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Subject: Publication on fossil vertebrate types

Publication on fossil vertebrate types

From: Earle Spamer <spamer>
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 1995
We have just received from the printer a new publication put out by the
Academy of Natural Sciences

    A Study of Fossil Vertebrate Types in The Academy of Natural
    Sciences of Philadelphia. ANSP Special Publication no. 16

It is a whole new approach to the traditional "catalog" of type
specimens, written for an interdisciplinary audience.  We have
recognized that more and more researchers, students, and various
professionals outside of paleontology draw upon the important data
contained in the Academy's collections, so this study was conducted
with all of these groups in mind.

The main focus is of course paleontology, systematics and taxonomy.
But it also covers history, curation, conservation, and library
science. Accordingly, it is directed to the problems and concerns
met by researchers, students, curators, collection managers,
historians, and librarians.  Here is a summary:

434 pages, including a 60-page bibliography with 1,300 citations
completely spelled out, and a 32-page index.

This is a unique study of the type specimens in the vertebrate
paleontology collection at the oldest natural science museum in
North America.  The Academy's 400+ types were described between 1822
and 1994.  Most are from the beginnings of vertebrate paleontology
in North America, including taxa described by Richard Harlan, Joseph
Leidy, and Edward Drinker Cope, to name a few.

Part 1 places the fossil material in historical context with an
overview of vertebrate paleontology at the Academy (1812-present),
collectors and localities.

Part 2 contains extensively annotated entries describing the type
status, inventory, literature citations, and conservation
information for each lot.  This part is arranged by major systematic
group: fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, terrestrial mammals,
marine mammals, and ichnofossils.  There are also complete separate
guides to the systematic arrangement of the species as well as their
stratigraphic and geographic provenance.

Entries include such notables as: The first North American
dinosaurs, Deinodon, Troodon, Trachodon, and Paleoscincus, described
by Leidy in 1856; Hadrosaurus foulkii Leidy 1859; and Dryptosaurus
aquilunguis (Cope) 1866.  Also included are the first-described
remains from such famous paleontological localities as the White
River badlands and Bridger Basin, and important Pleistocene sites
like Big Bone Lick, Kentucky; Port Kennedy Cave, Pennsylvania;
Burnet Cave, New Mexico; and early collections from the Atlantic
Coastal Plain.  Many early specimens were once part of the
historical collections of the American Philosophical Society, now at
the Academy.

Part 3 documents the interpretive methods used in the study of
sometimes- problematic historical fossil material.  It touches on
various applications of the International Code of Zoological
Nomenclature to specific problems met during the study of the
Academy's types.  Bibliographical problems are also discussed.

For more information about this publication or the collections in
the Academy, please contact either daeschler [at] say__acnatsci__org or
spamer [at] say__acnatsci__org.

Ted Daeschler, Collection Manager
Earle E. Spamer
Academy of Natural Sciences
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA  19103-1195
Fax:  215-299-1028

                  Conservation DistList Instance 9:45
                 Distributed: Friday, December 1, 1995
                        Message Id: cdl-9-45-007
Received on Wednesday, 29 November, 1995

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