of the sea bed could hardly fail to lead to the submergence of large tracts of existing continents; and this is the more likely to occur on account of the great disproportion that we have seen exists between the mean height of the land and the mean depth of the ocean. Keeping this principle in view, we may, with some probability, suggest the successive stages by which the Ethiopian region assumed its present form, and acquired the striking peculiarities that characterise its several sub-regions. During the early period, when the rich and varied temperate flora of the Cape, and its hardly less peculiar forms of insects and of low type mammalia, were in process of development in an extensive south temperate land, we may be pretty sure that the whole of the east and much of the north of Africa was deep sea. At a later period, when this continent sank towards the south and east, the elevation may have occurred which connected Madagascar with Ceylon; and only at a still later epoch, when the Indian Ocean had again been formed, did central, eastern, and northern Africa gradually rise above the ocean, and effect a connection with the great northern continent by way of Abyssinia and Arabia. And if this last change took place with {291}tolerable rapidity, or if the elevatory force acted from the north towards the south, there would be a new and unoccupied territory to be taken possession of by immigrants from the north, together with a few from the south and west. The more highly-organised types from the great northern continent, however, would inevitably prevail; and we should thus have explained the curious uniformity in the fauna of so large an area, together with the absence from it of those peculiar Ethiopian types which so abundantly characterise the other three sub-regions.

We may now perhaps see the reason of the singular absence from tropical Africa of deer and bears; for these are both groups which live in fertile or well-wooded countries, whereas the line of immigration from Europe to Africa was probably always, as now, to a great extent a dry and desert tract, suited to antelopes and large felines, but almost impassable to deer and bears. We find, too, that whereas remains of antelopes and giraffes abound in the Miocene deposits of Greece, there were no deer (which are perhaps a somewhat later development); neither were there any bears, but numerous forms of Felidæ, Viverridæ, Mustelidæ, and ancestral forms of Hyæna, exactly suited to be the progenitors of the most prevalent types of modern African Zoology.

There appears to have been one other change in the geography of Africa and the Atlantic Ocean that requires notice. The rather numerous cases of close similarity in the insect forms of tropical Africa and America, seem to indicate some better means of transmission, at a not very remote epoch, than now exists. The vast depth of the Atlantic, and the absence of any corresponding likeness in the vertebrate fauna, entirely negative the idea of any union between the two countries; but a moderate extension of their shores towards each other is not improbable, and this, with large islands in the place of the Cape Verd group, St. Paul's Rocks, and Fernando Noronha, to afford resting places in the Atlantic, would probably suffice to explain the amount of similarity that actually exists.

Our knowledge of the geology and palæontology of Africa {292}being so scanty, it would be imprudent to attempt any more detailed explanation of the peculiarities of its existing fauna. The sketch now given is, it is believed, founded on a sufficient basis of facts to render it not only a possible but a probable account of what took place; and it is something gained to be able to show, that a large portion of the peculiarities and anomalies of so remarkable a fauna as that of the Ethiopian region, can be accounted for by a series of changes of physical geography during the tertiary epoch, which can hardly be considered extreme, or in any way unlikely to have occurred.



In drawing up these tables showing the distribution of various classes of animals in the Ethiopian Region, the following sources of information have been chiefly relied on, in addition to the general treatises, monographs, and catalogues, used for the Fourth Part of this work:—

Mammalia.—Blanford's Abyssinia; Peters's Mozambique; Heuglin and Schweinfurth for North East Africa; Grandidier Schlegel, &c., for Madagascar; the local lists given by Mr. Andrew Murray; numerous papers by Fraser, Gray, Kirk, Mivart, Peters, Sclater, and Speke; and a MS. list of Bovidæ from Sir Victor Brooke.

Birds.—Finsch and Hartlaub for East Africa; Heuglin for North-East Africa; Blanford for Abyssinia; Layard for South Africa; Hartlaub for West Africa; Dohrn for Princes Island; Andersson for Damaraland; and papers by Gurney, Hartlaub, Kirk, Newton, Peters, Sharpe, Sclater, Schlegel, and Pollen and a MS. list of Madagascar Birds from Mr. Sharpe.





Names in italics show families peculiar to the region.

Names inclosed thus (......) barely enter the region, and are not considered properly to belong to it.

Numbers are not consecutive, but correspond to those in Part IV.


Order and Family. | Sub-regions. | Range beyond the Region.


|East Africa.|West Africa.|South Africa.|Madagascar.|


MAMMALIA. | | | | |

| | | | |

Primates. | | | | |

| | | | |

1. Simiidæ | | — | | |Oriental

2. Semnopithecidæ | — | — | | |Oriental

3. Cynopithecidæ | — | — | — | |Oriental, Palæarctic

6. Lemuridæ | — | — | — | — |Oriental

8. Chiromyidæ | | | | — |

| | | | |

Cheiroptera. | | | | |

| | | | |

9. Pteropidæ | — | — | — | — |Oriental, Australian

11. Rhinolophidæ | — | — | — | — |The Eastern Hemisphere

12. Vespertilionidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

13. Noctilionidæ | — | — | — | — |All Tropical regions

| | | | |

Insectivora. | | | | |

| | | | |

15. Macroscelididæ | — | | — | |South Palæarctic

17. Erinaceidæ | | | — | |Palæarctic, Oriental

18. Centetidæ | | | | — |Greater Antilles

19. Potamogalidæ | | — | | |

20. Chrysochloridæ | — | | — | |

22. Soricidæ | — | — | — | — |All regions but Australian and Neotropical

| | | | |

Carnivora. | | | | |

| | | | |

23. Felidæ | — | — | — | — |All regions but Australian

24. Cryptoproctidæ | | | | — |

25. Viverridæ | — | — | — | — |Oriental, S. Palæarctic

26. Protelidæ | | | — | |

27. Hyænidæ | — | — | — | |S. Palæarctic, India

28. Canidæ | — | — | — | |Almost cosmopolite

29. Mustelidæ | — | — | — | |All regions but Australian

33. Otariidæ | | | — | |All temperate regions

| | | | |

Cetacea. | | | | |

| | | | |

36 to 41. | | | | |Oceanic

| | | | |

Sirenia. | | | | |

| | | | |

42. Manatidæ | — | — | | |Neotropical, Oriental, Australian

| | | | |

Ungulata. | | | | |

| | | | |

43. Equidæ | — | — | — | |Palæarctic

{295}45. Rhinocerotidæ | — | — | — | |Oriental

46. Hippopotamidæ | — | — | — | |

47. Suidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite; excl. Australia

49. Tragulidæ | | — | | |Oriental

51. Camelopardidæ | — | | — | |

52. Bovidæ | — | — | — | |All regions but Neotrop. and Australian

| | | | |

Proboscidea. | | | | |

| | | | |

53. Elephantidæ | — | — | — | |Oriental

| | | | |

Hyracoidea. | | | | |

| | | | |

54. Hyracidæ | — | — | — | |Syria

| | | | |

Rodentia. | | | | |

| | | | |

55. Muridæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite; excl. Oceania

56. Spalacidæ | — | — | — | |Palæarctic, Oriental

57. Dipodidæ | — | — | — | |Palæarctic, Nearctic

58. Myoxidæ | — | — | — | |Palæarctic

61. Sciuridæ | — | — | — | |All regions but Australian

64. Octodontidæ | — | | | |N. Africa, Neotropical

65. Echimyidæ | — | | — | |Neotropical

67. Hystricidæ | — | — | — | |S. Palæarctic, Oriental

70. Leporidæ | — | | — | |All regions but Australian

| | | | |

Edentata. | | | | |

| | | | |

72. Manididæ | — | — | — | |Oriental

74. Orycteropodidæ | — | | — | |

| | | | |

BIRDS. | | | | |

| | | | |

Passeres. | | | | |

| | | | |

1. Turdidæ | — | — | — | — |Almost Cosmopolite

2. Sylviidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

3. Timaliidæ[**P1:unclear] | — | — | — | — |Oriental, Australian

5. Cinclidæ? | | | | — |Widely scattered

6. Troglodytidæ | — | — | — | |Almost Cosmopolite

9. Sittidæ | | | | — |Palæarctic, Oriental, Australian

10. Paridæ | — | — | — | |All regions but Australian

13. Pycnonotidæ | — | — | — | — |Oriental

14. Oriolidæ | — | — | — | — |Oriental, Australian

15. Campephagidæ | — | — | — | — |Oriental, Australian

16. Dicruridæ | — | — | — | — |Oriental, Australian

17. Muscicapidæ | — | — | — | — |The Eastern Hemisphere

19. Laniidæ | — | — | — | — |The Eastern Hemisphere and North America

20. Corvidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

23. Nectariniidæ | — | — | — | — |Oriental, Australian

24. Dicæidæ | — | — | — | — |Oriental, Australian

30. Hirundinidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

33. Fringillidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite, except Australian region

34. Ploceidæ | — | — | — | — |Oriental, Australian

35. Sturnidæ | — | — | — | — |Eastern Hemisphere

37. Alaudidæ | — | — | — | — |Eastern Hemisphere and North America

{296}38. Motacillidæ | — | — | — | — |The Eastern Hemisphere

47. Pittidæ | | — | | |Oriental, Australian

48. Paictidæ | | | | — |

| | | | |

Picariæ. | | | | |

| | | | |

51. Picidæ | — | — | — | |Cosmopolite, excl. Australian region

52. Yungidæ | — | | — | |Palæarctic

53. Indicatoridæ | — | — | — | |Oriental

54. Megalæmidæ | — | — | — | |Oriental, Neotropical

56. Musophagidæ | — | — | — | |

57. Coliidæ | — | — | — | |

58. Cuculidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

59. Leptosomidæ | | | | — |

62. Coraciidæ | — | — | — | — |Oriental, Australian

63. Meropidæ | — | — | — | — |Oriental, Australian

66. Trogonidæ | — | — | — | |Oriental, Neotropical

67. Alcedinidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

68. Bucerotidæ | — | — | — | |Oriental and to N. Guinea

69. Upupidæ | — | — | — | — |Palæarctic, Oriental

70. Irrisoridæ | — | — | — | |

73. Caprimulgidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

74. Cypselidæ | — | — | — | — |Almost Cosmopolite

| | | | |

Psittaci. | | | | |

| | | | |

78. Palæornithidæ | — | — | | — |Oriental

81. Psittacidæ | — | — | — | — |Neotropical

| | | | |

Columbæ. | | | | |

| | | | |

84. Columbidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

85. Dididæ | | | | — |(Extinct)

| | | | |

Gallinæ. | | | | |

| | | | |

86. Pteroclidæ | — | | — | — |Palæarctic, Oriental

87. Tetraonidæ | — | — | — | — |Eastern Hemisphere and N. America

88. Phasianidæ | — | — | — | — |Old World and N. America

89. Turnicidæ | — | — | — | — |Eastern Hemisphere.

| | | | |

Accipitres. | | | | |

| | | | |

94. Vulturidæ | — | — | — | |All the continents but Australia

95. Falconidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

96. Serpentariidæ | — | — | — | |

97. Pandionidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

98. Strigidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

| | | | |

Grallæ. | | | | |

| | | | |

99. Rallidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

100. Scolopacidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

103. Parridæ | — | — | — | — |Tropical

104. Glareolidæ | — | — | — | — |Eastern Hemisphere

105. Charadriidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

{297}106. Otididæ | — | — | — | |Eastern Hemisphere

107. Gruidæ | — | — | — | |All regions but Neotropical

113. Ardeidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

114. Plataleidæ | — | — | — | — |Almost Cosmopolite

115. Ciconiidæ | — | — | — | — |Almost Cosmopolite

117. Phœnicopteridæ | — | — | — | — |Oriental and Neotropical

| | | | |

Anseres. | | | | |

| | | | |

118. Anatidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

119. Laridæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

120. Procellariidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

121. Pelecanidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

122. Spheniscidæ | | | — | |South temperate regions

124. Podicipidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

126. Struthionidæ | — | | — | |Temperate S. America

131. Æpyornithidæ | | | | — |(Extinct)

| | | | |

REPTILIA. | | | | |

| | | | |

Ophidia. | | | | |

| | | | |

1. Typhlopidæ | — | — | — | — |All regions but Nearctic

5. Calamariidæ | — | — | — | |Warms[**typo: Warm] parts of all regions

7. Colubridæ | — | — | — | — |Almost Cosmopolite

8. Homalopsidæ | | — | | |Oriental, and all other regions

9. Psammophidæ | — | — | — | — |Oriental and S. Palæarctic

10. Rachiodontidæ | | — | — | |

11. Dendrophidæ | — | — | — | — |Oriental, Australian, Neotropical

12. Dryiophidæ | | — | | — |Oriental, Neotropical

13. Dipsadidæ | — | — | — | |Oriental, Australian, Neotropical

15. Lycodontidæ | — | — | — | |Oriental

17. Pythonidæ | — | — | — | — |All tropical regions

18. Erycidæ | | — | | |Oriental, S. Palæarctic

20. Elapidæ | — | — | — | |Tropical regions, S. U. States and Japan

21. Dendraspididæ | — | — | | |

22. Atractaspididæ | | — | — | |

23. Hydrophidæ | | | | — |Oriental, Australian, Panama

25. Viperidæ | — | — | — | — |Oriental, Palæarctic

| | | | |

Lacertilia. | | | | |

| | | | |

28. Amphisbænidæ | — | — | | |S. Europe, Neotropical

29. Lepidosternidæ | | — | — | |N. America

30. Varanidæ | — | — | — | |Warm parts of E. Hemisphere

33. Lacertidæ | — | — | — | |All continents but America

34. Zonuridæ | — | — | — | — |All America, N. India, S. Europe

40. Chamæsauridæ | | | — | |

41. Gymnopthalmidæ | | — | | — |Palæarctic, Australian, Netropical[**P1:Neotropical?]

45. Scincidæ | — | — | — | — |Almost Cosmopolite

47. Sepidæ | — | — | — | — |South Palæarctic

48. Acontiadæ | | — | — | — |Ceylon and Moluccas.[**P1: remove period?]

49. Geckotidæ | — | — | — | — |Almost cosmopolite

{298}51. Agamidæ | — | — | — | — |Oriental, Australian, S. Palæarctic

52. Chamæleonidæ | — | — | — | — |Oriental, S. Palæarctic

| | | | |

Crocodilia. | | | | |

| | | | |

55. Crocodilidæ | — | — | — | — |Oriental, Neotropical

| | | | |

Chelonia. | | | | |

| | | | |

57. Testudinidæ | — | — | — | — |All continents but Australia

58. Chelydidæ | — | — | — | — |Australia, S. America

59. Trionychidæ | — | — | — | |Oriental, Japan, E. United States

60. Cheloniidæ | | | | |Marine

| | | | |

AMPHIBIA. | | | | |

| | | | |

Pseudophidia. | | | | |

| | | | |

1. Cæciliadæ | | — | | |Oriental, Neotropical

| | | | |

Anoura. | | | | |

| | | | |

7. Phryniscidæ | — | — | | |Neotropical, Australia, Java

9. Bufonidæ | — | — | — | |All regions but Australian

11. Engystomidæ | | — | — | |All regions but Palæarctic

14. Alytidæ | — | — | — | |All regions but Oriental

17. Polypedatidæ | — | — | — | — |All the regions

18. Ranidæ | — | — | — | — |Almost Cosmopolite

19. Discoglossidæ | | — | — | |All regions but Nearctic

21. Dactylethridæ | — | — | — | |

| | | | |

FISHES (FRESH-*WATER). | | | | |

| | | | |

Acanthopterygii. | | | | |

| | | | |

3. Percidæ | — | | | |All regions but Australian

12. Scienidæ | — | — | — | |All regions but Australian

35. Labyrinthici | | | — | — |Oriental, Moluccas

38. Mugillidæ | — | — | — | — |Australian, Neotropical

52. Chromidæ | — | — | — | — |Oriental, Neotropical

| | | | |

Physostomi. | | | | |

| | | | |

59. Siluridæ | — | — | — | — |All warm regions

60. Characinidæ | — | — | | |Neotropical

68. Mormyridæ | — | — | | |

69. Gymnarchidæ | — | — | | |

73. Cyprinodontidæ | — | — | | — |Palæarctic, Oriental, American

75. Cyprinidæ | — | — | — | — |Absent from Australia and S. America

78. Osteoglossidæ | — | — | | |All tropical regions

82. Notopteridæ | | — | | |Oriental

| | | | |

Ganoidei. | | | | |

| | | | |

92. Sirenoidei | — | — | | |Neotropical, Australian

94. Polypteridæ | — | — | | |

{299}| | | | |


(PART). | | | | |

| | | | |

Diurni (Butterflies). | | | | |

| | | | |

1. Danaidæ | — | — | — | — |All warm countries and Canada

2. Satyridæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

3. Elymniidæ | | — | | |Oriental, Moluccas

6. Acræidæ | — | — | — | — |All tropical regions

8. Nymphalidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

9. Libytheidæ | | — | | — |Absent from Australia only

10. Nemeobiidæ | | — | | — |Absent from Australia and Nearctic region

13. Lycænidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

14. Pieridæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

15. Papilionidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

16. Hesperidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

| | | | |

Sphingidea. | | | | |

| | | | |

17. Zygænidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite

19. Agaristidæ | — | — | — | — |Australian, Oriental

20. Uraniidæ | | | | — |All tropical regions

22. Ægeriidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite, excl. Australia

23. Sphingidæ | — | — | — | — |Cosmopolite






Names in italics show genera peculiar to the region.

Names inclosed thus (......) show genera which just enter the region, but are not considered properly to belong to it.

Genera which undoubtedly belong to the region are numbered consecutively.



Order, Family, and |No. of |Range within the Region. |Range beyond the Region.

Genus. |Species| |


| | |


| | |

Simiidæ. | | |

| | |

1. Troglodytes | 2 |W. Africa to Western Nile Sources |

| | |

Semnopithecidæ. | | |

2. Colobus | 11 |Abyssinia to West Africa |

| | |

Cynopithecidæ. | | |

| | |

3. Myiopithecus | 1 |West Africa |

4. Cercopithecus | 24 |Tropical Africa |

5. Cercocebus | 5 |West Africa |

6. Theropithecus | 2 |North-east Africa, Arabia,[**P2: extra , ?]|Palestine

7. Cynocephalus | 10 |Nubia to Cape, W. Africa, Arabia |

| | |

(Sub-Order) | | |

| | |


| | |

Lemuridæ. | | |

| | |

8. Indris | 6 |Madagascar |

9. Lemur | 15 |Madagascar |

10. Hapalemur | 2 |Madagascar |

11. Microcebus | 4 |Madagascar |

12. Chirogaleus | 5 |Madagascar |

13. Lepilemur | 2 |Madagascar |

14. Perodicticus | 1 |Sierra Leone |

15. Arctocebus | 1 |Old Calabar |

16. Galago | 14 |Tropical and S. Africa |

| | |

Chiromyidæ. | | |

| | |

17. Chiromys | 1 |Madagascar |

| | |


| | |

Pteropidæ. | | |

| | |

18. Pteropus | 7 |Africa and Madagascar |Tropics of Eastern Hemisphere

19. Xantharpya | 1 |All Africa |Oriental, Austro-Malayan

{301}20. Cynopterus | 1 |Tropical Africa |Oriental

21. Epomophorus | 6 |Tropical Africa and Abyssinia |

22. Hypsignathus | 1 |W. Africa |

| | |

Rhinolophidæ. | | |

| | |

23. Rhinolophus | 6 |Africa and Madagascar |Warmer parts of Eastern

| | | Hemisphere

24. Macronycterys | 1 |W. Africa |

25. Phyllorhina | 4 |Tropical Africa |Indo-Malaya, Austro-Malaya

26. Asellia | 1 |Nubia |Indo-Malaya, Austro-Malaya

27. Megaderma | 1 |Senegal, Upper Nile |Oriental, Moluccas

28. Nycteris | 3 |All Africa |Java

| | |

Vespertilionidæ. | | |

| | |

29. Vespertilio | 14 |Africa and Madagascar |Cosmopolite

30. Kerivoula | 1 |S. Africa |Oriental

31. Miniopteris | 1 |S. Africa |Indo-Malaya

32. Nycticejus | 7 |Tropical Africa |India

33. Taphozous | 2 |Africa and Madagascar |Oriental, Austro-Malayan,

| | | Neotropical

| | |

Noctilionidæ. | | |

| | |

34. Nyctinomus | 1 |Madagascar |Oriental, American, S.

| | | Palæarctic

35. Molossus | 3 |Africa, Bourbon |Neotropical, S. Palæarctic

| | |


| | |

Macroscelididæ. | | |

| | |

36. Macroscelides | 2 |South and East Africa |N. Africa.[** remove .]

37. Petrodromus | 1 |Mozambique |

38. Rhynchocyon | 1 |Mozambique |

| | |

Erinaceidæ. | | |

| | |

39. Erinaceus | 2 |Cen. and South Africa |Palæarctic, N. India

| | |

Centetidæ. | | |

| | |

40. Centetes | 2 |Madagascar and Mauritius |

41. Hemicentetes | 2 |Madagascar |

42. Ericulus | 2 |Madagascar |

43. Oryzorictes | 1 |Madagascar |

44. Echinops | 3 |Madagascar |

| | |

Potamogalidæ. | | |

| | |

45. Potamogale | 1 |Old Calabar |

| | |

Chrysochloridæ. | | |

| | |

46. Chrysochloris | 3 |Cape to Mozambique |

| | |

Soricidæ. | | |

| | |

47. Sorex | 15 |All Africa and Madagascar |Palæarc., Nearc., Ori[**P1:continued?]

{302}| | |


| | |

Felidæ. | | |

| | |

48. Felis | 8 |All Africa |All reg. but Australian

49. Lynx[?] | 1 |N. and S. Africa |Palæarctic and Nearctic

50. Cynælurus | 1 |Cape of Good Hope |

| | |

Cryptoproctidæ. | | |

| | |

51. Cryptoprocta | 1 |Madagascar |

| | |

Viverridæ. | | |

| | |

52. Viverra | 1 |Tropical Africa |Oriental

53. Genetta | 4 |Tropical and S. Africa |S. Palæarctic

54. Fossa | 2 |Madagascar |

55. Poiana | 1 |W. Africa |

56. Galidia | 3 |Madagascar |

57. Nandinia | 1 |W. Africa |

58. Galidictis | 2 |Madagascar |

59. Herpestes | 13 |All Africa |S. Europe, Oriental

60. Athylax | 3 |S. and E. Africa(?) Madagascar |

61. Calogale | 9 |Tropical and S. Africa |Oriental

62. Galerella | 1 |E. Africa |

63. Ariela | 1 |S. Africa |

64. Ichneumia | 4 |E. Africa, Senegal, S. Africa |

65. Bdeogale | 3 |Tropical Africa |

66. Helogale | 2 |E. and S. Africa |

67. Cynictis | 3 |S. Africa |

68. Rhinogale | 1 |E. Africa |

69. Mungos | 3 |Tropical and S. Africa |

70. Crossarchus | 1 |Tropical Africa |

71. Eupleres | 1 |Madagascar |

72. Suricata | 1 |S. Africa |

| | |

Protelidæ. | | |

| | |

73. Proteles | 1 |S. Africa |

| | |

Hyænidæ. | | |

| | |

74. Hyæna | 3 |All Africa |S. Palæartic[**typo: Palæarctic], India

| | |

Canidæ. | | |

| | |

75. Lycaon | 1 |S., Central, and E. Africa |

76. Canis | 5 |All Africa |Almost Cosmopolitan

77. Megalotis | 1 |S. Africa |

| | |

Mustelidæ. | | |

| | |

78. Mustela | 1 |Angola |Palæarctic, Nearctic

79. Gymnopus[?] | 1 |S. Africa |Oriental

80. Aonyx | 1 |S. and W. Africa |Oriental

81. Hydrogale | 1 |S. Africa |

82. Mellivora | 2 |South and Tropical Africa.[**P1: remove period?] |India

83. Ictonyx | 2 |Tropical and S. Africa |

| | |

Otariidæ. | | |

| | |

84. Arctocephalus | 1 |Cape of Good Hope |South Temperate Zone

{303}| | |

SIRENIA. | | |

| | |

Manatidæ. | | |

| | |

85. Manatus | 1 |W. Africa |Tropical America

86. Halicore | 1 |E. Africa |Oriental and Australian

| | |


| | |

Equidæ. | | |

| | |

87. Equus | 3 |Tropical and S. Africa |Palæarctic

| | |

Rhinocerotidæ. | | |

| | |

88. Rhinoceros | 4 |All Tropical and S. Africa |Oriental

| | |

Hippopotamidæ. | | |

| | |

89. Hippopotamus | 2 |Great Rivers of Africa |

| | |

Suidæ. | | |

| | |

90. Potamochœrus | 3 |Tropical Africa and Madg.[** Madag.?] |

91. Phacochœrus | 2 |Abyssinia to Caffraria |

| | |

Tragulidæ. | | |

| | |

92. Hyomoschus | 1 |W. Africa |

| | |

Camelopardalidæ. | | |

| | |

93. Camelopardalis | 1 |All open country |

| | |

Bovidæ. | | |

| | |

94. Bubalus | 3 |Trop. and S. Africa |India

95. Oreas | 2 |Africa S. of Sahara |

96. Tragelaphus | 8 |Africa S. of Sahara |

97. Oryx | 3 |Arabian and African deserts |S. Palæarctic

98. Gazella | 12 |Africa N. of Equator and S. Africa |Palæarctic Deserts

99. Æpyceros | 1 |S. E. Africa |

100. Cervicapra | 4 |All Tropical Africa |

101. Kobus | 6 |Pastures of all Africa |

102. Pelea | 1 |South Africa |

103. Nanotragus | 9 |Africa S. of Sahara |

104. Neotragus | 1 |Abyssinia and N. E. Africa |

105. Cephalophus | 22 |All tropical Africa |

106. Hippotragus | 3 |Gambia, Central Africa to Cape |

107. Alcephalus | 9 |All Africa |

108. Catoblepas | 2 |Africa S. of Equator |

(Capra | 1 |Abyssinia, high) |Palæarctic genus

| | |


| | |

Elephantidæ. | | |

| | |

109. Elephas | 1 |Tropical and S. Africa |Oriental

{304}| | |


| | |

Hyracidæ. | | |

| | |

110. Hyrax | 10 |Tropical and S. Africa |Syria

| | |


| | |

Muridæ. | | |

| | |

111. Mus | 26 |All Africa |E. Hemis. excl. Oceania

112. Lasiomys | 1 |W. Africa |

113. Acanthomys | 4 |Tropical Africa |India

114. Cricetomys | 1 |Tropical Africa |

115. Saccostomus | 2 |Mozambique |

116. Dendromys | 2 |S. Africa |

117. Nesomys | 1 |Madagascar |

118. Steatomys | 2 |East and S. Africa |

119. Pelomys | 1 |Mozambique |

120. Otomys | 6 |S. and E. Africa |

121. Meriones | 14 |Africa |Palæarctic, India

122. Malacothrix | 2 |S. Africa |

123. Mystromys | 1 |S. Africa |

124. Brachytarsomys | 1 |Madagascar |

125. Hypogeomys | 1 |Madagascar |

126. Lophiomys | 1 |S. Arabia and N. E. Africa |

| | |

Spalacidæ. | | |

| | |

127. Rhizomys | 4 |Abyssinia |Oriental to Malacca

128. Bathyerges | 1 |S. Africa |

129. Georychus | 6 |E.[**P1:comma?] Central, and S. Africa |

130. Heliophobius | 1 |Mozambique |

| | |

Dipodidæ. | | |

| | |

131. Dipus | 7 |N. and Central Africa |Central Palæarctic

132. Pedetes | 1 |S. Af. to Mozambique and Angola[**P1:guess] |

| | |

Myoxidæ. | | |

| | |

133. Myoxus | 1 |Africa to Cape |Palæarctic

| | |

Scuiridæ[**P1:typo - Sciuridæ]. | | |

| | |

134. Sciurus | 18 |All woody districts of Africa |All regions but Australia

135. Anomalurus | 5 |W. Africa and Fernando Po. |

| | |

Octodontidæ. | | |

| | |

136. Pectinator | 1 |Abyssinia |

| | |

Echimyidæ. | | |

| | |

137. Petromys | 1 |S. Africa |

138. Aulacodes | 1 |W., E., and S. Africa |

| | |

Hystricidæ. | | |

| | |

139. Hystrix | 1 |Africa to Cape |S. Palæarctic Oriental

140. Atherura | 1 |W. Africa |Palæarctic

{305}| | |

Leporidæ. | | |

| | |

141. Lepus | 5 |East and South Africa |All regions but Australian

| | |


| | |

Manididæ. | | |

| | |

142. Manis | 4 |Sennaar to W. Africa and Cape |Oriental

| | |

Orycteropodidæ. | | |

| | |

143. Orycteropus | 2 |N. E. Africa to Nile Sources, and S. Africa|



| | |

Turdidæ. | | |

| | |

1. Turdus | 13 |The whole reg. (excl. Madagas.) |Almost Cosmopolite

2. Monticola | 2 |S. Africa |Palæarctic and Oriental

3. Chætops | 3 |S. Africa |

4. Bessonornis | 15 |The whole region |Palestine

| | |

Sylviidæ. | | |

| | |

5. { Drymœca | 70 |The whole region |Palestine

6. { Cisticola | 13 |The whole region |Palæarc., Orien., Austral.

7. { Sphenœacus | 1 |S. Africa |Australian

8. { Camaroptera | 5 |Africa |

| | |

9. { Acrocephalus | 8 |The whole region |Palæarc., Orien., Austral.

10. { Bradyptetus | 8 |Abyssinia and S. Africa |S. Europe, Palestine

11. { Catriscus | 3 |All Africa |

12. { Bernieria | 1 |Madagascar |

13. { Ellisia | 1 |Madagascar |

14. { Mystacornis | 1 |Madagascar |

| | |

15. { Phylloscopus | 1 |S. Africa |Palæarctic, Oriental

16. { Eremomela | 16 |All Africa |

17. { Eroessa | 1 |Madagascar |

18. { Hypolais | 2 |S. Africa |Palæarctic, Oriental

| | |

19. { Aedon | 8 |E. and S. Africa |Palæarctic

20. { Sylvia | 3 |N. E. Africa, Gambia, Cape Verd Ids. |Palæarctic, Oriental

21. { Curruca | 2 |S. Africa |Palæarctic

| | |

22. { Ruticilla | 2 |Abyssinia and Senegal |Palæarctic, Oriental

23. { Cyanecula | 2 |N. E. Africa |Palæarctic

| | |

24. { Copsychus | 2 |Madagascar and Seychelle Ids. |Oriental

25. { Thamnobia | 7 |All Africa |Oriental

26. { Cercotrichas | 2 |W. and N. E. Africa |

27. { Pœoptera | 1 |W. Africa |

28. { Gervasia | 2 |Madagascar and Seychelle Ids. |

29. { Dromolæa | 13 |All Africa |S. Palæarctic, India

30. { Saxicola | 14 |Central, E. and S. Africa |Palæarctic, India

31. { Cercomela | 3 |N. E. Africa |Palestine, N. W. India

32. { Pratincola | 7 |Africa and Madagascar |Palæarctic, Oriental

{306}| | |

Timaliidæ. | | |

| | |

33. Chatarrhæa | 1 |Abyssinia |Oriental, Palestine

34. Crateropus | 17 |All Africa |N. Africa, Persia

35. Hypergerus | 1 |W. Africa |

36. Cichladusa | 3 |W. and E. Africa |

37. Alethe | 4 |W. Africa |

38. Oxylabes | 2 |Madagascar |

| | |

Cinclidæ.[?] | | |

| | |

39. Mesites | 1 |Madagascar |

| | |

Troglodytidæ.[?] | | |

| | |

40. Sylvietta | 2 |Central, E.[** ,] and S. Africa |

| | |

Sittidæ. | | |

| | |

41. Hypherpes | 1 |Madagascar |

| | |

Paridæ. | | |

| | |

42. Parus | 5 |All Africa |Palæarc., Orien., Nearc.

43. Parisoma | 5 |All Africa |

44. Ægithalus | 4 |W., Central, and S. Africa |Palæarctic

45. Parinia | 1 |W. Africa, Prince's Island |

| | |

Pycnonotidæ. | | |

| | |

46. Pycnonotus | 8 |All Africa |S. Palæarctic, Oriental

47. Phyllastrephus | 4 |W. and S. Africa |

48. Hypsipetes | 4 |Madagascar and Mascarene Ids. |Oriental

49. Tylas | 1 |Madagascar |

50. Criniger | 14 |W. and S. Africa |Oriental

51. Ixonotus | 8 |W. Africa |

52. Andropadus | 9 |Africa and Madagascar |

53. Lioptilus | 1 |S. Africa |

| | |

Oriolidæ. | | |

| | |

54. Oriolus | 10 |All Africa |Palæarctic, Oriental

55. Artamia[?] | 3 |Madagascar |

56. Cyanolanius[?] | 1 |Madagascar |

| | |

Campephagidæ. | | |

| | |

57. Lanicterus | 5 |All Africa |

58. Oxynotus | 2 |Mauritius and Bourbon |

59. Campephaga | 5 |The whole region |Celebes to New Caledonia

| | |

Dicruridæ[** .] | | |

| | |

60. Dicrurus | 11 |The whole region |Oriental, Australian

| | |

Muscicapidæ. | | |

| | |

61. Butalis | 3 |All Africa |Palæarctic, N. Oriental

62. Muscicapa | 10 |All tropical Africa |Palæarctic

63. Alseonax | 4 |S. Africa |Oriental

64. Newtonia | 1 |Madagascar |

{307}65. Hyliota | 2 |W. Africa |

66. Erythrocercus | 2 |Tropical Africa |

67. Artomyias | 2 |W. Africa |

68. Pseudobias | 1 |Madagascar |

69. Smithorius | 2 |W. and S. Africa |

70. Megabias | 1 |W. Africa |

71. Cassinia | 2 |W. Africa |

72. Bias | 1 |Tropical Africa |

73. Elminia | 2 |Tropical Africa |

74. Platystira | 12 |All Africa |

75. Tchitrea | 18 |The whole region |Oriental

76. Pogonocichla | 1 |S. Africa |

77. Bradyornis | 7 |All Atrica[**P1: Africa?] |

| | |

Laniidæ. | | |

| | |

78. Parmoptila[?] | 1 |W. Africa. |

79. Calicalicus | 1 |Madagascar |

80. Lanius | 15 |All Africa | Palæarc., Orien[** .], Nearc.

81. Hypocolius | 1 |Abyssinia |

82. Corvinella | 1 |S. and W. Africa |

83. Urolestes | 1 |S. Africa |

84. Fraseria | 2 |W. Africa |

85. Hypodes | 1 |W. Africa |

86. Cuphoterus | 1 |Prince's Island |

87. Nilaus | 1 |All Africa |

88. Prionops | 9 |All Africa |

89. Eurocephalus | 2 |N. E. and S. Africa |

90. Chaunonotus | 1 |W. Africa |

91. Vanga | 4 |Madagascar |

92. Laniarius | 38 |All Africa, Madagascar[?] |

93. Meristes | 2 |W. and S. E. Africa |

94. Nicator | 1 |E. Africa |

95. Telephonus | 10 |All Africa |N. Africa

| | |

Corvidæ. | | |

| | |

96. Ptilostomus | 2 |W. and E. Africa |

97. Corvus | 7 |All Africa and Madagascar |Cosmop., excl. S. Amer.

98. Corvultur | 2 |N. E. to S. Africa |

99. Picathartes | |W. Africa |

(Fregilus | 1 |Abyssinia) |Palæarctic genus

| | |

Nectariniidæ. | | |

| | |

100. Nectarinia | 55 |The whole region |

101. Promerops | 1 |S. Africa |

102. Cinnyricinclus | 4 |W. Africa |

103. Neodrepanis | 1 |Madagascar |

| | |

Dicæidæ. | | |

| | |

104. Zosterops | 23 |The whole region |Oriental and Australian

105. Pholidornis | 1 |W. Africa |

| | |

Hirundinidæ. | | |

| | |

106. Hirundo | 17 |The whole region |Cosmopolite

{308}107. Psalidoprogne | 10 |The whole region |

108. Phedina | 2 |Madagascar and Mauritius |

109. Petrochelidon | 1 |S. Africa |Neotropical

110. Chelidon | 1 |Bogos-land |Palæarctic, Oriental

111. Cotyle | 6 |All Africa |Palæarctic, Oriental

112. Waldenia | 1 |W. Africa |

| | |

Fringillidæ. | | |

| | |

113. Dryospiza | 8 |All Africa |S. Palæarctic

114. Chlorospiza | 4 |Abyssinia to Cape |Palæarctic

115. Passer | 18 |All Africa |Palæarctic, Oriental

116. Crithagra | 12 |All Africa |N. Africa, Syria

117. Ligurnus | 2 |W. Africa |

(Erythrospiza | 1 |Nubia, Arabia) |S. Palæarctic genus

118. Pinicola[?] | 1 |Cameroons, W. Africa |N. Temperate genus

119. Fringillaria | 9 |All Africa |South Palæarctic

| | |

Ploceidæ. | | |

| | |

120. Textor | 5 |All Africa |

121. Hyphantornis | 32 |Tropical and S. Africa |

122. Symplectes | 8 |Tropical and S. Africa |

123. Malimbus | 9 |W. and E. Africa |

124. Ploceus | 2 |W. and E. Africa |Oriental

125. Nelicurvius | 1 |Madagascar |

126. Foudia | 11 |Tropical Africa, Madagascar, &c. |

127. Sporopipes | 1 |Tropical and S. Africa |

128. Pyromelana | 12 |Tropical and S. Africa |

129. Philetærus | 1 |S. Africa |

130. Nigrita | 7 |W. and N. E. Africa |

131. Plocepasser | 4 |E. and S. Africa |

132. Vidua | 6 |Tropical and S. Africa |

133. Colliuspasser | 9 |Tropical and S. Africa |

134. Chera | 1 |S. Africa |

135. Spermospiza | 2 |W. Africa |

136. Pyrenestes | 6 |Tropical and S. Africa |

137. Estrilda | 16 |Tropical and S. Africa |Oriental

138. Pytelia | 20 |Tropical and S. Africa |

139. Hypargos | 2 |E. Africa, Madagascar |

140. Amadina | 6 |Tropical and S. Africa |

141. Spermestes | 7 |The whole region |

142. Amauresthes | 1 |E. and W. Africa |

143. Hypochera | 2 |Tropical and S. Africa |

| | |

Sturnidæ. | | |

| | |

144. Dilophus | 1 |S. Africa, Loanda, Sennaar |

145. Buphaga | 2 |Trop. and S. Africa ([?] a family) |

146. Euryceros | 1 |Madagascar ([?] a family) |

147. Juida | 5 |Tropical and S. Africa |

148. Lamprocolius | 16 |Tropical and S. Africa |

149. Cinnyricinclus | 2 |Tropical and S. Africa |

150. Onychognathus | 2 |W. Africa |

151. Spreo | 5 |Tropical and S. Africa |

152. Amydrus | 5 |N. E. Africa |Palestine

153. Hartlaubius | 1 |Madagascar |

{309}154. Falculia | 1 |Madagascar |

155. Fregilupus | 1 |Bourbon |

| | |

Alaudidæ. | | |

| | |

156. Alauda | 3 |Abyssinia and S. W. Africa |Palæarctic, Indian

157. Spizocorys | 1 |South Africa |

158. Galerida | 4 |North of tropical Africa |Palæarctic, Indian

159. Calendula | 2 |Abyssinia, S. Africa |

(Melanocorypha | 1 |Abyssinia) |Palæarctic genus

160. Certhilauda | 3 |South Africa |S. Europe

161. Alaemon | 3 |South Africa |S. Palæarctic

162. Heterocorys | 1 |South Africa |

163. Mirafra | 10 |South Africa, Madagascar |Oriental, Australian

164. Ammomanes | 4 |African deserts |S. Palæarctic, Indian

165. Megalophonus | 5 |Tropical and S. Africa |

166. Tephrocorys | 2 |S. Africa |

167. Pyrrhulauda | 6 |Tropical and S. Africa |Oriental, Canary Islands

| | |

Motacillidæ. | | |

| | |

168. Motacilla | 8 |The whole region |Palæarctic, Oriental,

| | |Australian

| | |

169. Anthus | 10 |Tropical and S. Africa |All regions, exc. Australia

170. Macronyx | 4 |Tropical and S. Africa |

| | |

Pittidæ. | | |

| | |

171. Pitta | 1 |W. Africa |Oriental, Australian

| | |

Paictidæ. | | |

| | |

172. Philepitta | 2 |Madagascar |

| | |

PICARIÆ. | | |

| | |

Picidæ. | | |

| | |

173. Verreauxia | 1 |W. Africa |

174. Dendropicus | 14 |Tropical and S. Africa |

175. Campethera | 14 |Tropical and S. Africa |

176. Geocolaptes | 1 |South Africa |

| | |

Yungidæ. | | |

| | |

177. Yunx | 1 |N. E. Africa, S. Africa |Palæarctic

| | |

Indicatoridæ. | | |

| | |

178. Indicator | 8 |Tropical and S. Africa |Oriental

| | |

Megalæmidæ. | | |

| | |

179. Pogonorhynchus | 14 |Tropical and S. Africa |

180. Buccanodon | 1 |West Africa |

181. Stactolæma | 1 |West Africa |

182. Barbatula | 9 |West and South Africa |

183. Xylobucco | 3 |West and South Africa |

184. Gymnobucco | 3 |West Africa |

185. Trachyphonus | 6 |Tropical and South Africa |

| | |

Musophagidæ. | | |

| | |

186. Musophaga | 2 |West Africa |

{310}187. Turacus | 10 |Tropical and S. Africa |

188. Schizorhis | 6 |Tropical and S. Africa |

| | |

Coliidæ. | | |

| | |

189. Colius | 7 |Tropical and S. Africa |

| | |

Cuculidæ. | | |

| | |

190. Ceuthmochares | 2 |Africa and Madagascar |

191. Coua | 9 |Madagascar |

192. Cochlothraustes | 1 |Madagascar |

193. Centropus | 8 |Africa and Madagascar |Oriental, Australian

194. Cuculus | 10 |Africa and Madagascar |Palæarc., Orien., Austral.

195. Chrysococcyx | 7 |Tropical and S. Africa |Oriental, Australian

196. Coccystes | 6 |Tropical and S. Africa |S. Palæarctic, Oriental

| | |

Leptosomidæ. | | |

| | |

197. Leptosomus | 1 |Madagascar |

| | |

Coraciidæ. | | |

| | |

198. Coracias | 5 |Africa and Madagascar |S. Palæarctic, Oriental

199. Eurystomus | 3 |Africa and Madagascar |Oriental, Australian

200. Atelornis | 2 |Madagascar |

201. Brachypteracias | 1 |Madagascar |

202. Geobiastes | 1 |Madagascar |

| | |

Meropidæ. | | |

| | |

203. Merops | 11 |Africa and Madagascar |S. Palæar., Orien., Austral.

204. Melittophagus | 5 |Tropical and S. Africa |

| | |

Trogonidæ. | | |

| | |

205. Apaloderma | 2 |Tropical and S. Africa |

| | |

Alcedinidæ. | | |

| | |

206. Alcedo | 2 |W. Africa, Abyssinia, Natal |Palæar., Orien., Austral.

207. Corythornis | 3 |Africa and Madagascar |

208. Ceryle | 1 |W. Africa, Abyssinia, Natal |American, Palæarctic

209. Myioceyx | 2 |West Africa |

210. Ispidina | 4 |Africa and Madagascar |

211. Halcyon | 10 |Africa, Prince's Is., St. Thomé |S. Palæar., Orien.[** ,] Austral.

| | |

Bucerotidæ. | | |

| | |

212. Berenicornis | 1 |West Africa |Malaya

213. Tockus | 12 |Tropical and S. Africa |

214. Bycanistes | 6 |Tropical and S. Africa |

215. Bucoreus | 2 |Tropical and S. Africa |

| | |

Upupidæ. | | |

| | |

216. Upupa | 3 |Africa and Madagascar |S. Palæarctic, Oriental

| | |

Irrisoridæ. | | |

| | |

217. Irrisor | 12 |Africa and Madagascar |

{311}| | |

Caprimulgidæ. | | |

| | |

218. Caprimulgus | 18 |Africa and Madagascar |Palæarc., Orien., Austral.

219. Scortornis | 3 |Tropical Africa |

220. Macrodipteryx | 2 |W. Africa to Abyssinia |

221. Cosmetornis | 1 |Tropical Africa to the Zambesi |

| | |

Cypselidæ. | | |

| | |

222. Cypselus | 6 |The whole region |Palæarctic, Oriental

223. Collocalia | 1 |Mascarene Ids., Madagascar |Oriental, Australian

224. Chætura | 4 |Tropical Africa and Madagascar |Cosmop., exc. W. Palæarctic

| | |


| | |

Palæornithidæ. | | |

| | |

225. Palæornis | 3 |W. Africa to Abys. & Mauritius |Oriental

| | |

Psittacidæ. | | |

| | |

226. Coracopsis | 5 |Madagascar and Seychelle Ids. |

227. Psittacus | 2 |W. Africa |

228. Pœocephalus | 9 |Tropical and S. Africa |

229. Agapornis | 4 |Tropical and S. Africa |

230. Poliopsitta | 2 |Trop. Africa and Madagascar |

| | |

COLUMBÆ. | | |

| | |

Columbidæ. | | |

| | |

231. Treron | 6 |Africa and Madagascar |Oriental

232. Alectrœnas | 5 |Madagascar and Masc. Ids. (extct[** .] |

| | in Mauritius and Rodriguez) |

233. Columba | 12 |Africa and Madagascar |Palæarctic, Oriental

234. Œna | 1 |Tropical and S. Africa |

235. Turtur | 10 |Africa, Madagascar, Comoro and |Palæarctic, Oriental

| | Seychelle Islands |

236. Aplopelia | 4 |Abyssinia, S. Africa and West |

| | African Islands |

237. Chalcopelia | 3 |Tropical and S. Africa |

| | |

Dididæ[** .] (extinct) | | |

| | |

238. Didus | 5 |Mascarene Islands |

| | |

GALLINÆ. | | |

| | |

Pteroclidæ. | | |

| | |

239. Pterocles | 9 |Africa and Madagascar |S. Palæarctic, Indian

| | |

Tetraonidæ. | | |

| | |

240. Ptilopachus | 1 |West Africa |

241. Francolinus | 30 |Africa and Madagascar |S. Palæarctic, Indian

242. Peliperdix | 1 |West Africa |

243. Margaroperdix | 1 |Madagascar |

244. Coturnix | 2 |Tropical and S. Africa |Palæar., Orient., Austral.

(Caccabis | 1 |Abyssinia) |Palæarctic genus

| | |

Phasianidæ. | | |

| | |

245. Phasidus | 1 |West Africa |

{312}246. Agelastes | 1 |West Africa |

247. Acryllium | 1 |West Africa |

248. Numida | 9 |Africa to Natal and Madagascar |

| | |

Turnicidæ. | | |

| | |

249. Turnix | 4 |S. Africa and Madagascar |Palæarc., Orient., Austrl.

250. Ortyxelos | 1 |Africa |

| | |


| | |

Vulturidæ. | | |

| | |

251. Gyps | 2 |Africa, except W. sub-region |Palæarctic, Oriental

252. Pseudogyps | 1 |N. E. Africa to Senegal |Oriental

253. Otogyps | 1 |N. E. and S. Africa |Palæarctic, Oriental

254. Lophogyps | 1 |N. E. and S. Africa and Senegal |

255. Neophron | 2 |Africa, excl. west coast |S. Palæarctic, Oriental

| | |

Falconidæ. | | |

| | |

256. Polyboroides | 2 |Africa and Madagascar |

257. Circus | 4 |Africa and Madagascar |Almost Cosmopolite

258. Urotriorchis | 1 |W. Africa |

259. Melierax | 5 |Africa, excl. west coast |

260. Astur | 5 |Africa and Madagascar |Almost Cosmopolite

261. Nisoides | 1 |Madagascar |

262. Eutriorchis | 1 |Madagascar |

263. Accipiter | 8 |Africa and Madagascar |Almost Cosmopolite

264. Buteo | 5 |Africa and Madagascar |Cosmop., excl. Austral.

265. Gypaëtus | 1 |N. E. and S. Africa |S. Palæarctic

266. Aquila | 5 |All Africa |Nearc., Palæarc., Indian

267. Nisaëtus | 1 |W. Africa |S. Palæarctic, Oriental,

| | | Australia

268. Spizaëtus | 3 |All Africa |Neotropical, Oriental to

| | | N. Guinea

269. Lophoætus | 1 |All Africa |

270. Asturinula | 1 |Tropical Africa |

271. Dryotriorchis | 1 |W. Africa |

272. Circaëtus | 5 |All Africa |Palæarctic, Oriental

273. Butastur | 1 |N. E. Africa |Oriental to New Guinea

274. Helotarsus | 2 |Tropical and S. Africa |

275. Haliæetus | 2 |The whole region |Cosmopolite, excl. Neotropical

| | | region

276. Gypohierax | 1 |West and East Africa |

277. Elanoides | 1 |West and N. E. Africa |

278. Milvus | 1 |The whole region |The Eastern Hemisphere

279. Elanus | 1 |Africa |India to Australia

280. Machærhamphus | 1 |S. W. Africa and Madagascar |Malacca

281. Pernis | 1 |S. Africa and Madagascar |Palæarctic, Oriental

282. Baza | 3 |Africa and Madagascar |India to N. Australia

283. Poliohierax | 1 |East Africa |Burmah

284. Falco | 4 |All Africa |Almost Cosmopolite

285. Cerchneis | 8 |The whole region |Almost Cosmopolite

| | |

Serpentariidæ. | | |

| | |

286. Serpentarius | 1 |The greater part of Africa |

{313}| | |

Pandionidæ. | | |

| | |

287. Pandion | 1 |All Africa |Cosmopolite

| | |

Strigidæ. | | |

| | |

288. Athene | 5 | |Palæarctic, Oriental,

| |Africa and Madagascar, Rodriquez (extinct) |Australian

289. Bubo | 8 |Africa and Madagascar |Cosmopolite

290. Scotopelia | 2 |West and S. Africa to Zambesi |

291. Scops | 3 |W. and S. Africa, Madagascar, |Almost Cosmopolite

| | Comoro Islands |

292. Syrnium | 2 |Africa |Palæarctic, Oriental,

| | | American

293. Asio | 1 |N. E. and S. Africa |Cosmopolite

294. Strix | 4 |Africa and Madagascar |Cosmopolite

Peculiar or very Characteristic Genera of Wading or Swimming Birds.

GRALLÆ. | | |

| | |

Rallidæ. | | |

| | |

Himantornis | 1 |West Africa |

Podica | 3 |Africa |Burmah

| | |

Glareolidæ. | | |

| | |

Cursorius | 8 |All Africa |S. Europe, India

| | |

Otididæ. | | |

| | |

Eupodotis | 16 |All Africa |India, Australia

| | |

Gruidæ. | | |

| | |

Balearica | 2 |All Africa |

| | |

Ardeidæ. | | |

| | |

Balæniceps | 1 |Upper Nile |

| | |

Plataleidæ. | | |

| | |

Scopus | 1 |Tropical and S. Africa |

| | |

ANSERES. | | |

| | |

Anatidæ. | | |

| | |

Thalassornis | 1 |South Africa |

| | |


| | |

Struthionidæ. | | |

| | |

295. Struthio | 2 |All Africa |Syria

| | |

Æpyornithidæ. | |(Extinct) |

| | |

296. Æpyornis | 3[?]|Madagascar |




This region is of comparatively small extent, but it has a very diversified surface, and is proportionately very rich. The deserts on the north-west of India are the debatable land that separates it from the Palæarctic and Ethiopian regions. The great triangular plateau which forms the peninsula of India is the poorest portion of the region, owing in part to its arid climate and in part to its isolated position; for there can be little doubt that in the later Tertiary period it was an island, separated by an arm of the sea (now forming the valleys of the Ganges and Indus) from the luxuriant Himalayan and Burmese countries. Its southern extremity, with Ceylon, has a moister climate and more luxuriant vegetation, and exhibits indications of a former extension southwards, with a richer and more peculiar fauna, partly Malayan and partly Mascarene in its character. The whole southern slopes of the Himalayas, with Burmah, Siam and Western China, as well as the Malay peninsula and the Indo-Malay islands, are almost everywhere covered with tropical forests of the most luxuriant character, which abound in varied and peculiar forms of vegetable and animal life. The flora and fauna of this extensive district are essentially of one type throughout; yet it may be usefully divided into the Indo-Chinese and the Malayan sub-regions, as each possesses a number of peculiar or characteristic animals. The former sub-region, besides having many tropical and sub-tropical types of its own, also possesses a large number of peculiarly modified temperate forms on the mountain ranges of its northern


boundary, which are wholly wanting in the Malayan sub-region. The Philippine islands are best classed with the Indo-Malay group, although they are strikingly deficient in many Malayan types, and exhibit an approach to the Celebesian division of the Austro-Malay sub-region.

Zoological Characteristics of the Oriental Region.—The Oriental Region possesses examples of 35 families of Mammalia, 71 of Birds, 35 of Reptiles, 9 of Amphibia, and 13 of Fresh-water Fishes. Of these 163 families, 12 are peculiar to the region; namely, Tarsiidæ, Galeopithecidæ, and Tupaiidæ among Mammalia, while Æluridæ, though confined to the higher Himalayas, may perhaps with more justice be claimed by the Palæarctic region; Liotrichidæ, Phyllornithidæ, and Eurylæmidæ among birds; Xenopeltidæ (extending, however, to Celebes), Uropeltidæ, and Acrochordidæ among reptiles; Luciocephalidæ, Ophiocephalidæ and Mastacembelidæ among fresh-water fishes. A number of other families are abundant, and characteristic of the region; and it possesses many peculiar and characteristic genera, which must be referred to somewhat more in detail.

Mammalia.—The Oriental region is rich in quadrumana, and is especially remarkable for its orang-utans and long-armed apes (Simia, Hylobates, and Siamanga); its abundance of monkeys of the genera Presbytes and Macacus; its extraordinary long-nosed monkey (Presbytes nasalis); its Lemuridæ (Nycticebus and Loris); and its curious genus Tarsius, forming a distinct family of lemurs. All these quadrumanous genera are confined to it, except Tarsius which extends as far as Celebes. It possesses more than 30 genera of bats, which are enumerated in the lists given at the end of this chapter. In Insectivora it is very rich, and possesses several remarkable forms, such as the flying lemur (Galeopithecus); the squirrel-like Tupaiidæ consisting of three genera; and the curious Gymnura allied to the hedgehogs. In Carnivora, it is especially rich in many forms of civets (Viverridæ), possessing 10 peculiar genera, among which Prionodon and Cynogale are remarkable; numerous Mustelidæ, of which Gymnopus, Mydaus, Aonyx and Helictis are the most conspicuous; Ælurus, a curious animal, cat-like in appearance but {316}more allied to the bears, forming a distinct family of Carnivora, and confined to the high forest-districts of the Eastern Himalayas and East Thibet; Melursus and Helarctos, peculiar forms of bears; Platanista, a dolphin peculiar to the Ganges and Indus. Among Ruminants it has the beautiful chevrotain, forming the genus Tragulus in the family Tragulidæ; with one peculiar genus and three peculiar sub-genera of true deer. The Antilopinæ and Caprinæ are few, confined to limited districts and not characteristic of the region; but there are everywhere wild cattle of the genera Bibos and Bubalus, which, with species of Rhinoceros and Elephas, form a prominent feature in the fauna. The Rodents are less developed than in the Ethiopian region, but several forms of squirrels everywhere abound, together with some species of porcupine; and the Edentata are represented by the scaly manis.

Birds.—The families and genera of birds which give a character to Oriental lands, are so numerous and varied, that we can here only notice the more prominent and more remarkable. The Timaliidæ, represented by the babblers (Garrulax, Pomatorhinus, Timalia, &c.), are almost everywhere to be met with, and no less than 21 genera are peculiar to the region; the elegant fork-tailed Enicurus and rich blue Myiophonus, though comparatively scarce, are characteristic of the Malayan and Indo-Chinese faunas; the elegant little "hill-tits" (Liotrichidæ) abound in the same part of the region; the green bulbuls (Phyllornis) are found everywhere; as are various forms of Pycnonotidæ, the black and crimson "minivets" (Pericrocotus), and the glossy "king-crows" (Dicrurus); Urocissa, Platylophus and Dendrocitta are some of the interesting and characteristic forms of the crow family; sun-birds (Netariniidæ[** Nectariniidæ]) of at least three genera are found throughout the region, as are the beautiful little flower-peckers (Dicæidæ), and some peculiar forms of weaver-birds (Ploceus and Munia). Of the starling family, the most conspicuous are the glossy mynahs (Eulabes). The swallow-shrikes (Artamus) are very peculiar, as are the exquisitely coloured pittas (Pittidæ), and the gaudy broad-bills (Eurylæmidæ). Leaving the true Passeres, we find woodpeckers, barbets, and cuckoos everywhere, often of peculiar and {317}remarkable forms; among the bee-eaters we have the exquisite Nyctiornis with its pendent neck-plumes of blue or scarlet; brilliant kingfishers and strangely formed hornbills abound everywhere; while brown-backed trogons with red and orange breasts, though far less frequent, are equally a feature of the Ornithology. Next we have the frog-mouthed goatsuckers (Battrachostomus), and the whiskered swifts (Dendrochelidon), both wide-spread, remarkable, and characteristic groups of the Oriental region. Coming to the parrot tribe, we have only the long-tailed Palæornis and the exquisite little Loriculus, as characteristic genera. We now come to the pigeons, among which the fruit-eating genera Treron and Carpophaga are the most conspicuous. The gallinaceous birds offer us some grand forms, such as the peacocks (Pavo); the argus pheasants (Argusianus); the fire-backed pheasants (Euplocamus); and the jungle-fowl (Gallus), all strikingly characteristic; and with these we may close our sketch, since the birds of prey and the two Orders comprising the waders and swimmers offer nothing sufficiently remarkable to be worthy of enumeration here.

Reptiles.—Only the more abundant and characteristic groups will here be noticed. In the serpent tribe, the Oligodontidæ, a small family of ground-snakes; the Homalopsidæ, or fresh-water snakes; the Dendrophidæ, or tree-snakes; the Dryiophidæ, or whip-snakes; the Dipsadidæ, or nocturnal tree-snakes; the Lycodontidæ or fanged ground-snakes; the Pythonidæ, or rock-snakes; the Elapidæ, or venomous colubrine snakes (including the "cobras"); and the Crotalidæ, or pit-vipers, are all abundant and characteristic, ranging over nearly the whole region, and presenting a great variety of genera and species. Among lizards, the Varanidæ or water-lizards; the Scincidæ or "scinks;" the Geckotidæ, or geckoes; and the Agamidæ, or eastern iguanas; are the most universal and characteristic groups. Among crocodiles the genus Crocodilus is widely spread, Gavialis being characteristic of the Ganges. Among Chelonia, or shielded reptiles, forms of fresh-water Testudinidæ and Trionychidæ (soft tortoises) are tolerably abundant.

Amphibia.—The only abundant and characteristic groups of {318}this class are toads of the family Engystomidæ; tree-frogs of the family Polypedatidæ; and several genera of true frogs, Ranidæ.

Fresh-water Fishes.—The more remarkable and characteristic fishes inhabiting the fresh waters of the Oriental region belong to the following families: Nandidæ, Labyrinthici, Ophiocephalidæ, Siluridæ, and Cyprinidæ; the last being specially abundant.

The sketch here very briefly given, must be supplemented by an examination of the tables of distribution of the genera of all the Mammalia and Birds inhabiting the region. We will now briefly summarize the results.

Summary of the Oriental Vertebrata.—The Oriental region possesses examples of 163 families of Vertebrata of which 12 are peculiar, a proportion of a little more than one-fourteenth of the whole.

Out of 118 genera of Mammalia 54 seem to be peculiar to the region, equal to a proportion of 920 or a little less than half. Of Land-Birds there are 342 genera of which 165 are peculiar, bringing the proportion very close to a half.

In the Ethiopian region the proportion of peculiar forms both of Mammalia and Birds is greater; a fact which is not surprising when we consider the long continued isolation of the latter region—an isolation which is even now very complete, owing to the vast extent of deserts intervening between it and the Palæarctic region; while the Oriental and Palæarctic were, during much of the Tertiary epoch, hardly separable.


Lepidoptera.—We can only glance hastily at the more prominent features of the wonderfully rich and varied butterfly-fauna of the Oriental region. In the first family Danaidæ, the genera Danais and Euplœa[** Euplœa?] are everywhere abundant, and the latter especially forms a conspicuous feature in the entomological aspect of the country; the large "spectre-butterflies" (Hestia) are equally characteristic of the Malayan sub-region. Satyridæ, though abundant are not very remarkable, Debis, Melanitis, Mycalesis, and Ypthima being the most characteristic {319}genera. Morphidæ are well represented by the genera Amathusia, Zeuxidia, Discophora, and Thaumantis, some of the species of which almost equal the grand South American Morphos. The Nymphalidæ furnish us with a host of characteristic genera, among the most remarkable of which are, Terinos, Adolias, Cethosia, Cyrestis, Limenitis, and Nymphalis, all abounding in beautiful species. Among the Lycænidæ are a number of fine groups, among which we may mention Ilerda, Myrina, Deudoryx, Aphneus, Iolaus, and Amblypodia, as characteristic examples. The Pieridæ furnish many fine forms, such as Thyca, Iphias, Thestias, Eronia, Prioneris, and Dercas, the last two being peculiar. The Papilionidæ are unsurpassed in the world, presenting such grand genera as Teinopalpus and Bhutanitis; the yellow-marked Ornithopteræ; the superb "Brookiana;" the elegant Leptocercus; and Papilios of the "Coon," "Philoxenus," "Memnon," "Protenor," and especially the 'green-and-gold-dusted' "Paris" groups.

The Moths call for no special observations, except to notice the existence in Northern India of a number of forms which resemble in a striking manner some of the most remarkable of the above mentioned groups of the genus Papilio, especially the "Protenor" group, which there is reason to believe is protected by a peculiar smell or taste like the Heliconias and Danaidæ.

Coleoptera.—The most characteristic Oriental form of the Cicindelidæ or tiger beetles, is undoubtedly the elegant genus Collyris, which is found over the whole region and is almost confined to it. Less abundant, but equally characteristic, is the wingless ant-like Tricondyla. Two small genera Apteroessa and Dromicidia are confined to the Indian Peninsula, while Therates only occurs in the Malayan sub-region.

The Carabidæ, or ground carnivorous beetles, are so numerous that we can only notice a few of the more remarkable and characteristic forms. The wonderful Mormolyce of the Indo-Malay sub-region, stands pre-eminent for singularity in the entire family. Thyreopterus, Orthogonius, Catascopus, and Pericallus are very characteristic forms, as well as Planetes and {320}Distrigus, the latter having a single species in Madagascar. There are 80 genera of this family peculiar to the region, 10 of which have only been found in Ceylon.

Among the Lucanidæ, or stag-beetles, Lucanus, Odontolabris, and Cladognathus are the most characteristic forms. Sixteen genera inhabit the region, of which 7 are altogether peculiar, while three others only extend eastward to the Austro-Malayan sub-region.

The beautiful Cetoniidæ, or rose-chafers, are well represented by Rhomborhina, Heterorhina, Clinteria, Macronota, Agestrata, Chalcothea and many fine species of Cetonia. There are 17 peculiar genera, of which Mycteristes, Phædimus, Plectrone, and Rhagopteryx, are Malayan; while Narycius, Clerota, Bombodes, and Chiloloba are Indian.

In Buprestidæ—those elongate metallic-coloured beetles whose elytra are used as ornaments in many parts of the world—this region stands pre-eminent, in its gigantic Catoxantha, its fine Chrysochroa, its Indian Sternocera, its Malayan Chalcophora and Belionota, as well as many other beautiful forms. It possesses 41 genera, of which 14 are peculiar to it, the rest being generally of wide range or common to the Ethiopian and Australian regions.

In the extensive and elegant group of Longicorns, the Oriental region is only inferior to the Neotropical. It possesses 360 genera, 25 of which are Prionidæ, 117 Cerambicidæ, and 218 Lamiidæ;—about 70 per cent. of the whole being peculiar. The most characteristic genera are Rhaphidopodus and Ægosoma among Prionidæ; Neocerambyx, Euryarthrum, Pachyteria, Acrocyrta, Tetraommatus, Chloridolum, and Polyzonus among Cerambycidæ; and Cœlosterna, Rhytidophora, Batocera, Agelasta, and Astathes among Lamiidæ.

Of remarkable forms in other families, we may mention the gigantic horned Chalcosoma among Scarabæidæ; the metallic Campsosternus among Elateridæ; the handsome but anomalous Trictenotoma forming a distinct family; the gorgeous Pachyrhynchi of the Philippine Islands among Curculionidæ; Diurus {321}among Brenthidæ; with an immense number and variety of Anthotribidæ, Heteromera, Malacoderma, and Phytophaga.

The Oriental Sub-regions.

The four sub-regions into which we have divided the Oriental region, are very unequal in extent, and perhaps more so in productiveness, but they each have well-marked special features, and serve well to exhibit the main zoological characteristics of the region. As they are all tolerably well defined and their faunas comparatively well-known, their characteristics will be given with rather more than usual detail.

I. Hindostan, or Indian Sub-region.

This includes the whole peninsula of India from the foot of the Himalayas on the north to somewhere near Seringapatam on the south, the boundary of the Ceylonese sub-region being unsettled. The deltas of the Ganges and Brahmaputra mark its eastern limits, and it probably reaches to about Cashmere in the north-west, and perhaps to the valley of the Indus further south; but the great desert tract to the east of the Indus forms a transition to the south Palæarctic sub-region. Perhaps on the whole the Indus may be taken as a convenient boundary. Many Indian naturalists, especially Mr. Blyth and Mr. Blanford, are impressed with the relations of the greater part of this sub-region to the Ethiopian region, and have proposed to divide it into several zoological districts dependent on differences of climate and vegetation, and characterized by possessing faunas more or less allied either to the Himalayan or the Ethiopian type. But these sub-*divisions appear far too complex to be useful to the general student, and even were they proved to be natural, would be beyond the scope of this work. I agree, however, with Mr. Elwes in thinking that they really belong to local rather than to geographical distribution, and confound "station" with "habitat." Wherever there is a marked diversity of surface and vegetation the productions of a country will correspondingly differ; the groups peculiar to forests, for example, will be absent from open {322}plains or arid deserts. It happens that the three great Old World regions are separated from each other by a debatable land which is chiefly of a desert character; hence we must expect to find a resemblance between the inhabitants of such districts in each region. We also find a great resemblance between the aquatic birds of the three regions; and as we generally give little weight to these in our estimate of the degree of affinity of the faunas of different countries, so we should not count the desert fauna as of equal weight with the more restricted and peculiar types which are found in the fertile tracts,—in the mountains and valleys, and especially in the primeval forests. The supposed preponderance of exclusively Ethiopian groups of Mammalia and Birds in this, sub-region, deserves however a close examination, in order to ascertain how far the facts really warrant such an opinion.

Mammalia.—The following list of the more important genera of Mammalia which range over the larger part of this sub-region will enable naturalists to form an independent judgment as to the preponderance of Ethiopian, or of Oriental and Palæarctic types, in this, the most important of all the classes of animals for geographical distribution.

Range of the Genera of Mammalia which Inhabit the Sub-region of Hindostan.

1. Presbytes Oriental only.

2. Macacus Oriental only.

3. Erinaceus Palæarctic genus.

4. Sorex Widely distributed.

5. Felis Almost Cosmopolitan.

6. Cynælurus Ethiopian and S. Palæarctic.

7. Viverra Ethiopian and Oriental to China and Malaya.

8. Viverricula Oriental only.

9. Paradoxurus Oriental only.

10. Herpestes Ethiopian, S. Palæarctic, and Oriental to Malaya.

11. Calogale Ethiopian, Oriental to Cambodja.

12. Tæniogale Oriental.

13. Hyæna Palæarctic and Ethiopian (a Palæarctic species.)

14. Canis Palæarctic and Oriental to Malaya.

15. Cuon Oriental to Malaya.

16. Vulpes Very wide range.

17. Lutra Oriental and Palæarctic.

18. Mellivora Ethiopian.

19. Melursus Oriental only; family not Ethiopian.

20. Sus Palæarctic and Oriental, not Ethiopian.

21. Tragulus Oriental.

{323}22. Cervus Oriental and Palæarctic; family not Ethiopian.

23. Cervulus Oriental; family not Ethiopian.

24. Bibos Palæarctic and Oriental.

25. Portax Oriental.

26. Gazella Palæarctic and Ethiopian.

27. Antilope Oriental.

28. Tetraceros Oriental.

29. Elephas Oriental species.

30. Mus Cosmopolite nearly.

31. Platacanthomys Oriental.

32. Meriones Very wide range.

33. Spalacomys Oriental.

34. Sciurus Almost Cosmopolite.

35. Pteromys Palæarctic and Oriental to China and Malaya,

36. Hystrix Wide range.

37. Lepus Wide range.

38. Manis Ethiopian and Oriental to Malaya,

Out of the above 38 genera, 8 have so wide a distribution as to give no special geographical indications. Of the remaining 30, whose geographical position we have noted, 14 are Oriental only; 5 have as much right to be considered Oriental as Ethiopian, extending as they do over the greater part of the Oriental region; 2 (the hyæna and gazelle) show Palæarctic rather than Ethiopian affinity; 7 are Palæarctic and Oriental but not Ethiopian; and only 2 (Cynælurus and Mellivora) can be considered as especially Ethiopian. We must also give due weight to the fact that we have here Ursidæ and Cervidæ, two families entirely absent from the Ethiopian region, and we shall then be forced to conclude that the affinities of the Indian peninsula are not only clearly Oriental, but that the Ethiopian element is really present in a far less degree than the Palæarctic.

Birds.—The naturalists who have adopted the "Ethiopian theory" of the fauna of Hindostan, have always supported their views by an appeal to the class of birds; maintaining, that not only are almost all the characteristic Himalayan and Malayan genera absent, but that their place is to a great extent supplied by others which are characteristic of the Ethiopian region. After a careful examination of the subject, Mr. Elwes, in a paper read before the Zoological Society (June 1873) came to the conclusion, that this view was an erroneous one, founded on the fact that the birds of the plains are the more abundant and more {324}open to observation; and that these are often of wide-spread types, and some few almost exclusively African. The facts he adduced do not, however, seem to have satisfied the objectors; and as the subject is an important one, I will here give lists of all the genera of Passeres, Picariæ, Psittaci, Columbæ, and Gallinæ, which inhabit the sub-region, leaving out those which only just enter within its boundaries from adjacent sub-regions. These are arranged under four heads:—1. Oriental genera; which are either wholly confined to, or strikingly prevalent in, the Oriental region beyond the limits of the Indian peninsula. 2. Genera of Wide Range; which are fully as much entitled to be considered Oriental or Palæarctic as Ethiopian, and cannot be held to prove any Ethiopian affinity. 3. Palæarctic genera; which are altogether or almost absent from the Ethiopian region. 4. Ethiopian genera; which are confined to, or very prevalent in, the Ethiopian region, whence they extend into the Indian peninsula but not over the whole Oriental region. The last are the only ones which can be fairly balanced against those of the first list, in order to determine the character of the fauna.

1. Oriental Genera in Central India.

Geocichla, Orthotomus, Prinia, Megalurus, Abrornis, Larvivora, Copsychus, Kittacincla, Pomatorhinus, Malacocercus, Chatarrhæa, Layardia, Garrulax, Trochalopteron, Pellorneum, Dumetia, Pyctoris, Alcippe, Myiophonus, Sitta, Dendrophila, Phyllornis, Iora, Hypsipetes, Pericrocotus, Graucalus, Volvocivora, Chibia, Chaptia, Irena, Erythrosterna, Hemipus, Hemichelidon, Niltava, Cyornis, Eumyias, Hypothymis, Myialestes, Tephrodornis, Dendrocitta, Arachnechthra, Nectarophila, Arachnothera, Dicæum, Piprisoma, Munia, Eulabes, Pastor, Acridotheres, Sturnia, Sturnopastor, Artamus, Nemoricola, Pitta, Yungipicus, Chrysocolaptes, Hemicircus, Gecinus, Mulleripicus, Brachypternus, Tiga, Micropternus, Megalæma, Xantholæma, Rhopodytes, Taccocoua, Surniculus, Hierococcyx, Eudynamnis, Nyctiornis, Harpactes, Pelargopsis, Ceyx, Hydrocissa, Meniceros, Batrachostomus, Dendrochelidon, Collocalia, Palæornis, Treron, Carpophaga, Chalcophaps, Ortygornis, Perdix, Pavo, Gallus, Galloperdix;—87 genera; and {325}one peculiar genus, Salpornis, whose affinities are Palæarctic or Oriental.

2. Genera of Wide Range occurring in Central India.

Tardus[** Turdus?], Monticola, Drymœca, Cisticola, Acrocephalus, Phylloscopus, Pratincola, Parus, Pycnonotus, Criniger, Oriolus, Dicrurus, Tchitrea, Lanius, Corvus, Zosterops, Hirundo, Cotyle, Passer, Ploceus, Estrilda, Alauda, Calandrella, Mirafra, Ammomanes, Motacilla, Anthus, Picus, Yunx, Centropus, Cuculus, Chrysoccocyx, Coccystes, Coracias, Eurystomus, Merops, Alcedo, Ceryle, Halcyon, Upupa, Caprimulgus, Cypselus, Chætura, Columba, Turtur, Pterocles, Coturnix, Turnix;—48 genera.

3. Palæarctic Genera occurring in Central India.

Hypolais, Sylvia, Curruca, Cyanecula, Calliope, Chelidon, Euspiza, Emberiza, Galerita, Calobates, Corydalla;—11 genera.

4. Ethiopian Genera occurring in Central India.

Thamnobia, Pyrrhulauda, Pterocles, Francolinus;—4 genera.

A consideration of the above lists shows us, that the Hindostan sub-region is by no means so poor in forms of bird-life as is generally supposed (and as I had myself anticipated, it would prove to be), possessing, as it does, 151 genera of land-birds, without counting the Accipitres. It must also set at rest the question of the zoological affinities of the district, since a preponderance of 88 genera, against 4, cannot be held to be insufficient, and cannot be materially altered by any corrections in details that may be proposed or substantiated. Even of these four, only the first two are exclusively Ethiopian, Pterocles and Francolinus both being Palæarctic also. It is a question, indeed, whether anywhere in the world an outlying sub-region can be found, exhibiting less zoological affinity for the adjacent regions; and we have here a striking illustration of the necessity of deciding all such cases, not by examples, which may be so chosen as to support any view, but by carefully weighing and contrasting the whole of the facts on which the solution of the {326}problem admittedly depends. It will, perhaps, be said that a great many of the 88 genera above given are very scarce and very local; but this is certainly not the case with the majority of them; and even where it is so, that does not in any degree affect their value as indicating zoo-geographical affinities. It is the presence of a type in a region, not its abundance or scarcity, that is the important fact; and when we have to do, as we have here, with many groups whose habits and mode of life necessarily seclude them from observation, their supposed scarcity may not even be a fact.

Reptiles and Amphibia.—Reptiles entirely agree with Mammalia and Birds in the main features of their distribution. Out of 17 families of snakes inhabiting Hindostan, 16 range over the greater part of the entire region, and only two can be supposed to show any Ethiopian affinity. These are the Psammophidæ and Erycidæ, both desert-haunting groups, and almost as much South Palæarctic as African. The genus Tropidococcyx is peculiar to the sub-region, and Aspidura, Passerita and Cynophis to the peninsula and Ceylon; while a large number of the most characteristic genera, as Dipsas, Simotes, Bungarus, Naja, Trimeresurus, Lycodon and Python, are characteristically Oriental.

Of the six families of lizards all have a wide range[**P1:period?] The genera Eumeces, Pentadactylus, Gecko, Eublepharis, and Draco, are characteristically or wholly Oriental; Ophiops and Uromastix are Palæarctic; while Chamæleon is the solitary case of decided Ethiopian affinity.

Of the Amphibia not a single family exhibits special Ethiopian affinities.

II. Sub-region of Ceylon and South-India.

The Island of Ceylon is characterised by such striking peculiarities in its animal productions, as to render necessary its separation from the peninsula of India as a sub-region; but it is found that most of these special features extend to the Neilgherries and the whole southern mountainous portion of India, and that the two must be united in any zoo-geographical {327}province. The main features of this division are,—the appearance of numerous animals allied to forms only found again in the Himalayas or in the Malayan sub-region, the possession of several peculiar generic types, and an unusual number of peculiar species.

Mammalia.—Among Mammalia the most remarkable form is Loris, a genus of Lemurs altogether peculiar to the sub-region; several peculiar monkeys of the genus Presbytes; the Malayan genus Tupaia; and Platacanthomys, a peculiar genus of Muridæ.

Birds.—Among birds it has Ochromela, a peculiar genus of flycatchers; Phœnicophaës[**P1:think phoenix] (Cuculidæ) and Drymocataphus (Timaliidæ), both Malayan forms; a species of Myiophonus whose nearest ally is in Java; Trochalopteron, Brachypteryx, Buceros and Loriculus, which are only found elsewhere in the Himalayas and Malayana. It also possesses about 80 peculiar species of birds, including a large jungle fowl, one owl and two hornbills.

Reptiles.—It is however by its Reptiles, even more than by its higher vertebrates, that this sub-region is clearly characterised. Among snakes it possesses an entire family, Uropeltidæ, consisting of 5 genera and 18 species altogether confined to it,—Rhinophis and Uropeltis in Ceylon, Silybura, Plecturus and Melanophidium in Southern India. Four other genera of snakes, Haplocercus, Cercaspis, Peltopelor, and Hypnale are also peculiar; Chersydrus is only found elsewhere in Malaya; while Aspidura, Passerita, and Cynophis, only extend to Hindostan; species of Eryx, Echis, and Psammophis show an affinity with Ethiopian and Palæarctic forms. Among lizards several genera of Agamidæ are peculiar, such as Otocryptis, Lyricoephalus, Ceratophora, Cophotis, Salea[**P2: Salea? P3:yes], Sitana and Charasia. In the family Acontiadæ, Nessia is peculiar to Ceylon, while a species of the African genus Acontias shows an affinity for the Ethiopian region.

Amphibia.—The genera of Amphibians that occur here are generally of wide range, but Nannophrys, Haplobatrachus, and Cacopus are confined to the sub-region; while Megalophrys is Malayan, and the species found in Ceylon also inhabit Java.


Insects.—The insects of Ceylon also furnish some curious examples of its distinctness from Hindostan, and its affinity with Malaya. Among its butterflies we find Papilio jophon, closely allied to P. antiphus of Malaya. The remarkable genus Hestia, so characteristic of the Malay archipelago, only occurs elsewhere on the mountains of Ceylon; while its Cynthia and Parthenos are closely allied to, if not identical with, Malayan species. Among Coleoptera we have yet more striking examples. The highly characteristic Malayan genus Tricondyla is represented in Ceylon by no less than 10 species; and among Longicorns we find the genera Tetraommatus, Thranius, Cacia, Praonetha, Ropica, and Serixia, all exclusively Malayan or only just entering the Indo-Chinese peninsula, yet all represented in Ceylon, while not a single species occurs in any part of India or the Himalayas.

The Past History of Ceylon and South-India as indicated by its Fauna.—In our account of the Ethiopian region we have already had occasion to refer to an ancient connection between this sub-region and Madagascar, in order to explain the distribution of the Lemurine type, and some other curious affinities between the two countries. This view is supported by the geology of India, which shows us Ceylon and South India consisting mainly of granitic and old metamorphic rocks, while the greater part of the peninsula, forming our first sub-region, is of tertiary formation, with a few isolated patches of secondary rocks. It is evident therefore, that during much of the tertiary period, Ceylon and South India were bounded on the north by a considerable extent of sea, and probably formed part of an extensive southern continent or great island. The very numerous and remarkable cases of affinity with Malaya, require however some closer approximation to these islands, which probably occurred at a later period. When, still later, the great plains and table-lands of Hindostan were formed, and a permanent land communication effected with the rich and highly developed Himalo-Chinese fauna, a rapid immigration of new types took place, and many of the less specialised forms of mammalia and birds (particularly those of ancient Ethiopian type) became extinct. Among reptiles and insects the competition was less severe, or the older forms were too well {329}adapted to local conditions to be expelled; so that it is among these groups alone that we find any considerable number, of what are probably the remains of the ancient fauna of a now submerged southern continent.

III. Himalayan or Indo-Chinese Sub-region.

This, which is probably the richest of all the sub-regions, and perhaps one of the richest of all tracts of equal extent on the face of the globe, is essentially a forest-covered, mountainous country, mostly within the tropics, but on its northern margin extending some degrees beyond it, and rising in a continuous mountain range till it meets and intercalates with the Manchurian sub-division of the Palæarctic region. The peculiar mammalia, birds and insects of this sub-region begin to appear at the very foot of the Himalayas, but Dr. Gunther has shown that many of the reptiles characteristic of the plains of India are found to a height of from 2,000 to 4,000 feet.

In Sikhim, which may be taken as a typical example of the Himalayan portion of the sub-region, it seems to extend to an altitude of little less than 10,000 feet, that being the limit of the characteristic Timaliidæ or babbling thrushes; while the equally characteristic Pycnonotidæ, or bulbuls, and Treronidæ, or thick-billed fruit-pigeons, do not, according to Mr. Blanford, reach quite so high. We may perhaps take 9,000 feet as a good approximation over a large part of the Himalayan range; but it is evidently not possible to define the line with any great precision. Westward, the sub-region extends in diminishing breadth, till it terminates in or near Cashmere, where the fauna of the plains of India almost meets that of the Palæarctic region, at a moderate elevation. Eastward, it reaches into East Thibet and North-west China, where Père David has found a large number of the peculiar types of the Eastern Himalayas. A fauna, in general features identical, extends over Burmah and Siam to South China; mingling with the Palæarctic fauna in the mountains south of the Yang-tse-kiang river, and with that of Indo-Malaya in Tenasserim, and to a lesser extent in Southern Siam and Cochin China.


Zoological Characteristics of the Himalayan Sub-region.—Taking this sub-region as a whole, we find it to be characterised by 3 genera of mammalia (without counting bats), and 44 genera of land-birds, which are altogether peculiar to it; and by 13 genera of mammalia and 36 of birds, which it possesses in common with the Malayan sub-region; and besides these it has almost all the genera before enumerated as "Oriental," and several others of wide range, more especially a number of Palæarctic genera which appear in the higher Himalayas. The names of the more characteristic genera are as follows:—

Peculiar Himalo-Chinese Genera.

Mammalia.—Urva, Arctonyx, Ælurus.

Birds.—Suya, Horites, Chæmarrhornis, Tarsiger, Oreicola, Acanthoptila, Grammatoptila, Trochalopteron, Actinodura, Sibia, Suthora, Paradoxornis, Chlenasicus, Tesia, Rimator, Ægithaliscus, Cephalopyrus, Liothrix, Siva, Minla, Proparus, Cutia, Yuhina, Ixulus, Myzornis, Erpornis, Hemixus, Chibia, Niltava, Anthipes, Chelidorhynx, Urocissa, Pachyglossa, Heterura, Hæmatospiza, Ampeliceps, Saroglossa, Psarisomus, Serilophus, Vivia, Hyopicus, Gecinulus, Aceros, Ceriornis.

Genera common to the Himalo-Chinese and Malayan Sub-regions.

Mammalia.—Hylobates, Nycticebus, Viverricula, Prionodon, Arctitis, Paguma, Arctogale, Cuon, Gymnopus, Aonyx, Helictis, Rhinoceros, Nemorhedus, Rhizomys.

Birds.—Oreocincla, Notodela, Janthocincla, Timalia, Stachyris, Mixornis, Trichastoma, Enicurus, Pnœpyga, Melanochlora, Allotrius, Microscelis, Iole, Analcipus, Cochoa, Bhringa, Xanthopygia, Hylocharis, Cissa, Temnurus, Crypsirhina, Chalcostetha, Anthreptes, Chalcoparia, Cymbirhynchus, Hydrornis, Sasia, Venilia, Indicator, Carcineutes, Lyncornis, Macropygia, Argusianus[**,?] Polyplectron, Euplocamus, Phodilus.

Plate VII. Scene in Nepal, with Characteristic Himalayan Animals.—Our illustration contains figures of two mammals

Plate VII.




and two birds, characteristic of the higher woody region of the Himalayas. The lower figure on the left is the Helictis nepalensis, confined to the Eastern Himalayas, and belonging to a genus of the weasel family which is exclusively Oriental. It is marked with white on a grey-brown ground. Above it is the remarkable Panda (Ælurus fulgens), a beautiful animal with a glossy fur of a reddish colour, darker feet, and a white somewhat cat-like face. It is distantly allied to the bears, and more nearly to the American racoons, yet with sufficient differences to constitute it a distinct family. The large bird on the tree, is the horned Tragopan (Ceriornis satyra), one of the fine Himalayan pheasants, magnificently spotted with red and white, and ornamented with fleshy erectile wattles and horns, of vivid blue and red colours. The bird in the foreground is the Ibidorhynchus struthersii, a rare and curious wader, allied to the curlews and sandpipers but having the bill and feet red. It frequents the river-beds in the higher Himalayas, but has also been found in Thibet.


Reptiles.—Very few genera of reptiles are peculiar to this sub-region, all the more important ranging into the Malay islands. Of snakes the following are the more characteristic genera:—Typhline, Cylindrophis, Xenopeltis, Calamaria, Xenelaphis, Hypsirhina, Fordonia, several small genera of Homalopsidæ (Herpeton and Hipistes being characteristic of Burmah and Siam)[**P2: missing comma] Psammodynastes, Gonyosoma, Chrysopelea, Tragops, Dipsas, Pareas, Python, Bungarus, Naja, Callophis, and Trimeresurus. Naja reaches 8,000 feet elevation in the Himalayas, Tropidonotus 9,000 feet, Ablabes 10,000 feet, and Simotes 15,000 feet.

Of lizards, Pseudopus has one species in the Khasya hills while the other inhabits South-east Europe; and there are two small genera of Agamidæ peculiar to the Himalayas, while Draco and Calotes have a wide range and Acanthosaura, Dilophyrus, Physignathus, and Liolepis are found chiefly in the Indo-Chinese peninsula. There are several genera of Scincidæ; and the extensive genus of wall-lizards, Gecko, ranges over the whole region.

Of Amphibia, the peculiar forms are not numerous. Icthyopsis {332}a genus of Ceciliadæ, is peculiar to the Khasya Hills; Tylotritron (Salamandridæ) to Yunan in Western China, and perhaps belongs to the Palæarctic region.

Of the tail-less Batrachians, Glyphoglossus is found in Pegu; Xenophys in the Eastern Himalayas; while Callula, Ixalus, Rhacophorus, Hylurana, Oxyglossus, and Phrynoglossus, are common to the Himalo-Chinese and Malayan sub-regions.

Of the lizards, Colotes, Barycephalus, and Hinulia,—and of the Batrachia, Bufo,—are found at above 11,000 feet elevation in the Himalayas.

Insects.—So little has been done in working out the insect faunas of the separate sub-regions, that they cannot be treated in detail, and the reader is referred to the chapter on the distribution of insects in the part of this work devoted to Geographical Zoology. A few particulars may, however, be given as to the butterflies, which have been more systematically collected in tropical countries than any other order of insects. The Himalayan butterflies, especially in the eastern portions of the range—in Assam and the Khasya Hills—are remarkably fine and very abundant; yet all the larger groups extend into the Malayan sub-region, many to Ceylon, and a considerable proportion even to Africa and Austro-Malaya. There are a large number of peculiar types, but most of them consist of few or single species. Such are Neope, Orenoma, and Rhaphicera, genera of Satyridæ; Enispe (Morphidæ); Hestina, Penthema, and Abrota (Nymphalidæ); Dodona (Erycinidæ); Ilerda (Lycænidæ); Calinaga, Teinopalpus, and Bhutanitis (Papilionidæ). Its more prominent features are, however, derived from what may be termed Malayan, or even Old World types, such as Euplæa, among Danaidæ; Amathusia, Clerome, and Thaumantis, among Morphidæ; Euripus, Diadema, Athyma, Limenitis, and Adolias, among Nymphalidæ,[**P2: ; ?] Zemeros and Taxila among Erycinidæ; Amblypodia, Miletus, Ilerda, and Myrina, among Lycænidæ; Thyca, Prioneris, Dercas, Iphias, and Thestias among Pieridæ; and Papilios of the "Amphrisius," "Coon", "Philoxenus," "Protenor," "Paris," and "Sarpedon" groups. In the Himalayas there is an unusual abundance of large and gorgeous species of the genus Papilio, {333}and of large and showy Nymphalidæ, Morphidæ, and Danaidæ, which render it, in favoured localities, only second to South America for a display of this form of beauty and variety in insect life.

Among the other orders of insects in which the Himalayas are remarkably rich, we may mention large and brilliant Cetoniidæ, chiefly of the genus Rhomborhima; a magnificent Lamellicorn, Euchirus macleayii, allied to the gigantic long-armed beetle (E. longimanus) of Amboyna; superb moths of the families Agaristidæ and Sesiidæ; elegant and remarkable Fulgoridæ, and strange forms of the gigantic Phasmidæ; most of which appear to be of larger size or of more brilliant colours than their Malayan allies.


Islands of the Indo-Chinese Sub-region.—A few important islands belong to this sub-region, the Andamans, Formosa, and Hainan being the most interesting.

Andamans.—The only mammalia are a few rats and mice, a Paradoxurus, and a pig supposed to be a hybrid race,—all of which may have been introduced by man's agency. The birds of the Andaman Islands have been largely collected, no less than 155 species having been obtained; and of these 17, (all land-birds) are peculiar. The genera are all found on the continent, and are mostly characteristic of the Indo-Chinese fauna, to which most of the species belong. Reptiles are also tolerably abundant; about 20 species are known, the majority being found also on the continent, while a few are peculiar. There are also a few Batrachia, and some fresh-water fishes, closely resembling those of Burmah. The absence of such mammalia as monkeys and squirrels, which abound on the mainland, and which are easily carried over straits or narrow seas by floating trees, is sufficient proof that these islands have not recently formed part of the continent. The birds are mostly such as may have reached the islands while in their present geographical position; and the occurrence of reptiles and fresh-water fishes, said to be identical in species with those of Burmah, must be due to the facilities, which some of these animals undoubtedly {334}possess, for passing over a considerable width of sea. We must conclude, therefore, that these islands do not owe their existing fauna to an actual union with the mainland; but it is probable that they may have been formerly more extensive, and have then been less distant from the continent than at the present time.

The Nicobar Islands, usually associated with the Andamans, are less known, but present somewhat similar phenomena. They are, however, more Malayan in their fauna, and seem properly to belong to the Indo-Malay sub-region.

Formosa.—This island has been carefully examined by Mr. Swinhoe, who found 144 species of birds, of which 34 are peculiar. There is one peculiar genus, but the rest are all Indo-Chinese, though some of the species are more allied to Malayan than to Chinese or Himalayan forms. About 30 species of mammalia were found in Formosa, of which 11 are peculiar species, the rest being either Chinese or Himalayan. The peculiar species belong to the genera Talpa, Helictis, Sciuropterus, Pteromys, Mus, Sus, Cervus, and Capricornis. A few lizards and snakes of continental species have also been found. These facts clearly indicate the former connection of Formosa with China and Malaya, a connection which is rendered the more probable by the shallow sea which still connects all these countries.

Hainan.—The island of Hainan, on the south coast of China, is not so well known in proportion, though Mr. Swinhoe collected 172 species of birds, of which 130 were land-birds. Of these about 20 were peculiar species; the remainder being either Chinese, Himalayan, or Indo-Malayan. Mr. Swinhoe also obtained 24 species of mammalia, all being Chinese, Himalayan, or Indo-Malayan species except a hare, which is peculiar. This assemblage of animals would imply that Hainan, as might be anticipated from its position, has been more recently separated from the continent than the more distant island of Formosa.

IV. Indo-Malaya, or the Malayan Sub-region.

This sub-region, which is almost wholly insular (including only the Malayan peninsula on the continent of Asia), is equal, if {335}not superior, in the variety and beauty of its productions, to that which we have just been considering. Like Indo-China, it is a region of forests, but it is more exclusively tropical; and it is therefore deficient in many of those curious forms of the temperate zone of the Himalayas, which seem to have been developed from Palæarctic rather than from Oriental types. Here alone, in the Oriental region, are found the most typical equatorial forms of life—organisms adapted to a climate characterised by uniform but not excessive heat, abundant moisture, and no marked departure from the average meteorological state, throughout the year. These favourable conditions of life only occur in three widely separated districts of the globe—the Malay archipelago, Western Africa, and equatorial South America. Hence perhaps it is, that the tapir and the trogons of Malacca should so closely resemble those of South America; and that the great anthropoid apes and crested hornbills of Western Africa, should find their nearest allies in Borneo and Sumatra.

Although the islands which go to form this sub-region are often separated from each other by a considerable expanse of sea, yet their productions in general offer no greater differences than those of portions of the Indo-Chinese sub-region separated by an equal extent of dry land. The explanation is easy, however, when we find that the sea which separates them is a very shallow one, so shallow that an elevation of only 300 feet would unite Sumatra, Java, and Borneo into one great South-eastern prolongation of the Asiatic continent. As we know that our own country has been elevated and depressed to a greater amount than this, at least twice in recent geological times, we can have no difficulty in admitting similar changes of level in the Malay archipelago, where the subterranean forces which bring about such changes are still at work, as manifested by the great chain of active volcanoes in Sumatra and Java. Proofs of somewhat earlier changes of level are to be seen in the Tertiary coal formations of Borneo, which demonstrate a succession of elevations and subsidences, with as much certainty as if we had historical record of them.

It is not necessary to suppose, nor is it probable, that all these {336}great islands were recently united to the continent, and that their separation took place by one general subsidence of the whole. It is more consonant with what we know of such matters, that the elevations and depressions were partial, varying in their points of action and often recurring; sometimes extending one part of an island, sometimes another; now joining an island to the main land, now bringing two islands into closer proximity. There is reason to believe that sometimes an intervening island has sunk or receded and allowed others which it before separated to effect a partial union independently of it. If we recognise the probability that such varied and often-renewed changes of level have occurred, we shall be better able to understand how certain anomalies of distribution in these islands may have been brought about. We will now endeavour to sketch the general features of the zoology of this interesting district, and then proceed to discuss some of the relations of the islands to each other.

Mammalia.—We have seen that the Indo-Chinese sub-region possesses 13 species of mammalia in common with the Indo-Malay sub-region, and 4 others peculiar to itself, besides one Ethiopian and several Oriental and Palæarctic forms of wide range. Of this latter class the Malay islands have comparatively few, but they possess no less than 14 peculiar genera, viz. Simia, Siamanga, Tarsius, Galeopithecus, Hylomys, Ptilocerus, Gymnura, Cynogale, Hemigalea, Arctogale, Barangia, Mydaus, Helarctos, and Tapirus. The islands also possess tigers, deer, wild pigs, wild cattle, elephants, the scaly ant-eater, and most of the usual Oriental genera; so that they are on the whole fully as rich as, if not richer than, any part of Asia; a fact very unusual in island faunas, and very suggestive of their really continental nature.

Plate VIII. Scene in Borneo with Characteristic Malayan Quadrupeds.—The Malayan fauna is so rich and peculiar that we devote two plates to illustrate it. We have here a group of mammalia, such as might be seen together in the vast forests of Borneo. In the foreground we have the beautiful deer-like Chevrotain (Tragulus javanicus). These are delicate little

Plate VIII.




animals whose body is not larger than a rabbit's, thence often called "mouse-deer." They were formerly classed with the "musk-deer," owing to their similar tusk-like upper canines; but their anatomy shows them to form quite a distinct family, having more resemblance to the camels. On the branch above is the curious feather-tailed Tree-Shrew (Ptilocerus lowii), a small insectivorous animal altogether peculiar to Borneo. Above this is the strange little Tarsier (Tarsius spectrum), one of the lemurs confined to the Malay islands, but so distinct from all others as to constitute a separate family. The other small animals are the Flying Lemurs (Galæopithecus volans) formerly classed with the lemurs, but now considered to belong to the Insectivora. They have a very large expansion of the skin connecting the fore and hind limbs and tail, and are able to take long flights from one tree to another, and even to rise over obstacles in their course by the elevatory power of the tail-membrane. They feed chiefly on leaves, and have a very soft and beautifully marbled fur.

In the distance is the Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus), a representative of a group of animals now confined to the larger Malay islands and tropical America, but which once ranged over the greater part of temperate Europe.


Birds.—Owing to several of the families consisting of very obscure and closely allied species, which have never been critically examined and compared by a competent ornithologist, the number of birds inhabiting this sub-region is uncertain. From the best available materials there appear to be somewhat less than 650 species of land-birds actually known, or excluding the Philippine Islands somewhat less than 600. The larger part of these are peculiar species, but mostly allied to those of Indo-China; 36 of the genera, as already stated, being common to these two sub-regions. There are, however, no less than 46 genera which are peculiarly or wholly Indo Malayan and, in many cases, have no close affinity with other Oriental groups. These peculiar genera are as follows:—Timalia, Malacopteron, Macronus, Napothera, Turdinus, and Trichixos—genera {338}of Timaliidæ; Eupetes, a most remarkable form, perhaps allied to Enicurus, and Cinclus; Rhabdornis (Certhiidæ) found only in the Philippines; Psaltria, a diminutive bird of doubtful affinities, provisionally classed among the tits (Paridæ); Setornis (Pycnonotidæ); Lalage (Campephagidæ) extending eastward to the Pacific Islands; Pycnosphrys, Philentoma (Muscicapidæ); Laniellus, a beautiful bird doubtfully classed with the shrikes (Laniidæ); Platylophus and Pityriasis, the latter a most anomalous form—perhaps a distinct family, at present classed with the jays, in Corvidæ; Prionochilus, a curious form classed with Dicæidæ; Erythrura (Ploceidæ), extending eastwards to the Fiji Islands; Gymnops, Calornis,[** no comma?] (Sturnidæ); Eurylæmus, Corydon, and Calyptomena (Eurylæmidæ); Eucichla, the longest tailed and most elegantly marked of the Pittidæ; Reinwardtipicus and Miglyptes (Picidæ); Psilopogon and Calorhamphus, (Megalæmidæ); Rhinococcyx, Dasylophus, Lepidogrammus, Carpococcyx, Zanclostomus, Poliococcyx, Rhinortha,[** no comma?] (Cuculidæ); Berenicornis, Caldo, Cranorhinus, Penelopides, Rhinoplax,[** no comma?] (Bucerotidæ); Psittinus,[** no comma?] (Psittacidæ); Ptilopus, Phapitreron,[** no comma?] (Columbidæ); Rollulus,[** no comma?] (Treronidæ); Machærhamphus,[** no comma?] (Falconidæ). Many of these genera are abundant and wide-spread, while some of the most characteristic Himalayan genera, such as Larvivora, Garrulax, Hypsipetes, Pomatorhinus, and Dendrocitta, are here represented by only a few species.

Among the groups that are characteristic of the Malayan sub-region, the Timaliidæ and Pycnonotidæ stand pre-eminent; the former represented chiefly by the genera Timalia, Malacopteron, Macronus, and Trichastoma, the latter by Criniger, Microscelis, and many forms of Pycnonotus. The Muscicapidæ, Dicruridæ, Campephagidæ, Ploceidæ, and Nectariniidæ are also well developed; as well as the Pittidæ, and the Eurylæmidæ, the limited number of species of the latter being compensated by a tolerable abundance of individuals. Among the Picariæ are many conspicuous groups; as, woodpeckers (Picidæ); barbets (Megalæmidæ); trogons (Trogonidæ); kingfishers (Alcedinidæ); and hornbills (Bucerotidæ); five families which are perhaps the most conspicuous in the whole fauna. Lastly come the pigeons {339}(Columbidæ), and the pheasants (Phasianidæ), which are fairly represented by such fine genera as Treron, Ptilopus, Euplocamus, and Argusianus. A few forms whose affinities are Australian rather than Oriental, help to give a character to the ornithology, though none of them are numerous. The swallow-shrikes (Artamus); the wag-tail fly-catchers (Rhipidura); the green fruit-doves (Ptilopus); and the mound-makers (Megapodius), are the chief of these.

There are a few curious examples of remote geographical alliances that may be noted. First, we have a direct African connection in Machærhamphus, a genus of hawks, and Berenicornis, a genus of hornbills; the only close allies being, in the former case in South, and in the latter in West Africa. Then we have a curious Neotropical affinity, indicated by Carpococcyx, a large Bornean ground-cuckoo, whose nearest ally is the genus Neomorphus of South America; and by the lovely green-coloured Calyptomena which seems unmistakably allied to the orange-coloured Rupicola, or "Cock of the rock," in general structure and in the remarkable form of crest, a resemblance which has been noticed by many writers.

In the preceding enumeration of Malayan genera several are included which extend into the Austro-Malay Islands, our object, at present, being to show the differences and relations of the two chief Oriental sub-regions.

Plate IX. A Malayan Forest with some of its peculiar Birds.—Our second illustration of the Malayan fauna is devoted to its bird-life; and for this purpose we place our scene in the Malay peninsula, where birds are perhaps more abundant and more interesting, than in any other part of the sub-region. Conspicuous in the foreground is the huge Rhinoceros Hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros), one of the most characteristic birds of the Malayan forests, the flapping of whose wings, as it violently beats the air to support its heavy body, may be heard a mile off. On the ground behind, is the Argus pheasant (Argusianus giganteus) whose beautifully ocellated wings have been the subject of a most interesting description in Mr. Darwin's Descent of Man. The wing-feathers are here so enormously {340}developed for display (as shown in our figure) that they become almost, if not quite, useless for their original purpose of flight; yet the colours are so sober, harmonizing completely with the surrounding vegetation, and the bird is so wary, that in the forests where it abounds an old hunter assured me he had never been able to see a specimen till it was caught in his snares. It is interesting to note, that during the display of the plumage the bird's head is concealed by the wings from a spectator in front, and, contrary to what usually obtains among pheasants, the head is entirely unadorned, having neither crest nor a particle of vivid colour,—a remarkable confirmation of Mr. Darwin's views, that gayly coloured plumes are developed in the male bird for the purpose of attractive display in the breeding season. The long-tailed bird on the right is one of the Drongo-shrikes (Edolius remifer), whose long bare tail-feathers, with an oar-like web at the end, and blue-black glossy plumage, render it a very attractive object as it flies after its insect prey. On the left is another singular bird the great Broad-bill (Corydon sumatranus), with dull and sombre plumage, but with a beak more like that of a boat-bill than of a fruit-eating passerine bird. Over all, the white-handed Gibbon (Hylobates lar) swings and gambols among the topmost branches of the forest.

Reptiles and Amphibia.—These are not sufficiently known to be of much use for our present purpose. Most of the genera belong to the continental parts of the Oriental region, or have a wide range. Of snakes Rhabdosoma, Typhlocalamus, Tetragonosoma, Acrochordus, and Atropos, are the most peculiar, and there are several peculiar genera of Homalopsidæ. Of Oriental genera, Cylindrophis, Xenopeltes, Calamaria, Hypsirhina, Psammodynastes, Gonyosoma, Tragops, Dipsas, Pareas, Python, Bungarus, Naja, and Callophis are abundant; as well as Simotes, Ablabes, Tropidonotus, and Dendrophis, which are widely distributed. Among lizards Hydrosaurus and Gecko are common; there are many isolated groups of Scincidæ; while Draco, Calotes, and many forms of Agamidæ, some of which are peculiar, abound.

Among the Amphibia, toads and frogs of