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Rediscovered 1830s illustrations of lost thalattosuchian specimens from France

Ben Creisler

A new online paper:

Arnaud Brignon (2014)
The original drawings of Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire's <<Histoire
des crocodiliens renfermés dans le terrain oolithique>>.
Comptes Rendus Palevol (advance online publication)
DOI: 10.1016/j.crpv.2014.04.006

>From the end of 1830, Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire worked to prepare
a book on thalattosuchians (Mesoeucrocodylia, Thalattosuchia) from the
Jurassic of Normandy. This work, planned to be entitled “Histoire des
crocodiliens renfermés dans le terrain oolithique”, was never
completed. Searches in the archives of the central library of the
“Muséum national d’histoire naturelle”, Paris, resulted in the
rediscovery of the set of original drawings ordered by Geoffroy
Saint-Hilaire to illustrate his book. These drawings, 21 in total,
were executed by several artists working in the Muséum, including
Jean-Charles Werner, Henri-Joseph Redouté, and Nicolas Hüet. Geoffroy
Saint-Hilaire offered this collection of drawings to the French
Academy of Sciences in March 1834. These drawings were then donated to
the library of the Muséum in November 1924 by Alfred Lacroix. This
iconographic collection is of the highest importance for the history
of palaeontology in France as it depicts unknown specimens that were
destroyed during World War II.