strange behaviors

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    Every Creeping Thing: True Tales of Faintly Repulsive Wildlife: “Conniff is a splendid writer–fresh, clear, uncondescending, and with never a false step; one can’t resist quoting him.” (NY Times Book Review)

    The Species Seekers:  Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff is “a swashbuckling romp” that “brilliantly evokes that just-before Darwin era” (BBC Focus) and “an enduring story bursting at the seams with intriguing, fantastical and disturbing anecdotes” (New Scientist). “This beautifully written book has the verve of an adventure story” (Wall St. Journal)

    Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time by Richard Conniff  is “Hilariously informative…This book will remind you why you always wanted to be a naturalist.” (Outside magazine) “Field naturalist Conniff’s animal adventures … are so amusing and full color that they burst right off the page …  a quick and intensely pleasurable read.” (Seed magazine) “Conniff’s poetic accounts of giraffes drifting past like sail boats, and his feeble attempts to educate Vervet monkeys on the wonders of tissue paper will leave your heart and sides aching.  An excellent read.” (BBC Focus magazine)

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David Douglas

Posted by Richard Conniff on June 25, 2012

Today’s the birthday of the pioneering Scottish botanist David Douglas (1799-1834), from whom the Douglas fir gets its common name.

On an 1824 expedition to North America, he described the sitka spruce, Ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine, and many other species, at one point writing home to his sponsor, “You will think I manufacture pines at my pleasure.”

On a later expedition to Hawaii, he died, age 35, when he fell into a pit dug by the islanders to trap wild cattle.  He was trapped with a bull that also fell into the pit and it gored him to death.

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