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MAMMALS FOUND AT THE PRESENT TIME IN FRANKLIN COUNTY.

FAMILY SORECIDÆ -- SHEWS AND MOLES.

Genus Sorex -- The Shrews. There are one or two species of shrews in the county, which I have not been able to identify.

FAMILY TALPIDÆ -- MOLES --GENUS SCALOPS.
Scalops aquaticus -- Common Mole. These animals are very numerous, and are the only species I have observed here. If the star- nosed mole exists here, I have not met with it.

GENUS VESPERTILIO.
Vespertilio noveboracensis -- Red Bat.
V. pruinosus -- Hoary Bat.
V. rufus -- Brown Bat. Bats are numerous here, and belong mostly to the species named above.

CARNIVORA -- FAMILY FELIDÆ THE CATS -- GENUS LYNX.
Lynx rufus -- American Wild Cat. Occasionally there is a wild cat seen in the county, but they are rare.

SUB-FAMILY VULPINÆ -- THE FOXES -- GENUS VULPES.
Vulpes fulvus -- Red Fox. It is only within the last ten or fifteen years that the red fox has been observed in this county. Previously to that time we had none but the common gray variety.
Vulpes Virginianus -- Gray Fox. These foxes are numerous; probably as much so as they ever were.


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FAMILY MUSTELIDÆ -- WEASEL FAMILY -- GENUS PUTORIUS.
Putorius noveboracensis -- Common Weasel. The common weasel, probably the most rapacious, blood-thirsty and cruel of all carnivorous animals, is still found here, though in small numbers. When they make an attack upon the poultry or rats of a barn they continue to stay [should read: slay] as long as anything is left with life, unless prevented by fatigue or the approach of daylight.
Putorius vison -- The Common Mink.
Putorius nigrescens -- Little Black Mink. These minks are both common -- the former the most numerous. These animals are very destructive to poultry, and therefore very unpopular with our good housewives.

SUB-FAMILY LUTRINÆ -- THE OTTERS.
Lutra Canadensis -- The Otter. It is barely possible that a few of these animals still linger along White Water, though I have seen none for many years.

SUB-FAMILY MELINÆ -- THE SKUNKS -- GENUS MEPHITES.
Mephites [should read: Mephitis] mephitica -- Skunk -- Polecat. Of the nine species of skunk in America, we have but one; this one, however, is universally conceded to be sufficient. The skunk, notwithstanding its horrid odor, is really a pretty animal; but I apprehend will never be very popular. They are much more numerous in this region than formerly, and seem to be increasing yearly. The young kittens are very pretty little animals, and make pleasant pets, provided they are not kept too long.

FAMILY URSIDÆ -- THE BEARS -- GENUS PROCYON.
Procyon lotor -- Raccoon. It is the general opinion of our people that the raccoons are as numerous as they ever were, probably more so; but as their skins are of little


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value, they are not hunted as much as formerly, which may account for their abundance.

GENUS URSUS.
Ursus Americanus -- Black Bear. The last black bear was seen here about thirty years ago. They were once very numerous. The prints of their claws are yet plainly to be seen upon the smooth bark of hundreds of beech trees in the forests.

FAMILY DIDELPHIDÆ -- THE OPOSSUM -- GENUS DIDELPHIS.
Didelphis Virginiana. -- Opossum. The opossum is still abundant. There are but two species of opossum in the United States; one southern, the other northern.

ORDER RODENTIA -- THE GNAWERS -- FAMILY SCIURIDÆ -- THE SQUIRRELS -- GENUS SCIURUS.
Sciurus vulpinus. -- Fox Squirrel. About thirty years ago the fox squirrel made its first appearance in the neighborhood of Brookville, and has gradually increased in numbers until it has become the most numerous of the larger varieties. It will not live in dense forests, but prefers the points where there are but few trees, and the fields with scattering trees having suitable cavities in which to make their nests. These squirrels, if left unmolested, would become very tame, and probably even make their homes about our houses and barns.
Sciurus Carolinensis. -- Gray Squirrel and Black Squirrel. My friend Prof. Baird, of the Smithsonian Institute, [should read: Institution] believes the gray and black squirrels to belong both to the same species. I have more respect for the opinions of Prof. Baird than any other naturalist with whom I have had communication, and his opportunities have been much greater than mine for forming a correct judgment in relation to this subject. Still I am inclined to think he is mistaken. His opinion was made up by comparing a large


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number of dried skins -- mine by comparing fresh specimens of gray and black squirrels. This comparison has led me to believe that there is a difference in form between the black and gray. The black squirrel is shorter and stouter than the gray, and it has seemed to me that their ears are also shorter. They do not seem to be disposed to associate with the gray. Between thirty and forty years ago, there were about one-sixth of the squirrels in southeastern Indiana black; in north-eastern Indiana nearly half of them were black. At this time there are no black squirrels to be seen in southeastern Indiana, neither has there been for several years. Occasionally gray squirrels are very abundant here; why then is it, if the gray and black be the same, that we no longer find among them the latter? Four years ago the gray squirrels migrated eastward, passing near Brookville, still I neither saw or heard of a black one.
I have always believed the black to be a much wilder squirrel than the gray -- and this will account for their having abandoned the densely populated districts, while the gray still remains. It has been generally understood that the farther north a particular species of an animal is found, the lighter its color becomes; but if the black be a gray squirrel this order of nature has been reversed, for the farther north I have gone in this State the more black squirrels I have seen.
Sciurus Hudsonius. -- Mountain Squirrel --Chickaree. But a single specimen of this squirrel has ever been observed in the county.

GENUS PTEROMYS.
Pteromys volucella. -- Flying Squirrel. This beautiful little squirrel is very numerous -- but, being nocturnal, is not often seen unless it be sought in the holes of old rotten trees and stumps, where it lies concealed during the day It is easily tamed.


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GENUS TAMIAS.
Sciurus (tamias) striatus. -- Ground Squirrel -- Chipmunk. Very numerous all over the woods and fields; it is probably more numerous than in the early settlement of the country.

GENUS ARCTOMYS.
Arctomys monax. -- Woodchuck -- Ground-Hog. The ground-hog is very numerous in the Whitewater valley; the gravelly terraces, wherever covered with brushwood, they seem to prefer to all other situations. They have been accused of preying upon domestic fowls, but I apprehend unjustly.

GENUS MUS.
Mus decumanus. -- Norway Rat. The brown or Norway rat is here, as elsewhere, extremely numerous. It is one of the hardiest and most energetic animals, constantly increasing in number notwithstanding the utmost exertion of all its enemies, man inclusive. They first appeared at Brookville in the summer of 1827. At that time the black rat was numerous; it was, however, but a year or two after the Norway rat appeared, until they were all gone -- all eaten up by this predatory stranger.
The brown rat has been wrongly named Norway rat; they came originally from Persia to Europe, from whence they have spread to the uttermost ends of all civilized countries.
Mus rattus. -- Black Rat. As above stated, these have all been destroyed by the Norway rat.
Mus musculus. -- Common Mouse. The common house mouse is familiar to everyone, and is common everywhere.

GENUS HESPEROMYS.
Hesperomys leucopus. -- This mouse is very common in the woods. They feed upon cockle-burs, stores of which


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they often lay up in the deserted nest of the song-sparrow and other small birds.

GENUS ARVICOLA.
Arvicola riparius. -- Meadow Mouse. Common in the fields and meadows.

GENUS FIBER.
Fiber zibethicus. -- Musk Rat. Very common along the rivers, creeks and canal. It is the fur of this animal which is sold to the ladies under the name of "French Mink."

GENUS HYSTRIX.
Hystrix Hudsonius. -- Porcupine. Now very rare.

FAMILY LEPORIDÆ -- THE HARES -- GENUS LEPUS.
Lepus sylvaticus -- Gray Rabbit, or Hare. Of the twelve or thirteen species of hare in the United States, we have but a single one, the common gray rabbit, or more properly, hare, for there are no rabbits natives of America; those we have here were imported from Europe, and are domesticated.

ORDER RUMINANTIA -- FAMILY CERVIDÆ -- GENUS CERVUS.
Cervus Virginianus -- Virginia Deer, Red Deer. Formerly very abundant, but I presume there is not now a single one living in the county.

The above list I think comprises all the Mammals now to be found in the county.

1869 Table of Contents

Geology Library, Indiana University, Bloomington