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The vertebrate skeleton is one of nature's most amazing feats. Composed of cartilage and bone, it forms the supportive structure for all the remaining aspects of our anatomy. Stripped of skin, we can see the body's fascinating underlying architecture.
In this one-of-a-kind book, biologist and skeletal reconstructionist Steve Huskey lays bare the vertebrate skeleton, providing a guided tour of the nuanced differences among the many featured vertebrate species. Using skeletal preparations he has spent decades assembling, Huskey helps us understand why animals live the way they do. He shows us the jaw and fang structures that allow venomous snakes to both kill and consume their prey whole. We see that the eastern mole is built like a weightlifter, allowing it to "swim through soil". Startling images demonstrate that the odd-looking trumpetfish is built not for music but for suction, with a skull that expands to vacuum in its prey.
The pages of The Skeleton Revealed illuminate not only the elegance of each skeleton, but also the natural history story each skeleton tells. Come along – let's take a voyage through the boneyard.
Steve Huskey is an associate professor of biology at Western Kentucky University. Dr. Huskey's skeletons are on display in many venues, including the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the California Academy of Sciences, and the Miami Museum of Science and Planetarium.
"Steve Huskey feeds our fascination with the vast diversity of animals through beautiful photographs of skeletons he meticulously prepared. Accompanied by informative and up-to-date descriptions of the animals and their lives, this book reveals the remarkable evolutionary variety in animal body plans."
– George V. Lauder, Harvard University
"In these pages, the vertebrate skeleton becomes an inspiration. Skeletons are sources of beauty, wonder, and knowledge about the natural world. Here, we see and learn about them in their full glory."
– Neil Shubin, author of Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body
"I have admired Steve Huskey's magnificent skeletal preparations for fifteen years. To now see them assembled in a book is a rare treat. This stunning visual collection could only have been pulled together by someone who is both thoroughly grounded in anatomy and artistically talented. The diversity of vertebrate skeletons is displayed with a keen eye for composition. It is the best book on the vertebrate skeleton I have encountered in a long while."
– Adam Summers, Friday Harbor Laboratories, University of Washington