In the following lectures, accordingly, this term will disappear until we have dealt with words, when it will re-emerge as mainly a trivial and unimportant outcome of linguistic habits
We may imagine that the early progenitor of the ostrich had habits like those of a bustard, and that as natural selection increased in successive generations the size and weight of its body, its legs were used more, and its wings less, until they became incapable of flight.
Wollaston, of the almost entire absence of certain large groups of beetles, elsewhere excessively numerous, and which groups have habits of life almost necessitating frequent flight;--these several considerations have made me believe that the wingless condition of so many Madeira beetles is mainly due to the action of natural selection, but combined probably with disuse.
In South America, a burrowing rodent, the tuco-tuco, or Ctenomys, is even more subterranean in its habits than the mole; and I was assured by a Spaniard, who had often caught them, that they were frequently blind; one which I kept alive was certainly in this condition, the cause, as appeared on dissection, having been inflammation of the nictitating membrane.
On this view, the capacity of enduring the most different climates by man himself and by his domestic animals, and such facts as that former species of the elephant and rhinoceros were capable of enduring a glacial climate, whereas the living species are now all tropical or sub-tropical in their habits, ought not to be looked at as anomalies, but merely as examples of a very common flexibility of constitution, brought, under peculiar circumstances, into play.
We may often falsely attribute to correlation of growth, structures which are common to whole groups of species, and which in truth are simply due to inheritance; for an ancient progenitor may have acquired through natural selection some one modification in structure, and, after thousands of generations, some other and independent modification; and these two modifications, having been transmitted to a whole group of descendants with diverse habits, would naturally be thought to be correlated in some necessary manner.
These false eagles most rarely kill any living bird or animal; and their vulture-like, necrophagous habits are very evident to any one who has fallen asleep on the desolate plains of Patagonia, for when he wakes, he will see, on each surrounding hillock, one of these birds patiently watching him with an evil eye: it is a feature in the landscape of these countries, which will be recognised by every one who has wandered over them.
These birds in many respects resemble in their habits the Carranchas.
I have now mentioned all the carrion-feeders, excepting the condor, an account of which will be more appropriately introduced when we visit a country more congenial to its habits than the plains of La Plata.
Negro, in Northern Patagonia, there is an animal of the same habits, and probably a closely allied species, but which I never saw.
They perplex their judgments by a most undue attention to little niceties of personal appearance, habits, disposition, and other trifles which concern nobody but the lady herself.
My early habits had gifted me with a feminine sensibility and too exquisite refinement.
"As to that, if I wanted evidence of a fact, which is abundantly apparent by the habits of the animal, I have the word of Ishmael himself.
Why should she not study the habits of any animal, even though it were a rhinoceros?"
"In what manner, pray, can a hound distinguish the habits, species, or even the genus of an animal, like reasoning, learned, scientific, triumphant man!"