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The first seven chapters of this volume were written by my son, Mr. W. L. Sclater, and published in The Geographical Journal (1894–97). They are now reprinted here, with some slight alterations, by the kind permission of the Council of the Royal Geographical Society. The eighth chapter, on Marine Mammals, was read by me as a paper at a meeting of the Zoological Society of London on March 16, 1897, and was subsequently published in the Society's Proceedings. It is reproduced here, with slight alterations, by the kind permission of that Society. The remaining chapters of this volume, in which the distribution of Mammals is treated of systematically, have been prepared by me specially for the present work.
Of the fifty illustrations contained in the text, which have been selected to show some of the chief Mammals typical of the different Regions, forty have been drawn by Mr. J. Smit specially for the present work. Of the remaining ten, five have been kindly lent to us by the Zoological Society of London
and five by Messrs. Adam and Charles Black, the publishers of Flower and Lydekker's standard work on Mammals.
It is hoped that most of the leading facts and the conclusions to be drawn therefrom as to the distribution of existing Mammals have been correctly stated in the course of this work, and that it may be of some use to students of this most attractive branch of Zoology. At the same time, it should be recollected that science in all its branches moves fast nowadays, and that statements which are perfectly correct one day may be falsified at any moment by new discoveries and by fresh investigations.
I must not conclude these remarks without offering our best thanks to Mr. W. E. de Winton, F.Z.S., and Mr. F. E. Beddard, F.R.S., F.Z.S., for their kind assistance in the compilation of the Tables of Genera, and in the correction of the proofs of this volume.
P. L. SCLATER.
3 HANOVER SQUARE, LONDON, W.,
March 1, 1899.