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Prof. Huxley's Lectures on the Evidence as to the Origin of Existing Vertebrate Animals1

Nature volume 13, pages 514516 | Download Citation




WE saw in the last lecture that the differences between birds and reptiles were very great; nevertheless, many of them tend to disappear on a closer examination. For instance, the extremely avian character of the absence of teeth, and the presence of a horny beak, is found in turtles and tortoises; that of the penetration of the bones by air cavities exists in the skull of crocodiles; and, although no existing reptile possesses the power of flight, or a fore-limb in any way approaching in structure to a bird's wing, yet, in the crocodiles, the fourth and fifth digits—those we found to be wholly absent in the bird—rare much smaller than the others, and have no claws.

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