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the conclusion that naphtha in general is not a product of destructive distillation, and consequently, must have been separated at a comparatively low temperature.
The author showed, that Dr. Cr-nus'r1soN’s discovery of paraffine, of which Dr. REICHENBACH was necessarily ignorant, is inconsistent with this view; and detailed some experiments, by which he has rendered highly probable the existence in petroleum of eupion, another of the products of destructive distillation. This substance is a liquid of sp. gr. 0'655, boiling at 110°, and very fragrant. The author obtained from the Rangoon petroleum a liquid of sp. gr. 0744, boiling at 180°, and rather fragrant.
The oil of turpentine, as is well known, boils at 280°, and has a sp. gr. of O'860 2 so that, at all events, the naphtha from the Rangoon petroleum is not oil of turpentine. This was farther proved by the tests of nitric acid and iodine. Similar experiments on one or two other species of naphtha led to similar results. They all yielded a liquid of sp. gr. about 760, and, consequently could not be oil of turpentine. The kinds of naphtha tried were Persian naphtha, obtained from Dr. THOMPSON, and commercial naphtha, sold by M. Ronlccrrr, at Paris.
The author concluded, that if the naphtha examined by Rarcnansaca were genuine, there must be two kinds of naphtha ; one a product of destructive distillation, the other the Oil of turpentine of the pine forests of which our coalbeds are formed, separated bya gentle heat, either before or after their conversion into coal. It is obvious that our common coal-beds have never yet been exposed to a heat suificient for destructive distillation, since they are destroyed by a moderate heat; and we may therefore expect the petroleum of these coal-beds to he of the kind described by REICHENBACH ; while the Rangoon and Persian petroleums, being products of destructive distillation, must have their origin, if in coal-beds at all, in such as have been exposed to ahigh temperature, and must consequently be very different from the oridinary coal-beds. In confirmation of this view, it may be stated, that Dr. CHRISTISON could find no parafline either in the petroleum of St. Catherine's or in that of Trinidad or Rochdule.
The author finally directed attention of the application of the parafline as a material for giving light, as, when pure, it burns with a clear, bright flame, like that of wax, and might doubtless be obtained at a cheap rate in the East.—Edin. Phil. Journ. 1835.
[Since the above was in type, we have received a copy of the papers, and a specimen of the paraffine from Mr. G. SWINTQN, with a list of queries which we will endeavour hereafter to resolve.-—Eu.]
3.—E.z'tracls from Proceedings of Zoological Society of London.---1834.
August l2.—A collection of land and fresh-water Shells, formed in the Gangetic Provinces of India by W. H. Bmvson, Esq., of the Bengal Civil Service, and presented by that gentleman to the Society, was exhibited. It comprised forty species, and was accompanied by a descriptive list prepared by the donor, and also by detailed notices of some of the more interesting among them. These notices were read: they are intended by Mr. BENSON for publication in the forthcoming No. of the ‘Zoological Journal.’
From the time that he first became acquainted with the animal of a shell resembling in all respects, except in its superior size, the European Helix‘ lucida, Drap., Mr. BENSON regarded it as the type of a new genus of Helicidoe intermediate between Stenopus, Guilcl., and Helicolimax, FC-r. He had prepared a
paper on this genus, for which he intended to propose the name of Tanychlamys; he finds, however, that Mr. GRAY has recently described (Loud. and Edin. Phil. Mag., vol. v. p. 379‘, the same genus under the name of Nanina. The generic characters observed by Mr. Benson are as follows :
Testa helioiformis, umbilicata ,- peritremate acuto, arm re/lexo.
Animal cito repens. Corpus reticulosum, elongatum. Pallium amplum, f01'a~ mine commuai magno perforatum, peritrema amplewana ,- processubus duabus irans-verse rugos-is (quasi articulatis) omni latere mobilibua instructum, unico pr/zpe testze aperture: angulum superiorem exoriente, allero apud peripheriam testm. Os anticum inter tentacula inferiora hiana; labia radiato-plicata. Tentacula superiora elongata, punctam percqiiens tumare oblongo situm gerentia. Penis prwg-randis; antram services elongatum latere dewtro et prope lentacula situm. Solea complanata pedie latera azquans. Cauda tentaculata; Iantaculum subretractile, glanduld ad basin posifd Izumorem viscidum (animale alfrectalo) ezsudante.
Mr. Benson describes particularly the habits of the species observed by him, which he first discovered living at Bandn in Bundelkhand on the prone surface of a rock. The animal carries the shell horizontally, or nearly so; is quick in its motions ; and, like Helicolimaw, it crawls the faster when disturbed, instead of retracting its leniacula like the Snails in general. In damp weather, it is rarely retracted within its shell, the foot being so much swelled by the absorption of moisture, that if it is suddenly thrown into boiling water, the attempt to withdraw into the shell invariably causes a fracture of the aperture. In dry weather, the foot is retracted, and the aperture is then covered by a whitish false operculum, similar to that of other Helicidze. The two elongated processes of the mantle are continually in motion, and exude a liquor which lubricates the shell, supplying, apparently, that fine gloss which is observable in all recent specimens. The fluid poured out from the orifice at the base of the caudal horn-like appendage is of a greenish colour; it exudes when the animal is irritated, and at such times the caudal appendage is directed towards the exciting object in such a manner as to give to the animal a threatening aspect.
Of several specimens brought to England by Mr. Benson in 1832, one survived from December, 1831, when it was captured in India, until the summer of 1833.
Another shell particularly noticed by Mr. Benson is the type of a new genus, allied to Cyclosloma, which he has described under the name of Pterocyclos in the first No. of the ‘ Journal of the Asiatic Society of Calcutta.‘
Specimens of a species of Assiminia, LEACH, were preserved alive in a glass, replenished occasionally with fresh or salt-water, until after the vessel in which Mr. Benson returned to England had passed St. Helena.
A Snail, obtained near Sicrignli, and the river Jellinghy, one of the months of the Ganges, is characterized by Mr. Benson as Hnux interrupta.
In the character of the excrement being voided from an opening in the terminal and posterior part of the foot, instead of from the foramen commune, the animal of Hel. inferrupla differs most materially from the other Helices. The angulated periphery of the shell shows an approach to Carocolla ,-but Mr. Benson is not aware that the animal of this genus differs from that of Hehlv. From Hel. Himalayana, LEA, the Hel. interrupta is distinguished by its peculiar sculpture ; its spire is also more exserted.
The collection also contained specimens of an Arcaceous Shell found in the bed of the Jumna at Hamirpur in Bandelkbaml. Mr. Benson proposes for it the generic appellation Scaphula.
Referring to specimens contained in the collection of a new form of Solenaceous Shell, described by him in the ‘ Journal of the Asiatic Society of Calcutta,’ under the name of Novaculina, Mr. BENSON describes alsoa second species of the genus which he has recently obtained from South America, and points out the characters which distinguish it from Nov. Gangetica.
The following Note by Mr. BENSON, relative to the importation of the living Cerithium Telescopium, B1wo., adverted to at the Meeting on March 25, 1834,
(vol. v. p. 145,) was read.
“ The possibility of importing from other countries, and especially from the warmer latitudes, the animals which construct the innumerable testaceous productions that adorn our cabinets and museums, the accurate knowledge of which is so necessary, to enable the conchologist rightly to arrange this beautiful department of nature, must be an interesting subject to every naturalist, and will render no apology necessary for the following notices extracted from my journal. Their publicity may incite others who may have opportunities of trying the experiment, to follow the example.
“ January, 1832. Observed near the banks of the canal leading from the eastern suburb of Calcutta to the Salt Lake at Balliaghat, heaps of a Cardita, with longitudinal ribs, of a large and thick Cyrina, and of Eritkium Telescopium, exposed to the heat of the sun, for the purpose of efl'ecting the death and decay of the included animal, previously to the reduction of the shells into lime.
“ Early in the month I took specimens of them, and leaving them for a night in fresh water, I was surprised to find two Cerithia alive. I kept them during a fortnight in fresh water, and on the 22nd January, carried them, packed up in cotton, on boarda vessel bound for England. After we had been several days at sea, I placed them in a large open glass, with salt water, in which they appeared unusually lively. Ikept them thus, changing the water at intervals, until the 29th May, when we reached the English Channel. I then packed them up, as before, in a box, and carried them from Portsmouth to Cornwall, and thence to Dublin, which I did not reach until the 14th June; here they again got fresh supplies of sea-water at intervals. One of them died during atemporary absence, between the 30th June and 7th July; and on the 11th July, the survivor was again committed to its prison, and was taken to Cornwall, and thence to London, where it was delivered alive to Mr. G. B. Sowsunv on the 23rd July.
“ This animal had thus travelled, during a period of six months, over a vast extent of the surface of the globe, and had for a considerable portion of that time been unavoidably deprived of its native element."——W. H. B.
4.—Minerals of the Trappean Rocks of Bombay.
The following list of the minerals which occur in the volcanic rocks of the several islands in the harbourof Bombay is extracted from a paper by Dr. R. D. Tnomson in the ‘ Records of General Science,’ for April, 1835.
1. Basalt of Salsette: dark-grey or blackish, with numerous crystals of olivine and augite interspersed.
2. Black basalt of Elephants, presenting a homogeneous aspect when fractured, but frequently containing minute portions of olivine, sometimes in rounded granules, at others crystallized: texture highly indurated. This and the other variety fuse before the blowpipe per se into a mass resembling pitchstone. The celebrated figure of the elephant, close to Galliputi, consists of this rock, but it appears to be of limited extent.
3. Amygdaloid, appearing at the great temple of Elephanta, possesses a hard wacke basis, containing cavities filled with rock crystal and zeolites, &c. The rock has a purplish aspect, and is evidently decaying in many situations, by the readiness with which the atmospherical influences act by the medium of the amygdaloidal cavities. Before the hlowpipe this rock simulates fused basalt.
4. Yellowish gray claystone porphyry, at the lower cave of Elephanta. The predominating particles have a yellow resinous appearance, with a black basis.
5. Green claystone porphyry, appearing at Babula Tank: tine ground, and admitting of a good polish, interspersed with dark-coloured soft particles, which have an even fracture, and appear to be small masses of indurated clay.
6. Amygdaloid, with a light-coloured porphyritic basis and green cavities, accompanied generally with large crystals of calcareous spar from the neighbourhood of Parell. The calc-spar is sometimes dark-coloured, probably from the efl'ect of reflected light.
7. Numerous large fragments of shell conglomerates may be observed on the shore of Elephanta, consisting of a nucleus of porphyry, or amygdaloid, closely surrounded by adhering bivalves, which afford means of extending the limits of the growth of the mangrove.
The amygdaloidal cavities contain numerous species of various classes of minerals, of which under the genus silica may be enumerated, 1, rock crystal, termed palanca in the Malabar language, and spadi/ca in the Grantham dialect; 2, quartz ; 3, milkand rose do. ; 4, calcedony ;5,amethyst ; 6, agate; 7, cornelian ; 8, oriental jasper, or bloodstone, rare at Bombay, but abundant in Gujarat and Cambay.
Of the alkaline class are; l, calcareous spar; 2, mesolite, whose composition (by Tnomas) is expressed by the formula 3 Al. S + (i C -1- § N) S 3 -|- 3} aq.
3. Heulandite, in Caranja and Elephants, in large white crystals.
Of the cornelians a beautiful variety is brought to Bombay, containing elegant arborizations resembling the ramifications of inclosed mosses, a phenomenon which in many instances appears to be justly attributable to such a cause. The remark of PLINY, “ Infestantur plnrimis vitiis—aliis capillamentum rimae simile*," with regard to rock crystal, refers to the presence of titanite. The same naturalist observes of rock crystal, “ Oriens et bene mnltis, sed Indicae nulla prefertur1-,” which is ignorantly denied by Gancms ab orto, who was for several years viceroy of India. He says, “ nullo autem ex praedictis loco crystallus invenitur quemadmodum nec per universam Indiami."
The bloodstone, or oriental jasper, appears to be imported from Gujenit. It is characterized by presenting a greenish appearance, with numerous blood-red streaks or veins, traversing it in various directions. It is to the latter species, or to the mock pearls so frequently employed as ornaments by the inferior castes, that we are to refer the expression of the historian of ALEXANDER “ lapilli ex auribus pendent§.” But with regard to the “ gemmas margaritasque mare litorihus infundit,” it is not easy to give a satisfactory explanation, although the litter obviously relate to the pearls of the Indian Seas.
* Hist. Nat. Lib. xxxvii. c. 2. T xxxvii. '2. 1 Hist. Arom. i. 1:171. 171.
§ Quint. Curt. i. B. c. 9.
Meteorological Register, kept at the Assay Oflice. Calcutta, for the 0 I of September, 1835.
A slight leak having been discovered in the ach entry back one day to correspond with the a
and 13-10, if the lower reservoir be preferred.
pluviometer hitherto registered, the rain h ctual time of fall. The rain for three mo
al's register, merely putting fourth, viz. June, 12-71, July. 18-12,