256 pages, b/w illustrations
Bone is one of the most extraordinary materials in the natural world – flexible and strong, available in a number of types and densities. Yet we only absorb quite how amazing it is when we look at the range of different jobs it can do, from supporting and shaping a huge and heavy mammal like an elephant to enabling a bat to fly. And looking into the distant past, scientists know what they know about the dinosaurs and their descendents from their fossilized bones, extraordinary reminders of how different our world used to be. Skeletons: The Extraordinary Form and Function of Bones takes the virtuoso engravings of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and marries them with a contemporary and readable text that brings them right up to date, creating an appealing mix of scientific eye candy and cutting-edge scholarship.
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Andrew Kirk (Liverpool, UK) was educated at Oxford University and worked in publishing for over twenty years before becoming a writer. His previous titles have included books on ancient history and a study of Thoreau. This is his sixth book.