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are employed in polishing the domestic utensils which we daily use. Lastly, there were Planaria, and numerous infusorial animalcules, which multiply by self-division; "so that it may literally be said that the son is half of his parent, and the grandson the quarter of his grandsire." The Planaria, in which the two sexes are united, swim by the help of vibratile cilia which cover the entire surface of their body; and they multiply by division, and by the formation of ova which are inclosed in a colored capsule.
eight miles from the French coast.
that carry its food into its mouth. Although water is its proper element, it inhabits the moss on the roofs of houses, dying when the sun dries up the moisture around it, and reviving when a shower supplies it with the fluid which it requires; thus employing several years to exhaust the eighteen days of life which nature has assigned to it. After sixteen alternations of drought and humidity, these animals have been known to revive, and it is even alleged that they have been restored to life after several years of dessication. While within the animal, the egg contains Attracted by structures so singular, and the young coiled up spirally; and some desirous of obtaining new materials for times four or five eggs are so completely comparison, and investigating those larger developed, that the young creep out of types of the lower forms of animal life them, and stretch themselves, and put which exist only on the sea-shore, our their wheels in motion-sometimes occu- author resolved to visit what is called the pying two thirds of the length of the pa- Archipelago of Chaussey, a group of bare rent! Through the transparent animal, and rocky islands of granite in the Engeyes, liver, lungs, intestines, and repro-lish Channel, opposite to Granville, and ductive organs have been clearly seen, The Hydatina senta, as transparent as Having provided himself with letters of crystal, is another rotary animalcule whose introduction to the authorities, and packcomplicated organization is revealed by ed up his microscope, dissecting instruthe microscope. It is found in stagnant ments, and glass bottles, he left Paris, and pools, and in the ruts of carriage-wheels; established himself in a wretched farmand when killed by drought, its eggs are house on the Grand-Isle, the largest of often carried up by the winds to some the group, which are inhabited by fisherdrop of water, where they are developed men, barilla collectors, and granite quarand propagate their species. In eleven riers. In eleven riers. Among the remarkable objects hours after the eggs are deposited, Ehren- which arrested the attention of M. Quaberg observed within them the vibration trefages, was the appearance at low tide of the anterior cilia of the young, and in of certain parts of Chaussey. Granite twenty-four hours they escaped from the blocks, of all shapes and sizes, are grouped shell. The Brachionus, another of the together in a thousand different ways, revolving animals, covers with a cuirass some rising into pyramids, "others gradits long tail and ciliary head upon the uated and cut into irregular tiers of steps; slightest indication of the approach of others, again, heaped together into condanger. It protrudes its eggs and carries fused masses, like the ruins of some giant them on its back, till the young brachionus structure; at one place upheaved like bursts with a bound from a slit, forming colossal Druidical stones, and at another an oblong ball, which is soon developed suspended, and so lightly poised, that a into the perfect animal. Next come the breath of air seems sufficient to overthrow Diatomaccæ, supposed by Ehrenberg to be them." Beneath this chaos of upheaved animals, and by others to be vegetables. blocks, the regular stratification of the They inhabit infinitely small shields of granite is readily discovered; and we are silex of extreme beauty; and, though so thus led to the explanation of a phenomminute that the point of a needle would enon which is of daily recurrence. During crush hundreds of them by its touch, the cooling of the granite it was intersectyet they have offered a stouter resist- ed by fissures, subsequently filled up by ance to the revolutions on our globe than the debris which produces the rottenthe gigantic skeletons of the mastodon stone. Unable to resist the shock of the and the elephant; and their remains waves, the rotten-stone is disintegrated, form at this day entire rocks, and exten- the more compact blocks are separated, sive strata which have been worked for and portions of rocks, nearly a thousand ages under the name of tripoli, and which tons in weight, are thus detached from
the main mass, and hurled a distance of several yards by the ordinary action of the waves.
Having been for some time prevented, by the prevalence of storms, from pursuing his zoological inquiries, our author was at length enabled to explore the Sacaviron, a narrow channel which separates the island of Meule from the Ile-auxOiseaux. At the bottom of this deep and wild ravine, from which the ocean retreats only three or four times a year, every stone was a world within itself; and our author" admired, in all their glory, those unknown wonders of the deep, of which even our best museums afford not the least idea." In sheltered nooks he found the large chitons-animals whose back is covered by a solid cuirass, consisting of movable pieces like the olden greaves. "The vaulted roofs of the little caverns, formed by the crumbling away of the rocks, were covered with a stratum of compound Ascidians, a species of molluscs which live and die without having moved from the same spot; while from this bright red ceiling there hung, like so many girandoles, transparent crystal-like clavelinæ, and the bright botrylli, whose conglomerated masses exhibit the colors and translucence of the agate." Among these molluscs there were thousands of zoophytes; while star-fishes of the finest carmine, and ophiuras, with their five long arms, were concealed beneath the stones. Sponges of every shape and color lay among the branches of the Fucus, or clung to the rocks in interlacing meshes of delicate net-work; and sometimes a Holothuria would slowly move across this living carpet by means of its sucker-like feet, spreading out its coronet of aborescent tentacles. Amidst this profusion of life the hours passed rapidly, and our naturalist had hardly filled his boxes and bottles when the returning tide drove him to his boat.
In his earliest researches, the wandering annelids or sea-worms had attracted his special notice, but till now he had studied them only in engravings; yet though he had a tolerably exact idea of their structure, he had not the slightest conception of the interest which attached to a study of their form. He was charmed with the sight of the Polynoa, with its broad brown scales; with the Phyllodoce, with its hundred bright green rings; the Eunice, with its purple crest; the Tere
bella, encircled with a cloud of innumerable living cables, which serve it for arms; with the Sabella, and its rich fan; and with the Serpula, with its enameled collar. These despised creatures seemed to him as worthy of a naturalist's homage, "as the most brilliant insect, or the fairest flower."
After this general notice of these singular creatures, M. Quatrefages invites the reader to examine them through his microscope, magnifying thirty times, (or diameters, to use the more scientific name.) In a little trough containing sea-water, he finds an Eunice moving about, indig nant at its captivity. Its many rings alternately contract and extend themselves into a spiral, and at every movement "emit flashes of light, in which all the prismatic colors are blended in the brightest metallic reflections." When these motions cease, it crawls along the bottom of the trough, throwing forward its thousand feet, and pushing out bundles of darts from the broad knobs which contain them. The sides of its trunk are studded with its organs of respiration, resembling vermilion plumes when they are swollen by the blood, which may be traced along the great dorsal vessel. At its head enameled with the brightest colors, are its five organs of touch, encircling its irregularly puckered mouth, which pushes out a huge proboscis, with three pair of jaws as large as its body. "Is there any animal," says our author, "which can contend with it for the prize of decoration? The corslet of the brightest beetle, the speckled wings of the butterfly, the sparkling throat of the humming-bird, would all look pale when compared with the play of light flashing in large patches over the rings of its body, glowing in its golden threads, and sparkling over its amber and coral fringes."
Near to the Eunice are two Cirrhatula-one of a dull red color, with gold markings, and the other, of a black velvet hue, with a bright bluish iridescence. Through its long filamentous arms and branchiæ the blood ebbs and flows, dyeing them of the richest carmine, or leaving them of a faint yellow. A double crescent-formed eye surmounts their pointed snouts. The tangled skein which they have formed consists of living coils, ever binding and unbinding their glistening knobs, and catching up grains of sand and atoms of slime, till the annelid retires into
an envelope of fragments, which, in clustering together, become a case which incloses and protects it.
In order to study more carefully this singular annelid, a higher power is applied. The hairs on the outer edge of its feet, forming two tufts, are placed there for its defense, combining every form of our aggressive weapons. Here are curved blades, with two cutting surfaces, convex and concave; there are the types of the broadsword of the cuirassier, the sabrepoignard of the artilleryman, and the sabre-baionette of the Vincennes chasseur. Elsewhere we have harpoons, fish-hooks, and cutting-blades of every shape fixed to sharp handles, straight or curved poignards, and arrows with their barb bent backwards to tear the wound, but preserved by a sheath from fracture or from friction. If these instruments fail to destroy, every foot sends out a stronger spear when a grappling distance only separates the combatants. With living victims as their food, their weapons of attack and defense are absolutely necessary. Some seize their prey by their proboscis, or crush the little crustaceans and planaries in the embrace of their thousand arms; others pursue their victims over the sand, or through tufts of marine plants; while others perforate shells and devour their occupants. The Hermello thus makes havoc among oyster-beds, and destroys whole colonies of this valuable mollusc. Thus destructive themselves, the annelids are in turn destroyed. Whitings, eels, and soles and plaice, have the art of drawing them, probably by suction, from the sand; while crabs and lobsters, protected by their solid carapace, wage against them a successful war.
In order to study the mutual hostilities of these warlike races, M. Quatrefages threw a large fisherman's worm (Arenicola piscatorum) into a pool several feet wide. A troop of shrimps, at first scared by the sound, soon rallied; and, just as the annelid was about to bury itself in the sand, a daring shrimp seized it by its middle. "Emboldened," says our author, "by this example, the others lost no time in imitating it, and the poor Arenicola was pulled about in all directions, until a full-grown shrimp, darting from behind a tuft of coralline, dispersed his feebler comrades, and appropriated the booty to himself. I soon saw, however, that he would be compelled to
divide the spoil; for, at that very instant there poured from the moving sand some score of small turbos and buccinums, who, conscious that a victim was at hand, wished to participate in the feast. Without any sign of uncertainty or hesitation, they moved straight forward towards the arenicola, whose body was covered in the twinkling of an eye with these voracious molluscs. I thought his fate definitely settled, when a small shore crab (Cancer Manas) issued from beneath the stone, put to flight the shrimp, and, by dragging off the arenicola, very nearly upset all the turbos, who forthwith hurried back to their sandy haunts. Then, however, a large edible crab (Cancer Pagurus) appeared upon the scene, and the poor little mænas was obliged, in his turn, to beat a retreat, in order to escape out of reach of the formidable pincers of his stronger kinsman. But he still kept a watchful eye over the dainty morsel which he had once tasted; and, taking advantage of a moment when the larger crab was withdrawing from the field, from some temporary emotion of alarm, he rapidly seized the long-disputed arenicola, and carried it for safety to some distance from the water's edge, where he might devour it at his ease on dry ground."
From this interesting account of the habits of animals previously known, M. Quatrefages proceeds with a well-earned pride to describe a new Zoophyte, the Synapta Duvernoea,* which he discovered in the sands of Chaussey. "Imagine," says he, "a rose-colored crystal cylinder, about eighteen inches long, and one inch in diameter, marked throughout its whole length by five minute bands of white silk, and surmounted by a pale white living flower, whose twelve petals are gracefully curved backwards. In the midst of these tissues, whose delicate texture seems to surpass the most exquisite products of our industry, you must suppose an intestine of gauze-like tenuity, but completely filled up with large grains of granite, whose fine points and salient angles may be distinctly seen by the naked eye. It was this circumstance which especially struck me in the animal; for it appeared literally to partake of no other nourishment than the coarse granite sand which surrounded it. But what unexpected wonders were re
It belongs to a genus of the family of Holothuride, hitherto found only in the warmest seas.
vealed, when, with the scalpel and micro- |
Interesting as these details are, they are less marvelous than another property of this extraordinary animal, which our author had the satisfaction to discover. Having kept several synaptas alive in a vessel of sea-water, he was surprised to observe that they had undergone a process of self-consumption. "First, they distended the posterior portion of their bodies, by suffering to accumulate in it the fluid which circulates between their intestines and integuments. By this means a stricture was easily produced, and the final separation of the posterior portion suddenly effected. Scarcity of food seemed to be the sole cause of these spontaneous amputations. It almost appeared as if the animal, feeling that it could not supply the whole of its body with nourishment, suppressed those parts which it might cost the entire organism too much to maintain; somewhat on the same principle as that by which all useless mouths are banished from a besieged town. This singular method of struggling against famine is maintained to the last moment; for, at the end of a few days, there frequently remained nothing more of the animal than a little spherical ball, crowned with tentacles. The synapta had by degrees, eat away the whole of its body, in order to keep life in its head."
After closing his account of this marvelous contrivance for sustaining life, our author is impressed with the noble tribute which the world of instinct, more than the world of stars, pays to the wisdom of their Divine Creator. "My God," may we not exclaim with Voltaire, "Thou art great!" "Who is there that can not believe in thee!"
We regret that our space will not permit us to give some account of our author's personal history during his residence on the Grande Ile, or of the scenery or the occupations of the people in this rarely visited part of the coast of France. On his return from the Archipelago of Chaussey to St. Malo, the birth-place of Chateaubriand, the ship doubled the desolate point of Petit Bé, where the waves are always beating against the last restingplace of that illustrious writer, who during his lifetime, "caused his grave to be hollowed out on the summit of this rocky platform, as if the agitations of his wellspent life had not sufficed him, and as if, even after death, he yearned to linger among the storms of this world."
In studying the manners and the weapons of the bellicose races in the animalcular world, and in contemplating their ferocious contests, our author seems to have imbibed their warlike propensities. When, from the top of Mont Gros, he des cries the island of Jersey in the distance, he denounces the successive governments of France for allowing it to remain in the possession of England; and when he reaches St. Malo, he describes its dark granite houses as rising on tiers an hundred feet above the waves, and looking like so many beacon towers, keeping watch for the coming of an English flag, and ready to raise the cry to summon the brave St. Malouins to the scene of action. Amid the grand and peaceful scenes displayed to him from Gros Mont, a pious naturalist would have scrupled to recommend a war of conquest; and in the dark granite houses of St. Malo he should have recognized the quiet homes of industry, rather than the beacon towers of war.
The second Ramble of our author was to the Archipelago of Brehat, on the shores of Brittany, and in the department of the Côtes du Nord. After passing through St. Brienc and Paimpol, he embarked for Brehat, which, with several islands and numerous rocks grouped around it, forms a little archipelago extending towards the mouth of the river Pontrieux. At some distance from Kerwareva, the most northerly village in Brehat, rises the Pointe du Paon, which forms the northern extremity of the island, and from its wild beauty has a high degree of interest. It is composed of two lofty and enormous cliffs of granite abutting against each other, the sea having formed for it
self a passage between the perpendicular | We would willingly dwell on some of the rocks. After advancing a few paces be- more interesting points which he has so tween these two granite walls, the tra- ably treated, especially the subject of develer is warned to retrace his steps by rivative types, immediate and secondary; the rumbling of subterraneous water. A but we are more powerfully attracted by chasm, scarcely three feet across its mouth, the tubicolous sisters of the warlike anyawns before him, widening towards high- nelids, which we have already described. water mark till it expands into a colossal Upon emerging from the egg, those funnel. A granite block of many hun-"modest recluses" construct for themdred tons rests like a massive bridge upon the opposite cliffs of the gulf, which it spans. When a heavy sea strikes the shore, it rushes through the narrow pass, and in forcing itself below the bridge, it raises the enormous block of granite, break ing into a lofty vertical column of foam and mist. The huge granite bridge then falls back upon its unshaken supports, to be again and again upheaved by the rushing sea. "This struggle," says our author, "which has probably taken place for ages, will only terminate with the rupture of this transverse rocky mass, unless the overhanging walls, shaken by the incessant assaults of the ocean, shall give way, and bury in one common wreck the huge bridge and the pass of the Paon."
At Brehat, and along the neighboring coasts, this singular locality has acquired a supernatural character. The maiden, who longs to know when she is to become a wife, goes alone to the Pointe du Paon at the ebb of the spring-tides. Carrying a pebble from a particular part of the shore, she tosses it into the yawning chasm. If the stone reaches the bottom of the abyss without striking the rock, the maiden returns to her joyous home, assured of being a bride during the passing year; but if the stone has taken an inauspicious course, every rebound from the rock adds a year to her maidenhood, and the victim of superstition too frequently returns disappointed with her lot, and disqualified for its duties. Owing to the peculiar formation of this prophetic chasm, it requires much address to avoid its rocky sides; and as it is essential to the success of the charm that the stone be thrown at random, many a maiden has made the experiment in vain.
After giving an account of the geological structure of the island, the admixture of races in its population, its mild climate, its terrestrial and maritime fauna, the relation of organized beings-the permanence of the higher, and the organic variability of the lower animals-the author returns to the detail of his own original researches.
selves a tubular habitation, in which they live and die like a child in swaddlingclothes. It consists of a tube, either calcareous, or of the nature of parchment or leather. This tube, closed behind, has a circular aperture in front, out of which they seize their prey and aerate their blood. No microscope is necessary to study their marvelous forms. Dropping into a trough of sea-water a fragment of rock or shell, its whole surface becomes covered with Serpulas, Vermilias, and Cymospires. Mark the little round shutter rising above each tube, which can be closed hermetically. Below this round plate are seen bud-like patches, in one place of a violet or carmine, and in another of a blue or orange tint, while farther on are tufts of every color. Their countless colored branches gradually expand into the form of a plume of ostrich feathers. They are "living flowers," whose brilliant petals close on the shaking of the fluid, while the plumes retire with the rapidity of lightning within their calcareous tube. Here, too, we have the Chlorema, whose green blood circulates through a body covered with velvety hairs, and imbedded in a transparent jelly. Here also are the Amphicore, with eyes both in their tails and heads; the Terebella, which extend their hundred arms to the distance of nearly a yard in search of particles of sand and shell for the construction of their houses; and finally, the Sabella, whose expanded branchia are frequently above a foot in diameter.
In describing the interior organization of the annelids, our author takes the Eunice sanguinea, sometimes two and a half feet, and in the Indian seas, often five or six feet long. It is divided into rings about two and a half lines in length, and nine in width. Having removed its richly iridescent skin, the intertwined network of which gives it its brilliant colors,* he lifted up layer after layer to
*Our author states that these brilliant colors are
due to a phenomenon of polarization, caused by the