Animal Biology

Animal Biology

Animal Biology

Animal Biology

Excerpt

This Animal Biology was designed as an introduction to the general principles of the subject, not only on the zoological, but also on the physiological, side. We hope that it will appeal to that increasing section of the general public who are desirous of knowing something of the achievements and outlook of science, and who want something more solid and more continuous than is the bulk of popular scientific literature. Relying on this hope, we have not shrunk from incorporating the results of quite recent work where this seems apposite; we have taken pains to ensure that our illustrations shall not only be abundant and varied, but that many of them shall be original or taken from new or not easily accessible sources; and, finally, we trust to our subject.

The last century saw the growth of physico-chemical science from childhood to maturity: the present century bids fair to see the same growth in biology. Mendel's work was rediscovered in 1900: and if Darwin may be regarded as the Newton of biology, Mendelism seems destined to play the part in our science which the atomic theory did in chemistry; by providing a particulate theory of the constitution of living things, it puts into our hands a new and deeper-piercing method of analysis.

Meanwhile the brilliant work of the nineteenth century in pure physiology and in pathology is now becoming linked up with general zoology. For one thing, physiology is becoming a comparative science. Knowledge of adult physiology is no longer almost confined to that of man, a few mammals, and the frog, but studies are being made on members of every animal group. In the second place, physiological methods and ideas are becoming applied to embryology; and we are in a fair way towards the possession of a real science . . .

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