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existing diminutive species of cattle bear any comparison to its magnitude. We have not in the museum the skull of a wild bufl'alo, which would best suit the purposes of comparison, and must therefore rest contented with reporting the exact dimensions and appearance of the specimen.
[After writing the above to be read at the meeting, Dr. Evans was so obliging as to bring to the Society a very fine skull of abuifalo prepared by himself, which on being placed in juxtaposition with the fossil, accorded with it so entirely in character that no doubt could be entertained of their identity. In dimensions there was a considerable difference in favor of the fossil, but Dr. Evsrvs has another skeleton on a larger scale, so that the magnitude of the fossil is not so remarkable. He was inclined to think snfiicient disparity existed in the arch of the forehead to constitute a variety of species. The absence of the horns however makes it impossible to decide this point.]
The following are the dimensions of the J abalpur fossil head, as compared with Dr. Evsns’ buffalo.
fossil. madam. Forehead, between the sutures at the root of the horn processes, 12 in. 8in. Length from the crown of the forehead to foremost molar tooth, 18 do. 13
Width of jaw, from exterior of teeth, .. .. 6% do. 6 Lengthoccupiedbymolarteeth,......................... .. 7 do. 5.7 Girth of horn process at the base, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 do. 10.5 Depth of skull from the occiput to the head of the condyles, . . 85 do. 8 Diameteroftheforamenmagnum,.......................... 2 do. 1.8 Probablelengtbofthehead,................... 26 do. 22
The largest fossil cranium of an or, in the Jardin des Plantes, is 11.8 inches from the crown of the occiput to the root of the nasal bone, which gives a total length of 25 inches, or somewhat less than ours: the circumference of the root of the horn was 13.4 or 0.4 larger than ours.
Taking for granted that the specimen belongs tosthe bufi'a.lo, it is the rmsr FOSSIL BUFFALO known to geologists: for although the bones of the rutninantia are found every where most abundantly in the fossil state, it has been always understood, as asserted by PIDGEON, that “As yet no relic whatever has been found which resembles any variety of the Indian or the Cape buffalo.” It has moreover been remarked as a singular fact, that while the fossil pachydermata, discovered in all parts of the world, the elephant, the rhinoceros, the hippopotamus, and tapir, all belong to the torrid zone; the whole of the fossil ruminants appertain precisely to the genera at present most common in the northern climates, the aurochs, the musk ox, the rein It is well known that the bones of sheep, goats, antelopes, camelo~ pards, (unless the conjecture by our curator regarding the specimen from the Jumna should prove to be true*,) have never been met with in a fossil state, among the immense abundance of fragments carefully examined by Covmn himself in the course of twenty years. None of these have yet been discovered among our Indian collections. It is necessary therefore to be most cautious in pronouncing upon our bufi'alo, until the discovery of his horns shall put the question of departure from the rules developed by the great teacher of the science of fossil osteology, beyond doubt: especially as we find from Prnoson that “ one species of 0x, which accompanies the elephant, has massive limbs and a cranium like the bufi‘alo+.”
One point may be looked upon as pretty certainly established by the discovery of the present head : namely, that the teeth of the ruminantia from other parts of the Nerbudda valley, and from the bed of the Jamna, which so exactly resemble these now found in situ, protruding from their rocky envelope, belong to the same animal : at least it is safe so to consider them, being desirable to avoid the multiplying of species, except on the strongest evidence.
Meanwhile, we should particularly direct the attention of our geologists of the Nerbudda,(or philo-geologists, if Dr. Smnsnuav will so have it,) to the neighbourhood of Dr. Iavn~m's house at Hoshangdbdd. The spot whence this skull was extricated will most likely be prolific of other riches in equally good preservation. They should be chiselled out of the rock by a skilful stone-cutter, to prevent injury, and at the same time, to take off as much of the rocky matrix as possible. A pair of bufi'alo’s horns would indeed be a rich prize.
We see by the section of the Nerbudda, with which Dr. SPILSBURY has now favored the Societyi, that the calcareous gravelly conglomerate extends over a considerable portion of the valley at the foot of the cliffs :—fo1Tt points, including the spot where the fossil jaw of a horse was picked up in making this very section from Tendukhéra, are now marked upon the accompanying sketch-map as the ascertained sites of fossil bone deposits. Morewill doubtless be discovered even by the persevering exertions of one individual ; but a field of so great promise, were it in Europe, would not be left to such slow cultivation. It would be made the object of a special expedition of scientists (as they are called at Cambridge) from the Government, or from some geological association, and the impatience of theorists would soon be satisfied with a full
* See Proceedings of the 3rd July, 1834. T Prnonorfs Fossil Remains,p. 116. 1 See the foregoing article.
history of the antediluvial or postdiluvial tenants of the Nerbudda fossil bason : for it is by no means clearly established yet to what epoch the debris belong. We have to learn whether the gravelly brescia ever underlies the alluvium, or any of the regular deposits of the valley? or whether it merely fills up crevices and angles at the footof cliffs, from which the trickling of springs charged with carbonate of lime might be derived. I have before remarked, that the conglomerate matrix contains rolled pebbles of quartz, felspar, and basalt, and therefore its formation is much subsequent to the deposit of the fimtz trap, the most recent of the regular rock deposits of the Saga!" district. The trap itself is of course anterior to the black alluvium of the Nerbudda valley, which is principally formed from its detritus. Is the brescia contemporaneous with this black alluvinm or subsequent thereto P is the question to be solved.
Professor BUCKLAND was unable to determine whether the Ava bones of mastodons, hippopotami, alligators, &c., were referrible to “the most recent marine sediments of the tertiary formation, like the elephant of the Norfolk crag; or to the antediluvian fresh-water deposits analogous
.to those of the Val d’Arno ; or lastly to the diluvial accumulations more
modern than either of these formations ;” but he inclined to refer them to the latter, because of the rolled gravel cemented to them, which resembled the matrix of many of the European mammalian fossils. So far the Ava fossils agree with those of central India, but they differ in being mineralized (at least such as we have lately received from Col. Bunnnv) with hydrate of iron instead of carbonate of lime. Capt. Macmson however informs me, that such as were calcareous were rejected by Col-.
.B., not being considered to be thoroughly fossilized.
But I must now quit this interesting subject, hoping shortly to recur to it, armed with additional facts from Sergt. E. DEAN, whose hippopotamus’ tooth and other curious and new fragments from the J amna were
-lately submitted to the Society, and whose notes are only withheld from
publication in expectation of further information from the same source.
VI.—-Determination of the Errors of Division of the Mural Circle at the Madras Observatory, by T. G. TAYLOR, Esq. H. C’. Astronomer, Fort
lately made with a view of determining the amount of error of division
of the Madras Mural Circle. Hitherto (with but one exeptiou I believe *) it has been the practice of astronomers to avoid the effect of error of division by
* Professor Bnsssm