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fensive character is well known to re->
sidents on the banks of the AmazonB.**

That much fable has attached itself
to the history of this curious creature
we are perfectly convinced, and that
its blood-sucking peculiarities have
been grossly exaggerated we must al-
low. When this bat has been said to
peHbnn the operation of drawing
blood '<by inserting its acaleat«4
tongue* into the vein of a sleeping
person with so much dexterity as not
to be felt, at the same time fanning
the air with its large wings, and thus
producing a sensation so delighlfiiUy
cool that the sleep is renderod stiU
more profound," it is clear that ^the
mythical element exists to a great ex-
tent in the narrative ; but our author's
assertion that ^ihe vampire is the
most hannless of all bats" does not
tally with the statements of other nat-
uralists of considerable note. Mr.
Wallace says he saw the efiects of the
vampire's operations on a young horse,
and that the first morning after its ar-
rival the poor animal presented a most
pitiable appearance, large streams of
clotted blood running down from sev-
eral wounds on its back and sides :

'<The appearance," Mr. Wallace
adds, " was, however, I dare say, worse
than reality, as che bats have the skill
to bleed without giving pain, and it is
quite possible the horse, like a patient
under the infinence of chloroform,
may have known nothing of the mat-
ter. The danger is in the attajcks be-
ing repeated every night till the loea
of blocKl becomes serious. To prevent
this, red peppers are usually rubbed

• An exprenion used bj Mr. Wood in his
** ZoOgnpliT.** It is enough to remark that no
known bat naa an acnleatea iangu».



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189



cm the parts wounded and on all
likelj places; and this will partly
chedc the sanguiniyoroas appetite of
the bats, but not entirely, as in spite of
this application the poor animal was
again bitten the next night in fresh
places.***

Both Mr. Darwin and Mr. Water-
tim, if we remember rightly, have
borne sunilar testimony in favor of
the c^inion that the vampire does suck
blood. A servant of the former gen-
tleman, when near Coquimbo, in Chili,
observed something attached to the
withers of one of his horses, which
was restless, and on putting his hand
upon the place he secured a vampire
bat. Mr. Waterton, however, could
not induce the vampires to bite him,
notwithstanding the now veteran nat-
oialist t slept many months in an open
loft which the vampires frequented;
but an Indian boy who slept near him
had his toes often << tapped," while
fowls were destroyed, and even an un-
fortunate donkey was much persecuted,
looking, as Mr. Waterton says, ^^like
misery steeped in vinegar."

While at Villa Nova, on the lower
Amazons, our naturalist was sub-
jected to another annoyance^ in the
shi^ cS licks. The tracts there-
abouts ^ swarmed with carapitos, ugly
tides, belonging to the genus Iwdes,
whidi mount to the tops of the blades
of grass, and attach themselves to the
clothes of passers-by. They are a
great annoyance. It occupied me a
rail hour to pick them off my flesh
after my diurnal ramble."

Mr. Bates's stay at Ega, on the up-
per Amazons, and his expeditions in
search of scarlet-faced monkeys, owl-
&ced night-apes, marmosets, curl-
crested toucans, bUnd ants, and hund-
reds o( other interesting animals,
must have been particularly enjoyable,
if we except the presence of an abom-
inable gad-fly, which fixes on the flesh
of man as breeding-places for its grub,
and causes painful tumors. ^£ga

• ^ TraTelB on the Amftnm/^ p. 44.

t Binoe this article waa in type tiiis excellent
nalnraUflt and kind-hearted gentteman has passed
sway ttom amongst ns.



was a fine field for a natural history
collector," and Mr. Bates ticketed with
the name of this town more than 3ft60
new species of animals.

It is an old and a true saying that
you ^^can have too much of a good
thing." A London alderman would
soon grumble had he to dine every
day on turtle only. « The great fresh-
water turtle of the Amazons grows in
the upper river to an immense size,
a full-grown one measuring nearly
three feet in length by two in breadth,
and is a load for the strongest Indian.
.... The flesh is very tender, palat-
able, and wholesome; but it is very
cloying. Every one ends sooner or
later by becoming thoroughly sur-
feited.'' Our traveller adds that he be-
came so sick of turtle in the course of
two years that he could not bear the
smell of it, although at the same time
nothing else was to be had, and he
was suffering actual hunger. The
pools about Ega abound in turtles and
alligators, and the Indians capture a
great number of the former animals by
means of sharp steel-pointed arrows,
fitted into a peg which enters the tip
of the shaft. This peg «is ^tened to
the arrow-shaft by means of a piece of
twine ; and when the missile — which
the people hurl with astonishing skill
— pierces the carapace, the peg drops
out and the struck turtle dives to the
bottom, the detached shaft floating on
the surface serving to guide the sports-
man to his game. So clever are the
natives in the use of the bow and
arrow, that they do not wiut till the
turtle comes to the surface to breathe,
bat shoot at the back of the animal as
it moves under the water, and hardly
ever fail to pierce the submerged shell.

One of the most curious and inters
esting &cts in natural history is the
assimilation in many animals of form
and color to other objects, animate
or inanimate. Thus the caterpillars
tenned, from their mode of progression,
^geometric" bear so close a resem-
blance to the twigs of the trees or
bushes upon which they rest that it is
no easy thing to distinguish them at a



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glance ; the buff-tip moth, when at rest,
looks jast like a broken bit of lichen-
covered branch, the colored tips of the
wings resembling a section of the wood.
Tlie beautiful Australian parakeets,
known as the Batcherrygar parrots,
look so much like the leaves of EtLca-
Iptfti, or gum-trees, on which tliey re-
pose, that, though numbers may be
perched upon a branch, they are hardly
to be seen so long as they keep quiet.
Some South American beetles (of the
fitmily Cassidm) closely resemble glit-
tering drops of dew ; some kinds of
spiders mimic flower-buds, *' and sta-
tion ihcmselves motionless in the axils
of leaves and other parts of plants to
waft for tlieir victims." Insects be-
longing to the genera of Mantis^ Lo-
eusta, and Fhasmay often show a won-
derful resemblance to leaves or sticks.
Examples of " mimetic analogy*' may
also be found amongst birds ; but per-
haps the most remarkable cases of
imitation are to be found among the
butterflies of the valley of the Amazon
recently made known to us by Mr.
Bates. There is a family of butter-
flies named Heliconidce, of a slow
flight and feeble structure, very num- •
erous in this South American region,
notwithstanding that the districts
alK)und with insectivorous birds.
Now, Mr. Bates has observed that
where large numbers of this family
arc found they are always accom-
panied by species of a totally distinct
family which closely resemble them vd
size, form, color, and markings. So
close is the resemblance that Mr.
Bates often found it impossible to dis-
tinguish members of one family from
those of the other when the insects
were on the wing ; and he observed,
moreover, that when a local variety
of a species of the HeUconidce oc-
curred, there was found also a butter-
fly of another family imitating that lo-
cal variety. There is no difficulty at
ail in distinguishing the imitators from
the imitated, for the latter have all a
family likeness, while the former de-
part from the normal form and like-
ness of the families to which they re-



spectively belong. What is the mean-
ing of this curious fact ? It is this :
the Ifeliconida, or imitated butterfliea,
are not persecuted by birds, dra-
gon-flies, lizards, or other insectivor-
ous enemies, while the members of the
imitating families are subject to much
persecution. The butterflies imitated
are said to owe their immunity from
persecution to their oflensive odor,
while no such fortunate character be-
longs to the imitating insects. Bufc
how, we naturally ask, has this change
of color and form been effected ? Mr.
Darwin and Mr. Bates explain it
on the principle of natural selection.
Let us suppose that a member of the
persecuted family gave birth to a va-
riety — and there is a tendency in all
animals to produce varieties— exhibit-
ing a very slight resemblance to some
species of HeltconideB. This individ*
ual, in consequence of this slight re-
semblance, would have a better chance
of living and producing young than
those of its relatives which bear no re-
semblance whatever to the unmolested
family. Some of the offspring of this
slightly favored variety would very
probably show more marked resem-
blance to the unpersecuted butterflies ;
and thus the likeness between insects
of totally distinct groups would in
course of time be, according to the
law of inheritance, quite complete.
Tliis is the explanation which Mr.
Bates gives of this natural phenome-
non. The phenomenon itself is an
undoubted one ; whether it is or is not
satisfactorily accounted for, cannot at
present be determined ; we must W2ut
for further investigation.

We had intended to speak of some
of the South American palms, those
wondrous and valuable productions
of tropical countries, the India-rubber
trees, and other vegetable productions
of the Amazons, but we must linger
no longer with the excellent naturalist
from whose volumes we have derived
so much pleasure. Mr. Bates has
written a book full of interest, with
the spirit of a real lover of nature and
with the pen of a philosopher.



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Leaving, then, the new world, let
ns cast a glaoce, in compaDy with one
of the greatest botanists of the day,
at what we maj call the tropical
features of the Sikkim Himalaya^
Thoagh this region is not strictl/*
speaking within the tropics, yet the
vegetation at the base is of a tropical
chaiacter. In this wonderful district
the naturalist is able to wander through
eveij zone of vegetation, from l£e
^ dense deep-green dripping forests'*
at the base o£ the Himalaya, formed of
giant trees, as the Duabanga and Ter^
minoHoj with Ckdrda and Gordonia
WalUchiiy mingled with innumerable
shmbs and herbs, to the lichens and
mosses of the regions of perpetual
snow. The tropical vegetation of the
Sikkim extends from Siligoree, a sta-
tion on the verge of the Terai, ^ that
low malarious belt which skirts the base
of the Himalaya from the Sutlej to
Brahma-Koond^ in Upper Assam."

"Every feature," writes Dr. Hooker,
" botanical, geological, and zoologiealf
18 new on entering this district. The
change is sadden and immediate : sea
and shore are hardly more conspicu-
ously different ; nor from the edge of
the Terai to the limit of perpetual
snow is any botanical region more
clearly marked than this which is the
commencement of Himalayan vegeta-
tion." The banks of the numerous
tortnous streams are richly clothed
with vines and climbing convolvuluses,
with various kinds of Oucurbitacea
and Bignoniace^ The district of the
Terai is very pestilential, and, though
fatal to Europeans, is inhabited by a
race called the Mechis with impunity.
As oar traveller proceeded to the
little bungalow of Funkabaree, about
1,800 feet in elevation, the bushy tim-
ber of the Terai was found to be re-
placed by giant forests, with large
bamboos cresting the hilts, numerous
epiphytical orchids and ferns, with
Moifo, SeUamCnea^ and similar types
of the hottest and dampest climates*
AU around Funkabaree the hills rise
steeply 5,U0O or 6,000 feet ; from the
road at and a little above the bun-



galow the view is descifbed by Dr,
Hooker as superb and very instruc-
tive :

<< Behind (or north) the Himalaya
rise in steep confused masses. Below,
the hill on which I stood, and the
ranges as far as the eye can reach
east and west, throw spurs on the
plains of India. These are very
thickly wooded, and enclose broad,
dead-flat, hot, or damp valleys, appar-
ently covered with a dense forest
Secondary spurs of clay and gravel,
like that immediately below Funka-
baree, rest on the bases of the moun-
tains and seem to form an intermediate
neutral ground between flat and
mountainous India. The Terai district
forms a very irregular belt, scantily
clothed, and intersected by innumera-
ble rivulets from the hills, which unite
and divide again on the flat, till, emei^-
ing from the region of many trees,
they enter the plains, following devi-
ous courses, which glisten like silver
threads. The whole horizon b bound-
ed by the sea-like expanse of the
pjams, which stretch away into the re-
gion of sunshine and flnc weather, as
one boundless fiat. In the distance
the courses of the Teesta and Cosi,
the great drainers of the snowy Him-
alayas, and the recipients of innumer-
able smaller rills, are with difficulty
traced at this the dry season. The
ocean-like appearance of this southern
view is even more conspicuous in the
heavens than on .the land, the clouds
arranging themselves after a singu-
larly sea-scape fashion. EnBlcss
strata run in parallel ribbons over the
extreme horizon; sJx)ve these scat-
tered cumuli, also in horizontal lines,
are dotted against a clear grey sky,
which gradually, as the eye is lifted,
passes into a deep cloudlesa blue vault,
continuously clear to the zenith; there
the cumuli, in white fleecy masses,
again appear ; till, in the northern ce-
lestial hemisphere, they thicken and as-
sume the leaden hue of nimbi, dis-
charging their moisture on the dark
forest-clad hills around. The breezes
are south-easterly, bringing that va-



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Gleanings from the Nixtural History of the Tropics.



por from the Indian ocean which is
rarefied and suspended aloft over the
heated plains, but condensed into a
drizzle when it strikes the cooler
flanks of the hills, and into heavy rain
when it meets their still colder sum-
mits. Upon what a gigantic scale
does nature here operate! Vapors
raised from an ocean whose nearest
shore is more than 400 miles distant
are safely transported without the loss
of one drop of water, to support the
rank luxuriance of this far distant re-
gion. This and other offices fulfilled,
the waste waters are returned bj the
Cosi and Teesta to the ocean, and
again exhaled, exported, expend^ re-
collected, and returned."

Many travellers complain of the
annoyance caused to them by leeches.
Legions of these pests abound in the
water-courses and dense jungles of the
Sikkim, and though their bite is pain-
less, it is followed by considerable
effusion of blood. " They puncture
through thick worsted stockings, and
even trousersj and when fuU roll in
the form of a little sofl ball into the
bottom of the shoe, where their pres-
ence is hardly felt in walking."

A thousand feet higher, above the
bungalow of Punkabaree, the vegeta-
tion is very rich, the prevalent timber
being of enormous size, ^ and scaled
by dimbing Leguminosce, as Bauhin-
ias and Sohinitzs, .which sometimes
sheathe the trunks or span the forest
with huge cables, joining tree to tree."
Their trunks are also clothed with or-
chids^^and still more beautifully with
pothos, peppers, vines, and convolvuli.
."The beauty of the drapery of
the pothos leaves (Scindapsus) is pre-
emment, whether for the graceful
folds the foliage assumes or for the
liveliness of its color. Of the more
conspicuous smaller trees the wild ba-
nana is the most abundant ; its crown
of very beautiful foliage contrasting
with the smaller-leaved plants amongst
which it nestles ; next comes a screw-
pine (JPandcmus) with a straight stem
and a tuft of leaves, each eight or ten
feet long,'waving on all sides. Aror



Uaeea, with smooth or armed slender
trunks, and ^aj9^-like EuphorbiacetB
spread their long petioles horizontally
forth, each terminated with an ample
leaf some feet in diameter. Bamboo
•bounds everywhere; its dense tu^
of culms, 100 feet and upward high,
are as thick as a man's thigh at the
base. Twenty or thirty species of
ferns (including a tree fern) were
luxuriant and handsome. Foliaceous
lichens and a few mosses appeared at
2,000 feet. Such is the vegetation of
the roads through the tropical forests
of Outer Himalaya."

As we ascend about 2,000 feet
higher, we find many plants of the
temperate zone mingling with the
tropical vegetation, amongst which ^ a
very EngUsh-looking bramble," bear-
ing a good vellow fruit, is the first to
mark the change ; next, mighty oaks
with large lamellated cups and mag-
nificent foliage succeed, till along the
ridge of the mountain to Kursiong,
at an elevation of about 4,800 fee^
the change in the flora is complete.
Here the vegetation recalls to mind
home impressions : " the oak flower-
ing, the birch bursting into leaf, the
violet, Chrysosplenium, SteUaria and
Arum, Vaccinium, wild strawberry,
maple, geranium, bramble. A colder
wind blew here ; mosses and lichens
carpeted the banks and roadsides ;
the birds and insects were very differ-
ent from those below, and everything
proclaimed the marked change in the
vegetation." And yet evenTat this
elevation we meet with forms of trop-
ical plants, " pothos, bananas, pahns,
figs, pepper, numbers of epiphytal or-
chids, and similar genuine tropical
genera."

The hill-station of Darjiling, the
well-known sanitarium, where the
health of Europeans is recruited by
a temperate cHmate, is about 370
miles to the north of Calcutta. The
ridge " varies in height from 6,500 to
7,500 feet above the level of the sea,
8,000 feet being the elevation at which
the mean temperature most nearly
coincides with that of London, viz.,



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50V The forests aroond DaijOing
are composed prineipallj of magnolias,
oaks, laurels, with birch, alder, maple,
holly. Dr. Hooker draws especial
attention to the absence of Legumin-
os4Bj '^the most prominent botanical
fcatore in the vegetation of the re-
gion," which, he sajs, iq too high for
the tropical tribes of Uie wanner ele-
vation, too low for the Alpines, and
probablj too moist for those of tem-
perate regions ; cool, equable, humid
<»l^mRt^ being generally un&vorable
to the above-named order. << The su-
premacy of this temperate region con-
sists in the infinite number of forest
trees, in the absence (in the usual
propcNTtion, at any rate) of such com-
mon orders as GmmotiUB^ Legundt^
oetSj Chrueiferoj and Ranuncvlacece, and
of grasses amongst Monocotyledons,
and in die predominance of the rarer
and more local fiimilies, as those of
rhododendron, camellia, magnolia,
ivy, oomel, honeysuckle, hydiungea,
b^onia, and epiphytic orchids."

We regret that want of space pre-
vents us dwelling longer on the scenes
of tropical Hinuilaya, so graphically
described by Dr. Hooker. We will
conclude this imperfect sketch with
our traveUer^s description of the
scenery along the banks of the great
Bongeet, 6,000 feet below Darjiling :

^ Leaving the forest, the path led
akmg the river bank and over the
great masses of rock which strewed
its course. The beautiful India-rub-
ber fig was common On

the forest skirts, Hoya^ parasitical Or-
chiduB^ and ferns abounded; the
Chaulmoogra, whose fruit is used to
intoxicate fish, was very common, as
was an immense mulberry-tree, that
yields a milky juice and produces a
long, green, sweet fruit Large fish,
chiefly cvprinoid, were abundant in the
beautifully dear water of the river.
But by far the most striking feature
consisted in the amazmg quantity of
Bopeib butterflies, large tropical swal-
low-tails, black, with scarlet or yellow
eyes on their wings. They were
Men everywhere^ saifing majestically

VOL. XL 13



through the still, hot air, or fluttering
from one scorching rock to another,
and especially loving to settle on the
damp sand of the river ; where they
sat by thousands, with erect wings,
balancing themselves with a rocking
motion, as their heavy sails inclmec'
them to one side or the other, resem
bling a crowded fleet of yachts on a
calm day. Such an entomological dis-
play cannot be surpassed. Oicindelm
and the great Gicadea were every-
where lighting on the ground, when
they uttered a short sharp creaking
sound, and* anon disappeared as if by
magic. Beautiful whip-snakes were
gleaming in the sun ; they hold on by
a few coils of the tall round a twig,
the greater part of their body stretch-
ed out horizontally, occasionally re-
tracting and darting an unerring aim
at some insect The narrowness of
the gorge, and the excessive steepness
of the bounding hills, prevented any
view except of the opposite mountain-
face, which was one dense forest, in
which the wild banana Iras conspio-
uous."

One of the most remarkable bo-
tanical discoveries of modem days
is that of a very curious and anoma-
lous genus of plants, named by Dr.
Hooker Welvntschia in honor of ita
discoverer. Dr. Frederic Welwitsch,
who first noticed this singular plant in
a letter to Sur William Hooker, dated
August, 1860. **I have been assur-
ed," says Dr. Hooker in his valuable
memoir of this plant, ^by those who
remember it, that since die discovery
of the Raffiesia Jmoldii, no vegeta-
ble production has excited so great
an iQterest as the subject of the pres*
ent memoir." We well remember
this singular plant, having seen a spe-
cimen in the Kew Herbarium soon
afier its arrival in this country. The
following is Dr. Hooker's account of
its appearance and prominent charac-
ters:

«< The Wduniechia is a woody plant,
said to attain a century in duration,
with an obconic trunk about two feet
long, of which a few inches rise



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above the soil, presenting the appear-
ance of a flat, two-lob^ depressed
mass, sometimes (according to Dr.
Welwitsch) attaining fourteen feet in
circomferenoe (!) and looking like a
round table. When full grown, it is
dark brown, hard, and cracked over
the whole surface Tmuch like the
bnmt crust <^ a loaf of bread) $ the
lower portion forms a stout tapHroot,
buried in the soil and branching down-
ward at the end. From deep grooves
in the droumference of the depressed
mass two enormous leaves are given
off, each six feet long when full
grown, one corresponding to each lobe.
These are quite flat, linear, very
leathery, and split to the base into in-
numerable thongs that lie curling upon
ihe surface of the soiL Its discoverer
describee these same two leaves as be-
ing present from the earliest condition
of the plant, and assures me that they
are in tact developed from the two co-
tyledons of the seed, and are persist-
ent, being replaced by no others.
From the circumference of the tabu-
lar mass, above but close to the inser-
tion of the leaves, spring stoat di-
chotomously branched cymes, nearly a
foot high, bearing smaJl erect scarlet
cones, which eventually become ob-
long and attain the size of those of the
common spruce fir. The scales of the
cones are very closely imbricated, and
contain when young and still veiy small
solitary flowers, which in some cases
are hermaphrodite (structurally but
not functionally), in others female."

After describing these flowers in bo-
tanical terms. Dr. Hooker adds, ^ The
mature c<Mie is tetragonous, and con-
tains a broadly winged scale. Its
discoverer observes that the whole
plant exudes a resin, and that it is
called ^ tumbo' by the natives. It in-
habits the elevat^ sandy plateau near
Cbtpe Negro (lat 14'' 4(/ S. to 23"" S.)
on the south-west coast of Africa.**
Dr. Hooker regards the Wdwitschia
as <<the only perennial flowering-plant
which at no period has other vegeta*
tive cffgans than those proper to the
embryo itaeL^— 4h6 main axis bebig



represented by the radicle, which be-
comes a gigantic caulicle and devel-
ops a root from its base, and inflores-
cences from its plumulary end, and
the leaves being the two co^ledons
in a very hi^y developed and spedal-
iaed condition."*



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