New PDF release: A Journey in Brazil

By Louis Agassiz; Elizabeth Cary Agassiz

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Cyprinoids have no representative in South America, there is another group there, structurally akin to them, called the Cyprinodonts. They are all small sized; our Minnows belong to this group,' From Maine to Texas they are found in all the short rivers or creeks all along tfle coast. It is for this reason that I expect to find he sho t coast rivers of South America abolmding in Min nows. I remember to have found in the neighborhood of VOYAGE FR01t1 NEW YORK TO RIO DE JANEillO. 33 Mobile no less than six new species in the course of an afternoon's ramble.

The color of the water in connection with the nature of the banks will tell us something. The waters of the Rio Branco, for instance, are said to be milky white; those of the Rio Negro, black. In the latter case the color is probably owing to the decomposition of vegetation. I would advise each one of our parties to pass a large amount of water from any river or stream along which they travel through a filter, and to examine the deposit microscopically. They will thus ascertain the character of the detritus, whether from sand, or lime, or granite, or mere river mud formed by the decomposition of organic matter.

The lower ones, in which it acquires a special final structure; giving place to hmgs in the higher ones before they reach their adult condition. From this time forward not only the class characters, but those of the family, begin to be distinguished. I will show you to-day how we may improve the classification of fishes by studying their embryology. Take, for instance, the family of Cods in its widest acceptation. It consists of several genera, among which are the Cod proper, the Cusk, and the Brotula.

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A Journey in Brazil by Louis Agassiz; Elizabeth Cary Agassiz

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