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Science from an Easy Chair

Science from an Easy Chair
Title: Science from an Easy Chair
Release Date: 2018-05-11
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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SCIENCE FROM AN EASY CHAIR


BY THE SAME AUTHOR

  • Extinct Animals
  • The Kingdom of Man
  • From an Easy Chair

A.—“YELLOW” OR IMMATURE EEL: NOT DESCENDING TO THE SEA(FEMALE)

B.—“SILVER” OR MATURE EEL IN BRIDAL DRESS DESCENDING TOTHE SEA (FEMALE), A SMALLER INDIVIDUAL THAN “A”

HEAD OF IMMATURE AND MATURE SPECIMENS OF THE COMMON EELOF THE NATURAL SIZE.

ORIGINAL WATER-COLOUR DRAWINGS FROM LIVE SPECIMENS

[Transcriber’s Note: The original images are around 5¾ inches (14.5cm)wide and 1½ inches (4cm) high.]


SCIENCE FROM AN
EASY CHAIR

BY
Sir RAY LANKESTER
K.C.B., F.R.S.

WITH EIGHTY-FOUR ILLUSTRATIONS

SECOND EDITION

METHUEN & CO. LTD.
36 ESSEX STREET W.C.
LONDON


First PublishedApril 14th1910
Second EditionMay1910

{v}

PREFACE

This volume is a collection of some of the papers which I havecontributed to the Daily Telegraph during the years 1908-1909, underthe title “Science from an Easy Chair.” I have revised and corrected theletterpress, and have added some illustrations. A smaller volumecontaining earlier papers was published by Messrs. Constable in 1908,with the title From an Easy Chair. It is my intention now to produceadditional volumes (under the title “Easy Chair Series”) as theirconstituent articles accumulate, and I hope to be able to publish asecond and a third instalment at no distant date.

I should like to draw the special attention of the reader to theFrontispiece (Plate I.), which is very beautifully executed, and is, Ibelieve, the first coloured drawing yet published showing the differencebetween the adult “silver” eel and the more abundant immature “yellow”eel—sometimes called the “frogmouthed eel.” The original drawings wereprepared for me through the kindness of Dr. Petersen, of Copenhagen, whois the discoverer of many interesting facts about the{vi} common eel, andis director of the Danish Biological Laboratory.

I also wish to draw the attention of any one who is kind enough to lookat this preface to one or two more of my illustrations, because theyare, I think, of exceptional interest, and should be looked at, at once,before a decision not to read the book is made. These are theprehistoric engraving of a horse’s head, with rope-bridle in place, onpage 81; the drawings of the leaves of the American Poison-vine and ofthe Virginian Creeper on page 95; of the nettle-sting on page 113; ofthe Dragon of the Hesperides on page 122; of the big tadpoles on page217; of the jumping bean on page 298, and its moth on page 301; of theant milking a green-fly for its honey-dew on page 324; and lastly, theaccurate drawing on page 370 of the most ancient human skull yetdiscovered, and the other drawings of skulls (all to the scale ofone-third the actual length), and those of prehistoric weapons andcarvings which follow it. These drawings have been made from originalscientific memoirs, or in some cases from actual specimens, for thepresent volume.

E. RAY LANKESTER

February 1910


{vii}

CONTENTS

PAGE
I.Science and Practice1
II.University Training6
III.Darwin’s Theory12
IV.Darwin’s Discoveries18
V.Darwin’s Theory Unshaken27
VI.Metchnikoff and Tolstoi38
VII.The Land of Azure Blue46
VIII.Fresh-Water Jelly-Fishes58
IX.The Story of the Common Eel65
X.Modern Horses and their Ancestors77
XI.A Rival of the Fabled Upas Tree91
XII.Poisons and Stings of Plants and Animals100
XIII.The Dragon: A Fancy or a Fact114
XIV.Oysters128
XV.Maternal Care and Molluscs143
XVI.The Heart’s Beat147
XVII.Sleep155
XVIII.The Universal Structure of Living Things170
XIX.Protoplasm, Life and Death180
XX.Chemistry and Protoplasm187
XXI.The Simplest Living Things193
XXII.Tadpoles and Frogs209
XXIII.About the Stars220
XXIV.Comets227
XXV.About Cholera237
XXVI.Sea-Breezes, Mountain Air, and Ozone251
XXVII.Oxygen Gas for Athletes and Others258{viii}
XXVIII.Sparrows, Trout, and Selective Breeding266
XXIX.The Feeble-Minded271
XXX.Death-Rates283
XXXI.Gossamer287
XXXII.The Jumping Bean296
XXXIII.Protective Colouring in Animals304
XXXIV.Hop-Blight314
XXXV.Green-Flies, Plant-Lice, and Parthenogenesis322
XXXVI.The Deadly Phylloxera334
XXXVII.Clothes Moths339
XXXVIII.Stone and Wood Borers346
XXXIX.Christmas Fare356
XL.The Origin of Opium363
XLI.The Most Ancient Men371
XLII.The Cave-Men’s Skulls391
XLIII.More About the Neander Men402
Index413

{ix}


LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

DIAGRAMS IN THE TEXT

FIG.PAGE
1.The Little Green Tree-Frog or “Rainette” of the Riviera (Hyla arborea)51
2.The Common Jelly-Fish (Aurelia aurita)59
3.The Fresh-Water Jelly-Fish (Limnocodium)60
4.Four Jelly-Fish-producing Polyps adhering to a Root-Fibre of a Water-Plant61
5.The African Fresh-Water Jelly-Fish (Limnocnida)62
6.Young Stages of the Common Eel72
7.Drawing of an Ivory Carving of a Female Head80
8.Drawing of a Fully Rounded Carving in Reindeer’s Antler of the Head of a Neighing Horse80
9.Drawing of a Flat Carving in Shoulder-Bone of a Horse’s Head, showing Twisted Rope-Bridle and Trappings81
10.Fore-Foot of the Horse-Ancestor, Hipparion84
11.Skulls of Horses and of Deer86
12.Fore and Hind Legs of Horse and Ass88
13.Diagram of the Under Surface of the Foot in the Dog, Tapir, and Horse89
14.Drawings of the Leaves of the Common Quinquefoliate Virginian Creeper, of the Adherent “Ampelopsis Veitchii,” and of the Poison-Vine (Rhus toxicodendron)95{x}
15.Drawing from Life of the Desert Scorpion (Buthus australis, Lin.), from Biskra, North Africa109
15 bis.Highly Magnified Drawing of a Stinging Hair of the Common Nettle113
16.The Heraldic Dragon115
17.The Heraldic Griffin116
18.Hercules destroying the Hydra116
19.The Heraldic Wyvern117
20.The Heraldic Basilisk, also called the Amphysian Cockatrice117
21.The Chinese Imperial Dragon121
22.A Flying Snake with Two Pairs of Wings121
23.The “Dragon” Guarding the Tree in the Garden of the Hesperides122
24.A Votive Tablet124
25.Ancient Roman Painting of a so-called Marine Serpent124
26.Egyptian Four-Winged Serpent125
27.Two-Winged Serpent125
28.An Oyster with the Right-Side Shell Removed130
29.Part of a Row of the Lashing Hairs or “Cilia” which cover the Gills of the Oyster131
30.The Animal of an Oyster Removed from the Shell132
31.The Eggs of the Oyster133
32.The Sperms or Spermatozoa of a Ripe Oyster134
33.Development of the Egg of the Common Oyster135
34.Free-Swimming Young Oyster or Oyster Larva136
35.Young of the Pond-Mussel after Escaping from the Maternal Gill-Pouch145
36.Simple “Cells,” consisting of Naked Protoplasm, Changing Shape and taking in Solid Food Particles171
37.Cells forming Tissues172{xi}
38.Copy of Part of Robert Hook’s Drawing of a Magnified Piece of Cork173
39.A Piece of Cartilage174
40.Three Kinds of Cells175
41.Two Specimens of a Bell-Animalcule (Vorticella)196
42.Six Successive Stages in the Division of a “Cell”201
43.Stages in the Growth from the Egg of the Common Frog210
44.Outline Drawings of Three European Tadpoles217
45.The Comet shown in the Bayeux Tapestry232
46.The Cholera Spirillum, or Comma-Bacillus of Koch241
47.A Young Spider288
48.View of the Lower Surface of the Head and Body of a Large Burmese Spider290
49.Section through the Body of a Spider to show the Spinning Organs291
50.One of the Two Middle Spinnerets of the Common Garden Spider (Epeira diadema)292
51.The Common Garden Spider, correctly called the White-Cross Spider (Epeira diadema)293
52.On the Right Two Jumping Beans: on the Left the Caterpillar Removed from the Jumping Bean299
53.The Caterpillar of the Moth (Carpocapsa saltitans) removed from the Jumping Bean300
54.The Moth (Carpocapsa saltitans)301
55.Early Winged Female Hop-Louse316
56.Male Hop-Louse317
57.Ordinary Wingless Female Hop-Louse318
58.Foundress or Stock-Mother of the Hop-Louse323
59.Side View of Winged Viviparous Female of the Hop-Louse323
60.An Ant “Milking” a “Plant-Louse” or “Green-Fly” for Honey-Dew324{xii}
61.Single Egg-Tube or Ovarian Tube of an Insect329
62.The Death-Watch Beetle (Xestobium tessellatum)350
63.The Silver-Fish Insect (Lepisma saccharina)353
64.The Book-Louse, or Atropos divinatoria354
65.The Human Skull from the Chapelle-aux-Saints370
66.An Unpolished but Beautifully Chipped Flint Knife of the Neolithic Age374
67.A Polished Flint Axe-head of the Neolithic Age375
68.Harpoons of the Palolithic Period379
69.A Piece of Mammoth Ivory Carved with Spirals and Scrolls380
70.Carving on an Antler of a Group of Three Red Deer and Four Fishes381
71.Painting of a Bison382
72.Back and Front View of a Flint Implement of the Moustier Type384
73.Flint Pick from the Lower Pleistocene of the Thames Valley387
74.A Rough Type of Flint Implement from the Lower Pleistocene of the Somme Valley388
75.A Profile and a Front View of the Skull and Lower Jaw of a Man of the Cromagnard Race or Reindeer Men389
76.Three Views of the Skull-Top from near Dusseldorf on the Rhine, known as the Neanderthal Skull392
77.The Gibraltar Skull from a Cave in Gibraltar394
78.The Skull-Top of the Primitive Kind of Man from Pleistocene Sands in Java, called Pithecanthropus400
79.Drawing of the Left Side of the Lower Jaw of a Modern European404
80.Outline of the Skull of the Neander Man from the Chapelle-aux-Saints404{xiii}
81.The Skull of a Male Chimpanzee405
82.The Heidelberg Jaw405

PLATES

I.Immature and Mature Specimens of the Common Eel of the Natural SizeFrontispiece
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