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This refers back to my earlier post on Silvio Bedini's references and the
beginning of paleontology in America. It turns out that Bedini did not
have the reference to the Jefferson scallop as I had recalled. But, for
those who are interested, he did refer to earlier papers on the subject:
Simpson, George Gaylord, 1942. _The beginnings of vertebrate
paleontology in North America_. Proceedings of the American
Philosophical Society, vol. 86, no. 1 [Sept. 1942]
I had bee doing research on Thomas Jefferson and paleontology in general,
and in the process found out that the state fossil of Virginia, the
Jefferson scallop [_Chesapecten jeffersonius_] had actually been
described very early on, and is supposedly the earliest figured and
described fossil from America. It was described by Lister in 1687 in a
publication called "Historiae Conchyliorum Liber III."
Say in 1824 mentioned the figure that Lister drew of the fossil scallop,
and said it was his species _Pecten jeffersonius_, coming from "the
collection of the late Professor Barton," and either Barton or Say were
the first to name the fossil scallop in Jefferson's honor.
I have to dig out where I got the Say and Lister references, but I
believe I got them from the paper in 1975 by L. W. Ward and Blake W.
Blackwelder, where they introduced the current name for the Jefferson
Scallop. I'll have to do more digging to get the title.
Education Associate, Virginia Living Museum
All questions are valid; all answers are tentative.