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TN the Gentleman's Magazine for August, 1866, them frequently in the water and on the land, and I appeared an article entitled, “Notes on a young often running up the trees. Upon this statement, Crocodile found in a Farm-yard at Over-Norton, Mr. Phillips offered his wondering workmen a guinea Oxfordshire,” by George R. Wright, F.S.A. As for another specimen, adding the remark that they the subject may be of interest to many of our had killed an animal of a most rare character, and readers, we have extracted from the article in one he thought, in spite of all they said, they would question, and the publishers have kindly placed the have some difficulty in meeting with again. Mr. illustrations at our disposal.
Phillips then proceeded to preserve the little reptile, "Whilst on a visit in Oxfordshire, at the farm- which he did by carefully skinning it, and setting it house of a then tenant of mine at Over-Norton, in the position I subsequently saw it, and which near Chipping Norton, I first saw the little reptile the drawing annexed faithfully depicts. Seeing how already referred to, in a glass case, where other specimens of animals and birds were well arranged and kept, the whole having been preserved by my tenant, Mr. William Phillips, who is well known in that part of the world as a keen sportsman and good naturalist. On noticing at once the peculiarities of the little animal, I asked Mr. Phillips how and where it was found, when to my great surprise, as well as increasing interest, he told me, as well as I can now recollect, the following story of its discovery:
"He said, that one morning, in the year 1856 or '7, I can hardly now say for certain which, as he was walking in his farm-yard at Over.Norton, his attention was attracted by the sight of, as he at first thought, a lizard, lying in the gutter, evidently but
Fig. 2. Jately killed, its bowels protruding from a wound in its belly. Upon, however, taking it up, he soon much interest I took in the affair, Mr. Phillips prediscovered that the animal was not a lizard, and he | sented the little animal to me to bring to London, immediately asked his labourers, who were close by, as I told him I should be able, through some of my unstacking some faggots for the use of the house, if friends in town, to find out more about it. My they knew anything about it. The answer was that friend in reply remarked that it had already been to they had killed it as it ran out of the stack of London, and been shown at the British Museum, wood, I think the day before; and on Mr. Phillips but to whom he could not say; and that the opinion expressing his regret at their having done so without he had received of it was to the effect that it was a bringing it to him alive, they replied they could young crocodile, and had very likely been dropped in easily get him another, as at the place where the a rain shower, or perhaps had escaped from some wood was cut, a few miles from the farm, near to travelling menagerie. As both these ideas or sugChipping Norton Common, and not far from the gestions were in my mind entirely out of the question, village of Salford, at the 'Minny' Pool-which I and as Mr. Phillips strengthened my belief, especially presume is a shortened form of Minnow—they saw | as regarded the latter suggestion, by saying that the Minny Pool' was several miles away from any high first used balsam dissolved in chloroform about five road, I resolved on my arrival in London to consult years ago, and that my slides, put up at that time, my old schoolfellow and attached friend, Dr. Vesalius are as perfect now in every respect as they were Pettigrew, on the subject of the little animal's when first mounted, and quite as secure. I have history and habits, as I well knew I could not refer never used anything else since, except in mounting the matter to a more safe or competent naturalist diatoms, when I use the ordinary balsam ; my reason to determine all that I wished to know, respecting for so doing I will explain further on. I will now the little fellow's birth, parentage, and education. return to the balsam and chloroform.
" The result of my inquiry was that Dr. Pettigrew | I first dry the balsam until it becomes quite hard, pronounced the reptile a young crocodile, with a | and a ready (way of doing this is to pour it into a mother and father, as he laughingly remarked, as | large pomade pot, the larger the area the quicker long as the hearthrug in his room, or even longer, will be the process of hardening. I then place it in but how it had been found and killed in this country, the kitchen oven after the fire has gone out, care he could not venture an opinion upon. At his re- being taken that the temperature is not too high, or quest I left the young reptile with him, to show to the balsam will be discoloured. This operation his friend Mr. Frank Buckland, who afterwards not must be repeated for five or six nights, when it will only confirmed Dr. Pettigrew's views as to the (with a layer of about an eighth of an inch deep) character of the reptile, but subsequently, in a become quite hard, so that it may be chipped out description of it in the Field newspaper, narrated with a knife. The pot must be kept closely covered, the circumstances attending its discovery, giving it during the drying, to keep out all dust, but it would as his opinion that it had escaped from some tra- be as well to raise the cover now and then to allow velling show-a thing not uncommon, as he attested the vapour to escape. by the instances of several such escapes that had When the drying has been completed, a sufficient come under his notice with little animals of a similar quantity must then be put into the chloroform, description, although he did not venture to say he until it becomes of the consistency of an ordinary had ever heard of a young crocodile being found alive varnish, or if any thing rather more fluid. As a some time after, in the country or town. This letter matter of course it must be kept in a stoppered I replied to at the time, and I then gave the account bottle; a two ounce bottle with a small neck being of the discovery of the little creature in a similar a convenient size. The balsam being now prepared way to which I have done now. I forget the date we will proceed to its application. of these letters, but they will be found in the Field Every amateur must know that the objects after newspaper for, I think, the years 1861 or 1862. No
think the years 1861 or 1862. No dissection and soaking in liquor potassæ (those that further correspondence appeared on the subject, nor require it), must be thoroughly dried before they are have I ever heard from my friend Mr. Phillips of placed in the turpentine bath; unless this is carethe finding another specimen in or about his farm,
fully attended to the “milky” appearance, comalthough, in addition to his reward of one guinea,
plained of by “T. B. N.” in the last number, will be I offered two, for another specimen, dead or
the result, which renders the objects worthless for alive."*
As some objects require but little or no arrangeMOUNTING IN BALSAM AND
ment after taken out of the liquor potasse, they can
be thoroughly washed in warm water and placed on CHLOROFORM.
the slides in the position they are intended perMUHE treatises on “Mounting" that have hitherto manently to occupy, and the cover tied on with a
1 been published, contain but scant information piece of thread, and put away to dry in a warm on this subject. Davies in his work, about the best place well protected from dust. When they are and most recent, mentions it, but does not go perfectly dry, the slides, with the object and cover sufficiently into the details to enable a beginner to thus secured, can be placed in the turpentine bath adopt it; and as “E. G. M.” asks for an opinion in a flat position; a sardine box answers admirably from one who has tried it, I am induced to give the for this purpose, and by packing them one above the result of my experience with it, together with other, one box will hold about a dozen slides. some few instructions, which I trust will be of
It will be necessary to keep them in turpentine service to the beginner.
for two or three days, according to the nature of the I may state for "E. G. M.'s” satisfaction, that I object, and when taken out, place them on edge to
allow the turpentine to drain off; they should be * The length of the little creature, as far as it is now possible kept in this position for about an hour, when they to get at it, the skin having shrunk and become very dry, seems to be about 12 to 13 inches from the tip of the nose to
will be ready for fixing. Now take the bottle conthe end of the tail, from the tip of the nose to the crown of
taining the balsam, and drop on, close to the cover, the head about 2 inches, the front legs 14 inches and the
a small portion; it will be observed to rush between hinder ones about 2 inches long.
| the cover and slide, permeate the object, and drive
all the air before it. The slides may now be put on, lamp. As the balsam warms, the cover will gradually one side in a flat position for a day or so before they descend to its place without the least chance of air are subjected to heat; then place them on a tray, | bubbles being confined; a little gentle pressure and still in a flat position, and put them in the oven, , the cover will be secure. after the fire has been taken out; when, with two or | Clapham.
JAMES ROWLEY. three nights' baking, the balsam will become quite hard and the slides can be cleaned. For this operation I should recommend an old penknife blade with
DIATOMS. a sbarp point heated in the flame of the spirit lamp, | M ANY persons have heard of these beautiful and run round the cover; the balsam can then be
1 objects, and those who possess a microscope chipped off without the risk of chipping the cover. I have no doubt often wished to have specimens to The above method answers very well if you can
examine; and the object of this paper is to tell them depend upon the objects being thoroughly clean be
when, where, and how to collect and mount them in fore the cover is tied on, but with some this is un
the most advantageous manner. certain, as they require well pressing before the | The Diatomaceæ (for that is the name of the group fatty matter they contain can be got rid of. As a
I intend to describe) may be collected always, as more satisfactory plan I prefer the following.
some one of the many varieties may be found in After my objects have soaked a sufficient time in
| almost any pond or brook; but the most beautiful the liquor potassa, I place them between two slides; are found in the mouths of tidal rivers, or in fossil by adopting this plan I can dry a dozen or more deposits. small objects at one time. I then press them with A diatom is characterized by having a flinty case one of the common wood clips, and when dry I or shell, beautifully marked with lines, or rows of remove them from the slide and immerse them in dots; but these are often so fine and close together turpentine. When they are ready for mounting, I that they cannot be distinguished, except with a "centre" them on the slides, and for this purpose I well-constructed instrument and high powers (a use a card-board template cut to the size of the slide 4-inch objective will do for most), and this has led (three inches by one inch), coloured black on one
to the employment of some of these as test-objects side, with the exception of a white disc in the centre,
-that is to say, that if one glass will define the which I leave about five-eighths of an inch in markings better than another it is considered more diameter. On the other side I colour the disc black | fit for scientific purposes; and so great is tbe difand leave the ground white; the black one I use for ference between the size and distance apart of the diatoms, &c., and the white one for entomological
markings, that some may be used as tests for the subjects, but the adaptability of each will be readily
low powers, while others can only be used for the ascertained when once made. I place the slide on the
highest. template and arrange the object in the centre, then Many of these beautiful forms can be found living drop on the cover, the template being a guide for | in the Thames, and other rivers on our own coasts. this also. I have by my side a number of pieces of In the months of April, May, September, October, strong thread, about six inches long, already looped and November they will be found in the greatest up ready for tying on the cover. When the latter is abundance and variety; the salt marshes on the in its place, I drop the template and slip on one of banks of most of the rivers will also well repay the these loops, place one end between my teeth and the trouble of searching for them. other in my right hand and tighten. The knot may Supposing the reader to be in London, and wishes then be secured and the slide put on one side, on to collect these interesting objects for himself, I edge, to drain off the turpentine; in this manner two should advise him to go to Southend (which may be dozen slides or more can be put up in an hour, and reached by the Tilbury and Southend line, starting by that time the first one put up is ready for the from Fenchurch Street station), which is as good a balsam, which can be applied as previously de place as any other for the purpose of collecting the scribed.
objects under discussion'; the mode of doing which I stated in a former part of this paper, that in is to gather the seaweeds at low tide, taking care to mounting diatoms I preferred the ordinary balsam, take as little sand with them as possible, and at and for this reason, viz., the diatoms can, without once put them into a bottle of sea-water, if it is injury, be subjected to a much greater heat than desired to examine the living forms in their natural animal objects, and consequently the balsam, by position on the weed. But if their flinty cases are being so heated, will harden more rapidly than even wanted to exhibit the markings, the weeds may be if mounted with the chloroform. For this purpose put, dry, into a bag; and, on reaching home, they are the older the balsam is the better. After evaporat. | to be plunged into a jar of fresh water for half an ing the fluid containing the diatoms on the slide, I hour, which will kill the animalculæ attached ; and drop on a small globule of the balsam and place the when the weeds are rubbed and stirred about in the cover on its summit and hold the slide over the water, they come off and form a cloud of muddiness,
which is to be allowed to settle, and the water then opposite direction. A few specimens of Pleurosigma poured off and the sediment transferred to an oil- hippocampus (Sea-horse), and some other varieties flask (which has been well cleaned), and boiled with of these most beautiful objects, which are at once nitric acid over a candle, or gas jet. After the first recognized by their form, which is that of Hogarth’s portion of acid ceases to act, the flask, with its con- lines of beauty of different curvature joining at tents, must be set aside till the liquid is perfectly their ends, and having another which runs between clear, when it is to be poured off, and fresh acid them and expands in the centre, and at each end added. This is to be continued as long as the acid | into round dots or spaces (which some say are openexerts any action, and the sediment is perfectly ings; others, only a thickening of the central rib; white, when it is to be washed with water until the but I am inclined to believe the latter, from the liquid is no longer acid.
manner in which the valve is broken on being In this sediment, when examined by the microscope, pressed; for the crack does not run across the dots, may be found the Triceratium favus, which is one of the as it would do if they were openings, but round largest of the Diatomaceæ, and is about the oth of them, proving them to be stronger there than elsean inch in diameter. It is in the form of an equilateral where). And all the rest of the surface is covered triangle, with slightly curved sides. At each corner with rows of minute dots, arranged in regular rows, is a projecting spine or hook, and round the base of but so fine that, except with the very highest powers, each there is a row of round dots; and the rest of nothing can be seen but longitudinal and transverse the surface is covered with large and regular hexa- lines; and a 4-inch that will show even these may gonal markings, resembling, in the closest manner, / be considered very good. the formation of honeycomb. If you wish to mount Pinnularia dactylus is like Surirella constricta, it, when found, you must pick it out from among only much sinaller and expanded instead of conthe grains of sand and other impurities by the help tracted in the centre. The Gallionela sulcata is of a stout hair from a shaving-brush, or a cat's a beautiful object, and resembles highly-carved whisker stuck in a split at the end of a slender | ivory bones stuck end to end, so as sometimes to wooden handle, such as a paint-brush handle, and form a filament appearing as much as three inches place it in the centre of a glass slide. A drop of | in length, when viewed under a good #inch power. Canada balsam is then to be added, and the slide Symphonema geminatum, which may be compared to a warmed till the balsam becomes rather hard. On number of folded fans attached to a branched stalk cooling, all the air-bubbles should be broken by the | by the end held in the hand; and Acnanthes point of a needle, and then the thin glass cover is longipes, which is a bundle of oblong boxes joined to be put on, taking care to have the object as nearly together and connected by a long gelatinous stalk in the centre as possible, and not to press so hard as to the weed, complete the list of those from Southto break it. Objects mounted in this way, under end which I have found; but I have no doubt that small round pieces of thin glass, on plain ground a much greater variety would be obtained if the edged slides, look very neat; and all the rest of the weeds were collected at the proper time. things described in this paper may be mounted in | A great number of the most beautiful forms are the same way, though more than one specimen may contained in fossil earth, which may be obtained be mounted at once. Surirella constricta, which from dealers in minerals. Those of Bermuda, Oran resembles a lady's needle-case, may also be found. in Algeria, and Richmond, U.S., are the most It has strongly-marked ribs running from the out- important, and contain the greatest variety. side edge towards the centre, where a clear space Bermuda earth contains one most beautiful object, may be observed. Surirella plicata has no resem- | the Heliopelta (sun-shield), of which a tolerable blance to the last; but strongly resembles a lemon notion may be got iby cutting an orange in half in outline, as does also another object (of which I transversely. Then every alternate triangle you never found but one), but which is covered with must suppose to be marked with a different patminute dots instead of being marked with faint lines. tern-one being covered with large and regular A small but beautiful variety of the Coscinodiscus, | round markings; and the next, which appears to be which is a round shell resembling a thick shilling, on a different level, to be marked with smaller and closely covered with dots on both sides, is worth less distinct, but nevertheless very beautiful markmounting, when found; but, being extremely brittle, ings. The ribs which divide the triangles from one great care must be used. The Gramataphora ser- another, dilate at their extremities, forming in the pentina is found in great numbers, and is like a card- centre a clear space corresponding to the central case, with four curved lines running from opposite pith in the orange, and at the ends next the margin ends towards the centre. Different kinds of Navi. | expand and gradually melt into the rim or border, culæ, or little ships, are to be found by careful which is thickly set round with transparent spikes examination; and they are very amusing when alive, of different lengths. The earth from Richmond for they run about and bump up against one another, | affords many beautiful specimens, especially of the then draw back after a time and swim away in the I genus Navicula.
Guano, the dry excrement of sea-fowls, is very rich in objects. One, the Arachnoidiscus, is like a small and perfect spider's web (whence its name), with all the colours of the rainbow condensed in it. A large variety, or indeed two or three varieties, of the Coscinodiscus are present in considerable numbers; and the Zygoceros rhombus is a miniature shepherd's purse, such as is found on the sea-shore, only covered with dots. The Actinocyclus is the same kind of thing as the Heliopelta, only without the marginal spines. The earth of Oran contains the same Diatoms as guano. The guano* and the earths mentioned are to be prepared in the same way as the sediment from the weeds from Southend, only they should be well washed in water first (the guano more especially). The modus operandi is to shake up the earth or guano with water in an oil flask, and then allow it to settle : this is to be repeated until the water is no longer coloured. It is then to be treated as before directed. Most writers recommend the use of hydrochloric acid first, and secondly pitric acid, when the former ceases to act. With large quantities this would be more economical; but it necessitates the purchase of a second stoppered bottle.
The reader exclaims, “Well! Now I have found these things, what are they?” The writer answers, that is a subject of dispute, some claiming them for the animal world and others for the vegetable. The chief argument for their belonging to the animal kingdom, is their voluntary motion; but that is possessed by undoubted plants, so that is not conclusive. On the other hand it is asserted that they resemble plants in decomposing carbonic acid and liberating oxygen, whilst animals do the contrary. This to me seems to settle the question, but everyone had better judge for himself. Again, the reader may say, “You tell me of things that are covered with round dots, what are those dots ? raised knobs, little pits, or only surface markings ?” This, too, like most things connected with them, is a bone of contention. Some will have it that they are prominences, others depressions ; but my impression is that it is sometimes one and sometimes the other; for some break in such a manner as to lead to the idea of their being indentations, whilst others break in the contrary direction. And if you happen to get some of them on their edges and look along their surfaces, some exhibit spikes, others not; and the mode in which shadows fall when they are viewed by oblique light leads now to one and then to the other conclusion.
Finally, I may state that the reason I have made so many comparisons is, that the reader may recog. nize the forms when found. ANDREW WAINE.
PINE - APPLE.
(Ananassa sativa.) “ PINE-APPLE, a penny a-slice !" is a sound
1 familiar to cockney ears, whilst the variation indulged in by the more learned itinerant vendor, of “Here's yer fine West Injun pines !” localises the product, and contributes a trifle to street science. It must not be taken for granted, however, that the West Indies is the only great centre of pine-apple growth, or that “Pine-apple Rum” is the distilled spirit from the juice of this fruit. That "partickler wanity” of Mr. Stiggins, as immortalized by “Boz,” does not absorb our Christmas thoughts, and we have ever been innocent of any hankerings after the “Genuine Pine-apple Rum." If any sceptic should inquire at our office, he may procure “Social Bees," “Lissom Fingers," and such like “Curiosities of Civilization,” but as for the other article, the only reply will be, “Wery sorry to say, sir, that they don't allow that partickler wanity to be sold in this here establishment.”
That we may begin early in our history of this plant, we quote from Father Kircher, as translated in 1669. “They have in China a tree called Kagin, yielding fruit twice a-year, which, by inversion, thrusts forth the seeds or kernels, the werts, or such excrescences, on the outside of the fruit, and is in common to the East and West Indies, who call it Ananas; but the Chinese call it Fan-polo-mie; it groweth in the provinces Quantung Kiangsi and Fokien, and is supposed to have been brought from Peru; the tree on which it groweth is not a shrub, but an herb like unto Carduus; they call it Car. triofoli, on whose leaf a fruit groweth sticking unto its stalk, of so pleasant and exquisite a taste that it may easily obtain the pre-eminency amongst the most noble fruits of India and China; the spermatick faculty is innate in all the parts thereof, for not only the seeds shed on the ground, but its sprouts and leaves being planted, produce the like fruits.”
Our opinion of pine-apple, whilst derived only from an experience of imported West Indian specimens, was by no means so flattering as that of the learned Father. In fact, it remains doubtful, though some may regard it as heresy, whether, since we have deliberately tasted of fine varieties ripened at home by experienced growers, that our opinion is much altered for the better and in favour of the pine. Our depraved tastes would lead us to pronounce in favour of a rich mellow pear, or a dish of strawberries and cream, against a dozen pine-apples. But we are wandering again, and who can blame us ?-even editors and authors are but “men” at Christmas time, and cannot help thinking about the good things which comfort the inner man, and forsaking the "midnight oil” for-some other “partickler wanity."
* The guano can be had for 4d. the lb, at Butler's, in Covent Garden.