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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/810

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

printed the names of the best-known representatives of the vertebrate kingdom that distinguish them. Such a series of maps or charts would be highly instructive to the visitor, useful at times in the lecture-room, and always a convenience to others.

Few departments will be more important than the photographic gallery, and it should be under the charge of a thoroughly competent photographer, who should also combine in his knowledge a familiarity with the habits of animals, and what is required of him through his art. He can be kept constantly at work photographing the rarer animals. Efforts should be constantly made to catch them in the act of any of their peculiar habits; pictures should be made of their young at all stages, the appearance of the dams at the various periods of gestation, the nesting of the various species of birds, and so on indefinitely. Further, he should be enabled to take photographs of special dissections of the prosector, and of casts and skeletons, and similar work. A full series of these photographs should be bound and kept on file in the collections of the establishment, as they will be of the very highest importance to the scientific taxidermist, artist, engraver, zoölogist, and others.

From one cause or another, a certain proportion of the animals die every year; and in the year 1887, in the London Gardens, for example, there were added twenty-five hundred and twenty-five animals of the three classes of vertebrates—quadrupeds, birds, and reptiles; and during the same year nine hundred and twenty-five died. Now, these dead animals are in the majority of cases of inestimable value, and no such material should ever be allowed to go to waste. It should come immediately under the charge of the prosector, so he may promptly direct what use is to be made of it. As a rule, it is not desirable for the garden to accumulate an anatomical collection, though it is highly useful for the prosector to have on hand preparations of certain forms; but, in the main, large skeletons or bodies of animals should be turned over to the city museums. In the case of duplicates, or where animals have died and their anatomical structure has been previously described, they may sometimes be sold or exchanged for living animals, or otherwise disposed of. Often small species can be at once consigned to alcohol, for the future use of the prosectorial department. Rare forms that are but slightly known morphologically should be thoroughly described and figured, either by the prosector or by special workers to whom such material may be sent for the purpose. These descriptions and figures should constitute the main feature of the published reports of the garden, and they should be got out in a style as handsome as printer and engraver can make them, and bound in a manner compatible with their importance and value. They will not make up, how-