Animals: Chapin's Peacock

In 1913, while he was poking about in the Ituri forest of the Belgian Congo, young Ornithologist James P. Chapin came upon a grinning black native proudly wearing in his headdress a brown and black feather. Dr. Chapin promptly appropriated it, for it resembled the feather of a pheasant, or peacock, and those birds, both Asiatic, had no business in Africa.

Last year Dr. Chapin, 48, now associate curator of Manhattan's Museum of Natural History—a lean man with snapping eyes, unruly grey hair and a sandy mustache—was in the Congo Museum in Tervueren,...

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