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MARK CATESBY (1682-1749)

The Bill of the Flamingo in its full Dimensions

c.1725

RCIN 925909

When Catesby visited the Bahamas in 1725 he would have seen gorgonian (a soft coral) and flocks of flamingo. He rarely depicted an isolated part of a creature, but the structure of the flamingo’s beak clearly interested him. He recorded that ‘Nature has provided the edges of their Bill with a Sieve, or Teeth, like those of a fine comb’, which allows flamingos to filter their food out of the mud.


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