Paris: Chez Deterville, 1812. hardcover. 4 volumes. Illustrated with 154 splendid copperplates, many folding, and and an additional folding hand-colored geognostical map of Paris and vicinity. Each volume several parts with distinct pagination. 4to, bound in early calf-backed boards with red leather labels (spines are brittle and somewhat damaged at edges), uncut edges. Paris: Chez Deterville, 1812. First edition. Internally excellent copy with wide- margins and only faint scattered foxing. very good.
Through the method of reconstruction of what ancient mammals must have looked like on the basis of bone and other fossil remnants, "Cuvier created the science of paleontology in the modern sense. At the same time he largely reformed the system of zoological classification by introducing fossil animals into it" Nordenskold. "His concept of geological revolutions, which he believed to be a regular and natural part of earth's history, was used to explain the mass extinction of species from previous opochs" Norman 566. "A landmark in the history of science" Horblit 20b.