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There's nothing quite like a relationship with an aged pet-a dog or cat who has been at our side for years, forming an ineffable bond. Pampered pets, however, are a rarity among animals who have been domesticated. Farm animals, for example, are usually slaughtered before their first birthday. We never stop to think about it, but the typical images we see of cows, chickens, pigs, and the like are of young animals. What would we see if they were allowed to grow old? Isa Leshko shows us, brilliantly, with this collection of portraits. To create these portraits, she spent hours with her subjects, gaining their trust and putting them at ease. The resulting images reveal the unique personality of each animal. It's impossible to look away from the animals in these images as they unforgettably meet our gaze, simultaneously calm and challenging. In these photographs we see the cumulative effects of the hardships of industrialized farm life, but also the healing that time can bring, and the dignity that can emerge when farm animals are allowed to age on their own terms. Each portrait is accompanied by a brief biographical note about its subject, and the book is rounded out with essays that explore the history of animal photography, the place of beauty in activist art, and much more. Open this book to any page. Meet Teresa, a thirteen-year-old Yorkshire Pig, or Melvin, an eleven-year-old Angora Goat, or Tom, a seven-year-old Broad Breasted White Turkey. You'll never forget them.
An illustrated exploration of colors and patterns in the animal kingdom, what they communicate, and how they function in the social life of animals. Are animals able to appreciate what humans refer to as "beauty"? The term scarcely ever appears nowadays in a scientific description of living things, but we humans may nonetheless find the colors, patterns, and songs of animals to be beautiful in apparently the same way that we see beauty in works of art. In Animal Beauty, Nobel Prize-winning biologist Christiane Nusslein-Volhard describes how the colors and patterns displayed by animals arise, what they communicate, and how they function in the social life of animals. Watercolor drawings illustrate these amazing instances of animal beauty. Darwin addressed the topic of ornament in his 1871 book The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, and did not hesitate to engage with criteria of beauty, convinced that animals experienced color and ornament as attractive and agreeable in the same way that we do, and that the role this played in mate choice pointed to a "sexual selection" distinct from natural selection. Nusslein-Volhard examines key examples of ornament and sexual selection in the animal kingdom and lays the groundwork for biological aesthetics. Noting that color patterns have not been a research priority-perhaps because they appeared to be nonessential luxuries rather than functional necessities-Nusslein-Volhard looks at recent scientific developments on the topic. In part because of Nusslein-Volhard's own research on the zebrafish, it is now possible to decipher the molecular genetic mechanisms that lead to production of colors in animal skin and its appendages and control its pattern and distribution.
A celebrated figure in myth, song, and story, the nightingale has captivated the imagination for millennia, its complex song evoking a prism of human emotions,-from melancholy to joy, from the fear of death to the immortality of art. But have you ever listened closely to a nightingale's song? It's a strange and unsettling sort of composition-an eclectic assortment of chirps, whirrs, trills, clicks, whistles, twitters, and gurgles. At times it is mellifluous, at others downright guttural. It is a rhythmic assault, always eluding capture. What happens if you decide to join in? As philosopher and musician David Rothenberg shows in this searching and personal new book, the nightingale's song is so peculiar in part because it reflects our own cacophony back at us. As vocal learners, nightingales acquire their music through the world around them, singing amidst the sounds of humanity in all its contradictions of noise and beauty, hard machinery and soft melody. Rather than try to capture a sound not made for us to understand, Rothenberg seeks these musical creatures out, clarinet in tow, and makes a new sound with them. He takes us to the urban landscape of Berlin-longtime home to nightingale colonies where the birds sing ever louder in order to be heard-and invites us to listen in on their remarkable collaboration as birds and instruments riff off of each other's sounds. Through dialogue, travel records, sonograms, tours of Berlin's city parks, and musings on the place animal music occupies in our collective imagination, Rothenberg takes us on a quest for a new sonic alchemy, a music impossible for any one species to make alone. In the tradition of The Hidden Life of Trees and The Invention of Nature, Rothenberg has written a provocative and accessible book to attune us ever closer to the natural environment around us.
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.
Human-wildlife conflict (HWC) is one of the most complex and urgent issues facing wildlife management and conservation today. Originally focused on the ecology and economics of wildlife damage, the study and mitigation of HWC has gradually expanded its scope to incorporate the human dimensions of the whole spectrum of human-wildlife relationships, from conflict to coexistence. Having the conflict-to-coexistence continuum as its leitmotiv, this book explores a variety of theories and methods currently used to address human-wildlife interactions, illustrated by case studies from around the world. It presents some key concepts in the field, such as values, emotions, social identity and tolerance, and a variety of insights and solutions to turn conflict into coexistence, from individual level to national scales, including conservation marketing, incremental and radical innovation, strategic planning, and socio-ecological systems. This volume will be of interest to a wide range of readers, including academics, researchers, students, practitioners and policy-makers.
The second book in the bestselling BATTLE OF THE BEETLES series! '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 ...
"Professor Janet Mann is an expert in the social networks of cetacean societies. Her new book, explores just that: self-recognition, complex songs, intricate social networks, and cetaceans' ability to relate to humans. She also takes a deep dive into the environmental impact we are having on them." - The Guardian "In keeping technical language to a minimum and matching the clearly written text to beautiful illustrations and clear and concise diagrams, Mann and her collaborators have produced an evocative summary of what it is to be whale." - New Scientist ""A fascinating book highlighting some of the most extraordinary features of whales, dolphins and porpoises, it's ideal for those interested in wildlife behaviour." - Outdoor Photography *Book of the Month* "Through their complex songs and intricate underwater societies, we assume whales, dolphins and porpoises are the smartest creatures in the sea. But how do we know? Through the findings of researchers in mammalian intelligence who observe cetacean brains and study mammals in the field and in captivity, this book dives deep to find the answers." - Coast Magazine *Book of the Month* "For anyone who has ever felt mildly nauseous when reading books by authors who find dolphin smiles and whale song endlessly spiritual, uplifting experiences, this more dispassionate offering might come as a tonic." - Diver Magazine "Deep Thinkers makes for a great introduction to the topic of cetacean intelligence, and would be the perfect gift to your non-biologist friend or relative who wants to know more." - Natural History Book Services Whales, dolphins, and porpoises are the smartest creatures in the sea. We know of their self-recognition, complex songs, their intricate societies and their ability to relate to humans. But how do we know just how intelligent these creatures are? And what is the extent of our knowledge? This insightful scientific study brings together the top researchers in this field to explain their findings in a straightforward and accessible way that requires no prior knowledge. Examining cetacean brains and comparing intelligence markers with birds, bats, primates, this study showcases the extraordinary behaviors of marine mammals and explains what they reveal about intelligence. Featuring beautiful photographs, clear explanatory graphics, and lively, engaging text, Deep Thinkers is a truly comprehensive exploration that will set the benchmark for future titles on this topic.
Mama's Last Hug is a whirlwind tour of new ideas and findings about animal emotions, based on Frans de Waal's renowned studies of the social and emotional lives of chimpanzees, bonobos and other primates. It opens with the moving farewell between Mama, a dying 59-year-old chimpanzee matriarch, and Jan Van Hoof, who was Frans de Waal's mentor and thesis advisor. The filmed event has since gone viral (over 9.5 million views on YouTube). De Waal discusses facial expressions, animal sentience and consciousness, the emotional side of human politics, and the illusion of free will. He distinguishes between emotions and feelings, all the while emphasizing the continuity between our species and other species.
And he makes the radical proposal that emotions are like organs: we haven't a single organ that other animals don't have, and the same is true for our emotions.
There are over 3,700 species of snake found on every continent except for Antarctica, ranging in size from Barbados' tiny threadsnake to Southeast Asia's massive reticulated python. More than any other creature snakes are surrounded by dark, compelling myths and legend, unsurprising since many constrict their prey to death, or kill with a venomous bite, using a diverse armory of venoms that affect the blood, tissues, organs, and respiration. However, it is especially true of snakes that the closer you observe them, the more exquisite they are in their intricate geometry of pattern, the fine texture of the overlapping scales, and the intricacies of their multifarious lifestyles. The Book of Snakes profiles 600 significant species from all 32 families-one in six of all known species-to create a beautiful collector's piece that is both a significant resource for enthusiasts and scholars, and the most visually stimulating guide on the market.
How can you tell when a Rufous or a Ruby-throated hummingbird will be in your neighborhood? What is the correct sugar-to-water ratio for your visiting hummingbirds? Should you put red dye #2 in the mixture? How do you keep that feisty Rufous from scaring other hummers away? Hummingbird enthusiast Dan True answers these questions and many more in this beautifully illustrated, informative guide to the sixteen species of hummingbirds that breed in the United States and Canada. Available in this handy guide are life-size photos of the male and female of each of the sixteen species, detailed information on each species, maps showing where the species can be spotted, how hummers mate, when and where they migrate to and from, and new banding information. There is also easy-to-follow, step-by-step information on how to photograph hummingbirds in flight. True has spent years talking to other hummer experts and enthusiasts and includes here anecdotes from all over the country that help readers understand why hummingbirds do what they do. An indispensable book for any one with a hummingbird feeder.
Thought about sex today? Of course you have! It's about the most natural thing any animal can do. But have you ever wondered how human sex compares to that of other beasts? It's far from merely inserting part A into slot B. The sex lives of our animal cousins are fiendishly difficult, infinitely varied and often violent. They involve razor-sharp penises, murderous cannibals and chemical warfare in an epic battle between the sexes. Join renowned biologist Dr Carin Bondar on a fascinating journey from puberty to old age across the entire animal kingdom - it will forever change your idle daydreams about the nature of sex.
While birding literature is filled with tales of expert observers spotting rare species in exotic locales, John Yow reminds us that the most fascinating birds can be the ones perched right outside our windows. In thirty-five engaging and sometimes irreverent vignettes, Yow reveals the fascinating lives of the birds we see nearly every day. Following the seasons, he covers forty-two species, discussing the improbable, unusual, and comical aspects of his subjects' lives. Yow offers his own observations, anecdotes, and stories as well as those of America's classic bird writers, such as John James Audubon, Arthur Bent, and Edward Forbush. This unique addition to bird literature combines the fascination of bird life with the pleasure of good reading.
In this unforgettable book, wolf expert and naturalist Elli Radinger draws on her 25 years of experience among the wolves of Yellowstone National Park to tell us remarkable stories of the wolves she has encountered. Wolves aren't wolfish. They can die of broken hearts, show tenderness to their young and elderly, and their packs are led by couples, with the key decisions made by females. They play, they pretend and they predate. They are more complex than we ever knew and more like us than we ever imagined. You'll meet Oh-Six, the she-wolf whose bold hunting technique astounded the most experienced biologists, Casanova who succeeded in luring his love away from her pack, and Druid alpha male 21, the magnanimous and compassionate leader. Ultimately, Radinger shows how much we can learn from these beautiful and mysterious creatures, and how much there is to gain from emulating the wisdom of wolves.
In a Panamanian pond, male tungara frogs ("Physalaemus pustulosus") gather in choruses, giving their "advertisement" call to the females that move among them. If a female chooses to make physical contact with a male, he will clasp her and eventually fertilize her eggs. But in vying for the females, the males whose calls are most attractive may also attract the interest of another creature: the fringe-lipped bat, a frog eater. In the "Tungara Frog," the most detailed and informative single study available of frogs and their reproductive behavior, Michael J. Ryan demonstrates the interplay of sexual and natural selection. Using techniques from ethology, behavioral ecology, sensory physiology, physiological ecology, and theoretical population genetics in his research, Ryan shows that large males with low-frequency calls mate most successfully. He examines in detail a number of explanations for the females' preferences, and he considers possible evolutionary forces leading to the males' success. Though certain vocalizations allow males to obtain mates and thus should be favored by sexual selection, this study highlights two important costs of such sexual displays: the frogs expand considerable energy in their mating calls, and they advertise their whereabouts to predators. Ryan considers in detail how predators, especially the frige-lipped bat ("Trachops cirrhosus"), affect the evolution of the tungara frog's 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.
Enter a hidden world of snail killers, silly names and crazy sex in The Secret Life of Flies. Entomolologist Erica McAlister dispels many common misconceptions and reveals how truly amazing, exotic and important these creatures really are. From hungry herbivores and precocious pollinators to robberflies, danceflies and the much maligned mosquito, McAlister describes the different types of fly, their unique and often unusual characteristics, and the unpredictable nature of their daily life. She travels from the drawers of wonder at the Natural History Museum, to piles of poo in Ethiopia, via underground caves, smelly latrines and the English country garden. She discovers flies without wings, rotating genitalia and the terrible hairy fly, while pausing along the way to consider today's key issues of conservation, taxonomy, forensic entomology and climate change. Combining her deep knowledge and love of flies with a wonderful knack for storytelling, Erica McAlister allows us to peer - amazed and captivated - into the secret life of flies.
The ultimate compact, quick ID guide to southern and East African animal behaviour, and the latest in the popular series of 'quick guides' to wildlife.
- describes and explains the habits of the more commonly found mammals of southern and East Africa;
- matches concise text with action photographs that capture characteristic behaviour;
- serves as a companion volume to more detailed field guides;
- provides a quick reference and easy read for anyone interested in understanding wild animals and their sometimes baffling rituals.
'Turn the pages to revel in the techno-tracking that is revealing the secrets of animal lives. This is science at its best, the art of understanding truth and beauty' Chris Packham Once tracking animals meant following footprints. Now satellites, drones, camera traps, cellphone networks, apps and accelerometers allow us to see the natural world as never before. For the first time, this book lets you follow the journeys of seals, sharks, elephants, bumble bees, owls and wolves all over the world. Open it, and go where the animals go. 'This is a special kind of detective story' New Scientist 'This book is beautiful as well as informative and inspiring. There is no doubt it will help in our fight to save wildlife and wild habitats' Dr Jane Goodall 'Beautiful and thrilling ... a joy to study cover to cover' E. O. Wilson
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