« EelmineJätka »
measure, until we obtain evidence of undoubted glacial action at higher altitudes, of the extent to which the higher and secondary valley-system of the Thames Basin proper had been carved out in preglacial times, the work done representing, in fact, in Berks and Surrey nearly 200 feet of vertical erosion, due to ordinary rain and river action. This will be better understood from the generalised section (Fig. 107). All this time the erosion of the minor upland valleys was encroaching upon the more ancient
during chronicle, and often enable us to detect the progress of physical changes. Thus it is not difficult to prove that the present aspect of the lower valley of the Thames is very different from what it must have been 1000 years ago. Instead of being confined within regular banks, the river must have spread its waters over a broad lagoon, which was dotted with marshy islands. This is indicated by the fact that the A.S. word ea or ey (an island) enters into the composition of the names of many places by the river-side, which are now joined to the mainland
Such are Bermondsey, Putney, Battersea, Chertsey, Moulsey, Iffley, Osney, WhitDey, and Eaton or Eton. The Abbey Church of
flint Bagshot pebble-beds with the recession of their outcrop, and mingling these with the sub-angular flints
Pinewood Cæsar's Broad.
Royal 0. Asylum.
Fig. 107.-Relative Levels (O. L.) of the Plateau-gravels and the Glaciated Clays by Ninemile Ride, &c. P.G. plateau-gravels;
T.G. terrace or secondary gravels; * 1 mile north-east of the line of section; v, glaciation strongly marked at these two places.
Westminster was built for security on Thorney Island, and the eastern portion of the water in St. James's Park is a part of that arm of the Thames, which encircled the Sanctuary of the monks, and the palace of the A.S. kicgs. The name Chelsea (a contraction of chesel-ea) or skingle-island [tells that the place was encircled by the river). The Isle of Thanet was as much an island as Sheppey is at the present time.”
[ERRATUM.—At the latest moment of printing the May number, a mistake occurred by which the woodcuts 84 and 85 were transposed. All our geological readers will have detected the error, and doubtless have already altered the Figs.]
derived from the plateau-gravels themselves. Thus tier after tier of secondary or terrace-gravels has been formed, down to the present valley-floor, the same agencies having co-operated with those of glacial times, and continued their operations since the retreat of the ice. The lower (post-glacial) gravels of the modern valley contain, however, an admixture of Mercian pebbles with the wreckage of the more ancient plateau-gravels and the Eocene pebble-beds.
The recently published researches of Mr. Allen Brown, F.G.S.,* near Ealing, and of Mr. Shrubsole F.G.S., † near Reading, were briefly discussed ; and the special interest of the position of the human remains discovered by those two gentlemen was pointed out. The observations which they have published tell us (i) of the advent of man into the Thames Valley in company with the Mammoth, the Rhinoceros, and extinct species of Bos, Equus, and Cervus, closely upon the retreat of the ice; (ii) of the great antiquity of his appearance here, as indicated by the fact that the present Valley of the Thames has been deepened since that time to the extent of more than 100 feet at Reading, and to the extent of 50 feet at Ealing.
Even within the limits of the Historical Period important further changes can be traced in the Thames Valley, if we may trust the evidence furnished by those valuable linguistic “fossils " which occur in local names.
Dr. Isaac Taylor (“ Words and Places," pp. -235, 236) writes :-“Local names form an
Dr. E. E. KLEIN, F.R.S. (Lecturer on physiology at St. Bartholomew's Hospital), on April 28, began a course of three lectures on Bacteria, their Nature and Functions (the Tyndall Lectures); and Mr. H. Graham Harris, M. Inst. C.E., on May 9, a course of three lectures on the Artificial Production of Cold.
A VBRY able and suggestive paper by Mr. A. S. Seward appears in the last number of "The Naturalist," entitled “ Fossil Climates."
limestone and Upper Estuarine beds), New Duston (Inferior Oolite), Kislingbury, Bugbrook (Middle Lias, &c.), Stowe-Nine-Churches (Great and Inferior Oolites), Heyford, Upton, Old Duston, Vigo, Shittlewell, Kingthorpe (Lo Estuarine sands and plant-bed) Pitsford, Spratten, Baughten, Moulten, &c.
MR. J. F. Jenner-Weir, the well known entomologist, has a capital paper in the last number of the “ Entomologist," entitled “The significance of occasional and apparently unimportant markings in Lepidoptera.” He thinks that some of them are vestiges of spots and other markings which were much more vivid in their ancestors, and therefore that such markings may contribute towards the .phylogeny of genera.
We call the attention of our readers to Professor Marshall's address delivered before the Birmingham Natural History and Microscopical Society on
'Animal Pedigrees,” which appears in the May number of the “Midland Naturalist.”
AMONG the many valuable papers on natural history we get from the United States are the periodical issues of Dr. Riley's, “ Insect Life," devoted to the economy and life-habits of insects, especially in their relations to Agriculture.
Parts Twelve and Thirteen of Wallace's,“ British Cage-birds” (London : L. Upcott Gill) maintain the high artistic character of the preceding parts.
" THE CONCHOLOGIST" is the title of a new quarterly journal, price ninepence, devoted clusively to conchology and molluscology. As our readers are aware, this subject has grown considerably beyond the bounds formerly assigned to it, and is now an important contributor to the facts of practical evolution. This new journal is edited by Mr. W. E. Collinge. The first number looks well and promises well.
MICROSCOPY. A MICROSCOPICAL PUZZLE.— I was examining a. glass slide under my microscope, containing some sections of the green berry of Tamus communis, which I preserved in 1889, by placing the specimens in gum-arabic between two glass slips. I now perceive many small ovoid transparent bodies, several were larger than the rest and could move slowly from place to place. What is the name and the cause of their appearance ? Could they have come with gumarabic? They do not seem to damage the specimen in the least, although they must certainly eat something. They are about one-sixth of an inch long when magnified forty diameters. This specimen isquite dry.-Henry E. Griset.
MOUNTING CORALLINES FOR THE MICROSCOPE:In answer to this query in No. 316 of SCIENCE-GOSSIP. I beg to inform your correspondent and others interested in the study of fresh and salt-water Microfauna of a very reliable method of mounting Hydrozoa with all parts fully and naturally expanded. I have applied it particularly to Rotifers, Infusoria, and Hydræ, and can recommend it “where all other means have failed.” It is best to place a few twigs of the fresh corallines containing living specimens into a very deep watchglass placed upon black paper, with very little of the water they have developed in. Allow all the animals to expand, and examine with a pocket-lens, if necessary, to ascertain when this has taken place. Then with a pipette add to the water in the watchglass a few drops of chloroform water. As soon as this is felt by the hydrozoa they draw in their tentacles, etc. However, if not too much of the anæsthetic has been given, and a little time allowed for it to evaporate, they will re-expand all their parts, at first only partly, but ultimately to their original extent. If rotisers are treated thus, the reviving of the individuals can be noticed by the drowsy motion of a few isolated cilia which begin their play again, at first very slowly, but gradually more and more vigorously. This stage is not the least interesting part of the experiment; it will enable the attentive observer to watch with greater ease every motion of the minute animals, take sketches of, and even photograph them. The treatment with chloroform water must necessarily be repeated by every one who makes the experiment for the first time, to let him know how often the hydrozoa will stand the effects of chloroform, and to give hiro
The Liverpool scientists are plucky people. They did not like their hightly readable and excellently edited “Research” being given up, so they have started another journal on pretty much the same lines, entitled “Discovery.” It is published at threepence monthly. No. 5 is to hand, containing papers relating chiefly to economic science.
We heartily comment, to all those whom it may concern, the last Report of the Manchester Museum (Owen College), issued by order of the Council.
A most useful and highly important pamphlet has been issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “The Pediculi and Maleophaga affecting Man and the Lower Animals,” by Professor H. Osborn. It is illustrated by forty-two of the parasites whose lifehistories are described.
for future experiments an approximate idea of the proper moment when the death-blow is to be given. The latter consists in pouring over the weakened,
ZOOLOGY. but still expanded animals, a hot or cold saturated
NOTHOLCA ACUMINATA.-On March 27th, I solution of corrosive sublimate. To make its action found a specimen of this rare Rotiferon in water still more effective it is advisable to withdraw
taken from a clear ditch on Hayton Common, near beforehand as much of the water in the watchglass as
Retford. The concave shape, as it turned on its possible, leaving just enough to keep the hydrozoa
side, was very marked. I was only able to find one fully expanded. This method of fixing all sorts of
specimen, although I took numerous dips. The small fish or saltwater inhabitants needs a little
only habitat given in Dr. Hudson's book is “Ornapractice, but it teaches a great deal in an experi
mental Waters near London.”—R. Clark. mental way, and
more truly satisfactory results than many of the other methods recom- SOLWAY FISHERY.-Mr. J. J. Armistead in his mended, some of which I shall niention at some circular (season 1890-91), mentions the following future time. Aster the material has been fixed by interesting “items" :—“A black-headed gull (Larus the described chloroform-sublimate method, it should ridibundus, settled on one of the ponds, when a large be mounted in a cell (not a metal cell) with corrosive trout ‘went for him,' probably taking him for a fly, sublimate. Glycerine is not suitable at all, and and broke his leg. The bird was afterwards found balsam only if stains, such as Dr. Beale's carmine dead.” “The trout in the ponds have often been and iodine green (used successively to produce a seen to rise at swallows as the birds skimmed over double stain) have been used. For balsam-mounts the surface, but the fish is a bad flying shot and has the animals must be gradually dessicated in alcohol, never been seen to hit one. “A large dog jumped placed or dropped with a pipette upon oil of cloves, into one of the ponds and had a hot time of it (never use turpentine for such objects) and when they amongst the fish.” Mr. Armistead has forwarded a have completely sunk mount them in balsam. I consignment of ova to Natal, during the past season, shall not return to the study and cultivation of which is reported as arriving there in splendid contotifers, hydrozoa, etc., as it would lead too far, and dition. He is now cultivating aquatic plants, shellI shall refer to this subject at a future opportunity.- fish (mollusca), and crustaceans; especially freshC. O. Sonntag, Glasgow.
water shrimp, for stocking fish-ponds." His circular
says : “It is now a well-ascertained fact that the NEW SLIDES.—Mr. Fred. Enock's slides are famous Gillaroo, and some other very fine breeds or always welcome. They are not only well mounted, varieties of trout, owe their reputation to the food on and the objects interesting, but they deal with some which they live ; and that food has been ascertained new phase of entomological discovery or research, to be shell-fish. I have met with instances in which so that both specialists and amateur naturalists can trout supplied from this fishery have grown with hardly do without them in their cabinets. The latest great rapidity, and in three years, or less, have things Mr. Enock has sent out are connected with a attaineď a weight of about four pounds, and these, subject to which he has devoted much special on dissection, have been found to be gorged with research—the natural history of insect-egg parasites. shell.fish." I have myself taken trout of which the One preparation contains three eggs of Psocus, each crop has been found to be full of the common black containing a tiny parasitic ily (Alaptus minimus) water snail, many of the shells being crushed into ready to emerge. The parent parasite had laid the fragments ; but I do not know if this crushing has egg in each of the affected eggs, and the young larva been done with the mouth of the fish or after the had there found sufficient nutriment to allow its arrival of the shells in the crop.—Thos. Winder, going through all its transformations there. Another A.M.I.C.E. preparation contains a specimen of Alaplus minimus which Mr. Enock bred from the egg. The exquisite
A PARTLY SCALARID SPECIMEN OF HELIX beauty of these specimens must be seen to be ASPERSA FROM WEST KENT.-In a batch of shells appreciated. From Mr. E. Hinton we have also sent to me for naming by Mr. J. R. Longhurst, from received two highly interesting and beautifully Dodington in Kent, I find an interesting Subscalamounted .marine objects for microscopical examina- riform monstrosity of Helix aspersa. The word subtion and study. One is a fine specimen of the sea-pen scalarisorm fully explains the character of the shell or “cock's comb" (Pennatula phosphoreus), with all and any further description seems hardly necessary. the tentacles fully extended and surrounded and Of course it is not so completely scalarid as the wellstrengthened by bundles of acicular spiculæ. When known specimen in the Natural-History Museum, but seen on a dark ground this is a most exquisite it is interesting as showing a “half-way house,” specimen. Mr. Hinton's other preparation is a between the contour of that shell and the contour of beautifully mounted palate of a South Australian the type. The shell is bodily small ; its height is mollusc (Phasianella Australis).
25 mill. ; and its breadth 15 mill.-7. W. Williams.
CLASSIFICATORY POSITION OF THE MOLLUSCA.In answer to Dr. P. Q. Kegan's query on p. 95, ante, as to why the Molluscan phylum is placed higher up on the zoological scale than that of the Annulosa, I think the chief reason is that of the nervous system, which shows greater concentration and, in the majority of the higher forms at least, is chiefly localised in the head as an esophageal ring. In the lipocephala the head region has atrophied in adaptation to a "sessile inactive life” (Article “Mollusca” in Professor Lankester's “ Zoological Articles,” p. 102,) and taken all together, the Mollusca, in structure and embryological history, show a decided advance on the Arthropoda and Echinodermata, considering that the ancestor of both these three phyla is coinmon all, and to be sought in one of the simple worms. If Dr. Kegan will read the articles on the Annulosa and Mollusca in the last edition of the “Encyclo. pædia Britannica," I think he will very quickly come the conclusion that the present systematic position of the Mollusca is the only true one.-5. W. Williams.
ERRATUM.-In my note on “A new variety of Helix Cantiana” (p. 113 ante), about half a millimetre “should read ” above half a millimetre.-7. W. Williams,
MOUNTING SHELLS. I cannot “advise” Miss Priest on this subject, not knowing what other substances are used in mounting, but a very good material is formed by equal weights of gum arabic and gum tragacanth dissolved in water to the consistency of very thick paste. Hundreds of shells were mounted in this way in the British Museum. Shells even of considerable size can be easily set in any position in a bed of the gum. Dissolve the gum arabic in water, making it very thin. Pour this on the gum tragacanth, which swells considerably, and as it swells stir and add water, if necessary. Add a few drops of essential oil to prevent mould. The paste is most useful for general purposes. Caution is desirable in giving it away, every friend to whom I have ever given a pot has required that the supply should be kept up for the term of his natural life. G. T. Staveley.
Notes VEGETABLE TERATOLOGY.-Since much has been written of late concerning floral monstrosities, the following notes from my log-book on some which came under my notice a few years ago may be found interesting to such who have turned their attention to the science of teratology. In the summer of 1886 I found an isolated plant of Campanula rotundifolia growing in a shaded nook near Hampstead Heath, with a flower having the corolla divided into five distinct petaloid segments; the flower was. found to be homogamous. The gamopetalous flowers of Campanula are decidely dichogamous, and further the vascular system of the corolla does not exhibit that of separate segments cohering by their respective edges, for the veins are found to ramify and anastomose all over the space between each contiguous dorsal rib in such a manner as to render any line of cohesion extinct. This dialysis must be regarded as retrogressive, a reversion to some primordial and less specialized condition, owing perhaps to the scarcity or entire absence of bees, correlated with the combined influences of temperature and the im. poverished condition of the soil in which the plans grew.. On November 7th, 1886, I saw a plant of Angræcum sesquipedale bearing two flowers with exceedingly large nectariferous spurs. The spurs of the flowers measured respectively 16 and 171 inches in length. The other parts of the flowers were found to be in a normal condition and of the usual size. The cause of the monstrous condition of these spurs was probably due to the unusually high temperature to which the plant had been subjected, and it is not an unfeasible presumption to suppose that as the nectariferous spurs are regarded as having originated through irritation set up by insect visitors, that an unusually high temperature would induce an additional flow of nutrition to those parts that are already hypertrophied through heredity. During the year of 1888 several teratological specimens came under my notice. 1 found two flowers of Sempervivum arachnoideum in which the margins of the anther cells bore from four to six ovuliserous processes. I also found three flowers of three different species of Begonia with stigmatiferous and ovuliferous stamens, and one flower in which the stigma was antheriserous. I also took note of several cases in which anthers occupied the place of the stigma. (1) A flower of Campanula medium in which four anthers occupied the position of the stigma. (2) A flower of Galanthus nivalis having two anthers in place of the stigma. (3) A terminal flower of Digitalis purpurea having six fertile stamens and no pistil ; the two short stamens reaching maturity first, the two intermediate following, and finally the two largest. I saw on a plant of Aquilegia (var. ?) growing in my garden a flower with two spurs. bearing rudimentary ovules, and three of the stamens
LOCAL CONCHOLOGICAL SOCIETY.-May I suggest to L.J.S. that it would add largely to the value of the work of his Conchological Society if a rule were made to preserve (if possible, mounted as microscopic objects) the tongues of all the mollusca whose shells are taken. The study of shells alone has now very much given place to that of the animals themselves with their shells, and the tongues are valuable in distinguishing genera. They will keep for years simply dried. Any members of the Society unable to mount them, might present them, with the shell laid out dry by its side, for the use of students of the mollusca.-G. T. Slaveley.
were stigmatiferous and ovuliferous. The probable cause of the above-mentioned abnormalities I believe to have been largely due to environments, and the following notes on Fritillaria meleagris and a variety of Mimulus tend somewhat to support this conclusion. In April of the same year I obtained a bulb of fritillaria from its native haunt, the bulb was replanted and rested, and it bloomed again in the following year at the end of March. The perianth of the flower was campanulated, but considerably smaller than that of the previous year, the stamens were metamorphosed into petals, and one crumpled petal very broad at the base occupied the position of the pistil. The plant before flowering had been kept in a dry atmosphere, and a somewhat dry and poor soil. purchased last year a pot of Mimulus (var. ?) from a -street stall, and on bringing it home it was allowed to remain in the dry warm atmosphere of a room ; when the new flowers opened they were found to be much smaller, and had lost the delicate salmon tint for
which I had been induced to purchase it. A few · days after the plant was removed to the greenhouse, and after a lapse of five weeks new flowers developed and were characterized by the colour, size and shape of those expanded when I purchased the plant.7. H. A. Hicks, F.R.H.S.
HUTCHINSIA PETRÆA. Hooker (3rd. Ed. 1884) states that this pretty little Cruciferous plant is to be found in Eltham Churchyard, where it has been naturalised, having been planted, it is supposed, by Dillenius. Has any reader of Science-Gossip found it there within recent years? I have made a careful search for it this spring but have failed to find it, and therefore imagine it to be extinct.-W. B., Plumstead.
variety I found but two examples, one on the edge of an oat-field, the other at a burn side. Both were fine plants, bearing eight and five bells respectively of a beautiful creamy-white colour. I have met with this variety in several counties, and though of rare occurrence it appears to be generally distributed over Scotland. The common scabious (Knautia arvensis) was very plentiful and of every shade between purple and snow white, the same plants frequently bearing flowers of different tints, one specimen had two flowers on the same stalk, one normal, the other dwarf and about three quarters of the way up the main stem, to which it was attached at right angles by a small pedicle. This species rarely occurs above an altitude of 1,000 feet, thriving best in moist grassy situations. The most abundant plant and the most striking in its colour effects was the common heather or ling (Erica vulgaris), which, clothing as it does, miles of hill-side and moorland with its lovely purple bloom, constitutes one of the greatest charms of Highland scenery. This species is by no means constant in its colouring, there being at least three distinct varieties : (1) purple inclined to mauve ; (2) purple inclined to carmine; (3) pure white, which last is very rare and when young hard to distinguish from variety (1), the buds of the latter being almost colourless, save a faint pinkish tinge at their base. I have found it on every moor visited, only, however, in small sprigs amongst miles of the ordinary type. After flowering, the heather still serves a number of purposes, being used for brooms, thatching, making beds for the poor, and heating
It is considered lucky to find the white variety. The cross-leaved heath (E. tetralix) is, I think, the prettier flower of the two, though its beauties are not so obvious until we raise its modestly hanging head, which at once reveals the wealth of colour displayed in the shading of its delicate bells. These being carmine-coloured at the base, make the flower apparently darker than it is, the bells being in reality quite white at their mouths and increasing in colour towards the base. This species grows plentifully in peat-bogs and other moist situations on the moors, being generally found in clumps, getting rather straggling above an altitude of 3,000 feet. It is not apparently subject to much variation, though last August I had the good fortune to light on a clump, bearing white flowers ; not a pale transparent, but an opaque creamy-white; there were over thirty blooms, the roots soaking in water. Never having heard of this variety before, I should very much like to know whether any reader of “SCIENCE GOSSIP" has met with it? The common purple heath (E. cinerea) is the least abundant of the three mentioned, being only found on bare rocky ground and the faces of cliffs, where comparatively little moisture accumulates, and is not subject to variation in colour. It occurs at an altitude of 4,000 feet very stunted, about 2,5co suits it best, where I have taken speci
VARIATION OF COLOUR IN PLANTS.-Having read Mr. Jones' interesting notes on the “ Variation of Colours in Plants," I think the following observa. tions made last autumn when staying at Carr Bridge, Inverness-shire, may perhaps be of some interest. The season was an extraordinarily good one from a Botanical point of view, the heather far above the average, every tree and shrub being covered with blossom or fruit, the currant and gooseberry trees had their lower branches dragged down to the ground by the unusual weight of fruit, and the raspberries lasted from about the 15th of August to the same date in September. Wild flowers too, were very fine and numerous, especially “the blue bells of Scotland” (Campanula rotundiflora) occurring for the most part on grassy slopes and the outskirts of corn-fields, where they exhibited great variety both in size and colouring, varying from a deep purple to a very pale blue ; the contrast, however, was greatest in size, some plants preferring quality to quantity, bearing three or four bells per stalk nearly an inch in depth, while others bore double the number but only a quarter of the size. With regard to the white