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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Plover

The Natural History of Selborne

Gilbert WHITE

1793

Link

2017-05-05

'It must be matter of great curiosity to see the stilt plover move; to observe how it can wield such a length of lever with such feeble muscles as the thighs seem to be furnished with. At best one should expect it to be but a bad walker: but what adds to the wonder is that it has no back toe. Now without that steady prop support its steps it must be liable, in speculation, to perpetual vacillations, and seldom able to preserve the true centre of gravity.

The old name of himantopus is taken from Pliny; and, by an awkward metaphor, implies that the legs are as slender and pliant as if cut out of a thong of leather.' - The Natural History of Selborne, Gilbert White

I agree. The leverage seems like it would be horrible, but thanks to YouTube, we can see what Mr. White could not.