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The humble and industrious dung beetle is a marvellous beast: the 6 000 species identified so far are intricately entwined with human history and scientific endeavour.
These night-soil collectors of the planet have been worshipped as gods, worn as jewellery, and painted by artists. More practically, they saved Hawaii from ecological blight, and rescued Australia from plagues of flies. They fertilise soil, cleanse pastures, steer by the stars, and have a unique relationship with the African elephant (along with many other ungulates). Above all, they are the ideal subject for biological study in an evolving world.
In this sweeping history of more than 3 000 years, beginning with Ancient Egypt, scientist Marcus Byrne and writer, Helen Lunn capture the diversity of dung beetles and their unique behaviour patterns. Dung beetles’ fortunes have followed the shifts from a world dominated by a religion that symbolically incorporated them into some of its key concepts of rebirth, to a world in which science has largely separated itself from religion and alchemy.
With over 6 000 species found throughout the world, these unassuming but remarkable creatures are fundamental to some of humanity’s most cherished beliefs and have been ever present in religion, art, literature, science and the environment. They are at the centre of current gene research, play an important role in keeping our planet healthy, and some nocturnal dung beetles have been found to navigate by the starry skies. Outlining the development of science from the point of view of the humble dung beetle is what makes this charming story of immense interest to general readers and entomologists alike. This entertaining outline of the development of science from the the beetle’s perspective will enchant general readers and entomologists alike.
Danny works at Belle Vue Zoo, where - alongside training the famous elephant Maharajah - he helps out with the day-to-day tasks of caring for the animals. But when animals start escaping, Danny is the prime suspect: after all, he was a former street urchin and pickpocket. When a man turns up claiming to be his father, the plot thickens. Can Danny untangle the mystery of the animal escapade - and find out where he really belongs - in order to clear his name?
An enticing illustrated look at pollination, one of the most astonishing marvels of the natural world Pollination is essential to the survival of most plants on Earth. Some plants rely on the wind to transport pollen from one flower to another. Others employ an array of ingenious strategies to attract and exploit pollinators, whether they be insects, birds, or mammals. This beautifully illustrated book provides an unprecedented look at the wonders of pollination biology, drawing on the latest science to explain the extraordinarily complex relationship between plant and pollinator, and revealing why pollination is vital for healthy ecosystems and a healthy planet. Timothy Walker offers an engaging introduction to pollination biology and explores the many different tactics of plant reproduction. He shows how wind and water can be effective yet wildly unpredictable means of pollination, and describes the intimate interactions of pollinating plants with bees and butterflies, beetles and birds, and lizards and bats. Walker explores how plants entice pollinators using scents, colors, and shapes, and how plants rely on rewards as well as trickery to attract animals. He sheds light on the important role of pollination in ecology, evolution, and agriculture, and discusses why habitat management, species recovery programs, and other conservation efforts are more critical now than ever. Featuring hundreds of color photos and illustrations, Pollination is suitable for undergraduate study and is an essential resource for naturalists, horticulturalists, and backyard gardeners.
In the quiet halls of the natural history museum, there are some creatures still alive with stories, whose personalities refuse to be relegated to the dusty corners of an exhibit. The fame of these beasts during their lifetimes has given them an iconic status in death. More than just museum specimens, these animals have attained a second life as historical and cultural records. This collection of essays--from a broad array of contributors, including anthropologists, curators, fine artists, geographers, historians, and journalists--comprises short "biographies" of a number of famous taxidermized animals. Each essay traces the life, death, and museum "afterlife" of a specific creature, illuminating the overlooked role of the dead beast in the modern human-animal encounter through practices as disparate as hunting and zookeeping. The contributors offer fresh examinations of the many levels at which humans engage with other animals, especially those that function as both natural and cultural phenomena, including Queen Charlotte's pet zebra, Maharajah the elephant, and Balto the sled dog, among others. Readers curious about the enduring fascination with animals who have attained these strange afterlives will be drawn to the individual narratives within each essay, while learning more about the scientific, cultural, and museological contexts of each subject. Ranging from autobiographical to analytical, the contributors' varying styles make this delightful book a true menagerie.
"Contributors" Samuel J. M. M. Alberti, Royal College of Surgeons * Sophie Everest, University of Manchester * Kate Foster * Michelle Henning, University of the West of England, Bristol * Hayden Lorimer, University of Glasgow * Garry Marvin, Roehampton University, London * Henry Nicholls * Hannah Paddon * Merle Patchett * Christopher Plumb, University of Manchester * Rachel Poliquin * Jeanne Robinson, Glasgow Museums * Mike Rutherford, University of the West Indies * Richard C. Sabin, Natural History Museum * Richard Sutcliffe, Glasgow Museums * Geoffrey N. Swinney, University of Edinburgh
Hedgerows are one of the richest sources of wildlife in Britain. They have evolved over centuries (18th and 19th centuries predominantly but some date from pre-Roman times), and their importance is still vital today. This book offers an insight into hedgerow wildlife: how they developed (and managed by man), how to identify different types, and what plants, birds, insects and small mammals can be found inside.A mixed hedge, for example containing species such as elder, blackthorn, hawthorn, hazel, wild cherrry and field maple, is a refuge for wildlife: brimstone and peacock butterflies; long-tailed tits, wrens, hedge sparrows, blackbirds and chaffinches; bankvoles and wood mice; and of course the seven-spot ladybird. The plant life is equally as rich: the dog rose, the common violet, bluebell, garlic mustard and the hartstongue fern.This quintessential part of the English landscape can be enjoyed all the more with this little guide to the wildlife wonders inside the hedgerows.This is a selection of the key wildlife inside the British hedgerow. It covers everything from butterflies to bank voles, and hedgehogs to hoverflies. It is a guide to the plants and trees of hedgerows. It includes the most common wild food to be foraged in hedgerows.
Remnants of an ancient lineage, tortoises date back to the
Eocene. Among the five species remaining in North America, Texas
tortoises are the smallest in size and inhabit some of the harshest
arid environments known. They are also the most neglected by
wildlife personnel. In "The Texas Tortoise," biologists Francis L.
Rose and Frank W. Judd draw on decades of research to offer the
first comprehensive account of this fascinating but threatened
The authors also discuss Texas tortoises' significance in supporting other species in their environment--southern Texas and northeastern Mexico--where their survival is threatened by habitat reduction and increasing road traffic. "If you see a tortoise on the roadway," Rose and Judd admonish the reader, "move it to safety, and drive away as quickly as legally allowed." It is in fact illegal to collect or possess a Texas tortoise. But for those who do, this book advises how to care for the animal.
Tortoises have enjoyed a splendid and diverse history. That they did so well for so long is perplexing, the authors note, as the animals are slow and do not actively defend themselves against predators. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department lists Texas tortoises as "threatened," and Rose and Judd call on the federal government to do the same. Biologists, conservationists, and turtle enthusiasts alike will find this guide to Texas and other tortoises invaluable.
School is not the only place to find a teacher. In this picture book adaptation of Sy Montgomery and Rebecca Green's New York Times best-selling How to Be a Good Creature, learn the many surprising lessons animals have to teach us about friendship, compassion, and how to be a better creature in the world. Sy Montgomery has had many teachers in her life: some with two legs, others with four, or even eight! Some have had fur, feathers, or hooves. But they've all had one thing in common: a lesson to share. The animals Sy has met on her many world travels have taught her how to seek understanding in the most surprising ways, from being patient to finding forgiveness and respecting others. Gorillas, dogs, octopuses, tigers, and more all have shown Sy that there are no limits to the empathy and joy we can find in each other if only we take the time to connect. Based on the New York Times best-selling adult memoir, Sy Montgomery and Rebecca Green's beautiful, friendly guide is for readers young and old who wish to be better creatures in the world. Go ahead, pass it on.
This collection of 20 natural science essays explores the lives of animals, plants and fungi commonly encountered in the conifer and hardwood forests of northeastern North America.
Sunday Times Bestseller `Passionate and well-researched' Tatler `A must-read' Independent A social history of Labradors, and how they have become the world's most beloved dogs, by writer, presenter and long-time dog lover Ben Fogle. Labradors are the most popular breed of dog in the world. Not only a great family companion, they also excel at hunting, tracking, retrieving, guiding and rescuing. But where did the breed originally come from? How did it develop? When did black, yellow and chocolate Labradors first appear? Did they really all come from Labrador in Canada and are they really all related to just one dog? In this first history of the Labrador, Ben Fogle goes in search of what makes Labradors so special. Their extraordinary companionship, intelligence, work ethic and loyalty is captured by Ben as he weaves the story of the breed into his own story of his beloved Inca. Ben visits Canada, discovers hair-raising stories of early Labrador exploits and uncovers stories of RNIB Labradors and Labradors at war, Labradors as working dogs and every other manifestation of the Labrador's character. Exploring their origin, early characteristics, their use as gun dogs, as therapy dogs, as police dogs, as search and rescue dogs and last - and absolutely not least - as family pets, Ben tells the story of a dog breed which has captured our imagination and love for hundreds of years.
This book offers a comprehensive account of India's four biodiversity hotspots: the Himalaya, Indo-Burma, Western Ghats and Sri Lanka and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. With a focus on tropical rainforests, it includes more than 30 chapters covering different vertebrate fauna e.g. fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, as well as topics such as conservation and management aspects. Written by experts in the field of biodiversity conservation and management, it offers ample new insights into a number of subjects related to the faunal communities of tropical forest ecosystems, providing a valuable resource for conservationists and researchers in the field of flora and fauna diversity.
This comprehensive book about the lives of bats is about a group of peculiar, mythical and fascinating animals. They are mammals, just like us, but still so different. The book covers bats from Latin American Maya temples to Swedish potato cellars; from the plains of Kenya to the Taiwanese mountains. We perceive their shadows flitting by in the summer nights, hear their mating calls in the darkness of autumn and see their silhouettes in the dim street light. The bats live in our houses and forage in our gardens and parks. But who are they and how do they lead their lives? The text and exquisite photos give an unsurpassed insight into the world of sounds and smells that bats encounter each night. We are told about how their senses, way beyond our human perception abilities, shape their lives. We get to know more about their habits, their long evolution and their cohabitation with humans, and how important they are to the environment. You will never again feel lonely in the darkness of the night.
In the modern era, zoos and aquariums fight species extinction, educate communities, and advance learning of animal behaviour. This book features first person stories and scientific reviews to explore ground breaking projects run by these institutions. Large-scale conservation initiatives that benefit multiple species are detailed in the first section, including critical habitat protection, evidence-based techniques to grow animal populations and the design of community education projects. The second section documents how zoos use science to improve the health and welfare of animals in captivity and make difficult management decisions. The section on saving species includes personal tales of efforts to preserve wild populations through rehabilitation, captive breeding, reintroduction, and public outreach. The concluding section details scientific discoveries about animals that would have been impossible without the support of zoos and aquariums. The book is for animal scientists, zoo professionals, educators and researchers worldwide, as well as students of zookeeping and conservation.
See the egg inside the chicken and the chick inside the egg. Watch as the chick develops, grows, and hatches, and learn about different kinds of bird eggs.
In this book, Krish Seetah uses butchery as a point of departure for exploring the changing historical relationships between animal utility, symbolism, and meat consumption. Seetah brings together several bodies of literature - on meat, cut marks, craftspeople, and the role of craft in production - that have heretofore been considered in isolation from one another. Focusing on the activity inherent in butcher, he describes the history of knowledge that typifies the craft. He also provides anthropological and archaeological case studies which showcase examples of butchery practices in varied contexts that are seldom identified with zooarchaeological research. Situating the relationship between practice, practitioner, material and commodity, this imaginative study offers new insights into food production, consumption, and the craft of cuisine.
Published by Sinauer Associates, an imprint of Oxford University Press. Animal Physiology, Fourth Edition, presents all the branches of modern animal physiology with a strong emphasis on integration of physiological knowledge, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Integration extends from genes to organ systems and from one physiological discipline to another. The book takes an entirely fresh approach to each topic. Its full-color illustrations include many novel, visually-effective features to help students learn. Each of the twenty-five main chapters starts with an animal example to engage student interest and demonstrate the value of the material that will be learned. The book includes five additional, briefer "At Work" chapters that apply students' newfound physiological knowledge to curiosity-provoking and important topics, including diving by marine mammals, the mechanisms of navigation, and muscle plasticity in use and disuse. The book is committed to a comparative approach throughout. Whereas mammalian physiology is consistently treated in depth, emphasis is also given to the other vertebrate groups, arthropods, and molluscs. Concepts and integrative themes are emphasized while giving students the specifics they need. The whole animal is the principal focus of this book. The book's extensive coverage of genomics and cellular-molecular biology is therefore carefully linked to whole-animal biology. With this edition, coverage of physiologically relevant genomics has been greatly expanded. The subject matter of animal physiology is also linked to topics in human affairs, such as athletic training and global warming. Always, the central organizing principle for the array of topics presented is to understand whole animals in the environments where they live. Complex principles are developed clearly using classroom-tested pedagogy, often with carefully designed conceptual illustrations. Concepts from chemistry, physics, and mathematics are explained so that the book will be accessible to science students at the sophomore or higher level. Pedagogical aids include embedded summaries throughout chapters, study questions (with online answers), partially annotated reference lists, an extensive glossary, ten appendices (covering logarithms, phylogenetically independent contrasts, basic physics terms, etc.), and an upgraded index. Carefully worded balloons are used extensively to guide students through the interpretation of figures. For all three authors, teaching physiology to undergraduate students has been a lifelong priority.
This book recounts the biology of M. bovis, followed by the status of bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) in African countries, primarily based on zoonotic and epidemiological field reports. Since the accumulation of data is valueless unless it led to practicable control measures, emphasis is put on locally adapted protocols for future control of the disease. In order to systematically evaluate the knowledge base of bTB, Epidemiologic Problem Oriented Approach (EPOA) methodology was used. The methodology is composed of two triads: i) the problem identification/characterization triad, which is mainly descriptive in nature, and ii) the problem management/solution/mitigation triad, which is mainly geared toward problem management/solution (see figure). The first triad comprises three pillars: i) agent ii) host, and iii) environment and the second one: i) therapeutics/treatment, ii) prevention/control, and iii) health maintenance/promotion. The two triads are linked together by the diagnostic procedure linkage. The systematic and detailed studies of the 'Host-Agent-Environment' interactions are the building blocks to the understanding of agent transmission pathways and disease spread. These may include data about the disease status of the country, the nature of the disease agent and its hosts, the modes of transmission, the wildlife reservoirs in nature, persistence of infection, and agent survival in animal products and the environment. The problem identification and characterization triad identifies these interactions. Once a problem has been identified and well understood, the next step is to minimize the risk of transmission and spread of a disease. This area, referred to as problem solution/management triad, consists of problem management alternatives that rely upon prevention/control, and health maintenance/promotion of the disease in livestock, wildlife, and humans with the emphasis on resource-poor, developing countries in Africa.
An exploration of the invisible connections sustaining the entire
natural world from the bestselling author of The Hidden Life of Trees
Jonathan Cranston is no ordinary vet. In addition to his day job in the Gloucestershire countryside treating cows, dogs, pigs and cats, he's also worked with an astonishing range of species around the world, including crocodiles, rhinos and pandas. In this charming collection he introduces us to some of his favourite patients, ranging from beloved family pets through to magnificent creatures of the wild. Whether microchipping armadillos, anaesthetising giraffes or birthing a calf, Jonathan's love for his work and the entire animal kingdom is infectious. From the preposterous (castrating a sugar glider) to the poignant (encountering victims of rhino poaching), the stories in The Travelling Vet will delight and enthral every animal lover.
ONE OF USA TODAY'S "20 SUMMER BOOKS YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS" In the bestselling tradition of works by such authors as Susan Orlean and Mary Roach, a New York Times reporter and Pulitzer Prize finalist explores why so many people-including herself-are obsessed with horses. It may surprise you to learn that there are over seven million horses in America-even more than when they were the only means of transportation-and nearly two million horse owners. Acclaimed journalist and avid equestrian Sarah Maslin Nir is one of them; she began riding horses when she was just two years old and hasn't stopped since. Horse Crazy is a fascinating, funny, and moving love letter to these graceful animals and the people who-like her-are obsessed with them. It is also a coming-of-age story of Nir growing up an outsider within the world's most elite inner circles, and finding her true north in horses. Nir takes readers into the lesser-known corners of the riding world and profiles some of its most captivating figures. We meet Monty Roberts, the California trainer whose prowess earned him the nickname "the man who listens to horses," and his pet deer; George and Ann Blair, who at their riding academy on a tiny island in Manhattan's Harlem River seek to resurrect the erased legacy of the African American cowboy; and Francesca Kelly, whose love for an Indian nobleman shaped her life's mission: to protect an endangered Indian breed of horse and bring them to America. Woven into these compelling character studies, Nir shares her own moving personal narrative. She details her father's harrowing tale of surviving the Holocaust, and describes an enchanted but deeply lonely upbringing in Manhattan, where horses became her family. She found them even in the middle of the city, in a stable disguised in an old townhouse and in Central Park, when she chased down truants as an auxiliary mounted patrol officer. And she speaks candidly of how horses have helped her overcome heartbreak and loss. Infused with heart and wit, and with each chapter named after a horse Nir has loved, Horse Crazy is an unforgettable blend of beautifully written memoir and first-rate reporting.
'An enchanting book...poignant and passionate.' Geographical 'A captivating and absorbing account.' Sir David Attenborough Madagascar is one of the world's natural jewels, with over ninety per cent of its wildlife found nowhere else on Earth. Few people knew it better than the pioneering primatologist and conservationist, Alison Jolly. Thank You, Madagascar is her eyewitness account of the extraordinary biodiversity of the island, and the environment of its people. At the book's heart is a conflict between three different views of nature. Is the extraordinary forest treasure-house of Madagascar a heritage for the entire world? Is it a legacy of the forest dwellers' ancestors, bequeathed to serve the needs of their living descendants? Or is it an economic resource to be pillaged for short-term gain and to be preserved only to deliver benefits for those with political power? Exploring and questioning these different views, this is a beautifully written diary and a tribute to Madagascar.
Menagerie is the story of the panoply of exotic animals that were brought into Britain from time immemorial until the foundation of the London Zoo - a tale replete with the extravagant, the eccentric, and - on occasion - the downright bizarre. From Henry III's elephant at the Tower, to George IV's love affair with Britain's first giraffe and Lady Castlereagh's recalcitrant ostriches, Caroline Grigson's tour through the centuries amounts to the first detailed history of exotic animals in Britain. On the way we encounter a host of fascinating and outlandish creatures, including the first peacocks and popinjays, Thomas More's monkey, James I's cassowaries in St James's Park, and Lord Clive's zebra - which refused to mate with a donkey, until the donkey was painted with stripes. But this is not just the story of the animals themselves. It also the story of all those who came into contact with them: the people who owned them, the merchants who bought and sold them, the seamen who carried them to our shores, the naturalists who wrote about them, the artists who painted them, the itinerant showmen who worked with them, the collectors who collected them. And last but not least, it is about all those who simply came to see and wonder at them, from kings, queens, and nobles to ordinary men, women, and children, often impelled by no more than simple curiosity and a craving for novelty.
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