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It all started with bugs

By Zhang Xingjian | China Daily | Updated: 2017-04-26 08:18

Zhang Chenliang focuses his camera to take a photo of a Monotropa uniflora plant. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Zhang Chenliang's interest in natural history has earned him a big following in Chinese social media, with his answers to thousands of questions on everything from entomology and zoology to botany and geography.

Widely known as the "man of natural history", or Bowu Jun in Chinese, Zhang now boasts 6 million followers on Sina Weibo.

His fans know that the "walking encyclopedia" is picky about the questions he answers, ignoring those he considers frivolous.

Born in Beijing, the 29-year-old has fostered a deep love of nature since he was a child.

"I was fond of insects. I do not remember how many insects I brought up," Zhang recalls.

"As long as I've seen them, I've had a curiosity to know more about these creatures. The magic of nature is beyond description.

"In my childhood, a fish tank and glass bottles were all transformed into my ecological zone to bring up different kinds of insects. To me, it was fantastic to see them grow."

This fondness for insects determined his later path in life.

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