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THE GREAT FOSSIL SEA-SERPENT, ? the prints are like those of the human foot, OR HYDRARGOS.
with five toes, only shorter, which he assigns [Length, 114 feet. Weight, 7500 pounds.] to an unknown reptile.
The bones of the largest animal of which But the most wonderful remains are those we have any knowledge, are now exhibited 3 which are represented on the title-place of in this city, [in Broadway, near Canal street.] this magazine: the great fossil sea serpent, We had seen a small print of this wonder. 3 found near the surface, in a singular region ful skeleton, and read and copied into the X in Alabama, near the Sintabogue, on Snake Penny Magazine Professor Silliman's letter on River. He had previously examined numit; but, on entering the hall of the exhibition, bers of large vertebræ in the neighboring we felt overwhelmed at the sight of its enor country, the remains of multitudes formerly mous dimensions. Indeed, it must require an found there, and remarkable for their hardexertion of the imagination, in the absence of ness and durability. He found one built into the object itself, to form a correct idea of its a chimney, another used as a step-stone, a magnitude. If in a city, the reader may look third as the supporter of a gate-post, and a at four houses of the full common size, (that fourth as a negro's pillow to sleep on. Hear-> is, 25 feet front,) and reflect that this serpent ing of the recent exposure of some new spe is 14 feet longer. In the country, seven lengths cimens near the Sintabogue, in cultivating a of a common post-and-rail fence will be but of new field, he there disinterred the monster little greater length.
now exhibited to us, consisting of a backbone This skeleton was found this year by Dr. of above 100 joints, lying in a semi-circular Albert Kock, a German naturalist, on his sec position, and generally und isturbed, with nuond visit to this country. He had, on his merous short ribs more displaced, and the first visit, spent six years in exploring the far skeleton of the head, about 6 feet long, turned western states, especially Missouri, and spent over, but near its position. The parts are much time among the Indians, incurring some now supported partly on iron bars, in the form risks, many inconveniences, and as much ex exhibited by the print, which is a very accu. pense as his personal means would allow. rately, as well as neatly executed, and will All these he considered as amply rewarded, } give our readers as correct an idea of the by the discovery of the skeleton of an animal wonderful object as they could expect withlarger than the mammoths and mastadons be
out paying a visit to the exhibition room. fore known, which he removed and took to
The skeleton measures 114 feet, without Europe. It was dug from the ground at the
any allowance for cartilage or loss by decay. Falls of the Missouri, where many other gi. The weight of the bones is 7,500 pounds. gantic bones are found, and named by him the
The animal must have borne a very striking Missourium.
likeness to the descriptions given of the sea In May, 1844, Dr. K. sailed a second time
serpent so often said to have been seen a few
years since on the coast of Massachusetts, for America, and made a careful examination s of those regions which gave any hope of more
Some of the vertebræ have protuberances, discoveries of a like kind, beginning at Gay
and Dr. Kock informed us that they all Head, on Martha's Vineyard, (Mass.) and pro.
seemed formed for vertical motion. We copy ceeding to the Falls of the Ohio, and the
the following from his pamphlet, which is country between New Albany and Jefferson
sold at the door of his exhibition room : ville in Illinois. There he had great success,"
The Hydargos has nothing in common with finding many new Coral species.
the Saurier, or Lizard, with which a large At Bloom
number of monsters of old are classed, and ington, Iowa, he “made a magnificent collec with whose remains we have already become tion of fossil plants," in the red sand-stone ; acquainted, through the progress of geolofound leaves and branches of “extinct tropi
gical discoveries; as the teeth of all creacal plants," with“whole trunks of palm-trees;"
tures belonging to the Saurier, or Lizard
family, have only one fang, whereas the inand at the Lower Rapids of the Missouri, a
incisors, or culling teeth of the Hydrargos new animal of a gigantic frog species. He have two distinct kinds ; those of the anterior examined the remarkable fool-prints in the
ones, are closely united, but become more and rocks, and brought away a stone containing
more forked, as we approach the posterior
teeth; these incisors have a certain analogy? some of them, frora near Herculaneum, which
10 those of a Marsupial or Pouched animal, ? is in his collection in New York. Two of suill they are like those of all the serpent
tribe; formed less for the purpose of masti. cation, being slight, and small in size; it would seem that the animal did not masti. cate its food, but gorged it entire: which is more expressly proven by the fact, that this creature was provided with palate bones, which have some similarity to molar teeth, but could only be used for the purpose of crushing its food. Its greatly elongated snout was armed with forty or more spear-shaped incisors, whose fangs were deeply inserted in distinct sockets.
penis. Its tendal system proves it to be carnivorous, and in fact omniverous.
The structure of the nasal cavity, shows the animal to liave been an air-breathing reptile, since the posterior outlets are at the back part of the mouth, it must therefore have res. pired freely, like the Saurier.
The supposition that the Hydrargos Sillimanii frequently skimmed the surface of the water, with its neck and head elevated, is not only taken from the fact, that it was compelled to rise for the purpose of breathing, but ? more so from the great strength and size of its curvical neck vertebrae, and the comparalively sınali size of its head, which could, with the greatest ease, be maintained in an elevated position. The ribs are of a very pecuiiar shape and form; so much so, that I know of no animal to which I might compare them; the greater number are small, and re. markably slender on their superior extremi. ties, until we arrive within two thirds of the length toward the inferior extremities, where they begin to increase in thickness most rapidly, so that near the lower parts, where they are flattened, they have three or four times the circumference that they have on the superior extremities, and have very niuch the curve of the sickle. From the whole of their construction, we may justly form the conclu. sion that the animal was not only possessed of a fleshy back of great power, but also, of remarkable strength in its belly, by which means it was enabled to perform very rapid movements, notwithstanding its two fore feet or paddles being quite small in comparison with the rest of the skeleton, yet they are in proportion with the short and thick Ulva and Humerus, or fore-arm, which, together with the paddles, have been concealed under the flesh, during the life of the animal, in such a manner as to be only perceptible through muscles and cartilages, similar to the fins of the eel. The Humerus and Ulva are not unlike those of the Ichthyosaurus; and each paddle is composed of twenty-seven bones which form in union, nine forward and back. ward articulating joints.
Skeleton of the Hydrargos. All the incisors (or cutting teeth) are so set in the ramus and the maxilla, that their extremities have an inclination backwards towards the palate, like the shark, so that the viciim caught, could easily enter the mouth, but could not possibly escape. The canine teeth correspond in regard to the before-mentioned position with the incisors, as they also curve backward, as well with the superior as with their inferior extremities both of which terminate in a blunt point, the inferior being the sharpest. These teeth are from six to eight inches in lengih, full one-sixth of their length being concealed in the ramus and maxilla ; and their superior or exposed points, are covered with a thick coating of enamel, which exhibits the same marking which was observed in the incisors. The body of these teeth are coinpressed, and have their greatest circumference in the centre, standing from one to two inches isolated from the incisors, and from one, to one and a half inches from the palate bones.
These palate bones are contained in an al. viola, of an enlongated oval form, and are not unlike the posterior palate bones which we find in the drum fish, they are from two and a half, to three inches in length; and from one and three-fourth, to two inches thick ; forming a compressed oval, covered with a thick covering of crusta petrosa ; especially characteristic are these cone-like teeth, or a spiral shaped portion of them, which, while partly concealed and partly exposed to view, measures from one and one-fourth, to one and a half inches in length, and half an inch in diameter, at its base; the palate bones indicate some relation of the Hydrargos Sillima
nii with the pisces or fish; whereas, some s characteristics likewise indicate a relationį ship to the Batrachia, while others indicate a ? strong relationship with the Ophidia or ser
NATIONAL OBSERVATORY.--The Secretary of the Navy communicates a report from Lieu. tenant J. M. Gillis, of the plan and construction of the depot of charts and instruinents, with drawings and a description of the instruments. This “depol" is eligibly located in Washington, near the capitol, on University Square, on the north bank of the Potomac, and ninety-five feet above high water mark. The central building is fifty feet square. It is two stories and a basement high, with a parapet and balustrade of wood around the top, and is surmounted by a revolving dome twenty-three feet in diameter, resting on a circular wall, built up to a height of seven feet above the roof. In the centre of the building rises a solid pier or pedestal, placed on a firm foundation, on which rests the great telescope.
THE AMERICAN PENNY MAGAZINE.
The transit instruments are piaced on piersi erected in the different wings of the edifice.
The following is the list prepared and approved by the Secretary of the Navy': -1. An Achromatic Refracting Telescope ; 2. Me. ridian Transit Insttument; 3. Prime Vertical Transit ; 4. Mural Circle; 5. Comet Searcher; 6. Magnetic Instruments; 7. Meteorolo. gical Instruments; 8. Books. Lieut. Gillis was despatched to Europe for the purpose of obtaining these articles. The great Telescope was manufactured in Germany. The cost was $6000, its object glass alone being valued at $3,600. The following is a description of a check or watch clock, ordered to be made by Mr. Aaron Willard, of Boston:
“An ordinary clock is to be furnished with an extra train of wheels, carrying below the dial and inside of the case à disc of metal, which shall revolve in twenty-four hours.Upon the disc may be placed cards of paper, divided on the circumference into twenty-four parts. A lever, moving only in a direction vertical to the paper, holds a pencil on its inner extremity, which makes its mark on being touched from the outside. Marks being thus made at the record of the observations, afford evidence of the times when the assistants performed their duty. The case will of course be locked up and a new paper introduced each day.”
Lieut. Gillis says that much interest was evinced in the success of the Naval Observatory, by the distinguished savans whom he had the honor to meet-and in token of their gratification at the establishment of an insti. tution by the United States, where science will be prosecuted, they contributed to its library a large number of valuable books.
Two officers can be constantly and usefully employed at each of the larger instruments, viz:-transit, mural circle, transit in prime vertical, and equatorial; and the magnetical observatory will require at least four. They should possess a knowledge of the higher mathematics, and a taste for astronomical pursuits. To such requisites they must add ratience, perseverance, and endurance; for the refinements of astronomy entail long hours of delicate adjustments and calculations, as well as continued loss of sleep, and exposure to the external temperature at all seasons.
limbs of trees, cut from the grounds. These rustic structures are strongly put together with railings formed into various shapes adapted to the place. It is intended to plant irailing vines at each end, and thus cover their upper side with foliage.
The views from these natural passage-ways are some of the most charming. The gentle sloping or steep banks—the shady coves, hid. den away among the overhanging trees—the palisades of mossy rocks, wreathed with rude crowns of bending boughs—the opening river in the distance, with its dotted banks and vessels-present a scene of rural beauty rarely equalled. Intermingled among the bridges and winding paths are several of the most delightful lakes and cascades. Sufficient wood has been cleared away from their borders to admit the light of the sun and moon to the greatest possible advaniage, affording the sky. clouds, trees and hill-sides a perfect reflection in the limpid waters. Here overlooking mimic seas, burial spots have been already relected. Several open knolls and eminences are to be found, from which the river, Troy, and the public road are finely commanded. On one of these is an admirable site for an observatory to overlook the enclosure. A large lot in the rear is intended !or a flower garden and shrubbery nursery.
The movement was first suggested in a sermon preached by one of the clergymen of Albany-Rev. Dr. Welch. He is now on the Board of Managers, and is one of the most ef. ficient members.-Boston Traveller.
FROM THE PACIFIC.-Callao, July 4th, 1845.–We have in port a formidable naval force of all nations, and our squadron will be increased in a short time, preparatory to a blockade of the Mexican ports on this side, should war be declared by Mexi. co, and our boys ara in fine spirits.
Gen. Flores, late President of the Repub. lic of the Equator, retires 19 Europe, having given way to a revolutionary movement, but retaining all his military honors and cmoluments.
Gen. Castilla, President of Peru, has convened the general Congress, which is now in session, and it is understood ihat full satisfaction has been made to Admiral Sey. mour, for outrage committed upon British property by thc revolutionary Peruvians lately in arms against Gen. Castilla.
A British fleet is said to be on its way to Oregon, to protect British property and settlers at Astoria, and from the language used by the officers of the British Squadron here, we are led to believe that the report is cor. rect. Indeed, a forcible seizure of the whole of Oregon north of the Columbia seems to be the object of this movement, and instructions to that effect are said to
THE ALBANY CEMETERY.-The new Ceme. try is about three miles from Albany, in the township of Watervliet on the Troy road, and a little more than half way to that city. It affords a drive, inside of the fence, of five miles. The entrance and grounds are not yet completed, but they certainly bid fair to excel any similar ones in the country. Soon af. ter entering, you pass through an oak opening filled with gradual mounds, and approach to ravines suitable for burying places. These glens are among the most picturesque that can be conceived. In crossing them, and the streams which flow ihrough a portion of them, you traverse bridges buili of the trunks and
THE AMERICAN PENNY MAGAZINE.
ing his life no one was permitted to marry without his special permission, which was not very easily obtained. Fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, grandsons, grandaughters, nay, even the fourth generation, as the female is marriageable at the age of twelve, have availed themselves on the same days of the benediction of the priest, and the holy bonds of wedlock have been entered into by whole villages. The society at Assumption is described as singular, in consequence of the severity in which ladies were treated who decked themselves with much finery. Their dress is formed of one single large vestment, wiih a belt round the waist.-Polytechnic.
be in possession of the Admiral. I have letters from Oregon to the 1st of May, which report considerable political excitement among the settlers, and manifestations of hostilities from the Hudson Bay Company's people. Every obstacle is thrown in the way of American settlements north of the Columbia.
We have had intelligence from Tahiti to the 1st. ultimo. The French retain the Islands, and there is not the most remote prospect that they will ever give them up. The loss to our whaling interests is very serious, as the French authorities prohibit traffic with the natives, and there is no other port for obtaining supplies in that vicinity. An American vessel has been despatched to the Fejee Islands with arms and ammu. nition for the natives, to enable them to for. lify themselves, and maintain their indepen. dence against an expected attack from the French or English.
The following vessels of war are now here, viz ; frigate Savannah, Com. John D. Sloat; sloop of war Portsmouth, J. B. Mont. gomery, commander ; sloop of war Levant, H. N. Page, commander ; store ship Relief, Lieut. commanding R. G. Robb. The frig. ate Brandy wine, sloop St. Louis, and brig Perry from China, have returned home.The terms for which their crews enlisted have expired, and in their stead we expect the Brazil squadron. Our vessels of war will remain here until the U. S. schr. Shark arrives from Panama, when the Commodore expects to receive information regarding Mexico and the United States. We expect the Shark here in 15 days. It is now 12 o'clock, and the vessels of war in port have just commenced firing the national salute. It is a joyous sight to see seven vessels of war all firing at the same time. H. B. M. ship Calliingwood, 74 guns; H. B. M. ship Modeste, sloop of war; French sloop of war Triumphant; H. B. M. ship Cor. morant, a steamer.-Sun.
Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb and of
Idiots, in Europe’n Institutions. The Report of the New York Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, which we noticed at length on our 27th Number, (page 451st,) gives us the following list of such seminaries in Europe, with the accompanying particulars, col. lected by their agent, Rev. Mr. Day:
Schools. Teachers. Pupils. Great Britain, 16
(imperfect) 233 Italy,
233 Switzerland, 12
(imperfect.) Baden & Wur. tembugh,
14 158 Other States of Germany,
303 54 Holland & Belgium, 12
145. United States,
592 Mr. Day further states, that the instruction of idiots is also engaging the attention of European philanthropists. In Prussia and Saxony their efforts have been attended with con. siderable success. Mr. Sægeri, of Berlin, in a memorial to the government for the estab? lishment of an institution for their benefit, states that he had taught 12 who were perfectly imbecile ; 4 to speak, read and write, and 2 to speak ; the other six are learning to talk. Other German Teachers are turning their attention to the same subject.
PARAGUAY.-A letter which we have re. s ceived states that, on a stranger presenting
himself at the frontiers, nunierous interrogalions are made as to his occupation, religion, and opinions. He is expressly told that he must neither speak of the forms of his own government, nor make any remarks upon that which he finds established, and that if he indulge in any conversation that can be con. sidered political, he will be sent out of the country under an escort of Indians. One of the singular circumstances attendant upon the dictator's death, has been the marriage of a large portion of the population previously living together on very equivocal terms. Dur.
THE NEW YORK NORMAL SCHOOL
AT ALBANY. The examination or general review of the several branches of study pursued in this insti. lution, during the past term, was brought to a close afier tour entire days. The principal is Mr. Page. Over the mathematical department Professor Perkins presided. The classes in Natural Philosophy and Chemistry are under ihe charge of Mr. Clark-those in Ceogra. phy under Mr. Loseem those in Reading under the Misses Hanse and Smith-and several other classes by the more advanced pupils, and the classes in Physiology and Grammar
under the immediate supervision of the Princi pal. The exercises were interspersed with vocal music under Prof. Ilsley. Specimens of linear and perspective Drawing, exhibited by the Port-Folios, showed the advancement of the pupils in this important accomplishment, under Prof. I'oward.
The exercises were terminated by a series of interesting addresses before the various associations by Messrs. Eaton and Moses of Chautauque, and Allen of Ontario, interspersed at intervals by singing, by the pupils of the experimental school-Valedictory, by Mr. Stetson, of Franklin, an address to the pupils of the school generally, by the Hon. n. S. Benton, Superintendent of Common Schools and a parting Address by the Principal to the graduates-thirty-four in number—to whom full Certificates of qualifications as Teachers were granted by the Executive Committe and Board of Instructors of the Institution. Taken as a whole, the examination and review were exceedingly interesting and impressive; and were attended throughout by a large auditory as well of citizens as strangers from different sections of the State.
Prof. Silliman to the Editors of the Express: 3
EXTRAORDINARY FossiL ANIMAL.-Permit me, through the columns of your paper, of? which I have been many years a reader, to invite the public attention to the wonderful skeleton that is now being exhibited by Dr. A. Koch, at the Apollo Rooms, in Broadway.
Several years ago, the late Judge Creagh, ? of Clarke Co., Alabama, found similar bones on his plantation, in such abundance, that they were often destroyed, as far as possible, by fire, in order to get rid of an incumbrance that interfered with agriculture: the negroes, also, were in the habit of building their fire places with them. The late Dr. Richard Harlan, of Philadelphia, and more recently of New Orleans, where he died more than a year since, first described and figured these bones, and supposing them to belong to a gigantic fossil lizard-he imposed the name of Basilo. ? saurus or King of Saurians or Lizards.
He several years afterwards carried with him to London, some of the bones, and they were there reviewed by the great compara. tive anatomisi, Professor Owen, of the Royal College of Surgeons--who was of the opinion that ihe animal must have had more resemblance to the whale than the lizards. This opinion Dr. Harlan had the candor to present to the Association of American Geologists, 10. gether with the bones, at their meeting in Philadelphia, in April, 1841, where I heard his statements. Not long after, Dr. Bulkley brought to this city, and eventually tv Albany, an entire skeleton of the animal, which is be. tween 70 and 80 feet long, and is now in the State Geological Collection at Albany ; but I believe it has not yet been set up. This ske
leton was fully described by Dr. Bulkley, in > the American Journal of Science and Art.
Where is Bishop Rese? In the August number of the Washington Investigator, conducted by J. F. Polk, Esq., we find the following paragraph :
" Can any one tell whether Bishop Reze, late of Detroit, has been released or not from his confinement in Rome? On going to Rome, a few years ago, he is said to have fallen under ecclesiastical censure, and to have been imprisoned. We have conversed with an American gentleman, now high in Gov. ernment, who was there at the time, and conversed with the American consul on the subject of Bishop Reze's confinement; and the consul, it seems, refused to investigate the matter, because it was a religious difficulty between the bishop and the church. A shameful excuse, we must say, for an Ameri. can consul to plead, when the personal liberty of an American citizen was ihe subject. If Bishop Reze chose to change some part of his religious faith at Detroit, as he had a right by law to do, what right has a foreign prince to call him to account and imprison him for it? And what does an American consul deserve, for unfeelingly abandoning him to his fate ? Our consul at Rome should be any thing but a papist."
The cditor of the Investigator is referred to the 27th number of the American Penny Magazine, for some interesting particulars respecting the treatment and probable fate of Bishop Rézé; and we trust that he and our editors and fellow-citizens generally, will loudly demand of our government an investigation of the case, (if, as appears to be admitted, he is a citizen,) as well as the appointment of a new Consul at Rome, the present one having forfeited all claim to his his office.
P. S.-Our Consul at Florence. Since writing the above, we learn that Mr. John Albinola, a highly respected Italian exile, Well known in this city, who went 10 Tus. cany, on commercial business, a few weeks since, with his passport as an American citizen, regularly viséed at Paris, by our minister and that of 'Tuscany, was forbidden to remain in the territory of the Grand Duke, after his arrival at Leghorn ; and, instead of being protected and aided by our Consul at that port (Mr. Binda) was, by his misrepresentations, forced to leave the country, to the great detriment of his business. To make the case still worse, the Consul professed great friendship for Mr. A. all the while.
Americans can have but one feeling towards these two Consuls.