Simiarum et Vespertilionum

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Simiarum et Vespertilionum

Pithecia hirsuta and Mycetes barbarus

Pithecia capillamentosa and Pithecia inusta

Mycetes fuscus and Iacchus penicillatus

Midas oedipus and Iacchus albicollis

Midas mystax and Mycetes barbarus

Callithrix cinerascens and Cebus macrocephalus

Callithrix cuprea and Mycetes stramineus

Callithrix nigrifrons and Gastrigmagus olivaceus

Cebus gracilis and Cebus unicolor

Midas bicolor AND pygmaeus and Nyctipithecus felinus

Ape and Human skulls

Brachyteles macrotarsus and Callithrix amicta

Brachyuris israelita and Callithrix gigot


more bats

Zoologist, Johann Baptist von Spix, and botanist, Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius were sent as part of an official Austrian scientific expedition to Brazil to coincide with a marriage between a Bavarian princess and Portuguese Prince who would later become the King of Brazil.
"From 1817 to 1820, traveling separately or together at different stages, Spix's and Martius's explorations in the interior of the country turned out to be one of the most important scientific expeditions of the 19th century. Despite illnesses and harrowing obstacles Spix went up the Amazon River and through its jungles as far as the frontier with Peru.

They were the first Europeans to explore these areas since La Condamine in the 1730s/40s , and "their collections - including 85 species of mammals, 350 species of birds, nearly 2,700 species of insects, and fifty-seven living animals - provided material for a vast number of works," as the Dictionary of Scientific Biography notes."
Included among the many publications was Spix's 1823 book, 'Simiarum et Vespertilionum Brasiliensium Species Novae', online at the Smithsonian Institution. The 38 plates are very often stylised, with the addition of human facial features, but are not quite as outlandish as the fanciful pictures Schreber published in the 1770s - seen in a previous post. Coincidentally, Martius was good friends with Schreber, and although a few of the above images seem familiar to me (probably from compilations), none were obviously copied from Schreber's books.

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