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    The characters of the genus to which this curious little animal belongs resemble so closely in the most important particulars those of the other plantigrade Carnivora, that it will here be sufficient to explain those points alone in which the Coatis differ from their immediate affinities. From the Bears they are essentially distinguished by the general form of their body, which in some measure approaches that of the viverrine group; by their physiognomy, which is altogether peculiar, and by their elongated tail, which is nearly equal in length to their body. From the Racoons their generally lengthened form, and especially that of the snout, which is[110] in fact their most obvious and striking characteristic, are fully sufficient to distinguish them. In the Coatis this organ is produced in a most remarkable degree; and it is terminated by a muzzle so extremely flexible that, when the attention of the animal is excited, it is kept in constant action and moved about in all directions.


    2.These characters are derived, first, from their completely[117] plantigrade walk, the whole sole being at all times closely applied to the surface on which they tread; secondly, from their claws, of which they have five on each foot; thirdly, from the extreme shortness of their tail; and lastly, from the form and arrangement of their teeth. These consist of the usual number of incisors and canines, the latter being in general very robust, and of a series of molars, which, when complete, amount to six on each side in each jaw; the posterior three having flat and expanded surfaces surmounted by broad and blunted tubercles, and lying closely in contact with each other. Between them and the canines exists a considerable space, which is or should be occupied by three smaller and obtusely pointed teeth; but this number is seldom found entire, one or more of them being generally absent, and the series being thus rendered incomplete.
    3.Like the other animals of its group, its habits are predatory; in confinement it retains much of its original ferocity, and is extremely spiteful and savage. The two individuals from which our figure was taken have inhabited the Menagerie for nearly twelve months; they are both males, and occupy different dens. They are fed, like the preceding, and indeed like all the carnivorous quadrupeds which it remains to mention, on a mixture of vegetable and animal food; and deposit large quantities of civet, which strongly impregnates the air of the apartment in which they are kept. This perfume is highly esteemed by the Javanese, who apply it not only to their dresses, but also to their persons. Even the apartments and furniture of the natives of rank are generally scented with it to such a degree as to be offensive to Europeans.
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