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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

occupied by American observers, the moment of first contact was accurately ascertained, despite a hazy atmosphere, and 13 photographs were taken. From Peking, which is station 2 in Prof. Langley's charts, we have as yet seen no report. At Nagasaki, the observers met with complete success. At Hobart Town, success was only partial; still 113 photographs were taken. The party whose station, according to Prof. Langley, was Bluff Harbor, New Zealand, seem to have located themselves at Queenstown, in that colony. Their observations were very successful, and "237 photographs were made of the first contact." From the remaining three American stations, viz., Chatham, Kerguelen, and Possession Islands, no report has yet been received.

Accounts from stations occupied by European astronomers report entire success at Cairo, Suez, Thebes (Egypt), Bushire (Persia), Calcutta, Rurkee, Kurrachee (India), Hiogo, Nagasaki, Yokohoma (Japan), Melbourne (Australia), Hawaiian Islands (3), and Tschita and Jalta (Russia). From twelve stations total failure is reported, and from seven partial success. The success of the American party in New Zealand is specially gratifying, as furnishing observations from a distant point in the Southern Hemisphere, to be compared with those taken near the same meridian in the Northern Hemisphere. The observers in the more remote islands of the South Sea (Chatham, Kerguelen, Possession) are not likely to be heard from for some weeks. Arrangements have been made by the British Astronomer-Royal to have dispatches from these islands forwarded at the earliest possible moment.

The zeal of the various governments in equipping expeditions for observing this transit is without parallel. Concerning the part taken in this noble strife by the United States, Nature observes as follows: "The United States lead all the other nations in respect both to the amount of money which her Government has contributed, and of the discomfort, not to say dangers, of the stations she has chosen in the southern seas. Posts of importance, which were given up as too hopelessly miserable even for enthusiastic English astronomers, have been occupied by Americans."

 

Systematic Position of the Brachiopoda.—The Brachiopoda is a class of animals peculiar to the sea, and their remains fill the rocks of past ages Their bodies are protected by bivalve shells, which externally bear some resemblance to the shell of Anomia and other mollusks; and most of them live attached to the sea-bottom by a sort of fleshy stalk or peduncle. It was formerly believed that all Brachiopoda were so attached; but the genus Langula, first carefully studied in the living state by Prof. Edward S. Morse on the coast of North Carolina, was found by him living free in the sand. He published a brief account of his discoveries in the American Journal of Science and Arts; and since then the late Dr. Stolinsky, Director of the Geological Survey of India, has confirmed his work by observing the same peculiarities in the large Lingula anatina in the Indian Ocean.

From the beginning, the brachiopods have been unhesitatingly classed with the mollusks—neither Cuvier, Owen, Vogt, Hancock (whose remarkable memoir won for him the gold medal of the Royal Society), Huxley, Davidson, nor others who have written on the subject, having even suggested that they belonged elsewhere. After long and industrious study, Mr. Morse, in 1870, boldly announced, in the American Naturalist, his belief that the brachiopods were true annelidan worms, and had not the slightest relation to the mollusks. Of course, such revolutionary views were utterly denied by the conchologists in this and other countries; nevertheless, Morse persisted, and he now has the satisfaction of seeing his discoveries indorsed by many of the leading naturalists of the world. From time to time since 1870 he has published, in the "Proceedings and Memoirs of the Boston Society of Natural History," the results of his studies on the Brachiopoda, and was the first to throw light on the embryology and early stages of certain members of this class. Last year, for the first time, he gave a complete history of one of its forms, from the egg to maturity, illustrating his memoir by two steel plates, containing over one hundred figures. The discoveries there recorded fully vindicated the position he had previously maintained, that the brachiopods were annelids, and not mol-