Page:Transactions of the Geological Society, 1st series, vol. 2.djvu/390

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
380
Mr. Webster on some new Varieties of Fossil Alcyonia.

stupendous and difficultly accessible masses of rock lying under the romantic cliffs of Western lines that I observed the singular parts of these organic beings which I shall now mention.

In this place I not only met with the stems above described in great abundance and perfection, but also having frequently attached to them heads or bulbous terminations, in form somewhat resembling a closed lily or rather tulip, Pl. 28, fig. 3. These, like the stems, although sufficiently distinct as to the general shape, were commonly so wasted by the weather, that good specimens were exceedingly rare. In some I found the distinct traces of organic structure.

Transactions of the Geological Society, 1st series, vol. 2 plate page 0641.jpg

All these heads possessed nearly the same form, but varied in length from live or six inches to half an inch; and I think it possible they may belong to several varieties of the same species, some differences being observable among them.

Pl. 28, fig. 4. & 5. are the heads attached to the branches so much resembling the parts of trees. In these the cortical part is often equally evident in the head as in the stem; but being in soft sandstone I could very seldom observe the organization. I remarked that some of the stems had also tumid parts not unlike the bulbous terminations. Pl. 28, fig. 6.

Heads similar in shape, but generally much smaller, were attached to the smooth cylinders in the limestone; and in these the cortical part was scarcely visible; whilst certain lines on the sides sometimes gave the appearance of petals, Pl. 28, fig. 7, 8, 9. On breaking them, slender tubes were seen passing through in a longitudinal direction; and one specimen displayed the internal structure very distinctly, fig. 10. From this it appeared, that these heads consisted of a group of tubuli now converted into and enveloped with stony matter; and in some of the specimens, as fig. 11.