John Almon.

The American journal of science and arts online

. (page 55 of 102)
Online LibraryJohn AlmonThe American journal of science and arts → online text (page 55 of 102)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

The following well known, and, with one or two exceptions,
widely distributed species of our western Coal-measures, are
those given by him as common to the Lower Permian and Up-
per Coal-measures, viz: Productus semireticuJatuSj P. Bogersi,
P. aequioostaius, Sptrtfer cameratitSy S, planoconveocus^ S, pectin'
iferaf Chonetes FUmingiij Orlhisina umbraculum* 0, Missourien-
eis, BhynchoneUa Osagensis^ Terebratula f svbtUita^ MyaUna recta,
M. subquadratay M. Kansasensis, AUorisma Minnehaha, and Na-
tiea Pficei; he also identifies with this Maerocheilus spiratus
McCoy, a Subcarboniferous species. With the exception of
Spirifer pecUnifera Sowerby, with which we are not acquainted,
and MacrocheiliLS spiratus, we know all of these common Coal-
measure species occur abundantly in the so-called Lower Per-
mian of £[ansas; also the following other Coal-measure species,
viz., Aviculo'pecten ocddenUdis {Pecien Cleavlandicus of Prof. Swal-
low's list), Nautilus ocddentaiis Swallow (afterward described
from the Coal-measures of Illinois by McChesney under another
name), Fusulina cylindrica in great numbers (or the Coal-measure
forms generally referred to that species in the west), Chonetes
mucronaia, Productus Calhounianus, Euomphalus rugosus Hall
(not Sowerby), a small Spirifer often referred to S. Uneaius, PhiU
lipsia Cliflonensis Shumard, and others. From the same so-
called Lower Permian Prof. Swallow also positively identifies 10
European Permian species, and some 5 or 6 others with doubt;
also with doubt, 1 Subcarboniferous species, 8 Triassic, and 1
Liassic European forms.

We may, however, well question the accuracy of these deter-
minations, by which Carboniferous, Permian, Triassic and Lias-
sic species are made to occur together in the same beds, espe-
cially in beds known to contain so many of our commonest
Coal-measure species, and four genera, i. e., Pctalodus, PhiUipsia,
BeUerophon and Fusulina not known in the Permian of Europe.
Prof. Swallow says in regard to this so-called lower Permian,
that the appearance at this point of numerous new fossils, many
of which are well known Permian types, of the genera Mo^
notis, BakevdUa, Schizodtis, Pleurophorus, Synochdia and Tham^

* We use the Dames as given in the list. OrthiHna as now restricted is a Sila-
rian genus, and the Natica is a NtUicopris,

Digitized by


36 F. V. Hay den on the Geology of Kansas.

nisciLs, clearly indicates the introduction of the Permian age*
The genus Monotis, however (as the name is here applied),
also occurs far below the horizon where he would mate the
line of separation, — hundreds of feet, indeed down in what he
includes in the Coal-measures, even near the level of the Mis-
souri at Leavenworth, Kansas ; it is also now known to occur
in Illinois at a point near the horizon of the eleventh Coal-bed,
above which the Coal-measures are well marked. All the other
genera mentioned, and most of the very same species likewise
occur in the admitted Upper Coal-measures of Kansas and the
adjoining states, while Pteurophorus and Schizodus occur in the
Subcarboniferous rocks of Illinois. Indeed there is now known
a species of PUurophorm from the Keokuk Limestone, of the
Mountain Limestone series, at Warsaw, Illinois, as nearly like
the European Permian, P, costatus, as any known form in Kan-
sas rocks.

From all these facts, we think the evidence, both paleontolo-
gical and stratigraphical, bears directly against the idea of there
being a proper break in the series at the horizon mentioned by
Prof. Swallow, much less "a striking non-conformity." The
very fact that the missing strata, the absence of which on Mill
creek is regarded as proving a break, do occur in their proper
place on Kansas and Blue rivers, only 25 miles distant, shows
clearly that this is one of those cases of the erosion of particular
beds at certain localities, previous to the deposition of others, so
common in the Coal-measures, and not one of the great general
disturbances of the order of things, such as produced non-con-
formity of the beds, and usually accompaniea the introduction
of a new fauna. Nor should any great weight be given to the
general lighter color of the beds atove the supposed break; for
every one knows how little reliance can be placed on mere color
and other lithological characters in distinguishing formations.*
In addition to this, the change of color is not abrupt, while
lighter and darker beds continue to alternate above the sap-
posed break, and to a less extent below it

All the evidence sustains the opinion expressed by Meek and
Hayden in 1859 (Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci., Jan. 1869), that there is in
Kansas an unbroken series from the Coal-measures to the top of
the Permian of this region ; and that no one studying these rocks
and their fossils, without any previous knowledge of the classifi-

* It may be of some interest to state here, that the matrix coDtaining soma fos-
sils recently sent to the Smithsonian Institution by Mr. E. G. Squier, from an island
in Lake l*itieaca, Soath America, 14,600 feet above the sea, and now being studied
by Mr. Meek, could not be distinguished, lithologically, from some of the Permian
strata of I^jinsas, and the Black Hills in Nebraska. And yet these rocks in the high
Andes have been referred by D'Orbigny and other eminent European authorities to
tlie Mountain limestone. The fossils, however, fl-om Lake Titicaca, agree in several
iBstaflces with those of our western Coal-measures.

Digitized by


F. F. Hayden on the Geology of Kansas. 37

cations adopted in the old world, would have separated the Per-
mian at all from the Coal*measures, as distinct groups. Starting
far down in the Goal-measures below the supposed line of sepa-
ration, we have, along with great numbers of all our common
Ooal-measure forms, an occasional Mcnotis (so-called), BakeveUia,
PleurophoriLSy Myaltna, &c., that might apparently, in some in-
stances, be even identified specifically with European Permian
species. As we ascend in the series, we find that, after going
some distance above the supposed line of demarkation, the Car-
boniferous species gradually begin to disappear, and the Permian
types become rather more common, in particular beds, until we
have ascended to a point near the horizon Prof. Swallow makes
the line between the Upper and Lower Permian, when we find
we have almost completely lost sight of the familiar Carbonif-
erous species, a few of which had continued on up to near this
Eoint, and see scarcely any but forms such as in Europe would
e regarded as Permian types. There is no physical brefdc here,
however, nor abrupt change of fossils. Hence Meek and Hay-
den regarded the beds below the horizon down so far as to in-
clude most, if not nearly all, of Prof. Swallow's Lower Permian,
as an intermediate connecting series between the Permian and
Coal-measures which, if worthy of a distinct name at all from
the latter, should be called Permo-carboniferous, while the beds
above, they regarded alone as properly the equivalent of the
true Permian of Europe.

The occurrence of a few types that would generally be re-
garded as Permian, along with numerous well-known Goal-meas-
ure species, £Eir below the true Permian, only accords with facts
observed in other formations in this country, where certain types
evidently made their appearance here long before they are known
to have appeared in Europe. In this connection we need but
refer to the Cretaceous plants of Nebraska, most of which be-
long to genera, and some of them to species, scarcel v distinguish-
able from forms known in Europe in rocks not older than the
later Tertiary. Even one of the best botanical paleontologists
of Europe thought some of them probably identical with Mio-
cene species, and yet they hold a position near 800 feet below
beds containing numerous species or Ammonites, Baculites, Scaph-
ties, Inoceramus, and various other unquestionably Cretaceous
types. Similar facts have also been brought out by the Califor-
nia Survey. It is also worthy of note that in several cases these
few Permian types occurring far down in the Coal-measures in
Kansas appear in particular layers, similar to the Permian rocks
in composition, and alternating with other beds containing only
Carboniferous fossils, much like Barrande's '' Colonies" in the
Silurian rocks of Bohemia.

Digitized by

Google —

38 F. V. Hay den on the Geology of Kcmeas.

In regard to the Permian disooyery in Eiuisaa, we regret to
flee that Prof. Swallow (doubtless inadvertently) here in an offi-
cial report, uses language, which when taken in connection with
the fiiet that he nowhere alludes to the labors of others in that
region would lead some to think he had intentionally ignored
the agency of any other parties in that discovery and was claim-
ing it as wholly his own. Thus in a note at the bottom of page
42, after speaking of the discovery of Permian rocks in Kansas,
he says " this discovery was first announced by myself Feb. 22,
1858. See Trans. Acad. Sci. St. Louis, vol. i.'^

We had supposed the dispute in regard to this discovery was
long since amicably settled, when Prof. Swallow published in
this Journal, [2], vol. xxvi, page 188, in a paper on the E^an-
eas Permian, the statement tnat *' it is but just to state in this
connection, that, so far as I know, Mr. Meek first discovered the
Permian character of the Kansas fossils, and communicated to
Maj. Hawn his impression on this subject on the Sd of Sept.,
1867. He also mentioned his discovery, as I am informed, to
some friends at the Smithsonian Institution on the 17th of Janu-
ary, 1858, and communicated the same to Prof. Leidy, on the
|.6th of March.* Mai. Hawn frankly declares that his first im-
pressions that the rocKs in question might be Permian are due
to Mr. Meek." We may be mistaken ; but the literal wording
of Prof. Swallow's note quoted above, in connection with his
fiilence in regard to the agency of others in this discovery, might
be understood, without some explanation, as indicating an in-
tention to claim it on the strength of the fact that his announce-
ment, communicating the discovery to a regularly established
scientific institution at an earlier date than the reading of Meek
and Hayden's paper before the Albany Institute, gave nim a right
to claim it as entirely his own. On this ground, however. Meek
and Hayden would still be in advance, for they had not only
made it known verbally to friends in Washington, about the
17th of Jan., 1858, but actually had a record made of it at the
Smithsonian Institution, (as all know, established for the in-
crease and diffusion of knowledge) on the 19th of Jan., 1858.
This record or memorandum, which we are permitted to give
here, was written by Prof. Baird and reads as follows: —

" 1858, Jan. 19th, Mr. Meek and Dr. Hayden showed me a se-
ries of fossils arranged on the table of room 110, from Dr. SLay-
den's collections under Lieut. Warren in 1857, which they stated

* His latter date is doubtless a misprint for 16tb of Jan., for the disooTeiy was
•etnally published on the 4th of March, 1858, by Meek and Hayden in a paper read
before the Albany Institute on the 2d of March, 1868, extras of which were dis*
tiibuted by them two days after, and before the issue of Prof. Swallow's paper
alluded to above : though ProC Swallow had a short time previously pubUsned a
note on the subject in a St Louis newspaper. He also published another notice in
this Journal, issued, if we mistake not, oetween 4th and 10th of March, 1858.

Digitized by


F. F. Hayden on the Creology of Kansas, 39

to represent in succession, first, Potsdam Sandstone from the
Black Hills ; 2d, forms indicating Permian both in Kansas and
the region of the Black Hills ; 8d, fossils of the Jurassic type
from the region of the Black Hills ; 4th, Carboniferous from tne
Black Hills, (Signed) S. F. Baird."

This memorandum is not noted in the order the fossils were
arranged ; the clause in regard to the Carboniferous was accident-
ally omitted between the Potsdam Sandstone and the Permian,
and then added at the end after the Jurassic. Nor is any men-
tion made of the fossils sent from Kansas to Mr. Meek by Mr.
Hawn, nor of a small collection from the same region communis
cated by Dr. Cooper which were at the same time lying on the
table ; though both of these gentlemen received full credit for
collecting and sending these fossils, in the paper published by
Meek and Hayden.

It is with considerable reluctance that this subject, which we
had thought entirely settled, has been touched upon here ; but
the facts already mentioned seemed to demand such a statement.
At the same time that Meek and Hayden manifest no desire to
ignore the connection of Mr. Hawn and Prof. Swallow with the
Permian discovery, they have the right to expect their own
agency in the matter to be acknowledged, especially in an offi-
cial report on the geology of that region, treating upon this
formation and speaking of the labors of others in that connec-

In Prof Swallow's former papers, he gives the total thickness
of the Upper and Lower Permian as he understands them, at
820 feet, and in the report under review the thickness of the
same beds is given as 704 feet 1 inch. This is quite as near an

* We Have made some remarks in regard to the Permian disooTerj in this article,
not with the idea of oonvincing any one at all familiar with the facte of the case,
for several of the ablest geologists of the present time hare indicated directly or
indirectly their opinion on this matter, bnt oecaose our silence might be taken as
entire submiaeion to the apparent disposition on the part of some geoIogUta to
ignore our agency in the development of the geology of the West. No true*minded
geologist in reading Prof. Swallow's statements under his own signature as giren in
this article and the note by Mr. Meek appended to a paper published in the Trans.
Albany Institute, March 2d, 1858, can possibly err in regard to the real discoverer
of the Permian in Kansas. During the year 1867, 1 had the good fortune to be
connected as geologist, with 9 U. S. exploring expedition to the Black Hills under
the command of Gen. G. E. Warren, U. S. A. Among some fossils I had collected
at various points in the Black Hills and along the Missouri river, were forms much
like those of the Permian of Europe. Maj. Hawn and Dr. Cooper had also sent to
Mr. Meek collections from Kansas. In numerous letters from Mr. Meek while I
was in the West he continually impressed upon me the importance of looking out
for Permian fossils. In a letter dated Oct. 20th, 1857, he said he had received
'< some foesils sent on by Maj. Hawn evidently either Upper Coal-measure forms
or Permian^ I would not be astonished if thev should prove to be the latter."
Again, Nov. 10th, 1857, speaking of some fossils I had sent him fh>m near Nebraska
City, *' among them I think I reooeuized a M<moii$ [PneudomonoiW], a genus not
known in the old world in older ro<£s than the Permian" w. v. B.

Digitized by


40 F. V. Hay den on the Geology of Kansas.

agreement as could be expected in the measurement of such
variable strata at different localities ; yet when there is a differ-
ence of 116 feet, and the numerous subordinate beds composing
the whole are stated as varying in thickness at different places
from 1 to 16 feet, 4 to 12 feet, 10 to 25 feet, and so on, one
would naturally suppose that the odd inch might have been
dispensed with in summing up the whole, as it gives the ap-
pearance of minute exactness, manifestly unattainable in the
measurement of such strata.

In regard to the beds referred with a ? by Prof Swallow and
Mr. Hawn to the Trias in Kansas, we can only say that they
may be Trias, Permian or even Jurassic, so far as any evidence
yet obtained goes. With those gentlemen we are much inclined
to believe they will be found to belong to the Trias. They are
known to hold a position immediately above Permian beds and
beneath the Cretaceous, while they are very similar to portions
of the Trias of Europe in their lithological characters. At the
same time, it is by no means demonstrated that they may not
prove to belong to the Permian. Prof. Swallow, at first, referred
to this horizon a trilobate exogenous leaf, a small bivalve he
thought doubtfully identical with NucuJa speeiosa Miinster, from
the Muschelkalk (not a true Nucula by the way), and another
shell he thought identical with Myophoria orhicruaris Goldf (sp.)
As Prof Swallow now only alludes to the supposed Nucula,
and makes no mention of the Myophoria in his report, in speak-
ing of this rock, it is probable he has found the latter to be a
&chxzodus or some other type from the Permian; and as the
trilobate leaf is now known to be from the Cretaceous, as
shown by Meek and Hayden, the paleontological evidence yet
obtained of the Triassic age of these beds seems to be narrow-
ing down to a single little bivalve, of doubtful genus. It is
true Prof Mudge thinks he has found bird tracks in a sandstone
of this horizon, but as he also speaks of finding exogenous
leaves in the same position, it seems probable that the tracks
mentioned by him are from the sandstone belonging to the Cre-
taceous, in which so many leaves have been found in that re-
gion. We must therefore await fWrther evidence before we
can regard the existence of the Trias in eastern Kansas as de-

Digitized by


/• L. LeCante an Rhynchaphoraus Coleaptera, 41

Abt. rV. — On the sysiemaHc vdlite of BhyncJiophoraus Chkoptera:
— ^an Abstract of a Memoir read before the National Academy
of Sciences, at Washington, Jan. 24th, 1867 ; by John L.
LeC!onte, M.D.

In the empirical arrangement of the fitmilies of Coleoptera,
which has resulted from the adoption of the tarsal system of
division, the families contained in the great natural group of He-
teromeraare followed by the Curculionidse and Scolytidse, which,
more or less subdivided into smaller families, have beea sup-
posed to establish a linear relation between the rostrated Hete-
romera (Salpingus, Rhinosimus, &c.) to the CerambyoidfiB and
Chrysomelidae, the great types of the Pseudotetramera, or Sub-
pentamera, of various authors.

^ It is the object of the present investigation to determine the
limits, and the relations of the first mentioned of these types,
the Ebynchophora.

The inferiority of this type is manifested, not onljr in the lar-
val condition by the limitea number or absence of visual lenses,
the want of locomotive appendages, the feeble development or
entire want of antennsB, and the unchitinized epidermis ; but
also hj the combination in the imago of charaicters belonging to
a perfectly developed organism with others pertaining to an infe-
rior grade in the scale of Coleoptera.

Thus, for instance, while we perceive in the other series of
beetles, that the lower forms retain certain larval characters, as
evidenced by the extension of the coxae, the imperfection of the
anterior coxal cavities, the softness of the integuments, and the
want of centralization in the abdomen, all such degradational
characters are absent in the Bhynchophora.

Other characters representing low grades in their respective
series do not appear in the Bhynchophora, such as vegetative
growth of the organs of sense, indicated by pectinate or flabel-
late antennae, or excessive length of palpi.

On the contrary, we find in the Khynchophora, that the in-
teguments are perfectly chitinized : the elytra never abbreviated
or wanting; the anterior coxae are always completely enclosed;
the ventrsu segments, usually five, never exceed six in number.

The plan of degradation, in passing from the higher to the
lower forms, is by the extension of the longitudinal axis of the
body, in its anterior half; this is usually most strongly manifes-
ted in the head, and exhibited not only by the length of the
beak, but by the conformation of the lower floor of the mouth.
Commencing with those Curculionidae (Adelognathi Lacordaire^)
in which the mentum fills the gular emargination, as in the
Ax. JouB. Soi.— Sboond Sbbixs, Vol. XLIV, No. 18a— Jult, 1867.

Digitized by


42 /. L, LeConte on Rhynchophorous Cohoptera.

higher Tenebrionidad, we find a gradual lessening in size of the
mentnm, itself becoming supported upon a broad, short, gular
peduncle, permitting the maxillea to become visible, (Pbanerog-
nathi, Cohort 1, Lacardairt) : next the gular peduncle becomes
elongated, and bilobed, receiving the mentum, now reduced to
very small size, between its looes (Phanerognathi, Cohort 11,
and also Brenthidas, and Anthribidae).

Having in the continuance of my work on the Classification
of Coleoptera of North America, recently commenced a critical
study of our Bhynchophora, I became aware of the impossibil-
ity of intercalating them between the Heteromera and Subpen-
tamera, and am now convinced that they represent a special type,
which must be isolated from all other types of Coleoptera, poB-
sessing a systematic value equal to all the others combined.

In seeking for the characters which should define this type, I
ol^erved a remarkable difference in the arrangement of the

{)ieces of the under surface of the prothorax, heretofore over-
ooked, and so far as I know, confined to this particular tjrpe.

In other Coleoptera, the prostemum is either extended behind
the anterior coxae, so as to form part of the hind margin of the
segment, thus coming in contact with the meaosternum, or it is
cut off between the coxas, and in this case (as in many others)
the coxal cavities are open behind: in die few exceptions
(Derodontus, Dacoderus) in which the coxae are contiguous and
the cavities closed behind, the prostemum still extends behind
the COX89, to the hind margin oi the segment, as is shown by the
short sutures separating the epimera from the medial piece of
the presternum.

I have represented these modifications of form in the adjoin-
ing wood-cuts. Fig. 1, under surface of prothorax of a Oarabide

OBb <m igj

(Pasimachus) ; the coxal cavities are closed, and the epimera and
epistema well defined. Fig. 2, do. of a Scarabaeide (Lachnoster-

Digitized by VjOOQ IC

/. L. LeConte on Rhynckophorous Coleoptera, 48

na): tlie ooxed are transverse, the cavities closed, the side pieces
not distinct Fig. 8, do. of Cacujus ; ooxal cavities open behind,
side pieces not distinct Fig. 4, ao. of Telephoros : coxal cavities
confluent and open behind.

In Bhynchopnora the prothoracic sutures are obliterated, there
is no separation between the prostemum and episterna, and very
rarely between the latter and the pronotum : the coxal cavities,
frecjuently confluent, are always closed behind, by the q>imera,
which become connate on the median line, enclosing the hind
part of the prostemum, thus cutting it off completely firom the
mesothoracio segment

Fig. 5 represents this arrangement of parts in a Brenthide,
in which fisimily the extreme limit of degradation by linear ex-
tension is reached. Fig. 6, under sunace of prothorax of a
Calandride (Ehynchophorus). Fig. 7, do. of Cfryptorhynchus.
Fig. 8, do. of Balaninus. Fig. 9, ao. Ophryastes. Fig. 10, do.
Thecestemus. Fig. 11, do. Dendroctonus.

When the cox» are contiguous, the point of the prostemum
is visible behind them, but is none the less perfectly enclosed by
the growth of the side pieces to the median line.

Another evidence of the inferiority of type of the Bhyncho-
phora, which has not been mentionea, is seen in the functions
performed by the beak, which in the lower groups, especiidly in
the female, becomes greatly elongated. The occurrence of cor-
neous exserted ovipositors in other orders of insects is not rare :
a few species of Cbleoptera (certain Valgus, for example) have
the last abdominal segment prolonged, simulating such an organ.
But it was reserved for the Khynchophora to exhibit a degrada-
tion of type, by which a function, peculiarly appropriate to the
posterior extremity of the body, is performed by the head : the
elongated beak becoming in &ct the ovipositor.

Thus the inferiority of grade, evidenced in other series of C3o-
leoptera by the softness of the integuments, or by the perma-
nence of larval forms, chiefly in the abdomen and coxse, is in
the Ehynchophora manifested by the transfer of a function
from the posterior to the anterior part of the body, and the
linear extension of the latter, in accordance with this 'change of

Online LibraryJohn AlmonThe American journal of science and arts → online text (page 55 of 102)