Abraham Clark Freeman John Proffatt.

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contributions.

Messrs. Bailey and Mclnnes illustrate in their report the paleo^
zoic geology of northeastern Maine, and apppear to show that
the rocks of this part of Maine in Aroostook Co. are Upper Silu-
rian rather than Devonian, which they are made in the Geological
Reports on Maine.

4. Manual of Paleontology^ for the use of Students^ with a
general Introduction on the principles of Palaeontology ; by
Hknry Alleyne Nicholson, F.G.S., Prof. Nat. Hist. Univ. of
Aberdeen, and Richabd Lydeker, B.A., F.G.S. 3d edit, re^
written and greatly enlarged. 2 vols, of 1624 pages. Edinburgh
and London. (Wra. Blackwood & Sons.) — The title page says,
"greatly enlarged ;" expressed in figures the enlargement is from
1040 to 1624 pages, or more than one-half; and this increase in
size indicates very imperfectly the actual additions in new matter
and illustrations. It is, as the authors claim, essentially a new
work. The part on the Invertebrates, covering 776 pages, has
been prepared by Prof. Nicholson, and that on the vertebrates,
600 pages, by Mr. Lydekker, the author of reports connected
with the Geological Survey of India on the fossil Vertebrates i
and about 100 pages on fossil plants are by the joint authors.
The classification follows mainly the latest authorities, and
the descriptions are full and present a judicious review of
recent opinions in cases of doubt, besides having, after each sub-
ject, a table of references to publications. We should separate the
Trilobites from the Crustaceans, and make some minor modifica-
tions; but these are points about which there is reason for differ-
ence in judgment. Excellent figures are in profusion, representing
often the interior structure as well as exterior forms, and some
are from new observations by the author. This manual is the
only one of the kind in the English language and will be found
of great value by teachers and students in geology or paleon-
tolgy. Prof, Nicholson's pereonal work in America supplied him
with part of his facts, and has enabled him to appreciate and use
American sources of information. The volumes ai-e made attract
tive also by the very liberal style of publication.



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340 Scientific Intelligence.

6. Elemente der Paldontologie bearbeitet von Dr. Gustav
Steinmann, Ord. Prof. GeoK u. Min. Univ. Freiburg, unter mit-
wirkung von Dr. Ludwig DOderlbin, Director, Nat. Mas.,
Strasbur^, Privatdocent ftlr Zoologie. 2d Half, pp. 337 to 848,
8vo. Leipzig, 1890. (Wilhelm £ngelmann.) — The first part of
this important work has been noticed on page 235 of volume
xxxvii of this Journal. This second half completes the account
of the Invertebrates on page 515, and devotes the remaining 333
pages to the Vertebrates. The work is concise in its method, bo
that its 850 pa^es cover the whole ground with remarkable com-
pleteness, besides detailed descriptions, tables are introduced'to
illustrate characteristics of groaps, distribution of genera in time,
geographical distribution, and also the literature of the different
subjects. The illustrations of species and structure are all admira-
ble, and in great numbers; and the publisher has done justice to the
fine cuts in the style of printing and the quality of paper. While
the figures range over the same groups as in the English work
above mentioned the most of them are different, and in this and
other ways the two works conveniently supplement one another.
They are both excellent, and good companions. In classification
there is a similarity. But the Solenhofen Jurassic bird is made
by Prof. Steinmann the basis of one of the subdivisions of Rep-
tiles — the Saurura ; and the fine figure in the work of the speci-
men in the Berlin Museum, from the memoir by W. Dames, goes
far toward sustaining this reference.

The TrilobitQS have the same place as in Prof. Nicholson's
work, that is, with the Crustaceans, under the name of PalsBos-
traca. The serious objection to this is that the Trilobite and
Crustacean lines commence together in the Lower Cambrian and
give no evidence of successional connection in their beginning or
afterward ; they continue separate and unaffiliated to the present
time, being represented, as long held, by the modern Limulids,
and also, as has been shown by Van Beneden, through the
Eurypterids by the spiders. The Crustaceans appear first under
two types, the Ostracoid and Caridoid, and continue along each,
with small divarications, and with rising grade in the latter until
now. The Trilobite line, therefore, had in no part true kinship
with that of the Crustacean.

III. Botany and Zoology.

1 . Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States^ in-
eluding the district east of the Mississippi and north of North
Carolina and Tennessee ; by Asa Gray, late Fisher Professor of
Natural History in Harvard University. — Sixth Edition (Revised
and extended westward to the 100th meridian) ; by Sbbbno
Watson, Curator of the Gray Herbarium, Harvard University,
and John M. Coulter, Professor of Botany in Wabash College,
assisted by specialists in certain groups. 760 pp. 8vo. With 25



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Botany cmd Zoology. 241

plates, illuBtratiDg the Sedges, Grasses, Ferns, etc. New York
and Chicago, 1890. (IvisoD, Blakeman & Company.)

It is now more than twenty-two years since the Sfth edition of
'Gray's Manual was publishea. At that time only the first volume
-of Bentham and Hooker's Oenera Plantarum had appeared, and
Dr. Gray was able to adopt such of their conclusions as pleased
liim only through the polypetalous orders. The Genera was
finished in 1883, and in 1886 Dr. Gray gave his final revision of
the Gamopetalous orders of the North American flora. These
works and other great advances in Systematic Botany have for
several years rendered a new edition of the Manual very desirable,
and it is understood that Dr. Gray was hoping to undertake him-
self the task of preparing it; After his death the labor naturally
fell to the lot of Professor Watson, who has availed himself of the
-assistance of Professor Coulter, the author of the Mamial of the
Botany of the Rocky Mountain Region^ and has also had, as the
title shows, the aid of specialists in certain groups. The editors
have extended the area covered by the work, so as to meet that
of Coulter's Manual, and have included an account of the He-
paticcB, prepared by Professor Underwood. Aside from these
additions, the principal changes are, 1st, the interpolation of such
native plants as have been found since 1867 within the territory
covered by the Manual, together with the exotics which have
«ince that time gained a foothold, 2d, the entire re-arrangement
of the gamopetalous orders after Ericaceae in accordance with the
system given in the Genera Plantarum^ and a similar re-arrange-
ment of the apetalous and monocotyledonous orders. The Ili-
cinece are placed among the polypetalese ; Diapeneiacece replaces
6^alacinecB; Plantaginaceoi stands at the end of gamopetalese ;
Saitrvrus is referred to Piperacece, and the birches and alders
eonstitute a suborder of Cupuliferae. The old division of the
monocotyledonous ordei*s into Spadiceous, Petaloideous and Glu-
maceons plants is discarded, and the prime distinction is now
found in the inferior or superior position of the ovary. These,
and other similar changes, were fairly demanded by the advance
in the general principles of systematic botany.

The Analytical Key to the Natural Orders of the fifth edition
was largely artificial in its character, and occasionally brought
near together orders having no very close real affinity. This is
replaced in the present edition by a Synopsis in which nearly all
the orders follow the same sequence that is observed in the body
of the work, the only exception being in the case of the 127th
order, M'iocaulece, which for the sake of convenience is placed in
the Synopsis at the end of the group headed by Liliaceoe^ instead of
being in its true place as the first of the glumaceous orders. A
noticeable improvement is the more general arrangement of the
genera of each order, and the species of each genus, in a descend-
ing series, from the most highly developed down to the lowest
forms. The application of this method is seen in Polygala^ which
now begins with the most showy species, P, paucifolia, has the



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242 Soieiitific Intelligence.

less showy purple-flowered species next, and ends with the yellow-
flowered forms. So again in the genus Carex^ contributed by
Professor Bailey, the large and showy Physocarpoe are placed
first, and the less highly developed species of the section Vignea
at the end. In Hepaticm, also, Frullania leads off, as being most
specialized, and the simpler forms follow in due downward pro-
gression, the RicciacecB^ simplest of all Acrogenous plants, closing
the series. In each genus only the native species have numbers,
and their names are printed in full-faced Roman type ; while the
names of introduced plants are printed in small capitals, and not
numbered. As would of course be expected the whole number of
plants described is much greater than in the last edition. Taking^
only the indigenous phsenogams and pteridophytesfor comparison,
the number recognized in 1867 was 2367 ; it is now 2753, an in-
crease of nearly 400. The westward extension of the flora
described will account for most of this increase. It may be noticed
especially in such genera as Psoralea^ Dalea^ Petalostemon and
Astragalus^ in which there is a considerable increase of species, and
in the introduction of Aplopappus^ Orindelia^ Townsendiay Ortho-
carpus, Eriogonumy etc., all genera characteristic of the Rocky
Mountain or the Pacific coast floras.

A few more southern plants have now been found north of the
Carolinas and Tennessee, and a still smaller number of high
northern plants have been lately gathered within our district for
the first time. Really new discoveries within the old geo-
graphical limits are of course very few : — Epipactis takes it»
place among the Orchids, and in Clematis^ in Arabis, in Phaceliay
in Pedicularisy in Carex, and perhaps in a few other genera, ao
occasional novelty is described. A slight increase is due to the
recognition of specific rank in forms not counted as species Id
former editions, as, for instance, in Ranunculus and in TilicL

Some rectification of the names of species and genera, and even
of orders, is unavoidable ; and the number of such changes is con-
siderable, though far less than one school of botanists would have
desired to see. That pretty spring-flower, the Rue-anemone, be-
comes AnenioneUa thalictroides ; what has been called Thalictrum
Comuti is now 2\ polygamum ; Ranunculus ambigens is given in
place of R, alismcefolius of the old Manual, because the true
R. alismcB/olius is something different ; Buda is accepted as the
first generic name for what was heretofore called iipergulariay
and similar changes may be found here and there throughout the
volume. The preface says : — " In case of question respecting the
proper name to be adopted for any species. Dr. Gray's known and
expressed views have been followed, it is believed, throughout
the work. While reasonable regard has been paid to the claims
of priority, the purpose has been to avoid unnecessary changes, in
the belief that such changes are in most cases an unmitigated
evil." Dr. Gray's views are certainly well understood, and are
known to have been in accord with the teachings and the ex-
amples of Robert Brown, Bentham, the Hookers and other great



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Botany and Zoology. 243

mastere of scieotifio nomenclature ; and an examination of thig
1>ook shows that these views have been faithfully and judioioasly
followed. Witness the authoi*s' golden silence respecting such
names as Anthophyta^ Castalia^ Uhifolium and Hicoria.

In describing the grasses the organs which we have learned to
call the outer and inner palets are respectively termed flowering
/ylume and palet. This change is in accordance with the usage of
the Genera Plantarum, and of the Rocky Mountain Flora, and
yet it hardly seems to be in the direction of simpler and clearer
language. The homologies of the flower of grasses are still some-
what unsettled, and the old terms have done such good service in
past times, that one would think they might b^ trusted a little
lonffer.

The Gymnosperms keep their old position at the end of the
exogenous class, and it is very certain that Dr. Gray would never
have consented to any different place for them.

At the end of the text is a table of orders, with the number of
genera and species, native and introduced, the exotic species being
almost an eighth of the whole. Then follows a glossary of ten
pages, giving brief but sufficient explanations of about seven hun-
dred technical terms. In the Index one is glad to And the names
of the species of the senera CareXy Aster and Solidago. The
twenty-five plates consist of the old twenty plates of the fifth
edition, with the addition of one new plate of grasses, and four
plates of HepaticcBy three of them borrowed from the edition of
1857, and one entirely new. d. c. e.

2. On the Roots of Saprophytes. — F. Johow in his memoir
on Humus-plants free from Chlorophyll, (Pringsheim's Jahr-
btloher, vol. xx, p. 488) gives an interesting account of the organs
of' these peculiar plants. The roots and root-like structures are
elassified in a convenient manner, but the intermediate forms
break down all sharp lines of demarcation. The range of plants
with saprophytic absorptive organs is larger than is usually
supposed. The orders Orchidaceae, Burmanniaceae, and EricacesB
furnish the more numerous examples, after which comes the
order Sentianacese. In every case the development of the root
system is slight so far as its superficial exposure is concerned, in
some instances there is almost a complete reduction. The under-
ground organs have the power of forming buds which, after their
unfolding, mav be practically isolated from the parent stock.
And, as examples cited by Drude and Irmisch show, sotoe of
there adaptations secure comparative immunity of the species
from the destructive effects which would follow if propagation
depended on the seeds alone. As might be suspected, the
mechanical system in all these underground structures is of the
least possible complexity. g. l. g.

3. Genesis of the Arietidce; by Alpheus Hyatt. 238 pp. 4to,
with 14 plates. Memoirs Mus. Comp. Zool., vol. xvi, no. 3. Pub-
lished in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution. — This
memoir is the result of many years of work and thought, and



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244 Scientific Intelligence.

one of the most important of recent contributions to the subject
of evolution. Like most American writers on evolution, the
author attributes only a secondary importance to the principle of
Natural Selection. In place of it he uses the expression physical
selection, and explains it as *' the production of suitable modifica-
tions by the action of forces which changed in a similar way
large numbers of the same species, perhaps nearly all the indi-
viduals in the same locality or same habitat, within a compara-
tively limited period of time. The changes express the general
tendencies to modification due to the response to physical causes
on the part of the common radical and common organization.
Another principle recognized is that whatever the order in the
progressive development of a group, tliere is ordinarily the
reversal of this order in retrogressive or degradational develop-
ment. A third is acceleration in development, or the tendency ii>
any variation in a progressive series to be inherited at earlier and
earlier stages. A fourth is the fundamental principle of Agassiz,
the basis of much of Mr. Hyatt's work, the parallelism between^
the steps in the development of an individual and those in the
history of the group to which it belongs. These and other general
ideas, brought out in Mr. Hyatt's essay of 1883, on the FossiV
Cephalopods in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, are exem-
plified in various ways throughout this new -elaborate work, and
illustrated by excellent figures of all the species of the group of
Ammonites under consideration — in which illustrations Mr. Hyatt
shows that he is also an artist. An analysis of the work would
require an article of many pages.

Among the principles one of a physiological character appears^
hardly to have its importance recognized by Mr. Hyatt, and is
often overlooked by others. It is the familiar principle on which
the breeder relies, the tendency of a variation, however begun,
to become augmented by interbreeding, when the variety is one
that admits ol it. It is not "like producing like," but producing
more than this ; it is augmenting or accumulating in its effects,,
and often until the likeness in one character or another is largely
lost ; and it may affect thus either a generic, family, or tribal charac-
ter as well as a specific ; and all this by simply continued inter-
breeding, with healthful feeding and nothing more. Darwin
began his work on the Origin of Species by illustrating the prin-
ciple at length, but he failed to give it its true place because he
assumed that variations in the individuals of a region would be too^
few for success without aid from natural selection. But if a varia-
tion takes place sitnultaneously or nearly so in most of the associa-
ted individuals of a region, as Mr. Hyatt holds, and as is probable
amidst like environment conditions, then it may work as if under
man's guidance, without natural selection or further physical
selection. And the results under such circumstances will be
permanent and normal, free from the extravagances of man's-
forcing work, because nature's healthful work is always slow and
normal. This physiological law of accumulative breeding^ whiler



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Astronomy. 24&

leaving unexplained the origin of the variety, has long appeared
to the writer to account for much in the history of a variation
that is ordinarily attributed to outside conditions or natural
selection. j. i>. d.

IV. Astronomy.

1. Jh'ansaetions of the Astronomical Observatory of Yale
University^ Vol. I, Part II. — ^Dr. Asaph Hall, Jr., has spent the
larger part of four years' labor in the determination, by use of the
Yale heliometer, of the orbit of Titan and the mass of Saturn,,
and in this publication are given his observations, and their
reduction. Tne work has been done under the general direction of
Dr. Eikin, who has charge of the instrument. There has been an
uncertainty of about ^h^ P^**^ ^° previous determinations of
Saturn's mass, and the importance of this element in the theory
of the planets made it very desirable that there be a new determi^
nation. Dr. Hall finds the mass 1/3500-5:^1 '44, a result substan*
tially agreeing with that of H. Struve, and with that of Bessel
when the proper correction has been applied to Bessel's scale-
values. Prof. Hall, from observations with the Washington re-
fractor, had found by different methods four different values of the
mass, three of which were decidedly larger than the one found by
the Yale heliometer.

2. The Algol System, — Dr. Vogel, from his observations of
the motions of Algol in the line of sight, finds {Astron, Nachr,y
No. 2947) that the star before the minimum has at quadrature a
velocity of -h 6*3 miles (German) toward the earth, and after the
minimum a velocity of — 6*2 miles. This gives, a mean motion
of the system — 0-5 miles, and an orbital motion of 5*7. Com-
bining these with the observed laws of change of brightness and
assuming that there are two bodies one brighter than the other
moving in circular orbits about their center of gravity, he offera
the following provisional scheme of the system.

Diameter of principal star = 230,000 miles (GermaD).

" companion star — 180,000 " "

Distance of the centers =700,000 " "

Orbital velocity of companion star = 12 '* '*

Masses, (assuming equal density) = } and f of sun's mass.

3. notation of Mercury, — Prof. Schiaparelli announces in
the Astronomische Nachrichten an interesting determination of the
period of rotation of Mercury. This planet he finds behaves
toward the sun as the moon does toward the earth, its periods of
rotation on its axis and revolution in its orbit about the sun being
equal to each other.

OBITUARY.

Chester Smith Ltman. — Prof. Lyman, Professor of Astron-
omy and Physics in the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale Uni-
versity, died on the 29th of January, at the age of seventy-six.
He was graduated at Yale College in 1837, and at the Theological
School otthe University in 1840. His health failing and unfitting



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246 Obituary.

him for bis work as a clergyman, he made a voyage to the
Hawaiian Islands in October, 1845, and the following year made
observations on the volcano of Kilauea which led him to the
announcement of a principle in volcanic action before unrecog-
nized, that of "the bodily upheaving of the lower floor of the
crater (an area two and a half miles long and two-thirds of a mile
in mean breadth), by subterranean forces," to a height above its
level six years before of at least three hundred feet. From 1847
to 1860 he was in California, and during this interval — that in
which the discovery of gold was made — several notes by him on
products of the gold region appeared in this Journal. In 1857,
Mr. Lyman was appointed Professor of Industrial Mechanics and
Physics in the Sheffield Scientific School. In 1870, on a division
of the professorship, the title was changed to Sheffield Professor
of Astronomy and Physics. Papers by him have been published
in this Journal from time to time on astronomical and pbvsical
subjects. For several years Professor Lyman held the position of
President of the Connecticut Academy of the Arts and Sciences.
He leaves a son and two daughtei-s.

John Huntington Crane Coffin. — Professor Coffin, the
veteran mathematician and astronomer, died at Washington in
January last, in his seventy-fifth year. He was born at Wis-
casset, Maine, Sept. 15, 1815, was graduated at Bowdoin College
in 1834, and was made Professor of Mathematics in the United
States Navy in 1836. He served at sea and in nautical surveys
until the time when the United States Naval Observatory was
ready for active work. He was then detailed for duty in that
institution, where Jan., 1845, he took charge of the Mural Circle.
He gave his time exclusively to that instrument till 1851, when
his eyes began to fail owing to the severe usage to which they
had been subjected. He prepared the descriptions and discus-
sions of the work with the Mural Circle, in the Washington
Observations 1846-9. In 1853 he was ordered to duty at
the Naval Academy, at Annapolis where he was engaged in
instruction until 1866. In this year Professor Winlock was made
director of Harvard College Observatory, and Professor Coffin
succeeded him as Superintendent of the "American Ephemeris
and Nautical Almanac.'' This peculiarly important office he filled
for eleven years. Among his other contributions to astronomy
was a memoir on the total eclipse of the sun, August, 1869. He
was one of the original members of the National Academy of Sci-
ences, and for several years was its treasurer. He received the
degree of LL.D., from feowdoin College fifty years from his grad-
uation in Arts. He was a man of rare simplicity of character,
kindliness of disposition, and devotion to truth.

Rev. Stephen J. Perry, S. J. — Astronomy has sustained a
serious loss in the death of the genial and energetic Director of
the observatory, at Stonyhurst. Father Perry had gone to the
Salut Isles to observe th^ recent solar eclipse. The photographs
were successfully taken, but he from exposure was taken ill oi
dysentery and died at sea five days after the eclipse.



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THE



AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SCIENCE



[THIRD SERIES.]



Abt. XXXI. — The ^oliom Sandstones of Fernando de
Noronka; by John C. Branner.

Besides the rocks of igneous origin which make up the
great body of the island of Fernando de Noronha* and its out-
liers, there is a sandstone covering about one-third of Ilha
Rapta, part of Sao Jos^, and small areas of the main island
near the Lancha on the northeast, the high shore east of Ata-
laia Grande, that along the southwest side of the Sueste Bay,
and forming all the exposed parts of Ilha Raza, Ilha do Meio,



Online LibraryAbraham Clark Freeman John ProffattThe American journal of science → online text (page 28 of 59)