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Ecology evolution and population biology. Edited by Edward O. Wilson. viii + 319 pp. figures tables bibliographies index. W. H. Freeman San Francisco. 1974. $12.00 (cloth) $5

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(at least two locations), the use of a male
gorilla in front view and a female in the
side view (p. 118) though duly captioned,
may cause confusion, as may the statement on page 137 alluding to the large
“canine incisors” of the robust australopithecines, a trait said to be shared by
male orangs and baboons. Also, the natural endocast of the Taung youngster is
called “an impression in the brain itself
upon prehistoric rock,” which would be
helped by the substitution of “of” for “in,”
but would still be misleading (p. 127).
Some users of the book may also wonder
about the high values given for some cranial capacities (p. 119), and the generous
size of the canine in the reconstruction of
Sterkfontein 5 (p. 131). Yet despite these
rather minor examples, McKern and McKern seem to have successfully trod the
difficult path of presenting the basic ideas
clearly, succinctly, interestingly and without oversimplification. This volume should
prove a useful addition to the assigned
readings in a class featuring physical
anthropology and archaeology, and should
enjoy brisk sales, its appeal accentuated
by its availability in paper covers.
viewpoint of the geneticist rather than the
ecologist. Population genetics deals primarily with interactions of organisms within Mendelian populations while ecologists
often survey nature from broader perspectives studying entire ecosystems and the
myriad of interactions among the different
species in these ecosystems. Indeed, most
introductory texts in physical anthropology spend a good deal of time marching
students through the Hardy-Weinberg model, the forces of evolution, and various
selection equilibria; yet, little is mentioned about ecological approaches to population dynamics. Ecological theory and
principles are not presented as a coherent
body of knowledge. Rather, primate ethology, food chains, ecogeographical rules,
stress physiology, adaptation and adaptability, demographic considerations, and
population pressure caveats provide basic
ecological information that is often haphazardly strewn throughout the texts. Seldom
are genetic theory and modern ecological
theory united when studying evolutionary
problems. Yet as Wilson’s Preface cogently points out “evolutionary theory would
be mostly nonsense without ecology” (p.
V). Consequently, I feel a need for a book
that will provide a holistic approach to
University of New Mexico
evolutionary biology for physical anthropologists. How well does Wilson’s book of
readings fill this seemingly open niche
space? In my opinion it has potential but
doesn’t quite fulfill its promise of integration.
A N D POPULATION The book contains reprints of 34 S c i n BIOLOGY.Edited by Edward 0. Wilson. ti& American articles originally published
319 pp., figures, tables, bibliog- between 1950 and 1972. The stated purviii
raphies, index. W. H. Freeman, San pose of the book is to clarify the relationFrancisco. 1974. $12.00 (cloth), $5.95 ship between evolutionary theory and ecology. Wilson divides the readings into four
discrete sections. The first entitled “The
Evolutionary theory provides the basic Evolutionary Process” deals with genetic
intellectual framework for a physical an- phenomena. Topics covered include gethropologist. The two central foci of con- netic load, the sickle-cell story, genetic
cern in physical anthropology are human drift in the Parma Valley of Italy, the
origins and human variation. An under- structure and history of cytochrome-C, and
standing of these topics is impossible with- a n introduction to group selection via the
out an appreciation both of the genetic social order of turkeys. The second section
processes behind evolutionary change and entitled “The Multiplication and Dispersal
of the ecological interactions of popula- of Species” deals with speciation and biotions with each other and with the non- geography. Topics covered include contiliving components of the environment.
nental drift, Darwin’s Finches, bird bioPhysical anthropologists have tended to geography, and speciation in the desert
approach evolutionary biology from the pupfish. The third section entitled “The
Growth and Interaction of Populations”
deals with demography and population
ecology. Topics covered include survival
curves, the effects of density on rat social
pathology, insect migration by air, the
role of altruism and epideictic behavior
in population regulation, the co-evolution
of butterflies and plants, insect weed control, adaptations in desert ground squirrels, mimicry in butterflies, marine cleaning symbiosis, insect fungus gardens, and
the possible symbiotic origin of chloroplasts and mitochondria. The fourth section entitled “Ecosystems” deals with the
interactions that characterize the entire
biosphere. Topics covered include the biosphere and its energy cycle, the carbon
and nitrogen cycles, the relationship between plants and the human crop, oceanic
food webs, trace element shortages in otherwise usable soils, nutrient cycles in an
experimental forest, the problem of concentration of toxic substances in food
chains, the effects of bogs on climate,
sand dune communities, the role of fire
in shaping the landscape, and the startling
number of inhabitants of human skin.
Wilson maintains that the study of adaptation represents the meeting point of evolutionary theory and ecology. He hopes
that an integrated understanding of both
fields will enable a student “to recognize
a strong thread of common thought running through the study of even such disparate topics as the evolution of hemoglobin, the nature of plant toxins, and
the cycle of energy through the biosphere”
(P. v>.
The attempt at integration is not entirely successful because the introductory
remarks preceding the different sections
of the book are too short. The material
presented in these commentaries is quite
good but a total of 15 pages introducing
34 articles and attempting to provide background and integration just isn’t enough.
Collections of Scientific American offprints
are valuable adjuncts to many courses in
biology and anthropology; however, the
justification for being stuck with someone
else’s choices relies heavily on the value
of the commentaries interspersed between
the major groupings of articles. After all,
one can order most of the offprints individually and personally select a reading
list to supplement lectures and textbooks.
In my opinion this latter option would be
preferable in this case.
University of Arizona
GROUPING. By Addine G. Erskine. xii
356 pp., figures, tables, bibliography,
glossary, index. C. V. Mosby, St. Louis.
1973. $15.25 (cloth).
As A. S. Wiener states in his forward to
this volume, “there has been no dearth of
books on blood groups,” yet Dr. Erskine has
recognised and ably filled the need for a
suitable text on blood grouping methodology. Here is a classroom text for student
medical technologists who will have the
book on their laboratory benches for many
years after their student days are completed.
The book is divided into two main sections, the first concerned with the principles of blood grouping and the second with
laboratory techniques. Part I discusses the
history of blood groups, immunology and
genetics, and provides a description of all
known blood groups and subgroups in man.
Terminology that may be alien to the student is in boldface print when first introduced and defined, and the text clarified
by figures and tables, many of which are
from publications by Dr. Wiener.
Part 11, which is 104 pages in length, describes blood grouping methodology for
each of the blood groups in clearly numbered steps, with accompanying tables illustrating test procedures, possible results
and phenotype interpretations. Strict emphasis is given to the importance of controls and possible sources of error are discussed. Individual chapters are devoted to
testing before transfusion, medicolegal aspects of blood grouping including identification of stains such as human blood and
human semen, and gene frequency estimations.
Part 111, a short report of 18 pages, summarises human-type and simian-type blood
factors in non-human primates.
The two main sections of the book are
complete in themselves, to the extent that
the glossary appears in the middle of the
volume at the end of Part I. This results
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cloth, population, freeman, figuren, edward, evolution, wilson, index, francisca, viii, 319, bibliographie, edited, 1974, tablet, san, biologya, ecology
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