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OF '•' -
EDWARD NEWMAN, F.L.S., F.Z.S.,
MEMB. IMP. L.-C. ACAD.
SECOND SERIES. —VOLUME THE NINTH.
(OE THIRTY-SECOND FROM THE COMMENCEMENT.)
Birds and Beasts,
Gem, flower and fish, the bird, the brute,
Of every kind occult or known,
Its humble lot, and that alone,
A man may never aim at being anything more than a mere observer, and yet employ his time usefully to others as well as agreeably to himself. He may restrict himself to simply noting and recording what falls under his own autopsia, and unconsciously be laying the foundation of the most important generalization. For observation, though not itself the true end of the science of Natural History, is nevertheless a means to that end; and, whatever principles we ultimately arrive at, it is only observation that can have insured their correctness or permanence.— Leonard Jenynb.
Niebuhr reckoned it among the most important results of his travels, that the indifference with which he was in the habit of regarding the objects of Nature around him had given way; and any who will educate themselves to observe, will find that Niebuhr made no error in the reckoning. The senses are not given to man with the limited powers they have in brutes. They have eyes, but they, in one sense, see not: whereas in us, the eye is, besides the visual organ, a sentinel and servant to watch and go forth, and bid welcome, the messenger which the Creator sends to man in the presence of his works; and to introduce these messengers into the inner chambers, where the soul may hold fit converse and contemplation with them.—Dr. George Johnston.
When I look at the Title-page of this Volume, and find that it is the Thirty-Second,—and that I have been Thirty-two years engaged on the 'Zoologist,' and have retained many of my best contributors and kindest friends during that long, long period,—I feel that I have abundant cause for gratitude to those who have been so steadfast and so obliging. I think I may say, without hesitation, that no other Natural-History Journal ever attained to so green and vigorous an old age.
This feeling of happiness in the co-operation of my friends is, alas, clouded, in a measure, by the loss of one of the most constant and kindest of them all. Francis Walker—from the very beginning a contributor, a subscriber, and a supporter—never once during that long period relaxed his efforts to advance the cause of Science, as advocated in the 'Zoologist ;' his kindness never abated; his friendship never cooled: I cannot expect to meet with his like again. He died at his residence, Elm Hall, Wanstead, on the 5th of October, in perfect peace with all the world, peace of body and of mind; I never heard from his hps a single unkind expression, nor do I believe he ever entertained, even for a moment, an unkind thought.
Passing to the Contents of this year's 'Zoologist' I am gratified to see an increasing disposition to observe the living animal. The preserved remains have heretofore engaged too exclusively the attention of the scientific; but a change is evidently taking place; and it is pleasing to believe that the 'Zoologist' has been mainly instrumental in inaugurating that change. I will give a few illustrations of this: facts now for the first time brought to notice.
Sticklers.—Until published during the present year (p. 8877) I have seen no mention of the very curious fact that the Seal swims on its back, reversing the position on land or on the ice; for the obvious reason, that when out of water it is compelled to be constantly on the look out for enemies above it, and in the water for food, which is below it: the fixed position of the eyes requiring the position of the body to be reversed according to each requirement.
Birds.—At p. 4118 Mr. Wallis, a new and most promising observer, has described "how the Puffin ascends to its nest," throwing an entirely new light on that interesting question; and on the following page the subaqueous flight of the Guillemot is described also for the