Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 6.djvu/527

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511
MISCELLANY.

lusks. Among the many naturalists who have indorsed this radical change in classification, Leidy, Mr. A. Agassiz, Hyatt, Packard, Barnard, Hartt, Tattle, and Dr. Coues, may be named for this country, and Mr. Darwin, Gegenbaur, Haeckel, and others, abroad. Mr. Morse also pointed out in the above memoir that, twenty years ago, Dr. Steenstrup, of Copenhagen, had entertained the same view respecting their affinities.

Recently, Dr. Kowalevsky, the celebrated Russian naturalist, has published in Moscow a memoir on the embryology of certain Brachiopoda studied in the Mediterranean, in which he not only fully confirms the embryological studies of Prof. Morse, but indorses the latter's view, that the brachiopods are annelids. In a review of Kowalevsky's memoir, published in the last number of the American Journal of Science and Arts, Mr. A. Agassiz, after calling attention to the striking manner in which the investigations of this writer confirm the view of Steenstrup and Morse regarding the affinities of Brachiopoda with annelids, goes on to say: "It is not out of place to recall the very ungenerous treatment which Morse received at the hands of many conchologists for the heresies of his paper on the systematic position of the Brachiopoda; and it certainly is a striking proof of the sagacity of Morse to have announced so positively, from the history of the American Brachiopoda, the vermiform affinities of brachiopods, now so conclusively proved by the development of Argiope in Kowalevsky's paper."

 

A Curious Winter Climate.—Prof. Frankland has communicated to the Paris Academy of Science some curious observations made by him in the Rhetian (Grisons) Alps, and specially in two villages situated at an altitude of 5,412 feet, and much frequented by consumptives. Last December, while the soil was covered with snow, at a temperature of 24° Fahr., Mr. Frankland found the patients spending the whole day out-of-doors, in the sunshine, and wearing the same clothing they usually wore in spring and autumn. On inquiring into the cause of this, Mr. Frankland discovered that a thermometer exposed to the sun's rays showed an atmospheric temperature of from 95° to 104° Fahr., that is to say, summer heat. Providing the air is calm, living in this atmosphere is very beneficial to persons affected with chest-diseases. The author at the same time perceived that this heating of the air takes place immediately on the appearance of the sun above the horizon, and that it continues till sunset. Further, he observed that if a thermometer be placed in an inclosed area, one of the walls being of glass, and the others coated with lamp-black, the inside temperature quickly rises to 221° Fahr.

 

Elongation of the Trunks of Trees.—Mr. Elias Lewis, Jr., of Brooklyn, recently read a paper before the Natural History section of the Long Island Horticultural Society, giving the results of some observations on this subject. He said: "If a tree-trunk lengthens by any process of interior enlargement, it is quite certain that marks upon its surface, or lateral branches, would be carried upward as growth went on. A branch projecting at a given height from the ground would, later, become more elevated." He cited an instance of an oak-tree near Miller's Place, in Suffolk County, L. I., which is evidently over a century old, from which projects an enormous branch at a height of seven feet from the ground. This branch is thirty feet in length, two-thirds that of the tree, and is just one-half the circumference of the trunk (which is 813 feet) where it issues. It is nearly horizontal, the inclination, which is upward, being very slight. At a distance of four feet from the tree, it rests upon a bowlder of great size, and spreads to a width of five feet; but the branch, in its under side, projects squarely against the face of the rock. The branch then rests on the rock about five feet, and from this point of support rises to its terminus. It is considered entirely certain that the branch began its growth when the tree was very small, and its growth has been contemporaneous with that of the trunk.

The under half of the branch, as remarked, is directly against the face of the rock, and could not have increased in length. The branch issued at about seven feet elevation, and this distance has not been increased, else, at its junction with