History of Wonderful Fishes

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Christopher Bentham, 1820 - 181 pages
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Page 91 - Gannets and others, which follow to prey on them : but when the main body approaches, its breadth and depth is such as to alter the very appearance of the ocean. It is divided into distinct columns of five or six miles in length and three or four in breadth, and they drive the water before them with a kind of rippling...
Page 179 - ... when it is perfectly formed, the shell gapeth open, and the first thing that appeareth is the foresaid 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 onely 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 bigger than a mallard, and lesser than a goose...
Page 111 - When after a fatiguing march, and escaping a thousand dangers, (for they are sometimes three months in getting to the shore,) they have arrived at their destined port, they prepare to cast their spawn.
Page 113 - ... for being covered with a skin resembling soft parchment, almost every part except the stomach may be eaten. They are taken in the holes, by feeling for them with an instrument ; they are sought after by night, when on their journey, by flambeaux. The instant the animal perceives itself attacked, it throws itself on its back, and with its claws pinches most terribly whatever it happens to fasten on. But the dexterous crab-catcher takes them by the hinder legs, in such a manner that the nippers...
Page 54 - America, every negro, to defend himself against these animals, carries with him into the water a sharp knife, which, if the fish offers to assault him, he endeavours to strike into its belly; on which it generally swims off. The officers who are in the vessels keep a watchful eye on these voracious creatures ; and, when they observe them approach, shake the ropes fastened to the negroes, to put them on their guard. Many, when the divers have been in danger, have thrown themselves into the water with...
Page 109 - May to begin their expedition, and then sally out by thousands from the stumps of hollow trees, from the clefts of rocks, and from the holes which they dig for themselves under the surface of the earth. At that time the...
Page 39 - Porpesse was once considered a sumptuous article of food, and is said to have been occasionally introduced at the tables of the old English nobility. It was eaten with a sauce composed of sugar, vinegar, and crumbs of bread.
Page 57 - I have seen," says Captain Portlock, " five or six large sharks swimming about the ship, when there have been upwards of a hundred Indians in the water, both men and women : they seemed quite indifferent about them, and the sharks never offered to make an attack on any of them, and yet at the same time would seize our bait greedily ; whence it is manifest that they derive their confidence of safety from their experience, that they are able to repel the attacks of those devouring monsters.
Page 127 - This fish feeds principally on flies and other small winged insects that hover about the waters it inhabits ; and the mode of taking its prey is very remarkable. When it sees a fly at a distance, on any of the plants in the shallow water, it approaches very slowly, and with the utmost caution, coming as much as possible perpendicularly under the object. Then, putting, its body in an oblique direction, with the mouth and eyes near the surface, it remains for a moment immoveable.
Page 117 - Fearful they strowl, and look with panting Wish For the cast Crust of some new-cover'd Fish; Or such as empty lie, and deck the Shore, Whose first and rightful Owners are no more, They make glad Seizure of the vacant Room And count the borrow'd Shell their native Home; Screw their soft Limbs to fit the winding Case, And boldly herd with the Crustaceous Race.

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