Theodore Roosevelt > Through the Brazilian Wilderness > Page 120
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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  Through the Brazilian Wilderness.  1914.

Page 120
 
the South American fauna on the ground, Bates probably rendered most service; but he hardly seems even to have seen the animals with which the hunter is fairly familiar. His interests, and those of the other biologists of his kind, lay in other directions. In consequence, in treating of the life-histories of the very interesting big game, we have been largely forced to rely either on native report, in which acutely accurate observation is invariably mixed with wild fable, or else on the chance remarks of travellers or mere sportsmen, who had not the training to make them understand even what it was desirable to observe. Nowadays there is a growing proportion of big-game hunters, of sportsmen, who are of the Schilling, Selous, and Shiras type. These men do work of capital value for science. The mere big-game butcher is tending to disappear as a type. On the other hand, the big-game hunter who is a good observer, a good field naturalist, occupies at present a more important position than ever before, and it is now recognized that he can do work which the closest naturalist cannot do. The big-game hunter of this type and the outdoors, faunal naturalist, the student of the life-histories of big mammals, have open to them in South America a wonderful field in which to work.
  The fire-ants, of which I have above spoken, are generally found on a species of small tree or sapling, with a greenish trunk. They bend the whole body as they bite, the tail and head being thrust downward. A few seconds after the bite the poison causes considerable pain; later it may make a tiny festering sore. There is certainly the most extraordinary diversity in the traits by

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