The brain of the twin toucan crabs is divided above the heads. With his left head he realizes, with his right he directs his movements. The heads exchange information by rhythmically tapping their beaks together.”
Ponder this caption for the drawing in the book Ultimate Earth By Raul Delio I imagine the explorer with his sketchbook and pencil on the shore of the unknown continent that he discovered. Face-to-face with the remarkable crustacean, Deleo combines the keen observational skills of a biologist with the craft of a scientific painter. Everything – color, form and function – is just right Carcinogenic Tokanojimin. Or not, because it just depends on how far you can or want to get away in his wonderful world. I can do it effortlessly.
Take the layered clad jay (Garrulus floricollaris) which, with its folded collar, is “very similar to a badminton” or blue-tailed frog (Rebidorana Cyrolia) belong to the “mouth brethren who hold their young in the vocal sac until they develop wings.” Even the scientific names Deleo gives to his discoveries on Terra Ultima go beyond the language of famous taxonomists. coral tiger (Coraleobardus perforatus) across a two-page display with a lime skeleton pierced with burdock “so much that you [hem] He can no longer see, but only guess.”
The only difficulty I have with Delio’s work is that he doesn’t take anything concrete from his expeditions. I offered him several times a barrel of alcohol in which he could keep and transport the animals, but he politely refused. Presumably, as an artist, he is too soft-hearted to collect his discoveries for science with dry eyes. Humanity should be satisfied with its drawings.
Thanks to my fellow biologist Noah J. Stern (whom I’ve never heard of), the book is also worth reading. He was given access to Deleo’s archive and was able to reconstruct three missions using his diary. In a mysterious shot, he found Deleo’s greatest secret: “Terra Ultima must be sought between Alaska and Asia. From the Chukchi Sea, mark a course for the Beaufort Sea and head to the Delta Wave. From there it is self-explanatory.”
Raul Delio: Terra Ultima. Discover an unknown continentة (Written and presented by Noah J. Stern). Lannoo Publisher, €25.99
A version of this article also appeared in NRC Handelsblad on July 23, 2021
A version of this article also appeared on NRC on the morning of July 23, 2021
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