Theodore Roosevelt > Through the Brazilian Wilderness > Page 115
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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  Through the Brazilian Wilderness.  1914.

Page 115
 
claws. Miller told us that he once saw one of them kill a dog. They feed on all small mammals, birds, and reptiles, and even on some large ones; they kill iguanas; Cherrie saw a rattling chase through the trees, a coati following an iguana at full speed. We heard the rush of a couple of tapirs, as they broke away in the jungle in front of the dogs and headed, according to their custom, for the river; but we never saw them. One of the party shot a bush deer—a very pretty, graceful creature, smaller than our whitetail deer, but kin to it and doubtless the southernmost representative of the whitetail group.
  The whitetail deer—using the word to designate a group of deer which can neither be called a subgenus with many species, nor a widely spread species diverging into many varieties—is the only North American species which has spread down into and has outlying representatives in South America. It has been contended that the species has spread from South America northward. I do not think so; and the specimen thus obtained furnished a probable refutation of the theory. It was a buck, and had just shed its small antlers. The antlers are, therefore, shed at the same time as in the north, and it appears that they are grown at the same time as in the north. Yet this variety now dwells in the tropics south of the equator, where the spring, and the breeding season for most birds, comes at the time of the northern fall in September, October, and November. That the deer is an intrusive immigrant, and that it has not yet been in South America long enough to change its mating season in accordance with the climate, as the birds—geologically

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