So much has been written by authors of every description, from the earliest ages down to the present time, upon every point connected with their history and habits, and the space which we could devote to their illustration in the present volume is so small, that we choose rather not to enter at all upon the subject than to treat of it in the very abrupt and imperfect manner to which we should necessarily be restricted. It only remains therefore to add a few observations relative to the extremely beautiful leash of hounds which are figured at the head of the present article, before passing to the consideration of the remaining species of the group which are at present contained in the Menagerie.
THE BLUE AND YELLOW MACAW.
THE CLOUDED BLACK WOLF.
Closely allied to the Lion, whom he resembles in size, in power, in external form, in internal structure, in zoological characters, in his prowling habits, and in his sanguinary propensities, the Tiger is at once distinguished from that king of beasts, and from every other of their common genus, by the peculiar marking of his coat. On a ground which exhibits in different individuals various shades of yellow, he is elegantly striped by a series of transverse black bands or bars, which occupy the sides of his head, neck, and body, and are continued upon his tail in the form of rings, the last of the series uniformly occupying the extremity of that organ, and giving to it a black tip of greater or less extent. The under parts of his body and the inner sides of his legs are almost entirely white; he has no mane; and his whole frame, though less elevated than that of the Lion, is of a slenderer and more graceful make. His head is also shorter and more rounded.
The extent of muscular power which these serpents possess in common with the Boas is truly wonderful. To the smaller among them the lesser quadrupeds and even birds fall an easy prey; but the larger, when excited by the stimulus of hunger, are capable of crushing within their spiral folds the largest and most powerful of beasts. The sturdy buffalo and the agile stag become alike the victims of their fatal embrace; and the bulk of these animals presents but little obstacle to their being swallowed entire by the tremendous reptile, which crushes them as it were into a mass, lubricates them with the fetid mucus secreted in its stomach, and then slowly distending its jaws and ?sophagus to an extent proportioned to the magnitude of the object to be devoured, and frequently exceeding by many times its own previous size, swallows it by one gradual and long-continued effort.