Richard Lydekker bigraphy, stories - English zoologist and biogeographer

Richard Lydekker : biography

25 July 1849 - 16 April 1915

Richard Lydekker (25 July 1849–16 April 1915) was an English naturalist, geologist and writer of numerous books on natural history.

Biography

Lydekker was born in London, and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took a first-class in the Natural Science tripos (1872). In 1874 he joined the Geological Survey of India and made studies of the vertebrate paleontology of northern India (especially Kashmir). He remained in this post until 1882. He was responsible for the cataloguing of the fossil mammals, reptiles and birds in the Natural History Museum (10 vols., 1891). His books included:

  • A Manual of Palaeontology (with Henry Alleyne Nicholson, 2 vols., 1889),
  • Phases of Animal Life (1892)
  • The Royal Natural History (with W. H. Flower, 12 vols., 1894-6)
  • The Wild Animals of India, Burma, Malaya, and Tibet (1900). He was a contributor to Encyclopædia Britannica's 11th edition.

Lydekker was also influential in the science of biogeography. In 1895 he delineated the biogeographical boundary through Indonesia, known as Lydekker's Line, that separates Wallacea on the west from Australia-New Guinea on the east.

He attracted amused public attention with a pair of letters to The Times in 1913, when he wrote on 6 February that he had heard a cuckoo, contrary to Yarrell's History of British Birds which doubted the bird arrived before April. Six days later on 12 February 1913, Lydekker wrote again, confessing that "the note was uttered by a bricklayer's labourer". Letters about the first cuckoo became a tradition in the newspaper.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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