Tuesday, November 22, 2016

New Title


1) Paul, Gregory. The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs: Second Edition. 2016. Princeton University Press. Hardbound: 360 pages. Price: $35.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: The best-selling Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs remains the must-have book for anyone who loves dinosaurs, from amateur enthusiasts to professional paleontologists. Now extensively revised and expanded, this dazzlingly illustrated large-format edition features some 100 new dinosaur species and 200 new and updated illustrations, bringing readers up to the minute on the latest discoveries and research that are radically transforming what we know about dinosaurs and their world.
     Written and illustrated by acclaimed dinosaur expert Gregory Paul, this stunningly beautiful book includes detailed species accounts of all the major dinosaur groups as well as nearly 700 color and black-and-white images--skeletal drawings, "life" studies, scenic views, and other illustrations that depict the full range of dinosaurs, from small feathered creatures to whale-sized supersauropods. Paul's extensively revised introduction delves into dinosaur history and biology, the extinction of nonavian dinosaurs, the origin of birds, and the history of dinosaur paleontology, as well as giving a taste of what it might be like to travel back in time to the era when dinosaurs roamed the earth.
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for anyone with an interest in dinosaurs.

Monday, November 21, 2016

New Title


1) Grimmett, Richard, Carol Inskipp, Tim Inskipp and Hem Sagar Baral. Birds of Nepal: Revised Edition (Helm Field Guides). 2016. Bloomsbury. Paperback: 368 pages. Price: $50.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: This fully updated edition of Birds of Nepal is the most comprehensive guide to the birds of this beautiful Himalayan country. The texts have been completely re-written for this edition and many of the illustrations have been replaced. In addition, maps have been included for the first time.
     Every species recorded in Nepal is covered, including vagrants, with accurate distribution maps for most species. 142 color plates are featured, illustrating more than 790 species with text on facing pages for quick and easy reference. The comprehensive text covers identification, voice, habits, habitats, altitudinal range, distribution and status.
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for anyone birding the country!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

New Title


1) Fagan, Jesse and Oliver Komar. Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Northern Central America. 2016. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Paperback: 438 pages. Price: $25.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: A field guide to the birds of Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, abundantly illustrated and with comprehensive coverage of both endemic and migrant birds.
     Birding is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the tourism industry in northern Central America, and this is the newest and best bird field guide to this region—the first new bird guide in over ten years for the countries of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. This guide is far more complete than previous ones, with more than 800 species accounts, full-color range maps, and 1,000 beautiful illustrations and behavioral vignettes covering all species recorded in the region.
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for anyone birding the region!

Monday, November 14, 2016

New Title



1) Prothero, Donald R. and Mary Persis Williams. The Princeton Field Guide to Prehistoric Mammals. 2016. Princeton University Press. Hardbound: 240 pages. Price: $35.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: After the mass extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, mammals became the dominant terrestrial life form on our planet. Roaming the earth were spectacular beasts such as saber-toothed cats, giant mastodonts, immense ground sloths, and gigantic giraffe-like rhinoceroses. Here is the ultimate illustrated field guide to the lost world of these weird and wonderful prehistoric creatures.
     A woolly mammoth probably won't come thundering through your vegetable garden any time soon. But if one did, this would be the book to keep on your windowsill next to the binoculars. It covers all the main groups of fossil mammals, discussing taxonomy and evolutionary history, and providing concise accounts of the better-known genera and species as well as an up-to-date family tree for each group. No other book presents such a wealth of new information about these animals--what they looked like, how they behaved, and how they were interrelated. In addition, this unique guide is stunningly illustrated throughout with full-color reconstructions of these beasts--many never before depicted--along with photographs of amazing fossils from around the world.
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for anyone with an interest in prehistoric mammals.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

New Titles



1) Eaton, James A., Bas van Balen, Nick W. Brickle, and Frank E. Rheindt. Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago: Greater Sundas and Wallacea. 2016. Lynx Edicions. Hardbound: 496 pages. Price: $75.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: 1,399 species, 578 endemics and 16 undescribed species. 2,424 illustrations and 1,339 distribution maps.
     The first ornithological field guide covering the vast chain of the Indonesian archipelago, with over 2,500 illustrations, describes all 1,417 bird species known to occur in the region, including 601 endemics, 98 vagrants, eight introduced species and 18 species yet to be formally described. Together these represent over 13% of global bird diversity. In addition, all subspecies from the region are described.
     The guide fully encompasses the biogeographic regions of the Greater Sundas (Sumatra, Borneo, Java and Bali) and Wallacea (Sulawesi, the Moluccas and the Lesser Sundas), plus all satellite islands. This region spans an arc of over 4,000 km along the Equator, including Brunei, East Timor, the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak and most of the territory of the Republic of Indonesia.
The authors' vast experience and knowledge of the region's birds brings together the latest taxonomic insights, knowledge of distribution, field identification features, vocalizations and more to create an indispensable reference for anyone with an interest in the avifauna of this fabulously diverse region.
RECOMMENDATION: A MUST have for anyone birding the region!


2) Denny, Mark. Long Hops: Making Sense of Bird Migration. 2016. University of Hawaii Press. Paperback: 241 pages. Price: $29.99 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: In Long Hops, physicist Mark Denny explains, in a clear, conversational style, the science of bird migration―from the intricacies of bird aeronautics to the newly unraveled mysteries of their magnetic compasses. While providing wherever possible examples of indigenous Hawaiian species, the book surveys the migration phenomenon as a whole, showing that birds are breathtaking works of engineering with spectacular capabilities for long-distance flights. Each year thousands of these hardy migrants fly 2,500 miles nonstop from Alaska to Hawai‘i. How do they endure such marathon journeys, and how on earth do they know which direction to travel over featureless ocean? In fact, many migratory journeys, in all parts of the world and performed by birds as small as warblers and as large as swans, cover much longer distances.
     After answering the “who, why, where, when” questions, Denny focuses on the questions of how: how researchers study bird migration; how they gather data from old-fashioned bird banding, high-tech satellite tracking, and other techniques; and―above all―how the birds do it. Throughout the book, concepts such as the physics of bird flight and the role of physical geography on navigation are explained in a relatively math-free way. Denny also examines past adaptations migrating birds have made to changing environments and the challenges they face in the future, as the world beneath them faces rapid climate change exacerbated by human activity.
RECOMMENDATION: A good overview on the subject.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

New Titles



1) Chiappe, Luis M. and Meng Qingjin. Birds of Stone: Chinese Avian Fossils from the Age of Dinosaurs. 2016. Johns Hopkins University Press. Hardbound: 294 pages. Price: $85.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: When fossils of birds from China’s Jehol region first appeared in scientific circles, the world took notice. These Mesozoic masterpieces are between 120 and 131 million years old and reveal incredible details that capture the diversity of ancient bird life. Paleontologists all over the world began to collaborate with Chinese colleagues as new and wondrous fossil-related discoveries became regular events. The pages of National Geographic and major scientific journals described the intricate views of feathers as well as food still visible in the guts of these ancient birds. Now, for the first time, a sweeping collection of the most interesting of Jehol’s avian fossils is on display in this beautiful book.
      Birds of Stone makes visible the unexpected avian diversity that blanketed the earth just a short time (geologically speaking) after a dinosaur lineage gave rise to the first birds. Our visual journey through these fossils is guided by Luis M. Chiappe, a world expert on early birds, and Meng Qingjin, a leading figure in China's natural history museum community. Together, they help us understand the "meaning" of each fossil by providing straightforward narratives that accompany the full-page photographs of the Jehol discoveries.
     Anyone interested in the history of life―from paleontologists to inquisitive birders―will find Birds of Stone an irresistible feast for the eyes and mind.
RECOMMENDATION: A well illustrated overview of these fossils.






2) Cunfer, Geoff and Bill Waiser (editors). Bison and People on the North American Great Plains: A Deep Environmental History. 2016. Texas A&M University Press. Hardbound: 323 pages. Price: $60.00 U.S. 
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: The near disappearance of the American bison in the nineteenth century is commonly understood to be the result of over-hunting, capitalist greed, and all but genocidal military policy. This interpretation remains seductive because of its simplicity; there are villains and victims in this familiar cautionary tale of the American frontier. But as this volume of groundbreaking scholarship shows, the story of the bison’s demise is actually quite nuanced. 
     Bison and People on the North American Great Plains brings together voices from several disciplines to offer new insights on the relationship between humans and animals that approached extinction. The essays here transcend the border between the United States and Canada to provide a continental context. Contributors include historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, paleontologists, and Native American perspectives.
     This book explores the deep past and examines the latest knowledge on bison anatomy and physiology, how bison responded to climate change (especially drought), and early bison hunters and pre-contact trade. It also focuses on the era of European contact, in particular the arrival of the horse, and some of the first known instances of over-hunting. By the nineteenth century bison reached a “tipping point” as a result of new tanning practices, an early attempt at protective legislation, and ventures to introducing cattle as a replacement stock. The book concludes with a Lakota perspective featuring new ethnohistorical research. 
     Bison and People on the North American Great Plains is a major contribution to environmental history, western history, and the growing field of transnational history.
RECOMMENDATION:For those with a serious interest in the topic.

Friday, October 21, 2016

New Title



1) Bannick, Paul. Owl: A Year in the Lives of North American Owls. 2016.
Mountaineers Books. Hardbound: 224 pages. Price: $34.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: In Owl, award-winning photographer Paul Bannick uses his intimate yet dramatic images to track four different nesting owl species, Northern Pygmy, Burrowing, Great Gray, and Snowy, throughout the course of one year and in four distinct habitats. Readers follow along at the nest as each stage in an owl's life is chronicled: courtship, mating, and nesting in spring; fledging and feeding of young in summer; dispersal and learning independence in fall; and finally, winter's migration.
RECOMMENDATION: Fans of Bannick's photography will enjoy this book.