Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 50.djvu/131

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

geological papers in the American Association, and took part in the discussions of them. The phenomena of the drift period and the signs of glacial action attracted his attention; but, living in the heart of the new red sandstone region of Connecticut, his closest studies were directed to that formation, and the fruits of them appear in several papers in the American Journal of Science. In these papers he described the allied sandstones of New Jersey as well as those of Connecticut, with their fossils, ripple marks, and evidences of the fall of raindrops. His son, John H. Redfield, having, in a description of the fossil fishes of the Portland quarry near Middletown, showed that their structural affinities pointed to a higher position for the sandstone than had previously been assigned to it, he continued the study and published descriptions of several new species of ichthyolites. The last paper he read before the American Association was on the Geological Age of the Sandstones of Connecticut and. New Jersey, and the Contemporaneous Deposits of Virginia and North Carolina. He proposed for them the name of the Newark group, and showed that the ichthyolites contained in them pointed unerringly to the Jurassic group. The collection of fossil fishes which he formed in the course of this study, with special reference to a monograph upon them, was regarded by Prof. Olmsted as having been probably unequaled in this country.

Mr. Redfield was an active member of the American Association of Naturalists and Geologists, and was the originator of its enlargement into the American Association for the Advancement of Science—"the first," Prof. Olmsted says, "to suggest the idea of the American Association on its present plan."

Prof. Olmsted gives a list of sixty-two scientific papers in meteorology, physics of the globe, and geology, on steamboats, etc., published by Mr. Redfield. Forty-five of these are to be found in the first fifty volumes of the American Journal of Science, and twenty-eight of them are registered in the catalogue of the Astor Library.


Seeking to determine what attracted insects to flowers—whether the color, shape, or odor—M, Félix Plateau experimented with single dahlias trained against the wall. He disguised the flowers in a variety of ways, covering them all over with variously colored papers, leaving the yellowish centers of tubular flowers, giving different shapes to the papers, covering with green leaves, and so going through the changes. It seemed all the same to the insects: they found the flowers and enjoyed themselves with them in their usual way. M. Plateau concludes that the attractions of the flowers are not in their form or color, but that the insects are drawn to them by some other sense than that of sight, probably by the smell.