Wednesday, February 20, 2019

New Title

1) Gill, Frank B. and Richard O. Prum. Ornithology 4th Edition. 2019. W.H. Freeman. Hardbound: 666 pages. Price: $131.72 U.S. 
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Ornithology, 4th Edition is a comprehensive introductory text covering a wide scope of topics essential for understanding the field of ornithology. This new edition infuses the most current research and a more conceptual approach alongside an evolutionary perspective. The 4th edition retains its hallmark readability, as well as a well updated narrative and bibliography with the latest scientific content and references.
     The 4th edition will be the first in full color in both art and design and will include over 400 color photographs. The updated design is clean, colorful, approachable, and easy to use as a narrative or study reference.
     New pedagogical elements reinforce key concepts new end of chapter assessment questions allow students to evaluate their learning. The 4th edition is the best yet, during both a student’s first read, and when revisited as a reference.
RECOMMENDATION: If you have previous editions of this title, you will want this edition.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

New Title

1) Cogger, Harold G.. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia (Updated Seventh Edition). 2018. CSIRO Publishing. Hardbound: 1060 pages. Price: $127.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia is a complete guide to Australia’s rich and varied herpetofauna, including frogs, crocodiles, turtles, tortoises, lizards and snakes. For each of the 1,218 species there is a description of its appearance, distribution and habits. Each species is accompanied by a distribution map and, in many cases, one of the book's more than 1000 color photographs of living animals.
     The book also includes 130 simple-to-use dichotomous keys--accompanied by hundreds of explanatory drawings--which in most cases allow a specimen in hand to be identified. In addition, it has a comprehensive list of scientific references for those wishing to conduct more in-depth research, an extensive glossary, and basic guides to the collection, preservation and captive care of specimens.
     This classic work was originally published in 1975. The updated seventh edition contains a new Appendix that discusses recent changes and lists over 80 new or resurrected species and genera that have been added to the Australian frog and reptile fauna since the 2014 edition.
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for those with a serious interest in the herpetofauna of Australia.

Friday, January 25, 2019

New Title

1) Spaans, Arie L. et al.. Field Guide to the Birds of Suriname (Revised, Updated Second Edition). 2018. Brill. Paperback: 642 pages. Price: $72.57 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Suriname, located on the Atlantic coast of northeastern South America, is a relatively small country compared to most other South American countries. It nevertheless has a rich avifauna. By the end of 2017, 751 species (including 765 subspecies) were known to occur in Suriname. Most of the land area of Suriname is still covered with tropical rainforest and the country should be a must-visit for birdwatchers. Suriname is even mentioned as being the best country to spot certain neotropical species. Surprisingly, few birders visit Suriname. The main reason given is the lack of a handy pocket guide that can easily be carried in a backpack. This (revised and updated) edition of the Field Guide to the Birds of Suriname (with its 109 color plates [2 more than in the 1st edition]) tries to fill this gap. In addition to species accounts, data on topography, climate, geology, geomorphology, biogeography, avifauna composition, conservation, and hotspots for bird watching are given. So, why delay your trip to this beautiful and friendly country any longer? Suriname with its rich avifauna awaits you!
RECOMMENDATION: The page count has increased from 633 (1st) to 642 (2nd). Currently the only bird field guide available for the country.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

New Title

1) Hunter, Luke. Carnivores of the World: Second Edition. 2018. Princeton University Press. Paperback: 256 pages. Price: $29.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: This is an expanded and fully revised new edition of a highly acclaimed guide to the world’s carnivores―some of the most spectacular and feared creatures in nature. Covering all 250 species of terrestrial, true carnivores, from the majestic polar bear and predatory wild cats to the tiny least weasel, Luke Hunter’s comprehensive, up-to-date, and user-friendly guide features 93 color plates by acclaimed wildlife artist Priscilla Barrett that depict every species and numerous subspecies, as well as more than 400 drawings of skulls and footprints. Features new to this edition include revised and expanded species coverage, a distribution map for every species, 25 new behavioral illustrations, and much more. Detailed species accounts describe key identification features, distribution and habitat, feeding ecology, behavior, social patterns, reproduction and demography, status, threats, lifespan, and mortality. An introduction includes a concise overview of taxonomy, conservation, and the distinct families of Carnivora.
  • Covers all 250 terrestrial carnivore species
  • Includes 93 color plates by acclaimed wildlife artist Priscilla Barrett
  • Packed with new features, including:
  • Fully updated coverage, including new accounts of 9 recently delineated species
  • 7 new color plates illustrating the new species and additional forms of existing species
  • 185 distribution maps
  • 25 new behavioral illustrations
  • 16 new pages and larger format
  • A double-page spread on canid hybrids
  • The latest data on population trends and endangered status

RECOMMENDATION: A must have for those with an interest in these mammals. The page count has increased from 240 (1st) to 256 (2nd).

Sunday, December 30, 2018

New Title

1) Lynch, Patrick J.. A Field Guide to Cape Cod: Including Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Block Island, and Eastern Long Island. 2018. Yale University Press. Flexibound: 434 pages. Price: $27.50 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: This essential guidebook presents the most abundantly illustrated and fascinating account of the natural history of Cape Cod, its nearby islands, Block Island, the western coast of Rhode Island, and southeastern Long Island ever published. Exploring the ecology and most common plants and animals of the various regional environments— beaches, dunes, salt marshes, heathlands, and coastal forests— the book also encompasses marine mammals, sea turtles, and fish offshore.
      Lavishly illustrated with images, maps, and photographs, the guide introduces readers to more than six hundred species of plants and animals of the region, including major whale and seal species. The book also provides a concise guide to the ecological history of the “Outer Lands,” the glacial geology of the region, and Cape Cod’s major environmental challenges, from climate change and sea level rise to the loss of wild habitats due to development. For nature-loving local residents and visitors alike, this essential book will be a well-loved resource.

RECOMMENDATION: A must have for those with an interest in the natural history of the region.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

New Titles

1) Craik, Richard and Le Quy Minh. Birds of Vietnam. 2018. Lynx Edicions and Birdlife International. Flexibound: 400 pages. Price: $59.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: For birders, Vietnam is unquestionably one of the key countries to visit in Asia. A global biodiversity hotspot, Vietnam boasts 19 endemic species and subspecies groups, and another 27 near-endemic species, the largest number of any country in mainland South-East Asia. Among these are several species new to science discovered at the end of the 20th century, like Chestnut-eared and Golden-winged Laughingthrushes, or species rediscovered after long periods without records, such as the enigmatic Grey-crowned Crocias, all of them the result of a renewed wave of ornithological exploration in the decades since the end of the Vietnam War.
     This book, the first comprehensive modern field guide dedicated to Vietnam's rich and diverse avifauna, describes all 916 species in text, illustrations and distribution maps.
     Taxonomy follows the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Detailed texts covering status, habitat and behavior, age, sex and geographical variation, voice, and confusion species. Over 1900 illustrations covering all species and distinctive subspecies, birds in flight, males and females, juveniles and non-breeding plumages, where appropriate. QR code for each species, linking to the Internet Bird Collection gallery of photos, videos and sounds. More than 870 full-color range maps for all species other than vagrants. Well-marked subspecies groups receive full accounts, and the distributions of subspecies breeding in the region are clearly mapped. Local species name included. 911 species; 37 endemics or near-endemics, 2 introduced, 71 vagrants, over 1900 illustrations and over 870 distribution maps.
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for those birding Vietnam!

2) Fozzi, Ilaria and Davide De Rosa. Where to Watch Birds in Sardinia. 2018. Pelagic Publishing. Paperback: 140 pages. Price: $32.99 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Sardinia is in the middle of the western Mediterranean between Europe and Africa. Its location on the Mediterranean flyway makes it an important refueling stop for migrating birds – especially on its extensive wetlands. A popular destination for birders and naturalists, Sardinia has a great diversity of fauna and flora, along with rich cultural and historical attractions.
     Where to Watch Birds in Sardinia is written by two ornithologists with extensive experience of Sardinian birding, provides detailed information on the 43 key birding sites in Sardinia. For each site the target species are highlighted, along with information on habitat, when to visit, other wildlife, facilities, access, how long you'll need, the photographic opportunities and recommendations for your visit. A map of each site helps with planning and navigation to the site.  
     Often described as a micro-continent for the variety of its ecosystems, Sardinia has mountains, forests, lowlands, gorges, wetlands, long sandy beaches and rocky shores. It is home to around 300 bird species, 41 mammals, 18 reptiles and 8 amphibians as well as a hugely diverse invertebrate fauna. Owing to its geographical isolation, altitudinal variation and limited human presence, Sardinia has retained many habitats that are favourable for the development and preservation of a large number of endemic plants, accounting for 10 per cent of the island's flora and including several orchid species.  
     Sardinia's 'must-see' birds include Greater Flamingo, Eleonora's Falcon, Purple Swamphen, Little Bustard, Audouin's Gull, Marmora's Warbler, Corsican Finch, Griffon Vulture and Barbary Partridge. In spring, April and May are the best months for migration, while for the autumn migration the best period stretches from the end of August to the end of October. Wetlands are the most important sites in springtime, with many species stopping for some days before going north. During the breeding season these areas are very important for Greater Flamingo, Audouin's Gull, Little Tern and several other species of waders, gulls and terns. The breeding season is also a good time to see 'special' resident species like the Little Bustard in display or to hear the flight call of the Corsican Finch. In winter, large concentrations of ducks and gulls are found on the island, with the occasional vagrant from Siberia or North America.
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for those birding Sardinia!

3) Dingus, Lowell. King of the Dinosaur Hunters: The Life of John Bell Hatcher and the Discoveries that Shaped Paleontology. 2018. Pegasus Books. Hardbound: 520 pages. Price: $35.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: The story of the extraordinary adventures behind the man who has discovered some of the amazing wonders of natural history.     Every year millions of museum visitors marvel at the skeletons of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures discovered by John Bell Hatcher. The life of the “King of Collectors” is every bit as fascinating as the mighty bones and fossils he unearthed.
     Hatcher helped discover and mount much of the Carnegie Museum's world famous, 150 million-year-old skeleton of Diplodocus, a slender-necked, long-tailed, plant-eater whose skeleton has captivated our collective imaginations for more than a century. But that wasn’t all Hatcher discovered.  During a now legendary collecting campaign in Wyoming between 1889 and 1892, Hatcher discovered a 66 million-year-old horned dinosaur, Torosaurus, as well as the first scientifically significant set of skeletons from its evolutionary cousin, Triceratops. Refusing to restrict his talents to enormous dinosaurs, he also discovered the first significant sample of mammal teeth from our relatives that lived 66 million years ago. The teeth might have been minute, but this extraordinary discovery filled a key gap in humanity’s own evolutionary history.
     Hatcher’s discoveries form the bases of some of the most beloved and well-known collections and institutions in the world―Yale, The Peabody Museum, Princeton University, the Carnegie Museum, and more. Nearly one hundred and twenty-five years after Hatcher’s monumental “hunts” ended, acclaimed paleontologist Lowell Dingus invites us to revisit Hatcher’s captivating expeditions and marvel at this real-life Indiana Jones and the vital role he played in our understanding of paleontology.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in the history of paleontology.