The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online

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  • The plains abound with three kinds of partridge,* two of which are as large as hen pheasants. Their destroyer, a small and pretty fox, was also singularly numerous; in the course of the day we could not have seen less than forty or fifty. They were generally near their earths, but the dogs killed one. When we returned to the posta, we found two of the party returned who had been hunting by themselves. They had killed a puma, and had found an ostrich’s nest with twenty-seven eggs in it. Each of these is said to equal in weight eleven hens’ eggs; so that we obtained from this one nest as much food as 297 hens’ eggs would have yielded.

    * Two species of Tinamus, and Eudromia elegans of D ‘Orbigny, which can only be called a partridge with regard to its habits.

    (Thanks to Emily Davidow for the link.)

    [tags]charles darwin, omnivores, carnivores, predators, prey[/tags]

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