The Treasury of Natural History: Or, A Popular Dictionary of Animated Nature: ... to which are Added, a Syllabus of Practical Taxidermy, and a Glossarial Appendix

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Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1848 - 812 pages

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Page 123 - In the month of September these beetles gather on the locust trees, where they may be seen glittering in the sunbeams, with their gorgeous livery of black velvet and gold, coursing up and down the trunks in pursuit of their mates, or to drive away their rivals, and stopping every now and then to salute those they meet with a rapid bowing of the shoulders, accompanied by a creaking sound indicative of recognition or defiance. Having paired, the female, attended by her partner, creeps over the bark,...
Page 459 - ... for at least three weeks, making only the same allowance for them as for the old ones, their share would amount to four thousand two hundred millions; making a grand total of sixteen thousand two hundred millions of noxious insects destroyed in the space of four months by this single species! The combined ravages of such a hideous host of vermin would be sufficient to spread famine and desolation over a wide extent of the richest and best cultivated country on earth.
Page 34 - So far are the beavers from driving stakes into the ground when building their houses, that they lay most of the wood crosswise, and nearly horizontal, and without any other order than that of leaving a hollow or cavity in the middle. When any unnecessary branches project inward they cut them off with their teeth, and throw them in among the rest, to prevent the mud from falling through the roof. It is a mistaken notion that the wood-work is...
Page 322 - Maitsha, being very intent on observation, I heard something pass behind me towards the bed, but upon looking round could perceive nothing. Having finished what I was then about, I went out of my tent, resolving directly to return, which I immediately did, when I perceived large blue eyes glaring at me in the dark.
Page 346 - The length of the peacock, from the tip of the bill to the end of the tail', is about three feet eight inches.
Page 373 - ... or rather I should say, like a strong breeze passing through the rigging of a ship. The sky, seen through the advanced guard, appeared like a mezzotinto engraving, but the main body was impervious to sight ; they were not, however, so thick together, but that they could escape a stick waved backwards and forwards.
Page 33 - Who hath sent out the wild ass free? Or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass? Whose house I have made the wilderness, And the barren land his dwellings. He scorneth the multitude of the city, Neither regardeth he the crying of the driver. The range of the mountains is his pasture, And he searcheth after every green thing.
Page 155 - This cuttle-fish displayed its chameleon-like power both during the act of swimming and whilst remaining stationary at the bottom. I was much amused by the various arts to escape detection used by one individual, which seemed fully aware that I was watching it. Remaining for a time motionless, it would then stealthily advance an inch or two, like a cat after a mouse; sometimes changing its colour : it thus proceeded, till having gained a deeper part, it darted away, leaving a dusky train of ink to...
Page 454 - His motion on the ground was plainly not his natural mode of progression, for even when assisted by his hands or a stick, it was slow and vacillating : it was necessary to see him amongst trees in order to estimate his agility and strength. On being driven to a small clump...
Page 460 - From dawn to nearly sunset, this open and daring devastation is carried on, under the eye of the proprietor; and a farmer, who has any considerable extent of corn, would require half-adozen men at least, with guns, to guard it; and even then, all their vigilance and activity would not prevent a good tithe of it from becoming the prey of the blackbirds. The Indians, who usually plant their corn in one general field, keep the whole young boys of the village all day patrolling round and among it; and...

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