The Zoologist/4th series, vol 3 (1899)/Issue 693/Editorial Gleanings

Editorial Gleanings (1899)
editor W.L. Distant
3266442Editorial Gleanings1899editor W.L. Distant


Mr. W.F.R. Weldon, Professor of Zoology at University College, London, has been elected Linacre Professor of Comparative Anatomy at Oxford, in succession to Professor Ray Lankester, resigned, but now directing the Natural History Department of our British Museum.

The Manchester Microscopical Society does not limit itself too severely to microscopic work. Its 'Transactions,' of which the last Annual Report for 1897 (issued July, 1898) is now before us, contains a number of most interesting natural history communications. Mr. W.F. Keeble gives his "Impressions of Tropical Life" during a stay in Ceylon, from which we extract the following quite original observation:—"One of the strangest sights I ever witnessed was an ant-army marching beneath shields of butterfly wings. The heavy tropical rain which prunes so vigorously the trees, and breaks down branches, leaves, and flowers, had no doubt surprised a flight of butterflies and destroyed them; the ants had found them, disarticulated each wing, and were bearing off the gaudy treasure, though for what purpose I do not venture to suggest."

We extract the following note from 'The Halifax Naturalist' and Record of the Scientific Society, vol. iii. 1898-99:—

Natural History Notes from Churchwardens' Accounts.—The following extracts, quoted in the Rev. Mark Pearson's 'Northowram' from 'Ye Olde Towne's Books,' show that Foxes and Polecats formerly existed in the parish, though they are now, and have probably for a long time been, exterminated—

"May 11th, 1677.—The account of Joshua Crowther, Church-warder for ye yeare just past:—June 7th, paid for a Fox head, £00 01s. 00d.

"May 30th, 1688.—John Morris, who was Church-warden last year:—For 8 Urchins (Hedge Hoggs) and 1 Polecat, £00 01s. 06d."

"Hedgehogs, it might be mentioned, are still not uncommon in the district, though not often seen. In the grounds at Warley House they were recently so numerous as to be a pest, and they may be met with in woods in the Ryburn Valley, and about Hebden Bridge."