Jones, Thomas Rymer (DNB00)

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JONES, THOMAS RYMER (1810–1880), zoologist, son of a captain in the navy, was born in 1810. He studied at Guy's Hospital and in Paris, becoming M.R.C.S. in 1833, but found himself unable to practise owing to chronic deafness. He was appointed the first professor of comparative anatomy at King's College, London, in 1836, and was Fullerian professor of physiology at the Royal Institution in 1840–1–2. In 1838, at the meeting of the British Association at Newcastle, he was the only opponent of Ehrenberg, who maintained the polygastric nature of certain infusoria. In the same year the first part of his ‘General Outline of the Animal Kingdom, and Manual of Comparative Anatomy,’ 1838–41, London, 4to, was published with many first-rate woodcuts. It was a great advance on previous text-books, went through several editions, and was long the chief book read by English students. Jones wrote many articles on comparative anatomy for Todd's ‘Cyclopædia of Anatomy and Physiology,’ and several interesting popular works on zoology. He was also an attractive popular lecturer. He died in London on 10 Dec. 1880, having resigned his professorship in 1874. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society.

Besides a few original papers in scientific journals and the works already noticed, Jones wrote:

  1. ‘The Natural History of Animals (Invertebrates only), being the substance of three Courses of Lectures as Fullerian Professor,’ London, 1845–52, 8vo.
  2. ‘The Aquarian Naturalist, a Manual for the Seaside,’ London, 1858, 8vo, with coloured plates.
  3. ‘The Animal Creation; a popular introduction to Zoology,’ London, 1865, 8vo.
  4. ‘The Natural History of Birds, a popular introduction to Ornithology,’ London, 1867, 8vo.
  5. ‘Mammalia: a popular introduction to Natural History,’ London, 1873, 8vo.

He also edited W. Kirby's ‘Bridgewater Treatise,’ for Bohn's series, in 1852; and a translation of the section on ‘Birds’ in A. E. Brehm's ‘Thierleben,’ issued as ‘Cassell's Book of Birds’ in 1869–73.

[Times, 16 Dec. 1880, p. 10c; Nature, xxiii. 174; information from Sir R. Owen.]

G. T. B.