Paleontology Book: Huxley, Thomas & Salter, J.W.; On the Anatomy and Affinities of the genus Pterygotus

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Huxley, Thomas & Salter, J.W.; On the Anatomy and Affinities of the genus Pterygotus and Description of the Species of Pterygotus. Memoir 1, Geological Survey of the United Kingdom; Figures & Descriptions Illustrative of British Organic Remains. London, 1859. Quarto text, pp. 105, 13 text figures; small folio atlas of 16 plates with descriptive text pages.

The work is complete and bound as a set in modern cloth with the original decorative soft title wraps bound in.X-lib., Harvard Kummel Library with blind stamp on covers. Contents very clean, plates exceptionally clean and bright. In very good condition. Very rare.


Huxley (1825-1895); an English naturalist and paleontologist is noted for his major contributions to vertebrate paleontology and the advancement of Darwin's theories of evolution. His detailed studies of the Archaeopteryx and emphasis of the fossils "transitional features" only strengthened his belief in evolution and led to his proposal that birds had evolved from dinosaurs. This was a belief that did not sit well with his opponent Owen and the two were bitter enemies. Salter (1820-1869); an English paleontologist made notable contributions to the study of trilobites and crustaceans from England and Wales. Within this rare work the two collaborated on the study of the large Crustacea; Pterygotus, which form a part of the order, Eurypterida. Many of the specimens; first described by Agassiz in 1839, came from the Old Red Sandstone of Scotland. The plates are especially detailed and quite attractive.