Tropical Nature and Other Essays

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Cambridge University Press, 6. juuni 2013 - 380 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.
 

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Contents

The three Climatal Zones of the EarthTemperature of the Equatorial
1
EQUATORIAL VEGETATION
27
Difficulties of the Subject General Aspect of the Animal Life of Equatorial
69
StructureColours and OrnamentsDescriptive NamesThe Motions
124
General Phenomena of ColourTheory of Heat and Light as producing
158
Source of Colouringmatter in PlantsProtective Coloration and Mimicry
221
Introductory RemarksON soME RELATIoNs or LlVING THINGS To THEIR
249
Old Opinions on Continental ChangesTheory of Oceanic IslandsPresent
304
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