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talents and disinterested zeal of the above distinguished authors, could not have been undertaken, had it not been for the liberality of the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury, who, through the representation of the Right Honourable the Chancellor of the Exchequer, have been pleased to grant a sum of one thousand pounds towards defraying part of the expenses of publication.
I have myself published separate volumes on the Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs; on the Volcanic Islands visited during the Voyage of the Beagle;' and on the Geology of South America. The sixth volume of the Geological Transactions' contains two papers of mine on the Erratic Boulders and Volcanic Phenomena of South America. Messrs. Waterhouse, Walker, Newman, and White, have published several able papers on the Insects which were collected, and I trust that many others will hereafter follow. The plants from the southern parts of America will be given by Dr. J. Hooker, in his great work on the Botany of the Southern Hemisphere. The Flora of the Galapagos Archipelago is the subject of a separate memoir by him, in the Linnean Transactions.' The Reverend Professor Henslow has published a list of the plants collected by me at the Keeling Islands; and the Reverend J. M. Berkeley has described my cryptogamic plants.
I shall have the pleasure of acknowledging the great assistance which I have received from several other naturalists, in the course of this and my other works; but I must be here allowed to return my most sincere thanks to the Reverend Professor Henslow, who, when I was an under-graduate at Cambridge, was one chief means of giving me a taste for Natural History, —who, during my absence, took charge of the collections I sent home, and by his correspondence directed my endeavours,—and who, since my return, has constantly rendered me every assistance which the kindest friend could offer.
Down, Bromley, Kent.
Feb. 1st, 1860.
I TAKE the opportunity of a new edition of my Journal to correct a few errors. At page 83 I have stated that the majority of the shells which were embedded with the extinct mammals at Punta Alta, in Bahia Blanca, were still living species. These shells have since been examined (see 'Geological Observations in South America,' p. 83) by M. Alcide d'Orbigny, and he pronounces them all to be recent. M. Aug. Bravard has lately described, in a Spanish work ('Observaciones Geologicas,' 1857), this district, and he believes that the bones of the extinct mammals were washed out of the underlying Pampean deposit, and subsequently became embedded with the still existing shells; but I am not convinced by his remarks. M. Bravard believes that the whole enormous Pampean deposit is a sub-aërial formation, like sand-dunes: this seems to me to be an untenable doctrine.
At page 378 I give a list of the birds inhabiting the Galapagos Archipelago. The progress of research has shown that some of these birds, which were then thought to be confined to the islands, occur on the American continent. The eminent ornithologist, Mr. Sclater, informs me that this is the case with the Strix punctatissima and Pyrocephalus nanus; and probably with the Otus galapagoensis and Zenaida galapagoensis: so that the number of endemic birds is reduced to twenty-three, or probably to twentyone. Mr. Sclater thinks that one or two of these endemic forms should be ranked rather as varieties than species, which always seemed to me probable.
The snake mentioned at page 381, as being, on the authority of M. Bibron, the same with a Chilian species, is stated by Dr. Günter (Zoolog. Soc., Jan. 24th, 1859) to be a peculiar species, not known to inhabit any other country.