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The individual figured is from the Island of Harris, and is the largest in my possession.
2. VENERUPIS NUCLEUS.
Lamarck Syst. v. p. 507. Pl. I.
Spec. Char.-V. testa ovata, extremitatibus obtusa, ad umbones lævigata, transverse rugosa, longitudinaliter striis minutissimis decussata, latere antico lamelloso.
Description.-Shell broadly ovate, subrhomboideal, rounded at both ends, with the umbones close upon the posterior extremity, thick, transversely wrinkled, longitudinally very minutely striate, the umbones smooth and shining, the anterior extremity lamellar. Colour yellowish-white. Left valve with three, right with two teeth, much resembling those of Venus pullastra, but shorter. Anterior extremity a little hiant. Internal surface smooth, shining, white, with a purple spot at the anterior extremity.
It is allied to, but very distinct from, Montagu's Venus perforans.
The specimen figured is from the Island of Scalpay, in Harris; but I have seen one from the same place more than double the size.
Of the species here described, the first is supposed to be new ; the second to be for the first time ascertained as British.
Account of the Capture of a colossal Orang-Outang in the Island of Sumatra, and Description of its Appearance. By Dr CLARK ABEL.
IN the Hunterian Museum there was, and probably still is, the arm of an orang-outang, which many years ago excited the curiosity of naturalists, and induced them to infer that it belonged to an animal exceeding in height the human mecies. That arm, we doubt not, belonged to the species
by Dr ABEL, of which the following accounts, the fifteenth volume of the Asiatic Researches, read with much interest.
The individual described by Dr Abel was c woods of Sumatra.
Capture of the Animul.-The following short history of the circumstances under which the animal was found, and of the mode of taking him, is drawn up from accounts which were furnished to Dr Abel, cither directly or indirectly, by persons concerned in his capture.
A boat party, under the command of Messrs Craygyman and Fish, officers of the brig Mary Anne Sophia, having landed to procure water at a place called Ramboom, near Touraman, on the north-west coast of Sumatra, on a spot where there was much cultivated ground, and but few trees, discovered on one of these a gigantic animal of the monkey tribe. On the approach of the party he came to the ground, and, when pursued, sought refuge in another tree at some distance, exhibiting as he moved, the appearance of a tall man-like figure, covered with shining brown hair, walking erect, with a waddling gait, but sometimes accelerating his motion with his hands, and occasionally impelling himself forward with the bough of a tree. motion on the ground was plainly not his natural mode of progression, for even when assisted by his hands or a stick, it was slow and vacillating it was necessary to see him amongst trees in order to estimate his agility and strength. On being driven to a small clump, he gained by one spring a very lofty branch, and bounded from one branch to another with the ease and alacrity of a common monkey. Had the country been covered with wood, it would have been almost impossible to prevent his escape, as his mode of travelling from one tree to another is described to be as rapid as the progress of a swift horse. Even amidst the few trees that were on the spot, his movements were so quick that it was very difficult to obtain a settled aim; and it was only by cutting down one tree after another, that his pursuers, by confining him within a very limited range, were enabled to destroy him by several successive shots, some of which penetrated his body and wounded his viscera. Having received five balls, his exertions relaxed, and reclining exhausted on one of the branches of a tree, he vomited a considerable quantity of blood. The ammunition of the hunters being by this time expended, they were obliged to fell the tree in order to obtain him, and did this in full confidence that his power was so far gone that they could secure him without trouble, but were astonish
ed, as the tree was falling, to see him effect his retreat to another, with apparently undiminished vigour. In fact, they were obliged to cut down all the trees before they could drive him to combat his enemies on the ground, against whom he still exhibited surprising strength and agility, although he was at length overpowered by numbers, and destroyed by the thrusts of spears, and the blows of stones and other missiles. When nearly in a dying state, he seized a spear, made of a supple wood, which would have withstood the strength of the stoutest man, and shivered it in pieces; in the words of the narrator, he broke it as if it had been a carrot. It is stated by those who aided in his death, that the human-like expression of his countenance, and piteous manner of placing his hands over his wounds, distressed their feelings, and almost made them question the nature of the act they were committing. When dead, both natives and Europeans contemplated his figure with amazement. His stature, at the lowest computation, was upwards of six feet; at the highest, it was nearly eight; but it will afterwards be seen that it was probably about seven.
In the following description, which I give in the words of my informant, many of my readers will detect some of those external conformations which distinguish the young eastern orang outangs that have been seen in Europe. The only part of the description in which the imagination seems to have injured the fidelity of the portrait, regards the prominence of the nose and size of the eyes, neither of which are verified by the integuments of the animal's head. "The animal was nearly eight feet high, and had a well-proportioned body, with a fine broad expanded chest and narrow waist. His head also was in due proportion to his body; the eyes were large, the nose prominent, and the mouth much more capacious than the mouth of His chin was fringed from the extremity of one ear to the other, with a beard that curled neatly on each side, and formed altogther an ornamental rather than a frightful a dage to his visage. His arms were very long, even in tion to his height, and in relation to the arms of men ; legs were in some respects much shorter. His organs ration were not very conspicuous, and seemed to JANUARY-MARCH 1827.
proportion to his size. The hair of his coat was smooth and glossy when he was first killed, and his teeth and appearance altogether indicated that he was young, and in the full possession of his physical powers. Upon the whole," adds his biographer, " he was a wonderful beast to behold, and there was more in him to excite amazement than fear."
That this animal showed great tenacity of life, is evident from his surviving so many dreadful wounds; and his peculiarity in this respect seems to have been a subject of intense surprise to all his assailants. In reference to this point, it may be proper to remark, that, after he had been carried on board ship, and was hauled up for the purpose of being skinned, the first stroke of the knife on the skin of the arm produced an instantaneous vibration of its muscles, followed by a convulsive contraction of the whole member. A like quivering of the mus cles occurred when the knife was applied to the skin of the back, and so impressed Captain Cornfoot with a persuasion that the animal retained his sensibility, that he ordered the process of skinning to stop till the head had been removed.
It seems probable that this animal had travelled from some distance to the place where he was found, as his legs were covered with mud up to the knees, and he was considered as great a prodigy by the natives as by the Europeans. They had never before met with an animal like him, although they lived within two days' journey of one of the vast and almost impenetrable forests of Sumatra. They seemed to think that his appearance accounted for many strange noises, resembling screams and shouts, and various sounds, which they could neither attri bute to the roar of the tiger, nor to the voice of any other beast: with which they were familiar. What capability the great orang-outang may possess of uttering such sounds does not appear, but this belief of the Malays may lead to the capture of other individuals of his species, and to the discovery of more interesting particulars of his conformation and habits.
The only material discrepancy which I can detect in the dif ferent accounts which have been given of this animal, regards his height, which in some of them is vaguely stated at from above six feet to nearly eight. Captain Cornfoot, however, who favoured me with a verbal description of the animal when
brought on board his ship, stated that "he was a full head taller than any man on board, measuring seven feet in what might be called his ordinary standing posture, and eight feet, when suspended for the purpose of being skinned."
The following measurements, which I have carefully made of different parts of the animal in the Society's Museum, go far to determine this point, and are entirely in favour of Captain Cornfoot's accuracy. The skin of the body of the animal, dried and shrivelled as it is, measures in a straight line from the top of the shoulder to the part where the ancle has been removed, 5 feet 10 inches, the perpendicular length of the neck as it is in the preparation 3 inches, the length of the head from the top of the forehead to the end of the chin 9 inches, and the length of the skin still attached to the foot from its line of separation from the legs 8 inches ;-we thus obtain 7 feet 6 inches as the approximated height of the animal. The natural bending posture of the ape tribe would obviously diminish the height of the standing posture in the living animal, and probably reduce it to Captain Cornfoot's measurement of 7 feet, whilst the stretching that would take place when the animal was extended for dissection, might as obviously increase his length to 8 feet.
(To be continued.)
On the Lead Mines in the South of Spain.
THE metalliferous limestone of the South of Spain is so rich in galena, as to furnish, even in the present imperfect state of mining in that country, about 20,000 tons of lead, a quantity nearly equal to half of the total produce of the lead mines of England (45,000 tons). It is worthy the attention of the leadmine owners in England, that those of Spain consider themselves well paid if they get L. 19 sterling per ton, on delivery in London; and that the quantity actually made will go on increasing, as the population becomes more numerous, or as the power of machinery is substituted for manual labour. The introductio into this district of machinery from England, also deserves t most serious consideration, as it would not only give the