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, 1. köide

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J. Murray, 1863 - 351 pages

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Page 54 - In this it is not essentially different from other climbing trees and plants, but the way the Matador sets about it is peculiar, and produces certainly a disagreeable impression. It springs up close to the tree on which it intends to fix itself, and the wood of its stem grows by spreading itself like a plastic mould over one side of the trunk of its supporter. It then puts forth from each side an arm-like branch, which grows rapidly, and looks as though a stream of sap were flowing and hardening...
Page 73 - 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.
Page 72 - The few sounds of birds are of that pensive and mysterious character which intensifies the feeling of solitude rather than imparts a sense of life and cheerfulness.
Page 54 - ... becomes tightly clasped by a number of inflexible rings. These rings gradually grow larger as the murderer flourishes, rearing its crown of foliage to the sky mingled with that of its neighbour, and in course of time they kill it by stopping the flow of its sap. The strange spectacle then remains of the selfish parasite clasping in its arms the lifeless and decaying body of its victim, which had been a help to its own growth. Its ends have been served — it has flowered and fruited, reproduced...
Page 32 - ... creatures from the cavernous depths of the mine reminded me, when I first observed them, of the Cyclopes of Homeric fable. They were not very pugnacious, as I feared they would be, and I had no difficulty in securing a few with my fingers. I never saw them under any other circumstances than those here related, and what their special functions may -be I cannot divine.
Page 61 - 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. After breakfast we devoted the hours from 10 am to 2 or 3 pm to entomology ; the best time for insects in the forest being a little before the greatest heat of the day.
Page 26 - It is a most interesting sight to see the vast host of busy diminutive labourers occupied on this work. Unfortunately they choose cultivated trees for their purpose. This ant is quite peculiar to Tropical America, as is the entire genus to which it belongs; it sometimes despoils the young trees of species growing wild in its native forests ; but it seems to prefer, when within reach, plants imported from other countries, such as the coffee and orange trees. It has not hitherto been shown satisfactorily...
Page 250 - It was lively only for two or three, and then its loud note could be heard from one end of the village to the other. When it died he gave me the specimen, the only one I was able to procure. It is a member of the family Locustidae, a group intermediate between the Crickets (Achetidae) and the Grasshoppers (Acridiidae).
Page 63 - First, the cool sea-breeze, which commenced to blow about 10 o'clock, and which had increased in force with the increasing power of the sun, would flag and finally die away. The heat and electric tension of the atmosphere would then become almost insupportable. Languor and uneasiness would seize on every one ; even, the denizens of the forest betraying it by their motions.
Page 292 - The deep volume of sound in the voice of the howling monkeys, as is well known, is produced by a drum-shaped expansion of the larynx. It was curious to watch the animal whilst venting its hollow cavernous roar, and observe how small was the muscular exertion employed. When howlers are seen in the forest there are generally three or four of them mounted on the topmost branches of a tree. It does not appear that their harrowing roar is emitted from sudden alarm ; at least, it was not so in captive...

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