Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 64.djvu/47

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43
MARINE ZOOLOGY IN THE TROPICAL ATLANTIC.

of highest respect when we consider that among them are such investigators as Barton, H. L. Clark, Conklin, Duerden and Morgan. The advantages claimed for Jamaica are a healthful climate, the best of social conditions, a rich land and fresh-water as well as marine fauna and flora, and the accessibility of the island. The land flora and fauna of Jamaica are stated on good authority to be the richest of the Antilles, while the coral reefs and marine fauna, although possibly

 

PSM V64 D047 Fort jefferson parade ground dry tortugas.png

The Parade Ground of Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas, seen through one of the Casemates.

 

not so rich as those of the Tortugas, are said to be remarkably varied. Unfortunately none of the gentlemen who advocate Jamaica have been at the Tortugas, and it is therefore impossible for them to make any direct comparison between the marine faunæ of the two places.

The advocates of the Tortugas, Florida, claim that here we find by far the richest pelagic fauna of the tropical Atlantic which is driven upon the shores by the prevailing winds from the Gulf Stream.

The Tortugas reefs, while not so rich in corals, are richer in fishes and invertebrates than are those of the Bahamas and probably of other West Indian Islands. The nearness of the Pourtales plateau would give the station an enviable opportunity for deep-sea dredging, while the remarkable purity of the ocean water surrounding the Tortugas would provide the laboratory with an almost unique advantage in the rearing of larvæ, and prosecution of physiological work. The Tortu-