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to hold a conversazione, and for Saturday afternoon, BEAVER-DAMS on the Slate River, Colorado, form the June 3, a visit to the National Physical Laboratory is pro- subject of a paper by Mr. E. R. Warren in the Proceedings posed. Further particulars will be announced later, when the programme is more definitely settled. The hon.
of the Washington Academy (vol. vi. p. 429), in the course secretary, Mr. F. J. Selby, Elm Lodge, Teddington,
of which the author shows how largely these rodents have
altered the features of the valley. Middlesex, will be glad to hear from those wishing to join the convention,
In the Biologisches Centralblatt of March 1, Mr. S. J. In an account of a journey to Lake San Martin, Pata
Wasmann continues the account of his theory of the origin
of slavery among ants, Mr. H. Prandt discusses reduction gonia, published in the Geographical Journal for March,
processes and Captain H. L. Crosthwast directs attention to the mag
karyogamy” among infusorians, while
Prof. von Hansemann reviews the so-called heterotype cellnetic and meteorological observatory established by the
formation in malignant tumours, more especially in conArgentine Government on New Year Island—a small island
nection with the recent cancer investigations of Messrs. situated in lat. 54° 59' S., and about five miles off the north coast of Staten Island. The observatory, which is
Farmer, Moore, and Walker. complete in every respect, is superintended by four Argen- To the Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural tine naval officers, and is here illustrated from Captain History (vol. xxxii., No. 3) Miss Emerson contributes an Crosthwait's paper. The observatory was opened in account of the anatomy of Typhlomolge rathbuni, the blind February, 1902, and during the time which has since salamander first made known by specimens thrown up by elapsed, the temperature conditions recorded there by the an artesian well in Texas in 1894. Despite its external officers are:-highest temperature recorded, 55°4 F.; i resemblance to the olm (Proteus) of the Carniola caves,
the author is of opinion that the creature is a member of the family Salamandridæ, and most nearly related to the American Spelerpes.
THREE American publications fishes have reached us this week. In the first Messrs. Jordan and Starks (Proceedings U.S. Nat. Mus., No. 1391) describe a collection from Corea, containing several new generic and specific types, while in the second (loc. cit., No. 1394) Mr. T. Gill discusses the generic characters of Synanccia and its allies. Of more general interest is the much larger memoir by Dr. S. E. Meek on the fresh-water fishes of Mexico north of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, issued in the logical series of the publications of the Field Columbian Museum (vol. v.). In this memoir, which is very fully illus. trated, the author discusses the physiography of Mexico in connection with its fish fauna in considerable detail.
In July, 1902, Dr. Merkel, of WiesFIG. 1.-Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory, New Year Island.
loch, was fortunate enough to dis
cover in an overflow of the Leimbach a lowest temperature, 16o4 F.; annual mean temperature, large number of the generally rare phyllopod crustacean 41° F. The magnetic observatory is kept at an almost Limnadia lenticularis. The specimens then collected form constant temperature of 64° F. Many interesting facts the basis of a paper on the anatomy of this species by about Tierra del Fuego are given by Captain Crosthwait Mr. M. Nowikoff, which appears, with numerous illus
He directs attention to the astonishing trations, in vol. lxxviii., part iv., of the Zeitschrift für number and variety of the glaciers, and to the fact that wissenschaftliche Zoologie. In the same issue Mr. L. most of the larger ones show signs of shrinkage. Of San Cohn describes the subocular tentacle of the remarkable Martin Lake he says it undoubtedly occupies what was frog Dactylethra calcarata, the function of which, in the once a strait joining the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The absence of living specimens, cannot yet be definitely deterlevel of the water of the lake rises and falls in a peculiar mined. The third article in this part forms the completion
Exact measurements of these “ seiches” show of the account by Mr. F. Voss of the anatomy of the that the movements are irregular, but on an average they thorax of the house-cricket, with special reference to the amount to about five inches, having a period of about four comparative anatomy and mechanism of the organs of minutes between two successive high waters. The surface flight in insects generally. of the water to the eye is perfectly smooth.
In the second part of an essay on the structure and The “ Fauna of New England,” in course of publication relationships of the opisthocælian, or sauropod, dinosaurs, by the Boston Society of Natural History, has reached its issued in the geological series of the Field Columbian fourth part, which is devoted to the echinoderms, the Museum publications (vol. ii., No. 6), Mr. E. S. Riggs disauthor being Mr. H. L. Clark.
sents from the view that these gigantic creatures were
in his paper.
semi-aquatic, or at least marsh-haunting in their habits. fornia, holds a high position. The improvement of plums Although the massiveness of their vertebræ recalls cetaceans, by hybridisation and selection is a subject which has reyet there is no trace in the latter group of the lightening ceived much attention, and by crossing the Japan plum of this part of the skeleton by means of hollowing and with American species he has produced such fine varieties Auting which is so characteristic of these reptiles. More as the Golden, Climax, and the Wickson. More remarkable important evidence is afforded by the structure of the are the raspberry-blackberry hybrids, of which the Primus, limbs, which appears to conform strictly to the terrestrial cross between the western dewberry and the Siberian type. The species described in this paper, Brachiosaurus raspberry, ripens its fruit several weeks before either of altithorax, is regarded as the type of a family characterised its parents, and is superior in productiveness and size of by the great relative length of the fore-limb, the humerus fruit. The first part of an appreciative article by Mr. in this genus being as long as the femur.
W. S. Harwood appears in the Century Magazine for
March. From Dr. Florentino Ameghino we have received a copy of a paper published at Buenos Aires entitled “Nuevas We have received a copy of the observations made at Especies de Mamíferos, Cretáceos y Terciarios, de la
the Hong Kong Observatory in the year 1903. In addiRepública Argentina," and purporting to be a reprint from
tion to the usual tables for the year in question, the report vols. lvi.-Iviii. of the Anales of the Scientific Society of
contains a valuable summary of hourly and monthly results Argentina. It contains a large number of new generic and
of the various elements for the ten-yearly period 1894specific names, which in the absence of illustrations can
1903. During this period the maximum shade temperature scarcely be regarded as of much scientific value ; and it recorded was 77°, in August, and the minimum 370 3. in may be suggested that, despite their admitted richness, January, and the highest solar radiation was 160°-I, in the Argentine extinct faunas can scarcely include such a
September. The greatest daily rainfall was 10 19 inches, number of forms as the author would have us believe.
and the maximum hourly fall was 2.86 inches. A comMoreover, we feel sure that naturalists will display great
parison of the daily weather forecasts with the weather reluctance in admitting the occurrence of ancestral forms subsequently experienced gave a total and partial success of Tragulus and Galeopithecus in the Argentine Tertiaries,
of 92 per cent. The extraction of observations from the while they will most certainly refuse to follow the author logs of ships for the construction of trustworthy pilot in regarding the latter genus as a member of the Typo
charts has been continued; the number of days' observ. therium group of ungulates.
ations collected during the year was 9428. This useful
work is undertaken by Miss Doberck. We have been favoured with a copy of the Schriften of the Philosophical Society of Danzig for 1904 (new series,
The rainfall of the six months September, 1904, to vol. xi., parts i. and ii.). To the naturalist the most
February, 1905, is summarised in Symons's Meteorological interesting of its contents is perhaps the long article by
Magacine for March, and forms an interesting supplement Dr. W. Wolterstoff, director of the Magdeburg Museum,
to the account we published last week from the official reassisted by several specialists, on the fauna of the districts ports of the Meteorological Office. The results obtained of Tuchel and Schwetz, in west Prussia (“ Beiträge zur
from fifty-five representative stations are tabulated, and Fauna der Tucheler Heide '').
referred to the average rainfall of the thirty years 1870
A systematic zoological survey of this well-wooded area appears to have been
1899, and although, as Dr. Mill points out, the circumundertaken in 1900, and the general results of this are
stance is not unprecedented, it very rarely happens that summarised in the introductory chapter. Specialists are
the general rainfall of the country remains below the responsible for the determination of the specimens collected,
average for each of six consecutive months. The great Captain Barrett-Hamilton having undertaken this duty in advantage of graphical representation in dealing with such
data is clearly shown by the map which accompanies the the case of the mammals, represented only by three mice
discussion; from that it is seen at a glance that while the and one vole. The amphibians receive special attention, a
rainfall for the six months reached, and even slightly coloured plate. indicating the distinctive features of Rana
exceeded, the average over a narrow strip in the west of esculenta and R. arvalis.
Scotland, and amounted to 75 per cent. in the north of The nuclear divisions in the embryo sac of Fritillaria that country, in the north-west of Ireland, in the English imperialis have been studied by Dr. B. Sijpkens, who has Lake district, and a small part of the Welsh coast, all the published his results in the Recueil des Iravaux botaniques rest of the British Isles had less than three-quarters of neerlandaises, No. 2.
the usual fall. In two large areas it fell short of 50 per The scope of plant morphology, and the nature of the
cent. of the average, viz. in the south-east of Scotland fundamental problems in this subject which await investi
and in the midland counties of England. Taking each gation at the present day, could have no better exponent
country separately, the rainfall of the six months was for than Prof. Goebel, who has expressed his views in the
England and Wales 60 per cent., Scotland 78 per cent, Biologisches Centralblatt (February). Distinction is drawn and Ireland 75 per cent. of the average for the thirty between structural morphology, originally based upon
years referred to. The necessity of economising the water systematic study, but later concerned with comparison and supply had already made itself felt in several large towns phylogeny, and causal morphology, which, inquiring into
within the dry area before the end of February. circumstances and conditions, can only be determined by Prof. G. TORELLI, of Palermo, contributes to the Naples experiment. The question whether a sporophyll is a modi- Rendiconto (physical and mathematical section), S., Tan fied leaf, or a vegetative leaf a sterilised sporophyte, is new formulæ for calculating the totality of prima not without interest to botanists, but whether it is possible numbers below a given limit. The formulæ are o to control development and produce at will a vegetative life asymptotical, and they are applicable to an arithmetical or a sporophyll is a problem of much greater significance.
progression as well as to natural numbers. AMONGST American horticulturists engaged in plant In the Annals of Mathematics for January, recently rebreeding with the object of improving certain definite ceived, Prof. G. A. Bliss discusses the proofs of the existe characters of flowers and fruit, Mr. L. Burbank, of Cali- ence of solutions of the differential equation of the first
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