OWEN, Sir Richard (1804-1892). Memoirs on the Extinct Wingless Birds of New Zealand. London: John van Voorst, 1878-1879.
2 volumes, text and plates, 4° (304 x 240mm). Text volume with 2 lithographic plates, one folding, by J. Gould and H. C. Richter, plate volume with 126 lithographic plates and one photographic plate, several folding, including folding map of New Zealand. (Some light spotting or waterstaining.) Contemporary green cloth gilt (text vol.) and green cloth-back boards with paper labels (some light wear).
Owen's fascinating work, containing his 'revised and numerous contributions' to the subject of the moa, the giant flightless birds of New Zealand. When a sailor brought a moa's femur to England in 1839, it was thought to be an ox-bone; Owen was the first to recognize it as a bird fossil, describing it in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society, part vii, 1839, and presenting his monograph on the Dinoris in the Transactions of the Zoological Society, vol iii, in 1843. These, and a further 41 articles are included in this work on the Apteryx, Notornis, Harpagornis and several species of Dinornis. Ferguson, p.321; Zimmer, p.479. (2)