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man, for they will often stand in this off the coasts, and in their caverns attitude for ten minutes together, and crevices in the spring pass through awaiting the approach of the human the process of exuviation and often hand.
congress. After they have revelled in the food It is from this section that the fisherof our summer seas, in the autumn a men draw their early supplies ere the mass of red matter gathers in the older females return from the deep sea carapace of the females, which is the spawning grounds. material for a new shell, or the sub- It may not be out of place to remark stance to be used in the formation of here that exuviation is not absolutely eggs if these are not actually in exist- a yearly act. In the younger forms it ence. With the first autumn storms is passed through as often as they can the whole family divides into two parts; find food to supply nature's conditions, the maternal or egg-bearing section re- which, in some cases, may be several tiring into deep water where they again times in a year; neither does congress divide; the younger forms, when some always takes place at the time of exuvithree or four miles from land, going ation, as it is often seen in other phases deep under the sands and hybernating of life. Mimicry in these creatures is there until the spring; while the older an interesting study. members continue the journey to a Their enemies are all the large skates much greater distance, until they find existing on the coasts, with the Octopus deep water out of reach of the storms vulgaris and the nursehound sharks; of winter. Here they rest without while the sea breams and wrasse deburying themselves very deep, as the light in feeding on the remains of their trawler, when fishing by night, often slaughter. catches numbers of them. Through the The skates hunt them with great winter, by a beautiful process, the energy, and with their tough shouts eggs, varying from one to two millions rout them out of the crevices of the in number, are drawn out of the body rocks, and after crushing llem devour by means of a pouch, and attached to them whole. I have seen as ruany as the stems and filaments under the flap five of these crabs in the stomach of or tail.
one skate. How long they remain in this position The octopus also feeds on them ravit is difficult to say. As the bulk of the enously, and, but for their sharp nipcrabs return unburthened to their old pers, would scarcely look for any other haunts in May and June, it seems cer- food. I have more than once seen such tain that their eggs must have been cuttles with their arms bitten clean ott, held in situ by the parent until about which, no doubt, was the result of batthis date. And it further seems prob- tling with these crabs. The nurseable that, when developed, the larva is hound also feeds on the smaller forms. left at various depths in the sand, as To fight the battle of life unseen by active larval forms are not plentiful in their enemies is the one great purpose the surface of the sea off the coasts of these creatures; hence mimicry of until July and August. On the other rather a high order is quickly assumed hand the second division of these fe- by them. Thus when they are living males, which have red matter in them among the dark olive laminarian seafor a new carapace, and which are the weeds, a dark chocolate color is put on, younger forms of the race, retire, pro- which so quietly blends with these tected and guarded by the males, to weeds that their forms cannot be disthe rocks and vast reefs, which abound tinguished among these dark olive con
ditions; while in deeper water on the having a rough bottom and eight or low rocks and brown sands they cover ten inches of water on it with a cavthemselves with brown hues so that it ern at each end. Although I was is difficult even for sharp eyes to dis armed with a crab-hook or iron gaff tinguish them from their surroundings. about three feet long, the extreme dartBesides this they have another protec- ing and fencing of the lobster were too tion; being night feeders, all crabs who, much for me to grapple with. When with the morning light, find themselves in the deeper cavern I found it could on the sands, instantly bury themselves. see me through the water as plainly This fact is known to the shore trawl as I could see it; so that here the better ers, who, while fishing by day on cer constructed eyes of the Genus Homo had tain grounds, will scarcely find a crab; no advantage over the rough, hard, yet, when trawling on the same sands stalk eyes of the crustacean; and as I by night, will catch them in great num could not get to gaff across it, every bers.
effort I made was evaded; at last, Then they have the wonderful trick however, by mere vigorous and enerof assuming death in difficulties. Let getic gaffing, I made the cavern so unman or their other enemies come upon comfortable for the lobster that, like them, however suddenly, they will in a lightning flash it dạrted between my stantly either fight, or mimic the de legs and into the lesser cavern. Here parted; and so persistent are they in the same game went on and with like this mode of deception that if condi- results; for, in a moment, he was again tions do not change they will continue between my legs and back into his old in this state until death becomes a haunt. Finally, becoming tired of gaffreality.
ing and missing (for its fencing was My next remarks will be on Homarus perfect, and could not have been vulgaris, or the
achieved without long practice), I de
clined to be beaten by a mere crustaLOBSTERS.
cean, and proceeded to bail out the These exist on our coasts from the pool. It was only by this effort that lowest spring tides out to thirty-five and I eventually conquered it. And here I forty fathoms of water, which, in some must confess that throughout the battle instances, may be five or more miles so deft, crafty and subtle were its acfrom land. Their home is always in tions that it was like fighting a being sheltered positions. Near the shore by endowed with human intelligence. day they live in holes or caverns, or
I have further proof that they mani. under large stones with a free exit, and fest a severe martial spirit in the sea are most plentiful where rocks and when hunting for food. It is nothing sands are in close proximity; when uncommon for fishermen, when drawthis clear, sandy expanse in the twin ing up their traps in the morning, to light or moonlight can be used as find the large claw of another lobster fencing and hunting ground, as pleas- in the pot beside the prisoner; and there ure or hunger may preponderate, for have been instances when three large they are the most active and warlike claws have been found together under of all our large crabs.
the above conditions, and a lobster with That fencing is a pastime among lob one arm, as a prisoner, showing that in sters I have no doubt, from some little a recent fight the victor had lost one, experience I have had with them. Once and the vanquished both its arms. But I found a lobster near low water in a these are only trifles compared with pool some nine feet long by six wide, what the late Sir Isaac Coffin saw on
the coast of Nova Scotia, for it is given their nippers. Further, this escaping of on his authority that he once witnessed the conquered from the fisherman's a terrible battle between two armies of pots helps us to realize that lobsters are lobsters, and that they fought with not the stupid creatures some would such fury that the shore was strewn have us believe. Evidently they know with their claws.
all the conditions of the trap man has If in the pursuit of food only these so skilfully made for their capture, and bitter battles are fought by these crea- how to get in and out of it when it tures, we can imagine the nature of suits their purpose; and also that their some combats when the females are to being ensnared by him comes from an the front and the most beautiful undesigned act of theirs, viz., by lifting claimed by the conquerors.
what appeared to them to be the sea. It seldom happens that in these food bottom and themselves gently to the fights one lobster actually kills another. surface by a string, a fact of which No fisherman in this neighborhood has they had no conception, for what lobever seen death on these lines; the loss ster could imagine that what appeared of a limb being the extent of the injury to be the foundations of the great deep done to the defeated. Is it possible there could be so quietly moved ? Again, can be such ideas as those of order and another fact connected with their fighthonor among lobsters, and that in this ing habits presents itself to us. I refer strife for sustenance there is to be no to the statement that our fishermen biting or striking below the head or have never known one of these creaclaws; and that the marvellous facility tures attempt to taste the fresh sweet they have of healing a wound in an arm of a defeated foe, which clearly instant, by casting off the limb at the shows that lobsters have no cannibal last joint and throwing a film or cica- propensities. trix over the wound, thus preventing I will now consider the acts of mimicbleeding and further injury to the crea- ry in lobsters. Their enemies are all ture,' is known to the race and is acted the skates, congers and larger cuttles, upon in these contentions; while strik. with possibly the great crab.
The ing below the head and fighting to the former violently hunt for them amongst death is only allowed in their more the rocks, and with their long noses fierce and violent life battles, when quickly turn them out of the crevices they are contending, perhaps, for the and often swallow them whole. best home caverns and the society of The Octopus vulgaris hunts them in the best females? That this is the case like manner; and with its spider-like seems probable from the fact that arms and strong suckers will drag them when first brought face to face with out from any fissure; and, when hunger that rare monster, Man, they are des presses, it has been known to force perate, and will instantly kill each itself between the rods of the strong other other to escape from his presence wicker stores of the fisherman, and deand power; so much so that he has to vour them without mercy. tie their claws, or cut the higher ten To evade these the lobsters can-acdon, which prevents them from opening cording to the grounds they are on
* See White's British Crustacea, p. 103.
Ing a sharp instrument into the toe of the in* The least prick through the shell of any fured limb. This greater pain has made it crustacean will cause it to bleed to death quickly throw off the now doubly-injured limb, quickly. I have often seen this happening with when at the same moment It covered the orifice put the creature knowing it, so slight was the with a film, and in this manner saved its own wound. Seeing death approaching it so stealthily, life. I have sometimes frightened the creature by dart
assume all the colors shading between spiders were weak and shaky on their a dark blue, through brown, to a whit- legs, but really it is not so. They are ish cream-color, mostly by a mott!!ng well adapted for climbing up the long process; and as in deep water the bot stems of the laminarian sea-weeds and tom is much spotted in some places running over and foraging among their with quantities of dead-white sea-shells tangled leaves. and cream-colored corallines, the util Even the fisherman's net is often used ity of these colors in this form, in the in the same manner when hanging from lobster, is apparent, as it puts them in the boat to the sea-bottom; for, when harmony with the above conditions. seeking or leaving food they will run Near the shore the umbrageous, palm over it as easily as a mason will his like laminarian forests cover the dark, ladder, or a spider its web. rocky bottom; under this shade at mid And when it comes to the getting of day it is only twilight, and in the cav the fish from the net, they are the most erns and caves it has the darkness of violent of all the crabs; for with these night; here in the day their dark-blue apparently weak nippers, they will color beautifully blends with their sur cleave the net as clean as though it roundings; and in the night we are cer were cut with scissors, and carry away tain they are safe from the eyes of their portions of it with their stolen food. pursuers.
As a rule they are day feeders, and Bell, in his great work, “British Stalk- delight in the warmth of our shallow eyed Crustacea,” noted (and his obser- waters; and during hot summer weather vation was confirmed by Couch) that it is nothing uncommon to see them there is as much difference in the color lying in the crown of these palm trees of lobsters as there is between the of the sea, basking in the sunshine. white race and the African; and, from They are said to be the sweetest food it, concluded that lobsters do not wan of all the crabs, but their exterior is so der far from certain localities, as each rough with spines and tubercles that situation impresses its own shade on when in their finest form neither man the shells.
nor fish cares to have much to do with This comes very near our idea of them. In the moulting season, howmimicry in these creatures, but unfor ever, all this is changed; for when they tunately it gives the credit of the are in this plastic condition nearly all change to the sea-bottom instead of to the predatory fishes are their enemies the lobster.
and are anxious to taste this dainty. Here I will look at the Maia squinado, The spider crab, seems to know this, or the
and when passing through this phase
of weakness falls back on a splendid SPIDER CRAB
form of mimicry for protection, by These are found in all our western covering its exposed parts with seaand southern waters, and are plentiful weeds. These are entwined among off the coasts of Devon and Cornwall, the hairs and spines, and stuck in all where they are often found in crab the joints and crevices of the creature. pots, set for the capture of the great On looking carefully over several of crab, into which they are enticed by them I have doubted if the decoration the same bait.
were really adjusted by the wearers, It was thought that these stilted because weeds were growing beyond
* More especially the Alcyonium (Linn). This sponge-like coral, in some places on the seabottom, is found in vast masses. I have seen as
many as sixteen in a square foot of the ocean bed drawn up on a fisherman's hook.
• See Bell's British Stalk-eyed Crustacea, p. 254.
the reach of their claws; hence I have in deep water on stony grounds, where concluded that after congress, knowing a lighter color prevails, a brownishtheir unprotected state, the male had gray color is assumed throughout on assisted in this important and needful claws and carapace, which harmonizes act. When the males' troubles in con- well with its environment. nection with exuviation come on, the Again, I have reasons for believing females perform the same kindness to that all the species of spider crabs in their friends in danger. The weeds are British waters more or less mimic their of many kinds; among them I noted surroundings. the Zostera marina, Chorda filum, Ulva Hayes araneus is so fond of this milatissima, Porphyra vulgaris, Entero- metical state that it always keeps morpha compressa and intestinalis; and itself fully dressed whatever its perso well is this transformation accom
sonal condition; and various algæ are plished that the ordinary eye cannot piled on its legs and carapace in such distinguish them from the sea-bottom. quantities as to make it difficult to To the youngsters of the race they know it from a bouquet of weeds; must be the veritable Santa Claus of while Pisa Gibbsii, which lives in deeper the sea.
water, manages so to cover itself with When in this disguised condition they sponges and corals that no one but the are so fearless that they will often ven- initiated would think a crab was underture far out on the gray Sands in neath. search of soft and suitable food, where Again, in the West Indian seas the they are often caught by the score in spider crab, Macropodia occidentalis, ground seines.
also acts on these mimetic lines, and But when the carapace has hardened imitates the colors and conditions of through age, these decorations are gen- its vicinity by disfiguring itself with erally dispensed with; and their spines sea-weeds and sponges; and when in and color-mimicry are again trusted to this form watches for its prey.10 for defence. Thus where the olive sea- In closing I may remark that I have weed preponderates and its dark shades not exhausted the subject of mimicry, are thrown on the rocks, the creature having reasons for thinking that all the assumes a reddish-brown hue which crabs on our coast delight in tricks, and blends well with its surroundings; but more or less practice deception. The Contemporary Review.
THE MODERN PARENT.
In the old times it was taken for would you have been? and its corollary. granted in literature, and presumably Since you owe everything to me, is it also in life, that children were under a not reasonable that you should display considerable obligation to their parents your gratitude by doing what I ask of for the bare fact of existence. Many you? Undoubtedly there was a good affecting appeals in drama from father deal of logic in the plea, though I canto child resolve themselves simply into not recollect that it was ever successthe following inquiry: But for me where ful. Still, the whole scheme of filial
duty was based originally on the belief ' 10 See Linn. Trans., xlv., 335, and White's British Crustacea, p. 13.
that it was very good of parents to