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The Actiniæ1

Nature volume 31, pages 198199 | Download Citation



THIS is a work which contains far more than it promises. Though commenced with the intention of describing only the Actinians (sea-anemones) of the Bay of Naples, it has extended until it includes all the species known; and although at first sight it seems nothing more than an ordinary systematist's manual—a dry dictionary for the specialist—it turns out on closer examination to have a clearly-marked individuality of its own. In its preface the author remarks, with a tinge of dry humour which here and there ripples the clear precision of his style, that in these days of papers full of histological detail, or rich with plates of caryolitic figures, embryological sections, or genealogical trees, his big book, apparently so purely systematic, may at first excite among his scientific brethren a smile of compassion, if not indeed a word of contempt Far, however, from renouncing his intellectual birthright of wider scientific aims, he claims with justifiable pride to have produced (and at a self-denying outlay of time and toil not excelled by that of any histological investigation) no mere arid catalogue of genera and species, but a summary of the whole past of actinology, and a new starting-point for the future. He promises, too, a second volume, in which the anatomy, histology, and development, the physiology, distribution, and phylogeny, will be discussed, .and no doubt as exhaustively.


  1. 1.

    "Fauna und Flora des Golfes von Neapel. Le Attinie." Monografia del Dr. Angelo Andres. Vol. I. Bibliografia, Introduzione, e Specigrafia. (Leipzig: Wilhelm Engelmann, 1884.)

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