Page images

VIII.-—On the Land Shells of India. By Lieut. Tuos. HUTTON, 37th
Regt. N. I.
[Continued from the 26th No. of the Journal.]

I have the pleasure to inform you of the discovery of a few more spe

cies of Land Shells, made during a hurried trip between Nemuch and Mhow, in the month of December last.

'26. The first is a species of Crcnosroms.

Animal--—furnished with two cylindrical tentacula; eyes black, and placed at the exterior base of the tentacula ; there are also two blackish points at the summits of the tentacula, which have the appearance of eyes; head very long, proboscidiform, and emarginate. The eyes

causing a thickening of the tentacula. Colour pale brown; skin transversely wrinkled like that of a leech.

Shell-—with five whorls; spire prominent; whorls rounded: the sutures well defined; colour of the shell above varying considerably in different specimens; some being of a purplish brown, others brownI and some nearly white--this appears to be owing to the degrees of exposure to the sun, which the individuals may have undergone, as well as age. The colours are laid on in short crooked lines, trans-' versely; alternately a brownish and a whitish stripe, very minute. The under side is white. Aperture circular, margins united and more or less reflected. Umbilicus well defined, discovering the three previous whorls. Operculum calcareous. Diameter half an inch.

Found buried at the roots of grass growing beneath low shrubs in uncultivated plains between Nemuch and Mhow.

27. Caaocona P


Shell—white with a purplish band longitudinally placed on the body whorl above. Aperture oval and obliquely transverse. Umbilicus discovering the previous whorls-—margins of the mouth reflected and interrupted on the body whorl, a thin plate interposing. about five and half or ‘six lines ; aperture longer than broad. With the exception of the more contracted and obliquely transverse

aperture of the present species, it would appear almost identical with

the shell described by me, as a doubtful Cyclostoma (No. 2) in the 26th

N0. of the Journal. Specimens of both were buried together.

Found in uncultivated plains, buried in the earth at the roots of



coarse grass—between Nemuch and Mhow.—I found no operculurn.



Am'mal—with four tentacula, the superior pair longest, and bearing the

eyes at the summits-—colour freckled brown.—Foot long and rather tapering posteriorly.


Shell-—with six whorls, globose, and the body whorl forming the greater portion of the shell.

In the living animal it is mottled with pale brown and black, from the thinness of the shell rendering the colours of the animal visible ;

but when dead, wholly of a dull white :——spire verylittle raised above 7

the whorls ; aperture lunated, margins acute; diameter 9 lines. The animal stops up the mouth of the shell with a hard calcareous operculum, but which is only temporary, not being attached to the body. Found buried in the earth with the foregoing beneath shrubs, in uncultivated grounds, between Nemuch and Mhow. 29. HELIX - , Animal-—with four tentacula, the superior longest and bearing the eyes at

their summits; foot elongated and rather truncated posteriorly; colour pale yellowish brown.


SheZl—with six whorls; spire moderately raised above the plane of the whorls; colour sandy ; diameter, half an inch.

Found with the preceding. These two specimens appear to be true Helices.—Unlike the species No. 3, described in the 26th No. they have no tentaculiform processes on the right side, playing over the surface of the shell when the animal is in motion, nor have they the fleshy hook on the tail.

The shell of the species which I formerly described with a mark of doubt as a Helix, is very like in form and general appearance to the

present species, No. 29 : but the polish of the shell is very superior to this last.

[ocr errors]

Shell—-with 10 whorls; pale sandy brown; spire obtuse; cylindriform; aperture longitudinal, subovate, right lip edged; pillar

smooth, straight, and truncated at the base; length, l§inches, smooth and shining.

Found buried in the earth, foot foremost, at the roots of shrubs, in uncultivated grounds, between Nemuch and Mhow.

Among these shells, I could observe no partiality for any particular aspect, nor any thing to confirm the opinion which I formerly hazarded, of this being one of the habits of the Land Shells. Nevertheless, I am still inclined to retain that opinion, because the circumstance may hold good with regard to those species which are more particularly found in rocky situations, and where the hot winds, striking throughout the day against the rocks, would of necessity impart a great and over

powering degree of heat to the retreats of these animals, even when


buried in the earth-—while on the other hand, the species, which I, have here endeavoured to describe, inhabiting wide and fiat plains, are under no necessity of placinga farther barrier between themselves and the wind, than that which is afforded by the earth in which they lie torpid, in as much as meeting with no obstruction, the scorching blast sweeps rapidly over the hardened surface, without penetrating sufiiciently deep, or at least with suflicient power to cause any injury or inconvenience to the animals buried some 6 or 8 inches deep, and protected by the branches of the dwarf shrubs be-' neath which they are found.

Of these shells, I shall take an early opportunity of forwarding speci

[ocr errors][graphic]

IX.--Account of the Bearded Vullure of the Himdlag/a. By the same.

I know not if this magnificent bird has yet been recognised by ornithologists as an inhabitant of the lofty mountain ranges of Thibet, and I have therefore little hesitation in recording the fact. A specimen sadly torn and mutilated by insects was a short time since pointed out to me as a Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysiietos), from the hills, and having often before seen those noble birds both living and in museums, I paid no attention to it at the time.—,On an after occasion, when the specimen was thrown away as useless, I happened accidentally to cast my eyes on it, and saw at a glance that it was nota Golden Eagle. A suspicion of the truth at the same time crossing my mind, from the circumstance of the black beard, which in this bird is so conspicuous, being still a very prominent feature, notwithstanding the ruinous state of the specimen, accordingly I took the skin home with me to examine at my leisure, and the following description is the result :


Length from the tip of the beak to the end of the tail 3 ft. 11 in. Beak, from the tip to the gape, 4 in. ; breadth from tip to tip of the expanded wings, 9 ft. 6 in. From the base of the upper mandible arises ablack stripe of short hairs or bristles, passing over each eye, and turning round the back of the head, where it joins the stripe from the opposite side; the crown of the head, which is much flattened, is covered with small whitish feathers; but across these, running longitudinally from the base of the upper mandible to the black which passes round the back of the head, is a black stripe of narrow feathers. The chin, throat, back, sides, and forepart of the neck ; the breast, belly, vent, thighs, and under tail coverts, deep ferrugin

ous; darkest on the chin, throat, and fore-neck, whiter on the vent and thighs.—A band or collar of dark brown feathers across the bottom of the knee, joining the black on the back, and thus

forming a ring round the neck-—back, scapnlars, greater and lesser '

wing coverts, brownish black; the shafts of the feathers white, towards which the webs also grow lighter—upper-tail coverts and the quills of the wings and tail, greyish, or ashy black.—The first quill of the wing is 3-}; inches shorter than the second, and the third is the longest.—Tail feathers twelve in number, and gradually decreasing in length from the centre to the outermost ones, forming a well-marked wedge.

Beak, feet, and claws faded to yellowish horn, the original colour not ascertainable.

p The nostrils are entirely concealed beneath the jet-black bristles which.

stand forward over them, and which are a continuation of, or rather take their rise from, the point whence springs the black stripe which passes over the eyes.—At the angle of the lower mandible is a bunch of long black bristles, diverging and hanging down like a beard.—The beak is straight from the base to the end of the cere, which is very thin, and it then rises into an arch, and curves strongly to the point.—Legs short and feathered to the toes ; outer and hinder claws, the largest:

the inner one about half their size.—-All moderately hooked, and much worn at the points.

In all other respects it appears to agree accurately with the descrip- '

tion given of the Bearded Vulture in the “ Gardens and Menagerie of the Zoological Society.”

This specimen will be found to differ from the bird there figured in the following particulars:—-The Bearded Vulture is stated to have “ the upper part of the head of a dirty white,” while in mine there is a black line across the white; this however might lead one to suspect the bird to be a young one, although the rest of the plumage does not appear to differ from that of the adult bird, showing no signs of the “ white spots, or spots of a lighter shade, scattered over the back and wings,” as alluded to in the work above-mentioned.

Again, it is said to have “ the first quill-feather of the wing nearly equal to the second and third, which are the longest,” &c.-—In my bird, the first quill is 3% in. shorter than the second, which is a quarter of an inch shorter than the third ; the third quill being consequently the longest, and the fourth nearly equal to the second.

This last character is perhaps a strong reason against supposing the two birds to be idedtical, and together with the different marking of

the head and the ring on the neck, may go far to establish it as I

new species: but of this nothing positive can be said until some ornithologist on a visit to the hills may be fortunate enough to meet with the living bird, and have an opportunity of proving either the identity or distinctness of the species by observing the changes of plumage from youth to maturity——in the mean time, I have noted it down with 3 mark of doubt, as the Bearded Vulture of authors.

Nemuch, 21st Feb. 1834.

[graphic][graphic][merged small]

Dr. J. Tvrnrn, Senior Member, present, in the chair.

The Report ofthe Committee of Papers upon the list of names, proposed at the last meeting as honorary members of the Society, was submitted, when the following were balloted for and duly elected. M EKHARA Mano, uncle to the king of Ava; Professor HEEREN, M. KLAPROTH, and Prof. Rossn; Sir Joan Hnascnnnn, Prof. BUC'(LANI) and Col. Svnas.

Read, letters from the Secretaries of the Royal Society, the Royal Asiatic Society, and the Geological Society, acknowledging the receipt of the 17th and 18th vols. of the Researches.

Also, from Professor Snnowwx, and from Mr. AIKIN, Secretary of the So_ ciety of Arts, expressing thanks for the second part of the 18th vol. As. Res.

Reada letter from Col. J . STUART, Deputy Secretary to Government, Military Department, intimating that the Honorable Court of Directors

. have, in a recent dispatch, informed the Government that the suggestion of the Society regarding a. supply of tubes and apparatus for boring, will be attended to.

[We have since heard that they are on board the Sir Edward Paget.]

Read a letter from Captain R. Homo, proposing on the part of his bro. ther, Col. HOME and himself, to deposit in the apartments of the Asiatic Society, the valuable collection of paintings, books, and casts, belonging to the gallery of the late B. Home, Esq, of Lucknow, in compliance with the wish expressed by their father previous to his demise, that they should be preserved in some public institution in Calcutta, where they might be properly attended to, and at all times open to public inspection.

Resolved, that the thanks of the Society be returned to Col. and Capt, Horn: for their most liberal offer, which they embrace with pleasure; and that suitable preparation be immediately made for their reception.

[The collection of paintings comprises the following valuable originals ;_.

Woman taken in adultery, by Dominichino, 6 ft. 2 in. by 4 ft.

Cleopatra, Guido, 4 ft. by 3 ft. 3 in.

Crowning of Mary de Medicis, Reubens, 5 ft. by 3 ft.

Infant Jesus, ditto, 4 ft. by 3 ft.

Sir William Jones, as a boy, Sir Joshua Reynolds.

« PreviousContinue »