National Geographic : 1898 Jun
THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS 261 is true that the strait between them is narrow, but the water is very deep, and the larger animals included in the fauna of Borneo are not found in the Philippines, especially the ele phant, tapir, and orang-outang. There are no beasts of prey in the Philippines except a small one-" el gato del monte "-a species of wildcat, and even that is not very plentiful. The wild animals are buffalo-not the bison of our western plains, mis called buffalo, but the East Indian animal-deer, hogs, which are doubtless descendants of domesticated animals that have taken to wild life in the woods, and monkeys. There is also re port of the existence on the island of Mindoro of a mysterious animal called tumarao, which the natives describe as a cross be tween the buffalo and deer. The tamed buffalo, called the water buffalo, from its delight in wallowing in water and mud, is the most useful of the quad rupeds and is universally employed in agricultural work and the transportation of freight, both as a pack and draft animal. Goats, sheep, dogs, and cats are plentiful. Flying squirrels are numerous in the forests, and bats of enormous size, frequently measuring five or six feet from tip to tip of their wings. Snakes, lizards, and other reptiles abound; also insect pests of various kinds, among which are the destructive white ants, mosquitoes, tarantulas, and other spiders of enormous size. Pigeons and domestic fowls are abundant, and there is an immense varietyof parrots and other wild birds, many of which are comparatively little known, even by name, to American or European ornithologists. CLIMATE The extreme length of the Philippine group being from north to south, their northern extremity reaching nearly to the northern limit of the tropical zone, causes considerable variety of climate, although the general characteristics are, of course, tropical. On the western side of Luzon, where Manila is situated, the hottest season is from March to June, the greatest heat being felt gener ally in May, before the rains set in, when the maximum ranges from 80° to 1000 in the shade. The coolest weather occurs in December and January, when the temperature falls at night to 60° or 650 and seldom rises in the day above 75°; in fact, dur ing the months from November to February the sky is bright, the atmosphere cool and dry, and the weather in every way delightful.