Animal biography, or, Popular zoology, Volume 4

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Page 239 - The remark that I shall make on these cobweb-like appearances, called gossamer, is, that strange and superstitious as the notions about them were formerly, nobody in these days doubts but that they are the real production of small spiders, which swarm in the fields in fine weather in autumn, and have a power of shooting out webs from their tails, so as to render themselves buoyant and lighter than air.
Page 52 - They are particularly fond of kitchens and bakers' ovens, on account of their perpetual warmth. Tender insects that live abroad either enjoy only the short period of one summer, or else doze away the cold uncomfortable months in profound slumbers ; but these, residing as it were in a torrid zone, are always alert and merry7 : a good Christmas fire is to them like the heats of the dog-days.
Page 273 - For, to say nothing of half the birds, and some quadrupeds which are almost entirely supported by them, worms seem to be the great promoters of vegetation, which would proceed but lamely without them, by boring, perforating, and loosening the soil, and rendering it pervious to rains and the fibres of plants, by drawing straws and stalks of leaves and twigs into it ; and, most of all, by throwing up such infinite numbers of lumps of earth called worm-casts, which, being their excrement, is a fine...
Page 156 - There is a sort of wild bee frequenting the garden-campion for the sake of its tomentum, which probably it turns to some purpose in the business of nidification. It is very pleasant to see with what address it strips off the pubes, running from the top to the bottom of a branch, and shaving it bare with all the dexterity of a hoop-shaver. When it has got a vast bundle, almost as large as itself, it flies away, holding it secure between its chin and its fore legs.
Page 253 - ... new. .This also is found to be inconvenient, and it quickly returns to its old shell again. In this manner it frequently changes, till at last it finds one light, roomy, and commodious; to this it adheres, though* the shell be sometimes so large as to hide the body of the animal, claws and all...
Page 249 - The most of them, therefore, are obliged to continue in the flat parts of the country till they recover, making holes in the earth, which they cover at the mouth with leaves and dirt, so that no air may enter.
Page 6 - The noise which these enormous swarms made in seizing and devouring the leaves, was so loud as to have been compared to the distant sawing of timber. Swine and poultry destroyed them in vast numbers.
Page 238 - About nine an appearance very unusual began to demand our attention, a shower of cobwebs falling from very elevated regions, and continuing, without any interruption, till the close of the day.
Page 52 - As one should suppose, from the burning atmosphere which they inhabit they are a thirsty race, and show a great propensity for liquids, being found frequently drowned in pans of water, milk, broth, or the like.
Page 191 - I proposed making the experiment upon these ; they were therefore exposed to the sun upon a sieve, which had been employed to strain them out of the wine. In less than three hours, two of them began by degrees to recover life. They commenced by some convulsive motions...

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