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Nature volume 49, pages 139140 | Download Citation



The Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science for September, 1893, contains studies on the comparative anatomy of sponges: V. Observations on the structure and classification of the Calcarea Heterocœla, by Dr. Arthur Dendy (plates 10–14). In this paper the author gives a general account of the anatomy, histology, and classification of the Calcarea Heterocœla, from the point of view of one who has for a long time past been engaged in an independent study of the group, and he brings together all that is known on the subject. While on the classification of the group he departs somewhat widely from the lines laid down by previous writers, yet the necessity of doing so was forced upon him by a study of nearly fifty Australian species. The author finds neither the canal system nor the skeleton affords a reliable guide for classification, and a compromise is the only satisfactory way out of the difficulty. The families adopted are: (1) Leucasidæ, (2) Sycettidæ, (3) Grantidæ, (4) Heteropidæ, (5) Amphoriscidæ.—On some points in the origin of the reproductive elements in Apus and Branchipus, by J. E. S. Moore (plates 15 and 16). Calls attention to some important details in the spermatogenesis of Branchip0us and in the ovigenesis in Apus. In the former, the observations bear out the general law as to the similarity of the male and female cells, their specific peculiarities being physiological in origin, without morphological import. The divisional phenomena of these cells are intimately related to a protoplasmic structure, which might be fitly described as “Schaumplasma,” and one of the initial impulses towards metamorphosis is a fusion of some of the intra-nuclear globules; while a considerable portion of the complicated karyokinetic figures, with their centrosomes, pseudosomes, and dictyosomes, appear to be the logical as well as the actual consequence of the continuance of this process. Some time before and always during the course of the chromatic changes bodies answering to the centrosomes in all details except in their numbers, which is much greater, make their appearance; these the author provisionally names “pseudosomes.” The term “dictyosomes” is given to bodies which make their appearance connected one to another and to the inner group of chromosomes by fine strands, and which remain uncoloured by reagents, and are more or less related to the cell periphery. (In connection with these, Farmer's notes and figures of like bodies in the Pollen mother-cells is of interest. (See Ann. of Bot. September, 1893).—Notes on the Peripatus of Dominica, by E. C. Pollard (plate 17). Miss Pollard's species is apparently very nearly related to P. edwardsii, but differs in the number of ambulatory appendages, there being 29 to 34 pairs in P. edwardsii, while in P. dominicæ, sp. nov., there are from 25 to 30.—Studies on the Protochordata, by Arthur Wiley, B.Sc. (plates 18–20). II. The development of the neuro-hypophysial system in Ciona intestinalis and Clavelina lepadiformis, with an account of the origin of the sense-organs in Ascidia mentula. III. On the position of the mouth in the larvæ of the Ascidians and Amphioxus, and its relations to the Neuroporus.

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