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IN
N the Gentleman's Magazine for August, 1866, them frequently in the water and on the land, and

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

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Minny Pool’ was several miles away from any high road, I resolved on my arrival in London to consult my old schoolfellow and attached friend, Dr. Vesalius Pettigrew, on the subject of the little animal's history and habits, as I well knew I could not refer the matter to a more safe or competent naturalist to determine all that I wished to know, respecting the little fellow's birth, parentage, and education.

“ The result of my inquiry was that Dr. Pettigrew pronounced the reptile a young crocodile, with a mother and father, as he laughingly remarked, as long as the hearthrug in his room, or even longer, but how it had been found and killed in this country, he could not venture an opinion upon. At his request I left the young reptile with him, to show to his friend Mr. Frank Buckland, who afterwards not only confirmed Dr. Pettigrew's views as to the character of the reptile, but subsequently, in a description of it in the Field newspaper, narrated

,

first used balsam dissolved in chloroform about five years ago, and that my slides, put up at that time, are as perfect now in every respect as they were when first mounted, and quite as secure. I have never used anything else since, except in mounting diatoms, when I use the ordinary balsam; my reason for so doing I will explain further on. I will now return to the balsam and chloroform.

I first dry the balsam until it becomes quite hard, and a ready (way of doing this is to pour it into a large pomade pot, the larger the area the quicker will be the process of hardening. I then place it in the kitchen oven after the fire has gone out, care being taken that the temperature is not too high, or the balsam will be discoloured. This operation must be repeated for five or six nights, when it will (with a layer of about an eighth of an inch deep) become quite hard, so that it may be chipped out with a knife. The pot must be kept closely covered, 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

As a

alive.”*

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. 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 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 the cabinet.

As some objects require but little or no arrange

ment after taken out of the liquor potassa, they can MOUNTING IN BALSAM AND

be thoroughly washed in warm water and placed on CHLOROFORM.

the slides in the position they are intended perTHE treatises on “ Mounting” that have hitherto manently to occupy, and the cover tied on with a

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 sufficiently into the details to enable a beginner | perfectly dry, the slides, with the object and cover

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 sharp point heated in the fame of the spirit lamp MANY persons have heard of these beautiful

objects, and those who possess a microscope chipped off without the risk of chipping the cover.

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 tuem 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 7-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 the dif. and 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 Inthis 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

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 by 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

genus Navicula.

ور

Guano, the dry excrement of sea-fowls, is very rich in objects. One, the Arachnoidiscus, is like a

PINE - APPLE. small and perfect spider's web (whence its name),

(Ananassa sativa.) with all the colours of the rainbow condensed in it. A large variety, or indeed two or three varieties

, of “PINE-APPLE, a penny a-slice!" is a sound the Coscinodiscus are present in considerable num

familiar to cockney ears, whilst the variation bers; and the Zygoceros rhombus is a miniature indulged in by the more learned itinerant vendor, of shepherd's purse, such as is found on the sea-shore, “Here's yer fine West Injun pines !” localises the only covered with dots. The Actinocyclus is the same

product, and contributes a trifle to street science. kind of thing as the Heliopelta, only without the

It must not be taken for granted, however, that the marginal spines. The earth of Oran contains the

West Indies is the only great centre of pine-apple same Diatoms as guano. The guano* and the earths

growth, or that “Pine-apple Rum” is the distilled mentioned are to be prepared in the same way as

spirit from the juice of this fruit. That “partickler the sediment from the weeds from Southend, only

wanity” of Mr. Stiggins, as immortalized by “Boz,” they should be well washed in water first (the guano

does not absorb our Christmas thoughts, and we more especially). The modus operandi is to shake

have ever been innocent of any hankerings after the up the earth or guano with water in an oil flask,

Genuine Pine-apple Rum.” If any sceptic should and then allow it to settle: this is to be repeated

inquire at our office, he may procure “Social Bees,” until the water is no longer coloured. It is then to “Lissom Fingers," and such like “Curiosities of be treated as before directed. Most writers recom

Civilization,” but as for the other article, the only mend the use of hydrochloric acid first, and secondly

reply will be, “Wery sorry to say, sir, that they ditric acid, when the former ceases to act.

don't allow that partickler wanity to be sold in this With large quantities this would be more econo

here establishment." mical; but it necessitates the purchase of a second

That we may begin early in our history of this stoppered bottle.

plant, we quote from Father Kircher, as translated The reader exclaims, “Well! Now I have found

in 1669. They have in China a tree called Kagin, these things, what are they?” The writer answers,

yielding fruit twice a-year, which, by inversion, that is a subject of dispute, some claiming them for

thrusts forth the seeds or kernels, the werts, or the animal world and others for the vegetable. The

such excrescences, on the outside of the fruit, and is chief argument for their belonging to the animal

in common to the East and West Indies, who call it kingdom, is their voluntary motion; but that is Ananas ; but the Chinese call it Fan-polo-mie; it possessed by undoubted plants, so that is not con- groweth in the provinces Quantung Kiangsi and clusive. On the other hand it is asserted that they

Fokien, and is supposed to have been brought from resemble plants in decomposing carbonic acid and

Peru; the tree on which it groweth is not a shrub, liberating oxygen, whilst animals do the contrary.

but an herb like unto Carduus; they call it CarThis to me seems to settle the question, but every

triofoli, on whose leaf a fruit groweth sticking unto one had better judge for himself. Again, the reader

its stalk, of so pleasant and exquisite a taste that it may say, “You tell me of things that are covered may easily obtain the pre-eminency amongst the with round dots, what are those dots ? raised knobs,

most noble fruits of India and China; the spermalittle pits, or only surface markings ?” This, too,

tick faculty is innate in all the parts thereof, for not like most things connected with them, is a bone of only the seeds shed on the ground, but its sprouts contention. Some will have it that they are pro- and leaves being planted, produce the like fruits." minences, others depressions; but my impression Our opinion of pine-apple, whilst derived only is that it is sometimes one and sometimes the other; from an experience of imported West Indian specifor some break in such a manner as to lead to the mens, was by no means so flattering as that of the idea of their being indentations, whilst others break

learned Father. In fact, it remains doubtful, though in the contrary direction. And if you happen to

some may regard it as heresy, whether, since we get some of them on their edges and look along have deliberately tasted of fine varieties ripened at their surfaces, some exhibit spikes, others not; and home by experienced growers, that our opinion is the mode in which shadows fall when they are

much altered for the better and in favour of the viewed by oblique light leads now to one and then

pine. Our depraved tastes would lead us to proto the other conclusion.

nounce in favour of a rich mellow pear, or a dish of Finally, I may state that the reason I have made

strawberries and cream, against a dozen pine-apples. so many comparisons is, that the reader may recog.

But we are wandering again, and who can blame nize the forms when found. ANDREW WAINE.

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 for* The guano can be had for 4d. the lb.at Butler's, in Covent

saking the “midnight oil” for-some other “parGarden.

tickler wanity.”

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