Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/291

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279
LITERARY NOTICES.

dian Institute depicts a year of progress during 1888-89, and, according to the testimony of competent witnesses, shows that a wonderful amount of work was accomplished in proportion to the small sum of money which the society was able to command. Twenty-four ordinary meetings and thirty-six meetings of sections were held, at which seventy papers in all were read. The archæological report, by Mr. David Boyle, gives notices of several features of research and of the examination of a number of sites, and is accompanied by a paper on French relics from village sites of the Hurons, by Mr. A. F. Hunter, and a Bibliography of the Art and Archaeology of the Dominion of Canada and Newfoundland, by Mr. A. F. Chamberlan.

The work of the Geological and Natural History Survey of Minnesota in 1888 was prosecuted by two parties, one of which, under Mr. Uly S. Grant, was occupied during a part of the season in making collections of rock samples in certain typical crystalline formations in typical localities, and afterward in the iron-ore beds; and the other, under Mr. Horace V. Winchell, spent the whole season on the iron-ore beds. The work added materially to the exact knowledge of the geology of the northeastern part of the State, and particularly to that of the nature and relations of the iron-ores. A general presentation of this knowledge, in a somewhat systematic manner, has been attempted in the report. The superintendent of the survey, Prof. N. H. Winchell, is about to enter on the preparation of a final report covering the northern part of the State.

Observations on Sexual Selection in Spiders of the Family Altidæ is a paper published in the "Occasional" Volume of the Natural History Society of Wisconsin, by George W. and Elizabeth G. Peckham. The investigation which it records is directed to the origin — in spiders — of color, and its relation to sexuality, concerning which two general theories are offered by Mr. Wallace: first, that natural selection modifies color in the female for purposes of protection; and, second, that color may be produced or intensified when there is a surplus of vital energy, as in male animals generally, and sometimes in the females, and more especially at the breeding season. Unusual facilities are offered for testing these theories by the Araneides on account of the great numbers of their species and the wide differences between the several groups in habits and in amount of ornamentation. The study of several genera shows that, in the sedentary groups of spiders, while many of the species are plainly colored, there are nearly as many that present the most beautiful tints; and some of the wandering and very active groups are, for the most part, clothed in somber hues. Again, no relation is shown between the color development of the females and their nesting habits. The former observation is contradictory to the supposition of a causal relation between vital activity and color development; the latter to that of the need of a protective coloring, while nesting, by the female. A further explanation of the sexual coloring is then sought, with the conclusion that some groups of spiders have reached a condition of close harmony with their environment; this harmony being brought about through the same modifications of color, form, and habit as are seen among insects, to the attainment of the common ends of capture of prey and protection from enemies.

In Remarks upon Extinct Mammals of the United States, Dr. R. W. Shufeldt publishes studies illustrated, of Tinoceros ingens; The Ancestry of the Horse; Ancient Whales and Coryphodons; Half-Apes and Lemurs; the Saber-Toothed Tigers, and Hairy Mammoths and Sea-Cows.




PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED.

Allen, Harrison, M. D. A Clinical Study of the Skull. Washington: Smithsonian Institution. Pp. 77.

Almulac & Co., New York. The Rational Production and Treatment of Milk. Pp. 20.

American Naturalist, Philadelphia. Criticisms of United. States Geological Survey, Paleontological Department. Pp. 36.

Ashmead, William H. New Ichneumonidæ in United States National Museum. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 64.

Blackman. Frank W. Spanish Colonization in the Southwest. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University. Pp. 79. 50 cents.

Bloxam, Charles Loudon. Chemistry, Inorganic and Organic, with Experiments. Philadelphia: P. Blakiston, Son & Co. Pp. 799.

Bodine, J. M., M. D., University of Louisville Medical Department. The Four Commencements. Pp. 19.

Central Park Menagerie, New York. Report for 1889. Pp. 42.

Chamherlin, T. C, Madison, Wis. The Coming of Age of State Universities. Pp. 12.

Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. Bulletin No. 102. Fungicides. By Roland Thaxter. Pp. 7. — Annual Report for 1889. Pp. 280.