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were not wisely chosen, the facts in the case not being before me, I am free to confess that I have grave doubts whether they were even as well adapted to the purpose as the ordinary dry plates. In any case, the best work on the corona has yet to be done, with plates prepared for that special purpose, and with apparatus specially arranged. Several efforts have been made in this direction abroad, not with entire satisfaction it is true, but they indicate a recognition of progress in photographic work, and a laudable disposition to apply the latest knowledge to special requirements. I am not aware that any photographic experiments are now under way in anticipation of improved methods to be applied to the solar eclipse next year. If not, we have no reason for expecting any better photographs of the corona than those of Professor Holden, which are doubtless as good as can be made without special plates. Let me add as a purely gratuitous opinion, founded, however, upon long consideration of the subject, that I am convinced of the practicability of photographing the corona without waiting for an eclipse. To do this, however, would require no small amount of preliminary work, for which a well-equipped laboratory is necessary.
Not wishing to extend this communication to undue length, I confine my remarks to these few eminently practical subjects for laboratory research, only adding that there are many others which deserve investigation, such as photographic standards of light and color, methods of recording daily solar activity, the comparison of the chemical and visual effect of light of various colors,-a very important subject in stellar photography,— atmospheric absorption, the application of photography to meteorology, the formation of clouds, lightning, and a host of other subjects which will suggest themselves.
The point I wish specially to make is that a photographic research laboratory would be of the greatest value as an aid to research in many branches of physical investigation. It has been my privilege to visit the laboratories of Dr. Eder in Vienna and Dr. Vogel in Berlin, both of which have contributed so much to a practical and scientific knowledge of photographic methods; but above either of these, for purely scientific research, I should say the private laboratory of Mr. Schumann, in Leipzig, although much more restricted in scope, approaches nearer to my ideal of what we most need in this country.
WITHIN recent years the structure of protoplasm has been much studied by microscopists, and the several theories enunciated have attracted considerable attention and been the subject of considerable discussion. The entire subject is a fascinating one, but among all the doctrines put forth by various observers, either as the result of personal investigations with modern high-power objectives, or as a result of a working of the "scientific imagination," none has received more attention of a certain kind, and none is more pleasing, than Dr. Carl Heitzmann's theory of the reticulation of the protoplasm. Yet simple and beautiful as his doctrine is, it has been ridiculed and summarily dismissed by those that have failed to obtain results similar to his.
Dr. Heitzmann claims that all animal protoplasm is at all times a net-work of delicate threads, in which is the life of the object, the meshes thus formed containing the liquid or semi-liquid and other non-living constituent parts of the protoplasm. His book on the "Microscopical Morphology of the Animal Body in Health and Disease" is somewhat surprising, since he sees all tissues as formed of reticulated protoplasm, an appearance that he seems to have no difficulty in demonstrating, but which the majority of
microscopists and histologists claim to be unable to see, and which they say is therefore non-existent. The subject merits further attention. Judging from a limited experience, but from an experience gained through an eye to a certain extent trained in microscopical examination with high powers, I am willing to confess that the Heitzmann doctrine of the structure of protoplasm is more than satisfying; if it should be proved to be illusory or the result of the action of reagents, I should be disposed to abandon it with regret.
In 1873, Dr. Heitzmann, before the Vienna Academy, demonstrated the reticular structure of the protoplasm of the common Amaba, a microscopic animal within reach of every microscopist, and one in which the reticulation should be readily seen with the proper optical appliances, if it exist. I do not know that any effort has ever been made in this country to repeat this observation in order to refute or to confirm it. The white corpuscles of human blood are conspicuously reticulated after treatment with certain reagents, and if the common Amœba should present a somewhat similar structure without having been subjected to the action of a chemical solution, the fact would be of great importance and interest. It would seem, too, that microscopists are not living up to their privileges if they fail to heed a suggestion that may be of so great importance. Yet so far as any prominent printed record appears, the common Amoeba has never been examined with modern high-power objectives by competent microscopists having this object in view. If such papers have been published, they have not come to my notice. I am not claiming any merit on my own part, for I am also one of those that have given no attention to this attractive subject. I have never submitted the Amœba to the tests needed to demonstrate, for my own personal satisfaction if for no other reason, whether or not the reticulum exists in its protoplasm as Dr. Heitzmann says it exists. But that at certain times in certain places within all animal bodies the structure of protoplasm is reticular there can be no doubt. That the reticulum exists at all times and in all places is another matter.
But recently, while I was making a microscopical examination of a sample of urine, a single scale of epithelium appeared under the objective in a drop of the fluid, and was as perfectly and superbly reticulated as could be desired by the most ardent advocate of the theory. The cell had had no treatment except what may bave come from its soaking in the urine, yet the net-work of its protoplasm was perfection, and its prominence must have forced itself upon the attention of any microscopist. But thousands of epithelial scales may be studied in as many samples of urine, and not another found in this beautiful condition.
In reference to the common Amœba, although I have never yet studied it with the reticulation of its protoplasm in mind, I have recently had the satisfaction of examining a favorable specimen of the allied Pelomyxa villosa Leidy, in whose ectosarc the reticulum of the protoplasm was as perfect and as conspicuously marked as in the single epithelial scale just mentioned. Pelomyxa is a common Rhizopod in this locality (Trenton, N. J.), but it is usually so gorged with food, with sand grains or with other opaque particles, that its body is almost black by transmitted light, and therefore unsuited for such a purpose as a search for protoplasmic reticulations. But this particular individual was without these obscuring elements, being almost transparent, and fortunately with the protoplasm of the ectosarc so conspicuously reticulated as to obtrude itself upon the microscopist's notice. If the softer and continuously flowing endosarc had been surrounded or enclosed within a delicate net of cords, the reticulations could not have been more apparent or more distinct, becoming even more conspicuous when this external coating flowed out to cover a newly produced pseudopodium. The meshes of this beautiful net were angular, and the living threads that formed them were rather actively contractile, the meshes becoming narrowed and elongated during the animal's movements of progression. The greatest length of perhaps the largest space was, during quiescence, about one six-thousandth of an inch, the smallest being probably about one-third of that size, although careful measurements were not made of either of these.
There can be no doubt that at least at times the ectosarc of Pelomyxa villosa is formed of reticulated protoplasm. That it is
always so constituted further investigation should determine. As it is comparatively immense, its examination is not so difficult as is that of the smaller Amaba, the study of which, with this special object in view, would demand greater care and an eye trained by practice over the microscopically minute. The subject and the facts are important by reason of their bearings upon the minute examination of objects that may, perhaps, possess a more utili. tarian purpose than either the common Amoeba or the almost equally common Pelomyxa.
The examination in this case was made with Bausch & Lomb's homogeneous immersion one-eighth, Reichert's oil-immersion one-twelfth, N. A. 1.40, and Gundlach's homogeneous-immersion one-twentieth, N. A. 1.20.
Trenton, New Jersey.
GLACIATION IN WESTERN MONTANA.
BY HERBERT. R. WOOD.
THE evidences of glaciation in western Montana are very ap parent from Helena to Hope (Idaho). They are shown by a series of parallel valleys with a north and south trend, and another series of rounded oblong isolated valleys, connected by narrow necks of land along river bottoms between mountain chains. The former follows the strike of the rocks, occurring along contact lines, synclinal folds, shore or marginal beds of the Sub-Carboniferous formations; the others cross the strike, and, like the former, are also largely the result of pre-glacial denuding forces. The direct evidences are erratic blocks, .terminal moraines (frequently holding back lakes), clays, striæ, gravels, etc. The main range of the Rockies (5,550 feet, at Mullan, above the sea), consisting of Devonian, Carboniferous and Sub-Carboniferous, has a valley on the west in the upper Cambrian. Further north west the glacial striæ run 45° north of west, the general course of valley being 30o north of west. The elevation at the boundary here is 4,000 feet above the sea; 100 miles south of this it is 3,200 feet, in vicinity of Missoula. From the summit of the main range, as given above, to Hope, Idaho, 300 miles, the fall is over 3,000 feet (5,550 — 2,200). The fall from the boundary is not constant; at Libby, near Idaho, the height is 2,000 feet, forty miles south of this it is 2,500 feet. While the glacial action has been generally from the north, at 100 or 150 miles from the boundary seems to have been the end of the terminal moraines; and a series of glaciers came from the south the higher elevations of the Bitter Root Range. The great Flathead Valley, which lies west of 114° and extends south from the boundary for 150 miles to Ravalli, is about 30 miles wide. In its southern portion a lake is situated, which is about 35 miles long, dammed by a terminal moraine 200 feet high. The lake is 1,000 feet in depth, its northern shore being a plain, extending for 30 miles, representing an old lake-bed. Another moraine extends across the northern part of this plain, making the boundary line of its northern shore. Such a glacier that could produce this excavation must have been 2,000 feet in thickness and 25 miles wide. Heavy beds of clays, 150 feet in thickness, cover the plain, with a few boulders and thin beds of sand in its lower layers, which is followed by gravels. The worn-down roots of a mountain range are noticeable at both the north and south shores of the lake. This valley runs along the shore line of the lower Cambrian quartzitic series. Some glaciated valleys enter this from the west. The direction of this great glacier seems to have been south-east, crossing a range of mountains 20 miles to the east, which it has left hummocky and worn. Ninety-eight miles west of this the Cabinet Range, 30 to 40 miles long, 7,000 to 10,000 feet high, on the borders of Idaho, shows marked glaciation, the striæ having a course 42° south of west. The height, at Libby on Kooterian, above the sea here is 2,000 feet. The glacial detritus piled along the flanks of this anticlinal is 700 feet in thickness, and represents the material from the gulches. At Hope Pend O'reille Lake the glacial action has undoubtedly been very great, the lake being 2,000 feet deep, with a mountain 4,000 feet above the sea to the north of it. The town is 2,000 above the sea. A number of islands in the lake are scoured down to the water's edge. They represent mountains which may have risen as high as that
mentioned. The striations are 40° west of north, 42° west of north. A terminal moraine has dammed the river (Clark's Fork of the Columbia), which enters it from the east, and turned it a mile to the south. Pre-glacial action has been active here and at Libby (see above), some 6,000 feet of strata having been removed from the summit of the Cabinet anticlinal, most of it being pre-glacial denudation. Lake Pend O'reille may perhaps fitly be a glacial lake, a rock basin, which has been filled by the waters of the Columbia. The greatest length of the lake is along the strike of the rocks, though this has not been an important feature in moulding its form, but rather the action of glacier, boulders of diabase and granite being observed several hundred feet above the lake along the mountain side. At Clark's Fork, 20 miles east, I observed granite boulders, on a mountain, at a height of 1,800 feet, or about 4,000 feet above the sea. Heavy beds of gravels, clays, and boulders fall on the valley of the river (Columbia) for 60 miles, the general direction being east and west. At Thompson the glacier has scoured down a range to the south, the path of the glacier being here apparently south-west. A series of terraces extend along the north side of the river, with large blocks of slates (presumably of pre-Cambrian age). At Horse Plains a small valley running east and west represents an old post-glacial lake bed. The glaciers here came from the north, piling up heaps of clays and gravels along the north hummocky side of the valley. One large erratic block of limestone (upper Cambrian) measured 12 × 15 × 18 feet. It was perched about 400 feet above the valley on a diabase dike. This point is 75 miles west of Missoula and about 2,460 feet above the sea. At Missoula a large gravel plain (an old lakebed), of 40 or 50 miles square, lies in the midst of the lower-Cambrian rocks. To the north the cretaceous rocks dip into the mountains eight miles distant at an angle of 30° north-west. The glaciers have greatly denuded this cretaceous belt into low foothills in their path from the mountains (8,000 feet above the sea) 8 or 10 miles north. Moraines flank the mountains, large blocks of slates and quartzites from the Cambrian rocks resting at the mouths of creeks and stretching across the old lake beds. Around the mountains a series of beaches or beach-lines extend ; I have counted 26 of them one above the other, extending upward for nearly 2,000 feet above the plain. These beach-lines I have traced for 50 miles. They seem to represent a pretty general upheaval following upon the close of the cretaceous period. The depth of the gravels which form the old lakebottoms must be very great. They consist of Cambrian quartzites. To the south of Missoula extends a long valley (terraced) for 75 miles. It lies to the east of a gneissoid range or a bedded quartz porphyry porphroidal or gneiss coeval with Pilot Knob of Missouri and the older Archean gneisses. A glacier undoubtedly travelled to the north, cutting out a range of Cambrian rocks, dipping south, nine miles south of Missoula, connecting it with the old lake previously mentioned. To the north-west of Missoula are several small valleys, through which the Blackfoot River runs. They all run east and west or nearly so across the strike of the rocks, and are divided by low, rounded, hummocky ranges, over which the glaciers have passed. Stratified gravel deposits are exposed along river banks, 75 feet in thickness. One valley, about 12 miles long, running along the strike of the rocks, which dip east, has a moraine at its northerly end made of thickly scattered angular boulders and clays, and of a terrace-like nature, rising 200 feet above the river, which has here cut through it. Ten miles further north another moraine occurs, and five miles further north a great moraine of several hundred feet in thickness and holding ponds and small lakes in its surface. These seem to show, so far as a hasty examination would permit, points in the recession of a great glacier whose course was south-west. A few generalizations from these facts show pretty conclusively that, 1. The rivers are nearly all of pre-glacial origin, but probably post-cretaceous, one or two having been deflected in their courses by the glaciers.
2. The denudation has been largely, if not in greater part, preglacial.
3. No apparent upheaval has occurred since the glacial period, but a series of beach-lines indicate a pretty general elevation folowing the cretaceous period.
4. The general trend has been south, south-east, and southwest, but frequently deflected east and west by ranges and preexisting valleys. The great Flathead glacier west of 114° shows a length of 150 miles from boundary. Along a line 150 miles south of boundary, which rapidly swings to the north as we go westward, the lower limits (moraines) of this series of glaciers is evident. To the south of these the glaciers have had a northerly trend, forming a series of valleys running north and south. Short glaciers, radiating from local heights, as at Libby, and Missoula and various other places, were common. Some of these have no doubt been persistent for some time since the glacial period proper.
5. With the recession of the glaciers the lakes were drained to the west.
6. Existing glacial lakes are four or five in number. They are rock-basins eroded no doubt greatly before the glacial period. In nearly all cases they are dammed by terminal moraines.
7. The area touched upon is 300 miles (E. and W.) by 100-150 miles (N. and S.). The fall being to the west and south as noted; on the map it may be found from the 49th parallel on the north to the 47th on the south, from the Rockies (main range on east) to Idaho boundary-line.
8. Terraced valleys of much interest occur, but to which no detailed study has been given.
THE SHRINKAGE OF LEAVES.
BY E. E. BOGUE.
PROBABLY every maker of botanical specimens has observed that the leaves when dry are smaller than when fresh. The wish to know how much the shrinkage might be led to the following measurements. The leaves were measured before they had wilted, and after they were perfectly dry.
The longest dimensions were taken in each case. The width or dimension across the midrib is first given in each case; the first column shows the measurements when fresh, and the second column the measurements when dry. All measurements are given in inches and parts of an inch.
10 × 8
14 X 14 111 × 101
74 X 7
The leaves were pressed enough to keep them from wrinkling. A piece the size of a mounting-sheet (113 × 161) was cut from a leaf of the Nelumbo, and was found to decrease from that size to 11 x 15. It will be seen that the least shrinkage was in the Indian turnip (the measurements here referring to leaflets), and the greatest shrinkage in the water-lily. Petioles of the sugar-maple were measured and ranged from 24 to 4 in length, but were shortened by drying, if at all, less than.
It will be noticed that in the velvet leaf the small immature one decreased more even than the largest one. Ohio State University, Sept. 10.
51% × 73
41 × 718
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
Pre-Aino Race in Japan.
I MUCH regret that Prosessor Morse should think that I have intentionally misrepresented or carelessly disregarded his views concerning the pre-Aino occupancy of Japan, as he rather vigorously maintains in Science of Sept. 9. It can scarcely be said that I have claimed for myself the discovery that there was a race of people in Japan before the Ainos. The most I have endeavored to show is the possibility,-I do not even go so far as to suggest the probability, — that the pre-Aino inhabitants of Japan may have been the people who dug the pits in Yezo.
As regards the Aino occupancy of Japan, Professor Morse will find that the "historical records" of the country, which he mentions, have not been disregarded in my article, and, in fact, the evidences of the shell heaps are, to my mind, the least convincing of any, until the fact of the Aino origin of them is established. It is the historical evidence, the distribution of geographical placenames, and, last but not least, Japanese tradition, which are at present the strongest evidences in this connection.
An author may be criticised for sins of omission, and even for
errors due to misapprehension; but to charge him with neglect and wilful misrepresentation of another's views involves a presumption of motives which, I trust, are not common among students of science. I have the highest regard for Professor Morse personally and for his valuable and painstaking work in Japan, not only upon this subject but upon others, and I certainly would not willingly misrepresent his views nor disregard them. He will no doubt have observed that this part of the subject is treated in a much briefer manner than might have seemed desirable, otherwise I do not think he would have found any cause for complaint. ROMYN HITCHCOCK.
The Woodmont, Washington, D.C., Sept. 12.
On Biological Nomenclature.
PROFESSOR UNDERWOOD's article in Science for Aug. 26 calls for a general expression of views on this subject. The article above referred to was written from the standpoint of the botanist, while the present one will be perhaps more from a zoological standpoint. The writer, however, recognizes no distinction between the two, and firmly believes that the system of nomenclature should be absolute and uniform for all branches of biology. Absolutely the same rules should be recognized throughout the departments of botany and zoology, and these rules and regulations ought to be speedily decided upon by a congress of the leading biologists of the world, to which every country and organization so interested should send delegates. In the meantime every one follows his own particular ideas in regard to the matter, which may be either right or wrong.
I desire here to express my unprejudiced but very decided views on the seven questions which Professor Underwood puts, and will preface them with the remark that in no case can the name of the original erector and describer of a genus or species be separated therefrom without gross injustice.
1. Shall there be an initial date in nomenclature? Let us by all means recognize the validity of the first names proposed when accompanied by a sufficiently recognizable description and not preoccupied. In some cases, as with many of the older authors, descriptions must be recognized which would not be considered sufficient at the present day.
2. Shall names long used be laid aside when claimed for other plants [or animals] on grounds of strict priority? They should, when it is unmistakably evident that the original describer so intended.
3. Shall the first name under a genus "hold against a previous specific name? By no means. The specific name first proposed should, coupled with the name of its original describer, follow the name of whatever genus it may be finally relegated to. 4. Shall varietal names have priority over established specific names? Yes, but with the name of the original proposer attached. I do not agree with Professor Underwood on this point, but believe that varietal names lay claim to the same priority as specific names, when they are found to be valid.
5. Can inappropriate names be cancelled on that ground alone? They cannot with any degree of justice.
6. How far has a later writer a right to correct names previously established? He has no right whatever to in any way change the spelling of a name from what was intended by the original describer. If by a typographical error the name was printed wrong, and the author corrects it later in print, his correction should be accepted. I am strongly in favor, however, of beginning all specific names with small letters, whatever their origin, and making all compound specific names into simple terms by writing them with the hyphen dropped. I would write Brevoortia idamaia Wood, or donnellsmithii, or mariaewilsoni, to use Professor Underwood's examples. I have no right to change the endings in any way whatsoever, neither have I the least right to sup ply a syllable apparently omitted, judging from the derivation. I would not consider that I had the power to elide or supply a single letter, if by such act I changed the term from what was originally proposed and intended by its describer. My conviction is that, except in manifest errors of typography, names should be let alone. Errors of orthography may be left to stand.
7. What credit should be given for generic and specific names?
Write the name of the author of the specific name, without parentheses, whether there have been a dozen transfers or none at all to a new genus. There is no necessity whatever for shedding glory upon the one who made the transfer. Usually he erects a new genus to accept the transferred species, and the fact that his name will go down the corridors of time coupled to the genus he erected is glory enough. He has no right whatever to the species. Even if he does not erect the genus, he certainly has full credit in the literature for making the change, and the act does not demand recognition in the system of nomenclature itself.
I would write Metzgeria pubescens Schrank, to use the example given in the article referred to, and make no more ado or trouble about it. This signifies always that the authority named described the species originally and originally proposed that name. The founder and date of the genus can be ascertained by referring to any monograph. The generic conceptions of the original authority should not enter into consideration at all.
As to the question of "once a synonym, always a synonym," I believe in the negative. If a form, which had been described and then thought to be the same as some other species, is later proven to be a valid species, the name originally proposed should stand.
Generic names should not agree too closely in orthography. I should say that Richardia ought to preclude Riccardia; certainly Casia should preclude Cesia. I do not think that different derivation, or original meaning, presents any excuse for similarity of terms. The difference should be sufficient to preclude any possibility of error on the part of a student unfamiliar with both terms. I believe also that a generic term already used in botany should not be proposed in zoölogy, and vice versa. I would be cautious about changing those which have already been of long standing, however.
Lastly, specific names should never be capitalized or written with a hyphen; and no comma should be inserted between the specific name and its authority. It would be a great boon to biologists if absolute uniformity could be infused into the system of nomenclature. C. H. TYLER TOWNSEND.
New Mexico Agricultural College, Sept. 1.
I HAVE read with great interest recent contributions to the literature of the Grand-Gulf formation, including Professor Hilgard's valuable paper in the American Journal of Science and Judge L. C. Johnson's letter in your last issue. As I have recently been summarizing our knowledge of the Post-Eocene Tertiary (to appear shortly in Bulletin 84, U. S. Geological Survey, which is already in type) I am moved to add a few words in regard to the subject for your columns, which I have already expressed in correspondence with several of those interested.
At the time of the Grand-Gulf sedimentation the lower valley of the Mississippi was already the theatre of estuarine conditions and operations, which date to a very ancient geological time. Toward the end of the Chesapeake or newer Miocene epoch this gulf extended far into the interior, its south-eastern point of entrance being somewhere in the meridian of Mobile, or between Mobile and the Appalachicola River. The embayment, which I have called the Gulf of Mississippi, received an immense drainage, corresponding to that of the whole Mississippi valley and perhaps that of the upper lakes of the present St. Lawrence system. The operations in progress consisted in the transfer of material from the elevated interior to this gulf by the medium of the drainage, and in all probability a gradual or intermittent shifting of level as weight was removed from the uplands and deposited beyond the shore-line. The shallows, as I conceive it, sank and the interior rose, thus preserving a sort of balance, and there is some reason to suppose that a specially important movement took place at the end of the Grand-Gulf epoch, by which the more energetic degradation characterizing the Lafayette epoch was inaugurated, the Strait of Georgia closed, and the previously existing islands of central Florida were joined to the mainland. I agree entirely with Hilgard's view that elevation was essential for the geological operations which are recorded in the stratigraphy of these two epochs.
The Grand-Gulf strata show gravels, sands (now frequently
converted into quartzite), and clays. They were laid down in water which was too brackish at times for the establishment of a fresh-water fauna in the estuary and too fresh for a marine fauna. In short, the conditions were those of an estuary during a period of rather rapid sedimentation. This estuary probably was, as many southern estuaries are now, defended from the sea by low bars or sand islands, on the seaward side of which a marine, probably Chesapeake, fauna flourished, whose remains are now buried 700 to 1000 feet below the level of the Gulf of Mexico. On the shores grew palmettos, and drift-wood in abundance brought down by the rivers was strewn upon them. I regard it as likely that part of the gravels bored through by artesian wells, in the axis of what was the Gulf of Mississippi, are referable to an earlier period than that of the Grand-Gulf epoch, since the same processes were at work there throughout the whole of the Miocene. Coëval with the sediments of the Grand Gulf were marine deposits along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, both east and west of the entrance to the Gulf of Mississippi. As the erosion of the land became more complete the slope of the drainage became less, the currents slower and the sediment finer and lighter, fine sand and clay replacing the gravel and coarser material of the earlier part of the epoch. In short, the clays to which Johnson has applied the name of the Pascagoula formation, began to be laid down, the sea was less energetically pushed back by the outflowing river-waters, and the conditions became more favorable for the establishment of a brackish-water fauna.
The word formation has been used very loosely in American geological literature. In the sense in which we use the term for the Chesapeake Miocene, or the Grand Gulf, or Lafayette rocks, I conceive that these clays do not constitute a formation. They really represent for me a phase, the latest and most gentle, of the Grand Gulf, which is represented by the sands with palmetto leaves above the Chesapeake strata in the section at Alum Bluff on the Chattahoochee River. We may, slightly modifying Johnson's term, refer to them as the Pascagoula clays.
A correction is also required in the definition of these clays, or rather the fauna they contain. It is not, as supposed by Johnson, a marine fauna. All the species are or may be a part of a strictly brackish-water formation. The collections of Johnson, as well as material from the Mobile well, have been in my hands for study. The fauna comprises a large oyster, a small Gnathodon, which I have described under the name of G. Johnsoni, a small Mactra, also found in the Chesapeake Miocene, fragments of a Corbicula, and a Hydrobia, which I have named H. Mobiliana. The supposed Venus of which Judge Johnson speaks is the young of the Gnathodon. All these species are characteristic of estuaries, and will be discussed in my "Tertiary Mollusks of Florida," of which Part II. is now printing. The depth at which this fauna is encountered in the Mobile well is 735 feet, which gives an average dip from the locality near Vernal, Miss., where it comes to the surface, of about 25 feet to the mile; which corresponds very well to the dips of other strata of the Tertiary, which have been similarly traced. We are under serious obligations to Judge Johnson for the material he has so assiduously collected and which has helped so much to determine the geology of our southern tertiary formations. WM. H. DALL, Paleontologist U. S. Geol. Survey. Washington, D. C., Sept. 13.
European Origin of the Aryans. REFERRING to Dr. Isaac Taylor's letter in Science, Sept. 9, I must say that I cannot conceive how he can make the statements it contains, if, as he alleges, he has "carefully read" Omalius D'Hallow's writings.
Dr. Taylor's words are, "The comparatively modern theory that the Aryan race originated in the highlands of Central Asia, a theory of which D'Halloy does not seem to have heard." Now, in the article published in 1849, D'Halloy has these words: “On a voulu tirer la conclusion que ces langues (indo-germaniques) derivaient du sanscrit, et que tous les peuples qui les parlaient etaient originaires de l'Himalaya, deux propositions qui sont loin d'être incontestable."
As if this was not enough to make it clear as to what theories
he was attacking, he specifically states in a note to page 19 of his "Eléments d'Ethnographie," referring to this article in the Bulletin of the Belgian Academy, that it was directed against the linguists who derived the modern European languages and peoples from Central Asiatic ancestry; whereas it was his view that the ancient Persian and Indian tongues were imported from Europe into Asia.
I imagine that if Dr. Taylor had not had before him the "necessity of modifying former [printed] statements," he would not have overlooked this positive testimony by Omalius to himself. Media, Pa., Sept. 12. D. G. BRINTON.
The English Sparrow and Other Birds. My experience with the English sparrow accords with that of your correspondent X. in your issue of Sept. 2, 1892. Before this sparrow came and multiplied largely, my lawn was populated with cat-birds, red-birds (Cardinal grosbeck), robins, doves, bluebirds, yellow-birds, tomtits, chipping sparrows, wrens, etc.; but now the English sparrow has full possession of the entire premises. Now and then a cat-bird or a red-bird slips in as if to see whether he may again bring his family to their old umbrageous quarters, and to the rations which were provided for their support; but he is not reassured, and soon disappears.
The fecundity, energy, and perseverance of the little vandals are amazing. When the small fruits are abundant it requires a week of active shot-gun work to make them even cautious in visiting the fruit-garden. Some of them last spring took a notion to establish nests on the tops of window-shutters which opened under projecting eaves, and although their nests were swept off almost daily, they immediately began in each case to rebuild on the same spots, and continued this for at least a fortnight. In their nesting, as in some other things, they display more perseverance than discretion. The cats found that they were building in considerable numbers in a large hay-loft, and suppressed many a germ of mischief. The sparrows sometimes swarm like flies in the stable, where they will enter the troughs of horses, cows, and pigs whilst the animals are feeding.
I no longer shoot owls or hawks, but give them a welcome, and every cat and nest-hunting boy has the freedom of my premises. Lexington, Va., Sept. 12. W. H. RUFFNER.
Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution to July, 1890. Washington, Government Printing Office, 1891.
THE Smithsonian Report for 1890 contains: First, the proceedings of the Board of Regents for the session of January, 1890; second, the report of the executive committee exhibiting the financial affairs of the institution, including a statement of the Smithson fund and receipts and expenditures for the year 1889–1890; third, the annual report of the secretary giving an account of the operations and condition of the institution for the year 1889-1890, with statistics of exchanges, etc.; fourth, a general appendix comprising a selection of miscellaneous memoirs of interest to collaborators and correspondents of the institution, teachers, and others engaged in the promotion of knowledge. This volume is also profusely illustrated, adding greatly to its value and interest. Among the illustrations are maps of the National Zoological Park; maps of the Niagara River; maps of Central Africa, before and after Stanley; pictures illustrating primitive urn burial, the age of bronze in Egypt, specimens of quartz fibres; and many others too numerous to mention in detail here.
The object of the memoirs included in the general appendix is to furnish brief accounts of scientific discovery in particular directions; occasional reports of the investigations made by collaborators of the institution; memoirs of a general character or on special topics, whether original and prepared expressly for the purpose or selected from foreign journals; and briefly to present (as fully as space will permit) such papers not published in the Smithsonian Contributions or in the Miscellaneous Collections as may be supposed to be of interest or value to the numerous correspondents of the institution.