Next to his great size and excessive ferocity, one of the most striking peculiarities of this animal is his extreme tenacity of life. For the instances of this we are indebted almost wholly to the narrative of the Travels of Captains Lewis and Clarke, whose statements are no doubt founded in truth, although it may be suspected that they require to be received with some grains at least of allowance. According to these gentlemen one bear which had received five shots in his lungs, and five other wounds in various parts of his body, swam a considerable distance to a sand bank in the river, and survived more than twenty minutes; another that had been shot through the centre of the lungs, pursued at full speed the man by whom the wound was inflicted for half a mile, then returned more than twice that distance, dug himself a bed two feet deep and five feet long, and was perfectly alive two hours after he received the wound; and a third, although actually shot through the heart, ran at his usual pace nearly a quarter of a mile before he fell. There is no chance, they add, of killing him by a single shot, unless the ball goes directly through the brain; a single hunter runs consequently no little risk in venturing to attack an animal upon whom the most dangerous wounds, if not instantaneously fatal, produce no obvious immediate effects.
THE BARBARY LIONESS.
The enormous Reptile from which this genus derives its name belongs to the same subdivision of that class as the agile Lizard and the many-hued Cham?leon, with which it was comprehended by Linn?us under the single generic title of Lacerta. This group has subsequently been elevated to the rank of an order, consisting of numerous genera, among which the Crocodiles are distinguished by the following characters. Their toes are five in number on the anterior feet, and four on the posterior; their sharp and conical teeth are arranged in a single series in each jaw; their tongue is flat, fleshy, and closely attached almost to its very edge; and their bodies are clothed with large, thick, square scales, the upper of which are surmounted by a strong keel, those of the tail forming superiorly a dentated crest, double at its origin.下载
The Eagles, properly so called, are characterized by a head covered with plumage and flattened above; eyes large, lateral, and deep-seated; a bill of great strength, arched and hooked at its extremity alone, and furnished at its base with a naked membrane, called the cere, in which the openings of the nostrils are situated; the wings broad and powerful; the tarsus, or that joint of each leg which is immediately above the toes, strong, short, and covered with feathers down to the very base; the toes thick and naked, three of them pointing forwards, and the fourth constantly directed backwards; and the talons of great power and strongly curved. The Golden Eagle, which occupies the right hand in the cut, is frequently three feet and a half in length from the extremity of the beak to that of the tail. His general colour is blackish brown both above and below, assuming on the legs a grayish or sometimes a reddish tinge. His beak is bluish black, covered at the base by a yellow cere; and his toes, which are also yellow, terminate in strong black talons, the posterior one of which frequently attains an enormous length. He is met with throughout the Old Continent, and more especially within the limits of the temperate zone, building his aiery, which he shares with a single female, in the clefts of the loftiest rock, or among the topmost branches of the alpine forest. From this retreat he towers aloft in search of his prey, which he pursues by sight alone, subsisting principally on other birds and on the smaller quadrupeds, which he carries off in his powerful clutch. When his hunger is extreme he sometimes pounces upon the larger animals; but in such circumstances he is compelled to content himself with sucking their blood upon the spot, and with stripping off portions of their flesh, on which to satiate his appetite at home. Instances have been known of his attaining in captivity to an age of more than a hundred years.
It is evident then that in the general outline of his habits, and even in most of the separate traits by which his character is marked, he differs but little from the Lion. His courage, if brute force stimulated by sensual appetite can deserve that honourable name, is at least equal; and as for magnanimity and generosity, the idea of attributing such noble qualities to either is in itself so absurd, and is so fully refuted by every particular of their authentic history, that it would be perfectly ridiculous to attempt a comparison where no materials for comparison exist. It may, however, be observed that in one point the disposition of the Tiger appears to be more cruel than that of the Lion; inasmuch as it is related, that he is not at all times satisfied with a single victim, but deals forth wholesale destruction, without mercy and without distinction, upon whatever may chance to be within the reach of his murderous talons. This, however, is by no means his constant or usual practice; his instinct being in general sufficient to teach him that his purpose is as effectually answered by one fatal bound as by the most extensive devastation; for neither he, nor any of the more powerful of his tribe, return to their prey after the first meal, but leave its mangled relics for the ignoble beasts which follow in their train.