less hairy. It feeds on Bread, Fruit, and other Vegetable Diet. At certain Times they retire to their subterraneous Lodgings, and sleep continually a Month or longer together: They are Inhabitants of Maryland, Pensilvania &c. Their Flesh is esteemed good Meat.


VULPI affinis Americana.
The Raccoon.

The Raccoon is somewhat smaller, and has shorter Legs than a Fox, it has short pointed Ears, a sharp Nose, and a Brush Tail, transversely marked with black and gray, the Body is gray, with some black on its Face and Ears. They resemble a Fox more than any other Creature, both in Shape and Subtlety, but differ from him in their Manner of Feeding, which is like that of a Squirrel, and in not burrowing in the Ground; they are numerous in Virginia and Carolina, and in all the Northern Parts of America, and are a great Nusance to Corn Fields and Henroosts; their Food is also Berries, and all other wild Fruit. Near the Sea, and large Rivers, Oysters and Crabs are what they very much subsist on; they disable Oysters when open, by thrusting in one of their Paws, but are often catch'd by the sudden closing of it, and held so fast (the Oyster being immoveably fixed to a Rock of others) that when the Tide comes in they are drowned. They lye all the Day in hollow Trees, and dark shady Swamps: At Nights they rove about the Woods for Prey; their Flesh is esteemed good Meat, except when they eat Fish. Through their Penis runs a Bone in Form of an S.


MARSUPIALE Americanum.
The Opossum.

The Opossum is an Animal peculiar to America, particularly all the Northern Continent abound with them as far North as New England, and as Merian has described them at Surinam, it is probable they inhabit as far to the South as they do to the North. This Beast being of a distinct Genus, has little Resemblance to any other Creature. It is about the Size of a large Rabbet, the Body is long, having short Legs, the Feet are formed like those of a Rat, as are also its Ears, the Snout is long, the Teeth like those of a Dog: Its Body is covered thinly with long bristly whitish Hair, the Tail is long, shaped like that of a Rat, and void of Hair. But what is most remarkable in this Creature and differing from others, is its false Belly, which is formed by a Skin or Membrane (inclosing its Dugs) which it opens and closes at Will. Tho' contrary to the Laws of Nature, nothing is more believed in America than that these Creatures are bred at the Teats of their Dams. But as it is apparent from the Desection of one of them by Dr. Tylon, that their Structure is formed for Generation like that of other Animals, they must necessarily be bred and excluded the usual Way of other Quadrupeds; yet that which has given Cause to the contrary Opinion is very wonderful, for I have many Times seen the young ones just born, fixt and hanging to the Teats of their Dams when they were not bigger than Mice; in this State all their Members were apparent, yet not so distinct and perfectly formed but that they looked more like a Foetus than otherwise, and seemed inseperably fixed to the Teats, from which no small Force was required to pull their Mouths, and then being held to the Teat, would not fix to it again. By what Method the Dam after Exclusion fixes them to her Teats, is a Secret yet unknown. See Phil. Transact. N 239, and N 290. In Brasil it is called Carigueya.

Mr. Le Brun, in his Travels thro' Moscovy, Persia, &c. to the East Indies, Vol. II. p. 347. hath given a Figure and imperfect Description of an Animal somewhat resembling this Species of Creatures which he saw kept tame near Batavia, in the Island of Java, and was there called Finlander.


FIBER.
The Beaver.

Beavers inhabit all the Northern Continent of America, from the Latitude of 30 to the Latitude of 6o. They differ nothing in Form from the European Beaver; they are the most sagacious and provident of all other Quadrupeds; their Oeconomy and inimitable Art

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