The European roe deer known as the western roe deer, chevreuil, or roe deer or roe, is a species of deer. The male of the species is sometimes referred to as a roebuck; the roe deer is small and grey-brown, well-adapted to cold environments. The species is widespread in Europe, from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia, from Scotland to the Caucasus, east to northern Iran and Iraq, it is distinct from the somewhat larger Siberian roe deer. Within Europe, the European roe deer occurs in most areas, with the exception of northernmost Scandinavia and some of the islands, notably Iceland and the Mediterranean Sea islands. Scottish roe deer were introduced to the Lissadell Estate in Co. Sligo in Ireland around 1870 by Sir Henry Gore-Booth, Bt; the Lissadell deer were noted for their occasional abnormal antlers and survived in that general area for about 50 years before they died out. According to the National Biodiversity Data Centre, in 2014 there was a confirmed sighting of roe deer in County Armagh. There have been other, sightings in County Wicklow.
In England and Wales, roe have experienced a substantial expansion in their range in the latter half of the 20th century and continuing into the 21st century. This increase in population appears to be affecting woodland ecosystems. At the start of the 20th century, they were extinct in Southern England, but since have hugely expanded their range for no apparent reason and in some cases with human help. In 1884, roe were introduced from Württemberg in Germany into the Thetford Chase area, these spread to populate most of Norfolk and substantial parts of Cambridgeshire. In southern England, they started their expansion in Sussex and from there soon spread into Surrey, Wiltshire and Dorset, for the first half of the 20th century, most roe in southern England were to be found in these counties. By the end of the 20th century, they had repopulated much of Southern England and had expanded into Somerset, Cornwall, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire and South Yorkshire, had spread into mid-Wales from the Ludlow area where an isolated population had appeared.
At the same time, the surviving population in Scotland and the Lake District had pushed further south beyond Yorkshire and Lancashire and into Derbyshire and Humberside. Roe can now be found in most of rural England except for south east Kent and the greater part of Staffordshire and Cheshire, although the expansion is continuing to the extent that before the end of the 21st century, anywhere in the UK mainland suitable for roe may have a population. Not being a species that needs large areas of woodland to survive, urban roe are now a feature of several cities, notably Glasgow and Bristol, where in particular they favour cemeteries. In Wales, they are less common, but have been seen as far south west as Cardigan and as far north west as Bangor, they are reasonably well established in Powys and Monmouthshire. German colonial administrators introduced roe deer to the island of Pohnpei in Micronesia, they are hunted by locals in steep and vegetated terrain. The meat is sold in markets and restaurants in Kolonia, the capital city of Pohnpei and the Federated States of Micronesia.
The roe deer is distinct from the somewhat larger Siberian roe deer found from the Ural Mountains to as far east as China and Siberia. The two species meet at the Caucasus Mountains, with the European species occupying the southern flank of the mountain ranges and adjacent Asia Minor, the Siberian species occupying the northern flank of the mountain ranges, it is known. The roe deer is a small deer, with a body length of 95–135 cm, a shoulder height of 65–75 cm, a weight of 15–35 kg. Bucks in good conditions develop antlers up to 20–25 cm long with two or three even four, points; when the male's antlers begin to regrow, they are covered in a thin layer of velvet-like fur which disappears on after the hair's blood supply is lost. Males may speed up the process by rubbing their antlers on trees, so that their antlers are hard and stiff for the duels during the mating season. Unlike most cervids, roe deer begin regrowing antlers immediately after they are shed; the roe deer is crepuscular quick and graceful, lives in woods, although it may venture into grasslands and sparse forests.
They feed on grass, leaves and young shoots. They like young, tender grass with a high moisture content, i.e. grass that has received rain the day before. Roe deer will not venture into a field that has had or has livestock in it because the livestock make the grass unclean. A pioneer species associated with biotic communities at an early stage of succession, during the Neolithic period in Europe, the roe deer was abundant, taking advantage of areas of forest or woodland cleared by Neolithic farmers; the roe deer attains a maximum lifespan of 10 years. When alarmed, it will flash out its white rump patch. Rump patches differ between the sexes, with the white rump patches heart-shaped on females and kidney-shaped on males. Males may bark or make a low grunting noise. Females make a high-pitched "pheep" whine to attract males during the rut in August; the female goes looking for a mate and lures the
The Vaynol cattle is one of the United Kingdom’s rarest breeds of cattle with less than 150 breeding animals registered in the UK. The cattle is listed as “critical” on the Rare Breed Survival Trust list. There are three registered different herds of Vaynol cattle existing in the United Kingdom. Along with the Chillingham, it is one of the two types of White Park cattle; this endangered breed is similar to the White Park cattle. The Vaynol cattle are angular in appearance with curved hocks and a sloping rump, they can be white with black spots or black. The coloring of the spots is found on the ears, hooves, nose, on the point of the horns and they sometimes have black socks; the females can have black teats on their udders. Males have long horns, developed outside of the head. Females do not have horns. Bulls weigh from 400–450 kg and cows weigh from 300–350 kg; the herd is now being taken care of by humans. However, they are still not domesticated and distrust humans; the Vaynol cattle was considered wild in the past, but due to its current endangered status and thus increased contact with humans, they are now considered semi-feral.
Their nutritional requirements are low due to the animal's weight. They are classified as upland beef, their suitability in grazing conservation is described as follows: They are hardy, thrifty breeds well suited for use in a wide range of conservation grazing situations. Their small-medium size and weight makes them less to damage sensitive swards and soft soils, they grow slow and mature late, making it unlikely for them to complete their physical development within the usual 30 month maturation period, unless given supplementary feeding. The Vaynol cattle originates from a herd in Scotland; the history of the breed dates back over 100 years, beginning with a semi-wild herd established in 1872 in Vaynol Park, North Wales. It was kept there until the death of the owner Sir Michael Duff in 1980, when the estate was sold and it was moved to a series of locations in England; this type of herd has never existed in large numbers and the present type is descended from a small number of founders. Back in 1989 there was only one existing herd.
Four years the herd was purchased by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and moved four times in search of a permanent home. The original herd now resides at West Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom, it is run by Leeds City Council. The Home Farm, open to the public, includes a barn, built in 1694, it is the largest working rare breeds farm in Europe and the only one of 16 national farms being approved by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. The Trust is responsible for the herdbook of the Vaynol and owns the majority of the breeding animals; the cattle resides in large green meadows surrounded by barriers, in large estates and national parks. Like relate breeds such as the White Park and Chillingham cattle, the Vaynol is a remnant of the ancient white cattle that once roamed Great Britain. In 2009, the Vaynol cattle based at Temple Newsam were separated into two different herds for the first time. Three cows were brought to a county located 70 miles away from Temple Newsam; the beginnings of a third herd of this breed were formed in 2012 with the support of The Prince of Wales's Charitable Foundation.
The donation enabled the RBST to purchase a Vaynol heifer called Templeson Ursula, which - together with its sister Una - is taken care of by RBST members Derek and Cindy Steen in Scotland. The Vaynol cattle is one of the United Kingdom’s rarest breeds of cattle with less than 150 breeding animals registered in the UK; the Rare Breeds Survival Trust is a UK charity organisation, which aims to conserve and protect national rare farm animals from extinction. The cattle is listed as “critical” on the Rare Breed Survival Trust list; the Trust is trying to keep this rare breed alive by organizing the care of the still existing herds. One important measure is the setting in place of various breeding programs to avoid inbreeding, dangerous within such a small number of animals. In 2006, a five-year conservation programme was started by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and Temple Newsam in order to establish a genetic profile of the breed; this is thus an important measure of protection. In 2007, the first calf was born by artificial insemination.
The semen used were collected from a bull 30 years ago. The breeding procedure remained unsuccessful at any other place but Temple Newsam Home Farm until recently; the standards set at Temple Newsam for saving and promoting the UK’s livestock heritage have been used as a benchmark for other agencies. In 2009 a new satellite herd was created at East Torrington in Lincolnshire; this has been a important step to conserve the future of Vaynol cattle by widening the future breeding stock. The Vaynol’s live on 15 acres of grazing land owned by Lincoln farmer and RBST Trustees Neville and Maureen Turner. On 23 August 2013 a female calf was born after the mother, Templeson Tania, had been artificially inseminated at East Torrington. There are now this new calf at the agisted herd in Lincolnshire; the third herd, formed in 2012 with help from The Prince of Wales's Charitable Foundation, consists of 4 cows and 2 heifers. They are likely to take part in the artificial insemination process. Keeping this third herd of Vaynol cattle in Scotland again ensures a wider distribution of the breed, which will help to protect it in the case of an outbreak of serious disease.
Wilkie, Rhoda M. "Working with Farm Animals from Birth
Cattle—colloquially cows—are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, are most classified collectively as Bos taurus. Cattle are raised as livestock for meat, for milk, for hides, which are used to make leather, they are used as riding animals and draft animals. Another product of cattle is dung, which can be used to create fuel. In some regions, such as parts of India, cattle have significant religious meaning. Cattle small breeds such as the Miniature Zebu, are kept as pets. Around 10,500 years ago, cattle were domesticated from as few as 80 progenitors in central Anatolia, the Levant and Western Iran. According to an estimate from 2011, there are 1.4 billion cattle in the world. In 2009, cattle became one of the first livestock animals to have a mapped genome; some consider cattle the oldest form of wealth, cattle raiding one of the earliest forms of theft. Cattle were identified as three separate species: Bos taurus, the European or "taurine" cattle.
The aurochs is ancestral to both taurine cattle. These have been reclassified as one species, Bos taurus, with three subspecies: Bos taurus primigenius, Bos taurus indicus, Bos taurus taurus. Complicating the matter is the ability of cattle to interbreed with other related species. Hybrid individuals and breeds exist, not only between taurine cattle and zebu, but between one or both of these and some other members of the genus Bos – yaks and gaur. Hybrids such as the beefalo breed can occur between taurine cattle and either species of bison, leading some authors to consider them part of the genus Bos, as well; the hybrid origin of some types may not be obvious – for example, genetic testing of the Dwarf Lulu breed, the only taurine-type cattle in Nepal, found them to be a mix of taurine cattle and yak. However, cattle cannot be hybridized with more distantly related bovines such as water buffalo or African buffalo; the aurochs ranged throughout Europe, North Africa, much of Asia. In historical times, its range became restricted to Europe, the last known individual died in Mazovia, Poland, in about 1627.
Breeders have attempted to recreate cattle of similar appearance to aurochs by crossing traditional types of domesticated cattle, creating the Heck cattle breed. The noun cattle encompasses both sexes; the singular, technically means the female, the male being bull. The plural form cows is sometimes used colloquially to refer to both sexes collectively, as e.g. in a herd, but that usage can be misleading as the speaker's intent may indeed be just the females. The bovine species per se is dimorphic. Cattle did not originate as the term for bovine animals, it was borrowed from Anglo-Norman catel, itself from medieval Latin capitale'principal sum of money, capital', itself derived in turn from Latin caput'head'. Cattle meant movable personal property livestock of any kind, as opposed to real property; the word is a variant of chattel and related to capital in the economic sense. The term replaced earlier Old English feoh ` property', which survives today as fee; the word "cow" came via Anglo-Saxon cū, from Common Indo-European gʷōus = "a bovine animal", compare Persian: gâv, Sanskrit: go-, Welsh: buwch.
The plural cȳ became ki or kie in Middle English, an additional plural ending was added, giving kine, but kies and others. This is the origin of the now archaic English plural, "kine"; the Scots language singular is coo or cou, the plural is "kye". In older English sources such as the King James Version of the Bible, "cattle" refers to livestock, as opposed to "deer" which refers to wildlife. "Wild cattle" may refer to undomesticated species of the genus Bos. Today, when used without any other qualifier, the modern meaning of "cattle" is restricted to domesticated bovines. In general, the same words are used in different parts of the world, but with minor differences in the definitions; the terminology described here contrasts the differences in definition between the United Kingdom and other British-influenced parts of the world such as Canada, New Zealand and the United States. An "intact" adult male is called a bull. A wild, unmarked bull is known as a micky in Australia. An unbranded bovine of either sex is called a maverick in the Canada.
An adult female that has had a calf is a cow. A young female before she has had a calf of her own and is under three years of age is called a heifer. A young female that has had only one calf is called a first-calf heifer. Young cattle of both sexes are called calves until they are weaned weaners until they are a year old in some areas. After that, they are referred to as stirks if between one and two years of age. A castrated male is called a steer in the United States.
Foxes are small-to-medium-sized, omnivorous mammals belonging to several genera of the family Canidae. Foxes have a flattened skull, upright triangular ears, a pointed upturned snout, a long bushy tail. Twelve species belong to the monophyletic "true foxes" group of genus Vulpes. Another 25 current or extinct species are always or sometimes called foxes. Foxes live on every continent except Antarctica. By far the most common and widespread species of fox is the red fox with about 47 recognized subspecies; the global distribution of foxes, together with their widespread reputation for cunning, has contributed to their prominence in popular culture and folklore in many societies around the world. The hunting of foxes with packs of hounds, long an established pursuit in Europe in the British Isles, was exported by European settlers to various parts of the New World; the word fox comes from Old English. This in turn derives from Proto-Indo-European *puḱ-, meaning ’thick-haired. Male foxes are known as dogs, tods or reynards, females as vixens, young as cubs, pups, or kits, though the latter name is not to be confused with a distinct species called kit foxes.
Vixen is one of few words in modern English that retains the Middle English southern dialect "v" pronunciation instead of "f". A group of foxes is referred to leash, or earth. Within the Canidae, the results of DNA analysis shows several phylogenetic divisions: The fox-like canids, which include the kit fox, red fox, Cape fox, Arctic fox, fennec fox; the wolf-like canids, including the dog, gray wolf, red wolf, eastern wolf, golden jackal, Ethiopian wolf, black-backed jackal, side-striped jackal and African wild dog. The South American canids, including hoary fox, crab-eating fox and maned wolf. Various monotypic taxa, including the bat-eared fox, gray fox, raccoon dog. Foxes are smaller than some other members of the family Canidae such as wolves and jackals, while they may be larger than some within the family, such as Raccoon dogs. In the largest species, the red fox, males weigh on average between 4.1 and 8.7 kg, while the smallest species, the fennec fox, weighs just 0.7 to 1.6 kg. Fox-like features include a triangular face, pointed ears, an elongated rostrum, a bushy tail.
Foxes are digitigrade, thus, walk on their toes. Unlike most members of the family Canidae, foxes have retractable claws. Fox vibrissae, or whiskers, are black; the whiskers on the muzzle, mystaciae vibrissae, average 100–110 mm long, while the whiskers everywhere else on the head average to be shorter in length. Whiskers are on the forelimbs and average 40 mm long, pointing downward and backward. Other physical characteristics vary according to adaptive significance. Fox species differ in fur color and density. Coat colors range from pearly white to black and white to black flecked with white or grey on the underside. Fennec foxes, for example, have short fur to aid in keeping the body cool. Arctic foxes, on the other hand, have tiny ears and short limbs as well as thick, insulating fur, which aid in keeping the body warm. Red foxes, by contrast, have a typical auburn pelt, the tail ending with white marking. A fox's coat color and texture may vary due to the change in seasons. To get rid of the dense winter coat, foxes moult once a year around April.
Coat color may change as the individual ages. A fox's dentition, like all other canids, is I 3/3, C 1/1, PM 4/4, M 3/2 = 42. Foxes have pronounced carnassial pairs, characteristic of a carnivore; these pairs consist of the upper premolar and the lower first molar, work together to shear tough material like flesh. Foxes' canines are pronounced characteristic of a carnivore, are excellent in gripping prey. In the wild, the typical lifespan of a fox is one to three years, although individuals may live up to ten years. Unlike many canids, foxes are not always pack animals, they live in small family groups, but some are known to be solitary. Foxes are omnivores; the diet of foxes is made up of invertebrates such as insects, small vertebrates such as reptiles and birds, can include eggs and plants. Many species are generalist predators. Most species of fox consume around 1 kg of food every day. Foxes cache excess food, burying it for consumption under leaves, snow, or soil. Foxes tend to use a pouncing technique where they crouch down to camouflage themselves in the terrain using their hind legs, leap up with great force to land on top of their targeted prey.
Using their pronounced canine te
Dry stone, sometimes called drystack or, in Scotland, drystane, is a building method by which structures are constructed from stones without any mortar to bind them together. Dry stone structures are stable because of their unique construction method, characterized by the presence of a load-bearing façade of selected interlocking stones. Dry stone construction is best known in the context of stone walls, traditionally used for the boundaries of fields and churchyards, or as retaining walls for terracing, but dry stone sculptures, buildings and other structures exist; the art of dry stone walling was inscribed in 2018 on the UNESCO representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity, for dry stone walls in countries such as France, Italy and Spain. Some dry stone wall constructions in north-west Europe have been dated back to the Neolithic Age; some Cornish hedges are believed by the Guild of Cornish Hedgers to date from 5000 BC, although there appears to be little dating evidence.
In County Mayo, Ireland, an entire field system made from dry stone walls, since covered in peat, have been carbon-dated to 3800 BC. The cyclopean walls of the acropolis of Mycenae, have been dated to 1350 BC and those of Tiryns earlier. In Belize, the Mayan ruins at Lubaantun illustrate use of dry stone construction in architecture of the 8th and 9th centuries AD. Great Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe, Africa, is a large city "acropolis" complex, constructed from the 11th to the 15th centuries AD. Terminology varies regionally; when used as field boundaries, dry stone structures are known as dykes in Scotland. Dry stone walls are characteristic of upland areas of Britain and Ireland where rock outcrops or large stones exist in quantity in the soil, they are abundant in the West of Ireland Connemara. They may be found throughout the Mediterranean, including retaining walls used for terracing; such constructions are common where large stones are plentiful or conditions are too harsh for hedges capable of retaining livestock to be grown as reliable field boundaries.
Many thousands of miles of such walls exist. In the United States they are common in areas with rocky soils, such as New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and are a notable characteristic of the bluegrass region of central Kentucky as well as Virginia, where they are referred to as rock fences or stone fences, the Napa Valley in north central California; the technique of construction was brought to America by English and Scots-Irish immigrants. The technique was taken to Australia and New Zealand. Similar walls are found in the Swiss–Italian border region, where they are used to enclose the open space under large natural boulders or outcrops; the higher-lying rock-rich fields and pastures in Bohemia's south-western border range of Šumava are lined by dry stone walls built of field-stones removed from the arable or cultural land. They serve both as the lot's borders. Sometimes the dry stone terracing is apparent combined with parts of stone masonry that are held together by a clay-cum-needles "composite" mortar.
The dry stone walling tradition of Croatia was added to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in November 2018, alongside those of Cyprus, Greece, Slovenia and Switzerland. In Croatia, dry stone walls were built for a variety of reasons: to clear the earth of stone for crops; some walls date back to the Liburnian era. Notable examples include the island of Baljenac, which has 23 kilometres of dry stone walls despite being only 0.14 square kilometres in area, the vineyards of Primošten. In Peru in the 15th century AD, the Inca made use of otherwise unusable slopes by building dry stone walls to create terraces, they employed this mode of construction for freestanding walls. Their ashlar type construction in Machu Picchu uses the classic Inca architectural style of polished dry stone walls of regular shape; the Incas were masters of this technique, in which blocks of stone are cut to fit together without mortar. Many junctions are so perfect that not a knife fits between the stones.
The structures have persisted in the high earthquake region because of the flexibility of the walls, because in their double wall architecture, the two portions of the walls incline into each other. A wall's style and method of construction will vary, depending on the type of stone available, its intended use and local tradition. Most older walls are constructed from stones and boulders cleared from the fields during preparation for agriculture but many from stone quarried nearby. For modern walls, quarried stone is always used; the type of wall built will depend on the nature of the stones available. One type of wall is called a "double" wall and is constructed by placing two rows of stones along the boundary to be walled; the foundation stones are ideally set into the ground so as to rest on the subsoil. The rows are composed of large flattish stones. Smaller stones may be used as chocks in areas; the walls are built up to the desired height layer-by-layer and, at intervals, large tie-stones or through stones are placed which span both faces of the wall and sometimes project.
These have the effec
Animals are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals consume organic material, breathe oxygen, are able to move, can reproduce sexually, grow from a hollow sphere of cells, the blastula, during embryonic development. Over 1.5 million living animal species have been described—of which around 1 million are insects—but it has been estimated there are over 7 million animal species in total. Animals range in length from 8.5 millionths of a metre to 33.6 metres and have complex interactions with each other and their environments, forming intricate food webs. The category includes humans, but in colloquial use the term animal refers only to non-human animals; the study of non-human animals is known as zoology. Most living animal species are in the Bilateria, a clade whose members have a bilaterally symmetric body plan; the Bilateria include the protostomes—in which many groups of invertebrates are found, such as nematodes and molluscs—and the deuterostomes, containing the echinoderms and chordates.
Life forms interpreted. Many modern animal phyla became established in the fossil record as marine species during the Cambrian explosion which began around 542 million years ago. 6,331 groups of genes common to all living animals have been identified. Aristotle divided animals into those with those without. Carl Linnaeus created the first hierarchical biological classification for animals in 1758 with his Systema Naturae, which Jean-Baptiste Lamarck expanded into 14 phyla by 1809. In 1874, Ernst Haeckel divided the animal kingdom into the multicellular Metazoa and the Protozoa, single-celled organisms no longer considered animals. In modern times, the biological classification of animals relies on advanced techniques, such as molecular phylogenetics, which are effective at demonstrating the evolutionary relationships between animal taxa. Humans make use of many other animal species for food, including meat and eggs. Dogs have been used in hunting, while many aquatic animals are hunted for sport.
Non-human animals have appeared in art from the earliest times and are featured in mythology and religion. The word "animal" comes from the Latin animalis, having soul or living being; the biological definition includes all members of the kingdom Animalia. In colloquial usage, as a consequence of anthropocentrism, the term animal is sometimes used nonscientifically to refer only to non-human animals. Animals have several characteristics. Animals are eukaryotic and multicellular, unlike bacteria, which are prokaryotic, unlike protists, which are eukaryotic but unicellular. Unlike plants and algae, which produce their own nutrients animals are heterotrophic, feeding on organic material and digesting it internally. With few exceptions, animals breathe oxygen and respire aerobically. All animals are motile during at least part of their life cycle, but some animals, such as sponges, corals and barnacles become sessile; the blastula is a stage in embryonic development, unique to most animals, allowing cells to be differentiated into specialised tissues and organs.
All animals are composed of cells, surrounded by a characteristic extracellular matrix composed of collagen and elastic glycoproteins. During development, the animal extracellular matrix forms a flexible framework upon which cells can move about and be reorganised, making the formation of complex structures possible; this may be calcified, forming structures such as shells and spicules. In contrast, the cells of other multicellular organisms are held in place by cell walls, so develop by progressive growth. Animal cells uniquely possess the cell junctions called tight junctions, gap junctions, desmosomes. With few exceptions—in particular, the sponges and placozoans—animal bodies are differentiated into tissues; these include muscles, which enable locomotion, nerve tissues, which transmit signals and coordinate the body. There is an internal digestive chamber with either one opening or two openings. Nearly all animals make use of some form of sexual reproduction, they produce haploid gametes by meiosis.
These fuse to form zygotes, which develop via mitosis into a hollow sphere, called a blastula. In sponges, blastula larvae swim to a new location, attach to the seabed, develop into a new sponge. In most other groups, the blastula undergoes more complicated rearrangement, it first invaginates to form a gastrula with a digestive chamber and two separate germ layers, an external ectoderm and an internal endoderm. In most cases, a third germ layer, the mesoderm develops between them; these germ layers differentiate to form tissues and organs. Repeated instances of mating with a close relative during sexual reproduction leads to inbreeding depression within a population due to the increased prevalence of harmful recessive traits. Animals have evolved numerous mechanisms for avoiding close inbreeding. In some species, such as the splendid fairywren, females benefit by mating with multiple males, thus producing more offspring of higher genetic quality; some animals are capable of asexual reproduction, which results
Thomas Bewick was a British engraver and natural history author. Early in his career he took on all kinds of work such as engraving cutlery, making the wood blocks for advertisements, illustrating children's books, he turned to illustrating and publishing his own books, gaining an adult audience for the fine illustrations in A History of Quadrupeds. His career began, he became a partner in the business and took it over. Apprentices whom Bewick trained include John Anderson, Luke Clennell, William Harvey, who in their turn became well known as painters and engravers. Bewick is best known for his A History of British Birds, admired today for its wood engravings the small observed, humorous vignettes known as tail-pieces; the book was the forerunner of all modern field guides. He notably illustrated editions of Aesop's Fables throughout his life, he is credited with popularising a technical innovation in the printing of illustrations using wood. He adopted metal-engraving tools to cut hard boxwood across the grain, producing printing blocks that could be integrated with metal type, but were much more durable than traditional woodcuts.
The result was high-quality illustration at a low price. Bewick was born at Cherryburn, a house in the village of Mickley, near Newcastle upon Tyne on 10 or 11 August 1753, although his birthday was always celebrated on the 12th, his parents were tenant farmers: his father John had been married before his union with Jane, was in his forties when Thomas, the eldest of eight, was born. John rented a small colliery at Mickley Bank, which employed six men. Bewick attended school in the nearby village of Ovingham. Bewick did not flourish at schoolwork, but at a early age showed a talent for drawing, he had no lessons in art. At the age of 14 he was apprenticed to Ralph Beilby, an engraver in Newcastle, where he learnt how to engrave on wood and metal, for example marking jewellery and cutlery with family names and coats of arms. In Beilby's workshop Bewick engraved a series of diagrams on wood for Charles Hutton, illustrating a treatise on measurement, he seems thereafter to have devoted himself to engraving on wood, in 1775 he received a prize from the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts and Commerce for a wood engraving of the "Huntsman and the Old Hound" from Select Fables by the late Mr Gay, which he was illustrating.
In 1776 Bewick became a partner in Beilby's workshop. The joint business prospered, becoming Newcastle's leading engraving service with an enviable reputation for high quality work and good service. In September 1776 he went to London for eight months, finding the city rude and cruel, much disliking the unfairness of extreme wealth and poverty side by side, he returned to his beloved Newcastle as soon as he could, but his time in the capital gave him a wider reputation, business experience, an awareness of new movements in art. In 1786, when he was financially secure, he married Isabella Elliott from Ovingham, they had four children, Jane and Elizabeth. At that period in his life he was described by the Newcastle artist Thomas Sword Good as "a man of athletic make, nearly 6 feet high and proportionally stout, he possessed great personal courage and in his younger years was not slow to repay an insult with personal chastisement. On one occasion, being assaulted by two pitmen on returning from a visit to Cherryburn, he resolutely turned upon the aggressors, as he said,'paid them both well'."Bewick was noted as having a strong moral sense and was an early campaigner for fair treatment of animals.
He objected to the docking of horses' tails, the mistreatment of performing animals such as bears, cruelty to dogs. Above all, he thought war utterly pointless. All these themes recur in his engravings. For example, he shows wounded soldiers with wooden legs, back from the wars, animals with a gallows in the background. Bewick had at least 30 pupils who worked for him and Beilby as apprentices, the first of, his younger brother John. Several gained distinction as engravers, including John Anderson, Luke Clennell, Charlton Nesbit, William Harvey, Robert Johnson, his son and partner Robert Elliot Bewick; the partners published their History of Quadrupeds in 1790, intended for children but reaching an adult readership, its success encouraged them to consider a more serious work of natural history. In preparation for this Bewick spent several years engraving the wood blocks for Land Birds, the first volume of A History of British Birds. Given his detailed knowledge of the birds of Northumberland, Bewick prepared the illustrations, so Beilby was given the task of assembling the text, which he struggled to do.
Bewick ended up writing most of the text. It may be proper to observe, that while one of the editors of this work was engaged in preparing the Engravings, the compilation of the descriptions was undertaken by the other, however, to the corrections of his friend, whose habits led him to a more intimate acquaintance with this branch of Natural History. – Land Birds, Preface. The book was an immediate success when published – by Beilby and Bewick themselves – in 1797. Just prior to its publication, Bewick published an anthology in 1795 on the study of