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Book Chapter

Smith Woodward’s ideas on fish classification

By
Peter L. Forey
Peter L. Forey
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Published:
January 01, 2016

Abstract

Smith Woodward embarked on the production of a catalogue of fossil fishes half a century after Louis Agassiz began a similar exercise. These two palaeontological goliaths remain the only authorities who saw all relevant fossil fish material in all important collections. Between their works there was a substantial increase in the number of species recognized, reflecting the nineteenth-century passion for collecting, the rise of museums, as well as an acceptance that species change through time. Agassiz was working in pre-evolutionary days but Smith Woodward’s view on fish diversity was strongly influenced by the theory of evolution and specifically the writings of Thomas Henry Huxley as well as those of Edward Drinker Cope and Ramsay Heatley Traquair and their ideas of grades of evolution. Many of Smith Woodward’s generic and species descriptions survive today as his lasting legacy. Higher classification has changed considerably with new discoveries and differing methods of classification.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Arthur Smith Woodward: His Life and Influence on Modern Vertebrate Palaeontology

Z. Johanson
Z. Johanson
Natural History Museum, UK
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P. M. Barrett
P. M. Barrett
Natural History Museum, UK
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M. Richter
M. Richter
Natural History Museum, UK
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M. Smith
M. Smith
Natural History Museum, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
430
ISBN electronic:
9781862399624
Publication date:
January 01, 2016

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