Basel und Genf: H. Georg’s Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1864. Seven volumes (6 facsicles and text volume). 4to. viii, 63,  pp. FIRST AND ONLY EDITION. With 82 unbound double-plate lithographs loose in the 6 facsicles. Text and facsicles in original printed wrappers, all contained in the original publisher's printed slipcase. Apart from slight fraying on spine of slipcase, a superb copy. Item #13107
First edition of this elaborate and valuable contribution to ancient and modern crania, and vertebrate paleozoology. With the publication of Darwin's Origin in 1859 and its inescapable implication that living and fossil species are linked by a common phylogeny, the primate fossil took on a new significance for documenting human genealogy in earlier epochs. Thus, in the 1860's, the fossil record of primates was only a potential source of evidence relevant to the theory of evolution.
Rutimeyer (1825-1895) was Professor of zoology, comparative anatomy, and one of the most celebrated palaeontologists in the domain of fossil mammalia. With the tremendous advances in the discovery of new primate species, Rutimeyer was the first to recognized fossil prosimian. It was at this time that physical anthropology started to develop as an independent direction of research, and the need for standardization of techniques was evident. For the measurement of the skull, the use of the horizontal plane line was drawn through the nasal spine and center of the auditory meatus. It was in the present work that the horizontal plane was defined.
His (1831-1904) created the science of histogenesis, or the study of the embryonic origins of different types of animal tissue. He was also one of the originators of the neuron theory. As a brilliant investigator, he studied with Johannes Müller, Robert Remak, and Rudolf Virchow. He invented a mechanical device used to slice thin tissue sections for microscope examination. Of special interest is the story of his finding the remains of and then confirming the identity of Johann Sebastian Bach, and helping the famous sculptor Alolph von Donndorf create an authentic Bach monument.
According to Zittel, Rutimeyer was a convinced, although a cautious, adherent of the Darwinian theory of evolution, and a correspondent of Darwin. His genealogical trees of the Mammalia show a complete knowledge of all data concerning the different members in the succession, and are amongst the finest results hitherto obtained by means of strict scientific methods of investigation.