Author Owen, R. On the osteology of the dodo. [AND] On the dodo (Part II). Notes on the articulated skeleton of the Dodo ( Didus ineptus , Linn.) in the British Museum.
Published 1867-1872
Item ID 50820
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London, Zoological Society of London, 1867-1872. Two papers in two. Large 4to (32.5 x 25.7 cm). [I] (1867): 37 pp. [numbered 49-85], and ten lithographed plates [numbered 15-24], of which one very large, folded, giving a life-size outline of the bird; II (1872): 13 pp. (numbered 213-225), three lithographed plates (30.7 x 24.5 cm). Original printed wrappers for first part only. Together in one modern portfolio. 'On the osteology of the dodo' is a marvellous, very rare paper on the first bird known to become extinct in modern times. Written and illustrated by the greatest comparative anatomist and osteologist of the 19th century, Richard Owen (1804-1892). This is the complete volume 6(III) of the Transactions of the Zoological Society of London with its wrappers (part "I"), and pp. 513-525 of volume 7(VII) (part II). Plate 15 is a large, folding plate of the entire skeleton and outline of the animal. Initially it was written as a single, complete publication (hence the 1867 paper does not contain the words 'Part I'). Retroactively it became "Part I" with the 1872 publication of a 'Part II' which contains some corrections and additions, based on new material submitted to Owen after the 1867 work was published. "Owen fitted the skeleton into an outline traced around Savery’s Dodo image, which he believed ... to have been painted from a living bird. This produced an unnatural, squat and overly obese Dodo, which became the orthodox image of the bird. Owen published again on the Dodo three years later, this time rectifying his mistake by reconstructing the bird in a natural more upright position, but the original image stuck; Owen has been associated with it ever since" (Hume et al.). Uncut. Wrappers a bit spotted and with an expert repair to the spine; contents clean. An excellent copy. The additional Part II without wrappers, edges trimmed. Internally a very good, clean copy. Hume et al., 2009 How Owen ‘stole’ the Dodo , p. 45; Nissen IVB, 703. Not in Zimmer. A paper as rare as the dodo