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13. That the-history of ancient vegetation should be further ‘examined, by
prosecuting the researches into the anatomy of fossil wood, which have been
exemplified in Mr. WIriiAM’s recent volume. 14. That the quantity of mud and silt contained in the water of the principal
rivers should be ascertained, distinguishing as far as may be possible, the com
parative quantity of sediment from the water at different depths, in different parts
of the current, and at different distances from the mouth of the river; distinguishing also any differences in the quality of the sediment, and estimating it at different periods of the year; with a view of explaining the hollowing of valleys, and the formation of strata at the mouths of rivers.
15. That the experiments of the late Mr. GREGORY WATT, on the fusion and slow cooling of large masses of stony substances, should be repeated and extended by those who, from proximity to large furnaces, have an opportunity of trying such experiments on a large scale ; and that trial should be made of the efiect of long-continued high temperature on rocks containing petrifactions, in defacing» or modifying the traces of organic structure, and of the effect of the continued action of steam or of water at a high temperature, in dissolving or altering minerals of diflicult solution.
16. That the dimensions of the bones of extinct animals should be expressed numerically in tables, so as to show the exact relations of their dimensions to those of animals now living ; and also to show what combinations of dimensions in the same animal no longer exist.
17. That the following geological queries be proposed: >
1. Are any instances of contorted rocks interposed between strata not
quality by contact with gneiss or primary slates P
dislocations of the strata P
merate in difierent districts : do they ever consist of granite gneiss, micaslate, chert, millstone, grit, or any other sandstone which can be traced to the coal series P 18. The attention of residents in our remote foreign dependencies is invited to the two great questions of comparative geology and palaeontology. 1. Is there or is there not such a general uniformity of type in the series of rockformations in distant countries, that we must conceive them to have resulted from general causes of almost universal prevalence at the same geological wra ? 2. Are the organic remains of the same geological period pecifically similar in very remote districts, and especially under climates actually different ; or are they grouped together within narrower boundaries, and under restrictions as to geographical habitats analogous to those which prevail in the actual system of thin s ? 19$. An examination of the geological structure Of the countries constituting the great basin of the Indus, where, if in any part of lndia, it is supposed 3 complete series of secondary strata may be expected. Zoology. The Committee recommended to the consideration of Zoologists the f0ll0Wing subjects of inquiry : 20. The use of horns in the class mammalia ; the reason of their presence in the females of some, and their absence in those of other species ; the connexion between their development and sexual periods; the reason of their being (loci
duous in some tribes, and persistent in others. _
22. The conditions which regulate the geographical distribution of mam
malia. 23. The changes of colour of hair, feathers, and other external parts of ani
mals; how these changes are elfected in parts usually considered by unatomists
as extra-vascular. _ _ _ _ 24. The nature and use of the secretions of certain glands immediately under
the skin, above the eyes, and over the nostrils, in certain species of the grallatores and natatoi-es; the nature and use of the secretion of the uropygial gland.
25. How long and in what manner can the impregnated ova of fishes be"preserved, for transportation, without preventing vivification when the spawn is returned to water.
26. Further observations on the proposed metamorphosis of decapod crus. tacea, with reference to the views of THOMPSON and Rxrnxm.
27. Further observations on the situation of the sexual organs in male spi. ders, and on their supposed connexion with the palpi.
28. The use of theantennae in insects. Are they organs of hearing, of smell, or of a peculiar sensation P
29. The function of the femoral pores in lizards, and the degree of import
ance due to them, as ofiering characters for classification. Botany.
30. An accurate account of the manner in which the woody fibre of plants is formed.
31. An investigation of the comparative anatomy of fiowerless plants, with a view to discover in them the analogy and origin of their organic structure.
32. The cause of the various colours of plants.
33. The nature of the faecal excretions of cultivated plants, and of common weeds; the degree in which those excretions are poisonous to the plants that yield them or to others ; the most ready means of decomposing such excretions by manurcs or other means.
Tides. (See Journal Asiatic Society, vol. II. page 151.)
Falling stars. M. Qus'rn1.n'r’s mode of observing and recording the characteristic circumstances of these meteors is recommended to notice. “ I take my station out of doors, in a situation which commands a good view of the sky, with a map of the heavens spread out before me. When a falling star appears, I mark on the map the point of its commencement, the line of its course among the nearest stars, and the point where it vanished. This is done by an arrow-line. A number of reference is added, which connects it with a bookregister of the exact time, magnitude, duration, and other circumstances. Contemporaneous observations at distant stations are much desired.
2.—-Manilla Indigo, (so called.) I .
There has lately appeared in the Calcutta market an article purporting to be Indigo from Manillu. The packages containing it are to all appearance Chinese, being covered with mats and tied round with split ratans like tea-boxes. A sample of this having been sent me in August last, for comparison of quality with other Indigo, I caused a portion to be incinerated, and found the ash highly ferruginous, and weighing 52 per cent. of the whole,—18 being the greatest percentage I had ever found, and that only in refuse Indigo. The specific gravity was 1'50. Some of the ash dissolved in muriatic acid afforded a copious precipitate to Mur. Barytes, and to Prussiate of Potash. I therefore imagined that the Indigo had been precipitated from the vat with a ferrnginous alum, and proceeded no further with its examination.
Having been however recently favoured with another sample from Mr. C. K. ROBISON, under a suspicion that the substance was not Indigobut Prussian Blue, I submitted a portion to tests which at once proved the truth of this supposition. By digestion in caustic alkali, hydrocyanic acid may be taken up while the oxyde of iron remains behind; on acidifying the solution and adding to it a drop or two of sulphate of iron, the Prussian Blue is again formed. The readiest test, however, is to place a small portion of the suspected matter on a hot coal or iron. If it be indigo, a fine purple smoke instantly rises, and it takes fire. The Prussiate gives off water, and at last burns feebly. It is also much heavier than indigo, but its colour, in the cake, is a fine clear blue, rather of- a coppery streak.
It is reported that the article in question was manufactured in America, and shipped to France, where Indigo was selling at 14 francs. Being unsaleable, it was re-shipped to America, whence it found its way to Canton, where it underwent some change, and was brought to Calcutta, and remains to spreadalarm among our manufacturers of Indigo, at the prospect of a fair competition in the
_ blue market they have so long monopolized.—-En.