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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/804

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

It is here, again, that a thousand facts each year are brought directly under the observation of the naturalist and specialist in every department of biology—nidification in all its details among birds; all the data in connection with the breeding habits of mammals; and a volume of unwritten lore having reference to the life-histories of our native reptiles and their kin.

Nor is this all, for it is at the zoölogical garden that the morphologist, surrounded as he there is by all the conveniences that civilization can bring, finds that priceless opportunity to carry on his researches upon the structure of animals, in ways that he could not do under any other circumstances; for material is here brought before him that, as a rule, not only admits of the investigation of individual forms, but from its abundance enables him, like Garrod in London, to draw conclusions from the anatomy presented by whole natural groups, and thus science is an enormous gainer.

It will be seen, then, from what has gone before, that not only are great pleasure and enjoyment of a highly elevating character brought to thousands of people annually, who have the opportunity of frequenting a large zoölogical garden, but those ultimate ends of all human activities—education, culture, art, and science—are immensely benefited thereby; and this implies a powerful and constant operation of a good influence for all mankind.

When a city distinguished as being a scientific center, or may-hap the national capital—and this itself may be such a city—determines upon establishing a zoölogical garden within its precincts, a great deal depends upon the site which is chosen for the purpose.

If possible, the form of the grounds should be a regular figure, an oblong being one of the best, with a long side toward the direction whence come the prevailing winds, as this assists in securing good ventilation; and the area should include at least two hundred to two hundred and fifty acres. The site should be within some convenient distance of the city museums and libraries; surely not separated from these by more than three miles at the most. Another matter of great importance is the character of the country, which should be as diversified as possible; and the inclosure should contain a few sizable ponds or a good, strong stream of water, in which event the former can be easily constructed artificially. Old trees in groups; some low, level marshland; and some hills and rocky portions, are all points of extreme natural advantage. These latter features, if marked, usually insure, too, another benefit, for then hilly or broken country is likely to be found immediately beyond the limits of the garden, which, though conducive to the building of handsome suburban residences, is not likely to fill up entirely with houses as the city in-