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than two years ago it was a swamp, covered
by dense forest; a party of gold miners
have pierced it in all directions, so that for
about that period no surface or river water
could have collected in it, and it is now
quite drained. Dr. Hector further adds
that the early settlers in New Zealand were
frequently much astonished by digging up
fishes along with the potatoes which they
had planted in the rich swampy land.
Mr. Schaw, the warden of the district, has
examined seven or eight specimens of these
fishes, which were found enclosed in hollows
in the clay. He found that when first
extracted they moved freely, but when placed
in water they got sluggish, and soon
died. They varied from three to seven
inches in length. Accompanying Dr.
Hector's letter and sketch was the actual
fish, that had sat for his picture. Dr.
Günther regards it as the type of a new
genus, to which he gives the name of
neochanna; it belongs to the family of
galaxidæ, but, in being devoid of neutral fins, it
differs from galaxiasa remarkable genus
which is most developed in New Zealand,
but extends westward to New South Wales
and Van Diemen's Land, and eastward to
the southernmost parts of America. It
also differs from the last-named genus, in
having small and almost rudimentary eyes,
indicating that it lives habitually in mud
or swampy places. All galaxias are
remarkably fat, and this was the case in
the neochanna forwarded to Dr. Günther,
who was much surprised to find that, so
far from having undergone a protracted
trial of fasting, its stomach was distended
with food, consisting of the half-digested
remains of the larvæ or grubs of a dipterous
insect. In conclusion, he directs
attention to the fact that in numerous groups
of fishes living permanently in mud or
periodically in dry ground, the ventral fins,
having no duties to perform, are either
rudimentary, or totally absent.

The peculiar cavity in the head occurring
in the Indian walking fishes, has clearly
nothing to do with the process of æstivation,
because it is not only the hollow-headed
acanthopterygians which then re-appear
after rain, but also the cyprinidæ or carp
family and others. The aestivation that
occurs in hot and dry countries is
apparently identical with the hybernation of
various animals, as bats, bears, dormice,
certain birds, and several fishes in cold
regions. Even in England, eels bury themselves
a foot or deeper in the mud during
the winter months. Carp have been found
in great numbers lying closely packed
together, and buried in the mud at the
bottom of fish-ponds in exceptionally severe
weather; according to Yarrell, soles
frequent the river Arun nearly up to the town
of Arundel, and have been found in that
neighbourhood buried in the sand during
the colder months.

We shall conclude this article with a
few words on the climbing perch (anabas
scandens). Does this fish really deserve
the names of anabas the ascender, or
scandens the climber? From our childhood
we have seen and admired pictures of this
perch, some six feet high up a tree by the
river side. Are we, in these days of
scepticism, ruthlessly to knock it down from its
proud position? For the earliest record of
its climbing propensities we are indebted
to two Mahomedan travellers, who visited
India in the ninth century, and left a
record of their observations, which has been
translated into French by M. Reinaud.
They mention a sea-fish which, leaving its
natural element, climbed cocoa-nut trees
and drank the juice of the plant. After
an interval of little short of a thousand
years, Lieutenant Daldorf, in 1791, wrote
to inform Sir Joseph Banks that he had
observed this fish, five feet from the ground
on the stem of a palmira tree. In
corroboration of these statements, the Tamil
designation of this fish is pannieri, a
"climber of palmira trees," and in Malabar
and elsewhere the natives fully believe in
its climbing powers. On the other hand,
neither Buchanan, the author of The
Fishes of the Ganges; nor Carter, author of The
Malayan Fishes; nor Sir Emerson Tennent,
could find any direct evidence of these
powers, nor did they ever hear them noticed
by the natives of the Malay peninsula or
Ceylon. Dr. Day does not give a decided
opinion on the subject, but he observes
that the climbing perch possesses such
jumping powers that it cannot be kept in
an aquarium, unless the top be covered over.
Without this precaution it will contrive to
escape, even when the water is a foot or
more from the top.

Dr. Day is, we believe, still engaged in
attempting to stock, either by means of
ova or young fishes, some of the principal
rivers of India; and has already published
one or two official reports on his progress.
Considering the frequency of famine in its
most appalling form in many parts of our
vast Indian possessions, we need hardly
add that he has our sincere wishes that
he may prove successful in introducing