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The Evolution of A Natural Miracle
Hanson, Thor (Book - 2011)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
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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.
Authors: Hanson, Thor
Title: Feathers
the evolution of a natural miracle
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, c2011
Characteristics: xvi, 336 p. :,ill., map ;,22 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Thor Hanson
Contents: A natural miracle
Evolution. The Rosetta Stone ; Heat shields, gliders, and insect scoops ; The Yixian Formation ; How to catch a muttonbird
Fluff. Keeping warm ; Staying cool
Flight. Ground-up or tree-down? ; A feathered hammer ; The perfect airfoil
Fancy. The birds of paradise ; A feather in her cap ; Give us those nice bright colors
Function. Of murres and muddlers; The mighty Penna ; The featherless head
A debt of wonder
Appendix A. An illustrated guide to feathers
Appendix B. Feathers and conservation
ISBN: 0465020135
Branch Call Number: 598.147 H2517f 2011
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references and index
Subject Headings: Birds Feathers
Topical Term: Birds
LCCN: 2011003272
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Which feather-friendly fashion designer created the original costumes for the ongoing Las Vegas review 'Jubilee!'?

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Aug 09, 2011
  • MDianeRogers rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

What a very interesting and very readable book. How complicated such a seemingly 'simple' natural thing is - and how wonderful. Your pillow will never be the same to you.
Just can't remember who recommended this great book to me, so "Thank You" to whoever you are.


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