Total, 104 copies.
The alteration and extension of the buildings of the department, which have, since last report, been undertaken by the Government, will, it is believed, when completed, leave little to be desired in that direction for a considerable time.
These works, which were commenced in November last, and are still in progress, but rapidly approaching completion, affecting as they have done almost every portion of the building, have necessitated the exclusion of the public for a long period, but this loss will be amply compensated for when the collections, together with the large and valuable additions expected from Europe on the return of the Director of the Geological Survey, shall have been arranged in the Museum, while the erection of office accommodation will remove many obstacles to the progress of departmental work.
There have been 4,813 specimens added to the Museum during 1874–75, over 4,000 of which have been collected in the field by the officers of the department. Owing to the extensive alterations which have been going on in the Museum building, the number of presentations for the past year falls short of what it has been in former years.
A large and valuable collection has been taken to England by Dr. Hector with a view to identification and exchange, so that next year considerable additions will be looked for in the objects of interest in the Museum.
Mammalia.—A specimen of the humpback whale, Megaptera australis, has been recived from Mr. G. Gooch, from the Kaikoura Beach. Two specimens of the blackfish, Globiocephalus macrorhynchus, and one skeleton of Eubalœna marginata, from Mr. Charles Traill, of Stewart Island. Captain Fairchild also procured for the Museum a specimen of a new species of cowfish.
Birds.—Fifty-seven specimens have been added to this department since last report, the chief of which are twenty-seven foreign birds sent by Dr. Otto Finsch, of Bremen. A fine specimen of peacock (Pavo cristatus), by Mr. J. Monteith; and a large specimen of the Patagonian penguin, presented by Mr. C. Traill, and mounted by Mr. Morton.
Reptilia.—The only entries under this head are a collection of lizards
from the Brothers Islands, and from Stewart Island, by Mr. C. Traill.
Fishes.—No additions of any importance have been received under this head.
Invertebrata.—Little has been received beyond a collection of Tasmanian insects from Mrs. Battersbee.
Palœontology.—During the present year large collections have been made from parts of the Canterbury, Marlborough, and Nelson Provinces, with a view to determining the relations which exist between the bituminous coal of the West Coast and the Saurian beds of the Waipara, but the evidence obtained is not sufficient at present to settle this satisfactorily. Much interesting information has, however, been obtained, together with good collections from the Waipara, Weka Pass, Culverden, Rakaia, and Trelissic beds; and the lower beds of the Trelissic outlier have been shown to be of the same age as those of the Waipara, the Inoceramus, Belemnites, &c., of which, in addition to the Saurian remains, distinctly pronounce them as secondary.
A survey of the coast line between Cape Kidnappers and Castle Point has also been accomplished, and a collection comprising over 750 fossils been made from the tertiary, cretaceo-tertiary, and secondary rocks of the district, of which the latter prove to be of Jurassic age.
A further collection has been obtained from the Taipos, on the east coast of Wellington and Napier, comprising several new species; and from the Tairua Valley a collection has been made, showing the rocks of that district to be of the same age as those of the Ahuriri formation, which appear at Napier and Castle Point.
A survey of the country between Raglan and the Miranda Redoubt, in the Province of Auckland, has been completed, and careful collections made from the various localities where fossils are found. About 1,300 specimens were collected on this trip, and it is interesting to note that, for the first time in the North Island, fossils (Monotis salinaria) were discovered in the older rocks forming the Hakarimata Range, thus fixing their horizon as much younger than was originally supposed, probably Triassic. With the exception of this instance, no fossils were obtained in rocks of greater age than the brown coal of the Waikato basin; but collections were made from all the younger beds which show a direct sequence until reaching the Kawhia limestone, an equivalent of the Napier limestone of the East Coast.
At Wangaroa North the secondary rocks of the East Cape District and East Coast of Wellington again appear, and there is now in the Museum a collection from these rocks comprising Inoceramus and many other forms, and a collection has also been made from the greensands which lie unconformably upon them, and which, from the presence of Pecten hochstetteri,
etc., appear to be the equivalents of certain sandstones in the Raglan Harbour. No other beds of the coal series appear in the district here examined.
Large collections from the various localities at present represented in the Museum have been sent home for identification by competent authorities, with a view to establishing a distinct basis for the classification of the formations appearing in this country; and the collections in the Museum at present have been worked out, and are exhibited as nearly as possible in their geological sequence, but provisionally only, under the title of their geographical distribution.