THIS small work within five hundred and fifty pages gives a concise description, in a popular form, of the phenomena exhibited by living organisms. “C'est une ceuvre de vulgarisation,” intended for the commencing student and the amateur. Such being the case many important facts have to be omitted, arid much has to be embodied in a general form. As in most works many of the broad statements are apt to mislead. It is all very well to say, as does Dr. Letourneau, that the heart is trilocular in the reptiles and quadrilocular in birds, but considering the nature of that organ in the crocodiles, we think its nature in them ought to be mentioned. The title of the work is so all-embracing that we think it can hardly be justified by its contents. Morphology as well as physiology, together with the principles of evolution and classification, are all parts of “biology,” nevertheless in the work before us morphology, and the immediate dependents of that science, are not touched upon. A more fitting title would have been “Comparative Physiology, Vegetable, and Animal.” Several illustrations are introduced, and these are well selected, most if not all from other works. The descriptions are clear and concise, many too short to be of much service except as a first-book.
By. Bibliothèque des Sciences Contemporaines. (Paris: C. Reinwald et Cie., 1876.)