Desmond John Morris (born 24 January 1928) is an English zoologist, ethologist and surrealist painter, as well as a popular author in human sociobiology.
Born on 24 January 1928 in Purton, Wiltshire, Desmond John Morris is the son of Marjorie and the children’s fiction author Harry Morris. In 1933, the Morrises moved to the nearby town of Swindon, which remained his primary home until 1951. During this time in Swindon Morris began to develop a strong interest in both natural history and writing. In 1941 Morris attended Dauntsey’s co-educational boarding school for 11 to 18-year-olds on the northern edge of Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire. It was during this time away at school that Morris’s passion for both zoology and the modern visual arts began to intensify and come to the surface.
Aft graduating, in 1946 Morris was conscripted into the army for two years of national service. During this time, he became a lecturer in fine arts at the Chiseldon Army College, and also began to take painting seriously. In 1948 he was demobilised from the army, and that samee year held his first one-man show of his own paintings at the Swindon Arts Centre. Pursuing his interests immediately, that autumn he enrolled as an undergraduate in the Zoology Department of the University of Birmingham as well. Shortly thereafter, Morris graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Zoology. He moved on in 1951 to the Oxford University Zoology Department to begin his research into animal behaviour for his doctorate degree, mainly basing his studies on reproductive communication systems. In 1954 he earned a Doctor of Philosophy for his research and works leading to his doctoral thesis regarding reproductive behaviour of the ten-spined stickleback...
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