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There is also a considerable difference in the dependence to be placed on the details given in the different classes of animals. In Mammalia and Birds some degree of accuracy has, it is hoped, been attained; the classification of these groups being much advanced, and the materials for their study ample. In Reptiles this is not the case, as there is no recently published work dealing with the whole subject, or with either of the larger orders. An immense number of new species and new genera of snakes and lizards, have been described in the last twenty years ; and Dr. Günther-our greatest authority on reptiles in this country—has kindly assisted me in incorporating such of these as are most trustworthy, in a general system ; but until entire Orders have been described or catalogued on a uniform plan, nothing more than a general approximation to the truth can be arrived at. Still, so many of the groups are well defined, and have a clearly limited distribution, that some interesting and valuable comparisons may be made.
For Fishes, the valuable “ Catalogue” of Dr. Günther was available, and it has rarely been attempted to go beyond it. A large number of new species have since been described, in all parts of the world; but it is impossible to say how many of these are really new, or what genera they actually belong to. The part devoted to this Class is, therefore, practically a summary of Dr. Günther's Catalogue; and it is believed that the discoveries since made will not materially invalidate the conclusions to be drawn from such a large number of species, which have been critically examined and classified on a uniform system by one of our most able naturalists. When a supplement to this catalogue is issued, it will be easier to make the necessary alterations in distribution, than if a mass of untrustworthy materials had been mixed up with it.
For Insects, excellent materials are furnished, in the Catalogue of Mr. Kirby for Butterflies and in that of Drs. Gemminger and Harold for Coleoptera. I have also made use of some recently published memoirs on the Insects of Japan and St. Helena, and a few other recent works; and have, I believe, elaborated a more extensive series of facts to illustrate the distribution of insects,
than has been made use of by any previous writer. Several discussions on the bearing of the facts of insect distribution, will also be found under the several Regions, in the preceding part of this work.
Terrestrial Mollusca form a group, as to the treatment of which I have most misgivings; owing to my almost entire ignorance of Malacology, and the great changes recently made in the classification of shells. There is also much uncertainty as to genera and sub-genera, which is very puzzling to one who merely wishes to get at general results. Finding it impossible to incorporate the new matter with the old, or to harmonise the different classifications of modern conchologists, I thought it better to confine myself to the standard works of Martens and Pfeiffer, with such additions of new species as I could make without fear of going far wrong. In some cases I have made use of recent monographs—especially on the shells of Europe, North America, the West Indian Islands, and the Sandwich Islands; and have, I venture to hope, not fallen into much error in the general conclusions at which I have arrived.
THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE FAMILIES AND GENERA OF MAMMALIA.
FAMILY 1.-SIMIIDÆ. (4 Genera, 12 Species).
THE Simiidæ, or Anthropoid Apes, comprehend those forms of the monkey-tribe which, in general organization, approach nearest to man. They inhabit the tropics of the Old World, and are most abundant near the equator; but they are limited to certain districts, being quite unknown in eastern and southern Africa, and the whole peninsula of Hindostan.
The genus Troglodytes (or Mimetes, as it is sometimes named) comprehends the chimpanzee and gorilla. It is confined to the West African sub-region, being found on the coast about 12° North and South of the equator, from the Gambia to Benguela, and as far inland as the great equatorial forests extend. There are perhaps other species of chimpanzee; since Livingstone met with what he supposed to be a new species in the forest region west of Lake Tanganyika, while Dr. Schweinfurth found one in the country beyond the western watershed of the Nile. The gorilla is confined within narrower limits on and near the equator.
We have to pass over more than 70° of longitude before we again meet with Anthropoid Apes, in the northern part of Sumatra where a specimen of the orang-utan (Simio satyrus) now in the Calcutta Museum, was obtained by Dr. Abel, and described by him in the Asiatic Researches, vol. xv.-and in Borneo, from which latter island almost all the specimens in European museums have been derived. There are supposed to be two species of Simia in Borneo, a larger and a smaller ; but their distinctness is not admitted by all naturalists. Both appear to be confined to the swampy forests near the north, west, and south coasts.
The Gibbons, or long-armed apes, forming the genus Hylobates, (7 species) are found in all the large islands of the Indo-Malayan sub-region, except the Philippines ; and also in Sylhet and Assam south of the Brahmaputra river, eastward to Cambodja and South China to the west of Canton, and in the island of Hainan.
The Siamang (Siamanga syndactyla) presents some anatomical peculiarities, and has the second and third toes united to the last joint, but in general form and structure it does not differ from Hylobates. It is the largest of the long-armed apes, and inhabits Sumatra and the Malay peninsula.
FAMILY 2.-SEMNOPITHECIDÆ. (2 Genera, 30 Species.)
The Semnopithecidæ, are long-tailed monkeys without cheekpouches, and with rather rounded faces, the muzzle not being prominent. They have nearly the same distribution as the last family, but are more widely dispersed in both Africa and Asia, one species just entering the Palæarctic region.
The Eastern genus Presbytes or Semnopithecus (29 species), is spread over almost the whole of the Oriental region wherever the forests are extensive. They extend along the Himalayas to beyond Simla, where a species has been observed at an altitude of 11,000
feet, playing among fir-trees laden with snow wreaths. On the west side of India they are not found to the north of 14° N. latitude. On the east they extend into Arakan, and to Borneo and Java, but not apparently into Siam or Cambodja. Along the eastern extension of the Himalayas they again occur in East Thibet ; a remarkable species with a large upturned nose (S. rocellana) having been discovered by Père David at Moupin (about Lat. 32° N.) in the highest forests, where the winters are severe and last for several months, and where the vegetation, and the other forms of animal life, are wholly those of the Palæarctic region. It is very curious that this species should somewhat resemble the young state of the proboscis monkey (S. nasalis), which inhabits one of the most uniform, damp, and hot climates on the globe-the river-swamps of Borneo.
Colobus, the African genus (11 species), is very closely allied to the preceding, differing chiefly in the thumb being absent or rudimentary. They are confined to the tropical regions-Abyssinia on the east, and from the Gambia to Angola and the island of Fernando Po, on the west.
FAMILY 3:—CYNOPITHECIDÆ. (7 Genera, 67 Species).
This family comprehends all the monkeys with cheek pouches, and the baboons. Some of these have very long tails, some none; some are dog-faced, others tolerably round-faced; but there are so many transitions from one to the other, and such a general agreement in structure, that they are now considered to form a very natural family. Their range is more extensive than any other family of Quadrumana, since they not only occur in every part of the Ethiopian and Oriental regions, but enter the Palearctic region in the east and west, and the Australian region as far as the islands of Timor and Batchian. The African genera