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Catesby Volume II: The Margate Fish & Saurus Fish

Mark Catesby's
Description of the Margate Fish



This fish has a rounding back, making a curved line between the head and tail: the iris of the eye white, with a tincture of yellow: the mouth moderately wide, and red within; the upper mandible hanging a little over the lower; both of them have a single row of small sharp teeth. The scales are rather large, of a blackish brown colour; but as the bellies of most fish are lighter coloured, so is the belly of this fish much lighter than the back. From the head, at some distance from the ridge of the back, runs parallel to it a narrow, black curved line to the tail. It had six fins, two under the gills, one on the middle of the back, strengthened with several ligule or sharp-pointed bones; behind which, and joining to it, is another pliant even fin; one under the abdomen, and a sixth behind the anus. They are one of the most numerous kinds of Fish frequenting the Bahama islands, and are esteemed very good meat.


Mark Catesby's
Description of the Saurus or Sea Sparrow-Hawk


This is a slender long fish, with middle-sized brown scales: the eye black, the iris reddish: the mouth very wide, both mandibles being thick set and small sharp irregular-fixed teeth. It hath six fins, two behind the gills, one under the abdomen, one behind the anus, and one on the middle of the back, besides a very small one between that and the tail. The tail forked. This Fish was caught on the coast of Carolina, and is the only one I have ever seen. It was the size of the figure.