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October 1961

The Nature of Animal Colours

Arch Dermatol. 1961;84(4):708-709. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580160172045

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The dermatologist and others interested in pigmentation will find the study of this fascinating book a rewarding experience. The authors provide a very readable new survey of coloration as seen in and on animals from lowly forms to man.

The 12 chapters cover structural colors, melanin, sclerotin, ommochromes, Tyrian purple, carotenoids, haemoglobin, chlorocruorin, haemochromogens, porphyrins, bilins, haemocyanin, haemerythrin, and haemovanadin, quinone pigments, guanine, pterins, and flavins, with a chapter of miscellany and one of laboratory work included to stimulate the student. There is an appendix, "Synopsis of Animal Colours,'' classified by hue, as well as a final bibliography of 612 entries relating to the important literature.

The chemistry involved and structural formulae given are adequate for the presentation but do not require a detailed knowledge of biochemistry. The many entertaining pieces of information carry the reader through the explored realm of pigmentation, but the authors have also indicated the many

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