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1 The whole, nearly, of this Chapter is taken from Aristotle, B. v. c. 16.
2 Plutarch speaks of this fish, in his "Treatise on the Instincts of Animals;" also Oppian, Halieut. B. ii. 1. 62. The Raia torpedo of Linnæus, Cuvier says, has on each side of the body a galvanic organ, which produces an electric shock, similar to that communicated by the use of the Leyden vial. By this means it baffles its enemies, and drives them away; or else, having stupefied them, devours them at its leisure.
3 Cuvier confirms this statement. The liver of the torpedo, he says, is very delicate eating, as, indeed, is that part in most of the ray genus.
4 Oppian, Halieut. B. ii. 1. 86; Ælian, Hist. Anim. B. ix. c. 24; and Cicero, De Nat. Deor. make mention of this.
5 The Lophius piscatorius of Linnæus, the baudroie of the French. This is a fish, Cuvier says, with a large wide mouth, and having upon the top of the head moveable filaments, surmounted by a sort of membranous lashes. It seems that it is the fact that it buries itself in the sand, and then employs the artifice here mentioned by Pliny, for the purpose of attracting the fish that serve as its food.
6 Or turbot. This fish, the Pleuronectes maximus of Linnæus, and the Squalus squatina of Linnæus, presents no sufficiently distinct filaments at the extremity of the fins to justify what Pliny says. But the word "rhombus," Cuvier says, which ordinarily means the common turbot, here means the psetta of the Greeks, the Pleuronectes rhombus of Linnæus, which has the anterior radii of the dorsal fin separated, and forming small filaments. For an account of the psetta, see c. 24, p. 396.
7 The sting-ray, the Raia pastinaca of Linnæus. This fish, Cuvier says, has upon the tail a pointed spine, compressed and notched like a saw, which forms a most dangerous weapon. It is again mentioned in c, 72 of the present Book, under its Greek name of "trigon."
8 Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. ii. c. 17, and B. ix. c. 51; Oppian, Halieut. B. ii. 1. 424; and Ælian, Hist. Anim. B. vii. c. 35, make a similar statement as to the scolopendra.
9 The animal, Cuvier says, which is here mentioned as the scolopendra, is in reality of the class of worms that have red blood, or annelides, such, for instance, as the Nereides of larger size. These having on the sides tentacles, which bear a strong resemblance to feet, and sharp jaws, might, he says, be very easily taken for scolopendræ. They have also a fleshy trunk, often very voluminous, and so flexible that it can be extended or withdrawn, according to the necessities of the animal. It is this trunk, Cuvier thinks, that gave occasion to the story that it could disgorge its entrails, and then swallow them again.
10 This fish, Cuvier says, was doubtless a species of squalus; which have the power, in consequence of the sharpness of their saw-like teeth, of cutting a line with the greatest ease. It is mentioned by Aristotle, B. ix. c. 52; Ælian, Var. Hist. B. i. c. 43; and Oppian, Halieut. B. iii. 1. 144.
11 The fish that has been previously mentioned in c. 17 of this Book, under the name of silurus.
12 "Aries." The Delphinus orca of Linnæus. See c. 4 of the present Book.
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