Page images
PDF
EPUB

distribution we can find recorded is that of the genus of ducks, Camptolaemus, which has a species on the east side of North America and another in Chili and the Falkland Islands, but these, Professor Newton assures me, do not properly belong to the same genus. Out of 30 genera of land-birds collected on the Rio Negro in Patagonia, by Mr. Hudson, only four extend beyond the American continent, and the same exclusively American character applies equally to its southern extremity. No list appears to have been yet published of the land-birds of the Straits of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego. The following is compiled from the observations of Mr. Darwin, the recent voyage of Professor Cunningham, and other sources; and will be useful for com

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

In the above list the species marked * extend to Tierra del Fuego. It is a remarkable fact that so many of the species belong to genera which are wholly Neotropical, and that the specially South American families of Icteridæ, Tyrannidæ, Dendrocolaptidæ, Pteroptochidæ, Trochilidæ, and Conuridæ, should supply more than one-third of the species ; while the purely South American genus Phrygilus, should be represented by four species, three of which abound in Tierra del Fuego.

Plate XVI. A Scene in the Andes of Chili, with characteristic Animals. The fauna of South Temperate America-being most fully developed in Chili, we place the scene of our illustration in that country. In the foreground we have a pair of the beautiful little chinchillas (Chinchilla lanigera), belonging to a family of animals peculiar to the sub-region. There are only two species of this group, both confined to the higher Andes, at about 8000 feet elevation. Coming round a projecting ridge of the mountain, are a herd of vicunas (Auchenia vicugna), one of that peculiar form of the camel tribe found in South America and confined to its temperate and alpine regions. The upper bird is a plant-cutter (Phytotoma rara), of sober plumage but allied to the beautiful chatterers, though forming a separate family. Below, standing on a rock, is a plover-like bird, the Thinocorus orbignianus, which is considered to belong to a separate family, though allied to the plovers and sheath-bills. Its habits are, however, more those of the quails or partridges, living inland in dry and desert places, and feeding on plants, roots, and insects. Above is a condor, the most characteristic bird of the high Andes.

Reptiles and Amphibia.—These groups show, for the most part, similar modifications of American and Neotropical forms, as those we have seen to prevail among the birds. Snakes do not seem to go very far south, but several South American genera of Colubridæ and Dendrophidæ occur in Chili; while Enophrys is peculiar to La Plata, and Callorhinus to Patagonia, both belonging to the Colubridæ. The Elapidæ do not extend into the temperate zone; but Craspedocephalus, one of the Crotalidæ, occurs at Bahia Blanca in Patagonia (Lat. 40° S.)

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]
[graphic][merged small]
« EelmineJätka »