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IV. Caamvoaa. 17. Felis. (Spec. large: No. and character undetermined.)
18. Canis. (Species undetermined.)
1. A. Sivalensis. (Nob.)
Indications of other genera. V. REPTILIA.
23. Emys. (Several species undetermined.)
24. (Trionyx. (Several species undetermined.) VI. PISOES. (Heads, vertebrae, &c. of unknown fishes.) VII. Tnsmcaa. (Univalves and bivalves undetermined.)
[The following letter has reference to an extract from BUG]-.IANAN'S geological account of the Rajmahal hills, to which the Editor drew attention on the cover of the May number of the Journal, in consequence of a report having reached him that fossil bones had been discovered in the same range of hills towards Burdwan. This present information removes any hopes of meeting with the expected fossils, and may save the trouble of further search ; for reference sake, the passage is here reprinted :
“ The other calcareous matter, in mass, is called asurluir, or giant's bones. The greatest quantity is found at a place, in the centre of the hills, called asurni, or the Female Giant. As the lime, produced from this substance, is whiter and better than that made from the nodules, a great part has been removed. It occupied a space. on the surface of the declivity of a hill, about 40 or 50 yards in length ; and from the bottom of the hill, extended upwards, from ten to forty yards, and seems to have formed a crust from 2 to 3 feet thick, covered by a thin soil, filled with loose masses of stone. It has evidently been fluid, or at least gradually deposited from water, as it has involved many fragments of stone, some earthy matter, and a few univalve shells, of a species with which I am not acquainted, and cannot therefore say, whether they are a marine or land production*. The masses of stone that had been involved vary from the size of the head to that of a walnut, and the asurhdr, or calcareous tufa, does not adhere very firmly to them ; so that in breaking, the mass being very hard, these nodules are generally shaken out. Near the quarry I saw no rock ; but all the fragments involved, and those under the calcareous matter, are of a dark-coloured siliceous matter. In this place I saw appearances that, in some measure, justify the native name ; for one piece of the asurkdr contained what had very much the appearance of a fiat bone, with a process projecting at one end. I also observed a curious impression, a semi-cylinder, about three inches in diameter, and 18 inches long, not quite straight, and exposed to view, as if, by breaking the rock, the other half of the cylinder had been removed. The surface of the cavity was wrinkled with transverse folds, like the inside of an intestine, but may have possibly been the bark of a tree, although I have seen no bark with such wrinkles ; I rather suppose that this has been the impression of some marine animal. The greater part of this asurhdr, as I have said, has been burned by Mr. CHRISTIAN, a Polish merchant of Monghyr, who, I am told, owing
* I have since found these shells in the rivers of Gays.
to the expense of carriage, did not find it advantageous. His overseer gave me a piece of it crystallized, which difiers, in some respect, from any calcareous spar that I have seen. I myself found no crystallized matter in any of the asurlzdr. This substance is also found close adjoining to the hot sourceg of the Angjana river, and by the natives has been wrought to a trifling extent. It is in a stratum, about a foot thick, lying on loose siliceous stones, to which it ad. heres, and is covered by about a foot of soil, mixed with stones. So far as I saw, it contained no animal e.z'uvia.
“ On the stones, through which the hot-water issues, both of the sources of the Angjana, and at Bhimbandh, there adheres a tufaceous matter, so like this asurluir that I at first sight concluded it to be the Same ; but on trial, I found that it does not etfervesce with the nitric or muriatic acids, and is probably of a siliceous nature.”-—En.] '
My attention was first directed to Asurni by the Superintendent of Buildings having requested me to search for limestone in the neighbouring hills. I heard from natives, that Captain (late General) Gsasrm had procured lime from that place to build the Government granary at Patna.
I proceeded there in November, 1819, and encamped 12 days in the valley.
Natives who had worked for General Gansrm, and subsequently for Mr. CHRISTIAN, described the lime rock as a large mass at the foot of the hill, of considerable height, inclining over to the north, so as to afford shelter when it rained ; and when it was quarried, they placed fire underneath, to heat the stone, and then poured water from above, to burst it.
I conceived some remains of a stratum might be found, and had a trench excavated some distance along the base of the hills, another intersecting it up the slope, but could only find incrustations on the fragments of siliceous stones, some nodules imbedded in the scanty soil, a few of them crystallized; but all were indiscriminately called asurhdr by the natives, without reference to form, merely from the porous texture.
I found a superior sort of tufa at various places in the valley, and remarked that each lump formed invariably, as if from percolation, round the roots of the sal-bur tree, thickest near the tree and thin towards the edges, and in many instances extending along the thin roots, assuming a cylindrical form, but not perfectly round: these were also called asurhdr.
The lime from this species of tufa was considered so good, that the Superintendent wished for a large quantity, for the purpose of white-washing, but the cost of transit across the hills was too great.
I availed myself of the “ Jellinghi,” passing the other day, to send you a sample of actynolite; it is only a few inches long, but generally the pieces are two or three feet long and a foot thick, standing vertically on each other to a great height, presenting a precipice of columns, near to Asurni.
XIV.—E.z'tract from a Meteorological Journal kept at Kandy, Island of Ceylon. By Captain 0111:, R. E.
Date. Thermometric Range. Rain-guage.
1833 Monthly Greatest Range Least Range Rain Fallen in Range. in 24 hours. in 24 hours. fallen. 2-lhours.
-——-—- —-—- Mean ——
Max. Max. Temp. In the Max. and Range and Range month and
Min. Min. Inches. Min.
N. B. Highest range in the shade, 88°. Lowest, 59°. Mean Temp. of the year73'3. Total quantity of Rain-—inches, 78'6
Remai-ks.—Kandy is situated in a mountainous district, in Lat. N. 7°18’ ;--Long. 80°49’, and at an elevation of about 1680 ft. above the level of the sea. It is so surrounded by high bills, as to render both the direction and force of the wind very diflicult to be obtained--but it is strongly aiected by both monsoons.
XV.-Postscript to the Account of the Wild Goat of Nipdl, printed in the September No. of the Journal, page 490. By B. H. Honoson, Esg'.
Carefully as I thought my account of the wild goat of Nipal. recently published by you, was executed, I find that there is one material error in it, viz. the statement that the species has only two teats or mammee. A recent dissection of a fine male led to the notice of the fact, that there are four teats, which fact was confirmed by the examination of two live females. There can, therefore, be no question that this species of goat has four teats: and the circumstance is so remarkable, that I propose to substitute the name Quadrimammis, or four-teated; for the popular name of Jharal under which 1 described it. Deer are distinguished by four teats ; goats and sheep, heretofore, by two ; the intermediate genus, antelope, by four or two, in the several species. Capra Quadrimammis vel Jhciral, by its four teats, offers a singular and unique approximation (in this genus) to cervus; and another proof that the infinite variety of nature cannot be designated by our artificial signs and peremptory divisions. Antilope, capra, and ovis, how shall we contradistinguish them? solid cored horns, in the first, is no unerring mark: and now we have a species of the second, and a beardless species too. abandoning his congeners to tally himself with cervus—quoad, the number of mammae.
A. A hundred grains of yellow raw silk were digested in moder. ately strong alcohol, which soon assumed a fine orange tint. At the end of some days, much colour remaining unremoved, heat was applied, and the solution gently boiled. The alcohol was then decanted, and successive portions of the same solvent were employed, till the silk appeared perfectly decolorized. The solutions were then reduced to a moderate compass by distillation, and on cooling deposited a feeble cloudy precipitate, which subsided slowly. The clear fluid being decanted, and evaporated at a gentle heat to dryness, left a deep orange brown mass, which weighed 0'9 grains. This substance was adhesive, fusible, scarcely, if at all, soluble in water, but readily so in alcohol, to which in small proportions it communicated a fine orange tint. A concentrated solution deposits on cooling a vast number of minute shining crystals, which subside to the bottom in the form of a brilliant orange-brown powder. When this precipita
tion has ceased, the solution lets fall, by spontaneous evaporation, a few filamentous bunches of a white colour, and apparently fatty nature; but in quantity too small for more particular examination.
B. The fiocculent precipitate above mentioned, being 'collected and dried, weighed 0'1. It had the consistency, fusibility, and other sensible properties of wax.
C. The silk, still perfectly elastic, was now transferred to a deep silver vessel, and boiled with successive portions of distilled water as long as any sensible action was produced. A colourless, opalescent solution was obtained. It was frothy and viscid ; and exhibited scarce any tendency to deposit the particles it held in suspension. A solution of bi-chloride of mercury, cautiously dropped from a graduated tube, threw down a bulky coagulum, which after boiling, became much condensed, and permitted the easy decantation of the clear fluid. This precipitate, well washed and dried, weighed (deducting 1'4 grains, the amount of metallic salt employed), 8'9 grains. It had all the well known characteristics of albumen.
D. The clear fluid decanted in process C. being evaporated to dryness in a steam bath, left a nearly colourless, transparent, brittle mass, resembling gum. It weighed 130 grains, and had a tendency to soften, from the presence of a small quantity of deliquescent salts. It dissolved readily in water, from which neither the bi-chloride nor tan threw it down. It exhibited no tendency to gelatinize, however concentrated; and was copiously precipitated by sub-acetate of lead.
E. Alcohol now took but a feeble tinge from the silk, which still retained a little harshness. A very dilute solution of caustic potash was accordingly exhibited ; and after a few hours digestion, was poured oil‘, exactly neutralized with muriatic acid, and treated with
the bi-chloride as in process C. The precipitate of albumen thus obtained weighed 0'4 grains.
F. Finally, the silky fibre, which had now attained its full lustre
and flexibility, weighed 76‘5; exhibiting a loss of 0'6 upon the total, attributable to hygrometric moisture ; the whole of the products
being dried at a steam heat immediately before weighment. The following are the results of the analysis :
A. Resiuoua colouring matter, and white filamentous substance, .... 0'9 B. Wax,............ 0'1 C.andE. Albumen, 8'9 D. Mucus,............................................... l3'0 F. Bleachedfibre,...............-........................ 76'5 F. Hygrometricmoisture, ..................................... 0'6