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Illustrated Index of British Shells Containing figures of all the recent species

Language - English
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Description: - Illustrated Index of British Shells : Containing figures of all the recent species The first idea of this Work arose from the occasional use of Mr. Damon's 'Catalogue of the Shells of Great Britain and Ireland,' named after the 'History of British Mollusca,' etc. Here was, on one side, a very useful list of names, without figures or references to guide an inquirer to the species; and on the other, a very large and splendid Work, placed by its heavy price beyond the reach of Naturalists in general. There was nothing between the two; nothing within reach that would assist collectors of British Shells to name their acquisitions from ocean, beach, river, pond, or hedgerow. A public want seemed here to be discovered. It was thought that a list like the above, with a coloured drawing of every species, if produced at an available price, would supply that want. At first no more than this was thought of, but afterwards, as the preparations advanced, various suggestions were made tending to some extension of the plan. The results are here presented. About 700 Figures in the Plates represent all the recognized species. They amount to 600, being 60 more than are admitted in the latest monograph. The greater part of these are either new or newly introduced as British. The rest are raised from varieties to species. As the nomenclature used by Messrs. Forbes and Hanley in their great Work will be most generally adopted in this country, it is followed here with very few alterations; and the synonyms given (in italics) are selected from those which are most familiar and likely to be met with. Some information is added respecting habits and localities, range of depth of marine species, and comparative abundance. The letters C., Cc., Mc., R., Rr., and Mr., signifying 'common,' 'extremely common,' 'moderately common,' 'rare,' etc., must be taken with great caution, especially the latter, as subject to continual change. A list is given of British Fossil Shells identical with now living species. A familiar description of British Mollusca and some peculiarities in their families and genera will, it is hoped, form a useful and suitable introduction to the names and figures. The Author's best thanks are due to his friends, Madame De Burgh, who has collected many beautiful shells; R. M‘Andrew, Esq., F.L.S., whose dredging experiences are so extensive; J. G. Jeffreys, Esq., F.R.S., etc., whose researches have resulted in so many additions to our Fauna; Mr. Brice Wright, the Naturalist, of Great Russell Street, and others, who have in the most liberal manner supplied him with specimens from which his drawings are taken. The loan of delicate and minute shells to authors and artists has so often proved disastrous, that nothing but a generous friendship, and a zealous love of Natural History, could have induced proprietors so freely to incur the risk.
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