Rare Paleontology Book: Christol, Jules De; Recherches sur les Characteres des Grandes Especes de Rhinoceros Fossiles. 1834

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Christol, Jules De; Recherches sur les Characteres des Grandes Especes de Rhinoceros Fossiles. Montpellier, Jean Martel AINE, 1834. Quarto, pp. 72, large folded plate.

The work is complete and in a modern calf and marbled boards with spine label. Binding is tight and clean. Text has moisture stain at outer corners, and at plate corners and folds, brown spot on title page. In good condition.

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A French paleontologist; Christol (1802-1861) was a fossil collector in the south of France who completed his doctorat ès-sciences at Montpellier in 1834. He was made professor of geology in 1837 at the newly created Faculté des Sciences in Dijon and soon after was also asked to take over the duties of secretary of the Faculty; he became dean in 1853. He was an accurate osteologist and corrected some of Cuvier's errors.

He specialized in the study of Tertiary and Quaternary mammals from the south of France, particularly those from caves. He was greatly interested in the rhinoceros, the Quaternary hyenas and the Equidae.

His studies resulted in Christol being cited as one of the founders of the science of prehistory, for in 1829 he had stated in "Notice sur les ossements… fossiles"…, a pamphlet printed at his own expense, that the human bones found in the cave of Pondres (Hérault) were contemporaneous with “extinct races” of lions, hyenas, and bears. In doing so he risked incurring the opposition of Cuvier, who denied the existence of fossil man. His 1834 study "Rhinoceros Fossiles" was published as his doctorat ès-sciences.