The Limpet, pp.299-300.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]    IS an univalve shell-fish, the shape of which is pyramidal; it adheres to the rock with such strength that no human force can make him leave his hold, unless it is crushed by a strong blow. The apex of the shell is sometimes sharp, sometimes obtuse, and often surrounded with … Continue reading The Limpet, pp.299-300.

The Snipe and Wilk, p.298-299.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]    THE Snipe, a shell fish, so called on account of the curious length of a certain prominency coming out of the shell. It is surrounded with blunt prickles, and the colour of the whole is elegantly variegated.  The Wilk.     BELONGS to the family of the Turbines. It is the … Continue reading The Snipe and Wilk, p.298-299.

The Muscle and Admiral, pp.297-298.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]    LIKE the oyster, the Muscle inhabits a bivalve shell, to which he adheres, as others of that species, by a strong cartilaginous tye. His name means in Latin a small rat, from the shape of the fish. The shells of several muscles are beautiful; some of them, chiefly those of … Continue reading The Muscle and Admiral, pp.297-298.

The Sea-Tortoise, or Turtle, pp.259-260.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]    IS reckoned a very delicate food, specially the green, and the logger head. Some of them are so large that they weigh near four hundred pounds, and some eight hundred pounds. They generally ascend from the sea, and crawl on the beach, either for food or for laying their eggs, … Continue reading The Sea-Tortoise, or Turtle, pp.259-260.

Sea Unicorn, or Narval, pp.285-287.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]    A CETACEOUS fish caught in the icy sea, and very remarkable for a horn or tooth of seven or eight feet in length, proceeding from the nose; it is white like ivory and curiously wreathed and twisted; the substance is still much heavier than ivory or any sort of bone, … Continue reading Sea Unicorn, or Narval, pp.285-287.

The Perch, or, Pearch, pp.282-283.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]    SELDOM grows to any great size, and the largest of which we have any account is said to have weighed nine pounds. The body is deep, the scales rough, the back arched, and the side lines placed near the back. For beauties of colours, the Perch vies with the gaudiest … Continue reading The Perch, or, Pearch, pp.282-283.

The Flying Scorpion, pp.276-277.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]    How admirable is nature! how extensive her power, and how various the forms with which she has surrounded the united elements of animated matter! From the uncouth shape of the wallowing whale, of the unwieldly hippopotamus, or ponderous elephant, to the light and elegant form of the painted moth or … Continue reading The Flying Scorpion, pp.276-277.

The Cavallo-Marino, or Sea-horse, p.258.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]    IS a small fish of a curious shape. The length is about two inches; the head bears some resemblance to that of a horse, whence originates its name; a long dorsal fin runs from the head to the tail, which is spirally turned inside. They are often seen in cabinets … Continue reading The Cavallo-Marino, or Sea-horse, p.258.

The Gold Fish, pp.254-255.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]    IS very beautiful, about the same size and shape as the silver fish, except that it has not such long fins. This animal was originally brought from China, and first introduced into England in 1661; but they are now become quite common in this kingdom, and will breed as freely … Continue reading The Gold Fish, pp.254-255.

The Char, or Gilt Charre, pp.247-248.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]    IS not unlike the trout; the scales are very small; the colour of the back varied with spots; the belly white, the snout bluish. This fish is esteemed very delicate by all nations, and chiefly by the Italians. They have it plentifully in Lago di Gardo, near Venice, and it … Continue reading The Char, or Gilt Charre, pp.247-248.

The Sturgeon, pp.241-242.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]    SOMETIMES grows to the length of eighteen feet, and has been found to weigh five hundred pounds. It has along slender pointed nose, small eyes, and a small mouth, destitute of teeth, placed beneath and unsupported by the maxillæ; so that when the animal is dead the mouth remains always … Continue reading The Sturgeon, pp.241-242.

The Porpesse, Porpus, or Porpoise, pp.240-241.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]    RESEMBLES the dolphin in outward appearance, but in fact is essentially different. The length of the Porpesse is, from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail, three or four feet; and the width about two feet and a half. The figure of the whole body is … Continue reading The Porpesse, Porpus, or Porpoise, pp.240-241.

The Turbot, pp.237-238.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]    IS a well known and much esteemed fish for the delicate taste, firmness, and sweetness of his flesh. Juvenal in his fourth satyre gives us a most ludicrous description of the Roman Emperor Domitian assembling the senate to decide how and with what sauce this marine monster should be eaten. … Continue reading The Turbot, pp.237-238.

The Monk Fish, or Angel Fish, pp.236-237.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]    IS very voracious and feeds upon all kind of flat fish, as soles, flounders, &c. he is often caught on the coasts of Great Britain, and of such a size as to weigh sometimes a hundred pounds. This fish seems to be of a middle nature between the Rays and … Continue reading The Monk Fish, or Angel Fish, pp.236-237.

The Father Lasher, p.236.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]    IT would be a comfort for the writer upon natural history to be able to give a rational and satisfactory etymology of all names; but this is, in many circumstances, utterly impossible. The whimsical denomination of Father Lasher given to this fish cannot be easily accounted for, unless we take … Continue reading The Father Lasher, p.236.

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, … Continue reading The Remora, or Sucking Fish, pp.227-228.

‘Notes on the Black Book of Paisley’ (1885)

[Scanned Images Contents] This came through the door courtesy of a super attentive and enthusiastic Patron who heard the Black Book of Paisley mentioned in my Updated Introduction to the Site and what we do here at Random Scottish History. It's such a fabulous find, and I believe will make for an excellent addition, which … Continue reading ‘Notes on the Black Book of Paisley’ (1885)

The Mermaid, or Siren, pp.360-363.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]    THE existence of an animal, half a man and half a fish, has long been talked of, believed, disbelieved, and doubted. Homer is the first who speaks of such beings, which he styles Sirens; but we do not find that he gives any description of their shape; however, it was … Continue reading The Mermaid, or Siren, pp.360-363.

The Gryphon, or Griffin, pp.358-359.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]    WAS originally an emblem of life. It was used to adorn funeral monuments and sepulchres. The anterior part of this allegorical animal resembles the eagle, the king of the birds; and the rest the lion, as the king of beasts, implying that man, an inhabitant of the earth, who lives … Continue reading The Gryphon, or Griffin, pp.358-359.

The Cocatrice or Basilisk, pp.357-358.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]    THE fruitful imagination of man knows hardly any bounds. The being that bears the name of Basilisk was originally supposed to be a serpent, with a sort of comb or crown on its head: but that was not sufficiently marvellous. It was supposed also to be hatched from a cock’s … Continue reading The Cocatrice or Basilisk, pp.357-358.

The Sphinx, pp.352-354.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]    PROVIDENCE has ordered that the plains of Egypt, which on account of their latitude, and some other causes, were not visited by showers, should be fertilized by the overflowing of the Nile. This noble river, which, like the hand of real and unostentatious generosity, conceals the origin of the good … Continue reading The Sphinx, pp.352-354.

The Unicorn in Heraldry

[Scotland's National Animal Contents] Now we come to the crux of our investigation. Heraldry and how the unicorn made it into ours becoming our national animal.   Shepard’s ‘Lore of the Unicorn’ which has given us so much of the information related so far, annoyed me with it’s anglo-centricity, especially as it was written by an … Continue reading The Unicorn in Heraldry

The Unicorn’s Horn

[Scotland's National Animal Contents] We’ve seen the old descriptions of it being white, black, and red. A solid spear and floppy, like a Cockerel’s comb. This last idea is maintained by a French consular agent who states that the unicorn is in possession of,  “a single, mobile horn capable of erection in the sense that … Continue reading The Unicorn’s Horn

What is a Unicorn?

[Scotland's National Animal Contents] Well, really it depends who you ask, where, and when.  “Chinese writers enumerate six different sorts of unicorns: the King, the Kioh Twan, the Poh, the Hiai Chai, the Too Jon Sheu, and the Ki-lin; but it seems probable that all six are derived from a single original...   The ki-lin, moreover, … Continue reading What is a Unicorn?

The Auk, or Northern Penguin, p.216.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents] IS reckoned by true observers of the wonderful operations of the Creator, a link between the bird and the fish, and we place here his description in order to exhibit more explicitly and conspicuously the uninterrupted chain of beings which constitute the whole sum of created nature. These birds have very … Continue reading The Auk, or Northern Penguin, p.216.

The Bird of Paradise, pp.211-212.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]    HAS been called so, we may fairly suppose, on account of his being generally seen on the wing, and flying in the tropic zone at a small distance from the land. Its appearance being most welcome to the tired sailor and longing passenger, generally causes much happiness by its foretelling … Continue reading The Bird of Paradise, pp.211-212.

The Dottrel, p.205.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]    IS proverbially accounted a foolish bird, and it is hardly possible to decide why, or upon what ground. This bird seems to be migratory, and makes his appearance in Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, and Derbyshire in April, but, finding very likely nothing much to his liking, soon leaves those countries and retires … Continue reading The Dottrel, p.205.