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Dragons and Unicorns: A Natural History by…

Dragons and Unicorns: A Natural History

by Paul Johnsgard, Karin Johnsgard

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This little book is awesome! The Johnsgards to a wonderful job of gathering up the tons of literature on dragons and unicorns floating around out there and condensing it into short, informational essays. I was really impressed with the depth of the research. They discuss prehistoric and proto-versions of the unicorn and the dragon, and how they evolved into the species that currently reside around the world. The history of the animal - and its history with man - helps lend understanding to these noble beasts while blasting to pieces some of the most persistent legends surrounding them.
For example: Is a unicorn horn truly capable of purifying water and diluting poison?
Can dragons fly?
What's the deal with dragons and gold? (Johnsgard draws a completely different conclusion than another famed researcher, Peter Dickenson.)
Are unicorns merely horned horses? (Turns out they are much more like antelopes or goats.)

Kids will enjoy the stories, but the subtle humor of the beasts' place in modern society, our efforts at their conservation, their role in religion, etc. will amuse adult readers too. ( )
  makaiju | Jun 7, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Paul Johnsgardprimary authorall editionscalculated
Johnsgard, Karinmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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For those who still look for cloven hoofprints in mountain meadows, and for smoke clouds rising from the mouths of caves
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Much of the confusion about dragons has resulted from the fact that several kinds have existed in the past and that early observers failed to distinguish among dragons, snakes, and other reptiles.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312084994, Paperback)

Is it generally safe to walk by dragon weyrs on sunny days? Do dragons really lay golden eggs? Do dragon teeth have any medicinal value? And what about unicorns: Do some rare ones have two horns, and when aren't unicorns white? What is a unicorn "sneeze call," and what exactly is the best way to capture a unicorn, anyway?

Find the answers to these and other questions in this charming and carefully researched book that presents the first scientific look at two of the earth's most mysterious and elusive creatures. From the evolution and anatomy of dragons and unicorns to their own special skills (fire-breathing in dragons, reliable virgin detection in unicorns), this unique book of whimsical zoology, complete with drawings, will delight and enchant any modern reader.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:23 -0400)

Describes the physical features and behaviors of dragons and unicorns.

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