Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/584

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566

THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

was inveighed against with great unction by Sir Giraldus Cambrensis, who treated the subject, in the twelfth century, in his "Topographia Hiberniæ." Michel Drayton refers to it, in his "Polyolbion:"

"The barnacles with them, which, wheresoe'er they breed—
On trees or rotten ships—yet to my fens for feed
Continually they come, and chief abode do make,
And very hardly forced my plenty to forsake."

Fig. 1.

PSM V04 D584 Common ship barnacles.jpg

Lepas Anatifera—Common Ship-Barnacles.

Baptista Porta refers to it, about the year 1500, and Count Meyer devoted a volume to it—"Volucris Arborea." The earliest published statement, by an eye-witness, is contained in the "Cosmograph and Description of Albion," of Hector Boëce, while the earliest pictorial illustration of the goose-tree, and its animal fruiting, is contained in the "Cosmographia Universalis" of Sebastian Munster, printed at Basel, 1572.

In the middle of the sixteenth century, Turner, the English ornithologist, wrote as follows: "Nobody has ever seen the nest or egg of the barnacle; nor is this marvelous, inasmuch as it is without parents, and is spontaneously generated in the following manner: When, at a certain time, an old ship, a plank, or a pine mast rots in the sea, something like fungus at first breaks out thereupon, which at length puts on the manifest form of birds. Afterward, these are clothed with feathers, and at last become living and flying fowl. Should this ap-