"That which is, on its first occurrence, independent of prior experience; which tends to the well-being of the individual and the preservation of the race; which is similarly performed by all members of the same more or less restricted group of animals; and which may be subject to subsequent modification under the guidance of experience." *
Though perhaps unavoidable, allusion to "the same more or less restricted group of animals" makes it impossible to judge what is instinctive in the behaviour of an isolated individual.
The process of learning, which consists in the acquisition of habits, has been much studied in various animals.* For example: you put a hungry animal, say a cat, in a cage which has a door that can be opened by lifting a latch; outside the cage you put food.
So, as time went on, the Doctor got more and more animals
; and the people who came to see him got less and less.
"Undoubtedly," replied the captain, "if it possesses such dreadful power, it is the most terrible animal that ever was created.
Notwithstanding the distance, and the noise of the wind and sea, one heard distinctly the loud strokes of the animal's tail, and even its panting breath.
An immense track, of dazzling whiteness, marked the passage of the animal, and described a long curve.
He was quick in his classification, for he knew them at once for man- animal
Now, if we look to the animals inhabiting these wide plains, we shall find their numbers extraordinarily great, and their bulk immense.
Besides these large animals, every one the least acquainted with the natural history of the Cape, has read of the herds of antelopes, which can be compared only with the flocks of migratory birds.
Those tertiary epochs, which we are apt to consider as abounding to an astonishing degree with large animals, because we find the remains of many ages accumulated at certain spots, could hardly boast of more large quadrupeds than Southern Africa does at present.
--O mine animals, answered Zarathustra, talk on thus and let me listen!
--"O Zarathustra," said then his animals, "to those who think like us, things all dance themselves: they come and hold out the hand and laugh and flee--and return.
In animals it has a more marked effect; for instance, I find in the domestic duck that the bones of the wing weigh less and the bones of the leg more, in proportion to the whole skeleton, than do the same bones in the wild-duck; and I presume that this change may be safely attributed to the domestic duck flying much less, and walking more, than its wild parent.
When we look to the hereditary varieties or races of our domestic animals and plants, and compare them with species closely allied together, we generally perceive in each domestic race, as already remarked, less uniformity of character than in true species.