Ursus (Helarctos) euryspilus. Horsf.
But of all the peculiarities by which the Elephant is distinguished, the most singular and at the same time the most useful is the projection which is formed by the blending and extension of the nose and upper lip into an elongated and tapering tube, considerably longer than the head, and truncated at the extremity, where it is surrounded by a slightly elevated margin, which is prolonged anteriorly and superiorly into a finger-like appendage of various and invaluable use. This trunk or proboscis, as it is called, is divided throughout its whole extent into two equal cavities, which are continuous with the nostrils, but appear to have no other connexion with the organ of smell than as being the medium of the passage of odours to the olfactory apparatus, which is confined within the bones of the head, and is indeed seated much higher than usual in consequence of the large space occupied by the roots of the tusks and by the cavities of the maxillary bones. The real uses of the trunk are far higher and more important; and it is to this unique and unexampled structure that the Elephant owes whatever superiority he possesses over other beasts. In general capacity he is inferior to most, and the intellectual qualities of a dog or a horse are unquestionably of a far more elevated order; but with the assistance of this curious organ, with some little sagacity, a tolerable memory, and a certain degree of docility, the Elephant is enabled to execute such a variety of actions, either of his own accord or at the command of his keeper, as have gained him the credit not only of being the cleverest of brutes, but of possessing qualities of a superior cast and even the divine gift of reason itself.
In size it is intermediate between the two other species which he describes. Its most remarkable distinction is derived from the thickness of its neck and the flatness of its head, its forehead forming almost a straight line with its muzzle. The latter is moderately thick and somewhat lengthened; and the ears are very large. The body is compact, and the limbs heavy; a conformation from which we might be led to infer great muscular strength, together with a capacity for climbing trees and performing other feats of a similar description, were it not for the comparative weakness of the claws, which are scarcely more than half as long as those of the other Indian bears. Like the latter, its colour is invariably of a uniform glossy jet-black, except on the lower lip, which is white; as is also a patch occupying the front of the neck, and in shape like a Y, the two upper limbs of which pass in front of the shoulders, while the lower one occupies the middle line of the chest. The upper part of the muzzle is black, with a slight reddish tint on the sides; and the edges of the lips flesh-coloured. The hair, which is smooth on the muzzle, becomes shaggy on the back part of the head, from the base of the ears downwards, and adds considerably to the apparent volume of that part, but not quite to the same extent as in the Ursus labiatus, in old individuals of which it almost touches the ground. It was found by Dr. Wallich in the mountains of Nepaul, and by M. Duvaucel in those of Sylhet; and from this limited range the latter gentleman infers, perhaps a little too hastily, that its habitat is less extensive than that of its fellows. He also regards it as being more ferocious in its habits.
The Crowned Crane is remarkable for its light and elegant proportions, and for its graceful and varied attitudes. Its forehead is covered by a thick tuft of short velvety feathers of a soft and brilliant black; its naked cheeks and temples are of a delicate rose colour; and the yellow filaments of its crest terminate in blackish pencils. The long and slender feathers which descend upon its neck, and the broader ones which clothe the upper and under surface of its body are black with a slight tinge of lead-colour; the primary wing-feathers are also black, the secondary reddish-brown, and the wing-coverts white. The bill and legs are black. It is a native of Western Africa; is extremely tame, and may be readily domesticated. It frequently attains the height of four feet.
The Cape Lion is seldom taken alive; his utter destruction and extermination forming the primary object of his pursuers. Occasionally, however, when a Lioness has been shot, and the hunters have been fortunate enough to trace out her den, the cubs are brought away, and in some measure domesticated, at least for a season, and until they acquire sufficient force to become dangerous. Up to this period some of the colonists will even suffer them to remain almost at large in their dwellings; but they have frequently occasion to rue the mercy they have shown, and are at length compelled, by the unequivocal manifestations of that ferocity which never fails to make its appearance when the animals have attained a certain age, to destroy the creatures whom they have nourished and caressed.