Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 17.djvu/879

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POPULAR MISCELLANY.

hybrids, grandchildren of the pure parents, were extremely fine birds, and resembled their hybrid parents in every detail. Mr. Darwin's success was not equal to that of Mr. Eyton, who reared eight hybrids from one set of eggs; and he attributes the difference in part to the close confinement in which the hybrid parents were kept and their close relationship. Another illustration of the possible fertility of hybrids to which attention has been directed, is given in Mr. J. A. Allen's "History of the American Bison," where it is said that that animal interbreeds freely with the domestic cow, and that the half-breeds are fertile.

 

The Highest Mountains of the Earth.—Hermann von Sclagintweit Sakünlinski, in the last volume of his journeys in India and high Asia, gives a table of altitudes, including statements of the heights of the most elevated mountains. The elevations are not extraordinary south of the Himalayas, the most marked ones being four mountains from 11,000 to 15,300 feet high in Assam, and the Sufed Koh peak in the Punjaub, 19,839 feet high. The eastern Himalayan district, embracing Bhootan, Sikkim, and Nepaul, contains the highest mountain known on the earth, which is called Mount Everest by the British, Gaurisankar by the people there, and is 29,002 feet high; and the third highest, Kintchinjunga, 28,156 feet high, and has besides thirty-two mountains of more than 20,000 feet, and thirty-two of more than 10,000 feet. The western Himalaya region, extending from Kumaon to Hazasa, exhibits the Nanda Devi in Kumaon, 25,749 feet, as its highest peak, and has besides twenty-nine mountains of more than 20,000 and 108 of more than 10,000 feet in height. In eastern Thibet are ten Alpine stations between Lassa and Guari Khorsum, more than 10,000 feet high, two of them reaching to 15,500 and 16,700 feet, and Lassa, the capital, is 11,700 feet high. Western Thibet, from Guari Khorsum to Balti, ranks next after the eastern Himalayan region in its elevations, having within its boundaries the second highest mountain known on the earth, the Dapsaug, 28,278 feet high, with twelve mountains of more than 20,000 and seventy-three of more than 10,000 feet in height. The highest point in eastern Turkistan is the summit of the Kwen-lun, 20,000 feet high. The great passes of the world are in this territory. They include the Kizilkonira pass in Yarkand, at an elevation of 17,762 feet, the Kilian pass in Khotan, 17,200 feet, and the Elchi-Davan pass in the Kwen-lun Mountains. The snow-line appears at a height of 15,100 feet on the north side of the Kwenlun, of 15,800 feet on the south side, of 18,665 feet on the western slopes of the Guari Khorsum, and 18,010 on the northern slopes; and phanerogamous plants reach up to 19,237 feet on the western side. The highest places inhabited by man are in Thibet at a height of between 14,800 and 15,000 feet, but above these are the Hanli Cloister, 15,117 feet, and the Thok Jalang gold-field, 16,330 feet. In all, these mountain regions contain seventy-three peaks more than 20,000 feet high, of which seventeen rise above 25,000 feet. Dhawalagiri, in Nepaul, 26,680 feet high, which was formerly considered the highest mountain on the earth, is remanded to the fifth place, being exceeded, besides the three already named as the three highest, by the Sisbut peak, in Nepaul, 27,799 feet.

 

Butter-making in Denmark and Sweden.—Some of the best butter in Europe is made in Denmark and Sweden, and commands a price in the London market 23 per cent, higher than the best Cork butter. Canon Bagot, who has taken pains to investigate this subject, ascribes this superiority to the education of the dairy-maids, which has been systematically pursued in Denmark since 1864 and 1865. In Sweden the dairy-maids are sent to a college and educated in dairy management for six months, at the end of which time they receive certificates and are considered competent to work in large dairies. Their instructions are very definite as to every feature of the operation of butter-making, including the quality of the salt and the coloring matter, and the food of the cattle; the quality of the butter is consequently uniform. A part of a lot of Cork butter may sometimes be sent back by the wholesale dealer because it is not equal to the rest, but this is said never to happen with Danish butter. The selection of the cows and the feeding of them are the first important points in the business. The Dan-