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ARBUCKLES' ALBUM
OF
ILLUSTRATED NATURAL HISTORY


(Actual Size: 6-7/8" x 11-1/8" - shown approx. 1/2 scale)
CLICK on any map to see the corresponding card as it was originally issued.

Aye-Aye, Aard Vark, Blotched Genett, Gorilla
(Cheiromys madagascariensis, Orycteropus capensis, Genetta vulgaris, Troglodytes gorilla)


(facing page)

Aye-Aye.

A small, squirrel-like animal (so far as its long bushy tail, general configuration and arboral habits may warrant the comparison) with large thin ears opening forward, a very peculiar physiognomy, and an attenuated middle finger which seems as if withered. It appears to form a link between the squirrels and the monkeys. The fur is thickly set, and is remarkable for an inner coating of downy hair of a golden tint which sometimes shows itself through the outer coating. The tail seems to be always trailed at length, and never carried over the back like a squirrel. Its food is probably both fruit and insects. It sleeps all day, curled up in the hollow of a tree, and sallies forth only at night. It is found only in Madagascar, and even there is extremely rare. When discovered by Sonnerat, the naturalist, and shown to the natives, they exhibited great astonishment, and their exclamations of surprise are said to have given the name to the animal. The scientific name, Cheiromys, signifies "handed mouse," and is given because the animal bears some resemblance to a large mouse with hands instead of feet. Its movements are slow and deliberate, and its eyes are sensitive to the light.


Aard Vark.

The ground hog, or earth pig of South Africa is a very curious animal. It measures about five feet in total length; the head is long, with conic tapering snout, and high ears; the tail is about twenty inches long. It is a powerful creature, especially in its fore limbs, which are adapted for digging, and are furnished with strong hoof-like claws, with which it can generally dig faster than a man with a spade. With these it digs a burrow for its own habitation, and also destroys the dwellings of the white ants on which it feeds. It is seldom seen in the daytime, but at night it issues forth and going to the ant-hills, begins its work of destruction, speedily tearing down the stone-like walls, and as the terrified insects run about in bewilderment, sweeps them into its mouth with rapid movements of its long and extensile tongue, which is covered with a sticky excretion to which the ants adhere, and from which they cannot escape. Another species found in Nubia and adjacent regions, is quite hairy in comparison with the nakedness of the former. The animals are confined to Africa, and are characteristic of the Ethiopian region. Their flesh is edible, although rather highly seasoned with formic acid, as is natural from their principal diet.


Blotched Genett.

This beautiful and graceful animal, which never fails to attract attention when placed on exhibition, has a range of habitation extending all around the Mediterranean, including Western Asia, Northern Africa, and Southern Europe. It is found sometimes as far north as Nismes, France. It frequents lowlands, especially near springs and rivers. It is about as large as a common house cat, but of more slender form, with sharper nose, shorter legs, and longer tail. The body is of a dark gray color, profusely spotted with black, while the tail is ringed with black and white. The feet are supplied with retractile claws, so that the creature can deal a severe blow with its outstretched talons, or climb trees with ease and rapidity. It lives on animal and vegetable food, or can subsist on animal food alone. In Constantinople it is kept in houses as a mouser, and is said to equal the ordinary cat at the business. It produces a kind of civit used for perfume, and the fur is also valuable.


Gorilla.

The largest known anthropoid ape, most closely resembling man, especially in the form of the pelvis, and in the proportions of the molar teeth to the incisors. It has thirteen ribs. The tail is very rudimentary, having but three coccygeal bones instead of four. It is sometimes called the great chimpanzee, and is a near relative of that animal. Its height is about five and a half feet. It is found in the woody equatorial region of Africa, is possessed of great strength, and has a barking voice rising to a terrific roar. The theory has recently been advanced that it has a language, and Prof. Garner, who has been making careful observations, has concluded that it has a vocabulary of at least forty words. It lives mostly in trees and feeds on vegetable substances. It makes a sleeping place like a hammock, by connecting the sheltered branches of a tree with long tough stems of parasitic plants and lining them with dried grass. This is constructed from ten to forty feet from the ground, and but one such nest is ever found in a tree. The animal was unknown to Europe except by vague report till described in 1847 by an American missionary. Du Chaillu brought the first skull to Europe in 1859. A number of living specimens have since been imported to this country, but they do not become acclimated, and soon die.