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The shells are also shipped from San Francisco to China and Europe in considerable quantities. In the former country they are used for inlaying in connection with the lacquerwork for which the Chinese are so famous, while in Europe they are used in the arts, and many are polished and treated with acid, to be returned to the United States and sold for card receivers or ornamental objects.
Their beauty has not escaped the eye of the savage, as .pieces of the shells are worked into a variety of forms and worn to ornament the person, by the Indians of north-west America. They are also esteemed by the Indians living in the interior of the continent. My friend, Dr. Edward Palmer, recently informed me that when he was in the Indian Territory he saw a horse purchased with an Abalone shell. They are still held in esteem, but are not so‘highly prized as formerly,
Jeffreys says that in some parts of Guernsey the ormer was used for the purpose of frightening the small birds from the standing corn; three or four shells are strung loosely together and suspended from the top of a pole, so as to make a clatter when moved by the wind. Formerly they were used there to ornament the plastered exteriors of cottages, the plaster being studded with them.
In some places in California I have seen the shells of Haliotis rufescens suspended beside a sink, or placed upon a toilet-stand for holding the soap. They are quite convenient to the collector for holding or carrying smaller specimens in while searching along the shore, a purpose for which I have frequently used them. Sometimes the naturalist is well repaid by the examination of the back of large specimens of the roughly sculptured species ; for, besides the miniature forest of marine vegetation, corallines, algæ, etc., which furnish an abiding place for diatoms and other minute forms, in the crevices of the shell can be found numerous small species of mollusca that would otherwise be seldom obtained.
The value of the exports of the Haliotis or Abalone shells from San Francisco was, in the year 1866, $14,440, being 1697 sacks, each of two bushels capacity; and in the year 1867 the export bad increased to 3713 sacks, worth $36,090.
Jeffreys, in remarking upon the sale of the European species, H. tuberculata, says that the importation into England of the Meleagrince, or true mother-of-pearl shells, from the South Seas, has interfered with the sale of the Former" at Guernsey, although he was informed that one merchant
purchased from four to nine tons annually, paying seven shillings and sixpence per hundred weight, equal to about thirty-seven and one-half dollars per ton, American gold.
The geographical distribution of the Haliotides is widely extended; it is remarkable however that not a single species is found upon either coast of South America, or upon the east coast of North America, while no less than five or six species* are found on the west coast of North America, between the Gulf of California, northerly to, and including a part of Alaska.
Species are also found in Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, and many of the smaller islands of the Indo-Pacific waters ; the Canary Islands, Africa at the Cape of Good Hope, and the Atlantic Coast of Europe.
The length of this paper prevents my treating at this time of the uses made of the Haliotis shells in the ar by civilized peoples, or the purposes to which they are applied by the ruder races of mankind.
* Of these five or six species, H. splendens Reeve, is found at San Diego and the islands off the coast; H. corrugata Gray, Santa Barbara to San Diego and Catalina Island; H. rufescens Swainson, from Mendocino County, southerly, to San Nicholas Island; H. Kamschatkana Jonas, from Monterey, northerly to Alaska, also in Japan; H. Cracherodii Leach, from the Farallone Islands of the entrance to San Francisco Bay, southerly to San Diego; and H. Californiensis Swainson, a doubtful species, upon the islands (and the outer coast?) of Lower California. This latter form, which is regarded by many as a variety of H. Cracherodii, is quite rare, though I have sev. eral specimens in my collection. H. Cracherodii has from five to eight holes, while the other has from eight to thirteen.
It was during my first visit to Brazil, that one day, while busily engaged in examining a reef at a little town on the coast called Guarapary, my eye fell on an object in a shallow tide-pool, packed away in the crevice of the reef, which excited my curiosity. I could see nothing but a pair of very bright eyes; but, concluding that the eyes had an owner, I determined very rashly to secure him. I had been handling corals and seemed to have forgotten that all the inhabitants of the sea are not harmless. I put my hand down very quietly so as not to ruffle the water, when, suddenly, to my surprise, it was seized with a pressure far too ardent to be agreeable, and I was held fast. I tugged hard to get away, but this uncivil individual, whoever he was, evidently had as strong a hold on the rocks as he had on my hand, and was not easily to be persuaded to let go of either. At last, however, he became convinced that he must choose between
* The facts herein narrated were drawn from one of my note-books, and were an actual experience of mine. The story is told in the first person for obvious reasons. C. F. HARTT. AMER. NATURALIST, VOL. III.
us, and so let go his hold upon the rocks, and I found cling. ing to my right hand, by his long arms, a large octopod cuttle-fish, resembling the one figured at the head of this article, and I began to suspect that I had caught a Tartar. His long arms were wound around my hand, and these arms, by the way, were covered with rows of suckers, somewhat like those with which boys lift stones, and escape from them was almost impossible. I knew that this fellow's sucking propensities were not his worst ones, for these cuttle-fishes are furnished with sharp jaws, and they know how to use them too, so I attempted to get rid of him. But the rascal, disengaging one slimy arm, wound it about my left hand also, and I was a helpless prisoner. In vain I struggled to free myself,—he only clasped me the tighter. In vain I shouted to my companion, — he had wandered out of hearing. I was momentarily expecting to be bitten, when the "bicho” suddenly changed his mind. I was never able to discover whether he was smitten with remorse and retired with amiable intentions, or whether he only yielded to the force of circumstances. At any rate he suddenly relinquished his hold upon my hands and dropped to the sand. Then raising himself on his long limsy arms, he stalked away towards the water, making such a comical figure, that in spite of my fright I indulged in a hearty laugh. He looked like a huge and a very tipsy spider, staggering away on his exceedingly long legs.
The cuttle-fish belongs to the Mollusks, a branch of the animal kingdom distinguished for its members being built on the plan of a sac, and to which Mr. Hyatt has applied the more appropriate name of Saccata. The cuttle-fishes are distinguished from all the other Mollusks, such as snails, clams, etc., by having a large head, a pair of large eyes, and a mouth furnished with a pair of jaws, around which are arranged in a circle, eight or ten arms furnished with suckers.
In the common cuttle-fish or squid of our coast, the body, which is long and narrow, is wrapped in a muscular cloak
or mantle, like a bag fitting tightly to the back but loose in front. It is closed up to the neck, where it is open like a loosely fitting overcoat, buttoned up to the throat. Attached to its throat, by the middle, is a short tube open at both ends. This tube, or siphon as it is called, is fastened to its throat, and can be moved about in any direction.
The animal breathes by means of gills, which are attached to the front of the body inside the cloak and look like the ruffles of a shirt bosom. By means of these gills the air contained in the water is breathed, and they answer the same purpose for the cuttle-fish that our lungs do for us.
In order to swim, the animal swells out the cloak in front so that the water flows in between it and the body. Then it closes the cloak tightly about the neck so that the only way the water can get out is through the siphon. Then it contracts very forcibly its coat, which, it must be remembered, is a part of the animal, and the water is driven out in a jet from the siphon under the throat, and the body is propelled in the opposite direction; that is, backward like a rocket through the water. This siphon is flexible like a water-hose, 'and can be bent so as to direct the stream not only forward, but sidewise and backward, so that the animal can move in almost any direction, or turn somersets with perfect ease, and so rapidly do some cuttle-fishes swim that they are able to make long leaps out of the water. Usually, however, the animal swims backward, with its long arms trailing behind. Our common cuttle-fish of this coast has, in addition to its eight arms, two long slender tentacles which may be withdrawn into the body. The tail is pointed, and furnished with a fin on each side.
The Octopods, to which the Brazilian cuttle-fish (Fig. 45) belongs, have round purse-like bodies, and eight arms united at the base with a web, and they swim by opening and shutting their arms like an umbrella ; in this mode of swimming they resemble the jelly-fishes.
The paper Nautilus is nothing in the world but a female