Book picks similar to
The Ash Tree by Oliver Rackham
Collins Tree Guide
Owen Johnson - 2004
The introduction contains illustrations of the main leaves, buds, and firs you are likely to find, and these provide the starting point for identification by leading you to a 'key' species.Within each tree family there is a list of key species and a guide to the most important features to look for when identifying a particular tree from that family. Then individual species are clearly described and a detailed illustration is given on the same page.Covering all the tree species found outside the major arboretums, from the olive tree to the eucalyptus, this is one of the most important tree guides to have appeared in the last 20 years. The illustrations are annotated with essential identification features, and the text highlights the most important things to look for to aid fast and accurate identification. There is also coverage of all the species native to Southern Europe.
Rebirding: Rewilding Britain and its Birds
Benedict MacDonald - 2019
It explores how Britain has, uniquely, relied on modifying farmland, rather than restoring ecosystems, in a failing attempt to halt wildlife decline. The irony is that 94% of Britain is not built upon at all. And with more nature-loving voices than any European country, we should in fact have the best, not the most impoverished, wildlife on our continent. Especially when the rural economics of our game estates, and upland farms, are among the worst in Europe.Britain is blessed with all the space it needs for an epic wildlife recovery. The deer estates of the Scottish Highlands are twice the size of Yellowstone National Park. Snowdonia is larger than the Maasai Mara. The problem in Britain is not a lack of space. It is that our precious space is uniquely wasted – not only for wildlife, but for people’s jobs and rural futures too.Rebirding maps out how we might finally turn things around: rewilding our national parks, restoring natural ecosystems and allowing our wildlife a far richer future. In doing so, an entirely new sector of rural jobs would be created; finally bringing Britain’s dying rural landscapes and failing economies back to life.
The Extreme Life of the Sea
Stephen R. Palumbi - 2014
The Extreme Life of the Sea takes readers to the absolute limits of the ocean world--the fastest and deepest, the hottest and oldest creatures of the oceans. It dives into the icy Arctic and boiling hydrothermal vents--and exposes the eternal darkness of the deepest undersea trenches--to show how marine life thrives against the odds. This thrilling book brings to life the sea's most extreme species, and tells their stories as characters in the drama of the oceans. Coauthored by Stephen Palumbi, one of today's leading marine scientists, The Extreme Life of the Sea tells the unforgettable tales of some of the most marvelous life forms on Earth, and the challenges they overcome to survive. Modern science and a fluid narrative style give every reader a deep look at the lives of these species.The Extreme Life of the Sea shows you the world's oldest living species. It describes how flying fish strain to escape their predators, how predatory deep-sea fish use red searchlights only they can see to find and attack food, and how, at the end of her life, a mother octopus dedicates herself to raising her batch of young. This wide-ranging and highly accessible book also shows how ocean adaptations can inspire innovative commercial products--such as fan blades modeled on the flippers of humpback whales--and how future extremes created by human changes to the oceans might push some of these amazing species over the edge.An enhanced edition is also available and includes eleven videos.
The Robin: A Biography
Stephen Moss - 2017
With more than six million breeding pairs, the robin is second only to the wren as Britain’s most common bird. It seems to live its life alongside us, in every month and season of the year. But how much do we really know about this bird?In The Robin Stephen Moss records a year of observing the robin both close to home and in the field to shed light on the hidden life of this apparently familiar bird. We follow its lifecycle from the time it enters the world as an egg, through its time as a nestling and juvenile, to the adult bird; via courtship, song, breeding, feeding, migration – and ultimately, death. At the same time we trace the robin's relationship with us: how did this particular bird – one of more than 300 species in its huge and diverse family - find its way so deeply and permanently into our nation’s heart and its social and cultural history?It’s a story that tells us as much about ourselves as it does about the robin itself.
Why Big Fierce Animals Are Rare: An Ecologist's Perspective
Paul Colinvaux - 1978
Paul Colinvaux takes a penetrating look at the science of ecology, bringing to his subject both profound knowledge and an enthusiasm that will encourage a greater understanding of the environment and of the efforts of those who seek to preserve it.
In Praise of Wolves
R.D. Lawrence - 1986
Lawrence, traveled to Michigan's Upper Peninsula to live among and observe a captive pack of untamed wolves. The result is an extraordinary look inside the society of a much-maligned, much-persecuted animal. HC: Henry Holt.From the Paperback edition.
Fire In The Turtle House: The Green Sea Turtle and the Fate of the Ocean
Osha Gray Davidson - 2001
But now, suddenly, the turtles are dying, ravaged by a mysterious plague that some biologists consider the most serious epidemic now raging in the natural world. Perhaps most important, sea turtles aren't the only marine creatures falling prey to deadly epidemics. Over the last few decades diseases have been burning through nearshore waters around the world with unprecedented lethality. What is happening to the sea turtle, and how can it be stopped? In this fascinating scientific detective story, Osha Gray Davidson tracks the fervent efforts of the extraordinary and often quirky scientists, marine biologists, veterinarians, and others racing against the clock to unravel a complicated biological and environmental puzzle and keep the turtles from extinction. He follows the fates of particular turtles, revealing their surprisingly distinct personalities and why they inspire an almost spiritual devotion in the humans who come to know them. He also explores through vivid historical anecdotes and examples the history of man's relationship to the sea, opening a window onto the role played by humans in the increasing number of marine die-offs and extinctions. Beautifully written, intellectually provocative, Fire in the Turtle House reveals how emerging diseases wreaking havoc in the global ocean pose an enormous, direct threat to humanity. This is science journalism at its best.
An Indomitable Beast: The Remarkable Journey of the Jaguar
Alan Rabinowitz - 2014
The largest cat in the Americas, it has survived an onslaught of environmental and human threats partly because of an evolutionary history unique among wild felines, but also because of a power and indomitable spirit so strong, the jaguar has shaped indigenous cultures and the beliefs of early civilizations on two continents. In An Indomitable Beast: The Remarkable Journey of the Jaguar, big-cat expert Alan Rabinowitz shares his own personal journey to conserve a species that, despite its past resilience, is now on a slide toward extinction if something is not done to preserve the pathways it prowls through an ever-changing, ever-shifting landscape dominated by humans. Rabinowitz reveals how he learned from newly available genetic data that the jaguar was a single species connected genetically throughout its entire range from Mexico to Argentina, making it unique among all other large carnivores in the world. In a mix of personal discovery and scientific inquiry, he sweeps his readers deep into the realm of the jaguar, offering fascinating accounts from the field. Enhanced with maps, tables, and color plates, An Indomitable Beast brings important new research to life for scientists, anthropologists, and animal lovers alike. This book is not only about jaguars, but also about tenacity and survival. From the jaguar we can learn better strategies for saving other species and also how to save ourselves when faced with immediate and long-term catastrophic changes to our environment.
Life on a Little Known Planet
Howard Ensign Evans - 1966
The world of insects is Howard Evans' "little-known planet," the realm of the cockroach and the cricket, the wasp and the bedbug. With the precision and authority of a distinguished biologist, and the wit and grace of an accomplished writer, Howard Evans muses on the uniqueness of dragonflies, the romantic impulses of butterflies, the musicianship of crickets, and the mysteries of the firefly. The insect realm never fails to enlighten, entertain, and sometimes provoke: as Evans asks, "Is the fly a more intricate machine than he appears, or are we less clever than we suppose ourselves to be?"
The Bee: A Natural History
Noah Wilson-Rich - 2014
Bees are crucial to the reproduction and diversity of flowering plants, and the economic contributions of these irreplaceable insects measure in the tens of billions of dollars each year. Yet bees are dying at an alarming rate, threatening food supplies and ecosystems around the world. In this richly illustrated natural history of the bee, Noah Wilson-Rich and his team of bee experts provide a window into the vitally important role that bees play in the life of our planet.Earth is home to more than 20,000 bee species, from fluorescent-colored orchid bees and sweat bees to flower-nesting squash bees and leaf-cutter bees. This book takes an incomparable look at this astounding diversity, blending an engaging narrative with practical, hands-on discussions of such topics as beekeeping and bee health. It explores our relationship with the bee over evolutionary time, delving into how it came to be, where it stands today, and what the future holds for humanity and bees alike.Provides an accessible, illustrated look at the human-bee relationship over timeFeatures a section on beekeeping and handy go-to guides to the identification, prevention, and treatment of honey bee diseasesCovers bee evolution, ecology, genetics, and physiologyIncludes a directory of notable bee speciesPresents a holistic approach to bee health, including organic and integrated pest management techniquesShows what you can do to help bee populations
The Hidden World of the Fox
Adele Brand - 2019
Now she reveals their secrets in this extraordinary portrait of our most remarkable wild neighbors..For thousands of years myth and folklore have celebrated its cunning intelligence. Today the red fox is the nature’s most populous carnivore, its dancing orange tail a common sight in backyards. Yet who is this wild neighbor, truly? How do we negotiate this uneasy new chapter of an ancient relationship? Join British ecologist Adele Brand on a journey to discover the surprising secrets of the fabled fox, the familiar yet enigmatic creature that has adapted to the human world with astonishing—some say, unsettling—success.
Cuckoo: Cheating by Nature
Nicholas B. Davies - 2015
However, for naturalist and scientist Nick Davies, the call is an invitation to solve an enduring puzzle: how does the cuckoo get away with laying its eggs in the nests of other birds and tricking them into raising young cuckoos rather than their own offspring?Early observers who noticed a little warbler feeding a monstrously large cuckoo chick concluded the cuckoo's lack of parental care was the result of faulty design by the Creator, and that the hosts chose to help the poor cuckoo. These quaint views of bad design and benevolence were banished after Charles Darwin proposed that the cuckoo tricks the hosts in an evolutionary battle, where hosts evolve better defenses against cuckoos and cuckoos, in turn, evolve better trickery to outwit the hosts.For the last three decades, Davies has employed observation and field experiments to unravel the details of this evolutionary "arms race" between cuckoos and their hosts. Like a detective, Davies and his colleagues studied adult cuckoo behavior, cuckoo egg markings, and cuckoo chick begging calls to discover exactly how cuckoos trick their hosts. For birding and evolution aficionados, Cuckoo is a lyrical and scientifically satisfying exploration of one of nature's most astonishing and beautiful adaptations.
Superlative: The Biology of Extremes
Matthew D. LaPlante - 2019
The fastest bird is showing us how to solve a century-old engineering mystery. The oldest tree is giving us insights into climate change. The loudest whale is offering clues about the impact of solar storms.For a long time, scientists ignored superlative life forms as outliers. Increasingly, though, researchers are coming to see great value in studying plants and animals that exist on the outermost edges of the bell curve.As it turns out, there’s a lot of value in paying close attention to the “oddballs” nature has to offer.Go for a swim with a ghost shark, the slowest-evolving creature known to humankind, which is teaching us new ways to think about immunity. Get to know the axolotl, which has the longest-known genome and may hold the secret to cellular regeneration. Learn about Monorhaphis chuni, the oldest discovered animal, which is providing insights into the connection between our terrestrial and aquatic worlds.Superlative is the story of extreme evolution, and what we can learn from it about ourselves, our planet, and the cosmos. It's a tale of crazy-fast cheetahs and super-strong beetles, of microbacteria and enormous plants, of whip-smart dolphins and killer snakes.This book will inspire you to change the way you think about the world and your relationship to everything in it.