The Skeleton Revealed: An Illustrated Tour of the Vertebrates

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JHU Press, Feb 15, 2017 - Medical - 346 pages

Gorgeous high-contrast photographs reveal the eerie beauty of the vertebrate skeleton.

The vertebrate skeleton is one of nature’s most amazing feats. Composed of cartilage and bone, it forms the supportive structure for all the remaining aspects of our anatomy. Stripped of skin, we can see the body’s fascinating underlying architecture.

In this one-of-a-kind book, biologist and skeletal reconstructionist Steve Huskey lays bare the vertebrate skeleton, providing a guided tour of the nuanced differences among the many featured vertebrate species. Using skeletal preparations he has spent decades assembling, Huskey helps us understand why animals live the way they do. He shows us the jaw and fang structures that allow venomous snakes to both kill and consume their prey whole. We see that the eastern mole is built like a weightlifter, allowing it to “swim through soil.” Startling images demonstrate that the odd-looking trumpetfish is built not for music but for suction, with a skull that expands to vacuum in its prey.

The pages of The Skeleton Revealed illuminate not only the elegance of each skeleton, but also the natural history story each skeleton tells. Come along—let’s take a voyage through the boneyard.

 

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About the author (2017)

Steve Huskey is an associate professor of biology at Western Kentucky University. Dr. Huskey's skeletons are on display in many venues, including the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the California Academy of Sciences, and the Miami Museum of Science and Planetarium.

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