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Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from
Natural History Magazine, Inc.




June-Decem her


Published by



June, No. 1

Letters 1

The Tall Truth John Eric Hill 3

A "Lost" German Colony Thomas Gilliard 7

In an African Volcano Martin Birnbaum 14

Seeing Nature Through the Camera's Eye Henrv B. Kane 20

Queen of Flowers Harriet Geithmann 24

Reptiles Under the Sun CM. Bogert 26

The Story of the Praying Mantis 38

Birth Comes to the Bittern Nest A. Dawes Du Bois 41

The Human Bot Fly C. H. Curran 45

Modern Eskimo Art Margaret E. Murie 49

Archaeologist, Self-Made D. R. Barton 53

Your New Books 58

Information Test 61

Bring 'Era Back Alive— Wit /i Movies Charles H. Coles 63

September, No. 2

Letters 65

The Tall Truth 67

Nature's Birth and Babies Raymond L. Ditmars 71

The Roadrunner in Fact and Folklore J. Frank Dobie 74

The Big Tom of Beaver Dam Wash James L. Clark 83

Geometric Spider Lee Passmore 94

Cycle of Life— A Chart 96

Whitney Wing Robert Cushman Murphy 98

Man and Music Mary Huntington 107

Seeing Nature Through the Camera's Eye Henry B. Kane 116

Information Test 118

The Book and the Beast D. R. Barton 1 19

Your New Books 124

Color Photography of Flowers F. H. Pough 128

October, No. 3

Letters 129

Man-o'-War Robert Cushman Murphy 133

In the Days of the Giants Donald Culross Peattie 144

The Amateur Bird Bander Edwin A. Mason 149

The Chain of Life Roy L. Abbott 155

When the Earth Is Electrocuted H. E. Yokes 158

The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of the Plant World Henricks Hodge 160

The Lost Jicaques V. Wolfgang von Hagen 168

The Feast of the Starfish Kees Hana 178

War and Wildlife D. R. Barton 180

Your New Books 185

Information Test 189

Miniature Monsters Charles H. Coles 190

Prize Winning Photographs 191

November, No. 4

Letters 193

The Tall Truth John Eric Hill 193

The Pearl of Allah Wilburn Dowell Cobb 197

An Evolutionist Goes Shell Hunting William K. Gregory 203

Tiger! Tiger! J. B. H. Thurston 213

It's Turkey Time Ewald Gnilka 217

The Red Quail George H. Hall 220

The Lungfish Homer W. Smith 224

How to Know Footprints Ellsworth Jaeger 226

Two Deer in a Glade Helen Morrow 233

Information Test 233

Iran Sidney J. Legendre 234

Exploring Human Nature D. R. Barton 246

Your New Books 251

Camera Safari Charles H. Coles 254

Prize Winning Photographs 255

December, No. 5

Letters 257

Hitch Your Camera to a Star Charles H. Coles 258

The Tall Truth Martin Birnbaum 259

A Winter in Remote Burma Harold E. Anthony 263

Friend Bufo Roy L. Abbott 277

The Story of Coffee Dean Freiday 281

The Strange Story of the Stephens Stones Carl C. Dauterman 288

Information Test 297

Reception in Ruanda Martin Birnbaum 298

Food the World Over D. R. Barton 308

Your New Books 312

Index to Volume XLIV 317



Your Natural History Magazine lias
always been of great interest to me.

I have been particularly interested in tbe
articles of Roy L. Abbott. I judge he is a
comparatively new contributor as I do not
recall seeing his name in years past.

His observations of natural life are pre-
sented from the layman's viewpoint which
should inspire every motorist of the high-
way or stroller of the byways with greater
interest in our little friends of fur and

Battle Creek,

. . . The magazine seems to grow more
interesting with each number. We enjoy it.

Mrs. John F. Gregory.

Millerton, Pa.


Avidly as I read each issue of the
N.^TURAL History, may I this time express
my especial appreciation for Mr. Barton's
"Your Name, Please," in the April num-
ber? In point of information, wit and lit-
erary style I found it unusually satisfac-
tory. . . .

May I say, too, how much I enjoy your
pictures of microscopic life? As a layman
I find my brief glimpses into this other
world most fascinating.

Helen A. Askren.
University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor.


Doubtless Dr. R. P. Wodehouse, author
of "Weeds, Waste and Hayfever," in your
March issue, would be interested to know
the following correction to which I take
the liberty to call his attention, in the range
of the Giant Ragweed in Chart C.

I was engaged last summer by the Board
of Health of Meriden, Conn., to stimulate
a ragweed elimination campaign and in
my investigations I found the Giant Rag-
weed exceedingly common over much of
Connecticut where it was unknown to me
prior to entering conservation work in
Massachusetts in 1923. Chart C gives its
eastern range as the Hudson River Valley,
New Y'ork State ; but it is now rapidly
spreading up the Connecticut Valley, grow-
ing to great height on the more fertile soil.

In my opinion it is too coarse to be of
great value as a humus producer, and ef-
fort should be made to control it, particu-
larly along the highways where we cannot
expect any transition back to forests in
"1999 to 2300," as per illustration in
above article, without the death of Amer-
ican civilization expected.

Lester W. Smith.

Sarasota, Fla.

Dear Mr. Smith;

Thank you for your letter of May 8th. I
am glad to have you tell me of your expe-
rience with the Giant Ragweed in Connec-
ticut. Of course, it occurs much farther
east than indicated on the map. In fact,
Tall Ragweed is recorded botanically for
all of the New England States and Mari-
time Provinces. But the boundary lines on
the map are expected to show only the effec-
tive ranges of the plants concerned, as sug-
gested by the title, "Hayfever Pollens." The
New England States were entirely omitted
from the range of Tall Ragweed, because
after traveling over much of Massachu-
setts, Connecticut and Vermont I failed to
find the Tall Ragweed growing in effective
quantities in these states.

Of course, I agree with you that the Rag-
weed is a comparatively poor humus for-
mer, though it is much better than nothing.
In fact, the main reason for writing the
article was to emphasize the fact that soil
must be covered and that there is always
something better to cover it with than

I do not intend to advocate the with-
drawal of soil from any useful purpose,
upon which American civilization in the
slightest degree depends ; such soil does not
produce Ragweed. Instead, I wished to
point out that the Ragvi'eed phase is tran-
sitory and, if left to Nature, will rather
quickly pass, but that disturbances of the
ground, even including digging,cutting and
burning of the Ragweed, tends to perpetu-
ate the Ragweed by maintaining the soil in
the only condition in which the weed can
long survive.

I wish to thank you for your interest in
"Weeds, Waste and Hayfever."

R. P. Wodehouse,
Scientific Director
of Hay Fever Laboratory.

The Arlington Chemical Co.,
Yonkers, N. Y.



In my garden at Caracas, Venezuela, I
had a curious encounter, which I think is
of sufficient interest to relate:

Early one morning my maid, in great ex-
citement, called me to look out of my win-
dow. From where I stood I saw what ap-
peared to be a great, slow-moving gray
snake, aboutfifteentoeighteenfeetlong, and
about five inches wide. Observing that my
gardener, an Indian, wasstanding very near
and apparently unafraid and, not being
timid myself, I rushed out to see this "ser-
pent." He called It "Gusano" and It proved
to be a most perfect formation of migrating
caterpillars. At the head was the largest
one, and from one end to the other the
caterpillars were so closely packed together
as to form a solid mass. Their upper bodies
were covered with bristling gray hairs,
while underneath they were pure ver-
milion, with round, red suction cups for
feet. The mass moved slowly, spinning

;^ U^fft^s Mst /fowled H/dtiA


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n lilts''


PrdifflJB'd'bY '^^ American Museum
of Natural History — sponsored by
Longines Watches — ' Time and
Space" is a World's Fair super-
feature. Also see the Longines
collection of historical timepieces
containing the original Longines
Watches used by Byrd, Lindbergh,
Wilkens, Hughes and others in their
history -making flights. Longines
Watches priced $40 upward are sold
by authorized Longines Jewelers.



I 7SeWM^i/ffosfMmoiec/iMA




Practical Thoughts on One
of Life's Most Solemn Duties

• It is natural, when bereavement
comes, to seek expression for the love
and devotion that w^e carry in our
hearts. Sentiment demands and cus-
tom decrees a suitable memorial.

• Of all Memorials, only a Carillon
offers the living quality of a vibrant
voice lifted, every day, in tribute to the
one whose name is inscribed on the
dedicatory tablet.

• The music of a Deagan Carillon,
with its suggestion of a heavenly
choir, warms the hearts and lifts the
spirit of all who hear — stands as an
everlasting memorial both to your gen-
erosity and to the gracious qualities
of your loved ones.

• Deagan Carillons are not expen-
sive. Available for as little as $6,000,
they may be installed in your church,
on your estate or on the campus of
your Alma Mater.

• More than 400 men and women
have found deep and lasting comfort
in their selection of Deagan Carillons
— the Memorial Sublime. May we send
you a booklet describing them? . . .
J. C. Deagan, Inc., 2A Deagan Build-
ing, Chicago.




• At the New York
World's Fair you are
invited to hear the
world's largest Caril-
lon playing daily from
the toiver of the Flor-
ida Building. A Dea-
gan product, of course.

thick, viscous webs on which it crawled —
not one worm straying out of the clean-cut
line as they billowed along on their fine
web carpet toward a great mango tree.

I was intensely disturbed, expecting them
to scatter all over the place. But the Indian
quietly took up his spade and, starting at
one end, rolled them over and over into
balls which were held together by the sticky
web. He thus gathered a tubful of squirm-
ing caterpillars and dumped the lot into a
trash fire. So ended the most unique and
exciting migration I ever saw.

When I inquired further about them, all
the Indians could say was "Gusano," which
is the Spanish name for a worm; and that
they passed in this way from one mango
tree to another.

Mary Motz Wills.
Atlanta, Ga.

This phenomenon, known as proces-
sioiiary jnovementj has been observed
in caterpillars in both Europe and Aus-
tralia, particularly in the family Lasio-

campidae. In the United States a some-
what similar habit is seen in the fa-
miliar Tent Caterpillar belonging to
the same family : when the caterpillars
leave the nest to feed they move along
the trunk or branches on well defined
trails formed by the silken threads they
leave. But these caterpillars do not
bunch together to form the spectacu-
lar ''serpent" formation described
above. — Ed.


... I wish to tender to the editors of
Natural History my appreciation of their
excellent work. 1 have often wondered if
it would not be possible to give to us lay-
men a wider aspect of animal life by pre-
senting in forthcoming issues a series of
articles dealing with the high spots in each
of the phyla of the animal kingdom.

William B. McIlwaine, III.
Alexandria, Va.

Herring Gulls from Lake Superior. These birds aid farmers by disposing of
grasshoppers, but in this instance they extended their agriculttiral supervision
to dine on five acres of herring distributed as fertilizer


Have just been enjoying my April num-
ber of your most interesting magazine and
was particularly interested in the article
"In the Life of a Herring Gull," by N. Tin-
bergen. Was rather surprised that the au-
thor did not mention that Herring Gulls
were very plentiful on the Great Lakes,
especially on Lake Superior, where these
birds are, to us, most interesting and we
spend a great deal of time observing them.
Am enclosing a photograph published re-
cently in our paper here, which I think
may be of interest. This farmer has found
by experience now that the Lake Superior
herring is not very satisfactory as a fer-
tilizer. But these birds, as you probably

know, fiy far inland to eat the grasshoppers
and are a great aid to farmers in disposing
of dread pests. The monument in Salt Lake
City to the Gull is fine tribute to their use-

Thanking you for another fine issue of,
I think, the best magazine of its kind pub-

J. W. Wing.

Duluth Children's Museum,
Duluth, Minn.

*Tlns monument commemorates the work of
the gulls -which saved the wheat fields of Utah
from crickets in 1848. Thev were either Western
Gulls or Ring-billed Gulls, both of which are
closely related to the Herring Gull.

NOTICE — Readers arc encouraged to submit their own photographs of natural history
subjects. Those selected for publication on this page ivill be paid for at $i.oo each, •with
full credit to the photographer. Return postage must be included.



OxE of a series of life
sketches made by Edward
Dair while in the South
Pacific Islands with the
Fahnestock Expedition.
This particular subject
lives in the village of
Ndakunimba (Dakuniba) ,
on Vanua Leva Island in
the Fiji Group. She is
about 30 years old, has the
only straight hair in the
village, and is undoubtedly
a descendant of the early
Tongan invaders.

g>.^■^^.^^■s ^. T^c ^^a^st';uu^^■M^■ ^ l^<^.l^.. .^



When winter comes in the northern part
of this continent, the world of water mam-
mals, like the beaver, is greatly changed.
A thick layer of ice seals the ponds, lakes
and rivers, often leaving no air space.

Beaver can swim long distances under
water; they can go without breathing for
about six minutes. But at times this is
not enough and the great need of ex-
changing the carbon dioxide for fresh
oxygen must be met.

Sealed in, with no opening near, the
beaver breathes out his all under the ice.
A large bubble forms between ice and
water; in a moment the oxygen is re-
plenished, the carbon dioxide removed
(both are essential), by free contact with
ice and water. The beaver's nostrils are
at the very end of his muzzle and project
into the bubble; thus almost all the air
can be drawn back into his lungs. He
can do this many times and thereby is
quite free under the ice.

Other water mammals use this method.
In the early winter muskrats can be fol-
lowed through the clear ice and watched
at this trick. Sometimes beating on the
ice above the bubble will shatter it, and
the muskrat, unable to inhale the small
bubbles may be drowned — surely a most
undeserved fate for so resourceful an

John Eric Hill.



Sailing July 1, 1939
on tKie Cunard White Star



• The 20th Raymond-Whitcomb
summer cruise to Iceland, the North
Cape and Lands of the Midnight
Sun. Among other places on the
program this year are Norwegian
Fjords, Oslo, Visby, Stockholm,
Copenhagen, Estonia, Finland,
Russia, Cherbourg, Southampton.

Rates, $550 up
exclusive of shore excursions


See your own Travel Agent,
any Cunard White Star office, or


670 Fifth Avenue, New York
145 Tremont St., 122 Newbury St.


1517 Walnut Street, Philadelphia

841 Union Commerce Building


320 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago

NATUR.4.L History M.4g.azine offers an award of $3.00 for any e.xtraordi-
nary and authenticated facts or anecdotes found suitable for publication under
the title The Tall Truth. Unsuitable contributions cannot be returned.


Hospitable . . . Picturesque ... a vacalionland
o{ sheer delight . . . where surprisingly low
costs cover everything you will surely want
to see and do in this friendly unspoiled
Province-by-the.sea. Swim, ride, play tennis
and golf, sail, hike, motor, hunt and fish, or
just take it easy to your heart's content and
enjoy the invigorating restful atmosphere.
Everywhere you go you will find comfort-
able hotels, inns
and camps at ex-
tremely reasonable

^^::!*^^^liill-. t.


ever memorable vacation with
striking pictures like this one.
"Believe-it-or-not," the boat
you see high and dry will ac-
tually be afloat in a few short
hours when the Tides of
Fundy run in to a depth of
40 feet or more.









charm of



is mir-


in the



dot the




sparkling .

trea ms


e dow

1 to the




sts th

at tower



A people of brave and distin-
guished history. Nova Scotia'a
friendly folk carry on their
traditional crafts
and industries, midst settings
of quaint old world charm.

From whatever point you en-
ter Nova Scotia you can now
go the length and breadth of
the Province without leaving
paved roads.

nil thrill to the
skirl of Scottish pipes
and see the lassies
dance in the pictur-
esque costumes of the
homeland at Nova
Scotia's Highland
Games celebrations.

yova Scotia ,
rail or motoi
Netv York an

omically reached by steamship,
I Scotia is only 23 hours from
■night from Boston.


108 Hollis Street Halifax, N. S.

or Room 1008 6 East 45th St., N. Y. 0.

.... i..icc..<.<c^<.rt-:<...-. - >^-;-rt«:?f<>riTC^^:<rr^


Hes Cmying Quite a Load

XaXES are necessary — you couldn't run a city, state or
government without them. But they do mount up.

Fact is, a considerable part of the money you pay us for
telephone service goes right out in taxes.

Bell System taxes for 1938 were ^147,400,000 —
an increase of 56% in three years. In 1938 taxes were:

Equal to about 050 a year per employee

Equal to ^9.50 per telephone in the Bell System

Equal to ^7.54 per share of A. T. & T. common stock


You are cordially invited to visit the Bell System exhibit at

the Golden Gale International Exposition, San Francisco ^^^^teT^^


The Magazine of the American Miiseniii of Natural History

Frederick Trubee Davison, President Roy Chapman Andrews, Sc.D., Director

VOLUME XLIV— No. 1 • • • • • JUNE, 1939

Madagascan Butterfly (Hypoliiiiiun /I exit he) Cover Design

From a drawing by Joseph M. Gucrry
Letters i

The Tall Truth , , John Eric Hill 3

Hold It Frontispiece 6

A photograph by tVilliam D. Campbell

A "Lost" German Colony Thomas Gilliard 7

Hidden away in the Andean highlands live the fourth generation of pure "Aryan" colonists

In an African Volcano Martin Birnbaum 14

Climbing to see a monstrous cauldron of fire and molten rock
Seeing Nature Through the Camera's Eye Henry B. Kane 20

Queen of Flowers Harriet Geithmann 24

The romantic history of the rose

Reptiles Under the Sun C. M. Bogert 26

Desert reptiles soon succumb in temperatures only moderately uncomfortable to man

The Story of the Praying Mantis 3o

A photo-serial in three acts

Birth Comes to the Bittern Nest A. Dawes Du Bois 41

Eigliteen days as recorded by the camera naturalist in the life of a mother and her chicks

The Human Bot Fly C. H. Curran 45

An extraordinary insect zvhich forces a mosquito to deposit its eggs

Modern Eskimo Art Margaret E. Murie 49

June sees the Bering Strait Eskimos at their seasonal carving
Archaeologist, Self-Made D. R. Barton 53

Your New Books '. 58

Information Test .• "^

Bring 'Em Back Alive— W-^///; Movies C. H. Coles 63

Publication Office: American Museum of Natural His- Subscriptions: Natural History is sent to all members
tory. Seventy-ninth Street at Central Park West, New of the American Museum as one of the privileges of mem-

York N. Y. bership. Membership Secretary, Charles J. O'Connor.

T^ T-j J m iir T DU n Advertising Department: Sherman P. Voorhees, Manager.
Editor: Edward M. Weyer, Jr., Ph.D.

W. Ware Lvnch.
Associ.ate: D. R. Barton.

. Representatives:

Production: Frederick L. Hahn. ^^^^^ S. Whitman, Chicago, 111.

Art: Charles Curtis Hulling. Warwick S. Carpenter, Santa Barbara, Calif.

Manuscripts should be sent to the Editor, The American Copyright, 1939, by the American Museum of Natural

Museum of Natural History, N. Y. History, New York, N. Y.

The American Museum of Natural History wishes to express gratitude for the assistance in tlie promotion of the interests of Natural
History that has been rendered by the Works Progress Administration.

Natural History is published monthly (except July and August) at New York, N. Y., by The American Museum of Natural History.
Seventy-ninth Street and Central Park West. Subscription price $3 a year, single copies fifty cents These rates also apply to
Canada, Newfoundland, and all foreign countries. Entered as second class matter March 9, 1936, at the Post Office at New York,

New York, under the Act of August 24, 1912.


A remarkably intimate and artistic photograph taken with only
a normal six-inch lens, by William D. Campbell on his latest
expedition for the American Museum of Natural History

A "LOST" GERMAN COLONY -Hidden away from the
world in the Andean highlands of Vene'z^ela, four generations of
pure ''Aryan" colonists have maintained their ancestral language
and customs in defiance of the encroaching wilderness

By Thomas Gilliard

A LITTLE less tired and we might have evaded
those two inviting chairs. As it was we insu-
lated their spotless surface with newspapers
from far-off New York, ignoring even headlines, and
settled our mud-besmirched bodies into their billowy

For a while we were silent and utterly content with
unfamiliar relaxation. I gazed idly at shimmering
dots of light which sparkled through the rain-spat-
tered window — the lights of Caracas, the capital of
Venezuela, lying out there below us. Imaginatively,
I pictured the sight as it would appear a few hours
hence when daybreak would softly reveal the luxu-
riant valley, now but a chasm of blackness between
my window in the Phelps mansion and the great
Andean Cordillera beyond. I visualized the thousands
of red-tiled roofs pricked here and there with an
ancient Spanish church spire; the abundant Royal
Palms with their teeming bird life and the narrow, one-
way streets choked with dark Venezuelan Spaniards
and modern automobiles, and quaintly enough with
trams bucking the congested traffic. But now the
city slumbered, and, as if in keeping with the mood,
it seemed that even the beloved Simon Bolivar — the
great emancipator of South America — perched high
on his bronze stallion, was stealing his forty winks.
Hardly aware of the' familiar snore which drifted
from Billy Phelps' direction, I imagined the dif-
ficulties of Venezuelan exploration a hundred years
ago — at a time when there were no trams or auto-
mobiles or even statues of the beloved Bolivar. Ex-
plorers of that day faced the trials which confronted
the swaggering conquistadors and, later, the pioneer
settlers in a land rugged and forbidding. Malaria,
yellow fever and leprosy, coiled and ready to strike
at brave, defenseless men. The ambitions shattered,
the lives sacrificed.

Still in that half slumber of fantasy I imagined my-
self once again high in the Andes at the edge of a
picturesque little lake called La Lagunilla. And as if
in a dream I walked down the trail to the shambles
of a cabin I had seen only that afternoon. There I
came upon a big, square-shouldered man an inch or
two under six feet. He entered the cabin. As I sat
in the shaft of light which flickered out over the
cool, green pathway, I watched Jean J. Linden, the
pioneer botanist of a century ago, as he carefully
examined the plant specimens he had collected. Lift-
ing from the green mass an immense rose-colored
orchid, still attached to its bulb, he examined it
closely and his stern features were momentarily trans-
formed. His penetrating "fixed from under" stare

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