Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/796

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
778
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

a further insight into the life and the habits of fishes. In former times fishes were considered mute, impassive, and possessed of but little intelligence; nowadays we know that in these respects they can claim to rank as equals with many inhabitants of terra firma. A case in view is the Cyclopterus lumpus. This fish shows a decided attachment to its young, and is often seen with numerous little ones, of which it takes the best possible care. It is found chiefly near England's

PSM V32 D796 The lumpfish with its young cyclopterus lumpus.jpg

Fig. 1. — Cyclopterus lumpus. the Lumpfish, with its Young.

shores, and along the coast of Maine in America. The Cyclopterus has a peculiar form; its body displays many spots, swellings, and lumps which are partially arranged in regular order. It is, generally speaking, not a dangerous creature, never doing harm to any of its fellow-fish. It is defenseless and harmless, and on account of its unwieldy shape moves awkwardly and comparatively slowly. The only weapon this animal really possesses is its extreme ugliness, its uncouth form, which frightens its enemies and not infrequently scares them away. The young of the Cyclopterus follow their mother as little chicks are wont to follow a hen; they play and frolic about her, and are as obedient as little chicks are to the call of their mother. In case any strange object drifts nigh, or an enemy approaches, the whole