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Quadrupeds, What They Are and Where Found by Reid

Produced by Nick Hodson of London, England

Quadrupeds, what they are and where found, by Captain Mayne Reid.

________________________________________________________________________ This is a fairly short book, but it certainly hits the spot, for its aim is to inform young people about the four-legged animals of our planet, and this it does very competently.

Of course there is no reason why young ladies should not read this book: I am sure they would enjoy this just as much Reid's target readership, which was boys.

There are 24 chapters, each dealing with a kind of animal. Sometimes an animal genus is given two chapters, for instance domestic dogs, and wild dogs. One grouse: the phrase "well-known" occurs over forty times. Would the "well-known" fact be well-known to the book's intended readership? Probably not.

There are a score of very nice illustrations, most showing numerous animals of that chapter's genus.

________________________________________________________________________ QUADRUPEDS, WHAT THEY ARE AND WHERE FOUND, BY CAPTAIN MAYNE REID.

PREFACE.

I have been called upon to write illustrative sketches to a series of engravings, designed by an eminent artist. In performing my part of the work I have thrown the _Mammalia_ into twenty-four groups--corresponding more or less to the picture designs--and have dwelt chiefly on the geographical distribution of the animals. The _Cetaceae_ and _Vespertilionidae_ are properly omitted.

In the groups given there is no attempt made at any very scientific arrangement. The sketches are purely of a popular character, even the scientific nomenclature being avoided. It is hoped, however, that they may prove of service to the zoological tyro, and form as it were his first stepping-stone to a higher order of classification.

In reality, notwithstanding the prodigious _speculations_ of learned anatomists, no truly good arrangement of the _Mammalia_ has yet been arrived at; the deficiency arising from the fact that, as yet, no true zoologist has had the opportunity of a sufficiently extended observation of the natural habits of animals.

Now, however, that the great agent--steam--has as it were "brought the ends of the earth together," the opportunity is no longer wanting; and it is to be hoped that a better classification may soon be obtained. Who knows but that some ardent young zoologist, who has taken his first lessons from this little book, may be the man to supply the desideratum? Who knows?

Such a result would be a proud triumph for the author of these monographic sketches.

Mayne Reid.

CHAPTER ONE.

MONKEYS OF THE OLD WORLD.

The great family of the Monkeys, or the "Monkey tribe," as it is usually called, is divided by naturalists into two large groups--the "Monkeys of the Old World," or those that inhabit Africa, Asia, and the Asiatic islands; and the "Monkeys of the New World," or those that belong to America. This classification is neither scientific nor natural, but as it serves to simplify the study of these quadrupeds--or _quadrumana_, as they are termed--it is here retained. Moreover, as there is no genus of monkey, nor even a species, common to both hemispheres, such a division can do no harm.


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