Books  Evolutionary Biology  Evolution 

On Growth and Form

  • Discusses the question: why do living things and physical phenomena take the form they do?
  • A historical work, first published in 1917, is renowned for the poetry of its description of the natural world
  • This abridged edition, first published in 1961, makes this important work accessible to the general reader

Series: Canto Classics

By: D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson(Author), John Tyler Bonner(Editor)

b/w illustrations

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | May 2014 | #211364 | ISBN-13: 9781107672567
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £12.99 $17/€15 approx

About this book

Why do living things and physical phenomena take the form they do? D'Arcy Thompson's classic On Growth and Form looks at the way things grow and the shapes they take. Analysing biological processes in their mathematical and physical aspects, this historic work, first published in 1917, has also become renowned for the sheer poetry of its descriptions. A great scientist sensitive to the fascinations and beauty of the natural world tells of jumping fleas and slipper limpets; of buds and seeds; of bees' cells and rain drops; of the potter's thumb and the spider's web; of a film of soap and a bubble of oil; of a splash of a pebble in a pond.


Introduction John Tyler Bonner

1. Introductory
2. On magnitude
3. The forms of cells
4. The forms of tissues, of cell-aggregates
5. On spicules and spicular skeletons
6. The equiangular spiral
7. The shapes of horns and of teeth or tusks
8. On form and mechanical efficiency
9. On the theory of transformations, or the comparison of related forms
10. Epilogue


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