National Geographic : 1916 May
FURTHER EXPLORATIONS IN THE LAND OF THE INCAS 465 decidedly undershot, and the head, with its short, cropped ears and broad muzzle, has a strikingly bulldog appearance. The legs are well developed and rather heavy, enabling the animal to move fairly rap idly on the ground, in which situation it is by no means a shuffling, helpless crea ture like many other bats. If molested when thrown to the ground, it will turn and bite savagely. "The teeth are a highly modified cut ting apparatus for making incisions in the skins of mammals and birds. The cheek teeth, or grinders, have their crowns modified into narrow and high-cutting edges which work against their fellows of the opposite jaw much as the blades of scissors. POWER TO EAT SOLID FOOD LOST "Some four teeth only on each side take part in this cutting function, all the other molar teeth being suppressed or actually lost. Possessing teeth of a strictly cut ting nature, this bat cannot crush in sects, so that it is now actually forced to feed on the blood of other animals. Moreover, the gullet is so restricted or narrow that only blood can be passed through it, and the stomach is weak walled, with the general appearance of an intestinal structure. I have on several occasions examined the stomachs of these bats and have found them to contain only coagulated or clotted blood.' "In size the vampire is somewhat larger than our own common brown bat, com pared with which it is a much heavier built animal. The spread between the tips of the outstretched wings is eight or ten inches, and the length of the body from the tip of the snout to the insertion of the hind limbs is three and one-half inches. In habits they are sociable, and are commonly found living in caves or tunnels, suspended from the ceiling in clusters often of immense size. "The animals usually attacked by the vampire bat are cattle, horses, mules, and donkeys. Their flight is low and close to the surface of the earth, and doubtless takes place late in the evening, when com plete darkness has set in ; so that they are, owing to such habits, seldom seen. "Machu Picchu is locally notorious for the poisonous serpents inhabiting the re- gion in which the ruins are situated. During the work of excavation by the 1912 Expedition several species of the dangerous viper commonly known as the fer-de-lance, or bushmaster, were en countered. During my trip to the ruins in October another smaller species of viper was secured on the trail. The local Indian guide informed me that during the summer he killed on an average one viper a week. "The venom of the bushmaster is more powerful than that of any other viper in the New World and is slightly different in quality from that of the rattlesnake, to which it is allied in the general structure of its poison apparatus. "A much more poisonous reptile, and one found in the same region, is the coral snake, which is armed with venom of the same character as the deadly cobras of Africa and India. "The city of Machu Picchu is today, as regards its fauna, in much the same condition as during the days of its occu pation by the Incas. The commonest birds about the terraces are the crested sparrow, black-headed grosbeak, the gold finch, gray dove, and brown robin. Con dors were seen quite often on the ridge." The mammals of the ridge are forest types which still manage to live there under the changed conditions. As the city is surrounded by forests for many leagues, it has not been possible for high land mammals of the Andean grass re gion to reach the ridge by way of any grass- covered tongues or connecting spaces. The mammals known to occur within the limits of the city are the black forest opossum, the spectacled bear, the white-tailed deer, the proboscis-nosed skunk, the brown weasel, a large rodent the size of a woodchuck, a large arboreal or tree rat of the rice-rat group, a rat like rodent, Apodon, and several other smaller rodents. A WILDERNESS SUPREME In August a party was organized to explore the so-called San Miguel Valley; which, although occupied for some time by rubber-gatherers, did not exist on any published map of Peru. The party con sisted of Naturalist Heller, Topographer Maynard, and Surgeon Ford.