Two California Ground Squirrels (Otospermophilus beecheyi), Study for Plate no. 49 of "The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America"

Object Number: 
Watercolor, black ink, graphite, white lead pigment and gouache with selective glazing on paper
Overall: 17 3/8 x 24 in. ( 44.1 x 61 cm )
Inscribed at upper center and continuing clockwise in graphite: "Female."; at right: "The pair of this Species when / it is coming in the contact of / White and dark gives it the / appearance of having being / clipped as it were in regular / irregular order"; at right upper corner: "here is exhibited the c…ting[rubbed] look / between the Tarnias(?) and the Tree Aritor…us[rubbed] / by the Lighter and brighter colour seen / in the rump of the first, and the Species / Spermophilus, and others of the latter / group. -- J.J.A. / Whilst the coarseness of the hair brings / the Spermophilus toward the Aritorius[?] / or real American marmot such as / the ground hog for instance. -- and / the latters are dormant animals / during Winter -; lower right: "Male"; bottom right: "Douglas' Marmot / Spermophilus Douglasii"; at lower left: "New York. May 31st 1841. / J.J.A"; above at lower left: "4 Specimen / from J.K. Townsend all differing / very greatly in size./ from the Columbia River -- / June 22d 1835."
These animals were called marmots by Audubon, but are actually part of the Spermophile genus of ground squirrels. Collected near the Columbia River by a colleague, Audubon drew these spermophiles from preserved specimens. Formerly S-6.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group