Zittel's “Palæontology”—Reptiles


IN the annual address to the Geological Society delivered last year by the retiring President, the work of which a portion is now before us was referred to as “the superb palæontological compendium now being published by our distinguished Foreign Member, Prof. K. v. Zittel, a book that, I fear, no English publisher at present would feel justified in undertaking.” It is with a feeling of admiration mingled with regret—of admiration for this splendid work, and of regret that its like cannot be produced in this country—that we quote these words; for it is unfortunately but too true that palæontological science, or, in other words, the zoology of past epochs of the earth's history, is not cultivated among us with anything like that zeal which its importance and interest merit. Indeed (although there are signs that this spirit is now passing away), we too often hear palæontology and palæontologists mentioned by those who ought to know better with a covert, if not with an open sneer. Palæontology, however, if studied in a proper philosophic spirit, must be the very groundwork of all our systems of zoological classification; and therefore all students of zoology— both recent and past—owe a deep debt of gratitude to the author of this “Palæontologie,” which may be said to be the only work which is so comprehensive as to deal, not only with the general outlines, but also with the details of the science of which it treats.

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L., R. Zittel's “Palæontology”—Reptiles. Nature 43, 420–424 (1891). https://doi.org/10.1038/043420a0

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