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E EARTH-WORMS. The important part things, and of sucking. Internally, a strong played by earth-worms in the formation of pharynx, corresponding, according to Perrier, vegetable mold has been made the subject of a with the protrusile trunk or proboscis of other special memoir by Charles Darwin. These ar- annelids, and which is pushed forward when ticulates are distributed all over the world, the animal eats, is situated behind the mouth. being found in the loneliest islands of the sea, The pharynx leads into the æsophagus, on each even in Kerguelen Land. There are but few side of the lower part of which are three pairs genera of earth-worms, and they closely resem- of large glands, which secrete a surprising ble each other. Lumbricus is the name of the amount of carbonate of lime. They are unlike best-known genus. The species have not been anything that is known in any other animal, accurately distinguished and numbered; but and their use is largely a matter of speculation. only a part of them bring up earth in the form They are probably partly excretions of the exof castings, and are engaged in making tillable cess of lime contained in the leaves which the soil. They appear to be found wherever there animal eats, and may otherwise aid digestion is moist earth containing vegetable matter, but by affording a neutralizing agent against the seem to abound most where the ground is loose acids of its food. In most of the species the and well charged with humus. Dryness is unfa- @sophagus is enlarged into a cup in front of vorable and even fatal to them; but, although the gizzard. The latter organ is lined with a

they are terrestrial ani- smooth, thick, chitinous membrane, and is sur

mals, they have been rounded by weak longitudinal but powerful Mouth.

found by M. Perrier to transverse muscles. Grains of sand and small be capable of living for stones, from one twentieth to a little more than

a considerable time un one tenth of an inch in diameter, may be found Pharynx.

der water. During the in the gizzard and intestines, and are supposed summer, when the to serve, like millstones, to triturate the food. ground is dry, and dur. The gizzard opens into the intestine, which ing the winter, when it is presents a peculiar remarkable longitudinal frozen, they penetrate involution of the walls, by which an extensive to a considerable depth absorbent surface is gained. The circulatory

in the earth and cease system is well developed. Breathing is perEsophagus.

to work. They are noc- formed through the skin, without special returnal in their habits, spiratory organs. The nervous system is fairly and may often be seen developed, with two almost confluent cerebral at night crawling over ganglia situated near the anterior end.

the ground, more often Worms have no eyes, and are measurably Calciferous glands. moving their heads and indifferent to light; yet they can distinguish

bodies around while night from day, and are quickly affected by a

their tails are still in- strong light, and after some time by a moderEsophagus.

serted in their burrows. ate light shining continuously upon them. They Only sickly worms, do not much mind a moderate radiant heat,

such as are afflicted by but are sensitive to cold. They have no sense Crop.

the parasitic larva of of hearing, but are extremely sensitive to via fly, as a rule travel brations in any solid object. Worms in pots, in the day-time; and which had paid no attention to the sound of a those which are seen piano, when placed on the piano instantly drew dead on the ground into their holes when the notes were struck. after heavy rains are Their whole body is sensitive to contact, as of

supposed to have been a puff of air. Their sense of smell is feeble, U petit part of in- creatures afflicted in but responds fairly well to the odor of the cab

some way that have bage and onion or whatever they like. They

died of weakness rath- are omnivorous, and swallow enormous quanFig. 1.-DIAGRAM OF THE er than by drowning. tities of earth, out of which they extract any

ALIMENTARY CANAL OF The body of a large digestible matter which it may contain; they AN EARTH-WORM (Lumbricus), (copied from Ray worm consists of one or also consume decayed and fresh leaves and vegLapkester in “Quarterly two hundred almost etable matter, and raw, roasted, and decayed Journal of Microscopical cylindrical rings or seg- meat, but like raw fat best. Society," vol. xv, new series, pl. vii).

ments, each furnished Mr. Darwin discovered in worms evidences

with minute bristles, of a degree of intelligence. They line their and is endowed with a well-developed muscu burrows with leaves as a protection, it is suplar system. The mouth is provided with a little posed, against the cold of the clammy ground, projection or lip, capable of taking hold of and plug the entrances to them with leaves


and leaf-stalks. It requires some manipulation castings may be seen in garden-walks piled up to get these leaves in right, but the worms know in towers of greater or less height around the how to perform it, and can discriminate be- burrows. The towers formed by a naturalized tween the easiest way to draw the leaf in and East Indian worm, at Nice, France, which are other ways. When they can not obtain leaves, sometimes distributed as thickly as five or six petioles, sticks, etc., with which to plug up the to a square foot, are built to a height of from mouths of their burrows, they often protect two and a half to three inches. The tower of them by little heaps of stones; and such heaps a perichaeta in the Botanic Garden of Calcutof smooth, rounded pebbles may often be seen ta, of which Fig. 2 is an exact representation, in gravel-walks. Their strength is shown by measured three and a half inches high and 1.35 their often displacing stones in a well-trodden inch in diameter. gravel-walk, a task that sometimes demands Some of the towers, as the figure shows, considerable effort.

exhibit a considerable degree of skill in their Worms excavate their burrows in two ways: construction. The castings are not always by pushing away the earth on all sides where ejected on the surface of the ground, but are the ground is loose or only moderately com- often lodged in any cavity that may be met in pact, and by swallowing the dirt, where the burrowing. The burrows run down, someground is bard, and ejecting the swallowed tiines perpendicularly, generally a little obearth afterward in the form of the “castings” liquely, to a depth of three, six, and even eight which are found at the mouths of their bur- feet, and are usually lined with a thin layer or rows. They also swallow the earth to extract plaster of fine, dark-colored earth which the the nutritious matter which may be contained animals have voided, in addition to which a in it, and in larger quantity than for making lining is made, near the mouths, of leaves, also their burrows; and the residue of this, after plastered. Bits of stones and seeds are also

sometimes found in the bottom of the burrows, having been taken down apparently with a purpose.

The amount of earth brought up by worms from beneath the surface has been carefully estimated by observing the rate at which stones and other scattered objects on top of the ground are buried. A piece of waste, swampy land, which was inclosed, drained, plowed, harrowed, and thickly covered with burned marl and cinders, and sowed with grass, in 1822, fifteen years afterward presented the appearance, where holes were dug into it, shown by Fig. 3, the scale of which is half that of nature. Beneath a sod an inch and a half thick was a layer of vegetable mold, free from fragments of every kind, two and a half inches thick. Under this was another layer of mold, an inch and a half thick, full of fragments of burned marl, fragments of coalcinders, and a few white-quartz pebbles. Beneath this layer, and at a depth of four and a balf inches from the surface, the original black, peaty, sandy soil with a few quartz pebbles was encountered. Six and a half years afterward this field was re-examined, and the fragments were found at froin four to five inches below the surface, having been covered in that time with an inch and a half more of mold. The average annual increase of thickness for the whole period was •19 of an inch. This was less than the average increase of thickness in some other fields similarly observed, in which

the accumulation amounted to "21 and 22 of FIG. 2.-A TOWER-LIKE CASTING, PROBABLY EJECTED BY an inch annually. Another field, which was

A SPECIES OF PERICHÆTA (from the Botanic Garden, known as “the stony field," and in which the Calcutta : of natural size, engraved from a photo- stones lay so thick that they clattered as one graph).

ran down the slope of the hiil, became so the nutriment is extracted, is also cast out. covered with mold in thirty years that a horse The deposition of castings is no insignificant could gallop over the compact turf from one part of the labor that they perform, and leaves end of the field to the other, and not strike a very perceptible traces on the surface. The stone with his shoes. A flagged path in Mr.

VOL. XXI.-15 A


below the general level, while the surface of the field for about nine

inches around it sloped up toward it A to the height of four inches above

the surrounding ground close to the stone. (Fig. 4.)

When the stone was removed, an exact cast of its lower side, forming a shallow crateriform hollow, was left, the inner surface of which, except where the base had been in contact with brick rubbish, consisted of fine black mold. The turf-covered border, which sloped up to the stone, consisted of fine vegetable mold, in one part seven inches thick, and was evidently derived from worm - castings, several of which had been recently ejected. This stone would have sunk to the level of the field in two hundred and forty-seven years if none of the castings were washed away by rains. Some of the fallen stones at

Stonehenge have become buried to a D

moderate depth in the ground, and are surrounded by sloping borders of

turf, on which recent castings have G. 3.-SECTION, REDUCED TO HALF THE NATURAL SCALE, OF THE been seen. VEGETABLE MOLD IN A FIELD, DRAINED AND RECLAIMED FIF The estimates of the amount of TEEN YEARS PREVIOUSLY. A, turf; B, vegetable mold without any stones ; C, mold with fragments of burned marl, coal-cin-mold brought up by the worps, ders, and quartz-pebbles ; D, sub-soil of black, peaty sand, with based on actual weighings and measquartz-pebbles.

urements of the castings at particular arwin's garden disappeared, in the course of spots, give results ranging from 7.56 to 18.12 ars, under an inch of mold with which the tons per acre in one year, and a volume suffiorms covered it.

cient to make when spread out a layer of soil A stone, sixty-four inches long, seventeen of from one to more than two inches thick in ches broad, and from nine to ten inches thick, ten years. The remains of ancient buildings irt of the ruins of a lime-kiln that had been seem also to have been buried effectively, in rn down thirty-five years before, lay in a large part, through the action of worms. An :ld, its base sunk from one to two inches example of this kind is furnished at Abinger,

[graphic][merged small][merged small]


YEARS. A A, general level of the field. The underlying brick rubbish has not been represented. Scale, one half inch to one foot.

irrey, where the remains of an ancient Roman also found in the course of the digging, and Ila were discovered in 1877. The cut (Fig. 5) worms were brought up from a considerable presents the appearance presented by thé depth. Three years afterward the worms were tried wall and the ground around it at a point still at work, burrowing in the concrete floor here one of the trenches was dug. The mold and the mortar of the walls. re was from eleven to sixteen inches thick Other striking examples of the action of er the tesselated floor, G, and from thirteen worms are found in the ruins of the old Roman fifteen inches thick over the broken summit town of Silchester, where the concrete floor of the wall, W. No signs of worms appeared the basilica, still covered here and there with ! the trodden-down earth over the tessere tessera, is found at three feet below the surhen they were first cleared, but many signs face. Worm-castings were observed on the

fresh worm-action were seen on the next floors of several of the rooms, in one of whicb y, and for the next seven weeks these signs the tesselation was unusually perfect. Open ere very abundant. Numerous burrows were worm-burrows were found beneath all the

loose tessere ; worms have penetrated the old The chief share of the work of covering the walls of the ruins, and were found in them, buildings is attributed to worms. with traces of mold; and the pavement had Worms also contribute to the disintegration sunk considerably in nearly all the rooms. of the rocks and the denudation of the land,



B, dark earth full of stones, thirteen inches in thickness ; C, black mold; D, broken mortar ; E, black mold; FF, undisturbed sub-soil ; G, tesseræ; H, concrete ; I, nature unknown ; W, buried wall.

by generating humus acids which act on the in an acre of garden-soil, and Mr. Darwin is carbonates, by grinding up in their crops the willing to allow half that number, or 26,886, stones they swallow, and by bringing earth to to the acre in corn-fields and pasture-lands; the surface in their castings, to be blown away and as in many parts of England a weight of by the winds and washed away by the rains more than ten tons of dry earth annually passes into the valleys. They are extraordinarily nu- through their bodies and is brought to the sarmerous. Hensen says there are 53,767 of them face on each acre, the whole superficial bed of

[merged small][merged small][graphic]


(Silchester). Outside the broken-down bounding walls, the excavated ground on each side is shown for a short space. Nature of the ground beneath the tesseræ unknown. Scale, så.

vegetable mold must pass through them every the harder parts of insects, the shells of landfew years. By triturating this earth, by sub-mollusks, leaves, twigs, etc., are before long all jecting its minerals to the action of the humus buried beneath the accumulated castings of acids, and by periodically exposing the mold to worms, and are thus brought in a more or less the air, they prepare the ground in an excellent decayed state within reach of the roots of manner for the growth of fibrous-rooted plants plants. Leaves are digested by them and conand for seedlings. The bones of dead animals, verted into humus. Their burrows, penetrat

ing to a depth of five or six feet, are believed communicate with the Government, with the view of to aid materially in the drainage and ventila- effecting an arrangement which they thought might tion of the ground. They also facilitate the had not yet been done, for this reason, he understood downward passage of roots of moderate size, that the President of the republic, who was more or which are nourished by the humus with which less a dictator, but who to a certain extent held his the burrows are lined. Many seeds owe their authority and power with the consent of the repregermination to having been covered by cast- sentative Congress in that country, had said that it was ings; others, buried more deeply, lie dormant ceptance of the Congress, however much he might detill they are brought under conditions favora- sire it, unless he received some indication that it would ble to germination.

be accepted by the bondholders, as, in the event of its ECUADOR (RePÚBLICA DEL ECUADOR). Par- rejection by them after he had 'induced the Congress ticulars relating to area, territorial division, tion. That seemed to him (the chairman) not an un

to approve an arrangement, he would damage his posipopulation, etc., of this republic will be found reasonable view, and he believed that the object of in our volumes for 1873 and 1878.

the meeting was to see whether they could not agree The President is General Ignacio de Veinte- to a resolution laying down the pecuniary basis on milla, inaugurated in December, 1876, and de- which some such arrangement could be come to as clared dictator for an unlimited period in 1878. one of the requisitionists, then moved a resolution ex

would be acceptable generally. Mr. Robert Campbell, The First Designado (or Vice-President) was pressing the readiness of the bondholders to accept an Señor L. Salvador; the Second Designado (or arrangement of the debt which would adequately seSecond Vice-President), Señor J. Novoa; and cure to them, in lieu of their present bonds and arrears the Cabinet was composed of the following with interest payable in sterling in London, of not less

of interest, not less than £950,000 new sterling bonds, ininisters: Interior and Foreign Affairs, Gen- than 5 per cent, with a sinking fund of '1 per cent eral C. Bernaza; Finance and Public Works, accumulative, to be increased after five ycars to 2 per Dr. Martin de Icaza; War and Marine, Colones cent. The re-establishment of the credit of Ecuador F. Boloñia. The Governor of Guayaquil was

on the European bourses would, he continued, be General J. Sanchez Rubio.

to the great advantage of the Ecuadorian people, and

would enable them to develop the immense virgin No official returns having been published for resources of the country. The large proposed rea number of years past, it is impossible to give duction of the debt would show them that the bondan exact statement of the revenue and expen

holders desired to meet them in a liberal spirit. Dr. diture of this distracted country. The former thought it advisable to state the precise condition of

Wild having seconded the motion, Mr. F. Bennoch seldom, if ever, exceeds $2,500,000; while the the debt at the present moment, in order that the latter rarely falls short of $3,500,000! More bondholders might understand the position they now than one half of the entire revenue is derived occupied, and that in which they would be placed in from the custom-house of Guayaquil.

the event of the terms of the resolution being accepted

by the Ecuadorian Government. The chairman reThe total national debt of Ecuador amounted plied that the present principal of the debt, as arto $11,459,000, including the British loan, the ranged in 1854, was £1,824,000, bearing, 1 per cent particulars concerning which, and the proba- interest, with the possibility of a rise in the event of bilities as to its extinction, are set forth in the the yield of the Guayaquil custom-house exceeding subjoined report of the proceedings at a meet- increase over the 1 per cent, which, as he had stated, ing of the bondholders :

they had received for a few years only. The arrears

of interest amounted to £264,480 (29 coupons). ThereMr. Hyde Clarke (the secretary to the Council of fore, the indebtedness was £2,088,000, which it was Foreign Bondholders) having read the notice conven proposed should be converted into £950,000 of new 5 ing the meeting, the Right Hon. E. P. Bouverie stated per cent bonds. The composition would, therefore, that the requisitionists were very largely interested in be nearly 108. in the pound. The amount required this debt, and their desire was to obtain the sanction under the new arrangement would be £47,500 a year. of the meeting to a resolution proposing the basis of Mr. Campbell pointed out that that amount was to be an arrangement which they hoped might be effected made by a population of over 1,000,000. Mr. Wright with the state of Ecuador for the purpose of settling (of the Ecuadorian Bondholders' Committee) obthe debt. There was a committee of Ecuadorian bond served that when the old arrangement was made the holders, which had sat at the offices of the corporation bondholders were entitled to 25 per cent of the cusfor some years, and they had fully approved the object toms' dues, which he understood from Mr. Hazlewood of the meeting. The debt was a very old-standing amounted last year to £200,000. Therefore last year affai He believed it arose originally from the parti- the bondholders should have received £50,000. The tion of the ancient Colombian debt, about fifty years progress of the South American republics was, he said, ago, between the different states which were then split stopped by the position of their debts, and if they up out of the old state of Colombia, which had incurred were arranged their immense natural resources could the debt in the wars with Spain. Ecuador paid inter- be developed. It was to be hoped that if the Ecuadoest on this debt to a small extent for about twelve or rian Government came to an arrangement with the thirteen years, under an arrangement made so long bondholders, they would keep it this time. Mr. Van ago as 1854. It then suspended payment, and he be- Raalte having alluded to a sum of £11,000 which, he lieved an act of Congress was passed shortly afterward said, was now in the Bank of England belonging to repudiating the debt. They hoped, however, that a the bondholders, Mr. Hazlewood referred to his visit better tone and temper was springing up on the part to the country a few years ago on behalf of the bondof the states of South America, indications of which holders, and expressed his belief that the Government he had found during his experience in that office, and of Ecuador would acquiesce in the terms submitted in they hoped that that spirit had extended to the Gov- the resolution. A bondholder stated that the Presi. ernment of Ecuador. At any rate, the requisitionists dent and ministers had offered to give the salt-duties, thought they saw their way to effect an arrangement which were now £50,000 a year, and could be develwhich would be advantageous to themselves and to oped to £70,000, as security for any new arrangement. the bondholders generally. A short time ago they The chairman then put the resolution, and declared it had deputed a gentleman to go out to Ecuador and carried unanimously.

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