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notice, even if it could find subsistence in so small a rivulet.-W.H. Hatcher, 15th Sept., 1863, "Scrap Book," second series, p. 105.
JOHNSTON'S HUMP-BACKED WHALE. (Megaptera Longimana, Rudolphi.) On Friday, July 17th, 1863, a large specimen of this whale was observed by some fishermen stranded upon a sandbank at Speke. It was lying on its back, a position very favourable for examination of the under surface, but hiding all view of the blowers. I believe it to be the species so named in Dr. Gray's catalogue of the Cetacea in the British Museum, 1850, p. 26, and would appear, up to that date, to have been only once observed on the British coast, viz., at Newcastle, by Dr. Johnston, and it is remarkable that both specimens were females. The dimensions are
Extreme width of tail at the tips
Length of dorsal fin.........
A quantity of shrimps are asserted by the butchers to have been found in the stomach.
The genus Megaptera is distinguished from the Balena, or true whalebone whale, by the presence of a dorsal fin or hump, by the belly being plated or deeply grooved, and the plates of baleen being broad and short, which characters agree with this specimen. The longest plate of baleen measures about 2 feet long by 5 inches at the base, and they were so close together that I counted thirtyeight in the length of a foot. The creature was quite black except the belly, which was mottled and streaked
with white, and the pectoral fins were milk-white, except a black blotch here and there. The carcase was purchased by Mr. Thomas Brock, who has most liberally presented the skeleton to the museum. -Thomas J. Moore, "Scrap Book," second series, p. 103-5.* Remains of former Cetacean visitors. On 31st December, 1865, Stanley Dean, a labourer of Wallasey, found upon the Leasowe shore and about 600 yards N.E. of the embankment, the skull of a small species of whale. It measures in height 1 foot, in breadth and in length about 2 feet, and the same from the centre of the spinal orifice to the extremity of the outer cheek bone. The stratum in which it lay is composed of sand and silt, overlying the upper bed formed by ancient arboreal growth, which is divided from the lower or primeval one by a bed of blue clay. The sand has certainly been deposited on the surface of the upper bed in historic times (although it was in its higher reach that the celebrated "Prehistoric man of Cheshire" appeared,) and though it might safely be surmised that the skull had here found a resting place within a few hundred years, the probabilities are that the skeleton of which it formed a part had been stranded upon one of the outer sandbanks at an earlier period. Another single cetacean bone, a portion of a humerus and likewise belonging to a small species, was found by some men collecting boulders in the same locality a few winters ago; it was at first supposed to be stone and proved partially petrified ; on being split longitudinally the osseous structure was apparent and one moiety was carried home as a curiosity; the other was in vain sought for, having doubtlessly
Dr. Gray, in his recently published "Catalogue of Seals and Whales in the "British Museum" (1866), records this specimen as a previously unrecognized variety of Megaptera longimana, which he calls "var. 2, Moorei," founded upon peculiarities in the cervical vertebræ: see loc. cit. pp. 120, 122.
been washed into some hollow or slack" and covered by the ever-shifting sands. A third old bone is recorded and engraved in Leigh's "Natural History of Lanca "shire and Cheshire and the Peak in Derbyshire," Bk. I, p. 185; it is the epiphysis or, as yet, unossified end of a vertebræ of a whale, but the size is not given. It was found near Hilbre Island, four miles to the westward of the above-mentioned locality, and nearly two centuries ago, Dr. Leigh's work being published in 1700.-H. E. S. WHITE-BEAKED, BOTTLE-NOSE PORPOISE. (Lagenorhynchus Albirostris.) On the 29th December last, Mr. Barnett of Hilbre observed at day break, on the rocks of Little Hilbre, a stranded porpoise, which he immediately secured and handed over to me for the museum. It was still living when I saw it and survived some time longer, not dying until it had been eight hours out of water. When first caught and when dying it struggled violently, but during long intervals lay quiet with only occasional convulsive movements. It was warm to the touch, breathed spasmodically, and a slight moisture oozed from the eyes. At the time of capture, about quarter ebb, a fresh wind was blowing from the W.S.W. Several other porpoises were observed a few days previously. The specimen is a male, measuring nine feet in extreme length. Colour black, with an uncertain tinge of bluish green, except a greyish streak across the ribs and another on either side of the dorsal ridge from the fluke to the tail; beak, throat and belly white. It proves to be the Lagenorhynchus albirostris figured and described in the "Zoology of the Erebus and Terror." This species has once before been captured on the British coast, namely, at Great Yarmouth, in October, 1845, and was recorded and figured in the Annals and Magazine of Nat. History for 1846, vol. xvii, p. 21, pl. 2, by Mr. Brightwell, under
name Delphinus Tursio, with which he supposed it to be identical. Thos. J. Moore, "Scrap Book," p. 3. COMMON PORPOISE. (Phocoena Communis.) A very fine young specimen of this porpoise was taken, but unfortunately knocked on the head and killed, by some fishermen, on the 6th of August, 1864, near the Crosby Lightship. It measured 30 inches in length, from tip of snout to cleft of tail, and weighed 221bs.-T. J. Moore. STURGEON. (Acipenser Sturio.) I observed a specimen stranded upon the shore at Hale, on 29th July, 1863.C. S. Gregson, "Scrap Book," p. 93.
LUMP SUCKER. (Cyclopterus Lumpus.) On the 23rd February, 1863, a living specimen of this fish was taken in Bootle bay and presented to the museum. On the 7th of March a dead specimen was brought from Hoylake; on the 6th April another was taken near Liverpool, and a day or two after I saw a very large one, minus the tail, in the fish market. The occurrence of four specimens in little more than as many weeks is worth recording.Thos. J. Moore, "Scrap Book," p. 30. On the 5th of March, 1864, a specimen of this fish was brought to me, stated to have been taken at Garston. On the 19th another example was presented to the museum by Mr. Walker of Hoylake. The latter was taken by some fishermen near Carnarvon. These are the only specimens I have seen during the past winter.-Thos. J. Moore, Ibid., p. 207. Another living specimen of the Lump Sucker, taken at Tranmere, was brought to me last week and lived seven days in confinement. April, 1867. T. J. Moore.
GEMMEOUS DRAGONET. (Callionymus Lyra.) Mr. W. H. Hatcher sent me, on 13th May, 1864, a very fair specimen of this gaily-coloured fish, with a note stating that it been taken in the Mersey, in a shrimp net. The species
is not uncommon beyond the district, but I do not remember to have seen one from the river before the occurrence of this specimen. The colours, blue and yellow, are greatly intermixed, and the first spine of the first dorsal is nearly as long as the fish itself in some specimens. They sometimes measure as much as ten inches in length.-Thos. J. Moore, Ibid., p. 234. SHORT SUN FISH. (Orthagoriscus Mola.) In July, 1864, a fine specimen of this remarkable fish was captured, I believe, not far from Southport, and no instance being recorded in the "Fauna of Liverpool" of its occurrence, the present may fairly be considered its first appearance within our district. In length it measured 3ft. 6 in., and from tip of dorsal to tip of anal fin 4 ft. 9 in., the dorsal fin being 18 inches in length, the body 22 inches in depth, and the anal fin 17 inches in length. Under the pectoral fins and in other protected parts the body was of a bright pewtery, not to say silvery, colour. This was probably more or less the colour of the whole body when fresh, but when first seen by me it had been dead three or four days, and so appeared only in the above places, the other parts being of a dull brownish hue. I was struck with the extreme laxity of the dorsal and anal fins at their junction with the body.-T. J. Moore, Ibid., third series, p. 50.
ANGEL FISH. (Squatina Angelus.) A very fine specimen of this fish was brought to me and purchased 5th August, 1864. It was taken near the Bell Buoy by a fishing boat. Mr. Byerley, in the "Fauna of Liverpool," mentions only one example, which was thrown ashore after a storm; this he gives on the excellent authority of Mr. Price. Our specimen is of large size, measuring 4 feet 1 inch in total length. The eyes are peculiar, having lids coloured like the rest of the back, the eyes