Tropical Nature, and Other Essays
Macmillan and Company, 1878 - 356 pages
Sometimes referred to as 'the grand old man of science', Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) was a naturalist, evolutionary theorist, and friend of Charles Darwin. In this study of tropical flora and fauna, he takes the reader on a tour of the equatorial forest belt - the almost continuous band of forest that stretches around the world between the tropics. There, chameleon-like caterpillars alter the colours of their cocoons, parasitical trees override their hosts with spectacular aerial root systems, and some of the most pressing questions of Victorian evolutionary science arise: how do animals and plants come to be brightly coloured? Can their adaptations provide clues about past geological eras? And was Darwin wholly correct in his theory of sexual selection? First published in 1878, Wallace's book is a skilfully written reflection of contemporary naturalism, still highly readable and relevant to students in the history of science.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
abundant adapted Africa allied America animals ants appear attract beautiful become believe birds blue butterflies causes changes character characteristic climate closely colour comparatively completely consider considerable conspicuous continent curious Darwin direct distinct distribution effect equally equatorial evidence existence extensive extreme fact families feet female fertilization flowers foliage forests fruits genera give greater green ground groups habits heat humming-birds important increase inhabit insects islands kinds known land larger leaves less light living male marked mass means nature North objects observed occur organic ornaments peculiar perhaps period plants possess present probably produced proportion protection rarely rays region relation remains remarkable resemble seems seen selection sometimes South species structure surface temperate temperature theory tints trees tropical types usually variation varied variety various vegetation whole wings yellow zone