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Portrait of H.W Bates, British naturalist

Portrait of H.W Bates, British naturalist

H402/0324

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Henry Walter Bates. Portrait of the British naturalist Henry Walter Bates (1825-1892). Bates, the son of a stocking-factory owner took up an apprenticeship in hosiery at the age of 13. His hobby at the time was beetle collecting. In 1884, Bates met Alfred Wallace and four years later the two led a famous expedition to South America to collect species and data. It was here that Bates noted startling similarities between butterfly species. He attributed this to natural selection, since palatable butterflies that closely resembled noxious species would be left alone by predators and thus tend to flourish. This phenomenon became known as Batesian mimicry.

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