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them while creeping through the jungle after birds or insects, and has sometimes only had time to draw back when they were within a few inches of his face. It is startling in walking along a forest path to see a long snake glide away from just where you were going to set down your foot; but it is perhaps even more alarming to hear a long-drawn heavy slur-r-r, and just to catch a glimpse of a serpent as thick as your leg and an unknown number of feet in length, showing that you must have passed unheeding within a short distance of where it was lying. The smaller pythons are not however dangerous, and they often enter houses to catch and feed upon the rats, and are rather liked by the natives. You will sometimes be told, when sleeping in a native house, that there is a large Snake in the roof, and that you need not be disturbed in case you should hear it hunting after its prey. These serpents no doubt sometimes grow to an enormous size, but such monsters are rare. In Borneo, Mr. St. John states that he measured one twenty-six feet long, probably the largest ever measured by a European in the East. The great water-boa of South America is believed to reach the largest size. Mr. Bates measured skins twenty-one feet long, but the largest ever met with by a European appears to be that described by the botanist, Dr. Gardiner, in his Travels in Brazil. It had devoured a horse, and was found dead, entangled in the branches of a tree overhanging a river, into which it had been carried by a flood. It was nearly forty feet long. These creatures are said to seize and devour full-sized cattle on the Rio Branco; and from what is known of their habits this is by no means improbable.
Frogs and Toads—The only Amphibia that often meet the traveller's eye in equatorial countries are the various kinds of frogs and toads, and especially the elegant tree-frogs. When the rainy season begins, and dried-up pools and ditches become filled with water, there is a strange nightly concert produced by the frogs, some of which croak, others bellow, while many have clanging, or chirruping, and not unmusical notes. In roads and gardens one occasionally meets huge toads six or seven inches long ; but the most abundant and most interesting of the tribe are those adapted for an arboreal life, and hence called tree-frogs. Their toes terminate in discs, by means of which they can cling firmly to leaves and stems. The majority of them are green or brown, and these usually feed at night, sitting quietly during the day so as to be almost invisible, owing to their colour and their moist shining skins so closely resembling vegetable surfaces. Many are beautifully marbled and spotted, and when sitting on leaves resemble large beetles more than frogs, while others are adorned with bright and staring colours; and these, as Mr. Belt has discovered, have nauseous secretions which render them uneatable, so that they have no need to conceal themselves. Some of these are bright blue, others are adorned with yellow stripes, or have a red body with blue legs. Of the smaller tree-frogs of the tropics there must be hundreds of species still unknown to naturalists.
Mammals—Monkeys.-The highest class of animals, the Mammalia, although sufficiently abundant in all equatorial lands, are those which are least seen by the traveller. There is, in fact, only one group—the monkeys—which are at the same time pre-eminently tropical and which make themselves perceived as one of the aspects of tropical nature. They are to be met with in all the great continents and larger islands, except Australia, New Guinea, and Madagascar, though the latter island possesses the lower allied form of Lemurs; and they never fail to impress the observer with a sense of the exuberant vitality of the tropics. They are preeminently arboreal in their mode of life, and are consequently most abundant and varied where vegetation reaches its maximum development. In the East we find that maximum in Borneo, and in the West African forests; while in the West the great forest plain of the Amazon stands pre-eminent. It is near the equator only that the great Anthropoid apes, the gorilla, chimpanzee, and orang-utan are found, and they may be met with by any persevering explorer of the jungle. The gibbons, or long-armed apes, have a wider range in the Asiatic continent and in Malaya, and they are more abundant both in species and individuals. Their plaintive howling notes may often be heard in the forests, and they are constantly to be seen sporting at the summits of the loftiest trees, swinging suspended by their long arms, or bounding from tree to tree with incredible agility. They pass through the forest at a height of a hundred feet or more, as rapidly as a deer will travel along the ground beneath them. Other monkeys of various kinds are more abundant and usually less shy; and in places where fire-arms are not much used they will approach the houses and gambol in the trees undisturbed by the approach of man. The most remarkable of the tailed monkeys of the East is
the proboscis monkey of Borneo, whose long fleshy nose gives it an aspect very different from that of most of its allies. In tropical America monkeys are even more abundant than in the East, and they present many interesting peculiarities. They differ somewhat in dentition and in other structural features from all Old World apes, and a considerable number of them have prehensile tails, a peculiarity never found elsewhere. In the howlers and the spider monkeys the tail is very long and powerful, and by twisting the extremity round a branch the animal can hang suspended as easily as other monkeys can by their hands. It is, in fact, a fifth hand, and is constantly used to pick up small objects from the ground. The most remarkable of the American monkeys are the howlers, whose tremendous roaring exceeds that of the lion or the bull, and is to be heard frequently at morning and evening in the primeval forests. The sound is produced by means of a large, thin, bony vessel in the throat, into which air is forced ; and it is very remarkable that this one group of monkeys should possess an organ not found in any other monkey or even in any other mammal, apparently for no other purpose than to be able to make a louder noise than the rest. The only other monkeys worthy of special attention are the marmosets, beautiful little creatures with crests, whiskers, or manes; in outward form resembling squirrels, but with a very small monkey-like face. They are either black, brown, reddish, or nearly white in colour, and are the smallest of the monkey tribe, some of them being only about six inches long exclusive of the tail. JBass.--Almost the only other order of mammals that is specially and largely developed in the tropical zone is that of the Chiroptera or bats; which becomes suddenly much less plentiful when we pass into the temperate regions, and still more rare towards the colder parts of it, although a few species appear to reach the Arctic circle. The characteristics of the tropical bats are their great numbers and variety, their large size, and their peculiar forms or habits. In the East those which most attract the traveller's attention are the great fruit-bats, or flying-foxes as they are sometimes called, from the rusty colour of the coarse fur and the fox-like shape of the head. These creatures may sometimes be seen in immense flocks which take hours to pass by, and they often devastate the fruit plantations of the natives. They are often five feet across the expanded wings, with the body of a proportionate size ; and when resting in the daytime on dead trees, hanging head downwards, the branches look as if covered with some monster fruits. The descendants of the Portuguese in the East use them for food, but all the native inhabitants reject them. In South America there is a group of bats which are sure to attract attention. These are the vampyres, several of which are blood-sucking species, which abound in most parts of tropical America and are especially plentiful in the Amazon Valley. Their carnivorous propensities were once discredited, but are too well authenticated. Horses and cattle are often bitten, and are found in the morning covered with blood; and repeated attacks weaken and ultimately destroy them. Some persons are especially subject to the attacks of these bats; and as native huts are never sufficiently close to keep them out, these unfortunate individuals are