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BLAINVILLE

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Originally appearing in Volume V23, Page 139 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BLAINVILLE. He divided the " oviparous subtype " of Vertebrates into four classes, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians and Fishes,' a modification of the system which is all the more significant as he designates the reptiles " Squammiferes Ornithoides, ecailleux," and the amphibians " Nudipelliferes, Ichthyoides nus." In these terms we perceive clear indications of the relations which exist to the class of birds on the one hand, and to that of fishes on the other; but, unfortunately, Blainville himself did not follow up the ideas thus expressed, and abandoned even the terms in a later edition of his systematic tables. The direct or indirect influence of the work of French anatomists manifested itself in the systems of the other herpetologists of this period. The Crocodiles, especially, which hitherto (strange to say, even in Cuvier's classification) had been placed as one of the families of Saurians, now commence to be separated from them. MERREM (Versuch eines Systems der Amphibien, Marburg, 182o, 8vo) distinguishes two classes of " Amphibians," Pholidota and Batrachia. The Pholidota (or Reptiles) are divided into three orders, distinguished chiefly by osteological and splanchnological characters: I. TESTUDINATA. 2. LoRICATA (=Crocodiles). 3. SQUAMATA (=Oppel's Squamata, excluding Crocodiles). Merrem's subdivision of the Squamata into (1) Gradientia (=limbed Lacertilia), (2) Repentia (=limbless Lacertilia), (3) Serpentia (=Snakes and Amphisbaena), (4) Incedentia (=Chirotes), and (5) Predentia (=Chamaeleons) was based chiefly on the modifications of the limbs, and not adopted by his successors. The greater part of his work is occupied with a synopsis of all the species of Reptiles known, each being shortly characterized by a diagnosis; but, as only a small proportion (about one hundred and seventy) were known to him from autopsy, this synopsis has all the faults of a compilation.
End of Article: BLAINVILLE
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JAMES GILLESPIE BLAINE (1830-1893)
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HENRI MARIE DUCROTAY DE BLAINVILLE (1777–1850)

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