A firsthand exploration of the extraordinary abilities and surprising, sometimes life-saving talents of "working dogs"--pups who can sniff out drugs, find explosives, even locate the dead--as told through the experiences of a journalist and her intrepid canine companion, which The New York Times calls "a fascinating, deeply reported journey into the...amazing things dogs can do with their noses."There are thousands of working dogs all over the US and beyond with incredible abilities--they can find missing people, detect drugs and bombs, pinpoint unmarked graves of Civil War soldiers, or even find drowning victims more than two hundred feet below the surface of a lake. These abilities may seem magical or mysterious, but author Cat Warren shows the science, the rigorous training, and the skilled handling that underlie these creatures' amazing abilities. Cat Warren is a university professor and journalist who had tried everything she could think of to harness her dog Solo's boundless energy and enthusiasm...until a behavior coach suggested she try training him to be a "working dog." What started out as a hobby soon became a calling, as Warren was introduced to the hidden universe of dogs who do this essential work and the handlers who train them. Her dog Solo has a fine nose and knows how to use it, but he's only one of many astounding dogs in a varied field. Warren interviews cognitive psychologists, historians, medical examiners, epidemiologists, and forensic anthropologists, as well as the breeders, trainers, and handlers who work with and rely on these intelligent and adaptable animals daily. Along the way, Warren discovers story after story that prove the capabilities--as well as the very real limits--of working dogs and their human partners. Clear-eyed and unsentimental, Warren explains why our partnership with working dogs is woven into the fabric of society, and why we keep finding new uses for the wonderful noses of our four-legged friends.
Finalist for thePEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award
"A masterly synthesis of scientific research and personal observation."-Wall Street Journal
Legends don't come close to capturing the incredible story of the coyote In the face of centuries of campaigns of annihilation employing gases, helicopters, and engineered epidemics, coyotes didn't just survive, they thrived, expanding across the continent from Alaska to New York. In the war between humans and coyotes, coyotes have won, hands-down. Coyote America is the illuminating five-million-year biography of this extraordinary animal, from its origins to its apotheosis. It is one of the great epics of our time.
We humans have a word for the feeling, whether actual or imagined, that creepy invertebrates are crawling over our skin. That word is formication, and the implied sense of horror and fascination, contends Richard Conniff, is something many of us actually crave. His Spineless Wonders presents an unabashed wallow in the joy of formication. Spineless Wonders is an engaging, sophisticated, and humorous mix of natural history and human lore. Through his journalistic assignments, Richard Conniff has been in contact with invertebrates for more than twenty years - tarantulas in the upper Amazon region, dragonflies in Arizona, squid in Florida, and flies on the rim of his beer glass. Discoveries about the extraordinary habits and idiosyncrasies of the moth, the leech, the ant, and the slime eel are opening new frontiers in the exploration of our natural universe. Spineless Wonders takes us directly to these wild and wonderful outposts to observe the hazards of being around invertebrates, the bizarre adaptions that enable them to survive in the world, and also the astonishing work they do - work that enables us to survive.
Award-winning nature author Jerry Dennis reveals the splendor and beauty of North America's Great Lakes in this "masterwork"* history and memoir of the essential environmental and economical region shared by the United States and Canada.No bodies of water compare to the Great Lakes. Superior is the largest lake on earth, and together all five contain a fifth of the world's supply of standing fresh water. Their ten thousand miles of shoreline border eight states and a Canadian province and are longer than the entire Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States. Their surface area of 95,000 square miles is greater than New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island combined. People who have never visited them--who have never seen a squall roar across Superior or the horizon stretch unbroken across Michigan or Huron--have no idea how big they are. They are so vast that they dominate much of the geography, climate, and history of North America, affecting the lives of tens of millions of people. The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas is the definitive book about the history, nature, and science of these remarkable lakes at the heart of North America. From the geological forces that formed them and the industrial atrocities that nearly destroyed them, to the greatest environmental success stories of our time, Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario are portrayed in all their complexity. A Michigan native, Jerry Dennis also shares his memories of a lifetime on or near the lakes, including a six-week voyage as a crewmember on a tallmasted schooner. On his travels, he collected more stories of the lakes through the eyes of biologists, fishermen, sailors, and others he befriended while hiking the area's beaches and islands. Through storms and fog, on remote shores and city waterfronts, Dennis explores the five Great Lakes in all seasons and moods and discovers that they and their connecting waters--including the Erie Canal, the Hudson River, and the East Coast from New York to Maine--offer a surprising and bountiful view of America. The result is a meditation on nature and our place in the world, a discussion and cautionary tale about the future of water resources, and a celebration of a place that is both fragile and robust, diverse, rich in history and wildlife, often misunderstood, and worthy of our attention. "This is history at its best and adventure richly described."--*Doug Stanton, author of In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors and 12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award Winner
Winner of Best Book of 2003 by the Outdoor Writers Association of America
A revelatory depiction of what animals can teach us about the human body and mind, exploring how animal and human commonality can be used to diagnose, treat, and heal patients of all species.Full of fascinating stories." --Atul Gawande, M.D. Do animals overeat? Get breast cancer? Have fainting spells? Inspired by an eye-opening consultation at the Los Angeles Zoo, which revealed that a monkey experienced the same symptoms of heart failure as human patients, cardiologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz embarked upon a project that would reshape how she practiced medicine. Beginning with the above questions, she began informally researching every affliction that she encountered in humans to learn whether it happened with animals, too. And usually, it did: dinosaurs suffered from brain cancer, koalas can catch chlamydia, reindeer seek narcotic escape in hallucinogenic mushrooms, stallions self-mutilate, and gorillas experience clinical depression. Natterson-Horowitz and science writer Kathryn Bowers have dubbed this pan-species approach to medicine zoobiquity. New York Times Bestseller An O, The Oprah Magazine "Summer Reading" Pick A Discover Magazine Best Book
Finalist for the 2021 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award
A Library Journal Best Science & Technology Book of 2020
A Publishers Weekly Best Nonfiction Book of 2020
2020 Goodreads Choice Award Semifinalist in Science & Technology
Up North – Reflections Moments & Memories Through the pages of this awe-inspiring book, readers are taken to a place of solitude, romance, laughter and sometimes craziness. The images are woven together with quotes that will inspire and uplift your soul reminding us of the gift of up north.
In "The Earth Moved," Amy Stewart takes us on a journey through the underground world and introduces us to one of its most amazing denizens. The earthworm may be small, spineless, and blind, but its impact on the ecosystem is profound. It ploughs the soil, fights plant diseases, cleans up pollution, and turns ordinary dirt into fertile land. Who knew?
In her witty, offbeat style, Stewart shows that much depends on the actions of the lowly worm. Charles Darwin devoted his last years to the meticulous study of these creatures, praising their remarkable abilities. With the august scientist as her inspiration, Stewart investigates the worm's subterranean realm, talks to oligochaetologists the unsung heroes of earthworm science who have devoted their lives to unearthing the complex life beneath our feet, and observes the thousands of worms in her own garden. From the legendary giant Australian worm that stretches to ten feet in length to the modest nightcrawler that wormed its way into the heart of Darwin's last book to the energetic red wigglers in Stewart's compost bin, "The Earth Moved" gives worms their due and exposes their hidden and extraordinary universe. This book is for all of us who appreciate Mother Nature's creatures, no matter how humble."
For Charles Darwin--who estimated every acre of land contained 53,000 earthworms--the humble earthworm was the most important creature on the planet. And yet, most people know almost nothing about these little engineers of the earth. We take them for granted but, without the earthworm, the world's soil would be barren, and our gardens, fields, and farms wouldn't be able to grow the food and support the animals we need to survive. Sally Coulthard provides a complete profile of the earthworm by answering 50 questions about these wiggling creatures, from "What happens if I chop a worm in half?" to "Would humans survive if worms went extinct?" Fascinating and beautifully illustrated, The Book of the Earthworm offers a feast of quirky facts and practical advice about the world's most industrious--but least understood--invertebrate.
For the first time, Natural Histories allows readers a privileged glimpse of seldom-seen, fully illustrated scientific tomes from the American Museum of Natural History's Rare Book Collection. Forty essays from the museum's top experts in a variety of natural science disciplines, from anthropology to zoology, enhance and discuss each rare work's unique qualities and scientific contribution. Packaged with 40 extraordinary prints suitable for framing, this deluxe edition will fascinate both natural science and art lovers alike.