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although recognizing the fact of its zoological and geographical diversity, as well as its vast superiority over every other subregion in the number and variety of its animal forms.
The reptiles, fishes, mollusca, and insects of this sub-region have been sufficiently discussed in treating of the entire region, as by far the larger proportion of them, except in the case of land-shells, are found here.
Plate XV. Characteristic Neotropical Birds.--To illustrate the ornithology of South America we place our scene on one of the tributaries of the Upper Amazon, a district where this class of animals is the most prominent zoological feature, and where a number of the most remarkable and interesting birds are to be found. On the left we have the umbrella-bird (Cephalopterus ornatus), so called from its wonderful crest, which, when expanded, completely overshadows its head like an umbrella. It is also adorned with a long tassel of plumes hanging from its breast,. which is formed by a slender fleshy tube clothed with broad feathers. The bird is as large as a crow, of a glossy blue-black colour, and belongs to the same family as the exquisitely tinted blue-and-purple chatterers. Flying towards us are a pair of curlcrested toucans (Pteroglossus beauharnaisii), distinguished among all other toucans by a crest composed of small black and shining barbless plumes, resembling curled whalebone. The general plumage is green above, yellow and red beneath, like many of its allies. To the right are two of the exquisite little whiskered hummers, or“ frill-necked coquettes,” as they are called by Mr. Gould, (Lophornis gouldi). These diminutive birds are adorned with green-tipped plumes springing from each side of the throat, as well as with beautiful crests, and are among the most elegant of the great American family of humming-birds, now numbering about 400 known species. Overhead are perched a pair of curassows (Crax globulosa), which represent in America the pheasants of the Old World. There are about a dozen species of these fine birds, most of which are adorned with handsome curled crests. That figured, is distinguished by the yellow caruncular swellings at the base of the bill. The tall crane-like bird near the water is one of the trumpeters, (Psophia leucoptera), elegant