The Mutations of Œnothera 1


THE name of an animal or plant may become famous for one of two reasons. Fame may be due either to the intrinsic interest of morphological or developmental characters of “intermediate,” “primitive” or rare species, or to the fact that the form in question has been the material by means of which discoveries, which help in the revelation of the fundamental nature of living things, have been made. Examples of plants of the first class are Ginkgo, Ophioglossum, Coleochaste, and Anthoceros. Examples of animals of the first class are Peripatus, Archaeopteryx, Acanthobdella, Ceratodus, Okapia, Sphenodon, Anaspides, and Tarsius. Thousands of specimens of an animal which is an example of the second class are daily hurled into the corner of the knacker's stable in the shape of Ascaris megalocephala. Thousands of specimens of a vegetable example of the second class could be gathered in a very short time on the sand-dunes along certain tracts of the coast of Lancashire in the shape of Œnothera Lamarckiana.

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D., A. The Mutations of Œnothera 1 . Nature 78, 10–11 (1908).

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