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THE NATURALIST., Otago Witness, Issue 2467, 26 June 1901
The Windsor Menagerie at the Zoo. 'The King has presented the collection of wild animals at Windsor to the menagerie at Regent's Park. The collection consists of two Spanish cattle (Bos taurus), a blackfaced kangaroo (Macropus melanops>), a yel-low-footed rock kangaroo (Petrogale xanthopus), a female Grevy's zebra^ (Equus Grevyi), a male American bison"" (Bison Americanus). three zebus (Bos Indicus) of the small race, three St. Kilda sheep (Ovis aries), two Nubian goats, and two Somali ostriches. The Spanish cattle (a. cow and an ox) are very fine animal", of a reddish-fawn, darkening into a smoky black on the forequarrers, with long horns, having the basal portion nearly at right angles to the head, and then mounting with an outward curve. They have been placed in the cattle sheds, but their transference from the railway cattle carfc to the yard was a work .of some difficulty. It was impossible to "get .he carts round ti the back of the sheds, so the unloading took place in the walk just in front of the iron palisading. The cow was exceedingly lively, showing a disposition, as one of the keepers expressed it, "to come for"' people ; but, as she was securely roped, this disposition was taken advantage of to guide her into the shed. Thi. ox was sullen rather than fierce, and for some little time refused to enter, complicating matters by lying down. Even this difficulty was got over by patient handling — pulling in front and pushing behind, and at last he, too, was hauled well within the small gate, which was at once shut and secured.
The black-iaced kangaroo is one of the finest ever 3een in confinement, standing Avhen erect ovei sft in height, and the rock-kangaroo, though oi a much smaller species, is an sxcellent specimen. The ostriches have been placed in separate pens in the new ostrich-house. Both are males, in fine plumage and general good condition. 'Ihey were bred in Adelaide, and when they were presented to the late Queen they were described as a pair, onr of them being then in immature grey plumage, and supposed, nongly as it has turned out, to be a female. Grevy's zebra was originally in the Gardens, but was removed to Windsor, not long after the death of the male, early in June, last year. The small zebus will be an attraction, for it is some time since any were exhibited. The St. Kilda sheep, confined to that island, belong to a feral race, descended from ancestors which escaped from captivity rnaijy centuries a^o.
The Nubian goats are a race of the dew mestic goat, distinguished by the small *ize of the head and the convexity of the profile. Since the Garden* iveie opened in 1828 there have been many and valuable Royal donations, not only from our own Sovereigns, but from foreign potentate-. Our reio-ning fa mil v have ahra^ shown favour to the Zoological Society. In 1830 William IV became it*, patron, and presented 1o the Gardens all the animus belonging to the Koyal Menagerie in Windsor Paik. A tevr years after the late Queen (then the J rincebs) Victoria piesented a musk deer, and in almost every succeeding year her n <*m e mij be found 'in the list of donors, lhe fine collection made by the Prince of Wales during his Indian tour in 1875-6 was sent to the Garden? I—and1 — and of tins collection the fine female elephant Kuffa Culli still survives. Pince that donation there has been no Royal gift equal in v.ime to that ju'-t, made by the King, and the collection will be sine to piove a great attraction.
Protection of Fish Kyg? —The device- or «\'btei-fuges resorted to by low er animals for the protection of their* eggs foimcd the subject of an interesting f-eries of leetuiGS recently delivered m London by Professor Charles Stewart, Conservator at the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeon -. Processor Stewait showed that where, as in the case of the cod. hening, and other fish, eggs are produced in vast numbers-, there is little or no necessity for protection, but where the ova are few in number protective mea c ires mu>t be adopted, and me largely resorted to by all classes of £&h. First," theic was the 'hatching of the ova. ivithin the body of the female, and the retention of the young until they are able to swim about, as in the case of the Pacific o-enus Ditrema and the -uviparous blenny of Fnghsh coasts. The enveloping of ova. with large food yolk in special sheath>, or cases, was another protective contrivance ; cmkl some of the spent case'— mermaids' purses and skate barrows, the egg cases of the dogfish and rays— were common all along the seashore. 'The lampreys exhibit the simplest form of egg protection, covering them with stones, while the sticklebacks construct a tine nest, and the fish of the genus Ehodeus. one species of which is European" deposit their eggs in the shells of bivalve molluscs, in which they are developed. Something About Birds.— Bird anatomy framed the subject of an interesting lecture recently delivered at the Leeds Naturalists' Club by Dr West. After pointing cut that the eyes of birds were free and independent in "action, and that the shape and limbs of birds were suited to their manner of life, Dr West went on to show why perching land birds had tlieir feet provided with long claws for grasping, the lecturer demonstrating that the mere action of alighting on. a twig or branch affected muscles which automatically closed the claws. The small feet of the swallow were ill adapted to perching, but its great wing power made rest of little consequence to this bird. The great energy exhibited by birds in contrast to man was explained by the fact that our breathing arrangement was so limited, while with the bird the supplies are unlimited, owing to its. complete system of ah- sacs. Birds rid themselves of thejr superfluous moisture by respiration, in distinction .o other animals. Referring to the plumage of birds, the lecturer showed that the presence of large tracts of skin without leathers exists in all birds, the feathers being in no case uniformly distributed all over the bedy, and the arrangement of these featherles-s tracts is of considerable service in identifying the species of birds.
Wild White Cattle.— There is at present on exhibition at the Zoological Gardens in Dublin a typical specimen of the wild white cattle of Great Britain. All modern specimens of the wild white cattle are furnished with horn", but some years ago there existed a variety of the breed which was polled, and the points of whose ears were red instead of black, as- is the case with the present horned variety. It is thought that these polled wild cattle were a cultivated variety of the original white cattle of the forests. Writing on the subject some time ago Mr John Thornton said : "There is an apparent probability that Axe polled varieties of these cattle were specially selected by the monks — the foremost agriculturists of their time— because of the fact that the absence of the horns rendered them better adapted for domestication. After the dissolution of ihe monasteries, where there are numerous records of these cattle having been kept, the animals weie dispersed all over the country and thus became blended \tith common local varieties Some herds of the breed were preserved in a pure state, i'nd in (he early part ot la^i century fn o such herds existed in Suffolk.''
In no branch of science has greater progress been made during the last century than in medicine. Many diseases which the physicians of early days held to be incurable have been pro\ed to be susceptible to treatment, and an increased knowledge of tho properties of various douses hat necessarily exercised a beneficial influence. At the same time there can be no doubt much harm has been done through people neglecting those slight ailments to which every person, is liable, and carelessness m this particular has frequently led to serious consequences". What is required is a remedy that will not only relieve the sufferers, but also prevent the spread of further trouble ; and this can. be found in Tussictjea, which has no equal as a throat and lung euro. In no sense can this mixture be regarded as a "quack medicine," for it J9 prepared by a pharmacist of long experience, and only the best and most carefully-selected drugs are used in its manufacture. It has proved itself infallible in innumerable cases of incipient consumption,bronchitis, pneumonia, and all affections o£ the lungs and throat, while sufferers fromi that painful and insidious complaint, influenza, will find instant relief after a single dose. As an up-to-date remedy Ttjssictjka. cannot be beaten. It is procurable from all chemists and storekeepers throughout the) colony, or from the inventor, S. J. Evans, £haj3w\cjgt*. Dunediii and Naseb^.—Advt.
THE NATURALIST., Otago Witness, Issue 2467, 26 June 1901
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