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The Naturalist in La Plata

W. H. Hudson

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Suddenly it rushed after the rope, and dealt it a succession of violent blows with its tail. When the whole of the lasso, several yards of which had been pounded in vain, had been dragged by, the lizard, with uplifted head, continued gazing after it with the greatest astonishment. Never had such a wonderful snake crossed its path before!

Molina, in his Natural History of Chill, says the vizcacha uses its tail as a weapon; but then Molina is not always reliable. I have observed vizcachas all my life, and never detected them making use of any weapon except their chisel teeth. The tail is certainly very curious, being straight at the base, then curving up outwardly, and slightly down again at the tip, resembling the spout of a china teapot. The under surface of the straight portion of the base is padded with a thick, naked, corneous skin; and, when the animal performs the curious sportive antics in which it occasionally indulges, it gives rapid loud-sounding blows on . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Interesting memoir of the authors time growing up in the Argentinian pampas in the late 1800s, written later after he was living in England. Many anecdotes about habitats and wildlife.