NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LONDON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LONDON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Statue of the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913). Wallace organised expeditions to the Amazon and Malaysia and was the first European to see orang-utans in the wild. He collected many specimens and founded the study of the geographical distribution of animals (biogeography). He formulated (independent of Charles Darwin) the theory of natural selection as a mechanism for the origin of species. He and Darwin presented their results in a joint paper in 1858 before the Linnean Society. This statue depicts the moment that Wallace saw the male golden birdwing butterfly (Ornithoptera croesus) for the first time, on Bacan Island, Indonesia. It was unveiled on the 100th anniversary of Wallace's death (7 November 2013) and is located in the grounds of the Natural History Museum, London, UK.
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