- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
310

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
must have been formed by the water which filled this
huge subsidence in the earth’s crust håving begun to
run out of it where the edge was lowest, the running
water håving thus in course of time dug its channel
deeper and deeper. When one sees the outlet of the
Angarå from the opposite side of the lake, it looks
something like a notch cut in the mountain ridge.
The lake has a peculiar fauna. On the islands
there are quantities of gulls and herons, and even
cormorants (phalocrocorax carbo). It also has its own
species of seal (phoca baicdlensis), which must originally
be the ringed seal (phoca hispida), that has come from
the Arctic Ocean up the Yenisei and Angarå to the
lake, where in course of time it has become modified
and has formed a new species. The Buriats, whose
nåme for it is " nyerpa," catch much of it, chiefly on the
ice in spring, when they steal upon it behind a sail set
on a little sledge. This is, curiously enough, very
nearly the same method which is employed by the
Eskimo for catching the ringed seal when it is lying on
the ice in the Greenland fjords. There is abundance
of fish in Baikål and in the rivers that run into it.
Sturgeon is caught in the lake and in the rivers, chiefly
the Selengå. Several fish of the salmon family are also
caught. The most important of these are omul and
grayling (thymallus Pallasii, Valene), or in Russian
khårius, which seems to be the same as the Norwegian
nåme for grayling, harr (khar being equivalent to
harr). It may seem surprising that the lake should
be so rich in fish, as it is famous for its unusually clear
water, and this does not indicate any abundant plankton
life in it. A curious form, which is peculiar to Baikål,
is the deep-water fish golomyanka (comephorus baica
lensis), about 10j inches long, which is only found in
the deepest parts of the lake, over 2000 feet. The
310

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