Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hybrids or Distinct Species?

Christopher Taylor’s interesting review and commentary on Errol Fuller’s The lost birds of paradise (1995) ponders the difficulty of determining with certainty the taxonomic status of forms known from very few specimens.

As an aside, he offers this observation:
a major factor in the decline of popularity of plumes [in the U.S. fashion industry] was actually the rise in popularity of the motor-car - ornate plumed hats being decidedly impractical for wearing in open-topped cars.
Whether this is speculation on Taylor's part or is attributable to Fuller, I don't know, but I found it interesting as I don't believe I have ever before seen a claim made for this association. But it does seem to make logical sense.


Blogger Christopher Taylor said...

To be honest, I can't recall where I came across the claim - it wasn't Fuller, but some other popular science book I read some time ago. The timing is about right, at least, which was why I was willing to give it credit. And I find it very easy to believe that a law banning people from doing something would only pass once no-one really wanted to do it any more anyway.

February 21, 2008 6:20 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

Interesting point of view.

March 07, 2008 11:08 PM  

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