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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E. Bumpus, 1888 - 403 pages

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Page 173 - As we see those animals, whose instinct compels them to live in society and obey a chief, are most capable of improvement, so is it with the races of mankind. Whether we look at it as a cause or a consequence, the more civilized always have the most artificial governments.
Page 353 - ... at Caraccas, as well as at Calabozo, preparations were made to put the place into a state of defence against an enemy, who seemed to be advancing with heavy artillery. Mr. Palacio, crossing the rio Apura below the Orivante, near the junction of the rio Nula, was told by the inhabitants, that the "firing of cannon...
Page 316 - I had an opportunity of proving in Brazil that some birds, if not all, reject the Heliconii butterflies, which are closely resembled by butterflies of other families and by moths. I observed a pair of birds that were bringing butterflies and dragonflies to their young, and although the Heliconii swarmed in the neighborhood and are of weak flight so as to be easily caught, the birds never brought one to their nest.
Page 321 - Loc. cit. p. 321. show that he does not court concealment. He is very abundant in the damp woods, and I was convinced he was uneatable so soon as I made his acquaintance and saw the happy sense of security with which he hopped about. I took a few specimens home with...
Page 26 - ... communicated the intelligence to the others. They rushed to the rescue : some bit at the stone, and tried to move it ; others seized the prisoner by the legs, and tugged with such force that I thought the legs would be pulled off — but they persevered until they got the captive free. I next covered one up with a piece of clay, leaving only the ends of the antennae projecting. It was soon discovered by its fellows, which set to work immediately, and by biting off pieces of the clay soon liberated...
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 57 - On each side of the road great trees towered up, carrying their crowns out of sight amongst a canopy of foliage, and with lianas hanging from nearly every bough, and passing from tree to tree, entangling the giants in a great network of coiling cables. Sometimes a tree appears covered with beautiful flowers which do not belong to it but to one of the lianas that twines through its branches and sends down great rope-like stems to the ground. Climbing ferns and vanilla cling to the trunks, and a thousand...
Page 59 - ... 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 in detail untold variety and beauty.
Page 29 - ... 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, nor vexed with the endless complaints of his wife? He is not afraid of the misery of his children, nor is he contriving how to raise a portion for his daughters, but is secure in this, that both he and his wife, his children and grandchildren, to as many generations as he can fancy, will all live both plentifully...
Page 221 - 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...

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