Patrick Russell (1727–1805), surgeon and polymath naturalist

Das, I. (2015) Patrick Russell (1727–1805), surgeon and polymath naturalist. Hamadryad, 37 (1 & 2). pp. 1-11. ISSN 0972-205X

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The life and times of Patrick Russell (1727–1805), a Scottish medical practitioner and natural historian from Edinburgh, are traced, with emphasis on his work in the Ottoman town of Aleppo (currently, Halab, in north-western Syria), with that of his halfbrother, Alexander Russell (1715–1768), and along the Coromandel Coast (in eastern India). Russell is best known amongst zoologists for the discovery of his namesake, the venomous serpent referred to as Russell’s Viper, Daboia russelii. His two folio volumes, centred around his time in the Coromandel coast of south-eastern India, was lavish in its illustrations of Indian snakes, and executed by an unknown Indian artist. Vernacular, rather than English or scientific names were used in this compendium, arguably the first text exclusively on a herpetological topic published on the Indian fauna. Apart from snakes commonly occurring in the south-eastern India, the work also describes a few species sent to Russell by colleagues from other parts of Asia. He also experimented on the venom of the local snakes, and documented their effects on dogs, rabbits and chickens,these being the first attempts to classify the venomous snakes from the harmless ones in the country.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Patrick Russell, Alexander Russell, biography, medicine, herpetology, natural history, Aleppo, Syria, Coromandel Coast, India, unimas, university, universiti, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, Kuching, Samarahan, ipta, education, research, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation
Faculties, Institutes, Centres > Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation
Depositing User: Karen Kornalius
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2016 00:29
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2016 00:29

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