There is some variation in the different races of Lions from these distant localities; but this is by no means of sufficient importance to establish a distinction between them. The Asiatic Lion, of which we are now treating, seldom attains a size equal to that of the full-grown Southern African; its colour is a more uniform and paler yellow throughout; and its mane is, in general, fuller and more complete, being furnished moreover with a peculiar appendage in the long hairs, which, commencing beneath the neck, occupy the whole of the middle line of the body below. All these distinctions are, however, modified by age, and vary in different individuals. Their habits are in essential particulars the same: we shall therefore defer what we have farther to say on this head until we come to speak of the Cape Lion, and proceed to the history of the Asiatic individual now exhibiting in this Menagerie, a striking likeness of which is given in the engraving at the head of the present article.
The race of this wily and sanguinary animal, which is unsurpassed in all the terrible characteristics of its tribe, and yields to the tremendous and ferocious beasts, to the illustration of whose habits and manners our previous pages have been devoted, in none of their dreaded attributes, excepting only in size and strength, is spread almost as extensively over the surface of the Old World as that of the Lion himself. From the shores of the Mediterranean to the immediate neighbourhood of the Cape he is familiar to every part of the monster-bearing continent of Africa; while in the east of Asia his fatal spring and murderous talons are equally known and dreaded by the mild and timid Hindoos, the polite but still barbarous Chinese, and the fierce and savage Islanders of the great Sumatran chain. Throughout this immense tract of country he varies but in a trifling degree, and that merely in his comparative magnitude, in the size, shape, and disposition of his markings, and in the greater or less intensity of his colouring: in the more essential particulars of form and structure, as well as in character and disposition, he is every where the same.
The Crowned Crane is remarkable for its light and elegant proportions, and for its graceful and varied attitudes. Its forehead is covered by a thick tuft of short velvety feathers of a soft and brilliant black; its naked cheeks and temples are of a delicate rose colour; and the yellow filaments of its crest terminate in blackish pencils. The long and slender feathers which descend upon its neck, and the broader ones which clothe the upper and under surface of its body are black with a slight tinge of lead-colour; the primary wing-feathers are also black, the secondary reddish-brown, and the wing-coverts white. The bill and legs are black. It is a native of Western Africa; is extremely tame, and may be readily domesticated. It frequently attains the height of four feet.
THE BENGAL LION.