Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 14.djvu/257

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POPULAR MISCELLANY.

Flower Painting. Same publishers. Pp. 46. 50 cents.

A New Exposition of the Leading Facts of Geology. By Gideon Frost. New York. 1869. Pp. 80.

American Quarterly Microscopical Journal. Edited by Romeyn Hitchcock. Vol. I., No. 1. New York: Hitchcock & Wall. 1878. Pp. 98. $3 per year.

The Brain and Nervous System. By Dr. J. C. Reeve. Dayton, Ohio: Democrat print. 1878. Pp. 32.

Maximum Stresses of Framed Bridges. By William Cain. Hand-book of the Electro-Magnetic Telegraph. By A. E. Loring. New York: Van Nostrand. 1878. Pp. 192. 50 cents each.

Report of the Engineer of the Philadelphia Water Department. Philadelphia: Markley & Son print. 1878. Pp. 96, with Charts.

Ventral Pins of Ganoids. By James K. Thacher. From "Transactions of Connecticut Academy." Pp. 10, with Plates.

Life and Scientific Work of Charles Frederick Hartt. By Richard Rathbun. From "Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History. 1878." Pp. 27.

The Cambridge Boiler Explosion. By J. R. Robinson. Boston: A. Williams & Co. 1878. Pp. 40.

The Indian Question. By General Pope. Pp. 31.

An Animated Molecule. By Dr. Daniel Clark. Utica: E. H. Roberts & Co. print. 1878. Pp. 42.

Hygiene of the Eyes. By Dr. F. Park Lewis. Pp. 8.

Artificial Mounds of Northeastern Iowa. By W. J. McGee. From American Journal of Science. Pp. 7.

The Food of Illinois Fishes. By S. A. Forbes. From "Bulletin of Illinois State Laboratory of Natural History." Pp. 16.

Median and Paired Fins. By J. K. Thacher. From "Transactions of Connecticut Academy." 1877. Pp. 30, with numerous Plates.

Recording Articulate Vibrations. By E. W. Blake, Jr. From American Journal of Science. Pp. 6.

The Religion of Philosophy. By W. H. Boughton. Pp. 19.

On Repulsion resulting from Radiation. By William Crookes, F.R.S. From "Transactions of the Royal Society." 1878. Pp. 76.

An Elementary Course of Geometrical Drawing. By George L. Vose. Boston: Lee & Shepard. 1878. Thirty-eight Plates. $5.

 


POPULAR MISCELLANY.

A Hairy Water-Tortoise.—The following interesting bit of natural history is from the pen of Mr. Frank Buckland, in Land and Water: "Through the kindness of Mr. White, son of the late lord-mayor, I am enabled to give a representation of a most interesting little creature which he himself brought from China. It is a terrapin, or water-tortoise, which apparently has hairs growing out from its back. When it first arrived it seemed very unwell, and I do not wonder, for the poor little thing had not had anything to eat for some months. Knowing it was very intolerant of cold, I placed it in warm water, and kept it in a warm place, and the little thing shortly, to my delight, began to feed from my hand. It will snap at and devour little bits of meat, fish, shrimps, etc. As the little animal swims, the fibre of the vegetable growth hangs away from him so as to give him the appearance of an animated bunch of weeds. His face is very intelligent.

"Among the collection of Chinese and Japanese bronzes, drawings, pottery, etc., I have observed representations of various monsters, and among them those of tortoises with long tails. It now is certain from this specimen, so kindly given me by Mr. White, that the Chinese really have in their aquaria terrapins covered with this remarkable growth. If the hairy terrapins of the Chinese artists be founded on actual living specimens, may it not be possible that other of these well-known monstrosities—such as dragons—may have their origin from traditions, or may be late survivals of such creatures as the plesiosaurus, etc.? I have read somewhere that the Chinese are the direct descendants of Noah, and that when Shem, Ham, and Japheth, went respectively north, south, and west, Noah himself went east, and founded the great Chinese nation. Certain it is that they have traditions of birds and animals totally unknown to the present inhabitants of the earth. I do not know whether the growth upon this terrapin's back has been produced artificially or naturally. It is simply a water-grass, something like the weedy material growing on decaying wood-work and lock-gates of rivers. It is possible that the ingenious Chinese may have some way of doctoring up the living specimens of terrapins, of which I understand considerable numbers exist in the ditches and marshes of China. These Chinese, as we are all aware, are stated to have the art of making the large fresh-water pearl-bearing mussels secrete pearls, and cover over metal images placed within the shells for that purpose. If they can do this with the pearl shell, I do not see that it is impossible for them to make this vegetable material grow upon the back of a tortoise.

"In 1873 Mr. Sandilands kindly gave me