The group is represented by the European chamois or gemse (Rupicapra tragus or R.
Might retain his right of chamois hunting in these parts.
5), which may have been either chamois or steinbock, to be found.
The chamois, bouquetin and marmot are found only in the Alps, not at all in the Apennines.
Of interest for sportsmen, as well as serving as prey for the carnivores, are red deer, goats (Capra pallasit and C. aegagrus), chamois, roebuck, moufflon (Ovis musimon), argali or Asiatic wild sheep (0.
The great majority of antelopes, exclusive of the doubtful chamois group (which, however, will be included in the present article), are African, although the gazelles are to a considerable extent an Asiatic;'group. They include ruminants varying in size from a hare to an ox; and comprise about 150 species, although this number is subject to considerable variation according to personal views as to the limitations of species and races.
In concluding, this survey of living antelopes, reference may be made to the subfamilyRupicaprinae (typified by the European chamois), the members of which, as already stated, are in some respects intermediate between antelopes and goats.
The Ungulata are represented by the chamois (Rupicapra tragus) and the bouquetin or steinbock (Capra ibex).
The forests are well stocked with game, deer, chamois (in the Alps), wild boars, capercailzie, grouse, pheasants, &c. being plentiful.
CHAMOIS, the Franco-Swiss name of an Alpine ruminant known in the German cantons as Gemse, and to naturalists as Rupicapra tragus or R.
About equal in height to a roebuck, and with a short black tail, the chamois is readily distinguishable from all other ruminants by its vertical, backwardly-hooked, black horns, which are common to males and females, although smaller in the latter.
Apart from black and white face-markings, and the black tail and dorsal stripe, the prevailing colour of the Alpine chamois is chestnut brown in summer, but lighter and greyer in winter.
Pieta, inhabits the Apennines; the Carpathian chamois is very dark-coloured, and the one from the Caucasus is the representative of yet another race.
Chamois are gregarious, living in herds of 15 or 20, and feeding generally in the morning or evening.
Chamois are exceedingly shy; and their senses, especially those of sight and smell, very acute.
No sooner is the object of alarm scented or seen than each one seeks safety in the most inaccessible situations, which are often reached by a series of astounding leaps over crevasses, up the faces of seemingly perpendicular rocks, or down the sides of equally precipitous chasms. The chamois will not hesitate, it is said, thus to leap down 20 or even 30 ft., and this it effects with apparent ease by throwing itself forward diagonally and striking its feet several times in its descent against the face of the rock.
Chamois-shooting is most successfully pursued when a number of hunters form a circle round a favourite feeding ground, which they gradually narrow; the animals, scenting the hunters to windward, fly in the opposite direction, only to encounter those coming from leeward.
Chamois feed in summer on mountain-herbs and flowers, and in winter chiefly on the young shoots and buds of fir and pine trees.
The sarau (Nemorhaedus bubalinus), allied to the chamois, has a wide range in the mountains of the north, from the Himalayas to Assam and Burma.
The wild animals include bear, boar, chamois, fallow red and roe deer, gazelle, hyena, ibex, jackal, leopard, lynx, moufflon, panther, wild sheep and wolf.
Abounding on the higher slopes of the Bavarian and Tirolese Alps, it is a favourite shelter for the chamois; the hunters call it the " latschen," from its recumbent straggling habit.
The crude phosphorus is purified by melting under water and then filtering through animal black and afterwards through chamois leather, or by treating it, when molten, with chromic acid or a mixture of potassium bichromate and sulphuric acid; this causes the impurities to rise to the surface as a scum which can be skimmed off.
Roe-deer, foxes and wolves find shelter in the forests, where bears are not uncommon; and chamois frequent the loftiest and most inaccessible peaks.
Of ungulata, besides a few hundreds of rare varieties, there are the springbuck, of which great herds still wander on the open veld, the steinbok, a small and beautiful animal which is sometimes coursed like a hare, the klipspringer or " chamois of South Africa," common in the mountains, the wart-hog and the dassie or rock rabbit.
Whale-oil is principally used in oiling wools for combing, in batching flax and other vegetable fibres, in currying and chamois leather-making, and as a lubricant for machinery.
" larmier," or " crumen," of antelopes and deer, the frontal gland of the muntjak and of bats of the genus Phyllorhina, the chingland of the chevrotains and of Taphozous and certain other bats, the glandular patch behind the ear of the chamois and the reedbuck, the glands on the lower parts of the legs of most deer and a few antelopes (the position of which is indicated by tufts of long and often specially coloured hair), the interdigital foot-glands of goats, sheep, and many other ruminants, the temporal gland of elephants, the lateral glands of the musk-shrew, the gland on the back of the hyrax and the peccary (from the presence of which the latter animal takes the name Dicotyles), the gland on the tails of the members of the dog-tribe, the preputial glands of the muskdeer and beaver (both well known for the use made of their powerfully odorous secretion in perfumery), and also of the swine and hare, the anal glands of Carnivora, the perineal gland of the civet (also of commercial value), the caudal glands of the fox and goat, the gland on the wing-membrane of bats of the genus Saccopteryx, the post-digital gland of the rhinoceros, &c. Very generally these glands are common to both sexes, and it is in such cases that their function as a means of mutual recognition is most evident.
Otters are common along the rivers; chamois may very rarely be seen on the least accessible peaks; roe-deer, red-deer, squirrels and rabbits people the lower woodlands; and hares abound in the open.
Ibex live habitually at a greater height than chamois or any other Alpine mammals, their vertical limit being the line of perpetual snow.
They utter a sharp whistling sound not unlike that of the chamois, but when greatly irritated or frightened make a peculiar snorting noise.
He was a keen sportsman and would spend many days at a time pursuing chamois or steinbock in the Alpine fastnesses of Piedmont with nothing but bread and cheese to eat.
In the uniform of the Preobrazhensk regiment--white chamois-leather breeches and high boots-- and wearing a star Rostov did not know (it was that of the Legion d'honneur), the monarch came out into the porch, putting on his gloves and carrying his hat under his arm.
Of existing species the bear, wild-boar, badger, roe-deer and chamois may occasionally be seen in the remotest wilds of mountain and forest.
Among the rodents there are hares, marmots, beavers, squirrels, rats and mice, the last in enormous swarms. Of the larger game the chamois and deer are specially noticeable.
Next come the Rupicaprinae, which include several genera of mountain-dwelling ruminants, typified by the European chamois (Rupicapra); the other genera being the Asiatic serow, goral and takin, and the North American Rocky Mountain goat.
Some, for instance, may consider that the chamois and the so-called white goat of the Rocky Mountains are entitled to be included in the group; but this is not the view held by the authors of the Book of Antelopes referred to below; and, as a matter of fact, the term is only a vague designation for a number of more or less distinct groups of hollow-horned ruminants which do not come under the designation of cattle, sheep or goats; and in reality there ought to be a distinct English groupname for each subfamily into which "antelopes" are subdivided.
The skin of the chamois is very soft; made into leather it was the original shammy, which is now made, however, from the skins of many other animals.