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The Mammalia of India and Ceylon


THIS book may fairly be described as an attempt by an unscientific writer to compile a scientific work. The author is favourably known as a describer of Indian wild sports, and his observations on the habits of animals are generally good and often original. His best known publication, “Seonee or Camp Life in the Satpura Range,” although not quite equal to Forsyth's delightful “Highlands of Central India,” rises above the level of ordinary Indian sporting works. In the volume now published he has attempted the somewhat ambitious task of compiling a popular manual of Indian mammalia, comprising not only those described in Jerdon's “Mammals of India” (which is restricted to the kinds found in the Indian Peninsula and the Himalayas), but also the species living in Assam, Burmah, Ceylon, and “the countries bordering the British Indian Empire on the north.” By including some (not all) of the mammals described by A. Milne-Edwards from Eastern Tibet, several of those recorded by various authors from Kashgaria, Afghanistan, and Persia, and some Malay types, the total number of species enumerated is brought up to 482. This number, however, is partly made up by nominal species, the writer having compiled his lists from various authorities of unequal value.

Natural History of the Mammalia of India and Ceylon.

By Robert A. Sterndale. (Calcutta: Thacker, Spink, and Co.; London: Thacker and Co., 1884.)

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