Précis des découvertes somiologiques ou zoologiques et botaniques

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CONSTANTINE SAMUEL RAFINESQUE was born at constantinople in 1783, and died in great poverty at Philadelphia in 1840. His father was French and his mother German. In 1802 he settled in America, where he studied biology in fifteen States of the Union. He was a keen explorer and an inspired collector, and, as a person, the history of biology can scarcely produce a more picturesque and eccentric figure. There was an unmistakable dash of genius in his composition, although he could be an unreliable and erratic worker. His death was a relief to his more matter-of-fact and orthodox contemporaries, and for a long time his works were allowed to drop out of the literature of biology. Later, however, a resumed study of his writings, which had in the meantime become very scarce and difficult to consult, validated many of his taxonomic discoveries, and some of his works were reproduced in facsimile.

Précis des découvertes somiologiques ou zoologiques et botaniques

C. S. Rafinesque. (Palerme 1814.) Reprint. Foreword by Prof. E. D. Merrill. Pp. iv+58. (New York: Peter Smith, 1948.) 4 dollars.

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COLE, F. Précis des découvertes somiologiques ou zoologiques et botaniques. Nature 163, 786 (1949) doi:10.1038/163786b0

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