Sunday, February 12, 2006

Comparative Mammalian Anatomy









It wasn't until I'd saved most of these that I realised that the author/illustrator of this book was none other than the dinosaur sculptor, Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins - from a couple of days ago. Vincent Brooks completed the 10 lithographic plates.

Hawkins intended with his publication "to give a comparative view of the variation in form of the bony skeleton or framework of those animals most frequently required by the artist, designer, or ornamentist."

The accompanying text didn't incorporate Darwinian evolutionary theory and I get the strong feeling that either Hawkins himself or at the behest of Sir Richard Owens, held contrary views. Nevertheless the work is regarded as a positive contribution to the understanding of mammalian anatomy.

A Comparative View of the Human and Animal Frame by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins 1860 is online among the History of Science website at the fabulous University of Wisconsin - my favourite repository.

[I'm away in the countryside at the moment so posting is a tad intermittent. Sunstroke from sailing and a dodgy internet connection hasn't helped. Things should be back to normal in a few days.]

4 comments :

Agnes said...

Thanks for posting these - I just saw the Body Worlds exhibit in Chicago, so these images really resonate strongly with what I saw there.

peacay said...

Anesha said: "Hi Nice Blog .In this, the body is studied by regions rather than by organs. This is of importance to the surgeon who exposes different planes after the skin incision and who, of course, must be perfectly familiar with structures as he explores the limbs and Human Anatomy study cavities."

And then referenced innerbody dot com. I think I'd rather that site wasn't directly linked from here which is why the comment was deleted.

Timothy Bush said...

For those interested in Waterhouse Hawkins, there's a new biography of him out this fall by Valerie Bramwell and Robert McCracken Peck (big excerpt in the 12/08 issue of Natural History magazine). I'm pretty sure I'll be buying myself a copy for Christmas...

Can't resist adding that there's also a great kids' book called The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins with Caldecott-Honor-winning illustrations by Brian Selznick.

And thanks for this site, peacay... every time I visit, it makes my world a little bigger.

peacay said...

Thanks Timothy!

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