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Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Thor Hanson

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135588,991 (4.06)3
Member:neldred
Title:Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle
Authors:Thor Hanson
Info:Basic Books (2012), Edition: First Trade Paper Edition, Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle by Thor Hanson (2011)

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Showing 5 of 5
A 336-page book about feathers; to be honest, I was initially more curious about how the author had managed to stretch the subject over so many pages than I was with the subject itself. However, as I started reading I soon became captivated. Hanson writes with clarity and an endearing yet restrained enthusiasm, covering a wide range of feather-related areas from microstructure to fashion; in fact, the sheer scope of the subject is amazing. I finished the book regretting my initial cynicism and wondering, in complete variance to my first thoughts, how he had managed to compress the subject into so few words. A wonderful book that has given me a renewed appreciation for what is a fairly mundane and overlooked object — just the type of book I love.
1 vote benjamin7857 | Jul 5, 2013 |
Quick read about the evolution and history of the feather, and how complex and beautiful it is, and all the purposes it has served. Fun and educational. ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
Absolutely fascinating read about a truly incredible subject too often overlooked.
  rightantler | Aug 20, 2012 |
Usually exactly the kind of book I love. But not this time. ( )
  pilarflores | Jan 31, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0465020135, Hardcover)

Feathers are an evolutionary marvel: aerodynamic, insulating, beguiling. They date back more than 100 million years. Yet their story has never been fully told.

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:46 -0400)

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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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