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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/225

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SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE.

and adapted for the use of American schools and colleges. It aims to give an outline of the structure and morphology of certain typical members of the various classes of animals and also briefly discusses such zoölogical questions as evolution, descent and distribution. An 'Elementary Course of Practical Zoölogy,' by T. J. Parker and W. N. Parker, has been issued somewhat on the lines of Huxley and Martin's 'Biology,' aiming to give a rather detailed account of the structure of a few types instead of glancing at the animal kingdom as a whole.

 

Books on birds, and especially those devoted to the popularizing of ornithology, continue to be numerous, and among them may be mentioned Keeler's 'Bird Notes Afield,' which introduces us in a pleasant way to the better-known birds of California, a subject of which Mr. Keeler is well qualified to treat. Less attractive from a literary standpoint, but more important from a practical point of view, is Lange's 'Our Native Birds: How to Protect Them and Attract Them to Our Homes,' which discusses the various causes for the decrease of birds, and suggests methods by which this may be prevented. Of a totally different character is Shelley's 'Birds of Africa,' now in process of publication, the first part of Vol. II having recently appeared. While many undescribed forms may be expected from Africa in the future, this work brings the subject down to date. 'The Birds of South Africa' are described in one compact volume by Arthur C. Stark, and the Australian Museum is now issuing a new edition of 'A Catalogue of Nests and Eggs of the Birds of Australia,' by Alfred J. North, the original having long been out of print. It is to be hoped that the first volume of the new hand-list of birds, 'Nomenclator Avium turn fossilium tum viventium,' by R. Bowdler Sharpe, which was published last fall, may soon be followed by others, as the completed list will be a boon to all working ornithologists. Finally, it may not be known to all our readers that last year Newton's 'Dictionary of Birds' was issued in one volume at a reduced price.

 

The second and final part of 'Insects,' of the Cambridge Natural History, by David Sharp, gives us one of the most important, if not the most important work on entomology that has appeared for a long time, the two volumes forming a condensed encyclopædia of entomology that will be needed by all working entomologists. Another useful work on entomology is Carpenter's 'Insects, Their Structure and Life,' that portion devoted to the 'life' of insects being the best, particularly the chapter on 'Insects and Their Surroundings.' Of a strictly popular nature is Scudder's 'Every-day Butterflies,' which deals in a charming way with some sixty species of eastern North America.

 

BOTANY.

The beginning of the year has been marked by the appearance of the usual number of elementary and popular books dealing with some phase of botany. Among these Professor Barnes's 'Outline of Plant Life' (H. Holt & Co.) is a simplified edition of a high school text of a year earlier. Only the gross anatomy of the plant is considered and the ordinary routine of beginning with the simpler forms and advancing to ones of successively more complex structure is followed, and the principles of reproduction and physiology are presented. The student is given an insight into the adaptive processes of the plant by a study of the special forms which live in the water, dry soil, deserts, and other special conditions.

 

'Lessons in Botany,' by Professor Atkinson (H. Holt & Co.) is a similar edition of a high school text designed to meet the needs of students in half-year courses. The student is led to an interest in the plant by a consideration of seedlings and buds, then launched in a course dealing with types of varying morphological constitution with atten-