Natural History
Featured Items
John James Audubon
John James Audubon
Hardcover      ISBN: 0810919737

Illustrated with examples of his work both in watercolour and oil, this volume documents the life and personality of the artist John James Audubon (1785-1851). He rendered wildlife directly from observations made on his travels throughout North America and is renowned for his scientific accuracy.

Waterfowl in Winter
Waterfowl in Winter
Paperback      ISBN: 0816615713

Waterfowl in Winter was first published in 1988. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

The emphasis in research on waterfowl has traditionally focused on breeding as opposed to migrant or wintering birds. Scientists have long been interested in courtship, nest sites, laying, and brood-rearing, and they have also been concerned about losses of eggs, young, nesting hens, and breeding habitats, especially as they have affected the goal of increasing populations. But lately there has been an upsurge of interest and research on the migratory and wintering phases, and this volume offers ample evidence of the knowledge gained.

The authors--105 waterfowl biologists--have contributed 47 chapters that range geographically from Alaska to northern South America, and from the Pacific Northwest to Nova Scotia and Florida. Their subjects include: distributional changes due to human influence; population trends and concerns over less common species; pairing and other behavior that occurs in the wintering areas and is vital to the success of the species; feeding ecology and body condition during winter; new habitats created by such activities as aquaculture and park development; losses of habitat due to development and drainage for alternate uses; lead poisoning and pollutants that are detrimental to waterfowl; habitat management for maintenance of successful populations now and in the future. Also presented are reports of workshop discussions outlining current issues and future research needs. Preparation of this volume was assisted by an editorial board comprising Bruce J. J. Batt, Robert H. Chabreck, Leigh H. Fredrickson, and Dennis G. Raveling.
Zoobiquity: The Astonishing Connection Between Human and Animal Health
Zoobiquity
The Astonishing Connection Between Human and Animal Health
Paperback      ISBN: 0307477436

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

How Animals Grieve
How Animals Grieve
Hardcover      ISBN: 0226436942

From the time of our earliest childhood encounters with animals, we casually ascribe familiar emotions to them. But scientists have long cautioned against such anthropomorphizing, arguing that it limits our ability to truly comprehend the lives of other creatures. Recently, however, things have begun to shift in the other direction, and anthropologist Barbara J. King is at the forefront of that movement, arguing strenuously that we can--and should--attend to animal emotions. With How Animals Grieve, she draws our attention to the specific case of grief, and relates story after story--from fieldsites, farms, homes, and more--of animals mourning lost companions, mates, or friends. King tells of elephants surrounding their matriarch as she weakens and dies, and, in the following days, attending to her corpse as if holding a vigil. A housecat loses her sister, from whom she's never before been parted, and spends weeks pacing the apartment, wailing plaintively. A baboon loses her daughter to a predator and sinks into grief. In each case, King uses her anthropological training to interpret and try to explain what we see--to help us understand this animal grief properly, as something neither the same as nor wholly different from the human experience of loss. The resulting book is both daring and down-to-earth, strikingly ambitious even as it's careful to acknowledge the limits of our understanding. Through the moving stories she chronicles and analyzes so beautifully, King brings us closer to the animals with whom we share a planet, and helps us see our own experiences, attachments, and emotions as part of a larger web of life, death, love, and loss.

A Natural History of North American Trees
A Natural History of North American Trees
Paperback      ISBN: 1595341668

A volume for a lifetime is how The New Yorker described the first of Donald Culross Peatie's two books about American trees published in the 1950s. In this one-volume edition, modern readers are introduced to one of the best nature writers of the last century. As we read Peattie's eloquent and entertaining accounts of American trees, we catch glimpses of our country's history and past daily life that no textbook could ever illuminate so vividly.

Here you'll learn about everything from how a species was discovered to the part it played in our country's history. Pioneers often stabled an animal in the hollow heart of an old sycamore, and the whole family might live there until they could build a log cabin. The tuliptree, the tallest native hardwood, is easier to work than most softwood trees; Daniel Boone carved a sixty-foot canoe from one tree to carry his family from Kentucky into Spanish territory. In the days before the Revolution, the British and the colonists waged an undeclared war over New England's white pines, which made the best tall masts for fighting ships.

It's fascinating to learn about the commercial uses of various woods -- for paper, fine furniture, fence posts, matchsticks, house framing, airplane wings, and dozens of other preplastic uses. But we cannot read this book without the occasional lump in our throats. The American elm was still alive when Peattie wrote, but as we read his account today we can see what caused its demise. Audubon's portrait of a pair of loving passenger pigeons in an American beech is considered by many to be his greatest painting. It certainly touched the poet in Donald Culross Peattie as he depicted the extinction of the passenger pigeon when the beech forest was destroyed.

A Natural History of North American Trees gives us a picture of life in America from its earliest days to the middle of the last century. The information is always interesting, though often heartbreaking. While Peattie looks for the better side of man's nature, he reports sorrowfully on the greed and waste that have doomed so much of America's virgin forest.
The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin's Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World - And Us
The Evolution of Beauty
How Darwin's Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World - And Us
Paperback      ISBN: 0345804570
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, SMITHSONIAN, AND WALL STREET JOURNAL

A major reimagining of how evolutionary forces work, revealing how mating preferences--what Darwin termed the taste for the beautiful--create the extraordinary range of ornament in the animal world.

In the great halls of science, dogma holds that Darwin's theory of natural selection explains every branch on the tree of life: which species thrive, which wither away to extinction, and what features each evolves. But can adaptation by natural selection really account for everything we see in nature?
Yale University ornithologist Richard Prum--reviving Darwin's own views--thinks not. Deep in tropical jungles around the world are birds with a dizzying array of appearances and mating displays: Club-winged Manakins who sing with their wings, Great Argus Pheasants who dazzle prospective mates with a four-foot-wide cone of feathers covered in golden 3D spheres, Red-capped Manakins who moonwalk. In thirty years of fieldwork, Prum has seen numerous display traits that seem disconnected from, if not outright contrary to, selection for individual survival. To explain this, he dusts off Darwin's long-neglected theory of sexual selection in which the act of choosing a mate for purely aesthetic reasons--for the mere pleasure of it--is an independent engine of evolutionary change.
Mate choice can drive ornamental traits from the constraints of adaptive evolution, allowing them to grow ever more elaborate. It also sets the stakes for sexual conflict, in which the sexual autonomy of the female evolves in response to male sexual control. Most crucially, this framework provides important insights into the evolution of human sexuality, particularly the ways in which female preferences have changed male bodies, and even maleness itself, through evolutionary time.
The Evolution of Beauty presents a unique scientific vision for how nature's splendor contributes to a more complete understanding of evolution and of ourselves.
Alexander Wilson: The Scot Who Founded American Ornithology
Alexander Wilson
The Scot Who Founded American Ornithology
Hardcover      ISBN: 0674072553

Audubon was not the father of American ornithology. That honorific belongs to Alexander Wilson, whose encyclopedic American Ornithology established a distinctive approach that emphasized the observation of live birds. In the first full-length study to reproduce all of Wilson's unpublished drawings for the nine-volume Ornithology, Edward Burtt and William Davis illustrate Wilson's pioneering and, today, underappreciated achievement as the first ornithologist to describe the birds of the North American wilderness.

Abandoning early ambitions to become a poet in the mold of his countryman Robert Burns, Wilson emigrated from Scotland to settle near Philadelphia, where the botanist William Bartram encouraged his proclivity for art and natural history. Wilson traveled 12,000 miles on foot, on horseback, in a rowboat, and by stage and ship, establishing a network of observers along the way. He wrote hundreds of accounts of indigenous birds, discovered many new species, and sketched the behavior and ecology of each species he encountered.

Drawing on their expertise in both science and art, Burtt and Davis show how Wilson defied eighteenth-century conventions of biological illustration by striving for realistic depiction of birds in their native habitats. He drew them in poses meant to facilitate identification, making his work the model for modern field guides and an inspiration for Audubon, Spencer Fullerton Baird, and other naturalists who followed. On the bicentennial of his death, this beautifully illustrated volume is a fitting tribute to Alexander Wilson and his unique contributions to ornithology, ecology, and the study of animal behavior.

Dawson's Avian Kingdom: Selected Writings by William Leon Dawson
Dawson's Avian Kingdom
Selected Writings by William Leon Dawson
Paperback      ISBN: 1597140627
Up North: Reflections, Moments & Memories
Up North
Reflections, Moments & Memories
Hardcover      ISBN: 0931674603

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.

The Next Great Migration: The Beauty and Terror of Life on the Move
The Next Great Migration
The Beauty and Terror of Life on the Move
Hardcover      ISBN: 1635571979

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

A prize-winning journalist upends our centuries-long assumptions about migration through science, history, and reporting--predicting its lifesaving power in the face of climate change.

The news today is full of stories of dislocated people on the move. Wild species, too, are escaping warming seas and desiccated lands, creeping, swimming, and flying in a mass exodus from their past habitats. News media presents this scrambling of the planet's migration patterns as unprecedented, provoking fears of the spread of disease and conflict and waves of anxiety across the Western world. On both sides of the Atlantic, experts issue alarmed predictions of millions of invading aliens, unstoppable as an advancing tsunami, and countries respond by electing anti-immigration leaders who slam closed borders that were historically porous.

But the science and history of migration in animals, plants, and humans tell a different story. Far from being a disruptive behavior to be quelled at any cost, migration is an ancient and lifesaving response to environmental change, a biological imperative as necessary as breathing. Climate changes triggered the first human migrations out of Africa. Falling sea levels allowed our passage across the Bering Sea. Unhampered by barbed wire, migration allowed our ancestors to people the planet, catapulting us into the highest reaches of the Himalayan mountains and the most remote islands of the Pacific, creating and disseminating the biological, cultural, and social diversity that ecosystems and societies depend upon. In other words, migration is not the crisis--it is the solution.

Conclusively tracking the history of misinformation from the 18th century through today's anti-immigration policies, The Next Great Migration makes the case for a future in which migration is not a source of fear, but of hope.