Catalogue of the Batrachia Salientia s. Ecaudata in the collection of the British museum [book]

George Albert Boulenger
1882 unpublished
ErD LION •COURT, FLEET STJiEET. n. r-13. /. PEEFACE. In the First Edition the object of this ' Catalogue ' was stated to be to give a description of the species of Tailless Batrachians in the British Museum, with an indication of the history and origin of all the specimens in that collection, and also an account of the species which were known to exist in other museums but were desiderata in the National collection. This plan has been completelycarried out in the present edition ; it contains
more » ... scriptions of, or references to, aU the species introduced into the literature, whilst in the former edition no mention was made of species known from imperfect descriptions onlj'. The rearrangement of this part of the zoological collections, with a new Catalogue, had become very urgent for some time. By the First Edition a fresh impulse to the study of Batrachians was evidently given, many collectors turning their attention to them and discovering a great number of new forms, so that the collection in the British Museum alone has been nearly tripled within the last twenty years. That work fulfilled its purpose, but it has also ceased to be a satisfactory guide in the examination and deter-' mination of these animals. Besides, the discovery of almost every new generic type showed that the system proposed in the first edition (complete as it was in itself) was artificial, and that the employment of certain osteological characters, which had been worked out by Cope, Mivart, and Parker, promised a much more natural \) iv TEEFACE. arraugement. Probably the next step in perfecting this system will be marked by a consideration of the larval stages, the knowledge of which, at present, is so very fragmentary. On comparing the two editions a great improvement will be found in the series of specimens, which, for many years, have been selected with the view of illustrating the geographical range of the species. Specimens with uncertain localities or without known origin, if no other special interest was attached to them, and especially duplicates, have been eliminated from the collection. Thus the present work, although it appears in the list of publications of the British Museum as a " second edition," is almost entirely original. It has been prepared by M. Boulenger, Aide-lfaturalist in the Eoyal Belgian Museum ; and I feel confident that zoologists will thankfully acknowledge the industry and abihty with which the author has performed the difficult task entrusted to him by the Trustees.
doi:10.5962/bhl.title.12075 fatcat:tguktlylpjedfk65tpuahpkqau