Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/646

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Conte has revised the essay, which appeared in the November Monthly, on the "Correlation of the Vital with the Physical and Chemical Forces," which is here reproduced; and an able lecture by Prof. Bain, on the "Correlation of the Nervous and Mental Forces," gives an instructive view of this branch of the subject. This little volume will therefore afford a fresh and complete exposition of the elements of the subject for the use of general readers.

On the Origin and Metamorphoses of Insects. By Sir John Lubbock, M. P., F. R. S. Illustrated. New York: Macmillan & Co. 1874. 108 pp., crown 8vo. Price, $1.50.

Sir John Lubbock is well known to the world as an archæologist and anthropologist, and perhaps less well as an entomologist. Yet he has contributed no less than thirty-five papers to the Royal Society, and to various magazines, on entomology, during the last twenty years; and, as he is not yet forty, we perceive that he must have studied the subject at a very early age. His first paper, "On Labidocera," appeared in the Annals and Magazine of Natural History for 1853.

The little work before us embodies, in a popular form, many of the more interesting results of his observations, condensed from the above-mentioned memoirs. The articles have already appeared in Nature, and the work forms the second volume of the "Nature Series" of books, which Messrs. Macmillan are now publishing.

The main subjects discussed are the classification, origin, and the nature of the different metamorphoses of insects; various views are traced, from the old standard "Entomology" of Kirby and Spence, one of the Bridgewater Treatises, to the more recent memoirs of Müller, Agassiz, and Packard. The intelligence of insects comes out in a remarkable light. Many of our readers will remember Sir John's tame wasp at a recent meeting of the British Association. He remarks: "We are accustomed to class the anthropoid apes next to man in the scale of creation, but, if we were to judge animals by their works, the chimpanzee and the gorilla must certainly give place to the bee and the ant." For example (page 2), the larvæ of certain insects require animal food as soon as they are hatched, and the mother-insect consequently provides them with caterpillars and beetles, by burying them in a cell, side by side with the unhatched larva. But here a difficulty arises: "If the Cerceris were to kill the beetle before placing it in the cell, it would decay, and the young larva, when hatched, would only find a mass of corruption. On the other hand, if the beetle were buried uninjured, in its struggles to escape it would be almost certain to destroy the egg." Look, then, at the wonderful, but diabolical, instinct of the creature. "The wasp has the instinct of stinging its prey in the centre of the nervous system, thus depriving it of motion, and let us hope of suffering, but not of life; consequently, when the young larva leaves the egg, it finds ready a sufficient store of wholesome food." A certain species of ants keeps Aphides in bondage, just as we do cows, for the sake of the honey-dew which they collect; a certain kind of red ant is indolent, and keeps black ants to do work for it. Once more, there is a kind of beetle which is blind and helpless, usually found in ants' nests; the ants care for all their wants and nurse them tenderly. These things, and much more, of the lives of insects, are told us in popular language in Sir John's book, which we recommend, not alone to the entomologist, but to the general reader.—Quarterly Journal of Science.

Henslow's Botanical Charts. Revised and adapted for Use in the United States. By Author:Eliza A. Youmans. Mounted on Rollers. Six in Number. Price, $18.00.

The botanical diagrams of the late Prof. J. S. Henslow, of Cambridge University, have long had a high reputation in England for their scientific accuracy, their completeness of illustration, and their skillful arrangement for educational purposes. They consisted of nine large sheets, and were published by the Science and Art Department of the English Educational Council. After bringing out her method of elementary botany in the First and Second Books, Miss Youmans felt the need of large colored illustrations of the subject; and, as Henslow's series was the most valuable yet prepared in any country, and too expensive to