« EelmineJätka »
the ruby-tailed fly, which resemble a key-hole saw the dragon-fly's ovipositor; and that of a beautiful green saw-fly, which is found about the gooseberrytree. This last is particularly worthy of notice. E. J. Scott.
CONFERVOID GROWTH IN SLIDES.-- Whether “J. M. S.” can apply it or not, I cannot say; but in old times when objects were put into shades without balsam or other preparation, they soon became covered with a kind of mould. To prevent it, I used to wet the object and slide with a solution of corrosive sublimate. If the solution of it in spirit of wine is sufficiently diluted, it will not crystallize so as to be noticed, but used to prove a very effectual antidote.-E. J. Scott.
SKELETON LEAVES.— The following method has been communicated to the Botanical Society of Edinburgh :-“A solution of caustic soda is made by dissolving 3 oz. of washing soda in 2 pints of boiling water, and adding 1. oz. of quick lime, previously slacked; boil for ten minutes, decant the clear solution and bring it to the boil. During ebullition add the leaves; boil briskly for some time-say an hour, occasionally adding hot water to supply the place of that lost by evaporation. Take out a leaf and put into a vessel of water, rub it between the fingers under the water. If the epidermis and parenchyma separate easily, the rest of the leaves may be removed from the solution, and treated in the same way; but if not, then the boil. ing must be continued for some time longer. To bleach the skeletons, mix about a drachm of chloride of lime with a pint of water, adding sufficient acetic acid to liberate the chlorine. Steep the leaves in this till they are whitened (about ten minutes), taking care not to let them stay in too long, otherwise they are apt to become brittle. Put them into clean water, and loat them out on pieces of paper. Lastly, remove them from the paper before they are quite dry, and place them in a book or botanical press.”—Dr. G. Dickson.
MOVEMENTS IN CLOSTERIUM.-On a recent occasion your paper contained a short discussion of
Closterium,” in which the author refers cursorily, to the circulating, movement observed within those plants. The character of the movements has not, I believe, been very distinctly ascertained. The motion in the two species most common in this locality differs considerably. In Closterium rostratum the ends appear to be freely open, the small bodies within exhibit by their movements a current flowing inwards and outwards at either end, and this constant, and not in pulsations; and the bodies themselves are, I believe, foreign, and do not in any sense belong to the plants under investigation; in fact, simply monads. In C. striolatum, on the contrary, there does not seem to be any communication by the ends with the water outside ; but at each end may be seen an oval body, deeply coloured, continually revolving on itself, within, as it were, a closed cage, and this not freely, but as though it were attached by a cord at the inner end of its longer axis. I do not refer to the circulation to be frequently observed along the edges which appears to be independent of that at the ends to which the foregoing remarks apply. There are few objects so curious or so beautiful as these very common desmids; but they so rapidly become
quiet,” when in the collecting bottle, that sedentary Londoners seldom get a sight of them in their most lively condition.-C. F. W., St. Anne's Heath, Chertsey.
SAWS OF FLIES.-In addition to “J.J. R.'s" account of the saws of some flies, the vessel which runs along the saw of the Tenthredo deserves notice, and so does the foot. The body between the two claws in its natural condition is folded up between them, but in using becomes expanded into a beautiful kind of sucker. The whole leg is covered with hairs and spines, and is a lovely object altogether. One can see how like this sucker is to a boy's leather one in action. So unlike is it in its mechanism to the sometimes so-called sucker of a fly. A collection of the different saws and ovipositors of insects is very interesting. And besides those mentioned by “J. J. R.," I would notice the saws of
SANGUINARIA.- Mr. H. J. Bacon calls the attention of microscopists to sections of the root of Sanguinaria canadensis as an interesting object; but he does not state where the fresh root, which he appears to allude to, can be obtained, as it is not a plant in common cultivation.
DOUBLE EGG-SHELL.-Knowing you are curious in natural-history matters, I think it may interest you to hear that yesterday I met with a hen's egg with two shells. The outer was the supplemental one, and the thickest; the inner, the natural one, and rather thinner than usual.
The two were divided by a thin, damp, false membrane, similar in appearance, but differing in structure from the true membranes. My attention was directed to the fact, by finding the shell unusually hard to fracture at each end with my penknife, before sucking it. I have cracked scores of eggs before, but never met with a like case. I should like to know whether such a thing has been observed before.-A.J. C.
CIRCULATING Case. It has occurred to me that those subscribers to SCIENCE GOSSIP who feel interested in marine algæ might add to their collections by forming a society for the interchange of specimens by means of a circulating case. Rather more than a year ago there was a society in existence for the exchange of botanical specimens, of which I was a member. From some cause or other it failed-at least the case ceased to come to me, and I took for granted it bad gone down. Perhaps the readers of this journal would communicate their mind on the subject. Should it be started I will be happy to do all in my power to secure subscribers.James Greer, jun.
PRESERVATION OF Fossils.- I have a fine specimen of the tusk, teeth, and forearm bone of a large elephant, which was dug up in a railroad cutting in a bed of river gravel. The tusk has been broken, but sufficient remains to show it must have been sixteen or seventeen feet in length. It feels hard, but is rapidly diminishing from the process of exfoliation. I have well soaked it in a solution of gelatine, yet the decay continues. Should any of your correspondents be acquainted with any management to preserve the specimens it will much oblige. - Charles Bailey.
THE VIPER.-Can any of your readers say why they do not succeed, at the Zoological Gardens, in keeping the common Viper-after a few months or so they die. The last time I was in New Forest I intended to have investigated this subject, but the weather was so unfavourable that I was prevented from so doing.-G. M.
HALO OF A SHADOW.-The following singular TENACIOUS ANEMONE.-On the 26th of October effect, which seems to be due to diffraction, may some sea anemones (Actinia Mesembryanthum) were perhaps be worthy of notice. I have observed, packed in wet sea-weed in a stone jar. On the 30th when in a boat on the sea, that, when the sun is I received them in good condition. In unpacking shining and the shadow of the person falls upon the them, one was accidentally left in the sea-weed, water, a peculiar brightness surrounds the shadow; which was thrown into a wooden bucket without not unlike one of those softened glories which sur- any water. On the 12th of November I found the round some of the pictures of saints in old paintings. sea-weed nearly dry, except in one or two places. The same effect I have observed in strong moon- Whilst I was collecting it to throw it away somelight, when the shadow was thrown upon grass thing stuck to my fingers, which I discovered to be covered with hoar-frost; though the effect is not so a small actinia nearly dried up. Wishing to try if marked as it is on the sea.-J. S. Tute.
there was any vitality left in the unfortunate animal
I broke off the bit of sea-weed to which it adhered PRESERVING Fossils. The following extract and which was perfectly dry, and put it into seafrom Mansell's “Medals of Creation,” may be of water. In a few minutes it moved almost imperuse to “L. F. R.” (S. G., vol. ii., page 283) : ceptibly, in an hour it began to put forth its
"The broken porous bones may be repaired þy a tentacles, and in the course of four or five hours it hot weak solution of glue; and when the joinings was sufficiently recovered to produce ten young ones are set, the bone should be saturated with thin glue, nearly white, with the tentacles formed. The folwell brushed in, and the surface be spunged clean lowing morning the little actinia was perfectly with very hot water before the cement is congealed.” flourishing and fully expanded.-T. L. N. (A liquid called "Neuber's liquid glue” is an excellent cement. It is sold at 54, Oxford Street,
INDIA-RUBBER CEMENT.-I experienced all the London.)
difficulties named by several of your correspondents, “ When the bones are tolerably perfect, but
until I adopted the following plan, which answers dry and friable from the loss of their animal oil,
admirably. - 1. Dissolve the caoutchouc in chloro
form; 2. Dissolve the asphalt in benzole; add they may be made durable by saturating them with
No. 1 to No. 2 until you find, by experiment-drying drying-oil, and exposing them to a considerable
a little on glass-that the brittleness is overcome. degree of heat. In this manner the magnificent skeletons of the Sloth tribe -- the Megatherium
-G. S. R., Blackheath. and Mylodon, in the Hunterian Museum-were pre- MARINE-GLUE VARNISH.-(In answer to “J. H. pared. The drying-oil is made by boiling litharge McK.” and others). I have tried a mixture of in oil, in the proportion of one ounce of litharge to a marine glue and naphtha with very good results. It pint of oil.)
dissolves readily in the naphtha, and probably will “For the Ichythyosauri, &c., in the British answer the same result as the asphalt, forming a Museum, Mr. Hawkins employed a strong, watery very useful cement.-F. J. B. solution of gum arabic as the cement, and plaster
MOUNTING IN BALSAM.—Since sending my last of Paris as the ground, using shallow wooden trays of well-seasoned wood in which the specimens were
on the difficulty experienced in getting the balsam permanently imbedded : the bones, scales, &c., were
to harden properly, I have tried baking the slides in ihen varnished with a solution of mastic, and the
a common Dutch oven before the fire, with perfect
After about six hours' good baking, the ground coloured bluish grey to imitate the Lias.”Vol. i. p. 46 et seq., Bohn's edition.-A.H., Torquay.
balsam becomes perfectly hard and well set. The
air bubbles also disappear in a miraculous way. I HARE-RABBITS.-In the October number of this
hope this may be of use to your correspondents.
F.J. B. Journal, “G. B. C." mentions a gamekeeper catching a supposed hybrid between a hare and a rabbit. MILKY APPEARANCE.—The milky appearance of I have not before heard of a wild one being seen; objects mounted after soaking in liquor potassæ is but quantities are imported from Belgium by the ascribed by numerous correspondents to imperfect great rabbit-fanciers. They are called Hare-Rabbits. washing. "A. B.," "T. S.," "A. M. C.,” and “V. F." Many gentlemen purchase them for turning loose, recommend thorough washing, first in water, and to improve the wild breed. They may be ob afterwards in turpentine, and then mounting in the tained for 15s. each. I kept three last year, a buck usual manner, as described by “F. Fletcher," in and two does. I found that, like other mules, they SCIENCE GOSSIP, vol. ii. p. 282. would not breed with one another; but they breed very well with the common rabbit, having seven or
SCARCITY OF INSECTS.-"B. C. R.” and “F. R.” eight at a time. Their habits are, in all respects, complain of scarcity of lepidoptera. They may similar to the common rabits.-C. K.
possibly recollect that at the close of the summer of [“ H. S.” and other correspondents who write
1865 we had some days of hot weather, swarms of doubtfully, will learn that the question was long
butterflys came out, particularly, the common since decided by the experiments of M. Rouy, of
cabbage butterfly; also numbers of the mischievous Angoulême. It can no longer be said that the
though beautiful little white (hawthorn) moth. rabbit will not hybridize with the hare.]
There was a sudden change in the weather, rain
with easterly wind prevailed for some time, and, of DYEING GRASS, Mosses, &c.-By using Judson's course, as they had an untimely birth they met with simple dyes, which can be procured at any chemist's
an untimely end. Having observed this, I predicted in bottles at 6d. each with directions, "J. H.” can
a paucity of early butterflies in 1866, and have been dye grass, &c., a variety of colours without any highly gratified in finding my prediction verified, and, previous preparation. I may also state that I have consequently, my cabbages flourishing, and two fine used the dyes to tinge animal substances (freed from
red hawthorn bushes luxuriant in flowers and foliage grease), which otherwise were so transparent as to
which in 1865 were eaten nearly bare by thousands be almost invisible when mounted in balsam, with
of the tiny caterpillars of the “Little White Moth.” excellent effect.-J. M., Barnard Castle.
-H. C. Ř., Streatham Hill.
NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS. All communications relative to advertisements, post-office
orders, and orders for the supply of this Journal should be addressed to the PUBLISHER. All contributions, books, and pamphlets for the EDITOR should be sent to 192, Piccadilly, London, W. To avoid disappointment, contri. butions should not be received later than the 15th of each month. No notice whatever can be taken of communi. cations which do not contain the name and address of the writer, not necessarily for publication, if desired to be withheld. We do not undertake to answer any queries not specially connected with Natural History, in accordance with our acceptance of that term; nor can we answer queries which might be solved by the correspondent by an appeal to any elementary book on the subject. We are always prepared to accept queries of a critical nature, and to publish the replies, provided some of our readers, besides the querist, are likely to be interested in them. We cannot undertake to return rejected manuscripts unless sufficient stamps are enclosed to cover the return postage. Neither can we promise to refer to or return any manuscript after one month from the date of its receipt. All microscopical drawings intended for publication should have annexerl thereto the powers employed, or the extent of enlargement, indicated in diameters (thus : X 320 diameters). Communications intended for publication should be written on one side of the paper only, and all scientific names, and names of places and individuals should be as legible as possible. Wherever scientific names or technicalities are employed, it is hoped that the common names will accompany them. Lists or tables are inad. missible under any circumstances. Those of the popular names of British plants and animals are retained and regis. tered for publication when sufficiently complete for that purpose, in whatever form may then he decided upon. ADDRESS No. 192, PICCADILLY, LONDON, W.
G. F. P.-The section “Mineralogy" in " Orr's Circle of Sciences,” or “Weale's Mineralogy," will either of them suit your purpose : at from one to two shillings.
A. A. A.-We object to recommend any special maker of microscopes. A useful instrument may be had for £5 of more than one maker. Dr. Lankester's “ Handbook of the Aquavivarium" is being revised for a new edition.
B. D.—The mycelium of some fungus, proceeding from an old stump or decayed vegetable matter.
H. G. (Bangalore).-The title of the book is “A General History of Humming Birds, or the Trochilidae, with especial reference to the Collection of J. Gould, F.R.S.," by W.C. L. Martin. 12mo., London, H. G. Bohn, 1861.
J. A. B. is reminded that the letters which he alludes to are the initials of certain societies of which the person using them is a fellow or member. They have no relation either to academic honours or to scientific attainments, since, with scarcely an exception, money, to pay for admission and annual fees, is the only real sine qua non.
BANGALORE.-The Australian acacia is Acacia dealbata.J. G. B.
J. B. L.-“ Berkeley's Introduction," €1.'18., Baillière. “ Hooker's Jungermanniæ," out of print, and scarce.
J. H. C.-If he requires more than we insert in our ex. changes, it must be paid for and inserted as an advertisement.
R. B.-Bryum Atropurpureum.
S. L. B.-A mistaken notion. Replace yonr camphor, or, if you preler it, try benzine. More on the subject next month.
T. H. H.-No. 1, Xylophasia polyodon ; 2, Polia Chi; 4, Hypenu porohuscidalis; 3 and 5, in too bad a condition for identification.-F. M.
OBJECTS OF INTEREST, mounted or unmounted.-Send lists to A. L., 61, Buckingham-road, N.
OAK-wood from St. Helena.-Send stamped envelope to J. Powell, 19, Burton-road, Brixton, S.
BRITISH Mosses, named, for Foreign Shells or rare British species.--Jane S. Milpe, Buckland, Faringdon, Berks.
P&NCIL-TAIL (Polyrenus lagurus), see SCIENCE Gossip, vol. i., p. 230, in exchange for Barbadoes Earth or nther good (unmounted) objects.-J. Webster, Hanwell, Middlesex.
MOUNTED OBJBCTS, dry, in fluid, or balsam. A large variety in exchange for mounted microscopic Fungi, or other objects.-For lists, send specimen slide and address to W. Hislop, 108, St. John Street-road, E.C.
CAMPYLODISCUS COSTATUS, for any other Diatoms or Lepidoptera.-J. W. Whelan, Bank, Bury St. Edmunds.
PAULOWNIA Seeds, unmounted, for other objects of interest.-T. Buckle, Tunbridge.
OBJECTS, sixty varieties, unmonnted.-Send lists to G. W. Webb, 108, White Rock-street, Liverpool.
PELARGONIUM PETALS (mounted), for other objects of interest.-E. M., 6, Holford-square, Pentonville, W.C..
B.-The mosses are-14, Rhynrostegium depressum ; 15, Eurhynchium Swurtzii; 16, Neckera complanata.-R. B.
F. S.-What kind of information is desired about truffles ? See an article in “ Popular Science Review," vol. i., p. 490 ; also SCIENCE Gossip, vol. i., pp. 89, 139.
A. L. D.-The moss is Philonotis fontana, var. y, falcata.R. B.
C. P. C.-From the sketch your fungus appears to be Agaricus (Collybia) radicatus, but the rooting portion is broken ofl.
D.R.- We much regret to learn that H. Balls, of Reedham, has failed to fulfil the engagements of his advertisements in our columns at the close of last year. The publisher exercises all the caution that he can to prevent other than bond fide advertisements being admitted to our pages, but manifestly he cannot cake inquiries into the particulars of every advertisement that is sent for insertion or the character of the advertiser.
S. J. B.-Of course it dnes.
M. D.-We have never made solutions of corrosive sublimate in spirit by weight or measure ; it should be very finely powdered, and we should think two grains to the ounce sufficient. It does not injure the specimens.
J. W. I.–Your parasite is Puccinia compositarum.
H.W.K.-The galls on oak-leaves were at one time regarded as fungi, were published as such in collections of fungi, and are often sent to us as “a curious fungus."
G. A. W.-We could not answer your query here, and you did not enclose full address.
E. F. W.-No one could even guess from such a description. Was it an Ameba ?
A. L.-Certainly no improvement on the very cheap wireclips which can now be purchased.
T. P. F. should write his queries separately, and on one side of the paper, otherwise we cannot insert them.
J. J. R. should have been quite sure that we were wrong in printing aterrimus, at p. 273, before calling us to account.
A. G.-Safe this time. We cannot say when “Groser's Beetles" will be published. It is impossible to name your foreign gasteropod from its tongue. Beetles not yet named.
B.D.-We have already figured a fountain, SCIENCE Gossip, vol. ii., p. 14; and yonrs is no improvement.
W. C.-“ London Catalogue of British Plants," 4d., Dulau & Co., Soho-square.
J. A. (Mile End).-The fungus is Agaricus ostreatus.
J. H. G.-See p. 19 in this lumber. Single slides may he transmitted safely in the black millboard cases sold by all opticians. F. Horton (Powick). Letter awaits yon. Send correct A. BADGER (Eccleshall). address..
“The Technologist." No. 5, New Series, December, 1866. Kent & Co.
“ Die Entwickelung der Ideen in der Naturwissenschaft." Von Justus von Liebig. München, 1866.
“ Hints on Spectacles, when to wear and how to select them.” By W. Ackland. London: Horne & Thornthwaite.
“ The European and Asiatic Races." By Dadabhai Naoroji. London: Trübner & Co.
COMMUNICATIONS RECeived.-F.W.-M. D.-E.J.S.C.T. G. P.-D. R.-G. S. R.-J. G.-E. T.-J. P.-A. J. C.A. L.-H.B.T.-S. J. McI.-A. M.-C.P.C.-J.S.T.-E.T. S. -A. H.-J. P.-J. W. I.-S. J. B.-E. F. W.-H. H. M.Ebba (no name).-A. W.-G. A. W.-G. H. F.-G. M.-L. G. -H. B.-H. E. W.-W.J.S.-C. D.-F. S.-C. B.-H. E. A. -J. R.-J. J. R.-J. M.-W. F.-J. S. M.-F. S.-H. W.A. G.-J. W.-B. D.-W. C.-W. H.-W. N.-J. M.-J. A., Jun.-J. A. (Mile End).-T. P.-W. S. G.-A. W.-J. J. F.G. M. I.-A. A. A.-J. R.-J. W. W.-S. W. U.-G. F. P S, B.-G. W. W.-T. B.-H. C. 0.-J. M.-J. 0.-B. A. J.H. E. R.-T. H. H.-J. B.-H. W.-C. A.-H. S.-H. D. C.F. K.-J. H. C.-S. L. B.-W. H. B.
“We ought not to be too hasty in casting ridicule upon the narratives of ancient travellers. In a geographical point of view they possess great value, and if sometimes they contain statements which appear marvellous, the mystery is often explained away by a more minute and careful inquiry.”—TENNANT'S “Ceylon."
T is an unfor. of ancient writers have been strikingly corroborated.
tunate circum- The gorilla of Hanno have been rediscovered, stance, that the probably upon the same coast upon which the necessary isola- Carthaginian explorer found them; the remains tion of explorers of that prodigious bird, the Apyornis, have been should render disinterred in Madagascar, the very country in them so liable which Eastern tradition located the monstrous
to the insinua- roc, so well known to all readers of the “ Arabian tions of the malicious and the Nights ;” and the gold-fields of California and cavils of the hypercritical. British Columbia are situated precisely in that
Marco Polo, Bruce, and portion of North America in wbich the traditions Du Chaillu have successively of the American aborigines placed the El-Dorado of suffered, in character and in the Spanish conquerors. prospects, from suspicions It is curious that after an interval of some two which subsequent inquiry has thousand years, a people should still exist in proved to have been utterly Southern and Central Africa, almost exactly angroundless.
swering to the description which Pliny, Aristotle, Brave men are seldom un- and Herodotus gave of the Ethiopian Troglodytes. truthful, and the high quali- | Yet the Bosjesmen of to-day have the same croaking ties of head and heart neces- speech, the same cave-dwelling and reptile-eating
sary to form a successful propensities. These Bushmen have generally been explorer are rarely, if ever, combined with that considered to be a deteriorated branch of the meanness and mendacity which can claim credit Hottentots; but I believe that, on the contrary, it for actions never performed, or discoveries never will be found that the former is the purer race, and made. At the same time, it cannot be denied, that the Hottentots, who, thanks to the Dutch that too many travellers have unnecessarily exposed Boers, are now nearly extinct, are an improved and themselves to the attacks of hostile critics by a hybrid race formed by some slight admixture of deficient chronological arrangement of their narra- Kaffir blood. tives, by exaggerated statements, and a neglect to Aristotle and others mention four peculiarities of properly discriminate between mere hearsay and the dwarfish Troglodytes, who, apparently, then actual observation.
dwelt in Abyssinia, a country from which they It is against the statements of the great geo- have been since driven or extirpated by the Gallas, graphers and historians of antiquity, that modern Kaffirs, Mayintu, and other Asiatic-African races. critics have specially delighted to break a lance, First, they left the sick and aged to die alone, and condemn as more or less fabulous and untrust- oftentimes of hunger and thirst. This the Hottentots worthy. Upon this subject Sir Emerson Tennant did when first discovered by Europeans. Secondly, has made some just observations in his work upon some of them ate their parents when they attained old "Ceylon.”
age. Kingsley bas defended this act as dutiful and In recent times many of the suspected statements religious, and without going quite so far, it may be No. 26.
observed that the Calanti and Pædæi of ancient India and the Battas of the interior of Sumatra did the same. Thirdly, they fought battles with cranes. This may have been merely a playful way of satirising their diminutive stature ; but Winwood Reade tells us, on the authority of some old Jesuit
, once dwelt in
riders. The Aztecs, it may be remembered, who had never
seen a horse before the invasion of Mexico by Cortes were with difficulty persuaded that the horse and man were not one animal.
It seems also very probable that the Fairies, so frequently mentioned in our literature and folk-lore, were in their votaries, who
Abyssina, and your correspondent - Bem of Melle, driven into concealment by the persecutions of the
has observed that the Maori traditions record an Roman governors and the spread of Christianity, analogous fact, viz., that their ancestors had to long performed their mystic rites under cover of contend with (may this phrase not bear the meaning night, in the depths of their sacred groves. The of “to hunt ?") the moas and other gigantic birds peasantry, seeing them thus engaged, would natuwhich formerly inhabited the islands of New rally regard them as supernaturals—a belief which Zealand. Fourthly, they buried the dead under the dread of Druidic enchantments might increase. heaps of stones, and accompanied these burials with A mingled affection for the old faith and dread of loud shouts of laughter. We nowhere read that the powers of the Druids would procure for them the Bushmen retain these peculiarities; but how the name of the “good-folk,” so universally applied strongly these stone heaps resemble the cairns, and to the fays, and explain the origin of the curious these festivities, the wakes or funeral revels of our legends which the native Irish so implicitly believe. Celtic ancestors !
Thus, whilst the flippant and superficial condemn The traveller Bruce was very generally dis- all ancient authors as mere story-tellers, and all believed when he described the "feasts of living ancient, traditions as apocryphal, the painstaking animals” in which the Abyssinians indulge; but the may extract from them most interesting and valuliteral truth of the statement has since been amply able information, thereby exemplifying the old provindicated. Nor is the custom, barbarous as it verb, “that what is one man's meat is another may appear, entirely unprecedented, for a sect ex- man's poison.” The works of Captain Cook and isted till very recently in Bengal who were “sheep- Dr. Livingstone afford examples of the scrupulous eaters," and devoured those animals piecemeal truthfulness which distinguishes the highest class of while alive; a representation of one of these people travellers. Captain Cook's charts and observations in the act of devouring a sheep, faces the title-page are so accurate that mariners still use them on the of the third volume of the “Proceedings of the coasts of Tasmania and New Zealand; while it has Asiatic Society.”
been remarked that Dr. Livingstone, the discoverer Most of the curious and mythical animals of of the vast Victoria Falls on the Zambesi River, antiquity really exist or have some foundation in committed the rare error of under-estimating their natural history. Thus the idea of the Mermaid is extent. If all travellers were as cautious in their evidently derived from the strong resemblance statements, there would be little point in the pracwhich the upper part of the bodies of some of the tice of stigmatizing improbable stories as “Traseal tribe bear to the human, and especially the vellers' Tales.”
F. A. ALLEN. female, figure; this resemblance is stated to be most fully developed in the Cow-fish of Brazilian rivers.
Again, it is extremely doubtful whether the VORACITY OF THE STARLING.-During the snowUnicorn, which figures so conspicuously in our storm of last week, Sergeant-Major Collins, of the royal arms, is an extinct animal, a rare animal, an Dorset Militia, observed a common starling (Sturnus ideal derived from the appearance of some ante- vulgaris) /perched upon the top rail of a fence in lope seen in profile, or from the rhinoceros. The the neighbourhood of the barracks. Suddenly it inhabitants of Thibet assert that a creature of this pounced upon something in the snow, and evidently character is known in the unexplored tracts of swallowed it. The serjeant-major resolved to see Mongolia, and the skull of an unknown animal of what this was, and immediately shot the starling, this type may be seen atļthe Museum of the African when, on wringing off the head after the most Missionary Society.
approved style of doing execution on these peculiar That the Sea-Serpent and Norwegian Kraken, or birds, what was his surprise to find projecting from Gigantic Polyp, really exist, I am firmly convinced ; the thorax of the bird thus decapitated, the sharp and I think that any one who takes the trouble to head and eyes with the two fore-claws of a nimble read two very ingenious and interesting articles lizard (Lacerta agilis), three or four inches in length, upon the subject, which appeared in Beeton's Boys' | which the starling had swallowed entire. The Monthly Magazine in the course of 1864, will become serjeant-major exhibited the lizard alive in Dora convert to my opinion.
chester market on Saturday; for, strange to say, Even the Centaurs of ancient Greece were no after remaining dormant for 24 hours, it revived. myths; they were, beyond doubt, the first horse- Weymouth and Dorchester Telegram, Jan. 10.