On the diligence of biologist-collectors

Why Evolution Is True

This story about Darwin comes from his Life and Letters, page 50 (h/t: John Hawks), and shows what an avid entomologist he was as a youth:

I will give a proof of my zeal: one day, on tearing off some old bark, I saw two rare beetles, and seized one in each hand; then I saw a third and new kind, which I could not bear to lose, so that I popped the one which I held in my right hand into my mouth. Alas! it ejected some intensely acrid fluid, which burnt my tongue so that I was forced to spit the beetle out, which was lost, as was the third one.

Biologists who are collectors often approach a state of obsession, ignoring palpable dangers to get that one prized specimen. Here, courtesy of reader Tom C., is a tw**t from Vazrick Nazari, an evolutionary biologist…

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