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The Dodo and the Solitaire
Cover of The Dodo and the Solitaire
The Dodo and the Solitaire
A Natural History
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This account of two extinct bird species offers "an amazing amount of history, references, facts, maps, and illustrations"(Library Journal). The Dodo and the Solitaire is the most comprehensive book to...
This account of two extinct bird species offers "an amazing amount of history, references, facts, maps, and illustrations"(Library Journal). The Dodo and the Solitaire is the most comprehensive book to...
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Description-

  • This account of two extinct bird species offers "an amazing amount of history, references, facts, maps, and illustrations"(Library Journal).

    The Dodo and the Solitaire is the most comprehensive book to date about these two famously extinct birds. It contains all the known contemporary accounts and illustrations of the dodo and solitaire, covering their history after extinction and discussing their ecology, classification, phylogenetic placement, and evolution.

    Both birds were large and flightless and lived on inhabited islands some five hundred miles east of Madagascar. The first recorded descriptions of the dodo were provided by Dutch sailors who encountered them in 1598—and within a century, the dodo was extinct. So quickly did the bird disappear that there is insufficient evidence to form an entirely accurate picture of its appearance and ecology, and the absence has led to much speculation. This extraordinary book pieces together the story of these two lost species from the fragments that have been left behind.

    "An up-to-date and comprehensive review of everything we know about the dodo and solitaire." —Journal of Verterbrate Paleontology

About the Author-

  • Jolyon C. Parish completed a degree in Geology and Palaeontology at the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, London, and wrote his D.Phil. at Oxford on the evolutionary history and paleobiology of Ankylosauria.

Table of Contents-

  • Acknowledgments
    Introduction: A Melancholy Visage
    Note on Translations
    Notes on the Text
    List of Abbreviations
    1. Written Accounts of the Dodo
    2. Written Accounts of the Rodrigues Solitaire
    3. Contemporary Illustrations
    4. Secondary Contemporary Sources and Miscellanea
    5. Anatomical Evidences
    6. The Natural History of the Dodo and the Solitaire
    7. Afterword: Memories of Green
    Notes
    Bibliography
    Index

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 3, 2012
    Parish gathers the meager scientific records available on the Dodo and the Solitaire, adding fragments from other disciplines to flesh out an ever-incomplete picture of these extinct, flightless birds. In the process, he demonstrates how history, anatomy, ecology, art, and literature all contribute to researching the natural history of a species. The first two chapters feel cumbersome, composed primarily of lists of facts with annotations taken from written accounts of past explorers. Parish shares a rare opinion in chapter three, noting how discrepancies across available illustrations and visual models aide in the determination of a species' real physical characteristics. He then presents actual anatomical evidence for the existence of Dodos and Solitaires, including the locations of bone discoveries. A summary of the natural history of the two birds follows, with Parish outlining the variability in opinions on wing anatomy, plumage, internal organs, and even the birds' edibility. The book, a welcome volume for aficionados, is organized as a record of recollections, part-remembrances, facts, and fictions, but a number of references to written accounts and prior research interrupt the flow. 20 color, 200 b&w illus.

  • Library Journal

    February 1, 2013

    Paleobiologist Parish presents a tour de force examination of two birds that have been extinct for approximately 400 years. Written in comprehensive detail, it is dense with an amazing amount of history, references, facts, maps, and illustrations. Parish examines written accounts of Europeans who observed the few specimens sent back by European explorers, texts by the explorers themselves, and the islands the birds inhabited. He discusses illustrations (engravings, paintings, and more), including depictions of the birds as well as aspects of their anatomy. The author also carefully identifies conflicts in the documentation and errors and misunderstandings about both birds. VERDICT The level of detail and frequent citations included within the text slow the reading; it's possible to lose the story for the detail. Recommended for a scholarly audience serious about investigating the dodo and the solitaire.--Michael D. Cramer, Schwarz BioSciences, Research Triangle Park, NC

    Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Indiana University Press
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A Natural History
Jolyon C. Parish
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