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the exhaust from the central engine. The Marconi system cultural Journal of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Ceylon, and of wireless telegraphy will be installed, and remain at the states that the disease was due to a canker fungus; further service of the travelling public, as on all the Belgian mail details with regard to structure and treatment will form the steamers.
subject of a separate circular. The articles in the fourth part of vol. xxxii. of Gegen- The Journal of Botany (November) contains the first part baur's Morphologisches Jahrbuch are two in number, the of a detailed description of the plants collected in Patagonia one, by Dr. Böse, on variations in certain muscles of the by Mr. Hesketh Prichard, of which a preliminary list was human thorax, and the other, by Mr. A. Gierse, on the given in his book “ Through the Heart of Patagonia." brain and cephalic nerves of the small deep-sea teleostean The identification has been undertaken by Dr. Rendle, who fish Cyclothone acclidens. The latter is remarkable for prefaces the list of plants with a short account of the region possessing a median cephalic sympathetic nerve-cord, in which the collections were made, and the typical elements apparently unknown in any other vertebrate.
which are represented. The new species belong chiefly to
characteristic temperate South American genera. To the According to the report of the annual meeting held in
same number Mr. A. B. Jackson contributes some notes on May last, the Boston Society of Natural History (U.S.A.) Leicestershire plants which summarise observations made is devoting attention to the display in its museum of the
since the year 1886, when the “ Flora of Leicestershire " fauna of New England. New England palæontology is to
was published. be shown in the eastern end of the building between the rooms devoted to the palæontology of the rest of the world,
Dr. W. E. DE KORTÉ, at a meeting of the Pathological while the remaining available space will be devoted to the Society of London on November 15, described what he recent birds and mammals. In the galleries will be
believes to be the parasites of small-pox and vaccinia. In arranged the lower vertebrates and the invertebrates. the lymph of the eruptive spots in both these diseases he Accordingly, the local fauna, which is to be the leading has detected bodies measuring about 1/2500 inch in feature of the museum, will occupy the most prominent and diameter, amæboid, and containing refractile granules; central position, from which the various portions of the
these he regards as amaboid protozoa. They are extremely general collection will diverge. This is as it should be, and
delicate, breaking up and disappearing on all but the when complete the museum promises to be a model for
gentlest manipulation, and on attempts to stain or preserve. other local institutions of a similar nature.
They seem to be very similar to the bodies deseribed by
Funck some years ago under the name of Sporidium The first part of vol. Ixxviii. of the Zeitschrift für wissen- vaccinale. schaftliche Zoologie is devoted to the fourth and apparently concluding section of Dr. E. Rohde's valuable and ex
In an article on trypanosome diseases (Brit. Med. Journ., haustive account of the structure of the organic cell, and
November 26) Prof. Robert Koch advances arguments in to an article by Mr. D. Deineka on the constitution of the
favour of the view that the trypanosomes of mammals at swim-bladder of fishes. In the second of these articles the
present known belong to about three species, viz. the rat author supports the view that the main function of the
trypanosome and the T. Theileri of South African cattle, swim-bladder is hydrostatic; fish in which this organ has
both of which are distinguished morphologically and by upbeen pierced, and the whole or part of its contained gas
changing virulence and inoculability from the other trypanowithdrawn, or replaced by water, completely lose their
somes, i.e. those of nagana, surra, mal de caderas, and balance, in some cases falling on one side, in others stand
sleeping sickness, all of which show considerable variation ing nearly perpendicular in the water with the head down
in morphology, virulence, and inoculability, and are therewards, and in others, again, floating belly upwards.
fore regarded by Prof. Koch as being probably varieties of Whether, however, the swim-bladder has a double function,
one type. and acts also as a respiratory organ, is, in the author's The new number of the Mitteilungen aus den deutschen opinion, extremely doubtful.
Schutzgebieten contains papers the north-western In the September issue of the Proceedings of the Phila
boundary region of Togoland, by Count Zech, and on the delphia Academy Miss A. M. Fielde records three instances
results of an exploration of the healthy plateau region of the of curious traits displayed by ants kept under observation
Kamerun, north of the Manenguba mountains, by Dr. Hans in the laboratory at Woods Holl, Mass. In the first case
Zieman. The information in the former paper, and the the actions recorded suggest something akin to hypnotism,
map accompanying it, are of particular interest on account while from the third there seems a possibility that these
of the immediate proximity of the district to British
territory. insects may be able to remember and recognise individuals of their own kind after a separation of several years. The
The July number of the Bulletin of the Italian Georeactions of ants to vibrations form the subject of a second graphical Society. contains the concluding portion of Prof. article by the same author in conjunction with Mr. G. H. Brocherel's report on the expedition to Central Asia in Parker. In this it is urged that it is misleading to ascribe 1900. Signor Carlo Rossetti writes on the political and or to deny hearing to these insects. They are very sensitive economic conditions of Korea, and Signor Eugenio Barto the vibrations of solids, but not to those of air, and their barich makes an important contribution to the physical reactions to these might as well be described as due to geography and geology of Albania. Another paper deals touch as to hearing.
with the award of the King of Italy in the arbitration as The appearance of a bark disease among the Para rubber
to the boundary between Brazil and British Guiana. trees in certain districts in Ceylon during 1903 created some PROF. Penck's account of the progress made during the alarm among rubber planters, but prompt measures for its last five years in the execution of a map of the world on treatment were carried out under the advice of the Govern- a scale of 1:1,000,000, which was presented to the Interment mycologist. Mr. J. B. Carruthers, the officer in national Geographical Congress at Washington, is pubquestion, gives an account of its occurrence in his report, lished in the October number of the National Geographic which forms No. 16 of vol. ii. of the Circulars and Agri- | Magazine. During the last four years France, Germany,
and Britain have issued three series of maps, containing regard to the matter. Of these expressions of opinion, that sixty-one sheets worked out on the same scale and in the of M. Langevin is the most emphatic; after making many same style of division of sheets. These maps cover nearly experiments, he concludes that in no case in which the 10,000,000 square miles, and will ultimately embrace the observer is unaware of the result he is to obtain is there whole of Africa, and large parts of Asia and America. It the slightest evidence of the existence of these rays, whilst will be remembered that the congress adopted a resolution on the other hand the experimenter can readily so dispose proposing to the Government of the United States the his mind as to see whatever he wishes to see. The general execution of a similar general map of America.
attitude which is taken up in these articles is that the In a recent number of the Bulletin of the Italian Aëro
observed phenomena are purely subjective, and due to nautical Society Dr. L. Palazzo, director of the Italian
suggestion ; they are consequently more likely to prove of Meteorological Service, gives a very interesting account of
importance to the psychologist than to the physicist. the scientific experiments in Italy with unmanned balloons.
In the October number of the Gazzetta G. Bruni and A. The paper contains photographic illustrations of the balloons
Callegari have established by means of cryoscopic measureemployed, of the methods of filling them, of their flight in
ments the remarkable fact that in many cases the nitrosomid-air, and of the records of the instruments. The place group in organic substances is isomorphous with the nitrochosen for the aëronautical station is Pavia, principally radical. The formation of solid solutions in such cases is owing to its geographical suitability and its distance from also made evident by peculiar colour phenomena. Whilst, mountains and sea. The balloons used are a preparation of for instance, a solution of nitrosobenzene in benzene is india-rubber, and are made by the Caoutchouc Company, of green, but becomes colourless when frozen, a solution in Hanover. They are sent up in tandem fashion, and are nitrobenzene, which has the same colour, remains green spherical and closed, and have the faculty of expanding to after solidification. In the former case solid colourless about seventy times their original volume, rising rapidly to nitrosobenzene has separated, whilst in the latter a solid an altitude of 20,000 metres and upwards, where a tempera- solution of the substance in the solidified solvent is formed, ture of 60° C. below zero may be recorded.
which, like the liquid solution, is coloured green. balloon eventually bursts; the second balloon, which is smaller and not fully inflated, does not burst, but acts as a The numerous attempts which have been made to decide kind of parachute, which commences to fall rapidly at first by physical methods the nature of isodynamic substances and afterwards more gradually. It carries the registering such as ethyl acetoacetate and acetylacetone have given rise apparatus attached to it by a line, and is intended to attract to widely differing opinions. Thus Brühl, for instance, has the attention of persons in the neighbourhood of its descent. considered that the optical properties of acetylacetone The instruments generally reach the ground somewhat between o° C. and 100° C. prove that, between these gently, and are seldom broken. Dr. Palazzo acknowledges temperatures, it exists solely in the di-enolic form the assistance he has received from Profs. Hergesell and
CH.C(OH):C: C(OH).CH,, Assmann in inaugurating these important experiments.
whilst Dr. W. H. Perkin, from a study of the magnetic We have received a reprint of a paper published by Prof. rotatory power of the same substance, considers that at A. Righi in the Atti dei Lincei, vol. xiii., ii., 233, under the 16° C. it consists of a mixture of this form with the ketotitle of " Certain Phenomena Observed in Air which is enolic modification, and at 93° C. of a mixture of the ketolonised by Radio-active Substances "; experiments are de- enolic and diketonic varieties. In the October number of scribed which show the necessity that exists in making the Gazzetta F. Giolitti shows that at about 70° C. a remeasurements of the ionising power of radio-active sub-markable change in the expansibility of acetylacetone occurs stances by means of the various forms of gold-leaf electro- which conforms with Perkin's view of a change of strucscopes to take into account the position of the leaves re
ture at a temperature between the limits 16° C. and 93° C. latively to the walls of the electroscope, and to the direction The variation in the expansion of ethyl acetoacetate between of the ionising rays.
– 10° C. and 100° C. is, however, perfectly linear, apparently in a paper published in the Physikalische Zeitschrift
indicating that at these temperatures only one form exists, (No. 20), C. Liebenow calculates that the presence of
or that the rate of change of one form into another is 1:5000 of a milligram of radium per cubic metre distributed
uniform between these limits. uniformly throughout the earth's volume would be sufficient
A CORRESPONDENT points out that in NATURE of to compensate for the loss of heat which is caused by con
November 24 (p. 88, line 19 from top, first column) the name duction through the crust, and thus to maintain the earth's
Sansaulito is a misspelling for a well known locality near interior at a constant temperature. The concentration San Francisco. The correct spelling is Saucelito, which which is here assumed is considerably less than that actually
means “ little willow," from Sauce, willow, in Spanish. observed by Messrs. Elster and Geitel to hold for radium in various kinds of natural earths, but it may perhaps be We have received from Messrs. F. Darton and Co., of assumed that the proportion of radium is greater in the 142 St. John Street, E.C., a well illustrated catalogue of crust of the earth than at the interior. In any case, the electrical novelties. The pieces of apparatus, toys, and need becomes apparent of making allowance in all calcula- household devices of which particulars are given are intions dealing with the earth's rate of cooling, for the re- genious in design, and some of them would make instructive markable thermal effects of radio-active substances.
presents for boys with a mechanical turn of mind. Ix No. 17 of the Revue Scientifique, Prof. R. W. Wood's
Messrs. WATTS AND Co. will issue on December 7 for recent letter to NATURE (vol. lxx. p. 530) calling into the Rationalist Press Association an English translation question the existence of the n-rays is reprinted, and in of Prof. Haeckel's “ Die Lebenswunder," under the title No. 18 an editorial article discusses in detail the character of “ The Wonders of Life." The chief aim of Prof. Haeckel of the evidence on which they are alleged to exist. In in this work is to present a mass of biological evidence for Na, 19 of the Revue the opinions of Profs. Berthelot, Bouty, the views as to the origin and nature of life which he Pellar, Langevin, and Abraham have been ascertained with briefly advanced in the “ Riddle of the Universe.”
Messrs. George BELL AND Sons have published a revised Dec, 20. 12b. 21m, to 13h. 31m. Moon occults BAC 1390 re-issue of '" Cities and Sights of Spain,” by Mrs. Aubrey
(Mag. 49). Le Blond (Mrs. Main). This handbook for tourists is meant
15h. 19m. to 16b. 12m. Moon occults a Tauri (Mag.
l'I) as a supplement to the ordinary guide-book, and the inform
21.. 21h. om. Uranus in conjunction with Sun. ation supplied shows that the writer has an intimate first
24. Sh. 54m. Minimum of Algol (B Persei). hand knowledge of the country. The advice as to hotels,
26. 9h. 2m. to gh. 13m. Moon occults A Leonis (Mag. expenses, what to do and what not to do, is of just the kind to be of assistance to visitors to Spain, of which country 27. 5h. 43m. Minimum of Algol (B Persei). the writer says,
21h. no other part of Europe offers so varied
Venus in conjunction with Saturn (Venus 0
48' S.) and attractive a field to nearly every type of traveller.”
28. 10h. Neptune in opposition to the Sun. The appearance of this re-issue is particularly opportune
29. 12h. om." Neptune's Satellite at max. elong. west just now, since astronomers and others will be visiting
(distance 17''). Spain next year to view the total eclipse of the sun, as the
Encke's Comet (1904 b).—No. 3980 of the Astronomische central line of the eclipse runs in a direction N.W. to S.E.
Nachrichten contains the results of further observations of across that country. Mrs. Le Blond's book may be com- Encke's comet. mended to those scientific visitors who will have time to Prof. Millosevich, observing at the Roman College Observvisit some of the beauty spots of the land in which their
at at 6h. 26m. 155. (M.T. Rome) on November 7, deterobservations will be made.
mined the position of the comet to be
a (app.)=22h. 5om. 39.935., 8 (app.)= +22° 19' 20":1, We have received vol. xxxvi. of the Transactions and and recorded the object as an extraordinarily difficult one Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute, which contains
with the filar micrometer of the 39 cm. equatorial ; no details of the work of the year 1903. The transactions are nucleus could be definitely seen. divided into five sections--miscellaneous, zoology, botany, On November 15 Herr Moschick, using the 6-inch telegeology, and chemistry and physics. The total number of scope of the Konigstuhl Observatory, Heidelberg, found the papers contributed in these subjects reaches fifty. Among nucleus. The position at 13h. 12m. (Konigstuhl M.T.) was
comet to be a very faint and diffuse object with a doubtful the contributions to the miscellaneous section may be
a (app.) = 22h. 13m. 37.6s., 8 (app.)= + 18° 14' 26". mentioned several statistical studies by Prof. H. W. Segar The following is a corrected ephemeris, by M. Kaminsky. and an exhaustive consideration of Maori marriage cust given in the November number of the Observatory :-by Mr. Elsdon Best. The president of the institute, Captain
Ephemeris (Berlin Midnight). F. W. Hutton, F.R.S., is the largest contributor to the
Dec. section of zoology. He describes a new fish, two new flies,
21 18 30
+ 10 30 a new blow-fly from Campbell Island, and has papers on a
+ 8 9 new Weta from Chatham Islands and on the occurrence of
+ 5 36 the curlew sandpiper (Ancylochilus sub-arquatus) in New
20 34 IC
+ 3 Zealand. Prof. Benham writes of a new species of leech
19 (Hirudo antipodum) recently discovered in New Zealand,
19 56 38
2 58 23
19 35 12 of the Oligochæta of the New Zealand lakes, and of an
On the last mentioned date the comet will be a little apparently new species of Regalecus (R. parkeri). Prof. Park contributes to the section of geology five papers on
north of a Aquilæ, and owing to its proximity to the sun
in right ascension will be a difficult object to observe. different aspects of New Zealand geology. Of the six
As pointed out by Dr. Smart, the comet will approach papers in chemistry and physics, three are the work of Mr. very near to Mercury in January, and it is hoped that an J. S. S. Cooper. The proceedings, which make up the opportunity of testing the mass of Mercury, by observations second part of the volume, provide interesting particulars
of the comet after the approach, will therefore be available. of the year's work of each of the seven scientific societies
VARIATIONS . Ox Moon's SURFACE.-In No. 4, affiliated to the New Zealand Institute. The volume as a
vol. lii., of the Harvard College Observatory Annals Prof.
W. H. Pickering publishes a number of photographs illuswhole demonstrates conclusively that the men of science in trating the changes which take place in the regions about New Zealand are doing successfully their part to extend the the lunar crater Eratosthenes during the commencement, bounds of natural knowledge.
the duration, and the passing of sunlight on that region of the moon's surface.
There are sixteen figures in all, the longest interval of OUR ASTRONOMICAL COLUMN.
time between the taking of any two successive figures being
1.6 days, and it is hoped that, by publishing these together ASTRONOMICAL OCCURRENCES IN DECEMBER :
with the detailed descriptions by Prof. Pickering which Dec. I, . joh. gm. to 12h. 8m. Transit of Jupiter's Sat. III. accompany them, the work of other selenographists may Ioh. 22m. Minimum of Algol (B Persei).
be greatly facilitated, by the possession of the knowledge 13h. 56m, to 14h. 8m. Moon occults Virginis , of what to look for. (Mag. 4'0).
The mean diameter of the crater of Eratosthenes is 37 4. 7h. Ilm. Minimum of Algol (B Persei).
miles, that of the floor 28 miles, and measures of the 8.
13h. 43m. to 15h. 45m. Transit of Jupiter's Sat. III. shadows cast indicate that the western wall has a height Epoch of Geminid meteoric shower (Radiant of 12,000 feet, whilst the indicated height of the eastern 108° +33°).
wall is something less than 15,000 feet. 12h. om.
Saturn in conjunction with Moon (Saturn As evidence in favour of the vegetal origin of these pheno3° 28' S.).
mena, Prof. Pickering suggests that although water could ih. Juno in conjunction with Moon (Juno o° 49' S.). not exist at the low pressures obtaining on the lunar surface, 13. 10h. 19m. to uh. izm. Moon occults Aquarii yet it might be retained in the soil by capillary attraction (Mag. 3'9).
and thence feed the vegetation, which at each return of 21h. om. Mercury at greatest elongation (20° 30' E. ). sunlight would develop and thus cause the changes illus16. 17h. Jupiter in conjunction with Moon (Jupiter* trated in the photographs. 47' N.)
CELESTIAL PHOTOGRAPHY AT HIGH ALTITUDES.-An interest20.6h. im. to 7h. 4m. Moon occults 7 Tauri (Mag: 3.9). / ing account of the work performed by Prof. Payne and Dr.
nh, 25m. to 11h. 58m. Moon occults d' Tauri (Mag. H. C. Wilson during their sojourn at Midvale (Montana), 3:9).
illustrated by reproductions of two of the photographs
obtained, is given by the latter observer in No. 8, vol. xii., species. Nevertheless, the supply of most descriptions of of Popular Astronomy.
furs seems to be well kept up, and, with the exception of The altitude of the observing station was 4790 feet above a few species, such as the sea-otter, the beaver in many sea-level, and the results lead Dr. Wilson to the conclusion districts, the West African guereza monkeys, and certain that the increase in altitude, from Northfield to Midvale, kinds of fur-seal, it does not appear that any of the valuable reduced the necessary exposures, other conditions being the fur-bearing mammals are in present danger of exterminsame, by about one-half. . The two reproductions accompany- ation, or even of becoming unduly scarce, The truth is ing the account show excellent photographs of the America that we have probably little real conception of the abundnebula and of the region between B and y Cygni taken ance of such creatures in the more remote districts of North with a 2} inch Darlot lens with exposures of three hours America and in the fur-producing countries of northern and of two hours respectively.
Asia. DISTRIBUTION OF STELLAR SPECTRA. -In No. 1, vol. Ivi.,
To attempt, within moderate limits, any general account of the Harvard College Observatory Annals the distribution
of the mammals which yield the more valuable kinds of of stellar spectra, mainly in reference to the Milky Way, is
furs is impossible, as it would be with the means at our discussed.
disposal to give a survey of the world's fur trade, and we The spectra dealt with are those examined by Mrs. shall accordingly content ourselves with referring to some Fleming for the Harvard catalogues, and the work is not
of the more striking items in trade circulars for the current yet complete, the present publication dealing only with the
year, and with making such notes on certain of the species results already obtained.
there mentioned as may seem desirable. Here it may be The number and proportion of each class of spectra in
recalled that there appeared in 1892 a valuable and interestdefinite regions of the heavens, as determined from the dis
ing work on “ Fur-Bearing Animals " by Mr. Henry Poland. cussion of 276 plates containing the spectra of 32,197 stars,
This work, needless to say, is now altogether out of date, are given in a series of tables and shown on a number of
and it is much to be hoped that the author could see his
way to the issue of a new edition, especially, if we may curves, The results indicate that the universe consists of two
say so without offence, if he would seek the assistance of a portions, (1) the first-type stars, which occur in all regions, professed naturalist in the revision.
We commence our brief review of the more interesting but preponderate in the formation of the Milky Way; (2) the stars having second- or third-type spectra, which show, in
items in the 1903–4 sale-lists by referring to some of the general, a uniform distribution over the whole sky.
most valuable descriptions of furs employed as articles of The proportion of first-type stars increases as fainter
dress or as carriage rugs, a large proportion of which are objets are included, but with the Orion stars the opposite yielded by the Carnivora, and especially by members of the spens to be the case. Stars with peculiar spectra seem to
family Mustelidæ. One of the foremost places in this recongregate in the Milky Way, whilst, contrary to expect
spect is occupied by the sea-otter (Latax lutris), an animal ation, those having spectra of class F appear to be relatively
which formerly abounded on the coasts of Kamchatka and lewer in the galactic regions.
the Aleutian Islands, but which now stands in imminent
jeopardy of extermination unless prompt measures are taken ABSORPTION BY Water V'APOUR IN THE INFRA-RED SOLAR
for its protection. Between the years 1772 and 1974 some SPECTRUM.—An interesting series of experiments has been
10,000 skins of this species were taken in the Aleutians, while made at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Laboratory, by Mr.
at the end of the eighteenth century the annual take was F. E. Fowle, jun., in order to test the correctness of
120,000 in certain newly discovered haunts in Alaska. This Bouguer's formula for calculating the amount of solar
number, however, soon fell to 15,000, and when Alaska was energy received after atmospheric absorption.
ceded to the United States it had sunk to 700. A temporary The results, so far as they go, show that the selective
improvement then took place, but in 1901 the number had absorption of water vapour is well represented by Bouguer's
fallen to 406. In 1903 Messrs. Lampson sold 463 formula and seems to depend only on the amount of the
skins, but they had none to offer in January, 1904, and absorbent present, that is to say, the amount of the absorp
there are none down in their October list, the latter detion produced by a given quantity of water vapour is the
ficiency being perhaps due to the recent loss of a whole same, whether the radiations pass through a great thick
cargo of furs from the Kommandorski Islands and KamTiess of small density or vice versa.
chatka. Of late years tool. is no uncommon price for a The absorption increases as the wave-lengths of the bands
sea-otter pelt, while from 200l. to 300l., and even, it is increase, and varies from about 10 per cent, near A (0-76u)
said, sool., have been paid for unusually fine skins. to nearly 100 per cent. at about 1.80p.
These prices are, however, paralleled by those given for No indication of a general water vapour absorption has
American silver or black fox (Canis vulpes argentatus). been found in the region 0.684 to 2.00p.
Nowadays the trade distinguishes the pure black from the Mr. Fowle's complete results, illustrated by some of the
silver or white-tipped skins. Black skins are said to have bolograms obtained, are published in No. 1, vol. ii., of the
been sold in St. Petersburg at from 300l. to 800l. each. quarterly issue of the Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections.
In London a pair of silver skins realised 480l. and an inferior pair 2001. in 1902, but single skins are reported to
have fetched 200l. Messrs. Lampson offered 670 skins of THE SUPPLY OF VALUABLE FURS.
this fox in 1903, and have 55 in their current October list. FEW persons, other than those in some way connected The white and blue phases of the Arctic fox (Canis lagopus),
with the fur trade of this country, or who have had which are the winter dress of different animals, although occasion to make statistical inquiries on the subject, have often regarded as the winter and summer coats of the same any conception of its enormous volume and value. Yet form, have of late years become very fashionable. Of the **** thoughtful observer who strolls along the fashionable former 20,341, and of the latter 3685, were sold by Messrs. shopping streets of the metropolis at this season can scarcely Lampson last year, but none of the blue variety appear in fail to be struck with the number of establishments for the this autumn's catalogue, against 57 in October, 1903, and sale of furs and the richness and variety of their contents, it would accordingly seem that the demand is telling on the or with the great extent that furs are worn by ladies. Any supply. White fox skins, which some years ago sold for real and comprehensive idea of the magnitude of the trade between 25. 6d. and 155. each, have recently risen to from can, however, only be gained either by attending the great three to five guineas, although they are now declining; on London quarterly fur sales, such as those of Messrs. C. M. the other hand, blue fox, which has long fetched from Lampson and Co., or by a study of the catalogues and price- ten to fifteen guineas per skin, appears to be rising in value. lists of such sales. By a perusal of these documents the Both white and blue fox come from the northern parts of inquirer will gain some conception of the immense number both hemispheres; the blue should be a pure bluish French of skins of the more valuable kinds of fur-bearing animals grey. imported into this country alone; and when the great Con- Of lynx skins 5828 were sold by Messrs. Lampson in 1903, tinental sales, such as the Leipzig and Nijni-Novgorod and 6316 were offered this autumn, the catalogue prices fairs, are also taken into consideration, he will marvel ranging between 225. and 425. for good samples. Probably where the supply comes from, and wonder that a clean most of these skins belong to the circumpolar Felis lynx, *uerp has not long ago been made of the chief fur-producing although they may include some of the American F. qufa.
Another handsome fur now in considerable demand is coypu (Myopotamus coypu), known in the trade as nutria, that of the glutton or wolverine (Gulo luscus), of which of which 80,269 skins appear in last year's sale-list. Far 47,139 skins were sold last year by one firm, the catalogue more valuable are, however, the much smaller beautiful price ranging this autumn from 16s. to 345. for good silver-grey pelts of “real " chinchilla, of which 23,587 samples. The sales of Russian sable (Mustela zibellina) by were sold last year by Messrs. Lampson, 6os. to 240s. per the same firm last year reached the enormous total of dozen being the price quoted by Mr. Poland in 1891, but 29,547, which compares with a total of 9247 for the whole a maximum of 310s. appearing in the list before us. 1 of London in 1891, an increase which seems to imply either take it that by
chinchilla is meant the typical the tapping of a fresh source of supply or an undue drain Chinchilla lanigera, although the latter name is applied by on the normal stock. The catalogue prices range from 10s. Mr. Poland's book to the “bastard chinchilla" of the to 151. per skin, but specially fine skins will fetch from 5ol. trade, which one would have thought meant one of the 10 70l. each. As its trade name implies, all the best sable species of Lagidium. Be this as it may, “ bastard chincomes through Russia.
or Siberian sable chilla ” is represented by no less than 132,996 pelts in (M. sibirica) is the trade name of an allied species of Messrs. Lampson's 1903 sales, the maximum price being which enormous numbers of skins come into the market,
1459. per dozen. Messrs. Lampson quoting 472,796 for last year ; the price Of the smaller and less valuable rodent furs briefer notice is, however, low, usually less than two shillings, and now must suffice, the chief interest connected with these being declining
the enormous numbers in which they are imported. Thus • Ermine (1. erminea), of which the returns for 1903 are musquash (Fiber zibethicus) is represented by no less than not given in the list before us, has recently risen 30 per 2,979,460 pelts of the normal, and by 117,412 of the black cent. in value ; 1379 skins were sold in January, 1903, and phase, while 1,678,667 skins of the former were disposed 461 this October. From 20s. to 180s. per timber of
of at the January sale this year. Squirrel (of various kinds). 40 skins was the price some years ago. Ermine is imported on the other hand, totalled only 142,501. Rabbit and hare both from Russia and America. When made up with
skins are not of sufficient value to find a place in these salespecks of black fur instead of with the black-tipped tails, lists. Among marsupials, skins of the so-called Australian it is called minever. Japanese sable, of which only 179
opossums, that is to say, various species of phalangers, skins were sold by Messrs. Lampson in 1903, is represented press hard on musquash skins in point of numbers, 2,455.765 by 1211 this autumn, a circumstance which may indicate being the quotation in last year's list. True, or American, that our allies are endeavouring to make as much as possible opossum (Didelphys), on the other hand, totals only out of their exports.
168,396. Of kangaroo skins the number in the same list A similar increase is noticeable in the case of Japanese is 21,963, while wallaby skins (that is to say, those of the mink (a species it is a little difficult to identify zoologically,
smaller kinds of kangaroos) reach 520,087, and wombat but which would appear to be allied to M. sibirica), of which
skins 255,332 13,728 skins were disposed of at the sales in 1903, while 7228 An item of considerable interest in the sale-list of January, were offered this autumn, against 3543 at the correspond
1904, is 343,996 mole skins, ranging in price from is. to ing sale of last year. Of American mink (M. vison) the
75. 3d. per hundred, such prices being stated to be eximports are always heavy, and for 1903 Messrs. Lampsonceptionally low, and not, one would think, paying for the record 253,001 skins, this being about 100,000 less than the
trouble of collecting. No year's total for mole skins is total number sold in London in 1901. Prices range from
given, but since Mr. Poland mentions “ several thousands is. to 135., but are on the decline. The various kinds of real
as being the annual collection in 1891, it would seem that marten, such as M. martes and M. americana, with 55,106,
the demand-perhaps for motoring coats-has vastly inand the inferior sorts known in the trade as “ baum and
creased of late years. Another item evidently connected “ stone (M. foina), with 10,940 and 8323 in the past
with motoring is that of 403 musk-ox skins at the March year, bulk less large, although prices range higher, fine
sale of last year. The trade in these skins has only lately pelts of the pine or American marten realising from 30s. to
been developed, and it cannot but be looked upon with 405.
suspicion by naturalists, as the musk-ox might easily be Leaving certain others of the marten group, we pass on exterminated. to otters (Lutra vulgaris, L. canadensis, &c.), of which
Although the total numbers of skins offered at sales in 14,757 pelts were disposed of in sales last year, the cata
January last compared well with those of the preceding logue prices in January ranging to as much as from 50s.
year, prices ruled lower, which may be accounted for by to 6os. With modern methods of curing, the handsome the general commercial depression. black and white fur of the various species of skunk In addition to Messrs. Lampson's sales, it should be (Mephitis and Conepatus) has come into extensive and mentioned that there are the Hudson Bay Company's sales, fashionable use, no less than 948,447 skins having been as well as several smaller fur sales in London. In January sold last year, the price ranging from about 15. to 75. each. of the present year (after the loss of a valuable cargo of Of badger skins (Meles taxus) the number sold by the same furs at sea) the Hudson Bay Company sold 34,806 beaver firm was 13,543 ; formerly the price was from is. to 25.
skins, as already mentioned (against 47,777 the preceding per skin, but the range in the list varies now from 4d. to 138. year), and 923,053 musquash pelts (against 1,482,670 in Of the larger land Carnivora, the skins of which are
1903). The skins disposed of at the smaller sales we have used for fur rather than for floor rugs, we may mention not space to quote. We may refer, however, to the followthe sale last year by Messrs. Lampson of 47,139 wolf skins ing items in Messrs. Culverwell, Brooks, and Co.'s salr and 12,834 bear skins. Of the former the catalogue price catalogue of this October. These are 9280 Australian ranges from is. or less to 30s., while for the latter, which
opossum, 3214 " wallarine” (smaller kangaroos), 673 chininclude the brown, black, grizzly, and white species, prices chilla, 934 fox, 2772 wolf, and 2313 African monkey skins. up to 41. are quoted. Reference has already been made The latter probably belong in great part to the West to the silver, white, and blue foxes; in addition to these African guereza (Colobus vellerosus), the species already are quoted 62,052 skins of red fox (C. vulpes, &c.), 2957 of referred to as, according to consular reports, being in danger the cross-fox (C. v. pennsylvanicus), 64,431 of the American of extermination on account of excessive pursuit. grey fox (C. cinereo-argentatus), and 2186 of the kit-fox
As regards the prospects of the trade in fur-seal pelts (C. velox). Raccoon skins number 268,190 in the list under for the current season, Messrs. Lampson, after referring to consideration, while 9650 civet skins are quoted in the the loss by shipwreck of the Kamchatka Commercial Co.'s January list.
vessel already mentioned, and adding that in consequence Among rodents, beaver skins total 16,504 in the list before
they may have no Copper Island fur-seals to offer, write as us, while the Hudson Bay Company sold in January last follows: 34,800, the latter number comparing badly with the 63,419 “The Alaska seal-catch this year amounts to 13,134 skins, sold by the same company in January, 1891, which was
as against 19,378 last year. ... The North-west catch is greatly inferior to the sales of half a century or so earlier. In not yet completed, but our receipts to date are about the 1891 the price varied from 55. to 695. per skin; in Messrs. same as at this time last year. With regard to the Lobos Lampson's list quotations range up to 30s., but there had Island seals, no news has been received so far. ... The been a fall of 12' per cent. from the previous year. The total supply of seals this season is likely to fall considernext largest fur-bearing rodent is the South American ably short of last year's quantity."