Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/75

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speed, with his tail between his legs. It would be some time before he could be induced to enter the house again, and even then he would tremble violently.

Certainly in the case of this dog the mental phenomena exhibited can safely be termed superstition, and, whether it was normal or super-induced by momentary insanity, it was plain that for the time being he actually saw "ghosts." For this reason the case is a very interesting one, as it furnishes additional evidence of the similarity existing between the mental actions of man and those of the lower animals.


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FROM BUTTERCUPS TO MONK'S-HOOD.

By Professor GRANT ALLEN.

TO look at these queer, irregular blue flowers, growing on a long and handsome spike in the old-fashioned garden border, nobody would ever dream of saying that they were in reality altered and modified buttercups. And yet that is just what they really are, with all the marks of their curious pedigree still clearly impressed upon their very form. Pull one of the blue blossoms off, and pick it carefully to pieces, and you will see how strangely and profoundly it has been distorted by insect selection. Monk's-hood is most essentially a bee-flower, and in examining it we see the results of bee action plainly set forth in every organ. If we pick a common meadow buttercup for comparison with it, we shall be able to see exactly wherein the two flowers differ, as well as why the one has gained an advantage in the struggle for existence over the other.

The outside whorl of the buttercup consists, of course, of five separate greenish sepals, which together make up its calyx. Inside the sepals come the five golden petals composing the cup-shaped corolla; and inside the petals, again, come the numerous stamens, and the equally numerous carpels or unripe fruits, each containing a single solitary little seed. Moreover, all these parts are regularly and symmetrically arranged round a common center, so as to form a series of concentric whorls. But when we look at the monk's-hood we see no such simple and orderly arrangement in its architectural plan. At first sight, we recognize no distinct sepals or petals: and the colored organs that take their place are very irregular in shape, and disposed in an unsymmetrical fashion—or rather, to speak more correctly, their symmetry is not radial, but bilateral. When we begin to pull our blue blossom to pieces, however, we gradually recognize the various parts of which it is composed. First of all come five sepals, not greenish as in the buttercup, but bright blue; and not all alike, but specially modified to fulfill their separate functions. The uppermost sepal of