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Sumatra

mount, island, miles, near, java, west, extinct and equator

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SUMATRA, soo-tni'tra, an island in the Indian Seas immediately under the equator. Its extreme limits are lat. 5° 45' N., and 5' 55' S.; long. 90° 40' E., and 106° 5' E. In the direction of its greatest length it extends from northwest to southeast. Its greatest length is about 1,000 miles, and its greatest breadth about 260 miles; its area is about 161,600 square miles. It ranks in magnitude as the second of the Asiatic islands, 13orneo being the first. The population is about 4,000,000.

Topography.— The west side of the island is mountainous, but the east side has a totally different character, and spreads out into inter minable plains nearly as level as the sea. The mountains viewed from the west appear at first view to form a continuous ridge, but a closer examination reveals breaks in the chain, and discloses the fact that two or three ridges lie behind that which is mainly seen from the coast. This chain, known generally as Barisan, extends from the northwest of the island to Sunda Strait. The islands of Pulo Bras and Pulo Wai really form detached parts of it, and near them, at the northwestern end of the is land, it attains a height of 5,663 feet in Mount Yamura. Farther south, but still in Achinese territory, are the lofty volcanoes Abong-Abong and Luse, whose heights are estimated at over 11,000 and 12,000 feet respectively. Mount Ophir, close to the equator, is an extinct vol cano 9,610 feet above sea-level. Not far to the south is Mount Merapi, one of the most violent of Sumatran volcanoes. Other notable peaks are: Talang (8,343), an extinct volcano, from which the natives obtain sulphur; Indrapura (12,000), the highest peak yet ascended in Su matra; Mount Paung; Mount Kaba (5,413) ; Mount Dempo (10,562), an active volcano; and Mount Tangkamus (7,422), near the Straits of Sunda. Granite, slates, clay-schists and sitn ilar rocks abound, and limestones of Carbonif erous age occupy much of the surface. The Tertiary formations cover a very large area. All the peaks seem to be volcanic. Various metals have been found in the island, and ex cellent coal is known to be abundant.

Rivera and rivers that flow toward the west are naturally short and of small importance for navigation, but those trav ersing the broad alluvial eastern slopes are long and deep. Many of them form large del tas. In order from south to north the most important are: the Musi or Palembang, about 400 miles long, passing the town of Palembang and entering the sea opposite the island of Banka, an important highway for trade; the Jambi or Batang-Hari, over 500 miles long, and navigable throughout most of its length, important as an outlet for the chief coal-fields; the Indragiri; the ICampar ; the Siak, rising near Mount Ophir; the Ralcan and the Batu Bara. Of the west-coast rivers the Singkel

is the most important. The lalces of Sumatra are mostly mountain lakes, and not a few of them occupy the craters of extinct volcanoes. The largest are: Toba, 500 square miles in area, at the source of the Singkel River; Sing kara and Maringin, about the centre of the island near the west coast; Korinchi, near In drapura; and Danau. Sumatra is almost bi sected by the equator, and in consequence the monsoons of its northern extremity have differ ent directions from those of the southern end. During the periods when the monsoon is chang ing, navigation in the neighboring waters is impeded by squalls. The climate as generally of the usual tropical character, and is on the whole rather unhealthy.

Flora and The flora of Sumatra differs much from that of Java. It is very rith in forest trees, many of which yield valuable timber or other useful products, such as ben zoin and Pepper is the chief cul tivated product. Sago and rice are also culti vated, and excellent tobacco and coffee are grown for export. The fauna of Sumatra in some respects resembles that of Borneo more closely than that of the countries with which it is almost in contact. The elephant and the tapir, frequent in Sumatra, are unknown in Java. The former island has the two-homed, the latter a single-horned rhinoceros. The orang-utan is found locally. The tiger occurs both in Sumatra and Java, but not in Borneo; Sumatra has also some species of deer and ante lope, the sunbear, a peculiar kind of hare, and the muntjac. The most notable birds are the Argus pheasant, several trogcms, bush-thrikes, rain-birds, pheasant-cucicoos, etc. Of the do mesticated animals the most important by far is the pig, next to which rank the cow and the horse. The buffalo is more frequent in the low country, but is only valued as food, and never yoked for labor as in Java. The horse of the highlands is small, but vigorous and capable of enduring much fatigue.

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