BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Western Kentucky University biology faculty member Steve Huskey isn’t afraid of the skeletons in his closet. In fact, he’s showing off nearly 200 of them in a new book, The Skeleton Revealed.
“The book is a compilation of my years of work rebuilding animal skeletons,” said Dr. Huskey, an associate professor of biology.
In addition to photographs of many vertebrate species, including rattlesnake, piranha, barracuda, cobra, owl, hawk, bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish and more, Dr. Huskey includes descriptions and natural history information about each species.
The Skeleton Revealed is published by Johns Hopkins University Press. Its description of the 360-page book says: “Using skeletal preparations he has spent decades assembling, Huskey helps us understand why animals live the way they do. He shows us the jaw and fang structures that allow venomous snakes to both kill and consume their prey whole. We see that the eastern mole is built like a weightlifter, allowing it to ‘swim through soil.’ Startling images demonstrate that the odd-looking trumpetfish is built not for music but for suction, with a skull that expands to vacuum in its prey.”
Dr. Huskey’s skeletons are on display in many venues, including the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the California Academy of Sciences, and the Miami Museum of Science and Planetarium. In addition to skeletal reconstruction, Dr. Huskey is a functional morphologist and studies the feeding mechanisms and feeding habits of fish, as well as the behaviors of others animals, such as chameleons and moles.
“I’m proud of the fact that this book is something that represents my expertise in biology and skeletal reconstruction, but is written at a level that all readers can enjoy,” he said. “For me, the goal for the book was to create a coffee table style book that would grab the reader’s attention but educate them at the same time.”
For more about the book, visit https://jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu/content/skeleton-revealed