I can give you the literary reference for the Peterson error...I cherish my
copy of the book from childhood, which Roger autographed many years later
and which I still love to thumb through. It is The birds of Newfoundland by
Harold S. Peters and Thomas D. Burleigh, Published in Association with The
Department of Natural Resources Province of Newfoundland, Houghton Mifflin
Company, Boston, The Riverside Press Cambridge, 1951.
At the time of publication Newfoundland, now called Newfoundland and
Labrador, had been a province for just two or three years, having joined
Canada in 1949. The woodpecker, then known in English as the Black-backed
Woodpecker, appears on Pate 19, facing page 252.
One could also argue that the Downy Woodpecker on that plate is not quite as
accurate as it might be in that it shows an extension of black onto the
upper breast, similar to that shown in the Hairy Woodpecker. We now know
that the presence of that marking is a way to distinguish the Hairy, which
has it, from the similarly marked Downy, which does not. However, that is
a more minor error; markings and how they appear do vary in a way that the
number of toes does not<G> (and I again emphasize, no criticism implied; I
made the exact same error with a different species, adding a toe that wasn't
From: SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration-
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Diana Marques
Sent: February-15-11 8:00 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [SCIART] illustration mistakes
Thank you All for the great contributions!
I have been researching the suggestions and ideas and indeed found plenty of
"pinned butterflies" in flight and monarchs with six legs instead of four
(especially in stock art websites...). I have yet to find spiders with
missing patellas but I can imagine they're also abundant out there.
As far as Peterson's three-toed woodpecker I was unable to find the image
but some people write about that inaccuracy in his otherwise great work. And
Barry, you are so right about the flashlight in the eyes, overweight captive
animals pretending to be in the wild and birds with missing feathers.
Jenny, thank you for mentioning Stephen Jay Gould's book, I was able to get
it and will extract the information and add to other Charles Knight's
Fantastic examples at the Left Handed DNA Hall of Fame, certainly an
As far as other things I have or other people provided me with, there's my
favorite, an image of a shark described as "men devourer" with accordingly
fire red eyes and bull's nose. And plenty of rubber animals as in legs with
no articulations, dolphins that can bend like cats, among others.
Regarding a possible journal article, I would be glad to do it with the
caveat of being a more descriptive text since for most images would be
difficult to track the illustrator for asking permission for reproduction
(and even if I did track them, would I want to tell them what the purpose
Thank you again, if you can think of any other examples let me know, I can
start a little collection we can all look at at GNSI conferences,
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