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He became obsessed with fish during his early childhood and carried this passion with him throughout his career. Mike Bruton was born in the town where the first living coelacanth was discovered and studied at Rhodes University in South Africa at the same time as the great ichthyologist, Professor JLB Smith, who described ‘old fourlegs’. He subsequently became Director of the Ichthyology Institute established in Smith’s name and pioneered searches for the coelacanth off the coast of southern Africa and in the Western Indian Ocean using the German research submersible, ‘Jago’. Together with colleagues from South Africa, the USA, Canada and Germany he made many new discoveries on the biology of this extraordinary fish and campaigned internationally for its conservation.
Mike’s research on the freshwater fish of Africa and the Middle East lead to entanglements with crocodiles, hippopotami, giant snakes and military operations but also allowed him to contribute to international efforts to conserve wetlands and endangered species. He also made major contributions to our understanding of the ways in which fish are adapted to their watery environments and how they made that epic evolutionary transition from water onto land.
Whether or not you are a fisherman, aquarist or sushi eater, you will be fascinated by these astonishing tales of a man who almost became a fish!
Originally published in 1994, A Field Guide to Tracks and Signs of Southern and East African Wildlife quickly became the standard reference to the subject in the region, reprinting many times. This new edition provides the most detailed coverage of tracks, droppings, bird pellets, nests and shelters and feeding signs, not only for mammals, but also for birds, reptiles, insects and other invertebrates. Greatly expanded, this extensive update now features: full colour throughout.
The first book in a fresh, funny new series for readers aged 7+, illustrated by Alex G. Griffiths! When little spider Milton discovers he's been branded deadly on social media - and is targeted by pest-killers BugKILL - he fears for his life and the future of his species. Alongside his BFFs, big hairy Ralph and spindly daddy-long-legs Audrey, he searches for a way to clear his name. But to succeed, Milton realises he must communicate with his house humans, a schoolgirl called Zoe - and her arachnophobic dad. Is he mighty enough to achieve the impossible?
What could be more delightful than to colour in the amazing plumage of true-to-life birds of paradise? This beautiful book contains illustrations of 39 different birds of paradise, drawn by Andrew Leach, from the work of Dr Edwin Scholes and photojournalist Tim Laman from a Cornell Lab of Ornithology expedition. The photographs are also included as a wonderful bonus and to show the dazzling colours of these remarkable birds. There have been more than 12 million views of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's introductory video to the birds of paradise project on YouTube alone.
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?
As read by James Corden, Fearne Cotton, Jim Chapman and Dougie Poytner. 'We have a responsibility, every one of us' David Attenborough Around 12.7 million tonnes of plastic are entering the ocean every year, killing over 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals. By 2050 there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish by weight. Plastic pollution is the environmental scourge of our age, but how can YOU make a difference? This accessible guide, written by the campaigner at the forefront of the anti-plastic movement, will help you make the small changes that make a big difference, from buying a reusable coffee cup to running a clean-up at your local park or beach. Tips on giving up plastic include: * Washing your clothes within a wash bag to catch plastic microfibers (the cause of 30% of plastic pollution in the ocean) * Replacing your regular shampoo with bar shampoo * How to lobby your supermarket to remove unnecessary packaging * How to throw a plastic-free birthday party * How to convince others to join you in giving up plastic Plastic is not going away without a fight. We need a movement made up of billions of individual acts, bringing people together from all backgrounds and all cultures, the ripples of which will be felt from the smallest village to the tallest skyscrapers. This is a call to arms - to join forces across the world and to end our dependence on plastic. #BreakFreeFromPlastic Plastic is not going away without a fight. We need a movement made up of billions of individual acts, bringing people together from all backgrounds and all cultures, the ripples of which will be felt from the smallest village to the tallest skyscrapers. 'Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world' Theresa May 'As Head of Oceans at Greenpeace, Will is on the front line of humanity's global fight against plastic. This timely book not only explains how we got into this mess, but most importantly offers an optimistic and proactive approach as to how we can get out of it'. - Richard Walker, Managing Director at Iceland
'Packed with insight and anecdote, his story brings the Tower ravens to vivid life, each bird with a personality of its own. I've been fortunate enough to tour the Tower and meet the ravens a few times in years past; after reading this book, I cannot wait to go back' George R. R. Martin For centuries, the Tower of London has been home to a group of famous avian residents: the ravens. Each year they are seen by millions of visitors, and they have become as integral a part of the Tower as its ancient stones themselves. But their role is even more important than that - legend has it that if the ravens should ever leave, the Tower will crumble into dust, and great harm will befall the kingdom. One man is personally responsible for ensuring that such a disaster never comes to pass - the Ravenmaster. The current holder of the position is Yeoman Warder Christopher Skaife, and in this fascinating, entertaining and touching book he memorably describes the ravens' formidable intelligence, their idiosyncrasies and their occasionally wicked sense of humour. Over the years in which he has cared for the physical and mental well-being of these remarkable birds, Christopher Skaife has come to know them like no one else. They are not the easiest of charges - as he reveals, they are much given to mischief, and their escapades have often led him into unlikely, and sometimes even undignified, situations. Now, in the first intimate behind-the-scenes account of life with the ravens of the Tower, the Ravenmaster himself shares the folklore, history and superstitions surrounding both the birds and their home. The result is a compelling, inspiring and irreverent story that will delight and surprise anyone with an interest in British history or animal behaviour.
Frans de Waal has spent four decades at the forefront of animal research. Following up on the best-selling Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?, which investigated animal intelligence, Mama's Last Hug delivers a fascinating exploration of the rich emotional lives of animals. Mama's Last Hug begins with the death of Mama, a chimpanzee matriarch who formed a deep bond with biologist Jan van Hooff. When Mama was dying, van Hooff took the unusual step of visiting her in her night cage for a last hug. Their goodbyes were filmed and went viral. Millions of people were deeply moved by the way Mama embraced the professor, welcoming him with a big smile while reassuring him by patting his neck, in a gesture often considered typically human but that is in fact common to all primates. This story and others like it form the core of de Waal's argument, showing that humans are not the only species with the capacity for love, hate, fear, shame, guilt, joy, disgust, and empathy. De Waal discusses facial expressions, the emotions behind human politics, the illusion of free will, animal sentience, and, of course, Mama's life and death. The message is one of continuity between us and other species, such as the radical proposal that emotions are like organs: we don't have a single organ that other animals don't have, and the same is true for our emotions. Mama's Last Hug opens our hearts and minds to the many ways in which humans and other animals are connected, transforming how we view the living world around us.
What's the difference between a swallow and a swift? How many species of ducks, penguins, owls or thrushes are there? Which is the rarest parrot or the most endangered hummingbird? What do toucans eat? Discover all the key facts about the world's orders and families of birds with this ultimate handbook. Expert ornithologist Jonathan Elphick provides a comprehensive survey of every one of the 36 orders and 234 families of birds, revealing their remarkable diversity, appearance, behaviour and lifestyle. With clear, lively text, informative fact boxes that include the latest research and data, and special photography from award-winning wildlife photographers such as David Tipling, The Handbook of Bird Families belongs on the shelf of everyone interested in birds.
Part of the ALL-NEW LADYBIRD EXPERT SERIES - Why is it octopuses, and not octopi or octopodes? - How did octopuses evolve to be so clever? - How can octopuses see and speak with their skin? EXAMINE these crafty hunters of the seabed - shape-shifting, skin-signalling and using complex tools - their remarkable abilities are still being uncovered. BENDY BODIES, BIG BRAINS Written by celebrated marine biologist and documentarian Helen Scales, Octopuses is an enthralling introduction to these utterly unique creatures, the myths and fiction they have inspired, and what they can tell us about the roots of intelligence.
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.
How did wolves evolve into dogs? When did this happen, and what role did humans play? Oxford geneticist Bryan Sykes used the full array of modern technology to explore the canine genetic journey that likely began when a human child decided to adopt a wolf cub thousands of years ago. In the process, he discovered that only a handful of genes have created the huge range of shapes, sizes, and colors in modern dogs. Providing scientific insight into these adaptive stages, Sykes focuses attention on our own species, and how our own evolution from (perhaps equally aggressive) primates was enhanced by this most unlikely ally. Whether examining our obsession with canine purity, or delving into the prehistoric past to answer the most fundamental question of all, "Why do we love our dog so much?," Once a Wolf is an engaging work no dog lover or ancestry aficionado should be without.
As a boy, Jon Day was fascinated by pigeons, which he used to rescue from the streets of London. Twenty years later he moved away from the city centre to the suburbs to start a family. But in moving house, he began to lose a sense of what it meant to feel at home. Returning to his childhood obsession with the birds, he built a coop in his garden and joined a local pigeon racing club. Over the next few years, as he made a home with his young family in Leyton, he learned to train and race his pigeons, hoping that they might teach him to feel homed. Having lived closely with humans for tens of thousands of years, pigeons have become powerful symbols of peace and domesticity. But they are also much-maligned, and nowadays most people think of these birds, if they do so at all, as vermin. A book about the overlooked beauty of this species, and about what it means to dwell, Homing delves into the curious world of pigeon fancying, explores the scientific mysteries of animal homing, and traces the cultural, political and philosophical meanings of home. It is a book about the making of home and making for home: a book about why we return.
'Immensely entertaining... [Barrie] is an admirably reliable and assiduous guide to what we do and don't yet know.' Andrew Holgate, Sunday Times 'Barrie has a good eye for colourful detail.' Kathryn Hughes, Mail on Sunday 'This is a must-read for anyone fascinated with the wonders of nature.' Publishers Weekly In Incredible Journeys, award-winning author David Barrie takes us on a tour of the cutting-edge science of animal navigation, where breakthroughs are allowing scientists to unravel, for the first time, how animals as various as butterflies, birds, crustaceans, fish, reptiles and even people find their way. Weaving interviews with leading experts on animal behaviour with the groundbreaking discoveries of Nobel-Prize winning neuroscientists, Barrie shines a light on the astounding skills of animals of every stripe. Dung beetles that steer by the light of the Milky Way. Ants and bees that navigate using patterns of light invisible to humans. Sea turtles, spiny lobsters and moths that find their way using the Earth's magnetic field. Salmon that return to their birthplace by following their noses. Baleen whales that swim thousands of miles while holding a rock-steady course and birds that can locate their nests on a tiny island after crisscrossing an entire ocean. There's a stunning diversity of animal navigators out there, often using senses and skills we humans don't have access to ourselves. For the first time, Incredible Journeys reveals the wonders of these animals in a whole new light.
The Chicken is an encyclopaedic, science-based study that offers a true understanding of the species, reclaiming it from its commercial status as a mere egg and meat provider. High-quality photography, illustration, and info-graphics combine with engaging and authoritative text to create an accessible reference title for the general market. Topics include anatomy, developmental biology, ancestry, breeding, and origins, and there is a comprehensive look at chicken behaviours. Boxed asides are included throughout, relating the scientific detail to the practicalities of chicken husbandry. The book's final chapter is devoted to a beautiful visual study of the characteristics of particular breeds, providing quick-reference information on their origins, particulars, and appearance.
Dozens of further filthy animal facts and falsehoods: the follow-through to the international bestselling sensation Does it Fart? How many spiders do you eat in your sleep? What does the ice-cream you eat have to do with the back end of a beaver? Do komodo dragons have toxic slobber? Is it true that a scorpion that sheds its tail dies of constipation? How far actually are you from the nearest rat? Can you get high from licking toads, or is that...fake newts? All this and far, far more can be found in True or Poo, a guide to the wonders of the natural world: and a manual for disgusting and one-upping your friends and enemies for years to come.
How do dogs perceive the world around them? How do they learn? How do they relate to their owners? Why do they suffer from stress and anxiety and how can these be alleviated? Incorporating recent research on the psychology of the dog, this book is aimed at seriously interested dog owners and those professionally involved with dogs. Bruce Fogle is a practising vet in London and has had several books published, including "Games Pets Play".
A state-of-the-art photographic identification guide to Europe (TM)s whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals This cutting-edge photographic identification guide to Europe (TM)s sea mammals "the only such guide of its kind "covers the 39 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises and 9 species of seals found in the region, which spans the eastern Atlantic from Iceland to Macaronesia, and the Mediterranean, Caspian and Baltic seas. Written and illustrated by a team of professional tour guides with extensive experience presenting the region (TM)s sea mammals, the guide features more than 180 color photographs, maps and graphics, highlights key identification features and includes information on the range, ecology, behaviour and conservation status of each species. Produced with the marine conservation charity ORCA, the book presents mapping data from a decade of surveys, which shows both current distribution and changes over time. Europe (TM)s Sea Mammals is an essential companion for whale watchers and anyone else who is interested in this enigmatic group of mammals. The only photographic guide dedicated to this popular whale-watching region Features more than 180 color photos, maps and graphics Highlights key identification features and provides essential information on the range, ecology, behaviour and conservation status of each species
An introduction to France for anyone visiting with birds in mind, from casual birdwatchers checking a bird that flies over the terrace during a family holiday to addict birders who would sell their souls for a dream species or a record-breaking checklist. Some may have just a few spare hours to get their binoculars out between business meetings or museum visits, others will be out in the field for two weeks or more, from sunrise to sunset. The authors wrote this book for all bird lovers, birdwatchers and birders, whatever the duration of their stay, the number of kilometres they are prepared to travel and how they enjoy birds. With over 400 regularly occurring species, of which 357 normally breed or winter, France has one of the most diverse avifaunas of the whole of Europe, spanning an incredible range from colourful Mediterranean flagship species such as roller, bee-eater or black-winged kite to secretive cold-climate or mountain specialists like three-toed woodpecker and Tengmalm's owl. The Birdfinder section provides targeted details for 30 species which often rank in the top wish-list of birders visiting France. Dividing the country into 14 regions, the authors highlight 312 representative sites, chosen for their bird species composition and ease of access. The selected sites enable the reader to see the widest possible species diversity and largest range of local specialities in a reasonable time, while respecting the basic ethical rules obvious to all birdwatchers. Whenever possible, sites are arranged in clusters or itineraries that can be covered in two to three days without hurrying. To supplement the use of the book in the field, all the sites described are geolocated in a file that can be downloaded from the publisher's website and loaded onto any GPS device.
A catalog of wonders, from walking fish to self-medicating chimpanzees. This Atlas of Poetic Zoology leads readers into a world of wonders where turtles fly under the sea, lizards walk on water, insects impersonate flowers, birds don't fly, frogs come back from the dead, and virgin sharks give birth. Animals, writes Emmanuelle Pouydebat, are lyric poets; they discover and shape the world when they sing, dance, explore, and reproduce. The animal kingdom has been evolving for 700,000 million years, weathering many crises of extinction; this book allows us to draw inspiration from animals' enduring vitality. Pouydebat's text, accompanied by striking color illustrations by artist Julie Terrazzoni, offers a catalog of wondrous beings. Pouydebat describes the African bush elephant-the biggest land mammal of them all, but the evolutionary descendant of a tiny animal that stood less than fifty centimeters (nineteen inches) high sixty million years ago; the scaly, toothless pangolin, the world's most endangered mammal-and perhaps its most atypical; the red-lipped batfish, which walks, rather than swims, across the ocean floor; and the great black cockatoo, a gifted percussionist. Chimpanzees, she tells us, self-medicate with medicinal plants; the jellyfish, under stress, reverts to juvenile polyp-hood; and the sweetly named honey badger feeds on reptiles, termites, scorpions, and earthworms. Pouydebat, a researcher at the French Museum of Natural History, and Terrazzoni capture the astonishment promised by any excursion into nature-the happiness that comes from watching a dragonfly, spider, frog, lizard, elephant, parrot, mouse, orangutan, or ladybug. It's the joy of witnessing life itself. We need only open our eyes to see.
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.
BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK JULY 2018
Bees are like oxygen: ubiquitous, essential, and, for the most part, unseen. While we might overlook them, they lie at the heart of relationships that bind the human and natural worlds.
In Buzz, the award-winning author of Feathers and The Triumph of Seeds takes us on a journey that begins 125 million years ago, when a wasp first dared to feed pollen to its young.
From honeybees and bumbles to lesser-known diggers, miners, leafcutters, and masons, bees have long been central to our harvests, our mythologies, and our very existence. They’ve given us sweetness and light, the beauty of flowers, and as much as a third of the foodstuffs we eat. And, alarmingly, they are at risk of disappearing.
As informative and enchanting as the waggle dance of a honeybee, Buzz shows us why all bees are wonders to celebrate and protect. Read this book and you'll never overlook them again.
How the lives of wild honey bees offer vital lessons for saving the world (TM)s managed bee colonies Humans have kept honey bees in hives for millennia, yet only in recent decades have biologists begun to investigate how these industrious insects live in the wild. The Lives of Bees is Thomas Seeley (TM)s captivating story of what scientists are learning about the behavior, social life, and survival strategies of honey bees living outside the beekeeper (TM)s hive "and how wild honey bees may hold the key to reversing the alarming die-off of the planet (TM)s managed honey bee populations. Seeley, a world authority on honey bees, sheds light on why wild honey bees are still thriving while those living in managed colonies are in crisis. Drawing on the latest science as well as insights from his own pioneering fieldwork, he describes in extraordinary detail how honey bees live in nature and shows how this differs significantly from their lives under the management of beekeepers. Seeley presents an entirely new approach to beekeeping "Darwinian Beekeeping "which enables honey bees to use the toolkit of survival skills their species has acquired over the past thirty million years, and to evolve solutions to the new challenges they face today. He shows beekeepers how to use the principles of natural selection to guide their practices, and he offers a new vision of how beekeeping can better align with the natural habits of honey bees. Engagingly written and deeply personal, The Lives of Bees reveals how we can become better custodians of honey bees and make use of their resources in ways that enrich their lives as well as our own.
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.
A remarkable look at the rarest butterflies, how global changes threaten their existence, and how we can bring them back from near-extinction Most of us have heard of such popular butterflies as the Monarch or Painted Lady. But what about the Fender (TM)s Blue? Or the St. Francis (TM) Satyr? Because of their extreme rarity, these butterflies are not well-known, yet they are remarkable species with important lessons to teach us. The Last Butterflies spotlights the rarest of these creatures "some numbering no more than what can be held in one hand. Drawing from his own first-hand experiences, Nick Haddad explores the challenges of tracking these vanishing butterflies, why they are disappearing, and why they are worth saving. He also provides startling insights into the effects of human activity and environmental change on the planet (TM)s biodiversity. Weaving a vivid and personal narrative with ideas from ecology and conservation, Haddad illustrates the race against time to reverse the decline of six butterfly species. Many scientists mistakenly assume we fully understand butterflies (TM) natural histories. Yet, as with the Large Blue in England, we too often know too little and the conservation consequences are dire. Haddad argues that a hands-off approach is not effective and that in many instances, like for the Fender (TM)s Blue and Bay Checkerspot, active and aggressive management is necessary. With deliberate conservation, rare butterflies can coexist with people, inhabit urban fringes, and, in the case of the St. Francis (TM) Satyr, even reside on bomb ranges and military land. Haddad shows that through the efforts to protect and restore butterflies, we might learn how to successfully confront conservation issues for all animals and plants. A moving account of extinction, recovery, and hope, The Last Butterflies demonstrates the great value of these beautiful insects to science, conservation, and people.
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