SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE. 127
which led to a request for its publication. The intelligent public, with- out knowing much about the value of the osteological points under dis- cussion, were ready to grant that here indeed was the missing link, since the highest authorities in science were divided in opinion as to whether the remains belonged to a very low member of the human race or a very high member of the manlike apes. The conclusion would naturally follow that it made but little difference whether the remains proved to be those of man or monkey, as here was a creature so intermediate in structure that it stood on the dividing line, so to speak. In this little book Haeckel pre- sents the old evidences as to the structural similarities between man and the higher apes, and places the Java remains (Pithicanthropus erectus) as the last link in the chain of descent. He also traces the ancestors of the apes through the mammalian series down, step by step, to the lowest ver- tebrates, and on through the invertebrates to the lowest forms of life. The suggestions are in many cases hypothetical yet instructive, as showing the possible lines of descent.
The unaccountable attitude of the distinguished Virchow in the presence of these remains is in harmony with his uncompromising and, one might say, unreasoning attitude in regard to the derivative theory. Haeckel shows this up very clearly in the following, which we quote : " Virchow went to the Leyden Congress with the set purpose of disproving that the bones found by Dubois belonged to a creature which linked together apes and man. First, he maintained that the skull was that of an ape, while the thigh belonged to man. This insinuation was at once refuted by the ex- pert paleontologists, who declared that without the slightest doubt the bones belonged to one and the same individual. Next, Virchow explained that certain exostoses or growths observable on the thigh proved its human nature, since only under careful treatment the patient could have healed the original injuiy. Thereupon Professor Marsh, the celebrated paleon- tologist, exhibited a number of thigh bones of wild monkeys which showed similar exostoses, and had healed without hospital treatment. As a last argument the Berlin pathologist declared that the deep constriction behind the upper margin of the orbits proved that the skull was that of an ape, as such never occurred in man. It so happened that a few weeks later Pro- fessor [Mehring, of Berlin, demonstrated exactly the same formation on a human prehistoric skull received by him from Santos, in Brazil."
Mr. Rzissell expresses a hope that the review of some of the character- istics of rivers given in one of the chapters of his Rivers of North Amer- ica * may stimulate a desire in American students " to know more of the many and varied charms of their native land." The study of rivers is an alluring one, whether pursued upon the little local stream of one's neigh- borhood or upon the grand rivers that form systems and determine geo- graphical districts; whether made with the assistance of a fishing-rod or of a steamboat. It can not fail to be promoted by Mr. Russell's instructive book, which the local student or the excursionist may consult with profit, while the geographer and geologist will find it a convenient manual. A river, when we come to think of it, means a great deal. Economically, it is the most valuable topographical feature a country can possess; geologi- cally and geographically, it is a result of prominent features of the earth's structure, and is the cause of modifications in its surface which in time
- Rivers of North America. A Reading Lesson for Students of Geography and Geology. By Israel
C. Rossell. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp.327. Price, $2.