Posts tagged Joannes Jonstonus

Left: Armadillo Genus Alterum Clusii - “Armadillo, alternate genus”Right: Armadillo siue Aiatochtli - “Armadillo or Gourd Rabbit [from Nahuatl language]”
All genus of armadillo have armored scutes that protect them from predators when they roll up, but the hardness and organization of those scutes varies. Because of this armor, the animals tend to be fairly slow. The denseness means that they’re also not naturally buoyant - however, the armadillo family has a counter for this! They inhale lots of air and expand their abdomen to twice the natural size, as well as being able to hold their breath for several minutes.
Ground armadillo has the dubious honor of being the only syphilis “cure” that you can contract Mycobacterium leprae from while preparing it. While I doubt Southerners are trying to cure syphilis with the armadillos they contact, it’s worth noting that over 70% of the leprosy cases in the Southern United States in the past two decades are thought to have armadillo-based origins.
A Description of the Nature of Four-Footed Beasts; With Their Figures Engraven in Brass. Joannes Jonstonus, 1655.

Left: Armadillo Genus Alterum Clusii - “Armadillo, alternate genus”
Right: Armadillo siue Aiatochtli - “Armadillo or Gourd Rabbit [from Nahuatl language]”

All genus of armadillo have armored scutes that protect them from predators when they roll up, but the hardness and organization of those scutes varies. Because of this armor, the animals tend to be fairly slow. The denseness means that they’re also not naturally buoyant - however, the armadillo family has a counter for this! They inhale lots of air and expand their abdomen to twice the natural size, as well as being able to hold their breath for several minutes.

Ground armadillo has the dubious honor of being the only syphilis “cure” that you can contract Mycobacterium leprae from while preparing it. While I doubt Southerners are trying to cure syphilis with the armadillos they contact, it’s worth noting that over 70% of the leprosy cases in the Southern United States in the past two decades are thought to have armadillo-based origins.

A Description of the Nature of Four-Footed Beasts; With Their Figures Engraven in Brass. Joannes Jonstonus, 1655.

"Lepus Cornutus" 
Jackalopes would be in the order Lagomorpha, right? 
A Description of the Nature of Four-Footed Beasts; With Their Figures Engraven in Brass. Joannes Jonstonus, 1678.

"Lepus Cornutus" 

Jackalopes would be in the order Lagomorpha, right? 

A Description of the Nature of Four-Footed Beasts; With Their Figures Engraven in Brass. Joannes Jonstonus, 1678.

Camelus bactrianus - Bactrian Camel
Ignore the title (“Camelus Bactrianus seu Dromedarius”), since all the camels depicted here are Bactrian.
One of the background images seems to be depicting a camel “kushing” (kneeling) on a struggling human, with an erect phallus. All camels become significantly more aggressive during breeding season, and the domesticated Bactrian camel has been described as “impossible to control” during that period. Obviously humans have managed to breed out some aggression/train many male Bactrian camels over the centuries, so “impossible” seems a bit hyperbolic, but even experienced handlers note that it’s much easier to avoid the males than train them. 
The second background figure depicts…camels? Doing…something? I’m pretty sure camels don’t make a habit of sitting on their haunches facing each other, and I know for a fact that they don’t mate any differently than other camels, so I really don’t know. Maybe they’re just having a bit of a cuddle. Anyone knowledgeable on camelid behavior?
A Description of the Nature of Four-Footed Beasts. Joannes Jonstonus, 1678.

Camelus bactrianus - Bactrian Camel

Ignore the title (“Camelus Bactrianus seu Dromedarius”), since all the camels depicted here are Bactrian.

One of the background images seems to be depicting a camel “kushing” (kneeling) on a struggling human, with an erect phallus. All camels become significantly more aggressive during breeding season, and the domesticated Bactrian camel has been described as “impossible to control” during that period. Obviously humans have managed to breed out some aggression/train many male Bactrian camels over the centuries, so “impossible” seems a bit hyperbolic, but even experienced handlers note that it’s much easier to avoid the males than train them. 

The second background figure depicts…camels? Doing…something? I’m pretty sure camels don’t make a habit of sitting on their haunches facing each other, and I know for a fact that they don’t mate any differently than other camels, so I really don’t know. Maybe they’re just having a bit of a cuddle. Anyone knowledgeable on camelid behavior?

A Description of the Nature of Four-Footed Beasts. Joannes Jonstonus, 1678.

"Ai siue Ignavus" - Bradypus tridactylus
The title “Ai siue Ignavus" translates to "Ai, or Lazy", which were the two common names for the Pale-throated sloth at the time. The Bradypus genus is the genus of three-toed sloths, which are the ones who are descended from a common ancestor of the giant ground sloths - two-toed sloths are actually not closely-related to either three-toed or giant sloths. 
Even though they’re not closely-related, both sloth families share a unique trait: they don’t have seven cervical vertebrae, which is a trait of almost all mammals, including those with very short necks (such as whales) and very long necks (such as giraffes). The two-toed sloths have only six cervical vertebrae, and the three-toed sloths have nine cervical vertebrae. The extra vertebrae in the three-toed sloths are what allow them to have such flexibility in their neck, and how they can turn their head 180 degrees.
A Description of the Nature of Four-Footed Beasts. Joannes Jonstonus, 1678.

"Ai siue Ignavus" - Bradypus tridactylus

The title “Ai siue Ignavus" translates to "Ai, or Lazy", which were the two common names for the Pale-throated sloth at the time. The Bradypus genus is the genus of three-toed sloths, which are the ones who are descended from a common ancestor of the giant ground sloths - two-toed sloths are actually not closely-related to either three-toed or giant sloths. 

Even though they’re not closely-related, both sloth families share a unique trait: they don’t have seven cervical vertebrae, which is a trait of almost all mammals, including those with very short necks (such as whales) and very long necks (such as giraffes). The two-toed sloths have only six cervical vertebrae, and the three-toed sloths have nine cervical vertebrae. The extra vertebrae in the three-toed sloths are what allow them to have such flexibility in their neck, and how they can turn their head 180 degrees.

A Description of the Nature of Four-Footed Beasts. Joannes Jonstonus, 1678.