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A NEW RESTORATIOV OF A TITANO THERE
known evolutionary history in the first half of the Age of Mammals. The last and greatest member of the titanotheres is the flat-horned Brontotherium platyceras, and a brief review of our reasons for representing this animal as it here appears may serve to illustrate one or two principles in the art of restoring extinct animals. The skull was first modeled in clay from a wellpreserved fossil specimen. The clay to represent the flesh was then laid in on one side of the skull model, the other side being left exposed temporarily to show the supposed relations between skull contour and external form.
The top and sides of the head offered no especial difficulty, since the location of the principal muscle-masses of the temporal region and jaws could be inferred by comparison with the corresponding parts in the skulls of recent rhinoceroses and other distant relatives of the brontothere. The flattened “horns" (bony outgrowths from the skull) for various reasons were represented as covered with very tough hide rather than with true horn. The nose and nostrils were restored after careful comparison with many animals, especially the "black" rhinoceros, whose bony nasal region is essentially similar to that of the brontothere.
The most difficult part is the mouth and here present-day animals offer some at first rather contradictory evidence. In both the "black" and the “white” rhinoceroses of Africa the front teeth of the upper and lower jaws are lacking in the adult and the corresponding bony parts are reduced. From this similarity we might be led to expect that the lips of the two were also similar. And yet, as a matter of fact, the “black” rhinoceros in adaptation to its habits of plucking up roots and shrubs, has a pointed or prehensile upper lip; while in the "white" rhino, which feeds exclusively upon grass, the upper lip is very broad and square. The Asiatic rhinoceros, which feeds in the “grass jungles," has large cutting upper incisors and divergent lower tusks; its upper lip is pointed, but less than in the "black" species. These examples indicate that at least in the rhinoceroses the shape of the upper lip depends less upon the form and arrangement of the front teeth than upon the nature of the food and the mode of tearing it up from the ground.
The grinding teeth of the brontothere seem to be fitted to crush and cut up vegetation of a somewhat coarser nature than the tender shrubs and roots which form the principal food of the “black” rhino. Still less was the brontothere a true grazer, for in comparison with the "white" rhino, its grinders had low crowns and lacked the “cement” which is so characteristic of the teeth of grass-loving ungulates. Also its front teeth were feeble, their prehensile function being very possibly usurped by a heavy upper lip. Hence it seems probable that the brontothere fed on coarse shrubs and roots and had a heavy, prehensile upper lip: accordingly it
DR. JOEL ASAPH ALLEN: AN APPRECIATION
HE JOURNAL congratulates itself on the privilege of publishing as
its frontispiece the portrait of Dr. Joel Asaph Allen, dean in senior
ity and accomplishment of the American Museum's scientific staff. While the past quarter of a century has swept by with its political problems and its economic struggles, one man has sat at his desk in the American Museum content to do the work that crowded before him. To-day this man is one of the country's great men of science with but few who can equal him in achievement.
Dr. Allen came to the American Museum in 1885 from the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Cambridge where he had been assistant in ornithology and mammalogy and for many years a student under Agassiz, having been fortunate enough to accompany Agassiz on the Thayer expedition to Brazil and the Amazon. He is one of the men to whom has passed the spirit of devotion for natural history that Agassiz felt and the inspiration Agassiz gained in early comradeship with Carl Schimper and others and later from Oken and Cuvier.
Dr. Allen on leaving Cambridge was already a scientist of renown, but it is at the American Museum that he has done the bulk of his work leading the institution to honor through the high character of his researches and receiving in return unusual opportunity — in this case opportunity that forced much of his investigation into the definite lines of the systematist. Zoological classification however is a far different thing to-day from what it was in the time of Linnæus or even of the great naturalists of a century ago, for the lines of descent and blood relationship can be drawn close in accordance with very extensive knowledge in comparative anatomy, histology and embryology, palæontology and geographical distribution. But the man who rises to first rank must have a master mind that can make a wide sweep of this modern horizon as well as the keen eye of the master observer and the discriminating judicial power by which to disentangle the contradictions of a multitudinous bibliography.
Dr. Allen has been one of the men to shape zoological classification and keep it in line. He has described new families and genera and many hundreds of new species and through a close study of geographical distribution in relation to species formation, has also drawn the distinctions clearer in many series of intergrading subspecies. His researches have been published under some fifteen hundred titles, some of which like his American Bisons, 1876, and History of North American Pinnipedia, 1897, are in book form and others in articles and monographs appearing in the Bulletins and Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoology and of the American Museum of Natural History, and also scatteringly in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, L. S. National Museum, Boston Society of Natural History, Philadelphia Academy of Sciences and U. S. SHELL AND PEARL FISHING ON THE MISSISSIPPI
Geological Survey. He has also been a constant contributor to Science and the 1merican Naturalist, always making his points in strong, clear English and with a simple and forceful style. The same powers of mind which make him a great naturalist give him success as editor. He has had in charge the Bulletin and Memoirs of the American Museum since 1887, has edited the Bulletin of the Nuttall Ornithological Club for eight years and for a period of twenty-eight years has been editor of The Auk, the official publication of the Ornithological L'nion. It has been the quiet, continual and thorough work of Dr. Allen as editor of The Auk and in the council of the American Ornithological Union that has proved one of the most important factors in keeping alive in America the interest in ornithology aroused at the time of the publication of Coues' key to North American Birds.
Although perhaps not conscious of the fact, Dr. Allen is a great force in the American Museum. At the head of the department of mammalogy and ornithology for twenty-seven years, neither the possible official power of the position nor the necessary routine have kept him from continual and arduous scientific investigation and from giving with great broadmindedness equality of opportunity to those working with him; as a result the department has set an example as a producing power and enforced the truth emphatically set forth in the lives of eminent naturalists heretofore that definite scientific knowledge, the summation of which constitutes the basis for the world's progress, can be gained only by single-mindedness of purpose that is forgetful of self.
SHELL AND PEARL FISHING ON THE MISSISSIPPI
By W'. P. Herrick
Dr. Herrick is engaged in a study of the fresh water pearl clams and the pearl fisheries of the l'nited States, especially in such questions as the number of pearls secreted relative to hardness of the water, and to distortion of the shell and other diseased conditions of the clam. He spent several months at the Mississippi pearl fisheries during the past summer and has recently been making use of the Museum library in his work. He has engaged to supply the new Shell Hall with materials for a display illustrative of the pearl industry. Editor
YOU'NG workman in Germany, who had served an apprenticeship in making buttons from bone and from the marine mother-of-pearl,
received a present of some shells said to have come from the rivers of America. These lay in a dusty corner of his shop until finally he determined to work up a few into buttons. He found the material desirable, and the price of marine shell being high, started at once for the United States, taking with him his small foot-power machine. On arrival he worked his way slowly westward examining the rivers for shells. One day a man watching his work said, "You ought to go to the Mississippi where
THE AMERICAN MUSEUM JOURNAL
you can get those shells by the cartload.” He proceeded to the Mississippi. There shells were gathered, a few buttons finished and taken to Chicago. A little perseverance found a market at a good profit, but reluctance at handling the small output of one workman. A partner was enlisted, more machines purchased, workmen personally instructed and the button industry was established which has made the city of Muscatine on the Mississippi.
This was about 1890. The young man, Mr. J. F. Beopple, is now government shell expert at Fairport on the Mississippi, and the present size of this fresh water pearl and button industry although difficult to state exactly is estimated at about seven million dollars annually. The surroundings, the element of chance in pearl fishing, and the enormous growth and kaleidoscopic changes in the button industry all lend romance to the work.
The Mississippi at Fairport is about a mile wide, with large islands and baylike sloughs, and although the winding channel is twenty feet deep, there are flats which may appear when the river falls a few feet and considerable areas of country of such level that it may be covered quickly by a corresponding rise. The water is very muddy (with about one hundred and ten parts hardness to the million) and has an average current of three miles an hour increased after a heavy rain and often emphasized by the wind, while the spring ice sweeps away any ordinary dock. Under these conditions the methods of obtaining the shells are three: Wading proves effective in shoal water or when the river is low; raking from an anchored skiff is a method much used in deeper water by skillful fishermen, although laborious and impossible when the river is rough; while dredging, "drifting with a brail,” is probably the method most generally in use.
The “brail” or crew foot dredge is dragged astern and the so-called "mule," a three or four foot square of boards with a wooden handle on top, is dropped flatside to the current off the bow of the boat and held in this position by ropes to give power and steadiness to the craft. When the down river side of the bed is reached, both dredge and mule are hauled aboard, and the clams removed from the hooks of the dredge. Then the fisherman “chugs” with his motor or rows to the up current side and the drift is repeated hour after hour.
The mollusks lie partly buried in the mud at the bottom of the river and the hooks of the dredge brush between the shell's two open valves, which snap shut in a grasp so tenacious that their edges are often broken in getting out the hooks. An average of three or four hundred pounds daily is considered a good haul. The work may be carried on by a single fisherman near his home, or by one or more families which camp on the river bank, shifting location when the catch proves poor.
After being brought to the shore the mollusks are steamed that the valves may open and the meats may be more or less separated from them. Then the shells are thrown into a pile and the meats are put on the sorting
SHELL AVD PEARL FISHING ON THE MISSISSIPPI
board for the search for pearls. There are so-called "pearlers” who do not steam the clams but open them with a knife, but these are few. Admitted that in "cooking out" pearls occasionally drop to the hot bottom of the pan
“ and are burned and that some experts believe that the steaming injures the lustre of the pearl, the former rarely happens in reality as the finest round pearls are apt to be imbedded in the flesh of the body of the mollusk, and as regards the latter, the verdict is by no means unanimous. Both fishermen and shell buyers agree also that the shells which have a market value fully equal to the pearl find — are cleaner and better when “cooked out” than when “soured out” or when cleaned with a knife.
The work of going over the meats by hand for pearls is often done by the women of the family while the fisherman is making his next day's catch. Locally the name of "pearl" is reserved for the pieces which have a complete skin and are symmetrical, those spherical being called round pearls, those flattened button pearls -- " balloon," "pear-shaped" or "drop" as the case
“” “ may be. The white pieces are now especially in demand for ladies' ear studs, and thus when perfect and of fine lustre are of considerable market value. Other forms though typical and not attached to the shell, are called "slugs.” There are almost limitless varieties of these in size, shape, color and lustre, and they have many names such as “nuggets," "points, "wings,” and “angel wings.” The ordinary slugs are usually sold to local or traveling pearl buyers, bringing from two dollars and a half to forty dollars an ounce.
Thus the raw material is obtained. When several tons of the shells have been accumulated, they are sold, usually to a representative of the nearest button-cutting factory. Good shells during the past summer were bringing about twenty-three dollars a ton. It is considered that the shells give the necessary wage, the pearls furnish the fascination and give the profit – if there is any.
This summer one pearl was found valued at nineteen hundred dollars, while there are quite a number of fishermen in the vicinity who have worked many years without finding one worth fifty and are still expecting the perfect pearl.
EXHIBITION OF THE NEW YORK AQUARIUM SOCIETY
By Bashford Dean
Photographs by Dr. Fritz Bade
HE New York Aquarium Society held its second annual exhibition
at the Museum during early December, its first annual meeting
having been held in the New York Aquarium. It was evident that the exhibition appealed to people of many kinds, quite beyond the technical circle of aquarists — which is already large. Thus there were