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The Boilerplate Rhino

The Boilerplate Rhino Author David Quammen
ISBN-10 9781439125434
Release 2012-10-23
Pages 288
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In 1981 David Quammen began what might be every freelance writer's dream: a monthly column for Outside magazine in which he was given free rein to write about anything that interested him in the natural world. His column was called "Natural Acts," and for the next fifteen years he delighted Outside's readers with his fascinating ruminations on the world around us. The Boilerplate Rhino brings together twenty-six of Quammen's most thoughtful and engaging essays from that column, none previously printed in any of his earlier books. In lucid, penetrating, and often quirkily idiosyncratic prose, David Quammen takes his readers with him as he explores the world. His travels lead him to rattlesnake handlers in Texas; a lizard specialist in Baja; the dinosaur museum in Jordan, Montana; and halfway across Indonesia in search of the perfect Durian fruit. He ponders the history of nutmeg in the southern Moluccas, meditates on bioluminescent beetles while soaking in the waters of the Amazon, and delivers "The Dope on Eggs" from a chicken ranch near his hometown in Montana. Quammen's travels are always jumping-off points to explore the rich and sometimes horrifying tension between humankind and the natural world, in all its complexity and ambivalence. The result is another irrepressible assortment of ideas to explore, conundrums to contemplate, and wondrous creatures to behold.



Animals and Society

Animals and Society Author Margo DeMello
ISBN-10 9780231526760
Release 2012-09-18
Pages 488
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Human–animal studies explores human–animal relations and the place of animals within human social and cultural worlds. Considering that much of human society is structured through its interaction with non-human animals, and since human society relies heavily on the exploitation of animals to serve human needs, human–animal studies has become a rapidly expanding field of research, featuring a number of distinct positions, perspectives, and theories that require nuanced explanation and contextualization. The first textbook to provide a full overview of human–animal studies for students, general readers, and scholars, this volume focuses on the conceptual construction of animals in American culture and the way in which it reinforces and perpetuates hierarchical human relationships rooted in racism, sexism, and class privilege. Margo DeMello considers interactions between humans and animals within the family, the law, the religious and political system, and other major social institutions, and she unpacks the different identities humans fashion for themselves and for others through animals. DeMello also covers speciesism and evolutionary continuities; the role and preservation of animals in the wild; the debate over zoos and the use of animals in sports; domestication; agricultural practices such as factory farming; vivisection; animal cruelty; animal activism; the representation of animals in literature and film; and animal ethics. Sidebars in each chapter highlight contemporary controversies and issues, with recommendations for additional reading, educational films, and related websites. DeMello concludes with an analysis of major philosophical positions on human social policy and the future of human–animal relations.



Monster of God The Man Eating Predator in the Jungles of History and the Mind

Monster of God  The Man Eating Predator in the Jungles of History and the Mind Author David Quammen
ISBN-10 039307630X
Release 2004-09-17
Pages 528
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"Rich detail and vivid anecdotes of adventure....A treasure trove of exotic fact and hard thinking."—The New York Times Book Review, front page For millennia, lions, tigers, and their man-eating kin have kept our dark, scary forests dark and scary, and their predatory majesty has been the stuff of folklore. But by the year 2150 big predators may only exist on the other side of glass barriers and chain-link fences. Their gradual disappearance is changing the very nature of our existence. We no longer occupy an intermediate position on the food chain; instead we survey it invulnerably from above—so far above that we are in danger of forgetting that we even belong to an ecosystem. Casting his expert eye over the rapidly diminishing areas of wilderness where predators still reign, the award-winning author of The Song of the Dodo examines the fate of lions in India's Gir forest, of saltwater crocodiles in northern Australia, of brown bears in the mountains of Romania, and of Siberian tigers in the Russian Far East. In the poignant and troublesome ferocity of these embattled creatures, we recognize something primeval deep within us, something in danger of vanishing forever.



Wild Thoughts from Wild Places

Wild Thoughts from Wild Places Author David Quammen
ISBN-10 9781439125274
Release 2012-10-16
Pages 304
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In Wild Thoughts from Wild Places, award-winning journalist David Quammen reminds us why he has become one of our most beloved science and nature writers. This collection of twenty-three of Quammen's most intriguing, most exciting, most memorable pieces takes us to meet kayakers on the Futaleufu River of southern Chile, where Quammen describes how it feels to travel in fast company and flail for survival in the river's maw. We are introduced to the commerce in pearls (and black-market parrots) in the Aru Islands of eastern Indonesia. Quammen even finds wildness in smog-choked Los Angeles -- embodied in an elusive population of urban coyotes, too stubborn and too clever to surrender to the sprawl of civilization. With humor and intelligence, David Quammen's Wild Thoughts from Wild Places also reminds us that humans are just one of the many species on earth with motivations, goals, quirks, and eccentricities. Expect to be entertained and moved on this journey through the wilds of science and nature.



Natural Acts A Sidelong View of Science and Nature

Natural Acts  A Sidelong View of Science and Nature Author David Quammen
ISBN-10 9780393076325
Release 2009-03-30
Pages 352
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"David Quammen is simply the best natural essayist working today."--Tim Cahill, author of Lost in My Own Backyard "Lively writing about science and nature depends less on the offering of good answers, I think, than on the offering of good questions," said David Quammen in the original introduction to Natural Acts. For more than two decades, he has stuck to that credo. In this updated version of curiosity leads him from New Mexico to Romania, from the Congo to the Amazon, asking questions about mosquitoes (what are their redeeming merits?), dinosaurs (how did they change the life of a dyslexic Vietnam vet?), and cloning (can it save endangered species?). This revised and expanded edition best-loved "Natural Acts" columns, which first appeared in Outside magazine in the early 1980s, and includes recent pieces such as "Planet of Weeds," an influential new Natural Acts is an eye-opening journey that will please both Quammen fans and newcomers to his work. Song lyrics have been redacted from this ebook owing to permissions issues.



The Song Of The Dodo

The Song Of The Dodo Author David Quammen
ISBN-10 9781448137404
Release 2012-03-31
Pages 704
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Why have island ecosystems always suffered such high rates of extinction? In our age, with all the world's landscapes, from Tasmania to the Amazon to Yellowstone, now being carved into island-like fragments by human activity, the implications of this question are more urgent than ever. Over the past eight years, David Quammen has followed the threads of island biogeography on a globe-encircling journey of discovery.



The Flight of the Iguana

The Flight of the Iguana Author David Quammen
ISBN-10 9781476728735
Release 2012-10-16
Pages 320
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From the award-winning author of The Song of the Dodo comes a collection of essays in which various weird and wonderful aspects of nature are examined. This book contains tales of vegetarian piranha fish, voiceless dogs, and a scientific search for the genes that threaten to destroy the cheetah.



The Wild Trees

The Wild Trees Author Richard Preston
ISBN-10 1588366030
Release 2007-04-10
Pages 320
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Hidden away in foggy, uncharted rain forest valleys in Northern California are the largest and tallest organisms the world has ever sustained–the coast redwood trees, Sequoia sempervirens. Ninety-six percent of the ancient redwood forests have been destroyed by logging, but the untouched fragments that remain are among the great wonders of nature. The biggest redwoods have trunks up to thirty feet wide and can rise more than thirty-five stories above the ground, forming cathedral-like structures in the air. Until recently, redwoods were thought to be virtually impossible to ascend, and the canopy at the tops of these majestic trees was undiscovered. In The Wild Trees, Richard Preston unfolds the spellbinding story of Steve Sillett, Marie Antoine, and the tiny group of daring botanists and amateur naturalists that found a lost world above California, a world that is dangerous, hauntingly beautiful, and unexplored. The canopy voyagers are young–just college students when they start their quest–and they share a passion for these trees, persevering in spite of sometimes crushing personal obstacles and failings. They take big risks, they ignore common wisdom (such as the notion that there’s nothing left to discover in North America), and they even make love in hammocks stretched between branches three hundred feet in the air. The deep redwood canopy is a vertical Eden filled with mosses, lichens, spotted salamanders, hanging gardens of ferns, and thickets of huckleberry bushes, all growing out of massive trunk systems that have fused and formed flying buttresses, sometimes carved into blackened chambers, hollowed out by fire, called “fire caves.” Thick layers of soil sitting on limbs harbor animal and plant life that is unknown to science. Humans move through the deep canopy suspended on ropes, far out of sight of the ground, knowing that the price of a small mistake can be a plunge to one’s death. Preston’s account of this amazing world, by turns terrifying, moving, and fascinating, is an adventure story told in novelistic detail by a master of nonfiction narrative. The author shares his protagonists’ passion for tall trees, and he mastered the techniques of tall-tree climbing to tell the story in The Wild Trees–the story of the fate of the world’s most splendid forests and of the imperiled biosphere itself. From the Hardcover edition.



Fire In The Turtle House

Fire In The Turtle House Author Osha Gray Davidson
ISBN-10 0786728833
Release 2008-11-05
Pages 272
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Sea turtles have existed since the time of the dinosaurs. But now, suddenly, the turtles are dying, ravaged by a mysterious plague that some biologists consider the most serious epidemic now raging in the natural world. Perhaps most important, sea turtles aren't the only marine creatures falling prey to deadly epidemics. Over the last few decades diseases have been burning through nearshore waters around the world with unprecedented lethality. What is happening to the sea turtle, and how can it be stopped? In this fascinating scientific detective story, Osha Gray Davidson tracks the fervent efforts of the extraordinary and often quirky scientists, marine biologists, veterinarians, and others racing against the clock to unravel a complicated biological and environmental puzzle and keep the turtles from extinction. He follows the fates of particular turtles, revealing their surprisingly distinct personalities and why they inspire an almost spiritual devotion in the humans who come to know them. He also explores through vivid historical anecdotes and examples the history of man's relationship to the sea, opening a window onto the role played by humans in the increasing number of marine die-offs and extinctions. Beautifully written, intellectually provocative, Fire in the Turtle House reveals how emerging diseases wreaking havoc in the global ocean pose an enormous, direct threat to humanity. This is science journalism at its best.



The Reluctant Mr Darwin An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution Great Discoveries

The Reluctant Mr  Darwin  An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution  Great Discoveries Author David Quammen
ISBN-10 9780393076349
Release 2007-07-17
Pages 304
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"Quammen brilliantly and powerfully re-creates the 19th century naturalist's intellectual and spiritual journey."--Los Angeles Times Book Review Twenty-one years passed between Charles Darwin's epiphany that "natural selection" formed the basis of evolution and the scientist's publication of On the Origin of Species. Why did Darwin delay, and what happened during the course of those two decades? The human drama and scientific basis of these years constitute a fascinating, tangled tale that elucidates the character of a cautious naturalist who initiated an intellectual revolution.



The Kiwi s Egg

The Kiwi s Egg Author David Quammen
ISBN-10 9781474602761
Release 2015-09-24
Pages 304
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Evolution, during the early nineteenth century, was an idea in the air. Other thinkers had suggested it, but no one had proposed a cogent explanation for how evolution occurs. Then, in September 1838, a young Englishman named Charles Darwin hit upon the idea that 'natural selection' among competing individuals would lead to wondrous adaptations and species diversity. Twenty-one years passed between that epiphany and publication of On the Origin of Species. The human drama and scientific basis of Darwin's twenty-one-year delay constitute a fascinating, tangled tale that elucidates the character of a cautious naturalist who initiated an intellectual revolution. The Kiwi's Egg is a book for everyone who has ever wondered about who this man was and what he said. Drawing from Darwin's secret 'transmutation' notebooks and his personal letters, David Quammen has sketched a vivid life portrait of the man whose work never ceases to be controversial.



Chanterelle Dreams Amanita Nightmares

Chanterelle Dreams  Amanita Nightmares Author Greg A. Marley
ISBN-10 9781603582148
Release 2010
Pages 263
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Presents an introduction to edible mushrooms, describing their characteristics, the regions where they are found, and how to avoid poisonous varieties, along with a collection of recipes and cooking techniques.



Amazing Rare Things

Amazing Rare Things Author David Attenborough
ISBN-10 0979845629
Release 2009-08-25
Pages 223
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Describes the methods by which selected European artists, from Leonardo Da Vinci to Mark Catesby, portrayed the natural world during the Age of Discovery.



The View from Lazy Point

The View from Lazy Point Author Carl Safina
ISBN-10 1429950358
Release 2011-01-04
Pages 416
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An exhilarating journey of natural renewal through a year with MacArthur fellow Carl Safina Beginning in his kayak in his home waters of eastern Long Island, Carl Safina's The View from Lazy Point takes us through the four seasons to the four points of the compass, from the high Arctic south to Antarctica, across the warm belly of the tropics from the Caribbean to the west Pacific, then home again. We meet Eskimos whose way of life is melting away, explore a secret global seed vault hidden above the Arctic Circle, investigate dilemmas facing foraging bears and breeding penguins, and sail to formerly devastated reefs that are resurrecting as fish graze the corals algae-free. "Each time science tightens a coil in the slack of our understanding," Safina writes, "it elaborates its fundamental discovery: connection." He shows how problems of the environment drive very real matters of human justice, well-being, and our prospects for peace. In Safina's hands, nature's continuous renewal points toward our future. His lively stories grant new insights into how our world is changing, and what our response ought to be.



The Return of the Unicorns

The Return of the Unicorns Author Eric Dinerstein
ISBN-10 9780231501309
Release 2003-06-25
Pages 384
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Since 1984, Eric Dinerstein has led the team directly responsible for the recovery of the greater one-horned rhinoceros in the Royal Chitwan National Park in Nepal, where the population had once declined to as few as 100 rhinos. The Return of the Unicorns is an account of what it takes to save endangered large mammals. Dinerstein outlines the multifaceted recovery program—structured around targeted fieldwork and scientific research, effective protective measures, habitat planning and management, public-awareness campaigns, economic incentives to promote local guardianship, and bold, uncompromising leadership—that brought these extraordinary animals back from the brink of extinction. In an age when scientists must also become politicians, educators, fund-raisers, and activists in order to safeguard the subjects they study, Dinerstein's inspiring story offers a successful model for large-mammal conservation applicable throughout Asia and across the globe.



Eight Little Piggies Reflections in Natural History

Eight Little Piggies  Reflections in Natural History Author Stephen Jay Gould
ISBN-10 9780393340846
Release 2010-11-29
Pages 480
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"There is no scientist today whose books I look forward to reading with greater anticipation of enjoyment and enlightenment than Stephen Jay Gould."—Martin Gardner Among scientists who write, no one illuminates as well as Stephen Jay Gould doesthe wonderful workings of the natural world. Now in a new volume of collected essays—his sixth since Ever Since Darwin—Gould speaks of the importance of unbroken connections within our own lives and to our ancestralgenerations. Along with way, he opens to us the mysteries of fish tails, frog calls, and other matters, and shows once and for all why we must take notice when a seemingly insignificant creature is threatened, like the land snail Partula from Moorea, whose extinction he movingly relates.



Naming Nature

Naming Nature Author Carol Kaesuk Yoon
ISBN-10 0393061973
Release 2009
Pages 344
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This surprising, untold story about the poetic and deeply human (cognitive) capacity to name the natural world illuminates science's limitations and the urgency of staying connected to the natural world by using familiar, rather than scientific, names.