A Natural History of the Mammalia Volume 2 Rodentia, or Gnawing Animals

George Robert Waterhouse

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1848 Excerpt: ...that the folds of enamel are rather more oblique, and the lobes of the teeth terminate in very acute angles: and, moreover, the interspaces are not filled with cement, as in the teeth of Capromys. The feet are rather small the toes short, the nails weak, and hollow beneath the nail on the second toe of the hind foot is broader than the other nails, and obliquely truncated at the extremity: the soles of the feet are naked, but covered with minute fleshy tubercles, as are also the whole under parts of the toes: the fore feet are remarkable for not exhibiting, externally, even a rudiment of a thumb: rigid hairs cover the nails of the three middle toes of the hind feet. The skeleton of Habrocotna Bennettii is remarkable for possessing a greater number of ribs, and consequently of dorsal vertebrae, than has been observed in any other Rodent there being no less than seventeen pairs of ribs, the hindermost of which are nearly an inch in length: the lumbar vertebrae are five in number, and there are four anchylosed sacral vertebrae, two of which only join the ilium of caudal vertebrae there are about twenty-three2. 1 In the Capromys and Prehensile-tailed Porcupine we find the nearest approach to this number of ribs, there being sixteen pairs in these animals. 1 This is three more than exists in the skeleton before me, which has evidently lost about that number of vertebrte. I may here mention, that I have examined the skeletons of four out of the five genera contained in the section The intestines were remarkably long in a specimen of Habrocoma Cuvieri, which I dissected the small intestines measuring full five feet in length, and the large intestines, the diameter of which was distinctly greater than that of the small, measuring three feet: the ccecum was very...