In his new book The Unburnt Egg- More stories of a museum curator, Brian Gill delves further into the mysteries of the natural history collections he has worked with over three decades. Many stories in the book are so bizarre they read like fiction. The title refers to an extraordinary incident where the home of an elderly reclusive woman burnt to the ground and in the ashes was found a rare untouched moa egg. Others reveal the detective work involved in unravelling the strange history of specimens in museum collections. Gill is a gifted storyteller who enriches the book with engaging scientific information, from the ever-evolving explanations for the dying out of the huia to the reason so many seal bones are found in certain sand dunes, and why the shining cuckoo leaves its young to be raised by other birds.
"This book is a pleasure to read and provides a valuable insight into our natural and scientific history and into the pioneering scientists who people that history." Leilani Walker, New Zealand Ecological Society" "A comprehensive account of the role of museums and curators . . . there are many great stories here: and there is a wry, accurate and entertaining raconteur to tell them." Keith Woodley, Pukorokoro Miranda News" "[Brian Gill s] undimmed passion for uncovering the truth of how our natural world functions makes the book both a hugely entertaining read and a compelling case for the value of our museums and the science they foster." Jim Eagles, New Zealand Herald"
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