ZooGems & Curios
                                                                                Compiled by R. V. Dietrich


UPDATES and REVISIONS are being made continually to entries
as they appeared on the PDF file which was once on CONDORThose entries with such updates and/or revisions
  are indicated red in the list that is left of this text.

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"Fools rush in where wise men fear to tread."
                            Alexander Pope (1688-1744)

          The Zoo- prefix in the title indicates that the materials treated herein are zoogenic -- i.e., animal parts or products;  Zoo-, rather than Bio-, was chosen because plant parts and products are not included.  (Two plant products -- Amber and Jet -- are treated in the GemRocks file.)   The Gems & Curios part of the title specify the raison d'être.  With a few exceptions, fossils and items prepared by taxidermists or treated by tanners are NOT included.  (A few fossils used for fashioning jewelry or curios are described and illustrated in the Fossiliferous Rocks entry of the GemRocks file.)  Not being a zoologist, and because I have a distaste related to the way some of the source animals are treated in order to get several of these products, I suspect I may have overlooked some noteworthy zoogenic materials that warrant additionAnyone who believes any other material of this genre should be added, please contact me with your suggested addition.
          Most of the information presented in this compilation comes from pujblications, including web sites, and oral and written personal communications, several of which I solicited -- i.e., it is not based on my original efforts.   I did, however, check or determine the properties given for manhy of the materials, and have contacted reputable scientists to check the status of much of the other included data.  Identifications and scientific names, which are given for several, albeit not all, of the animals have been checked as to accuracy and current status so far as the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.  In any case, I shall greatly appreciate receiving corrections and updates, along with references to document them, from anyone who sees the need for such.
          The names given as titles for the entries are inconsistent -- some are singular, some ar plural;  some are specific, some include related materials;  duplication occurs -- e.g., IVORY and TEETH (other than ivory); ... etc.  This inconsistency reflects my  attempt to choose the names that will be familliar to most readers and thus facilitate and expedite their finding the materials about which they wish to see the information given in this report.
          Information given for all of the materials follow the same general format, and should be considered in this same way and with the same disclaimers kept in mind as is urged for information given in the entries on GEMROCKS web site.  In addition, the following comments seem noteworthy:
                           First: Whereas the materials included in GEMROCKS are within my field of concentration, those treated in this file are NOT. -- Consequently, the quotation preceding this introduction seems appropriate.  This said, the question arises as to why I undertook this compilation.  ---- It's a long story;  if anyone is interested, contact me and I will explain.
                           Seconda)  Most of the DESCRIPTION subheadings are followed by a general statement about the material that includes its overall composition and macroscopic  means of identifying it;  inclusion of the Mohs scale of Hardness and Specific Gravity values reflects my continual use of mineralogical and petrographical procedures.  b)  USES of zoogenic materials to fulfill functional needs, as well as for adornment and fashioning of decorative items, date back to early records of humans of several cultures, and thus help define human beings.  Consequently, a few functional as well as decorative items are included for many of the described materials.  c)   OCCURRENCE & LOCALITIES are combined because occurrences of animals and their products are geographic -- i.e., they are environmentally controlled.   d)  REMARKS include such things as etymology of the name of the material(s), treatments known to have been used to prepare the materials for the recorded uses, care that should be given anything fashioned from the materials, and tidbits that might help engergize conversations -- "Did you know  ...? ".  e)  SIMULANTS, which include natural and man-made materials, take on a new meaning so far as their uses in decorative pieces:  Today, from a legal standpoint, some zoogenic materials are not available or are available only in limited amounts.  This is true because of the endangered status of the animals from which they come.  In 1973, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) was formed to establish regulations for international trade that involves wild animals and plants whose survival is threatened.  CITES pronouncements, which are recognized by most nations, apply to travelers as well as commercial traders who export or import any of the listed animals, plants and/or sourvenirs (etc.) made from materials derived from these animals or plants.  Anyone who has any question about a given animal, plant or biogenic material should check its status on the CITES ... (n.d.)  web site.  As a consequence of this oversight, simulants of some of the materials treated herein are especially noteworthy.  Indeed, the use of many of the simulanats has the positive aspect that no animal was harmed or slaughtered in order to fashion any items made from these simulants!   f)   REPLICAS are noted under this last subheading of some of the entries.  Items fashioned to represent -- be it well, only grossly or stylistically -- the animals whose parts are the foci of the entries are noted;   the roles these items have and the materials from which they are made are included.   g)   A  GLOSSARY, BIBLIOGRAPHY and INDEX are included.  The BIBLIOGRAPHY includes references cited in the text plus selected references that seem noteworthy.  Additional and alternative sources could be given for several of the subjects.  My selection is based on such things as availability and the fact that many of these references have bibliographies that may serve to lead readers to additional pertinent publications   h)APPENDIX A is a list of the mterials used to fashion replicas and includes links to the entries where each of these materials is mentioned.
                           Third,  the uneven coverage for any one material versus any of the other materials should not be interpreted to relate to the amount of information available about any of the given materials.  It is based on my opinion as to the amount of coverage that seems appropriate for this compilation. 

           Some of the presented information will date me.  Some of my choices of, for example, anecdotes will, I suspect, give those who are so-oriented insight into my psyche.  So be it.

Acknowledgments:  Kurt R. Dietrich, Richard S. Dietrich annd Craig A. Gibson critically read the original copy for all the entries;  George H. Wittler, of the Biology Department, Ripon College, checked several of the entries;  William R. Mann and Robert E. Weisblut, co-founders of the International Ivory Society, made several suggestions incorporated into the Ivory and  Hornbill Ivory entries;  Jessee J Smith, of the Silverspot Studio, critiqued the Porcupine entry.  Margaret Dodd (Interlibrary Loan Department, CMU), David. Ginsburg (Refernece Librarian at CMU), Cathleen A. Jonathan (Periodicals/Research Librarian at the Richard T. Liddicoat Library and Information Center of the Gemological Institute of America), and Stuart D. Overlin (associate Editor, Gems & Gemology) helped me, well beyond the call of duty, to get several of the references listed in the bibliography.  Miles Alters (Red Lobster of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan), Edith Blanchard (Curator, The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, Cedar Rapids, Iowa), Jack A. Brown (Kecheneny Fish Prints, Noank, Connecticut), Robert B. Brown (Arnold Transit Co., Mackinac Island, Michigan), Robert D. Conkwright, Jr. (Maryland Geological Survey), Jason Damm (assisted by Amanda Hagy and Elizabeth Peterson, of the CMU Museum of Cultural and Natural History) , Christy A. Hensler (The Rock Garden, Newport, Washington), Justin B. Ries (Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University), Margaret Sandwith (Niven Library of the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, South Africa), H. Catherine W. Skinner (Department of Geology and Geophysics, Yale University), Reed Wicander (Department of Geology, CMU) and Deborah A. Yonick (Jewelry Journalist, South-central Pennsylvania) supplied materials for study, putlications and/or information.  Emmett Mason, Professor Emeritus, CMU set up the format for this web site.  The people and/or organizations from whom I received permission to include their photographs are noted in the appropriate captions.
      I gratefully THANK each of the above individuals for her or his contributions.

R.V ("Dick") Dietrich (b. 1924), a native of the St. Lawrence Valley, Northern New York, is a graduate of Colgate University (A.B.), and Yale University (M.S. & Ph.D -- Geology).  Now retired, he was a College professor of Geology, with Petrology his main field of research.  He has authored or coauthored many professional papers and books, some of which are textbooks, and also 14 web sites, most of which are available at http://stoneplus.cst.cmich.edu/Default.htm .   For additional informaton, click the following link: XXXX.

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