Letter | Published:

The Miraculous Draught of Fishes

Nature volume 110, page 666 (18 November 1922) | Download Citation



IN the passage from Lortet's work on the Lake of Tiberias, quoted in Prof. Gudger's interesting letter in NATURE of October 28, p. 572, the scientific title of the crested grebe is given as Podiceps cristatus. This misrendering of the true name of the genus Podicipes may be traced, I think, to Yarrell, for it appears in his “History of British Birds,” published in 1845. Yarrell was not a classical scholar; but it is strange that the late Lord Lilford should have slipped into the same error in his splendid “Coloured Figures of British Birds.” The difference in form is important, because Podiceps, if it means anything, means “rumpheaded”; whereas in coining the word Podicipes, meaning “rump-footed,” Linnmæus indicated the posterior position of the feet so characteristic of the genus.

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  1. Monreith, Whauphill, Wigtownshire.



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