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Animals


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: $8.98
Lowest used price: $4.88
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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Look Big: And Other Tips for Surviving Animal Encounters of All Kinds

Look Big: And Other Tips for Surviving Animal Encounters of All Kinds Lowest new price: $9.75
Lowest used price: $4.32
List price: $14.99
Author: Rachel Levin
Brand: Unknown

A humorous and helpful illustrated field guide to fending off 50 of our most feared--or frustrating--wild animals, including survival techniques, wildlife etiquette, and other essential advice.

As humans encroach on wild places, encounters with animals--from bears, bison, mountain lions, and mice to turkeys, ticks, rats, and raccoons--have become increasingly commonplace. But, wait, what are the rules for facing a moose up close? Do you run from a coyote or stand your ground? How deadly, really, are black widow spiders, rattlesnakes, and sharks? Packed with expert tips, fascinating animal facts, and harrowing true tales (from writers like Samin Nosrat and Peter Orner), Look Big is a must-have survival guide for outdoor, urban, and suburban adventurers alike. If you have ever feared the approach of a grizzly, the spray of a skunk, or an army of cockroaches in the kitchen, this book is for you.

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National Audubon Society Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals: North America (National Audubon Society Field Guides)

National Audubon Society Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals: North America (National Audubon Society Field Guides) Lowest new price: $15.31
Lowest used price: $5.99
Author: National Audubon Society
Brand: Random House

Perfect for mountain climbers and hikers, this valuable reference covers more rocks and minerals in North America than any other available guide.

Featuring a durable vinyl binding and nearly 800 full-color identification photographs, the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals is the perfect companion for any expedition. This portable guide depicts all the important rocks, gems, and minerals -- in many variations of color and crystal form -- and the natural environments in which they occur, and includes written descriptions of field marks, similar rocks and minerals, environment, areas of occurrence, and derivation of names. Includes a guide to mineral collecting and a list of rock-forming minerals.

Features:

  • Random House Audubon Field Guide: Rocks/Minerals by Charles Chesterman - 9780394502694

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How to Raise Monarch Butterflies: A Step-by-Step Guide for Kids (How It Works)

How to Raise Monarch Butterflies: A Step-by-Step Guide for Kids (How It Works) Lowest new price: $7.03
Lowest used price: $3.89
List price: $9.95
Author: Carol Pasternak
Brand: Firefly Books

"The breezy and down-to-earth text ... nicely communicates the wonder ... Especially effective is the eight-pictured depiction of the development of the caterpillar into a chrysalis."
--School Library Journal

Observing a Monarch butterfly as it transforms itself from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly is among the most thrilling experiences that nature offers. Raising Monarch butterflies is made easy with the help of this detailed guide.

How to Raise Monarch Butterflies explains what threats Monarchs face today and how readers can help conserve the Monarch's feeding grounds from encroachment. Revel in one of the most remarkable miracles of nature.

This updated edition contains:

  • More than 40 new colorful and detailed photos
  • More secrets to help you find eggs and caterpillars
  • Instructions on how to feed a monarch and more details on their care
  • Expanded information on varieties and propagation of milkweed
  • New page on the diverse insects in the milkweed patch
  • New suggestions for starting a butterfly garden, including a large photograph of an outstanding Monarch Waystation.

Features:

  • Firefly Books

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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: $10.89
Lowest used price: $4.79
List price: $18.00
Author: Elizabeth Letts
Brand: Ballantine Books

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

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How to Speak Chicken: Why Your Chickens Do What They Do & Say What They Say

How to Speak Chicken: Why Your Chickens Do What They Do & Say What They Say Lowest new price: $11.17
Lowest used price: $10.43
List price: $16.95
Author: Melissa Caughey
Brand: Unknown

Best-selling author Melissa Caughey knows that backyard chickens are like any favorite pet — fun to spend time with and fascinating to observe. Her hours among the flock have resulted in this quirky, irresistible guide packed with firsthand insights into how chickens communicate and interact, use their senses to understand the world around them, and establish pecking order and roles within the flock. Combining her up-close observations with scientific findings and interviews with other chicken enthusiasts, Caughey answers unexpected questions such as Do chickens have names for each other? How do their eyes work? and How do chickens learn?

Foreword INDIES Silver Award Winner

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Costa Rica: The Complete Guide: Ecotourism in Costa Rica (Color Travel Guide)

Costa Rica: The Complete Guide: Ecotourism in Costa Rica (Color Travel Guide) Lowest new price: $15.93
Lowest used price: $10.99
List price: $22.95
Author: James Kaiser

From pristine beaches and jungle waterfalls to high-altitude coffee plantations, Costa Rica: The Complete Guide puts the very best of Costa Rica at your fingertips.

Blending detailed travel tips with beautiful photography, this guidebook offers so much more than just restaurant and hotel reviews. Fascinating chapters explore Costa Rica’s unique history, culture, food, ecology and wildlife. “Top 10 Ways to Avoid a Cultural Misunderstanding” helps visitors avoid common—and potentially embarrassing—mistakes.

Discover what makes Costa Rica one of the world’s most amazing destinations. Soar above the cloud forest on a zipline at Monteverde. Spend the night at a deluxe ecolodge next to Arenal Volcano. Soak in the tropical beauty of Costa Rica’s world-class beaches at Manuel Antonio National Park. Watch sea turtles lay their eggs at Tortuguero. Plan the perfect Costa Rican vacation!

Filled with insider tips to save you time and money

Over 300 beautiful color photos

Over 30 detailed maps

Fascinating chapters on History, Culture and Food

Informative guide to Wildlife and Ecology

1% of profits are donated to environmental organizations working to preserve Costa Rica's biodiversity for future generations

Printed on sustainable FSC paper

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The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America: Second Edition

The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America: Second Edition Lowest new price: $13.19
Lowest used price: $9.42
List price: $19.95
Author: David Allen Sibley
Brand: Random House

COMPLETELY REVISED AND UPDATED: From renowned birder, illustrator, and New York Times best selling author David Sibley, the most authoritative guide to the birds of the East, in a portable format that is perfect for the field.

Compact and comprehensive, this guide features 650 bird species, plus regional populations, found east of the Rocky Mountains. Entries include stunningly accurate illustrations--more than 4,601 in total--with descriptive captions pointing out the most important field marks. Each entry has been updated to include the most current information concerning frequency, nesting, behavior, food and feeding, voice description, and key identification features. Here too are more than 601 updated maps drawn from information contributed by 110 regional experts across the continent, and showing winter, summer, year-round, migration, and rare ranges.

This new and improved edition includes:

   •   Updated habitat, description, behavior, and conservation text for each species account and all family pages.

   •   New and revised illustrations of species and regional forms.

   •   New design featuring species accounts in columns, allowing for better comparison and more illustrations and text. 

   •   Current taxonomic order and up-to-date common names. 

   •   All maps revised to reflect the most current range information. 

   •   More species and rarities included.

Features:

  • The Sibley Guide to Birds has quickly become the new standard of excellence in bird identification guides, covering more than 810 North American birds in amazing detail. Now comes a new portable guide from David Sibley that every birder will want to carry

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Sibley Birds West: Field Guide to Birds of Western North America

Sibley Birds West: Field Guide to Birds of Western North America Lowest new price: $13.50
Lowest used price: $12.24
List price: $19.95
Author: David Allen Sibley
Brand: David Sibley

COMPLETELY REVISED AND UPDATED: From renowned birder, illustrator, and New York Times best selling author David Sibley, the most authoritative guide to the birds of the West, in a portable format that is perfect for the field.

Compact and comprehensive, this guide features 715 bird species, plus regional populations, found west of the Rocky Mountains. Entries include stunningly accurate illustrations--more than 5,046 in total--with descriptive captions pointing out the most important field marks. Each entry has been updated to include the most current information concerning frequency, nesting, behavior, food and feeding, voice description, and key identification features. Here too are more than 652 updated maps drawn from information contributed by 110 regional experts across the continent, and showing winter, summer, year-round, migration, and rare ranges.

This new and improved edition includes:

   •   Updated habitat, description, behavior, and conservation text for each species account and all family pages.

   •   New and revised illustrations of species and regional forms.

   •   New design featuring species accounts in columns, allowing for better comparison and more illustrations and text.

   •   Current taxonomic order and up-to-date common names.

   •   All maps revised to reflect the most current range information.

   •   More species and rarities included.

Features:

  • Sibley Birds West Field Guide to Birds of Western North America

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An Elephant in My Kitchen

An Elephant in My Kitchen Lowest new price: $21.95
List price: $21.95
Author: Françoise Malby-Anthony

A blonde, chic Parisienne, Francoise never expected to find herself living on a South African game reserve. But when she fell in love with renowned conservationist Lawrence Anthony her life took an unexpected turn. Lawrence died in 2012 and Francoise was left to face the tough reality of running Thula Thula without him, even though she knew very little about conservation. She was short on money, poachers were capitalizing on the chaos of Lawrence’s death, and one of their elephants was charging Land Rovers on game drives and terrifying guests. There was no time to mourn when Thula Thula’s human and animal family were depending on her. How Francoise survived and Thula Thula thrived is beautifully described in this charming, funny and poignant book. Their elephant herd, rescued by Lawrence, shared Francoise's grief at his passing but over time forged a new relationship with her. One day a baby, Tom, became separated from the herd and found his way into Francoise's kitchen and there was a desperate race against time to save another baby who had a snare wrapped round his face and couldn't open his mouth to suckle. Meanwhile Francoise worked to create a rescue centre for orphaned rhinos. She also took on abandoned hippo baby Charlie who hated water and a German Shepherd called Duma who became an unlikely nursemaid, coach and best friend to all the traumatised rhino, hippo and elephant babies. If you loved Lawrence's The Elephant Whisperer, or just want to spend time with some remarkable animals, then you won’t want to miss this sparkling book.

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