Page:Sea and River-side Rambles in Victoria.djvu/37

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18

borers are well represented by a Teredo which abounds on the piles at Williamstown.

The ability of many molluscs, especially the freshwater, to sustain life for a considerable time, is recorded in some remarkable instances; indeed it is probable that they become torpid in warm climates during the hottest and driest part of the year.[1] Mr. Gray, of the British Museum, received from this country a Pond mussel which had been more than a year out of water, and it still lived; some pond snails have been found alive after five years, although in the warm climate of Jamaica, and an individual of the Desert snail which had been affixed to a tablet in the British Museum in 1846, was found, on some suspicion having arisen as to his having made determined efforts to escape from confinement, still flourishing after being immersed in tepid water.[2]

A Cabinet of Shells is necessary for those who desire to study Conchology, and we may therefore hint, that to obtain specimens, perfect in shape and colour, dredging is the only good plan; but this may not be feasible, if so, the collector should wade amidst the rocks, examining the heaps of seaweed thrown on the sand after a storm, or carefully grope about all dark fissures, where many good species congregate, or are driven, nolens volens. Chitons and Limpets are only detached from the rocks by the aid of a strong bladed knife, as the former especially repel the air and water on all sides to produce a vacuum and so obtain a firmer hold, and they will sooner part with a portion of their shells than leave their places of attachment. Bivalves, and all live shells should be boiled

  1. Woodward's "Manual of the Mollusca."
  2. Ann. Nat. History, 1860.