« EelmineJätka »
Genetta in France and Spain, Viverra in Shanghae and Batchian Island, and Herpestes in Java and the Cape of Good Hope.
The following are the genera with their distribution as given by Dr. J. E. Gray in his latest British Museum Catalogue :
Sub-family VIVERRINÆ.— Viverra (3 species), North and tropical Africa, the whole Oriental region to the Moluccas ; Viverricula (1 species) India to Java; Genetta (5 species), South Europe, Palestine, Arabia, and all Africa; Fossa (1 species), Madagascar ; Linsang (2 species), Malacca to Java; Poiana (1 species), West Africa ; Galidia (3 species), Madagascar; Hemigalea (1 species), Malacca and Borneo; Arctictis (1 species) Nepal to Sumatra and Java; Nandinia (1 species), West Africa; Paradosurus (9 species), the whole Oriental region; Paguma (3 species), Nepal to China, Sumatra, and Borneo; Arctogale (1 species), Tenasserim to Java.
Sub-family HERPESTINÆ.—Cynogale (1 species), Borneo; Galidictis (2 species), Madagascar; Herpestes (22 species), South Palæarctic, Ethiopian, and Oriental regions ; Athylax (3 species), Tropical and South Africa ; Galogale (13 species), all Africa, North India, to Cambodja ; Galerella (1 species), East Africa; Colictis (1 species),Ceylon (?); Ariella (1 species), South Africa ; Ichneumia (4 species), Central, East, and South Africa; Bdeogale (3 species), West and East Africa; Urva (1 species), Himalayas to Aracan; Tceniogale (1 species), Central India; Onychogale (1 species), Ceylon ; Helogale (2 species) East and South Africa; Cynictis (3 species), South Africa.
Sub-family RHINOGALIDÆ.—Rhinogale (1 species), East Africa ; Mungos (3 species), all Africa; Crossarchus (1 species), Tropical Africa; Eupleres (1 species), Madagascar; Suricata (1 species), South Africa.
Fossil Viverrida.-Several species of Viverra and Genetta have been found in the Upper Miocene of France, and many extinct genera have also been discovered. The most remarkable of these was Ictitherium, from the Upper Miocene of Greece, which has also been found in Hungary, Bessarabia, and France. Some of the species were larger than any living forms of Viverridæ, and approached the hyænas. Other extinct genera are Thalassictis
and Soricictis from the Upper Miocene, the former as large as a panther; Tylodon, of small size, from the Upper Eocene; and Palaeonyctis from the Lower Eocene, also small and showing a very great antiquity for this family, if really belonging to it.
The curious Proteles or Aard-wolf, a highly-modified form.of hyaena, approaching the ichneumons, and feeding on white ants and carrion, is peculiar to South Africa.
- - - - ----| – 2 – — 1.a.s- * --- - - -
The Hyaenas are characteristically Ethiopian, to which region two of the species are confined. The third, Hyaena striata, ranges over all the open country of India to the foot of the Himalayas, and through Persia, Asia Minor, and North Africa. Its fossil remains have been found in France.
Extinct Species.—The cave hyaena (H. spelara) occurs abundantly in the caverns of this country and of Central Europe, and is supposed to be most nearly allied to the H. crocuta of South Africa. Another species is found in some parts of France. The earliest known true hyaenas occur in the Pliocene formation in France, in the Red Crag (Older Pliocene) of England, and in the Upper Miocene of the Siwalik hills. In the Miocene period in Europe, quite distinct genera are found, such as Hyaenictis and Lycaena from the Upper Miocene of Greece;
Ictitherium, supposed to be intermediate between Viverridæ and Hyænidæ; and Thalassictis, uniting the weasels and hyænas.
FAMILY 28.—CANIDÆ. (3 Genera, 17 Sub-Genera, 54 Species.)
The Canidæ, comprising the animals commonly known as dogs, wolves, and foxes, have an almost universal range over the earth, being only absent from the island sub-regions of Madagascar, the Antilles, Austro-Malaya, New Zealand, and the Paciênc Islands. With the exception of two remarkable forms— the hyæna dog (Lycaon picta), and the great-eared fox (Megalotis Lalandei), both from South Africa—all the species are usually placed in the genus Canis, the distribution of which will be the same as that of the family. Dr. J. E. Gray, in his arrangement of the family (Proc. Zool. Soc., 1868), subdivides it into fifteen genera, the names and general distribution of which are as follows:
Icticyon (1 species), Brazil ; Cuon (4 species), Siberia to Java; Lupus (5 species), North America, Europe, India to Ceylon; Dieba (1 species), North and West Africa ; Simenia (1 species), Abyssinia ; Chrysocyon (2 species), North and South America; Canis (4 species), India, Australia (indigenous ?) Lycalopes (2 species), South America; Pseudalopex (5 species), South America and Falkland Islands; Thous (2 species), South America to Chili; Vulpes (17 species), all the great continents, except South America and Australia ; Fennecus (4 species), all Africa ; Leucocyon (1 species), Arctic regions; Urocyon (2 species), North America; Nyctereutes (1 species), Japan, Amoorland to Canton (Plate III., vol. i. p. 226). These are all sub-genera according to Professor Carus, except Icticyon. The same author makes Lycaon a sub-genus, while Dr. Gray makes it a sub-family!
Extinct Species. The dog, wolf, and fox, are found fossil in
caverns in many parts of Europe, and several extinct species have been found in Tertiary deposits in Europe, North India, and South America. Two species have been found so far back as the Eocene of France, but the fragments discovered are not spfficient to determine the characters with any certainty. In North America, several species of Canis occur in the Pliocene of Nebraska and La Plata. The genus Galecymus, of the Pliocene of GEninghen, and Palaeocyon, of the Brazilian caves, are supposed to belong to the Canidae. Amphicyon abounded in the Miocene period, both in Europe and North America; and some of the species were as large as a tiger. Other extinct genera are, Cynodictis, Cyotherium, and Galethylaw, from the Eocene of France; Pseudocyon, Simocyon, and Hemicyon, from the Miocene; but all these show transition characters to Viverridae or Ursidae, and do not perhaps belong to the present family.
The Mustelidae constitute one of those groups which range over the whole of the great continental areas. They may be divided into three sub-families—one, the Mustelinae, containing the weasels, gluttons, and allied forms; a second, the Lutrinae, containing the otters; and a third, often considered a distinct family, the Melininae, containing the badgers, ratels, skunks, amd their allies.
In the first group (Mustelinae) the genera Martes and Putorius (13 species), range over all the Palaearctic region, and a considerable part of the Oriental, extending through India to Ceylon, and to Java and Borneo. Two species of Martes
(=Mustela of Baird) occur in the United States. The weasels,
forming the genus Mustela (20 species), have a still wider range, extending into tropical Africa and the Cordilleras of Peru, but not going south of the Himalayas in India. The North American species are placed in the genus Putorius by Professor Baird. An allied genus, Gymnopus (4 species), is confined to the third and fourth Oriental sub-regions. Gulo (1 species), the glutton, is an arctic animal keeping to the cold regions of Europe and Asia, and coming as far south as the great lakes in North America. Galictis (2 species), the grisons, are confined to the Neotropical region. The Otters (Lutrinae) range over the whole area occupied by the family. They have been subdivided into a number of groups, such as Barangia (1 species), found only in Sumatra; Lontra, containing 3 South American species; Lutra (7 species), ranging over the whole of the Palaearctic and Oriental regions; Nutria (1 species), a sea-otter confined to the west coast of America from California to Chiloe; Lutronectes (1 species),from Japan only; Aonyx (5 species), found in West and South Africa, and the third and fourth Oriental sub-regions. Hydrogale (1 species), confined to South Africa; Lataa (2 species), Florida and California to Canada and British Columbia; Pteronura (1 species), Brazil and Surinam ; and Enhydris (1 species), the peculiar sea-otter of California, Kamschatka and Japan. The last two are the only groups of otters, besides Lutra, admitted by Professor Carus as genera. The Badgers and allies (Melininae) have also a wide range, but with one exception are absent from South America. They comprise the following genera: Arctonya: (1 species), Nepal to Aracan; Meles (4 species), North Europe to Japan, and China as far south as Hongkong (Plate I., vol. i., p. 195); Taxidea (2 species), Central and Western North America to 58° N. Lat. ; Mydaus (1 species), mountains of Java and Sumatra; Melivora (3 species), Tropical and South Africa and India to foot of Himalayas; Mephitis (12 species), America from Canada and British Columbia to the Straits of Magellan (Plate XX., vol. ii., p. 136). Ictonya: (2 species), Tropical Africa to the Cape; Helictis (4 species), Nepal to Java, Formosa and Shanghai (Plate VII., vol. i. p. 331). Fossil Mustelide—Species of otter, weasel, badger, and glutton, occur in European bone caves and other Post-tertiary deposits; and in North America Galictis, now found only in the Neotropical region, and, with Mephitis, occurring in Brazilian caves. Wol. II.-14