One of Vox's Most Important Books of the Decade
New York Times Editors' Choice 2017
Forbes Top 10 Best Environment, Climate, and Conservation Book of 2017
As new groundbreaking research suggests that climate change played a major role in the most extreme catastrophes in the planet's history, award-winning science journalist Peter Brannen takes us on a wild ride through the planet's five mass extinctions and, in the process, offers us a glimpse of our increasingly dangerous future
Our world has ended five times: it has been broiled, frozen, poison-gassed, smothered, and pelted by asteroids. In The Ends of the World, Peter Brannen dives into deep time, exploring Earth's past dead ends, and in the process, offers us a glimpse of our possible future.
Many scientists now believe that the climate shifts of the twenty-first century have analogs in these five extinctions. Using the visible clues these devastations have left behind in the fossil record, The Ends of the World takes us inside "scenes of the crime," from South Africa to the New York Palisades, to tell the story of each extinction. Brannen examines the fossil record--which is rife with creatures like dragonflies the size of sea gulls and guillotine-mouthed fish--and introduces us to the researchers on the front lines who, using the forensic tools of modern science, are piecing together what really happened at the crime scenes of the Earth's biggest whodunits.
Part road trip, part history, and part cautionary tale, The Ends of the World takes us on a tour of the ways that our planet has clawed itself back from the grave, and casts our future in a completely new light.
-A stunning, surreal collections of works, celebrating Mothmeister, a taxidermy-obsessed artistic duo -Mothmeister boasts over 130,000 followers on Instagram and has participated in several international exhibitions -Countless eccentric portraits, as well as a unique glimpse behind the mask Artistic duo Mothmeister have created a place they call "Wounderland". It is a land in which grotesque creatures, in fascinating yet disturbing masks, stare out from barren wastelands, usually accompanied by mounted and stuffed animals. Unconventional and enchanting, the fairytale world of Mothmeister is at once reminiscent of a bygone age, while subtly criticising today's ever-present 'selfie' culture, and the beauty standards imposed by the media. Superlative and unique, the works of Mothmeister are celebrated and revered in this stunning book.
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."
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.
It's no secret that humans and apes share a host of traits, from the tribal communities we form to our irrepressible curiosity. We have a common ancestor, scientists tell us, so it's natural that we act alike. But not all of these parallels are so appealing: the chimpanzee, for example, can be as vicious and manipulative as any human.
Yet there's more to our shared primate heritage than just our violent streak. In Our Inner Ape, Frans de Waal, one of the world's great primatologists and a renowned expert on social behavior in apes, presents the provocative idea that our noblest qualities--generosity, kindness, altruism--are as much a part of our nature as are our baser instincts. After all, we share them with another primate: the lesser-known bonobo. As genetically similar to man as the chimpanzee, the bonobo has a temperament and a lifestyle vastly different from those of its genetic cousin. Where chimps are aggressive, territorial, and hierarchical, bonobos are gentle, loving, and erotic (sex for bonobos is as much about pleasure and social bonding as it is about reproduction).
While the parallels between chimp brutality and human brutality are easy to see, de Waal suggests that the conciliatory bonobo is just as legitimate a model to study when we explore our primate heritage. He even connects humanity's desire for fairness and its morality with primate behavior, offering a view of society that contrasts markedly with the caricature people have of Darwinian evolution. It's plain that our finest qualities run deeper in our DNA than experts have previously thought.
Frans de Waal has spent the last two decades studying our closest primate relations, and his observations of each species in Our Inner Ape encompass the spectrum of human behavior. This is an audacious book, an engrossing discourse that proposes thought-provoking and sometimes shocking connections among chimps, bonobos, and those most paradoxical of apes, human beings.
WWF was established in 1961 spurred by the efforts of Max Nicholson, head of Britain's Nature Conservancy, naturalist Peter Scott, and a series of articles written in the Observer by Julian Huxley, former head of UNESCO.Based on previously inaccessible archives and a wide range of interviews with WWF VIPs, this book tells the remarkable story of how the idea of a few British naturalists turned into the world's largest environmental organisation. It charts WWF's battle to save the world's wildlife from early campaigns for endangered species such as the tiger, whale or panda, to their more recent efforts to promote sustainable development and combat climate change. The author was granted unrestricted access to the private papers of Prince Philip and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, each of whom served as WWF president for 15 years. The book is lavishly illustrated throughout with exceptional photographs by world-famous wildlife and nature photographers. Also included are the earliest photographs taken of pandas in the wild. Saving the World's Wildlife encapsulates all the magnificence of the world's wildlife - and why it must be treasured and preserved.
On July 12, 1969, Ruth Davis, a young American volunteer at Dr. Jane Goodall's famous chimpanzee research camp in the Gombe Stream National Park of Tanzania, East Africa, walked out of camp to follow a chimpanzee into the forest. Six days later, her body was found floating in a pool at the base of a high waterfall. With careful detail, The Ghosts of Gombe reveals for the first time the full story of day-to-day life in Goodall's wilderness camp--the people and the animals, the stresses and excitements, the social conflicts and cultural alignments, and the astonishing friendships that developed between three of the researchers and some of the chimpanzees--during the months preceding that tragic event. Was Ruth's death an accident? Did she jump? Was she pushed? In an extended act of literary forensics, Goodall biographer Dale Peterson examines how Ruth's death might have happened and explores some of the painful sequelae that haunted two of the survivors for the rest of their lives.
Whales and walruses, caribou and fox, gold and oil: through the stories of these animals and resources, Bathsheba Demuth reveals how people have turned ecological wealth in a remote region into economic growth and state power for more than 150 years.
The first-ever comprehensive history of Beringia, the Arctic land and waters stretching from Russia to Canada, Floating Coast breaks away from familiar narratives to provide a fresh and fascinating perspective on an overlooked landscape. The unforgiving territory along the Bering Strait had long been home to humans--the Inupiat and Yupik in Alaska, and the Yupik and Chukchi in Russia--before Americans and Europeans arrived with revolutionary ideas for progress. Rapidly, these frigid lands and waters became the site of an ongoing experiment: How, under conditions of extreme scarcity, would the great modern ideologies of capitalism and communism control and manage the resources they craved?
Drawing on her own experience living with and interviewing indigenous people in the region, as well as from archival sources, Demuth shows how the social, the political, and the environmental clashed in this liminal space. Through the lens of the natural world, she views human life and economics as fundamentally about cycles of energy, bringing a fresh and visionary spin to the writing of human history.
Floating Coast is a profoundly resonant tale of the dynamic changes and unforeseen consequences that immense human needs and ambitions have brought, and will continue to bring, to a finite planet.