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Description:This original copper-plate engraved antique print of the Australian Musky rat-kangaroo was engraved by Isaac Taylor (1730-1807) in 1800 - dated - and published by George Kearsley Shaw in the 1803 edition of the Zoology of New Holland one of the earliest publications to name many Australian animals, for the first time.
General Definitions:Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stablePaper color : - off whiteAge of map color: - Colors used: - General color appearance: - Paper size: - 8 1/2in x 5in (215mm x 125mm)Plate size: - 8 1/2in x 5in (215mm x 125mm)Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)
Imperfections:Margins: - Light age toningPlate area: - NoneVerso: - None
Background: The musky rat-kangaroo is a marsupial species found only in the rainforests of northeast Australia. Although some scientists place this species as a subfamily (Hypsiprymnodontinae) of the family Potoroidae, the most recent classification places it in the family Hypsiprymnodontidae with prehistoric rat-kangaroos.It is the smallest macropod that is quadrupedal and only diurnal. The musky rat-kangaroo is about 21 to 34 cm long with a 6.5- to 12.3-cm-long hairless tail, weighs between 332 and 680 g, and eats fallen fruit and large seeds, as well as small invertebrates.It moves by extending its body and then bringing both of its hind legs forward, and uses an opposable digit on the hind foot to climb trees.
Shaw, George Kearsley 1751 - 1813Shaw was an English botanist and zoologist. He was born at Bierton, Buckinghamshire, and was educated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, receiving his M.A. in 1772. He took up the profession of medical practitioner. In 1786 he became the assistant lecturer in botany at Oxford University. He was a co-founder of the Linnean Society in 1788, and became a fellow of the Royal Society in 1789.In 1791 Shaw became assistant keeper of the natural history department at the British Museum, succeeding Edward Whitaker Gray as keeper in 1806. He found that most of the items donated to the museum by Hans Sloane were in very bad condition. Medical and anatomical material was sent to the museum at the Royal College of Surgeons, but many of the stuffed animals and birds had deteriorated and had to be burnt. He was succeeded after his death by his assistant Charles Konig.Shaw published one of the first English descriptions with scientific names of several Australian animals in his Zoology of New Holland first published in 1794. He was among the first scientists to examine a platypus and published the first scientific description of it in The Naturalists Miscellany in 1799.In the field of herpetology he described numerous new species of reptiles and amphibians.His other publications included:- Musei Leveriani explicatio, anglica et Latina, containing select specimens from the museum of the late Sir Ashton Lever (1792–6), which had been moved to be displayed at the Blackfriars Rotunda.- General Zoology, or Systematic Natural History (16 vol.) (1809–1826) (volumes IX to XVI by James Francis Stephens)- The Naturalist\\\'s Miscellany: Or, Coloured Figures Of Natural Objects; Drawn and Described Immediately From Nature (1789–1813) with Frederick Polydore Nodder (artist and engraver).The standard botanical author abbreviation G.Shaw is applied to species he described.