Bird: Lydekker Richard, Sky Lark, chromolithograph, 1896
Lydekker Richard, chromolithograph, 1896
Artist: Lydekker Richard
Paper Size: 180 x 120mm
Condition: very good
Description: Series of small chromolythographs
Provenance: Published by Lydekker for Lloyd's Natural History series on mammals of the world
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. He was 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. It follows the edge of the Sahul Shelf, an area from New Guinea to Australia of shallow water with the Aru Islands on its edge. Along with Wallace's Line and Huxley's Line it indicates the definite effect of geology on the biogeography of the region, something not seen so clearly in other parts of the world.