Natural History: Its Rise and Progress in Britain as Developed in the Life and Labours of Leading Naturalists

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W. & R. Chambers, 1886 - 312 pages
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Page 282 - I should premise that I use this term [Struggle for Existence] in a large and metaphorical sense including dependence of one being on another, and including (which is more important) not only the life of the individual, but success in leaving progeny.
Page 229 - Fifthly, from their first rudiment or primordium to the termination of their lives, all animals undergo perpetual transformations; which are in part produced by their own exertions in consequence of their desires and aversions, of their pleasures and their pains, or of irritations or of associations; and many of these acquired forms or propensities are transmitted to their posterity.
Page 114 - When one reflects on the state of this strange being, it is a matter of wonder to find that Providence should bestow such a profusion of days, such a seeming waste of longevity, on a reptile that appears to relish it so little as to squander more than two thirds of its existence in a joyless stupor, and be lost to all sensation for months together in the profoundest of slumbers.
Page 116 - A good ornithologist should be able to distinguish birds by their air, as well as by their colours and shape, on the ground as well as on the wing, and in the bush as well as in the hand.
Page 133 - The height at which he thus elegantly glides is various, from one hundred to one hundred and fifty and two hundred feet, sometimes much higher, all the while calmly reconnoitring the face of the deep below. Suddenly he is seen to check his course, as if struck by a particular object, which he seems to survey for a few moments with such steadiness that he appears fixed in air, flapping his wings. This object, however, he abandons, or rather the fish he had in his eye has disappeared and he is seen...
Page 135 - And, plunging, shows us where to find 'em. Yo ho, my hearts ! let 's seek the deep, Ply every oar, and cheerily wish her, While the slow bending net we sweep, "God bless the fish-hawk and the fisher...
Page 231 - All which seem to have been gradually produced during many generations by the perpetual endeavour of the creatures to supply the want of food, and to have been delivered to their posterity with constant improvement of them for the purposes required.
Page 273 - The whole train of animated beings, from the simplest and oldest up to the highest and most recent, are, then, to be regarded as a series of advances of the principle of development, which have depended upon external physical circumstances, to which the resulting animals are appropriate.
Page 300 - The laws governing inheritance are for the most part unknown. No one can say why the same peculiarity in different individuals of the same species, or in different species, is sometimes inherited and sometimes not so; why the child often reverts in certain characters to its grandfather or grandmother or more remote ancestor...
Page 231 - The contrivances for the purposes of security extend even to vegetables, as is seen in the wonderful and various means of their concealing or defending their honey from insects and their seeds from birds. On the other hand, swiftness of wing has been acquired by hawks and swallows to pursue their prey ; and a proboscis of admirable structure has been acquired by the bee, the moth, and the humming bird for the purpose of plundering the nectaries of flowers. All which seem to have been formed by the...

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