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2017 Vol. 16, No. 2
Amphibians and Reptiles of Land Between the
Lakes. David H. Snyder, A. Floyd Scott, Edmund
J. Zimmerer, and David Frymire. 2016. University
Press of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. 160
pp. $24.95, Softcover. ISBN 9780813167671.
Known for its natural beauty, Land Between the
Lakes National Recreation Area is the largest
inland peninsula in the US. More than 1.4 million
nature lovers annually visit its 170,000 acres
of forested and protected public land between
Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. This richly diverse
ecosystem is home to underappreciated but
fascinating creatures. The authors offer detailed
descriptions and stunning color photographs
of salamanders, frogs, toads, turtles, lizards,
and snakes, some native only to this region of
the world. Whether you are a professional or
backyard naturalist, this handy reference offers
an indispensable resource for understanding the
ecological effect they have on the habitats in
which they thrive.
Florida’s Crocodile: Biology and History of
a Threatened Species. Charles LeBuff. 2017.
Amber Publishing, Fort Meyers, FL. 157 pp.
$7.95, Softcover. ISBN 9780962501364. Today,
about 2000 wild American Crocodiles remain
in Florida. This book is the first comprehensive
examination of their biology, life history, and
interaction with humans in the state. It is a wellillustrated
and factual book that is complete in
every respect. The text is interspersed with interesting
anecdotes about the American Crocodile
and, its more abundant relative, the American
Alligator. Florida’s Crocodile documents their
century-long decline and recent ongoing recovery.
The devastating exploits of America’s infamous
“Crocodile Hunter” are recounted in this
book. Detailed information on what once was advertised
along highways in South Florida as “the
world’s largest collection of Florida crocodiles”
brings a unique perspective. The crocodile’s
growth, senses, salt-tolerance, reproduction,
prey, longevity, size, temperature-tolerance, and
this unique reptile’s geographic range are among
the diverse elements that are included in the easy
to read text. Samples among the 15 chapters are:
Living Crocodilians of the World; The Alligator
and the Crocodile in Florida, Crocodile Commonality,
An Overview of the American Crocodile’s
Historical Presence in Florida, America’s
Crocodile Hunter, The Range of the American
Crocodile in Florida, Reproduction, Eggs, Incubation,
and Temperature, and Dangerous Crocodilians.
This book is a must-read for biologists,
naturalists, and others who are interested in the
unique and rare fauna of South Florida.
The Great Acceleration: An Environmental
History of the Anthropocene since 1945. J.R.
McNeill and Peter Engelke. 2016. Belknap Press
of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.
London, UK. 288 pp. $19.95, Softcover. ISBN
978067454038. The Great Acceleration presents
the full text of J.R. McNeill and Peter Engelke's
contribution to Global Interdependence: The
World after 1945, the sixth volume of A History
of the World. Since the mid-20th century, the accelerating
pace of energy use, greenhouse-gas
emissions, and population growth has thrust the
planet into a massive uncontrolled experiment.
The book explains its causes and consequences,
highlighting the role of energy systems, as well
as trends in climate change, urbanization, and
environmentalism. Before 1700, people used
very little fossil fuel; over the next two hundred
years coal became the most important energy
source. When oil entered the picture, the two
fuels soon accounted for 75 percent of human energy
use. We are now living in the Anthropocene.
The period from 1945 to the present is the most
anomalous period in the history of humanity’s
relationship with the biosphere. Three-quarters
of the carbon dioxide humans have contributed
to the atmosphere has accumulated since World
War II ended, and the number of people on Earth
has nearly tripled. So far, humans have dramatically
altered the planet’s biogeochemical systems
without consciously managing them. If we try to
control these systems through geoengineering,
we will inaugurate another stage of the Anthropocene.
Where it might lead, no one can say for
Received by the Southeastern Naturalist, Issue 16/2, 2017
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.