Hitchcock, Edward; Ichnology of New England. A report on the Sandstone of the Connecticut Valley, especially its fossil footmarks, made to the Government of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Boston, 1858. Large quarto, pp. xii, 220, text figures and 60 plates, including a large, folding hand-colored map and colored sections.
The volume is complete and in the original embossed, brown cloth with gilt-lettered spine titles. The binding is tight, covers lightly scuffed, spine titles bright. Light soiling to spine. Old embossed library stamp on title page margin and rubber stamp on end sheet. The text pages are clean and bright; the plates are very clean with bright colors to the map and sections.
Hitchcock (1793-1864), was a noted naturalist and geologist at Amherst College and is best remembered for his pioneering studies of New England's geology and paleontology. He discovered evidence of glaciation in western Massachusetts and performed early pioneering studies in vertebrate paleontology and paleoichnology in the Triassic sandstones of Connecticut and Massachusetts. He also completed the first comprehensive geological survey of Massachusetts. Ichnology of New England is Hitchcock's major treatise on more than 20 years of investigation on fossil tracks and traces in the Jurassic rocks of central Massachusetts and nearby Connecticut. Dozens of footprint genera are described and splendidly illustrated in the work, including tracks he thought were made by lizards, amphibians, turtles and a variety of invertebrates. Some of the most abundant and interesting prints were massive footprints that he attributed to gigantic birds. Those tracks were in fact made by dinosaurs.