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The Unfeathered Bird

…fusion of art & science

The Unfeathered Bird Katrina van Grouw | Hardback | 304 pages | 385 colour illustrations | 01 Dec 2012 | Princeton University Press | ISBN: 9780691151342

The Publisher’s View: There is more to a bird than simply feathers. And just because birds evolved from a single flying ancestor doesn't mean they are structurally all the same. With over 300 stunning drawings depicting 200 species, The Unfeathered Bird is a richly illustrated book on bird anatomy that offers refreshingly original insights into what goes on beneath the feathered surface. Each exquisite drawing is made from an actual specimen and reproduced in sumptuous large format. The birds are shown in lifelike positions and engaged in behavior typical of the species: an underwater view of the skeleton of a swimming loon, the musculature of a porpoising penguin, and an unfeathered sparrowhawk plucking its prey. Jargon-free and easily accessible to any reader, the lively text relates birds' anatomy to their lifestyle and evolution, examining such questions as why penguins are bigger than auks, whether harrier hawks really have double-jointed legs, and the difference between wing claws and wing spurs. A landmark in popular bird books, The Unfeathered Bird is a must for anyone who appreciates birds or bird art.



- A unique book that bridges art, science, and history

- Over 300 beautiful drawings, artistically arranged in a sumptuous large-format book

- Accessible, jargon-free text--the only book on bird anatomy aimed at the general reader

- Drawings and text all made with direct reference to actual bird specimens

- Includes most anatomically distinct bird groups

- Many species never illustrated before

The Author: Katrina van Grouw is a former curator of the ornithological collections at London's Natural History Museum, a taxidermist, an experienced bird bander, a successful fine artist, and a graduate of the Royal College of Art. She is the author of Birds, a historical retrospective of bird art, published under her maiden name Katrina Cook. The creation of The Unfeathered Bird has been her lifetime's ambition.Fatbirder View: This fusion of art and science is a fascinating coffee table book that boosts that genre to another level. It invites you to browse but then catches your interest and when I intended to look through it as if waiting for the coffee to arrive I found myself slowing up to read about how the environmental niche needs skeletal variation and what makes for diving and what merely submerging. Pre-DNA taxonomy has relied on skeletal differences to reveal the phylogenetic tree so this look beneath the skin is not mere curiosity but science with a capital ‘S’. On the other hand there is a beauty on the form. I’ve always loved scientific drawings whether of birds or botanical specimens as there is not just science in their accuracy but beauty too.

In the end I think I learned less than I should have simply because the images themselves were so captivating.

Fatbirder

Buy this book from www.nhbs.com