Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Belt, Thomas (England 1832-1878)
Thomas Belt, though his life was rather short, was
a well-known figure among the naturalists of his time. His early gold
mining activities and geological investigations (and subsequent publications
thereon) established him as an expert on mining operations by his early
thirties. Subsequent travels impressed upon him the importance of the
action of glaciers, and he soon became a vocal advocate of the notion
that continental glaciation might have caused the extinction of various
forms of Pleistocene animal life, including early man. In his greatest
work, The Naturalist in Nicaragua, he reported evidence for glacial
epochs having occurred in that country. This study, a leading masterpiece
of natural history narrative, also contains innovative views on climatological
phenomena and many observations on the habits and characteristics of tropical
animal life--for example, on their devices of protective coloration.
--born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, in 1832.
--1850: made member of the Natural History Society
--1852-1860: works as miner in the gold fields
in Australia; also makes geological observations
--1860: manages gold mines in Nova Scotia; after
being seriously injured returns to England
--1861: publishes his Mineral Veins: an
Enquiry into their Origin, Founded on a Study of the Auriferous Quartz
Veins of Australia
--1863-1865: superintendent, gold company
mines in Nova Scotia
--1867: publishes observations on rocks and
fossils of the Lingula Flags, Wales, in Geological Magazine
--1868-1872: superintendent, Chonteles
Gold mining company, Nicaragua
--1873-1876: makes several trips through Siberia
and the steppes of southern Russia
--1874: publishes his The
Naturalist in Nicaragua
--1878: travels to Colorado on business
--dies at Kansas City, on 21 September 1878.
--Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 5 (2004).
History Transactions of Northumberland, Durham, and Newcastle-on-Tyne,
Vol. 7 (1880): 235-240.
Monthly Chronicle of North-Country Lore and Legend, Vol. 2 (1888):
--Journal of Science, Ser. 3, Vol. 1 (1879): 143-144.
Copyright 2005 by Charles H. Smith. All rights
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