Cambridge: Printed for the Museum, 1910. 4to. [iv], 53,  pp., including separate title to Vol. XL of the Memoirs and title page, plus tipped in errata. FIRST EDITION. With 9 full page plates (3 color lithographs and 6 line drawings). Each plate is accompanied by a descriptive leaf. Original printed wrappers bound into full green cloth, spine with gilt title; an excellent copy overall. Item #16343
First edition of Volume XL of the Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College. An in-depth treatise on the Solenodon, a genus of venomous, nocturnal, burrowing, insectivorous mammals belonging to the family Solenodontidae. There are two living species, Solenodon paradoxus, from Haiti and the Dominion Republic, and Solenodon Cubanus from Cuba. According to Allen, the species was first studied in 1833 by the curator Johann Friedrich von Brandt from the Russian Academy of Sciences, who named it (Solenodon means “grooved teeth”).
Allen (1879-1942) was an American zoologist, who while at Harvard published The birds of Massachusetts and A list of the birds of New Hampshire. After graduating, he lectured in zoology at Harvard and held the position of Curator of Mammals in the Museum of Comparative Zoology. He traveled widely, to Central and South America, to West Africa, the Nile, the Belgian Congo, and Australia. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1915 and was president of the American Society of Mammalogists from 1927 to 1929.