History 2

A Journey in Brazil by Louis Agassiz; Elizabeth Cary Agassiz

By Louis Agassiz; Elizabeth Cary Agassiz

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The Sander (liuciope1'ca Sand1'a) is found in the Danube and the other large rivers of Eastern Europe, but occurs neither in the Rhine nor in tbe Rhone. The common perch (Perca fluviatilis), on the contrary, is found both in the Rhine and Rhone, but not in the Danube, which, however, nourishes another species of true Perca, already described by Schaeffer as Pe1'ca vulga1·is. Again, the pickerel (Esox liucius) is common to all these rivers, especially in their lower course, and so is also the cusk (Lota vulga1·is).

There must of course have been a cause for tllis great accumulation of water in ancient periods. I account for it in the northern half of the hemisphere by the melting of vast masses of ice in the glacial period, causing immense freshets. There is no trustworthy accowlt of the river terraces in Brazil. Bates, however, describes flat-topped hills between Santarem and Para in the narrow part of the valley, near Almcyrim, rising 800 feet above the present level of the Amazons. If this part of the valley were flooded in old times, banks might have been formed of which these hills are a remnant.

L. A. VOYAGE FROM NEW YORK TO RIO DE JANEIRO. 29 Ap1'il 14th. -Last evening was the most beautiful we have bad since we left borne; perfectly clear witb tbe exception of soft white ~asses of cloud on the borizon, all their edges silvered by the moonlight. We looked our last for many months to come on tbe north star, and saw tbe southern cross for tbe first time. With the visible image I lost a far more wonderf-ul constellation whicb bad lived in my imagination; it has vanisbed with all its golden glory, a celestial vision as amazing as that whicb converted Constantine, and in its place stands the veritable constellation with its four little points of light.

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