Books  Evolutionary Biology  Evolutionary Biology 

On the Nature of Limbs: A Discourse

By: Richard Owen

119 pages, Figs, illus

University of Chicago Press

Paperback | Jan 2008 | #168346 | ISBN-13: 9780226641935
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £14.99 $18/€17 approx
Hardback | Mar 2008 | #168345 | ISBN-13: 9780226641942
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £36.50 $45/€41 approx

About this book

The most prominent naturalist in Britain before Charles Darwin, Richard Owen made empirical discoveries and offered theoretical innovations that were crucial to the proof of evolution. Among his many lasting contributions to science was the first clear definition of the term homology-"the same organ in different animals under every variety of form and function." He also graphically demonstrated that all vertebrate species were built on the same skeletal plan and devised the vertebrate archetype as a representation of the simplest common form of all vertebrates.

Just as Darwin's ideas continue to propel the modern study of adaptation, so too will Owen's contributions fuel the new interest in homology, organic form, and evolutionary developmental biology. His theory of the archetype and his views on species origins were first offered to the general public in On the Nature of Limbs, published in 1849. It reemerges here in a facsimile edition with introductory essays by prominent historians, philosophers, and practitioners from the modern evo-devo community.

I look at Owen's Archetypes as more than ideal, as a real representation as far as the most consummate skill and loftiest generalization can represent the parent form of the Vertebrata. - Charles Darwin, marginalia in his copy of "On the Nature of Limbs".

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for this product. Be the first to review this product!


Ron Amundson is professor of philosophy at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Bestsellers in this subject

Avian Evolution

NHBS Price: £64.99 $79/€73 approx

Alfred Russel Wallace

NHBS Price: £12.99 $16/€15 approx

Beaks, Bones, and Bird Songs

NHBS Special Offer Price: £12.99 £14.99 (Save £2.00) $16/€15 approx (ends 31/12/2016)

The Walking Whales

NHBS Price: £24.95 $30/€28 approx

The Arrival of the Fittest

NHBS Price: £9.99 $12/€11 approx