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made rigorously year after year; then they return to there, however, with time, in even greater numbers. Because, for almost a century, the hand of the man has stolen an enormous amount of eggs from their natural development; Because, in addition to the hawks, old crows and storks, the chameleons (Senembis) and


crocodiles, large and small, eat their eggs;

Because many are broken in the egg pasture, and also many of the turtles are eaten by the same ant mentioned before; And finally, because they are such an easy food source: the considerable number of these animals, which still exists today causes astonishment. The stories of ancient Indians claim that once the Solimoes boiled with turtles, as of ants in the anthill.

von Humboldt

Mr. von Humboldt calculated more or less 33 million eggs, produced by 330,000 females are necessary for the total of 5,000 pots to 25 bottles, which are prepared annually, on three islands of the Orinoco. From many experienced collectors, exploring the beaches in the Solimoes, I heard the following meticulous proportional calculus. In a pot (containing also 25 bottles), we calculate the eggs of 16 pits (assuming a medium of 100, make up 1,600 eggs); The number of females, whose eggs, in the Solimoes,

are processed annually in butter, therefore, they are calculated at 240,000. Adult turtles, annually exterminated, must number 20,000, in the Solimoes, and the number of them, which live in this river and in its inland waters, total 2 million at the minimum.

These great waste of resources demonstrates the carelessness of the inhabitants, when one thinks of the possibility and consequences of exhausting this rich source of food. Moreover, there is no doubt that the current system is exterminating them, notwithstanding all the productibility of these useful animal; And the government seeks, for this reason, to compensate at least the irregular workers, who suffer the pastures and the pests from the bark, as well as the Indians who wander errant. The workers usually also dry the eggs, to preserve them. This drying consists of the process of exposing them to fire (in Mothe) (1) or the Sun (Urubu-mowho "Dry to crows mode "). The dry egg, losing a third of its weight, takes on a disgusting greasy flavor. As the time of the egg pasturing lasts a whole month (2), the Indians are preserved, as are the other



(1) Boucaner, from Boucanier (Flibusteiro), "who eats moqueada meat ", comes from grinding, moving, where the Indians apply smoke to the provision of dry meat on the fire, to prevent rotting.
(2) To add to the natural history of the turtle, there is still the following: The copulation is in the same way as among the frogs, not in the river, but in the neighboring waters. According to the Indians, they are almost a whole year pregnant. Not all eggs are fertilized; Sometimes groves are filled with the unfertilized eggs. Only the fertilized (butter eggs) are put to dry by the Indians. Most eggs are spherical; The somewhat elongated eggs indicate they