Let’s imagine for a moment that you’re a male Lissopimpla excelsa wasp in the prime of your reproductive life. You’ve been buzzing about over the local Australian flora for the better part of the morning looking to make contact with a female who’s “a bit of a go-er” (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more). […]
General Natural History
After my initial sorting of the natural history books I regularly receive to be considered for review in The Well-read Naturalist, I find that – aside from field and reference guides – there are essentially three groups into which those I end up reading for the purpose may be classed. The first are those in […]
While it is to be granted that the taxonomic classification and its associated rules of naming can be a bit convoluted when viewed from the outside, in all fairness it is positively Byzantine when viewed from the inside. Even so, it is certainly not random. Indeed, without it, and the centuries of work put to developing and refining its practices by some of humanity’s most inquisitive minds, it would be difficult if not wholly impossible to study the living world. The challenge is just how one new to it can come to gain an understanding of it and its practices in the first place.
In 1964, while examining the remains of various small creatures collected from inside a long disused old wood-fired oven in an outbuilding that had been the home of a family of Barn Owls in Giohar, Somalia, Professor Alberto Simonetta of the University of Florence broke open an owl pellet that contained part of the lower […]