The Rarest of the Rare Review

Author: Nancy Pick, Photographs by Mark Sloan
HarperCollins, November, 2004
Hardcover, 178 pages
ISBN: 0060537183

The Rarest of the Rare  by Nancy Pick, Photographs by Mark Sloan

This compelling book contains detailed text and stunning photographs of some of the most interesting and unusual exhibits at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. Readers will discover curiosities like the Harvard mastodon, a papier-mâché model of a giant squid, a rare fossil butterfly, shipworms that ate the Titanic, an elephant bird egg and a pallasite, a meteorite containing translucent crystals. Many of the exhibit entries also have historical significance, like the fossil sand dollar found by Charles Darwin in 1834, Captain Cook's mamo and two pheasants that once belonged to George Washington. Other exhibits show extinct animals like the Cape Verde skink, which went extinct sometime in the early 1900s and the skeleton of a dodo bird which went extinct in the 1600s when humans introduced pigs and monkeys onto their relatively predator-free island.

The Rarest of the Rare is a wonderful way to peek inside the Harvard Museum of Natural History without ever leaving home. The perfect coffee table book, it would make a delightful holiday gift.

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