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History and Methods of Palæontological Discovery1

Nature volume 20, pages 515521 | Download Citation



II. WHILE the Paris Basin was yielding such important results for palseontology, its geological structure was being worked out with great care. The results appeared in a volume by Cuvier and Alex. Brongniart, chiefly the work of the latter, published in 1808.2 This was the first systematic investigation of tertiary strata. Three years later, the work was issued in a more extended form. The separate formations were here carefully-distinguished by their fossils, the true importance of which for this purpose being distinctly recognized. This advance was not accepted without some opposition, and it is an interesting fact that Jameson, who claimed for Werner the theory here put in practice, rejected its application, and wrote as follows: “To Cuvier and Brongniart we are indebted for much valuable information in their description of the country around Paris, but we must protest against the use they have made of fossil organic remains in their geognostical descriptions and investigations.”1

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