Page:The Zoologist, 4th series, vol 3 (1899).djvu/155

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NOTES AND QUERIES.


MAMMALIA.

CHIROPTERA.

Some Habits of Bats.—I have been very much interested in Mr. Oldham's account of the habits in captivity of the Whiskered Bat (Myotis mystacinus). I have kept nearly all the British species at various times, and in most things my experiences tally with those of Mr. Oldham. There is one point, however, in which they are at variance. He says (ante, p. 52):—"Neither foot nor carpus was ever used in any way to assist it in capturing or holding an insect. The use of either would of course be quite impossible during flight." I thought that it was fairly well known that Bats do most certainly use the "thumb" to assist them in rending asunder their prey, and I have frequently observed it in the case of the Noctule (Pipistrellus noctula) and the Serotine (Vespertilio serotinus). In the case of the latter, which was numerous on the borders of a large forest in North Germany, and which used to come abroad long before twilight, I was often puzzled at first to account for a sudden drop in their flight of several feet, and I put it down to the fact that they saw some insect below them, and dropped on to it; but, on shooting several with a saloon pistol, I actually found the claw of the thumb on one side imbedded in the tough elytra of a cockchafer (Melolontha), and dung-beetles (Geotrupes), which were held in the Bat's mouth.—Oxley Grabham (Heworth, York).

CARNIVORA.

White Stoat.—I had a white Stoat (Mustela erminea) brought in on Feb. 2nd. It is a very good white all over, with the exception of a small brown patch on the top of the head, and of course the tip of the tail. Considering the extreme mildness of the winter, the fact is perhaps worth recording.—W.J. Clarke (44, Huntriss Row, Scarborough).

Grey Seal (Halichærus gryphus) at the Isle of Man.—In June, 1881, in a small unfrequented cove between Port Erin and Bradda Head, I came upon the almost entire skeleton of a very large Seal. I secured the skull, all the important teeth of which were missing, and have carefully preserved it ever since. I have not been able to identify it till a few days ago (February), when Mr. R. Lydekker was kind enough to compare it with