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A Monograph of The Fresh - Water Polyzoa, Including All The Known Species, Both British And Foreign.

Price: 375.00 USD

London: Printed For The Ray Society, 1856. folio, viii, 119 pp. plus 46 pp. which include 11 lithographs. 'The highly curious modification of the Molluscan type which the Polyzoa present, their singular repetition on this type of the physiognomical features and habits of a totally different one, the great beauty of their forms, and the facility with which they can in general be observed in a living state, cannot but render them special favorites for every lover of Nature; and for the more profound student must confer on them a peculiar significance and invest their study with a scientific interest which is scarcely surpassed by that of any other group of animals; while the fresh-water species, by certain remarkable peculiarities of structure, throw an unexpected light on the general plan and affinities of the class. of all the known fresh-water generas there are but two, namely Pectinatella and Urnatella, which I have yet not had the opportunity of examining in a living condition. Both these genera, each consisting in a single species, are confined to the United States of America, where they were recently discovered by Dr. Leidy who has given us a description of them, which, however, is purely zoographical. To Dr. Leidy's promised anatomical account of Urnatella, we cannot but look forward with impatience, while in the mean time, I have had a woodcut prepared from a pencil sketch kindly furnished me by Dr. Leidy, so that I am enabled to introduce into the present work, a figure representing some of the more important features in the structure of this remarkable Polyzoon. Notwithstanding the large proportion of species which will be found described and figured for the first time in this monograph, I have little doubt that the discovery of many more will reward a patient exploration of their habitats." The Ray Society is named after John Ray (1627-1705) the 17th century naturalist and divine. Ray wrote the first textbook of modern botany and was one of the founders of modern science. John Ray was also an ordained Anglican, A Puritan who was a victim of the 1662 persecution known as the Great Ejection. He wrote the classic Wisdom of God, 1691. His life demonstrates the symbiotic relationship of science and religion. The Ray Society was instituted in 1844 and this is one of their early publications. It is a scientific publishing charity devoted mainly but not exclusively to British flora and fauna. So far The Ray society has published 164 volumes. Their publications are original monographs, facsimiles of historically important works and translations of existing works. It is the quintessential 19th century English private scientific society still going strong, societies that did so much to advance science. Inside front cover shows evidence of a former bookplate. Scattered foxing to initial blank pages and 6 of the lithographs otherwise very good +.

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