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Wikispecies

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It covers Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Bacteria, Archaea, Protista and all other forms of life.

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Distinguished author

Bonaparte Charles Luciene Jules Laurent.jpg

Charles Lucien Bonaparte
May 24, 1803 – July 29, 1857. Author abbreviation: Bonaparte

Charles Lucien ("Carlo Luciano") Bonaparte was French zoologist specialized in ornithology and ichthyology. He also studied amphibians and reptiles and is the author of Ursini's viper, Vipera ursinii. Bonaparte was the son of Lucien Bonaparte and Alexandrine de Bleschamp, and a nephew of Emperor Napoleon. Born in Paris, he was raised in Italy. After getting married to Zénaïde Bonaparte, he and his wife left for Philadelphia in the United States to live with Joseph Bonaparte, father of Zénaïde. Before leaving Italy, Charles had already discovered a warbler new to science, the moustached warbler (Acrocephalus melanopogon), and on the voyage he collected specimens of a new storm-petrel, Oceanites oceanicus. On arrival in the United States he presented a paper on this new bird, which was later named Wilson's storm petrel (after Alexander Wilson).

At the end of 1826, Bonaparte and his family returned to Europe. He visited Germany, where he met Philipp Jakob Cretzschmar, and England, where he met John Edward Gray at the British Museum, and renewed his acquaintance with John James Audubon. In 1828, the family settled in Rome. In Italy, he was the originator of several scientific congresses, and lectured and wrote extensively on American and European ornithology and other branches of natural history. Between 1832 and 1841, Bonaparte published his work on the animals of Italy, Iconografia della Fauna Italica. He had also published Specchio Comparativo delle Ornithologie di Roma e di Filadelfia (Pisa, 1827), presenting a comparison between birds of the latitude of Philadelphia and Italian species. He created the genus Zenaida, after his wife, for the mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) and its relatives. He was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1845.

In 1850, Bonaparte and his family of wife and twelve children moved to France, and he made Paris his home for the rest of his life. In 1854, he became director of the Jardin des Plantes. In 1855, he was made a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He published the first volume of his Conspectus Generum Avium before his death, the second volume being edited by Hermann Schlegel. Lucien Charles Bonaparte died in Paris at the age of 54.

See also: List of 53 taxa authored by Charles Lucien BonaparteDistinguished authors of previous months

Species of the month

Marbled polecat

Vormela peregusna

Vormela peregusna

Some facts about this mammal:

Body length: 27–38 cm.

Tail length: 12–22 cm.

Weight: 260–520 grams.

Habitat: Dry open spaces; sometimes found in bushes and forest edges of semi-arid areas.

Distribution: From southeast Europe to Russia and China.

Diet: Chiefly feeds on rodents, occasionally on small birds, lizards, fish, frogs, snails, and insects.

Surviving number: Unknown.

Conservation status: Vulnerable (IUCN 3.1)

First described: By the German naturalist and explorer Johann Anton Güldenstädt in 1770, originally named as Mustela peregusna.


Vormela peregusna wears a very special perfume: when it is threatened, it throws its head back, displays its coloring and emits a noxious defensive odor. If all this doesn't have the desired effect, it just drops down and plays dead. This elusive hunter employs offensive strategies as well, such as approaching and attacking from the side. By using such techniques, it can overcome pray larger than itself during its forays at dusk, dawn, and throughout the night. The marbled polecat has nevertheless more trouble than it can handle in one realm: its steppe habitat is shrinking in Europe and Asia making this species status vulnerable.

See also: Species of previous months

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