Blyth, which have recently been endorsed and amplified by R.
But a bolder attempt at classification was that made in 1838 by Blyth in the New Series (Charlesworth's) of the Magazine of Natural History (ii.
It is plain that Blyth saw, and perhaps he was the first to see it, that geographical distribution was not unimportant in suggesting the affinities and differences of natural groups (pp. 258, 259); and, undeterred by the precepts and practice of the hitherto dominant English school of Ornithologists, he declared that " anatomy, when aided by every character which the manner of propagation, the progressive changes, and other physiological data supply, is the only sure basis of classification."
It is obvious that both these investigators had the genius for recognizing and interpreting the value of characters; but their labours do not seem to have met with much encouragement; and a general arrangement of the class laid by Blyth before the Zoological Society at this time 1 does not appear in its publications.
Its line to some extent may be partly made out - very clearly, for the matter of that, so far as its details have been published in the series of papers to which reference has been given - and some traces of its features are probably preserved in his Catalogue of the specimens of birds in the museum of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, which, after several years of severe labour, made its appearance at Calcutta in 1849; but, from the time of his arrival in India, the onerous duties imposed upon Blyth, together with the want of sufficient books of reference, seem to have hindered him from seriously continuing his former researches, which, interrupted as they were, and born out of due time, had no appreciable effect on the views of systematisers generally.
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