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ELOTHERE, OR GIANT PIG, OF THE SOUTH DAKOTA LAKE.
Drawn from a skeleton in the Princeton Museum.
decree, while the Uintah Lake to the west of lying strata. It was when we undertook to the Rockies was still drying, the great lakes place the muscles, hide, and features upon along the eastern slopes of the Rockies began this strange beast in this painting that we to form as a new burial ground upon a grand discovered that he was probably a water-lover. scale from Canada to the Gulf.
The first suggestion came when we located This newer cemetery of vast age was first the eyes, and recognized that they were placed made known to us, in 1847, by the discovery very high upon the face, apparently to keep of part of the lower jaw of an animal akin to them out of water, as in the hippopotamus. the attractive family group represented at Then the high nostrils opening upward, the noonday rest upon page 709. Thirty years of recurved tusks adapted to the uprooting of almost continuous exploration have brought plants along the river banks, the four-toed, us to the point where we can restore these spreading front feet, entirely unlike those of beasts with some degree of confidence. the modern rhinoceros, and effective in swim
The Titanothere, although the reigning ming, all seemed to confirm the aquatic plutocrat of the South Dakota Lake, as we theory. The forefathers of this brute also may call it, was no feral parvenu or upstart. roamed or swam along the Bridger Lake, He boasted a family tree branching back to while his descendants went abroad, and the a small tribe which lived in a modest way family passed its declining years in France beside the Wasatch Lake some half million not far from the site of Paris. We should reyears before. These small but hardy ances- member, in this connection, that a journey to tors had seen the Vintatheres swell in size, Europe in those days was not made across the take on horns, and disappear. Apparently no Atlantic, but overland by way of the Isthmus record of this fact was preserved, for hardly of Bering Strait, and thence across Asia. had the Uintatheres gone to earth when the As remarked at the beginning, this MetaTitanothere family, unmindful of the fate at- mynodon was not a bona-fide rhinoceros, but tending horns and bulk, began to develop a side branch from the same stock. The horns which sprouted like humps over the thoroughbred rhinoceros was, however, abuneyes, as may be seen in the little calf. For a dant. In fact, after the Titanothere had been while the males and females had humps of gathered to his fathers, you or I would not the same moderate size, but as the premium have felt nearly so strange in South Dakota upon horns rose, the old bulls made great as our Louisiana friend did along the Bridger capital of them, fighting each other, and but- Lake. Most of the queer archaic beasts ting the females who would not return their had given up the struggle. We would have courtship-a fact attested by broken ribs. recognized the rhinoceroses immediately; Finally these horns attained a prodigious size also the tapirs, the llamas, or ancestral in the bulls, branching off from the very end camels, fierce cats of the size of the puma, of the snout, unlike anything in existing na- the dogs, and the monkeys. The little fourture. In the mean time this « Titan-beast,» as toed horses would have perhaps puzzled us Leidy well named him, acquired a great hump for a moment because of their small size, upon his back nearly ten feet above the short heads and limbs, but several other ground, while he stretched out to a length of quadrupeds would have made us feel that we fourteen feet, and expanded to a weight of had given too much attention to the classics, two tons. He increased in number also, as one and that our own zoological education had sees in the scores of his petrified bones. This somehow been deficient. prosperity was, however, fatal, for in the For instance, leaving the swimming rhistratum above not a trace of this family re- noceros at the lake border, and the true mains. It is difficult to assign the cause of rhinoceros in the grasses and shrubbery of this sudden exit; it was certainly not lack of the lower meadows, and climbing up among brains. Vast floods, extensive droughts, cold the lower Black Hills, we might have seen a waves, epidemics, suggest themselves as pos- large herd of Hyracodons, or cursorial rhisible causes, but change of flora seems the noceroses, galloping by, frightened by a more probable. The Titanothere grinding- crouching ancestor of the saber-tooth tiger. tooth was not of a type which could adapt As Scott has demonstrated, these light-limbed itself even to a slight change of vegetation, animals were horse-like to a surprising degree and this animal died out at the very climax in the shoulders, haunches, and limbs. So we of his greatness.
feel that we are not far from the truth in He made way for the interregnum of the giving them the awkward gallop of the inswimming or aquatic rhinoceros (Metamyno- stantaneously photographed horse. They don), which appears in numbers in the over- were, however, in no real sense horses, -except in this wonderful mimicry of habit, of this beast to the pig family which one for the teeth prove them to be rhinocer- must also take with a mental reservation. oses, small, light, and swift-footed, in extreme There is no doubt that the Elothere was a pig contrast of structure with the swimming of the first rank, and thoroughly cosmopolitype.
tan in his range. While the Titanotheres were Still farther up among the hills we startle extant he maintained the humble size of the a pair of animals (Protoceras) which are tapir, but when these rivals and the swimbeautifully graceful, except in the head and ming rhinoceroses passed away the reign of snout. The buck (for they are very remotely the giant hogs began. They acquired skulls related to the deer family) proudly displays nearly four feet long, armed with huge cheek a profusion of bony horns, a pair between the bones and under jaw-plates, powerful upper ears, a much smaller pair between the eyes, limbs, and narrow, stilted feet, differing from and two very prominent bony plates behind those of the pig in the absence of dew-claws; the nostrils, below which spring two sharp the shoulders rose into a hump, but the chest tusks, as in the musk-deer. The doe lacks the was shallow and feeble. The open mouth distusks and all the horns. This much is certain. played a row of pointed front teeth used in Here is a favorable chance to take the reader rooting and grubbing, as shown in the animal into our confidence, and admit that the on the bank. form of the snout, the shape of the ears, the Thus we conclude a glimpse of two phases coloring of the back and belly, the rings of of ancient life in the Western lakes, two brief dark hair about the neck and ankles, are in episodes out of hundreds in the long history the highest degree uncertain. In this case of the great West. they are all studied from the antelope. The All these monsters had their day, while rocks preserve only bones and teeth, the po- the sun shone, the birds warbled, the insects sition of the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, the hummed over thousands of miles of water and strength and position of the muscles. All luxuriant sub-tropical bloom. Meanwhile the else in such restoration is pure conjecture, Western continent slowly rose, the Sierra shut in which we reason and depict only by analogy. off more and more of the sweet influences of
So with our giant pig, or Elothere, which the Pacific, and before the arrival of man this we might suddenly confront when returning splendid assemblage of life was finally reafter our mountain climb to the river and placed by the hardy animals of the hills, the lake-level. His bristles, his great shaggy small and colorless denizens of the desert, and mane, the dewlaps swinging from the great the ruminants of the plains. The complete bony knobs under his chin and jaws-all restoration of the glories of that earlier era is these are inferences from the remote kinship the dream and ambition of the fossil-hunter.
Henry Fairfield Osborn.
To dream a distant ocean in the sky,
Than all the human voices thronging nigh.
Strong hands I touch, these kisses on my face,
Again enslaves me to thy vanished grace!
In some unfettered realm our old delight,
And loosed wide wings a-quivering for flight.
Disdainful of each barrier's control,
Martha Gilbert Dickinson.
THE GOLD-FIELDS OF GUIANA.
AN ARIZONA MINER'S ADVENTURES IN THE DISPUTED TERRITORY.
HAD been mining for gold and manager of a placer-mine on the Barima silver in Arizona, and having River. Elated by his good fortune, he wrote a
had indifferent success, de- glowing account of his prospects to his wife in I cided to take a run through California. She showed the letter to the editor
the mining regions of Mexico. of the local paper, who published it as an item In Culiacan I met a California of important mining news. This letter within
prospector named Joseph a short time had the effect of starting groups Beardsley. While we were in the State of of men from the coast mining-fields, some of Chiapa, Beardsley received a letter from an them even from British Columbia. It was a old mining partnerin Nicaragua, stating that time of depression in the mining industries he had found a rich lode, and inviting Beards- of the Pacific coast, and a great many miners ley to join him. When Beardsley arrived at were out of employment. Though the writer his friend's cabin he was just in time to bury of the letter had no intention of attracting him, he having been murdered by some others to his El Dorado, the Californians, who Nicaraguans, presumedly for the gold in his had assumed that it would be as easy to propossession. Beardsley, who was unable to find spect for gold in Guiana as in California, the lode, was virtually chased out of its regarded him as the author of their misadvicinity. A letter giving me an account of venture, and indulged freely in threats of this adventure stated that he was on his way vengeance. No harm came to him, however, to the States of Colombia. He went up the because it is not a light matter to violate the Magdalena River to the Andes, and from laws in British Guiana. As these stranded there wrote me that he had discovered a rich miners had no money, they were unable to quartz ledge, and urged me to meet him at prospect, which requires a more or less exBogota. I set out to join him; but at Colon I pensive outfit; and they could not find emmet some miners returning from that region, ployment in the diggings for the reason that who told me that he had been drowned. That white men are not employed on the placers, was the last I ever heard of him.
except as managers; and in fact nearly all Instead of going to Colombia, where a pa- the managers, like the laborers, are colored per dollar was worth only thirty cents and men. The Californians had great difficulty in a silver dollar fifty cents, I took passage for getting away; some of them reached home as Venezuela. At Porto Cabello the first man I stowaways; a very few obtained situations. met was the American consul, to whom I ex- One of them was engaged for six months as plained my plans, which included a prospect- manager of a placer-mine on the Potaro ing tour in the district of Valencia, north of River, owned by a syndicate of colored men, the Orinoco. He advised me strongly not to which produced from three hundred to four go into the interior of Venezuela, explaining hundred ounces of gold a month. He fell ill that two men sent out by him to prospect just as his time was up. When he recovered he were in jail, and he was having a hard time invested his savings in an outfit, and started getting them out. This was in 1892. up the Cuyuni River, but found nothing. An
Owing to the unsettled state of affairs other man secured a situation partly through in Venezuela, I departed for British Guiana, the fact of his being a freemason. where life and property were secure. On ar- When I discovered that the only way of obriving at Georgetown, the beautiful capital taining employment on a placer was to own of the colony, with about sixty thousand in- one, in the fall of 1894 I joined fortune with habitants, I found a hundred California min- another miner, and started for the Barima ers stranded and full of indignation. They had River. We arranged to stay two or three been lured to Guiana by a letter which had months, and our provisions for that time cost found wide circulation in the newspapers of two hundred and fifty dollars. Taking pasthe Pacific coast. A man who had served as sage on a steamer, we entered the Barima cook in a California mining-camp had gone through the Moro passage, and at Mount to Guiana, and had found a good position as Everard were taken into a boat which, pro
pelled by paddles, was carrying provisions I was taken ill with dysentery, which was preand men to a placer-mine near Arakaka, the valent thereabouts, and was compelled to reEnglish government station eight or nine turn to the hospital at Arakaka. While there days up.
I visited the Arakaka Development Company's On the way up the river I noticed mud mines, under the management of Mr. Owens, reefs crossing the Barima every few miles, an American. This company was working and ranging in width from a few feet to forty. both quartz- and placer-claims, which were I prospected some of them, and found a very rich. The region is of volcanic formafew specks of fine gold, which miners called tion. The quartz ledges are not so well defined ( eyes. I think these reefs indicate fissure as on the Cuyuni, but eventually, I think, the veins. We passed by several placer-mines, Barima will abound in quartz-mines. The but visited none until we came to the Wa- ledges run invariably from northeast to remba Syndicate, about four miles below southwest. Arakaka, and the same distance in from the The Arakaka Development Company own river on the west bank. While prospecting sixty placer-claims, the operations in one of inland we lost ourselves in one of the swamps them being shown in the accompanying photowhich abound in that region. On our search graph. I may explain that placer-claims are for camp we crossed fully twenty times a located on watercourses, and are five hundred creek running through the swamp, and feet wide by fifteen hundred in length. The finally came to a gigantic cypress-tree which method of working them is simple. The served as a landmark. Each attempt that ground is cleared of brush, and the first we made to get out of the swamp brought covering of clay is removed, until the goldus back to the cypress-tree. Finally we suc- bearing gravel is exposed. This is called ceeded in reaching higher ground, where we «stripping a pit » on the creek. Then a found an old line cut through the under- sluice is put in, to which the water of the growth in the manner of marking a mining- creek is confined. Men are stationed on each claim. By following this we succeeded in side of the sluice to shovel in the gravel. getting out. It is impossible to travel through This is washed by the water, and the gold is the thick undergrowth of that region with- caught by the quicksilver in the riffles at the out a compass, and, as in this instance, even bottom of the sluice. A «clean-up» occurs a compass proves to be almost useless.
every night, and therefore the miners know At our camp near Arakaka we hewed a just what they are making from day to day. boat out of a tree, and paddled twenty-five A section of the sluice is moved forward as miles up the stream to the first rapids. There they advance up the creek.