National Geographic : 1916 May
FURTHER EXPLORATIONS IN THE LAND OF THE INCAS 471 much affection for them. They were ex ceedingly gentle with their pets and were never seen to strike them or to show anger at any misbehavior on their part. "Considerable hunting was done at night with a reflecting lantern of high power. These nocturnal rambles yield ed specimens of red deer, several species of night-prowling carnivorous animals, opossums, and a peculiar night snake of the genus boa. The eyes of this snake were quite luminous and could be de tected at a distance of 20 yards or more. The body was distinctly compressed, like that of a fish, instead of being circular in outline. The head was large and ar row-shaped, and armed with long teeth in the upper jaw, giving it a close re semblance to such poisonous snakes as vipers. The snake was light gray, re sembling the bark of many forest trees; but on the back it was marked by large diamond blotches of a brown color. "The largest specimen obtained, some 6i2 feet long, was shot at to o'clock one night, hanging with its head within a foot of the ground and close to a small spring of water in the forest, which was a favor ite resort for small mammals and other animals. This snake, after being ren dered harmless by a shot in the head, coiled its body about the barrel of my shot-gun and exhibited such powers of constriction that it could scarcely be pulled loose again. "Some 30 specimens of monkeys were collected, representing six different gen era, with a single species to each. Be sides the monkeys, two species of rare carnivorous mammals were obtained." The complete zoological collection con sists of 891 specimens of mammals, rep resenting some 80 species, and 695 speci mens of birds, representing some 400 species, besides several tanks filled with reptiles and batrachians. Of snakes there are some 15 or 20 species, of which 5 are vipers. There are 1oo or 200 specimens of fishes, most of them of small size. RICH IN FOODS The botanists spent three weeks in the canyon near Machu Picchu and found the region particularly interesting, be cause it represented the border line be- tween tropical crops and those of the temperate zone. The people of Machu Picchu, by going down the valley, could raise well-known tropical fruits like alli gator pears, custard apples, guavas and papayas, and tree tomatoes. At the pres ent time coffee, cocoa, bananas, sugar cane, oranges, limes, and lemons can be grown in the valley not far below Machu Picchu. Whether any of these last named vegetables were known to the Incas is very doubtful. On the other hand, they did grow in these tropical val leys cotton and coca, from which we de rive the extract cocaine. By going up the valley a few miles on the other side, such temperate-zone plants as potatoes in large variety, many kinds of Indian corn, and a considerable num ber of food plants that have not as yet been domesticated in the United States, could be grown in profusion. Although Machu Picchu is thus shown to have been remarkably well situated strategically from the food point of view, the builders were greatly handicapped by the small amount of flat, arable land. As a result, they built terraces everywhere, and the extent to which they carried the construction of these small garden plots is even more extraordinary than we at first supposed it to be. Mr. Cook says in his report that "every spot where plants could be made to grow appears to have been utilized" (see the original paper by Professor Cook beginning on p. 474). MODERN INDIANS OF TIHE LAND OF TIIE INCAS Studies of the modern Indians, par ticularly in the Department of Cuzco, were made by Surgeon Ford and Chief Assistant Hardy. While Dr. Ford had to deal chiefly with Indians who came to consult him on account of their health, he made it a point to take measurements of as many subjects as were willing to submit to the "white man's medicine" of measuring-tape, calipers, and camera. Mr. Hardy gave his special attention to the general subject of the manners and customs of this region. Owing to the necessary limitation of space, I can only quote from a few paragraphs of their reports.