At the end of last year in 2011 (boy it’s weird saying last year on the Jan 1st), I was organising a PhD and my potential supervisor gave me a tour of Museum Victoria’s collection. He showed me a few gems he’d come across, one of which was a collection of pigeons. Below is a picture of the biggest one there, which turned out to be a Green Imperial Pigeon, Ducula aenae.
Anyway, no big deal I thought. At least not until I looked at the tag on its foot and saw who had collected it originally in the 1850s, and who had had it in his collection prior to donating it to the museum. None other than Alfred Wallace, Darwin’s biggest competitor at the time!! Not only that, it had been in John Gould‘s personal collection!