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Full text of "Amphioxus Lanceolatus"

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To the Editors of the Annals of Natural History. 

Falmouth, September 23, 1856. 

Gentlemen, — The Amphioxus lanceolatusy' Yarrell, was found 
in dredger’s refuse from Gwyllyn Vase Bay on Friday last, by Mr. 
Henry Bastian of this town. Length one inch and one-sixteenth ; 
breadth in the middle one-eighth of an inch ; of a lanceolate form, 
tapering to each extremity, riband-like, transparent as crystal ; mouth 
circular, produced, armed with long slender cirrhi, crenated laterally ; 
when these are reflexed, the passage to the oral aperture is consider- 
ably increased in length and diameter, and the water, with its Crus- 
tacea, &c., has ready ingress, assisted by the ciliary current. The 
animal closes the aperture by contracting and crossing the free 
extremities of the cirrhi. It swims rapidly with a wriggling or snake- 
like motion for a few seconds, and then suddenly settles down at the 
bottom of the vessel, where it remains motionless, lying flat on its 
side, with the mouth open to its fullest extent (to all appearance 
dead), for thirty or forty minutes, or longer if not disturbed. Two 
days after its capture, I put into the vessel (of water) a quantity of 
shell-sand, which at first appeared to excite it very much, for it 
swam with increased velocity for a second or two, and then suddenly 
disappeared under the bed of sand formed at the bottom of the 

Fifty minutes after this occurrence, I was pleased to see one-third 
of the body projecting in a vertical direction from the surface of the 
sand, its mouth open, and the cirrhi slightly reflected at their extre- 
mities ; but on agitating the water with a piece of straw, the body 
was partially drawn in, and on repeating the annoyance it disappeared 

This morning the body was completely covered (over) with the 
sand, but the open mouth could be seen just above the surface of it — 
awaiting its prey (?). I consider it a scarce fish in our neighbourhood, 
not a rare one. Its rarity arises from the naturalist being ignorant 
of its habitats, and selecting ground for his dredging operations 
incompatible with the movements of the fish. Dr. Vigurs’s fish 
(1851) carried ova. Mr. Bastian’s is a young one. 

I am. Gentlemen, your obedient Servant, 

W. P. Cocks. 

Description of a newly discovered Tanager of the genus Buarremon. 

By Philip Lutley Sclater, M.A. &c. 

Through the kindness of Sir William Jardine I am enabled to 
describe a specimen of a very distinct species of Buarremon, which 
Professor Jameson of Quito has lately transmitted to this country. 
It was obtained by him during a recent expedition into the eastern 
Cordillera of the Andes near Quito at an elevation of 6000 feet above 
the sea-level. In form and size it is similar to B, pallidimichus, but 
the style of coloration is different and more nearly resembles that