TWENTIETH CENTURY IMPRESSIONS
moderate size, standing about forty-two to forty-five inches at the shoulders, and weigh some 200 to 250 pounds. They are found in both Upper and Lower Burma, preferring open grassy plains, which they do not mind being damp or a bit swampy. In Upper
Upper-GAUR, OR INDIAN BISON (BOS GAURUS).
LoweraTSAING, OR BANTING (BOS SONDAICUS).
Burma they may be found also in light bamboo cover, and especially about a zi a (Zizi Jujnba) and azibyna jungle (Cicca macro-carpa), to the fruit of which trees they are very partial. They are commonly supposed to be found only on the low plains, but as a matter of fact they are met with on the Shan Plateau at elevations of some 3,000 feet. Formerly they were very plentiful on many of the plains in the delta, but owing to the extension of cultivation they have now almost disappeared from here. The stags are dark-brown ; the does are rufous. The coat of stags is long and coarse, shaggy in the cold season, and during the rutting season is thick and long about the neck, forming a a ruff a or mane. The antlers of these deer are very graceful. They take a downward and then upward curve over the forehead, and join the beams forming curves more or less at right angles to the pedicels. Any antler measuring 50 inches and over, inclusive of brow line, may be considered very good.
The Malayan Sambar, Cervus unicolor equinus (asata) may be found in the grass belts on the plains or ascending hills to high elevations. It is rarely found at any great distance from forests. It is not so large as the Indian sambar, and it does not carry such long antlers, they are, however, very much thicker. The brow line is generally longer than in the Indian variety. Any head measuring 30 inches or over from the burr to the end of the beam is exceptionally good. The sambar is the largest deer met with in Burma, measuring some 50 inches or so at the shoulder and weighing over 500 pounds. Its habits are nocturnal, i.e. it commences to feed at six p.m. or so, and continues grazing until six or seven in the morning. On the hills it comes out to
graze in the woodland glades, and sambar stalking is very fine sport. The stag is not very fast, and in Ceylon is hunted by men on foot with dogs.
Cervus porcinns, the hog-deer (a dayai a or a darai a), is a small deer some 24 to 26 inches high at the shoulder. Hog-deer in Burma are very common, and are practically restricted to the plains. As a rule they go about in small parties, two, three, or five together, though many may be found in the same tract. On the Pidaing plain in Upper Burma they may be found grazing in extraordinarily large herds. The antlers are placed on rather long pedicels, each horn bearing three tines; the brow antler forms an acute angle with the beam, and the outer upper tine exceeds the inner in length. They are a brown colour, the stags are often very dark, and it is not uncommon to find specimens with white spots on the coat. They have a peculiar action when running, accounted for perhaps by their short forelegs. Exceptionally fine heads are met with in Burma up to 23 inches, but anything over 16 inches is good.
Of the chevrotians (genus Tragulus), we have two varietiesathe smaller and larger Malay chevrotians, known as a mouse deer aa but, as far as I am aware, they do not ojcur north of the Tennasserim division. Some years ago quite a number were to be found not far from the Amherst Dak bungalow. The smaller species are supposed to be the second smallest ungulate. They are about the size of a hare, very timid and delicate. They become exceedingly tame.
The Burmese goat-antelope, a serow a (Ne-morhcedus sumatrensis), as the Burmese names tend to indicate, kaba-kyah (precipice tiger), taw-seik (wild goat), taw-myin (wild horse), is rather a weird animal, for which it is not easy to find an exact place in the animal kingdom. The goat-antelopes stand from 33 to 38 inches at the shoulder, and their colour varies from rufous to grizzled black, with tan stockings. They may be met with throughout Burma, in certain localities at elevations from 500 feet to 600 feet up to 7,000 feet. They appear to prefer hills of limestone formation. Though most awkward looking creatures, no ground seems to be too bad for them, and the way they can rattle down a place as steep as the side of a house fairly takes oneas breath. And yet if driven on to the flat they are comparatively helpless, and men can follow and cut them down. Generally, they live in heavy jungle or in rocky ravines on hillsides, but they are solitary creatures, and it is not often more than two or three can be found together. They are wary and not easy to find, beating perhaps providing the best chance of their discovery. When wounded, a serow may be fierce and dangerous, and in the places where one has to go in search of them and where it is often a difficult matter to get a good foothold, a charge from one of them is not very pleasant.
That wonderful animal, of which many sportsmen would like to obtain a specimen, the a takin a (Budoreas-taxicolor), is to be found somewhere to the far north of Burma. The Kachins have brought in several skulls, but when asked where they obtained them the nearest answer they could give was that it was nut exactly near to Burma. I think there must be a musk-deer also to be found somewhere on the high hills of the Chinese frontier, for I have seen two or three skins which natives have obtained. Several goral have been shot at high elevations on some of the hill ranges in Burma ; they differ in some respects from the Indian or Himalayan variety.
There is no lack of reptilia and batrachia, either as regards number or species, in Burma. Crocodiles may be found in large numbers in the creeks of the delta, especially where there is an absence of steamer traffic. They do not ascend the rivers much above tidal influence. The marsh crocodile, Crocodilus painstris, and C. porosus, a me-gyoung,a some of which attain a large size, occasionally attack human beings when standing in the water, but they prefer to catch calves, dogs, and c. It is said that the long-snouted fish-eating gavial (Gavialis gangc-ticus), is to be found in certain of the large rivers of Burma, but I have never seen one.
The Chelonia, or turtles and tortoises, are well represented. The edible turtle is found on the sandy coast in abundance. They come ashore to lay their eggs, which are considered a great delicacy among the native population, and the turtle banks are a source of revenue. There are many kinds of tortoises, of which the Burmese enjoy the flesh and take the eggs when they find them.
Lizards are numerous. The variety most commonly seen about the compounds is the Calotes mystaceus. C. versicolor is much more rare. Geckoes are also numerous about the houses and trees. Two varieties are well known to Europeans, namely, the tucktoos, (Gecko verticillatus and G. stentor)aso called from their loud call of atucktoo,a which is often repeated eight or ten times. They are beautiful lizards ten to twelve inches long, including tail, and are the largest among the Indian species. They are considered lucky by the Burmese, and as the idea has fortunately a caught on,a so the old a tucktoo a is always welcome in any house. Flying lizards, quaint little reptiles with their fan-like parachutes, are fairly numerous, and the legless lizard (Ophisanrus gracilis), is by no means rare. Several varieties of large lizards of the Genus varanus are known to Europeans as monitors, iguanas, and to the Burmese as a put.a The Burmese esteem the flesh of these lizards a great delicacy. They are fairly common, and measure over all three to five feet or even more. The eggs, too, are greatly appreciated, and during the season ant hills are generally inspected for claw marks, and if any are found digging operations proceed forthwith. As many as forty eggs, about the size of large marbles, may be found in one ant heap.
Though European residents often remark how few snakes there are, or that during many yearas residence they have never seen one
BURMESE GOAT ANTELOPE-SEROW (NEMORHAEDUS SUMATRENSIS).
except with a snake charmer, the fact remains that Burma has more than its share of these reptiles. Naturally most attention is paid to the poisonous species, and of these we have of the genus Naia the much dreaded king-cobra, hamadryad, (Naia bnngarus) a gnan a orexcept with a snake charmer, the fact remains that Burma has more than its share of these reptiles. Naturally most attention is paid to the poisonous species, and of these we have of the genus Naia the much dreaded king-cobra, hamadryad, (Naia bnngarus) a gnan a or