Lewis and Clark Picture
Journals of Lewis and Clark
Account of the Animals

 

This article provides interesting facts about the Animals that were described on their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark.

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Animals
 

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: The Animals
The following excepts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark - Animals. A general description of the beasts, birds and plants, &c. found by the party in this expedition.

The quadrupeds of this country from the Rocky mountains to the Pacific ocean, may be conveniently divided into
the domestic and the wild animals. The first embraces the horse and dog only.

Animals: The horse
The horse is confined principally to the nations inhabiting the great plains of Columbia, extending from latitude forty to fifty north, and occupying the tract of territory lying between the Rocky mountains, and a range of mountains which pass the Columbia river about the great falls from longitude sixteen to one hundred and twenty-one west. The Shoshones, the Choppunish, Sokulks, Escheloots, Eneshures, and Chilluckittequaws, all enjoy the benefit of that docile, noble, and generous animal; and all of them, except the three last, possess immense numbers.

They appear to be of an excellent race, lofty, elegantly formed, active and durable: many of them appear like fine English coursers; some of them are pied with large spots of white irregularly scattered, and intermixed with a dark brown bay: the greater part, however, are of an uniform color, marked with stars and white feet, and resemble in fleetness and bottom, as well as in form and color, the best blooded horses of Virginia. The natives suffer them to run at large in the plains, the grass of which affords them their only winter subsistence; their masters taking no trouble to lay in a winter's store for them: notwithstanding, they will, unless much exercised, fatten on the dry grass afforded by the plains during the winter. The plains are rarely if ever moistened by rain, and the grass is consequently short and thin. The natives, excepting those of the Rocky mountains, appear to take no pains in selecting their male horses for breed; and indeed, those of that class appear much the most indifferent. Whether the horse was originally a native of this country or not, the soil and climate appear to be perfectly well adapted to the nature of this animal. Horses are said to be found wild in many parts of this extensive country. The several tribes of Shoshones who reside towards Mexico, on the waters of the Mutlomah river, and particularly one of them, called Shaboboah, have also a great number of mules, which the Indians prize more highly than horses. An elegant horse may be purchased of the natives for a few beads or other paltry trinkets, which in the United States, would not cost more than one or two dollars. The abundance and cheapness of horses, will be extremely advantageous to those who may hereafter attempt the fur trade to the East Indies, by the way of Columbia river, and the Pacific ocean.

Animals: The Dogs
2. The dog is unusually small, about the size of an ordinary cur: he is usually particoloured, amongst which, the black, white, brown, and brindle are the colors most predominant: the head is long, the nose pointed, the eyes small, the ears erect and pointed, like those of the wolf: the hair is short and smooth, excepting on the tail, where it is long and straight, like that of the ordinary cur-dog. The natives never eat the flesh of this animal, and he appears to be in no other way serviceable to them than in hunting the elk.

The second division comprehends the brown, white, or grisly bear, the black bear; the deer, common red deer, the black-tailed fallow deer, the mule deer, the elk, the wolves, the large brown wolf, the small wolf of the plains, the large wolf of the plains, the tyger-cat, the foxes, the common red fox, the silver fox, the fisher or black fox, the large red fox of the plains, the kit-fox, or small fox of the plains, the antelope, the sheep, beaver, common otter, sea-otter, mink, seal, racoon, squirrels, large gray squirrel, small gray squirrel, small brown squirrel, ground squirrel, braro, rat, mouse, mole, panther, hare, rabbit, polecat or skunk.

Animals: Grizzly Bear
•First, the brown, white or grisly bear, which seem to be of the same family, with an accidental variation of color only, inhabit the timbered parts of the Rocky mountains. There are rarely found on the westerly side, and are more commonly below the Rocky mountains, in the plains, or on their borders, amidst copses of brush and underwood, and near the water courses. We are unable to learn that they inhabit at all in the woody country, bordering on the coast, as far in the interior as the range of mountains which pass the Columbia, between the great falls and the rapids of that river.

Animals: Black Bear
•2. The black bear differs in no respect from those common to the United States. They chiefly inhabit timbered parts of the Rocky mountains, and likewise the borders of the great plains of the Columbia. They are sometimes found in the tract which lies between those plains and the Pacific ocean. One of our hunters saw one of this species, which was the only one we have discovered since our residence in fort Clatsop.

Animals: The Deer
•3. The deer are of three kinds: the common red deer, the black-tailed fallow deer, and the mule deer.?1. The common red deer inhabit the rocky mountains, in the neighborhood of the Chopunnish, and about the Columbia, and down the river as low as where the tide water commences. They do not appear to differ essentially from those of the United States, being the same in shape, size, and appearance. The tail is however different, which is of an unusual length, far exceeding that of the common deer. Captain Lewis measured one, and found it to be seventeen inches long.

2. The black-tailed fallow deer are peculiar to this coast, and are a distinct species, partaking equally of the qualities of the mule and the common deer. Their ears are longer, and their winter coat darker than those of the common deer. The receptacle of the eye more conspicuous, their legs shorter, their bodies thicker and larger. The tail is of the same length with that of the common deer, the hair on the under side white, and on its sides and top of a deep jetty black: the hams resemble in form and color those of the mule, which it likewise resembles in its gait. The black-tailed deer never runs at full speed, but bounds with every foot from the ground, at the same time, like the mule deer. He sometimes inhabits the woodlands, but more often the prairies and open grounds. It may be generally said, that he is of a size larger than the common deer, and less than the mule deer. The flesh is seldom fat, and in flavor is far inferior to any other of the species.

3. The mule deer inhabit both the seacoast and the plains of the Missouri, and likewise the borders of the Kooskooskee river, in the neighborhood of the Rocky mountains. It is not known whether they exist in the interior of the great plains of the Columbia, or on the lower borders, near the mountains which pass the river above the great falls. The properties of this animal have already been noticed.

Animals: Elk
4. The elk is of the same species with that which inhabits much the greatest part of North America. They are common to every part of this country, as well the timbered lands as the plains, but are much more abundant in the former than in the latter. In the month of March we discovered several which had not cast their horns, and others where the new horns had grown to the length of six inches. The latter were in much the best order, and from hence we draw the inference that the leanest elk retain their horns the longest.

Animals: Wolf
5. The wolf is either the large brown wolf, or the wolf of the plains, of which last there are two kinds, the large and the small. The large brown wolf inhabits the woody countries on the borders of the Pacific, and the mountains which pass the Columbia river, between the great falls and rapids, and resembles in all points those of the United States.The large and small wolves of the plains, principally inhabit the open country and the woodlands on their borders. They resemble, both in appearance and habit, those of the Missouri plains. They are by no means abundant in the plains of the Columbia, as they meet there but very little game for their subsistence.

Animals: Tiger Cat
6. The tiger-cat inhabits the borders of the plains, and the woody country in the neighborhood of the Pacific. This animal is of a size larger than the wild cat of our country, and much the same in form, agility, and ferocity. The color of the back, neck, and sides is of a reddish brown, irregularly variegated with small spots of dark brown: the tail is about two inches long, and nearly white, except the extremity, which is black. It terminates abruptly, as if it had been amputated: the belly is white, and beautifully variegated with small black spots: the legs are of the same color with the sides, and the back is marked transversely with black stripes: the ears are black on the outer side, covered with fine, short hair, except at the upper point, which is furnished with a pencil of hair, fine, straight, and black, three-fourths of an inch in length. The hair of this animal is long and fine, far exceeding that of the wild cat of the United States, but inferior in that quality to that of the bear of the northwest. The skin of this animal is in great demand amongst the natives, for of this they form their robes, and it requires four to make up the complement.

Animals: Foxes
7. Of the foxes we have seen several species.The large red fox of the plains, and the kit-fox or small red fox of the plains, are the same which are found on the banks of the Missouri. They are found almost exclusively in the open plains, or on the tops of brush within the level country: the common red fox of the United States, inhabits the country bordering the coast, nor does this animal appear to have undergone any alteration.The black fox, or as it is termed in the neighborhood of Detroit, the fisher, is found in the woody country bordering on the coast. How it should have acquired this appellation it is difficult to imagine, as it certainly does not prey upon fish. These animals are extremely strong and active, and admirably expert in climbing: this they perform with the greatest ease, and bound from tree to tree in pursuit of the squirrel or racoon, their most usual food. Their color is of a jetty black, excepting a small white spot upon the breast: the body is long, the legs short, and resembling those of the ordinary turn spit dog. The tail is remarkably long, and not differing in other particulars from that of the ordinary fox.The silver fox is an animal very rare, even in the country he inhabits. We have seen nothing but the skins of this animal, and those in the possession of the natives of the woody country below the Columbia falls, which makes us conjecture it to be an inhabitant of that country exclusively. From the skin it appeared to be of the size of the large red fox of the plains, resembling that animal in form, and particularly in the dimensions of the tail. The legs Captain Lewis conjectured to be somewhat larger. It has a long deep lead colored fur, for foil, intermixed with long hairs, either of a black or white color at the lower part, and invariably white at the top, forming a most beautiful silver gray. Captain Lewis thought this the most beautiful of the whole species, excepting one which he discovered on the Missouri near the natural walls.

Animals: Antelope
8. The antelope inhabits the great plains of the Columbia, and resembles those found on the banks of the Missouri, and indeed in every part of the untimbered country, but they are by no means so abundant on this as on the other side of the Rocky mountains. The natives in this place make themselves robes of their skins, and preserve the hair entire. In the summer and autumn, when the salmon begin to decline, the majority of the natives leave the sides of the river, and reside in the open plains, to hunt the antelope, which they persue on horseback, and shoot with their arrows.

Animals: Sheep
9. The sheep is found in many places, but mostly in the timbered parts of the Rocky mountains. They live in greater numbers on the chain of mountains forming the commencement of the woody country on the coast, and passing the Columbia between the falls and rapids. We have only seen the skins of these animals, which the natives dress with the wool, and the blankets which they manufacture from the wool. The animal from this evidence appears to be of the size of our common sheep, of a white color: the wool is fine on many parts of the body, but in length not equal to that of our domestic sheep. On the back, and particularly on the top of the head, this is intermixed with a considerable proportion of long straight hairs. From the Indian account these animals have erect pointed horns: one of our engagees informed us that he had seen them in the black hills, and that the horns were lunated like those of our domestic sheep. We have nevertheless too many proofs to admit a doubt of their existing, and in considerable numbers on the mountains near the coast.

Animals: Beaver
10. The beaver of this country is large and fat: the flesh is very palatable, and at our table was a real luxury. On the 7th of January, 1806, our hunter found a beaver in his traps, of which he made a bait for taking others: this bait will entice the beaver to the trap, as far as he can smell it, and this may be fairly stated to be at the distance of a mile, as their sense of smelling is very acute. To prepare beaver bate, the castor or bark stone is first gently pressed from the bladder-like bag which contains it, into a phial of four ounces, with a large mouth: five or six of these stones are thus taken, to which must be added a nutmeg, a dozen or fifteen cloves, and thirty grains of cinnamon, finely pulverized and stirred together, and as much ardent spirits added to the composition as will reduce the whole to the consistency of mustard. All this must be carefully corked, as it soon loses its efficacy if exposed to open air. The scent becomes much stronger in four or five days after preparation, and, provided proper precaution is exercised, will preserve its efficacy for months. Any strong aromatic spices will answer; their sole virtue being to give variety and pungency to the scent of the bark stone. The male beaver has six stones, two of which contain a substance much like finely pulverized bark, of a pale yellow color, and in smell resembling tanners oose; these are called bark stones or castors. Two others, which like the bark stone resemble small bladders, contain pure strong oil, of a strong rank smell, and are called the oil stone, and the other two are the testicles. The bark stones are two inches in length: the others are somewhat smaller, of an oval form, and lie in a bunch together, between the skin and the root of the tail, with which they are closely connected, and seem to communicate. The female brings forth once in a year only, and has sometimes two and sometimes four at a birth, which usually happens in the latter end of May and the beginning of June: at this time she is said to drive the male from the lodge, who would otherwise destroy the young. They propagate like the fowl, by the gut, and the male has no other sexual distinction that we could discover.

Animals: Common Otter
11. The common otter has already been described, and this species does not differ from those inhabiting the other parts of America.

Animals: Sea Otter
12. The sea-otter resides only on the seacoast, or in the neighborhood of the salt water. When fully grown, he arrives to the size of a large mastiff dog. The ears and eyes, particularly the former, which are not an inch in length, are thick, pointed, fleshy, and covered with short hair: the tail is ten inches long, thick at the point of insertion and partially covered with a deep fur on the upper side: the legs are very short, and the feet, which have five toes each, are broad, large, and webbed: the legs are covered with fur, and the feet with short hair: the body of this animal is long, and of the same thickness throughout: from the extremity of the tail to the nose they measure five feet. The color is a uniform dark brown, and, when in good order and season, perfectly black. This animal is unrivalled for the beauty, richness, and softness of his fur: the inner part of the fur, when opened, is lighter than the surface in its natural position: there are some black and shining hairs intermixed with the fur, which are rather longer, and add much to its beauty: the fur about the ears, nose and eyes, in some of this species, presents a lighter color, sometimes a brown: their young are often seen of a cream-colored white about the nose, eyes and forehead, and which are always much lighter than their other parts: their fur is however much inferior to that of the full grown otter.

Animals: Mink
13. The mink inhabits the woody country bordering on the coast, and does not differ in any point from those of the United States.

Animals: Seal
14. The seal are found on this coast in great numbers, and as far up the Columbia river as the Great Falls, and none have been discovered beyond them. The skins of such as Captain Lewis examined, were covered with a short, coarse, stiff, and glossy hair, of a reddish brown color. This animal, when in the water, appeared of a black color, and sometimes spotted with white. We believe that there are several species of this animal to be found in this country, but we could not procure a sufficient number to make the examination: the skins were precisely of the same kind as our countrymen employ in the manufacture of trunks.

Animals: Raccoon
15. The raccoon inhabits woody countries bordering on the coast, in considerable numbers, and are caught by the natives with snares or pitfalls: they hold their skins in but little or no estimation, and very seldom make them into robes.

Animals: Squirrels
16. The squirrels we have seen, are:

The large gray squirrel. This animal appears to be an inhabitant of a narrow tract of country, well covered with whiteoak timber, and situated on the upper side of the mountains just below Columbia falls. This animal we have only found in those tracts which have been covered with timber; for in countries where pine is most abundant, he does not appear: he is much superior in size to the common gray squirrel, and resembles in form, color and size, the fox squirrel of the Atlantic states: the tail exceeds the whole length of the body and the head: the eyes are dark, the whiskers long and black: the back sides of the head and tail, and outward part of the legs, are all of a blue-colored gray: the breast, belly, and inner part of the body, are all of a pure white: the hair is short, like that of the fox squirrel, though much finer, and intermixed with a portion of fur. The natives hold the skin of this animal in high estimation, which they use in forming their robes. He subsists on the acorn and filberts, which last grows in great abundance in the oak country.

The small gray squirrel is common to every part of the Rocky mountains where timber abounds. He differs from the dark brown squirrel in color only. The back sides, neck, head, tail and outer side of the legs, are of a brownish lead-colored gray: the tail is slightly touched with a dark reddish color, near the extremity of some of the hairs: the throat, breast, belly, and inner parts of the legs, are of the color of a tanners' ooze, and have a narrow strip of black, commencing behind each shoulder, and entering longitudinally about three inches, between the colors of the sides and belly. Their habits are precisely those of the dark brown squirrel, and like them they are extremely nimble and active.

There is also a species of squirrel, evidently distinct, which we have denominated the burrowing squirrel. He inhabits these plains, and somewhat resembles those found on the Missouri: he measures one foot and five inches in length, of which the tail comprises two and a half inches only: the neck and legs are short; the ears are likewise short, obtusely pointed, and lie close to the head, and the aperture larger than will generally be found among burrowing animals. The eyes are of a moderate size, the pupil black, and the iris of a dark sooty brown: the whiskers are full, long, and black: the teeth, and, indeed, the whole contour, resemble those of the squirrel: each foot has five toes; the two inner ones of the fore feet are remarkably short, and are equipped with blunt nails: the remaining toes on the front feet are long, black, slightly curved, and sharply pointed: the hair of the tail is thickly inserted on the sides only, which gives it a flat appearance, and a long oval form: the tips of the hair forming the outer edges of the tail are white, the other extremity of a fox red: the under part of the tail resembles an iron gray; the upper is of a reddish brown: the lower part of the jaws, the under part of the neck, legs and feet, from the body and belly downwards, are of a light brick red: the nose and eyes are of a darker shade, of the same color: the upper part of the head, neck and body, are of a curious brown gray, with a slight tinge of brick red: the longer hairs of these parts are of a reddish white color, at their extremities, and falling together, give this animal a speckled appearance. These animals form in large companies, like those on the Missouri, occupying with their burrows sometimes two hundred acres of land: the burrows are separate, and each possesses, perhaps, ten or twelve of these inhabitants. There is a little mound in front of the hole, formed of the earth thrown out of the burrow, and frequently there are three or four distinct holes, forming one burrow, with these entrances around the base of these little mounds. These mounds, sometimes about two feet in height and four in diameter, are occupied as watch-towers by the inhabitants of these little communities.

The squirrels, one or more, are irregularly distributed on the tract they thus occupy, at the distance of ten, twenty, or sometimes from thirty to forty yards. When any one approaches, they make a shrill whistling sound,somewhat resembling tweet, tweet, tweet, the signal for their party to take the alarm, and to retire into their intrenchments. They feed on the roots of grass, &c.The small brown squirrel is a beautiful little animal, about the size and form of the red squirrel of the eastern Atlantic states and western lakes. The tail is as long as the body and neck, and formed like that of the red squirrel: the eyes are black, the whiskers long and black but not abundant: the back, sides, head, neck, and outer part of the legs are of a reddish brown: the throat, breast, belly, and inner part of the legs are of a pale red: the tail is a mixture of black and fox-colored red, in which the black predominates in the middle, and the other on the edges and extremity: the hair of the body is about half an inch long, and so fine and soft it has the appearance of fur: the hair of the tail is coarser and double in length. This animal subsists chiefly on the seeds of various species of pine and is always found in the pine country.The ground squirrel is found in every part of this country, as well in the prairies as in the woodlands, and is one of the few animals which we have seen in every part of our journey, and differs in no respect from those of the United States.

Animals: Barking Squirrel
There is still another species, denominated by Captain Lewis, the barking squirrel, found in the plains of the Missouri. This animal commonly weighs three pounds: the color is a uniform bright brick red and gray, and the former predominates: the under side of the neck and belly are lighter than the other parts of the body: the legs are short, and the breast and shoulders wide: the head is stout and muscular, and terminates more bluntly, wider, and flatter than that of the common squirrel: the ears are short, and have the appearance of amputation: the jaw is furnished with a pouch to contain his food, but not so large as that of the common squirrel: the nose is armed with whiskers on each side, and a few long hairs are inserted on each jaw, and directly over the eyes: the eye is small and black: each foot has five toes, and the two outer ones are much shorter than those in the centre. The two inner toes of the fore-feet are long, sharp, and well adapted to digging and scratching. From the extremity of the nose to the end of the tail this animal measures one foot and five inches, of which the tail occupies four inches. Notwithstanding the clumsiness of his form, he is remarkably active, and he burrows in the ground with great rapidity. These animals burrow and reside in their little subterraneous villages like the burrowing squirrel. To these apartments, although six or eight usually associate together, there is but one entrance. They are of great depth, and Captain Lewis once pursued one to the depth of ten feet, and did not reach the end of the burrow. They occupy, in this manner, several hundred acres of ground, and when at rest their position is generally erect on their hinder feet and rump: they sit with much confidence, and bark at the intruder as he approaches, with a fretful and harmless intrepidity. The note resembles that of the little toy-dog: the yelps are in quick and angry succession, attented by rapid and convulsive motions, as if they were determined to sally forth in defence of their freehold. They feed on the grass of their village, the limits of which they never venture to exceed. As soon as the frost commences, they shut themselves up in their caverns, and continue until the spring opens. The flesh of this animal is not unpleasant to the taste.

Animals: Sewellel (Mountain Beaver)
17. Sewellel is a name given by the natives to a small animal found in the timbered country on this coast. It is more abundant in the neighborhood of the great falls and rapids of the Columbia than on the coast which we inhabit. The natives make great use of the skins of this animal in forming their robes, which they dress with the fur on, and attach them together with sinews of the elk or deer: the skin, when dressed, is from fourteen to eighteen inches long, and from seven to nine in width: the tail is always separated from the skin by the native swhen making their robes. This animal mounts a tree and burrows in the ground precisely like a squirrel: the ears are short, thin, and pointed, and covered with a fine short hair, of a uniform reddish brown: the bottom or the base of the long hairs, which exceed the fur but little in length, as well as the fur itself, are of a dark color next to the skin for two thirds of the length of this animal: the fur and hair are very fine, short, thickly set, and silky: the ends of the fur and tip of the hair are of a reddish brown, and that color predominates in the usual appearance of the animal. Captain Lewis offered considerable rewards to the Indians, but was never able to procure one of these animals alive.

Animals: Braro (Badger)
18. The braro, so called from the French engagees, appears to be an animal of the civet species, and much resembles the common badger. These animals inhabit the open plains of the Columbia, sometimes those of the Missouri, and are sometimes found in the woods: they burrow in hard grounds with surprising ease and dexterity, and will cover themselves in a very few moments: they have five long fixed nails on each foot; those on the fore feet are much the longest, and one of those on each hind foot is double, like that of the beaver: they weigh from fourteen to eighteen pounds: the body is long in proportion to its thickness: the fore legs are remarkably large, muscular, and are formed like those of the turnspit dog, and, as well as the hind legs, are short: these animals are broad across the shoulders and breast: the neck is short, the mouth wide, and furnished with sharp, straight teeth, both above and below, with four sharp, straight, pointed tusks, two in the upper, and two in the lower jaw: the eyes are black and small; whiskers are placed in four points on each side near the nose, and on the jaws near the opening of the mouth: the ears are short, wide, and oppressed, as if a part had been amputated: the tail is four inches in length, the hair of which is longest at the point of the junction with the body, and growing shorter until it ends in an acute point: the hairs of the body are much shorter on the sides and rump than those on any other part, which gives the body anapparent flatness, particularly when the animal rests upon his belly: the hair is upwards of three inches in length, especially on the rump, where it extends so far towards the point of the tail, it conceals the shape of that part, and gives to the whole of the hinder parts of the body the appearance of a right angled triangle, of which the point of the tail forms an acute angle: the small quantity of coarse fur intermixed with the hair is of a reddish pale yellow.

Animals: Rat
19. The rat which inhabits the Rocky mountains, like those on the borders of the Missouri, in the neighborhood of the mountains, have the distinguishing traits of possessing a tail covered with hair like the other parts of the body. These animals are probably of the same species with those of the Atlantic states, which have not this characteristic distinction: the ordinary house rat we found on the banks of the Missouri, as far up as the woody country extends, and the rat, such as has been described, Captain Lewis found in the state of Georgia, and also in Madison's cave in Virginia.

Animals: Mouse
20. The mouse which inhabits this country are precisely the same with those which inhabit the United States.

Animals: Mole
21. The mole. This animal differs in no respect from the species so common in the United States.

Animals: Panther
22. The panther is found indifferently, either in the great plains of the Columbia, the western side of the Rocky mountains, or on the coast of the Pacific. He is the same animal so well known on the Atlantic coast, and most commonly found on the frontiers, or unsettled parts of our country. He is very seldom found, and when found, so wary, it is difficult to reach him with a musket.

Animals: Hare
23. The hare on this side of the Rocky mountains inhabits the great plains of the Columbia. On the eastward of those mountains they inhabit the plains of the Missouri. They weigh from seven to eleven pounds: the eye is large and prominent, the pupil of a deep sea-green, occupying one third of the diameter of the eye; the iris is of a bright yellowish and silver color; the ears are placed far back, and very near each other, which the animal can, with surprising ease and quickness, dilate, and throw forward, or contract, and hold upon his back at pleasure: the head, neck, back, shoulders, thighs, and outer part of the legs and thighs are of a lead color: the sides, as they approach the belly, become gradually more white: the belly, breast, and inner part of the legs and thighs are white, with a light shade of lead color: the tail is round and bluntly pointed, covered with white, soft, fine fur, not quite so long as on the other parts of the body: the body is covered with a deep, fine, soft, close fur. The colors here described are those which the animal assumes from the middle of April to the middle of November; the rest of the year he is of a pure white, except the black and reddish brown of the ears, which never change. A few reddish brown spots are sometimes inter-mixed with the white, at this season (February 26, 1806) on their heads and the upper part of their necks and shoulders: the body of the animal is smaller and longer in proportion to its height than the rabbit: when he runs he conveys his tail straight behind, in the direction of his body: he appears to run and bound with surprising agility and ease: he is extremely fleet, and never burrows or takes shelter in the ground when pursued. His teeth are like those of the rabbit, as is also his upper lip, which is divided as high as the nose. His food is grass, herbs, and in winter he feeds much on the bark of several aromatic herbs, growing on the plains. Captain Lewis measured the leaps of this animal, and found them commonly from eighteen to twenty-one feet: they are generally found separate, and are never seen to associate in greater numbers than two or three.

Animals: Rabbit
24. The rabbit is the same with those of our own country, and are found indifferently, either on the prairies or the woodlands, and are not very abundant.

Animals: Polecat
25. The polecat is also found in every part of this country: they are very abundant on some parts of the Columbia, particularly in the neighborhood of the Great falls and narrows of that river, where they live in the cliffs along the river, and feed on the offal of the Indian fishing shores. They are of the same species as those found in the other parts of North America.

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