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there were seventeen days with the temperature above 70°, associated with a bird, and the thunderbolt is the subject and in May of the present year there were ten such warm of a special cult. The tortoise as the wise, helpful anima! days, the thermometer exceeding Soo on three days, whilst here takes the place of the hare, jackal, or frog in Bantu in June the highest temperature was 74°.

and Basuto tradition, several tales dealing with his clever.

ness and supplying etiological myths to account for the The latest contribution of Prof. W. Trelease to the

various marks still to be seen on his carapace. elucidation of the genus Agave, published in the Transactions of the Academy of Science of St. Louis (vol.

In the June number of Man the Rev. J. Roscoe describes xviii., No. 3), deals with the Mexican species yielding

a remarkable cult of the python at Uganda. The floor fibre known Zapupe." Although in three cases

of its shrine was found to be carpeted with sweet-smelling flowers were not obtainable, five botanical species with

grass, and on one side was the sanctuary of the serpent local names are distinguished primarily according to the

and its guardian, the latter being a woman pledged to characters of the spines. The species Zapupe, Lespinassei,

a life of celibacy. A log and stool for the python, covered Deweyana are only known in cultivation, but Endlichiana

with a piece of bark-cloth, lay on the floor of the shrine, and aboriginum are indigenous. Bulbils are described for

and a round hole was cut in the wall for the ingress and two species, and it is stated that all appear to be freely

egress of the reptile. It had been trained to resort to bulbiferous after flowering, thus affording “pole” plants

this shrine, where it was regaled with milk, fowls, and as well as offsets.

small goats. The soake is supposed to control the river

and its fish, and offerings are made to it to ensure success The list of new garden plants for 1908, issued, accord

in fishing. During worship a medium is dressed in pieces ing to precedent, as appendix iii. of the Kew Bulletin

of bark-cloth, a goat-skin apron, and a cloak of leopard (1909), has only recently been received. It furnishes the

skin. The spirit of the python then is supposed to enter names with brief diagnoses, gives the reference

him, when he wriggles about on the ground like a snake to the original publication and the introducer, and also

and utters prophecies, which are unintelligible to the indicates which plants are in cultivation at Kew and would

worshippers, and are explained by an interpreter. The probably be available for distribution in the regular course

python is also supposed to confer offspring, and if he be of exchange. About one-third of the entries refer to

neglected punishes his votaries by bringing sickness on orchidaceous plants, many being garden hybrids, and

their children. When a suitable offering is presented he others mere varieties or forms. Two natural and several

prescribes the use of certain herbs, which effect a cure. garden hybrids are noted under the genus Saxifraga.

The cult thus presents striking analogies to that of Messrs. Sanders are credited with the introduction of three

Esculapius, who, according to Prof. J. G. Frazer, was palms and the cycad Encephalartos Woodii.

originally a serpent, the anthropomorphic god provided An investigation of the medullary rays in the beech, with a serpent symbol being a later development of the the oak and Aristolochia sipho, with the object of tracing cult. the contour of the rays, has been carried out by Dr. K.

Miss NiNA LAYARD, already well known for her Zijlstra, who communicates his results in Extrait du

searches in the Saxon cemetery at Ipswich, describes in Recueil des Travaux botaniques Néerlandais (vol. v.). the June number of Van a series of Aint implements disThe contours of the rays in the oak and beech obtained

covered by her on the sea-coast at Larne, co. Antrim. by a comparison of tangential sections are fairly regular, This site had already been explored by Messrs. Du Noyer, being interrupted in places by fibre layers. They show an Knowles, and Gray, whose discoveries have led to proirregular but distinct increase in height towards the

tracted controversy, and the age and character of the specicambium. The height of the rays in Aristolochia stems

still matters of uncertainty. They do approximates to the length of the internodes, if, as is correspond closely with cither the palæoliths or neoliths assumed, the separate overlying portions are regarded as of England, and though many acres of land are covered part of one original ray.

by these raised beaches, nothing in the shape of a ground Dr. P. LOWELL contributes the Bulletin of the weapon has been found. The presence of many flints in American Geographical Society (May) the first portion of a rolled condition leads to the inference that they are a description of the plateau of the San Francisco peaks older than the formation in which they were found, and with reference to its effect on tree life. The peaks, which the occurrence of these specimens, which many authori. are for the most part cones of volcanic origin, rise out ties hold to be Neolithic, at such enormous depths in of a plateau having an elevation of 7000 feet. The desert gravel is subversive of all English experience. Miss nature of the region has kept it free from human destruc- Lavard, in the circumstances, is content to designate them tion and the dry climate has preserved in a remarkable

the older series,” because since they were dropped on manner the fossil remains. The altitudinal distribution this shore there must have occurred, not only a gradual of the trees forms the chief subject of the paper. The sinking of the beach and the formation of gravels 20 feet zones of vegetation are said to topographise the country in depth containing the worked flints, but also a subas with contour lines. The yellow pine, Pinus ponderosa, sequent clevation until the surface of the gravel stands dominates the slopes from 6500 feet to 8500 feet. Then no less than 20 feet above high-water mark. In the same the Douglas fir, the silver fir, Abies concolor, the curious connection, the account in the same number by Mr. cork fir, Abies subalpina, and the aspen share the ground Worthington G. Smith of a Palæolithic implement found up to an elevation of 10,300 feet. Higher still, the Engel- near the British Museum in 1902 is interesting. It is mann spruce and fox-tail pine, Pinus aristata, ascend to remarkable in this specimen that an oval flint pebble the tree limit, about 11,500 feet.

forms part of the basis of the implement, the maker of MR. J. ParkinSON contributes to the last number of

the tool, by clever flaking, having designedly left this the Journal of the African Society a collection of folk

pebble intact. tales current among the Yoruba-speaking peoples, which The geological section of the Belfast Naturalists' Field form an interesting supplement to the classical account of

Club organised on June 19 an excursion to Scawt Hill this people by the late Major Ellis. Like the Basutos, for the study of the volcanic neck there. The geological Pondos, and races beyond the African area, lightning is

structure of the district is that common to the plateau








basalts of County Antrim, and consists of basic lava flows the function of the fly-wheel is to minimise the variation covering Mesozoic beds, and at Scawt Hill occurs the in the load drawn from the source of supply. All the “ neck

of one of the volcanoes from which the lavas heavy loads which come on the mill are met from the came. A few years ago one of the members of the store of energy in the fly-wheel. In order to obtain this section came unexpectedly on a basic dyke traversing the result, automatic slip-regulating device is provided dolerite neck. The neck has been found to be a fine- in the rotor circuit of the induction motor driving the grained ophitic dolerite. The dyke is a granitoid basic motor-generator set, which regulates the amount of slip rock, and may be classed as a diabase without olivine. on the induction motor according to the amperes taken A section of the chalk taken two yards from the dyke by the stator, the slip-regulating device only coming into showed it to be converted into a typical crystalline lime-operation when the stator current has reached a certain stone with large crystals of calcite. The geologists of

fixed value. When this value has been attained the the Belfast Naturalists' Field Club made during the regulating device increases the slip of the induction motor, excursion the observation that even a distance from causing the speed of the set to drop; the fly-wheel then the dyke the band of chalk in contact with the dolerite gives up energy corresponding to the given variation in neck seemed to have undergone a similar change, and to

velocity. By this means the load on the supply mains is have been converted into hornstone.

kept much more steady than would be the case if no fyIn the U.S. Monthly weather Review of January last

wheel were employed. Mr. Collingham treats especially references are made to interesting communications by Mr.

the mechanics of the problems involved with the view of R. F. Stupart, director of the Canadian Meteorological

finding expeditiously the weight of wheel, size of motor, Service (dated March, 1909), relating (1) to the establish

&c., required in given cases. ment of new stations in Newsoundland and Labrador, and In our article upon the Astrographic Congress at Paris the proposed extension of storm warnings and weather fore- (June 10, p. 440) it was stated that Rome was represented casts to Newfoundland, and (2) to the supply of a complete by Signor Lias. We are asked by Dr. P. Emanuelli to equipment to several stations in the north of Canada, state that this should have been Signor Lais, who is viceextending as far as Fort Macpherson (lat. 67° 27', long.

director of the Vatican Observatory, and was the repre134° 57' W.). In connection with the source of

sentative, not of Rome, but of the Vatican. waves frequently experienced in North America, Mr. We have received from Messrs. Flatters and Garnett, Stupart thinks that the study of the far north with trust- Ltd., of Manchester, a copy of their conveniently arranged worthy barometer readings will be most valuable. He catalogue of collecting apparatus, nature-study appliances, remarks that the persistent high pressures found there in cabinets, museum glassware, glass-top boxes, pocket lenses, some seasons apparently owe their origin to upper currents and so on. The list is well illustrated, and reference to from the equator coming to earth farther north than usual,

its contents is made easily. and that we may very probably in the future connect the situation in the equatorial regions and trade-wind belts

MR. JouN MURRAY has published a second edition of with that in the high latitudes."

Mr. R. H. Lock's “ Recent Progress in the Study of

Variation, Heredity, and Evolution.” The first issue of The first complete account of the new method which

the book was reviewed at length in Nature of April 18, has been adopted by the Gesellschaft für drahtlose Tele

1907 (vol. lxxv., p. 578), but it may be pointed out that graphie to secure an almost undamped series of oscilla

several alterations and additions have been made in the tions in the secondary circuit of the sender is given by

present edition. A short list of references has been added Prof. Fleming in the Electrician for June The

at the end of each chapter; the different chapters have primary spark is divided into eleven very short sparks of

been revised and supplemented, and a new chapter has about o.or inch in length, which are formed between twelve

been added. discs of copper, which may be water-cooled. The damping is so great that not more than two or three oscillations

“A SHORT History of English AGRICULTURE," by Mr. occur in the primary circuit, and the oscillations in the

W. H. R. Curtler, is announced by the Oxford University secondary are therefore free oscillations, which are only

Press for early publication. As the agriculture of the slightly damped. The device evidently marks a distinct

Middle Ages has often been ably described, Mr. Curtler advance in wireless telegraphy.

devotes the greater part of his book to the agricultural Last vear in the Comptes rendus and in Le Radium

history of the subsequent period, especially the seventeenth, M. J. Becquerel described experiments on the electric dis- eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. charge through vacuum tubes which appeared to indicate that, in addition to the canal rays, there existed positive

OUR ASTRONOMICAL COLUMN. rays which could be deviated by a magnetic field by amounts comparable with those to be expected if the rays

ASTRONOMICAL OCCURRENCES IN JULY :were composed of free positive electrons.

In the Journal | July 3. 14h. 30m. Uranus in conjunction with the Moon

(Uranus 2° 22' N.). de Physique for June, M. A. Dufour describes his own

7. 17h. Mercury at greatest elongation (21° 1' W.). work on the same subject. He has repeated and extended 8. 3h. 46m. Mars in conjunction with the Moon (Mars M. Becquerel's experiments, and comes to the conclusion

1° 21' N.). that the observations do not warrant the statement that

15h. Uranus at opposi ion to the Sun. the deviable rays observed due

free positive

15. 14h. Saturn at quadrature to the Sun.

18. 17h. 50m. electrons.

Venus in conjunction with the Moon

(Venus 3° 5' S.). MR. R. H. COLLINGUAM contributes article in

19. :8h. Mars at greatest heliocentric latitude S. Engineering for June 18 dealing with ligner-operated

17h. 39m. Jupiter in conjunction with the Moon winding-engines. The principle of the Ilgner system is

(Jupiter 4° 22' S.). the employment of motor-generator coupled

23. 5h. 17m. Mercury in conjunction with Neptune

(Mercury 1° 6' N.). mechanically to a heavy fly-wheel and electrically to the

25. 19h. Mercury in perihelion. motor driving the mill or winding gear. The motor oi 30. 22h. 4m. Uranus in conjunction with the Moon the motor-generator is driven off the power mains, and

(Uranus 2° 16' N.).

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Comet 1909a (BORRELLY-DANIEL).-Several observations Johannesburg, South Africa. The instrumental equipment of this comet are recorded, and an ephemeris for it is is to be increased by the addition of a large refractor 10: given, in No. 4333 of the Astronomische Nachrichten. visual work, and a photographic astronomical telescop, Neither photographs nor eye observations show any re- the gift of Mr. Franklin Adams, so that this institutio markable features, whilst the ephemeris indicates that the will now rank as an astronomical, as well as brightness is declining; on July 16 the comet will be but ological, observatory. about one-third as bright as when discovered. The distance from the earth is, at present, about 1.09 astro

The COMETS OF 1907 AND 1908.-In a brochure puta nomical units, and is rapidly increasing.

lished by Prof. Kobold, comet observers will find a very

useful summary of the cometary phenomena of 1907 and THE SHAPE OF THE PLANET MERCURY.—Referring to a

1908. Observations of fifteen comets were made during recent statement by Mr. Levander, that the equatorial

those two years, and for each object Prof. Kobold gives diameter of Mercury has been shown to exceed the polar

a short summary of the observed phenomena, a diameter, M. R. Jonckheere, in No. 4333 of the Astro

elements where available, and a table of references to the

severally nomische Nachrichten, expresses the belief that the opposite publications in which the observations is the case. His observations,


made during the most recent transit of Mercury, indicated that the vertical diameter was the greater, the values being, vertical=9:46", equatorial=8.73"; this is supported by other observers, THE ROYAL SOCIETY CONVERSAZIONE, whose results he gives. At present the positions of the equatorial and polar diameters of the planet are not THE ladies' conversazione at the Royal Society is always known, but M. Jonckheere contends that the statement

a brilliant function, and last week the presence i that the greater diameter is the one parallel to the celestial delegates and other distinguished foreign guests from the equator is, in the face of the evidence to the contrary,

Darwin celebration at Cambridge added to its interest. inadmissible.

The conversazione was held on June 24 in the rooms of

the society at Burlington House, and the guests OBSERVATIONS OF SUN-SPOTS, 1908.-The results of the received by Sir Archibald Geikie, K.C.B., president. first year's regular observations of sun-spots at the Royal Many of the exhibits were also shown at the conversazion Observatory at Capodimonte (Naples) are given by Signor held in May, and were described in NATURE of May 20 E. Guerrieri in No. 6, vol. ii., of the Rivista di Astro- | (vol. lxxx., p. 347). Summaries of the other exhibits arr nomia (Turin). The sun was observed on 304 days, and given below, based upon the descriptions in the official on five days was seen to be free from spots, whilst the catalogue, related subjects being here grouped together mean daily frequency of spot groups for the year was 5:3.

for convenience of reference. The first half of the year showed an excess of groups in

Dr. W. N. Shaw, F.R.S.: Representation of temperathe ratio 3.2, but the analogous ratio for single spots tures and pressures in the atmosphere up to a height of was 4/5; altogether, 1606 groups and 9262 individual

fifteen miles, on July 27 and 29, 1908.-A. Fowler: spots were observed during the year. The observations Photographs of the spectrum of scandium. The photoare tabulated and discussed in several different ways, and, graphs show the varying intensities of the scandium lines if continued regularly, will form a useful supplement to

in the arc flame, normal arc, and the arc in hydrogen. the work so ably performed by the other Italian observers.

Corresponding differences are found in the spectra of sun.

spots and prominences.-Messrs. Zeiss : Liquid crysta! OBSERVATIONS OF SATURN AND ITS RINGS.-In No. 4331 observed under high temperatures with polarised light by of the Astronomische Nachrichten, M. Schaer records the

micro-projection apparatus.-Dr. F. Edridge-Green: observations of Saturn and its ring system made at the Spectroscope for estimating colour perception. In the Geneva Observatory, with the 40 cm. Cassegrain reflector

focus of the instrument are two movable shutters, either constructed by himself, during the period September 18, of which is capable of moving across the spectrum. By 1908, to January 24, 1909, The chief feature recorded is means of the two shutters any given portion of the sperthe discovery of the new dark ring announced on October

can be isolated. Each shutter is controlled by a 7, 1908.

This ring was seen, but thought to be the drum graduated in wave-lengths, so that the position vi shadow of the bright rings, on previous occasions, but

the edges of the shutters can be known.-C. E. S. Phillips : on October 5 it was seen to extend to the right and left,

Permanently luminous watch dial and military night comand was therefore judged to be something more than pass. The watch dial is transparent (glass), and the shadow ; on October 6 the dark ring was to be figures are painted upon its upper surface. The dial is separated, and the planet, with its usual colour, was seen backed with a compound containing a minute quantity through the interstice, which was about 3" to 4" long of RaBr, (radium bromide), which renders it luminous, so and 0.5" to 1" broad. In January of the present year

that the time may be easily read in the dark. The compass the new ring was seen more easily than during the pre

is arranged upon the same principle. By means of a ceding months.

luminous disc and strip, direction may be determined at M. Schaer's observations also suggest the presence of a

night. cloudy, absorbing atmosphere, and the occurrence of W. M. Mordey: The effect of electrostatic condensers in slight changes in the white ring between the crape-ring preventing or extinguishing arcs. A suitable condenset and the Cassini division. The invisibility of the rings placed in shunt to an are, or in shunt to a resistance in when their plane passes through the earth is probably due

series with an arc, will instantly extinguish the arc. 11 to the masking effect of the newly discovered outer dark

connected in shunt to the contacts before they are separated ring.

it will prevent the formation of an arc even in a circuit

having considerable electromotive force.- The Linolite Tables


" STANDARD Co- Company: Metaliic filament “ tubolite." The metal fila. RIGHT ASCENSION AND DECLINATION.-In ment is held at each end by a zig-zag spring to take up No. 4329 of the Astronomische Nachrichten Herr A. the expansion, and is supported by anchors at two interHnatek published a series of tables for the computation mediate points. The lamp may be placed in any position, of a and ó from the standard coordinates given in the and can be run on an alternating current or direct current catalogues of the international carte du ciel. A few copies circuit.-Hon. C. A. Parsons, F.R.S. : (1) Model of leakof these tables, printed on stout paper, have been prepared, age path device for regulating voltage of alternators. and may be obtained from the publishers for one mark per The apparatus depends on the following very simple fact, copy.

that while an alternating current cannot directly produce

a unidirectional field, it can have a strong action in Tue TRANSVAAL OBSERVATORY, JOHANNESBURG.–From diminishing magnetic Aux. When applied to an alternator, the Observatory (No. 410, p. 262, June) we learn that the field magnets of the exciter are provided with a leakage from July i next the institution directed by Mr. R. T. A. path, around which windings carrying alternating current Innes is to be known the Transvaal Observatory, are placed. (2) Some samples of the blades used in steam










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turbines of Atlantic liners.-Hon. R. C. Parsons : -F. Enock: Living stick-insects (Bacillus rossi). The (1) Panflex” spring wheel for motor vehicles. The eggs of these stick-insects are less than one-eighth of an

Panflex spring wheel is an invention which has for its inch in diameter, and much resemble a minute vase. On object the easy motion of a vehicle when run at low or emerging they are half an inch in length, and quickly high speeds. This ease of motion is due to the springs stretch themselves along a green twig, which they exactly being capable of deflection in every direction. The wheel resemble. Most of the specimens have changed their skins is not subject to bursts or punctures, prevalent in the case five times, the old skin being generally eaten. When of wheels fitted with pneumatic tyres. The wear and tear mature, these stick-insects attain a length of more than is small, and, should a spring break, which is seldom the 4 inches, and become of a brown colour, which harmonises case in practice, another can be inserted in a few minutes with the brown twig on which they rest. They are

a very small cost. (2) Working model apparatus for nocturnal feeders, and exceedingly amicable toward each recording the effects produced upon wheels of various other, treating each other as sticks, several often clinging descriptions when passing over obstacles. (3) Seismograph together.-Prof. George H. F. Nuttall, F.R.S., and Dr. apparatus for registering the jolts felt by the body of a Seymour Hadwen : The discovery of a curative treatment motor vehicle when

Panflex or pneumatic for malignant jaundice in the dog and for redwater in wheels.

cattle, with a demonstration of the effects of trypanblau The Director, Royal Gardens, Kew: (1) Specimens to upon the parasites. The disease known as malignant illustrate the wood Lignum nephriticum, and the fluores- jaundice (piroplasmosis) in dogs is exceedingly fatal. It cence of its infusion. Lignum nephriticum is the wood of has hitherto resisted all forms of treatment.

Both trypanCoatli (Eysenhardtia amorphoides), a small leguminous blau and trypanrot injected subcutaneously will cure Mexican tree. An infusion of the wood

used prevent the disease. The effect of the drugs is exerted medicinally by the Aztecs. Soon after the conquest of directly upon the parasites (Piroplasma cạnis) which cause Mexico the Spaniards brought the wood to Europe, where the disease. The parasites may be observed to degenerate it was used for similar purposes, and excited remark and disappear from the blood within a few hours after owing to the blue fuorescence of the watery infusion of treatment. The parasite of redwater in cattle (Piroplasma the wood. The phenomenon was first described more fully bovis) is likewise affected by trypanblau. by Athanasius Kircher (1646), and J. Bauhin (1651), who Dr. C. D. Walcott, Secretary of the Smithsonian Instituused cups made of the wood. It was carefully studied tion: Panoramic views in the Rocky Mountains, U.S., by Boyle (1664). During the next century the wood itself

and Canada.-Dr. A. Smith Woodward, F.R.S.: Skull of was lost sight of; its origin remained unknown until quite Megalosaurus from the Great Oolite of Gloucestershire. recently. Plukenet (1696) suggested, and Dale (1737) and This is the first nearly complete skull of a carnivorous Linnæus stated, that it was the wood of the horse-radish dinosaur found in Europe, and agrees with the skull of tree (Moringa pterygosperma), which is, however, a native Ceratosaurus, from the Jurassic of Colorado, U.S.A., in of the Old World. Another source that has been suggested exhibiting a bony horn-core on the nose. The specimen is Pithecolobium Unguis-Cati, a native of the West Indies. was discovered by Mr. F. L. Bradley near Minchinhampton. (In charge of Dr. O. Stapf, F.R.S.) (i.) Wood of true -Dr. C. W. Andrews, F.R.S. : Remains of rhinoceros and Lignum nephriticum and cup turned from the same, and mammoth from the Thames alluvium under the offices of samples of infusions, presented to the Kew Museum as Lloyd's Weekly News, Salisbury Square, Fleet Street, E.C.

(ii.) Medicinal substitutes of Lignum nephritic The specimens exhibited were :-(1) a nearly perfect skull cum :-(a) wood of Moringa pterygosperma, from Scinde ; of a young individual of the woolly rhinoceros (Rhinoceros (b) wood of Pithecolobium Unguis-Cati, from Florida; tichorhinus), in which some of the milk-teeth were still (c) wood of a tree, possibly a species of Imbricaria in use ; (2) a maxilla and nearly complete mandible of a (Sapotacex), fro:tropical America, received from Paris in young mammoth (Ele phas primigenius); the first and 1851 as Bois nephritique. (2) Plants of Ecanda (Raphion- second molars were in wear, the third not yet having acme utilis), and sample of rubber prepared at Kew from appeared.—Dr. F. A. Bather, F.R.S. : Sections of seasonal a tuber of it.-R. A. Robertson : Photographs (for identifi- clay from Stockholm. This clay, which was deposited cation purposes) of the transverse surface of timbers.- during the melting and retreat of the great ice-sheet in Prof. R. H. Y'app: Photographs of tropical vegetation. Sweden, may be described as fossil years and seasons. The photographs were, for the most part, taken during The alternating bands of dark and light can be easily the Skeat Expedition to the Malay Peninsula (1899-1900). seen, and Baron G. de Geer (from whom the specimens --Prof. F. E. Weiss : (1) Some alien aquatic plants from have been received) believes that cach cycle represents a the Reddish Canal, near Manchester ; (2) some South year, the lighter rock having beer formed during the meltAfrican aquatics grown in the laboratory, University of ing of the snows in spring. He has traced these bands Manchester.

for great distances, and has been able to map the changing R. I. Pocock : Warning coloration in some weasel-like limits of the ice-sheet from year to year through a long Carnivora. Animals which are nauseous or poisonous or period. This is the nearest approach to a definite chronodangerous to meddle with commonly have some means of logy by years that has yet been made by geologists, but it self-advertisement, such as conspicuous coloration or sound- still needs to be linked up to the chronology of human ing organs, which appeals to the sense of sight or of hear- | his v.-Dr. Marie Stopes : The microscopic structure of ing of their enemies, warning the latter to let them alone ; fossil plants from Japan. The nodules containing the plants but most mammals are coloured so as to be concealed were obtained in the river beds of the mountainous region either from their enemies or from the prey they feed upon. of northern Japan. They are of Cretaceous age, and conSuch concealment is commonly effected by counter-shading, tain fossil plants with their tissues so well preserved that the upper side being dark to tone down reflected light, the cells can be seen in microscopic sections of the stony and the lower side white to counteract shadow, the result matrix. All the plants are new to science, and among being obliteration of the shape and solidity of the body. them are several specimens of the first petrifaction of a Some of the weasel tribe, however, form an exception to flower hitherto discovered. The nodules contain ferns, this rule, being light above and black below, often with gymnosperms, and angiosperms, which form an interesting the white of the back, as in skunks, or of the head, as mixed fora, the first of the kind to be described from in badgers, emphasised by black stripes; and since these specimens showing their anatomical structure.-Prof. animals are known to possess glands which secrete fluids Flinders Petrie, F.R.S.: Ancient modelled heads of various with a fætid or suffocating odour, and since, also, they

These heads were found in the foreign quarter of are known to be desperate fighters and fearless and extra- Memphis, the capital of Egypt, and represent the various ordinarily tenacious of life, and to feed, for the most part, peoples who were known there, 500 B.c. to 200 B.C. The upon vegetables or upon animal food, for the capture of Persian Empire, at that time, brought together all races which concealment is unnecessary, there are strong reasons between Scythia and India, and the Mediterranean peoples for believing them to be conspicuously and warningly were familiar with Egypt before that. The modelling was coloured.-H. F. Angus : Stereoscopic photomicrographs. probably done by Græco-Egyptians. Most of these were The series comprise eggs of butterflies, moths, and para- found in the excavations of the British School of Archäosites; botanical objects, such as mycetozol, leaf hairs, &c. logy in Egypt.






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SOME PAPERS ON INVERTEBRATES. are also histological differences in the hypodermis of the

males as compared with that of the females, weil COMMENCING with entomology, mention may be as distinctive features in the mouth-organs. made of a paper on new and little-known North

Three papers published by the U.S. National MuseumAmerican Tipulida, by Mr. C. W. Johnson, published in two in the Proceedings and one in the Bulletins are vol. xxxiv., pp. 115-33, of the Proceedings of the Boston devoted to crinoids. In the first of these (Proceedings, Natural History Society. In addition to the description vol. xxxvi., pp. 391-410) Mr. A. H. Clark describes of a number of new species, the paper contains the second collection of these organisms obtained by the S.S. diagnosis of the new genus Aeshnasoma, proposed for a Albatross, of which fifteen species, together with four left large tipulid with antennæ of the type of those of over from the first collection, are regarded as new, and Longurio, but with a wing-venation differing from both duly named, one of these forming the type of that genus and Tipula.

genus. Eudoxocrinus alternicirrus, hitherto known only To the March number of Spolia Zeylanica Mr. T. B. by Challenger specimens, has been re-discovered, and its Fletcher communicates the first part of a monograph of habitat definitely determined, but several other Challenger the plume-moths of Ceylon, dealing in this instance with forms have not been met with. the members of the family Pterophoridæ. There are, it In the second of these papers (Bulletin No. 64) Miss will be remembered, two families of plume-moths, the one Elvira Wood, of Columbia University, gives a critical already mentioned and the Orneodidæ, or 24-plumed summary of Dr. Gerard Troost's unpublished monograph group. Both are regarded by the author as very ancient of the fossil crinoids of Tennessee. Dr. Troost, who was types, but there appears to be little or no near relationship born in Holland in 1776, settled in Philadelphia in 1810, between the two groups, so that their mutual resemblance where he became one of the founders, and the first presimay probably be attributed to convergence. Although dent, of the Academy of Sciences. In 1827 he removed nothing definite is known in regard to the advantage to Tennessee, where he became professor of geology and gained by the splitting of the wings in these moths, the mineralogy in Nashville University, holding that

chair author suggests that when pace is not essential, a light until his death in 1850. Only about a month before his framework of wing supplemented by cilia will be superior death the manuscript of the monograph of Tennessee to the ordinary lepidopterous wing, in that it gives an crinoids was sent to the Smithsonian Institution for publi. equal measure of support with less expenditure of muscular cation. After passing through various hands for five years, force. In the same issue Mr. P. Cameron describes certain

this manuscript came into the possession of Prof. Hall, new Ichneumonidæ and Braconidæ reared by Mr. Fletcher in whose custody it remained for upwards of forty years. from Ceylonese plume-moths.

The long period which has elapsed since it was written Part v. of the second volume of Records of the Indian

rendered re-writing practically imperative, but certain por Museum is devoted to the revision, by Mr. E. Brunetti, of tions have been printed direct from the original MS. two groups of Oriental insects, namely, the flies of the Many of the original illustrations have been replaced by families Leptidæ and Bombyliidze : the latter paper con- photographs or new drawings. taining a list of the known Oriental species, of which In the third paper of this series (Proceedings, vol. some are described for the first time.

xxxvi., pp. 179-90) Mr. Springer describes, under the To the Proceedings of the South London Entomological name of Isocrinus knighti, a new crinoid from the Jurassic and Natural History Society for 1908-9 Mr. H. S. Fremlin of Wyoming contributes a paper on the results of experiments to show The molluscs collected on the north side of the Bay of the effect of physical and chemical agencies on butterfly Biscay by the Huxley in the summer of 1906 form the pupæ. The species forming the subject of the experiments subject of an article by Mr. A. Reynell in vol. viii., No. 4, were Vanessa urticae and Abraxas grossulariata, the total of the Journal of the Marine Biological Association. Out number of specimens treated being just over two thousand. of the seventy-five species collected, sixty-two have been Water and high temperature were the agents for the in- recorded from the British area. fluence of physical conditions, while the chemical agencies In No. 1678 of the Proceedings of the U.S. National employed were nitric and hydrochloric acids, chloride of Museum (pp. 431-4) Miss H. Richardson describes and lime, sulphur, hydrogen sulphide, and carbon disulphide. figures a specimen of the curious spiny woodlouse (Acantho, In the case of V. urticae, the death-rate was excessive niscus spiniger) of Jamaica. Although this isopod is stated when the pupæ were exposed to continuous high tempera- to be common in its native island, the type-specimen in ture, hydrogen sulphide, and carbon disulphide. The pupa th. British Museum and the one described by Miss Richardof A. grossulariata were in great measure destroyed in the con are believed to be the only examples in collections. water-laden atmosphere, and in the continuous high temperature failed to develop; hydrogen sulphide, on the other hand, was less harmful than in the case of the other species, although it crippled such adults as developed.

THE RESEARCH DEFENCE SOCIETI'. Chlorine had a marked effect on the red colour of urticae, The proches at the annual general meeting on June 23 but showed little result in the case of grossulariata.

of To the June number of the Entomologists' Monthly

and manifold interests of its work. It is, indeed, a Magazine Mr. R. S. Bagnall contributes an account of national society for telling the truth about a matter of four species of Thysanoptera new to the British fauna, national importance. It defends the good name, the among which Megathrips nobilis is also new to science, honour, of science against reckless and unscrupulous That species, the largest European representative of the opponents, and we are not surprised at the welcome that group, was first obtained by Dr. D. Sharp in Wicken Fen it received. The list of its 2500 members includes a very during 1896.

powerful and thoroughly representative collection of great Leaving insects for arachnids, we find in the April issue

The society has already formed a dozen branch of the Proceedings of the Philadelphia Academy Mr. N. societies, has given many lectures, and has distributed Banks cataloguing a collection of spiders from Costa Rica, much wholesome and honest literature; it has also pubwith descriptions of new species. The new forms are lished a volume of essays, written with authority, and about seventy in number, in addition to which there are pleasantly free from all controversy. Thus it has begun about a score of species not mentioned in “ Biologia well; and the report of its committee is justly satisfied Centrali-Americana." Of the web-making species, a con

with the work of the past year. We note here two of siderable number are common to the United States, but of the points made by speakers at the annual meeting. the other groups few kinds range so far north.

Sir James Dewar emphasised this fart, that Germany To vol. xxxviii., part iv., of the Travaux Soc. Imp. is far ahead of us in the equipment of great laboratories Nat. St. Pétersbourg, Mr. E. K. Suworow contributes for research in the “ borderland between physiology and an elaborate account of the anatomy of Ixodes reduvius, chemistry." Money is spent lavishly over the investigaa tick exhibiting sexual dimorphism in a strongly marked tion of organic chemical bodies, the discovery and the degree. The much smaller males are, for instance, dis- / preparation of new organic drugs. The services of a tinguished from the females by a peculiar system of hundred expert and highly qualified men of science are at divisions in the external envelope of the body, while there the command of a single firin. They receive large salaries,


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