Page:Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal Vol 7, Part 1.djvu/484

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422
[May,
Account of the Hurricane near


Later naturalists in their attempts at generalization, have underrated the characters of the teeth, and overlooking the auxiliary characters im- pressed by the inhabiting molluscum on the shell, furnish a proof, if any were wanting, of the value of distinctions taken from the hinge, which will always be found to vary in nearly as great a degree as the inhabitant of the shell, to which we must ultimately look for those distinctions which will stamp the generic character with a real value. Where good opportunities may not occur of studying the animal of a bivalve shell, a careful consideration of the teeth aided by the situa- tion and length of the ligament and siphonal scar, will seldom, if ever, fail to indicate its true place in nature.

Lamarck imagined that the genus Galathea inhabited the rivers of Ceylon and India, and Rang appears to be equally ill informed on the subject of its true habitat. The specimen which Mr. G. B. Sowerby obtained for me in London, was stated to have been procured from the river Zaire or Congo. The complete occupation of Ceylon by the British Government, without the discovery and transmission of any of these shells from the island, ought to afford a sufficient evidence of its non-occurrence in that quarter; but the recent discovery of the jackal in the Morea by French naturalists, after the opportunities so long enjoyed by our countrymen of exploring that region had failed to elicit that interesting information, forbids our placing complete reliance on such negative evidence in disproof of the existence of Galathea in Ceylon.

In conclusion it is proper to remark, that I have not met with Sower- by's observations on Potamophila ; should he have indicated the correct place of the genus, I can only plead, as an excuse for my work of supererogation, that I have been misled by the statement of a later writer, who, from the nature of his work and his opportunities, ought to have been acquainted with the latest information on the subject of the Testacea, into the belief that the knowledge of the affinities of this shell had not only not advanced, but that it had retrograded since the date of Lamarck's publication.

Bareilly, Rohllkhund, March 1838.

IV. — Account of the Hurricane or Whirlwind of the 8th April, 1838.

By Mr. J. Floyd, (communicated by J. H. Patton, Esq. Magistrate of the 2A-Pergunnahs. ) (See Sketch in PI. XV III J *

Agreeably to your request I beg to hand you the following account of our visit to the villages that have suffered by the storm of the 8th instant.