Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/441

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Edward S. Morse on the Brachiopoda as follows. Having made certain comparisons, they say: "After these analyses, it is self-evident that the brachiopods must be distinguished from the mollusks, and that the two represent perfectly different types of development. It is the merit of Steenstrup to have first recognized this, and indeed, as early as 1847, to have sought a connection of the brachiopods with the annelids. Independently of him, Morse has pursued the same road, and one may say decided the question by comparing, with great ingenuity and to the minutest details, the anatomy of the brachiopods with that of the worms and the mollusks, and has in this connection proved throughout their difference from the mollusks and agreement with the annelids." Gegenbaur also assumed the position of Steenstrup and Morse, and remarks in the second edition of his "Grundzuge" that the brachiopods have little more in common with the mollusks than the possession of a shell quite different from the housing integument of the latter, and form a small and sharply distinguished division, the origin of which may be traced back to the stem of the worm and specially of the chætopod.


Death of Professor William B. Rogers.—Professor William B. Rogers, ex-President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and one of its founders, died very suddenly of apoplexy, May 30th, during the exercises of the graduating class of the institution, which he was attending. He had begun making an address, and was reviewing what the institute had accomplished, when he was attacked. He was taken from the hall, and died in about twenty minutes. Professor Rogers was born in Philadelphia in 1805, and was one of four brothers, all of whom have distinguished themselves in science. He succeeded his father, Dr. P. K. Rogers, as Professor of Natural Philosophy and Chemistry in William and Mary College, in 1829, and was Professor of Natural Philosophy and Geology in the University of Virginia from 1835 to 1853. He removed to Boston, where he had since lived, in the latter year. He was President of the Institute of Technology from 1862 to 1868, and was President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1875. He was the author of works on the "Strength of Materials" and the "Elements of Mechanical Philosophy," and of many scientific papers. A portrait and sketch of Professor Rogers were given in "The Popular Science Monthly" for September, 1876.


The Mysterious Volcano of Apo.—The Governor of Davao, Mindanao, Philippine Islands, recently ascended a remarkable volcano called Apo. An expedition to the mountain had often been contemplated before, but had been prevented, partly by the unexplored and difficult character of the country, partly by the opposition offered by the natives, who, though nominally Mohammedans, believe that the summit of the mountain is inhabited by a demon to whom they are accustomed to make offerings when they think he is angry with them, or when they wish him to allow them to collect sulphur. The crater of the volcano was found to be 9,970 feet above the sea, extinct, and covered with vegetation within, although the temperature of the air was but little above the freezing-point. A wide chasm on the southern slope of the mountain was the seat of numerous solfataras, which, furiously spitting out sulphurous vapors with a fearful smell and roar, might well inspire fear in the minds of an ignorant populace. The Tagalaya stream, which rises on the mountain, and in the rough bed of which the ascent was made, brings down lumps of sulphur. A sharp cold prevails in the crater and on the mountain for three thousand feet below it, but the lava and ashes still radiate enough heat to be perceptible, and make one warm who lies down upon them; and, perhaps, to keep up the vegetation which manages to subsist there. Two petrified tree-trunks, which were noticed during the ascent, indicate that a very different vegetation formerly existed there.


Eggs of Reptiles and Insects as Food.—The eggs, even of animals which impress us most Unpleasantly, have their value as food, and seem to be capable of inspiring a relish in the palates of those who have learned to eat them. The eggs of most of the species of tortoises are excellent for eating, nutritious, and agreeable to the taste; and those