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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/821

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DIGESTION AND RELATED FUNCTIONS.


3. "Perforated Stones from California," by H. W. Henshaw, Pp. 34, 16 cuts. Washington, 1887.
4. "Bibliography of the Eskimo Language," by J. C. Pilling. Pp. v-115. Washington, 1887.
5. "Bibliography of the Siouan Language," by J. C. Pilling. Pp. v-87. Washington, 1887.
6. "Indian Textile Fabrics of Ancient Peru," by W. H. Holmes.
7. "Problems of the Ohio Mounds," by Cyrus Thomas.
8. "Bibliography of the Iroquoian Language," by J. C. Pilling.

The three by J. C. Pilling are separate and extended parts of a work which Mr. Pilling first published as proof-sheets of a "Bibliography of the Languages of the North American Indians."

 

DIGESTION AND RELATED FUNCTIONS.[1]
By WESLEY MILLS, M. D.,

PROFESSOR OF PHYSIOLOGY IN MCGILL UNIVERSITY.

IT is a matter well recognized by those of much experience in breeding and keeping animals with restricted freedom and under other conditions differing widely from the natural ones—i. e., those under which the animals exist in a wild state—that the nature of the food must vary from that which the untamed ancestors of our domestic animals used. Food may often with advantage be cooked for the tame and confined animal. The digestive and the assimilative powers have varied with other changes in the organism brought about by the new surroundings. So much is this the case, that it is necessary to resort to common experience and to more exact experiments to ascertain the best methods of feeding animals for fattening, for work, or for breeding. Inferences drawn from the feeding habits of wild animals allied to the tame to be valuable must always, before being applied to the latter, be subjected to correction by the results of experience.

To a still greater degree does this apply to man himself. The greater his advances in civilization, the more he departs from primitive habits in other respects, the more must he depart in his feeding. With the progressive development of man's cerebrum, the keener struggle for place and power, the more his nervous energies are diverted from the lower functions of digestion and assimilation of food; hence the greater need that food shall be more carefully selected and more thoroughly and scientifically prepared. Not only so, but, with our increasing refinement, the progress of digestion to successful issues demands that the senses of man be ministered to in order that there be no interferences in the central nervous system, and every encouragement given to

  1. From advance sheets of a text-book on "Animal Physiology" in press of D. Appleton & Co.