Page:Natural History, Mollusca.djvu/65

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53
MOLLUSCA.

I believe, that the Limpet wanders away from its hollow during the night, returning to it as a home by an infallible instinct on the approach of morning. The mode in which the excavation is performed is the same as that just mentioned in the case of the borers, the whole under surface of the foot being furnished with sharp crystals of flint imbedded in its substance.

In general the stony shells of the Mollusca afford them, a sufficient protection, but a few species construct for themselves nests. A native example of this instinct is described in interesting terms by the Rev. D. Landsborough, who obtained it in Lamlash Bay: —

"The most interesting, though not the rarest, thing we got was Lima hians. I had before this some specimens of this pretty bivalve, and I had admired the beauty and elegance of the shell; but hitherto I had been unacquainted with the life and manners of its inhabitant. Mr. and Miss Alder had got it in the same kind of coral at Rothesay, so that when Miss Alder got a cluster of the coral cohering in a mass, she said, 'O, here is the Lima's nest!' and breaking it up, the Lima was found snug in the middle of it. The coral nest is curiously constructed, and remarkably well fitted to be a safe residence for this beautiful animaL The fragile shell does not nearly cover the Mollusk, the most delicate part of it, a beautiful orange fringe-work, being altogether outside of the shell. Had it no extra protection, the half-exposed animal would be a tempting mouthful—quite a bonne-bouche to some prowling haddock or whiting; but He who tempers the wind to the shorn lamb, teaches this little creature, which He has so elegantly