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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index D > Gerald Malcolm Durrell Quotes

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Gerald Malcolm Durrell
(7 Jan 1925 - 30 Jan 1995)

British conservationist whose life work was the preservation of endangered animal species. His popular book, My Family And Other Animals recalls his youth spent on the Greek Island of Corfu.


Science Quotes by Gerald Malcolm Durrell (8 quotes)

As a naturalist you will never suffer from that awful modern disease called boredom—so go out and greet the natural world with curiosity and delight, and enjoy it.
— Gerald Malcolm Durrell
In The Amateur Naturalist (1989), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Awful (8)  |  Boredom (9)  |  Curiosity (106)  |  Delight (66)  |  Disease (275)  |  Enjoy (39)  |  Greet (6)  |  Modern (162)  |  Natural World (25)  |  Naturalist (54)  |  Suffer (40)

I have known silence: the cold earthy silence at the bottom of a newly dug well; the implacable stony silence of a deep cave; the hot, drugged midday silence when everything is hypnotised and stilled into silence by the eye of the sun;… I have heard summer cicadas cry so that the sound seems stitched into your bones. I have heard tree frogs in an orchestration as complicated as Bach singing in a forest lit by a million emerald fireflies. I have heard the Keas calling over grey glaciers that groaned to themselves like old people as they inched their way to the sea. I have heard the hoarse street vendor cries of the mating Fur seals as they sang to their sleek golden wives, the crisp staccato admonishment of the Rattlesnake, the cobweb squeak of the Bat and the belling roar of the Red deer knee-deep in purple heather.
— Gerald Malcolm Durrell
Letter to Lee McGeorge (31 Jul 1978). Collected in Letters of Note: Volume 2: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence (2016), 76.
Science quotes on:  |  Bat (9)  |  Cave (15)  |  Cicada (3)  |  Cobweb (5)  |  Deer (7)  |  Firefly (7)  |  Forest (107)  |  Glacier (17)  |  Groan (5)  |  Know (556)  |  Midday (3)  |  Orchestration (2)  |  Rattlesnake (2)  |  Roar (5)  |  Sea (188)  |  Seal (12)  |  Silence (43)  |  Sing (25)  |  Squeak (2)  |  Staccato (2)  |  Sun (276)

I have seen a thousand sunsets and sunrises, on land where it floods forest and mountains with honey coloured light, at sea where it rises and sets like a blood orange in a multicoloured nest of cloud, slipping in and out of the vast ocean. I have seen a thousand moons: harvest moons like gold coins, winter moons as white as ice chips, new moons like baby swans’ feathers.
— Gerald Malcolm Durrell
Letter to Lee McGeorge (31 Jul 1978). Collected in Letters of Note: Volume 2: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence (2016), 76.
Science quotes on:  |  Baby (20)  |  Blood (104)  |  Chip (4)  |  Cloud (69)  |  Coin (12)  |  Color (99)  |  Feather (12)  |  Flood (36)  |  Forest (107)  |  Gold (68)  |  Honey (10)  |  Ice (33)  |  Land (115)  |  Light (347)  |  Moon (199)  |  Mountain (145)  |  Nest (17)  |  New (496)  |  Ocean (149)  |  Orange (11)  |  Rise (70)  |  Sea (188)  |  See (369)  |  Set (99)  |  Slip (5)  |  Sunrise (12)  |  Sunset (22)  |  Swan (3)  |  Thousand (152)  |  Vast (89)  |  White (56)  |  Winter (30)

In view of all the nests brimming over with eager mouths, it is a good thing that deciduous woodlands provide an incredible wealth of food for the birds that live there. There are … arthropods, snails and … the prodigious menu of nuts, seeds and juicy berries.
— Gerald Malcolm Durrell
In The Amateur Naturalist (1989), 126.
Science quotes on:  |  Berry (3)  |  Bird (120)  |  Food (154)  |  Insect (64)  |  Menu (3)  |  Nest (17)  |  Nut (5)  |  Prodigious (9)  |  Seed (63)  |  Snail (7)  |  Woodland (2)

Many people think that conservation is just about saving fluffy animals–what they don’t realise is that we’re trying to prevent the human race from committing suicide … We have declared war on the biological world, the world that supports us … At the moment the human race is in the position of a man sawing off the tree branch he is sitting on.
— Gerald Malcolm Durrell
As quoted in Douglass Botting, Gerald Durrell: The Authorized Biography (1999), 194.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (359)  |  Biological (35)  |  Branch (107)  |  Conservation (143)  |  Human Race (69)  |  Prevent (40)  |  Realize (90)  |  Save (56)  |  Sawing (2)  |  Sit (47)  |  Suicide (18)  |  Support (78)  |  Tree (171)  |  War (161)  |  World (898)

Right in the Hart of the Africn Jungel a small wite man lives. Now there is one xtrordenry fackt about him that he is the frind of all animals.
— Gerald Malcolm Durrell
At age 10 (1935). As quoted in Douglass Botting, Gerald Durrell: The Authorized Biography (1999), 43.
Science quotes on:  |  Africa (19)  |  Animal (359)  |  Friend (86)  |  Jungle (14)

Through the naturalist’s eyes, a sparrow can be as interesting as a bird of paradise, the behaviour of a mouse as interesting as that of a tiger, and a humble lizard as fascinating as a crocodile. … Our planet is beautifully intricate, brimming over with enigmas to be solved and riddles to be unravelled.
— Gerald Malcolm Durrell
In The Amateur Naturalist (1989), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Beautiful (144)  |  Behavior (60)  |  Bird Of Paradise (2)  |  Crocodile (9)  |  Enigma (10)  |  Fascinating (22)  |  Interest (237)  |  Intricate (21)  |  Lizard (6)  |  Mouse (26)  |  Naturalist (54)  |  Planet (263)  |  Riddle (22)  |  Solve (78)  |  Sparrow (6)  |  Tiger (7)  |  Unravel (5)

Until we consider animal life to be worthy of the consideration and reverence we bestow upon old books and pictures and historic monuments, there will always be the animal refugee living a precarious life on the edge of extermination, dependent for existence on the charity of a few human beings.
— Gerald Malcolm Durrell
In Encounters With Animals (1970), 105.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (359)  |  Book (257)  |  Charity (9)  |  Consideration (85)  |  Dependence (37)  |  Edge (23)  |  Existence (299)  |  Extermination (11)  |  Human (550)  |  Life (1131)  |  Monument (26)  |  Picture (77)  |  Precarious (5)  |  Reverence (28)


See also:

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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