Avian Eggshells: an Atlas of Scanning Electron Micrographs
by Konstantin E. Mikhailov

Pages: 88
Publisher: ---
Series: British Ornithologists' Club Occasional Publications
Edition: 1st ed., 1997
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0952288621
ISBN-13: 978-0952288626


Ornithologists have used the shape and colour of birds' eggs to identify the ownership ol nests, discuss crypsis, marvel at parasitic adaptations and theorise about many other evolutionary phenomena. Most such studies have until recently relied on information from superficial characters of the eggs’ shells. The advent of the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) has permitted the structure of eggshells at very high magnifications to be visualised. Dr Mikhailov has been compiling photographs of these images for many years, with a view to examining what can be learnt from them about the relationships between different groups ot birds. He has now synthesised his findings and presents them together with his interpretations ot their significance in this Atlas. Whilst some of the conclusions may be controversial, and perhaps lie awkwardly next to phylogenies based on morphological characteristics of the birds themselves or on their DNA, it is a pleasure for the British Ornithologists' Club to publish this book as a major contribution to the current debate on avian taxonomy. That this debate is a lively one was witnessed by the discussions, including Konstantin Mikhailov's own contribution, at the joint meeting between the British Ornithologists' Club and the Linnean Society of London, held in March 1996 and published in the Bulletin o f the British Ornithologists' Club this year.
The British Ornithologists' Club has a long history of publishing papers on birds. The Bulletin o f the British Ornithologists’ Club has been published without interruption since the founding of the Club in 1892.

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