Page:EB1911 - Volume 17.djvu/763

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

known as the oustiti, while the name piriché is applied to another species (see PRIMATES).

MARMOT, the vernacular name of a large, thickly built, burrowing Alpine rodent mammal, allied to the squirrels, and typifying the genus Arctomys, of which there are numerous species ranging from the Alps through Asia north of (but including the inner ranges of) the Himalaya, and recurring in North America. All these may be included under the name marmot. In addition to their stout build and long thickly haired tails, marmots are characterized by the absence of cheek-pouches, and the rudimentary first front-toe, which is furnished with a fiat nail, as well as by certain features of the skull and cheek-teeth. Europe possesses two species, the Alpine or true marmot (A . marmotta), and the more eastern bobac (A. bobac); and there are numerous kinds in Central Asia, one of which, the red marmot (A.caudata), isamuch larger animal, with alonger tail. Marmots inhabit. open country, either among mountains, or, more to the north, in the plains; and associate in large colonies, forming burrows, each tenanted by a single family. During the daytime the hillock at the entrance to the burrow is frequently occupied- by one or more members of the family, whichat the approach of strangers sit up on their hind-legs in order to get a better view. If alarmed they utter a shrill loudrwhistle, and rush down the burrow, but reappear after a few minutes to see if the danger is past. In the winter when the ground is deep in snow, marmots retire to the depths of their burrows, where as many as ten or fifteen may occupy the same chamber. No store of food is accumulated, and the winter sleep is probably unbroken. From two to four is the usual number of young in a litter. In America marmots are known as “ wood-chucks”

The Alpine Marmot (A rctomys marmotta).

(q.v.), the commonest species being A. monax, The so-called prairie-dogs, which are smaller and more slender North American rodents with small cheek-pouches, form a separate genus, Cynomys; while the term pouched-marmots denotes the various species of souslik (q.'v.), S permophilus (or Citillus), which are common to both hemispheres, and distinguished by the presence of large cheek-pouches (see RODENTIA). (R.L.*)

MARNE, a river of northern France, rising on the Plateau of Langres, 3 m. S. by E. of Langres, and uniting with the'Seine at Charenton, an eastern suburb of Paris. Leaving Langres on the left the river flows northward, passing Chaumont, as far as a point a little above St Dizier. Here it turns west and enters the department of Marne, where it waters the Perthois and the wide plain of Champagne-Pouilleuse. Soon after its entrance into this department it receives the Blaise; and turning north-west passes Vitry-le-Francois where it receives the 'Saulx, Chalons, below which it resumes a westerly course, and Epernay, where it enters picturesque and undulating country. Its subsequent course lies through the departments oi Aisne, where it flows through Chateau-Thierry; Seine-et-Marne, where it drives the picturesque mills of Meaux; Seine-et-Oise and Seine. Its chief tributaries in those departments are the Petit-Morin, the Ourcq and the Grand-Morin. The length of the Marne is 328 m., the area of its basin 4894. sq. rn. It is joined a mile from its source of the Marne-Saone canal which is continued at Rouvroy by the Haute-Marne canal as far as Vitry-le-Frangois. From that town, which is the starting-point of the canal between the Marne and the Rhine, it is accompanied by the lateral canal of the Marne to Dizy where its own channel is canalized. At Condé, above Epernay, the river is joined by the canal connecting it with the Aisne. From Lizy, above Meaux, it is accompanied on the right bank, though at some distance, by the Ourcq canal:

MARNE, a department of north-eastern France, made up from Champagne-Pouilleuse, Rémois, Haute-Champagne, Perthois, Tardenois, Bocage and Brie-Pouilleuse, districts formerly belonging to Champagne, and bounded W. by Seine-et-Marne and Aisne, N. by Aisne and Ardennes, E. by Meuse, and S. by Haute-Marne and Aube. Pop. (r9o6), 434,157. Area 3167 sq. m. About one-half consists of Champagne-Pouilleuse, a monotonous and barren plain covering a bed of chalk 1300 ft. in thickness. On the west and on the east it is commanded by two ranges of hills. The highest point in the department (920 ft.) is in the hill district of Reims, which rises to the south-west of the town of the same name, between the Vesle and the Marne. The lowest level (164 ft.) where the Aisne leaves the department, is not far distant. To the south of the Marne the hills of Reims are continued by the heights of Brie (700 to Soo ft.) All these belong geologically to the basin of Paris. They slope gently towards the west, but command the plain of Champagne-Pouilleuse by a steep descent on the east. On the farther side of the plain are the heights of Argonne (860' ft.) formed of beds of the Lower Chalk, and covered by forests; they unite the calcareous formations of Langres to the schists of Ardennes, and a continuation of them stretches southward into Perthois and the marshy Bocage. The department belongs entirely to the Seine basin, but includes only 13 miles of that river, in the south-west; it there receives the Aube, which fiows for ro miles within the department. The principal river is the Marne, which runs through the department for ro5 miles in a great sweep concave to the south-west. The Aisne enters the department at a point 12 miles from its source, and traverses it for 37 miles. Two of its affluents on the left, the Suippes and the Vesle, on which stands Reims, have a longer course from south-east to north-west across the department.

Marne has the temperate climate of the region of the Seine; the annual mean temperature is 50° F., the rainfall about 24 in. Oats, wheat, rye and barley among the cereals, lucerne, sainfoin and clover, and potatoes, mangold-wurzels and sugar beet are the principal agricultural crops. The raising of sheep of-a mixed merino breed and of other stock together with bee farming are profitable. The vineyards, concentrated chiefly round Reims and Flpernay, are of high value; the manufacture of the sparkling Champagne wines being a highly important industry, of which Epernay, Reims and Chalons are the chief centres. Several.communes supply the more valuable vegetables, such as asparagus, onions, &c. The principal orchard fruits are the apple, plum and cherry. Pine woods are largely planted in Champagne-Pouilleuse. The department produces peat, millstones and chalk.,

The woollen industry has brought together in the neighbourhood of Reims establishments for spinning, carding, dyeing and weaving. The materials wrought are flannels, merinoes, tartans, shawls, rugs and fancy articles; the manufacture of woollen and cotton hosiery must also be mentioned. The manufacture of wine-cases, corks, casks and other goods for the wine trade is actively carried on. Marne contains blast furnaces, iron and copper foundries, and manufactories of agricultural implements. Besides these there are tan-yards, currying and leather-dressing establishments and glass works, which, with sugar, chemical, whiting and oil works, potteries, flour-mills and breweries, complete the list of the most important industries. Biscuits and gingerbread are a speciality of Reims. The chief imports are wool and coal; the exports are wine, grain, live-stock, stone, whiting, pit-props and woollen stuffs. Communication is afforded chiefly by the river Marne with its canal connexions, and by the Eastern railway. There are five arrondissements-those of Chalons (the capital), Epernay,