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Zoological Types in India

Nature volume 140, page 580 (02 October 1937) | Download Citation



THE series of "Indian Zoological Memoirs“has been enriched by an excellent monograph, illustrated by 65 text figures, on "Palæmon, the Indian River Prawn", by Dr. S. S. Patwardhan (Pp. xi + 100. (Lucknow: Lucknow Publishing House, 1937.) 2 rupees). These monographs are intended to assist in the teaching of zoology in India by the selection of a number of readily obtainable types, which can be worked out fully by students in their own time and perhaps at their homes. A single animal studied closely in respect to its anatomy with the consequent consideration of the function of all its parts is bound to be of great help. To this is added, in the judicious selection of types here, the possibility for the student to study his forms in Nature. The illustrations are good black and white drawings in close proximity to the descriptions of the parts, and there are directions for the necessary dissections. If we are to make any suggestions, we would plead for a greater consideration of function, and references might be inserted freely, so that interested students may be induced to examine their types in a more intelligent manner. For example, in this prawn a consideration of the mode of action of the mouth appendages may be deemed essential to the study of their anatomy— and we find no references to the considerable bulk of recent work on this matter. Form and function are inseparables, and both are essential to the study of the living animal. For a young student, the author assumes a little too much, the monograph being more useful to his teacher.

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