Fur-bearing Animals: A Monograph of North American Mustelidae, in which an Account of the Wolverene, the Martens Or Sables, the Ermine, the Mink and Various Other Kinds of Weasels, Several Species of Skunks, the Badger, the Land and Sea Otters, and Numerous Exotic Allies of These Animals, is Contributed to the History of North American Mammals

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U.S. Government Printing Office, 1877 - Fur-bearing animals - 348 pages
This treatise on Fur-bearing Animals of North America, prepared by Dr. Elliott Coues, is published as a specimen fasciculus of a systematic History of North American Mammals, upon which the author has been long engaged. It is believed that the Monograph satisfactorily reflects the present state of our knowledge of these animals, and forms a desirable contribution to the literature of the general subject. The Muselidae, like most other families of North American mammals, have not been systematically revised for many years, during which much new material, hitherto unused, has become available for the purposes of science.

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Page 296 - ... body. Early in the spring, however, when they first begin to stir abroad, they may be easily caught by pouring water into their holes ; for the ground being frozen at that period, the water does not escape through the sand, but soon fills the hole, and its tenant is obliged to come out.
Page 338 - June 27. — We passed, to my surprise, a row of no less than nine or ten large and very beautiful otters, tethered, with straw collars and long strings, to Bamboo stakes on the bank. Some were swimming about at the full extent of their strings, or lying half in and half out of the water, others were rolling themselves in the sun on the sandy bank, uttering a shrill whistling noise as if in play. I was told that most of the fishermen in this neighbourhood kept one...
Page 329 - John as being repeated with so much rapidity, that even a swift runner on snow-shoes has much trouble in overtaking it. It also doubles on its track with much cunning, and dives under the snow to elude its pursuers.
Page 120 - He instantly rode up to the spot, when a Weasel ran away from the kite, apparently unhurt, leaving the bird dead, with a hole eaten through the skin under the wing and the large blood-vessels of the part torn through.
Page 120 - Dorsetshire, was riding over his grounds, he saw, at a short distance from him, a kite pounce on some object on the ground, and rise with it in his talons. In a few moments, however, the kite began to show signs of great uneasiness, rising rapidly in the air, or as quickly falling, and wheeling irregularly round, whilst it was evidently endeavouring to force some obnoxious thing from it with its feet.
Page 197 - The Mink, when taken young, becomes very gentle, and forms a strong attachment (?) to th«se who fondle it in a state of domestication. Richardson saw one in the possession of a Canadian woman, that passed the day in her pocket, looking out occasionally when its attention was roused by any unusual noise. We had in our possession a pet of this kind for eighteen months; it regularly made a visit to an adjoining fish-pond both morning and evening, and returned to the house of its own accord, where it...
Page 330 - It seems to be a favorite amusement of this creature, "just for fun." Godman speaks of the diversion in the following terms: — "Their favorite sport is sliding, and for this purpose in winter the highest ridge of snow is selected, to the top of which the Otters scramble, where, lying on the belly with the fore-feet bent backwards, they give themselves an impulse with their hind legs and swiftly glide head-foremost down the declivity, sometimes for the distance of twenty yards. This sport they continue...
Page 63 - An instance occurred within my own knowledge, in which a hunter and his family having left their lodge unguarded during their absence, on their return found it completely gutted — the walls were there, but nothing else. Blankets, guns, kettles, axes, cans, knives, and all the other paraphernalia of a trapper's tent had vanished, and the tracks 'left by the beast showed who had been the thief. The family set to work, and by carefully following up all his paths recovered, with some trifling exceptions,...
Page 65 - River, on one occasion, a very old Carcajou discovered my Marten road, on which I had nearly a hundred and fifty traps. I was in the habit of visiting the line about once a fortnight ; but the beast fell into the way of coming oftener than I did, to my great annoyance and vexation.
Page 330 - The otters ascend the bank at a place suitable for their diversion, and sometimes where it is very steep, so that they are obliged to make quite an effort to gain the top ; they slide down in rapid succession where there are many at a sliding place. On one occasion we were resting...

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