This Day In History: 1815-04-22


Wilhelm Peters (1815 – 1883) was born on this day.
He was a German naturalist, assistant to the anatomist Johannes Peter Müller, later curator of the Berlin Zoological Museum (1858). He travelled to Mozambique in 1842, exploring the coastal region and the Zambesi River, returning with an enormous collection of natural history specimens, which he then described in Naturwissenschaftliche Reise nach Mossambique… in den Jahren 1842 bis 1848 ausgeführt (Natural Science Expedition in Mozambique. Undertaken in the Years 1842 to 1848) (1852–82). A comprehensive work covering mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, river fish, insects in five volumes and botany in two.

Peters described around 122 genera and 649 species (not just Mozambican) and is honoured in the names of numerous taxa and in the names of species under petersi(i).