A year at the shore


Material Information

A year at the shore
Physical Description:
xii, 330 p., 36 leaves of plates : col. ill. ; 16.9 cm.
Gosse, Philip Henry, 1810-1888
Daldy, Isbister & Co ( Publisher )
Daldy, Isbister
Place of Publication:
London (56 Ludgate Hill)
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Marine animals -- Juvenile literature -- Great Britain   ( lcsh )
Seashore biology -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Juvenile literature -- 1877   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1877   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1877
Juvenile literature   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London


Statement of Responsibility:
by Philip Henry Gosse.
General Note:
Includes index.
General Note:
Includes 2 p. publisher's catalog.
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 001599699
oclc - 19493933
notis - AHM3864
System ID:

This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text


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0dith hirtf-six Gala rlt 3iltrantiono t





Advance of Waves upon a Beach-Foam-Shingle Voices-Climb-
ing the Cliff-Look-out-Assault of the Sea-Defeat-Gulls
-Descent --Cavernous Recess Rock-pool Purple-spotted
Top Its Progression Tentacles -Eyes-Shell-A twisted
Cone Colours Nacre-Dog-whelks-Notch in Shell-Its
Testimony to Character-How the Whelk conquers the Bi-
valve- Its Weapon-Pelican's Foot-Its Changes of Figure-
Cowry-Description Ciliated Proboscis Vivid Colours-
Growth of the Shell-Scallop-Superstition- Sea Butterflies
-Leaping-Mantle-Eyes Valves Details of the Scallop
Trade-Tenacity of Life-Sea Cucumber--Mode of Securing
it-Its tentacular Coronet-Suckers- Dotted Siponcle-Its
Proboscis-Hermit Siponcle, 1-29


View from Babbicombe Cliffs-Dog's Head Rock--Jackdaws-
Oddicombe-Petit Tor Bell-Rock Tragedy-Teignmouth
Ness-Exmouth Portland Fragrant Butterburr Babbi-
combe and its Beach Descent Stone-turning Serpula-
Triope-Its Beauty- Sea Lemon-Crowned Eolis-Its Fero-
city Spawn Development of Young Fecundity Dog-
winkle-Purple Dye of Tyre-Legend of Hercules-Egg-


capsules Development -- Limpet Excavates the Rock-
Faculty of Adhesion-Cement-Gills-Slit Limpet-Key-hole
Limpet--Holes in Sandstone-Finger Pholas Its Boring
Habits-Mode of Operation-Various Hypotheses-Proved
Facts-Red-noses-Coast changed by Mollusks,


Invention of the Aquarium The Principle Advantages for
Zoological Study-Necessity for out-door Examination-Visit
to Anstey's Cove-Boat Excursion-Sea-Cavern-Colonies of
Anemones-Beadlet--Submarine Forest-Green Opelet-Its
Powers-Spontaneous Division-Hope's Nose- London-bridge
Rock-Gloomy Rock-lane-Life on the Sea Rocks-Oyster-
culture- Dead-man's Finger-Anemones-Rosy A.- Scarlet
fringed A.-Snowy A. Orange-disked A.-Plumose A.-
Their offensive Weapons-Dahlia Wartlet-Deluded Bee-
Lucernaria-Ultimate Purpose of Creation,


Barren Sand-Torquay to Paignton-Goodrington Sands-Rocky
Area-Paignton Cockle-A bonne Bouche-Common Cockle-
Importance to the Hebrides-Foot of Cockle-Its Leaping
and Burrowing Powers Structure Banded Venus Its
Beauty-Foot Prawn-Armour Defensive and Offensive-
Colours Tail-plates Movements-Keer-drag- The Shrim-
per- Shrimp-Flat-fish-Aberrations of Structure-Yarrell's
Remarks-Topknot-Effects of Fear on Colour-Beauty of its
Eyes-Sand-Launce--Curious Catenation-A Tenant in the
Tank, .


Lesser Weever-Its Aspect-Its Spines-Are they Venomous ?-
Cuvier's Negative-Couch's Affirmative- Remedy--Habits-








Young Thornback Motions Spiracles Eyes Form--
Colours-Spines-Fifteen-spined Stickleback-Mode of Feed-
ing-Nest-building-Mr. Couch's Observations-Changes of
Form-Worm-casts-Swimming-crab-Mask-crab--Use of the
Antennae Rocky Barrier--Paper-worm- Gliding Motion-
Tenacity of Life--Mouth strangely placed and strangely
formed- Long-worm-A Portrait by Mr. Kingsley, 114-138


Maidencombe-Sea Hare-Its Shell-Purple Excretion--Ruminat-
ing Stomach Its bad Reputation Tusk-shell Torbay
Bonnet-Cup Limpet--Locust Screw-Parental Care-Fresh-
water Screw-Great Sea Woodlouse-Maternal Care-Leaf-
worms-Rainbow Leaf-worm Reproduced Organs Pearly
Nereis-Blood Circulation--Proboscis-Scale Worm-Dorsal
Shields-Feet-Bristles- Their Use Number Proboscis-
Teeth Tube dwellings Phosphorescence Locomotive
Power in Worms, ..


Dredging Ground-Two-spotted Sucker-Its Appearance-Beauty
of its Eyes-Habits in Captivity--Adhesive Power--Vacuum
-Echinodermata-Starlet-Its Dimensions Figure Eye-
specks-Other Organs-Sea-Urchin-Mechanism of its Box-
Its Growth-Sucker-feet-Spines--Feather-star-Structure-
Colours-Infant State-Dissimilar Forms connected-Bridge
from Feather-star to Urchin-Flat-crab Contest between
Dirt and Cleanliness-Peculiar Mode of procuring Food-
Foot-jaws-Squat-lobsters-Three Kinds described- Habits-
Form of Young, .






Rock-pools-Work of Boring Mollusca-Process of Formation-
Cork-wing--Natural History Illustration-Fish poisoned by
an Anthea-Lucky Proach-Respiration of Fishes Pipe-
fishes-Persecutions of a Gammarus-A Male Wet-nurse-
Butterfly Blenny-Shanny-Taking the Air-Freckled Goby
-The Shore a profitable Field of Study, 195-220


Ball's Dredge-Old Oyster Dredge-Dredging-S-un-star-Canni-
balism Granulate Brittlestar His Sad Fate Angled
Crab Researches in Cods' Stomachs-Nut-crabs A Slow
Coach-Bryer's Nut-crab-Contents of a Dredge-Hermit-
crabs-Cloaklet-Strange Association-Mystery of its Main-
tenance-Solution-Psychical Faculties, 221-247


Life in Tropical Seas-Portuguese Man-of-War-Its Structure-
Bladder-Tentacles-Poisoning Powers-Effects--Dr. Wal-
lich's Objections Gulf-stream Velellce Stephanomia-
Tongued Sarsia-Its Swimming-bell- Locomotive Powers-
Tentacles-Forbes's JEquorea-Luminosity- Crimson-ringed
Aurelia-Its Transformations -Cydippe-Poetical Description
of it, 248-273


Clarence's Dream of the Sea Bottom-Diving-bell-Lobster-horn
-Campanularia-Medusa-like Progeny--Scalpellm- Acorn
Barnacles-Necked Barnacle-Pyrgoma-Cirriped Transform-




nations Tube-worms Serpula Its Shell Hooks and
Bristles-Gills-Stopper-Its Homology and Use-Sabella--
Shell-tube- Gills- Soft-tube-Hook-plumed Sabella-Process
of Tube-building, .


Squirters Affinity with Bivalves -- Test Gill-sac-- Branchial
Cilia Heart Blood Circulation Digestion-Tentacles-
Eyes- Cynthia--Currant Squirter Four-angled Squirter-
Discharge of Eggs-Transformations Compound Forms-
Botrylli Oceanic Forms Pyrosoma Its Luminosity-
Sponges-Their Habitats-Various Species described with the
Forms of their Spicula-Motives for Study-A Protest against
prevalent Errors, .











SEA HARE, .140



CRAB, 238






grandly those heavy waves


1. z

in upon

this long shingle-beach!


they come, with

deliberate march that tells of power, out of that



that broods over the southern horizon;

onward they come, onward! onward !--each following

its precursor in

serried ranks, ever coming nearer and

nearer, ever looming larger and larger, like the resistless


of a great

invading army, sternly proud in

conscious strength; and ever and anon, as one and

another dark

billow breaks in a crest of foam, we may

fancy we see the standards and ensigns

of the threaten-

ing host waving here and there above the mass.

Still they drive

in; and each

in turn curls over its

green head, and rushes up the sloping beach in a long-

drawn sheet of the purest, whitest foam.

The drifted

snow itself is not more purely, spotlessly white

than is

that sheet of

foaming water.


it seethes and








sparkles! how it boils and bubbles! how it rings and
hisses! The wind sings shrilly out of the driving
clouds, now sinking to a moan, now rising to a roar;
but we cannot hear it, for its tones are drowned in the
ceaseless rushing of the mighty waves upon the beach
and the rattle of the recoiling pebbles. Along the
curvature of the shore the shrill hoarse voice runs,
becoming softer and mellower as it recedes; while the
echo of the bounding cliffs confines and repeats it, and
mingles it with the succeeding ones, till all are blended
on the ear in one deafening roar.
But let us climb these slippery rocks, and picking
our way cautiously over yonder craggy ledges, leaping
the chasms that yawn between and reveal the hissing
waters below, let us strive to attain the vantage-ground
of that ridge that we see some fifty feet above the beach.
It is perilous work, this scrambling over rocks, alter-
nately slimy with treacherous sea-weed, and bristling
with sharp needle-points of honey-combed limestone;
now climbing a precipice, with the hands clutching
these same rough points, and the toes finding a pre-
carious hold in their interstices; now descending to a
ledge awfully overhung; now creeping along a narrow
shelf, by working each foot on, a few inches at a time;
while the fingers nervously cling to the stony precipice,
and the mind strives to forget the rugged depths below,


and what would happen ii--(ah !

that "if!"

let us cast

it to the winds) : another long stride across a gulf, a
bound upward, and here we are.
Yes, here we stand, on the bluff, looking out to sea-

in the very eye of the


We might

supposed it a tolerably smooth slope of stone when we

looked at the point

parts of the

from the sea, or from the various

shore whence we can see this promontory.

But very different is it on a close acquaintance.

It is a

wilderness of craggy points and huge castellated masses
,of compact limestone marble, piled one on another in

the wildest and most magnificent confusion.

We have

secured a

comfortable berth, where, wedged in


two of these masses,

we can without danger

one breast-high, and gaze over it down upon the very

theatre of the elemental war.

Is not this a sight worth

the toil and trouble and peril of
below is fringed with great ins

the ascent ?
ular peaks an

The rock
d blocks,

bristling up amidst

the sea, of

various sizes and of the

fantastic and singular forms,

which the

sea at

high-water would mostly cover; though now the far-
receding tide exposes their horrid points, and the brown
lepros coainZ:)

leprous coating c
sides are covered

)f barnacles with




is broadly seen between the swelling

Heavily rolls in the long deep swell of th ocean from








the south-west; and as it approaches with its huge undu-
lations driven up into foaming crests before the howling
gale, each mighty wave breasts up against these rocks,
as when an army of veteran legions assaults an impreg-
nable fortress. Impregnable indeed! for having spent
its fury in a rising wall of mingled water and foam, it
shoots up perpendicularly to an immense elevation, as,
if it would scale the heights it could not overthrow,
only to lie the next moment a broken ruin of water,
murmuring and shrieking in the rmoats below. The-
insular peaks and blocks receive the incoming surge in
an overwhelming flood, which, immediately, as the spent
wave recedes, pours off through the interstices in a
hundred beautiful jets and cascades; while in the
narrow straits and passages the rushing sea boils and
whirls about in curling sheets of snowy whiteness,
curdling the surface; or, where it breaks away, of the
most delicate pea-green hue, the tint produced by the.
bubbles seen through the water as they crowd to the
air from the depths where they were formed,-the evi-
dence of the unseen combat fiercely raging between earth
and sea far below.
The shrieking gusts, as the gale rises yet higher and
more furious, whip off the crests of the breaking billows,,
and bear the spray like a shower of salt sleet to the
height where we stand; while the foam, as it forms


aInd accumulates around the



base of the headland


by the same power in broad masses, and carried

against the sides of the projecting

,and thither


like fleeces of wool, and

flying hither



much mortar to the face of

the precipice,

till it


great spaces, to the height of many fathoms above the
highest range of the tide. The gulls flit wailing through

the storm, now breasting the wind,

and beating the air

with their


wings as they make slow


then, yielding the vain essay, they turn and are whirled


till, recovering themselves, they come

up again

with a sweep, only


to be discomfited.


white forms, now seen against the leaden-grey sky, now
lost amidst the snowy foam, then coming into strong

relief against the



with the sounds

black rocks; their


against the

of the elements,

piping screams,

ear, then blending
combine to add a


to the scene which

was already


savage e.
But the
path leads

spring-tide is nearly at its lowest; a rocky
down from our eminence to a recess in the
whence in these conditions access may be

obtained to a sea-cavern, that

we may possibly


entertainment in exploring.
We reluctantly turn our backs upon the magnificent

battle of sea and land, and following this




scramble down, holding fast by the tufts of thrift, round
and soft and yielding, but sufficiently firm to present
some resistance, or by the tussocks of wiry grass, till
we leap down on the great piled masses of marble that
past ages have thrown from the cliffs upon the beach.
Among these we find many basins and pools of still
water, for we are in a deep recess of the promontory,
whose shelter renders us almost unconscious of the fury
of the winter wind without; and the masses of rock
that lie piled about so curb and break the force of the
incoming sea, that it percolates rather than rushes into,
these secluded nooks. Tall walls of stone, too, shut out
much of the light of day; and as to the sun, only his
most slant evening rays ever reach this spot: it is
enshrouded in an obscurity which is most congenial to
both the plants and the animals which resort to ourf
shores; and here, doubtless, though the season is still
midwinter, we shall find our searching rewarded by
not a few of those creatures, beautiful and wondrous, in
which the devout naturalist delights to trace the handi-
work of the God of glory.
At the very first glance into this little rock-hollow,
all fringed with crimson and purple weed, lined with
scales of lilac coralline, and partly shadowed by the
olive fronds of the leathery tangle, we discern many
forms of animal life. Here, for instance, is a fine hand-


some shelled mollusk, the Purple-spotted Top.1 Before
we take him up, let us notice for a moment with what
an easy even movement he glides along over the leaves
of the sea-weed, now over the stony projections of the

pool, now on the broad weeds again.

On lifting


we find that

the fine, fleshy,


animal clings with considerable force to the weed; and
on transferring it to a glass bottle, we get a better sight

of the organ by


it maintains


its stability

and its movements.

The under-surface of the creature,

then, forms a long, nearly parallel-sided sole, abruptly
pointed behind, where it stretches to a considerable dis-

tance in the rear of

the shell, and bounded in front by

a slightly-thickened transverse rim, a little arched, and

projecting on each side.
is composed of muscular

This organ is the foot, and it
fibres elaborately interwoven,

much as in the human tongue, whereby great versatility

stand power of motion are communicated

when in

to it;

motion, it strongly reminds one of the


The sensitive and muscular foot of

our captive

already taken

hold of the glass side

of its prison, and

it is now smoothly mounting

may see that though

it is

up it. With a lens you

one undivided area, yet in

1 Trochus z ziiphinus, which the reader will see figured in the upper
right corner of Plate I.






the arrangement of its muscles, it is separated into two
portions by a line which runs down the middle; and-
that these two sides move alternately. The muscles of
the right half, for example, are moved a little onward.
and take a fresh hold of the ground, while those of the
left remain clinging; then the right half clings, while
the left relaxes and advances a little beyond the right,
and again clings, when the right makes its forward
move. So that the effect is exactly that of two feet
advancing by alternate steps; and if your own two
feet were enclosed in one elastic stocking, your own
progress would appear very much like that of the
'Trochus. Indeed, some shell-fishes not distantly allied
to this, as the pretty little Pheasant-shell,' which I
occasionally find among these rocks, really have the
foot divided into two distinct and separate halves, in
which this alternate motion is, of course, more obvious.
Looked at from above, we discern that this foot
thickens towards the middle, where it is overlapped
by a broad wing-like expansion on each side. This,
for manifest reasons, is known by the name of the
cloak or mantle. In all cases it performs important
offices in the economy of the animal, as I shall pre-
sently describe; and in this instance we see it is
adorned along its edges with certain lappets and long
1 Phisianella pidlus.
1,~ ~r I


fleshy taper threads (called cirri),





ciously to and fro as the creature crawls.


probably the seats of a delicate sense; perhaps

ii 110


impressions analogous to those of touch, from

strokes they continually make on the surrounding fluid.

In front we see a distinct
muzzle not altogether unlike



a broad

that of an ox.


On each

side of the back part of this head, there is another long
taper thread : these are called tentacles, but neither in
form nor in structure can we discern any difference be-

tween these and the cirri

that fringe the mantle.

all probability they are alike organs of a highly delicate
sense of touch.
Immediately behind each of these head-tentacles you

see a little wart,
in its substance.

which has a black
You have often,

bead set as it were



the similar
the upper

black points that are placed at the tips


pair of the horns (tentacles) of the common

garden snail; and I daresay, when a child, you


yourself by touching them, and noticing


instantaneously the sensitive creature would roll them

in, so to speak, concealing them far in

the interior

the inturned horns.

And every child

is taught


black spots are the snail's eyes; and so, indeed,

they are; and these spots on our Top's warts are its
eyes too, notwithstanding that some learned naturalists,








apparently from the mere love of paradox, have affected
to doubt the fact that such is their function. If you
could dissect out one of these points, and submit it to
careful examination with a good microscope, you would
find all the parts essential to an organ of vision; there
is a sclerotic coat, a distinct little pupil and iris, a
cornea in front, and a dark pigment layer within, with
vitreous and aqueous humours, and even a crystalline
lens for the condensation of the rays of light. Minute
these parts are, to be sure, but not less exquisitely
finished for that. Indeed, the more skill they require
in the demonstrator, the more they reflect the inimit-
able skill of the Creator. Swammerdam, the Dutch
physiologist, who so beautifully showed the structure of
the snail's eye, seems to have feared the doubts of his
conclusions that would ensue from the difficulty of re-
peating his investigations. But who will credit this ?"
he says; "for does it not seem impossible that on a
point not larger than the nib of the pen with which I
write, such exquisite art and so many miracles should
be displayed ?"
Now, leaving the animal, though we might devote a
few moments to the admiration of its rich colours,
adorned as is its deep yellow hue with lines and clouds
of deeper brown, let us look at the shell, the solid house
of stone, which our friend Trochus has himself built up


to cover his head in the hour cf danger-,

How well has

he combined the tile curm dulci !-the comfortable with

the ornamental!

Its general form is that

of a cone of

much regularity, but with an oblique base, and perhaps
you may be surprised to learn that this conical form is

but the result of the winding of a very long
0 0

itself in a spire.

cone upon

But if you examine a dead shell with

care, you will see that

it is so.

Supposing you

very long and slender hollow cone of plastic





0 0


with the acute point, you twined



in a spiral form,

would have the representation


a turbinate


which, by a little gentle pressure of the fingers, might
be moulded, without a ll losing its essential character,
into the exact shape of our Trochus, in which the pro-


of the spire can without difficulty be followed as

well by slight inequalities of surface as by the arrange-
ment of the colours.

It is one of our showy shells.
us has for its ground colour a

This specimen


chaste, cool grey, occa-

s ionally varied

with tints of reddish buff, but

conspicuously adorned with a series of large and

lar spots of purplish

angle of

crimson running

the spire from the

along the

base to the summit.


of these spots passes off into an oblique line above, the
repetition of which augments the beauty of the pattern.






The interior of the shell has a glory of quite another
character. It is covered with a coat of nacre or pearl,
of exceedingly brilliant and rich lustre, and the presence
of this inward pearliness is quite characteristic of this
genus, and of most of the others belonging to the same
family, the Turbinidce. Many of the fine large tropical
species are specially conspicuous for this adornment, as
I have seen in those that lie along the dazzling beach
of corhl-sand in lovely Jamaica. The pearl of these
shells is used in the arts. De Montfort mentions a
necklace which he had seen, that was made out of the
nacred part of the shell of the Turbo smaragdus, and
which was much more brilliant and beautiful than any
of the finest orient pearls.1 And Chenu observes :-
"Les grandes especes fournissent une fort belle nacre,
employee pour les ouvrages de marqueterie. Quelques
especes ont reEu des noms sous lesquels les marchands
les distinguent : i y a le Burgau ou Nacrd; la Veuve
Perlee, don't les tubercles exthrieurs uses ressemblent a
des perles; la Bouche-d'Or, don't la nacre est d'un beau
jaune dore; la Bouche-d'Argent; le Perroquet, ou Turbo
Imperial," etc.2
At another time we may examine the structure of
shell, and inquire by what instruments and with what
materials the ingenious animal contrives to construct
1 Conch. Syst. ii. 252. 2 Leq. El"m. 188.


so strong and so elegant a dwelling.

however, as

For the present,

the month is January, we shall, if we sit

still longer, run the risk

of catching

a cold,"

if we

catch nothing else, though

and the temperature is so mild for the season.
Therefore, we-will move about and pursue our re-
searches among the rocks and under the loose stones.
Well, we are rewarded with other specimens : here are
several neat little shells, with a lengthened spire, and

the wind

is in the south,

with a remarkably

Thick -lipped


Dog- whelk,1


This is the little

a very common mollusk

with us under such stones as these at low water-mark.

And here is another species

of the same genus,

Netted Dog-whelk,2 which is a much larger shell, being

nearly twice as long as the former, and marked


close transverse furrows, which, crossing

the longitu-

dinal ribs at right



a peculiar reticulate

surface, on which the specific name is founded.

Comparing these

shells with the Trochus, we see that

they have a deep notch cut in the front part, of which

no sign appears in the latter; and

this mark, trivial as

it may seem, is an important indication of the habits of

the animal.

The inhabitants

of all shells which

1 N'assa incrassata.
" Nassa reticulata.
corner of Plate I.

A figure of this species is seen in the lower left






this notch are carnivorous, while those with simple lips
are herbivorous. The Trochus gnaws or rather rasps
away the tender growth of marine vegetation, or the
fronds of the grown Algce, with its remarkable palate-
ribbon, all studded with reversed points, of which I may
find another opportunity to speak. The Dog-whelk, on
the other hand, acts the part of a cannibal ogre, feeding
on his simpler brethren of the bivalve shells; storming
their stony castles, in which they seem so secure, by
,open violence.
Look at this old valve of a Mactra. Like hundreds
more that you may pick up at high water-mark, it is
perforated by a tiny hole near the hinge, so smooth and
so perfectly circular, that you would suppose a clever
.artisan had been at work drilling the massive stony
shell with his steel wimble. No such thing: the Dog-
whelk has done it: this is the breach which he so
scientifically effected in the fortress; and hence he
sucked out the soft and juicy and savoury flesh of his
miserable victim.
In order to understand his plan of operations, let us
put down our captive, and see him crawl. He is not
long before he begins to march, on his broad oblong
foot, which, as you observe, is cream-coloured, elegantly
splashed and speckled with dark-brown. But before
he moves he thrusts out a long cylindrical proboscis


from the

front of his head


he carries

high aloft

and waves to and fro;

and this organ, we see, fits into

the deep notch in


his drillincr-wimble.
This organ is itself a

tended, it

of the shell.


This proboscis is

Long as it is when ex-

can be thoroughly drawn within

the body;

and there it forms two

fleshy cylinders, one within the



like a


half turned on itself.

are proper muscles attached to its walls, and to

the interior
branched in

of the head,
a fan-shape, sc

by extremities
o as greatly to




insertions; and these, by contraction, draw the

one portion within

the other.

Then there is

a broad

hoop of muscle, which,
der, by contracting p


round the inner cylin-

ushes it out, and lengthens it.

Within the interior of this latter there is a long narrow

ribbon of cartilage,


points, turned

which is armed

with rows of


and this tongue


palate, as it

is variously called,

is the Dog-whelk's


We cannot

induce the Whelk to attack his prey just

when we please; but he has been detected in the ope-

ration, and I will describe it.
foot he secures a good hold

With his broad muscular
of the bivalve, and having

selected his point of attack, in general near the hinge-
a selection which probably looks more at the superiority





of the meat within than at any peculiar facility in the
perforation-he brings the tip of his extended proboscis
to the point, so that the silicious teeth can act on the
shell. Hard as is the calcareous 'shell, it is not proof
against the flint; for, without any solvent excretion,
the aid of which some physiologists have been ready to
suppose, these glassy points, grating round and round
as on a pivot, soon wear away the substance, and
gradually bore the tiny aperture which exposes the
sapid morsel.
Continuing our researches, we find, deep in a rocky
pool under a tuft of weed, a shell of a peculiar form,
because of the enormous expansion of its outer lip. It
is known as the Pelican's-foot,1 from the resemblance
which this lip with its diverging ribs bears to the web-
bed toes of a water-fowl. This, too, is a carnivorous
species; and though it is somewhat rare to detect the
animal moving, even though kept alive in captivity,
yet by carefully examining this one in its deep pool,
before we disturb its equanimity, we can just see the
proboscis protruding from the wide square notch in the
shell, and discern that it is rather prettily coloured,
being marked with spots of opaque white on a rose-
coloured ground.

1 Aporrhaispes-pelicani, which the reader will see figured in the centre
of Plate I. '*i


This species is interesting from the changes of figure
which it undergoes in its progress from youth to matu-
rity. While young the shell. is simple, with no trace of
the expanded lip; and it is only at mature age, and
rather suddenly, that the shell makes its remarkable
growth into these far-projecting points and angles, the
augmented thickness of which is, moreover, at least
equally conspicuous with the expanse.
But far more remarkable changes take place in the
growth of the shell in a family of signal beauty, of
which I discern a specimen in yonder cavernous hol-
low. The family I speak of is that of the Cowries;
and this individual represents the only species that is,
indigenous to our seas-the little Furrowed Cowry.1
Let us pause awhile to admire it, for it is one of the
very loveliest of our marine animals.
The shell itself is doubtless familiar to most of my
readers, for it is to be picked up on every sandy beach.
It varies in size from that of a split pea to that of a
large horsebean. It is elegantly marked all over with
transverse ridges. These ridges are porcellaneous white,
and the alternate furrows between are purplish, or
flesh- coloured. The larger specimens commonly display
three spots of dark brown, arranged lengthwise. But
1 Cyprca Europ2cc, which is delineated in the lower right corner of
Plate I.



probably few are aware how very elegant a creature it
is when tenanted by its living inhabitant, and crawling
at ease in clear water. The foot, on which it glides
with a slow but smooth motion over the surface of the
rock on which it habitually dwells, or, if you please, on
the bottom of the saucer of sea-water in which you are
examining it, is a broad expansion spreading out to
twice the superficies of the base of the shell. Above
this is the fleshy mantle, which is so turned up as
closely to invest the shell, conforming to its shape, and
even fitting into the grooves between the ridges. This
mantle can be protruded, at the will of the animal,
so far that the two sides meet along the top of the
shell, and completely cover it, or it can be completely
retracted within the wrinkled lips beneath; and it is
capable of all gradations of extension between these
limits. From the front of the shell protrudes the head,
armed with two straight and lengthened tentacles,
answering in function and appearance to the upper
pair of horns in a snail; except that the little
black points which constitute the visual organs are not
in this case placed at the tips, but on a little promin-
ence on the outside of the base of each tentacle. Above
and between these, which diverge at a considerable
angle, projects the proboscis, a rather thick fleshy tube,
formed by a flat lamina, with its edges bent round so


as to meet along the under


The interior of this

proboscis is lined with delicate cilia, by whose constant
vibrations a current of water is drawn into the tube
and poured over the surface of the gills, for the purpose

of respiration.

This current may be readily perceived

by any one who will take the trouble to watch, with a
pocket-lens, a Cowry crawling along the side of a phial

filled with sea-water.

By placing the vessel between

your eye and the light, and fixing your attention on the

front of the proboscis, you will presently perceive


minute particles of floating matter (always held in sus-

pension, even in clear water) drawn
tions towards the tube, with a moti(

in various direc-
on which increases

in velocity as they approach, and at length



in, and


one after

another within.

It is an interesting sight to see, and one that cannot be
looked on without delight and admiration at this beau-

tiful contrivance

of Divine Wisdom

,for the incessant

breathing of the respiratory organs in water charged
with vviifying oxygen.

Let us look at the
The foot, which exp
breadth behind the sl


hues of all these organs.

)ands to so great a length

hell, is


of a buff or pale orange

ground-colour, delicately striated with longitudinal un-

dulating veins of yellowish white.

The mantle which

embraces the shell is of a pellucid olive, thickly mottled



and spotted with black, and studded with glands pro-
truded through its substance, of light yellow;" and is
often edged with a narrow border of red. The proboscis
is vermilion-red, varying in brilliancy in different in-
dividuals. The tentacles are of a paler tint of the
same colour, speckled with yellow.
Such, then, is the beauty of the animal which in-
habits this familiar and plain little shell,-a beauty of
which those who know it only in cabinets can hardly
form an idea; while, as the observer gazes on it placidly
gliding along, he cannot avoid an emotion of surprise
that such an amplitude of organs can be folded within
the narrow compass of the shell, and protruded through
so contracted an aperture.
You would scarcely recognize in this shell, or in the
Tiger Cowry, that one so often sees on chimney-pieces,
the model of an ordinary convolute spiral shell, such as
the snail or the whelk. But in infancy and youth the
Cowry is a shell manifestly of such a character, scarcely
to be distinguished from the Olives and Volutes; a
shell with a distinct spire, a long wide aperture, and a
thin-edged outer lip. But when the animal has arrived
at mature age, a sudden deposition of shelly matter
takes place on the lip, which is greatly thickened, and
which expands above so as to conceal the spire, bending
inward at the same time and approaching the inner lip,



so as to reduce the aperture to a, very narrow line.
Finally, a thick coat of enamel, or glossy porcellaneous
lime, is spread over the entire surface of the shell, from
the narrow aperture to the back-line, which coat takes
the form of those tranverse folds which are so character-
istic of the species and so elegant.
Here, clinging to the perpendicular wall of rock,
sheltered snugly by an overshadowing stone, which I
have just removed, is a lovely specimen of the Squin or
Scallop.1 In the ages of monkery, when men's eyes
were more directed to the land where the blessed Lord
Jesus once sojourned than to the place where He now
is, and pilgrimage to an earthly country was more
valued than that to a heavenly, this shell affixed to the
hat was the accepted sign that the wearer had visited
Jerusalem; and received the homage of sanctity that
such a pilgrim claimed.
He quits his cell, the pilgrim staff he bore,
And fixed the scallop in his hat before."2
Some mystic connexion, some secret sympathy, was
assumed to exist between the scallop and St. James, the
brother of the Lord, first bishop of Jerusalem. What
it was appears to be irrecoverably lost in the darkness
of those very dark ages, and is doubtless not worth the

1 Pecten opercularis, of which see a group in Plate II.
2 Parnell's "Hermit."


hunting up. We may leave such puerilities, to con-
sider the impress of His divine hand which the All-
wise God has made on the shell of the mollusk that
inhabits it.
These bivalves have been called the "butterflies of
the sea," as well on account of the vivid and varied
colours with which their broad wing-like valves are
painted, as of their agile fluttering and flying move-
ments. We frequently see them, especially for some
time after having been taken and put into an unfamiliar
scene, as our aquariums, shoot hither and thither
through the water, with irregular zigzag flights, accom-
panied with fitful openings and closings of the valves.
These leaps and flights seem to have no determinate
object, except "the letting off the steam" of their exu-
berant animal vivacity; but the creatures have the
power of directing their leap by a forcible ejection of
water from any given part of the compressed lips of the
It is a very pretty sight to see a healthy Pecten in a
vessel of clear sea-water. The elegant valves are
opened to a considerable width, perhaps to half an
inch or more, and the entire aperture all round is filled
by a curtain, which drops from one to the other, per-

1 For a description of the mode in which this action is performed, see
Devonshire Coast, p. 50, et seq.




ZW -


------- ----- ---





,* /


. H. GOSSE, ddl.



.. -." o-- ." .'


______ .. i.,v,,..,
...-i" i ; r: '

^ .., '"- _7.^ "- ;'"
- ~. ... . .:i

-- : s

.. ..
'' '
; I


r.k. ..





I ',;



pendicularly, a little way within the margin. This is
the mantle, and it is generally painted with rich colours,
in irregular patterns, often of spots and marbled clouds
of black on a rich green ground, or pearly-green clouds
on flesh-colour-sometimes pale-yellow clouds on vel-
vet-black; but these hues have no perceptible relation
with those of the shell. Looking closely, you see that.
the mantle is not single, but composed of two curtains,
whose edges meet in the middle. And now these are
slightly separating, and giving us a peep into the in-
terior; but the most notable thing we see is the array
of long white taper tentacles which proceed from each
edge, and wave to and fro in the clear water; while
another row of similar organs, but larger, is affixed to
each curtain along the line where it starts from the
shell. And along this same line, scattered between the
bases of the larger tentacles, there is a row (and a cor-
responding one on the other curtain) of beads, which
seem to be turned out of the richest and most lustrous
gems. Even the unassisted eye is arrested by the flash-
ing brilliance, but with a powerful lens they look like
rubies set in sockets of sapphire, from which the light
blazes forth with incomparable brilliance. These are
the Pecten's eyes, each of which possesses all the parts
Requisite for perfect vision.
The valves vary much in colour. Some are pure



white; some white with a crimson line along the summit
of each radiating ridge; some rosy, crimson, or lilac; some
cream, straw-yellow, deep yellow; some dull brick-red,
dark purplish-red, or sienna-brown; some are marbled
with black on a red ground, making a very rich pattern.
The largest specimens, and those with greatest variety
in hue, are found in deep water, and for the most part
congregated in large numbers on some particular spot
of the sea-bottom, which is called a scallop-bed. Such
are found in Weymouth Bay, and in Torbay; and there
the shell-fish can be obtained in sufficient quantity for
the market. At Weymouth there is a considerable
business done in these delicacies, which is, however,
almost all in the hands of one dealer, from whom I have
collected some details of interest.
The ordinary trawlers avoid the scallop-beds, if pos-
sible, because they are liable to have their nets torn by
them; the sharp valves doubtless catching and cutting
the meshes. But they often bring up many uninten-
tionally, and a naturalist would find a trawler's refuse
a most productive field: for numbers of rare and valu-
able zoophytes and other forms of life come up attached
to the shells, which might easily be saved, but are not:
the men have no time, for they are so anxious to get
their craft into a berth, and then to take out the fish as
soon as the trawl is up."


Twenty bushels of scallops are sometimes taken at
once; but this is rare. The average produce of the
Weymouth trawlers is five bushels per week, which are
readily sold at twopence per hundred; about seven
hundred going to the bushel. The customers are
"mostly the genteels," who eat the morceaux stewed
with flour or scolloped. The worthy woman who com-
mands the supply had had the trade in her hands for
twenty-eight years (in 1853); she had never heard
them called by any other name than Squins," though
she understood they were called Scallops in some places.
"' Squin" is by some said to be a corruption of Quin,"
after the actor and epicure of that name, who is reported
to have been fond of the delicate mollusk; but I much
doubt the derivation.'
As a proof of the tenacity of life possessed by this
species, a fisherman assured me that he once put a quan-
tity in a bag into a cupboard and forgot them, till, after
the lapse of a week, turning them out he found them alive.
But now another object of interest claims attention:
for, in this cavern, closely squeezed in between the layers
of stone, I see the satiny-white skin of a glorious Sea-
cucumber. And now to get him out, there's the rub.

1 Quin died in 1766. Montagu, in 1803, says of this Pecten, that "it
is known by the name of Frills or Queens," with no allusion to the actor.
"The term frill" obviously refers to the form of the shell.



So firmly imbedded is he, so deeply ensconced, that no
pushing with fingers or sticks will avail; indeed, I can
but just touch his body with my finger-ends poked in
to the utmost. No; we must cut away the rock above
and below with the strong steel chisel, by means of
"well-directed strokes of a heavy hammer. Slow work
it is, for the rock is awfully hard: the prize, however,
cannot escape, and the chief point of solicitude is not to
crush it in the process. At length a fortunate, blow
splits off a slice of rock, which leaves the unhappy
skulker defenceless. Now I get my fingers gradually
behind him, and force him out, gently and tenderly;
sucker after sucker he is compelled to let go, and now
here he is in my hand, shrunken indeed, and squeezed
flat from his very shrinking in the close crevice, but
all unbroken and none the worse.
This is a much more sluggish creature than any of
the mollusks that we have been capturing: no sooner
are they put into water than they are active, and at
once display their attractions; this animal, oh the
contrary, will be perhaps several days in your tank
before he .will feel himself sufficiently at home to unfold
his splendid array of tentacles. But then it is indeed
a magnificent coronet of plumes wherewith the headless
king is adorned.
The Sea-cucumber soon finds himself a snug berth


among the rock-work of the tank; pressing

"between the pieces

just as when we saw him

his body
first, but

taking care to leave space to protrude his front.


this part evolves, and a deep collar of dark purple

seen, from which a

ring of ten somewhat thick stems

arises, tapering to a point and arching outwards. These
are of a purplish-black hue, and are studded with short

branches set on in

branch again,

a spiral,

each terminal




bearing a



papilla; so that the whole constitutes a series of conical


of white

dots clustering about the black

stems, something like pointed cauliflowers, and forming,

as they wave to and fro

in the clear water, a very

charming spectacle.1
The suckers, which, when the animal first came into

our possession,

were apparent only as

little warts,

arranged in five clustered rows down the angles of the

body, are now seen to be long tubes, each with



disk at

the surrounding

its extremity,
stones. Th

by which it anchors to

e mechanism

of these

suckers does not importantly differ
same organs in the Star-fishes. Indee

from that of the
d, notwithstanding

the very wide diversity of form and appearance between

the two animals,

the Cucumber and the


are so

1 The principal figure in Plate III. represents this species (1Pentacta
ypentactes) in the expanded condition described in the text.





nearly allied as to belong to the same class, that
named ECHINODERMATA; the Sea-urchins, creatures
totally diverse in aspect from both, connecting the
forms together.
And this Cucumber, again, is connected with the
proper worms (ANNELLIDA) by some obscure animals
which bear the name of Siponcles. Here is one which
may illustrate the form, the Dotted Siponcle.1 It has
a cylindrical body, rounded and abruptly pointed behind,
which is of a light-brown hue, with a satiny gloss;
but the hue resolves itself under a powerful lens into a
freckling of pale dots, excessively numerous, on a brown
ground, and the lustre into a multitude of close-set
annular wrinkles. What is curious in the creature is
the protrusion and retraction of its trunk. From the
front end of the body we see rapidly protruding, by
evolution of the parts, a rather slender trunk, till it
attains about one-third the length of the body; then its
tip expands, and is seen to be surrounded by eight rows
of black points, and within these a circle of slender,
white, thread-like tentacles. These latter are the re-
presentatives of the gorgeous head-plumes of the
Cucumber. Immediately the long trunk is turned out
to the outmost, it begins to be rolled in again; and this
process goes on with equal rapidity till it is quite con-
1 Siunculus punctatissimus, figured in Plate II., to the left.


---- --I--*
L, ,L .c

r-- Ir

Y Jk
-C- i
9 r'l




s. 4i



- -

h ~r

- -
C,. -

-.w -S 5 'O


P. H. GOSSE, del.


.YI i. -si

_. S r


-/.> -*

,-' A*




cealed. Then again it is unrolled, and so on alternately.
Doubtless the function of respiration is performed by
this action; and perhaps also food is collected and
One species of this creature, the Hermit Siponcle,1
common enough with us, is in the habit of appropriating
old deserted shells of univalve mollusca, as the peri-
winkle, or the pelican's-foot, for its own residence. In
this case it builds up a wall of sand-atoms, cemented
by a glue of its own secreting, across the shell-aperture,
leaving only a small central orifice, through which
it may protrude its curious trunk.
Thus we discern the infinite and inexhaustible re-
sources of the Divine Wisdom in contrivances which
have for their object the preservation, sustentation, and
comfort of worms so obscure and humble as these.
Discerning, let us adore !
SSipunculus Bernhardiik




"WHAT will Babbicombe Bay yield us this fine
February morning ? One thing at least it yields, a
magnificent coast view; and this is scarcely affected
by the season. Let there, be only a moderately clear
atmosphere, a sky chequered with blue spaces and
white wind-boine clouds, and snatches of sunshine
interchanging with shadows,-which last there will be,
of course, with such a sky,-and such a prospect cannot
fail to please.
And, indeed, this noble sweep of precipitous coast
can hardly be surpassed for beauty all round the sea-
girt shores of Britain. The forms of the cliffs are im-
posing: their broad masses of vivid colour alternating,
-the white compact limestone, the bright red sand-
stone, becoming almost scarlet as the sun shines out
full, yet prevented from being tawdry by its harmonies
with the various hues of green that crown it, by its
own breadth of light and shadow, by its dimming tints
as it softens and mellows into the purple of the dis-



tance; the panorama of blue hills rising

and fading far

inland, the Tors and heights of Dartmoor and Exmoor;

and the ever-changing sea, now laughing in its


ness, now frowning
vast an area as it

and chafing
does from

in its wrath, filling

this vantage height;-
0 ~0

these are the broader features of a scene which I will
pause a moment tq depict in detail, before I descend to
the beach.
I take my stand on the margin of the cliff that over-


Oddicombe, my feet upon the short

marked with


rings, the Dog's

soft turf,

Head just on my

left,-a remarkable projection of grey



stone from the very cliff-edge,


seen from the

opposite side, bears a curious resemblance to the head

of a lop-eared, cross-grained

cur; but from my point

of view far more forcibly presents the appearance of the

face of a night-capped old

man, grinning with

pain ;-

a fine vertical,

and in some places overhanging,



just on my right, in whose

of noisy


find resting



I see

them as they sit in conscious security only a few yards
below the margin, their sleek grey polls wagging, and


black eyes now and then upturned, as

the cawing tribe fly in, and seek sitting-room.

others of
Some of

the strata are strangely distorted at the western end;
and here a narrow and somewhat perilous track leads







down below the cliff to a grassy plateau at its foot. I
scramble down, and sit on a stony shelf, overhung with
sheets of ivy, and mark the bright green tufts of Sea-
spleenwort springing out of the clefts, unfortunately too
high to be reached.
The eye roams northward. At foot a rough broken
ground slopes steeply down, shaggy with thickets of
brake and bramble, and of furze which glows even now
with golden blossom, varied with great tracts of broken
fragments of limestone, blackened by the weather. At
length this merges into a broad beach of shingle, snowy
white, on which I see ladies reclining, with books and
parasols, as if 'twere July instead of February. The sea
bounds the beach with a line of still whiter surf, ever
renewing itself as it breaks, with a sweet whispering
sound. At the back is a series of most picturesque
cliffs of the reddest sandstone, on the top of which I
find in June the beautiful blossoms of the Purple
Gromwell, one of the rarest of British flowers. The
ground at the summit is very uneven; and so my
eye rests on the broad opposite slopes of Woodleigh
Vale, chequered with fields and hedgerows, among
which the ploughmen are busy, and the teams are
toiling up the steep furrows.
The formation suddenly changes again, and the lime-
stone is seen in the fine rounded projection of Petit




Tor, whose front of white marble has been laid bare by

the quarriers.


this is the ruddy sandstone

once more rising into lofty headlands
0- t/'

of noble shapes.

At the foot of one of these an isolated rock, called, from
its figure, the Bell, stands in the sea, whewe, even while
I am writing this paper, a mournful tragedy has occurred.

Two Babbicombe

fishermen went out at midnight

examine their


crab-pots at this rock, and


The morning revealed the keel of



by the

pot-lines, and

id not re-
the boat
one poor

fellow entangled by

the sea washed his

his feet in the


hair about the surface.

lines, while
The other

has not yet been found.
Farther on, the bluff Ness marks the harbour of Teign-
mouth, and as the sunlight falls on the white villas that

stud the opposite side, the scene looks attractive.

the cliff-line rapidly dimi:
and the heads of Dawlish


dishes in height as it recedes,
project, and we see no more

till at Exmouth the land trends to the eastward, and
from its white terraces faintly seen in the slanting sun

now, but to stand

out full and clear


the afternoon,

we follow the

bold, varying, beauteous coast, beauteous

in its outline, but

dim in its detail,

for some twenty

miles farther, till the straining eye finally fails
cern~Z itsmweebtenLyeadBipit hu'

to dis-

cern it somewhere between Lyme and Bridport; though
Portland itself is sometimes to be seen, and I have my-





self made it well out, stretching far forth upon the wide
eastern horizon of blue sea. Now, however, along that
shining line nothing is discernible but a white speck
or two, and yon ocean steamer that passes down the
Channel, with a long line of black smoke on the low
sky behind her.
I forsake my sheltered seat, and climb to the down,
making my way towards the left, in order to see the
prospect to the right. Here is a track winding down the
broken slope, leading through roods of the round leaves
of the fragrant Butterburr. A month ago the whole air
was loaded with the delicious perfume of its lilac blos-
som. I make my way, slippery and tenacious enough
just now, along by the hedge of a field, till I come to
the edge of an abrupt perpendicular cliff. How beauti-
ful from hence is the sweet hamlet of Babbicombe the
Nether! The rugged masses of Black Wall project
from the foot of the slope into the sea, dividing Oddi-
*combe from Babbicombe beach. Beyond it is the
latter, a sweeping curve of pebbles and then of larger
boulders, backed by an amphitheatre of picturesque
fishing huts, and elegant villas, half hid in bowery
plantations and woods, with peeps of lawns and gardens,
all- occupying the steep sides of the bay, up to the sum-
mit of the downs.
Beyond the beach, fine dark rock masses again project;



-and farther still, the prospect is abruptly shut in by a
magnificent vertical cliff of great height, the northern
boundary of that lovely spot of renown, Anstey's Cove.
These features, which I feebly essay to paint with
many successive words, and multitudes of others which
I must fain leave untouched, the eye drinks in at once,
grasping the whole grand and beautiful picture at a
glance, steeped as it is in loveliness. Those who have
seen it may possibly find an aid to memory in recalling
it in these details of mine, for I write with the scene
before me; those who have not will probably find little
,of interest in them.
It is at the farther end of yonder beach that we must
,commence our marine exploring to-day; there, where
the pebbles at the lowest water-line merge into larger
dark stones, and a little on this side of the bounding
rocks. We might get down by this path to Oddicombe
beach, scramble over Black Wall, and so make our way
.along Babbicombe beach to the spot; but the state of
the tenacious soil at this season makes such a descent
unpleasant. There is a better road to the eastward,
which winds among the villas, and descends direct to
the spot we seek. Let us therefore pursue our walk
over the downs, along the margin of the cliff, enjoying
fresh aspects of the coast view as we proceed, till we
reach the road.



We are among the olive--coated stones at the verge of
the far-receded tide, among which the springs from the
cliffs having broken out from various points in the
shingle beach, are making for themselves tortuous chan-
nels on their way to the deserting sea. Their water,
originally fresh of course, has, by the time it arrives.
here, become so brackish by washing the salt stones
and sea-weeds, that the sand-hoppers and worms which
inhabit the hollows under the stones are bathed in it
with impunity, though, in general, immersion in fresh
water is fatal to marine animals. Great tufts of bladder
wrack and other Fuci spring from the lower stones, and
now lie flaccid about, awaiting the returning tide to
erect them and wave their leathery leaves to and fro.
Broad fronds of Ulva, too, like tissue paper of the ten-
derest green, irregularly crumpled and waved, and
nibbled and gnawed into thousands of holes, lie crisp
and tempting; and tufts of a darker, duller green, and
others of purple-brown, and others again of rosy crim-
son, stud these rough stones, and vary their ruggedness
with elegance and beauty; a beauty, however, far more
appreciable, and far more worthy of admiration, if we
could look upon it when the flowing tide creeps up,
with its calm water clear as crystal, and covers the
many-hued parterre, softening and displaying the grace-
ful outlines and the brilliant colours. Then, too, those


tiny creatures would be seen agilely swimming from
weed to weed, or lithely twining among the fronds,
which now we have to search for in their recluse hiding-
places under these rocks.
Selecting a stone which experience teaches us is a
likely one-and only experience can teach this, though in
general I may say that the heaviest and flattest beneath,
those which appear to have been long undisturbed, and
especially those which, instead of being imbedded in
the soil, rest on other stones in such a partial way that
there is room for free ingress and egress to minute
creatures beneath, and which have a broad surface to
which they may cling in congenial darkness, are the
most promising-selecting, I say, such a stone, we place
both hands beneath one side, and heave with all our
might to turn it bodily over. We must be careful, for
many of these stones are so beset with the small shells
of Serpula triquetra, that they cannot be handled with
impunity. This is a worm which makes a tubular pipe
for its defence, of hard shell, adhering to the rock
throughout its length; the tube enlarges a little as it
grows, and its most recent extremity, which is bril-
liantly white and clean, is defended by the projecting
extremity of a ridge which runs along the back of the
shell, the point of this ridge forming a very sharp
needle-like prickle, which, as we apply our hands be--



neath the stone to lift, terribly cuts the fingers. Or
some stones we find hundreds of these treacherous
shells, set as thickly as they can stand, and covering
large patches; on others they are scattered, and some
are quite free from them. In an aquarium the little
worms protrude their breathing fans very constantly,
and are pretty, though not conspicuous objects, being
varied with bright blue, grey, and white. Pretty as
they are, however, the collector wishes them further a;
hundred times during his collecting, for, in such an ex-
pedition as this, he is fortunate indeed if he come home,
without half of his fingers gashed with deep incisions,
smarting from the sea-water, and all the slower to heal
from the skin of the finger-tips being worn to thinness-
in handling the stones.
But these are trifles; the fortune of war; amply
compensated by the joy of victory, when we succeed
in capturing some rare or lovely creature, to be dis-
played in triumph within the glass walls of a prison.
Such an one is this beauty, which is lurking in an
angle of the block we have just overturned. It needs
a sharp eye to detect it; for we see no beauty yet,
nothing but a little lump of whitish jelly, dappled with
orange-yellow, not bigger than the half of a split pea,
clinging close to the stone. It requires some care to
get it up without crushing; the end of a toothpick, or
0 b~



a penknife, or a bit of stick cut to a point, must be in-
serted under it; thus we lift it, and drop it into the
ready phial of clear water. It opens instantly, sprawl-
ing even before it reaches the bottom, where it at once
begins to crawl, and we detect in our prize the lovely
little Triope.1
As it swiftly glides up the glass, we see that it has
an oblong body of a pellucid white hue, curiously beset
with finger-like appendages. There is a row of some
half-dozen or so fringing the front of the head; and
down a line on each side of the body, margining the
mantle, there is a row of larger ones, and all these are
tipped with the richest orange colour. Just behind the
frontal points there are two club-shaped organs, which
start up out of holes, the sides of which form sheaths
for them, into which they can be withdrawn at the will
of the animal. These organs carry a number of narrow
plates set parallel to each other, diagonally pointing
backwards and downwards. Doubtless, this structure.
is intended to augment the sensitive powers of these
curious organs, which are understood to be the tentacles.
Then, in the middle line of the back, but placed a
little nearer the tail than the head, there is an orifice,
which is the vent; remarkable because the breathing
organs are arranged partly around it. There are three
1 Triopa clavigera.



tiny leaves cut like the fronds of a fern, which stand
ip over the orifice, and are endowed with the power of
absorbing for the purposes of respiration the oxygen of
the air commingled in the water.
But here is an animal which possesses all these pecu-
liarities of structure, displayed on a much larger scale.
It is a fine specimen of the Sea Lemon,' which we
oftener find clinging to the sides of perpendicular rocks,
or beneath projecting ledges, than on the undersides of
stones. This fellow is two and a half inches long, and
an inch and a quarter or more broad; but I have met
with individuals much larger than he. Its back is
rounded, and its outline generally reminds one of the
half of a lemon cut longitudinally. The resemblance is
heightened, too, by the round warts with which the whole
surface is studded, and by the colour, a yellow more or
less pure, often, however, clouded, as in this instance,
with purple, by which its beauty is much enhanced.
The mantle, in this Doris, reaches down to the foot
on all sides, and covers the head, and is not furnished
with any appendages. The tentacles, which are plated,
as in the Triope, pierce through the mantle, and are
sheathed; the gill plumes are large and ample feather-
like organs, eight in number, forming a complete circle
1 Doris tuberculata, which the reader will see figured in Plate Iv., in the
centre of the foreground.


- -~~' fl~



^--s .s?

\\ '%QL ~


-- .

P. H. G'OSSE, tel






--s '


; :
1 '
-1_ t
----- --Q






round the orifice, in the manner of a beautiful expanded

As the Doris crawls along, it now and

puckers the edge

then lifts and

of the mantle, and displays its under

surface and that of the foot,

which are of a rich orange-

scarlet hue.

But we have turned

a stone



see by

specimens of a much lovelier creature yet.

the gleams of crimson and azure which



out from it,

that it must be

the Crowned


looked a little heap of fibrous semi-pellucid flesh when
out of water, and, like the Triope, must be immersed to

display its beauties.


in the phial

of water, how

elegant it is!

Its body

is long and

slender, tapering

away to an almost imperceptible

clear translucent white.


The head


forms two



smooth taper tentacles, which wave hither and thither

as the creature gracefully



it has two other tentacles,

along; and besides
distinguished as the

dorsal pair, resembling, in



The chief glory
in its breathing


of the Doris

position a
and Trio]

of this exquisite animal,



consist of

and in their
pe, but not

however, is
clusters of

1 Eolis coronata, figured in the upper part of Plate Iv., above the Sea






finger-shaped papillae, set transversely across the back,
in about six rows, with the middle line of the back free.
Each of these papille is pellucid, with a central core of
the richest crimson, while a very brilliant flush of steel
blue is reflected from the surface, and the tip is opaque
white. The combination of these hues has a most
charming effect.
You would scarcely suppose such lovely creatures
were fierce and carnivorous; but they are the most
determined enemies of the Sea Anemones. This beau-
tiful Eolis I have often seen assaulting an Anemone,
ferociously tearing away its tentacles, or gnawing great
holes in its side, and, when touched, stiffening and
erecting all its brilliant papille, as the porcupine does
its quills.
All these creatures are Mollusca very closely allied
to the Cowry and the Trochus which we lately exa-
mined, but destitute of a shelL The exposure of the
breathing organs is a distinguishing character (these be-
ing more commonly, in the order, concealed in a cavity),
whence they are called Nudibranchiata, or Naked-gilled
At this season, wherever we find the animals them-
selves, we may with confidence expect to find their
spawn. This is deposited in masses, which possess
characteristic forms. Thus this roll, which looks as if




you had made a thin ribbon of paste, half an inch wide,
and rolled it into a loose scroll of two or three turns,
and then affixed it by its edge to the under side of a
stone, is the spawn-mass of the Sea Lemon. And here
is a much more elegant scroll, of which the constituent
is a slender thread, twisted into a frilled or figure-&
form, as it goes on to make the spire.1 This has been
laid by the beautiful Crowned Eolis. If you examine,
either of these masses with a lens, you will see that it
is composed of a vast multitude of white eggs, sus-
pended in a clear jelly, in which they are arranged in
transverse rows, giving the opaque appearance to what
would else be colourless and transparent.
The eggs, watched day by day under a good micro-
scopic power, as they advance towards maturity, present
a most interesting object of study. The yolk, which at
first nearly fills the egg-shell, soon becomes a little
elongated, with one end diagonally truncated, or, as it
were, cut off obliquely; the truncated end then becomes
two-lobed, "each lobe exhibiting an imperfect spiral,
and having its margin ciliated. The now animated
being is seen to rotate within its prison. Shortly the
lobes enlarge, and a fleshy process, the rudimentary

1 Both these are depicted in Plate Iv. That on the right of the picture-
is the spawn of Doris tuberculata ; that on the left is the spawn of Ebis



foot, is observed to develop itself a little behind them,
on the medial line; a shell closely investing the infe-
rior portion of the embryo, the lobes and rudimentary
foot being uppermost. The shell rapidly increases, and
assumes a nautiloid form; afterwards the foot displays,
attached to its posterior surface, a circular operculum,
which is opposed to the mouth of the shell. The lobes
now expand into two large, flattened, ovate appendages,
with very long vibratile cilia around the margins; and
the larve are at length mature. The whole mass of
spawn now presents the utmost animation. Hundreds
of these busy atoms are seen, each within its trans-
parent, membranous cell, rotating with great agility
and ceaseless perseverance, the cilia all the while vigor-
ously vibrating on the margins of the outstretched
lobes. The membranous chorion [or transparent egg-
shell], which by this time has become enlarged, ulti-
mately gives way, no longer able to resist the perpetual
struggle within; and the liberated larva, wending its
way through the shattered shreds of the general envelope,
boldly trusts itself to the open trackless water, where,
doubtless, thousands and tens of thousands perish ere
they find a fitting resting-place, some being swept away
by resistless currents, others falling a prey to ever-
watchful and innumerable enemies.
When the larva is at rest, the oral lobes are pulled


back into the shell, and the foot being drawn down,
brings along with it the operculum, which closes the
orifice. But when in action, the whole of these parts
project beyond the opening of the shell, the foot lying
back against the spire; and the oral lobes inclining
forward, their cilia commence to vibrate, and the larva,
with the mouth of the shell upwards, moves through
the water with lively action, sinking or rising, or ad-
vancing onwards at its pleasure."
The fecundity of these mollusca is immense. An Eolis
papillosa of moderate size in one of my aquaria, de-
posited successively nine strings of spawn between
March 20th and May 24th. The strings were exactly
alike in length and arrangement; each comprised
about 105 convolutions, and each convolution 200
eggs, while each egg contained on an average two
embryos. Thus the astonishing number of 378,000
embryos proceeded from this one animal in about
two months.
Step by step we have crept along the beach, turning
stones as we went, till we are come to the great masses
of sandstone rock. Here are the Purples2 by hundreds,
with their strong massive shells, some of them pure
1 Alder and Hancock (DoRIs).
2 Purpura lapillus, sometimes known as the Dog-winkle. Three in-
dividuals, representing the varieties of colour, are seen in the middle of
Plate v., and a cluster of their egg-capsules in the lower left corner.



white, which, however, becomes dingy with age, some
banded with. brown, and some, especially the young and
half-grown ones, painted with a dull but soft purplish
hue. The older specimens have the inner surface of
the lip tinged with a rich rosy purple. This tint on the
shell we may receive as the advertisement of the colorific
property that resides within, a sort of sign-board to tell
us that this is the "genuine" purple-shell. And there
is little doubt that it is one of those enumerated by
Pliny, as used by the ancients for obtaining the renowned
dye of Tyre: though the principal, and that which
yielded the richest hue, was probably the Murex trun-
culus, a common Mediterranean shell, which does not
extend to our shores.
My readers are, I dare say, familiar with the pretty
myth which professes to embody the discovery of the
purple dye. The Tyrian Hercules was one day walking
with his sweetheart along the shore, followed by her
lap-dog, when the playful animal seized a shell that
had just been washed up on the beach. Its lips were
presently dyed with a gorgeous purple tint, which was
traceable to a juice that was pressed out of the shell-
fish. The lady was charmed with the colour, and longed
to have a dress of it; and, as wishes under such circum-
stances are laws, the enamoured hero set himself to
gratify her, and soon succeeded in extracting and apply-



ing the dye, which afterwards became so famous. I
"have elsewhere' recorded my own experiments on the
stain yielded by the Purpura before us, with the
remarkable changes through which it passes before the
sunlight fully brings out the colour. The use of
cochineal makes us independent of molluscan dyes,
and the matter is merely one of antiquarian interest,
or a question of zoological chemistry.
Perhaps you may be more interested in the develop-
ment of the Dog-winkle. Under the ledges of rocks
we find in abundance groups of little yellow bodies,
resembling ninepins in shape, set on their ends in close
contact with each other, and varying in numbers from
three or four to a hundred or upwards in a group.
Some of them are tinged with purple at the tips; and
while sometimes you find them closed, and full of a
yellow creamy substance, at others they are open at the
top, and empty.
These are the egg-capsules of this mollusk, and some
very unusual circumstances connected with the birth of
the progeny, and their development within these cases,
have been discovered by Dr. Carpenter.2 Each capsule
contains 500 or 600 globules that cannot be distinguished
from each other at first; but only twelve to thirty of
1 See Devonshire Coast, p. 60.
2 Trans. Micr. Soc. (Ser. II.), vol. iii. p. 17.



these are developed into young animals, though their
united bulk ultimately equals that of the whole mass.
The greater number of these globules are not real eggs,
but only "yolk-spherules," destined to afford nutriment
to the true embryos, which greedily swallow them,
after certain changes have taken place, and increase
rapidly in bulk. It is curious, however, that they do
not advance in development during this absorption of
nutriment, but are, so to speak, arrested until a great
augmentation of size is thus attained; then they quickly
acquire the form of little free-swimming nautiloids,
closely like those of the Doris and Eolis, a form which
indeed is common to the early stages of all the known
higher mollusca, however various may be their adult
Here are the familiar Limpets, too: let us look at
them awhile.' They are not generally very attractive
in appearance, the shell being coarse and rubbed,
especially in the larger specimens; and in an aquarium
they do not live long, and are so inert as to afford no
amusement even while they survive. Yet we occasion-
ally find examples prettily coloured; and there are facts
in their economy which make them worthy of a few
moments' notice.
1 Patella vulgata, represented by two examples in Plate v., at the left
side of the picture.


If you look carefully over the rocks, especially when
these are of a somewhat soft nature, as the slates and
shales, you will find oval depressions, sometimes but
just discernible, at other times sunk to the depth of an
eighth of an inch, corresponding in outline to the shell
of a Limpet; and in many instances you will actually
see a Limpet imbedded in such a pit, which it accurately
fills. Strange as it may seem, it has been ascertained
that these cavities are formed by the animals, which
make them their ordinary resting-places, wandering
away from them nightly to feed, and returning to them
to rest early in the morning.
The force with which a Limpet adheres to the rock
is very great, especially when it has had warning of
assault, and has had time to put out its muscular
strength. Reaumur found that a weight of twenty-
eight or thirty pounds was required to overcome this
adhesive force. His experiments seem to prove, how-
ever, that its power is. mainly owing, not to muscular
energy, nor to the production of a vacuum in the manner
of a sucker. If an adhering Limpet were cut quite
through perpendicularly, shell and animal, the two
parts maintained their hold with unabated force, al-
though of course a vacuum, if there had been one, would
have been destroyed by the incision. The power is



said to reside in a very strong glue, a very viscid secre-
tion, deposited at the will of the animal. "If, having
detached a Patella," says Dr. Johnston, 'the finger be
applied to the foot of the animal, or to the spot on
which it rested, the finger will be held there by a very
sensible resistance, although no glue is perceptible.
And it is remarkable that if the spot be now moistened
with a little water, or if the base of the animal be cut,
and the water contained in it allowed to flow over the
spot, no further adhesion will occur on the application
of the finger: the glue has been dissolved. It is
nature's solvent, by which the animal loosens its own
connexion with the rock. When the storm rages, or
when an enemy is abroad, it glues itself firmly to its
rest; but when the danger has passed, to free itself
from this forced constraint, a little water is pressed from
the foot, the cement is weakened, and it is at liberty to
raise itself and be at large. The fluid of cementation,
as well as the watery solvent, is secreted in an infinity
of military glands with which the foot is, as it were,
shagreened; and as the Limpet cannot supply the
secretion as fast as this can be exhausted, you may
destroy the animal's capacity of fixation by detaching
it forcibly two or three times in succession."
If we remove one of these Limpets from his selected



- .--- - -% -,

..- -- ^ 1 -.. - -* -.^ --.. .. ',

-- \ M -

I' I

kLI. 13;=?.8 L14' I!'


"r ,

.. .
i.- ;?, c'l-.:aLrr::$
-:-;-. ,:!'?P 45
.. -e :
Th-LCI -- Si-.i
-I ";;.
tz__ :
c- '




r. H. GOSSE, del.





c, f-





:area of rock,-which we may readily do, notwithstanding
the strength of his cement, if we take him at unawares,
.and give him a smart sudden horizontal rap with a
piece of wood, or a moderated blow with a hammer,-
we shall obtain a view of a structure well worth looking
at. The animal is essentially like a Trochus or a Purple
inhabiting a conical shell; only in this case the cone
is low and simple, whereas in the others it is tall and
slender, and rolled into a spire. One of the most
curious peculiarities in the Limpet is its gill or breathing
organ. This, we perceive, completely encircles the
animal, forming a ring interrupted only at one point,
It lies in the fold between the mantle and the foot.
commencing on the left side of the neck, and passing
quite round the body, parallel with the edge of the
shell, in front of the head, till it terminates close to the
point where it began. It is a long cord closely beset
with tiny leaflets, and thus forming a continual plume.
Each leaflet, conical in outline, is permeated with blood-
vessels, and clothed with minute cilia, whose constant
vibrations cause the circumambient water ever to play
over the surface of these organs in ceaseless currents,
bringing fresh supplies of oxygen to be respired; and
this is absorbed by the blood through the thin membrane
by which they are protected.
There is a very pretty little shell, not uncommon in


deep water off these coasts, but rarely found by the
shore collector, though it does occasionally venture to
peep at daylight at the verge of extreme low-tide. It
is the Slit Limpet,' which by the older naturalists was
placed in close alliance with the Limpets proper, as if
a member of the same family. They were, however,
deceived by paying too exclusive attention to the form
of thb shell, which is a cone, somewhat rounded, and
nearly simple, the summit being slightly turned over in
a backward direction. The margin of the shell is deli-
cately notched, the points being the extremities of the
radiating ridges; for the entire surface is covered with
reticulations, one series of alternate furrows and ridges
proceeding from the summit to the margin, and another
series crossing these at right angles, running round the
shell parallel with the margin. The animal has its sides
ornamented with short fleshy processes, and possesses
two symmetrical gill-plumes, one on each side. It is
rather attractive in appearance, but I cannot tell you
anything of its manners; for though I have kept speci-
mensi in the aquarium, they are so habitually sluggish,
and so reluctant to allow one a peep beneath the edge
of the'jealous shell, that I could learn nothing about
their! ways ;-if indeed they have any.
B Emarginula reticulata, of which a figure appears in the right-hand
corner of Plate v. ': "


Another curious form closely related to this is the
Keyhole Limpet,' whose shell is of a long oval outline,
of a lower cone, reticulated, like the Slit Limpet, but
pierced at the summit with a double hole, or rather a
perforation apparently made of two holes broken into
one, something like a keyhole. This orifice, like the
slit in the former case, is for the discharge of the effete
water taken in in breathing.
See! here is the soft red sandstone lying in great
beds, pierced through and through with smooth round
holes, just as if bored with a carpenter's auger, big
enough to admit a man's thumb. What agency has
been in operation to effect these perforations ? Let us
try to discover.
A few good blows with the stout hammer on the
chisel-head serve to split off a great slice of the coarse
red sandstone. The holes run through its substance,
but they are all empty, or filled only with the black
fetid mud which the sea has deposited in their cavities.
Yes; these are too superficial; they are all deserted;
the stone lies too high above low-water mark: we must
seek a lower level. Try here; where the lowest spring-
tide only just leaves the rock bare. Ha now we have
uncovered the operators. Here lie, snugly ensconced
within the tubular perforations, great mollusca, with
1 Fissurella reticulata.


ample ivory-like shells, which yet cannot half contain
the whiter flesh of their ampler bodies, and the long
stout yellow siphons that project from one extremity,
reaching far up the hole towards the surface of the
'We lift one from its cavity, all helpless and unresist-
ing, yet manifesting its indignation at the untimely
disturbance by successive spasmodic contractions of
these rough yellow siphons, each accompanied with a
forcible jet d'eau, a polite squirt of sea-water into our
face; while, at each contraction in length, the base
swells out, till the compressed valves of the sharp shell
threaten to pierce through its substance.
Strange as it seems, these animals have bored these
holes in the stone; and they are capable of boring in
far harder rock than this; even in compact limestone.
The actual mode in which this operation is performed
long puzzled philosophers. Some maintained that the
animal secreted an acid which had the power of dissolv-
ing not only various kinds of stone, but also wood,
amber, wax, and other substances, in which the excava-
tions are occasionally made. But it was hard to imagine
a solvent of substances so various, and to know how
the animals' own shells were preserved from its action ;
1 Pholas dactylus; the principal figure in Plate vi., represented as ex-
posed in its burrow by the splitting off of a portion of the limestone rock.



-yr --


*_. .r. r
-a~.. -"t.

1'.2=i"~ -~

S b.- *.^.- ... &L,-. ...' '- -. -. .

P. H. GOSSE, del.









' < .




-: rv-.-=





= ---

.= _o -







while, confessedly, no such acid had ever been detected
by the most careful tests.
Others maintained that the rough points which stud
the shell enable it to serve as a rasp, which the animal,
by rotating on its axis, uses to wear away the stone or
other material; but it was difficult to understand how
it was that the shell itself was not worn away in the
Another zoologist, rejecting this hypothesis, main-
tained that the edges of the mantle and the short thick
foot are the instruments employed; and that, though
these fleshy organs seem little fitted for such work,
they are really endowed with the requisite power in
the shape of crystals of flint which are deposited thickly
in their substance. Strange to say, however, other
accurate observers fail to detect these siliceous crystals,
and therefore reject the hypothesis.
Another suggested that the stone was removed in in-
visible particles by the constant action of currents in
the water, produced by vibratile cilia seated on the soft
parts of the animal; but this supposition was found
untenable on examination.
Actual observation in the aquarium has proved that
the second hypothesis is the true one. M. Cailliaud in
France and Mr. Robertson in England have demon-
strated that the Pholas uses its shell as a rasp, wearing



away the stone with the asperities with which the an-
terior parts of the valves are furnished. Between these
gentlemen a somewhat hot contention was maintained
for the honour of priority in this valuable discovery.
M. Cailliaud himself used the valves of the dead shell,
and imitating the natural conditions as well as he could,
actually bored an imitative hole, by making them rotate.
Mr. Robertson, at Brighton, exhibited to the public
living Pholades in the act of boring in masses of chalk.
He described it as "a living combination of three in-
struments, viz., a hydraulic apparatus, a rasp, and a
syringe." But the first and last of these powers can be
considered only as accessory to the removing of the de-
tritus out of the way, when once the hole was bored,
the rasp being the real power. If you examine these
living shells, you will see that the fore part, where the
foot protrudes, is set with stony points arranged in
transverse and longitudinal rows, the former being the
result of elevated ridges radiating from the hinge, the
latter that of the edges of successive growths of the
shell. These points have the most accurate resem-
blance to those set on a steel rasp in a blacksmith's
shop. It is interesting to know that the shell is pre-
served from being itself prematurely worn away by the
fact, that it is composed of arragonite, a substance much
harder than those in which the Pholas burrows. Yet


we see by the specimens before us that such a destruc-
tive action does in time take place, for some of these
have the rasping points much more worn than others,
many of the older ones being nearly smooth.
The animal turns in its burrow from side to side
when at work, adhering to the interior by the foot, and
therefore only partially rotating to and fro. The sub-
stance is abraded in the form of fine powder, which is
periodically ejected from the mouth of the hole by the
contraction of the branchial siphon; a good deal of the
more impalpable portions being deposited by the cur-
rent as it proceeds, and lodging as a soft mud between
the valves and the stone. Mr. Hudson,' who watched
some Pholades at work in a tide-pool in the chalk,
observed the periodic ejection of the cloud of chalk-
powder, and noticed the heaps of the same material de-
posited around the mouth of each burrow. The dis-
charges were made with no regularity as to time. Mrs.
Merrifield2 records a curious fact. "A lady, watch-
ing the operations of some Pholades which were at
work in a basin of sea-water, perceived that two of
them were boring at such an angle that their tunnels
would meet. Curious to ascertain what they would
do in this case, she continued her observations, and
found that the larger and stronger Pholas bored straight
SZoologist, p. 7819. 2 Nat. Hist. of Brighton, p. 185.




through the weaker one, as if it had been merely a piece
of chalk rock."
Mr. Ross, of Rhyl, having a Pholas in his aquarium,
prepared a piece of wood, by excavating a shallow cavity,
about a quarter of an inch deep, in which he set the
animal, whose shell was two inches long. "After a
short time the animal attached its foot to the bottom of
the hole and commenced swaying itself from side to
side, until the hole was of sufficient depth to allow it
to proceed in the following manner :-It inflated itself
with water, apparently to its fullest extent, raising its
shell upwards from the hole; then holding by its mus-
cular foot, it drew its shell gradually down. This
would have produced a perpendicular and very ineffi-
cient action, but for a wise provision of nature. The
edges of the valves are not joined close together, but
are connected by a membrane (extension of the mantle),
and instead of being joined at the hinge (umbo) like
ordinary bivalves, they possess an extra plate, attached
to each valve of the shell, which is necessary for the
following operation :-In boring, this mollusk, having
dilated itself with water, draws down its shell within
the hole, gradually closing the lower anterior edges until
they almost touch. It then raises its shell upwards,
gradually opening the lower anterior edges, and clos-
ing the upper, thus boring both upwards and down-


wards. The spines are placed in rows, like the teeth of
a saw; those towards the lower part of the shell being
sharp and pointed, while those above, being now useless,
are not renewed."'
In this limestone cliff we shall find other borers, for
you may see even at a considerable distance how holed
and honeycombed its surface is; the cavities being so
numerous, so close, and so irregular in their direction,
that the whole face of the rock is fashioned into small
sharp-edged shapeless points. Nor need we be long in
finding the industrious masons who thus rough-point
acres upon acres, nay miles upon miles, of limestone
rock. Here in ten thousand orifices you discern little
double-tipped knobs of crimson flesh, which, as soon as
you disturb them, shoot at you a column of water and
then disappear within their fortress, having exhausted
their artillery. The fishermen know them well, and use
them for bait, applying to them the familiar but ex-
pressive soubriquet of Red-noses.2
It is not so easy to get at these as at the Pholades,
because of the superior hardness of the stone which they
excavate. With the chisel, however, we need not fail
of uncovering a few, especially as their burrows are but
shallow. Here they are, half-a-dozen in a block as big
SZoologist, p. 6541.
"- Saxicava rugosa ; represented by the smaller figure in Plate VI. ;



as your fist. Ugly, uncouth, bemired, the valves not
nearly containing the shapeless flesh, they are not par-
ticularly attractive creatures, maugre the brilliant hue
of their blushing siphons. Like Mrs. Merrifield's
Pholas, these Saxicavm habitually break into one
another's houses, as we see here, and even cut one
another's shells and bodies through and through most
ruthlessly. They will live very well out of the rock,
and may be kept a considerable time in the aquarium.
There is no doubt that the burrowing Mollusca are
slowly but surely effecting changes in the configuration
of rocky coasts, by destroying the rock. It is true their
excavations extend but a few inches in depth; but then,
as the force of the elements readily breaks down the
thin partitions left standing, and discovers a new face,
so the borers are continually renewing their attacks on
this; and so in time the cliffs are worn away, while the
debris of impalpable mud is deposited upon the shallows,
entering into new combinations, and filling up estuaries
and harbours.


PERHAPS the most effective aid to the investigation
of natural history which the present age has produced
is the invention of the aquarium, and particularly its
application to marine forms of life. Depending on that
grand principle of organic chemistry, of world-wide
prevalence, that the emanations from animals and vege-
tables are- respectively essential to the continued life
each of the other, it was discovered that the relative
proportions of number and bulk in which organic
beings of the two kinds could healthfully live together
was easily determined; and since the fact that the
creatures were inhabitants of water, whether fresh or
salt, presented no exception to the universality of the
law, they had but to be placed together in a suitable
ratio, enclosed in a vessel containing water, and an
aquarium was established. Inprovements in the form
of the vessel, in the mode of exposing the contents to
observation, in the impact of the rays of light, in the



arrangement of the interior, and other points of value,
have indeed been progressively made; whereby the prac-
tical availability of the invention for the purposes of
experimental natural history has been augmented; but
some of us have found little difficulty, even from the
very first announcement of the discovery, in maintain-
ing the collections of sea-water, with their living plants
and animals, unchanged from year's end to year's end.
I may be perhaps excused for observing, that I have at
present in use a large tank, full of marine creatures, in
which the water has been unchanged for four years, and
on which I look with peculiar interest, because it was the
first tank ever made for private use. This very aquarium
has afforded, and still affords the opportunity for the
observation of many interesting details of the structure
and habits of the lower forms of animal life, details
which constitute the basis not only of my works on
marine natural history already published, but of the
present series of papers also. We collect the creatures,
indeed, abroad, and there gather up some broad facts of
interest concerning their modes of life; but it is at
home, in the quiet of the study, with conveniences
and aids to examination, experiment, and record at
command, that they must be studied. The aquarium
becomes in fact an apparatus, whereby we bring a
portion of the sea, with its rocks, and weeds, and


creatures, to the side of our study-table, and maintain
it there.
Thus an opportunity of close and valuable familiarity
with sea-productions is open to multitudes who have
never seen the broad expanse of ocean, nor searched its
prolific shores; and facilities for extending the bounds
of zoological science are everywhere enjoyed, which till
lately were restricted to a very few naturalists, whose
residences were situated on certain favourable spots
upon the coast. Yet both modes of investigation are
necessary. He who has never seen marine animals
except in the confinement of an aquarium, cannot but
be conscious of many chasms in his knowledge, which
are filled up by him who is in the habit of collecting
his own specimens in their proper haunts; and who, by
finding them in ferd nature, can, when he studies them
at leisure in his tanks, make such allowances as are
necessary for the variations in habit which may be
dependent on the difference between their present
artificial, and their original natural, conditions of exist-
While we rejoice then in tanks and vases of crystal
water, filled with the lovely forms and brilliant hues of
sea-weeds and sea-anemones, I invite my readers to
accompany me on a few hours' visit to the charming
creatures at their own homes. The season is propi-



tious; the sun has just passed the vernal equinox, and
the genial warmth of spring is diffusing new life into
the cold blood of the animals that dwell beneath the
waters; the equinoctial storms that lately raged have
blown themselves out, and are succeeded by a quietude
whose effect is delightfully seen in yonder mirror-like
ocean: it is the time of spring-tide; and the near
approach of the hour of lowest water will afford us
unusual facilities for finding species only to be invaded
under such conditions.
Let us then scramble down to the beautiful Anstey's
Cove, along the steep path tangled with briers and
ferns; where the swelling buds of the hawthorn and
honeysuckle are already bursting, while the blackbird
mellowly whistles in the fast-greening thicket, and the
lark joyously greets the mounting sun above us. Yon-
der on the shingle lies a boat, newly painted in white
and green, for the attraction of young ladies of maritime
aspirations; she is hauled up high and dry; but the
sinewy arms of honest Harry Bate, who hearing foot-
steps has come out of his little grotto -under the rock
to reconnoitre, will soon drag her down to the rippling
waves, and, "for the small sum of a shilling an hour,"
will pull us over the smooth and pond-like sea, whither-
soever we may choose to direct him.
Jump aboard, please, Sir! Jump in, ladies! jump


in, little master!" And now, as we take our seats on
the clean canvas cushions astern, the boat's bottom
scrapes along with a harsh grating noise over the white
shingle-pebbles, and we are afloat.
" First to the caverns just outside yonder lofty point.
The lowness of the tide will enable us to take the boat
into them, and the calmness of the sea will preclude
much danger of her striking the rocks; especially as
watchful Bate will be on the alert, boat-hook in hand,
to keep her clear. Now we lie in the gloom of the
lofty arch, gently heaving and sinking and swaying on
the slight swell, which, however smooth the surface, is
always perceptible when you are in a boat among rocks,
and which invests such an approach with a danger that
a landsman does not at all appreciate. Yet the water,
despite the swell, is glassy, and invites the gaze down
into its crystalline depths, where the little fishes are
playing and hovering over the dark weeds. The sides
of the cavern rise around us in curved planes, washed
smooth and slippery by the dashing of the waves of
ages, and gradually merge into the massive angles and
projections and groins of the broken roof, whence a tuft
or two of what looks like samphire depends. But
notice the colonies of the Smooth Anemone or Beadlet1
SActinic mesembryanthermum, represented in Plate VII., at the lower
right-hand corner.




clustered about the sides; many of them are adhering
to the stone walls, several feet above the water. These
have been left uncovered for hours, and are none the
worse for it. They are closed, the many tentacles being
concealed by the involution of the upper part of the
body, so that they look like balls, or hemispheres, or
semi-ovals of flesh; or like ripe fruits, so plump and
succulent and glossy and high--coloured, that we are
tempted to stretch forth the willing hand, to pluck
and eat. Some are greengages, some Orleans plums,
some magnum-bonums,--so various are their rich hues;
but look beneath the water, and you see them not less
numerous, but of quite another guise. These are all
widely expanded; the tentacles are thrown out in an
arch over the circumference, leaving a broad flat disk;
just like a many-petalled flower of gorgeous hues : in-
deed, we may fancy that here we see the blossoms, and
there the ripened fruit. Do not omit, however, to notice
the beads of pearly blue that stud the margin all round,
at the base of the over-arching tentacles. These have
been supposed by some to be eyes; the suggestion,
however, rests on no anatomical ground, and is, I am
afraid, worthless; though I cannot tell you what purpose
they do serve.
Away! for I wish to explore another scene not less
romantic than this, and which I know by experience to


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be much more prolific in strange and beautiful forms of
life. Harry shall pull us round yonder low point, which
bears the appellation of Hope's Nose, calling on the way
to look at some one of the inlets that lie between the
long projecting points at the foot of Black Rock. Here
the boat floats over dense forests of great brown sea-
weeds, the Lamminarice, which lift their dark masses, and
wave to and fro, with a majestic dignity. Here is the
narrow crumpled blade of the Oarweed, of a rich yellow
brown; and the wavy stem of the Furbelows sprigingi
from its hedgehog-like bladder; but chiefly is the forest
composed of vast plants of the Tangle, whose broad
deep-brown fronds of a substance like stout leather,
French-polished, divide into many long straps, slide
over each other, and flap to and fro in the heave of the
sea. Yonder we see on the broadest part of a frond,
just before it divides, what seems a flower, as large as a
chrysanthemum, but of the liveliest pea-green hue, every
long petal tipped with rosy pink. Hand over the boat-
hook, and carefully lift the tangle to the surface. Now
we have it fully in view. It is the green variety of the
Opelet ; so called because it is scarcely capable of in-
folding the walls of the body over the disk and ten-
tacles; these therefore remain habitually open, though

SAnthect cereus, var. smaragdina, represented at the right hand of
Plate ix.



the animal is at times much less expanded than at
others. We now see it in its most charming condition;
the short fawn-coloured column inflated, the mouth
elevated on a strong cone in the centre of the wide
saucer-shaped disk, and the numerous tentacles arranged
in groups, as if several stems sprang from the same
root, long, slender, very flexible, twisting about like the
snaky locks of Medusa's head, all of the most delicate
light green, with a rich satin lustre, and all tipped
with the richest crimson-lilac or light rose,-a most
beautiful harmony of colours. The animal adheres by
a broad base firmly to the disk of the tangle, and awaits,
as it waves hither and thither, the approach of one of
the little fishes that play heedlessly at bo-peep among
the fronds. No sooner does one of them touch the
far-stretching tentacles, than a virulent and penetrating
poison shoots through its frame; its vigour is benumbed
in an instant; it ceases to struggle; its powerful fins
strike the water no more; others of the fatal tentacles
enwrap themselves around it, and drag it towards the
mouth, already protruding and expanding in expecta-
tion of the morsel; where it is in a few minutes en-
gulfed, and soon digested in that capacious maw.
It is not very uncommon for a single specimen of
this species to become two by a perpendicular division.
The whole process has been observed. A little notch first



appears in the margin of the disk, which extends, cutting
through the tentacles of that side, splitting the disk
across, proceeding through the tentacles on the opposite
side till it divides the margin there also. Meanwhile,
it has advanced downward in an equal ratio, till it has
reached the base; and at length there are two half-
opelets still adhering in the closest proximity. Now,
however, the two raw and open surfaces close up, and
"the bases glide gradually apart. A thick wall of flesh
forms between the stomach and the wound, and new
tentacles develop themselves on this. The two Opelets
are complete.
Half-an-hour's vigorous pulling has doubled the long
promontory of Hope's Nose, a wilderness of stones, like
what I suppose, from published descriptions, the foot of
Mount Sinai to be, and brought us, between two raised
beaches, into the pretty cove of Meadfoot, capped by
elegant villas. These beaches, evidences of the lifting
of the land, for they surely once stood, as beaches stand
now, at the sea-level, are situate, the one on the main,
the other on the Thatcher, a rocky islet some two
hundred yards off shore. A few minutes more, and we
are in a wild scene indeed. Isolated rocks stand up, in
angular masses, upright columns, and sharp peaks, out
of the sea, which is quite deep, even at lowest spring-
tide. The coast itself too is rugged, precipitous, and in
b reiitus ndi



many spots quite perpendicular; one bold promontory,.
which runs out with a narrow knife-edge summit, is
perforated by a natural archway of lofty elevation, of
very striking aspect. It is distinctly visible for miles
along the shores of Torbay, and is dignified with the
name of London Bridge.
Here, then, is our fishing-ground to-day. Threading
the slender passages between the perpendicular rocks,
or creeping-in close under their overhanging landward
sides, where no ray of the sun has ever penetrated, we
hang on by the points and groins, and eagerly peer
below. Into one lane our boatman hesitates to venture.
It is but just wide enough to allow the boat to pass;
indeed here and there she cannot without rubbing her
gunwales; and if a stronger swell than usual were to
roll-in from seaward while entangled, her side might
be stove-in before she could be extricated. However,
its gloom looks so tempting, and the water among the
islets is so very smooth, that we succeed in persuading
him, and we push and drag into the very midst of the
watery alley. The rocks rise close on either hand like
lofty walls, and descend as perpendicularly, deep and
far down beneath our keel; as we can well see, for the
water is of lustrous transparency.
And what a sight is here! Hundreds of Anemon-es
of many species are studding the walls almost as thick



as they can be packed. Every tiny crevice, every
hollow, every hole left by Pholas or Saxicavc (and the
rock is riddled and honeycombed by these burrowing
mollusks), holds its little knob of plump flesh; some
lolling out with a dewdrop hanging from the end; some
just filling the cavity, and allowing the tips of the
crowded tentacles to peep out as a speck of white, or
of orange, or of rosy lilac, according to the species; and
some retreated to the bottom of their stony fortress, to
be detected only by the probing touch. Other forms
too there are;-dead men's fingers, white and yellow;
worms, green and brown and grey, twining in and out,
and grasping the sharp edges of the rock; tunicate
mollusks, simple and compound; univalves and bivalves;
sponges of all bright colours by hundreds. :-what a
maze, what a teeming world of life it is!
All this is at and above the level of the eye. Now
let us bend over the boat's gunwale, and gaze below,
with our faces brought nearly to the surface of the sea.
Here the sight is far more wonderful, and far more
attractive; for here the life is seen in all its fullest
activity, every creature performing its functions, and
pursuing its instincts with the most single earnestness,
self-contained, and altogether regardless of the myriad
fellow-beings that surround it and press upon it, in this
eager contest and struggle for maintained existence.


A yard or two below the surface the eye is caught by
a great oyster projecting from the vertical wall. It is
a strange situation for an oyster to be in, but it shows
how the infant young, in their free-swimming form, so
different from their ultimate condition, may be carried
by the aid of their own cilia, and the sea-currents, into
the most improbable situations, and may there find cir-
cumstances congenial for permanent settlement.1 Per-
haps, however, its brown and rough shell would scarcely
have attracted our notice, but for the rider that sits

1 M. Coste has lately communicated a paper to the Academy of Sciences
on the progress of his artificial oyster-beds on the western coast of France.
Several thousands of the inhabitants of the island of Re have been for the
last four years engaged in cleansing their muddy coast of the sediments
which prevented oysters from congregating there; and as the work advances
the seed wafted over from Nieulle and other oyster localities settles in the
new beds, and, added to that transplanted, peoples the coast, so that
72,000,000 of oysters, from one to four years old, and nearly all marketable,
is the lowest average per annum registered by the local administration,
representing, at the rate of from 25 to 30 francs per thousand, which is the
current price inthe locality, a sum of about two millions of francs, the
produce of an extremely limited surface. That the waves or currents
carry the seed of oysters is a well-known fact, since the walls of sluices
newly erected are often covered with them. In the island of ER, the exist-
ence of the oyster-beds, however, no longer depends upon this contingency,
they being now in a state of permanent self-reproduction. The distinction
of oyster-beds into those of collection and those of reproduction is quite
unnecessary, since the property of reproduction belongs to them all. In
some localities it is sufficient to prepare the emerging banks for collection
to see them soon covered with seed; but in other places nothing would be
obtained without transplanting proper subjects, an operation which by no
means impairs their reproductive qualities. The concession of emerging
banks is anxiously applied for by the inhabitants of the coast; the more so
as improvements in the working of this branch of trade are of daily occur-


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upon it. A specimen of the Dead-man's finger, of noble
dimensions, has selected this shell as the seat of its
dominion; and we can discern the three or four great
lobes of which it consists all surrounded by the gauzy
cloud that tells of the thousands of translucent polyps
projected from every part of its periphery.. Fine as is
that specimen, however, there are scores of others, many
of which are of equal dimensions, and more easily ac-
cessible. By the aid of the hammer and cold-chisel,
we may easily secure a specimen without harming it,
after searching a while to select one which is seated on
some projection of the rock that can be struck off.
Thus removed, and at once transferred to one of our
collecting jars, the curious compound animal will in
captivity display its beauties, though, it must be con--
fessed, it is often rather bashful before company. The
lobes into which the mass is divided are sufficiently like
stumpy fingers to have given it a popular designation,

rence. Thus, Dr. Kemmerer, of Re, covers a number of tiles with a coat-
ing of a kind of mastic, brittle enough to enable him to detach the small
oysters from it. When this coating is well covered with seed he gets it off
all in one piece, which he carries to the place where the seed is to grow.
The same tile he coats a second time, and so on as long as the seed will
deposit upon it. In short, wherever the violence of the currents and the
instability of the bottom do not present irresistible obstacles the cultiva-
tion of the oysters has become a lucrative business.
1 Alcyonium digitatum, for which see Plate vII. It is the white object
near the middle jof the picture, partly concealed by the intervening leaf of
green Ulva. :



while their dull white hue has suggested that the
fingers are those of a corpse. The animal is sometimes,
however, called Cows' paps, and sometimes Mermaids'
gloves; but I think this latter is a book name.
When we examine it in the aquarium, after it has
recovered its equaminity disturbed by the rude shocks
of the hammer battering about its castle, we see that
the lobes are greatly swollen and sub-pellucid, from the
imbibition of water into the canals with which its
whole substance is penetrated. When out of water the
surface was studded with shallow pits, as if the poor
thing had at some period of its history been afflicted
with the small-pox. Now, however, these pittings re-
veal their true character; for each has protruded itself
in the form of a long but slender polyp, of exquisite
translucency and perfect symmetry. It resembles a
tubular flower with eight narrow pointed petals, which
arch outward like those of a campanula or tulip. Each
petal carries on its edges a row of very slender trans-
parent filaments, arranged like the teeth of a comb,
which also arch downward, and greatly augment the
beauty of the flower-like polyp.
Structurally, this polyp is closely allied to the com-
mon forms of the Sea Anemones; the most obvious
peculiarity being, that a multitude are combined into
one mass, with a common life animating the whole.


The fleshy mass is of a spongy texture, full of branch-
ing water-canals, and containing a multitude of cal-
careous spicula of characteristic forms. They resemble
gnarled branches of oak, with the branchlets broken
off, leaving ragged ends. The skin of the polyps con-
tains, at certain fixed spots, groups of similar spicula,
but much more minute. The microscope is necessary
to discern these, as well as some other details of the
organization of this very interesting creature.
The technical character by which this animal with
its allies is distinguished from the proper Anemones, is
that its plan of organization is fashioned on the num-
ber eight, whereas the true Anemones have six, as their;
characteristic number. Thus, however numerous the
tentacles of an anemone may be,-and in the case of
the Daisy or the Plumose, they often amount to several
hundreds,-the young animal began with six, and the
increase is normally a multiplication of six, though
accidental irregularities do occur. On the other hand,
the tentacles of the Aleyonium are permanently eight,
as are the vertical partitions of the interior of the body;
and by consequence, the chambers into which those
membranous partitions divide it.
But we must not allow the interest attaching to these
forms to divert our attention from the Anemones them-
selves. All the species which we saw on the rock



above the water, are here below it, and all displaying
their beauties in an incomparably more charming
fashion. We can compare the whole submerged wall
to nothing else than a parterre of most brilliant flowers,
taken bodily and set on end. The eye is bewildered
with their number and variety, and knows not which
to look at first. Here are the Rosy Anemones,1 with a
firm fleshy column of rich sienna-brown, paler towards
the base, and with the upper part studded with indis-
tinct spots, marking the situation of certain organs
which have an adhesive power. The disk is of a pale
neutral tint, with a crimson mouth in the centre, and
a circumference of crowded tentacles of the most lovely
rose-purple, the rich hue of that lovely flower that
bears the name of General Jacqueminot. In those
specimens that are most widely opened, this tentacular
fringe forms a blossom whose petals overhang the con-
cealed column, expanding to the width of an inch or
more; but there are others in which the expansion is
less complete in different degrees, and these all give
distinct phases of loveliness. We find a few among the
rest, which, with the characteristically-coloured ten--
tacles, have the column and the disk of a creamy white;
and one in which the disk is of a brilliant orange, in-

1 Sagartia rose, of which a specimen, only partially open, is delineated
in the centre foreground of Plate vII.


declining to scarlet. Most lovely little creatures are
they all.
Commingled with these charming Roses, there are
others which attain a larger size, occurring in even
greater abundance. They are frequently an inch and
a half in diameter when expanded, and some are even
larger than this. You may know them at once by
observing that the outer row of tentacles, and occa-
sionally also some of the others, are of a scarlet hue,
which, when examined minutely, is seen to be produced
by a sort of core of that rich hue pervading the pel-
lucid tentacle. The species is commonly known as the
Scarlet-fringed Anemone.1 The inner rows of tentacles,
which individually are larger than those of the outer
rows, are pale, marked at the base with strong bars of
black. The disk is very variable in hue, but the column
is for the most part of the same rich brown as we saw
in the Rosy. Yet, though these are characteristic
colours, there are specimens which diverge exceedingly
from them, and some approach so near the Roses, as to
be scarcely distinguishable from them. Generally, how-
ever, the scarlet-cored outer tentacles, and a peculiar
habit of throwing the tentacular margin of the disk into
crumpled folds, will be found sufficient to determine this
very handsome kind of Anemone from its nearest allies.

1 Saaartia miniata.



There are multitudes too of a charming little kind,
which, on account of the pure whiteness of the crown
of tentacles, is known as the Snowy.1 The disk is of
the same spotless hue; and the column of a light drab
deepening into pale olive towards the summit. With
the exception of its colours, this species has a very
close resemblance to the Posy, with which it is gener-
ally associated, even as we see it here. And here is the
Orange-disk,2 one of exceeding loveliness, which you
might fancy a cross-breed between the Rosy and the
Snowy, having the rich brown column of the former, and
the white tentacles of the latter; but that it 'has a
character of its own in the disk being of the most
brilliant orange-red. All these are scattered in the
most abundant profusion, looking like gems sown on
the rough rock; or, as I compared them before, like
gorgeous composite flowers, of which you might easily
fancy the little tufts of green and purple Algce to be
the proper leaves. There are also others, less con-
spicuous, the Daisy, the Sandalled, the Cave-dweller,
the Translucent,3 more or less numerously mingled with
the rest, of which I have not space here to speak, but

1 Sagartia nivea; two of this species, one closed, the other partially
opened, are seen at the left corner of the foreground in Plate vii. ,
2 Sagartia venusta, a group of which occupies the right-hand side of
Plate IX., including both expanded and closed individuals.
8 Sag. bellis, sphyrodeta, troglodytes, p2ura.







r. ii. GOSSE, -el.