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Recovery of the Etheldred Benett Collection of Fossils Mostly from Jurassic-Cretaceous Strata of Wiltshire, England, Analysis of the Taxonomic Nomenclature of Benett (1831), and Notes and Figures of Type Specimens Contained in the Collection

Earle E. Spamer, Arthur E. Bogan and Hugh S. Torrens
Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia
Vol. 141 (1989), pp. 115-180
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4064955
Page Count: 66
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Recovery of the Etheldred Benett Collection of Fossils Mostly from Jurassic-Cretaceous Strata of Wiltshire, England, Analysis of the Taxonomic Nomenclature of Benett (1831), and Notes and Figures of Type Specimens Contained in the Collection
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Abstract

The remarkable collection of fossils assembled by Miss Etheldred Benett (1776-1845) has been relocated at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. This collection, widely known to European geologists of the nineteenth century, once contained thousands of specimens mostly from Jurassic-Cretaceous strata of Wiltshire, England. Benett corresponded with and lent specimens to other workers, some of whom (Lindley and Hutton, R. Owen, and J. and J. de C. Sowerby) named new taxa based on those specimens. In 1831, she published two lists of the fossils of Wiltshire based mostly upon this extensive collection. The taxonomic groups affected by the nomenclatural acts of Benett and later authors who cited Benett's taxa are: Porifera, Coelenterata, Echinodermata, and molluscan classes Cephalopoda, Gastropoda, and Bivalvia. The nomenclatural acts in Benett's publications are defined today by the "International Code of Zoological Nomenclature." This paper presents the first analysis of Benett's publication in view of the Code. After Benett's death in 1845, her collection was dispersed and the location of the principal part of the collection became unclear with the passage of years. It had been purchased by a patron of the Academy of Natural Sciences, T. B. Wilson, and donated to that institution in the late 1840s. By 1980, the collection had all but been forgotten. Its recovery and ongoing curation has revealed that it contains most of Benett's type specimens and several type specimens of species erected (directly or by indication) by W. Deecke, G. Hinde, H. Michelin, J. Morris, R. Owen, and J. and J. de C. Sowerby. The present paper for the first time provides photographs of these types, in a few cases the first illustrations of any kind.

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