David Frederick Attenborough
8 May 1926
|Alma mater||University of Cambridge (BA)|
|Title||Controller of BBC2 (1965-1969)|
President of the Royal Society for Nature Conservation (1991–1996)
Jane Elizabeth Ebsworth Oriel
(m. 1950; d. 1997)
Attenborough was born in London and grew up in Leicester. He is one of the most famous naturalists in the world. He presents many programs about nature, talking about the lives of animals and has stopped millions of people polluting our oceans. He has won many prestigious award and honorable mentions. In 1980 he won the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award, a lifetime achievement award. He is a younger brother of director, producer and actor Richard Attenborough.
In 2022, the United Nations Environment Programme honored him as a Champion of the Earth "for his dedication to research, documentation, and advocacy for the protection of nature and its restoration".
Filmography[change | change source]
- Life on Earth (1979)
- The Living Planet (1984)
- The Trials of Life (1990)
- Life in the Freezer (1993)
- The Private Life of Plants (1995)
- The Life of Birds (1998)
- The Life of Mammals (2002)
- Life in the Undergrowth (2005)
- Life in Cold Blood (2008)
- David Attenborough's Life Stories (2009)
- David Attenborough's New Life Stories (2011)
- Drawn From Paradise: The Discovery, Art and Natural History of the Birds of Paradise (2012) - with Errol Fuller
- Planet Earth II (2016)
Species named in Attenborough's honour[change | change source]
At least fifteen species and genera, both living and extinct, have been named in Attenborough's honour.
Plants[change | change source]
Plants named after him include
- an alpine hawkweed (Hieracium attenboroughianum) discovered in the Brecon Beacons,
- a species of Ecuadorian flowering tree (Blakea attenboroughi),
- one of the world's largest-pitchered carnivorous plants (Nepenthes attenboroughii),
- a genus of flowering plants (Sirdavidia).
Arthropods[change | change source]
Arthropods named after Attenborough include
- a butterfly, Attenborough's black-eyed satyr (Euptychia attenboroughi),
- a dragonfly, Attenborough's pintail, (Acisoma attenboroughi),
- the millimetre-long goblin spider Prethopalpus attenboroughi,
- an Indonesian flightless weevil (Trigonopterus attenboroughi), and
- a Madagascan ghost shrimp (Ctenocheloides attenboroughi).
Living vertebrates[change | change source]
Vertebrates have also been named after Attenborough, including the
- Namibian lizard Platysaurus attenboroughi.
- the bird Polioptila attenboroughi.
- the Peruvian frog Pristimantis attenboroughi and
- one of only four species of long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus attenboroughi).
Fossils[change | change source]
- In 1993 it was found that the Mesozoic reptile Plesiosaurus conybeari was not a species of Plesiosaurus. The palaeontologist Robert Bakker renamed the species Attenborosaurus conybeari.
- A fossilised armoured fish discovered in Western Australia in 2008 was given the name Materpiscis attenboroughi, after Attenborough had filmed at the site and highlighted its scientific importance in Life on Earth. The Materpiscis fossil is believed to be the earliest organism capable of internal fertilisation.
- A miniature marsupial lion, Microleo attenboroughi, was named in his honour in 2016.
- The fossil grasshopper Electrotettix attenboroughi was named after Attenborough.
- In March 2017, A 430 million year old tiny crustacean was named after him.
Views on population[change | change source]
In 2012 Attenborough was quoted as saying that the planet has always and will always look after itself but:
what worries him most about the future of the natural world is that people are out of touch with it ... over half the world is urbanised; some people don't see any real thing except a rat or a pigeon ... ecosystems are incredibly complex and you fiddle with them at your peril".
When David Attenborough began his career, in 1950, Earth's human population was measured at just 2.5 billion people ... in 2012 he said:
“We cannot continue to deny the problem. People have pushed aside the question of population sustainability and not considered it because it is too awkward, embarrassing and difficult. But we have to talk about it″.
In January 2013, while being interviewed by Radio Times, he said:
“We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now”.
In a Daily Telegraph interview in September 2013 he said:
"What are all these famines in Ethiopia? What are they about?" / "They're about too many people for too little land. That's what it's about. And we are blinding ourselves. We say, get the United Nations to send them bags of flour. That's barmy".
References[change | change source]
- "Ethiopia's Prof. Sebsebe Demissew awarded prestigious Kew International Medal". Kew.org. Archived from the original on 17 May 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
- Anon (2015). Attenborough, Sir David (Frederick). ukwhoswho.com. Who's Who (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.5973. (subscription required)
- "Sir David Attenborough (English broadcaster and author)". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- "David Attenborough Biography". Bio/A&E Television Network, LLC. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
- "Biography: Sir David Attenborough". BBC. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
- "Sir David Attenborough: Bafta TV awards 2014". The Guardian. 3 December 2017.
- "Television—Fellowship in 1980". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
- "Sir David Attenborough: BAFTA Awards". Awards.bafta.org. BAFTA. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
- "Natural History with Sir David Attenborough". BAFTA. 3 April 2018. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
- "Sir David Attenborough named Champion of the Earth by UN". BBC News. 20 April 2022. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
- Dijkstra, Klaas-Douwe B. (2016). "Natural history: Restore our sense of species". Nature. 533 (7602): 172–174. doi:10.1038/533172a. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 27172032. S2CID 4456168.
- BSBI (24 December 2014). "Hawkweed named for Sir David Attenborough"., T.C.G. Rich (December 2014). "Hieracium attenboroughianum (Asteraceae), a new species of hawkweed". New Journal of Botany. Maney. 4 (3): 172–178. doi:10.1179/2042349714Y.0000000051. S2CID 84969327.
- Couvreur, Thomas L.P.; Niangadouma, Raoul; Sonké, Bonaventure; Sauquet, Hervé (4 February 2015). "Sirdavidia, an extraordinary new genus of Annonaceae from Gabon". PhytoKeys. 46: 1–19. doi:10.3897/phytokeys.46.8937. ISSN 1314-2003. PMC 4391954. PMID 25878546.
- "Rare Amazonian butterfly named after Sir David Attenborough". BBC Earth. 3 December 2015. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
- "Attenborough at 90". Sir David Attenborough. 8 May 2016. BBC Television. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
- Bawden, Tom (22 December 2014). "Following a plant and a spider, Sir David Attenborough now has a beetle named after him". The Independent. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
- Osborne, Hannah (22 December 2014). "'David Attenborough' one of 98 new beetle species discovered in Indonesia". International Business Times. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
- Collins, Adrian (23 December 2014). "David Attenborough is getting a beetle named after him". entertainment.ie. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
- Laskow, Sarah 2016. All the creatures named after David Attenborough. Slate. Archived from the original on 12 January 2016. The Slate Group logo
- Lehr, Edgar; von May, Rudolf (2017). "A new species of terrestrial-breeding frog (Amphibia, Craugastoridae, Pristimantis) from high elevations of the Pui Pui Protected Forest in central Peru". ZooKeys (660): 17–42. doi:10.3897/zookeys.660.11394. PMC 5549528. PMID 28794672.
- "Species named after Sir David Attenborough – in pictures". The Guardian. 31 July 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
- "Plesiosauria Translation and Pronunciation Guide". Dinosauria.com. Archived from the original on 1 October 2009. Retrieved 4 November 2009.
- "Oldest Live-Birth Fossil Found; Fish Had Umbilical Cord". National Geographic News. 28 May 2008.
- Gough, Myles (25 August 2016). "Kitten-sized extinct 'lion' named after David Attenborough". BBC News. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
- Gillespie, Anna K.; Archer, Michael; Hand, Suzanne J. (2016). "A tiny new marsupial lion (Marsupialia, Thylacoleonidae) from the early Miocene of Australia" (PDF). Palaeontologia Electronica. Palaeontological Association. 19 (2.26A): 1–26. doi:10.26879/632. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
- "Fossil named after Sir David Attenborough". BBC News. 22 March 2017.
- Wheatley, Jane (28 July 2012). "The Life of Attenborough – a rare glimpse into the private world of Sir David". Good Weekend in the Sydney Morning Herald: 12–15.
- "Sir David Attenborough: 'This awful summer? We've only ourselves to blame...'". independent.co.uk. The Independent, UK broadsheet newspaper.
- "David Attenborough: "Humans are a plague on the Earth"". www.radiotimes.com. Radio Times, a British weekly television and radio programme listings magazine. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- Gray, Louise (22 January 2013). "David Attenborough – Humans are plague on Earth". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 8 October 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- "David Attenborough says sending food to famine-ridden countries is 'barmy'". www.independent.co.uk. The Independent, newsgroup.
- "David Attenborough: trying to tackle famine with bags of flour is 'barmy'". www.theguardian.com. The Guardian, newsgroup. 18 September 2013.