Nature / Wildlife
This section has both field guides and philosophical writings, as well as coffee table picture books.
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The Curious Life Of Krill
Eminent krill scientist Stephen Nicol wants us to know more about this enigmatic creature of the sea. He argues that it’s critical to understand krill’s complex biology in order to protect them as the krill fishing industry expands. This account of Antarctic krill takes us to the Southern Ocean to learn firsthand the difficulties and rewards of studying krill in its habitat. From his early education about the sex lives of krill in the Bay of Fundy to a krill tattoo gone awry, Nicol uses humor and personal stories to bring the biology and beauty of krill alive.
In this shimmering masterpiece of American nature writing, Edward Abbey ventures alone into the canyonlands of Moab, Utah, to work as a seasonal ranger for the United States National Park Service. Living out of a trailer, Abbey captures in rapt, poetic prose the landscape of the desert; a world of terracotta earth, empty skies, arching rock formations, cliffrose, juniper, pinyon pine and sand sage. His summers become spirit quests, taking him in search of wild horses and Ancient Puebloan petroglyphs, up mountains and across tribal lands, and down the Glen Canyon by river.
Where Song Began
Tim Low has a rare gift for illuminating complex ideas in highly readable prose, and making of the whole a dynamic story. Here he brilliantly explains how our birds came to be so extraordinary, including the large role played by the foods they consume (birds, too, are what they eat), and by our climate, soil, fire, and Australia's legacy as a part of Gondwana. The story of its birds, it turns out, is inseparable from the story of Australia itself, and one that continues to unfold, so much having changed in the last decade about what we know of our ancient past. Where Song Began also shines a light on New Guinea as a biological region of Australia, as much a part of the continent as Tasmania.
Jellyfish: A Natural History
Jellyfish are mysterious creatures, luminously beautiful with remarkably varied life cycles. These simple, ancient animals are found in every ocean at every depth, and have lived on Earth for at least the last 500 million years. Ominously, they are also increasing in number as they adapt well to marine environmental degradation. Jellyfish is a timely title that looks at their anatomy, life history, taxonomy and ecology, and includes species profiles featuring stunning marine photography that will have you scanning the depths with renewed interest.
H is for Hawk
As a child, Helen Macdonald was determined to become a falconer, learning the arcane terminology and reading all the classic books. Years later, when her father died and she was struck deeply by grief, she became obsessed with the idea of training her own goshawk. She bought Mabel for u800 on a Scottish quayside and took her home to Cambridge, ready to embark on the long, strange business of trying to train this wildest of animals. H is for Hawk is an unflinchingly honest account of Macdonald's struggle with grief during the difficult process of the hawk's taming and her own untaming. This is a book about memory, nature and nation, and how it might be possible to reconcile death with life and love.
Naturalists in Paradise: Wallace, Bates and Spruce in the Amazon
Alfred Russel Wallace, Henry Walter Bates and Richard Spruce were English naturalists who went to Amazonia 150 years ago. This book is the first to combine all three young men's experiences of the Amazon, drawing heavily on their own letters and books. All three explored an unknown river and had many thrilling adventures: violent attacks of malaria, fearful rapids, murder attempts, encounters with newly contacted indigenous peoples, shipwrecks, and many other hardships. In addition to their huge contributions to knowledge of the Amazonian environment, each is particularly famous for one discovery. Wallace is acknowledged as a co-discoverer, along with Charles Darwin, of the theory of evolution.
Why do cats get stuck up trees? What makes them purr? Why do they kill? Do they really like us? What are they thinking? John Bradshaw, one of the world's leading experts on animal behaviour, overturns many of the myths surrounding cats to reveal the true nature of our most enigmatic companions- what makes them tick, how they relate to humans (and each other), and what they really need to make them happy. 'You could buy a dozen books by the many cat whisperers, cat gurus and cat therapists, but their accumulated wisdom would probably not help you understand your cats as well as Cat Sense.' Tom Cox, Observer
The Book of Beetles
More than one fifth of all known life forms on this planet are beetles. They are extraordinarily visually diverse: renowned British geneticist JBS Haldane, when asked what could be inferred about God from a study of His works, replied, An inordinate fondness for beetles. The Book of Beetles uncovers 600 significant examples, selected as part of a genome program. They are shown in glorious photographs, life size and in detail, alongside an engraving offering a side or open-winged view. Each profile includes a population distribution map, a table of essential information, and a commentary revealing notable characteristics, related species, and a diagnosis of the specimens importance in terms of taxonomy, rarity, behaviour, and scientific significance. Arranged taxonomically, this essential reference reveals the variety and importance of beetles for the first time.
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is the story of a dramatic year in Virginia's Roanoke Valley. Annie Dillard sets out to see what she can see. What she sees are astonishing incidents of "beauty tangled in a rapture with violence." Her personal narrative highlights one year's exploration on foot in the Virginia region through which Tinker Creek runs. In the summer, Dillard stalks muskrats in the creek and contemplates wave mechanics; in the fall, she watches a monarch butterfly migration and dreams of Arctic caribou. She tries to con a coot; she collects pond water and examines it under a microscope. She unties a snake skin, witnesses a flood, and plays King of the Meadow with a field of grasshoppers. The result is an exhilarating tale of nature and its seasons.
The Moral Lives of Animals
Wild elephants walking along a trail stop and spontaneously try to protect and assist a weak and dying fellow elephant. Laboratory rats, finding other rats caged nearby in distressing circumstances, proceed to rescue them. A chimpanzee in a zoo loses his own life trying to save an unrelated infant who has fallen into a watery moat. The examples above and many others, argues Dale Peterson, show that our fellow creatures have powerful impulses toward cooperation, generosity, and fairness. Yet it is commonly held that we Homo sapiens are the only animals with a moral sense. This rigorous and stimulating book challenges that notion and shows the profound connections-the moral continuum-that link humans to many other species. Understanding the moral lives of animals offers new insight into our own.
In Defense of Dogs
What would dogs ask for, if they knew how? John Bradshaw, who has been at the centre of the latest research into what makes dogs tick, gives us the answers. Overturning the most common myths about dogs' emotions and behaviour, this book shows how we should really treat our pets, and stands up for dogdom- not the wolf in canine clothes, not the small furry child, not the trophy-winner, but the real dog, who wants to be part of the family and enjoy life - mankind's closest friend.
The story of a man's obsession with whales, which takes him on a personal, historical and biographical journey - from his childhood to his fascination with Moby-Dick and his excursions whale-watching. All his life, Philip Hoare has been obsessed by whales, from the gigantic skeletons in London's Natural History Museum to adult encounters with the wild animals themselves. Whales have a mythical quality - they seem to elide with dark fantasies of sea-serpents and antediluvian monsters that swim in our collective unconscious. In Leviathan, Philip Hoare seeks to locate and identify this obsession.
What is it that binds human beings to other animals? T. H. White, the author of The Once and Future King and Mistress Masham's Repose, was a young writer who found himself rifling through old handbooks of falconry. A particular sentence-"the bird reverted to a feral state"-seized his imagination, and, White later wrote, "A longing came to my mind that I should be able to do this myself. The word 'feral' has a kind of magical potency which allied itself to two other words, 'ferocious' and 'free.'" Immediately, White wrote to Germany to acquire a young goshawk.
J. A. Baker & Robert MacFarlane
The New York Review of Books
Price $AU 32.99
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From fall to spring, J.A. Baker set out to track the daily comings and goings of a pair of peregrine falcons across the flat fen lands of eastern England. He followed the birds obsessively, observing them in the air and on the ground, in pursuit of their prey, making a kill, eating, and at rest, activities he describes with an extraordinary fusion of precision and poetry. And as he continued his mysterious private quest, his sense of human self slowly dissolved, to be replaced with the alien and implacable consciousness of a hawk.
Tracks, Scats and Other Traces
Mammals inhabit every corner of our vast continent, yet the great majority of species are seldom seen. The only clue to their presence might be a footprint left on a muddy track, a scat deposited on a rocky ledge, or bones scattered on a forest floor.In Tracks, Scats and Other Traces, Barbara Triggs provides all information needed to identify mammals anywhere in Australia, using only the tracks or other signs they leave behind. Features a new cover design, and covers all Australian states and territories.
The Ring of Bright Water Trilogy
50 years ago Gavin Maxwell went to live on the west coast of Scotland, in an abandoned house on a shingle of beach. He was inspired to write The Ring of Bright Water which became an undisputed classic. But the chronicle of life with the wild creatures which inhabited that landscape, and especially the domesticated otters who shared it with him continued on beyond that famous book. The rest of the story is contained in two later books. The entire trilogy has never been offered before in a single narrative - this beautifully presented book is the first to do so.
Gaius Plinius Secundus - Pliny the Elder - was born in AD 21. He served both as a cavalry officer in Germania and as procurator and combined with this public service a deep interest in science. This book is Pliny's sole surviving work and in it he records the sum total of Roman scientific knowledge in the first century AD. This translation is intended to present a coherent view of Pliny's account of the work - man, the universe, botany, zoology, medicine, minerology - and promote overall continuity.
A Sand County Almanac
"We can place this book on the shelf that holds the writings of Thoreau and John Muir." San Francisco Chronicle These astonishing portraits of the natural world explore the breathtaking diversity of the unspoiled American landscape -- the mountains and the prairies, the deserts and the coastlines. A stunning tribute to our land and a bold challenge to protect the world we love.
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