Page:Philosophical Transactions - Volume 095.djvu/17

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5
on muscular Motion.

membrane is in some parts coarse, and in others delicate: the heart is always compacted together by a delicate reticular membrane, and the external glut├Ži by a coarser species.

An example of the origin of muscle is presented in the history of the incubated egg, but whether the rudiments of the punctum saliens be part of the cicatricula organised by the parent) or a structure resulting from the first process of incubation, may be doubtful: the little evidence to be obtained on this point seems in favour of the former opinion; a regular confirmation of which would improve the knowledge of animal generation by shewing that it is gemmiferous. There are sufficient analogies of this kind in nature, if reasoning from analogies were proper for the present occasion.

The punctum saliens, during its first actions, is not encompassed by any fibres discoverable with microscopes, and the vascular system is not then evolved, the blood flowing forwards, and backwards, in the same vessels. The commencement of life in animals of complex structure is, from the preceding fact, like the ultimate organization of the simpler classes.

It is obvious that the muscles of birds are formed out of the albumen ovi, the vitellus, and the atmospheric air, acted upon by a certain temperature. The albumen of a bird's egg is wholly consumed during incubation, and the vitellus little diminished, proving that the albumen contains the principal elementary materials of the animal thus generated; and it follows that the muscular parts, which constitute the greater proportion of such animals when hatched, are made out of the albumen, a small portion of the vitellus, and certain elements, or small quantities of the whole compound of the atmosphere.