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waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.”
That the clergy fed on the barnacle goose during Lent, we have conclusive evidence. The great divine Giraldus Cambrensis (or Gerald de Barri), who flourished between A.D. 1147-1222, does not attempt to disprove the miraculous origin of the barnacle goose, but he warns the Irish priests especially to abstain from dining off it during Lent on the plea that it was fish and not flesh, and describes an analogous case to support his words; "If a man during Lent were to dine off a leg of Adam, who was not born of flesh either, we should not consider him innocent of having eaten what is flesh.”
One of the earliest references to this obvious fable is found in “The Voiage and Travaile of Sir John Maundeville Kt.," written in 1356 and dedicated to Edward III., and is as follows: “And natheless I tolde hem, of als gret a marvylle to him, that is amonges us ; and that was of the Bernakes. For I tolde hem, that in our contree weren trees, that beren a fruyt, that becomen briddes fleeynge; and tho that fellen in the water, lyven ; and thei that fallen on the erthe, dyen anon: and the ben right gode to mannes mete. And here of had thei gret marvaylle that some of him trowed, it were an impossible thing to be.” Sir John's geographical position at the time he related this “marvaylle ” is best defined in his own words : “In pasynge be the Lond of Cathaye toward the highe Ynde, and toward Bacharye, men passen to a kyngdom that man clepen Caldilhe ; that is, a full fair contree.” It was in this country that Sir John s6 astonished the natives."
Another writer, Baptisma Porta, states in his “Natural Magic": " Late writers report that not only in Scotland, but also in the river Thames by London, there is a kind of shell-fish in a two-leaved shall that hath a foot full of plaits and wrinkles ... They commonly stick to the keel of some old ships.
.... Some say they come of worms, some of the boughs of trees which fall into the sea; if any of them be cast upon land, they die ; but they which are swallowed still into the sea live and get out of their shells and grow to be ducks or such like birds."
The next witness is John Gerarde, Master in Chirurgerie, the author of a “Herbal, or General History of Plants,” (published in 1597), who gives us therein a chapter headed, “Of the Goose-tree, Barnacle-tree, or the tree bearing geese " and fully discusses the subject in the following terms :
“ There are founde in the north parts of Scotland, and the islands adiacent, called Orchades, certaine trees, whereon doe growe certaine shell-fishes, of a white colour, tending to russet; wherein are conteined little liuing creatures ; which shels in time of maturitie doe open and out of them grow those little Jiuing things ; which falling into the water doe become Soules, whom we call Barnakles, in the north of
England, Brant Geese, and in Lancashire Tree Geese ; and the other that doe fall upon the land perish and come to nothinge. Thus much be the writings of others, and also from the mouth of people of those parts, which may very well accord with truth. But what our eyes have seen and our hands haue touched, we shall describe. There is a small ilande in Lancashire called the Pile of Fouldres, wherein are founde the broken pieces of old bruised ships, some whereof haue been cast thither be shipwreck, and also the trunks and bodies with the branches of old and rotten trees cast up there likewise, whereon is founde a certain spume or froth, that in time breedeth ynto certaine. shels, in shape like those of the muskle, but sharper pointed, and of a whitish colour, wherein is conteined a thing in form like a lace of silk, finely woven, as it were, together, of a whitish colour, one end whereof is fastened vnto the inside of the shell, even as the fish of oysters and muskles are ; the other end is made fast vnto the belly of a rude mass or lump, which in time cometh to the shape and form of a bird ; when it is perfectly formed the shel gapeth open, and the first thing that appeareth is the aforesaide lace or string : next come the legs of the bird hanging out. And as it groweth greater, it openeth the shel by degrees, till at length it is all come forth, and hanging only by the bill. In a short space it cometh to fulle maturitie, and falleth into the sea, where it gathereth feathers and groweth to a foule, bigger than a mallard and lesser than a goose ; hauing blacke legs and bill or beake, and feathers' blacke and white, spotted in such manner as is our magge-pie, called in some places a pie-annet, which the people of Lancashire call by no other name then a Tree-Goose ; which place aforesaid, and all those parts adioining do so much abound therewith that one of the best is bought for threepence. For the truth hereof, if any doubt, may it please them to repaire voto me, and I shall satisfie them by the testimonie of credible witnesses."
Michael Drayton, a minor poet of the Elizabethan age, author of “ Poly-Albion” (1613), a metrical and topographical description of England in thirty volumes, alludes to
“ Th' anatomised fish and fowl from planchers sprung,"
in connection with the river Lee ; and to this line a note is affixed in Southey's edition, to the effect that such fowls were “ Barnacles, a bird breeding on old ships.”
The myth, though attacked by Æneas Sylvius, Albertus Magnus, and others, was defended by Count Maier, who in 1629 wrote a book entitled “ De volucri arborea,” with arguments physical, metaphysical, and theological ; and even so late as 1678 we find the testimony of Sir Robert Moray recorded in the
Philosophical Transactions,” to the effect that he had seen “within the barnacle shell, as through a concave or diminishing glass, the bill, eyes, head, (Umbelliferae), with prolific heads; in growth resembling the old-fashioned hen and chickens daisy.
During April last, I had brought to me, by a student of the college, a head of maize illustrating heterogamy. Normally the male inflorescence is a compound spike on upper part of plant, whilst the female flowers are in simple spikes on the stem below. In the example seen, numerous female flowers (seeding) were produced on the male inflorescence.
CHARLES. T. MUSSON. Hawkesbury Agricultural College, Richmond, New
neck, breast, wings, tail, feet and feathers of the barnacle goose.”
So the myth lived on, and I am informed lives now in the extreme west of Ireland, and also in the Highlands of Scotland. Professor Rolleston, of Oxford, did his share towards eradicating this superstition from the vulgar mind by shedding the light of science upon those darkened by ignorance. He prepared specimens of Lepadidæ in such a way as to show to the best advantage the manner in which the external appearance of Anatisera upheld the theory which derived bernaca, a goose, from bernacula, a shell.
Now a man who had been struck with the similarity of names would only require some slight ocular proof to be convinced of the truth of the hypothesis. The wish being father of the thought, this evidence was soon forthcoming. Away goes our friend and beholds a mass of these barnacles fastened to the keel of a ship or a piece of floating timber, and we all know that “ Distance lends enchantment to the view," so he at once pronounces the foot of the crustacean to be the neck of the bird, and the shell its head, and goes home quite contented, and helps to spread the fable. As for the body of the creature, history gives us no account of it. Non est hic.
No provincial society is doing better or steadier work than the Bristol Naturalists'. We have just received vol. vi., part 3, of their “ Proceedings,” containing papers by Professor C. Lloyd Morgan, C. Bucknall, Dr. Burder, Mr. C. Richardson, H. P. Leonard, Dr. Edgeworth, H. W. Pearson, and others.
A MOST useful “Key to the Genera and Species of British Mosses” has just been issued by the Rev. H. G. Jameson, and published by Messrs. West, Newman & Co., 54 Hatton Garden, at eighteen pence.
The second annual report of the Missouri Botanical Garden, founded by Mr. Shaw, is to hand. The institution' is safe to do good work under the superintendence of Professor W. Trelease. These volumes will be appreciated by botanists all over the world. They are nicely got up, and the plates are admirably drawn and finished.
S you seem to be working up the subject of
Vegetable Teratology, the following notes may perhaps be of use to you.
In the Chronicle of the Agricultural Society of New South Wales, Dr. Woolls records a number of cases, chiefly dealing, however, with double flowers in the Australian native flora. Some of the plants mentioned were originally recorded by Baron Sir F. von Müller. Double flowers occur in Rubus rosifolius, Sm.; Epacris purpurascens, R. Br. ; E. microphylla, R. Br. ; E. impressa, Latreille ; Sprengelia incarnata, Sm.; Astroloma humifusum, R. Br. ; Ranunculus lappaceus, Sm.; Eriostemon obovalis, A. Cunn. ; Boronia pinnata, Sm. ; Convolvulus erubescens, Sims; Wahlenbergia gracilis, A. D'C. With regard to this latter species, naturally of a pretty blue colour, I saw near Alpha, central Queensland, during October 1887, that for miles along the railway line the flowers were abnormally white, not odd ones, but every example out of countless thousands.
Fasciation of branches occurs in Goodenia heterophylla, Sm.
I have myself seen fasciation in young leading shoots of Casuarina (Australian oaks).
During a recent excursion with some members of the Linnean Society of N.S.W., near Sydney, Mr. J. J. Fletcher, M.A., found two fine examples of our native flannel flower, Actinotus helianthi, Labill
To botanists, there is no more interesting or welcome brochure than the report of the Botanical Exchange Club. The Report for last year is fully up to its predecessors in this respect (Manchester, Jas. Collins & Co., King St.).
It is humanly and scientifically interesting to come into contact with what our friends and relatives are doing fourteen thousand miles away. We have before us the “Annual Report of the Stawell School of Mines” &c., for 1891, and a capital bit of work it records. Science means business, not. hobbyism, at the Antipodes !
LE DIATOMISTE. The September part of this. series (No. 6) contains two exquisitely finished. plates. The capital paper by the editor, M. Tempere, is continued, on “Recherche et Récolte des Diatomées."
An old contributor to our columns, Mr. D. McAlpine, some years ago emigrated to Australia, where he has done some good original work, particu
larly in connection with the parasites of the copperheaded snake. We have just received a copy of a very important paper by him, contributed to the Royal Society of Victoria, and reprinted from their Transactions, on “Transverse Sections of Petioles of Eucalyptus, as Aids in the Determination of Species,"
We are pleased to draw the attention of our microscopical readers to Mr. Chas. H. HeskethWalker's “ Price List of Microscopical Specialities and Materials" (12 Church St., Liverpool).
GEOLOGISTS interested in river valley gravels and flint implements, should read Prof. Prestwich's paper (read before the Geological Society) on "The age, formation, and successive drift stages of the valley of the Darent,” with remarks on the palæolithic imple. ments of the district, and on the origin of the chalk escarpment.
The Penzance Natural History and Antiquarian Society, have issued their Report for 1890-91. It contains papers describing charming Cornish excursions, the President's address, one on John Ralfs by E. D. Marquand ; others on Coleoptera, Flints (by J. B. Cornish), the Diptera of West Cornwall (by C. W. Dale), etc.
One of Dr. Riley's most important papers (published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture) is to hand, entitled “Destructive Locusts: a popular consideration of a few of the more injurious Locusts (or grasshoppers) of the United States, together with the best means of exterminating them.”
Nos. 5 and 6 of the Proceedings of the London Amateur Scientific Society contain articles by Professor Boulger, Professor Blake, and Messrs. J. D. Hardy, A. M. Davies, A. H. Williams, and G. W. Butler.
The Liverpool Geological Society is one of the oldest of its kind in England. We have just received the “ Proceedings" of its thirty-two Sessions (edited by Mr. H. C. Beasley). It contains papers (chiefly on local geology) by Dr. Ricketts, Messrs. Beasley, T. M. Reade, I. J. Fitzpatrick, G. H. Morton, E. Dickson, P. Holland, W. G. Clay, and others.
The BLACK Scorer BREEDING IN BRITAIN. I believe that it is generally stated by Ornithological writers that the Black Scoter (Oidemia nigra) has not been known to breed in the British Isles. It will be a novel, and interesting fact, therefore to record that a brood of seven of this duck was found early in September by Mr. Chas. Fowler on the Earnley Marshes, about six or seven miles distant from Chichester. The Rev. H. D. Gordon, the rector of Harting, and author of that, to naturalists especially, pleasurable book “The History of Harting,” to whom I communicated this noteworthy discovery, has writ. ten the following notes, which will it give additional interest to the readers of Science-Gossip. The southward breeding of the Black Scoter, which has only been observed of late years, is a matter which tends to the enrichment of our foreshores in their fauna. The black negresses amongst the ducks (the only part not black is the orange ridge of the upper mandible, making it look like a coot's) have been gradually coming south ; but it may be assumed that this is the first record of the common
or black scoter nesting amongst us. In Yarrell's time the “black duck" bred in high northern latitudes, and generally arrived on Sussex shores in winter. Curiously enough Saunders (p. 454), says “ Without special reference to the Scoters, advantage may be taken to remark upon the perceptible increase that has taken place in the numbers of various species of ducks, which breed in the British Islands since the passing of the Wild Fowl Protection Act in 1876." Saunders' admirable “Manual of British birds" (Gurney and Jackson, 1889) may henceforth include
The last number of the “Essex Naturalist " is to hand, crowded as usual with abundant natural history materials relating to Essex. Among others is an interesting discussion on the Boulder Clay in that county, led off by W. H. Dalton.
“STAMMERING : its Nature and Treatment,” by Emil Behnke, is published in paper covers cheaply, by T. Fisher Unwin. It is one of the best, briefest and most thoughtsul essays on this subject we have read.
Dr. Riley's brochures on “Insect Life" are regularly placed before the public. Every number is marked by careful, and diligent work, good paper, clear print, in short, the perfection almost of scientific periodical literature,
and not, as it now does, exclude—the Scoter from prevented by an operculum or teeth, together with
boxes. When I speak of tubes I mean such as have MONSTROSITY OF CLAUSILIA RUGOSA.—I lately
one end closed. Glass tubing, in rods to be cut into found a specimen of this common snail having two
short cylinders by the purchaser, is most unsafe, as mouths instead of one. Both were sinistral, and of
the wool-plug at one end or the other is constantly equal size, cne forming the aperture of protrusion and liable to be pushed out. Moreover I should imagine the other not communicating with the interior, but that but few would care to take the trouble of cutting fully formed in every particular. I should be glad
up the rods for the small saving effected. Tablets,
putting their shells on tablets, that entomologists have
for carding their beetles, etc. ; though even as to to know if other collectors have noticed a similar
insects the late Mr. Frederick Smith once told me condition. I was impressed by the fact that the
that he would not have undertaken to name the opening in use was colourless, whereas the unused
British Museum collection of Hymenoptera if they one had the normal markings. The conclusion which
had been carded, so many characters are thereby was irresistibly borne in upon my mind by this fact,
hidden. I may add that glass tubes effect a saving is that the snail having fastened himself in by his
in two ways, they are much cheaper in themselves, patent door-apparatus, was unable to let himself out and they occupy much less cabinet-room than glass. again, and was forced to break the wall and add a
capped boxes.-C. P. Gloyne. back-door to his residence. I should be glad to hear
STRANDING OF A HUMPBACKED WHALE ON THE the opinions of other conchologists on this matter.H. Downes.
NORTHUMBRIAN COAST.-What is believed to have
been a specimen of the somewhat rare humpbacked PRESERVING AND ARRANGING SHELLS.-Allow whale (Megaptera boops) was found on the Northme as a collector of many years' standing to give the umbrian coast in the first fortnight of last month. It results of my experience with regard to the safe pre- was first seen floating dead off Craster, but was let servation of shells in collections. The great object alone by the fisherfolk at that place, as they were to be aimed at, and for which no necessary expense
otherwise upied. It then drifted more southward, should be grudged, is, as I have learned by sad and was fetched ashore by the people of Boulmer. I experience, to prevent the shell and the name ticket visited the carcass at this latter place; it had, however, from being separated. For this reason trays are very been skinned before my arrival, but from what unsafe for any shells in whose apertures the ticket observations I was able to make, and the intelligence cannot be securely stuffed. I once lost the names of I gleaned from the natives, I came to the conclusion the greater part of a series of species of Mitra through that it was the species named above. It measured the accidental fall of a drawer in which the specimens twenty-nine feet two inches in length. The throat were in cardboard trays; but a much slighter cause and chest were strongly plicated with broad square-cut than this, a puff of wind, or the breath of the con. grooves running parallel to each other in the direction chologist himself, is often sufficient to produce the of the long axis of the body. The special feature of same result. Pill and chip boxes are so unsightly this whale is the great size, or rather length, of the that I fancy but few would care to use them. Glass. Aippers, to which its scientific designation Megaptera capped boxes are undoubtedly the best, except for points. They are white, whereas the colour of the very minute or very elongated shells, which are better rest of the body is dark grey. It differs from the in tubes; they are, however, very expensive. The Rorqual in being more squat in form, i.e. greater in plan I have adopted as best combining efficiency girth, in proportion to its length. The blubber and with economy is this. 1. All shells which have no whalebone are comparatively worthless, and in fact opercula or teeth in the mouth, and which are large this species is not, I believe, commonly pursued by enough to have the name securely placed in the whalers. If, as all the available evidence seems to aperture, are loose. 2. All shells of which the show, this was a humpback, it will, I think, be found diameter does not exceed that of a fourteen-milli- to be only about the fourth on record for the British metre tube are, unless very fiat, put in tubes. 3. All coast. One was killed on the coast near Newcastle shells too large for tubes but not large enough to in 1839 ; one in the estuary of the Dee in 1863, and have their names in their mouths, or in which that is one in the mouth of the Tay, in the winter of 1883-4.
The skeleton of the second example is preserved in the Liverpool Museum.-H. 3. Torpey.
VERONICA CHAMÆDRYS.—The grub mentioned by your correspondent Mr. Woodruffe Peacock as causing a distortion of the upper leaves of this plant is no doubt that of Cecidomyia Veronica. See Frank's Pflanzenkrankheiten, (Schemks' Handbuch der Botanik, vol. i. p. 547). The insect is a near relation of the Hessian fly (Cecidomya destructor) and of the wheat midge (C. tritici), both of which are fully described in Miss Ormerod's “Manual of Injurious Insects.”—D. H. Scott.
ON THE SUPPOSED DISCOVERY OF PSEUDOPODIA IN DIATOMS.—We are much pleased to insert the fol. lowing paper, by Mr. G. H. Bryan (an old contributor, but youthful and promising scientist) from the “International Journal of Microscopy, &c. " :-At the recent meeting of the British Association in Cardiff, Mr. J. G. Grenfell read a paper “On some species of Dia. toms with Pseudopodia,” in which he announced that the pseudopodia of diatoms have at last been observed. The species on which they were dis. covered belong not to the motile, but to the fixed forms, being of the genera Melosira and Cyclotella. The discovery was made at an excursion of the Quekett Club to the Botanical Gardens, Regent's Park, where Mr. Grenfell found the diatoms swarming all over the surface of one of the ornamental pieces of water, forming quite a little cloud of a nearly pure gathering. At a subsequent visit he was unable to obtain such pure gatherings, but the diatoms were still present, and he collected a quantity of material for future observations. The pseudopodia were seen under a dth object-glass, and nearly all belonged to a small kind of Melosira, whose frustules were mostly simply united in pairs, though they sometimes formed short chains. The frustules of this diatom were very soft and hardly at all siliceous, and they were destroyed by boiling in acid. Mr. Kitton thought the diatoms were a variety of Melosira varians, but Mr. Grove had never seen pseudopodia attached to M. varians, and doubted their belonging to that species. At the second visit, Cyclotella Kutsingiana was found abundantly in the locality in question, with pseudopodia attached. Mr. Grenfell afterwards found diatoms with pseudopodia at Stanstead in Hertfordshire, and at Westbury in Wiltshire he found many of the streams swarming with a delicate Melosira, which was covered with pseudopodia. Probably, further observations will show that such diatoms are by no means uncommon, and that they are widely distributed over the country. The pseudopodia are quite invisible when the diatoms are immersed in water, and the best way of seeing them is to dry the
diatoms by allowing the water containing them to evaporate gently on the cover. The appendages will then be seen spreading out in all directions, often thickly matted together. They may be stained with an aqueous solution of gentian violet, with methyline blue, or with suchsine. A solution of borax-carmine stains the bases only, while alcoholic stains fail altogether. After staining, the diatoms may be mounted in balsam. In no case were the pseudopodia seen to move; they appeared to be stiff and non-contractile. They are arranged fairly symmetrically round the frustule, their number being usually from seventeen to twenty, though occasionally, as in the genus Cyclotella, there are as many as thirty-four pseudopodia, arranged with remarkable regularity. The pseudopodia are usually perfectly straight, but sometimes they are branched. Sometimes their surface is beaded or granular, and sometimes they are quite thick and even slightly siliceous at the base, but in all cases they were found to be destroyed by heat. They always seem to spring from the large markings on the frustule, but sometimes two pseudopodia seemed able to fuse into one another. The frustules were generally united in two's and rarely in longer filaments. Mr. Grenfell supposed that the pseudopodia have three uses : they serve as protections, as floats to sustain the diatom, and for the purpose of attaching it to other objects. The author did not think that they bear any analogy to the processes of Chætoceros. Mr. Grove had sug. gested that the pseudopodia were simply extensions of a gelatinous investing layer, but Mr. Grenfell doubts this. It might also be thought that the ap. pearance was due to some rhizopod, such as a Vambrella, investing the diatom, but such cannot be the case. Over two hundred frustules of Melosira, all furnished with pseudopodia, were found in one dip of the material, and in no case did Mr. Grenfell see any trace of an investing animalcule. Moreover, such an animal. cule would very rapidly kill and devour the diatom, whereas Mr. Grenfell found that the diatoms remained alive for a considerable time. The author also pointed out that if the pseudopodia belonged to an investing organism, it would be highly improbable that they would be distributed symmetrically round the frustule. The pseudopodia bear considerable resemblance to those of certain heliozoa, such as Archerina Boltoni. This animalcule occurred in abundance in the later gatherings which Mr. Grenfell made at the Regent's Park; and it was not improbable that the diatoms might occasionally be mistaken for rhizopods, especially where both were found in the same gathering. The remarkable similarity between the pseudopodia of Melosira and Cyclotella and those of Archerina, when considered in conjunction with the presence of cellulose in Archerina, would seem to indicate a greater affinity than that already known to exist between the more lowly forms of the animal and vege.