Journals of Lewis and Clark: Shellfish

Lewis and Clark Picture

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: The Shellfish
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark - Shellfish. A general description of the beasts, Shellfish and Shellfish, &c. found by the party in this expedition.

Of shell fish we observe the clam, periwinkle, common muscle, the cockle, and a species with a circular flat shell.

The clam of this coast are very small; the shell consists of two valves, which open with hinges: the shell is smooth, thin, of an oval form like that of the common muscle, and of skyblue color. It is about one and a half inches in length and hangs in clusters to the moss of the rocks: the natives sometimes eat them.
The periwinkle both of the river and the ocean, are similar to those found in the same situation on the Atlantic coast.

The common muscle of the river are also the same with those on the rivers of the Atlantic coast: the cockle is small, and resembles much that of the Atlantic: there is also an animal that inhabits a shell perfectly circular, about three inches in diameter, thin and entire on the margin, convex and smooth on the upper side, plain on the under part, and covered with a number of minute capillary fibres, by means of which it attaches itself to the sides of the rocks: the shell is thin, and consists of one valve; a small circular aperture is formed in the centre of the under shell: the animal is soft and boneless.

The pellucid substance and fuci. The pellucid jelly-like substance, called the sea-nettle, is found in great abundance along the strand, where it has been thrown up by the waves and tide: there are two species of the fuci thrown up in that manner: the first species at one extremity consists of a large vesicle or hollow vessel, which will contain from one to two gallons: it is of a conic form, the base of which forms the extreme end, and is convex and globular, bearing at its centre some short, broad, and angular fibres: the substance is about the consistence of the rind of a citron mellon, and three-fourths of an inch thick: the rind is smooth from the small extremity of the cone; a long hollow cylindric and regular tapering tube extends to twenty or thirty feet, and is then terminated with a number of branches, which are flat, half an inch in width, rough, particularly on the edges, where they are furnished with a number of little ovate vesicles or bags of the size of a pigeon's egg: this plant seems to be calculated to float at each extremity, while the little end of the tube, from whence the branches proceed, lie deepest in the water: the other species seen on the coast towards the Killamucks, resembles a large pumpkin; it is solid, and its specific gravity is greater than the water, though sometimes thrown out by the waves: it is of a yellowish brown color; the rind smooth, and its consistence is harder than that of the pumpkin; but easily cut with a knife: there are some dark brown fibres, rather harder than any other part, which pass longitudinally through the pulp or fleshy substance which forms the interior of this marine production.

Accounts of the Fish

Accounts of the Animals

Mobile Website Menu

Privacy Statement

Cookie Policy

Copyright 2018

Global Anchor Limited

Modified 2018