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Societies and Academies

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    LONDON Linnean Society, February 2.—Chas. B. Clarke, M.A., vice-president, in the chair.—The Rev. B. Scortechini and Mr. J. Marshall were elected Fellows of the Society.—Mr. Thos. Christy exhibited various vegetable fibres and the manufactured ptilp obtained therefrom by Mr. C. Ekman's process, whereby excellent paper can be made quickly and economically from all sorts of coarse plant fibre.—An extract of a letter from Mr. Thos. Edward, A.L.S., of Banff, was read and a fragment shown of a supposed rare marine animal got by a fisherman in deep water. Dr. Murie identified it as belonging to the Nemertean worms, viz. Cerebratulus angulatus, a marine form found chiefly in the northern parts of the British coasts, but nevertheless seldom seen alive by naturalists. Mr. E. M. Holmes exhibited specimens of a new blistering insect from Madagascar, belonging to the genus Epicauta, and allied to E. rufiicollis.—Mr. Holmes afterwards drew attention to specimens of Cinchona bark cultivated in Bolivia, belonging to the “Verde” and “Morada” varieties of Caltsaya, which hitherto have not been cultivated in the Colonies, but notwithstanding deserve notice on account of the large yield of bark and good percentage of quinine; they therefore pay the Bolivian planters better than the well-known Ledgeriana catisaya.—Mr. J. R. Jackson exhibited a specimen of the Australian native “Pituri” bag, tieir constant companiou and solace in travel. Formerly the leaf of the plant was only known, but Baron von Mueller has lately shown from other evidence that it is derived from the Duboisia Hopwoodi.—A note by Mr. Otto Tepper on the medical use of Melaleuca uncinata, R. Br., was read. He says the dried leaves chewed and the saliva swallowed are a specific in cases of colds, sore throats, and bronchitis, the flavour being aromatic.—A communication from Major-General Benson was read; this referred to Dr. Cobbold's use of the name Fasciola Jacksoni for certain flukes obtained from the elephant, the same having been described by Major-Gen. Benson in the Rangoon Times, 1867. Dr. Cobbold thereupon explained that the initials of the author having alone been appended to the article in question, it consequently had received less attention than it would otherwise have had. To Major-Gen. Benson certainly belongs the credit of having first directed attention to the elephant mortality from the said species of fluke, though the worm was first discovered by Jackson twenty years before the Rangoon letter appeared, viz. in 1847.—There followed a paper by Mr. Robert Fitzgerald, botanical sketch in connection with the geological features of New South Wales.”—Afterwards a paper was read, on animal intelligence, by Mr. Otto Tepper. He described instances under his own observation, of cats regularly unfastening the latch of a door to obtain entrance, and in the case of certain species of ants, their mode of communicating with each other, &c., therefrom adducing a power of reasoning usually attributed to instinct.

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