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been consulted by Dr. Allen for the purposes of this Memoir, so that he may be fairly said to have had at his disposal all the materials of the three chief Zoological collections of North America.
Dr. Allen commences his Memoir by an introduction, in which the various types of modification assumed by the vertebrate skeleton, with the object of adapting the animal to flight are discussed, and diagrams are given, showing the bony structure of the wings in the Bat, the Pterodactyle, the typical Bird, and the Archæopteryx. He then proceeds to describe shortly the general structure of the Chiroptera, and gives some particulars of their habits, of which, howerer, at present, our knowledge is very small. Dr. Allen then enters upon the general subject of his work, heading it by an “ artificial Key to the Genera” of the Bats found within the limits of America, north of Mexico, concerning which we may say a few words. As in Europe, the Chiroptera met with in the northern parts of the New World mentioned, all belong to the insectivorous families of the order. The true frugivorous Bats of the family Pteropodidæ are, we need hardly remind our readers, strictly confined to tropics of the Old World. There are found, however, within the limits to which our author extends his work, representatives of three insect-eating families of Chiroptera, which are here termed, Megadermatida, Noctilionidæ, and Vespertilionidæ.
The family with which Dr. Allen begins his Memoir has only one representative in the North American Fauna. This is the Macrotus Californicus, Baird, stated to be nearly allied to M, Waterhousii, Gray, of Cuba, Hayti, and the other West Indian Islands. The alliances of this genus appear to be rather obscure. Dr. Allen refers it to the Megadermatidæ, with which, however, it has probably but a very remote connection. The Megadermatidæ are a family of Bats confined entirely to the Old World. Although Macrotus has its ears united together by a connecting membrane, there can be little doubt that its true place is in the family Phyllostomatidæa group peculiar to the tropics of the New World, of which it forms a northern outlier.
The next family containing the naked-tailed Noctilionidæ is likewise very feebly represented in the Nearctic Region-one species only
-the Nyctinomus nasutus, a well-known and wide-ranging South American form, occurring in different parts of the southern frontier of the United States. The remaining Chiroptera treated of by Dr. Allen–18 in number, all belong to the insectivorous family Vesperti
lionidæ—which is likewise the most extensively developed group in the corresponding parts of the Old World.
The differentiation and description of these 20 species of Bats has, we think, been effected by Dr. Allen in a fairly satisfactory way. The characters of the genera and species are well drawn up and precise, and are accompanied by numerous woodcuts illustrating the dentition, the form of the ears and tragus, the outlines of the interfemoral membrane, and other characteristic parts of the structure of the different species. Dr. Allen has certainly not erred on the side of creating too many species-nay, if any fault is to be found with our author on this subject, it should probably be just the other way. It is certainly remarkable that only 20 species of Chiroptera should occur within the whole of the large area of America north of Mexico, when even little Europe produces upwards of 25 species. If we are not much mistaken future researches are destined to add not immaterially to our knowledge of the North American Chiroptera.
XVII.—THE FAUNA OF SPITSBERGEN.
(1.) ANTECKNINGAR TILL SPETSBERGENS FOGEL-FAUNA. Af A.
J. Malmgren. (Efversigt af Kongl. Vetenskaps-Akademiens
Förhandlingar. 1863. p. 87. (2.) IAKTTAGELSER OCH ANTECKNINGAR TILL FINMARKENS OCH
SPETSBERGENS DÆGGDJURSFAUNA. Af A. J. Malmgren. Ibidem,
SPITSBERGEN is a “No-man's land” - to which of the Powers of Europe it rightly belongs is probably beyond the knowledge of the most profound international lawyer to decide. We, therefore, need not be surprised that hitherto Zoologists have had but a very incorrect notion of its animal productions, and are accordingly greatly indebted to Mr. Malmgren for his carefully drawn up lists of the Beasts and Birds, which throng the deeply recessed fjords, or the precipitous shores of this horribly inhospitable country. : At least four expeditions have been sent out by our own Government, within the last ninety years, with the object of taking a start from Spitsbergen, and then sailing to the North Pole, or as far in that direction as circumstances would allow. Our business is not with what they accomplished, or with wbat they failed to effect. The skill and bravery displayed, alike by commanders and crews, are written in the annals of the British Navy. But it is akin to our purpose here to observe that not one of these expeditions can be said to have been properly equipped. Not one of them was accompanied by a competent Naturalist-unless, indeed, we may except the earliest, under Commodore Phipps, afterwards Lord Mulgrave, with whom sailed Mr. Israel Lyons, a botanist of some note. But it remains a fact that not much more has been added to our knowledge of Zoology from these expeditions, than we might have expected from amateurs,-adventurous yachtsmen, like Lord Dufferin or Mr. Lamont—and the only Englishman who has materially assisted our special branches of science, was an energetic north country whaling-skipper,— William Scoresby, of pious memory.
In 1838 and 1839, the French Corvette, La Récherche, bearing on board a distinguished company of savans of various nations, visited two districts on the west coast of Spitsbergen. But it is vain to seek in the multitude of volumes--thickly printed octavos, bristling with tabulated figures, showing the results of all sorts of magnetic and meteorological observations-or ponderous folios, wherein we see displayed through Gallic spectacles the whole Arctic world, from Magdalena Bay to Godthaab, which record the progress of President Gaimard's · Commission Scientifique du Nord,' more zoology than is contained in a few anecdotes respecting Whales and Eider Ducks.
Some few years ago it occurred to the leading men of science in Sweden that a plan, long projected and talked of in other countries, might be carried out by their means. This was no less than the measurement of an arc of the meridian in Spitsbergen, between the parallels of 76° and 81o. Not much time was lost in putting the plan into execution. We believe that the Swedish Government have had no hand in the matter. The expenses have been defrayed by the ancient Universities of that country. But much of the success already achieved is owing rather to the unselfish nature of the explorers themselves--who, aware of the scanty supply of funds forthcoming, have been content to carry on their researches on a system the most economical-and to put up with no inconsiderable amount of personal discomfort, by doing without many accessories which by most persons in their situation would be regarded as absolute necessaries. In 1858 the first expedition in pursuit of this object started. In 1861, a second expedition was sent out, to which Mr. Malmgren was attached; and, we understand, that last year a third sailed, of which this gentleman was again a member. The zoological results of the voyage of 1861, were by him communicated to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on the 11th February, 1863, and form the papers quoted at the head of this article, which we may mention, for the benefit of those of our readers who are unacquainted with the Swedish language, have fortunately been translated into German, one by Dr. C. F. Frisch, and published in the Journal für Ornithologie' for 1863, while the other is printed in first part of the “ Arcbiv für Naturgeschichte’ for 1864.
To each of these papers Mr. Malmgren prefixes a summary of the information that has already been recorded, respecting the subject of which it treats, though it will be gathered from what we have already said this is not much. With respect to the ornithology of Spitsbergen it is no exaggeration to say that nearly a third of the observations of his predecessors has been founded on error-but, though not blind to their faults, our author deals gently with them, as well becomes a man of science. This is particularly the case in regard to two species of birds, which the officers of Parry's celebrated expedition believed they had recognised. Mr. Malmgren even goes out of his way to explain how the mistakes originated, and his explanation is natural enough. He proves, at any rate to our own satisfaction, that Spitsbergen is not the abiding place of either Larus sabinii or Larus rossi—the latter being certainly one of the very rarest of known birds. It is extremely probable, as he says, that Parry's officers mistook the young of Larus tridactylus for the one, and Sterna arctica for the other.
The following twenty-two species are considered by Mr. Malmgren to be the proper inhabitants of, or regular breeders in, Spitsbergen :
» leucopsis [?]
» segetum [?] Harelda glacialis Somateria mollissima
„ spectabilis Colymbus septentrionalis
Mormon arcticus [?]* That is to say there is no bird of prey domiciled in the country; only one Passerine, one Rasorial, three Grallæ, and seventeen Swimmers. Of these all occur, more or less frequently, in other parts of Europe, excepting only the Lagopus, which appears to be peculiar to Spitsbergen, though Mr. Malmgren does not speak very positively as to its specific distinction. Of the stragglers, or unauthenticated species, we need not here say anything.
In Mammals the Spitsbergen Fauna is proportionately richer, the Seals and Cetaceans, as might be expected, predominating. It is pretty nearly certain that no Rodent inhabits the country, and whence the single specimen—a skeleton only—of Arvicola hudsonius, which was found by Parry's expedition on a floe of ice, in latitude 81° 45', came, must remain a matter of conjecture. Mr. Malmgren is inclined to take old Frederick Martens' second sort of “Butskopf" - but with a back fin three times as high as that of a “ Bottle-head" —for Orca gladiator, a species said to be sometimes seen between the coasts of Norway and Spitsbergen, but which was not observed about the latter by the Swedish expedition. Cystophora cristata has been obtained on Bear Island, but not further north, though it is considered that it may occasionally wander to the latitude of 76°—the scarcity of large fish, on which it chiefly feeds, being the probable cause of its absence. The Mammals of Spitsbergen, which appear certain to our critical author, are these :Ursus maritimus
Balænoptera gigas » hispida
u rostrata Balæna mysticetus, which in former days was so numerous, now never shows itself on these coasts. How long will it be before the Walrus, in like manner, disappears ?
• We preserve Mr. Malmgren's nomenclature ; but we have appended a query to the names of three species, about the identification of which, we think, some doubts may yet exist.