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ject of such remarks cannot be mis- tural, and the examination of the stotaken.”_P. 464.
mach of the herring was, of course, de 3. Superlative. -" Of my compe- termined on. " The discovery of the tency to make correct anatomical and food of the vendace," he exclaims, physiological remarks, no reasonable « decides the question as to the food of person, I hope, who is at all acquaint. the herring."—P. 507. The herring ed with the nature of my pursuits, of the German Ocean, at least one will have any doubt.”—P. 464. specimen, was found to have in its sto
" The reason why the food (of the mach the fragment of a crustaceous herring) could not be discovered by animal, which the author considered preceding observers, will be readily to be of the same species or genus as understood by most of my readers. that found in the stomach of the venIt was next to an impossibility for dace of Lochmaben; and to this pecu. any other than a scientific person, liar food both fishes were said, on the who had examined the whole range faith of this analogy, to owe all their of the animal kingdom, to make out value as articles of food. the enquiry."-P.514.
Had an analogy been attempted be. The name of the individual refer tween the vendace and salmon, it red to in this last sentence,“ who had might have been intelligible, as both examined the whole range of the ani. belong to the same natural family, and mal kingdom," is left to be gathered both inhabit occasionally the same mefrom the context. Of only one man dium. But to attempt to draw any in Europe could this be said, and that analogy between the vendace and her. person was the late Baron Cuvier. I ring, fishes of different natural fami. need scarcely observe, however, that lies, and inhabiting different mediums, the writer of this hyperbolical compli- which neither ever quits, seems, if I ment did not mean the author of the may be allowed to make use of the Règne Animal.
comparison, much akin to the resemThe process of reasoning which led blance discovered by Captain Fluel. to the supposed discovery, is not less len, between the birth-places of Alexsingular than the discovery itself. ander the Great and King Henry Ascertaining that a fresh-water fish V. “ There is a river in Mace. from the south of Scotland had some don ; there is also, moreover, a river resemblance in size and general an. at Monmouth: it is called Wye, at pearance to the herring, the author Monmouth, but it is out of my prains concluded, that if he could find out what is the name of the other river'; what the vendace fed upon in Loch- but it is all one ; 'tis as like as my maben loch, the food of the herring, fingers to my fingers, and there's salthough living in a different element, mons in both."—Henry V., Act IV., the sea, would most likely be the same. Sc. 13. Vendace were, of course, caught, their Let it be granted, however, that this stomachs were examined, and animal. wide analogy, by some peculiar procules such as are found in lakes and cess in the mind of the author, led ponds were there detected by the mi. him to discover the mutilated remains croscope. The sagacity of the con- of a minute crustaceous animal in a jecture was now fully evidenced; and herring of the German Ocean, from an animal, which the vulgar thought having previously found minute ani. lived by the suction of air or water, mals of a different species in the sto. was really found to feed upon the mach of the vendace of Lochmabenminute animals which existed in the to what does the discovery amount ? loch with them. First, one species of To the truism, that the vendace, like animalcule was found in a stomach all the animals of the same class, feeds examined, and at a different period upon what it finds in its native waters, another. Here the enquiry as to food and these animalcules among the rest. stopped, which, to have done justice to Reasoning à priori, any naturalist the subject, should have been spread would have predicated the kind of food over the whole year, and have embrac- the vendace had to choose upon in such ed the food of all seasons.
a picce of fresh water; and, in point From this, the transition to the of fact, the writers upon these minute herring and its food, supposed to be inhabitants of lakes and rivers assign equally unknown as that of the ven- them generally as forming part of the dace, was, according to Dr Knox, ną. food of fishęs. "They (the cyclops)
serve (say Bosc and Latreille), as the stract of his paper, drawn up by himother animals of the division Entomos- self, Dr Knox says, he “ proved the traca, for the food of all aquatic insects, vendace to be male and female !” The all the vermes which inhabit the same Doctor has not detailed in this instance places, of many fishes, and birds." the steps which led to this discovery, Nouv. Dict. d'Hist. Nat. IX. p. 29. nor the analogies wbich induced him
And Leuwenhoek, giving a magni- to hazard such a startling proposition ; fied representation of one of the ani. and it really seems not very creditable mals upon which the fishes of lakes to the previous knowledge of one “who feed, and that example exactly the had examined the whole range of the same species which Dr Knox, more animal kingdom," that he should for than a hundred years after, found in the one moment suppose the vendace of stomach of the yendace, states posi- Lochmaben to be brought into existtively that these « pisciculi minores," ence without the participation of a as he calls them, “ facti sunt ad ali- male parent. On this point the anamentum majorum."-Vol. III., p. 145. logy of all vertebrated animals was in Now, if a major proposition necessa- favour of the presumption; and even rily includes the minor, then the food inferences, drawn from some of the veof the vendace, as well as other fresh- getable tribes, might have indicated, water fishes, was known to Leuwen- to a mind more obtuse than the Dochoek; and Dr Knox has only the merit tor's, how the great work of reproducof applying a general principle to a tion was carried on among fishes. But particular caso.
really it is impossible gravely to conI readily concede to Dr Knox all sider this discovery, Why, the very the merit, if there be any, of finding fishwomen in the Edinburgh market first one animal, and then another, in would have laughed at the annunci. the stomach of the vendace; but he ation. They could have told the Dochas stated no facts regarding its food tor that a hen-lobster necessarily imin general, or at different periods of plied the existence of a cock-lobster ; the year, when the Daphniæ and Cy- that where there were cock-padles, clops (for such appear to be the ani- there must also be hen-padles ; and mals whose fragments he has figured) on the same authority he might have are not to be found. And there can be learned, that a maiden skate (no great little or no doubt that, if examined rarity in the market), was typical of a at different periods of the year, the flat fish that had not been a mother. larvæ of insects, and other inhabitants of the lake, would be found to be the I come now, in the second place, to prey of the vendace, as of other fresh. examine the claims of Dr Knox as the water fishes.
discoverer of the food of the herring Mr Yarrell, in vendace from the (Clupea harengus, Lin.) « Modern same lake, found in the stomach the systematic writers," says he,“ on naLynceus roseus of Desmarest, the Mo- tural history, maintain a profound si. noculus roseus of Turton, and the Cy- lence as to the food of the herring.” clops vulgaris of Leach, or the Mono. P. 513. « In 1833, Professor Rennie, culus quadricornis, Lin.; together with of the King's College, London, dea very small coleopterous insect, the clares the food of the herring to be altotough skin of a red worm, and wbat gether unknown.”-Ib. “ It was next appeared to be a portion of the wing of a to an impossibility for any other than a dipterous insect.-(British Fishes, Vol. scientific person, who had examined the II.) And the pollan of Lough Neagh, whole range of the animal kingdom, in Ireland, a species of coregonus, if to make out the enquiry."-P. 514. not exactly the same as the Lochma. Now, in opposition to what is asben vendace, feeds on all the varieties serted in these sentences as to the food of aliment which the lake affords of the herring being “altogether un
But this discovery of the food of the known," I venture to state, and the vendace is as nothing, when compared statement will be borne out by the evi. with the most unexpected communica. dence of alınost all writers on the nation by which it is followed, that this tural history of fishes, that the food of species of fish really consisted of two the herring was perfectly well known, sexes, male and female ; and that this and published, many years before the anomaly required to be proved to the period of the appearance of this pa. Royal Society. In the published ab- per. In place of taxing his mind with
a far-fetched analogy, and taking a ing title:-“ De Harengo, Exercitacircuitous route to enhance the merit tio Medica, in qua principis piscium of his supposed discovery, if the au- exquisitissima bonitas summaque glothor had taken the trouble to open al. ria asserta et vindicata.” This work most any one of the systematic works contains a very full and learned ac. which he says maintain a profound si. count of the herring, the time of its lence on the subject, he would have appearance on the Northern and Bri. seen that there was no mystery in the tish coasts, the mode of preparing it matter; he would have seen that the for exportation ; in short, a complete food of the herring was better known natural history of this valuable fish and than the food of almost any other fish; its economical uses. The fifth chap. and that every circumstance which he ter of this work is devoted to the refu. has recorded as the fruits of his “ pa tation of the vulgar notion that the tient scientific enquiry," might be herring subsisted on sea-water, and found in the published works of pre- that generally nothing was to be found ceding writers.
in its stomach. Describing that vis. Before proceeding, however, to no- cus, and showing from its structure tice what has been written upon this that it was calculated to be the reci. subject by preceding enquirers, it is pient of solid food, he goes on to state necessary to remark, that Dr Knox's that it is not always empty, as supposdiscovery of the animal which forms, ed, but often crammed with food; and he asserts, the food of the herring, rests that he had frequently ascertained the on a mutilated fragment of a minute nature of this food from personal incrustaceous animal, which he has figur. spection, and sometimes counted up. ed, found in the stomach with other wards of sixty minute squillæ, or remains of food; and from this he con. shrimps, in one fish, and many of eludes that the said animal is the ex. these partially digested. He states clusive food of the herring, to which it further, that when the spawning was owes all its good qualities; and, to completed, there was less food found use his own language, “ when it takes in the stomachs of the spawned fish; to other food, it is good for nothing as that in these the intestine appeared to an article of food." How the Doctor be half-filled with the ova of other makes out all these consequences from fishes, or their own; and he gives it as the single fact he details, we are not his belief that the herring feeds on its informed. To give any thing like pro- own fry, when languid and exhausted bability to these suppositions, it would from spawning.-Neucrantz De Habe requisite, in the first place, to prove rengo, p. 28. the existence of such animals in the Neucrantz died in 1671. A copy of seas which herrings frequent, in suffi. complimentary verses, by the classical cient numbers to supply the innume. Meibomius, is affixed to his work. rable shoals with this their peculiar In order that it may be understood food; and, secondly, it would be ne. what the squilla of the writers of the cessary to show in what respects, or period were, I have laid on the table in what manner, other species of food the Historia Naturalis of Johnston, in acted so injuriously upon the fish as to which all the then known species are make its body run rapidly into pu- represented. trescence. Without stopping to notice The next author I have met with further these generalizations, based on who ascertained the food of the herthe detection of a single fragment of ring is Antony Leuwenhoek; and when an animalcule in the stomach of a her. I mention this name, it is a warrant to ring, I shall proceed to lay before the this Society, and to every one to whom Society a few of the notices of preced. the literature of science may be but ing naturalists as to the food of this slightly known, for the value of his valuable fish.
observations. At the same time, it is The first author to whom I shall but fair to state, that Dr Knox, aware, allude as having discovered and men- perhaps, of the loose foundation upon tioned the food of the herring, is Paul which his asserted discovery rests, Neucrantz, doctor in philosophy and takes an exception to any evidence medicine, and physician at Lubeck. that may be adduced against him, in
This gentleman wrote a dissertation these not very complimentary terms:on the herring, which was published “ I am aware,” says he, “that there are at Lubeck in 1654, under the follow many, whose regard for accuracy in scientific statements being extremely substances which he conjectured to be coarse and loose, will not only assert vegetable; other slender oblong par. that they had examined the stomach ticles, of which he could not satisfacof the herring, but had also seen its torily ascertain the nature; along with food."--P. 515. Notwithstanding what appears from his description to this civil insinuation of mendacity on be a minute Asterias. (II. Epist. 97, the part of those who presume to take p. 52.)
. up a contrary opinion to the Doctor, In proof of the accuracy of Leu. Istate with confidence the testimony wenhoek's statement, there is now on of Leuwenhoek.
the table the intestinal canal from a What led Leuwenhoek to the in- salt herring, filled with half-digested vestigation of the food of the herring, ova (No. 1.) And in two other spewas the circumstance of this fish, not cimens (Nos. 2 and 3), taken this sumvery fat in appearance, having the in- mer, ova in a forward state of deve. testines covered and the body saturated lopement were clearly distinguishable. with fat, while other sea fishes, how- Whether these are ova of the herring ever thick in the body, secreted none or not, I am not prepared to say of this fatty matter. This induced The result of Leuwenhoek's enquiry him to investigate the nature of the was, that it was evident to him that food of the herring ; and, having en herrings not only fed on animalcules, quired at various fishermen on the minute fishes, or aselli, and even on coast of Holland what food they found their own ova, but also, when pressed in the stomach, was told, as any en by hunger, any thing they met with. quirer here would be told, “se nun. (P. 53.) Leuwenhoek goes on to quam ullum in halecum stomacho aut state, that, considering the nature of intestinis reperisse cibum." (Epist. p. the food and the shoals to be fed, there 46, 47.) Not discouraged at this, he must be in the sea incalculable num. went to market about the middle of bers of minute animals, beyond what March, and purchased a few herrings, had been imagined. In another place in the second of which he found a he states that the sandy shores of Holreddish matter, which he discovered land abound with these minute crusby the microscope to be composed of tacea. And he accounts for the shoals rounded bodies, scarcely acted upon of herrings moving to different parts of by the stomach. The same bodies, the coast by attributing their presence which appeared to be minute sacs, to the plenty or scarcity of food—“ad were found in the stomachs of all the escam congregantur aquilæ.". herrings. “Hence it did not appear Here, then, the food of the herring to me wonderful,” says Leuwenhoek, is ascertained, by one of the most suc. " that the fishermen should conceive cessful investigators of the arcana of that no food was to be found in the nature, to consist of “exigua animal. stomachs of herrings, because they cula, sive pisciculos," and, in default feed on animals so minute, and not in of other food, he ascertained that they sufficient quantity at a time to distend even swallow the ova of their own the stomach, as we see in other fishes." species. The letter which contains
-“ While other fishes are able to fill this investigation is dated at Delft, in their stomachs so as to constitute a Holland, in January 1696. fifth part of the size of the animal, and The next writer, of those which have the fragments of the food remain even fallen in my way, who mentions parti. for days in this viscus, the herring, on cularly the food of the herring, is the the contrary, is constantly swallowing celebrated Otho Frederick Müller, those minute animalcules which escape who published a work, entitled “ Enthe eye of the fisherman." On an tomostraca, seu Insecta Testacea,” in other occasion Leuwenhoek examined 4to, at Leipsic and Copenhagen in the stomachs of herrings when many 1785. In that work, he describes a had spawned, and found in the chyle species of Cyclops under the name of and intestines the ova of their own Cyclops longicornis, which he says was species. At a different period he found found in the sea of Finmarck, by the
* “ Atque ita mihi conspicuum fuit, haleces non tantum vesci exiguis pisciculis, atque etiam propriis ovis, sed et quodcunque obvium urgente necessitate, versus sto, machum demittere."
celebrated Gunner, and afterwards class of voracious fishes. It lives “in sinu Drobactiorum,” by himself, chiefly on minute crabs" (crustacea). in numbers, in the stomach of a her. « Neucrantz," says he, “ has found ring, without particularly looking for many in its stomach half digested. any such thing. This small crusta. Leuwenhoek has also observed ova of ceous animal is figured by Müller in fishes in the æsophagus. It also feeds his 19th plate, fig. 7-9. Dr Knox on worms; and the fishermen of Norconfesses, that the fragment of the way have often found its intestines crustaceous animal which he found in filled with a species of red worm, the stomach of a herring, "approaches which they call roe-aal. When the very nearly the Cyclops of M. Du- stomach is full of these animals, they meril ;” and bears “ a strong resem- believe that the fish is diseased; but blance" to the animal found in num- the true explanation is, that these bers by Müller, in the stomach of the worms, being much more subject to same species of fish.
decay, spoil the herring before it is • The animal represented by Müller salted." Then Bloch explains, on the is then either of the same species as principle of the known rapid digestion the fragment figured by Dr Knox, or of the herring, why their stomacbs are it is not. If it be of the same species, generally found empty when caught. there is an end to Dr Knox's claim, " Whenever the fishermen," says he, for this very good reason, that Mül- « notice these animals in the herrings ler's work was published in 1785, and they are taking, they leave them during Dr Knox's supposed discovery was some time in the water, that the food not made public till 1833. Nay, more, may be entirely digested, and the fish, Müller refers to a previous writer, who of course, keep better when salted." had discovered this animal in the sea Bloch, vi. p. 252, 253. of Finmarck many years before ; and It is necessary here to mention that he himself had described it under the the modern class Crustacea, in which pame of Cyclops Finmarkii, in the minute crabs and shrimps are includ« Zoologiæ Danicæ Prodromus," which ed, made part of Linnæus' great class was published at Copenhagen in 1776. INSECTA, and were arranged under The “immortal Gunner," whom Mül. the generic name of Cancer by that ler mentions as its first describer, had illustrious naturalist. The term worms previously given a figure of the animal (VERMES) of the same author, besides in the 10th volume of the Copenhagen the worms properly so called, includTransactions.
ed the testaceous as well as naked On the other hand, if it be not the mollusca, and zoophytes. And hence, same animal as those figured by Gun by all the writers of the period we are ner and Müller, then it must assuredly considering, the terms minute crabs, be a fragment of one or other of the worms, and insects, include all the minute crustacea, which, along with animals now separated into divisions other minute animals and ova, are more precise, and more accommodated stated by Neucrantz and later natu- to the extended state of our knowledge. ralists to form the food of the herring, Thus, the crabs, lobsters, and shrimps, and which abound on all the northern &c., form the modern class CrusTAshores.
CEA, the radiated animals are arranged How the Doctor could give a figure under the class ECHINODERMATA, and of the natural size of the adult, full. the one-eyed animals, which Linnæus grown animal,” to use his own pleon- brought together under the generic astic expression, from an imperfect term Monoculus, are now included in fragment, he does not explain ;-but the sub-class ENTOMOSTRACA, a term the deficiency could easily be supplied applied to them by Müller. A great from Müller's figure.
portion of the animals of these classes The next writer I notice who men- form generally the food of fishes, and tions the food of the herring, is the some species have been more particucelebrated ichthyologist, Mark Elea- larly ascertained to be part of the food zar Bloch, who began to publish his of the herring. To limit its food, superb work on fishes at Berlin in however, to this or that species, on the 1785. In his account of the herring evidence of a single fragment, or he thus writes: “ The herring, which thousands of fragments, at one season is so often exposed to the voracity of of the year only, and on one particular other animals, belongs itself to the coast, is pretty nearly as philosophical