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On the Classification of the Ascidiæ Compositæ

Nature volume 29, pages 429431 | Download Citation



COMPOUND ASCIDIANS should undoubtedly be studied in the fresh condition. This becomes evident to any one who, after having admired the graceful forms, gorgeous colouring and transparency of tissue exhibited by the living animals on our western and southern coasts, or in such a favoured spot as the Chausey Archipelago, seeks in vain for these or any other beauties in the leathery repulsive-looking masses usually exhibited in a collection of Tunicata.1 And it becomes painfully impressed upon one when working through a large collection which has been in alcohol for about ten years. Laborious dissection and the preparation of large numbers of sections are necessary to reveal characteristics which may often be seen in the living specimen by observation merely. And, what is of more consequence, there is a risk of being led into errors and misinterpretations by the abnormal contraction and distortions caused by the alcohol.

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  1. 1.

    "Recherches sur les Ascidies Composées ou Synascidies" (Archives de Zoologie expérimentale et Générale, t. i 1872).

  2. 2.

    "Die Synascidien der Bucht von Rovigno." Ein Beitrag zur Fauna der Adria, von Dr. Richard von Drasche (Wien, 1883).

  3. 3.

    "Mémoires sur les Anim. sans Vert."

  4. 4.

    The class Tunicata was established by Lamarck in the year following—1816.

  5. 5.

    "Observations sur les Ascidies Composées des Côtes de la Manche" (Mém. Instit. France, vol. xviii.).

  6. 6.

    Arch. de Zool. expér., t. i.

  7. 7.

    Zoologischer Anzeiger for 1882, p. 695.

  8. 8.

    "Die Synascidien der Bucht von Rovigno" (Wien, 1883).

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