Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  Titus 2:13

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CHAPTER XI.

THE SIXTH DAY—BRUTE LIFE.

Gen. 1: 24, 25

 

THE EARTH THE MOTHER OF ANIMAL LIFE. DOMESTIC ANIMALS. WILD BEASTS. PRIMATES. CHIROPTERANS. PREDACIOUS BEASTS. RODENTS. EDENTATES. UNGULATES. RUMNANT & PACHYDERMS. MARSUPIALS. REPTILES. SAURIAN. TORTOISES AND TURTLES.

 

NEXT to engage our attention is the creative work of the sixth and crowning day of the earthly creation; for in it the higher forms of animal life were brought into existence, culminating in man, the crown of God's earthly works. While animal life was brought into existence in the fifth day, including marine, aerial and saurian terrestrial life, the creation of the higher forms of animal life was reserved for the sixth day or epoch. Some have inferred from the expression, "And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature [being] after its kind" (v. 24), that spontaneous generation, a theory that materialists have sought, but failed to prove, is the Bible view of creation, i.e., that unassisted the forces of nature of their own automatic operation produced the universe and all that is in it, especially all forms of life. Certainly this is a broad conclusion to draw from so slender a basis. There is nothing in the expression giving such a thought. The expression, to bring forth, is a frequently occurring one in the Bible and is, in its literal uses, employed to show the mother's part in bringing things into being or bringing things to birth. According to the Bible, the father in the generative process supplies the being, the soul, and the mother supplies the body and brings the being to birth. The bodies of earthly animals consist of the elements of the earth, and because the earth supplies these elements it therein performs the mother function. Hence we rightly call the earth our mother;

 

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and it is this thought that is contained in the expression of our text, "Let the earth bring forth the living being." Our text also classifies these animals into three groups: cattle, beasts and creeping things. By cattle it means domestic animals, tame animals; by beasts, wild animals, especially the carnivorous animals, and by the creeping things, serpents and worms. This threefold grouping gives us a convenient division for the discussion of our text. It will be noted that our text shows the fixity of the various species of the animal creation—"after its kind." Thus God has provided against the confusion of these species. This fact is a telling one against the evolution theory.

 

We cannot in this article go into detail on the earthly animal creation, since immense works of many volumes can be and have been written on this subject; but a few generalities will serve our purpose. We begin, then, with the cattle, using that term, not in its narrow, but in its broad sense of covering domestic animals, which are usually herbivorous creatures. One of the widest spread of these and the earliest mentioned (Gen. 4: 2) is the sheep. Docility and harmlessness are its special characteristics. Its flesh supplies man with food, and its wool with clothes, and its hide with shoes and other useful articles. Man could not well do without the gentle sheep, whose uses certainly show God's wisdom and goodness in making it for man. Many indeed are the varieties of sheep, which can live in almost all of the earth's zones. Cattle in the narrow sense of that term, the bovine family, are also constituted for man's welfare. They supply him with milk and butter. They give him much needed meat and fat, and provide him with leather for shoes, harness, etc. The ox additionally helps him till his fields and draw his burdens. Perhaps man is more dependent on this gentle creature than on any other. And they come in many varieties, some of the cattle of India being but slightly larger than a large dog, and the Eluth Tartars growing to

 

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seven and eight feet in height. This animal also can endure great extremes of heat and cold and quickly accommodate itself to various climates. In giving man this animal God again shows His wisdom and love.

 

Another fine domestic animal is the horse, which all in all is perhaps the best of the domestic animals. It helps carry man's burdens and puts itself at man's disposal when he needs speed in locomotion. Its strength and endurance are for man's uses; and until the locomotive, electric engine and automobile were invented, it was in the temperate zone man's most dependable servant for speed, strength and endurance purposes. Its average strength is used as the basis of calculating mechanical power. And usually it is one of the gentlest and most docile and affectionate of beasts. It is undoubtedly the most symmetrical of all animals, often is very intelligent and ministers to man's needs and pleasures alike. These qualities and uses show that God in designing it for man's service showed His wisdom and love in still another form. The horse is adapted to the temperate zones and to the more solid parts of the earth. It is poorly adapted to the deserts of Arabia and Africa, whose loose sands give its heavy and narrow hoof no firm foundation. Accordingly, the goodness and wisdom of God has provided a servant for man, useful under such conditions, the camel. This animal thrives only when associated with man, and, whether the usual camel or the occasional dromedary, is indispensable for man's journeys through deserts like those of Arabia and the Sahara desert of Africa, where sometimes travelers must go for a week or ten days without meeting an oasis. Therefore, in addition to its digestive stomach, the camel has a second one that serves as a reservoir, where it can store up water for from seven to ten days' use. Its hump, or two humps, consist of a storehouse of fat, etc., on which it draws for nourishment when having to go many days without food. Its broad, but uncleft foot makes

 

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an admirable and non-sinking means of travel over soft sand, where the horse's hoof would sink so deep as to impede its speed and exhaust its strength. For all day travel the camel can out-distance and out-travel even the horse. Its faithfulness will make it travel on until it will die of sheer weariness. Sometimes its water reservoir becomes the means of saving its water-famished master's life. Its milk provides him with a nourishing drink and welcome butter, while its flesh satisfies human hunger. In battle, in travel, in commerce, indeed, in tent and in clothes the trusty camel is a most useful servant to man, especially to nomadic man and to man of the desert.

 

The uses to which the elephant is put, especially in India, entitle it to be classified among the domestic animals. It is now the largest of land animals, as the whale is the largest of sea animals. It often attains a height of ten feet and some of them have attained a height of fourteen feet. It is a most intelligent animal, and many are the records of its sagacity and memory. It is also very affectionate, as its devotion to its master and its fondness and care for anything of which it makes a pet prove. Its weight is immense, its strength marvelous and its tameness under teaching wonderful for such a large and powerful animal. It never forgets a kindness—nor an injury, as mischief-makers, to their grief, have years afterward learned, who gave them tobacco, which sickens them. It serves as a burden-bearer, as a hunter-bearer and as a warrior-bearer; and in hunting and battle it has given very valuable service to its master. Many are the records of its devotion to its endangered master in the chase and in the battle, where some of them have willingly given their life to save that of their masters. For man's needs in the frigid regions, where neither sheep, cattle, horse, camel nor elephant could serve them, God has provided another animal, the reindeer, which is admirably fitted to bear the burdens and furnish power and speed for

 

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man. Its appetite can be appeased by the scant growths of the frigid zones. It provides man with milk, butter, cheese and flesh for his food, power for his burdens and speed for his travels.

 

In the dog, man's most faithful friend among the animals, man finds service rendered to certain of his needs that none of the hitherto mentioned animals can supply. It is the faithful sentinel of his home, the watchful protector of his property and, above all, the devoted guardian of his person. It accompanies and helps him in the chase and relieves him in guarding his flocks, herds and horses. A thousand tales are told of its sagacity, faithfulness and watchfulness. The finest of its kind in the service of man are the St. Bernard and the Scotch Shepherd dog. The St. Bernard has rescued many a life from freezing in Alpine storms. In the Museum of Berne, Switzerland, is a mounted St. Bernard, whose name was Barry, and who saved 40 lives, and that when he had lived but a few years. He met an untimely death while attempting his 41st rescue—an Alpine-lost man who mistook his rescuing tactics for hostile attacks and shot him. Imagine his grief when he learned the true situation. The shepherd dog is also a very useful canine, capable of fine training. They are especially useful in tending the flocks and herds. With one of them there is practically no need of a shepherd or cowherd. It will take the sheep from the fold and the cattle from the stall and drive them to pasture, tend them all day and return them to their fold or stall as night approaches. We recall a shepherd dog during a pilgrim visit near Courtland, N. Y., that was told in one order to bring certain horses to the barn and drive the rest of them to another pasture and to separate certain cows from the others and bring them to the barn and drive the rest of them to another field; and this complicated order that dog carried out. Then the master varied the orders, naming different horses and cows, and the dog carried out that order.

 

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The dog regards its master as its god and treats him as such. Among domestic animals the goat should be mentioned, whose milk is the best known for nutrition, whose cheese is the most valuable, whose butter is the most delicious, whose hair furnishes man with clothes and whose skin provides him robes and shoes. Despite its stubbornness and butting, it is a useful animal.

 

In furnishing man with the domestic animal (and fowl) God has provided man with many helps to supply certain of his needs; and herein we recognize the wisdom, power, justice and love of God to man, yea, even to fallen man. He is thus in these a Giver of good gifts, for which we should not only thank and praise Him, but be appreciative of the gifts themselves, at least to such a degree as to use them kindly. It is certainly a matter of gross ingratitude when man overworks, beats, underfeeds and poorly houses his beasts. It is written, "A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast." (Prov. 12: 10.) Certainly, one of the marked evidences of man's fallen condition is his being cruel to the dumb animals that serve him. These have feelings, and when mistreated give evidence of distress, as they usually respond in kindness and appreciation to kindness. We trust that all of our readers will be kind to their animals; for a righteous man regardeth the life of his beast. It is noteworthy that almost all of the above-mentioned animals are used as symbols in the Bible. The ox and bullock represent God's justice; the sheep, the Lord's people; the lamb and the kid, our Lord; the goat sometimes the humanity of the Little Flock and Great Company, sometimes the wicked of the next Age. The horse represents doctrine; the bullock, perfect humanity; the heifer, the Ancient and Youthful Worthies; the dog (oriental dogs are a savage and quarrelsome lot), the sectarian, etc. With this we conclude our brief discussion of domestic animals.

 

The second grand division of the sixth epoch's creative work is beasts of the earth, by which term we

 

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understand the wild animals as distinct from domestic animals to be meant. There is a great number of species and each species consists of many varieties. There are various ways these different species are designated. Formerly the first species among them was called quadrumana (four-handed); but latterly they are called primates (firsts), as the beasts most nearly resembling man. These include the gorilla, orangutan, chimpanzee, ape, baboon and monkey; and of these, especially of monkeys, there is a great variety. None of these are carnivorous, living as they do on fruits, vegetables and nuts. Their homes are in the forests, to which their bodies are adapted. Their inner toe on all four of their feet is really a thumb, and with the aid of their toes or fingers they are able to run from branch to branch and from tree to tree through the forest, as well as climb a tree with incredible rapidity. The largest and strongest of this group is the gorilla, whose habitat is Africa. Its height is often six feet, and one has been killed that was about eight feet. Its legs are disproportionately short, but its arms more than make this up, being as disproportionately long and often are four or five feet in length. Though not carnivorous, it is, except the crocodile, more powerful than any of the carnivorous animals, not even excepting the lion, which because of its dignity and strength is called the king of beasts and which is usually supposed to be the most powerful of beasts. In the warfare between the gorilla and the lion the latter has been so badly worsted that no lions are to be found within a thousand miles of the gorilla. The male defends his family against anyone who happens to be near his habitat. Courageously he advances to the fray, beating his huge bosom. Experienced hunters, knowing that a missed shot will result fatally to themselves, usually wait until the beast is within ten or fifteen feet away and then shoot him in the chest,

 

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which invariably proves fatal to the gorilla, killing him on the spot, and that to the hunter's relief.

 

The orangutan is the member of the species whose home is Borneo and its neighboring islands. It most nearly of its species resembles man. It attains the height of 5½ feet, is broad-chested and very strong, though not so strong as the gorilla. Its face is much like man's except his eyes are more deeply sunken. It has strong instincts, and is very imitative, learning by imitation to put on clothes, sit down at a table, pour out tea into a cup, put milk from a bowl and sugar with a spoon into it, wait until it cools and then drink it like a human being. The chimpanzee lives in Congo and Guiana, and nearly approaches human stature. As a rule, it lives, not in trees, but on the ground, in caves, or under rocks. If they are attacked they unite as an army and fight with savage courage, compelling even the lion and elephant to retreat before their onslaughts. The ape comes next to the chimpanzee in size in this species, but looks more like a human than the chimpanzee, is less strong and fierce and, like the baboon and monkey, trusts more to his speed and tree-traveling ability for safety than to his strength. The baboon is as much smaller and weaker than the ape as the latter is to the chimpanzee. The smallest, weakest and most timid of the primates is the monkey, which varies in size from that of a small cat to that of a large dog. Some, however, are very savage and some are very ugly. They are by far the most numerous of the primates, as well as have the greatest varieties of this class of animals. The ring-tailed monkey lives and moves in great troops or armies. Many monkeys are quite wise—for monkeys. While all of the varieties of quadrumana are quite imitative and will learn some things by imitation under most pains-taking and patient tutoring, they cannot be taught to reason, to worship or to exercise the moral sense. The brain of man is five times the size of that of the orangutan, which is

 

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the most gifted of the primates. There are parts to the human brain not found in that of the orangutan; and a celebrated scientist has pointed out fifteen anatomical differences between the human and the orangutan's brain, the most developed primate's brain.

 

A second species of wild animals that we will briefly consider is called the chiropterans (hand-winged)—bats, vampires, flying cats, etc. The bat is midway between birds and quadrupeds. It can by some sense other than sight know of its approach to other objects and of its presence with them; for blind bats, as well as seeing bats, fly among trees and avoid obstacles quite as deftly as do those that see. Our bats are small, but the Madagascar bats are enormous, having a wing stretch of four feet and are very numerous and destructive. The predatory animals are the most diversified of the carnivorous animals. They include the lion, tiger, jaguar, puma, leopard, bear, panther, wild cat, hyena, jackal, wolf, fox, lynx, otter, marten, sable, ermine, mongoose, raccoon, weasel, mink, skunk, badger, walrus, seal, etc., etc. Among these the lion is easily chief, being called the king of beasts. His appearance, both in repose and in motion, is majestic. Dignity, strength, courage and grandeur are written all over him. He is most gentle, loving and faithful to his mate, who, however, if he is killed in fight with another lion, trots off with the victor as her mate! Gratitude marks them, as can be seen from the case of an explorer who, lost in the forest, met some lion cubs and fed them in the absence of the lioness. She, coming and seeing him feed her cubs, quietly walked up to him and licked his hand. Presently the lion appeared and was soon apprised of the situation by his mate. He in turn licked the hunter's hand. Then both of them disappeared and presently returned with a sheep, which they laid at his feet for food. It was now dusk and he laid down to sleep, while the lions stood guard over him. The next morning they piloted and guarded him out of

 

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the forest, and he leaving them, they by gesture and expression gave him an affectionate farewell, and stood at the edge of the forest watching him until he reached his camp. Then they disappeared in the forest. The tiger, smaller and less powerful than the lion, is fiercer. He is strong enough to drag a buffalo to his den. He is undoubtedly the most beautifully skinned of all quadrupeds. Many tigers are man-eaters; and their predatory tactics make them the quests of large hunting parties, for, single-handed, men usually can do little with him. The jaguar, when fully developed, is as fierce and strong as the tiger; in fact he is the tiger of the western hemisphere. Up to four years of age, if kindly treated, he makes a dependable house pet, but thereafter one must beware of him. The puma and panther are more or less like him and like each other, but not so large, strong or fierce, and their coats are decidedly less beautiful. The leopard is inferior to the tiger in strength, fierceness and courage; yet he is not lacking in these qualities. His spots always betray him as such; yea, they have become proverbial—"Can the leopard change his spots?"

 

The bear is another mighty carnivorous beast. He is of many kinds, various in size, color, strength and habitat. He lives in every zone. His largest representatives are the grizzly and polar bear. The latter can with comfort stand the coldest of weather, comfortable at 90° below zero seated on an ice pack or plunged into the arctic water. The grizzly is the most sagacious and powerful of all bears. Bears can be taught many tricks. And their begging postures and gestures are most appealing. They become quite tame under care; and their cubs are quite playful and can be easily trained into trick bears. The parent bears are most affectionate to their cubs. The bear furnishes the hunter and trapper with food and fur. The wildcat is chiefly famous for his ferocity. The hyena, one of the ugliest of animals, certainly is a benefactor of humanity

 

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in that he disposes of much carrion which otherwise would breed disease. In the unsanitary condition of many villages of Africa and Asia, where garbage is cast out into the streets to rot in the heat of the sun, many epidemics would arise but for the nightly feasts of the hyena on this garbage. The jackal is noted for his stealthiness under cover of darkness, though he will at a distance follow a caravan in hope of some prey. The wolf is worse than the jackal as a beast of prey, and is the sworn enemy of the flock. Often congregated in hordes, he attacks people in villages: and many a traveler on the steppes of Russia has fallen a victim of their rapacity, and thrilling stories of narrow escapes from them have been told by others. His predatory character as against sheep and lambs has made him the emblem of rapacious religionist leaders, while their victims are called sheep and lambs. The fox is valuable for his fur and is chiefly famed for his sagacity, as the following tale will show. A fox, desirous of relieving himself of an abundant crop of lice, tore some wool off a sheep. Perching it on the end of his nose, he went to a river, backing himself very slowly into it, beginning with his tail's end and slowly submerging it part by part, more and more, then his hind feet gradually, more and more, then his legs, deeper and deeper, then his hips, more and more, then successively and slowly the next adjoining parts of his body, then his forefeet, then his forelegs, then his shoulders, always slowly and gradually deeper, then his throat, his neck and his head, ever slowly and gradually until only the wool at the end of his nose and his nostrils were above water. This wool was now covered with lice, which continually fled from before the approaching water and as a last refuge sought the wool as the only dry place left them. Thereupon our Reynard let go to the mercy of the river the wool with its load of lice, and he left the river a clean fox—quite foxily washed!

 

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The lynx is somewhat like the fox, but less crafty, though fiercer. The otter is a weasel-like marine animal, feeding mainly on fish, both in salt and in fresh water. Its skin is valuable. The mongoose is very valuable in India as the enemy and killer of the venomous cobra. The marten, the sable and the ermine are valuable chiefly for their fur, the ermine furnishing the trimmings of royalty's robes. The mink, the badger, the walrus and the seal are especially valuable for their furs, which are much prized for winter coats for ladies. Moreover, the walrus' tusks are like ivory and, accordingly, are quite valuable. The mink, the walrus and the seal subsist mainly on fish; and especially the seal is very prolific and can be made very tame. The weasel and the raccoon are valued for their fur; and the raccoon is considered in many quarters as a much desired table delicacy. The skunk, whose odor has made him infamous, performs a real service for the farmer in keeping down certain very destructive rodents, like field mice and moles.

 

The rodents, nibblers, gnawers, are another species, consisting of the hare, rabbit, pika, beaver, porcupine, rat, mouse, marmot, guinea pig, squirrel, etc. The hare, rabbit and guinea pig are very timid, but remarkably prolific. The pika, a close relative of the hare and rabbit, dwells in northern regions and gathers in late summer a large harvest of grass, herbs and hay, stacked sometimes six feet high and eight feet in diameter, over their burrows; and in winter, without coming out into the cold, they feed on this from the entrance of their burrows, upward and horizontally. Frequently the lazy farmers of those regions rob them of their store to feed their horses and cattle, leaving the prudent pika to starve. The field mouse frequently lays up his store, but within his burrow. The squirrel performs similar tasks with nuts and acorns, which he stores in his tree den. The beaver is the most remarkable of this class of animals. The dams that he builds

 

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are a wonder architecturally, and his home, built at the water's edge, so that he leaves and enters it by the water, is a marvel. It has various rooms like bed rooms, living rooms and dining rooms, and their home life is wonderful for its manifestation of convenience, love and peace, the young benefiting the most by these arrangements. Their skill in cutting down trees, often ten inches thick, always felled by them toward the water, is remarkable. They live in communities of from 200 to 300; but each family has its own home.

 

The next set of beasts to receive our attention are the beasts that have no fore teeth, or incisors. These are scientifically called Edentates. They include the various kinds of sloths, ant-eaters, armadillos, duckbills, pangolin, aardvarks, etc. The sloths, as a rule, lives in trees, hanging on to their branches by their fore and hind legs, both when awake and when asleep. The remarkable feature about the duckbill, which lives both on land and in water, is that, though a hairy quadruped, it is oviparous. Its duck-like bill and almost web-feet give it a peculiar appearance. Its male is like a serpent in that it is provided with a poisonous sting, which, peculiar to say, is in its hind legs. The ant-eater is one of the oddest appearing animals. It sometimes grows to seven feet in length, though but two feet high. It is clothed with a scaled armor. Its snout is nearly two feet long and out of it issues a tongue that is shaped like a thick wire and is sometimes two and a half feet long. Its tongue is black and very sticky and is thrust out among ants, especially white ants, which by the thousands adhere to it when touched by it, and which are then drawn into the animal's mouth and eaten by it. It devastates portions of ant hills whereby it attracts the ants out of their dens to become its food. It is for the most part covered by long hair, especially on its legs. The armadillo, whose name in Spanish suggests the idea of armor, looks like a beast covered with a coat of mail. It is widely distributed,

 

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especially in Central and South America. The pangolin is covered with heavy and large scales, which give it a heavy armor. It is a rather harmless, though repulsive-looking beast, about 35 inches long, and exists in several varieties in Africa and Southeastern Asia, including India. The aardvark, or earth pig, looks much like the ant-eater, though less hairy and with much shorter tongue. It is an African animal, nocturnal in habits. It feeds on ants, near whose mounds or hills it lives in its burrow. It digs rapidly with its forefeet, even in hard soil, and in a few minutes can excavate a burrow large enough to hide its large body. It is harmless—except to ants.

 

The Ungulates, i.e., hoofed animals, are of very many varieties. They include cattle of all kinds, which are of many varieties: the bison, yak, buffalo, sheep, goat, ibex, chamois, eland, antelope, kudu, emsbock, gazelle, prongbuck, giraffe, deer, elk or moose, caribou, musk, chevrotain, camel, llama, alpaca, swine, boar, hippopotamus, tapir, rhinoceros, horse, zebra, ass, mule, hyrax (the Biblical coney), elephant, etc. Some of these, like the cow, sheep, horse, camel, goat, reindeer and elephant, we have already considered, under the head of domestic animals. Of some of these ungulates there are almost as many varieties as there are countries in the world. The Asiatic bison is amphibious and, next to the crocodile and gorilla, is probably the most formidable fighter among the animals. His smooth skin is almost as hard as steel and is able to escape almost unscratched from the tiger's claws and teeth. His horns are most formidable weapons, that finally defeat the lion and the tiger in their fights. He moves so quickly that his horns are always pointed toward the lion or the tiger in a fight; and thus he tears great gashes in them while their teeth and claws can scarcely scratch his steel-like hide. The American buffalo, though once multitudinous on our broad plains, is now almost non-existent, except in parks

 

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and specially sequestered herds. The bulls were very pugnacious. There is a story told of one of these challenging to battle the first locomotive to pass over the great American Prairie on the Southern Pacific Railroad. According to the story, there was an immense herd of buffaloes covering the railroad bed and the country for miles on both of its sides. On approaching it the engineer slowed up the train, in the hope that its slow approach would move the buffaloes to clear the track. A large bull buffalo thought the engine was a strange animal and advanced to attack it, with tail high in the air and lowered head. When he had approached within about 25 feet from the train, the engineer let go a terrifically loud and shrill whistle. This frightened the advancing bull into a terrified and high jump, and he fell to the track—dead of fright! The bull must have thought, "If he can yell that loud, what must his bite be! I give up!" This shrill whistle frightened the herd, which immediately started to run in one direction across the railroad, and despite its speed it took more than an hour for this herd to clear the track and thus allow the train to proceed.

 

The chamois in his Alpine home is an animal of the surest tread. He can climb an almost perpendicular precipice and jump down precipices 30 or 40 feet high, lighting on his feet unhurt by the descent, and is immediately ready for another jump as deep. This occurs frequently when he is hunted, and when grown his surefootedness makes him escape all efforts to capture him. The llama is as surefooted as the chamois, though not so expert a jumper and escaper from would-be captors. He well serves his master as a burden-bearer in negotiating the difficult trails of the Andes. The antelope is noted for his beauty, grace, speed and frolicsomeness; and if caught, which, if he be grown, his speed makes almost impossible, he makes a most lovable pet. The gazelle is much like the antelope. The alpaca is noted chiefly for his fine hair,

 

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which in the Orient is quite an article of commerce. The boar is another hardy warrior and his destructiveness and uncleanness makes him a Biblical symbol of the papacy (Ps. 80:13). The giraffe is chiefly noted as being the tallest of present living animals, in some cases reaching a height of 19 feet. He is quite gentle in captivity and is much like a horse in disposition and appearance, except for his long neck and the comparatively large size of his forelegs and the small size of his hind legs, which differences come him in good stead in browsing on the leaves of high trees in his native habitat. The deer is another of nature's beauties and in captivity makes a fine pet. Indeed in some of our national parks, like the Yosemite, he roams free among the people, coming every morning to those cabins where he has been fed and eats out of the hands of his feeders and tamely accepts their caresses and returns them with his tongue-given kisses. The hippopotamus (river horse, so-called because he lives more in the rivers than on land) belongs to the ungulates. His square head, long and fat body and short legs combine to make him very ugly, and he is, next to the elephant, the largest of beasts, he frequently weighing between four and five tons. Frequently he becomes very savage, sometimes even attacking steamers sailing in his rivers. Many stories are told of his great strength, courage and prowess in battle. His huge tusk-like foreteeth make him a most dangerous biting beast, able to fight as well in water as on land.

 

Some of the ungulates are also ruminants, i.e., cud chewers. Among such are cattle, sheep, ox, camel, deer, elk, antelope, llama, chamois, giraffe, buffalo, musk, ibex, etc. It will be recalled that such of the ungulates as chewed the cud and parted the hoof were called by Moses clean, i.e., hygienic and as such fit for human consumption. Chemical analysis shows that such have the same chemical elements as has the human body, for which reason God declared them clean, hygienic

 

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(healthful) for human consumption; while those animals that do not chew the cud and part the hoof, or do only one of these two things, are declared unclean, unhygienic (unhealthful) for human consumption, containing as they do chemical elements foreign to the human body, which elements act as a poison when eaten by humans. Among ungulates that are not ruminants the swine are the most common example. The ruminants are all herbivorous, and the ruminating process implies a most remarkable structure in the stomach of its subjects. Surely design and a Creator are implied in this, as the following shows: Their stomach, generally speaking, is made up of four chambers. In the first of these the grass, leaves, herbs, etc., are moistened. In the second they are rolled up into balls. Then these balls are drawn up into the mouth, where they are more thoroughly chewed. Thereafter the twice chewed food goes to the third part of the stomach, where it undergoes a further preparatory process. Finally, from the third it is carried to the fourth part of the stomach, where it is digested. Certainly this method of preparing the food for digestion not only argues design and a Creator, as clearly as a mill that grinds grain or a machine that makes carpets, but also is a revelation of His love and care for His creatures. The liquid that such ruminants drink goes at once to the second part of the stomach, where it makes the balls moist; but the milk partaken of by the calf, not undergoing the cud-chewing process, passes at once into the stomach's fourth compartment!

 

Among the ungulates are also a class that are often called pachyderms, i.e., thick-skinned animals, among which are to be found the elephant, Indian water bison, hippopotamus, rhinoceros and the tapir. We have already given a few points on the first three of these; and a few words may be devoted to the other two as illustrating the power and wisdom of God in their creation. The tapir looks like some of the animals

 

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that have become extinct. One of its five species is found in the Malayan region; the other four are found in Central and South America. It is solitary, nocturnal, shy, inoffensive and vegetarian, dwells in the thickest parts of forests, avoids open spaces and is almost never seen except from river boats in the morning when it comes to the banks to drink. It is an excellent swimmer and diver. Generally it is harmless, fleeing quickly before even the smallest dog. Sometimes it will attack its enemies fiercely, especially does the female so do when deprived of her young, rushing violently at their foes, knocking them down and trampling upon and biting them. Its flesh is in appearance and taste like beef, which makes it the quest of native hunters. Its thick and strong skin makes excellent whips and harness, and its hair, hoofs, etc., are used by the natives for medicine. Its hunting starts from the banks of streams where and when it comes to drink, and between dogs and humans it is soon run down and dispatched. Sometimes the young tapir is caught alive, and when too large to be carried on a horse in front of the rider, a hole is bored through its snout, which gets a thong, and it follows obediently as thus led.

 

The rhinoceros almost disputes with the hippopotamus the distinction of being the next largest beast after the elephant; for while its body is not so large around nor so long as that of the latter, which averages four feet longer, its head and legs are also less bulky, though longer. But it is far more formidable. The lion and tiger retreat before its onslaught, and even the elephant is hard put to before he can overcome it; for its two horns are most deadly weapons, which are used with much power and precision. In some varieties the front horn attains a length of from 40 to 44 inches, one in the British Museum measuring 56½ inches. This with its strength and speed makes it an adversary of no mean mettle. Its teeth are enormous. In the Indian rhinoceros we find the hide arranged like armor

 

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made up of definite plates. All of its varieties are usually stupid and timid in man's presence, generally striving to flee before him; but when it is brought to bay it is a most dangerous antagonist, for it attacks ferociously; but being vulnerable by knife and rifle shots in many places on its huge body, an experienced and sure-shot hunter can successfully cope with it. In its Indian representative more reliance is placed in its lower sharp-pointed tusks than in its horn as an offensive and defensive weapon. It is nocturnal, some of its representatives preferring the tall grass jungles and swamps, others the open plains. It is vegetarian and is found in southeastern Asia and Africa. The Asiatic rhinoceros is single-horned, the African usually double-horned. The latter is the greater fighter and the larger animal. When killed it falls down on its legs and feet and lies as asleep, not turning over on its side as most mammals do in death. Its sight is poor, but its scent and hearing are quite acute. Certain birds are its friends, for they eat the ticks that adhere to its body; and by flapping their wings and crying excitedly they warn it of the approach of the hunter, thus awakening it from sleep and enabling it to flee.

 

Pouched mammals, or marsupials, so-called because they carry their young in pouches and suckle them there after a very short period of gestation, and that before they would in other mammals be mature enough for birth, consist of the kangaroo, phalanger, koala, wombat, bandicoot, Tasmanian wolf, Tasmanian devil, dasyure, pouched mouse, banded ant-eater, pouched mole, opossum, etc. The kangaroo is often as large as nine feet from tip of nose to tip of tail, and as heavy as 150 pounds. Its face and head are in appearance like that of a rat greatly enlarged. Its forelegs are rather short—14 inches—and lean, but its hind legs are very long—40 inches—thick at the thighs and exceedingly muscular. These enable it to outstrip the fleetest greyhound, not by running, which it does not

 

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do, but by jumping with great rapidity, often covering 30 feet at each leap; for scarcely does it alight from one when it is off on the next jump. When not in motion it stands erect, seated on its haunches and tail. It carries its young in its pouch. These, as is the case with all the young of pouched mammals, are prematurely born. They are emptied into the pouch from the womb and each is attached to a teat, to which it clings without letting go for months, until it is about as developed as the usual animal at birth. Then it lets go its hold on the teat, and returns to it from time to time as it becomes hungry. The kangaroo is herbivorous, partly nocturnal, very timid, gregarious, having strong senses of sight, hearing and scent, peaceful, except in the mating season, when the males fight with one another. When hard pressed he will take to water, sometimes swimming two miles; and the mother, when hard pressed, to save self by increasing speed, will often cast away the young. Phalangers are of many species: some of them look like rats; some like foxes, with short noses, however; some like cats; some like flying squirrels. The kudu looks like a bear cub and lives in trees in his Australian home. The Tasmanian wombat looks much like a grown bear, but, of course, is much smaller. The Tasmanian wolf looks like a wolf, except for his pouch, while the Tasmanian devil has a face somewhat like a chow. The pouched anteater has the head and face of a rat and the body of a long cat. The opossum is an American animal, has more teeth than almost any other animal, numbering 50, and has an unusually long tail, useful in climbing trees, holding to branches around which it winds itself, and holding its young secure while they are perched on its back, twisting their tails around their mother's tail. Its simulating death has given rise to the expression, "playing 'possum."

 

By our text's expressions, "creeping thing" and "everything that creepeth upon the earth," not only

 

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the creatures mentioned in a former connection, but also the reptilian world is meant. We will give a brief glance at this department of God's creative work and will therein also recognize the power and wisdom of our God. Here belong the crocodile, alligator, gavial, lizard, chameleon, tortoise and snake. The first three of these belong to the saurian family; and they and the tortoise are survivors of the families of extinct saurians of the geological ages. The crocodile, all in all, is the most formidable of all animals. His hide is a veritable coat of mail that is almost bullet-proof. It is made up of innumerable small plates which are parts of large plates of armor. Its mouth is enormous, sufficiently large to hold inescapably a struggling lion or a tiger around the center of its body, on which it seizes as it springs from its hiding place in the tall grass when the former comes to the river to drink, and which it in the same spring carries in a dive under the water where its helpless catch soon dies and is then later devoured by the crocodile at its leisure. Its teeth stand in fierce and multitudinous array all along its long jaws, and when its huge mouth is opened to its full extent at its extremes it in some cases is over five feet wide. Its short legs are muscular and its webbed feet are adapted alike to walking and swimming, for it is one of the most amphibious of beasts. Its head is enormous, and by its tail it can strike a harder blow than can any other beast with any of its members. This tail is so constructed that it can sway from side to side and one blow with it breaks a strong boat into kindling. Often it will seize a horse fording a river, its lower jaw fastening its teeth in the horse's belly and its upper jaw fastening its teeth in the horse's back, breaking it with one bite. Despite its power and predatory habits it has often been tamed, for the ancient Egyptians regarded it as a sacred animal, a god, and so kindly treated it that it became a pet on whose back children would frequently ride, unmolested.

 

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They are, of course, a tropical and sub-tropical animal, living in and beside rivers and fresh-water lakes, though the Indian crocodile, the gavial, takes to the salt water from time to time. They are fine swimmers, their tail being their main propeller, though their webbed feet, which are used chiefly for walking on shore or bottom of the stream, help therein. They are quick of movement, especially in water. In repose on water and on land they look like logs. They are carnivorous, some living on fish alone, others on fish and flesh. Their small gullets prevent their swallowing their large prey, which is, accordingly, torn to pieces and then swallowed piece-meal. Often they seize a human being who, if unarmed, can escape only by gouging out their eyes. They are considerably nocturnal in their habits, and in protracted droughts many of them bury themselves in the mud, where they become torpid. The female lays 20 to 30 eggs about the size of a goose egg. It buries these in the sand at varying depths, averaging two feet, and leaves them there to hatch. It lies upon this "nest" until the eggs are ready to be hatched, which the mother learns from the cries of the young yet in the eggs. Thereupon she digs up the eggs and lays them on the ground in the open air, and soon the young break the shells and come out. Then the mother leads them to the water. Their size varies. Those of the Nile often reach a length of 19 feet, but those of India often attain a length of 30 feet or more. Except the anaconda the Indian variety is the longest of animals. There are a number of varieties of this family of reptiles, of which we have been writing: crocodiles, alligators, gavials, or garials, and caimens, and they are found in Asia, particularly in India, Egypt, South and North America, in their tropical and sub-tropical parts. Many interpreters of the Bible consider the Leviathan of Job to be the crocodile, as also many of them consider the Behemoth of Job to be the hippopotamus. The descriptions there

 

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given seem to be in harmony with this thought. It might be added that the four species above mentioned have each one of them many varieties. These like most other forms of wild life have greatly decreased by the advance of civilization. Fossil remains prove that earlier members of this family attained a much larger size. Surely in this beast power is represented; and hence it well reveals to us God's power and wisdom.

 

Another branch of the reptile world is found in the tortoise and turtle. These are distinguished from all other animals by a bony shell to which they are attached for life. This shell greatly varies in all varieties of these, but in almost all cases they are a work of beauty and intricacy. Both the upper and the lower part of the shell is beautiful. The head looks sometimes like that of a crocodile, sometimes like that of a serpent. The tail is short and the legs are proportional to the size of the subject. It has the power to draw all of these members into the shell and thus to conceal them, which it always does when afraid of the threat of danger. Of the tortoise, which is found on land and water, its land representatives are the more numerous. There are about 40 varieties of these. They are distributed over the south of Europe and Asia, all of Africa and the southern portions of North, and in South America, including the Galapagos Islands, where they exist in large numbers and great sizes. They are herbivorous. Some of the island ones are giants indeed, their weight sometimes reaching 500 or 600 pounds. They are endowed with length of days, some of them living over a century, and of some it is claimed that they live several centuries. They usually "dig in" during the winter and remain in a torpid state until spring, when they come forth. They feed mainly at night and in the morning. During hot weather they love to plunge into water, of which they drink large quantities. The female excavates a shallow pit where she lays her eggs, usually four in number,

 

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then covers them up with the mud that she had scraped out of the hole. She beats down the loose earth until it is level with that surrounding it. This she does by stamping it down with her feet and by raising herself as high as she can and dropping down upon it. When she is through a human eye cannot differentiate the place from surrounding places. Tortoises, especially the males, are quarrelsome and bellicose, but their fights are chiefly trials of strength, each trying to upset the other, placing him on his back, from which position the defeated one is unable to free himself, unless the ground where he lies is uneven. The tortoise and the turtle are much valued as food. In a famine a giant tortoise was caught; and it made a hearty meal for 125 hungry men. We have all heard of turtle soup. Turtles often make fine pets. Children delight in capturing and keeping them as such. One must be on his guard against snapping turtles, which sometimes refuse to let go their hold until their heads are cut off and then broken loose from the member in their mouths. There are more varieties of the turtle than of the tortoise. In their structure, etc., we again see revealed the wisdom and power of God.

 

We will pass by the lizard, which consists of many varieties, and the chameleon, which are members of the reptile family, with a mere mention of them, and speak but briefly of snakes, as the last branch of reptiles. Snakes are of many varieties: something like 500 different kinds have been found. They range from the harmless garden snake to the giant anaconda, which is said in some members to have exceeded 45 feet. One was killed in Brazil said to have been 60 feet long, which is hardly believable. Despite such very probable exaggerations, it is, however, the longest of all land animals. Snakes are hard to differentiate from some varieties of lizards. The snake is scale-covered, elongated, slender, limbless, usually flat-headed, with a dilatable mouth, enabling it to swallow

 

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prey larger than its head. It has no eyelids, though a transparent disk covers its eyes, like lids; it has no opening for an ear, but is supposed to hear by its tongue, for which reason it protrudes it frequently. It has numerous joints in its backbone and moves by the edges of the shields of its belly, drawing it over rough surfaces. It cannot move over a smooth surface like glass, because these shield edges can obtain no hold thereon. Conformably with its elongated shape its organs are long. Snakes are of two kinds, poisonous and non-poisonous, though this distinction does not follow the lines of distinct varieties. Some of them are most beautifully colored, especially the tropical ones. Usually the tropical snakes are the largest, for next in size to the anaconda, the largest variety of the boa constrictor and a South American inhabitant, comes the python, a tropical serpent, an inhabitant mainly of India. Boas other than the anaconda sometime attain a length of 30 feet and the python of 28 feet. These, the two largest serpents, are non-poisonous. The boa seizes and crushes its prey to death, then swallows it, while the python will sometimes swallow its prey alive without crushing it, at other times first crushing it, then swallowing it. The most deadly of the poisonous snakes are the cobra, viper, copperhead, rattlesnake, moccasin, coral snake and mamba, the last being the most poisonous of all snakes, an inhabitant of Central and South Africa. To humans the snake is the most repulsive of all beings. Doubtless this feeling is a matter of heredity. The relation of the serpent to Satan and sin and as a symbol of both of them are doubtless the origin of humanity's feelings against it. Perhaps the reference to the serpent (Is. 65: 25) has a literal application. If so, it means that serpents will sometimes cease to exist, which undoubtedly will be true of poisonous snakes, either in the sense of their total extinction, or in the sense of their losing their venom. Primarily

 

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the statement refers to Satan, who will "bite the dust," die, which is "a consummation devoutly to be wished."

 

As we meditate on the creation of the animals on the sixth day, as in the case of those of the fifth day, from every angle we are struck with the marvels of God's wisdom and power shining forth therefrom. Their structure, their qualities, their diversities, their harmonies, their utilities, their purposes, their numbers, one and all, bring before us the greatness of our God. Even in their creation we see a blending of God's wisdom, power, justice and love, as we view them from the standpoints indicated in the last sentence. If we should suppose our earth to be without these creatures, it would surely lose to us some of its attractiveness. Since man by sin has in a large measure lost his lordship over the animal creation, and since in his fall his kingdom as exemplified in these animals has greatly fallen into disorder and anarchy, we are not to expect the lower animals now to be satisfactory to man, nor man to them. But we are assured that with man's return to his former sinlessness, his lost dominion over the animal creation will be restored; and, subject to a sinless master, the animal creation will lose its wildness and predatory ways and become in all its members subject to perfect man and will be greatly ennobled in comparison with its present disordered, lawless state (Is. 65: 25; 11: 6-9); for like king like subjects, which effect will reflect still more the glory of the great Creator!

 

 

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