Page:Natural History, Mollusca.djvu/173

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blunt and rounded, is the best adjunct. The operator must apply the point of this close to the extremity of the Chiton, without actually touching it; then, striking a smart blow with the palm of his other hand on the handle of the knife, the animal is dislodged by the shock, before it has any opportunity to confirm its hold. To prepare it now for the cabinet, it must be thrown into fresh water for several hours, and when quite dead, which may be known by the relaxation of muscular rigidity, the foot and all the soft parts must be cut out of the concavity of the mantle. The latter must then be placed on a narrow strip of board, exactly as if the animal were crawling, to which it must be tightly bound by threads passed round and round in every part, and laid to dry in the shade. Specimens prepared in this way will possess a natural appearance, and will never curl up in any state of the weather.

The flesh of the larger chitons is red and coarse; it is, however, eaten by the negroes of the West Indies, who compare it, by a certain exercise of imagination doubtless, to beef. There is a species found in the same locality, reported, I know not on what foundation, to be poisonous.

We have about fifteen species of this genus enumerated as British, of which one of the largest, as well as most common, or at least most generally distributed, is the Tufted Chiton (C. fascicularis). It is about three-fourths of an inch in length, with the shelly plates striated and granu-