Desmond Morris


Desmond Morris : biography

24 January 1928 –

After some time elapses filled with more book publications flowing alongside various other attributes of Morris’s careers, in 1982 he begins to look into archaeological researches for a new, slightly different book The Art of Ancient Cyprus. As creative minds wonder, Morris later the following year publishes a quite interesting Book of Ages, a year-by-year account of human life from birth to death. Finishing The Art of Ancient Cyprus the next year, 1984, published 85. Desmond’s following research project was conducted in 1988, respectively on the colors used in decorating human homes. The findings and data were brought together that same year within a report called Nestbuilders. Throughout his entire career Desmond Morris has written almost countless books continuously on the observations of life, humans, animals, and even paintings as well as children’s books on the matters. Despite all of his other interests, the majority of his books took place under the category of sociobiology.

Major events

  • In 1951 upon moving his Studies to Oxford University, Desmond studied under Dr. Nikolaas Tinbergen, a Dutch ethologist and ornithologist, who in 1973 shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with two other intellectuals for their discoveries.
  • Holds one man art showing at the world’s first university museum (Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology) in 1952, in Oxford
  • In 1952 the journal Behavior, published Morris’s first scientific paper on animal behavior. He produced 47 more over the next fifteen years.
  • Awarded Doctor of Philosophy (D.Phil) in 1954 by Oxford University, his thesis on the "Reproductive Behaviour of the Ten-spined Stickleback".
  • First scientific book published in 1958: The Reproductive Behavior of the Ten-spined Stickleback as well as a children’s book titled The Story of Congo.
  • In 1983, Desmond Published his first fiction novel, called Inrock (science fiction, fantasy), reflective of the surrealist world he created within his paintings. Said to be primarily aimed towards children, but not entirely.
  • In 1992 Desmond held his first one man showing of his paintings in Paris, France.
  • In 1996 a exhibition titled “Desmond Morris 50 Years of Surrealism” was held at both Stoke Gallery, and then second Nottingham Public Gallery. Followed by a solo exhibit at Mayor Gallery in 1997 to coincide with Desmond’s official biographer Silvano Levy’s book entitled Desmond Morris: 50 Years of Surrealism.
  • In 1998 Desmond Morris is awarded Honors Doctor of Science by the University of Reading, located in the English town Reading, Berkshire.

Television and film

In 1950 Desmond Morris makes his first entrance into the film and television. Writing and directing two Surrealist Films entitled Time Flower, as well as The Butterfly and the Pin. His next officially noted stop in television was in 1956 when he moved to London in order to assume the position at the Zoological Society of London as Head of the Granada TV and Film Unit. Morris’s job thus included creating programs for both film and television on the topic of animal behavior and other various zoology orientated topics. His job remained as a host for Granada TV’s weekly ‘Zoo time’ program for the following three years up until 1959. During his time period of this position, a total of eight years, Morris scripted and hosted a total of ~500 Zoo Time programs, alongside ~100 episodes of the show Life in the Animal World for BBC2. During this time he also dabbles into radio for BBC on topics of natural History. However, he left the Film & TV unit at the London Zoo in honor to become the Zoological Society’s Curator of Mammals (1959).

The Human Animal


  • Zootime (Weekly, 1956–67)
  • Life (1965–67)
  • The Human Race (1982)
  • The Animals Roadshow (1987–89)
  • The Animal Contract (1989)
  • Animal Country (1991–96)
  • The Human Animal (1994)
  • The Human Sexes (1997)