One of the challenges of being a general naturalist – particularly a self-taught one – is that of establishing a sturdy foundation in all, or at least most, of the major areas of nature study. For those who undertake any formal, institutionally guided study in one of the fields, such a foundation is provided in […]
Pained lobsters, monkey fight clubs, and the formidable tail-mounted weaponry of prehistoric animals – this week’s episode of CBC’s “Quirks & Quarks” with Bob McDonald has quite a lot of interesting natural history content in it.
As a long-time enthusiast of the Very Short Introductions series form Oxford University Press, I was very pleased to discover last year that they have another series dedicated to providing any interested reader with the essential information needed for a better understanding of a range of subjects: What Everyone Needs to Know.
One need not read too far back into the history of natural history to encounter the idea of spontaneous generation – the idea that life could be created directly out of rotting material. It was a widely held, even thoroughly tested, theory that stood the test of a far longer period of time than many of our present scientific ideas have existed.