Homes Without Hands: Being a Description of the Habitations of Animals, Classed According to Their Principle of Construction

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D. Appleton & Company, 1866 - 651 pages

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Page 233 - I saw her fly to the nest, and having seated herself in it proceeded to place the new materials, pressing and arranging and interweaving the whole with her beak, while she fashioned the cup-like form of the interior by the pressure of her white breast, moving round and round as she sat. My presence appeared to be no hindrance to her proceedings, although only a few feet distant ; at length she left the place and I left also.
Page 372 - I have not the slightest doubt of it. And, my conclusions have not been arrived at from hasty or careless observation, nor from seeing the Ants do something that looked a little like it, and then guessing the results.
Page 7 - Around this keep are driven two circular passages, or galleries, one just level with the ceiling and the other at some height above.
Page 123 - The third order of workers is the most curious of all. If the top of a small, fresh hillock, one in which the thatching process is going on, be taken off, a broad cylindrical shaft is disclosed, at a depth of about two feet from the surface. If this be probed with a stick, which may be done to the extent of three or four feet without touching bottom, a small number of colossal fellows will slowly begin to make their way up the smooth sides of the mine.
Page 468 - The nest is usually fixed among the horizontal branches of an apple-tree; sometimes in a solitary thorn, crab or cedar, in some retired part of the woods. It is constructed with little art, and scarcely any concavity, of small sticks and twigs, intermixed with green weeds, and blossoms of the common maple. On this almost flat bed, the eggs, usually three or four in number, are placed; these are of a uniform greenish blue colour, and of a size proportionable to that of the bird. While the female is...
Page 154 - Sometimes they dig rather too much on one side, and then they appear sadly puzzled, running round and round the bird, getting on it as if to press it down with their weight, pulling it this way and that way ; and at last they do what they ought to have done at first, namely, disappear under the bird and scrape away the earth until the hole is large enough to allow the bird to sink into the required position. The time occupied in the transaction necessarily varies, according to the size of the buried...
Page 114 - ... and reddish hairs. I was attracted by a movement of the monster on a treetrunk ; it was close beneath a deep crevice in the tree, across which was stretched a dense white web. The lower part of the web was broken, and two small birds, finches, were entangled...
Page 327 - On the 19th (February) we passed the nest of a Korwe', just ready for the female to enter; the orifice was plastered on both sides, but a space was left of a heart shape, and exactly the size of the bird's body. The hole in the tree was in every case found to be prolonged some distance upward above the opening, and thither the Korwe' always fled to escape being caught.
Page 234 - Acoucagua, inhabiting a zone of very great elevation, seldom being seen less than ten thousand feet above the level of the sea. With the exception of a bright emerald-green gorget, it is rather a dull-coloured bird, the prevailing hue being brown. The nest is shaped something like a hammock, not unlike that of the lanceolated honey-eater, described and figured on page 226, and is fastened, not to.
Page 123 - No. 2, but the front is clothed with hairs instead of being polished, and they have in the middle of the forehead a twin ocellus, or simple eye, of quite different structure from the ordinary compound eyes on the sides of the head. This frontal eye is totally wanting in the other workers, and is not known in any other kind of ant. The apparition of these strange creatures from the enormous depths of the mine reminded me, when I first observed them, of the Cyclopes of Homeric fable.

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