The Lungfish and the Unicorn: An Excursion into Romantic Zoology. Willy Ley, W. Franklin Dove.
The Lungfish and the Unicorn: An Excursion into Romantic Zoology
The Lungfish and the Unicorn: An Excursion into Romantic Zoology
The Lungfish and the Unicorn: An Excursion into Romantic Zoology
The Lungfish and the Unicorn: An Excursion into Romantic Zoology
The Lungfish and the Unicorn: An Excursion into Romantic Zoology

The Lungfish and the Unicorn: An Excursion into Romantic Zoology

New York: Modern Age Books, 1941.

First edition. [xii], 305 pp. Publisher's blue cloth stamped in red. A Very Good+ copy with toned pages, light wear, in an attractive example of the uncommon dust jacket, Very Good, unclipped, chipped at extremities, a few tape mends on verso, small area of white paint spray on spine panel.

The copy of biologist W. Franklin Dove (1897-1972), inscribed to him by his wife and dated 25 Dec. 1942 on front free endpaper; a few marginal penciled notes probably by Dove throughout. Dove was involved in "unicorn research," a number of strange experiments attempting to surgically recreate the horn of the fictional creature the unicorn. Madeline McCurry Schmidt wrote of Dove in a 2011 blogpost for the distinguished Scientific American magazine:

Dr. W. Franklin Dove spent years of his career creating unicorns. Unicorn goats, unicorn cows. Even tri-horned animals roamed Dove’s barns.
Dove created these strangely-horned animals by removing immature “horn buds” from the heads of young animals and implanting the horn buds to a different location on the skull. He wanted to prove that horns did not grow straight out of the skull; instead, horn tissue developed separately and fused to the skull as it grew.
Understand that Dove was no crackpot scientist. Dove was a biologist at the University of Maine who studied animal production in the early 20th century. He had all the right collaborators and the right publications. Dove was a serious scientist.

It's not the "seriousness" of Dove's endeavors that animal rights advocates might take issue with, but, moving on, Nigel Suckling wrote of Dove's notorious"unibull" creation:

in 1933 [Dove] took a day-old Ayrshire calf, surgically removed its horn buds, trimmed them to fit together and replanted them in the centre of its forehead. As the young bull grew, the buds fused and produced a single solid, straight and pointed horn a foot or so in length which proved equally useful for fighting and uprooting fences, far superior in fact to the usual brace of curved ones when it comes to confronting a rival. Dr Dove's Unicorn bull became the leader of its herd and was very rarely challenged by other males.

This result inspired at least recent one neuroscientist to examine the relationship of anatomy to behavior. A notable work of zoology that extends into realms of cryptozoology with a very unusual association that brings in the related subfield of experimental zoology. Item #140939786

Price: $150.00

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