Animal life; a first book of zoology (with Illustrations) Free PDF book by David Starr

Animal life; the first book of zoology (with Illustrations) Free PDF book by David Starr Jordan

Animal life; the first book of zoology

The authors present this book as an elementary account of animal ecology — that is, of the relations of animals to their surroundings and their responsive adaptation to these surroundings. The book takes the observer's point of view, who is especially concerned with the reasons for the varied structure and habits of animals.

To understand how naturally and inevitably all animal form, habit, and life are adapted to the varied circumstances and conditions of animal existence should be the motive of the beginner in this fascinating study. The greatest facts of life, except that of life itself, are seen in the marvelously perfect methods which Nature has adopted in the structure and habits of animals.

The keen observation of a fact should lead the student to inquire into the significance of that fact. The veriest beginner can be, and ought to be, an independent observer and thinker. In the study of zoology, that phase which treats of the why and how of animal form and habit not only absorbs the attention of the most advanced modern scholars of biology but should also appeal most strongly to the beginner. The beginner and the most enlightened thinker in zoology should each have the same point of view. With this belief in mind, the authors have tried to put into simple form the principal facts and approved hypotheses upon which the modern conceptions of animal life are based.

It is unnecessary to say that this book depends on its best use on the basis of personal observational work by the student in the laboratory and field. Without independent personal work of the student little can be learned about animals and their life that will remain fixed. But present-day teachers of biology are too well informed to make a discussion of the methods of their work necessary here. As a matter of fact, the methods of the teacher depend so absolutely on his training and individual initiative that it is not worthwhile for the authors to point out the place of this book in elementary zoological teaching. That the phase of study it attempts to represent should have a place in such teaching is, of course, their firm belief.

Author: David Starr Jordan,  and   Vernon L Kellogg
 Publication Date: 1900

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