Westward Ho with the Albatrossby Hans Petterson

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  • Westward Ho with the Albatross by Hans PettersonReview by: Dennis PulestonThe Scientific Monthly, Vol. 79, No. 1 (Jul., 1954), p. 57Published by: American Association for the Advancement of ScienceStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/21345 .Accessed: 07/05/2014 18:16

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  • make good records of frog voices than of bird voices, and it is my hope that this activity may spread to the amateur naturalists, among whom the more able and the more seriously inclined would assuredly find it re- warding. The whole extraordinarily rich and varied frog fauna of the tropics awaits voice recording. The Panama voices of the frogs and birds and mammals in the Kellogg-Allen record Jungle Sounds afford a preaudi- tion of the range and variety of animal sounds to be heard in the tropics. It might be well to add that the four larger West Indian islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Cuba, and Jamaica, that lie at our North American doorstep, would be a most favorable theatre for further voice recordings.

    The new album of frog voices improves and amplifies the recording in an earlier album of four records with the same title. The voices added are those of the pine woods tree frog, the giant tree frog, the narrow-mouthed toad, the Bahaman tree frog, the Hudson Bay toad, the West- ern toad, the gopher frog, and the southern bull frog. Among these, the voices of the giant tree frog (Hyla septentrionalis) and the Bahaman tree frog (Eleuthero- dactylus ricordi) are those of Cuban species now na- turalized in Florida. The voice of Microhyla carolinen- sis, representative of a remarkable family of frogs, the Microhylidae, is almost predictably distinctive.

    The Albert R. Brand Bird Song Foundation has again earned the thanks of a wide public that ranges from the most critical of scientists to the most uncritical of nature lovers. We now urgently need from them a second sup- plementary series of records for the quite distinctive voices of the frogs and toads of western North America.

    KARL P. SCHMIDT Chicago Natural History Museum Chicago, Illinois

    Westward Ho with the Albatross. Hans Petterson. Dut- ton, New York, 1953. 218 pp. Illus. + plates. $4.

    DURING recent years, our awareness of the chal- lenge confronting us from those great unex-

    plored frontiers, the oceanic deeps, has been heightened by such popular works as Carson's The Sea Around Us and Cousteau's The Silent World. Professor Hans Pet- terson, in his narrative of the Swedish Deep-Sea Expedi- tion of 1947, tells of his acceptance of this challenge, and the technics by which he and his distinguished fel- low scientists have succeeded in the most extensive ex- ploration to date of the mysterious submarine abysses.

    This book is most absorbing when it describes the expedition's difficult and ingenious methods for obtain- ing 65-foot sedimentation cores, far longer than any collected previously from the ocean floor, and how the great hidden mountains and canyons were mapped. It is, at the same time, a scholarly presentation of a newly developing science which embraces the fields of ocean- ography, marine biology, geology, and geophysics. One is therefore slightly disappointed that the author has interjected some irrelevant chapters on routine descrip- tions of ports of call and shore incidents that we feel

    we have read before in accounts of non-scientific small boat voyages. The book could well have devoted more space to the fascinating work of the expedition, and the resultant conclusions that can contribute so much to the solution of some of the great mysteries in the early history of the earth. We can hope to see more research devoted in future years to the new science that Professor Petterson has so effectively pioneered.

    A surprising omission is to be noted. In no place are given any of the statistics that are so vital to the arm- chair voyager-the length, beam, draft, and tonnage of the Albatross. A brief appendix, giving this type of in- formation and some notes on the rig, would be very welcome.


    Brookhaven National Laboratory Upton, Long Island, New York

    Evolution: Die Geschichte ihrer Probleme und Erkennt- nisse. Walter Zimmermann. Karl Alber, Freiburg- Miinchen, Germany, 1953. ix + 623 pp. Illus. + plates. DM 32.

    T HE modern theory of evolution is nearly unique, as a scientific theory. It is, what J. S. Huxley has

    called a "synthesis," to which many fields and many antagonistic theories have contributed. If I were to write a history of this field, I would try to show how growing maturity in the contributing fields eventually permitted this synthesis. After an introductory chapter devoted to the period before Darwin, I would try to demonstrate how the publication of the Origin of Species stimulated an unprecedented amount of fact searching and theory building in biology. The workers in each branch, such as comparative anatomy, em- bryology, paleontology, systematics, plant breeding, cytology, and genetics developed their own body of facts and their own theories, determined by their ma- terial and by the conceptual framework of their respec- tive branch of biology. At first many of these theories were diametrically opposed to each other. Yet, eventu- ally the contributions from each of these fields helped to modify the concepts of the adjacent fields and to accelerate progress within the field. It was finally shown that nearly every theory was partly right, partly wrong, and, by discarding the "wrong" parts, it became possible to synthesize the theory that is now almost universally held among evolutionists.

    This book is not such a history of the "Modern Syn- thesis," rather its emphasis is on the period "from the Greeks to Darwin," which covers 450 of the 550 pages of text. For this period the author does a fine job, and adds much to our knowledge and understanding of the early phases of the history of evolutionary theory. Special emphasis is placed on the history of the de- velopment of the philosophical concepts of evolution. What makes this treatment particularly valuable are copious excerpts from the original writings of all the cited authors. They permit an understanding of the growth of evolutionary concepts as does no other vol-

    July, 1954 57

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    Article Contentsp. 57

    Issue Table of ContentsThe Scientific Monthly, Vol. 79, No. 1 (Jul., 1954), pp. 1-70Front Matter [pp. 64-64]Parapsychology and Dualism [pp. 1-9]The Numerical Relationships between Phytophagous Insects and Their Hosts [pp. 10-12]Science and Ideology [pp. 13-19]The Body Physiologic and the Body Politic [pp. 20-26]On Coriolis Force and Bird Navigation [pp. 27-31]Science and Common Sense [pp. 32-39]Education in the Sciences [pp. 40-44]Three Young Naturalists Afield: The First Expedition of Hyatt, Shaler, and Verrill [pp. 45-51]Science on the MarchScientific Research in Antarctica [pp. 52-53]

    Association Affairs [pp. 53]Book ReviewsReview: untitled [pp. 54]Review: untitled [pp. 55]Review: untitled [pp. 55]Review: untitled [pp. 55-56]Review: untitled [pp. 56]Review: untitled [pp. 56-57]Review: untitled [pp. 57]Review: untitled [pp. 57-58]Review: untitled [pp. 58]Review: untitled [pp. 58-59]Review: untitled [pp. 59]Review: untitled [pp. 59-60]Review: untitled [pp. 60-61]Review: untitled [pp. 61]Review: untitled [pp. 61]Review: untitled [pp. 61-62]Review: untitled [pp. 62]Review: untitled [pp. 62-63]Review: untitled [pp. 63]Review: untitled [pp. 63-64]

    LettersEsperanto Versus Interlingua [pp. 65-66]The Fluoridation Issue [pp. 66-67]Additional Data on Animistic Thinking [pp. 67-70]Berliner Zentralbibliothek [pp. 70]


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