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productions is not conceived of, even by those best acquainted with other collections in our country. These are the material that constitutes the immense reefs of the Pacific and East Indies, some of which exceed 1000 square miles in extent. More than three-fourths of all the islands of this great ocean have been built up through the labours of the coral animal. The formation of these islands, and the growth of the coral animal, the filling up and opening of harbours, and the rising of reefs, all interesting subjects of discussion, -received particular attention; and the number of coral islands visited, and reefs examined, have afforded unusual opportunities for these investigations. Coloured drawings have been made of a large number of coral animals, which will convey some idea of their singular beauty and richness of colours. Many of these animals are wholly unknown to science, as this is a branch of zoology to which comparatively little attention has heretofore been paid, on account of the inaccessible regions in which they
The following is the number of zoological drawings made during the cruize, in the departments of science here enumerated :
The variety and beauty of marine animals in the coral seas of the Pacific are beyond description. Like birds in our forests, fish of brilliant colours sport among the coral groves, and various mollusca cover the bottom with living flowers. A new world of beings is here opened to an inhabitant of our cold climate ; and many of these productions are so unlike the ordinary forms of life, that it is difficult, without seeing them, to believe in their existence. Those that have looked over the beautiful coloured drawings by the artists of the expedition, are aware that this description falls short of the truth.
A large number of new species yet remains to be drawn. While there were so many things requiring immediate atten
tion, it was impossible to sketch all; and those were selected for sketching on the spot, whose forms and colours were most liable to change.
Ten thousand species of plants, and upwards of fifty thousand specimens, constitute the Herbarium of the expedition. The following catalogue gives the number of species collected at the several places visited :Madeira, 300 Feejee Islands,
786 Cape Verds, 60 Coral Islands,
29 Brazil, 980 Sandwich Islands,
883 Rio Negro (Patagonia), 150 Oregon,
1218 Terra del Fuego,
519 442 Manilla,
381 Peru, 820 Singapore,
80 Tahiti, 288 Mindanao,
102 Samoa (Navigators' Islands), 457 Sooloo Islands,
58 New South Wales, 787 Mangsi Islands,
80 New Zealand, 398 Cape of Good Hope,
300 Auckland Islands, 50 St Helena,
20 Tongatabu, 236
Including the mosses, lichens, and sea-weeds, the number will exceed 10,000. Besides dried specimens, 204 living plants were brought home, and are now in the green-house in the yard of the Patent Office, along with many others raised from seeds. The kinds of seeds obtained amount to 1156. Many of the expedition plants are now growing in the various greenhouses of the country, and also in England and other parts of Europe. Specimens of different woods have been preserved, the most interesting of which are those of large arborescent species of Oxalis, Viola, Repogonum, Piper, Geranium, Argyroxiphium, Dracophyllum, Rubus, Bromelia, Lobelia, and Compositæ of various kinds, besides sections of the Tree Ferns and Palms of the Tropics. There are coloured drawings of 180 species of plants beautifully executed.
Besides the observations at which we have glanced, in the departments of zoology and botany, particular attention was paid to the geographical distribution of plants and animals, and many important facts have been ascertained. The reports on this subject, with the accompanying illustrative maps, will be found to be among the most interesting of the results of
the expedition. This subject bears upon the distribution of fossil animals, and the early history of our globe, and is exciting much attention among those interested in geological investigations.
The regions examined by the expedition have been highly interesting in a geological point of view. The islands of the Pacific east of New Caledonia are either basaltic or coralline. A large number of the latter (as already stated) have been examined, and much that is important has been brought to light. The facts strongly confirm Darwin's theory with regard to the formation of these islands, but lead to very different conclusions respecting the areas of subsidence and elevation in the Pacific. Numerous facts bearing upon this subject were collected. The basaltic islands are of various
from the most recent volcanic to a very remote period, probably as far back as the middle of the secondary era. The older islands are remarkable for their singular topographical features. There is scarcely any part of the world where such profound gorges, and sharp and lofty peaks and ridges, are thrown together in a manner so remarkable. On one of the high ridges of Tahiti (Society group), about 6000 feet above the sea, the summit edge is so sharp, and the sides of the mountain so nearly vertical, that the adventurous traveller may sit astride of it, and look down a precipice of 1000 feet on either side. In no other way except by thus balancing and pushing himself along is it possible, for about 30 feet, to advance towards the summit before him—yet 1000 feet higher —for the bushes which are growing on the crest elsewhere and serve as a balustrade, are here wanting. The famous coral bed on the mountains of Tahiti, was looked for without
The Sandwich Islands contain basaltic rocks of all ages, from the most recent volcanic to the most ancient in the Pacific, besides coral rocks and elevated reefs; and they are full of interest, both as regards the structure and formation of igneous and limestone rocks, and geological dynamics. The lofty precipices and examples of shattered mountains before the eye, are astounding to those who see only the little steeps of a few hundred feet at most in the surface of our own country. There is evidence that the island of Oahu is the
shattered remnant of two lofty volcanic mountains. A precipice on this island, upwards of twenty miles long, and from 1000 to 3000 feet high, is apparently a section of one of those volcanic mountains or domes, along which it was rent in two, when the greater part was tumbled off and submerged in the
Oahu is fringed in part with a coral reef 25 feet out of water ; and similar proofs of still greater elevation are met with on the other islands,
New Holland afforded the expedition a collection of coal plants from the coal region ; the coal is bituminous, and the beds are extensive. Large collections were also obtained of fossil shells and corals (about 180 species in all), from the sandstone next the coal. The geology of the coal region, and of the overlying sandstone, and the fossiliferous sandstone below, together with the trap dykes and beds, will prove highly interesting. These are the only rocks observed.
About 100 species of fossils, including vertebræ of Cetacea, and remains of four species of fish, crabs, echini, and shells, were collected from a clayey sandstone, near Astoria, on the Columbia. Various explorations were made in the interior of Oregon, and on a jaunt overland to California.
The Andes were ascended both in Chili and Peru, and in the latter an ammonite was obtained at a height of 16,000 feet.
The collections at the National gallery contain suites of specimens from all the regions visited, including gems, and gold and iron ores from Brazil, the copper and some of the silver ores of Peru and Chili, besides others illustrating the general geological structure of these countries.
But our remarks have already extended to an unexpected length. The facts enumerated, although but here and there one from the mass which have been collected, are sufficient to evince that the nation which has done honour to itself in sending out an exploring expedition so liberally organized, will have no reason to be disappointed in the results. European nations already appreciate it, and speak higher praise than has yet been heard on this side of the waters. The advantages accruing to commerce alone, from the large number of surveys made, reefs discovered and laid down, unknown har
bours examined, resources of islands and countries investigated-and from the permanent footing on which intercourse with the Pacific islands has been placed by the settlement of long standing difficulties, and the ratification of treaties, and the impression produced by an armed force, more than repay for expenditures. The expedition has performed the duties of an ordinary squadron in the Pacific, and has accomplished in this way manyfold more in that ocean than any squadron that ever left our country; and if the expenses of keeping the vessels in commission are cancelled on this score, the sum which remains for the extraordinary duties performed will be but small.
But while we render to those whose labours have obtained the results of the expedition their full due credit, we cannot forget that there are others, and one in particular, whose zeal and untiring exertions in planning, and urging forward to its completion, this enterprise, deserve more than a passing acknowledgment. M. J. N. Reynolds was left behind, yet though unrewarded for his efforts by the pleasure of accompanying the expedition and adding to its laurels, his distinguished merits will not be forgotten or disregarded by his countrymen. -The American Journal of Science and Arts, vol. xliv., No. 2,
On the occurrence of Fossil Human Bones of the præhistorical
World in South America.
This notice is an extract* from a letter of Dr Lund of Lagoa Santa, South America, who, for the last six years, has been engaged in examining the animal remains found in the chalk caves of the interior of Brazil, and is now publishing a work in the Danish language, which bears the title, Blik paa Brasiliens Dyreverdu, &c., or, “ A glance at the animal creation which inhabited Brazil immediately before the present geological epoch, and the now existing order of things.”
* The above extract was communicated to Professor Silliman, by the Rev. E., E. Salisbury, Professor of Oriental Languages in Yale College, and inserted in the forty-fourth volume of the American Journal of Science and the Arts.