The First American Geography 325
large as that of a horfe. The head of a full-grown alligator is about three feet long, and the mouth opens nearly the fame length. The upper jaw only, moves, and this they raife fo as to form a right angle with the lower one. They open their mouths while they lie bafking in the fun, on the banks of rivers and creeks, and when filled with flies, mufketoes and other infects, they fuddenly let fall their upper jaw with furprifing noife, and thus fecure their prey.
The Rattle Snake may be ranked among the largeft fer-pents in America. If purfued and overtaken, they in-ftantly throw themfelves into the fpiral coil; their whole body fwells through rage, their eyes are red as burning coals, and their brandifhing forked tongues, of the colour of the hotteft flame, menaces a horrid death.
The 'Joint Snake, if we may credit Carver's account of it, is a great curiofity. Its fkin is as hard as parchment, and as fmooth as glafs. It is beautifully ftreaked with black and white. It is fo ftifF, and has fo few joints, and thofe fo unyielding, that it can hardly bend itfelf into the form of a hoop. When it is ftruck, it breaks like a pipe-ftem; and you may, with a whip, break it from the tail to the bowels into pieces not an inch long, and not produce the leaft tincture of blood.
Other snakes mentioned are the " Water Viper, with a fharp thorn tail, Hog nofe Snake, Coach Whip Snake, which the Indians imagine is able to cut a man in two with a jerk of its tail, Ribbon Snake, Glafs Snake, and Two-headed Snake."
In the list of fishes are noted the " Skip jack, Minow, Shiner, Dab, Hard Head and Mummy-chog." Of the Lamprey it is affirmed that
After the fpawning feafon is over, and the young fry have gone down to the fea, the old fifhes attach themfelves