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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.

Giraffe, Lion, Gems-Bok, Camel
(Camelopardalis giraffa, Felis leo, Oryx gazella, Camelus dromedarius)

(facing page)


This beautiful and interesting animal, which inhabits various parts of Africa, constitutes the only species of its genus and family, and is furthermore distinguished by being the tallest of all animals, a full grown male reaching the height of 18 or 20 feet. This great stature is due mainly to the extraordinary length of the neck, in which, however, there are but seven vertebrę, as is usual in all mammals. It has two bony excrescences on its head, resembling horns covered with skin. It feeds upon the leaves of trees, which its great height and prehensile and extensile tongue enable it to procure easily. It rarely attempts to pick up food from the ground. It is mild and inoffensive, and in captivity gentle and docile. It is, however, very delicate, and is a costly feature of any menagerie in which it is exhibited. Its eyes are wonderfully expressive. It is believed to be one of the very few silent animals, never having been known to utter a sound, even in the agonies of death. It can fight with its heels in such a lively manner as to daunt even a lion. It is not swift, and when running, as it does by a series of frog-like leaps, its long neck rocking up and down, is extremely laughable. It herds in numbers of five to thirty, under the guardianship of an old, experienced male.


The largest of the carniverous animals, distinguished by its tawny or yellow color, a full flowing mane in the male, a tufted tail, and the disappearance of the feline markings in both sexes on arriving at maturity. The largest are from eight to nine feet long. It is native to Africa and the warm regions of Asia. It preys chiefly on live animals, avoiding carrion unless impelled by extreme hunger. Approaches prey with stealthy movements, crouching for a spring, which is accompanied by a terrific roar. The whole frame is powerful and majestic, and its appearance well deserves the title of the King of Beasts. Its tongue is covered with conical projections pointing towards the throat, larger through the centre than at the sides, their chief use being to strip the meat from the bones of animals, and they easily draw blood by licking. The mane is not fully developed till the third year is completed. Each hair of the whiskers is connected with a set of large nerves that convey to the brain the least touch, and by means of these feelers the animal guides itself through the thicket without alarming its victim. Wounds from a lion's tooth, after being entirely healed, are said to break out afresh on the anniversary of the time on which they were inflicted. Although living on animal food, the lion prefers to quench its thirst with juicy fruits and vegetables.


The South African oryx, sometimes called the Kookaam, is a large and powerful member of the antelope tribe, equaling the domestic ass in size, and measuring about three feet ten inches at the shoulder. It has very long, slender, sharp and nearly straight horns, sometimes over a yard in length, forming most efficient weapons of defense with which it strikes right and left with such effect that it has been known to successfully resist a lion, and sometimes both have been found dead together with the horns driven into the lion's body so firmly that one man could not extricate them. The neck is maned and the tail tufted. This animal is almost independent of water, being able to live on certain succulent plants that absorb all the moisture that settles in their vicinity. It is never found in the wood, but keeps in the open plain, and lives in pairs, or in families of four or five individuals. It is especially dangerous to approach when wounded, unless completely disabled. Dr. Livingston gives a graphic description of a fight which he witnessed between one of these animals and a lion, in which, although the lion made the attack, he was fatally wounded, while the victor trotted off, kicking up his heels as though nothing had happened out of the common order of events.


The Arabian camel, now only known in the domesticated state, is used chiefly in Arabia and Egypt. It has but one hump, whereas the Batrician has two. There are several breeds of the Arabian camel, of which the dromedary is one, being simply a thoroughbred camel of great speed and bottom, used as a saddle animal, and comparing with the heavier and slower varieties as a race horse does with a cart horse. The camel is poetically called the "Ship of the Desert." Without it the Arabian could not subsist, carry on trade, or travel over the sandy deserts. It can carry from 600 to 1,000 pounds. It has a peculiar stomach, in which it learns by experience to store water, so that it can exist for several days without drink. A few coarse, dry, prickly plants serve it for food. The hump is a very curious part of its structure. The Arabs say the camel feeds upon its hump, for under privation and fatigue the hump diminishes, and at the end of a long and painful journey will nearly vanish, only to be restored by long and abundant feeding. In setting out on a long expedition the Arab looks carefully to the condition of his camel's hump, for on that may depend the animal's very life. While the camel is so useful to man, it is far from being of a friendly disposition, but is invariably morose, and apt to bite, and will fight its own species. The height of an ordinary camel, at the shoulder, is six or seven feet.