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

Tanrec, Indian Rhinoceros, Gnu, Phatagin
(Centetus ecaudatus, Rhinocerus unicornis, Catoblepas gnu, Manis longicaudata)

(facing page)


Another name for this animal is the Madagascar hedgehog, and it is highly characteristic of that region. Superficially it resembles the common hedgehog, but its structure is peculiar. It is longer, has longer legs, its muzzle is extremely elongated, and sharply pointed; its ears are small and rounded, and its tail is absent, thus earning the specific title of ecaudatus. The generic name, centetes, is from the Greek, signifying thorny, the body being covered with thorn-like spines, not exceeding an inch in length. The throat, abdomen, and inside of the limbs are covered with coarse hair, and the sides and flanks with long silky hair. It is a hibernating animal, sleeping at least three months of the year in the burrow which it excavates with its powerful and crooked claws. It is not very commonly seen, even in the localities which it inhabits, as it is a night prowler, seldom leaving its burrow except at dark. It makes its home usually among the roots of bamboos. Its natural food is worms, insects, snails, reptiles, etc., but it will eat boiled rice. It has an overpowering smell of musk, yet the natives esteem the flesh among their choicest luxuries of food, and for that reason can scarcely be induced to part with a specimen. It is said to be the most prolific of all mammals, bringing forth as many as twenty-one young at a time.


Of this ponderous, ungainly beast there are several living as well as fossil species, having an extremely thick and hard or tough skin which defies the ordinary bullet, and hunters have to harden their missiles with tin or solder to make any adequate impression on this kind of game. The skin is thrown into various plaits or folds; the legs are short, stout and clumsy, with odd-toed feet. The tail is short; ears are high and rather large; the head is very large and unshapely, supported upon a thick stocky neck; muzzle blunt, and upper lip freely movable. The head is especially long in the nasal region, and there are usually one or two upright horns without any bony case, the substance of the horn being epidermal only. When two horns are present they are one behind the other. These animals live mainly in marshy places, in thick or rank vegetation, and subsist entirely on vegetable food. The living species are now confined entirely to the warmer parts of Africa and Asia, and are hairless, or nearly so. Formerly they had a much more extensive range, not only in the old world, but in America. In every species the sight is imperfect, the animal being unable to see objects straight ahead of him. Scent and hearing are acute. The horn of the Indian species, although scarcely higher than its diameter, can do terrible execution, and is said to repel the attack of the male elephant. The average height of the rhinoceros is about four feet.


An African animal of singular shape, strangely combining characteristics which recall at once the horse, ass and ox. There are two species. The one represented stands about four feet at the withers and is about five and a half feet long; the shoulders are hunched; the neck is maned like an ass, the tail is long and flowing like a horse; the head is like a buffalo with a broad muzzle, and beset with bristly hairs; other long hairs hang from the dewlap, and between the forelegs; there are horns in both sexes, in the male, massive, meeting over the poll, then curving downward and outward, and again turning up at the tip, like a musk-ox; the color is brownish or blackish with white in mane and tail. They go in herds like other antelopes and are very inquisitive. When they first see a strange object, they set off at full speed as if afraid for their lives, but soon stop to reconnoitre, then gallop around in a circle, halting and drawing nearer and nearer. Hunters have through this peculiarity, drawn them within gunshot simply by tying a red pocket handkerchief to the muzzle of the gun. They live in herds, often in peaceful companionship with zebras, ostriches and giraffes in the wilds of the African Continent.


The phatagin, sometimes called the long-tailed manis, is covered with a series of horny plates, sharp-pointed and keen-edged, lying with their points directed towards the tail, and overlapping like the tiles of a house. When pursued it rolls itself up like a ball, so that the scales, sharp edged and acutely pointed, stand outward and can inflict very unpleasant wounds. In this position there are few animals who care to have anything to do at short range with the phatagin. Its fore claws are very large, and are employed to dig down the nests of the white ants, and in digging burrows, a task for which they are well adapted by reason of their great size, and strength, and the vigor of the limbs to which they are attached. As the limbs are short and the claws long, the pace of the phatagin is slow, and its tardiness is increased by the fact that the claws of the fore feet are folded upon a thick fleshy pad, and therefore not at all adapted to locomotion. It is a native of Western Africa; is five feet long, including tail, which is three feet.