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despise the prevailing exaltation of mere linguistic | lines and spaces being separately invisible to the grindery.
naked eye, this exploit of dividing the invisible In the same magazine is a letter from Mr. E. C. divisions into 112 parts appears impossible. The Mason, of Madison, Wisconsin, stating a fact which difficulty does not consist in moving the point, or refutes the widely prevalent notion, I may almost stage holding the glass, accurately through the small say superstition-that many of the lower animals are distance. An ordinary driving engine constructed endowed with marvellous powers of predicting the on the principle of those of Ramsden and Parsons, far-ahead weather. In America the musk rat is one which were in active operation 50 and 60 years ago, of these supposed meteorologists. It is there believed does this easily, but the two other necessary elements, that when he builds his winter quarters lightly, he a point sufficiently fine to cut a line less than toboon does so because he is inspired with soreknowledge of of an inch thick, and a surface of glass capable of a mild coming winter. Last autumn, the musk rats receiving such a cut presented problems which of Wisconsin built their houses “exceptionally light Nobert overcame. The cutting point was of course and unsubstantial.” The winter was severe, and the that of a diamond, worked to a knife-edge, either by rats perished exceptionally. The actual reason for grinding, or chipping, or slitting. the flimsy building was that the autumn was Everybody has read of the wondrous rapidity of unusually mild, and the rats simply adapted their the growth of Arctic vegetation. Now that summer present proceedings to present weather.
excursions round the North Cape to the VarangerThis American delusion, however, is a very mild fjord are running weekly aud even oftener (see one compared with that which still prevails here, “Belgravia ” of June last) anybody who has a month's concerning the complex intelligence, foresight and holiday at about midsummer may witness it and see benevolence of the holly, which is seriously credited the midnight sun, &c., at less cost than spending the with developing an extra supply of berries on the time in English hotels. On my first visit to Norway, approach of a hard winter, in order that the birds, Hammerfest was the ultima thule of steam packets, especially sparrows, shall be provided with food when but even on this short journey, the difference between the snow covers the ground.
the aspect of the country, in the course of ten days I need scarcely add that anybody who knows how between going and returning was marvellous, though to observe facts accurately, and record them fairly, I did not repeat the experiment of the American may refute this absurdity. The development of the tourist who tells us that by placing his head on the berries, like the proceeding of the rats, is a result of ground he could hear the grass growing. Not only past and present weather, with possibly some other is the vegetation stimulated to excessive rapidity by past and present conditions co-operating.
the continuous daylight, but the leaves and seeds of Before closing the above quoted magazine, I must the plants are larger and heavier. Schübeler has borrow from it an amusing story of medical evidence, lately analysed these larger seeds (see Biedermann's given in a trial for damages. A physician, called as “Centralblatt für Agricultur u. Chemie," 1884, witness, stated that the plaintiff was suffering from the p. 860), and finds that the extra weight is not due remote effects of an injury to the vaso-motor system to nitrogenous matter, as this remains unaltered. of nerves, and would in time become insane. In Plants that produce white blossoms in other places cross examination, the doctor was asked whether he frequently have violet flowers here. Perfumes are was acquainted with the works of Grosse “On | remarkably developed. Recent and Remote Effects of Head Injuries," The best time for witnessing the rapidity of vegetaLanery on “Injuries of the Head,” Leymaher “Ontion in Arctic Norway, is about the first week of the Subsequent Effects of Nervous Shock," and | July. Starting from Trondhjem, on, or a little Carson “ On the Surgery of the Head.” The doctor before, the first of the month, the northward trip affirmed that he had read these books, and that his displays Snowclad regions, which on the return library contained them all. The opposing counsel | journey a fortnight later have become so transformed then called to the witness box a clerk from his office, | as to be difficult of recognition. who testified that all these works were fictitious, and A very simple method of testing the quality of that he had invented the titles in order to expose the compressed or “German” yeast, is given by 0. doctor's ignorance.
Meyer (Biedermann's “ Centralblatt," 1874, p. 792). The ruling machine of Nobert is now in London, | A small piece of the yeast is placed in water at the has been purchased by Mr. Frank Crisp, and was temperature of 25° Cent. (77° of our thermometers). exhibited at a recent meeting of the Royal Microsco. If the yeast is in good active condition it will rise to pical Society. I remember when a micrometer slide the surface in one and a half to two minutes, if of for a microscope ruled to too of an inch was an poorer quality, in about five minutes. Bad yeast object of curiosity, and rather costly. With Nobert's will not rise at all. machine Too of an inch is attainable. Remembering Having devoted a whole chapter of my “Chemistry that the divisions of ou gave to the strip of glass the l of Cookery” to the subject of “malted food,” which appearance of being ground where they crossed, the until I wrote about it in “Knowledge” had been sadly neglected, I am glad to see that its importance another simple mode of obtaining malted food. I is becoming recognised by “the faculty.” In the spread it like honey or jam on bread or toast, with “ Lancet” of April 4th, Dr. J. Milner Fothergill or without previous buttering. A very thin film is commences a communication on the subject by saying | sufficient to supplement the work of the salivary that “Malt as food has a great future before it.” So glands in the manner described in the book above said I, and further practical study of the subject not named. To those who take hurried breakfast, and only confirms my original expectations, but greatly rush off to business immediately after, this is a matter extends them. Dr. Fothergill naturally looks upon of vital importance, however robust they may be at the subject from a physician's point of view, and present. To supply this and other similar every day describes the value of malt ilour as a supplement to domestic demands, the extract of malt must become the food of dyspeptic patients. I am by no means a much cheaper than it is now, as it probably will, dyspeptic, quite the contrary, troubled with over when it becomes a grocery commodity demanded nutrition and its bulky consequences, but nevertheless | by the hogshead like sugar, instead of a pharmaceuI have found the use of malt as an addition to every tical product supplied in bottles. kind of food containing farinaceous matter very 1 I attended the lecture of Mr. Fletcher at the advantageous, and am receiving communications of Parkes Museum. His object was to show that we gratitude from strangers who have followed my may, if we choose, do away with the nasty practice of advice given in “Kuowledge,” and repeated in the burning coal in dwelling houses, and thereby not volume above named.
only griming everything indoors, but also rendering So much having been said concerning the value of | our towns and cities hideous by smoke and brown malt as cattle food during the agitation for the repeal fogs. This is to be effected by using gas fuel for all of the malt tax, we might have supposed that human domestic purposes. If the gas companies were beings should have been considered at the same time, compelled, as they may be, to fulfil the conditions of but instead of this the idea of using it ourselves is their charters by supplying the public with gas at almost a new one. The cost has shut out the cattle, cost price, plus the maximum profit allowed by their but it need not exclude us, though I am sorry to say charter, this wholesale reform might be effected with that the price I have had to pay for malt flour hitherto a considerable economy. Mr. Fletcher showed us is simply ridiculous. It is at present regarded by that not only domestic heating may be economically vendors as a fancy article, and retailed at persumery effected by gas, but that bakeries, manufactories, &c. rates of profit. This, I hope, will right itself by the may be similarly served by means of gas, plus gaswholesome operation of competition when it takes its coke. He has proved by practical experiment in his place as a primary kitchen requisite. I have already own works, that with a properly constructed surnace, brandished a rod of terror in the face of one shop a steam boiler of the cheapest form may be made to keeper. I have threatened him with William Whiteley do better duty with coke, and last much longer, and the Stores.
than the complex and more expensive boilers fired in Another difficulty is kitchen prejudice. My pet the usual manner with flaming coal. But the coke experiment for demonstrating the “ potential energy" must be mixed with brains. The users must understand resident in malt is to make a portion of oatmeal that the coke fire does its work by radiation almost very thick or pudding-like; then to add a spoonful of entirely, while the flame acts chiefy by convection. dry malt flour to this at the temperature of about Therefore, the furnace must be modified accordingly. 140° to 150°, and stir the mixture, when, lo, presto! It was evident from Mr. Fletcher's description of his the thick pudding, instead of further thickening by furnace that its efficiency depended on this principle, the dry addition, gradually becomes thinner and though he did not thus explain its rationale. thinner till quite sloppy. This effect, so much like that produced by adding water is naturally supposed by the orthodox cook to be of the same nature ; a
SOME FERXS OF HONG-KONG. dilution or “taking out the goodness.” When cooks are sufficiently educated to understand that all their
By Mrs. E. L. O' MALLEY. farinaceous thickenings must be reduced to watery SHORT account of some of the Hong-Kong solutions before doing the work of nutrition, they a ferns may be interesting to the general reader. will appreciate the importance of performing this | There are few persons who take no notice of the necessary first stage of digestion in the kitchen. works of nature, and the study of serns constitutes
I have recently made an interesting visit to the one of the simplest branches of natural science. The works of Messrs. Burrowes & Wellcome, where material for such a study meets us everywhere, and “malt extract” is prepared on a large scale, by there is hardly a corner in the world where ferns are boiling an infusion of malt in vacuo, so as to extract not found. In the northern regions beyond the Amur, and concentrate the diastase. The result is a honey. | in Scandinavia, and amidst the snows and long like syrup of maltose, &c., the resemblance of which winters of Labrador ferns flourish, when Aowers can 10 the honey of a Swiss break fast-table has suggested ! only show their tender tints and disappear.
Countries subject at times to extreme cold and we fear“ fragrant" no longer,* at least not deliciously long drought are the least favourable to their growth. so), cannot be compared in point of size and grandeur In the temperate zones they abound everywhere ; with our king of British ferns, O. regalis. But there but it is in the deep shade of tropical forests, where are sufficient points of resemblance for any acquainted the air is densely saturated with moisture, and the with one, to recognise the other. The clusters of sun's rays can never penetrate, that these exquisite | spore-cases occupy the centre of the frond, narrowing plants luxuriate most freely. Nay, if we go back to and altering it in appearance. The frond is simply the beginning of creation, before flowers, before | pinnate, and often deeply serrate, usually from 2-3 trees, long before animal life had commenced, we find feet high. The colour is bright green with a firm, ferns and their allies, the club-mosses (Lycopodiacea) | shiny, erect appearance, differing in this from the
covering the almost drowned world in strange preparation for the wants of future ages.
Can we fail to take an interest in them? And can our Fig. 69.-Lygodium
scandens, Sw. interest be satisfied until we have bestowed some attention upon the structure and classification of the different species we meet with in our daily walks ?
The following notes may be of assistance to those who wish to know something about the common ferns growing in the neighbourhood of Victoria and the l'eak.
Gen. II. LYGODIUM, Sw.
(Creeping or Climbing Fern.) There are three species of lygodium to be found in Hong-Kong, but in Lygodium Japonicum, Sw., we have the commonest, if not the loveliest, fern in the island. Examine the sori all round the edge, like the joints of a cog-wheel. How beautifully the seedcoverings are plaited, or laid like the tiles of a roof one upon the other, each tiny tenement containing one capsule or spore-case, which in its turn holds numerous spores (or seeds), almost invisible to the naked eye! The leaves are either in pairs or else pinnate (i.e. with pinnæ or plumes like a feather), the segments or divisions of the frond often numbering from 5-10. There is no need to say that this sern is a climber. It creeps up anything it can catch hold of, and often attains in this way to a considerable
• The name Hong-Kong in Chinese means “Land of fragrant streams."
height. A word about it in other lands may perhaps be interesting. Miss Gordon Cumming says : “Love.
CHAPTERS ON FOSSIL SHARKS ANI) liest of all are the delicate climbing ferns, the tender
RAYS. leaves of which, some richly fringed with seed, hang
By ARTHUR SMITH WOODWARD, mid-air in long hair-like trails, or else, drooping in OF THE BRITISH MUSEUM (NATURAL HISTORY). festoons, climb from tree to tree, forming a perfect net-work of loveliness. It is a most fairy-like foliage, and people show their reverence for its
CESTRACIONTIDÆ, beauty by calling it the Wa-Kalon, or God's Fern."* TNTIL quite recent years, the family of CestraFor superstitious reasons also the natives encourage , ciontidæ was regarded as including all the it to grow up their walls and door posts. Lygodium varied forms now grouped under the Orodontidæ, Japonicum has a pinnate frond ; in L. scandens, Sw., Psammodontidæ, Copodontidæ, Cochliodontidæ, and the divisions are in pairs, broad at the base and Petalodontidæ, and thus its zoological and palæontonarrowing to a rounded apex, and of a more delicate logical signification has been considerably altered of texture than the last, not nearly so common. L. late. The most modern researches seem to show dichotomum, Sw., has fronds 8-10 inches long. that Acrodus and Strophodus are the only important
extinct genera that can be referred to it with certainty, Gen. III. GLEICHENIA, Sw.
but Ptychodus is also placed here by most palæonto
ists, although it appears much more nearly allied (Called in some places “ Comb Fern.'')
the Rays, judging from the little that is known Gleichenia dichotoma, Willd., is abundant, not only in about the arrangement of its teeth. Hong-Kong where it is cut down for bedding for cattle, | Reference has already been made to the dentition but in the tropics all round the world. If it were not of Cestracion, the only existing genus of this family, for its trailing propensities, it might be compared to in the account of the Cochliodonts (vol. xx. p. 270). the brake of our native land; it is also not unlike The diagram (fig. 71), however, will give a more corthis fern in roughness of texture, although quite apart rect idea of the aspect of the jaw: there is much more in the position which by the formation of its seed it variation in the dental forms in different parts of the holds in fern-classification. The spore-cases have no mouth than is to be observed among those sharks covering, but are lightly set in a white flour-like with laniary teeth, such as the Carchariidæ and substance in loose groups of 2, 3, 4, or 5, under the Lamnidæ, and the hindermost are adapted for leaf. The fern is not very often met with in sced. | crushing food, while those at the symphysis are disThe arrangement of the long, stiff, pinnate leaves is tinctly conical and prehensile. Several rows are in an easy distinguishing feature, as they grow in pairs, function at a time. It is a noteworthy fact, also, that or forked (hence the name di-chotoma, 2 cleft), each Cestracion has defensive weapon; in the form of fork resulting in another fork and so on, until the dorsal fin-spines, while the members of the families long straggling branches form in some countries an just alluded to are destitute of these, their sharp impenetrable jungle, too thick for a horse to break piercing teeth being a sufficiently formidable armathrough, and mounting 6, 8, or 10 feet high on ture. Only four species of Cestracion are described boughs of trees, low shrubs and underwood. It has by Dr. Günther, in his British Museum Catalogue, been called the “Comb Fern,” as the leaves when living off the coasts of Japan, Australia, California, dry are stiff and like the teeth of a comb.
and the Galapagos Isles, and no undoubted fossil (To be continued.)
remains of the genus have hitherto been recorded.
As in the case of Hybodus, all the more perfect
specimens revealing the structural characters of For some years past, attempts have been made Acrodus have been obtained from the Lower Lias of (without much success) to acclimatise the tea plant in Lyme Regis. There have been discovered some Italy. The Italian Minister of Agriculture has beautiful examples exhibiting the arrangement of the determined to act upon the suggestions of Professor dentition, others showing the two dorsal spines in Beccari, who has been investigating the subject, and association with scattered teeth, and others indicating to procure some plants from the coldest provinces of that this genus possessed the four remarkable cephalic Japan, as well as some from the province of Novara spines so characteristic of nearly all, if not all, the in Italy. The Thea Sinensis has been grown to some species of Hybodus. The most typical teeth of extent in the open in Italy, and Professor Beccari Acrodus (fig. 73) are distinctly of the Cestraciont form, thinks there is no reason why tea should not succeed and usually differ considerably from those occupying there, under proper management in procuring plants similar positions in the mouth of Hybodus, being and seeds and in the conditions under which they quite flat or only slightly rounded, and ornamented are cultivated.
with very fine ridges and surrows radiating from a
more or less central longitudinal line ; the dentition * "At Home in Fiji,” by Miss G. Cumming.
of this genus, too, varies more on different parts of the jaw than in the typical species of Hybodus, and organisation beyond the dentition,* and only one there are some dissimilarities in microscopical specimen affording a definite clue to the arrangement structure. The symphysial teeth approach a conical of the teeth appears to be yet known to science. form, and there is sometimes a slight indication of This beautiful example is preserved in the Oolitic lateral or secondary cones. It must be remarked, | Caen Stone, and was described by Sir Richard Owen however, that some species, such as A. Anningia in the “Geological Magazine” for 1869. It (fig. 84), are quite on the borders of the two genera, exhibits about sixty teeth in situ, and is represented and the ornamentation on a few of even the most | in fig. 72. As regards the arrangement of the
characteristic Acrodont teeth (fig. 74) is suggestive of different dental forms, it bears a close resemblance to , their close relationship to those of the true Hybodont | the jaw of Cestracion, but differs from the living type.
genus in the same respect as does the jaw of Acrodus, The dorsal spines of Acrodus, unknown to Agassiz, namely, in the symphysial teeth being much fewer were first described in the “Geological Magazine,"* and relatively larger. There are two principal rows twenty years ago, by Mr. E. C. H. Day. In this of crushing teeth (fig. 72, a, b), as in Cestracion, and elaborate paper, he points out how nearly they | there are likewise indications of some posterior rows resemble those of Hybodus, and is unable to discover of smaller and somewhat elliptical teeth (ib., e); more than two points of difference between them. but, instead of nine rows occupying the space in He endeavours to show that, in spines of the latter front of the principal series on each side, only three genus, the double row of posterior denticles is fixed are to be observed (ib., b, c, d), and no median upon a somewhat prominent ridge, as seen in the azygous row is present. The teeth themselves, when section (fig. 75), while in Acrodus, the back of the isolated, are readily distinguished from those of spine is comparatively flat (fig. 76); also, that the Acrodus by means of their sursace-ornament, which denticles themselves are fewer and stouter in Acrodus, consists of reticulate markings, but a glance at the than in Hybodus. But it must be remembered that, figure of the Caen specimen is sufficient to show the since the date of these studies, much more valuable extreme difficulty of determining the species of such material has accumulated, and it is questionable detached fossils. whether, when a large number of specimens, such as Strophodus ranges from the Upper Permian to the are now available, are examined, many intermediate Chalk, inclusive. It is represented in the Kupfergradations will not be found. The object of Mr. schiefer of Germany by S. arcuatus, and at least one Day's paper is, indeed, to prove that Hybodus and species is also found in the Triassic Muschelkalk. Acrodus are closely allied, and that the only differ S. magnus is characteristic of the Lower Oolites, and ences between them are merely in degree and not in other so-called species (S. tenuis, &c.) likewise occur kind ; and he concludes a very careful discussion of upon the same horizon; S. favosus is the name of their characters by suggesting that, according to their | some small teeth (fig. 78) from Stonesfield. The dentition, the Hybodonts and Acrodonts might be Middle and Upper Oolites,-particularly the Oxford regarded as forming a single group, divisible into | and Kimmeridge Clays, -yield the well-marked three sections :"the first, with very elongated form, S. reticulatus (fig. 79), which is easily recogcones, represented by H. basanus; the second, with nised by the prominence of its ornamentation : of the cones more obtuse, by H. Delabechei ; and the this species we know more than any other, except third, almost or altogether wanting conical elevations, S. medius (fig. 72), a large number of teeth having by A. nobilis.” How far these conclusions are to be been found associated in the Kimmeridge Clay of accepted, future research must decide.
Shotover, and described by Agassiz in his great work Species of Acrodus range from the Triassic to the on the “ Poissons Fossiles.” The Cretaceous series Upper Cretaceous strata, inclusive. The Continental contains the last traces of the genus, so far as is yet Muschelkalk has yielded A. Gaillardoti and others, known, and only two forms appear to have been and the Rhætic of Devonshire is characterised by the recorded from this group ; one is S. sulcatus, from little A. minimus (fig. 77). A, nobilis (fig. 73) and the Greensand of Maidstone, and the other the very A. Anningiæ (fig. 84) are the most important species
rare and curious S. asper (fig. 80) of the Chalk. of the Lias, being found chiefly in the lower divisions,
Ptychodus is an essentially Cretaceous genus, and and not so abundantly as the remains of Hybodus. has not hitherto been met with in rocks of any other A. leiodus and A. leiopleurus occur in the Stonesfield
age, either in the Old or New World. Nothing Slate ; and two species, A. Illingworthi and A. cre beyond the dentition is known with certainty, taceus, have been describedt from the English chalk. although Agassiz, in his original description of this The genus Strophodus is not quite so well known
shark, associated with the teeth certain peculiar as that just considered. No certain information has elongated fossils which he thought might be the hitherto been obtained concerning any feature in its
* It has been suggested that the spines known under the
name of Asteracanthus really belong to Strophodus: but abso• “Geol. Mag.," 1864, vol. i. pp. 57-65:
lute proof is at present wanting, and we shall thus reserve their † Dixon's "Geology of Sussex," ist edit., 1850, p. 364.
consideration for the chapter on “Ichthyodorulites."