IN CONTEXT

KEY FIGURES

Charles Elton (1900–91), George Evelyn Hutchinson (1903–91)

BEFORE

Ninth century Arab writer Al-Jaziz introduces the concept of the food chain in Kitab al-Hayawan (Book of Animals), concluding that “every weak animal devours those weaker than itself”.

1917 American biologist Joseph Grinnell first describes an ecological niche in his paper, “The niche relationships of the California Thrasher.”

AFTER

1960 American ecologist and philosopher Garrett Hardin publishes an essay in the magazine Science in which he states that “every instance of apparent coexistence must be accounted for.”

1973 Australian ecologist Robert May ...

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