Eagle Hill Masthead



Southeastern Naturalist
    SENA Home
    Range and Scope
    Board of Editors
    Staff
    Editorial Workflow
    Publication Charges
    Subscriptions

Other EH Journals
    Northeastern Naturalist
    Caribbean Naturalist
    Urban Naturalist
    Eastern Paleontologist
    Eastern Biologist
    Journal of the North Atlantic

EH Natural History Home

  Help

About Southeastern Naturalist

 

Noteworthy Books Received by the Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 11, Number 2, 2012

Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 11, Issue 2 (2012): 359–360

Full-text pdf (Accessible only to subscribers.To subscribe click here.)

 

Site by Bennett Web & Design Co.
2012 Noteworthy Books 359 Reproductive Biology and Phyologeny of Snakes. Robert D. Aldridge and David M. Sever (Eds.). 2011. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. 714 pp. $139.95, hardcover. ISBN 9781578087013. Covering a wide range of topics on snake reproduction and phylogeny, this comprehensive book discusses everything from primordial germ migration in developing embryos to semelparity (death after reproduction) in the aspic viper. Beginning with a review of the history of snake reproductive studies, it presents new findings on development, placentation, spermatogenesis, male and female reproductive anatomy, hormonal control of reproduction, reproductive cycles, sex pheromones, and parental care. Rife with illustrations and color plates, this book offers comparative chapters on snake phylognetics examining morphological characteristics alongside strictly molecular concerns. Dolphin Confidential: Confessions of a Field Biologist. Maddalena Bearzi. 2012. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. 216 pp. $26, hardcover, ISBN 9780226040158. Who hasn’t fantasized about the unique thrill of working among charismatic and clever dolphins in the wild? We need not live this solely in our imaginations anymore. With Dolphin Confidential Maddalena Bearzi invites all of us shore-bound dreamers to join her and travel alongside the dolphins. In this fascinating account, she takes us inside the world of a marine scientist and offers a firsthand understanding of marine mammal behavior, as well as the frustrations, delights, and creativity that make up dolphin research. In this intimate narrative, Bearzi recounts her experiences at sea, tracing her own evolution as a woman and a scientist from her earliest travails to her transformation into an advocate for conservation and dolphin protection. These compelling, in-depth descriptions of her fieldwork also present a captivating look into dolphin social behavior and intelligence. The central part of the book is devoted to the metropolitan Bottlenose Dolphins of California, as Bearzi draws on her extensive experience to offer insights into the daily lives of these creatures—as well as the difficulties involved in collecting the data that transforms hunches into hypotheses and eventually scientific facts. The book closes by addressing the critical environmental and conservation problems facing 359 these magnificent, socially complex, highly intelligent, and emotional beings. An honest, down-to-earth analysis of what it means to be a marine biologist in the field today, Dolphin Confidential offers an entertaining, never less than candid, and always informative description of life among the dolphins. Catalogue of Seed Plants of the West Indies. Pedro Acevedo-Rodgríqguez and Mark T. Strong. 2012. Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, Washington, DC. 1192 pp. hardcover. ISBN 9781439839034. The catalogue enumerates all taxa of Gymnosperms, Dicotyledons, and Monocotyledons occurring in the West Indies archipelago excluding the islands off the coast of Venezuela (Netherlands Antilles, Venezuelan Antilles, Tobago, and Trinidad). For each accepted taxon, nomenclature (including synonyms described from the West Indies and their references to publication), distribution in the West Indies (including endemic, native, or exotic status), common names, and a numerical listing of literature records are given. Type specimen citations are provided for accepted names and synonyms of Cyperaceae, Sapindaceae, and some selected genera in several families including the Apocynaceae (Plumeria), Aquifoliaceae (Ilex), and Santalaceae (Dendrophthora). More than 30,000 names were treated comprising 208 families, 2033 genera, and 12,279 taxa, which includes exotic and commonly cultivated plants. The total number of indigenous taxa was approximately 10,470, of which 71% (7,446 taxa) are endemic to the archipelago or part of it. Fifteen new names, 37 combinations, and 7 lectotypifications are validated. A searchable website of this catalogue, maintained and continuously updated at the Smithsonian Institution, is available at http:// botany.si.edu/antilles/WestIndies/. Remaking Wormsloe Plantation: The Environmental History of a Lowcountry Landscape. Drew A. Swanson. 2012. University of Georgia Press, Athens, GA. 336 pp. $34.95, hardcover. ISBN 9780820341774. Why do we preserve certain landscapes while developing others without restraint? Drew A. Swanson’s in-depth look at Wormsloe plantation, located on the salt marshes outside of Savannah, GA, explores that question while revealing the broad historical forces that have shaped the lowcountry Noteworthy Books Received by the Southeastern Naturalist, Issue 11/2, 2012 360 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 11, No. 1 South. Wormsloe is one of the most historic and ecologically significant stretches of the Georgia coast. It has remained in the hands of one family from 1736, when Georgia’s Trustees granted it to Noble Jones, through the 1970s, when much of Wormsloe was ceded to Georgia for the creation of a state historic site. It has served as a guard post against aggression from Spanish Florida; a node in an emerging cotton economy connected to far-flung places like Lancashire and India; a retreat for pleasure and leisure; and a carefully maintained historic site and green space. Like many lowcountry places, Wormsloe is inextricably tied to regional, national, and global environments and is the product of transatlantic exchanges. Swanson argues that while visitors to Wormsloe value what they perceive to be an “authentic”, undisturbed place, this landscape is actually the product of aggressive management over generations. He also finds that Wormsloe is an ideal place to get at hidden stories, such as African American environmental and agricultural knowledge, conceptions of health and disease, the relationship between manual labor and views of nature, and the ties between historic preservation and natural resource conservation. Remaking Wormsloe Plantation connects this distinct Georgia place to the broader world, adding depth and nuance to the understanding of our own conceptions of nature and history. How to Read a Florida Gulf Coast Beach: A Guide to Shadow Dunes, Ghost Forests, and Other Telltale Clues from an Ever-Changing Coast. Tonya Clayton. 2012. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. 228 pp. $16, softcover. ISBN 9780807872185. Come explore the geology of Florida’s Gulf Coast beaches, from a bird’s-eye view down to a crab’s-eye view. You'll journey from Panhandle sugar-sand beaches to southwestern shell beaches, taking a fresh look at the ever-changing landscape. With Tonya Clayton as your guide, you’ll learn how to recognize the stories and read the clues of these dynamic shores, reshaped daily by winds, waves, and sometimes bulldozers or dump trucks. This dynamic tour begins with a broad description of Florida’s Gulf Coast, roaming from popular Perdido Key in the northwest to remote Cape Sable in the south. You'll first fly over large-scale coastal features such as the barrier islands, learning to spot signs of the many processes that shape the shores. In subsequent chapters, you’ll visit dunes and beaches to check out sand ripples, tracings, and other markings that show the handiwork of beach breezes, ocean waves, animal life, and even raindrops and air bubbles. You'll also encounter signs of human shaping, including massive boulder structures and sand megatransfers. With a conversational style and more than a hundred illustrations, How to Read a Florida Gulf Coast Beach makes coastal science accessible, carrying vacationers and Florida natives alike on a lively, informative tour of local beach features. Cotingas and Manakins. Guy M. Kirwan and Graeme Green. 2012. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. 624 pp. $55, hardcover. ISBN 9780691153520. The New World tropics are home to the richest avifauna on the planet, with more than 4000 species, many of them endemic. Two groups found exclusively in this region are the cotingas and the manakins. Few other families of birds have such widespread appeal. They are much sought after by birders for their colorful displays, unusual plumages, and, in some cases, great rarity. Their natural history and behavior offer fascinating case studies for evolutionary biologists, while the intriguingly elusive relationships of these birds are of profound interest to taxonomists. Cotingas and Manakins is the definitive work on these jewels of the Neotropics, covering more than 130 species. These range from some of the rarest and most enigmatic birds in the world to some of the best studied of all tropical species. Many are breathtakingly colorful and ornate while some are plain and difficult to see. This stunning volume features 34 color plates by Eustace Barnes, who has observed many of these species in the field, as well as distribution maps and approximately 400 color photographs that cover all but a tiny handful of species. Complete with detailed species accounts describing key identification features, Cotingas and Manakins is the authoritative illustrated guide to these magnificent Neotropical birds. The Southeastern Naturalist welcomes submissions of review copies of books that publishers or authors would like to recommend to the journal’s readership and are relevant to the journal’s mission of publishing information about the natural history of the southeastern US. Accompanying short, descriptive summaries of the text are also welcome.