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except during the paroxysms; the special nerves are the seat of the disease, and death ensues from asphyxia. In hydrophobia, not only the spinal nerves, but the medulla oblongata and the brain are affected. There are many cases of hydrophobia reported, but genuine cases are quite rare.
Dr. A. A. Gould mentioned the cases of a family of “bleeders,” in which this idiosyncrasy of profuse and uncontrollable hemorrhage from trifling wounds was hereditary for four generations. The cases had come under his own observation. Every one of the males was a bleeder, but not one of the females. There was also the usually observed tendency to rheumatic pains in these individuals.
Dr. Burnett read a paper on the “Intimate Structure of Muscle,” in which he combated Martin Barry's idea, that animal fibre is composed of twin spiral filaments. He considered the spiral arrangement as an accident, and not an essential character ; he exhibited specimens under the microscope in confirmation of his views.
Professor Wyman observed that the same course of development mentioned by Dr. Burnett as occurring in the formation of muscular fibre, or cells arranging themselves in linear series, then forming fibrillæ and striæ, he had noticed in the scale of animal life; as you ascend from the Polyp, where there is nothing but cells, to the higher forms of life, the linear arrangement, the fibrillæ, and the striæ successively make their appearance in the muscular structure.
Dr. Storer alluded to the sudden death of J. E. Teschemacher, Esq., a Fellow of the Academy, and spoke in the highest terms of his attainments in natural science, especially mineralogy, geology, and botany; and of the qualities which made him in every respect a most estimable man.
D. A. A. Gould observed, that, in addition to his purely scientific attainments, Mr. Teschemacher was an excellent linguist, and eminent for his knowledge of horticulture and agriculture. His latest investigations had been to ascertain from what kind of plants coal has been formed; his collection of specimens illustrating this point was astonishingly large and rich, and his death will be a very great loss to this little cultivated and little known branch of natural science.
Three hundred and eighty-seventh meeting.
November 9, 1853. — QUARTERLY MEETING. The PRESIDENT in the chair.
The Corresponding Secretary read a letter from Professor Mittermaier, of Heidelberg, acknowledging his election as Foreign Honorary Member of the Academy; also letters from Rev. Thomas Hill, Dr. S. Parkman, and Dr. B. E. Cotting, severally acknowledging their election as Fellows of the Academy.
On motion of Professor Peirce, it was
“ Voted, That the Academy hold meetings for scientific discussion on the last Tuesday of every month, at their Hall."
Dr. B. A. Gould, Jr. announced, that a complete catalogue of the books and pamphlets in the Academy's library had been made by the Recording Secretary, and reported sundry regulations made by the Committee on the Library for the circulation, return, and safe-keeping of the books.
Mr. B. A. Gould alluded to the recent death of M. Arago, a Foreign Honorary Member of the Academy, and offered the following preamble and resolutions : “Whereas, when men who have conferred benefits upon
race, or extended the domain of science, are removed from the world, it is but fitting that those who appreciate their services, and especially public bodies, should join in doing honor to their memory,
" Resolved, That the Academy has received information of the decease of its illustrious member, Arago, with a profound sense of the loss sustained by science and by humanity, and desires thus to express its sentiments of respect for the memory of the distinguished scientific investigator and philanthropist.
“ Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted to the family of the deceased."
The resolutions were unanimously adopted.
Professor Agassiz made a verbal communication on some new species of cartilaginous fishes which he had discovered on the coast of the United States, which were especially interesting for the study of the relations existing between fossil and living types. America contrasts strongly with Europe in the number of living species belonging to genera of animals which also exist in a fossil state ; the old types are so much more numerous here, that this continent to the paleontologist has quite an old-fashioned appearance.
The Port Jackson Shark is the only type of its family now represented by a living species in the Old World. He had found on our coast eight genera of cartilaginous fishes not noticed before. The genus Carcharias is not found fossil, and the living species are few. The genus Odontaspis, found fossil as low as the chalk, has two representatives on our coast, one in Long Island Sound, the other on the coast of South Carolina; to this genus he thinks the Squalus macrodon of Mitchell belongs. To this genus, also, belong most of the fossil teeth of our tertiary deposits; many of these, previously considered as belonging to the genus Lamna, he was now, from examination of living representatives, able to refer to their true genus, Odontaspis. The old genus Lamna he had divided into Lamna and his genus Oxyrhina. Of the genus Galeocerdo, geologically very important, with teeth serrated and curved backwards, he had obtained a species as far south as South Carolina. Fossils of this genus are found in deposits as early as the cretaceous; the genus Galeus differs in the serrations of its teeth. The large teeth found at Gay Head and Marshfield belong to the genus Carcharodon. Dr. Andrew Smith found a representative of this genus at the Cape of Good Hope. Professor Agassiz had received a jaw of a living species from Nantucket, and some teeth from Cape Cod, belonging to this genus. This, then, is another of the old types found on our coast. It differs generically from Carcharias ; the differences do not depend so much on the position of the teeth in the jaw, as on the structure of the teeth, which are hollow in Carcharias and full in Carcharodon, though a careful comparison will reduce the number of established species of fossil Carcharodons. He had also discovered new genera of Scates. Of the three fossil genera, Myliobates, Zygobates, and Aëtobates, the first is found living in the Old World, while the second and third are unknown there, except as fossils; all these genera have been found living in North and South America. Of the genus Raia, of which there are vast numbers in Europe, the number is diminished in America by at least one third.
Professor Peirce made a communication on a new view of the fundamental principles of Analytic Mechanics.
Three hundred and eighty-eighth meeting.
November 17, 1853. — ADJOURNED QUARTERLY MEETING. The President in the chair.
The time of this meeting was occupied in the transaction of business.
A communication was received from Mr. C. O'Brian, requesting permission to publish in a scientific periodical, about to be established in Cambridge, the proceedings of the Academy. The communication was referred to the Committee of Publication.
Three hundred and eighty-ninth meeting. November 29, 1853. — Second November Meeting. DR. CHARLES Beck in the chair.
Dr. Burnett made a communication on the development of organs, especially of those of glandular structure ; in which he traced the progress from a' mass of cells, arranging themselves in linear series, through the various stages of lateral saccations or diverticula, and the dichotomous ramifications dividing and subdividing to form the intricate structure of the organs. For instance, the ureter, first formed, undergoes this multiplied ramification till it forms the glandular structure of the kidney. This arborescent character of organic development, homologous perhaps with the branching of polyps, reduces the process of development to an extremely simple formula.
Professor Agassiz observed that the heart, which he had studied especially in fishes, makes its first appearance as a mass of apparently homogeneous cells; the interior cells gradually soften, forming a cavity, the walls being at the same time proportionally solidified. He did not perceive the homology of the ramification described by Dr. Burnett to the branching of polyps; the buds of a polyp are not hernial sacs communicating primarily with the parent stem, but solid tubercles formed on the outside, gradually becoming hollow and communicating only secondarily with the main trunk.
Professor J. Wyman asked if, in the development of the liver, the cells were first formed, and the tubes extended from the intestine to meet them, as Bischoff maintains. Dr. Burnett had made no observations on this point in the vertebrated animals.
Professor Agassiz made a communication on a new living species of Cestracion from China, and on some fossil teeth of sharks of this family which he had received from the carboniferous formation of Indiana. From the examination of these specimens he thinks that all the genera but one — which he made long ago from the scanty materials in Europe (only a single jaw and some dried skins) — will stand ; of the species he is not so confident.
The new species, from its distinct bands, he would call Cestracion zebra. It is thus characterized : a square-shaped head resembling that of Ostracion ; the nostrils open into the mouth by a strong fissure ; the mouth is small, more anterior than usual ; there are singular cheek-like projections on the sides of the head; the body is massive, and much elevated on the back; the dorsal fins much falcated, especially the second; the gill fissures are usually in advance of the pectorals, but in this species the pectorals begin anteriorly under the third gill-fissure; the spiracles open below the eyes; the caudal fin VOL. III.