He commenced by expressing his assurance that, until a few days ago, he had not been aware that he should be expected to take a part in to-day’s proceedings. However, he came forward in obedience to the call that had been made upon him, and would present a few remarks which he hoped would be such as would give satisfaction.
His object was not to treat of the general question of petrifaction, but of petrifaction under certain restricted circumstances. Silicification was neither more nor less than petrifaction with silex, a mineral which was to be found in a great variety of forms, but generally in the shape of common flint. The author here directed the attention of the company to a great number of diagrams which were suspended from the walls of the room, and describing there-upon flint in its natural state; besides various specimens of chalk and other substances in which it was found imbedded. He also pointed out some specimens of the silicification on a class of organic remains which are popularly known by the name of fairy loaves or sea urchins (Echinus.) Another diagram represented a specimen of belemnite in the same state.
After referring to, and explaining, the different diagrams, he stated that the silicification of organic bodies was not at all connected with the amount of silex, but depended upon some other laws into which they had at present no insight. He described a portion of a jaw of a fossil reptile, (the Mosasaurus Stenodon,) ...
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