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Transactions of the American Philo-
sophical Society, held at Philadel-
phia, for promoting useful Know-

(Continued from p. 120.)

On the extraneous fossils, denominat-
ed Mammoth bones; designed to
shew that they are the remains of
more than one non-descript Ani-
mal: By George Turner.

MR. TURNER is of opinion
that “these remains evince
a member of the herbivorous order;
and, from their extraordinary size,
prove, that they belong to some
link in the chain of animals, which,
like that of the Mammoth, has
long been lost.

Both skeletons of these incognita
being usually embedded in com-
pany, they have hitherto been con-
founded together by writers, under
the single appellation of Mammoth

The parts which mark the re-
mains of a second animal, consist,
first, of a grinder exclusively worn
by those of the herbivorous kind;
and, secondly, of two tusks (de-
) differently fashioned.

“Although I do not presume to
assert, that, contrary to the receiv-
ed opinion, neither of these tusks
belonged to the Mammoth; yet, if
the nature of his pursuits be con-
sidered, taking it for granted, that
he was partly (if not wholly) carni-
vorous;—that there is no place for
their insertion in the lower jaw,
(the upper I have not seen) and
that such tusks would appear to be
incompatible with the natural pur-
suits of such a creature—can we
hesitate to ascribe them to some
other animal?

“I shall confine my ideas to two
distinct skeletons only; since no
discovery has yet occurred of a
third tooth, or other bone, to jus-
tify the dividing of the tusks be-

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tween a second and a third descrip-
tion of incognita. I am neither pre-
pared to admit nor deny, that de-
so differently fashioned as
these will appear, were worn by
one and the same animal: and yet,
the probability is, that neither of
them belonged to the Mammoth.
The difference between the defen-
is indeed remarkable. One of
them, the longer of the two, bears
a near resemblance, in size, form,
and substance, to the tusk of an ele-
phant: the other describes a greater
curve, and is so flattened or com-
pressed on two opposite sides, in
its whole length, as to produce a
greater breadth than thickness, in
the proportion of about two parts
and a half to one. The curvature
inclines on the edges; that is, the
tusk is bent edgewise. Both defen-
are good ivory.

“With respect to the teeth, all
that I have seen of either kind are
dentes molares. They unquestiona-
bly bespeak the remains of two dis-
tinct species of non-descript ani-
mals; the one carnivorous, or mix-
ed; the other herbivorous, or gra-

“The masticating surface of the
Mammoth tooth is set with four or
five high double-coned processes,
strongly coated with enamel: where-
as that of the other incognitum is
flat, nearly smooth, and ribbed
transversely, somewhat like the
elephant's grinder, but less promi-
nently marked. The writer has
counted from fifteen to twenty of
these transverse lines on a single
tooth of this second incognitum;
while on that of the elephant, they
seldom exceed half the number.

“The lower jaw of the Mam-
moth is furnished with four teeth,
two on each side; and being un-
associated either with incisoris or
canini, it may reasonably be in-
ferred, that this animal was of a
nature not wholly carnivorous, but

A description of the Bones, deposited in
the Museum of the Society by the Pre-
sident By C. Wistar, M. D. &c.

This description is illustrated by
figures, and appears to be accurate
and satisfactory. These bones were
discovered in Virginia, and indi-
cate an animal of the clawed kind,
of enormous magnitude. From the
view taken of the subject in this
memoir, the author concludes that
“there seems to have been some
analogy between the foot of this
animal and those of the bradypus
—having no specimens of that ani-
mal, I derive this conclusion from
the description of its feet given by
M. Daubenton.

“Notwithstanding a general re-
semblance, they differ in some im-
portant points—In the sloth the fi-
gure of the metacarpal bone was
such that M. Daubenton could not
determine from it, whether the
bone belonged to the metacarpus
or the phalanges—but there could
be no doubt as to these bones, for
they are unequivocally metacarpal
or metatarsal. The sloth has but
two phalanges in addition to the
supposed metacarpal bone, whereas
the animal in question had bone
No. 2, and two phalanges besides.
The relative size or proportions of
the phalanges, must have differed
greatly in the two animals. M. Dau-
benton describes the first phalanx
as very long, and the last, or claw
bone, as very short, in the sloth,
but the reverse is the case with these
bones. There is, however, an
unguis described by M. Daubenton
which is particularly interesting; it
was presented by M. de la Conda-
mine as belonging to a large species
of sloth, and although not entire,
its length measured round the con-
vexity, was half a foot, and its
breadth, at the base, an inch and a

“We are naturally led to in-
quire whether these bones are simi-
lar to those of the great skeleton

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found lately at Paraguay, but for
want of a good plate, or a full de-
scription we are unable, at present,
to decide upon that subject. If,
however, any credit be due to the
representation given in the Month-
ly Magazine for Sept. 1796, pub-
lished in London, (the only plate
I have seen) these bones could not
have belonged to a skeleton of that
animal—for according to that re-
presentation, the lower end of the
ulna is much larger, and articulated
with a larger portion of the foot, in
the magatherium, than in the me-
galonix. The upper end of the
radius also, is much larger than the
lower in that figure, whereas the
reverse is the case with the megalo-
nix, and the difference in the claw
bones is still greater, as will appear
to every one who compares the

On the discovery of certain bones of a
Quadruped of the clawed kind,
in Virginia. By T. Jefferson.

This is an highly interesting and
amusing essay. The animal, whose
remains are here measured, and com-
pared with those of the African Lion,
is called Migalonyx, and great sa-
gacity is displayed, as well as pow-
ers of description, in collecting evi-
dence of the actual existence of
this animal. This evidence is much
stronger than the inference deduc-
ed from the abstract reasoning con-
tained in the following passage.

“The animal species which has
once been put into a train of mo-
tion, is still, probably, moving in
that train. For if one link in na-
ture's chain might be lost, another
and another might be lost, till this
whole system of things should eva-
nish by peace-meal; a conclusion
not warranted by the local disap-
pearance of one or two species of
animals, and opposed by the thou-
sands and thousands of instances
of the renovating power constantly
exercised by nature, for the repro-
of all her subjects, animal,

vegetable, and mineral. If this
animal then, has once existed, it is
probable on this general view of the
movements of nature, that he still

Animals, vegetables, and mine-
rals, may be regarded as forms of
matter. To take away from the
series, one or more of these forms,
is not to take away the stuff of
which they are made, but merely
to allow more stuff and more scope
to the production of remaining
forms. In proportion to the num-
ber of species that are lost, will be
the increase in the number of the
individuals of those that remain.
What hinders, then, from believing
that some species may be wholly

The species is made up of indi-
viduals. To destroy all the indivi-
duals, is to destroy the species.
This may never happen, with re-
gard to any species, but surely there
is no physical impossibility to hin-
der it. There is no infraction of
any law of nature, or of God, im-
plied in such extinction. The con-
trary indeed, is true, for if we as-
cribe benevolence to nature, or
providence, that benevolence will
demand, or at least, be pleased with
the indefinite multiplication of that
species which is susceptible of most
happiness. This species, with due
deference to the art of the Elephant
be it spoken, is man; and as the
individuals of this species multiply,
the individuals of other species, not
subservient to his use or pleasure,
must disappear, and finally, the spe-
cies itself vanish. Why not? Be-
nevolence must wish that the beings
susceptible of happiness, be many;
no matter if these beings be of dif-
ferent species, or of one. Nay, as
different species cannot be of equal
value, she must wish that one
should perish, to give place to the
other. Twenty men are of more
value than ten men and ten mon-

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If South-America were peopled
as well as England, or Barbadoes,
its wolves and monkeys must pe-
rish. How many species would
disappear in this destruction? and
why should nature be supposed to
be outraged, when, for the thou-
sand wolves and apes that are gone,
we have a thousand, or it may be,
ten thousand men and women? If
the whole globe were as well peo-
pled as Ireland, or Maryland, what
would become of the Simia and the
Felis? And if men were as wise,
and, consequently, as happy, as an
honest mind will wish, what would
become of the Canis and Caballus?

The reproduction of any species
of animals is a different point.
That it exists or has existed, is, no
doubt, good proof that it once was
produced, by means different from
that by which they are continued.
Sexual propagation of course, im-
plies the existence of previous indi-
viduals, at the time of parturition
or incubation; but the first pair
must have been differently produc-
ed. Suppose all the individuals ex-
tinct, will the species never re-ap-
pear? Never in the sexual way.
How then? By the means employ-
ed to produce the first pair. Why
should we suppose that an energy
once exerted has now ceased? That
what has once taken place, may
not take place in future?

The time, place, manner, and
motives inciting cannot be known;
but man would quarrel with his
own understanding, if he did not
admit that what happened once,
may happen again. We must note,
however, that the world is wide
enough to afford retreats from the
persecution of men, as they now
are, to every species of animals;
that it is unphilosophical to suppose
more causes of appearances than
one, when one is sufficient; and
that our ignorance may easily mis-

take a re-appearance for a revival.
The wild theories of Buffon, re-
specting the disparity of nature's
products, in the two hemispheres,
have never, perhaps, been placed in
a stronger light, than in the follow-
ing ingenious passages.

“The Cosmogony of M. de
Buffon supposes that the earth and
all the other planets, primary and
secondary, have been masses of
melted matter, struck off from the
sun by the incidence of a comet on
her: that these have been cooling
by degrees, first at the poles, and
afterwards more and more towards
their Equators: consequently, that
on our earth, there has been a time
when the temperature of the poles
suited the constitution of the Ele-
phant, the Rhinoceros, and Hip-
popotamus: and in proportion as
the remoter zones became succes-
sively too cold, these animals have
retired more and more towards the
Equatorial regions, till now that
they are reduced to the torrid zone
as the ultimate stage of their exis-
tence. To support this theory, he
* affirms the tusks of the Mam-
moth to have been those of an Ele-
phant, some of his teeth to have be-
longed to the Hippopotamus, and
his largest grinders to an animal
much greater than either, and to
have been deposited on the Missou-
ri, the Ohio, the Holston, when
those latitudes were not yet too
cold for the constitutions of these
animals. Should the bones of our
animal, which may hereafter be
found, differ only in size from
those of the Lion, they may, on
this hypothesis, be claimed for the
Lion, now also reduced to the tor-
rid zone, and its vicinities, and
may be considered as an additional
proof of this system; and that there
has been a time when our latitudes
suited the Lion as well as the other
animals of that temperament.

  * Buffon, Epoq. 2. 233, 234.

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“This is not the place to discuss
theories of the earth, nor to ques-
tion the gratuitous allotment to dif-
ferent animals of teeth not differing
in any circumstance. But let us
for a moment grant this with his
former postulata, and ask how they
will consist with another theory of
his, “qu'il y a dans la combinaison
des elemens et des autres causes
physiques, quelque chose de con-
traire a l'aggrandisement de la na-
ture vivante dans ce nouveau monde;
qu'il y a des obstacles au developpe-
ment et peutetre a la formation des
grands germes.”* He says that the
Mammoth was an Elephant, yet
two or three times as large as the
Elephants of Asia and Africa: that
some of his teeth were those of a
Hippopotamus, yet of a Hippopo-
tamus four times as large as those
of Africa: that the Mammoth him-
self, for he still considers him as a
distinct animal,§ “was of a size
superior to that of the largest Ele-
phants. That he was the primary
and greatest of all terrestrial ani-
mals.” If the bones of the Me-
galonyx be ascribed to the Lion,
they must certainly have been of a
Lion of more than three times the
volume of the African. I deliver-
ed to M. de Buffon the skeleton of
our palmated Elk, called Orignal
or Moose, seven feet high over the
shoulders; he is often considerably
higher. I cannot find that the Eu-
ropean Elk is more than two thirds
of that height: consequently not
one third of the bulk of the Ame-
rican. He || acknowledges the pal-
mated deer (daim) of America, to
be larger and stronger than that of
the Old World. He considers the
round horned deer of these States
and of Louisiana, as the roe, and
admits they are of three times his
size. Are we then, from all this, to
draw a conclusion the reverse of
that of M. de Buffon? That nature,

has formed the larger animals of
America, like its lakes, its rivers,
and mountains, on a greater and
prouder scale than in the other he-
misphere? Not at all, we are to
conclude that she has formed some
things large and some things small,
on both sides of the earth, for rea-
sons which she has not enabled us
to penetrate; and that we ought
not to shut our eyes upon one half
of her facts, and build systems on
the other half.”

  * Buffon, xviii. 145.
  † 2 Epoq. 223.
  ‡ 1 Epoq. 246. 2 Epoq. 232.
  § 2 Epoq. 234, 235.
  || Buffon, xxix. 245.

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