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Maurice Burton (28 March 1898 - 9 September 1992) was a British zoologist and popular science author, who produced many natural history encyclopedias and books including a skeptical treatment of the Loch Ness Monster.

Life

Burton was born in London on 28 March 1898, married Margaret Maclean (d 1990) in 1929 (2 sons and a daughter) and died in Albury, Surrey on 9 September 1992.[1] He was Curator of Sponges at the British Museum of Natural History from 1927 to 1948, and Deputy Keeper of Zoology in the same institution from 1949 to 1958.[1] His popular science writing included major work on Encyclopedias, and acting as Science Editor for the Illustrated London News and Nature Correspondent for the Daily Telegraph.[1] In 1961 he published a book "The Elusive Monster" reviewing the evidence for the Loch Ness Monster in the light of his professional knowledge and concluding that it was unlikely that such creatures were living in Loch Ness.[2] He also commented further on this topic in the "New Scientist".[3] Many of Burton's books were aimed at a juvenile audience. Some of his later books or revised editions were published with his son, Robert Burton (1946-) also trained as a zoologist and who published many natural history books himself. Robert also took over his father's Nature Notes column in the Daily Telegraph.[4] His daughter Jane Burton (1933-2007) illustrated many of the books and pursued a career as a wildlife photographer.

Publications

  • Dendy, A., & Burton, M. (1938) Outlines of Evolutionary Biology (Constable)
  • Burton, M. (1953) Animal Courtship (Hutchinson)
  • Burton, M. (1956) Infancy in Animals (Hutchinson)
  • Burton, M. (1957) Animal Legends (Coward-McCann)
  • Burton, M. (1959) Curiosities of Animal Life (Ward Lock)
  • Burton, M. (1959) The Phoenix Reborn (Hutchinson)
  • Burton, M. (1961) The Elusive Monster - An analysis of the evidence from Loch Ness (Hart-Davies)
  • Burton, M. (1962) Systematic dictionary of mammals of the world (Museum Press)
  • Burton, M. (1965) Young Animals (Hamlyn)
  • Burton, M. (1968) Animals, Vol 3 of the Frank Watts Reference Library (Frank Watts)
  • Burton, M. (1968) University Dictionary of Mammals of the World (Crowell)
  • Burton, M. (1969) Animal World in Colour (12 volumes) (Children's Press)
  • Burton, M. (1971) Animal Oddities: The Strangest Living Creatures (Odhams) ISBN 0600787044
  • Burton, M. (1972) Encyclopedia of Animals in Colour (Octopus) ISBN 0706401697
  • Burton, M. (1973) The Sea's Inhabitants (Eric Thomas)
  • Burton, M. (1973) The Sixth Sense of Animals (Taplinger) ISBN 0800872320
  • Burton, M. (1974) All-Colour Book of Baby Animals (Octopus)
  • Burton, M. (1974) Prehistoric Animals (F. Muller) ISBN 0584620462
  • Burton, M., & Burton, R. (1974) The Life of Reptiles and Amphibians (Octopus) ISBN 0356045048
  • Burton, M., & Burton, R. (1975) Encyclopedia of Insects and Arachnids (Octopus) ISBN 0706404327
  • Burton, M., Van Assen, R., & Barnard, C. J. (1976) Guide to the Mammals of Britain and Europe (Elsevier)
  • Burton, M., & Burton, R. (1976) Encyclopedia of the Animal Kingdom (Octopus) ISBN 0706404564
  • Burton, M., & Burton, R. (1979) The Animal World: an encyclopaedia of animal behaviour (Macmillan)
  • Burton, M. (1979) A Zoo at Home (J.M. Dent) ISBN 0460043838
  • Burton, M., & Burton, R. (1980) The New Funk & Wagnall's Illustrated Wildlife Encyclopedia (Funk & Wagnall)
  • Burton, M., & Burton, R. (1980) The New International Wildlife Encyclopedia (Purnell)
  • Burton, M. (1990) The Life of Fishes (Simon & Schuster) ISBN 075000052X
  • Burton, M., & Burton, Robert (1994) The Marshall Cavendish International Wildlife Encyclopedia

References

  1. ^ a b c The Independent 23 September 1992 Obituary: Maurice Burton
  2. ^ Burton, M. (1961) The Elusive Monster - An analysis of the evidence from Loch Ness (Hart-Davies)
  3. ^ Burton, Maurice (1982) The Loch Ness Saga New Scientist 06-24: p872. 07-01: pp41–42 07-08: pp112–113
  4. ^ dk.com authors Robert Burton
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