Skip to content

Please be aware that some material may contain words, descriptions or illustrations which will not reflect current scientific understanding and may be considered in today's context inaccurate, unethical, offensive or distressing.


Not recommended for publication in the 'Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society'. Respects the author but finds him 'singularly devoid of the power of lucid exposition', with papers devoid of new conclusions or significant observations, with poor reference to the work of others. The title of the paper is not reflected in it's contents. Suggests making it known to the author that papers of this type are no longer printed by the Royal Society. Suggests the section on the development of the wing, if reduced in length, be printed. Refers to work of Miss B Lindsay, whose observation of 'a simple and important fact...has surprised [the author] now that it has been discovered by a young lady...Miss Lindsay observed that the shoulder plate of birds develops on each side in three separate tracts of embryonic cartilage. Professor Parker who published a large work on the shoulder girdle of all classes of vertebrata, had actually overlooked this fundamental fact. Can we consider him a highly competent observer? I fear not'. Refers to work of Miss Johnson. 'I do not hesitate to say that the short, clear, straightforward papers of two young ladies...have done more to advance our real knowledge of the morphology of the Bird's skeleton than all the voluminous memoirs and costly plates published by Prof. Parker'.

Subject: Zoology, Physiology

[Published in the 'Proceedings of the Royal Society of London', 1887]

Reference number
Earliest possible date
26 March 1887
Physical description
Letter on paper
Page extent
9 pages

Creator name

Edwin Ray Lankester

View page for Edwin Ray Lankester

Use this record


Edwin Ray Lankester, Referee's report by Edwin Ray Lankester, on a paper 'On the morphology of birds' by William Kitchen Parker, 26 March 1887, RR/10/68, The Royal Society Archives, London,, accessed on 18 April 2024

Link to this record

Embed this record

<iframe src="" title="Referee's report by Edwin Ray Lankester, on a paper 'On the morphology of birds' by William Kitchen Parker" allow="fullscreen" frameborder="0" width="100%" height="500px"></iframe>

Related Publications

Related Fellows

Explore the collection

  • Referee Reports

    Date: 1832-1949

    This collection contains reports on scientific papers submitted for publication to the Royal Society. Started in 1832 when the system was formalised, it is a record of the origins of peer review publishing in practice.

    View collection