Page:EB1911 - Volume 24.djvu/1091

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their submerged allies and rise to the top. These gyrations are executed with the greatest ease, each Shoveler of the pair merely using the outer leg to impel it on its circular course.

Four other species of the genus Spatula, all possessing the characteristic light blue “shoulders,” have been described: one, S. platalea, from the southern parts of South America, having the head, neck and upper back of a pale reddish brown, freckled or closely spotted with dark brown, and a dull bay breast with interrupted bars; a second, S. capensis, from South Africa, much lighter in colour than the female of S. clypeata; a third and a fourth, S. rhynchotis and S. variegate, from Australia and New Zealand respectively-these last much darker in general coloration, and the males possessing a white crescentic mark between the bill and the eye, very like that which is found in the South-American Bluewinged Teal (Querquedula cyanoptera), but so much resembling each other that their specific distinctness has been disputed by good authority. (A. N.)

SHREVEPORT, a city and the capital of Caddo Parish, Louisiana, U.S.A., on the Red river, in the N.W. part of the state, near the Texas border. Pop. (1890) 11,979; (1900) 16,013, of whom 8532 were negroes; (1910, census) 28,015. It is the second city of the state in population. It is served by the Vicksburg, Shreveport & Pacific, the Houston & Shreveport, the Kansas City Southern, the St Louis & South-Western, the Louisiana Railway & Navigation Company, the Texas & Pacific (main line and two branches), the Louisiana & Arkansas, the Kansas City Southern, and the Missouri, Kansas & Texas railways and by boats on the Red river. In the city are the State Charity Hospital (1872), the T. E. Schumpert Memorial Hospital (1910), the Genevieve Orphanage (1899) and the Shreveport Training School (1908). Owing to its situation and excellent transportation facilities the city has a large trade. The surrounding country is a rich agricultural region, mainly devoted to the production of cotton, for which Shreveport is the principal shipping point. Live-stock and cattle products are trade items of importance. The situation of the city (about 170 m. east of Dallas, and somewhat farther from Little Rock, Houston, and New Orleans) makes it a natural centre of wholesale trade of varied character, and the development since 1906 of the important Caddo oil and gas fields north of the city has added greatly to its industrial prominence. The city contains planing mills, cotton gins, compresses and cotton-seed oil mills, machine and railway shops, and ice and molasses factories. In 1905 its factory product was valued at $2,921,923 (87.8% more than in 1900). Shreveport was settled about 1835, incorporated as a town in 1839, and chartered as a city in 1871. It was named in honour of Henry Miller Shreve (1785-1854), a native of New Jersey, who in 1815 ascended the Mississippi and the Ohio rivers to Louisville in the “Enterprise,” the first steam vessel to make this trip, introduced improvements in the steamboat, and in 1826-1841 had charge of the improvement of western rivers, removing during this period the great Red river raft. After the capture of Baton Rouge, the state capital, and New Orleans by the Unionists in 1862, Shreveport was occupied by the Confederate officials of the state. In the spring of 1863 and again in that of 1864 it was the objective of combined naval and land expeditions made by the Union forces up the Red river under command of Admiral David D. Porter and General N. P. Banks, the Confederate commander in Louisiana being General Richard Taylor, with General E. Kirby Smith in charge of the entire trans-Mississippi department. In 1863 Shreveport was not seriously threatened. In 1864 when the Federals were within two marches of the city they were worsted by Taylor at Mansfield (on the 8th of April); on the next day the Confederates in their turn met with a demoralizing repulse at Pleasant Hill.

SHREW[1] a term applied to the species of the family Soricidae of the mammalian order insectivora (q.v.), but in the British Isles to the common and lesser shrews (Sorex araneus and S. minimus).

The common shrew, or, properly, shrew-mouse, which in England is by far the commoner of the two, is a small animal about the size of a mouse, which it somewhat resembles in the shape of its body, tail and feet. But here the resemblance ends, for, unlike the mouse, it possesses a long and slender muzzle, with prominent nostrils, which project far beyond the lower lip; the small eyes are almost concealed by the fur; the ears are wide, short and provided internally with a pair of deep folds, capable when laid forwards of closing the entrance; the tail, which is slightly shorter than the body, is quadrangular in section and clothed more or less densely with moderately long hairs, terminating in a short tuft, but in old individuals almost naked; the feet are five-toed, the toes terminating in slender, pointed claws. The dentition is very peculiar and characteristic: there are in all thirty-two teeth, tipped with deep crimson; of which twelve belong to the lower jaw; of the remaining twenty ten occupy each side of the upper jaw, and of these the first three are incisors. The first incisor is large, with a long anterior canine-like cusp and a small posterior one; then follow two small single-cusped teeth; which are succeeded by three similar progressively smaller teeth, the first being a canine and the other two premolars; the next, a premolar, is large and multicuspid, and this is followed by three molars, of which the third is small with a triangular crown. In the lower jaw there are anteriorly three teeth corresponding to the seven anterior teeth above, of which the first is almost horizontal in direction, with its upper surface marked by three notches, which receive the points of the three upper front teeth; then follow two small teeth and three molars. The body is clothed with closely set fur, soft and dense, varying in colour from light reddish to dark brown above; the under surface of both body and tail being greyish; the basal four-fifths of all the hairs above and beneath are dark bluish grey. On each side of the body, about one-third of the distance between the elbow and the knee, is a gland covered by two rows of coarse inbent hairs, which secretes a fluid with an unpleasant cheesy odour, and which is protective, rendering the creature secure against the attacks of predaceous animals.

EB9 Shrew.jpg

The Common Shrew (Sorex araneus).

The lesser or pigmy shrew (S. minutus) is not so abundant in England and Scotland, but common in Ireland, where the other species is unknown. It appears at first sight to be a diminutive variant of that species, which it closely resembles in external form, but the third upper incisor is shorter, or not longer than the next following tooth, whereas in S. araneus it is longer, and the length of the forearm and foot is less in the former species than in the latter.

Both these shrews live in the neighbourhood of woods, making their nests under the roots of trees or in any slight depression, occasionally even in the midst of open fields, inhabiting the disused burrows of field-mice. Owing to their small size, dark colour, rapid movements and nocturnal habits, they easily escape observation. They seek their food, which consists of insects, grubs, worms and slugs, under dead leaves, fallen trees and in grassy places. They are pugnacious, and if two or more are confined together in a limited space they invariably fight fiercely, the fallen becoming the food of the victorious. They are also exceedingly voracious, and soon die if deprived of food; and it is probably to insufficiency of food in the early dry autumnal season that the mortality among them at that time is due. The breeding-season extends from the end of April to the beginning of August, and five to seven, more rarely ten,

  1. This word, whence comes the participial adjective “shrewd,” astute, originally meant malicious, and, as applied to a woman, still means a vexatious scold. From their supposed venomous character it was applied to the Soricidae.