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The Biology of the Frog

Nature volume 74, pages 560561 (04 October 1906) | Download Citation



IN the vast literature that treats of the frog there is no comprehensive summary of its biology. Every natural history teacher has realised this want, which has increased in proportion with the great recent extension of instruction in elementary natural phenomena. No animal is more thoroughly known from the anatomical, histological, and embryological aspects, but on the side that appeals to teachers and commencing students, the study of habit and function, existing knowledge of the frog is scattered and often untrustworthy. This gap the author strives to fill, writing primarily for the student. His book is a compilation of what is known of the behaviour of the frog and of its several organs. Unfortunately it is not only this. Dr. Holmes has not freed himself sufficiently from formal and dogmatic zoology. He must have all the nomenclature and the anatomy of the medical school, as though we could never learn or teach zoology without a load of descriptive structural details. The new wine of comparative physiology has been poured into the old vessel and has burst it, leaking out now here now there, so that no good draught is obtainable. The wine, however, is good, and the more pity the framework was not better adapted to hold it and yield it to the thirsty soul.

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