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molecular additions, are not readily borne in mind. We have not been more successful with a previous volume dealing with development, which explains that there is one fundamental principle" controlling the detailed ontogenetic phenomena, namely, "the principle of monodic development." Though it is "of extraordinary simplicity, like all the principles of natural phenomena," we have failed to detect its luminiferous quality.
But as the author emphasises the fact that if his argument is to be appreciated there must not be "the least omission of any part of the book, even if it seems a superfluous repetition," and as he "has consecrated all his intellectual activity and all his scientific passion" to working out an interpretation which seems to him "to explain the fundamental phenomena of life on absolutely scientific principles," we feel bound, in fairness, to recommend the author's painstaking work to all biologists who may have the leisure and patience which a study of "Les Problèmes de la Vie" requires. Perhaps another requisite which we cannot pretend to possess is a clear apprehension of the biomolecule. J. A. T.
Report on the Injurious Insects and Other Animals observed in the Midland Counties during 1905. By Walter E. Collinge, M.Sc. Pp. 58+ xxxii figures. (Birmingham: Cornish Brothers, Ltd.,
1906.) MR. COLLINGE, in his third report on the in
jurious insects and other animals of the Midland counties, again deals with many varied subjects. The report is well illustrated, except for the figure of a weird bird and its egg supposed to represent a barn owl. Why a valuable page was wasted on such an unnatural production is impossible to understand.
One of the most interesting parts of the report is that dealing with "big-bud" in black currants, and the treatment of diseased bushes (pp. 6 and 7). In a Summary Mr. Collinge tells us that he "feels convinced that the application of lime and sulphur will keep this mite in check, and if the dusting or spraying is continued will entirely eradicate it." Later he tells us that the results have been checked by many large growers, and that they clearly point to the fact that "the application of lime and sulphur offers an effective remedy." He does not tell us how many times we have to dust or spray the bushes. That "we know completely the life-history of the mite" is certainly not the fact; some dozens of points have yet to be found out.
An interesting account is also given of the plum Aphides (Hyalopterus pruni and Aphis pruni). Something is wrong, however, in the account of Aphis pruni, for the young coming from the winter eggs, which are very few in number, and hatch very early in the year, are not green. In early spring we find this Aphis as a large plum-coloured motherqueen," and she produces green living young. The treatment recommended, namely, early spraying, is nevertheless most imperative.
Among other insects this useful report deals with we find notes on the pea and bean thrips, woolly aphis, currant-shoot moth, raspberry moth, cockchafers, furniture beetles, and book-lice. There are also short accounts of the lilac Gracilaria and the larch Coleophora. The abundance of eel-worms during the past year is also dwelt upon, and a list of woodlice found in the Midlands is given.
Amongst so much of value, such as the account of the snow-fly (Aleyrodes vaporarium, p. 22) and the larch and spruce chermes (p. 14), that this report contains, we are sorry to see some wrong statements being carried forward. For instance, on p. 23, caustic alkali wash is still recommended for mussel scale in winter. Recent work has shown that it has no effect at all, even when used at treble the normal strength. A few pages are devoted to the subject of the preservation of wild birds, illustrated by figures from the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries leaflets. There is also a short appendix dealing with the employment of hydrocyanic acid gas and bisulphide of carbon.
This report, like its predecessors, is one of much interest, but some of the remedial measures for such things as wire-worm and "big-bud" must surely not be taken too seriously by agriculturists.
FRED. V. THEOBALD.
THE FEELING FOR NATURE.
The Development of the Feeling for Nature in the Middle Ages and Modern Times. By Alfred Biese. Authorised Translation. Pp. vi+376. (London: Routledge and Sons, Ltd., 1905.) Price 6s. NATURE in her ever-constant, ever-changing
phases is indispensable to man, his whole existence depends upon her, and she influences him in manifold ways in mind as well as body." Such being the relation of nature to man, as set forth in the introduction, it has been the author's endeavour to trace in this volume the development of human thought in regard to the phenomena of nature from the introduction of Christianity downwards, in the same way that was done in a previous volume for the time of the Greeks and Romans. This has been done mainly by the study of writings, both in prose and poetry, in which natural phenomena, whether connected with scenery, weather, birds, or flowers, are spoken of with admiration. That the task of writing the book was a difficult one is freely admitted by Prof. Biese, and it is scarcely to be wondered at if at the end the book strikes the reader as somewhat less attractive than he would naturally expect from
The book is largely made up of quotations, and many of these quotations do not, after all, prove very much. Then, again, as we approach recent times the quantity of literature at a writer's disposal tends to become for practical purposes infinite, and in such circumstances anything might be proved by choosing suitable quotations. Again, in quoting poetry as an indication of popular feeling at various times it must not be forgotten that poetry is, from the very nature of things, essentially conservative, so
that the poetry of one age necessarily reproduces the thoughts and modes of expression of previous ages. It thus appears that the method of treatment which undoubtedly was admirably adapted to the study of the Greek and Roman period becomes less and less satisfactory as the present day is approached. The early chapters are, therefore, by far the most interesting. They deal with the effects of Christianity in turning man's thoughts from the things of this world to spiritual matters, and with the revival of the feeling for nature among the German races, who, living in a northern climate, were naturally led to appreciate and value the beauties associated with the coming of summer. But it may be reasonably urged that evidence of later-day developments of the feeling for nature should be sought in science rather than in art, in the interest taken in the study of natural phenomena rather than in the recantation of praises of sunshine, sea, and the nightingale's song.
It is fairly certain that if some readers do not find this book as interesting as they expect, there will be others who will enjoy its perusal more than this review suggests, and we may safely apply to Prof. Biese the Yorkshire quotation, "He did his best and he couldn't do owt else."
OUR BOOK SHELF.
A Handbook of York and District. Prepared for the
workers. In most cases, unfortunately, the exigences of space prevent much more than lists of species, but it can be safely said that this portion of the handbook forms an epitome of the natural history of the dis trict. Mr. J. E. Clark brings the volume to a close by some meteorological notes.
There are three maps sent with the volume, all of which are excellent. It was a happy thought to reproduce Skaife's archæological map of York, and with the help of the Ordnance Survey department a is produced. The third is obviously principally for really charming map of the greater part of Yorkshire the use of the geological section, and is coloured so as to show the glacial lakes, moraines, &c. T. S. Bacteria in Relation to Plant Diseases. By Erwin F. Smith. Vol. i. (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institute, 1905.) Pp. xii+285.
AN authoritative account of bacterial plant diseases has long been a desideratum, and no investigator more competent than Mr. Erwin Smith, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, who has himself made important original contributions to the subject, could be found to undertake such a task. The bacterial diseases of plants are, however, only incidentally mentioned in this, the first volume of the work, which is mainly devoted to methods of investigation and to a bibliography of the general literature of bacteriology, exclusive of plant diseases. As a guide to general bacteriological methods we know no better. though, as it is a preliminary to plant bacteriology, methods specially applicable to pathogenic organisms attacking men and animals are necessarily not to be found. Sterilisation, the preparation of culture chemical products, keeping of records, and equipment media, methods of infection, the investigation of of the laboratory are all dealt with very fully, explanTHE handbook which has been prepared for the benefit atory figures being used liberally. A considerable of those attending the forthcoming meeting of the section is also devoted to an account of photomicroBritish Association at York will be found to be exceed-graphy. The difficult question of the nomenclature ingly useful. The volume is neatly bound and printed and classification of bacteria is critically discussed at on suitable paper, is of the size now usually adopted considerable length, and forms an excellent summary by the local committees, and has a most appropriate of the whole subject. At the end of the volume a design on the cover. Undoubtedly most of the number of useful formulæ for stains, etc., is collected, members attending the York meeting will take an and the bibliography, which extends over sixty-four interest in the relics of the past with which this pages, and index complete the work. The volume is ancient city abounds. It is natural, therefore, that excellently illustrated with thirty-one plates and 146 by far the greater portion of the book should be de- figures in the text. We congratulate Mr. Smith on voted to a description of the various antiquities from this, the first, though perhaps the easier, portion of prehistoric to mediæval times. The editor, Dr. his task, and shall await the appearance of the next Auden, describes the prehistoric remains, Mr. H. M. volume with considerable interest. Platnauer refers to the relics of the Roman and Danish occupations, and other writers continue the
The second part of the volume, which is restricted to 100 pages, contains an account of the geology, botany, zoology, and meteorology of York and district, and, as might be expected from the space allotted, this part of the work is much more condensed, and is not so readable as the earlier portion. The Rev. W. Johnson describes the geology of the district in a chapter exceedingly brief, possibly due to the fact that "the geology of York is, in one sense, of the simplest kind." Dr. W. G. Smith, of the Leeds University, gives an interesting general survey of the botanical features of the district. This chapter is particularly appropriate in view of the leading part being played by Dr. Smith and his colleagues in Yorkshire in reference to botanical survey. Lists of flowering plants, algæ, fungi, Hepatica, Sphagnaceæ, Musci Veri; mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, beetles, butterflies, moths, and land and fresh-water shells are given by various York
R. T. HEWI EIT.
Outlines of Zoology. By Prof. J. A. Thomsonf.
THIS book has very great positive merits and very
In his general survey in the first chapter he begins with monkeys, as being the animals most like man and works down to the Protozoa. In the body of the book, reversing the order, he proceeds from the lowest
to the highest. This is an ingenious compromise between two methods each of which has something to recommend it. The early chapters, that deal with the functions of animals, the modern conception of protoplasm, the elements of structure, reproduction, the evolution of sex, and heredity are particularly good. The chapter on palæontology is, owing to the necessary limitations, far too short for the subject, but a table makes clear the order in which the different classes of animals appeared upon the earth. When we come to the body of the book we notice, as in the opening chapters, the remarkable clearness of the style; and though morphology is in no way neglected, yet some room is always found for the description of the habits of the animals in question. For instance, there are some eight pages devoted to the habits and functions of birds, their modes of flight, their courtship, their nests, moulting, diet, migrations.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
[The Editor does not hold himself responsible for opinions expressed by his correspondents. Neither can he undertake to return, or to correspond with the writers of, rejected manuscripts intended for this or any other part of NATURE. No notice is taken of anonymous communications.]
PROF. KAHLENBERG'S letter published in NATURE July 5 shows that, as so often happens, the controversy about osmotic pressure is based on a difference in meaning assigned to that term.
We may adopt what now appears to be Prof. Kahlenberg's conception, and regard the osmotic pressure of a solution as a real experimental pressure reached with some actual membrane in certain practical conditions. Such a definition gives us a conception of great interest and importance, especially from a physiological point of view. But unfortunately it has no bearing on the thermodynamic theory of solution-or the allied theories of fusion and evaporation-which apparently Prof. Kahlenberg still wishes to attack by its means, after he has insisted that
One or two minor points may now be mentioned that seem to be open to criticism. Plants and animals, Prof. Thomson says, "represent the divergent branches of a V-shaped tree of life." But plants" the formation of crystals from a solution, or the concenoriginated before animals; the nature of their food proves this beyond a doubt. Animals we must look upon as a branch from the primitive vegetable stem. The account of the Hydromedusa would be much better for an illustration-a figure of a hydroid with the Medusa of the alternating generation or of Tubularia with its Actinula. Such additions would, of course, increase the bulk of the book, but the figure of a frog (p. 560) is superfluous, since everyone knows what a frog is like. Again, the process of natural selection is easily intelligible without Fig. 378.
F. W. H.
Animal Heroes; being the Histories of a Cat, a Dog,
MR. SETON has always something fresh and interest-
Some Facts about the Weather. By William Marriott.
THIS pamphlet supplies just the information about meteorological phenomena likely to be useful to the general public. The instruments in use in climatological stations are enumerated, and the determining factors of climate are explained in order. The booklet should be the means of stimulating interest in the scientific study of weather.
tration of a solution by evaporation are not osmotic processes." Of course they are not osmotic processes in Prof. Kahlenberg's sense of the term. But the theory of fusion and evaporation, which, as I pointed out in my letter published on May 31, has been verified experimentally in the case of the depression of the freezing point to an accuracy of nearly one in a thousand, depends on the hypothetical separation of solvent by some ideal and perfect semi-permeable process.
It is such considerations as these that demand the other conception of osmotic pressure, which, suggested no doubt by Pfeffer's experiments on osmosis, has now, in accordance with the usual course of development of the concepts of physical science, come to possess an ideal significance, towards which the actual experimentally measured quantity can but tend as the experimental conditions approach the ideal state postulated in the theoretical definition.
Defining osmotic pressure as the hydrostatic pressure needed to keep a solution in equilibrium with its solvent across an ideally perfect semi-permeable membrane, we obtain a conception, possibly of less chemical and physionevertheless enables logical importance, which develop a thermodynamic theory of solution; and this theory has been verified experimentally in cases where we have reason to suppose that the actual conditions approach the ideal.
I have found that this confusion of ideas as to the con
ception of osmotic pressure has occasioned trouble in other cases. It would be well if a new name could be applied to osmotic pressure when used in one or other of its meanings; but I suppose that each side in the controversy would insist on the rights of possession and customary usage. Hence I would suggest that, at the cost of some complexity of nomenclature, one of the two meanings should be
emphasised as experimental osmotic pressure " and the
in creating the theory of electrolytic dissociation, the actual phenomena of electrolysis have played a minor part,' and wishes thus to invalidate my statement that "the theory rests on electrical evidence, and by such evidence it must be tried." I can hardly believe that Prof. Kahlenberg would wish seriously to commit himself to the opinion that the historical train of ideas by which a given hypothesis may have been reached necessarily supplies the only (or even the best) logical basis for its support. We do not always doubt the stability of our houses because it has been necessary or convenient to remove some of the scaffolding used in their construction.
It is true that the abnormally great osmotic pressures and freezing-point depressions of electrolytic solutions originally suggested that the molecules of their solutes were dissociated; but such observations clearly can give no information on the electrical state of the dissociated structures. A valid test for an electric ion must depend on some electrical property, such as motion in an electric field.
At the request of Prof. Armstrong, I have summarised already what seems to me the electrical evidence for the dissociation theory, and I will not repeat what appeared in your columns of May 31; but I wish again to express a hope that someone who rejects the theory will put forward an alternative scheme to explain the mechanism of electrolytic conduction. W. C. D. WHETHAM.
Trinity College, Cambridge, July 13.
The Fertilisation of Pieris.
ON May 20, near Chindi, in the State of Sukét, NorthWestern Himalaya, I was able to make notes on the pollination of Pieris ovalifolia by Pieris brassicae, Pieris soracta, and other insects. Pieris ovalifolia, D. Don, at Chindi, grows to be a small tree in forests of Pinus longifolia and Pinus excelsa on hill-sides about 6000 feet, where in May thousands of Pieris soracta, and hundreds of Pieris brassicae, flit through the trees.
My first observations were made about 6 a.m., before the sun flowers were visited by Bombus haemorrhoidalis, Smith, in a very diligent way. Later, after the sun was well up, came Pieris brassicae, Schrank, to the flowers, and then many individuals of Pieris soracta, F. Moore, which is in May a most abundant butterfly. With the butterflies a large steel-blue and orange wasp came to the Pieris bushes, and bit holes in the corollas, which later little Aphids also used for stealing the honey.
was fully on the hill-side; and then the Pieris
Pieris branches stand horizontal, with the leaves on a plane above the racemes of flowers. There are twenty to thirty flowers on a raceme, and the topmost open as the lowest die. Each flower is a bell, like that of one of our common English Ericas, 10 mm. long, and very slightly constricted at the middle; the mouth is only 2 mm. in diameter. Pierids and Bombus suck honey hanging under the bells, except where some fortuitous circumstance brings the flowers of one branch close to the leaves of another; and then the butterflies are very ready to try to get the honey without having to hang back downwards to reach into the bells. When once back downwards they walk as on a causeway along the long, regular racemes, generally from younger to older flowers, i.e. towards the base.
Pieris anthers are two-horned, as are so many of the anthers in the Ericaceæ, and with the help of their filaments make an entanglement at the constriction of the bell. The filaments are much more bent into an S than
is usual in the Ericaceae, and form a spring which, by pressing with the lower curve of the letter against the corolla, holds the anther pores against the style, in such a firm manner that they can only free the powdery pollen when the pressure of the spring is interfered with. This the visiting insects do, and receive a shower of pollen on their heads or probosces. As it is impossible to slit the corolla without causing pollen to fall, the part it plays in keeping closed the anther pores is evident; and it is also impossible to push a needle past the ring of anthers without liberating pollen. The stigma is close to the mouth of the flower, and is bound to be touched by an insect's tongue before it touches the anthers. When mature it is 4.5 mm. beyond the anther-ring. The stigma matures after the opening of the flower, and the style grows 1.5 mm. between the opening of the bud and its maturity, but the anther-pores appear in the bud. Honey is secreted very abundantly behind the slightly broadened bases of the filaments. The duration of the flowers is several days. After the fall of the corolla, the sepals close over the ovary, and the pedicel ultimately turns upwards.
I have communicated the above actual observations to NATURE in the hope that both zoologists and botanists may read them, and be reminded of the possible inconveniences resulting from using the same generic name for two even very distinct organisms. I admit that we are not at present at all likely to rule that a previous use of a name in zoology or botany precludes its use in botany or zoology; but it is desirable to do what one can to avoid using used names, and to forward that end indexes like Durand's "Index Generum Phanerogamarum become the more and more wanted, especially from the zoologists.
I give here just a few instances of the double use of a generic name. Liparis is the nun moth of Europe and an orchid of Europe; Iris is an insect and the well-known plant; Lælia is a moth and an orchid; Adesmia is a beetle and a shrub; Castalia is a beetle of India and the water-lily, while Castalius is an Indian butterfly; Graeffea is a Phasmid of Fiji and a plant of Fiji; Empusa is an insect and an insect-killing fungus; Prosopis is a bee and a plant. Stilbum is a Chrysid and a fungus; Acrocephalus is a bird and a herb; Taphria is an insect and the legitimised form of Taphrina, a fungus. To emphasise my point it will be my endeavour to ascertain if a fungus of the genus Empusa can destroy the insect Empusa, if Castalius visits Castalia, and if Acrocephalus eats the seed of Acrocephalus I. HENRY BURKILL. Indian Museum, Calcutta.
IF the enthusiasm which leads a man of science to travel at midsummer to one of the hottest regions of the world may be taken as evidence, geology will soon have much to say on Australian anthropological problems. Prof. Gregory, at the instigation of Dr. Howitt, visited the Lake Eyre region, with a prospect of encountering a temperature of some 120° F., in order to throw light on the legends of the aborigines and the problem of their original home. All over Australia are found stories of monsters like the Bunyip; but in the Lake Eyre region they present peculiar features; the animals, called Kadimakara, are said to be extinct, and are represented as arboreal in their habits according to one form of the legend, aquatic in another. The latter is of no special interest, but it is difficult to see how the idea of sky people and animals could have originated in Australia, the vegetation of which is not apt to suggest the idea. Prof. Gregory sees in it evidence of migration, either of legends or of their narrators, from tropical parts.
It is certain that at the present day transmission of the dramatic performances known as corroborees is very common. The expedition saw on the Peak Station, west of Lake Eyre, a corroboree known to have travelled from North-west Central Queensland since the year 1893. From a photograph in the possession of the present writer it is certain that the dance called Molongo in Queensland and Tji-tjingalla near Lake Eyre was known to the Arunta at Alice Springs in 1903 or 1904; but whether it came via the Peak or from the north-east cannot be determined. From Dr. Howitt and others we learn that new songs are passed from tribe to tribe, their meanings being forgotten; and the tendency seems to have existed in the 'thirties of the last century, so that it cannot be put down to European influence and easier communication. There is, however, no similar evidence of transmission of myths; prima facie, therefore, there is no ground for supposing that the Kadimakara story is of foreign origin; to raise the presumption it would be necessary to find its analogue elsewhere.
The argument for the foreign origin of this myth rests in part on the assumption that the geographical conditions of the region have been unchanged since its present, or rather, in only too many cases, late occupiers reached it. In proof of this Prof. Gregory quotes legends explaining the origin of natural features and representing them as the same when they were first known as they are at the present day. But it is clear that we are not entitled to assume the
1 "The Dead Heart of Australia: a Journey round Lake Eyre in the Summer of 1901-2, with some Account of the Lake Eyre Basin and the Pp. xvi+384. (London: John Murray, 1906.) Price 16s. net. Flowing Wells of Central Australia." By Prof. J. W. Gregory, F.R.S
same age for all items in a stock of folk-tales; and in any case the evidence of myths is untrustworthy in matters of history. It seems possible that man was in the area before the great climatic changes described in the work before us; the failure to find worked stones associated with the extinct marsupials cannot be regarded as decisive until a wider search has been made.
Unfortunately, Prof. Gregory was unable to see more than a portion of the Tji-tji-ngalla corroboree. Its transmission raises interesting problems; in Queensland the Molongo is a kind of evil spirit, and it would be interesting to know whether it is in this light that the principal performer is regarded in Central Australia. Some of the words are recorded, and the author is disposed to see in the fact that they are untranslatable by the performers evidence of rapid
that there is no evidence of intermixture, and points to the singular uniformity of type in Australia as evidence of racial purity. Against this it may be said that there is considerable variation in hair, as may be seen by comparing Taplin's South Australian types with Spencer and Gillen's Central tribesmen. As Prof. Gregory points out, the skull is more variable than hair; similarity of physical conditions may have more to do with similarity of skull-type than any original uniformity of physical type.
The latter half of the book is devoted to a discussion of how the dead heart of Australia can be revived, and of the origin of the water supply of the so-called artesian well in Australia. It appears that the scheme for an inland sea, to be formed by supplying Lake Eyre with water from the Southern Ocean, is impracticable. It would cost little less than the amount
changes in language. But it is the unintelligibility which causes the changes, and not vice versa. song passes from tribe to tribe, and is unintelligible a few miles from its centre of origin. The change in corroboree words is therefore comparable to the variations introduced by children into counting-out rhymes, &c., which they have learnt, parrot fashion, from a foreigner; these changes would not be evidence of modifications in European languages.
By discovering dingo bones in association with those of the Thylacinus, now found alive only in Tasmania, Dr. Gregory has added force to the argument that the dingo was not introduced by man. He also argues that the Tasmanians must have been in Australia before the dingo if, as Dr. Howitt argues, they passed into Tasmania by land. On the relation of the Tasmanians and Australians Prof. Gregory has seen reason to change his view. He now holds
From "The Dead Heart of Australia.
of our national debt. Prof. Gregory protests against the waste of water from the wells, justifiable only on the supposition that they will never cease to flow. Experience shows that they are already diminishing their supplies, not from any choking of the bores, but from more radical causes, and it is suggested in the work before us that the real source of the supply is not meteoric, but plutonic; in other words, Australia is recklessly drawing on a banking account which has been steadily piled up for tens or hundreds of thousands of years. Unless measures are taken to check youthful extravagance, future generations of colonists will have cause to regret that no heed is paid to the warnings of geologists.
The work is excellently illustrated by numerous maps, plans, and plates. Anthropologists will look forward to the other work on the aborigines which Prof. Gregory promises in the preface. N. W. T.