The Conchologist's First Book, or a System of Testaceous Malachology: Arranged Expressly for the Use of Schools (Classic Reprint)
The Conchologist's First Book or a System of Testaceous Malachology Arranged Expressly for the Use of Schools - Classic Reprint Author:Edgar Allan Poe Excerpt from The Conchologist's First Book, or a System of Testaceous Malachology: Arranged Expressly for the Use of Schools — The term "Malacology," an abbreviation of "Malacozoology," from the Greek fAUKano?, soft, aov, an animal, and koyoii a discourse, was first employed by the French naturalist De Blainville to designate an important divisio... more »n of Natural History, in vihich the leading feature of the animals discussed was the softness of the flesh, or, to speak with greater accuracy, of the general envelop. This division comprehends not only the Mollusca, but also the Testacea of Aristotle and of Pliny, and, of course, had reference to molluscous animals in general of Which the greater portion have shells.
A treatise concerning the shells, exclusively, of this greater portion, is termed, in accordance with general usage, a Treatise upon Conchology or Conchyliology ;although the word is somewhat improperly applied, as the Greek conchylion, from which it is derived, embraces in its signification both the animal and shell. Ostracology would have been more definite.
The common works upon this subject, however, will appear to every person of science very essentially defective, inasmuch as the relation of the animal and shell, with their dependence upon each other, is a radically important consideration in the examination of either. Neither, in the attempt to obviate this difficulty, is a work upon Malacology at large necessarily included. Shells, it is true, form, and, for many obvious reasons, will continue to form, the subject of chief interest, whether with regard to the school or the cabinet; still there is no good reason why a book upon Conchology (using the common term) may not be malacological as far as it proceeds. In this view of the subject the present little work is offered to the public.
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