Tape-Worms. The tape-worm is found in the human intestines, and attains the length of three or four yards; occasionally even more than this. Now, one curious fact about it is, that the very same species that infests the natives of Great Britain, infests also the Dutch and Germans.
Another species, Botriocephalus latus, is peculiar to the Swiss and Russians ; while the inhabitants of the French provinces adjoining Switzerland possess the unenviable distinction of being infested with both. It is strange that these creatures should thus be restricted to certain countries, as they are, by their mode of life, exempt from all "the skyey influences." Perhaps some of my readers may be inclined to speculate on this very singular fact, and infer that honest John Bull must have something about him akin to " the stuff" that Dutch and Germans are made of, when parasites of the same spcies attack them in common, and avoid the Russians and Swiss. But this were to " reason too curiously;" for an Englishman might be infested with the Tape-worm of Russia, if he became for a long enough time resident in that country.
The head of the Tape-worm is furnished with suckers and recurved hooks, so that it can retain a firm hold. Like the root of a plant, it imbibes the nutritive juices required for the support of the entire structure. Each of its numerous joints possesses within itself the means of producing thousands of fertile ova. These joints break off, Separating from the stem, as branches heavy with ripe fruits from a richly-laden tree, but a strange mode of reproducing them is provided. The joint next the head divides into two joints; each of these expands and then divides in like manner: so that the egg-producing segments resume in time their former proportions, and thus one head may outlive successive generations of the other parts. " Is there any one," says Professor Escright, "who, upon the contemplation of this wonderful apparatus, and the extraordinary results of its agency, can for a moment imagine that it is without an object or an end?" The Tape-worm is not produced by chance : no atoms of matter shaped themselves into the living animal, according to the hypothesis of equivocal generation. In all its wonderful details, the humble worm declares its Great Artificer; and Science stands - as true Science ever will stand - the handmaid of Religion.