« PreviousContinue »
described as human are such. Two of these are represented in the accompanying plate as figs. 20 and 21. The former, supposed to be the head of a human femur, is more likely to be the core of the horn of some large deer; the other is far too uncertain to he identified. The teeth and remains of the camel have been subsequently disavowed by the discoverer himself (see page 278), and are found to be all of the bovine genus.
We may then conclude, that the fossils now found in the bed of the J amna, entangled among the rocky shoals, have been washed thither from some locality in which they were originally imbedded and fossilized. From Mr. DEAN’s account, it is probable, that they were enclosed in the present bank, and have fallen in on its being cut away by the gradual action of the river. Should this however not prove to be the case, and search for their home be inquiringly extended to a distance ; it is not necessary, as I had at first suggested, to travel back all the way to the ample store-house of fossils in the Sewzilik range of the Lower Himalaya, whence such fragile materials could hardly be supposed to arrive with any vestige of form ; for Lieut. VICARY has presented us with a nearer locality in the banks of the Betwé river*, and Mr. Benson. from personal knowledge, confirms the probability of this spot having been the source of the deposit in the rocks of the Jamna. I myself incline to believe that both places have their fossils, and that many more may still be found here and there where natural sections of the alluviurn have been formed by rivers, although to expect to fall upon them in the digging of wells would be as chimerical (to use a homely proverb) as searching. for a needle in a bundle of hay.
There is in every respect a complete analogy between the fossils of the Jamna and those fortuitously discovered by Cnawrunn under the banks of the Irawadi in Ava, Their preservation is equally owing to their impregnation and conversion into hydrate of iron. The
words of Professor BUCKLAND would probably apply as well to the one as to the other:
“ At the bottom of the clifl’, the strand was dry, and on it were found specimens of petrified wood and bones, that had probably fallen from the cliff in the course of its decay : but no bones were discovered in the clifl’ itself by Mr. CRAWFURD and Dr. WALLICH : nor were they more fortunate in several places where they dug in search of bones in the adjacent district. This district is composed of sand hills that are very sterile, and is intersected by deep ravines: among the sand are beds of gravel, often cemented to a breccia by iron or carbonate of lime ; and cattered over its surface, at distant and irregular intervals, were found many fragments of bone and mineralized wood; in some instances lying entirely loose
* See Proceedings of the Asiatic Society, 1st April, 1835, page 183.
upon the sand, in others half buried in it, with their upper portions projecting naked, and exposed to the air. They appeared to have been left in this condition, in consequence of the matrix of sand and gravel that once covered them, undergoing daily removal by the agency of winds and rains; and they would speedily have fallen to pieces under this exposure to atmospheric action, had they not been protected by the mineralization they have undergone. On examining many ofthe ravines that intersect this part of the country, and which were at this time dry, the same silicified wood was found projecting from the sand banks, and ready to drop into the streams; from the bottom of which, the travellers took many fragments, that had so fallen during the gradual wearing of the bank, and lay rolled and exposed to friction by the passing waters. These circumstances shew that the ordinary effect of existing rains and torrents is only to expose and lay bare these organic remains, and wash them out from the matrix to which some other and more powerful agency must have introduced them.”
I must now briefly advert to the specimens which I have selected to form the subjects of the annexed pls.te.—The' space is far too limited to embrace Mr. Dn.\N’s collection, much less the extensive additions received from Capt. E. SMITH, at Allahabad, since I engraved my former plate (Vol. II. pl. 25), of Jamna fossils. I have therefore prudently confined myself to distinguishing specimens, particularly teeth, which, besides their value as the best types of the animal, are, from their compact size, and hard quality, generally better preserved than ordinary bones.
The teeth, with Dr. PnAnsoN’s assistance I have been able to identify; whereas without a complete Osteological Museum of existing animals (a desideratum we may hope, under his exertions, ere long to possess,)-it would be hazardous and a loss of time to attempt to classify the generality of mere mutilated fragments of bones. The great advantage of such a museum over even the best executed plates, was made most obvious in the course of the present examination : such of the teeth, as could be placed by the side of the actual teeth of Mr. Psnnsorfs private cabinet, were at once referred to their correct position in the jaw of the animal to which they belonged.
The drawings of all the specimens in the Plate are of half the true lineal dimensions.
Omitting the fragments of elephants’ teeth, (Nos. 8 and 9,) as being much the same as those already familiar to us from former plates, I have commenced with the most important and curious of the present series, figs. 1 and 2. The former, which was supposed by Mr. DEAN to belong to the genus Tapir, proved to be the last molar but one on the right side upperjaw of the fossil hippopotamus, agreeing precisely with the drawing in pl. i. vol. I. fiv. 3, ofCuvrna’s ossemensfassites. This beautiful specimen is, to use the illustrious author's words, “ précisement dans Yétat de détrition on elle est le plus
facilement reconnoissable par les trèfles et les autres linéemens de sa couronne.”
No. 2, is a young end tooth of the same animal, of which the points have not yet been submitted to the grinding action.
I cannot forbear inserting here an extract from the Baron's observations on the habitat of the existing hippopotamus, restricted to the central regions of Africa, from the earliest period of antiquity ;—-and
always a stranger to the continent of India.
“ Ontre le Cap et le Sénégal, ou saitpar BARDOT at par beaucoup d'autres voyageurs qu’il y en a quantité en Guinée et au Congo. BRUCE assure qu'ils sont très nombreux dans le Nil d'Abyssinie, et dans le lac Izana. Le VAILLANT en a vue dans toutes les parties de la Cafrerie qu'il a parcourues ; ainsi l'Afrique méridionale en est peuplée presque partout. Mais n'y en a-t-il que dans cette partie du monde ? C'est une ancienne opinion. STRABON, (lib. xv, p. 1012, A., ed. Amsterd. 1707,) sur le témoignage de Nnanqun et d’E'nATosrHnNns, nie déja qu'ily en ait dans PIndus, quoiqu'il avoue qu’ ONEsIcluTE l'eut aflîrmé. PAUSANIAS est d'accord avec eux ; et bien que Pnmosrnam et NONNUS aient adopté l'opinion d'ONEsxcnrrn, il est de fait qu'aucun voyageur accrédité n'a rapporté qu'on en trouve sur le continent de l'Inde, même au delà du Gange. BUFFON n'a été nullement touché du temoignage de MICHEL BOYN, qui en place an Chine; c'est donc à peu près sans autorité que LINNÆUS, dans ses éditions x. et suppose qu'il y en aaux embouchures des fleuves de PAsie; ainsi M. Faune paraissait bien autorisé à ne point admettre sur ce continent l'existence de l’ hippopotame ; mais peut être n'aurait il dû étendre sa négation à 1’Asie entière: car M. MARSDEN, auteur de considération, place l'hippopotame au nombre des animaux de l'île de Snmatra.
“ Cependant il reste à savoir si M. MABSDEN lui même n'a pas été trompé.” -—Oss. Foss. i. 279.
The animal, MARSDEN alluded to, was most probably the tapir, for Messrs. Drann and DuVancm. could find no trace of the hippopotamus either in Java or Sumatra.
Fig. 3, is the third molar right upper jaw of a very large ox, or 'bufl'alo, though the latter name, a stranger to fossil geology, should rather wait further confirmation*. The specimen corresponds precisely with the similar tootb of the largest buffalo in the museum.
Fig. 4, I at first took for the little fossil hippopotamus of Cuvmn, vol. I. p. 334 ; but on placing it side by side with the upper jaw
of a large hog shewn me by Dr. PEARSON, in the Society's museum, it
" I have just received a note from Lieut. BAKER, correcting, on this head, my notice of the animals in his and Lt. Duaamÿs Dadupur Museum, in the Proceedings of the Asiatic Society, for July last, (page 409.) The buffalo, he says, has not yet been found in the Sewdlik hills, although the ox is very common there. I possess a note and sketch, however, from Serjeant Dawn of a supposed bufl‘a1o’s head, which is now on its way to our museum.
agreed with the latter in every particular, save that it was onefifth larger.
Fig. 5, is the hindmost molar of the ox, a smaller animal than the last.
Figs. 6 and 8, are too views of the hindmost molar of one of the deer family. It corresponds precisely with a large antelope in the museum, and the Cuvierian characteristics of the teeth of the camel, antelope, goat, and sheep, which contradistinguish them from the other ruminants, namely, “ qu’ils ont la face externe de leurs molaires inférieures simplement divisée en autant de piliers demi-cylindriques qu'elles out chacune de doubles croissans," are particularly marked in it. The antelope is one of the animals not hitherto known in a fossil state, therefore it will be improper to pronounce upon a single tooth; but the goat and sheep are equally so, and the specimen is too large for them, and too small for the camel.
Fig. 7, seems to be the interior spire of the tooth of a ruminant, of which the exterior has been destroyed.
Fig 9, is the second milch tooth, in germ, of the ox or deer; and fig. 10, one of the middle incisors of the latter animal.
Fig. 11, is the second or third molar tooth of the lower jaw of a horse. It somewhat exceeds in size the corresponding tooth of the celebrated racing mare Eclipse, of 15 hands high, whose skull is in Dr. PEAnsoN’s possession.
Fig. 12, is a fragment of the jaw of a small deer; the teeth are all lost, but one, which is ground down by age, until all the marks are etfaced.
Fig. 13, is an incisor of some small ruminant.
Fig. 14, is rightly attributed by Mr. DEAN to the water rat. The delineations on the crown differ slightly from the drawings in Cuvnzn’s synoptical plate of the “ Rongeurs;” but they agree with the existing species.
Fig. 15, are Saurian teeth, probably of the garial or L. Gangetica. Several fragments of the jaw of the alligator appear in the collection, and many of the vertebrae of a dark-brown shining aspect, well preserved. One of these is represented in fig. 21, (upside down,) to shew the appearance of the processes.
Fig. 16, is correctly described by Mr. DEAN as the fossil sting of a ray fish, coinciding precisely with the recent specimen sent by him for comparison (of which a portion is delineated under the fossil, fig. 17).
Fig. 18. Several pointed calcareous spiracles, without organic structure, but semi-crystallized, appear to resemble the psendostalactites thus described in Professor BUcKr.ANn’s memoir on the Ava fossils :
" There are other calcareous ooncretions that contain no kind of organic nucleus, but are composed of precisely the same materials as those which are found aroundlthe bones, and present many of the irregular shapes of the tuberous roots of vegetables; some of them also have the elongated conical form of slender stalactites, or clustered icicles—a form not unfrequently produced in beds of loose calcareous sand, by the constant descent of water along the same ‘small cavity or crevice, to which a root or worm hole may have given the first beginning :" p. 383. Mr. DsAN’s collection has many examples of encrusted twigs and roots. ' ' " ' 1 "
Fig. 19, the specimen which so much puzzled the gentlemen who examined the collection while in Mr. D.’s possession is in fact one of themost curious of thewhole, nor is yet certain to what animal it should be assigned. MT.PEARSON, on seeing it, pointed out its great resemblance to the cervical vertebra of the young camelopardalis, which died in Calcutta, a few years since, and of which he preserved the skeleton. Lieut. BAKER has favored me with a drawing of a similar bone, which he states to belong to a fossil elk in Serjeant Dawn's collection. (Sec Pl. XLIV. and the description in page 507.) There are others of much larger dimensions, he says, in the Dadupur museum, the contents of which will form the subject of a plate in the ensuing number of the Journal. I
The specimen set down as a small petrified fish, which it much resembles in outward form, is, on making alongitudinal section, found to be formed of oval concentric concretions, similar to those of the
country almond; possibly they are the convolutions of some shell, but certainly not a fish.
VI.—-On the Fossil Elk qf the Himdlaya. By Lieut. W. E. -BAKER, Engineers.
[In a note to the Editor.]
The fossils represented in the accompanying plate, XLIV., are stated by the natives who collected them to have-been found in the Haripur pass of the Sub-Himfilayan range. The original specimens are in the possession of Mr. Dawn of the Canal Department.
The fragment of antler (fig. 3,) appears undoubtedly to have belonged to a species of elk, and it is possible, that the two vertebrae (figs. 1 and 2) may have formed a part of the same animal: as they are stated to have been brought from the same locality, and this statement is corroborated by the similarity of colour and general appearance of the fossils. One of the vertebrae (fig. 2) was actually