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The tarandrus,1 too, of the Scythians, changes its colour, but this is the case with none of the animals which are covered with hair, except the lycaon2 of India, which is said to have a mane on the neck. But with respect to the thos,3 (which is a species of wolf, differing from the common kind in having a larger body and very short legs, leaping with great activity, living by the chase, and never attacking man); it changes its coat, and not its colour, for it is covered with hair in the winter, and goes bare in summer. The tarandrus is of the size of the ox; its head is larger than that of the stag, and not very unlike it; its horns are branched, its hoofs cloven, and its hair as long as that of the bear. Its proper colour, when it thinks proper to return to it, is like that of the ass. Its hide is of such extreme hardness, that it is used for making breastplates. When it is frightened, this animal reflects the colour of all the trees, shrubs, and flowers, or of the spots in which it is concealed; hence it is that it is so rarely captured. It is wonderful that such various hues should be given to the body, but still more so that it should be given to the hair.

1 Cuvier remarks, that this account is from the anonymous treatise De Mirab. Auscult. p. 1152, and from Theophrastus; and that it was probably derived, in the first instance, from the imperfect account which the ancients possessed of the reindeer, the hair of which animal becomes nearly white in the winter, and in the summer of a brown or grey colour. Bekmann, however, who has written a commentary on the above-mentioned treatise, supposes that the tarandrus is the elk. Cuvier conceives, that the animal described by Cæsar, Bell. Gall. B. vi. c. 26, as inhabiting the Hercynian Forest, which he designates as "bos cervi figura," is the reindeer; and suggests that "tarandrus" may have originated in the German, das rennthier. Ajasson, vol. vi. pp. 453, 454; Lemaire, vol. iii. pp. 456, 457. Ælian, Anim. Nat. B. ii. c. 16, speaks of the change of colour in the tarandrus in a way which does not correspond with any animal known to exist.—B. Pliny's stories of the tarandrus, thos, and chameleon are ridiculed by Rabelais, B. iv. c. 3.

2 Cuvier supposes that the lycaon of Pliny is the Indian tiger, which has a mane; but what is said of its change of colour is incorrect.—B.

3 Naturalists have differed respecting the identity of the animal here described, but Cuvier conceives, that Bochart has proved it to be the canis aureus chakal (jackal) of Linnæus. The description given by Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. ii. c. 17, and B. ix. c. 44, agrees with this supposition; it is also described by Oppian, Halieut. B. ii. c. 615.—B.

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