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Geology and Mineralogy.-I have looked over and chemically examined some of the specimens presented by Captain Kittoe in April. Many are common, but a few are worth notice.
1. A very good specimen of Asparagus-green Tourmaline, with small crystals of red Tourmaline amongst it; the green a new mineral for India, as far as I recollect. We have pale apple-green, white and blue tourmalines, from America, and the Alps, in our collection; but none of this colour, which is rarer than many other sorts. The red ones, though minute, are perfect Rubellites.
Our specimen is evidently from a vein and weathered, so that probably larger crystals may be found there.
Before the blowpipe it becomes by long heating opaque and slaggy on the edges, though still preserving its green colour, so that it has the appearance of a small lump of copper slag or Uranium ore under the magnifier. The hardness is 6.7, and the specific gravity 3.3.
2. A remarkable apple-green quartz rock with bands of rose-coloured felspar and transparent quartz running through it. This is, both mineralogically and geologically curious; for, as will be seen afterwards, it is the rare case of pure silicate of iron so often met with in sand, and disseminated in other rocks and minerals, forming nearly a rock by itself.
Another specimen of the same kind is mixed with grey and white quartz and minute crystals of Iron pyrites. This specimen was carefully examined, as the pyrites might be auriferous, but nothing but Iron with slight traces of arsenic was detected. The pure green rock also, when pulverized, yielded nothing but iron and silica, both via humida and by the blowpipe, to which it gave with borax the usual green glass.
3. A specimen, sent, I presume, as the Plumbago mentioned with a note of interrogation at p. 492, is not Plumbago, but a rolled specimen of magnetic Iron ore, mixed with silvery mica and quartz; forming together a remarkable light grey diallage-looking rock with a strong pearly lustre in certain lights. It is highly magnetic but infusible before the blowpipe, which only renders it slightly slaggy at the edges. It dissolves largely in Hydrochloric acid but gives only Iron to re-agents. We have a specimen which approaches to this from the iron mines of Ajmeer, but it is certainly not common, and if a definite compound, should form at least a separate variety, for the purer sorts might be termed Diallage iron-ore.
4. A fine specimen of flesh-coloured felspar, of which we had but a very small piece in our collection.
5. A good specimen of granular and fibrous Tremolite.
We have no localities I regret to say, for these minerals. I will write to Captain Kittoe to learn if he can recollect the place where he collected them.
Captain Sherwill, of the Dinapore Survey, as already mentioned, has sent a few specimens for examination: amongst them are a remarkable variety of massive Asbestos, much resembling lithomage in appearance, but of which the fibrous structure when crushed and its behaviour before the blowpipe place it in the asbestos family: specimens of the same altered by heat have also been sent.
On the Charj, or Otis Bengalensis. By B. H. HODGSON, Esq.
Family STRUTHIONIDÆ VEL OTIDÆ.
Species bengalensis vel deliciosa vel himalayana.
Habitat. The Tarai.
Of all Indian game birds the most striking to the eye and the most grateful to the palate is the Charj or Dábar. Latham introduced it
to the scientific world above half a century back; and yet so little had been added in the interim to his crude knowledge of its real character and habits that Mr. Vigors could recently suppose it an inhabitant, or at least visitant of the sub-Himálayas ;* nor am I aware that any one has to this hour undertaken to give intelligible body and shape to the mere scientific shadow of a species delineated by Latham. As the Charj is found more abundantly in the Tarai than elsewhere, and as I happen to possess a tolerably accurate knowledge of its structure and habits, (the latter very difficultly procurable,) I purpose to present to the Society in the following paper the substance of my information respecting this most elegant and high-flavoured bird, which our own sportsmen with the gun, and native chiefs and Princes with the Baz,† * Gould's Century, where is a very bad figure.
+ Astur palumbarious fæm, Goshawk.-Male is Júrrá,
No. IX. NEW SERIES.