Bestiary The Aberdeen Bestiary

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Folio 51v Illustration detail

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f51v illustration detail f51v Text: The bat. The text explains the bat does not have wings nor lay eggs and yet it is here classified among the birds. The jackdaw, a talkative bird. Illustration: This is a fairly accurate ventral view of a flying bat. The bats wings are shown as a membrane stretching from its three fingers down to its toes and tail. Its furry face has the typically uncanny human look. It is classified as a bird because of its wings rather than as a mammal because of its fur. Compared with many other Bestiaries, the Aberdeen bat is quite accurate. The artist has realised that the flight membrane joins the fingers, legs and tail even though there should be five fingers with four supporting the wing.

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Historic Collections - University of Aberdeen - King's College - Aberdeen - AB24 3SW
Michael Arnott
m.arnott@aberdeen.ac.uk

University of Aberdeen