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worms, and leeches; it swims well, and remains long under water, raising the tip of the snout, where the nostrils are situated, to the surface when it wants to breathe. It is thus well concealed; and this may be one use of the development of the long snout, as well as serving to follow worms into their holes in the soft earth. This species is confined to the rivers Volga and Don in Southern Russia, and the only other species known inhabits some of the valleys on the north side of the Pyrenees. In the distance are wolves, a characteristic feature of these wastes.
Birds.—But few genera of birds are absolutely restricted to this sub-region. Podoces, a curious form of starling, is the most decidedly so; Mycerobas and Pyrrhospiza are genera of finches confined to Thibet and the snowy Himalayas ; Leucosticte, another genus of finches, is confined to the eastern half of the subregion and North America ; Tetraogallus, a large kind of partridge, ranges west to the Caucasus ; Syrrhaptes, a form of sand-grouse, and Lerwa (snow-partridge), are almost confined here, only extending into the next sub-region; as do Grandalo. and Calliope, genera of warblers, Uragus, a finch allied to the North American cardinals, and Crossoptilon, a remarkable group of pheasants.
Almost all the genera of central and northern Europe are found here, and give quite a European character to the ornithology, though a considerable number of the species are different. There are a few Oriental forms, such as Abrornis and Larvivora (warblers) ; with Ceriornis and Ithaginis, genera of pheasants, which reach the snow-line in the Himalayas and thus just enter this sub-region, but as they do not penetrate farther north, they hardly serve to modify the exclusively Palæarctic character of its ornithology
According to Middendorf, the extreme northern Asiatic birds are the Alpine ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus); the snow-bunting (Plectrophanes nivalis); the raven, the gyrfalcon and the snowyowl. Those which are characteristic of the barren “tundras," but which do not range so far north as the preceding are,--the willow-grouse (Lagopus albus); the Lapland-bunting(Plectrophanes