Corals and Coral Islands

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Dodd, Mead,, 1890 - Coral reefs and islands - 440 pages

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Page 330 - He prayeth well, who loveth well Both man and bird and beast. He prayeth best, who loveth best All things both great and small; For the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all.
Page 162 - Shortly after the points enlarge into the plumed tops of cocoa-nut trees, and a line of green, interrupted at intervals, is traced along the water's surface. Approaching still nearer, the lake and its belt of verdure are spread out before the eye, and a scene of more interest can scarcely be imagined. The surf, beating loud and heavy along the margin of the reef, presents a strange contrast to the prospect beyond — the white coral beach, the massy foliage of the grove, and the embosomed lake, with...
Page 333 - The language of the natives indicates their poverty, as well as the limited productions and unvarying features of the land. All words, like those for mountain, hill, river, and many of the implements of their ancestors, as well as the trees and other vegetation of the land from which they are derived, are lost to them ; and as words are but signs for ideas, they have fallen off in general intelligence. It would be an interesting inquiry for the philosopher, to what extent a race of men, placed in...
Page 316 - An occasional log drifts to their shores, and at some of the more isolated atolls, where the natives are ignorant of any land but the spot they inhabit, they are deemed direct gifts from a propitiated deity.
Page 227 - Very erroneous ideas prevail, respecting the appearance of a bed or area of growing corals. The submerged reef is often thought of as an extended mass of coral, alive uniformly over its upper surface, and, by this living growth, gradually enlarging upward : and such preconceived views, when ascertained to be erroneous by observation, have sometimes led to skepticism with regard to the zoophytic origin of the reef-rock.
Page 397 - James D. Dana estimates that the rate of increase of coral reef limestone formations, where all is most favorable, does not exceed perhaps a sixteenth of an inch a year, or five feet in a thousand years. Of this he says: "And yet such limestones probably form at a more rapid rate than those made of shells.
Page 120 - Upon the reefs enclosing the harbor of Rewa, (Viti Lebu,) where a large river three hundred yards wide empties, which during freshets enables vessels at anchor two and a half miles off its mouth to dip up fresh water alongside, there is a single porous species of Madrepora, (M. cribripora,) growing here and there in patches over a surface of dead coral rock or sand. In similar places about other regions, species of Porites are most common.
Page 147 - Lebu is another example of this fact, and many more might be cited. In such cases, however, there is evidence that the shores upon 'which the corals grew were bare rocks, instead of moving beach-sands. From these descriptions it appears that the main distinction between the inner and outer reefs consists in the less fragmentary character of the rock in the former case, the less frequent accumulations of debris on their upper surface, and the more varied features and slopes of the margin. ^Moreover,...
Page 97 - In many instances the lichen-like Nullipore grows at the same rate with the rate of death in the zoophyte, and keeps itself up to the very limit of the living part. The dead trunk of the forest becomes covered with lichens and fungi, or, in tropical climes, with other foliage and various foreign flowers : so, among the coral productions of the sea, there are forms of life which replace the dying polyp. The process of wear is thus entirely prevented. The older polyps, before death, often increase...
Page 18 - Coral is never, therefore, the handiwork of the manyarmed polyps; for it is no more a result of labor than bone-making in ourselves. And again, it is not a collection of cells into which the coral animals may withdraw for concealment any more than the skeleton of a dog is its house or cell ; for every part of the coral — or corallum, as it is now called in science — of a polyp, in most reefmaking species, is enclosed within the polyp, where it was formed by the secreting process.

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