Off the Shelf: Special Year-Long Edition - Journey with Darwin this year as we explore his travels on the H.M.S. Beagle

To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Charles Robert Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his famous work, Origin of Species, the featured books of the month for March 2009 through February 2010, were based on Darwin's recorded observations in the journal he kept during the voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle. Come with us as we explore the Lloyd Library's collection through "Darwinian" eyes. For a more in-depth look at Darwin and his colleagues, view Darwin by Post, the Lloyd's new online exhibit.

February 17, 1836: In this final edition of the special Darwin series of Off the Shelf, Darwin is in Tasmania in the final February of his journey on the H.M.S. Beagle. He encounters what can only be described as a desert environment, with which he was unimpressed.

The Beagle sailed from Tasmania, and, on the 6th of the ensuing month, reached King George's Sound...We staid [sic] there eight days; and I do not remember, since leaving England, having passed a more dull, uninteresting time...One day I went out with a party, in hopes of seeing a kangaroo hunt, and walked over a good many miles of country. Every where [sic] we found the soil sandy, and very poor; it either supported a coarse vegetation of thin, low brushwood and wiry grass, or a forest of stunted trees. The scenery resembled the elevated sandstone platform of the Blue Mountains; the Casuarina (a tree somewhat resembling a Scotch fir) is, however, here in greater number, as the Eucalyptus is in rather less. In the open parts there were many grass-trees; - a plant which, in appearance, has some affinity with the palm; but instead of being surmounted by a crown of noble fronds, it can boast merely of a tuft of coarse grass. The general bright green colour of the brushwood and other plants, viewed from a distance, seemed to bespeak fertility. A single walk, however, will quite dispel such an illusion; and he who thinks with me, will never wish to walk again in so uninviting a country.

Desert Vegetation of Israel and SinaiEthnobotany of Cold Desert TribesRiver and Desert Plants of the Grand CanyonThe Indian Desert

Medicinal PlantsFlora of Syria figure 526TimbuctooHigh Desert Yards and Gardens

Featured books on deserts:
Bhandari, M. M. Flora of the Indian Desert. (1990)

Caillié, Réné. Travels through Central Africa and Timbuctoo; and Across the Great Desert, to Morocco, Performed in the Years 1824-1828. 2 vols. (1830)

Danin, Avinoam. Desert Vegetation of Israel and Sinai. (1983)

Doxon, Lynn Ellen. High Desert Yards & Gardens. (1999)

Forrest, John. Explorations of Australia. (1875)

Huisina, Kristin, et al. River and Desert Plants of the Grand Canyon. (2006)

Moore, Michael. Medicinal Plants of the Desert and Canyon West. (1989)

Post, George E. Flora of Syria, Palestine and Sinai. 2 vols. (1932)

Sood, S. K., et al. Ethnobotany of Cold Desert Tribes of Lahoul-Spiti (N. W. Himalaya). (2001)

Wang, Chi-Wu. The Forest of China with a Survey of Grassland and Desert Vegetation. (1961)

January 12, 1836: In the final few months of his journey, Darwin visited Australia. On an excursion out of Sydney, he had the occasion to observe the development of Australia, both as a growing colony of Britain, and as a declining natural environment. While Darwin certainly admired the advances being made to settle the territory and marveled at the new-found wealth to be had there, he also made some interesting notes about the native peoples and flora and fauna:

The number of aborigines is rapidly decreasing. In my whole ride, with the exception of some boys brought up in the houses, I saw only one other party... This decrease, no doubt, must be partly owing to the introduction of spirits, to European diseases (even the milder ones of which, as the measles, prove very destructive), and to the gradual extinction of wild animals... As the difficulty of procuring food increases, so must their wandering habits; and hence the population, without any apparent deaths from famine, is repressed in a manner extremely sudden compared to what happens in civilized countries, where the father may add to his labour, without destroying his offspring.

...Wherever the European has trod, death seems to pursue the aboriginal...

The Lloyd carries many volumes on the topic of extinction, mostly regarding plants, but also in a larger and more diverse context.  Below are a select few on the topic held by the Library.

Rare Wildflowers of KentuckyKeeping All the PiecesHaller's Outcasts from EvolutionBig Bone Lick map from Hedeen

Hoose's The Race to Save the Lord God BirdMartinelli's Stalking the Wild AmaranthOwen's Natural Resource ConservationThe Top 50 Mediterranean Island Plants

Featured books on the topic of extinction and related issues:

Barnes, Thomas G. Rare wildflowers of Kentucky. Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky, c2008.

Biological consequences of the European expansion, 1450-1800. Edited by Kenneth F. Kiple and Stephen V. Beck.  Aldershot, Hampshire, Great Britain:  Ashgate/Variorum, c1997.

Eckert, Allan W. The silent sky; the incredible extinction of the passenger pigeon, a novel. [1st ed.] Boston, Little, Brown [1965]

Extinction and phylogeny. Editors, Michael J. Novacek and Quentin D. Wheeler.  New York: Columbia University Press, 1992.

Gibbons, J. Whitfield. Keeping all the pieces: perspectives on natural history and the environment. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, c1993.

The great naturalists. Edited by Robert Huxley. London: Thames & Hudson; London: In association with the Natural History Museum, 2007.

Haller, John S. Outcasts from evolution: scientific attitudes of racial inferiority, 1859-1900. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, [1995]

Hedeen, Stanley. Big Bone Lick: the cradle of American paleontology. Lexington, Ky.: The University Press of Kentucky, c2008.

Hoose, Phillip M. The race to save the Lord God bird. 1st ed. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004.

Koopowitz, Harold. Plant extinction: a global crisis. Washington, D.C.: Stone Wall Press c1983.

Marinelli, Janet. Stalking the wild amaranth: gardening in an age of extinction. 1st ed. New York: Henry Holt, 1998.

Owen, Oliver S. Natural resource conservation: management for a sustainable future. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1998.

The top 50 Mediterranean Island plants: wild plants at the brink of extinction, and what is needed to save them. Edited by Bertrand de Montmollin and Wendy Strahm. Cambridge: International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, c2005.


December, 1835—Darwin is struck by the vastness of the Pacific Ocean and, perhaps a bit anxious to be home as his journey neared an end, was overwhelmed by its seeming endlessness.

December 19, 1835
In the evening we saw New Zealand in the distance.  We may now consider ourselves as having nearly crossed the Pacific ocean.  It is necessary to sail over this great sea to understand its immensity.  Moving quickly onwards for weeks together we meet with nothing, but the same blue, profoundly deep, ocean… Accustomed to look at maps, drawn on a small scale, where dots, shading, and names are crowded together, we do not judge rightly how infinitely small the proportion of dry land is to the water of this great sea… [Writing about arriving at the Antipodes]  Only the other day, I looked forward to this airy barrier, as a definite point in our voyage homewards; but now I find it, and all such resting-places for the imagination, are like shadows which a man moving onwards cannot catch.

Pacific Sea ShellsImage from Cook's VoyagesPolar Bear from Cook's VoyagesBulletin of the Biological Society of Washington

Marine BotanyKeate - Pelew Islands - baskets made by NativesGuppy's map of Vanua LevuGuppy's map of the Fiji IslandsMarine Shells of the Pacific

Featured Books on the Pacific Ocean - for more on oceans and life there, do a keyword search in Lloyd's online catalog:

Allen, Prof. W.E. Investigations on phyto-plankton in the Pacific Ocean (1926)

Cernohorsky, Walter O. Marine shells of the Pacific (1967)

Cook, James and James King. A voyage to the Pacific Ocean: undertaken by command of His Majesty, for making discoveries in the northern hemisphere: performed under the direction of Captains Cook, Clerke, and Gore, in the Years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, and 1780: being a copious, comprehensive, and satisfactory abridgement of the voyage; illustrated with cuts  (1784)

Dawes, Clinton J. Marine Botany 2nd ed. (1998)

Guppy, H.B. Observations of a naturalist in the Pacific between 1896 and 1899 (1903)

Jones, Meredith L., editor. Hydrothermal vents of the eastern Pacific: an overview / sponsored by the National Science Foundation ... no.6 Ser. (1985) [Bulletin of the Biological Society of Washington]

Keate, George. An account of the Pelew Islands, situated in the western part of the Pacific Ocean: composed from the journals and communications of Captain Henry Wilson and some of his officers, who, in August 1783 were there shipwrecked in the Antelope, a packet belonging to the Hon. East India Company (1793)

Miller, Margaret. Along our coast: stories of sea creatures of the Pacific ocean (1942)

[prepared by the NORPAC Committee] Oceanic observations of the Pacific 1955: the NORPAC atlas (1960)

Tinker, Spencer Wilkie. Pacific Sea Shells (1952, 1958)


November, 1833—Darwin locates the remains of Toxodon during his time in Montevideo, Uruguay, South America

November 26th, 1833—I set out on my return in a direct line for Monte Video.  Having heard of some giant’s bones at a neighbouring farm-house on the Sarandis, a small stream entering the Rio Negro, I rode there accompanied by my host, and purchased for the value of eighteen pence, the head of an animal equalling [Darwin’s spelling] in size that of the hippopotamus.  Mr. Owen in a paper read before the Geological Society, has called this very extraordinary animal, Toxodon, from the curvature of its teeth.

…The people at the farm-house told me that the remains were exposed, by a flood having washed down part of a bank of earth.  When found, the head was quite perfect; but the boys knocked the teeth out with stones, and then set up the head as a mark to throw at.  By a most fortunate chance, I found a perfect tooth, which exactly fits one of the sockets in this skull, embedded by itself on the banks of the Rio Tercero…Near the Toxodon I found the fragments of the head of an animal, rather larger than the horse, which has some points of resemblance with the Toxodon, and others perhaps with the Edentata.  The head of this animal, as well as that of the Toxodon, and especially the former, appear so fresh, that it is difficult to believe they have lain buried for ages under ground.

History of Animals front coverAudubon's Big Horn SheepFossil Mammals - ArmadilloHistory of Land Mammals front cover

Life of Animals front coverPidgeon's Great MastadonNatural History of Mammals

Featured Books on Mammals, both living and extinct:

Allen, Glover M. Extinct and vanishing mammals of the western hemisphere: with the marine species of all the oceans (1942)

Anthony, Harold Elmer. Mammals of Porto Rico: living and extinct (1925-26)

Beddard, Frank E. Mammalia (1909)

Bewick, Thomas. A general history of quadrupeds (1820)

Church, John.  A cabinet of quadrupeds (1805)

Figuier, Louis.  Mammalia: their various forms and habits, popularly illustrated by typical species (1884)

Fischer, Johann Baptist.  Synopsis mammalium (1829)

Hedeen, Stanley.  Big Bone Lick: the cradle of American paleontology (2008)

Ingersoll, Ernest.  The life of animals; the mammals (1907)

Kellogg, Remington.  Additions to the Tertiary history of the pelagic mammals on the Pacific coast of North America (1925)

La Rocque, Aurèle.  Les animaux de l'époque glaciaire [1960]

Owen, Richard.  A history of British fossil mammals and birds (1846)

Parkinson, James.  Organic remains of a former world: an examination of the mineralized remains of the vegetables and animals of the antediluvian world: generally termed extraneous fossils (1804)

Pictet, François Jules.  Traité élémentaire de paléontologie: ou, Histoire naturelle des animaux fossiles considérés dans leurs rapports zoologiques et géologiques (1844)

Pidgeon, Edward.  The fossil remains of the animal kingdom [1844]

Royal College of Surgeons of England.  Museum Descriptive and illustrated catalogue of the fossil organic remains of Mammalia and Aves contained in the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (1845)

Schmidt, Dr. (Eduard Oskar).  The mammalia in their relation to primeval times (1886)

Scott, William Berryman.  A history of land mammals in the western hemisphere (1913)

Temminck, C. J. (Coenraad Jacob).  Monographies de mammalogie, ou, Description de quelques genres de mammifères, dont les espèces ont été observées dans les différens musées de l'Europe (1827-41)

Varona, Luis S.  Catálogo de los mamíferos vivientes y extinguidos de las Antillas (1974)

Vogt, Karl Christoph.  Les mammifères (1884)

Vogt, Karl Christoph.  The natural history of animals: (class Mammalia--animals which suckle their young) in word and picture (1888?)

Waterhouse, G. R. (George Robert).  A natural history of the mammalian (1846)

Zim, Herbert Spencer.  Mice, men, and elephants: a book about mammals (1942)

Zimmermann, Eberhard August Wilhelm von.  Specimen zoologiae geographicae, quadrupedum domicilia et migrationes sistens (1777)


October, 1834—Darwin describes the many types of birds he encounters while visiting the Galapagos Archipelago, including several species of finches of which he observes differences between the size and shape of their beaks:

October 8th, 1835—Of land birds, I obtained twenty-six kinds, all peculiar to the group and found nowhere else, with the exception of one lark-like finch from North America (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)...The other twenty-five birds consist, firstly, of a hawk, curiously intermediate in structure between a Buzzard and the American group of carrion-feeding Polybori; and with these latter birds it agrees most closely in every habit and even tone of voice.  Secondly, there are two owls…Thirdly, a wren, three tyrant fly-catchers…and a dove…

…The remaining land-birds form a most singular group of finches, related to each other in the structure of their beaks, short tails, form of body, and plumage:  there are thirteen species, which Mr. Gould has divided into four sub-groups…The most curious fact is the perfect gradation in the size of the beaks in the different species of Geospiza, from one as large as that of a hawfinch to that of a chaffinch,…and even to that of a warbler.

John James Audubon's FlamingoChapman Color Key to American BirdsChapman Color Key to American birds plate 17 Chapman Color Key to American Birds page 183Chapman Travels of Birds

Ettlinger plate 95Eyton Plate 1Mathews Fieldbook of Wild Birds and Their MusicMorris plate 29Nitsch plate 1

Featured Books on Birds:

Bendire, Charles.  Life histories of North American birds with special reference to their breeding habits and eggs, with twelve lithographic plates (1892)

Chamberlain , Frank Wilbut. Atlas of avian anatomy: osteology, arthrology, myology (1943)

Chapman, Frank M.  Color key to North American birds : with bibliographical appendix (1912)

Chapman, Frank M. The travels of birds: our birds and their journeys to strange lands (1916)

Clarke, William Eagle. Studies in bird migration (1912)

Coues , Elliott. Handbook of field and general ornithology : a manual of the structure and classification of birds, with instructions for collecting and preserving specimens (1890)

Eyton, Thomas Campbell. Osteologia avium, or, A sketch of the osteology of birds (1867)

Griscom, Ludlow.  Modern bird study (1945)

Ingersoll, Ernest.  Birds'-nesting: a handbook of instruction in gathering & preserving the nests & eggs of birds for the purposes of study (1895)

Knowlton, Frank H.  Birds of the world: a popular account (1909)

Mathews, F. Schuyler.  Field book of wild birds and their music; a description of the character and music of birds, intended to assist in the identification of species common in the eastern U.S. by F. Schuyler Mathews ... with numerous reproductions of water color and pen-and-ink studies of birds, and complete musical notations of bird songs (1904)

Patten, Bradley M.  The early embryology of the chick (1929)

Pycraft, W.P.  Birds in flight (1922)

Rennie, James.  The architecture of birds (1833)

Robbins, Chandler S.  Birds of North America: a guide to field identification (1983)

Sclater, Philip Lutley, ed.  Nitzsch's pterylography: tr. from the German (1867)

Shufeldt , Robert W.  Osteology of birds (1883?)

Starkie , Paul D.  Avian physiology (1954)

Thorpe, W.H.  Bird-song: the biology of vocal communication and expression in birds (1961)

Wood, Casey Albert.  The fundus oculi of birds, especially as viewed by the ophthalmoscope; a study in the comparative anatomy and physiology (1917)


September, 1834—Even while enjoying time at the hot springs of Cauquenes, Chile, Darwin wonders about the natural science behind the mineral waters:

September 6th, 1834—The next day we turned up the valley of the Rio Cachapual, in which the hot-baths of Cauquenes, long celebrated for their medicinal properties, are situated...We reached the baths in the evening, and stayed there five days, being confined the two last by heavy rains.  The buildings consist of a square of miserable little hovels, each with a single table and bench... It is a quiet, solitary spot, with a good deal of wild beauty.

The mineral springs of Cauquenes burst forth on a line of dislocation, crossing a mass of stratified rock, the whole of which betrays the action of heat. A considerable quantity of gas is continually escaping from the same orifices with the water. Though the springs are only a few yards apart, they have very different temperatures; and this appears to be the result of an unequal mixture of cold water: for those with the lowest temperature have scarcely any mineral taste...It seems probably that mineral waters rising deep from the bowels of the earth, would always be more deranged by subterranean disturbances than those nearer the surface. The man who had charge of the baths, assured me that in summer the water is hotter and more plentiful than in winter. The former circumstance I should have expected…but the latter statement appears very strange and contradictory...if true, certainly is very curious: for, we must suppose that the snow-water, being conducted through porous strata to the regions of heat...

BalneologyCarls Bad Mineral SpringsMineral Springs Plate 1Mineral Springs

Plant AtlasPractical Hydrotherapy plate 104WittgensteinMedical History of Waters and Spas

Featured Books on Hydrotherapy:

Anderson, Winslow. Mineral springs and health resorts of California: with a complete chemical analysis of every important mineral water in the world: a prize essay: annual prize of the Medical Society of the State of California, awarded April 20, 1889 (1890)

Baruch, Simon. The principles and practice of hydrotherapy: a guide to the application of water in disease for students and practitioners of medicine (1898)

Bill, A.F. [et al.]. Davos as health-resort: a handbook (1907)

Jennings, Eric Thomas. Curing the colonizers: hydrotherapy, climatology, and French colonial spas (2006)

Journal of Balneology (March, 1893)

Kellogg, John Harvey. Rational hydrotherapy: a manual of the physiological and therapeutic effects of hydriatic procedures, and the technique of their application in the treatment of disease (1902)

Kissingen Spa: the international health-resort, in its medical and social aspects [1892?]

Kneipp, Sebastian. Plant-atlas to "My water-cure," containing sixty nine pictorial representations of all the medicinal-plants mentioned as well a ssome others in general use among the people (1893)

Pope, Curran. Practical hydrotherapy: a manual for students and practitioners (1909)

Ritter, Adolf. Carlsbad inclical [i.e. clinical] studies on the modes of action, indications for the use and curative value of its mineral springs (1909)

Shew, Joel. The hydropathic family physician: a ready prescriber and hygienic adviser (1854)

Short, Thomas. An essay towards a natural, experimental, and medicinal history of the principle mineral waters : of Cumberland, Northumberland, Westmoreland, Bishop-prick of Durham, Lancashire, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Glocestershire, Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, Liecestershire, and Nottinghamshire ... to which is added a short discourse on cold and tepid bathing, and a table of the temperature of all the warm waters in England, and most of the cold baths, from Carlisle to Glocester and Oxford. Being the second volume of the mineral waters of England (1740)

Smethurst, Thomas. Hydrotherapia; or, The water cure. Being a practical view of the cure in all its bearings, exhibiting the great utility of water as a preservative of health and remedy for disease, founded on observations and experience made at Grafenberg. To which is added a description of Grafenberg, and the system there, as practiced by Vincent Priessnitz.... Together with a short sketch of the history of the water-cure from the remotest antiquity, and remarks on sea bathing  (1843)

Smollett, Tobias George. An essay on the external use of water (1935)

Stoicescu, Constantin. Die natürlichen Heilfaktoren der bedeutendsten Bade- und Luftkurorte Rumäniens (1978)

Wittgenstein, Albert. Hydropathische Behandlung der chronischen inneren Krankheiten in der Praxis: mit ausführlicher Darstellung der einschlägigen Proceduren [1895]


August, 1834—Darwin is entranced by the agricultural landscape in the valley of Quillota, Chile:

August 15th, 1834: The country was exceedingly pleasant; just such as poets would call pastoral: green open lawns, separated by small valleys with rivulets, and the cottages, we may suppose of the shepherds, scattered on the hill-sides... The valley is very broad and quite flat, and is thus easily irrigated in all parts. The little square gardens are crowded with orange and olive trees, and every sort of vegetable... Wheat is extensively cultivated, and a good deal of Indian corn: a kind of bean is, however, the staple article of food for the common labourers. The orchards produce an overflowing abundance of peaches, figs, and grapes.

August 18th, 1834: We rode during the two succeeding days up the valley, and passed through Quillota, which is more like a collection of nursery-gardens than a town. The orchards were beautiful, presenting one mass of peach-blossoms. I saw also, in one or two places the date-palm; it is a most stately tree...

Featured Books about Fruit and Vegetable Gardening:

Bartley, Jennifer R. Designing the new kitchen garden: an American potager handbook (2006)

Bartrum, Douglas. The gourmet's garden (1964)

Blair, Edna. The food garden (1942)

Buishand, Tjerk. The complete book of vegetables: an illustrated guide to over 400 species and varieties of vegetables from all over the world (1986)

Buist, Robert. The family kitchen gardener: containing plain and accurate descriptions of all the different species and varieties of culinary vegetables (1851)

Burr, Fearing. Garden vegetables, and how to cultivate them (1866)

Campbell, Susan.  A history of kitchen gardening (2005)

Creasy, Rosalind. The edible heirloom garden (1999)

Denckla, Tanya. The organic gardener's home reference: a plant-by-plant guide to growing fresh, healthy food (1994)

Downing, Andrew Jackson. The fruits and fruit trees of America, or, The culture propagation, and management, in the garden and orchard, of fruit trees generally: with descriptions of all the finest varieties of fruit, native and foreign, cultivated in this country (1865)

Duncan, Frances. Home vegetables and small fruits; their culture and preservation (1918)

Elliott, Franklin Reuben. Elliott's fruit book, or, The American fruit-grower's guide in orchard and garden: being a compend of the history, modes of propagation, culture, &c., of fruit trees and shrubs, with descriptions of nearly all the varieties of fruits cultivated in this country, notes of their adaptation to localities and soils, and also a complete list of fruits worthy of cultivation (1855)

Findlay, Hugh. Practical gardening, vegetables and fruits, helpful hints for the home garden, common mistakes and how to avoid them (1918)

French, Allen. The book of vegetables and garden herbs; a practical handbook and planting table for the vegetable gardener (1907)

Hardesty, Constance. Grow your own pizza! : gardening plans and recipes for kids (2000)

Hills, Lawrence D. Down to earth fruit and vegetable growing (1960)

Patent, Dorothy Hinshaw. The Harrowsmith country life book of garden secrets: a down-to-earth guide to the art and science of growing better vegetables (1991)

Pavord, Anna. The new kitchen garden (1996)

Powell, Edward Payson. The orchard and fruit garden (1905)

Prince, William Robert. The pomological manual, or, A treatise on fruits : containing descriptions of a great number of the most valuable varieties for the orchard and garden (1831)

Reich, Lee. Growing fruit in your backyard (1996)

Tukey, Harold Bradford. Dwarfed fruit trees for orchard, garden, and home: with special reference to the control of tree size and fruiting in commercial fruit production (1978)


July, 1833—Darwin regards a salt lake in Rio Negro, a province of Argentia, noticing both its economic importance and unique natural features.

July 24th, 1833:

One day I rode to a large salt lake, or Salina, which is distant fifteen miles from town. During the winter it consists of a shallow lake of brine, which in summer is converted into a field of snow-white salt. The layer near the margin is from four to five inches thick, but towards the centre its thickness increases...One of these brilliantly-white and level expanses, in the midst of the brown and desolate plain, offers an extraordinary spectacle. A large quantity of salt is annually drawn from the salina; and great piles, some hundred tons in weight, were lying ready for exportation. The season for working the Salinas form the harvest of Patagones; for on it the prosperity of the place depends...

...The border of the lake is formed of mud;...The mud in many places was thrown up by numbers of some kind of worm, or annelidous animal. How surprising it is that any creatures should be able to exist in brine...Well may we affirm that every part of the world is habitable!

BlasdaleChapman illustrationTidal Marsh Plants EleuteriusEleuterius drawingsRoos, Salt of the EarthSodium Chloride illustration

Squires book coverStansbury pages 143 illustrationZannichelli illustration

Featured books which focus on Salt cross multiple disciplines:

American Chemical Society. Sodium chloride; the production and properties of salt and brine (1960)

Blasdale, Walter Charles. Equilibria in saturated salt solutions: a summary of the results of the study of the heterogeneous equilibria which exist in aqueous solutions of electrolytes (1927)

Boyko, Hugo. Salinity and aridity: new approaches to old problems (1966)

Chapman, Valentine Jackson. Salt marshes and salt deserts of the world (1960)

Eleuterius, Lionel N. An illustrated guide to tidal marsh plants of Mississippi and adjacent states (1981)

Eleuterius, Lionel N. Tidal marsh plants (1990)

Hedeen, Stanley. Big Bone Lick: the cradle of American paleontology (2008)

Hermetica, Elias Artista. Das Geheimniss von dem Salz : als dem edelsten Wesen der höchsten Wohlthat Gottes in em Reich der Natur, bei des in seinem Wesen und in seinem Eigenschaften aus eigener Bemühung untersucht [The Secret of Salt…] (1770)

Jillson, Willard Rouse. Big Bone Lick: an outline of its history, geology and paleontology to which is added an annotated bibliography of 207 titles (1936)

Kelley, Walter Pearson. Alkali soils; their formation, properties, and reclamation (1951)

Lieth, Helmut, and Marina Mochtchenko (eds.). Cash crop halophytes: recent studies: 10 years after the Al Ain meeting (2003)

Mohammad, Pessarakli. Handbook of plant and crop stress (1994)

Roos, Anna Marie Eleanor. The salt of the earth: natural philosophy, medicine, and chymistry in England, 1650-1750 (2007)

Squires , Victor R. & Ali T. Ayoub (eds.). Halophytes as a resource for livestock and for rehabilitation of degraded lands: proceedings of the International Workshop on Halophytes for Reclamation of Saline Wastelands and as a Resource for Livestock, Problems and Prospects, Nairobi, Kenya, 22-27 November 1992 (1994)

Stansbury, Howard. An expedition to the valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah: including an description of its geography, natural history, and minerals, and an analysis of its waters: with an authentic account of the Mormon settlement: illustrated by numerous beautiful plates, from drawings taken on the spot: also, a reconnoissance of a new route through the Rocky Mountains, and two large and accurate maps of that region (1855)

Zannichelli, Gian-Girolamo. Istoria delle piante che nascono ne'lidi intorno a Venezia [History of the plants that grow in the lidos around Venice] (1735)


June, 1834 and 1835—Glaciers, Mountains, Earthquakes, and Volcanoes; Clouds, Snow, Winds, and Dry Land—Chile offers Darwin a wide range of geographical features and various climatic conditions to observe and record during his exploration of this part of South America.  Comments from his journal demonstrate the diversity of the region:

June 8th, 1834:
            At the base of the lofty and almost perpendicular sides of our little cove there was one deserted wigwam, and it alone reminded us that man sometimes wandered into these desolate regions.  But it would be difficult to imagine a scene where he seemed to have fewer claims or less authority.  The inanimate works of nature—rock, ice, snow, wind, and water—all warring with each other, yet combined against man—here reigned in absolute sovereignty.


June 11th, 1835:
            My geological examination of the country generally created a good deal of surprise amongst the Chilenos…I found the most read way of explaining my employment was to ask them how it was that they themselves were not curious concerning earthquakes and volcanoes?—why some springs were hot and others cold?—why there were mountains in Chile, and not a hill in La Plata?  These bare questions at once satisfied and silenced the greater number; some, however (like a few in England who are a century behindhand), thought that all such inquiries were useless and impious; and that it was sufficient that God had thus made the mountains.

Denison's Climates of the United States in colorsPhysical GeographyMilner's Gallery of Nature page 338

First Book of the EarthFiguer's Earth and Sea page 161Physiographic Provinces of North AmericaRoyal Geographic Society cover

Featured Books and Journals on Physical Geography and Climate:

Atwood, Wallace Walter. The physiographic provinces of North America (1940)

Daubeny, Charles. Climate: an inquiry into the causes of its differences and into its influence on vegetable life ... (1863)

Darwin, Charles. Geological observations on the volcanic islands and parts of South America visited during the voyage of H.M.S. "Beagle" (1900)

Dawson, John William, Sir. The chain of life in geological time: a sketch of the origin and succession of animals and plants (1880)

Denison, Charles. Climates of the United States in colors (1893)

Figuier, Louis. Earth and sea: from the French of Louis Figuier (1870)

Forster, Thomas Furley. The pocket encyclopaedia of natural phenomena (1827)

The Geographical teacher (1901-1973)

Huntington, Ellsworth. Climatic changes: their nature and causes (1922)

Johnston, Alexander Keith. The physical atlas: a series of maps & notes illustrating the geographical distribution of natural phenomena (1848)

Matthew, William Diller. Climate and evolution (1939)

Maudslay, Athol. Nature's weather warnings and natural phenomena (1891)

Milner, Thomas. The gallery of nature: a pictorial and descriptive tour through creation, illustrative of the wonders of astronomy, physical geography, and geology (1846)

Monteith, James. New physical geography : for grammar and high schools, and colleges (1885)

Mummey, George Perry. Geological evolution: a thesis on light, continental drift, the moon, mineral deposits of the earth, geysers and Saturn, also nature's chemical laboratory and geological evolution of Florida (1943)

Royal Geographical Society (Great Britain), Proceedings Of The Royal Geographical Society And Monthly Record Of Geography 1859-(1973)

Rugg, Harold Ordway. The first book of the earth (1936)

Spilhaus, Athelstan. Atlas of the world with geophysical boundaries: showing oceans, continents and tectonic plates in their entirety (1991)

Van Loon, Hendrik Willem. Van Loon's geography: the story of the world (1937)


may 1832: While in Rio de Janeiro Darwin writes to his dear friend and mentor, Professor John Stevens Henslow.  His letter, dated May 18, 1832, references a particular book, not once, but twice.  In the two excerpts below, we get a sense of what Darwin’s days are like during this early leg of the Beagle’s journey: 

Dictionaire Classique volumesI find my life on board when we are on blue water most delightful, so very comfortable and quiet—it is almost impossible to be idle, and that for me is saying a good deal…I am well off in books, the ‘Dictionnaire Classique’ is most useful.


Noterus entry from Dictionary ClassiqueI have just returned from a walk, and as a specimen, how little the insects are known.  Noterus, according to the “Dictionnaire Classique,” contains solely three European species.  I in one haul of my net took five distinct species; is this not quite extraordinary?

The Dictionnaire classique d’histoire naturelle, editied by French naturalist Jean Baptiste Geneviève Marcellin Bory de Saint-Vincent, was a standard dictionary used by 19th century natural scientists.  Darwin uses it throughout his Beagle journey.  The Lloyd Library owns all 17 volumes of this natural history dictionary as well as many other historical and current books related to the study of nature and natural history.

Dictionaire classique uranee prometheeDictionaire Classique leodice antennaeDictionaire Classique shellsDictionaire Classique insectsDictionaire Classique Dervillee

Dictionaire Classique Plant LifeDictionaire Classique geologic mapDictionaire Classique Persoonia

Featured Books on Natural History:

Baird, William, A dictionary of natural history (1860)

Bossu, Antonin, Nouveau dictionnaire d'histoire naturelle et des phénomènes de la nature (1857)

Brookes, R. (Richard), A new and accurate system of natural history... (1763)

Chenu, Jean Charles, Encyclopédie d'histoire naturelle, ou, Traité complet de cette science d'après les travaux des naturalistes les plus éminents de tous les pays et de toutes les époques: Buffon, Daubenton, Lacépède, G. Cuvier, F. Cuvier, Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Latreille, De Jussieu, Brongniart, etc. ... (1860)

Chenu, Jean Charles, Encyclopédie d'histoire naturelle, ou, Traité complet de cette science d'après les travaux des naturalistes les plus éminents de tous les pays et de toutes les époques: Buffon, Daubenton, Lacépède, G. Cuvier, F. Cuvier, Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Latreille, De Jussieu, Brongniart, etc. .. (1860-85)

Cuvier, Frederic, Dictionnaire des sciences naturelles (1816-1845) 

Buffon, Valmont de Bomare, etc, Dictionnaire abrégé d'histoire naturelle : pour l'instruction de la jeunesse; avec une introduction sur les trois règnes, animal, minéral, et végétal, et des notions tirées des meilleurs naturalistes (1795)

Dictionnaire raisonné universel d'histoire naturelle: contenant l' histoire des animaux, des végétaux et des minéraux ... avec l'histoire et la description des drogues simples tirées des trois regnes (1768)

Dictionnaire des sciences naturelles : dans lequel on traite méthodiquement des différens êtres de la nature, considérés soit en eux-mêmes, d'après l'état actuel de nos connoissances, soit relativement à l'utilité qu'en peuvent retirer la médecine, l'agriculture, le commerce et les artes. Suivi d'une biographie des plus célèbres naturalists (1845)

Hill, John, A general natural history: or, New and accurate descriptions of the animals, vegetables, and minerals, of the different parts of the world: with their virtues and uses, as far as hitherto certainly known, in medicine and mechanics...including the history of the materia medica, pictoria, and tinctoria, of the present and earlier ages...with a great number of figures, elegantly engraved (1752)

Knight, Charles, Natural history, or, Second division of "The English cyclopaedia" (1866-)

Lettsom, John Coakley, The naturalist's and traveller's companion (1799)

Linne, Carl von, A general system of nature: through the three grand kingdoms of animals vegetables, and minerals (1806)

Meisel, Max, A bibliography of American natural history : the pioneer century, 1769-1865 ; the rôle played by the scientific societies; scientific journals; natural history museums and botanic gardens; state geological and natural history surveys; federal exploring expeditions in the rise and progress of American botany, geology, mineralogy, paleontology and zoology (1924-)

d'Orbigny, Charles Dessalines, Dictionnaire universel d'histoire naturelle (1841-)

The Oxford dictionary of natural history (1985)

Palmer, E. Laurence, Fieldbook of natural history (1949)

Rennie, James, editor, The Field naturalist: a review of animals, plants, minerals, the structure of the earth and appearances of the sky (1835)

Sampson, Ezra, The youth's companion, or, An historical dictionary consisting of articles selected chiefly from natural and civil history, geography, astronomy, zoology, botany and mineralogy: arranged in alphabetical order (1813)

Valmont-Bomare, M. (Jacques Christophe), Dictionnaire raisonné universel d'histoire naturelle: contenant l'histoire des animaux, des végétaux et des minéraux, et celle des corps célestes, des météores, & des autres principaux phénomenes de la nature ... (1764)


Stephen's British Entomology - one of the Lepidoptera

April 1832 - Darwin observes and collects a host of fascinating insects.

In April, The Beagle lands in Rio de Janeiro where Darwin reflects on the insects he has collected and observed during his journey, including planaria, fireflies, ants, and spiders.  Here he writes about a captivating personal experience he has with a species of Lepidoptera:

map section from Darwin's Journey on the Beagle - click for larger viewApril 19th.—The large and brilliantly-coloured Lepidoptera bespeak the zone they            inhabit  far more plainly than any other race of animals.  I allude only to the            butterflies; for the moths, contrary to what might have been expected from the rankness of the vegetation, certainly appeared in much fewer numbers than in our own temperate regions.  I was much surprised at the habits of Papilio feronia… This is the only butterfly which I have ever seen, that uses its legs for running.  Not being aware of this fact, the insect, more than once, as I cautiously approached with my forceps, shuffled on one side just as the instrument was on the point of closing, and    thus escaped.

--From Journal of Researches into the Natural History and Geology of the countries
visited during the voyage of H.M.S. "Beagle" round the world: under the command of Capt. Fitz Roy, R.N.

Hyde's MicroFungiJanson plate 2Lloyd's Floral BiologyPanda's Host Plant Resistance to Insects

Proctor's Natural History of PollinationSinghStepp's Ethnobiology and Biocultural DiversityTeranishi's Bioactive Volatile CompoundsVega's Insect-Fungal Associations

Featured Books on Beetles and Insects (to find even more, go to our online catalog and put in keyword "insect" - you'll find more than 250 volumes) - these are books either about insects or containing information on the relationship of insects to plants and more:

Blake, Ernest G. Enemies of Timber. (1925)

Crotch, G. R. Insects of North America. (1873)

Fabre, J.H. The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles. (1919)

--. The Sacred Beetle and Others. (1918)

Hyde, Kevin D. Biodiversity of Tropical Microfungi. (1997)

Janson, E. W. British Beetles. (1863)

Lloyd, David G., and Spencer C. H. Barrett, editors. Floral Biology... (1996)

Lubbock, John. Ants, Bees, and Wasps: A Record of Observations on the Habits of the Social Hymneoptera. (1884)

Panda, N., and G.S. Khush. Host Plant Resistance to Insects. (1995)

Proctor, Michael, Peter Yeo, and Andrew Lack. The Natural History of Pollination. (1996)

Singh, R. P., and R.C. Saxena, editors. Azadirachta indica A. Juss. (1999)

Stephens, James Francis. Illustrations of British Entomology... 10 volumes (1828-1846)

Stepp, John R., Felice S. Wyndham, and rebecca K. Zarger, editors. Ethnobiology and Biocultural Diversity. (2000)

Teranishi, Roy, Ron G. Buttery, and Hiroshi Sugisawa. Bioactive Volatile Compounds from Plants. (1993)

Tower, William Lawrence. An Investigation of Evolution in Chrysomelid Beetles of the genus Leptinotarsa. (1906)

Vega, Fernando E., and Meredith Blackwell. Insect-Fungal Associations: Ecology and Evolution. (2005)


arch 18, 1832 - Darwin makes some interesting observations on Algae

We join Darwin in March, 1832, during the voyage of the H.M.S. "Beagle" in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the eastern coast of Brazil:

map section from Darwin's Journey on the BeagleMarch 18th. - We sailed from Bahia. A few days afterwards, when not far distant from the Abrolhos Islets, my attention was called to a reddish-brown appearance in the sea. The whole surface of the water, as it appeared under a weak lens, seemed as if covered by chopped bits of hay, with their ends jagged. These are minute cylindrical confervae, in bundles or rafts of from twenty to sixty in each. Mr. Berkeley informs me that they are the same species (Trichodesmium erythraeum) with that found over large spaces in the Red Sea, and whence its name of Red Sea is derived...Captain Cook, in his third voyage, remarks, that the sailors gave to this appearance the name of sea-sawdust.

--From Journal of Researches into the Natural History and Geology of the countries
visited during the voyage of H.M.S. "Beagle" round the world: under the command of Capt. Fitz Roy, R.N.

Frauenfeld's algaeLuning's SeaweedsMurray plate 19 Phycological MemoirsLobban's Seaweed EcologyAgardh plate 5 Icones Algarum

Hervey Plate 11 Sea MossesKohl 1903 plate b CyanophyceenzelleWoods plate 5 from Freshwater Algae

Featured Books on Algae (to find even more, go to our online catalog and put in keyword "algae" - you'll find some 300 volumes):

Agardh, C. A. Icones Algarum. (1820)

Algae and Man. Daniel F. Jackson, editor. (1964)

Algal Ecology. R. Jan Stevenson, et al, editors. (1996)

Biasoletto, B. Di Alcune Alghe Microscopische. (1832)

Forest, Herman Silva. Handbook of Algae. (1954)

Frauenfeld, Georg. Die Algen der Dalmatischen Küste. (1855)

Hervey, A. B. Sea Mosses. (1882)

Hoek, C. van den, D. G. Mann, and H. M. Jahns. Algae: An Introduction to Phycology. (1995)

Kohl, F. G. Ueber die Organisation und Physiologie der Cyanophyceenzelle. (1903)

Lee, Robert Edward. Phycology. 2nd edition. (1989)

Lobban, Christopher S., and Paul J. Harrison. Seaweed Ecology and Physiology. (1994)

Lüning, Klaus. Seaweeds. (1990)

Manual of Phycology. Gilbert M. Smith, editor. (1951)

Murray, George. Introduction to the Study of Seaweeds. (1895)

Phycological Memoirs. George Murray, editor. (1892-5)

Wood, Horatio C. History of the Fresh-Water Algae of North America. (1872)

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