Image from page 454 of "Evolution and animal life; an elementary discussion of facts, processes, laws and theories relating to the life and evolution of animals" (1907)
Publisher: New York, D. Appleton and Company
Contributing Library: MBLWHOI Library
Digitizing Sponsor: MBLWHOI Library
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tealthy movements of the lion, theskulking habits of the wolf, the sly selfishness of the fox, theblundering good-natured power of the bear, the greediness ofthe hyena, are all proverbial, and similar traits in the eagle,owl, hawk, and vulture are scarcely less matters of commonobservation. Herbivorous animals, as a rule, make little direct resistanceto their enemies, depending rather on swiftness of foot, or insome cases on simple insignificance. To the latter cause theabundance of mice and mouselike rodents may be attributed,for all are the prey of the carnivorous beasts and birds, andof snakes. Even young animals of any species show great fear of theirhereditary enemies. The nestlings in a nest of the Americanbittern when one week old showed no fear of man, but when 434 EVOLUTION AND ANIMAL LIFE two weeks old this fear was very manifest. Young mockingbirds will go into spasms at the sight of an owl or a cat, whilethey pay little attention to a dog or a hen. Monkeys that have » * v
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FIG. 268.—Section of bark of the live-oak tree, with acorns placed on it by the Californiawoodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus bairdii. (From photograph taken at StanfordUniversity, California.) never seen a snake show almost hysterical fear at first sight ofone, and the same kind of feeling is common to most men. Amonkey was allowed to open a paper bag which contained a REFLEXES, INSTINCT, AND REASON 435 live snake. He was staggered by the sight, but after a whilelie went back and looked again, to repeat the experience. Eachwild animal has its special instinct of resistance or method ofkeeping off its enemies. The stamping of a sheep, the kickingof a horse, the running in a circle of a hare, and the skulkingin a circle of some foxes, are examples of this sort of instinct.
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