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Societies and Academies

Nature volume 82, pages 299300 (06 January 1910) | Download Citation



DUBLIN. Royal Dublin Society, December 21, 1909.—Dr. J. M. Purser in the chair.—Prof. W. Brown: Permanent steel magnets. With a given quality of steel the dimension-ratio can be found which gives the most effective magnet with a minimum weight of material. Also the results of six months' tests of fourteen different steels show that magnets made of chrome and tungsten steels are the most permanent.—Major F. Eassie: Some variations in the skeleton of the domestic horse and their significance. The author states that in whole races of the domestic horse the skeleton gives proof of deterioration from the type of the wild species, and that to a great extent this deterioration exists in horses in every country, and that it is easily recognisable in the living animal. It is due originally to unsuitable environment and breeding from deteriorated stock. As the result of observations of a large series of horses of different races, the author found three main variations in the skeleton, viz. in the relative length of the segments of the head and spine, of the arm, and of the thigh. That the short spine is a primitive character he considers proved by the remains of horses found in recent formations in the valley of the Nerbudda. In the evolution of the horse from its remotest ancestors in the Lower Eocene the arm and the thigh have gradually been shortened, and this shortening has determined its speed. The author also suggests that the short spine, arm, and thigh, respectively, were dominant characters as regards heredity, and that deterioration from the type of the wild species was probably recessive.

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