S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Beddard, Dr Frank Evers (zoology)

Born: 19 June 1858, Dudley, Worcestershire, United Kingdom.
Died: 14 July 1925, London, United Kingdom.

Frank Evers Beddard, English zoologist, was educated at Harrow, one of the great schools of England, and subsequently studied at New College, University of Oxford. He qualified as Master of Arts (MA) and later Doctor of Science (DSc) and in 1892 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. During 1882-1884 he acted as naturalist to the Challenger Expedition Commission and reported on the Isopoda collected by the expedition in the Report on the scientific results of the voyage of HMS Challenger during the years 1873-76 (Edinburgh, 1880-1895). From 1884 to 1915 he was prosector of the Zoological Society of London. He was also at various times a lecturer in biology at Guy's Hospital, London, an examiner in zoology and comparative anatomy at the University of London, and a lecturer in morphology at the University of Oxford.

Beddard produced many publications on a variety of topics in zoology. His papers on amphibians and reptiles, most of them published in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society, were subsequently re-issued in a volume of Collected papers on Amphibia and Reptilia, 1886-1911. Other papers dealt with the anatomy of birds and mammals. He became the leading authority on the Phylum Annelida (segmented worms) and in 1916 won the Linnean medal for his book on the Order Oligochaeta, Earthworms and their allies (Cambridge, 1912). Other books by him were Animal coloration (1892), Structure and classification of birds (1892), A textbook of zoogeography (1895), A book of whales (1900), and Mammalia (1902).

Beddard's first contribution to South African science was his description of "A gigantic earthworm" in the Cape Times of 29 May 1884. Later he described it more fully in his paper "On the anatomy and systematic position of a gigantic earthworm (Microchaeta rappi) from the Cape Colony" (Transactions of the Zoological Society of London, 1886). Only two species of earthworms from South Africa were known at this time.

His second contribution consisted of a study and description of the sperm whale foetus. The results were published in two papers, "Contributions to the knowledge of the anatomy of the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) based upon the examination of a young foetus" and "Further contributions to the anatomy of the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) based upon an examination of two additional foetus", both in the Annals of the Durban Museum (1914-1917, Vol. 1, pp. 107-124 and 1919, Vol. 2, pp. 129-148).

List of sources:

Annals of the Durban Museum, 1914-1919, Vol. 1-2, papers by F.E. Beddard.

National Union Catalogue, pre-1956 imprints. London: Mansell, 1968-1980.

Plisko, J.D. A new family Tritogeniidae for the genera Tritogenia and Michalacus, earlier accredited to the composite Microchaetidae (Annelida: Oligochaeta). African Invertebrates, 2013, Vol. 54(1), pp. 69-92.

Who was who, Vol. 2, 4th ed. London: Adam & Black, 1967.

Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, at http://en.wikipedia.org

Compiled by: C. Plug