7. Remarks on Ovis nivicola

1885.] DR. F. GUILLEMARl) ON OVIS NIVTCOLA. H. H. 675 moment to call to mind a fable of the Monkey who had seen the Now, supposing the Monkey to...

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1885.]

DR.

F.

GUILLEMARl) ON OVIS NIVTCOLA.

H. H.

675

moment to call to mind a fable of the Monkey who had seen the Now, supposing the Monkey to have been a collector of world. animals, and in Europe to liave obtained some white people with red orfair hair, and upon his arrival in Africa to have met with the Negroes blac/e as jet, v/'\ih^at noses, thick lips, and black woolly heads, I think he would have been justified in regarding them as a very well-marked are, however, in a position better able to and distinct species. understand that time, climate, food, and other circumstances may so change the condition and apj)earance that the original type may I venture to say this be said to have disappeared altogether. change is now taking place, however slowly it may be. It is noticeable in America, and doubtless in a few generations (without fresh arrivals of Europeans) the descendants of Eurojjeans are gradually developing the peculiarities of the original natives of that country. Ill conclusion I feel it is necessary to offer a few words in defence of naming animals that are nearly allied and calling them by new names, in order to constitute them as species. This practice and it appears to me a very reasonhas of late received a check able and proper mode of treating the subject to consider a large number of the animals that exhibit a few trifling differences to be At the same time we must only local varieties of the same species. bear in mind that in order to do this we should seek for intermediate forms or individuals that may be regarded as uniting two e.\tremely In the present instance I have failed to find different creatures. any animal showing this tendency to be intermediate between this

We

;

animal and the well-known Chimpanzee.

7.

Remarks on Ovis

nivicola.

By

F.

H. H. Guillemarb,

M.A., M.D., P.L.S.^ F.Z.S., &c. [Eeceived June 16, 1885.]

The few notes I have on tiie habits and structural peculiarities of the Kamschatkan Wild Sheej), Ovis nivicola, Eschscholtz, a series of the skulls of which I have the honour of exhibiting, may possibly be of interest. In the beginning of August 1882, Mr. Kettle well's yacht ' Marchesa arrived in Petropaulovsky, and shortly afterwards a small party, of which I was a member, started on an expedition through the centre of the peninsula, and, striking the great Kamschatka River near its source, descended it a distance of 450 Our land journey led us through more or less miles to the sea. mountainous country, and we had hoped to obtain information concerning Big-horn at Gunol, a little settlement of cross-bred Siberians and Kamscbatdales, in the centre of the southern part of Near this place is a small range of low mountains, the peninsula. bare and rocky, about three or four thousand feet in height, the summits only of which were covered with snow. were informed '

We

G7(i

DR.

F.

H. H.

GXJILLKMARD ON OVIS NIVICOLA.

[June IG,

that there were a few Sheep here, but that it was very difficult to get them except in winter. As our time was hmited, our chances of

obtaining them were not considered promising enough to stop. also, in the Bolcheresk valley, was mentioned to us as another locality, a fact we were ourselves able to verify, as the natives had killed a young male only a few days previous to our

Narcheeki

arrival.

On reaching the neighbourhood of the magnificent volcanoes which guard the lower part of the Great Kamschatka River, I again made inquiries as to the existence of Ovis nivicola on their slopes, but was told that there were none. 1 cannot vouch, however, for the truth of the statement, as the natives live in superstitious awe of the mountains, and have never ascended them to any height. We had thus traversed the country without obtaining a single specimen ; and we should have returned empty-handed had it not been for a Russian sable hunter accompanying our expedition, who informed us Fig. 1.

Head

of Ovis nivicola..

tliat he had seen and shot several on the sea-L-lififs of the east coast, some fifty miles E.N.E. of Petropaulovsky. On our return voyage from Behring Island we accordingly shaped our course for this spot and on nearing the land we could distinctly make out small herds of the animals of which we were in search on the slopes of the cliffs, which here rose to a height of five or six hundred feet. Finding a good anchorage we at once arranged to stay, and in two days we brought to bag no less than thirteen individuals, all of which were

full-grown males. The general colour of the Kamschatkan "Wild Sheep is a brownish grey, and the hair of those obtained by us at the end of the month of September was very long and thick. The head and neck are more Forehead with an illdistinctly grey than the rest of the body. marked darker patch upper and under lip greyish white. Anterior a line running down posterior aspect of the limbs dark glossy brown ;

;

aspect white.

Tail short, dark brown

;

centre of belly and

rump

DR.

1885.]

H. H.

F.

GUILLEMARD ON OVIS

^n

NIVICOI-A.

white; this colour does not surround the tail. The ears are remarkably short. Sir Victor and Mr. Basil Brooke, in their article on Asiatic Sheep (P. Z. S. 1875, p. 509), remark on the resemblance of the horns of this species to those of 0. montana, with which latter it has indeed, by some naturalists, been regarded as identical. But, as will be seen by the annexed illustrations, the uniforndy smaller size of the head, the shortness and great breadth of the skull in its anterior aspect, the slight development of the prseorbital fossae, and the protuberance Fi-. 2.

Head

of

0ms montana.

of the orbit itself serve to distinguish markedly the Kamschatkan Sheep from that of America. The horns are less rugose than those of 0. montana. The frontal the orbital surface at first concave, then flat, thus surface is convex The nuchal causing the fronto-orbital edge to be very sharp. and the two remaining surface is convex and afterwards flattened edges are rounded. The following are the measurements obtained from a series of nine skulls ;

;

:

Ovis montana.

Ovis nivicola.

in.

lOJ

Length of skull

Breadth between

in.

curve

in.

in.

in.

in.

m.

lOf

lOj

104

11

13^

5i

5i

4|

orbits

Length of horns round \ 35

38

24

32J 351

13

14

14

21

26i 26

321 26J

6 '65

J

Circumference of horns at base

Horns from

m

m

1

13| 12i

J

tip to tip

Proc. Zool.

.

21

25

Soc— 1885,

No. XLIV.

22i

2\i

25i

44

43

LIEUT.-COL.

678 Measurements were

also taken,

Supposed age

(yrs.)...

Extreme length

in

J.

BIDDULPH ON THE

[June 16,

the flesh of the thirteen individuals obtained

and are as follows

:

1885
English