Dinocerata: a Monograph of an Extinct Order of Gigantic Mammals
Washington: Government Printing Office, 1886.
First Edition. Hardcover. Very good. Quarto, pp. xviii, 243 pages, 56 leaves of plates (3 folding, one of which is linen-backed), in original brown cloth. A very good, clean copy with just a bit of scattered foxing, one old insect nibbling and scuffing to boards and top edge, theological seminary bookplate on front pastedown (no other related markings). Marsh (1831-1899) was the first person to be appointed as Professor of Paleontology in the United States and an early supporter of Darwin's theory of evolution. He helped to identify and describe eighty new forms of dinosaurs and thirty-four new genera. His "most enduring legacy is the collections he acquired for the U.S. Geological Survey during his ten years as the government's first vertebrate paleontologist. The annual appropriation for this position enabled him to employ field collectors, laboratory preparation staff, artists, and other assistants at the Peabody Museum at Yale, resulting in a collection of great quantity and quality. Marsh insisted on having skeletons as complete as possible and became an expert in the art of constructing lifelike restorations of extinct dinosaurs, birds, and mammals" (ANB). This book was the second of a series of monographs "designed to make known to science the extinct vertebrate life of North America." Both men were officers of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in the 1880s and would have met in that capacity.