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A little Greek goes a long way in entomology. For instance, the origin of the word "insect" can be traced back to a descriptive name coined by Aristotle. Because the abdomens of insects are segmented they appear to have a number of lines cut into them, like the notches cut into the top of a loaf of bread. Aristotle combined the prefix έν with the verb τέμνειν to get έντομο. Later the Romans constructed a similar word from their word "insecare" which means "to cut into."

At some point during my college days as an engineering student I encountered the book On Growth and Form by the Scottish biologist and polymath, D'Arcy Thompson. The illustrations of water droplets and jellyfish, the comparisons of the cells in honeycombs to the cells in the wing of a dragonfly, the application of mathematics to the morphology of the natural world profoundly changed the way I looked at the world. (The only other book that unleashed a similar reformatting of my perceptions was Chaos by James Gleick.)

Thus I was intrigued to learn that D'Arcy Thompson had translated Aristotle's History of Animals, the work that contains mention of insects and beetles. Here are a few of the relevant passages from Book IV: vII:

Publicado por scottking scottking, 08 de novembro de 2017, 11:45 PM

Observações

Fotos / Sons

Observador

scottking

Data

Novembro 8, 2017 03:47 PM CST

Descrição

Ground Beetle
St Olaf Natural Lands
Northfield, Minnesota
TL = 7.5mm

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