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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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