Naturalist on the River Amazons, a Record of Adventures, Habits of Animals, Sketches of Brazilian and Indian Life, and Aspects of Nature Under the Equator, During Eleven Years of Travel

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Simon & Schuster, 2007
To say that the author's foray in the Amazon was extensive, hardly does justice to the sheer scale of his endeavours. Leaving England in 1848 with a fellow naturalist A R Wallace, he was away for eleven years during which time he collected over 14,000 species of which a staggering 8,000 were new to science. Exhausted after such a long time in the tropics, much of it in deepest jungle, this book might not have seen the light of day had he not been encouraged by Darwin to finish the task. Beautifully illustrated, this two volume set is a delight for anyone interested in the natural history of the region whilst also giving a tremendous insight into a life among the natives and how they lived and survived in this bountiful but dangerous land. He is perhaps best known for his theory of mimicry, whereby lesser species emulate the look of more dangerous species for their protection. Bates later became assistant secretary at the Royal Geographical Society, a post he held for many years until his death.

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