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the others a neutral tint. The tentacles vary much; which is touched, and in colour and appearance in one they are of a grass green; in the other three exactly resembles a very minute electrical spark, shades of grey and violet specked with white. Two perfectly sharp and distinct, not at all like the light of the latter have a rim of bright crimson round the from dead shell-fish.--E. T. Scott. mouth, and these have the rays of the disc more clearly marked than the others. The largest of the
GuaxO AND GUANO-BIRDS. Much has been four, which is least attractive in its colouring, stands
spoken about the Guano Islands during the last about five inches high without the column being war between Spain and Peru. The three Chincha fully stretched, and more than five inches in Islands contain more than 12,000,000 tons of it; diameter of flower. Turning to another branch of the contents of the Lobos, Guañape, and other small natural history, you may like to hear that a Great islands is not known. From 1841-first year of the Northern Diver, in mature plumage, was brought exploitation--to the 31st December, 1860, the to me alive yesterday. It was found on the beach exportation amounted to 4,026,174 tons, valuing at Porth Crepa, too weak to make any effort to
200 million dollars, or average value 10 millions of escape. It was probably driven here from a great piastres a year; the exportation of 1864 reached distance by the recent storms, for, though it was 14 million dollars. The following birds are the great miserably poor, it refused fresh fish, and died in contributors to the produce :-The variegated gannet the morning, apparently of exhaustion. It is or Piquero (Dysporus variegatus, Ch. B.); different twenty-two inches long.--D. P. Alford, Dec. 9. sorts of sea-gulls, or bariota (Blasipus Bridgesiï, LATE SWALLOWS.-Hearing, last weck, Swallows
Ch. B. &c., &c.); the Alcatraz (Pelecanus s. Orocro.
talus thagus, Wagler.); the inca tern or Zarcillo have been seen on the wing in Norwich and its
(Sterna inca, Less.); the Potoyanco (Pufinuria vicinity, I wished to ascertain the truth of such an
Garnotii, Less.); the Pájaro niño (Spheniscus Humunusual occurrence. On inquiry, I found the state
boldti); different sorts of cormorants, or Cuervos de ment to be correct. A friend of mine informed me that on the 4th and 5th instant he saw them at
mar (Carbo cormoranus), (Stictocarbo Gaimardi, Ch. Carrow and Bracondale, and on the 6th, 7th, and
B.), (Hypoleucus Bougainvillii, Less.); the Anhinga Sth they were circling round the Castle Hill; but
(Plotus anhinga, L.), &c.-Bernardin. their flight in both cases was languid. I can only
Bees AND FRUIT.- The season for collecting suppose these birds were hatched too late in the
honey this year was very short. After Midsummer autumn to gain strength enough of wing to migrate
my bees did not add to their stores. When the with the rest of their companions. Has any corre- fruit became ripe they took the place of the wasps, spondent noticed a similar appearance of these birds
which are very scarce.
I don't remember ever in any other part of England ?-E. .1., Norwich,
seeing them take to the fruit before as they have Dec. ll.
done this year, but don't think they obtained any PIOSPHORESCENCE OF THE SEA.- In the number honey from it, or carried any of it to their hives. of SCIENCE-Gossip for November there is an article They most probably lived on it, instead of consuming on the Phosphorescence of the Sea--that when their scanty stock of honey, keeping that for more animalculæ of any kind are concerned, the light pressing times. The quantity of honey collected by always proceeds from an electrical spark. I do not each stock has been small in the neighbourhood. undertake to say, though I cannot help fancying it Thc honey-producing flowers did not appear this does, from many experiments I have made. There year as usual; the extreme dryness of last year, I is a small kind of Medusa to be found on some parts believe, killed them. I found most of my stocks of the coast, which I have caught sometimes when wanted feeding in October, to enable them to stand the sca has been luminous. It is about half an inch through the winter. My plan is to make a syrup of in diameter, and of an hemispherical shape, withi, I 2 lbs. of lump sugar to 1 pint of water; this I place think, five rays proceeding from the centre to the in a feeding pan on the top of the hive, opening circumference. This shows the light very beautifully, the aperture so that only the bees in the live can and can be examined in the microscope. By touch- get at it. They will take it in frecly, if the weather ing any one of the rays, or the part of the body is warm, and store it for winter use. I put some where they are situated, the animal seems to be pieces of old comb, which I always keep by me for irritated, and a small spark of light, just like a the purpose, into the pan, to prevent the bees spark of electricity, is emitted along that and drowning. I was very near losing one of my best may be repeated at any one of the others. The stocks this season in feeding them; not having put shape of the animal--a kind of plain convex lens- sufficient comb in the pan, the weather suddenly causes the light at a little distance to illuminate the changed to cold, and the bees ceased to take the whole body; but it will always be found to be a food in. It was quite by chance I went to look how sudden spark along one of the rays, and is evidently they were going on, when I was very much surprised voluntary, being given ont at that part of the body to find the queen-bee struggling in the syrup and
nearly dead. I was not long in extricating her OBJECTS IN TUMULI.-- Various small objects, from her perilous situation, and a little warmth soon entire and perforated, have been met with in revived her; and on restoring her to her loving tumuli. They are made of different materials, and subjects they immediately began to lick her, and she were chieily used as ornaments. They might, howsoon retired out of sight. I never saw the queen- ever, have been sometimes employed for purposes bee at the feeding-pan before.-P.P.
of exchange, as beads are still used in the slave
trade in Western Africa. Among Roman remains, GEOLOGY.
as at Richborough, beads and buttons, in various
coloured glass, have been picked up in some THE SHALE HEAP.—What is a shale heap? And quantity. The ancient Britons were accustomed to what possible interest does it present worthy the select objects already perforated, as the Dentalium, attention of the readers of SCIENCE-Gossip? To a cylindrical marine shell, which they strung tothe first question I answer: A large heap of refuse gether to form necklaces-a neck ornament of this will be found at all collieries; but the shale heap is kind, with a bronze dagger and clay beads, having only found at those collieries working the low main been discovered not long since, in a tumulus at bed of coal, and is formed principally of the black, Winterbourne Stoke, near Salisbury. In company slaty stone- hence its name—which immediately with Dentalia, joints of the stem of a Pentacrinile, overlies the above-mentioned bed of coal, varying a fossil Echinoderm of the Hampshire chalk, were in thickness at different collieries in this district. found in a tumulus near Salisbury; and a Diadema, It will be found at Dudley and the Cramlingtons to a fossil Echinus from the chalk, was also found in a run about two inches in thickness, although I have barrow in the same neighbourhood. It is now in fell in with pieces at Newsham Colliery more than the possession of the Rev. E. Duke, and, as it is four times that thickness. To the second question : perforated, was doubtless worn by its former posThe shale heap is interesting to the naturalist and sessor to decorate the person. Beads of jet and the collector of fossils for microscopic objects. amber are sometimes found in tumuli. The Orbi. Vegetable fossils will occasionally be met with, but tolinæ globularis, a small foraminiferous chalk fossil, it consists chiefly of fish remains, such as jaws, often naturally perforated, occurs in drift deposits. spines, teeth, scales, and loose bones. For a very They have been mistaken for fossil beads, and were obvious reason, jaws and spines are not so readily supposed to furnish some proof of man's existence at met with as teeth and loose bones. Some very fine the remote period of the drift, as the perforations specimens, however, of jaws have been found, vary- were thought to have been artificially made. The ing considerably in the number of teeth attached to holes, however, when they occur, for there are them; but when ground and mounted, and examined imperforate as well as partially bored Orbitolina, through the microscope, present a most beautiful show the natural structure of the organism, and, it and interesting object. In no instance liave I found, is suggested in the catalogue of the Salisbury in my few years' experience as a fossil seeker, among Museum, may have occurred from the orbitolina this shale the slightest trace of the impression of a having grown around the stem of some marine fish; while in the thin dark blue layer of stone, plant. I am not aware that these small objects which crops out at the crag near Cullercoats, they were used as ornaments by the Celtic people, appear to be common; the impression found there although, from their being commonly met with, it is planted on the stone in a most excellent manner. is not unlikely that such was the case. The Celts, But no jaws, teeth, or scales, to the best of my like other uncivilized races, doubtless availed themknowledge, are found there. On two occasions, selves of any pretty natural objects for personal lately, parties of gentlemen from Newcastle and
adornment which came in their way, whether the South Shields paid a visit to the shale heaps at objects were perforated or not.-J. S., St. Mary Dudley and the Cramlingtons, with leather bags Bourne, Hants. suspended from shoulder, hammer and chisel in liaud, splitting and breaking, and splitting again until a bone, tooth, or jaw was found, which was
BOTANY. immediately bagged, with as much interest as a disciple of Izaak Walton would creal a member of AN AUSTRALIAN BURR.-A kind of burr, not the finny tribe just drawn from its native element, before observed, is likely to become a pest to the to the no little amusement of the youngsters, and wool-growers in Australia. Dr. Mueller gives the to the utter amazement of several of the seniors of following account of it:—“The plant submitted for the colliery village, as to what the gentlemen could my inspection is scientifically called Acuena Sangui. want or find among the black stones on the pit sorba, and is a native of Australia, where it ranges heaps, although there are others courteous and from the southern borders of Queensland to St. willing to assist them whenever they come. - John Vincent's Gulf. We have no English name as yet Sim, miner, West Cramlington Colliery.
I established for the plant. The generic word,
'acaena,' alludes to the prickly nature of the fruit; sandstones more or less compact, and that in moss the specific, to the resemblance which this plant un- cases, though not all, it seems to have been accudoubtedly shows to the British Burnets (Sanguisorba mulated near the mouths of large rivers or low and Poterium). Like its European prototypes, this swampy flats, and in estuaries, are facts and inferacaena seems not to possess any really important ences that include the results of recent discoveries useful properties, otherwise they are as yet not as- and investigations in this matter. - Ansted's Praccertained. The prickly fruits readily adhere to tical Geology. wearing apparel, fleeces, &c., and are thus easily
BOTANICAL CONGRESS.-An International Horticarried about. To destroy a perennial plant like
cultural Exhibition and Botanical Congress is anthis where it abounds, I see no other means than
nounced to be held in London, in May, 1866. The ploughing it in.”—Ferd. Müller.
Congress will be restricted to two morning meetCOCO DE MER.-(S. G. Vol. I., p. 270.) A doubt is
ings, when papers, previously printed and accom
panied by translations, will be read and discussed. expressed whether the stem of the Lodoicea palm
The chair will be taken by M. Alphonse de Candolle, remains quite straight, undisturbed by tropical
who will deliver an opening address. Dr. Berthol storms, or is so flexible that trees standing in each
Seemann is honorary secretary to the Congress, to other's vicinity strike against each other, making an
whom any communications should be addressed. extraordinay noise. In a very interesting article, on the Coco de Mer, published February, 1863, in the Technologist, by Mr. G. Clark, who seems to have
MICROSCOPY. been on the spot, it is said “in strong breezes the plant bend considerably, while their elasticity causes REFLECTION ON THE RETINA.-During the sumthem to wave in the most graceful manner.” Of the mer, having the chrysalis of musquito under a low root, the same writer says :-“The root is in some power of the microscope, the part under immediate cases bellshaped, and in other nearly hemispherical observation being the eye, which in this state of the and a vast number of rootlets radiate from it in all creature's existence is simple, I was much pleased directions except upwards; these extend to a great and surprised to see the window-frame, and consedistance around it, and form admirable stays to resist quently any object presented to the pupa's eye rethe strain which the play of so long a lever subjects flected on the retina. The hand with the fingers in them; and so well do they perform their office, that motion was beautifully defined. I employed dayI have never known an instance of a Coco de Mer light and no condenser, the power not more than having been blown down.”-Bernardin.
eight diameters. I have never seen this mentioned
in any work on microscopy, and hope some of your VEGETABLE ORIGIN OF COAL.—Though exhibit- readers may succeed in obtaining a sight of this ining little structure, there is no doubt of the vegetable teresting object.-S., Oporto. origin of all coal. In some cases, shells and remains
MOUNTING CRYSTALS.-I have been engaged of insects, fishes, and even small reptiles, have been found embedded with coal, but there are no appear
lately with crystalization in connection with the miances of aqueous deposits of this kind in the sub
croscope and polarized light. I have only a few
hours occasionally to devote to the pursuit at night stance of the mineral. Evidence of the mode of ac
after business, and I have no doubt a great many cumulation may no doubt be detected, not only in the position of the innumerable leaves, twigs, and
other amateur microscopists are similarly situated.
It is therefore a great disappointment, night after stems of plants, in the neighbouring clays and sand
night, to lose beautiful slides through not knowing in stones, but in the substance of the coal itself. But
what medium to mount them. For instance, last night all kinds of coal have been so greatly altered in their
I prepared two slides of pyrogallic acid and chronic conversion, they have lost so much of various sub
acid. If I tried to mount them "dry," they absorbed stances commonly present in plants, in addition to
moisture from the air and returned to a liquid state; carbon; they have become so compacted and are
and in pure," Canada balsam” or “glycerine” they reduced so thoroughly to the condition of a simple
dissolved. Could not some one thoroughly experimineral, that the absence of vegetable structure
enced and conversant in, and with the matter, precannot be wondered at. It still remains a mystery low coal was formed, or what combinations were
pare a list of salts, and opposite each name put the
appropriate medium or mediums for that particular necessary to produce it. In most cases, especially
salt?-W.S. in thick beds, it represents a mass of vegetation that must have taken many years, or a large area, to ac
ALEYRODES. - This is a very pretty object precumulate, but yet in some instances there is proof pared for the microscope by mounting in a dark that it must bave been accumulated rapidly. That cell the perfect insect and its pupa case. The Aleyit is generally associated with certain shales, with rodes is a tiny white-winged creature, like a small ronstones, either in nodules or bands, and with moth, about the size of a large pin's head, found in
clusters under pear-tree leares, and cabbage leaves. water. Now arrange the brushes in their proper Sometimes they rise in a crowd from the shaken places with the needlepoints, and after placing the branch or leaf, and settle again as mere dots upon glass slip over the trunk for the second time, put the neighbouring plants. They multiply with great aside. An American clip may be used to keep the rapidity; one moth will produce 200,000 aleyrodes glasses in close proximity, when the whole has been in twelve generations. Their transformations are finally arranged. If too great pressure be emvery interesting and curious. The little group of eggs ployed, either in pinching the head, or placing the is so small that they appear as a mere film of white glasses in the first part of the process, the delicate powder on the leaf. The lava is a flat semi-trans- tissues will be ruptured, and all the labour thrown parent scale upon the surface of the stem or leaf, away. When the mounter is satisfied that the having a folded hair-like proboscis, with which it specimen is perfectly dry, he must then, with a sharp pierces the plant, and sucks its juices, doing con- microscopic knife, remove the head from the prosiderable injury thereby. The pupa case which is boscis by a clean cut. The lead is by no means to mounted with the perfect insect is like a fairy slip- be squeezed by the glasses like the proboscis, but per, fringed with golden dots, or seemingly set with must be kept outside their edges. All he has to do topaz on silver stems; it is open at the top, where now, is to saturate the object with turpentine, and the aleyrodes emerged after its brief trance. The mount in balsam in the usual manner. In the moth, which is not a moth, is worth minute examin- preparation, frequent recourse must be had to a lens, ation. When first I saw this pretty little creature, I as the task is a difficult one, needing plenty of care thought it was the moth of a leaf-roller or leaf- and patience. One of the best of Topping's beauminer (this was in the early days of my study in tiful slides of this object should be taken as a natural history), but placing it under the microscope, standard. I have seen the proboscis of the blow-fly the wings were not those of a lepidoptera ; they had prepared after a different plan. I think as follows: no scales or feathers, were covered with a white The extreme end of the trunk is cut off with fine mealy dust; it had no long proboscis, and only a scissors, and mounted in glycerine, so as to show short antennæ; the eyes werc divided into two sets, the spirals as nearly as possible in the natural state. on each side; the joints of the feet only two; and The former mods, though undoubtedly the most from all these signs it could not be a moth. Then I effective, hardly gives a true notion of the relative supposed it to be a coccus; but, further examina- position of the parts. I am not aware that particular tion proved this to be not so, although the relation- instructions are given in any book relative to the ship is very ncar. The coccus in the winged state preparation of this subject, and I do not know what has only turo wings, the aleyrodes has four. The may be Topping's plan. The above directions are coccus has only one joint in its feet, and this insect the result of an accidental discovery after many has two. Also, both male and female aleyroids are vexatious failures. Erperientia docet.-S. N'Intire. winged, whereas the female coccus always remains in a scale-like, quiescent state. The aleyrodes rank amongst the Homoptera or tribe which comprises the How to MOUNT TIE PROBOSCIS OF THE Blowgreen-fly or Apis, the musical Cicada, the strange FLY.-In answer to your querist, “T. S.,” as to a foreign Lanthorn Fly (Fulgora) and the coccus; but
method of preparing and mounting the tongues of is in the border-land between the Lepidoptera and flies, I beg to send the following, which I have found the Aphides, a connecting link which renders this to give good results. Sever the head from the preparation particularly interesting. – L. Lane thorax, and gently squeeze it between the thumb and Clarke,
forefinger, when the tongue will be projected out; soak the whole for two or three days in liquor
potassæ, and well wash it in clean water; lay the How to MOUNT THE PROBOSCIS OF THE Blow- head flat on a slide, and then with a needle and fine FLY.—The spreading and mounting of the proboscis camel-hair brush arrange the various parts. Place of the blow-fly is a process which depends for suc- another slide gently on the tongue so as not to discess entirely upon the dexterity and practice of the arrange it, and submit the whole to pressure in a operator. The head must be taken fresh from the clip until dry. The tongue may then be cut from insect, and gently pinched with the finger and the head with fine scissors, soaked for about fortythumb between the eyes. The fluids will cause the eight hours in turpentine, and mounted in balsam. proboscis to swell, and now is the time adroitly to Too long steeping in turpentine bleaches too much. apply a glass slide, and get the trunk somewhat into I may as well state that I have a dozen or so position; then, without relaxing the pressure, mounted specimens of the tonguc and lancets of the another glass slip must be gently placed over the drone-fly, which I shall be happy to exchange for expanded proboscis, and the whole put by to dry. other well-mounted objects, or will forward a slide, When this is accomplished, the operator must return post free, to any address on receipt of ten postage to the attack, and moisten the specimen with clean stamps.-William Frede. Rogers.
was exactly the same-ten gallons an hour.-W. Alford Lloyil, Zoological Gardens, llamburg.
FISH IN AQUARIA.-Since the communication at
SEIZED BY A PIKE.-I am indebted for the page 284, vol. I., I have had an opportunity of seeing
following to Dr. Genzik :-“In 1829 I was bathing two living Sand Lances (.Ammodytes lancca) in the
in tlie swimming school at Vienna with some fellowaquarium of Mr. A. H. Meyer, of Hamburg. He
students, when one of them-afterwards Dr. Gouge, has had them for some weeks, aid at present they who died a celebrated physician some years ago are quite well, in a tank measuring about four feet
suddenly screamed out and sank. We all plunged long, two feet broad, and eighteen inches high, with
in immediately to his rescue, and succeeded in about four inches of fine sand on the bottom. They
bringing him to the surface, and finally, in getting were got at Kiel, on the Baltic, and are in Baltic
him up on to the hoarding of the batlı, a pike was sea water, which is much less salt than ordinary sea
found sticking fast to his right beel, which would water, the latter containing about 26 per mil of
not loose its hold, but was killed, and caten by all soluble matters, while the former has only from 12
of us in company the same evening. It weighed to 14 per mil, or even less. The fishes pass most
32 lbs. Gouge suffered for monthis from the bitc."of their time buried out of sight in the sand, but as
Pennell's “ Book of the Pike." they are known to be always at one particular spot they can be stirred up with a stick, when they swim about for a few moments (generally with their heads PILCHIARDS IN MELBOURNE.-From politics to towards the light, and their noses to the hinder glass pilcliards is not a change of topics more sudden and side of the tank), with an uneasy, rapid, wriggling abrupt than was the arrival about a month ago in our motion, and presently they dash down into the sand bay of immense shoals of this beautiful and nutrici. with such instantaneousress that they disappear ous little fish. They were a novelty in our waters, before the subsidence of the little cloud of sand and they came in such prodigious numbers that one which they raise in the act of vanishing. They have shoal is described by the captain of a vessel sailing not been seen to eat anything. Nothing else but through it) as not less than three miles long. They these two creatures are in the tank, and this, con- were caught in tons, and sold about the streets of nected with the facts that the tank is in a cool Melbourne at sixpenee a bucket full. As the drought cellar, with a current ever passing through the has caused butchers' meat to be very dear at present, water, explains the cause of success. My specimens these fish were welcomed as a timely supplement to were obtained in warm weather. These fislı would the table, and the butchers of Williams' Town not do with sea anemones, as they would be in- memorialized the borough council praying that the evitably caught by the latter, The Smelt, too fishermen should be compelled to use nets of a larger (Osuerus eperlurus), I have now succeeded in keep- mesh, that the new competion might be eased off to ing better than formerly, but I have it in fresh water the memorialists. During the last few days, hownot in sea water as before, and in a large, broad,
ever, these fish have been dying in millions in the shallow, and cool tank, with a fountain always bay, and will probably soon disappear as suddenly playing in it. Under the same circumstances, I and mysteriously as they came.- Velbourne Correalso maintain the Schnäpel (Coregonus oxyrhynchus), spondent of the Times. a fish not found in Britain, and belonging to the same genera as the Gwyniad, of Wales (Coregonus lavaretus), and the Vendace, of Scotland (Coregonus
Short-FINNED TUNNY (Thunnus brachypterus).-Willoughbii). These two fishes, belonging to the This fish is a native of the Mediterrancan, where, same family as the Salmon and the Trout, are perhaps, it is equally common with the Tunny, with dislicult to maintain in aquaria, and it is surprising which it appears to have been confounded until what an apparently small matter affects them. A distinguished by the discriminating examination trifling variation of temperature, a little impurity, of Baron Cuvier. But it appears to be less a or a difference between the oxygenating surfaces of wanderer into the ocean than that fish, and there is two tanks, is a matter of life or death to them. For no record of its having been caught in the British example, on placing some Schnäpel and Smelt in a Seas until the summer of 1963, when an example 300 gallon fresh water tank, with a surface of water was discovered among the numbers of small mackerel of 25 square feet and a temperature of 60° F., the taken near Meragissey, in Cornwall, in the drift fishes turned up immediately, and would have died nets, and sent to me by Mr. M. Dunn, an intellegent in a few minutes, but on being transferred to a tank fisherman of that place. This first example was of the same capacity, 300 gallops, but with a water obtained on the 8th of August, and it is worthy of surface of 48 square feet, and a temperature of 55° notice that within a week afterwards a specimen F., they revived immediately, and are still alive. was taken at Polperro, and .in September three Yet the amount of water running into botlı tanks others at Mevagissey.--Couch's British Fishes.