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turn over a bit of plank in search of land shells, to my great delight, there lay snugly coiled up, one of the famous "coral snakes !” Taking his head between my finger and thumb, I let him coil around my wrist, and made the best of my way to the office of the Railroad Survey, determined to prove the harmless nature of the pretty little creature. Upon producing it, however, two of my English friends disappeared through the window, and the one before mentioned reaching the loft over head, in a great hurry, seized an empty bottle (there were plenty of them there), and adjured me in forcible language to depart and take the snake with me, on pain of several things too disagreeable to mention. Doubting the efficacy of argument in the premises, I consigned the snake to an alcohol tank, and took the story to the supper table, where it afforded us a fund of amusement for the evening, and was by no means the most disagreeable reminiscence of my afternoon in Greytown.
TRAVELS IN THE EAST INDIAN ARCHIPELAGO.* — The object of Prof. Bickmore's travels was the collection of a set of shells from the island of Amboina and its immediate neighborhood. In this Mr. Bickmore seems to have fully succeeded, and thanks to his energy and perseverance, we now have in this country a full suite of the species tirst described by Rumphius. The present volume merely states this object and describes the mode of its attainment. Otherwise it is a diary of the author's daily experience among these tropical islands, in which mountains, lakes, rivers, plants and animals, incidents and accidents, are all described as they happened. The coast tribes are said to be of a mild disposition, but those of the interior mountainous parts of the different islands, wild and savage; in some cases cannibals. The ethnological characteristics of the different tribes are given whenever practicable, and the details of their dress, and habits of life sometimes accompanied by photographs and drawings of great value.
“ All the natives (Malays, of Java) are remarkably short in stature, the
*Travels in the East Indian Archipelago. By Albert S. Bickmore, M. A. 8vo, pp. 553. Sent to us by H. A. Brown & Co., Boston.
men averaging not more than five feet three inches in height. The head is somewhat lozenge-shaped, the check bones high and prominent, the mouth wide and the nose sliort, - not flat as in negroes, or prominent as in Europeans.” “The men have but a few straggling hairs for beards, and these they generally pull out with a pair of iron tweezers. The hair of the head in both sexes is lank, coarse, and worn long." The different kinds of trees and their fruits are graphically described, and the drawings which illustrate them are characteristic, especially that of the Bamboo. We have space to quote but one or two of the more interesting passages, since these travels extend to many islands, each of which are in turn described; while their political history, the character of their people, agriculture, and geological features of the countries, all pass in review. The author thus describes the different zones of vegetation in the island of Java: “ Above one thousand feet, palms, bananas, and papilionaceous plants become fewer, and are replaced by the lofty fig or • waringin,' which, with its high top and long branches, rivals the magnificent palms of the sea-shore.” Liquid amber, and the cotton-wood, also appear, and orchidaceous plants and ferns in considerable numbers. “Over this region of the tig, comes that of oaks and laurels. Orchidaceous plants and melastomas are more abundant here." "Above six thousand feet are Rubiaceæ, heaths, and cone-bearing trees," succeeded by the zone of small ferns, lichens, and mosses.
Java is the Cuba of the East Indies. “In each there is a great central chain of mountains. Both shores of Cuba are opposite small bodies of water, and are continuously low and swampy for miles, but in Java only the north coast borders on a small sea. This shore is low, but the southern coast, on the margin of the wide Indian Ocean, is high and bold, in accordance with the rule that the higher elevations are opposite the greater oceans.”
The islands of Lontar, Pulo Pisang, and Pulo Capal, are described as the remnants of the wall of a sunken crater, the length of which was four and a half, and the breadth not less than three and a half miles. The active yolcano of Bromo, within the limits of this crater, was ascended and described, Mr. Bickmore nearly losing his life in the attempt. The grave of Runphius, marked by a small square pillar, is still in existence, and was found and described by the author.
The many observations and facts which the author has brought together, would have been made more available, and more valuable to the scientist, if the work had been less diffuse. The number of pages miglit have been lessened without detracting from its popular character, or the freshness and beauty of many of the descriptions of the fruits and natural scenery.
BEE KEEPING.* - In this pamphlet the author describes what he claims to be “a new system of bee keeping, adapted to the habits and characteristics of the honey bee; with descriptions of, and directions for mana
* A New System of Bee Keeping. By D. L. Adair. Cincinnati, 1867. 8vo, pp. 74.
ging bees in the section hee-hive. embracing also improved methods of artificial swarming, whereby the business of bee keeping is rendered more profitable and pleasant.” The rearing of bees is becoming a source of profit to farmers, and though without a practical acquaintance with the subject, we should judge it to be for the interest of every bee keeper to own this little manual, and to learn the merits of the section bee-hive described and figured in it.
THE EXTINCT Flora OF NORTH AMERICA.* — This pamphlet is the climax of the late controversy between Messrs. Meek and Hayden on the one side, and Profs. Marcou and Heer on the other. This controversy made us acquainted with the fact that the familiar forms of the poplar, oak, sassafras, willow, etc., lived in the Cretaceous period; and in the present pamphlet the author, who was also one of the first to assert this truth, reviews the main points of the evidence, and brings forward a numerous list of new species. The Cretaceous period, though the continent had a different outline from the present, and though it was inhabited by animals very distinct from ours, had forests resembling in many of their characteristic trees those of to-day. “Salisburia, Sabal, and Cinnamomum, etc., are indicative of a warmer climate," and are found on the West coast of the continent. “Possibly these genera may hereafter be detected in the plantbeds of Kansas, Nebraska, and New Mexico, but as yet we have no intimation of their existence, and there is nothing now known in the Cretaceous flora of that region which gives it tropical or even sub-tropical character."
* It will be remembered that this vegetation grew upon a broad continental surface, of which the central portion was considerably elevated. This would give us physical conditions bot unlike those of the continent at the present day; and it would seem to be inevitable that the isothermal lines should be curved over the surface somewhat as at present. It may very well happen, therefore, that we shall find the palms and cinnamons restricted to the western margin of the Cretaceous continent. It will be seen by the notes now given of the Tertiary fora of our continent, that, at a later date, palms grew in the same region where these Cretaceous plants are found; but cinnamons and other tropical plants seem to be entirely wanting in the Tertiary flora of the central part of the continent, while on the west coast both palms and cinnamons lived during the Tertiary period as far north as the British line. We hare therefore negative evidence from the facts, though it may be reversed at an early day by farther observations, that the climate of the interior of our continent during the Tertiary age was somewhat warmer than at the beginning of the Cretaceous period, and that during both the Eame relative differences of climate prevailed between the central and western portions that exist at the present day."
PARASITIC WORMS IN THE BRAIN OF A Bird.f — One of the most obscure subjects in zoölogy is the history and development of animal parasites, and especially those which take up their abode in the brain of different animals: Prof. Wyman has detected a species of “round worm” in the brain of seventeen out of nineteen specimens of thư Anhinga (Snake-bird
* Notes on the Later Extinct Floras of North America, with descriptions of some New Species of Fossil Plants from the Cretaceous and Tertiary Strata. By Prof. J. S. Newberry, of Columbia College, New York. 8vo, pp. 76.
On a Thread-worm infesting the Brain of the Snake-hird.” By Jeffries Wyman, M. D. (From the Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History, October 7, 1868). 8vo, pp. 7.
AMER. NATURALIST, VOL. III. 6
or Water-turkey) shot in Florida, thus proving that “their presence in the cranial cavity might be called the normal condition of this bird.” The author states, that
“Parasites have occasionally been found infesting the brain or its membranes in man and animals, but far less frequently than in the other regions of the body. The number of species thus far observed is quite small, and are chiefly referable to the genera Tænia, Filaria, Trichina, and Diplostomum, and confined almost wholly to man and domesticated animais, such as
the sheep, reindeer, dromedary, horse and ox; and among wild animals to the chamois, roe-buck, and a few others. That they have not been more frequently seen in the wild species is without doubt due to the fact that the brains of these have been so seldom examined for the purpose of detecting them."
These worms, " which correspond very nearly, if not identical with the Eustrongylus papillosus Die
sing,” were found in every 2 instance coiled up on the
back of the cerebrellum
ways more closely coiled than in the female. This worm is viviparous, the young hatching in the oviduct. The development of the young is sketched in Fig. 7; a, is the egg; in b, containing the embryo, which
Fig. 7. leaves the egg in the form indicated at c, c'. As they descend lower down in the oviduct, they straighten themselves, a--( as at d and e, until they become of the form indicated at f. “Their earlier stages are unknown, but the analogy of the Gordiaceous, and other worms, lead to the supposition that the parasite of the brain of Anhinga is one of the migratory kinds, and that a part of its life, at least, is passed in a locality quite different from that in which it was detected. The manner in which the transfer of the embryo is effected
outwardly to some other animal, or the water, and then back to another Anhinga, is wholly unknown.”
SCIENTIFIC OPINION.* - A weekly journal showing the progress of science in all its departments, is a most welcome publication. It is edited with great ability, and its editorial reviews deserve especial notice for their plain speaking and candor. No other journal known to us reports so promptly and fully the Proceedings of Scientific Societies, especially the German and French. Both this and the Paris Cosmos, a favorite exchange with us, will doubtless have a wide circulation in America, as science is attaining such proportions that we on this side of the water must receive weekly scientific intelligence from Europe.
FAUNA OF THE GULF-STREAM AT GREAT DEPTHS.+ - This is the continuation of a similar paper by the same author previously reviewed. The utmost depth reached with the dredge was 517 fathoms, or 3 102 feet, or over 1000 feet beyond the late researches near Spitzbergen. The bottom has been divided into three regions, extending in zones around the Florida reefs :- 1st, From the reef outwards four or five miles to the depth of 90 fathoms; 2d, From 90 to 230 or 350 fathoms; 3d, The bottom of the channel which does not much exceed 500 fathoms. The first region is barren, and covered only by dead and broken shells, showing that the fauna of the reef itself does not extend seaward. The second is “rich in animal forms,” and is particularly interesting to the geologist. It is a limestone, gradually increasing by the accumulation of the calcareous remains of Corals, Echinoderms and Mollusks. “These debris are consolidated by the tubes of Serpulæ, the interstices filled up by Foraminiferæ, and smoothed over by the Nullipores. It is supposed by the author that this will eventually thicken until the water is shallow enough for the Astreans and Madrepores to begin their work of founding a new barrier similar to the existing reefs. This limestone is filled with recent fossils, furnished in great part by the animals now living on the bottom, but “a few contribute by sinking after death from the higher regions of the superincumbent water (teeth of fishes and shells of Pteropods), and others are brought by currents from littoral regions (bones of the Manatee, and fragments of littoral plants). All the branches of the animal kingdom, so far as their marine carnivorous orders are concerned, are abundantly represented in this region, but it is destitute of plants.
The third region is sparsely inhabited by a few Mollusks, Radiates, and Crustaceans, but the peculiar animal is the microscopical Globigerinæ whose siliceous shells have covered the bottom of the channel with a thick deposit. The deep sea animals of the second and third regions are of smaller size than allied forms of the littoral zone. - The only exception is an Echinus, which is nearly of the average size, and an Actinia.
Scientific Opinion. A Weekly Record of Scientific Progress at Home and Abroad. Part 1. December; II. January, 1869. 4to, Monthly Parts, ls. 6d. London, 1869. 4to, 3 columns.
† Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, No.7. Contributions to the Fauna of the Galf-stream at great depths. (Second series.) By L. F. Pourtales, Ass't U.S. Coast Survey.