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

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Harper & Brothers, 1866 - 651 pages

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Page iii - HOMES WITHOUT HANDS; a Description of the Habitations of Animals, classed according to their Principle of Construction.
Page 3 - The English Language in its Elements and Forms. With a History of its Origin and Development, and a full Grammar. Designed for Use in Colleges and Schools.
Page 309 - ... or rose-coloured silk, and is frequently seen in the narrow alleys of the forest, suspended from the extreme tip of an outstanding leaf by a strong silken thread five or six inches in length. It forms a very conspicuous object, hanging thus in midair. The glossy threads with which it is knitted are stout, and the structure is therefore not liable to be torn by the beaks of insectivorous birds, whilst its pendulous position makes it doubly secure against their attacks, the apparatus giving way...
Page 310 - When the caterpillar begins its work, it lets itself down from the tip of the leaf which it has chosen, by spinning a thread of silk, the thickness of which it slowly increases as it descends. Having given the proper length to the cord, it proceeds to weave its elegant bag, placing itself in the centre and spinning rings of silk at regular intervals, connecting them at the same time by means of...
Page 488 - 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.
Page 475 - In the midst of this dreary drought, it was wonderful to see those tiny creatures, the ants, running about with their accustomed vivacity. I put the bulb of a thermometer three inches under the soil, in the sun, at midday, and found the mercury to stand at 132° to 134°; and if certain kinds of beetles were placed on the surface, they ran about a few seconds and expired. But this broiling heat only augmented the activity of the long-legged black ants...
Page 345 - Kolobeng, that the bird comes forth when the young are fully fledged, at the period when the corn is ripe ; indeed, her appearance abroad with her young, is one of the signs they have for knowing when it ought to be so. As that is about the end of April, the time is between two and three months. She is said sometimes to hatch two eggs, and when the young of these are full-fledged, other two are just out of the egg-shells : she then leaves the nest with the two elder, the orifice is again plastered...
Page 24 - Five short descending passages connect the galleries with each other, but the only entrance into the keep is from the upper gallery, out of which three passages lead into the ceiling of the keep.
Page 143 - 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 107 - ... is constantly employed in filling up the burrows which these crabs have made. Were not this precaution taken, there would be many accidents to horsemen. The mode of excavation employed by this creature is rather peculiar. It " burrows in the dry soil, making deep excavations, bringing up literally armfuls of sand, which, with a spring in the air, and employing its other limbs, it jerks far from its burrows, distributing it in a circle to the distance of many feet.

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