The World of Birds
The first part of this extensive guide to birds, which features copious photographs, diagrams and sidebars, explains all aspects of bird life, including anatomy, breeding, flight, food, habitat, plumage and song. In the second part there is a comprehensive survey of the 32 bird orders and 195 families, each of the latter accompanied by a detailed account and fact panel (range, habitat, food, migration, etc.), plus a full glossary of terms and two exhaustive indexes.
The Art of Ornithology
This chronological account charts the development of bird art from early decorative images to scientifically accurate modern portrayals, focusing mainly on the period between 1650 and the present day. Presenting an extensive selection of original artwork from the collections of the Natural History Museum, Jonathan Elphick interweaves ornithological information with brief biographies of the artists, descriptions of the techniques they used and a critical appraisal of their work, encouraging a deeper appreciation of bird art and the riches of avian life.
The Bauer Brothers
Images of Nature
Franz and Ferdinand Bauer were ground-breaking 18th- and early 19th-century natural history artists. Growing up in Austria, Franz went on to work at Kew Gardens, while Ferdinand travelled to Australia. This volume includes pioneering microscopical drawings depicting plant anatomy, and newly discovered animals, such as the platypus and koala.
The Art of the First Fleet
Images of Nature
With no official naturalist travelling with the First Fleet, landscape artist turned convict, Thomas Watling, produced many of the watercolours and drawings in this collection. Depicting alien landscapes, flora and fauna and the undeveloped Sydney Cove, these images offer a detailed insight into the lifestyle of the indigenous population.
The Art of India
Images of Nature
Now in the Natural History Museum in London, the Indian botanical and zoological watercolours in this collection were created in the subcontinent during the late 18th and the 19th centuries, many of them commissioned by East India Company staff and created by Indian artists. Including fruits and flowers, birds, mammals, reptiles and insects, the watercolours show the diversity of Indian flora and fauna, as well as being fine examples of natural history artwork.
Tales from Gombe
Made famous by the long-term studies conducted by Jane Goodall, the chimpanzees of the Gombe National Park by Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania have revealed previously unknown behaviours, such as the use of tools and meat-eating, and have shown that the apes have complex social relationships and individual personalities. This large-format photographic study captures the chimps over a period of more than ten years and contains notes on the history of the community and the lineages of its prominent dynasties.
The Changing Fortunes of Whales and Dolphins
The relationship between humans and cetaceans – whales, dolphins and porpoises – has changed dramatically over the centuries. Where once a lost or stranded whale was hacked to death, now desperate attempts would be made to save it. In this Natural History Museum book, Sarah Lazarus describes the history of whaling; 20th-century efforts to limit the industry; the dire threat of polluted oceans; and the relatively recent interest in ‘close encounters’ with whales and dolphins.
Scott's Last Expedition
Robert Falcon Scott may not have reached the South Pole first but his Terra Nova expedition has nevertheless become one of the most celebrated in the history of British exploration. This highly visual introduction to the events of 1910–11 uses artefacts and equipment from the expedition, diary extracts and original photographs to show what life was like in Antarctica for Captain Scott and his crew.
An Exploration of Natural History
The Natural History Museum holds a vast collection representing the development of the study of the natural world from the earliest times. This accessible introduction to the subject tells the story from the theories of the ancient world and the scientific revolution of the Renaissance to the very latest discoveries. The well-illustrated volume also includes contributions by leading figures in the field such as Richard Dawkins and geneticist Steve Jones.
Not the End of the World?
Isolated environments have encouraged the evolution of distinct species, which are then vulnerable to extinction when contact with the wider world is established; the Mauritian Dodo and Lonesome George, the last of a Galapagos subspecies of giant tortoise, being famous examples. This Natural History Museum introduction to the subject explores extinctions from the earliest organisms to creatures under threat today and assesses whether climate change and the activities of man threaten a modern mass extinction.
Driven to Extinction
The Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity
Denial of climate change seems obtuse in the light of scientific evidence but Richard Pearson points out that the media and lobby groups have sometimes sensationalized the predictions, undermining confidence in the science. This measured summary of the issues explores how plants and animals have reacted to temperature changes in the past and how we might expect them to react to the current threat, highlighting also how nature sometimes finds its own unexpected solutions. Slightly off-mint.
The Gilded Canopy
Botanical Ceiling Panels of the Natural History Museum
High above the galleries of the Natural History Museum in London is a series of ceiling panels illustrated with plants from every corner of the globe. Richly coloured and gilded, they speak of a pioneering era of botany and horticulture. This compact, lavishly illustrated book describes the story of their creation, the inspiration behind them and the plants depicted, and provides a panel-by-panel guide to this glorious expression of Victorian art and science.
An Artistic Voyage Through the World of Plants
Colonial expansion and world trade from the 16th century brought exotic and previously unknown plants to Europe, encouraging botanists to identify and classify all flora and artists to record their appearance. This handsome edition gives the history of plants and flowers through a collection of historic botanical paintings, selected from the archives of the Natural History Museum. Dating from the 16th to the 20th century, the illustrations profile more than 20 plant families including daffodils, irises, roses and tulips.