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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

book: the dodo, the bird that drew the short straw

well, the dodo seems to have me in its claws;)
found another book about this bird, nothing to slaughter this time, but a book with loads of illustrations... i really like it. (bought it via amazon marketplace, but abebooks gives sources to buy, too.)
i came across this book by this site: http://www.dodohaus.de/janden/index.html

Even though the dodo has been extinct for more than three hundred years, the bird still enjoys an immense popularity. The dodo figures in cartoons, and is to be seen pictured on bags, tablecloths, t-shirts, ties and even postage stamps. However, in spite of this abundant media attention we still cannot be exactly sure of what the creature really loooked like.
The publications that survive from the time that the dodo was still in existence are mostly little more than a collection of reports, apocryphal tales, or simply fiction.
The actual remains of the dodo that are left to us would hardly fill a shopping basket: Two skulls, a fragment of a beak, one foot and twenty skeletons assembled from separate bones.
Our impression of how the bird must have looked is entirely based on a number of seventeenth-century illustrations, all very different from each other. There are black, brown, and white dodos; thin and extremely fat ones; some are proudly erect and others crouching so low that they appear to barely able to walk.
Numerous books have been written in an attempt to explain these discrepancies. Writers have claimed to have discovered new species, have invented explanations for the differences in appearance and generally let their imagination run wild. They have only succeeded in confusing the situation still further.
Jan den Hengst has been the first person to take the trouble to analyse and compare the seventeenth-century illustrations. He has studied the pictures for 25 years, with intriguing results. In addition, he has performed exhaustive research on the eye-witness accounts of the time, in order to reconstruct an accurate portrait of the dodo.
The efforts of Jan den Hengst have resulted in an extremely attractive book. It is informative, carefully researched, amply illustrated with historic material and, above all, highly readable.
The Dodo consists of 120 pages with circa. 140 reproductions of paintings and engravings both in colour and black and white. In addition, there are many photos, sketches and other illustrations.



na, der dodo scheint mich ja voll in seinen klauen zu haben;)
kam auf dieses buch via http://www.dodohaus.de/janden/index.html und musste es natürlich bestellen...
es ist voller dodo-illustrationen (nicht zum ausschlachten gedacht diesmal;) und gefällt mir sehr gut.

1 comment:

  1. sorry i dun understand a single word? dodo is a bird of course i know but can you try to describe further more?

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