Royal Society (Great Britain).

The Philosophical transactions of the Royal society of London, from their commencement in 1665, in the year 1800 (Volume 8) online

. (page 20 of 85)
Online LibraryRoyal Society (Great Britain)The Philosophical transactions of the Royal society of London, from their commencement in 1665, in the year 1800 (Volume 8) → online text (page 20 of 85)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Jan. 27, about 6 in the evenmg, Dr. K. saw a dull star, about 3 or 4 degrees
above Mercury, and a little to the southward of a vertical passing through him,
but took little notice of it then, not thinking of a Comet ; but by comparing
5 's place with the fixed stars, he afterwards thought it might be a Comet. —
On the 31st, about 6*^ SC" p.m. he took its distance from Venus, by a reflect-
ing instrument of Mr. Hadley's make, 14° 40'; but by a forestaff, 14° 50';

VOL. VIII. X



154 PHILOSOPHICAL TBANSACTIDNS. [aNNO 1737,

and a right line passed over the Comet, Venus, and the Pleiades. The night
following, about 6*^ 20™, its distance from Venus was, by Hadley's instrument,
13" 25'. The rest of his observations, by such instruments as he had, being
none of the best, and the Comet growing very dull, are as follow :
Feb. 7'' 6^ 47"" Comet from Venus 7° 40'.

7 3 from Aldebaran 59° 40'.

from Algenib 17° 45', by a fore-stafF.

A right line from the Comet over Venus passed over the
bright star in the side of Perseus.
11 7 14 Comet from Venus 7° 1 a'.

7 20 A right line over the Comet, Venus, and head of Cassiopeia.
17 7 20 The Comet was in a right line, and to the northward of two
stars ; distance of the stars supposed about 40', and the
Comet from the least 30'. These stars were the south
node of Pisces, the brightest from Venus 10° 20', from
Aldebaran 50° 30', as he found it set down, but must be
very false.
20 ~ 30 7 Comet from Aldebaran 34°, from Lucida Cap. y IQ±.
0,1 30 8 Wanted about a degree of oculus ceti. — Which was the
last sight he had of it.

P. S. The eclipse Feb. 18, could not be well observed here, by reason of
clouds. Dr. K. rectified the clock by one of Heath's large ring dials. At
7*" 18*" there was a small dent in the sun's edge, whence the beginning 1 or 2
minutes sooner: just before the end, viz, lO'' 11 or 12™, he had a sight of
the sun again, and there was then a dent in the sun's edge, so that the end
must be 10** 13 or 14™ in the morning: about the middle of the eclipse, there
was a large spot near the middle of the enlightened part, which was the north
side of the sun.

4. The same observed in Jamaica. By Rose Fuller, M. D. F. R. S. p. 122.

At Spanish Town, Jamaica, there was the appearance of a Comet, which was
first perceived about the 26th of January, but must, by its plainness then, have
been visible for some time before. It was in the west at first, some degrees
below and directly under Venus. Every night it appeared nearer to that star,
but inclined northerly. In about a fortnight, it was parallel to it, and in a
week after, it was no more to be seen.

5, The same observed at Madras. By M. Sartorius, a Missionary there, p. 122.
For 7 days before Feb. 9, about 7 in the evening, there appeared a dim



VOt. XL.] FHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIOKS. 155

Comet : it is seen in the west, under Venus, towards the s. w. It looks
through a tube of 10 or 1 1 feet long, like a dim or pale planet ; its tail tends

upwards.

- rn.'ifiivJ io ii.iiiivJ. li

6. The same observed at Lisbon, by G. R. Vanbrugh, Esq. on board the Bur-
ford Man of War, p. 123.
At 6** 49"" p. M. we saw a Comet with a long brush tail ; at which time its
altitude was found 5° 15', its distance from Venus 18° 5' ; and Venus's altitude
was observed 20° 40'. It bore due west.

A Description of some Mammoth's Bones, dug ujj in Siberia, proving them to
have belonged to Elephants. By John Phil. Breyne, M. D. F. R. S.
N°446, p. 124.

In the Philos. Trans. N° 403 and 404, Sir Hans Sloane gave accounts of
elephants' teeth found underground. In the same year, viz. 1728, Dr. Breyne
was busied about the very same matter, especially to prove, that the extraordi-
nary large teeth and bones found under ground, and dug up in several places
of Siberia, by the name of mammoth's, or mammut's, teeth and bones, were,

1. True bones and teeth of some large animals once living; and,

2. That those animals were elephants, by the analogy of the teeth and bones
with the known ones of elephants.

3. That they were brought and left there by the universal deluge.

After that, viz. in the year 1730, Dr. Messerschmidt returned to Dantzic
from his travels through Siberia, and communicated some curious draughts of
a part of a skeleton, viz. of a very large skull, dens exertus et molaris, with
the OS femoris, belonging to the animal commonly called mammoth, found in
Siberia; by which our assertion, that the teeth and bones, called in Russia
mammoth's bones, are the true teeth and bones of elephants, is not only put
in a clearer light, but seems demonstrated beyond all doubt.

In 1722, Dr. Messerschmidt found two very large teeth, which he sent to
Dr. Breyne. After he had made an accurate and nice examination of them,
he found that one is a dens molaris, or grinder, a foot broad, half a foot long,
and 3 inches thick, weighing 8 lb. and ^iij, pretty entire, except that it is
broken in two pieces, and the extremities of the roots spoiled. The substance
is between that of a bone and stone, except that on the upper part of the out-
side, some parallel undulated lines appear, which have still preserved the enamel
of the tooth.

The other is a piece of a dens exertus, or tusk, 8 inches long and 3 inches

X 2



/



156 PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS. [aNNO 1737-

thick, or 1 lb. and 6 oz. weight; in some places not different from ivory, but
in others calcined like the common unicornu fossile.

What Ysbrand Ides mentions of the mammoth's teeth and bones, is deserv-
ing of notice: as also the Journal of Laurens Lange's Journey to China, and
the remarks of Capt. John Bernard Muller, in his Present State of Russia.
These are the chief authors* who have treated of the mammoth's teeth and
bones, as a very remarkable and particular curiosity of Siberia. And what we
may select out of them, as matters of fact, are the following particulars.

1. That those teeth and bones are found in Siberia, chiefly in the northern
parts, near the rivers Jenfzea, Trugau, Mongam-sea, Lena, &c. towards the
icy sea; at the time when the ice has broken the banks of those rivers, so that
part of the adjacent mountains fall down ; and that they are found in such
quantity as is sufficient for trade, and to make a monopoly for the Czar.

2. That sometimes skeletons of this kind are found nearly complete.

3. That those teeth and bones are not found always of the same size, but
sometimes very large; as dentes molares, or grinders, of 20 or 24 lb. weight,
and dentes exerti, two of which weighed 400 lb.; sometimes of a middle size,
as those abovementioned, and at other times still smaller.

4. That of those teeth, viz. dentes exerti, some are used as ivory, to make
combs, boxes, &c. Capt. Muller says, that in every respect it resembles the
common ivory, being but a little more brittle, and easily turning yellow by
weather or heat.

Out of these quoted remarks, joined to ocular inspection, Dr. Breyne thinks
he may advance three things.

1 . That those mammoth's teeth and bones are truly natural teeth and bones,
belonging to very large living animals; because they have not only the external
figures and proportions, but also the internal structure analogous to natural teeth
and bones of animals.

2. That those large animals have been elephants, as appears by the figure,
structure, and size of the teeth, which accurately agree with the grinders and
tusks of elephants, as represented by several writers.

3. That those teeth and bones of elephants were brought thither by a
deluge, by waves and winds, and left behind after the waters returned into their
reservoirs, and were buried in the earth, even near the tops of high mountains.
And because we know nothing of any particular extraordinary deluge in those
countries, but of the universal deluge of Noah, it is more than probable, that
we ought to refer this strange phenomenon to the said deluge.

It may be noticed, that such teeth and bones are also to be found in several

* Add Gtnelin and Pallai.



VOL. XL.] PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS. J 37

other countries, besides Siberia, as Poland, Germany, Italy, England, Ireland,
and many others; but less common than in Siberia, and not so well preserved,
but more wasted and calcined, doubtless by the greater warmth of those
climates.

Hither also are to be referred the large bones found under ground, or rather
tusks of elephants, known by the names of ebur, seu unicornu fossile, which
are of the same origin with the mammoth's teeth, but different, as they are
better preserved, and have still the natural bony substance, and may serve the
workmen as natural ivory, and in some measure the physicians and apothecaries
as ebur, seu unicornu fossile.

Of the above bones, the head weighed 1 30+ lb. avoirdupois weight, or 1 52
Russian pounds; its length or greatest height is 48 inches; its greatest breadth
near the ears 29 inches, 5 lines; its thickness, from the forehead to the nape
of the neck, 22 inches, 5 lines.

One grinder weighs 8 lb. g oz. or 10 lb. Russian ; its greatest length 1 2 inches;
its perpendicular height 5 inches; its thickness or breadth, 3 inches; it is made
up of above 20 transverse lamellae, a finger thick, perpendicularly erect, lying
close to each other, and its root composed of two apophyses.

The tusk, by some improperly called the horn, of the right side, having a
two-fold direction by being bent outward and backward, which is peculiar to the
male elephant, it being straighter in the female. It is the ebur fossile of the
shops, and weighs 137 lb. or l6o lb. Russian; its length, or the exterior cir-
cumference of its back part, was 136 inches, 5 lines; the circumference of the
root, where it got clear of the socket, was the greatest, being 1 8 inches 5
lines; the subtended arch, from one extremity to the other, 55 inches.

The tusk answering to the foregoing on the left side, was quite like that on
the right, except the contrary direction of its curvature, and its less weight,
having lost its point; for it weighed only 1284- lb. or 150 lb. Russian.

The right thigh-bone weighed 21 lb. 6 oz. or 25 lb. Russian; its perpendi-
cular length is 38 inches 5 lines; the greatest breadth of its upper head, or
apophysis, 1] inches; its circumference at the middle of the bone about 13
inches.

The bones of this skeleton, with the ribs, vertebrae, and others belonging
to it, were found in the side of a sandy steep hill, on the eastern bank of the
river Indigirska, which falls into the northern ocean, not far from the mouth
of the rivulet Wolockowoi ruszei. And some of these bones are found not
only in these parts, but likewise in the sand hills on the rivers Chatanga, Tho-
mas, Tobol, Irtisch, &c. which are all at a good distance from the sea; though
neither elephants, nor chimerical behemoths, have been ever seen in those



158 PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS. [aNNO 1737.

countries, nor could they live there by reason of the inclemency of the air.
Wherefore the best judges follow the opinion of the learned Dr. Woodward,
the Scheuchzers, and others, in taking them for the bones of antediluvian
animals, or of such as were conveyed thither in the universal deluge.

Of a large Glandular Tumour in the Pelvis, and of the pernicious Effects of
crude Mercury given inwardly to the Patient. By Dr. Andrew Cantwell, of
Montpellier. N° 446, p. 1 39.

Dr. C. was called to visit an English gentleman who was ill. In the house

where he lodged, was one P r M n, born in France, but settled in

Cadiz. This poor gentleman, having been very ill for 2 or 3 years, had lost
the use of his left leg and thigh, was subject to frequent head-achs, and pains
in his bones, but more especially in his legs ; for which, because he had been
given to women, his physicians in Cadiz salivated him twice, sent him to several
hot waters, and gave him all the remedies they could imagine, but to no pur-
pose; for his illness increasing, he had from time to time great difficulty of
making water, and going to stool. In this condition he came from Spain to
Marseilles, and from thence was sent to the waters of Baleruc, of which he
drank a great quantity. But as they did not pass, his physician there ordered
him strong purges, with clysters of a decoction of tobacco, and the like. He
then began to vomit his excrements; on which the physician to the Marquis of

C 's regiment in Spain, who happened to be there, ordered him ±- lb. of

crude mercury by the mouth, which made him suffer the most exquisite pains ;
and his belly swelled, and became as stiff as a drum. Here Dr. Montague was
sent for, who soon discovered the error in the preceding practice, by feeling a
solid body near the rectum, which obstructing the passage, hindered the clys-
ter-pipe from entering far enough into the gut. After his departure, the pa-
tient was again ordered clysters, which were injected with a crooked pipe, and
several purges; till at the end of 8 days he died, having his belly larger, stifFer
and harder than ever. Though Dr. C. arrived the day before his death, he saw
htm not til! after he expired. His physician having invited him to open the
body, he willingly consented, curious to find the solid resistance or tumour,
which he could give no account of. He sent for the surgeon of the village,
who opened the abdomen, which was filled with a whitish liquor of some con-
sistence. The epiploon was all dissolved, and swam in this liquor like so much
pus.

This water poured out, Dr. C. examined the intestines. The colon was
burst under the stomach, and in 3 other places at its lower part; and so was
the caecum; the ileum all inflamed, and in one part gangrened. The lips of



VOL. XL.] PHILOSOPHICAL TRANS ACTIOM8. 15Q

the ruptures were plastered with excrements, all beset with a prodigious num-
ber of globules of tjuicksilver; and when the intestines were disengaged and
taken out, the quicksilver fell from them in large drops. The other viscera
were in the natural state, except the liver, which was gangrened.

As Dr. C. was very solicitous about the tumour, he looked into the pelvis,
where he found an excrescence of a prodigious size, which filled all its left side.
He took the knife, and cleared all round the tumour; when he found the uri-
nary bladder close pent up between the anterior part of the tumour and the ossa
pubis, which occasioned the strangury the patient had been tormented with ;
the rectum, which lay on the middle of the os sacrum, was also vastly pressed
on by the tumour, which seemed to take its rise from tlie holes that are in the
left side of that bone. The surgeon was so unluckily impatient, that while
Dr. C. laid down the knife, in order to separate the ossa pubis with a hatchet,
he cut out the tumour. Dr. C. then examined the os sacrum, which was so
very soft, that his fingers entered it every where on the left side.

The tumour was oviform, and was covered over with several membranes:
its weight was 2-^lb. ; its longest axis 5 inches and somewhat more than 4,
French measure ; its shortest 4^- inches. At first sight Dr. C. took it for a
parenchyma, but on dissection he found it analogous to the liver in substance,
colour and consistence. Its artery, vein and nerve were very large, and were
distributed through its whole substance : wherefore he really took it to be one
of the conglobate glands of the pelvis, whose vessels yielding to the blood im-
pelled thither with greater force and in larger quantity than usual, on account
of the violent exercises of dancing, jumping, &c. which the patient very much
practised, gave room to its increase to that enormous size. On opening, he
remarked 3 very apparent divisions in it : and where the psoas lay over it, and
one of the pyramidales beat on it, it was ossified. He preserved it in brandy,
and found that the small vessels, that were most filled with blood, pressed it
out into the interstices of the neighbouring ones.

The weight the patient constantly complained of at his left hip ; the diffi-
culty he had in going to stool, and that of thrusting a syringe far enough into
the rectum to give him a clyster with any success ; the tumour itself, which was
easily felt on putting the finger into the anus; with the palsy of the left leg
and thigh, might have given other indications to the physicians, than those
they took. And doubtless the frictions and other heating medicines, the
patient was plied with, contributed to augment his illness. In fine, the crude
mercury he swallowed, the vast quantity of Baleruc water he drank before it,
with the strong cathartics taken by the mouth and anus, seem to have cut him



l60 THILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS. [aNNO 1738.

short of some months, which he might have Hved, had he used no other re-
medies than a slender relaxing diet.

^ Catalogue of the Fifty Plants from Chelsea-Gardens, presented to the Royal
Society by the Company of Apothecaries, for the Year 1736, pursuant to
the Direction of Sir Hans Sloane, Bart. P. R. S. By Isaac Rand, F, R. S.
N°447, p. 143.

This is the 15th annual present, amounting to 750 plants.

Of a Narhwal* or Unicorn Fish, taken in the River Ost, in the Duchy of
Bremen. By Dr. Steigertahl, F.R.S. N°447, p. 147.

Towards the end of Jan. 1736, n. s. was taken a sort of whale, called the
narhwal or sea-unicorn. It was taken in the river Ost, near the village Bellum,
where it falls into the Elbe, in the duchy of Bremen, 4 German miles from
the sea. A great quantity of fat was taken out of it, to make whale-oil; but
this train-oil was of almost intolerable stench, because this narhwal feeds on
carcasses: for nar signifies a carcass or dead body, according to Valentini in his
Museum Museorum.

Such care was taken of the skin, before the dissection, that it was cured
with salt and alum, and stuffed so as to give the just figure of the fish: having
left with it the bones of the skull, and some vertebrae near the tail.

The skin was spotted with dark brown spots on a white ground. The epi-
dermis was transparent, and under it was another skin very thin and spotted ;
but the true skin was brown, and near an inch in thickness. On the top of
the head was a semilunar hole, as in the porpoise, according to the description
given by John Daniel Major, and published in the Miscell. Academ. Nat. Cu-
rios. Dec. 1, An. 3, p. 22. This hole opens into the two canals which run
through the skull to the palate, and are called by Major, ductus hydragog.
They did not remark in the skin any opening or outlet for the excrements;
and it is said, that this narhwal voided them through the hole on the top
of the head.

Concerning the horn. Dr. S. agrees in opinion with Wormius and others,
who take it for a tooth ; but he cannot believe that its sole use is to break the
ice : it rather serves the fish for seeking its food. A captain of a Greenland
vessel assured him, that being on the coast a whale-fishing, and having taken
one, as he was turning the whale to get at the fat, he found on the opposite

* Monodon monoceros. Linn.



VOL. XL.] PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS. l6l

side to him a narhwal, that had stuck, tliis tooth into the whale's belly, up to
its mouth, and had sucked the blood and humours.

Fig. 1, pi. 6, represents the unicorn fish. J, Shows a semilunar hole,
through which the fish cast out water and blood, on dying; 2, a small rising
on the middle of the back, and fleshy as the fins; 3, the mouth, very little,
without teeth in the upper jaw, except this dens prominens, or tusk; which
has by some been taken for a horn ; and no lower jaw was found ; 4, the eye,
very small; 5, the fin on the right side, which, as well as the opposite, is fleshy;
6, the tail, fleshy, like the fins, which, taken according to its width, is not
vertical, but horizontal; 7, the prominent tooth or tusk, generally taken for
a horn.

The length of this narhwal, from N° 3 to 6, was 17 feet Q inches; the
tooth 6 feet 3 inches; the greatest thickness, measured round, was 14 feet;
the skin was smooth, without scales, like that of an eel, and was white, marked
with blackish spots.

A Description of the same Narhwal, communicated by John Henry Hampe, M.D.

F. R. S. N° 447, p. 149.

In a creek, called the Beluhmer Wadt, belonging to the Bailiwick of New-
haus, in the duchy of Bremen, has been caught alive, an unknown fish of a
large size, 18 to 20 feet in length, and 4 in diameter. He has on the fore part
of the head, just above the mouth, which is very small, a horn 6 feet long,
white like ivory, and curiously twisted. The body is white, sprinkled with
black spots, and smooth like an eel. The head is, in comparison of the body
very small, about 16 inches in length, and the same in diameter. The eyes
are also small, about the size of a sixpence. On the upper part of the head,
is a hole about 3 inches in diameter, out of which probably he spouts water,
like the whales. On each side of the neck are placed two black fins, one above
another, and at a small distance from each other. They are half an inch in
thickness, of one hand's breadth, and 2 feet in length, round on the fore part,
all fleshy, and of a liver- colour.

Of a Water Insect,* not hitherto described. By M. Klein, F. R. S. N° 447,

p. 150. From the Latin.

A friend of M. Klein's presented him with a water insect, found at Uder-
wanga in East Prussia, among fresh water crabs, and utterly unknown to the
crab fishers. From the great number of its feet, and surprising facility of

• The insect here described is the monoculus apvs of Linnaeus
VOL. VHI. y



l62 PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS. [aNNO 1738.

moving them, it may with equal, if not better reason, be called scolopendra
aquatica scutata, than Aldrovandus, p. 721, de cetis, calls a certain fish of the
whale kind, scolopendra cetacea.

A, fig. 2, pi. 6, represents the insect on its upper part, covered with a shield;
which nearly resembles tortoise-shells, except that along the middle of the back
it is a little gibbous, and towards the extremity of the body it has a triangular
hiatus, slightly indented: it is entire, and almost of the same substance, though
of a more dilute colour, with the sheaths of the wings of the scarabaeus Goedarti,
produced from weevils, or what is called scarabaeus rosarum. The eyes pass
out through the shield, and are a little prominent.

B, fig. 3, represents the insect delineated on the under part; where at the
same time appears avast number of legs: each of these has a certain bag as at
D, fig. 5, terminating in 3 feet, or rather claws; the two anterior ones have this
in peculiar, that their three feet or claws are longer than the others, though they
differ from each other in length. All the claws of the greater and smaller feet
consist of similar articulations; and such as the hairs of the forked tail of this
scolopendra, or the antennae of other insects have.

M. Klein supposes this insect makes use of the longer claws of both the
anterior feet, and of the hairs of its forked tail behind, for antennas, by
means of which it timely discovers either its pursuing enemies, or such as it
meets with in lurking places ; unless we are to suppose the two short horns,
that appear in the fig. at that place, where we are reasonably to look for the
head, to be antennae.

c, fig. 4, represents the body, bared of its shield, viewed on the back ; on
account of which the shield is carefully divided lengthwise, which as to the
part explained, is not continued with the back. In the thin cuticle of the lower
part of the shield, and that on both sides, may be observed, as in the fig.
punctures like needle work.

M. Klein could not certainly determine, whether it sucks in the water through
these apertures into the cavity between the gibbous shield and the cuticle, and
again emits it; or whether it fills the cuticle with air, or empties it, according
as it wants either to go down to the bottom, or rise up to the top of the water.
The insections or segments are about 30, but the legs cannot easily be numbered.
In the extreme part of the body which separates the shield, the rings of the in-
sections or segments are beset with small spines, and that in the same order, as
they appear delineated fig. 2 and 4.

D, fig. 5, represents one of the legs next the anterior one, with the little
bag.

B, fig. 3, represents another leg in a different view.



VOL. XL.] PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS. l63

As long as this insect lived, it continually, and with singular facility, moved
its feet, drawing at the same time into its sheath and putting out again, the
extreme part of its body.

The same sort of Insect found in Kent. By the Rev. Mr. Littleton Brown,



Online LibraryRoyal Society (Great Britain)The Philosophical transactions of the Royal society of London, from their commencement in 1665, in the year 1800 (Volume 8) → online text (page 20 of 85)