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well without great inconvenience, although they be several hundred miles apart.
Why do camels travel in a single file?
Because if any of the loads get out of order, they can be adjusted by leading the camel out of the line, before those behind have come up; whereas, if they marched with a wide extended front, the whole caravan must stop when any accident happens to a - Burckhardt. single camel.
Why do camel drivers give camels three times their usual quantity of food before proceeding over a sterile district?
Because the construction of the stomach enables the animals to ruminate upon this supply of food during a very long march.- Burckhardt.
Why does the camel kneel down to receive its burthen? Because soon after a camel is born, his owner ties his feet under its belly, and having thrown a large cloth over its back, heavy stones are put at each corner of the cloth, which rests on the ground. In this manner the camel becomes accustomed to receive the heaviest loads. Prevost, Voyages. Why is the camel's tread perfectly noiseless? Because its feet are as soft as sponge or leather, being composed of an elastic substance, and covered with hair; wherefore the large creature moves along, under a very heavy load, with no greater noise than is made by the deer bounding over the grassy turf. Why has the camel a hump on his back?
Because the soft, fatty substance of which the hump is composed, may, when the animal is without food in the desert, become absorbed into the system, and thus afford nourishment to the animal; the hump being renewed when the camel obtains pasturage.
Why are dromedaries used for riding?
Because of their superior swiftness to the heavy
camel. Thus, the camel of the caravan, or the baggage camel, may be compared to the drayhorse; the dromedary to the hunter, and, in some instances, to the race-horse.
Why are some antelopes called lyre antelopes? Because their horns are in the shape of the lyre. Why is a certain species of antelope called the springbok?
Because it takes remarkable flying leaps, rising with the back curved or elevated to the height of eight feet in the air, as if about to take flight.Burchell's Travels.
Why is the age of the antelope in some measure to be estimated by its horns?
Because the horns, which appear in the seventh month, increase rapidly in size until the third year, when they have completed two spiral turns, and are marked by about twelve elevated rings. After this their growth is less rapid; but at six years old the number of convolutions is increased to three,and that of the circular rings to twenty-seven. They are then about thirteen inches in length, nearly close at the base, and about a foot apart at the points. At a still more advanced period they may attain sixteen, twenty,or even twenty-four inches in length; but the number of complete convolutions seldom reaches four.
Why are hawks flown at antelopes in hunting them? Because the hawks keep the antelopes occupied until the dogs have time to come up with them and seize them.
Why is the term gazelle,' figurative of perfect beauty?
Because the gazelle, a species of antelope, is one of the most elegant animals in nature. Its skin is beautifully sleek,its body extremely graceful,its head
peculiarly light, its ears highly flexible, its eyes most brilliant and glancing, and its legs as slender as a reed. The Arabian describes his mistress as an antelope in beauty'-'his gazelle employs all his soul, &c'-and Byron in speaking of the dark eyes of an eastern beauty, says, 'Go look on those of the gazelle.'
Why has the existence of the unicorn been denied?
Because it is impossible that a ruminating cleftfooted animal could have one horn, as the unicorn is represented to have: since the frontal, or forehead bone being originally divided in two, a horn could not have grown in the centre of the division. Camper. Why is the unicorn supposed to represent the horned antelope?
Because the idea of the unicornhas probably arisen from the coarse figures traced by savages on rocks: ignorant of perspective, and wishing to present in profile the horned antelope, they could only give it one horn, and thus originated the unicorn. The unicorns of the Egyptian monuments are most probably but the productions of a similarly crude style, which the religion of the country imposed on the artist. Many of the profiles of quadrupeds have only one leg before and one behind why then should they show two horns? It is possible that individual animals might be taken in the chase, whom accident had despoiled of one horn, as it often happens to chamois and the Scythian antelope: and that would suffice to confirm the error which these pictures originally produced. It is thus, probably, that we find anew the unicorn in the mountains of Thibet. - Cuvier.
Why does the chamois safely bound over wide chasms of rocks?
Because of his extraordinary power of balancing
the body of instantly finding the centre of gravity, — and peculiarity of all the goat tribe, to which the chamois is nearly allied. The ability of the eye to measure distances, with such undeviating exactness, is associated with this power of finding the centre of gravity. — Lib. Ent. Knowl.
Why is the hump of the zebra or Indian ox highly prized?
Because it is chiefly composed of fat, and is reckoned the most delicate part. The whole of the breeds are treated with great veneration by the Hindoos, who hold it sinful to kill them.
Why are certain cows called Alderney?
Because the breed originally came from Alderney, a single British island, containing only one village. It is high, rugged, and encompassed by dangerous reefs, and the islanders have very little intercourse with the rest of the world.
Why is the lower smaller than the upper jaw of a
Because the cow and all other ruminating animals have their grinding teeth intersected by indented transverse furrows, and the crowns are not placed horizontally, but incline obliquely, so that in the upper jaw the outer side is highest, and in the lower, that next the tongue.
Why is the giraffe also called a camelopard?
Because the Romans, who so named it, fancied it a combination of the characters of the camel and leopard its ancient denomination was Zurapha, whence the name giraffe.
Why were the descriptions of the camelopard formerly received as fabulous?
Because of the absence of the animal from Europe, for three centuries and a half; whence, its extraordi
nary height and apparent disproportions caused it to be classed with the unicorns, sphinxes, &c, of ancient poets and naturalists.
Why were the legs of the giraffe once said to be longer before than behind?
Because of the height of the withers, which according to the animal's age, may exceed the height of the rump by sixteen or twenty inches, and which disproportion, when seen at a distance, must have led to the above erroneous inference. Le Vaillant.
Why does the tongue of the giraffe differ from that of other animals?
Because it not only is the organ of taste, but has besides nearly all the powers of the proboscis of the elephant, although not possessed of the same strength. They differ, indeed, in one being an elongation of the organ of smell the other of the organ of taste.
Sir E. Home.
Why does the giraffe move awkwardly? Because of the disproportion of the hinder parts of its body, and the immense length of the neck, which, instead of being arched, forms an angle with the shoulders. In walking it moves the fore and hind foot of the same side together, like an ambling horse, from which circumstance it has a very remarkable motion, whence the move of the knight at chess is derived. Blumenbach.
Why is the fur of the rein-deer used by all the tribes of the arctic circle, for winter clothing?
Because the hairs composing the coat of the deer are so thick, that it is hardly possible to discern the least portion of the naked hide; and 'a suit of clothing made of this skin is so impervious to the cold, that, with the addition of a blanket of the same material, any one so clothed may bivouack on the snow with safety, in the most intense cold of an arctic winter's night.'-Dr Richardson.