This month the brilliant and beloved Sir David Attenborough turned 90. "No living person has done more to make the people of Planet Earth aware of the world around them," wrote Time magazine a few years ago, and few of us have gone untouched by his decades of BBC nature films and series. He is the father of the modern natural-history documentary and a champion of rare and endangered species. At least 11 species have been named for him, from a pitcher plant that's found in the Philippines to a flowering tree in Ecuador to a ghost shrimp in Madagascar to a 20-million-year-old extinct pygmy grasshopper discovered in amber in the Dominican Republic.
As if all that weren't enough, as the BBC's director of programs (who knew about that chapter of his life?), Attenborough also commissioned the show Monty Python's Flying Circus, for which fans of comedy should forever be grateful. We have always highlighted Sir David and his books and films in our Naturalist's Notebook interactive spaces and his work has influenced us greatly. Pamelia calls him one of her ultimate heroes. More important, he has outlined for humankind how we are part of, not separate from, all life on this wondrous planet. Extraordinary.
Happy 90th, David! —Craig Neff and Pamelia Markwood