« AnteriorContinuar »
as it returned, while the rotation served to reduce the irregular form to that of a circle. The joint action and resolution of the forces thus brought into play might, Professor Horsford conceived, account for the phenomenon observed.
Further observations on the topic were made by the President and Mr. Hayes.
Professor Horsford likewise gave an account of the phenomena attending the death of a bear from strychnine, administered for the purpose by Professor Agassiz. Rapid decomposition commenced almost immediately after death.
Professor Agassiz gave a paper on the development of the ova in insects. His observations were made by following the tubular ovary of a species of Acheta, through the portion charged with ova in different stages up towards its termination, where it contains simple structural cells. Some of the latter merely take a further and special development, and become ova.
Three hundred and twenty-fourth meeting. November 13, 1849. — QUARTERLY MEETING. The PRESIDENT in the chair.
Mr. James D. Dana, through the Corresponding Secretary, presented a copy of his work, The Geology of the United States Exploring Expedition.
Mr. E. C. Cabot exhibited plans of the former and present wooden dams across the Connecticut River at Hadley, and explained the different principles on which they were constructed.
Professor Agassiz made a verbal communication, to show that, throughout all classes of the animal kingdom, there is such a direct relation between the structure of animals and the element in which they dwell, that the circumstance of habitat will go far towards determining the relative systematic position of groups and species; the marine animals ranking lowest, those of fresh water next, and the land animals highest : also, that the series so formed corresponds to the order of appearance in time.
Samuel B. F. Morse, Esq., of New York, and Professor Wolcott Gibbs, of New York, were elected Fellows.
From the list reported by the Council appointed for this purpose, the following persons were chosen Foreign Honorary Members, viz. : –
Robert Brown, Esq., London.
Three hundred and twenty-fifth meeting.
December 4, 1849. — Monthly Meeting The President in the chair.
The occasion was rendered peculiarly interesting from the circumstance that the meeting was convened in the library of Dr. Bowditch, formerly President of the Academy. The
arrangements of the apartment remain precisely as they were in his day. His chair and table occupy their usual position, his bust is placed on the wall as near as possible to the place where he used to sit, and all the papers on his desk remain just as he left them. Many incidents respecting his early life and his subsequent habits, and especially his scientific labors, were related, and several memorials were shown, - such as medals; a bust of Laplace, presented by his widow; the manuscript of an Almanac, constructed by him at the age of fifteen; his abstract of the mathematical papers in the Transactions of the Royal Society ; his portfolios, on the covers of which were numerous mottoes in various languages, characteristic of the philosopher; and, lastly, the fragment of his translation of the fifth volume of the Mécanique Céleste, as far as he had proceeded.
Letters were read from Samuel B. F. Morse, Esq., and Professor Wolcott Gibbs, of New York, accepting the fellowship of the Academy.
Dr. H. I. Bowditch gave the result of the microscopic examination of the accumulations on the teeth of healthy persons, near the gums, in forty-nine individuals, most of whom were very particular in their care of the teeth. Animalcules and vegetable products were found in every instance except two. In those cases the brush was used three times a day, and a thread was passed between the teeth daily. Windsor soap was also used by one of these two persons, with the brush. Dr. Bowditch had tried the effects of various substances in destroying the animalcules, and especially of tobacco, by which they seemed to be in no wise incommoded. Soap-suds and the Chlorine Tooth-wash invariably destroyed them.
Professor Agassiz made some remarks on the egg in vertebrate animals, as a means of classification. What is their structure, and is there any thing specific in the eggs of the different classes of Vertebrata ? In the eggs of them all is found a generation of cells in the germinative dot, as may be readily
seen in eggs of turtles, rabbits, squirrels, &c. The eggs of Mammals are very minute, and surrounded by epithelium ; and they begin at once their subdivision within the parent. In those of birds, a large bulk of vitellus is developed in the ovary, and afterwards the albumen and shell are added. The same is the case in turtles, lizards, and serpents; but the eggs of Batrachians are different, and are small, elastic, and dilatable, like those of fishes. He thought, therefore, that there was a closer affinity between the first-mentioned reptiles and birds than between them and the Batrachians; and that the turtles, lizards, and serpents might be incorporated with birds, while the Batrachians were classed with fishes.
Professor Horsford exhibited several specimens of vermilion which varied very essentially in color from adulteration. Some of the articles used for that purpose are chromate of lead, sulphate of lime, and carbonate of magnesia.
Mr. Desor mentioned some facts relating to the distribution of animals in the region of Lake Superior, and specified some of the animals found on Isle Royale, whose presence he was at a loss to account for, except on the supposition that the island was once continuous with the continent.
Three hundred and twenty-sixth meeting.
January 8, 1850. — MONTHLY MEETING. The President in the chair.
Dr. C. T. Jackson, from the committee raised at a foriner meeting to suggest a practicable mode for recording by coastmarks the present mean sea-level on the Atlantic shore of this country, made a report, in the form of a memorial to the Secretary of the Treasury. The draft was recommitted, in order that a proper resolution, expressing the sense of the Academy, might be appended.
Mr. Paine presented a communication from Professor Augustus W. Smith, of Middletown, Connecticut, containing
Occultations of Fixed Stars, fc., at the Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut. Latitude, 41° 33 10". Assumed Longitude, 45. 50m. 36".
Date. Name. Sidereal Time. 1845.
h. m. S. April 15 A' Cancri 9 27 01.38 Good observation. May 962 Orionis 11 26 45.55
9 Unknown 11 24 23.50 2. (?) 59
12 20 16.40 1s. (?) July 16 58 Sagittarii 17 03 39.92 Good observation. 29
17 45 33.95 Pretty good observation. Sept. 12 Piscium 1 44 49.92 ci 15 2 "
18 40 36.09 1s. (1) 1 152 "
19 29 50.00 | Em. 18. (?). Nov, 108 "
20 54 04.48 Im. Pretty good. 1846. Feb. 474 Tauri
3 56 21.11 1s. (?) 5 6 71 Orionis 6 06 41.87 Pretty good. May 3 2 Leonis 11 29 43.35
1847. Jan. 25 61 Tauri 5 00 56.61 Sept. 16 Unknown 18 51 18.33
« 16 29 Ophiuchi 19 03 50.83
1848. Feb. 12 Tauri
2 22 30.08 16 29 Cancri 7 02 50.55
Pretty good. Mar. 8 750 B. A. C. 6 05 41.19! "
10 75 Tauri 8 30 29.26 4 10 Unknown 821 02.26 6 11|111 Tauri 7 23 21.40 46 11 Unknown 7 20 31.40
132 Geminorum 7 35 41.90 "
66 Saw a bright spot in the dark part of the "" 6 " 11 52 44.00 Em. 18. (3):
(Moon. June 63,418 B. A. C. 13 43 53.86 Im. Nov.
14 53 39
2d internal contact with Sun's limb.
14 55 19 " 2d external " " " " 6 11 54 Tauri 21 59 40.60 Im. Good observation.
1849. Jan. 575"
3 35 44.80 16 5 1,391 B. A. C. 4 46 12.20
Thin clouds. Observation fair.
" 16 " 5 a Tauri
" 7 36 35.70
(Recognized the star by its form, not by 5 a "
its brightness. Appeared projected on
the disk slightly. 1 6 111 "
0 22 18.20 Im.
* This observation was supposed to be good at the time, and no error can be found by referring to the original entry in my book of rough records. But a reduction of the observation for this longitude leads to the supposition that it ought to be 2h. 20m. 30.089.. VOL. 11.