Online Encyclopedia

AAR, or AARE

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 3 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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AAR, or AARE, the most considerable river which both rises and ends entirely within Switzerland. • Its total length (including all bends) from its source to its junction with the Rhine is about 181 m., during which distance it descends 5135 ft., while its drainage area is 6804 sq. m. It rises in the great Aar glaciers, it the canton of Bern, and W. of the Grimsel Pass. It runs E. to the Grimsel Hospice, and then N.W. through the Hasli valley, forming on the way the magnificent waterfall of the Handegg (151 ft.), past Guttannen, and pierces the limestone barrier of the Kirchet by a grand gorge, before reaching Meiringen, situated in a plain. A little beyond, near Brienz, the river expands into the lake of Brienz, where it becomes navigable. Near the west end of that lake it receives its first important affluent, the Liitschine (left), and then runs across the swampy plain of the Bodeli, between Interlaken (left) and Unterseen (right), before again expanding in order to form the Lake of Thun. Near the west end of that lake it receives on the left the Kander,which has just before been joined by the Simme; on flowing out of the lake it passes Thun, and then circles the lofty bluff on which the town of Bern is built. It soon changes its north-westerly for a due westerly direction, but after receiving the Saane or Sarine (left) turns N. till near Aarberg its stream is diverted W. by the Hagneck Canal into the Lake of Bienne, from the upper end of which it issues through the Nidau Canal and then runs E. to Buren. Henceforth its course is N.E. for a long distance, past Soleure (below which the Grosse Emme flows in on the right), Aarburg (where it is joined by the Wigger, right), Often, Aarau, near which is the junction with the Suhr on the right, and Wildegg, where the Hallwiler Aa falls in on the right. A short way beyond, below Brugg, it receives first the Reuss (right), and very shortly afterwards the Limmat or Linth (right). rt now turns due N., and soon becomes itself an affluent of the Rhine (left), which it surpasses in volume when they unite at Coblenz, opposite Waldshut. (W. A. B. C.) AARAU', the capital of the Swiss canton of Aargau. In 1900 it had 7831 inhabitants, mostly German-speaking, and mainly Protestants. It is situated in the valley of the Aar, on the right bank of that river, and at the southern foot of the range of the Jura. It is about 50 M. by rail N.E. of Bern, and 31 M. N.W. of Zurich. It is a well-built modern town, with no remarkable features about it. In the Industrial Museum there is (besides collections of various kinds) some good painted glass of the 16th century, taken from the neighbouring Benedictine monastery of Muri (founded 1027, suppressed 1841—the monks are now quartered at Gries, near Botzen, in Tirol). The cantonal library contains many works relating to Swiss history and many MSS. coming from the suppressed Argovian monasteries. There are many industries in the town, especially silk-ribbon weaving, foundries, and factories for the manufacture of cutlery and scientific instruments. The popular novelist and historian, Heinrich Zschokke (1771-1848), spent most of his life here, and a bronze statue has been erected to his memory. Aarau is an important military centre. The slopes of the Jura are covered with vine-yards. Aarau, an ancient fortress, was taken by the Bernese in 1415, and in 1798 became for a time the capital of the Helvetic republic. Eight miles by rail N.E. are the famous sulphur baths of Schinznach, just above which is the ruined castle of Habsburg, the original home of that great historical house. (W. A. B. C.) AARD-VARK (meaning " earth-pig "), the Dutch name for the mammals of genus Orycteropus, confined to Africa (see EDENTATA). Several species have been named. Among them is the typical form, 0. capensis, or Cape ant-bear from South Africa, and the northern aard-vark (O. aethiopicus) of north-eastern Africa, extending into Egypt. In form these animals are some-what pig-like; the body is stout, with arched back; the limbs are short and stout, armed with strong, blunt claws; the ears disproportionately long; and the tail very thick at the base and tapering gradually. The greatly elongated head is set on a short thick neck, and at the extremity of the snout is a disk in which the nostrils open. The mouth is small and tubular, furnished with a long extensile tongue. The measurements of a female, taken in the flesh, were head and body 4 ft., tail 171 in.; but a large individual measured 6 ft. 8 in. over all. In colour the Cape aard-vark is pale sandy or yellow, the hair being scanty and allowing the skin to show; the northern aard-vark has a still thinner coat, and is further distinguished by the shorter tail and longer head and ears. These-animals are of nocturnal and burrowing ha'-sits, and AARHUS 3 generally to be found near ant-hills. The strong claws make a hole in the side of the ant-hill, and the insects are collected on the extensile tongue. Aard-varks are hunted for their skins; but the flesh is valued for food, and often salted and smoked. AARD-WOLF (earth-wolf), a South and East African carnivorous mammal (Proteles cristatus), in general appearance like a small striped hyena, but with a more pointed muzzle, sharper ears, and a long erectile mane down the middle line of the neck and back. It is of nocturnal and burrowing habits, and feeds on decomposed animal substances, larvae and termites.
End of Article: AAR, or AARE
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