Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle

Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle

Thor Hanson / Sep 19, 2019

Feathers The Evolution of a Natural Miracle Feathers are an evolutionary marvel aerodynamic insulating beguiling They date back than million years Yet their story has never been fully told In Feathers biologist Thor Hanson details a swee

  • Title: Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle
  • Author: Thor Hanson
  • ISBN: 9780465020133
  • Page: 171
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Feathers are an evolutionary marvel aerodynamic, insulating, beguiling They date back than 100 million years Yet their story has never been fully told In Feathers, biologist Thor Hanson details a sweeping natural history, as feathers have been used to fly, protect, attract, and adorn through time and place Applying the research of paleontologists, ornithologists,Feathers are an evolutionary marvel aerodynamic, insulating, beguiling They date back than 100 million years Yet their story has never been fully told In Feathers, biologist Thor Hanson details a sweeping natural history, as feathers have been used to fly, protect, attract, and adorn through time and place Applying the research of paleontologists, ornithologists, biologists, engineers, and even art historians, Hanson asks What are feathers How did they evolve What do they mean to us Engineers call feathers the most efficient insulating material ever discovered, and they are at the root of biology s most enduring debate They silence the flight of owls and keep penguins dry below the ice They have decorated queens, jesters, and priests And they have inked documents from the Constitution to the novels of Jane Austen Feathers is a captivating and beautiful exploration of this most enchanting object.

    Feathers Thor Hanson Praise for Feathers The Economist Thor Hanson s new book takes on the intriguing subject of feathers With infectious enthusiasm, he describes them, from their earliest known incarnations to their place in the modern world. Feather evolution People Search Because birds evolved from reptiles and the integument of present day reptiles and most extinct reptiles including most dinosaurs is characterized by scales, early hypotheses concerning the evolution of feathers began with the assumption that feathers developed from scales, with scales elongating, then growing fringed edges and, ultimately, producing hooked and grooved barbules Figure below. Feather Evolution from Dinosaur to Bird Evolution Feather Evolution Most experts believe that the feathered dinosaurs were warm blooded and that feathers provided insulation to help keep them warm. Evolution Library Tale of the Peacock PBS Tale of the Peacock At a singles cocktail party, the ending is often predictable A female may choose a male from several because he is attractive. Horse Feathers Horse Feathers is a Pre Code comedy film starring the Marx Brothers It stars the four Marx Brothers Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Zeppo and Thelma Todd.It was written by Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, S J Perelman, and Will B Johnstone.Kalmar and Ruby also wrote some of the original music for the film Several of the film s gags were taken from the Marx Brothers stage comedy from the s Plug and feather Plug and feather, also known as plugs and wedges, feather and wedges, wedges and shims, pins and feathers and feather and tare, refers to a technique and a three piece tool set used to split stone. Evolution The New York Times Feb , News about evolution, including commentary and archival articles published in The New York Times. Evolution Online Lessons for Students Activity Activity Evolution and Antibiotic Resistance When people go to the doctor s office, they expect to be cured They don t like to be told, Go home, drink lots of fluids and rest, and you will Pterosaurs had feathers, new study says. Dec , In the study, the finding that pterosaurs had feather like fur suggests that feathers are either ancestral to both dinosaurs and pterosaurs, or that they evolved separately in both creatures. Here s What It Would Feel Like to Pet a T Rex What would it feel like to reach out and touch a Tyrannosaurus rex Would the beast be covered in hard armor like an alligator or smooth feathers like an ostrich

    • É Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle || ✓ PDF Read by ¿ Thor Hanson
      171 Thor Hanson
    • thumbnail Title: É Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle || ✓ PDF Read by ¿ Thor Hanson
      Posted by:Thor Hanson
      Published :2018-012-20T13:57:13+00:00

    About "Thor Hanson"

      • Thor Hanson

        Thor Hanson is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Switzer Environmental Fellow, and winner of the John Burroughs Medal His books include The Impenetrable Forest, Feathers, and The Triumph of Seeds Hanson lives with his wife and son on an island in the Pacific Northwest Learn at his website thorhanson.


    1. Great read. A lot of little fluff which adds up, chapter by chapter, into a surprisingly attractive, colorful tail of history, biology and science. I think nesting for a few days with this book hatches more curiosity than any desire for throwing rotten eggs. I am now cuckoo for watching the skies because I had a hoot reading this book. My head is still spinning 180 degrees, all a-flutter at the interesting flybys past feather-light informative facts, which for all of the light touch was by no me [...]

    2. I love a book that takes a subject I know nothing about, one in which I don't consciously harbor any interest in, yet draws me in completely. I know nothing about paleontology or birds, and very little about non-mechanized flight, but my Dad gave a glowing recommendation for this book. I picked it up and was immediately drawn to Hanson's enthusiasm for his subject, and his ability to explain the concepts to a complete neophyte like myself, without giving the impression that he was speaking down [...]

    3. This book was a pleasant surprise and enjoyable to read. It's the first non-fiction book I've read that centers on animals rather than humans and I have to admit that it was a nice change! Hanson is detailed and specific enough to make things interesting, but also is ambitious in scope (lots of ground covered). Who knew that feathers could be so fascinating! Great mix of natural history, social history, economics and personal narrative. Definitely recommend!!BTW the author lives in the San Juans [...]

    4. An impressive book about a 'feather-weight' subject. Through personal research and interviews with various people, Thor Hanson has shown that feathers are really a biological and physical wonder. You probably won't look at a feather and say, "Oh, just a feather," after going through this book.Hanson starts by describing the appearance of the feather in prehistory, via fossils like Archaeopteryx lithographica and then the discovery of dinosaurs with feathers in the Yixian Formation in China. Then [...]

    5. This is one of those disappointing books where the author inserts way too much of himself into what could otherwise be a simple factual narrative. I don't give a shit if the author raises chickens or whatever. Clearly someone has been takin William Zinsser's advice.I'm also a bit torn about the prominent appearance of Richard Prum in this book, because Prum's own book The Evolution of Beauty was packed full of awful arguments, and it makes me much harder to take the guy seriously. Prum comes off [...]

    6. Tema inusitado e bem tratado. Tem aquela pegada pessoal do autor descrevendo situações e conversando com pesquisadores, bons comentários e insights legais. Adorei a parte do tráfico de avestruzes para África do Sul. Não tinha me atentado para o quão isolantes penas podem ser, a ponto de aves migratórias e pinguins aguentarem condições de sensação térmica de -80ºC, sem precisar do tanto de gordura que nós precisamos.

    7. Compulsively readable. Unlike other natural histories I've read, Hanson keeps his chapters short and focused and they are more fascinating for it. A marvel of insulation, water resistance, lightweight aerodynamics and color, feathers are truly an incredible example of evolutionary engineering, and this book will alter your perception of and appreciation for them.

    8. Hanson is what I think of as a great science writer. He engages our imaginations while imparting facts, and I suspect that is at least in part because he has such a lively sense of wonder that he can’t help but infuse even the most prosaic of information with a feel of awe as if the evolution of feathers or seeds, or whatever else he’s writing about is pure magic. And in a sense, the things he writes about are magic, or as close to as we get in our world.The discovery of feathered dinosaurs, [...]

    9. A most excellent book. Hanson covers the best research on the evolution of feathers (yes, some dinosaurs definitely were feathered, as recent fossil finds in China clearly show) the functions (many and various) and uses (also many and various). He discusses theories on the origin of flight (tree down or ground up? Or a likely combination of the two?) and provides lots of cool facts about various birds and what feathers do for them. His discussion of courtship display of birds of paradise made me [...]

    10. Cover design win! When viewed from the front or the spine, the letters of the title are just graphic shapes, not a readable word. According to the back flap, the illustration is from Shutterstock, and in fact, there you can find a whole set of black-on-white feather silhouettes that are all lovely, but this one does have the most motion. Cover aside, this seems like an interesting history. I would be interested to read more about what feathers have to say about the bird/dinosaur connection. NY T [...]

    11. It is a great joy to come across an information-packed book that appears to be written with joy and enthusiasm. When I first started reading this volume, I recognized it as one that I would want to savor over some time so I returned my book to the library and purchased my own copy. Hanson discusses the evolution of feathers, or what can be discerned about the evolution dating back to dinosaurs, and evolving with numerous possible benefits to animals – not initially including flight. Hanson als [...]

    12. I had a difficult time "getting into" this book. However once I did, I found it to be informative and interesting. I have shared interesting facts about feathers with friends.I read this book as the result of being a member of an Audubon Book Club. While I don't think it would appeal to all, I believe that not only those interested in birds would find this interesting, but also those interested in learning the many uses of feathers, in the past and currently would find the book interesting.

    13. A book club selection, not as boring as I thought it would be ;) It's like when you're listening to someone who is so passionate, you get caught up in the enthusiasm? Hansen actually does a great job of explaining biological/ scientific terms, so a layman can understand-even throws some humor in there. That he got me through this book, I learned something and actually enjoyed it, I'll have to give him four stars. Plus, he's a heck of a nice guy.

    14. Great coverage of the topic, very engaging! There were a few sections that I wanted to go even more in depth on, but I guess that's sort of the point of the book -- to give you the first few steps, and not an entire degree in ornithology or something. Being able to get some insight as to how the structure of a feather functions in a variety of conditions was very enlightening, and easy to understand by way of the text.

    15. I had to read this book for my AP Environment Science Class. I thought it would be dull and boring, however Thor spun a great book into existence by weaving many stories and facts together. I thought it was really well put together and I recommend it to the reader who is interested in birds, dinosaurs, flight and how all three connect.

    16. The title says it best. Feathers are extraordinary things that allow birds to be extraordinary animals. I really enjoyed when the author talked about how research is being done on fossils to figure out how feathers developed.

    17. A pretty enjoyable read.I expected more of a book on birds, but this book focused a lot on the evolutionary history of feathers, then later on human use/utilization of them. Generally well-written.

    18. This is a really good pop science book, even if you're not a bird watcher. I really liked Hanson's ability not only to explain scientific concepts, but to tell stories.

    19. This was a great book. I enjoyed the structure of the author bringing you along on an exploration of feathers and the way he captured the joy of being a biologist.

    20. Fabulous read. Top notch creative nonfiction interesting--I never knew how feathers were sorted before. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

    21. I read this book thanks to Blinkist.Maybe I had too high expectations, because of the interesting premise and the praise for the author, but I was underwhelmed. I already knew about all of the topics, it's just that they were discussed in more detail.Rating: 3,5 starsThe key message in this book:Feathers are ancient and unique structures that have dramatically impacted the course of history and culture. From the first winged dinosaurs to the showgirls of Las Vegas, feathers are one of nature’s [...]

    22. In a discussion with a friend sometime ago, he asked me how did I think the first eye, lung, or feather evolve. I knew something about the first two but nothing about the third. That is why I picked up this book and I did not regret it.The boot is not strictly about evolution (actually evolution is a small part of it). The book is about, well, feathers. The book is clearly well researched and written. The most interesting discussion in the book for me was the ground-up, tree-down debate with its [...]

    23. I am an avid birder. This easily read book gave me a a wealth of understanding of the form of feathers, the uses of feathers, and history of feathers. What we find difficult about technical jargon is that frequently it derives from Latin or Greek which feel foreign to us. This book provides a gentle description of the technical descriptions of the parts of feathers. If you get used to the jargon, you remove its foreignness. As this book makes clear, our understanding of feathers is only just beg [...]

    24. I am not surprised to learn that a student of the wonderful naturalist and scientist Bernd Heinrich is an engaging writer himself. I hope he has a similarly long career sharing the fascination of the natural world with us. I can't wait to read his other books.

    25. For people who suffer from the cold, this book gives the history, description, and reason for feathers. He's a delightful writer, and the information is well presented. I became more interested in feathers than I thought I wood.

    26. Recommended reading for birdwatchers. Goes into detail about all of the cultural and industrial uses of feathers and the impact these have had on wildlife survival. Good appetencies on the structure and physical science of bird feathers.

    27. What is there to say about feathers? Lots, and it's all amazing thanks to Thor Hanson. A must-read for any popular science fan or anyone who's ever picked up a feather because it looks nice.

    28. For birders, educators, naturalists or the curious this is a wonderfully approachable read on feathers. Not dry or textbook like at all. It's easy to read and inspiring.

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