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ing; and like the full moon at three in the morning, at one, nine, and eight in the evening. The tip of its nose is always cold, excepting on the day of the summer solstice, when it becomes lukewarın. panese Encyclopædia.
Why does a cat shrink on the whiskers of her upper lip being pulled?
Because the whiskers are attached to a bed of close glands under the skin; and each of these long and stiff hairs is connected with the nerves of the lip. (Cuvier.) The slightest contact of these whiskers with any surrounding object is thus felt most distinctly, although the hairs themselves are insensible. Why does the cat lick herself?
Because the tongue is the chief instrument incleaning herself, and is constructed somewhat like a currycomb, or rather a wool-card, being bent with numerous horny points, bent downwards and backwards, and which serve several important purposes, such as lapping milk, filing minute portions of meat from bones, and especially, keeping the fur smooth and clean; and cats are by no means sparing in their labour to effect this. The female cat is still more particular with her kittens than herself, and always employs much time in licking their fur smooth. Mr Rennie- in Journ. Royal Instit.
Why does the cat destroy mice?
Because its ruling passion is for animal food, or rather the desire to destroy a living animal. Hence, also, the cat devours insects, as flies, beetles, cockroaches, &c.
Why do cats bury their excrement?
Because of an instinct of distrust resulting from their wild state, which revolts against the feeling of domestication, because the strong smell of their excrements might reveal their retreat, and the abode and asylum of their young, which are to remain
concealed. Thus, it is not from cleanliness, as generally supposed.
Why is it commonly thought that cats will always fall upon their feet?
Because of the facility with which they balance themselves when springing from a height; which power of balancing is in some degree produced by the flexibility of the heel, the bones of which have no fewer than four joints.
Why do cats alight softly on their feet?
Because in the middle of the foot there is placed a large ball, or pad, in five parts, formed of an elastic substance; and at the base of each toe is a similar pad. It is impossible to imagine any mechanism more calculated to break the force of a fall.
Why is the sloth slow in his movements, and in a state of pain, when confined in a menagerie?
Because his feet are not formed for walking on the ground; they cannot act in a perpendicular direction; and his sharp and long claws are curved. He can only move on the ground by pulling himself along by some inequalities on the surface, therefore on a smooth floor he is wretched. He is intended to pass his life constantly suspended by his four legs from under the branches of trees, thus travelling from branch to branch, and sleeping when he is satisfied.
Why is the camel used for travelling in the deserts of hot countries?
Because its feet are formed to tread lightly upon a dry and shifting soil, its nostrils have the capacity of closing, so as to shut out the driving sand, when the whirlwind scatters it over the desert; and it is provided with a peculiar apparatus for retaining water in its stomach, so that it can march from well to
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 unicorn has 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