Author: Mark E. Hauber
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2014-08-01
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.
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.
Author: Daniel J. Lebbin
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2010-10-15
Whether we live in cities, in the suburbs, or in the country, birds are ubiquitous features of daily life, so much so that we often take them for granted. But even the casual observer is aware that birds don’t fill our skies in the number they once did. That awareness has spawned conservation action that has led to notable successes, including the recovery of some of the nation’s most emblematic species, such as the Bald Eagle, Brown Pelican, Whooping Crane, and Peregrine Falcon. Despite this, a third of all American bird species are in trouble—in many cases, they’re in imminent danger of extinction. The most authoritative account ever published of the threats these species face, The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation will be the definitive book on the subject. The Guide presents for the first time anywhere a classification system and threat analysis for bird habitats in the United States, the most thorough and scientifically credible assessment of threats to birds published to date, as well as a new list of birds of conservation concern. Filled with beautiful color illustrations and original range maps, the Guide is a timely, important, and inspiring reference for birders and anyone else interested in conserving North America’s avian fauna. But this book is far more than another shout of crisis. The Guide also lays out a concrete and achievable plan of long-term action to safeguard our country’s rich bird life. Ultimately, it is an argument for hope. Whether you spend your early weekend mornings crouched in silence with binoculars in hand, hoping to check another species off your list, or you’ve never given much thought to bird conservation, you’ll appreciate the visual power and intellectual scope of these pages.
Author: Peter Goodfellow
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2011-08-05
Birds are the most consistently inventive builders, and their nests set the bar for functional design in nature. Avian Architecture describes how birds design, engineer, and build their nests, deconstructing all types of nests found around the world using architectural blueprints and detailed descriptions of the construction processes and engineering techniques birds use. This spectacularly illustrated book features 300 full-color images and more than 35 case studies that profile key species worldwide. Each chapter covers a different type of nest, from tunnel nests and mound nests to floating nests, hanging nests, woven nests, and even multiple-nest avian cities. Other kinds of avian construction--such as bowers and harvest wells--are also featured. Avian Architecture includes intricate step-by-step sequences, visual spreads on nest-building materials and methods, and insightful commentary by a leading expert. Illustrates how birds around the world design, engineer, and build their nests Features architectural blueprints, step-by-step sequences, visual spreads on nest-building materials and methods, and expert commentary Includes 300 full-color images Covers more than 100 bird species worldwide
Author: Tim Halliday
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2016-01-29
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.
Author: Tim Birkhead
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date: 2016-04-12
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.
Author: Patrice Bouchard
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2014-12-17
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.
Author: Molly Wizenberg
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2014-05-06
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
The New York Times bestseller from the author of A Homemade Life and the blog Orangette about opening a restaurant with her new husband: “You’ll feel the warmth from this pizza oven...cheerfully honest...warm and inclusive, just like her cooking” (USA TODAY). When Molly Wizenberg married Brandon Pettit, he was a trained composer with a handful of offbeat interests: espresso machines, wooden boats, violin-building, and ice cream–making. So when Brandon decided to open a pizza restaurant, Molly was supportive—not because she wanted him to do it, but because the idea was so far-fetched that she didn’t think he would. Before she knew it, he’d signed a lease on a space. The restaurant, Delancey, was going to be a reality, and all of Molly’s assumptions about her marriage were about to change. Together they built Delancey: gutting and renovating the space on a cobbled-together budget, developing a menu, hiring staff, and passing inspections. Delancey became a success, and Molly tried to convince herself that she was happy in their new life until—in the heat and pressure of the restaurant kitchen—she realized that she hadn’t been honest with herself or Brandon. With evocative photos by Molly and twenty new recipes for the kind of simple, delicious food that chefs eat at home, Delancey explores that intimate territory where food and life meet. This moving and honest account of two people learning to give in and let go in order to grow together is “a crave-worthy memoir that is part love story, part restaurant industry tale. Scrumptious” (People).
From the expert team behind IT'S PERFECTLY NORMAL and IT'S SO AMAZING! comes a book for younger children about their bodies — a resource that parents, teachers, librarians, health care providers, and clergy can use with ease and confidence. Young children are curious about almost everything, especially their bodies. And young children are not afraid to ask questions. What makes me a girl? What makes me a boy? Why are some parts of girls' and boys' bodies the same and why are some parts different? How was I made? Where do babies come from? Is it true that a stork brings babies to mommies and daddies? IT'S NOT THE STORK! helps answer these endless and perfectly normal questions that preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary school children ask about how they began. Through lively, comfortable language and sensitive, engaging artwork, Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley address readers in a reassuring way, mindful of a child's healthy desire for straightforward information. Two irresistible cartoon characters, a curious bird and a squeamish bee, provide comic relief and give voice to the full range of emotions and reactions children may experience while learning about their amazing bodies. Vetted and approved by science, health, and child development experts, the information is up-to-date, age-appropriate, and scientifically accurate, and always aimed at helping kids feel proud, knowledgeable, and comfortable about their own bodies, about how they were born, and about the family they are part of.
Author: Linda Eyre
Publisher: Golden Books Adult Publishing
Release Date: 2007-04-01
Genre: Family & Relationships
Linda and Richard Eyre stress that it's never too soon-or too late-to start discussing sex and values with your children, and they've got proven strategies to make it easier. For parents who want to go beyond the birds and the bees talk, How to Talk to Your Child About Sex provides thoughtful, clear, specific guidance on when and, most important, how to help children begin to learn and understand sex, love, and commitment from the most positive viewpoint possible. Preliminary "as needed" talks with three-to eight-year-olds The age eight Big Talk Follow-up talks with eight-to thirteen-year-olds Behavior discussions and guidelines with eleven-to sixteen-year-olds Discussions of perspective and personal standards with fifteen-to nineteen-year-olds
Author: David Quammen
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2012-03-31
Why have island ecosystems always suffered such high rates of extinction? In our age, with all the world's landscapes, from Tasmania to the Amazon to Yellowstone, now being carved into island-like fragments by human activity, the implications of this question are more urgent than ever. Over the past eight years, David Quammen has followed the threads of island biogeography on a globe-encircling journey of discovery.
Author: Barre Toelken
Publisher: University Press of Colorado
Release Date: 2003-12-01
Genre: Social Science
After a career working and living with American Indians and studying their traditions, Barre Toelken has written this sweeping study of Native American folklore in the West. Within a framework of performance theory, cultural worldview, and collaborative research, he examines Native American visual arts, dance, oral tradition (story and song), humor, and patterns of thinking and discovery to demonstrate what can be gleaned from Indian traditions by Natives and non-Natives alike. In the process he considers popular distortions of Indian beliefs, demystifies many traditions by showing how they can be comprehended within their cultural contexts, considers why some aspects of Native American life are not meant to be understood by or shared with outsiders, and emphasizes how much can be learned through sensitivity to and awareness of cultural values. Winner of the 2004 Chicago Folklore Prize, The Anguish of Snails is an essential work for the collection of any serious reader in folklore or Native American studies.
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.