For the zoological characters of the latter genus the reader is referred to the following article: at present we shall confine ourselves to the description of the remarkable animal before us, pointing out, as we proceed, the marks by which it differs from both the groups to which it has hitherto been referred, and those by which it is assimilated to either the one or the other. In the shape and elevation of its body it is at first sight distinguished from them both, its legs being considerably longer in relation to its size, and the trunk of its body, as will be seen by the portrait prefixed, being very different in form and proportions. It is entirely destitute of the mane of the Hy?na, and its tail is very similar to that of certain dogs; but, on the other hand, its head approximates very closely, or rather bears a most striking resemblance, to the broad and flattened forehead, and the short and truncated muzzle, which characterize the former genus. It is this latter circumstance no doubt that has induced many naturalists, both popular and scientific, to identify the Wild Dog, as he is called by the settlers at the Cape, with a group of animals from which in every other particular of outward structure, excepting one, it is remarkably and obviously distinct. The only other point of agreement between them consists in the number of its toes, which, like those of the Hy?na, are only four to each foot. This peculiarity, combined with the form of the head, unquestionably affords some ground for placing these animals in close apposition; but is by no means so important, in the absence of other and more essential characteristics, as to warrant their union into a single group. Taken together, however, and in connexion with other features of distinction, these characters may fairly be regarded as sufficiently striking to sanction the separation of the animal now under consideration from the dogs. With the latter it corresponds most completely in the number and form of its teeth, and in the general structure of its skeleton, which differs remarkably from that of the Hy?na.
THE GREAT SEA-EAGLE.
The habits and manners of the Black Bear resemble those of the brown almost as closely as his physical characters. In a state of nature he seeks the recesses of the forest, and passes his solitary life in wild and uncultivated deserts, far from the society of man, and avoiding even that of the animal creation. His usual food consists of the young shoots of vegetables, of their roots, which he digs up with his strong and arcuated claws, and of their fruits, which he obtains by means of the facility with which the same organs enable him to climb the loftiest trees. He possesses indeed the faculty of climbing in a most extraordinary degree, and frequently exercises it in the pursuit of honey, of which he is passionately fond. When all these resources fail him, he will attack the smaller quadrupeds, and sometimes even animals of considerable size; familiarity with danger diminishing his natural timidity, and the use of flesh begetting a taste for its continued enjoyment. He is also said, like the Polar Bear, to have a peculiar fondness for fish, and is frequently met with on the borders of lakes and on the coast of the sea, to which he has resorted for the gratification of this appetite. Notwithstanding his apparent clumsiness, he swims with the greatest dexterity, the excessive quantity of fat with which he is loaded serving to buoy him up in the water; in this way he frequently crosses the broadest rivers, or even very considerable arms of the sea.
Like the Eagles these birds live in pairs, and not in flocks; they build their aiery, if so it may be termed, on the loftiest trees, or, where these are wanting, in the most bushy and tufted thickets. They run with extreme swiftness, trusting, when pursued, rather to their legs than to their wings; and as they are generally met with in the open country, it is with difficulty that they can be approached sufficiently near for the sportsman to obtain a shot at them. They are natives of the south of Africa, and appear to be tolerably numerous in the neighbourhood of the Cape; where, it is said, they have been tamed to such a degree as to render them useful inmates of the poultry-yard, in which they not only destroy the snakes and rats which are too apt to intrude upon those precincts, but even contribute to the maintenance of peace among its more authentic inhabitants by interposing in their quarrels and separating the furious combatants who disturb it by their brawls.
THE BORNEAN BEAR.