Wallace discovery trail launches at Museum today

01 July 2013

Retrace the steps of a great explorer with the Natural History Museum’s Wallace discovery trail that begins today.

Bill Bailey and the Wallace portrait he unveiled at the Museum

Bill Bailey, comedian and Wallace-enthusiast, and the Wallace portrait he unveiled at the Museum in January 2013.

The new free family friendly trail celebrates Alfred Russel Wallace's role as the co-discoverer of evolution by natural selection, with Charles Darwin.

The trail, which leads you through many fascinating areas of the Museum’s building, is part of the Wallace100 celebrations, a series of activities commemorating the centenary of Wallace’s death.

Wallace was a British naturalist and explorer who collected more than 100,000 specimens on several epic journeys and discovered over 5,000 new species to science.

'This trail explores Wallace’s extraordinary adventures in South America and southeast Asia, in his quest to understand how life on Earth evolved,' says Dr George Beccaloni, Museum curator and Wallace expert. 

Orang-utan

Wallace's largest specimen on show

'His travels were funded by the sale of animal specimens he collected, and a selection of some of the most spectacular of these will be on display. 

'Wallace achieved his goal and discovered the process of evolution by natural selection while in Indonesia in 1858, a scientific breakthrough that is considered to be one of the most important ever made by anyone. 

'Although Wallace was one of the most famous scientists of his era, he has largely been forgotten. This trail will help to remind people of his extraordinary life and many great achievements.’

The Wallace discovery trail runs from 1 July to 24 November 2013.

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Further information

  • Find out more about the Wallace discovery trail and Wallace100