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This book is a totally fresh approach to observing birds in southern Africa. It affords you the opportunity to gather previously inaccessible and indecipherable information in the form of tracks and signs left behind by our avifauna. The book explores the unique details of the spoor, or tracks, of many species of birds. This is done in multiple ways including by observing their droppings, examining their feeding behaviour as well as their general nesting structures.
It’s remarkable how tracks and signs in nature help you to enrich your knowledge of bird species, providing knowledge as straightforward as the shape of the individual nests of our various species of weaver, or the ability to recognise and understand the role of a drum-site in the life of a bearded woodpecker, or even being able to see the subtle signs of a cardinal woodpecker on the various acacia pods which host its larval food.
Louis Liebenberg has generously provided some sketches of spoor he has made for his own publications, making these clear schematics available to assist with identification. Skulls, feathers, beaks and egg shells are also occasionally encountered, and a few examples of these will be included, as they also tell a story of a bird which has passed by. This approach to southern Africa’s birdlife will add tremendously to how we experience our wonderful avifauna.
In this book, Adrian Koopman describes the complex relationship between birds, the Zulu language and Zulu culture. A number of chapters look at the underlying meaning of bird names, and here we will find that the Zulu name of the Goliath Heron means ‘what gives birth to baby crocodiles’, the dikkop (umbangaqhwa) means ‘what causes frost’, and the African Hoopoe is a party-goer who wears a colourful blanket.
The book goes further than just Zulu names, exploring the underlying meanings of bird names from other South African languages and languages from Central and East Africa. Here we find birds with names that translate as ‘cool-porridge’, ‘kiss-banana-flower’ and ‘waiter-at-the-end-of-the furrow’.
A focus on Zulu traditional oral literature details the roles birds have played in Zulu praise poetry (including the praise poems of certain birds themselves) and in proverbs, riddles and children’s games. Also considered is traditional bird lore, examining the role played by various species as omens and portents, as indicators of bad luck and evil, as forecasters of rain and storm, and as harbingers of the seasons. Here we see that the Bateleur Eagle (ingqungqulu) is linked to war, the Southern Ground Hornbill (insingizi) to thunder and heavy rain, the Red-chested Cuckoo (uphezukokhono) to the start of the ploughing season, and the Jacobin Cuckoo (inkanku) to the start of summer.
Zulu Bird Names and Bird Lore discusses the Zulu Bird Name Project, a series of Zulu bird name workshops held between 2013 and 2017 with Zulu-speaking bird guides designed to confirm (or otherwise) all previously recorded Zulu names for birds, while at the same time devising new names for those without previously recorded names. The result has been a list of species-specific names for all birds in the Zulu-speaking region. Finally, the book turns to the role such new bird names can play in conservation education and in avi-tourism.
In this scientifically informed account of the changes occurring in the world over the last century, award-winning broadcaster and natural historian Sir David Attenborough shares a lifetime of wisdom and a hopeful vision for the future.
See the world. Then make it better.
I am 93. I've had an extraordinary life. It's only now that I appreciate how extraordinary.
As a young man, I felt I was out there in the wild, experiencing the untouched natural world - but it was an illusion. The tragedy of our time has been happening all around us, barely noticeable from day to day -- the loss of our planet's wild places, its biodiversity. I have been witness to this decline. A Life on Our Planet is my witness statement, and my vision for the future. It is the story of how we came to make this, our greatest mistake -- and how, if we act now, we can yet put it right.
We have one final chance to create the perfect home for ourselves and restore the wonderful world we inherited. All we need is the will do so.
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.
Elephants are as unique as people. They can be clever and curious or
headstrong and impulsive, shy or sociable. Learn to know them as
individuals as well as a species in this evocative account of years
spent studying elephant behaviour in the wild.
For cognitive ecologists, fish biologists, animal behaviorists, and inquiring anglers. How and why do trout think? How do they decide where to eat and which food to eat? Why do they refuse to behave as predicted, stumping anglers by rejecting a larger fly for a smaller one or not responding at all to anything in an angler's box? How do trout know to bolt to one particular covered area after being hooked or flushed? Why can trout smell better than humans but not remember as well? Citing the most recent scientific findings in a readily understandable form, Thomas C. Grubb, Jr. addresses these questions and more in The Mind of the Trout. It is the first book to bring together many varied concepts of cognitive ecology as applied to trout and their salmonid relatives: char, salmon, grayling, and whitefish.
The second book in the bestselling BATTLE OF THE BEETLES series - perfect for fans of Roald Dahl! 'Truly great storytelling.' MICHAEL MORPURGO on BEETLE BOY Cruel beetle fashionista, Lucretia Cutter, is at large with her yellow ladybird spies. When Darkus, Virginia and Bertolt discover further evidence of her evil, they're determined to stop her. But the three friends are in trouble. Darkus' dad has forbidden them to investigate any further - and disgusting crooks Humphrey and Pickering are out of prison. Hope rests on Novak, Lucretia's daughter and a Hollywood actress, but the beetle diva is always one scuttle ahead ...
'Animal Behaviour is an important and popular subject, but all too often core texts focus on easy-to-digest aspects of the field. Barnard's book is different. He covers all the current, as well as historically important, aspects of animal behaviour with a clarity that encourages curiosity. This book takes a much needed, deep and serious look at the most popular subject in organismal biology. 'Mike Siva-Jothy, University of Sheffield'This excellent textbook deals with the complexities of animal behaviour in a readable and informative style. Its balanced treatment of mechanisms, development, functions and evolution provides an overview which is lacking in most of the other textbooks in this area. It could be the main text for any animal behaviour course in biological sciences or psychology, but would also greatly benefit students taking courses in behavioural ecology, evolution, experimental psychology, and others. 'Ian R Hartley, Biological Sciences, Lancaster University Animal behaviour has been one of the fastest-growing scientific disciplines of recent years. Its impact on the way we think about biology has spawned lucid 'best sellers' like The Selfish Gene and widespread scienti
This is the first comprehensive firefly guide for eastern and central North America ever published. It is written for all those who want to know more about the amazing world of lightning bugs and learn the secrets hidden in the flash patterns of the 75+ species found in the eastern and central U.S. and Canada. As an independent researcher working with numerous university teams, naturalist Lynn Frierson Faust, "The Lightning Bug Lady," has spent decades tracking the behavior and researching the habitats of these fascinating creatures. Based on her twenty-five years of field work, this book is intended to increase understanding and appreciation of bioluminescent insects while igniting enthusiasm in a fun and informative way. Species accounts are coupled with historical background and literary epigraphs to engage and draw readers young and old into the world of these tiny sparklers. A chart documenting the flash patterns of the various species will aid in identification. Clear photos illustrate the insects' distinguishing physical characteristics, while habitats, seasonality, and common names are provided in clear, easy-to-understand yet scientifically accurate language. The guide will be welcomed by everyone who wants to learn more about fireflies' and glow-worms' unique traits and about their fragile niche in the ecosystem. FEATURES: Over 600 color photographs Detailed accounts and anatomical diagrams of 75+ species, as well as aids in distinguishing between similar species A first-of-its-kind flash-pattern chart that folds out on heavy-weight paper Extensive scientific details written in an understandable and engaging way Colorful, common names-Twilight Bush Baby, Shadow Ghosts, and Snappy Syncs, and more-for easy species identification based on flash patterns Tips on ideal sites and times of year for firefly watching Conservation-oriented approach
A comparative and integrative overview of how and why animals as diverse as insects and humans behave the way that they do, linking behaviors to the brain, genes, and hormones, as well as to the surrounding ecological and social environments.
This book brings together a wide range of sampling methods for investigating different arthropod groups. Each chapter is organised to describe and evaluate the main sampling methods (field methods, materials and supplies, sampling protocols, effort needed, and limitations); in addition, some chapters describe the specimen preparation and conservation, species identification, data collection and management (treatment, statistical analysis, interpretation), and ecological/conservation implications of arthropod communities. The book aims to be a reference for zoologists, entomologists, arachnologists, ecologists, students, researchers, and for those interested in arthropod science and biodiversity. We hope the book will contribute to advance knowledge on field assessments and conservation strategies. Arthropods represent the most speciose group of organisms on Earth, with a remarkable number of species and interactions still to be described. These invertebrates are recognized for playing key ecological roles in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. Because of the increasing and relentless threats arthropods are facing lately due to a multitude of human induced drivers, this book represents an important contribution to assess their biodiversity and role in ecosystem functioning and generation of ecosystem services worldwide.
Amagama Izinyoni: Zulu Names of Birds lists all the bird species found in KwaZulu-Natal and surrounds, gives the proposed standardised Zulu name for each species, and explains the underlying meaning and how the name came into being. All earlier names for these birds, even if no longer in current use, have been recorded here, making this a historical repository of Zulu bird names as well. This book is the result of the six-year Zulu Bird Name Project. Between 2013 and 2018, annual workshops, organised and facilitated by the three authors, brought together a total of eighteen mother-tongue Zulu-speaking bird experts to research the names of bird species present in the Zulu-speaking area of South Africa. At the start of the project, only approximately 40 per cent of the bird species of this area had species-specific Zulu names; by the end of the project all 550 species had unique names. The comprehensive introduction explains the methodology used in the Zulu bird name workshops, providing a template for linguists and ornithologists who might wish to do similar bird-naming exercises in the other African languages of southern Africa. The introduction also provides some linguistic and onomastic insights into bird naming generally and Zulu bird names in particular.
It soon became clear that Africa was far more than political skulduggery, starving refugees and mind-numbingly overcrowded cities. It was also full of the most astounding creatures on earth that did the damnest things. Did you know that albatrosses use howling jet streams to criss-cross the planet? Or that dams cause earthquakes? Or maybe that most seahorses dance at dawn?" the author writes in the preface of this extraordinary title. This title, which is drawn from the author's monthly columns for "Getaway" on natural history, is full of humour, detail and speculation. It moves between disciplines as "nature's many quirks" are revealed and "startlingly large questions are dredged from little things ordinary folk pass over with hardly a glance.
The classic field guide to snakes found in the Old Dominion, now available in paperback.
The Birds of Ecuador comprehensively treats the nearly 1600 species of birds that can be found in mainland Ecuador. The authors describe Ecuador this way: "One of the wonders of the natural world. Nowhere else is such incredible avian diversity crammed into such a small country.... Birds are, happily, numerous in many parts of Ecuador: even the downtown parks of the big cities such as Quito and Guayaquil host their complement." Volume I, Status, Distribution, and Taxonomy, contains detailed information on the ecology, status, and distribution of all species. Introductory chapters deal with geography, climate, and vegetation; bird migration in Ecuador; Ecuadorian ornithology; endemic bird areas in Ecuador; and conservation. Individual species accounts treat habitat, distribution, and taxonomy. Volume II, Field Guide, contains 96 full-color plates and facing pages of descriptive text, a color map of Ecuador, 2 line drawings of bird anatomy, 115 silhouette outlines, and nearly 1600 distribution maps. All species are illustrated in full color, including migrants and vagrants and visually distinctive subspecies. The text focuses on the field identification aspects of each species, including their behavior, vocalizations, and nest appearance. The two volumes are available separately or may be purchased as a slipcased set.
Origins of Biodiversity is a unique introduction to the fields of macroevolution and macroecology, which explores the evolution and distribution of biodiversity across time, space and lineages. Using an enquiry-led framework to encourage active learning and critical thinking, each chapter is based around a case-study to explore concepts and research methods from contemporary macroevolution and macroecology. The book focuses on the process of science as much as the biology itself, to help students acquire the research skills and intellectual tools they need to understand and investigate the biological world around them. In particular, the emphasis on hypothesis testing encourages students to develop and test their own ideas. This text builds upon the foundations offered in most general introductory evolutionary biology courses to introduce an exciting range of ideas and research tools for investigating patterns of biodiversity.
In the thirty years since the second edition of A Manual of Acarology was published, acarologists have discovered a multitude of new taxa, made major modifications in classification of acarids, and profoundly altered their understanding of the Acari, inspiring new and innovative approaches to resolving many basic and applied acarological problems. Now, this completely revised and updated reference, the only one in the discipline, is available to researchers, teachers, students, and plant and animal scientists wishing to explore the complex and often astonishing world of mites.
In this unique and unprecedented study of birding in Africa, historian Nancy Jacobs reconstructs the collaborations between well-known ornithologists and the largely forgotten guides, hunters and taxidermists who worked with them. Drawing on ethnography, scientific publications, private archives and interviews, Jacobs asks: How did white ornithologists both depend on and operate distinctively from African birders? What investment did African birders have in collaborating with ornithologists? By distilling the interactions between European science and African vernacular knowledge, this work offers a fascinating examination of the colonial and postcolonial politics of expertise about nature. It is also a riveting history of the discovery of certain bird species.
This is the only comprehensive guide to the state's diverse herpetofauna.A hidden world of amphibians and reptiles awaits the outdoor adventurer in Georgia's streams, caves, forests, and wetlands. ""Amphibians and Reptiles of Georgia"" makes accessible a wealth of information about 170 species of frogs, salamanders, crocodilians, lizards, snakes, and turtles. Throughout, the book stresses conservation, documenting declines in individual species as well as losses of local and regional populations.Color photographs are paired with detailed species accounts, which provide information about size, appearance, and other identifying characteristics of adults and young; taxonomy and nomenclature; habits; distribution and habitat; and reproduction and development. Typical specimens and various life stages are described, as well as significant variations in such attributes as color and pattern. Line drawings define each group's general features for easy field identification. Range maps show where each species occurs in Georgia county by county, as well as in the United States generally. State maps depict elevations, streams, annual precipitation, land use changes, physiographic provinces, and average temperatures.The book includes a checklist, a chart of the evolutionary relationships among amphibians and reptiles, a list of the top ten most reported species by major group, and a table summarizing the diversity of amphibians and reptiles in the state's five physiographic provinces. ""Amphibians and Reptiles of Georgia"" is an authoritative reference for students, professional herpetologists, biologists, ecologists, conservationists, land managers, and amateur naturalists.It features nearly 500 color photographs. It contains 24 line drawings showing each group's defining features. It includes almost 200 range maps detailing county-by-county distribution. It contains detailed species accounts written by 54 regional experts, which provide information on size, appearance, and other identifying characteristics of adults and young; taxonomy and nomenclature; habits; distribution and habitat; and reproduction and development. It includes introductory sections, providing overviews of physiography, climate, and habitats of Georgia, the Georgia Herp Atlas Project, taxonomic issues, conservation, and herpetology as a science and a career.
Informative, accurate, and easily comprehended by the scientist and the layperson, this book will be a useful tool for anyone interested in northeastern United States fish identification, life history, and distribution. Robert G. Werner presents the most current information available to aid in identifying the most distinguishable characteristics. The guide includes illustrations that accurately depict the morphology and color of fishes in the region. A source of detailed information, the book goes beyond simple identification to include complete species and reference lists.
A richly illustrated, state-of-the-art field guide for identifying European passerines in flight-the first of its kind Opening up new frontiers in birdwatching, this is the first field guide for identifying European passerines in flight, featuring more than 1,850 stunning color illustrations from acclaimed bird artist Tomasz Cofta, who creates remarkably lifelike images using the latest digital technology. With detailed coverage of 206 passerines and 32 near-passerine landbirds, this cutting-edge book features a seamlessly integrated approach. It combines Cofta's precise illustrations, which depict key shape and coloration features, with a range of photos for each species that show how they appear in flight. The species accounts are short, sharp, and authoritative, and essential information on individual flight manner and flock structure and behavior is represented concisely. In addition, flight calls are transliterated, briefly described, shown as sonograms, and backed up with a unique collection of more than one hundred online audio recordings. While the book is written in a style that will appeal to all birders, it also contains new knowledge on flight identification, making it a must-have for professional ornithologists and scientists as well. The first field guide to flight identification of European passerines Covers 206 passerines and 32 near-passerine landbirds Features more than 1,850 stunning color illustrations Includes 2,000 photos showing each species in flight Provides extensive information on flight calls
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.
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