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Biology

AUTHOR'S PREFACE. Library

In the preparation of this Treatise, the Author has kept steadily in view the objects at which he has aimed in the preceding volumes, and in the attainment of which he trusts that he has been in some degree successful;—namely, the Exposition of the principles of Science in their simplest form, and the Illustration of these by the most useful and interesting examples. He has so fully explained his views on the utility of the study of Zoology, and on the mode in which it may be most advantageously pursued, in the Introduction and First Chapter of the present volume, that he considers any further remarks on these subjects here uncalled for.

The general account of the Classes is translated, with some additions and modifications, from the "Cours Elémentaire de Zoologie" of M. Milne-Edwards; a work adopted by the French Government as the Text-Book of instruction, in the Colleges connected with the University of Paris; and the whole of the beautiful illustrations prepared for that Treatise will be found in the present volumes. For the more detailed accounts of the Orders, Families, &c.,-as well as for the first Two Chapters, the Author is solely responsible. In the preparation of these portions of the work he has availed himself of the best and most recent sources of information; and has endeavoured to adopt the most approved systems of Classification. As scarcely any two Naturalists agree, however, on this head, the choice has been frequently a matter of difficulty; and he cannot suppose that he has been always equally successful. He has adopted as his chief guides, the last Edition of the Synopsis of the British Museum; and the Pictorial Museum of Natural History, at present in course of publication; and to the latter of these works he is also under great obligation, for numerous details, obtained from sources to which he might not otherwise have gained access.

A little reflection will show, that any general Zoological Treatise must necessarily be in great part a Compilation from the works of other Naturalists; and the merit of an Elementary work like the present, must consist rather in the judgment shown in the selection and arrangement of the materials, than in the originality of its contents. How far the Author has succeeded in his present attempt, it will be for his readers to decide.

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W. B. C.

PREFACE TO THE PRESENT EDITION.

AN interval of twelve years having elapsed since the appearance of the first edition of "Carpenter's Zoology," it was found necessary, upon its republication, to submit the whole work to a careful revision, in order to render it an accurate representation of the present state of Zoological Science. Dr. Carpenter, who would of course be the fittest person to revise his own book, was prevented by his numerous avocations, coupled with the state of his health, from entering upon an undertaking which would necessarily require a considerable amount of time and labour for its due performance; and under these circumstances the Publisher, with Dr. Carpenter's concurrence, applied to the present Editor to undertake the task. This he has performed to the best of his ability, although, from his being placed in the somewhat anomalous position of the Editor of the work of a living Author, it was not without its difficulties.

In preparing this edition, the Editor has endeavoured to preserve as much as possible of the original work, and also to maintain and follow out the Author's mode of treatment in those parts which required alteration. Changes have been introduced only when they appeared to be imperatively called for; and in some instances, where a difference of opinion still exists in the minds of Zoologists, the original statements of the Author have been retained, even where opposed to the Editor's own views. In the first volume, which treats of the higher Vertebrated Animals, the alterations are comparatively few, and relate principally to matters of detail; the most important being the elevation of the Batrachia to the rank of a distinct class. The second volume, however, containing the Fishes and the Invertebrated Animals, required to be in great part remodelled, in order to give due systematic effect to the numerous and important discoveries which have been made of late years in the anatomy and history of the lower classes of the animal kingdom.

London, 9th September, 1857.

W. S. D.

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