74 Brewer's Shrew Mole
SCALOPS BREWERI.--Bach. [Parascalops breweri] BREWER'S SHREW MOLE. [Hairy-tailed Mole] PLATE LXXIV. S. lanugine sericea, vellus obscure cinereo nigricans subtus fuscescens, palmae anguste, cauda depressa, latus pilis hirsuta.
CHARACTERS. Glossy cinereous black above, brownish beneath, palms narrow, tail flat. broad and hairy. DESCRIPTION. 2 12 8 Teeth, Incisive -; false molars --; true molars - = 44. 4 12 6 The head of Scalops Breweri is narrower and more elongated than that of Sc. Aquaticus. The cerebral portion of the skull is less voluminous, the inter-orbital portion is narrower, each of the intermaxillary bones in Sc. Aquaticus throws out a process, which projects upwards and forms the upper boundary of the nasal cavity, and very slightly separated by the nasal bones, whilst in Sc. Breweri these processes are shorter and scarcely project upwards above the plane of the nasal bone. Thus when we view the snout of Sc. Aquaticus, laterally, it is distinctly recurved at the tip, whereas in Sc. Breweri the upper surface is almost plain. But the most striking difference between these skulls is exhibited in the dentition, inasmuch as, in our present species, there are altogether forty-four teeth, in Sc. Aquaticus there are but thirty-six. Thus in the number of teeth Sc. Breweri resembles Sc. Townsendi. The body of Brewer's Shrew Mole is perhaps a little larger than that of Sc. Aquaticus. Its snout is less flattened and narrower; its nostrils, instead of being inserted in a kind of boutir, as in the European Talpa, and the swine, or on the upper surface of the muzzle, as in the common shrew mole, are placed on each side, near the extremities of the nose. This species is pentadactylous, like all the rest of the genus, claws longer, thinner and sharper than the common shrew mole. Palm much narrower Its most striking peculiarity, however, is its tail, which, instead of being round and nearly naked, like that of Sc. Aquaticus, is flat and broad, resembling in some respects that of the Beaver, and is very thickly clothed, above and beneath, with long stiff hairs, which extend five lines beyond the vertebrae. COLOUR. The colour, above and beneath, is a glossy cinereous black, like velvet; precisely similar to that of the European mole (Talpa Europea) with which we compared it. Under the throat there is a slight tinge of brown, the tail is ashy brown above, light beneath. The ewe is about one-third longer than that of the common shrew mole. DIMENSIONS. Inches. Lines. Length of the head and body . . . . . . . . . 5 11 Tail vertebrae . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 0 Tail including fur . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 5 Breadth of tail . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 4 Breadth of palm . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 4 Length of palm to end of middle claw . . . . . . 0 7 In the Museum of the Zoological Society of London there is a specimen obtained from the United States, which evidently is the same species. It is marked in the printed catalogue No. 145, "Sc. Breweri Bachman's M. SS." It however differs in having the far more compact, and shorter, the colour somewhat darker, and in fact almost black. The hairs of the tail, instead of being brownish ash colour, are black, and the hind feet, instead of being covered above with brownish white hairs, as in our specimens, are brownish black. DIMENSIONS OF THE SKULL OF THE ABOVE THREE SPECIES. LENGTH OF SKULLS. WIDTH. LENGTH OF PALATE. INCHES. LINES. LINES. LINES. Sc. Aquaticus. . . . . . . 1 4 8 7 S. Townsendi . . . . . . . 1 7 1/4 9 1/2 8 1/5 S. Breweri. . . . . . . . 1 3 7 1/8 6 1/2 HABITS. In a collection of the smaller rodentia procured for us in New England by our friend THOMAS M. BREWER, Esq. an intelligent naturalist, we were surprised and gratified at finding this new species of shrew mole; the specimen having been obtained by Dr. L. M. YALE, at Martha's Vineyard, an island on the coast of New England. In its habits it approaches much nearer the star-nosed mole (Condylura cristata) than any species of shrew mole. Its burrows are neither as extensive or so near the surface of the earth as those of the common shrew mole. We observed that the meadows in the valleys of Virginia, where this species is found, seldom exhibited any traces of their galleries, which are so conspicuous where the common species exists. We only possessed one opportunity of seeing this species alive. It ran across the public road near the red sulphur springs in Virginia; in its mode of progression it reminded us of the hurried, irregular and awkward manners of the common shrew mole. It had, as we ascertained, pursued its course under ground, at about five inches from the surface, until it reached the trodden and firm gravelly road, which it attempted to cross and was captured. It evidenced no disposition to bite. From the fact of our having seen three specimens, which were accidentally procured in a week, we were led to suppose that it was quite common in that vicinity. We have not found its nest, and regret that we have nothing farther to add in regard to its habits. GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION Our first specimen, as we have stated, was received from Martha's Vineyard. Our friend, the late Dr. WRIGHT, procured four specimens in the vicinity of Troy, N.Y. We obtained specimens in Western Virginia. It no doubt exists in all the intermediate country. GENERAL REMARKS. We suspect that this species has hitherto been overlooked in consequence of its having been blended with the common shrew mole. We observed two specimens in the museum of the Zoological Society, London, originally marked "Talpa Europea from America." On examining them, however, we found them of this species.