When people today hear “paleontology,” they immediately think of dinosaurs. But for much of the history of the discipline, dramatic demonstrations of the history of life focused on the developmental history of mammals. The Age of Mammals examines how nineteenth-century scholars, writers, artists, and public audiences understood the animals they regarded as being at the summit of life. For them, mammals were crucial for understanding the formation (and possibly the future) of the natural world. Yet, as Chris Manias reveals, this combined with more troubling notions: that seemingly promising creatures had been swept aside in the “struggle for life,” or that modern biodiversity was impoverished compared to previous eras. Why some prehistoric creatures, such as the saber-toothed cat and ground sloth, had become extinct, while others seemed to have been the ancestors of familiar animals like elephants and horses, was a question loaded with cultural assumptions, ambiguity, and trepidation. How humans related to deep developmental processes, and whether “the Age of Man” was qualitatively different from the Age of Mammals, led to reflections on humanity’s place within the natural world. With this book, Manias considers the cultural resonance of mammal paleontology from an international perspective—how reconstructions of the deep past of fossil mammals across the world conditioned new understandings of nature and the current environment.
"All the wild and lonely places, the mountain springs are called now. They were not lonely or wild places in the past days. They were the homes of my people." --Chief Francisco Patencio, the Cahuilla of Palm Springs The Anza-Borrego Desert on California's southern border is a remote and harsh landscape, what author Lawrence Hogue calls "a land of dreams and nightmares, where the waking world meets the fantastic shapes and bent forms of imagination." In a country so sere and rugged, it's easy to imagine that no one has ever set foot there -- a wilderness waiting to be explored. Yet for thousands of years, the land was home to the Cahuilla and Kumeyaay Indians, who, far from being the "noble savages" of European imagination, served as active caretakers of the land that sustained them, changing it in countless ways and adapting it to their own needs as they adapted to it.In All the Wild and Lonely Places, Lawrence Hogue offers a thoughtful and evocative portrait of Anza-Borrego and of the people who have lived there, both original inhabitants and Spanish and American newcomers -- soldiers, Forty-Niners, cowboys, canal-builders, naturalists, recreationists, and restorationists. We follow along with the author on a series of excursions into the desert, each time learning more about the region's history and why it calls into question deeply held beliefs about "untouched" nature. And we join him in considering the implications of those revelations for how we think about the land that surrounds us, and how we use and care for that land."We could persist in seeing the desert as an emptiness, a place hostile to humans, a pristine wilderness," Hogue writes. "But it's better to see this as a place where ancient peoples tried to make their homes, and succeeded. We can learn from what they did here, and use that knowledge to reinvigorate our concept of wildness. Humans are part of nature; it's still nature, even when we change it."
Perhaps no creature has so fired the imagination of a populace as the armadillo—that most ungainly, awkward, and timid little animal. Its detractors call it a varmint and wish it good speed from the Lone Star State and its other natural territories. But its supporters claim that it is the animal kingdom’s representative of all that’s truly Texan: tough, pioneering, adaptable, and generous in sharing its habitation with others. What is it that sets this quizzical little creature apart from the rest of the animal kingdom? Larry L. Smith and Robin W. Doughty ably answer this question in The Amazing Armadillo: Geography of a Folk Critter. This informative book traces the spread of the nine-banded armadillo from its first notice in South Texas late in the 1840s to its current range east to Florida and north to Missouri. The authors look at the armadillo’s natural history and habitat as well as the role of humans in promoting its spread, projecting that the animal is increasing in both range and number, continuing its ecological success in areas where habitat and climate are favorable. The book also contributes to a long-standing research theme in geography—the relationship between humans and wildlife. It explores the armadillo’s value to the medical community in current research in Hansen’s Disease (leprosy) as well as commercial uses, and abuses, of the armadillo in recent times. Of particular note is the author’s engaging look at the armadillo as a symbol of popular culture, the efforts now underway to make it a “totem animal” symbolizing the easy-going lifestyles of some Sunbelt cities, and the spread of the craze for armadilliana to other urban centers.
Elephants have fascinated humans for millennia. Aristotle wrote of them with awe; Hannibal used them in warfare; and John Donne called the elephant “Nature’s greatest masterpiece. . . . The only harmless great thing.” Their ivory has been sought after and treasured in most cultures, and they have delighted zoo and circus audiences worldwide for centuries. But it wasn’t until the second half of the twentieth century that people started to take an interest in elephants in the wild, and some of the most important studies of these intelligent giants have been conducted at Amboseli National Park in Kenya.
The Amboseli Elephants is the long-awaited summation of what’s been learned from the Amboseli Elephant Research Project (AERP)—the longest continuously running elephant research project in the world. Cynthia J. Moss and Harvey Croze, the founders of the AERP, and Phyllis C. Lee, who has been closely involved with the project since 1982, compile more than three decades of uninterrupted study of over 2,500 individual elephants, from newborn calves to adult bulls to old matriarchs in their 60s. Chapters explore such topics as elephant ecosystems, genetics, communication, social behavior, and reproduction, as well as exciting new developments from the study of elephant minds and cognition. The book closes with a view to the future, making important arguments for the ethical treatment of elephants and suggestions to aid in their conservation.
The most comprehensive account of elephants in their natural environment to date, The Amboseli Elephants will be an invaluable resource for scientists, conservationists, and anyone interested in the lives and loves of these extraordinary creatures.
Pronghorn antelope are the fastest runners in North America, clocked at speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour. Yet none of their current predators can come close to running this fast. Pronghorn also gather in groups, a behavior commonly viewed as a "safety in numbers" defense. But again, none of their living predators are fearsome enough to merit such a response.
In this elegantly written book, John A. Byers argues that these mystifying behaviors evolved in response to the dangerous predators with whom pronghorn shared their grassland home for nearly four million years: among them fleet hyenas, lions, and cheetahs. Although these predators died out ten thousand years ago, pronghorn still behave as if they were present—as if they were living with the ghosts of predators past.
Byers's provocative hypothesis will stimulate behavioral ecologists and mammalogists to consider whether other species' adaptations are also haunted by selective pressures from predators past. The book will also find a ready audience among evolutionary biologists and paleontologists.
Since its first publication in 1988, America's Neighborhood Bats has changed the way we look at bats by underscoring their harmless and beneficial nature. In this second revised edition, Merlin Tuttle offers bat aficionados the most up-to-date bat facts, including a wealth of new information on bat house design and current threats to bat survival.
Living amniotes—including all mammals, birds, crocodilians, snakes, and turtles—comprise an extraordinarily varied array of more than 21,000 species. Found in every major habitat on earth, they possess a truly remarkable range of morphological, ecological, and behavioral adaptations. The fossil record of amniotes extends back three hundred million years and reveals much about modern biological diversity of form and function.
A collaborative effort of twenty-four researchers, Amniote Paleobiology presents thirteen new and important scientific perspectives on the evolution and biology of this familiar group. It includes new discoveries of dinosaurs and primitive relatives of mammals; studies of mammalian chewing and locomotion; and examinations of the evolutionary process in plesiosaurs, mammals, and dinosaurs. Emphasizing the rich variety of analytical techniques available to vertebrate paleontologists—from traditional description to multivariate morphometrics and complex three-dimensional kinematics—Amniote Paleobiology seeks to understand how species are related to each other and what these relationships reveal about changes in anatomy and function over time. A timely synthesis of modern contributions to the field of evolutionary studies, Amniote Paleobiology furthers our understanding of this diverse group.
In nature, the ability to defend against predators is fundamental to an animal's survival. From the giraffes that rely on their spotted coats to blend into the patchy light of their woodland habitats to the South American sea lions that pile themselves in heaps to ward off the killer whales that prey on them in the shallow surf, defense strategies in the animal kingdom are seemingly innumerable.
In Antipredator Defenses in Birds and Mammals, Tim Caro ambitiously synthesizes predator defenses in birds and mammals and integrates all functional and evolutionary perspectives on antipredator defenses that have developed over the last century. Structured chronologically along a hypothetical sequence of predation—Caro evokes a gazelle fawn desperate to survive a cheetah attack to illustrate the continuum of the evolution of antipredator defenses—Antipredator Defenses in Birds and Mammals considers the defenses that prey use to avoid detection by predators; the benefits of living in groups; morphological and behavioral defenses in individuals and groups; and, finally, flight and adaptations of last resort.
Antipredator Defenses in Birds and Mammals will be of interest to both specialists and general readers interested in ecological issues.
Heavily illustrated with color photographs, Arkansas Mammals is the comprehensive guide to the state’s mammal population. Endangered or threatened species of mammals and missing species known to have been present in recent times are discussed, along with non-native species that have become an important part of the mammal fauna in Arkansas and adjacent states.
"This is the most comprehensive manual written on natural dyes since the early 1800s. Jim Liles has rescued ancient skills from near-extinction and shared them in a book that will inspire, challenge, and guide the modern dyer."—Rita Buchanan, author of A Weaver's Garden, and editor of the new Brooklyn Botanic Gardens Handbook on Natural Dyes
" . . . a must for every dyer. The recipes are explicit and detailed as to success and failure."—Mary Frances Davidson
For several thousand years, all dyes were of animal, vegetable, or mineral origin, and many ancient civilizations possessed excellent dye technologies. The first synthetic dye was produced in 1856, and the use of traditional dyes declined rapidly thereafter. By 1915 few non-synthetics were used by industry or craftspeople. The craft revivals of the 1920s explored traditional methods of natural dyeing to some extent, particularly with wool, although the great eighteenth- and nineteenth-century dye manuals, which recorded the older processes, remained largely forgotten.
In The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing, J. N. Liles consolidates the lore of the older dyers with his own first-hand experience to produce both a history of natural dyes and a practical manual for using pre–synthetic era processes on all the natural fibers--cotton, linen, silk, and wool. A general section on dyeing and mordanting and a glossary introduce the beginner to dye technology. In subsequent chapters, Liles summarizes the traditional dye methods available for each major color group. Scores of recipes provide detailed instructions on how to collect ingredients--flowers, weeds, insects, wood, minerals--prepare the dyevat, troubleshoot, and achieve specific shades.
The book will appeal not only to beginning and veteran dyers but to students of restorations and reconstruction as well as to craftspeople--spinners, quilters, weavers, knitters, and other textile artists--interested in natural dyes for their beauty and historical authenticity.
The Author: J. N. Liles is professor of zoology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He has taught at Arrowmont School and other regional craft schools and has exhibited his work at the Arrowmont School, the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild Folk Art Center, and the Carol Reece Museum.
An Atlas of Cat Anatomy
Hazel E. Field and Mary E. Taylor University of Chicago Press, 1969 Library of Congress QL737.C23F5 1969 | Dewey Decimal 599.74428
An Atlas of Cat Anatomy can help a student learn twice as much as he could in the same amount of time using only a written description. The book is spiral bound and stands like an easel, taking a minimum amount of space in the work area. Altogether there are fifty-seven plates featuring the various parts and organ systems in their actual size, making identification remarkably easy. A brief verbal description accompanies each plate. In addition, the extensive glossary includes synonymous terms, derivations, definitions, and keys to pronunciation.