. Evenings at the microscope : or, Researches among the minuter organs and forms of animal life . Zoology; Microscopy; Microscopes. 24 EVENINGS AT THE MICROSCOPE.. with angular ends (as represented in the accompanying engraving). By transmitted light they are so transparent and filmy as to be only just discernible ; but by reflected light, and especially under the sun's rays, they flash like plates of polished steel. But what ap- pears most singular, is that each spicu- lum is perpetually vibrating and quiver- ing with a motion apparently quite spon- taneous, but probably to be referred to sli

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Image ID: RDHPDY
. Evenings at the microscope : or, Researches among the minuter organs and forms of animal life . Zoology; Microscopy; Microscopes. 24 EVENINGS AT THE MICROSCOPE.. with angular ends (as represented in the accompanying engraving). By transmitted light they are so transparent and filmy as to be only just discernible ; but by reflected light, and especially under the sun's rays, they flash like plates of polished steel. But what ap- pears most singular, is that each spicu- lum is perpetually vibrating and quiver- ing with a motion apparently quite spon- taneous, but probably to be referred to slight vibrations of the water in which spicula op gold-fish's they float; and each independently of scales. ^ res^ so ag to convey the impres- sion to the observer that each is animated with life, though the scale be taken from a fish some days dead. Owing to this irregular motion, and consequent change of position, each spiculum, as it assumes or leaves the reflecting angle, is momentarily brightening or waning, flashing out or retiring into darkness, producing a magic effect on the admiring observer. To this property, I suppose, is to be attributed the beautiful pearly play of light that marks these lovely fishes, as distinguished from the light reflected by an uniformly polished surface. I have found the pearly pigment of the scales to be provided with similar spicula in fishes widely differing in size, structure, and habits; as the Gudgeon and Minnow, the Pike and the Marine Bream. The spicula of these fishes agree in general form with those of the Gold-fish ; and also in size, with the exception of trifling variations in the comparative length and breadth. The colouring matter is lodged in lengthened cylindrical cells, arranged side by side, and running across the scale; that is, in a direction at right angles to the lateral line.. Please note that these images are extracted from scanned page images that may have been digitally enhanced for readability - coloration and appea

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