Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/601

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WYMAN


537


WYMAN


1843 he published an account of the anatomy of the chimpanzee and in 1847 the first account of the osteology of the gorilla (" M e m o i r, Boston Society Natural History"). To him is due the name of this animal which was discovered by Dr. Thomas S. Savage. This name was adopted from a term used by Hanno, the Carthaginian, in describing the wild men found on the coast of Africa, prob- ably one of this species of the Orang. This term was adopted at the suggestion of Dr. A. A. Gould. Gray wrote in 1874 : " Nearly all since made known of the gorilla's structure, and of the affinities soundly deduced therefrom, has come from our associate's subsequent papers, founded on additional crania brought to him in 1849, by Dr. George A. Perkins, of Salem ; on a nearly entire male skeleton of unusual size, received in 1852, from the Rev. William Walker, and now in Wy- man's museum; and on a large collection of skins and skeletons placed at his dis- posal in 1859, by Du Chaillu, along with a young gorilla in spirits, which he dis- sected. It is in the accoimt of this dis- section that Prof. Wyman brings out the curious fact that the skull of the young gorilla and chimpanzee bears closer resemblance to the adult than to the infantile human cranium."

In the " Boston Medical and Surgical Journal," for 1866, he pubhshed a valu- able paper on the "Symmetry and Homology in Limbs." In this he took the standpoint that the limbs of each side are reversely symmetrical. In a paper "Notes on the Cells of the Bee," ("Proceedings of the American Academy for January," 1866), he .shows clearly that the structure of the honeycomb is far from being ideally perfect. Of the de- velopment of organisms in boiled water, enclosed in hermetically sealed vessels and supplied with pure air, he reported in the " American Journal of Science and Arts," for 1862, the second in the same journal for 1867, in the first jjaper showing infusoria could develop even after prolonged boiling of the water and when air admitted came through red-hot


tubes. In the second paper he showed that when the boiling was carried up to five hours no organisms develop.

Wyman's studies of Unusual Methods of Gestation in certain Fishes (" Silliman's Journal," 1859), were likewise valuable. He gave a careful account of the develop- ment of Surinam toads in the skin of the back of their mother, and showed that developing ovum is nourished at the ex- pense of materials derived from the parent.

His interpretations according to Wilder, were either teleogical or purely morpho- logical; that is, they either illustrated function or the relations of single parts without reference to the entire organism. " He would not allow his imagination to outstrip his observation."

Gray gives the following account of Wyman's character:

" His work as a teacher was of the same quality. He was one of the best lecturers I ever heard, although, and partly because, he was the most unpre- tending. You never thought of the speaker, nor of the gifts and acquisitions which such clear exposition were calling forth— only of what he was simply telling and showing you. Then to those, who like his pupils and friends, were in personal contact with him, there was the added charm of a most serene and sweet temper. He was truthful and conscientious to the very core. His perfect freedom, in lectures as well as in writing, and no less .so in daily conversa- tion, from all exaggeration, false per- spective, and factitious adornment, was the natural exjjre.ssion of his innate modesty and refined taste, and also of his reverence for the exact truth.

Of Wyman's mode of work in the laboratory, O. W. Holmes gives the following description ;

" In his laboratory he commonly made use, as Wollaston did, of the simplest appliances. Give him a scalpel, a pair of forceps, a window to work at, and anything that ever had life in it to work on, and he would have a preparation for his shelves in the course of a few