cestors, like the ancestors of all the kindred mammals, must have been creatures so rare, so obscure, and so remote that they have left scarcely a trace amidst the abundant vestiges of the monsters that wallowed rejoicing in the steamy air and lush vegetation of the Mesozoic lagoons, or crawled or hopped or fluttered over the great river plains of that time.
- And here the genius of a great humorous artist (E. T. Reed) obliges us to add a footnote to clear away a common misconception. He was the creator of a series of fantastic pictures, Prehistoric Peeps, which have had a deserved and immense vogue, and it was his whim to represent primitive men as engaged in an unending wild struggle with great Plesiosaurs and the like. His fantasy has become a common belief. As we shall see, millions of years elapsed between the vanishing of the last great Mesozoic reptile and the first appearance of man upon this earth. Early man had as contemporaries some monstrous animals, as we shall note, but not these extreme monsters.
In these opening six chapters we have been much indebted, in addition to the books already named in the text or in footnotes, to Ray Lankester's Extinct Animals, Osborne's Age of Mammals, Jukes Browne's, Lyell's and Pirsson and Schuchert's textbooks of geology, and the collections and catalogues of the Natural History Museum at South Kensington. H. R. Knipe's From Nebula to Man and his Evolution in the Past have also been very useful and suggestive. These two books are full of admirable illustrations of extinct monsters by Miss G. M. Woodward and Mr. Bucknall. There are good figures also in Extinct Monsters and Creatures of Other Days by H. N. Hutchinson.