Cuvier, Georges; Recherches sur les ossemens fossiles, Òu l'on rétablit les caractéres de plusieurs animaux dont les révolutions du globe ont détruit les espèce… Quatrième edition, Paris: Edmond d Ocagne, Baillière, Levrault, Crochard, Roret,1834-1836.
Ten octavo text volumes and two large quarto atlas volumes bound in one. Vol. 1, pp. half title, title, xxiv, 587, 2 tables. Vol. 2, pp. half title, title, 500. Vol. 3, pp. half title, title 4324, errata. Vol. 4, half title, title, 691. Vol 5, pp. half title, title, 687, errata. Vol. 6, pp. half title, title, 452. Vol. 7, pp. half title, title, 533, errata. Vol. 8, pp. half title, title, 462, errata, part 2, half title, title, 332. Vol. 9, half title, title, 501, errata. Vol. 10, half title, title, 494, errata, 1. Two large quarto atlas volumes bound as one, pp. half title frontispiece portrait, title, 94, 1, 160 plates (some folding). Total of 161 including portrait. Part 2, pp. half title, title, 106, 1, plates 161-260, 2 engraved hand-colored geological maps (one folded), 15 plates of strata, section, fossils, labelled A - S. (The letter I was not used).
This massive work is complete and in a later calf over marbled boards with raised spine bands and gilt titles. The marbled boards on the atlas are contemporary with light scuffing. The text and all plates are very clean with an old library stamp on each title page but no other markings. In very good condition.
George Cuvier (1769-1832) was a French naturalist and is considered the founder of modern paleontology and comparative anatomy. When Cuvier began his research in the late eighteenth century, it was generally believed that no species had ever gone extinct. His research was focused on the little known field of fossil quadrupeds and he applied to these fossils the principles of comparative anatomy. By doing this Cuvier was able to reconstruct prehistoric forms of animal life whose existence had never been suspected. The results of his work first appeared as a series of separate publications and Cuvier then gathered these together in a brilliantly written and work with lavish and beautiful plates. His work “Recherches sur les ossemens fossiles” first appeared in four volumes in 1812 and expanded as more data was added to the massive 12 volume 4th edition. His work established the science of modern paleontology and greatly advancing the field of comparative anatomy. His work presented the evidence of progressive development of species as well as establishing the extinction of species. He demonstrated that the age of the Earth was far greater than six thousand years. Cuvier argued in favor of catastrophism or the theory that violent catastrophes had caused extinction events and shaped geological features. The fourth edition is the most extensive edition of Cuvier’s work and was edited by his brother Friedrich Cuvier.
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