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The sea-needle,1 or the belone, is the only fish in which the multitude of its eggs, in spawning, causes the belly to open asunder; but immediately after it has brought forth, the wound heals again: a thing which, it is said, is the case with the blind-worm as well. The sea-mouse2 digs a hole in the earth, deposits its eggs there, and then covers them up. On the thirtieth day it opens the hole, and leads its young to the water.

1 The Syngnathus acus of Linnæus. This fish, Cuvier says, and in general all of the same genus, has a channel situate under the tail, which is opened by two moveable valves. In this they deposit their eggs at the moment of excluding them. After this, the valves open, to give a passage to the eggs, or the young enclosed in them. This circumstance, he says, gave rise to the notion mentioned in the text.

2 Mentioned in c. 35 of the present Book. Cuvier says that the sea tortoises, or turtles, to which no doubt this animal belonged, do deposit their eggs much in the way here mentioned.

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