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AuthorsJ.P. Hume, R.P. Prys-Jones
TitleNew discoveries from old sources, with reference to the original bird and mammal fauna of the Mascarene Islands, Indian Ocean
JournalZoologische Mededelingen
Volume79-3
Year2005
Pages85-95
ISSN00240672
KeywordsMascarene Islands; extinct birds; iconographical evidence; journals; diaries; museum specimens; fossils; loans and exchanges
AbstractThe faunal history of the Mascarene Islands (Mauritius, RĂ©union and Rodrigues) has been extensively documented, with most information being derived from the fossil record, museum skins, the journals and logbooks of early mariners and contemporary illustrations. However, our research on original sources, including Dutch journals held at The Hague, and archival correspondence and fossil collections, notably at The Natural History Museum, London, and the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge, indicates that many problems remain to be resolved. This situation has been exacerbated by exchange schemes amongst museums, personal rivalries, misidentification, lack of comparative material, and inadequate provenance of specimens; furthermore, problematic and unidentifiable fossil remains have been ignored or lumped with other species. Among other topics, new information is presented on the discovery of the famous Mare aux Songes fossil deposit on Mauritius. The Mascarene Islands epitomize the potential for new discoveries from old collections, even within the largest and most modern institutions.
Classification42.83
Document typearticle
Download paperpdf document http://www.repository.naturalis.nl/document/42166