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The Amoebae Living in Man: A Zoological Monograph

Nature volume 104, pages 369370 (11 December 1919) | Download Citation



THIS is a very valuable piece of work, bringing order and critical intelligence to bear in a field of study, which, already touched by many observers, has immensely increased in activity and importance during the war. The common freshwater Amoeba, living freely in natural pools, has many relatives, some of which have been distinguished by definite characters of the nucleus, form of pseudopodia, cysts, and other characteristics as “good” species and even assigned to distinct genera. But there has been no careful cytological study of the various species, though here and there important observations have been made. When to these forms are added those living in the soil, in sea-water, and, lastly, those parasitic in other animals, we find that there is quite a large group of these “amœboid” organisms which have been recorded from this or that habitat by observers who were hurried by other work or insufficiently trained in cytological methods. As a consequence, without sound method or criticism, specific and even generic names have been given to “Amœbæ?,” parasitic or free-living, and misleading sketches of them have been published. A perplexing confusion of inaccurate statements obscures the whole subject.

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