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the subject by Dr. Girtanner of St. Gallen, and by the knees. Its colour, however, like that of other M. van Berchem, secretary to the Society of Sciences animals, must necessarily vary according to its age at Lausanne ; and although these two naturalists and local circumstances. differ in some instances, yet their joint labours have “ The female has been little noticed among naturassisted in ascertaining the nature and economy of alists. She is one third less than the male, and not this curious animal. The following account, there so corpulent: her colour is less tawny: her horns fore, of the bouquetin, is drawn principally from are very small, and not above eight inches long. In their observations in Rozier's Journal, and from addi these, and in her figure, she resembles a goat that tional information obligingly communicated to me by has been castrated while young. She has two teats, M. van Berchem himself.
like the tame she goat, and never has
any beard, un"This animal is now chiefly found upon that chain less, perhaps, in an advanced age. The young ones which stretches from Dauphine through Savoy to the are of a dirty gray colour, and the list along the back confines of Italy, and principally on the Alps border- is scarcely discernible. ing on Mont Blanc, which is the most elevated part “ There is a stuffed specimen of the male bouqueof that chain.
tin of the Alps in Mr. Parkinson's, late sir Ashton Le“The several names by which the bouquetin is ver’s, museum. known in different languages, are, in Greek, by Ho “In a state of tranquillity, the bouquetin commonmer and Elian, Art azpios. [Most naturalists affirm ly carries the head low; but in running holds that Homer calls this animal Auž všados, whereas he it high, and even bends it a little forward. He styles it asš agpoos, or the wild goat, adding the epi- mounts a perpendicular rock of fifteen feet at three thet iganos, or wanton.) Latin, ibex, which name has leaps, or rather at three successive bounds of five been adopted by most modern naturalists ; Italian, feet each. It does not seem as if he found any footing capra selvatica ; German and Swiss, steinboch, or on the rock, appearing to touch it merely to be rerock goat; the female, etagne, or ybschen and pelled, like an elastic substance striking against a ybschgeiss, perhaps from the Latin ibex; Flemish, hard body. He is not supposed to take more than wildgheit ; French, bouquetin, anciently boucestain, three successive leaps in this manner. If he is bethe German name reversed. Belon named it hircus tween two rocks which are near each other, and wants ferus ; Brisson, hircus ibex ; Linnæus, capra ibex ; to reach the top, he leaps from the side of one rock Pennant, the ibex : and Dr. Girtanner, capra Alpin to the other alternately, till he has attained the sumna. I have adopted the name of bouquetin, because mit. He also traverses the glaciers with rapidity; it is the provincial appellation of the animal in the but only when he is pursued, for otherwise he avoids
them. “The systematic naturalists agree in taking the “ The bouquetins feed, during the night, in the specific character of the bouquetin from the beard, highest woods : but the sun no sooner begins to gild and the horns, which they describe as knobbed along the summits, than they quit the woody region, and the upper or anterior surface, and reclining toward mount, feeding in their progress, till they have reachthe back.
ed the most considerable heights. They betake “The male bouquetin is larger than the tame goat, themselves to the sides of the mountains which face but resembles it much in the outer form. The head the east or south, and lie down in the highest places is small in proportion to the body, with the muzzle and hottest exposures; but when the sun has finished thick, compressed, and a little arched. The eyes more than three quarters of its course, they again are large, round, and have much fire and brilliancy. begin to feed, and to descend toward the woods ; The horns large, when of a full size weighing some whither they retire when it is likely to snow, and times 16 or 18 pounds, flatted before and rounded be where they always pass the winter. The bouqueting hind, with one or two longitudinal ridges, and many assemble in flocks, consisting at the most of ten, transverse ridges; which degenerate toward the tip twelve, or fifteen; but more usually in smaller numinto knobs ; the colour dusky brown. The beard bers. The males which are six years old and uplong, tawny, or dusky. The legs slender, with the ward, haunt more elevated places than the females hoofs short, hollow on the inside, and on the outside and younger bouquetins ; and as they advance in age terminated by a salient border, like those of the cha are less fond of society; they become gradually hardmois. The body short, thick, and strong. The tail ened against the effects of extreme cold, and frequentshort, naked underneath, the rest covered with long ly live entirely alone. hairs, white at the base and sides, black above and at In summer they feed principally on the genipi, and the end. Space under the tail in some tawny, in others other aromatic plants which grow in the high Alps ; white. The coat long, but not pendent, ash coloured, and in winter they eat the lichens, and browze on mixed with some hoary hairs : a black list runs along bushes and the tender shoots of trees. They prefer the back ; and there is a black spot above and below those spots where the dwarf þirch and Alpine willows
grow, and where rhododendron, thalictrum, and faint resemblance between the female bouquetin and saxifrages, abound.
the chamois. But there does not seem the least “The bouquetins having their fore legs somewhat foundation for this notion, the chamois being an anishorter than the hind legs, naturally ascend with mal totally distinct from the goats, never coupling greater facility than they descend ; for this reason with them, and judiciously classed by Pallas and nothing but the severest weather can engage them Pennant in the genus of antelopes. His conjecture, to come down into the lower regions ; and even in however, that the bouquetin is the original source of winter, if there are a few fine days, they leave the all the tame goats seems to be well founded; and has woods and mount higher.
been adopted by the greatest part of succeeding nat“Winter is the season of love with them, and prin- uralists. “And as, according to the just observations cipally the month of January. The females go with of Pallas, the ægagrus approaches nearer than the young five months, and consequently produce in the bouquetin to the tame goat in its form and horns, the last week of June, or the first of July. At the time ægagrus may be the link which unites the bouquetin of parturition they separate from the males, retire to and the tame goat. the side of some rill, and generally bring forth only “ If these observations should be well founded, the one young, though some naturalists affirm that they goat genus, or race of the bouquetin, is found in a occasionally produce two.
wild state along the chain of mountains that traverses “The common cry of the bouquetin is a short the temperate parts both of Europe and Asia; on the sharp whistle, not unlike that of the chamois, but of Pyrennees and Carpathian mountains; on the Taurus less continuance; sometimes it makes a short, and when and Caucasus; on the mountains of Siberia and Taryoung bleats.
tary; in Kamtschatka; on the islands of the Archi“ The season for hunting the bouquetin is toward pelago; in Hedsjeas in Arabia ; in India; perhaps the end of summer, and in autumn, during the months in Egypt and Lybia.” of August and September, when they are usually in The reader will observe from these accounts, that good condition. None but the inhabitants of the the rock goat feeds on plants far enough removed from mountains engage in the chase ; for it requires not the nature of corn, and that corn can never be the only a bead that can bear to look down from the food allotted by Providence for the support of its greatest heights without terror, address and sure foot young. Also, that the time of its gestation is known, edness in the most difficult and dangerous passes, and being five months. to be an excellent marksman, but also much strength The above accounts also justify what is said on 1 and vigour, to support hunger, cold, and prodigious Sam. xxiv. 1. of the hunting of David by Saul: but I fatigue.
do not find direct proof of the affectionate constancy “The female shows much attachment to her young, of the female ibex, which I have supposed might be and even defends it against eagles, wolves, and other the reference in Prov. v. 19. However, the general enemies; she takes refuge in some cavern, and pre nature and habits of both sexes of this rock goat must senting her head at the entrance of the hole, thus op- needs be so similar, that the circumstantial evidence poses the enemy.
to this effect is little short of positive assertion ; and “ It is not improbable that the hircus ferus, or till a better explanation of that passage be offered, I boucestain of Belon, the bouquetin of the Alps, the think the view of it given in the place referred to, is Siberian ibex, and the ægagrus, both so accurately entitled to consideration, if not to confidential recepdescribed by Pallas, and the tame goat in all its dif tion. ferent forms, are only varieties of the same species. Moreover, I remark, that Pennant informs us, that Perhaps also the capra caucasica, described by Pal “ the females at the time of parturition separate from las, from the papers of Guldenstaedt, and which he the males, and retire to the side of some rill, to bring represents as differing from the ægagrus, with which forth.” This looks as if the females usually kept it has been confounded by some naturalists. See company with the males; and where the creature is Act. Petr. for 1779.
scarce, it is probable they associate in pairs. Neither “ The horns of the bouquetin, as has been before is this probability diminished by observing that the observed, are sometimes found to weigh sixteen or female ibex has usually only one kid, very rarely two. eighteen pounds, to be three feet in length, and to This, if admissible, sets aside the objection of Michaehave twenty-four transverse ridges.
lis, who says, quest. No. Ixxxi. p. 152. “The only “Buffon extends the goat genus still further, and passage where ioleh may appear not to agree with the comprehends under it even the chamois, conjecturing ibex, is Prov. v. 19. But this difficulty may be rethat the bouquetin is the male in the original race of moved, if it be possible, or customary, among the goats, and the chamois the female. The French Orientals, to consider the female ibex as an emblem naturalist having, at the time when he described the of a beautiful womnan : but I cannot conceive how an bouquetin, never seen it in a full grown state, was animal so uncomely can, in any language, be adopted probably induced to entertain this opinion from a as an image of the fair sex.”
There is another species of ibex, whose horns are The figure on our Plate, is that of a full grown
" Dimensions of the horns in Mr. Parkinson's, late sir Ashton Lever's, museum, n. 1, and in the Brit-
" It is a common notion of the hunters, adopted by “On the contrary, it is maintained by others, that many naturalists, that the age of a bouquetin may be the bouquetin is endued with strength proportionate estimated by the number of transverse ridges or knobs to his size ; and though he is inferior to the chamois in the borns. M. van Berchem, however, assures me, in liveliness and agility, yet he is by no means defrom his own observations, that this is a vulgar er. ficient in activity ; that his horns, though large and ror; and that its age can only be ascertained by the weighty, yet from their reclined position do not seem number and form of the teeth, as in sheep and goats. to be any impediment, but rather render him essential This mistake has also occasioned its term of life to service when he happens to fall, or purposely throws be supposed much longer than it really is. This an- himself down precipices to avoid his pursuers. They imal increases in bulk to the age of four years ; ac
add also, that his natural food is rather lichens than cording, therefore, to the system of the count de herbs; that he is particularly fond of the young Buffon, that the age is about seven times the growth; shoots of trees and shrubs ; and that in all the places its life is twenty-eight or thirty years.
where he inhabits, he is found in the coldest and “Some naturalists are of opinion, that the dimina- rudest mountains, and on the steepest rocks. From tion of the race of bouquetins in the Alps is owing to these circumstances, it is not improbable, that bis his size, the monstrous length and weight of the horns, present situation and manner of life is an effect of nawhich impede bim in his course ; because he is driven iure rather than necessity. Besides, why do the into places where he can scarcely procure sufficient chamois, who are more hunted than the bouquetin, nourishinent during great part of the year, where his still inbabit the less elevated regions; and why are .sight becomes debilitated, and is frequently lost by the they not driven into the glaciers ?” strong reflection of the sun from the ice and snow. They As the ibex bas been confounded with the roeconsider this animal rather as a native of the subal- buck by some, and with the chamois by others, inpine regions, which are covered during summer with cluding even Buffon, I shall add the distinctions beihe finest herbage, and where the bouquetins and tween the two latter animals, as given us by Dr. chamois probably pastured in tranquillity, when only Girtanner. the lower vallies and plains were inbabited.
1. By size : being much larger.