The Animal Story Book - online children's book

Edited By Andrew Lang And With Numerous Illustrations By H. J. Ford

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Stories from Audubon 1
In the excellent life of Mr. Audubon, the American natu­ralist (published in 1868 by Sampson Low, Marston & Co.), some curious stories are to be found respecting the kinds of fish that he met with in his voyages both through the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. Audubon's remarks about the habits of dolphins are especially interesting, and will be read with pleasure by everybody who cares for ' the sea and all that in them is.'
Dolphins abound in the Gulf of Mexico and the neigh­bouring seas, and are constantly to be seen chasing flying fish, which are their food. Flying fish can swim more rapidly than the dolphins, which of course are far larger creatures; but if they find themselves much outnumbered, and in danger of being surrounded, they spread the fins that serve them for wings, and fly through the air for a short distance. At first this movement throws out the dolphins, who are unable to follow the example of their prey, but they soon contrive to keep up with the flying fish by giving great bounds into the air; and as the flying fish's powers are soon exhausted, it is not long before the hunt comes to an end and the dolphins seize the fish as they tumble into the sea.
Sailors are fond of catching dolphins, and generally bait their hooks with a piece of shark's flesh. When the fish is taken, its friends stay round it till the last moment,
1 From Audubon s Life, by Robert Buchanan.
Sampson Low & Co.
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