John Almon.

The American journal of science and arts online

. (page 42 of 102)
Online LibraryJohn AlmonThe American journal of science and arts → online text (page 42 of 102)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


those of the crystallized varieties whose composition is given in
our table above. It would be strange if, out of all the kaolins
that have been studied some should not be nearly pure, except
so far as containing fraCTaents of auartz and other minerals in-
soluble in sulphuric acid. We fina thirtv kaolins agreeing with
Forchhammers formula and but two with Malaguti's.

The composition of the base of a material so heterogeneous
as kaolin is likely to be, cannot in any case be deduced from
analyses made on material not evidently pure, no matter how
numerous they may be. But the fact that the composition of a
substance whose purity cannot be ascertained by mechanical or
optical meansi, agrees with that of another of like origin and oc-
currence seen to be homogeneous by the help of the microscope
is demonstration that the first is unmixed with foreign matters.

PAo2mfe.— That other crystallized hydrous silicates of alumina,
infusible, insoluble in hydrochloric but decomposable by sul-
phuric acid, may exist in clays or may form the basis of dajs
IS not at all improbable. In 1825 Guillemin first described, under
the name pholerite, a pure white, pearly substance, occurring in
the form oi small convex scales, soft and friable to the touch,
adherent to the tongue, and giving with water a plastic maaa.
^Ann. des Mines, xi, 489.)

In 1861 Prof. J. L. Smith published a&alysea of two minerala^
one from Nf^os, associated with emervlite, and another fit>m
Schemnitz, associated with diaspore, which he considered iden-
jtical in composition with pholente. (This Journal, j/2], xi, 58.)



Digitized by



Google



Messrs, Johnson and Blake on KaoliniU and Pholeriie. 861

In 1859 Prof. A. Knop published an analysis of a substance
found at Niederrabenstein near Chemnitz, the purest forms of
which were white bolus-like masses, seen under the microscope
to be aggregates of crystalline scales. This claystone {fdsiUuff)
Knop referred to pholerite. (Jahrbuch fiir Min., 1869.)

The steinmark from GeorgesstoUen, examined by Dumenil,
that from Schlackenwald (of radiate structure) analyzed by Bam-
melsberg, and the Tuesite of Scotland, analyzed by Thomson
and by Kichardson (Bamm. Handbuch, p. 676), approach Guil-
lemin's mineral in composition, or lie between it and kaolinite.

In the subjoined table is given the composition of these mine*
rals and the percentages required by Guiltemin's formula, which
is the one tnat has been deduced from Malaguti's analyses of
kaolin, viz., SlSisfi:.

Calculated, from Dumas' aquiTaleDta,

" by Guillemin,*

Pbolerite, Fios, Omllemin,

U M M . .

** Naxos, J. L. Smith,

* Scbemnits, •

** Cbemnits, A. Knop,
Steinmark, Oeorgetollen, Dnmenil, -

** Schlackenwald, Rammelsbeiif,
Tuesite, Scotland, Thompson, -
*" RichardK>n,

The correspondence between the calculation and the analyti-
cal results is not strikingly close. It is evident that most of the
substances analyzed were not homogeneous, and future investi-
gations must decide the yet open question, whether these pho-
lerites are not really impure kaolinite.

It is to be desired that mineralogists having specimens of these
pholerites in their possession, should take measures to decide
this point by a study of their physical properties, and by insti-
tuting new analyses on material properly purified or shown by
the microscope to be homogeneous.

New Hayen, Conn., llaroh, 1867.

* This calculation b^ Guillemin is erroneously eiven bj several writers as a
'ibird analysis of pbolente from Rire-de-Gier. QuilTemin mentions the occurrence
of pholerite at Bive-de-Gier, bat made no analysis of the substance from that
locaUty.



5i


£1


fl


other
substaacsSi


- 8y»o


44^8


16-71




■ 40-76


48*89


16-86




• 42-92


42-08


1600




- 41-66


48-86


1600




- 44-41


41-20


1814


1-81


- 42-46


42-81


12-92




- 89-84


46*90


14-76




- 48-00


40-26


16-60


0-96


, 48-46


41*48


18-49


1-67


- 44-80


40-40


18-60


1-26


- 48-80


4010


14-21


218



Digitized by



Google



S02 A. ArenU on Partxite.



Art. XL. — Partziie — a new mineral; by Albert Abjbkts,
Mining Engineer and Metallargist

This mineral was discovered early in the year 1865 in the
Blind Spring mountains, situated in Mono county, California,
and first denoted as a silver ore by Dr. A. F. W. Parte, for
which reason I applied to it the above name.

It has hitherto never been found in crystals or of a crystalliae
structure, but always in amorphous masses generally without
luster and rarely of a glistening appearance. Its fracture varies
from conchoidal to even, and its color from yellowish-green to
blackish-green and black — the lighter-colored portions contain-
ing the most silver. Oftentimes the mineral nas considerable
resemblance to the product obtained during the middle of the
raking period in cupellation. The amount of silver it contains
ranges oetween 4 and 12 per cent

In the veins of the Blind Spring district the Partzite occurs
in irregular deposits which are often nodular in shape, and oo-
casionsdly occupy for a distance of many feet the whole width
of the veins.

Its sp. gr. is 8-8 ; its H.=8-4. Before the blowpipe on plati-
num it is melted, but with difficulty, to a black slag ; on charcoal, *
and especially by adding soda and pulverized charcoal, a metal-
lic button is easily obtained which bears much resemblance to
pure antimonv. SO 3, CIH, and NO, decompose the mineral
even in the cold, liberating oxyd of antimony and forming a cop-
per-silver solution.

An analysis of the mineral shows the following composition :

ts.

= 1

= 3

= 8

98-51

From the above it will be seen that for 1 eq. of acid there are
3 eq. of bases and 3 eq. of water. We thus obtain the follow-
ing formula: (CuO, AgO, PbO, FeO), SbOa-fSHO.

Of arsenic but slight traces were detected which, however,
in all probability were due to the presence of fine reticulations
of a brilliant green color, by which the mineral is more or less
interwoven.

The Partzite occurs together with argentiferous galena, in
veins of a magnitude varying from nine inches to eight feet, and
has already become the object of extensive mining operations.







RelaUon •{ oxjgw.


Relation of eqairalents.


SbO,


= 47-65


7.47 7.47


\1 = 03" =


CuO


z= 32-11


6-47]




24


AgO
PbO


= 6-12
= 2-01


0-42
0-14


► =7-54




FeO


= 2-33


0-61




7'37


HO


= 8-29


7-87


=7-37


-? = ^^1 =



Digitized by



Google



Review of some reeeni American Contributions, etc. MS



Abt. XLI. — On Chntributione to PaUontohgy^ published by the
Smitfuonian Institution,*

AicoNO the recent *' OontribatioDs to Knowledge" furnished
to the scientific world by the Smithsonian Institution, is the se-
ries of publications on systematic Paleontology here enumerated.
The importance of these articles demands an extended notice,
and the principles followed in their preparation or compilation
may be exposed with advantage to students.

Commencing with that whicn was earliest issued, and which is
also the most important, we may congratulate naturalists on the
appearance of the first part of Meek and Hayden's *^ Paleontol-
ogy of the Upper Missouri." If fullness of detail, joined with
conciseness of description and the elimination of characters that
are not really pertinent to the group under consideration ; if a
rigorous comparison of such with related types ; and if, finally, a
careful revisal of the nomenclature and synonymy of all the
groups and species discussed, entitle to a claim of excellence,
then IS the *' Paleontology of the Upper Missoari " preeminently
deserving of the fallest meed of praise. It will without ques-
tion, in such respects, fall behind no work on Paleontology wnich
has yet been published in this country, and is, indeed, the only
one in which consistent attention has been paid to details. Mr.
Meek, to whom the work is especially indebted for its systematic
portion, has long stood among the first of American paleontolo-
gists, and these new labors fully sustain his title to this rank.

The part of this work issued carries us through the Silurian
and Carboniferous ages, and for the subdivisiods, the distribution
of Professor Dana has been adopted. The &unas of the seve-
ral periods are successively descrioed, and of such the Potsdam,
the Carboniferous and Permian, and the Jurassic are recognized.
Subject to sach subordination, the species are strictly arranged
according to their zoological affinities, and under their respective
branches, classes, orders, &milies and genera, and their subdi-
visions when such are recognized. Detailed descriptions are
given of the fi&milies, subfamilies, and genera, and the genera of
the former groups are also enumerated, and in all cases evidence
is afforded of acquaintance with the most recent investigations.
Not content with taking for granted the correctness of the ao-
cepted nomenclature, re&rence has been made to the history and

* 1. Paleontol<^ of the Upper Miasonrl— loTertebmiee. By F. B. Mxex and
F. y. Hatdkn, M.D: 4to. WaahiDgtoD, April, 1865. pp. 186, pi. 6.

2. Obeck Idnt of Uie InTertebrate Foasile of North America. — Cretaceona and Jn-
laasic By F. B. Mxsx. 8vo. Waahinffton, April, 1864. pp. 40.

8. Check List id. of the Eocene and Oligooene. By T. A. OoirmAB. Sto. Wash-
ington, May, 1866. pp. 41.

4. Check List id. of the Miocene. By F. B. Mm. 8to. Wasbmgton, 1864. pp. 89.

Digitized by VjOOQIC



864 Review of some recent American

original application of each name, and, in some cases, the no*
menclatare has been so modified that the first impulse of many
paleontologists will be to dissent therefrom, but if the rules
adopted — those recommended by both the British and American
Associations for the Advancement of Science — ^are accepted, the
correctness of sach modifications most be admitted. In all oases,
the typical species of the genera are enumerated immediately after
the diagnoses of their respective genera. Would that such a plan
had always been pursuea by naturalists! None but the critical
investigator of such questions can know how much uncertainty
and how many disputes concerning points of nomenclature
would have been thereby avoided, and he who, at this late day,
and in face of the lessons of the past, still refuses to thus limit
a newly established group, is deserving of reproach. If, for ex*
ample, the simple precaution had been taken by the Messrs.
Adams in the '^ Genera of Becent Mollusca/' of specifying the
types of their numerous new subdivisions, how much confusion
would have been saved I As it is, we must be at a loss to know
what types to apply their names to in many cases. Shall we take r
the first named species? It is only by accident of its position in
an alphabetical arrangement that it is so placed, and it perhaps
does not agree with the diagnosis, which often defines a yery ar-
tificial group combining types dissimilar, and violently severed
from their allies. Again, how are we to know what species are
intended, when no synonymy is given and they are for the first
time associated under new genera, by the specific parts of their
names alone ? As has been intimated, the applicability of the diag-
nosis is no criterion, and, in several cases, the species intended by
the authors have* been mistaken. It is a question whether we
would not be justified in refusing recognition to names thns
propoaed, save as in courtesy.

Space will not permit notice of the numerous modifications,
introduced in the limitation and allocation of the genera, and
of the nomenclature. We may only recall that among Trilo-
bites, several names proposed by Barrande and others, are re-
placed by prior ones of Corda ; amon^ the Brachiopods^ aev*
eral of Pander's and other names have been reestablished, and
the proper affinities of several genera, i. e., Myalina Koninck,
Avtcuioi>ecten McCoy, and forms confounded with Monotie^ have
either oeen first demonstrated or confirmed by reference to
their microscopical structure. Of new genera, may be ename*
rated Chcenamya* (Anatinidae), Orammatodon (Arcid«), Cbmp-
Umectei Ag. (Pectinidsa), Lioplacodes (Yiviparidas) and Macrophysa
(Lymna8i(to).

* It is suggested io a foot note that Chmnomya might be identical with Anikra-
comya Salter, but that reference oould not be had to Uie original descriptioa of that
feoos : the description of Salter's genus having since come to hand, prorea, however,
thai the two are entirely distinct

Digitized by VjOOQIC



Contributions to Pakontology, 365

Of questions formerly doubtful and here apparently settled,
that of the relations of the fossils, known under the names 7K-
goneUites or Aptychits, is especially noticeable. These have been
regarded as peculiar organisms, shells of Lamellibranchiates,
remains of Fishes, the digestive apparatus of Gasteropods and
Cephalopods, the valves of pedunculated Cirripeds, and sup-
plementary appendages to the shell of Ammonites or their oper-
cula, and all of these opinions have been more or less sat-
isfactorily shown to be erroneous. Of late years, however, the be-
lief in their pertinence to the Ammonitidse had been gradually
gaining ground. By our authors, it has been suggested that
they represent the jaws of Ammonitea It is only surprising
that this view bad not been corroborated before, and especially
after the jaws of NautUus had been made known. Found often
in intimate connection with Ammonitidao and Goniatitidse, what
else could they be but the jaws? The examinations of Nautilus
had demonstrated, that there was no such gizzard-like appendage,
and no operculum, and in such respects had only confirmed
what was a priori probable. Further it had been shown that
NautHua had jaws composed of an inner corneous, and external
calcareous layer. The intimate relations of Nautilid» with Go*
niatitidse ana Ammonitidse being admitted, we might then ex-
pect t6 find analogous jaws in the latter, and it might be supposed
that the search for such, would have soon culminated in the con-
clusion that Ihigondlites represented them. The demonstration
thereof could not, however, have been considered complete, till
the discovery of the homologues of the npper as well as lower
jaw of Nautilus: but both having now been found, and in oppo-
sition to each other, and in the aperture of the shell of &ch
phites Cheytnnensisj doubt will scarcely be entertained by any
competent observer concerning their relations. Many paleontol-
ogists of late seem to have been prepared to assent to the opin-
ion that Aptychus represented an operculum of Ammonites, and
in figures it has been represented as fitting into and closing the
apertures of Ammonitids with an admirable exactness,* but per-
haps accuracy has, in such cases, been unintentionidly somewhat

* The Aptyehtu has been represented with edges exactly applied to the walls of
the chamber, but we are left to conjecture how it could be extended beyond the
aperture of the adult which is much contracted by the inflection of the marffin, as
in A, micro$toma, A. Hwnpkrienamu, A. OodomenHa, A. OeniUii, Ac Tn this di-
lemma, we would be obliged to assume that the ** operculum " was yariable in size,
modified according to age, or present in some types and absent in otherwise very
closely related ones — ^assumptions so bold that few, after due consideration, would
be sufficiently brave to entertain the pririlege of assuming that the duplication of
the **Aptychut" was an adaptation to ensure its folding, &r extrusion would eren
be domed to us, as the aperture is contracted from the distal as well as lateral
margins.

Am. Jovb. Sci.— Second Sbuibs, Vol. XXJIT, No. 129l^Mi.T, 1867.
47



Digitized by



Google



366 Review of some recent American

sacrificed to eflfect He who would adopt the theory that 3Vv
goneliites or Aptychi are the opercula of Ammonitid» and Goni-
atitidse, must first admit that the jaws of those animals have
never been discovered, and in face of the fact, that almost count-
less species and innumerable specimens of many have been ob-
tained, while the jaws of other Oephalopods, much less suscep-
tible of preservation than those of living Tetrabranchiates, have
been found: he must also necessarily assume that, notwith-
standing the very close resemblance of the shells, the animals
must have been fundamentally dissimilar, and finally, the anom-
aly is presented of a aovhle operculum increasing in opposite direc-
tions. When, finally, it is remembered that the opposed portions
of the Aptychoid, described by our authors, exhioit essentially
the same relations as to size, &c., that the jaws of Nautilus do,
and that, like those jaws, Aptyckus has an internal corneous and
external calcareous layer, more scarcely need be said. The dif-
ference of form, however, is very great.

Of necessity, some questions of affinity of species described
are left undetermined on account of the condition of the fossils,
and their solution must be deferred to the future. It is doubt-
less for this reason, and in order not to give a new name, that
the ValvcUal scabrida, whose affinities even with the family
Yalvatidad are regarded as doubtful, is retained in that geniis, and
Tropidina^ which it resembles in form, is for its accommodation
subordinated to subgeneric rank under Valvata, Elsewise, the
authors would have doubtless been influenced by the peculiar char-
acteristics of the animal, especially its lingual dentition, and also
of its shell, to elevate it to a generic rank, for in the famUy
Viviparidae, Lioplacodes is genencally distinguished on. slighter
conchological differences than those apparent between Valvata
and Tropidina, If we al^o demur to the retention of DentcUium
under the Cyclobranchiata ; to the extension of Pulmonifera to
include the operculate Pulmonates; and to the elevated rank,
which is retained for the Rostriferous Gasteropods, we record our
chief grounds of difference, but would add in justice to the
authors, that they have simply adopted the views regarding
those groups generally prevalent

It may be stated in conclusion that the part issued has 128
quarto pages of text (besides an index of seven pages) and five
plates, and if it is added that sixty-six species are described
and figured, some idea may be formed of the elaborate treatment
to which thej are subjected. The generalizations founded on
the observations recorded may be expected to appear in the
concluding part.

Ee verting now to the "Check Lists" above enumerated, we
have in them almost a complete catalogue of the invertebrate
fossils occurring in the North American beds from the dawn of



Digitized by



Google



Contributions to Paleontology, S67

the Jurassic to the end of the Miocene Tertiary. The species
found in the Jurassic and Cretaceous formations are arranged in
a strictly zoological order under those respective heads,* the
subordinate divisions of neither being recognized. The Ter-
tiary, however, is subdivided into the Eocene, Oligocene, and
Miocene, and the fossils of each epoch (except the Eocene)
are arranged according to their structural affinities— or rather,
we should say, as those have been interpreted. Of Jurassic spe-
cif 86 are enumerated ; of Cretaceous, 885 ; of Eocene, 766 ;
Oligocene, 105, and of Miocene, 775, — a total of 2566 species of
extinct Invertebrates of the Secondary and Tertiary ages : to
this number must be added previously undescribed species, whose
geological or zoological relations were undeterminable, as well
as numerous Cretaceous and Tertiary types since described.
From this total are also excluded the species discovered in the
Triassic beds. The compilation of such lists, unaccompanied even
by references to the volumes in which the species are described,
is a task of no slight magnitude, especially when all the species
are subjected to a critical investigation respecting their affinities,
and the care and conscientiousness with which that task has
been done, and the knowledge and judgement which have been
brought to bear upon it, will be obvious on the most superficial
examination of the lists. That there are errors of judgement;
that species may be found to have been enumerated several times
and even under different genera ; and that faults of other kinds
may be hereafter detected, — is quite ^ssible, but such failures are
inseparable from compilations of this character, although made
with the most rigorous care and by the best informed ; one of the
happy results of such lists is that these errors will sooner be de-
tected and rectified, and that the recurrence of similar ones in the
future will, in great measure, be prevented — surely a sufficient
boon if none other were furnished I The imperfect condition in
which many fossils are found, the inability to examine parts of
the shell even which may furnish a good clue to their affinities,
the necessity of trusting in the accuracy and interpretations of
deseribers, who may be insufficiently educated, are all elements
which must produce more or less error, and generations may
elapse before they can be rectified. Under these circumstances,
it may not be deemed singular, if views regarding some forms
are suggested, differing from those expressed in the classifica-
tions of the lists noticed.

The species of the Jurassic, a formation chieflj^ developed in
Dakota and Idaho, have been mostly described in the Paleon-
tology of the Upper Missouri published since the list, and therein
one new species — Viviparus CHllii — is added.

* This is the first attempt hitherto made, to gr^up oar Oretaceous and Jurassic
iDTertehrates, in aooordanee with their loological affinities.



Digitized by



Google



366 Review of some recent American

Of the more characteristic Cretaceous types, 111 species of
Ammonitidae, 40 of Inoceraminae, 9 of VenUia, 8 of Oryphota^ 7
otNeitheaj and 19 oiRuduta^ &c., are enamerated, and 13 new gen-
era or subgenera are established for Cretaceous forms. Among
observations on other tyj)e8, is one especially deserving considera-
tion from naturalists ; " it is not probable that any of the species
retained under the name Fusm in the foregoing list, belong to
that genus" as properly restricted. Apparently few of the species
indeed belong to the same family (Fasciolariidse) with the true
Fust or Goli^ some belonging rather to the Buccinidse and others
with the Cassidulidae, Ac. The moilusca possessing shells of a
more or less subfusiform shape require a severe revision by one
conversant with the anatomy of the including order ; congeneric
species have been widely separated from each other, while very
diverse types have been combined under one genus, and fix)m
this defect the latest works have been by no means free.

The Eocene strata are grouped by Mr. Conrad under three
sections — the "Lower and Medial Eocene (Shark River and
Claiborne Groups)," the " Shell Bluff Group," represented bv
the upper part of the Claiborne Bluff, and on tne Savannah
river, aad the '* Upper Eocene, or Jackson Group," which de-
rives its names from its development at Jackson, Miss., and
which is also represented in the Oarolinas, &c. By far the larg-
est number of species is found in the Lower and Medial Eocene,
and only five species have been obtained in the Shell Bluff
Group : the three groups are believed to hold " few if any spe-
cies in common." Of the so-called Oligocene species, all — 105
in number — are found at Vicksburg, Miss.

Mr. Conrad has treated his subject with his accustomed ability,
but occasionally we are led to wonder why certain combinations
have been maae, — under the Sycotypidse, for example, the genus
Perissolax is included, and the combinations of species under
genera at least require explanation, before they can be under-
stood. An ordinary observer would be able to discover no ge-
neric difference between the so-called Ficopsis mammillatus and
the typical Pyrulce* After an examination of almost all the
living species of the latter, the conclusion has been forced on us
that the species in question is more nearly related to the P.Jieus
than several of the species that no one has pretended to at all
isolate'; yet it is not only generically separated by Mr. Conrad
but united with species having, apparently, no close relation with
it The number of such inconsistencies, however, is not larger
.than might be expected in so long a list, and detracts little from

* The name Pyrvla (Xjam. 1799 type BvUa ficiu L.) U pronalonallj adopted



Online LibraryJohn AlmonThe American journal of science and arts → online text (page 42 of 102)