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few and dwarfish, and, as we advance towards the poles, finally disappear. But mosses, lichens, ferns, creeping plants, and some berry-bearing shrubs, thrive during the short summer.
4. Vegetation of the Temperate Zones. In the high latitudes are the pine and the fir, which retain their verdure during the rigors of winter. To
these, on approaching the equaVarious kinds of Mosses.
tor, succeed the oak, elm,
beech, lime, and other forest trees. Several fruit-trees, among which are the apple, the pear, the cherry, and the plum, grow better in the higher latitudes; while to the regions nearer the tropics belong the olive, lemon, orange, and fig, the cedar, cypress, and cork-tree. Between 300 and 50° is the country of the vine and the mulberry ; wheat grows in 60°, and
; oats and barley a few degrees further. Maize and rice are the grains more commonly cultivated in lower latitudes.
5. Vegetation of the Torrid Zone. The vegetation of the torrid zone, where nature supplies most abundantly moisture and heat, is the most remarkable for its luxuriance and the variety of its species. The most juicy fruits and the most powerful aromatics, the most magnificent ad gigantic productions of the vegetable creation, are found in the intertropical regions. There ne earth yields the sugar-cane, the coffee-tree, the palm, the bread-tree, the immense baobab, the date, the cocoa, the cinnamon, the nutmeg, the pepper, the camphor-tree, &c., with so many dye-woods and medicinal plants. At different elevations of soil, the torrid zone exhibits, in addition to its peculiar forms, all the productions of the other regions of the earth.
6. Vegetation of Northern Hemisphere. The northern hemisphere, with which we are best acquainted, is divided by Humboldt into 6 bands, as follows : 1st band has a mean temperature above 77° Fahr. and may be considered the natural region of palms, the banana, and the coffeetree. It extends northward in the old continent to 32° N. lat., and in the new to 23° 30'. 2d band, with a mean temperature ranging between 770 and 68°, is the proper region of the citron and its varieties. In the old continent it reaches to 37° or 38° N. lat. ; in the new to 29. 3d band, with a mean temperature from 689 to 59°, is the true region of the olive and the vine, extending to 43° 30' in the old world, and in eastern Asia and the new, to 32° or 33°. 4th band, with a mean temperature from 59° to 50°, produces the vine, and in perfection the oak and wheat. In Europe it extends to 52° 25', in America and eastern Asia to 40° N. lat. 5th band, with a mean temperature from 50° to 41°, is the region of the various cerealia, and of forests of Quercus robur. In Europe it extends to 60° N. lat., in America to about 50°. 6th band, with a mean temperature from 41° to 32°, is the native region of the pine, the birch, and the willow, in its lowest parallels, and of Alpine plants, lichens,
and byssi, in the higher ; it reaches to the limits of perpetual frost, extending, in Europe, to 71° N. lat., in Asia, to the Arctic circle, and, in eastern America, to about 60°.
1. Animals. The animal kingdom presents a vast and varied field, at which we can only cast a glance. Every department of nature, the earth, air, and sea, is full of animated beings : some of them seem nearly allied to vegetables and minerals. From these, we may ascend in the scale, through an almost infinite series of existences, up to man, who constitutes the highest in the animal kingdom. Among the most remarkable animals, we may mention the coral insects which are chiefly found in the equatorial regions. These creatures, so minute as scarcely to be perceived by the naked eye, exist in the sea, in such inconceivable numbers, and labor with such activity, as to construct vast beds of coral, which at length raise their tops above the water : thus immense islands are gradually built in the bosom of the ocean, by insignificant insects.
Wherever man has not drained the marshes, and cleared the forests, insects reign with resistless sway. History has recorded several examples of towns and countries rendered uninhabitable by the multitudes of bees, wasps, and gnats. Armies and whole tribes have been compelled to fly before these feeble creatures, rendered invincible by their numbers. In Asia and Africa, there is a remarkable animal of the ant kind, called termites, or White
Ants. When they find their way into houses, nothing less hard than metal or glass escapes their ravages. Their favorite food is wood, and such is the multitude of the assailants, and such the excellence of their tools, that all the timber-work of a spacious apartment is often destroyed by them in a single night. Outwardly every thing appears as if untouched, but they destroy first the inside,
and conceal their operations Hill of Termites. Section of hill of Termites. by stopping up the apertures
with a coat of clay. Fishes, though generally confined to the sea, sometimes forsake their native element. In the West Indies, there is a kind of walking fish, which takes to the land, and throws itself along by jerks, in this way traveling considerable distances. The flying-fish skims through the air ; eels traverse the meadows; and, on the coast of Coromandel, there is a kind of perch that climb palm-trees.
The alligator and crocodile, as well as other lizards, are mostly found in or near tropical countries. The largest serpents are also confined to these regions.
Various kinds of Birds. The Condor seldom forsakes the Cordilleras of Mexico, and the Andes, though he is sometimes found in the Rocky Mountains. Vultures, whose office it is to prevent contagion, by removing animal remains in hot countries, abound in tropical climates. The bird of paradise is found only in New Guinea and the adjacent regions. Parrots and paroquets are natives of warm latitudes. The ostrich is found only in Africa and Arabia. The cassowary is found only in Java and the Asiatic Islands; the emeu in New Holland. The rhea, sometimes called the ostrich, is found in the southern part of South America. It is remarkable, that nearly all the land birds of America are of different species from those of the other continent : about 80 species of water birds common to the United States, are also found in Europe.
Among the quadrupeds which are distributed nearly over the surface of the earth, we may mention the dog, cow, sheep, goat, horse, ass, pig, and cat, in a domestic state ; in a wild state, the fox, bear, hare, rabbit, stag, deer, squirrel, rat, mouse, and ermine. The dog, the faithful companion of man, has followed him into every climate. In many countries, he is the only domestic animal, and supplies the place of the horse and ox. Toward the equator, as well as at the pole, he loses his voice, and his barking degenerates into a kind of growling noise.
Among quadrupeds confined to the cold parts of the northern hemisphere, we may enumerate the reindeer, musk ox, white bear, polar fox, otter, beaver, martin, and lynx. The camel with two humps, lives as far north as the 52d degree of north latitude, and seems to have been brought originally from Bactriana, or Great Bucharia, in Asia. The camel with one hump, or the dromedary, appears to have come from Arabia and Africa, and is used in those countries, and generally in the southern parts of Asia. The chamois prefers the mountains of the temperate zone. There are various kinds of antelopes, some of which remain in warm, and others in cold regions. The hyena and jackal live near the equator. Most of the quadrupeds of America are peculiar species, not found in the other continent.
Among the animals confined to tropical countries, we may notice apes, monkeys, and baboons. The giraffe, zebra, hippopotamus, and rhinoceros, belong to the warm regions of Africa. The elephants of Asia and Africa are different races. Those of Africa do not advance further north than the 20th degree of north latitude. The Asiatic elephant inhabits only India, China as far north as the 30th degree, and some of the Asiatic Islands, to which it has been transported by man. Africa has always been the most celebrated country for lions. They are found in nearly all parts of it. Those which rove in the burning plains south of the Atlas Mountains, are distinguished for strength and fierceness. The lions of Asia are inferior to those of Africa. They are also less abundant, and seem only to be found in the deserts of Arabia, in Hindostan, and perhaps in some of the Asiatic islands.
The royal tiger, which is the largest species, is confined to Hindostan, the Birman empire, and the islands of Ceylon and Sumatra. The true tiger is not found in Africa. The panther and leopard are found in Africa alone.
Comparative size of Quadrupeds. 2. Number and Distribution of Species. The number of species in the animal kingdom has been estimated at about 100,000. Each genus is generally confined to a particular region or climate, and where the same genus is found in different continents the species are different. Most of the domestic animals (the horse, cow, dog, sheep, goat, hog, and cat) thrive in nearly every variety of climate, although some of them become more or less degenerate in high latitudes. The camel and the elephant on the contrary cannot be naturalized in the colder cilmates.
3. Zoological Regions. T'he earth appears to be divided into at least eleven zoological regions or districts, of which each is the residence of a distinct set of animals;
(1.) The Arctic region contains several tribes common to the eastern and western continents, a circumstance owing doubtless to the communication between them afforded by means of ice. (2.) The temperate regions of the eastern continent are inhabited by peculiar races, quite distinct from the kindred tribes of the (3.) corresponding zone in the American continent. The equatorial region contains four extensive tracts, widely separated from each other by seas, and each peopled by distinct races ; these are (4.) the intertropical parts of Asia ; (5.) those of Africa; (6.) those of America ; (7.) the islands which constitute Malaysia ; and (8.) Pa pua and the surrounding islands. (9.) The extensive region of New Holland forms a distinct zoological province, inhabited by several very singular tribes ; and the southern extremities (10.) of America, and (11.).of Africa, separated from the northern temperate regions of their repective continents by the heats of the torrid zone, are each distinguished by peculiar races.
4. Animals of Islands. The animals of islands situated near continents are in general the same as those of the neighboring mainland. Small islands lying at a great distance from continents are nearly or quite destitute of quadrupeds, except such as appear to have been carried to them by man,
1. Man, at birth the most helpless of animals and seemingly the most exposed to the accidents of nature, is yet the most universal and independent of the animal creation. Gifted with the divine powers of reason and speech, he is separated by a wide gulf from the mere animal nature ; yet physically considered he stands at the head of the animal kingdom. The human race forms but one species ; yet exhibits those physical diversities which constitute varieties. 2. Varieties of the Human Race. The physical differences which exist in the human Types of the Five Races of Men.
family, are diversity of complexion ; difference of stature and shape ; varieties of form in the skull; color and nature of the hair ; &c. Some naturalists, taking complexion as the basis of their division, distinguish the human race into three varieties; 1. the white or Caucasian ; 2. the yellow or Mongolian ; and 3. the black or Ethiopian. Others adopt the form of the skull as the characteristic, and make five varieties ; 1. the Caucasian, including the European nations and some of the Western Asiatics, in which the head is almost round, the face oval, and the features not very prominent ; 2. The Mongolian, in which the head is almost square, the cheek-bones prominent, and the face broad and flattened ; 3. The Ethiopian or Negro, in which the head is narrow, the forehead convex, the nostrils wide, the jaws lengthened, the lower part of the face projecting, the nose spread and flat, and the lips thick ; 4. The American, in which the cheek-bones are prominent, the face broad, the forehead low, and the eyes deeply seated ; 5. And the Malay, in which the forehead is slightly arched, the upper jaw projecting, and the features in many respects approaching
those of the second and fourth 5
varieties. 1. Ethiopian. 2. American. 3. Caucasian. 4. Mongolian. 5. Malay.
Of these five races the Caucasian deserves to be considered the first. Not only is the countenance more beautiful, but the intellectual and moral endowments of this race are of a higher character. Whenever they have met with the other races, they have ultimately prevailed. They have excelled all others in literature and the arts, and seem to have given birth to most of the valuable institutions of human society.