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Faune des Mammifères d'Europe

Nature volume 85, pages 34 (03 November 1910) | Download Citation

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Abstract

IN issuing an up-to-date descriptive catalogue of the mammals of Europe Prof. Trouessart has conferred a real and lasting benefit on zoological science, since, owing to the great increase of species and races due to modern methods of discrimination, the well-known work of Blasius has long been practically useless. Indeed, if the two works be compared, it might at first sight be difficult to believe that they treat of the same subject, so great has been the increase in the last few years in the number of recognisably distinct forms, and so extensive the changes in nomenclature. Nowadays views differ—and will probably continue to differ—as to the limitations of species and races; but Dr. Trouessart appears inclined in most cases to use the former term in the most restricted sense. Justifying himself in doubtful instances by the dictum of Desmarest that “il est plus misable de trop réunir que de trop diviser,” he might, if we remember riglitly, have supported an opposite view by a statement of Huxley to the effect that it is more important to recognise resemblances than to overlook differences; and in the excessive multiplication of genera and species (as distinct from division into races) there is undoubtedly a great danger of losing sight of mutual affinities.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/085003b0

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