The Sacred Sacred Ibis

The ancient Greeks usually depicted Thoth—their god of writing, wisdom and magic—as having the head of a bird with a long, down-curving bill.  Until the 1800s, Europeans thought that this bird was probably a curlew, a stork or a heron. Linnaeus believed that the bird must be the Cattle Egret which he called Ardea ibis …

Birds and Revolutions

This month [see footnote 1] marks the anniversary of the famous 1858 Darwin-Wallace publication on natural selection published in the Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London, Zoology (PDF here). [Note that it was read at a meeting of the Linnean Society on 1 July and published a mere 7 weeks later!] This …