Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/287

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

to him into seven orders in his work Systema Naturæ (1735). Fabricius (a pupil of Linné) prepared a new classification of insects, founded on the structure of the mouth, and he renamed all the Linnæan orders, even where they coincided with his own.

From these and other sources Mr. Kirby selects only the nomenclature that is modernly accepted, and he gives a most interesting study in this volume. The chapters on the Hymenoptera class will be found to be of more zoölogical value than any account of the habits of bees, wasps, ants, etc., that has yet been published; and as this family is, industrially, of more consequence to the public than any other of the insect class, the selection of the Hymenoptera species for his most elaborate history is well chosen.

The analysis of the Lepidoptera family is treated very exhaustively. It comprises especially butterflies and moths, and the plates at the end of the book very fully illustrate the principal members of the species.

The Student's Handbook of Physical Geology. By A. J. Jukes-Brown, B. A., F. G. S. Second edition, revised. London: George Bell & Sons. 1892. Pp. 666. Price, $2.25.

This is a recast of Mr. Jukes-Browne's Handbook of Geology, to which he has added over one hundred pages, chiefly dealing with physiographical geology and the substructure of the earth's crust. He shows pretty clearly that, although physiographical geology is in the nature of an incidental study, it is nevertheless the most perfect basis upon which to form accurate geological beliefs, and he places this part of the work, very properly, immediately following the chapters on Dynamic and Structural Geology.

Perhaps the most interesting section of the work is that devoted to the underground circulation of waters. The mechanical effects of this subterranean water circulation are very important in geological research. In England and in many parts of the Continent and America they usually consist of landslips and cave formations; whereas in Ireland and in southern Germany the shell of land above the water is oftentimes "cracked," and, becoming detached from its moorings, travels a mile or two from its original location.

In the chapter on Igneous Rocks as Rock Masses, Mr. Jukes-Browne has given some highly interesting examinations of the porphyritic deposits of Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, clearly indicating the volcanic structure of these countries. In dealing with the influence of earth movements, the author quotes Prof. Powell in connection with the probable system and time of the bed formation of Colorado, and he says: "All the facts concerning the relation of the waterways of this region to the mountains, hills, canons, etc., lead to the inevitable conclusion that the system of drainage was determined antecedently. . . to the formation of the eruptive beds (lavas) and (volcanic) cones." The work is profusely illustrated.

The Earth's History. An Introduction to Modern Geology. By R. D. Roberts, N. A. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 1893. Pp. 270. Price, $1.50.

This is a useful little volume, giving an interesting sketch of the methods and chief results of geological inquiry; but the author errs, in the same manner that do most English scientists and writers of scientific English bibliology, inasmuch as that he assumes that "the geology of Great Britain is indeed, in epitome, the geology of the world." In his preface he says that although individual groups of rocks may be found developed on a grander scale in one or other of the continental areas, and that "particular scenic features, more majestic and impressive, may be found elsewhere; in no part of the world can so great a variety of geological phenomena (no doubt often in miniature), and so complete a system of natural agencies, either in active operation or displayed in their results, be observed than in Great Britain." The recent geological surveys of Arizona, California, and other American States had not apparently reached London when Mr. Roberts wrote his book, for in the ascertained stratigraphical conditions of these States we have a far more generous field for geological research than the well-ventilated analysis of British geological conditions can ever display. Nevertheless, the author has compiled a valuable text-book of preliminary examination of the study of geology, and in the chapters upon Aqueous Rocks and the Deposition in Past Times, and the Volcanic