First Meeting. 29th July, 1876.
Dr. W. L. Buller, C.M.G., President, in the chair.
New Members.—Captain Campbell Walker, F.R.G.S., H. M. Brewer, of Wanganui.
“An Attempt at an Explanation of the Origin of Mineral Veins, particularly those of Gold and Silver,” by J. C. Crawford, F.G.S. (Transactions, p. 560.)
Discussion postponed owing to the absence of the author.
The Hon. Mr. Mantell read a description of the New Zealand Court at the Philadelphia Exhibition, written by Dr. Hector, and also several passages from letters received from that gentleman regarding the Exhibition generally.
“On the Occurrence of the Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia) in New Zealand,” by Dr. W. L. Buller, C.M.G., President. (Transactions, p. 337.)
“Notes on Panax lineare, Hook. f.,” by T. Kirk, F.L.S. (Transactions, p. 492.)
“On the Durability of Matai Timber,” by John Buchanan, F.L.S. (Transactions, p. 182.)
Mr. Kirk thought that the author had committed an error as to the age of the specimen described, as he considered that, in the case of New Zealand trees, more than one ring is formed annually.
The Hon. Mr. G. R. Johnson thought that there must be two species of the Matai in New Zealand, as he had known some posts of that wood last much longer than others; perhaps it was due to the sex of the timber.
Mr. Kirk said that only one species of Matai was known to botanists; the difference might, as was suggested, be due to sexual characters.
The author defended his views as to the age of the specimen in question, the growth of the rings of the Matai being very uniform, and not in bundles.
6. “Notes on the Tuatara Lizard (Sphenodon punctatum), with a Description of a supposed New Species,” by Dr. Buller, C.M.G., President. (Transactions, p. 317.)
Live specimens were exhibited.
The Hon. Mr. Mantell stated that in the Colonial Museum there were some specimens of the eggs of this singular reptile.
Dr. Newman gave some interesting information regarding the anatomy of lizards generally, and especially of the Tuatara; he also expressed his views on the remarkable manner in which the tail is reproduced in this and many other lizards, when accidentally broken off.
The President expressed a hope that Dr. Newman would dissect one of the Museum specimens.
7. “On the Root-stock of Marattia fraxinea, Smith,” by John Buchanan, F.L.S. (Transactions, p. 527.)
The author illustrated his paper with sketches.
8. Mr. R. B. Gore described the Earthquake recently felt throughout the central portions of the colony between Taupo and Christchurch.
9. A photograph of Dinornis elephantopus, in the Dunedin Museum, which had been forwarded by Captain Hutton, was laid on the table.