THE DEEP BLUE MACAW.
Dromiceius Nov? Hollandi?. Vieill.
The genus Macrocercus is characterized by the robustness of its beak, which is extremely broad and powerful; by the nakedness of its face, which is sometimes entirely bare, and sometimes partially covered with lines of short and scattered feathers; and by the size and form of its tail, which is longer than the body, regularly graduated, and terminating in an acute apex. The whole of the species are American, and are remarkable for the brilliancy of their colours, which are perhaps more varied and more gaudy than those of any of the other modern divisions of the Linnean genus Psittacus. They are consequently more sought after as objects of luxury and elegance, and bear a higher comparative value than the rest of the Parrots. In common with the entire tribe, they inhabit the tropical regions of the earth, and live chiefly upon fruits and seeds. Among the latter they uniformly give the preference to such as are provided with a hard and shelly covering. These they crack with great dexterity, carefully rejecting the outer coat, and swallowing only the internal nut.
The Lion, like all the other cats (the genus to which, in a natural arrangement, he obviously belongs) is armed in each jaw with six strong and exceedingly sharp cutting-teeth, with two formidable canine, and with six others, three on each side, occupying the places of the molar or grinding-teeth, but terminating in sharp protuberances to assist in the laceration of the animal food, which is the proper nutriment of his tribe. Besides these, he has, on each side of the upper jaw, a small tooth, or rather tubercle, placed immediately behind the rest. His tongue is covered with innumerable rough and elevated papill?, the points of which are directed backwards: these also assist in comminuting his food, and not unfrequently leave their traces on the hand which has been offered him to lick. His claws, five in number on the fore feet, and four on the hind, are of great length, extremely hard, and much curved; they are retractile within a sheath enclosed in the skin which covers the extremity of his paws; and as they are only exposed when he has occasion to make use of them, they thus preserve the sharpness of their edge and the acuteness of their point unimpaired. In all these particulars the Lion essentially agrees with the rest of the cats; and it is these which constitute what naturalists have termed their generic character; in other words, they are the points of agreement which are common to the whole group or genus, and form the most prominent and striking characteristics, by which they may be at once connected together and separated from all other animals.
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The other individual at present in the Tower is a Tigress of great beauty from Bengal, scarcely a twelvemonth old, who also promises to become an exceedingly fine animal. During her passage from Calcutta she was allowed to range about the vessel unrestricted, became perfectly familiar with the sailors, and showed not the slightest symptom of ferocity. On her arrival, however, in the Thames, the irritation produced by the sight of strangers completely and instantly changed her temper, rendering her irascible and dangerous. Her deportment was so sulky and savage that Mr. Cops could scarcely be prevailed on by her former keeper, who saw her shortly afterwards, to allow him to enter her den: but no sooner did she recognise her old friend, than she fawned upon him, licked him, and caressed him, exhibiting the most extravagant signs of pleasure; and when he left her she cried and whined for the remainder of the day. To her new residence and her new keeper she is now perfectly reconciled.