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Lora's Rants and Reviews

My own unapologetic opinions on books and writing. I DO NOT accept review requests but only review books I choose to read and I don't post reviews on Amazon. I'm also persnickity about genre and plot.

Currently reading

The Illumination of Ursula Flight
Anna-Marie Crowhurst
Progress: 16%
Paris: The Novel
Edward Rutherfurd
Progress: 63%
Unnatural Creatures
Maria Dahvana Headley, Neil Gaiman
Progress: 40%
Ashes of London
Andrew Taylor
Progress: 20%
Don Quixote
Roberto González Echevarría, John Rutherford, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Progress: 64%

On the Wing

On the Wing: Insects, Pterosaurus, Birds, Bats and the Evolution of Animal Flight - David E. Alexander

by David E. Alexander




This is a very interesting book about animal flight. It divides flying creatures into four types, covering birds, insects and even extinct pterosaurs and explains the mechanisms behind their abilities to fly and in some cases, even to hover.


The book covers how far, how high and how fast various flyers are able to accomplish and discusses hunting habits, food gathering and other reasons for developing the ability to fly.


There is a lot of straight forward scientific information, including the naming conventions for genus and species that we all learned in school, but with some inside humor regarding naming explained. It also goes into the engineering behind flight and especially hovering.


What really strikes me about this book is that despite being information rich, it is presented in a way that keeps it interesting. The same information that our high school science teachers might have struggled to convey to a classroom full of disinterested students is suddenly infinitely fascinating. There are even some amusing pieces of information and I couldn't help smiling when I was reading about gliding lizards and the book described a Draco having been seen doing barrel rolls.


A thoroughly enjoyable and educational book which I would recommend to anyone with an interest in flight of any kind.