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cling to the ceilings, along which they run back downwards in pursuit of flies, holding on by means of their dilated toes with suctorial discs; though sometimes, losing hold, they fall upon the table or on the upturned face of the visitor. In the forests large, flat, and marbled Geckos cling to the smooth trunks; small and active lizards rest on the foliage; while occasionally the larger kinds, three or four feet long, rustle heavily as they move among the fallen leaves. Their colours vary much, but are usually in harmony with their surroundings and habits. Those that climb about walls and rocks are stone-coloured, and sometimes nearly black; the house lizards are grey or pale-ashy, and are hardly visible on a palm-leaf thatch, or even on a white-washed ceiling. In the forest they are often mottled with ashy-green, like lichen-grown bark. Most of the ground-lizards are yellowish or brown; but some are of beautiful green colours, with very long and slender tails. These are among the most active and lively; and instead of crawling on their bellies like many lizards, they stand well upon their feet and scamper about with the agility and vivacity of kittens. Their tails are very brittle ; a slight blow causing them to snap off, when a new one grows, which is, however, not so perfectly formed and completely scaled as the original member. It is not uncommon, when a tail is half broken, for a new one to grow out of the wound, producing the curious phenomenon of a forked tail. There are about 1,300 different kinds of lizards known, the great majority of which inhabit the tropics, and they probably increase in numbers towards the equator. A rich vegetation and a due proportion of moisture and sunshine seem favourable to them, as shown by their great abundance and their varied kinds at Para and in the Aru Islands—places which are nearly the antipodes of each other, but which both enjoy the fine equatorial climate in perfection, and are alike pre-eminent in the variety and beauty of their insect life. Three peculiar forms of lizard may be mentioned as specially characteristic of the American, African, and Asiatic tropical zones respectively. The iguanas of South America are large arboreal herbivorous lizards of a beautiful green colour, which renders them almost invisible when resting quietly among foliage. They are distinguished by the serrated back, deep dew-lap, and enormously long tail, and are one of the few kinds of lizards whose flesh is considered a delicacy. The chameleons of Africa are also arboreal lizards, and they have the prehensile tail which is more usually found among American animals. They are excessively slow in their motions, and are protected by the wonderful power of changing their colour so as to assimilate it with that of immediately surrounding objects. Like the majority of lizards they are insectivorous, but they are said to be able to live for months without taking food. The dragons or flying lizards of India and the larger Malay islands, are perhaps the most curious and interesting of living reptiles, owing to their power of passing through the air by means of wing-like membranes, which stretch along each side of the body and are expanded by means of slender bony processes from the first six false ribs. These membranes are folded up close to the body when not in use, and are then almost imperceptible ; but when open they form a nearly circular web, the upper surface I
of which is generally zoned with red or yellow in a highly ornamental manner. By means of this parachute the animal can easily pass from one tree to another for a distance of about thirty feet, descending at first, but as it approaches its destination rising a little so as to reach the tree with its head erect. They are very small, being usually not more than two or three inches long exclusive of the slender tail; and when the wings are expanded in the sunshine they more resemble some strange insect than one of the reptile tribe. Snakes.—Snakes are, fortunately, not so abundant or so obtrusive as lizards, or the tropics would be scarcely habitable. At first, indeed, the traveller is disposed to wonder that he does not see more of them, but he will soon find out that there are plenty; and, if he is possessed by the usual horror or dislike of them, he may think there are too many. In the equatorial zone snakes are less troublesome than in the drier parts of the tropics, although they are probably more numerous and more varied. This is because the country is naturally a vast forest, and the snakes being all adapted to a forest life do not as a rule frequent gardens and come into houses as in India and Australia, where they are accustomed to open and rocky places. One cannot traverse the forest, however, without soon coming upon them. The slender green whip-snakes glide among the bushes, and may often be touched before they are seen. The ease and rapidity with which these snakes pass through bushes, almost without disturbing a leaf, is very curious. More dangerous are the green vipers, which lie coiled motionless upon foliage, where their colour renders it difficult to see them. The writer has often come upon them while creeping through the jungle after birds or insects, and has sometimes only had time to draw back when they were within a few inches of his face. It is startling in walking along a forest path to see a long snake glide away from just where you were going to set down your foot; but it is perhaps even more alarming to hear a long-drawn heavy slur-r-r, and just to catch a glimpse of a serpent as thick as your leg and an unknown number of feet in length, showing that you must have passed unheeding within a short distance of where it was lying. The smaller pythons are not however dangerous, and they often enter houses to catch and feed upon the rats, and are rather liked by the natives. You will sometimes be told, when sleeping in a native house, that there is a large snake in the roof, and that you need not be disturbed in case you should hear it hunting after its prey. These serpents no doubt sometimes grow to an enormous size, but such monsters are rare. In Borneo, Mr. St. John states that he measured one twenty-six feet long, probably the largest ever measured by a European in the East. The great water-boa of South America is believed to reach the largest size. Mr. Bates measured skins twenty-one feet long, but the largest ever met with by a European appears to be that described by the botanist, Dr. Gardiner, in his Travels in Brazil. It had devoured a horse, and was found dead, entangled in the branches of a tree overhanging a river, into which it had been carried by a flood. It was nearly forty feet long. These creatures are said to seize and devour full-sized cattle on the Rio Branco; and from what is known of their habits this is by no means improbable.
Frogs and Toads—The only Amphibia that often meet the traveller's eye in equatorial countries are the various kinds of frogs and toads, and especially the elegant tree-frogs. When the rainy season begins, and dried-up pools and ditches become filled with water, there is a strange nightly concert produced by the frogs, some of which croak, others bellow, while many have clanging, or chirruping, and not unmusical notes. In roads and gardens one occasionally meets huge toads six or seven inches long ; but the most abundant and most interesting of the tribe are those adapted for an arboreal life, and hence called tree-frogs. Their toes terminate in discs, by means of which they can cling firmly to leaves and stems. The majority of them are green or brown, and these usually feed at night, sitting quietly during the day so as to be almost invisible, owing to their colour and their moist shining skins so closely resembling vegetable surfaces. Many are beautifully marbled and spotted, and when sitting on leaves resemble large beetles more than frogs, while others are adorned with bright and staring colours; and these, as Mr. Belt has discovered, have nauseous secretions which render them uneatable, so that they have no need to conceal themselves. Some of these are bright blue, others are adorned with yellow stripes, or have a red body with blue legs. Of the smaller tree-frogs of the tropics there must be hundreds of species still unknown to naturalists.
Mammals—Monkeys.-The highest class of animals, the Mammalia, although sufficiently abundant in all equatorial lands, are those which are least seen by the traveller. There is, in fact, only one group—the