This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1911 edition. Excerpt: ... chapter vi animal life Brief reference has already been made to some of the polar animals and their habits, but it is ...Read MoreThis historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1911 edition. Excerpt: ... chapter vi animal life Brief reference has already been made to some of the polar animals and their habits, but it is necessary to give a more detailed account of this aspect of Polar Regions. The striking feature of the Antarctic Regions, with one partial exception, is the entire absence of land vertebrates. There are no land mammals--no bears, wolves, foxes, or lemmings; no musk-oxen, reindeer, or hares, neither are there any land birds with the exception of the sheath-bill (Chionis), which is only a summer visitor to the shores of most Antarctic lands. Sone white-legged sheath-bills, however, remained at Scotia Bay all the winter of 1903, and Sir Joseph Hooker tells me that the black-legged sheath-bill remains in Kerguelen all the winter. Neither are there any freshwater fishes, as there are practically no rivers and only a few pools which are scarcely ever free of ice. This striking fact makes inland journeys in the Antarctic Regions very much more serious business than the inland journeys in the Arctic Regions, since every pound of food required for a journey has to be carried by the explorers. There is no food in the interior of Antarctica. There is not a single living thing, except possibly a stray lichen or moss, which may harbour an insect or two, or some microscopical invertebrates and unicellular algse. In the Arctic Regions, on the other hand, with the perfect and light equipment that is carried nowadays and with the modern and accurate long-range firearms, so different from those used by Franklin, Rae, Richardson, Back, and others, who actually starved with reindeer in sight, there is little chance of explorers not being able to obtain food supplies. It is true there may be difficulty on occasions in obtaining food by one's...Read Less
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