Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 64.djvu/50

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46
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

flora are said to be poorer than those of the English island, but there are certain advantages in having the station established upon land possessed by the United States. This also applies to the Isle of Pines, which has been ably recommended by J. Fred Clarke.

The marine fauna of the Tortugas is greatly superior to that of the Florida mainland or Gulf Coast. Moreover, while the ocean water surrounding the Tortugas is of the purest the shore waters of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico are often charged with silt, and sullied with the drainage from mangrove swamps to such a degree as to be rapidly fatal to pelagic life. The littoral fauna of the mainland shores is

 

PSM V64 D050 Mastic point andros island bahamas.png

Beach Rock at Mastic Point, Andros Isd., Bahamas. A typical sea-worn rocky beach composed of agglutinated fragments of shells, corals, etc.

 

inferior to that of the Tortugas, and the greater heat, mosquitoes and occasional epidemics of mainland places render them undesirable.

The fauna of Bermuda is subtropical and consequently poorer than that of the Bahamas, Tortugas or West Indies. Judging from the results accomplished by Fewkes and others the pelagic life appears to be even poorer than that of the Bahamas, although the expeditions under Verrill have demonstrated that the littoral fauna is very rich.

Summing up, the question of site appears to have been narrowed down to a choice between the Tortugas and one of the Antilles, the favorite island being Jamaica. Before this question can be definitely settled some competent naturalist who is already familiar with the fauna and flora of one of these places should investigate the other with a view to drawing a just comparison between them. It is remarkable