London, South Kensington
23 April 2008
SPALLANZANI, Lazzaro (1729-99). Lettere sopra il sospetto di un nuovo senso nei pipistrelli ... con le risposte dell'abate Antonmaria Vassalli. Turin: nella Stamperia Reale, 1794. 8° (218 x 141mm). (very, but evenly, browned throughout). Contemporary wrappers (lightly sunfaded), in a modern quarter calf box.
FIRST EDITION, EXTREMELY RARE, edited by Anton Maria Vassali Eandi (1761-1825). Spallanzani describes 'his experiments with blinded bats, He finds that they can navigate without recourse to sight and reluctantly draws the conclusion that they must have an unknown sense that guides them. This is the discovery of the phenomenon of ultrasound. It takes another hundred and fifty years before the navigation of bats is understood in some detail', Gedeon p.340.
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