Series: Recherches sur les Ossemens Fossiles des Quadrupèdes Volume: 2
422 pages, 42 b/w illustrations
A reprint of a classical work in the Cambridge Library Collection.
Georges Cuvier (1769-1832), one of the founding figures of vertebrate palaeontology, pursued a successful scientific career despite the political upheavals in France during his lifetime. In the 1790s, Cuvier's work on fossils of large mammals including mammoths enabled him to show that extinction was a scientific fact. In 1812 Cuvier published this four-volume illustrated collection of his papers on palaeontology, osteology and stratigraphy. It was followed in 1817 by his famous Le Règne Animal, available in the Cambridge Library Collection both in French and in Edward Griffith's expanded English translation (1827-35).
Volume 2 of Recherches sur les Ossemens Fossiles describes eleven species of pachyderm found in recent alluvial deposits. They include elephants, mastodons, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, tapir and the hyrax (which Cuvier classified as an ungulate rather than a rodent). Cuvier argued from osteological comparisons with living species that all should be considered distinct species in their own right.
1. Remarques generales sur la famille des pachydermes
2. Description osteologique et comparative du daman
3. Description osteologique du rhinoceros unicorne
4 Sur les ossemens fossiles de rhinoceros
5. Sur l'hippopotame et sur son osteologie
6. Sur les ossemens fossiles d'hippopotames
7. Description osteologique du tapir
8. Sur les ossemens fossiles de tapir
9. Sur les elephans vivans et fossiles
10. Sur le grand mastodonte, vulg. animal de l'Ohio
11. Sur divers mastodontes de moindre taille
12. Resume general de cette premiere partie
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