T H E   S E A T T L E   S T A R
“ M A R V E L O U S   C R I T T E R S   O F   P U G E T   S O U N D

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          It is possible, or course, that people outside the telephone and telegraph companies may not know of this fish. It lives on little barnacles of a type that fasten themselves to cables. As you know, the bottom of Puget sound is very uneven, and were it not for the cable cleaning croppie the cables would be so encrusted with barnacles, where they hang from one ledge to the next, that they would break. In fact, this is just what happened until the phone men heard about the croppie, which is a native of Salmon bay, where it lived on a similar barnacle that fastens itself to the keel of halibut boats. By importing several and planting them in the vicinity of the cables connecting the islands the linemen put an end to the breakage.
          The croppie has a little wheel-like piece of cartilage on the end of a streamer attached to its. back. Its eyes are luminous and cast a light upward, so that the croppie can see barnacles attached to the cable, which it knocks loose with the chisel-like beak protruding from its forehead.
          A long tendril with a claw on the end protruding from its upper lip enables it to pick the meat out of the barnacle. One croppie will keep two miles of cable clean.
          Yours in the interest of a city aquarium in which the public may see the rare fish of Puget sound.

West Seattle.

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          SEATTLE folks are perking up and taking interest. The movement to establish a municipal aquarium for the rare fish of Puget sound is gaining headway. All over the city persons are heard to express admiration for the enterprise of The Star, which is daily making discoveries of untold value to science in the course of its piscatorial research work. First there was discovered the “salvager sucker,” then the ”cable cleaning croppie.” And now come letters from two gentlemen who seem to nave unearthed—if unearthed be the word—two curiosities in the fish line that are absolutely new. Here are their letters. Read ’em. And here, too, is a sketch by Vic of one of the creatures, the “opium pipe fish.”
          Editor The Star: I read with interest the letter in The Star about the salvager sucker. Salvagers, however, are very common, not only in Discovery bay, but also In the South Seas and West Indies. A fish much more useful than the salvager is the Gushington Slimeback, a highly colored fish of the Bainbridge Island shallows. The slimeback has a mouth like an alligator and a tusk like a hippopotamus. It can consequently lift two loads at once—one in the mouth and one on its horn—and is therefore more useful than the salvager.

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Selections from The Seattle Star Written by Various
(Seattle: 1913) Original Text and Illustrations Public Domain License.
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