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The male tunny has no ventral fin;1 these fish enter the Euxine in large bodies from the main2 sea, in the spring, and will spawn nowhere else. The young ones, which in autumn accompany the females to the open sea, are known as "cordyla."3 In the spring they are called "pelamides,"4 from πηλὸς, the Greek for "mud," and after they are a year old, "thynni." When this fish is cut up into pieces, the neck, the belly, and the throat,5 are the most esteemed parts; but they must be eaten only when they are quite fresh, and even then they cause severe fits of flatulence; the other parts; with the flesh entire, are preserved in salt. Those pieces, which bear a resemblance to an oaken board, have thence received the name of "melandrya."6 The least esteemed among these parts are those which are the nearest to the tail, because they have no fat upon them; while those parts are considered the most delicate, which lie nearest the neck;7 in other fishes, however, the parts about the tail have the most nutriment8 in them. The pelamides are cut up into small sections, known as "apolecti;"9 and these again are divided into cubical pieces, which are thence called "cybia."10

1 Although taken primarily from Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. v. c. 9, as Cuvier observes, this assertion is incorrect, as the male does not in any way differ from the female in the conformation of the fins. Pliny, however, has exaggerated the statement of Aristotle, who only says, that the female differs from the male in having a little fin under the belly, which the male has not; and not that the male has no ventral fin whatever.

2 "Magno mari;" meaning, no doubt, the Mediterranean.

3 Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. vi. c. 17.

4 Or "mud-fish," either from being born in mud, as Festus says, or from their concealing themselves in it.

5 "Clidio." The "clidion," or "clidium," was the part of the fish which extended, as Festus says, from the two shoulders (armos) to the breast. The "claviculæ" were thus called by the Greek physicians.

6 The Greeks called the inner part, or black-coloured heart of the oak, μέλαν δρυὸς, whence the present name. Athenæus, B. vi. speaks, f the choice parts cut from the orcyni, large tunnies, which were taken in the straits of Gades.

7 "Faucibus." Cuvier observes, that modern experience has confirmed what Pliny says, as to the difference of flavour in these various parts of the tunny. He refers to Cetti, Ist. Nat. di Sardegna, vol. iii. p. 137.

8 "Exercitatissima." "In greatest request, as being most stirred and exercised," is the translation given by Holland; while Littré renders it "mieux nourries," "best nourished." According to the general notion in this country, the part about the tail is reckoned inferior, and anything but the "best nourished." It is doubtful if "exercitatissima" is the correct reading; and if it is, its precise meaning has yet to be ascertained.

9 From the Greek ἀπόλεκτοι, "choice bits," or, as we should say, "tit-bits."

10 From the Greek κύβια.

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