The Remora, or Sucking Fish, pp.227-228.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]

   RESEMBLES the herring; his head is thick, naked, depressed, and marked on the upper side with transverse rough lines, or striæ. The fins are seven in number; the under jaw is longer than the upper, and both furnished with teeth. He is provided by nature with a strong adhesive power, and, by means of the striæ on his head, attaches himself to any animal or body whatever. A small fish with seven acting fins, armed like a galley with oars, we might suppose to have a great power of motion in the water, but by some reason unknown to us, Providence has contrived for him an easier way of travelling, by fixing himself to the hulk or sides of ships, and even to the body of larger animals than himself, as the whale, the shark, and others. Now is it probable that so small, so weak a creature, should have might enough to retard the fast steering of a man of war, frigate, or even a boat, sailing on the smooth surface of the liquid plain? Yet, to the shame of authors who invented and published such a falsity, and to the humiliation of human pride, whose ignorance believed such things, this nonsense has been held as a fact for many centuries, and copied from book to book as indubitable, so far that the very name of the fish was derived from this idle story. This fish, found in the Indian ocean, belongs to a genus call by the ichthyologists “Echeneis.” 

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