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Shrews (Sorex), and the forms which mast closely approxi- | 'Musaraigne' are brown at the tips. Now, as he invariably mate to that genus.
speaks of this species without any adjunct to the name, in The Geographical Distribution of the forms of these contradistinction to the Water Shrew, there can be no doubt, Soricidæ is wide: examples of them oocur in Europe, as far as this character is concerned, that the Continental Asia, Africa, and America.
and British animals may be identical ; and there appears Sorex.
to be no reason, from any other characters, to doubt that General Character.- Upper incisors curved and toothed such is the case. That more than one species have been or notched at the base; lower incisors nearly horizontal, confounded amongst the common Shrews of this country. I all much producerl. Body covered with soft and velvety have long entertained a decided prepossession; but I have fur. Muzzle very much attenuated ; ears short and rounded. not at present sufficient ground to warrant me in describing Five toes with moderately strong claws on each foot. Tail thein as distinct. (History of British Qu.idrupeds.) generally long
Food, Habits. Nest, 8.c.--Insects and worms are the food 2
8-8 of the Common Shrew. Pennant states that it inhabits old Dental Formula :--incisors į; canines 0; molars
walls, heaps of stones, and holes in the earth, and is fre30.
quently found near hay-ricks, dunghills, and similar places. The annual autumnal mortality among these animals, at which season (about August) they are so often found dead, has been observed by most, and satisfactorily accounted for by none, as far as we know. Pennant says, anul Agricola, as we shall presently see, noticed the fact before bim, that cats will kill but not eat them, being probably disgusted by their peculiar and somewhat musky smell; and the bodies of the dead shrews have been observed to be marked by a nip near the loins, as if by the bill of some rapacious bird. Kestrels and Owis however are known to prey upon them, and the bones of the head bave been found in the stomach of the Barn Owl. Mr. Turner, of Bury St. Edmunds, detected among twenty casts from that owl, taken from a considerable mass, the skeletons of seven Shrews.
Shrews are very pugnacious; and Mr. Bell remarks that, if two be confined in a box together, a very short time elapses before the weaker of the two is killed and partly devoured; he also gives his reasons for supposing that shrews fall victims to the rapacity of moles. The nest, which is framed of soft grasses and other plants, s generally found in a hole more or less shallow in the ground, or a dry bank, and is entered at the side, being, so to speak, roofed over. Here the female produces in the spring from five to seren little Shrews.
Among the antients, the Shrew-mouse had a very bad l'eputation. Thus Aristotle declares that its bite is dangerous to horses and other beasts of burthen ; and that it is more dangerous if the Shrew-mouse be with young. The bite, he says, causes boils (QXúkraivaı), and these burst, it the Shrew-mouse be pregnant when she inflicts the wound; but if she be not, they do not burst. (Hist. Anir., viii., 24.) Pliny states that ihe bite of the Italian Shrew-mice
is venomous:- In Italie muribus araneis venenatus est Tooth of Sorex, from a large species taken iu the Isle of France, six times morsus.' (Nat. Hist., viii., 58.) With reference to this larger than nature.
supposition, it is worthy of remark that the French apply Example, Sorex araneus.
the term 'musaraigne,' or musette,' to a disease of ihe Description.-Reddish mouse-colour above, paler be- horse, which manifests itself in a small tumour (anthrar) neath; tail somewhat quadrangular, rather shorter than on the upper and internal part of the thigli, and is often the body, not ciliated beneath.
accompanied by very severe symptoms. This appears to be the Musaraigne of the French; Topo- Agricola, in his book De Animantibus Subterraneis, rango of the Italians; Murganho of the Spanish; Spitz- does not forget the antient traditions of the Shrew's venom, maus and Zismaus of the Germans; Nabbmus of the and thus hands them on : The Mus Araneus,' says he, Swedes; Næbmuus and Muaseskier of the Danes; and took its name among the Latins, because it injects venom Llygoden goch, Chwistlen, and Llyg of the antient Bri- from its bite, like a spider.' The Greek name, uvyály, he tish.
derives from the facts that it is of the size of a mouse, Mr. Bell, whose description we have above given, states whilst it is of the colour of a weasel. In his description of that he has ventured, after some consideration, to retain the animal, he notices the termination of the teeth in both the name of Araneus for the common Shrew of England, jaws in bifid points, whence, he remarks, animals bitten by notwithstanding the doubts which have existed in the it receive quadrifid wounds. He tells us that its bite in warm minds of many zoologists, and in which he had till lately regions is generally pestiferous; but that in cold climates it participated. These doubts, he observes, have arisen from is not, consoling those who may suffer by the not unusual what he believes to be an erroneous statement of Geoffroy, assertion in such cases, that the animal itself torn asunder who, in his paper on the Shrews, in the Annales du Mu- or dissected and placed upon the wound is a remedy for its séum, has given as a character of Sorex araneus, that the own venom. Agricola states also that cats kill it, but abteeth are all white; and as Daubenton, in his memoir on horring this same venom, do not eat it. the same subject, in the Mémoires de l'Académie des This barmless little animal was also an object of fear and Sciences, does not mention the colour of the teeth at all, superstition to our ancestors. Mr. Bell gives the following the autnority, he adds, of Geoffroy has been sufficient to etymological observations made by Mr. Thompson, of the produce considerable hesitation as to whether the Sorex London Institution :- Schreava,' Angl. - Sax., a Shrewaraneus of the Continental authors be identical with our Mouse ; which, by biting cattle, it venometh them that they common Shrew, which has invariably brown teeth. “It die.' (Somner.) Lye adds the orthography of Schreova. seems however,' says Mr. Bell in continuation, to have the etymon may possibly be found in Schreadan, to cut, or been overlooked, that Daubenton, in his description of the Schrif, to censure bitterly; or rather Scheorfian, to bite or Shrews in Buffon's Histoire Naturelle, has set the question at gnaw (all Angl.-Sax.); and the ordinary notion is that the rest, as far as regards the colour of the teeth ; for, in de biling disposition expressed by the word Shrew comes from scribing the 'Musaraigne, Sorex araneus, he refers, for the the name of the Shrew-Mouse; though Todd prefers deaccount of the teeth, to his description of the 'Musaraigne riving it from the German Schreien, to clamour, or from d'eau,' $. fodiens; and we there find that the teeth of the the Saxon Schryvan, to beguile. In the word Erdshrew the
prefix is clearly the Anglo-Saxon Eorth, earth-designed The Water-Shrew, whose habits are graphically described to express the animals habitation. The cry of the Common by Mr. Dovaston, in Loudon's Magazine (A1.), appears to be Shrew is shrill, but.feeble.
the Musaraigne d'Eau of the French. The Oared Shrew The etymological remarks here noticed prepare us for seems to have been first published as British in Sowerby's White's account of the superstition itself, involving the sup- British Miscellany, from a specimen taken by Dr. Hooker posed injury and the alleged remedy. At the south corner in Norfolk, under the name of Sorex ciliatus. of the Plestor, or area near the church,' says the author of The Sorex Indicus (S. myosurus, Pallas), or Musk-Rat o the . History of Selborne,' there stood about twenty years India, has much the same appearance in point of colour ago a very old grotesque hollow pollard-ash, which for ages and the size of its naked ears as our common Shrew, but is had been looked on with no small veneration as a shrew- nearly as large as our common brown_rat, and the tail is ash. Now a shrew-ash is an ash whose twigs or branches, round and thinly furnished with hairs. This species diffuses when gently applied to the limbs of cattle, will immediately a most powerful odour of musk, which impregnates everyrelieve the pains which a beast suffers from the running of thing that is touched by it. It has been alleged that even a shreu-mouse over the part affected: for it is supposed that the wine in a well-corked bottle over which the animal has a shrew-mouse is of so baneful and deleterious a nature, that run has been rendered unfit for use in consequence of the whenever it creeps over a beast, be it horse, cow, or sheep, flavour imparted to it. Cuvier states that this species is the suffering animal is afflicted with cruel anguish, and found throughout the East Indies and in a part of Africa, threatened with the loss of the use of the limb. Against and that it is among the animals embalmed by the antient this accident, to which they were continually liable, our pro- Egyptians; but, according to others, it is Sorex Olivieri, vident forefathers always kept a shrew-ash at hand, which, Desm., which Olivier found in a mummy state in the catawhen once medicated, would maintain its virtue for ever. combs of Sakkara. A shrew-ash was made thus: into the body of the tree a
Mygale.* deep hole was bored with an auger, and a poor devoted Generic Character.-Great lower incisors having between shrew-mouse was thrust in alive and plugged in, no doubt them two very small teeth. Muzzle in a very small and with several quaint incantations long since forgotten. As very moveable proboscis. Ears short. Five unguiculated the ceremonies necessary for such a consecration are no toes on each foot united by a membrane. Tail long, scaly, longer understood, all succession is at an end, and no such compressed laterally. tree is known to subsist in the manor or hundred. As to
10-10 that on the Plestor
Dental Formula :-incisors, canines, molars,
7-7 " The late vicar stubb'd and burnt it,"
= 44.+ when he was way-warden, regardless of the remonstrance of the bystanders, who interceded in vain for its preservation, urging its power and efficacy, and alleging that it had been
" Religione patrum mullos servata per annos." ' Thus do old superstitions die away. It would seem that the antidote was not confined to an ash-tree, but that different kinds of trees were used for the same purpose. If a person or animal, thus shrew-afflicted, was passed through The arch of a bramble, both ends of which were rooted and growing, his cure was considered as effected. In Staffordshire a tree endowed with the curative power was called a nurstow-tree. Those who saw one of these little animals running over cattle and attributed that action to its malig
Teeth of the upper jar of Mygale moschata, F, Cuv. nity, never stopped to inquire whether their approach had mot suddenly disturbed it from its feast of insects harbour
Example. Mygale moschata, Castor moschatus, Linn. ing in cattle droppings, which are generally to be found in naked, contracted at its base, cylindrical
, and convex in its
Description.— Tail shorter than the body, scaly, nearly the close vicinity of the spot where ihe cattle are lying.
middle, very much compressed vertically at its extremity; fur brown or dusky above, whitish ash below: total lengih, including the tail, about 15 inches, of which the tail measures eight.
This appears to be the Dæsman of the Fauna Suecica; Le Desman of the i'rench; the Biesamratze of the Ger. mans; the Wychozhol of the Russians; and the Muscovy or Musk-rat of the British.
Loculity. The river Wolga, and the adjacent lakes from Novgorod to Saratov.
Habits, &c.—This species does not appear to have been seen on dry land; and indeed it is broadly asserted that it never goes there, but wanders from lake to lake in fortuitous floods.only. It is often seen swimming or walking under the water, and coming for air to the surface, where, in clear weather, it is apt to sport. Stagnant waters shut in by high banks are its favourite localities, and in such places it makes burrows some twenty feet in length. Its principal
food is alleged to consist of fish, leeches, and the larve of The other British Shrews are the Water-Shrew, Sorex its stomach. ’Its pace is slow; but it does not seem to be
water-insects; but fragments of roots have been found in fodiens, Pallas, and the Oared Shrew, Sorex remifer, torpid in winter, at which season it is often taken in nets. Geoff.
The holes which it makes in cliffs and banks have the entrance far beneath the lowest level of the water, and the animal works upwards, never however reaching the surface, but only sufficiently high to secure itself from the highest rise of ihe river. Fish, as we have seen, forms part of its food, but the quadruped in its turn falls a victim to the Pikes and Siluri, whose flesh becomes so impregnated with the flavour of musk in consequence, as to be not eatable.
• N.B. This uame having been pre-occupied among the moderns for a genus b
of insects, Fischer propuses that of Myogalea, and Brandt that of Myegale; but
Elian uses Mvyáły to designate a Shrew-mouse, and so does Aristotle. Order surface of hinder feet of Shrews. (Bell.) a, Common Shrew. + This formula, given by M. Lesson, has the authority of M. F. Cuvier for b, Water-Shrew, c, Oared Shrew.
the teeth of the upper jaw, and of Geoffroy (in the case of Mygale Pyrenaica) for those of the lower jaw.
The Common Shrew.
of musk, resembling the genuine sort, is expressed; and the common mole, without any distinct neck; limbs very short, skins are put into chests and wardrobes among clothes, being concealed by the skin of the body nearly down to the for the purpose of preserving them from moths. These wrist and ankle-joints; fore extremities situated nearly skins were also supposed to guard the wearers of them from under the auditory opening; the moveable snout almost fevers and pestilence. The price at Orenburg for the skins linear, and projecting about four lines and a half beyond the and tails was formerly tweniy copecs per hundred. They | incisors, naked at its extremity, particularly above, thinly were so common near Nischnei-Novgorod, that the pea- clothed with hairs below for about two-thirds of its length sants were wont to bring five hundred each to market, next the incisors: a conspicuous furrow extends nearly where they sold a hundred of them for a ruble.
its whole length, on the upper surface, and beneath there is also a furrow, reaching half its lengtli from the incisors, beyond which last the snout is transversely wrinkled beneath, and its small, flat, or truncated extremity is smooth and callous; the small oblong nostrils open in an inclined space immediately above this circular callous end. The eyes are concealed by the fur, and scarcely to be found in dried specimens. According to Godman the aperture in the skin is just big enough to admit an ordinary human hair. The auditory openings covered by the fur, and no external ear; tail thickest about one-third from its root, and tapering thence to the acute tip; it is whitish, sparingly clothed with short hairs, and its vertebræ are equally foursided; fore-arm slender, projecting about three lines from the body, and consequently concealed by the fur; the five extremely short fingers, united to the roots of the nails, form, with the wrist, a large nearly circular palm; the nails
are large, white, and semilanceolate in form, with narrow Mygale Moschata.
obtuse points, convex above, and slightly hollowed beneath; There is a species more than eight inches in length (My- the middle one is the largest, the others gradually diminish gale Pyrenaïca) inhabiting Tarbes at the foot of the Pyrenees. ou each side, and the exterior one is the smallest; the Scalops.
palms are turned outwards and backwards, and the whole Generic Character.-Muzzle pointed and cartilaginous; fore-foot bears a close resemblance to that of the common no external ears. Three toes on the anterior feet, which mole; the hind-feet are more slender than the fore-feet, are short, wide, and armed with strong claws fit for bur- and the nails are one-half shorter, much more compressed, rowing; posterior feet feeble, with five toes. Tail short. and sharper, in fact nearly subulate. They have a slight
curvature laterally corresponding with the direction of ihe Dental Formula:- Incisors
= 44. 10-10
toes inwards, and are somewhat arched, but cannot be said The above is the formula given by Dr. Richardson; but to be hooked ; they are excavated underneath. Both fore F. Cuvier (and he is followed by Lesson) makes the num
and hind feet are ihinly clothed above with adpressed pale 2 0 9-9
hairs; the palms and soles are naked, but are bordered ber 35, viz. Incisors
posteriorly with white hairs, which curve a little over them;
6-6 subjoin the teeth as given by F. Cuvier, but Dr. Richard-clothes the common mole, and is considerably lustrous on
the fur has the same velvety appearance with that which son's description appears to be very carefully given, and his the surface. In most lights it is brownish-black; when accuracy is well known.
blown aside, it shows a greyish-black colour, from ihe roots to near the tips. Such is the general colour over the whole body, but there is a slight chesnut-brown tinge on the forehead and about the base of the snout. On the throat the fur is shorter and paler. Length of head and body 7 inches 8 lines, and of tail 1 inch 6 lines. Such is, in substance, the accurate description by Dr. Richardson of this species, which, according to him, is the Brown-Mole of Pennant; the Shrew-Mole of Godman; the Mole of Lewis and Clarke; and the Musaraigne-Taupe of Cuvier.
Locality. The banks of the Columbia and the adjoining coasts of the Pacific, where it occurs in cousiderable numbers. (Richardson.)
Habits, fc. - Dr. Richardson states that the Shrew-Mo.e resembles the common European mole in its habits, in leading a subterranean life, forming galleries, throwing up little mounds of earth, and in feediug principally on earth-worms and grubs. The individual domesticated by Mr. Titian Peale is described by Dr. Godman, who paid much attention to the manners of these animals, and who relates that they are most active in the early part of the morning, at mid-day, and in the evening, coming daily to the surface, when in their natural state, at noon. Then they may be taken by driving a spade beneath them, aná throwing them on the ground, but they are hard to be caught at any other time of the day. They burrow in a variety of soils, but in wet seasons they retire to the high grounds. Mr. Peale's shrew-mole fed largely on fresh meat, cooked or raw, drank freely, was lively and playful, followed the hand of its feeder by scent, burrowed for a short distance in loose earth, and, after making a small circle, returned for more food. It employed its flexible snout in a singular manner whilst it was eating, in order to thrust the food into its mouth, doubling it so as to force it directly backwards.
The same author remarks that Sir Charles Mackenzie
saw many animals, which he terms ' moles,' on the banks Teeth of Scalops.
of a small stream near the sources of the Columbia; but Example, Scalops Canadensis, Cur, Sorex aquaticus, as it may be inferred that they were in numbers above Linn,
ground, Dr. Richardson is inclined to think that ibey were
Sewellels, belonging to the genus Aplodontia (MURIDÆ, vol. xv., p. 516), and not Shrew-moles; but the latter did not obtain recent speciniens of the Shrew-mole during the expedition to which he was attached, and is unable to say what are the exact limits of its range to the northward. He does not think however that it can exist, at least on the east side of the Rocky Mountains, beyond the fiftieth degree of latitude; because the earth-worm on which the Scalops, like the German mole, principally feeds, is unknown to the Hudson's Bay countries. On the milder Pacific shore, it may, perhaps, he thinks, reach a somewhat higher latitude. He remarks that there are two specimens of the Shrewmole from the Columbia preserved in the museum of the Hudson's Bay Company, and he states that Mr. David Douglas had kindly furnished him with others which he obtained in the same quarter. Dr. Richardson further observes that the Columbian animal seems to be of larger dimensions, and has a longer tail than the Shrew-moles of the United States, but he had not detected any other peculiarities by which it might be characterised as a distinct species; and he adverts to the fact that authors, probably from their specimens being of different ages, have varied considerably in their descriptions of the dentition of the Scalops, and that several of them have mentioned edentate spaces between the incisors and grinders. In the adult animal from which his description was taken, no such spaces existed.
M. Lesson makes the Scalops Pennsylvanica the type of his genus Talpasorex, acknowledging bowever that it only differs from Scalops in its dental formula, which he gives
= 40. It will
6-6 be well for the student to bear in mind, with reference to the genus proposed by M. Lesson, Dr. Richardson's observations on the dentition of Scalops above noticed.
With regard to the question of the existence of true Moles in North America, the following remarks of the last-mentioned accurate and diligent author are also worthy of attention. From the great resemblance of the shrewmole to the common one,' says Dr. Richardson, 'they might be readily mistaken for each other by a common observer ; and Bartram and others, who have asserted the existence of a species of the genus Talpa in America, are, on this account, supposed, by later writers, to have been mistaken. There are however several true moles in the Museum of the Zoological Society which were brought from America, and which differ from the ordinary European species in being of a smaller size, and in having a shorter and thicker snout. Their fur is brownish-black. I could not learn what aistrict of America they came from.' (Fauna BorcaliAmericana.)
thus :—Incisors –; Canines 0; Molars
Skull and teeth of Macroscelides Typicus. a, l'pper surface of the skull of M. Typicus, nat. size; b, lateral parts of the same, nat size ; c, lower jaw of the same, nat. size; d, under surface of the skull of the same, double the nat. size ; e, lower jaw of the same, double the nat. size. (Smith.)
Example, Macroscelides typicus.
Description.-Above brown, brightened by an intermix. ture of tawny; beneath whitish; extremities covered with a very short whitish hair; ears within, scantily furnished with some of a similar colour, without, nearly bare; tail thinly clothed with a stiff short black hair ; whiskers near the base of the proboscis, each hair variegated black and white; claws short, black, compressed, and pointed.
Length from nostrils to root of tail four inches and three. Scolops aquaticus.]
quarters ; length of tail three inches and a quarter.
The colour of both sexes is nearly alike.
Locality, Habits, &c.—Inhabits the open country in the Generic Character.-Muzzle narrow, ending anteriorly
interior of South Africa, and is occasionally seen during the in a long and subcylindrical proboscis, having nostrils at its day about the roots of bushes or amongst brushwood, from apex. Eyes moderate. Ears large and round. Body furry. whence, upon being discovered, it instantly retreats to its Tail elongated, scaly, anpulated, and furnished scanıily with natural and subterraneous habitation. (Zool. Journ.) hairs. Feet distinct, plantigrado, and five-toed; the claws Africa, thus further describes the appearance and habits of
Dr. Smith, in his Illustrations of the Zoology of South falcular. Hind-legs much shorter than the fore-feet.
M. typicus which he had first recorded in the Zoological 2
4-4 Dental Formula .-incisorsz;
5–5 Journal under the name of M. Typus. •The shape, breadıla,
5-5 and shortness of the ears, together with the coinparatively. * 40. (Smith.)
dense coating of fur by which both their inner and ouiei P. C. No, 1392.
VOL. XXII.-2 M
surfaces are covered, enable us readily to distinguish this I cereal grains, and may be considered the representative of species from any of the others which have yet been dis- the Indian corn (Zea Mays) in America, where it is usue covered in Southern Africa. It is found inhabiting open ally called Guinea corn, and in some works the Great or arid plains, particularly such as bear a tin coating of Indian Millet. The different kinds are usually called jour brushwood. It lives in burrows under ground, the passage in India, where they form principal objects of culture, and to which is usually for some distance below the surface one of much more importance than would appear in Europe, almost perpendicular; it vacates these during a great por: as many of the inhabitants live as much upon these small tion of ihe day, and is employrd either in seeking its food or dry grains as upon rice. The joar is the durra of sode or basking in ihe solar rays. To the latter it is very partial, Arab tribes, and the zurrut of others; its Indian origin is and for the purpose of insuring the greatest quantum of indicated by the Persian name, jawurs Hindee. It is extenbeat, it usually siis erect upon iis binder legs, and facing sively cultivated throughout Asia, and appears to be the the direction from which ihe heat proceeds. When dis- tall corn of the Chinese. It has been introduced into the turbed while occupied in either of the ways mentioned, it south of Europe, wliere it is chiefly employed for feeding fies immediately to its subterranean retreat, and its pro- cattle and pouliry, but it is also made into cakes. The flour gress is effected with such rapidity, that it is impossible to is white and a good deal resembles that of the Indian corn discover anything either of the form or the real nature of in nature. The species commonly sown in India are Ş. rul the animal as it advances. On this account I was familiar gare and $. bicolor (kala-joar). S. cernuum is a distinct with the general appearance it presents on such occasions species, which forms the principal food of the mountaineers long before I had any idea of its real character. It feeds of the Munnipore district. $. saccharatum is also cultiupon insects. The discovery of this little animal in 1828, vated in many parts during the rainy and cold seasons, on rendered the institution of a new group of Insectivora neces- land which is too high for rice. The stalks and straw of all sary. When its characters were indicated in 1829, M. ty- are much valued as fodder for catile, being cut in small picus was only known; at present the number of described pieces, commonly called kurbee. species are seven, six of which belong to Southern Africa SO'RIA, a small province of Spain, bounded on the north and one to Algiers.'
by the province of Logroño, on the south by that of Si Dr. Smith, in the Zoological Journal, places this genus guenza, to the east by Aragon, and to the west by the proimmediately after Sorex, and the reader will find most of vince of Burgos. The capital, Soria, is situated on the right tbe species beautifully depicted and accurately described in bank of the river Douro, about 30 miles from its source, in the illustrations of the Zoology of South Africa above 41° 34' N. lat. and 2° 24' W. long. It is supposed to occupy quoted.
the site of the antient Numantia. It owes its foundation to
SORUS, in botany (from owpós, ' a heap'), a term applied to the collections of the sporangia 'or capsules whicn are found on the edges or the inder surface of the fronds of ferns. In most instances, as in the Aspidiacea, Aspleniaceæ, Davilliaceæ, &c., the sori are covered with a peculiar projecting portion of the epidermis, which is called the Indusium, and forms an important part in the systematic arrangement of these plants. In some instances, as in Adianthum and Ceratopteris, the substance of the leaf has a share in the formation of the indusium. It has been
generally admitted that the indusium is the analogue of the Macroscelides typicus. (Reduced from Dr. Smith's figure.)
bract in the higher plants, but Treviranus maintains that it is
an entirely peculiar organ, nor, according to this view, can it This, or one of the species, --but most probably this, be looked upon as a mere extension of the epidermis. In seems to be the Elephant Shrew of Pennant, and ihus de looking for analogies between tlowering and thowerless skribed : 'S. with a very long, slender, and little nose; the plants, Kölreuter supposed that the indusium represented whole animal of a deep brown colour. Inhabits the neigh- the stamens. [SPORE.] bourhood of the Cape of Good Hope: called ibe Elephant, The term sorus is sometimes applied to mere collections from its proboscis-like snout: engraven from a drawing by of spores or granules, as seen in many Algæ, of which DelesMr. Paterson.' Pennant further remarks that this animal seria alata and D. sinuosa are examples. has been very ill represented by Petiver, in Tab. xxiii. of his SOSI'GENES, an Egyptian astronomer, who was brought Guzophylacii Naturæ et Artis Decas tertia, and truly so it to Rome by Julius Cæsar, to superintend the correction of is : but Pennant's figure is not much better. Peliver's de- the calendar. He is said to have lived at Rome till the scription is .9. Mus araneus Capensis maximus. Taken time of Augustus, and to have assisted in the further corfrom a painting of Dr. Sherard's, now consul of Smyrna.' rection which took place in the reign of that emperor. But SOREL. CANADA.]
beyond this nothing is known of his life, death, or pursuits. SOREL, AGNES. (CHARLES VII. of France.)
For some detail of the correction see YEAR. SOREX. (SORECIDÆ.]
SOSPELLO. (NICE.] SORGHUM, a genus of grasses, said to be named from SO'STRATUS of CNIDUS. (ALEXANDRIA.] the Oriental name of one of ihe species, of which sorgo is SOTHIAC PERIOD. The antient Egyptian year the lialian name. The species have sometimes been consisted only of 365 days, without any intercalation; and referred to Holcus, sometimes to Andropogon, but from was divided into 12 months of 30 days each, with 5 days their habit and uses they seem well entiiled to be considered added at the end. (Herodotus, ii. 4.) The Scholiast on Ara as a distinct genus, which may be characterized as having tus informs us that the priests were sworn never to alter the flowers monecious, panicled; gluine coriaceous, carti. this year. This oath, we may conjecture, only came into use laginous, 2-flowered ; the upper flower barmaphrodite, after the discovery of the fact that a fraction of a day more the lower palea more or less deeply bifid and awned be- would have been desirable to make the civil year conform tween the bes, the upper often wanting. The species to the sun. As long as 365 days was imagined to be the form tall grasses with succulent stems, and are found in the real year, it is not likely that they would have sworn each tropical parts of Asia, whence they have spread to the warm other to its observance; but if, after the discovery, a party parts of Europe. S. vulgare is the largest of the small were formed in favour of an alteration, the attempt to pre