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Species of Mustela have been found in the Pliocene of France and of South America; and Lutra in the Pliocene of North America.
In the Miocene deposits of Europe several species of Mustela and Lutra have been found; with the extinct genera Taxodon, Potamotherium, and Palæomephitis; as well as Promcphitis in Greece. . . . . . . .
. In the Upper Miocene of the Siwalik Hills species of Lutra and Mellivora are found, as well as the extinct genera Enhydrion and Ursitaxus.
The family appears to have been unknown in North America during the Miocene period.
FAMILY 30.—PROCYONIDÆ. (4 Genera, 8 Species.)
NEOTROPICAL NEARCTIC PALÆARCTIC
, ETHIOPIAN I ORIENTAL I AUSTRALIAN SUB-REGIONS. SUB-REGIONS. SUB-REGIONS.
The Procyonidæ are a small, but very curious and interesting family of bear-like quadrupeds, ranging from British Columbia and Canada on the north, to Paraguay and the limits of the tropical forests on the south.
The Racoons, forming the genus Procyon, are common all over North America; a well-marked variety or distinct species inhabiting the west coast, and another, most parts of South America. The genus Nasua, or the coatis (5 species ?), extends from Mexico and Guatemala to Paraguay. The curious arboreal prehensiletailed kinkagou (Cercoleptes candivolvus) is also found in Mexico and Guatemala, and in all the great forests of Peru and North Brazil. Bassaris (2 species), a small weasel-like animal with a banded tail, has been usually classed with the Viverridæ or Mustelidæ, but is now found to agree closely in all important points of internal structure with this family. It is found in California, Texas, and the highlands of Mexico, and belongs therefore as much to the Nearctic as to the Neotropical region. A second species has recently been described by Professor Peters from Coban in Guatemala, in which country it has also been observed by Mr. Salvin.
Fossil Procyonido.—A species of Nasua has been found in the bone caves of Brazil, and a Procyon in the Pliocene or Postpliocene deposits of Illinois and Carolina.
FAMILY 31.—ÆLURIDÆ. (2 Genera, 2 Species.)
The Panda (Ælurus fulgens), of the forest regions of the Eastern Himalayas and East Thibet, a small cat-like bear, has peculiarities of organization which render it necessary to place it in a family by itself. (l'late VII. vol. i. p. 331). An allied genus, Æluropus, a remarkable animal of larger size and in colour nearly all white, has recently been described by Professor Milne-Edwards, from the mountains of East Thibet ; .so that the family may be said to inhabit the border lands of the Oriental and Palæarctic regions. These animals have their nearest allies in the coatis and bears
FAMILY 32.—URSIDÆ. (5 Genera, or Sub-genera, 15 Species.)
PALÆARCTIC I ETHIOPIAN I ORIENTAL I AUSTRALIAN
SUB-REGION. SUB-RECIONS, SUB-REGIONS.
1--- 184.108.40.206 220.127.116.11 | ---- |18.104.22.168 |
The Bears have a tolerably wide distribution, although they are entirely absent from the Australian and Ethiopian, and almost so from the Neotropical region, one species only being found in the Andes of Peru and Chili. They comprise the following groups, some of which are doubtfully ranked as genera.
Thalassarctos, the polar bear (1 species) inhabiting the Arctic regions ; Ursus, the true bears (12 species), which range over
all the Nearctic and Palæarctic regions as far as the Atlas Mountains, the Indo-Chinese sub-region in the mountains, and to Hainan and Formosa ; Helarctos, the Malay or sun-bear (1 species) confined to the Indo-Malayan sub-region; Melursus or Prochilus, the honey-bear (1 species), confined to the first and second Oriental sub-regions, over which it ranges from the Ganges to Ceylon; and Tremarctos, the spectacled bear-commonly known as Ursus ornatus—which is isolated in the Andes of Peru and Chili, and forms a distinct group.
- Fossil Ursidæ.-Two bears (Ursus spelous and U. priscus) closely allied to living species, abound in the Post-tertiary deposits of Europe; and others of the same age are found in North America, as well as an extinct genus, Arctodus.
Ursus arvernensis is found in the Pliocene formation of France, and the extinct genus Leptarchus in that of North America.
Several species of Amphicyon, which appears to be an ancestral form of this family, are found in the Miocene deposits of Europe and N. India; while Ursus also occurs in the Siwalik Hills and Nerbudda deposits.
FAMILY 33.—OTARIIDÆ. (4 Genera, 8 Species.)
The Otariidæ, or Eared Seals, comprehending the sea-bears and sea-lions, are confined to the temperate and cold shores of the North Pacific, and to similar climates in the Southern Hemisphere, where the larger proportion of the species are found. They are entirely absent from the North Atlantic shores. Mr. J. A. Allen, in his recent discussion of this family (Bull. Harvard Museum) divides them into the following genera :
Otària (1 species), Temperate South America, from Chili to La Plata; Callorhinus (1 species), Behring's Straits and Kamschatka ; Arctocephalus (3 species), temperate regions of the
Southern Hemisphere; Zalophus (2 species), North Pacific, from California to Japan, and the shores of Australia and New Zealand; Eumetopias (1 species), Behring's Straits and California.
Fossil Otariidæ.- Remains supposed to belong to this family have been found in the Miocene of France.
FAMILY 34.-TRICHECHIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)
The Morse, or Walrus (Trichecus rosmarus), which alone constitutes this family, is a characteristic animal of the North Polar regions, hardly passing south of the Arctic circle except on the east and west coasts of North America, where it sometimes reaches Lat. 60°. It is most abundant on the shores of Spitzbergen, but is not found on the northern shores of Asia between Long. 80° and 160° E., or on the north shores of America from 100° to 150° west.
Its remains have been found fossil in Europe as far south as France, and in America as far as Virginia; but the small fragments discovered may render the identification uncertain.
FAMILY 35.—PHOCIDÆ. (13 Genera, 21 Species.)
The earless or true Seals are pretty equally divided between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, frequenting almost exclusively the temperate and cold regions, except two species said to occur among the West Indian islands. The genus Phoca and its close allies, as well as Halichorus and Pelagius, are
northern; while Stenorhynchus and Morunga, with their allies, are mostly southern. The genera admitted by Dr. Gray in his catalogue are as follows:
Callocephalus (3 species), Greenland, North Sea, also the Caspian Sea, and Lakes Aral and Baikal ; Pagomys (2 species), North Sea, North Pacific, and Japan; Pagophilus (2 species), North Pacific and North Atlantic; Halicyon (1 species), North West coast of America ; Phoca (2 species), North Atlantic and North Pacific, Japan ; Halichoerus (1 species), Greenland, North Sea, and Baltic ; Pelagius (2 species), Madeira, Mediterranean, Black Sea ; Stenorhynchus (1 species), Antarctic Ocean, Falkland Islands, New Zealand ; Lobodon (1 species), Antarctic Ocean; Leptonya (1 species), Antarctic Ocean, South Australia, East Patagonia ; Ommatophoca (1 species), Antarctic Ocean ; Morunga (2 species), California, Falkland Islands, Temperate regions of Southern Ocean ; Cystophora (2 species), North Atlantic, Antilles.
Fossil Seals.—Remains of living species of seals have been found in Post-tertiary deposits in many parts of Europe and in Algeria, as well as in New Zealand. Pristiphoca occitana is a fossil se al from the Pliocene of Montpellier, while a species of Phoca is said to have been found in the Miocene deposits of the United States.
General Remarks on the Distribution of the Carnivora. Terrestrial Carnivora.—For the purposes of geographical distribution, the terrestrial and aquatic Carnivora differ too widely to be considered in one view, their areas being limited by barriers of a very different nature. The terrestrial Carnivora form a very extensive and considerably varied group of animals, having, with the doubtful exception of Australia, a world-wide distribution. Yet the range of modification of form is not very great, and the occurrence of three families consisting of but one species each, is an indication of a great amount of recent extinction. One of the most marked features presented by this group is its comparative scarcity in the Neotropical region, only four families being represented there (not counting the Ursidæ, which has only one Andean species), and both genera and species are few in number. Even the Procyonidæ, which are especially South