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    Naturevolume 6page466 (1872) | Download Citation



    Journal of Anatomy and Physiology, vol. vi., part 2, May. A large portion of this number of the Journal is occupied by a series of papers on Myology, by Prof. Humphry; among them by far the most important is one in which the writer indicates a general plan on which the muscles of vertebrate animals are arranged. Prof. Humphry's scheme is simply this:—The loco-motory system of a vertebrate animal consists fundamentally of a successional series of alternating skeletal and muscular planes, having generally a transverse direction between the axial line and the circumference. The skeletal planes, “sclerotomes,” are represented in the high vertebrate classes by the vertebral processes, ribs, limb and hyoid girdles, tendons of the dorsal muscles, Poupart's ligament, tendinous inscriptions on the rectus abdominis, &c. The muscular planes, “myotomes,” are made up of muscular fibres, the general arrangement of which is in an antero-posterior direction. The muscles of the trunk may be grouped under two heads, the dorsal muscles and the ventral muscles, the latter being disposed in three layers. The muscles of the limbs are derivatives from the middle stratum of the ventral muscle with a funnel-shaped investment derived from the external stratum. Prof. Humphry's other papers are on the arrangement of the muscles of the Lepidosiren, the Ceratodus, the smooth dog-fish, and the glass-snake.—Prof. Turner furnishes a description of this sternum of the sperm whale. Hitherto in the specimens of the cetacean that have been examined the sternum was incompletely ossified, so that the present communication fills up a gap in our knowledge.—Dr. Hollis, in a paper entided “Tissue Metabolism, or the artificial induction of Structural Changes in Living Animals,” describes some experiments made with mechanical and chemical irritants on the now nervous, now vascular tissues of Actinia. The results point to nothing beyond what has been before observed, a swelling and softening of the tissues, with a proliferation of the nuclear elements. Dr. Hollis also furnishes a short paper “On the Homology of a Mandibular Palp in certain Insects,” and a note “On the Growth of the Masticatory Organs of Isopod Crustaceans.”—Dr. Garrod, in a paper “On Sphyg-mography,” points out the objections to the ordinary “knife-edge” sphygmograph, and describes a new instrument by Bregnet, in which these defects are remedied by a rack-work plan of construction. He further points out most clearly and forcibly the direction in which this apparatus is most useful as a means of observation, both to the physiologist and physician.—Dr. Braxton Hicks brings forward some most valuable evidence against the idea of a placental sinus system into which the fœtal silli protrude, and almost proves that normally no blood exists among the silli.—Prof. Traquair describes the caudal fin of the tailless trout of Islay.—Mr. Stirling notes Trichiniasis in a rat caught in the neighbourhood of a dissecting-room. Several anatomical anomalies occurring in the human subject are recorded in this journal. Mr. Bradley provides some notes on myological peculiarities.—Mr. Champneys describes a communication between the external Ilian and Portal veins. —Dr. Watson mentions a case of the termination of the thoracic duct at the junction of the Right subclavian and internal jugular veins; and Mr. Galton reports from Vienna the case of a man possessing two supernumerary teeth behind the upper median incisors. The number concludes with the usual review of books and the reports on the progress of anatomy by Prof. Turner, and on physiology by Drs. Rutherford, Brunton, and Ferrier.

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