Fleah, or flea, cognate with flee, to run away from, to take flight), a name typically applied to Pulex irritans, a well-known blood-sucking insect-parasite of man and other mammals, remarkable for its powers of leaping, and nearly cosmopolitan.
We pass on to the other curious order of non-placental mammals, that of the Monotremata, so called from the structure of their organs of evacuation with a single orifice, as in birds.
FLYING - SQUIRREL, properly the name of such members of the squirrel-group of rodent mammals as have a parachute-like expansion of the skin of the flanks, with attachments to the limbs, by means of which they are able to take long flying-leaps from tree to tree.
The comparatively few indigenous placental mammals, besides the dingo or wild dog - which, however, may have come from the islands north of this continent - are of the bat tribe and of the rodent or rat tribe.
Douglas Ogilby (Catalogue of Australian Mammals, p. 1, Sydney, 1902), but expressed the hope "that further inquiries might be made by naturalists in Australia as to the actual finding of such eggs in the burrows, so that this most interesting point might be finally settled."
Marsupials may be defined as viviparous (that is non-egglaying) mammals, in which the young are born in an imperfect condition, and almost immediately attached to the teats of the mammary glands; the latter being generally enclosed in a pouch, and the front edge of the pelvis being always furnished with epipubic or "marsupial" bones.
Further, it is considered that too much weight has been assigned to the characters distinguishing monotremes from other mammals, foetal marsupials showing a monotreme type of coracoid, while it is probable that in the long run it will be found impossible to maintain the essential dissimilarity between the milk-glands of monotremes and other mammals.
From the number of its cheek-teeth, the banded ant-eater has been regarded as related to some of the primitive Jurassic mammals; but this view is disputed by Mr Bensley, who regards this multiplicity of teeth as a degenerate feature.
The same deposits have yielded remains of small mammals whose dentition approximates more nearly to that of either polyprotodont marsupials or insectivores; and these may be conveniently noticed here without prejudice to their true affinities.
At any rate, there seems little doubt that it was the region where creodonts and other primitive mammals were first differentiated from their reptilian ancestors.
It may be added that a few traces of mammals have been obtained from the English Wealden, among which an incisor tooth foreshadows the rodent type.
Ogilby, Catalogue of Australian Mammals (Sydney, 1895); B.
The human flea is considerably exceeded in size by certain other species found upon much smaller hosts; thus the European Hystrichopsylla talpae, a parasite of the mole, shrew and other small mammals, attains a length of 5z millimetres; another large species infests the Indian porcupine.
Of birds the number of species greatly exceeds that of the mammals, including the rhea of the pampas and condor of the Andes, and the tiny, brilliant-hued humming-birds of the tropical North.
Under the heading of Multituberculata will be found a brief account of certain extinct mammals from the Mesozoic formations of Europe and North America which have been regarded as more or less nearly related to the monotremes.
SPARASSODONTA, a zoological name applied to a group of primitive carnivorous mammals from the Santa Cruz beds of Patagonia, represented by the genera Borhyaena, Prothylacinus, Amphiproviverra, &c. By their first describer, Dr F.
Engler, Entwickelungsgeschichte der Pflanzenwelt; also Beddard, Zoogeography (Cambridge, 1895); and Sclater, The Geography of Mammals (London, 1899).
Sclater have been found to hold good for a large number of groups of animals as different in their mode of life as birds and mammals, and they may thus be accepted as based on nature.
(4) A pair of thyrohyals, homologous with the posterior hyoid horns of mammals, i.e.
13), consisting of the sacrum (already described) and the pelvic arch, namely ilium, ischium and pubis, it follows that only birds and mammals possess a pelvis proper, whilst such is entirely absent in the Amphibia and in reptiles with the exception of some of the Dinosaurs.
The latter is, in comparison with mammals, represented by its middle portion only, the vermis; in a sagittal section it shows an extremely well developed arbor vitae, produced by the transverse, repeated folding of the whole organ.
GIRAFFE, a corruption of Zarafah, the Arabic name for the tallest of all mammals, and the typical representative of the family Giraffidae, the distinctive characters of which are given in the article Pecora, where the systematic position of the group is indicated.
ELEPHANT, the designation of the two existing representatives of the Proboscidea, a sub-order of ungulate mammals, and also extended to include their more immediate extinct relatives.
ARMADILLO, the Spanish designation for the small mail-clad Central and South American mammals of the order Edentata, constituting the family Dasypodidae.
Marsupium, a "pouch," or "bag"), the group of mammals in which the young are usually carried for some time after birth in a pouch on the under-surface of the body of the female.
The birds of Australia in their number and variety of species may be deemed some compensation for its poverty of mammals; yet it will not stand comparison in this respect with regions of Africa and South America in the same latitudes.
Science (1893); Tenison-Woods, The Fish and Fisheries of New South Wales (Sydney, 1883); Ogilvy, Catalogue of Australian Mammals (Sydney, 1892); Aflalo, Natural History of Australia (London, 1896); Flower and Lydekker, Mammals, Living and Extinct (London, 1891); J.
In the retina the cones prevail in numbers over the rods, as in the mammals, and their tips contain, as in other Sauropsida, coloured drops of oil, mostly red or yellow.
E Here, as over so large a portion of the Australian region, we find birds constituting the supreme class - the scarcity of mammals being accounted for in some measure as a normal effect of insularity.
RUMINANTIA, a term employed by Cuvier to include all the existing artiodactyle ruminating ungulate mammals now classed under the groups Pecora, Tylopoda and Tragulina.
- Remains of Palaeolithic man, contemporary with the large Quaternary mammals, are few in Russia; they have been discovered only in Poland, Poltava and Voronezh, and perhaps also on the Oka.
According to Nordenskjold r it numbers only twenty-nine species of mammals, of which seven are marine and seventeen or eighteen may be safely considered as living beyond the forest limit.
The boreal fauna is, of course, much more abundant; but here also the great bulk of the species, both mammals and birds, are common to Europe and Asia.
Only two land mammals are known to be indigenous.
Of smaller mammals, raccoons, squirrels and opossums are very common.
Owen for that division of ungulate mammals in which the toe corresponding to the middle (third) digit of the human hand and foot is symmetrical in itself, and larger than those on either side (when such are present).
Drake-Brockman, The Mammals of Somaliland (London, 1910); J.
The agouti and the armadillo are practically extinct and the only other mammals are ground squirrels, rats, a few other small rodents, and some bats.
PHENACODUS, one of the earliest and most primitive of the ungulate mammals, typifying the family Phenacodontidae and the sub-order Condylarthra.
The mammals of Syria are rather sharply to be distinguished into those which range only north of Mt Carmel, and those which pass that limit.
No doubt large numbers are devoured by insectivorous birds, mammals and reptiles, but the mortality due to them and other foes sinks into insignificance beside that caused by the persecution of hymenopterous insects of the families Ichneumonidae and Pompilidae, especially of the latter, many species of which systematically ransack the country for spiders wherewith to feed their young in the breeding season.
Now, Coccinellidae (ladybirds) are known to be highly distasteful to most insectivorous mammals and birds, and snails would be quite unfit food for the Pompilid or Ichneumonid larvae, so that the reason for the mimicry in these cases is also perfectly clear.