Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 834 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LOACH. The fish known as loathes (Cobitinae) form a very distinct subfamily of the Cyprinidae, and are even regarded by some authors as constituting a family. Characters: Barbels, three to six pairs; pharyngeal teeth in one row, in moderate number; anterior part of the air-bladder divided into a right and left chamber, separated by a constriction, and enclosed in a bony capsule, the posterior part free or absent. They are more or less elongate in form, often eel-shaped, and naked or covered with minute scales. Most of the species are small, the largest known measuring 12 (the European Misgurnus fossilis), 13 (the Chinese Botia variegata), or 14 in. (the Central Asian Nemachilus siluroides). They mostly live in small streams and ponds, and many are mountain forms. They are almost entirely confined to Europe and Asia, but one species (Nemachilus abyssinicus) has recently been discovered in Abyssinia. About 120 species are known, mostly from Central and South-Eastern Asia. Only two species occur in Great Britain: the common Nemachilus barbatulus and the rarer and more local Cobitis taenia. The latter extends across Europe and Asia to Japan. Many of these fishes delight in the mud at the bottom of ponds, in which they move like eels. In some cases the branchial respiration appears to be insufficient, and the intestinal tract acts as an accessory breathing organ. The air-bladder may be so reduced as to lose its hydro-static function and become subservient to a sensory organ, its outer exposed surface being connected with the skin by a meatus between the bands of muscle, and conveying the thermobarometrical impressions to the auditory nerves. Loaches are known in some parts of Germany as " Wetterfisch." LOAD; LODE. The O.E. lad, from which both these words are derived, meant "way," " journey," "conveyance," and is cognate with Ger. Leite. The Teutonic root is also seen in the O. Tent. laidjan, Ger. leiten, from which comes " to lead." The meanings of the word have been influenced by a sup-posed connexion with " lade," O.E. hladan, a word common to many old branches of Teutonic languages in the sense of " to place," but used in English principally of the placing of cargo in a ship, hence " bill of lading," and of emptying liquor or fluid out of one vessel into another; it is from the word in this sense that is derived " ladle," a large spoon or cup-like pan with a long handle. The two words, though etymologically one, have been differentiated in meaning, the influence of the connexion with " lade " being more marked in " load"than in " lode," a vein of metal ore, in which the original meaning of " way " is clearly marked. A " load " was originally a " carriage," and its Latin equivalent in the Promptorium Parvul arum is vectura. From that it passed to that which is laid on an animal or vehicle, and so, as an amount usually carried, the word was used of a specific quantity of anything, a unit of weight, varying with the locality and the commodity. A " load " of wheat=4o bushels, of hay=36 trusses. Other meanings of " load " are: in electricity, the power which an engine or dynamo has to furnish; and in engineering, the weight to be supported by a structure, the "permanent load " being the weight of the structure itself, the " external load " that of anything which may be placed upon it.
End of Article: LOACH

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