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whole body under the skin. From this, which is called blubber, the whale and seal oil are extracted. The object of this structure in lightening these huge creatures, and facilitating their motions, is obviously the same as that of the air-cells in birds in relation to the element they inhabit."*
Naturalists tell us, that the pelican chooses dry and desert places to lay her eggs; but like the camel, she is formed for the wilderness. When her young are hatched, she is compelled to bring them water from great distances. For this purpose Providence has furnished her with a very large bag under the lower mandible of her bill, which she fills with a quantity of water sufficient for many days. (Some will hold from 10 to 20 quarts.) This water she pours into the nest, which is usually hollowed in the ground, to refresh her young, and to teach them to swim. And it is said, on good authority, that lions, tigers, and other rapacious animals resort to her nest to quench their thirst, but do no hurt to the young.
Adaptation of habit and disposition to structure.
I shall in this place insert a few remarks taken from some eminent physiologists, by Herder, on the adaptation of the structure of beasts to their habits and dispositions, instanced in the elephant, the lion, and the
Lectures on Zoology, &c.
sloth. They are somewhat abridged from the work of this author on the Philosophy of Man, but display the glow and colouring for which the German writers are distinguished.
"The elephant, shapeless as he seems, displays physiological grounds enough of his superiority to other beasts, and resemblance to man. His brain indeed is not very large in proportion to the size of the animal, but it bears a striking resemblance to that of man. The cranium is small in proportion to the head, because the nostrils extend far over the brain, and fill the cavities of the forehead with air, at once to afford an extensive surface for the strong muscles that move the ponderous jaw, and to spare the creature an insupportable burthen of solid bone. The nerves of the animal are chiefly spent on the organs of the finer senses, and his trunk alone receives as many as the whole bulk of his vast body. The trunk is the organ of a delicate feeling, an acute smell, and the freest motion. In it, therefore, many senses are combined and assist each other. The expressive eye of the elephant, like no other animal, but man, is provided with hairs, and a delicate motion in the lower eye-lid, and has the finer senses for its neighbours and these are separated from the taste which governs other beasts. The mouth, which forms. the predominant part of the visage in most other beasts, particularly of the carnivorous kind, is here almost concealed. The weapons of defence, the tusks, are distinct from the organs of nutrition; he is not
formed, therefore, for savage voracity. Though his bowels are necessarily large, his stomach is small and simple, so that probably raging hunger cannot torment him as it does beasts of prey. Peaceably and cleanly he crops the herb, and as his smell is separate from his mouth, he employs in this more time and caution. For the same caution has nature fashioned him in drinking, and in every other function of his massy structure; no sexual appetite inflames him with rage. The periods of his life, during which he grows, is in vigour, and decays, resemble those of man; his hearing is so delicate, that besides music of which he is passionately fond, he can understand human language in fine discrimination of the tones of command and of the passions. His ears are larger than those of any other animal, thin and extended on all sides; and the whole of the small occiput is a cave of echo, filled with air. Thus nature has wisely diminished the weight of the animal, and united the strongest muscular force with the most refined nervous economy: by which he is distinguished for sagacious quiet, and intelligent purity of sense.
"How different a king of beasts is the lion! Nature has established his throne on muscular force, not on mildness and superior intellect. His brain is small, and his nerves so weak, that they are not even proportionate to those of a cat: while his muscles are large and strong, so fixed as to produce the greatest force, instead of diversity and delicacy of motion. One great muscle that lifts the neck; a muscle of the
forefoot which serves to grasp; the joint of the foot close to the claws; these large and curved, so that their points cannot be blunted, as they never touch the earth-these were his gifts for the purposes of life. His stomach is long, and much curved; its friction and his hunger, therefore, must be fearful. The cavities of the heart are longer and broader than in man, the parietès twice as thin, and the aorta twice as small; so that the blood of the lion, as soon as it quits the heart, flows with four times the velocity, and in the small branches with a hundred times that of the human circulation. The heart of the elephant on the contrary beats slowly, almost as much so, as in cold-blooded animals. The broad tongue of the lion is furnished with prickles an inch and half long, lying on the fore part, with their points directed backwards; hence the danger of his licking the skin, which immediately fetches blood, and excites his thirst of it. As the tongue tastes acutely, and his fiery hunger is a kind of thirst, it is natural that he should have no appetite for putrid carrion. To kill his own food, to suck the warm blood, is his royal taste. Benevolent nature has blunted his senses; his eye is afraid of fire, and cannot even bear the sun; his scent is not acute, the situation of his muscles only fitting him for great springs, not for running, and nothing putrid excites him. His forehead is small, compared with his ravenous jaws and masticating muscles; his nose large and long; his neck and fore legs of amazing strength;
his mane and the muscles of his tail ample; but his hinder parts are more feeble and slender. Nature, to use a German expression, had exhausted his fearful powers, and made him in disposition, when not tormented with the thirst of blood, a generous and noble beast. So physiological are thus also this creature's mind and character.
"The sloth, in appearance the most shapeless of beasts, may serve us for a third example. His head is small and round; his limbs too are round, thick, shapeless, and like stuffed cushions; his neck stiff, as if it were one piece with the head; the hair of it has a contrary direction to that of the back; the wretched head, in place, form and functions, being subordinate to the belly and posteriors, which appear the principal parts; for the organs of voracity far exceed those of sense; and even the heart and lungs are slightly formed. Hence his blood is so cold as to border on that of amphibia; his heart palpitates long after being taken out, and the legs are agitated after the heart is gone, as though he were in a slumber. Thus while he wants susceptible nerves, and even active muscular powers, he possesses a more diffused and exquisite irritability, like the polypus or earthworm. This singular animal, therefore, may be less unfortunate than he seems. He loves warmth and the quiet of sleep; when he wants warmth he sleeps ; and as if lying down were painful to him, he fastens himself to a bough with his paws, and feeds himself with one of them, while, hanging from it like a bag