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The Pennatulid from Washington Territory

Nature volume 6, page 516 | Download Citation



I PRESUME this disputed organism, referred to in two communications in your number for September 26, is specifically identical with a specimen from Frazer River, British Columbia, presented to me in the autumn of last year, for the Museum of the University, by Mr. Selwyn, Director of the Geological Survey of Canada, and which had been obtained by Mr. Richardson, one of his assistant geologists. I at once recognised it as the axis of a Virgularia, or some similar creature; but there being no means of reference here for the West Coast species, I submitted it to Prof. Verrill, of Yale College, who had no doubt as to its nature, but believed it probably to belong to an undescribed species. There being no sufficient materials for its description, Mr. Whiteaves of this city, who undertook the description of the marine animals procured by the Survey in British Columbia, merely noticed it in his report as an undescribed pennatulid. Its characters were stated by him in a paper read before the Natural History Society of Montreal last winter, and printed in abstract at the time. Mr. Richardson, who returned to British Columbia in the spring, has undertaken to procure, if possible, a perfect specimen, and to have it preserved in alcohol. Should he succeed, we may hope soon to have materials for the description of the species. Mr. Selwyn's specimen, though it has probably lost several inches of its length, being broken at both ends, is five feet one inch in length. It retains, attached to the granulated lower extremity, some traces of animal matter, in which I think I can detect, under the microscope, a few club-shaped spicules.

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  1. McGill College, Oct. 11

    • J. W. DAWSON


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