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271 ; Sternb. part v. and vi. page 77; Göpp. page 207.Coal measures, Osnabruck.
ovata, Hoffm. loc. cit. page 272; Sternb. part v. and vi. page 77; Göpp. page 207. Coal measures, Osnabruck.
Doubtful species. distans, Sternb. part v. and vi. page 77 ; Brong. Hist. i. page 250; Göpp. page 207. Coal measures, Eschweiler, Germany.
Martini, Sternb.; Gopp. page 208. Phytolithus Osmunda regalis, Mart. tab. 19, fig. 1-3. Coal measures, Chesterfield; Alfreton.
ODONTOPTERIS, Brong. Frond pinnate or bipinnate. Pinna or pinnulæ adnate by their base to the rachis, or free, generally oblique, midrib wanting or scarcely visible. Veins very fine, equal, simple or forked, springing from the rachis. * Veins subparallel, equal, straight, simple or dichotomous.
a. Frond digitate-pinnate. Odont. digitata, Sternb. part v. and vi. page 77, tab. 23, fig. 3; Göpp. page 209. Oolite shale, Yorkshire.
b. Frond pinnate. undulata, Sternb. part v. and vi. tab. 25, fig. 1; Göpp.
Oolite shale, Yorkshire. falcata, Sternb. part v. and vi. tab. 23, fig. 1; Göpp. page 210. Oolite shale, Yorkshire.
Schmidelii, Sternb. part v. and vi. tab. 35, fig. 2. Neuropt. dubia, Sternb. part iv. page 17. Hornstone, Baruth.
Bechei, Sternb. part v. and vi. page 78; Göpp. page 210; De la Beche, Geol. Trans. 2nd. series, vol. i. tab. 7, fig. 3. Oolite, Mamers, France. Lias, Axminster.
Bucklandi, Sternb. part v. & vi. page 79; Göpp. page 211. Filicites Bucklandi, Brong.; De la Beche, Geolog. Trans. 2nd series, vol. i. tab. vii. fig. 2. Lias, Axminster. ** Veins arched, ascending, simple or dichotomous.
a. Frond pinnate. acuminata, Göpp. page 211. Otopteris acuminata, Lindl. and Hutt. ii. tab. 132. Volite shale, Scarborough.
Otopteris, Göpp. page 211. Otopteris obtusa, Lindi. and Hutt. ii. tab. 128. Lias, Memberg ; Polden Hill.Upper oolite shale, Scarborough.
b. Frond bipinnate or bipinnatifid. Brardii, Brong. Prod. page 60; Hist. i. page 252, tab.
75, 76; Sternb. part v. and vi. page 79; Göpp. page 212. Otopteris crenulata, Brong. Hist. i. tab. 78, fig. 1. Coal measures, Terasson, France. Alpine oolite, Petit-ceur.
minor, Brong. Prod. page 60; Hist. i. page 253, tab. 77 ; Sternb. part v. and vi. page 79; Göpp. page 213.Coal measures, Terasson ; St. Etienne.
Schlotheimii, Brong. Hist. i. page 256, tab. 78, fig. 5; Sternb. part v. and vi. page 79; Göpp. page 213. Neuropteris nummularia, Sternb. part iv. page 17.
page 17. Filicites osmundeformis, Schloth. Petref. page 412, tab. 3, fig. 5.Coal measures, Manebach, Germany.
obtusa, Brong. Prod. page 60; Hist. i. page 255, tab. 78, fig. 3, 4; Gopp. page 214. Coal measures, Terasson, France. Alpine oolite, Col d'Ecuelle, near Chamonix.
Lindleyana, Sternb. part v. and vi. page 78; Göpp. page 214, tab. 1, fig. 7, 8, var. B. Odont. obtusa, Lindl. & Hutt. i. tab. 40. Coal measures, Leebotwood; B, Silesia. Bergeri, Göpp. page 215. Lias, Coburg, Saxony.
(To be continued.)
Art. V.-Notes on Irish Natural History, more especially Ferns.
By EDWARD Newman, Esq., F.L.S., &c. The most trivial notes on any branch of Natural History are always so acceptable to myself, that I am perhaps too confident in supposing that my own careless memoranda may be pleasing to others. On the 28th of last June I landed at Newry, and, with knapsack on back, marched off in a northerly direction, to see with my own eyes a country of which Englishmen in general know something less than of Kamkatcha or South Australia. From Belfast to Fairhead I coasted the county of Antrim, with the exception of a few miles; and although I found nothing particularly striking, yet the fine sea-views, commanding the coast of Scotland, the Isles of Arran, Bute, Jura, Islay, &c., and the singular Ailsa Craig, amply repay the pedestrian for his time. Fairhead is really grand; the basalt is irregularly columnar, quite perpendicular, and of great height: during the lapse of ages it seems gradually to have given way, vast disrupted masses being crowded and jammed together below the cliff, in wild and wonderful confusion. The height of the cliff is about 650 feet above the sea ; of this, a portion measuring perhaps 300 feet is perfectly perpendicular, the remainder is a mass of fragments decreasing in height till it reaches the sea.
On this cliff I first saw the red-legged crow, and watched it feeding its young in the fissures of the inaccessible precipice: compared with our crow, rook, or jackdaw, it is a graceful bird; its flight is easy and elegant, and its gait, when perched, very pleasing. The hooded crow and raven are also abundant here, and the latter wonderfully familiar. Ferns were abundant; Asplenium marinum occurs in profusion, and grows to a large size, but the fronds of the present year very
immature, and those of last season beginning to decay. In the basaltic cliff is a remarkable fissure, across which a mass has fallen and forms a natural bridge; through this fissure is a foot-way called the 'Grey Man's Path,' leading under the bridge to the top of the cliff; this path is literally “strewed with flowers,” and among them the beautiful Papaver Cambricum was very conspicuous and abundant.
The singular little island of Carrick-a-Rede, its flexible bridge of ropes, and the neighbouring sea-caves roofed with Asplenium marinum, are well worth a visit; and so is the Giant's Causeway a few miles to the westward, for of a surety it is most curious, but when the terms “stupendous, gigantic," "sublime,” &c. are given to this curiosity, they are certainly misapplied. When the guides first tell him that is the Causeway,” and point to a low, brown, tame-looking, sea-beach, the most phlegmatic man in the world must inevitably feel disappointed; but as he walks onwards and finds that he is treading on the tops of basaltic pillars, of various but regular figures, triangles, squares, pentagons, hexagons, and heptagons, he cannot but be struck with the curiosity of the affair. Compared with Staffa, the Giant's Causeway is so insignificant that I am persuaded that were it on the beach of that magnificent basaltic island, it would never have been noticed up to the present hour. The guides here are a great and insuperable annoyance, and their name is Legion; they are of no use whatever, and by what title they hold the right of worrying strangers I am quite at a loss to ascertain.
Donegal is a fine county for the naturalist; here are vast and unbroken tracts of mountains, and here man, that is, civilized man, has rarely set his foot. The bog is covered with the common ling (Calluna vulgaris), and a variety of Carices and coarse sour grasses; a few scattered sheep, and an occasional flock of twenty or thirty white goats, may here and there be seen wandering over the boggy waste. You scarcely ever see a tree, although the bog contains the remains of the trees of former ages.
The abundant and almost universal occurrence of the remains of vast timber-trees in the wastes of Scotland and Ireland, where trees are now almost as rare as
churches, and where indeed they can scarcely be coaxed to grow at all, has never yet been satisfactorily explained. A favourite theory on this subject is, that in time of war the forests were cleared, lest they should form a shelter in cases of pursuit: a second theory is, that copper and lead ore were conveyed from Cornwall and Wales to the coast of Ireland, in order to be smelted, and that whole forests were levelled for the supply of fuel. The fragments of trees remaining appear to be preserved by the bog, and to have suffered little or nothing from the action of moisture. The recent timber must not be confounded with the trunks often found still lower in the bog, and which are fairly entitled to rank as bog fossils, being evidently coeval with the bones of the extinct Irish elks and cattle. The more recent timber is mostly oak and Scotch fir.
The north-western extremity of the county Donegal is wild, grand, and mountainous; the summits are very lofty, white, and perfectly without vegetation. Having selected Arrigal as the highest peak, I made the ascent, which is by no means difficult, a good road having been cut along its shoulder, and passing within a thousand perpendicular feet of its summit. The summit is a sharp crescent-shaped ridge; the descent on the inside of the crescent is very precipitous and remarkably barren: the form of the mountain is what is usually termed volcanic, and deep within the vast excavation which may be regarded as analogous to a crater, is a still lake. The view is very fine; the lakes, mountain-peaks, sea-bays and islands being almost innumerable. The base of the mountains of this district is boggy and very rough, higher up is a belt of heath, and above this is the region of bare stone.
After sleeping in a hut at the foot of Arrigal I turned southward, crossing the Glendoan mountains, and so reached Docharty bridge. The Glendoan chain is of less height, and the summits more rounded: you may often walk forty or fifty yards on an unbroken slab of stone, perfectly bare, and bleached by the action of wind and rain. On reaching the lower country about Docharty Bridge, Osmunda regalis appears in profusion, sometimes fringing the margin of the streams like a continuous hedge, sometimes rising from the bog in large isolated bushes. I could not but contrast the fern productions of this wild county with those of Argyleshire and Caernarvonshire, which in their desolate mountainous character are somewhat similar. Cryptogramma crispa is nowhere to be seen; of Polypodium Phegopteris and Dryopteris I did not find a single frond; and of Aspidium Oreopteris, the most common fern of the Scotch and Welch moun
tains, I saw a tolerable sprinkling near Milroy Bay, and one single plant at Docharty Bridge; in the mountain tract between these localities it does not once occur. In the mountain lakes Isoetes is not uncommon. Athyrium filix-fæmina is ubiquitous; Nephrodium filix-mas comparatively rare : Nephr. dilatatum is common, and of three distinct types of form ;—the first elongate, broad, drooping, and nearly flat; the second short, rigid, erect, brownish green, and convex ; the third short, less rigid and erect, bright pale green, and concave, not simply as a frond, but every pinna and pinnule also concave. The second form I believe to be Aspidium dumetorum of Smith; the third is the Asp. dumetorum of Mackay, the Asp. dilatatum var. concavum of Babington, and the Asp. spinulosum of the Botanic Garden at Belfast, &c. This form is far more distinct and constant than any variety we possess in England, where the plant is confined pretty much to the first form mentioned above; every botanist selecting one or two fronds broader or narrower, longer or shorter, larger or smaller, more rigid or more pendulous than the rest, and naming them Aspidium spinulosum or (happy deception !) Asp. rigidum.
(To be continued).
ART. VI.—On the Fossil Shells of the genus Modiola being frequent
ly found in the Bath Oolite, enclosed in the Shells of the genus
Lithodomus. By The Rev. H. Jelly. In the superior members of the great oolite formation in the neighbourhood of Bath there occur masses, sometimes of considerable size, of a kind of Astræa, perforated most profusely by several species of Lithodomi. Among these, specimens repeatedly occur in which three or four or even more shells lie encased as it were, the one by the other, in such a manner as leaves it extremely difficult to account for their collocation. Having had a series of these in my possession for several years, and still without discovering any satisfactory solution of the problem, I am desirous of calling the attention of conchologists to the subject, through the medium of your valuable Magazine, and of ascertaining in this way whether any facts in the history of recent shells of this or any other allied family, can be adduced in explanation of what I cannot but think a very anomalous circumstance in the natural history of the tribe. I send you some specimens by way of il