American animals: a popular guide to the mammals of North America north of Mexico, with intimate biographies of the more familiar species

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Doubleday, Page & Co., 1902 - Nature - 318 pages
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Page 366 - Dugtnore shooting the foxes which skulked about their clearings, and even now those found in wild, unsettled country are comparatively easy to outwit. But the red fox of cultivated districts has learned a great deal from watching the ways of men, and has already very nearly caught up with Reynard of the Old World in the matter of a highly developed intellect. He now holds his own against man, as much by boldness and audacity as by caution; few of our wild animals look on man with so little awe. Only...
Page 98 - They dig by grubbing with the nose and a rapid shovelling with the long curved fore paws assisted by the pushing of the hind feet, which removes the earth from beneath the body and propels it back with great power a distance of eight or ten inches. When a small quantity of earth has accumulated in the rear of the miner, around he whirls with a vigorous flirt of the tail and, joining his fore paws before his nose, he transmutes himself into a sort of wheelbarrow pushing the dirt before him to a convenient...
Page 344 - ... and easily taken. Martens prefer to make their nests in holes high up in some old tree, and find the nests of the larger woodpeckers perfectly suited to their needs. Having established themselves in a woodpecker's or squirrel's hole, they like to watch whatever is going on in the woods beneath them, with just their noses poked out into the air, ready to slip back out of sight if danger threatens. Their nests are made of moss and leaves in the bottom of the cavity. In the mountainous rocky country...
Page 53 - Scattered bands of caribou were almost always in sight from the top of the ridge behind the camp, and increased in numbers till the morning of October 2Oth, when little Baptiste, who had gone for firewood, woke us up before daylight with the cry of La foule! La foule!
Page 185 - Almost immediately they commenced fighting, and in a few minutes one was slaughtered and eaten by the other two. Before night one of these killed and ate its only surviving companion, and its abdomen was much distended by the meal. Hence in less than eight hours one of these tiny wild beasts had attacked, overcome, and ravenously consumed two of its own species, each as large and heavy as itself!
Page 136 - It lives only in the higher sandy ridges where there is plenty of black jack oak and where the bare white sand is in places covered by scattered patches of scrub palmetto. It is the characteristic small mammal of such places commonly known as 'black jack ridges' and I have never found it elsewhere," Oldfield Mouse Peromyscus subgriseus (Chapman) Length.
Page xv - It is refreshing to the ear, and one delights to know that such wild creatures are among us. At this season Nature makes the most of every throb of life that can withstand her severity. How heartily she indorses this fox! In what bold relief stand out the lives of all walkers of the snow ! The snow is a great tell-tale, and blabs as effectually as it obliterates. I go into the woods, and know all that has happened. I cross the fields, and if only a mouse has visited his neighbor, the fact is chronicled.
Page 53 - Ptarmigan came literally in thousands, while the tracks of wolves, wolverines and Arctic foxes made a continuous network in the snow. Scattered bands of caribou were almost always in sight from the top of the ridge behind the camp and increased in numbers till the morning of October 2Oth, when we were awakened before daylight by the cry of "La foule...
Page 56 - It uttered no sound, but gazed at the wolfish-looking intruder and all the long white hairs of the rump patch were raised with a jerk that made the patch flash in the sun like a tin pan. Everyone of the grazing antelopes saw the flash, repeated it instantly and raised his head to gaze in the direction in which the first was gazing. At the same time I noticed on the wind a peculiar musky smell — a smell that certainly came from the antelope.
Page 391 - Deer are its customary prey where they are plentiful, bucks, does, and fawns being killed indifferently. Usually the deer is killed almost instantaneously, but occasionally there is quite a scuffle, in which the cougar may get bruised, though, as far as I know, never seriously. It is also a dreaded enemy of sheep, pigs, calves, and especially colts, and when pressed by hunger a big male cougar will kill a full-grown horse or cow, moose or wapiti. It is the special enemy of mountain sheep. In 1886,...

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