FIRST EDITION, 176pp, 24 lithograph plates (4 folding), errata slip at end, original purple cloth, large 4to, London, J. Van Voost, 1842. A clean copy.
The specimen subject of this fascinating memoir was discovered in the Argentinean Pampas by M. Pedro de Angelis in 1841. Sir Woodbine Parish, former British consul to Buenos Aires, donated the skeleton of a Megatherium to the Royal College of Surgeons London. Owen identified this as a Mylodon (a South American ground sloth, smaller than the Megatherium) and his description of the skeleton includes the suggestion that it used its tail as a third hind leg for extra support when wrenching over trees. The tripod pose depicted in the large fold-out plate of this memoir became the iconic image of the long-extinct creature. (see N. A. Rupke, Richard Owen, Biology without Darwin, Univ. of Chicago Press, 2009, p. 76)