THE SPECIES SEEKERS
Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth
by Richard Conniff
2011, 464 pages, b/w illustrations (mostly of species seekers). From the mid-eighteenth century to the early twentieth, a colorful band of amateur naturalists explored the most perilous corners of the planet to discover new life-forms. Award-winning author Richard Conniff follows these fearless pioneers, who traveled to the corners of the planet and brought back astonishing new life forms and as a result changed our world forever. Amid tales of adventure and intrigue, this book offers unmatched insight into one of the great revolutions in the history of human thought.
From the 4,000 species listed by Linnaeus in 1758, 2 million species have now been documented. It is estimated that another 50 million species remain to be discovered, a number that early naturalists could not have imagined. “That is, we still live in the great age of discovery. This book is the story of how it began.” Paperback 5.4 x 8.3″.
From the reviews:
“This beautifully written book has the verve of an adventure story.” Wall Street Journal
“Modern biology and medicine would not be what they are today if not for the death-defying naturalists who set out to travel the world and find new species. In The Species Seekers, Richard Conniff creates a marvelous rogues gallery of these brave, sometimes reckless heroes of taxonomy, full of surprising tales of gorillas, platypuses, and disease-laden mosquitoes.” Carl Zimmer, author of Parasite Rex
“[This] history of the great age of discovery is spellbinding.” Publishers Weekly
About the Author:
Richard Conniff, a Guggenheim Fellow and winner of the National Magazine Award, writes for Smithsonian and National Geographic and is a frequent commentator on NPR’s All Things Considered. He is a guest columnist for the New York Times and author of eight other books.
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