Various species among those that are predaceous attack smaller insects, hunt in packs crustaceans larger than themselves, insert their narrow heads into snail-shells to pick out and devour the occupants, or pursue slugs and earthworms underground.
Not to speak of insects which feed upon the pitcher itself, some drop their eggs into the putrescent mass, where their larvae find abundant nourishment, while birds often slit open the pitchers with their beaks and devour the maggots in their turn.
It is supposed that these beetles secrete a sweet substance on which the ants feed, but they have been seen to devour the ants' eggs and grubs.
Locusts devour all before them; caterpillars defoliate plant, and necessitate the premature utilization of its reserves; other insects (e.g.
The Vertebrata come within the scope of our subject, chiefly as destructive agents which cause wounds or devour young shoots and foliage, &c. Rabbits and other burrowing animals injure roots, squirrels and birds snip off buds, horned cattle strip off bark, and so forth.
P. sylvestris in Britain is liable to many insect depredations: the pine-chafer, Hylurgus piniperda, is destructive in some places, the larva of this beetle feeding on the young succulent shoots, especially in young plantations; Hylobius abietis, the fir-weevil, eats away the bark, and numerous lepidopterous larvae devour the leaves; the pine-sawfly is also injurious in some seasons; the removal of all dead branches from the trees and from the ground beneath them is recommended, as most of these insects lay their eggs among the decaying bark and dead leaves.
Many of them devour seed, as the corn weevils, Calandra granaria and C. oryzae, and in this way vegetation is severely injured, and its spread seriously checked.
It has, however, been demonstrated that the senile whitening of human hair is due to the presence of phagocytes, which devour the pigment-bodies; and from microscopic observations recently made by the French naturalist Dr E.
"We shall throw you three people into the Garden of the Twining Vines," said the Princess, "and they will soon crush you and devour your bodies to make themselves grow bigger.