Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 64.djvu/48

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44
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

gas is now a naval coaling station, and a naval surgeon is stationed at Fort Jefferson, which is in telegraphic connection with Key West. A large naval tug makes two regular trips each week to and fro between Key West and the Tortugas, completing the journey in less than six hours. The climate is rendered cool by the small land area and the almost constant breeze. There are no sand flies and practically no mosquitoes on Bird and Loggerhead keys, while the few mosquitoes

 

PSM V64 D048 Gulf weed and marine animals beached by storm gales.png

Gulf-Weed and Marine Animals cast upon the Beach of Loggerhead Key, Tortugas, by A Gale of seven hours' Duration.

 

at Fort Jefferson could be eradicated by screening the cisterns. The quarantine station has been removed, and the place is most healthful on account of its isolation.

With the exception of several species of gulls, numerous migrating birds and a few insects, the land fauna of the Tortugas is uninteresting, and the flora is limited to the few plants which can cling to beaches of coral sand. In these respects Jamaica is incomparably superior to the Tortugas. The social conditions, and opportunity for the study of a diversified land and fresh-water fauna and flora in Jamaica are far superior to those which may be enjoyed at the Tortugas. On the other hand, the Tortugas has a far richer pelagic and certainly equally good littoral fauna, the purest of ocean water, and it affords the best situation in the world from which to study the life and conditions of the Gulf Stream. To students from the middle west the Tortugas are more accessible than is Jamaica.