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PAGE and various alkaloids. --Combination of mercuric nitrate and

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Books, Pamphlets, and serials Received

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THURSDAY, APRIL 21, 1898.

9 and 12 more particularly) he deals in an altogether masterly manner with the breeding habits and metamorphosis, earlier published papers upon which have

rendered him famous. And in this connection it is A NEW DEPARTURE BY THE RAI

particularly noteworthy that an observer of such ripe SOCIETY.

experience should pronounce against the popular ideas The Tailless Batrachians of Europe. Part i.

concerning the significance of the tadpole stage. BeA. Boulenger, F.R.S. Pp. 210. (London : The Ray lieving, as we do, that the conception of the trog's Society, 1897.)

climbing up its own phylogenetic tree is erroneous, and THE HE publication of this elegant treatise marks an that in the recognition of characters expressed in the term

event in the history of the Ray Society upon which "derotrematous," in respect to which condition some living its members, so long content with a diet of insects, Batrachia are veritable fishes, far-reaching generalisaare to be heartily congratulated.

Of the 210 pages

tions founded on the piscine resemblances of the tadpole of the work, 121 are devoted to an “Introduction ” in are superfluous and have been misleading, we hail with which the classification, taxonomic characters, skeleton, much satisfaction the author's assertion that “larval viscera, habits, and reproduction of the Batrachia Ecaudata forms such as the tadpoles are outside the cycle of reare successively dealt with on broad lines, special sections capitulation.” being added on hybrids and geographical distribution. The only call for revision which we note is in the The remaining ninety pages are devoted to a systematic terminology, and that more particularly anatomical treatment of the Discoglossidæ and Pelobatidæ (i.e. of The usage of the terms epicoracoid” and “sternum '; eight of the twenty European species which the author is regrettable, since the former, as an independent eleadmits), in which specific diagnoses, geographical varie- ment of the shoulder-girdle, has no existence in the ties, the skeleton, habits, eggs, tadpole, and habitat, Batrachia, and in them the latter is known to be no are categorically dealt with in popular but trustworthy derivative of the costal skeleton. “Abdominal cavity' terms. This arrangement has involved the author in an is equally inexpressive, and the application to the amount of repetition, but owing to the judicious placing vertebræ of the term “dorsal ” ! (still so barbarously of the seventy-seven processed drawings which adorn the retained for the thoracic of the amniota) is wrong. The work, all suspicion that this may be needless disappears, description of the os cruris on one page as the text and illustrations being found to supplement each tibia" and on another as the "tibia-fibula,” like that of the other in accordance with a well-conceived plan. In investment of the ovum as a “gelatinous envelope ” and addition, there are two maps and ten plates, six of the a “sticky mucilage,” is contradictory ; while the reference latter being admirable examples of the chromo-litho- to the fronto-parietals of Pelobates, on p. 35, is incomplete, grapher's art, of which it is praise sufficient that the by lack of insertion after “in” of the words “the adult.” author declares them to have fully satisfied his aspirations. “ Articulary balls” is amusing in its unconventionality, The classification adopted is that of Cope, as emended and “adhesive sub-buccal apparatus” is needlessly inby the author in the course of five-and-twenty years' ex- volved. The description of the so-called external type of perience, its leading feature being the grouping together vocal-sac as occurring in Rana, involving “a diverof the genera Alytes, Bombinator, and Discoglossus, as ticulum of the mylo-hyoid muscle" and the said “slits at a family (the Discoglossidae) having well-defined and the sides of the throat," is calculated to convey a wrong lowly affinities, which all recent investigation has con- impression of the facts, and error appears most seriously firmed. Mr. Boulenger is the foremost among the world's to have crept into the account given of the genital ducts younger herpetologists, and in knowledge of his expe- of the males, in a manner alluded to below, for which it rience acquired during the custody of the world's greatest will be seen the author is little to blame. collection of reptiles and batrachians, of his devotion The above-named are but trivial defects and unforto his calling, and of his well-tried judgment, expectation tunate modes of expression, which in no way detract from ran high on the announcement of the work. It has the merits of the book. The author in his preface been realised ; suffice it to say that the book marks an deplores the fact that few persons share with him a fondepoch in the popularisation of zoological science, and must ness for the Batrachia Ecaudata, and it must be admitted take its place in history beside the memorable works of that, with the Teleostean Fishes and other groups of Rösel von Rosenhof and Spallanzani,“ Die in Deutsch- animals forming culminating series in definite lines of land lebenden Saurier” of Leydig, and others of the modification, these have been largely neglected by recent kind. It abounds in original observation and teems with investigators, 'who, fascinated by the lowly and more enthusiasm, and without it no zoological library worthy generalised, have put them aside as useless in their the name can be complete.

specialisation. The study of the Teleostei is now setting The section dealing with the viscera is somewhat these persons right on fundamentally important topics, less satisfactory than the rest, but it is fair to the author to and we claim that the remarks appended to this review remark that he purposely excludes a general description justify the assertion that in the study of the despised of the “ internal soft anatomy," and confines his attention Anura there lies the settlement of that which is to-day to the “ structure of the lungs and urogenital apparatus," one of the most vexed questions concerning the genital which he regards as “ of special importance from the ducts of the vertebrata." And tempted thus to speculate point of view of the systematist.” He in this way leads

1. " Presacral” is the only term by which these can be accurately described up to his morphological tour de force, in which (Sections in the Batrachia. NO. 1486, vol. 57]

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upon what remains to be ascertained about mere frogs justify the conclusion that the latter condition is and toads, the mind reverts to their mechanism of secondary and associated with the suppression of the accommodation for vision within and without the water, sexual part. And if this be so, an additional argument our knowledge concerning which is an absolute blank. will have been furnished for the lowly affinities of the If we may judge by analogy to the inanimate, displace- Discoglossidæ.

G. B. H. ment of the lens of an altogether remarkable order must take place, and there is thus opened up a line of investigation of absorbing interest alike in its morpho

PREHISTORIC CIVILISATION IN EGYPT. logical, physiological, and physical aspects, in which, to say the least, there probably lies the explanation of the Recherches sur les Origines de l’Égypte. Ethnographie remarkable series of accessory eye-muscles which these

Préhistorique et Tombeau Royal de Négadah. Par animals possess.

J. de Morgan. Avec la collaboration de MM. WiedeThat a great deal remains to be done in the study

mann, Jéquier, et Fouquet. Pp. x + 395. (Paris : of these familiar creatures is certain. The author has

Leroux, 1897.) produced a masterly treatise upon their classification and THE large section of the scientific public which is distribution, upon which he is now a leading authority.

interested in prehistoric remains will, we are sure, He deals with a subject historically associated in a pro

cordially welcome the second part of M. de Morgan's minent manner with the labours of English-speaking work on “Les Origines de l'Égypte,” which is now before zoologists, and tells us that he will be content if those us. Every reader of the first part waited, we fear with who use the book may derive from the perusal of its some impatience, for the supplementary facts which were pages one-tenth of the pleasure it has given him to

known to be forthcoming ; and now that they are in our write them. His preface, in which this sentiment hands, it is more possible to judge of the general effect occurs, is positively infectious in its enthusiasm, force of of M. de Morgan's recent discoveries upon the sciences personal example, and love of science for its own sake ; of archæology and anthropology. For some years past and neither he nor we could desire more of his book than the natives of Upper Egypt have been offering numbers that it might stimulate to action som

ome one who should in of curious objects for purchase to the tourist and wanderturn succeed him as a foremost authority upon the group ing Egyptologist, and the said objects were so remarkof animals with which it deals.

able from artistic and other points of view, that more

than one archæologist have pronounced them to be forConcerning the vestigial portions of the urinogenital geries. That these objects came from several different apparatus above referred to, the author, relying only places in Upper Egypt was quite certain, but it was hard upon mac

acroscopic characters and following Spengel, has to believe the fact, and most people, whatever they said, described the duct which in Alytes receives the vasa privately thought the statements of the natives to be efferentia as Müllerian ; and he regards the vesicula unbelievable. seminalis in all forms as a derivative of that. He omits M. de Morgan was the first to find the solution of the mention, however, of the vestigial Müllerian duct of the difficulty, and now he has triumphantly proved that these male Rana, which, though exceedingly delicate, is usually strange objects do really come from a number of sites present ; and this is the more regrettable, since Marshall which extend along the Nile Valley from Cairo on the proved microscopically that it skirts the outer border of north to Wady Halfa on the south, and that they repre. the vesicula as an independent tube. The relation. sent the remains of a people who occupied Egypt before ships of the vesicula to the so-called “ureter” in Rana, the Egyptians who have hitherto been known to us from and to the presumed Müllerian duct in Alytes, the alleged inscribed statues, temples, &c. In the second chapter homology of which has been challenged, are thus seen to of the presentvolume of his work he gives a list of these be identical, wherefore the latter would appear to repre- sites, and it may be considered the most important sent the Wolffian duct proper, and the so-called “ureter” section of his book ; it is much to be hoped that now of the Anura either a specialised portion of that, or an circumstances have obliged him to transfer the field of independent duct arising from the kidney, as might well his labours to Persia, others, whether they be English be from the condition in Alytes and some Urodela. Com- or French, may take steps to examine by means of parative embryologists will not need to be reminded that systematic excavations the sites of which he has given a precisely similar difficulty besets the interpretation of us such a full list. the corresponding parts in the Elasmobranch fishes, and But though M. de Morgan has not been alone in making as concerning the Anura more particularly the whole researches concerning the history of the remote period matter, anomalous to an unparalleled degree on the in which these sites were occupied, and though Messrs. Spengelian interpretation, apparently harmonious and Petrie and Amélineau have collected much information exceptionally instructive by extension of Marshall's from their excavations at Amrah, Ballas, and Nakada, observation, demands renewed microscopic inquiry. it must not for one moment be imagined that all the Indeed, to the present writer it has long appeared that questions connected with the prehistoric people of Egypt the male genitalia of Alytes and Discoglossus, as here can be answered, or all difficulties solved. Nor can it interpreted, conform to a type transitional between that be said whence this people came, or when they first of the Urodela in which a fully developed Wolffian body, occupied their stations in the Nile Valley ; at present it differentiated into a sexual and a renal portion, is pre- is difficult even to find a name for them which will satisfy sent, and of the higher Anura, in which the homologue both M. de Morgan and Mr. Petrie. M. de Morgan, of the renal part receives the vasa efferentia, and to basing his opinion upon anthropological evidence adduced by Dr. Fouquet, as much as upon the archæo- M. de Morgan found in the tomb of Nakada, much less logical evidence which he himself has carefully sifted,

refer to the interesting deductions made by M. has come to the conclusion that the people whose re- Wiedemann from them ; it must suffice to say that quite mains he has found are as old as any race known in the new light is thrown upon many well-known facts, and world, and that, in any case, they are the earliest in that niany of our preconceived notions must be abanhabitants of Egypt. On the other hand, Mr. Petrie calls doned. Of special interest to the anthropologist is Dr them the “New Race," which appellation, viewed in the Fouquet's minute description of the skulls of the indigènes light of the evidence given in M. de Morgan's book, is of Egypt ; the careful measurements, too, will be inclearly wrong, and shows that Mr. Petrie did not under- valuable to him. Neither M. de Morgan nor Dr. stand the facts of the case.

Fouquet attempts to assign a date to the occupation of According to M. de Morgan the word “Egyptian” the land of Egypt by this people, and no guess is made signifies the man who migrated from Asia to Egypt, whose at the length of its duration. civilisation was peculiar to himself, and whose ethnic Though M. de Morgan's last work does much to settle history is still unknown. Between him and his predecessor, the difficulties which his own discoveries have raised, whom we may call the aboriginal inhabitant, he draws many questions must, we fear, for some time remain a sharp distinction both mentally and morally, and the open. But to him all students owe a big debt of gratiformer was mesaticephalic and the latter dolichocephalic. tude, both for the careful way in which he has collected It is important to note that the indigènes had smooth and and stated his facts, and for the zeal with which he fair hair, and that they belonged to the white race ; thus carried out his excavations; his work is of peculiar value the old theory that the Egyptians were of negro origin from the fact that he never forgets his task as an exreceives another blow, and incidentally it is quite clear pounder of facts so far as to become an advocate. The that the Cush referred to in the Bible as the home of the mere Egyptologist would have misread the evidence of Egyptian is not Ethiopia. In the chapter on the indi- the prehistoric graves because he never takes the trouble genous peoples of Egypt we have a most useful account to realise that a good Egyptologist is not necessarily a of the various objects which have been found in the pre- good archæologist, and we must be thankful that for historic sites, well illustrated by scores of woodcuts which once the right work fell into the right hands. All will, will prove invaluable to those who have not the oppor- however, regret that the French Government has tunity of studying the originals, and at the end is given a removed M. de Morgan from Egypt to Persia, especially good account of the various methods of burial employed as they did so at the time when he was doing his best by the indigènes of Egypt.

work. In the earliest times the dead were buried without any attempt being made to mummify the body or to strip the bones of their flesh. Later, the flesh was stripped from

A COUNTY FLORA. the bones, which were then buried, frequently in great

The Flora of Berkshire. By George Claridge Druce. disorder ; sometimes the body was simply hacked in pieces so that it might be packed easily in a small space.

Pp. cxcix + 644. (Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1897.) Still later, an attempt to preserve the body by mummi

[Published 1898.] fication was made ; for Dr. Fouquet has found traces of THIS

'HIS volume is worth a review, for it has merits bitumen in the bones' which he has examined. In the

found in but few “Floras," and failings common earliest tombs no metal objects have been found, but of to many. those in which no instruments of iron and bronze have

In 1886 Mr. Druce published “A Flora of Oxfordbeen discovered, the famous tomb at Nakada which shire ”—a flora, except for the inclusion of some account M. de Morgan first excavated, and has described in the of the lower plants, of the very ordinary type. In his fourth chapter, is the best known example. It is, of second flora, while omitting the lower plants except course, quite easy to see from the remains of offerings Characea, he introduces in his critical notes on species found in the prehistoric tombs that the belief in a future

a new feature. Every variation has a claim on the life of those who made them was both well established botanist's attention ; and where can local varieties be and widely known. And if they believed in a future life better considered than in a local fora ? It is a good it seems that they must of necessity have believed in a

feature in the book. And, further, the mania for names divine power, and to have the superstitions which take the

or for giving prominence to names does not offend. place of religion among early peoples. The abominable The varieties are usually mentioned in these notes in practice of cannibalism which Mr. Petrie attributed to

a way which gives an appearance of proportion to his “ New Race,” finds no support in the account which the enumeration, and so do not appear-undefinable M. de Morgan has given of this people, and we agree gradations as they often are-in series like so many with Dr. Verneau, who in discussing this subject says

milestones along the road.

A county flora must always be considered from the “Les faits allégués à l'appui de cette assertion dictionary standard. The main body is of necessity a s'expliqueraient tout aussi bien si l'on admettait simple work of reference. Viewed in this light, we find in the

décharnement à l'air libre, précédant l'ensevelissement définitif.''

"Flora of Berkshire” merits and demerits. The division

of the county into geographical areas is satisfactory, Mr. Petrie's sensational discovery therefore falls to much more so than in the “Flora of Oxfordshire," where the ground.

they are very unequal. In a level region, such as that Space will not allow us to discuss the objects which of our Midland counties, there are no natural areas,

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unless they be made by the soil. To follow the outlines catalogues of "Phanerogams.” The comprehensiveness of the various formations, as Babington well did in his of Purchas and Ley's “Flora of Herefordshire,” the notice “Flora of Cambridgeshire,” would for Berkshire be a of the past vegetation of the peat in Hind’s “Flora of difficult task ; and Mr. Druce may not have done amiss Suffolk,” the scattered biological notes of Scott-Elliot's in defining his regions by drainage. The result of his “ Flora of Dumfriesshire," and the critical remarks of division is that every region contains some chalk, and Druce's “Flora of Berkshire" are good signs, which we consequently some of its characteristic vegetation. hope may lead to better things.

1. H. B. An original dictionary is aggravating ; and Mr. Druce is unwise in choosing, by his changes in nomenclature, to

AMONG THE ISLANDS OF THE PACIFIC. publish such. Of all places, except perhaps a seedsman's catalogue, such alterations could not be more out

Wild Life in Southern Seas. By Louis Becke. Crown of place. And when he selects to give Potamogeton two

8vo. Pp. viii + 369. (London : T. Fisher Unwin. genders he becomes pedantic. To expect a man with

1897.) sense than leisure to inquire before THE author of a Pacific Tales" and “ By Reef and writing the name of a species of this genus whether its author made it masculine or neuter, is to proffer him a the reader of fiction, or to the more serious-minded who fetter of a nature as galling as purposeless. It may be seek for information upon a part of the world where the safely said that this is a demerit possessed by no other “personally-conducted” tour is as yet unknown. Mr. English county flora.

Becke, in virtue of his twenty-six years of wandering In the next place, a county flora must be considered as among the islands of the Pacific, has made himselí an a geographical study. Great pains are usually taken to acknowledged authority upon most of them, from the get together accurate facts (and this flora is no exception); Carolines to the Paumotus, and now that Major Sternbut the builder tips up his bricks and mortar at your dale is no longer with us, is probably better qualified to door, leaving the building to your own architectural speak of this region as a whole than any person now fancy. As long ago as 1863, in Baker's “North York- living, though there are doubtless others whose knowshire," an admirable model was set, but no one has ledge of individual groups is more extensive. The followed in the same lines. Mr. Druce in the intro- volume before us is upon the same lines as “By Reef duction gives a long description of his districts, and and Palm," a collection of reminiscences per ci per li, long lists of the noteworthy plants, but in the summary rather less full of deeds of bloodshed, perhaps, than the he fails to point out any connection between these ; he latter volume, and containing more of interest to the points out the soils of the county well—perhaps not so naturalist and ethnologist, but at the same time possibly well as in Pryor's “Hertfordshire Flora”—but fails to not devoid of fiction, or at least of fact and fiction comsummarise their effects on the plant formations; he mingled. Some of the articles seem familiar to us; one has pointed out the deforesting of the land, but hardly at least, upon Birgus latro, has appeared in the columns notices its effects; and he has given us agricultural of the Field. returns, and passes unnoticed the effects of agriculture. The volume is one which will appeal especially to the Surely such things should be the crowning of such a sea-fisherman who has tasted of the delights of reefbook-a bringing into one view the long arrays of facts fishing in Pacific waters, for half a dozen or more of the which have gone before. It is a fault of most foras that articles are devoted to this sport in one shape or another. they are wanting in this.

The abundance of fish is not less remarkable than their This “ Flora of Berkshire” forms a thick volume of variety. Mr. Becke tells us that in the Ellice group he more than 800 pages; and it is not free from irrelevant has seen as many as twenty canoes loaded to sinking remarks. For instance, the fossil shells of the Lower point in less than an hour; while, as for size, the takud, Greensand (p. xxxi) have no bearing on the subject ; a large species of albacore, reaches the weight of 120 lb. the history of the “ Imp" stone (p. xlii) is out of place; and more. Shark-fishing is no very novel amusement, most of the matter on river drainage (pp. xlvii-liii) is of perhaps, but catching flying.fish is a sport not so little use ; to be informed that the late M. A. Lawson widely practised, and Mr. Becke's description of it is a compiled a MS. index to Jaeger's “Adumbratio” (p. vivid one. He has also done well in putting together his clxxvii) is not of interest, and but poor salve to one who sketch of the history of whaling in the South Seas. needs use those two cumbersome volumes ; nor does it in No new light is thrown upon the curious stone buildthe least benefit us to be told that Mr. Druce has been ings and fortifications which exist over the length and unable to elicit any reply from certain critical botanists. breadth of the South Pacific, and have for so long

Caution, too, is sometimes left behind. That Elodea is puzzled archäologists, though Mr. Becke speaks of what dying out by reason of the absence of the ở plant are probably the most extensive of all—those on Espiritu (p. 465) is merely a conjecture. A little knowledge Santo. Some interesting facts concerning population are of recent literature should have shown that Nepeta given. It has now been known for some time that the Glechoma var. parviflora (p. 402) is merely a condition. extinction of these island peoples in consequence of the In fact, Mr. Druce's “ Flora of Berkshire,” founded on advent of the whites, formerly regarded as an immediate so much labour, deserved a careful revision before it certainty, is not only not impending, but is never likely went to press, and did not get it. It may rank with our to occur, except by the process of fusion-that the census best county floras in some ways ; but most of these are minimum has been reached, and that steady increase is far from approaching a high scientific standard. There the rule rather than the exception. Funafuti, the island is a tendency now to aim at more ambitious works than lately visited by the coral-boring expedition, is a good

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