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in five parts, each part containing fifteen plates. Not more than two parts a year will be issued, and they will be sold to subscribers only at four guineas each part. This proposed work will be a handsome addition to the libraries of all who can afford so great a luxury, and we trust that, as the price is beyond the means of most students of ornithology, copies will at least be secured for the principal libraries of this country It will give us pleasure to forward subscriptions for the work, or Mr. Elliot can be addressed direct, care of the Zoological Society, London.

MOXOĞRAPI OF THE KINGFISHERS.* _ We have already called attention to this beautiful monograph, six parts of which, containing the letterpress and plates of forty-nine species of this brilliant family of birds, have been received. The plates are most beautifully executed in colors by Mr. KEULEMANS, and the work is in every way worthy the support of Ornithologists in this country, and of all others who may wish for a handsome work for their library or drawing room. - At present we notice that our own copy is the only one taken in America, but we trust that this will not be so long, and that before the last part is issued we shall see the names of several of our patrons of science on the list; but if they are to be there it must be done soon, as only two hundred copies of the work will be published, and the sixth number, issued in October last, shows already a list of one hundred and twenty subscribers. The work is to be completed in fourteen parts, each part containing at least eight plates. Professor MURIE is to contribute a chapter on the Anatoiny and Osteology of the Kingfishers illustrated by plates.

A MONOGRAPH OF THE CAPITONIDÆ. f- We take pleasure in calling attention to the prospectus of this companion work to Mr. Sharpe's *Monograph of the Kingfishers.” Like the latter birds, the Capitonidæ are possessed of the most brilliant and varied plumage, and considered as a whole, they are scarcely surpassed in beauty by any other family of the Picaria.

." The anthors feel that their experience in India has enabled them to gain a considerable knowledge of the general characteristics of the Eastern members of the family, while the recent exertions of Naturalists in Africa and South America, have materially contributed to elucidate the economy of the Barbets inhabiting these portions of the globe. While acknowledging the great amount of work that has been done of late years with regard to the Barbets, the anthors cannot but believe that a Monograph of the family, giving full descriptions of the birus, their structure, habits, and general economy, accompanied by good illustrations of every species, will be an acceptable contribution to Ornithological Science. To render the work up to the standard which the present state of Science demands, no efforts will be spared; and it is intended to be not only a trustworthy hand-book of reference to the scientific student, bnt also a handsome addition to the Library or the Drawing-Room. The fuet that the plates will be executed by Mr. J. G. Keulemans will be a sufficient guarantee for the excellence of this portion of the undertaking."

* By R. B. Sharpé. Fourteen parts, 4to. Zoological Society, London. The subscription price of this work is 10s. 6d. each part. Orders will be taken at the Naturalists' Agency at the rate of $3.50 (currency) a part, or snbscribers can remit directly to the authors, care of the Zoological Society, 11 Hanover Square, LONDON, W.

+ By C. H. T. Marshall and G. F. L. Marshall. Eleven parts, 4to. Zoological Society, London. We shall be pleased to forward subscriptions at the same rates as for the “ Monograph of Kingfishers," or the authors can be addressed care of the Zoological Society.

The work will be published in quarterly parts. Each part will contain eight beautifully colored lithographs, with accompanying letter-press. The whole work will contain about eighty plates, and will be completed in eleven parts. The first number is announced for January, 1870.

THE GEOLOGY OF ALASKA.* — The most interesting results of Mr. Dall's explorations are the determination of the facts that west of the 105th degree of longitude the Alaskan coast is rising, that the former violence of volcanic forces is diminishing throughout the territory, and that there are no evidences of general glacial action. Mr. Dall has travelled thirteen hundred miles up the valley of the Yukon, and explored on the shores of Norton Sound, without obtaining any evidences of glacial action. The whole territory north of the Alaskan Mountains could not, therefore, have been covered by the same general slieet of ice which has scratched the section east of the Rocky Mountains.

This raises an unexpected obstacle in the path both of the hypothesis of a general terrestrial glacial sheet, and the theory of floating ice. In either case it will be difficult to explain the absence of scratches on the northern slope of the Alaskan Mountains when all the rest of Northeastern America must have been covered by ice.

If Alaska was covered by the waters of the Pacific, why did not the floating icebergs score the surface, and if it was out of water during the glacial epoch, why did not the great terrestrial glacier of the east have its counterpart in the Arctic valley of the Yukon?

NATURAL HISTORY MISCELLANY.

BOTANY.

SPONTANEOUS MOTION OF PROTOPLASM. - Professor J. B. Schnetzler records in the “Archives des Sciences Physiques et Naturelles," some observations on the spontaneous motion of the protoplasm in the cells of the leaves of the common water weed, Anacharis alsinastrum. The writer remarks that whether the cause of the motion is found, as some have maintained, in the successive contractions or vibrations of the exterior layer of the protoplasm, which transmit themselves to the interior. layers; or whether the successive displacements of the molecules is produced by canses purely mechanical, as others have held, it still remains to be explained what produces these contractions or displacements. It is incontestable that they are found only in living protoplasm. Professor Schnetzler believes that the principal cause which provokes the motion

* Observations on the Geology of Alaska, by W. H. Dall, 8vo, pamph., 12 pp. From the Alaska Coast Pilot, published by the Coast Survey.

is the chemical action of oxygen, which passes through the wall of the cell, and of which a portion is probably transformed into ozone under the influence of light, as occurs also in the globules of blood. The most strongly refracted rays of light have a marked influence on these currents, which are also no doubt affected by the currents of electricity which form, under the influence of water, between the surface of the leaf and the contents of the cells. The energy of the motion depends prircipally on the temperature, showing the greatest vigor between 16° and 20° C. In the point of view of mechanical theory, we have here evidently an example of the transformation of light and of heat into motion. The Anacharis is especially favorable for the observation of these motions; as, in consequence of the transparency of its tissue, they can be watched under the microscope without any preparation. - Nature, London.

STRAWBERRIES. — Of the Everlasting Andine Strawberry, which seems to attract considerable attention in England, Dr. Spruce, the celebrated botanical traveller in South America, writes that it is “doubtless one of those varieties of Fragaria vesca commonly cultivated throughout the Andes within the tropics, where the perpetual spring of that favored region has had the effect of rendering the strawberry perennially fruitful, and many of the deciduous-leaved trees of Europe evergreen. In the Equatorial Andes the province of Ambato is famous for its strawberries, which equal in size and flavor some of our best varieties, and which are to be seen exposed for sale in the market-place every day in the year.” - Gardeners' Chronicle, Dec. 11.

ANOTHER WHITE VARIETY. - During the summer of 1868, while near the White Mountains, New Hampshire, I observed a white variety of Epilobium angustifolium. As I have not seen this mentioned in the Nat. URALIST, I contribute it to the list of floral albinos which has been so largely increased the past season. In the NATURALIST of several months ago, a white variety of Viola cuculata is spoken of by a Western writer. This color I do not think is unusual in this species, as I have observed it during the past ten years in Saratoga Co., N. Y., and have also seen it elsewhere. --HENRY M. MYERS, Williamstown, M188.

BOTANICAL SPECIMENS. – A. H. Curtiss, Liberty, Bedford Co., Va., has botanical specimens (catalogue furnished) for exchange for specimens of Minerals, Geology, Shells and Insects.

ZOOLOGY.

OCCURRENCE OF AN AMERICAN LAND SNAIL IN ENGLAND. - In a communication to the November number of the “Annals and Magazine of Natural History," by J. Gwyn Jeffries, the occurrence of Planorbis dilatatus Gould, is noticed at Manchester, England. Since it was found in a canal near the catton mills, the writer suggests that in some way the eggs might have been conveyed there in the cotton from America, and thus introduced the species. Planorbis dilatatus, however, does not occur in cotton growing regions, and therefore some other explanation must be made for its importation into England. Lately, Bythinia tentaculata, peculiar to Europe, has been found in the vicinity of Montreal. Whether these species are transported from one country to the other through commercial intercourse, or are really circumpolar species which have thus far eluded the collector's eye, must be decided by looking for the species in various and widely separated regions of the country.. "

“ZOOLOGICUS” has succeeded in misconceiving some very plain state. ments and in supplying some very•rudimentary zoological information, which perhaps no reader of the "lilies" has felt the need of. The parallel drawn in the “lilies” is correct. The hexagonal form results in microscopic structures from equal growth in the three hexagonal axes; in the crystal it results from the aggregation of hexagonal particles. The other misconceptions of - Zoologicus” are so peculiarly his own that they need pot be noticed. - CHEMIST.

THE MUSEUM OF COMPARATIVE Zoology is prepared to furnish extensive collections of all the rocks and loose deposits found upon and about the keys and recfs of Florida; also complete collections of the corals, in fresh and well preserved specimens, in exchange for recent and fossil corals from other parts of the world. Address, L. AGASSIZ, Director of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cambridge, Mass.

PROFESSOR AGASSIZ. -- "Our Young Folks " for January contains the best portrait of Professor Agassiz that we have ever seen, and we advise all who have not seen him, and wish to know how he looks, to send twenty cents to Fields, Osgood & Co., Boston, for a copy of the number, which also contains “A Sketch of the Life of Professor Agassiz."

OBITUARY OF MICHAEL Sars. — We have received a circular from the Royal University of Norway, announcing the death of Professor Michael Sars, from which we take the liberty of making a few extracts. Professor Sars was one of th foremost of those men whose attainments bave of late years given a cosmopolitan reputation to Scandinavian science and literature. He died on the 22d of October, being then sixty-four years of age. Professor Sars graduated in theology in 1828, and subsequently presided in succession over the parishes of Bergen and Manger. His theological career appears to have been adopted merely as a means of gaining a livelihood, and, as it has been stated by an obituary notice in the “Scientific Opinion,” the Sunday services were sometimes delayed when the pastor had met with unusual good fortune in his dredging trips. In 1854 he was appointed Extraordinary Professor of Zoology, å position which conferred upon him the precious boon of uninterrupted study. The life of this eminent Norwegian is full of encouragement to many American naturalists, many of whom are located, as Sars was until 1884, far away from books or museums, and obliged to work out their investigations with “poor and incomplete" instruments. During the period referred to, Professor Sars completed many of his finest researches and began his greatest single work, the “Fauna Littoralis Norvegia.”

GEOLOGY

EVIDENCES OF THE GULF STREAM IN HIGH LATITUDES. — Admiral C. Irminger of the Danish Navy, has for nearly thirty years made observations on this subject, and states that "it can be said with certainty that the current in the Northern Atlantic flows towards the north, even up to the Icy Sea.” Between Fairhill and Greenland a constant drist or slow current of the ocean, to the north was observed; and the mean of observations between 32° and 39° W. of Greenwich gave 3:2 nautical miles per day north. This drift of the ocean in a northerly direction towards the coast of Greenland, is besides observable in the temperature of the water.

This drift, or slow current in the Atlantic, is the cause why the harbors of Norway, even farther than North Cape, and as far as the Fiord of Varanger, are accessible for navigation during the whole year; just as the warm current, which passes Cape Reikianæs, and runs to the northward along the western shores of Iceland, is the cause of the south and west coasts of this island being clear of ice, so that, even during the severest winters, ships may go to Havneford and other places in the Faxe bay of Iceland, where they always will be sure of finding open sea. If this current to the north in the Atlantic did not exist, the ice from the sea around Spitzbergen would float down to far more southern latitudes than is now the case; and certainly the coasts of Norway, as well as the sea between Shetland and Iceland, would frequently be filled with ice from the Icy Sea, and the influence of the ice would then be felt on the climate of the neighboring coasts. But this is not the case, and we know that the ice from the Icy Sea (Greenland ice) only can force its way to the southward between Iceland and Greenland, along the east coast of Greenland, rounding Cape Farewell, and afterwards passing Labrador, Newfoundland, and farther south.”

Between Shetland and Cape Farewell there are found streaks of warmer water which are supposed to have their origin from the Gulf Stream. These may possibly be caused by the pressure of the current coming from Labrador, passing Newfoundland, etc., where this current intluences more or less the limits of the Gulf Stream, causing its heated waters to be inclined sometimes more easterly, and at other times more westeriy. “These warmer streaks, combined with the different tropical products, constantly thrown on the shores of Norway, the Faroe Isles, Iceland, Greenland, etc., I believe also to be a proof that the Gulf Stream sends its waters far to the north, Among the tropical products frequently found is the bean of the Mimosa scandens, which I found on the shores of Iceland. - Scientific Opinion.

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