Simply because they are large scavenging birds, vultures are often viewed as harbingers of death. But, as Thom van Dooren shows in this cultural and natural history, that dominant association leaves us with a very one-dimensional understanding of a group of actually rather fascinating and diverse creatures.
Vulture offers an enlightening new history of this much-misunderstood bird. Vultures vary in type and size, and while some have a diet mainly of bone, others are actually almost completely vegetarian. Most interesting, despite its notorious association with death, the vulture very rarely, if ever, kills for itself. In different cultural mythologies, vultures play a role in disposing of the dead and officiating over human sacrifices, but they have often been viewed as courageous and noble creatures as well—believed to be indispensable in the containment of waste and disease and even to be world creators and divine mothers. Van Dooren explores these many histories, from some of the earliest-known Neolithic sites in which vultures are thought to have consumed the dead to contemporary efforts to reintroduce the bearded vulture into the Alps.
Highlighting the rich diversity of vultures and the many ways in which people have understood and lived with them, Vulture invites a new appreciation and wonder for these incredible birds.
Thom van Dooren
Brand: Reaktion Books
Used Book in Good Condition
60 colour illustrations, 40 black & whit
60 colour illustrations, 40 black & whit
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I decided against the purchase of Wayne Grady's book "Vulture" in favor of this book, and I am definitely glad I did. The reviews of Grady's book concerning a number of cases of misinformation, coupled with the fact that the Sierra Club apparently did not do their homework in editing and proof reading, were enough to sway me in favor of Thom Van Dooren's book. I simply did not realize the worldwide vulture populations, especially in Europe and Asia, were in severe distress. Where I live in SE Pennsylvania, our turkey vulture population is doing fine, and sightings of black vultures have increased in the last twenty or so years. The black vulture is a relative newcomer to these parts, as I do not remember seeing them when I was younger. This author has combined the scientific with the cultural significance of these creatures, especially in Africa and Asia, as well as discussions on the problems faced by the Bearded Vulture in Europe and Asia, and the vulture species of the Indian...
Helped me to write my thesis about bird strike and it was good knownledge for understanding how these great creatures perform an very important role in the world's balance.This book was the best I've ever read about vultures. Easy for non-English speakers.
The book is well written, with a thorough discussion of biology and anatomy of these great birds, there place in history and their importance in the cycle of life.
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