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therefore designed a series of six maps of the regions, drawn on a uniform scale, on which the belts of altitude are shown by contour-shading, while the forests, pastures, deserts, and perennial snows, are exhibited by means of appropriate tints of colour.
These maps will, I trust, facilitate the study of geographical distribution as a science, by showing, in some cases, an adequate cause in the nature of the terrestrial surface for the actual distribution of certain groups of animals. As it is hoped they will be constantly referred to, double folding has been avoided, and they are consequently rather small; but Mr. Stanford, and his able assistant in the map department, Mr. Bolton, have taken great care in working out the details from the latest observations; and this, combined with the clearness and the beauty of their execution, will I trust render them both interesting and instructive.
In order to make the book more intelligible to those readers who have no special knowledge of systematic zoology, and to whom most of the names with which its pages are often crowded must necessarily be unmeaning, I give a series of twenty plates, each one illustrating at once the physical aspect and the special zoological character of some well-marked division of a region. Great care has been taken to associate in the pictures, such species only as do actually occur together in nature; so that each plate
i represents a scene which is, at all events, not an impossible one. The species figured all belong to groups which are either peculiar to, or very characteristic of, the region whose zoology they illustrate; and it is hoped that these pictures will of themselves serve to convey a notion of the varied types of the higher animals in their true geographical relations. The artist, Mr. J. B. Zwecker, to whose talent as a zoological draughtsman and great knowledge both of animal and vegetable forms we are indebted for this set of drawings, died a few weeks after he
had put the final touches to the proofs. He is known to many readers by his vigorous illustrations of the works of Sir Samuel Baker, Livingstone, and many other travellers,
but these, his last series of plates, were, at my special request, executed with a care, delicacy, and artistic finish, which his other designs seldom exhibit. It must, however, be remembered, that the figures of animals here given are not intended to show specific or generic characters for the information of the scientific zoologist, but merely to give as accurate an idea as possible, of some of the more remarkable and more restricted types of beast and bird, amid the characteristic scenery of their native country ;and in carrying out this object there are probably few artists who would have succeeded better than Mr. Zwecker has done.
The general arrangement of the separate parts of which the work is composed, has been, to some extent, determined by the illustrations and maps, which all more immediately belong to Part III. It was at first intended to place this part last, but as this arrangement would have brought all the illustrations into the second volume, its place was changed, -perhaps in other respects for the better, as it naturally follows Part II. Yet for persons not well acquainted with zoology, it will perhaps be advisable to read the more important articles of Part IV. (and especially the observations at the end of each order) after Part II., thus making Part III. the conclusion of the work.
Part IV. is, in fact, a book of reference, in which the distribution of all the families and most of the genera of the higher animals, is given in systematic order. Part III. is treated somewhat more popularly; and, although it is necessarily crowded with scientific rames (without which the inferences
and conclusions would have nothing solid to rest on), these may be omitted by the non-scientific reader, or merely noted as a certain number or proportion of peculiar generic types. Many English equivalents to family and generic names are, however, given; and, assisted by these, it is believed that any reader capable of understanding Lyell's “ Principles,” or Darwin's
Origin,” will have no difficulty in following the main arguments and appreciating the chief conclusions arrived at in the present work.
To those who are more interested in facts than in theories, the book will serve as a kind of dictionary of the geography and affinities of animals. By means of the copious Index, the native country, the systematic position, and the numerical extent of every important and well established genus of landanimal may be at once discovered ;-information now scattered through hundreds of volumes.
In the difficult matters of synonymy, and the orthography of generic names, I have been guided rather by general utility than by any fixed rules. When I have taken a whole family group from a modern author of repute, I have generally followed his nomenclature throughout. In other cases, I use the names which are to be found in a majority of modern authors, rather than follow the strict rule of priority in adopting some newly discovered appellation of early date. In orthography I have adopted all such modern emendations as seem coming into general use, and which do not lead to inconvenience ; but where the alteration is such as to completely change the pronunciation and appearance of a well-known word, I have not adopted it. I have also thought it best to preserve the initial letter of wellknown and old-established names, for convenience of reference to the Indices of established works. As an example I may refer to Enicurus,--a name which has been in use nearly half a
century, and which is to be found under the letter E, in Jerdon's Birds of India, Blyth's Catalogue, Bonaparte's Conspectus, and the Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London down to 1865. Classicists now write Henicurus as the correct form ; but this seems to me one of those cases in which orthographical accuracy should give way to priority, and still more to convenience.
In combining and arranging so much detail from such varied sources, many errors and omissions must doubtless have occurred. Owing to my residence at a distance from the scientific libraries of the metropolis, I was placed at a great disadvantage; and I could hardly have completed the work at all, had I not been permitted to have a large number of volumes at once, from the library of the Zoological Society of London, and to keep them for months together ;-a privilege for which I return my best thanks to Mr. Sclater the Secretary, and to the Council.
Should my book meet with the approval of working naturalists, I venture to appeal to them, to assist me in rendering any future editions more complete, by sending me (to the care of my publishers) notes of any important omissions, or corrections of any
misstatements of fact; as well as copies of any of their papers or essays, and especially of any lists, catalogues, and monographs, containing information on the classification or distribution of living or extinct animals.
To the many friends who have given me information or assistance I beg to tender my sincere thanks. Especially am I indebted to Professor Newton, who not only read through much of my rough MSS., but was so good as to make numerous corrections and critical notes. These were of great value to me, as they often contained or suggested important additional matter, or pointed out systematic and orthographical inaccuracies.
Professor Flower was so good as to read over my chapters on extinct animals, and to point out several errors into which I had fallen.
Dr. Günther gave me much valuable information on the classification of reptiles, marking on my lists the best established and most natural genera, and referring me to reliable sources of information.
I am also greatly indebted to the following gentlemen for detailed information on special subjects
To Sir Victor Brooke, for a MS. arrangement of the genera of Bovidae, with the details of their distribution:
To Mr. Dresser, for lists of the characteristic birds of Northern and Arctic Europe:
To Dr. Hooker, for information on the colours and odours of New Zealand plants :
To Mr. Kirby, for a list of the butterflies of Chili:
To Professor Mivart, for a classification of the Batrachia, and an early proof of his article on “ Apes” in the Encyclopedia Britannica :
To Mr. Salvin, for correcting my list of the birds of the Galapagos, and for other assistance:
To Mr. Sharpe, for MS. lists of the birds of Madagascar and the Cape Verd Islands:
To Canon Tristram, for a detailed arrangement of the difficult family of the warblers-Sylviidæ :
To Viscount Walden, for notes on the systematic arrangement of the Pycnonotidæ and Timaliidæ, and for an early proof of his list of the birds of the Philippine Islands.
I also have to thank many naturalists, both in this country and abroad, who have sent me copies of their papers ; and I trust they will continue to favour me in the same