In the midst of World War II, Hitler fought a very personal fight: the battle for the shrew mouse. The biologists, who have dared to give another name to the mistakenly called „mouse“ were sent to the eastern front. Contrary to taxonomy‘s elaborate classification
the choice of name is subject to the discoverer‘s decision. This is why most names os species are accordingly artful or controversial. How is that compatible with science‘s demand for accuracy? This book is a vivid journey through natural history, museums and the wild, taking the reader along into a peculiar and fascinating world, which has evolved from folksy trivial names to Linné‘s systematisation.
Michael Ohl tells the stories of reckless adventurers and hoarding nerds. He also explains why the groundhog is everything but a pig and why the „diva of horse flies“ with its golden backside goes by the name of Beyoncé.
United States, United Kingdom, China
Complete English translation available
Complete German original text available
Michael Ohl, born 1964, is a biologist at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (Natural History Museum of Berlin) and an associate professor at the Humboldt University in Berlin.