This is the story of the adventurers who risked death to discover strange life forms in the farthest corners of Earth. Beginning with Linnaeus, a colourful band of explorers made it their mission to travel and bring back astonishing new life forms. The author, an acclaimed science writer, brings these daredevil species seekers to life. Alongside their globe-spanning tales of adventure, he recounts some of the most dramatic shifts in the history of human thought.
Richard Conniff is an award-winning magazine writer, a frequent commentator on NPR and a guest columnist for The New York Times.
"A marvelous tribute to the age of wonder."
– Bernd Heinrich, author of The Nesting Season
"[Conniff's] enthusiasm for his subject and admiration of these explorers is infectious [...] an entertaining survey."
– Kirkus Reviews
"[This] history of the 'great age of discovery' is spellbinding."
– Publishers Weekly
"An anecdotal romp through the strange history of naturalism. Absurd characters, exciting discoveries, and fierce rivalries abound."
– Outside Magazine
"An enduring story bursting at the seams with intriguing, fantastical and disturbing anecdotes."
– New Scientist
"[Conniff] chronicles two centuries of adventure, and at the same time illustrates important developments in human thought."
– Christian Science Monitor
"A swashbuckling romp [...] brilliantly evokes that just-before Darwin era."
– BBC Focus
"Modern biology and medicine would not be what they are today if not for the death-defying naturalists who set out to travel the world and find new species. In The Species Seekers, Richard Conniff creates a marvelous rogues' gallery of these brave, sometimes reckless heroes of taxonomy, full of surprising tales of gorillas, platypuses, and disease-laden mosquitoes."
– Carl Zimmer, author of Parasite Rex