Heroes In Green Clothing

We pay homage from time to time to the forefathers of our own interest in the more modern entrepreneurial conservation.  Here is a lesser known, but no less important, figure in that pantheon. Click the image to the left to go to the full story:

Ask a room full of conservation biologists who they like more, Darwin or Wallace, and Alfred Russel Wallace will win every time. While Darwin is respected, Wallace is revered. More than 800 new species have been named for Wallace, and for Darwin, around 120.

Thursday, Nov. 7, marked the 99th anniversary of Wallace’s death and started the countdown to 100th-anniversary celebrations in Britain, Mexico and Malaysia.

Many know Wallace as the co-discoverer with Charles Darwin of the theory of evolution through natural selection, but reverence for Wallace is founded more on his fieldwork than on his place at the podium with Darwin.

Wallace was a real-life Indiana Jones, spending four years in the Amazon (1848-52) and almost eight years island-hopping across the Indonesian archipelago (1854-62). He was intrepid, curious about everything, and he worked simultaneously at the theoretical and practical levels as no one before or after ever has. He was also largely self-taught.

Born the eighth child in a family of nine to English parents living in Wales, Wallace fashioned a career as a naturalist that was highly improbable. His parents were poor, and he worked as an apprentice surveyor and teacher before discovering a love of beetles.

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