Article ID: CBB001202224

Clemente Onelli's Sketch Map and His First-Hand, Retrospective Account of an Early Fossil-Hunting Expedition along the Río Santa Cruz, Southern Patagonia, 1888–1889 (2014)


A 1922 letter from Clemente Onelli to North American paleontologist Elmer S. Riggs, found at Chicago's Field Museum, is one of only a few known first-hand accounts of the former's participation on a fossil hunting expedition along the Río Santa Cruz, southern Patagonia, 1888–1889. Onelli and his companions, who were sent to Patagonia by Francisco P. Moreno, director of the Museo de La Plata, were among the first to collect fossil mammals at this important locality. Moreno had first discovered fossil mammals there in 1876–1877. He then sent Carlos Ameghino, who worked as an assistant preparator of palaeontology at the museum, to revisit his discoveries in January 1887. Ameghino later lost his position at the museum over a dispute between his brother, paleontologist Florentino Ameghino, and the director, in March 1889. Onelli, who had only been associated with the Museo de La Plata for a few short months, was asked by Moreno to accompany a new expedition outfitted in 1888–1889. In December 1922, Riggs travelled to South America to make a representative collection of the fossil mammals of Argentina and Bolivia. Learning of his arrival in Buenos Aires, Onelli wrote him a letter, in Spanish, providing detailed information about fossil localities along the Río Santa Cruz. This letter, translated here, along with the accompanying sketch map, provides previously unknown details about Onelli's itinerary and his observations.

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Authors & Contributors
Podgorny, Irina
Manias, Chris
Pablo von Stecher
Tom Sharpe
Sombrio, Mariana M. O.
Cameron, Marlena Briane
Asclepio: Archivo Iberoamericano de Historia de la Medicina
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science
Journal of Literature and Science
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
HOST: Journal of History of Science and Technology
Wallstein Verlag
Florida State University
Dovecote Press
Columbia University Press
Geological Society of London
Scientific expeditions
Anning, Mary
Buckland, William
Wanda Hanke
Roberts, George
Buckland, Francis Trevelyan
Wallace, Alfred Russel
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
21st century
20th century, late
Buenos Aires (Argentina)
United States
Círculo Médico Argentino
University of Wyoming
Buenos Aires. Universidad
Museum für Naturkunde (Berlin)
University of Sheffield
University of Manchester

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