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The Variation of Animals in Nature


THE theory of animal evolution is a perennial subject, and such subjects are very often benefited by occasional broadsurveys of the knowledge upon which the theoretical conclusions are based. In the book under notice, Mr. Robson and Dr. Richards have set out to reconsider the theory of animal evolution in the light of our present knowledge of variation. Their survey is a broad one. They discuss not only the facts of variation as they are seen in the animal body and its behaviour, but also the genetical background and, on the theoretical side, the truth of the theory of natural selection and of other less widely accepted theories. They tell us that the book has been written with the chief object of providing the zoological systematist with an account of what is known of the biology of the structural differences with which he deals, and with a discussion of the theoretical results of this knowledge; but the book will also be useful to biologists of many other kinds. The facts discussed are biological, and this must be the justification for the present review, which is written from the point of view of the general biologist and not from that of the systematist.

The Variation of Animals in Nature

By G. C. Robson Dr. O. W. Richards. Pp. xvi + 425 + 2 plates. (London, New York and Toronto: Longmans, Green and Co., Ltd., 1936.) 21s. net.

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C., G. The Variation of Animals in Nature. Nature 137, 680–681 (1936).

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