A reprint of a classical work in the Cambridge Library Collection.
The Purbeck and Wealden formations of southern England represent marginal marine and continental deposition during the latest Jurassic and Early Cretaceous periods. More famous for their fossil dinosaurs and mammals, these units also yield the remains of fishes. In this work, first published in three parts between 1916 and 1919, Arthur Smith Woodward (1864-1944) provides the most extensive overview of the Purbeck and Wealden ichthyofauna, describing and illustrating some thirty genera of cartilaginous, lobe-finned, and ray-finned fishes. Woodward finds the preservation of fishes from both deposits to be suboptimal, but nevertheless comes to some important conclusions: he shows that the fish fauna of the English Wealden is nearly identical to that of the famous coeval deposits of Bernissart in Belgium, and finds that the species from both the Wealden and Purbeck show closer affinities with Jurassic forms than with later Cretaceous lineages like those described in his monograph on fishes from the Chalk.
- Summary and conclusion