Still, the reindeer frequents it for its lichens, and on the drier slopes of the moraine deposits there occur four species of lemming, hunted by the Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus).
The land mammals of Greenland are decidedly more American than European; the musk-ox, the banded lemming (Cuniculus torquatus), the white polar wolf, of which there seems to have been a new invasion recently round the northern part of the country to the east coast, the Eskimo and the dog - probably also the reindeer - have all come from America, while the other land mammals, the polar bear, the polar fox, the Arctic hare, the stoat (Mustela erminea), are perfectly circumpolar forms. The species of seals and whales are, if anything, more American than European, and so to some extent are the fishes.
The reindeer, arctic fox (Canis lagopus), hare, wolf, lemming (Myodes obensis), collar lemming (Cuniculus torquatus) and two species of voles (Arvicolae) are the most common on land.
LEMMING, the native name of a small Scandinavian rodent mammal Lemmus norvegicus (or L.
The circumstance which has given popular interest to the lemming is that certain districts of the cultivated lands of Norway and Sweden, where in ordinary circumstances they are unknown, are, at uncertain intervals varying from five to twenty or more years, overrun by an army of these little creatures, which steadily and slowly advance, always in the same direction, and regardless of all obstacles, swimming streams and even lakes of several miles in breadth, and committing considerable devastation on their line of march by the quantity of food they consume.
In their turn they are pursued and harassed by crowds of beasts The Norwegian Lemming (Lemmus Norvegicus).
Nigripes; while the circumpolar banded lemming, Dicrostonyx torquatus, which turns white in winter, represents a second genus taking its name from the double claws on one of the toes of the forefeet.