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North America has an immense quantity of the remains
of the great mastodon, a species still larger than the
preceding, as tall in proportion as the elephant; with
tusks not less enormous, and whose grinders, full of
sharp points, have caused it to be taken for the
carnivorous animal. (1)
Its bones were very thick, and had much solidity;
even its hoofs and stomach are said to have been found
in good preservation, and easily recognisable. It is
asserted that the stomach was filled with the crushed
branches of a tree. The savages believe that this race
was exterminated by the gods, lest they should destroy
the human race.
With these enormous pachydermata existed two
genera rather less than the rhinoceros and hippopotami.
The hippopotamus of the period was common
enough in the countries which now form France,
Germany, and England, and particularly in Italy. Its
resemblance to the present African species was such
that it requires an attentive scrutiny to ascertain the
distinguishing characteristics. (2)
There was also, at this period, a small species of
hippopotamus, of the size of a wild boar, to which we
have at present nothing similar.
The rhinoceroses of large size were at least three in
number; all double horned. The species most
distributed over Germany (viz. Rh. tichorhinus,) and
which, like the elephant, is found to the very shores of
the Icy Sea, where entire individuals are to be
discovered, had a long head, the bones of the nose very
strong, supported by an osseous junction of

(1) Recherches, vol. i. pp. 206 to 249; vol. iii. p. 376.
(2) Ibid. vol. i. pp. 304 to 322; vol. iii. p. 380; vol. iv. p. 493.



the nostrils, not simply cartilaginous, and wanted
incisores. (1)
Another species, rarer and belonging to a more
temperate climate (Rh. incisivus,) (2) had incisores
like the present rhinoceros of the East Indies, and
particularly resembled that of Samatra.(3) Its
distinctive characteristics were to be found in a
different formation of the head.
The third (Rh. leptorhinus) wanted incisores like the
first, and the Cape rhinoceros of the present day; but it
was distinguished by a muzzle more pointed and limbs
more slender. (4) In Italy, particularly its remains are
found, in the same strata as those of the elephants,
mastodonta, and hippopotami.
Lastly, there is a fourth species (Rh. minutus)
furnished, as the second, with incisores, but of lesser
size, and scarcely larger than a hog.(5) It was
undoubtedly rare, for its relics have only been
collected in some places in France.
To these four genera of large pachydermata may be
added a tapir; equal to them in size, and consequently
twice or thrice as large in the linear dimensions as the
American tapir. (6)
We find its teeth in many parts of France and
Germany, and generally accompanied with those of the
rhinoceros, mastodon, and elephant.
There is still another to be added to these, which
occurs however in very few places, — a large

(1) Recherches, vol. ii. part first, p. 64; and vol. iv. p. 496.
(2) Ibid. vol. ii. part first, p. 89; vol. iii. p. 390; vol. v. part second, p.
(3) Ibid. vol. ill. p. 385.
(4) Ibid. vol. ii. part first, p. 71.
(5) Ibid. vol. ii. part first, p. 89.
(6) Ibid. vol. ii. part second, p. 165.



pachyderma, of which only the lower jaw has been
found, and whose teeth were doubly crescented and
modulated. M. Fischer, who discovered it amongst the
bones from Siberia, has named it the
The genus of the horse also existed at this period.
(2) Thousands of its teeth, are found with those which
we have just described in nearly all their deposites: but
it is impossible to say whether it was or was not of the
same species as that now existing, because the
skeletons of this species so much resemble each other,
that they cannot be determined from isolated
Ruminating animals were infinitely more numerous
than at the epoch of the palæotheria; their numerical
proportion even must differ but little from what it now
is; but we are convinced that there were many different
This we may confidently assert with respect to the
stag of superior size even to the elk, which is common
in the marl deposites and turf bogs of Ireland and
England, and of which remains have been disinterred
in France, Germany, and Italy, in the same beds which
contain the bones of the elephant. Its large and
branching antlers extend twelve or fourteen feet from
one point to the other, in allowing for the curved
portions. (3)
This distinction is not so clear with respect to the
bones of deer and oxen which have been collected in
certain rocks; they are (and particularly in England)
sometimes accompanied with the bones of the elephant,
rhinoceros, and hippopotamus, and those

(1) Recherches, vol. ii. part second, p. 95.
(2) Ibid. p. 109.
(3) Ibid. vol. iv. p. 70.



of the hyena, which are also met with in many layers
of alluvial deposites, together with the pachydermata:
consequently they are of the same age; but there is yet
much difficulty in deciding how they differ from the
present breeds of similar animals.
The clefts of the rocks of Gibraltar, Cette, Nice,
Uliveta, near Pisa, and others on the banks of the
Mediterranean, are filled with a red and firm cement,
which envelopes fragments of rock and fresh water
shells, with many bones of quadrupeds, for the most
part fractured, and which have been called osseous
brecciæ. The bones which fill them some times present
characteristics sufficient to prove that they have,
belonged to animals unknown at least in Europe. We
find there, for instance, four species of deer, three of
which have characteristics in their teeth observable
only in the deer of the Indian Archipelago.
There is a fifth race known, near Verona, whose
antlers exceed in spread those of the deer of
We also find in particular places, with the bones of
the rhinoceros and other quadrupeds of this epoch,
those of a deer so closely resembling the rein-deer,
that it is difficult to assign distinguishing characters to
it; and what is still more extraordinary, rein-deer are
confined to the coldest climates of the north, whilst
the whole genus of the rhinoceros belongs to the torrid
zone. (2)
There are in the layers of which we were speaking,
remains of a species very similar to the fallow-deer,
but a third larger,(3) and quantities of horns very

(1) Recherches, vol. iv. pp. 168 to 225.
(2) Ibid. vol. iv. p. 89.
(3) Ibid. vol. iv. p. 94.



much resembling those of our deer,(1) as well as bones
very closely assimilating to those of the aurochs(2) and
those of the domestic ox,(3) two very distinct species,
which former naturalists had improperly confounded.
However, the entire heads, like those of other animals,
as well as the musk ox of Canada,(4) which have often
been dug up, do not come from positions sufficiently
assured to enable us to determine that these species
were cotemporary with the great pachydermata that we
have above mentioned.
The osseous brecciæ, of the banks of the
Mediterranean, have also afforded two species of
lagomys,(5) an animal now only existing in Siberia;
two species of rabbits,(6) lemmings, and rats of the
size of the water-rat, and that of a mouse,(7) They are
also found in the caverns of England. (8)
The osseous brecciæ, contain even the bones of
shrew mice and lizards. (9)
There are in certain sandy strata of Tuscany, the
teeth of a porcupine;(10) and in those of Russia, the
head of a species of beaver larger than ours, which Mr.
Fischer calls trogontherium.(11) But it is principally in
the class Edentata, that these races of

(1) Recherches, p. 98.
(2) Ibid. p. 140; and vol. v. part second, p. 509.
(3) Ibid. p. 150; and vol. v. part second, p. 510.
(4) Ibid. vol. iv. part second; p. 155.
(5) Ibid. vol. iv. pp. 199 to 204.
(6) Ibid. pp.. 174, 177, and 196; vol. v. part first, p. 55.
(7) Ibid. pp. 178, 202 and 206; ibid. p. 54.
(8) Ibid. vol. v. part first, p. 55.
(9) Ibid. v. iv. p. 206.
(10) Ibid. vol. v. part second, p. 517.
(11) Ibid. vol. v. part first, p. 59.



animals, prior to the last period, assume a size much
greater than that of the present congenerate species and
attain even a giganticsize.
The megatheriumunites one portion of the generic
character of the armadilloes with a portion of that of
the sloth, and in size it equals the largest rhinoceros.
Its nails must have been of monstrous length and
power; all its frame has vast solidity. It has yet only
been found in the sandy strata of North America. (1)
The megalonyxresembled it much in its
characteristics, but was somewhat less; its nails were
longer and sharper. Some of its bones andentire toes
have been found in certain caverns in Virginia, and in
an island on the coast of Georgia.(2)
These two enormous edentata have only deposited
their remains in America; but Europe possessed one
which did not yield to them in bulk. It is not known by
a single terminating toe-joint; but this is sufficient to
convince us that it very much resembled a paugolin,
but a pangolin is nearly twenty feet long. It lived in
the same districts as the elephant, the rhinoceros, and
the immense tapir; for we find its bones with theirs in
a sandy layer near Darmstadt, not far from the
The osseous brecciæ also contain, but very rarely,
bones of carnivora,(4) much more numerous in
caverns, that is to say, in cavities larger and more
complicated than the clefts or veins containing osseous
The Jura formation particularly is celebrated for

(1) Recherches, p. 174; and part second, p. 519.
(2) Ibid. p. 160.
(3) Ibid. part first, p. 193.
(4) Ibid. v. iv. p. 193.



theft, in that part which extends into Germany, where
for ages incredible quantities have been carried off and
destroyed, because peculiar medical properties have
been assigned to them, and there is sufficient
remaining to astound the imagination. They are
principally bones of a species of very large bear (ursus
) characterised by a rounder forehead than that
of any of our living bears;(1) with these bones are
mingled those of two other species of bears (U.
arctoideuset U. oriscus,) (2) those of a hyena, (H.
fossilis) allied to. the spotted Cape hyena, but
differing in certain details of its teeth, and the form of
its head;(3) those of two tigers or panthers,(4) those of
a wolf,(5) those of a fox,(6) those of a glutton,(7)
those of weasels, civets, and other small carnivora. (8)
We may remark here, that singular association of
animals of which those similar live now in climates as
distant as the Cape, the country of the spotted hyenas,
and Lapland, the country of our gluttons. And we have
thus seen in a cavern in France, a rhinoceros and rein-
deer beside each other.
Bears rarely occur in alluvial strata, though they are
said to have been found in Austria and Hainault, of the
large species discovered in caves, and there is one in
Tuscany of a peculiar species, remarkable

(1) Recherches, p. 351.
(2) Ibid. pp. 356 and 357.
(3) Ibid. pp. 392 and 507.
(4) Ibid, p. 452.
(5) Ibid. p. 458.
(6) Ibid. p. 461.
(7) Ibid. p. 475.
(8) Ibid. p. 467.



for its compressed canine teeth (U. cultridens,) (1)
hyenas are found there more frequently. We have
discovered them in France with the bones of elephants
and rhinoceroses. A short time since a cavern was
discovered in England which contained prodigious
quantities of them, of all ages, and in the soil even the
excrements were plainly to be recognised. They must
have lived there for a long period, and they had
dragged into their cave the bones of the elephants,
rhinoceroses, hippopotami, horses, oxen, deer and of
various glires which are there mingled with their own
remains, and bear evident marks of the tooth of the
hyenas. But what must have been the soil of England
when these enormous animals served as prey to these
ferocious beasts? These caverns also contain the bones
of tigers, wolves and foxes; but those of the bear are
of extremely rare occurrence. (2)
However this may be, we see that at the period of
the animal population, now under our consideration,
the class of carnivora was numerous and powerful. It
had three bears with rounded canine teeth; one bear
with compressed canine teeth, a large tiger or lion,
another of the felis tribe of the size of a panther, a
hyena, a wolf, a fox, a glutton, a martin or polecat,
and a weasel.
The class of glires, composed generally of a weak
and small species, has had but little notice from fossil
collectors; and yet its remains, in the layers and
deposites of which we are treating, have also presented
unknown species. Such in particular is a

(1) Recherches, v. iv. pp. 378 and 507; and vol. v. part 2nd, p. 516.
(2) See Mr. Buckland's admirable work, 'Reliquiæ Diluvianæ.'



species of lagornys of the osseous brecciæ of Corsica
and Sardinia, somewhat similar to the Alpine lagomys
of the high mountains of Siberia; so true is it, that it is
not in the torrid zone that we must always seek for
animals resembling those of the epoch preceding the
last general catastrophe.
These are the principal animals whose remains have
been discovered in that mass of earth, of sand and of
mud, in that diluvium, which every where covers our
vast plains, fills, our caverns, and chokes up the
fissures of many of our large rocks. They formed most
indubitably the population of the continents at the
epoch of the great catastrophe which has destroyed
their race, and which prepared the soil on which the
animals of the present day subsist. Whatever
resemblance certain of the species of the present day
offer to them, it cannot be disputed that the total of
this population had a totally distinct character, and
that the majority of the races which composed it have
been annihilated.
It is wonderful, that among all these mammifera, of
which at the present day the greater part have a
congenerate species in the warm climates, there has not
been one quadrumanous animal, not a single bone, or a
single tooth of a monkey, not even a bone or a tooth of
an extinct species of this animal.
Neither is there any remains of man. All the bones
of the human race which have been collected along
with those which we have spoken of, have been the
result of accident,(1) and besides their number is
extremely small, which it certainly would

(1) See, in Mr. Buckland's 'Reliquiæ Diluvianæ,' an account of the
skeleton of a female found in a cave in Pavyland, and in



not be if men had then been established in the
countries inhabited by these animals. Where then was
the human race? Did the last and most perfect work of
the Creator exist no where? Did the animals which now
accompany him on earth, and of which are no fossil
remains to be traced, surround him? Have the lands in
which, they lived together been swallowed up, when
those which they now inhabit, and of which, a great
inundation might have destroyed the anterior
population, were again left dry? Out this head the
study of fossils gives us no information, and in this
Discourse we must not seek an answer to our question
from other sources.
It is certain, that we are at present at least in the
midst of a fourth succession of terrestrial animals, and
that after the age of reptiles, after that of palæotheria,
after that of mammoths, mastodonta and megatheria,
the age arrived in which the human species, together
with some domestic animals, governs and fertilizes the
earth peaceably; and it is only in formations
subsequent to this period, in alluvial deposites, in turf-
bogs, in the recent concretions, that those bones are
found in a fossil state, which all belong to animals
known and now exist ing.
Such are the human skeletons of Guadaloupe,
incrusted in a species of travertine with land shells,
slate, and fragments of the shells and madrepores of
the neighbouring sea; the bones of oxen, deer,

my 'Recherches,' v. iv. p. 193, concerning a fragment of a jaw found in the
osseous breccia, at Nice.
M. de Schlotheim collected human bones in the fissures of Kœstritz,
where there are also rhinoceros bones; but he himself is doubtful as to the
epoch of their deposition.

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