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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/562

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542
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

demands. Probably fair-sized colonies on two contiguous shells may not require many days in the growing season to unite in those shelly knots that may be broken but can never be untied.

PSM V49 D562 The shops and shells.jpg
The Shops and Shells.

Oysters, "jingles," and "deckers"[1] set on the shell and grow and impede its progress until it wearies of life and dies.

While on the subject of the shells of this animal it may be worthy to note that in addition to their acrobatic efforts to regain the water when left on shore by the tide, some of the old writers credited them with the sailing powers of the nautilus or "Portuguese man-of-war," and have asserted that, "by flapping their valves with a very quick motion, they can rise from their beds in the deep and navigate the surface, having one shell raised and so disposed as to catch the breeze in its concavity, while the other serves as a boat." We know that they can move below the surface, but must draw the line there.

In the month of May, 1895, I found eggs of the scallop well developed in the ovaries of the animal and apparently ripe, as they were extruded with slight pressure, but found no ripe males at the time, and therefore failed to impregnate the eggs. They were transparent and measured eighty to the centimetre, or over


  1. Jingles and deckers are fishermen's names for Anomia glabra and Crepidula fornicata, which, like the oyster, attach to shells, stones, etc.