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Nassa, purpura, patella, and littorina, are
species separated from their numerous
kindred upon the tropical shores. The egg-
clusters of these conchylions were at some
remote period, perhaps, borne to northern
shores by the currents of the ocean.
Naturalists have erred in nothing more than in
the multiplication of species; and it may be,
that the common conchylions of our coasts
are only the dwarfs of their families and kin,
stunted, degraded, and coarsened by the
hungry cold of northern seas.

The purple anemones are neighbours of the
limpets and periwinkles, white whelks and
dog-whelks. Country cousins are sure when
taken to the olive zone, to ask for the sea
flowers, the animal flowers. Books written
by compilers from books, tell them the purple
flower may be seen ornamenting the rocks,
when the sea retires. When they search
among the rocks at low water for the purple
anemone, they find, in snug, out-of-the-
way nooks, only little leathery, purple balls.
However curious, the purple balls seem but
slightly ornamental. I have known the
disappointment confirm the generalisation
of perfidy, which country folks carry in
their minds against town and coast-folks.
When the tide is out the beauty of most
of the rayed animals, or actinia, is hidden.
The feelers, which form the flowers, are
pursed together. On a first visit to the
brown zone, the observer is sure to try and
take up the droll little purple balls, and
finding them alive, men start, and ladies
scream. When the base is torn from the
rock, the water is squeezed out, which the
animal had stored up for its refreshment,
while exposed to the sun. A little research
in the rock chasms is sure to turn the
disappointment into surprise and delight. The
expanded animal flowers are to be seen in
deep pools, overshadowed by rock ledges,
and festooned by laminaria. The pool is
divided into sunshine and shadow, and the
sea-flower is not seen in the sunny part,
among the green ulva, and purple stony
plants. The sea anemone, which is called
anemone, from its resemblance to the spring
flower, is seen in full blow under the water,
just where the animal can remain in the
shade, while its feelers enjoy the sunshine.
An expanded animal flower seems to display
a corolla of blue petals, set in a calyx
of purple sepals. The sea anemone is like
a purple cup, with the lips bevelled
outwards into a crown of tentacles, and
encircled with an inner rim of blue beads.
The rayed animal of the olive zone, is the
least remarkable of its group, yet young
people, who rush over the rocks to see it,
for the first time, forget the bumping and
tumbling among the fuci, which it generally
costs them, in the delight of seeing a creature
so strangely beautiful.

Sea anemones sometimes take a fancy to
ride upon coaches. Observers upon the coasts
find other food for laughter than is supplied
by their own mishaps. Strange, droll, beautiful,
wonderful things abound in the sea, and
even comic incidents occur occasionally. The
notorious soldier crab, pagurus, is some-
times seen ensconced up to the thorax in
the shell of a whelk, with a little brown
anemone upon it. Like boys who have got up
behind a coach, the anemones have a drive
without expense. The base of the anemone
is ill-formed for rapid locomotion; and,
desiring to change the feeding ground of his
unwieldy body, he takes a cab. Probably he is
in the way of pleasant mouthfuls when upon
the shell, which the rapacious soldier-crab
drags about on the sea-shore. Something
savoury will come in the way of the tentacles
of the anemone, when the pagurus has
whipped an unwary mussel, or oyster, out of his
shell. Pagurus shelters his abdomen in a
shell he never secreted. His circulatory
system (which Mr. Milne Edwards calls lacunary,
because it runs through the lacunes, or
interstices) of his organs, is such, that a
simple wound in his abdomen would make him
bleed to death; and this abdomen is naked.
Like man, he must obtain a vestment or
perish. Apparently, the sea anemone knows
this as well as Mr. Edwards, and, as an
example of practical zoology, makes pagurus his
cab-horse. The soldier crab cannot whip
behind. The removal of his shabby fare
would involve the extraction of his abdomen,
and the risking of his life. The exhilaration
of the fresh air, may have much to do with
it; but the appearance of the martial pagurus
with his cab and his fare in a sandy hollow,
excites a shout of laughter from grave
naturalists, rivalling the effects which the first
somerset of clown in a Christmas pantomime
produces in the rising generation.

Pagurus does not rival clown every day.
The sudden apparition of young plaice, or
flounders, is a more frequent incident in the
sandy pools of the Laminarian zone. Whether
looking down from a boat through the glassy
green water, or wading in the pools, it is
always with agreeable surprise that the
observer sees the sand apparently becoming
animated, and the flat fish emerging into light
from the little sand-cloud, and after flitting
across the bottom, as if skimming the sand,
burrowing into it, and disappearing. As
the side swimmers glide rapidly over the
ribbed sand, they seem to change colour like
the chameleon. Linn├Žus called them the side-
swimmers (pleuronectes), because they swim
upon their sides. The under side is white,
and the upper side is dark and variegated,
with dull colours analogous to the colours of
the chameleon. Proximity to white objects
brightens the bright, and to dark objects
darkens the dull colours on the flat side of
the fish. The colours and the light, both
being chequered, the changing hues of the fish
astonish the observer. Chameleons have never
shown me this phenomenon with the surprising

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