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cult to kill one as it is in England to shoot the common
wild goose. In the time of Pernety (1763) all the birds at the Falklands appear to have been much tamer than at present, and about as tame as they now are at the Gala. pagos. Even formerly, when all the birds were so tame,
it was impossible, by Perne1987
ty's account, to kill the black. necked swan-a bird of pas
sage, which probably brought with it the wisdom learned in foreign countries.
From these several facts we may, I think, conclude that there is no way of accounting for the wildness of birds toward man except as an inherited habit. Com- . paratively few young birds, in any one year, have been injured by man in England, yet almost all, even nestlings, are afraid of him. On the other hand, many individual birds, both at the Galapagos and at the Falklands, have been pursued and injured by
man, but yet have not learned a wholesome dread of him. From these facts, too, we may guess what havoc the intro. duction of any new beast of prey must cause in a country before the instincts of the native inhabitants have become adapted to the stranger's craft or power.
The most remarkable instance I have known of an insect being caught far from the land, was that of a large grasshopper (Acrydium), which flew board when the Beagle was to windward of the Cape de Verd Islands, and when the nearest point of land not directly opposed to the trade-wind was Cape Blanco, on the coast of Africa, three hundred and seventy miles distant.
SHORTLY before we arrived at Luxan (province of Men. doza, La Plata) we observed to the south a l'agged cloud, of a dark reddish brown color. At first we thought that it was smoke from some great fire on the plains; but we soon found that it was a swarm of locusts. They were flying
northward; and, with the aid of a light breeze, they overtook us at a rate of ten or fifteen miles an hour. The main body filled the air from a height of twenty feet to that, as it appeared, of two or three thousand above the ground;“and the
sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle;" or rather, I should say, like a strong breeze passing through the rigging of a ship. They were not so thick together but that they could escape a stick waved backward and forward. The poor cottagers in vain
attempted, by lighting fires, by shouts, and by waving branches, to ward off the attack. When the locusts alighted they were more numerous than the leaves in the field, and the surface became reddish instead of green. Locusts are not an uncommon pest in this country; already, during this season, several smaller swarms had come up from the south, where, as apparently in all other parts of the world, they are bred in the deserts.
A SMALL dark-colored ant sometimes migrates in great numbers. One day, at Bahia, my attention was drawn by observing many spiders, cockroaches, and other insects, and some lizards, rushing in the greatest agitation across a bare
piece of ground. A little way behind, every stalk and leaf was blackened by a small ant. The swarm having crossed the bare space, divided itself and descended an old wall. By this means many insects were fairly enclosed; and the efforts which the poor little creatures made to extricate themselves from such a death were wonderful. When the ants came to the road they changed their course, and in narrow files reascended the wall.
When I placed a small stone so as to intercept one of the lines, the whole body attacked it, and then immediately retired. Shortly afterward another body came to the charge, and again having failed to make any impression, this line of march was entirely given up.
By going an inch round the file might have avoided the stone, and this doubtless would have happened if it had been there in the beginning; but having been attacked, the lion-hearted little warriors scorned the idea of yielding
I was much interested one day by watching, in the neighborhood of Rio, a deadly contest between a Pepsis and a large spider of the genus Lycosa. The wasp made a sud. den dash at its prey, and then flew away: the spider was evidently wounded, for, trying to escape, it rolled down a little slope, but had still strength enough to crawl into a thick tuft of grass. The wasp soon returned, and seemed surprised at not finding its victim at once.
It then com menced as regular a hunt as ever hound did after fox; mak