The Evolution of A Natural MiracleBook - 2011
A biologist presents the natural history of feathers, applying the findings of paleontologists, ornithologists, biologists, engineers and art historians to answer questions about the origin of feathers, their evolution and their uses throughout the ages.
In Feathers, biologist Thor Hanson details a sweeping natural history, as feathers have been used to fly, protect, attract, and adorn through time and place. Applying the research of paleontologists, ornithologists, biologists, engineers, and even art historians, Hanson asks: What are feathers? How did they evolve? What do they mean to us?
Engineers call feathers the most efficient insulating material ever discovered, and they are at the root of biology's most enduring debate. They silence the flight of owls and keep penguins dry below the ice. They have decorated queens, jesters, and priests. And they have inked documents from the Constitution to the novels of Jane Austen.
Feathers is a captivating and beautiful exploration of this most enchanting object.
The science, evolution, and practice of studying and identifying feathers are the subject of this delightful book for the general reader. The author traveled widely, interviewing specialists, to piece together what we know about feathers: the almost impossible genius of their many uses and effectiveness, the history of their study and use as ornament, and the current theories about their evolution, based on fossils found in Wyoming, Liaoning, China, and elsewhere. The volume is well-illustrated with drawings. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A biologist presents the natural history of feathers, applying the findings of paleontologists, ornithologists, biologists, engineers, and art historians to answer questions about the origin of feathers, their evolution, and their uses throughout the ages.
Featured Blogs and Events
It's official: seeds have gone mainstream. How else could a book about seeds be reviewed in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and New Scientist Magazine all in the same weekend? The Triumph of Seeds by Thor Hanson explores how seeds have shaped nature, culture and history. Hanson is such great storyteller that you don't have to be a scientist or gardener to enjoy the book. Hanson… (more)