« PrejšnjaNaprej »
remote Cœlenterate ancestor. The author appears to forget that these chambers are formed in a fundamentally different way and order, by the ingrowing of mesenterial folds. Moreover, one of the many serious objections to this theory is that it fails utterly to bridge over the gap between the Cœlenterate and the Coelomate, and leaves quite unexplained the structure of the Platyhelminth and Nemertine. It is just here that the Gonocale theory has proved so valuable, giving the only intelligible interpretation of the morphology of these lower forms, founded not on vague speculations, but on the comparison of well-established facts in comparative anatomy. This theory, founded and supported by Hatschek, Ed. Meyer, Lang, and many others, Prof. MacBride dismisses with scorn, and the remarkable statement that any vogue it has obtained "is only in consequence of the myopic concentration of attention on the facts of development in a limited number of groups, and the neglect of the facts of development in other groups" (p. 166).
The suggestion made on p. 661 that the diverticula of the gut in the Platyhelmia represent the cœlom takes us back some thirty years to a time before the structure of these animals was understood, besides being in direct opposition to the teaching of cell-lineage so clearly described in this very volume. The determination of the homology of the mesoblast cells in Platyhelminths, Nemertines, Annelids, and Molluscs is surely one of the most important contributions of modern embryology to the morphology of the Invertebrata.
The author is less happy in his phylogenetic speculations than in his descriptions of development. So much is he under the influence of the recapitulation theory that almost all free-swimming larvæ appear to him as scarcely modified ancestral forms. It need scarcely be pointed out that the mere prevalence of a common larval form in one or several groups of animals does not in itself prove that this larva closely resembles the adult common ancestor. It may be taken as good evidence that the ancestor also possessed such a larval stage, and is therefore an indication of the close affinity of the animals concerned. Beyond
this it is unsafe to theorise without other evidence from comparative anatomy or palæontology. It should never be forgotten that ancestors were not larvæ, but self-supporting adults capable of reproduction. Prof. MacBride would have done better to follow the example of Sir Ray Lankester, who long ago, when he reconstructed his famous Archi-mollusc, took as his model not the trochosphere nor even the veliger larva, but a creeping animal. If we adopted the author's theories as to the ancestral significance of larval forms, we
should have to suppose that a large number of the characters held in common by the various groups have been independently developed, a conclusion for which there would seem to be no justification.
When discussing general questions in a final chapter Prof. MacBride appeals to hormones as affording a rational explanation of the modus operandi for the supposed "inheritance of acquired characters." This view is, of course, not new; Delage, Vernon, and Cunningham have in turn supported it. But, quite apart from the evidence of such inheritance, it is difficult to see how these internal secretions could become incorporated into the blastogenic factors of development.
We congratulate both the author and the editor on the production of this handsome text-book. It will doubtless be warmly welcomed by all Englishspeaking students and teachers of embryology, and take the place it deserves among the standard works on the subject.
E. S. GOODRICH.
THE BUTTERFLIES OF AUSTRALIA. The Butterflies of Australia: a Monograph of the Australian Rhopalocera. By G. A. Waterhouse and G. Lyell. Pp. vi+239 + plates. (Sydney: Angus and Robertson; London: Oxford University Press, 1914.) Price 42s. net.
HE scientific study of the butterflies of Australia is certain to be greatly advanced by the appearance of this admirable work, although it is to be feared that the high price will tend to prevent a very wide circulation. It is obvious, however, that a costly book is implied by the presence of forty-three excellent quarto plates, of which four are coloured. In addition to this abundant and most necessary illustration in plates, the reader is provided with numbers of text figures as well as a valuable map-index of localities. One of the plates is devoted to larvæ and pupæ, one coloured plate to the variations of the Satyrine butterfly Tisiphone joanna, the three others to special Satyrinæ, Lycænidæ, and Hesperidæ. The remaining thirty-eight uncoloured plates contain 793 figures, all natural size, of the 332 species recognised by the authors as at present known in Australia.
Especial attention has been given to geographical distribution, and the authors have made a point of examining long series of specimens wherever available. In this work they have received help from many students of the Australian Rhopalocera, while Mr. Waterhouse's extremely fine collection, seen by the present writer during the recent visit of the British Association, has
clearly been developed with the object of producing this volume.
The trinominal system of nomenclature, the principles of which are clearly explained in the introduction, is followed by the authors as by most naturalists who have made a special study of geographical distribution. At the same time, new subspecies or geographical races have only been created when plenty of material was available. The authors have wisely deemed it "preferable that a race should continue undetermined rather than the racial characters should be wrongly described or a new race erected on insufficient grounds."
The exigencies of space prevent any detailed discussion or description of the work, but it must be mentioned that the remarkable Euschemon is considered as a "Skipper" (Hesperidae) and not as a moth. This conclusion appears to the present writer to be entirely sound, although the primary division of Lepidoptera into "butterflies" and "moths" is, of course, artificial and merely a matter of convenience.
In addition to the description of the species and the groups to which they belong, occupying nearly the whole of the volume, there is an introductory section with a brief historical account of Australian work and an excellent general description of the Lepidoptera, together with the anatomical features relied upon by the systematist. A concluding section, with "Notes upon Collecting and Collections," complete the work by rendering it a sufficient guide to the beginner.
The keen Australian naturalist is now provided with a foundation upon which to build. present work will tell him what he is dealing with, and will indicate much of the work that remains to be done. Blank records of food-plants and of larval and pupal stages will suggest, to those interested in breeding, one of the most fascinating of all inquiries. We may hope that the bionomic problems presented by the Australian Lepidoptera, as yet scarcely attacked at all, will now receive attention; that geographical variation, so specially studied by the authors, will forthwith be advanced by the efforts of a band of new observers.
N these later years the Anthropological Institute of the University of Zürich has acquired a very high reputation amongst anthropologists. The success of Zürich as a centre of anthropological research and teaching is due to Prof. Rudolf Martin who, these twenty years past, has gathered round him and trained a band of young men, who are now spreading abroad the reputation of the new Swiss school.
In the work under review, Prof. Martin gives a systematic account of twenty years of experience as an expert anthropologist, detailing his methods of measurement, his manner of making records and describing the principles on which his methods. are based. His text-book is much more than a technical manual; it is really an encyclopædia of knowledge relating to the size and shape of body in all races of mankind. There was great need for a standard work on physical anthropology; Prof. Martin has supplied that need.
The modern conception of the scope of physical anthropology and the relative importance attached to each of its branches will be made clear by a summary of the contents of Prof. Martin's textbook. The largest section is given to the skull; 422 pages out of a total of 1069 are devoted to the methods and results of craniology. The next important section is that which deals with the living body-its measurements, proportions, pigmentation, growth, etc.; to this subject considerably more than a third of the total book is assigned. A separate section is devoted to a consideration of the skeleton-189 pages. Thus, the major part of this work is devoted to the skull, skeleton, and external characters of the body.
The naturalist living in the cooler parts of Australia need not be discouraged by comparing his species with the grander forms of the tropical north. These latter are for the most part identical with or very closely allied to Papuan species, while The two opening sections, although condensed his own less magnificent butterflies are charac-amounting altogether to 102 pages—are both teristic of the great southern continent. At the same time, the resident in northern Queensland has the opportunity of solving complex problems of tropical life with its elaborate inter-relationships
useful and important. These opening sections. deal with anthropological methods, particularly with the best means of expressing results in graphic and in mathematical forms. The classi
fication of human races, the relationship of man to other mammalian forms, and the origin and progress of anthropological knowledge are discussed briefly but yet at sufficient length to meet the needs of the average student. A. K.
MONOGRAPHS AND TEXT-BOOKS OF CHEMISTRY.
(1) Nucleic Acids: their Chemical Properties and Physiological Conduct. By Prof. W. Jones. Pp. viii+118. (Monographs on Biochemistry.) (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1914.) Price 3s. 6d. net.
(2) The Simpler Natural Bases. By Prof. G. Barger. Pp. viii+ 215. (Monographs on Biochemistry.) (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1914.) Price 6s. net.
(3) The Chemistry of the Radio-Elements.
Prof. F. Soddy. Second edition. Part i. (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1914.) Price 4s. net.
(4) Encyclopédie de Science Chimique Appliquée. Tome v., "Principes d'Analyse et de Synthèse en Chimie organique." By M. Hanriot, Prof. P. Carré, and others. Pp. 795. (Paris et Liège Ch. Béranger, 1914.)
(5) The Principles of Inorganic Chemistry. By W. Ostwald. Translated with the author's sanction by Prof. A. Findlay. Fourth edition. Pp. xxxiii +836. (London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd., 1914.) Price 18. net.
(6) The Chemistry of Cyanogen Compounds and their Manufacture and Estimation. By H. E. Williams. Pp. viii+423. (London: J. and A. Churchill, 1915.) Price 10s. 6d. net. (7) Advanced Inorganic Chemistry. By P. W. Oscroft. Pp. viii+504. (London: G. Bell and Sons, Ltd., 1915.) Price 5s. net. (8) Preparations and Exercises in Inorganic Chemistry. By W. Lowson. Pp. vii+128. (London: Methuen and Co., Ltd., 1914.) Price 2s. 6d.
(9) A Manual of Chemistry: Theoretical and Practical, Inorganic and Organic. Adapted to the requirements of students of medicine. By Dr. A. P. Luff and H. C. H. Candy. Pp. xix + 660. Fifth edition. (London: Cassell and Co., Ltd., 1915.) Price 8s. 6d. net. (1) and (2)
HE subject of biochemistry, like many other branches of knowledge, has already extended to dimensions which effectively prevent any one author from doing justice to more than a part of the subject. Under these conditions it has been usual to witness the production of a text-book in which a general a general editor has distributed the work amongst a number
of colleagues. The two monographs now under review are excellent examples of a better method of treatment. The publication of a series of smaller monographs provides just that flexibility which is required by a rapidly-growing subject; topics which are not yet ripe for description in a text-book can be held over to await further development, whilst individual sections can be revised and brought up to date without rendering obsolete a whole edition of many volumes.
Prof. Jones's monograph on the the "Nucleic Acids" provides a fascinating story both for chemists and for physiologists, and affords a revelation of the amount of definite knowledge that is now coming into existence in reference to the chemical composition of plant and animal bodies.
It is very interesting to watch what materials are used in nature for the building up of living tissues. In the present case one of the most important sugars has been proved to be d-ribose (hitherto not known to chemists), whilst the bases belong to the pyrimidine series or are related to uric acid; the formula for the last substance is written in an unfamiliar form, with a hexagonal nucleus, which suggests a real analogy with the bases of the indol and skatol series. The inclusion of a bibliography covering sixteen pages of text will show how extensive is the literature on which this compact volume is based.
Prof. Barger's monograph covers a more extensive field, and is based on a bibliography which extends over 44 pages of text. These simpler bases are related in some ways to the alkaloids. They are distributed much more widely, but must be extracted by different methods. For this reason they were not recognised until a much later date; but, once identified, they are often capable of synthetical preparation on a large scale. Few things, in the recent growth of biochemistry, are more remarkable than the proof that has been given of the simple chemical character of many substances of intense physiological activity. The most striking case is that of adrenaline, but there is reason to believe that other internal secretions owe their
activity to bases of comparatively small molecular weight. If this should be the case, the study of these bases may prove to be of even greater importance than that of the amino-acids which bulk so largely in the structure of the proteins.
(3) The appearance of a second edition of Prof. Soddy's monograph on the radio-elements is an indication of the rapid growth of the subject with which it deals. Many new members have been added to the disintegration-series, but there is reason to think that something approaching completeness has now been attained, and that further study will be devoted mainly towards an increased
knowledge of these elusive elements, some forty of which are crowded into ten places of the conventional periodic classification.
(4) The French book on analysis and synthesis is the fifth volume of an Encyclopædia of Applied Chemistry. It includes five sections on "Organic Analysis," by M. Hanriot; "Pharmaceutical Products," by P. Carré; "Synthesis of Colouring Matters," by A. Sergewetz; "Production of Perfumes," by E. Charabot; "Saponification," by A. Hébert. It is therefore in reality a series of five monographs, bound together in one volume and grouped under a convenient general title. forms a companion to a similar volume on the theory and practice of mineral analysis, but might with advantage have been issued in separate parts, as it is unlikely that many workers would attempt to cover the wide field included in this volume.
(5) Prof. Ostwald's "Principles," of which a fourth edition is now published, is an inorganic chemistry written from the point of view of the physical chemist. The ionic hypothesis occupies a place of honour throughout the volume. In the new edition a final chapter on the radio-active - elements contains a somewhat full account of the
three chief disintegration-series of radio-elements.
(6) Mr. Williams' book on the cyanogen compounds contains a detailed description of this important series of compounds, arranged somewhat in the manner of a dictionary. Thus under the heading of "Thiocyanates," details are given as to the composition and properties of thirty-two simple salts and a far larger number of double salts. The author has made a number of experiments himself, the results of which are now described for the first time, the "petty restrictions" and "stereotyped methods" of the scientific societies having prevented him from publishing them through the usual channels. Fortunately, he has been able to avail himself freely of the work of others who have faced these obstacles. The book is therefore generously supplied with references to original literature, which render it a valuable guide to the subject with which it deals. (7) Mr. Oscroft's book suffers from an unfortunate title. Intended primarily for senior classes of boys, it is described in the title as an “advanced inorganic chemistry," and in the text as a "Chemistry for advanced students." description is misleading in the case of a book which devotes only one page to the Periodic Law, four pages to radio-activity, and five pages to spectrum analysis. Apart from this obvious error the book is a 'good example of the class of school text-books to which it really belongs. The author is in touch with the historical treatment, which is now becoming so important in the teaching of
elementary chemistry, and promises also to effect, on the theoretical side, an improvement comparable with that which has resulted from the introduction in the laboratory of experiments based largely on the classical work of Scheele, Cavendish, and Priestley. The illustrations are scarcely equal to the standard of the text, and are not improved by labelling the gases as H, N, O, etc., in direct defiance of their recognised molecular formulæ. The formulæ given on p. 223 for persulphuric acid should be H2SO, (monobasic) and HSO (dibasic), and the preparation on p. 242, described and indexed under persulphuric acid, refers obviously to pyrosulphuric acid.
(8) The instructions used in the chemical laboratories at Leeds in the teaching of elementary students have been expanded by Mr. Lowson into a small volume intended primarily for local use, but likely to prove acceptable in other laboratories where similar work has to be carried out. The book consists mainly of simple preparations, which are described in detail in order to economise the time of the teacher and to enable him to accommodate the course to the varying abilities of different students. Theoretical questions suggested by the experiments are, however, referred to from time to time, and a large number of additional exercises are provided in connection with the different preparations.
(9) Luff and Candy's "Chemistry for Students of Medicine" shows a marked improvement in each successive edition. The condensation of the whole of the chemical theory, including the periodic classification of the elements, into one preliminary section does not provide a practicable basis for actual class-teaching; but it may well prove convenient to a student who wishes to revise what he has learnt in a course of lectures arranged on a gentler gradient. Historical references are more frequent than in the earlier editions, as the author has found that these interest the student, and also enable him to trace the evolution of the fundamental principles of chemistry, and thus appreciate their full significance. T. M. L.
OUR BOOKSHELF. The Germ-cell Cycle in Animals. By Prof. R. W. Hegner. Pp. x+346. (New York: The Macmillan Co.; London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd., 1914.) Price 7s. 6d. net.
In this interesting book Prof. Hegner gives a very complete and clear account of the origin, structure, and continuity from generation to generation of the reproductive cells of the Metazoa. Owen appears to have been the first clearly to point out that the fertilised ovum gives rise to two kinds of cells the first destined to form the differentiated tissues of the new individual, the second
remaining relatively unchanged and destined to propagate the race. Recent investigations, to which the author has made valuable contributions, tend to show that the distinction, once established, is irrevocable, and that germ-cells are derived from pre-existing germ-cells in an unbroken stream-the germ-track. Modern methods have enabled investigators to trace the appearance of germ-cells to earlier and earlier stages in development, thanks to certain distinctive characters of the cytoplasm or nucleus. The name keim-bahn determinants, or germ-track determinants, as we should prefer to call them, is given to such recognisable features in the cells. Although in some animals, such as Ascaris and Sagitta, the germcells have been traced back to the very early embryo consisting of only a few cells, the complete segregation of the germ-forming substance has not. yet been observed in the first cleavage of the egg into two cells.
Having given an excellent review of the evidence on this subject, Prof. Hegner proceeds to discuss the significance of the germ-track determinants, the chromosomes and mitochondria of germ-cells, the determinants of sex, and kindred questions. No doubt the most interesting problems relate to the possible identification of factors which determine the fate of cells-whether they will become germ-cells or body-cells, ova or spermatozoa, and also the fate of individuals whether they will become males, females, or hermaphrodites. Through no fault of the author these problems are left unsolved. But concerning the germ-plasm theory itself he is confident that it rests on a firm basis, while inclined to believe that the germ-plasm resides not in the nucleus or chromosomes alone, but also in the cytoplasm. Quain's Elements of Anatomy. Eleventh edition. Vol. iv, Part I. Osteology and Arthrology. By Dr. T. H. Bryce. Pp. viii+329. (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1915.) Price 12s. 6d. net.
IN the latest (eleventh) edition of "Quain's Anatomy "a standard work--there have been several alterations, one of them being the inclusion of the chapters giving a descriptive account of the joints with the volume devoted to the skeleton of the human body. Part 1 of Vol. iv., which has just appeared under the editorship of Prof. T. H. Bryce, thus gives a systematic account of the bones and joints of the human body. We are very glad to note that the editor gives a fairly full list of the more important of recent publications-an essential feature of a standard work. Prof. Bryce has done well in retaining the excellent drawings which Mr. D. Gunn, Dr. T. W. P. Lawrence, and Prof. G. D. Thane contributed to the last edition, and has improved the chapters dealing with the joints by the use of new coloured plates prepared by Mr. A. K. Maxwell. Another decided improvement is the introduction of an account of the development of the various parts of the skeleton in the chapters devoted to descriptions of the bones.
The investigations of Prof. Fawcett and of Dr. Alex. Low have been incorporated in the new text. Altogether, this volume. volume of the new "Quain" will be welcomed by teachers and students of anatomy.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
[The Editor does not hold himself responsible for opinions expressed by his correspondents. Neither can he undertake to return, or to correspond with the writers of, rejected manuscripts intended for this or any other part of NATURE. No notice is taken of anonymous communications.]
The Rules of Zoological Nomenclaturc.
As one of the British members on the International Commission for Zoological Nomenclature, I have frequently been asked where copies of the rules as revised and adopted at the Monaco Congress are to be obtained in separate form. May I therefore use your widely-read columns to inform zoologists (including palæontologists) that a translation into French, the official language, has been made by Prof. R. Blanchard, in agreement with the secretary to the Commission, and has been published in the Revue critique de Paléozoologie, edited by Mr. Maurice Cossmann, 110 Faubourg Poissonnière, Paris X? Reprints may be purchased, at a price of 4s., from Messrs. Dulau and Co., Ltd., 37 Soho Square, London, W. Mr. Cossmann has added some useful notes, especially from the point of view of the palæontologist, i but these, it should be remembered, have no authority from the Congress or the Commission.
F. A. BATHER. Natural History Museum, South Kensington, S.W., March 30.
The Preparation of Anhydrous Solids.
THE following method may perhaps be of use to chemists and biologists who are concerned in the preparation of solid compounds in the anhydrous state for analysis, or in obtaining anhydrous tissues for moisture determinations, etc. It consists in utilising Prof. S. Young's process for the purification of alcohol from all water by distilling it through his evaporator still-head, with the previous addition of a suitable quantity of benzene.
The tissue or compound to be dehydrated is placed in the distillation flask with alcohol and benzene in the proper proportions. When all the turbid ternary mixture of constant boiling point has been removed, by distillation from a water-bath, the remaining mixture of alcohol and benzene may be rapidly distilled away, and the last traces can be removed in a vacuum desiccator. By adjusting the quantities either alcohol or benzene can be ob ained as the residual liquid, and the complete removal of either of them is far more readily effected than is that of water owing to their lower boiling points and greater volatility.
The method avoids all risk of oxidation, a source of serious error when plant tissues are dried at 1c0° C. in air. It appears that this procedure can be adopted for quantitative determinations in many cases, and may throw light upon the existence of water as water of crystallisation" or as "water of constitution." These points are at present being studied by Miss E. G. Wilson and the writer.
W. R. G. ATKINS.