Thursday, June 27, 2013
SUMMARY: Amphibians and reptiles is a comprehensive guide to the native and non-native species of amphibian and reptile found in the British Isles. Professor Trevor Beebee covers the biology, ecology, conservation and identification of the British herpetofauna, and provides keys for the identification of adult and immature newts and newt eggs, larvae and metamorphs; frog and toad adults and metamorphs, spawn and larvae; adult and hatchling limbed lizards; and adult snakes. Distribution maps are included for all species, and the book is illustrated throughout with colour photographs and figures.
The goal of this book is to encourage readers to develop their own ecological studies, to this end, the author summarises the current state of knowledge of reptile and amphibian biology, including behaviour, breeding, habitat selection, migration and development, and offers ideas for research projects that could be undertaken to further what is known. A chapter is devoted to the practicalities of professional work with amphibians and reptiles, including licensing requirements. Research techniques, including survey methods such as night searches for newts and bottle trapping, are discussed in detail, and consideration is given to methods of data analysis.
Author royalties from this book have been donated to Amphibian and Reptile Conservation.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in British herpetofauna.
2) Bergner, Daniel. What Do Women Want? Adventures in the Science of Female Desire. 2013. Ecco. Hardbound: 210 pages. Price: $25.99 U.S.
SUMMARY: When it comes to sex, common wisdom holds that men roam while women crave closeness and commitment. But in this provocative, headline-making book, Daniel Bergner turns everything we thought we knew about women's arousal and desire inside out. Drawing on extensive research and interviews with renowned behavioral scientists, sexologists, psychologists, and everyday women, he forces us to reconsider long-held notions about female sexuality.
This bold and captivating journey into the world of female desire explores answers to such thought-provoking questions as: Are women perhaps the less monogamous sex? What effect do intimacy and emotional connection really have on lust? What is the role of narcissism—the desire to be desired—in female sexuality? Are political gains for women ("No means no") detrimental in the bedroom? And is the hunt for a "female Viagra" anything but a search for the cure for monogamy?
Bergner goes behind the scenes of some of the most groundbreaking experiments on sexuality today and confronts us with controversial, sometimes uncomfortable findings. Incendiary, profoundly insightful, and brilliantly illuminating, What Do Women Want? will change the conversation about women and sex, and is sure to spark dynamic discussion for years to come.
RECOMMENDATION: For anyone wtih an interest in Human sexuality.
3) Kielan-Jaworowska, Zofia. In Pursuit of Early Mammals. 2013. Indiana University Press. Hardbound: 253 pages. Price: $60.00 U.S.
SUMMARY: In Pursuit of Early Mammals presents the history of the mammals that lived during the Mesozoic era, the time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, and describes their origins, anatomy, systematics, paleobiology, and distribution. It also tells the story of the author, a world-renowned specialist on these animals, and the other prominent paleontologists who have studied them. Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska was the first woman to lead large-scale paleontological expeditions, including eight to the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, which brought back important collections of dinosaur, early mammal, and other fossils. She shares the difficulties and pleasures encountered in finding rare fossils and describes the changing views on early mammals made possible by these discoveries.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with a technical or semi-technical interest in mammalian paleontology.
4) Parrish, J. Michael. et al. (editors). Tyrannosaurid Paleobiology. 2013. Indiana University Press. Hardbound: 294 pages. Price: $60.00 U.S.
SUMMARY: The opening of an exhibit focused on "Jane," a beautifully preserved tyrannosaur collected by the Burpee Museum of Natural History, was the occasion for an international symposium on tyrannosaur paleobiology. This volume, drawn from the symposium, includes studies of the tyrannosaurids Chingkankousaurus fragilis and “Sir William” and the generic status of Nanotyrannus; theropod teeth, pedal proportions, brain size, and craniocervical function; soft tissue reconstruction, including that of “Jane”; paleopathology and tyrannosaurid claws; dating the “Jane” site; and tyrannosaur feeding and hunting strategies. Tyrannosaurid Paleobiology highlights the far ranging and vital state of current tyrannosaurid dinosaur research and discovery.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with a technical interest in these dinosaurs.