category:Simulation operation


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    With the exception of the Opossums, which are natives of America, the tribe is peculiar to New Holland and its[157] appendages, and to some of the islands which form the great chain of connexion between that insular continent and South-eastern Asia. The former is, however, their head quarters, and the species which are found beyond its limits are few in number compared with those which people its territory, and, what is more remarkable, people it to the exclusion of nearly all the other Mammalia; the dog alone, the universal concomitant of man, and one or two species of rats, disputing with them their title to its exclusive possession; for those paradoxical creatures, the Ornithorhynchus and Echidna, if really mammiferous, approximate closely in structure to the Marsupial tribe.


    3.In their natural habits the numerous species of which this group is composed approach very closely to the Deer; there is, however, considerable variety in their mode of life. They inhabit almost every description of country; the sandy desert, the open plain, the thicket, the forest, the mountain, and the precipice, being, each in its turn, the favourite haunt of the different races; but, with the exception of a few species, they do not advance much beyond the limits of the tropics. The smaller ones usually prefer a solitary life, but the larger, for the most part, congregate together in herds, which are generally few in number. In their manners they exhibit much of that cautious vigilance and easily startled timidity, combined with a certain degree of occasional boldness and not a little curiosity, which are the natural consequences of their wild and unrestricted habits, of their trivial means of defence against the[193] numerous enemies to whose attacks they are exposed, and of the unequalled fleetness of their speed. In some this latter quality consists of a continued and uniform gallop, which in others is interrupted at every third or fourth stroke by a long and generally a lofty bound, producing a beautiful effect by its constant and rapid recurrence.
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