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August 29, 1885


JAMA. 1885;V(9):225-229. doi:10.1001/jama.1885.02391080001001

In the torpedo the body is somewhat oval and rounded. Our native species, found mostly in winter, especially on the low, sandy shores of Cape Cod, is Torpedo occidentalis (Storer). Its batteries and nerves are substantially as in the European species. The electrical organs are constructed on the principle of the Voltaic pile, consisting of two series or layers of hexagonal cells, the space between the numerous fine transverse plates in the cells filled with a jelly-like, trembling mass, each cell representing, so to speak, a Leyden jar. There are about 470 cells in each battery, each provided with nerves sent off from the fifth and eighth pairs of nerves. The dorsal side of the apparatus is positively electrical, the ventral side negatively so. The electrical current passes from the dorsal to the ventral side. When the electrical ray is disturbed by the touch of any object, the impression is

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