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chief food is the lichen, or moss, which grows there more abundantly than in any other country.
The camel frequents the sandy and burning deserts in order to feed on the dry camel's hay: and here in reference to this animal, we may exclaim-how wonderfully has the Creator contrived for him! He is confined to the deserts, where oftentimes no water is to be found for many days. All other animals would perish with thirst, while the camel feels no inconvenience; being furnished with numerous cells in his stomach where he keeps water, as in a reservoir, fresh and perfectly good for a long time together; it is said even 10 or 12 days. The Arabians consider the camel as a gift sent from heaven, a sacred animal, without whose assistance they could neither subsist, nor travel. The milk of the camel is their common food. They also eat its flesh; and of its hair they make garments. Where shall we find his equal but in the reindeer of the north? The inhabitants of Lapland have little dependence on the fruits of the earth. They neither sow nor reap. Their comparative riches consist in the number of rein-deer. Their chief nourishment is derived from the flesh and milk of these animals; with the milk also they make cheese; the skin serves for clothing; the hair for fur; the horns and hoofs for glue; the sinews are split into thread which is very strong bow-strings are made of the tendons; and the bones are manufactured into spoons.
Another instance of the beneficent care of the Creator may be noticed in the broad palmated horns,
or brow-antlers, bending forwards, with which the face of the rein-deer is nearly covered: for, it has been suggested, that were it not for this structure of the horns the poor animal would perish in the midst of plenty as it is thus enabled to get at a sufficient quantity of its favourite moss, which lies buried during the winter at the bottom of the snow; and we can' thus account for a circumstance that would otherwise appear singular: namely, that contrary to the nature of all other deer, the female is furnished with horns as well as the male.*
Lawrence observes, that there are instances, in which whole tribes of human beings depend for the supply of all their wants, on one or two species of animals. "The Greenlander, and the Esquimaux of Labrador, placed in a region of almost constant snow and ice, where intense cold renders the soil incapable of producing any articles of human sustenance, are fed, clothed, and lodged from the seal. The flesh and blood of the seal are their food; the blubber, or sub-cutaneous stratum of fat, affords them the means of procuring light and heat; the bones and teeth are converted into weapons, instruments, and various ornaments; the skin not only supplies them with clothing, but with the coverings of their huts and canoes. The stomach, intestines, and bladder, when dried, are turned to many and various uses in their nearly transparent dry state they supply the place of glass in the windows; they form bladders for their
* See Smellie, Linnæus, Church, &c.
harpoons, arrows, nets, &c.; when sewed together they make under garments, curtains, &c.; and are employed in place of linen on many occasions. Thus every part of the animal is converted, by a kind of domestic anatomy, to useful purposes, even to the tendons, which, when split and dried, form excellent threads. The Tschutski, the north-west Americans, the Aleutians, and other neighbouring islanders, as well as the Greenlanders, surprise us by manufacturing thread from the carcase of the whale; splitting the fibres of its cutaneous muscle into lengths of a hundred feet or more; and preparing from it a doublethreaded twine, which, in the united requisites of fineness and strength, will bear comparison with any productions of European industry.*
An instance of very wonderful adaptation in the physical economy of two insects of different species is recorded in the history of the ant.
It is well known that many insects become torpid in extreme cold; and that in this state they require no food. Ants present a remarkable exception to this rule for they are not benumbed till the thermometer has sunk to 27° of Fahrenheit, or 5° below freezing. They therefore need a supply of provision through the greatest part of winter.
Now, it is singular that the principal resource of the ant is the honey of another insect called the aphis, an insect which abounds on the plants that are usually found in the vicinity of ant-hills. This honey is an
See Lectures on Zoology, &c. by W. Lawrence, F.R.S. p. 44.
exudation from the body of the aphis, and is absorbed greedily by the ants without any detriment to the insect that yields it. It is voluntarily given out by the aphis when solicited to do so by the ant. A single aphis supplies many ants with a plentiful meal.
Now, it is a striking example of the coincidence or wise harmony subsisting in nature, that the aphis becomes torpid at precisely the same temperature as the
Some species of ants, we are told, bring the aphides to their own nests, instead of seeking them when the cold is excessive; and lodge them near the vegetables on which they feed: while the domestic ants prevent them stirring out, guarding them with great care, and defending them as their own young.
They even collect the eggs of the aphis; and superintend their hatching; continually moistening them with their tongue, and preserving them till the proper season for their exclusion; and in a word, bestow all the attention which they give to the eggs of their own species.
The ants defend them from the ants of other societies.
That they have some notions of property in these insects would appear from their occasionally having establishments for their aphides at a distance from the city, in fortified buildings, which they construct for this purpose alone, in places which are secure from invasion. Here the aphides are confined as cows in a dairy, to supply the wants of the metropolis.*
* See Huber on Ants, and Edinb. Review. vol. xx, p. 156.
Lawrence justly observes, "that we must take refuge either in verbal quibbles, or in exaggerated and unreasonable scepticism, if we refuse to recognize in the relation between peculiarity of structure and func tion those designs and adaptations of exalted power and wisdom, in testimony of which all nature cries aloud through all her works."
"I shall be contented," he adds, "with two illustrations, which, although different from each other, are analagous in their purpose. The large cavities of birds, and the interior of their bones are filled with air; thus they are rendered light and buoyant; capable of raising themselves into the higher regions of the atmosphere, of sustaining themselves with little effort in this rare medium, and cleaving the skies with wonderful celerity. Humboldt saw the enormous vulture of the Andes, the majestic condor, dart suddenly from the bottom of the deepest vallies to a considerable height above the summit of Chimboraço, where the barometer must have been lower than ten inches. He frequently observed it soaring at an elevation six times higher than that of the clouds in our atmosphere. This bird, which reaches the measure of 14 feet with the wings extended, habitually prefers an elevation, at which the mercury of the barometer sinks to about 16 inches.
"The mammalia, which live entirely, or principally in the sea, as the whale kind, the walrus, the manata, and the seal, are rendered buoyant in this dense fluid by a thick stratum of fat laid over the