Letter | Published:

Extinct and Recent Irish Mammals


I BEG to thank Prof. Leith Adams for his criticism, in NATURE, vol. xviii., p. 141, of my “Preliminary Treatise on the Relation of the Pleistocene Animals to those now living in Europe” (Palæon. Soc., 1878), in which, from the nature of the work, it is impossible that mistakes should not be. I cannot, however, plead guilty to some of the mistakes which are placed to my credit:—I. That “the Irish elk is placed among the pre-historic mammals in consequence of its presence in the peat-bogs of England, Scotland, and Ireland.” What I wrote (p. 6) was that the presence of the extinct Irish elk in the peat-bogs, which are of well-ascertained pre-historic age, renders it impossible to accept Sir Charles Lyell's definition of the term recent, in which no extinct species are stated to occur.

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