RECORD: [Charles Darwin's Beagle animal notes (1832-33)] CUL-DAR29.1.A1-A49 Transcribed by Richard Darwin Keynes (Darwin Online, http://darwin-online.org.uk/)
REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Richard Darwin Keynes. Converted and checked against the manuscript by Karen Parr and Margaret Bardy. Checked against the manuscript by Kees Rookmaaker 12.2005. Corrections against the microfilm by John van Wyhe 6.2007, 8.2009, 3.2011. RN8
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Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.
Introduction by Richard Darwin Keynes
1832. Jan. 7. Animals St Jago
Gt. Malbro St.
A mouse very common on Quail Island. [listed as Mus musculus in Mammalia:38]
Stone (Bezoar) said to be from the Guanaco.
Bahia Blanca. Septr.
777 Mus elegans
Dipus (Gme:) or Gerboise D. Class. [listed as Mus elegans in Mammalia:41-2]
This little animal does not appear to agree exactly with any of the subgenera of Cuvier. It was caught Octobr 3 at Monte Hermosa in B. Blanca. In bringing at night a bush for fire wood, it ran out with its tail singed. So probably it inhabits bushes; it could not run very fast; it is a male; after skinning the head, it has a much more elongated appearance than it had in nature: Inhabits sand-dunes.
Cervus (campestris?) also (1292) — [listed as Cervus campestris in Mammalia:29-31]
animals deer are exceedingly abundant over throughout all the countries bordering the Plata; they extend are found in Northern Patagonia as far South as the R. Negro (Lat. 41o); but further southwards than which they were never seen by the officers employed on the coast survey. — They appear to prefer a hilly country. — I saw them most numerous in great numbers, around the Sierra Ventana & amongst the hills north of Maldonado. — They generally go in small herds from five to seven in number. — If a person approaches a herd crawling close along the ground slowly advances, the deer will frequently out of curiosity, approach to reconnoitre him. — I have, by this means, killed from one spot three out of the same herd. — Although thus so tame & inquisitive, yet when approached on horseback they are exceedingly wary. In this country nobody goes on foot; & the deer only knows man as his enemy when mounted & armed with the Bolas . — (a) The Gauchos say that the deers shed their horns annually, & that by the number of branches they can distinguish their age. Specimen (1292) they
[Note (a):] At Bahia Blanca, a recent establishment in Northern Patagonia, I was surprised to observe how little the deer cared for the noise of a gun. — One day, I fired ten times from within eighty yards at one animal;
and the animal it was much more surprised startled at the ball cutting up the ground beyond near him than at the report of the rifle. My powder being exhausted, I was obliged, to my shame as a sportsman be it spoken, to get up and hollow till the deer ran away. —
Byron shot one Port Desire which weigh 26 £.
affirm to be nine years old. Certainly its teeth were in a most decayed state. Another & younger Buck had horns (1337 & 1338). D The most curious fact with respect to this animal is the overpoweringly strong & offensive odour which proceeds from
its whole the body of the buck. — It is quite indescribable. Several times whilst skinning the Specimen (1292), which is now mounted at the Zoological Society Museum, I was almost overcome by nausea. — I tied up the skin in a silk pocket-handkerchief, & so carried it home. This handkerchief, after being well washed, I continually used; & it was, of course, as repeatedly washed. Yet, every time, when first opening it unfolded, for a space of two one year and seven months, I distinctly perceived the odour. (a) — Is not this an astonishing instance of the permanence of some matter, which nevertheless in its nature must be most subtle & volatile. Frequently when passing at the distance of half a mile to Leeward of a herd, I have perceived the whole air tainted with the effluvium. I believe the smell from the buck is most powerful at the period when its horns are perfect or free from the hairy skin. When in this state the meat is of course quite uneatable; but the Gauchos assert that if buried for some time in fresh earth, the taint will be removed. — I have read in some work that the Islanders to the north of Scotland, treat in the same manner the rank carcases of the fish-eating birds. D
Horns belonging to the same kind of Deer.
Cavia patagonica. (B) — [listed as Cavia patagonica in Mammalia: 89-91].
This animal is only found where the character of the country approaches that of a desert. In Patagonia, on the
Note (a): For the date of deer's death v. Journal. Hankerchief retained decided odour in middle of January 1835. —
Killed middle of June 1833.
Note (B): This specimen was killed at Bahia Blanca.
plains composed of arid gravel or sand, & bearing a withered vegetation & few spiny bushes, it is a common feature in the landscape to see, in the distance, two or three of the Agouti quickly hopping, after each other, in a straight line. I have never heard of this animal being found S. of Lat. 48o 30' (between P. Desire & St Julians); & to the Northward, the Sierra of Tapalguen (Lat. 37o 30') is its limit. This however must depend on the country, northward of those hills being more humid & clothed with green pasture: Hence in the Traversia, or desert, a few leagues S. of Mendoza (33o—34o) I again saw it. — Az
zara has stated (Griff: An: King:) that the Agouti does not excavate its own burrows, but uses those of the Biscatches. As, in the case of the little owl, where such are present, this without doubt happens; — but on the sandy plains of Bahia Blanca, the Biscatche is not found; and the Gauchos there maintain that the Agouti, when thus situated, certainly is its own workman. — R Az zara also says that the Agouti, excepting when pressed by danger, does not enter the its burrow s. — On this point I must again differ from that high authority. At B. Blanca I have repeatedly seen two or three of these animals, sitting on their haunches, by the mouths of the holes, & as I passed by at a distance, they would quietly enter them. — The burrows are excavated on any flat, solid piece of land; several of them are placed together so as to make a very small warren. —
Daily, in the neighbourhood of these spots
the Agouti were abundant. But differently from most burrowing animals it wanders, commonly by two or three together, to miles or leagues from its home. Nor do I know whether it returns at night. — The Agouti feeds & roams about by day; is shy & watchful; does not squat (or so rarely that I never saw an instance); cannot run very fast; so that it is frequently overtaken by two fleet dogs of mixed breed. Its manner of running more resembles that of a rabbit than a Hare, it consists of distinct springs. — The Agouti generally produces two young ones at a birth, which are brought forth within the burrow (I am told).
Their dung is of an elongated oval form & large for size of animal. — A fresh-killed animal generally weighs from 20 to 25 pounds. — The flesh when cooked is very white; it is however rather tasteless & dry. — R
Fox, not uncommon, Bahia Blanca. [listed as Canis Azaræ in Mammalia: 14-16]
In some parts of the country, especially on the plains near the S. Ventana, during a day's ride. I think I must have seen some score of these animals — Octob: 1832. —
Cavia, purchased in a shop at Buenos Ayres: [Noted as Rodentia. B. Ayres, in Beagle Specimen Lists p. 381, bought as young Viscacha.]
Some of the people said it was the Chinchilla from the Cordillera, others that it was a young Biscatche.
flavitarius or Xanthorhinus [listed as Mus xanthorhinus in Mammalia: 53-54]
Mouse, on the peaty mountains of Hardy Peninsula, extreme Southern part of T. del Fuego. — I suspect the mice in this cold & humid country are very uncommon. — February. —
Rat. East Falkland Isd. — [no further comment in Mammalia]
It does not appear to me like a Europæan rat. — Is found, as I understand, in remote parts of the Island: hinder legs very bare of hair. —
Mouse, common in the houses of the town of Maldonado. — Europæan? —
Mouse. — Very abundant in gardens & hedges, not near houses; easily caught by trap baited with cheese or meat. Maldonado, June 1833. [listed as Mus obscurus in Mammalia: 52-53]
Cavia cobaya. Is exceedingly abundant in the neighbourhood of Maldonado (where this specimen was shot) & around the city of B. Ayres. Is called Aperea. — It frequents localities of different natures: sand dunes, the bottom of the hedge rows made of the Agave or Cactus, & especially marshy places covered with aquatic plants. On gloomy days & in the evening they come out to feed; are not very timid & can easily be shot. In dry places, they have burrows; but in the swamps, from the soft state of the mud, this is impossible. — They are said to be very injurious to young trees in gardens. — An old male weighed 1 £b, 3 oz. (Imperial weight). A skeleton head to show teeth (1318). (a)
At the R. Negro (Lat. 41o) obtained another species.
(1471): besides the difference in colour & fineness of hair, it is smaller; & in habits is tamer, & feeds more by day. Are very numerous at the bottoms of old dry hedges. — Is said to produce two young at one birth (good authority), in which respect widely differs from domesticated Guinea-Pig. — An old male, killed at Port Desire, weighed 3530 grs. (B) —
A skeleton head from R. Negro (1587). — This animal is found on plains of Patagonia from the R. Negro to the St. of Magellan. At Port Desire is abundant, living under the stones of the Ruins of the old Spanish establishment. At the St. of Magellan I have seen the Indian women carrying their children in a mantle made of their skins. — Falkner says that a tribe
[Note] (a): The hair of this animal is attached to the skin with singular looseness. — I observed it to be the case in all the specimens which I killed. —
(Specimen 699, Spirits) Maldonado
[Note] (B): (1774) Old Female, Port Desire.
Specimen (646). In spirits, are Pediculi from the Maldonado Aperea, or Cavia; it would be worth while to compare these with those infesting the Guinea pig — that is if they are considered to be the same species. [listed as Cavia Cobaia in Mammalia: 89]
of Indians in those parts take their name from this animal. At the Rio Negro the Spaniards called it el "Conejos" or the rabbit. Hence arises the mistake of M. Lisson in believing that Magellan saw his Lepus magellicanus (black rabbit of the Falkland's) in the St. of Magellan. —
1267 Rodentia Talpiformes
Tuco-tuco. — This curious animal is abundant throughout
in the country of Maldonado; but is difficult to be procured & still more difficult to be seen when at liberty. — It lives almost entirely under ground; & prefers a sandy soil with a gentle inclination, as for instance, where the sand dunes of the coast join on to the grassy plains of the interior. But they are likewise found in other situations, & I have even seen them in a damp place near to a lake. The burrows are seldom open, they are said not to be deep, but of great length; at their mouths the earth is thrown up, but not quite into so large hillocks as by the Europæan Mole; the work is done generally during the night. — Considerable tracts of country are so completely undermined, that horses in passing over sink above their fetlocks. The tuco-tuco appears to a certain degree to be gregarious: the man who procured the specimens for me had caught six together, & he asserted that this was a common occurrence. It is said also that they come out at night to feed; that they do come out is certain, for I have seen their tracks; but I must think their principal food is afforded by the roots of plants; it is the only way of accounting for their extensive & superficial burrows. — In the stomach
of one, which I opened, I could only distinguish, amidst a yellowish green soft mass a few vegetable fibres. (a) This animal is
in the country universally known by a very peculiar noise, which it makes beneath the ground. — A person, the first time of hearing it, is much surprised, for it is not easy to tell whence it comes, & it is impossible to guess what kind of creature utters it. — The noise consists in a short, nasal, (but not rough) grunt, which is repeated about four times in quick succession; the first grunt is not so loud, but a little longer than, & more separated from, the three following — the musical time of the whole is constant as often as it is uttered. The name Tūcŏ-tūcŏ is given in imitation of the sound. — At all times of the day, in the localities where this animal is frequent, the noise, sometimes directly beneath one's feet, may be heard. — When kept in a room, the Tūcŏ-tūcŏs move both slowly & clumsily, this appears chiefly to arise from the outward action of their hind legs: they are quite incapable of jumping the smallest vertical height. Their teeth (of a bright wax yellow & never covered by the lips) are not adapted to gnaw holes or cut wood. — When eating biscuit, they rested on their hind legs & held the piece in the fore paws; they appeared also to wish to drag their food into some corner. — They are very stupid in making any attempt to escape; when angry or frightened, they uttered the Tūcŏ-tūcŏ. — Of those I kept alive, several were exceedingly tame, they would not attempt to bite, or to run away. Some others were a little more wild. The man who caught
[Note] (a): The distinguished naturalist Don Felix Azara says they are so difficult to be obtained that he never saw more than one. He states that they lay up magazines of food within the burrows. —
[text probably belonging to page 8 (Rookmaaker)] not found in central Patagonia. [illeg]
them asserted that very many
of them are invariably found blind. A specimen, which I preserved in spirits would certainly appear to be in this state; having placed my finger within half an inch of its head, not the slightest notice was taken. The animal however made its way about the room nearly as well as the others.(a) Skeleton head (1311) August.
At the R. Negro (Lat 41o) some animal frequenting similar situations makes also the same kind of burrow, but its grunt or noise, although of the same class, is decidedly different from that of Maldonado. It is repeated only twice instead of three or four times, & it is more distinct, loud, & sonorous; it may be compared to the very distant sound of the blows of an axe when a small tree is cut down; so close is this resemblance, that I have sometimes remained in doubt for a few minutes. —
At Bahia Blanca (Lat: 39o) another (or the same) animal makes a similar noise, but repeated at single intervals, either at equal times or in an accelerating order. I was assured these animals are found of many different colours, and therefore I presume are of as many species. At B. Blanca, having caught a mouse (1284), many of the country people maintained that it was the Tuco-tuco, & the author of the noise. — What is the truth? Azara p.325 wonders how they travel 75 leagues. too much suppose. Crossing rivers more surprising Whatever the animal, or animals, may be,
it or they must be excessively numerous; immense tracts of country, from the Rio Negro northward as far as the Sierra Guitru-Leique, are undermined so that the horses sink with every second or third step, fetlock deep. — At Cape Negro in the St. of Magellan, where Patagonia blends with T. del Fuego, the whole sandy country forms one great warren for the Meldorado Tuco-tuco. They likewise occur S. of St. of Magellan. F — Head (1795) may perhaps be sufficient to ascertain specific resemblance or the contrary.
[Note] (a): Considering the subterranean habits of the tuco-tuco, the blindness, though so frequent, cannot be a very serious evil. Yet it appears odd that any animal should possess an organ constantly subject to injury.
The mole, whose habits are so similar in nearly every respect, excepting in the kind of food, has an extremely small protected eye, which although possessing a limited vision, seems at once adapted to its manner of life.
Animals — Maldonado
Gulo, called here "Huron" or thief, not uncommon; weighed 1 £b, 8 oz. (Imper: weight) Maldonado [listed as Gallictis vittata in Mammalia: 21]
Felis, killed on rocky mountain. (a) — Whether this is a distinct species, or the domestic cat for some generations run wild, I know not. — It was much larger, stronger & more regularly coloured; exceedingly fierce. — It would be interesting to compare this specimen with the aboriginal of the domestic one, if they are of the same species. — Maldonado. [listed as Felis domestica in Mammalia: 20, it was mounted by Sowerby, and is preserved at the Natural History Museum]
Rat. Was killed at the Isd of Guritti (which forms Maldonado Bay). — They are there, & likewise on East point, very common. Inhabit burrows in the sand dunes. I should think, from its habits, it must be an aboriginal of the country, but if Ships are ever infested with such monsters, both the above spots are likely places for Colonies to be established. — The occurrence of these rats on the Isd of Guritti need not be a difficulty, for it is connected with the mainland by a reef, which probably once was dry land. — The ears of this animal are whitish & oddly contrasted with the colour of the rest of body. — An old male weighed 15,¾ oz. — [listed as Mus (decumanus) maurus in Mammalia: 33]
Didelphis: inhabits burrows, nocturnal in its habits; steals poultry; odour very offensive. The whole genus is called by inhabitants Comadreja, or Weasel. [listed as Didelphis azaræ Auct. in Mammalia: 93]
Didelphis: (Maldonado, Northside of of the Plata) tail prehensile; abdomen furnished with bones attached to the Pelvis; weighed 14,½ oz (Imp weight) [listed as Didelphis crassicaudata in Mammalia: 94-95]
Didelphis — Maldonado — caught by some boys digging in a garden; intestines full of remains of insects, chiefly ants & some Hemipterous insects. Body (70g Spirits) for dissection. [listed as Didelphis brachyura in Mammalia: 97]
Mouse with grooved front teeth: Eyes & ears very large, so that animal resembled a little rabbit: caught under bush in open plain by trap baited with cheese. See account supra of Tuco-tuco. [listed as Reithrodon typicus in Mammalia: 71-72]
[Note] (a) Dobrizhoffer talks of a wild cat only differing from our cat in extremity of tail being compressed & in greater size. —
Vol. 1. — Abiposies. —
Animals — Maldonado
Mouse, caught in so wet a place, & so surrounded by water, amongst the flags bordering a lake, that it must be partly aquatic in its habits. — [listed as Mus tumidus in Mammalia: 57-58]
Mouse closely resembling (1285).
Mouse, nose much acuminated; caught in open grass plain with trap baited by piece of a bird. Head in spirits to show form (698). [listed as Mus nasutus in Mammalia: 56-57]
Mouse, caught on open plain, trap baited with bird; especially common in sand dunes. Head in spirits (678). [listed as Mus arenicola in Mammalia: 48-49]
Mouse, most beautiful. I imagine lives in families. (Spirit specimen 700). [listed as Mus bimaculatus in Mammalia: 43-44]
Cervus campestris. V. account supra. —
Head of Tuco-tuco (1267). —
Head of Cavia cobaya (1266).
Horns of Cervus camp. (1292).
Mouse. It was caught in trap in a house in the town. It surely is a distinct species? The common grey English or Norway rat is also there found. — This reddish rat, besides the houses frequents hedge rows & climbs well. — It is found in all provinces of La Plata (St Fe). I saw it in Chili & in the forest of Chiloe. — The female has six tits on each side: the third is as far distant from the fourth, as the first from the third.
Mouse, very common at R. Negro (where this was caught).
Dorsal fin & tail of Phocaena: head in spirits (711).
Otter. Skin purchased of some fishermen at Maldonado, after they had skinned it: head separate from skin. — Killed by some dogs on a peninsula which projects into the salt water: no fresh water nearer than 3 or 4 miles. — I do not however feel sure that it is a marine species, although an old Sealer thought it was the same with the common one of T. del Fuego. [listed as Lutra platensis in Mammalia: 21-22]
Taturia hybrida. Killed, S. de Tapalquen, Lat. 37o30'. — Besides this species I have seen three others, the T. Pichiz, T. villosa, & T. Apar. — These three frequent the arid sandy plains of Bahia Blanca, & do not appear to prefer any particular localities. — The T. Pichiz (which in the neighbourhood of Mendoza, & sometimes in other places, is called the Queriquincho) is excessively numerous & far more abundant than the other species. On the East side of America, it appears never to go to the North of the S. de Tapalquean (Lat. 37o30'), which dividing two sorts of countries, terminates the range of many animals. It is very common on the sterile plains around the S. Ventana & on the banks of the R. Negro. — In central & S. Patagonia it is not abundant. I have a specimen from Port Desire (1697), & at the S. Cruz (Lat. 50o) I saw its shell. (a) (Pichiz?) This probably is its Southern limit. In a day's ride on the plains of B. Blanca several may generally be met with; the sand dunes however near the coast appear a very favourite resort. — In these localities the Pichiz cannot taste water during several months together. It wanders about freely during the day; when disturbed, either tries to avoid detection by lying close to the ground, or commences burrowing quickly in the soft soil. So rapid is this process that if on horseback it is necessary to spring off in order to secure the animal by its hinder quarters. — The Pichiz, when roasted in its shell is very fat & excellently good eating. I have repeatedly opened the stomach of this animal, & have found in it Coleoptera & various Larvae, — also roots & an Amphisboena. It is said they produce two or three young ones at birth. — The T. villosa is called " Peludo" (or hairy). — The T. Apar is known by the name of Mataco. (B)
[Note] (B): Not having a specimen of the Peludo, I will give following imperfect description: front legs with 5 toes, 2 middle claws longest; very broad flat; 2 outer ones shorter; first inner one very narrow long; the second toe has a remarkable ball on the underside at its base. — Belly with rows of stiff hairs; back with 8 moveable bands, long scattered hairs on back. — Tail half length of body: 9 teeth in upper jaw, 10 in lower on each side. — Nearly 3 times as big as the Pichiz. —
[Note] (a): Differs from the B. Blanca species in form of scales & other trifles. C. Species? Port Desire, not common.
Neither of these species are found much further South than B. Blanca, but to the Northward I heard of them at St Jago (in Lat. 28o). The Peludo is a nocturnal animal, & is caught by people going out at night with dogs. — This is the only species which is found in the vicinity of B. Ayres. — The fourth species, T. Hybrida, is called Mulita or Mulillo (little mule). I believe it is never found S. of the S. Tapalquen in 37o30'; there they are abundant & are sent thence to B. Ayres. — This species appears to prefer hilly rocky ground; it & the Peludo are common in Banda Oriental & Entre Rios. — We have seen, then, that the Pichiz extends far Southward, & that its place to the N. is taken by the Mulita; the Peludo & Mataco encroach a little on the territory of the Pichiz. — This however only refers to the E. coast, for at Mendoza (33o) the four species are found together.
The sterile plains at the foot of the Cordillera, elevated several thousand ft above the sea, appear the probable birthplace of nearly all the animals, Birds, & perhaps even plants of Patagonia.
Rat, common in the houses in the country round B. Ayres.
Horns of Cervus campestris. B. Blanca.
Biscatche. Killed near B. Ayres (Skeleton 1487). This animal is well known to form a prominent feature in the Zoology of the Pampas. To the South it is found as far & no further than the R. Negro (Lat. 41o). — It cannot, like the Agouti, subsist on the gravel & desert plains of Patagonia, but prefers a clayey or sandy soil, which
although extremely arid produces a different & more abundant vegetation. — Near Mendoza, at the foot of
the Cordillera, it occurs; & close by, within the mountains, the allied Alpine species is found. — It is a curious circumstance in the geographical distribution of this animal that although it has passed the R. Parana, & is common in the province of Entre Rios, yet it has never been seen in Banda Oriental, to the Eastward of the Uruguay. Yet in that province, plains occur which appear admirably adapted to its habits. — It must be believed that B. Oriental owes this great advantage to the broad barrier of the waters of the Uruguay. — Near to B. Ayres these
Biscatche animals are exceedingly common; their most favourite resort appears to be those parts of the plain, which during one half the year, are covered with giant thistles to the exclusion of other vegetables. — The Gauchos affirm that it lives on roots; this, from the great strength of the grinding teeth & the kind of localities frequented, seems probable. — As in the case of the rabbit, a few holes are commonly placed together: in the evening the Biscatches come out in numbers, & then quietly sit on their haunches. They are, at such times, very tame, & a man on horseback passing by seems only to present an object for their grave contemplation. They do not appear to wander far from their burrows. They run very awkquardly, & when hurrying out of danger, from their elevated tails & short front legs, much resemble a great rat. — I have been informed on excellent authority that quasi canes, post coitum adnexi sunt. Their flesh when cooked is very white, & although scarcely ever used, is good food. — The Biscatche has one very singular habit; it is
[Note] (a): I once saw this animal sitting on a lofty pinnacle (probably 8000 ft above sea) in the Pass of the Patillo. It inhabits alone very lofty places: I have seen it at a height of about 6000 ft. Lives under the stones; comes out in the evening, at which time & during the early part of the night utters a low whistle. — In this respect differs from the Biscatche of the plains. — At the distance appeared to be more reddish in the breast; & tail with larger brush to it.
the constant desire to drag every hard object to the mouth of its burrow. Around each group of holes, many bones of cattle, stones, thistle stalks, hard lumps of earth, dry dung, &c &c are collected into a scattered heap, which frequently amounts to as much as a wheel-barrow could contain. I was credibly informed that a gentleman, when riding on a dark night, dropped his watch; he returned in the morning, & on the line of his road searched the neighbourhood of every Biscatche hole; & as he expected, he then soon found it. — This habit of picking up every kind of object which happens to lie on the ground anywhere near its habitation, must cost much trouble. The custom appears universal. I observed it to be the case near Mendoza, as well as throughout the province of Bueno Ayres. I am quite unable to form even the most remote conjecture for what purpose the Biscatche follows so strange & troublesome a habit. It cannot be for defence, because the rubbish is chiefly placed above the mouth of the burrow, which enters the ground at a very small inclination. No doubt there must exist some good reason. — But the inhabitants of the country, like myself, remain in perfect ignorance respecting it.
Felis. Called Gato pajero (or cat which lives amongst reeds). Its Spanish name expresses its ordinary place of resort. Killed at B. Blanca; also found in Banda Oriental, N. of the Plata.
Rat. Bahia Blanca. — Hinder feet demi-palmated. Inhabits the still running brooks, the banks of which are thickly covered with grasses. Habits like the English Water Rat. Readily takes to the water & dives. (Skeleton Head: 1513). [listed as Mus Braziliensis in Mammalia: 58-60]
Cavia Cobaya. R. Negro. V. supra.
Rat: inhabits the dry gravel plains bordering the valley of the R. Negro; ears very large & delicate.
Skeleton of a Biscatche. V. supra.
Head of the Water Rat from B. Blanca. V. supra.
Head of Cavia C. (1471). R. Negro. V. supra.
Bezoar stone; out of stomach of some animal sold by the Indians at the R. Negro.
Large eared Mouse, excessively abundant in all situations at Port Desire. — In thickets of the coarse grass & spiny bushes. Caught by trap with cheese. Port Desire.
[listed as Mus xanthopygus in Mammalia: 63-64]
Mouse with grooved teeth, very like Maldonado species.
Mouse. Very common in long dry grass. Port Desire.
[listed as Mus canescens in Mammalia: 54-55]
Taturia Pichiz. V. supra. — do —
Mouse, grooved teeth. Port St Julian. Weighed 579 gr.
Cavia cobaya — old female — Port Desire.
[listed as Cavia Cobaia in Mammalia: 89]
Head of Toco-toco. Near C. Negro, Sts of Magellan. V. supra.
Lepus Magellanicus (Lesson). — The black rabbit of the Falkland Isds has been described as a distinct species. From the following reasons I cannot think this is the case. — The Gauchos (who, as I have more than once remarked are excellent observers) maintain they are not different; they say that the Black are never found in distinct localities, but always mingled with the common grey sort. — That the Black & Grey freely breed together. This they know because, the rabbits of their own accord do not spread to different parts of the Isd & the two coloured sorts (a), being transported together, have produced young. — Rabbits of no kind are found in the small outgoing Isds & in the central parts of the great Isd. I saw none South of the main range of hills, because, as the Gauchos said, they had not been taken there. —
[Note] (a): It is rather curious to find how long these varieties of Black & Grey have been handed down amongst animals living in a perfectly wild state; the same fact happens with the cattle, which as as variously coloured as in a heard in England. —
A Sealer has carried some of the rabbits to an Isd in Skyring Water in T. del Fuego. —
They assert they have seen piebald rabbits of many different varieties. The spots on the head of the specimens on board differ both one with another & with the description. Specimen (1902) is a head with a broad white band, the sides of which do not correspond: it had grey & brown hairs on its back & a white patch on one hinder thigh — it was a young animal. —
It has been advanced, as a strong argument for the distinctness of the species, that Magellan describes rabbits in the St. of Magellan. I feel no doubt that Magellan alluded to the Cavia cobaya which is a dark coloured animal & is to this day called Conejos ( rabbit) by the Spaniards. Anyhow Sealers & others who have been for years in those parts, never have heard of such an animal, or have seen their skins with the Indian people; whilst on the other hand mantles made with the little skins of the Cavia C: are common. — If the above arguments are not thought conclusive against the existence of a Lepus Magellanicus — I will add that Bougainville when he came to settle at Berkeley Sound (when the black rabbits are now not uncommon) distinctly states that excepting the large Fox he found no other quadruped.
Mouse, caught far from the houses — at least ¾ of a mile. Europaean? if so a curious change from a Ship to such a humid climate. East Falkland I.
[listed as Mus decumanus in Mammalia: 31-33]
Teeth of a Rat, out of the stomach of a Hawk, shot far from the Settlement (compare with 1159).— do —
2032, Head 2037
Mouse with grooved teeth: very abundant everywhere up the country. Weight 1336 gs Apoth: weight. Caught in trap with cheese. R. S. Cruz. — Patagonia. — [listed as Reithrodon cuniculoïdes in Mammalia:69-71]
Mouse, common. — Hab do. —
Mouse, caught interior of country, S. Cruz.
Mouse. Ears, feet, tail, nose, dusky orange; extraordinary numbers in every part of the country. Weight 329 grains. — S. Cruz — (Head 2038). [listed as Mus xanthopygus in Birds: 63-64]
Cat. In a bushy valley, when encountered, did not run away but hissed. — S. Cruz, Patagonia. [listed as Felis Pajeros in Mammalia: 18-19]
Head of mouse (2032).
do — do (2035)
Rat. Choiseul Bay, E. Falkland — opposite side of Isd from Berkeley Sound. Is it not aboriginal? (a) [listed as Mus decumanus in Mammalia: 31-33]
Head of a Rat. West Point on the great West Falkland. — No settlement ever near this part. —
Head of Rat. Port Egmont, W. Falkland. —
Mouse, is called by Molina "Degu". — Are excessively numerous throughout the whole central parts of Chili. They frequent by hundreds the hedges, where they live in burrows. Feed & run about during the whole day — are very tame. — When they run, they turn up the extremity of tail in a different manner from true rats. Seem very subject to be born piebald & Albinous. Are exceedingly destructive to the young corn. — Specimen in Spirits (1140). — Valparaiso. — [listed as Octodon Cumingii in Mammalia: 82-83]
Didelphis. Are extremely numerous in the neighbourhood of Valparaiso. Are caught with ease by traps baited by cheese or meat. They inhabit the dry hills, amongst the thickets. — Can run, indifferently well, up trees; uses but little its prehensile tail. I could distinguish in stomach Larvae of Beetles (Spec. in Spirits 1038, 1049). Valparaiso. [listed as Didelphis elegans in Mammalia: 95-96]
Mouse. — Valparaiso.
Rat. Caught near Aconcagua (Chile), at the foot of the Cordillera; is as large as the largest Norway rat; has a very singular appearance from its great ears. — I saw two climbing up Mimosa tree in valley. [listed as Abrocoma Bennettii in Mammalia: 85-86]
[Note] (a): I have collected all these heads to ascertain whether these Islands possess a species of Rat (as they do of a Fox) peculiar to themselves. These Rats are said to be common to the small outlying Islets.
Rat, common about houses. Valparaiso. Head (in Spirits 1048).
Rat, caught in the country. — do —
Cururo. These animals form very extensive superficial burrows. — In such parts, horses when passing over sink fetlock deep. — Uncommon, excepting in certain places where they are abundant, & I believe chiefly on hills. — Body in Spirits (1070). Valparaiso. [listed as Poephagomys ater in Mammalia: 82]
Bat. Valparaiso. —
Fox. (Black Fox of Molina). Killed on the coast rocks on the S.E. extremity of Chiloe: a very uncommon animal in that Isd. [listed as Canis fulvipes in Mammalia: 12-13]
Mouse. On a small Isd at Midship Bay, Chonos Archipelago
Mouse — East coast of Chiloe. —
On the Island of Guche, a small thickly wooded Isd in the Chonos Archipelago, there were many wild goats. — It is probable they have been turned out a century since. Their colour was pretty uniform, being a dark reddish brown. Many had a white mark on the forehead, & a few had one on the lower jaw. All appeared to have a singular outline of forehead, for which reason I bought the skull, as these animals perhaps are retrograding into their original form.
Otter. This animal is exceedingly common throughout all the Bays & channels amongst the Isds of the Chonos Archipelago. — Our largest specimen weighed 9½ pounds. They frequent holes, which are placed within the forest, above the rocky shores. — They sometimes roam some distance inland. — They are far from living exclusively on fish. — In T. del Fuego, Mr Bynoe saw one eating a cuttle fish; & at Lowes harbor another was shot when carrying on shore a large Voluta, which must have been brought up from
the bottom. Moreover, in this Archipelago the chief sustenance, both of these animals, of the immense herds of Seal, & of many birds such as Tern, appears to consist in a red Crust: Mac: about the size of a Prawn, which swimming on the surface in countless numbers tinges the water of a red colour. — Specimen killed amongst the Chonos Isds. [listed as Lutra chilensis in Mammalia: 22-24]
Nutria. This animal is so called in the provinces bordering on the Plata, where a great trade is carried on for its skin & fur. Chonos Archipel: — In Chile it takes the name of Coypu. — On the West coast it is found from 48o S. to the valleys in Central Chile. — On the East coast from the R. Chupat at 43o20' to far up the course of the R. Parana. — On this side I have never heard of it frequenting any places but rivers or large brooks. — But on the rocky & indented coast of the Chonos Archipel. & West Patagonia it is common in the arms of the sea. It makes its burrow a little way within the forest; it is a bold animal, & fights fiercely with the dogs employed in hunting it. — I was assured, that besides vegetable matter, they eat shell-fish. — Weight varies between 10 & 11 pounds: flesh when cooked white & good to eat. — The mammæ of the females are placed on the back, or more properly very high up on each side. —
Mouse with large ears. Coquimbo.
2831: 2832: 2833
Mice. Dry stony places. — do —
Bat, a vampire, was caught in the act of sucking the back or withers of a horse. Coquimbo. [listed as Desmodus D'Orbingyi in Mammalia: 1-3]
Large Fox, valley of Copiapo. [listed as Canis Magellicanus in Mammalia: 10-12]
Small Fox, — do — do —
The first of these specimens is called in Chile,
Culpen. It is a fine large animal, wanders about by day, runs very fast. — I saw one chased by a dog; it barked & whelped so precisely like its pursuer that I could not for some time distinguish from which of the two the noise proceeded. — This animal, & a bitch fox, had together destroyed at a farmhouse, during the previous year, no less than 200 fowls. — It is well known throughout Chile from its fearless manner of standing still & looking at any person who approaches it in a wood. — Molina says it is hence called Culpen, which in the Indian language signifies madness. — Molina thinks it is the same with the Fox of the Falkland Isds, which clearly is not the case. The Culpen is found in all the valleys & less desert parts of Chile, & it is probable that it is the same animal with the large fox. Killed at Port Famine in T. del Fuego. —(Zoolog Soc:) Pupils in dead animal appeared round & very large.-
Specimen (3188) is the Chilla of Molina. This small fox (which is full grown) was killed in the same valley of Copiapò with the Culpen. The inhabitants recognize it as a distinct species. Besides the valleys, it is found in very great numbers on the most desert Traversias, where scarcely a single plant besides a Cactus & occasional thorny bush grow; in such situations, however, & although quite destitute of water, the smaller rodentia abound, & it is on these that the Chilla subsists. This appears the only Fox which can subsist in such places. The Chilla is unable to run very fast; a
single good dog will generally catch it. It is said to be very numerous near Concepciòn, & is the same (I believe) which is also so very common on the great plains of Patagonia. Capt. FitzRoy has a specimen from the S. Cruz. —
Besides these two species there is the common Fox (Gurù of Molina; unfortunately I lost my specimen), which is decidedly different: it is common in central Chile; is the same as the specimens from B. Blanca. — Molina makes a fourth kind, Pagnè-Guru, & he says that in Chiloe it is found of a blackish colour. I have already mentioned (2431) this rare animal. But it appears to me very doubtful whether it is specifically distinct from the common Gurù. — Allowing these to be three species — the Vulpes Antarcticus of the Falklands makes a fourth, & the Wurrah (v. Falkner's) a fifth. — This latter animal has a peculiar long hair on its skin & is of a very different colour. It is found rarely all over La Plata & as far South as the R. Negro. — Hence we have, to the S. of Lat 30o in S. America, at least five distinct species of Foxes. [listed as Canis azaræ in Mammalia: 14-16]
Mouse — very numerous amongst the dry brushwood growing on the Volcanic Isd of Chatham — Galapagos Id. Skeleton Head (3361). — [listed as Mus Galapagoensis in Mammalia: 65-66]
Rat. James Isd, Galapagos. Abound over whole Isd. — They do not appear to be carnivorous like common Rats. Is it the same as the domestic rat of S. America. Has it been brought by ships. This Isld has been the resort of many Whalers. — [listed as Mus Jacobiae in Mammalia: 34-35]
Head of mouse (3311) & bill of Finch (3337).
Mouse. Caught by cheese, amongst bushes. K. George's Island, SE point of Australia. [a bush rat, listed as Mus fuscipes in Mammalia: 66-67]
Rat: excessively common on certain of the Coral islets, Cocos or Keeling Isds. Said to have been brought from the Mauritius in a ship which was wrecked. —
Vulpes antarcticus. This large wolf-like Fox is common in both East & West Falkland Isd. It has by mistake been sometimes stated to be peculiar to one Isd. — Various Gauchos & half-cast Indians have visited at different times these Islands; they all maintain no such animal is found on any part of the mainland of S. America. — The Sealers also assert it is not found on any other of the Islands in these Southern seas. — Hence I conclude that this tract of land, although so small, boasts of at least one species of Quadruped as peculiar to itself (also Rat?). These Wolves, or Foxes, are well known from Commodore Byron's description of their tameness & curiosity. To this day, their manners remain the same. They have been known to enter tents at night, & to steal meat from beneath the heads of the sleeping Seamen. The Gauchos have commonly killed them at night by holding out with one hand a piece of meat & having in the other a knife ready to stick them. — They are found in the inland parts of the Isds as well as on the coast. They burrow holes in the ground. Do not hunt in packs; are generally silent excepting in the breeding season, when they make a noise like a Fox. — Specimen in spirits (979) are the eyes; I do not know whether in this state it will be possible to discover the form of the pupil. — From the ease with which they are killed, their numbers rapidly decrease; already they are exterminated from the large peninsula formed by the heads of St Salvador Bay & Berkeley Sound, which composes a large part of the Eastern Isd. — When these Islds are settled, this Fox will in all probability within a few years be classed with
those animals which have perished from the surface of the Globe. — Out of the four specimens brought home in the Beagle, three will be seen to be darker coloured, they come from the East Isd. The fourth is smaller & rusty coloured, & is from the West Isd. — Mr Lowe, who has been acquainted with these Islands for twenty years, & who is an accurate observer of Nature, asserts that this difference between the Foxes of the two Isds is invariable & constant. He says he has long since observed it. — An accurate comparison of these specimens will be interesting. I have omitted to add that the difference was corroborated by the officers of the Adventure. —
Cavia capybara, called also Carpincho. These animals are abundant on the borders of the lakes in the vicinity of Maldonado. Occasionally they frequent the Islands in the Plata where the water is quite salt. A fine female was shot at M. Video (sent in brine to the Zoolog. Soc.) She weighed 98 pounds. — Girth 3 ft 2 inches. Length from tip of snout to the tail 3 ft 8½ inches. Height from toes to top of shoulder 1 ft 9 inches. Near Maldonado three or four
Carpinchos generally live together E: in the day time they either lie amongst the aquatic plants or feeding openly feed ing on the turf plain. — When viewed at a distance, from their manner of walking & colour they resemble pigs — but when seated on their haunches & attentively watching any object with one eye, they reassume the appearance of their congeners the Agoutis Cavies. — The great depth of jaw gives to their profile & front view a quite ludicrous aspect. They are very tame, by cautiously walking I approached within three yards of four large ones. (a) As I came
(a): This happened near a lake a few miles from the Maldonado. There are no tigers in this part of the country, and the Gauchos do not think them worth hunting. Their unmolested state probably makes them so tame.
nearer, they frequently made their peculiar noise, which is a
very low abrupt grunt: there is not much actual sound, but rather the sudden expulsion of air. The only noise I know at all like it is the first hoarse bark of a large dog. Having watched from almost within arm's length the four (& they me) for several minutes, they rushed into the water at full gallop with the greatest impetuosity, & emitted at the same time their bark. — When three or more thus dash in together, the spray flies about in every direction. After diving a short distance, they come again to the surface, but only just show the upper part of the head.(a) In the stomach & duodenum of one of these Carpinchos there was a great mass of a yellowish liquid matter, in which nothing could be distinguished. — The dung is in shape rounded oval; when dried & burnt it emits a pleasant smell like, but more agreeable than, that from Cedar wood. When the female Carpincho has young & is swimming in the water, the young ones are described as sitting on her back. — These animals are easily killed in numbers: but their skins are of trifling value, and the meat is very indifferent. I have never heard of the Carpincho being found South of La Plata. But as I see in a map that there is a Laguna del Carpincho high up the Rio Salado, I suppose such must have occurred. On the Island in the Rio Parana they are exceedingly abundant & afford the ordinary prey of the jaguar. E
Puma. The Puma has a wide geographical range, from the Equinoctial regions to the extreme temperate zone. — It is common in all the Provinces of La Plata; numerous throughout Patagonia to the
[Note] (a): It was near a lake in this neighbourhood
of Maldonado that I succeeded in getting so close to the four. Their tameness may probably be accounted for by the Jaguar having been for some years banished from the country, and by the Gauchos not thinking it worth while to hunt them.
forests of T. del Fuego, & in the Cordillera of Chile I have seen its footsteps at a height which could not have been under 10,000 ft. — In la Plata the Puma chiefly preys on Deer, Ostriches, Biscatche & the small quadrupeds; it there but seldom kills cattle or horses, & is not, excepting on most rare occasions when a female has young ones, dangerous to man. In Chile however, probably from the scarcity of wild animals, it destroys very many young cattle & colts; I have moreover heard of several instances where men & women have so met their fate. In Patagonia, & in the higher Cordillera, the Guanaco is the constant prey. In all cases the animal is destroyed by its neck being broken. It is said the Puma springs on the shoulders & with one paw draws backwards the head till the vertebrae give way. — After killing an animal, it eats its fill & then covering the carcase with many large bushes, lies down & watches it. But if the Puma has ever once been so discovered & hunted, it is asserted that it never resumes this habit, but after eating wanders far away. This habit of watching often betrays the Puma, for the Condors wheeling in the air above, every now & then descend to partake of the feast, & being angrily driven away, they all together rise on the wing again (Sir J. Heard, p. 483); by this means the Chileno Guasso knows where the Lion is lying & hurrys to the chace. — The Puma is easily killed; in an open country it is first balled, that lazoed, & afterward dragged along the ground until it is insensible. — At Tandeel [?] (S. of the Plata) I was assured that within three months one hundred were destroyed. — In Chile, they are generally
driven into bushes, & are then either shot or are bated to death by dogs. The dogs employed in hunting the Puma belong to a particular breed, & are called Leoneros; they are weak, slight animals, something like a long-legged terrier. They are born with the instinct of springing at the Lion's throat & no other part. — I have been assured that one of these weak little dogs has been known single-handed to destroy its large antagonist. — The Puma is a very silent animal, even when wounded; rarely during the breeding season it utters a cry. — It is described as a very crafty animal; when hunted it will return on its former track, & then suddenly will make a spring on one side & then wait till the dogs have passed. — They frequent indifferently reeds, bushes & caves; often inhabit the most arid parts. — The flesh of the Puma is white & good; it is often used by the Gauchos in the wilder parts of the Province. — I have myself made a good supper on the hinder quarters. — Dr Shaw relates the same fact respecting the African Lion, but he was at first disbelieved. —
Jaguar. The Jaguar is found not uncommonly in the Province of la Plata. The wooded banks of the great rivers appear its favourite haunt s of these animals. South of the Plata, I have however heard of these amongst animals inhabiting the reeds bordering on lakes. — They seem to require water. — The Jaguar (a) has been killed on the banks of the R. Negro in Lat: 41o; & Faulkner states the lake Naharil-Luapi takes its name from the Indian word for Tiger. The latitude of this lake is about 42o (which corresponds to the situation of the Pyrenees in the Northern Hemisphere). —
[Note] (a): The Jaguar does not appear in any part to have crossed to the West of the Cordillera.
N.B. I should say that all my information about the Puma & Jaguar has been obtained by conversing with several different country people.
[Note] XX The Jaguar is a much more dangerous animal than is generally supposed. On the Parana they have killed many wood cutters and have even entered vessels. — There is a man now living in the Bajado who, coming up
from below decks at night, was seized on the deck by a tiger; he escaped however with the loss of the use of one arm. — When the floods drive these animals from the islands, they are the most dangerous. I was told that a few years since a very large one found its way into a church at St Fe. Two padres entering one after the other were killed, and a third who came to see what was the matter escaped with difficulty. — The beast was killed destroyed by the people unroofing one corner of the buidling and firing at it being shot from a corner of the building which was unroofed.
jaguars animals are particularly abundant in the Isles of the Parana. Their common prey is the Carpincho; so that it is commonly said, where the Carpinchos are plentiful, there is little danger of the Jaguar. — Falkner states that near the mouth of the Plata, on the Southern side, that these animals are numerous, & that they chiefly live on fish; this account I heard repeated on the Parana. XX The Jaguar is decidedly dangerous to man. — I have heard of several deaths (V. Journal). When the Parana overflows, they are obliged to leave the Islands, so XX They commit also at these times great ravages amongst the cattle & horses. As with the Puma, it is said they kill their prey by breaking the vertebrae of the neck; if driven from the carcase they seldom return. — The Gauchos say that the Jaguar, when wandering about at night, is much tormented by the foxes whelping as they follow him. This is a curious coincidence with the fact which is generally affirmed of the Jackalls accompanying in a similarly officious manner the East Indian Tiger. — The Jaguar is a noisy animal, roaring much by night, & especially before bad weather. — One day, when hunting on the banks of the Uruguay, I was shown certain trees to which these animals are said constantly to recur for the purpose of sharpening their claws. — During the day, I saw three well known trees. — In front the bark was worn smooth, & on each side there were deep scratches or rather grooves extending in an oblique line nearly a yard in length. The scars were of different ages. — To go and examine these trees is a common method of ascertaining whether a Jaguar is in the neighbourhood. —
I conceive this habit of the Jaguar is exactly similar to one which may any day be seen in the common cat, as with outstretched legs & exserted claws it scrapes the leg of a chair. — Some such habit must also be common to the Puma, for on the bare hard soil of Patagonia I have frequently seen scores so deep that no other animal could have made them. The object of this practice is, I imagine, to blunt rather than to sharpen, as the Gauchos think, the points of their claws, which are so seldom used. — The Jaguar is killed without much difficulty, by the aid of dogs baying & driving him up a tree, where he is dispatched with bullets.
The Guanaco abounds over the whole of the temperate parts of South America, from the wooded islands of Tierra del Guego, through Patagonia, the hilly parts of la Plata, Chile, to the Cordillera of Peru. — Although preferring an elevated site, it yields in this respect to its near relative the Vicuña. On the plains of Southern Patagonia
I have seen we saw them more numerous in greater numbers than in any other part. Generally they go in small herds, from five or six to thirty, but on the banks of the S. Cruz one single herd could not have contained less than five hundred. On the Northern shores of the St. of Magellan they are also especially numerous. The Guanacoes are generally very wild & wary. — Mr Stokes, when with a party, once saw through a glass a herd which evidently were going away from us at had been frightened & were running away at full speed, although their distance was so great that they were not distinguishable with the naked eye. — Frequently the sportsman
[Note] Byron says when he is relating his disappointment on discovery water "that our people among other expedients had watched the guanacos & seen them tarry at the salt ponds."
receives the first intimation of their presence
of a herd by hearing from a long distance the peculiar shrill neighing note of alarm; if he then looks attentively, he will perhaps see the herd standing in a line on the side of a distant hill. On approaching, a few more squeals are given, & the herd set off, at an apparently slow but really quick canter, along some narrow beaten track to a neighbouring hill. — If however by chance he should abruptly meet a single Guanaco or a herd, they will generally stand motionless & intently look at him — then perhaps move on a few yards, turn round & gaze again. — What is the cause of this difference in their shyness? Do they mistake a man in the distance for their chief enemy the Puma? Or does curiosity overcome their timidity? That they are curious is certain, for if a person lies on the ground & plays strange antics such as throwing up his feet in the air, they will almost always approach by degrees to reconnoitre him. It is an artifice which has been repeatedly practiced by our sportsmen: it has moreover the advantage of allowing several shots to be fired, which are all taken as parts of the performance. On the mountains of Tierra del Fuego, & in other places, I have more than once seen a guanaco, on being approached, not only neigh & squeal, but prance & leap about in the most ridiculous manner, apparently in defiance, as a challenge.(a) The Guanacoes readily take to the water; several times at Port Valdes they were seen swimming from island to island. —
[Note](a) These animals are very easily domesticated, & some are thus kept near the houses, although at large on their native plain. They are in this state very bold, & will readily attack a man by striking him from behind with both knees. — It is asserted that the motive for these attacks is jealousy for their females. The wild guanacos however have no idea of defence; a single dog will secure one of these large animals till the huntsman can come up. —
They may be compared to sheep in many of their habits; the whole herd is easily bewildered & driven from one to the other side, which greatly facilitates the success of the Indian manner of hunting with the Bolas. For when they see men approaching in several directions they know not which way to run, & are then without much trouble encompassed. — In many of their habits they are like sheep in a flock, thus when they see men approaching in several directions they soon become bewildered & know not which way to run. This greatly facilitates the Indian method of hunting on horseback with the bolas, for they are easily driven to a central point and are encompassed.
Byron in his voyage says he saw the Guanacoes drinking salt water; some of our officers saw a herd apparently drinking the briny fluid from a Salina near C. Blanco. — I imagine in several parts of the country, if they do not drink salt water they either drink none or must travel long distances for it. —
In the middle of the day, they frequently roll in the dust, in saucer-shaped hollows. — The males Guanaco often frequently fight together: two one day passed quite close to me, squeeling & trying to bite each other; & several were shot with their hides deeply scored. — Herds of Guanaco appear sometimes to set out on exploring parties. At Bahia Blanca where they are extremely unfrequent within thirty miles of the coast, I saw one day the tracks of thirty or forty which had come in a direct line to a muddy salt water creek. They then must have perceived that they were proceeding directly towards the sea, for they had wheeled with the regularity of cavalry & had returned back in as straight a line as they had advanced. — The gaunacoes have one singular habit which is to me quite inexplicable; namely that on successive days they drop their dung in one defined heap. I saw one of these heaps which was eight feet in diameter, & necessarily was composed of a large quantity of dung. — Frezier remarks on this habit as common to the Guanaco as well as to the Llama; he says it is very useful for the Indians, who use it for fuel & are thus saved the trouble of collecting it. There is also another singular fact, namely that the guanacoes (a)
[Note] (a): have favourite spots for dying in. On the banks of the S. Cruz, the ground in certain circumscribed spaces which generally were bushy & all near the river, was actually white with bones. On one such spot I counted between ten & twenty heads. — I particularly examined the bones; they did not appear, as some scattered ones which I had seen, gnawed or broken as if dragged together by a beast of prey. The animal in most cases must have crawled before dying beneath & amongst the bushes. Mr Bynoe informs me that during the last Voyage he observed the same circumstance on the banks of the R. Gallegos. It remains to me inexplicable; I can only add that the wounded gaunacoes at the S. Cruz invariably walked towards the river. — At St Jago in the C. de Verds I remember to have seen in a most retired ravine a
certain corner under a cliff where numerous goats' bones were collected. We at the time exclaimed that it was the burial ground of all the goats on the island. — I mention these trifling circumstances, because in certain cases it might throw light on the occurrence of a number of uninjured bones in a cave or buried under alluvial accumulations; and in explaining the cause why certain mammalian are more commonly embedded than others in sedimentary deposits. Any great flood of the S. Cruz would wash down many bones of the Guanaco, but probably not a single one of the puma, ostrich or fox. — I may also observe that almost every kind of waterfowl when wounded takes to the shore, so that fewer of their remains could be preserved than at first would be supposed. The Gaunaco seems particularly liable to contain Bezour stones in its stomach. The Indians who come to trade at the Rio Negro bring great numbers to sell for "remedios" or quack medicins. I saw one old man with a box full of all sizes, large & small. — (15)
NB. I have dimensions of Specimen shot at Port Desire, especially about the foot, to compare with those killed in T. del Fuego, which are supposed by some to have broader feet.
Rat, in great numbers inhabiting the high central part of the mountain of Ascension, separated from the coast by a broad, perfectly arid waste of lava. Was found here when the island was first settled. — They live in burrows, often are seen feeding by day; all are black & have glossy fur. [listed as Mus (Rattus var.? insularis) in Mammalia: 35-37]
Rat killed near the houses at the beach at a spot where the turtle are killed. — What species is it? [another variety of Mus Rattus]
Mice, appear like the Rat (3901) to be aboriginal; they live in same places, amidst the short grass. — [listed as Mus musculus in Mammalia: 38]
I was informed that at St Helena, amongst the rocky mountains, there is an aboriginal species of Mouse. — At New Zealand it is said that the Norway Rat has destroyed throughout the Northern part of the Island the proper inhabitant. Mice & Rats appear to be the first animals which arrive at any place. I may instance islands in the Pacific, the Abrolhos in the Atlantic. — At the Galapagos (uninhabited island), the extreme broken land of T. del Fuego, the small wooded islands of the Chonos archipelago, besides Ascension just mentioned. — I may observe that several species of Rats & Mice become domesticated. Thus the Rat of S. America with reddish fur; the small brown rat introduced from the Mauritius into Keeling Islds. Again, when crossing the plains between Buenos Ayres and the R. Negro, I saw in a small temporary hut
made of reeds, which had only been erected a few weeks previously in a country where for a distance of two hundred miles there were no houses, I saw several mice running about the thatch with the familiarity of the civilized English species. — On the other hand, at the Falkland Islds (& I believe C. de Verd Islands) the common house mouse has taken to the country & lives far from houses. — Are the various specimens of mice which I have collected, varieties or species? Their geographical distribution often causes me to doubt. —
Total of Animals
Richardson Vol. I p. 142 on field mouse inhabiting fur-hut
[This is the end of the document pp. 1-32. The following pages are sheets of paper of different sizes, with a variety of notes, often in no clear order.]
Hernandez, Francisco Historia novae Hispaniae
Versatur in loecoes calentibus qualis est Vanktepecansis lacustribus, ut dixinius et uliginosis.
Mr Gould Pteroptochos — Tarnii Mundine gulls Green Parrot — La jeune Veni
One Agouti only in North America, & that doubtful; 2 found in West Indies. No others of that large natural family.
There are some genera of Rodents peculiar to North America.
Bears, different species (close), common to both N & S; but these are rapacious animals.
All the Agoutis. Desmarest, S.A. [pencil, inked over and circled]
Bears different species (close) common to both N & S. But these are capricious animals. —
[Clinomys] common to both. —
Dasypus peba probably found in Mexico. It is species with wide range — Hernandez refers to it. [encircled]
Goat, sheep, ox, antelopes } N. America
Deer common to both. Ask for Richardson?
Monkeys? in North. No [encircled]. Look out Taturia, Tapir.
Range of existing elephants may be 50o. [encircled]
Fossil tail, length 17 inches, circumference upper end 11 & ½ inch, at extremity 8 & ½.
Opossums & Agoutis common to N & S. America.
Great mass of rodents. Different in the two? & even some genera
Are there squirrels in South America? Yes [encircled]
There is a Mexican Didelphis [encircled]
Coati, Plantigrada, confined to S. America } S. America
Kinkajou [potto] a species common to N. & South America. Also perhaps found in West Indies [encircled]
Genus Gulo common to both.
Badger North A. alone [encircled]
Marters genus N. alone?
Tapir only S (?) Not [encircled]
Peccari only S. Cuvier
Guanacos only S.
Cavia Cap. [= capensis] only S.
Dict. Class all sloths & anteaters, confined to S.
All armadilloes by looking over list all South
Jaguar apparently North
Puma, Cuvier says certainly
One Didelphis common to both N & S.
only two species found in North America, another Mexican
Otter probably found in both.
Dasypus minutus of Desma/ [Desmarest]
Dasypus apari. Mataco
[Ymalito] (D: Hybridus?)
I think it will be best to call it Peludo, & believe Tatu-poyu of Azara's description agrees v. closely
D. Villosa (quatheme of Azara), V. Azara & my notes.
Cat, symmetrically marked.
Vulpes Canis fulvipes —Chiloe — I think it is doubtful whether this chilla, or rather common sort
Canis — azarae —
Concepcion Copiapó & Bahia Blanca?
Enquire of Brit. Museum whether certain specimens from S. Cruz in Azara? Or Chilla
Canis — Magellanicus of Gray
Lutra Chilensis of Bennett
Lutra from Rio Plata? Canadensis.
What is Capt. F.F. small fox?
Didelphis crassicaudatus } Maldonado
—portensis — Valparaiso
Kerodon Kingii }
Cavia australis }
closely allied ?
St. Jago — mice
Mice, 186 closely allied to common but smaller, region of eye yellow, general colour paler & yellower on sides of body. — Under fur paler — tail rather longer in proportion.
Mus (common) 3 inch 10 lines. do. 3 inch 1 line [listed as Mus musculus in Mammalia: 38]
Mr Waterhouse has two mice, from Australia, which
though are very unlike each other (one is mine from K. Georges Sound), yet they both decidedly resemble in general form the Southern American species. And this form is distinct from those of the whole Old World. — Mr Waterhouse showed me small animal lately brought from Australia, with very close general resemblance with the Plate Didelphidae. — Marsupials. continent — Mem. the Curculionidae.
How is it with reptiles — Mem. Hylectus.
The Galapagos rat, allied to common rat (M. decumanus), smaller size, tail longer, fur very long — that is the long silky hairs — the tarsus shorter, ears larger — the fur on the belly is totally white, to the base of ē hairs that in com. rat is invariably gray at the base — in the above characters it approaches to the Mus tectorum of Professor Savi but that species differs in its proportions.
Smaller species, very like some of the S. American forms.
Mus allied to longicaudatus.
does not come into any of my divisions.
Reithrodon new species
[In Catalogue for Animals in Spirits of Wine the entries under 978 are: Gerbillus, Tierra del Fuego. Is it same with (2032)? Is it an old one?]
— for Dissection. The fur can easily be dried by heat. Sweepstakes Foreland. This animal is I believe certainly gregarious in its habits.
Octodon Cumingii Central Chile
2 spm Abrocoma Cuvieri Valparaiso
— Bennettii — Cordilleras. —
Poephagomys ater Valparaiso (black burrowing animal)
Ctenomys Magellanicus —
La Plata Sts Magellan
— Braziliensis — La Plata
Read Mr Bennetts paper on Chinchillidae
Three species, (Phyllotis Darwinii (2830) Coquimbo), (Mus pilosus (2831) Coquimbo), (Mus Olivaceus 2206 (2833) (2832)). — These three species from Pacific side of Andes: all distinct from those on Atlantic side. — But there are two species of same section Phyllotis in Patagonia (N.B. Phyllotis sub genus of Mus). The two other species of mice have close affinities with one from Patagonia & with two from Maldonado.
In woods of Chiloe & Chonos Mus brachyotus (2432 & 2433) (perhaps two species) are allied to (2831) of Coquimbo [listed as Desmodus D'Orbingyi in Mammalia:1-3] & another (Mus obscurus of La Plata).
So that we thus have all (four) mice on West side different from East side.
five with swarm mouse.
Tierra del Fuego
Patagonia including Bahia Blan
six species of mice
Phyllotis 2 species
Reithrodon 2 species (2032 cunicoloides) [listed as Reithrodon cuniculoïdes in Mammalia: 69-71] (1755) xanthotis
N.B. Reithrodon is not found on Pampa of Cordillera.
N.B. Phyllotis not found in Plata: a friend of desert:
Maldonado eight species; one reithrodon distinct from Patagonian (1284 Reithrodon obscuriforus) [listed as Reithrodon typicus in Mammalia: 71-72]
There is a peculiar character to all mice of S. America, slightly different from true mice, Mr Waterhouse excepted one (1237) which oddly enough inhabited houses of Maldonado, but this appears rather different from English mice.
From New Holland Mr Waterhouse has two species, though unlike each other (one of mine from K. George Sound) — which has some considerable affinity with those but are different from those of all parts of Old World. (Mem: Opossums) (two specimens lately brought from Australia very like those from the Plata. —
None of my species identical with Rengger & Azara. Latter six all no doubt from further North.
Keeling Rat (3591) [listed as 3590]
(N.B. All rats of same appear diseased.
same from top of mountain same)
differs from common rat in being smaller & brighter colour, rather yellower, no other difference, perhaps tail rather longer — belly instead of being white is yellowish.
Mr Waterhouse cannot make up his mind.
Ascension — 3901. Mus niger, ordinary fur longer than Europaean. Considerably softer,
long silky hairs not so long, numerous or stiff. No whitish hairs, proportions different, rather less animal. — General colour black; deep grey beneath. [listed as Mus Rattus var.? insularis in Mammalia: 35-37]
Mus (3902) Mus subniger, closely allied to last but sides & back intermixed with yellow hairs, under parts deep grey, feet black, proportions same as last, ordinary fur, not so long & harsher, more like common rat in fur.
Mice probably same, two specimens
Dasypus giganteus peba minutus pilosus hybridus
3 or 4 species
Manis about 5 species
novemcinctus — long tail
truncatus 1 species
Orycteropus 1 species
Monotrema 2 species
[An unidentified sketch, without text]
(1) Bat Edostoma — No. 9
(5) — Vespertilio — 158
(4) — Dysopes nasutus — 704, 703, 2322, skins
(2) — Phyllostomus perspicillatum — 134
(3) — Do — nigrescens — 3
(6) Ceutenes — 3636
(7) Galictis — 1278
(9) Canis Magellanicus — 3187
Do Do (Stuffed presd by Capt. King original
(8) — Antarcticus
(10) — Azarae Larger — 818, 3188
& Skin of Do
GR presd by Capt King
(9) Canis fuloipes — 2431
(11) Felis Darwinii — —
(12) _____ Pageris — small 1443, large 2038
(13) _____ Domesticus — 1279
(14) Lutra chilensis — 2529
(15) Do Do — 1400
(16) Delphinus Fitz Royi — 1307
(17) Cervus campestris — 1292
Do Do — —
Horns of Do — 1337
Do Do — 1338
Heart of Common Goat — 2499
Mus New Holland — Galapagos — St Pauls ? — ——— ? — Braziliensis & species in Proceedings 23 in number
Coypu — 2530
Poephagomys ater — 2715
Ctenomys Braziliensis [illeg text in pencil, very faint] — 1267
Octodon, like rabbit [illeg] — 2202
2066 Mus decumanus [listed as Mus decumanus in Mammalia: 31-33]
3903 Mus musculus [listed as Mus musculus in Mammalia: 38]
1280 Mus maurus [listed as Mus (decumanus) maurus in Mammalia: 33]
3360 — decumanoïdes [listed as Mus Jacobiae in Mammalia: 34-35]
3901} — Rattoides [listed as Mus (Rattus var.? insularis) in Mammalia: 35-37]
3311 Mus Galapagoensis [listed as Mus Galapagoensis in Mammalia: 65-66]
1457 Mus Braziliensis [listed as Mus Braziliensis in Mammalia: 58-60]
the rest to follow as in Proceedings
3564 Mus fuscipes [listed as Mus fuscipes in Mammalia: 66-67]
1284 Reithrodon typicus [listed as Reithrodon typicus in Mammalia: 71-72]
2032} Reithrodon cuniculoïdes [listed as Reithrodon cuniculoïdes in Mammalia: 69-71]
Viscacha — young 846, old 1442
Keradon Kuyii — 1471, 1774
Patagonia Cavy — 817
Rabbit — 1005
Head of Do — 1902
Dasypus hybridus — 1413
Do minutus — 1697
Didelphis Azar — 1281
— crassicaudatus — 1202
— brachiurus — 1289
— hortensis — 2204 2205
NB. Take all closely allied species [encircled]
|East||West [ ] Chili|
|Tinochorus||do? (a desert bird)|
|Psittacus||yes, no reason|
|741. Furnarius. B.Blanca||yes, do|
|Sturnus ruber||goes round|
|Totanus black, one kind||goes round, others?|
|Muscicapa with yellow eyes||no|
|Big Kingfisher||goes round|
|Thenca, same in Chili & La Planta?||no|
|Bien to Veo||no|
|Inelegant Himantopus||yes (no reason)|
|Common Thrush||goes round|
|Picus on ground||different
|Icterus with yellow patch?||(No good reason) yes|
|Both Furnarii||go round — one differs|
|Long billed kind —||(No good reason) yes|
|Blancas||yes (no good reason)|
|Little owl||yes (no good reason)|
|Teru teru||(no good reason)|
|Pointed tailed Tit-mouse||(no good R) goes round|
|Pategonian Furnarius||(no good R)|
|Are goatsuckers different||yes [illeg]|
|Red throated creeper||yes (no reason) do|
|Tufted Tit||do — do — goes round|
Ornithology of Falklands as compared to T. del Fuego.
The resemblance in the ornithology of opposite side
several birds which
do not appear to have never crossed some that do, while it does not seem very probably would voluntary cross the mountains representative species on each side.
Sp. 1 Mus decumanus
In Mr Darwin's collection I find five specimens which appear to me identical with our common Rat, of these, two are from East Falkland Island and there is one from each of the following localities, Buenos Ayres, Maldonado, and Valparaiso.
Although these specimens differ somewhat in colour from our Common Rat, I can find no character of sufficient importance to induce me to consider them as distinct species. — The two specimens from East Falkland Island — compared with Mus decumanus — differ in being of a lighter and richer colour — the hairs of the back are tipped with reddish-brown or rust colour, whereas those of M. decumanus are of what I should term of an ochre-colour at their apee — the general hue of the latter is grayish whereas that of the former is inclining to red. —
The specimen from Valparaiso is intermediate in colour between the two just mentioned and those from Maldonado and Buenos Ayres agree in colour with the Falkland Island specimens. —
page in Syms Covington's handwriting.
258 } West
} same animal
245 } East
Rather smaller, of a redder colour fur rather shorter, much fewer long black hairs, with white mark in middle.
257 East Falkland. is the larger kind. —
59. Small fox. Bahia Blanca (bring mine)
43 [verso] [page not microfilmed?]
Parrot beaked finch from James Island. — Pteroptochos paradoxus.
Family Muridæ — hairy 6 rooted molars in each jaw —
G — Reithrodon — distinguished by the upper incisors being grooved in the centre.
1. Cunicoloides 2032 S. Cruz Patagonia
2. obscurifrons 1284 Maldonado
3. xanthotis 1755 & 1695 Patagonia
4. 978 I think is a Distinct species do
Subgenus Phyllotis, teeth differ from true rats — tail long, ears larger —
1. Darwinii 2830 Coquimbo
2. longicaudatus 1472 Patagonia
3. pallescens 2033 — 1694 — 1693 Patagonia
Mus tumidus 1285 Maldonado
— obscurus 1265 Maldonado
nasutus 1287 Maldonado
1. pilosus 2831 Coquimbo
2. olivaceus 2206,2832,2833 Coquimbo
3. micropus 2834 S. Cruz
4. brachiotis 2432 & ?2433 Chiloe
arenarius 1288 Maldonado
5. Xanthorhynus 2035 S. Cruz
6. flavitarsis 1002 T. del Fuego
7. canescens 1696 Port Desire
8. pygmaeus 1342 Patagonia R. Negro
bimaculatus 1289 Maldonado
flavus 1290 Maldonado
elegans 777 Maldonado
Magellanicus St of Magellan
arenarius 1288 Maldonado
brevirostris 1237 Maldonado — typical mouse
maurus 1280 Maldonado } typical rat
fulviventer 1457 Bahia Blanca }
One may observe in the foregoing list that, the Patagonian & Chilian ones though distinct species generally go together, & that the Maldonado have likewise a character somewhat peculiar to itself.—
It is remarkable that the long tailed mice which approach the character of old world ones are found on Eastern side. — With this view where will (gracilipis in spirits comes) also that from swarms of Concepcion, & Galapagos
There are twenty four species of mice (leaving out red set of Europe & known mice of Maldonado) to this must be added gracilipis — reithrodon from St of M & one from Concepcion swarms.
Specimens in Zoolog Collect
Species known from S America
About 13 more south of the Tropics, including Azara [circled]
From about the Tropics
= 40 all together
Bizcacha replaced vertically by alpine species many times
Guanaco do do by vicuna do
Maldonado Cavia (1266) replaced deserts of Pat by species close (1471 & 1587)
Tuco-tuco replaced by Tuco tuco of Chile (?) genus?
Mulita — replaced by Pichiz: mingling
Blue fox of Chile replaces common one. —
Falkland fox replaces ________.
Galapagos mouse replaces __________.
Plata Didelphis by Chile species (?)
Plata otter — Chile otters.
Borley Proceeding p.57. 1831
A small species of ratel not typical of genus distinguished by false molars is said to be found in Chili by D'Orbigny genus peculiar to India & Africa.
Strongest case — (Guanaco — Vicuna.) — (Pichez — Mulita) — (Tucu cavies?). —
I think we may deduce animals very distinct.—
More armadilloes &c. — Where mice [illeg] greater confirmation — Mus coypus greatest exception — From Guanaco, Fox easily understood, & comes alpine species as the Bizcacha & cougar. Deer count for nothing.
|East||West [—] Chile|
|Cavia Patagonica||0 (?) (?)|
|Mountain species||yes } alpine|
|Canis Azarae||yes } desert elevation|
|Cavia cobaya species||no|
|Tuco-tucos (2 species)||no|
|Didelphis (3) species||(?)|
|Are mice generally different, yes all. Phyllotis|
|Armadilloes — seven or eight species||no|
|Zorilla||yes (Molina) desert Alpine|
|Bat (how can they?)|
|Yes||Mus coypus (? go round)|
|Canis culpæus||yes. mingling & far south|
Thenca. La Plata species & Patagonian & Chile kind.
La Plata Furnarius replaced by Patagonian kinds.
Partridges replacing each other on [illeg] of Cordillara. C. Bahia Blanca & La Plata.]
Is there any replacement of sparrows yes
Any replacement by furnaria yes in islands
[illeg] rufiventer & magellanicus
Common sparrow not crossed to Falklands.
How many birds peculiar to that arch.
N.B. Case of common owl.
Birds common to Cape Horn to Lima, probably further North.
Sturnus ruber — Mellisuga Kingii, Carracara — Little hawk — Condor
Common sparrow? — Thenca to near St of Megallan — Small Furnarius to Concepcion — dark no.
Very many birds common to Chili & Plata & La Plata
(four Furnarii) (two or three icteri) (Thenca) (rusty colour finch on coast) long tailed tit. Sturnus ruber
Valparaiso & Tierra del Fuego — Carrion hawk: Little hawk: Common Sparrow — Thrush (Distance ?)
Finch Elycolites; little creeper — little hummingbird. — Sturnus ruber, icterus: black
Kilty [illeg] brown? — coast brown finch: — 2 furnarii; some finches. tufted tit, white tufted muscicapa: long tailed tit: Big Kingfishers: blue fan tail: swallow? —
(not one bird peculiar to T. del Fuego ??)?
Alpine birds Muscicapa 2197
Furnarius 1823, Fringilla 1615
Wide ranges ?
Geographical limits of Birds & Animals [encircled]
Chili & not in Plata
[Ferngalle dinca]. no
Two humming birds
Blue Lanius 2167
Diodon — Bahia
March 10th a Diodon was caught swimming in its unexpanded form near to the shore. — Length about an inch: above blackish brown, beneath spotted with yellow. — On head four soft projections: the upper ones longer like the feelers of a snail. Eye with pupil dark blue; iris yellow mottled with black. — The dorsal caudal and anal fins are so close together, that they act as one. These as well as the Pectorals, which are placed just before the bronchial apertures, are in a continual state of tremulous motion, even when the animal remains still. — The animal propels its body by using these posterior fins, in same manner as a boat is sculled, that is by moving them rapidly from side to side with an oblique surface exposed to the water.- The pectoral fins have great play which is necessary to enable the animal to swim with its back downwards. — When handled a considerable quantity of a fine "Carmine red" fibrous secretion was emitted from the abdomen, and stained paper, ivory &c, of a bright colour. — The fish has several means of defence it can bite hard, and can squirt water to some distance from its mouth, making at the same time a curious noise with its jaws. — After being taken out of water for a short time, and then placed in again, it absorbed by the mouth (perhaps likewise by the branchial apertures) a considerable quantity of water and air, sufficient to distend its body into a perfect globe. — This process is effected by two methods; the air is swallowed and then forced into the cavity of the body, its return being prevented by a muscular contraction which is externally visible. The water however, I ob-
page in another handwriting.
Diodon — Bahia
served entered in a stream through the mouth, which was distended and motionless; hence this latter action must have been caused by the dilatation of the animal, producing suction. When the body is thus distended the papillæ, with which it is covered become stiff, the above mentioned tentacula on the head, being excepted. — The animal being so much buoyed up, the branchial openings are out of water, but a stream regularly flowed out of them which was as constantly replenished by the mouth. — After having remained in this state for a short time, the air and water would be expelled with considerable force, from the branchial apertures and the mouth. — The animal at its pleasure could emit a certain portion of the water and I think it is clear that the fluid is taken in partly for the sake of regulating the specific gravity of its body. — The skin about the abdomen is much looser than that on the back and in consequence is the most distended; hence the animal swims with its back downwards. — Cuvier doubts their being able to swim when in this position; but they clearly can not only swim forward, but also move round. — this they affect, not like other fish, by the action of their tails, but collapsing the caudal fins they move only by their pectorals. — When placed in fresh water seemed singularly little inconvenienced.
page in another handwriting.
[There is a small piece of paper inserted with p. 49 (not microfilmed):]
Colour from abdomen of Diodon.
[This ends page 49. in the volume DAR 29.1 this is followed by part B, which is a list of Fish in Spirits.]
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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (http://darwin-online.org.uk/)
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