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1 According to Cuvier, the lynx of Pliny is the Felis caracal of Lin- næus: it is common in many parts of Asia and Africa, in the retired forest districts, and still exists in the Pyrenees and the mountains of Naples.—B.
2 As far as the accounts of the sphinx are to be regarded as not entirely fabulous, we must suppose it to have originated in some species of the monkey tribe; perhaps the Sinlia troglodytes or chimpanzé.—B.
3 Of course the winged horse is an imaginary being, nor does it appear what is the origin of the fable; the horns are an unusual appendage to the pegasus.—B. The pegasus and the rhinoceros together may have given rise to that fabulous animal, the unicorn. See, however, the Monoceros, mentioned in c. 31.
4 Although a hybrid animal is produced by the union of the wolf and the dog, it does not form a permanent species. But, as Cuvier remarks, by the insertion of "velut," Pliny seems to imply that the crocotta unites the physical properties of the two animals. Ctesias, Indic. c. 32, gives an account of the cynolycus, or "dog-wolf," from which Pliny seems to have taken his crocotta.—B.
5 It does not seem possible to determine what species of monkey is here designated; it is most probable that he himself had no accurate knowledge.—B.
6 We may here refer to the judicious remarks of Cuvier, Ajasson, vol. vi. pp. 427, 428, and Lemaire, vol. iii. p. 399, on the leucrocotta. It seems impossible to identify Pliny's description with any known animal, and it is not unlikely that he has confused the accounts of authors who were speaking of different animals. Some of the characteristics of the leucrocotta agree with those of the Indian antelope, while others seem to resemble those of the hyæna.—B.
7 Perhaps the eale may have been the two-horned rhinoceros, as some naturalists say that there is a degree of mobility in the horns of that animal; the same observation has been made with respect to the wild or forest bulls, the description of which animal, in Pliny, is probably from Diodorus Siculus.—B.
8 This description of the mantichora appears to be taken from the Indica of Ctesias; it has been also adopted by Aristotle and Ælian, but they have qualified their accounts by some expressions of doubt, which are omitted by Pliny. It has been conjectured, that Ctesias took his description from the hieroglyphic figures in his time, probably common in the East, and still found in the ruins of the Assyrian and Persian cities, Nineveh and Persepolis, for instance.—B.
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