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
J. Murray, 1874 - 403 pages
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amongst ancient animals ants Atlantic attacks Aztec Bates beetles birds branches bushes butterflies Caribs carried cattle Central America Chontales colour continued couvade covered crossed dark dogs Ecitons feet flowers forest fresh-water fruit glacial period gold grass green Greytown ground hills humming-birds Indians inhabitants insects islands Jinotega Juigalpa lake land larv¿ leaf leaf-cutting ants leaves Libertad lodes longicorn look maize Masaya Matagalpa Mestizos Mexican Mexico miles mimetic mines mountain mules Nahuatls natives nearly nest Nicaragua night numerous o'clock Ocotal passed plains plants prey probably quartz race rain range reached resemblance Rio Frio river road rocks San Juan San Ubaldo Santo Domingo savannahs seen side slope soon Spaniards species spiders steep stones surface Teustepe tion told town trachyte travelling trees tropical America valley variety veins Velasquez wasp whilst wings yellow
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 29 - Utopia, where every man has a right to everything, they all know that if care is taken to keep the public stores full no private man can want anything; for among them there is no unequal distribution, so that no man is poor, none in necessity, and though no man has anything, yet they are all rich...
Page 219 - These horns are hollow, and are tenanted by ants, that make a small hole for their entrance and exit near one end of the thorn, and also burrow through the partition that separates the two horns; so that the one entrance serves for both. Here they rear their young, and in the wet season every one of the thorns is tenanted, and hundreds of ants are to be seen running about, especially over the young leaves. If one of these be touched, or a branch shaken, the little ants swarm out from the hollow thorns,...
Page 58 - American forests ; but not less so are the cecropia trees, with their white stems and large palmated leaves standing up like great candelabra. Sometimes the ground is carpeted with large flowers, yellow, pink, or white, that have fallen from some invisible tree-top above ; or the air is filled with a delicious perfume, the source of which one seeks around in vain, for the flowers that cause it are far overhead out of sight, lost in the great overshadowing crown of verdure.
Page 26 - 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 its antennae projecting. It was soon discovered by its fellows, which set to work immediately, and by biting off pieces of the clay soon liberated it.
Page 271 - Atlantis there existed a confederation of kings, of great and marvelous power, which held sway over all the island, and over many other islands also and parts of the continent; and moreover, of the lands here within the Straits they ruled over Libya as far as Egypt, and over Europe as far as Tuscany.
Page 77 - Between the old burrows and the new one was a steep slope. Instead of descending this with their burdens, they cast them down on the top of the slope, whence they rolled down to the bottom, where another relay of labourers picked them up and carried them to the new burrow. It was amusing to watch the ants hurrying out with bundles of food, dropping them over the slope, and rushing
Page 83 - ... were continually passing and repassing. Every time they came along a number of ants were crushed to death. They persevered in crossing for some time, but at last set to work and tunnelled underneath each rail. One day, when the...
Page 321 - He cannot be mistaken for any other, and his flaming vest and blue stockings 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 me, and tried my fowls and ducks with them ; but none would touch them.
Page 228 - When an ant came up to a cluster of leaf-hoppers attended by a wasp, the latter would not attempt to grapple with its rival on the leaf, but would fly off and hover over the ant; then when its little foe was well exposed, it would dart at it, and strike it to the ground. The action was so quick that I could not determine whether it struck with its fore-feet or its jaws; but I think it was with the feet. I often saw a wasp trying to clear a leaf from ants that were already in full possession of a...