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Birds” in volumes of simultaneous issue with his It is extracted from the second part of the sixteenti volumes of birds. This egg-book of Mr. Hume's is one volume of the Denkschriften der Mathematisch-Waterof the best oological works ever published, and has long wissenschaftlichen class of the Kaiserlichen Akademie been out of print. A good deal of the additional matter der Wissenschaften in Vienna. Dr. Stapf is one of the which Mr. Hume had accumulated for a second edition, officials of the Botanic Garden of the l'niversity of was stolen by a dishonest servant, and sold for waste Vienna, and has had the advantage of full command a paper in the Simla Bazaar, but enough has remained to material, both in the way of specimens and books. To enable Mr. Oates to put before us a very interesting of the plates and a large proportion of the letterpress record of the breeding habits of Indian birds; and if any are devoted to the anatomy and morphology of the, tribute be wanted to Mr. Hume's energy and ability, vegetative and reproductive organs of Ephedra. In the the reader has but to refer to the present work, to study structure of the woody bundles Gnetaceæ establish some the oological records of the best circle of field-ornitho- links of transition between Conifera and the typical logists which ever rallied round the central figure of any Dicotyledons. Ephedra approximates in some points zoologist. The portraits of naturalists who have contri- towards Casuarina. In the veining of its well-developed buted to the development of our knowledge of Indian leaves Gnetum recedesfrom the ordinary Gymnospermous birds lend an additional interest to Mr. Oates's volume type. In Ephedra there is an unmistakable perianth to on the “Nests and Eggs of Indian Birds."

the male flower, but the homology of the outer wrapper R. BOWDLER SHARPE. of the seed is not so clear. Then follows the systema..c

portion of the monograph. Dr. Stapf admits twenty. EPHEDRA.

eight certain and three imperfectly-known species, and

for each of these he gives a diagnosis, a figure showm; Die Arten der Gattung Ephedra. Von Dr. Otto Stapf. its essential characters, an extended description, and a

Pp. 112, 1 Map and 5 Plates. (Vienna : R. Tempsky, full account of its synonymy and geographical distribu1889.)

tion. He makes three sections, Alatæ, Asarea, and E of

Gymnospermous order Gnetaceæ, the two others is fleshy in a mature state, or dry and furnished with a being Gnetum and Welwitschia, that most curious of all wing. Then follows a list of local names, and a very gymnospermous plants. Ephedra is a type of remark- list of the books in which the genus is noticed, extendin; able habit, specially modified, though in a different way from Gerarde and Ray down to the present time. The from Welwitschia, to inhabit the dry and sandy regions monograph is one that deserves to be studied carefully, of the world. It has shrubby stems, with copious slender, both by structural and systematic botanists. whip-like, straight or turning branches, foliar organs and

J. G. B flower-wrapper reduced to a minimum, unisexual mostly dioicous flowers in small catkins with dry imbricated

OUR BOOK SHELF. scales, the female catkins containing one or two flowers only, and the males several, with from two to eight Geological Mechanism ; or, An Epitome of the Histor stamens with the filaments usually joined in a column.

of the Earth. By J. Spottiswoode Wilson, C.L.

(London and Manchester : John Heywood, 18ya) The species are numerous and difficult of determination, The nature of this little work of 135 pages will be bes: partly because the leaves are nearly suppressed, partly indicated by a brief statement of its contents. The book because the stems of all the species are very similar, and is divided into three portions of not very unequal length, that it is needful to have both staminate and pistillate The first of these is “autobiographical," and relates

. flowers to study before any given plant can be determined with much circumstance, the author's adventures at the confidently.

Geological Society and Club, where, on the invitation of The map shows clearly at a glance the geographical year 1854. This is followed by an account (his own'

the late Sir Roderick Murchison, he read a paper in the range of the genus. It surrounds the basin

of the Medi- the causes which led to a disagreement between hinselt terranean, climbs the lower levels of the Central Euro- and the leaders of an exploring expedition of which he pean Alps, attains its highest development in Central had been appointed a member. This part of the book is Asia, reaching southward to the north of India and all relieved from the charge of being prosaic, however, by through Arabia, northward to Lake Baikal and the Ural the introduction of some very remarkable, and undoubi

edly original verses. Mountains, and eastward to the western provinces of

Having devoted more than forty pages to himself, the China ; and reappears in the New World-in North Ame author has left for the earth little more than fifty page rica in California and Mexico, and in South America more ; and in this space he contrives to dispose of a in the Andes and over a wide area south of the tropic great number of highly important problems, beginning from Chili across to Buenos Ayres. Though spread so with “intelligence supreme; the nebular theory of Lawidely over extra-tropical South America, it does not talline rocks; hypothesis of metamorphism," &c.; and

place ; hypothesis of incandescence; theory of the Cry reach either the Cape or Australia, where the climate finishing up with the lunar, magnetic, and solar sides, and soil seem so suitable for it. None of the single the progressive desiccation of the atmosphere and earth. species have a very wide range, but it is one of the in- the change of time ; and the theory of creation." stances where a well-marked, sharply isolated generic

Comprehensive as is this portion of the book, however. type is represented in many different geographical areas the author still finds much to put into his third part, 0?

appendix-such as, “tails or atmospheres of planets and by distinct specific types.

comets; the magnetic pole and change of climate. The present monograph is one of the best and most the magnetic tide of the atmosphere, &c.” As in the complete works of the kind that have lately appeared first part he rose into poetry, here, in the appendix, he

soars into the realms of prophecy, and tells us about wish to go. This, he says, acted like a charm, securing the climate which may be expected in these islands in for him at every place the utmost hospitality. He had, the years 1970, 2020, and 2130

therefore, the best possible opportunities of seeing what The author assures us that he writes especially for civil he desired to see, and of forming just opinions as to the engineers, and is not careful to conceal his contempt' characteristics of the people whom he visited. for prominent men in other branches of science" and

Particularly good is his description of the strange village their opinions. But as there are some works “profit- called Kubächi, in which there was at one time a flourishable for instruction," so there are others calculated to ing school of the higher kinds of artistic craftsmanship. atford amusement, and it is very hard indeed that civil The village is “a long, narrow, extremely compact agengineers should have a monopoly of all the fun that is glomeration of houses, built on the southern face of a very to be got out of this one.

steep slope with a shallow ravine on both sides.” A high The Scenery of the Heavens. By J. E. Gore, F.R.A.S. All the roofs are flat, and, seen against the sky, the profile

round tower, commanding a wide view, stands at the top. (London: Roper and Drowley, 1890.)

of the village is not unlike "a gigantic staircase.” Before The title of this work is so suggestive of pictures that reaching Kubachi, Mr. Abercromby heard all sorts of one cannot help feeling disappointed with the limited wonderful stories about the inhabitants, and was assured number of illustrations, especially as the book is designed that they were of Frankish origin. He found that there for general readers. We look in vain, for example, for was nothing specially European-looking in the type of representations of Saturn and Mars, solar prominences, face either of the men or women. They appeared to and many other celestial objects, of which no descriptions him “quite like the Lesgians, though milder in their can convey so much to the mind as good illustrations. manners, and less wild-looking.” Their speech has no Some of the illustrations are reproduced more or less sort of relation to the Indo-European languages, but befaithfully from photographs by Mr. Roberts and the longs to the Lesgian family. There are in the village Brothers Henry, but we regret to note that the many sculptured stones and other relics of a period when wonderful photograph by Mr. Roberts of the Great the workers of Kubächi had a genuinely artistic impulse; Nebula in Orion is not amongst these. We may suggest and of these remains Mr. Abercromby gives a remarkalso that in future editions some account be given of the ably clear and attractive account. Not less interesting instrument which reveals to us the greater part of the in its way is his description of the extraordinary wall of sh * scenery of the heavens."

Derbend, which, according to the current native belief, On the whole, the text is excellent, and will no doubt is 3000 years old. For this idea there is of course no greatly interest the general reader. There is, however, , real foundation. Mr. Abercromby, with the enthusiasm a very loose statement on p. 24-namely, "if we as of a thorough antiquary, investigated this structure with zume that the attraction of gravitation at the earth's the greatest care, and even readers who are not generally equator is 32'2 feet, we have the accelerating force of attracted by archæological research will find much to gravity on the sun equal to 895 feet per second.” One of please them in bis narrative. Altogether, the work is the most notable features of the book is the large number i fresh and bright, and we recommend it to the attention of poetical selections having reference to astronomical of those who find in good works of travel intellectual rephenomena. The book contains a good deal of informa- freshment and stimulus. tion, in some cases perhaps too much to serve the avowed purpose of the author, unless his readers intend to become amateur observers. The long lists of red

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. stars, doubles, variables, and star clusters, for example, (The Editor does not hold himself responsible for opinions exare much too detailed for general readers, although not sufficiently so for regular observers. The chapter on

pressed by his correspondents. Neither can he undertake

to return, or to correspond with the writers of, rejected variable stars, as might be expected from Mr. Gore, is manuscripts intended for this or any other part of NATURE, especially good. There is also an excellent chapter on No notice is taken of anonymous communications.] shooting-stars, by Mr. Denning, who is eminently fitted for such a task.

The Royal Society's Catalogue of Scientific Papers : We may remind Mr. Gore that probably no one now

a Suggested Subject-Index. supposes that the so-called "gaseous" nebulæ consist The method advocated by Mr. J. C. McConnel (Nature, of nitrogen (pp. 197, 206), and that the structure of the February 13, p. 342) would undeniably be feasible. But í Great Nebula in Andromeda as revealed in Mr. Roberts's should pity the fellow-craftsman who should have to carry it out. photograph indicates that the nebula is probably not "a | The idea of numerical subdivision has been worked out by Prof. vast cluster of very small stars placed at an immense Dewey with great ingenuity and industry in his “Decimal distance from the earth” (p. 204).

Classification and Relative Index," 1885. We find, on referring No attempt is made to touch upon any theoretical to p. 31, that 016-9289551 will indicate the “Bibliography of astronomy, and the scope of the book is therefore and does not seem to have been as yet reduced to an equal

Persian poets." Natural science occupies a place from 500-600, correctly described by the title.

degree of elegant simplicity, for the subject of "observing A Trip through the Eastern Caucasus. By the Hon. chairs, &c.," is merely denoted by 522 28. John Abercromby. (London : Edward Stanford, 1889.) one of the most amusing things in cataloguing literature. It is,

After this it does not seem over bold to pronounce the result Is it worth while for a traveller to make a six weeks: however, surpassed by Mr. J. Schwartz's . King Aquila's tour the subject of a book? Probably most people Library,” in which the system is fairly demolished. But the would answer promptly and emphatically, No; but any London inquirer into the actual working of such a cumbrous one who reads Mr. Abercromby's work will see that the device may gain a useful hint by noting that at the Guildhall reply may be wrong, and that everything depends on the Library there is an alphabetical index to these totally unnecessary nature of the scenes visited, and on the traveller's ability numbers. Indeed, one is found in Prof. Dewey's own book, and to give an account of his impressions. In the course of would, of course, be an absolute necessity in the proposed case. six weeks Mr. Abercromby twice crossed the main chain lines. See, for example, Poole's “Index to Periodical Litera

No, a good subject-index can be constructed on much simpler of the Caucasus by passes which are little used except ture,” which includes in its first supplement (1882-87) some by oatives. He was fortunate enough to secure, through 1090 volumes (indexed in 483 pages). Another example may be the instrumentality of Prince Dondukoff Korsakoff

, the found in the subject.index at the end of the “ List of Books of Governor-General of the Caucasus, a circular letter in Reference in the British Museum Reading Room," 1889. In Russian and Arabic to all in authority

wherever he might this some twenty thousand volumes are included, which would

lead one to suppose that the size Mr. McConnell suggests is some striking indication of nearness, such as the great proje ample, not to say generous. I had hitherto supposed that a motion of 61 Cygní. If, therefore, we take the parallaan scientific writer does not necessarily treat of a fresh subject each arrived at in this manner for comparison, we are comparing time he writes.

results attained for all stars of the first magnitude woh the Might I add that an index is not a pedigree or diagram, any attained for a small number of exceptional stars of the fifth er more than a gazetteer is the same thing as a map ? I fear that sixth. to mix up such distinct things would merely introduce an How far Prof. Eastman's data are otherwise trustworthy I are! altogether needless difficulty.

A CATALOGUER. not consider. I may refer your readers to a very full lisa

paraxalle, hithe to determined, published by Mr. Herbert Sadler

in the February number of Knowledge, by which it will aples The Period of the Long Sea-Waves of Krakatao. how discordant and untrustworthy these results are. Bar IN connection with the great explosion at Krakatao at 10 a.m.

exceptional character of Prof. East inan's faint stars is sufficient; on August 27, 1883, a great wave was generated, which at

evident from the table itself. His first grap, with mean mayo Batavia, 100 miles distant, reached a height of 7 feet above the

tude 5.57, has a mean proper mition of 4" 93 ; the second grou ordinary sea-level. It was followed by a fairly regular series Surely Prof. Eastman does not mean that the average proper

with a mean magnitude 5'59, has a mean proper motion 73 of fourteen waves, at intervals of about two hours, gradually motion of stars of the magnitude 5'58 is 3" 63. There is tant diminishing in height. Captain Wharton, who writes this part of the Royal Society Report, is much puzzled by the long period. one star in a hundred of this degree of laininess which

possess

W. H. S. MONCE. He says :-"If the wave was caused by any sudden displacement

such a proper motion as this. of the water, as by the falling of large masses of ejected matter

Dublin, February 15. and huge fragments of the missing portion of Krakatão, or by P.S.-It is possible that a sphere enclosing the thirty Desre. the violent rush of steam from a submarine vent through the stars to us would include more faint stars than bright oao; te water, it is hardly to be conceived that two hours would elapse I think it certain that it would not include as large a perceras before the following wave, the second of the series, started after of fifth magnitude stars as of first magnitude stars. The last it. ... If, however, upheaval of the bottom of the sea, more magnitude stars do not exceed twenty, and a few of them seen or less gradual, and lasting for about an hour, took place, we to be very distant. The fifth magnitude stars are reckoned by should have a steady long wave flowing away from the upheaved hundreds, and a few of them are comparatively near. area, which as it approached the shore would be piled up considerably above its normal height. Thus these waves of long period would be set up. ... The water would low back on

The Longevity of Textural Elements, particularly the motion cea-ing."

in Dentine and Bone. I do not understand how the series of waves would be pro WHATEVER views we may take of the theories of Weismans. duced by the sea-bottom being upheaved in the manner described. which at present occupy the attention of biologists, they may te When the upheaval ceased, the water would probably flow back, hailed as giving new directions to research, and one of the sub and, after the centre of disturbance was reached, a second wave jects about which his allusions will probably lead to furihe would be generated. But there would be no reason for the inquiry is the length of time during which testural elements cowater flowing back a second time, and no more waves would be tinue individually. I have used the word longevity ar the topesu generated. Further, in another part of the Report, we find this letter ; but, perfectly admitting the justice of Weisnuanas Prof. Judd expressing the opinion that no upheaval has taken criticism-ihat division into two, each of which is a unity like the place (p. 25).

first, is not death–I feel driven to the dire necessity of inveni Another explanation has occurred to me, which seems satis-ing a new word, permanunity, to denote permanence without factory. Let us assume, with Prof. Judd, that the first wave division; and it is of such permanence or longevity of the e was due to a great quantity of fragments falling into the sea. divided unit that I wish to note a circumstance which was This wave would be reflected by the shores of the Straits several recently presented itself to my mind. times backwards and forwards, each time giving rise to a fresh Every anatomist is aware that the living elements of destine disturbance, travelling out towards Batavia through the narrow are nucleated corpuscles with elongated branches, which an opening to the east. Opposite Krakatão both on the northern embedded in the matrix, and lengthen as the dentine increas and on the southern shore of the Straits is a great bay. The in thickness, while the corpuscles themselves retire iowards te time a wave would take to travel from Krakatão to the head of maining at the boundary of the lessening pulp.cavity. The com the bay on the north is given by Captain Wharton at sixty.onetinuity of the tubes containing these fi res furnishes. as won # minutes, and the distance to the head of the other bay is much one thinks of it, convincing proof that they are the same the same. This agrees very well with the two-hour period. branches and the same dentine corpuscles which are found who Moreover the first disturbance at Batavia would be a rise of the dentine begins to be deposited and when it is completed the water, which was the case.

But the dentine begins in childhood, and may go oa increasing In a similar way some of the short periods observed at distant in thickness in old age, with its tubes still continuous, thuggo stations may have been due to peculiarities of the channels in losing their regularity of position. Therefore, dentine-corpuscles which the tide gauges were placed.

continue alive and without division through the greater part of Hotel Buol, Davos. JAMES C. M. MCCONNEL. the life of the organism.

The interest of this is exceedingly great, if the relation of The Distances of the Stars.

dentine to bone be considered. Bone has a matrix similar to

dentine, and has branched corpuscles; but the bone corpuscles Your note of Prof. Eastman's address to the Philosophical differ from the dentine-corpuscles in becoming completely em Society of Washington in your columns of February 13 (p: 351) bedded in the mineralized matrix, without any attempt to retire raises some questions of interest on which I think the Professor from it, and thus come to have branches on every side. Under is mistaken.

the microscope one can see in compact bony tissue that there is As regards the nearness of particular stars, there are several a continual reabsorption and redeposition of bone going on ; and indications which astronomers have sought to verify by observa- these alternating processes are brought about in a way which s tion and computation. One of these is brightness ; a second is easy to understand, though very generally misapprehended. In large proper motion, and a third is a binary system easily consequence, probably, of the very pressure exercised by ik separated by the telescope (especially if the period is compara bony deposit on the corpuscles, the corpuscles are excited to tively short). Some persons have also supposed that red stars, absorb it ; and one seen absorption spaces commencing sometime variable stars, &c., are nearer than most of their neighbours in the centres of baversian systems, and sometimes in individual Stars possessing one or more of these characteristics have been lacuna. The activity thus aroused in the corpuscles causes the selected for parallax measurements.

to enlarge and to attempt proliferation; which being in the first One of these characteristics being brightness, almost every instance modified by their close surroundings leads to their being bright star in the northern hemisphere and a good many of those converted into large multinucleated masses, the so-called giantin the southern have been at one time or another measure 1 for cells or osteoclasts. But when a greater amount of roem bus parallax. But no one has attempted to measure the parallax of een obtained, these ma-ses separate up into corpuscles with ore all stars of the third, fourth, fifth, or sixth magnitudes. Astro nucleus each, bone-corpuscles or osteoblasts, which, arrayurg nomers have selected from among these stars those which afford themselves around the cavity, initiate the formation of new

concentric laminæ of bone. Thus it is certain that the per I have thought (Ent, Mo. Mag., 1889, p. 382) that asymmanunity of the bone-corpuscle is very inconsiderable indeed. metrical variation in insects occurred most often on the left side. It may he difficult to define it exactly, bat a general consideration On p. 217 it appears that the same thing occurs in some Verteof the rapid changes in the shafts of young bones leads me to brata. hink it probably much less than a year.

On p. 230 the idea of environment directly influencing the There is thus a very surprising contrast between the undivided prevalent colours of organisms is put aside as improbable. Yet persistence or permanunity of a bone-corpuscle and that of a it has seemed that moisture was the cause of a certain phase dentine-corpuscle, which is in various respects so similar to it. of melanism, especially among Lepidoptera. Evidence bearing While there are numerous instances of very short-lived corpuscles on this point has been given during the last few years in the in the body, I am not aware that until now proof has been Entomologist. offered of the persistence of any living tissue-elements throughout The land shells on the small islands off the coast of Kerry, the life of the organism.

JOHN CLELAND, Ireland, are pale in colour, as I have recorded in Proc. South

London Entom, and N.H. Soc. for 1887, pp. 97-98. Some Notes on Dr. A. R. Wallace's “Darwinism."

The point on p. 233, about the conspicuous colours of the

Aculeate Hymenoptera, seems open to question. In temperate I HAVE just read this most interesting work, “Darwinism". regions, at least, the Aculeata are mostly of very dull colours seeming to me the clearest and most useful account of the as the Andrenida, many of the Apida, and hosts of others. Even Darwinian theory of evolution ever yet published-and while the brilliant green Agapostemon flies among bright green foliage reading it I have made note of a few matters which I may, and yellow flowers, and is not very conspicuous when alive perhaps, be allowed t touch on here.

in its native haunts. On the other hand, the non-aculeate On P 43 are quoted the numbers of varieties of the two snails, Chrysidida and Chalcidide are often exceedingly brilliant in He is nemorals and H. hortensis, enumerated by a French colouring. wuthor-oo doubt Moquin-Tandon. These numbers, however, It seems quite doubtful whether the abundance and wide fall far below those actually known at the present day. These distribution of Danais archippus (p. 238) is due to immunity pats vary in many ways, but taking variations of handing alone, from parasites, &c., while its migratory habits are a quite sufficient I know of 232 varieties of H. nemoralis, and 128 of H. hortensis. explanation of the facts. Besides, it'has at least one parasite

To further illustrate the extreme variability of the Mollusca, the Pteromalus archippi. take the varieties of land and freshwater Mollusca found in the The "progressive change of colour” (p. 298) is well illustrated British Islands. Of the 88 species of land shells we have 465 by the change from yellow to scarlet exhibited by so many named varieties, and of the 46 species of British freshwater groups of species. Scarlet species nearly always occasionally hells are 251 varieties. So that, excluding probable synonymy, revert to yellow, and there are generally yellow species in the se have about 5 named varieties in Britain to every species of same genus. For details see Proc. South Lond. Ent. and N. H. land mollusc.

Soc. for 1887. In the same way, the numbers of Rosa and Rubus quoted on Yellow flowers (see p. 316) seem the most attractive to insects 4,17 are below the mark. Of Rosa canina, 33 varieties are in Colorado, and Mr. F. W. Anderson tells me that the same known in the British Islands, while the British Rubi number 63 is the case in Montana. From reasons given in Canadian rapposed species.

Entomologist, 1888, p. 176, I am of the opinion that insects A good example of a species "occupying vacant places in cannot distinguish red from yellow. nature" (p. 110), is afforded by the little mollusc Cæcilianella It has seemed to me (see p. 359) that the agency of wind in kalcula, which is simply organized, and lives in great numbers distributing insects is greatly exaggerated. I believe whirlin le ground (side Naturalist, 1885, p. 321).

winds may be most important as distributing agents, but ordinThe true cause (as it seems to me) of the variability of fresh ary gales less so. Many species of insects migrate, but usually water species seems hardly indicated on p 11o. All freshwater during calms. Also (p. 390) the opinion that insects are often polactions, except those inhabiting large river basins (as the carried to the summits of mountains by winds seems to me Mississippi), present these peculiarities--they are exceedingly without sufficient support. Many species of insects live only variable and plastic, so that we get few but polymorphic species. or habitually at high altitudes, and their presence there is no Wow, for the successful spread of freshwater organisms, it is proof that they were carried there by winds, especially when cessary that they should be plastic, to adapt themselves to the they are specifically distinct from the species of lower regions. new environment of every pond or river, and the varieties thus Plusia gamma, on the summit of Mont Blanc, is not very rerequired must not become fixed species, because it is their very markable, as the moth is a great wanderer, and quite capable of shangeability under new environment that makes them successful finding its own way to high altitudes. Finally, I believe winds very in the struggle for existence and increase. Freshwater forms rarely blow up mountain

slopes. I have lived some time at the base migrate more than is commonly supposed, and the contents of of the great Sangre de Cristo Range in Colorado, and although any pond or river are ever varying. Hence the necessities I violent winds blow down very frequently, I have never observed have indicated. These points are exceptionally clear in the an upward wind, and residents whom I have questioned are ! € cor the Unionida of Europe and North America (see unanimous in saying that they have never known a strong wind itsence Gossip, 1888, pp. 182-184).

blow up the mountains. And the way the trees are bent and Colorado presents an exception to the rule (p. 112), that two twisted at timber-line (11,500 feet), often with only branches on species of Aquilegia are rarely found in the same area. In the side towards the valley, well indicates the direction of the Colorado we have five columbines, viz. A. formosa, A. chrys. winds. int, A. Arristyla, A. verulea, and A. canadensis. But A. I think, perhaps, the scarcity of Monocotyledons in the Rocky rulca is the only one that can be called abundant.

Mountains (p. 401) as compared with northern regions, is more On p. 139, it is stated that specific characters are essentially apparent than real-the difference indicated in the books being symmetrical Vet the ocelli and spots on the butterflies of the due to the fact that the western grasses are not so well known as families Safyride and Lycænidæ surely afford specific characters, the eastern ones. Ferns are rarer on continents than on islands, and they are frequently asymmetrical (see Entomologist, 1889, and the dryness of the Rocky Mountain region is unfavourable D. 6

to them. (np. 151, we are told that in Ireland hardly one of the land A good instance of the effect of environment (see p. 419) molluscs has undergone the slightest change. This is not quite recently came under my notice. The polymorphic snail Helix true, ex the following forms seem to be peculiar to Ireland : nemoralis was introduced from Europe into Lexington, Vir

front der var. fasciata, Geomalacus maculosus vars. allmani, ginia, a few years ago. Under the new conditions it varied Srbruseni, and andrewsi, Limax arborum var. maculata, L. more than I have ever known it to do elsewhere, and up to the Loborum var. decipiens, Succinea vitrea var. aurea, and S. present date 125 varieties have been discovered there. Of these, Strafferi var. rufescens. But these peculiar forms are not more no less than 67 are new, and unknown in Europe, the native numerous (but less so) than would be found in almost any country of the species! The variation is in the direction of sontinental area of equal size.

divi-ion of the bands. An incomplete list of these varieties is The theory (p. 206) that a recent change of food-plant has given in Nautilus, 1889, pp. 73-77. u do with ihe presence of green and brown varieties of the It seems doubtful (see p. 433) how far prickles are a protection Parva of Macroglossa stellatarum seems hardly tenable, as so from snails and slugs. I found prickles in the stomach of Parmuany larvæ of different species and genera vary in the same macella (a slug), as recorded in Journal of Conchology, 1886, manger.

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It is a minor matter, but it seems a pity that the nomenclature the enormously more rapid succession of generations with the of the species in a standard work like " Darwinism " should not latter than with many of their vegetable hosts-oaks, above al! be scrupulously exact. Thus (p. 17), Phalana" graminis Freiburg, Badenia, February 22. D. WETTERRAN should be Charwas graminis. " Helisonia(p. 44) should be Helisoma, and it is only a section, or subgenus, of Planorbis. On p. 235, " filipendula" and "jacobea" should read filipendula

The Cape “Weasel." and jacobea. "Sphinx fuciformis,” of Smith and Abbott IN Prof. Moseley's account of his visit to the Cape of Goce. (p. 203), is really Hemaris diffinis, while on p. 204, " Sphinx Hope (“Notes of a Naturalist on the Challenger," P. 153), 1% tersa is a Chærocampa, and * Sphinx pampinatrix” is Ampelo- following sentence occurs :- " Again, there are tracks of the phaga myron.

T. D. A. COCKERELL. Ichneumon (Herpestes), called by some name sounding like West Cliff, Custer Co., Colorado, January 22,

'moose haunt.'

In Todd's " Johnson's Dictionary," 1827, we find : "19" A Formula in the “ Theory of Least Squares."

hunt, a kind of weasel ;” two quotations being given : 41

“You have been a mouse-hunt in your time" "Romeo / Some time ago, having had occasion to investigate the rela- Juliet," iv. 4). (2) "The ferrets and mouse-hunts of an indes tion between x(x?) and (v2) in the “Theory of Least Squares," | (Milton, “Of Ref. in Engl.,” B. 1). I found a simple formula which connects them, and which I Halliwell's “ Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words have never seen given in any of the text-books on the subject. (1847) gives, on p. 564: "Mouse hound, East. A weasel. I incl se it, and hope it is worth publishing in your journal. Halliwell denies the identity of this word with Shakespeare's

University of Toronto, February 1. W. J. LOUDON. mouse-hunt ; and Nares ("Glossary") inclines to a similar riex.

Let a number of observations be made on a quantity whose But in any case it seems clear that Prof. Moseley's “ moose true value is T. If these observations be represented by My, haunt” is a dialectical English form-mouse-hunt or mouse M., M3, . . . Mn, then the most probable value is A, the arith hound; a general word for "weasel." E. B. TITCHENER metic mean, and A = 3(M). If, moreover, the true errors be

3 Museum Terrace, Oxford, February 17. denoted by x1, xn, x3, . . . Xn, and the residuals by V, V, V3,

The Chaffinch, . . Vn, then (v) = o by the definition of the arithmetic mean. It is required to find a relation between ${x?) and 3(v2). The male bird never leaves us in winter like the female, ani

The chaffinch sings almost throughout the year in this locality. We haveM

M

can be seen in large flocks daily. A singular circumstance tha! M

occurred here in December 1888 with regard to a chaffinch x3 = T - M

V3

may be of interest. At one o'clock in the morning, during M

= A &c.,

gale, a chaffinch tapped at my study window. On this being from which (v) = 0.

opened, it few into the room and roosted on a bookshell ; ber

morning it was liberated. This was repeated on two subsequena .. equating equal values of Mı, Mg, Mg, &c., we get gales. Not only did it sing each time on being liberated bra T - xy = A - vi

*4 = 0 + T

A

all through the winter and spring it followed me about the T X, = A - vg

*2 = V, + T

A
garden, singing

E. J. LOWE
T
Z'3
*3 = Vg + T
A

Shirenewton Hall, near Chepstow, February 1.

: and adding (x) = {(v) + n(T - A) ON THE NUMBER OF DUST PARTICLES IS and (2) = 0.

THE ATMOSPHERE OF CERTAIN PLACES / (x) = n(T - A). . (1)

GREAT BRITAIN AND ON THE CONTINENT. Again

WITH REMARKS ON THE RELATION BE.
X1
A

T\'EEN THE AMOUNT OF DUST AND
* = v. + T
A

METEOROLOGICAL PHENOMENA. &c.

THE portable dust-counting apparatus, with which the .. squaring, we havev" + 201(T - A) + (T - A)

shown to the meeting. The apparatus, which was de V + 2v (T A) + (T - A)

1

scribed in a previous communication to the Society, :5 + 22'3(T A) + (T - A)

small and light. It is carried in a small sling-caz &c.

measuring 8 X 5 X 3 inches. The stand on which it is

supported when in use packs up, and forms, when capper! *(x2) (vo) + 2{{(v); T - A} + n(T - A)" with india-rubber ends, a handy walking stick, 1 inchir

diameter and 3 feet long. No alterations have been made But 3(v) = 0; and from (1), T - A =

3()

¡ in the original design, and the silver mirrors which at first

gave trouble and required frequent polishings, have been 3(x) = x(22) + n \ 3(x)) ?

used every day for two or three weeks without requiring to be polished, when working in fairly pure country air.

With the paper is given a table containing the result() = (2) +

of more than two hundred tests made with the appa

ratus. In addition to the number of dust particles there: This is the exact formula ; from which it may be seen that, entered in the table the temperature and humidity of the as positive and negative errors are equally likely, a close ap- | air, the direction and force of the wind, and the trans proximation will be obtained by taking {s(x)} = {(x*), neglect- parency of the air at the time. ing 22(xxl). And we obtain Gauss's formula

The first series of observations were made at Hyères,

small town in the south of France, situated about 2 miles (x) = (22) + (**)

(vo)

from the Mediterranean. The observations were made on -1

the top of Finouillet, a hill about 1000 feet high. The

number of particles on different days varied here from Galls.

3550 per c.c. to 25,000 per c.c., the latter number being ADMITTING, with Prof. Romanes (NATURE, February 20, p. observed when the wind was blowing direct from Toulos. 369), the plausibility of Mr. Cockerell's view that galls may be which is distant about 9 miles. attributed to natural selection acting on the plants directly, I Cannes was the next station, the observations being beg Jeave to point out a very obvious difficulty-viz, the much greater facility afforded to the indirect action through insects, by February 3, Communicated by permission of the Council of the society.

Abstract of Paper read before the Royal Society of Edinlurgh

V + T

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