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Amphioxus and the Ancestry of the Vertebrates

Abstract

THE observations on Amphioxus made before the second half of the present century, amongst which those of Johannes Müller take a foremost place, showed that this remarkable animal bears certain resemblances to Vertebrates; and since then its interest in this respect has gradually become more apparent. The extent to which our knowledge of its structure and development has recently increased, is indicated by the fact that about two-thirds of the papers dealing with Amphioxus quoted by Mr. Willey have appeared during the last ten years. With the exception of the admirable account given by the late Prof. Milnes Marshall, last year, in his “Vertebrate Embryology,” most of the works relating to this form are of a special nature, and to many not easily accessible. A consecutive history of the more recent observations was, therefore, greatly needed by those whose opportunities did not permit them to follow out the matter for themselves, and who will welcome a book written in an extremely lucid style by a naturalist who can speak with authority on the subject.

Amphioxus and the Ancestry of the Vertebrates.

By Arthur Willey., Tutor in Biology, Columbia College; Balfour Student of the University of Cambridge. With a preface by Henry Fairfield Osborn. (Columbia University Biological Series, II.) (New York and London: Macmillan and Co., 1894.)

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