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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 Pacific Islands. With the exception of two remarkable formsthe hyæna dog (Lycaon picta), and the great-eared fox (Megalotis Lalander), 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 ?); Lycalopex (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 je ossei dorned a rares 2551 27, the site.
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 sufficient 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 Galecynus, of the Pliocene of Eninghen, and Palæocyon, of the Brazilian caves, are supposed to belong to the Canidæ. 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 Galethylax, from the Eocene of France; Pseudocyon, Simocyon, and Hemicyon, from the Miocene; but all these show transition characters to Viverridæ or Ursidæ, and do not perhaps belong to the present family.
FAMILY 29.—MUSTELIDÆ. (21–28 Genera, 92 Species.)
PALÆARCTIC I ETHIOPIAN I ORIENTAL I AUSTRALIAN
1.2.3 - 220.127.116.11 18.104.22.168 1.2.3-22.214.171.124 -
The Mustelidæ 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 Mustelinæ, containing the weasels, gluttons, and allied forms; a second, the Lutrinæ, containing the otters; and a third, often considered a distinct family, the Melininæ, containing the badgers, ratels, skunks, and their allies.
In the first group (Musteline) the genera Martes and Putorius (13 species), range over all the Palæarctic 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 (Lutrinæ) 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 Palæarctic 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; Latax (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 (Melininæ) have also a wide range, but with one exception are absent from South America. They comprise the following genera : Arctonyx (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). Ictonyx (2 species), Tropical Africa to the Cape; Helictis (4 species), Nepal to Java, Formosa and Shanghai (Plate VII., vol. i. p. 331).
Fossil Mustelido.-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.
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 Promephitis 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 | PALEARCTIC | ETHIOPIAN ORIENTAL AUSTRALIAN SUB-REGIONS. SUB-REGIONS. SUB-REGIONS. 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 Procyonidæ.-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.)
NEOTROPICAL NEARCTIC | PALEARCTIC ETHIOPIAN | ORIENTAL AUSTRALIAN SUB-REGIONS. SUB-REGIONS. SUB-REGIONS. SUB-REGIONS. SUB-REGIONS. SUB-REGIONS.
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.)
NEARCTIC PALÆARCTIC | ETHIOPIAN I ORIENTAL I AUSTRALIAN SUB-REGIONS. SUB-REGIONS. SUB-REGIONA, SUB-REGIONS. SUB-REGIONS.
126.96.36.199 188.8.131.52 |---- |184.108.40.206 ---
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