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Animals


Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, Fourth Edition (Peterson Field Guides)

Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, Fourth Edition (Peterson Field Guides) Lowest new price: $8.20
Lowest used price: $7.50
List price: $21.00
Author: Robert Powell
Brand: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

A completely updated edition, including 122 newly recognized or recently established non-native species of reptiles and amphibians.

The new edition of this definitive guide reflects 25 years’ worth of changes in our knowledge of reptiles and amphibians. It includes descriptions of 122 newly recognized or recently established non-native species, updated maps, and new figures and photos. Color illustrations and drawings show key details for accurate identification. More than 100 color photographs and 322 color distribution maps accompany the species descriptions. Clear and concise species accounts provide key characteristics, similar species, habitats, and ranges, as well as subspecies, voice descriptions, and conservation status. This edition will be a crucial resource for professional and amateur herpetologists, naturalists, outdoor enthusiasts, and students.
 
 

Features:

  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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Tamed and Untamed: Close Encounters of the Animal Kind

Tamed and Untamed: Close Encounters of the Animal Kind Lowest new price: $11.98
Lowest used price: $12.98
List price: $17.95
Author: Sy Montgomery

Extraordinary new insights into the minds and lives of our fellow creatures from two of the world’s top animal authors, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas and Sy Montgomery.

"In their writing and in their lives and in their remarkable friendship, Liz and Sy break down false barriers and carry us closer to our fellow creatures.”―from the foreword by Vicki Constantine Croke, author of Elephant Company

Tamed and Untamed―a collection of essays penned by two of the world's most celebrated animal writers, Sy Montgomery and Elizabeth Marshall Thomas―explores the minds, lives, and mysteries of animals as diverse as snails, house cats, hawks, sharks, dogs, lions, and even octopuses.

Drawing on stories of animals both wild and domestic, the two authors, also best friends, created this book to put humans back into the animal world. The more we learn about what other animals think and do, they explain, the more we understand ourselves as animals, too. Writes Montgomery, “The list of attributes once thought to be unique to our species―from using tools to waging war―is not only rapidly shrinking, but starting to sound less and less impressive when we compare them with other animals’ powers.”

With humor, empathy, and introspection, Montgomery and Thomas look into the lives of all kinds of creatures―from man’s best friend to the great white shark―and examine the ways we connect with our fellow species. Both authors have devoted their lives to sharing the animal kingdom’s magic with others, and their combined wisdom is an indispensable contribution to the field of animal literature.

The book contains a foreword by Vicki Constantine Croke, author of the bestseller Elephant Company.

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Backyard Beekeeper - Revised and Updated, 3rd Edition: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden - New material includes: - ... urban beekeeping - How to use top bar hives

Backyard Beekeeper - Revised and Updated, 3rd Edition: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden - New material includes: - ... urban beekeeping - How to use top bar hives Lowest new price: $14.92
Lowest used price: $8.98
List price: $24.99
Author: Kim Flottum
Brand: imusti

The Backyard Beekeeper, now revised and expanded, makes the time-honored and complex tradition of beekeeping an enjoyable and accessible backyard pastime that will appeal to gardeners, crafters, and cooks everywhere. This expanded edition gives you even more information on "greening" your beekeeping with sustainable practices, pesticide-resistant bees, and urban and suburban beekeeping. More than a guide to beekeeping, it is a handbook for harvesting the products of a beehive and a honey cookbook--all in one lively, beautifully illustrated reference. This complete honey bee resource contains general information on bees; a how-to guide to the art of bee keeping and how to set up, care for, and harvest honey from your own colonies; as well as tons of bee-related facts and projects. You'll learn the best place to locate your new bee colonies for their safety and yours, and you'll study the best organic and nontoxic ways to care for your bees, from providing fresh water and protection from the elements to keeping them healthy, happy, and productive. Recipes of delicious treats, and instructions on how to use honey and beeswax to make candles and beauty treatments are also included.

Features:

  • Quarry

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Safari: A Photicular Book

Safari: A Photicular Book Lowest new price: $13.82
Lowest used price: $2.21
List price: $25.95
Author: Dan Kainen
Brand: Workman Publishing

New York Times bestseller, Safari is a magical journey for the whole family. Readers, as if on African safari, encounter eight wild animals that come alive using never-before-seen Photicular technology. Each full-color image is like a 3-D movie on the page, delivering a rich, fluid, immersive visual experience. The result is breathtaking. The cheetah bounds. The gazelle leaps. The African elephant snaps its ears. The gorilla munches the leaves off a branch. It’s mesmerizing, as visually immediate as a National Geographic or Animal Planet special.

Accompanying the images is Safari, the guide: It begins with an evocative journal of a safari along the Mara River in Kenya and interweaves the history of safaris. Then for each animal there is a lively, informative essay and an at-a-glance list of important facts. It’s the romance of being on safari—and the thrill of seeing the animals in motion— in a book unlike any other.

Features:

  • Innovative 3d moving images of safari animals.
  • Explores lenticular-based technology & teaches about safaris.
  • Books feature 8 wild animals in 4-color video imagery.
  • The guide has journal of a safari in kenya.
  • Includes the history of safaris.

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American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon

American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon Lowest new price: $10.08
Lowest used price: $5.58
List price: $17.00
Author: Steven Rinella

From the host of the Travel Channel’s “The Wild Within.”

A hunt for the American buffalo—an adventurous, fascinating examination of an animal that has haunted the American imagination.
 
In 2005, Steven Rinella won a lottery permit to hunt for a wild buffalo, or American bison, in the Alaskan wilderness. Despite the odds—there’s only a 2 percent chance of drawing the permit, and fewer than 20 percent of those hunters are successful—Rinella managed to kill a buffalo on a snow-covered mountainside and then raft the meat back to civilization while being trailed by grizzly bears and suffering from hypothermia. Throughout these adventures, Rinella found himself contemplating his own place among the 14,000 years’ worth of buffalo hunters in North America, as well as the buffalo’s place in the American experience. At the time of the Revolutionary War, North America was home to approximately 40 million buffalo, the largest herd of big mammals on the planet, but by the mid-1890s only a few hundred remained. Now that the buffalo is on the verge of a dramatic ecological recovery across the West, Americans are faced with the challenge of how, and if, we can dare to share our land with a beast that is the embodiment of the American wilderness.

American Buffalo is a narrative tale of Rinella’s hunt. But beyond that, it is the story of the many ways in which the buffalo has shaped our national identity. Rinella takes us across the continent in search of the buffalo’s past, present, and future: to the Bering Land Bridge, where scientists search for buffalo bones amid artifacts of the New World’s earliest human inhabitants; to buffalo jumps where Native Americans once ran buffalo over cliffs by the thousands; to the Detroit Carbon works, a “bone charcoal” plant that made fortunes in the late 1800s by turning millions of tons of buffalo bones into bone meal, black dye, and fine china; and even to an abattoir turned fashion mecca in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, where a depressed buffalo named Black Diamond met his fate after serving as the model for the American nickel.

 Rinella’s erudition and exuberance, combined with his gift for storytelling, make him the perfect guide for a book that combines outdoor adventure with a quirky blend of facts and observations about history, biology, and the natural world. Both a captivating narrative and a book of environmental and historical significance, American Buffalo tells us as much about ourselves as Americans as it does about the creature who perhaps best of all embodies the American ethos.

Amazon Best of the Month, December 2008: Before the 18th century, the American buffalo was the largest land mammal in North America, largely predator-free and roaming the continent in numbers estimated in excess of 40 million. In just over a century, widespread slaughter reduced the population to a few hundred head, and the American West lay beneath a till of bleached bones. When Steven Rinella stumbled over a buffalo skull in Yellowstone National Park, it sparked an obsessive search for the beast's past, from its migration across the Bering land bridge to its near extinction at the hands of western settlers. American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon is his fascinating chronicle, beginning with a search for Black Diamond (the doomed model for the Buffalo Nickel) and including an exploration of "buffalo jumps" (where thousands were run over cliffs by Native American hunters), and tales of bone piles--harvested from the plains for a thriving fertilizer industry--stacked 10 feet high, 20 feet wide, and a half-mile long. Rinella's history is deftly interwoven with his own literal buffalo hunt in Alaska's Wrangell mountains, complete with grizzly bears, raging, ice-rimmed rivers, and bouts of hypothermia and frostbite. Written in a spare style appropriate to the rigors of the frozen wilderness, American Buffalo is engrossing, informative, funny, and a welcome achievement of both natural history and outdoor adventure. --Jon Foro

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National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds: Eastern Region, Revised Edition

National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds: Eastern Region, Revised Edition Lowest new price: $8.94
Lowest used price: $1.76
List price: $22.95
Brand: Random House

The bestselling photographic field guide--a birding bible for more than four million enthusiasts.

Virtually every bird found in eastern North America is brought to life in this portable guide, an essential companion in the field and a staple in any birdwatcher's library. It features a durable vinyl binding and brilliant full-color photographic identification pictures arranged for quick access and definitive text, including information on the bird's voice, nesting habits, habitat, range, and interesting behaviors. Accompanying range maps; overhead flight silhouettes; sections on bird-watching, accidental species, and endangered birds make the National Audubon Society's Field Guide to North American Birds the most comprehensive available.

Note: the Eastern Edition generally covers states east of the Rocky Mountains, while the Western Edition covers the Rocky Mountain range and all the states to the west of it.

Covering 508 bird species found east of the Rocky Mountains, the revised second edition takes into account changes in taxonomy and uses improved photography. At the heart of the guide is a set of 646 well-made color photographs whose subjects are organized by easily discerned characteristics (e.g., "chicken-like marsh birds," such as the clapper rail; "gull-like birds," such as the kittiwake; and "upright-perching water birds," such as the common murre). The photographs are then keyed to textual descriptions of the birds' appearance, range and habitat, nesting characteristics, and behavior. Easy to use and handsomely produced, this belongs in every eastern birdwatcher's collection. --Gregory McNamee

Features:

  • Author: National Audubon Society
  • ISBN: 9780679428527

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National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders: North America (National Audubon Society Field Guides (Paperback))

National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders: North America (National Audubon Society Field Guides (Paperback)) Lowest new price: $11.49
Lowest used price: $3.09
List price: $22.95
Author: National Audubon Society
Brand: Random House

The most comprehensive field guide available to the insects and spiders of North America--a must-have for any enthusiast's day pack or home library--from the go-to reference source for over 18 million nature lovers.

Featuring a durable vinyl binding and over 700 full-color identification photographs organized visually by color and shape, the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders is the perfect companion for any outdoor excursion. Descriptive text includes measurements, diagnostic details, and information on habitat, range, feeding habits, sounds or songs, flight period, web construction, life cycle, behaviors, folklore, and environmental impact. An illustrated key to the insect orders and detailed drawings of the parts of insects, spiders, and butterflies supplement this extensive coverage.

There are about 100,000 kinds of insects in North America, so obviously they can't have a field guide in the same way the 650 species of birds do: something both portable and complete. The National Audubon Society has produced a remarkably useful compromise. This guide has photographs and descriptions of 550 insect species and 60 kinds of spiders. Most of the families of arthropods on the continent are covered, as are all of the most common species. It's a very useful resource for any North American naturalist, and the best choice for an adult who is not an expert entomologist. --Mary Ellen Curtin

Features:

  • AUDBN FG: INSECTS & SPIDERS

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The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis

The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis Lowest new price: $11.89
Lowest used price: $7.00
List price: $28.00
Author: Elizabeth Letts
Brand: Letts Elizabeth

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion, the remarkable story of the heroic rescue of priceless horses in the closing days of World War II

In the chaotic last days of the war, a small troop of battle-weary American soldiers captures a German spy and makes an astonishing find—his briefcase is empty but for photos of beautiful white horses that have been stolen and kept on a secret farm behind enemy lines. Hitler has stockpiled the world’s finest purebreds in order to breed the perfect military machine—an equine master race. But with the starving Russian army closing in, the animals are in imminent danger of being slaughtered for food.

With only hours to spare, one of the U.S. Army’s last great cavalrymen, Colonel Hank Reed, makes a bold decision—with General George Patton’s blessing—to mount a covert rescue operation. Racing against time, Reed’s small but determined force of soldiers, aided by several turncoat Germans, steals across enemy lines in a last-ditch effort to save the horses.

Pulling together this multistranded story, Elizabeth Letts introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters: Alois Podhajsky, director of the famed Spanish Riding School of Vienna, a former Olympic medalist who is forced to flee the bomb-ravaged Austrian capital with his entire stable in tow; Gustav Rau, Hitler’s imperious chief of horse breeding, a proponent of eugenics who dreams of genetically engineering the perfect warhorse for Germany; and Tom Stewart, a senator’s son who makes a daring moonlight ride on a white stallion to secure the farm’s surrender.

A compelling account for animal lovers and World War II buffs alike, The Perfect Horse tells for the first time the full story of these events. Elizabeth Letts’s exhilarating tale of behind-enemy-lines adventure, courage, and sacrifice brings to life one of the most inspiring chapters in the annals of human valor.

Praise for The Perfect Horse

“Winningly readable . . . Letts captures both the personalities and the stakes of this daring mission with such a sharp ear for drama that the whole second half of the book reads like a WWII thriller dreamed up by Alan Furst or Len Deighton. . . . The right director could make a Hollywood classic out of this fairy tale.”The Christian Science Monitor

“Letts, a lifelong equestrienne, eloquently brings together the many facets of this unlikely, poignant story underscoring the love and respect of man for horses.”Kirkus Reviews

The Perfect Horse raises the narrative bar. Applying her skills as a researcher, storyteller and horsewoman, Letts provides context that makes this account spellbinding.”Culturess

The Perfect Horse is an enthralling and moving story that I could not put down. This is a riveting and unique perspective on World War II.”—Molly Guptill Manning, author of When Books Went to War

“Passionately told and dazzling in scope, The Perfect Horse charges headlong into an unforgettable tale of World War II, when good men were given a final mission—to save beloved horses—at an hour when no one wanted to die. In Elizabeth Letts, the saga of World War II’s white stallions has found its perfect guardian.”—Adam Makos, author of A Higher Call

“Elizabeth Letts’s beautiful prose, woven together with meticulous research, takes you for a ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end.”—Robin Hutton, author of Sgt. Reckless

An Amazon Best Book of August 2016: Many of us have heard the heroic story of the “Monuments Men”—Allied troops tasked with retrieving iconic artworks stolen by the Nazis during WWII. In The Perfect Horse, Elizabeth Letts sheds light on another of Hitler’s infamous heists, that of prized stallions from Hungary, Poland, Yugoslavia, and other parts of Europe, with the aim of employing eugenics to breed the consummate war horse (of course, of course). The harrowing mission to save these magnificent creatures, not just from the clutches of the Nazis, but the advancing--and very hungry—Russian army, was approved by General George S. Patton, evidently no slouch on the polo field. But consent came with a worrying caveat: if things went south, the ragtag band of rescuers were on their own. So why, in the midst of so much human suffering, did these men willingly risk their lives in this equine endeavor? The answers to this question lend Lett’s narrative its emotional power, and are just as relevant today as they were then. Whether you’re a history buff, a horse fan, or can appreciate how doing one positive thing can have enormous impact, The Perfect Horse is the perfect read for you. --Erin Kodicek, The Amazon Book Review

Features:

  • The Perfect Horse The Daring U S Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis

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Wild Horse Country: The History, Myth, and Future of the Mustang

Wild Horse Country: The History, Myth, and Future of the Mustang Lowest new price: $11.89
Lowest used price: $11.90
List price: $27.95
Author: David Philipps

A Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter’s history of wild horses in America―and an eye-opening story of their treatment in our own time.

The wild horse is so ingrained in the American imagination that even those who have never seen one know what it stands for: fierce independence, unbridled freedom, the bedrock ideals of the nation. From car ads to high school mascots, the wild horse―popularly known as the mustang―is the enduring icon of America. But in modern times it has become entangled in controversy and bureaucracy, and now its future is in question. In Wild Horse Country, New York Times reporter David Philipps traces the rich history of wild horses in America and investigates the shocking dilemma they face in our own time.

Here is the grand story of the horse: from its prehistoric debut in North America to its reintroduction by Spanish conquistadors and its spread through the epic battles between native tribes and settlers during the days of the Wild West.

Philipps explores how wild horses became so central to America’s sense of itself, and he delves into the hold that wild horses have had on the American imagination from the early explorers to the best-selling novels of Zane Grey to Hollywood Westerns.

Traveling through remote parts of the American West, Philipps also reveals the wild horse’s current crisis, with tens of thousands of horses being held in captivity by the federal government, and free horses caught between the clashing ideals of ranchers, animal rights activists, scientists, and government officials.

Wild Horse Country is a powerful blend of history and contemporary reporting that vividly reveals the majesty and plight of an American icon, while pointing a way forward that will preserve this icon for future generations.

20 illustrations; 2 maps

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Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness

Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness Lowest new price: $9.79
Lowest used price: $9.08
List price: $16.00
Author: Peter Godfrey-Smith

Named a Top Ten Science Book of Fall 2016 by Publishers Weekly

Although mammals and birds are widely regarded as the smartest creatures on earth, it has lately become clear that a very distant branch of the tree of life has also sprouted higher intelligence: the cephalopods, consisting of the squid, the cuttlefish, and above all the octopus. In captivity, octopuses have been known to identify individual human keepers, raid neighboring tanks for food, turn off lightbulbs by spouting jets of water, plug drains, and make daring escapes. How is it that a creature with such gifts evolved through an evolutionary lineage so radically distant from our own? What does it mean that evolution built minds not once but at least twice? The octopus is the closest we will come to meeting an intelligent alien. What can we learn from the encounter?

In Other Minds, Peter Godfrey-Smith, a distinguished philosopher of science and a skilled scuba diver, tells a bold new story of how subjective experience crept into being―how nature became aware of itself. As Godfrey-Smith stresses, it is a story that largely occurs in the ocean, where animals first appeared. Tracking the mind’s fitful development, Godfrey-Smith shows how unruly clumps of seaborne cells began living together and became capable of sensing, acting, and signaling. As these primitive organisms became more entangled with others, they grew more complicated. The first nervous systems evolved, probably in ancient relatives of jellyfish; later on, the cephalopods, which began as inconspicuous mollusks, abandoned their shells and rose above the ocean floor, searching for prey and acquiring the greater intelligence needed to do so. Taking an independent route, mammals and birds later began their own evolutionary journeys.

But what kind of intelligence do cephalopods possess? Drawing on the latest scientific research and his own scuba-diving adventures, Godfrey-Smith probes the many mysteries that surround the lineage. How did the octopus, a solitary creature with little social life, become so smart? What is it like to have eight tentacles that are so packed with neurons that they virtually “think for themselves”? What happens when some octopuses abandon their hermit-like ways and congregate, as they do in a unique location off the coast of Australia?

By tracing the question of inner life back to its roots and comparing human beings with our most remarkable animal relatives, Godfrey-Smith casts crucial new light on the octopus mind―and on our own.

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