Boekgegevens
Titel: First English reading book: Engelsch leesboek voor instituten, gymnasiën en hoogere burgerscholen: met Nederlandsche woordenlijst
Auteur: Herrig, Ludwig
Uitgave: Arnhem: J. Voltelen, 1869 *
Auteursrechten: Zie auteursrechten
Citeerinstructie: Bijzondere Collecties van de Universiteit van Amsterdam, UBM: IWO 513 H 21
URL: https://schoolmuseum.uba.uva.nl/bookid/LCSM_204683
Onderwerp: Taal- en letterkunde naar afzonderlijke talen: Engelse taalkunde
Trefwoord: Leesvaardigheid, Engels, Leermiddelen (vorm)
* jaar van uitgave niet op de gebruikelijke wijze verkregen, mogelijk betreft het een schatting
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she effects by removing it from under her
body with her hind flappers, scooping it
out with so much dexterity that the sides
seldom if ever fall in. The sand is raised
alternately with each flapper, as with a
large ladle, until it has accumulated behind
her, when supporting herself with her head
and fore part on the ground fronting her
body, she with a spring from each flapper
sends the sands around her, scattering it to
the distance of several feet. In this man-
ner the hole is dug to the depth of eighteen
inches, or sometimes more tb ni two feet.
This labour I have seen performed in the
short period of nine minutes. The eggs are
then dropped one by one, and deposed in
regular layers, to the number of a hundred
and fifty, or sometimes nearly two hundred.
The whole time spent in this part of the
operation may be about twenty minutes.
She now scrapes the loose sand back over
the eggs, and so levels and smooths the
surface, that few persons on seeing the spot
could imagine any thing had been done to
it. This accomplished to her mind, she re-
treats to the water with all possible dis-
patch, leaving the hatching of the eggs to
the heat of the sand. When a turtle, a
loggerhead for example, is in the act of
dropping her eggs, she will not move al-
though one should go up to her, or even
seat himself on her back, for it seems at
this moment she finds it necessary to pro-
ceed at all events, and is unable to inter-
mit her labour. The moment it is finished,
however, off she starts; nor would it then
be possible for one, unless he were as
strong as a Hercules, to turn her over and
secure her.
To upset a turtle on the shore, one is
obliged to fall on one's knees, and, placing
his shoulder behind her forearm, gradually
raise her up by pushing with great force,
and then with a jerk throw her over. Some-
times it requires the united strength of sev-
eral men to accomplish this; and if the
turtle should be of very great size, as often
happens on that coast, even handspikes
are employed. Some turtlers are so dar-
ing as to swim up to them while lying
asleep on the surface of the water, and turn
them over in their own element; when, how-
ever, a boat must be at hand to enable
them to secure their prize. Few turtles
can bite beyond the reach of their fore-
legs, and few, when once turned over, can
without assistance regain their natural po-
sition; but, notwithstanding this, their flap-
pers are generally secured by ropes, so as
to render their escape impossible.
Persons who search for turtles' eggs are
provided with a light stiff cane or gun-rod,
with which they go along the shores, prob-
ing the sand near the tracks of the ani-
mals, which, however, cannot always be
seen, on account of the winds and heavy
rains that often obhterate them. The nests
are discovered not only by men, but also
by beasts of prey, and the eggs are col-
lected, or destroyed on the spot in great
numbers, as on certain parts of the shores
hundreds of turtles are known to deposit
their eggs within the space of a mile. They
form a new hole each time they lay, and
the second is generally dug near the first,
as if the animal were quite unconscious of
what had befallen it. It will readily be
understood that the numerous eggs seen in
a turtle on cutting it up could not be all
laid the same season. The whole number
deposited by an individual in one summer
may amount to four hundred, whereas if
the animal is caught on or near her nest,
as I have witnessed, the remaining eggs,
all small, without shells and as it were
threaded like so many large beads, exceed
three thousand. In an instance where 1
found that number, the turtle weighed
nearly four hundred pounds. The young,
soon after being hatched, and when yet
scarcely larger than a dollar, scratch their
way through their sandy covering, and im-
mediately betake themselves to the water.
The food of the green turtle consists
chiefly of marine plants, which they cut
near the roots to procure the most tender
and succulent parts. Their feeding grounds,
as I have else-where said, are easily di.s-
covered by floating masses of these plants
on the flats, or along the shores to which
they resort. The hawkbilled species feeds
on sea-weeds, crabs, various kinds of shell-
fish, and fishes; the loggerhead mostly on
the fish of conch-shells of large size, which
they are enabled by means of their power-
ful beak, to crush to pieces with apparent-
ly as much ease as a man cracks a walnut.
One which was brought on board the Ma-
rion, and placed near the fluke of one of
her anchors, made a deep indentation in
that hammered piece of iron that quite sur-
prised me. The trunk turtle feeds onmol-
lusca, fish, crustacea, sea urchins, and vari-
ous marine plants.
All the species move through the water
with surprising speed; but the green and
hawk-billed in particulair remind you, by
their celerity and the ease of their motions,
of the progress of a bird in the air. It is
therefore no easy matter to strike one with
a spear, and yet this is often done by an
accomphshed turtler.