Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 84.djvu/511

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507
LABORATORY OF COMPARATIVE PATHOLOGY

THE LABORATORY OF COMPARATIVE PATHOLOGY OF THE ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF PHILADELPHIA
By R. W. SHUFELDT, M.D.
WASHINGTON, D. C.

IN various publications recently I have pointed out the fact as to how little is being done in the way of describing the anatomy of the existing Vertebrata of our fauna. One animal after another is now being exterminated with a rapidity never before equalled in the history of man, neither has there ever been a time in that history when so little was done to preserve detailed accounts, properly illustrated, of the comparative morphology of the species so doomed.

This state of things is not entirely confined to our own country by any means, for the same neglect is but too apparent elsewhere. Faunas are being exterminated and material recklessly wasted at zoological gardens, laboratories and other places to an extent that is most deplorable. Comparative anatomists of the next century will be fully justified in saying what they please of such criminal neglect as this, when they come to realize the extent to which those of the present one ignored their opportunities in this field of scientific research, and allowed so many animals to die out without leaving the shadow of a record describing their structure.

We are doing much better with respect to the study of the causes of death in those ferine forms which die in captivity, for the activity along such lines is very marked and more or less universal. Not only are the diseases of the vertebrates below man being studied in numerous and fully equipped institutions in this country and abroad, but, through various scientific methods, comparative pathology, including that of man and the domesticated animals, is being investigated, studied and utilized in a manner far more extensive than has ever been the case in the history of our race. Such investigations include the parasites of the Vertebrata, a field of research which has received so much attention during recent years at the hands of Dr. F. E. Beddard, prosector of the Zoological Society of London, in the Old World, and Dr. Charles Wardell Stiles, of the Bureau of Animal Industry of this country.

Recently I have been in communication with Dr. Herbert Fox on this subject, and he has kindly placed at my disposal a set of photographs illustrating the building and the work rooms of the Laboratory of Comparative Pathology of the Zoological Society of Philadelphia, of which institution he is now the pathologist in charge. Dr. Fox has also