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CUVIER, Georges L. C., Baron.

Le Règne Animal...

distribué d'après son organisation, pour servir de base a l'histoire naturelle des animaux et d'introduction a l'anatomie comparée. Avec Figures, dessinées d'après nature. Tome I, contenant L'introduction, les mammifères et les oiseaux. Tome II, contenant les reptiles, les poissons, es mollusques et les annélides. Tome III, contenant les crustacés, les arachnides et les insectes, Par M. Latreille. Tome IV, contenant les zoophytes, les tables, et les planches.

Availability: In stock

Published: Paris Chez Deterville, De L'imprimerie de A. Belin, 1817

Stock Code: 115758

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


First edition, with all four half titles present, and the 15 engraved plates by Laurillard. This is the seminal work of natural history by the recognised father of comparative anatomy, applying the Linnaean system of classification to the whole animal kingdom, and establishing the four classes, vertebrata, mollusca, articulata and radiata. This four volume first edition is the one cited in Printing and the Mind of Man, "In contradiction to the current view that the structure of an animal determined its functions and habits Cuvier held that an animal's structure was due to its function and habits. Stomachs are required by mobile creatures: plants do not have stomachs. A carnivore needs sharp teeth, powerful jaws, claws, etc.: a herbivore has flat teeth and hooves. This kind of distinction is a commonplace today, but Cuvier was the first to apply such analyses and comparisons to the entire animal kingdom. He also saw that this homogeneity in an individual should enable a competent naturalist to reconstruct a complete animal from any significant part of its anatomy" (PMM 276).

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4 volumes, octavo (205 x 125 mm). Contemporary tan calf backed boards, corners recycled from older manuscript on vellum, spine gilt-tooled in compartments with two navy morocco title labels gilt, blue silk bookmarker to first three volumes.


Half title to each volumes, 15 engraved plates in the rear of the final volume.


Covers somewhat marked and rubbed, light spotting within somewhat more to prelims, tear to title page of volume 4, all sound, very good condition withal.


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