From Kerrie O’Brien’s article about the recently-published Phaidon book “Animal: Exploring the Zoological World” for The Sydney Morning Herald:
“The great tragedy of course is that many of these species are going extinct, even before they’re named. It’s kind of a race against time,” says [James] Hanken, who has identified several new salamanders in Mexico. “In the article where we gave them names, we also classified them as critically endangered, they’re just hanging on. It’s this paradox, as people are describing more and more new species, many of them are going extinct at a great rate.”
Hanken is also consulting editor of Phaidon’s new book Animal. The third in a series – the first are Universe and Plant – the book features almost 300 images of animals across all media.
Over tens of thousands of years, different cultures have been inextricably tied to animals – providing food and shelter, protection or as objects of reverence. That relationship recurs throughout the book in religious, moral and decorative themes.
Human relationships with animals underpin the bulk of the images in the book, from the earliest cave drawings through to Pop Art. Contemporary offerings include Louise Bourgeois’ fabulous creepy spider sculpture Maman, “Glare” by photographer Jill Greenberg, and Scott Echols’ Microvasculature of a Pigeon Head.