"In the early nineteenth century there were so many passenger pigeons that the sky darkened when they flew overhead; it took three days for flocks to pass. They were killed by hunters or disappeared when their oak and beech habitats were destroyed. The last bird, named Martha (only the last of any species seems to merit a human name), died in the Cincinnati Zoo in 1905." Here, in photographs and words, are stirring reminders of wild beauty that is no more, as well as profiles of species whose survival is in peril. Rosamond Purcell's seventy spectacular color photographs--taken primarily at the Natural History Museum in Leiden, Holland, which holds the world's most extensive collection of lost species--tell a haunting and foreboding tale.
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