The Book of Eggs

Author: Mark E. Hauber
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226057811
Release Date: 2014-08-01
Genre: Nature

From the brilliantly green and glossy eggs of the Elegant Crested Tinamou—said to be among the most beautiful in the world—to the small brown eggs of the house sparrow that makes its nest in a lamppost and the uniformly brown or white chickens’ eggs found by the dozen in any corner grocery, birds’ eggs have inspired countless biologists, ecologists, and ornithologists, as well as artists, from John James Audubon to the contemporary photographer Rosamond Purcell. For scientists, these vibrant vessels are the source of an array of interesting topics, from the factors responsible for egg coloration to the curious practice of “brood parasitism,” in which the eggs of cuckoos mimic those of other bird species in order to be cunningly concealed among the clutches of unsuspecting foster parents. The Book of Eggs introduces readers to eggs from six hundred species—some endangered or extinct—from around the world and housed mostly at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History. Organized by habitat and taxonomy, the entries include newly commissioned photographs that reproduce each egg in full color and at actual size, as well as distribution maps and drawings and descriptions of the birds and their nests where the eggs are kept warm. Birds’ eggs are some of the most colorful and variable natural products in the wild, and each entry is also accompanied by a brief description that includes evolutionary explanations for the wide variety of colors and patterns, from camouflage designed to protect against predation, to thermoregulatory adaptations, to adjustments for the circumstances of a particular habitat or season. Throughout the book are fascinating facts to pique the curiosity of binocular-toting birdwatchers and budding amateurs alike. Female mallards, for instance, invest more energy to produce larger eggs when faced with the genetic windfall of an attractive mate. Some seabirds, like the cliff-dwelling guillemot, have adapted to produce long, pointed eggs, whose uneven weight distribution prevents them from rolling off rocky ledges into the sea. A visually stunning and scientifically engaging guide to six hundred of the most intriguing eggs, from the pea-sized progeny of the smallest of hummingbirds to the eggs of the largest living bird, the ostrich, which can weigh up to five pounds, The Book of Eggs offers readers a rare, up-close look at these remarkable forms of animal life.

The Book of Eggs

Author: Mark E. Hauber
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 1782400478
Release Date: 2014
Genre: Birds

Featuring new photography from Chicagos renowned Field Museum, The Book of Eggs explores 600 examples at actual size, alongside pattern details, clutch images, breeding range maps, and engravings of all the birds. A table of field-guide information identifies order, family, breeding range, nesting habitat, nest characteristics, and conservation status. This accompanies an expert narrative revealing the latest research and thinking on social structure; reproductive strategies; egg colour, maculation, and size; and incubation behaviour. Arranged taxonomically, according to evolutionary relationships, the book brings to light intriguing aspects of breeding biology. The result is a visual delight and an essential reference for every bird enthusiast, natural historian, and conservationist.

Birds Eggs

Author: Michael Walters
Publisher:
ISBN: 0751310115
Release Date: 1994
Genre: Birds

This field guide shows the flowers of the entire Mediterranean region, including all the major islands. It features full-colour photographs of over 550 species of plant, ranging from common flowers of the coast to botanical specialities such as the orchids and bulbs that flower in such profusion during early spring. Plants from all habitats of the Mediterranean are included, from olive groves and vineyards to the evergreen maquis that covers many of the region's hillsides.

Oology and Ralph s Talking Eggs

Author: Carrol L. Henderson
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 9780292779402
Release Date: 2009-02-17
Genre: Nature

Before modern binoculars and cameras made it possible to observe birds closely in the wild, many people collected eggs as a way of learning about birds. Serious collectors called their avocation "oology" and kept meticulous records for each set of eggs: the bird's name, the species reference number, the quantity of eggs in the clutch, the date and location where the eggs were collected, and the collector's name. These documented egg collections, which typically date from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, now provide an important baseline from which to measure changes in the numbers, distribution, and nesting patterns of many species of birds. In Oology and Ralph's Talking Eggs, Carrol L. Henderson uses the vast egg collection of Ralph Handsaker, an Iowa farmer, as the starting point for a fascinating account of oology and its role in the origins of modern birdwatching, scientific ornithology, and bird conservation in North America. Henderson describes Handsaker's and other oologists' collecting activities, which included not only gathering bird eggs in the wild but also trading and purchasing eggs from collectors around the world. Henderson then spotlights sixty of the nearly five hundred bird species represented in the Handsaker collection, using them to tell the story of how birds such as the Snowy Egret, Greater Prairie Chicken, Atlantic Puffin, and Wood Duck have fared over the past hundred years or so since their eggs were gathered. Photos of the eggs and historical drawings and photos of the birds illustrate each species account. Henderson also links these bird histories to major milestones in bird conservation and bird protection laws in North America from 1875 to the present.

Nests

Author:
Publisher: Chronicle Books
ISBN: 9781452126654
Release Date: 2013-02-15
Genre: Photography

Sharon Beals' gorgeous photographs of nests offer a new window onto the life and beauty of birds. Drawn from the collections of the California Academy of Sciences, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley, and the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, these birds' nests from around the world offer astonishing insight into the intricate detail wrought by nature's most fastidious architects. Lovely images of nests and eggs are set against rich black backgrounds, and are accompanied by fascinating and informative portraits—conveyed through words and illustrations—of the birds that built them. A beautiful volume, Nests is the perfect gift for birders, bird lovers, and anyone captivated by the fleeting and fascinating splendor of the natural world.

The Most Perfect Thing

Author: Tim Birkhead
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 9781632863713
Release Date: 2016-04-12
Genre: Nature

A bird's egg is a nearly perfect survival capsule--an external womb--and one of natural selection's most wonderful creations. Shortlisted for the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize 2016.One of Forbes' Best Books About Birds and Birding in 2016. Renowned ornithologist Tim Birkhead opens this gripping story as a female guillemot chick hatches, already carrying her full quota of tiny eggs within her undeveloped ovary. As she grows into adulthood, only a few of her eggs mature, are released into the oviduct, and are fertilized by sperm stored from copulation that took place days or weeks earlier. Within a matter of hours, the fragile yolk is surrounded by albumen and the whole is gradually encased within a turquoise jewel of a shell. Soon the fully formed egg is expelled onto a rocky ledge, where it will be incubated for four weeks before a chick emerges and the life cycle begins again. THE MOST PERFECT THING is about how eggs in general are made, fertilized, developed, and hatched. Birkhead uses birds' eggs as wondrous portals into natural history, enlivened by the stories of naturalists and scientists, including Birkhead and his students, whose discoveries have advanced current scientific knowledge of reproduction.

The Book of Snakes

Author: Mark O'Shea
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226459394
Release Date: 2018-10-22
Genre: Nature

For millennia, humans have regarded snakes with an exceptional combination of fascination and revulsion. Some people recoil in fear at the very suggestion of these creatures, while others happily keep them as pets. Snakes can convey both beauty and menace in a single tongue flick and so these creatures have held a special place in our cultures. Yet, for as many meanings that we attribute to snakes—from fertility and birth to sin and death—the real-life species represent an even wider array of wonders. The Book of Snakes presents 600 species of snakes from around the world, covering nearly one in six of all snake species. It will bring greater understanding of a group of reptiles that have existed for more than 160 million years, and that now inhabit every continent except Antarctica, as well as two of the great oceans. This volume pairs spectacular photos with easy-to-digest text. It is the first book on these creatures that combines a broad, worldwide sample with full-color, life-size accounts. Entries include close-ups of the snake’s head and a section of the snake at actual size. The detailed images allow readers to examine the intricate scale patterns and rainbow of colors as well as special features like a cobra’s hood or a rattlesnake’s rattle. The text is written for laypeople and includes a glossary of frequently used terms. Herpetologists and herpetoculturists alike will delight in this collection, and even those with a more cautious stance on snakes will find themselves drawn in by the wild diversity of the suborder Serpentes.

The Book of Beetles

Author: Patrice Bouchard
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226082899
Release Date: 2014-12-17
Genre: Nature

When renowned British geneticist J. B. S. Haldane was asked what could be inferred about God from a study of his works, Haldane replied, “An inordinate fondness for beetles.” With 350,000 known species, and scientific estimates that millions more have yet to be identified, their abundance is indisputable as is their variety. They range from the delightful summer firefly to the one-hundred-gram Goliath beetle. Beetles offer a dazzling array of shapes, sizes, and colors that entice scientists and collectors across the globe. The Book of Beetles celebrates the beauty and diversity of this marvelous insect. Six hundred significant beetle species are covered, with each entry featuring a distribution map, basic biology, conservation status, and information on cultural and economic significance. Full-color photos show the beetles both at their actual size and enlarged to show details, such as the sextet of spots that distinguish the six-spotted tiger beetle or the jagged ridges of the giant-jawed sawyer beetle. Based in the most up-to-date science and accessibly written, the descriptive text will appeal to researchers and armchair coleopterists alike. The humble beetle continues to grow in popularity, taking center stage in biodiversity studies, sustainable agriculture programs, and even the dining rooms of adventurous and eco-conscious chefs. The Book of Beetles is certain to become the authoritative reference on these remarkably adaptable and beautiful creatures.

The Book of Shells

Author: M. G. Harasewych
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226177052
Release Date: 2014-12-10
Genre: Science

Who among us hasn’t marveled at the diversity and beauty of shells? Or picked one up, held it to our ear, and then gazed in wonder at its shape and hue? Many a lifelong shell collector has cut teeth (and toes) on the beaches of the Jersey Shore, the Outer Banks, or the coasts of Sanibel Island. Some have even dived to the depths of the ocean. But most of us are not familiar with the biological origin of shells, their role in explaining evolutionary history, and the incredible variety of forms in which they come. Shells are the external skeletons of mollusks, an ancient and diverse phylum of invertebrates that are in the earliest fossil record of multicellular life over 500 million years ago. There are over 100,000 kinds of recorded mollusks, and some estimate that there are over amillion more that have yet to be discovered. Some breathe air, others live in fresh water, but most live in the ocean. They range in size from a grain of sand to a beach ball and in weight from a few grams to several hundred pounds. And in this lavishly illustrated volume, they finally get their full due. The Book of Shells offers a visually stunning and scientifically engaging guide to six hundred of the most intriguing mollusk shells, each chosen to convey the range of shapes and sizes that occur across a range of species. Each shell is reproduced here at its actual size, in full color, and is accompanied by an explanation of the shell’s range, distribution, abundance, habitat, and operculum—the piece that protects the mollusk when it’s in the shell. Brief scientific and historical accounts of each shell and related species include fun-filled facts and anecdotes that broaden its portrait. The Matchless Cone, for instance, or Conus cedonulli, was one of the rarest shells collected during the eighteenth century. So much so, in fact, that a specimen in 1796 was sold for more than six times as much as a painting by Vermeer at the same auction. But since the advent of scuba diving, this shell has become far more accessible to collectors—though not without certain risks. Some species of Conus produce venom that has caused more than thirty known human deaths. The Zebra Nerite, the Heart Cockle, the Indian Babylon, the Junonia, the Atlantic Thorny Oyster—shells from habitats spanning the poles and the tropics, from the highest mountains to the ocean’s deepest recesses, are all on display in this definitive work.

The Book of Frogs

Author: Tim Halliday
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226184654
Release Date: 2016-01-29
Genre: Nature

With over 7,000 known species, frogs display a stunning array of forms and behaviors. A single gram of the toxin produced by the skin of the Golden Poison Frog can kill 100,000 people. Male Darwin’s Frogs carry their tadpoles in their vocal sacs for sixty days before coughing them out into the world. The Wood Frogs of North America freeze every winter, reanimating in the spring from the glucose and urea that prevent cell collapse. The Book of Frogs commemorates the diversity and magnificence of all of these creatures, and many more. Six hundred of nature’s most fascinating frog species are displayed, with each entry including a distribution map, sketches of the frogs, species identification, natural history, and conservation status. Life-size color photos show the frogs at their actual size—including the colossal seven-pound Goliath Frog. Accessibly written by expert Tim Halliday and containing the most up-to-date information, The Book of Frogs will captivate both veteran researchers and amateur herpetologists. As frogs increasingly make headlines for their troubling worldwide decline, the importance of these fascinating creatures to their ecosystems remains underappreciated. The Book of Frogs brings readers face to face with six hundred astonishingly unique and irreplaceable species that display a diverse array of adaptations to habitats that are under threat of destruction throughout the world.

It s So Amazing

Author: Robie H. Harris
Publisher: Candlewick Press
ISBN: 9780763669980
Release Date: 2014-09-09
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction

How does a baby begin? What makes a baby male or female? How is a baby born? Children have plenty of questions about reproduction and babies?—?and about sex and sexuality, too. It’s So Amazing! provides the answers?—?with fun, accurate, comic-book-style artwork and a clear, lively text that reflects the interests of children age seven and up in how things work, while giving them a healthy understanding of their bodies. Created by the author and illustrator of It’s Perfectly Normal, this forthright and funny book has been newly updated for its fifteenth anniversary.

The Art of Migration

Author: John Bates
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226046297
Release Date: 2013-07
Genre: Art

Tiny ruby-throated hummingbirds weighing less than a nickel fly from the upper Midwest to Costa Rica every fall, crossing the six-hundred-mile Gulf of Mexico without a single stop. One of the many creatures that commute on the Mississippi Flyway as part of an annual migration, they pass along Chicago’s lakefront and through midwestern backyards on a path used by their species for millennia. This magnificent migrational dance takes place every year in Chicagoland, yet it is often missed by the region’s two-legged residents. The Art of Migration uncovers these extraordinary patterns that play out over the seasons. Readers are introduced to over two hundred of the birds and insects that traverse regions from the edge of Lake Superior to Lake Michigan and to the rivers that flow into the Mississippi. As the only artist in residence at the Field Museum, Peggy Macnamara has a unique vantage point for studying these patterns and capturing their distinctive traits. Her magnificent watercolor illustrations capture flocks, movement, and species-specific details. The illustrations are accompanied by text from museum staff and include details such as natural histories, notable features for identification, behavior, and how species have adapted to environmental changes. The book follows a gentle seasonal sequence and includes chapters on studying migration, artist’s notes on illustrating wildlife, and tips on the best ways to watch for birds and insects in the Chicago area. A perfect balance of science and art, The Art of Migration will prompt us to marvel anew at the remarkable spectacle going on around us.

Eastern Birds Nests

Author: Hal H. Harrison
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0395936098
Release Date: 1998
Genre: Nature

Describes the ranges, habitats, nests, and eggs of 285 species

The Chicken

Author: Joseph Barber
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691184562
Release Date: 2018-07-10
Genre: Nature

A comprehensive, richly illustrated celebration of the natural history of the chicken Inherently social creatures, chickens are enjoying a renaissance as prized members of many households and small farms. From feathers and flock formation to imprinting and incubating, The Chicken provides a comprehensive, richly illustrated guide to understanding how chickens live, think, and act both alongside people and independently. Starting with the evolution of chickens nearly 10,000 years ago and their adaptations to life with humans, The Chicken also analyzes the anatomy and behavior of modern domesticated chickens and provides practical tips for helping these amazing birds thrive. Featuring a stunning gallery of breeds with detailed profiles, the book also includes a directory of the most striking examples of chickens that have elevated this species from backyard egg producers to prize-winning poultry. Provides an accessible, comprehensive, and richly illustrated look at the chicken Features a finely illustrated directory of forty popular breeds and their characteristics and care requirements Covers the anatomy, physiology, and behavior of chickens Offers insights into the intelligence and distinctive thought processes of chickens Includes “theory into practice” panels to help chicken keepers better understand their birds

The Book of Orchids

Author: Mark W. Chase
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226224664
Release Date: 2018-03-30
Genre: Nature

One in every seven flowering plants on earth is an orchid. Yet orchids retain an air of exotic mystery—and they remain remarkably misunderstood and underappreciated. The orchid family contains an astonishing array of colors, forms, and smells that captivate growers from all walks of life across the globe. Though undeniably elegant, the popular moth orchid—a grocery store standard—is a bland stand-in when compared with its thousands of more complex and fascinating brethren, such as the Demon Queller, which grows in dark forests where its lovely blooms are believed to chase evil forces away. There is the Fetid Sun-God, an orchid that lures female flies to lay their eggs on its flowers by emitting a scent of rancid cheese. Or the rare, delicate Lizard Orchid, which mimics the appearance of lizards but smells distinctly of goat. The Book of Orchids revels in the diversity and oddity of these beguiling plants. Six hundred of the world’s most intriguing orchids are displayed, along with life-size photographs that capture botanical detail, as well as information about distribution, peak flowering period, and each species’ unique attributes, both natural and cultural. With over 28,000 known species—and more being discovered each year—the orchid family is arguably the largest and most geographically widespread of the flowering plant families. Including the most up-to-date science and accessibly written by botanists Mark Chase, Maarten Christenhusz, and Tom Mirenda, each entry in The Book of Orchids will entice researchers and orchid enthusiasts alike. With stunning full-color images, The Book of Orchids is sure to become the go-to reference for these complex, alluring, and extraordinarily adaptable plants.