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Noteworthy Books for the Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 13, Issue 4

Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 13, Issue 4 (2014): B11

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Southeastern Naturalist B11 Noteworthy Books 2014 Vol. 13, No. 4 Biology and Conservation of North American Tortoises. Edited by David C. Rostal, Earl D. McCoy, and Henry R. Mushinksy. 2014. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD. 190 pp., $69.95, hardcover. ISBN: 9781421413778. This remarkable anthology by experts in the field, gives a comprehensive overview of tortoise morphology, taxonomy, systematics, paleontology, physiology, ecology, behavior, reproduction, diet, growth, health, and conservation. Tortoises split from pond turtles about 100 million years ago and became plant-eating land tortoises that grow to a comparatively enormous size and can live up to 180 years or so. This text also includes anatomy, physiology, reproductive physiology with histological illustrations, growth patterns, pathology, demography, life history with evidence of behaviors, as well as threats to tortoise well-being. Biology and Conservation of North American Tortoises presents much current field biology results and new data on tortoise populations. An essential new reference for your herpetology bookshelf. Sharks: The Animal Answer Guide. 2014. Gene Helfman and George H. Burgess. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD. 288 pp. $26.95, softcover. ISBN 97814214143099. Describing the biology, behavior, diversity, and cultural importance of sharks, this book takes readers on an international tour of shark habitats in oceans, lakes, and rivers. Its authors are experts—George Burgess is director of the Florida Program for Shark Research and Gene Helfman is a professor emeritus at the Conservation Biology Programs at the University of Georgia. Summarizing the attributes of 1000 shark species, the authors also describe threats to their existence such as overfishing and persecution. The book is organized as answers to a long series of common questions about these widely misunderstood organisms. Contains beautiful photographs, and is remarkably readable and well-written. This guide is suitable for beginners in the field and instructive for knowledgeable readers. Hiking North Carolina’s National Forests: 50 The Last Beach. Orrin H. Pilkey and J. Andrew G. Cooper. 2014. Duke University Press, Durham, NC. 256 pp. $19.95, softcover. ISBN: 9780822358091. Pilkey is a professor emeritus at Duke University and he is joined by Cooper, of the University of Ulster, in this clarion call for beach conservation. Together they present a truly international picture of the current science of shorelines. They discuss the harm being done by dense oceanfront development, and the construction of massive seawalls; the toll taken by sand mining; trash that washes up on beaches, as well as pollution in the water and the sand, in the era of sea-level rise. They urge us to reconcile our actions with our love of beaches and present many ways to reverse our course. The Last Beach is an exciting addition to the literature on an important and timely subject. Includes beautiful and disturbing color photographs. Can’t-Miss Trail Adventures. Johnny Molloy. 2014. The University of North Carolina Press. Chapel Hill, NC. 264 pp. $22.00, softcover. ISBN: 9781469611679. Molloy renders the sometimes-primitive trails of the 1.2 million acres of national forestland in North Carolina accessible to both beginner and more intrepid hikers, from families with small children to dedicated wilderness wanderers. Spotlighting the best hikes in North Carolina’s four national forests – Nantahala, Pisgah, Uwharrie and Croatian, ranging from mountains to the coast – this book includes some of the state’s lesser-known gems as well. Includes hike summary with distance, time and difficulty; GPS coordinates, cultural and natural history, best seasons to go, fees and permits, plus photos and maps to orient you. Hiking North Carolina’s National Forests: 50 Can’t-Miss Trail Adventures is a must-have for your trip to North Carolina. Noteworthy Books Received by the Southeastern Naturalist, Issue 13/4, 2014 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.