Thursday, May 30, 2024

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Fowl drones finally put taxidermy to good use

Fowl drones finally put taxidermy to good use
Taxidermy. Euurgh. Was there ever a worse idea? I doubt it.

We can apportion some blame on the Ancient Egyptians,.who liked nothing better than to preserve dead stuff in preparation for the afterlife. But the astrologers and apothecaries of the middle ages also bear some responsibility for not leaving well alone.

The preservation and display of dead birds for observational purposes was pioneered by Frenchman, R. A. F. de Reaumur in the 1750s. His method of fixing a bird’s skin to a board, inserting a glass eye,.and then painting on a beak and legs is rumored to have been the same method used by Keith Harris to make Orville.

Get stuffed

Today’s world, however, dominated as it is by high technology (Hi-Tec),.has no more use for the barbaric pursuit of fiddling with wire mesh, sawdust,.and the smelly outards of a bat, zebra, or pangolin, than a cat has for pyjamas. At least, that’s what we’d all hoped…

But then came along, Dr David Smythe-Jones of Suffolk University to breathe new death into a menagerie of post-mortem pied wagtails, peregrines, pigeons, and parrots. Smythe-Jones, an aeronautical engineer specializing in drone technology, has combined his specialism with his other passion –  ornothology – and come up with the idea ‘bird drones’ – basically a drone stuffed inside a dead bird. Weird.

Taxidermy for Dr Frankenjones

The Doctor – known as ‘Frankenjones’ to his colleagues, told the SUFFOLK GAZETTE how came up with his freaky idea one Sunday afternoon as he watched his wife stuffing a chicken with Paxo original sage and onion stuffing. “We were in the kitchen, Lydia amd I.

I’d just opened a second bottle of 2011 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste Pauillac and I remember leaning unsteadily against the rustic central island. I remember it clearly because I rested one hand firmly in a big pile of breadcrumbs, and when I lifted my hand, it looked like a leper’s with all the skin-like crumbs falling off, haha.

Anyway, I was watching my wife stuff the bird and I remember she was droning on about something or other. And that was it. I was so excited I dribbled a whole mouthful of the Pauillac down my chin when I attempted to say ‘Eureka!’, haha”

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