Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 50.djvu/411

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AFFECTIONS AND JEALOUSIES OF LIZARDS.

AFFECTIONS AND JEALOUSIES OF LIZARDS.
By M. J. DELBOEUF.

WHILE the possession of articulate language marks man as distinct from other animals, it seems certain to me that he and they are formed upon the same pattern so far as relates to sensations and feelings. This will hardly be contested as to sensations. Animals that have no eyes have of course no sensations of sight such as clear-seeing ones possess, and we have not the highly developed sense of direction of birds of passage and carrier pigeons; but these may be cultivated, and we are told that the American Indians have the sense of direction in an astonishing degree and can track their enemy as a dog does a hare. We have, it is true, some difficulty in conceiving the nature of the dog's power of scent, and it is possible that ants and bees have other senses than those we have; but these differences, marked as they may be, are at the bottom quantitative and not qualitative. Perhaps a slight modification of some part or another of the sensorial apparatus would give us sensations now strange to us.

Of the feelings, we find in all the higher animals those of love, friendship, hatred, anger, devotion, courage, suspicion, jealousy, cunning, fear, rancor, and pity. Some hens show a marked predilection for their chickens. The contrary also appears. There are stepmothers among hens, dogs, and cats. There are also feelings devious as to their object. The child adores its doll; a dog may be attached to a stick.

These various feelings are manifest also in the lower animals, as my continuous observations on my captive lizards, concerning which I have published several articles, have tended to prove.

My first two lizards had been captured, one in the Spanish Pyrenees and the other at Tarn, in France; wherefore I called them the Spanish and the French lizards, but afterward gave them the names of Pedro and Pierre. I was surprised on the very first day that I occupied myself with their education to observe the absolute contrariety of their characters and dispositions. Pierre, won over at once by the honeyed dainties I offered him, soon became accustomed to let himself be handled without trying to bite or run away, and to hide himself in my clothes, preferring the back, where it was warmer. Pedro, wild and untamable, if one tried to catch him, withdrew into a corner, and then stretching his paws in front of him, his eye glistening and his mouth wide open, hissing, springing at the hand that came near him, and, if he bit it, holding firmly and causing the blood to flow, revealed a resolution that even impressed the young men in my laboratory.