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A PYTHON FROM THE PHILIPPINES
the forest to visit a trap set for wild carabaos. They killed the monster with their bolos, and on cutting it open found the boar, estimated to weigh one hundred and twenty-five pounds.
There has come down from ancient writers a large body of exaggerations in similar stories, the snake sometimes reaching one hundred and twenty feet and the prey the size of an elephant. The truth, however, is strange enough to leave no need for exaggeration. The New York Zoological Park reports that a forty-pound pig is the largest that has been given to its twenty-foot regal python, but that the snake could probably dispose of one of sixty or seventy pounds. The Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society for 1907 records the swallowing of a
four-foot leopard by an Indian python, the world's second largest snake, and Zoologscher Anzeiger for 1907 says that a twenty-five-foot regal python in Carl Hagenbeck's Zoological Park at Hamburg swallowed a roebuck of sixtyseven pounds. Another in the same place is known to have eaten an Indian antelope of ninety pounds, and still another an ibex of ninetyseven pounds.
That these facts are possible is due primarily of course to the elastic ligaments between the bones of the snake's skull, especially those connected with the jaws. As the swallowing proceeds, the right and left sides of the jaws with their curved teeth
reach forward alternately and in rapid succession to draw in the prey, the scales become widely separated on the head, which except for the presence of the eyes loses all semblance to a head, and finally what seemed the impossible has taken place and an object has been swallowed that was at least four or five times the diameter of the snake's head.
A vital question in the process concerns the breathing, when the internal openings of the nostrils, normally leading the air across the mouth to the glottis, are firmly blocked by the prey and this perhaps for hours. The adaptation to overcome the difficulty is quite in keeping with the whole
Skull (exact length 54 inches) prepared from the head of the twenty-four-foot python (Python reticulatus). It is on exhibition as representative of the non-poisonous type of serpent, showing the relatively equal teeth none of which are grooved to carry poison, but all curved backward better to hold the prey until the body is firmly coiled about it. sented to the Museum by Brig. Gen. George S. Anderson.
Python preSkulls prepared by Adolph Elwyn
astonishing matter, that is, the trachea, which lies along the floor of the throat and mouth, braced with its many cartilaginous rings so that it can be kept open notwithstanding the pressure of the prey upon it, is pushed forward until the glottis is outside of the mouth in the air, sometimes an inch and a half beyond the jaws. The wonder therefore is not so much in the swallowing performance itself as in the structures which have been evolved to meet the needs of this type of animal.
the grooved fangs that carry the poison. The skull of the poisonous snake differs from that of the non-poisonous (in addition to the presence of fangs) in having the skull bone to which the teeth are attached (maxilla) movable in such manner as to throw the fangs into position for striking as the mouth is opened
OSPREY NESTS ON GARDINER'S ISLAND
By William T. Davis
HE osprey or fish hawk, which arrives in the vicinity of New York about March 20, usually builds its huge nest in trees, as illustrated in the group on the third floor of the American Museum near the members' room. The nest is often placed in a wayside tree, some
times close to a railroad where it is always of interest to the traveler. Not far back from the sea in parts of New Jersey, a state in which these birds have been protected by law since 1900, osprey tree nests stand like beacon lights along a
That ospreys may build low nests however is proved in that Eden of theirs on Gardiner's Island near the eastern end of Long Island, where is the largest osprey colony within one hundred miles of New York City. There one may see many nests on the ground along the shore, on boulders in the
rolling fields, or high in trees according to the usual habit. For there are large trees on Gardiner's Island, in fact a sufficient number in the almost original forest that still stands on parts of the island, so that all of the birds there could easily build in trees as they do on the mainland of New Jersey, were it necessary.
These ground nests have been brought about by the isolation of the birds and the absence of enemies that might destroy the eggs; and they are therefore of unusual interest as indicating a voluntary change of habit correlated with new conditions in the environment.
on the beach
SINCE the last issue of the JOURNAL the following persons have been elected to membership in the Museum:
Associate Benefactor, MR. OGDEN MILLS;
Patron, MRS. ISAAC M. DYCKMAN;
Fellows, HIS GRACE, the DUKE of BEDFORD, COL. ANTHONY R. KUSER and MR. GRANT B. SCHLEY;
Honorary Fellows, LIEUT. GEORGE T. EMMONS and MR. GEORGE BIRD GRINNELL;
Life Members, MRS. HENRY F. DIMOCK, MRS. ARTHUR CURTISS JAMES, SIR ERNEST SHACKLETON, DR. EMERY J. THOMAS, DR. LEONARD C. SANFORD and MESSRS. CHARLES EDDISON, EBERHARD FABER, HOWARD FUGUET, GARRET A. HOBART, S. K. JACOBS, EDWARD H. LITCHFIELD, MARION MCMILLIN, MANTON B. METCALF, LOUIS A. RIPLEY, QUINCY A. SHAW and HENRY R. TOWNE;
Sustaining Members, MRS. WALTER PHELPS BLISS, and MESSRS. EUGENE MEYER, JR., and ELIAS D. SMITH;
Annual Members, MRS. CLINTON L. BAGG, MRS. JOSEPH A. BLAKE, MRS. W. A. M. BURDEN, MRS. ARTHUR K. BUXTON, MRS. ALFRED A. COOK, MRS. ANDERSON FOWLER, MRS. C. D. GIBSON, MRS. W. W. HERRICK, MRS. EDWARD HOLBROOK, MRS. J. HERBERT JOHNSTON, MRS. O. KILIANI, MRS. ANTHONY R. KUSER, MRS. JOHN J. LAPHAM, MRS. LYDIA G. LAWRENCE, MRS. PRESCOTT LAWRENCE, MRS. JAMES M. LAWTON, MRS. E. A. LEROY JR., MRS. HASLETT MCKIM, MRS. CHARLES E. MILLER, MRS. GEORGE BARCLAY MOFFAT, MRS. R. BURNHAM MOFFAT, MRS. L. R. MORRIS MRS. LAURA A. PALMER, MRS. FRANK H. PLATT, MRS. GEORGE D. PRATT, MRS. HERBERT PRATT, MRS. F. C. WALCOTT, MISS ANNA WELSH LAPSLEY, MISS A. P. LIVINGSTON, DR. PHILIP D. KERRISON, DR. HENRY M. KOLES and MESSRS. CHARLES E. APPLEBY, AUGUST BELMONT, JR., JOHN BOLAND, REGINALD P. BOLTON, GUTZON BORGLUM, MAXWELL EVARTS BUTLER, JOHN E. CURRIER, WILLIAM C. DELANOY, ALEXANDER P. FISKE, HENRY WALKER HALL, DAVID W. HARKNESS, SAMUEL HELLER, HENRY HELLMAN, CLARENCE A. HENRIQUES, JOSEPH HIRSCH, WALTER S. JOHNSTON, W. TEMPLETON JOHNSON, LEROY KING, M. KIRCHBERGER, W. THORN KISSEL, HERMAN KRAMER, JOSEPH LEVI, GUSTAV LEWKOWITZ, LUDWIG LITTAUER, R. FULTON LUDLOW, ROBERT H. MCNALL, J. VARNUM MOTT, HERMANN NORDEN, GEORGE B. NORTH, ENDICOTT PEABODY, EDWARD SANDFORD PEGRAM, G. D. POPE, DAVID RANDALL-MACIVER, COLEMAN RANDOLPH, LOUIS RUHL, WILLIAM D. SARGENT, EVERETT B. SWEEZY, JOSEPH T. TALBERT, CHARLES H. TWEED, WILLIAM H. WEITLING, JUDD ELWIN WELLS, and GEORGE W. WINGATE.
AT the forty-third annual meeting of the trustees of the Museum the following elections to membership were made in consideration of gifts or services rendered to the Museum:
MR. OGDEN MILLS, associate benefactor, in recognition of his gift of the Catlin collection of Indian paintings;
MRS. ISAAC B. DYCKMAN, patron, in recognition of her contribution for the preparation and publication of a bibliography on fishes;
HIS GRACE, THE DUKE OF BEDFORD, fellow, for his generosity in presenting to the Museum two fine examples of the Prjevalsky horse, a species which has hitherto been unrepresented in the Museum collections;
MR. ANTHONY R. KUSER, fellow, in recognition of his offer to present to the Museum a collection of pheasants of the world;
LIEUTENANT GEORGE T. EMMONS, honorary fellow, in recognition of his services in furnishing information in regard to the Indians of the Northwest Coast and in promoting field work in this region;
MR. GEORGE BIRD GRINNELL, honorary fellow, in recognition of his services in the development of the Museum's department of anthropology; SIR ERNEST SHACKLETON, life member, in recognition of his splendid achievements in the field of exploration, as well as for his generosity in presenting to the Museum a collection of minerals from the South Polar region;
DR. LEONARD C. SANFORD, life member, in recognition of his generosity in placing his superb collection of birds of the world at the disposal of the curators of the Museum for study and reference.
THE Museum has secured, through the generosity of Mr. J. P. Morgan, Jr., the collections of minerals and meteorites left by the late Stratford C. H. Bailey of Oscawana-on-Hudson. Mr. Bailey had been an indefatigable collector for many years and had assembled representatives of nearly three hundred falls and finds of meteorites, at least twenty-one of which are new to the Museum's already great foyer collection. The gem of the Bailey collection is the aërolite or stone meteorite known as Tomhannock. This is a small mass weighing about three and one-quarter pounds, but it is nine-tenths of the entire stone that was found in 1863 on Tomhannock Creek in Rensselaer County not far from Troy, N. Y. It was first described by Mr. Bailey in 1887 and has always been highly prized.
THE clay model for a bust of Peary has been executed by William Couper and is now on its way to Florence to be cut in Carrara marble. The bust is a gift from Mrs. Morris K. Jesup and will take its place among the other marble busts in the niches in memorial hall.
A NEW group for the Darwin hall will shortly be placed on exhibition. It is designed to illustrate the struggle for existence and the complexity