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often wondered since what the consequences
would have been if this bully of physical
force had met a bully of book lore, who
would have stunned his ears with Greek and
Latin words, and answered his question by
saying, "Sir, these are the ova of a
gasteropod mollusk, called the buccinum

The word whelk signifies an animal, hard
and rolled with knotty protuberances. The
eggs of the whelk are deposited by their
mother in deep water. Storms detach the
froth-like masses from the rocks; and the
progress of the young lives of the whelklings
is frequently arrested for ever by their being
washed high and dry upon the beach.

Egg-clusters of shell-fish, akin to the
whelks, are found in rocky hollows. The
kind called purpura is very common. Dozens
of them are attached to small stones, by little
stalks, and look like tiny egg-cups, with the
eggs in them. They are elegant miniature
urns. The shell is white and coarse, and is
often striped with brown and yellow bands.

The eggs of sea-snails, called Natica, often
present themselves. They are little, gristly,
hoof-shaped, semi-transparent, and elegant
things, finely coated with sand. Eight-sided
spaces mark the positions of the eggs in the
clustre, and the shape of the clusters adapts
them for lying flat upon sand, without being
imbedded in it.

Storms drive lanthines ashore upon our
coasts. The Ianthines neither crawl nor
walk, and seldom swim, having a floating
apparatus consisting of a collection of little
bladders, which float them upon the surface
of the waters. When they choose, they can
sink, and moor themselves to the rocks by
means of their suckers. In the spawning season
they float, and suspend their pendant
egg-clusters under their collection of egg-bladders.
When the eggs are about to hatch, the cluster
is detached from the mantle of the mother,
and the young are confided to the guidance
of their instincts and the mercy of the

In the months of July and August the seaside
rambler will hardly fail to observe upon
the rocks or the tangles, or in the rocky
pools, small gelatinous masses. They are
jelly-like splashes of different shapes and
sizes, which will not bear rough handling.
Indeed, they look like drippings of soup with
globules of oil in them. When examined
under a microscope, or a magnifying-glass, or
when the globules are advancing towards
maturity, the forms of the shells of what are
called mollusks and conchifers can be
discerned in them. Near the holes of pholades
I have often observed these spawn-jellies.
Pholas is a Greek word signifying a lurker
in a hole; and the species which lurks in
ships is called by sailors the shipworm.
Rocks, breakwaters, and ships, are destroyed
by the pholades, which once threatened to
submerge Holland, and which still force
builders to bottom ships with copper. Bits
of chalk which they have perforated are
picked up by gardeners, and tulips are often
seen in gardens sprouting through the holes
which pholades have bored in marine rocks.
The spawn-jellies dissolve and separate when
the eggs become larves. The larves swim
about actively for some hours, their swimming
machinery being little active hairs. During
this period, they move about in search of a
locality where they may fix themselves for
life, like squatters in search of a location.
While they have a necessity for moving from
place to place, they have a locomotive organisation.
When they resolve to settle down in
life, the vagrant organs disappear, and the
creatures become adapted for a staid
residence in an immovable home. Their agility
and their little hairs disappear together, and
their shells grow into the shapes of augurs
or rasps to pierce their holes, while their
bodies become living squirts. As the
pholas, or the teredo, the piddick, or shipworm,
loses the power of swimming, it gains
the power of boring. The young teredos
are often seen upon bits of floating timber.
A little attention is necessary to distinguish
between them and the minute worms called

Long as all the world have been
acquainted with the flavour of oysters, the
savans have not as yet discovered the secret
of their amours. There is a scientific crown
still awaiting the man who shall tell us the
story of the loves of the oysters. In spring
time and summer, when, as the people say,
there is not an r in the month, the oysters
spawn their gelatinous splashes, which the
fishermen call "spat." The spawn looks like
drops of tallow or whitish soup. The spat
adheres to loose oyster-shells and stones.
When examined under a magnifying-glass,
there are seen in the spat innumerable little
eggs like ill-made pills of a brilliant whiteness.
As they change, they become
compressed, and approach more and more
towards the shape of the oyster. Little hairs
appear as the egg-cluster breaks up, and the
thousands of the brother and sister ostrea
swim off to seek their fortunes. When the
steady age comesI ought rather to say the
steady hourthe settling-down epoch, the
hairs give place to layers of rough shell, and
an oyster of experience establishes himself
where he can feed with least risk of serving
as food. Microscopists estimate the eggs in
a spat by hundreds of thousands. Lewhenhock
counted several hundreds of thousands
of eggs in the fecundating folds of the mantle
of an oyster-spawner. This marvellous
fecundity is necessary to enable the species
to survive the ravages which the spawn
sustain from their numerous enemies. The
spat is a tit-bit for fish, crustaceans, worms,
and shell-fish. The feelers, or tentacles of
serpules, balanes and polypes, are cast forth
continually, and ply unceasingly to devour

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