A passing visit to the American biologist, E. O. Wilson
Edward Osborne Wilson was born in June 1929 thus making him, at this time of writing, just into his 82 year. His biological specialty is myrmecology. Got that? Myrmecology. And if you, like me, didn’t have a clue as to what myrmecology is and had to look it up, it is the study of ants. Blow me down, there is even a myrmecology blogsite!
So where is this all heading?
One of the things that we do know about dogs, especially if we go way back into the dim and distant times when they behaved more like the grey wolf, from which the species ‘dog’ genetically originates 100,000 years ago, is that their social order, their pack behaviour, was highly stable. As an aside, when Jean was rescuing dogs in San Carlos, Mexico during the years that she lived there with her late husband she readily observed that the stray dogs, of which there were too many, had a natural propensity to group up into their historic pack formations. (And as an aside to my aside, Jean’s close friend of many years, Dan’s sister Suzann, today carries on the splendid work of looking after stray dogs from her San Carlos house!)
OK, back to the plot!
E O Wilson’s study of ants has revealed much about social order and organisation. The following YouTube video was from a PBS programme, aired in May, 2008, from which I quote (that is the PBS website),
At age 78, E.O. Wilson is still going through his “little savage” phase of boyhood exploration of the natural world. In “Lord of the Ants,” NOVA profiles this soft-spoken Southerner and Harvard professor, who is an acclaimed advocate for ants, biological diversity, and the controversial extension of Darwinian ideas to human society.
Actor and environmentalist Harrison Ford narrates this engaging portrait of a ceaselessly active scientist and eloquent writer, who has accumulated two Pulitzer Prizes among his many other honors. Says fellow naturalist David Attenborough: “He will go down as the man who opened the eyes of millions ’round the world to the glories, the values, the importance of—to use his term—biodiversity.”
It’s a fascinating film, truly engaging, so do settle down for a relaxing 53 minutes and watch,
Now there’s more to this and I do want to continue with the theme of this Post tomorrow.
So for now, look in on the E O Wilson Biodiversity Foundation’s website and I’ll see you tomorrow.