« EelmineJätka »
SKELETON LEAVES.—The following method has the ruby-tailed fly, which resemble a key-hole saw; been communicated to the Botanical Society of the dragon-fly's ovipositor; and that of a beautiful Edinburgh :-“A solution of caustic soda is made green saw-fly, which is found about the gooseberryby dissolving 3 oz. of washing soda in 2 pints tree. This last is particularly worthy of notice. of boiling water, and adding 1} oz. of quick E. J. Scott. lime, previously slacked; boil for ten minutes, decant the clear solution and bring it to the boil.
CONFERVOID GROWTH IN SLIDES.- Whether “ J. During ebullition add the leaves; boil briskly for
M. .” can apply it or not, I cannot say; but in old some time--say an hour, occasionally adding hot
times when objects were put into shades without water to supply the place of that lost by evapora.
balsam or other preparation, they soon became tion. Take out a leaf and put into a vessel of water,
covered with a kind of mould. To prevent it, I rub it between the fingers under the water. If the
used to wet the object and slide with a solution of epidermis and parenchyma separate easily, the rest
corrosive sublimate. If the solution of it in spirit of the leaves may be removed from the solution, and
of wine is sufficiently diluted, it will not crystallize treated in the same way ; but if not, then the boil.
so as to be noticed, but used to prove a very ing must be continued for some time longer. To
effectual antidote.-E. J. Scott. bleach the skeletons, mix about a drachm of chloride of lime with a pint of water, adding sufficient acetic
SANGUINARIA.—Mr. H. J. Bacon calls the attenacid to liberate the chlorine. Steep the leaves in
tion of microscopists to sections of the root of this till they are whitened (about ten minutes),
Sanguinaria canadensis as an interesting object; but taking care not to let them stay in too long, other
he does not state where the fresh root, which he wise they are apt to become brittle. Put them into
appears to allude to, can be obtained, as it is not a clean water, and float them out on pieces of paper.
plant in common cultivation. Lastly, remove them from the paper before they are quite dry, and place them in a book or botanical
DOUBLE EGG-SHELL-Knowing you are curious press.”—Dr. G. Dickson.
in natural-history matters, I think it may interest
you to hear that yesterday I met with a hen's egg MOVEMENTS IN CLOSTERIUM.-On a recent oc
with two shells. The outer was the supplemental casion your paper contained a short discussion of
one, and the thickest; the inner, the natural one, the “Closterium,” in which the author refers
and rather thinner than usual. The two were cursorily to the circulating movement observed
divided by a thin, damp, false membrane, similar in within those plants. The character of the move
appearance, but differing in structure from the true ments has not, I believe, been very distinctly ascer
membranes. My attention was directed to the fact, tained. The motion in the two species most common
by finding the shell unusually hard to fracture at in this locality differs considerably. In Closterium
each end with my penknife, before sucking it. I rostratum the ends appear to be freely open, the
have cracked scores of eggs before, but never met small bodies within exhibit by their movements a
with a like case. I should like to know whether current flowing inwards and outwards at either end,
such a thing has been observed before.-A.J.C. and this constant, and not in pulsations; and the
CIRCULATING CASE.-It has occurred to me that bodies themselves are, I believe, foreign, and do not
those subscribers to SCIENCE GOSSIP who feel inin any sense belong to the plants under investiga
terested in marine algæ might add to their coltion; in fact, simply monads. In C. striolatum, on
lections by forming a society for the interchange of the contrary, there does not seem to be any communication by the ends with the water outside; but
specimens by means of a circulating case. Rather
more than a year ago there was a society in existence at each end may be seen an oval body, deeply coloured, continually revolving on itself, within, as
for the exchange of botanical specimens, of which it were, a closed cage, and this not freely, but as
| I was a member. From some cause or other it
failed-at least the case ceased to come to me, and though it were attached by a cord at the inner end
I took for granted it had gone down. Perhaps the of its longer axis. I do not refer to the circulation
readers of this journal would communicate their to be frequently observed along the edges which
i mind on the subject. Should it be started I will be appears to be independent of that at the ends to
happy to do all in my power to secure subscribers.which the foregoing remarks apply. There are few objects so curious or so beautiful as these very
James Greer, jun. common desmids; but they so rapidly become PRESERVATION OF FOSSILS. I have a fine speci“ quiet," when in the collecting bottle, that se
men of the tusk, teeth, and forearm bone of a large dentary Londoners seldom get a sight of them in
elephant, which was dug up in a railroad cutting in their most lively condition.-C. F. W., St. Anne's
a bed of river gravel. The tusk has been broken, Heath, Chertsey.
but sufficient remains to show it must have been
sixteen or seventeen feet in length. It feels hard, Saws of FLIES.—In addition to “J. J. R.'s "
but is rapidly diminishing from the process of exaccount of the saws of some flies, the vessel which
foliation. I have well soaked it in a solution of runs along the saw of the Tenthredo deserves notice,
gelatine, yet the decay continues. Should any of and so does the foot. The body between the two your correspondents be acquainted with any manageclaws in its natural condition is folded up between ment to preserve the specimens it will much oblige. them, but in using becomes expanded into a beau - Charles Bailey. tiful kind of sucker. The whole leg is covered with hairs and spines, and is a lovely object altogether. THE VIPER.-Can any of your readers say why One can see how like this sucker is to a boy's they do not succeed, at the Zoological Gardens, in leather one in action. So unlike is it in its mecha | keeping the common Viper-after a few months or nism to the sometimes so-called sucker of a fly. A so they die. The last time I was in New Forest I collection of the different saws and ovipositors of intended to have investigated this subject, but the insects is very interesting. And besides those weather was so unfavourable that I was prevented mentioned by "J. J. R.," I would notice the saws of | 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 by 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
admirably. * 1. Dissolve the caoutchouc in chlorodry and friable from the loss of their animal oil, they may be made durable by saturating them with
form; 2. Dissolve the asphalt in benzole; add
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
on the difficulty experienced in getting the balsam of well-seasoned wood in which the specimens were
to harden properly, I have tried baking the slides in permanently imbedded : the bones, scales, &c., were
a common Dutch oven before the fire, with perfect then varnished with a solution of mastic, and the ground coloured bluish grey to imitate the Lias.”_
success. After about six hours' good baking, the
balsam becomes perfectly hard and well set. The Vol. i. p. 46 et seq., Bohn's edition.-A.H., Torquay.
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.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 oba 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 p“ 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
though beautiful' little white (hawthorn) moth. Angoulême. It can no longer be said that the
There was a sudden change in the weather, rain rabbit will not hybridize with the hare.]
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. R., 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 with. held. 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 annexed 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 Trochilidæ, 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 socicties of which the person using them is a fellow or member. They have no relation either to aca. demic 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.
ou prerer it, try benzine. More on the subject next month. T. H. H.--No. 1, Xylophasia polyodon ; 2, Polia Chi; 4, Hypena prohuscidalis; 3 and 5, in too bad a condition for identification.-F. M.
OBJECTS OF INTEREST, mounted or unmounted.--Send lists B.-The mosses are-14, Rhynrostegium depressum ; 15,1 to A. L., 61, Buckingham-road, N. Eurhynchium Swartzii; 16, Neckera complanatu.-R. B.
OAK-wood from St. Helena.-Send stamped envelope to J. F. S.-What kind of information is desired about truffles ?
Powell, 19, Burton-road, Brixton, s. See an article in "Popular Science Review," vol. i., p. 496; also SCIENCK GOSSIP, vol. i., pp. 89, 139.
BRITISH Mosses, named for Foreign Shells or rare British A. L. D.-The moss is Philonotis fontana, var. y, falcata.
species.-Jane S. Mine, Buckland, Faringdon, Berks. R. B.
PENCIL-TAIL (Polyrenus lagurus), see Science Gossip, vol. C. P. C. From the sketch your fungus appears to be i., p. 230, in exchange for Barbadoes Earth or nther good Agaricus (Collybia) radicatus, but the rooting portion is
(unmounted) objects.-J. Webster, Hanwell, Middlesex. broken off.
MOUNTED OBJECTS, dry, in fluid, or balsam. A large J. P.-Neckera crispa.
variety in exchange for mounted microscopic Fungi, or other H. H. M.-No Jarva enclosed.
objects.-For lists, send specimen slide and address to W. D. R.-We much regret to learn that H. Balls, of Reedham,
Hislop, 108, St. John Street-road, E.C. has failed to fulfil the engagements of his advertisements in our columns at the close of last year. The publisher exercises
CAMPYLODISCUS costatus, for any other Diatoms or Lepi. all the caution that he can to prevent other than bona fide
doptera.-J. W. Whelan, Bank, Bury St. Edmunds. advertisements being admitted to our pages, but manifestly PAULOWNIA Seeds, unmounted, for other objects of inhe cannot make inquiries into the particulars of every adver terest.-T. Buckle, Tunbridge. tisement that is sent for insertion or the character of the ad
OBJECTS, sixty varieties, unmonnted.-Send lists to G. W. vertiser.
Webb, 108, White Rock-street, Liverpool.
PELARGONIUM Petals (mounted), for other objects of inM. D.--We have never made solutions of corrosive sub
terest.-E. M., 6, Holford-square, Pentonville, W.C..
J. W. 1.-Your parasite is Puccinia compositarum.
“The Technologist." No. 5, New Series, December, 1866. G. A. W.-We could not answer your query here, and you
Kent & Co. did not enclose full address.
“ Die Entwickelung der Ideen in der Naturwissenschaft." E. P. W.- No one could even guess from such a description.
Von Justus von Liebig. München, 1866. Was it an Ameba?
“Hints on Spectacles, when to wear and how to select A. L.-Certainly no improvement on the very cheap wire
them." By W. Ackland. London: Horne & Thornthwaite. clips which can now be purchased.
“The European and Asiatic Races.” By Dadabhai Naoroji. T. P. F. should write his queries separately, and on one London: Trübner & Co. 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 COMMUNICATIONS RECEIVED.-F.W.-M. D.-E.J.S.C.Beetles" will be published. It is impossible to name your T. G. P.-D. R.-G. S. R.-J. G.-E. T.-J. P.-A. J. C.foreign gasteropod from its tongue. Beetles not yet named. A. L.-H.B.T.-S. J. Mcl.-A.M.-C.P.C.-J. S. T.-E.T. S.
B.D.-We have already figured a fountain, SCIENCE GOSSIP, -A. H.-J.P.-J. W. I.-S. J. B.-E. F. W.-H. H. M.vol. ii., p. 14; and yonrs is no improvement.
Ebba (no name).--A. W.-G. A. W.-G. H. F.-G. M.-L. G W. C.-“ London Catalogue of British Plants," 4d., Dulau -H. B.-H. E. W.-W.J.S.-C. D.-F. S.-C. B.-H. E. A. & Co., Soho-square,
-J. R.-J. J. R.-J. M.-W. F.-J. S. M.-F. S.-H. W.J. A. (Mile End).--The fungus is Agaricus ostreatus.
A. G.- J. W.-B. D.-W. C.- W. H.-W. N.-J. M.-J. A., J. H. G.-See p. 19 in this lumber. Single slides may he Jun.-J. A. (Mile End).-T. P.-W. S. G.-A. W.-J. J. F.transmitted safely in the black millboard cases sold by all I G. M. I.-A. A. A.-J. R.-J. W. W.-S. W. U.-G. F. P opticians.
s. B.-G. W. W.- T. B.-H. C. 0.-J. M.-J. 0.-B. A. J. F. HORTON (Powick). Letter awaits yon. Send correct H. E. R.-T. H.H.-J. B.-H. W.-C.A.-H. S.-H. D. C.A. BADGER (Eccleshall). } address..
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 gorillæ 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 Æpyornis, 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 bave 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 has 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 | riders. The Aztecs, it may be remembered, who India and the Battas of the interior of Sumatra did had never seen a horse before the invasion of the same. Thirdly, they fought battles with cranes. Mexico by Cortes were with difficulty persuaded This may have been merely a playful way of that the horse and man were not one animal. satirising their diminutive stature ; but Winwood) It seems also very probable that the Fairies, so Reade tells us, on the authority of some old Jesuit | frequently mentioned in our literature and folk-lore, missionaries, that enormous birds once dwelt in were in reality the Druids and their votaries, who, Abyssinia, and your correspondent "B." 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 "sleep 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 l 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
what this was, and immediately shot the starling, this type may be seen atsthe 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.