Wednesday, June 20, 2018

New Title


1) Todd, Frank S.. North American Ducks, Geese and Swans: Identification Guide. 2018. Hancock House Publishers. Paperback: 203 pages. Price: $34.95 U.S. ($29.95 U.S. from the publisher's website here.)
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Hancock House Publishers is pleased to announce the release of "Ducks, Geese & Swans of North America: identification guide" by the late Frank S. Todd. This book is the result of renowned zoologist Mr. Todd's life work photographing waterfowl around the world, in an attempt to obtain images of every sex, age and plumage type feasible prior to his passing in December 2016. This book is a richly detailed photographic guide to the Ducks, Geese, and Swans of North America, including the Hawaiian Islands, Greenland, Mexico and the U.S. Territories in the Pacific Ocean. The photographs, mostly by the author, were selected to highlight plumage phases, age classes and variation and behavioral postures. Brief text describes the different categories of waterfowl and brief bullet points highlight important identification features. Range maps and population estimates are noted in the text and some details of morphology are also provided in an Appendix.
RECOMMENDATION: This book reminds me of the: The Crossley ID Guide: Waterfowl but with minimal text. Does include three Hawaiian species (Hawaiian Goose (Nene), Laysan and Hawaiian Ducks) that the Crossley guide does not include.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

New Title


1) Werdelin, Lars et al. (editors). Smilodon: The Iconic Sabertooth. 2018. Johns Hopkins University Press. Hardbound: 212 pages. Price: $110.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Few animals spark the imagination as much as the sabertooth cat Smilodon. With their incredibly long canines, which hung like fangs past their jaws, these ferocious predators were first encountered by humans when our species entered the Americas. We can only imagine what ice age humans felt when they were confronted by a wild cat larger than a Siberian tiger.
     Because Smilodon skeletons are perennial favorites with museum visitors, researchers have devoted themselves to learning as much as possible about the lives of these massive cats. This volume, edited by celebrated academics, brings together a team of experts to provide a comprehensive and contemporary view of all that is known about Smilodon. The result is a detailed scientific work that will be invaluable to paleontologists, mammalogists, and serious amateur sabertooth devotees.
    The book:
• covers all major aspects of the animal’s natural history, evolution, phylogenetic relationships, anatomy, biomechanics, and ecology
• traces all three Smilodon species across both North and South America
• brings together original, unpublished research with historical accounts of Smilodon’s discovery in nineteenth-century Brazil

     The definitive reference on these iconic Pleistocene mammals, Smilodon will be cited by researchers for decades to come.

RECOMMENDATION: For those with a technical interest in this genus of prehistoric cat.



Saturday, June 9, 2018

New Edition



1) Morris, Desmond. Owl. 2018. Reaktion Books. Paperback: 216 pages. Price: $16.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: From ancient Babylon and the Greek goddess Athena to Edward Lear’s The Owl and the Pussycat; from Harry Potter’s Hedwig and the grandiloquent, absent-minded Wol from Winnie the Pooh to David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, owls are woven into the fabric of human culture. Beautiful, silent, pitiless predators of the night, these enigmatic beings dwell throughout the world yet barely make their presence known. For people, owls are contradictory beasts, at times depicted as dignified, wise old scholars and at other times as foreboding voyeurs who see all—omens both good and evil, in turn. In this fascinating book, best-selling author and broadcaster Desmond Morris explores the natural and cultural history of one of nature’s most popular winged creatures.
     Excluding Antarctica, owls are found on every land mass across the globe, and they range in size from well under a foot tall (the tiny least pygmy owl) to more than two feet (the orange-eyed Eurasian eagle owl). As a result of their wide distribution, owls also occur in the folktales, myths, and legends of many native peoples around the world. Morris spreads his wings wide to explore these stories alongside owl evolution, owl species, and the many examples of owls in art, film, literature, and popular culture. Despite the fact that many of us have never seen an owl or even heard its accusatory “Who? Who?,” Morris’s enticing read makes clear this creature’s looming presence in our lives. Featuring more than one hundred telling illustrations from nature and culture, Owl will enthrall the many devotees of this surreal bird.
RECOMMENDATION: This title is once again available at a lower price.