Cape of Good Hope Not the southernmost tip of Africa (which is Cape Agulhas), but close enough for 'good hope' to be justified. (See also Jenyns' questions.)
The *Beagle and her crew spent three weeks at the Cape, from May 31 to June 18,1836.
CD did not collect any fishes at the Cape, and only a few shells among marine organisms, emphasizing instead his land-based collection (Armstrong 1991a).
There is, however, one connection between fish and the Cape in CD's writings: As glacial action extended over whole of Europe, & in Himalaya on both sides of N. America & both sides of Southern S. America & I believe in N. Zealand [. . .], I consider it probable that some of the warmer temperate plants would spread into the Tropics, whilst the arctic plants reached the foot of the Alps & Pyrenees [...].
Some, I consider it possible might cross the Tropics & survive at C. of Good Hope, *T[ierra]. del Fuego & S. Australia. [. . .]. This theory, I conceive, explains certain aquatic *produc-tions in S. hemisphere &c &c. (& European Fish at C. of Good Hope). (Big Species Book, p. 529).
And indeed, there are 'European fish' at the Cape of Good Hope, one example being the anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus Linnaeus, 1758,a species reaching North all the way to Central
Norway (see FishBase). Its South African population - even if defined as a species of its own (which would be called E. capensis Gilchrist, 1913) - is in any case derived from a European population ofE. encrasicolus.
Cape Verde Islands A small oceanic archipelago offthe coast ofnorthwest Africa, visited by the Beagle early in her voyage, in mid-January 1831. Lobban (1998) gives a detailed account of CD's activities while in the Cape Verde Islands, for which CD's own *Diary or *Journal should be consulted as well.
CD collected fish specimens described in Jenyns' Fish: Serranus goreensis and S. aspersus (see Groupers (I)); Upeneus prayensis (see Goat-fishes); Stegastes imbricatus (see Damselfishes); Blennius palmicornis, Salarias atlanticus and S. vomerinus (see Blennies); and Muraena spp. (see Morays).
Capelin CD writes of this fish that [t]he males alone of the capelin (Mallotus villosus, one of Salmonidae), are provided with a ridge of closely-set, brush-like scales, by the aid of which two males, one on each side, hold the female, whilst she runs with great swiftness on the sandy beach, and there deposits her spawn.2 (DescentU,p. 331;n. 2 cites Anon. 1871, p. 119; CD had written to Giinther that he felt this account to be trustworthy [*Calendar, no. 9383], notwithstanding Gunther's opinion to the opposite; see letter no. 9316 in the Calendar, whose editors erroneously assigned Mallotus to the Family *Cyprinidae).
Templeman (1948, p. 34), citing numerous sources, and based on his own observations, confirms that individual female Capelin frequently spawn jointly with two males, though only one male may be involved as well. In the latter case, the male bends around the female, and if she is much smaller than he, "they tend to move in a semi-circle while spawning". Thus here: CD 1 :Gunther 0.
Capelin, originally described by Muller (1776), and now reassigned from the
Salmonidae to the Osmeridae (which also includes the *Smelt), are small, abundant, oil-rich fish, widely distributed in subarctic waters (Stergiou 1989), and important as prey for a large number of predators, notably codlike fishes, seabirds and marine *mammals. Previously used as bait in the great cod fisheries of Atlantic Canada (Anon 1871), or for their roe (the carcasses being thrown away), they have been recently much depleted by industrial fisheries (usually supplying fish meal plants), ofwhich at least one supplied a power plant in which Capelin were burnt to generate electricity (Clover 1991). This is only slightly worse than the proposed use offish oils as alternative to diesel fuels (Blythe 1996). These practices have led to a shortage of prey for human food fishes and for birds, notably in the North Sea (Robertson et al. 1996), prompting calls to phase out such destructive operations.
Capybara Alarge semi-aquatic *mammal of South America, preyed upon by *jaguar. This large rodent (actually the largest of extant rodents) belongs, as well, to a large group of mammals and birds that were in the past often declared to be 'fish' so they could be eaten during the Lent season by otherwise good Catholics, e.g. in Venezuela and Colombia (Topoff 1997). In the European Middle Ages, this pseudo-fish group also included geese, spuriously connected with *barnacles ('goose barnacles') because of their feeding antennae, which can be construed as resembling feathers. Obviously, this group also includes all manner of marine mammals. CD, whose Journal frequently mentions capybara, had nothing to do with this.
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