Library
Gabbertoons
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1,225 Items
Last Updated:
May 6, 2014
"Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!": Adventures of a Curious Character
Richard P. Feynman, Ralph Leighton, Edward HutchingsThe outrageous exploits of one of this century's greatest scientific minds and a legendary American original. In this phenomenal national bestseller, the Nobel Prize­-winning physicist Richard P. Feynman recounts in his inimitable voice his adventures trading ideas on atomic physics with Einstein and Bohr and ideas on gambling with Nick the Greek, painting a naked female toreador, accompanying a ballet on his bongo drums and much else of an eyebrow-raising and hilarious nature.
"T. rex" and the Crater of Doom
Walter AlvarezSixty-five million years ago, a comet or asteroid larger than Mt. Everest slammed into the Earth, causing an explosion equivalent to the detonation of a hundred million hydrogen bombs. Vaporized impactor and debris from the impact site were blasted out through the atmosphere, falling back to Earth all around the globe. Terrible environmental disasters ensued, including a giant tsunami, continent-scale wildfires, darkness, and cold, followed by sweltering greenhouse heat. When conditions returned to normal, half the genera of plants and animals on Earth had perished.

This horrific story is now widely accepted as the solution to a great scientific murder mystery what caused the extinction of the dinosaurs? In T. rex and the Crater of Doom, the story of the scientific detective work that went into solving the mystery is told by geologist Walter Alvarez, one of the four Berkeley scientists who discovered the first evidence for the giant impact. It is a saga of high adventure in remote parts of the world, of patient data collection, of lonely intellectual struggle, of long periods of frustration ended by sudden breakthroughs, of intense public debate, of friendships made or lost, of the exhilaration of discovery, and of delight as a fascinating story unfolded.

Controversial and widely attacked during the 1980s, the impact theory received confirmation from the discovery of the giant impact crater it predicted, buried deep beneath younger strata at the north coast of the Yucatán Peninsula. The Chicxulub Crater was found by Mexican geologists in 1950 but remained almost unknown to scientists elsewhere until 1991, when it was recognized as the largest impact crater on this planet, dating precisely from the time of the great extinction sixty-five million years ago. Geology and paleontology, sciences that long held that all changes in Earth history have been calm and gradual, have now been forced to recognize the critical role played by rare but devastating catastrophes like the impact that killed the dinosaurs.
The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution
Richard DawkinsThe renowned biologist and thinker Richard Dawkins presents his most expansive work yet: a comprehensive look at evolution, ranging from the latest developments in the field to his own provocative views. Loosely based on the form of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Dawkins's Tale takes us modern humans back through four billion years of life on our planet. As the pilgrimage progresses, we join with other organisms at the forty "rendezvous points" where we find a common ancestor. The band of pilgrims swells into a vast crowd as we join first with other primates, then with other mammals, and so on back to the first primordial organism.
Dawkins's brilliant, inventive approach allows us to view the connections between ourselves and all other life in a bracingly novel way. It also lets him shed bright new light on the most compelling aspects of evolutionary history and theory: sexual selection, speciation, convergent evolution, extinction, genetics, plate tectonics, geographical dispersal, and more. The Ancestor's Tale is at once a far-reaching survey of the latest, best thinking on biology and a fascinating history of life on Earth. Here Dawkins shows us how remarkable we are, how astonishing our history, and how intimate our relationship with the rest of the living world.
Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior
Temple Grandin, Catherine JohnsonI don't know if people will ever be able to talk to animals the way Doctor Doolittle could, or whether animals will be able to talk back. Maybe science will have something to say about that. But I do know people can learn to "talk" to animals, and to hear what animals have to say, better than they do now. —From Animals in Translation

Why would a cow lick a tractor? Why are collies getting dumber? Why do dolphins sometimes kill for fun? How can a parrot learn to spell? How did wolves teach man to evolve? Temple Grandin draws upon a long, distinguished career as an animal scientist and her own experiences with autism to deliver an extraordinary message about how animals act, think, and feel. She has a perspective like that of no other expert in the field, which allows her to offer unparalleled observations and groundbreaking ideas.

People with autism can often think the way animals think, putting them in the perfect position to translate "animal talk." Grandin is a faithful guide into their world, exploring animal pain, fear, aggression, love, friendship, communication, learning, and, yes, even animal genius. The sweep of Animals in Translation is immense and will forever change the way we think about animals.

*includes a Behavior and Training Troubleshooting Guide   Among its provocative ideas, the book:
argues that language is not a requirement for consciousness—and that animals do have consciousnessapplies the autism theory of "hyper-specificity" to animals, showing that animals and autistic people are so sensitive to detail that they "can't see the forest for the trees"—a talent as well as a "deficit"explores the "interpreter" in the normal human brain that filters out detail, leaving people blind to much of the reality that surrounds them—a reality animals and autistic people see, sometimes all too clearlyexplains how animals have "superhuman" skills: animals have animal geniuscompares animals to autistic savants, declaring that animals may in fact be autistic savants, with special forms of genius that normal people do not possess and sometimes cannot even seeexamines how humans and animals use their emotions to think, to decide, and even to predict the future reveals the remarkable abilities of handicapped people and animals maintains that the single worst thing you can do to an animal is to make it feel afraid
Annals of the Former World
John McPheeThe Pulitzer Prize-winning view of the continent, across the fortieth parallel and down through 4.6 billion years

Twenty years ago, when John McPhee began his journeys back and forth across the United States, he planned to describe a cross section of North America at about the fortieth parallel and, in the process, come to an understanding not only of the science but of the style of the geologists he traveled with. The structure of the book never changed, but its breadth caused him to complete it in stages, under the overall title Annals of the Former World.

Like the terrain it covers, Annals of the Former World tells a multilayered tale, and the reader may choose one of many paths through it. As clearly and succinctly written as it is profoundly informed, this is our finest popular survey of geology and a masterpiece of modern nonfiction.   Annals of the Former World is the winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction.
Aquagenesis: The Origin and Evolution of Life in the Sea
Richard EllisLife on earth began in the sea, and in this tour de force of natural history, authority on marine biology and illustrator Richard Ellis chronicles more than three billion years of aquatic history. From the first microbes and jawless fishes that evolved into the myriad species we know today - sharks, whales, dolphins, and, of course, humans - Ellis reveals the deep evolutionary mysteries of the sea. Encyclopaedic in scope and complemented by more than sixty drawings, AQUAGENESIS is a fascinating work that will astonish readers with the wonder, richness, and complexity of the evolution of life.
Arthur C.Clarke's Chronicles of the Strange and Mysterious
John Fairley, Simon Welfare, Arthur C. Clarke
Basin and Range
John McPheeThe first of John McPhee’s works in his series on geology and geologists, Basin and Range is a book of journeys through ancient terrains, always in juxtaposition with travels in the modern world—a history of vanished landscapes, enhanced by the histories of people who bring them to light. The title refers to the physiographic province of the United States that reaches from eastern Utah to eastern California, a silent world of austere beauty, of hundreds of discrete high mountain ranges that are green with junipers and often white with snow. The terrain becomes the setting for a lyrical evocation of the science of geology, with important digressions into the plate-tectonics revolution and the history of the geologic time scale.
Bee
Claire Preston"How doth the little busy bee improve each shining hour / and gather honey all the day from every opening flower!" This famed Isaac Watts verse reveals the enduring fascination that bees have held for humans: bees have long been admired for their remarkable socialization and architectural skills, and since the earliest times they have carried profound symbolic meanings. Claire Preston's Bee offers a comprehensive survey of the natural and cultural history of the bee and explores the impressive body of literature that has grown out of man's search for honey.

Bee traces the bee's role in art, politics, and social thought, drawing on scientific studies, literature, and historical texts. The volume examines the evolution of the bee's cultural image from a symbol of virtue and civility to the dangerous swarms of killer bees in Hollywood horror flicks. From ancient political analogies to Renaissance debates about monarchy to studies of bee behavior that portend ominous conclusions for our own socialization and use of technology, Bee analyzes the complex connections between the bee and human culture.
Written with energy and enthusiasm, Bee offers an original and fascinating meditation on this tiny workaholic.
Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man
Mark KurlanskyBreak out the TV dinners! From the author who gave us Cod, Salt, and other informative bestsellers, the first biography of Clarence Birdseye, the eccentric genius inventor whose fast-freezing process revolutionized the food industry and American agriculture.
The Boilerplate Rhino: Nature in the Eye of the Beholder
David QuammenIn 1981 David Quammen began what might be every freelance writer's dream: a monthly column for Outside magazine in which he was given free rein to write about anything that interested him in the natural world. His column was called "Natural Acts," and for the next fifteen years he delighted Outside's readers with his fascinating ruminations on the world around us. The Boilerplate Rhino brings together twenty-six of Quammen's most thoughtful and engaging essays from that column, none previously printed in any of his earlier books.
In lucid, penetrating, and often quirkily idiosyncratic prose, David Quammen takes his readers with him as he explores the world. His travels lead him to rattlesnake handlers in Texas; a lizard specialist in Baja; the dinosaur museum in Jordan, Montana; and halfway across Indonesia in search of the perfect Durian fruit. He ponders the history of nutmeg in the southern Moluccas, meditates on bioluminescent beetles while soaking in the waters of the Amazon, and delivers "The Dope on Eggs" from a chicken ranch near his hometown in Montana.
Quammen's travels are always jumping-off points to explore the rich and sometimes horrifying tension between humankind and the natural world, in all its complexity and ambivalence. The result is another irrepressible assortment of ideas to explore, conundrums to contemplate, and wondrous creatures to behold.
The Cat: History, Biology, and Behavior
Muriel Beadle1977 Simon & Schuster, 4th printing. Cat lovers unite! A complete compendium of information about domestic cats, from temperamental differences among breeds to climbing trees.
Cold: Adventures in the World's Frozen Places
Bill StreeverFrom avalanches to glaciers, from seals to snowflakes, and from Shackleton's expedition to "The Year Without Summer," Bill Streever journeys through history, myth, geography, and ecology in a year-long search for cold—real, icy, 40-below cold. In July he finds it while taking a dip in a 35-degree Arctic swimming hole; in September while excavating our planet's ancient and not so ancient ice ages; and in October while exploring hibernation habits in animals, from humans to wood frogs to bears.

A scientist whose passion for cold runs red hot, Streever is a wondrous guide: he conjures woolly mammoth carcasses and the ice-age Clovis tribe from melting glaciers, and he evokes blizzards so wild readers may freeze—limb by vicarious limb.
Cosmos
Carl - Producer Sagan1980 3rd printing hardcover with dust jacket as shown. Tight spine, clear crisp pages, gift inscription on first blank page otherwise no interior writing, no tears, smokefree. Jacket is price clipped, light edgewear in new archival jacket cover..
Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness
Lyanda Lynn HauptThere are more crows now than ever. Their abundance is both a sign of ecological imbalance and a generous opportunity to connect with the animal world. CROW PLANET is a call to experience the wildlife in our midst, reminding us that we don't have to head to faraway places to encounter "nature." Even in the cities and suburbs where we live we are surrounded by wildlife such as crows. Through observing them we enhance our appreciation of the world's natural order, and find our own place in it.

Haupt, a trained naturalist, uses science, scholarly research, myth, and personal observation to draw readers into the "crow stories" that unfold around us every day, culminating in book that transforms the way we experience our neighborhoods and our world.
The Dawn of the Deed: The Prehistoric Origins of Sex
John A. LongWe all know about the birds and the bees, but what about the ancient placoderm fishes and the dinosaurs? The history of sex is as old as life itself—and as complicated and mysterious. And despite centuries of study there is always more to know. In 2008, paleontologist John A. Long and a team of researchers revealed their discovery of a placoderm fish fossil, known as “the mother fish,” which at 380 million years old revealed the oldest vertebrate embryo—the earliest known example of internal fertilization. As Long explains, this find led to the reexamination of countless fish fossils and the discovery of previously undetected embryos. As a result, placoderms are now considered to be the first species to have had intimate sexual reproduction or sex as we know it—sort of.   Inspired by this incredible find, Long began a quest to uncover the paleontological and evolutionary history of copulation and insemination. In The Dawn of the Deed, he takes readers on an entertaining and lively tour through the sex lives of ancient fish and exposes the unusual mating habits of arthropods, tortoises, and even a well-endowed (16.5 inches!) Argentine Duck. Long discusses these significant discoveries alongside what we know about reproductive biology and evolutionary theory, using the fossil record to provide a provocative account of prehistoric sex. The Dawn of the Deed also explores fascinating revelations about animal reproduction, from homosexual penguins to monogamous seahorses to the difficulties of dinosaur romance and how sexual organs in ancient shark-like fishes actually relate to our own sexual anatomy.  The Dawn of the Deed is Long’s own story of what it’s like to be a part of a discovery that rewrites evolutionary history as well as an absolutely rollicking guide to sex throughout the ages in the animal kingdom. It’s natural history with a naughty wink.
The Descent of the Child: Human Evolution From a New Perspective
Elaine MorganWhy are chimp babies skinny, while human babies are so fat they float? As humans developed greater intelligence—and increased cranial capacity—how did babies and mothers adapt to increased fetal brain size? And how did humans develop our unique intelligence. Elaine Morgan, an internationally bestselling science writer known for her iconoclastic take on evolutionary theory, addresses these questions and more in The Descent of the Child, an intriguing and controversial look at human evolution from the point of view of infant development.
Beginning with the assertion that much of our thinking about human evolution exercises an unconscious bias—that we envision an archetypal human being as an adult—Morgan sets out to explain why human infants evolved in the way they did. We are often told how, in the course of a million years, adults acquired increased dexterity, adaptability, intelligence, and powers of communication. We are seldom reminded that over the same period infants became more helpless, more vulnerable, and more inert. Morgan focuses on the relationship between these two facts as she develops a stunning theory of the origins of human intelligence she argues that our capacity for intelligence is a byproduct of evolving babyhood. Uniquely among primates, homo sapiens are born with considerable struggle, emerge wholly helpless, and continue to be dependent for a long time afterwards—only their eyes, faces, and vocal cords work. They don't know that they're not always going to be like that, Morgan posits, but, bent on survival, they try to manipulate their parents or other caregivers to do things that the babies can't do for themselves. (For instance, they'll cry for food, and only human babies continue crying after being picked up, sending a strong message not to be so remiss next time.) These early struggles, according to Morgan, provide our formative intellectual activity. It is in infancy that we really learn to think and to question.
In her much debated earlier works, Morgan has championed the controversial Aquatic Ape Theory of human evolution against the widely accepted Savannah Theory. The Descent of the Child takes her further into the fray with a provocative new argument adding new evidence to support AAT even as she explores such urgent topics as conception and infertility, the maturation of the fetus, child rearing and parental roles, overpopulation, and a woman's place in society. This fascinating book should be read by parents (both new and soon to be) as well as anyone interested in child development or human evolution.
The Descent of Woman: The Classic Study of Evolution
Elaine MorganThis pioneering work, originally published in 1972, was the first to argue irrefutably the equal role of women in human evolution.
A Devil's Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love
Richard DawkinsThe first collection of essays from renowned scientist and best-selling author Richard Dawkins.

 

Richard Dawkins's essays are an enthusiastic testament to the power of rigorous, scientific examination, and they span many different corners of his personal and professional life. He revisits the meme, the unit of cultural information that he named and wrote about in his groundbreaking work The Selfish Gene. He makes moving tributes to friends and colleagues, including a eulogy for novelist Douglas Adams; he shares correspondence with the evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould; and he visits with the famed paleoanthropologists Richard and Maeve Leakey at their African wildlife preserve. He concludes the essays with a vivid note to his ten-year-old daughter, reminding her to remain curious, to ask questions, and to live the examined life.
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
Sam KeanThe Periodic Table is one of man's crowning scientific achievements. But it's also a treasure trove of stories of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. The infectious tales and astounding details in THE DISAPPEARING SPOON follow carbon, neon, silicon, and gold as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, the arts, poison, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them.

We learn that Marie Curie used to provoke jealousy in colleagues' wives when she'd invite them into closets to see her glow-in-the-dark experiments. And that Lewis and Clark swallowed mercury capsules across the country and their campsites are still detectable by the poison in the ground. Why did Gandhi hate iodine? Why did the Japanese kill Godzilla with missiles made of cadmium? And why did tellurium lead to the most bizarre gold rush in history?

From the Big Bang to the end of time, it's all in THE DISAPPEARING SPOON.
The Diversity of Life by Wilson,Edward O.. [1999,2nd Edition.] Paperback
Wilson
The Domestic Cat: The Biology of its Behaviour
Dennis C. Turner, Patrick BatesonHumans have lived with cats for thousands of years, and there are now more cats kept in Western households than any other animal. Cherished as companions and valued as rodent catchers, their enigmatic behavior has intrigued and bewildered us for generations. While accepting the comforts of human homes, cats do seem to "walk by themselves." Although loved for their independence and self-reliance, myths and fables surround them, leaving them open to persecution and misunderstanding. Covering all types of cats from pampered pets to feral hunters, this completely revised new edition of The Domestic Cat shows how cats live and behave in a variety of circumstances and surroundings. With new chapters on welfare issues, and cat-cat communication, this volume penetrates the enigma that is Felis catus, sorting fact from fiction, and helping both the general reader and the specialist in animal behavior or veterinary science to understand cats as they really are.
Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation: The Definitive Guide to the Evolutionary Biology of Sex
Olivia Judson“Delightful . . . Easy to understand and hard to resist, it’s sex education at its prime—accurate, comprehensive, and hilarious.” —Newsweek

An uproarious and authoritative natural history in the form of letters to and answers from the preeminent sexpert in all creation, this bestselling guidebook to sex reveals, for example, when necrophilia is acceptable, how to have a virgin birth, and when to eat your lover. It also advises on more mundane matters—such as male pregnancy and the joys of a detachable penis.

At once entertaining and wise, Dr. Tatiana (a.k.a. Olivia Judson) fuses natural history with advice to the lovelorn, blends wit and rigor, and reassures her anxious correspondents that although the acts they describe might sound appalling and unnatural, they are all perfectly normal—so long as you are not a human. In the process, she explains the science behind it all, from Darwin’s theory of sexual selection to why sexual reproduction exists at all. By applying human standards to the natural world, in the end she reveals the wonders of both.
Drawn from Paradise: The Natural History, Art and Discovery of the Birds of Paradise with Rare Archival Art
David Attenborough, Errol FullerOriginally perceived and idolized by the natives of New Guinea and discovered by Europeans in the sixteenth century, birds of paradise have long enchanted observers with their extraordinary beauty. In Drawn from Paradise, world renowned BBC broadcaster David Attenborough and artist and author Errol Fuller share their passion for these breathtaking creatures, offering bird lovers and nature aficionados an enthralling collection of interesting facts and stunningly beautiful, very rare hand-painted images of some of the most exotic winged creatures in the world.
The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms
Amy Stewart“Engrossing” (The Christian Science Monitor), “fascinating” (TimeOut New York), “delightfully nuanced” (Entertainment Weekly), “terrific” (New York Newsday), “inspiring” (Bust magazine). “You know a book is good when you actually welcome one of those howling days of wind and sleet that makes going out next to impossible” (The New York Times).

The Earth Moved has moved reviewers across the country. In witty, offbeat style, Amy Stewart takes us on a subterranean adventure and introduces us to our planet’s most important gatekeeper: the humble earthworm. It’s true that the earthworm is small, spineless, and blind, but its effect on the ecosystem is profound,moving Charles Darwin to devote his last years to studying its remarkable attributes and achievements.

With the august scientist as her inspiration, Stewart investigates the earthworm’s astonishing realm, talks to oligochaetologists who have devoted their lives to unearthing the complex web of life beneath our feet, and observes the thousands of worms in her own garden. Stewart’s “ease in gliding from worms to plants to humans will remind readers of John McPhee’s essays on canoes, oranges, the geology of America” (Providence Journal). “Stewart’s book paddles along in [Rachel] Carson’s wake. Read her book and you’ll start to see how the rhododendron bed in front of your house is a kind of Mars for frontier science” (The Boston Globe).
The Earwig's Tail: A Modern Bestiary of Multi-legged Legends
May R. BerenbaumThroughout the Middle Ages, enormously popular bestiaries presented people with descriptions of rare and unusual animals, typically paired with a moral or religious lesson. The real and the imaginary blended seamlessly in these books—at the time, the existence of a rhinoceros was as credible as a unicorn or dragon. Although audiences now scoff at the impossibility of mythological beasts, there remains an extraordinary willingness to suspend skepticism and believe wild stories about nature, particularly about insects and their relatives in the Phylum Arthropoda.

In The Earwig’s Tail, entomologist May Berenbaum and illustrator Jay Hosler draw on the powerful cultural symbols of these antiquated books to create a beautiful and witty bestiary of the insect world. Berenbaum’s compendium of tales is an alphabetical tour of modern myths that humorously illuminates aerodynamically unsound bees, ear-boring earwigs, and libido-enhancing Spanish flies. She tracks down the germ of scientific truth that inspires each insect urban legend and shares some wild biological lessons, which, because of the amazing nature of the insect world, can be more fantastic than even the mythic misperceptions.
The Eternal Frontier: An Ecological History of North America and Its Peoples
Tim FlanneryIn The Eternal Frontier, world-renowned scientist and historian Tim Flannery tells the unforgettable story of the geological and biological evolution of the North American continent, from the time of the asteroid strike that ended the age of dinosaurs 65 million years ago, to the present day. Flannery describes the development of North America's deciduous forests and other flora, and tracks the immigration and emigration of various animals to and from Europe, Asia, and South America, showing how plant and animal species have either adapted or become extinct. The story takes in the massive changes wrought by the ice ages and the coming of the Indians, and continues right up to the present, covering the deforestation of the Northeast, the decimation of the buffalo, and other facets of the enormous impact of frontier settlement and the development of the industrial might of the United States. Natural history on a monumental scale, The Eternal Frontier contains an enormous wealth of fascinating scientific details, and Flannery's accessible and dynamic writing makes the book a delight to read. This is science writing at its very best — a riveting page-turner that is simultaneously an accessible and scholarly trove of incredible information that is already being hailed by critics as a classic. "Tim Flannery's account ... will fascinate Americans and non-Americans alike." — Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel "No one before Flannery ... has been brave enough to tackle the whole pageant of North America." — David Quammen, the New York Times Book Review "Tim Flannery's book will forever change your perspective on the North American continent ... Exhilarating." — John Terborgh, The New York Review of Books "Full of engaging and attention-catching information about North America's geology, climate, and paleontology." — Patricia Nelson Limerick, the Washington Post Book World "Natural history par excellence." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "This gutsy Aussie may have read our landscape and ecological history with greater clarity than any native son." — David A. Burney, Natural History "A fascinating, current, and insightful look at our familiar history from a larger perspective." — David Bezanson, Austin-American Statesman "The scope of [Flannery's] story is huge, and his research exhaustive." — Lauren Gravitz, The Christian Science Monitor
Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea
Carl ZimmerThis dazzling companion volume to one the most important series in PBS history tells the compelling story of the theory of evolution — from Darwin to twenty-first-century science.

Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species was breathtaking, beautifully written, staunchly defended, defiantly radical. Yet it emerged long before paleontologists and geologists worked out the chronology of life on Earth, long before biologists uncovered the molecules that underlie heredity and natural selection. Not until the late twentieth century was the true scope of its power revealed.

This remarkable new book, featuring more than 150 color illustrations, presents a rich and up-to-date view of evolution that explores the far-reaching implications of Darwin's theory and emphasizes the power, significance, and relevance of evolution to our lives today. After all, we ourselves are the product of evolution, and we can tackle many of our gravest challenges — from the lethal resurgence of antibiotic-resistant diseases to the wave of extinctions that looms before us — with a sound understanding of the science. It can help us see our lives in connection to everything that has come before and to every form of life on Earth today.

Filled with rich narrative, award-winning science writing, and the most up-to-date information on topics ranging from Darwinian medicine and sexual selection to the origins of language, evolutionary psychology, and the controversies surrounding creationism, Evolution tells in riveting detail the story of a remarkable scientific journey, from the emergence to the triumph of an idea.
The Flamingo's Smile Reflections in Natural Histry
Stephen Jay Gould
The formation of vegetable mould through the action of worms
Charles DarwinThis is an electronic edition of the complete book complemented by author biography. This book features the table of contents linked to every chapter and section. The book was designed for optimal navigation on PDA, Smartphone, and other electronic readers. It is formatted to display on all electronic devices including Kindle, Smartphones and other Mobile Devices with a small display. More e-Books from MobileReference - Best Books. Best Price. Best Search and Navigation (TM) All fiction books are only $0.99. All collections are only $5.99Designed for optimal navigation on Kindle and other electronic devices Search for any title: enter mobi (shortened MobileReference) and a keyword; for example: mobi ShakespeareTo view all books, click on the MobileReference link next to a book title Literary Classics: Over 10,000 complete works by Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Mark Twain, Conan Doyle, Jules Verne, Dickens, Tolstoy, and other authors. All books feature hyperlinked table of contents, footnotes, and author biography. Books are also available as collections, organized by an author. Collections simplify book access through categorical, alphabetical, and chronological indexes. They offer lower price, convenience of one-time download, and reduce clutter of titles in your digital library. Religion: The Illustrated King James Bible, American Standard Bible, World English Bible (Modern Translation), Mormon Church's Sacred Texts Philosophy: Rousseau, Spinoza, Plato, Aristotle, Marx, Engels Travel Guides and Phrasebooks for All Major Cities: New York, Paris, London, Rome, Venice, Prague, Beijing, Greece Medical Study Guides: Anatomy and Physiology, Pharmacology, Abbreviations and Terminology, Human Nervous System, Biochemistry College Study Guides: FREE Weight and Measures, Physics, Math, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Statistics, Languages, Philosophy, Psychology, Mythology History: Art History, American Presidents, U.S. History, Encyclopedias of Roman Empire, Ancient Egypt Health: Acupressure Guide, First Aid Guide, Art of Love, Cookbook, Cocktails, Astrology Reference: The World's Biggest Mobile Encyclopedia; CIA World Factbook, Illustrated Encyclopedias of Birds, Mammals
Fossils: The History of Life
Richard ForteyThis updated edition of the highly successful volume, created in conjunction with London’s Natural History Museum, has all the strengths of the original…and more. Completely redesigned and revised, it now features two fascinating new sections that reflect the contemporary state of the field: “How to Recognize Fossils” and “Molecular Paleontology.” Readers will find this a straightforward, fascinating, and highly attractive introduction to fossils, their study, and their use in reconstructing the history of the earth.

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The Founding Fish
John McPheeA long-awaited new book by the nonfiction master, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Few fish are as beloved-or as obsessed over-as the American shad. Although shad spend most of their lives in salt water, they enter rivers by the hundreds of thousands in the spring and swim upstream heroic distances in order to spawn, then return to the ocean.

John McPhee is a shad fisherman, and his passion for the annual shad run has led him, over the years, to learn much of what there is to know about the fish known as Alosa sapidissima, or "most savory." In The Founding Fish McPhee makes of his obsession a work of literary art. In characteristically bold and spirited prose-inflected, here and there, with wry humor-McPhee places the fish within natural history and American history. He explores the fish's cameo role in the lives of William Penn, Washington, Jefferson, Thoreau, Lincoln, and John Wilkes Booth. He travels with various ichthyologists, including a fish behaviorist and an anatomist of fishes; takes instruction in the making of shad darts from a master of the art; and cooks shad and shad roe a variety of ways (delectably explained at the end of the book). Mostly, though, McPhee goes fishing for shad-standing for hours in the Delaware River in stocking waders and cleated boots, or gently bumping over rapids in a chocolate-colored Kevlar canoe. His adventures in the pursuit of shad occasion the kind of writing, at once expert and ardent, in which he has no equal.
From So Simple a Beginning: Darwin's Four Great Books
Charles Darwin, Edward O. WilsonHailed as "superior" by Nature, this landmark volume is  available in a collectible, boxed edition.Never before have the four great works of Charles Darwin—Voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle (1845), The Origin of Species (1859), The Descent of Man (1871), and The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals (1872)—been collected under one cover. Undertaking this challenging endeavor 123 years after Darwin's death, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Edward O. Wilson has written an introductory essay for the occasion, while providing new, insightful introductions to each of the four volumes and an afterword that examines the fate of evolutionary theory in an era of religious resistance. In addition, Wilson has crafted a creative new index to accompany these four texts, which links the nineteenth-century, Darwinian evolutionary concepts to contemporary biological thought. Beautifully slipcased, and including restored versions of the original illustrations, From So Simple a Beginning turns our attention to the astounding power of the natural creative process and the magnificence of its products. 101 illustrations
The Global Pigeon
Colin JerolmackThe pigeon is the quintessential city bird. Domesticated thousands of years ago as a messenger and a source of food, its presence on our sidewalks is so common that people consider the bird a nuisance—if they notice it at all. Yet pigeons are also kept for pleasure, sport, and profit by people all over the world, from the "pigeon wars" waged by breeding enthusiasts in the skies over Brooklyn to the Million Dollar Pigeon Race held every year in South Africa.
Drawing on more than three years of fieldwork across three continents, Colin Jerolmack traces our complex and often contradictory relationship with these versatile animals in public spaces such as Venice's Piazza San Marco and London's Trafalgar Square and in working-class and immigrant communities of pigeon breeders in New York and Berlin. By exploring what he calls "the social experience of animals," Jerolmack shows how our interactions with pigeons offer surprising insights into city life, community, culture, and politics. Theoretically understated and accessible to interested readers of all stripes, The Global Pigeon is one of the best and most original ethnographies to be published in decades.
Green Porno: A Book and Short Films by Isabella Rossellini
Isabella RosselliniDeep down in the ocean, strange things happen, acts of love that are unfamiliar to the human eye: Anchovies mate in large orgies; shrimp strip down to get in the mood; starfish can do it two different ways; whales fight to make love.

Inspired by the wonderfully odd and humorous short films created by Isabella Rossellini and released on DVD for the first time, Green Porno offers a visually arresting and scientifically accurate look at the sex lives of marine animals and other creatures. This book will make you see the animal kingdom as you never have before.
Heat: Adventures in the World's Fiery Places
Bill StreeverAn adventurous ride through the most blisteringly hot regions of science, history, and culture.

Melting glaciers, warming oceans, droughts-it's clear that today's world is getting hotter. But while we know the agony of a sunburn or the comfort of our winter heaters, do we really understand heat?

A bestselling scientist and nature writer who goes to any extreme to uncover the answers, Bill Streever sets off to find out what heat really means. Let him be your guide and you'll firewalk across hot coals and sweat it out in Death Valley, experience intense fever and fire, learn about the invention of matches and the chemistry of cooking, drink crude oil, and explore thermonuclear weapons and the hottest moment of all time-the big bang.

Written in Streever's signature spare and refreshing prose, HEAT is an adventurous personal narrative that leaves readers with a new vision of an everyday experience-how heat works, its history, and its relationship to daily life.
Heavenly Knowledge An Astrophysicist Seeks Wisdom in the Stars
Fiorella Terenzi"I enthusiastically embrace the fabulous new discoveries of astrophysics, but I do not want to stop there. I want these discoveries to swim in our imaginations, to open our hearts to new ways of thinking and feeling about life, about men and women, about catastrophes and rituals. I want us all to hear how the music of the spheres resonates with the music of our hearts."

With these words, Dr. Fiorella Terenzi launches readers on a thrilling, emotional and empowering journey that extends from the farthest reaches of space to the innermost secrets of the soul. No one can better serve as inspirational teacher and guide on this very personal expedition to humanity s place in the universe. Internationally renowned both as an astrophysicist and a recording artist, Dr. Terenzi performed the first experiment in acoustic astronomy—translating radio waves from distant galaxies into audible sound. She leads a new movement blending science and art, knowledge and emotion.

Dr. Terenzi shows that most of us have heretofore contemplated only portions of the majesty of the cosmos. In HEAVENLY KNOWLEDGE, she presents clear and accessible scientific facts, then goes much farther she also makes unique connections between the way we live our daily lives and the vast universe that surrounds us. Through her telescope, Dr. Terenzi brings to life a sensual universe where comets roar through space, spreading life like the process of human reproduction; the hidden galactic core becomes a metaphor for self-knowledge; and dying stars act out great truths of being, nothingness, and rebirth.
Hens Teeth & Horses Toes
Stephen Jay Gould"Lively and fascinating. . . . [Gould] writes beautifully about science and the wonders of nature."-Tracy Kidder Over a century after Darwin published the Origin of Species, Darwinian theory is in a "vibrantly healthy state," writes Stephen Jay Gould, its most engaging and illuminating exponent. Exploring the "peculiar and mysterious particulars of nature," Gould introduces the reader to some of the many and wonderful manifestations of evolutionary biology.
The Honey Bee
James L. Gould, Carol Grant Gould" The Honey Bee is for anyone. It is written in an extremely readable and involving way and presents very clearly the exciting story of unravelling the only other complex language in the animal kingdom, apart from our own. Who knows, there may be 'Goulds' in the bee world trying to explain what we do!" New Scientist
Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms: The Story of the Animals and Plants That Time Has Left Behind
Richard ForteyFrom one of the world’s leading natural scientists and the acclaimed author of Trilobite!, Life: A Natural History of Four Billion Years of Life on Earth and Dry Storeroom No. 1 comes a fascinating chronicle of life’s history told not through the fossil record but through the stories of organisms that have survived, almost unchanged, throughout time. Evolution, it seems, has not completely obliterated its tracks as more advanced organisms have evolved; the history of life on earth is far older—and odder—than many of us realize.
 
Scattered across the globe, these remarkable plants and animals continue to mark seminal events in geological time. From a moonlit beach in Delaware, where the hardy horseshoe crab shuffles its way to a frenzy of mass mating just as it did 450 million years ago, to the dense rainforests of New Zealand, where the elusive, unprepossessing velvet worm has burrowed deep into rotting timber since before the breakup of the ancient supercontinent, to a stretch of Australian coastline with stromatolite formations that bear witness to the Precambrian dawn, the existence of these survivors offers us a tantalizing glimpse of pivotal points in evolutionary history. These are not “living fossils” but rather a handful of tenacious creatures of days long gone.
 
Written in buoyant, sparkling prose, Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms is a marvelously captivating exploration of the world’s old-timers combining the very best of science writing with an explorer’s sense of adventure and wonder.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Rebecca SklootHer name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.

Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.

Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia—a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo—to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells.

Henrietta’s family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family—past and present—is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.

Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family—especially Henrietta’s daughter Deborah, who was devastated to learn about her mother’s cells. She was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Did it hurt her when researchers infected her cells with viruses and shot them into space? What happened to her sister, Elsie, who died in a mental institution at the age of fifteen? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn’t her children afford health insurance? 
          
Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.
In Search of Deep Time: Beyond the Fossil Record to a New History of Life
Henry GeeCladistics is the non-hierarchical way of understanding the history of life. It is the science of comparison. In Ordinary Time, we can understand the history of life as a succession of generations, but in Deep Time, in the vast stretches of millions of years, there are only a few scattered fossils to guide us. It is almost impossible to determine which fossil came first, or second, or third. For instance, could the earliest known bird, Archaeopteryx, have evolved to flight independently from other birds? The cladistic revolution has reinvented the scientific history of the world by comparing fossils in a way that allows us to predict what a particular original common ancestor was, even what its DNA was, without the straightjacket of a hierarchical tree of life.

Henry Gee, who was on the scene in London while the revolution was taking place in the 1980s, takes us to the real Jurassic Park where scientists are trying to identify our common ancestors. He also shows that this breakthrough will be our guide to life on another planet. Further, when we populate other planets and split into a multitude of new species, cladistics will define what it truly means to be human. And in the meantime, In Search of Deep Time will bring to the world the essential tools for understanding areas as diverse as whether birds evolved from dinosaurs and the curing of bizarre new viruses.
In the Shadow of Man
Jane Lawick-Goodall1971 3rd printing Delta Dell Publishing trade paperback. Tight spine, clear crisp pages, no writing, no tears, light edgewear, smokefree. Code 440-04113 Original price $3.95. Different cover than shown.
Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know
Alexandra HorowitzThe answers will surprise and delight you as Alexandra Horowitz, a cognitive scientist, explains how dogs perceive their daily worlds, each other, and that other quirky animal, the human. Horowitz introduces the reader to dogs’ perceptual and cognitive abilities and then draws a picture of what it might be like to be a dog. What’s it like to be able to smell not just every bit of open food in the house but also to smell sadness in humans, or even the passage of time? How does a tiny dog manage to play successfully with a Great Dane? What is it like to hear the bodily vibrations of insects or the hum of a fluorescent light? Why must a person on a bicycle be chased? What’s it like to use your mouth as a hand? In short, what is it like for a dog to experience life from two feet off the ground, amidst the smells of the sidewalk, gazing at our ankles or knees?

Inside of a Dog explains these things and much more. The answers can be surprising—once we set aside our natural inclination to anthropomorphize dogs. Inside of a Dog also contains up-to-the-minute research—on dogs’ detection of disease, the secrets of their tails, and their skill at reading our attention—that Horowitz puts into useful context.

Although not a formal training guide, Inside of a Dog has practical application for dog lovers interested in understanding why their dogs do what they do. With a light touch and the weight of science behind her, Alexandra Horowitz examines the animal we think we know best but may actually understand the least. This book is as close as you can get to knowing about dogs without being a dog yourself.
Kraken: The Curious, Exciting, and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid
Wendy WilliamsKraken is the traditional name for gigantic sea monsters, and this book introduces one of the most charismatic, enigmatic, and curious inhabitants of the sea: the squid. The pages take the reader on a wild narrative ride through the world of squid science and adventure, along the way addressing some riddles about what intelligence is, and what monsters lie in the deep. In addition to squid, both giant and otherwise, Kraken examines other equally enthralling cephalopods, including the octopus and the cuttlefish, and explores their otherworldly abilities, such as camouflage and bioluminescence. Accessible and entertaining, Kraken is also the first substantial volume on the subject in more than a decade and a must for fans of popular science.

Praise for KRAKEN: The Curious, Exciting, and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid 

"Williams writes with a deft, supple hand as she surveys these spindly, extraordinary beasts and their world. She reminds us that the known world might be considerably larger than in the days of the bestiary-makers, but there is still room for wonder and strangeness."
-Los Angeles Times.com

"Williams's account of squid, octopuses, and other cephalopods abounds with both ancient legend and modern science." 
-Discover 

"[Exposes squid's] eerie similarities to the human species, down to eye structure and the all-important brain cell, the neuron." 
-New York Post 

"just the right mix of history and science" 
-ForeWord Reviews

"Kraken is an engaging and expansive biography of a creature that sparks our imagination and stimulates our curiosity. It's a perfect blend of storytelling and science." 
-Vincent Pieribone, author of Aglow in the Dark

KRAKEN extracts pure joy, intellectual exhilaration, and deep wonder from the most unlikely of places—squid. It is hard to read Wendy Williams's luminous account and not feel the thrill of discovery of the utterly profound connections we share with squid and all other living things on the planet. With wit, passion, and skill as a storyteller, Williams has given us a beautiful window into our world and ourselves. —Neil Shubin, author of the national bestseller "Your Inner Fish" 

Wendy William's KRAKEN weaves vignettes of stories about historical encounters with squid and octopus, with stories of today's scientists who are captivated by these animals. Her compelling book has the power to change your world-view about these creatures of the sea, while telling the gripping, wholly comprehensible story of the ways in which these animals have changed human medical history. —Mark J. Spalding, President, The Ocean Foundation
Lapham`s Quarterly - Animals - Vol. 6 #2
Lewis LaphamIncludes - John James Audubon,Rudyard Kipling,Aesop & more.
Lapham's Quarterly - Food - Vol. IV #3 - Summer 2011
Lewis H. LaphamOne of the world's most prominent arts & literature journals. The issues are loaded with reproductions and excerpts of key works. This issue centers on food.
Lapham's Quarterly - Intoxication - Vol. 1, #1 - Winter 2013
Lewis H. Lapham
Life at Small Scale: The Behavior of Microbes
David B. DusenberyOur world is swarming with invisible organisms - bacteria and fungi that affect their hosts and environments in diverse ways. This text looks at the mysterious microscopic world of microbes and investigates how they behave, and why. It tells stories of how scientists have discovered the laws of behaviour of the world of microbes, including the principles of locomotion, navigation, survival, reproduction and communication. In addition, the text relates the behaviour of bacteria and other microbes to our more familiar world and shows their impact on our lives.
Life Is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition
Wendell BerryOne of America's most respected and celebrated writers provides a thought-provoking analysis of, and a concise rebuttal of, E. O. Wilson's Consilience. "[A] scathing assessmentBerry shows that Wilson's much-celebrated, controversial pleas in Consilience to unify all branches of knowledge is nothing more than a fatuous subordination of religion, art, and everything else that is good to scienceBerry is one of the most perceptive critics of American society writing today. "-Lauren F. Winner, Washington Post Book World"I am tempted to say he understands [Consilience] better than Wilson himselfA new emancipation proclamation in which he speaks again and again about how to defy the tyranny of scientific materialism. "-Colin C. Campbell, Christian Science Monitor"Berry takes a wrecking ball to E. O. Wilson's Consilience, reducing its smug assumptions regarding the fusion of science, art, and religion to so much rubble. "-Kirkus ReviewsIn Life Is a Miracle, the devotion of science to the quantitative and reductionist world is measured against the mysterious, qualitative suggestions of religion and art. Berry sees life as the collision of these separate forces, but without all three in the mix we are left at sea in the world.
Life on Earth: A Natural History
David AttenboroughIn this unique book, David Attenborough has undertaken nothing less than a history of nature, from the emergence of tiny one-celled organisms in the primeval slime more than 3,000 million years ago to apelike but upright man, equally well adapted to life in the rain forest of New Guinea and the glass canyons of a modern metropolis. Told through an examination of animal and plant life today - with occasional juxtapositions of extinct fossil forms to reveal the origin of living creatures - "Life on Earth" is an astonishing pageant of life, with a cast of characters drawn from the whole range of living animals the world over. Attenborough's perceptive, dynamic approach to the evolution of some four million species of living organisms that populate the planet is to trace the most significant thread in the history of each major group. He then proceeds to explain from the evidence of living representatives and fossil remains why certain animals adapted and survived, evolved to more complex and "higher" forms of life, while others, by some inherent limitation imposed by their physiology or structure, failed and became extinct. "Life on Earth" is a book of wonders. A model of clarity and ease as a guide, Attenborough takes the reader around the world with him into jungles where orchids have petals that "impersonate" wasps to attract pollenizing insects; to Australia, where honeypot ants forcefeed nectar to workers of a special caste, then hang them up by their forelegs like living storage jars; to remote mountains in Japan where little monkeys called macaques have learned to combat the winter snows by bathing in hot volcanic springs.
Life: A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth
Richard ForteyA New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

"Extraordinary. . . . Anyone with the slightest interest in biology should read this book."—The New York Times Book Review

"A marvelous museum of the past four billion years on earth—capacious, jammed with treasures, full of learning and wide-eyed wonder."—The Boston Globe

From its origins on the still-forming planet to the recent emergence of Homo sapiens—one of the world's leading paleontologists offers an absorbing account of how and why life on earth developed as it did. Interlacing the tale of his own adventures in the field with vivid descriptions of creatures who emerged and disappeared in the long march of geologic time, Richard Fortey sheds light upon a fascinating array of evolutionary wonders, mysteries, and debates. Brimming with wit, literary style, and the joy of discovery, this is an indispensable book that will delight the general reader and the scientist alike.

"A drama bolder and more sweeping than Gone with the Wind . . . a pleasure to read."—Science

"A beautifully written and structured work . . . packed with lucid expositions of science."—Natural History
The Lives of a Cell
Lewis Thomas
The Living Planet: A Portrait of the Earth
David Attenborough
The Lying Stones of Marrakech: Penultimate Reflections in Natural History
Stephen Jay GouldIn his latest collection of essays, bestselling scientist Stephen Jay Gould once again offers his unmistakable perspective on natural history and the people who have tried to make sense of it. Gould is planning to bring down the curtain on his nearly thirty-year stint as a monthly essayist for Natural History magazine, the longest-running series of scientific essays in history. This, then, is the next-to-last essay collection from one of the most acclaimed and widely read scientists of our time. In this work of twenty-three essays, selected by Booklist as one of the top ten science and technology books of 2000, Gould covers topics as diverse as episodes in the birth of paleontology to lessons from Britain’s four greatest Victorian naturalists. The Lying Stones of Marrakech presents the richness and fascination of the various lives that have fueled the enterprise of science and opened our eyes to a world of unexpected wonders.
The Medusa and the Snail: More Notes of a Biology Watcher
Lewis ThomasREVIEW by Andrew Parker (Toronto, Ontario Canada) This review is from: The Medusa and the Snail: More Notes of a Biology Watcher (Paperback) This collection of essays has held a special place on my shelf and in my heart for many years. I return to it often for both the ideas and the wonderful sense of life that Lewis Thomas injects into his writing. I have read other reviews here questioning both the scientific value of these essays and the author's scientific creditials. As for the latter - this man has been a doctor, a field researcher, a lab director, a professor, the dean of Yale medical school, President of the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and member of the Presidential Science Advisory Board. If you have an issue with these credentials your standards are a little too high. To speak of the scientific value of this book is difficult. Lewis Thomas didn't write like Steven Jay Gould, with clear theses, dates and names and cited research. He is more like Douglas Hofstadter. (if this comparison helps) I imagine that Lewis Thomas wrote these essays late at night after a day filled with details and the reductionism of modern science. These essays are the antithesis of what his days must have entailed. What we find on paper here are both the whimsical musisngs and deepest thoughts of a brilliant man whose whole life was devoted to practicing and teaching science. He writes beautifully, with humour, zest, and a sense of wonder that I find endlessly captivating. His love of the natural world is infectious. Please read this book. Of all the science books I've read (I have two science degrees) and all the fiction I've read, this book continues to inspire, teach, and amaze me.
Microbiology: An Introduction, 9th Edition
Gerard J. Tortora, Berdell R. Funke, Christine L. CaseWith this Ninth Edition, the “Number One” best-selling non-majors microbiology text extends its trusted and reliable approach with improved disease chapters that feature efficient new “Disease in Focus” boxes, a thoroughly revised immunity chapter (17), new options for the Microbiology Place website/CD-Rom, and a new Media Manager instructor presentation package with 30 multi-step animations.  Fundamentals of Microbiology: The Microbial World and You, Chemical Principles, Observing Microorganisms Through a Microscope, Functional Anatomy of Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells, Microbial Metabolism, Microbial Growth, The Control of Microbial Growth, Microbial Genetics,  Biotechnology and Recombinant DNA.  A Survey of the Microbial World: Classification of Microorganisms, The Prokaryotes: Domains Bacteria and Archaea, The Eukaryotes: Fungi, Algae, Protozoa, and Helminths,  Viruses, Viroids, and Prions. Interaction Between Microbe and Host: Principles of Disease and Epidemiology, Microbial Mechanisms of Pathogenicity, Innate Immunity: Nonspecific Defenses of the Host, Adaptive Immunity: Specific Defenses of the Host,  Practical Applications of Immunology,  Disorders Associated with the Immune System,  Antimicrobial Drugs. Microorganisms and Human Disease:  Microbial Diseases of the Skin and Eyes, Microbial Diseases of the Nervous System,  Microbial Diseases of the Cardiovascular and Lymphatic Systems,  Microbial Diseases of the Respiratory System,  Microbial Diseases of the Digestive System,  Microbial Diseases of the Urinary and Reproductive Systems. Environmental and Applied Microbiology: Environmental Microbiology,  Applied and Industrial Microbiology. For all readers interested in microbiology concepts and applications.
Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds
Bernd HeinrichHeinrich involves us in his quest to get inside the mind of the raven. But as animals can only be spied on by getting quite close, Heinrich adopts ravens, thereby becoming a "raven father," as well as observing them in their natural habitat. He studies their daily routines, and in the process, paints a vivid picture of the ravens' world. At the heart of this book are Heinrich's love and respect for these complex and engaging creatures, and through his keen observation and analysis, we become their intimates too.

Heinrich's passion for ravens has led him around the world in his research. Mind of the Raven follows an exotic journey—from New England to Germany, and from Montana to Baffin Island in the high Arctic—offering dazzling accounts of how science works in the field, filtered through the eyes of a passionate observer of nature. Each new discovery and insight into raven behavior is thrilling to read, at once lyrical and scientific.
Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author,Who Went in Search of Them
Donovan HohnA compulsively readable narrative of whimsy and curiosity- "adventurous, inquisitive, and brightly illuminating" (Janet Maslin, The New York Times).

When the writer Donovan Hohn heard of the mysterious loss of thousands of bath toys at sea, he figured he would interview a few oceanographers, talk to a few beachcombers, and read up on Arctic science and geography. But questions can be like ocean currents: wade in too far, and they carry you away. Hohn's accidental odyssey pulls him into the secretive arena of shipping conglomerates, the daring work of Arctic researchers, the lunatic risks of maverick sailors, and the shadowy world of Chinese toy factories. Moby-Duck is a journey into the heart of the sea and an adventure through science, myth, the global economy, and some of the worst weather imaginable.
My Beloved Brontosaurus: On the Road with Old Bones, New Science, and Our Favorite Dinosaurs
Brian Switek<>

<>One of Publishers Weekly’s Top Ten Spring Science Books

</></><>Selected by Apple’s iBookstore as one of the best books of April

</>Dinosaurs, with their awe-inspiring size, terrifying claws and teeth, and otherworldly abilities, occupy a sacred place in our childhoods. They loom over museum halls, thunder through movies, and are a fundamental part of our collective imagination. In My Beloved Brontosaurus, the dinosaur fanatic Brian Switek enriches the childlike sense of wonder these amazing creatures instill in us. Investigating the latest discoveries in paleontology, he breathes new life into old bones.

Switek reunites us with these mysterious creatures as he visits desolate excavation sites and hallowed museum vaults, exploring everything from the sex life of Apatosaurus and T. rex’s feather-laden body to just why dinosaurs vanished. (And of course, on his journey, he celebrates the book’s titular hero, “Brontosaurus”—who suffered a second extinction when we learned he never existed at all—as a symbol of scientific progress.)

With infectious enthusiasm, Switek questions what we’ve long held to be true about these beasts, weaving in stories from his obsession with dinosaurs, which started when he was just knee-high to a Stegosaurus. Endearing, surprising, and essential to our understanding of our own evolution and our place on Earth, My Beloved Brontosaurus is a book that dinosaur fans and anyone interested in scientific progress will cherish for years to come.
No Turning Back: The Life and Death of Animal Species
Richard EllisA noted naturalist's fascinating inquiry into the life and death of animal species

Just about every species that has ever lived on earth is extinct. The trilobites, which dominated the ocean floors for 300 million years, are gone. The last of the dinosaurs was wiped out by a Mount Everest-sized meteorite that slammed into the earth 65 million years ago. The great flying reptiles are gone, and so are the marine reptiles, some of them larger than a humpback whale. Before humans crossed the Bering land bridge some 15,000 years ago, North America was populated by mastodons, mammoths, saber-toothed tigers, and cave bears. They too are MIA. Passenger pigeons once flew over North America in flocks that numbered in the billions; the last one died in 1914.

In this book you will meet creatures that were driven to extinction even more recently, as well as some that were brought back from the brink. You will even encounter animals not known to exist until recently — an antidote to extinction.
Oxygen: The Molecule that Made the World
Nick LaneIn Oxygen, Nick Lane takes the reader on an enthralling journey as he unravels the unexpected ways in which oxygen spurred the evolution of life and death. He shows how oxygen underpins the origin of biological complexity, the birth of photosynthesis, the sudden evolution of animals, the need for two sexes, the accelerated aging of cloned animals like Dolly the sheep, and the surprisingly long lives of bats and birds. Drawing on this grand evolutionary canvas, Oxygen offers fresh perspectives on our own lives and deaths, explaining modern killer diseases, why we age, and what we can do about it. Advancing revelatory new ideas, following chains of evidence, the book ranges through many disciplines, from environmental sciences to molecular medicine. The result is a captivating vision of contemporary science and a humane synthesis of our place in nature. This remarkable book will redefine the way we think about the world.
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void
Mary RoachThe best-selling author of Stiff and Bonk explores the irresistibly strange universe of space travel and life without gravity.Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can’t walk for a year? have sex? smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour? To answer these questions, space agencies set up all manner of quizzical and startlingly bizarre space simulations. As Mary Roach discovers, it’s possible to preview space without ever leaving Earth. From the space shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA’s new space capsule (cadaver filling in for astronaut), Roach takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth.
Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures
Carl ZimmerIn this re-issued paperback edition with a new epilogue, Carl Zimmer reveals the power, danger, and beauty of parasites in “a book capable of changing how we see the world” ( Los Angeles Times ).

For centuries, parasites have lived in nightmares, horror stories, and the darkest shadows of science. In Parasite Rex, Carl Zimmer takes readers on a fantastic voyage into the secret universe of these extraordinary life-forms—which are not only among the most highly evolved on Earth, but make up the majority of life’s diversity. Traveling from the steamy jungles of Costa Rica to the parasite-riddled war zone of southern Sudan, Zimmer introduces an array of amazing creatures that invade their hosts, prey on them from within, and control their behavior. His vivid descriptions bring to life parasites that can change DNA, rewire the brain, make men more distrustful and women more outgoing, and turn hosts into the living dead.

This comprehensive, gracefully written book brings parasites out into the open and uncovers what they can teach us all about the most fundamental survival tactics in the universe—the laws of Parasite Rex.
The Physics of Superheroes
James KakaliosJames Kakalios explores the scientific plausibility of the powers and feats of the most famous superheroes — and discovers that in many cases the comic writers got their science surprisingly right. Along the way he provides an engaging and witty commentary while introducing the lay reader to both classic and cutting-edge concepts in physics, including:What Superman’s strength can tell us about the Newtonian physics of force, mass, and accelerationHow Iceman’s and Storm’s powers illustrate the principles of thermal dynamicsThe physics behind the death of Spider-Man’s girlfriend Gwen StacyWhy physics professors gone bad are the most dangerous evil geniuses!
Pigeons: The Fascinating Saga of the World's Most Revered and Reviled Bird
Andrew D. BlechmanPigeons have been worshipped as fertility goddesses and revered as symbols of peace. Domesticated since the dawn of man, they’ve been used as crucial communicators in war by every major historical superpower from ancient Egypt to the United States and are credited with saving thousands of lives. Charles Darwin relied heavily on pigeons to help formulate and support his theory of evolution. Yet today they are reviled as “rats with wings.” Author Andrew D. Blechman traveled across the United States and Europe to meet with pigeon fanciers and pigeon haters in a quest to find out how we came to misunderstand one of mankind’s most helpful and steadfast companions. Pigeons captures a Brooklyn man’s quest to win the Main Event (the pigeon world’s equivalent of the Kentucky Derby), as well as a convention dedicated to breeding the perfect bird. Blechman participates in a live pigeon shoot where entrants pay $150; he tracks down Mike Tyson, the nation’s most famous pigeon lover; he spends time with Queen Elizabeth’s Royal Pigeon Handler; and he sheds light on a radical “pro-pigeon underground’ in New York City. In Pigeons, Blechman tells for the first time the remarkable story behind this seemingly unremarkable bird.
Planet Earth / The Blue Planet: Seas of Life
David AttenboroughBBC natural history producer Alastair Fothergill spent the last ten years producing two of the most stunningly beautiful series ever created, The Blue Planet: Seas of Life and Planet Earth. For the first time, these must-own programs will be offered together in special collector's gift set. Winner of two Emmy(R) Awards (Outstanding Cinematography - Non-Fiction and Outstanding Music Composition for George Fenton's score), The Blue Planet: Seas of Life is the definitive exploration of the marine world, chronicling the mysteries of the deep, coastline populations, sea mammals, tidal and climatic influences, and the complete biological system that relies on and revolves around the world's oceans. Planet Earth does for the entire world what The Blue Planet: Seas of Life did for the oceans. Using high definition photography and revolutionary ultra-high speed cameras, this is the ultimate portrait of our planet. This truly breathtaking television experience captures rare action, impossible locations and intimate moments with our planet's best-loved, wildest and most elusive creatures.
The Planet in a Pebble: A journey into Earth's deep history
Jan ZalasiewiczThis is the story of a single pebble. It is just a normal pebble, as you might pick up on holiday - on a beach in Wales, say. Its history, though, carries us into abyssal depths of time, and across the farthest reaches of space.

This is a narrative of the Earth's long and dramatic history, as gleaned from a single pebble. It begins as the pebble-particles form amid unimaginable violence in distal realms of the Universe, in the Big Bang and in supernova explosions and continues amid the construction of the Solar System. Jan Zalasiewicz shows the almost incredible complexity present in such a small and apparently mundane object. Many events in the Earth's ancient past can be deciphered from a pebble: volcanic eruptions; the lives and deaths of extinct animals and plants; the alien nature of long-vanished oceans; and transformations deep underground, including the creations of fool's gold and of oil.

Zalasiewicz demonstrates how geologists reach deep into the Earth's past by forensic analysis of even the tiniest amounts of mineral matter. Many stories are crammed into each and every pebble around us. It may be small, and ordinary, this pebble - but it is also an eloquent part of our Earth's extraordinary, never-ending story.
The Planets
Dava SobelWith her bestsellers Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, Dava Sobel introduced readers to her rare gift for weaving complex scientific concepts into a compelling narrative. Now Sobel brings her full talents to bear on what is perhaps her most ambitious topic to date-the planets of our solar system. Sobel explores the origins and oddities of the planets through the lens of popular culture, from astrology, mythology, and science fiction to art, music, poetry, biography, and history. Written in her characteristically graceful prose, The Planets is a stunningly original celebration of our solar system and offers a distinctive view of our place in the universe.

* A New York Times extended bestseller
* A Featured Alternate of the Book-of-the-Month Club, History Book Club, Scientific American Book Club, and Natural Science Book Club
* Includes 11 full-color illustrations by artist Lynette R. Cook BACKCOVER: "[The Planets] lets us fall in love with the heavens all over again."
-The New York Times Book Review

"Playful . . . lyrical . . . a guided tour so imaginative that we forget we're being educated as we're being entertained."
-Newsweek

" [Sobel] has outdone her extraordinary talent for keeping readers enthralled. . . . Longitude and Galileo's Daughter were exciting enough, but The Planets has a charm of its own . . . . A splendid and enticing book."
-San Francisco Chronicle

"A sublime journey. [Sobel's] writing . . . is as bright as the sun and its thinking as star-studded as the cosmos."
-The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"An incantatory serenade to the Solar System. Grade A-"
-Entertainment Weekly

"Like Sobel's [Longitude and Galileo's Daughter] . . . [The Planets] combines masterful storytelling with clear, engaging explanations of the essential scientific facts."
-Physics World
The Rarest of the Rare: Vanishing Animals, Timeless Worlds
Diane AckermanAckerman journeys in search of monarch butterflies and short-tailed albatrosses, monk seals and golden lion tamarin monkeys: the world's rarest creatures and their vanishing habitats. She delivers a rapturous celebration of other species that is also a warning to our own. Traveling from the Amazon rain forest to a forbidding island off the coast of Japan, enduring everything from broken ribs to a beating by an irate seal, Ackerman reveals her subjects in all their splendid particularity. She shows us how they feed, mate, and migrate. She eavesdrops on their class and courtship dances. She pays tribute to the men and women hwo have deoted their lives to saving them.
Rat: How the World's Most Notorious Rodent Clawed Its Way to the Top
Jerry LangtonFrom its origins in the swamps of Southeast Asia to its role in the medieval Black Death to its unshakeable niche in modern urban centers, the rat has incredible evolutionary advantages. Combining biology with history, and social commentary with firsthand experience, Rat dispels the myths and exposes the little-known facts about the ubiquitous rodent.

Plague carrier, city vermin, and an out-and-out menace to modern man, the rat, like death and taxes, is a certain fixture in humankind’s history. Rats are found in virtually every nook and cranny of the globe and their numbers are ever increasing. Rats are always adapting and they seem to outwit any attempts by humans to wipe them out. What makes the rat such a worthy adversary and how has it risen to the top of the animal kingdom? 

• Rats have been discovered living in meat lockers. The rats in there simply grew longer hair, fatter bodies, and nested in the carcasses they fed upon.
• A female rat can, under good conditions, have well over 100,000 babies in her lifetime.
• A rat can fall fifty feet onto pavement and skitter away unharmed.
• A rat’s jaws can exert a force more than twenty times as powerful as a human’s.
• The front side of a rat’s incisors are as hard as some grades of steel.

In Rat: How the World’s Most Notorious Rodent Clawed Its Way to the Top, Jerry Langton explores the history, myth, physiology, habits, and psyche of the rat and even speculates on the future of the rat and how they might evolve over the next few hundred years.
Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants
Robert SullivanThoreau went to Walden Pond to live simply in the wild and contemplate his own place in the world by observing nature. Robert Sullivan went to a disused, garbage-filled little alley in lower Manhattan to contemplate the city and its lesser-known inhabitants-by observing the rat.

Rats live in the world precisely where humans do; they survive on the effluvia of human society; they eat our garbage. While dispensing gruesomely fascinating rat facts and strangely entertaining rat-stories-everyone has one, it turns out-Sullivan gets to know not just the beast but its friends and foes: the exterminators, the sanitation workers, the agitators and activists who have played their part in the centuries-old war between human city dweller and wild city rat. With a notebook and night-vision gear, he sits nightly in the streamlike flow of garbage and searches for fabled rat-kings, sets out to trap a rat, and eventually travels to the Midwest to learn about rats in Chicago, Milwaukee, and other cities of America. With tales of rat fights in the Gangs of New York era and stories of Harlem rent strike leaders who used rats to win tenants basic rights, Sullivan looks deeper and deeper into the largely unrecorded history of the city and its masses-its herd-of-rats-like mob. Funny, wise, sometimes disgusting but always compulsively readable, Rats earns its unlikely place alongside the great classics of nature writing.

Did you know?

- 26% of all electric cable breaks and 18% of all phone cable disruptions are caused by rats, 25% of all fires of unknown origin are rat-caused, and rats destroy an estimated 1/3 of the world's food supply each year. The rat has been called the world's most destructive mammal-other than man.

- Male and female rats may have sex twenty times a day. A female can produce up to twelve litters of twenty rats a year: one pair of rats has the potential for 15,000 descendants in a year.
Riddled with Life: Friendly Worms, Ladybug Sex, and the Parasites That Make Us Who We Are
Marlene ZukWe treat disease as our enemy. Germs and infections are things we battle. But what if we’ve been giving them a bum rap?

From the earliest days of life on earth, disease has evolved alongside us. And its presence isn't just natural but is also essential to our health. Drawing on the latest research, Zuk answers a fascinating range of questions about disease: Why do men die younger than women? Why are we attracted to our mates? Why does the average male bird not have a penis? Why do we—as well as insects, birds, pigs, cows, goats, and even plants—get STDs? Why do we have sex at all, rather than simply splitting off copies of ourselves like certain geckos? And how is our obsession with cleanliness making us sicker?

In this witty, engaging book, evolutionary biologist Zuk makes us rethink our instincts as she argues that disease is our partner, not our foe. Reconsider the fearsome parasite!
The Scars of Evolution
Elaine MorganWhen Elaine Morgan wrote The Descent of Woman in 1972, it sent shock waves around the world, and is now widely regarded as a key work on human evolution, and essential to any discussion of women's place in society. Now, with The Scars of Evolution, Morgan offers a pioneering look just where it was our earliest ancestors came from, and the legacy—not always advantageous—that they left us. As she sets out to solve one of the enduring riddles of our origins—to discover the evolutionary path that separated us from the rest of the animals—Morgan shows that many of the theories currently accepted by scientists cannot explain our unique features: they leave too many questions unanswered.
Millions of years ago, something happened to our ape ancestors that did not happen to the forebears of gorillas and chimpanzees, something that made them walk on two legs, lose their fur, sweat, develop larger brains, and learn to speak. While scientists have visited many a dig and studied many a fossil for clues, Elaine Morgan argues that all of the facts about our mysterious origins are right in front of us—in the form of fundamental flaws in the human design. Our propensity to suffer from lower back pain, obesity, varicose veins, acne, even infant death syndrome, is essentially the result of a cataclysmic event in our distant past.
Scientists have long observed that our spines were not made for upright walking. Yet natural selection—the basic tenet of evolutionary theory—dictates that enduring changes to a species occur because of the need to adapt to changes in the environment. While thousands of working hours are lost each year to "bad backs," at some point long ago it must have been an advantage to walk on two legs. The most common theory is that we became bipedal while hunting on the African savannah, needing our arms free for weapons, using an upright stance to see enemies from afar. But as Morgan points out, animals need more speed on the savannah, both for pursuit and flight, than two legs can offer. Her explanation: bipedalism emerged from life in an aquatic environment due to the flooding of the African rift valley millennia ago. The apes that suddenly found themselves stranded in swamp land (a swamp that remained for thousands of years) had to walk upright to keep from drowning. The human tendency toward obesity was once not an unsightly health problem, but rather a lifesaving form of insulation, one present in all aquatic mammals. And as Morgan carefully considers all of our other uniquely human traits—our relative hairlessness, our ability to control our breathing, our inability to maintain proper salt levels—a compelling case emerges for our human origins in a watery environment.
Lively, controversial, and presented with a brilliant logic, The Scars of Evolution will change the way you think about the world—and our place in it.
The Secret Family: Twenty-Four Hours Inside the Mysterious World of Our Minds and Bodies
David BodanisEver wonder what's in your morning orange juice — and what happens once you drink it? Ever think about the millions of bacteria that thrive on your skin, even after a shower or bath? Curious about the effects of dieting on your body, a fast-food meal, or a passionate kiss? The Secret Family provides the sometimes unsettling, always enlightening answers. Full of amazing, full-color photographs that magnify our everyday companions — from the Vitamin C we consume in the morning to the creatures who share our pillows at night — and Bodanis's witty and stylish reporting, this is an "inside story" that will appeal to every member of the family.
The Secret Garden: Dawn to Dusk in the Astonishing Hidden World of the Garden
David BodanisIn a tour de force of science writing, Bodanis takes us through the daylight hours in an ordinary garden and introduces us to a Darwinian epic of survival played out invisibly around us and beneath our feet. The lively text is enhanced by state-of-the-art microphotography as in his acclaimed The Secret House, which The New York Times called "astounding".
The Secret House: The Extraordinary Science of an Ordinary Day
David BodanisIn E=mc2, David Bodanis took the life's work of one of history's greatest geniuses and made it "astonishingly understandable" (Parade) to the everyday reader. Now he takes the reader through an average day in and around an average house, showing us the fascinating science beneath the surface-from the static between radio stations, to the millions of pillow mites that snuggle up with us every night, from the warm electric fields wrapped around a light bulb filament, to what really makes the garden roses red. With wit, whimsy, and delightful detail, David Bodanis explains it all in ordinary words—on an extraordinary tour...
The Secret Life of Dust: From the Cosmos to the Kitchen Counter, the Big Consequences of Little Things
Hannah HolmesWhat got me started on dust? The little subject suggested itself rather forcefully. A few years ago I was on assignment in Mongolia's Gobi Desert, writing about a dinosaur expedition. The pink-orange clouds of dust that billowed over the desert floor were impossible to ignore. The whirling specks invaded my eyes and nose. They infiltrated the pages of my books. They invaded the depths of my sleeping bag.... Since the day I stood in the Gobi Desert and contemplated the population of dust in the sky, I've come to see the air as a medium and dust as the message.... One purpose of this book is to help readers learn to decipher some of the messages in the air. Our planet sometimes seems too enormous to really comprehend. But perhaps tuning in to the news bulletins issued by some of the planet's smallest reporters can give us a better sense of hos things are going for the whole. Second, I'd be honored if I were able to introduce the reader to his own personal dusts. Never mind that each of us is constantly enveloped in a haze of our own skin flakes and disintegrating clothing. In addition to that cloud each match we strike, each light-switch we flick, and each mile we drive causes more dust to rise into the air. Taken in global quantities, our personal puffs of dust have planet-size consequences. —- excerpts from book's Introduction
The Selfish Gene
Richard DawkinsRichard Dawkins' brilliant reformulation of the theory of natural selection has the rare distinction of having provoked as much excitement and interest outside the scientific community as within it. His theories have helped change the whole nature of the study of social biology, and have forced thousands of readers to rethink their beliefs about life.
In his internationally bestselling, now classic volume, The Selfish Gene, Dawkins explains how the selfish gene can also be a subtle gene. The world of the selfish gene revolves around savage competition, ruthless exploitation, and deceit, and yet, Dawkins argues, acts of apparent altruism do exist in nature. Bees, for example, will commit suicide when they sting to protect the hive, and birds will risk their lives to warn the flock of an approaching hawk.
This revised edition of Dawkins' fascinating book contains two new chapters. One, entitled "Nice Guys Finish First," demonstrates how cooperation can evolve even in a basically selfish world. The other new chapter, entitled "The Long Reach of the Gene," which reflects the arguments presented in Dawkins' The Extended Phenotype, clarifies the startling view that genes may reach outside the bodies in which they dwell and manipulate other individuals and even the world at large. Containing a wealth of remarkable new insights into the biological world, the second edition once again drives home the fact that truth is stranger than fiction.
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Bill BrysonOne of the world’s most beloved and bestselling writers takes his ultimate journey—into the most intriguing and intractable questions that science seeks to answer.

In A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson trekked the Appalachian Trail—well, most of it. In A Sunburned Country, he confronted some of the most lethal wildlife Australia has to offer. Now, in his biggest book, he confronts his greatest challenge: to understand—and, if possible, answer—the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. To that end, he has attached himself to a host of the world’s most advanced (and often obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, travelling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. He has read (or tried to read) their books, pestered them with questions, apprenticed himself to their powerful minds. A Short History of Nearly Everything is the record of this quest, and it is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it. Science has never been more involving or entertaining.
Shrinking the Cat: Genetic Engineering Before We Knew About Genes
Sue HubbellWe humans have been tinkering with genes for a long, long time. In Shrinking the Cat, Sue Hubbell shows how this tinkering is the definition of humanness by telling the stories of four important species we created. She tells how we made cats easier to live with by making them smaller and their brains less complicated, taking out much of the alertness that natural selection had packed in. How ancient farmers turned a wild grass into corn, a tremendously important crop that can't live without us. How silkworms were smuggled from China to the West and bred to be completely dependent on us. How silk traders picked up wild apples in their travels and how we manipulated the apple's complex genetics to grow only the best-tasting ones - and then made them taste worse. Today's tools are new, but we were engineering genes even before we knew about them, and we made some mistakes along the way. For example, the gypsy moths that regularly defoliate trees arrived through efforts to breed silkworms suitable to North America.
Genetic engineering is controversial today. Some see it as a source of great benefit and great profits; others see it as a nightmare. Sue Hubbell shows that if we ignore our own history, pretending that genetic engineering is something completely new and dangerous, we are condemned to repeat the mistakes of the past.
Snowball Earth: The Story of the Great Global Catastrophe That Spawned Life as We Know It
Gabrielle WalkerDid the Earth once undergo a super ice age, one that froze the entire planet from the poles to the equator? In Snowball Earth, gifted writer Gabrielle Walker has crafted an intriguing global adventure story, following maverick scientist Paul Hoffman’s quest to prove a theory so audacious and profound that it is shaking the world of earth sciences to its core.

In lyrical prose that brings each remote and alluring locale vividly to life, Walker takes us on a thrilling natural history expedition to witness firsthand the supporting evidence Hoffman has pieced together. That evidence, he argues, shows that 700 million years ago the Earth did indeed freeze over completely, becoming a giant “snowball,” in the worst climatic catastrophe in history. Even more startling is his assertion that, instead of ending life on Earth, this global deep freeze was the trigger for the Cambrian Explosion, the hitherto unexplained moment in geological time when a glorious profusion of complex life forms first emerged from the primordial ooze.

In a story full of intellectual intrigue, we follow the irascible but brilliant Hoffman and a supporting cast of intrepid geologists as they scour the planet, uncovering clue after surprising clue. We travel to a primeval lagoon at Shark Bay in western Australia, where dolphins cavort with swimmers every morning at seven and “living rocks” sprout out of the water like broccoli heads; to the desolate and forbidding ice fields of a tiny Arctic archipelago seven hundred miles north of Norway; to the surprising fossil beds that decorate Newfoundland’s foggy and windswept coastline; and on to the superheated salt pans of California’s Death Valley.

Through the contours of these rich and varied landscapes Walker teaches us to read the traces of geological time with expert eyes, and we marvel at the stunning feats of resilience and renewal our remarkable planet is capable of. Snowball Earth is science writing at its most gripping and enlightening.
The Spider
John Crompton
The Sun: A Biography
David WhitehouseThis is a comprehensive biography of the sun, written by leading BBC journalist David Whitehouse. Since man first became conscious he has sought to understand the nature of the sun; he has worshipped it, been inspired to produce great art about it, researched it and even died for it. Understanding the nature of the sun is key to understanding our universe and to life on earth. Whitehouse skilfully weaves his extraordinary scientific knowledge with history, philosophy, archaeology and religion to produce this fascinating account of the life and future of the sun.
The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies
Bert Hölldobler, Edward O. WilsonThe Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of The Ants render the extraordinary lives of the social insects in this visually spectacular volume.The Superorganism promises to be one of the most important scientific works published in this decade. Coming eighteen years after the publication of The Ants, this new volume expands our knowledge of the social insects (among them, ants, bees, wasps, and termites) and is based on remarkable research conducted mostly within the last two decades. These superorganisms—a tightly knit colony of individuals, formed by altruistic cooperation, complex communication, and division of labor—represent one of the basic stages of biological organization, midway between the organism and the entire species. The study of the superorganism, as the authors demonstrate, has led to important advances in our understanding of how the transitions between such levels have occurred in evolution and how life as a whole has progressed from simple to complex forms. Ultimately, this book provides a deep look into a part of the living world hitherto glimpsed by only a very few.

110 color, 100 black-and-white
Terrible Lizard: The First Dinosaur Hunters and the Birth of a New Science
Deborah CadburyIn 1812, the skeleton of a monster was discovered beneath the cliffs of Dorset, setting in motion a collision between science and religion, and among scientists eager to claim supremacy in a brand-new field. For Reverend William Buckland, an eccentric naturalist at Oxford University, the fossil remains of a creature that existed before Noah's flood inspired an attempt to prove the accuracy of the biblical record. Novelist Gideon Mantell also became obsessed with the ancient past, and eminent anatomist Richard Owen soon entered the fray, claiming credit for the discovery of the dinosaurs.

In a fast-paced narrative, Terrible Lizard re-creates the bitter feud between Mantell and Owen. Revealing a strange, awesome prehistoric era, their struggle set the stage for Darwin's shattering theories — and for controversies that still rage today.
The tribal eye
David AttenboroughIncludes articles on "Behind the Mask","Crooked Beak of Heaven", "Sweat of the Sun", "Kingdoms of Bronze", "Woven Gardens", "Cult Houses", and "Across the Frontier." Based on the television program the same name.
Trilobite: Eyewitness to Evolution
Richard ForteyWith Trilobite, Richard Fortey, paleontologist and author of the acclaimed Life, offers a marvelously written, smart and compelling, accessible and witty scientific narrative of the most ubiquitous of fossil creatures.

Trilobites were shelled animals that lived in the oceans over five hundred million years ago. As bewilderingly diverse then as the beetle is today, they survived in the arctic or the tropics, were spiky or smooth, were large as lobsters or small as fleas. And because they flourished for three hundred million years, they can be used to glimpse a less evolved world of ancient continents and vanished oceans. Erudite and entertaining, this book is a uniquely exuberant homage to a fabulously singular species.
Twelve Spiders Bookmarks
Jan SovakThirty-three realistically rendered spiders in natural settings: Mexican red-knee tarantula, spiny orb weaver, false widow spider, black-spotted jumper, 29 others — all identified.
Urawaza: Secret Everyday Tips and Tricks from Japan
Lisa KatayamaJapan has a way of thinking that is just . . . different. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Tokyo-born journalist Lisa Katayama's collection of urawaza (a Japanese word for secret lifestyle tricks and techniques). Want to turbocharge your sled? Spray the bottom with nonstick cooking spray. Can't find someone to water your plants while you're away? Place the plant on a water-soaked diaper, so it slowly absorbs water over time. The subject of popular TV shows and numerous books in Japan, these unusually clever solutions to everyday problems have never before been published in Englishuntil now! Urawaza collects more than 100 once-secret tricks, offering step-by-step directionsand explanations in an eye-catching package as unconventional as its contents.
The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code
Sam KeanFrom New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean comes more incredible stories of science, history, language, and music, as told by our own DNA.

In The Disappearing Spoon, bestselling author Sam Kean unlocked the mysteries of the periodic table. In THE VIOLINIST'S THUMB, he explores the wonders of the magical building block of life: DNA.

There are genes to explain crazy cat ladies, why other people have no fingerprints, and why some people survive nuclear bombs. Genes illuminate everything from JFK's bronze skin (it wasn't a tan) to Einstein's genius. They prove that Neanderthals and humans bred thousands of years more recently than any of us would feel comfortable thinking. They can even allow some people, because of the exceptional flexibility of their thumbs and fingers, to become truly singular violinists.

Kean's vibrant storytelling once again makes science entertaining, explaining human history and whimsy while showing how DNA will influence our species' future.
Viruses: A Scientific American Library Book
Arnold J. LevineSince the isolation of the first virus in 1892 scientists have made tremendous advances by asking one question at a time and building on the answers. Dr. Levine celebrates the successes that have come from viral studies - the development of a wide range of vaccines, the eradication of smallpox, and the insights into the origins of cancer. He also examines the challenges we still face, with a series of interconnected chapters on the specific viruses behind some of our most urgent public health problems, including the viruses that cause AIDS, influenza, herpes and hepatitis. A concluding chapter on the origin and evolution of viruses touches on some of the most provocative issues in molecular biology today. Viral infections continue to be an immediate health concern of imposing proportions. "Viruses" is written for the general reader eager to know how we study and confront these diseases and where today's research may lead.
What Evolution Is
Ernst MayrAt once a spirited defense of Darwinian explanations of biology and an elegant primer on evolution for the general reader, What Evolution Is poses the questions at the heart of evolutionary theory and considers how our improved understanding of evolution has affected the viewpoints and values of modern man.Science Masters Series
When a Gene Makes You Smell Like a Fish: ...and Other Amazing Tales about the Genes in Your Body
Lisa Seachrist ChiuFrom the gene that causes people to age prematurely to the "bitter gene" that may spawn broccoli haters, this book explores a few of the more exotic locales on the human genome, highlighting some of the tragic and bizarre ways our bodies go wrong when genes fall prey to mutation and the curious ways in which genes have evolved for our survival.
Lisa Seachrist Chiu has a smorgasbord of stories to tell about rare and not so rare genetic quirks. We read about the Dracula Gene, a mutation in zebra fish that causes blood cells to explode on contact with light, and suites of genes that also influence behavior and physical characteristics; the Tangier Island Gene, first discovered after physicians discovered a boy with orange tonsils (scientists now realize that the child's odd condition comes from an inability to process cholesterol); and Wilson's Disease, a gene defect that fails to clear copper from the body, which can trigger schizophrenia and other neurological symptoms, and can be fatal if left untreated. Friendlier mutations include the Myostatin gene, which allows muscles to become much larger than usual and enhances strength and the much-envied Cheeseburger Gene, which allows a lucky few to eat virtually anything they want and remain razor thin.
While fascinating us with stories of genetic peculiarities, Chiu also manages to effortlessly explain much of the cutting-edge research in modern genetics, resulting in a book that is both informative and entertaining. It is a must read for everyone who loves popular science or is curious about the human body.
When Life Nearly Died: The Greatest Mass Extinction of All Time
Michael Benton"The focus is the most severe mass extinction known in earth's history….The science on which the book is based is up-to-date, thorough, and balanced. Highly recommended."—Choice

Today it is common knowledge that the dinosaurs were wiped out by a meteorite impact 65 million years ago that killed half of all species then living. Far less known is a much greater catastrophe that took place at the end of the Permian period 251 million years ago: ninety percent of life was destroyed, including saber-toothed reptiles and their rhinoceros-sized prey on land, as well as vast numbers of fish and other species in the sea.

This book documents not only what happened during this gigantic mass extinction but also the recent rekindling of the idea of catastrophism. Was the end-Permian event caused by the impact of a huge meteorite or comet, or by prolonged volcanic eruption in Siberia? The evidence has been accumulating through the 1990s and into the new millennium, and Michael Benton gives his verdict at the end of the volume.

From field camps in Greenland and Russia to the laboratory bench, When Life Nearly Died involves geologists, paleontologists, environmental modelers, geochemists, astronomers, and experts on biodiversity and conservation. Their working methods are vividly described and explained, and the current disputes are revealed. The implications of our understanding of crises in the past for the current biodiversity crisis are also presented in detail. 46 illustrations.
Why Do Men Have Nipples? and Other Low-Life Answers to Real-Life Questions
Katherine DunnThe acclaimed author of Greek Love, Attic, and Truck answers inquiries from why men have nipples to how the space shuttle toilet really works. The irreverent indefatigable "Slicer" reveals the answers to life's great and not-so-great questions—such as "How do they get the little m's on M&M's?" and "How come we see millions of pigeons, but never pigeon babies?"
Wild Thoughts from Wild Places
David QuammenIn Wild Thoughts from Wild Places, award-winning journalist David Quammen reminds us why he has become one of our most beloved science and nature writers.
This collection of twenty-three of Quammen's most intriguing, most exciting, most memorable pieces takes us to meet kayakers on the Futaleufu River of southern Chile, where Quammen describes how it feels to travel in fast company and flail for survival in the river's maw. We are introduced to the commerce in pearls (and black-market parrots) in the Aru Islands of eastern Indonesia. Quammen even finds wildness in smog-choked Los Angeles — embodied in an elusive population of urban coyotes, too stubborn and too clever to surrender to the sprawl of civilization.
With humor and intelligence, David Quammen's Wild Thoughts from Wild Places also reminds us that humans are just one of the many species on earth with motivations, goals, quirks, and eccentricities. Expect to be entertained and moved on this journey through the wilds of science and nature.
Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History
Stephen Jay Gould"[An] extraordinary book. . . . Mr. Gould is an exceptional combination of scientist and science writer. . . . He is thus exceptionally well placed to tell these stories, and he tells them with fervor and intelligence."—James Gleick, New York Times Book ReviewHigh in the Canadian Rockies is a small limestone quarry formed 530 million years ago called the Burgess Shale. It hold the remains of an ancient sea where dozens of strange creatures lived—a forgotten corner of evolution preserved in awesome detail. In this book Stephen Jay Gould explores what the Burgess Shale tells us about evolution and the nature of history.
The World Without Us
Alan WeismanTime #1 Nonfiction Book of 2007
Entertainment Weekly #1 Nonfiction Book of 2007
Finalist for the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award
Salon Book Awards 2007
Amazon Top 100 Editors’ Picks of 2007 (#4)
Barnes and Noble 10 Best of 2007: Politics and Current Affairs
Kansas City Star’s Top 100 Books of the Year 2007
Mother Jones’ Favorite Books of 2007
South Florida Sun-Sentinel Best Books of the Year 2007
Hudson’s Best Books of 2007
St. Louis Post-Dispatch Best Books of 2007
St. Paul Pioneer Press Best Books of 2007

If human beings disappeared instantaneously from the Earth, what would happen? How would the planet reclaim its surface? What creatures would emerge from the dark and swarm? How would our treasured structures—our tunnels, our bridges, our homes, our monuments—survive the unmitigated impact of a planet without our intervention? In his revelatory, bestselling account, Alan Weisman draws on every field of science to present an environmental assessment like no other, the most affecting portrait yet of humankind's place on this planet.
Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record, and Our Place in Nature
Brian Switek“Switek seamlessly intertwines two types of evolution: one of life on earth and the other of paleontology itself.”—Discover Magazine

““In delightful prose, [Switek] . . . superbly shows that ‘[i]f we can let go of our conceit,’ we will see the preciousness of life in all its forms.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Highly instructive . . . a warm, intelligent yeoman’s guide to the progress of life.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Magisterial . . . part historical account, part scientific detective story. Switek’s elegant prose and thoughtful scholarship will change the way you see life on our planet. This book marks the debut of an important new voice.”—Neil Shubin

“Elegantly and engagingly crafted, Brian Switek’s narrative interweaves stories and characters not often encountered in books on paleontology—at once a unique, informative and entertaining read.”—Niles Eldredge

“If you want to read one book to get up to speed on evolution, read Written in Stone. Brian Switek’s clear and compelling book is full of fascinating stories about how scientists have read the fossil record to trace the evolution of life on Earth.”—Ann Gibbons

“[Switek's] accounts of dinosaurs, birds, whales, and our own primate ancestors are not just fascinating for their rich historical detail, but also for their up-to-date reporting on paleontology’s latest discoveries.”—Carl Zimmer

"After reading this book, you will have a totally new context in which to interpret the evolutionary history of amphibians, mammals, whales, elephants, horses, and especially humans.”—Donald R. Prothero

Spectacular fossil finds make today's headlines; new technology unlocks secrets of skeletons unearthed a hundred years ago. Still, evolution is often poorly represented by the media and misunderstood by the public. A potent antidote to pseudoscience, Written in Stone is an engrossing history of evolutionary discovery for anyone who has marveled at the variety and richness of life.