Library of natural history, Volume 10

Front Cover
Richard Lydekker
Riverside, 1901 - Natural history - 3556 pages
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Page 2846 - If these Am.blyopses be not alarmed, they come to the surface to feed, and swim in full sight like white aquatic ghosts. They are then easily taken by the hand or net, if perfect silence is preserved, for they are unconscious of the presence of an enemy except through the medinm of hearing. This sense is, however, evidently very acute, for at any noise they turn suddenly downward and hide beneath stones, etc., on the bottom.
Page 2947 - It was like a great sac, with its walls of jelly about an inch in thickness. It was four feet in length, and ten inches in diameter. When a Pyrosoma is stimulated by having its surface touched, the phosphorescent light breaks out at first at the spot stimulated, and then spreads over the surface of the colony as the stimulus is transmitted to the surrounding animals. I wrote my name with my finger on the surface of the giant Pyrosoma, as it lay on deck in a tub at night, and my name came out in a...
Page 2870 - The water has a marked influence on the colors. Trout with intense ocellated spots are generally found in clear, rapid rivers and in alpine pools; in the large lakes, -with pebbly bottom, the fish are bright silvery, and the ocellated spots are mixed with or replaced by X -shaped black spots ; in dark holes, or lakes with peaty bottom, they often assume an almost uniform blackish coloration.
Page 2733 - They were first observed in the evening ; and the whole sea, as far as we could command it with the eye, seemed in a state of fermentation with their numbers. Those who stood on some projecting rock, had only to dip their hands into the water, and with a sudden jerk they might throw up three or four. The bathers felt them come against their bodies ; and the sea, looked on from above, appeared one dark mass of fish.
Page 2773 - ... and they rise without regard to the direction of the wind or waves. The fins are kept quietly distended, without any motion, except an occasional vibration caused by the air whenever the surface of the wing is parallel with the current of the wind. Their flight is rapid...
Page 2946 - ... phenomenon. The ship soon cleaved through the brilliant mass, from which, by the disturbance, strong flashes of light were emitted ; and the shoal, judging from the time the vessel took in passing through the mass, may have been a mile in breadth. The passage of the vessel through them increased the light around to a far stronger degree, illuminating the ship. On taking in the towing-net, it was found half filled with Pyrosoma (Atlanticum?), which shone with a beautiful pale-greenish light ;...
Page 2946 - ... considered to be breakers. On arriving upon the deck, this was found to be a very broad and extensive sheet of phosphorescence, extending in a direction from east to west, as far as the eye could reach. The luminosity was confined to the range of animals in this shoal, for there was no similar light in any other direction. I immediately cast the towingnet over the stern of the ship, as we approached nearer the luminous streak, to ascertain the cause of this extraordinary and so limited phenomenon.
Page 2784 - They were kept in glasses of water, fed with larvae of mosquitoes, and had thus lived for many months. The Siamese are as infatuated with the combats of these fish as the Malays are with their cock-fights; and stake on the issue considerable sums, and sometimes their own persons and families.
Page 2876 - In approaching the entrance of rivers, or in seeking out, as it were, some one they preferred, shoals of this fish may be seen coasting the bays and headlands, leaping and sporting in great numbers, from about one pound to three or four pounds in weight ; and in some of the smaller bays the shoal could be traced several times circling it, and apparently feeding.
Page 2846 - ... etc., on the bottom. They must take much of their food near the surface, as the life of the depths is apparently very sparse. This habit is rendered easy by the structure of the fish, for the mouth is directed partly upwards, and the head is very flat above, thus allowing the mouth to be at the surface.

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