Tuesday, February 04, 2014

QotD: Nature's fondness for dabbling in the erratic was most notably exhibited in that curious combination of bird, fish, amphibian, burrower, crawler, quadruped ... called the Ornithorhynchus

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"Speaking of the indigenous coneys and bactrian camels, the naturalist said that the coniferous and bacteriological output of Australasia was remarkable for its many and curious departures from the accepted laws governing these species of tubercles, but that in his opinion Nature's fondness for dabbling in the erratic was most notably exhibited in that curious combination of bird, fish, amphibian, burrower, crawler, quadruped, and Christian called the Ornithorhynchus—grotesquest of animals, king of the animalculae of the world for versatility of character and make-up." Mark Twain, Following the Equator (1897)


This image is from the library at the Melbourne Museum. The museum hosted the start of the Global BHL meeting with "BHL Day" that included an open house for the visiting librarians.


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