But even some of these so-called epidemics appear to be due to parasitic worms, which have from some cause, possibly in part through facility of diffusion amongst the crowded animals, been disproportionably favoured: and here comes in a sort of struggle between the parasite and its prey.
Hence, if certain insectivorous birds (whose numbers are probably regulated by hawks or beasts of prey) were to increase in Paraguay, the flies would decrease--then cattle and horses would become feral, and this would certainly greatly alter (as indeed I have observed in parts of South America) the vegetation: this again would largely affect the insects; and this, as we just have seen in Staffordshire, the insectivorous birds, and so onwards in ever-increasing circles of complexity.
The ape-man had no knife, but nature had equipped him with the means of tearing his food from the quivering flank of his prey, and gleaming teeth sank into the succulent flesh while the raging lion looked on from below as another enjoyed the dinner that he had thought already his.
Occasionally he smiled as he recalled some friend who might even at the moment be sitting placid and immaculate within the precincts of his select Parisian club--just as Tarzan had sat but a few months before; and then he would stop, as though turned suddenly to stone as the gentle breeze carried to his trained nostrils the scent of some new prey or a formidable enemy.
"If it be The Black Wolf," whispered Father Claude to the boy, "no worse fate could befall us for he preys ever upon the clergy, and when drunk as he now is, he murders his victims.
Neither side knew which way his power might be turned, for Norman of Torn had preyed almost equally upon royalist and insurgent.
Onward they went, the scent of the lion and his prey
becoming stronger and stronger.
With a loud hiss the creature abandoned its prey
to turn upon me, but the spear, imbedded in its throat, prevented it from seizing me though it came near to overturning the skiff in its mad efforts to reach me.
Tarzan must act quickly or his prey
would be gone; but Tarzan's life training left so little space between decision and action when an emergency confronted him that there was not even room for the shadow of a thought between.
Picking our way carefully we threaded a winding path across the chamber, the great banths sniffing hungrily at the tempting prey
spread before them in such tantalizing and defenceless profusion.
During what seemed hours to her tense nerves, Jane Clayton continued these tactics, and still the lion fed on in apparent unconsciousness that his second prey
was escaping him.
It is not a nice way to die--alone, with one's hands fast bound, beneath the fangs and talons of a beast of prey
. No, it is not a nice way to die, not a pretty way.
But only for a moment they hesitated, and then with one accord they again took up their fantastic advance upon their prey
; but even then a sudden crashing in the jungle behind them brought them once more to a halt, and as they turned to look in the direction of this new noise there broke upon their startled visions a sight that may well have frozen the blood of braver men than the Wagambi.
I suppose it is too insignificant to be noticed by the great Epeira, and is therefore allowed to prey
on the minute insects, which, adhering to the lines, would otherwise be wasted.
It was within half-an-hour of sunset when we entered the wood, and a little after sunset when we came into the plain: we met with nothing in the first wood, except that in a little plain within the wood, which was not above two furlongs over, we saw five great wolves cross the road, full speed, one after another, as if they had been in chase of some prey
, and had it in view; they took no notice of us, and were gone out of sight in a few moments.