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1 It is pretty clear that under the name of "canicula," "dog-fish," or "canis marinus," "sea-dog," Pliny includes the whole genus of sharks.
2 Rondelet and Dalechamps absolutely interpret this passage as though it were the dog-fish and flat-fish over whose eyes this cloud comes, and the latter proceeds to describe it as a malady which hinders the fish from taking its own part in the combat. Hardouin, however, detects this absurdity, and justly reprehends it; though it must be confessed that there is some obscurity in the passage, arising from the way in which it is worded.
3 Cuvier thinks it not improbable that it may have been some of the large rays that were seen by the divers, and more especially, the largest of them all, the Cephalopterus.
5 Cælius Rhodigonus, B. xxv. c. 16, states that the divers for sponges were in the habit of pouring forth oil at the bottom of the sea, for the purpose of increasing the light there; and Pliny states the same in B. ii. c. 106.
6 Cuvier says, that the name of "sacred fish" has been given to several fish of very different character; such as the anthias or aulopias of Aristotle, B. ix. c. 37, the pompilus and the dolphin (Atheneus, B. vii.), because it was thought that their presence was a guarantee against the vicinity of dangerous fish. The authors, however, that were consulted by Pliny, seem to have given this name to the flat-fish, the Pleuronectes of Linnæus; and in fact, unprovided as they are with any means of defence, their presence is not unlikely to prove, in a very great degree, the absence of the voracious class of fishes.
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