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Voyages: Scientific Circumnavigations 1679 to 1859
United States Exploring Expedition 1838-1842
The Samoan Islands formed an important aspect of the geological work of James Dana, the geologist of the expedition. He carefully noted the volcanic and coral formations of these islands. Later on during the voyage, he learned of Darwin's new theory regarding the formation of atolls, and was pleased that it completely explained his observations thus far on the route. When he arrived in Fiji, his observations of the reefs there allowed him to improve and develop Darwin's theory. Dana became a leading figure in the field of geology after the voyage for this and other important contributions.


Ptilonopus fasciatus (Samoan Islands)
Pair of Doves

from John Cassin's
United States Exploring Expedition.
During the Years 1838-1842. Under the Command of Charles Wilkes…
Mammalogy and Ornithology
Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1858.

According to the naturalist and artist of the expedition, Titian Peale, this type of dove was called Manu-tagi, meaning "crying-bird" by the Samoan people, because of its "plaintive and distressful note." John Cassin, the editor of this work, did not accompany the expedition but compiled the text and produced the plates from the notes and drawings of the naturalists Peale, and Charles Pickering.

Wilkes: Page 2 of 6.
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