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But the most numerous and largest of all these animals are those found in the Indian seas; among which there are balænæ,1 four jugera2 in extent, and the pristis,3 two hundred cubits long: here also are found cray-fish4 four cubits in length, and in the river Ganges there are to be seen eels three hundred5 feet long. But at sea it is more especially about the time of the solstices that these monsters are to be seen. For then it is that in these regions the whirlwind comes sweeping on, the rains descend, the hurricane comes rushing down, hurled from the mountain heights, while the sea is stirred up from the very bottom, and the monsters are driven from their depths and rolled upwards on the crest of the billow. At other times again, there are such vast multitudes of tunnies met with, that the fleet of Alexander the Great was able to make head against them only by facing them in order of battle, just as it would have done an enemy's fleet. Had the ships not done this, but proceeded in a straggling manner, they could not possibly have made their escape. No noises, no sounds, no blows had any effect on these fish; by nothing short of the clash of battle were they to be terrified, and by nothing less than their utter destruction were they overpowered.

There is a large peninsula in the Red Sea, known by the name of Cadara:6 as it projects into the deep it forms a vast gulf, which it took the fleet of King Ptolemy7 twelve whole days and nights to traverse by dint of rowing, for not a breath of wind was to be perceived. In the recesses of this becalmed spot more particularly, the sea-monsters attain so vast a size that they are quite unable to move. The commanders of the fleets of Alexander the Great have related that the Gedrosi,8 who dwell upon the banks of the river Ara- bis,9 are in the habit of making the doors of their houses with the jaw-bones10 of fishes, and raftering the roofs with their bones, many of which were found as much as forty cubits in length. At this place, too, the sea-monsters, just like so many cattle,11 were in the habit of coming on shore, and, after feeding on the roots of shrubs, they would return; some of them, which had the heads of horses,12 asses, and bulls, found a pasture in the crops of grain.

1 It is not accurately known what fish was meant by the ancients, under the name of "balæna." According to some writers, it is considered to be the same with what we call the "grampus."

2 A space, as Hardouin remarks, greater than that occupied by some towns, the "jugerum" being 240 feet long, and 120 broad. The vast size of great fishes was a favourite subject with some of the ancient writers, and their accounts were eagerly copied by some of the early fathers. Bochart has collected these various accounts in his work on Animals, B. i. c. 7. In the "Arabian Nights" also, we find accounts of huge fishes in the eastern seas, so large as to be taken for islands. The existence of the sea-serpent is still a question in dispute; and a whale of large size, is a formidable obstacle in the way of a ship of even the largest burthen.

3 As Hardouin remarks, we can learn neither from the works of Pliny, nor yet of Ælian, what fish the pristis really was. From Nonius Marcellus, c. 13, we find that it was a very long fish of large size, but narrow body. Hardouin says that it was a fish of the cetaceous kind, found in the Indian seas, which, in his time, was known by some as the "vivella," with a long bony muzzle serrated on either side, evidently meaning the sawfish. Pristis was a favourite name given by the Romans to their ships. In the boat-race described by Virgil in the Æneid, B. v., one of the boats is so called.

4 Cuvier remarks, that he himself had often seen the "langouste," or large lobster, as much as four feet in length, and the "homard," usually a smaller kind, of an equal size. The length, however, given by Pliny would make six or eight feet, according to the length of the cubit.

5 Cuvier says, that it is an exaggeration by travellers, which there is nothing in nature at all to justify. Probably, however, some animals of the genus boa, or python, or large water-snakes may have given rise to the story.

6 On the southern coast of Arabia.

7 Ptolemy Philadelphus.

8 See B. vi. c. 23, 25. Strabo, in his fifteenth Book, tells the same story of the Ichthyophagi, situate between the Carmani and the Oritæ. Dalechamps suggests that the Gedrosi mentioned this in relation to the Ichthyophagi, who were probably their neighbours.

9 Also called the Cophetes. See B. vi. c. 25. The commander of Alexander's fleet more especially alluded to, is probably Nearchus, who wrote an account of his voyage, to which Pliny has previously made allusion in B. vi. and which is followed by Strabo, in B. xv., and by Arrian, in his "Indica."

10 Hardouin remarks, that the Basques of his day were in the habit of fencing their gardens with the ribs of the whale, which sometimes exceeded twenty feet in length; and Cuvier says, that at the present time, the jaw-bone of the whale is used in Norway for the purpose of making beams or posts for buildings.

11 Onesicritus, quoted by Strabo, B. xv., says., that in the vicinity of Taprobane, or Ceylon, there were animals which had an amphibious life, some of which resembled oxen, some horses, and various other land animals. Cuvier is of opinion, that not improbably tie "Trichecum manatum" and the "Trichecum dugong" of Linnæus are alluded to, which are herbivorous animals, though nearly allied to the cetacea, and which are in the habit of coming to pasture on the grass or sea-weed they may chance to find on the shore.

12 It is remarked by Cuvier, that there is no resemblance whatever between the domesticated animals and any of the cetacea; but that the imagination of the vulgar has pictured to itself these supposed resemblances, by the aid of a lively imagination.

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