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bearing, rendered his society wonderfully delightful. As a. physician, he was possessed of high skill.

Of Sir Henry's contributions to literature, his " Medical Notes and Reflections" (1839) and his "Chapters on Mental Physiology" (1852) are well known to the medical profession. He contributed a considerable number of articles to the Edinburgh, and other reviews, which, in 1 S62, were published as " Scientific Essays." In 1815, he published his celebrated " Travels in the Ionian Isles and Greece," of which a second edition appeared in 1819 ; a work abounding in classical, antiquarian, and statistical information, interspersed with interesting details respecting manners and customs, scenery and natural history. In 1816 he contributed to the "Philosophical Transactions" a memoir on the manufacture of sulphate of magnesia at Monte della Guardia, near Genoa, and afterwards papers to various other scientific journals. Last year he published his well-known "Recollections of Past Life," a volume which must long keep Sir Henry Holland's name alive. His memory will be cherished by all who knew him as something ever pleasant to recall.

The Royal Institution has thus, within a year, lost its Secretary and its President, not to mention the resignation of its Professor of Chemistry, who has not yet been replaced. Whoever is elected to fill the Presidential office will, we doubt not, keep up the traditions of the place, and do what in him lies to carry out the original design of the founders and donors of the Institution, never losing sight of the fact that above everything it is meant to be one of the few temples of original scientific research in the country. Its laboratories have recently been rebuilt, and we hope they will ever continue to be taken ample advantage of for purposes of study and research, not only by the earnest successors of the great men who have rendered them famous, but also by competent members, for whom they were originally equally intended by the enlightened and science-loving men to whom the conception of the Institution was originally due.

We conclude this notice by giving a few of the dates, in addition to those already given, which mark Sir Henry Holland's career. He was born at Knutsford, Cheshire, Oct. 27, 1787, and was educated at Newcastle-on-Tyne, and at the school of Dr. Estlin, near Bristol, where he became head boy. In 1804 and 1805 he attended Glasgow University, and in 1S06 he entered the Medical School at Edinburgh, where he became acquainted with many of the notable men that then frequented "the grey metropolis of the north"—Sir Walter Scott, Brougham, Sydney Smith, Horner, Jeffery, Dugald Stewart, Sir William Hamilton. In 1816, after spending some time in travel, he established himself in London, and at once achieved high professional success. He became Physician in Ordinary to the late Prince Consort in 1S40, and to the Queen in 1852; and next year was created baronet. Sir Henry was twice married, his second wife, who died in 1866, having been the daughter of his old friend Sydney Smith.

THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY IN CENTRAL PARK, NEW YORK*

~E OR many years a large number of the generous and *■ public-spirited citizens of New York had long felt the need of a museum and library of natural history that should be on a scale commensurate with the wealth and importance of their metropolitan city,and would encourage and develop the study of naturalhistory,advancethe general knowledge of kindred subjects, and to this end furnish popular amusement and instruction. In 1S68 a remarkable opportunity presented itself of securing a rare collection that would form an admirable nucleus for such a

• A Piper read by Allien L. Bickmore, Ph. D., Superintendent, at the Mesua^ of the American Auocialiou.

comprehensive museum. The most extensive dealer in specimens in the world, Edouard Verreaux, of Paris, suddenly died, leaving in the hands of his widow a collection, which, at the rates he was accustomed to sell specimens, would have brought over 500,000 francs, 100,000 dols. in gold .... Dying suddenly, he left the rich gatherings of an industrious lifetime seriously embarrassed with debt. This opportunity it was decided to try to improve, and a subscription of nearly 50,000 dols. was at once made up as a beginning, and since that time about 100,000 dols. have been contributed in money, though the present property of the institution, including the large donations of specimens which have been steadily coming in, could not be replaced, nor could other as interesting and valuable specimens for less than 250,000. A rare and nearly complete collection of American birds, and many fine birds of paradise and pheasants were first purchased by Mr. D. G. Elliott. While negotiations were about to be opened for the Verreaux collection, a second museum unexpectedly became available. Prince Maximilian of Neuwied on the Rhine above Bonn (not the Emperor Maximilian of Austria and Mexico) died, and the young son inheriting the estate had no scientific taste, and offered the results of his father's life-work for sale. The elder Prince, who formed the collection, passed 1S15, 1816, and 1817 exploring Brazil from Rio up to Bahia, and of course a large proportion of the great collections he secured had never at that early date been seen by scientific men in Europe before, and were therefore types of new species.

This collection the American Museum purchased entire. An agreement was soon after made with Mme. Verreaux by which all the choice specimens in her cabinet not contained in the Elliott and Maximilian purchases were selected for the museum, and all these specimens have been safely received from Europe, and are now on public exhibition in Central Park. Large donations of shells, corals, and minerals have been received, and one collection of 20,000 insects. The liberal subscriptions first made induced the principal subscribers to consent to act as trustees for the fund and property acquired by it, and by a special Act of the Legislature they were created a body corporate—they and their successors to have entire and unrestricted control fcr ever over all the museum property. They have limited their number to twenty-five, and the survivors fill every vacancy, thus securing a fixed policy and stable character to the institution. An arrangement has been made between the trustees and the Department of Public Parks in New York by which the city may furnish lands and buildings, while the collections are to be bought and cared for by moneys contributed by the trustees themselves and the generous public. In pursuance of this plan, by which the authorities of the city and private citizens might cooperate toward the common end of establishing a large museum, 500,000 dols. were appropriated by the city to commence a suitable thoroughly fire-proof edifice, and the Department of Parks was authorised to set apart so much of the public lands under their control as they might deem proper and necessary for the proposed structure and its future extensions.

The great object of the museum is twofold. First, to interest and instruct the masses which already throng its halls, and occasionally number over 10,000 in a single day; and, secondly, and especially to render all the assistance possible to specialists. These wants are shown to be amply met by the large, palatial saloons for the public, and over the whole building a high Mansard story, containing spacious and well-lighted rooms with every modern convenience, where naturalists from every part of thecountry may pursue their favourite studies foranylength of time, and be secure from all possible interruptions. The building will undoubtedly be ready for occupation in the spring of 1875.

THE COMMON FROG*
III.

TO prosecute successfully our inquiry "What is a Frog ?" it will be well now to make acquaintance with the more remarkable forms contained in its Order, after which, by considering the other Batrachian orders, we may arrive at a certain appreciation of its Class.

The Frog's own genus (Rana), which contains about 40 species, has its head-quarters in the East Indies and in Africa, but extends over all the great regions of the

raria, but it is unknown in America. It is easily w s discriminated from the common species (see Fig. 4 a p. 510) by the absence of that dark, sub-triangular pa: which extends backwards from the eye in R. temporary The male of R. esculenta is further to be distinguish;: from the male of the common Frog by the fact 0! 1 having the floor of the mouth on each side, distensibifi a pouch—the pouches, when distended, standing out a each side of the head. These pouches are called "wd sacs," and no doubt aid in intensifying these animi= croak, which is so powerful that (on account of it 2i

[graphic]

Fig. 7.—Poison Organ of Thalastophryne reticulata (after Gunther). 1, Hinder half of the head with the venom-sac of the opercular apparatus in situ. * Place where the small opening in the sac has been observed. a. Lateral line and in branches : b, gill-opening; c, central fin ; d, base oi pectoral fin; ■', base of dorsal fin. 3. Operculum, with the perforated spine.

world, except Australia, and parts more southerly still, and except countries situate above 66° north latitude. In South America, however, but a single species is as yet known to exist.

Amongst the largest species are Rana tigrina, of India and the Indian Archipelago,and the bull-frog {R. Mugicns)

[graphic][graphic]

Fig. 8. Fig. 9.

Fig. 8—Vertical, Longitudinal Section of the Poison-fang of a Serpent (after Owen). §-, deep grove; 0, its lower termination, which affords exit to the poison ; /, pulp-cavity. Fig. 9.—Magnified Transverse Section of a Serpent's Poison-fang (after Owen), g, groove round which the substance of the tooth (containing /, the pulp-cavity) is bent ; /, the point where the sides of the tooth meet and convert the "groove" into what is practically a central cavity.

of North America. The latter animal may often be seen in the Gardens of the Zoological Society, where it is fed on small birds—a sparrow being easily engulphed within its capacious jaws.

The Edible Frog, par excellence (R. esculenta), is found in England as well as on the Continent of Europe. It is as widely distributed over the old world as is R. tempo

[graphic][merged small][graphic][merged small]

* Continued from vol. riiil p. 51a.

* The type of this genus is a species which was in my own collection (*'!" no clue to the locality whence it originally came), but is now deposited in the British Museum. It was first described in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society for 1868, under t'le name Packyhatrackus.

t Proc. Zool. Soc, 1869.

[see Fig. 5, vol. viii. p. 511) represented, in the hope that by the wider circulation of a figure of it, it may be recognised, and its habitat so ascertained.

The common Toad (Bufo vulgaris) is as widely distributed over the earth's surface as is Rana esaiUnta. It is less aquatic than the frog, and more sluggish in its motions. In shape it resembles the frog, but is more swollen, with much shorter legs and a warty skin (see Fig. 6, vol. viii. p. 511). The toes are less webbed, and the margin of the upper jaw, as well as the lower, is entirely destitute of teeth. The jaws are similarly toothless in all toads. The toad is provided with an oblong, elongated gland called Parotoiii) behind each eye. These glands emit a milky secretion which is acrid and very unpleasant to the

[graphic]

Fig. 12.—DactyUthra cnpeiuts.

mouth of some carnivorous animals. Those who have observed a dog attacking a toad can hardly have failed to notice the disgust which the former animal seems 10 exhibit by the copious flow of its saliva, its many heacshakings, &c. The toad's secretion, however, cannot le said to be poisonous, and certainly it is not so in tl e mode in which the venom of serpents is poisonous, since a chicken may be inoculated with it, and yet appear to suffer no injury whatever beyond the infliction of the slight wound necessary for the performance of the opcra

[graphic]

Kic. 13.—RkincfSrynus dorsalis.

tion. Nevertheless the secretion exercises a very decided effect upon certain animals, since the tadpoles both of frogs and of salamandeis are very powerfully affected by being kept in the same water with a toad, if the latter be specially irritated in order to make it discharge its pungent and irritating secretion.

True poison and organs fitted both to inflict wounds and to convey the venom into them are not indeed found in any animals which are even near allies of the frogs and toads. Nevertheless a very perfect organ for both wounding and poisoning has been discovered by Dr. Giinther to exist in a certain fish {Thalassophryne reticulala), belonging to a group which, on account of their

[merged small][graphic][merged small][graphic][merged small]

poison-organs are probably only used for defence. They are formed, however, on the very same type as are the poison fangs of vipers. Unlike the latter, however, they arc not modified teeth, nor are they situated within the mouth as they always are in poisonous serpents.

A Frog (Pelobates fuscus) which is common in France (and which is interesting on account of the form of its skull hereafter to be pointed out), though really harmless enough, has a singular power of making itself offensive.

Both males and females of this species utter a kind of croak, and both, if their thigh is pinched, produce a sound like the mewing of a cat. At the same time they emit a strong odour, which is like that of garlic, and becomes stronger as the animals are more disturbed. This emission not only affects the sense of smell, but even makes the eyes water as mustard or horseradish does.

This singular power, together with the acrid secretion of the toad, are the nearest approximation to venomous properties possessed by any members of the order, no toad—not even the giant of the order Bufo agua—being really poisonous.

A small Frog, by no means uncommon in France and Germany (Alytes obstctricans) has a very singular habit. The female lays its eggs (about sixty in number) in a long chain, the ova adhering successively to one another by their tenacious investment. The male twines this long chaplet round his thighs, so that he acquires the appearance of a courtier of the time of James I. arrayed in trunk hose or puffed breeches. Thus encumbered, he retires into some burrow (at least during the day) till the period when the young are ripe for quitting the egg Then he seeks water, into which he has not plunged many minutes when the young burst forth and swim away, and he, having disencumbered himself of the remains of the ova, resumes his normal appearance.

Certain Frogs (forming a very large group) are termed Tree-frogs, from their adaptation to arboreal life by means of the dilatation of the ends of the digits into sucking discs, by which they can adhere to leaves. One of them, the common green Tree-frog (ffyla arborea) is spread over Europe, Asia, and Africa, in the same manner as A*, esculenta, except that it is not found in the British Isles. A few toads also have the tips of their digits similarly dilated. Such, e.g., is the case in the genera Kaloula of India, and Biachymerus of South Africa.

The female of a peculiar American Tree-frog (JVo/otrema marsupiatum) has a pouch extending over the whole of the back and opening posteriorly. Into this the eggs are introduced for shelter and protection. A dorsal pouch also exists in the allied American genus, Opisthodelphys. An American species of Hylodes has the habit of laying its eggs in trees singly in the axils of leaves, and the only water they can obtain is the drop or two which may from time to time be there retained.

A still more remarkable mode of protecting the egg is developed by the Great Toad of tropical America {Pipa americami). In this case the skin of the females' back at the laying season thickens greatly and becomes of quite a soft and loose texture. The male, as soon as the eggs are laid, takes them and imbeds them in this thick, soft skin, which closes over them. Each egg then undergoes its process of development so enclosed, and the tadpole stage is, in this animal, passed within the egg, so that the young toads emerge from the dorsal cells of the mother completely developed miniatures of the adult. As many as 120 of these dorsal cells have been counted on the back of a single individual.

The only instance of a similar cutaneous modification is that pointed out by Dr. Giinther* in the skin of the belly of the Siluroid fish, Aspredo batrachus. Here he found that "the whole lower surface of the belly, thorax, throat, and even a portion of the pectoral fins, showed

* See Catalogue of the fiihes in the British Museum, vol. v. p. 268.

numerous shallow, round impressions, to which i >m the ova still adhered." He concludes that ** it is ir_^than probable that towards the spawning time the sfcc . the lower parts becomes spongy, and that, after hamdeposited the eggs, the female attaches them to c J merely lying over them." "When the eggs are ruarin the excrescences disappear, and the skin of the beiy '-•comes smooth as before. Even in the highest cl£si . 1 animals (Mammalia) we are familiar, in the Kangaroo vOpossum order (Afanupia/ia), with a special exferx.* receptacle (the marsupial pouch) for the protection -•secure development of the young; but nothing of — kind exists amongst birds or reptiles. In fishes, howe>.the male of the little Sea-horse (Hippocampus) is jr.vided with a ventral pouch in which the eggs are si=tered, and the same class presents ns with a mod; 1 carrying the eggs still more bizarre than that of ASti. obstctricans just related. In the fish Aliusfissus the nui: actually carries about the ova in the mouth, protected ir the jaws, till relieved of the inconvenience by the h.atchr-1 of the young fry.

A South African Toad (Dactylcthra capensirt is ;> teresting, as we shall hereafter see, on account of certt^. anatomical points in which it agrees with Pipit, sn~ differs from all other Anoura. No interesting facts, ho* ever, are known as to its habits.

Another noteworthy form is the Mexican RhirtofiArys-i dorsalis, the exceptional characters of which are :bf tongue, which is free in front instead of behind, and th: enormous spur-like tarsal tubercle.

Almost all Frogs and Toads pass the first stages "i their existence in water, going through a free, tadpoW stage, and all are more or less aquatic when adult. Thi only exceptions are Pipa, A'ototrema, OpisthodclpMy:, and the Hylodes before referred to. Very many lindi. however, are, when adult, inhabitants of trees. The question may suggest itself to some, "Are there anr which can be said in any sense to be aerial animals?' Birds are almost all capable of true flight, as also art those aerial existing beasts the Bats, and as were thosi extinct reptiles the Pterodactyles. Certain squirrels and opossums can take flitting jumps by means of an extension of the skin of the flank, and a similar, though much greater extension, supported by elongated freely ending ribs, is found in the little lizards {Draco) called Flying Dragons.

The class of Fishes supplies us, also, with an example of aerial locomotion in the well-known Flying Fish.

Since, then, every other class of vertebrate animals (Beasts, Birds, Reptiles and Fishes) presents us with more or fewer examples of the aerial species, we might perhaps expect that the Frog-class would also exhibit some forms fitted for progression through the air. We cannot say with certainty that such is the case; but Mr. Alfred Wallace, in his travels in the Malay Archipelago, encountered in Borneo a Tree-frog (Rhacophorus) to which he considers the term " flying " may fairly be applied, and of which he says, it "is the first instance known of a flying-frog." Of this animal he gives us the following account:—

"One of the most curious and interesting creatures which I met with in Borneo was a large tree-frog which was brought me by one of the Chinese workmen. He assured me that he had seen it come down, in a slanting direction, from a high tree as if it flew. On examining it I found the toes very long and fully webbed to their extremity, so that, when expanded, they offered a surface much larger than the body. The fore-legs were also bordered by a membrane, and the body was capable of considerable inflation. The back and limbs were of a very deep shining green colour, the under surface and the inner toes yellow, while the webs were black rayed with yellow. The body was about four inches long, while the webs of each hind foot, when fully expanded, covered a. surface of four square inches, and the webs of all the feet together about twelve square iriches. As the extremities of the toes have dilated discs for adhesion, showing The creature to be a true tree-frog, it is difficult to imagine th.it this immense membrane of the toes can be for the purpose of swimming only, and the account of the Chinaman that it flew down from the tree becomes more credible."

The great group of Frogs and Toads, rich as it is in genera and species, and widely as it is diffused over the earth's surface, is one of singular uniformity of structure. The forms most aberrant from our type, the common frog, have now been' noticed, except that perhaps the maximum respectively of obesity and slenderness may be referrrd to. In the former respect the Indian Toad Glyphoglossus may serve as an example, and for the latter may be selected Hylorana jerboa.

St. George Mivart

{To be continued.)

A FOSSIL SI RE XIAN FROM THE RED CRAG OF SUFFOLK

AT the opening meeting of the Geological Society, Prof. Flower communicated a description of a fine fragment of a skull of an animal of the order Sirenia, which is of great interest as affording the first recorded evidence of the former existence of animals of this remarkable group in Britain. The specimen forms part of the very rich collection of Crag fossils formed by the Rev. H. Canham, of Waldringfield, near Woodbridge. It was found in the so-called "coprolite" or bone-bed at the base of the Red crag, and presents the usual aspect of the mammalian remains from that bed, being heavily mineralised, of a rich dark brown colour, almost black in some parts, with the surface much worn and polished, and marked here and there with the characteristic round or oval shallow pits, the supposed Pholas boring.

The fragment consists of the anterior or facial portion of the cranium which has separated, probably before fossilisntion, from the posterior part at the fronto-parictal suture, and in a line descending vertically therefrom. This portion has then been subjected to severe attrition, by which the greater part of the pre-maxillary rostrum, the orbital processes of the maxillaries, and other projecting parts have been removed. In consequence of this, what may be called the external features of the skull, which are especially necessary to determine its closer affinities, are greatly marred, though enough remains of its essential structure to pronounce with confidence as to its general relationship to known forms. Fortunately, the whole of the portion of the maxilla; in which the molar series of teeth are implanted is preserved; and though the teeth have fallen from the alveoli in the front part of the series, and in the posterior part are ground down to mere stumps, so that the form of the crowns cannot be ascertained in any. many important dental characters may still be deduced from the number, form, size and position of the sockets and roots that remain.

As the intensely hard, ivory-like rostra of the ziphioid Cetaceans, the tympanic bones of the Batenida?, and the teeth of terrestrial mammals almost alone remain in these deposits to attest the former existence of their owners; it is, doubtless, to the extreme massiveness and density of the cranial bones, as characteristic of the order Sirenia, that we owe the preservation of so large a portion of the skull under the very unfavourable conditions to which it, in common with the other fossils of the formation, must have been exposed.

After a comparison of the characters of the cranium with those of the several existing and extinct members of the order,Prof. Flower referred it to the genus Halitherium, and showed its relationship to H. Sckinsi of Kaup from

the miocene of the Rhine basin, a formation, it will be remembered, in which several of the animals of the Red Crag bone-bed occur. It is, however, of larger size than that species, the teeth are larger, both absolutely and relatively to the cranium, and certain other differences occur, though the imperfect nature of the materials makes exact comparison of fossils only known from fragments not altogether easy or satisfactory. Believing, however, that it does not belong to either the above-mentioned, or any other of the hitherto described species of Halitherium, the specific name of H. canhami v.a.% proposed. It should be mentioned that there are six teeth in the maxillary or molar series on each side, all present at the same time, the first two with single roots, the third with two roots, and the last three with three roots, precisely resembling in form those of the molar teeth in the existing Manati.

ON THE STICK-FISH {Osteocclla septentrionalis') AND ON THE HABITS OF SEA-PENS

TV/TR. COOTE M. CHAMBERS has most kindly pre*"•*■ sented to the British Museum a specimen of the Stick-fish, from English Bay, Burrard's Inlet, British America. The specimen was placed alive, immediately it was caught, into a tin tube, filled with a solution of arsenic and salt

Mr. Chambers observes that the Stick-fish are only to be found in Burrard's Inlet, English Bay, British Columbia. "It has only one bone in it, and appears to live on suction, and is a great prey to dogfish." Further: "I would mention that in summer only can they be caught. They are found to the least depth of from 30 to 40 fathoms, they move about rapidly in the water, and when brought to the surface, move for a few seconds like a snake, then make a dart as swift as lightning, and disappear."—July 23, 1873.

Unfortunately the specimen did not arrive in a good state for exhibition. The greater part of the animal portion had been washed off, probably by the motion of the solution during the transit; only about a foot of the flesh, which was loose on the axis, and the thick, swollen, naked, club-shaped base without, polypes remained; but it was in a sufficiently good state to afford the means of determining its zoological situation and of examining its microscopical and other zoological characters.

Mr. Chambers' specimen is the animal of the axis, or stick, that I described as Osteocclla septentrionalis (Ann. and Mag. Nat. Hist. 1872, lx. p. 406), and it proves that the axis belongs to a kind of Pennatula, or Sea-pen, nearly allied to the long Sea-rushes named Pavonarius qitatirangiilaris, found on the West Coast of Scotland, and is evidently the same animal as Pavonaria blakci, described by R. E. C. Stearns. The idea of its being :i fish, which seems so generally entertained by the people of British Columbia, is clearly a mistake, though one of the observers sent a figure of the Sea-pen, with mouth and eyes like an eel {'.), which is copied in Nature, vol. vi. p. 436.

Osteocclla.—The complete polype-mass very closely resembles Pavonaria quadrangularis, as figured by Johnston (" British Zoophytes," t. xxxi.), from Prof. Edward Forbes' drawings ; but the animal is entirely destitute of calcareous spicules, and the axis is cylindrical, hard, and polished.

Two days after I received this specimen, I received by post Mr. Steam's description of the Stick-fish {Pavonaria Blakei), from the San Francisco Mining ana Scientific Press, August 9, 1873.

The description of Mr. Steam, made from a fresh animal, need not be repeated; but as he does not mention the microscopic structure, I sent a fragment of Mr. Chambers' specimen to Mr. Carter to be examined, who kindly writes :—"The fragment arrived sifely, although

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