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Societies and Academies

    Abstract

    SYDNEY Linnean Society of New South Wales, July 29.—The following papers were read:—A monograph of the Australian sponges, part 5, the Auleninse, by R. von Lendenfeld, Ph.D. Several sponges from various localities in the Australian region have been included by the author in this new sub-family, the members of which are characterised by a very peculiar structure not met with in any other sponges. The new sub-family Atileninæ is placed in the family Spongidæ, and consists of the two new genera Aulena and Halme, with three species in all. The anatomy and histology of these is accurately described and illustrated by numerous plates. The Auleninæ form honeycombed or complicated reticulate structures; the cavities form a kind of vestibule and are simple in Halme, where an outer lamella surrounds the whole sponge, or subdivided into numerous small compartments, as in Aulena, where no outer lamella exists, Into the system of Vestibule-Lacunae both the inhalent and the exhalent canals of the sponge open. The skeleton of Halme is composed of thick main fibres rich in sand, thin, simple and clean connecting fibres, and a hard cortex of sand cemented with spongiolin. The skeleton of Aulena is very peculiar. It consists of a regular network of fine horny threads in the joining points of which large sand grains are found. In the membranes of the Vestibule-Lacuna of this genus nervous elements, sensitive and ganglia cells have been discovered by the author. These and many other histological details are de-o scribed in the paper, which dwells also on the morphological significance of these interesting new sponges.—On a sponge destructive to oyster-culture in the Clarence River, by R. von Lendenfeld, Ph.D. In this paper the author describes a new sponge, Chalinula coxii, which appeared some years ago on certain oyster beds in the Clarence River, and destroyed some of them completely.—Note on the Glacial period in Australia, by R. von Lendenfeld, Ph.D. The author draws attention to some further evidence of ice action in the Mount Lofty group near Adelaide, where some glacier-polished Siluro-Devonian rocks, with very well preserved strias, have been discovered and photographed.—Jottings from the biological laboratory of Sydney University, by William A. Haswell, M.A., B.Sc., F.L.S., &c., Lecturer on Zoology and Comparative Anatomy. This paper contains (1) some notes on an Australian species of Bonellia, which seems scarcely to differ from the European species, Bonellia viridis; and (2) some observations on aquatic respiration in fresh-water turtles.—On the supposed Glacial epoch in Australia, by Capt. F. W. Hutton, F.G.S., &c. The author discusses the phenomena which have been adduced as evidence for the former existence of a Glacial epoch in Australia, and shows that they are susceptible of a different interpretation. He distinguishes between a Glacier epoch, such as has occurred in New Zealand, in which, owing to various local, but only local, causes, ice-fields prevailed over much larger districts than at present, and a Glacial epoch, such as has been demonstrated in the Northern Hemisphere, which is the result not of variations caused and limited by local circumstances, but of alterations universal or cosmical in character. The Glacier epoch in New Zealand is regarded as anterior to the Glacial epoch of the North.

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