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1 It is singular that Pliny, after his numerous stories as to the sensitiveness of numerous bivalves, should make this statement in reference to the oyster; for, on the contrary, as Cuvier says, the oyster, in common with the other bivalves, is extremely sensitive to the touch.
2 Cuvier says, that the different zoöphytes, the sea-star, at least, are far from having the life of vegetables only; for that they are real animals, which have the sense of touch, a voluntary power of motion more or less complete, and seize and devour their prey. It is not, however, very well known, he says, what was the "holothurium" of the ancients. Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. i. c. 1, ranks it, as well as the oyster, among the animals which, without being attached to any object, have not the faculty of moving; and in his work, De Part. Anim. B. iv. c. 5, he adds, that the holothurium and the pulmo only differ from the sponge in being detached. Cuvier is of opinion, however, that they both belong to the halcyones, the round kinds of which easily detach themselves from the places upon which they have grown.
3 Pulmo, "the sea-lungs."
4 Or, as we call it, the star-fish.
5 "Adeoque nihil non gignitur in mari."
6 "Cauponarum." "Caupona" had two significations; that of an inn where travellers obtained food and lodging, and that of a shop where wine and ready-dressed meat were sold. A lower kind of inn was the popina, which was principally frequented by the slaves and lower classes, and was mostly used as a brothel as well.
7 He alludes to various kinds of sea-animals, called sea-lice and seafleas. Cuvier says, that there are some crustacea which have been called sea-fleas and sea-lice, some of which kinds are parasites, and are attached to various fishes and cetacea. Thus, he says, a pycnogonum is commonly named "pediculus balænæ," or the "whale-louse;" one of the calygæ is called the "fish-flea," another the "mackerel-flea." The name of sea-flea, he observes, has been given more especially to a very diminutive kind of shrimp, in consequence of its power of leaping from place to place.
8 Aristotle says, that the chalcis is greatly tormented by sea-fleas, which attach themselves to its gills. Cuvier remarks, that a great number of fish are subject to have the gills attacked by parasitical animals of the genus Lernæa or that of the monoculi of Linnæus, which have been divided into many classes since. They have nothing in common, he says, with the land-flea, except the name and the property of living at the expense of other animals.
9 The ancients, Cuvier says, speak of their chalcis as being of a similar nature to the thryssa and the sardine (Athenæus, B. vii.), gregarious fishes, which live both in the sea and in fresh water, and the flesh of which was salted. Hence he concludes that it was the same as the Clupea ficta of Lacepède, the "finte" of the French, and the agone of Lombardy, which unites all these characteristics, and is sometimes called the "sardine" of the Lago di Garda.
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