[UCP Books]: The Lost Species: Great Expeditions in the Collections of Natural History Museums by Christopher Kemp

A story of science and discovery—right under our noses


The natural history museums of the world are full of surprises—undescribed species, from flying foxes to king crabs—sitting on their shelves waiting for someone to notice. Kemp vividly brings to life the stories of these specimens and the people who collect and describe them. The Lost Species will delight any reader who cares about discovery, adventure, and the little-known planet that sustains us.

Richard Conniff, author of The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth


Part science, part history, and part adventure.

Edward O. Wilson



The Lost Species

Great Expeditions in the Collections of Natural History Museums
By Christopher Kemp


Publication date: November 8, 2017 $30.00/£22.50
International publication date: November 8, 2017  



This is a book about the power of scientific exploration and discovery—but not how we usually think of it. The Lost Species is about discovering what we already have and just don’t know about. It tells the stories of two dozen new species that were first discovered by researchers digging around in the collections of natural history museums all over the world. In each case, the specimens sat quietly for decades before catching the eye of a scientist who realized they were looking at something new—and used that discovery to help us fill in another space in our ever-evolving understanding of life on earth.


Packed with stories of science in action, and as inspiring as it is insightful, The Lost Species is a love letter to natural history museums, and the knowledge waiting to be unearthed there.


Christopher Kemp is a scientist living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the author of Floating Gold: A Natural (and Unnatural) History of Ambergris, also published by the University of Chicago Press.


Looking for a book published by a scholarly press?
Search our repository of 42,000 academic and university press titles to see if we can point you to the book you need. Read More