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institutions will render important service in the utilization of our national parks as great outdoor universities.
THE United States Forest Service reports from California that the aviators who made daily flights over the national forests during the summer and autumn of 1919, discovered many incipient fires and thus prevented great loss. So valuable has this work proved that an air service may ultimately become a permanent part of the forest protection.
The Mineral Deposits of South America is the title of a new work by Benjamin L. Miller, professor of geology in Lehigh University, and Joseph T. Singewald, Jr., associate professor of economic geology in Johns Hopkins University. This book is the result of an extended trip by the two authors through South America, together with an exhaustive study of the literature of South American mineralogy of which they have collected the first extensive bibliography. After an introductory chapter on the economic geology of the southern continent there follow résumés of the mineral products and topographical and geological descriptions of the various countries together with detailed descriptions of localities important mineralogically. The book will serve as a valuable source of information for the merchant, investor, or prospector as well as for the student of South American geology.
WE learn from Nature that a conference of delegates from the Mediterranean nations met in November at Madrid to consult on and organize a plan for an international hydrographic and fishery investigation, particularly with reference to the life histories of food fishes. Four vessels will be at the immediate call of the organization, provided by the Prince of Monaco, and by Italy, France, and Spain, respectively. The results of this research will be published ultimately in French, Spanish, Italian, and English.
PROGRESS in the tanning and preparation of fishskins for commercial leather is reported by the Fisheries Service Bulletin. The United States Government Bureau reports that samples of the leather made from shark and porpoise hides is much superior to that previously submitted and is soft, pli
able, and strong. The Bureau has developed a special net for catching sharks which appears well adapted to this difficult and sometimes dangerous sport.
THE United States Bureau of Fisheries has established an experiment laboratory in southern California to study the problem of preserving and canning fishery products. The methods developed will be placed at the disposal of the commercial packers.
A GIANT panda (Ailuropus melanoleucus) from eastern Tibet, one of the rarest of animals, has recently been placed on exhibition at the American Museum. The panda was discovered in 1869. In general appearance it resembles a bear and is about the size of our black bear, but it is really a distant relative of the raccoon. The striking black and white coat, short muzzle, and curious black patches about the eyes give it a very extraordinary appearance. Almost nothing is known of the animal's habits, but it is said that it feeds on roots and the young shoots of bamboo. It is believed that the specimen shown at the American Museum is the first brought to this country; the skin was purchased from Mr. Joseph Milner, a missionary, who had obtained it from some natives of Ta-Chien-lu, Tibet. Mr. Blaschke, sculptor in the American Museum preparation department, mounted the specimen.
AN interesting collection of birds, taken in northwestern Peru, has just been received at the American Museum from Mr. Harry Watkins, field representative of the department of ornithology. Several new forms, including a new genus of ovenbirds (Hylocryptus), are described in the December Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington by Dr. Frank M. Chapman, curator of the department of ornithology at the American Museum. One of the most interesting discoveries is a breeding race of the killdeer, a common North American bird, which occasionally reaches extreme northern South America in winter.
A VALUABLE specimen of the great auk (Plautus impennis) has recently been added to the collections which are now in the American Museum, belonging to Dr. L. C. Sanford, of New Haven, Connecticut. The great auk or garefowl is an extinct bird formerly inhabiting the North Atlantic regions and
breeding on small islands off the coast of Iceland, on the Orkneys, the Hebrides, and in the vicinity of Newfoundland. It disappeared early in the nineteenth century through persecution by fishermen and sailors, who killed it for food, bait, and feathers. The last few survivors were taken by collectors about 1840. Only about seventyeight specimens are preserved in the museums and private collections of the world, and accordingly skins have sold for very large sums.
BONES of the Virginia deer have been found in Indian shell heaps in Nova Scotia by the Canadian Geological Survey, and the identification has been confirmed by Dr. Gerrit S. Miller, of the United States National Museum. That the Virginia deer ranged so far north, except after its introduction into the province in 1888, had not previously been known.
ONE of the largest and most beautiful botanical gardens of the world is to be founded in Illinois, just outside the city of Chicago, by the Cook County board of forest preserve commissioners. This garden will be made by converting 2000 acres of the Palos Forest Preserve and so will inherit a natural tree and plant endowment in the green prairies and the wooded ravines along the Des Plaines River. Exotic flowers, shrubs, and trees will gradually be added.
THE first living specimen of the okapi to be brought out of the Congo country has been safely delivered to the Zoological Garden of Antwerp by the Commandant of the district of Bas-Uelé (Belgian Congo). The specimen was captured a day or so after its birth. At first it was fed on canned milk and then on the milk of a zebu cow, but since its arrival in Europe the young animal eats clover and other green plants. The Congo Expedition of the American Museum (1909-15) attempted to bring out an okapi, but the specimen captured died for lack of proper food.
THE first part of Volume I of the final report of the Scientific Survey of Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands was published September 26 by the New York Academy of Sciences. It contains a history of the Survey by Dr. N. L. Britton; a geological introduction, including a discussion of the major geological features, by Professor C. P.
Berkey, to which is appended a new base map of Porto Rico by Dr. Chester A. Reeds; and an interesting description of the geology of the San Juan District, an area of about five hundred square miles on the northern side of Porto Rico, by Dr. Douglas R. Semmes. The 110 pages of text are supplemented by twenty-six illustrations, four plates, and three maps.
The Survey was instituted in 1913 by the New York Academy of Sciences in coöperation with the insular government of Porto Rico, the American Museum of Natural History, the New York Botanical Garden, and with the scientific departments of Columbia University and other institutions, for the purpose of prosecuting a thorough and systematic investigation of the natural history of the island of Porto Rico, and subsequently of the Virgin Islands. A large amount of data has been assembled and a great number of specimens collected. Important preliminary papers have been published in the Bulletin and Memoirs of the American Museum of Natural History as well as in other scientific journals.
The complete report will contain volumes devoted to anthropology, botany, geology, palæontology and zoology. These will give a most exhaustive and valuable account of the natural history resources of the islands.
THE American Ornithologists' Union held its thirty-seventh stated meeting at the American Museum, November 11-14. In connection with the meeting of the ornithologists and in celebration of the centennial of the expedition to the Rocky Mountains under the command of Major Stephen H. Long, the Museum arranged a special exhibit of specimens, manuscripts, drawings, and published volumes relating to Major Long's journey. Thomas Say and Titian Ramsay Peale accompanied that expedition which was the first American exploring expedition to which naturalists were officially assigned.
THE Children's Museum of Boston has received accessions to its endowment fund amounting to $25,000. A branch will be opened in coöperation with the Barnard Memorial in the crowded south end of the city.
THE bronze memorial to Lewis and Clark by Charles Keck, sculptor, a photograph of which was shown in the April-May number
of NATURAL HISTORY, was dedicated by the city of Charlottesville, Virginia, on November 21, 1919.
AN expedition to the island of Jamaica for living and extinct mammals, was undertaken in November by Mr. II. E. Anthony, assisted by Mr. Charles Falkenbach, both of the American Museum. No fossil vertebrates, except for a single skull of a marine mammal, were known from this island, but a consideration of the conditions in this and other West Indian islands made it appear highly probable that some land vertebrates formerly existed there, and the geology indicated that caves probably existed similar to those in Porto Rico and Cuba from which Mr. Anthony had secured such large and interesting collections of fossil mammals, and that they might also yield fossils. Preliminary reports from Mr. Anthony leave no doubt that this forecast has been verified, but the extent and character of the collections remain to be seen. The character of this fauna will be studied with particular interest, as it should throw further light on the sources of the fauna and the manner of its arrival on the islands. The geology of the West Indies indicates that the most probable place for a mainland connection, if the fauna arrived in that manner, is by way of Hayti, Jamaica, and Honduras. Obviously, if the animals did arrive in this way, the fauna of Jamaica ought to be more like that of the mainland than those of any of the other islands-more continental in type. On the other hand, if the animals, or rather their ancestors, arrived on the islands through the agency of storms, floating vegetation, or other accidents of oversea transportation, without the aid of any continuous land bridge, then Jamaica, as a rather small and isolated island, should have a more scanty and insular fauna than the larger and more central islands of Cuba and Hispaniola, perhaps even more so than Porto Rico.
MR. ALBERT THOMSON, of the department of vertebrate paleontology in the American Museum, assisted by Mr. George Olsen, carried on operations during the summer of 1919 in the great fossil quarry at Agate, Nebraska. From the richer part of the quarry a section was selected especially suitable to be preserved and exhibited at the
Museum in the block. This block, showing sixteen skulls and corresponding numbers of skeleton bones within a space of 5x8 feet, was skillfully lifted, boxed, and brought to the American Museum without damage. Its weight when boxed was about six thousand pounds. Several other valuable fossil specimens were obtained from the quarry and vicinity.
A SIGN of the renewed period of interchange between the American Museum and its scientific colleagues abroad is the gift of a series of skeletal casts of the Neanderthal man of Krapina, Croatia, which comes from the laboratory of Professor GorjanovičKramberger, director of the Geological and Palæontological Department in the Croatian Natural History Museum at Zagrab (Agram). These casts have been arranged with the other material dealing with the history of Neanderthal man in the center of the hall of the Age of Man at the American Museum.
MR. LOUIS L. MOWBRAY, who was connected with the New York Aquarium for a number of years, has lately gone to Miami, Florida, to take charge of a new aquarium which is to be erected there. On leaving New York he turned over to the American Museum of Natural History two important collections of marine fishes, made by himself, one from Bermuda and the other from Turk's Island in the Bahamas. These collections contain several species which have never been described, and others which are little known. Turk's Island is famous for the variety of its fish life but the species which occur there have never before been listed or adequately collected. The fishes from Bermuda are comparatively well known and are of particular interest as perhaps giving some key to the obscure laws which govern the dispersal of marine fishes. A certain similarity between the fish life in Bermuda and that at South Trinidad Island, which lies well off the Brazilian coast, south of the Equator, should be traced to similar oceanic isolation of each locality. The occurrence in Bermuda and Porto Rico of species not known elsewhere in the West Indies is interesting, and we find that certain fishes of the Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic occur there. It seems incredible that these should not also reach other West Indian islands. Distance is proved to be no
barrier to their dispersal. Possibly, however, there is some effective barrier in the trend of the ocean currents or it may be that, although they reach Bermuda, they are barred from waters farther south where they would meet a keener competition with allied forms.
A SURVEY through the Rocky Mountains for study of the nature of the folding of the earth's crust involved in the elevation of these mountains is reported on by Professor Rollin T. Chamberlin, of the University of Chicago, in the Journal of Geology. The line of the survey extended in a slight curve from near Lyons, Colorado, to the Grand Hogback at Glenwood Springs, so as to meet the various ranges at approximately right angles. This section of the Rockies (from the Great Plains to the Uinta Basin) was originally 140 miles in width and has been compressed into 132 miles, a shortening of only 8 miles. The section studied by the Survey was divided into thirteen parts and the thickness of the crust involved in the deformation was calculated for each section. The roots of the Gore Range reach to a depth of 87 miles and of the plateau near Glenwood Springs to 107 miles, very great depths when compared with the crustal deformation of the Pennsylvania Appalachian folds where the maximum depth is only 32 miles. Further comparison of the Colorado Rockies with the Appalachians brings out the very great amount of volcanic action there has been in the case of the former and the negligible amount in the latter. It is probably true that mountain formation in which there has been involved a thick shell of the earth's surface which has necessarily pushed downward into the earth great depths has always been accompanied by much outpouring of lava; and that the reverse has been true in the case of the deformation, however intense, of a thin shell which has pushed its roots but a few miles downward instead of several scores of miles. A theoretical division might be made of the earth's mountain ranges into thin-shell, shallow-rooted mountains which have had little volcanic eruption-the Alps, the Jura, Scandinavian chain, Scottish Highlands, Brazil range, etc.; and thick-shell, deep-rooted mountains with very great lava output-Colorado Rockies, Cascade Range, western Andes, and the Abyssinian Mountains.
A TOPOGRAPHIC mapping of the republies of Santo Domingo and Haiti has been undertaken under the supervision of the United States Geological Survey through appropriations made by the respective governments. It is also reported by the Washington Academy of Sciences that Cuba and Porto Rico are expected to join in the work. A Division of West Indian Surveys has been created for this emergency and Lieutenant Colonel Glenn S. Smith placed in charge. Survey parties have already begun work in the Dominican Republic.
AN exchange of professors between the University of Chile and the University of California has been officially ratified by the government of Chile through its Minister of Public Instruction, Pablo Ramirez. This is the first definite step in a plan by which the University of California will become a center for exchanges of professors with the leading Hispanic countries of the world and for study of the historic and contemporary problems of these countries. Dr. Charles E. Chapman, associate professor of HispanicAmerican history in the University of California, will be the first exchange professor.
THOSE mammals of Australia which are now or in the past have been in the New York Zoological Park are the subject of a well illustrated paper1 by W. H. D. Le Souef, director of the Zoological Gardens, Melbourne. The Australian mammalian fauna, with its dingo, kangaroos, wallabies, koala, bandicoot, wombat, Tasmanian wolf, Tasmanian devil, and platypus, is the most peculiar found on any continent, and is always of interest to the general visitor at any zoological garden. The New York Zoological Park has a representative collection of Australian mammals for which the paper by Mr. Le Souef will serve as an excellent guide.
A SCIENTIFIC application of micro-cinematography, similar in some ways to that discussed by Mr. Charles Herm in a previous number of NATURAL HISTORY, is presented by Professor Herbert F. Moore, in Iron Age. Professor Moore has designed a micro-cinematograph which is attached to a metal testing machine. With this he is able to take views of the change in microscopical
1Zoologica, Scientific Contributions of the New York Zoological Society, January, 1919.
structure of the metals undergoing tests and then use these photographs for study and lectures.
THE publication of a work on the osteology of reptiles, left in manuscript by the late Samuel Wendell Williston, professor of paleontology in the University of Chicago, has been intrusted to Dr. William K. Gregory of the American Museum.
DR. W. K. GREGORY has in press two important monographs in the Memoirs of the American Museum of Natural History, one describing the Eocene lemuroid Primates, the group of animals from which the later monkeys, apes, and man evolved, the other, a comparative study of the lachrymal bone in the Mammalia.
DR. LOUIS DOLLO, of the Royal Museum in Brussels, who is one of the senior palæontologists of Europe, is engaged, it is reported, in the preparation of a monograph on the fossil reptiles of the Congo. He has already published a number of special papers in this field.
THE second award of the Elliot Medal for the leading publication in zoölogy or palæontology was made by the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, to Mr. William Beebe, curator of birds at the New York Zoological Park, in recognition of his Monograph of the Pheasants. Professor Henry Fairfield Osborn of the American Museum presented Mr. Beebe to the Academy. speaking of the Monograph Professor Osborn said in part:
"This is a profound study of the living pheasants in their natural environment in various parts of eastern Asia. There are nineteen groups of these birds: eighteen were successfully hunted with camera, with field-glasses, and when necessary for identification, with the shotgun. The journey occupied seventeen months, extended over twenty countries, and resulted in a rare abundance of material, both literary-concerning the life histories of birds-and pictorial, photographs and sketches. The journey extended over 52,000 miles; it ended in the great museums of London, of Tring, of Paris, and of Berlin, for the purpose of studying the type collections. Thus the order of the work was from nature to the museum and to man, rather than from man and the museum to nature.
"The Monograph covers the blood partridges, the tragopans, the impeyans, the gold and silver pheasants, the peacocks, the jungle fowl, and the history of the ancestry of our domestic fowls. It has important bearings on the Darwinian theories of protective coloration and of sexual selection, and on the De Vries theory of mutation. The fullgrown male and female characters, the changes of plumage from chick to adult, the songs, courtships, battles, nests, and eggs of nearly one hundred species are included and systematically described. The illustrations are by leading American and British artists. The haunts of the pheasants are shown in the author's photographs ranging from the slopes of the Himalayan snowpeaks, 16,000 feet above the sea, to the tropical seashores of Java."
To the four great murals by Charles R. Knight in the hall of the Age of Man at the American Museum has now been added a fifth, representing the Pleistocene life of northeastern North America, with its characteristic giant beaver, deer, moose, and tapir, the remains of which are found along with those of the mastodon in the peat bogs and later cave deposits of the North Atlantic States. A sixth mural painting by Mr. Knight, above the western archway of the hall, represents the Crô-Magnon race of man, the artist of the prehistoric cave paintings and sculptures of France and Spain and the forerunner in western Europe of the higher modern types of man among whom civilization arose.
DR. PLINY E. GODDARD, curator of ethnology in the American Museum, has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
THE seventy-second meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science met in St. Louis December 29 to January 3 under the presidency of Dr. Simon Flexner. The retiring president, Professor John M. Coulter, delivered his address on the "Evolution of Botanical Research" and President Flexner gave a lecture, complimentary to the members of the association and affiliated societies and the citizens of St. Louis, on "Present Problems in Medical Research." The Association recommended, among other things, that in con