The Naturalist on the River Amazons: A Record of Adventures, Habits of Animals, Sketches of Brazilian and Indian Life, and Aspects of Nature Under the Equator, During Eleven Years of Travel

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Humboldt Publishing Company, 1880 - 774 pages

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Page 758 - As the laws of nature must be the same for all beings, the conclusions furnished by this group of insects must be applicable to the whole organic world ; therefore the study of butterflies — creatures selected as the types of airiness and frivolity — instead of being despised, will some day be valued as one of the most important branches of Biological science.
Page 673 - Europe the male has been observed to place itself, in the evening, at the entrance of its burrow, and stridulate until a female approaches, when the louder notes are succeeded by a more subdued tone, whilst the successful musician caresses with his antennae the mate he has won.
Page 634 - ... vivid flash of lightning bursts forth, then a crash of thunder, and down streams the deluging rain. Such storms soon cease, leaving bluish-black motionless clouds in the sky until night. Meantime all nature is refreshed; but heaps of flower-petals and fallen leaves are seen under the trees. Towards evening life revives again, and the ringing uproar is resumed from bush and tree. The following morning the sun again rises in a cloudless sky; and so the cycle is completed; spring, summer, and autumn,...
Page 633 - Small flocks of parrots flew over on most mornings, at a great height, appearing in distinct relief against the blue sky, always two by two chattering to each other, the pairs being separated by regular intervals ; their bright colours, however, were not apparent at that height.
Page 720 - The line of coast over which the landslip extended was a mile or two in length ; the end of it, however, was hid from our view by an intervening island. It was a grand sight : each downfall created a cloud of spray ; the concussion in one place causing other masses to give way a long distance from it, and thus the crashes continued, swaying to and fro, with little prospect of a termination. When we glided out of sight, two hours after sunrise, the destruction was still going on.
Page 761 - They stream along the ground and climb to the summits of all the lower trees, searching every leaf to its apex, and whenever they encounter a mass of decaying vegetable matter, where booty is plentiful, they concentrate, like other Ecitons, all their forces upon it, the dense phalanx of shining and quickly-moving bodies, as it spreads over the surface, looking like a flood of dark-red liquid.
Page 740 - It is scarcely exaggerating to say that the waters of the Solimoens are as- well stocked with large alligators, in the dry season, as a ditch in England is in summer with tadpoles.
Page 636 - I found the natives generally as much at a loss in this respect as myself. Sometimes a sound is heard like the clang of an iron bar against a hard, hollow tree, or a piercing cry rends the air : these are not repeated, and the succeeding silence tends to heighten the unpleasant impression which they make on the mind. With the natives it is always the Curupira, the wild man or spirit of the forest, which produces all noises they are unable to explain.
Page 725 - Indian organization, both bodily and mental, is owing to the isolation in which each small tribe has lived, and to the narrow round of life and thought, and close intermarriages for countless generations, which are the necessary results. Their fecundity is of a low degree, for it is very rare to find an Indian family having so many as four children, and we have seen how great is their liability to sickness and death on removal from place to place.

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