Brussels: Musee du Congo, 1907. Folio. 118,  pp., including half-title, addenda and bibliographical references. FIRST EDITION. With 33 plates (3 color, 13 double-page) and 77 text illustrations. Contemporary pebbled cloth, edges and corners worn, gilt lettering on spine; some browning and discoloration of text leaves, otherwise a very good copy from the Library of Dr. James M. Dolan with his blind stamp on the title page. Item #16346
First edition of the earliest thorough monograph on the okapi, also known as the forest or zebra giraffe, the last mammal to be discovered in Africa. The author attempts to demonstrate that this mammal, discovered in 1900 in the Belgian Congo, represents an intermediate form between the Cenozoic Giraffidae and present-day giraffe. Working from a collection of twelve skins, seven skeletons and eleven skulls, Fraipont presents a history of the animal and provides a detailed account of the skeletal and other anatomical structure of the giraffe during its lifetime, all supported by the fine illustrations.
Fraipont (1857-1910) was a well-known Belgian paleontologist and zoologist, a professor at the University of Liege. He published a number of works dealing with the morphology of protozoa and hydrozoa. He was also a palaeoanthropologist and archaeologist responsible for many discoveries including the fossils in Spy cave.