The Eponym Dictionary of Mammals

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JHU Press, Oct 7, 2009 - Science - 592 pages
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Just who was the Przewalski after whom Przewalski's horse was named? Or Husson, the eponym for the rat Hydromys hussoni? Or the Geoffroy whose name is forever linked to Geoffroy's cat? This unique reference provides a brief look at the real lives behind the scientific and vernacular mammal names one encounters in field guides, textbooks, journal articles, and other scholarly works.

Arranged to mirror standard dictionaries, the more than 1,300 entries included here explain the origins of over 2,000 mammal species names. Each bio-sketch lists the scientific and common-language names of all species named after the person, outlines the individual's major contributions to mammalogy and other branches of zoology, and includes brief information about his or her mammalian namesake's distribution. The two appendixes list scientific and common names for ease of reference, and, where appropriate, individual entries include mammals commonly—but mistakenly—believed to be named after people.

The Eponym Dictionary of Mammals is a highly readable and informative guide to the people whose names are immortalized in mammal nomenclature.


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As with the companion volume concerning birds (Beolens & Watkins, 2003) this is a mixture of useful and interesting information, liberally sprinkled with new errors and old chestnuts. It certainly fills an important gap, but needs to be sampled with caution. Dowsett-Lemaire, Aug 2011.


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About the author (2009)

Bo Beolens and Michael Watkins are the coauthors of the eponym dictionary Whose Bird? Michael Grayson worked for many years at the British Library in London and is a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London.

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