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Vertebrate Embryology

Nature volume 113, pages 775776 (31 May 1924) | Download Citation



IT is now close on forty years since the publication of Francis Maitland Balfour's great work on “Comparative Embryology,” which was the first attempt to establish our knowledge of animal development upon a sound scientific basis. Since that time, and largely as a result of Balfour's work, many investigations have been made on the process and mechanism of segmentation, on the formation and growth of the germinal layers and their derivatives, and on the development of the various organs, in different classes and orders of animals, as well as a vast amount of cytological research dealing with the origin of the germ cells and the phenomena of maturation and fertilisation. A number of text-books partly embodying this material have been issued from time to time, but in most if not all of these the object has been limited to the needs of particular classes of readers. Thus the well-known works of Milnes Marshall, Charles Sedgwick Minot, Sir Arthur Keith, and Prof. T. H. Bryce are directed to the requirements of the medical student, while in those which take a broader outlook, although they deal with a considerable number of species, attention is confined mainly to the earlier stages of development, or else the account given is limited to one or two species. A notable exception, however, is the “Text-book of Embryology,” in three volumes, by Profs. MacBride and Graham Kerr and the late Richard Assheton, but of these the last volume dealing with the Mammalia is still in preparation.

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