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The prevailing colors are white, pink, — sometimes playing into orange, — and a pale green. Blue was only seen in a small incrusting sponge. What proportion of light reaches a certain depth we shall try to determine during our next explorations. It is certain, however, that the deep sea animals have generally well-developed eyes, larger if anything than those of their congeners of shallow water.”
THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ILLINOIS.* - Prof. Worthen announces that the Carboniferous system attains a maximum of 2500 feet in this State, and contains ten seams of coal, six of them in the lower, three hundred feet of the true coal measures being of workable thickness. The whole series is exposed in the banks of the Illinois, which cuts diagonally across these beds for more than a hundred miles from north-east to south-west.
Prof. Worthen points out from theoretical data what may possibly prove to be a very serious mistake in Prof. Owen's estimate of the thickness of the coal measures in Kentucky. If it prove a true criticism, Kentucky is not so rich by one half in workable coal seams as she has been represented. Prof. Worthen thinks that Prof. Owen mistook two outcroppings of the same sandstone for two different layers, and that these two, which are distinguished as the “Anvil-rock Sandstones," and the “Mahoning Sandstone,” in the Kentucky section, are identical. If this be so, the series of coal seams between the latter and the former, do not overlie the Mahoning Sandstone, but are merely similar or duplicate beds, occurring in the same geological horizon. “The product of our coal mines for the past year (1867) according to the most reliable statistics, is fully 1500 000 tons."
“ There is, perhaps, no other area of equal extent in the United States where coal is so easily obtained with a moderate expenditure of capital as in the Ilinois Coal-field.” The strata are undisturbed; their inclination from the western border to Springtield is not over seven feet to the mile, and the principal seams are accessible in the central parts of the State, at from two hundred to four hundred feet. Our space only permits us to name the counties, the geology of which is fully described. They are Alexander, Union, Jackson, Perry, Jersey, Greene, Scott, Washington, Clinton, Marion, Jefferson, Cook, and La Salle Counties.
The second part, by Messrs. Meek and Worthen, is devoted to Palæon. tology, and contains among much interesting matter, full descriptions and figures of the remarkable Carboniferous crustaceans from Mazon Creek, which were first made known by this survey. Mr. Scudder describes the fossil insects, and gives many interesting details. From these it appears that we have from the Grundy County Carboniferous rocks, besides those described in Vol. I, one species of Eurypterus and two Crustaceans allied to the common Limulus; two Isopods, and two Macrurous Decapods. Among insects there are two Myriapods, one of enormous size, two species of Neuroptera belonging to two genera, and two species
*Geological Survey of Illinois. A. H. Worthen, Director. Vol. III, Geology and Palæontology. 4to, pp. 574. With twenty plates and numerous illustrations,
allied to the Scorpions, and one whose affinity is doubtful. The species formerly described and figured as a caterpillar in Vol. II, page 163 of the NATURALIST, is now thought, from the study of additional specimens, to be a worm, the hairs on the body being longitudinally striated, and, according to Dr. Packard, resembling those of Aphrodite.
THE ANCESTRY OF INSECTS; Fossil INSECTS AND CRABS, IN ILLINOIS. * – Prof. Haeckel, of Jena, has been speculating as to the ancestors of the articulates. He considers the ancestral form of the crustacea as a zoëalike creatore, resembling the larval or zoëa-stage of the crab. As to the ancestor of the air-breathing, terrestrial articulates (insects, spiders and centipedes), he proposes the theory that it was a zoëa which, probably, about the Devonian Period, adopted a terrestrial life. As this is an age of speculation, we should suggest, that the ancestors of the insects (including the six-footed insects, spiders and myriapods) must have been worm-like and aquatic, and when the type became terrestrial we (still speculating) would imagine a form somewhat
Fig. 1. like the young Pauropus (Fig. 1) discovered by Sir John Lubbock in England, which combines in a remarkable degree the characters of the myriapods and the degraded wingless insects, such as Smynthurus, Podura, etc. Some such forms may have been introduced late in the Silurian period, for the interesting discoveries of fossil insects in the Devonian of New Brunswick, by Messrs. Hartt and Scudder, and those discovered in the lower part of the Coal Measures, at Morris, Illinois, and described by Messrs. Meek, Worthen and Scudder, reveal carboniferous myriapods, Euphorberia (two species), more highly organized than Pauropus, and a carboniferous scorpion (Buthas?), closely resembling a species now living in California; together with another scorpion-like animal, Mazonia Woodiana; while the Devonian insects described from St. John, by Mr. Scudder, are nearly as highly organized as our grasshoppers and May-flies. Dr. Dawson has also discovered a well developed milleped (Xylobius) in the Lower Coal Measures of Nova Scotia; so that we must go back to the Silurian period in our search for the earliest ancestor, or (if not of Darwinian proclivities) prototype, of insects. As to the earliest Crustacean being a zoëa-form, have we not among the earliest known Crustaceans, the Trilobite (Paradoxides) and several allied forms of Lowest Silurian age, whose larval form was, undoubtedly, more or less worm-like, as are certain degraded marine Pill-bugs (Bopyrus) of the present day? Messrs. Meek and Worthen describe fossil Shrimps (Anthropalæmon) and Sand-fleas, in the Lower Coal Measures of Illinois, associated with a large Eurypterus, being a gigantic shrimp-like animal; a Trilobite (Euproops Dane) resembling our Horse-shoe Crab; and several insects are described by Mr. Scudder under the name of Miamia Danæ, and Chestoles lapidea (a neuropterous insect allied to Miamia); also part of a Cockroach, and a Harvest-man or Daddylong-legs, allied to, but lower than the spiders, with several other undetermined remains of insects. With such recent discoveries of so highly organized articulate life in rocks so ancient, and with the late discovery of a land-plant in the lower Silurian rocks of Sweden, it seems premature to even guess as to the ancestry of either these or their living representatives.
* The Palæontology of Ilinois. Articulate Fossils of the Coal Measures. (Advance sheets of the Report of the Illinois State Survey.) By Messrs. Meek, Worthen and Scudder. September, 1868. Svo.
THE BOOK OF BIRDS AND THE BOOK OF BEASTS.* — From an examination of their contents we do not hesitate to say that they form a valuable addition to our popular-science literature. The engravings are numerous and well done. The subject is treated in a clear and interesting manner, and with the typography and binding, form elegant volumes for the young
CECIL'S BOOK OF INSECTS.T—A very pleasantly written book, containing chapters about Ants, Bees, Spiders, Dragon-flies, Wasps, Locusts, Mosquitoes, Beetles and Butterflies. The illustrations are as a whole very good, and the stories about insects are reliable and well calculated to interest the young, and induce them to observe the habits of insects and form collections of them.
LIST OF THE LEPIDOPTERA OF NORTH AMERICA.I— The American En. tomological Society, which has issued six volumes of Proceedings, and has entered on the second volume of Transactions, all beautifully illustrated, and indispensable to the study of our insects, and we may add, published remarkably cheap, is now issuing, in Parts, a list of our Butterflies and Moths, by Messrs. Grote and Robinson. The present Part embraces the species of Sphinges, Ægerians, the Thyridæ, Zygænidæ, and the Bombycids, or Silk-worm family, found north of Mexico. The catalogue gives the most important synonyms, and when finished, will be an invaluable book of reference to students of this group of insects.
We should here speak of the remarkable energy shown by the members of this young society, which was incorporated in 1862. With but a single salaried officer it started at once under very adverse circumstances, and established a printing oflice in its own hall, and issued annually a volume of Proceedings, rivalling in interest and value those published by the Entomological Societies of London, Paris, Berlin and Vienna. Not content with this, its members edited “The Practical Entomologist," designed to acquaint farmers with the habits of the injurious insects, distributing from 5000 to 8000 copies each month, gratuitously the first year, and for a mere trifle the second, when it was obliged to suspend its
*Cecil's Books of Natural History; Cecil's Book of Beasts; Cecil's Book of Birds. By Selim H. Peabody, M. A. Chicago: Clarke & Co. 12mo.
| Cecil's Book of Insects. By Selim H. Peabody, M. A. Chicago: Clark & Co., 1868. With eleven full-page illustrations. 12mo, pp. 228.
List of the Lepidoptera of North America. By A. R. Grote and C. T. Robinson. Part I. Philadelphia: American Entomological Society. September, 1868. Sro, pp. 16.
publications for want of means. The Society in a circular recently issued, asks the pecuniary aid of all interested in science. We hope that the citizens of Philadelphia, who have already done so much for science, will not let one of its most useful institutions of learning suffer for want of the funds asked for in the present circular, for the society seeks for a mere pittance, such as a few of the wealthy men of that well-to-do city could easily grant. We hope all our entomologists will lend their aid to a society which has done so much for the furtherance of their favorite study, at least by subscribing to its Transactions, which are published at $3 a year.
CATALOGUE OF NORTH AMERICAN GRASSHOPPERS.* — A very carefully prepared list of all the Orthoptera of our country. The author states in the preface that the arrangement, both of genera and species, is a purely alphabetical one. “ The list is not in any sense a synonymical one, involving the expression of personal views, but a hand-book for the student, in which is collected every reference to any species of orthoptera stated to have been found on the continent of North America, or in the West Indies, -a groundwork upon which he may erect a superstructure of his own.” Mr. Scudder is also preparing a monograph of the orthoptera for publication by the Smithsonian Institution, and desires specimens of this neglected group of insects. A new arrangement of the families, and a more natural one than has been offered before, is appended.
THE PROGRESS OF ZOOLOGY IN 1867.- To the American student these yearly volumes are an indispensable aid. They contain lists of every paper or work relating to zoology, with a brief analysis of their contents. How any working naturalist, without a large library at hand, such as scarcely one institution in this country affords, can do without these reports, we do not see. 66 The fourth volume of the Record forms a systematic guide-book to about 36,400 pages of the zoological literature published (with the exception of a very small part) within the year 1867. This number has never been reached in any preceding year, and corresponds to an increase in the number of authors; an unusually great activity appears to have prevailed in the study of Mammals, Birds, Mollusks, Neuroptera and Orthoptera.”
The publisher, Mr. Van Voorst, deserves the thanks of zoologists the world over, for the liberal spirit he has manifested in undertaking the publication of a work which he prints at a considerable pecuniary sacrifice. The British Association, however, made a grant of $500 for the present volume and the succeeding one. The volume is issued in three parts, viz. : that of Vertebrates, of Entomology, and of Mollusks, Crustaceans and Lower Animals, so that the specialist can at a cheap rate supply himself with a report on his own branch.
* Catalogue of the Orthoptera of North America, described previous to 1867. Prepared for the Smithsonian Institution by Samuel H. Scudder. Washington: Smithsonian Institution, Oct., 1888. 8vo, pp. 89.
† The Record of Zoological Literature, 1867. Vol. IV. Edited by A.C.L.G. Gunther, M.D., etc. London: Van Voorst. 1868. 8vo, pp. 678. The volume, or the separate parts, can be furnished by the “ American Naturalist Book Agency."
NATURAL HISTORY MISCELLANY.
BOTANY. DOUBLE FLOWERED SARRACENIA. — In the summer of 1867, I found a specimen of the Sarracenia purpurea, double, in East Hampton, Mass. In the summer of 1868, I found a specimen of the Geranium maculatum, with all the parts of the flower of a pure white. — E. S. MILLER, Wading River, N. Y.
ZOÖLOGY. THE BREEDING HABITS OF Birds are subject to so great variations, that it is not safe to give the practices of a few individuals as being the general habits of the species. Any one who has given much attention to the subject, must be convinced of this, both from his own experience and that of others who have written upon the subject. And there can be no doubt that the apparent discrepancies of writers are frequently the result of founding conclusions upon insufficient data. Take the Kingfisher as an example. In a number of cases which have come under my observation, the passages leading to the nests were invariably straight, so that there was no difficulty in reaching the extremity of the excavation with a straight stick. This agrees with Dr. Wood's experience as given in the September number of the NATURALIST. Mr. Samuels, in his “Birds of New England,” says they excavate a “winding hole.” Mr. Fowler and Mr. Endicott, in the NATURALIST, describe them as being “in the form of an elbow.” But while all these descriptions are doubtless correct, is it correct to state in general terms that the passage is in the form of an elbow, thus implying that this is the invariable, or even general form ? One of the nests which I have found had the bottom covered with tish bones, the ejected pellets of the bird, and upon these the eggs were laid.
I have in my collection a set of Long-eared Owls' eggs, six in number. I have not been fortunate enough to find another nest, but should I represent this species as usually laying six eggs, I should probably convey a wrong impression.
While visiting a heronry last spring, on one of the low islands off the coast of Cape Charles, Va., I found a nest of the Clapper-rail (Rallus crepitans) built in a bush, and about a foot from the ground. I have seen many nests of this species, but that is the only instance in which I have known the bird to nest elsewhere than on the ground. The land was low and wet, and liable to inundation, which was the probable cause of the bird's departure from the usual habit of the species.
In an article by Mr. Fowler in the September number of the NATURALIST, I find the eggs of the Ruffed Grouse thus described: “The color of