July 25, 1849|
|Died||April 16, 1915
|Institutions||Trinity College, Cambridge
Natural History Museum
|Notable awards||Lyell Medal (1902)|
Richard Lydekker was born at Tavistock Square in London. His father was Gerard Wolfe Lydekker, a barrister-at-law with Dutch ancestry. The family moved to Harpenden Lodge soon after Richard's birth. and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took a first-class in the Natural Science tripos (1872). In 1874 he joined the Geological Survey of India and made studies of the vertebrate palaeontology of northern India (especially Kashmir). He remained in this post until the death of his father in 1881. His main work in India was on the Siwalik palaeofauna; it was published in Palaeontologia Indica. He was responsible for the cataloguing of the fossil mammals, reptiles and birds in the Natural History Museum (10 vols., 1891).
He was influential in the science of biogeography. In 1895 he delineated the biogeographical boundary through Indonesia, known as Lydekker's Line, that separates Wallacea on the west from Australia-New Guinea on the east.
Lydekker attracted amused public attention with a pair of letters to The Times in 1913, when he wrote on 6 February that he had heard a cuckoo, contrary to Yarrell's History of British Birds which doubted the bird arrived before April. Six days later on 12 February 1913, he wrote again, confessing that "the note was uttered by a bricklayer's labourer". Letters about the first cuckoo became a tradition in the newspaper.
- A Manual of Palaeontology (with Henry Alleyne Nicholson, 2 vols., 1889)
- Phases of Animal Life (1892)
- The Royal Natural History (with W. H. Flower, 12 vols., 1894-6)
- The Wild Animals of India, Burma, Malaya, and Tibet (1900)
- The living races of mankind: a popular illustrated account of the customs, habits, pursuits, feasts and ceremonies of the races of mankind throughout the world By Henry Neville Hutchinson, John Walter Gregory, Richard Lydekker (1902) D. Appleton.
- The Game Animals of Africa (1908)
- The Living Races of Mankind By Richard Lydekker, Henry Neville Hutchinson, John Walter Gregory (1985) Mittal Publications Volume 2
- A number of articles in the Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911
- "Lydekker, Richard". Who's Who, 59: p. 1096. 1907.
- "Obituary". Ibis 57 (3): 617–620. 1915. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.1915.tb08208.x.
- "Lydekker, Richard (LDKR867R)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "Lydekker, Richard". Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York.
- Gregory, Kenneth (1976). First Cuckoo: Letters to "The Times", 1900-75. Allen & Unwin.
- "The Geological Society of London" The Times (London). Monday, 24 February 1902. (36699), p. 6.
- "The Royal Natural History". Archive.org. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
- Media related to Richard Lydekker at Wikimedia Commons
- Partial bibliography at DinoData
- Lydekkers publications about rhinos
- map of Wallace's, Weber's and Lydekker's lines
- BDH Online versions of some Richard Lydekker publications.
- Harpenden History: The Lydekkers of Harpenden Lodge — 1853-1979