Contributions to the Natural History of the Alligator (Crocodilus Mississippiensis)
Excerpt from Contributions to the Natural History of the Alligator (Crocodilus Mississippiensis): With a Microscopic Addendum The Fauna of even the most enlightened countries, seems to labor under the same evil which for ages retarded the progress of medicine, namely, an undue bias in favor of artificial classifications and nosological systems. The Crocodilian family affords a strong example of this arbitrary and illusory method of creating orders, genera, subgenera, species, and subspecies, in advance of exact physical data. The integumentary osseous plates, the feet, the claws, the toes, or the teeth, cannot be assumed as the classific criteria, until these shall be examined analytically and synthetically; an achievement which remains for the future, as the sequel will show. That the Alligator is identical with the Crocodile, can scarcely admit of a doubt. Even those naturalists who have labored most to establish a difference, have admitted directly or indirectly, that there is none of a radical character. As this animal is, nevertheless, modified to some extent by climate, it may be advantageous to adopt names characteristic of the same, or at least, of the locality where this great Saurian is found - as the Nilotic Crocodile, crocodilus Niloticus), the Gangetic, (c. Gangeticus), the Mississippi, (c. Mississippiensis), and so on. This topographical nomenclature will, for the present, leave the question of scientific classification open, as it ought to be, until vague and contradictory descriptions shall be replaced by exact observations. The aborigines of America, called the Alligator Cayman, the Spaniards, Lagarto or lizard; the English, by a corruption of the Spanish, a Lagarto; and finally Alligator. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.