Within earshot of Mr. Bryan, but not listening to him, one recognised without the slightest difficulty Dr. David Starr Jordan, the distinguished ichthyologist and director in chief of the World's Peace Foundation, while the bland features of a gentleman from China, and the presence of a yellow delegate from the Mosquito Coast, gave ample evidence that the company had been gathered together without reference to colour, race, religion, education, or other prejudices whatsoever.
A fossil shark's tooth, weighing four and a half pounds, was also found, and a learned ichthyologist has asserted that the owner of this remarkable relic of the past must have been one hundred feet in length.
Two grave professors of the University of California, ichthyologists or entomologists, sat entranced at the unconventionality of the scene, drinking vin ordinaire and gazing at the Tahitian girls, or eating breadfruit, raw fish, and taro, as if they were on Mars and did not know how they got there.
The good people of Trinidad believe that the fish which makes this noise is the trumpet-fish, or Fistularia--a beast strange enough in shape to be credited with strange actions: but ichthyologists say positively no: that the noise (at least along the coast of the United States) is made by a Pogonias, a fish somewhat like a great bearded perch, and cousin of the Maigre of the Mediterranean, which is accused of making a similar purring or grunting noise, which can be heard from a depth of one hundred and twenty feet, and guides the fishermen to their whereabouts.
He is now, perhaps, the best ichthyologist in the Union.
The late able ichthyologist Heckel pointed out the fact, that, while the Pycnodonts never possess true vertebral centra, they differ in the degree of expansion and extension of the ends of the bony arches of the vertebrae upon the sheath of the notochord; the Carboniferous forms exhibiting hardly any such expansion, while the Mesozoic genera present a greater and greater development, until, in the Tertiary forms, the expanded ends become suturally united so as to form a sort of false vertebra.
Unfitted, by the circumscribed character of their sea-craft, their tackle, and their skill, for pushing their enterprise out into the deeper water, where the shark might haply say to the horse-mackerel,--"Come, old horse, let you and me hook ourselves on, and take these foolish tawny fellows and their brown cockle-shell down into the under-tow,"--they supplied their primitive wants by enticing from the shallows the beautiful, sunny-scaled shoal-fish, well named by ichthyologists Argyrops, the "silver-eyed."