Sir James Hector said this was the bird that caused so much trouble with sheep. He first found them settled on the plant known as the “vegetable sheep,” and this had no doubt led them to attack the sheep itself.
A collection of live specimens of Peripatus novœ - zealandiœ, collected by Mr. Stuart Duncan at Porirua, was exhibited by Sir James Hector, who pointed out that the great anatomical interest of this insect, which is probably the ancestral form of all insects and spiders, has of late further increased through the recent discovery by Professor Adam Sedgwick, of Cambridge University, of a minute structure of the cell-wall in certain tissues which throws light on the mechanism of the functions of reproduction.
Mr. Travers pointed out that he first found this insect in New Zealand, and gave specimens to Mr. Moseley, of H.M.S. “Challenger,” who wrote a monograph on it, and it had since been dealt with by Professor Balfour. It is found in Chili, New Zealand, the Cape of Good Hope, and in the West Indies. This peculiar distribution goes to prove that there must have been a connection between these lands in former times.