Slike strani

SERINGA PATAM, sēr-ing-ga-pa-tăm' French and served under Wellington in 1813. (properly, Sri-ranga-patanam, “city of Vishnu”), After working his way up from the ranks to India, a celebrated town and fortress, the the position of major-general, in 1816 he was former capital of Mysore, 245 miles west by placed in command of the Spanish Royalist south from Madras, on an island formed by two army in Upper Peru. In this capacity he was branches of the Kaveri. The fort, a massive in constant conflicts with the natives and structure, stands on the western end of the numerous uprisings gave him the opportunity to island and contains within its walls the ruins of display his military ability. He was, however, the palace of Tippu Saib (q.v.), a mosque built defeated by the patriots at Salta and Jujuy, by the same ruler and an old temple. Just out- and owing to disagreements with the viceroy in side of the fort is Tippu's graceful summer regard to the conduct of the army during the palace, now in ruins. At the east end of the campaign, resigned in 1819, but was at once island, near the suburb of Ganjam, where almost made lieutenant-general and president of the all the inhabitants now reside, is the mausoleum council of war. Not long after this he was in which Tippu and his father, Hyder Ali, are again appointed to the command of the army br.ried. The fort was three times besieged by 10 suppress the uprising under San Martin, and the British, first in 1791 and afterward in 1792 on 29 Jan. 1821, upon the deposition of the and 1799. On the last occasion the fortress was viceroy Pezuela by his officers, he became carried by assault, Tippu being slain. The town viceroy. He was not able to stem the tide of once contained about 150,000 persons, but its San Martin's successes and on 6 July 1821 population in course of time has steadily de- was forced to evacuate Luna, retreating to creased until now it is only about 12,500.

Cuzco. From here he directed his army and SERINUS, in ornithology, a genus of the

maintained it for over three years against the sparrow family Pringillide (q.v.), having a

patriots without any assistance from Spain, and stout cone-shaped bill, broad at the base; the

keeping his ground in the interior with great nostrils basal, round and hidden by stiff frontal

skill and resolution. He was finally defeated feathers directed forward, gape straight, with

on 9 Dec. 1824 by the patriot leader, General out bristles. The serinus is small, compact and

Sucre, in the battle of Ayucucho. Though outactive; the legs are short and scutelate; the

numbered by the Royalists, the patriots won feet strong; the wings which are moderately

the battle and Serna with his whole army was long and somewhat pointed have a minute outer

captured. He was severely wounded during the primary; and the tail is deeply forked. The

fight, and was afterward released and sent back serin (9.v.), Serinus hortulanus, the S. canon

to Spain, where he died at the age of 62. icus, the S. canarius, the canary, and S. SEROUS MEMBRANE, a delicate glistenpusillus, the red-fronted finch, are inhabitants ing tissue of flattened endothelial cells, supof the Western Palæarctic regions, but some ported by a fibrous and elastic layer in which species are to be found in the Eastern Palæ- are capillaries and lymphatics, that glistens on arctic, Oriental and Ethiopian regions.

exposure. The serous membranes of the human SERIOLA, in ichthyology, a genus of

body are so called because moistened by a Carangida, divided into 12 species and inhabit

serous fluid, and form closed sacs. For the ing temperate and tropical waters. The body is

most part they line certain cavities of the body oblong and slightly compressed, and the abdo

and are reflected over the surface of the organ is rounded; the first dorsal fin is con

or organs contained in the cavities. The por

tion of the membrane lining the walls of the tinuous, with feeble spine; villiform teeth in jaws and on the vomer and palatine jaws. The

cavity is known as the parietal portion, the other smaller species are valueless, but the larger

is the visceral portion. The serous membranes, species which range from four to five feet in

six in number, are the peritoneum, lining the length are used as food.

abdominal cavity and reflected upon the stom

ach, liver, intestines, etc.; the two pleuræ lining SERIPHOS, sê-ri'fos, or SERPHỌ (now the thoracic or chest cavity, and reflected upon SERPHOS), Greece, a mountainous island of the

the lungs; the pericardium, a fibro-serous sac Cyclades group, 50 miles south of Eubea. It

covering or enclosing the heart; and the tunica contains iron, copper and lead ore — – formerly exploited. The products are chiefly corn and

vaginalis, a closed sac surrounding each testicle.

In the female, where the ovum passes from the 'wine. The ancient town participated in the bat

ovary into the Fallopian tube, the peritonæum is tle of Salamis, furnishing the Athenians with not a closed sac. The serous membranes are several ships. Seriphos was also a place of exile for the Romans. Pop: 4,000.

kept moistened by a watery lymph-like fluid, a

variety of serum, which, if secreted in large SERLIO, sār'le-o, Sebastian, Italian artist: quantity, as in dropsy, may produce bad results. b. Bologna, 6 Sept. 1473; d. Fontainebleau, 1554. Lymphatic vessels open frecly on the surface of He worked as painter and architect at Pesaro serous membranes, hence they are sometimes for 14 years, leaving that city (1514) for Rome spoken of as lymph-sacs and the cavities they and Venice, where he became Titian's associate. line as lymph-cavities. A grave danger arising He published at Venice in 1537 his voluminous from injuries and inflammation of serous memtreatise Regole Generale d'Architectura.' He branes is the absorption of septic material by is supposed to have worked with Pierre Lescot the lymphatics. Dropsical effusions, hemoron the Louvre. Primaticcio in 1541 was ap- rhage, formation of pus and deposits of fibrous pointed architect at Fontainebleau with Serlio exudations which cause adhesions and prevent as assistant.

mobility of viscera are the principal results of SERNA Y HINOJOSA (lä-sār'nä ē ēn-om

inflammation of these membranes. See PERIho-sä), José de la, famous Spanish general: b. Jerez de la Frontera, 1770; d. Cadiz, 1832. SEROW, a shaggy goat-antelope (NemorHe fought in the Peninsular War against the rhædus bubalinus) of the Himalayas, where it





[ocr errors]

frequents, singly, or in family parties, the species are known, inhabiting many parts of roughest slopes, at an altitude between 6,000 Asia, the commonest being 0. striatus, which is and 12,000 feet. Its habits are similar to those sometimes found torpid in dried-up pools and of the goral, Rocky Mountain white goat (qq.v.) irrigation tanks. When living in muddy water and other members of the genus, all of which they must rise to the surface from time to are called "serows) by some writers. Consult time to take in air, or they will smother to Lydekker, “The Game Animals of India) death. These fishes are eaten throughout the (1907).


TRY, a primitive form of religion which is still SERPENT, (1) in astronomy, one of the

found existing among uncultured races. The 48 varieties of ancient constellations extending serpent's change of skin may well have been serpent-like through a wide expanse of sky. (2) suggestive of resurrection and immortality; the In music, an almost obsolete bass instrument,

more common supposition that the serpent was consisting of a wooden tube, about eight feet regarded by his savage worshippers as the perlong, increasing conically from one inch diam- sonification of evil and of maleficence, and as a eter at the mouth-piece to four inches at the power to be appeased by gifts and worship, does open end, twisted into U-shaped turns, followed not appear to be justified by the reports of by a large circular convolution. This is covered travelers, though the Apophis-serpent of the with leather, and has a mouth-piece like a horn

Egyptian Hades, as well as the wicked Aji Daor trombone, and keys for the several notes to

haka of the Zoroastrians, were undoubtedly worbe produced. The serpent is a transposing in

shipped purely through fear. The brazen serstrument, being in B fat, and the part it is to

pent erected by Moses in the wilderness and take is, therefore, written a note higher than its afterward preserved until the days of Hezekiah real sound. Its compass is three octaves and

was broken in pieces by that king (2 Kings one note.

xviii, 4), the image having been made an object SERPENT-CHARMING, an art largely

of religious worship; this was apparently a practised in Egypt, India and other Eastern

recrudescence of primitive serpent-worship lands; there are allusions to it in the Hebrew

among the people of Judah. The brazen serpent, sacred books, namely, Ps. lviii, 5, the adder

it is conjectured by Renan (Hist. Peuple which will not hearken to the voice of charmers;

d'Israël I, xi), was a primitive idol of Jahve.

In the Biblical narrative Satan assumed the Eccles. x, 11 and Jere. viii, 17; also in some of the Greek and Latin classics. The power of

form of a serpent; among the ancient Egypcharming the most formidable serpents, as exer

tians, Typhon was the evil deity, and this idea cised by the snake-charmers, is unquestionable;

has generally, persisted in Asia, and is ap

parent in the hieroglyphics of both the Chinese nor is it true that before making an exhibition of their art the charmers always extract the

and Mexicans. The serpent whose head the

Messiah was to crush, in heathen fable became poison fangs of the creature, though that is

the hydra of Hercules, and in India the great often done. Dr. Davy, in his Interior of Cey

monster over whom Krishna triumphed, while lon, expresses his belief in the reality of this singular power. I have examined the snakes,

Roman mythology developed the 100-headed

snake slain by Jupiter. We see a trace, and he writes, (and have found the fangs in and uninjured. These men do possess a charm,

more than a trace, of a primitive worship of

the serpent in the great serpent which guarded though not a supernatural one namely, that of confidence and courage.

the citadel of Athens and which was fed every

They will play their tricks with any hooded snakes (Naja

month with honey-cakes; also in the embassage

from Rome on the occasion of a plague, to the tripudians), whether just taken or long in confinement, but with no other kind of poisonous

temple of Æsculapius at Epidaurus, whence was

brought a living serpent which was received at snakes.” The serpent-charmers are sometimes

Rome with great ceremony. Serpent-worship is employed to rid gardens of serpents; and they readily recognize when a serpent is concealed

still extensively practised in India. Among no anywhere. In practising their art for this pur

people has the mystery of this worship

weighed more than on the aborigines of Amerpose, as also in their exhibitions, they employ à kind of flute in aid of their incantations.

ica. It has given name to rivers : examples,

Kennebec and Antietam. The name for spirit When the serpents issue from their hiding

and snake are places the performer secures them by pinning

one among the Dakotas, the them to the ground with a forked stick. Those

Shawnees and the Sacs. The Ojibways and familiar with hypnotism and the French fad for

other aborigines dread to kill a rattlesnake, hypnotizing chickens, that flourished in Paris

and if they find one in their path they pray it early in the 19th century, will easily recognize

to go away and spare them and their families.

In Mexico sculptured images of serpents are that serpent-charming is hypnotic in character.

found as large and as carefully wrought as SERPENT-EAGLE, the secretary-bird

those of India. There is a vast amount of liter(q.v.).

ature on the subject, which covers the folkSERPENT-HEAD, or WALKING-FISH, lore of all peoples, and the serpent seems to a fish of the East Indian and African genus have been worshipped more than any other Ophiocephalus, the type of a family, allied to creature, and to have been associated with the the climbing perch, and like it able to live a long idea of fertility or fecundity. In many East time out of the water, and to travel by wriggling Indian ceremonies the serpent deities are conthrough moist grass, from one pool to another. stantly associated with women; certain priestThe body is elongate, two to three feet long, esses were selected for their purity, and other and covered with medium-sized scales, those on women were chosen as (wives) of the snake, the depressed head being platelike. About 30 and participated in licentious rites. The lore

[ocr errors]

of the serpents is much mixed with dragon literature. Consult all folklore books, and Brinton, Myths of the New World (1896); Hartland, Primitive Paternity' (1909); Frazer,

Golden Bough'; Deane, Serpent Worship'; Lawson, Modern Greek Religion (1910); Bourke, Snake Dance of the Moquis); Fowler, ‘Roman Festivals? ; Fergusson, Thee and Serpent Worships (London 1869).

SERPENTINE, hydrous magnesium silicate, is an abundant and widely distributed mineral. Its hardness varies more than that of any other mineral, ranging from 2 in the variety picrolite up to 6 in bowenite. Its specific gravity varies from 2.14 in some chrysotile to 2.80 in some precious serpentine. It often occurs in pseudomorphs, over a dozen of which have been described. Among these the most common are the pseudomorphs after chrysolite, enstatite, amphibole and pyroxene. Its varieties are mostly based on structure. The massive include precious serpentine, translucent and of rich, dark or pale green color; common serpentine, similar in color, but nearly opaque. The lamellar varieties include antigorite and marmolite. Williamsite, though more massive, is one of the lamellar varieties. It is applegreen and translucent and is often cut and polished. Chrysotile is fine fibrous, the fibres being easily separable and flexible. Its lustre is silky, color pale green, yellow or brown. It often occurs veins in massive serpentine. See ASBESTOS,

Serpentine rocks occur in masses often of enormous dimensions. They are formed, as indeed are all serpentines, by the alteration (“serpentization”) of other minerals, most commonly olivine (peridotyte), pyroxene or amphihole. They are often more or less mixed with limestone or magnesite, these minerals giving the mass a clouded or veined appearance. Verd antique (q.v.), or ophicalcite and many other serpentine rocks are known as serpentine marbles and are extensively used in interior decoration. Some of them are very highly prized for their rich green, yellow and brown colors, others are beautifully mottled with red. (Conyult Merrill, (Stones for Building and Decoration'). Many buildings in Philadelphia and other cities are constructed of a green serpentine rock from West Chester, Pa. Among the most_noteworthy regions producing serpentine are England, Ireland, Maryland, New Mexico, California and Washington.

SERPENTS, or SNAKES, reptiles of the saurian class Ophidia, characterized by an elongated, cylindrical, limbless, scaly form, and distinguished from lizards (q.v.) by the fact that the halves (rami) of the lower jaws are not solidly united at the chin, but movably connected by an elastic ligament. The vertebræ are very numerous, gastrocentrous and proccelous, Each vertebra is connected with its neighbors that is, hollow in front and convex posteriorly, by free ball-and-socket joints, horizontal connecting projections preventing twisting, while admitting of considerable vertical and horizontal play; and bears ribs, which may exceed 300 pairs in number. No front limbs, sternum or sacrum are ever developed, but vestiges of ancestral hind limbs remain in the boas, pythons and closely related forms, and in some lowly burrowing groups. The ventral tips of each

pair of ribs are fastened to opposite ends of one of the abdominal scutes (gastrosteges), forming a mechanism for locomotion in the absence of legs. Progression is by three methods. «The animal," says Stejneger, “may glide, perhaps in a perfectly straight line, by use of its ventral scutes, each, on finding some resistance, forcibly pushing the animal forward. It may walk by allowing each scute to act as a pair of feet, the lateral portions being alternately carried forward and pushed back; an undulatory movement, like that of myriapods, would result from this mode. The third method is by pushing, as the underground snakes do almost exclusively. Ordinarily ophidians combine the three methods. The sea-snakes progress by an undulatory movement and by the sculling action of the paddle-like tail. It is impossible for any ophidian to jump, and it is with extreme difficulty that more than the anterior half of the body can be raised, unassisted, from the ground.”

Structure.--- The skull of serpents consists of a series of bones homologous with the cranial bones of other vertebrates, but slight and, outside of the brain-box, joined by elastic ligaments, permitting great distention of the mouth and throat, so that serpents are able to swallow objects of large bulk. This arrangement is further facilitated by the quadrate bone, which articulates the lower jaw with the skull, being movable. The jaws are provided with hooked teeth of conical shape, ossified to the jaws, but not lodged in distinct sockets, which are useless for mastication, and are of service only in holding the prey in the mouth. The teeth are never permanent, but are capable of being renewed, like those of fishes, whenever the old ones become worthless. Valuable characters in classification are derived from the conformation and disposition of the teeth. Thus in the typical, non-poisonous serpents, both jaws and the palate bear continuous rows of solid conical teeth and the upper maxillae are immobile. In the viperine snakes simple conical teeth are absent on the upper maxillary or jaw bones, which are of small size and can be moved upward or downward at will. The upper maxillæ in these latter snakes further bear each a socalled "poison-fang,” an elongated canaliculated tooth perforated by a canal which communicates internally with the duct of the poisongland. These fangs are capable of being elevated or depressed. (See RATTLESNAKE; VIPERS). As regards their internal structure serpents present few points requiring notice. The digestive system comprises large salivary glands, a distensible gullet, stomach and intestine, which terminates in a cloaca -- the external opening of the cloaca being transverse in conformation. There is no urinary bladder, yet serpents drink a great deal of water and must have it in abundance when kept in captivity; at the same time they have remarkable powers of long fasting. The heart (see REPTILES) consists of three chambers only - two auricles and a ventricle, the circulation being of the mixed character characteristic of reptiles and amphibians. The lungs, ovaries and other paired or symmetrical organs exhibit an abortive condition of one of these structures, the left lung, for example, far outgrowing the right one, and doing all the work. «The trachea is long and may be provided with air-cells and the

[blocks in formation]


larynx can be projected during the tedious process of swallowing, when, too, the air-cells and the posterior reservoir come into play.” All these modifications are in adaptation to the slender, elongated form of the animal and to its methods of life. The sexes are perfectly distinguished and the penis of the male consists of a pair of organs (hemipenes), grooved on their inner sides, which when erected are pressed together and so form a tubular intromittent instrument. The special modifications of this organ constitute one of the most stable characters” or criteria by which to classify the subdivisions of the Ophidia. The eggs of the viperine, and some other snakes, are retained within the oviduct of the female until the young escape, so that these species are ovo-viviparous. In the majority of serpents, however, the eggs, which are oblong and have a leathery integument, are deposited in warm soil, among rotting wood, in heaps of decaying vegetation or in some similar warm and concealed place, where they are left to mature; but the pythons coil about their eggs and incubate them by the feeble heat of their bodies; and all kinds wait for and protect their young when born. It is true, to a limited degree, that at times of danger, the little snakes take refuge in the capacious mouth and throat of the mother. Sense-organs.- The

of serpents vary in respect to acuteness. The skin is highly sensitive to touch, and a few snakes have tentacle-like outgrowths upon the muzzle supposed to be "icelers"; this sense is principally developed, however, in the tongue, which is thread-like, forked at the end, usually black, very long and far-protrusible through a notch in the upper lip when the mouth is closed. With this tongue — mistaken by the ignorant for a "sting) — the animal tests the quality of all objects as it moves about and gains most of its information. There are no external ears, but the hearing in some, if not in all, is good. The nostrils are the tip of the snout, and the sense of smell is keen,- serpents find and follow their prey mainly by its aid. The eyes of serpents have no eyelids, yet they sleep; a watch-glass-like layer of the skin overlies and protects the ball and peels off in the annual exuviation of the outer skin (see MOLTING). The pupil is usually round, but in the boas and some others is a mere vertical slit.

Phylogeny.- Serpents are the latest and highest development of the reptilian type and seem to be the only representatives of the class which are now flourishing rather than declining. They are distributed principally in the warmer regions, only the smaller forms extending into the northern temperate zone.

Where the climate is even moderately cold in winter snakes creep into animals' burrows, holes among loose rocks and other underground places and undergo hibernation, - often many entwine together, especially toward spring, when they are seeking mates. A similar retirement (æstivation) occurs in countries exposed to annual periods of heated drought. By far the greater number of ophidians are terrestrial, although some are arborcal, others amphibious and a few exclusively marine. About 400 recent genera and nearly 1,800 species are known, but only about 35 fossil forms, according to Eastman, who reminds us that many fragmentary remains of the Cretaceous Age, at first regarded as

ophidian, are now known to be dolichosaurian. Tertiary snakes can hardly be distinguished from modern species and occur in all parts of the world, including the Eocene of New Jersey and the Eocene and Miocene of the Rocky Mountain region. These remains and other considerations make it plain that the serpents are an outgrowth from the same ancestral stock (Sauria) as the lizards.

Classification.-- The following is a progressive arrangement of families, from lowest to highest in organization, some of them including several groups formerly regarded as separate families:

1. Typhlopida. Burrowing snakes of southern Asia and the islands of the Indian Ocean. Have vestiges of the pelvis and the eyes covered by skin.

2. Glauconiide. Replace the Typhlopidæ in Africa and tropical America.

3. Ilysiida. Burrowing snakes of the tropics with vestigial hind limbs. Tail short and blunt (blind snakes).

4. Uropeltide. Burrowing snakes of Ceylon and southern India. Tail truncate, ending in a flat shield (shield-tails).

5. Boide. Large, typical snakes, with rudiments of hind legs and pelvis and ventral scales transversely enlarged. The family comprises about 70 species, found all over the world in tropical and subtropical countries and noted for their rapacious habits and ability to crush animals, large as compared with themselves. Typical genera are Python (q.v.), with about 20 Palæo-tropical and Australian species, one in Mexico, and the Boa (q.v.), which has many South American species and a few in Madagascar.

6. Xenopeltida, one Malayan species.

7. Colubride. Includes 90 per cent of all snakes; the pterygoid bone reaches the quadrate. It is divisible into three series: (1) No teeth grooved; (2) the posterior maxillary teeth

ed (poison-fangs); (3) the anterior maxillary teeth grooved (poison-fangs). The first includes the non-venomous colubrine snakes of more than 1,000 species, such as the blacksnake, garter-snake, water-snake, hog-nose and the ordinary harmless serpents of all parts of the world. The second group (2) comprises opisthoglyph, partly poisonous snakes, found in the tropics of both continents, terrestrial, aquatic, even marine species. The third group (3) contains many violently poisonous, proteroglyph snakes. Here fall the cobras, coral snakes and other elapine serpents, whose bite is to be dreaded.

8. Amblycephalida. Tropical snakes, in which the ends of the pterygoids are free, not reaching the quadrates. Harmless, but resembling poisonous snakes.

9. Viperida. Maxillaries, short and movable, so as to erect the poison-fangs, which are the only maxillary teeth. Two subfamilies: (1) the Old World vipers; (2) the rattlesnakes (q.v.) and related pit-vipers.

Bibliography - Books mentioned under REPTILES; also Hopley, (Snakes(London 1882); Stejneger, (Standard Natural History, Vol. III (Boston 1885); Gadow, Amphibia and Reptiles) (New York 1901); Fayrer, (Thanatophidia of India) (London 1874); Ewart, Poisonous Snakes of India' (London 1872); Kreft, Snakes of Australia (Sydney

[merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

1 Miik Snake
2 Copperhead
3 Blacksnake

4 Mountain Blacksnake
5 Eastern Rattlesnake

6 Water-snake
7 Ribbon-snake
8 Garter-snake

« PrejšnjaNaprej »