The Zoologist/4th series, vol 4 (1900)/Issue 705/Editorial Gleanings

Editorial Gleanings (March, 1900)
editor W.L. Distant
3425482Editorial GleaningsMarch, 1900editor W.L. Distant


Part III. of 'The Vertebrate Fauna of Bedfordshire,' by J. Steele-Elliott, has reached us. The publication has hitherto been slow, but the author hopes to accelerate it in future. Of the Jay (Garrulus glandarius) we read that in northern Bedfordshire this bird is particularly abundant, and its depredations noticeable. "In Angers Wood during the present year (1899) I was particularly struck with the innumerable nests of Blackbirds and Thrushes, none of which contained eggs, and in all probability had been robbed by these 'avian birds'-nesters.'"

"The Caradoc and Severn Valley Field Club" have issued their 'Transactions' for 1899. In the account of a half-day excursion to Birmingham, which was principally undertaken to see the collection of British Birds in the possession of Mr. R.W. Chase, many interesting jottings will be found by the British ornithologist. "There are three specimens of Richard's Pipit, two of them obtained near Birmingham; and the only specimen of the Siberian Bunting obtained in Britain, taken at Flamborough Head."

The military correspondent of the 'Westminster Gazette' has brought the teachings of zoology to the aid of practical warfare. "I have a theory on this subject which I should much like to see practically tested. My readers will doubtless have noticed that the coats of all animals which depend for their existence on their comparative invisibility in their ordinary surroundings shade off to a lighter colour—usually white—underneath. I believe that, following this hint from Nature, our troops would become infinitely less conspicuous if their coats were of the ordinary shade of khaki or drab, their breeches somewhat lighter in tone, and their putties or leggings lighter still. At present, when men are dressed in one uniform tint of khaki, the lower limbs, being in shadow, appear very much darker, and consequently add to the conspicuousness of the soldier. This will be speedily noticeable if the photographs from the seat of war are studied. It will then be noticed that in many cases the upper halves of our troops are barely distinguishable, but that their lower limbs, much darker than the remainder, stand out quite sharply, though the colour of the clothes and the colour of the background are in each case the same."

This work was published before January 1, 1929, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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