“20000 Leagues Under the Sea” Part2 Ch03

Question 1: Are there fish with no other fins but their tail of the genus Monoptera?

Question 2: Is Professor Arronax correct in saying that “Nature’s creative power is far beyond man’s instinct of destruction”?  What evidence do we have that man’s effects on the environment are negligible compared to nature’s effects on herself? (e.g. Mount St. Helens eruption of 1980) What evidence do we have that man can adversely effect his environment through negligence? (e.g. oil spills kill ocean life).  Is such destruction, although bad, compensated for in the long run by Nature’s natural recovery mechanisms? (e.g. new forests grow after forest fires).

Question 3: What is the byssus of an oyster?  How does it work in securing an oyster to its bed?

Answer 3: According to the glossary of the book “Shells” by S. Peter Dance, Copyright 2002, published by Dorling Kindersley Inc., New York, NY:

Byssus: A bunch of silky threads anchoring some bivalves to solid objects.

Question 4: After Ned Land saves Captain Nemo’s life by harpooning a shark that the Captain was fighting.  The Captain thanked him.  “It was in revenge, Captain,” replied Ned Land. “I owed you that.”

Does Ned mean that he saved Nemo’s life so that he would no longer be indebted to Nemo for saving him from drowning when they originally met?

Question 5: Are there really giant clams called Tridacne?

Answer 5: According to “Giants of the Sea, Whales…Sharks…Dolphins…” by Ken Martin, Copyright 1988, published by The Image Bank, New York, N.Y.:

There is a giant clam called Tridacna or giant bear’s claw of the South Pacific.  The world record for the largest clam is a Tridacna clam weighing 580 pounds.


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