By N . TINBERGEN. {Country Life, London, 1958). 280 p a g e s ; illustrated. 35s. IN HIS PREFACE, D r . Tinbergen writes that he long hesitated about writing this semi-autobiographical book, and repeatedly in the main text he seems to find it necessary to defend the pursuit of such " u s e l e s s " knowledge against the practical commonsense of the average layman, and to justify his devotion to field natural history before his more laboratory-minded professional colleagues. He need not have been either hesitant or defensive. His book is one of the best possible advertisements for the general interest and scientific value of natural history in the proper sense of the term, and should secure many valuable recruits to its pursuit. D r . Tinbergen (like Konrad Lorenz and A. R. Wallace, and indeed Charles Darwin himself) is a natural naturalist. He loves nature in all its beauty and strangeness, and wants to understand its manifestations. In this book he decribes the various projects which this combination of devotion and interest has led him to undertake, usually in collaboration with a team of students and colleagues. These include a study of how predatory wasps recognize their prey and learn the surroundings of their n e s t ; the amazing memory-capacity of s a n d w a s p s ; the biological value of camouflage, warning coloration and " t e r r i f y i n g
Issue 9
Meiklejohn, M. F. M
Huxley, J
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