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    Uniting to the system of dentition, the general habit and many of the most striking peculiarities of the cats, some of the distinguishing features and much of the intelligence, the teachableness, and the fidelity of the dog, the Hunting Leopard forms a sort of connecting link between two groups of animals, otherwise completely separated, and exhibiting scarcely any other character in common than the carnivorous propensities by which both are, in a greater or less degree, actuated and inspired. Intermediate in size and shape between the leopard and the hound, he is slenderer in his body, more elevated on his legs, and less flattened on the fore[62] part of his head than the former, while he is deficient in the peculiarly graceful and lengthened form, both of head and body, which characterize the latter. His tail is entirely that of a cat; and his limbs, although more elongated than in any other species of that group, seem better fitted for strong muscular exertion than for active and long-continued speed. From these indications it may be gathered that he approaches much more nearly to the feline than to the canine group: we shall therefore follow the example of zoologists in general, by referring him for the present and provisionally to the genus Felis, and proceed to point out more particularly the characters by which he is connected with, as well as those by which he is distinguished from, the rest of that formidable and extensive tribe.


    1.Felis Leo. Linn.—Var. Bengalensis.
    2.It can scarcely fail to have been remarked by those who have perused the preceding pages with moderate attention that the species of cats described in them, including the largest and most formidable of the whole genus, are exclusively natives of the Old World, and confined to the hot and burning climates of Southern Asia and of Africa. A second and more numerous class, of which, however, no example exists at present in the Tower Menagerie, and which, consequently, it does not fall within our province to illustrate, occupy the colder and northern regions of both hemispheres. These belong principally to the same subdivision with the Lynx[42] (being, like him, distinguished by the pencils of long hairs which surmount their ears), and to that which comprehends the domestic cat; and are all of diminutive size and trifling power when compared with those monstrous productions of the torrid zone, the Lion, the Tiger, and the Leopard. The reader is not, however, to imagine that the smaller species exist only in the vicinity of the pole and in the temperate regions of the earth: he will find, on the contrary, that many of them are natives of more southern climes, and commit their petty ravages under as fierce a sun as that which fires their more dreaded competitors in the career of rapine and of blood. Of one of these, the true Lynx of antiquity, we shall have occasion to treat in a subsequent article.
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