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Tuatara: Volume 19, Issue 2, May 1972

Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Flora of New Zealand, Vol. II

The First Volume of The Flora of New Zealand by H. H. Allan appeared in 1961 and was concerned with the indigenous vascular plants except monocotyledons. The present volume is concerned with indigenous monocotyledons except the grasses, which will presumably form the subject of a later volume.

Although this second volume has only 354 pages to the 1085 of the first, the two books have about the same thickness as the very thin paper of the first volume has fortunately not been used on this occasion.

Nancy Adams has again provided a very attractive dust cover and a number of clear illustrations through the text. Similarly clear and attractive drawings by J. Bruce Irwin illustrate the orchids.

The valuable ‘Annals of Taxonomic Research on New Zealand Tracheophyta’ has been continued with a subject index as a useful improvement.

A new section on chromosome numbers of New Zealand vascular plants has been included which brings together information formerly rather scattered through the literature.

A section missing from this volume is that comprising Latin diagnoses of new taxa. The latter appeared in a series of precursory papers.

In a letter to me an American botanist commented that the principal reason he greatly admired the first volume of The Flora of New Zealand was that the author was quite candid in recognising and describing innumerable problems, whereas most other floras simply conceal and gloss over such matters. I think the second volume deserves the same comment and a further respect in which it is superior to most other floras is the careful way in which the species descriptions have been formulated so that they can be compared point for point within a genus.

We look forward to the volume concerned with grasses and hope it will not be too long delayed.

page 103

An Introduction to The Study of Man

J. Z. Young is Professor of Anatomy at the University of London and is well known as the author of a number of zoological texts. The present book might be regarded as a synthesis of all his previous works, centring on an understanding of man, but emphasising his unity with life as a whole. The latter point is brought out by a very broad approach to man through chapters devoted to the inorganic and organic constituents of life and to its origins and evolution. Man himself is considered from many aspects and particular attention is paid to present knowledge of the brain with the suggestion that as understanding of the brain's functioning increases the supposed differences between scientific induction and philosophical deduction will diminish and we will come nearer to solving the ‘riddle of the universe’.

This book will be of interest and value to a wide audience ranging from biologists to philosophers.

Research in the Antarctic

Comprehensive reports of multidisciplinary research and its global significance. History, biology, glaciology, climatology, conjugate phenomena, ocean dynamics, Gondwanaland. Louis O. Quam, editor. 39 contributions, 784 pp., illus., tables, index, 52 × 48 in. wall map. $24.95 ($19.95 to A.A.A.S. members). American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, D.C., 20005.