Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/82

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
74
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

next the water. Once we dipped one in a net, and placing it carefully in a pail of sea-water, examined it at our leisure on deck. It was then seen to consist of a float or air bag, and thick clusters of pink bodies attached, and longer blue ones which extend down in the water.

Our little man-of-war bears a truer resemblance to a well manned and ordered warship than might at first be supposed, since it is not an individual, but a community of polyp-like animals

PSM V44 D082 Antennarius.jpg

Fig. 6.—Antennarius.

bound together for common support and protection, with a division of labor recalling that maintained aboard a vessel, or, better still, like that seen in a hive of bees. There are four kinds or grades of persons in the physalia community. There are the feeders, the pink bodies just mentioned, which procure and digest the food for the whole community, all the polyps communicating freely with each other; the defenders, the long, indigo-colored tentacles, which may be distended like flexible threads to the