LettersCorrespondence

A Text-book of Zoöogeography

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  13 Sep 1895:
Vol. 2, Issue 37, pp. 343
DOI: 10.1126/science.2.37.343

Abstract

EDITOR OF SCIENCE: The fate of my review of Beddard's Zoogeography furnishes another illustration of the dangers which an author is subjeet to in his path to publication. In the proof (of which I have a duplicate at hand), Nearctic and Ostoliemus occur all right, but in the published article (altered after it passed through my hands) Osteolemus is substituted for Ostolemus and Osteolkemus for OsteolTemus and consequently there is no apparent point to the criticism made and no reason for the analogue educed. ‘Upiform’ on p. 273 (left column) should have been pupiform, and ‘even’ on p. 273 (right column) just before ‘the same Hyracodon’ should, of course, have been event. The p of pupiform and t of event were dropped after transmission of the proof; ‘molacologist’ should have been corrected to malacologist. I may add that Mr. Beddard spells the title of his volume Zoogeography (without 6) as I had written and corrected. The reviewer of Beddard's work in ‘Nature’ (July 25, p. 289) is "I at a loss to understand" "by what confusion ofideas the name Biyracodon, (which belongs to an extinct genus of rhinoceros- like animals) is made to do duty for Didelphys. "IHyracodon of Tomes, as noted in the review in SCIENCE (p. 273) was published in 1863 and in the Proe. Zo6l. Soc. London (p. 50) and has remained unexplained to the present day. I have long been inclined to believe that it was based on a young Didelphys, although the meagre description does not apply to any stage I have seen (and I have seen many). I was surprised that it was not noticed in Mr. Thomas' excellent work on Marsupials. It seems, indeed, to have fallen quite flat, but was noticed by Murray in his geographical distribution of Mammals, and I presume that it is from Murray that Mr. Beddard has received the generic name. The homonymy of the names of Leidy and Tomes was, of course, a mere coincidence. The type of Tomes' genus (Hyracodon fuliginosus) was from ‘Ecuador; collected by Mr. Fraser.’ If it has not been lost, perhaps Mr. Thomas may find it and tell us what it is. We may, perhaps, derive some comfort from the fact that the printers of your famous contemporary ‘Nature’ are by no means exempt from errors like those I now correct. Four lines before the reference to IHyracodon just cited, we find a reference to the ‘Siberian hippopotamus;’ the original copy of the review undoubtedly had Liberian.