Posts tagged ‘biology’

Diatoms of the United States: Exclusive of Alaska and Hawaii: Monographs of The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, No. 13, Vol. I

Diatoms of the United States:
Exclusive of Alaska and Hawaii

Monographs of The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, No. 13, Vol. I
by Ruth Patrick and Charles W. Reimer, foreword by Radclyffe Roberts
(Paperback, 688 pages, 1966, $75.00, ISBN: 1422317803)

DiatomsThis systematic treatment of the diatoms of the U.S. is written for the use of all those concerned with the multitude of kinds and the fascinating diversity of this very large and important group of algae of our fresh waters.

This volume represents the first part of a two part systematic treatment of the freshwater diatom flora of continental U.S. exclusive of Alaska.

Besides those taxa found in fresh water, a few taxa found in estuaries of rivers and belonging to genera that commonly occur in fresh water are included. No strictly fossil species are included; however, many of the species embraced are found in recent fossil material.

Although this book is concerned with the U.S., it should be helpful to the students of diatom floras in Mexico, Canada, and other areas. Illustrations.

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July 21, 2010 at 10:49 am Leave a comment

Copepodologist’s Cabinet: A Biographical and Bibliographical History (American Philosophical Society Memoir 240, ISBN: 0871692406)

Copepodologist’s Cabinet:
A Biographical and Bibliographical History

(American Philosophical Society Memoir 240, ISBN: 0871692406)
by David M. Damkaer (Hardcover, 300 pages, 2002)
List Price: $60.00, OUR PRICE: $40.00

Copepodologist's Cabinet

Copepod crustaceans are the most numerous multicellular animals on earth. They occur in every free-living and parasitic aquatic niche. Copepods have been known since the time of Aristotle, yet there has never been a history of the study of copepods.

Read the Google Preview: Copepodologist's Cabinet of this book before you purchase it.

This volume, the first in a planned three-volume series, reviews the discoveries of copepods to 1832, the year that the two distinct branches, the free-living copepods (long-known as insects) and the parasitic copepods (thought to be molluscs or worms) were finally acknowledged as members of the same Class Crustacea.

The narrative includes the biographies of 90 early copepodologists and recounts their most important contributions to science. Portraits are included for two-thirds of the subjects, with considerable new material as well as information and illustrations from obscure sources.

Milestones include the first description of copepods (ca. 350 B.C.), the first illustration (1554), the first free-living freshwater copepod (1688), the first explanation of a free-living copepod’s metamorphosis (1756), the first permanently named copepod (1758), the first free-living marine copepod (1770), and the first description of a parasitic copepod’s metamorphosis (1819).

The work ends with a transition to the mid-19th century, previewing numerous personal connections that pointed toward copepodology’s Golden Age in the 1890s, to be covered in Volume 2. A final volume will take the history of the study of copepods to ca. 1950.

“Although the author himself points out that ‘no single book could encompass the whole biographical and bibliographical history of the study of copepods,’ ‘The Copepodologist’s Cabinet’ is unquestionably the most thorough and scholarly history of early contributions to copepodology,” writes Rony Huys in the journal Archives of Natural History.

“The book is a riveting read, elegantly produced, and abounds with fascinating stories and snippets. The numerous facsimiles of title pages and frontispieces, the invaluable historic illustrations of copepods and the portraits of authorities who examined them are all beautifully reproduced on high quality paper. The comprehensive bibliography is interspersed with signatures of eminent and less renowned copepod workers.

“In conclusion, this book will no doubt be treasured by anyone who is interested in the history of carcinological research in general and copepodology in particular.”

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July 7, 2010 at 11:32 pm Leave a comment

Choosing Selection: The Revival of Natural Selection in Anglo-American Evolutionary Biology, 1930-1970 (American Philosophical Society Transaction 99-3, ISBN: 9781606189931)

Choosing Selection: The Revival of Natural Selection in Anglo-American Evolutionary Biology, 1930-1970
(American Philosophical Society Transaction 99-3, ISBN: 9781606189931)
by Stephen G. Brush (Paperback, 183 pages, 2009, $35.00)

Choosing SelectionThis book describes the establishment of the hypothesis that Charles Darwin’s “natural selection,” reformulated by Sir Ronald Aylmer Fisher, J.B.S. Haldane, and S. Wright in the light of Mendelian genetics, is the primary or exclusive mechanism for biological evolution.

During the 1930s, alternatives such as Lamarchism, macromutations, and orthogenesis were rejected in favor of natural selection acting on small mutations, but there were disagreements about the role of random genetic drift in evolution.

By the 1950s, research by Theodosius “T.G.” Dobzhansky, E.B. Ford, and others persuaded leading evolutionists that natural selection was so powerful that drift was generally unimportant. This conclusion was accepted by most; however, a significant minority of biology textbooks and popular articles mentioned drift in the late 1960s.

“Brush (emeritus history of science, U. of Maryland-University Park) explains how and why British and American biologists, who had shared the skepticism of their continental colleagues about Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, accepted a revised version of it mostly during the 1940s,” writes Book News in a review.

“The modern theory was a synthesis of such disciplines as genetics, zoology, botany, and paleontology, he says, that acknowledged natural selection as a necessary, and perhaps the most crucial, but probably not sufficient cause of evolutionary adaptation.

“Among his perspectives are mathematical and philosophical biologist Haldane weighs, in, Huxley proclaims a new synthesis, chromosome inversions in Drosophila, the changing views of Dobzhansky and Wright, and whether evolutionary theory is scientific.”

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July 4, 2010 at 1:15 am Leave a comment

Weekly Book Special: Annie’s Box: Charles Darwin, His Daughter and Human Evolution, Novel on Darwin Film Creation

Weekly Book Special: January 25th-31st

In cinemas this week is the film Creation, about Charles Darwin, who proposed the groundbreaking theory of evolution in the 1850s. The film is based on the novel:

Annie’s Box:
Charles Darwin, His Daughter and Human Evolution

by Randal Keynes (Hardcover, 331 pages, 2001, $30.00)

Annie's Box

Annie was Charles Darwin’s favorite child before she died at 10 years old. In her writing box were keepsakes that illuminated Darwin’s work and his love for his wife and children.

Randal Keynes, Darwin’s great-great Grandson and guardian of the box, uses Annie’s story as the starting point in this book, which makes a major contribution to our understanding of Darwin.

“It’s such an intensely personal memoir, because Randal had access to all the journals, letters, writings, objects of the Darwin family,” the director of Creation, Jon Amiel, told McClatchy-Tribune News Service. “I found these remote Victorians suddenly becoming absolutely real, living, moving people.”

Keynes conjures up a world in which great thinkers – including Carlyle, Babbage and George Eliot – were struggling with ideas in science and humanity that shook mankind to its core.

At the forefront was Darwin himself, whose thinking about evolution and human nature was profoundly influenced by his life with his family, pictured in this intimate portrait of the man and his private world.

“Your book had me from the very first minute,” National Public Radio host Terry Gross tells Keynes in a radio interview with Keynes. “It’s such a contemporary way of thinking about marriage — trying to balance between work and marriage, and here’s Darwin trying to figure it out.”

Michael Shermer of TrueSlant calls the novel “a moving portrait of the middle-aged Darwin—after the five-year voyage of the Beagle and before the white-bearded sage of Down basked in scientific triumph.”

“[Annie’s] death strengthened [Darwin’s] belief in the bleak, amoral character of natural selection,” writes Robin McKie in The Guardian. “A creature’s deserved fate had little to do with its prospects for survival, he realised.”

“When the publisher finally sends [Darwin] his copy of the book, he says, ‘How wonderful to see my child,'” Keynes told Seán Martinfield of the San Francisco Sentinel. “He often talks about his most cherished ideas as ‘my child’ and link that with Annie.”

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January 25, 2010 at 10:33 am Leave a comment

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