The Works of John Hunter, with Notes, Ed. by J.F. Palmer. 4 Vols., Illustr. by a Vol. of Plates
General Books LLC, 2009 - 472 pages
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1837. Excerpt: ... OBSERVATIONS ON THE STRUCTURE AND ECONOMY OF WHALES. BY JOHN HUNTER, ESQ., F.R.S." 1 HE animals which inhabit the sea are much less known to us than those found upon land; and the oeconomy of those with which we are best acquainted is much less understood; we are, therefore, too often obliged to reason from analogy where information fails, which must probably ever continue to be the case, from our unfitness to pursue our researches in the unfathomable waters. This unfitness does not arise from that part of our oeconomy on which life and its functions depend, for the tribe of animals which is to be the subject of this Paper has, in that respect, the same oeconomy as man, but from a difference in the mechanism by which our progressive motion is produced. The anatomy of the larger marine animals, when they are procured in a proper state, can be as well ascertained as that of any others, dead structure being readily investigated. But even such opportunities too seldom occur, because those animals are only to be found in distant seas, which no one explores in pursuit of natural history; neither can they be brought to us alive from thence, which prevents our receiving their bodies in a state fit for dissection. As they cannot live in air, we are unable to procure them alive. Some of these aquatic animals yielding substances which have become articles of traffic, and in quantity sufficient to render them valuable as objects of profit, are sought after for that purpose; but gain being the primary view, the researches of the Naturalist are only considered as secondary points, if considered at all. At the best, our opportunities of examining such animals do not often occur till the parts are in such a state as to defeat the purposes of accurate inquiry, and even th...
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