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"There was a time when one old eccentric guy with a notebook could do something important to science. Now even the resources of a major university are often not enough."
- Jerry Pournelle

Alien Life Form  
  Living organisms of non-Earth origin.  

This is likely the first use of this great phrase.

As in the past, I have tried not to invent things that are too far removed from life as we know it on this Earth. The weird ‘whip’, for instance, has its Earthly counterpart not only in the ant-eater, but in the sphinx-moth,which sports a hoselike tongue a good deal longer than its own body. Cousins to the ‘Venusian buzzard’ can be found under any microscope in the biology lab. While the Murri, of course, finds its obvious image in the Proboscis Monkey‥. I do this because I feel that if a reader has some basis of comparison, when reading about alien life forms, he will be able to visualize the story more clearly and perhaps give himself an added measure of enjoyment and appreciation.
From The Hothouse Planet, by Arthur K. Barnes.
Published by Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1937
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