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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/563

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543
THE SCALLOP.

two hundred to the inch. The absorption of water during the time in which they could have been fertilized would have enlarged the eggs, but to what extent is unknown. On June 10th I found microscopic scallops attached to blades of grass and weeds by a byssus, apparently like that of the mussel; they measured about eighteen to the centimetre, something over forty-five to the inch. Lack of circulation killed them in three days, and another lot was collected on June 18th, which were apparently of the same size.[1] No more were found until August 18th, when the growth was noticeable, the shells measuring about two centimetres, or three quarters of an inch. These last were taken from the bottom, and had lost the threads which had attached them to the grass.

Scallops are generally believed to live but a few years, many of the fishermen limiting them to only two, but this is a difficult matter to determine. They spawn in May in the bays of Long Island, perhaps in June also; the young attach to the eel-grass, and in August will measure three quarters of an inch across the shell. The next year they are about the size of an American silver dollar, and are too small for the use of most persons and for market. They are thrown on the beach at Cold Spring Harbor PSM V49 D563 Scallop shell.jpg and along the north shore of Long Island by the winter winds and freeze in great numbers, and a frozen scallop never recovers life, as some mollusks are said to do. In this harbor there is often a good set of scallops on the grass, but their weight usually breaks the grass, and they are drifted out into Long Island Sound to stock other grounds, and it is only once in several years that there is anything like a scallop crop in the harbor, and when the season is called good the local demand takes them all, and none reach the market. The fact that this harbor, and Oyster Bay also, are extensively planted with oysters, would prevent dredging for scallops to any great extent if they were plenty, and the few that are taken are caught by the oystermen in their rowboats. From our present


  1. After these investigations, and since this article was written, Dr. James L. Kellogg has published similar observations on the scallop in the Report of the U. S. Fish Commissioner for 1893.