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By Billie Jean Collins

This identify matters man's touch with the animal international: sacrifice, sacred animals, nutrition, and domestication. Chapters on paintings, literature, faith and animal husbandry display an image of the advanced relationships among the peoples of the traditional close to East and (their) animals.

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Elongated forearms and fingers are connected to the legs by the patagium, 1. THE NATIVE FAUNA 31 a leathery wing membrane, leaving the thumb, which varies in length from species to species, as the only independent digit. The foot therefore serves as the principal grasping organ for use in predation and roosting.

Unusual among seals because of their tolerance of warm water, monk seals are most concentrated in the Aegean, but smaller populations—which may now be extinct—have been iden- 1. THE NATIVE FAUNA 29 tified in the eastern Mediterranean, southern Black Sea, Adriatic, along the coasts of Algeria and Morocco, and in the Atlantic between Spanish Sahara and Madeira. Monk seals frequent shallow waters off deserted coasts and islands where human disturbance is minimal. Between September and October, pups are born with a black, woolly coat, which molts at weaning after about six weeks.

Leptoceros] are native to northern Africa, and Sommerring's gazelles (G. soemmerringii) occupy the Horn area of Sudan to Somalia. Dama (G. dama] and dorcas gazelles (G. dorcas) frequent arid north Africa west of the Nile, though a subspecies of the latter extends into southern Israel/Sinai (G. d. Isabella). Gazelles were probably the principal source of protein for prehistoric hunter-gatherers in the southern Levant at the close of the Pleistocene. The hunt was pursued at least in part by forced containment within large stone-built enclosures, remains of which have been found in the Negev and Jordanian deserts.

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