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The animals which were so abundant in the Paris basin belonged chiefly to two genera: the palæotheria, or ancient animals, and the anoplotheria or unarmed animals; these latter, were so called from the Greek words. for "unarmed," and for "beast," because their teeth were arranged in an even line all round, just as in man; the canine teeth not projecting beyond the others, as they do in animals which can bite and tear, so that they were defenceless. There were several species of palæotheria, the largest, or great palæotherium, being about the size of a horse, but it was much heavier and clumsier, having a very thick body, supported on short, stout legs, and its feet were divided into three rounded toes. Its head was large, and was provided with a short trunk, or proboscis, like that of the tapir; and altogether it formed a link between that animal and the rhinoceros, and probably resembled them in its habits.

The anoplotheria also comprise several species, differing greatly from each other. The largest was about the size of a donkey but, though belonging to the pachydermata, the anoplotherium was like no one animal now existing, for whilst in some respects it resembled the hippopotamus, its skull partook of the character of that of the horse, and its upper lip was divided, like the camel's; and the bones of the feet, which were separated into toes sheathed in hoofs, were like those of the hog. The body was about four feet long, and it had a thick tail of equal length, probably to assist it in swimming; and its hair was smooth, like that of the otter.

The Gazelle of the Early Ages.

Another kind, the xiphodon gracile, was about the size of a chamois, and was as light and slender as a gazelle; and instead of swimming in the water, it bounded over the plains; but though in this respect it resembled a deer, and had a long neck and a short tail, its lip also was divided like the camel's. Some of the species were very small, one being only as large as a hare, whilst another was no bigger than a rat. difficult to imagine creatures more defenceless than these animals were, possessing neither horns nor claws, nor teeth that they could tear with; and they were probably soon exterminated when the large beasts of prey came into existence. As it was, the chief enemies of those that frequented the water must have been the crocodiles. The anoplotheria were all herbivorous, living on seeds and green twigs, or the succulent roots of plants.

Remains of the palæotherium and an aplotherium have been discovered in the Isle of Wight, in strata similar to that of the Paris basin, but not in such abundance. Altogether, Cuvier found the bones of about fifty different kinds of animals embedded in the gypsum, all of which are extinct,

besides turtles, and crocodiles, and bats, and various birds of kinds which still exist on the earth.

Though Britain is now an island it was not always so. The researches of geologists show that it was once united to the continent of Europe. The fossil remains of animals discovered in many parts of England are the same as those found in France, and a species of fresh-water mussel, now extinct in that country, still lives in the river Seine. The flint implements, too, which prove that even at that early age human beings existed on the earth, though there was no historian to chronicle their deeds, are found to be of a similar type in England and France, and seem to show that, at a far distant time, the same race of people inhabited both countries. But these men were not our ancestors; they died out, or were exterminated by the influx of tribes superior to them in intelligence, and the shape of their skulls, which have been dug up out of the gravel beds in France, shows that they belonged to a different race from any now inhabiting either country.

London Once a Great Menagerie.

At that time the valley of the Thames must have presented a very different aspect from what it does now, and it is supposed that the river Thames was then a tributary of the Rhine. The vegetation was of much the same character as at present, for, after lasting countless ages the great tertiary period had come to an end; England was no longer covered with groves of palm-trees and tropical ferns, and the strange animals of the Paris basin were already extinct. The temperature, that had been gradually cooling, at length became so cold that what is known as the glacial period, or age of ice, ensued. After a long interval, the climate grew warm again, and it was at this time that man came into existence; at least we may conclude so, for there are no certain vestiges of human beings before the age of ice. The forest trees such as we still now have, appeared, and dense forests of oak, and elm and thickets of alder grew to the water's edge. The climate too was probably not very different to what it is now, except that the winter was colder and the summer hotter than in our day.

But if the trees on the banks of the Thames were of the same kind as at present, it was far otherwise with the animal kingdom, for the gigantic mammoth browsed on the young shoots of the oak, whose branches gave shelter to troops of apes, whilst the woolly rhinoceros wallowed in the mud and the huge hippopotamus came swimming up the river. The wild horse and the ass scoured the plains, and herds of bisons and wild bulls roamed through the woods, that at night echoed with the

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cries of the hyena or the growling of immense tigers. There were several distinct species of rhinoceri natives of Britain and other parts of Europe, but they were not all co-existent. They first appear about the middle of the tertiary period, but the species that lived then appears to have given place to other kinds. Of these the woolly rhinoceros, which had two horns, was the most common, and its remains have been found in an entire state in the ice of northern Asia. Besides its woolly coat it had another peculiarity, which does not exist in every living species— its nostrils were separated by a bony partition. There was also a smaller and more slender species, which had two horns, and another kind, no larger than a hog. The hippopotamus, of which there were two species, did not differ much from that of Africa. Its bones have been found, together with those of the rhinoceros, in many parts of London; and a jawbone of a hippopotamus, armed with a formidable pair of tusks, was dug up at Peckham, and is now in the geological collection of the British Museum.

A Multitude of Savage Creatures.

It was at the close of the tertiary period, and just before the appearance of man, that many of the animals appeared which still inhabit Britain, such as the hog and the horse; but the first horses were very small, being no larger than the donkey: there are no fossil remains of such horses as we see now-a-days. One species of the deer was of gigantic size, and there was a large serpent, and the caves were the abode of huge bears, that exceeded the grizzly bear of North America in size; and a terrible creature, called the machairodus, now totally extinct, preyed on the denizens of the woods. Flocks of birds flew through the air, and vultures brooded on the rocks. Beavers constructed their dwellings in the stream, and were not extinct till historic times.

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In the valley of the Thames the remains of both arctic and tropical animals are found, and the reindeer, glutton, musk-sheep, and even the lemming, once frequented Britain. It might be imagined that these animals lived at different periods, but the bones of hippopotami are found with those of the reindeer, and it is probable that as England was then united to the Continent, and the land continuous, the animals migrated according to the change of the seasons, and the hippopotamus swam up the rivers from France and Spain. The reindeer extended its wanderings as far as the south of France, where it was at one time very common.

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Amid the multitude of savage animals which then swarmed in these countries, the primitive human beings must have led a precarious existArmed only with flint-headed arrows and axes, or bone-pointed


spears, they doubtless frequently fell a prey to the tiger or terrible cavebear. Their skeletons show that they were a small race of men, with round heads and low foreheads, and very prominent ridges over the orbit of the eye. They were probably something like the Eskimo or Laplanders, and their lives were spent in hunting or in resisting the attacks of wild beasts.

Remarkable Products of Land and Sea.

The shores of the islands or of the tract of main land then existing were apparently low and swampy. Deep inlets of the sea, bays, and the shifting mouths of a river, were also affected by numerous alterations of level not sufficient to destroy, but powerful enough to modify the animal and vegetable species then existing; and these movements were continued for a long time. The seas were tenanted by sharks, gigantic rays, and many other fishes of warm latitudes, and abounded also with large carnivorous mollusca, capable of living either in fresh or brackish water. The shelving land was clothed with rich tropical vegetation to the water's edge, presenting to view the palm and the cocoa-nut, besides many of those trees which now lend a charm to the Spice Islands of the Indian seas. All these abounded also with indications of animal life.

The large rivers were peopled with crocodiles; turtles and tortoises floated upon them; and these tenants of the waters, strange and varied as they were, and unlike the present inhabitants of the district, were not without resemblance to many species still met with on the earth. The interior of the land, of which the surrounding waters were thus peopled, was no less remarkable, and exhibited appearances equally instructive. Troops of monkeys might be seen skipping lightly from branch to branch in the various trees, or heard mowing and chattering and howling in the deep recesses of the forest. Of the birds, some clothed in plumage of almost tropical brilliancy, were busy in the forests, while others, such as the vulture, hovered over the spots where death had been busy. Gigantic serpents might have been seen insidiously watching their prey. Other serpents in gaudy dress were darting upon the smaller quadrupeds and birds, and insects glittered brightly in the sun.

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