1) Loxton, Daniel and Donald R. Prothero. Abominable Science! Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids. 2015 (2013). Columbia University Press. Paperback: 411 pages. Price: $19.95 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Throughout our history, humans have been captivated by mythic beasts and legendary creatures. Tales of Bigfoot, the Yeti, and the Loch Ness monster are part of our collective experience. Now comes a book from two dedicated investigators that explores and elucidates the fascinating world of cryptozoology.
Daniel Loxton and Donald R. Prothero have written an entertaining, educational, and definitive text on cryptids, presenting the arguments both for and against their existence and systematically challenging the pseudoscience that perpetuates their myths. After examining the nature of science and pseudoscience and their relation to cryptozoology, Loxton and Prothero take on Bigfoot; the Yeti, or Abominable Snowman, and its cross-cultural incarnations; the Loch Ness monster and its highly publicized sightings; the evolution of the Great Sea Serpent; and Mokele Mbembe, or the Congo dinosaur. They conclude with an analysis of the psychology behind the persistent belief in paranormal phenomena, identifying the major players in cryptozoology, discussing the character of its subculture, and considering the challenge it poses to clear and critical thinking in our increasingly complex world.
2) Savard, Jean-Pierre L., Dirk V. Derksen, Dan Esler, John M. Eadie (editors). Ecology and Conservation of North American Sea Ducks. 2015. CRC Press. Hardbound: 584 pages. Price: $149.95.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: The past decade has seen a huge increase in the interest and attention directed toward sea ducks, the Mergini tribe. This has been inspired, in large part, by the conservation concerns associated with numerical declines in several sea duck species and populations, as well as a growing appreciation for their interesting ecological attributes. Reflecting the considerable research recently conducted on this tribe, Ecology and Conservation of North American Sea Ducks examines the 15 extant species of sea ducks from North America.
Chapters are organized conceptually to focus on, compare, and contrast the ecological attributes of the tribe. Experts provide in-depth treatments of a range of topics, including:
- Population dynamics and genetics
- Infectious diseases and parasites
- Breeding costs and cross-seasonal affects
- Contaminant burdens
- Foraging behavior and energetics
- Migration strategies, molt ecology, and habitat affinities and dynamics
- Breeding systems and reproductive behavior
- Harvest history
RECOMMENDATION: For those with a technical interest in the subject.