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Endeavour journal, 6 September 1768 (Series 03.013)

Notes: Page header reads: 'to Madeira'
Author: Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820
Date: 6 September 1768
Series title: Series 03: The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks, 25 August 1768 - 12 July 1771
Frame numbers:
Transcript: 6. Fine and calm this morn, immence numbers of Dagysa Lobata floated by, and were taken by our new contrivance, some of them in clusters as many as 14 together, united by a Lobe on the underside. Towards the Middle of the day the sea was almost coverd with dagysa's of different kinds

among which two intirely new ones were taken, rostrata and strumosa, but neither of these were observd hanging in clusters as most of the other Species had been, indeed whether from the badness of the new machine or their scarcity I cannot say; only one of rostrata and two of strumosa were taken. It is now time to give some account of the genus of Dagysa, of which there are already six species taken, all agreeing in many particulars vastly well but cheifly in this very singular one, that they have a hole at each end, which holes Communicate by a tube, often as large as the body of the animal, by the help of which they swim with some degree of activity when seperated from each other, for several sorts are seen most generaly Joind together, gemma more particularly which adhere in clusters of some hundreds irregularly shap'd; in the midst of these were generaly found a few specimens of cornuta, from which circamstance we may Judge that they are very nearly allied.

It seems singular that no naturalist before this time should have taken notice of thise animals as they abound so much where the ship now is, not twenty Leagues from the coast of Spain; from hence however great hopes may be formd, that the inhabitants of the deep have been but little examind, and as Dr Solander and my self shall have probably greater opportunity in the course of this voyage than any one has had before us, it is a very incouraging circumstance to hope that so large a feild of natural history has remaind almost untrod, even till this time, and that we may be able from this circumstance alone (almost unthought of when we embarkd in the undertaking) to add considerable Light to the science which we so eagerly Pursue.

This Evening a large quantity of the Carcinium opalinum which may be calld opal insect came under the ships stern, making the very sea appear with uncommon bea[u]ty, their colours appearing with vast brightness even at the depth of two or three fathoms, tho they are not more than three lines long and one broad.