The Zoologist/4th series, vol 6 (1902)/Issue 727/Editorial Gleanings
In the December number of 'The American Naturalist,' Dr. H.W. Rand has given an extended abstract of Friedenthal's experimental proof of blood-relationship. The blood of the Cat and the Ocelot is physiologically equivalent. The carotid arteries of these two animals were connected so that an exchange of blood took place from one to the other. No hemoglobin appeared in the bladder of either animal. But if a Cat and a Rabbit be connected in the same way, both animals die in a few minutes from the poisonous effects of the foreign blood upon the central nervous system. The effect of human serum was tried upon the blood of six species of Apes—(Platyrhines), Pithesciurus sciureus and Ateles ater; (Catarrhines), Cynocephalus babuin, Macacus sinicus, M. cynomolgus, and Rhesus nemestrinus—at the Berlin Zoological Garden. In all cases the human serum dissolved the Ape corpuscles. Among the true Anthropoid Apes is found blood which is physiologically equivalent to that of man, as was proved by experiments made with an Orang-outang, a Gibbon, and a ten-year-old Chimpanzee, just as the blood of such widely separated races as the negro and white is physiologically equivalent. The writer concludes that such experiments justify the placing of man and the Anthropoid Apes together in the same family, "or at least in the same suborder, rather than isolating man in a suborder of primates, coördinate with the suborders of the Platyrhines and Catarrhines."
At a meeting of the Zoological Society on Dec. 17th, 1901, a communication was read from Mr. G. Metcalfe, M.A., of New South Wales, concerning the reproduction of the Duckbill (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). The author stated that he was of opinion, after many years' observation of the animal, that the Duckbill was viviparous, and that the young were not, as was generally supposed, hatched from the eggs after they had been deposited.
We have received from Cairo, 'Notes for Travellers and Sportsmen in the Sudan.' "Published by Authority." This will prove a most useful guide to naturalists or others proceeding to Khartoum. Routes and expenses are detailed. There are several restrictions. Anyone wishing to take skins, horns, &c, of any ruminant through Egypt must obtain a special permit, and the specimens must be packed in hermetically and Government-sealed tin-lined boxes or tins. Live ruminants—in consequence of the possibility of cattle plague being introduced—can only be exported viâ Suakim.
Mr. George Watson Cole, of New York, has sent us a privately printed Bibliography of the scientific results obtained by the 'Challenger' Expedition at and near Bermuda. To students of insular faunas this digest should prove a very great convenience.
Lord Curzon, whilst on his recent tour in Burma, gave an interesting reply to an address from the Burma Game Preservation Society. Speaking of game preservation in India and Burma, he said that, though he yielded to no one in his love for sport, he had to look at the question in the public interest, and he had no doubt that wild life in India was on the decrease. Thus Lions were shot in Central India up to the Mutiny; they are now confined to an ever-decreasing patch of forest in Kathiawar. Except in the native States, the Terai, and the forest preserves, Tigers are undoubtedly diminishing. The Rhinoceros is all but exterminated, except in Assam. Bison are not so numerous nor so easy to obtain as they once were. Elephants have already had to be protected in some parts; above all, Deer are rapidly dwindling, and many beautiful and harmless varieties of birds are pursued for their plumage. The causes of all this decrease in the wild life in India are various; some are natural in consequence of the increase of cultivation and population; others are artificial, such as the great increase in the number of persons carrying firearms of range and precision, the depredations of native hunters, and the shooting of immature animals and females. Some argued that wild animals were bound to disappear in India as surely as Wolves had in England, while others said that India was so vast, and had such large forest preserves, that wild animals may safely be left to look after themselves; but he did not agree with either of these propositions. Wild animals, he said, must not be fostered at the expense of the people, and the cultivator must have reasonable means of protection. The Government, hitherto, have not been very bold in their legislation; Elephants have been protected, a close season for certain kinds of game has been instituted, certain wild birds have been protected, and certain classes of animals have been protected in certain forest tracts. Whether these various measures may not be carried a little further was a matter which he promised to investigate. It was impossible to lay down rigid rules, for what was useful in one place might be injurious in another. A restriction on carrying arms by the imposition of a licence fee, the enforcement of a close season in regard to particular animals, restrictions on the facilities given to strangers to shoot game, and on the export of trophies and skins, were, he thought, matters worthy of consideration, and the Government would probably proceed on these lines.—Shooting Times.
We have received, with the greatest regret, the news of the death of Dr. T. Thorell, the distinguished arachnologist. Dr. Thorell was born in 1830, and died on December 23rd, 1901, at Helsingborg, Sweden.
It has previously been remarked in these pages that 1901 might be called the "Okapia year." We have now received 'The Song of the Okapi,' written by the veteran Secretary of the Zoological Society, Dr. P.L. Sclater, and set to suitable music.
- "Ueber einen experimentellen Nachweis von Blutverwandschaft," 'Archiv for Anatomie und Physiologie,' physiologische Abtheilung, Hefte 5 und 6, 1900.