119            Hudson's Bay Lemming

                         GEORYCHUS HUDSONIUS.--FORSTER.
                            [Dicrostonyx hudsonius]

                             HUDSON'S BAY LEMMING.
                          [Labrador Collared Lemming]


     G. Auriculis nullis, maniculorum unguibus duobus intermediis, maximis,
compressis, quasi duplicatis, per sulcum horizontalem divisis; colore in aestate
rufo-fusco, in hyeme albo.

     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.


     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.
       132.  Species 107, British Museum.
     HUDSON'S BAY LEMMING.  Godman, Nat. Hist., vol. ii. p. 73.


     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


     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.


                                             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


     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.