Reference Entry

Ferguson, William (1820–1887), surveyor and naturalist

Joel S. Schwartz

in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Published in print September 2004 |
Published online September 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780198614128 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/9329

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Ferguson, William (1820–1887), surveyor and naturalist, was born in late July 1820. Nothing is known of his early life or education. He arrived in Ceylon in December 1839 and entered the Ceylon civil service as a surveyor. A keen observer of nature, his position allowed him to explore many forms of plant and animal life on the island. Botany was his chief interest, but he also devoted attention to reptiles, amphibians, birds, and insects. He did not examine closely the anatomical structures of individual specimens, but he was extremely knowledgeable about their taxonomic history and sent his observations and material collected to other naturalists, notably ...

Reference Entry.  525 words. 

Subjects: World History ; Geodesy and Surveying for Maps and Charts ; Civil Engineering, Surveying, and Building ; Natural History

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