The Pork Fish and Schoolmaster - Volume II - Catesby Collection


Mark Catesby's Description of the Pork Fish


This Fish is broad and short, and somewhat flat, with a rising back: the eye of a bright yellow: the mouth moderately wide, with many very small sharp teeth: the whole body was covered with dark-grey and yellow scales in rows alternately from the head to the tail. It had five fins, one from the top of the back, reaching almost to the tail, the fore part having sharp-pointed bones, the hind part more thin and pliant; two behind the gills, one under the abdomen, and one behind the anus, guarded with a large pointed bone: all the fins were yellow, as was the tail, which was forked. The Bahamians esteem this a good fish.

Catesby's Description of the Schoolmaster


Sometimes these Fish grow to the length of a foot, though this is the most common size. This was covered with large thin scales of a dirty red colour: the eye large, somewhat oval, with a yellow iris: it had no more than three fins, one on the back, the fore part of which had sharp spines; one under the abdomen, and another between the anus and the tail, guarded in the fore part with three sharp bones. The tail was forked: all the fins and tail were of a deep yellow colour.

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