Reference numberAP/29/7/1
TitleUnpublished manuscript, 'Researches to determine the number of species and the mode of development of the British triton' by John Higginbottom
DateFebruary 1847
DescriptionHigginbottom writes that two species only of the genus Triton exist in England; namely, the Triton verrucosus and the Lisso-triton punctatus. It is three years before the animal is capable of propagating its species, and four years before it attains its full growth. In its tadpole state, it remains in the water until its legs acquire sufficient strength to qualify it for progressive motion on land. While a land animal, it is in an active state during the summer, and passes the winter in a state of hibernation; but does not then, as has been erroneously supposed, remain at the bottom of pools. Very dry, or very wet situations are incompatible with the preservation of life during the period of hibernation. At the expiration of the third year, the triton revisits the water, in the spring season, for the purposes of reproduction, and again leaves it at the commencement of autumn. Impregnation is accomplished through the medium of water, and not by actual contact. The growth and development of the triton are materially influenced by temperature, and but little by the action of light. The triton possesses the power of reproducing its lost limbs, provided the temperature be within the limits of 58 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit; but at lower temperatures, and during the winter, it has no such power.

Annotations in pencil throughout. Followed by four pages of figures of tritons with descriptions.

Subject: Zoology / Herpetology

Received 2 February 1847 / 8 February 1847. Communicated by Thomas Bell.

Whilst the Royal Society declined to publish this paper in full, an abstract of the paper was published in volume 5 of Abstracts of the Papers Printed in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London [later Proceedings of the Royal Society] as 'Researches to determine the number of species and the mode of development of the British triton'.

A version of this paper was published by Higginbottom in the Annals and Magazine of Natural History: J. Higginbottom Esq. F.R.C.S. 'Researches to determine the number of species
and the mode of development of the British Triton.' The Annals and Magazine of Natural History, volume 20, number 130 (1847), pp. 70-71.
Physical descriptionInk on paper
Access statusOpen
Related materialDOI: 10.1098/rspl.1843.0117
Fellows associated with this archive
NA5858Higginbottom; John (1788 - 1876)1788 - 1876
NA7505Bell; Thomas (1792 - 1880)1792 - 1880
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