A History of British Fossil Mammals, and Birds

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J. Van Voorst, 1846 - Birds, Fossil - 560 pages

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Page 501 - Mightiest of all the beasts of chase, That roam in woody Caledon, Crashing the forest in his race, The mountain bull comes thundering on. Fierce, on the hunter's quiver'd band, He rolls his eyes of swarthy glow, Spurns, with black hoof and horn, the sand. And tosses high his mane of snow.
Page iv - There is in the world no kind of knowledge, whereby any part of truth is seen, but we justly account it precious ; yea, that principal truth, in comparison whereof all other knowledge is vile, may receive from it some kind of light ; whether it be that Egyptian and Chaldean wisdom...
Page 267 - But we may readily believe that any one cognisant of the food of the elk, might be likely to have suspected cryptogamic vegetation to have entered more largely into the food of a still more northern species of the deer tribe. And I can by no means subscribe to another proposition by the same eminent naturalist, that 'the kind of food which the existing species of elephant prefers, will not enable us to determine, or even to offer a probable conjecture concerning that of the extinct species.
Page 143 - ... were found co-extensively with all the rest, even in the inmost and smallest recesses. " Scarcely a single bone has escaped fracture, with the exception of the astragalus and other hard and solid bones of the tarsus and carpus joints, and those of the feet.
Page xli - Fauna, which is the more interesting on account of the very peculiar organization of most of the native quadrupeds of that division of the globe. That the Marsupialia form one great natural group is now generally admitted by zoologists ; the representatives in that group of many of the orders of the more extensive placental sub-class of the Mammalia of the larger continents have also been recognised in the existing genera and species : — the Dasyures, for example, play the parts of the Carnivora,...
Page 201 - ... or marshes now dried up, or in the substance of beds of peat, or in the fissures and caverns of certain rocks, or at small depths below the present surface, in places where they may have been overwhelmed by debris, or even buried by man : And, although these bones are the most recent of all, they are almost always, owing to their superficial situation, the worst preserved.
Page 265 - Wild beasts, such as white bears, wolves, wolverenes, and foxes, also fed upon it, and the traces of their footsteps were seen around. The skeleton, almost entirely cleared of its flesh, remained whole, with the exception of one...
Page 268 - ... of the dense enamel, the inference is plain that the ligneous fibre must have entered in a larger proportion into the food of such extinct species. Forests of hardy trees and shrubs still grow upon the frozen soil of Siberia, and skirt the banks of the Lena as far north as latitude 60. In Europe, arboreal vegetation extends ten degrees nearer...
Page 146 - ... matter derived from bones, viz., phosphate of lime, carbonate of lime, and a very small proportion of the triple phosphate of ammonia and magnesia ; it retains no animal matter, and its originally earthy nature and affinity to bone will account for its perfect state of preservation.
Page xxxix - Not a relic of an elephant, a rhinoceros, a hippopotamus, a bison, a hyaena, or a lagomys, has yet been detected in the caves or the more recent tertiary deposits of South America. On the contrary, most of the fossil Mammalia from those formations are as distinct from the Europrco-Asiatic forms as they are closely allied to the peculiarly South American existing genera of Mammalia.

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