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THE NATURAL HISTORY REVIEW.
Maunder's Popular Treasuries. In Foolscap 8vo. with 900 Woodcuts, price 108, Cloth, or 138, Calf, THE TREASURY OF NATURAL HISTORY, or, Popular
1 Dictionary of Animated Nature, in which the Zoological Characteristics that distinguish the different Classes, Genera, and Species, are combined with a variety of interesting Information. By S. MAUNDER. Sixth Edition, revised and corrected, with an extended SUPPLEMENT, by T. SPENCER COBBOLD, M.D. F.L.S.
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“ OUVRAGE COURONNE of the Imperial Society of Horticulture of France. TRUIT TREES; their Scientific and Profitable Culture.-The
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“A logical treatise on gardening. . . Has the rare merit of always keeping to the point, and the rare charm of lucidity. The calm and dignified composure of M. Du Breuil's tone, his simplicity and brevity, seem to elevate Horticulture into the rank of the exact sciences. The illustrations are profuse, evidently copied from nature, and add greatly to the value of the work."- Journal of Horticulture. WM. WESLEY, English and Foreign Bookseller, Paternoster Row.
Completion of the Illustrated Edition of
Bentham's British Flora.
UTANDBOOK OF THE BRITISH FLORA, Illustrated Edition ;
I a Description of the Flowering Plants and Ferns indigenous to, or naturalized in, the British Isles. For the Use of Beginners and Amateurs. By GEORGE BENTHAM, F.R.S., President of the Linnean Society. Demy 8vo. Two Volumes, 1154 pages, 1295 wood-engravings, £3. 103.
An illustrated edition, in which every species is accompanied by an elaborate wood-engraving of the Plant, with dissections of its leading structural peculiarities. The Work is expanded in this edition into two volumes of 1154 pages, with 1295 engravings, forming by far the cheapest and most compact illustrated encyclopædia of the British Flora that has yet appeared.
REEVE & Co., 5, HENRIETTA STREET, Covent GARDEN.
Price 258. Folio, bound in Cloth. DUXLEY AND HAWKINS. Comparative Osteology. An 11 Elementary Atlas of Comparative Osteology. Consisting of 12 Plates, drawn on Stone by B. WATERHVUSE HAWKINS, F.L.S. The Figures selected and arranged (from objects in the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons) by Professor T. H. HUXLEY, F.R.S.
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THE NATURAL HISTORY REVIEW.
On April 1, with Plates and Woodcuts, No. VI. price 58. MHE QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF SCIENCE.
ORIGINAL ARTICLES. On the Application of Spectrum Analysis to Microscopical Investigations, and especially to the Detection of Blood Stains. By H. C. SORBY, F.R.S.
On the Health of Metal Miners. By R. ANGUS Smith, Ph. D., F.R.S.
Chronicles of Science.
Notes and Correspondence.
This day is published, 12mo. cloth, price 58. THE STORY OF A BOULDER: Gleanings by a Field Geolo
1 gist. By A. Geikie, of the Geological Survey. With Illustrations,
Also by the same Author. In the Press. THE SCENERY OF SCOTLAND, in Connection with its PhyT sical Geology. By ARCHIBALD GEIKIE. With Illustrations and a new Geological Map of Scotland by Sir Roderick I. Murchison and A. Geikie.
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ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON.
The Council of the Zoological Society having resolved to appoint a Prosector in the Society's Gardens, at a salary of £250. per annum, Gentlemen desirous of offering themselves as Candidates for the post are requested to send in their applications to the Secretary, on or before the 22nd of April next. The chief duty of the Prosector will be to make dissections of the animals that die in the Society's Gardens.
Further details may be obtained at the Society's Office, or by letter addressed to the Secretary, 11, Hanover Square, London, W.
NATURAL HISTORY REVIEW:
QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE.
Reviews and Notices.
XV.—THE ZOOLOGY. OF BRITISH INDIA. (1.) CATALOGUE OF THE MAMMALIA IN THE MUSEUM OF THE
Asiatic SocietY OF BENGAL. By Edward Blyth, Curator,
Calcutta, 1863. (2.) THE BIRDS OF INDIA, BEING A NATURAL HISTORY OF ALL
BIRDS KNOWN TO INHABIT CONTINENTAL INDIA. By T. C. Jerdon, Surgeon-Major, Madras Army, 3 vols. 8vo. Calcutta,
1862-4. (3.) THE REPTILES OF BRITISH INDIA. By Dr. Albert Günther.
London, 1864. Published for the Ray Society, by Robert Hard
wicke. In our last number we called attention to the recent publication of three works relating to the Zoology of British India, the titles of which are again given at the heading of the present article. We also endeavoured to furnish our readers with a general outline of the principal features of the Mammal-fauna of India, as deducible from an examination of the first of these works. On the present occasion, taking the second of these publications as our chief text, we shall attempt to give some sort of general account of the principal forms of the second great class of Vertebrates—that of Birds—which inhabit the same country.
In Dr. Jerdon's volumes we have to deal with a work of much greater pretensions, and indeed of quite a different character from Mr. Blyth’s“ Catalogue of Mammals.” Dr. Jerdon's aim, as he has told us in his prospectus, was to issue a “Manual, which should "comprise all available information, in sufficient detail for the dis“crimination and identification of such objects as might be met " with, without being rendered cumbrous by minutiæ of synonymy or
“ of history.” And so far as regards the Ornithology of India taking the difficulties and the novelty of the task into due consideration, we think he has very fairly carried out the object he has had in view in the present volumes, which are the first of a series of similar Manuals intended ultimately to embrace all the vertebrate classes of Indian Zoology.
Of the great want of such a series of Manuals we think there can be no question. There is no work at present in existence which can supply the information on such subjects required by the many resi. dents in India, who now devote more or less of their spare time to the cultivation of some branch of Natural History. To obtain any acquaintance with what is already known on these subjects, it is necessary, as Dr. Jerdon well observes, to wade through the voluminous Transactions of learned Societies (such as those of the Asiatic Society of Bengal and the Zoological Society of London), besides divers scientific journals, wherein the records of the numerous Indian observers and describers of such objects are scattered piecemeal. These are of course perfectly inaccessible to the majority of the residents in the up-country stations in India, and even the Naturalist who dwells in one of the great capitals of Europe, will often be at a loss when he has occasion to refer to some of them. No one can deny, therefore, that Dr. Jerdon has achieved a good work in having brought to a successful conclusion his first Manual, relating to the Birds of India, contained in the three solid volumes now before us. And although we have heard a report that his labours in continuation of his present task are likely to be interrupted by orders from head-quarters to return to his ordinary duties as SurgeonMajor in the Madras Presidency, we trust that the approbation universally bestowed by the reviewers of Natural History works upon the present earnest of his labours, may induce the rulers of British India to continue the exercise of their unwonted liberality, until the final termination of his self-imposed task.
Before commencing our general survey of the Indian Ornis, as deducible from Dr. Jerdon's work, it may be as well to give an outline of the principal authorities which have heretofore dealt with this subject, and upon which Dr. Jerdon, with the assistance of his own prolonged personal investigations in the same field, has founded his work.
From the older writers on Natural History we can glean little special concerning the birds of the Indian peninsula, and coun
tries immediately adjoining—indeed much of the territory now subject to British rule was terra incognita in the days of Linnæus and his immediate followers, at any rate, as far as its Natural products are concerned. “It is only within a very recent period,” says the late Mr. Strickland, writing in 1844, “that any really original and “ trustworthy researches have been made into Indian Ornithology. “ Twenty years ago, the utmost that was done by the numerous “ British officers in that country to illustrate this science, was to " collect drawings of the species which attracted their notice. These “ drawings were in most cases made by native artists, who, be"ing utterly ignorant of any scientific principles, executed them in “ a stiff mechanical style, and neglected the more minute but often “ highly important characters. Such designs are useful as aids to " scientific research, but ought not to usurp its place; yet, from " these materials the too undiscriminating Latham described, and " named a great number of so-called species, many of which have " not yet been identified in nature. The largest collection of these “ drawings was made by the late General Hardwicke, a selection of “ which were engraved and published in 1830; but though care"fully edited by Dr. T. E. Gray, the number of nominal species " there introduced, shows the danger of founding specific characters “ on the sole authority of drawings.”
About the year 1830, however, several British officers resident in India became interested in the subject of Ornithology. The first contribution from these gentlemen to our scientific literature, was Major Franklin's “Catalogue of Birds, collected on the Ganges between Calcutta and Benares, and on the Vindhyan Hills," published in the Zoological Society's “ Proceedings" for 1831. This was shortly followed by Col. Sykes' “ Catalogue of Birds observed in the Dukhun," issued in the following volume of the same journal. About the same time also the “ Journal” of the “ Asiatic Society of Bengal”—a well.known scientific institution, of the merits of which we have already spoken in our last number—was started, and a third. officer in the East Indian service, Lieut.-Col. S. R. Tickell, whose name is also well known to Science-published in it, “a list of the birds of Borabhum and Dholbum.” In the succeeding volumes of that " valuable repertory of Oriental Literature,” will be found numerous Ornithological papers of these and other Indian Naturalists—such as Hodgson, Hutton, Pearson, McClelland, Elliot, and Blyth, who have all worked long and laboriously in the same good