S. borealis, Scoresb. Arct. Reg. vol. 1. p. 538. and vol. 11. pl. 15. f. 3, & 4. S. Norvegianus, Blainv. Faun. Franc, p. 61. S. gla-cialis, Nilss. Prod. Ichth. Scand. p. 116. Scymnus borealis, Mem. Brit. An. p. 166.
From twelve to fourteen feet, sometimes more. Scoresb.
" Circumference (in a specimen fourteen feet long) about eight feet. Colour gray: eye blue; pupil emerald-green. Mouth wide. Teeth in the upper jaw, broad at the base, suddenly becoming narrow and lanceolate with the cutting edges rough; in the lower jaw pyramidal, compressed, the cutting edges crenulated, a little convex on the fore-edge, and subangularly concave on the hind-edge. Tongue broad and short. First dorsal fin larger than the second; more advanced than the vent-rals: pectorals large: ventrals elongated; the two sides nearly parallel." Flem. According to Blainville, the general form of the body is exactly similar to that of the S. Acanthias, differing principally in the want of spines before the dorsal fins, and in the peculiar character of the teeth, which are arranged in two rows in the lower jaw, and in three in the upper.
This species, which is the S. Carcharias of Gunner and Fabricius, and perhaps of Bloch, is a native of the Northern seas. Dr. Fleming, however, mentions two instances in which it has occurred in those of our own Islands. One of the specimens was caught in the Pentland Frith in 1803: the other was found dead at Burra Firth, Unst, in July 1824. Said to be very voracious. Food, according to Scoresby, dead whales, as well as small fishes and crabs. Nilsson states that it resides principally in the deepest parts of the sea, rarely coming to the surface.
It is uncertain to which of the foregoing sub-genera the following two doubtful species belong.
Brit. An. p. 168.
An obscure species, found (according to Fleming) by the late Dr. Walker, in Lochfyne, in Argyleshire, where it is said to appear during the herring season. The following description is quoted by Dr. Fleming, from the original Mss. of that naturalist.
"Caput, maxilla subaequalis, superiore prominente, rostrata. Maxilla superior crassissima, apice truncata marginata, angulo superiori obtuso suberecto. Maxilla inferior angusta. Dentes numerosi, acuti. Oculi super cantham oris positi sunt. Corpus, octo-pedale, oblongum, tere-tiusculum, cute aspera. Spiracula quinque, antico breviore, erecta, lineari-lunata: margine postico curvato. Tria spiracula postica super pinnam pectoralem positi sunt, duo altera ante pinnam pectoralem versus oculum. Pinna: dorsum suberectum, muticum, bipinne. Pinna dorsalis antica erecta, subpedalis, circa medium corporis. Pinna dorsalis postica, multo minor, medium inter pinnam anticam et caudam occupat. Pinnae pectorales pedem longitudine superant, et ante pinnam anticam dorsalem positae sunt. Pinnae ventrales spatium ante pinnam dorsalem posticam occupant. Cauda, perpendicularis, furcata, segmentis subaequalibus subacutis; superiori longiori. Sore prolato, maxillis subaequalibus; superiore truncata emarginata".
From the circumstance of Dr. Walker's taking no notice either of the anal fin or temporal orifices, Dr. Fleming infers the absence of both. He thinks that in consequence this species may claim to rank as a new genus, occupying a place between Carcharias and Lamna.
Trans, vol. xiv. p. 91.
"Twenty-nine feet four inches long; twenty-four feet round; the fork of the tail seven feet: weight four tons. Eye in front, under a snout that projects and is turned upward: mouth two feet and a half wide. Head deep: the first dorsal fin much elevated." Couch.
The above notes relate to a species of Shark, a drawing and memorandum of which are said to be in the possession of W. Rashleigh, Esq. of Mena-billy. Mr. Couch observes that it seems to resemble the Basking Shark, but differs from it in the form of the head and situation of the eye.