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October 7, 1950

The Nature of Natural History

JAMA. 1950;144(6):508. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02920060070048

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This interesting book of natural history reviews not only facts of natural history but coordinates new information relative to the marvels of the living world. The objective of the book is apparently to describe "an area of science, using natural history as the example, emphasizing attitudes, historical backgrounds and personalities." The book is written in a thoroughly interesting manner and includes chapters on the science of natural history, naming of organisms, the catalog of nature, history of organisms, reproduction, development of the individual, biotic communities, partnership and cooperation, parasitism, behavior of individuals, behavior of populations, biologic geography, adaptations, mechanism of evolution, natural history and human economy, natural history of naturalists, and finally, tactics, strategy and the goal.

There are no illustrations. The printing, style and general appearance of the book are excellent. The story told by Dr. Bates should be enjoyable to anyone interested in natural history.

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