Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 6.djvu/544

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

which this duality is forcibly thrust on the attention. As a consciously-held hypothesis is habitually based on some obtrusive instance of a relation, which other instances are suspected to be like, so the particular primitive notion which is to serve as an unconscious hypothesis, setting up organization in this aggregate of primitive notions, must be one conspicuously exemplifying their common trait.

First identifying this typical notion, we shall afterward have to enter on a survey of the general conceptions which result. It will be needful to pursue various lines of inquiry and exposition not manifestly relevant to our subject; and it will also be needful to consider the meaning of much evidence furnished by men who have advanced beyond the savage state. But this discursive treatment is unavoidable. Until we can figure to ourselves with approximate truth the primitive system of thought, we cannot fully understand primitive conduct; and, rightly to conceive the primitive system of thought, we must compare the systems found in many societies, helping ourselves, by observing its developed forms, to verify our conclusions respecting its undeveloped form.

 

CHAMELEONS—THEIR HABITS AND COLOR-CHANGES.
By J. FITZGERALD, A. M.

IN consequence of the incredible stories anciently told of the chameleon, one is hardly disposed to regard that animal as a reality; it appears to find its proper place in mythology rather than in natural history—among fabled dragons, centaurs, and griffins, rather than among the actualities of the animal kingdom. The chameleon, however, has a real existence; and, after fiction and fable are brushed aside, a very curious creature indeed remains. It belongs to the Saurian order (lizards). The genus Chamæleo embraces about twenty species, none of them American. With one exception, the common chameleon, which is naturalized in Southern Spain and in Sicily, these animals are found only in the warmer parts of Africa and Asia. The chameleon is from ten to fifteen inches in length, whereof one-half is represented by the prehensile tail. The body is roughly pyramidal in shape; the skin is covered with papillous elevations instead of scales, and these, in some of the species, assume the shape of spiny processes along the ridge of the back and the median line of the chest and belly. The toes, five in number, are divided into two opposable sets of two and three, the toes of each set being webbed down to the claws, which are long and sharp. The head is angular, rising into a pyramidal occiput. The eyeball is very large, protruding, covered with a single lid, which has a minute aperture in the centre