Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 8.djvu/447

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LIFE IN GREENLAND.

Australian region and connected as respects its order with triassic times, and possibly even as regards its family also, though certainly [as regards the latter) with the time of the post-tertiary geological deposits.

We have seen what are didelphous and what are monadelphous mammals; what are the respective values of the terms "order," "family," and "genus," and also in what respect the kangaroo differs from the other families of the marsupial order. We have also become acquainted with the distribution of organic life now and with the interrelations of different geological strata, as far as those phenomena of space and of time concern our immediate subject.

By becoming acquainted with these matters, and by no other way, is it possible to give an intelligent answer to the question, "What is a kangaroo?"—Popular Science Review.

 
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LIFE IN GREENLAND.

THE Danish settlements in Greenland date from the year 1721, when a colony was established at Godthaab, in latitude 64 north. The country had been visited and colonies settled there as early as the tenth century by Icelanders; but these Icelandic colonies were utterly destroyed, probably by the pestilence known as the "black-death" in the fourteenth century, or early in the fifteenth. The present Danish settlements are all situated on the west coast, and contain about 10,000 inhabitants, all Esquimaux with the execution of a few hundred, who are Danes. The region of Disco Bay may be regarded as the type of the entire western coast of Greenland. The aspects of Nature and the conditions of human life, as presented in this region, are graphically portrayed by Dr. Robert Brown, F.R.G.S., in the Geographical Magazine, and in the following pages we purpose to epitomize, for the benefit of our readers, the account given by this very competent observer. Dr. Brown, we would add, is probably the highest living authority on all scientific questions connected with Greenland; he has written a number of memoirs upon the geology, meteorology, etc., of the country, which are held in the very highest esteem by men of science.

Disco Bay is situated between the parallels of about 68° and 70° north latitude. On the west lies Disco Island, and on the east Greenland. Nowhere are the cliffs high, and the southern shore is in general flat and uninteresting. About Christianshaab (latitude 69°), and farther to the north, the shores are backed by bare rocky hills of about 1,000 or 1,200 feet—rounded knolls of gneiss, ice-shaven and worn. Between these higher grounds run birch and willow-covered