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To the chemist some of this may look superfluous, but I was always suspicious (and thought the fact worth ascertaining), that this singular looking compound might be artificial.
On platina foil, before the blow-pipe, it tumifies with strong efi'ervescence, blackens, decrepitates with minute sparks, and passes intoa whitish mass. The platina scarcely affected. _
The bran-like matter left from the aqueous and muriatic solution. No. 2, was heated in a tube in which litmus and turmeric papers with a bit of silver foil were so disposed, that the vapour from the assay would pass over .them. When heated, a strong ammoniacal (burnt feather) smell was evolved, followed by a sickly odour like that of turf, or tan refuse. The upper part of the tube was browned as from-turf smoke. The silver foil and test papers were no way affected, proving the absence of sulphur or matters affording ammonia
in this residuum. Analysis.
In a compound necessarily so variable, little more satisfaction was to be expected from an analysis than the test aflbrded, saving that of being convinced that nothing had been overlooked; 400 grains of it
By muriatic acid,Carbonate of lime, from the rocky fragments, 1365 Water byanindependentexperiment, 62'O
Residuum of dung of birds, with} 9
a very little siliceous matter and
400 Assuming the information on the label to be correct, we may sup
pose that the fissure from which this “ rock Chetny” oozes communicates with some limestone cavern frequented by birds, (or in which
are large deposits of animal matter,) from which or from the decom- ’
position of the dung, as in many similar situations, the nitrates of lime and soda are formed and gradually ooze out. The presence of the vegetable remains and the absence of all traces of bitumen or sulphur, quite exclude the idea of its being " Mumia," as suggested on the label. I have somewhere seen it mentioned, that a nitre cave, as they are commonly called (I think in Kentucky), produces a matter
assuming this unctuous, but not the viscid, state, but cannot now recollect the work.
VI].-—-Corrected Character of the Genus Cuvieria of Rama, and notice
of r: second species inhabiting the Tropical Indian Ocean. By W. H. Benson, Esq. B. C. S.
In my catalogue of Pelagian shells, vol. iv. p. 176, ‘I mentioned that the capture of perfect specimens of the Pteropodous genus Cuvieria would enable me to correct the characters given by Rune, in his Manuel, from shells met with in the imperfect state in which they are usually found. I now redeem the promise implied in that communication. The following is the corrected character.
Cuvieria (RANG). Testfi. symmetrica, antice subcylindricefl, posticé elongato-conica, apice acutissimo, medio septo tenui, imperforato, concavo, versus apicem convexo. concamerata; apertura supra depressfl, subcordiformi.
Rune gives as a character “ le coté oppose 5. l’ouverture fermé par un diaphragme convexe a. l’extérieur, non terminal, étant débordé par les parois du cylindre ,-” and this is the general appearance of the shell, which in the numerous specimens captured by us, was, with the exception of two individuals belonging to the smaller species hereafter described, defective in the conical termination. One of these two,. taken in my tow-net, I broke on extracting the animal; the other, which was secured by Lieut. Huron, H. M. 62nd regiment, was kindly presented to me by him.
The ordinary condition of Cuvieria appears to be analogous to the
truncation observable in Bulimus decollatus, and in some of the Melaniaz, in which the part excluded by a diaphragm is liable, from the loss of vascular connexion with the inhabited part of the shell, to become brittle and deciduous. ' The larger species, C. columnella of RANG. the only recent one hitherto observed, is that which is most widely distributed, and was met with by us in the Southern Atlantic, as well as in the Southern Indian Ocean. The range of the smaller species, which differs in being about half the length of the other, and in being somewhat more depressed, and more ventricose laterally, appears to be more confined. I shall describe it from its resemblance, in its ordinary mutilated state, to a grain of rice, as
C. Oryza. Testfl laevi, intida, depresso-cylindrica, lateribus versus septum ventricosioribus; apice elongato, peracuto.
Length ,‘i of an inch, of which the spire occupies nearly one-half. Taken, from the 15th December, 1834, to the 1st January, 1835, in a tract of the Tropical Indian Ocean contained between the parallels
of 8° 6’ south and 5° 0’ north, and between the meridians of 86° 38' .
and 91° 0' east from London.
VIII.—-Synopsis of the Vespertilionidre of Nipal. By B. H. Honcsou, Esq. Resident at Katmandvi.
I have the pleasure to forward to you herewith the names and characters, which I have provisionally afiixed to the Vespertilionidze of the central region of Nipal. Without access to large museums and libraries, it is scarcely necessary to observe that the naming and defining of species can be but very imperfectly performed.
* Prosthem. memb. sup. transversa. adpressa. Sinu frontali.
Rh. armiger, mihi. Bright brown, with darker membranes. Frontal sinus round, and furnished with a pencil of hairs. Nasal appendage very large quadrate, adpressed, skinny in the lower part, fleshy in the upper, shaped like a coat of arms, with double field ; the superior and inferior fields separated by two parallel, suhtrilobate ridges, whereof the upper is fleshy like the proximate field. The lips with a triple fold of skin on each side. The antitragus vaguely developed, and wavily emarginated. Snout to rump, 4% inches ; tail 2;}; expanse, 22 ; weight 3 oz. Females and young males, of a duller, deeper-toned brown.
* Prosthem. memb. sup. erecta. haud sinu frontali.
Rhinolp/ms tragatus, mihi. Uniform deep brown, with the lips paler and rusty. Of the nasal appendage, the upper salient process is like a barred spear-head (2), and the lower like a raised doorknocker. Antitragus considerably developed, so as to form a semicircular mock-|‘ oreillon, whence the trivial name. Lips simple, 2% inches in length; the tail 1 7 ; expanse, l5§; weight 2 oz.
Remarks.—Both the above species have the pubic teats strikingly developed. In form they are just the same as the true or pectoral teats, and in size, even larger than the latter. At their bases is a distinct indication of a gland, under the outer coat of the animals. The ears of both species are ‘ tremblingly alive all over,’ and capable of considerable movement and compression, whence perhaps the transverse striee or rays by which they are distinguished. In both species, there is some appearance oftragal and antitragal development. In tragatus (recté anti-tragatus), the latter is prominent. These animals have manners nearly similar to those of the true Vespertilios. So soon as it is dark, they come forth from the cavities of rocks, in groups, to skim the surface of standing crops, or to glide around and between umbrageous trees, in search of nocturnal insects, which
1' N. B.—The true oreillon, peculiar to Vespertilio, is an enlargement of the tragus.
constitute their sole food. They make their exit rather sooner than i
the true bats, and always in considerable numbers. They are not migratory, nor subject to hibernation. They breed once a year, towards the close of summer, and produce two young, differing from the parents chiefly in the very restricted developmentof the nasal appendages. ' Prnnovus. * Ecaudatae.
Pt. leucoceplaalus, mihi. Whole head and neck, with the body below, rufous yellow; face, as far as the eyes, the body above, and the membranes, deep brown. Snout to rump, 10 inches. Expanse, 46. Weight, 22 oz.
* Caudatae. V
Pt. pyrivorus, mihi. Wholly of an earthy brown; nude skin of lips, of joints, and of toes, fleshy gray ; tail very short, with its base enveloped in the interfemoral membrane, and its tip free. Snout to rump, six inches ; tail, half an inch. Expanse, 24 inches. Weight, 5 oz.
Remarks.—The Pteropi never appear in the central region of Nipal, save in autumn, when they come in large ‘bodies, to plunder the ripe fruit in gardens. The lesser species is a perfect pest, from the havoc it makes amongst the ripe pears. Hence I have called it pyrivorus. These animals are never seen in Central Nipal, save at midnight, at which time they come to feed, and necessarily from a very considerable distance. In the plains it is noted of them, that they will travel 30 or 40 miles, and as many back, in the course of a single night, in order to procure food. '
V. formosa, mihi. Entirely of a bright, soft, ruddy yellow, with the digital membranes triangularly indented, blackish. Head, conical; face, sharp ; muzzle and lips, confluently nudish; the former, auteally grooved, not above; grater; ilfldfilélnfif ears acutely pointed, moderate,
expanse, 12%;. V. fuliginosa, mihi. Wholly sooty brown. Ears, lips, and muzzle, as in the last: and face sharp, but the rostrum somewhat recurved,
owing to the concave bend of the nasal bones, which in formosa are
. . 5.5 rather convex. Teeth—’—;i-K. In size somewhat less than
formosa. V. labiata. Thick-lipped Bat, mihi. Head broad and depressed,
with a bluff physiognomy, and all the organs placed low down on the sides of the head ; muzzle, small, clearly defined, rounded, grooved ; lips very tumid, but not warty nor nude ; ears shorter than the head,
remote, erect, spheroidal: auricle of the same form, and directed ‘
towards the conch of ear; posterior margin of the helix folded outwards, and carried forwards to the gape.
Remarks.-—The bats remain with us throughout the year, and do not hibernate. They quest for food solitarily, and therein chiefly their manners differ from those of the Rhinolphi. Labiata is closely affined to M. Gnor1raoY's Noctula, and has a very diiferent physiognomy from the other two species, which have both a sharp visage, though their crania exhibit in the facial part a considerable diversity, In Formosa, the nasal bones are slightly convexed in their length, and unite easily with a low forehead: in Fuliginosa, the same bones incline to a concave bend in their length, and join a high forehead, with a considerable curve.
With reference to the paper on the Red-billed Erolia, published in your No. for August, I beg to acquaint you that I have been induced to adopt a new genus for this bird, and that the change of the generic has led me to the alteration of the specific name also. As I am no friend to the multiplication of names, I would observe, that in adopting a new genus, I have been governed by these two circum» stances—lst, that VmLLo'r’s genus Erolia has been rejected; 2nd, that G0u1.n’s genus lbidorhyncha is inaccurate. I have had opportu. nity to examine three specimens, and from careful comparison of them, have drawn the following generic character.
Rostrum omnino Numeniacum: difi'e1't tamen tomiis inflexis denticulatisque, necnon apicibus acutiusculis.
Corporis, alarum caudaeque forma sicut in Grallatoribus typicis.
Tibiae et tarsi sub-breves, tibiae trans medium plurnosae, teres : tarsi leviter reticulati.
Pedes tridactyli typice eursorii, marginibus tamen digitorum subdilatatis, externoque digito libero.
Species nova. Cl. Slropliiatus, Anglice Gorgeted Clorhynz.
Cl. corpore supra, colloque plumbeis._Cauda pallidiore,fasciisque nigris transversim instructa. Corpore subtus albo. Capitis vertice, facie, guttureque nigris. Pectore strophio nigro ornato. Iridibus rostroque sanguineis. Pedibus purpurescente griseis.