Animal Imaginings

Our perceptions of other beasts tell us a great deal about ourselves


First encounters: the fulsome bird

The dodo is a familiar image from books such as Alice in Wonderland or natural history museums- and it's one of the most prevalent icons of anthropogenic extinction. The real bird was probably nothing like the fat, ungainly creature charactured in literature or media, it was certainly a welcome treat for hungry sailors when it... Continue Reading →

First encounters: the armoured diggers

Almost nobody knows what a pangolin is - even the description 'scaly anteater' usually causes bemused looks. It's not like they haven't been familiar in Europe for hundreds of years.But the creatures they came from remained enigmatic. The first accounts of pangolins written by Europeans give a clue as to why.

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