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The Palaeontographical Society was established in 1847, and is the oldest Society devoted to study of palaeontology worldwide. Its primary role is to promote the description and illustration of the British fossil flora and fauna, via publication of an authoritative monograph series. These monographs cover a wide range of taxonomic groups, from microfossils, trilobites and ammonites through to Coal Measure plants, mammals and reptiles, and from all ages from Cambrian to Pleistocene. They form a benchmark for understanding the past life of the British Isles and many include the original descriptions of numerous key species. The first monograph (on the Crag Mollusca) was published in March 1848 and the Society still continues this work today. Notable authors in the series include Charles Darwin (fossil barnacles) and Richard Owen (dinosaurs and other extinct reptiles). Beginning in 2014, the Cambridge Library Collection and the Society are collaborating to reissue the earlier publications, focusing on monographs completed between 1848 and 1918.

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