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of minute experiments to illustrate the action of this organ, and of exhibiting to what applications the physometer 'may be employed.
Hybridism between Macncua nemestrinus, and M cynomolgua.—At a late meeting of one of the American Academies Mr. Gentry called attention to what he regarded as a rare and remarkable case of hybridism, which occurred between Macacus nemestrinus, male, and iMacacus cynomolgus, female. After exhibiting an alcoholic specimen of the young, and a stuffed specimen of the mother; which was clearly identified as iMacacus cynomolgus, he detailed the leading characters of the two parents. He stated that the male differed from the female in being more robust and of greater dimensions, in the almost perfect smoothness of the face, which is of a pale flesh colour, while in the female it is black and invested with a close growth of short black hairs; in the absence of a crest upon the head of the male, which is a prevailing characteristic of the species (M nemestrinus), and its presence in the female, which is a prominent feature of the species to which she belongs ; in colour; and, lastly, in the unequal development of the caudal appendage, which in the male is about seven inches in length, and densely clothed with long hairs, while in the female it is twice the length, and nearly naked for more than two-thirds of its extent.
Zoological Definition—Dr. Hudson, in reading a paper on the question, whether Pedalion was a Rotifer, made the following interesting observations on the above subject 2—“ It is easy enough to define the typical form of a natural group of animals, or even to include in the definition forms that must be placed pretty near the central one ; but in the ambitious search for a definition which shall include many families, as we get further away from the typical form, we find that one by one all the positive statements are disappearing from our definition, till at lastwe have nothing left but the mere shuck of a proposition, shelled of everything worth the stating. Take the definition of one of the zoological manuals :—‘ Rotifers are microscopic animals, contractile, with vibratile cilia at the anterior part of the body, which by their motion often resemble a wheel moving rapidly. Intestine distinct; terminated at one extremity by a mouth, at another by an anus; generation oviparous, sometimes viviparous.’ Now there are Rotifers that have no ‘vibratile cilia at the anterior part of their bodies,’ others that have no intestines or anus, so that including these the above definition must shrink down into ‘ Rotifers are very small animals that lay eggs/"— Monthly Microscopical Journal, Nov., 1872. .
Royal Instilution.——The two Actonian Prizes of 1051. have been awarded by the Managers of the Royal Institution to the Rev. George Henslow and to B.Thomson Lowne, M.D.,for Essays “On the Theory of the Evolution of
THE too frequent injustice of popular awards is a trite subject of remark. Christopher Columbus, with a hardihood now somewhat difficult to realize, sailed across an utterly unknown ocean to the discovery of a New World which nevertheless has not received its appellation from him, but from his imitator, Amerigo Vespucci.
As with the new geographical region so with the new force “ galvanism.” It received its name from Galvani, who called attention to it in 1789; but Swammerdamm had none the less discovered it more than a hundred and thirty years earlier.
Again, the doctrine of evolution as applied to organic life—the doctrine, that is, which teaches that the various 'new species of animals and plants have manifested themselves through a purely natural process of hereditary succession—is widely spoken of by the term “Darwinism.” Yet this doctrine is far older than Mr. Darwin, and is held by many who deem that which is truly “ Darwinism” (namely, a belief in the origin of species by natural selection) to be a crude and utterly untenable hypothesis.
We find yet another and parallel example of popular misapprehension in the opinion widely prevalent respecting one species of those animals—the apes—which most nearly resemble us in bodily structure.
The species referred to is the much-talked-of Gorilla, and the popular misapprehension concerning it is twofold; first as to its discovery, and secondly as to its nature. '
The Gorilla is very generally supposed to have been first dis— covered and made known to science by M. de Chaillu, whereas, in truth, it was both discovered and described years before M. de Chaillu’s name was heard of in connexion with it.
It was discovered by Dr. Thomas Savage, who, with the assistance of an American missionary, the Rev. Mr. Wilson, procured enough anatomical materials to enable Professor ‘
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Jefi'ries Wyman (in the United States) to describe“ important parts of its anatomy.
Other specimens were soon afterwards procured, and were described in our own country by Professor Owen’y more than twenty years ago. ‘
The misconception as to the discovery of the Gorilla, however, is but a trifling matter; that as to its nature and rank is of far greater importance.
The lively interest which was been awakened by recent assertions respecting what is called “the descent of man,” manifests itself far and wide in the daily press—in popular caricatures—0n the theatrical stage, and in the Houses of our own Legislature as in the French Assembly.
It is interesting also to note that whereas a few years ago the notion of the brute origin of man was vehemently and all but universally scouted, the public are now carried by a wave of sentiment in a diametrically opposite direction, and there is even a widely diffused sympathy with notions which but lately were found so unpalatable. Then there was not tolerance to listen to, far less to fairly appreciate, the arguments advanced by certain men of science in support of their views. Now there is as little disposition as ever to weigh evidence, but the tendency is to accept without examination and without criticism the statements of every advocate of the essential unity of man and beasts.
Concomitantly with this change of sentiment there has also arisen a popular belief in the semi-humanity of the Gorilla, or at least an impression that the Gorilla possesses a very special and exceptional affinity to man. This animal is now popularly supposed to be closely connected with that “missing link ” which, as is asserted, once bridged over the gulf separating man from the apes. The Gorilla, if not the direct ancestor of man, is yet generally thought to be related with exceptional closeness to such direct ancestor, and so to constitute the one existing and visible bond between ourselves and the lower animals. Highest of apes—close ally of the Negro—the Gorilla is by some supposed to surpass and excel the humbler and commoner apes as man surpasses and excels the Gorilla.
It is proposed here, putting aside all prejudice, to investigate by the unimpassioned process of enumerating and weighing facts of structure, what is the teaching of nature as to the afiinities of various apes to man, It is not, therefore, proposed to touch directly upon the question of the ape origin of man
’ See “Boston Journal of Natural History,” vol. iv. 1843—4, and vol. v, 847. i