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Common objects of the sea shore: including hints for an aquarium

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Common objects of the sea shore: including hints for an aquarium
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Common objects of the sea shore: including hints for an aquarium
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Wood, J. G.
Sowerby ( Designer )
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New York
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COMMON OBJECTS —

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THE

COMMON OBJECTS

OF

THE SEA SHORE;

INCLUDING
HINTS FOR AN AQUARIUM.

BY THE

REV. J. G. WOOD, MA, FLS., Etc,,

AUTHOR OF THE ‘‘ILLUSTRATED NATURAL HISTORY,”
ETC.

WITH COLOURED ILLUSTRATIONS
FROM DESIGNS BY SOWERBY.

LONDON :
ROUTLEDGE, WARNE, AND ROUTLEDGE,

FARRINGDON STREET.
NEW YORK: 56, WALKER STREET.
186].



Edition of this Book, with the
— ied



Plates Plain,





PREFACE.

Tuts little work is simply a popular
account of the “Common Objects of the
Sea-Shore,” and is restricted to those ob-
jects which every visitor to the sea-side is
sure to find on every coast. For descrip-
tions of those creatures which only inhabit
certain localities, and those whose lives are
passed in the deep water, requiring the
dredge, the net, or the drag to bring them
to the light of day, the reader is referred
to those magnificent and comprehensive
works that have been written for the pur-
pose of illustrating particular branches of
science,



vi PREFACE.

During my visits to the sea-coasts for
the last six or seven years, I have taken
note of the questions put to me by persons
who were anxious to know something of the
curious objects that everywhere met their
eyes; and the following pages are, as nearly
as possible, the condensed conversations that
then took place.

The whole of the illustrative plates were
drawn expressly for this work by Mr.
Sowerby, whose name is a sufficient guarantee
for their truth.

Lonpox, May, 1857,



Bde

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER L

PaGr
Marine Brrps—PorrrssE. . . 2... 0 1

CHAPTER II.

WaHELK — Cowry — Cockis — Puotas — Lower
—Sza-Weeps on SHELL—BaLanus—PurrPura—
Musset— Prriwinkiz, YELLow — PERIWINKLE,

Common—Trocuus . . *. 0: athe eB aks ee
CHAPTER III.
Marivg Aram, on Sza-WeEps . ba oh ie ae
CHAPTER lv.

RED-SPORED AND Greey-sPonsD ALGR ee

Pore ee



Viii OONTENTS.

CHAPTER V.
PaGB
Eaes or Marin ANmaLs — AND THEIR
CHAPTER VL
Sza ANEMONES AND OTHER ZOOPHYTES . . . . 98
CHAPTER VIL
Stap-Fishes anD Sza-UncniIns. . . . . . - 195
CHAPTER VIII.
ANNELIDS—BARNACLES, AND JELLY-FisH . . , 144
CHAPTER IX.

Cnass—Lonsters—Surimps—PRawns, 4ND Fiso. 172

"



Common Objects of the Sea-Shore.

—-—.

CHAPTER I.
MARINE BIRDS—PORPESSE.

Waertuer the sea is approached by land or by
water, the first indications of its existence are
generally to be found in the air. On some days,
the electric clouds that skirt the cliffs map out,
as it were, the sea-coast; and when such signs
fail, the marine birds give evident tokens that
the sea, their great store-house, is close at hand.
With the birds, then, we will commence our
observations of the sea and its shores.

The bird that usually presents itself as the
ocean’s herald is the Common Gull (Larus
canus) There are some twelve or thirteen
species of British Gulls, including the Kittiwake

B



2 GULL.

and the Iceland Gull. The bird represented in
the accompanying figure is the Great Black-
backed Gull (Larus marinus), which is tolerably
frequent on our coasts, but not so often seen as
the Common Gull, nor does it form such large
societies as those in which its more sociable
relations love to congregate.

Why the word “gull” should be employed to
express stupidity I cannot at all comprehend,
for the gulls are very knowing birds indeed, and
difficult to be deceived. If a piece of bread or
biscuit be thrown from a boat, it remains but a
very short time on the surface of the water before
it is carried off by a gull, although previously
not a bird was visible. But if a number of gulls
are flying about, and a piece of paper or white
wood be thrown into the water, there is not a
gull who will even stoop towards it, although to
the human eye the bread and the paper appear
identical. The cry of the gull is very curious,
being a kind of mixture of a wail, or scream,
and a laugh, and on a dark stormy day adds |
wonderfully to the spirit of the scene. Its flight
is peculiarly quiet, combining great power of wing
with easy elegance of motion. It is a very bold
bird, and for many miles will follow boats so
closely that the yery sparkle of its eyes is plainly



GULL. 3
visible, as it twists its wise-looking head from
side to side while watching the voyagers.



BLACK-BACKED GULL.

The gull is an exclusively marine bird, being
found only on the sea-shore or at the mouths of
large rivers, although more than usually violent
storms occasionally drive it inland, where it
wanders about for some time very miserable, and
quite out of its element, until it gets shot by
some rustic sportsman.

The next bird to which our attention will be
directed is the Common Tern (Sterna hirundo),
or Sea Swallow, as it is very appropriately called.
It belongs to the gull family, and has many of

B2



4 TERN.

the gull habits, but is readily distinguishable
from the gulls, even at a considerable distance,
on account of its rapid, darting flight. It is
not at all unlike a swallow in general shape,



TERN,

for the wings are long and pointed, the body is
rather large in front, and tapers to a point, and
its tail is forked like that of a swallow.

It is extremely dexterous in its capacity as a
fisher, for in its swift flight over the waves it
darts upon any small fish that may be unfortunate
and curious enough to come near the surface, and
Scoops it up, as it were, from the water, without
seemingly interrupting the speed of its course.
The nest, if it can be dignified with the title, is
merely a hollow scooped in the sand, well above
high-water mark ; and in this hollow two or three



OCORMORANT. 5

eggs are deposited. On the Scottish and northern
coasts the Common Tern is not often found, but
the Arctic Tern (Sterna macroura) comes to
supply its place. There are ten or eleven species
of British Terns.

On many of the English coasts, especially those
that look towards the Channel, may be seen a
tolerably large black-feathered bird, having a
yellowish countenance, a decidedly long and
rather hooked bill, and a pair of green eyes.



This is the Cormorant (Graculus carbo), one of
our three British representatives of the Pelican



6 CORMORANT.

family. The enormous pouch which decorates
the lower bill of the white pelican is only rudi-
mentary in our British pelicans, probably. because
there would be no use for it, as the birds live on
or close to the coast.

The other English pelicans are the Gannet, a
figure of which will be given shortly, and the
Common Shag, a bird of a monosyllabic English
Cognomen, but who ought to consider himself
recompensed by the scientific name given to him
by certain naturalists, namely, Phalacrocorar
cristatus ; the epithet cristatus, or crested, being
due to a tuft of reverted green feathers that
decorates the head. This tuft, however, is only
worn during the breeding season, when most
animals put on their gayest apparel, and is lost
a8 soon as the young Phalacrocoraces cristati take
their places as independent members of society.

The cormorant is a persevering fisher, in-
satiable in appetite, and almost unparalleled in
digestion. The pike and the shark among fish
appear to possess much the same proportionate
digestive power as the cormorant among birds.
The cormorant is not content with sitting, like
the heron, on the edge of the water, and snapping
up the fish that may enter the shallows ; or even,
like the gulls, with seizing them from the surface



























own element, plunges into the water, dives below
the surface, and actually proves himself a more
expert swimmer than the very fish themselves.
In former days the cormorant was employed in
England for the purpose of catching fish; and
such is still the case in China, The Chinese
cormorant, however, is not the same species as
that which is found on our coasts. It is rather
@ curious circumstance, that one of the mam-
malia, namely, the otter, and some of the birds,
should be enabled to carry on a successful
subaqueous chase, and that both beast and bird
have been pressed into the service of man.

The cormorant is sometimes found inland,
especially in the winter season, and exhibits its
powers among the fresh-water fish.

Although the pouch is comparatively small
in the cormorant, it still exists, and is useful in
giving elasticity to the throat and neck; a pro-
perty which is much required, for the cormorant
is a very greedy bird, and often swallows fish of
so large a size that a throat of twice its dimen-
sions seems incapable of permitting the passage
of 80 bulky a body. In order to swallow a fish,
the cormorant generally seizes it crosswise, tosses
it in the air, and then catches it as it descends

eee Ome EC Pena Lew! ita ry aa BI A th ts ANP IR QM AP PR Aes Op
Â¥ oe Pe :

OORMORANT. z ‘
of the waves; but he boldly defies his prey in its —

wy
#
a

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©



8 OORMORANT.

with its head downwards. One of these birds,
however, has been seen to miss its aim, and to
catch the fish with its head upwards; in this
position the cormorant endeavoured to swallow
its prey, but when the fish had passed about half-
way down its captor’s throat, the sharp fins pre-
vented its further progress, and both bird and
fish were soon dead. The poor cormorant seemed
terribly distressed, and made violent struggles,
but all to no purpose; for the fish was im-
movably fixed, and could neither be swallowed
nor rejected.

The feathers of the cormorant, although they
appear to be of a dusky black, are really of a
very deep green, so deep, indeed, as to appear
black. at a little distance, something like the
plumage of the magpie. The nest is composed
of dried sea-weed, and is usually placed on lofty
rocks, but is sometimes built among the branches
of trees. The eggs are remarkable for a thick
coating of chalk, which seems to envelope the
shell quite independently, and can be easily
removed with a knife. There are from three’to
five eggs in each nest,

Our remaining English pelican is the Gannet
(Sula bassanea), also called the Solan Goose, It

is to be found on many of our shores, but especi-



GANNET, 9

lly on the well-known Bass Rock, at the entrance
of the Frith of Forth. There is no difficulty in
identifying this bird, even at some distance, as
it has very much the appearance of wearing
spectacles ; a circumstance that has earned it the
itle of the Spectacled Goose, although it is not
goose at all.






THE GANNET,






It is in the search after these birds, their eggs
nd young, that the St. Kilda cragsmen imperil
sir lives year by year.

The Auk family find repregentatives in the
memot, and the comical little Puffin. The
ulemot (Uria troile) is a common bird on



10 GUILLEMOT.



many of our coasts, and may be seen, in the
breeding season, sitting with extraordinary grayity
and importance over a solitary egg. The egg
is often laid, and the young hatched, on such a
narrow ledge of rock, that it is quite a wonder



(ta

how the egg can escape a fall, or how the young
bird can even open its big beak without toppling
over the precipice. F

The guillemot has earned the epithet of
“ foolish,” because, when sitting on this solitary
egg, it will suffer itself to be taken by hand,


















PUFFIN. 11

than forsake its duty. I would suggest
+ the word “faithful” be substituted for
foolish.” The egg is a very handsome one,
large, and variable both in colour and
pe. It is generally covered with large irregular
tches, of a brown colour, on a pale-green
und.

to the Puffin (Fratercula arctica), it is
lly to be found in company with the guil-
ts, and indeed lives in much the same

i ed by its large beak ; from which feature
derived the popular name of Sea Parrot.
beak is very useful to the bird for three



12 DUNLIN.

especial purposes: the first being, to catch fish ;
the second, to dig the burrows in which its egg
is laid; and the third, to fight the ravens and
other foes who try to get at the egg.

The favourite food of the puffin appears to
be the common sprat, which it chases under
water, and of which it generally secures six or
seven, all arranged in a neat row along the
puffin’s beak, and hanging by their heads.



DUNLIN.

There are many more marine birds that are
often seen, but those already mentioned are the



hi. Vale an ee ET. Lee - NEU ee) Me Le ee ye
P ees ners ‘
, ; 7 oa

DUNSIN. 13

most common. Yet there is one other bird that
T must notice, because it has not so much the
marine aspect as the gulls and cormorants: this
is the Dunlin Sandpiper (Zringa alpina), a
very interesting little bird, that frequents the
sandy shores in great numbers, for the purpose
of feeding on the insects and small crustaceans
that are found in such profusion, either buried
in the sand, or hidden under stones and drifted
sea-weeds,

It is quite aware that on the edge of every
wave may be found the various substances which
constitute its food, and so skirts the very margin
of the sea, running hither and thither; and occa-
sionally venturing a few paces into the retiring
waters in chase of some detached limpet, some
houseless worm, or tiny crab, as restlessly, and
almost as untiringly, as the many-voiced waves
themselves.

There is no difficulty in watching the habits
of this, or indeed of any other bird. All that
is required is perfect stillness and silence, and
the birds will come and pick up their food almost
within artn’s reach.

In the hot summer months the observer may
Watch the sands without seeing a single Dunlin,
for they then desert the sea-shores in favour of



14 PORPESSE.

inland moors, where they lay their eggs, and
hatch the young; returning with their offspring
towards the end of August. This bird is some-
times called the Purre.

If we now leave the sands for a time, and
ascend the cliffs, we shall probably be indulged
with a transient glimpse of a very singular
animal. Some little distance from the shore a
number of black objects may be seen partly
emerging from the water, executing a summer-

- sault, and disappearing below the surface. These



PORPESSE.

are Porpesses (Phocaena communis), and very
curious creatures they are, belonging to the mam-
malia ; forced, therefore, to breathe atmospheric
air, and yet permanently inhabiting the sea,
with something of the form and many of the
habits of the fish. It is a curious connexion of
the two most distant links of the chain of the



PORPESSE. 16

Vertebrates, the mammalia being the highest,
and the fish the lowest.

Some people say, that as it looks like a fish,
and lives like a fish, to all intents and purposes
it isa fish. So it is, if the diver at the Poly-
technic Institution is a fish ; for it holds its lease
of life on precisely the same tenure. Both diver
and porpesse must breathe atmospheric air, or
they would die; and therefore each finds means
to supply himself with that indispensable
material. The diver surrounds himself with a
supply of fresh air, with which to renovate his
blood; but the porpesse is able to renovate a
surplus amount of blood, that lasts him for some
time: so the chief difference is, that the diver
takes down with him oxygen externally, and the
porpesse internally. The man goes down inside
the diving-bell, but the diving-bell goes down
inside the porpesse.

Yet the porpesse has no reservoir in which
atmospheric air is retained, for such a formation
would make it too buoyant. There is, however,
in the cetacee, to which family the porpesse
belongs, a reservoir of blood, which is renovated
by the atmospheric air, and is passed into the
system as required. Even man has the same
power, although in a limited degree. In general,





=e

16 PORPESSE.

a man cannot hold his breath more than one
minute, and it is not every man who can do even
that. But if he thoroughly renovates his blood
by expelling all the impure air that remains in
the minuter tubes of his lungs, and takes a suc-
cession of deep inspirations, he will be able to
abstain from: breathing for a much longer period.
I have just made the experiment myself, and
held my breath without difficulty for a minute
and a-half; and had there been any necessity,
could have done so for another half minute.

The porpesse is rather a sociable animal, being
generally seen in shoals, or schools, as the sailors
call them. I should hardly have said so much
about so common a creature, were it not for the
purpose of pointing out these remarkable facts in
its structure and habits: and even though it be
common, it is not so well known as might be
imagined. Not long ago, as I was on board
a steamer, a worthy old lady began to exhibit
symptoms of nervousness and alarm. I thought
she was fearing a storm, and told her that there
was not the least danger of any commotion of
the elements, for the barometer had been steadily
rising for the last two or three days. However,
it was a different subject that caused her uneasi-
ness. She had heard that there were porpesses



ve noe oro eeey eC eee oN ee ate aa wv e oe , vi

PORPESSE. 17

in those parts, and wished to know whether we
were likely to meet one, I told her that we
probably should meet several, but not so many
as if a gale were impending, At this reply her
fright evidently increased, and she asked, in much
trepidation, whether, if we did meet one, it would
upset the ship !





OHAPTER Il,

WHELK—0COWRY—COCKLE —PHOLAS — LIMPET—S8EA-WEEDS
OW SHELL—BALANUS—PURPURA—MUSSEL—PERIWINELE,
YELLOW—PERIWINELE, COMMON—TROCHUS.

Descenpina to the shore, we shall probably
see at our feet many shells, or fragments of
shells, which have been washed upon the beach
by the advancing tide, and which having lodged
behind a stone, or being sunk into the wet sand,
remain behind when the waves retreat. These
shells are almost invariably empty, their in-
habitants having either died a natural death, or
having fallen victims to some ravenous inhabi-
tant of the sea.

The strong house with which most of these
creatures are furnished would seem to be an
effectual defence against the efforts of open foes,
while the sensitive nervous nature with which
they are gifted would appear to secure them
from insidious attacks. Yet the hard, stony
shells, that turn the edge of a steel knife, are
constantly found to be perforated by creatures



SHELLS. 19

that can be squeezed flat between the fingers, and
whose bodies are no harder than the human
tongue. Formerly, the external characters of
shells were the only object of the collector ;
and the conchologist, as he was termed, might

have, and very often did have, a large collection -

of valuable shells, without the least idea of the
form, food, habits, or development of the creature
that secreted them. Now, however, those who
examine a shell are not satisfied unless they know
something of the creature that inhabited it, and
from whose substance it was formed : and so this
branch of Natural History has leaped at once out
of the mere childish toy of conchology into the
maturer science of malacology. The former
treated merely of shells, and therefore excluded
the vast army of molluscs, that wear no shells at
all ; but the latter treats especially of the animal,
considering the shell to be of secondary im-
portance,

And yet, even though the shell is considered
to be inferior to the animal by whom it was
secreted, much more attention is paid to the
shell itself than was the case in the old concho-
logical times. In those days the mere shape and
colours of the shell were the characteristics by
which its name and place in the system were

o2

Ye



20 LIMPET.

determined ; but now we submit the shell to the
searching powers of the microscope, and find
that various kinds of shells are i
by various arrangements of particles, and are
acted upon by polarized light in various ways.
It is, therefore, quite possible to fix the character
of a shell from a single fragment no larger than
a pin’s head. There are few things more curious
than this wonderful arrangement of the particles ;
which, by the way, are brought within the scope
of the microscope, by making very thin sections
of the shells, by the aid of saw, file, and hone.

One of the commonest shells found on the
sea-shore is the Limpet (Patella vulgata). See
plate 8, fig. 3.

In its living state it may be found adhering
closely to rocks or other substances, that give it
a firm basis of support. The adhesion is caused
by atmospheric pressure, for the limpet is enabled
to raise the centre of that part of the body that
rests on the rock, while the edge is closely pressed
upon it, This movement causes a vacuum ; and
so firmly does the air hold the limpet in its
place, that the unaided fingers will find great
difficulty even in stirring it. The firmness of
adhesion is also increased by the fact that after
the animal has remained for some time in one



SS A ea

LIMPET. 21

spot, it forms a hollow in the place where it
rests, corresponding in size with the shape of the
shell. Into this depression the shell sinks, and
consequently there is no possibility of reaching
its edge, where alone it is vulnerable, When,
however, it is not warned, and prepared for resist-
ance, it can be easily detached by a sharp move-
ment of the hand.

In general, it is not a migratory creature, and,
consequently, is often seen to be so covered with
parasites of various kinds, that its form can
hardly be recognised. I have now in my aqua-
rium a limpet-shell, on which a specimen of the
common laver (Ulva latissima) and another of
Porphyra laciniata have affixed themselves, and
are growing luxuriantly. There was also in the
same tank another limpet-shell, on which was
growing a whole forest of sea-grass (Enteromorpha
compressa), expanding as widely as the crown of
a man’s hat. The acorn barnacle, too, often takes
possession of the limpets, and it frequently
happens that, in some dark cavity of rock, a
colony of limpets may be found, each so covered
with these sessile barnacles, that not a particle
of the original shell is visible. Of this, however,
we will speak hereafter,

The figure, plate 3, fig. 3 a, represents the







22 WHELK.

appearance of the limpet as it is generally seen
on the rocks; 3 5 represents the under-surfice
of the same object, and shows the animal itself.
The limpet may easily be thus seen, if it is
placed in a vessel of sea-water with flat glass
sides, for it soon crawls up the side, and se
exhibits itself very perfectly.

The Common Whelk (Buccinwm wndatum) is
another shell that is sure to be found on the
sands, This is so well known a shell that no
particular description is here necessary, but
mention will be made of it on a succeeding page.



cowry. WHELK

The little shell, figured on the left side of the
whelk, is one of the cowries, of which there are
almost innumerable varieties. Some of them,
found in the tropical seas, are of very large size,
while others are much smaller than the specimen
represented. One species of this shell is used as

























a medium of exchange in some countries. Money
' that can be picked up on the sea-shore is, how-
ever, of very small value, fifteen hundred cowries
being considered as an equivalent to one English
shilling—hardly reimbursing the collector for the
trouble of stooping so often.

There is another shell allied or distinctly
related to the whelk which is very common on
our coasts, and which is well worthy of notice.
This is the Purpura lapillus (plate B, fig. 4), a
shell that is sometimes found nearly white, but
mostly banded with brownish orange, as is repre-
sented in the figure. Now, the creature that
inhabits this shell is one of those animals that
furnished the famous purple of the ancients, and
from that property it derives its name of Purpura.
The colour is not particularly beautiful, and it
is rather remarkable that the ancients, who had
very good taste in colours, should have placed so
high a value on this purple, which, according to
their own account and our observations, closely
resembled clotted blood.

Perhaps, however, its rarity constituted its
value; for there is so little in each shell, that an
enormous number of victims must have perished
before a sufficiency of the dye for one robe could
have been obtained.



24 PURPURA.

The ancients seemed to have managed the
extracting process in rather a clumsy manner;
but it is easy enough to procure the dye without
mixing it with the juices of the animal, as seems
to have been the case in the olden times. If the
reader would like to try the experiment, it may
be done as follows :—

Let him look among the rocks at low water,
and plenty of the shells may be found tolerably
close together. When a sufficient number are
collected, they should be killed by placing them
in fresh water, after the shell has been pierced
or broken, as otherwise the animal shuts itself up
so tightly that the water cannot gain admittance.
When the creatures are quite dead, the colouring
matter may be found in a yellowish-looking
vessel, that derives its colour from the substance
contained within. There is very little of this
colouring matter in the vessel. Now, if this
yellow substance be spread on white paper and
placed in the sunshine, a blue tinge enters the
yellow, making it green, The blue gradually
conquers the yellow, and the green soon becomes
blue. Another colour, red, now makes its appear-
ance in the blue, and turns it into purple. The
red becomes gradually stronger, and in its turn
almost vanquishes the blue, but does not quite





ee Tee TO el eee ee eee. See. Pk ale Ore nn ne

TOP. 25

succeed in doing so; for the blue, having taken
so much pains to turn out the yellow, will not
entirely vacate the premises, and, coalescing with
the red, forms a deep purple, the red very much
predominating. So we have here all the primary
colours fighting for the dominion, and yellow,
the most powerful of the three, forced to retire
before its complementaries.

There are great numbers of little shells, called
Tops from their form, which are found plenti-
fully on every coast, either-empty and cast ashore
by the waves, or living, and found adhering to
the sea-weeds that are laid bare at low water.
It is not often that these shells are found quite
perfect, for the shell is generally worn away at
the apex, so that the colouring substance is
removed and the point of the shell is white,
One of the most beautiful of these shells, the
Livid Top (Trochus ziziphinus), is represented on
plate 8, fig. 1.

The tongue of this species is remarkable for
its structure. Many molluscs are furnished with
very wonderful tongues, the true beauty of which
can only be seen by placing them under a
microscope of moderate power. Their tongue
is easily extracted by drawing it out from its
hiding-place with a needle, and cutting it





off—the owner being, of course, previously
killed.

When this organ is properly displayed, it will
appear furnished with one array of teeth, very
minute, but very strong, and quite adequate to
the work which they have to perform. In fact,
the tongue is a miniature file, and is used not
so much for tasting the food, as for a rasp, where-
with to cut it off. The top, therefore, is an useful
inhabitant of an aquarium, for he saves an im-
mensity of trouble in keeping the glass sides
clean. After an aquarium has fairly settled
itself, the algee pour out their spores, and these,
adhering to the glass, there affix themselves, so
that in a few weeks the glass becomes dimmed
by the mass of minute vegetation. Here the
tops and periwinkles come to our aid, and by
means of the natural scythes with which they
are armed, soon mow away the greater part of
this vegetable growth. They seem to do their
work as composedly and regularly as if they were
paid by the day for it. The Livid Top may be
* found alive among the rocks at low water.

I have already stated that the periwinkles are
useful inhabitants of an aquarium, and such is
the case as long as they can be kept alive. But
they are often very perverse in disposition, and



PERIWINKLES—WENTLETRAP, * 97

show greater predilection for dying than for
mowing. The Common Periwinkle, so familiar
in our streets, is tolerably hardy in confinement,
and may be kept for some time But the
handsomer Yellow Periwinkle (Zittorina litto-
ralis), which is represented on plate 8, fig. 2, is
still more delicate in constitution, and seldom
survives for many weeks, But even the Common
Periwinkle is a pretty creature, as it exhibits
itself when crawling upon the glass of the aqua-
rium, or on the sea-weeds where it finds its food.
The body is prettily banded with multitudes of
narrow dark markings, and the mode in which
the creature slides itself over the glass is very
curious,

There is a very pretty shell found in tolerable
profusion on our sands, and which will be re-
cognised at once from its portrait (plate B, fig. 5).
This is the Common Wentletrap (Scalaria com-
munis). It is not only a pretty shell, but holds
relationship with a very aristocratic connexion.
The Wentletraps are divided into two great
sections; the false Wentletraps, the whorls of
whose spires touch each other; and the true
Wentletraps, whose whorls are disjointed from
each other. Of the former section our little
friend is a good example ; and of the latter, the





me

wey et PrN eae.) | ae 7. oe ee
* ‘ <3

aristocratic relative alluded to. This is the
Royal Staircase Wentletrap, a shell formerly of
such rarity that a specimen only two inches and
a quarter in height would fetch eighty or ninety
pounds.

The next shell which I shall mention is the
Common Cockle (Cardiwm edule), represented on
plate B, fig. 6.

Perhaps this is the most abundant of all the
littorine shcils; for if a handful of shells be
gathered at random from the sands, nearly one-
third will be cockles. When living, the animals
find a home under the sand, in which they lie
buried. The cockle is a capital delver, and,
armed with his natural spade, digs for himself
a hole in the sand nearly as fast as a man can
dig with a spade of metal. As for the wooden
spades, so much in vogue on sandy coasts, they
have hardly a chance against the cockle.

Many an observer has been perplexed at the
little jets of mingled sand and water which are
so often seen issuing from the sand when the
waves have retired. These tiny geysirs are oc-
casioned by the cockles that lie buried beneath
the sand, and which are still in the water below
the sand level, although the surface is tolerably

dry,



Our cockle, however, is not only a digger,
but a jumper, and the same instrument which
serves him as a spade to dig a hole in the sand
also serves him as a foot by means of which to
spring into the air.

There is another burrowing shell, that is found
on most sandy beaches. This is the Razor-Shell
(Solen ensis), for a representation of which, see
plate B, fig. 7.

This creature burrows even deeper than the
cockle, being often found at the depth of two
feet. It does not, however, seem fond of sinking
thus low, but generally remains sufficiently near
the surface to permit the tube just to project
from the sand. The burrow in which the animal
lives is nearly perpendicular, and in it the Solen
passes its entire life, sometimes ascending to the
surface, and sometimes descending to the bottom
of its burrow, for it has none of the locomotive
faculties of its fellow-miner, the ceckle. But
although its range of travel is circumscribed, the
natrowness of its habitation is compensated by
the activity of its movements therein. The
fisherman who wishes to capture the creature
is aware of its agility, and takes measures accord-
ingly. As the tide retreats he watches for the
jet of sand and water which the animal throws





30 PHOLAS.

into the air when alarmed by its hunter’s foot-
step. Into the hole from which the jet ascended
the fisherman plunges a slender iron rod, which
having a barbed, harpoon-like head, pierces the
animal, and retains it while it is dragged from
its hole. If, however, the fisherman takes a
bad aim, and misses his cast, he does not try
a second with the same creature, knowing that
it will have retreated to the termination of its
burrow, whence it cannot be extracted.

Yet another burrowing shell. In most chalky
rocks, such as those of which the white cliffs of
old England are composed, many portions run
well out to sea. If these are examined at low
water they will be found to be perforated with
numerous holes, running to some depth, and
varying considerably in dimensions. These holes
are made by the Pholas dactylus, plate B,
fig. 9, one of the most remarkable animals in
creaturedom.

Hard rocks and timber are constantly found
perforated by this curious shell, but how the
operation is performed no one knows. It is the
more wonderful, because the shell is by no means
hard, and cannot act asa file. Indeed, in some
species, the external shell is almost smooth. And,
moreover, if the shell were used as the boring-



Se ALE ee - 7 Ce) ane eae ee er ae CUE epee rae eee Te ii

PHOLAS. 31

tool, the hole would be nearly circular, instead of
being accommodated to the shape of the shell, as
is seen to be the case. However they get into
the stone, there they may be everywhere found,
and it does not seem to be of much importance
whether their habitation be limestone, sandstone,
chalk, or oak. Even the Plymouth breakwater,
solid stone as it is, was very soon attacked by
these creatures.

They are especially obnoxious to the builders
of wooden piers, for they seize on the submerged
portion of the piles on which the pier rests, and
do their utmost to reduce them to a honey-
combed state with the least possible delay.
Lately, however, the Pholades have been con-
quered; for they cannot pierce iron, and it is
found that if iron nails are closely driven into
the submerged portion of wooden piles, they -
bid defiance to the Pholas,

The specimen represented in our figure is
shown resting in its rocky bed, and seen edge-
ways. At each side may be seen the furrowed
shells ; the foot appears in the centre, surrounded
by the mantle, and the tube is seen projecting
far beyond the shell. Very many good specimens
may be obtained by splitting open the piece of
rock, and thus the shells extracted without injury



_ (eee Ter atte eee ee PP oe hg eae ee, pl ee ee ae eae

ray? a ” ” x mae = vn pe Se ew a a >”
Day, * See re 2 , y Tap ne r ee ee
An! 7 * ' aS : wrest

Qe

32 TEREDO.

from the rocky home where they have lived and
died. In the interior of a perfect shell may be
seen a very curious projection, formed something
like a spoon. Its object does not seem to be very
clearly ascertained. The tube, which has been
so often mentioned, is generally a composite
organ, composed of two tubes or siphons, as they
are called, which are placed closely together,
something on the principle of a double-barrelled
gun, or an elephant’s trunk. Through these
tubes passes the water which is necessary for
respiration, being received into one tube, drawn
from thence over the gills, and finally expelled
from the other tube.

There is another boring mollusc, which is on
many accounts worthy of notice. This is the so-
called Shipworm (Zeredo navalis), a representa-

- tion of which may be found on plate F, fig. 3.

It has been placed on the same page with some
of the worms, in order to show its very great
external resemblance to some animals of that
class, and especially its similitude to the Serpula.
So closely, indeed, does it resemble the last
named creature, that even Linnsus placed the
Teredo between Serpula and Sabella in his
“ System of Nature.”

But this is really one of the molluscs, and a





very curious one. It is called the Ship-worm
because it has so powerful an appetite for sub-
merged wood, and especially for ship-timber. I
have now by me a large piece of oak, the remains
of some wreck, which I found entangled among
the rocks at low water. It is so completely
devoured by the Teredo, that it is almost im-
possible to find any portion of the wood that is
thicker than the sheet of paper upon which
this account is printed. Timber, however, can be
protected from the Teredo by a closely-studded
surface of broad-headed iron nails. These nails
soon rust through the action of the salt water,
and the whole of the timber is rapidly covered
with a thick coating of iron rust, a substance
to which the Teredo seems to have a strong
objection.

The Teredo navalis is not a very large animal,
but it has a huge overgrown relation, the Giant
Teredo, whose diameter at the thickest part is
three inches, and its length nearly six feet.

On plate 8, fig. 8, may be seen a shell, which
will probably be recognised at once as the
Common Mussel (Mytilus edulis). The specimen
figured is a young one, and is shown as it
appears when adhering to the rock by means
of the natural cable—or byssus, as it is scienti-

D



{.Pety
" i,

A Fran,
© GMS ©

d





er ee ee

34 SOALLOP.

fically named—with which these creatures are
furnished.

These shells are exceedingly common, and
large masses of them may be found clinging to
any rocks or stairs where they can anchor them-
selves. This mussel is called Edulis, or eatable,
because it is largely used as an article of food.
But it is by no means a safe edible, as at certain
times, or to certain constitutions, it acts as a
poison, producing most alarming and sometimes
fatal effects.

The byssus is an assemblage of delicate, silky,
and excessively strong fibres, the origin of which
seems to be at present rather obscure. Many
shells are furnished with this substance, which is
shown in perfection in the great Mediterranean
Pinna, some specimens of which measure nearly
two feet in length. The byssus of these creatures
is often spun and woven like silk, and in many
places may be seen gloves, purses, and other
objects, which have been made from this sub-
stance. It is, however, too rare to be put to any
practical use.

The Common Scallop (Pecten Jacobeea), gene-
rally known in connexion with oysters, may be
found abundantly on our shores, Even the
empty shells are pretty enough to attract obser-



vation ; but the animals are more beautiful than
their shelly habitation. A living scallop is well
worthy of notice, if it were only for the row of
eye-like points which are seen peeping out
from the very margin of the shell, when the
creature holds the valves partially open. Whether



SCALLOP.

these brilliant spots are really eyes or not has not
been clearly ascertained, but at all events there
appears no reason why they should not be eyes ;
and so to us eyes they shall be.

The scallop is capable of changing its position,
and does so by the forcible ejection of water
from a given point. This mode of progress is
analogous to that employed by the larva of the
dragon-fly. The title Jacobea is given to the
scallop, from the shrine of St. James (Lat.

D2





CP MR ae ety eae
. a ‘ .

4 CHITON.

Jacobus), at Compostela ; to which spot journeys
were made by pilgrims, who, in token of having
paid their devotions at St. James's shrine, wore
a scallop-shell in their hats for the admiration of
their contemporaries, and bore it on their coats-
of-arms for the information of their posterity.

The story which connects the scallop-shell
with St. James is very curious, but too long for
insertion.

The last shell-bearing mollusc which I shall
mention is one which does not at first appear to
be a mollusc at all. This is the curious little
Chiton, a creature which, instead of a tubular
shell like the Teredo, a single whorled shell like
the whelk, or a double shell like the scallop,
bears an array of eight shelly plates on his back,
and thus gives to the observer an idea of a tiny
marine armadillo.

The entire back of the Chiton is covered with
a strong leathery eoat, much larger than the
living centre of the animal. Upon this leathery
mantle are placed eight shell-plates, which ovey-
lap each other just as do the tiles of a house:
They are not very large on our English coasts,
but some foreign species are found which exceed
four inches in length.

If the shell-bearing molluscs are remarkable





NUDIBRANCHS—DORIS. 37

for the elegant form and brilliant colouring of
their habitations, they seem to be equalled, if not
eclipsed, in beauty by a race of molluscs which
possess no shell at all, and whose chief beauty is
derived from the singular peculiarity of forma-
tion from which their name is derived. These
are the Nudibranchs, or Naked-gilled Molluscs,
so named because their respiratory apparatus,
instead of being concealed within their bodies,
or defended by shells, is placed upon the ex-
terior, in apparently heedless defiance of sur-
rounding objects. And the more that the delicate
construction of these branchiw is seen, the more
wonderful does it appear that these organs should
be placed in the position which they occupy
without suffering serious injury. If the lungs
of one of the mammalia were to be attached to
its sides, and permitted to hang loosely ‘there-
from, exposed to the invasions and collisions to
which they would probably be liable, the owner
of the said lungs would hardly feel comfortable.
But the lungs, gills, or branchie, of the mollusc
are 80 exceedingly delicate, that the mammalian
lung appears quite coarse by their side.

There are many species of Nudibranchs found
on our coasts, one of the commonest of which
(Doris ptilosa) is represented on plate y, fig. 4,

= toc?



38 NUDIBRANOHS.

The gills may be seen spreading like a feathery
plume, or a radiating flower, on the upper surface
of the creature. The position of the branchis is
by no means uniform, for indeed the most fertile
imagination would hardly venture to depict such
fantastic forms as are found among the Nudi-
branchs, or, if they were depicted, could hope
that such wondrous shapes should be received by
men as existing in the same world with them-
selves,

Some species, like those whose shape has been
already alluded to, are nearly flat, and wear their
lungs much as a gentleman wears a bouquet,
in his button-hole. Others have their lungs
neatly arranged round their bodies in little
spreading tufts, so that the creature has some-
thing the aspect of a floriated coronet. Some
have their whole dorsal surface thickly studded
with lungs, so that it would bear a decided
resemblance to a hedgehog, were it not that the
spikes must be semitransparent, and tinged with
the most exquisite colours. Again, there are
some species which carry their lungs at a distance
from their bodies, and present them to the waves
as if they were holding the branchie in the
hands of their outstretched arms; while there
are some whose forms are so utterly unique and





















grotesque, that a description would be useless —
except it were accompanied by a drawing.

As to the colouring of these creatures, there is
hardly a tint, from blackish grey to the most
brilliant carmine, that is not found in some
member of this strange family. They all belong
to that division of the molluses that go by the
name of Gasteropoda, because the lower surface
of the body forms the foot by which they move
from place to place. By the aid of this foot they
often float on the surface of the water, as has been
already recorded of other molluscs, This action,
however, has been well described, as creeping on
the superincumbent stratum of air. Many species
of the genera Doris and Eolis, together with
Others, may be found, at low water, clinging to
the rocks and stones. They will hardly be
recognised as Nudibranchs at a hasty glance, for
they subside into shapeless gelatinous knobs as
soon as the waves leave them, and do not resume
their expanded form until the surging sea returns. |

The Nudibranchs, although’ most lovely
creatures, are very unsafe inhabitants of an
aquarium, in spite of their delicate and dainty
looks; and a wolf would be about as appropriate
an inmate of a sheepfold, as a Nudibranch of
an aquarium where sea-anemones live Even



40 NUDIBRANOBS.

the giant crassicornis, or Thick-horned Anemone,
has fallen a victim to the insatiable appetite of
these greedy creatures. In closing this short
description of the Nudibranch, let me strongly’
recommend the reader to examine, if possible,
the beautiful work on these creatures by Messrs,
Alder and Hancock, published by the Ray Society.





A Ta ee Cet eT a Rae OEE Me y ae gee Semen

41

CHAPTER III.
MARINE ALGM, OR SEA-WEEDS.

Sga and land are, after all, wonderfully like
each other. The surface of the land has its
mountains, its valleys, its fire-vomiting volcanoes,
its mountains of eternal cold. So the bed of the
sea is delved into vast valleys, as yet unfathom-
able by human plummet; and these valleys we
of the upper world call depths. Also, it has its
precipitous mountains, some towering above the
watery surface, and others lifting their heads until
they are dangerous neighbours to those that go
in ships upon the waters; and these we call by
various insulting names according to their degree
of elevation, And there are volcanoes of the sea
as well as of the land; while the Polar islands,
which are, in fact, the tops of submarine moun-
tains, are covered with snows as eternal as those
which crown the Monarch of mountains him-
self,
Then, the sea-bed has its Table Mountains, its
vast Saharas, its undulating prairies, its luxuriant





Re ee

42 TIDES.

forests, and its verdant pasture-lands. And as
the sandy tracts or shingly beds are bare and
devoid of vegetative life on the upper earth, so
are they also in the sea below; while submarine
forests lift their branches towards the light of the
sun, and submarine herbage waves its many-
coloured leaves in the rolling sea, just as flowers
and leaves bend to the breezes above. For in
the kingdom of Ocean, water is the atmosphere,
and, like its more ethereal relative, is ever rolling,
and ever changing.

Let us now visit the boundary line of the two
great kingdoms, Earth and Water, and though
belonging to the former, extend our researches as
far as possible into the latter.

Throughout the preceding pages it will be
noticed that the expression “at low water” is
constantly used. Now, this expression is quite
necessary ; for were the sea always to remain at
the same height, our knowledge of its wonders
would be wofully circumscribed. It is little
enough even now, but that little would be almost
reduced to nothing were there no alternations of
high and low water.

Of the theory of tides there is here no oppor-
tunity to speak, for it is a most complex subject,
and even to give a hasty sketch would occupy



TIDES, 43

many pages, and require many diagrams. Suffice
it to say, that the grand exciting cause of the
tides is the force called attraction, or gravitation ;
" the moon being the chief among the many agents
through which it acts. It matters not whether
the water is salt or fresh, whether as an ocean it
fills the bed of the Atlantic, or as a drop of dew
trembles on a violet leaf. The tide-force still
acts on it, and tides there are, although we are
incapable of perceiving them. It is the same
with the upper sea, namely, the atmospheric air
of our earth. In the aérial ocean there are waves,
whirlpools, calms, and storms, although our eyes
are too dull to perceive them, and can only be
made aware of their existence by seeing their
effects,

Twice in every day of twenty-four hours the
water advances and recedes, and thus at least
one opportunity is given daily for the observer
to follow the retiring waves, and to discover some
small portion of the wonders of the sea. Some
of its living and breathing inhabitants have been
mentioned in the preceding chapter, and in the
following pages will be briefly described some
few of its vegetative inhabitants, that breathe
not, but yet live.

If we walk on the sea-shore, vast masses of



PEP te eee
net Ra
big)

44 SEA-WEEDS—BLADDER-WRACK.

dark olive vegetation meet our eyes; if we wait
until the tide has retreated, and examine the
pools of water that are left among the rocks,

‘there we find miniature forests, and gardens of

gorgeous foliage, some of which are scarlet, others
pink, others bright green, others purple, while
some there are that play with all the prismatic
colours, each leaf a rainbow in itself. If we take
@ boat, and rowing well out to sea, cast over-
board a hooked drag, we shall find adhering to
the iron claws new kinds of vegetation, and
probably among them will be found a veritable
flowering plant,—apparently as much out of its
place at the bottom of the sea as a codfish in
a birdcage. Now all this luxuriant, graceful, and
magnificent foliage, we dedecorate with the title
of sea-weed. It is a miserable appellation; but as
it is a term in general use,I shall employ it,
although under protest.

Those sea-weeds, then, which first strike our
eyes, are usually those denominated Wracks, the
Common Bladder-wrack (Fucus vesiculosus) being
the most common. For a figure of this plant, see
plate J, fig 6.

There is little difficulty in distinguishing this
conspicuous alga ; for the double series of round
air-vessels with which the fronds are studded,



Pua TE, elle ne we ne ee ee TR Ee EO ET METS CREO Reger T m



DANGERS OF ROOKS. 45

and the mid-rib running up the centre of each
frond, point it out at once. This plant, together
with one or two'others of the same genus, is still

_ used in the manufacture of kelp, but not to
such an extent as was formerly the case. There
is a variety of this plant found in salt marshes,
where it congregates in dense masses : this variety
is very small, being only an inch or two in height,
and the eighth of an inch, or even less, in width.
The plant is at all times very variable, according
to its locality, both in colour and form.

When trodden on, or otherwise suddenly com
pressed, the air-vessels explode with a slight
report, and seem to afford much gratification to
juveniles. This and other fuci grow in the
greatest abundance on rocks that are covered by
the waves at high water, and left bare when the
tide retires. Now on, under, and among these
rocks, the great zoological or botanical harvest
is to be collected, and therefore among these
rocks the collector must walk.

I make mention of this. circumstance, because
it is necessary to warn the enthusiastic but
inexperienced naturalist, that the slimy and
slippery fuci make the rock-walking exceedingly
dangerous ; for the masses of fuci are so heavy
and thick, that they veil many a deep hollow,



SESSA

Hi) ,

A rs s
AAs

i

La Ae)



Gioyeseu
AE
ee

Pin
; HAR IN
ASS eS AN
AS, iy

. i
fi i Ha a.
Sly ‘ge
« Bh) Boa \\te ee
} :



&t. EVANS. 4d:



46 FUCUS NODOSUS.

or slightly cover many a sharp point,—in the
former of which a limb may be easily broken,
and by the latter a serious wound inflicted,—
and there is special reason for avoiding any
such mishap. Proverbially, time and tide wait
for no man; and should a disabling accident
occur when no one was near to help, the return-
ing waters would bring death in their train—a
death the more terrible from its slow but relent-
less advance,

Now, the reader must be careful not to con-
found with Fucus vesiculosus another species of
somewhat similar appearance, namely Fucus
nodosus; see plate J, fig. 1.

This plant may at once be distinguished from
the Common Bladder-wrack, by the absence of a
midrib ; it is of a tough consistence, and it grows
to a large size, being sometimes nearly six feet in
length.

About half-way between high and low water
another species of fucus may be found: this is
destitute of air-vessels, it lacks the sliminess of
the bladder-wrack, and its edges are toothed, like
the edge of a saw. It is much about the same
size as the bladder-wrack, but perhaps rather
longer ; see plate p, fig. 2.

This is a very useful plant indeed. It is a



FUOCUS SERRATUS. 47

capital manure for land, it can be preserved, and
used as food for cattle, it can be made into kelp,
and it is an excellent substance in which to pack
lobsters, and other marine productions, that are
sent inland. The bladder-wrack is much used
for the same purpose, but its sliminess renders
it liable to heat and to ferment; while Fucus
serratus, being comparatively free from slime,
retains its cool dampness, and preserves the fish
sweet. It is really of importance, for a tainted
lobster is not only nauseous to the palate, but
even dangerous to the whole system.

There is a very tiny fucus, some four or six
inches long at the most, that is to be found near
high water-mark, chiefly in summer and autumn ;
it may be recognised by a number of small
channels that furrow one side of the frond. It
has no air-vessels.

All these plants, together with all the algw
comprised in this chapter, belong to the class of
algee called MmLanosrerms, or black-seeded ; so
called from the dark olive tint of the spores, or
tiny seeds, from which they spring. They all
seem to be exclusively marine.

At spring-tides the waters recede considerably
below their usual mark, and these seasons are
the harvest-times of the shore-naturalist. As







* 4B LAMINARIA.

nearly as possible at six hours after the high
tide the waters will have retired to their lowest
boundary, and near that boundary will be found
myriads of new forms, both animal and vegetable.
Indeed, so prolific is the spring-tide harvest, that
an hour or two of careful investigation will some-
times produce as good results as several hours’
hard work with a dredge. It is better to go
down to the shore about half an hour or so
before the lowest tide, so as to follow the reced-
ing waters, and to save time.

When the naturalist has gained the spots below
the usual low-water mark, he will find himself in
the midst of a new set of vegetation, contrasting
as strongly with the productions of the higher
grounds, as forest trees with herbage and brush-
wood. Huge plants, measuring some eleven feet
or so in length, and nearly a yard in width,
are firmly anchored among the rocks by roots
rivalling in comparative size and strength those
of the oak-tree. This plant is commonly known
by the name of Oar-weed, and may be easily
recognised from the drawing in plate p, fig. 1.
Its scientific name is Laminaria digitata. It is
called “Laminaria” on account of the flat thin
plates, or lamin, of the frond, and “ digitata,”
or fingered, because the frond is split into





segments, something like the fingers of a
hand. ;

I may as well mention here, that the sea-weeds
have no real root, and do not derive their nourish-
ment from the soil, as do the plants of earth ;
they adhere to the rocks or stones by simple
discs, and draw their whole subsistence from the
water that surrounds and sustains them. In the
so-called root of the Laminaria there are no root-
fibres, but a succession of discs, each connected
with the main stem of the plant by a woody
cable.

The stem of the Laminaria is very strong, and
is used for making handles to knives and other
implements. Wlien fresh, this stem is soft enough
to permit the tang of a knife-blade to be thrust
longitudinally into it. A portion of the stem
sufficiently long for the knife-handle is cut off,
and in a few months it dries, contracting with
such force as to fix the blade immovably; and
having much the consistency and appearance of
stag’s horn. One good stem will furnish more
than a dozen of these handles.

Among the Lamigariz may be seen growing a

singular plant, more like a rope than a vegetable. .

It consists of one long, cylindrical, tubular frond,
hardly thicker than an ordinary pin at the base,
E

a



Ren ae, eter me ee ee ea ee ee ee ew a Or ee ee m vey
Retry ‘oy ; Pe ' m ane
at f " ¥

my

. 60 CHORDA—PADINA.

but swelling to the size of a swan’s quill in the
centre. When the plant is handled, it slips from
the grasp as if it were oiled; this effect is pro-
duced by a natural sliminess, aided by a dense
covering of very fine hairs,
The name of this plant is Chorda flum. Its
length varies extremely, some specimens being
found to measure barely one foot, while others
run from twenty to thirty, and even to forty feet.
It tapers gradually from the middle to the point,
where it is about the same thickness as at the
base.
I here make an exception to my general rule
of excluding all but the commonest objects, in
favour of one sea-weed, which, although not very

common, yet may be found quite unexpectedly.
It owes its introduction to its very singular form.
The name of it is the Peacock’s-Tail, deriving its
title from its shape. Its scientific name is Padina
pavonia ; see plate a, fig. 3,

The habitation of this plant is midway between
high and low water-mark, where it may occasion-
ally be found adhering to the rocks. It is not
a large plant, as it is generally only two or three
inches in height, but occasionally reaches the
height of five inches.

In the same order as the Padina is another





DICHOTOMA—EOTOCARPUS., 51

little alge, which, I think, is one of the prettiest
of the Melanosperms. I do not know whether
it possesses any popular name, but its scientific
title is Dictyota dichotoma. For a figure of it, see
plate a, fig. 5. It is a very delicate-looking plant,
and, unlike the Melanosperms in general, lives
tolerably well in an aquarium. The name
Dictyota is derived from a Greek word, signify-
ing a net; and it will be seen, on examination,
that the surface of the frond appears as if woven
into a tiny network, with square, or rather slightly
oblong meshes. Its specific appellation of “ dicho-
toma” is also of Greek derivation, and signifies
“cut in pairs,” in allusion to the shape of the
frond.

Failing space permits only one more plant
belonging to the class, or rather, to speak accu-
rately, the sub-class Melanospermess. This is the
plant known to botanists by the title of Ecto-
carpus siliculosus, and which I mention here
because it is liable to be confused with other
alge that much resemble it in form, though not
in constitution ; see plate a, fig. 2. It is called
Ectocarpus from two Greek words, signifying
“external fruit,” and its specific title “silicu-
losus” is given to it on account of the silicules,
or little pod-like bodies, that are found on the

B2





aes cone api tplebh iat lille la otek liebe Le dubai sili ie las
reat ? Me pee



. 62 OHANGE OF TINT.

branches. These details are of very minute size,
and cannot be made out without the assistance of
a magnifying glass.

These dark-spored vegetables are very variable
in colour, as indeed are all the alge, without
reference to the colour of their spores; some-
times, indeed, even trespassing on the colour of
another sub-class. These changes are mostly due
to the varying depths of the sea where the plants
grow, and to the amount of light and shade
which falls to their lot. Even the hardy, rough,
and coarse bladder-wrack, which is usually of a
very dark olive-green, more approaching to black
than to green, becomes of a rich yellow tint when
found at any depth of water.

When dried the green vanishes totally, the
colour changing to dark-brown, and in many
cases to black. Most of this sub-class. of alge
require alternations of water and air, the best
specimens being found where they are exposed
to the heat of the sun and to the force of the
winds for some hours daily,





CHAPTER IV.

RED-SPORED AND GREEN-SPORED ALG.

Wirs this chapter we begin the account of
another sub-class of alge, the RHoposPeRMs, or
red-seeded. The plants belonging to this class
are among the most beautiful of the alge, that
is, when they are placed in favourable situations ;
for they also change their colours, and as their
most beautiful colour is their natural tint, any
change is for the worse. Some of them even
become brown when there is too much light for
them.

About low water-mark may be found growing
largish masses of a dense, thread-like, reddish
foliage, sometimes adhering to the rock, or some-
times even fixed to the stems of the Laminaria.
When removed from the water the plant does not
collapse, like many of its relatives, but each
thread and branch preserves its own individuality.
This is one of the large genus Polysiphonia, and
the specific name is “urceolata.” See plate K,
fig, 2,



54 UROEOLATA.

By the side of the plant itself is represented @
little object that explains the latter title. This
little jar-shaped object is one of the fruits, or
ceramidia, as they are learnedly called, much
magnified. The word “urceolata” signifies
pitchered, if we may be permitted to coin an
English word corresponding to the Latin. The
name Polysiphonia is Greek, and signifies “ many
siphons,” or tubes. The reason for the name is
evident on cutting any of the branches trans-
versely. It will be then seen that the plant is
composed of six tubes arranged round a central
aperture ; the branches are jointed, the length
of each joint being several times its own width.

There are twenty-six known British species of
this single genus.

That popular author and extensive traveller,
Baron Munchausen, tells us that in one of his
journeys he met with a tree that bore a fruit
filled interiorly with the best of gin. Had he
travelled along our own sea-coasts, or indeed
along any sea-coasts, and inspected the vegetation
of the waves there, he would have found a plant
that might have furnished him with the ground-
work of a story respecting & jointed tree, com-
posed of wine-bottles, each joint being @ separate
bottle, filled with claret. It is true that the plant





















OHYLOOLADIA. 55

is not very large, as it seldom exceeds nine or ten
inches in height; but if examined through a
microscope, it might be enlarged to any con-
venient size.

The name of this plant is rather a long one, but
very appropriate, Chylocladia articulata, i.e. the
«jointed juice-branch.” See plate a, fig. 1.

It may be found adhering to rocks, or some-
times parasitically depending on some of the
larger alge, and really does resemble a jointed
series of transparent bottles filled with claret or
other red wine. The colour is remarkably delicate
and beautiful, but is rather apt to fade after a
time ; when it is preserved, dried, and pressed, the
gelatinous juice that filled the interior disappears,
and the plant can be flattened until it hardly
presents any thickness, even to the touch. There
is now before me a dried specimen of another
species of chylocladia, which adheres so firmly to
the paper on which it is laid, and is so delicate
in substance, that several persons to whom I
have shown it have mistaken it for a well-
executed drawing.

If now the reader will refer to plate 0, fig. 1,
he will there see depicted one of the most
remarkable of the alge; remarkable in itself,
and for the great battles which have been fought





56 CORALLINE.

over it by scientific individuals. This plant is the
Common Coralline (Corallina officinalis), which
may be found most abundantly on any of our
coasts, growing in greatest perfection near low
water-mark.

It is well enough known that many creatures,
formerly supposed to be vegetable, such as the
corals and the zoophytes, have since found their
proper place in the animal kingdom; and one
consequence of this reformation was, that several
real plants were supposed to be animals, because
they possessed some of the characteristics which
had distinguished those animals that had been
placed in their proper position. Of these plants
the coralline is a good example ; for until a com-
paratively late period, it was placed among the
animals in company with the true corals.

There was reason for this error, for the coralline
is a very curious plant indeed, gathering from
the sea-water, and depositing in its own sub-
stance, so large an amount of carbonate of lime,
that when the purely vegetable part of the alga
dies, and is decomposed, the chalky portion
remains, retaining the same shape as the entire
plant, and very much resembling those zoophytes
with which it has been confounded. While
growing, the coralline is of a dark purple colour ;





but when removed from the watér, the purple
tint vanishes, and the white stony skeleton re-
mains. It is, however, a true vegetable, as may
be seen by dissolving away the chalky portions in
acid: there is then left a vegetable framework,
precisely like that of other alge belonging to the
same sub-class.

The coralline is a small plant, seldom exceed-
ing five or six inches in height, and not often
even reaching that size. However, it compensates
for its low stature by its luxuriant growth, being
usually found in dense masses wherever it can
find ‘a convenient shelter.

If a dried branch of coralline be inserted into
the flame of a candle, it exhibits a most brilliant
white light just at the point where it meets the
flame. The light is exhibited better by the flame
of a spirit-lamp than by that of a candle, and for
obvious reasons.

It will live well in an aquarium, and, if taste-
fully disposed, is an elegant ornament to the vase
or tank. There is now in my own aquarium a
moderate tuft of coralline, which seems in good
health, although the water has lately been assum-.
ing an unpleasant milky appearance, from some
cause which I cannot as yet detect.

We now come to a most magnificent sea-plant,







5a a they

58 DELESSERIA SANGUINEA,

magnificent both on account of its gorgeous
colouring, and on account of its luxuriance. This
is the Delesseria sanguinea, represented, about
half its usual size, in plate J, fig. 3.

The shape of the leaf, or rather of the frond,
80 closely resembles that of terrestrial trees, that
at first sight few would attribute the beautiful
scarlet leaf, with its decided midrib and bold
nervures, to an alga. Yet an alga it is, and may
be found in its most perfect state about June or
July: later in the year it becomes very ragged,
the broad flat frond giving way to the fruit.
In this state, although interesting to the botanist,
it is hardly suitable for the cabinet, as little of
the plant is left except the midrib, and a few
flapping raglets. When spread on paper and pre-
served, it retains its colour well, and adheres very
firmly.

The fronds are generally from two to seven or
eight inches in length, but they are not often
found exceeding five or six inches. A branch
containing eight or ten fronds, averaging five
inches in length, may be considered a good
specimen, and worth preserving, if the edges are
entire. There is a very peculiar marine scent
about this plant, an “ancient and fishlike smell,”
quite indescribable, but not to be forgotten. A



DELESSERIA—PLOOAMIUM. 59

large branch will retain this scent for months.
I have by me a tuft of this plant, which I
gathered in July last, and its peculiar smell is
now (April) very perceptible.

There are five British species of this beautiful
genus, none of them very rare. Delesseria hypo-
glossum (plate D, fig. 4) may be found in the
summer months growing on almost every coast.
It is a very pretty plant, although not s0
gorgeous as its predecessor. The fronds are
generally of small size, being hardly a quarter
of an inch in length.

In the little sea-weed landscapes, that are
sold so abundantly at the fashionable sea-side
towns, there is one species of sea-weed in great
request for trees and bushes. It is of a bright
pinky red colour, and is thickly branched, so as
to afford a tolerable representation of a forest
tree, or of a thick bush. This is the Plocamium
coccineum, a plant sufficiently beautiful to the
unassisted eye, but especially so when submitted
to a magnifying lens. When examined through a
glass of moderate power, it will be seen that
even the tiny branchlets, each hardly thicker
than a hair, are again furnished with a row of
smaller ramifications, somewhat resembling
very finely-toothed comb.



PT Me COR RE ee RC RE R yr t Ree Oe, eer Oe ee ee ae
‘i ’

60 DULSE—OCARRAGEEN,

On plate x, fig. 3, may be seen a specimen of
the Plocamium of the natural size, and near
it a single branch magnified, in order to show
the tiny combs.

Many of the marine alge are used as articles
of food; some eaten uncooked, and others after
a long course of boiling. To the former of these
categories belongs the Dulse, Dillisk, or Dillosk
(Rhodymenia palmata), although it is sometimes
cooked. The species, however, which is here
illustrated, is Rhodymenia bifida, a plant of a
very fine rosy red when fresh, found in tolerable
profusion adhering to rocks or on the larger alge.
The fronds are generally two inches or so in
length, and about a quarter of an inch in width,
For a figure of this plant, see plate x, fig. 4.

The Carrageen Moss, so well known in the
form of jellyand size, is one of the Rhodosperm
Alge, by name Chondrus crispus. (Plate J,
fig. 5.)

It may be found growing on the rocks in large
quantities, where its shape will be the best guide
to its detection, for its colour is exceedingly
variable. Although one of the Rhodosperms, it
is very frequently of a greenish tint, and in many
places it assumes a yellow jaundiced completion,
not at all of a healthy nature,





FURCELLARIA—IRIDZA. 61

To preserve it for esculent purposes, it must
be washed in fresh water and then left to dry,
when it soon becomes horny to the touch, and
resists pressure. If boiled, it subsides into a
thick colourless jelly, that is thought to be very
nutritive, and is employed for many purposes.
Invalids take it in their tea, or epicures in their
blanc-mange. Calico printers boil it down into
size, and use it in their manufactures. It is said
to be a good fattening substance for calves, if
boiled in milk ; and, lastly, pigs are very fond of
it when it is mixed with potatoes or meal. It
is sometimes known by the name of “Irish
Moss.” It will grow in an aquarium.

A plant is represented on plate J, fig. 4, that is
found plentifully between tide-marks, It is rather
a conspicuous plant, and is appropriately named
Furcellaria fastigiata, the generic title being
derived from a Latin word signifying a little fork.
It is of a dark-brown colour with an obscure
dash of purple, but in drying the purple departs,
and the brown becomes nearly black.

I have already mentioned that some of the
alge reflect prismatic colours. This is occasion-
ally the case with Chondrus crispus, and there is
one genus which is so resplendent that the name
Tridea is given to it ; Iris signifying a rainbow.



SPN OO NAPE eT CORO Ro 8 ns NPR art me, ey | Oana elie aes ml

62 PTILOTA— GRIFFITHSIA.

The species represented at plate o, fig. 4, is
Tridea edulis, a plant which is sometimes eaten
raw, and sometimes fried by unpoetical gastro-
nomists. I do believe that some people would
fry the rainbow itself if it were eatable.

The frond of this species is generally about

_ nine or ten inches in length, and five inches in

width, although it sometimes nearly doubles these
dimensions. Its colour is an uniform deep
red, and its shape somewhat resembling a
battledore.

A particularly elegant species of alga, making
a good figure when spread on paper, is seen
figured on plate x, fig. 5. The fronds are some-
times more than a foot in length, but do not
often exceed ten or eleven inches, some being
only three or four inches long. The colour is
rather apt to fly, unless care be taken; but it
is a beautiful plant, were it only for the elegance
of its form. Its name is Ptilota plumosa, both
words having a like signification, and meaning
“winged,” or feathery.

There is a pretty little alga, called Grifithsia
setacea, which has the property of staining paper
with a fine pinkish-scarlet hue, when the en-
closing membrane bursts. Contact with fresh
water will usually cause the membrane to yield,



NITOPHYLLUM—CHLOROSPERMS. 63
and then the colouring matter is shot out with
a slight crackling noise.

Its length is generally about four or five
inches. A drawing of the plant of the natural

size, together with a magnified sketch of the fruit,
may be seen on plate x, fig. 1.

The last of the Rhodosperms that will be
noticed in this volume is a very delicate species,
entitled Nitophyllum punctatum; see plate ©,
fig. 5. This plant will easily be recognised from
the drawing. Its usual size is six or ten inches
in length, and nearly as wide; but it is not un-
common to find specimens that exceed a foot in
length, while some huge monsters have been found
that measured five feet in length and a yard in
width. It is easy enough to distinguish this
plant from the Delesseria, as it has no midrib.

The CaLorospERMs, or Green-seeded Alga, are
the best friends of those who keep marine aquaria,
for they are endowed with the power of pouring
out oxygen in very large quantities when placed
in favourable circumstances. If any of my
readers wish to preserve alive the creatures that
they find on the sea-shore, they can do so without
difficulty, by imitating as nearly as possible the
natural state and accompaniments of the animals
which they have captured.





Pe ee a

re
easy

64 CHLOROSPERMS,

If even one or two fish, crabs, or indeed any
living animals, be placed in a jar of sea-water,
they speedily exhaust the free oxygen of the
water, and, as the water cannot absorb fresh
oxygen from the atmosphere so rapidly as the
animals consume it, the water soon becomes
unfit to support animal life, and its inhabitants
die as surely as a man would who was enclosed
in an air-tight box. It is possible to renew the
oxygen by dashing water into the jar from a
height, or even by pumping fresh air into it;
but such a process would be very fatiguing, as
it must be continually carried on day and night.
But it is found that plants have the property
of pouring out oxygen when they are in a healthy
state and acted on by light. So, if we can
procure plants that will thrive in a confined
space, and keep them in a light room, we shall
find that each plant acts as a natural pump, and
not only supplies continually fresh oxygen, but
consumes the carbonic acid gas that loads the
water with its stifling influence. The Chlo-
rosperms are peculiarly useful for this purpose,
as many of them will live for an unlimited time
in confinement, continually regenerating the
water in which they are placed. I have now an
aquarium containing water that I brought from





BRYOPSIS—CLADOPHORA. 65

the sea last August, and by the untiring exertions
of a few green sea-weeds the water has been
preserved bright and pure, even though inhabited
by all kinds of marine animals.

Among the most useful, as well as the most
elegant of the sea-weeds used for this purpose,
is the little Bryopsis plumosa; see plate D, fig. 3.
This brilliant and delicate little plant is common
enough, and may be found in the pools left by
the retiring tide, where it adheres to their rocky
walls. The colour of the plant is a very bright
green, and its form is so feathery, or rather fan-
like, that it well deserves its name of “ plumosa.”

In almost any little pool, between tide-marks
or even hanging from rocks that have been left
quite dry, may be seen thick tufts of a coarsish
horsehair-like plant, of a dull green colour,
often dashed with black. This is the Cladophora
rupestris, one of the commonest species out of
the twenty that are exclusively marine. There
are two species that inhabit ditches and lakes
where the sea occasionally obtains admission,
and several others that prefer water entirely
fresh. The length of the tufts is about four or
five inches, often less, but seldom more.

Another species of the same genus, Cladophora
arcta, is of a brighter green than the preceding.

F







66 ENTEROMORPHA.

and altogether a prettier plant. It grows ina
radiating manner from a very broad disc. This
plant is represented on plate o, fig. 2.

But the most useful of the Chlorosperms
may be found almost at the very margin of
high water, where they live rather more in the
open air than under water. These are the Ulva
and Hnteromorphe, the first being known by the
popular title of Laver, and the second of Sea-
grass. There is another plant that is also called
Sea-grass; but it is not an alga, and will be men-
tioned at the end of this chapter.

The Common Sea-grass (Znteromorpha com-
pressa) may be seen in abundance on the stones
and rocks that are even for a few hours sub-
merged daily. The leaf, or rather frond, of this
species is variable in width, sometimes being
hardly wider than common sewing thread, and
sometimes so wide as to resemble a very narrow
ulva. It is this variety which is represented
in the engraving, plate o, fig. 3. When the
waves retire, leaving sundry pools fringed with
this and other sea-weeds, their fronds form
hiding-plaees for innumerable living beings of
very many species; and by gathering masses of
the wet weed into a basket, and then putting it
into a large vessel filled with sea-water, myriads

TE Me PR ere nT ae TD oe
i





GREEN LAVER, : 67

of animals may be captured with hardly any
trouble. They will live perfectly well in the
vessel if it is kept in a light spot with a free
circulation of air.
The Common Green Laver (Ulva latissima),
plate x, fig. 6, sometimes called the Sea Lettuce,
is found most abundantly on the same spots as
the preceding plant. Of all the sea-weeds for an
aquarium, the Green Laver is perhaps the very
best. It is very pretty, from its delicate green
colour, and the various folds and puckers into
which it throws itself, Its power of expiring
oxygen seems to be almost unlimited. I have in
my aquarium a large plant of this species, which
generally lives very contentedly in the place
where it had been deposited. But, a few days
ago, the sun shone brightly enough to pierce
through the veil of smoke with which the metro-
polis is generally hidden from his presence, and
consequently there was a greater abundance of
light than usual. On looking at the aquarium,
I found that the ulva had risen in the water, and
was hanging in most elegant festoons from the
surface, forming emerald caves and grottos such
as the sea-nymphs would love. Even at a little
distance it was a pretty sight, but a closer in-
spection revealed still more beauties ; for being
Â¥2



Full Text

tutte wate. thts NORTH ST. BRIGHTCMs



inti
mA ee
helt Uy
Mtg (bar,

a THE

COMMON OBJECTS —

of oF
te 4

THE SEA SHORE.


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“i




THE

COMMON OBJECTS

OF

THE SEA SHORE;

INCLUDING
HINTS FOR AN AQUARIUM.

BY THE

REV. J. G. WOOD, MA, FLS., Etc,,

AUTHOR OF THE ‘‘ILLUSTRATED NATURAL HISTORY,”
ETC.

WITH COLOURED ILLUSTRATIONS
FROM DESIGNS BY SOWERBY.

LONDON :
ROUTLEDGE, WARNE, AND ROUTLEDGE,

FARRINGDON STREET.
NEW YORK: 56, WALKER STREET.
186].
Edition of this Book, with the
— ied



Plates Plain,


PREFACE.

Tuts little work is simply a popular
account of the “Common Objects of the
Sea-Shore,” and is restricted to those ob-
jects which every visitor to the sea-side is
sure to find on every coast. For descrip-
tions of those creatures which only inhabit
certain localities, and those whose lives are
passed in the deep water, requiring the
dredge, the net, or the drag to bring them
to the light of day, the reader is referred
to those magnificent and comprehensive
works that have been written for the pur-
pose of illustrating particular branches of
science,
vi PREFACE.

During my visits to the sea-coasts for
the last six or seven years, I have taken
note of the questions put to me by persons
who were anxious to know something of the
curious objects that everywhere met their
eyes; and the following pages are, as nearly
as possible, the condensed conversations that
then took place.

The whole of the illustrative plates were
drawn expressly for this work by Mr.
Sowerby, whose name is a sufficient guarantee
for their truth.

Lonpox, May, 1857,
Bde

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER L

PaGr
Marine Brrps—PorrrssE. . . 2... 0 1

CHAPTER II.

WaHELK — Cowry — Cockis — Puotas — Lower
—Sza-Weeps on SHELL—BaLanus—PurrPura—
Musset— Prriwinkiz, YELLow — PERIWINKLE,

Common—Trocuus . . *. 0: athe eB aks ee
CHAPTER III.
Marivg Aram, on Sza-WeEps . ba oh ie ae
CHAPTER lv.

RED-SPORED AND Greey-sPonsD ALGR ee

Pore ee
Viii OONTENTS.

CHAPTER V.
PaGB
Eaes or Marin ANmaLs — AND THEIR
CHAPTER VL
Sza ANEMONES AND OTHER ZOOPHYTES . . . . 98
CHAPTER VIL
Stap-Fishes anD Sza-UncniIns. . . . . . - 195
CHAPTER VIII.
ANNELIDS—BARNACLES, AND JELLY-FisH . . , 144
CHAPTER IX.

Cnass—Lonsters—Surimps—PRawns, 4ND Fiso. 172

"
Common Objects of the Sea-Shore.

—-—.

CHAPTER I.
MARINE BIRDS—PORPESSE.

Waertuer the sea is approached by land or by
water, the first indications of its existence are
generally to be found in the air. On some days,
the electric clouds that skirt the cliffs map out,
as it were, the sea-coast; and when such signs
fail, the marine birds give evident tokens that
the sea, their great store-house, is close at hand.
With the birds, then, we will commence our
observations of the sea and its shores.

The bird that usually presents itself as the
ocean’s herald is the Common Gull (Larus
canus) There are some twelve or thirteen
species of British Gulls, including the Kittiwake

B
2 GULL.

and the Iceland Gull. The bird represented in
the accompanying figure is the Great Black-
backed Gull (Larus marinus), which is tolerably
frequent on our coasts, but not so often seen as
the Common Gull, nor does it form such large
societies as those in which its more sociable
relations love to congregate.

Why the word “gull” should be employed to
express stupidity I cannot at all comprehend,
for the gulls are very knowing birds indeed, and
difficult to be deceived. If a piece of bread or
biscuit be thrown from a boat, it remains but a
very short time on the surface of the water before
it is carried off by a gull, although previously
not a bird was visible. But if a number of gulls
are flying about, and a piece of paper or white
wood be thrown into the water, there is not a
gull who will even stoop towards it, although to
the human eye the bread and the paper appear
identical. The cry of the gull is very curious,
being a kind of mixture of a wail, or scream,
and a laugh, and on a dark stormy day adds |
wonderfully to the spirit of the scene. Its flight
is peculiarly quiet, combining great power of wing
with easy elegance of motion. It is a very bold
bird, and for many miles will follow boats so
closely that the yery sparkle of its eyes is plainly
GULL. 3
visible, as it twists its wise-looking head from
side to side while watching the voyagers.



BLACK-BACKED GULL.

The gull is an exclusively marine bird, being
found only on the sea-shore or at the mouths of
large rivers, although more than usually violent
storms occasionally drive it inland, where it
wanders about for some time very miserable, and
quite out of its element, until it gets shot by
some rustic sportsman.

The next bird to which our attention will be
directed is the Common Tern (Sterna hirundo),
or Sea Swallow, as it is very appropriately called.
It belongs to the gull family, and has many of

B2
4 TERN.

the gull habits, but is readily distinguishable
from the gulls, even at a considerable distance,
on account of its rapid, darting flight. It is
not at all unlike a swallow in general shape,



TERN,

for the wings are long and pointed, the body is
rather large in front, and tapers to a point, and
its tail is forked like that of a swallow.

It is extremely dexterous in its capacity as a
fisher, for in its swift flight over the waves it
darts upon any small fish that may be unfortunate
and curious enough to come near the surface, and
Scoops it up, as it were, from the water, without
seemingly interrupting the speed of its course.
The nest, if it can be dignified with the title, is
merely a hollow scooped in the sand, well above
high-water mark ; and in this hollow two or three
OCORMORANT. 5

eggs are deposited. On the Scottish and northern
coasts the Common Tern is not often found, but
the Arctic Tern (Sterna macroura) comes to
supply its place. There are ten or eleven species
of British Terns.

On many of the English coasts, especially those
that look towards the Channel, may be seen a
tolerably large black-feathered bird, having a
yellowish countenance, a decidedly long and
rather hooked bill, and a pair of green eyes.



This is the Cormorant (Graculus carbo), one of
our three British representatives of the Pelican
6 CORMORANT.

family. The enormous pouch which decorates
the lower bill of the white pelican is only rudi-
mentary in our British pelicans, probably. because
there would be no use for it, as the birds live on
or close to the coast.

The other English pelicans are the Gannet, a
figure of which will be given shortly, and the
Common Shag, a bird of a monosyllabic English
Cognomen, but who ought to consider himself
recompensed by the scientific name given to him
by certain naturalists, namely, Phalacrocorar
cristatus ; the epithet cristatus, or crested, being
due to a tuft of reverted green feathers that
decorates the head. This tuft, however, is only
worn during the breeding season, when most
animals put on their gayest apparel, and is lost
a8 soon as the young Phalacrocoraces cristati take
their places as independent members of society.

The cormorant is a persevering fisher, in-
satiable in appetite, and almost unparalleled in
digestion. The pike and the shark among fish
appear to possess much the same proportionate
digestive power as the cormorant among birds.
The cormorant is not content with sitting, like
the heron, on the edge of the water, and snapping
up the fish that may enter the shallows ; or even,
like the gulls, with seizing them from the surface


















own element, plunges into the water, dives below
the surface, and actually proves himself a more
expert swimmer than the very fish themselves.
In former days the cormorant was employed in
England for the purpose of catching fish; and
such is still the case in China, The Chinese
cormorant, however, is not the same species as
that which is found on our coasts. It is rather
@ curious circumstance, that one of the mam-
malia, namely, the otter, and some of the birds,
should be enabled to carry on a successful
subaqueous chase, and that both beast and bird
have been pressed into the service of man.

The cormorant is sometimes found inland,
especially in the winter season, and exhibits its
powers among the fresh-water fish.

Although the pouch is comparatively small
in the cormorant, it still exists, and is useful in
giving elasticity to the throat and neck; a pro-
perty which is much required, for the cormorant
is a very greedy bird, and often swallows fish of
so large a size that a throat of twice its dimen-
sions seems incapable of permitting the passage
of 80 bulky a body. In order to swallow a fish,
the cormorant generally seizes it crosswise, tosses
it in the air, and then catches it as it descends

eee Ome EC Pena Lew! ita ry aa BI A th ts ANP IR QM AP PR Aes Op
Â¥ oe Pe :

OORMORANT. z ‘
of the waves; but he boldly defies his prey in its —

wy
#
a

*
©
8 OORMORANT.

with its head downwards. One of these birds,
however, has been seen to miss its aim, and to
catch the fish with its head upwards; in this
position the cormorant endeavoured to swallow
its prey, but when the fish had passed about half-
way down its captor’s throat, the sharp fins pre-
vented its further progress, and both bird and
fish were soon dead. The poor cormorant seemed
terribly distressed, and made violent struggles,
but all to no purpose; for the fish was im-
movably fixed, and could neither be swallowed
nor rejected.

The feathers of the cormorant, although they
appear to be of a dusky black, are really of a
very deep green, so deep, indeed, as to appear
black. at a little distance, something like the
plumage of the magpie. The nest is composed
of dried sea-weed, and is usually placed on lofty
rocks, but is sometimes built among the branches
of trees. The eggs are remarkable for a thick
coating of chalk, which seems to envelope the
shell quite independently, and can be easily
removed with a knife. There are from three’to
five eggs in each nest,

Our remaining English pelican is the Gannet
(Sula bassanea), also called the Solan Goose, It

is to be found on many of our shores, but especi-
GANNET, 9

lly on the well-known Bass Rock, at the entrance
of the Frith of Forth. There is no difficulty in
identifying this bird, even at some distance, as
it has very much the appearance of wearing
spectacles ; a circumstance that has earned it the
itle of the Spectacled Goose, although it is not
goose at all.






THE GANNET,






It is in the search after these birds, their eggs
nd young, that the St. Kilda cragsmen imperil
sir lives year by year.

The Auk family find repregentatives in the
memot, and the comical little Puffin. The
ulemot (Uria troile) is a common bird on
10 GUILLEMOT.



many of our coasts, and may be seen, in the
breeding season, sitting with extraordinary grayity
and importance over a solitary egg. The egg
is often laid, and the young hatched, on such a
narrow ledge of rock, that it is quite a wonder



(ta

how the egg can escape a fall, or how the young
bird can even open its big beak without toppling
over the precipice. F

The guillemot has earned the epithet of
“ foolish,” because, when sitting on this solitary
egg, it will suffer itself to be taken by hand,















PUFFIN. 11

than forsake its duty. I would suggest
+ the word “faithful” be substituted for
foolish.” The egg is a very handsome one,
large, and variable both in colour and
pe. It is generally covered with large irregular
tches, of a brown colour, on a pale-green
und.

to the Puffin (Fratercula arctica), it is
lly to be found in company with the guil-
ts, and indeed lives in much the same

i ed by its large beak ; from which feature
derived the popular name of Sea Parrot.
beak is very useful to the bird for three
12 DUNLIN.

especial purposes: the first being, to catch fish ;
the second, to dig the burrows in which its egg
is laid; and the third, to fight the ravens and
other foes who try to get at the egg.

The favourite food of the puffin appears to
be the common sprat, which it chases under
water, and of which it generally secures six or
seven, all arranged in a neat row along the
puffin’s beak, and hanging by their heads.



DUNLIN.

There are many more marine birds that are
often seen, but those already mentioned are the
hi. Vale an ee ET. Lee - NEU ee) Me Le ee ye
P ees ners ‘
, ; 7 oa

DUNSIN. 13

most common. Yet there is one other bird that
T must notice, because it has not so much the
marine aspect as the gulls and cormorants: this
is the Dunlin Sandpiper (Zringa alpina), a
very interesting little bird, that frequents the
sandy shores in great numbers, for the purpose
of feeding on the insects and small crustaceans
that are found in such profusion, either buried
in the sand, or hidden under stones and drifted
sea-weeds,

It is quite aware that on the edge of every
wave may be found the various substances which
constitute its food, and so skirts the very margin
of the sea, running hither and thither; and occa-
sionally venturing a few paces into the retiring
waters in chase of some detached limpet, some
houseless worm, or tiny crab, as restlessly, and
almost as untiringly, as the many-voiced waves
themselves.

There is no difficulty in watching the habits
of this, or indeed of any other bird. All that
is required is perfect stillness and silence, and
the birds will come and pick up their food almost
within artn’s reach.

In the hot summer months the observer may
Watch the sands without seeing a single Dunlin,
for they then desert the sea-shores in favour of
14 PORPESSE.

inland moors, where they lay their eggs, and
hatch the young; returning with their offspring
towards the end of August. This bird is some-
times called the Purre.

If we now leave the sands for a time, and
ascend the cliffs, we shall probably be indulged
with a transient glimpse of a very singular
animal. Some little distance from the shore a
number of black objects may be seen partly
emerging from the water, executing a summer-

- sault, and disappearing below the surface. These



PORPESSE.

are Porpesses (Phocaena communis), and very
curious creatures they are, belonging to the mam-
malia ; forced, therefore, to breathe atmospheric
air, and yet permanently inhabiting the sea,
with something of the form and many of the
habits of the fish. It is a curious connexion of
the two most distant links of the chain of the
PORPESSE. 16

Vertebrates, the mammalia being the highest,
and the fish the lowest.

Some people say, that as it looks like a fish,
and lives like a fish, to all intents and purposes
it isa fish. So it is, if the diver at the Poly-
technic Institution is a fish ; for it holds its lease
of life on precisely the same tenure. Both diver
and porpesse must breathe atmospheric air, or
they would die; and therefore each finds means
to supply himself with that indispensable
material. The diver surrounds himself with a
supply of fresh air, with which to renovate his
blood; but the porpesse is able to renovate a
surplus amount of blood, that lasts him for some
time: so the chief difference is, that the diver
takes down with him oxygen externally, and the
porpesse internally. The man goes down inside
the diving-bell, but the diving-bell goes down
inside the porpesse.

Yet the porpesse has no reservoir in which
atmospheric air is retained, for such a formation
would make it too buoyant. There is, however,
in the cetacee, to which family the porpesse
belongs, a reservoir of blood, which is renovated
by the atmospheric air, and is passed into the
system as required. Even man has the same
power, although in a limited degree. In general,


=e

16 PORPESSE.

a man cannot hold his breath more than one
minute, and it is not every man who can do even
that. But if he thoroughly renovates his blood
by expelling all the impure air that remains in
the minuter tubes of his lungs, and takes a suc-
cession of deep inspirations, he will be able to
abstain from: breathing for a much longer period.
I have just made the experiment myself, and
held my breath without difficulty for a minute
and a-half; and had there been any necessity,
could have done so for another half minute.

The porpesse is rather a sociable animal, being
generally seen in shoals, or schools, as the sailors
call them. I should hardly have said so much
about so common a creature, were it not for the
purpose of pointing out these remarkable facts in
its structure and habits: and even though it be
common, it is not so well known as might be
imagined. Not long ago, as I was on board
a steamer, a worthy old lady began to exhibit
symptoms of nervousness and alarm. I thought
she was fearing a storm, and told her that there
was not the least danger of any commotion of
the elements, for the barometer had been steadily
rising for the last two or three days. However,
it was a different subject that caused her uneasi-
ness. She had heard that there were porpesses
ve noe oro eeey eC eee oN ee ate aa wv e oe , vi

PORPESSE. 17

in those parts, and wished to know whether we
were likely to meet one, I told her that we
probably should meet several, but not so many
as if a gale were impending, At this reply her
fright evidently increased, and she asked, in much
trepidation, whether, if we did meet one, it would
upset the ship !


OHAPTER Il,

WHELK—0COWRY—COCKLE —PHOLAS — LIMPET—S8EA-WEEDS
OW SHELL—BALANUS—PURPURA—MUSSEL—PERIWINELE,
YELLOW—PERIWINELE, COMMON—TROCHUS.

Descenpina to the shore, we shall probably
see at our feet many shells, or fragments of
shells, which have been washed upon the beach
by the advancing tide, and which having lodged
behind a stone, or being sunk into the wet sand,
remain behind when the waves retreat. These
shells are almost invariably empty, their in-
habitants having either died a natural death, or
having fallen victims to some ravenous inhabi-
tant of the sea.

The strong house with which most of these
creatures are furnished would seem to be an
effectual defence against the efforts of open foes,
while the sensitive nervous nature with which
they are gifted would appear to secure them
from insidious attacks. Yet the hard, stony
shells, that turn the edge of a steel knife, are
constantly found to be perforated by creatures
SHELLS. 19

that can be squeezed flat between the fingers, and
whose bodies are no harder than the human
tongue. Formerly, the external characters of
shells were the only object of the collector ;
and the conchologist, as he was termed, might

have, and very often did have, a large collection -

of valuable shells, without the least idea of the
form, food, habits, or development of the creature
that secreted them. Now, however, those who
examine a shell are not satisfied unless they know
something of the creature that inhabited it, and
from whose substance it was formed : and so this
branch of Natural History has leaped at once out
of the mere childish toy of conchology into the
maturer science of malacology. The former
treated merely of shells, and therefore excluded
the vast army of molluscs, that wear no shells at
all ; but the latter treats especially of the animal,
considering the shell to be of secondary im-
portance,

And yet, even though the shell is considered
to be inferior to the animal by whom it was
secreted, much more attention is paid to the
shell itself than was the case in the old concho-
logical times. In those days the mere shape and
colours of the shell were the characteristics by
which its name and place in the system were

o2

Ye
20 LIMPET.

determined ; but now we submit the shell to the
searching powers of the microscope, and find
that various kinds of shells are i
by various arrangements of particles, and are
acted upon by polarized light in various ways.
It is, therefore, quite possible to fix the character
of a shell from a single fragment no larger than
a pin’s head. There are few things more curious
than this wonderful arrangement of the particles ;
which, by the way, are brought within the scope
of the microscope, by making very thin sections
of the shells, by the aid of saw, file, and hone.

One of the commonest shells found on the
sea-shore is the Limpet (Patella vulgata). See
plate 8, fig. 3.

In its living state it may be found adhering
closely to rocks or other substances, that give it
a firm basis of support. The adhesion is caused
by atmospheric pressure, for the limpet is enabled
to raise the centre of that part of the body that
rests on the rock, while the edge is closely pressed
upon it, This movement causes a vacuum ; and
so firmly does the air hold the limpet in its
place, that the unaided fingers will find great
difficulty even in stirring it. The firmness of
adhesion is also increased by the fact that after
the animal has remained for some time in one
SS A ea

LIMPET. 21

spot, it forms a hollow in the place where it
rests, corresponding in size with the shape of the
shell. Into this depression the shell sinks, and
consequently there is no possibility of reaching
its edge, where alone it is vulnerable, When,
however, it is not warned, and prepared for resist-
ance, it can be easily detached by a sharp move-
ment of the hand.

In general, it is not a migratory creature, and,
consequently, is often seen to be so covered with
parasites of various kinds, that its form can
hardly be recognised. I have now in my aqua-
rium a limpet-shell, on which a specimen of the
common laver (Ulva latissima) and another of
Porphyra laciniata have affixed themselves, and
are growing luxuriantly. There was also in the
same tank another limpet-shell, on which was
growing a whole forest of sea-grass (Enteromorpha
compressa), expanding as widely as the crown of
a man’s hat. The acorn barnacle, too, often takes
possession of the limpets, and it frequently
happens that, in some dark cavity of rock, a
colony of limpets may be found, each so covered
with these sessile barnacles, that not a particle
of the original shell is visible. Of this, however,
we will speak hereafter,

The figure, plate 3, fig. 3 a, represents the

22 WHELK.

appearance of the limpet as it is generally seen
on the rocks; 3 5 represents the under-surfice
of the same object, and shows the animal itself.
The limpet may easily be thus seen, if it is
placed in a vessel of sea-water with flat glass
sides, for it soon crawls up the side, and se
exhibits itself very perfectly.

The Common Whelk (Buccinwm wndatum) is
another shell that is sure to be found on the
sands, This is so well known a shell that no
particular description is here necessary, but
mention will be made of it on a succeeding page.



cowry. WHELK

The little shell, figured on the left side of the
whelk, is one of the cowries, of which there are
almost innumerable varieties. Some of them,
found in the tropical seas, are of very large size,
while others are much smaller than the specimen
represented. One species of this shell is used as










a medium of exchange in some countries. Money
' that can be picked up on the sea-shore is, how-
ever, of very small value, fifteen hundred cowries
being considered as an equivalent to one English
shilling—hardly reimbursing the collector for the
trouble of stooping so often.

There is another shell allied or distinctly
related to the whelk which is very common on
our coasts, and which is well worthy of notice.
This is the Purpura lapillus (plate B, fig. 4), a
shell that is sometimes found nearly white, but
mostly banded with brownish orange, as is repre-
sented in the figure. Now, the creature that
inhabits this shell is one of those animals that
furnished the famous purple of the ancients, and
from that property it derives its name of Purpura.
The colour is not particularly beautiful, and it
is rather remarkable that the ancients, who had
very good taste in colours, should have placed so
high a value on this purple, which, according to
their own account and our observations, closely
resembled clotted blood.

Perhaps, however, its rarity constituted its
value; for there is so little in each shell, that an
enormous number of victims must have perished
before a sufficiency of the dye for one robe could
have been obtained.
24 PURPURA.

The ancients seemed to have managed the
extracting process in rather a clumsy manner;
but it is easy enough to procure the dye without
mixing it with the juices of the animal, as seems
to have been the case in the olden times. If the
reader would like to try the experiment, it may
be done as follows :—

Let him look among the rocks at low water,
and plenty of the shells may be found tolerably
close together. When a sufficient number are
collected, they should be killed by placing them
in fresh water, after the shell has been pierced
or broken, as otherwise the animal shuts itself up
so tightly that the water cannot gain admittance.
When the creatures are quite dead, the colouring
matter may be found in a yellowish-looking
vessel, that derives its colour from the substance
contained within. There is very little of this
colouring matter in the vessel. Now, if this
yellow substance be spread on white paper and
placed in the sunshine, a blue tinge enters the
yellow, making it green, The blue gradually
conquers the yellow, and the green soon becomes
blue. Another colour, red, now makes its appear-
ance in the blue, and turns it into purple. The
red becomes gradually stronger, and in its turn
almost vanquishes the blue, but does not quite


ee Tee TO el eee ee eee. See. Pk ale Ore nn ne

TOP. 25

succeed in doing so; for the blue, having taken
so much pains to turn out the yellow, will not
entirely vacate the premises, and, coalescing with
the red, forms a deep purple, the red very much
predominating. So we have here all the primary
colours fighting for the dominion, and yellow,
the most powerful of the three, forced to retire
before its complementaries.

There are great numbers of little shells, called
Tops from their form, which are found plenti-
fully on every coast, either-empty and cast ashore
by the waves, or living, and found adhering to
the sea-weeds that are laid bare at low water.
It is not often that these shells are found quite
perfect, for the shell is generally worn away at
the apex, so that the colouring substance is
removed and the point of the shell is white,
One of the most beautiful of these shells, the
Livid Top (Trochus ziziphinus), is represented on
plate 8, fig. 1.

The tongue of this species is remarkable for
its structure. Many molluscs are furnished with
very wonderful tongues, the true beauty of which
can only be seen by placing them under a
microscope of moderate power. Their tongue
is easily extracted by drawing it out from its
hiding-place with a needle, and cutting it


off—the owner being, of course, previously
killed.

When this organ is properly displayed, it will
appear furnished with one array of teeth, very
minute, but very strong, and quite adequate to
the work which they have to perform. In fact,
the tongue is a miniature file, and is used not
so much for tasting the food, as for a rasp, where-
with to cut it off. The top, therefore, is an useful
inhabitant of an aquarium, for he saves an im-
mensity of trouble in keeping the glass sides
clean. After an aquarium has fairly settled
itself, the algee pour out their spores, and these,
adhering to the glass, there affix themselves, so
that in a few weeks the glass becomes dimmed
by the mass of minute vegetation. Here the
tops and periwinkles come to our aid, and by
means of the natural scythes with which they
are armed, soon mow away the greater part of
this vegetable growth. They seem to do their
work as composedly and regularly as if they were
paid by the day for it. The Livid Top may be
* found alive among the rocks at low water.

I have already stated that the periwinkles are
useful inhabitants of an aquarium, and such is
the case as long as they can be kept alive. But
they are often very perverse in disposition, and
PERIWINKLES—WENTLETRAP, * 97

show greater predilection for dying than for
mowing. The Common Periwinkle, so familiar
in our streets, is tolerably hardy in confinement,
and may be kept for some time But the
handsomer Yellow Periwinkle (Zittorina litto-
ralis), which is represented on plate 8, fig. 2, is
still more delicate in constitution, and seldom
survives for many weeks, But even the Common
Periwinkle is a pretty creature, as it exhibits
itself when crawling upon the glass of the aqua-
rium, or on the sea-weeds where it finds its food.
The body is prettily banded with multitudes of
narrow dark markings, and the mode in which
the creature slides itself over the glass is very
curious,

There is a very pretty shell found in tolerable
profusion on our sands, and which will be re-
cognised at once from its portrait (plate B, fig. 5).
This is the Common Wentletrap (Scalaria com-
munis). It is not only a pretty shell, but holds
relationship with a very aristocratic connexion.
The Wentletraps are divided into two great
sections; the false Wentletraps, the whorls of
whose spires touch each other; and the true
Wentletraps, whose whorls are disjointed from
each other. Of the former section our little
friend is a good example ; and of the latter, the


me

wey et PrN eae.) | ae 7. oe ee
* ‘ <3

aristocratic relative alluded to. This is the
Royal Staircase Wentletrap, a shell formerly of
such rarity that a specimen only two inches and
a quarter in height would fetch eighty or ninety
pounds.

The next shell which I shall mention is the
Common Cockle (Cardiwm edule), represented on
plate B, fig. 6.

Perhaps this is the most abundant of all the
littorine shcils; for if a handful of shells be
gathered at random from the sands, nearly one-
third will be cockles. When living, the animals
find a home under the sand, in which they lie
buried. The cockle is a capital delver, and,
armed with his natural spade, digs for himself
a hole in the sand nearly as fast as a man can
dig with a spade of metal. As for the wooden
spades, so much in vogue on sandy coasts, they
have hardly a chance against the cockle.

Many an observer has been perplexed at the
little jets of mingled sand and water which are
so often seen issuing from the sand when the
waves have retired. These tiny geysirs are oc-
casioned by the cockles that lie buried beneath
the sand, and which are still in the water below
the sand level, although the surface is tolerably

dry,
Our cockle, however, is not only a digger,
but a jumper, and the same instrument which
serves him as a spade to dig a hole in the sand
also serves him as a foot by means of which to
spring into the air.

There is another burrowing shell, that is found
on most sandy beaches. This is the Razor-Shell
(Solen ensis), for a representation of which, see
plate B, fig. 7.

This creature burrows even deeper than the
cockle, being often found at the depth of two
feet. It does not, however, seem fond of sinking
thus low, but generally remains sufficiently near
the surface to permit the tube just to project
from the sand. The burrow in which the animal
lives is nearly perpendicular, and in it the Solen
passes its entire life, sometimes ascending to the
surface, and sometimes descending to the bottom
of its burrow, for it has none of the locomotive
faculties of its fellow-miner, the ceckle. But
although its range of travel is circumscribed, the
natrowness of its habitation is compensated by
the activity of its movements therein. The
fisherman who wishes to capture the creature
is aware of its agility, and takes measures accord-
ingly. As the tide retreats he watches for the
jet of sand and water which the animal throws


30 PHOLAS.

into the air when alarmed by its hunter’s foot-
step. Into the hole from which the jet ascended
the fisherman plunges a slender iron rod, which
having a barbed, harpoon-like head, pierces the
animal, and retains it while it is dragged from
its hole. If, however, the fisherman takes a
bad aim, and misses his cast, he does not try
a second with the same creature, knowing that
it will have retreated to the termination of its
burrow, whence it cannot be extracted.

Yet another burrowing shell. In most chalky
rocks, such as those of which the white cliffs of
old England are composed, many portions run
well out to sea. If these are examined at low
water they will be found to be perforated with
numerous holes, running to some depth, and
varying considerably in dimensions. These holes
are made by the Pholas dactylus, plate B,
fig. 9, one of the most remarkable animals in
creaturedom.

Hard rocks and timber are constantly found
perforated by this curious shell, but how the
operation is performed no one knows. It is the
more wonderful, because the shell is by no means
hard, and cannot act asa file. Indeed, in some
species, the external shell is almost smooth. And,
moreover, if the shell were used as the boring-
Se ALE ee - 7 Ce) ane eae ee er ae CUE epee rae eee Te ii

PHOLAS. 31

tool, the hole would be nearly circular, instead of
being accommodated to the shape of the shell, as
is seen to be the case. However they get into
the stone, there they may be everywhere found,
and it does not seem to be of much importance
whether their habitation be limestone, sandstone,
chalk, or oak. Even the Plymouth breakwater,
solid stone as it is, was very soon attacked by
these creatures.

They are especially obnoxious to the builders
of wooden piers, for they seize on the submerged
portion of the piles on which the pier rests, and
do their utmost to reduce them to a honey-
combed state with the least possible delay.
Lately, however, the Pholades have been con-
quered; for they cannot pierce iron, and it is
found that if iron nails are closely driven into
the submerged portion of wooden piles, they -
bid defiance to the Pholas,

The specimen represented in our figure is
shown resting in its rocky bed, and seen edge-
ways. At each side may be seen the furrowed
shells ; the foot appears in the centre, surrounded
by the mantle, and the tube is seen projecting
far beyond the shell. Very many good specimens
may be obtained by splitting open the piece of
rock, and thus the shells extracted without injury
_ (eee Ter atte eee ee PP oe hg eae ee, pl ee ee ae eae

ray? a ” ” x mae = vn pe Se ew a a >”
Day, * See re 2 , y Tap ne r ee ee
An! 7 * ' aS : wrest

Qe

32 TEREDO.

from the rocky home where they have lived and
died. In the interior of a perfect shell may be
seen a very curious projection, formed something
like a spoon. Its object does not seem to be very
clearly ascertained. The tube, which has been
so often mentioned, is generally a composite
organ, composed of two tubes or siphons, as they
are called, which are placed closely together,
something on the principle of a double-barrelled
gun, or an elephant’s trunk. Through these
tubes passes the water which is necessary for
respiration, being received into one tube, drawn
from thence over the gills, and finally expelled
from the other tube.

There is another boring mollusc, which is on
many accounts worthy of notice. This is the so-
called Shipworm (Zeredo navalis), a representa-

- tion of which may be found on plate F, fig. 3.

It has been placed on the same page with some
of the worms, in order to show its very great
external resemblance to some animals of that
class, and especially its similitude to the Serpula.
So closely, indeed, does it resemble the last
named creature, that even Linnsus placed the
Teredo between Serpula and Sabella in his
“ System of Nature.”

But this is really one of the molluscs, and a


very curious one. It is called the Ship-worm
because it has so powerful an appetite for sub-
merged wood, and especially for ship-timber. I
have now by me a large piece of oak, the remains
of some wreck, which I found entangled among
the rocks at low water. It is so completely
devoured by the Teredo, that it is almost im-
possible to find any portion of the wood that is
thicker than the sheet of paper upon which
this account is printed. Timber, however, can be
protected from the Teredo by a closely-studded
surface of broad-headed iron nails. These nails
soon rust through the action of the salt water,
and the whole of the timber is rapidly covered
with a thick coating of iron rust, a substance
to which the Teredo seems to have a strong
objection.

The Teredo navalis is not a very large animal,
but it has a huge overgrown relation, the Giant
Teredo, whose diameter at the thickest part is
three inches, and its length nearly six feet.

On plate 8, fig. 8, may be seen a shell, which
will probably be recognised at once as the
Common Mussel (Mytilus edulis). The specimen
figured is a young one, and is shown as it
appears when adhering to the rock by means
of the natural cable—or byssus, as it is scienti-

D
{.Pety
" i,

A Fran,
© GMS ©

d


er ee ee

34 SOALLOP.

fically named—with which these creatures are
furnished.

These shells are exceedingly common, and
large masses of them may be found clinging to
any rocks or stairs where they can anchor them-
selves. This mussel is called Edulis, or eatable,
because it is largely used as an article of food.
But it is by no means a safe edible, as at certain
times, or to certain constitutions, it acts as a
poison, producing most alarming and sometimes
fatal effects.

The byssus is an assemblage of delicate, silky,
and excessively strong fibres, the origin of which
seems to be at present rather obscure. Many
shells are furnished with this substance, which is
shown in perfection in the great Mediterranean
Pinna, some specimens of which measure nearly
two feet in length. The byssus of these creatures
is often spun and woven like silk, and in many
places may be seen gloves, purses, and other
objects, which have been made from this sub-
stance. It is, however, too rare to be put to any
practical use.

The Common Scallop (Pecten Jacobeea), gene-
rally known in connexion with oysters, may be
found abundantly on our shores, Even the
empty shells are pretty enough to attract obser-
vation ; but the animals are more beautiful than
their shelly habitation. A living scallop is well
worthy of notice, if it were only for the row of
eye-like points which are seen peeping out
from the very margin of the shell, when the
creature holds the valves partially open. Whether



SCALLOP.

these brilliant spots are really eyes or not has not
been clearly ascertained, but at all events there
appears no reason why they should not be eyes ;
and so to us eyes they shall be.

The scallop is capable of changing its position,
and does so by the forcible ejection of water
from a given point. This mode of progress is
analogous to that employed by the larva of the
dragon-fly. The title Jacobea is given to the
scallop, from the shrine of St. James (Lat.

D2


CP MR ae ety eae
. a ‘ .

4 CHITON.

Jacobus), at Compostela ; to which spot journeys
were made by pilgrims, who, in token of having
paid their devotions at St. James's shrine, wore
a scallop-shell in their hats for the admiration of
their contemporaries, and bore it on their coats-
of-arms for the information of their posterity.

The story which connects the scallop-shell
with St. James is very curious, but too long for
insertion.

The last shell-bearing mollusc which I shall
mention is one which does not at first appear to
be a mollusc at all. This is the curious little
Chiton, a creature which, instead of a tubular
shell like the Teredo, a single whorled shell like
the whelk, or a double shell like the scallop,
bears an array of eight shelly plates on his back,
and thus gives to the observer an idea of a tiny
marine armadillo.

The entire back of the Chiton is covered with
a strong leathery eoat, much larger than the
living centre of the animal. Upon this leathery
mantle are placed eight shell-plates, which ovey-
lap each other just as do the tiles of a house:
They are not very large on our English coasts,
but some foreign species are found which exceed
four inches in length.

If the shell-bearing molluscs are remarkable


NUDIBRANCHS—DORIS. 37

for the elegant form and brilliant colouring of
their habitations, they seem to be equalled, if not
eclipsed, in beauty by a race of molluscs which
possess no shell at all, and whose chief beauty is
derived from the singular peculiarity of forma-
tion from which their name is derived. These
are the Nudibranchs, or Naked-gilled Molluscs,
so named because their respiratory apparatus,
instead of being concealed within their bodies,
or defended by shells, is placed upon the ex-
terior, in apparently heedless defiance of sur-
rounding objects. And the more that the delicate
construction of these branchiw is seen, the more
wonderful does it appear that these organs should
be placed in the position which they occupy
without suffering serious injury. If the lungs
of one of the mammalia were to be attached to
its sides, and permitted to hang loosely ‘there-
from, exposed to the invasions and collisions to
which they would probably be liable, the owner
of the said lungs would hardly feel comfortable.
But the lungs, gills, or branchie, of the mollusc
are 80 exceedingly delicate, that the mammalian
lung appears quite coarse by their side.

There are many species of Nudibranchs found
on our coasts, one of the commonest of which
(Doris ptilosa) is represented on plate y, fig. 4,

= toc?
38 NUDIBRANOHS.

The gills may be seen spreading like a feathery
plume, or a radiating flower, on the upper surface
of the creature. The position of the branchis is
by no means uniform, for indeed the most fertile
imagination would hardly venture to depict such
fantastic forms as are found among the Nudi-
branchs, or, if they were depicted, could hope
that such wondrous shapes should be received by
men as existing in the same world with them-
selves,

Some species, like those whose shape has been
already alluded to, are nearly flat, and wear their
lungs much as a gentleman wears a bouquet,
in his button-hole. Others have their lungs
neatly arranged round their bodies in little
spreading tufts, so that the creature has some-
thing the aspect of a floriated coronet. Some
have their whole dorsal surface thickly studded
with lungs, so that it would bear a decided
resemblance to a hedgehog, were it not that the
spikes must be semitransparent, and tinged with
the most exquisite colours. Again, there are
some species which carry their lungs at a distance
from their bodies, and present them to the waves
as if they were holding the branchie in the
hands of their outstretched arms; while there
are some whose forms are so utterly unique and






grotesque, that a description would be useless —
except it were accompanied by a drawing.

As to the colouring of these creatures, there is
hardly a tint, from blackish grey to the most
brilliant carmine, that is not found in some
member of this strange family. They all belong
to that division of the molluses that go by the
name of Gasteropoda, because the lower surface
of the body forms the foot by which they move
from place to place. By the aid of this foot they
often float on the surface of the water, as has been
already recorded of other molluscs, This action,
however, has been well described, as creeping on
the superincumbent stratum of air. Many species
of the genera Doris and Eolis, together with
Others, may be found, at low water, clinging to
the rocks and stones. They will hardly be
recognised as Nudibranchs at a hasty glance, for
they subside into shapeless gelatinous knobs as
soon as the waves leave them, and do not resume
their expanded form until the surging sea returns. |

The Nudibranchs, although’ most lovely
creatures, are very unsafe inhabitants of an
aquarium, in spite of their delicate and dainty
looks; and a wolf would be about as appropriate
an inmate of a sheepfold, as a Nudibranch of
an aquarium where sea-anemones live Even
40 NUDIBRANOBS.

the giant crassicornis, or Thick-horned Anemone,
has fallen a victim to the insatiable appetite of
these greedy creatures. In closing this short
description of the Nudibranch, let me strongly’
recommend the reader to examine, if possible,
the beautiful work on these creatures by Messrs,
Alder and Hancock, published by the Ray Society.


A Ta ee Cet eT a Rae OEE Me y ae gee Semen

41

CHAPTER III.
MARINE ALGM, OR SEA-WEEDS.

Sga and land are, after all, wonderfully like
each other. The surface of the land has its
mountains, its valleys, its fire-vomiting volcanoes,
its mountains of eternal cold. So the bed of the
sea is delved into vast valleys, as yet unfathom-
able by human plummet; and these valleys we
of the upper world call depths. Also, it has its
precipitous mountains, some towering above the
watery surface, and others lifting their heads until
they are dangerous neighbours to those that go
in ships upon the waters; and these we call by
various insulting names according to their degree
of elevation, And there are volcanoes of the sea
as well as of the land; while the Polar islands,
which are, in fact, the tops of submarine moun-
tains, are covered with snows as eternal as those
which crown the Monarch of mountains him-
self,
Then, the sea-bed has its Table Mountains, its
vast Saharas, its undulating prairies, its luxuriant


Re ee

42 TIDES.

forests, and its verdant pasture-lands. And as
the sandy tracts or shingly beds are bare and
devoid of vegetative life on the upper earth, so
are they also in the sea below; while submarine
forests lift their branches towards the light of the
sun, and submarine herbage waves its many-
coloured leaves in the rolling sea, just as flowers
and leaves bend to the breezes above. For in
the kingdom of Ocean, water is the atmosphere,
and, like its more ethereal relative, is ever rolling,
and ever changing.

Let us now visit the boundary line of the two
great kingdoms, Earth and Water, and though
belonging to the former, extend our researches as
far as possible into the latter.

Throughout the preceding pages it will be
noticed that the expression “at low water” is
constantly used. Now, this expression is quite
necessary ; for were the sea always to remain at
the same height, our knowledge of its wonders
would be wofully circumscribed. It is little
enough even now, but that little would be almost
reduced to nothing were there no alternations of
high and low water.

Of the theory of tides there is here no oppor-
tunity to speak, for it is a most complex subject,
and even to give a hasty sketch would occupy
TIDES, 43

many pages, and require many diagrams. Suffice
it to say, that the grand exciting cause of the
tides is the force called attraction, or gravitation ;
" the moon being the chief among the many agents
through which it acts. It matters not whether
the water is salt or fresh, whether as an ocean it
fills the bed of the Atlantic, or as a drop of dew
trembles on a violet leaf. The tide-force still
acts on it, and tides there are, although we are
incapable of perceiving them. It is the same
with the upper sea, namely, the atmospheric air
of our earth. In the aérial ocean there are waves,
whirlpools, calms, and storms, although our eyes
are too dull to perceive them, and can only be
made aware of their existence by seeing their
effects,

Twice in every day of twenty-four hours the
water advances and recedes, and thus at least
one opportunity is given daily for the observer
to follow the retiring waves, and to discover some
small portion of the wonders of the sea. Some
of its living and breathing inhabitants have been
mentioned in the preceding chapter, and in the
following pages will be briefly described some
few of its vegetative inhabitants, that breathe
not, but yet live.

If we walk on the sea-shore, vast masses of
PEP te eee
net Ra
big)

44 SEA-WEEDS—BLADDER-WRACK.

dark olive vegetation meet our eyes; if we wait
until the tide has retreated, and examine the
pools of water that are left among the rocks,

‘there we find miniature forests, and gardens of

gorgeous foliage, some of which are scarlet, others
pink, others bright green, others purple, while
some there are that play with all the prismatic
colours, each leaf a rainbow in itself. If we take
@ boat, and rowing well out to sea, cast over-
board a hooked drag, we shall find adhering to
the iron claws new kinds of vegetation, and
probably among them will be found a veritable
flowering plant,—apparently as much out of its
place at the bottom of the sea as a codfish in
a birdcage. Now all this luxuriant, graceful, and
magnificent foliage, we dedecorate with the title
of sea-weed. It is a miserable appellation; but as
it is a term in general use,I shall employ it,
although under protest.

Those sea-weeds, then, which first strike our
eyes, are usually those denominated Wracks, the
Common Bladder-wrack (Fucus vesiculosus) being
the most common. For a figure of this plant, see
plate J, fig 6.

There is little difficulty in distinguishing this
conspicuous alga ; for the double series of round
air-vessels with which the fronds are studded,
Pua TE, elle ne we ne ee ee TR Ee EO ET METS CREO Reger T m



DANGERS OF ROOKS. 45

and the mid-rib running up the centre of each
frond, point it out at once. This plant, together
with one or two'others of the same genus, is still

_ used in the manufacture of kelp, but not to
such an extent as was formerly the case. There
is a variety of this plant found in salt marshes,
where it congregates in dense masses : this variety
is very small, being only an inch or two in height,
and the eighth of an inch, or even less, in width.
The plant is at all times very variable, according
to its locality, both in colour and form.

When trodden on, or otherwise suddenly com
pressed, the air-vessels explode with a slight
report, and seem to afford much gratification to
juveniles. This and other fuci grow in the
greatest abundance on rocks that are covered by
the waves at high water, and left bare when the
tide retires. Now on, under, and among these
rocks, the great zoological or botanical harvest
is to be collected, and therefore among these
rocks the collector must walk.

I make mention of this. circumstance, because
it is necessary to warn the enthusiastic but
inexperienced naturalist, that the slimy and
slippery fuci make the rock-walking exceedingly
dangerous ; for the masses of fuci are so heavy
and thick, that they veil many a deep hollow,
SESSA

Hi) ,

A rs s
AAs

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La Ae)



Gioyeseu
AE
ee

Pin
; HAR IN
ASS eS AN
AS, iy

. i
fi i Ha a.
Sly ‘ge
« Bh) Boa \\te ee
} :



&t. EVANS. 4d:
46 FUCUS NODOSUS.

or slightly cover many a sharp point,—in the
former of which a limb may be easily broken,
and by the latter a serious wound inflicted,—
and there is special reason for avoiding any
such mishap. Proverbially, time and tide wait
for no man; and should a disabling accident
occur when no one was near to help, the return-
ing waters would bring death in their train—a
death the more terrible from its slow but relent-
less advance,

Now, the reader must be careful not to con-
found with Fucus vesiculosus another species of
somewhat similar appearance, namely Fucus
nodosus; see plate J, fig. 1.

This plant may at once be distinguished from
the Common Bladder-wrack, by the absence of a
midrib ; it is of a tough consistence, and it grows
to a large size, being sometimes nearly six feet in
length.

About half-way between high and low water
another species of fucus may be found: this is
destitute of air-vessels, it lacks the sliminess of
the bladder-wrack, and its edges are toothed, like
the edge of a saw. It is much about the same
size as the bladder-wrack, but perhaps rather
longer ; see plate p, fig. 2.

This is a very useful plant indeed. It is a
FUOCUS SERRATUS. 47

capital manure for land, it can be preserved, and
used as food for cattle, it can be made into kelp,
and it is an excellent substance in which to pack
lobsters, and other marine productions, that are
sent inland. The bladder-wrack is much used
for the same purpose, but its sliminess renders
it liable to heat and to ferment; while Fucus
serratus, being comparatively free from slime,
retains its cool dampness, and preserves the fish
sweet. It is really of importance, for a tainted
lobster is not only nauseous to the palate, but
even dangerous to the whole system.

There is a very tiny fucus, some four or six
inches long at the most, that is to be found near
high water-mark, chiefly in summer and autumn ;
it may be recognised by a number of small
channels that furrow one side of the frond. It
has no air-vessels.

All these plants, together with all the algw
comprised in this chapter, belong to the class of
algee called MmLanosrerms, or black-seeded ; so
called from the dark olive tint of the spores, or
tiny seeds, from which they spring. They all
seem to be exclusively marine.

At spring-tides the waters recede considerably
below their usual mark, and these seasons are
the harvest-times of the shore-naturalist. As




* 4B LAMINARIA.

nearly as possible at six hours after the high
tide the waters will have retired to their lowest
boundary, and near that boundary will be found
myriads of new forms, both animal and vegetable.
Indeed, so prolific is the spring-tide harvest, that
an hour or two of careful investigation will some-
times produce as good results as several hours’
hard work with a dredge. It is better to go
down to the shore about half an hour or so
before the lowest tide, so as to follow the reced-
ing waters, and to save time.

When the naturalist has gained the spots below
the usual low-water mark, he will find himself in
the midst of a new set of vegetation, contrasting
as strongly with the productions of the higher
grounds, as forest trees with herbage and brush-
wood. Huge plants, measuring some eleven feet
or so in length, and nearly a yard in width,
are firmly anchored among the rocks by roots
rivalling in comparative size and strength those
of the oak-tree. This plant is commonly known
by the name of Oar-weed, and may be easily
recognised from the drawing in plate p, fig. 1.
Its scientific name is Laminaria digitata. It is
called “Laminaria” on account of the flat thin
plates, or lamin, of the frond, and “ digitata,”
or fingered, because the frond is split into


segments, something like the fingers of a
hand. ;

I may as well mention here, that the sea-weeds
have no real root, and do not derive their nourish-
ment from the soil, as do the plants of earth ;
they adhere to the rocks or stones by simple
discs, and draw their whole subsistence from the
water that surrounds and sustains them. In the
so-called root of the Laminaria there are no root-
fibres, but a succession of discs, each connected
with the main stem of the plant by a woody
cable.

The stem of the Laminaria is very strong, and
is used for making handles to knives and other
implements. Wlien fresh, this stem is soft enough
to permit the tang of a knife-blade to be thrust
longitudinally into it. A portion of the stem
sufficiently long for the knife-handle is cut off,
and in a few months it dries, contracting with
such force as to fix the blade immovably; and
having much the consistency and appearance of
stag’s horn. One good stem will furnish more
than a dozen of these handles.

Among the Lamigariz may be seen growing a

singular plant, more like a rope than a vegetable. .

It consists of one long, cylindrical, tubular frond,
hardly thicker than an ordinary pin at the base,
E

a
Ren ae, eter me ee ee ea ee ee ee ew a Or ee ee m vey
Retry ‘oy ; Pe ' m ane
at f " ¥

my

. 60 CHORDA—PADINA.

but swelling to the size of a swan’s quill in the
centre. When the plant is handled, it slips from
the grasp as if it were oiled; this effect is pro-
duced by a natural sliminess, aided by a dense
covering of very fine hairs,
The name of this plant is Chorda flum. Its
length varies extremely, some specimens being
found to measure barely one foot, while others
run from twenty to thirty, and even to forty feet.
It tapers gradually from the middle to the point,
where it is about the same thickness as at the
base.
I here make an exception to my general rule
of excluding all but the commonest objects, in
favour of one sea-weed, which, although not very

common, yet may be found quite unexpectedly.
It owes its introduction to its very singular form.
The name of it is the Peacock’s-Tail, deriving its
title from its shape. Its scientific name is Padina
pavonia ; see plate a, fig. 3,

The habitation of this plant is midway between
high and low water-mark, where it may occasion-
ally be found adhering to the rocks. It is not
a large plant, as it is generally only two or three
inches in height, but occasionally reaches the
height of five inches.

In the same order as the Padina is another


DICHOTOMA—EOTOCARPUS., 51

little alge, which, I think, is one of the prettiest
of the Melanosperms. I do not know whether
it possesses any popular name, but its scientific
title is Dictyota dichotoma. For a figure of it, see
plate a, fig. 5. It is a very delicate-looking plant,
and, unlike the Melanosperms in general, lives
tolerably well in an aquarium. The name
Dictyota is derived from a Greek word, signify-
ing a net; and it will be seen, on examination,
that the surface of the frond appears as if woven
into a tiny network, with square, or rather slightly
oblong meshes. Its specific appellation of “ dicho-
toma” is also of Greek derivation, and signifies
“cut in pairs,” in allusion to the shape of the
frond.

Failing space permits only one more plant
belonging to the class, or rather, to speak accu-
rately, the sub-class Melanospermess. This is the
plant known to botanists by the title of Ecto-
carpus siliculosus, and which I mention here
because it is liable to be confused with other
alge that much resemble it in form, though not
in constitution ; see plate a, fig. 2. It is called
Ectocarpus from two Greek words, signifying
“external fruit,” and its specific title “silicu-
losus” is given to it on account of the silicules,
or little pod-like bodies, that are found on the

B2


aes cone api tplebh iat lille la otek liebe Le dubai sili ie las
reat ? Me pee



. 62 OHANGE OF TINT.

branches. These details are of very minute size,
and cannot be made out without the assistance of
a magnifying glass.

These dark-spored vegetables are very variable
in colour, as indeed are all the alge, without
reference to the colour of their spores; some-
times, indeed, even trespassing on the colour of
another sub-class. These changes are mostly due
to the varying depths of the sea where the plants
grow, and to the amount of light and shade
which falls to their lot. Even the hardy, rough,
and coarse bladder-wrack, which is usually of a
very dark olive-green, more approaching to black
than to green, becomes of a rich yellow tint when
found at any depth of water.

When dried the green vanishes totally, the
colour changing to dark-brown, and in many
cases to black. Most of this sub-class. of alge
require alternations of water and air, the best
specimens being found where they are exposed
to the heat of the sun and to the force of the
winds for some hours daily,


CHAPTER IV.

RED-SPORED AND GREEN-SPORED ALG.

Wirs this chapter we begin the account of
another sub-class of alge, the RHoposPeRMs, or
red-seeded. The plants belonging to this class
are among the most beautiful of the alge, that
is, when they are placed in favourable situations ;
for they also change their colours, and as their
most beautiful colour is their natural tint, any
change is for the worse. Some of them even
become brown when there is too much light for
them.

About low water-mark may be found growing
largish masses of a dense, thread-like, reddish
foliage, sometimes adhering to the rock, or some-
times even fixed to the stems of the Laminaria.
When removed from the water the plant does not
collapse, like many of its relatives, but each
thread and branch preserves its own individuality.
This is one of the large genus Polysiphonia, and
the specific name is “urceolata.” See plate K,
fig, 2,
54 UROEOLATA.

By the side of the plant itself is represented @
little object that explains the latter title. This
little jar-shaped object is one of the fruits, or
ceramidia, as they are learnedly called, much
magnified. The word “urceolata” signifies
pitchered, if we may be permitted to coin an
English word corresponding to the Latin. The
name Polysiphonia is Greek, and signifies “ many
siphons,” or tubes. The reason for the name is
evident on cutting any of the branches trans-
versely. It will be then seen that the plant is
composed of six tubes arranged round a central
aperture ; the branches are jointed, the length
of each joint being several times its own width.

There are twenty-six known British species of
this single genus.

That popular author and extensive traveller,
Baron Munchausen, tells us that in one of his
journeys he met with a tree that bore a fruit
filled interiorly with the best of gin. Had he
travelled along our own sea-coasts, or indeed
along any sea-coasts, and inspected the vegetation
of the waves there, he would have found a plant
that might have furnished him with the ground-
work of a story respecting & jointed tree, com-
posed of wine-bottles, each joint being @ separate
bottle, filled with claret. It is true that the plant






OHYLOOLADIA. 55

is not very large, as it seldom exceeds nine or ten
inches in height; but if examined through a
microscope, it might be enlarged to any con-
venient size.

The name of this plant is rather a long one, but
very appropriate, Chylocladia articulata, i.e. the
«jointed juice-branch.” See plate a, fig. 1.

It may be found adhering to rocks, or some-
times parasitically depending on some of the
larger alge, and really does resemble a jointed
series of transparent bottles filled with claret or
other red wine. The colour is remarkably delicate
and beautiful, but is rather apt to fade after a
time ; when it is preserved, dried, and pressed, the
gelatinous juice that filled the interior disappears,
and the plant can be flattened until it hardly
presents any thickness, even to the touch. There
is now before me a dried specimen of another
species of chylocladia, which adheres so firmly to
the paper on which it is laid, and is so delicate
in substance, that several persons to whom I
have shown it have mistaken it for a well-
executed drawing.

If now the reader will refer to plate 0, fig. 1,
he will there see depicted one of the most
remarkable of the alge; remarkable in itself,
and for the great battles which have been fought


56 CORALLINE.

over it by scientific individuals. This plant is the
Common Coralline (Corallina officinalis), which
may be found most abundantly on any of our
coasts, growing in greatest perfection near low
water-mark.

It is well enough known that many creatures,
formerly supposed to be vegetable, such as the
corals and the zoophytes, have since found their
proper place in the animal kingdom; and one
consequence of this reformation was, that several
real plants were supposed to be animals, because
they possessed some of the characteristics which
had distinguished those animals that had been
placed in their proper position. Of these plants
the coralline is a good example ; for until a com-
paratively late period, it was placed among the
animals in company with the true corals.

There was reason for this error, for the coralline
is a very curious plant indeed, gathering from
the sea-water, and depositing in its own sub-
stance, so large an amount of carbonate of lime,
that when the purely vegetable part of the alga
dies, and is decomposed, the chalky portion
remains, retaining the same shape as the entire
plant, and very much resembling those zoophytes
with which it has been confounded. While
growing, the coralline is of a dark purple colour ;


but when removed from the watér, the purple
tint vanishes, and the white stony skeleton re-
mains. It is, however, a true vegetable, as may
be seen by dissolving away the chalky portions in
acid: there is then left a vegetable framework,
precisely like that of other alge belonging to the
same sub-class.

The coralline is a small plant, seldom exceed-
ing five or six inches in height, and not often
even reaching that size. However, it compensates
for its low stature by its luxuriant growth, being
usually found in dense masses wherever it can
find ‘a convenient shelter.

If a dried branch of coralline be inserted into
the flame of a candle, it exhibits a most brilliant
white light just at the point where it meets the
flame. The light is exhibited better by the flame
of a spirit-lamp than by that of a candle, and for
obvious reasons.

It will live well in an aquarium, and, if taste-
fully disposed, is an elegant ornament to the vase
or tank. There is now in my own aquarium a
moderate tuft of coralline, which seems in good
health, although the water has lately been assum-.
ing an unpleasant milky appearance, from some
cause which I cannot as yet detect.

We now come to a most magnificent sea-plant,

5a a they

58 DELESSERIA SANGUINEA,

magnificent both on account of its gorgeous
colouring, and on account of its luxuriance. This
is the Delesseria sanguinea, represented, about
half its usual size, in plate J, fig. 3.

The shape of the leaf, or rather of the frond,
80 closely resembles that of terrestrial trees, that
at first sight few would attribute the beautiful
scarlet leaf, with its decided midrib and bold
nervures, to an alga. Yet an alga it is, and may
be found in its most perfect state about June or
July: later in the year it becomes very ragged,
the broad flat frond giving way to the fruit.
In this state, although interesting to the botanist,
it is hardly suitable for the cabinet, as little of
the plant is left except the midrib, and a few
flapping raglets. When spread on paper and pre-
served, it retains its colour well, and adheres very
firmly.

The fronds are generally from two to seven or
eight inches in length, but they are not often
found exceeding five or six inches. A branch
containing eight or ten fronds, averaging five
inches in length, may be considered a good
specimen, and worth preserving, if the edges are
entire. There is a very peculiar marine scent
about this plant, an “ancient and fishlike smell,”
quite indescribable, but not to be forgotten. A
DELESSERIA—PLOOAMIUM. 59

large branch will retain this scent for months.
I have by me a tuft of this plant, which I
gathered in July last, and its peculiar smell is
now (April) very perceptible.

There are five British species of this beautiful
genus, none of them very rare. Delesseria hypo-
glossum (plate D, fig. 4) may be found in the
summer months growing on almost every coast.
It is a very pretty plant, although not s0
gorgeous as its predecessor. The fronds are
generally of small size, being hardly a quarter
of an inch in length.

In the little sea-weed landscapes, that are
sold so abundantly at the fashionable sea-side
towns, there is one species of sea-weed in great
request for trees and bushes. It is of a bright
pinky red colour, and is thickly branched, so as
to afford a tolerable representation of a forest
tree, or of a thick bush. This is the Plocamium
coccineum, a plant sufficiently beautiful to the
unassisted eye, but especially so when submitted
to a magnifying lens. When examined through a
glass of moderate power, it will be seen that
even the tiny branchlets, each hardly thicker
than a hair, are again furnished with a row of
smaller ramifications, somewhat resembling
very finely-toothed comb.
PT Me COR RE ee RC RE R yr t Ree Oe, eer Oe ee ee ae
‘i ’

60 DULSE—OCARRAGEEN,

On plate x, fig. 3, may be seen a specimen of
the Plocamium of the natural size, and near
it a single branch magnified, in order to show
the tiny combs.

Many of the marine alge are used as articles
of food; some eaten uncooked, and others after
a long course of boiling. To the former of these
categories belongs the Dulse, Dillisk, or Dillosk
(Rhodymenia palmata), although it is sometimes
cooked. The species, however, which is here
illustrated, is Rhodymenia bifida, a plant of a
very fine rosy red when fresh, found in tolerable
profusion adhering to rocks or on the larger alge.
The fronds are generally two inches or so in
length, and about a quarter of an inch in width,
For a figure of this plant, see plate x, fig. 4.

The Carrageen Moss, so well known in the
form of jellyand size, is one of the Rhodosperm
Alge, by name Chondrus crispus. (Plate J,
fig. 5.)

It may be found growing on the rocks in large
quantities, where its shape will be the best guide
to its detection, for its colour is exceedingly
variable. Although one of the Rhodosperms, it
is very frequently of a greenish tint, and in many
places it assumes a yellow jaundiced completion,
not at all of a healthy nature,


FURCELLARIA—IRIDZA. 61

To preserve it for esculent purposes, it must
be washed in fresh water and then left to dry,
when it soon becomes horny to the touch, and
resists pressure. If boiled, it subsides into a
thick colourless jelly, that is thought to be very
nutritive, and is employed for many purposes.
Invalids take it in their tea, or epicures in their
blanc-mange. Calico printers boil it down into
size, and use it in their manufactures. It is said
to be a good fattening substance for calves, if
boiled in milk ; and, lastly, pigs are very fond of
it when it is mixed with potatoes or meal. It
is sometimes known by the name of “Irish
Moss.” It will grow in an aquarium.

A plant is represented on plate J, fig. 4, that is
found plentifully between tide-marks, It is rather
a conspicuous plant, and is appropriately named
Furcellaria fastigiata, the generic title being
derived from a Latin word signifying a little fork.
It is of a dark-brown colour with an obscure
dash of purple, but in drying the purple departs,
and the brown becomes nearly black.

I have already mentioned that some of the
alge reflect prismatic colours. This is occasion-
ally the case with Chondrus crispus, and there is
one genus which is so resplendent that the name
Tridea is given to it ; Iris signifying a rainbow.
SPN OO NAPE eT CORO Ro 8 ns NPR art me, ey | Oana elie aes ml

62 PTILOTA— GRIFFITHSIA.

The species represented at plate o, fig. 4, is
Tridea edulis, a plant which is sometimes eaten
raw, and sometimes fried by unpoetical gastro-
nomists. I do believe that some people would
fry the rainbow itself if it were eatable.

The frond of this species is generally about

_ nine or ten inches in length, and five inches in

width, although it sometimes nearly doubles these
dimensions. Its colour is an uniform deep
red, and its shape somewhat resembling a
battledore.

A particularly elegant species of alga, making
a good figure when spread on paper, is seen
figured on plate x, fig. 5. The fronds are some-
times more than a foot in length, but do not
often exceed ten or eleven inches, some being
only three or four inches long. The colour is
rather apt to fly, unless care be taken; but it
is a beautiful plant, were it only for the elegance
of its form. Its name is Ptilota plumosa, both
words having a like signification, and meaning
“winged,” or feathery.

There is a pretty little alga, called Grifithsia
setacea, which has the property of staining paper
with a fine pinkish-scarlet hue, when the en-
closing membrane bursts. Contact with fresh
water will usually cause the membrane to yield,
NITOPHYLLUM—CHLOROSPERMS. 63
and then the colouring matter is shot out with
a slight crackling noise.

Its length is generally about four or five
inches. A drawing of the plant of the natural

size, together with a magnified sketch of the fruit,
may be seen on plate x, fig. 1.

The last of the Rhodosperms that will be
noticed in this volume is a very delicate species,
entitled Nitophyllum punctatum; see plate ©,
fig. 5. This plant will easily be recognised from
the drawing. Its usual size is six or ten inches
in length, and nearly as wide; but it is not un-
common to find specimens that exceed a foot in
length, while some huge monsters have been found
that measured five feet in length and a yard in
width. It is easy enough to distinguish this
plant from the Delesseria, as it has no midrib.

The CaLorospERMs, or Green-seeded Alga, are
the best friends of those who keep marine aquaria,
for they are endowed with the power of pouring
out oxygen in very large quantities when placed
in favourable circumstances. If any of my
readers wish to preserve alive the creatures that
they find on the sea-shore, they can do so without
difficulty, by imitating as nearly as possible the
natural state and accompaniments of the animals
which they have captured.


Pe ee a

re
easy

64 CHLOROSPERMS,

If even one or two fish, crabs, or indeed any
living animals, be placed in a jar of sea-water,
they speedily exhaust the free oxygen of the
water, and, as the water cannot absorb fresh
oxygen from the atmosphere so rapidly as the
animals consume it, the water soon becomes
unfit to support animal life, and its inhabitants
die as surely as a man would who was enclosed
in an air-tight box. It is possible to renew the
oxygen by dashing water into the jar from a
height, or even by pumping fresh air into it;
but such a process would be very fatiguing, as
it must be continually carried on day and night.
But it is found that plants have the property
of pouring out oxygen when they are in a healthy
state and acted on by light. So, if we can
procure plants that will thrive in a confined
space, and keep them in a light room, we shall
find that each plant acts as a natural pump, and
not only supplies continually fresh oxygen, but
consumes the carbonic acid gas that loads the
water with its stifling influence. The Chlo-
rosperms are peculiarly useful for this purpose,
as many of them will live for an unlimited time
in confinement, continually regenerating the
water in which they are placed. I have now an
aquarium containing water that I brought from


BRYOPSIS—CLADOPHORA. 65

the sea last August, and by the untiring exertions
of a few green sea-weeds the water has been
preserved bright and pure, even though inhabited
by all kinds of marine animals.

Among the most useful, as well as the most
elegant of the sea-weeds used for this purpose,
is the little Bryopsis plumosa; see plate D, fig. 3.
This brilliant and delicate little plant is common
enough, and may be found in the pools left by
the retiring tide, where it adheres to their rocky
walls. The colour of the plant is a very bright
green, and its form is so feathery, or rather fan-
like, that it well deserves its name of “ plumosa.”

In almost any little pool, between tide-marks
or even hanging from rocks that have been left
quite dry, may be seen thick tufts of a coarsish
horsehair-like plant, of a dull green colour,
often dashed with black. This is the Cladophora
rupestris, one of the commonest species out of
the twenty that are exclusively marine. There
are two species that inhabit ditches and lakes
where the sea occasionally obtains admission,
and several others that prefer water entirely
fresh. The length of the tufts is about four or
five inches, often less, but seldom more.

Another species of the same genus, Cladophora
arcta, is of a brighter green than the preceding.

F




66 ENTEROMORPHA.

and altogether a prettier plant. It grows ina
radiating manner from a very broad disc. This
plant is represented on plate o, fig. 2.

But the most useful of the Chlorosperms
may be found almost at the very margin of
high water, where they live rather more in the
open air than under water. These are the Ulva
and Hnteromorphe, the first being known by the
popular title of Laver, and the second of Sea-
grass. There is another plant that is also called
Sea-grass; but it is not an alga, and will be men-
tioned at the end of this chapter.

The Common Sea-grass (Znteromorpha com-
pressa) may be seen in abundance on the stones
and rocks that are even for a few hours sub-
merged daily. The leaf, or rather frond, of this
species is variable in width, sometimes being
hardly wider than common sewing thread, and
sometimes so wide as to resemble a very narrow
ulva. It is this variety which is represented
in the engraving, plate o, fig. 3. When the
waves retire, leaving sundry pools fringed with
this and other sea-weeds, their fronds form
hiding-plaees for innumerable living beings of
very many species; and by gathering masses of
the wet weed into a basket, and then putting it
into a large vessel filled with sea-water, myriads

TE Me PR ere nT ae TD oe
i


GREEN LAVER, : 67

of animals may be captured with hardly any
trouble. They will live perfectly well in the
vessel if it is kept in a light spot with a free
circulation of air.
The Common Green Laver (Ulva latissima),
plate x, fig. 6, sometimes called the Sea Lettuce,
is found most abundantly on the same spots as
the preceding plant. Of all the sea-weeds for an
aquarium, the Green Laver is perhaps the very
best. It is very pretty, from its delicate green
colour, and the various folds and puckers into
which it throws itself, Its power of expiring
oxygen seems to be almost unlimited. I have in
my aquarium a large plant of this species, which
generally lives very contentedly in the place
where it had been deposited. But, a few days
ago, the sun shone brightly enough to pierce
through the veil of smoke with which the metro-
polis is generally hidden from his presence, and
consequently there was a greater abundance of
light than usual. On looking at the aquarium,
I found that the ulva had risen in the water, and
was hanging in most elegant festoons from the
surface, forming emerald caves and grottos such
as the sea-nymphs would love. Even at a little
distance it was a pretty sight, but a closer in-
spection revealed still more beauties ; for being
Â¥2


68 * PURPLE LAVER.

excited by the unwonted light, the plant had
poured forth so much oxygen that its entire
surface was thickly studded with tiny sparkling
beads, that had buoyed up the whole plant, each
bubble acting as a miniature balloon. When,
however, a black cloud came over the sun, the
bubbles soon detached themselves, ascended to
the surface, and as there were no more to take
their place, down dropped the plant to the
bottom.

On a bright day the little oxygen bubbles
are so rapidly exuded, that they quite fill the
water, rising to the surface, and there dissipat-
ing, very much like the sparkling air-bells in
champagne.

The Purple Laver, as it is called in England,
or the Sloke, as it is termed in Ireland, is
another of these useful plants. In external ap-
pearance it very much resembles the ulva, save
that the colour, instead of being light green, is
purple. From this peculiarity of colour it is
called by botanists, Porphyra, which word signi-
fies “purple.” There appear to be only two
species of this genus belonging to our coasts,
the one P, laciniata, and the other P. vulgaris.
The former of these plants is engraved in plate a,
fig. 4, Only a portion of the frond is given. It
oa a oe, ee
}
‘wid
‘ ‘ 7

is hardly inferior to the preceding plant in value
to the aquarium-keeper, and flourishes wonder-
fully. P. vulgaris may be used for the same
purpose. I have seen one of these plants in an
aquarium, which had increased to such an enor-
mous size, that it was aptly compared by a
bystander to a lady’s purple silk apron.

The ulva and porphyra, if intended to be
eaten, must be gathered in the winter, or, at all
events, the very earliest of the spring months.
The purple laver is said to be much superior
to its green companion, but I cannot speak
from personal experience. If any of my readers
would like to try the experiment for themselves,
they may easily do so; the laver should
be stewed for several hours, until it is reduced
to a pulpy mass, which, with the addition of
lemon juice, is considered by some ‘persons a
dainty.

I may here mention that, although both ulva
and porphyra will live in an aquarium, when
floating freely through the water without any
attachment, yet it is better that they should be
adherent to some stone or shell, by which they
can be anchored in a convenient spot. Now these
plants are very constant, for they never have
but one attachment during their whole lives,
70 ZOSTERA.

and if torn from that one object they never affix
themselves to any other: so it is necessary to
use a chisel and mallet, or at all events a
geologist’s hammer, for the purpose of detaching
the portion of rock or stone to which the plant
is adherent. Generally the geologist’s hammer,
if properly chosen, answers every purpose. Almost
at the commencement of my last shore-season I
dropped both my chisels into a rock-pool, and
not being able to find them again, brought the
hammer into play; and so useful was that .
hammer, that I did not find it requisite to
procure a fresh set of chisels during the four
weeks of shore-searching.

A plant has been mentioned, which does not
belong to the sea-weeds, although from its
residence at the bottom of the sea it is often
thought to be of that family ; this is the Zostera
marina, for a drawing of which see plate J, fig. 2,
a true flowering plant, growing with a real root

* at the bottom of the sea. Its entire character

is so completely terrestrial, that it can at once
be distinguished from the alga.

The zostera is an useful plant to the zoologist,
for it grows in great numbers, or rather in
great fields, affording pasture to innumerable
living beings, which he captures in his net or




t.6 VANS.




PRESERVATION OF SPECIMENS. 71

dredge. It will live well enough in an aqua-
rium, and gives a decided character to that
portion of the tank in which it is placed. Again,
when dried, it is largely manufactured into bed-
stuffing, under the name of Alva, and is used
instead of hay or straw for packing glass, china,
and other fragile wares. On many coasts this
plant is known by the name of Grass-wrack,
and is cast up in great quantities on the shore,
where it soon turns black, rots, and presents &
very unsightly aspect.

If the naturalist wishes to dry and preserve the
alge which he finds, he may generally do 80
without much difficulty, although some plants
give much more trouble than others. It is neces-
sary that they should be well washed in fresh
water, in order to get rid of the salt, which
being deliquescent, would attract the moisture
on a damp day, or in a damp situation, and soon
ruin the entire collection. When they are
thoroughly washed the finest specimens should
be separated from the rest, and placed in a wide
shallow vessel, filled with clean fresh water.
Portions of white card, cut to the requisite size,
should then be slipped under the specimens,
which can be readily arranged as they float over
the immersed card. The fingers alone ought to
72 PRESERVATION OF SPECIMENS.

answer every purpose, but a camel's-hair brush
and a needle will often be useful. When the
specimen is properly arranged, the card is lifted
from the water, carrying upon it the piece of sea-
weed.

There is little difficulty in getting the plants
to adhere to the paper, as most of the algw are
furnished with a gelatinous substance, which
acts like glue, and fixes them firmly down.
Where they do not readily adhere, the use of
hot water will generally compel them to do so ;
and if they still remain obstinate, the gelatine
obtained by boiling the carrageen (Chondrus
crispus)—see p. 39—will be an unfailing remedy.
This is a much better cement than animal glue,
or even gum-water, as it approaches nearer to
the natural glue of the plant. Furcellaria fasti-
giata, Cladophora arcta, and others, are not easily
affixed to the paper, and will often require the
aid of some adventitious substance.

This sketch of the British marine alge is neces-
sarily very imperfect; but even as it is, they
have occupied rather more than their proper
share of paper. Still, there are sufficient dif-
ferent genera here mentioned to prevent the
inexperienced marine botanist from erring very
widely, and the specimens chosen have been

ft LENT ee
PRESERVATION OF SPECIMENS. 73

selected for two reasons; the one being that they
may be found on almost every coast; and the
other, that they form a series of landmarks, by
means of which the observer can be directed in
the right course.



PT
74

CHAPTER V.
EGGS OF MARINE ANIMALS—OCUTTLES AND THEIR HABITS,

Ir is impossible to walk on the sea-shore
without being struck by the strangely-shaped
objects that are cast up by the waves, and left
high and dry until swept away by the next tide,
which in its turn brings new and varied forms ;
and these objects are continually changing accord-
ing to the season of the year. Oze week may
pass, and the observer will see nothing on the
sand with which he is not thoroughly acquainted ;
and in the course of the next week new and
grotesque objects will be found profusely scat-
tered at his feet. Some of these objects are
purely natural, and their presence is occasioned
by the development of nature, while others are
but a mixture of the natural and artificial.

For example, when green peas come into
general use, the empty pods are thrown into
the sea, and are after a space washed up by the
waves, having been so chemically acted upon by
the salt water, so abraded by sand and pebbles,

eee Ree
PSHUDO-OURIOSITIES. 75
and so nibbled by various marine animals, that
they can hardly be recognised even by the very
persons who have consumed the peas that were
once enshrined in these metamorphosed husks.
Nut-shells, gooseberry husks, currant stalks, cherry
stones, and many similar objects, assume, after
a temporary sojourn in the ocean, very singular
forms, and may easily deceive an unaccustomed
eye, especially as they often resemble vegetable
and animal remains that properly belong to the
sea, I mention this, because I have seen many
instances of such deception.

Only a year or two ago, I commissioned a
friend to procure for me any marine curiosities
that could be found, and to forward them when
a sufficient quantity had been amassed. In due
time the parcel arrived, having a pleasant marine
smell about it, and on being opened, was found
to contain some very curious objects. Among
them was one on which the collector especially
prided himself, and in chase of which he had
bravely waded into the sea and undergone a
complete wetting. It was apparently a kind of
sponge, about eight inches in length, of a light
brownish yellow colour, and hollow at one end, as
are most sponges. But, on a nearer examination,
this sponge proved to bea cabbage-stalk, of which


i Ree at

ay
ty

76 rags,

only the fibrous portion remained, and which
had probably been tossing about for many months
in the sea; sometimes soaked by the waters,
sometimes lying on a rock and bleaching in the
sun, until the next high-tide carried it back
again; and at other times entangled among heavy
sea-weeds, and anchored by them under water.
I still preserve it as an example of marine
curiosities.

It is quite necessary, therefore, to exercise
much cautién in selecting objects. The surest
mode of obtaining success is to gather indiscri-
minately everything that presents itself, and
having conveyed the cargo to a place of shelter,
deliberately to examine the heap. By so doing,
the valuable objects will be retained, and the
useless rejected, without so much danger of
passing over the one or preserving the other, as
if the choice were made immediately. After a
time, the eye will become so accustomed to note
distinguishing characters, that such a process will
be no longer required, and the eye will make its
selection at once.

‘Among the singularly shaped substances that
are found thrown on the sands, are the eggs
of various marine creatures. . Many of these eggs
are so curiously formed, that they would hardly
ra ae ee ee ¥ rm aE SER eS ee PNR eee TAP Oe ae Pie ad
. : 4 BS . Re or ae eae
“

EGGS OF WHELK. 77

be recognised as such by one who was not
acquainted with the animals to which they
belonged. Very many eggs are found on the
shores; but as most of them may be referred
to one out of four or five classes of animals,
I will only mention those that are, as it were,
the general types.

Plate # is specially dedicated to eggs, and, as
will be seen on referring to the plate, some of
them have anything but an egg-like aspect. The
commonest of all the eggs, masses of which are
to be found at almost all seasons of the year, are
those of the common whelk, the shell of which is
represented on p. 22, and its eggs on. plate #,
fig. 3. The egg mass from which the drawing
was made, is now before me. It contains many
eggs as yet unhatched, many which are addled,
and some which have already discharged their
inhabitants. It was taken out of the sea at the
very beginning of April, but if it had been per-
mitted to remain in its habitation until the
summer, all the egg-sacs would have been found
empty. I am keeping it in the aquarium in faint
hopes that some of the young whelks will be
hatched; but it is very doubtful whether the
surrounding conditions are sufficiently favour-
able, The enormous size of some of these egg-


78 ' -B@GS OF PURPURA.

clusters is remarkable; for the whelk itself is
by no means a large shell, and so it often
happens that those persons who are practically
acquainted with the whelk, but not with the eggs,
entirely refuse to believe that there is any con-
nexion between objects so dissimilar. The empty
egg-cluster bears some resemblance to a rather
dingy honey-comb, partially squeezed between
the hands. But when the membranous egg-sacs

* contain their living inhabitants, the animal

nature is evident from the presence of the young
whelks, whose forms can be plainly seen through
the semi-transparent substance that envelopes
them until they are sufficiently strong to lead
an independent life.

A description of the purpura has already been
given on p. 24, and it will be seen that this
creature is interesting, not only on account of
the beautiful dye which it contains, but also for
the singular shape of its eggs, a cluster of which
is represented in plate u, fig. 2. Sometimes these
curious eggs are found affixed to little stones,
and, indeed, when first deposited, some of them
seem always to be thus anchored as it were, and
to afford support to the others, who stand on
each other’s shoulders, something like the human

pyramid that is occasionally formed at Astley’s




and similar establishments. The cluster from
which this sketch was made I found lying
among the rocks, and put it carefully away. But
in the course of travel, the box in which it was
placed gave way, and my poor little egg-cluster
was thrown among a large boxful of shells.
There it rested for some seven or eight months,
and when discovered was dry, shrivelled, and
hardly to be recognised. But, when placed in hot
water, it absorbed the liquid as if it had been
composed of blotting paper, and in two minutes
had completely resumed its natural aspect.

Often may be found, lying on the shore, masses
of dark soft substances, not unlike purple grapes,
both in size and in shape. If you ask a fisherman
the name of them, he will tell you that they are
sea-grapes, but for any further information you
may usually ask in vain. Indeed, as a general
fact, those who live on the sea-shore are hope-
lessly ignorant of its treasures. I knew a person
of intellect, education, and ordinary observing
powers, who had resided within a stone’s throw
of the sea for a period of thirty years, who had
been accustomed to walk on the sands almost
daily, and yet had never in his life seen, and
hardly ever heard of, a common sea anemone,
although the shores were studded with them as


the sky with stars. And one of those strange
amphibious humanities, who get their living by
collecting shells, curious pebbles, sea-weed,
zoophytes, and other saleable curiosities, per-
sisted in declaring that the hermit crab was the
young of the common edible crab, and that when
it grew old enough, and was too large for its
shell, it abandoned the useless adjunct, and com-
menced another course of life.

But to return to our sea-grapes, of which a
sketch may be seen on plate u. fig. 5. These are
the eggs of a cuttle-fish, and curious eggs they
are. Each is produced into a flexible stalk, by
means of which the mass is held together, and
affixed to any convenient object. The egg-cluster
from which the sketch was taken was one of four
or five which I preserved at different times, in
order to watch their progress. Here and there,
among the dark mass of eggs, appeared one
nearly white, and semi-transparent, through
whose delicate walls might be seen the little cut-
tle within, very lively and seemingly anxious for
his emancipation. At the bottom of the egg-
cluster may be seen one of the young creatures
escaping from the prison that had confined him,
and, as will be seen, the young cuttle is rather a
comical-looking little animal.


I was much amused with the perfect self-
possession of the first that was hatched in my
presence. It had not been free from the egg-shell
for one minute before it began a leisurely tour
of the vessel in which it first saw the light, ex-
amining it on all sides, as if to find out what



kind of a place the world was, after all. It then
rose and sank many times in succession over
different spots, and after balancing itself for a
moment or two over one especial patch of sand,
blew out a round hole in the sand, into which it
lowered itself, and there lay quite at its ease. It
executed this movement with as much address,
as if it had practised the art for twenty years.
@
“at Rwy Ves 7 , | a "7 a, PO age ee ay ah tht v

82 OUTTLE,

The mode by which the creature forms this
little burrow is sufficiently curious. Its siphon
is a slightly projecting tube, and by bending this
towards the spot selected, and then forcibly
ejecting a column of water, the sand is displaced
apparently by magic. This siphon is also useful
as a means of progression; and, in one of the
cephalopods, as these creatures are called, because
their feet are situated on their head, has not only
cast out water, but also the mistaken notions
with which careless observers had obscured its
history.

Some cephalopods have bodies soft and naked,
while others are protected by a shell secreted by
themselves. Among these shelly cuttle-fish is
the well-known nautilus, who was once said to
row himself over the sea with his legs, and to
stretch out his wing-like arms as sails to catch
the breeze, But it is now known that these sails
are kept closely wrapped round the shell, which,
indeed, they secrete originally, and can mend
if injured, while the legs are suffered to trail
loosely. Successive jets of water are then ejected
from the siphon, by which the creature is driven
in a contrary direction. By this water-power the
nautilus is urged through the waves, but when it
wishes to move about on the bottom of the sea,


SUCKERS, 83.

it just crawls exactly as a large spider might be
supposed to do.

On the arms, legs, feet, or tentacles of the
cuttles, are arranged rows of suckers, which are
capable of taking a very firm hold of any object
to which they are applied, aided in some species
by sharp hooks. If any one of these suckers is
examined, it will be found to be the living type
of the air-pump, an exhausting syringe that was
in full operation thousands of ages before man
worked in metals, and more perfect than the
best air-pump ever made. For there are extant
many specimens of fossil cuttle-fish, the relics of
one of which, by the way, are familiar to most
people by the title of “thunderbolts”— long
cylindrical bodies, composed of calcareous spar,
pointed at one end, and slightly hollowed at the
other, not unlike an elongated Minié bullet, and
which, when cut or broken across, display a
radiated structure.

If an arm of a cuttle be taken, and any one
sucker examined, it will be seen to consist of
a thick muscular membranous cup, having a
cavity at the bottom, something like the chamber
at the bottom of a mortar. The sucker should
now be divided longitudinally, and then at the
end of this “chamber” will be seen a soft

@2


84 CUTTLE-BONE.

muscular piston, exactly fitting the cavity. Now,
if the circumference of the sucker be closely
pressed against any substance of sufficient size
and consistency, and the piston withdrawn, a
vacuum is at once created, and powerful adhesion
takes place. As, on an average, each cuttle is

* furnished with nine hundred suckers, the force of

its hold may be imagined.

There is a substance that is often to be picked
up on the shore, and oftener to be purchased at
the perfumer’s shops, known by the name of
cuttle-bone, and when reduced to powder, used
for various purposes. This so-called cuttle-bone
is not bone at all, but a very wonderful structure,
consisting almost entirely of pure chalk, and
having been at one time embedded loosely in the
substance of some departed individual of the
species called Sepia officinalis. The “bone” is
enclosed within a membranous sac within the
body of the cuttle, by which sac it is secreted,
and with which it has no other connexion, drop-
ping out when the animal is opened. On taking
one of these objects into the hand, its extreme
lightness is very evident, and if it be cut across
and examined through a lens, the cause of the
lightness will be perceived. The plate is not
solid, but is formed of a succession of excessively




thin lamine or floors of chalk, each connected
with each by myriads of the tiniest imaginable
chalky pillars. When the cuttle is living, this
structure runs through the entire length of the
abdomen, being of equal length with it, and
occupying about one-third of its breadth, In
the Calamary the analogue of this object is of a
horny consistence, semi-transparent, something
resembling in shape the head of a spear, or the
feather of a large pen, from which latter resem-
blance it is sometimes called the Sea-pen.

The well-known colour, sepia, is or ought to be
manufactured from a black liquid, which is pos-
sessed by most of these creatures, and which
can be ejected at will, probably with the view
of darkening the water, and so temporarily
baffling their enemies, of whom they have many,
even including their own species, And it can
also be employed while the animal is out of
the water, as was once rather amusingly ex-
emplified.

There was an officer employed, as I hope my”
readers have been and often will be occupied, in
searching the coast for objects of marine natural
history. After a while he came unexpectedly
on a cuttle, who had taken up his abode in a
convenient recess. The cuttle has a pair of very
ily)

has

7


86 FLYING SQUID.

prominent eyes, and for a short time the cuttle
looked at the officer, and the officer at the cuttle.
Presently, the cuttle became uneasy, and taking
a good aim at his military visitor, shot his charge
of black ink with so true a range, that a pair of
snowy white trowsers were covered with the sable
fluid, and rendered entirely unpresentable. Even
in many of the fossil cuttles this ink has been
discovered dry and hard in its proper place
within the creature. This most ancient substance
has been removed, and ground down like very
hard paint, and has been found to produce so
beautiful a sepia tint, that an artist to whom it
was shown inquired the name of the colourman
who prepared it. And, in order to prove the
character of the colour, a drawing of the fossil
animal was made, and a description of it written,
with its own ink.

Some of the Cephalopods are gifted with great
powers of locomotion, and of those so gifted the
Flying Squid is a good example. One of these

* creatures has been known to spring from the sea
clear over the bulwarks of a ship and to fall on
the deck, where it was captured. This specimen
was six inches in length, and its habitation was
the Pacific Ocean, lat. 34 N.

The eye of the cuttle is a most singular organ,




EYE OF OUTTLE. 87

its anatomy having long perplexed the dissectors,
who could not conceive by what means the
creature could see at all. It would be impossible «
here to’ de&cribe this beautiful structure, and
therefore I will content myself with observing
that the celebrated Coddington Lens is merely a
reproduction, though unwittingly so, of the lens
belonging to the cuttle’s eye. So here we have
a pair of achromatic lenses and a series of air-
pumps, contained in the structure of one creature
belonging to the lower orders of the animal
kingdom. Many other analogies exist, but space
suffices not for them here.

The eggs of many fish are small and globular,
being generally known under the name of spawn.
The “hard-roe” of a herring furnishes a good
type of this class of eggs. These, however, are
the eggs of fish that are destined to be produced
in countless myriads, and to serve as food for
the other inhabitants of the deep, as well as for
man. Uncounted thousands of these eggs perish
before their maturity, being devoured by other
fish which watch for them; and even when the
young fry are born, comparatively few of them
escape destruction. In order to compensate for
such a loss of animal, the number of eggs is pro-
portionably increased ; one single cod-fish having


been known to cast forth into the waves, in one
single season, nine millions of eggs—equalling
eight times the population of London.

But the destroying fish are not multiplied to
such an extent, or the ocean would for a season
teem with battles, and after a time be utterly



THE COD-FISH.

depopulated. The eggs of such a creature as
a shark, for example, are singly committed to
the ocean; and in order to prevent them from
being carried about at the mercy of the waves,
or thrown to perish on the shore, they are of a


most singular form. An egg of one of our British
sharks, the Common Dog-fish, is represented on
plate 4, fig. 4.

The egg is of a softish, horn-like consistency,
so that it is not liable to be broken, or easily to
be penetrated. The general shape of the egg
has been aptly compared to a pillow-case, with
strings tied to the corners; the enclosed pillow
being the young shark. The long, curling,
tendrilous appendages speedily affix themselves
to sea-weeds, or other appropriate substances, and
from their form and consistence anchor the egg



firmly. In order to enable the little shark to
breathe, there is an aperture at each end of the
shell, through which the water passes in sufficient
quantity to renovate the blood, And in order to
permit the enclosed fish to make its escape when
sufficiently developed, the end of the egg nearest


90 MERMAID'S PURSES.

to the shark’s head is formed so as to open by
the slightest pressure from within. After the
newly-born shark has left the egg-shell, there is
no perceptible external change in its shape, for
the sides are elastic, and immediately close up as
before.

These eggs are popularly known by the poetical
title of Mermaid’s Purses—alas, empty!

There is another and more common Mermaid’s
Purse, that is found of various sizes and of
various tints, although it is usually of a very
dark brown, closely approximating to black, and
in length from three to five inches. It will be
at once recognised by the figure on plate H fig. 1.

This egg is the production of one of the skates,
and harmonises well with the strange, weird-like
aspect of the creature from which it was pro-
duced. The accompanying figure represents the
Thornback Skate (Raia clavata), a species that
often attains a very great size, measuring some
ten or eleven feet in length, and very nearly as
much in breadth. From the four short arms
with which these eggs are furnished, they are
thought to bear some resemblance to hand-
barrows; and if a fisherman is asked the name
of the object, he will generally call it “Skate-
barrer.” If the egg is picked up in the early
SKATE-BARROWS. 91

part of the year, it will usually be found to
contain the young animal—not a very prepos
sessing creature—as may be seen by reference
to the engraving, where a portion of the egg is
represented as removed. Perhaps the reader may



remember Hogarth’s “Gate of Calais,” where a
fisherwoman has upon her knees a huge skate,
into whose countenance the painter has wickedly
infused an expression precisely like that of the
weather-beaten, withered old dame who holds it.

I was once talking about these eggs to some
fishermen, who told me that in the spring they
aN
‘

92 SKATES’ EGGS EDIBLE.

often found these eggs before the young were
hatched, and were accustomed to boil and eat
them just as hens’ eggs are eaten. Whether to
believe them or not I could not make up my
mind, for fishermen are wonderfully loose in
their details, However, as they gave me the
information, I present it to the reader, and leave
it to his own discretion to judge, or haply to his
own energy to prove or disprove by actual ex-
periment. I trust the latter.

In the summer months the eggs are invariably
empty, or only filled with sand, little pebbles,
and other shore débris; so that, unless the ex-
periment can be tried in the earlier portions of
the year, it cannot be made at all,
93

CHAPTER VI.
SEA ANEMONES AND OTHER ZOOPHYTES.

Tuere is a singular class of animals, called
by the scientific name of Anthozoa, or living-
flowers, because their formation and external
appearance seem to partake much of the vege-
tative nature. Among the most conspicuous of
the Anthozoa, are the creatures called Sea-
Anemones, although they are not in the least
like anemones, but do bear a very decided resem-
blance to China-asters, daisies, or dahlias. Very
many species of these curious beings may be
found on various portions of the British coasts,
especially those which lie quite to the south;
some of these creatures are only to be found in
certain localities, but there are two species which
are to be found on every coast where there is the
best shelter. These two species I shall describe.

On plate n, figs. 4 and 5, is represented the
commonest of the Sea-Anemones, or Actinias,
as they ought to be called; one figure showing
the animal as it appears when covered with water


BR PP elt RY SRC TT

94 SMOOTH ANEMONE.

and all its tentacles expanded in search of prey ;
and the other, as it appears when closed, and
at rest. I regret to say that it has an exceed-
ingly long title, and one which takes some time
to say as well as to write, “Actinia mesembryan-
themum,” and which is generally curtailed in
conversation or notes to “Mes,” just as Mephis-
topheles was contracted to Mesty, by Mr. Easy,
junior. Its popular name is the Smooth Ane-
mone, it being so called from the smooth and
slippery surface of its skin. When I say the
“popular” name, I must be understood to mean
the name popular among naturalists ; for as to
the people who live in close vicinity to it, they
have no name for it at all. Very often, the
fisherman has never seen such a thing as an
actinia, or if he has been sufficiently observant
to note it, he has no name by which he could
describe it to another fisherman. Now, indeed,
that so many enthusiasts crowd the sea-shores in
their search after these actinis, and press fisher-
men into their service, a little knowledge on the
subject is being gradually diffused ; but some six
or seven years ago, no one troubled himself about
creatures which he did not catch with a net or
line, and which he could not take to market.
The Smooth Anemone is generally the first
nee are: Ve en, BAe a DA pany soe Ee A ee Rk
" At ee uy

that meets an observer's eye. As he wanders
about among the rocks and stones that are left
dry by the receding tide, he will see on many of
them certain little lumps of green or red jelly,
varying in size from a pea to a plum. On touching
them, they do not feel soft, like jelly, but are
very smooth, slippery, and much firmer in con-
sistence than would be imagined from their aspect.
In this state, some of them are entirely green or
ved, but the greater part are marked longi-
tudinally with lines of different colours according
to the variety. For there is but one species of
“Mes,” although the variety of colour pass
through several tints of green and red.

If they are to be examined, they can be
detached without injury, by slipping the thumb-
nail or an ivory paper-knife under the base, and
so gradually peeling them away from the support.
Great care must be taken of the sucking-base
by which the animal affixes itself, for a wounded
base often causes death ; and if the anemone has
any nerves at all, as is but natural to suppose,
their situation is on the base. Still, the process
of peeling occupies some time, and if the tide is
coming in, every minute is of importance. In
this case, they can be removed instantaneously,
by a judiciously aimed blow with the sharp end


96 AMPHIBIOUS LIFE OF THE ANEMONE,

of the geological hammer, so that the portion of
rock on which the animal is fixed is detached:
by the stroke, In this way a cargo may be col-
lected in a very short time. They are generally
found in colonies, consisting of five or six up to
twenty or thirty in number; but now and then
a giant may be found by himself or herself—for
with them it is all the same thing—living in
solitary state.

The smooth anemone seems to lead almost an
amphibious life, for numbers of them are found
affixed to stones and rocks in such situations,
that they spend rather more time out of the water
than in it. So that the rock is tolerably shady,
the creature seems to be perfectly satisfied; but
there are some hardy individuals who expose
themselves to the full blaze of the sun. Even
when they cannot be seen, owing to failing light,
or rising tide, the touch will easily detect them,
although in the latter case there is a slight
chance of getting the finger nipped by a bad-
tempered crab. I once filled a small basket with
these creatures in a quarter of an hour or 50,
although the tide was driving me gradually to
the shore, and there was not sufficient light to
distinguish the hands of a watch.

The chief beauties of this, or indeed of any


ere ror —ns * . | ig ts

ANATOMY OF AOTINIA. 97

other of its relatives, cannot be seen until it is
removed from the sea, and placed in a vessel
where it can be subjected to light and exposed
to close examination. While it remains in its
native rock-basin, or adheres to its opaque sup-
port, the light cannot shine through the creature,
and its base, one of the most remarkable features
of its structure, is concealed by the stone on
which it rests. If, then, the observer wishes to
examine the anemone more closely, he may
easily do so by acting as follows :—

Let him procure any glass jar—a large one is
not at all requisite—and having chipped off a
morsel of stone on which is growing a frond of
ulva or porphyra, place it conveniently in the
jar, and fill up with sea-water. After an hour
or two, the sea-weed will be studded with tiny
air-bells; and when that is the case the water is
fit for the reception of the anemones, of which
there should be only one or two. If the anemones
are merely dropped into the water, they will sink
to the bottom, and after a little while begin to
crawl up the sides of the jar. Now is the time
for examination, and with a lens of moderate
power much of the structure may be made out.

Perhaps the “Mes” is the least attractive of
all the anemones, but yet it possesses some ex-

H




EL LUVAUS, Me

L,
98 ANATOMY OF AOCTINIA,

tremely beautiful features which are peculiar to
itself. When the creature is fully expanded, a
row of little globules will be seen round the
edge, among the tentacles, They are usually
about the size of a No. 5 shot, and are blue and
bright as turquoise, to which jewel they bear
Some resemblance. Indeed, if there is any dis-
tinction between the two, the animal turquoise
is more beautiful than the mineral,

If a dissection is contemplated (and it will well
repay the trouble), the creature can be killed
by placing it in fresh water. Its anatomical
structure is very remarkable, and even the
muscular structure, that enables the creature to
expand or contract at pleasure, is worthy of
observation on its own account, independently
of the fact that the presence of muscle is a
proof that there must be nerves by which the
muscles are excited, Although the details are
complicated enough, yet the general notion of the
creature is sufficiently simple, and may be readily
imitated. Let a linen bag be made, and the
mouth of it sewn up. Then let the closed
mouth be pushed inwards, until the bag assumes
the form of a cup with double walls, and it is
the type of an actinia; the outer wall being
the exterior of tho animal, and the inner its


vee ee ae

erRaNcs HABITATION, 99

stomach. The tentacles are hollow, and com-
municate with the space between the walls. This
space is always filled with water, and by the
contraction of the walls water is driven into the
tentacles, and so expands them.

This is a capital species for an aquarium, as
it will bear travelling, and is very hardy,
enduring extremes of heat and cold bravely, but
perishing immediately in pure fresh water. A
rather remarkable circumstance connected with
these creatures occurred some little time ago.
A gentleman had brought some of them to town
with him, and had been examining them in
company with a friend. After the examination
supper was brought by an unsophisticated servant,
and removed by the same individual. While
the table was being cleared the servant asked
what was to be done with the anemones, and
was told to put them carefully away in a jug.
Now the only jug at that time on the table was
a jug containing porter, and into that jug the
anemones were severally dropped. About a
fortnight afterwards, the anemones were again
called into requisition, and the jug demanded.
Great was the astonishment of their owner to see
the porter-jug produced, and still greater when
he found the creatures were still living. They

H2
ae i

100 MIGRATORY HABITS,

have also been known to live in soapsuds for a
_ Considerable time.

If specimens are gathered for an aquarium,
they should be chosen of a moderate size, for
the larger actinise require a considerable bulk of
water. They are in general very migratory in
their character, marching at their own sweet
wills over the sides of the vessel in which they
are confined, and now and then paying a visit
to the rocks, stones, and shells in its centre.
Sometimes they will attach themselves to a frond
of ulva, whose broad leaf affords a good hold for
their base; and there they will stay for weeks,
Sometimes they will not take the trouble of
crawling down the sides, and then over the
bottom, but turn themselves into boats by
hollowing the base, and thus floating with the
base upwards, until they think fit to contract
themselves, and to sink. They generally remain
for some time partially supported by one edge
of the base against the side of the vase, but after
a while they commit themselves freely to the
water. Fresh-water snails may be seen floating
in a similar manner,

The base of the actinia, by which it moves,
and of which it is so careful, is a very pretty
object: when seen pressed against the glass side of
FOOD OF ANEMONE. 101

a tank, and the light shining through its sub-
stance, showing the dark-green lines that radiate
from the centre, and are so well contrasted with
the azure gems that surround the disc. The
mode by which the anemone travels is simple
enough; it pushes forward one portion of the
base, and, having fixed it firmly, draws the re-
maining portion after it.

There is a delicate gelatinous membrane that
covers the entire animal, and which it frequently
throws off. After an actinia has been sojourning
in one spot for some time, and then moves away,
it generally leaves a cast coat behind, as if to
mark the exact locality of its habitation. Some-
times the creature appears to find a difficulty in
getting rid of this membrane, which generally
adheres strongly to the mouth. In such a case it
is useful to assist nature, and a camel’s-hair
brush will generally give great aid to the actinia ;
who, in gratitude for help, expands itself im-
mediately on being freed. Numbers of their cast
membranes will be soon found in the aquarium,
and should be removed.

If these creatures are kept merely for their
beauty, they should be treated as greyhounds are
treated ; that is, kept almost entirely without
food. They will live very well for many months


102 MODE OF EATING,

without requiring food, but when it comes within
their reach, they can devour and digest unlimited
quantities, Perhaps the best plan is to give them
@ very tiny portion, which they eat, and which
only stimulates them to protrude their hungry
arms in the hope of getting more. Whenever
I fed my own specimens, I generally gave them
small pieces of beef, which they swallowed, and
after a few days rejected, having extracted all
the nourishment, and only left a white fibrous
mass.

They were also very fond of flies, and ate
many of them. Once a great bluebottle fly
came buzzing into the room, and made such a
disturbance that I immolated him, and gave
him to the largest and hungriest anemone. About
three or four days afterwards I saw the bluebottle
floating on the surface of the water. On lifting
it out of the tank it fell to pieces, being in fact
the mere shell of the fly; all the interior having
been, by some mysterious process, extracted: in
the stomach of the anemone, It is amusing
enough to see the way in which an actinia eats,
If a fly or a piece of meat be presented to its
tentacles, it is instantly seized by them, and
drawn to the mouth, the tentacle closing upon
it on all sides. The animal then literally tucks



é
}
a
‘ ,
j
. ’
.
s
7
jf




mie anin lala
in the morsel, and with it all the tentacles and

the upper portions of its body, until they reach
the stomach. Digestion then goes on very quietly,
the presence of its own arms in its stomach being
of no consequence at all to the animal; and in
due time it untucks itself, and tosses away the
indigestible portions of its food.

The “mes” multiplies readily ina tank. At
the beginning of last September I had fifteen
specimens in the aquarium, and by February
in the present year there were between forty
and fifty, many of them very minute, and very
transparent. Indeed, scarcely a day passed with-
out the discovery of a nursery full of little pink
or green actinis, contained in an empty shell, or
studding the surface of a shady pebble. Funny
little things they are, and have a most conse-
quential look as they spread out their tiny ten-
tacles in search of food.

When the “mes” is caught for the purpose
of stocking an aquarium, it will travel well if
wrapped in wet sea-weed. If care is taken, the
+ ulve, or enteromorphe, that are used for this
purpose, can be transplanted into the tank, and
so two objects secured at once. The best plan
is to put some wet green algw at the bottom of
a basket, and then to lay on them the anemones,



104 THIOK-HORNED ANEMONE,

each wrapped in wet Sea-grass ; over them another
layer of green alge should be placed, and so will
they be quite comfortable,

The second species of Sea Anemone which I
shall describe is, in my opinion, the most magni-
ficent of the family, whether size or colour be
the criterion. It is possessed of a scientific name
hardly inferior in length to that of the smooth
anemone, being called by the learned, Bunodes
crassicornis. It is much too long a title for
every-day use, and so it is contracted into
“Crass.” A portrait of a half-expanded crass
may be seen on plate z, fig. 9.

This creature does not bear exposure to air and
heat so well as the smooth anemone, and must be
sought for in the shallows at low water. Some-
times at spring-tide a solitary specimen is seen,
high, dry, and discontented ; but such is an ex.
ception; usually it may be found just beyond
ordinary low water-mark, expanding its gorgeous
tentacles, and waiting for the numerous crus-
taceans or fish that are always left in the tide-
pools.

The colours of this animal are very varied,
hardly any two specimens being found of exactly
the same tint, and the magnitude of its fully

- expanded disc is nearly equal to that of the crown


,

VORACITY OF THE “ ORASS.” 105°

of an ordinary hat. Some of them are scarlet,
some pink, some lilac, some delicate grey, some
of an olive-green, and all so delicately transparent
that no colour can faithfully represent their
beauty. On referring to the engraving, the reader
will see that the base of each tentacle is sur-
rounded with a pear-shaped, dark line. It is on
this line that the depth of colour is chiefly
lavished, the tentacle itself being always much
fainter in tint, and as transparent as if formed
from gelatine. The tentacles are very thick in
proportion to their length, and it is from that
peculiarity that the creature derives its name of
“ crassicornis,” signifying “thick-horned.”

The voracity of these animals is quite sur-
prising. I have often amused myself by watching
them in their native haunts, and experimenting
upon their powers of digestion. One single “crass,”
measuring barely three inches in diameter, re-
quired two crabs, each the size of a penny-piece,
and a large limpet, before it ceased to beg with
extended arms.

It is evident by the fact of the ‘abbas that
the crass must possess great powers of grasp,
or it could never hold, retain, drag to its mouth,
and finally devour, a creature of such strength as
a crab of the size above-mentioned. Such a crab


wee ore a

106 THREAD-CAPSULEs.

struggles with great violence, and requires a very
firm grasp of the human hand to prevent it from
making its escape. And yet the anemone, whose
entire body is not larger than the closed hand,
and whose substance ig quite soft, can seize and
retain the crab, if it is unfortunate enough even
to thrust one of its legs within reach of the
tentacles, There must, therefore, be some strange
power by which this object is achieved; and the
mode by which it is accomplished I now proceed
to describe,

It has been long known that many water-
inhabiting animals, of a class so low as to be
scarcely more than water animated, can throw
out long fishing-lines, of a substance so delicate
as only to be descried by the sparkle of light
upon them as they float about in the water, and
that when these delicate lines even touch a little
fish or crustacean, some power destroys that fish
as effectually as if it had been struck by lightning,
But this is not the mode of attack with the ane-
mone, which resorts to means purely mechanical,

If the finger is brought into contact with the
outspread tentacles of a healthy anemone, it will
adhere to them with a peculiar, almost indescrib-
able sensation. It is not in the least the adhesion
of gum, glue, or any such substance, but bears
*PHREAD-CAPSULES. 107

some resemblance to that which is felt when the
finger is thrust into the mouth of the common
ringed snake, or of several fish. The mode of
adhesion is only to be discovered by the aid of
a tolerably powerful microscope, and when dis-
covered is found to be equal in beauty to any
structure that is yet known.

Scattered at intervals over various portions
of the body, and especially crowded on the ten-
tacles, are found tiny organs that are called by
the name of thread-capsules. These are little
oval vesicles, imbedded in the substance of the
anemone, and containing within them a long
delicate thread, closely coiled, in forms varying
according to the description of capsule. The
extreme tenacity of the thread may be imagined
from the fact that the largest capsules are not
more than the three-hundredth of an inch in
length, and that within so small a compass the
thread is coiled like a watch-spring in the barrel.
Indeed, the simile of a watch-spring will nearly
express the object, for the thread is so strong, in
spite of its tenuity, that it has aptly been com-
pared to the hair-spring of a watch. When the
tentacles are irritated or compressed, myriads of
these capsules start forward, become everted, and
shoot forth their tiny spears. The length and
i en eee ey

108 . RAPID OHANGE OF FORM,

shape of these wonderful filaments are very
various, some being of a very great length, and
80 fine that ® microscope of high power can
hardly distinguish them 3 While others are only
two or three times the length of the capsule that
contained them, and covered with an armature of
short hairs even more minute than themselves,
It is easy enough to see these singular organs,
even with the aid of a good hand-lens; but with
& microscope nothing more is required than to
cut off part of a tentacle, get it well in the field
of the microscope, and then apply pressure:
some of the capsules will dart forth their threads
almost immediately, but others will require
greater force before they will evert themselves,
The crass may often be passed by without
observation if it does not choose to display itself ;
for when closed nothing appears but a round
mass of sand and broken shells, about the size of
& penny-piece, and Projecting so slightly above
the sand that an inexperienced eye would see
nothing remarkable in it. This unpromising
aspect is assumed when the creature has had a
large dinner, or when it is alarmed. It is rather
curious to see how suddenly a magnificent speci-
men of living flower collapses into a shapeless,
and not at all pleasing knot of sand, stone, and
RAPID OHANGH OF FORM. 109

shell. The crass is a delicate animal to preserve,
for it seems to require a large body of pure water
for respiration, and if in the least injured does
not recover from the wound like the smooth
anemone. If it were as easily detached as the
“mes” there would be less difficulty in preserving
it; but it has an unpleasant habit of forming its
base into some six or seven lobes, attaching four
or five of them to separate stones or portions of
rock, and pushing the others into any crevices
that may be convenient.

Very seldom, indeed, are the fingers alone suffi-
cient to extricate the creature without injuring
the base, and unless that important part be pre-
served in its integrity the crass assumes various
wonderful shapes, and very soon dies. In such
a case it generally begins by puffing out several
striped lobes from its mouth, which project, and
soon assume so enormous a size that they quite
overshadow the tentacles, and render it a matter
of some small difficulty to ascertain clearly
whether the animal is not reversed. After it has
thus displayed its own temper, it proceeds to try
that of its possessor, by assuming various forms
with such rapidity, that to draw it with any
accuracy is quite out of the question. In the
morning it may present a splendid and regular
© PVANS Re



M
110 LIFE IN THE AQUARIUM.

diso of tentacles, expanded to their utmost, and
glowing with scarlet, pink, or lilac: just as a
rough sketch of the creature is taken, it half
withdraws the tentacles, and begins to puff out
the striped lobes or lips. Another sketch is now
taken of the crass, as it appears when in a
pouting humour; but there is no time for any
colouring, because the perverse animal now
begins to take in water to an alarming extent,
and soon succeeds in turning itself into an
animated hour-glass, hardly a vestige of tentacle
or pouting lips being visible. Even this form
does not seem to please it, and is speedily ex-
changed for another, which in its turn gives
place to a fifth, and so on ad infinitum,

In order to avoid the danger of tearing the
very sensitive base, I was in the habit of digging
out all the stones and pieces of rock to which
the crass had affixed itself, and permitting the
creature to free itself in the tank 3 & feat which
it generally soon accomplished, By taking these
precautions I succeeded in bringing a very large
and gorgeous specimen to town, and preserved
it alive and healthy for upwards of six weeks, in
one of the most crowded parts of the city. It
would probably have lived much longer, had
not the density of the water in which it resided
LIFE IN THE AQUARIUM. 111

been corrected too suddenly. The animal was
in a large vase of sea-water, which necessarily
presented a wide surface to the air; and so the
water rapidly evaporated, leaving all its salts
behind, and rendering the remaining water much
too dense. In the correction of this evil the fresh
water was added too rapidly, and inflicted on
the nervous system of my poor crass a shock
‘from which it never recovered.

In such a case the tentacles begin to droop,
they then lose their beautiful transparent colour-
ing, and become dull, opaque, flaccid, and exceed-
ingly small. Whenever the creature is in this
state it is not easily restored to health and
brilliancy.

This species does not travel in wet sea-weed
nearly so well as the smooth anemone, and besides,
pours out a vast amount of mucus, which makes
the whole of its neighbourhood exceedingly un-
pleasant. In order to transport it in perfection
it should be indulged with a jar of sea-water,
and have no travelling companions. Its tentacles
are so strong, and the animal is 80 voracious,
that it will frequently destroy any other creature
that happens to be placed in the same vessel.
The very specimen which I have described,
killed, during the few hours of its journey, a


eS ee



112 THE “ORASS” EDIBLE,

beautiful Asop prawn, on which I rather prided
myself, and a young gurnard. It did not eat
either of these creatures, but simply caught
them, and retained them until they were dead.
How they were killed I do not exactly know;
but it is suggested with some reason, that the
capsular threads convey with them a kind of
poison, that is effectual enough among the
smaller animals, but not sufficiently powerful to
affect human beings.

The coating of little stones and broken shell
has already been mentioned. These substances
are evidently chosen instinctively with a view to
concealment, and are fastened to the body by
little sucker-like protuberances, with which the
greater part of its surface is studded. If the
animal is used for culinary purposes, for which
it seems to be adapted as well as the oyster or the
periwinkle, this shelly coating must be removed 3
an operation which is easily enough effected by
the fingers, and not so tedious as plucking a
fowl. There is no difficulty in finding a suffi-
cient number to form a respectable dish, for
any one who knows where to search, and what to
see, may capture an unlimited supply in an hour
or 80.

I conclude this short history of the creature by


MADREPORE. 113

observing that the reader must not expect to find
the crass presenting precisely the appearance of
the specimen here depicted, for the whole of the
body is generally invisible when the creature is
offended, part being buried in the sand, and the
remainder overshadowed by the thick and close-
set tentacles. If, however, it is carefully re-
moved, and takes up its residence in a jar or
tank where there is no sand, it then assumes the
shape of the figure, at all events for a time; but
after a little experience of prison it changes its
shape so frequently that it almost realizes the
fable of Proteus, and his efforts in a similar
difficulty.

On plate 4, fig. 1, is a representation of another
British zoophyte, allied to the anemones, but yet
distinct from them. It is the Common Madrepore
(Caryophyllia Smithii), a member of that wondrous
family that produces the coral and similar sub-
stances.

When removed from the water, or even when
alarmed, the animal portion of the madrepore
suddenly shrinks, and little is visible save a series
of thin calcareous plates, standing on edge, and
radiating from a centre. But when the creature
has recovered its self-possession, and begins to
feel rather hungry, a beautiful semi-transparent

I


Fe aR ap ope Pee ae

Â¥

114 MADREPORS,

living substance emerges from the chalky plates,
and after a while puts forth a number of ten-
tacles, tinted with most delicate hues, and much
resembling those of the anemones, except that
each tentacle is terminated by a little globular
head. These tentacles, like those of the anemones,
are covered with filiferous capsules, and adhere
to the hand in much the same manner, though
not so strongly. This madrepore is voracious
enough in its own way, but does not seem to care
very much for food supplied artificially. I had
& specimen alive for some months, but could not
get it to eat any but the minutest portions of
meat, while it would have nothing to do with a
small fly; yet it was healthy, and almost con-
stantly protruded its transparent tentacles. The
proximate cause of its death appeared to be
attributable to a bad-tempered Daisy Anemone
(Actinia bellis), which lived in a cave like a
hermit, and did not approve of intrusion, I
am accustomed to stir the water daily, in order
to imitate as far as possible the natural stir of
the sea, and in s0 doing this madrepore was
washed into the cave where resided the daisy
anemone. Although it was speedily replaced in
its own little home, which had been specially
chiselled in the rock, it never properly recovered ;
ALOYONIUM. 115

and after leading a dull, inactive, colourless
existence for a week or two, fairly died, and left.
me nothing but its skeleton as & memorial.

The madrepore may be found adhering to, and
in fact almost forming part of, the rocks, requir-
ing the aid of a strong knife to detach it without
injury. The specimen represented in the en-
graving is rather larger than the general run, and
only exhibits the tips of the tentacles, and the
expanded membrane that edges the calcareous
plates. When the creature is dead, or alarmed,
the arrangement of these plates is plainly visible,
reminding the bystanders of a reversed mush-
room suddenly petrified.

There is acertain substance often found on the
shore, tough, soft, fleshy, and unprepossessing,
well deserving the popular name that is given
to it, namely “dead man’s fingers,” or “ dead
man’s toes,” as the case may be. For, just as
the smooth anemone when touched collapses into
a shapeless lump of green jelly; as the “ crass”
shrinks into the sand, an almost undistinguishable
and unrecognisable excrescence ; as the madrepore
retires within its own chalky walls, so does this
zoophyte withdraw all its beauties in the un-
congenial conditions of heat and drought, and
only present an exterior anything but agreeable

12


116 ALCYONIUM,

to sight or touch. The scientific name of this
zoophyte is Aleyonium digitatum, or the Finger-
shaped Alcyonium, and a representation of it
may be found in plate n, fig. 8, accompanied by
a magnified sketch of one polyp.

In this and other zoophytes, the qualities,
fraternity and equality, are exhibited in a manner
far superior to any republic, ancient or modern ;
but there is very little liberty in the case. In
these curious creatures communism prevails to
its fullest extent, one for all and all for one.
There is one body, so to speak, the polypidom as
it is called, and from this body protrude, under
favourable circumstances, innumerable polyps,
each one gathering its nutriment from the sur-
rounding water, and conveying that nutriment
not to its own body only, and for its own aggran-
disement, but into the general polypidom, afford-
ing to each of its thousand relatives a portion of
its own nourishment, and receiving from each of
them some modicum of their own.

When placed in clear sea-water, the alcyonium
soon begins to put forth a few crystalline
columnar polyps, each standing boldly out, and
bearing a mouth or head, composed of eight
radiating, slender, pointed petals, fringed with
delicate hairs. The internal anatomy of this
KOM IN ie eye

SERTULARIA—PLUMULABIA. 117

creature, or rather of this creature-mass, is very
interesting, and worth studying practically.

On plate 8, fig. 1, is shown an example of a
plant-like, compound animal, very common on
the coasts, either thrown on the shore dead or
dying, or affixed to large alge, near low water-
mark. This is the Sertularia, a beautiful family
of zoophytes, of which some sixteen or seventeen
species are found on our own coasts, The species
represented is perhaps the commonest .of all,
Sertularia filicula.

If one of these creatures is examined by the
aid of a moderately powerful lens, it will be seen
to consist of a horny, many-branched stem, each
branch being studded with a double row of little
cells, open at the mouth, which is much smaller
than the base. If the creature is placed in clear
sea-water, and still watched through the lens,
each cell will be seen to protrude a tiny polyp,
whose star-like head is all that is visible ex-
ternally. The polyps are easily alarmed, and
in such a case withdraw themselves wholly
within their cells. There is a very similar
noophyte called by the name of Plumularia,
which may, however, be easily distinguished
from Sertularia, by the position of the polyp
cells, which only occupy one side of the branches ;


118 OORYNE,

whereas those of Sertularia are to be found on
each side equally, sometimes in pairs, sometimes
alternately, according to the species. When
dried, both these creatures retain their chief
characteristics, and if any of the sea-weed land-
scapes be examined, both Plumularia and Sertu-
laria will generally be found among the alge.
They are delicate in constitution, and not easy
to keep in an aquarium, unless under singularly
favourable circumstances.

There is another pretty, plant -resembling
zoophyte, found plentifully enough near low
water-mark, but at a rather higher elevation
than the preceding. This is known among
zoologists as Coryne pusilla, and is chiefly re-
markable on account of the peculiarity from
which it derives its name. “Coryne” is a
Greek word, signifying a club, or knobbed
stick, or more properly a mace, such as the
steel-headed, spike-armed weapons with which
our gentle ancestors were in the habit of exciting
the brains of their adversaries,

The stalk of this zoophyte is about as thick as
ordinary sewing thread, and it clings to the sea-
weeds among which it resides as much as the
cotton in question would do. Even when seen
with the unassisted eye it is rather an elegant





om


A — atte - ry
Ss let
PEGE LL



OORYNE, 119

creature, but when a lens is brought to bear upon
it, sundry hidden beauties become obvious, and
among them that peculiar formation of the polyp
from which it has derived its name of Coryne.
Its club-shaped head is studded with numerous
tentacles, that are arranged in a manner some-
what similar to the steel spikes of the war mace.
Each of the tentacles is furnished with a globular
head, and if submitted to a higher power of the
microscope, appears covered with minute knobs,
at the extremity of each of which is a short
straight bristle. The stalk is merely a horny
tube, ringed in structure, and increasing in size
towards each polyp head, so as to allow room
for them to change their position. The move-
ments of these creatures are not very rapid, but
can be clearly seen. A magnified representation
of a single polyp head accompanies the figure of
the zoophyte.

We now come to one of the most remarkable
objects in the whole range of animated creation,
and which requires a microscope of some power
to develop. On plate z, fig. 7, may be seen a
kind of miniature tree ; this is the representation
of an elegant little zoophyte that is found plenti-
fully near low water-mark. It is small, seldom
‘exceeding two or three inches in height, and is
120 BIRD'S-HEAD ZOOPHYTE,

of a delicate and feathery texture. To the naked
eye there is nothing of any great importance in
this creature, but if a portion of a branch be
detached and brought under the field of a micro-
Scope, a very strange sight meets the eye. As is
the case in all these zoophytes, the branches are
studded with cells, in which live little polyps, at
one time expanding wide their feathery tentacles,
and at others sulkily gathering them up like an
unsuccessful fisherman gathering his net on his
arm. But to each of the cells is attached a most
singular appendage, precisely resembling the head
of a bird and one joint of its neck, by which it is
attached as a point to the cell, and on which it
works, There is certainly no eye in the head,
but there is a most decided beak, which opens
and shuts precisely like the beak of a bird, while
the entire head keeps up a continual nodding
backwards and forwards on its joint. If the
portion selected is tolerably healthy, it will con-
tain from ten to fifteen, or even more, of these
birds’-heads, bowing to each other in the most
oppressively polite style, and every now and then
shutting their beaks with a sharp snap.

By the side of the zoophyte itself is shown one
of the bird-head appendages, as it appears when
fastened to the cell. The object of these strange
BIRD’S-HEAD ZOOPHYTE. 121:

organs is not at all clearly ascertained, for they
seem to have but little connexion with the polyps
that inhabit the cells, and bow with as much
perseverance when the cell is empty as when it is
occupied by its living inhabitant. Many z00-
phytes possess the bird’s-head ; but as that species
which I have mentioned is perhaps the most
common, and is easily detected, it has been
admitted as the representative specimen. It
must be understood that when these creatures
are subjected to the action of a microscope, they
must be well supplied with water, or they will
die speedily. If the power is not very high,
the entire creature may be placed in a flat glass
cell, and slightly compressed against the side by
a glass plate. The microscope should then be set
horizontally, and will show the structures toler-
ably well. But if a higher power is requisite,
a portion must be removed, and placed in the
animalcule cage with which every good microscope
is furnished. A flat watch-glass, and a piece
of the thin microscopical glass used for covering
preparations, will make a good extemporised
animalcule cage, if the regular machine is not at
hand.

Among the other members of the animal —
kingdom that are popularly ranked as vegetables




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122 FLUSTRA.

are the Flustre, for an example of which see
plate x, fig. 2. These creatures do, indeed,
much resemble the leaf of some plant, and so
closely that uneducated people can hardly be
made to believe their animal origin. If, how-
ever, the fingers are passed over the surface of
the flustra, and especially if they are passed from
the point of the leaf towards the base, a peculiar
rough, harsh, and stony sensation will be per-
ceived, and this sensation is caused by the innu-
merable spine-crowned cells with which the leaf
is covered, and, indeed, of which it is composed.
A close examination with the naked eye shows
that there is a curious structure not usually
met with in plants; but if an ordinary pocket-
lens is brought to bear on it, the entire surface
will be seen to be composed of little oval cells,
arranged in rows something like the scales of a
fish, or tiles on a house-top. Each cell is armed
with four short, sharp spines, that project from
the upper portion of the edge, two at each side,
and these spines are the cause of the peculiar
rough sensation that is communicated to the
finger. The cells are placed back to back, like
those of a honeycomb, so that there is no right
or wrong side to the flustra leaf; for leaf it must
be called, although its proper title is polypidom.
LEPRALIA. 123

The species given in the plate is Flustra foliacea,
a very common zoophyte, and often found on
the shore, thrown up by the sea in large masses.

On many sea-weeds may be found a kind of
stony scurf that spreads over their leaves or
stems, and often destroys the beauty of the speci-
men. It is true that the appearance of the alga
may be injured, but the creature that injures it
is of so curious and beautiful a form that it ought
to be preserved. This stony scurf is called
Lepralia, and consists of innumerable cells, not
unlike those of the flustra, spread evenly over,
the surface of the substance to which it adheres,
and often so thickly that there is hardly a spot
left uncovered. I have now a remarkably fine
specimen of Delesseria sanguinea, measuring eigh-
teen inches across, the whole of whose stem, and
great part of the leaves, is overrun by several
species of Lepralia, which, although they certainly
rather disfigure the plant as a dried specimen,
look so lovely under the microscope that I would
not on any account have them away.

A common species of Lepralia is depicted on
plate x, fig. 6. ‘The upper figure represents the
woophyte as it appears when magnified about
thirty diameters, equalling nine hundred times
superficially ; and the lower figure showg its


ty ee

124 LEPRALIA,

appearance when slightly magnified by a simple
pocket-lens. Almost every sea-weed of any
dimensions, and especially the Laminarie, will
be partially covered with the cells of this zoo-
phyte, and it may also be found on shells and
other objects which have been submerged in the
sea for any length of time. There are nearly
forty British species of this single genus, and
if half a dozen specimens are examined, it will
probably happen that threo or four will be
distinct species.


125

CHAPTER VII.
STAR-FISHES AND SEA-URCHINS.

Prorue seem to have astrange love for com-
prehending various descriptions of objects, whether
animal, vegetable, or mineral, under a single
term, and generally contrive to hit upon a word
which could not be rightly applied to any of
them. Take, for example, the word “ fish,” as we
are speaking of marine objects. Not to mention
the whale, and other cetaceans, which are popu-
larly called by the name of fish, we have lobsters,
crabs, shrimps, oysters, limpets, mussels, &c., all
comprised in the term “ shell-fish.” Then, we
talk of cray-fish, cuttle-fish, jelly-fish, and star-
fish, not one of the whole party having the very
smallest right to the title of fish. Still, custom
has so inextricably woven the name into the idea,
that they cannot well be separated, and therefore
must be retained until the same power shall un-
weave its own web. These prefatorial remarks
must be my excuse for employing the word “ star-
126 FIVE-FINGER STAR-FISH.
fish” in the present case, and “ jelly-fish” in a
succeeding chapter.

Every one has heard of star-fish, and most
people have seen them, either in a preserved
state, or as they appear when thrown up by
the waves. There are very many British species
of star-fishes, but out of them I have chosen
three, as types, to which, indeed, most of the
species can be referred. The commonest of the
British star-fishes is the Five-finger (Uraster
rubens); for a figure of which see plate 1, fig. 4.
There are few days when some of these creatures
are not cast on the shore, and there left by the
retiring tide, so that their habits and anatomy
may be easily studied. Generally they appear to
be dead, and, indeed, sometimes are so; but their
apparent death is often but quiescence, and if
they are placed in sea-water they become lively
in a very short time.

If a star-fish is thus rescued, and laid in a
shallow rock-pool, where its movements can be
watched, it will give ample food for contem-
plation, were it only for the mode in which it
moves from one place to another. This move-
ment is very slow, gentle, and so regular, that
the eye cannot detect any motive power at work.
Should a stone, a ridge of rock, or any other
nt.»

MODE OF PROGRESSION. 127

impediment, be in the path of its progress, the
star-fish does not seem to trouble itself in the
least, but continues its still, gliding movement,
as quietly as if it were moving on level ground.
‘As the stone is reached, one ray of the star-fish
is gently pushed upwards, and seems to adhere
to the stone; another follows, then a third, and
presently the creature is seen to climb the stone
with quite as much ease as if it were walking on
level sand. The rays accommodate themselves,
in a very curious manner, to the shape of the
substance over which the animal is crawling; so
that if it is passing over a sandy spot, interspersed
with furrows and pebbles, the arms of the star-
fish never bridge over the furrows, but pass down
one side and up the other, while precisely an
opposite process takes place with regard to the
pebbles. The star-fish can thus climb rocks that
are perpendicular, and clings firmly even when
they overhang, How this process is conducted
we shall presently see.

I may as well remark here, that if the star-
fish were dead when put into the water, the
observer would find his patience well tried if he
waited to watch for these movements, so that he
ought to be quite sure whether he has hit upon
® specimen that is living. Now, however dead @
128 FOOT-SUOKERS.

star-fish may appear to be, if it is of a tolerably
firm consistence to the touch, it is a living being,
even though there should be no perceptible
movement, If, however, in taking it up, it
hangs loose and limp, life has departed, and it
can only be used as a specimen for preparation,
or for anatomical purposes. Any doubt will
soon be settled, by placing the dubiously vital
animal in clear sea-water for a few minutes, and
then suddenly turning it over. If there is any
life remaining, the numerous feet that occupy
the under surface will move about, and the
creature will soon recover its wonted activity.
When a living star-fish is laid on its back, a
number of semi-transparent, globular organs will
be seen in constant movement, being thrust
forward and then withdrawn, moving from side
to side, as if feeling for something, as indeed
they are. These are the ambulacral organs, as
they are scientifically called, but I prefer to call
them feet, on account of their office. These feet
are, in fact, suckers, and can be protruded or
withdrawn by a very curious piece of mechanism,
which is not easily described without the use of
diagrams, but which I will endeavour to explain,
as far as possible, without them. The feet are
hollow tubes, each passing into the interior of the


OMOA OF STAR-FISH. 129

animal through a circular aperture, and being
furnished with a globular, membranous head,
just within the skin, filled with a fluid ; so that,
in fact, each foot or sucker bears some resem~-
blance to a brass-headed nail driven through the
skin, the head remaining within the animal, and
the nail itself projecting. Now, if the creature
compresses the membranous head, the fluid con-
tained within it, being comparatively incompres-
sible, seeks an exit, and finds none except the
hollow of the tube. Through this tube it accord-
ingly runs, and so pushes forward the sucker
which terminates the foot. When the pressure
is removed, the fluid returns into the head, and
the sucker is retracted.

The mouth of the star-fish is placed under-
neath, and in the very centre of the body, the
stomach being immediately beyond the mouth,
as is the case with the sea-anemones. The
stomach does not seem to occupy very much
space, but it is capable of accommodating a large
amount of nutriment, in which it is assisted
by certain supplementary stomachs, which run
through each ray, nearly to its extremity. These
supplementary stomachs, or ceca, as they are
called, may. be seen by slitting up the skin of
the upper surface of the rays, when the ceca will

x

Te APR yt ae ee ee

eur


130 SELF-AMPUTATION,

be seen lying immediately beneath, looking more
sike dark, loose, unformed masses of liver, than
mere appendages to the stomach. And it is a
very remarkable fact, that although these large
and very important organs exist in each ray, the
star-fish appears to be indifferent to the loss of
one or more rays, and fills up the wounded space
80 perfectly that it is hardly possible to distin-
guish the spot where the ray once was. This
circumstance accounts for the fact that star-fishes,
apparently perfect, but only possessing four rays,
are sometimes met with, whereas the minimum
of number is five. When the star-fish has been
Seen to cast away its rays in captivity, the ampu-
tated rays still continued to move their feet-
suckers as when they were attached to the body,
but they did not appear to be capable of con-
tinuing their march.

Small as the mouth of a star-fish appears to
be, small as is its stomach, and feeble as are its
muscular powers, it can swallow a bivalve molluse
entire, or if needful, open it, and suck out the
contents in some mysterious way; a feat that no
man could accomplish without tools. Even with
the proper knife, oysters are not very easy to
open without some practice; but if a man’s food
were restricted to oysters, which he must open
SKELETON OF STAR-FISH. 131

without the assistance of any tool, he would run
considerable risk of starvation. The ancient
naturalists were well aware that the star-fish
possessed the power of eating oysters, but they
thought that the creature accomplished its design
by watching until an oyster opened its shell, and
then poking one of its rays between the shells as
a wedge; then, having once gained a partial
admission, it slowly insinuated itself, and finished
by devouring the inhabitant. It, appears, how-
ever, by the reports of careful observers, that the
oyster-eating is true as to the fact, but false as to
the mode, The star-fish seems to bring its mouth
in contact with the edge of the shell, and then
from some delicate vesicles never protruded at
any other time, to pour into the oyster some
drops of a poisonous fluid, which forces the
animal to open the shells, and finally kills it.
Such is the account as it stands at present.

The skeleton of the star-fish is one of the most
complicated structures imaginable, much too
complicated for description here, It may easily
be obtained by any one who wishes to possess
such an object, if he takes a perfect specimen
of the creature, and places it near an ants’ nest,
In a very few days, the ants will nibble it to

pieces with their sharp, sickle-like jaws, and eat
. K 2
182 HOW TO OBTAIN SKELETONS. -

away every particle of the soft portions, leaving
only the skeleton, which will then look like a
singularly beautiful specimen of carved ivory.
Ants, by the way, are very useful insects to the
naturalist, and are capital skeleton developers.
Only they do not store up the food in their
subterranean mansions, as is popularly imagined ;
for as they feed on animal substances, and not
on corn, their stores would soon be exhaled in
the form of gas. There are always plenty of
ants’ nests near the coast, and it would be useful
to look out for them as soon as possible, taking
care to choose those that are not exposed to the
public gaze, or near a public path. I would
recommend the use of a box, perforated with
many holes, as a convenient mode of keeping
the specimens from dust, and at the same time
of permitting free access to the ants, I had,
until lately, an exquisite skeleton of a lark that
had been prepared in a similar manner.

The colour of the five-finger star is generally
a dusky red on the upper surface, the colouring
matter of which is sometimes irritating to those
who possess delicate skins, Sometimes, however,
specimens are found of a purple or violet hue
and are by some authors considered to be a
distinct species, although they are probably but
SUN-STAR. 183

@ variety of the common red five-finger. This
species, especially if large, is not very suitable
for an aquarium, and seldom survives for any
length of time, One individual that I tried to
domesticate had, for the last few days of its life,
a curious habit of resting merely on the points
of its rays, and elevating the disc in the centre,
so that it presented somewhat the aspect ofa
five-legged table, the rays forming the legs and
the disc the table itself.

There is another tolerably common species,
that is found on the shores, and is very different
from the Five-finger, being composed of a large
disc, with twelve short pointed rays proceeding
therefrom ; so that when a large specimen is seen
in scarlet splendour on a rock, it seems to blaze
out like the sun, and has accordingly been called
the Sun-star. It is not easily mistaken for any
other creature, but in order to make its recog-
nition easier, a figure of it will be found on
plate 1, fig. 5. Its scientific name is Solaster
papposa, Its usual colour is a bright red,
but it is often seen to be tinged with violet,
while in some specimens the rays are very
much paler than the disc, and one most singular
example has been recorded of a mixture of bright
green,
134 BRITTLE-STAR,

Occasionally near low water-mark may be
found specimens of o very curious star-fish,
differing as entirely from the sun-star, as it does
from the five-finger. This is the Brittle-star,
of which there are several British species: the
coramonest of them, Ophiocoma rosula, is given
on plate 1, fig. 3, and, as will be seen, is a very
curious creature ; its form has been well described
by the image of a little sea-urchin, surrounded by
five very lively centipedes. Indeed, it hardly
resembles the sun-star at all 3 but these creatures
assume such singular shapes, that forms the most
dissimilar are found actually to be closely united ;
this we shall see presently when we come to the
urchin. The Ophiocoma is called the brittle-star
on account of its inexplicable custom of breaking
itself into little bits when alarmed. It is really
& matter of some little difficulty to secure an
entire specimen, so that a really perfect brittle-
star is rather a valuable acquisition, though the
creatures are so common that a dredge will haul
them up by pailfuls. One of the largest British
species of star-fish, Zuidia Sragilissima, a creature
measuring some two feet across, possesses this
suicidal property in a high degree. In Forbes’s
British Star-fish, a work which I strongly advise
all naturalists to obtain, or at least to read, is a




HOW TO PRESERVE SPECIMENS. 185

most Iudicrous account of an adventure with a
- Iwidia and a bucket.

When undisturbed in their own element, the
brittle-stars are well worthy of observation ; for
their long fringed arms wriggle about with great
vivacity, and well carry out the simile of the
centipede. In order to destroy these creatures
without damage, a vessel of fresh water should be
brought to them, and if they are rapidly sub-
merged, the sdltless fluid destroys them before
they have time to discover that there is anything
wrong. In the case of the Luidia, however, the
sight (if star-fishes see) of the fresh water was so
alarming that the precautions were useless,

If the star-fishes are needed for the cabinet,
they must be dried ; an easy process enough, but
requiring patience. They must first be thoroughly
washed in fresh water, in order to get rid of the
salt, and then carefully spread out on a clean
smooth board, and dried in the open air. They
should not be placed in the cabinet until they
are thoroughly dry, or there will be sad damage
done.

I said just now that we should soon find that
forms, apparently dissimilar, were in reality
closely connected with each other; and this fact
we shall see exemplified in the creature that next

Ta
136 SEA-URCHIN.

comes before our notice, the Common Sea-egg or
Sea-urchin (Zchinus spheere), whose external ap-
pearance is shown on plate 1, fig. 2. There does
Seem to be some slight connexion between the
three star-fishes which we have just examined ;
but that there should be any connexion at all,
or any relationship, between the brittle-star and
the sea-urchin, appears too preposterous an asser.
tion for credibility: yet such is really the case,
as will soon be seen. The specimen from which
the drawing was made is a tolerably perfect one,
being still furnished with its array of spines from
which it derives its name of sea-urchin, the urchin
being a popular name for the hedge-hog. But if
these spines are rubbed away, &@ smooth surface
will be left, on which are numerous tubercles,
marking the spots on which the spines formerly
rested. If now the reader will take a damaged
urchin, plenty of which are to be found on the
shores, and examine its external appearance, he
will see that it has a very close relationship
indeed with the star-fishes. Let a common five-
finger star-fish be laid on its back, and the points
of its rays stitched round a little diso of leather,
it will then assume very much the aspect of a
skeleton urchin. Let then the spaces between
the rays be filled up with a substance of the same
SHELL OF EOHINUS. 137

structure as the rays themselves, and then we
have a complete Echinus, complete, at all events,
as to its general external appearance.

The specimens that are found cast up by the
waves are generally destitute of the spiny arma-
ture that is found upon them in their living
state, and thus permit the eye to perceive the
formation of the shell. Close by the figure of
the Echinus itself will be seen a little diagram
composed of several angular forms studded with
little tubercles. These represent the pentagonal
plates of which the shell consists, and which are
most wonderful instances of animal economy.
In the shell of every Echinus are hundreds of
these plates, varying in size according to their
position, and so closely connected with each
other that externally their marks of junction
are not perceptible; but if the shell is broken,
and examined from the interior, the shape of
these plates becomes tolerably well defined. It
will be observed also, that when the shell is
broken, the serrated edges of the fractured
portions show the angular form of the plates. As
the shell is composed of these plates, it may well
be asked how the creature can possibly increase
in size, because it cannot, like the lobster and
other crustaceans, throw off its old coat when too
138 TEETH OF ECHINUS

small, and take to itself a better; and to add to
the difficulty, there is no supply of arteries and
veins ramifying through these plates, as is the
case with the bones of a vertebrate animal, but
each plate is dense and dead.

In order to overcome these apparently in-
superable difficulties, a very beautiful arrange-
ment takes place. The delicate living membrane
with which the entire surface of the body is
covered insinuates itself between the edges of
these plates, and continually deposits round the
margin of each particles of calcareous matter; so
that each plate simultaneously increases round
its edge, and the original form of the shell is
preserved.

If we still keep before our eyes the image of
the rolled-up star-fish, we shall see that as the
mouth is precisely in the centre of the disc, it
would also be found in the centre of the Echinus
shell. And such a mouth as it is could hardly be
conceived. If a human being, say a man of six
feet in height, were to be possessed of a similar
mouth, it would be about the size, and very much
the shape, of an ordinary wooden pail, the teeth
being as long as the staves of the pail, only they
must be made very sharp at the top, and but five
in number. The teeth of the Echinus may be
Spins. 139
seen protruding from the mouth, and their
extreme hardness may be tested by the finger
without any danger. The entire arrangement
of teeth and muscles, and bony scaffolding, is so
exceedingly complicated, that even with the help
of diagrams it would be difficult to explain the
structure, and without their aid quite impossible.
I may, however, mention, that there is some re-
semblance between the teeth of the Echinus and
those of rodent quadrupeds, there being a pro-
vision for adding fresh substance to the tooth as
fast as it is worn away by use.

If the reader will now examine the interior
of an Echinus shell, he will see that it is marked
out into five equal parts, by five double rows of
perforated plates, containing many hundreds of
very minute apertures. Through these apertures
protrude sucker-feet, just like those of the star-
fish, which haye already been described, and
worked in the same manner.

Reverting now from the interior to the ex-
terior, we shall find its surface thickly studded
with spines, which, as well as the suckers, are
employed as a means of locomotion, and there-
fore must be freely movable. If a single spine
be removed, and note taken of the part which
it previously occupied, it will be seen that on the
140 PEDICELLARIZ.

shell is placed a rounded tubercle, and that the
base of the spine is furnished with a hollow
socket into which the tubercle fits, so that the
spine has perfect facility of movement. The spine
is bound to the tubercle by a short tendinous
ligament, connecting the centre of each, much as
is the case with the larger joints of vertebrate
animals. The power of motion is communicated:
by the membranous covering that envelopes the
body during the life of the animal, The spines
of some foreign species of Echinus are very
delicate and sharp, piercing the unwary hand
like so many needles,

Besides all these multiplied means of pro-
gression, there are other very tiny organs, which
may possibly be used as assistants for the same
purpose, or they may possibly perform some office
at present unknown. Among the spines there
may be seen, with the assistance of a lens, a very
great number of little three-headed pincers,
standing each upon a flexible footstalk. These
are called pedicellarie, and are also found on
several of the star-fishes. Some naturalists have
regarded them as distinct animals, residing para-
sitically upon the Echinus. The Echinus is
often boiled and eaten, just like eggs; from
which circumstance it is sometimes called the
awe we 7 Re? 7 3

HOLOTHURIA. 141

Sea-egg. All these creatures are called by the
general name of Echinodermata, signifying
“urchin-skinned.” We have already seen how
great is the apparent distinction between the
several creatures that are classed together under
this title, and this outward distinction is quite
as great in the last example that will be here
-mentioned.

There is a curiously-shaped creature repre-
sented on plate F, fig. 6, looking something like
a cucumber, with a feathery fringe attached to
one of its ends. This is popularly called, on
account of its shape, the Sea-cucumber, and is
scientifically termed Holothuria. The derivation
of the word is Greek, but its signification is very
uncertain. It was used by Aristotle in his “ His-
tory of Animals ;” but the reason why he s0
named the creature no one can tell.

The holothurie are very curious creatures, for
they possess some organs of the Echinodermata,
by virtue of which they rank as Echinoderms,
and they also have other organs, which seem to
imply a connexion with the sea-anemones, while
the shape somewhat approximates to the annulate
form of the worms. Like the star-fishes and the
Echinus, they possess five rows of sucker-feet
along the body, although in some species these
142 HOLOTHURIA.

sucker-feet are scattered over the entire surface,
If a holothuria be opened, almost the entire
cavity of the body is filled with small white
tubes, which are apt to tumble out, and become
inextricably confused, if care is not taken.
Indeed, at first sight, a freshly - opened sea-
cucumber reminds one of the famous cucumber
in the “ Arabian Nights,” which was stuffed with
pearls by command of the talking bird, only that
the sea-cucumber appears to have been stuffed
with white bobbin. These white threads are the
egg tubes. Altogether, it does not present the
most inviting aspect to the eye, nor does it
appear to be a very suitable object for the table.
Yet it is one of the favourite dishes of that
omnivorous nation, the Chinese, who pay large
sums for fine specimens,

When the holothuria feels unwell, or is dis-
pleased, it has a very remarkable habit of dis-
pensing with its teeth, stomach, and entire diges-
tive apparatus, and so converting itself into a
mere empty bag, with an useless mouth at one
end of it. However, animals of this order are
not easily killed, and before very long a fresh set
begins to grow, and in a few months the holo-
thuria is as perfect as ever. The beautiful
feathery plume that surrounds the head, or
CURIOUS PROPERTY OF HOLOTHURIA. 143

rather the mouth, is the organ that has caused
some naturalists to class the creature with the
actinis or anemones, to whose tentacles the
plume bears so close a resemblance. In general,
the body of these animals is too thick, and the
skin too tough, for the adoption of the suicidal
habits of the star-fishes; but in some of the
species, whose diameter is very small in propor-
tion to their length, the creature actually does
succeed in breaking its body into several frag-
ments. The reader may compare with this habit
the similar custom that prevails among many
lizards, of snapping their tails off if they are
touched or suddenly alarmed ; as is especially
exemplified in the case of the Common Blind-
worm, which is often known to break itself across,
as if it had been made of glass. If any of these
creatures are found in a living state, they will
not at first put forth their tentacular crown, and
the owner must be content to wait. But if they
are properly supplied with clear and pure sea-
water, they will generally exhibit a large portion
of the tentacles, if not the whole. They may
usually be found clinging firmly to stones and
Pieces of rock, in situations where they are not
exposed to light; for the influence of light seems
to be exceedingly painful to them.
Ce

CHAPTER VIII.
ANNELIDS—BARNACLES, AND JELLY-FISH,

On plate F may be seen some figures of
strange-looking creatures, having a kind of
general resemblance to each other, but belonging
to very different ranks in the animal kingdom.
They are, however, placed near each other, in
order to show how the same idea of form runs
through different genera. The figure on the left
is no worm, although it bears some resemblance
to the creatures whose portraits occupy the top
and right of the same plate. No. 3 isa mollusc,
ranking with the periwinkle, mussels, nudibranchs,
and other creatures, which have already been
described in Chap. II. Thea, again, the figure
occupying the bottom of the plate has rather a
worm-like aspect, and would bear even a close
likeness, if it were much longer in proportion
to its diameter, as is the case with some of its
congeners. This animal, however, belongs to the
star-fishes, The central figure, which is really
one of the worms, looks much more like a com-
Ce

ee.

LUG-WORM. ; 145
mon garden slug than an earth-worm ; to which
latter creature, however, it is in near relationship.
One may therefore easily pardon the errors of the
earlier naturalists, who were deceived by the
external form, and classed the creatures accord-
ing to shape, and not according to anatomical
structure. ®

To begin, then, with the worms, or annelids,
as they are called, being composed of a series
of rings bound together by muscular and ten-
dinous substances. The insects and many other
creatures, by the way, are also composed of a
series of rings ; but they possess jointed limbs,
and by virtue of those limbs occupy another
place in the system of living beings.

The commonest of all the terrestrial annelids
is the earth-worm ; and there is a marine earth-
worm that corresponds with its terrestrial relative
in habits and uses. On the sand may often be
seen little heaps of contorted sandy strings, pos-
sessed of no compactness, but dispersing when
totiched, and looking as if Michael Scott’s familiar
were hard at work at his task of twisting ropes
from sea-sand, and throwing down his abortive
attempts. These ropes or strings are the sand-
casts of the lug-worm, a creature that is possessed
of no particular beauty, but is very useful to the

L
146 : EARTH-WORM,

fishermen, who use it as bait, much as the earth-
worm is used by fresh-water anglers, Parties of
boys may be seen, armed with spades and boxes,
trudging knee-deep in the muddy sand-flats, as
soon as the tide goes out, in full search after logs,
as they call the worms. Although the shape of
this worm is not very beautiful, yet it is not
utterly devoid of some beautiful features; for
the double row of scarlet branchie, or lung tufts
that fringe the central portions of the creature,
are remarkable for their brilliant tints.

While speaking of this worm, and its repre-
sentative, the earth-worm, I may as well mention
that the popular idea of the multiplication of the
earth-worm by division is quite erroneous, The
general notion on this subject is that if an earth-
worm be cut in two near the middle, the divided
portions reproduce those organs which they have
lost, and so in a short time the earth is richer by
one more worm than before. This notion, how-
ever, is untrue. The severed worm seldom seems
to recover in the least from its wound, although
the portion on which is placed the head survives
longer than that to which the tail is attached.
The ring next to the wound very soon dies, con-
tracts, withers, and drops off by mortification.
The next ring is then attacked in the same way,
TEREBELLA. uz
and dies in its turn. And so on in both portions,
the anterior perishing from the wound towards
the head, and the posterior portion from the
wound towards the tail. The latter portion,
indeed, loses the power of locomotion altogether,
and can only twist and wriggle about on the spot
where it is placed. If only a portion of the tail
end be cut off, the remaining part has some-
times sufficient strength to heal the wound, and
the creature survives ; but the wounded portion
is not capable of producing a fresh tail, or even
of forming a single fresh ring.

If the sand or stones be carefully examined at
low water, certain curious objects will often be
found between tide-marks, sometimes existing
singly, but generally living in societies. One of
these objects is represented on plate F, fig. 2. It
is a tube composed of innumerable fragments of
shell, or sometimes of entire shells, if they are
sufficiently minute, grains of sand, and other
similar substances, agglutinated together by a
secretion that is poured from the surface of
the body, and which soon hardens into a tough
membranous substance. The mouth of the tube
is adorned with a fringe, which is composed of a
number of much smaller tubes formed from the
same substances, and in the same manner, as the

L2


ee Oe eee

148 TEREBELLA,

principal tube. The creature that inhabits ‘this
dwelling goes by the name of Terebella. Its
empty tubes are sometimes torn away from their
attachments by the power of the waves, and in
this case are thrown upon the sea-shore together
with the alge, shells, and other débris that mark
the line beyond which the proud waves can no
further go. Genérally,’ however, they are fixed
with such firmness, that to procure an entire
specimen is a matter of some difficulty, There is
no connexion between the tube and its inhabi-
tant, who seems on occasion to be able to take
little journeys among the rocks, and even to
swim on the surface of the water by spreading
its numerous tentacles abroad as the molluscs
spread their foot. Sometimes the terebella be-
comes ambitious, and instead of contenting him-
self with sand and tiny stones, affixes a stone of
some size to his tube. One that I possessed for
some time had fastened the centre of its tube to
@ pebble more than an inch in length, and very
nearly the same in width.

The reader will not fail to remark the analogy
between the tube-inhabiting annelid and the
larve of the common caddis, or stone-fly of
anglers, which build tubes in a very similar
manner, pressing into the service all sorts of
SABELLA, 149 #

substances, and which, like the terebella and
others, has no organic connexion with the tubes
in which their soft bodies are sheltered from

danger. The tube that is represented in the |

engraving is of the natural size, and was drawn,
as indeed were most of the figures, from an
actual specimen.

On the same plate as that which is occupied
by the terebella, and at fig 5, may be seen a
group composed of innumerable tubes, massed
together as if they had been a handful of earth-
worms compressed into a small space, and then
suddenly liberated. These are the tubes of another
annelid, called the Sabella, and, like those of the
terebella, are built up from the particles of sand
on and among which the worm lives, At the
bottom of the mass may be seen one of the
worms crawling from its tube. These tube-masses
may be found in abundance at low water-mark,
especially where the corallines are plenty ; and
the size of the masses is very various, some being
only composed of a few tubes twisted together,
while others are several fect in diameter. It is
not often that a fragment is found where the
tubes are so plainly shown as in the specimen
depicted. Generally the surface of the mass some-
what resembles a sponge with circular apertures,
* 160 SERPULA.

with here and there a tube, or a portion of a tube,
twining itself into the substance, Various alge
are often found affixed to the tubes of these
. creatures.

Another of these tube-inhabiting worms, or
Tubicolous Annelids, to use the correct term,
forms a shelly tube so closely resembling that of
the ship-worm, Zeredo navalis, that the two are
often confounded with each other, especially if a
portion only is in question. This is the Serpula,
@ group of which is given on plate r, fig. 1, the
species being Serpula contortuplicata. There are
several species of this curious and beautiful worm,
one of which, and perhaps the most common,
possesses a bayonet-shaped shell, which twists
about on the surface of stones or other con-
venient substances, and does not erect itself
freely. But the species that will be more par-
ticularly noticed here, after taking a turn or two
upon its support, as if to obtain a firmer basis,
and at the same time to determine its direction,
shoots boldly upwards.

Now if a group of these tubes, situated, we
will say, on an oyster-shell, be taken into the
hand, they will all appear to be empty and
useless; but if the tube is not very much con-
torted, a something scarlet may be seen at some




ee ee ee Pen Le Bee el ee 4! Meee eee FT

SERPULA. 161

little distance down the tube, and by that sigf
the living state of the inhabitant may be known.
When the serpula is placed in clean sea-water, it
generally remains quiet for a few hours, as if
to make itself acquainted with the atmosphere of
its new home; by very slow degrees the scarlet
object is pushed nearer and nearer to the mouth
of the tube, and at last emerges, when it is seen
to be an exquisitely formed, conically shaped
cork or stopper, its small end being prolonged
into a kind of footstalk. Two of these stoppers
may be seen on reference to the engraving, but
they are hardly represented of sufficient size in -
proportion to the diameter of the tubes. After

a little time, a row of scarlet feathery objects
slowly follow the stopper, and in a few minutes
spread themselves out into a most elegantly
shaped plume.

Slowly as the serpula protrudes itself from the
tube, it is by no means slow in retreating. ‘If one
of these creatures is fully extended in an aqua-
rium, and the hand is rapidly moved outside
without even touching the glass, the worm pops
back into its tube with marvellous rapidity, 80
rapidly, indeed, that the eye fails to follow the
movement, and the creature vanishes 8 if by
magic, A cloud passing over the sun, or even


152 HABITS OF SERPULA,

the shadow of a person passing by, will have the
same effect. It seems evident, therefore, that
the serpula must be able to see, although, as yet,
no eyes seem to have been discovered, After
awhile, however, the creature appears to become
partially tame, so to speak, and is less alarmed
at a casual movement or shadow. Such at all
events was the case with my own specimens, which
at first were painfully shy, and avoided all close
inspection, but, after a fortnight or so, permitted
me to place a lens sufficiently near them to
examine the beautiful plumes and stopper.

This last-mentioned organ is the developed
one out of a pair which the creature possesses,
the other being very small and not put forward
to view. This may remind the reader of an
analogous arrangement in the tusks of the Nar-
whal; in which cetacean there are really two
tusks, but one only is fully developed, the other
lying concealed in the jaw. The beautiful fan-
shaped plume is composed of that part of the
breathing apparatus which Separates the oxygen
from the water, and is analogous to the gills of
fishes, or the lungs of man,

If serpulw are kept in an aquarium, they
should be closely watched, as they, in common
with the sabella and others, have a bad habit of
SEA-MOUBE. 158

dying when they are not suspected, and s0 tainting
the water, to the destruction of animal life. Most
of the tubicolous worms come out of their houses
before they die, but the serpula often excepts
himself from the general rule, retreats into his
shell as far as he can go, and there dies. It is
very difficult to discover whether the animal is
really dead or only sulky—if the latter, he
recovers his temper in a day or so, and waves
his plumes as usual ; but if the former, a white
film begins to collect over the mouth of the
tube: this must be accepted asa hint for instant
removal. In general, if a serpula does not spread
its fans boldly and decidedly from the tube, and
permits the stopper to droop over the mouth, it
should be gently touched with camel’s-hair
brush; if it does not smartly shoot back into its
tube, that serpula is in a bad state of health, and
must be looked after. It is always better to
remove the creature at once, than to run the
risk of tainting the water with the unpleasant
smell that immediately follows upon the death
of any marine animal.

On plate », fig. 4, may be seen & figure of a
creature that does not look at all prepossessing,
yet this very animal is one of the most gorgeous
creatures that can be imagined, the metallic bril-


154 SEA-MOUBE,

liancy of whose colouring would not suffer in
comparison with the plumage of the brightest
humming-bird. This animal is popularly known
by the name of Sea-mouse, its scientific title
being Halithea, or Aphrodite aculeata, Edging
the body may be seen rows of bristles or hairs
which, when simply printed in black and white,
give no idea at all of the iridescent colouring of
their surfaces; while even, if coloured, the re-
semblance is but faint, because it wants the
changing tints which flash along the hairs when-
ever they are moved.

It is a strange thing, and one that shows the
lavish beauty of creation, that an animal endowed
with such glorious colours, that can only be ex-
hibited by a full supply of light, should have its
habitation in the mud. When kept in an aqua-
rium, they generally appear to avoid the light
rather than to seek it, and keep themselves so
hidden among the weeds and stones, that it is not
always an easy matter to find them. They are
rather migratory in their habits, but not erratic,
for they seem to go over the same course week
after week ; so that, having seen them on one
day, it is not difficult to predict their locality on
the next,

The bristles of the aphrodite are not only
SPINES OF SHA-MOUSE. 155

worthy of notice on account of their wonderful
colouring, but also on account of their shape.
Among other offices, they seem to play the part
of weapons, like the spines of the porcupine or
hedgehog. But as they surpass the hedgehog’s
quills in external beauty, 80 do they in form.
There are certain islands, called “ Friendly,” whose
amicable inhabitants are famous for the ingenuity
of their clubs wherewith to knock out another
friend’s brains, and of spears wherewith to per-
forate him. Many of these spears are made with
rows of several barbs, one placed immediately
above the other, in order to add more destructive
power to the weapon. Now, if the Friendly
islanders had possessed microscopes, we might
with some justice have said that they took their
idea of the many-barbed spear from the bristles
of the Sea-mouse; for a magnified representation
of one of these bristles would give a very fair idea
of the Friendly lance.

All these lances can be withdrawn into the
body of the sea-mouse at the will of their owner,
and it would therefore be a most unpleasant cir-
cumstance, if the creature were to wound itself
with its own weapons. In order, therefore, to
obviate this difficulty, each spear or bristle is
furnished with a double sheath, which closes


156 ACORN-SHELI,

when it is retracted into the body, and opens
again when protruded. It is hardly possible to
Conceive a more wonderful structure in the whole
of the animal kingdom, and certainly not possible
to conceive one more beautiful, when the changing
tints of orange, scarlet, or azure are taken into
consideration.

There is a kind of slimy muddiness about the
back of a sea-mouse that rather counteracts the
beautiful effect of its hairs. This is caused by
the muddy soil in which it loves to reside, and
which is strained through a dense mass of fine
hairs that interlace with each other, and arrest
the muddy particles, while they permit the water
for respiration to pass Letween them, The whale-
bone plates that fringe the mouth of the Green-
land whale have a somewhat similar office, only
the fringe of the whale catches molluscs, and
that of the aphrodite catches mud.

Wherever rocks are found between tide-marks,
their surfaces are usually selected as resting-
places by some very curious animals, known by
the name of Acorn-shells, which will at once be
recognised by the sketch on plate’ y, fig. 3, where
is represented a group of these creatures which
have affixed themselves to the shell of a limpet.
Tn the original specimen, the entire surface of the
BALANUS. 157

limpet was covered with acorn-shells; but one
or two were removed, in order to show the nature
of the substance on which they rested, Their
scientific name is Balanus balanoides, and they
belong to @ class of molluscs that are called
Cirrhopoda, on account of the cirrhi, or ciliated
arms, which form their chief characteristic.

The first acquaintance that is usually made
with these animals is seldom of an agreeable
nature, and generally takes place after the fol-
lowing manner:—An inexperienced but earnest
observer is picking his way among the rocks and
stones at low water, his eyes being more engaged
in searching for curiosities than in looking after
his own feet. Suddenly, he puts his foot on a
sloping rock, rendered slippery as ice by the slimy
algee that cover it, or is inadvertently caught in a
rocky pitfall, whose orifice was concealed by the
heavy masses of wrack or tangle that are flung
over it by the tide, and at the bottom of which
is a pool of water just deep enough to wet his
feet, and to irrigate his body by spirting up along
the sides of the cavity. In either case he catches
frantically at the nearest piece of rock, and finds
his fingers cut in several places by the sharp
edges of the acorn-shells that have there affixed
themselves, and present as uncomfortable a hold


158 FISHING-NET OF BALANUS.

for the undefended hand as a wall tipped with
broken bottles.

While they are left in the open air, there is .
nothing attractive in the balani, which seem rather
to disfigure the rock than to improve its appear-
ance. But when the sea returns and brings back
the weloome supply of nourishment, these dull,

“lifeless objects suddenly start into activity, and
begin to fish as industriously as if they knew
that they had only a limited time for eating, and
must, during that time, procure a sufficiency of
food to employ their digestive organs while the
tide is out, The manner in which the Cirrhopoda
fish is very remarkable. Some animals, like the
sea-anemones, hang out a net and await the
approach of prey, who unwarily come within the
scope of their power, and so rush to their own
destruction. Other creatures hang out fishing
lines, like the common fresh-water Hydra, or the
beautiful marine Beroe, which will be described
on a future page. Others, again, chase their prey
through the water, and capture it by virtue of
superior swiftness or cunning. But neither of
these modes is employed by the balanus, which
is furnished with a veritable casting-net, which
it ever and anon throws expanded into the water,
and then retracts when closed. The action of a
CIRRHI OF BALANUS. 159
man throwing an ordinary casting-net is much
the same as that of the acorn-shell. If the reader
will refer to the plate, he will see two of these
creatures in the act of making their cast, and the
net is formed from the cirrhi from which the
entire class derives its name.

Each cirrhus is found, on examination, to be
double, the pair springing from a single foot-
stalk. They are of a partially horny consistence,
and separated into numerous joints, each joint
being furnished with long stiff hairs. These hairs
stand out boldly from the centre, and the con-
sequence is, that when the whole apparatus is
fully extended, it forms a kind of network of
hairs, permitting none but the smallest substances
to pass between them. In the balanus, the cirrhi
are of a delicate white colour, and have a singu-
larly elegant appearance as they are alternately
thrown abroad and gathered together again. There
is hardly a prettier sight than a large stone, or
piece of rock, that is covered with balani, and
immersed in clear sea-water. Each little conical
shell opens at the tip, and from the aperture a
fairy-like little hand is constantly thrust, grasping
at some coveted object, and then closed and with
drawn. There is a grace and elegance about the
whole movemeni that is not easily described. This


160 ROVING EARLY LIFE OF BALANUS,

ight may often be witnessed in the rock-poola,
when they are of sufficient depth to cover the
balani, and are not exposed to the action of the
wind.

With all their beauty, however, the balani are
uncongenial inhabitants of an aquarium, although
they add much to its appearance at first. They
soon become languid, their graceful cirrhi remain
half protruded from the shell, they then die, and
shortly exude such a detestably-scented gas, that
the surrounding water soon becomes unfit for the
respiration of the other inhabitants—they in their
turn die, and the whole aquarium is ruined. So,
Present beauty must be sacrificed to ulterior
service ; and if any balani are growing on a rock
intended for the aquarium, they must be removed
before it is placed in the tank,

They do not seem to be particular as to their
place of residence, for they may be found on
rocks, wooden piles, stones, and even on living
shells, of which they most affect the limpet,
because it is not of migratory habits.

It is a very remarkable fact, that although the
balanus never moves from the spot on which it
has taken up its habitation, and, indeed, is inca.
pable of any kind of locomotion, yet when yery
young it was an active, wandering little creature,
BARNACLE. ’ 161
furnished with jointed limbs, much resembling
a young shrimp or crab, and swimming freely
through the water with a succession of bounds.
When first discovered, the young balani were
thought to be veritable crustaceans ; but after
careful observation they were seen to affix them-
selves to the sides of the vessel in which they
were placed, and straightway to change their
roving life for an existence of settled quiet.
Similar strange developments take place in many
marine animals, but there will not be sufficient
space for their discussion.

The balanus has a very near relative going
by the popular name of Ship-barnacle, and the



BARNACLE.

scientific title of Pentalasmis anatifera, the latter

title signifying “the five-plated goose-bearer.”

It is called Pentalasmis, or five-plated, because

its shell is composed of five distinct portions,
M


Fe

162 ORIGIN OF BERNIOLE-Goosr,

curiously arranged, and between them the cirrhi
are protruded. The word “ goose-bearing” ig
given to it because an old writer named Gerard,
who lived in 1636, discovered that the Bernicle-



BERNICLE-GOOSE,

goose (Bernicla leucopsis) was produced from
the ship-barnacle ; and in order to prove his own
rather startling account, he gives drawings of
the creatures in all their stages, from the mollusc
to the bird. Whether the worthy man intended
to deceive, or was himself the victim of others,
it is impossible to say. His account is so quaint
that I here give an extract:—

“What our eyes have seen, and hands have
touched, we shall declare. There is a small island
in Lancashire called the Pile of Foulders, wherein
Te we eee ee , 3 yee. oT,

ORIGIN OF BERNIOLE-GOOSE, 163

are found the broken pieces of old and bruised
ships, some whereof have been cast thither by
shipwracke, and also the trunks and bodies with
the branches of old and rotten trees, cast up there
likewise ; wherein is found a certain spume or
froth, that in time breedeth into certaine shels,
in shape like those of the muskle, but sharper
pointed, and of a whitish colour ; one end whereof
is fastened into the inside of the shell, even as
the fish of oisters and muskles, the other end is
made fast into the belly of a rude masse or
lumpe, which in time commeth to the shape and
form of a bird: when it is perfectly formed the
shell gapeth open, and the first thing that —
appeareth is the aforesaid lace or string; next
come the legs of the bird hanging out, and as it
groweth greater it openeth the shell by degrees,
till at length it is all come forth and hangeth
only by the bill: in short space after it commeth
to full maturitie, and falleth into the sea, where
it gathereth feathers, and groweth to a fowle.”
The anatomy of this barnacle is curious, and
will repay examination. The shell should be
removed, and the animal carefully displayed with
the assistance of a pair of scissors and a
or two: all dissections of small animals should
be made under water ; or if the dissected creature
mu 2


164 JELLY-FISH.

is intended to be permanently preserved, it
should be immersed in the fluid which is used
as a preservative.

These creatures are often found clinging in
great numbers to the bottoms and keels of vessels,
sometimes interfering with their speed. Their
growth is very rapid, and it has often happened
that a ship has started upon a short voyage with-
out a single barnacle adhering to her planks, and
yet has come back encumbered with a whole
army of them. They are often found adhering
to pieces of wreck, or to floating spars that are
cast upon the shore by the waves. The stalks or
tubes of the individual represented in the engrav-
ing are not sufficiently long in proportion to the
dimensions of the shells themselves, and ought to
have been drawn nearly double their length.

After a gale, especially if the wind sets land-
wards, the shores afford a great harvest to the
naturalist ; and if the gale and the spring-tides
coincide, he inwardly wishes for the hundred
eyes of Argus ‘to look after the objects that lie
scattered on the shore, and for the hundred arms
of Briareeus wherewith to pick them up. Among
the strange things that are cast on the shore will
be seen many lumps of a jelly-like substance,
varying much in size, called popularly by the
BEROE, 165

name of Jelly-fish. These are strange creatures,
of wondrously low organization, that thickly
populate the ocean, and are anything but shape-
less when living and in health. Scientifically
they are called Acalephe, from a Greek word
signifying a nettle, because many of the species
have the power of stinging the hand that incau-
tiously touches them.

Sometimes they lie on the shore in vast num-
bers ; and there is a story on one of our coasts,
that a farmer ordered down his carts to the sea,
and carried away several cartloads of jelly-fish to
serve as manure for his fields ; but by the next
morning the heaps of jelly-fish had disappeared,
leaving behind them a few lumps of membranous
threads. In fact, all the real animal matter that
the carts had carried to the fields might have
been conveyed in the farmer’s own hand, for
jelly-fish are really little but animated sea-water.

On plate v. fig. 2, will be seen a singularly
shaped creature, bearing two long threads covered
with spiral tendrils; this is one of the jelly-fishes,
called by the name of Beroe or Cydippe, and a
wonderful creature it is. If on a calm day a
gauze net is passed gently through the water,
there will often be found adhering to its sides
sundry little gelatinous knobs, perfectly trans-


166 IRIDESCENCE OF BEROR,

parent, and apparently lifeless. Now, if the net
be lowered into a glass vessel of pure sea-water,
and slightly agitated, the lump of jelly will be
loosened, and left in the water. For a moment
the eye fails to Perceive that the water has any
inhabitant at all; for the beroe, as the gelatinous
knob turns out to be, is itself little but sea-
water, but may soon be recognised by the flashes
of light that appear on its surface. It is a creature
that can hardly be drawn, for it ought to have
no outline, and only to be shown by the brilliancy
of its surface, which Surpasses that of the water
around, Presently, as the creature begins to feel
more at home in its new habitation, it swims
about with an easy gliding movement, and an
iridescent light shows itself on one part of the
surface. The iridescence continues to increase,
and at last is seen to reside in eight longitudinal
bands that completely encircle the animal ; over
these bands the light plays, and at last all the
colours of the rainbow ripple over its surface
with indescribable beauty.

These iridescent bands are the organs of loco-
motion, and it is to their form and mode of use
that the beautiful colour is owing. By the side of
the beroe may be seen a magnified portion of one
of these bands, Its surface ig covered with little
















Sah
we


eas alia cies
yud bets
.. aS Lee

eae OS ATR Bi
. Nee ere.

©r
—" \

FI UAVS, Be

FISHING-LINES OF BEROE. 167

square scales, disposed in a manner somewhat
similar to the boards of a water-wheel. Each of
these steps, so to speak, is capable of motion
backward and forwards, and by their rapid and
successive motion a series of prisms are formed,
and by them the light is decomposed to the pris-
matic colours; this iridescence is best seen when
the sun shines upon the creature.

When the beroe has been watched for a little
time as it swims about in its glass prison, two
long and most delicate threads will be seen de-
pending from its exterior, and falling into graceful
curves as the creature ascends or descends in the
water. The threads are so exceedingly delicate
that they are not observed at a first glance;
and when they are seen, rather convey to the
spectator’s mind the idea of spun glass, than of
any animated structure. Indeed, the whole crea-
ture looks as if it were formed of crystal, cut and
polished, and the threads almost seem to be spun
from its substance as it moves about. These
threads are called the fishing-lines, and if closely
watched are found to be fringed with smaller
tendril-like threads, that are dispersed along the
chief line, just as a fisherman attaches several
baits to his line by supplementary strings. The
fishing-lines can be entirely withdrawn into the
168 FRAGILITY OF BEROR.

body of the animal, or they can be shot out to
lengths that appear wonderful, considering the
size of the creature to which they belong. The
supplementary tendrils elongate themselves when
the fishing-line is drawn out to its full length,
and become more tightly twisted as the line is
retracted into the body, Many people, and espe-
cially those who live on the sea-shore, imagine
that the beroe is the egg of the sea-urchin,

It must be remembered that the creature can
alter its shape by expansion and contraction ;
which circumstance accounts for the fact, that if
several artists sketch this creature, each figure
may have a different form. The species repre-
sented in the engraving is Cydippe piteus, shown
as it appears when fully expanded. The life of
the creature is fragile as its form ; and if it is
kept in a vessel of water, it plays about rapidly
for a time, then dies, and disappears as if it had
melted into nothing, Yet, if it be cut into pieces
while lively, or broken up by the force of the
waves, as is often the case, its ciliated bands still
continue to perform their work, and the iridescent
light plays over the fragments as beautifully as
when the creature was entire, It is seldom or
never found in an entire state at the surface of
the water when the wind is rough, but sinks
MEDUSA. 169

below into the calmer regions, where its delicate
organization is not exposed to the rude collision
of wave and wind.

The beroe glides along by means of the ciliated
bands; but this is only one of the means of pro-
gression employed by the Acalephs. Some move
themselves about with cirrhi, and are therefore
called Cirrhigrade ; the beroe being called a cilio-
grade. Others again are named Physograde,
because they are buoyed up by a kind of bubble,
or bladder filled with air. The well-known Por-
tuguese Man-of-war is a good example of this
order. There is another order which moves
through the water by a series of regular pulsa-
tions like those of the lungs, and the species
‘belonging to it are called, in consequence, Pulmo-
nigrade. An example of a pulmonigrade Acaleph
is given in plate w, fig. 1. It belongs to the
genus Aigerea, of which many species may be
found on our coasts, and, with many others,
passes under the general title of Medusa. The
size of these creatures varies excessively, and
there are strange peculiarities in their growth
and structure, which should be learned from
some one of the books devoted exclusively to
the Acalephs. The movements of a little Medusa
in a clear glass vessel are exceedingly graceful,


170 PHOSPHORESOENCE OF SBA.

and may easily enough be witnessed ; as if a
vessel is filled with water drawn from the surface
of the sea on a calm day, there are generally a few
Meduse in it. But if there should be none, a
little work with a gauze net will secure plenty.
Very many of these Acalephs are phospho-
rescent, and through their instrumentality the
Sea appears at night as if filled with fire. This
property is especially shown when a little breeze
ripples the surface, or a boat dashes the water
aside. In the latter case the oars appear to throw
from them torrents of fire, and a blazing line
marks the direction which the boat has taken.
The chief cause of this phosphorescence is a very
tiny creature, called Noctiluca miliaris. If a vase
be filled with sea-water and placed in the dark, it
will emit small sparkles of light whenever it is
tapped, or even when the foot is stamped on the
ground. This phenomenon is more exemplified
at the sides of the jar, and but a very few sparks
are perceptible at the bottom. Each spark is
caused by a Noctiluca; and if it is wanted for
examination, it may be caught in a glass tube,
in the manner employed for microscopic animal-
cules, and brought under the necessary magnify-
ing power. Its natural size is about half that of
& common mustard-seed. When submitted to
NOOTILUGA. 171

magnifying power, it appears to be a creature of
form nearly round, but with a notch or depression
on one part of its circumference. Close by that
depression is a little knot of muddy matter, from
the centre of which springs a kind of tail, or
perhaps proboscis, by the agitation of which the
creature rows itself about in the water. The
entire form of a Noctiluca is not unlike that of
a melon, the proboscis being the stalk.


172

CHAPTER IX.
ORABS—LOBSTERS—SHRIMPS— PRAWNS, AND FISH.

Amona the living creatures that force them-
selves on the notice of any one who walks on the
borders of the sea, the various crustaceans are
perhaps the most conspicuous. Without attempt-
ing here to treat of the Crustacea scientifically,
I shall mention those creatures that may be seen
almost on any day and almost on any shore, leav-
ing the deeper scientific details to be obtained
from the very elaborate works that exist on the
subject.

It is nearly impossible to walk for more than
a few paces on the wet space between tide-marks,
without disturbing a host of little crabs, that
scuttle about in dire perplexity, either trying to
flatten themselves against the ground, hoping to
be mistaken for pebbles, or endeavouring to conceal
themselves under the shade of a bunch of wrack.
Sometimes, on lifting up a heavy mass of sea-
weed, out comes a crab very unexpectedly, hold-
ing up a pair of claws with so ferocious an air
EDIBLE URAB. i73



that he often escapes before his discoverer has
quite recovered his presence of mind. The former
species, that try to escape in such @ hurry, are
generally the uneatable green crab, although even
it is often’ found of no small size; while the big
pugnacious one is of the edible kind, and, from
his objection to capture, seems to know it. Some-
times crabs of a very tolerable size may be found
concealed in the crannies of the rocks, where they
are concealed by the rock itself, and by the fuci



and laminaria that hang about in great pro-
fusion, Bare-legged boys may be often seen
creeping about among the rocks, and armed with
174 ZORA,

a basket and an iron rod hooked at the end.
This latter weapon is ever and anon thrust into
the holes and clefts of the rock ; and should an
unfortunate crab have there concealed himself, he
is soon hooked out of his retirement, and, if edible,
consigned to the basket,

The great monsters that are brought to market
are mostly caught in sunken baskets, much on
the principle of the mousetrap, which permits
an animal to enter without any difficulty, but
Opposes an effectual barrier to his egress. It ig
not always safe to grope for crabs, unless a com-
panion be at hand, for a powerful crab has actually
been known to grasp with its claws the hand
of its opponent, and to hold him there without
the power of moving until a passer-by came to
his assistance. Should such a circumstance occur,
the best plan for making the animal loosen its
hold is said to be by detaching the claw that is
unemployed.

The young of the crab is quite unlike the adult
. animal, and has been described under the name
of Zoea. In this state it is a very quaint-looking
creature, is possessed of a long tail, two great
eyes, something like those of a diver’s helmet,
and wears a spike on its throat nearly as long as
its entire body. It is no marvel that it has been
* 3

SWIMMING CRAB. “176

treated of asa separate creature from the crab,
_ for it bears about the same resemblance to the

crab that a caterpillar bears to a butterfly, or a
wire-worm to a beetle. The long tail of the Zoea
formed one of the distinctive points that sepa-
rated it from the crabs ; and yet, if a crab is laid
on its back, a tail is seen to be tucked up under
its body, in a position something like that assumed
by the tail of an alarmed dog.

Many species of crabs may be found on the sea-
shore; that is, if they are sought in the proper
localities. The two species already mentioned are
totally incapable of swimming. They can crawl
upon the shore, half bury themselves in the sand,
or push their way among the alge with much
rapidity ; but if they are thrown into deep water,
they sink helplessly to the bottom, spreading
about their limbs in the vain search after some
object which they can grasp. There are, how-
ever, several species of crabs found on the British
shores, which are good swimmers, one of which
is given on plate m, fig. 4. This is the Velvet
Swimming Crab, or the Velvet Fiddler, as it is
sometimes called. If the figure of this animal be
compared with that of the common crab, on p. 173,
the reader will observe that there is a consider-
able difference between the two creatures; one of


ct he ee Sat ee is
;

176 THE VELVET FIDDLER.

the chief distinctions lying in the shape of the
hinder pair of legs, which in the common crab are
sharp and rounded, but in the swimming crab
are flattened at their extremities. These flattened
limbs are used as oars or paddles, and by their
repeated strokes the creature is able to urge
itself through the water with some velocity. The
peculiar movement of the limbs being thought
to resemble the action of a violinist’s arm, the
crab has thence derived its name of Fiddler.

The Velvet Fiddler (Portunus puber) is common
enough on our coasts, and is a tolerably hardy
inhabitant of an aquarium, but not a safe tenant.
It is a most ferocious creature, lurking unseen in
4 corner, and.from its den darting forth at any
unsuspicious inhabitant that may come near. One
of these creatures has been known to attack a
moderately-sized hermit crab, and to destroy it
with a single snap, despite its shelly habitation
and strong claws. After having killed the poor
hermit, the fiddler proceeded to eat its body.

There are some crabs, again, which, in con-
sequence of their peculiarly shaped body and
long sprawling limbs, are termed Spider Crabs ;
for an example of which creatures, see plate m,
fig. 3. The bodies of these crustaceans are short,
wide, and produced into a snout-like form in
SPIDER ORABS. 177

front. If they will live, they are useful creatures
in an aquarium; for they are good scavengers
themselves, and, in addition, often carry on their
shells a whole army of zoophytes. Two of these
creatures, which inhabited a large aquarium be-
longing to a friend, were perfect treasures to the
microscopist ; for when a specimen of a living
zoophyte was wanted, one of the spider crabs
was hunted up, and the requisite portion re-
moved. They were both rather sluggish animals,
and generally resided in two dark holes, in
different parts of the aquarium, where a practised
eye was needed to discover them.

The species represented is Maia syuinado ; but
there are several other spider crabs to be found
on the shores, some of whom possess limbs so
wonderfully elongated, that they seem to have
been ‘subjected to the process of wire-drawing.
These may be captured at spring-tides, when the
water has sunk much below its usual level, and
left the unsuspecting crabs on dry land. Various
curious fish, and other creatures, may also be
taken at the same time.

We now come to a very curious race of creatures,
the Soft-tailed Crabs. Those already mentioned
are entirely covered with a strong shelly mail ;
but there are others whose tails are left bare and

N




178 HERMIT CRABS,

defenceless, and which are forced to seek an
artificial defence in lieu of natural armour. These
creatures are generally called Hermit Crabs,
because each one lives a solitary life in his own
habitation, like Diogenes in his tub; and some-
times go by the name of Soldier Crabs, on
account of their very pugnacious habits. The
species here given is the Common Hermit Crab
(Pagurus Bernhardus), and the particular in-



HERMIT CRAB,

dividual is inhabiting a whelk-shell, a domicile
that is in great request when the creature grows
to any size. Hermit crabs may be found plenti-
fully on the coasts, of all sizes, and inhabiting all
kinds of shells, from the trochus to the whelk;
THE HERMIT AND THE ORASS. 179

and I have often seen a poor little hermit forced
to take up with a huge whelk-shell, of which only
the last whorl remained entire, and into which he
exactly fitted. He was almost at the mercy of
his habitation, for he could not hold it against
the power of the waves, which tumbled it over
and over most ruthlessly, while the hermit was
making futile grasps at stones and sand by which
to arrest his progress.

The hermit is furnished with an apparatus of
pincers at the extremity of his tail, by which he
holds firmly to the shell in which he takes up his
temporary habitation, and he flattens himself so
firmly against the shell that it is difficult to seize
the creature at all; and even when a grasp of
any portion can be secured, the hold of the tail is
80 firm that the animal runs some risk of being
torn apart, sooner than leave the shell. Some
years since, I was rather anxious to see how the
hermit got into his shell, and so, having caught
a tolerably large one in a whelk-shell, I tried to
pull him out. However, he stuck so close to his
shell, that there was no hope of success without
inflicting much injury, and I should probably
have let him escape, had not an idea then come
across my mind. Close by the rock-pool where
the hermit had been captured was a colony of

n2

ie ee el ad eae


180 THE HERMIT AND THE ORASS.

very fine sea-anemones (B. Crassicornis), and I
thought that, probably, by their aid, Mr. Hermit
might be enticed out of his shell, even if he would
not be dragged out. So I popped the hermit
among the wide-expanded tentacles of the crass,
which immediately began to contract. The hermit
was evidently acquainted with his danger, and, in
his hurry to escape from the adhesive tentacles
that were twining about him, loosened his hold of
the shell, and was instantly plucked out. I let
him walk about for a while in the pool, where he
looked very woe-begone, trailing his defenceless
tail behind him as if he were ashamed of it.
After a while I dropped a damaged Purpura shell
into the pool, and the crab at once went up to it,
and, after a very short examination, stuck the end
of his tail into it, for it was not large enough to
accommodate the entire tail, and walked about as
before, At last, I put the original habitation into
the pool, to the very great delight of the hermit,
who exchanged shells with a marvellous rapidity,
and seemed so much at home again that I could
not think of disturbing him. I have frequently
tried the same plan of enticing the hermits out of
their shells, and never found it to fail.

The combative propensities of these creatures
are quite wonderful for their development. If
THE CANNIBAL HERMIT, 181

only two hermits of tolerably equal size are placed
in an aquarium, they are not content with appro-
priating different portions of the vessel to them-
selves, but must needs travel over it and fight
whenever they meet. This struggle is constantly
renewed, until one of them discovers his infe-
riority and makes way whenever the victor comes
near. When they fight, they do so in earnest,
tumbling over each other, and flinging about
their legs and claws with singular energy.

They are not at all particular about diet, so
that it is of an animal substance, and will eat
molluscs, raw meat, or even their own species.
More than once, when a hermit has died, I have
dropped the body into the water so as to bring it
within view of another hermit. The little can-
nibal caught the descending body in one of his
claws very dexterously, and holding it firmly with
one claw, he picked it to pieces with the other,
and put each morsel into his mouth in a rapid
and systematic manner, that was highly amusing.
It was literally “tucking in.” Only the soft ab-
domen was eaten, and the hard legs, claws, and
thorax rejected. Some prawns came and tried to
eat the rejected portions, but unsuccessfully,
although they dragged them about the water for
& few minutes,



‘
}
,
182 CHANGING HOUSE,

When one of these hermits is in captivity, and
feels ill, he crawls out of his shell, and generally '
dies in an hour or two afterwards. It is a very
curious propensity, and one that is shared by the
tube-inhabiting worms, as has already been men-
tioned. The habit is the more remarkable, as the
usual instinct of animals leads them to the most
retired spots that they can find, and there to
resign themselves to death.

The formation of the hermit is wonderfully
suited to the strange habitation which it adopts,
and a hermit when removed from the shell would
hardly be recognised for the same creature as that
which was snugly curled up within it. Even the
claws are modified, for the purpose of lying
smoothly in the shell’s mouth, one of them
being very large, and placed in front, as a shield
and weapon united, while the other is very
small, and is almost wholly retracted within the
shell.

When a hermit desires to change his habitation,
he goes through a curious series of performances,
which, if he had hands, we should be disposed to
call manipulations, A shell lies on the ground,
and the hermit seizes it with his claws and feet,
twists it about with wonderful dexterity, as if
testing its weight ; and having examined every
COMMON LOBSTER, 183

portion of its exterior, he proceeds to satisfy
himself about the interior. For this purpose, he
pushes his fore-legs as far into the shell as they
will reach, and probes with their assistance every
spot that can be touched. If this examination
satisfies him, he whisks himself into the shell with
such rapidity, that he seems to have been acted
upon by a spring. Such a scene as this will not
be witnessed in the sea, unless the hermit is
forcibly deprived of his shell, as in the cases
above mentioned ; but when hermits are placed
in a tank or vase, they seem to be rather given to
“ flitting.”

The crab is not always the sole inhabitant of
the protecting shell, for one of the curious worms,
called Nereides, is very frequently found in joint
possession. The fishermen value the Nereis for
bait, and turn out the poor hermits in order to
obtain this worm that is concealed within the
whelk-shell.

The Common Lobster (Astacus marinus) is an .
example of another order of these creatures, the
Macroura, or Long-tailed Crustaceans. The cray-
fish, prawns, and shrimps, all belong to this order.
The lobsters are usually taken in basket-traps,
after the same manner as the crabs, and when
caught they are kept in well-boxes, through which
184 REPRODUCTION OF LIMBS.

the sea-water runs freely; that is, if there is no
immediate sale for them.
Both crabs and lobsters, together with other

crustaceans, possess the remarkable faculty of
throwing off a limb or two when injured, or even



THE LOBSTER.

if they are alarmed, and of reproducing the lost
members. This voluntary amputation often takes
place even in the huge claws that lobsters carry,
and which are so valued at table. Sailors some-
times hold out a threat to the fishermen, that
they will sail to the lobster-grounds, and there
discharge heavy guns; the effect of which would
be to make the lobsters throw off their claws, and
thereby render them unsaleable.
REPRODUCTION OF LIMBS. 185

Most crustaceans are pugnacious in character,
and it often happens that when they fight, they
inflict serious injury upon each other’s limbs;
and in such cases the maimed limb is detached,
not at the wounded spot, but at the joint imme-
diately above, and after awhile a slight protrusion
opens itself at the amputated joint, which pro-
trusion becomes more protruded, and in short
space develops into a limb. It is a very common
circumstance to find a lobster with one very large
claw, while the other is of comparatively small
size. There is a very wise object in this power.
The blood vessels of the crustaceans are but
slightly contractile, and, in consequence, if a
wound is inflicted, the vessels continue to bleed
freely. But by this amputation the wounded
surface is reduced to a very small portion, and
the substance of the joint contracts with sufficient
force to stop the bleeding.

The shell of these creatures is formed of un-
yielding calcareous substance; and although it
may be a most excellent defence for the full-
grown crab or lobster, it leaves no room for
growth. In order to obviate this difficulty, the
crustaceans are possessed of the power of dis-
carding their shells at certain seasons of the year;
at which time, also, a new and larger shell is
186 CHANGE OF SHELL.

formed. This, in its turn, is cast off; and so con-
tinually, until the creature has attained its full
growth. Not only are the mere shelly coats of
the body and limbs thus changed, but the lobster,
for example, when it changes its shell, discards
with the shell the following portions of the
body :—

The footstalks of the eyes.

‘The external cornea of the eyes.

The internal thoracic bones.

The membrane of the ear.

The membranous covering of the lungs.

The tendons of all the claws.

The lining of the stomach.

And the stomachic teeth.

The lobster seems to experience some difficulty
in casting its skin; and from this list of organs
that are changed, it is but little wonder that there
should be a difficulty.

There are certain glass toys that were once
much in vogue. A reel covered with thread, or
a model of a railway engine and tender, were
exhibited in a bottle with a very narrow neck.
The puzzle was, to discover how the reel got into
the bottle. But in the case of the lobster, there
is @ puzzle of precisely an opposite character: for
it is easy enough to understand how a lobster
AGILITY OF LOBSTER. 187

gets into his shell, or rather how the shell forms
over the lobster; but how he gets out of it, and
especially how he withdraws his huge pincers
without leaving the slightest mark of fracture, is
a riddle far more wonderful than that of the
bottle. At all events, it is accomplished, and that
with such nicety that the cast shell exhibits pre-
cisely the same appearance as when it surrounded
the living animal.

When the shell is rejected, the creature is
almost undefended, its body being only covered
with a membranous skin ; and is therefore liable
to be injured by foes who would be treated with
contempt were the shelly armour in its place.
So the defenceless animal conceals itself in a
quiet spot, and there waits until another shell
has been secreted.

The movements of the lobster, and indeed of
all its relatives, may be reduced to two kinds,
crawling and shooting. Its legs are the means
by which it accomplishes the former mode of
progression, and the tail by which the latter.
I should rather have said, that the tail was the
organ of retrogression; for when the lobster
shoots through the water by means of the tail,
it is in a backward direction. The extremity
of the tail is furnished with an array of broad


188 TAIL OF LOBSTER,

plates, so disposed, that when the lobster violently .
bends its body into the curved shape that it
assumes when boiled the force of its action
against the water is so strong, that a single
stroke will urge the creature to a distance of
twenty feet or more, and even enable it to
spring out of the water. The natural position
of the lobster is straight, and it only curls itself
on emergencies, such as a sudden fright, or im-
mersion in hot water. And its sight is so good,
or its instinct so wonderful, that it can thus
throw itself between two rocks where is barely
room for its body to pass. As to the sight, it may
well be good, for the lobster possesses compound
eyes like the insects, only the shape of the lenses
is square instead of hexagonal. Many crustaceans
have their eyes hexagonal instead of square,

Beside the crab, the lobster, and the crayfish,
two other crustaceans find their way to the table ;
some of them gaining in liveliness of hue by their
passage through the hot water, such as the lobster,
the shrimp, and the crayfish ; while some, as the
crab, make very little change, one way or the
other, and some, as the prawns, positively lose
their exquisite tints. Heat applied in any way
has the same effect, and so has alcohol. ’

As the shrimps are of more common occurrence
than the prawns, they will have the precedence,
Still, many so-called shrimps are really prawns,
and among them may be noticed the red shrimp,
as distinguished from the brown. The true
shrimps are called by the fishermen “sand-raisers,”
and with reason ; for they have a habit of scooping
out ‘furrows in the sand, and sinking into them
until hardly any portion of their bodies is visible.
And in doing so, they raise quite a cloud of
sand, which settles down again and assists in ob-
scuring their bodies,

They are caught in peculisrly-shaped nets.
which are pushed along the bettom of the sea,
and into which the alarmed shrimps rush. The
shrimp net, however, contains many objects besides
shrimps or prawns, and it is useful to bargain
with a shrimper to put all his “ rubbish” into a
basket and bring it back at the end of his short
but hard work. In this way all sorts of marine
creatures are captured, especially the smaller
fish, and various crustaceans. It is also a charity
to the shrimpers, for their work is severe, very
trying to the constitution, and badly paid. They
are mostly good-natured, honest fellows, always
ready to earn a shilling, and can be made into
useful assistants as soon as they have got over
their astonishment at the value attached to the


190 YOUNG SHRIMPS,

objects which they have been in the habit of
throwing away as rubbish, and which they will
still throw away if not looked after.

In the little rock-pools that are left by the
tide, numbers of small shrimps may be found, but
not easily caught ; for they are exceedingly active,
darting about with the rapidity of arrows, and,
being just the colour of the sand, are difficult to
perceive, They cause innumerable furrows in the
sand by their little darting flights; and although
their marks are usually obliterated by the return-
ing tide, yet there are instances where the furrows,
together with the spots produced by rain-drops,
and the footmarks of shore birds, have been
petrified, and remained as witnesses of events
that took place many ages ago. If these little
shrimps are desired as specimens, they may be
easily captured, by passing a gauze net rapidly
through the water. The shrimps are startled at
the flash of the net, and as they dart about wildly,
here and there, are caught in the very object
which they were endeavouring to avoid.

The shrimp is a prolific creature, and produces
a large number of eggs, which it carries about
until hatching time comes. The young shrimps
are comical little creatures, anything but har-
monious in their proportions, and bear no more
' PRAWNS. 191

resemblance to their parents than a newly-hatched
blind chick does toa gallant game cock. They
seem to be gregarious in their habits, and at a
little distance look like a cloud of active white
particles. They can be easily brought together
for observation, or captured, by holding a lighted
candle to the side of the vessel which contains
them; for they crowd to the light like so many
moths or gnats, which latter insects they slightly
resemble. Unfortunately, many marine animals
are very fond of young shrimps, and a great
amount of catching and eating goes on whenever
a fresh batch of shrimps comes into existence
so that only a very small per centage attain
maturity.

The prawns when living are most exquisite
beings, their partially transparent bodies being
diversified with delicate tintings, and their radiant
eyes glowing like living opals. A boiled prawn
loses as much of its living beauty as a trout or a
mackerel when subjected to the same process. I
have already remarked that the compound eyes
of the crustacea are analogous to the correspond-
ing organs in the insects, and the analogy is
further carried out by the power of reflecting
and refracting light. The eyes of many insects,
especially those who fly by night, possess this

Oye
192 EYES OF ORUSTACEA AND INSECTS,

property ; and of all British insects, the Common
Death’s-head Moth is perhaps the most con-
spicuous in this respect. Either by daylight, or
when the rays from a candle fall upon the eyes,
they glow as if lighted from within by some hidden
fire; a circumstance which adds in no small
degree to the terror which is often inspired in
the uneducated mind at the sight of one of these
insects. In all cases the light departs together
with the life of the animal : its origin is not as
yet clearly ascertained. Even the eyes of the
common Dragon-fly, a diurnal insect, possess a
kind of fiery glow when viewed during the life of
the creature, but turn to dull, dead hemispheres
as soon as it perishes. The light that is reflected
from the eyes of cats, &c. is accounted for on
principles that do not hold good with regard to
the compound eyes of insects or crustacea. The
ordinary edible prawns are not found between
tide-marks, except occasionally when an unhappy
individual has been driven towards the shore, and
has not been able to regain the sea before the
waves have retired. For this creature, the
shrimping net or the dredge is requisite 3 and
as it is tender in constitution, a vessel of sea-
water should be ready for its reception when
taken out of its native haunts,
RING-HORNED PANDALUS, 193

There are, however, several species of shore
prawns which quite equal, if not excel, those of
the deeper waters in beauty. One of these, the
Common sop Prawn, is given on plate m, fig. 1.
It is called the sop Prawn because it wears a
kind of hunch upon its back, thereby following
the example of the great fabulist. Its scientific
name is Pandalus annulicornis, or the Ring-horned
Pandalus. The title “ring-horned” is given to it,
because the horns, or antenng, are exquisitely
ringed with scarlet lines at regular distances.
These antenns are most lovely organs; and as
the prawn swims through the water in its usual
graceful gliding progression, the antenns wave
to and fro, producing elegant and everchanging
curves. The whole body of the creature is covered
with scarlet lines, which show out exquisitely
upon the pellucid groundwork.

These creatures will not be found in the winter,
or even in the early spring ; but in the summer
months they may be seen in abundance in the
rock-pools, and captured by means of the gauze
net without any difficulty. Ifthe pool is too large,
and permits the enclosed animals to escape from
' the net by means of their extreme activity, the
water may generally be drained away by a judi-
ciously cut channel, well guarded by stones and

0


194 MODE OF CAPTURING SHRIMPS, ETO.

pebbles, or even by the more simple but more
tedious mode of baling ; the collecting jar makes
& very good baling pan. By adopting either of
these plans, the surface of water soon becomes
contracted, and the imprisoned animals are driven
into narrower limits, from which they may be
extracted at leisure.

On most sandy shores a curious appearance
may be seen bordering the skirts of the waves, an
appearance as if innumerable little grasshoppers
continually leaped into the air, and in some places
so numerous as to fill the air with a sort of
misty cloud, to the height of several inches from
the ground. Often as the promenader walks along
the sea-shore, his footsteps put up whole swarms
of these creatures, and induce him to catch them,
or rather to attempt their capture. Perhaps one
very large individual jumps into the air, and
comes down so determinately, that it is marked
out for a victim. Down comes the hand upon
the spot, but the creature has actively hopped
away, and is making off with a succession of
agile leaps, that remind one of a kangaroo or a
bull-frog. If the pursuer can drive the agile
creature from the sea, he may run it down after
a smart chase; and when he has caught it he will
see that it is a little crustacean, whose form may
SAND-SKIPPHK, 195

be recognised on plate m, fig. 2. From its hopping
propensities, it goes by the name of Sand-hopper,
or Sand-skipper.

It generally lives on the shore, burrowing deep
holes in the sand, where it lies concealed until the
waves again cover the sands. And if fine speci-
mens are wanted for collection or preservation,
they may easily be obtained by digging into the
sand with those wooden spades, of which there is
no lack wherever there are children, and so poun-
cing on the sand-skippers before they can recover
their alarm at so sudden an entrance into the
light of day. They may also be found plentifully
swimming about in the rock-pools, or concealed
in the masses of ulva or enteromorpha that mostly
fringe those miniature ponds. If a basketful of
these weeds be plucked at random, and then
thrown into a large vessel of sea-water, some
twenty or thirty sand-skippers will generally be
seen swimming about, and may so be captured.

They feed on the green. sea-weeds, and would
be hurtful inhabitants of the aquarium did they
not serve as food for the anemones, crabs, and
other living creatures that are generally kept in
such receptacles. It is surprising how soon they
vanish from the scen®, as soon, indeed, as a stock
of carp and roach vanish if placed in a pond

02


196 GOBIES.

where several large pike have taken up their
abode. A whole handful of sand-skippers may
be transferred to a well-stocked aquarium, and
in a week or so hardly one will have survived ;
there will be plenty of empty shells and rejected
limbs at the bottom of the aquarium, but nothing
more than their vestiges to tell that sand-skippers
once were.

In the same rock-pools where the shrimps,
prawns, and sand-skippers are found, there reside
also temporarily numbers of little bright-eyed
active fish, hardly distinguishable from the
shrimps until captured. One of these fishes is
shown on plate n, fig. 4, and its name is popu-
larly, the One-spotted Goby, and scientifically,
Gobius unipunctatus. It derives its name from
the single spot that may be seen on the dorsal
fin, and which is so conspicuous a mark that
by it the creature may be easily distinguished,
at all events with sufficient accuracy for ordinary
purposes. There is another species of goby,
called the Two-spot, that is very common on the
coast; so common indeed are these little fish,
that I have taken upwards of thirty in as many
seconds, merely by sweeping with the gauze net
the waters of a rock-pool that had been condensed,
as it were, by draining.


GOBIES, 197

The gobies are hardy little fishes, and are able
to withstand the prejudicial influences that are
inseparable from even the best-regulated aqua-
rium. Some three or four are sufficient in
number, and impart to the tank a liveliness that
is very pleasing. The ventral fins of the gobies
are so formed that they can be pressed together
and used as a sucker, by means of which they —
can adhere firmly to the glass forming the sides
of the aquarium, or to the rocks and stones of
their native sea. The rapidity, too, with which
a goby affixes itself to the glass is quite sur-
prising. These little fish are terrible enemies to
the shrimps, for they feed greedily either on the
eggs themselves, or on the young shrimps when
they have just emerged from the egg. They also
feed much on the animalcules of various kinds
that throng the alga, and so may be conveniently
fed by placing in the tank a handful of freshly
gathered ulva, enteromorpha, or indeed any of the
sea-weeds whose growth is sufficiently dense , to
afford shelter to the animalcules. By the aid of
a lens, the tiny creatures may be seen coming by
thousands out of the floating sea-weed, and
snapped up almost as fast as they show them-
selves.

The Black Goby (G@obius niger) may also be


198 THE SHANNY.

captured as he lies lurking in cunning recesses
beneath the stones and rocks, waiting for prey.
He is decidedly a fierce fish, and its admission
into an aquarium is a doubtful point, inasmuch
as he has been known to catch and devour the
two-spot goby. It is a larger fish than either
of those already mentioned, being about three
inches in length.

Another very curious fish is found in much the
same locality as the gobies. This is the Shanny,
Tansy, or Smooth Blenny, as it is indifferently
named, one individual of a large family, whose
features are sufficiently remarkable for recogni-
tion, The scientific name of this fish is Blennius
pholis, and a portrait of it is given on plate n,
fig 5.

Any one who possesses an aquarium should
search after this creature, for it is quite as hardy,
if not more so, than the gobies themselves, and is
also a bold active fish, making itself very comfort-
able in its new home, and sparing no oppor-
tunity of procuring food, even snatching it from
the very jaws of less active fish. The colour of
this fish is variable, some specimens being beau-
tifully marked with green and yellow, while there
are some almost wholly black or brownish olive,
But in all varieties, it has one beauty that never



THE SHANNY. 199

seems to change, and that is the eye, which is
decorated with a ring of brilliant crimson. It is
a small fish, only a few inches in length, and is
to be caught in precisely the same manner as the 4
gobies, ,





INDEX.



—
Acorn-shell, 156. Cockle, 28.
Alcyonium, 115. Cod, 88.
Alge, 41. Coralline, 56.
Alva, 71. Cormorant, 5.
ones Daiay 114 fonan
——_-—— smooth, 94. Crab, edible, 174.
——-—— thick-horned,104. —— green, 173.
Annelids, 145. — hermit, 178.
Aphrodite, 154. —— spider, 176.
Aquarium, 63. —— swimming, 175
Auks, 9.
Cuttle, 80.
Balanus, 156.
Barnacle, 161. Dead-man’s Fingers, 115.
Bernicle-goose, 162. Delesseria, 58, 59.
Beroe, 165. Dictyota, 51.
irds, 1. Dog-fish, 89.
Bird’s-head, 120. Doris, 37.
Bladder-wrack, 44 Dulse, 60.
mre 7. 12,
opsis,
ns Detnetenats 141,
Sone, \ Ectocarpus, 51.
Chima 8a 82. Enteromorpha, 66.
8
68. 196.
Chyleatadis, ion 4, 48,
2
Furcellaria 61.




Lobster, 183.
Lug-worm, 145.

Melanosperms, 47.
aoe + 90.
Mouse, 54.
Mussel, 33.

Nautilus, 82,
Nereis, 188,
Nitophyllum, 63,
Noctiluca, 170,
Nudibranchs, 37,

Oar-weed, 48.

Star-fishes, 125.

brittle, 134,

——--—— five-finger, 126
183

——-—— sun, 183.



Tansy, 198,

Teredo, $2.
Terebella, 148,
Terns, 3.
Thread-capsules, 106.
Tides, 42,

Tops, 25,

Ulva, 67,
Urchins, 136,

vet 27.
Whelk, 22.

—— eggs of, 7,
Zostera, 70,
INDEX TO PLAT ss.

A (Front.) D
1, Chylociadia articulata. - Lam digitata. —
2. i us siliculosus, : (Tangle,
8. Pagina pavonia.—(Peacock’s- 2. Fucus serratus. — (Notched

4. Porphyra laciniata,—(Py; le
tae or Sloke.) —
5. Dictyota dichotoma.

B
1 Trochus ziziphinus.—( Pearly
‘op.
2, Litter a littoralis, ~ (Peri-
winkle.)

8. Patella Vulgaris.—(Limpet.)
Ditto, showing under-side,

4. ura lapillus,
5. communis. — (Com-
. mon Wentletrap.)

‘ardium edule.—(Common
Cockle.)
. Meat as od treaty)
. us edulis, ussel,
9. Pholas dactylus,

c

. Beyepet pa
+ Bryopsis plumosa,
4. Delesseria’ hypoglossum.

1. Sertularia filicula.
2. Flustra foliacea,

3. Coryne pusilla,

4, Actinia, mesembryanthe-
mum.

5. Ditto.

6. Lepralia ciliata,

7. Cellularia avicularis.
8. Alcyonium digitatum,
9. Bunodes crassicornis,

P
Ll Ppala contort uplicata
2. Tube of Terebella,
& Teredo navalis, — (Ship.

worm.
4, Agarotine, or Halithea acu
. seata,—(S-a-mouse,)
6. Holothuris. — (Sea. cucum.
ber.)




. Delesseria sanguinea.

. Furcellaria fastigiata.

» Chondrus crispus. — (Irish,
or

Sree Se

1, Griffithsia setacea. A fruit

ed.
2. Polysiphonia urceolata. A
fruit magnified.

aie squinado. — (Spider-
crab.
4. Portunus puber. — (Velvet

swimming Crab, or Velvet

Fiddler.)

N .

. Aquorea. — (Medusa, or

3. Plocamium yea A . ou on e
m magnified. . iP leus. — (Beroe, or
4. Rhodymenia bifida. Bee Jely-fish.)
5. Ptilota plumosa. 8. Balanus. —(Acorn-shell, or
6. Ulva latissima. — (Green Acorn-barnacle.)
Laver, or Sloke.) 4. Doris _ptilota. — (Naked-
gilled Sea-slug.)
5. Gobius unipunctatus.—(One-
1 rh: a Smithii 6. Bionnius ph L-bitienns
. Caryop y’ mithii, — . Blennius p )
(Common Madrepore.)
THE END,





R. CLAY, PRINTER, BREAD STREET HILL.