In the 21st Century the hunting and collection of animal species from the wild for private collections is rightly abored and in many countries and cases a criminal offence. However the private collectors of a different time, driven by enquiry, collection and a different outlook on life, made significant contributions to our understanding of the natural world. Alfred Russell Wallace, co-author with Darwin of the original paper citing natural selection as the origin of species (now being honoured by a new statue being unveiled today by Sir David Attenborough at the Natural History Museum, London), funded his enquiry of the natural world through the collection of specimens for collectors and academics. Indeed the very act of collection would have put him in the right place to see the environmental differences affecting each species he collected, just as Darwin had done during his voyages with Fitzroy on The Beagle.
|The Natural History Museum at Tring, Walter Rothschild Building|
|Walter Rothschild and his Zebra|
The Walter Rothschild building
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Attenborough: The forgotten story of Alfred Russel Wallace