Imágenes de páginas

called attention to the nature of the vegetation which grew round the margin of the great northern inland ice, on the soil which was left bare when it melted away.

During my first visit to Spitzbergen, in 1870, it occurred to my mind that—supposing the glacial theory were true—the remains of those Arctic plants which, in all probability, formerly existed in the area once covered by the great Scandinavian inland ice, would have been buried in the glacial fresh-water deposits, just in the same manner as the leaves of Salix polaris, Dryas octopetala, Polygonum viviparum, &c, are at the present day carried into the small lakes of Spitzbergen,

found the Arctic fossil flora underneath some peat-mosses in the immediate vicinity of Copenhagen. In 1872 I discovered leaves of Belula nana in a peat-moss near Oertzenhof, in Mecklenburg, and at Kolbermoor, in Southern Bavaria. In Switzerland I also found an Arctic-Alpine flora in a fresh-water deposit at Schwerzenbach, on the low ground between Zurich and Bodensee. The flora was rich in such species as Betula nana, Salix reticulata, S. polaris, S. retusa, S. myrtilloides, Arctostap/iylos vvaursi, Polygonum viviparum, Azalea procumbens, &c.

From Switzerland 1 went to England, and first vi-ited Bovey Tracey (17),' where I re-found Betula nana in the


Sketch Map Showing The Localities Where Arctic Plant-fossils Have Been Found Within The Area Once Covered By The Great

Northern Ice-sheet.

A, margin of the great northern inland ice at the climax of glaciation; B, margin of the Uralo-Timan glacier (according to Nikitin); c, margin of the glaciers of the Alps

(1) Several localities (more than ihirty) in Scania; (2) Rangilstcrp, near; (3) Frojel. in the isle of Gotland; (4) several localities in Jemtland; (5) Leme, in Morway; (6) s-veral localities in Seeland; (6) Mfieo ; (6") Northern Jutland ; (6'") Bornholm; (7) Kunda, in Esthonia: (8) Samhof and Kinili, in Livonia; (o) Pingo and Wieratz in I.ivonia : (10) two localities at Rjeshiza, Government of Vitebsk; (it) Kuhnsche Nehrung ; (12) Schroop, in Western Prussia: (13) Krampkewitz, in Pomerania; (14) Neetzka and Oertzenhof, in Mecklenburg: (15) Nantrow, 111 Mecklenburg J (16) Projensdorf. north of Kiel ; (17) Bovey 1 racey, in Devonshire; (18) Hoxne, in Suffolk; (19) several localities at and near (_'r, tncr, Norfolk : (20) Holmpton. Yorkshire ; (21) Bridlington, Yorkshire ; (22) localities near Edinburgh.

and buried at their bottoms. On my return from that expedition, I at once examined some glacial fresh-water deposits at Alnarp, in Scania, and was glad to find in them the leaves of Salix polaris, S. herbacea, S. reticulata, Dryas octopetala, Belula nana, &c. ; thus proving that a true Arctic flora had once lived in the southernmost part of Sweden. The next year, after having discovered the same flora in a great many other localities of the same province, I was invited by Prof. Japetus Steenstrup to extend my researches into Denmark; and our joint investigations were soon crowned with success, for we

original locality, and also in another little basin close by, together with leaves of Arctostaphylos uvaursi and Betula alba. Then I went to the coast of Norfolk, where I was so fortunate as to find Salix polaris and Hypnum turgescens in the pre-glacial deposits between the boulderclay and the forest-bed in the vicinity of Cromer (19). This plant-bearing bed has since then been noticed by Mr. Clement Reid, of the Geological Survey, who has named it the "Arctic fresh-water bed," and he has traced

1 Th? figures within parentheses refer to those on the accompanying sketch map.

! in some other places on the coast of Norfolk. Besides SsJtx polaris, Mr. Reid has also found in it leaves of B;tfla nana and seeds of some other plants. At Hoxne, >n Suffolk (18), Messrs. Reid and Ridley have discovered >*ltr Solaris, S. myrsinites, and Betula nana, together ■nth many other species in a glacial fresh-water deposit of a precisely similar character to those in Southern Sweden. Again, in 1879, I found leaves of Betula nana .c a peat-moss at Bridlington (21), and the same plant has been found by Mr. Reid at Holmpton (20). Accordi{toa statement of Mr. Reid, Salix herbacea was found some years ago by Mr. Bennie in an inter-glacial deposit *t Hailes, about three miles from Edinburgh. Finally, during this present year (1891), Mr. Reid has himself

^covered a rich Arctic flora, yielding Salix pnlaris, - kerhaiea, S. reticulata, Azalea procumbens, and Betula n-tma, in lacustrine deposits immediately above the boulderizy near Edinburgh (22).l

Returning to Sweden, a great many new localities yieldny, Arctic plants have also been found in Scania since i"i. partly by myself, partly by Dr. Cunnar Andersson and others, so that the number of localities in Scania (1) exceeds thirty. In Ostrogothia, leaves of Betula «mu and Dryas octopetala, &c, were found in 1886 in a

• akareous tufa near Vadstena at Lake Vetter (2) ; and in :he ule of Gotland (3), Mr. R. Sernander, in 1890, discovered leaves of the same species in a fresh-water deposit cxerLun by the curious gravel-bed containing Ancylus. In lemtland, Mr. A. F. Carlson, in 1885 and 1886, disf'»ered leaves of Diyas and Salix reticulata in calcareous ■ '* in several localities (4) far removed from the regions ■• sere these species now exist. In Norway nothing what»-»ct was known of the ancient Arctic flora until last summer

; v)i , when, according to Prof. A. Blytt, leaves of Dryas .■'firtaJa were found in calcareous tufa at Leine (5). :. Denmark the continued researches of Prof. Steenj-jTjp have added many new localities (6) to the original ees mentioned above, not only in Seeland, but also 'Yuma private communication made to the author) on •.** ule of Moen (6'), in Northern Jutland (6"), and on r.^mholm .6"). Turning to Switzerland, Prof. C. Schroter, ■( Zurich, has discovered three new localities for the C.icul flora, and in 1880 I myself found leaves of Salix f±ea, Dryas octopetala, and Betula nana in a fresh

• iser deposit near Hedingen (Canton Zurich), and leaves ■i the Ust-mentioned species underneath a peatmoss at 'Aaawyl :Canton Luzem), and in peat at Le Chaux de road*.

It ought also to be mentioned that Prof. M. Staub, ■i Boda- Pest, has lately described a fossil glacial flora •'id :be Southern Carpathians, which, besides seeds of / iMMi Pumilio and Pinus Lembra, also contains leaves of / ryat octopetala, Betula nana, and Salix myrtilloides, 'sgetber with fruits of Tofietdiaborealis, thus proving the ei-stence of a somewhat colder climate than the present we.

In 1&80, I discovered a locality at Neetzka, in Mecklenburg, not far distant from Oertzenhof where I had found IttM.'a nana in 1872 The new locality (14) yielded Ifyas octopetala, Salix reticulata, Betula nana, B. i-tTitia, and B. verrucosa, together with leaves of Myn*p-kyllum, some other Salices and mosses, such as Htpnum scorpioides and H.fluitans. According to the rjaner in which the samples of clay were gathered, it •» very possible that the species mentioned belong to i rTerent horizons.

Neetzka and Oertzenhof being the sole localities in

It n carious that fiyaj fttv/tlala hat not yet been repjrt»d from the

K- oaf ptatx f •tula of Grot Unuin, althougn ii a Sounds in the glacial ia wa»" •5e|.om!i -4 Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and Ku.sia; and .«{>, ih« (,laru etiU tivet in the m>umain< of Scotland, Yorkshire, and » «!«.. Mar «**, boa-ever, the leaf from Crofthead which Mr Mahony -.» tirr.un*.! \mttllaria£*UrUnlata {ttfol. Mag., vol. vi. p. 39a) in **4Lr» aa-e ?*mu a leaf of Drjat f The leaves of Scutellaria can hardly be a tbe foaul Hat*

Northern Germany which until then had yielded fossil Arctic plants, while nothing whatever was known of the existence of Arctic plant-fossils in Russia, Prof. O. Drude, of Dresden, in 1889 expressed the opinion ' that the margin of the great northern inland ice might have been surrounded, not by an Arctic flora, but by a forest growth; and further, that such a growth may even have existed on the surface moraines of the inland ice itself.

I have2 lately tried to show, however, that this hypothesis is erroneous; but with the conviction that facts would prove the best arguments, I resolved to visit those portions of Western Russia and Northern Germany which I had not previously examined, and, thanks to the liberality of the Swedish Society for Geography and Anthropology, who gave me the balance of the / 'ega fund, I have been enabled to carry out my project, with the results communicated below. As my collections are, however, only partially worked out as yet, the present notice must be considered as only preliminary.

The circumstances under which the Arctic plantfossils occur are pretty uniform, and it may therefore be convenient to state them at once, instead of giving a description for every locality. In those parts of Western Russia and Northern Germany which I visited, the ground almost everywhere consists of a true moraine profonde (till) which has never been covered by the sea. Though marine glacial deposits are consequently absent in this area, fresh-water deposits, which have been formed in ancient lakes or ponds, are very abundant. These deposits consist generally in their lower part of a bluish clay or sandy clay, sometimes distinctly laminated, while the colour of the clay in the upper part is generally somewhat yellowish. This fresh-water clay is often covered by white shell marl, principally derived from the shells of fresh-water Mollusca; sometimes, however, by mud containing the remains of microscopical Algns, fragments and excrements of insects and other minute fresh-water animals. Then comes the peat, terminating the deposit above—sometimes developed as a true peat-moss; at others, only as a peaty mould 1 to 2 feet thick. In places the peat is totally absent, i.e. the fresh-water lake has been entirely filled up by the alluvial clay before the formation of peat had begun.

The Arctic plant-fossils are found principally in the clay, sometimes also in the while marl or mud, whilst only Itetula nana ascends into the peat. Some freshwater Mollusca are found together with the Arctic plants namely, some species of Pisidium, Limnaa ovata, Anodonta or L'nio, sometimes also Cyctas cornea. By studying the distribution of the Mollusca in the different horizons, the order of immigration of the different species can be ascertained, and we know now very well the manner in which this has taken place in Southern Sweden. Besides Mollusca, the Arctic plants are often accompanied by remains of beetles and by Ustracoda, such as Cytheridea torosaand others; and in one locality in Scania I have also found abundant remains of Apus glacialis. Finally, it is in this horizon that the remains of the reindeer are principally found in Southern Sweden, Denmark, and Northern Germany.

When travelling in Esthonia and Livonia I had the advantage of being accompanied by the well-known geologist, Akademiker Fr. Schmidt, of St. Petersburg, and the success of our investigations was largely due to his advice. The Arctic plant-fossils were first discovered at Kunda in Esthonia (7), where the fresh-water marl and clay are used in the preparation of cement. The upper part of this deposit has yielded a great many bone implements of Neolithic age, which were described some years ago by the late Prof. Grewingk, of Dorpat, and antlers of reindeer are likewise present. The Arctic plants were obtained at a depth of 174 feet below the

t Pettrmamn t Mittcilnngtnt iS&}, pp sci-jya.

Eiigltr't Bottin. Jahrttnhtr, Bd. xni , i?'jl, AV/iV.l// Nr. i,.

surface, Salixpolaris being the most common form. Of other species found, the following have, up to the present, been recognized : Salix herbacea, Dryas octopetala, Betula nana, Polygonum viviparum, Saxifraga ccespilosa or an allied species, mosses, &c.

From Kunda we went to Hellenorm in Livonia \8), where we were welcomed by the old Siberian traveller, A. Th. van Middendorff, who took a great interest in my researches. On the day of our arrival Prof. Schmidt found a leaf of Salix reticulata in a bed of clay at Samhof. In another clay-bed in the vicinity, at Kinzli, I found Dryas octopetala, Betula nana, Salix sp., mosses, &c.

Then we went to Fellin (9), where I found the Arctic plants at two different localities, Pingo and Wieratz. The species obtained were Dryas octopetala, Betula nana, Salix reticulata, Potamogeton sp., &c. I then parted from Prof. Schmidt, and went to Rjeshiza (10), in the Government of Vitebsk, accompanied by Dr. J. Klinge, of Dorpat. In Rjeshiza we were welcomed by Dr. E. Lehmann, a skilful botanist; and on the very day of our arrival we discovered the following Arctic plant-fossils, Dryas octopetala, Betula nana, Polygonum viviparum, &c, in two different localities in the vicinity of the town. My ignorance of the Russian language made it impossible for me to continue my researches further eastwards into the interior of the country, and I consequently turned westwards to Konigsberg, in Eastern Prussia. There Prof. A. Jentzsch reminded me of the discovery of Hypnum turgescens, in an alluvial deposit at Kuhrische Nehrung, made by Berendt many years ago. As this is a mountain species, it is possible that it may have been found in a glacial fresh-water deposit, and this locality has consequently been indicated on the sketch map (11).

Accompanied by Prof. A. Jentzsch, of Konigsberg, and by Prof. H. Conwentz, of Danzig, I now went to Marienburg, in Western Prussia, and at Schroop (12), about 10 kilometres south-east of this town, a locality yielding Arctic plant-fossils was discovered. They occur here under precisely the same conditions as in Scania or at Kunda, in Esthland; Salix polaris and Dryas octopetala being found in the lower strata, whilst Betula nana occurs somewhat higher. The next locality discovered was at Krampkewitz (13), near Lauenburg, in Pomerania, whither I had gone with Prof. Conwentz. The plant-fossils found were Dryas octopetala, Betula nana, and some others.

Owing to heavy rains, a visit to Breslau proved fruitless, and for the same reason the fresh-water deposits near Waren and Rostock were inaccessible, but acting on the advice of Prof. E. Geinitz, of Rostock, I examined a small peat-moss at Nantrow (15), north-east of Wismar, where I found Betula nana and some Salices in mud and sand underneath the peat. The following day I examined the sections at the great North Sea-Baltic Canal at Holtenau, north of Kiel (16), under the guidance of Prof. R. v. Fisher-Benzon, of Kiel. We succeeded in finding two fresh-water basins yielding plant-fossils. The first basin, of which only a snull portion now remained, contained fruits of Betula nana, together with some other species, not yet determined, but probably indicating a sub-Arctic climate. In the other basin, which was also cut through by the canal, the glacial fresh-water strata underneath the peat were laid bare, yielding abundant leaves of Salix polaris, sometimes intermingled with those of Dryas octopetala, mosses, &c.

In view of these facts, thus briefly communicated, I think it may be accepted as proved that the Arctic flora flourished on the plains south and east of the Baltic round the margin of the ice-sheet, and some time after the inland ice had melted away (see the accompanying sketch map). There can also be hardly any doubt that this same flora may have lived round the margin of the great northern inland ice at the climax of the glaciation. For otherwise it is difficult to understand how it could

have obtained so great an extension as from Suffolk to Kunda, in Esthonia, or why it should have flourished during so long a time after the amelioration of the climate, which caused the melting of the ice, had commenced. The fresh-water deposits with Arctic plants are sometimes so thick that they probably indicate an interval of several thousand years, during which the Arctic flora prevailed. If the margin of the ice-sheet at the climax of glaciation had been surrounded by a forest growth, this ought still more to have existed round the margin of the retreating ice. But as we have shown that this is not the case, we are entitled to conclude that the Arctic flora formerly flourished, not only round the margin of the great northern inland ice, but probably also over a part at least of the area between this ice and the glaciers of the Alps. In connection with this, it ought not to be overlooked that the Arctic tundra-fauna, which Prof. Nehring discovered at Thiede, underneath the steppe-fauna, perfectly harmonizes with this view, as this locality is situated relatively near to the outermost margin of the great northern ice-sheet. The existence of Salix polaris in Suffolk and Norfolk may also be considered as a strong argument for the same hypothesis. Thus the theory advanced by E. Forbes so far back as 1846—that the Alpine flora of Europe, so far as it is identical with the flora of the Arctic and sub-Arctic zones of the Old World, is a fragment of a flora which was diffused from the north, and that the termination of the glacial epoch in Europe was marked by a recession of an Arctic fauna and flora northwards—may now be regarded as definitively proved.

A. G. Nathorst.


THIS discussion was undertaken primarily by the Meteorological Office with the object of throwing some light on the very exceptional storm which was experienced at Aden in the summer of 1885, but advantage was taken of this opportunity to produce synchronous weather charts of the Arabian Sea for a limited period, since it was felt that such charts would be of especial interest, dealing as they do with a part of the ocean which is subject to the regular change of monsoon winds. The charts also exhibit the occurrence of a second cyclone which had originated over the eastern portion of the Arabian Sea before the full effect of the first disturbance had passed away. The Gulf of Aden and the northern portion of the North Indian Ocean are rarely visited by cyclones or typhoons, and consequently the occurrence in these waters, in the summer of 1885, of a violent cyclone, causing the loss of several vessels, among them the German corvette Augusta, and the French despatchboat Renard, attracted considerable attention. The number of ships' logs which have been collected and utilized in the preparation of the charts is 239, and the information has been obtained from all available sources, including our own Navy and mercantile marine, and those of many foreign countries. For the first few days of the period discussed, the normal conditions were apparently prevailing over the Arabian Sea, the wind was north-westerly near the Indian Peninsula, but the south-west monsoon was blowing steadily near the African coast and for some distance over the sea on the western side of the district. Until about May 20, the weather in the neighbourhood of Ceylon seems to have been quiet, and the wind fairly steady from the south-westward. On the 20th, Her Majesty's ships Briton and Woodlark experienced somewhat disturbed weather at Trincomalee, the squalls attained the force of a moderate gale from the north-westward, and much thunder and lightning occurred. Unsettled weather continued from the 21st to the 24th, and from this day a worm area can be clearly traced travelling to the westward. The cyclone reached its greatest violence on Jane 2 and 3, when the barometer is reported as reading ;r"86 inches in close proximity to the centre of the disturbance. A hurricane occurred at Obokh during the rremng of the 3rd, and it was reported that all the iojses but one had been blown down, and trees had seen uprooted. The position of the storm area is not >r.iy marked throughout its passage across the Arabian -ca by the cyclonic circulation of the winds, but also by the rain area which accompanied the disturbance; the rate of progress of the storm from May 24 to June 3 was ruber less than seven miles an hour.

1 "Daily Weather Charts for the Period 01 Six Weeks ending June 25. 1885, to illustrate the Tracks of Two Cyclones in the Arabian Sea." (London: Published by the authority of the Meteorological Council, 1891.)

The second cyclone which is shown by the charts appears to have originated not far distant from Ceylon at the commencement of June, and on the 4th a strong south-westerly gale was blowjng on the equator in the longitude of 76° E. This storm can be traced for the next ten days, during which time it passed to the northward and westward towards the entrance of the Persian Gulf. The weather was very disturbed over nearly the whole of the Arabian Sea from the 9th to the 13th, and the area of the Harm was much larger than in the case of the Aden cyclone, and gales were experienced from the coast of Africa to that of India, extending over a distance of about tjoo miles. The synchronous weather charts for the last •<« days of the discussion, after the cyclonic disturbances ud passed away, show that the south-west monsoon had •tended over the whole of the Arabian Sea, whereas in the middle of May it was limited chiefly to the western ude.

Each daily chart contains the observations from several ships in the Red Sea, where the wind direction and other dements of the weather are very instructive. The Motherly march of the northerly or north-westerly wind, which throughout the whole period prevails over the torthern portion of the Sea, and the gradual backing down of the southerly winds in the southern portion of the Sea are well shown. The northerly wind in the northern portion of the Red Sea often attains the force of a gale, 5« there is no instance in the charts of the southerly wwds attaining gale force. The air temperature is :rr.rriHy higher in the Red Sea than over the more open water Uj the Arabian Sea, the reading of the thermometer ctsunonly reaching 90 , and on June 14 the temperature »t 10 o'clock in the morning was 102 over the open sea, nearly abreast of Musawwa. The charts show many other ponds of interest, among these the flow of the current aader the influence of disturbed weather as well as when the sea is comparatively quiet, and doubtless the volume will throw some additional light on the winds and weather a. tha part of the world, where at present the meteorological changes are not too well understood.


TX reply to Prof. Tait's criticism (nature, December * 31, 1891, p. 199) of my paper (December 17, p. 152), ■ wish to say that I certainly do not consider Van der Uulss 4 as an absolute constant. Perhaps it may be interesting to show how the limits of its variability can at (ie'.ermined.

Leanng aside the question of the attractive forces, »b;ch probably has been sufficiently elucidated in the cowrie of this discussion in the columns of Nature, and 'wsidenng gases as aggregations of elastic spheres, then u> the formula—

/,(» - xix) = Aa*»* (1)

r can be proved to be equal to 4 for large volumes and mall pressures.

Again, in the case of extremely large pressures, when the volume is nearly reduced to the smallest possible dimensions, it is easy to see that a formula—

A(" - /^i) = 4* • 2ct«' (a)

must hold good, where libl = 3%/2/tr . 6, = 1-35..*, represents the space in which the spherical molecules can be inclosed when they are motionless, and X is a certain numerical coefficient whose determination might present some interest, and perhaps is not beyond the scope of mathematical analysis. (For one dimensional motion X = I.) Be this as it may, putting (2) in the form—


'tX' + Sr''^) •*]-■*-. .

it is clear that in this case x approaches the value V- = >'35

Now surely, forintermediatevolumes and pressures, x6t cannot be considered as a constant; still, along the large range of these pressures, the correction required must be called relatively slight, and the more so as it is beyond doubt that a considerable part of the change from 4 to 1 '35 takes place near those extreme pressures where, according to (3), x may be very variable Whether at the critical volume this coefficient has undergone already a practically important change from its original value, 4, seems to me a question which cannot easily be answered by purely theoretical considerations.

In my opinion, in all cases except in that of large volumes the formula (1) is preferable to a formula

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

even if the numerical value of a could be exactly calculated ; therefore the question at issue does not simply turn on the introduction or rejection of terms of the order /32/i>!, and it was looking at the matter from this point of view that in my paper 1 once called a formula of the form (1) the true one as distinguished from a formula of the form (4), and not from any formula given by Prof. Tait. Certainly, none of the isothermal equations given by different authors can be named true in the sense of representing with absolute exactness the conduct of real gases; and of course, when more constants are introduced in these equations than are contained in that of Van der Waals, a better approximation to the conduct of these gases may be reached.

In conclusion, I beg to add a few words about Prof. Tait's third remark. It seems to me that he has no right to identify the process of putting arbitrarily y = # with that of calculating the correction indicated by Prof. Lorentz. D. I. KORTKWEG.

Amsterdam, January 6.


Several scientific meetings have been postponed in consequence of the death of the Duke of Clarence. Prof. W. E. Ayrton, F. K.S., was to have delivered his inaugural address, as President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, on January 14. It will be delivered at a meeting of the Institution on January 28. The annual general meeting of the Royal Meteorological Society, fixed for the 20th, will be held on the 27th, when the President, Mr. Baldwin Latham, will deliver an address on "Evaporation and Condensation." The annual meeting of the Entomological Society is also adjourned from the 20th to the 27th.

The forty-fifth annual general meeting of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers will be held on Thursday and Friday evenings, February 4 and 5, at 25 Great George Street, West

minster. The chair will be taken at half-past seven p.m. on each evening. The President, Mr. Joseph Tomlinson, will retire, and will be succeeded by the President-elect, Dr. William Anderson. The following papers will be read and discussed, as far as time permits:—Notes on mechanical features of the Liverpool water-works, and on the supply of power by pressure from the public mains, and by other means, by Mr. Joseph Parry, water engineer, Liverpool (Thursday). On the disposal and utilization of blast-furnace slag, by Mr. William Hawdon, of Middlesborough; communicated through Mr. Charles Cochrane, past-President (Friday).

The German Mathematical Association (Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung) propose to hold their annual meeting in the autumn of this year at Nuremberg, and at the same time an Exhibition of Mathematical and Physical Models and Apparatus is to be brought together under the auspices of the Government. This Exhibition will resemble that of the Loan Collection, held at the South Kensington Museum in 1876. At Nuremberg the corresponding Germanisches Museum is available for the same purpose. The German Mathematical Association request the concurrence and assistance of those persons and institutes interested in the subject in this country, so as to make the Exhibition as complete and representative as possible.

The American Institute of Electrical Engineers has passed a resolution declaring its intention to co-operate with "the World's Congress Auxiliary " in the effort to secure the gathering of an International Electrical Congress at Chicago in 1893, and pledging itself to do everything in its power to make the Congress a successful and worthy representation of the best electrical science and practice in all parts of the world. According to a prospectus issued by the World's Congress Auxiliary, the Congress will deal with "scientific and technical electricity, telegraphy, telephony, electric light, electric power, and other forms of electrical application, with appropriate chapters and sections for the proper consideration of each."

The friends of Prof. Baird, the late Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, will regret to hear that his widow, Mrs. Spencer F. Baird, died at her home in Washington on December 23, 1891.

M. DB Quatrefages, the well-known anthropologist, died on Tuesday, January 12. He was bom in 1810, and studied medicine at Strasburg. Afterwards he became Professor of Zoology at Toulouse, where he had settled as a medical practitioner. In 1855 he was made Professor of Anthropology and Ethnology at the Jardin des Plantes, Paris. He had already been admitted to the Academy of Sciences in 1852, and he was an honorary member of many foreign learned Societies. Numerous friends and pupils were present at his funeral, and addresses were delivered by M. Milne-Edwards, and other men of science. The most famous of his writings are his " Crania Ethnica" and " Etudes des Races Humaines."

Mr. W. L. Sclater, Deputy-Superintendent of the Indian Museum, Calcutta, has been appointed Curator of the Museum and Lecturer on Biology at Eton College.

In a letter on "A Difficulty in Weismannism," published in Nature on December 3, 1891 (p. 103), Prof. Hartog quoted some passages from a private letter he had received from Prof. Weismann. To this letter reference was made in a subsequent communication by Mr. A. H. Trow (p. 175). Prof. Hartog has sent us Prof. Weismann's letter, but we do not consider it necessary to print it, as the correspondence is now closed.

An important and interesting paper on Chinese fibres appears in the new number of the Ktw Bulletin. It seems that at Chinese ports there is much confusion as to the origin and classification of

these fibres, different fibres sometimes bearing the same name, while the same product often bears different names at different ports. This confusion is apparently due in part to the fact thai European traders have used the terms "jute" and "hemp" in a generic rather than a specific sense ; in part to the fact that the duty on "jute"isonly "2 mace per picul," whereas " hemps" pay 3i mace. The subject has lately been carefully investigated at Kew, and further inquiry is about to be made at the Chinese ports under the direction of Sir Robert Hart, Inspector-General of the Chinese Imperial maritime Customs. At Kew much help has been derived from specimens sent by the Acting Consul at Chefoo, Mr. Alexander Hosie, a report by whom is included in the paper in the Bulletin. A memorandum on the jute and hemp of China, by Dr. Augustine Henry, is also given. The question is one of considerable practical importance, as the confusion which prevails cannot but tend to hinder the development of trade.

Another interesting paper in the Kew Bulletin is on Ipoh poison of the Malay peninsula. It consists chiefly of a valuable report by Mr. Leonard Wray, Junior, Curator of the Perak Government Museum, who has sent to Kew an admirable series of specimens. The report is printed in advance of the results of the examination of the presumed poisonous fluids, which has again been undertaken by Dr. Sidney Ringer, F. R. S., Professor of Clinical Medicine, University College, London.

Dr. Brown Lester, who accompanied the Gambia Delimitation Commission, made a botanical collection (airly representative of the flora in the neighbourhood of the River Gambia, a; far as the dryness of the season would permit. The specimens have been determined at Kew ; and a list of the determinations, with Dr. Brown Lester's brief notes, is given in the A'eir Bulletin. From a botanical point of view, the collection, according to the Bulletin, is not of very great interest ; but it is said to afford a useful picture of the character and productions of the country traversed.

In an appendix to the latest number of the A'en' Bulletin, a list is given of the staffs of the Royal Gardens, Kew, and of botanical departments and establishments at home, in India, and in the colonies, in correspondence with Kew. On two former occasions a list of the same kind has been issued in the Kew Bulletin ; and it has been found of considerable value, as it affords a convenient means for placing on record the official titles and designations of the officers concerned, and renders possible the notification of the changes that take place in the several appointments. The new list includes an enumeration of the officers that have been selected to carry out the recentlyorganized botanical survey of India, with the districts allotted to each one. There is also a fuller list of officers in charge of gardens in Native States. The organization of the botanical department of the Leeward Islands brings into one group the several botanical stations existing in those islands.

MM. Laborde And Rondeau have given, in the Revue Mensuelle d'Anthropologic, an account of recent experiments on the poison of the arrows of the Sarro savages, in the Upper Nigervalley. Specimenswere brought back by Lieutenant Jaime. From the physiological experiments performed, it would seem that the poison is identical with that of Strophanthus.

Senor F. P. Moreno, who has been investigating some ancient graves in the Argentine l'rovince, Catamarca, has found various objects which are likely to be of considerable importance in the study of American archaeology. He has secured 86 human skulls, 400 vases, 420 stone implements, 15 copper implements, and 110 objects made of bone. The skulls are of two different types, one set resembling those found in the graves at Ancon, Peru,

« AnteriorContinuar »