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purpose of a helm. Such are the Silvery Fish of the Antilles. They are seen sporting among the most impetuous surges, without a single instance ever occurring of their being cast on shore. In like manner, the Moon-fish of the island of Ascension appear designed to elude their enemies. They bear the round, and somewhat sloping form of the orb of night, and while sporting among the billows, they seem every moment liable to be tossed on shore by the agitated waves ; nay, their mouths are so small, that they frequently nibble off the bait without touching the hook, and their skin, though defended by scales like that of the seal, is so remarkably hard, that the harpoon often misses its blow, be the prongs ever so keenly sharpened.
Others resemble sword blades, like those of the Sicilian islands, which bear that name. These delight in penetrating the narrow crevices of rocks, or in stemming furious torrents. The Oblong Tretaton bears a considerable similarity to a beam; it commits itself without apprehension, and almost without effort to the current of the ocean, on which it is borne rapidly. The same configuration is also evident in the Gilt-head, one of the Pisces Saxatiles, or Rockfishes, that haunt deep water, where steep angular rocks, depend over fathomless abysses, and the surrounding shores are covered with huge stones. The construction of the Lump-sucker is nearly similar.
It abounds on the coasts of Sunderland, near the Ord of Caithness, and in the Greenland seas, during the months of April and May.
A beautiful variety, described and figured by the Rev. Hugh Davies, of Beaumaris, is occasionally visible on the British coast. It differs from the preceding, merely in the unusual brilliancy of its tinting. The back is of a fine azure, deepening towards the edge, the sides are tinged with crimson, the head, and under surface with a sea-green ; the fins and tail terminating in a delicate pale yellow. It uniformly swims sideways, in accordance with its extraordinary conformation, and rides uninjured among the most furious surges, where it appears
like a beam of wood, dotted over with beautiful lichens and sea-weeds. Others, as the common Pike, advance by means of their peculiar construction, some way upon the shelly shore, where there is scarcely any water, and display, in contact with the dusky rocks, their green shining coats, bespangled with stars of gold. The long slender form, assigned by nature to the common Eel, or Muræna anquilla, enables it to force a ready passage through the yielding sand, while the transparent horny convex case which covers its quick glancing eye, prevents the sight from being injured hy the admission of extraneous particles. To such an animal, could anything be more needed or more useful ?
The common Mackerel (Scomber scomber), which abounds in the open seas, and visits almost every part of the French and English coasts, is long, narrow, without scales, terminating nearly in a point; a construction admirably adapted to its gregarious mode of life. The form of the Herring (Clupea harengus) is obviously designed for enabling it to perform the longest voyages, with ease and rapidity. The fins are so constructed as greatly to assist the progress of the animal, and the tail forked like a rudder, the head and body compressed, elongated, covered with scales. Hence we find, that they ride uninjured amid the
of the Northern Ocean, and pass in safety the rocky shores of the Orkney, Shetland, and Ferroe islands, darting among the vast fleeces of foam, which incessantly arise from the depths of their dark and rugged windings.
The form of the Tunny, which approaches to an oval, sharp at one end, terminated at the other by fins resembling a half moon, denotes the character of the animal; a creature, destined to take long voyages, forsaking the ocean, and steering into the mouths of rivers, and inland seas.
This interesting species make their way, by aid of those very tides that oppose
the progress of various other fishes. They enter the Mediterranean about the period of the vernal equinoxes, and diffuse plenty along its shores,
The Anglesea Morris of Pennant's British Zoo. logy, offers a beautiful instance of evident design in its construction ; and of design studiously conducing to the welfare of the animal. I first observed it among some loose stones, at the extreme verge of Beaumaris Green.
What time the sun descending all serene,
The creature itself was about four inches in length, thin and transparent, with a small head, body compressed sideways, ending in a point, eyes remarkably large ; pectoral ventral, caudal fins entirely wanting. It is uniformly observed to reside in a dense mass of wrack, or sea-weed, and hence we naturally conjecture that such is its general habitation. Who then can observe the organization of the Morris, without being forcibly struck with the extraordinary fitness of its several parts to an assigned locality, and mode of life? The smallness of the head, and its compressed body, are peculiarly suited to glide between the numerous folds, and confined passes, of this intricate vegetable mass. The large eyes, to discover its minute prey in the gloom of so dense a grove ; while the absence of feet, wings, and rudder, “ And yet,"
that is to say of caudal, pectoral, and ventral fins, evince that such appendages would be not only useless, but even inconvenient.
The Barbel delights, on the contrary, in ranging through deep and tranquil waters. says Walton, “he is so well constructed, that he is able to subsist in the strongest and the swiftest waters, haunting occasionally in the summer, shallow and sharp streams, loving to lurk under weeds, to feed on gravelly banks against a rising ground, and will root and dig with his nose like a dog, and then rest himself.” But sometimes he retires to deep and swift bridges, or flood-gates, where he reposes amongst poles, or in hollow places, and takes such hold of the moss and weeds, that be the water ever so swift, it is not able to force him from the place that he contends for. This in summer is his constant custom, when he, and most other living creatures sport themselves in the sun ; but at the approach of winter he forsakes the swift streams and shallow waters, and by degrees retires to those parts of the river that are quiet and deep. To which, we may further add, as a striking instance of sagacity, “that he affords the angler choice sport, being a strong and cunning fish; so strong indeed, and cunning, as to endanger the breaking of the angler's line, by running his head forcibly towards any covert, hole, or bank, and then striking at the line, in order to break it off