Woodcut illustration of Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea). From Gesner's 'Icones Animalium', published by Christof Froschover, Zurich (1560). When Magellan returned as the first to sail around the world in 1522, it brought back skins of the lesser bird of Paradise, Paradisaea minor. The birds caused a European sensation, not least because they had no bones and no legs. We now know this is the common local way of preserving these birds for trade. But naturalists of the time claimed 'they do all their business in flight'. So it became the manucodiata 'the bird of god that protects warriors in battle from wounds'. Gesner states' the people of the Mollucca islands bear witness that this very beautiful bird, which never sits upon the earth or any other thing, is born in Paradise'.