The Most Perfect Thing. Inside (and Outside) a Bird’s Egg

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Publication due Apr 2016

  • Author: Birkhead, T.
  • Date Pub: 2016 April
  • ISBN: ISBN: 9781408851258
  • Stock: Available to pre-order
  • Published byBloomsbury Publishing - more

  • Firmly grounded in science and enriched by a wealth of observation. An illuminating and engaging exploration of the science behind eggs and the history of man's obsession with them.
  • How are eggs of different shapes made, and why are they the shape they are? When does the shell of an egg harden? Why do some eggs contain two yolks? How are the colours and patterns of an eggshell created, and why do they vary? And which end of an egg is laid first – the blunt end or the pointy end?

    These are just some of the questions A Bird's Egg answers, as the journey of a bird's egg from creation and fertilisation to its eventual hatching is examined, with current scientific knowledge placed within an historical context. Beginning with an examination of the stunning eggs of the guillemot, each of which is so variable in pattern and colour that no two are ever the same, acclaimed ornithologist Tim Birkhead then looks at the eggs of hens, cuckoos and many other birds, revealing weird and wonderful facts about these miracles of nature. Woven around and supporting these facts are extraordinary stories of the individuals who from as far back as Ancient Egypt have been fixated on the study and collection of eggs, not always to the benefit of their conservation.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    Tim Birkhead is a professor at the University of Sheffield where he teaches animal behaviour and the history of science. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and his research has taken him all over the world in the quest to understand the lives of birds. He has written for The Independent, New Scientist, BBC Wildlife. Among his other books are Promiscuity, Great Auk Islands, The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Birds which won the McColvin medal and The Red Canary which won the Consul Cremer Prize.

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    Further Information:

    Hardback
    288 pages,
    8 plates with col. photos.
    205 x 135 mm

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