In this way, the moner attains by degrees a certain size, and then stops growing and moving. It then becomes a little ball, exudes from its surface a colorless, homogeneous matter which hardens, forming a protecting envelope for the inclosed mass. Then, a very singular phenomenon occurs: by an act entirely spontaneous, the inclosed mass breaks up into a certain number of parts, which soon become independent, constituting so many little spherical masses lying side by side within the common envelope. The original moner then exists no more; it has reproduced itself by dividing itself up, without any intermediary, into these new individuals, its progeny. Each young moner is a determinate part of the mother-animal, and, leaving out of consideration what she exuded to form the envelope, all the rest of her substance is exempted from death, and is now to begin a new life, which in turn will pass through the series of transformations already described. The envelope will soon break up and set at liberty the young moners, which, from the first, resemble the mother-animal.
At the grade of extreme simplification of life presented to us in the moner, we have organization reduced to pure sarcode, and life manifesting itself by nutrition, reproduction, and contractility, each reduced to its barely essential function nutrition reduced to mere assimilation, reproduction to a spontaneous fission into a group of young (fissiparity), and contractility to the slow, diffusive movements of the pseudopodes.
Moners are mostly inhabitants of the sea. Some of them live at inconsiderable depths; but there is one, the Bathybius Häckelii, which lives at the enormous depth of 12,000 feet, and sometimes even of more than 24,000 feet. There is only one fresh-water moner.
Many naturalists rank moners among animals, classing them as rhizopods. Häckel, who discovered them, regards them as the representatives of an entire category of beings intermediate between animals and plants, the protista, so called from protos (first), because, according to this author, they are the first representative of terrestrial life, from which all other forms of life are developed, on the modern theories of Darwinism.—La Nature.
|A NEW METHOD WITH THE BRAIN|||
ALL are agreed that it is with the brain that we feel, and think, and will; but whether there are certain parts of the brain devoted to particular manifestations, is a subject on which we have only imperfect speculations or data too insufficient for the formation of a scientific opinion. The general view is that the brain as a whole sub-
- A paper read before the Biological Section of the British Association.