This Day in History: 1825-02-08
Henry Walter Bates was born on this day. He was an English naturalist who spent 11 years in the Amazon exploring and collecting natural history specimens. He started the expedition in the company of Wallace (who returned home after 4 years) and eventually amassed a collection of 14,712 species, 8,000 of which were new to science, although aquatic species were poorly represented amounting to 120 fish and 35 mollusks. The fish were passed to Gunther at the Natural History Museum for description and Lycengraulis batesii, Bates’ sabretooth anchovy was likely named in Bates’ honour.
He is known for originating the theory of Batesian mimicry, a form of mimicry in which an edible species is protected by its resemblance to one which is avoided by predators.