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UNIVERSAL KNOWLEDGE FOR THE PEOPLE.
AMERICAN REVISED EDITION.
IN TEN VOLUMES.
J. B. LIPPINCOTT & Co.
katered, according to Act of congress, iu the year 1875, by
J. B. LIPPINCOTT & (0.,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington,
ELEPHANT (Gr. Elephas), a genus of quadru- / which would be too violent a motion for its con. peds, of the order Pachydermata (q. v.), and of the formation and huge body, but a sort of shuile, the section Proboscidea. Elephants are the largest speed of which is increased or diminished without existing land animals. The ordinary height at the other alteration. The E. is incapable of springing shoulder is about eight feet, but sometimes exceeds like the deer, horse, and other animals which have ten feet. The weight of a large E. is about five the bones of their shoulders and hocks set at an tons, the body being very bulky in proportion to angle. its height. To sustain this weight, it is furnished The head in elephants is large; the neck is short with limbs of colossal thickness and strength, which and thick, the long flexible proboscis compensating are also remarkably straight, each bone resting both for the shortness of the neck, and for the inflexivertically on that beneath it. From the appear-bility caused by the largely developed process: ance of inflexibility presented by the limbs, arose of its vertebræ, and enabling the animal readily the notion prevalent among the ancients, and to reach objects on the ground, or to a height of throughout the middle ages, that the limbs are several feet above its head, or on either side. A destitute of joints, and that consequently an E. great extent of bony surface in the head afforila cannot lie down to rest like another quadruped, attachment for muscles destined to move and give and if it were to lie down, could not rise again, power to the proboscis or trunk. This extent of but always sleeps standing, or leaning against a bony surface is provided in a remarkable manner, tree. It is indeed true that the E. often sleeps which at the same time makes the head, heavy standing, and when fatigued, falls asleep leaning as it is, lighter in proportion to its bulk than in against a rock or tree, against which it may have usual in quadrupeds ; a great space separating the been rubbing itself. The flexibility of the limbs is, internal and external tables of all the bones of the however, sufficient to permit elephants to run with skull, except the occipital bones, so that the space speed nearly equal to that of a horse, to indulge in occupied by the brain is but a small part of the playful gambols, and to ascend and descend steep whole head. The space between the tables of the mountains. Elephants are more sure-footed and bones is occupied by cells, some of which are four or serviceable than either horses or mules, in difficult five inches in length; others are small, irregular, mountain roads. On the very steepest declivities, an and honeycomb-like; "these all communicate with E. works his way down pretty rapidly, even with each other, and through the frontal sinuses with the horolah and its occupants upon his back, his chest cavity of the nose, and also with the tympanum nr and belly on the ground, and each fore-foot employed drum of each ear; consequently, as in some birds, in making a hole for itself
, into which the hind foot these cells are filled with air. The huge and afterwards follows it, and to which the weight may extraordinary bones of the skull, besides affording be trusted, that another step may be ventured with attachment for muscles, afford mechanical support safety. In lying down, the E. does not bring his to the tusks. hind-legs under him, like the horse and other quad. The nasal bones of the E. are scarcely more than rupeds, but extends them backwards (as man does rudimentary; but the tapering proboscis, to the when he assumes the kneeling position), an arrange. very extremity of which the postrils are prolonged, ment which, by enabling him to draw the hind-feet is nearly eight feet in length. Besides the great gradually under him, assists him to rise almost muscles connected with it at its base, it is composed without a perceptible effort.' The E.'s pace, when of a vast multitude of small muscles variously inter exceeding a walk, is neither a trot nor a gallop, laced, but chiefly either longitudinal, and divided