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From the lowest animals, he has gradually extended his investigations up to the highest, and even to man. His earlier labours were, for the most part, occupied with the lower marine animals, especially with the pelagic organisms swimming at the surface of the open sea. He availed himself of an excellent opportunity for the study of these, when on board H.M.S. Rattlesnake on a voyage of circumnavigation, which took him to many most interesting parts of tropical oceans little investigated, previously, by the zoologist; especially the coasts of Australia. Here he was able to observe, in their living state, a host of lower pelagic animals, some of which had not at all been studied, others but imperfectly. In the Protozoa, he was the first to lead us to satisfactory conclusions concerning the nature of the puzzling Thalassicollicte and Sphaerozoida. Our knowledge ol Zoophytes has be n greatly extended by his splendid work on "Oceanic Hydrozoa," in which, chiefly, the remarkable S phonophora, with their largely developed polymorphism and the instructive division of labour in their individual organs, are described with very great accuracy.
Already in his first work "On the Anatomy and the Affinities of the Medusae," 1849, he directed attention to the very important point, that the body of these animals is constructed of two cell layers—of the Ectoderm and the Endcdcrm—and that these, physiologically and morphologically, may be compared to the two germinal lasers of the higher animals. He has made us bettor acquainted with several interesting members of the class Vermes, Sagitta, Lacinularia, some lower Annulosa, &c. He was the first to point out the affinities of Echinodcimata with Vermes. In opposition to the old view, that the Echinodermata belong to the Radiata, and, on account of their radial type, are to be classed with corals, m tdusre, &c, Huxley showed that the whole organisation of the former is essentially different from that of the latter, and that the Echinoderms are more nearly related, morphologically, to worms. Further he has essentially enlarged our knowledge of the important group of Tunicata by his researches on the Ascidians, Appendicularia, Pyrosoma, Doliolum, Salpa, &c.
Many important advances in the morphology of the Mollusca and Arthropoda are also due to him. Thus, e.g., he has greatly elucidated the controverted subject of the homology of regions of the body in the various classes of Mollusca. He has considered the generation of vinefretters from quite a new point of view, based on his "genealogical conception of animal Individuality." But it is the comparative anatomy and classification of the Vertebrata which, during the last ten years, he has especially studied and advanced. His excellent "Lectures on the Elements of Comparative Anatomy" afford abundant proof of this, to say nothing of his numerous important monographs, especially those on living and extinct fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
Huxley's works on the comparative anatomy of the Vertebrata are the only ones which can be compared with the otherwise incomparable investigations of Carl Gcgenbaur. These two inquirers exhibit, particularly in their peculiar scientific development, many points of relationship. They both belong to that small circle of morphologists which is markedly the names of Caspar Friedrich Wolff, George
Cuvier, Wolfgang Goethe, Johannes Miiller, and Carl Ernst von Baer.
More important than any of the individual discoveries which are contained in Huxley's numerous less and greater researches on the most widely different animals are the profound and truly philosophical conceptions which have guided him in his inquiries, have always enabled him todistinguishtheessential from theunessential,andto value special empirical facts chiefly as a means of arriving at general ideas. Tho^e views of the two germinal layers of animals which were published as early as 1849 belong to the most important generalisations of comparative anatomy; they already contain in germ, the idea of the "perfect homology of the two primary germinal layers through the whole series of animals (except protozoa)," which first found its complete expression, a short time since, in the "Gastrxa theory ;" also his researches on animal individuality, his treatment of the celebrated vertebral theory of the skull, in which he first opened out the right track, following which Carl Gegenbaur has recently solved in so brilliant a manner this important problem, and above all his exposition of the Theory of Descent and its consequences, belong to this class. After Charles Darwin had, in 1859, reconstructed this most important biological theory, and by his epochmaking theory of Natural Selection placed it on an entirely new foundation, Huxley was the first who extended it to man, and in 1863, in his celebrated ihree Lectures on " Man's Place in Nature," admirably worked out its most important developments. With luminous clearness, and convincing certainty, he has here established the fundamental law, that, in every respect, the anatomical differences between man and the highest apes are of less value than those between the highest and the lowest apes. Especially weighty is the evidence adduced, for this law, in the most important of all organs, the brain; and by this, the objections of Prof. Richard Owen are, at the same time, thoroughly refuted. Not only has the Evolution Theory received from Prof. Huxley a complete demonstration of its immense importance, not only has it been largely advanced by his valuable comparative researches, but its spread among the general public has been largely due to his well-known popular writings. In these he has accomplished the difficult task of rendering most fully and clearly intelligible, to an educated public of very various ranks, the highest problems of philosophical Biology. From the lowest to the highest organisms, from Bathybius up to man, he has elucidated the connecting law of development.
In these several ways he has, in the struggle for truth, rendered Science a service which must ever rank as one of the highest of his many and great scientific merits.
ZOOLOGICAL NOMENCLATURE The Object and Method ofZoological Nomenclature. By David Sharp. (E. W. Janson and Williams and Norgate, 1873.) Pp.39.
ZOOLOGISTS and botanists universally adopt what is termed the binomial system of nomenclature invented by Linnasus. The essential principle of this system is, that every species of animal or plant is to have a name made up of two words, the second word—which is called the specific or trivial name, having exclusive reference to the species itself, the first word—which is called the generic name, indicating the genus, or small natural group, which comprises the species in question along with others. Thus the cat, the tiger, and the lion, belonging to one genus or small natural group of closely-allied animals, are called respectively, Felts callus, Fdis ligris, and Fclis leo. The name of each species, therefore, shows us what group it belongs to, and thus gives us a clue to its affinities ; and the system of nomenclature is to this extent classificatory. But, as the true natural grouping of species has not yet been agreed upon by naturalists, and genera have been in a state of incessant change from the time of Linnaeus to the present hour (or for about a century), the names of an immense number of species have been repeatedly altered ; and one of the first requisites of a good system of nomenclature—that the same object shall always be known by the same name— has been lost, in the attempt to make the name a guide to classification, while the classification itself has ever been fluctuating and still remains unsettled. As an example let us take the Snowy Owl. This has been placed by different ornithological authors in the genera Bubo, Strix, Noctua, Nyctea, Syrinium, and Surnia; and at the same time, owing to carelessness or error, a number of different specific or trival names have also been used, such as scandiaca, artica, nivea, ermiiiea, Candida, and >iycica; and the various combinations of these two sets of names have led to the use of about twenty distinct appellations lor this single species of bird. This example is by no means a very extreme one; and it represents what occurs over and over again, in varying degrees, in ever)' department of zoology and botany.
In order to determine in every case which of the names which are or have been in use is the right name, and so arrive at uniformity of nomenclature, certain rules have been pretty generally agreed upon, the most important of which is that of " priority." This means that the first name given to a species is to be the name used, even when it has never come into general use, but is now discovered in some scarce volume dated 80 or ico years ago. But this absolute law of priority only applies to the specific or trivial name; in the case of the generic name no such absolute priority has been thought possible, because the genera of the old authors were very extensive groups, which have now been divided, in some cases into hundreds of genera. This process of division has, however, gone on step by step, one author dividing an old genus into three or four new ones, with new names; another dividing some of these still further, with more new names; another perhaps discovering that these genera were not natural, and grouping the species into genera on altogether different principles, and again giving new names. Genera have been thus subdivided to such an extent that the owls, for example, which Linnaeus classed as one genus, now number more than fifty; and the ten British owls have to be placed in nine distinct genera.
In the very ingenious and careful essay which has led to these remarks, Mr. David Sharp, a well-known entomologist, advocates a mode of attaining the great desideratum of naturalists—a fixed and uniform nomenclature of species—which has not, so far as we are aware, been suggested before, although it is at once simple and
logical. He proposes that, not merely one-half, but the entire name of every species once given, should be inviolable, until by general consent some permanent classificatory system of naming species, analogous to that used in chemistry, is arrived at. The insect named by Linnaeus Papilio dido should, for example, retain that name, although it must find its classificatory place in the genus Colcenis and the family Nymphalidae; while the glossy starling of the East should retain the name Turdus can for, given to it by Gmelin, although it is no thrush, and belongs to the genus Calomis. The name would thus remain fixed, however the place of the species in our classifications might be changed ; and the very errors of the original describers might help us to remember the object referred to by directing our attention to the cause of their error in classifying it. A beginner might, it is true, be misled, but the mistake once pointed out, the very inappropriateness of the name would serve us an aid to memory, as in the well-known "ti/a/s a non lucendo." It is also pointed out that the value of the binomial nomenclature as a guide to the affinities of a species is now almost lost, owing to the minute subdivision of the old well-marked groups and the consequent multiplication of genera. No one can remember the names of all the genera of beetles now that they exceed ten thousand, unless he devotes his life to their study; and even then the fixity of the names of all the old and well-known species would be a great help in the study of new classifications, or the use of modern catalogues.
A great evil of the present system is, that while professing to keep the specific or trivial name inviolable, it often compels an entire change of name. This happens whenever, by a new arrangement, a species has to be placed in a genus which already contains the same trivial name. Two species thus come to have the same name, and one of these must be wholly changed. The evil of this system of perpetually changing names is not so much the trouble it gives us to find out what object a name really refers to (though that is serious) as the enormous waste of labour involved in the elaborate working out of synonomy, rendered many fold more difficult by the complication of changes in both the generic and specific names, from a variety of causes. These difficulties are much greater in the case of genera than in that of species; and this portion of synonomy would be almost got rid of if it were decided that the first binomial name given to a species should never be changed. We should then avoid the absurdity of having hundreds of familiar names abolished, because a mere compiler of an early catalogue, who had perhaps never seen the objects themselves, dividtd them up almost at random into a number of named ; r->ups , or because some modern student thinks it advisable to split up every large genus into dozens of smaller ones.
These appear to be weighty arguments in favour of Mr. Sharp's proposal, yet we are far from thinking that it will be adopted. For, after all, the changed names are but few in comparison with those which remain unchanged for considerable periods; and the charm of a nomenclature which is to a considerable extent classificatory is so great, that most naturalists will strongly object to giving it up. So long as the old name keeps within the bounds of the modern family (which is in most cases a stable and well-defined group) there might be little objection to retaining it; but when it leads to the use of a name indicating a distinct and often quite unrelated family—as Silpha scabra for one of the Lamellicomes, (Trox scabra) in the example given by Mr. Sharp—the system will, we apprehend, be almost unanimously rejected.
Many minor details of nomenclature are discussed in the essay before us, and on some of these the author's views are more likely to meet ultimately with general acceptance. He objects strongly, for example, to the common practice among classical purists of altering all names which they consider to be not properly spelt or not constructed on true classical principles. For, as he justly remarks, the emenders can give no guarantee that their alterations will be permanently accepted, since others may come after them who will have different views as to classical orthography and propriety of nomenclature. He points in particular to the inconvenience of placing an H before many names which were originally spelt with a vowel, thus altering their places in an alphabetical arrangement, and creating a synonym for no useful purpose whatever.
Although it appears to us pretty certain that the plan of returning to the first generic name given to a species will not be adopted, the proposal to do so may lead to a reconsideration of the practice of applying the law of priority to generic names, as all are agreed it must be applied to specific or trivial names. If the generic part of the name may be altered any number of times in accordance with altered views as to classification, the principle of priority in the mere name is so totally given up, that it seems absurd to use it for the purpose of resuscitating the obsolete appellations of early writers. When an author is admitted to have defined a natural genus, he should have full power to give a name to that genus, because it is really a new thing; and it is both illogical and inconvenient to reject his name because some former writer has given another name to a group, not the same, but which merely happened to contain some one or more of the same species. Again, we think Mr. Sharp's arguments suggest the advisability of opposing the splitting up of large genera into many smaller ones otherwise than provisionally; the old generic name continuing to be used till there is a concurrence of opinion as to the necessity of adopting the new ones. The older authors were often modest enough to do this; indicating natural divisions of large genera, but not naming them; whereas modern naturalists, as a rule, feel bound to give a new name to every fragment they can split off an established genus.
It appears, then, to the present writer, that the plan best adapted to lead speedily to a fixed nomenclature, and at the same time one that will least offend the prejudices of zoologists, is as follows r—
1. To adopt, absolutely and without exception, the principle of priority as regards specific or trivial names.
2. To adopt the same principle for genera only so long as the generic character or definition of the genus remains unaltered ; but whenever an original investigator defines a genus more completely than has been done before, he is to be left free to name it as he pleases. Every consideration of utility and common sense will of
course lead him to retain a name already in use when the new genus does not materially differ from an older one: but of that he is alone the judge, and it should be absolutely forbidden to any third party to say that a name so given must be changed.
3. Whenever genera which are widely recognised ire split up into a number of proposed smaller ones, the old generic name should continue in use till further investigation determines whether the new groups are sufficiently well defined and natural to supplant the old one.
In conclusion, it may be suggested that if zoologists who have paid attention to this subject would, after a careful consideration of Mr. Sharp's paper, state their own conclusions in the form of short proposition?, accompanied by their reasons for them, a notion might be obtained, not only as to which system is intrinsically the best, but, what is of equal or perhaps greater importance, which is most likely to command general assent.
Alfred R. Wallace
RESULTS OF THE FRENCH SCIENTIFIC MISSION TO MEXICO Mission Scicntifiqut an Mexique et dans i'Ametique Caitralt. Recherches Zoologiqucs publites sous la direction de M. Milne-Edwards. Livraisons 4. (Paris: 1870-72.)
THE ill-fated attempt of the Second Empire to estabImperialism in Mexico has had at least one good result in the work now befjre us, in which the labours of a Scientific Mission originally sent out under the shadow of the French Army are given to the world. The materials accumulated by M. Bocourt and his FellowNaturalists, were deposited in the National Museum ot the Jardin des Plantes, and the elaboration of them entrusted to special workers in the different branches of science. In 1870 three livraisons were issued, each forming the commencement of a separate section of the work, as planned out under the direction of M. Milne-Edwards. These relate to the terrestrial and fluviatile Molluscs, by MM. Fischer and Crosse; to the Orthopterous Insects and Myriapods, by M. Henri de Saussure; and to the Reptiles and Batrachians, by MM. Auguste Dume'ril and Bocourt. The fall of the Empire and German occupation stopped the immediate progress of the work, but we are glad to see it has now been resumed. A second livraison of the section devoted to the Myriapods, prepared by MM. H. de Saussure and Humbert, has been lately issued, and we believe it is fully intended to bring the work to a conclusion. It will be observed that authors engaged on the various sections are all well-known authorities on the subjects of which they treat, and that the figures and illustrations are of an elaborate character. We are the more glad to call the attention of our readers to the revival of this work, because it does not appear to be very generally known to naturalists, and because it has lately been the subject of a most unjustifiable attack in an English scientific periodical.* After a general condemnation of the work we are there informed that it is " a lamentable exhibition of the very backward state of zoological science in
* Ann. Nat. Hist, for August 1873.
the French capital." As to the justice of this remark we need only appeal to the recent numbers of the "Annales des Sciences Naturelles" and the " Nouvelles Annales du Mus(5c," which are replete with zoological memoirs of the highest interest, and to the great work on fossil birds, by Alphonse Milne-Edwards, recently completed, which is alone sufficient to refute such a sweeping accusation. That the spirit of scientific enterprise is still alive in France is, moreover, sufficiently manifest by the grand researches of Pere David in Chinese Tibet, and of Grandididier in Madagascar, while there is certainly no lack of scientific experts to bring their discoveries before the public. A more baseless and unjust attack was certainly never penned against the savants of a sister nation.
But when our English critic proceeds to suggest that either the general editor of the present work, Prof. MilneEdwards, or the joint author of the part devoted to the Reptilia—the late Prof. Dumeril (for his remarks may be intended for either of these gentlemen)— has appropriated the funds devoted to its preparation and left the labour to be performed by some inferior subordinate, the matter becomes still more serious. It is, however, sufficient to reply that no sort of evidence is given to support these statements, and that the value of Dr. Gray's ipse dixit is not sufficiently appreciated among naturalists to induce them to accept such an impossible supposition.
OUR BOOK SHELF
Sahara and Lapland. Travels in the African Desert and the Polar World. By Count Goblet D'AIviella. Translated from the French by Mrs. Cashel Hoey. (London : Asher and Co., 1874.)
At first sight it would seem that no two countries had less in common than the two about which this book is written ; but Count D'AIviella ingeniously and correctly shows, in his thoughtful preface, that they, or rather the Lapps and Arabs, have many circumstances in common. These two peoples "lead the same vagabond existence; they live exclusively upon their herds, they carry with them all they have and that they possess, and they make analogous migrations at the changes of the seasons—the Lapps from the Swedish steppes to the Norwegian valleys, the Arabs from the plains of Sahara to the pastures of Tell. In this manner of life they have both acquired the same strength of constitution, or rather the same power of resisting such fatigue, privations, and weather as would kill the most robust European. . . . Both the Lapps and the Arabs—who are rather the slaves than the masters of Nature—owe their consciousness of isolation and powerlcssness to the same superstitions, the same beliefs in spirits, to the 'evil eye,' in amulets, and in incantations. . . . Both races—restricted for centuries to a form of society unsuitable to any kind of progress—affect the same respect for the routine of their ancestors, and the same disdain for the arts of civilisation." The author concludes rightly, we think, that both peoples, incapable as they are of transformation or civilisation, are doomed to disappearance. Many attempts have been made by the Swedish and French Governments to get these nomads to settle down into civilised life, but invariably without success. The author, on the authority of M. Charles Martins, relates that the French Government gave to a number of the poorest Arabs of the Sahara some fertile fields with a ready-built village, and even a mosque in the middle of it. They reserved the houses for their flocks, and pitched their tents in the streets; until one day the nostalgia of the desert seized upon them, and they returned rejoicing to their wandering life.
■" Count D'AIviella tells the narrative of his travels in these two regions very pleasantly. He is a cheerful and observant and somewhat philosophic guide, and we can assure anyone who cares to buy this \voik,that he will get the value of his money in enjoyment and information. The narrative of the Lapland journey is especially interesting, and contains information about a people and a country that we believe many know but little about. Here will be found an account of the mode of life of a people that in many respects may be taken as the living type of the men who, ages ago, struggled for existence amid conditions very different from those which now obtain in Europe, and whose implements and remains come within the province, not of the historian, but of the geologist.
Mrs. Hoey deserves credit for her excellent translation. The volume contains a number of fairly executed illustrations.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
[The Editor does not hold himselfresponsible for opinions expressed by his correspondents. No notice is taken of anonymous communications. ]
M. Barrande and Darwinism
In the article in Nature (vol. ix. p. 228) on M. Barrande.s "Trilobites," published in 1S71, several statements are madv? which require not only considerable modification as to the facts then known, but which are entirely misleading when made to appear to represent the state of our knowledge of these acts at the present time. M. Barrande is well known to be a determined opponent to the theory of evolution, and doubtless this stionj; bias has prevented him from seeing and accepting many facts which would otherwise, to so keen and careful an observer, have seemed inconsistent with such strong views. The list of fossils given by him from the Cambrian formation, and which is reproduced m Nature, is most incomplete and inaccurate when made to refer to the Cambrian fauna of this country, as will be evident at once by referring to p. 249 of the same work, where a list of fossils discovered by me in the " Hailech or Superior Longmynd" group of Wales is given, and which includes several trilobites; and yet in the above-mentioned article it is stated "that no trace ot a trilobke has been found in the Cambrian formation." Surely no English geologist will be bold enough to deny to the name Cambrian its right to these Harlech and Longmynd rocks, whatever else it may not be entitled to. Nor, indeed, did Sir R. Murchison and the Geological Survey ever attempt such a breach, and I cannot believe that M. Barrande has realised what such an assumption means, or what it would lead to; nor can I believe that it is possible for him to have lollowers in this country in such a "violation of historic truth," and, as observed by Frof. Sterry Hunt (in the Canadian Naturalist, vol. vi. p. 448), for no oilier reason than "thatthe primordial fauna has now been shown by Hicks to extend towards their base." Surely this country, which has not only given to scientific nomenclature the name Cambrian, but which has given to all other countries the groundwork upon which to build up theirs, should have a right to explain the succession in its own way, and especially when it is proved that its succession of these rocks is clearer and more natural than has been hitherto found to be the casein any other country. Indeed it is quite clear that M. Barrande has not yet succeeded, in Bohemia, in reaching this early fauna, and it is evident also that his first zone of life is only equal in order of appearance to the latter part of our second zone, and hence the mistake to attempt to correlate our fauna with his zone.
At St. David's in South Wales, the Cambrian of the Geological Survey, consisting of red, purple, and green rocks, attains a thickness of over live thousand feet of beds resting conformably, and of these beds over four thousand feet have yielded evidence, in the form of fossils, ot life having existed in the seas in which they were deposited. The forms of life comprised annelids, brachiopods, pleropods, bivalve crustaceans, trilnbites, and sponges, and I think it would be seen on examination that the pictuie offered by this early fauna is not one in discordance with Darwinism, as assu-ried in the article in question. But as M. Barrande and the author of the article have restricted their remarks almost entirely to the trilobites, I will only ask to be allowed space to reply to the facts stated with regard to these forms of life. Trilobites have now been discovered as low clown as 4,oco ft. in these red and green rocks at St. David's, that is, in the very earliest fauna known, and amongst them are forms hitherto not discovered in any other country; still if we are to believe with some that we are here near the beginning of life on the globe, or even of trilobitic life, we can expect but little evidence to support or to disprove Darwinism. For, considering the frequent changes in the sea bottom which must have taken place at this period, to produce at one time a shingle, then a sand or grit, and then a tine muddy deposit, and such beds frequently repeated, we cannot possibly expect that during all these physical changes an unbroken record of these forms should be preserved to us. No, rather we should expect to find that the necessary migrations would produce alterations in the forms, and that they should now and again return modified and altered in proportion to the time which had intervened and the circumstances which surrounded them. And this is real y what we do find, and which is apparent at once to the pala;ontologist, who is prepared to allow and to recognise in these very marked physical changes a controlling influence capable of greatly affecting the life of the period. Again, can any one really believe, when thinking of the enormous time which must have elapsed during the accumulation of the great Laurentian scries, and possibly of other series previous and succeeding, all antecedent to the lime when the Cambrian fauna made its appearance, that the seas in which these were deposited were entirely barren of life? Surely not; therefore, why so readily jump at conclu-ions when there is so much room for doubt? Again, this Cambrian fauna is not without evidence in favour of evolution. Trilobites we know develope by increase of the body segments, and therefore M. Barrande says that the earliest trilobites should have the smallest number of segments in the thorax—" but that those of the primordial fauna are generally characterised by the opposite condition, while the number is less in those of the succeeding faunas." Now it does not seem to have occurred to M. Barrande that trilobites show every indication of having culminated at or about this period, that Iney had attained their maximum size and development, and that from this time they seem to have gradually dimini,hed in size, and to have degenerated, doubtless much in the order in which they had previously progressed. This will explain also why the number cf segments should, as he says, diminish in number in the genera of succeeding faunas. One of the very earliest trilobites we know of is the little Agnostus. It is also the simplest and apparently the most rudimentary of the group. It has no eyes, only t;vo segments to the thorax, and usually an illdefined glabella. In tracing a species of Paradoxides from the eailiest stage upwards, I was struck with the very great resemblance which, at an early stage, it had to the little Agnostus. The glabella was indistinct, and much shorter in proportion to the length of the head than in the fully grown specimen, and the eye very faint, scarcely marked out, and the outline of the head more evenly rounded, with scarcely any indication of spines. Before the discovery of the Cambrian fauna at St. David's, no genus of trilobites had been found with four segments to the thorax, therefore we had to jump from one with two to one with six, as in Tri nucleus or Am pyx. Now, however, since the discovery of Microdiscus with four segments, the gap has been filled up, and the genus, unfortunately for those holding M. Barrande's views, appears in our earliest fauna, and where the evolutionist would be most inclined to look for it. It is also a most interesting and instructive genus. It is somewhat larger than Agnostus, but like it, has no eye--. The glabella is better formed, more distinctly marked olT from the checks, and instead of being irregularly grooved, as is usually the case with Agnostus, it is furrowed regularly as in an advanced stage in the development of Paradoxides. In the caudal portion the axis is partly divided into segments, and in one species the lateral lobes are slightly grooved as if into rudimentary pleura;. It is very plentiful in the beds at St David's, and since its discovery there, species have also been found in Canada and tlsewhere.
From this stage fi rms have been found to represent every step in development as to the number of segments, and indeed often to show marked stages in other parts. Anopolenus is really a Paradoxides with enornv.us eyes, reaching to the hinder margin, and with several of the hinder pleura; consolidated together to
form a large spinous pygidium. Another Paradoxides has the eyes nearly as large as Anopolenus, but w ilh a few more segnirnt; to the thorax, and a smaller pygidium. Other jpecies show various gradations in the eyes and in the pygidium until we attain to P. Davidis, which has small eyes, a small pygidium, and the greatest number of thoracic segments. Indeed there are form* to represent almost every stage, and there can I think be no doubt that in the fauna of the Tremadoc group, which is trpsraled from the earlier Cambrian hy several thousand feet of deposits indicating a period of veiy shallow water in which large brachiopods and phyllop>d crustaceans were the prevailing forms of life, we witness a return to Very much the same conditions as existed in the earlier Canibrkn periods, and with these conditions a fauna retaining a marked likeness to the earlier one, and in which the cirlier types are almost reproduced, tlioiu;U of course greatly changed during their previous migrations. The Niobe (?) recently found in the Tremadoc rocks is truly a degraded Paradoxides, retaining the glabella and head spines, but with the rings of the thorax, excepting eight, consolidated together to form an enormous tail. Instead therefore of having here, as stated by M. Barrande, "a very important discord between Darwinism and facts," we find in tliese early faunas facts strongly favouring such a theory, and in support of evolution. Ilendon, Jan. 27 Henry Hicks
ACCORD I Ng to a notice in N Atu BE, vol. ix. p. 2 2S, a distinguished continental naturalist finds an important discordance between Darwinism and certain facts connected with Trilobites and other fossil crustaceans. But his argi m ml appears to be based on an assumption that we are acquainted with a "primordial fauna," that we are .justified in dating the beginnings of life at or near some known geological period. This, however, the whole history of geology ought to make us less and less inclined to believe. It is one of those assumptions, essentially based on ignorance, on which so little dependence can rightly be placed. We hive no right to call any fauna the earliest, merely because, as it happens, we know of none earlier.
A point is made of the fact that the earlier known Trilobites have more segments than the later, while individual Trilobites, as they develope, increase in number of their body segments. It may be granted at once that in this case the development of the individual is not an accurate picture of the past development of the species. But Fritz Muller has long ago shown that we could not, on principles of Darwinism, expect it always to be so; and surely, if Trilobites have been gradually developed rather thin abruptly created, there must have been Trilobites withySrc before there were Trilobites with many segments, so that after all, the development of the individual will carry us back to an early stage in the history of the family. It could scarcely be expected to give us all the alternations and complications which that history may have presented in its whole course.
Those who on other grounds accept the tlieory of evolution, far from finding any obstacle to it in (lie large number of geneia of Silurian Trilobites, will consider the largeness of that number clear evidence that life in general, andTrilobite life in particular, must have nourished on the globe for a very long period prior to the Silurian age.
The argument that we do not find connecting links between different genera has little immediate force. It must await the verdict ol time and further investigation. Of 252 species 0 Trilobites, 61 are assigned to England. The true reading of this piece of statistics must surely be that that which great research has done for a small area may be equalled, and fur surpassed, when as close a scrutiny is applied to the whole available surface. If no gaps between species, and genera, and orders are filled by the results of such a search, thcu it will be time to say that we have "an important discord between Darwinism and facts."
Torquay, Jan, 27 Thomas R. R, Stebbing
Perception in Lower Animals
I Relate the following, as it has some bearing on a question lately ventilated in Nature.
A friend and mysell were watching on one occasion the actions of two hall-bred Persian cats on seeing for the riw rime a freshly caught cobra, which had been placed in a wire-gauze covered box near the verandah. First of all one nf the cats, a black one, stalked carefully up to the box in which the snake was keeping up a perpetual "swearing," with extended hood, and after a