An Attempt

herbst lobster

Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Herbst (1743-1807) was a German naturalist and entomologist, and a theologian and chaplain for the Prussian army.

Versuch einer Naturgeschichte der Krabben und Krebse’ (An attempt at The Natural History of Crabs and Lobsters)
was possibly the first comprehensive work on the crustaceans and definitely included descriptions and illustrations of previously unknown species.
It was released in instalments between about 1782 and the mid-1790s. There were three volumes of text and an atlas consisting of more than sixty hand-coloured engravings. Various editions were issued, some coloured, some not, and some coloured later.

It is still regarded as a primary source in the field.

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A bat with outstretched wings, and another with wings folded

durer bat det 2Albrecht Durer ((May 1471 – April 1528)
painter, engraver, printmaker, mathematician, theorist

 

Bats are an extraordinary evolutionary success, the only mammals to conquer the air.
Nothing else on earth flies the way they do.


James Gorman
 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkeSSdwbnPg&feature=player_embedded

Vanishing Point

uccello,_studio_di_cavalierePaolo Uccello (1397 – 1475), born Paolo di Dono, painter and mathematician

Psalm

Pisanello (c. 1395 – probably 1455)Veritas sequitur …

In the small beauty of the forest
The wild deer bedding down—
That they are there!
                              Their eyes
Effortless, the soft lips
Nuzzle and the alien small teeth
Tear at the grass
                              The roots of it
Dangle from their mouths
Scattering earth in the strange woods.
They who are there.
                              Their paths
Nibbled thru the fields, the leaves that shade them
Hang in the distances
Of sun
                              The small nouns
Crying faith
In this in which the wild deer
Startle, and stare out.

George Oppen

“Intelligence Is Nothing That Evolved Only Once”

Giovanni Nanni, also Giovanni de' Ricamatori, better known as Giovanni da Udine (1487–1564)

STUDY OF A PARROT, Giovanni da Udine (1487–1564)
Red chalk and gouache, pen and brown ink, black chalk and watercolour

 

Birds are capable of abstract logical reasoning, a trait previously shown only by [that is to say, previously noticed only in] primates.

http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2012/08/african-grey-parrots-have-the-reasoning-skills-of-3-year-olds/

Is Grammar Unique to Human Language?

the strawberry thief
While birdsong has long been known to share similarities with human language, the ability to convey different bits of information by simply rearranging word order was thought to be exclusively human.

This study revealed that Bengalese finches can learn grammar and, furthermore, that their grammatical abilities involve a specific part of the brain region distinct from other brain regions involved in singing. This is similar to what neuroscientists understand about human language processing.

If the tweets of birds can be roughly likened to strings of human words, and if bird brains process songs in a way similar to how human brains process language, future research may tackle whether these animals possess other cognitive abilities once thought to be singularly characteristic of human intelligence.

About the Author: Danielle Perszyk is a social neuroscience researcher at the Yale Child Study Center, where she studies autism using electrophysiological methods. At Williams College, studying cognitive science and neuroscience, she wrote a thesis on the neural mechanisms underlying syntax in birdsong. She is interested in the mind from an evolutionary perspective and is pursuing her PhD in cognitive psychology.

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2011/10/28/are-birds-tweets-grammatical/

Strawberry Thief is one of William Morris’s most popular repeating designs for textiles. It takes as its subject the thrushes that Morris found stealing fruit in the kitchen garden of his countryside home, Kelmscott Manor, in Oxfordshire. To print the pattern Morris used the ancient and painstaking indigo-discharge method he admired above all forms of printing.

Italian Porcupine

Ulisse Aldrovandi (11 September 1522 – 4 May 1605)

Published in: on August 9, 2011 at 4:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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Hedgehog

 
 
The snail moves like a
Hovercraft, held up by a
Rubber cushion of itself,
Sharing its secret
 
With the hedgehog. The hedgehog
Shares its secret with no one.
We say, Hedgehog, come out
Of yourself and we will love you.
 
We mean no harm. We want
Only to listen to what
You have to say. We want
Your answers to our questions.
 
The hedgehog gives nothing
Away, keeping itself to itself.
We wonder what a hedgehog
Has to hide, why it so distrusts.
 
We forget the god
under this crown of thorns.
We forget that never again
will a god trust in the world.
 
Paul Muldoon

The surprisingly sophisticated calls of prairie dogs

prairie dogsPrairie Dogs, Philadelphia Zoo, 1879

During his analysis, Professor Con Slobodchikoff of Northern Arizona University noticed something: Even though the human call was consistently different from the other calls, there was still significant variation between the individual human calls. He began to wonder whether the little rodents could possibly be describing their predators — not just differentiating hawk from human, but actually saying something about the particular human or coyote or hawk that was approaching …

http://www.npr.org/2011/01/20/132650631/new-language-discovered-prairiedogese

Wild Boar Piglet