« AnteriorContinuar »
On that year's estimates £5000 was set apart sor We are glad to welcome the first number of Natural Science, national prizes throughout the whole colony, and he believed a monthly review of natural history progress. The object of the these prizes would be worth winning.
editors will be “to expound and deal in a critical manner with
the principal results of current research in geology and biology The prevalent notion that the mistletoe is injurious to the
that appear to be of more than limited application.” Articles apple or other tree on which it grows is disputed by Dr. G.
are contributed to the first number by Mr. F. E. Beddard, Mr.' Bonnier, the Professor of Botany at the Paris Sorbonne, who maintains, not only that this is not the case, but that it is actually 5;!. H. Teall, F. R.S., Mr. A. S. Woodward, Mr. R. Lydekker
Mr. J. W. Davis, Mr. G. A. Boulenger, Mr. J. W. Gregory, beneficial to its host, the relationship being not one of simple Mr. G. H. Carpenter, and Mr. Thomas Hick. The publishers parasitism, but rather one of symbiosis. He determined from
are Messrs. Macmillan and Co. a series of observations on the increase in the dry weight of the leaves, that, while in summer the mistletoe derives a large Messrs. EASON AND SON, Dublin, will issue in April the portion of its nutriment from the host, in winter these conditions first number of the Irish Naturalist, a monthly journal of are reversed, and the increase in weight of the mistletoe is less general Irish natural history, and the official organ of all the than the amount of carbon which it has obtained from the natural history Societies in Ireland. The editors will be Mr. atmosphere-in other words, that it gives up to its host a portion George H. Carpenter and Mr. R. Lloyd Praeger. of its assimilated substance.
A New instalment (vol. i. No. 10) of the Records of the At a meeting of the Royal Botanic Society on Saturday last,
Australian Museum has been issued. These Records are edited Dr. R. C. A. Prior presented ripe seeds of Araucaria imbrica'a, by Dr. E. P. Ramsay, Curator of the Museum, and embody the monkey-puzzle tree of Chili, collected from a large tree the results of a great deal of serious scientific work. The growing in the open air at Corsham, Wilts. He mentioned that present number contains the following papers :-“ On the in this country the plant, though common, seldom ripens its Occurrence of the Genus Palæaster in the Upper Silurian Rocks seeds. It was first introduced here 100 years ago by Mr. Men of Victoria,” by R. Etheridge, Jun. (plate); “ The Operculate zies, a Scotch botanist, who accompanied Vancouver's expedition Madreporaria Rugosa of New South Wales,” by R. Etheridge, in search of a passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Jun. ; “Notes on the Structure of Pedionomus torquatus, with in returning from their attempt they put in at Valparaiso, and regard to its Systematic Position,” by Dr. Hans Gadow. were hospitably entertained by the Viceroy of Chili. While MESSRS. BLACKIE AND SON have issued an enlarged edition dessert was on the table Menzies observed some nuts he had not
of the well-known “Concise Dictionary of the English Lanseen before. Instead of eating his share he saved them, and,
guage,” by Dr. Charles Annandale. The new matter consists taking a box of soil back with him on board ship, succeeded in partly of a supplement giving definitions of additional words, raising five plants, which he brought to England, and these partly of several new appendices or lists for general reference. formed the stock from which most of the large trees now growing in various parts of the country have sprung.
The General Report of the operations of the Survey of
India Department, administered under the Government of Some time ago Mr. G. Brown Goode, of the U.S. National
India during 1889-90, has been issued.
It has been preMuseum, delivered before the Brooklyn Institute a lecture on pared under the direction of Colonel H. R. Thuillier, R. E., “The Museums of the Future.” This lecture has now been Surveyor-General of India. The Report relates to trigonoprinted, and is well worth reading. Mr. Goode's main idea is, metrical, topographical, forest, cadastral, and traverse surveys. that “the people's Museum should be much more than a house There is also an account of electro-telegraphic longitude operafull of specimens in a glass case." “It should,” he says, “be tions, tidal operations, and geographical surveys and reconnaisa house full of ideas, arranged with the strictest attention to system.” This conception he expresses epigrammatically by defining a Museum as “a collection of instructive labels, each
The following are the arrangements for science lectures at the illustrated by a well-selected specimen.” In the course of the Royal Victoria Hall during March :- March 1, Dr. W. D. lecture he offers many instructive and interesting remarks on
Halliburton, on “Nerves "'; March 8, Prof. Reinold, on the Museums of the Old World.
“Sound and Music"; March 15, Dr. Tempest Anderson, on
' Iceland”; March 22, Prof. Weldon, on “ Soles and other The first number of the new Zeitschrift für Anorganische Sea-Fishes”; March 29, Mr. A. Smith Woodward, Chemie, edited by Prof. Krüss, of Munich, was issued on “Elephants. February 27. As its title implies, the new journal is devoted exclusively to the inorganic branch of chemistry, and the names
A PAPER upon the preparation of amorphous boron is contri
buted by M. Moissan to the current number of the Comptes of the distinguished chemists throughout Europe and America
rendus. It was shown in a communication to the Académie des whose co-operation the editor has been fortunate in securing would appear to promise well for its value and success.
Sciences upon February 15 that the substance hitherto regarded first number, now before us, contains the following six original
as amorphous boron is a mixture of that substance with large memoirs : “ Phosphorus Sulphoxide,” hy T. E. Thorpe and A. quantities of impurities, formed by the combination of the boron E. Tutton ; "The Double Acids of Heptatomic Iodine,” by C.
at the moment of its liberation with a portion of the metal used W. Blomstrand ; “The Action of Hydrogen Peroxide upon
to replace it and with the substance of the vessel in which the certain Fluorides,” by A. Piccini; “ Ammoniacal Platinum
reaction is performed. M. Moissan now describes a method by Compounds,” by O. Carlgren and P. T. Cleve ; Preparation
which he has succeeded in obtaining boron in a state of almost
The reaction which he employs is that of of Tungstates free from Molybdenum,” by C. Friedheim and perfect purity. R. Meyer ; “ A Lecture Experiment,” by C. Winkler.
metallic magnesium upon boric anhydride, a reaction previously
studied by several observers, and most recently by Prof. Winkler, A NEW Physical Review has been started by the publisher who employed the magnesium in the quantity calculated to reJ. Engelhorn, of Stuttgart. The editor is L. Graetz. The move all the oxygen from its state of combination with the object of this periodical will be to make German readers ac- boron. M. Moissan shows that if only one-third of this quantity quainted with the work being done by physicists in other countries. of magnesium is employed, the yield of free boron is very much It is intended that it shall serve as a sort of supplement to the enhanced, and the impurities are only such as can be removed. well-known Annalen der Physik und Chemie.
He confirms Prof. Winkler's statement that two borides of mag.
nesium are capable of formation, one of which is unstable, and, it is not wonderful that a considerable amount of work should
be done. as shown by Messrs. Jones and Taylor, is decomposed by water
Mr. Lewis Swist is the Director of the Observatory, with evolution of a mixture of hydrogen and boron hydride, nebula as his principal field of labour. The first unrecorded
and, upon assuming command, he selected the discovery of new while the other is permanent both in the presence of water and nebula was found on July 9, 1883. Since then more than 400 acids. It is this stable boride, which M. Moissan has obtained others have been detected ; and their positions and descriptions in good crystals, which is so difficult to remove from the sub- have been published from time to time in four catalogues. The stance which has hitherto been considered as amorphous boron,
observations are now brought together, and will therefore be and its formation should be avoided as much as possible. When
more uselul than heretofore. In the volume containing them
| are printed the Warner prize essays. One of these, by Prof. magnesium and boric anhydride in the proportions above indi- Lewis Boss, treats of “Comets: their Composition, Purpose, cated-convenient quantities being 70 grams of the former and and Effect upon the Earth”; and there are several others on the 210 grams of the latter-are heated to redness in a closed coloured skies seen about the time of the Krakatað eruption. crucible, a somewhat violent reaction occurs, the crucible be
Mr. Henry Maine endeavours to show that a physical connection
existed between these red sunsets and solar activity. The Rev. coming vividly incandescent. Upon cooling, a reddish-brown
S. E. Bishop, of Honolulu, also describes the brilliant glows in mass is found, which is readily detached from the crucible, and
question ; ascribing them to the introduction of finely divided is impregnated throughout with crystals of magnesium borate. matter into the higher regions of the atmosphere. The interior portion is then powdered, and successively treated
MEASUREMENT OF SOLAR PROMINENCES.-In Complesrenius, with water and hydrochloric acid, alcoholic potash, hydrofluoric
tome cxiii. p. 353 (1891), M. Fizeau pointed out that the acid, and lastly with distilled water. This product, even after velocities attained by solar prominences were comparable with such exhaustive treatment, upon drying in vacuo, is found to con- the earth's orbital velocity, and remarked that, on account of tain only 95 per cent. of boron. In order to remove the 5 per this circumstance, prominences must suffer a displacement from cent. of the stable boride, the product is again heated to redness
their true position. If this were so, and the argument appeared in the midst of a large excess of boric anhydride, and the extrac
to be sound, then the apparent heights reached would have to be
increased or diminished according to the velocity with which the tion and washing repeated as before. The percentage of boron prominences were projected. Mr. Henry Crow has pointed out is by this means raised to 98.3 per cent., the remaining impurity an apparent error in this reasoning (Astronomy and Astrobeing a mere trace of the boride and 1'3 per cent. of nitride of Plysics, January, p. 90). He says :-“ The author here neglects boron. These remaining impurities have finally been eliminated
the fact that, at any given instant, each point of the solar disk by employing a crucible rendered impenetrable to the surnace
and of the prominence, whether in motion or at rest, is sending
to the observer rays, all of which are affected by the same gases, the nitrogen of which rapidly causes the formation of
correction for aberration. I say the 'same' correction, since nitride, by means of a mixture of titanic acid and charcoal. In the change in celestial longitude or latitude from one part of addition to the laborious method above indicated, by which the sun's surface to another would affect the aberration quite tolerably large quantities of pure boron may be obtained, M.
inappreciably. If there be relative motion among the parts of Moissan further shows that it may be prepared in smaller!
the prominence, then, since at any instant aberration affects all
these parts to the same extent, the prominence will be projected quantities by the reduction of boric anhydride by magnesium in
upon the slit of the spectroscope in its true proportions.” So the a stream of hydrogen, when, after extraction, a pure product study of the solar surface is apparently not to be complicated by necessarily free from nitride is obtained. And lastly, M. Mois- the introduction of a new correction. In this connection it may san describes an electrolytical method of preparing it. Fused be remarked that, in a letter dated February 12, Prof. Hale boric acid is rendered a good conductor of electricity by the succeeded in photographing all the prominences around the sun
writes: “You may be interested to know that I have just addition of 20 per cent. of its weight of borax. Upon passing with a single exposure.” through the fused mixture a current of 35 amperes, a little sodium is liberated at the negative pole, and combines with the platinum electrode to form an alloy, while amorphous boron and I
THE AUSTRALASIAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE oxygen are liberated at the positive pole. The greater portion
ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE. of the boron, owing to the high temperature of the reaction, recombines with the oxygen with most brilliant incandescence, THE Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science but a portion escapes combination, and may be isolated in the
held its fourth annual meeting at Ilobart, Tasmania, from
January 7 to 14 inclusive. The meeting was in every way pure state as a chestnut-coloured powder.
successful, and the proceedings afford ample and most satisfactory
evidence that much excellent work is being done among our The additions to the Zoological Society's Gardens during the
Australasian kinsfolk in every branch of science. The President past week include a Green Monkey (Cercopithecus callitrichus 8) was His Excellency Sir Robert Hamilton, Governor of Tasfrom West Africa, presented by Mr. George W. Bowles ; a mania. The people of Hobart accorded to the members of the Toque Monkey (Macacus pileatus) from Ceylon, presented by Association a most hearty welcome, and did everything in their Mr. Arthur Wallis ; a Bauer's Parrakeet (Platycercus conarius)
power to make the occasion a pleasant and memorable one.
Visitors from a distance had the advantage of being able to from South Australia, presented by Mr. Edward F. Baillou ;
travel both by sea and land at greatly reduced fares, and two Alpine Accentors (Accentor collaris), European, presented everything of scientific interest in Tasmania was clearly explained by Lord Lilford, F.2. S. ; lour Coqui Francolins (Francolinus for them in a capital hand-book issued from the Government coqui 2 0 2 %) from South Africa, presented by the Hon. F. Printing Office. Mr. Robert Giffen attended the meeting, and Erskine ; a Green Toad (Bufo viridis), six Painted Frogs
was cordially received. He delivered a lecture to the members
of the Association on "The Rise and Growth of the British (Discoglossus pictus), European, three Moorish Toads (Bufo
Empire." mauritanica) from Tunis, purchased.
Great credit is due to the Hobart Mercury and other local papers for the enterprise they displayed in reporting the pro
ceedings OUR ASTRONOMICAL COLUIIN.
At ihe meeting of the general Council on January 7,
the chair was taken by Baron von Mueller, past President, as The WARNER OBSERVATORY.-" The Warner Observatory Sir James Hector, the retiring President, was prevented by ill is distinctively a private institution built for the purposes of healih fiom being present.
It was formally decided that the original discovery rather than the ordinary routine work of most fifth annual meeting of the Association should be held at other Observatories.". This sentence begins a recently-published Adelaide, and practically decided that the sixth should be held history and work of the Warner Observatory, Rochester, N.Y., at Brisbane. Prof. Taie will be President of the Adelaide from 1883 to 1886. Under such favourable conditions as these, meeting.
On the evening of the 7th Sir Robert Hamilton delivered his Research.” He indicated the power of the method by six presidential address before a large audience in the Town Hall. examples :-(1) A theorem in potentials illustrated by applying He presented an interesting sketch of the history of the Royal it to a general electrical problem. (2) Two examples in curviSociety of Tasmania, and suggested many sound reasons why linear co-ordinates. (3) A quaternion proof of a well-known all intelligent persons in Australasia should do their utmost “10 theorem of Jacobi's of great utility in physics. (4) A generalihasten the advent of the time, which is undoubtedly approaching, zation of one of the well-known equations of fluid solution. (5) when science will form a much more integral part of the life of The well-known particular system of the differential equation the people than it does at presen!."
expressing the conditions of equilibrium of an isotropic elastic It is impossible for us to give a full account of the proceed- solid subject to arbitrary bodily forces. (6) A short criticism ings of the meeting ; but the following notes may suffice to of Prof. Poynting's theory of the transference of energy through indicate the wide range of the work done in the various Sections. an electric field.
Papers were read by Mr. W. H. Steele on “ The Con. SECTION A.
ductivity of Solutions of Copper Sulphate"; by Mr. R. W.
Chapman on “The Dodging Tide of South Australia," conMATHEMATICS, PHYSICS, AND MECHANICS.
taining a summary of the work done by the Committee on Tidal Prof. Brags, Adelaide, was President of this Section. He Observations ; and by Archbishop, Murphy, Hobart, on chose as the subject of his presidential address, " Mathematical
" Solar Phenomena and their Effects. Analogies between various branches of Physics.” About fifty
Mr. H. C. Russell, F.R.S. (Government Astronomer, years ago, he said, Sir William Thomson showed that there N.S. W.), read a paper on “ The Grouping of Stars in the existed between several branches of physics a very close'analogy
Southern Part of the Milky Way.” He pointed out the advan. the analogy was so exact that the solution of any problem of any
tages of the photographic method of studying star distribution, one theory was at the same time the solution of the problem in
and discussed the evidence offered by a large number of photoany other. The list of analogies might be still further increased graphs taken by himself. The results he had obtained tended by the addition of certain other theories, which were to some
to diminish the value of the rists in the discussion of stellar disextent imaginary, yet important in that they were simple to
tribution. The interest of this paper was much enhanced by the realize, and therefore of great use in presenting to the mind the
exhibition of a large collection of photographs. usual means of grasping ihe other problems. It was a matter of
Mr. R. L. J. Ellery, F.R.S. (Government Astronomer, V.), the greatest interest that so wide and so perfect an analogy read a paper describing some of the difficulties occurring in the should exist, and for that reason the analogy would be a fit photographic charting of the heavens, more especially regarding subject for an address. There were other grounds for its fitness.
ihe determination of stellar magnitude. He also spoke of the It was of the greatest assistance in physics to follow up this desirableness of establishing tidal observations in Tasmania. He analogy, and examine carefully its nature. It was a common drew attention to the incompleteness of the tidal records for remark that analogies were dangerous things, and the remark was
Tasmania, and moved a resolution urging the Government to often true enough. But the danger lay only in an imperfect know
establish several more tide gauges, especially on the north ledge of the extent to which calculations might be made upon
This resolution was seconded by Mr. H. C. Russell, the analogy, and could be avoided once and for all by amending
and carried unanimously. the imperfection. Moreover, the student of electricity and
Mr. R. B. Lucas read a paper on the unification of standards magnetism could hardly avoid the use of some sort of analogy,
of weights and measures, in which the condition of legislation in for these theories deal with quantitative relations between things regard to this important matter, with suggestions for ihe unificaof the real nature of which we are completely ignorant, and
lion of standards throughout the colonies, and recommendations most minds could not for long consider these relations in mere
for a central depot with central administration, was specially symbols, but must finally give them some sort of form. He then
considered. explained the nature of the problem, and proceeded to show the Captain Shortt (Meteorological Observer, Hobart) read a short measure of analogy that exists between various theories of paper advocating a particular method of determining longitude physical science.
at sea from observations of the maximuin altitude. The paper A paper by Sir Robert Ball, on “The Astronomical Explana- gave rise to a very interesting discussion. tion of a Glacial Period,” was read by Sir R. Hamilton, and a
The President of the Section moved “ That the Section telehearty vote of thanks was accorded to His Excellency and to the graph its congratulations to Sir W. Thomson on his elevation to author. Mr. A. B. Biggs, Launceston, read a paper on “Tas
the peerage. This was seconded by Mr. Ellery, supported by manian Earth Tremors." Mr. C. W. Adams, Dunedin, dealt
Mr. Russell, and carried unanimously. with a graphic method of showing the relation between the temperature of the dew-point and the temperature of the air for
SECTION B. any given climate. Mr. George Hogben, Timarn, V.Z., read the report of the Committee on Seismological Phenomena in Australasia. This Committee had begun its work by making Mr. W. VI. Hamlet, Government Analyst, of New South a compilation of the records of all previous earthquake shocks Wales, presided over this Section. In his opening address he throughout Australasia, and these records were now nearly com- dealt with the progress of chemistry in Australasia. Having plete, except for Queensland and Western Australia. It had described the difficulties with which chemists in Australasia have also provided for as accurate a system of observations in the to contend, he said that in spite of them work had been done. future as was possible under the circumstances, by means of He mentioned the discovery of the alkaloids brucine and memoranda to be forwarded from various telegraph offices. The strychnine in the fruits of Strychnos psilosperma, by Prof. system adopted was, with the necessary modifications, that Rennie and Mr. Goyder, of Adelaide ; also the work done which had been in use with success in New Zealand for some by Mr. J. H, Maiden, of Sydney, in the examination of time past. The Secretary explained what had been done in Australian kinos, gums, and barks, Chief amongst Mr. New Zealand by this means in the determination of earthquake Maiden's researches was his work on wattle bark, which he origins, and of other facts about earthquakes, and pointed out found contained from 15 up to 46 per cent. oftannic acid. These that it was as part of a world system of observations that the baiks were proved to be invaluable for tanning purposes, and observations in Australasia are likely to be most useful. With their cultivation proved easily remunerative to the agriculturist. that aim in view the Committee proposed to extend their obser- Mr. Kirkland's discovery of gallium and indium in some vations to the islands of the Pacific, and so to establish a con. specimens of blende were reserred to, as were the highlynection, if possible, with what was being done in South America interesting investigations of different minerals by the Rev. J. and in Japan. An important step was also taken in the adoption Milne Curran, of New South Wales. Reference was also made of a common standard of intensity-the Rossi-Forel scale, as to researches being made by observers who were seeking to find used by Swiss and Italian seismologists, being that agreed upon. out the actual state of combination in which elements occur in It was pointed out that the systein now adopted throughout different ores. Much of this kind of work needed to be done, Australasia had lext to the fixing of five of the chief origins of and if such questions were investigated by men who knew what disturbance in or near New Zealand, among them (during the they were doing, it would go a long way towards facilitating the past year) of the origin of most of the Cook's Straits shocks. operations attempted in the smelting works, where it is often
Mr. A. McAuley, Ormond College, Melbourne, contributed a expected that carbonates, sulphides, chlorides, and oxides should paper on “Quaternions as a Practical Instrument of Physical | each and all yield to the same treatment.
CHEMISTRY AND MINERALOGY.
The following papers were contributed by Mr. J. B. Kirkland, lavas and tuffs at the latter locality were erupted prior to the Assistant Lecturer and Demonstrator of Chemistry, University deposition of the Bulli coal-measures, as marine fossil shells of of Melbourne :-(1) “Notes on the Electrolysis of Fused Salts Permo-Carboniserous age have been found in the volcanic tuffs of Organic Basis”; (2) “Occurrence of the New Elements of that series. The great plateau of diabasic greenstone, which Gallium and Indium in a Blende from Peelwood, New South occupies so large an area in the south-eastern portion of TasWales " ; (3) “Notes on the Volatility of Magnesium”; (4) mania, was considered by the author to be probably of later “ Lecture Experiment on Gaseous Diffusion." A paper on “ The origin than the Mesozoic coal-measures of Fingal, Jerusalem, Analysis of the Cavendish banana (l/usa Cazendishii) in Relation &c., and then the Palæozoic coal-measures of the Mersey coalto its Value as a Food,'' by W. M. Doherty, was also read. Profs. field. The greenstone forming the upper portion of Mount Liversidge, Jackson, the President, Messrs. Clemes, Wilsmore, Wellington was, in the author's opinion, or later origin than and Taylor took part in an interesting discussion that followed the New Town coal-measures near Hobart. He considered the the reading of these papers.
greenstone to be a variety probably of gabbro, which bad burst Papers were contributed by Mr. W. M. Ilamlet on “The through the marine mudstones and overlying coal-measures in Oleo-refractometer in Organic Analysis "'; by Mr. A. H. Jack- the neighbourhood of Hobart in the shape of broad dykes and son on “ The Analysis of Storage Battery Plates "; by Mr. A. vosses, and which had spread over the top of the measures in J. Sachs on “ The Jarvis Field Mineral Waters of Picton, New the form of a thick broad capping. If this view were correct, South Wales"; and by Mr. Mingaye on “ Some Mineral Waters there would be underneath the liers of greenstone large areas of of New South Wales."
coal-measures which might contain workable seams of coal, Mr. A. Liversidge, F.R.S., Professor of Chemistry, Uni- undamaged by the overlying greenstone. A brief description versity of Sydney, read a paper on “ The Rusting of Iron.” It having been given of the basaltic lavas of Tertiary age in was usually stated in books upon chemistry, he said, that iron Australia and Tasmania, the relation of the various manifestarust consisted of the hydrated sesquioxide of iron ; but on tions of volcanic activity to oscillations of the earth's crust and examining a very large number of specimens of rust from very to heavy sedimentation was next examined. The evidence colmany different places, and from iron articles of various kinds, lected by Australian and Tasmanian geologists showed that and formed under very varied conditions, he found that in almost volcanic action had taken place most frequently alter periods of every instance the rust contained more or less magnetic oxide; in prolonged subsidence had culminated a compensating refact, iv some cases the rust, although presenting the usual “rust elevation of the land. Instances were cited to prove that in brown” colour and appearance, was, when powdered, prac- many cases the subsidence which preceded volcanic outbursts tically wholly attracted by the magnet. The specimens which was directly due to the local loading of the earth's crust with first drew his attention to the subject were some large scales of thick masses of sediment, the weight of which bulged the rust obtained from the rails of an old tramway at Clisden earth's crust downwards, displacing in the process the lighter Springs, in Victoria, and he was led to collect and examine granitic magma which is considered to immediately underlie these on account of their resemblance to the crust so often the earth's crust, and bringing the under surface of the crust in present on metallic meteorites. On crushing this rust in a proximity to the heavier basic magma. This was suggested as porcelain mortar and testing it with a magnet, it was found to an explanation of the fact that the products of volcanic action be practically wholly attracted, the small quantity of iron from such areas of subsidence were usually basalts rather than magnetic oxide present being mechanically inclosed, listed and rhyolites or obsidians, both of which last are derived from the removed by the magnetic particles (in consequence of the granitic magma. magnetic particles being joined end to end, parallel to the lines Mr. W. J. Clupies Ross read a paper entitled “Remarks on of magnetic force and forming a mesh-work inclosing the non- Coral Reels.” Mr. W. J. C. Ross read a paper “On the Dismagnetic matter); but by repeatedly applying the magnet, and covery of two Specimens of Fossil Lepidodendrons in the especially under water, the magnetic powder was fairly well Neighbourhood of Bathurst, New South Wales, and the separated from the non-magnetic powder. Bright iron wire, Inferences to be drawn from their Occurrence.” One speciplates, rods, nails, &c., were artificially rusted in many ways men was from the gravel of the Macquarie River, but its source with free access of oxygen, and in almost every instance a large was to uncertain to be of much value. The other specimen, amount of magnetic oxide was formed.
although not actually sound by the writer in situ, was received Prof. Liversidge also read a paper on * The Presence of by him from the finder, who was able to point out the exact Magnetite in Ceriain Minerals."
place from which it was obtained. This was about ten miles to Some notes on the analysis of water from Lake Corangamite the east of Bathurst, in some one of a series of beds of grit and were given by Mr. A. W. Craig and Mr. N. T. M. Wilsmore. quarızite forming the sides of a short valley, at the head of Notes on a - Natural Bone Ash," from Narracoorte, South which there was a succession of three waterfalls over hard bands Australia, were given by Mr. N. T. M. Wilsmore (Mel. of quartzite, the uppermost fall being over a massive conglobourne University). This was an account of a fossil guano merate. The grit bands contained abundant casts of Brachiopods, which might be successfully used for making cupels for silver Spirifer, and Rhynconella, and the whole series of beds was
Other papers read were " Minerals of East Gipps. coloured on the geological sketch map of the colony as Silurian. land," by Mr. Donald Clark ; and “Noies on the Exudations The late Mr. Wilkinson, however, classed the beds as Siluroyielded by some Australian species of Pittosporum,” by Mr. J. Devonian ; and a very similar series at Rydal on the Western Marden. A Committee was appointed to make a complete Railway Line was mapped by him as Devonian. Rydal was census of the minerals of Tasmania for the next meeting of the at least sixteen miles in a straight line from the locality at which Association.
the fossil was found. Near Rydai there were beds containing a SECTION C.
Lepidodendron considered by Dr. Feistmantel and Mr. Carru
thers as Lepidodendron nothum, and to be of Devonian age. GEOLOGY AND PALÆONTOLOGY.
Mr. R. Eiheridge, Jun., however, questioned the identification Prof. T. W. E. David, of Sydney University, President of of the species, and seemed to think it was Lepidodendron australe, this Section, delivered an address on volcanic action in Eastern McCoy, which was generally considered to be Lower CarboniAustralia and Tasmania, with special reference to the relation serous. It was pointed out that the fossil now sound was almost of volcanic activity to oscillations of the earth's crust, and to certainly derived from the grit beds containing Devonian heavy sedimentation. The evidences of volcanic action in past Brachiopods, and was probably of that age. If it were taken as geological time in East Australia and in Tasmania were re- Carboniferous, then a rearrangement of the generally received viewed historically, commencing with the oldest known lavas- geology of a large part of New South Wales would be necessary. the Snowy River porphyries--and concluding with the most As bearing on the probable Devonian age of the fossil, attention recent--those of Tower Hill, near Warrnambool, in Victoria. was called to the fact that in the Lower Carboniserous beds of The geological age of the former has been established as being Strand, N.S. W., there were two species of Lejidodendron, viz. lower Devonian, whereas the occurrence of the skeleton of a L. Ieltheimianum and L. Volkmannianum. The fossil in dingo under beds of volcanic tuff at the latter locality shows question did not resemble either of these forms, but appeared to that those volcanic rocks are of recent geological age. Special be either 1. nothum or L. australe, and, whichever it was, ir reference was made to the vast development of contemporaneous was likely to be older than the Strand beds, and therefore can lavas and tuffs in the Upper Palæozoic coal-fields of New Soutb hardly be younger than Devonian. The specimens in question Wales, at Raymond Terrace, near Maitland, and at Kiama, in were exhibited, and the opinion of geologists desired on the the Illawarra coal-field. Prooss were adduced to show that the questions raised. NO. 1166, vol
Mr. J. H. Harvey discussed “The Application of Photo- Mr. W. A. Weymouth contributed a classified list of Tasgraphy to Geological Work." He urged the desirability of manian mosses, based on Hooker's “Flora of Tasmania" having a photographer attached to every Geological Survey, and 1853-59), Mitten's “Australian Mosses ! (1882), Bastow's the importance of conducting the photography of the various "Mosses of Tasmania ” (1886), and his own collections surveys in a systematic and uniform manner. He submitted a (1887-91), as determined by European specialists. scheme in connection with the same, which, without a great increase in the present expense, would, he considered, vastly
SECTION E. increase the value of the survey.
Among the remaining papers were the following : "Sample of Cone-in-cone Structure found at Picton, New South Wales, Captain Pasco, R.N., President of the Section, referred in his by Mr. A. J. Sachs ; “Notes on the Permo Carboniferous opening address to early discoveries in Australia. The exploration Volcanic Rocks of New South Wales,” by Prof. T. W. E.
of the island of Tasmania, and the opening up of its varied reDavid; “Notes on the Advantages of a Federal School of sources, were begun by Sir John Franklin. He might be recognized Mines sor Australasia," by Mr. T. Provis.
as the founder of the Royal Society of Tasmania, and distinguished
himself in 1842 by crossing the island from New Norfolk to SECTION D.
Macquarie Harbour. Half a century ago Australia was con
sidered to be a vast desert, containing possibly an inland sea, but BIOLOGY
Stuart, McDowall, Gregory, Forest, Giles, and others had dis. Prof. W. Baldwin Spencer, of the Melbourne University sipated that idea by exploring the continent from one side to dealt in his presidential address with the fresh-water and terres- the other. He surther dealt with the tides and currents of the trial fauna of Tasmania. He described the various species ocean, and their effects generally upon the earth, the temperafound in Tasmania, and the distribution of these in other parls ture and saltness of sea water, and the direction and force of of Australia, showing that, in such forms as the fresh-water fish, the currents and times of high and low water. He concluded reptiles, and amphibia, those found in Tasmania and some in by saying there was still a considerable area of this globe to be Victoria were very closely allied. He dealt with the original subdued and peaceable dominion obtained within the Antarctic introduction of the ancestors of the present animals of Aus- Circle. Though Sir James Ross unsurled the British banner on tralia, and the way in which the descendants of these had an island contiguous to the continent or extensive archipelago become distributed over the various parts, including Tasmania. (as the case might be), yet almost a blank upon the map
Prof. Hutton, of Christchurch, New Zealand, read a paper on awaited the enterprise of the Anglo-Saxons located in the “ The Origin of the Struthious Birds of Australasia.” The southern hemisphere to emulate their forefathers in the north struthious birds—that was, the ostriches, emus, cassowaries, and by opening up the frozen zone. kiwis --were contined to the southern hemisphere, except the Mr. James M. Clymont, Koonya, Tasmania, read a paper on African ostrich, which ranged into Arabia, and they were sup- “ The Influence of Spanish and Portuguese Discoveries during posed to have originated in the northern hemisphere and the First Twenty Years of the Sixteenth Century on the Theory migrated southwards. But by this hypothesis there were great of an Antipodal Southern Continent.” Mr. D. Murray gave difficulties in explaining how the struthious birds reached an accouni if Mr. Lindsay's expedition in Western Australia Australia and New Zealand without being accompanied by under the auspices of Sir Thos. Elder, giving extracts from his placental mammals. Also the struthious birds of New Zealand, despatches, narrating the journey from Fort Mueller to Queen including the lately extinct moas, were smaller, and make a Victoria Springs, and thence to the Frazer Ranges. Want of nearer approach to the flying birds, from which the struthious water had been a great and unexpected difficulty. There birds were descended, than did any of the others, and they seemed to have been a complete drought for at least a year over should expect to find the least altered forms near the place of this part of the continent. In the discussion ensuing, the origin. The tinamus of Central and South America, although question of artesian wells was raised, and Mr. Murray explained Aying birds, resembled the New Zealand struthious birds in that while some of these wells in South Australia were unfit for several particulars ; and as a former connection between New | irrigation purposes, owing to the superabundance of salts of Zealand aud South America was shown by the plants, the frogs, soda, yet they were good enough for stock, &c., and that both and the land shells, it seemed more probable that the struthious further north and further east over large areas the wells gave birds of Australasia originated in the neighbourhood of New
water suitable for all purposes. Zealand from flying birds related to the tinamus, and that they Papers were contributed by Dr. Frazer, on “Volcanic Phenospread from thence into Australia and New Guinea, rather than mena in Samoa in 1886”; by the Rev. J. B. W. Woollnough, that they should have migrated southwards from Asia. Prob- on.“ Iceland and the Icelander ”; by Captain Moore, R.N., ably the ostriches of Africa and South America have a different "A Magnetic Shoal near Cossack, W.A.”; and by Mr. A. C. line of descent from the struthious birds of Australasia, and Macdonald, on “The Life and Works of Sir John Franklin." might have originated from swimming birds in the northern
An elaborate and valuable paper on “ Recent Explorations hemisphere.
and Discoveries in British New Guinea," was read by Mr. J. P. Prof. Spencer read a paper “On the Habits of Ceratodus, the Thomson. Referring to the natives, Mr. Thomson spoke of Lung Fish of Queensland." This fish, he stated, lives only in their numerous tribal divisions, and of the almost correspondingly the Burnett and Mary Rivers in Queensland, and belongs to a different languages or dialects spoken by them. Even in localities small group which may be regarded as intermediate between separated by only a few miles, ihe dialects spoken differ the one fishes on the one hand and amphibia on the other. The swimming from the other in some cases considerably. The Motu, which bladder present in ordinary fishes has become modified so that is the language spoken and taught by the missionaries at Port it functions as a lung. In Africa, Protopterus, a form closely Moresby, is understood over a considerable area, both east and allied to Ceratodus, makes for itself a cocoon of mud, in which west of that place, but outside that neighbourhood changes during the hot, dry season it lives and can breathe by means of and variations occur, so that at the head of the Great Papuan its lung: The Ceratodus, however, does not appear to do Gulf, and in the Fly Basin, the Motu language is a foreign this, and probably never leaves the water. it comes continually | tongue. The same applies to the eastern end, and to the to the surface, and passes out and takes in air, making a faint islands adjacent thereto, where the philological variations are spouting noise. The author suggested that the lung was of numerous and conflicting. While in the one case the people the greatest service to the animal, not during the hot, but met with in the highland zones of the Owen Stanley Range during the wet season, when the rivers were flooded, and the spoke a dialect akin to that of the Papuan, those encountered on water thick with the sand brought down from the surrounding the Upper Fly River expressed themselves in a longue, every country. With regard to its food, Ceratodus appeared to be word of which apparently differed from that spoken by the herbivorous, feeding, at all events largely, on vegetable matter, tribes of the lower regions, and from that spoken by any known such as the seeds of gum-trees which tumble into the water. coastal community, notwithstanding that the people themselves
Papers were contributed by Mr. F. M. Bailey, Government exhibited no evidence of possessing distinctive characteristics of Botanist of Queensland, on "Queensland Fungus Blights”; race, the only marked contrast being in lightness of colour. by Colonel W. V. Legge on “The Geographical Distribution of In the western division the same diversity of speech is met Australian Limicole”; by Mr. John Shirley on "A Re- with, where neighbouring tribes are unable to hold intercourse arrangement of the Queensland Lichens”; and by Mr. A. F. one with the other, even if friendly, by reason of incompatibility Robin on "The Preservation of Native Plants and Animals." of language. No doubt this may in some measure be accounted