Sketches of Natural History of Ceylon eBook

J. Emerson Tennent
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 590 pages of information about Sketches of Natural History of Ceylon.

[Footnote 1:  VALENTYN, Beschryving, &c., p. 333.]

Finally Valentyn winds up his proofs, by the accumulated testimony of Pliny [1], Theodore Gaza, George of Trebisond, and Alexander ab Alexandro, to show that mermaids had in all ages been known in Gaul, Naples, Epirus, and the Morea.  From these and a multitude of more modern instances he comes to the conclusion, that as there are “sea-cows,” “sea-horses,” and “sea-dogs;” as well as “sea-trees” and “sea-flowers” which he himself had seen, what grounds in reason are there to doubt that there may also be “sea-maidens” and “sea-men!”

[Footnote 1:  Nat.  Hist. l. ix. c. 5, where Pliny speaks of the Nereids.]

List of Ceylon Mammalia.

A list of the Mammalia of Ceylon is subjoined.  In framing it, as well as the lists appended to the other chapters on the Fauna of the island, the principal object in view has been to exhibit the extent to which the Natural History of the island had been investigated, and collections made up to the period of my leaving the colony in 1850.  It has been considered expedient to exclude a few individuals which have not had the advantage of a direct comparison with authentic specimens, either at Calcutta or in England.  This will account for the omission of a number that have appeared in other catalogues, but of which many, though ascertained to exist, have not been submitted to this rigorous process of identification.

The greater portion of the species of mammals and birds contained in these lists will be found, with suitable references to the most accurate descriptions, in the admirable catalogue of the collection at the India House, published under the care of the late Dr. Horsfield.  This work cannot be too highly extolled, not alone for the scrupulous fidelity with which the description of each species is referred to its first discoverer, but also for the pains which have been taken to elaborate synonymes and to collate from local periodicals and other sources, (little accessible to ordinary inquirers,) such incidents and traits as are calculated to illustrate characteristics and habits.


  cephalopterus, Zimm.
  ursinus, Blyth
  Priamus, Elliot & Blyth
  Thersites, Blyth
Macacus pileatus, Shaw & Desm
Loris gracilis, Geoff.


Pteropus Edwardsii, Geoff
  Leschenaultii, Dum
  marginatus, Ham
Megaderma spasma, Linn.
  lyra, Geoff
Rhinolophus affinis, Horsf
  murinus, Elliot.
  speoris, Elliot.
  armiger, Hodgs.
  vulgaris, Horsf
Kerivoula picta, Pall
  longimanus, Har
Scotophilus Coromandelicus, F.  Cuv.
  adversus, Horsf
  Temminkii, Horsf
  Tickelli, Blyth

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Sketches of Natural History of Ceylon from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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