London: Royal Society, 1886. 1st Edition. FIRST EDITION as extracted, complete with 3 lithographed plates. In 1858 and in a paper we offer separately, the famous English paleontologist, biologist and comparative anatomist Richard Owen identifies and names extinct giant lizard bones: Megalania prisca. Disappearing approximately 40,000 years ago, Megalania prisca inhabited southern Australia during the Pleistocene. In this paper, written in 1886, 28 years later, Owen uses newly received fossil bones from the Gowrie Creek, Darling Downs, Queensland” to again concentrates on Megalania Prisca, this time on the sacrum and foot bones.
Owen coined the term Megalania Prisca (Species: prisca; Genus: Megalania.) The name is made up of two Greek words: Mega - "great", "big", and lania - "roam". The word "prisca", in Greek, means "ancient" and the full name of the species can be translated as a "ancient great roamer.”
Owen “distinguished himself with his powers of organization and deduction. At the same time he showed himself to be a peerless anatomist with instincts for reconstruction almost on a par with the great Cuvier in Paris. He became such an expert on the anatomy of animals that he was granted first refusal on any animal that died at the London Zoological Gardens, and these he would invariably have delivered to his house for examination. Once his wife returned home to find a freshly deceased rhinoceros filling the front hallway” (Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything, 88). Item #1332
CONDITION & DETAILS: London: Royal Society. Extracted from and incomplete volume 177 of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 1886, pp. 327-330, 3 engraved plates. 4to (304 x 232 mm). The text is bright and clean; slight and light soiling to the plates. Very good+. Original wide margins (untrimmed).