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The Sixth Extinction
OVER THE LAST HALF-BILLION YEARS, there have been Five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In prose that is at once frank, entertaining, and deeply informed, New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before. Interweaving research in half a dozen disciplines, descriptions of the fascinating species that have already been lost, and the history of extinction as a concept, Kolbert provides a moving and comprehensive account of the disappearances occurring before our very eyes. She shows that the sixth extinction is likely to be mankind’s most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness
In pursuit of the wild, solitary, predatory octopus, popular naturalist Sy Montgomery has practiced true immersion journalism. From New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, she has befriended octopuses with strikingly different personalities—gentle Athena, assertive Octavia, curious Kali, and joyful Karma. Each creature shows her cleverness in myriad ways: escaping enclosures like an orangutan; jetting water to bounce balls; and endlessly tricking companions with multiple “sleights of hand” to get food.Scientists have only recently accepted the intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees but now are watching octopuses solve problems and are trying to decipher the meaning of the animal’s color-changing techniques. With her “joyful passion for these intelligent and fascinating creatures” (Library Journal Editors’ Spring Pick), Montgomery chronicles the growing appreciation of this mollusk as she tells a unique love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about the meeting of two very different minds.
The Life and Love of the Sea
Showcasing images from the world's leading marine and nature photographers, and the latest in underwater photography techniques, The Life & Love of the Sea is a breathtaking photographic tour of the ocean's incredible diversity. Lewis Blackwell explores our intimate relationship with the sea, offering thoughtful essays and dramatic images of coastlines, barrier reefs, and island chains, along with an extensive survey of the ocean's many captivating inhabitants. Blackwell presents incredible views of whales, dolphins, manta rays, sea turtles, seals, schools of fish, and the creatures that reside in the deepest recesses of the ocean floor. Together, they offer a vivid, compelling portrait of our planet's biggest and most fascinating ecosystem
The Elephant Whisperer
When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them. In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom. The Elephant Whisperer is a heartwarming, exciting, funny, and sometimes sad account of Anthony's experiences with these huge yet sympathetic creatures. Set against the background of life on an African game reserve, with unforgettable characters and exotic wildlife, it is a delightful book that will appeal to animal lovers and adventurous souls everywhere.
Atlas of the National Parks
The first book of its kind, this stunning atlas showcases America's spectacular park system from coast to coast, richly illustrated with an inspiring and informative collection of maps, graphics, and photographs.From the white sand beaches of Dry Tortugas to the snowy peaks of Denali, this captivating book combines authoritative park maps with hundreds of graphics and photographs to tell the stories of America's sixty one beloved national parks. Former ranger and author Jonathan Waterman introduces readers to the country's scenic reserves and highlights the extraordinary features that distinguish each: magnificent landmarks, thriving ecosystems, representative wildlife, fascinating histories, and more. With striking imagery and state-of-the-art graphics reflecting details of wildlife, climate, culture, archaeology, recreation, and more, this lush reference provides an up-close look at what makes these lands so special--and so uniquely American. A heartfelt foreword from National Geographic CEO Gary Knell reminds us how important these lands are to our lives and our national pride.
Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder (Updated and Expanded)
Richard Louv was the first to identify a phenomenon we all knew existed but couldn't quite articulate: nature-deficit disorder. His book Last Child in the Woods created a national conversation about the disconnection between children and nature, and his message has galvanized an international movement. Now, three years after its initial publication, we have reached a tipping point, with Leave No Child Inside initiatives adopted in at least 30 regions within 21 states, and in Canada, Holland, Australia, and Great Britain. This new edition reflects the enormous changes that have taken place since the book - and this grassroots movement - were launched. It includes: 101 Things you can do to create change in your community, school, and family. Discussion points to inspire people of all ages to talk about the importance of nature in their lives. A new afterword by the author about the growing Leave No Child Inside movement. New and updated research confirming that direct exposure to nature is essential for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. This is a book that will change the way you think about your future and the future of your children.
The Photo Ark Vanishing: The World's Most Vulnerable Animals
Celebrated National Geographic photojournalist Joel Sartore continues his Photo Ark quest, photographing species around the world that are escaping extinction thanks to human efforts.Joel Sartore's quest to photograph all the animal species under human care celebrates its 15th year with this glorious and heartwrenching collection of photographs. The animals featured in these pages are either destined for extinction or already extinct in the wild but still alive today, thanks to dedication of a heroic group committed to their continued survival. From the majestic Sumatran rhinoceros to the tiny Salt Creek tiger beetle, Sartore's photographs bring us eye to eye with the kaleidoscopic diversity of shapes, colors, personalities, and attitudes of the animal world.In these vivid pages, Sartore singles out the species most likely to disappear in the next decades, as well as some that have already been lost. Alongside these indelible images are the words of scientists and conservationists who are working to protect and restore populations of endangered species. With Sartore's distinctive portrait photography, he invites us to look closer--and to care more.
The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World
What if Atlantis wasn't a myth, but an early precursor to a new age of great flooding? Across the globe, scientists and civilians alike are noticing rapidly rising sea levels, and higher and higher tides pushing more water directly into the places we live, from our most vibrant, historic cities to our last remaining traditional coastal villages. With each crack in the great ice sheets of the Arctic and Antarctica, and each tick upwards of Earth's thermometer, we are moving closer to the brink of broad disaster.By century's end, hundreds of millions of people will be retreating from the world's shores as our coasts become inundated and our landscapes transformed. From island nations to the world's major cities, coastal regions will disappear. Engineering projects to hold back the water are bold and may buy some time. Yet despite international efforts and tireless research, there is no permanent solution-no barriers to erect or walls to build-that will protect us in the end from the drowning of the world as we know it.The Water Will Come is the definitive account of the coming water, why and how this will happen, and what it will all mean. As he travels across twelve countries and reports from the front lines, acclaimed journalist Jeff Goodell employs fact, science, and first-person, on-the-ground journalism to show vivid scenes from what already is becoming a water world.
Chesapeake Requiem: A Year with the Watermen of Vanishing Tangier Island
Tangier Island, Virginia, is a community unique on the American landscape. Mapped by John Smith in 1608, settled during the American Revolution, the tiny sliver of mud is home to 470 hardy people who live an isolated and challenging existence, with one foot in the 21st century and another in times long passed. They are separated from their countrymen by the nation’s largest estuary, and a twelve-mile boat trip across often tempestuous water—the same water that for generations has made Tangier’s fleet of small fishing boats a chief source for the rightly prized Chesapeake Bay blue crab, and has lent the island its claim to fame as the softshell crab capital of the world.Yet for all of its long history, and despite its tenacity, Tangier is disappearing. The very water that has long sustained it is erasing the island day by day, wave by wave. It has lost two-thirds of its land since 1850, and still its shoreline retreats by fifteen feet a year—meaning this storied place will likely succumb first among U.S. towns to the effects of climate change. Experts reckon that, barring heroic intervention by the federal government, islanders could be forced to abandon their home within twenty-five years. Meanwhile, the graves of their forebears are being sprung open by encroaching tides, and the conservative and deeply religious Tangiermen ponder the end times.Chesapeake Requiem is an intimate look at the island’s past, present and tenuous future, by an acclaimed journalist who spent much of the past two years living among Tangier’s people, crabbing and oystering with its watermen, and observing its long traditions and odd ways. What emerges is the poignant tale of a world that has, quite nearly, gone by—and a leading-edge report on the coming fate of countless coastal communities.
Hummingbird Book: The Complete Guide to Attracting, Identifying, and Enjoying Hummingbirds
With seventy full-color photographs, eight range maps showing summer and winter distribution, and eight diagrams of the birds' striking aerobatics, this guide will fully enable readers to enjoy these popular birds.
Brendan McDonough was on the verge of becoming a hopeless, inveterate heroin addict when he, for the sake of his young daughter, decided to turn his life around. He enlisted in the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a team of elite firefighters based in Prescott, Arizona. Their leader, Eric Marsh, was in a desperate crunch after four hotshots left the unit, and perhaps seeing a glimmer of promise in the skinny would-be recruit, he took a chance on the unlikely McDonough, and the chance paid off. Despite the crew's skepticism, and thanks in large part to Marsh's firm but loving encouragement, McDonough unlocked a latent drive and dedication, going on to successfully battle a number of blazes and eventually win the confidence of the men he came to call his brothers.Then, on June 30, 2013, while McDonough--"Donut" as he'd been dubbed by his team--served as lookout, they confronted a freak, 3,000-degree inferno in nearby Yarnell, Arizona. The relentless firestorm ultimately trapped his hotshot brothers, tragically killing all 19 of them within minutes. Nationwide, it was the greatest loss of firefighter lives since the 9/11 attacks. Granite Mountain is a gripping memoir that traces McDonough's story of finding his way out of the dead end of drugs, finding his purpose among the Granite Mountain Hotshots, and the minute-by-minute account of the fateful day he lost the very men who had saved him. A harrowing and redemptive tale of resilience in the face of tragedy, Granite Mountain is also a powerful reminder of the heroism of the people who put themselves in harm's way to protect us every day.
Newly updated, this timely history of the struggle to discover and control water in the American West is a tale of rivers diverted and damned, political corruption and intrigue, billion-dollar battles over water rights, and economic and ecological disaster.
437 Edible Wild Plants of the Rocky Mountain West: Berries, Roots, Nuts, Greens, Flowers, and Seeds
From self-sufficiency expert Caleb Warnock comes the ultimate guidebook to living off the land. Packed with over 1,450 photographs of 437 edible wild berries, roots, nuts, greens, and flowers, this essential field guide will provide you with invaluable information on plant identification, flavor, seasonality, history, common synonyms, eating and preparation instructions, and more! It's the most exhaustive reference book of its kind.Includes Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.
National Geographic Pocket Guide to Rocks and Minerals of North America
This basic beginner's field guide to North American geology helps anyone identify common rocks, minerals, gems, fossils, and land formations. In a logical, user-friendly, highly visual format, this new title - one of an expanding collection of National Geographic pocket guides - offers key facts about dozens of rocks and minerals, how to hunt and identify them, where and how to go looking. The book also pictures and explains the fossils most likely to be found and the fundamental land and rock formations in the North American landscape. With 160 entries, formatted with clear language, key identification points, carefully chosen photographs, and expertly drafted illustrations, this guide is the perfect starting point for anyone, young or old, interested in the study of rocks and geology.
A handy field guide for the best stargazing experience whether in your own back yard, camping, or travelling—including information showing you which planets, constellations, stars, and manmade objects you can see with a telescope, or just your naked eye!The night sky is full of amazing things to see—from shooting stars and constellations to planets and satellites—but it can be hard to tell what you’re seeing, or where to look for the best view. 100 Things to See in the Night Sky gives you a clear picture of what you can see on any given night, either using a small telescope, or just your naked eye.Each object is presented as a separate entry, with background information on the makeup, appearance, and history of the object, along with easy-to-follow instructions on how to find it. For astronomy and space fans of all ages, this guide helps you explore the galaxy and see the stars—while keeping your feet on the ground.
Amazing Facts About Baby Animals: An Illustrated Compendium
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Paris in Bloom
From elegant floral boutiques to lively flower markets to expansive public gardens, flowers are an essential part of the lush sensory bouquet that is Parisian life. With beautiful photography, Paris in Bloom transports you on a stunning floral tour of the city, pairing gorgeous floral images with iconic architecture and botanical motifs.
The Revolutionary Genius of Plants: A New Understanding of Plant Intelligence and Behavior
Do plants have intelligence? Do they have memory? Are they better problem solvers than people? The Revolutionary Genius of Plants—a fascinating, paradigm-shifting work that upends everything you thought you knew about plants—makes a compelling scientific case that these and other astonishing ideas are all true.Plants make up eighty percent of the weight of all living things on earth, and yet it is easy to forget that these innocuous, beautiful organisms are responsible for not only the air that lets us survive, but for many of our modern comforts: our medicine, food supply, even our fossil fuels.On the forefront of uncovering the essential truths about plants, world-renowned scientist Stefano Mancuso reveals the surprisingly sophisticated ability of plants to innovate, to remember, and to learn, offering us creative solutions to the most vexing technological and ecological problems that face us today. Despite not having brains or central nervous systems, plants perceive their surroundings with an even greater sensitivity than animals. They efficiently explore and react promptly to potentially damaging external events thanks to their cooperative, shared systems; without any central command centers, they are able to remember prior catastrophic events and to actively adapt to new ones.Every page of The Revolutionary Genius of Plants bubbles over with Stefano Mancuso’s infectious love for plants and for the eye-opening research that makes it more and more clear how remarkable our fellow inhabitants on this planet really are. In his hands, complicated science is wonderfully accessible, and he has loaded the book with gorgeous photographs that make for an unforgettable reading experience. The Revolutionary Genius of Plants opens the doors to a new understanding of life on earth.
The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature's Great Connectors
Haskell, David George
David Haskell has won acclaim for eloquent writing and deep engagement with the natural world. Now, he brings his powers of observation to the biological networks that surround all species, including humans. Haskell repeatedly visits a dozen trees, exploring connections with people, microbes, fungi, and other plants and animals. He takes us to trees in cities (from Manhattan to Jerusalem), forests (Amazonian, North American, and boreal) and areas on the front lines of environmental change (eroding coastlines, burned mountainsides, and war zones.) In each place he shows how human history, ecology, and well-being are intimately intertwined with the lives of trees.Scientific, lyrical, and contemplative, Haskell reveals the biological connections that underpin all life. In a world beset by barriers, he reminds us that life’s substance and beauty emerge from relationship and interdependence.
Erosion: Essays of Undoing
Williams, Terry Tempest
Fierce, timely, and unsettling essays from an important and beloved writer and conservationistTerry Tempest Williams's fierce, spirited, and magnificent essays are a howl in the desert. She sizes up the continuing assaults on America's public lands and the erosion of our commitment to the open space of democracy. She asks: "How do we find the strength to not look away from all that is breaking our hearts?"We know the elements of erosion: wind, water, and time. They have shaped the spectacular physical landscape of our nation. Here, Williams bravely and brilliantly explores the many forms of erosion we face: of democracy, science, compassion, and trust. She examines the dire cultural and environmental implications of the gutting of Bear Ears National Monument?sacred lands to Native Peoples of the American Southwest; of the undermining of the Endangered Species Act; of the relentless press by the fossil fuel industry that has led to a panorama in which "oil rigs light up the horizon." And she testifies that the climate crisis is not an abstraction, offering as evidence the drought outside her door and, at times, within herself.These essays are Williams's call to action, blazing a way forward through difficult and dispiriting times. We will find new territory - emotional, geographical, communal. The erosion of desert lands exposes the truth of chnage. What has been weathered, worn, and whittled away is as powerful as what remains. Our undoing is also our becoming.Erosion is a book for this moment, political and spiritual at once, written by one of our greatest naturalists, essayists, and defenders of the environment. She reminds us that beauty is its own form of resistance, and that water can crack stone.
As new groundbreaking research suggests that climate change played a major role in the most extreme catastrophes in the planet's history, award-winning science journalist Peter Brannen takes us on a wild ride through the planet's five mass extinctions and, in the process, offers us a glimpse of our increasingly dangerous future.Our world has ended five times: it has been broiled, frozen, poison-gassed, smothered, and pelted by asteroids. In The Ends of the World, Peter Brannen dives into deep time, exploring Earth’s past dead ends, and in the process, offers us a glimpse of our possible future.Many scientists now believe that the climate shifts of the twenty-first century have analogs in these five extinctions. Using the visible clues these devastations have left behind in the fossil record, The Ends of the World takes us inside “scenes of the crime,” from South Africa to the New York Palisades, to tell the story of each extinction. Brannen examines the fossil record—which is rife with creatures like dragonflies the size of sea gulls and guillotine-mouthed fish—and introduces us to the researchers on the front lines who, using the forensic tools of modern science, are piecing together what really happened at the crime scenes of the Earth’s biggest whodunits.Part road trip, part history, and part cautionary tale, The Ends of the World takes us on a tour of the ways that our planet has clawed itself back from the grave, and casts our future in a completely new light.
Becoming Wild: How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace
Some people insist that culture is strictly a human feat. What are they afraid of? This book looks into three cultures of other-than-human beings in some of Earth’s remaining wild places. It shows how if you’re a sperm whale, a scarlet macaw, or a chimpanzee, you too experience your life with the understanding that you are an individual in a particular community. You too are who you are not by genes alone; your culture is a second form of inheritance. You receive it from thousands of individuals, from pools of knowledge passing through generations like an eternal torch. You too may raise young, know beauty, or struggle to negotiate a peace. And your culture, too, changes and evolves. The light of knowledge needs adjusting as situations change, so a capacity for learning, especially social learning, allows behaviors to adjust, to change much faster than genes alone could adapt.Becoming Wild offers a glimpse into cultures among non-human animals through looks at the lives of individuals in different present-day animal societies. By showing how others teach and learn, Safina offers a fresh understanding of what is constantly going on beyond humanity. With reporting from deep in nature, alongside individual creatures in their free-living communities, this book offers a very privileged glimpse behind the curtain of life on Earth, and helps inform the answer to that most urgent of questions: Who are we here with?
Reptiles and Amphibians (Golden Guide, Revised and Updated)
Zim, Herbert S.
Describes 212 species of turtles, snakes, frogs, salamanders and their relatives.
Knowing that no survival book can cover every conceivable aspect of surviving in every conceivable situation, in Total Survival, veteran survivalist James C. Jones delivers tips that cover the most likely needs of readers and for which there is useful and practical instruction. His goal is to share a variety of practical survival skills, principles, and ideas in an easy-to read format that will aid the reader in becoming stronger, safer, and more self-reliant. The ten principles of survival that Jones sets out are derived from analysis of true survival accounts. Studies of why some people survived fires, plane crashes, assaults, and other deadly situations while others in the same situations perished confirm that these principles made the difference. Although the data and concepts in Total Survival are derived from accounts of acute disasters - such as tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, and epidemics - they apply equally well to chronic disasters, such as economic decline, shortages, unemployment, climate change, and personal family or health issues. In reality, all of life is a survival challenge, and a survival emergency is just a high-intensity life test. These ten survival principles are the key to success in everyday life, especially during an emergency.
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