Betsy Bang

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Betsy Bang née Garrett (1912–2003) was a biologist, scientific and medical illustrator, and translator from the Bengali language. Her work was important in confirming that many bird species have a sense of smell, a question that had long remained unsettled. She took to scientific research in ornithology late, beginning by helping her husband Fred Bang with illustrations for his medical work. By detailed dissections she uncovered the olfactory systems in many species of bird.[1]

Her works included Anatomy of a Gorilla, Functional Anatomy of the Olfactory System in 23 Orders of Birds and The Old Woman and the Red Pumpkin: A Bengali Folk Tale. She met Fred Bang when they were students at Johns Hopkins University and married him in 1940. Their children included Axel and Molly, who illustrated her translations of folk tales.[2][3]


  1. ^ Birkhead, Tim, Bird Sense: What it Is Like to Be a Bird, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2012, ISBN 978-1-4088-2013-1, pp. 137-144
  2. ^ "Betsy Bang", The Baltimore Sun, 7 Nov 2003
  3. ^ "A guide to the papers of Frederik B. and Betsy G. Bang" (PDF), Archives of the Marine Biological Laboratory, Marine Biological Laboratory, 19 January 2016