Monthly Archive: December Cath
Allan John Baker (1943 - 2014) was hired by the ROM as Assistant Curator of Ornithology in 1972. He became Associate Curator and Head of the Ornithology Department in 1976, and was promoted to full Curator in 1981. In 1995, he became head of the ROM’s newly established Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, and subsequently became head of the Department of Natural History in 2004.
In 1861, American Physician and Naturalist James Graham Cooper described a new species of tortoise from the deserts of California, and a 150-year mystery began. He named this new discovery Agassiz’s Land Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), but the name was changed some years later to Desert Tortoise. Fast forward 140 years later to a review that was published in 2002 on the conservation of the Desert Tortoise and the status of existing populations. It summarized evidence that Gopherus agassizii was not a single species, but was actually two to four species.