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the University in the same year. During the last quarter of a century Dr. Molloy took an important part in the administration of Irish education. He acted on the Commission on Manual Training in Primary Schools, and filled the post of assistant commissioner under the Education Endowments Act. He was at the time of his death a member of the Intermediate Education Board. As a popular lecturer on scientific subjects Dr. Molloy had few equals in Ireland, and he was a frequent speaker at the lectures of the Royal Dublin Society, of the council of which he was a member. He was the author of several scientific and literary works, including Geology and Revelation," published in 1870, and "Gleanings in Science," in 1888.


A DEVASTATING West India hurricane has quickly followed the China Sea typhoons noted in last week's issue. The permanent Atlantic anticyclone has recently occupied a position more over the south-western quarter of the ocean, while it has been flanked on its north-eastern side by the extensive and stationary high-pressure system which has remained centred over the British Isles for several days past. In these circumstances a disturbance developing anywhere in the neighbourhood of the West Indies would be unable to take the usual sweep round by the great American bight and Bermuda for the Banks of Newfoundland. Instead, an almost direct westerly course would have to be followed into the Gulf of Mexico. This is what appears to have been the case on September 26 and 27, when a violent hurricane, centred on the eastern side of the Gulf, ravaged the Southern States, the coastal regions in particular suffering severely. The tempest raised the waters of the Gulf so high that not only were the lowlying lands inundated, but the streets of Mobile, Pensacola, New Orleans, and other large towns were several feet under water. Numbers of lives were lost, and thousands of families rendered homeless. It is stated that at Pensacola every house along the water front for a distance of ten miles was wrecked, and Fort McCrae, a military station, was completely destroyed, nearly every soul perishing. In the various towns factories and warehouses were demolished, and their contents carried out to sea. There were hundreds of maritime casualties, many of them total losses. One navy vessel was carried 200 yards inland, and a large iron steamer forced through buildings to a distance of a block from the wharf. Inland there was great destruction amongst the cotton, sugar-cane, and other crops, while very considerable structural damage was occasioned by the violence of the wind. The storm is said to be the worst since the one which destroyed Galveston.

WE have received a copy of No. 45 of the Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (June), which contains a number of articles on subjects connected with zoology, botany, folk-lore, native manufactures, ard such like. Mr. C. B. Kloss communicates notes on the Sumatran pig recently described as Sus oi, in the course MR. J. A. REID, Bedford, has just published a reprint, of which he points out that the species does not occur on price twopence, of Huxley's essay "Time and Life: the mainland of the Malay Peninsula, but only on the Darwin's Origin of Species,' '" which originally appeared adjacent island of Pulo Battam, the fauna of which is in Macmillan's Magazine for 1859.

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IT is announced in the September number that the Museum Gazette will for some time to come take more notice of the humanities," while attention will also be directed to some of the aspects of botanical studies. Articles on fish as food, a seaside museum, mushroomeating, the potato-disease, and pea-pods, are included in the contents of the number before us.

WITH praiseworthy assiduity, Dr. W. L. Abbott, the well-known amateur collector, continues his zoological exploration of the Malay islands. One of the latest areas explored is the cluster of small islands lying between the

Malay Peninsula and Sumatra, and collectively known as the Rhino-Linga Archipelago. The large series of mammal skins collected there is described by Mr. G. S. Miller in No. 1485 of the Proceedings of the U.S. National Museum, with the usual liberal allowance of nominal new species, based, in most cases at any rate, on what are nothing more than local phases. No. 1483 of the same serial is devoted to a review, by Mr. P. Bartsch, of the longspired "urocoptid " land-shells from the American mainland in the collection of the museum, with the description of a number of new forms.

ALTHOUGH Japanese waters, according to Messrs. Jordan and Starks, in a paper published in the Proceedings of the U.S. National Museum (No. 1484), abound in flat-fishes, the most esteemed British representatives of that group, namely, the turbot and the sole, are unfortunately wanting in the far eastern islands, where, indeed, the genera Rhombus and Solea, as restricted by the authors, are absent. The authors make no mention of the respective values as food-fishes of any of the numerous species recorded. They regard the theory that the flounders are related to the Zeidæ, and that both groups trace their ancestry to the extinct Amphistiidæ, as an ingenious guess for which there is no positive warranty. In No. 1456 of the same publication Messrs. Jordan and Snyder discuss the Japanese killifishes (Poeciliidae), of which only two species are at present known.

ACCORDING to a writer in the September number of the Zoologist, hybrids between blackcock (or grey-hen) and the pheasant are by no means uncommon in England; in Scotland they are more rare, and on the Continent appear to be very unusual. In addition to a portion of Messrs. Clark and Rodd's notes on the birds of the Scilly Islands, the same issue contains a notice of a specimen of the pelagic fish Scomber thunnina taken off Yarmouth, being apparently the first of its kind recorded from British waters. There is also a notice of a "sea-monster seen off the Irish coast. Judging from the sketch sent by one observer, it seems probable that the creature was a basking-shark (Selache maxima), unless, indeed, it could have been a straggler of the Indian basking-shark (Rhinodon typicus), which attains dimensions more nearly in accord with those estimated by one of the observers for the Irish


essentially of a Sumatran type. The longest article in the issue is one by Dr. H. N. Ridley, giving an account of a recent expedition undertaken by himself to Christmas Island (Indian Ocean). The author was enabled to make considerable additions to the list of indigenous plants, and communicates some interesting observations on the changes which are taking place in the coast fauna and flora as the result of colonisation. Mr. R. Shelford continues his list of Bornean butterflies, while Mr. Kloss records a 30-test python from Johore.

WE have received the report on the Scientific Investgations of the Northumberland Sea-fisheries Committee for the year 1905. The delay in publication is due to an

on economic minerals, by Mr. V. S. Sambasiva Iyer. In the last report the occurrence of deposits of asbestos, mica, gold, pyrites, magnesite, chromite, garnet, staurolite, and apatite is recorded. In the Memoirs of the Mysore Geological Department (vol. iii., part i.) Mr. E. W. Wetherell gives a general account of laterite, and a description of the more important exposures in the districts of Bangalore and Kolar. The origin and nature of laterite have always been such controversial questions that the author's conclusions are of special interest. He shows that the Bangalore-Kolar laterite is detrital and of lacustrine origin, and that there is no geological relation whatever between the horizontal laterite proper and the clayey lithomargic beds below. The apparent gradation from these beds into laterite is due to the fact that the laterite was lain down in water on the decomposed surface of the preexisting rocks, and subsequently the chemical changes caused by percolating water have acted both upon the laterite itself and upon the decomposed material below it.

attempt to induce the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries | Shimoga and Kadur districts, by Mr. H. K. Slater; and to undertake the issue of the report. Although the attempt was unsuccessful, it is hoped that in the near future the Board will become more closely associated with fishery researches throughout the country. As the result of fourteen years' trawling experiments, correlated with Government statistics, and a review of the history of the local fisheries, the present report contains a much fuller account of the "white-fisheries" of Northumberland than has previously been possible. The experiments indicate that the stations are subject to gain and loss from the areas immediately outside, and that the inward movements include a certain number of deep-sea fish, especially plaice. When reduced to a common standard, the results demonstrate that while there was a steady improvement in the fish-population from 1892 to 1903, a decline has set in since the latter date. Recently the fish captured have been found to feed chiefly on sand-eels, in place of molluscs and crustaceans, due, apparently, to the scarcity of the two latter. The improvement in the flat-fishes of the district is attributed to protection, and it is considered that protection will likewise lead 10 a noticeable increase of crabs and lobsters. Important statistics are furnished with regard to the rate of growth and the migrations of flat-fish.

PROF. R. DE C. WARD contributes a valuable paper on the classification of climates to the July and August numbers of the Bulletin of the American Geographical Society. The chief systems of classification described are those of Supan, Köppen, Hult, and Ravenstein, and Prof. Ward comes to the satisfactory conclusion that the first of these is the best for general purposes. Teachers of geography will find this paper extremely useful.


THE present stage of development and the prospects of the magnesite mines of South Africa are described in the Engineer (vol. cii., No. 2646). They are situated between Kaapmuiden and Melelana, eighty-seven miles from Delagoa Bay and 300 miles from Johannesburg. magnesite occurs in nearly vertical beds associated with serpentine in schists, and is worked in open cuttings. The magnesite is of good quality, and the mines have opened out an industry that is likely to be of considerable future importance.

Is the Engineering Magazine for September there are eight articles by prominent American engineers, the most striking being a warning by Dr. Louis Bell on the subject of over-specialisation in manufacturing methods. Standardisation, however desirable from a pecuniary standpoint, in the last resort means the cessation of active improvement. Labour-saving machinery, interchangeable parts, and systematised production have their due place to fill in the world's economy. But they need not become, as they are becoming at the present time, an excuse for stagnation; and, above all, they should not be allowed to check the development of the craftsman, who is necessary to the perpetuation of industry. The greatest industrial problem to-day is to maintain the supply of intelligent American labour in spite of the American industrial system.

THE Records of the Mysore Geological Department (vol. v.) contain the general report of the work of the department for the year 1903-4, by Dr. W. F. Smeeth, the State geologist. The work is of a very varied character, and comprises, in addition to geological inquiries, inspection of mines and explosives, prospecting, lectures, and the management of the library, laboratory, and museum. The same volume contains special reports on the Chitaldrug and Tumkur districts, by Mr. E. W. Wetherell; on the

THE excellent work that is being done by the South African Philosophical Society is well shown by the varied contents of the Transactions (vol. xvi., part iii.). Dr. R. Broom describes and illustrates Hortalotarsus skirto podus, the South African dinosaur described by Seeley in 1894. Dr. R. Marloth gives some notes on Aloe succotrina, which he has found growing at a spot on Table Mountain, and Mr. T. R. Sim summarises the recent information concerning South African ferns and their distribution. The list he gives shows a total of 212 species. Mr. J. R. Sutton discusses the climate of East London, Cape Colony, giving a summary of meteorological observations made during the twenty-one years 1884-1904. Mr. D. E. Hutchins reviews the cycle year 1905, an important one to those interested in long-period weather forecasts, and concludes that farmers may expect general good seasons for the next two or three years, and that after 1908 there will be six years of drought. Mr. A. L. du Toit points out the considerable influence of the geological formation on the storage of underground water, and considers the potentialities of such a supply in south-eastern Bechuanaland. Dr. Thomas Muir makes known a solution to a set of linear equations connected with homofocal surfaces. Mr. W. L. Sclater gives an account of two recently discovered inscribed stones bearing on the history of Cape Colony. One is a boundary stone erected by the governor Joachim van Plettenberg at Colesburg in 1778 to mark the extreme north-eastern boundary of the colony, and the other is a stone in the castle wall with inscriptions by John Roberts, commander of the Lesser James, 1622, and by James Burgess, master of the Abigail, 1622.

THE last issue of the Journal of the Institution of Electrical Engineers contains an interesting paper on long-flame arc lamps, by Mr. L. Andrews. The paper is of especial interest at the present time, owing to the recent development of the long-flame arc, which is largely due to the enterprise and competition of the gas companies during the last two years. With the perfection of highpressure gas the electric arc was seriously threatened, as gas lighting, without a doubt, was driving out the arc lamp from both the cost and candle-power points of view. This competition, however, has had a beneficial result, in that the long-flame arc lamp has been developed and can now more than hold its own with high-pressure gas lamps, as is proved by the fact that, after a practical trial of both systems which lasted over some time, the South-Eastern Railway Company has decided to adopt oriflame arc lamps

at the renovated Charing Cross Station, as they found by test that, on the price for price basis, the oriflame lamps gave a much better light than the high-pressure gas lamps. Mr. Andrews's paper chiefly deals with one particular kind of flame arc lamp, namely, the Carbone lamp. The paper led, however, to a discussion which opened up the question in its more general form. It is to be hoped, therefore, that the question of long-flame arcs will not be allowed to drop until a much greater development has taken place, as much is needed before we can say that it is perfect, as the efficiency of flame arc lamps still leaves much to be desired.

THE August issue of the Psychological Bulletin is a pathological number. In addition to an article on the relation of emotional and intellectual functions in paranoia and in obsessions (by Dr. Adolf Meyer, the editor of this number), it contains a discussion by Dr. J. W. Baird of the contraction of the colour zones in hysteria and in neurasthenia. The conclusions to which Dr. Baird's observations lead are (1) that the colour zones of the abnormal subjects examined are, on the whole, of smaller area than those of the normal subjects, and (2) wherever a contraction of the colour zones occurs a definite order is observed -the red and green zones narrow together and the blue and yellow zones together, and there is a greater degree of contraction in the red-green zone than in the blue-yellow


ALTHOUGH it is well established that selenium and tellurium are isomorphous in their compounds, it is still a question of controversy whether the isomorphism extends to the substances in the elementary state. Drs. G. Pellini and G. Vio show in the Atti dei Lincei (vol. xxv., ii., p. 46) that the solidifying points of mixtures of these substances are proportional to the percentage compositions, and that the elements are therefore isomorphous. The hexagonal mineral tellurium from Honduras, which contains about 29 per cent. of selenium, would thus appear to be an isomorphous mixture.

A METHOD of isolating radio-thorium from thorium salts is described by Messrs. G. A. Blanc and O. Angelucci in the Atti dei Lincei (vol. xxv., ii., p. 90). When sulphuric acid is added to a solution of thorium nitrate containing barium chloride no precipitate is formed in the cold solution, but on warming, part of the barium is precipitated as sulphate, the precipitate carrying down some of the radio-thorium. The sulphate is converted into carbonate by fusion with sodium carbonate, and the product, after thorough washing, is dissolved in acid; on adding ammonia a slight precipitate of radio-thorium is obtained which has an activity about 5000 times as great as thorium hydroxide in a state of radio-active equilibrium.

THE use by the Königliche Porzellan Manufactur of fused magnesium oxide in the construction of tubes and crucibles has led Messrs. H. M. Goodwin and R. D. Mailey to publish the results they have obtained in an investigation of the physical properties of fused magnesium oxide (Physical Review, vol. xxiii., No. 1). The fused substance is a white, very hard crystalline substance, the size of the crystals depending on the rate of cooling. The melting point of the material is 1910°, the coefficient of expansion being very nearly the same as that of platinum, a fact which will prove of value in its application. results recorded for the electrical conductivity show that up to 1150° C. fused magnesia is a better insulator than porcelain. Fused salts, as a rule, have very little action on the material, and it is attacked only slowly by cold, dilute mineral acids.


IN an article in No. 8 of Le Radium Mr. A. S. Eve describes a method of estimating the proportion of radium or thorium in a mineral by means of the y rays which it emits. Incidentally, it is pointed out that solutions of radium bromide which are intended to serve as standards of radio-activity are liable, unless acidified, to become inexact owing to the deposition of radium on the glass of the vessels containing them. It appears advisable always to control such solutions by reference to a standard of solid radium bromide. Dr. M. Levin contributes an article on the absorption of the a rays of polonium to the same number of Le Radium, Mr. H. L. Bronson deals with the transformation periods of radium A, B, and C, and Mr. W. H. Bragg describes investigations of the a particles of uranium and thorium.

BOTH theoretically and practically the formation of "basic" salts has long been a difficulty to chemists. In the case of the carbonates, for example, no good reason has been given why the carbonates of the metals of the alkaline earths alone should be definite compounds. The current number of the Journal of the Society of Chemical Industry contains an interesting study of the base carbonates of magnesium, by Mr. W. A. Davis, which throws a good deal of light on these very obscure compounds. The starting point of the work is magnesium bicarbonate. It has been shown by Treadwell and Reuter that whilst a solution of calcium bicarbonate is stable at the ordinary temperature, a solution of the corresponding magnesium compound is only stable in the presence of carbon dioxide. It is known that when the pressure of the carbon dioxide above this solution is removed crystals are deposited of the composition MgCO3HO, and these have been regarded as hydrated magnesium carbonate. In the present paper the author shows that this substance is really a hydroxy-carbonate,


since only two-thirds of the water can be driven off at 100° C., or by boiling with xylene. Photomicrographs of both these salts are given. The decomposition products of this hydroxy-carbonate are then studied, and the results applied to the softening of magnesian waters, the Solvay method of manufacturing potassium carbonate with the aid of magnesia, and the formation of mixed carbonates of magnesium and the alkalis. The author claims that various observations which were formerly inexplicable max be interpreted without difficulty in the light of the explanation which has been given of the manner in which basic carbonates are formed.

PROF. STRASBURGER'S interesting book on botanical an! other natural characteristics of the Riviera, a review of which appeared in NATURE of June 22, 1905 (vol. Ixv'i. p. 171), has been translated into English by O. and B Comerford Casey, and is published, with the coloured illustrations, by Mr. T. Fisher Unwin. The Eng' h version of this charming book will delight visitors to the Riviera who are unfamiliar with the German language.

A SERIES of instructive experiments in practical ph. tegraphy is described by Mr. T. T. Baker in a book'e entitled Simple Photographic Experiments," just published by Messrs. Percival Marshall and Co.

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MESSRS. CONSTABLE AND Co., LTD., have just published the third edition of Mr. H. H. Cunynghame's work "()the Theory and Practice of Art-enamelling upon Metals A short description of a new furnace invented by the author has been added to the volume.

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At present the diminishing brightness of the comet is about half what it was on August 23, when its magnitude was about 11-5.

From the ephemeris it may be seen that this object is still in the constellation Pegasus, about half-way between and 34 Pegasi, and is observable throughout the evening. Observing at Rome on September 12, Prof. Milosevich found it to be a faint object having a coma which was not symmetrical about the thirteenth-magnitude nucleus.

FINLAY'S COMET, 1906d.-M. Léopold Schulhof continues his ephemeris for Finlay's comet in No. 4122 of the Astronomische Nachrichten, from whence the following abstract is taken :

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7 54 The comet, according to this ephemeris, is now in the constellation Gemini, travelling directly eastwards towards Cancer, and rises at about 11.30 p.m. It will be about one degree south of Cancri on October 16.

Two photographs of this comet are reproduced in the September number of the Bulletin de la Société astronomique de France. They were taken at the Juvisy Observatory on August 21 and 22 respectively by M. Quénisset, and show a well-marked nucleus; a rudimentary tail is also seen on the original negative. During the exposure on August 21 the comet passed over a tenthmagnitude star, the light of which was not perceptibly diminished by the interposition of the coma.

A NEW FORM OF WEDGE PHOTOMETER.-In No. 4120 of the Astronomische Nachrichten Herr H. Rosenberg describes, and gives a drawing of, a new form of wedge photometer which he has designed. In the ordinary photometer of the "wedge type the observer is unable to eliminate the influence of the variation in the brightness of the general background of sky, and the eye, becoming fatigued, is unable to determine exactly the point of extinc

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In Herr Rosenberg's apparatus, however, the image of an artificial star, formed by a constant light source, is projected alongside the image of the natural star, and the wedge adjusted until the two images are equally bright. By adjusting the brightness of the artificial star, so that it is less than that of the faintest object which is to be examined, and determining its value in magnitudes, one may thus measure the brightness of any stars within the limits of about eight magnitudes. The error caused by the uncertainty as to the exact point of extinction is thus eliminated.

A postscript to Herr Rosenberg's description states that he finds the principle of a similar contrivance was described by Herr Müller in No. 3693 of the Astronomische Nachrichten, and an instrument was constructed at the Potsdam Observatory.

OCCULTATION OF A STAR BY VENUS.-In a communication to the British Astronomical Association, published in No. 9, vol. xvi., of the Journal, Dr. Downing directs the attention of amateur astronomers in Australasia to the fact that on December 9 Venus will occult the third-magnitude

star B Scorpii. As it is such a rare occurrence for a planet to occult so bright a star, he gives the particulars of the occultation for Sydney, Brisbane, and Wellington in the hope that use may be made of them by observers suitably located.

RESULTS OF THE INTERNATIONAL LATITUDE SERVICE, 19021906. In No. 4121 of the Astronomische Nachrichten Prof. Th. Albrecht discusses the results obtained by the six international latitude stations during the period 1902-01906-0. The variation of the position of the apparent pole is shown on a diagram, which includes the tenths of each year from 1900-0 to the beginning of the present year. The values given for the period 1902.0-1905.0 are final, but those for 1905.1-1906-0 are only provisory, although Prof. Albrecht states that they are probably correct to one twohundredth of a second.

THE AMANA METEORITE.-An interesting description of the various meteoritic objects which fell at Amana, Iowa, U.S.A., in 1875, is given by Dr. G. D. Hinrichs in Das Weltall for September 15. Two plates accompanying the description show photographic reproductions of the meteorites, together with the names of the museums wherein they are now to be found. Other illustrations give charts of the locality in which these objects were discovered.

BOTANY AT THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION. THE work of Section K was not characterised by the announcement of any discovery of very exceptional interest, nor by any sensational feature. As has been usual in recent years, an effort was made to group the papers presented so that those dealing with allied topics were taken at the same session. The whole number of papers read was not large, and no less than three morning sessions were devoted to discussion of definite topics, the proceedings being opened in each case by one or more papers giving an account of the present position of the subject to be discussed, or presenting facts and conclusions likely to lead to debate. These discussions were to some extent organised beforehand; that is to say, the members most likely to contribute usefully to the discussion of a given topic were informed of the intention to hold the discussion some time before the meeting, and were invited to contribute, abstracts of the opening papers being distributed to them as early as possible, so that they were in possession of the lines to be taken before the meeting. Such of these members as were present and had signified their willingness to speak were called upon in succession by the chairman as soon as the papers were over, the discussion being afterwards open to any member of the section. Although it is true that very good discussions often arise quite spontaneously after papers which are not expected to provoke debate, it is believed that on the whole the best results are obtained by the method of semiorganised discussion described, though it is neither possible nor desirable to limit the sectional meetings entirely to proceedings of this type.

The success of such discussions depends very largely on the selection of topics of suitable scope. On the whole the tendency is to take too wide a subject, with the result that the different speakers are apt to deal with quite distinct aspects of it, and unless the opener has the exceptional power of drawing all the threads together in his reply the impression left on hearers is liable to be somewhat inconclusive and chaotic. On the other hand, if the subject chosen is too narrow, its treatment is apt to become excessively technical, the discussion is of limited interest, and may even languish owing to a lack of sufficiently instructed specialists.

Of the three discussions at the York meeting, the first was taken on Friday morning, August 3, and was really. divided into two parts. Dr. D. H. Scott opened the session. Though his title was a wide one-" Some Aspects of the Present Position of Palaeozoic Botany "-considerations of time compelled Dr. Scott to limit himself tc "the difficult question of the position of the ferns in the Paleozoic flora,' "the difficulty arising from the accumulation of evidence showing that most of the so-called

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Paleozoic ferns were in reality seed-plants." Dr. Scott showed, in his luminous address, that "a large body of true ferns of a simple type-the Primofilices of Mr. Arber -existed in Carboniferous times," while it is probable that true Marattiaceous ferns also existed side by side with these.

The second part of the discussion, dealing with the formation of the well-known calcareous nodules found in the coal seams of the Lower Coai-measures, though it might be thought to be of purely technical and specialist interest, is in reality of great importance to everyone concerned with Palæozoic botany, because the nodules in question contain the greater part of the plant remains showing histological structure that are known to us from Palæozoic rocks, and their mode of formation is of the first importance as throwing light on the question of how these plants grew. Several geologists specially conversant with the occurrence of Coal-measure fossils had been particularly invited to take part in the discussion, which was an excellent instance of the fruitful concentration of two branches of science upon a special problem. Prof. Weiss opened the discussion with a short general paper stating the problems, and was followed by Miss Stopes, who gave an account of her recent work, which went to show that the nodules were formed in situ, the calcareous material being derived by solution and re-segregation from marine shells the remains of which are found in the roof of the same seam. A possible chemical process by which such a solution and re-deposition could be effected was indicated. The most clinching proof of this method of formation was shown in the case of two gigantic nodules lying side by side, in which the petrified remains of plants are found to be continuous from one to the other. It is clear that in such cases at least the plant must have been petrified where it was found. Mr. Lomax brought forward evidence which seemed to him to support the rival hypothesis, that these nodules were often carried by water transport to the situations in which they were found. Mr. Watson, who has worked with Miss Stopes, attacked the views of Mr. Lomax, while Mr. Bolton, of Bristol, Prof. Hull, and other geologists, including Dr. Teall, took part in the discussion.

The second discussion took place in joint session with Section D on Monday morning, August 6, and dealt with the nature of fertilisation. The opening paper was given by Mr. V. H. Blackman. This discussion is dealt with in the account of the proceedings of Section D (NATURE, September 27, p. 551). Here it need only be said that the danger already referred to, that of choosing too wide a subject for discussion, was to some extent apparent. The work bearing on fertilisation is now so varied in kind and occupies so many classes of workers, both zoological and botanical, that it is difficult to focus the interest in a single discussion.

The third discussion was on the phylogenetic value of the vascular structure of seedlings. Papers were read by Mr. Tansley and Miss Thomas, by Mr. T. G. Hill, and by Mr. A. W. Hill. Miss Sargant, Dr. Scott, and Prof. Jeffrey took part in the discussion. The work of Mr. Tansley and Miss Thomas and of Mr. T. G. Hill to some extent covered the same ground. In both cases the comparative anatomy of the vascular system of the hypocotyl in Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons was the subject of investigation. Mr. Tansley and Miss Thomas found that the type of symmetry of this structure had considerable phylogenetic value, thus confirming and extending Miss Sargant's conclusion relating to Monocotyledons, published some years ago. Without going into technical details, it may be stated that nearly all the cases met with fall naturally into a series, and the conclusion is reached that the more complex type, met with among the older Gymnosperms, and also among some Dicotyledons, is phylogenetically the older, while the simpler type, very widely prevalent among Dicotyledons, is derived by reduction, through various transitions, from this older type. T. G. Hill, while bringing to light many of the same facts, was not in agreement with this view, basing his opinion on the apparently primitive diarchy of the ferns. Mr. Hill showed that the anatomical evidence pointed to the cotyledons of the "polycotyledonous" conifers being derived by splitting, in some cases at least, from a primitive "dicoty


ledonous " type, a conclusion with which the joint authors of the other paper concurred.

Mr. A. W. Hill sought to show, by a consideration of the seedlings of bulbous and rhizomatous species of Peperomia and Cyclamen, that clues may be obtained to the mode of evolution of the true Monocotyledons, the two cotyledons assuming different functions. Thus in his view the single cotyledon of the Monocotyledon represents only one of the two cotyledons of the typical Dicotyledon, the other being represented by the first foliage leaf. Miss Sargant found herselí unable to accept Mr. Hill's sugges tions.

Several interesting papers on the vegetation of different parts of the world were read. Mr. Seward communicated a paper by Prof. H. H. W. Pearson, of Cape Town, whi is doing excellent work on the natural history of the mdigenous Cycads. Mr. Hugh Richardson gave an outi ne account of the vegetation of Teneriffe, laying stress on its zonal distribution. Mr. C. E. Moss gave a general paper on the succession of plant formations in Britain, in which he dealt with succession from sand dunes, from salt marshes, in lowland and upland peat formations, and n certain types of forest, in all cases from his own observation. He used the term "formation to mean historical series of plant associations," beginning as an open "and ending as a "closed" association. All these papers were illustrated by lantern-slides.


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Palæontological papers of some importance were read by Prof. Jeffrey, of Harvard, and by Prof. Weiss. Prot. Jeffrey dealt with the structure and wound-reactions of the Mesozoic genus Brachyphyllum, a genus of hitherto doubtful affinity, which was now shown to be an undoubted member of the Araucarineæ, mainly from the evidence of recently discovered material with the anatomical structure priserved. One of the most interesting points in the paper was the use the author made of the "traumatic resincanals found in Brachyphyllum. It appears that this plant produced definite resin-canals in its wound callus like the modern Abietineæ, and unlike the ancient or modern Araucarineæ. Largely, though not wholly, on this account Prof. Jeffrey concludes that this old genus connects the Araucarineæ with the Abietineæ, removing the former from their somewhat isolated position, and showing then as undoubtedly coniferous. Mr. Seward, in the discussion, while recognising the validity of Prof. Jeffrey's demonstration that Brachyphyllum was a member of the Araucarineæ, found himself unable to accept the evidence of Abietinean affinity, and particularly that based on the occurrence of the traumatic resin-canals. Dr. Scott, ca the other hand, saw no reason why such evidence should not be valid.

Prof. Weiss described an interesting new Stigma a possessing a considerable amount of centripetal primary wood, so that at first sight it has the appearance of a stem of Lepidodendron, though its characteristic periderm with the remains of rootlet cushions attached show that it is undoubtedly of stigmarian nature.

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Dr. A. F. Blakeslee described some new results he had obtained in connection with the physiological sex which he discovered some time ago in the Mucorineæ. In Phycomyces nitens, in addition to the heterothallic spores, homothallic mycelia may be obtained by special methods, but the sexual character of these is unstable, and no fixation of the homothallic character takes place. Dr Blakeslee's paper was illustrated by a series of beautiful preparations showing the homothallic and heterothall e character respectively of various mycelia. The author also contributed a general paper on differentiation of sex gametophyte and sporophyte. For the former he uses the terms homothallic and heterothallic, for the latter hom now proceedphytic and heterophytic. Investigations are ing as to the sexual differentiation in the sporophyte of the Bryophytes. The evidence shows that both "male" and female spores exist in the sporogonium of Marchantia polymorpha, and attempts are being made to determine at what point the segregation of sex occurs. Dr. Lang, Mr V. H. Blackman, and Mr. R. P. Gregory took part the discussion on these papers.

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Of purely physiological papers, Prof. W. B. Bottomles contributed a very interesting account of his sucessiu!

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