Homes without hands, a description of the habitations of animals

Front Cover
Longmans, Green, 1865 - 632 pages

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page i - HOMES WITHOUT HANDS; a Description of the Habitations of Animals, classed according to their Principle of Construction.
Page 535 - On these occasions, his responses are constant and rapid, strongly expressive of anger and anxiety ; and while the bird itself remains unseen, the voice shifts from place to place, among the bushes, as if it proceeded from a spirit.
Page 233 - ... flew to the face of the rock, which was thickly clothed with soft dry moss, and hovering on the wing, as if before a flower, began to pluck the moss, until she had a large bunch of it in her beak; then I saw her fly to the nest, and having seated herself in it, proceed to place the new...
Page 291 - 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 39 - As is the case with the snow-covered sheep, the hidden Bear may be discovered by means of the little hole which is made by the warm breath, and is rendered more distinguishable by the hoarfrost which collects around it. This curious abode is not sought by every Polar Bear. None of the males trouble themselves to spend so much time in a state of seclusion ; and as the only use of the retreat is to shelter the young, the unmarried females roam freely about during the winter months. The habit of partial...
Page 450 - ... closed at midday, the same as they are at night. 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...
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 464 - 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 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...

Bibliographic information