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as the conclusion would be, from the tylis, cauda articulata subulata apice white of an egg being found in a fissa. Habitat in Oceano Norwagico, single human stomach after breakfast, Harengum cibus gratissimus." --Ibid to conclude that the race lived solely 518. upon eggs.
Here, I take leave to remark, are But to return to the roe-aals. no doubtful conjectures upon a halfThese animals seem to be, if not the digested animal of dubious identity; same, at least very nearly approaching but scientific descriptions of the mi. to the identical food which, according nute or microscopic shrimps upon to Dr Knox, gives the herring its which the herring was known to feed, value, and the Dutch their superiority enabling future observers to identify in curing this fish. In a note to the species. Lacepede's account, of the herring, In almost all of the herring sto which is similar to that of Bloch, his machs now on the table, fragments ingenious editor adds an explanation of minute crustacea were found in conin regard to what the roe-aal of the siderable abundance. There were evifishermen of Norway really are. 1 dently more than one species. quote the passage.
-" These are not Latreille, the most celebrated of worms,” says he, but minute shrimps, modern entomologists, in his History which are found in the intestines of of Insects, Paris, _1798, records the the herrings fished on the coasts of Gammarus escaof Fabricius as the food Norway. This species of crustacea, of the herring. The Astacus harendescribed by M. Fabricius under the gum of the same author he refers to a name of Astacus harengum, and which new genus, Mysis, and states that it has the Norwegians call aal and sil aal, is been found on the coast of France. 80 multiplied during summer, that In the Dictionaire des Sciences Na thousands of these animals are found turelles, and under the head Cluper, in a bucket of sea-water. They serve M. Hippolyte Cloquet says of the heras the food of fishes, and principally ring, “Il se nourrit d'aufs de poissons, of the herrings, which follow them de petits crabes, et de vers." (IX.428.) wherever they direct their course, And Bose, in the “ Nouveau Dictionwherever the wind or current drives naire d'Histoire Naturelle," says, " Ils them. M. Stroem attributes to the vivent de petits poissons, de petits cruseyes of these shrimps, which contain laces, de vers marins, de mollusques, a deep red fluid, the reddish colour of &c. et ils servent de nourriture à tous the excrements of the herrings, a tint les cétacés, et à tous les poissons vowhich is communicated even to the races qui habitent ies mêmes mens belly."-Sonnini's Buffon, vol. lxiin qu'enx."—(XIV. 198.)
In Gmelin's edition of the Systema Lacepede, in the same article, says Nature of Linuæus, the translation of that the food of the herring, to which, by Dr Turton, published in which it owes its rich and agreeable 1802, it was certainly in Dr Knox's taste, ' consists generally of ova of power to have consulted, the Astacus fishes, minute crabs and worms. harengum and Gammarus esca of Ibid.
Fabricius are mentioned as the food of M. Fabricius, the author alluded to the herring—the last species, indeed, in the foregoing extract, published his “as the chief food of herrings."“Species Insectorum” in 1781. His (III. 761.) And in the “ British Zoocharacter as a naturalist, and that in a logy" of Pennant, not unknown to Dr department peculiarly his own, is of Knox, if we may judge so from his the very first order. The minute referring to this work, that excellent shrimps, which were ascertained to naturalist says, regarding the food of form a chief part of the food of the the herring, " What their food is near herring on the coasts of Norway, he the Pole, we are not yet informed; thus describes :
but in our seas they feed much on the • Astacus harengum, antennis pos- Oniscus marinus, a crustaceus insect, ticis bifidis porrectis, rostro subulato, and sometimes on their own fry, The oculis globosis prominentibus. Habi- herring will rise to a fly. Mr Low of tat in Oceano Norwagico copiosissime, Birsa, in the Orkneys assures me harengnm et gadorum esca.”—Vol. I. that he has caught many thousands
with a common trout-fly, in a deep “ Gammarus esca, manibus adace hole in a rivulet into which the tide
flows. He commonly went at the fall he, “ the whole of the larger animals of the tide. They were young fish from depend on those minute beings, which, six to eight inches in length.”-(Pen- until the year 1816, when I first ennant, III. 448–9, Lond. 1812.) tered on the examination of the sea.
The Reverend George Low, in his water, were not, I believe, known to posthumous work, entitled Natural exist in the Polar seas. And thus we History of Orkney, published by Dr. find a dependent chain of existence, Leach in 1813, confirms this state. one of the smaller links of which being ment (p. 227); and Dr. Macculloch destroyed, the whole might necessarily corroborates these in a paper published perish."-(1. 546.) in Brande's Journal of Science in Dr. Macculloch also states the mi1823. “When they (the herrings) nute medusa to form part of the food first arrive, and for the apparent pure of the herring, on the coasts of Bripose of spawning, they are not in tain. “ Among that food” (says he) shoals. They cannot be taken in nets "we may reckon the medusa, and from their dispersion. But the High- other analogous marine vermes, which landers then fish them with a feather are produced in such abundance in all or a fly, and a rod, and by this very these shallow seas.”—(Brande's Jour. amusing fishery, they take them in nal, XVI., London, 1823.) And in the sufficient quantities to render it a profit. volume of the same Journal for 1829, able occupation; as one man has been he remarks" If the stomachs of thus known to take a barrel and a these fishes are widely examined, they half, or about 1200 fish, during the will not be found empty, though we few days this fishery lasts.”—(XVI. cannot detect organized forms in them, 21.)
as we find entire crabs in the stomach Dr. Neill, in a List of the Fishes of of a cod-fish. Nor is this surprising, the Forth, published in the Werne- when we consider how small and rian Transactions in 1811, states his how tender the tribes of marine worms having found “in the stomach and and insects are, and how rapid is esophagus of a large female herring the digestive power of fishes.". no fewer than five young herrings, (Quart. Journal of Science, 1829, p. (not sprats) the lower partly dis- 134-5.) solved, the others entire." And he adds, that “ when in Shetland in I now come to the volume of the 1804, I met with people who had oc- Highland Society transactions for the casionally taken herrings when fish- year 1803, which is referred to by ing for piltocks or coal-fish with limpet Dr. Knox in support of his assertion, bait.”—(I. 545.) I myself once found that prior to his assumed discovery in in the stomach of a large herring two 1833, the food of the herring was partially decayed young fishes of the totally unknown. Before stating what same species. And there is now on this volume contains on the subject, the table (No. 6), a stomach of a her- although including the opinion of a ring taken this summer, containing a Professor of Natural History, I must young animal of the same or some take leave to state, that supposing the
authors of the papers in this valuable Sir John Barrow, in the article work to have decided that the food of Fisheries, printed in the Supplement the herring was to them totally unto the Encyclopædia Britannica, gives known, yet this dictum, in place of it as the result of his inquiries that proving the fact, would only have the herring “fattens on the swarms of proved their ignorance of what had shrimps and other marine insects” been previously written upon the subwhich abound in the Northern seas, ject. *After what I have already stated (IV. 257). And Mr. Wm. Scoresby as to the numerous authors who have states thé swarms of minute medusa mentioned and described the food of which are found in those seas, and the herring—not even the opinion of even coloring the water, as beyond Dr. Knox, nor Professor Rennie of the
“ The fin-whales and King's College, London, celebrated dolphins” (says he) « feed principally as they are or may be, can weaken on herrings, and other small fishes. their testimony. They may choose to These subsist on the smaller cancri
, shut their eyes in sunshine and fancy meduse, and animalcules," (Arctic it to be dark. The only inference to Regions. I. 546.). « Thus,” continues be drawn from such statements is
probative of the ignorance of those who accounts given to me by those persons make them.
ag:eed in this,—that the substance conHere I cannot help noticing the sists of separate globules of a roundish ignorance of the natural sciences which figure, and of the size of a pea, resemthis volume indicates as prevailing bles blubber, covers the surface of the even among well-informed men
sea to a great extent, and makes it to other respects. There is more infor- appearance as if covered with oil ; that mation regarding the natural history the herrings are known to feed upon it; of the herring in the work of Neu- and that it has been observed in great crantz, published 150 years previously, profusion to the north-west of Shetland, than is to be found in these papers. where the herring shoals existed at And it is but justice to my learned the time, but has nowhere else been friend, Professor Jameson, to say, that seen on the coast of Scotland. If this it is only since his appointment to the account, given by persons of observachair of natural history, and the esta- tion and veracity, is admitted, we need blishment of the Edinburgh Museum, be no longer surprised at the retreat of that that taste for the study of nature the herrings to those tracts of the northin this country has been excited, which ern sea, nor at their return from thence has led to so many splendid additions to in a full-fed and fat condition. The our knowledge.
substance here intimated is probably The Rev. Dr. Walker, in a paper a small species of the medusa, or some on the natural history of the herring, similar marine animal, which is as yet in vol. ü. of the work referred to, and not known to, naturalists.”—(II. 275, whom Dr. Knox characterises as a 276.) “strictly correct, scientific, and candid Dr. Walker seems perfectly right in person," observes, that “he had exa- his conjecture; for Mr. Scoresby and inined the stomachs of herrings at dif- Dr. Macculloch, as has been already ferent seasons of the year without find- remarked, positively mention species ing in them any sort of palpable ali- of medusa as the food of the herring. ment.”—(P. 274.) “On their first ap- The former states their incalculable pearance off the Lewis, in the month numbers in the Northern seas tinging of July, when they were full grown, the water for miles, and gives figures of and very fat, no: hing appeared in their several species; and the latter states stomach but a little slime.”—(P. 275.) that he has seen large tracts of the “ During the residence of the herrings Cornish coast, where the whole sea on the coast of Scotland, we know of no was almost a mass of life, from the food they use, and it is probable they presence of these and other marine require little or none, except some at- animals.”—(Jour. of Science for 1830, tenuated alimentary matter which the p. 135.) sea-water may afford them.”—(P.275.) In the same volume is a paper by “We think it not altogether improbable Mr. John Mackenzie, on the fisheries of that they may live on a small species of Scotlant, which tends to corroborate medusa, or some similar marine animal, the fact of some minute species of which is not as yet known to natural. medusc forming the food of the her. ists."-(P. 276.)
ring in certain situations. “Another Here Dr. Knox confines himself, in article of their food" (says he) " is an the quotations he gives from Dr. Walk- oozy substance at the bottom of the er's paper, to extracting such sentences sea, adapted, it would appear, by the as imply the food of the herring to be Author of Nature for that purpose. totally unknown. But this is not the This sometimes appears in calm weaway, were the matter at all doubtful, ther floating on the surface, in the form to arrive at a just conclusion. I shall of small globules, at which fishermen give the sequel of the passage in Dr. have observed herrings to spring as Walker's words :
trouts do at flies.”—(P. 314.) These “In the ocean, to the north-west, floating globules were, there is little and at a considerable distance from the doubt, some small species of medusa, most northern extremity of the British or kindred animal, such as referred to islands, a vast profusion of a singular by Dr. Walker, and mentioned as the substance has been often seen floating food of the herring by Mr. Scoresby on the surface, and that by skilful ma- and Dr. Macculloch; and goes to prove, riners, who were also conversant with in addition to what is stated by those the herring fishery. The different writers, that minute molluscous ani
mals form an important portion of the Here Dr. Knox's quotation stops, lest food of the herring in particular sea- the explanation which follows might
lessen the value of his assumed disA stomach of a herring, caught in covery. But Mr. Headrick continues the Frith of Forth this summer (1837), thus :- This,” says he, “may be containing this species of food, is on the owing to the strong digestive powers, table, No. 7.
which speedily convert into chyle the Mr. Mackenzie further states, that, food received into the stomach. In - in regard to the food of the herring, all the experiments I have heard nar. it has been frequently observed that rated, with a view to ascertain on what the small fry such their nutrition out the herring feeds, it appeared that a of the marine alga, or from some mat- considerable time was allowed to elapse ter adhering to them.” This obser- between its being killed and cut up. vation is borne out by the fact of many Now, such au experiment is not fair. marine animals depositing their ova In man and other animals the power on the sea-weed, and by the fact of ova of the gastric juice is known to conof fishes, and even those of their own tinue after death, so as not only to lie species, being found in the stomach of quify the contents of the stomach, but the berring. Mr. Mackenzie also men even to corrode the stomach itself.tions that it has been ascertained by The only way to know on what a herfishermen that herrings will swallow ring feeds, is to cut it up immediately a clear unbaited hook, such as is used after it has enjoyed a full meal. Both for catching haddocks, when tied to a the salmon and the herring leap at fine line ; a device which has been oft- flies and other winged insects.”. en successfully adopted when the her- Trans. High Soc. II. 444, 445. ring fishery is carried on in deep water, In regard to what is stated by Dr. in order to discover the arrival of the Walker and Mr. Headrick as their own shoals. It seems certain, therefore, opinion, that opinion is corroborative that the herrings take these hooks for of what had been before discovered as such animalcules as they, at least, some- xe the food of the herring. As to their times feed upon.”-(11. 313, 314.) ignorance of what had been previously
In the same volume is a paper, by observed and recorded upon this subthe Rev. James Headrick, on the fish- ject, I cannot pretend to account. But eries of Scotland, which Dr. Knox has their want of knowledge by no means also quoted as proving the food of the proves, in the face of evidence to the herring to be unknown. But as the contrary, that such knowledge did Doctor has only given a portion of not exist. I am aware that, from the the paragraph on the subject, and interruption of intercourse occasioned founded on it as a distinct proposition, by the wars of the French Revoluit is necessary to give the whole state- tion, there was difficulty in getting ment in connection. “ With regard books from the Continent; and a great to their mode of feeling," says Mr. degree of ignorance seems to have preHeadrick, “it is, in all probability, vailed tn Scotland as to the progress similar in the salmon and the herring of the natural sciences in foreign coonI suppose they live chiefly on water, tries, and even in England. But for end on small insects which abound both Dr. Knox and Professor Rennie there in the sea and in rivers. I have been is not the same excuse; and the only told of the fry of smaller fishes found conclusion that can be drawn from the in the stomachs of salmon; but such statements of those gentlemen is, that instences never occurred to me, and when they penned them they were not I never heard of any animal being aware of what had been previously found in the stomach of a herring.” written.
II.-FOOD OF THE SALMON.-(Salmo Salar, Lin.) I now come to the third point, on of Dr. Knox's paper. Dr. Knox's aswhich I have to make a few oberva- sertions, however, are as confidently tions, tending to show that the food made with regard to his discovery of of the salmon was perfectly well known the food of the salmon, as they were to Naturalists before the publication with regard to the food of the herring,
and, as I shall endeavour to show, their spawn at all seasons, and in sufequally unfounded.
ficient quantity, to feed the family of “The nature of the food of the her- British salmon. There is not a doubt, ring, Coregonus, and salmon” (says that if Dr. Knox had examined the stohe), “was not to be stumbled on by machs of salmon at different periods, accident. I feel happy in having to and on different stations, he would not offer it as a direct result of patient sci- only have found the ova of the starentific enquiry.”—(P. 463.)
fish (for that is the only echinoder“ As a proof of the difficulty of the matous animal stated as supplying inquiry, it being unnecessary to cite the peculiar food), but also the star. more here, I shall content myself with fish itself, the smaller crustacea, and quoting a passage from a very recent the small fishes which abound on the work (1833) on natural history. The coasts which salmon frequent. But of Complete Angler of Izaak Walton- this afterwards. edited by Mr. Rennie, Professor of In the years 1824 and 1825, a Com. Zoology, King's College, London.- mittee of the House of Commons was In 1653, Walton found nothing in the appointed to investigate the modes of stomach of the Fordige trout ; and in carrying on the principal salmon fisha note, in the year 1833, Mr. Rennie eries in the kingdom, for the purpose adds, “ The same is true of the sal- of framing an Act of Parliament that mon, which has never any thing be- should regulate that fishery, for the sides a yellow fluid in his stomach advantage of the river and coast prowhen caught."-(P. 467.)
prietors and the public. A valuable “The true salmon prefers a peculiar body of evidence was thus procured kind of food, the ova of the Echinoder. regarding the habits of the salmon ; mata, and takes with great reluctance the period of its ascending the differ
ent rivers for the purpose of spawn“ When the salmon first takes to ing; the deposition of this ova in, the the estuary and to the river, whether spawning beds; the descent of the beyond or within the influence of the young to the sea; and the food of this tide, he does not feed, unless the es- fish both in the sea and in rivers, &c. tuary should happen to contatin this But though this inquiry was made with peculiar kind of food.”—(P.468.). great ability on the part of the com
“ I have opened the stomach of a mittee, and although the witnesses exfish killed by the poacher in the month amined included practical fishermen, of October, nearly 100 miles from the tacksmen of fisheries, river and shore ocean, with the peculiar food, and none proprietors, and scientific men of the else, in the intestines."-(P. 470.) first eminence, Dr. Knox, upon what
This peculiar food on reading the principle it is difficult to conceive, first part of his paper, Dr. Knox re- characterises the results of the whole stricted to the ova of the ECHINODER- minutes of evidence as “ below criti MATA, and nothing else.
cism”-(P.500);— the persons ofThe genera of the first order of the fering the testimony and evidence, class are ASTERIAS, ENCRIAUS, ECHI- without any exception, incompetent to NUS of Linnæus, and HOLOTHURIA.- the task, the greater part being the But only one species of the first genus, evidence of individuals, to whom it Asterias glacialis, is particularly men- would be impossible even to explain tioned as affording this food; and we the care and precision and extent of are not informed how the ova of this direct evidence, requisite to arrive of genus, when separated from the ani. a correct scientific conclusion ” —(P. mal,
is to be distinguished from that of 500); and " none was found, throughthe other genera of the order. It would out their most extended inquiry, who be information, indeed, to learn that could offer a rational conjecture Encrini were
so abundant on our (founded on facts) personally known coasts, that their spawn afforded the and understood the result of posisalmon its peculiar food. On read- tive research, by a competent naturaling the second portion, he added an- ist and physiologist), as to the food of other article to the salmon's bill of the salmon, its habitat while in the fare in “ some of the crustacea." But ocean, and its feeding ground.”—(P. in the abstract drawn up by himself, 496.)—
The whole, in short, is the food is limited to the Echinoder- inextricable mass of confusion and ermata, as if these animals deposited ror."-(P. 463.)