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GEOLOGY AND PALEONTOLOGY.
Flint-Implements near Folkestone, Kent.—The Rev. J. M. Mello gives the following brief description of a splendid locality for flint-implements, which may be worthy of the attention of a few of our readers. He says that during the course of the last month, he found at Folkestone several flint-implements. Along the sides of the footpath on the top of the cliff between Folkestone and Sandown, there is a low embankment, made probably of material collected off the adjoining fields: in this embankment the implements occur. They are mostly of the rude flake or " scraper" pattern. The first discovered, which was also the finest, was lying partly exposed on the top of the bank, and subsequently his brother and himself found several more not far from the same spot. He has little doubt that further search in the same bank would bring many others, and possibly finer ones, to light.
The Coal at Korba.—In the May number of the Records of the Geological Survey of India, it is stated that the coal is exposed in two places in the bed of the Hasdo river, just below Korba. The thickness was estimated, though roughly, from its dip and length of outcrop, to be at least 90 feet, including bands of shale and inferior coal. In order to obtain a more correct idea of the quality of the coal, small pits were dug; these proved a minimum thickness of 50 feet of fair coal. Mr. VV. T. Blandford, F.G.S., points out the best places for borings in order to ascertain the extent of the seam, as sufficient data are not known to justify the opening of a coal mine. Both the quality and mode of occurrence of the coal are considered favourable, and indeed, to surpass that near Chanda.
The Mammalian Fossils of Ireland.—A very able paper, but one of too great length for an abstract, has appeared on this subject in the Geological Magazine for September. It is by Robert H. Scott, M.A., F.R.S., and deals with the different historical statements of any value that hare been made in reference to the distribution of mammalia in Ireland. In regard to the presence of the elephant and other fossils, a great deal of valuable information exists in the paper referred to.
A New Cephalaspis in America.—Mr. E. Ray Lankester describes an interesting specimen which was sent to him by Principal Dawson, of Montreal, Canada. The specimen presents in slight relief a small Cephalaspis, with head-shield and greater part of the body, and is much flattened. The shield appears to be larger in proportion to the body than in any British species. The orbits are not shown, and the matrix has not preserved the scales of the body with much distinctness, though it is possible to make out the lateral and marginal series. No trace of pectoral, dorsal, nor caudal fins is to be made out. This species clearly belongs to the section Eu-cephalaspis as defined in his monograph of Cephalaspida. Its best character as a species is to be found in the very fine, almost granular, tubercles which are preserved on some parts of the surface, and represent the apparently universally present tubercular ornament of the Otteostraci. These fine tubercles are more minute than on any British Cep/ialaspid, and, though seemingly not very well shown in this specimen, furnish a specific mark.
Dorypterus Hofmanni.—Mr. Albany Hancock communicated a paper, through Professor Huxley, on this subject. The material for this paper consisted of four specimens of Doryplerus Hofmanni, which have been discovered by Joseph Duff, Esq., in the Marl-slate of Midderidge, and are believed to be the first examples of this fish which have been obtained in this country. The stratum from which they were procured is the same as that described by Prof. Sedgwick in the paper, published in the Transactions of this Society (2nd series, vol. iii. pp. 70, 77). The specimens show that the "ribbonshaped " process mentioned by Germar is part of a peculiar exoskeleton, and that Dorypterus possessed ventral fins, which were situated in front of the pectorals, or "jugular." Hitherto, no fishes with ventral fins other than "abdominal" in position, have been known to occur earlier than tho Cretaceous epoch. The tail is heterocercal, not homocercal, as Germar supposed. The dentition is not displayed in any of the specimens, and the teeth were probably small and inconspicuous; but the general structure of the fish Ehows it to be most nearly allied to the Pycnodonts.—Geological Society, June 22.
A Distal Portion of a Fentlier.—Prof. 0. C. Marsh mentions that he has just received from Prof. F. V. Hayden the distal portion of a feather, with the shaft and vane preserved from a freshwater Tertiary deposit of the Green River Group, Wyoming Territory.
The Lias of the Banat Austria.—This, says Professor Rupert Jones in a recent lecture, has abundance of terrestrial plants, forming a coal; but hero in the west the fossil trees and leaves of the Lias are but waifs and strays, and were washed to sea with the bones of the great Scelidosaurus; and the sudden river floods must have killed by the million successive generations of fishes, Ammonites, and Belemnites, and buried them in thick new mud, together with the unhurt carcases of the associated Ichthyosaur and Plesiosaur. These last have their skin and bowels intact; the molluscs were imbedded with the animal in the shell, and the cuttles retain even their inkbags unemptied, for death was quicker than their fear. Melting snow produces such sudden floods in temperate climates, and the monsoons on the eastern coast of India supply such abundance of fresh water, as to kill the sea-fish in myriads.
Mr. Poulett Scrope and Mr. David Forbes.—The admirable lecture delivered by Mr. David Forbes, F.R.S., before the Sunday Lecture Society, and which was published in the Geological Magazine, has undergone some valuable criticism by Mr. G. Poulett Scrope in the Geological Magazine for September. Those who go in for the views of either should read the opinions of both.
A Xew Species of Gavial.—Vioi. O. C. Marsh, of Yale College, U. S., reports an interesting discovery. Some interesting reptilian remains have recently been obtained from the Eocene Greensand of Shark River, Monmouth County, New Jersey, indicative of a new species of Gavial, considerably smaller than any crocodilian heretofore discovered. They were found together, and are evidently parts of the same skeleton. They consist of various fragments of the skull, and ten vertebrse. The cobssification of tho neural arches of the vertebrae, and the almost entire obliteration of the sutures in some of them, would imply that the individual, although diminutive, was nearly or quite mature. The portions of the skull preserved indicate that the animal had an elongated muzzle, and that the upper posterior parts of the skull were of the gavial type. The temporal apertures were large and near together. The teeth were not obtained. The vertebra are well preserved, and present marked characters. The articular cup is transversely oval in the cervicals and anterior dorsals, and has its upper margin depressed in the posterior dorsals. The hypapophysea are simple and elongate. The neural canal of the cervical and anterior dorsal series is transverse and sub-rectangular in outline, and the floor unusually broad and flat. In the posterior dorsals, the canal, although still transverse, becomes less rectangular, with the broader portion above. The species may prove to be generically identical with the one named by the writer Thecachampsa Squankensis, which is the only crocodilian hitherto in the Eocene of New Jersey, but it is doubtful.—American Journal of Science, 2nd series, vol. i. No. 148.
A New Fossil Snalce, Python Euboicut.—Professor Roemer, of Brealau, gives a description of a comparatively well preserved, and clearly identified ophidian, from the Tertiary limestone (Kalkschiefer) of Kumi, in the Island of Eubcea, which is so important as to merit the attention of palaeontologists. The remains were found in a slab of limestone, 9 in. in length by 5 in. in breadth, which exhibits on its surface the vertebral column and ribs of an ophidian. It was procured for the University Museum from the cabinet of the late Dr. Beinert, and is stated to have been obtained from the wall of the Browncoal deposit of Kumi, and is probably of Miocene Tertiary Age, like those from the Braunkohlen formation of Germany. The portion of the skeleton preserved consists of part of the vertebral column, 9 J in. in length, and comprising 25 vertebrae with the ribs attached, also the greater part of the left ramus of the lower jaw, with eight of the teeth in situ. The specimen is so disposed upon the slab that about half the vertebras exhibit their dorsal, and half their ventral, aspect.
A New Large Terebratula, which occurs in East Anglia, is described in the Geological Magazine for September, by Mr. E. Ray Lankester.
The Microscope in Geology.—Mr. S. Allport, F.G.S., has recently contributed a paper to the Monthly Microscopical Journal for August, which is of interest to all Geologists, as it shows them how useful is the microscope in their investigations. We commend the paper to the consideration of our readers. We give the following conclusions:—" Having now made upwards of four hundred sections of rocks and minerals, I am inclined to believe that the following results of microscopical examination will stand the test of further study. 1. The mineral constituents of the melaphyres and other fine-grained igneous rocks may be determined with certainty—a result which has not been attained by any other method of examination. 2. The mineral constituents of the true volcanic rocks, and those of the old melaphyres, are generally the same. 3. The old rocks have almost invariably undergone a considerable amount of alteration, and this change alone constitutes the difference now existing between them and the recent volcanic basalts. The basaltic lavas of the Rhine and Central France are composed of a triclinic felspar, augite, magnetite, olivine, and frequently apatite, the same minerals as those constituting the old rocks above described. I have fine-grained specimens of the latter hardly distinguishable from recent basalts; and a section of dolerite from the Puy de Barnere, in Auvergne, does not differ in any important particular from coarse-grained specimens from Rowley. It would be easy to extend the parallelism to other classes of rocks, but I will now only observe that we have here another proof of the doctrine long taught by Lyell—the uniformity and continuity of the Laws of Nature."
Professor Morris's Testimonial.—This has been at last given to the Professor. A meeting was called on the 14th of July, at the apartments of the Geological Society, Somerset House, and a very complimentary, but by no means too much so, testimonial and 600/. were presented to the Professor. We trust the Royal Society will take the lesson.
A Fossil Hydrozoon, Palaocoryne.—The remarkable fossil on which Dr. P. M. Duncan, F.R.S. and Mr. H. M. Jenkins, F.G.S., have made their remarks in the Philosophical Transactions, 1869, was obtained from the lower shales of the Carboniferous Limestone series of Ayrshire and Lanarkshire, so rich in fossil Brachiopoda, Polyzoa, Crinoidea, and Madreporaria; and was found attached to the margins of the polyzoariurn of FenestelUe, and also in a detached and more or less fragmentary condition amongst the small pieces of broken Polyzoa and Crinoid stems which compose the fossiliferous layers of the shales. The base of Palaocoryne was expanded, giving rise to a short robust and cylindrical stem fluted and punctated on its surface, and surmounted by the body of the polypite from the upper margin of which radiate a single whorl of long and slender tentacles. On the upper surface of the body, a crateriform process, with an opening on its apex, indicates the position of the mouth. Its external investment appears to have been calcareous, covering the whole of the hydrozoon, except at the opening for the mouth and the terminations of the tentacles, which had probably ciliated ends projecting beyond the periderm or polypary. This is an almost solitary instance of a hydrozoon having a hard periderm, save the recent genus Bimeria, discovered on the west coast of Ireland by Dr. T. Strethill Wright. The Zoological position of the fossil is amongst the Hydrozoa in the order Tubularidaa, and near the Eudendridfe. Two species are described and figured by the authors, Palaocoryne Scoticum and P. radiatum.
Bessemer s Steady Cabin.—Mr. Henry Bessemer has recently patented plans for the construction of cabins in sea-going passenger ship?, which shall he perfectly steady, however much the ship may roll; he hopes that by this means sea-sickness may be prevented, and voyages undertaken in peace and tranquillity. Mr. Bessemer's plans, which have been worked out with the ingenuity and mechanical skill for which he is famous, only require a practical trial to prove whether or no he has really solved the difficulty, and placed it in our power to remove a serious barrier to intercourse between nations. The cabin in these plans is circular in plan, and is hung on gimbals at its centre, the point of suspension in the ship being so chosen that the cabin as a whole shall have as little vertical motion as possible. The mode of suspension secures that the floor of the cabin shall remain horizontal, but this is not enough. In so placing the cabin that the vertical motion is practically abolished, Mr. Bessemer has made an advance in principle on all previous attempts in this direction. Mr. Bessemer is having a vessel constructed to test his plans.
Rifled Gun.—A gun now in course of construction at Woolwich is expected to prove the most powerful piece of ordnance ever produced. This is a 35-ton gun, carrying a projectile of 560 lbs. weight, propelled by a charge of 100 lbs. of powder. It is stated that this gun is expected to prove capable of penetrating a 15-inch plate, and judging from past experience it ought to be pretty nearly competent to accomplish so much. How ships are to be built capable of resisting such a projectile, if indeed that is possible, is yet to be seen.
Ventilation of Coal Mine*.—Mechanical ventilation in coal mines is steadily gaining ground, on the older plan of producing a draught in the up-cast shaft by means of a furnace. Mr. D. P. Morrison recently read a paper on the subject before the North England Institute of Mining Engineers, at which he stated that in the deepest English coal mines, mechanical ventilation would show an economy of 35 to 40 per cent, over furnace ventilation. After discussing various arrangements of mechanical ventilators, he gave the preference to the Guibal centrifugal fan.
Steam Paviour.—In Paris, a steam paviour has been introduced to do the laborious work of the men with wooden rammers, whose appearance whereever a street is being relaid will be familiar to our readers. The French machine is similar in principle to a steam hammer, and is moved about when at work by a horse.
Ventilation in Railway Carriages.—Attempts are being made to secure more perfect ventilation in the carriages of the Metropolitan Railway, and to reduce the unpleasantly high temperature of the air. Experiments are being carried out on plans due to Dr. Croft, and are reported to have been successful, the anemometer showing a strong inflowing current, without any perceptible draught in the carriages.
New Ventilating Machine.—M. F. Mulhausen, a civil engineer of Brunswick, is said to have invented a new freezing and ventilating machine. The cold is produced by the expansion of previously compressed air, a process which in principle was suggested originally, we believe, by Prof. James Thomson.
Single Rail Tramway.—Mr. J. W. Addis, C.E., is experimenting in India on a new form of single rail tramway. The vehicles used in addition to the ordinary wheels have a pair of flanged wheels, one behind the other, running on the single rail, which is laid at the centre of the track. The flanged wheels are adjusted by a screw so as to take all the weight off the ordinary wheels, without lifting them much above the roadway. An experimental line has been laid, in part at an incline of 1 in 40, and along this a pair of bullocks draw a load of 3 tons. The advantages claimed for the system are—first, a very great diminution of power expended in hauling as compared with traction on common roads; secondly, that the cost of construction is only one-half that of an ordinary tramway with two lines of rails. A tramway or railway on a similar principle was, we believe, tried some time ago in France.
Rock Boring.—We learn from a letter in the Engineer, that the diamond