Page:The Zoologist, 4th series, vol 4 (1900).djvu/419

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

the shock in falling is not diminished. The Cat, on the other hand, at every spring alights on the fore-legs. Fracture, however, does not take place, because the shoulder-blades are only connected with the skeleton of the trunk by ligaments and muscles, and yield to the shock (prove on the living animal how easily the shoulder-blades can be moved), and also because yet another safeguard occurs in the shoulder-joint. When the weight of the body comes on the fore-legs, the angle between the upper arm and shoulder-blade is diminished, enlarging again when the bones return to their resting position. (Hence we understand why all swift-running and springing animals have no clavicles)." A similar element of practical reasoning is found throughout the whole of this excellent manual, "made in Germany," and its illustrations will serve to interest as well as instruct.

Introduction to Zoology. By Charles Benedict Davenport, Ph.D., and Gertrude Crotty Davenport, B.S.New York: The Macmillan Company, Ltd.

This publication is intended for the "use of secondary schools"; it "attempts to restore the old-time instruction in Natural History"—in method; it is "the outcome of a conviction that the needs of the secondary student are not best met by a course in comparative anatomy." The book is described "as like a 'Synoptic Room' in the vestibule of a vast museum, containing the most essential things for those who can go in but a little way, but also fundamental for those who can penetrate farther."

It will thus be seen that the authors have set themselves one of the most difficult tasks in the domain of natural science. To really popularise zoology—and the word "popularise" is not synonymic with "vulgarise"—requires the genius of a Huxley. It depends on knowing all, and having the faculty of stating clearly the one thing needful. To be a college professor is sometimes only the reward of tact and industry; to be a teacher of the people is a gift of the gods. After all, in secondary and other schools, zoology will be best taught by the enthusiastic and competent teacher, who knows how to expound the text-books;