July 17, 1784

Posted by sydney on Jul 17th, 1784

Mr. Chr. Etty has taken the young Cuckow, & put it in a cage, where the hedge-sparrows feed it.  No old Cuckow has been seen to come near it.  Mr CHarles Etty brought down with him from London in the coach his two finely-chequered tortoises, natives of the island of Madagascar, which appear to be Testudo geometrica, Linn., and the Testudo tessellat, Raii.  One of them was small, & probably a male, weighing about five pounds; the other , which was undoubtedly a female, because it layed an egg the day after it’s arrival, weighed ten pounds and a quarter.  The egg was round, & white, & much resembling in size & shape the egg of an owl.  Ray says of this species that the shell was “Ellipticae seu ovatae figurae solidae plus quam dimidia pars”: & again, “Ex omnibus quas unquam vidi maxime concava.” Ray’s quadrup: 260.  The head, neck, & legs of these were yellow.  These tortoises in the morning when put into the coach at Kensignton were brisk, & well; but the small one dyed the first night that they came to Selborne; & the other, two nights after, having received, as it should seem, some Injury on their Journey.  When the female was cleared of the contents of her body, a bunch of eggs of about 30 in number was found in her.

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