Atherina spp See Silversides

Autobiography Short name of the manuscript initially titled Recollections of the development of my mind and character written by CD between 1876 and 1881, initially for the benefit of his family, and of which a bowdlerized version was published after his death by his son Francis, along with a selection of his letters, also expurgated (Darwin 1887). A version, with "original omissions restored" was published by CD's granddaughter (Barlow 1958), but serious damage had already been done in terms of casting CD as a conventional, vaguely religious country squire dabbling in nature studies. This may have been accentuated by CD's description of his seemingly unfocused readings during a brief, specific period, from mid-1837 to the autumn of 1838, on p. 119 of his Autobiogra-phy,which has misled generations of CD's biographers: I worked on true Baconian principles and without any theory collected facts on a wholesale scale... The point here is that CD not only misrepresents Bacon (1620), but most of his own practice, in which 'facts', at least from the end of 1838 to the very end of his working life, were collected only to test clearly formulated hypotheses, notably *natural selection.

Here is one of CD's most famous quotes on this: About thirty year ago there was much talk that geologists ought only to observe and not theorise; and I well remember some one saying that at this rate a man might as well go into a gravel-pit and count the pebbles and describe the colours. How odd it is that anyone should not see that all observations must be for or against some view if it is to be of any service (Correspondence to Henry Fawcett, Sept. 18, 1861). Similarly, he told Anton *Dohrn, on September 26,1870, in response to a question on how he started his various studies: I begin always with a priori solutions, ifanything happens to interest me. I have generally hundreds of hypotheses before I know the facts; I apply one after the other, till I find one which covers the whole ground. But I am exceedingly careful and slow in printing (Groeben 1982, p. 94). Indeed, CD wasan originator of the 'hypothetico-deductive method' usually attributed to *Popper (Ghis-elin 1969). Here we can give only glimpses of this, e.g. in CD's *experiments with fishes, which, indeed, were never printed.

Azores An archipelago consisting of nine small volcanic islands west of the Portuguese mainland, and the last stopover ofthe *Beagle before she arrived in Falmouth on October 2, 1836, and completed her voyage. Armstrong (1992c) thus called Terceira, where the Beagle anchored, "Charles Darwin's Last Island".

While performing his usual land-based explorations, CD did not collect marine organisms from the Azores. Indeed, during the last phase of the voyage of the Beagle, CD sampled very few marine animals in general, and fishes in particular.

Thus, CD did not sample Scorpaena azorica Eschmeyer 1969, originally described as an *endemic but since reported from the Mediterranean (Golani 1996), nor any of the many other fishes from that archipelago (Santos et al. 1997). Moreover, in his haste to get back home, CD reported, in both the Diary and the Journal, his arrival in Terceira as having occurred on September 20, and the departure from the Azores on September 25. The more patient Beagle log reports these dates as September 19, and 23, respectively (Armstrong 1992c, p.60).

Bacalao Spanish word for (salted) *cod, appearing in CD's Notebook Z (p. 481), i.e. Molina Vol. 1, p. 244. Baccalao. migratory fish. - See *Kings drawings. - for real name.

Spanish-speaking colonists applied the name 'bacalao' to many large fishes unrelated to *cod, but locally abundant in parts of Central and South America, just as English-speaking colonists used 'cod' as common *name for different fishes in North America, Australia, South Africa, etc.

It is thus very difficult to identify which species CD had in mind, especially since all but one of Philip G. *King's drawings have disappeared (see Hippoglossus kingii). A clue, however, is given in the text referred to by CD: "such was the abundance of bacalao near the Juan Fernandez Islands that the same occurs as what is said about Newfoundland Bank, i.e. throwing a hook on a line always led to a fish being caught" (Molina 1788, p. 244; my translation).

The 'Bacalao' Polyprion oxygeneios (Bloch & Schneider, 1801) is one of the most important fish species of the Juan Fernandez Islands (Rojas et al. 1985), and may be the species Molina was referring to. Since they also occur on the Chilean mainland, they could have "come close to the beaches of ^Valparaiso in great *shoals during the months of October, November and December" (Molina 1788, p. 244).

Catches of P. oxygeneios along the Chilean coast have now dwindled to almost nothing (see catch data in, or in *Fish-Base), and their abundance in the Juan Fernandez Islands had already much declined when Rojas et al. (1985) conducted their field work. Hence this species' fate may well continue to parallel that of the Northern cod Gadus morhua offNewfoundland, which collapsed in the early 1990s (Hutchings and Myers 1994), owing to overfishing.

Bahia A state in north-eastern Brazil, as well as the previous name of its capital, now renamed

'Salvador,' and which the Beagle visited from February 29 to March 18,1832, and again from August 1 to 6,1836.

CD took the opportunity of his 1832 visit for a first sampling trip in a tropical forest, and onshore, to collect marine life, notably a *burrfish. In contrast, CD does not appear to have collected anything on his second visit, and indeed, Bahia had lost part of its charms. The novelty & surprise were gone & perhaps our memories had, in the long interval, exaggerated the *colours of the scenery. (Diary, August 1,1836).

Bahia Blanca Bay and city in Northern *Patago-nia, Argentina, named after the white salt crystals that form on the exposed flats at low tides (tidal range: 3-4 m).

There, CD collected five fish species described in *Fish as Batrachus porosissimus (see Toadfishes); Clupea arcuata (see Herrings); Platessa orbignyana (see Flatfishes); Syngnathus crinitus (see Pipefishes (I)); and Diodon antenna-tus (see Burrfishes (I)).

Bajada Capital of Entre Rios. In 1825, the town contained 6000 inhabitants, and the province [of Argentina] 30,000; yet, few as they are, none of them have suffered more from bloody and desperate revolutions. They boast of representatives, ministers, a standing army, and governors: so it is no wonders that they have their revolutions (Journal, Oct. 5,1833).

The question is now: what was CD doing in this charming place? The answer is in the same source: I was delayed here for five days, and employed myself in examining the geology of the surrounding country, which was very interesting. We here see beds of sand, clay and limestone, containing sea shells and *sharks' teeth, passing above into an undurated marl, and from that into the red clayey earth of the Pampas, with its calcareous concretions and the bones ofterrestrial animals.

And why all this? Because this sheds light on an otherwise obscure line in the Zoology

Notes (p. 393, no. 1510), which listFishes teeth. Liniston. Bajada. Such clarity is what we want, especially as it also establishes that the Liniston of the Zoology Notes is in fact limestone.

Balistes spp. See Triggerfishes.

Barbel Common name of Barbus barbus (Linnaeus, 1758), a member of the Family Cyprinidae, occurring in the upper, fast-flowing reaches of rivers ('barbel zone') in West and Central Europe, and characterized by poisonous eggs (Maitland and Campbell 1992).

Barbels are mentioned by Edmund Langton in his report of the experiments he conducted for CD, his uncle. See Experiments (IV).

Barnacles Highly modified crustaceans of the Order Cirripedia, to which CD devoted eight years of arduous work (Darwin 1851; Crisp 1983; Smith 1968; Southward 1983).

Here, we deal only with one species of barnacle, introduced as follows: A long course of selection might cause a form to become more simple as well as more complicated; thus the adaptation of a crustaceous animal to live attached during its whole life to the body of a fish, might permit with advantage great simplification of structure, and on this view the singular fact of an embryo being more complex than its parents is at once explained (Foundations, p. 227; see also Complexity).

The species CD means here is Anelasma squali-cola,which is parasitic on northern Shark (Correspondence to J. G. Forchhammer, Nov. 12,1849). Thus, CD mentions The curious Anelasma, which lives buried on the skin of sharks in the northern seas, is said to live in pairs (Collected Papers II, 1874, p. 179) in a discussion of'hermaphroditism in barnacles. This species tends to occur in closely clustered patches, or at least in pairs, to ensure cross fertilization through a probosci-formed penis capable of great elongation.

Anelasma squalicola is formally described in Darwin (1851, Vol. 1, p. 170), with North Sea. Parasitic on *Squalus as its *type locality. (Note that these barnacles may represent cases of commensalism, rather than function as true 'parasites.)

Under habits, CD notes that According to Loven, this 'species lives embedded in the skin of Squalus maximus, and spinax; and Professor Steenstrup informs me, that from late observations, it appears that this animal always adheres to the shark's body in pairs. (Darwin 1851, Vol. I, pp. 178-9;Loven 1844;forS. maximus and S. spinax see Basking shark and Velvet belly, respectively).

Barracuda Common name of members of the Family Sphyraenidae, all sporting the awesome, pointed teeth befitting piscivorous fishes.

On January 18, 1832, after geologising on Quail Island (*Cape Verde Islands), CD reports, For dinner I had Barrow Cooter for fish & sweet potatoes for vegetables: quite tropical and correct (Diary,p. 26; see also Spelling). CD's Barrow Cooter wasmost likely the European barracuda Sphyraena sphyraena (Linnaeus, 1758).

This species, which 'ranges from the Bay of Biscay, France, to Angola, and also occurs in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, reaches 165 cm in length. The European barracuda is reported to attack people (review in De Sylva 1963, pp. 121-7), though the converse, as the above meal illustrates, is far more frequent.

On the other hand, 'ciguatera occasionally makes members of this and related species rather toxic (Auerbach 1991;Lewis and Endean 1984; Tosteson et al. 1988), thus levelling the field a bit.

Barriers One of the key factors affecting the 'distribution and 'range oforganisms.

CD opines: If we take a general view of distribution, I think we must conclude that barriers, whatever the nature, in regard to powers of passage of organisms is the chief, I shd say decidedly the most important element in their distribution. For marine 'productions, landing [?] stretching N. & S. is a perfect barrier, if it has long existed, so again a wide space of ocean; now compare the shells on each side of I. of *Panama, only one the same; so with crustacea, so with Fish. - (Isthmus of Suez so low).

Again there is profound ocean, fully as wide as Atlantic ocean, west of S. America, without an island & here there is not a shell in common - but westward in ocean strewn with isld (& with evidence of former isld) the shells & fish extend with very many in common, even to W. coast of Africa, almost exactly an hemisphere. Again land shells of America, correlate with water shells on opposite sides of Allegha-nies. (some fish cases of Hooker) (Big Species Book, pp. 584-5; see also Squirrelfishes).

As pointed out by Kay (1994), CD became gradually less convinced of the role of barriers in explaining the distribution of organism. This is why the eponym proposed by *Huxley for one of the barriers in question is "Wallace's line', in spite of CD's early work on the biogeog-raphy of the area in question.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment