« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
with its feet. As soon as it arrived near the edge, but being still under water, it tried to conceal itself in the tufts of seaweed, or it entered some crevice. As soon as it thought the danger was past, it crawled out on the dry rocks, and shuf fled away as quickly as it could. I several times caught this
same lizard by driving it down to a point, and though hav ing such perfect powers of diving and swimming, nothing would induce it to enter the water; and, as often as I threw it in, it returned in the manner I have just described. Perhaps this apparent stupidity may be explained by the fact
that this reptile has no enemy whatever on shore, whereas at sea it must often fall a prey to the numerous sharks. Hence, probably, a fixed and hereditary instinct that the shore is its place of safety; so that whatever the danger may be, there it takes refuge.
We will now turn to the land species of Amblyrhyncus, with a round tail and toes without a web. Some of these lizards inhabit the high and damp parts of the islands, but they are much more numerous in the lower and barren dis tricts near the coast. I cannot give a more forcible proof of their numbers than by stating that, when we were left at James Island, we could not for some time find a spot free from their burrows on which to pitch our single tent. Like their brothers, the sea-kind, they are ugly animals, of a yel lowish orange beneath, and of a brownish-red color above. When making its burrow, this animal works by turns the opposite sides of its body. One front leg for a short time scratches up the soil and throws it toward the hind foot, which is well placed so as to heave it beyond the mouth of the hole. That side of the body being tired, the other takes up the task, and so on alternately. I watched one for a long time, till half its body was buried; I then walked up and pulled it by the tail; at this it was greatly astonished, and soon shuffled up to see what was the matter, and then stared me in the face, as much as to say, "What made you pull my tail?"
They feed by day, and do not wander far from their bur rows; if frightened, they rush to them with a most awkward gait. When attentively watching any one, they curl their
tails, and, raising themselves on their front legs, nod their heads up and down, and try to look very fierce; but in reality they are not at all so; if one just stamps on the ground, down go their tails, and off they shuffle as quickly as they
CACTUS GROWTH IN THE DESERTS OF UTAH.
I have often seen small fly-eating lizards, when watch. ing anything, nod their heads in precisely the same manner, but I do not at all know for what purpose. If this Ambly. rhyncus is held and plagued with a stick, it will bite it very