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Darwin's Man in BrazilThe Evolving Science of Fritz Müller$
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David A. West

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062600

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062600.001.0001

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Darwin’s Variation, Insects, and a Traveling Naturalist, 1868–1876

Darwin’s Variation, Insects, and a Traveling Naturalist, 1868–1876

Chapter:
(p.120) 6 Darwin’s Variation, Insects, and a Traveling Naturalist, 1868–1876
Source:
Darwin's Man in Brazil
Author(s):

David A. West

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813062600.003.0007

This chapter deals with diverse natural historical projects Müller pursued between 1868 and1876. He investigated numerous plants (including their means of pollen and seed dispersal) and animals (including leaf-cutter ants, armadillos, stingless bees, caddis flies, crabs, and termites). His correspondence and publications cover several Darwinian themes, including intraspecific variation, the importance of outcrossing, effects of inbreeding, systems of sexuality (e.g., alternation of sexual and asexual generations), coadaptations in complex interspecific mutualisms (such as, ant–acacia symbioses), and the importance for phylogeny (e.g., among wasps, bumblebees, stingless bees, and hive bees) of utilizing comparative studies, not only of morphologies but also of the development patterns, behaviors, and social systems of the organisms under investigation. Chapter 6 also reports on several family crises, the significant burdens of Müller’s external obligations, difficulties with the Brazilian bureaucracy, and his appointment as a traveling naturalist of the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro, a position offered in 1874, but delayed until 1876.

Keywords:   variation, coadaptation, outcrossing, inbreeding, mutualism, symbioses, phylogeny, alternation of generations, Brazilian bureaucracy, naturalist

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