2400 years of malacology

Recently appeared a new version of ‘2400 years of malacology’, the compilation of biographical data of people with importance for malacology, conchology, palaeontology, and others with interests in molluscs, from Aristotle to the present. This is the 11th edition; previous ones were done by Eugene Coan, Alan Kabat and Dick Petit, but as the latter passed away on 31 December 2013, Coan and Kabat decided they are the sole authors of this edition which they published within 2 weeks of the death of Dick Petit. From this side of the pond it appears as if his contributions to this edition were just discarded. I have seen various other publications where in a similar case the deceased author was still honoured and mentioned with a sign (e.g., Coan, Kabat & Petit†); but this is probably a matter of style.

The main version has grown from 1088 to 1128 pages, the collations of malacological publications from 89 to 94 pages; only the collation of Martini & Chemnitz’ work has remained the same.

Now I have seen so many snails in art works showing in several cases realistic illustrations of snails, I wonder why the names of these artists should not be honoured in this compilation? Is only written text of importance to malacology or helped also visual arts to spread the interest in our snails?   

Annex 1 of the collations gives many details for different works important to malacology for which the bibliographical data are of importance. Nearly all data have been copied from other sources, so essentially this work is for ease-loving taxonomists. My credo is always: “Go back to the original source”. In previous editions there appeared a lapsus in the dates for d’Orbigny’s ‘Voyage dans l’Amérique meridionale…’; plate 38 was mentioned twice with different dates, plate 33 was missing. As source was given Cowie, R.H. & Thiengo, S.C., 2003. Malacologia 45: 41–100; upon checking I found the same lapsus. This was confirmed by Robert Cowie when I asked him about it “Unfortunately the error was mine. I took the dates in the 2003 paper from  Evenhuis and Cowie, 1995, without re-checking them. The error occurs in both publications”. In the present edition, however, this error has been corrected with the assistance of Neal Evenhuis. 

As usual the publication may be found at http://www.malacological.org/2004_malacology.html


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