This is a highly readable account of the author's tenure in Borneo, with chapters on mammals, bird-notes, crocodiles, turtles and tortoises, cockroaches, mantises, and stick insects, beetles, ants and plants. One chapter is dedicated to mimicry, a subject that truly fascinated him and was a rather controversial theme at that time. His great interest and passion in studying the order Orthoptera starting with Blattidae, then Phasmidae and the Mantidae is conveyed in an easy-to-read manner in a conscious effort to present scientific and detailed facts and observations for popular consumption. In the concluding part, there is an interesting notation at the end on a head-hunting incident during one of his expeditions. The long delay in publishing the author's work after his death is justified in this rare and insightful book by a man who lived his short life to the fullest and dedicated much of it to the study of natural history.
Originally published in 1916.
Prevented by a tubercular hip-joint from taking part in games and outdoor activities during his youth, Robert Shelford developed a strong interest in natural history. He went to Borneo as Curator of the Sarawak Museum in 1897 and for seven years immersed himself in the study of animals and observations in anthropology.