A wish has been expressed that I should in-clude the "Sea-egg" in my 'Edible Mollusca,' but I scarcely feel justified in doing so, as it is not a mollusk, and has no other claim to appear on these pages further than its being fit for food.

It belongs to another class of animals, the Radiata, or Echinodermata, which includes the star-fishes, and the Holothuriadœ. The Radiata are so called because all their parts radiate from a common centre.

Echinus sphœra is generally of a reddish colour, or purplish, and has white spines, in some tinged with purple.

Pliny states that the Sea-urchin moves along by rolling like a ball, which is the reason that it is so often found with, the prickles rubbed off; also "that these creatures foreknow the approach of a storm at sea, and that they take up little stones with which they cover themselves, as a sort of ballast; for they are very unwilling, by rolling along, to wear away their prickles. As soon as seafaring people observe this, they at once moor their ship with, several anchors,"* and we are told that the natives of Apia Tali Upolu (Samoa), say they can foretell a storm before its appearance, by noticing the Echini crawling into snug holes, where they may lie secure on the reefs, undisturbed by the raging waters. "The sea roars, and the Echini listen," is the Samoan proverb to describe prudence.* By Aristotle it is called the "migratory fish". Professor Forbes, in his 'History of British Star-fishes,' observes that "it is with their spines that the Echini move themselves, seize their prey, and bring it to their mouths by turning the rays of their lower edge in different directions. The mouth is generally turned to the ground, and the five teeth which project from it form part of a remarkable dental apparatus, known by the fanciful appellation of 'Aristotle's lantern.' "†

* Pliny, 'Nat. Hist.' vol. ii. bk. ix. c. 51, p. 427.

In heraldry we find, according to Mr. Moule, that the Echinus is borne, the arms of the Alstowne family being gules, three sea-urchins in pale argent; and those of Alstanton, azure, three sea-urchins argent. The shells of Echinus sjphœra, the common sea-egg, are often used for making emery cushions, cases for yard measures, and other toys.

Pennant mentions sea-eggs being used for food in many parts of England; and Mrs. Gatty, in 'Old Folks from Home,' if I remember correctly, states that Echinus lividus, or "purple egg-urchin," is eaten on the west coast of Ireland. It is one of the burrowing species, and lives in holes formed by it in the rocks. Mr. W. Thompson informed Professor Forbes that he had seen it in abundance in the South Isles of Arran. "It was always stationary, the hole in which it is found being cup-like, yet fitting so as not to impede its spines. Every one lived in a hole fitted to its own size, the little ones in little holes, and the large ones in large holes; and their purple spines and regular forms presented a most beautiful appearance, studding the bottoms of the grey limestone rock pools".*

*'A Lady's cruise in a French Man-of-war.' † Forbes's ' British Star-fishes,' p. 154.

At the Museum of the Jardin des Plantes, at Paris, I have seen specimens of this Echinus in a block of sandstone from the Baie de Douarnenez, in Finisterre; also, specimens of Echinus perforans in granite rock from the Bay of Croisic. How these animals bore into such hard substances is still a question; it is supposed by some that they first perforate with their teeth and then soften the rocks by some secreted solvent.†

A friend of mine, who examined some of the holes, observed that they are evidently formed by the animal, and are lined with a smooth yellow substance which it deposits on the stone; that in limestone rocks the deposit is probably obtained from the stone itself by means of a solvent, but that in granite it may be derived from the lime held in solution in the sea-water.

Mr. H. N. Moseley mentions that at St. Vincent, Cape de Verde Islands, when the rock pools are exposed by low tides, numbers of sea-urchins (Echino-metra) may be seen burrowing in rounded cavities in the rocks, which they had made both in the calcareous sand-rock and the volcanic conglomerate.‡ In Brazil, also, a species of Echinometra (Echinometra Michelini, Dessor) is found living in holes, not only in the sandstone, but in the gneiss rocks, and in many places the rock is fairly honeycombed by their nests.§

In Sicily there is a verse which compares the spines of the Sea-urchin to a hundred oars, with which it must row, carrying its little invokers; after having caught it, the Sicilian children scatter a little salt over it and sing: -

* Forties's « British Star-fishes,' p. 170.

† Ibid. p. 154.

‡'A Naturalist on the Challenger,'.

§ 'Scientific result of Agassiz,' "Journey to Brazil," p. 36.

"Vόcami, Vόcami, centu rlmi Vόcami, Vόcami, centu rimi (Row for me, row for me, hundred oars).

The Sea-urchin moves and the children are delighted.* In Dalmatia, Echini are used as bait, when pounded, in the basket traps called Nasse, and they are also recommended as a care for diarrhoea.

Echinus Esculentusy the real Oursin comestible, or Châtaigne, is found in the Mediterranean, and also on the coast of Brittany, and I have seen specimens from the roadstead of Brest. Mr. R. Jones (as quoted by the Rev. J. Wood, in his 'Natural History,' p. 722) gives a most amusing description of sea-egg fishing in the Bay of Naples, saying, "1 had not swam very far from the beach before I found myself surrounded by some fifty or sixty human heads, the bodies belonging to which were invisible, and interspersed among these perhaps an equal number of pairs of feet sticking out of the water. As I approached the spot, the entire scene became sufficiently ludicrous and bewildering. Down went a head, up came a pair of heels; down went a pair of heels, up came a head; and as something like a hundred people were all diligently practising the same manoeuvre, the strange vicissitude from heels to head, and head to heels, going on simultaneously, was rather a puzzling spectacle. On inquiry, it proved that these divers were engaged in fishing for Sea-urchins, which are especially valuable just before they deposit their eggs : the roe, as the aggregate egg-masses are termed, being large, and in as much repute as the 'soft roe' of the herring".

* 'Zoological Mythology,' vol. ii. p. 336.

The Fuegian women dive to collect sea-eggs, both in winter and summer; and large sea-eggs are found in the Bay of Concepcion, which are highly esteemed by the Chilians, and eaten raw.

The species of sea-egg, Echinometra Michelini, previously mentioned, has moderately long dark purple spines, and is exceedingly abundant in places on the coast of Brazil in the province of Espirito Santo, and is used as food by the natives of the village of Guara-pary.

Echinidœ were also eaten by the ancients, and were said to be tender and full of pleasant juice, but apt to turn on the stomach; but they were considered good if eaten with sharp mead, parsley, and mint.*

Demetrius, the Scepsian, says that "a Lacedaemo-nian, once being invited to a banquet, when some sea-urchins were put before him on the table, took one, not knowing the proper manner in which it should be eaten, and not attending to those who were in the company to see how they ate it; and so he put it in his mouth with the skin or shell and all, and began to crush the sea-urchin with his teeth; and being exceedingly disgusted with what he was eating, and not perceiving how to get rid of the taste, he said, 'Oh, what nasty food! I will not now be so effeminate as to eject it, but I will never take it again'"†

A friend of mine once tasted a sea-urchin raw, while she was travelling in the south of Europe, as it was highly recommended, and considered quite a delicate morsel; but she told me that it was very unpalatable, and rather bitter, and she had not the courage to swallow it, like the Lacedaemonian; however, I have eaten one, and did not dislike it.

* Athenaeus, 'Deipn.' vol. i. bk. iii. p. 41. † Idem. vol. i. bk. iii. c. 41. p. 152.

In Corfu, in the villages by the sea, a species of Echinus is a favourite dish, and allowed, with oysters, to be eaten in Lent, except on the strict days. In Greece it is considered as vegetable food.

At Marseilles, baskets are seen in the fish-market filled with the beautiful green sea-ribbon, Zostera marina, on which are placed sea-eggs.* I noticed that the upper portion of the shell was carefully cut off to show the orange-coloured oval mass within, and the contents of three or four are generally emptied into one shell, as there is not much in one only. Sea-eggs are usually brought to the market at Marseilles in October.

There are four species of Echini eaten, viz. Echinus melo (Voursin melon), in Corsica and Algeria; Echinus lividus (Voursin livide), at Naples; Echinus esculentus (Voursin commun or chátaigne), in Provence; and Echinus granulosus.

Echinus esculentus is called in Feroese Eyilhier.

They are usually eaten raw, like oysters, are cut into four quarters, and the flesh eaten with a spoon.†