119 Hudson's Bay Lemming
GEORYCHUS HUDSONIUS.--FORSTER. [Dicrostonyx hudsonius] HUDSON'S BAY LEMMING. [Labrador Collared Lemming] PLATE CXIX.--WINTER AND SUMMER PELAGE. G. Auriculis nullis, maniculorum unguibus duobus intermediis, maximis, compressis, quasi duplicatis, per sulcum horizontalem divisis; colore in aestate rufo-fusco, in hyeme albo.
CHARACTERS. Earless: the two middle claws of the fore feet unusually large, compressed, their blunt extremity being rendered double by a deep transverse notch. Colour reddish-brown in summer, white in winter. SYNONYMES. MUS HUDSONIUS. Forster, Phil. Trans., vol. lxii. p. 379. MUS HUDSONIUS. Pallas, Glires, p. 208. MUS HUDSONIUS. Linn. Gmel. 137. HUDSON'S RAT. Pennant, Quadrupeds, vol. ii. p. 201. HUDSON'S RAT. Pennant, Arctic Zoology, vol. i. p. 132. HARE-TAILED MOUSE. Hearne's Journey, p. 887. LEMMUS HUDSONIUS. Captain Sabine, Parry's Supplement, First Voyage, p. 185. LEMMUS HUDSONIUS. Mr. Sabine, Franklin's Journey, p. 661. LEMMUS HUDSONIUS. Dict. de Sci. Naturelles, tom. viii. p. 566. LEMMUS HUDSONIUS. Harlan, Fauna, p. 546. ARVICOLA HUDSONIA. Rich., Parry's Second Voyage, Append., p. 308. ARVICOLA (GEORYCHUS) HUDSONIUS--HUDSON'S BAY LEMMING. Rich., F. B. A., 132. Species 107, British Museum. HUDSON'S BAY LEMMING. Godman, Nat. Hist., vol. ii. p. 73. DESCRIPTION. Size of a mole; body, thick and short; head, short and rounded; nose, very obtuse; eyes, small; no exterior ears; legs, short and stout; tail so short as to be only slightly visible beyond the fur of the hips; fur very fine and long; feet, clothed with long hairs; four toes on the fore feet, with the rudiment of a thumb not armed with a nail; the two middle toes are of equal length, and are each furnished with a disproportionately large claw, which is compressed, deep, very blunt at the extremity, and is there separated into two layers by a transverse furrow; the outer and inner toes have curved sharp-pointed claws; the upper layer is thinner, the lower one has a blunt rounded outline; the latter has been described as an enlargement of the callosity which exists beneath the roots of the claws of the Lemmings and meadow-mice. The hind feet have five toes armed with slender curved claws. In the females and young the subjacent production of the claws is less conspicuous. COLOUR. Winter specimen. Whiskers, black; the whole animal is white both on the upper and under surfaces, with black hairs interspersed along the line of the back and on the hips and sides, giving to those parts a grayish-brown tinge; tail, white. Summer specimen. Dark brown and black on the dorsal aspect; dark brown predominates on the crown of the head and dorsal line; towards the sides the colour is lighter; on the under parts of cheeks, the chest, and about the ears, bright nut colour prevails. The ventral aspect is grayish-white, more or less tinged with rust colour; the tail is brown in summer, and white in winter; although this species is distinctly white in winter, yet according to HEARNE the white colour never becomes so pure as that of the ermine. DIMENSIONS. Inches. Lines. Length of head and body, . . . . . . 5 4 Length of head, . . . . . . . . . 1 4 Length of tail, . . . . . . . . . 0 5 Length of middle fore claw, . . . . . 0 4 1/2 HABITS. Our only acquaintance with this species is through the works of the old writers and the Fauna Boreali Americana, we having failed to meet with it at Labrador. The first specimen we saw of it was in the museum of the Royal College of Surgeons at Edinburgh. Our drawing was made from specimens in the British Museum. Dr. RICHARDSON did not meet with this Lemming in the interior of America, and thinks it has hitherto been found only near the sea. "Its habits are still imperfectly known. In summer, according to HEARNE, it burrows under stones in dry ridges, and Captain SABINE informs us that in winter it resides in a nest of moss on the surface of the ground, rarely going abroad." --Fauna Boreali Americana, p. 132. HEARNE states that this little species is very inoffensive, and so easily tamed that if taken even when full grown it will in a day or two be perfectly reconciled, very fond of being handled, and will creep of its own accord into its master's neck or bosom. GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION. This species inhabits Labrador, Hudson's straits, and the coast from Churchill to the extremity of Melville peninsula, as well as the islands of the Polar seas visited by Captain PARRY. GENERAL REMARKS. This singular animal was originally described by FORSTER in the Philosophical Transactions. PALLAS received a number of skins from Labrador, one of which he sent to PENNANT, who described it in his History of the Quadrupeds and also in his Arctic Zoology. It was observed by both PARRY and FRANKLIN, and was described by RICHARDSON. A specimen was preserved in the Museum du Roi at Paris, and described in the Dict. des Sciences, and there is an excellent specimen in the British Museum.