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CLASSIFICATION OF MAMMALS.
II. CHEIROPTERA. Example-Bats.
Some of these are fruit eaters, others insect eaters. The flesh of a few bats is eaten.
III. INSECTIVORA. Insect eaters. Examples—The Hedgehog and Mole.
This order is not of much commercial importance.
IV. CARNIVORA. Flesh eaters-beasts of prey. Examples—Lion, Cat, Fox, Bear, Seal.
This is the most important order of animals for the supply of skins and furs to commerce. The flesh of some carnivorous animals is eaten in certain districts.
V. RODENTIA. Gnawing animals. Examples—Rat, Hare, Rabbit, Beaver, Squirrel.
Many furnish furs to commerce, and their flesh serves for food. 380 species are known to naturalists.
The great incisor teeth being separated widely from the molars is the characteristic of this order, and enables the animals to gnaw hard substances, such as wood, with facility.
VI. EDENTATA. Animals wholly or partially without teeth. To this order are added the Monotremes. Examples--Armadillo, Sloth.
This order is commercially unimportant.
VII. RUMINANTIA. Ruminants, or cud chewers, who remasticate their food, which, after it is brought into the first stomach and imperfectly digested, comes again to the mouth.
They are cloven-hoofed, and with but few exceptions have horns. The horns are either solid, deciduous, as in the deer, persistent, with a core, as in the antelope and goat, or round and smooth as in the ox and buffalo : some of the buffaloes, however, have them wrinkled. Examples-Ox, Sheep, Goat, Camel, Alpaca.
This is the most valuable order of any for the commercial products it supplies, in animal food, skins, wool, tallow, &c.
VIII. SOLIDUNGULA, or solid hoofed, on each foot only one toe or hoof. Examples-Horse, Ass. These are exceedingly useful to man as draught animals and for
r products, hair, skins, flesh, &c.
CLASSIFICATION OF MAMMALS.
IX. PACHYDERMATA. Thick-skinned animals. Examples—Elephant, Hippopotamus, Hog.
By some naturalists the Pachydermata are made to include the Solidungula.*
Some of the animals of this order, as the hog and the elephant, are of high commercial importance.
X. AQUATIC MAMMALS. Examples-Manatee, Dugong, Beluga, Whale.
By naturalists the manatees are grouped in a separate order termed Sirenia, the seals and otters belong to the Carnivorous order, and the whales to the Cetacea.
The aquatic mammals are commercially valuable for their flesh as food, for their skins, and the oil obtained from their blubber.
XI. MARSUPIALIA. Pouched animals. Examples - Kangaroo, Opossum, Wombat.
The animals of this order are sought for their flesh and skins; some are herbivorous, others carnivorous.
* One of the most recent classifications is that establishing the order UNGULATA, hoofed mammals, which combines the three divisions, Pachydermata, Solidungula, and Ruminantia, which have been thrown into three new sections or sub-orders, and stand classified thus, according to Mr. Wilson (Elements of Zoology):A. ARTIODACTYLA. B. PERISSODACTYLA. C. PROBOSCIDEA. § 1. Omnivora.
§ 1. Solidungula. Elephants. § 2. Ruminantia. § 2. Multungula. Mr. ANDREW MURRAY classifies the UNGULATA in the following manner :A. MONODACTYLA (The Solidungula). Horses, &c. B. ARTIODACTYLA. 1. Ruminants, including camels, oxen, sheep, antelopes, camelopard,
deer, musk deer and chevrolins (Tragulidae). 2. Anoplotheridae (extinct).
3. Non Ruminants, including the peccary, swine, hippopotamus. C. MULTUNGULA.
THE WOOL-PRODUCING ANIMALS AND THEIR USES TO MAN.
The Collection commences at the east end of the raised floor gallery,
immediately facing the main entrance. It starts with the woolly coverings of animals in all their variety, and illustrates the economic uses to which these are applied—for clothing for the human race, for fabrics of different kinds, carpets, felts, &C. This preliminary Chapter is specially devoted to a description of the varieties of the Sheep; the different breeds or races which careful culture has produced; the characteristics of the kinds of wool obtained from special breeds in various countries. The average weights of the clip of wool from the fleeces of different sheep are given, official statistics of the number of sheep in different countries, the wool produce of the world, and the sources of our foreign supply of wool. The classifications adopted in sorting out fleeces, the special distinctive characters of wool, fur, and hair are pointed out, and their chemical composition; the processes of shearing, wool-washing, scouring, and dyeing, are then touched upon.
THE SHEEP.-Of the domesticated animals the Ruminants among the Mammals are the most serviceable to man, and have multiplied and been diffused more generally over the face of the globe than any others. Their commercial products are also of the greatest importance, and as the Ovine race stand, perhaps, the highest in estimation for their direct use, we commence with a description of those of the Sheep, as the principal wool-producing animal.
Of the original breed of this invaluable animal, nothing certain is known. Several varieties of wild sheep have by naturalists been considered entitled to the distinction of being the parent stock, and the marked differences between the wild and domestic species are readily accounted for by the known variability of the
WOOL-PRODUCING ANIMALS-THE SHEEP.
animal. No other animal seems to yield so submissively to the manipulations of culture.
The sheep gives immediate employment to thousands, who in their several spheres utilise different parts of it for the various uses of the great human family. Among these we have the breeder, the butcher, the skinner, the tanner, shoemaker, tallow chandler, etc. Then the "fleece," which we call wool, gives occupation to the wool-brokers, wool-staplers, spinners, manufacturers, clothiers, and many subordinate branches of trade to which these give rise.
On account of its numerous useful properties, the sheep has deservedly become an object of national consideration in almost all temperate countries.
It is of the most extensive utility to man. We are clothed by its fleece; the flesh is a delicate and wholesome food; the skin dressed forms different parts of our apparel, and is used for various economic purposes. The entrails, properly prepared and twisted, serve as strings for musical instruments. The calcined bones have industrial uses. Sheep's milk is thicker than that of K cows, and consequently yields a greater quantity of butter and cheese. From the Larsac race of sheep in France, the celebrated Roquefort cheese is made to the extent of about 6 or 7 million pounds annually. There is no manure so fertilising as that of the sheep, and it does not so readily waste by exposure as that of other animals. A German agriculturist has calculated that the droppings from 1000 sheep during a single night would manure an acre of land sufficiently.
If we look next at sheep as a source of our animal food supply, having regard only to the United Kingdom, we find that the agricultural returns of 1874 gave the number of sheep and lambs at 34,800,000. Now it is estimated by good authorities that half of our stock of sheep are slaughtered annually, and as these 17,400,000 animals will average 56 lbs. per head, we have thus an annual supply of 8,700,000 cwts. of meat per annum,
besides 1,000,000 imported animals, which will give about 450,000 cwts.
WOOL-PRODUCING ANIMALS—THE SHEEP.
more of mutton. The average wholesale price of mutton per stone of 8 lbs. in the Metropolitan market is now 6s. 5d. against 45. 5d. a quarter of a century ago. When we consider their value, also, for food, on the Continent, in America and the Colonies, and the quantity of tallow they yield, as well as skins for the tanner and glove maker, we shall begin to understand how immense is the value of the Ovine race to man, both for sustenance and clothing. In many foreign countries, the flesh of the sheep is disliked, or at least rarely eaten, and the animal is tended solely for its fleece. In Spain, except by the poorest, mutton is considered unfit for food.
The following figures give the number of sheep in various countries according to the latest official returns :EUROPE.
1870, 48,132,000 United States . · 1875, 33,783,600 Sweden 1873, 1,695,434 British America 1871,
1872, 20,000, OCO Denmark
1871, 1,842,481 Argentine ConIceland
· 1866, 800,000 federation 1875, 70,000,000 German Empire . 1873, 24,999,406 Falkland Islands 1875, 60,000 Holland
1873, 901,515 Belgium.
1866, 586,097 France 1872, 24,589,647
Asta. Portugal 1870, 2,706,777 Ceylon
1874, Spain. · 1865, 22,054,967 Mauritius
1874, 6,977, 104 Austria Proper 1871, 5,026,398 Hungary 1870, 14,289, 130
AUSTRALASIA. Switzerland · 1866,
New South Wales 1875, 22,872,882 Greece
. 1867, 2,539,538 Queensland 1874, 7,268,946 Turkey 1870, 16,000,000 Victoria
1875, 11,221,036 Moldavia and
South Australia . 1875, 6,120,211 Wallachia 1873, 4,786,294
Western Australia 1875, 748,536 Great Britain. 1876, 28,178,950
1,714, 168 Ireland 1875, 4,248,158
New Zealand 1874, 11,674,863
1871, 184,899 Algeria
1866, 10,000,000 Cape Colony. 1875, 11,008,339 Natal.