"Did you know that giraffes can lick their ears? Or that ostriches can't walk backwards? These and many more charming quirks about the animal kingdom (ants never sleep! starfish don't have brains!) are detailed in this visually sophisticated and appealing gift book. Illustrator Maja Sofstr m's entrancing illustrations bring these captivating facts to life-making The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Factsa must-have for animal and art lovers both young and old."
An Encyclopedia of Species that Have Disappeared during Human History
Author: Ross Piper
Everyone is familiar with the dodo and the wooly mammoth, but how many people have heard of the scimitar cat and the Falkland Island fox? Extinct Animals portrays over 60 remarkable animals that have been lost forever during the relatively recent geological past. Each entry provides a concise discussion of the history of the animal—how and where it lived, and how it became extinct—as well as the scientific discovery and analysis of the creature. In addition, this work examines what led to extinction—from the role of cyclical swings in the Earth's climate to the spread of humans and their activities. Many scientists believe that we are in the middle of a mass extinction right now, caused by the human undermining of the earth's complex systems that support life. Understanding what caused the extinction of animals in the past may help us understand and prevent the extinction of species in the future. Extinct Animals examines the biology and history of some of the most interesting creatures that have ever lived, including: The American Terror Bird, which probably became extinct over 1 million years ago, who were massive predators, some of which were almost 10 feet tall; the Rocky Mountain Locust, last seen in 1902, formed the most immense animal aggregations ever known, with swarms estimated to include over 10 trillion insects; the Giant Ground Sloth, which was as large as an elephant; and the Neandertals, the first Europeans, which co-existed with prehistoric Homo sapiens. Extinct Animals includes illustrations—many created for the work—that help the reader visualize the extinct creature, and each entry concludes with a list of resources for those who wish to do further research.
Eleanor Aquitaine Green, a savvy reporter and survivor of a painful divorce, discovers her true calling is crusading for the animals. Only days later, as if by divine providence, she lands a job in the animal rights movement. Before long, Eleanor realizes that her boss, Honor Vine, the president of People Against Animal Cruelty, is a burned out, aging tyrant stuck in a bygone era of the movement. Even worse, the movement Eleanor so admires is near death and is fractured with inner turmoil. A unifying issue is required and that issue, Eleanor believes, is the yearly slaughter of ten billion farm animals for human consumption. Convincing Americans to change their meateating ways borders on impossible, but it seems less difficult than working for her manipulative boss. An animal rights organization, however, is the perfect war room to wage such a battle, so Eleanor begins her crusade in the dysfunctional office. With the help of her brow beaten colleagues, Eleanor attempts to endure the daily batterings in order to gain some kindness for the animals. As a movement foot soldier, Eleanor campaigns against traps and wearing fur, she attempts to rescue a circus elephant, and also meets her other true love. But on the day that Honor is forced to pay for her abuse, both Honor and Eleanor are threatened by an unexpected outcome.
Moving to rural Virginia, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, after World War II, young Charlie Lewis, the only child of a frequently absent father and standoffish mother, has a natural affinity with the animals around him and sets out to learn their secrets, with the help of a group of older black men, farm workers and neighbors, who care for him.
The Amazing Ways We Are Connected with Our Universe
Author: Misha Blaise
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Entertaining, colorful, and deceptively full of facts, This Phenomenal Life tells the story of the wondrous ways that humans are always completely at one with our surrounding world. From the vast galaxies above to the miniature microbes within, humans are organically connected to the complex cycles and mysterious processes of our universe. Every single atom of our body is made of remnants of stars and massive explosions in the galaxies, and we share the same biochemical basis of life with all living beings on earth, from a single-celled amoeba to a giant blue whale. Whimsically hip illustrations elucidate wild science-based facts, from the unexpected intimacy we have with fungi on a daily basis, to the similar ways that humans and birds learn to communicate. Powerful evidence of our interconnection with nature combined with beautiful artwork will inspire the reader to look at the world in a whole new way.
In any given year, in the spring and fall, some 7 million birds representing 300 different species migrate through the city of Chicago. They come for great architecture, cuisine, song, views, and flyways—creating their own urban nature. They alight our forest preserves, our lakefront paths, and the minds and hearts of citizens and students through the urban region. Chicago has gone to extensive lengths as a city to aid its finned, feathered, scaled, and furry animals enjoy the city as much as its bipedal inhabitants. Chicago is “Nature's Metropolis. Nature lovers, amateur naturalists, community organizers, urban agriculturalists, social workers, and concerned citizens have always been part of the fabric of the city. Chicago Creatures aims to animate this natural world of the Chicago region, using stories, poems, and art to show how the vibrancy of nature in Chicago runs like a rhizome throughout our collective experience as urban naturalists. Recognizing the stories have often the best means of reaching readers, the essays in this volume tell stories about urban nature, and so too do the poems, and paintings, and photos. We see in these various creative forms how nature inspires, and holds meaning, even in an urban wilderness, and perhaps because of the urbanity of it all in some cases. The pieces are organized thematically, around the types of places and encounters readers would have with urban nature. The ultimate hope is that in learning about the animals of the city readers will think more about their conservation and longevity. And while the experiences might be local, the messages in this book are born to fly.
From medieval bestiaries to Borges’s Book of Imaginary Beings, we’ve long been enchanted by extraordinary animals, be they terrifying three-headed dogs or asps impervious to a snake charmer’s song. But bestiaries are more than just zany zoology—they are artful attempts to convey broader beliefs about human beings and the natural order. Today, we no longer fear sea monsters or banshees. But from the infamous honey badger to the giant squid, animals continue to captivate us with the things they can do and the things they cannot, what we know about them and what we don’t. With The Book of Barely Imagined Beings, Caspar Henderson offers readers a fascinating, beautifully produced modern-day menagerie. But whereas medieval bestiaries were often based on folklore and myth, the creatures that abound in Henderson’s book—from the axolotl to the zebrafish—are, with one exception, very much with us, albeit sometimes in depleted numbers. The Book of Barely Imagined Beings transports readers to a world of real creatures that seem as if they should be made up—that are somehow more astonishing than anything we might have imagined. The yeti crab, for example, uses its furry claws to farm the bacteria on which it feeds. The waterbear, meanwhile, is among nature’s “extreme survivors,” able to withstand a week unprotected in outer space. These and other strange and surprising species invite readers to reflect on what we value—or fail to value—and what we might change. A powerful combination of wit, cutting-edge natural history, and philosophical meditation, The Book of Barely Imagined Beings is an infectious and inspiring celebration of the sheer ingenuity and variety of life in a time of crisis and change.
A Complete History with a Roster of More Than 700 War Horses
Author: Gene C. Armistead
Horses and mules served during the Civil War in greater number and suffered more casualties than the men of the Union and Confederate armies combined. Using firsthand accounts, this history addresses the many uses of equines during the war, the methods by which they were obtained, their costs, their suffering on the battlefields and roads, their consumption by soldiers, and such topics as racing and mounted music. The book is supplemented by accounts of the “Lightning Mule Brigade,” the “Charge of the Mule Brigade,” five appendices and 37 illustrations. More than 700 Civil War equines are identified and described with incidental information and identification of their masters.
The True Story of a Giraffe's Journey from the Plains of Africa to the Heart of Post-Napoleonic France
Author: Michael Allin
Publisher: Headline Review
This is the story of Zarafa, the Masai giraffe presented to Charles X of France in 1826, and how she captivated and inspired all those who came to see her. Allin describes the giraffe-inspired fashions of the day in this period of post-Revolutionary France.
Before there were mammals on land, there were dinosaurs. And before there were fish in the sea, there were cephalopods-the ancestors of modern squid and Earth's first truly substantial animals. Cephalopods became the first creatures to rise from the seafloor, essentially inventing the act of swimming. With dozens of tentacles and formidable shells, they presided over an undersea empire for millions of years. But when fish evolved jaws, the ocean's former top predator became its most delicious snack. Cephalopods had to step up their game. Many species streamlined their shells and added defensive spines, but these enhancements only provided a brief advantage. Some cephalopods then abandoned the shell entirely, which opened the gates to a flood of evolutionary innovations: masterful camouflage, fin-supplemented jet propulsion, perhaps even dolphin-like intelligence. Squid Empire is an epic adventure spanning hundreds of millions of years, from the marine life of the primordial ocean to the calamari on tonight's menu. Anyone who enjoys the undersea world-along with all those obsessed with things prehistoric-will be interested in the sometimes enormous, often bizarre creatures that ruled the seas long before the first dinosaurs.
Accounts of animals Gerald Durrell discovered and observed, based on broadcasts he made for the BBC. Here are entertaining accounts of the courtships, wars, and characters of animals encountered in West Africa, South America, Greece, etc., including the stories of Sarah Huggersack, an orphaned baby giant anteater, and Pavlo, a marmoset from Guiana.
Find out about every dinosaur that's ever been discovered in this brilliant dictionary full of dinosaurs! From the Aardonyx to the Zuniceratops, discover when they lived, where they lived, what they ate and much more! Jam-packed full of fascinating facts from top dino experts and epic illustrations of all the world's best loved dinosaurs including Diplodocus, T-rex, Triceratops,Velociraptor, Stegosaurus and Brachiosaurus. This comprehensive fact file of every dinosaur to have been discovered is a must for any budding paleontologist or young dinosaur fan!
"THE ULTIMATE DINOSAUR BIOGRAPHY," hails Scientific American: A thrilling new history of the age of dinosaurs, from one of our finest young scientists. Now a New York Times bestseller! "This is scientific storytelling at its most visceral, striding with the beasts through their Triassic dawn, Jurassic dominance, and abrupt demise in the Cretaceous." — Nature The dinosaurs. Sixty-six million years ago, the Earth’s most fearsome creatures vanished. Today they remain one of our planet’s great mysteries. Now The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs reveals their extraordinary, 200-million-year-long story as never before. In this captivating narrative (enlivened with more than seventy original illustrations and photographs), Steve Brusatte, a young American paleontologist who has emerged as one of the foremost stars of the field—naming fifteen new species and leading groundbreaking scientific studies and fieldwork—masterfully tells the complete, surprising, and new history of the dinosaurs, drawing on cutting-edge science to dramatically bring to life their lost world and illuminate their enigmatic origins, spectacular flourishing, astonishing diversity, cataclysmic extinction, and startling living legacy. Captivating and revelatory, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is a book for the ages. Brusatte traces the evolution of dinosaurs from their inauspicious start as small shadow dwellers—themselves the beneficiaries of a mass extinction caused by volcanic eruptions at the beginning of the Triassic period—into the dominant array of species every wide-eyed child memorizes today, T. rex, Triceratops, Brontosaurus, and more. This gifted scientist and writer re-creates the dinosaurs’ peak during the Jurassic and Cretaceous, when thousands of species thrived, and winged and feathered dinosaurs, the prehistoric ancestors of modern birds, emerged. The story continues to the end of the Cretaceous period, when a giant asteroid or comet struck the planet and nearly every dinosaur species (but not all) died out, in the most extraordinary extinction event in earth’s history, one full of lessons for today as we confront a “sixth extinction.” Brusatte also recalls compelling stories from his globe-trotting expeditions during one of the most exciting eras in dinosaur research—which he calls “a new golden age of discovery”—and offers thrilling accounts of some of the remarkable findings he and his colleagues have made, including primitive human-sized tyrannosaurs; monstrous carnivores even larger than T. rex; and paradigm-shifting feathered raptors from China. An electrifying scientific history that unearths the dinosaurs’ epic saga, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs will be a definitive and treasured account for decades to come.