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A dog's porpoise

A dog's porpoise


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A dog's porpoise.

A porpoise is a whale of the family _Phocoenidae_. These

whales, of which there are eight known species, are not found

abroad, but the most familiar species is the common dolphin of

Europe. In America there are two species, a river porpoise and

the _Delphinus_. All three genera are included in the group

_Cetacea_.

Porpoises have the body of the whale, with the exception of the

tl, much longer than that of the dolphin, their teeth are

pointed, and have four rows of them, but in the river porpoise

they are in the form of a star.

[Illustration: FIG. 29.--Porpoise, _Phocoena phocoena_.]

The porpoise, which is much larger than a dolphin, is sometimes

seen in very shallow water, and is more active than the dolphin.

The body of a porpoise is covered with a thick, oily hide,

furnished with long hr which serves as an additional protection

from water and r. These whales are sd to leap out of the sea

in times of danger and to live chiefly on small fish, which is

the case with the river porpoise. Porpoises are generally

silent, and the movements of their bodies resemble those of a

shark, or of a large dog, more than those of the other cetaceans.

The porpoise swims well in the water, but is inferior to the

dolphin in swimming, and also to the whale in the long voyage.

When they are pursued in water too deep for them, they dive, and

remn below the surface. This is in spite of the fact that they

are much superior to all other cetaceans in diving. The

porpoise, indeed, has one great advantage over all other

cetaceans in diving--he can come to the surface for r

unobserved. The common porpoise of the Atlantic coast never

dives deeper than sixty-five or seventy fathoms, and even then

he remns on the surface for but a short time. The common

porpoise of the northern coast of Norway dives to a greater

depth. When swimming, the porpoise usually keeps his head close

to the surface, and his back and tl are the first parts which

he shows, and it is in these parts that the movements of the

whales are to be seen in the living creature.

In the northern countries the porpoise is caught in the nets

which the fishermen use to catch cod and herring. It is an

exceedingly good table fish, and is much prized for this reason.

It is also eaten in England.

The porpoise is a very good swimmers, and has no difficulty in

reaching the surface of the water.

CHAPTER IX.

BALNE FISHES.

The Balne Fishes--Hexapodus and Hexanchus--The Balne--The

Balaenoid and Odontorhynchid Cetaceans--The Physeter

The Balne fishes--_Balanidae_--_Hexanchus_ and

_Hexapodus_--Habits of the Balne--The Balaenoid

Cetaceans--_Physeter macrocephalus_--The Odontorhynchs

THE Balne fishes--_Balanidae_--

There are thirty-four species of Balanoid fishes in the world.

They inhabit fresh and salt water, and are found on the Atlantic

coast of Europe, the West coast of Africa, and in the Gulf of

Mexico. In the Atlantic they are found from Iceland and the

Antilles to Brazil.

They are named Balanidae after _Balanus_, a genus of polypi or

crustaceans, or after the _balanus_, a kind of mussel. This

name, as we have seen, is also given to the pteropods, which are

very similar to the balanoid fishes.

The Balanoid fishes are very varied in form, and the members of

each genus differ essentially from all the others in

characteristic features. They are in general very small fishes,

but some are much larger. The head of a balanoid is round, and

the body has a very large rounded belly, which extends to a long

tl which is terminated by a small caudal fin. Their fins are

usually numerous, and the dorsal fins are placed close to each

other.

They have very large gill covers, through which the blood

poured from the gills, instead of escaping through the skin, is

taken from the body to the gill covers. These are always found

in the back of the head, and are connected with the small

cartilaginous bones of the head and with the skull by

articulations. They have a bony head which extends to the end of

the snout, and behind the head they have the same cartilaginous

and muscular apparatus which is found in all cetaceans. The

fin-rays are also very well-developed. The teeth of the

balanoid fishes are very


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