Chapters in Popular Natural History

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Thomas Whittaker, 1884 - Natural history - 223 pages
 

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Page 60 - ... but it did not occur to them to push the paper bridge, though the distance was only about one-third of an inch, and they might easily have done so. After trying for about a quarter of an hour, they gave up the attempt and returned home. This I repeated several times. Then thinking that paper was a substance to which they were not accustomed, I tried the same with a bit of straw one inch long and one-eighth of an inch wide. The result was the same. I repeated this more than once.
Page 81 - At the moment when the egg is laid, the sitaris larva springs upon it. Even while the poor mother is carefully fastening up her cell, her mortal enemy is beginning to devour her offspring ; for the egg of the anthophora serves not only as a raft, but as a repast. The honey, which is enough for either, would be too little for both ; and the sitaris, therefore, at its first meal, relieves itself from its only rival. After eight days the egg is consumed, and on the empty shell the sitaris undergoes...
Page 34 - At length they approached a nest, inhabited by dark ash-coloured ants, the dome of which rose above the grass, at a distance of twenty feet from the hedge. Some of its inhabitants were guarding the entrance ; but, on the discovery of an approaching army, darted forth upon the advanced guard. The alarm spread at the same moment in the interior, and their companions came forth in numbers from their underground residence. The...
Page 26 - ... commonly found on or around ants' nests. To this some of the young aphides were brought by the ants. Shortly afterwards I observed on a plant of daisy, in the axils of the leaves, some small aphides, very much resembling those from my nest, though we had not actually traced them continuously. They seemed thriving, and remained stationary on the daisy. Moreover, whether they had sprung from the black eggs or not, the ants evidently valued them, for they built up a wall of earth round and over...
Page 60 - ... feet long. Under the glass I then placed a small heap of earth. The ants soon swarmed over the earth on to the glass, and began feeding on the honey. I then removed a little of the earth, so that there was an interval of about...
Page 31 - Stenammas, however, follow the Formicas when they change their nest, running about among them and between their legs, tapping them inquisitively with their antennae, and even sometimes climbing on to their backs, as if for a ride, while the large ants seem to take little notice of them. They almost seem to be the dogs — or rather cats — of the ants.
Page 45 - I perceived a poor ant lying on her back and quite unable to move. The legs were in cramped attitudes, and the two antennae rolled up in spirals. She was, of course, altogether unable to feed herself. After this I kept my eye on her. Several times I tried uncovering the part of the nest where she was. The other ants soon carried her into the shaded part.
Page 40 - ... bold marauders, and gradually took to keeping slaves ; that for a time they maintained their strength and agility, though losing by degrees their real independence, their arts, and even many of their instincts ; that gradually even their bodily force dwindled away under the enervating influence to which they had subjected themselves, until they sank to their present degraded condition — weak in body and mind, few in numbers, and apparently nearly extinct, the miserable representatives of far...
Page 20 - I let her out of the bottle, placing her on a little heap of larvae about three feet from the nest. Under these circumstances I certainly did not expect her to return. However, though she had thus been six days in confinement, the brave little...
Page 111 - I think, we see reasons, for many at any rate, of the variations of color and markings in caterpillars, which at first sight seem so fantastic and inexplicable. I should, however, produce an impression very different from that which I wish to convey, were I to lead you to suppose that all these varieties have been explained, or are understood. Far from it; they still offer a large field for study ; nevertheless I venture to think the evidence now brought forward, however imperfectly, is at least...

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