Commovebat Intestina (Ut Arbitramur) Subitus Pavor.
the form and number of teeth change with age, and the teeth appear
successively in the shark genus, I doubt whether Don Antonio Ulloa be
correct in stating that the young sharks have two, and the old ones
four rows of grinders.
These, like many other sea-fish, are easily
accustomed to live in fresh water, or in water slightly briny. It is
observed that sharks (tiburones) abound of late in the Laguna of
Maracaybo, whither they have been attracted by the dead bodies thrown
into the water after the frequent battles between the Spanish
royalists and the Columbian republicans.) At the sight of these
voracious fish the sailors in a Spanish vessel always recollect the
local fable of the coast of Venezuela, which describes the benediction
of a bishop as having softened the habits of the sharks, which are
everywhere else the dread of mariners. Do these wild sharks of the
port of La Guayra specifically differ from those which are so
formidable in the port of the Havannah? And do the former belong to
the group of Emissoles with small sharp teeth, which Cuvier
distinguishes from the Melandres, by the name of Musteli?
The wind freshened more and more from the south-east, as we advanced
in the direction of Cape Negril and the western extremity of the great
bank of La Vibora. We were often forced to diverge from our course;
and, on account of the extreme smallness of our vessel, we were almost
constantly under water.
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