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and all have gills for breathing the air contained in the water. Tiphobia horei is certainly like nothing in the earth or in the waters under the earth: that it has no proper epidermis shows, I think, that the waters of the lake must be very pure from any kind of free acid. Neothauma tanganyicense is like a Paludina, but its size and lengthened anterior canal remind one of shells from North America. Limnotrochus Kirki is the greatest gem of all. It seems to mimic Echinella, a marine littoral form, and figuratively is miles away from any known fresh-water species. Melania horei is a world-wide form, selected because it is so like a shell I found in the Fountain of Elisha. Paramelania damonis is a beautiful shell, quite marine in its aspect. Melania admirabilis, has been so called, I suppose, because, being a vegetable feeder, it looks so like an animal feeder. Lastly, Melania nassa is, if I may so say, absurdly like some well-known forms of Nassa, sea-shells and animal feeders. Not a true air-breathing fresh-water species, like our pond-snails, was in the list, though plenty of true air-breathing land-shells were found on the shores of the lake.
How strange this tendency to the imitation of marine forms, in the very heart of Africa! Are they vestiges of a time when Africa was submerged, and sharks and whales swam over the spot where Ujiji now stands; and, as the land rose, and the waters drained away, did the ancient seashells, the Nassæ and Littorinæ, accommodate themselves to less and less of salt in their surrounding element, the former of these, moreover, adopting a vegetable diet; the animals losing their long necks, and their shells becoming rounded in front? If so, we have mollusca placed in one genus, which, in their pedigree, were wide asunder—a converging instead of a diverging pedigree! But, in this case, what becomes of the dogma of monophyletic descent? Or we may suppose that these wonderful shells are the representatives of
ages of evolution on the spot; dating from the time when, as Haeckel asserts, the first mollusc was derived from a worm with a body cavity. A single case of fortuitous pseudomimicry is conceivable, but the probabilities against it mount up, in a geometric ratio, with every additional distinct point of resemblance. And when several examples occur together, to believe such quasi-mimicry to be the result of chance must be, in a scholastic aspect, very meritorious. It seems to myself that the path of least resistance in which, as some say, we are all compelled to travel, leads to the conclusion that some of these shells from Tanganyika are descended from marine progenitors.
The Rev. H. H. HIGGINS exhibited and made remarks upon some specimens of Pentacrinus or Sea Lily, recently added to the Free Museum. They were sent, with various Corallines, Cirripeds, Sponges, etc., at the suggestion of Dr. Martin Duncan, F.R.S., by Mr. Alleyne S. Archer, of Barbadoes, through the kind offices of Sir T. Graham Briggs, Bart., Member of H.M. Council and of the Federal Council of the Leeward Islands.
Dr. HICKS read a paper on "The Development of the Sea Hare."
Mr. T. J. MOORE exhibited a group of specimens of the Coney of Scripture, Hyrax siriacus, and their skulls, specially collected for the Liverpool Free Public Museum by Mr. H. Heywood Jones during a visit to Palestine in the spring of 1881.
Mr. MOORE also exhibited sketches of a specimen, twenty feet long, of a Xiphioid Whale, Hyperoodon Butzkopf (H. rostratus), captured Sept. 2, 1881, on the Lancashire side of the river Mersey, near Speke, the skeleton of which had been secured for the Liverpool Museum. This makes the fourth capture of this species in the Liverpool district; three others being recorded by Mr. Byerley, in his Fauna of Liverpool, 1854, p. 9.
Some rare plants from the Botanic Gardens were exhibited by Mr. RICHARDSON, the Curator.
SECOND ORDINARY MEETING.
ROYAL INSTITUTION, October 31st, 1881.
EDWARD DAVIES, F.C.S., F.I.C., PRESIDENT, in the Chair.
Dr. R. Williams, Professor G. H. Rendall, M.A., Principal of University College, Professor Oliver J. Lodge, D.Sc., of University College, and Messrs. A. T. Smith, E. Mount, and J. W. Rennie were elected Ordinary Members.
Mr. WALTHEW exhibited a Japanese educational work, containing actual specimens of various kinds of woods attached to each page, the names, in Japanese and European characters, being appended to each specimen.
Mr. JOSIAH MARPLES then read a paper, entitled, "Some Notes on the last months in the Life of Mary Queen of Scots, hitherto unpublished in England."*
THIRD ORDINARY MEETING.
ROYAL INSTITUTION, November 14th, 1881. EDWARD DAVIES, F.C.S., F.I.C., PRESIDENT, in the Chair.
Messrs. R. J. Lloyd, B.A., and G. Eyre Evans, and the Rev. S. Fletcher Williams were elected Ordinary Members.
The Rev. HENRY H. HIGGINS said that all the members of the Society would be gratified to hear that one of their VicePresidents, Dr. Campbell Brown, was, on Nov. 12th, elected to the Professorial Chair of Chemistry in University College, Liverpool.
Mr. HIGGINS exhibited some implements supposed to have * See page 25,
been made and used by the native Carib Indians of the Island of Barbadoes. They resembled adzes, and were cut and ground from the shell of Strombus accipitrinus, which is common in the West Indies. They had been sent as a present to the Liverpool Museum by Sir T. Graham Briggs, Bart., of Barbadoes.*
Mr. HIGGINS called attention to some observations recently made with instruments of great delicacy at Cambridge, showing that, to the depth of many feet, the crust of the earth was constantly subject to tremors, varying in intensity. So sensitive was the reflecting apparatus used, that the indications had to be observed from a distance through a telescope, the slightest change in the position of the observer, if within a few feet of the mirror, producing violent agitations. Mr. Higgins thought that the continuance of these tremors in rocks, through long geological ages, might have affected their internal structure, and might, to some extent, explain the formation of flints in chalk, in which the silica from many thousands of sponges and Polycistinidæ must have combined to form one large nodule of flint.
A paper was then read by Mr. CHARLES H. BELOE, M. Inst. C.E., on "The Life-saving Service of the United States of America." t
FOURTH ORDINARY MEETING.
ROYAL INSTITUTION, November 28th, 1881.
EDWARD DAVIES, F.C.S., F.I.C., PRESIDENT, in the Chair.
Messrs. W. Danger, Jas. Parkyn, and R. M. Sumner were elected Ordinary Members.
* See report of following Meeting, November 28th, for Notes by FleetSurgeon J. Linton Palmer, R.N.; also paper by Rev. G. J. Chester in the Archæological Journal, for 1870, vol. 27.-T. J. MOORE.
† See page 57.
The following Notes on the Shell Tools from Barbadoes exhibited at the last Meeting by the Rev. H. H. HIGGINS, M.A., were then read :
SHELL TOOLS FROM BARBADOES.
By J. LINTON PALMER, FLEET-SURGEON, R.N., F.S.A.,
AT our last Meeting, some implements made of shell were exhibited and commented on by the Rev. Mr. Higgins. Having been led, from their look, to think they were either of aboriginal or pre-historic date, I took the trouble to inquire into their history, and will briefly say what is known about them.
Barbadoes is composed of coralline limestone. There are well-marked terraces of elevation or upheaval. There is neither primary nor secondary rock in the island. If any specimen could be found, it would either have been drifted ashore, entangled in the roots of some tree (as happens in the Radack Archipelago),* or imported by man.
Shell is very abundant-Genera Cassis, Conus, Strombus, in particular. Strombus is the genus mostly used in Barbadoes.
Fossil shells of the same genera are also found embedded in the limestone, and these were used where tools of greater hardness were wanted. I show one of them.
I beg of you to notice how important is this fact in its bearing on the subject of pre-historic implements.
In Barbadoes, shell was almost exclusively used for tools. In other West India islands-St. Vincent, for examplestone tools are common, and found in great numbers, but no shells, as tools of that kind were not worth being imported.
Some few stone tools have been found in Barbadoes. One of these was in a grave, in which was a skeleton in a