Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Titel:
The Cyclopaedia of Anatomy and Physiology, vol 1: A-Dea
Person:
Todd, Robert Bentley
PURL:
https://digitalesammlungen.uni-weimar.de/viewer/image/lit25759/489/
CARNIVORA. 
477 
Fig. 197. 
Fig. 198. 
The metatarsal bones (fig. 196, 197, 198, d) 
are generally five. In the eats and the dogs, 
indeed, the inner one is merely rudimentary, 
a defect which is perfectly consonant with the 
absence of a posterior thumb in these two 
genera. Those of the seal tribe are remark¬ 
ably long and slender. The first is the longest, 
the fifth the next, then the second, the fourth, 
and the middle one which is the shortest. 
The toes consist of three phalanges (fig. 196, 
197, 198, a, b, c,) and in most genera there are 
five toes; the bears and other plantigrades 
having the inner toe or thumb in the same 
. range as the others ; in the mustelidœ it is a 
little smaller, and in the cats and dogs it is 
wholly wanting. The toes in the seal tribe are 
developed to considerable length, and being 
much extended, and covered with an entire 
skin which extends from one to the other, a 
very perfect finlike paddle is thus furnished. 
The types, then, of the three different varie¬ 
ties of progression are here distinctly shewn. 
In the foot of the bear (fig. 197) we find that 
every thing in its formation is made subser¬ 
vient to the action of walking; the heel, the 
tarsal and the metatarsal bones, and the pha¬ 
langes all rest upon the ground, and these 
bones are elongated for that purpose. In the 
Lion (fig. 196) the last phalanges only rest on 
the ground, the heel being drawn upwards, and 
the whole of the foot, excepting that small 
portion which is applied to the ground, is thus 
made an additional lever for the increase of the 
animal’s powers of leaping and bounding in 
its course. In this form the limb consists of 
three joints (the pelvis being the fixed point) 
moveable in alternately different directions, 
capable of being all approximated to each 
other, and then suddenly and simultaneously 
extended with prodigious force. In the third 
type, that of the Seal (fig. 198), the bones are 
all much flattened, and, excepting the foot, 
greatly shortened ; the foot itself being de¬ 
veloped both longitudinally and laterally into a 
finlike expansion. 
The Muscular System.—The general cha¬ 
racter of the muscles in the Carnivora is that 
of combined power and irritability. The ele 
vators of the lower jaw, the masseters and the 
temporals, are enormously large, for the pur¬ 
pose of cutting and tearing the flesh and the 
harder portions of their food. The muscles 
of the face also, those of the lips, of the nose, 
of the eyelids, and of the ears, are all of them 
greatly developed and capable of the most 
extensive and powerful motion. A moment’s 
reflexion upon the habits of these animals, and 
particularly on those of the cats, will shew the 
necessity of enormous power in the muscles 
which raise the head upon the spine. A Lion, 
it is said, can kill a moderate-sized bullock, throw 
it on his back by a toss of the head, and trot 
off with it to his hiding-place. All the muscles, 
therefore, which arise from the vertebrae of the 
neck and are inserted into the projecting ridge 
of the occipital bone, are of prodigious strength. 
The same remark holds good of all the muscles 
of the limbs, particularly those of the anterior 
extremity, but which do not require a par¬ 
ticular description or demonstration. The mus¬ 
cles of the tail, which are for the most part 
similar in this order to those in the tailed Qua- 
drumana and Ruminantia, will be described 
in the articles devoted to the anatomy of those 
animals. 
The digestive organs.—The structure which 
has been already detailed in the skeleton of the 
Carnivora, and alluded to in their muscular
        

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