The Naturalist in Nicaragua: A Narrative of a Residence at the Gold Mines of Chontales; Journeys in the Savannahs and Forests. With Observations on Animals and Plants in Reference to the Theory of Evolution of Living Forms

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J. Murray, 1874 - 403 pages
 

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Page 106 - I-have seen the female sitting quietly on a hranch, and two males displaying their charms in front of her. One would shoot up like a rocket, then suddenly expanding the snow-white tail like an inverted parachute, slowly descend in front of her, turning round gradually to show off both back and front. The...
Page 57 - To quote the words of Mr. Belt: "Unknown are the autumn tints, the bright browns and yellows of English woods ; much less the crimsons, purples, and yellows of Canada, where the dying foliage rivals, nay excels, the expiring dolphin in splendour. Unknown the cold sleep of winter ; unknown the lovely awakening of vegetation at the first gentle touch of spring. A ceaseless round of ever-active life weaves the fairest scenery of the tropics into one monotonous whole, of which the component parts exhibit...
Page 75 - Between the old burrows and the new one was a steep slope. Instead of descending this with their burdens, they cast them down on the top of the slope, whence they rolled down to the bottom, where another relay of labourers picked them up and carried them to the new burrow. It was amusing to watch the ants hurrying out with bundles of food, dropping them over the slope, and rushing
Page 81 - ... were continually passing and repassing. Every time they came along a number of ants were crushed to death. They persevered in crossing for some time, but at last set to work and tunnelled underneath each rail. One day, when the...
Page 29 - ... in necessity — and though no man has anything, yet they are all rich ; for what can make a man so rich as to lead a serene and cheerful life free from anxieties, neither apprehending want himself...
Page 339 - Jonnes took place in the Souffriere. According to him, with a terrific earthquake, clouds of ashes were driven into the air, with violent detonations from a mountain situated at the eastern end of the island. When the eruption had ceased, it was fouud that the whole mountain had disappeared.
Page 106 - ... back and front.... The expanded white tail covered more space than all the rest of the bird, and was evidently the grand feature in the performance. Whilst one male was descending, the other would shoot up and come slowly down expanded.
Page 215 - The leaf-catting ants attacked the young plants and defoliated them ; but I have never seen any of the trees out on the savannahs that are guarded by the Pseudomyrma touched by them, and have no doubt the acacia is protected from them by its little warriors. The thorns, when they are first developed, are soft, and filled with a sweetish, pulpy substance; so that the ant, when it makes an entrance into them, finds its new house full of food. It hollows this out, leaving only the hardened shell of...
Page 25 - They make their temporary habitations in hollow trees, and sometimes underneath large fallen trunks that offer suitable hollows. A nest that I came across in the latter situation was open at one side. The ants were clustered together in a dense mass, like a great swarm of bees, hanging from the roof, but reaching to the ground below. Their innumerable long legs looked like brown threads binding together the mass, which must have been at least a cubic yard in bulk, and contained hundreds of thousands...
Page 75 - ... picked them up and carried them to the new burrow. It was amusing to watch the ants hurrying out with bundles of food, dropping them over the slope, and rushing back immediately for more. They also brought out great numbers of dead ants that the fumes of the carbolic acid had killed. A few days afterwards, when I visited the locality again, I found both the old burrows and the new one entirely deserted, and I thought they had died off; but subsequent events convinced me that the survivors had...

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