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2006 Book Reviews 757
Book Reviews of the Southeastern Naturalist, Issue 5/4, 2006
Galápagos: A Natural History. John
Kricher. 2006. Princeton University
Press, Princeton, NJ. 221 pp. $19.95,
softcover. ISBN 13: 978069112633X.
The diversity of life found on the
Galápagos Islands inspired Charles
Darwin’s theory of evolution, and today,
this remote archipelago is a popular paradise
for naturalists and eco-tourists. This
book, written by a Galápagos ecotour
guide who is also a respected ecologist,
tells the story of the geological and natural
history of these islands, as well as of
the unique wildlife that calls them home.
Throughout, references are made to Darwin,
his voyage on the Beagle, and his
revolutionary theory. This book will appeal
to a broad audience, including students
of biology and evolution, and those
who dream of visiting the Galápagos.
With a detailed island-by-island guide,
this book will be especially valuable for
those who will be visiting there. Scholarly
but easy to understand, and with a center
section of color photos, this is an enjoyable
and informative book. Selected references
are included with each chapter. S.E.
The Rise of Placental Mammals: Origins
and Relationships of the Major Extant
Clades. Kenneth D. Rose and J.
David Archibald. 2005. The John
Hopkins University Press, Baltimore,
MD. 259 pp. $95, hardcover. ISBN
080188022X. Presenting the evolutionary
history of placental mammals, the authors
include recent evidence and theories that
represent the majority and many minority
views. The text is based on a symposium
on placental evolution held at the Society
of Vertebrate Paleontology in 2002. The
first chapter addresses the major interests
of George Gaylord Simpson, a pioneer in
the field, followed by several chapters
that examine evolution from an anatomical
and a molecular viewpoint. Eleven
chapters, organized by order as defined
by molecular evidence, examine the evolution
of the extinct and extant members
of the various clades. Many black and
white photographs, figures, and tables enhance
the text. Each chapter is individually
referenced, and an index of taxa and
terms is provided. C.R.
Marine Conservation Biology: The Science
of Maintaining the Sea’s
Biodiversity. Elliot A. Norse and Larry
B. Crowder (Eds.). With a foreword by
Michael E. Soulé. 2005. Island Press,
Washington, DC. 470 pp. $49.95,
softcover. ISBN 1559636629. This text
provides a broad conceptual and scientific
framework for discussing and examining
issues pertaining to the conservation of
marine resources. It is part of a larger
effort, aptly named as mission-oriented
scholarship, that seeks to provide scientific
knowledge for conservation efforts,
and it is motivated by the awareness that
many marine animals and ecosystems are
threatened by human activity. The book is
divided into five sections, each with several
chapters by marine scientists discussing
topics pertaining to basic concepts of
marine populations, marine biological diversity,
the threats posed by fisheries,
management of marine reserves and ecosystems,
and sociological and legal issues.
With a focus that includes solutions
as well as problems, this book is a timely
and valuable reference for students, scientists,
and conservationists. S.E.
State of the Wild 2006: A Global Portrait
of Wildlife, Wildlands, and
Oceans. Sharon Guynup (Ed.). 2005. Island
Press, Washington, DC. 326 pp. $25,
softcover. ISBN 1597260010. The first in
a series of volumes sponsored by the
Wildlife Conservation Society that examine
the state of wildlife and wildlands impacted
by human activity and the conservation
efforts to mitigate those effects.
This inaugural edition presents a sobering
assessment of how hunting has decimated
758 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 5, No.4
wildlife populations on every continent
and in every ocean. Filled with facts and
figures, and with contributions by leading
scientists, conservationists, and world-renowned
writers, this book is both alarming
and inspiring. No one can remain
complacent after reading this book; the
problems are real and they threaten our
very existence, but the stories of successful
conservation efforts give hope that we
can still preserve what remains. Future
editions in this series are sure to be eagerly
Algae: Anatomy, Biochemistry, and
Biotechnology. Laura Barsanti and Paolo
Gualtieri. 2006. CRC Press, Taylor and
Francis Group, Boca Raton, FL. 301 pp.
$119.95, hardcover. ISBN 0849314674.
This is a broad overview of the biology of
algae, with an emphasis on microalgae,
although macroalgae are also discussed.
Not intended to be comprehensive, this
text is nonetheless packed with information
on the general biology, anatomy, phylogeny,
biochemistry, and culture of algae.
Freshwater, marine, and terrestrial forms
are discussed, and the text is supplemented
with over 200 line drawings and photographs.
The chapters on algal culturing,
working with light, and biotechnological
and food uses of algae provide practical
information and an excellent demonstration
of the application of scientific knowledge.
Highly recommended for students
and experts alike, with carefully selected
references from both the current and the
classic literature. S.E.
Symmorphosis: On Form and Function
in Shaping Life. Ewald R. Weibel. 2000.
Harvard University Press, Cambridge,
MA. 263 pp. $54.95, hardcover. ISBN
0674000684. The idea that form must
match function in animals seems obvious,
but trying to quantify this relationship is
not as intuitive. In this book, Ewald Eibel
demonstrates that this can be done, but it
makes for some highly technical and complex
writing. As such, this book will be of
interest primarily to those with an advanced
understanding of biology, particularly
anatomy and physiology. Some
readers may disagree with his emphasis
on genetic factors as the primary determinant
of form, as opposed to environmental
factors. Nonetheless, his conclusions are
strongly supported by scientific evidence,
and his quantitative approach demonstrates
that much of the diversity we see
in life is essentially variation on a common
blueprint. The text is supported with
many drawings, photographs, and charts,
and includes references and suggestions
for further reading. S.E.
Marine Mammal Research: Conservation
Beyond Crisis. John E. Reynolds III,
William F. Perrin, Randall R. Reeves,
Suzanne Montgomery, and Timothy J.
Ragen (Eds.). 2005. The Johns Hopkins
University Press, Baltimore, MD. 223 pp.
$50, hardcover. ISBN 0801882559. With
contributions from leading scientists, and
edited by a team of accomplished marine
mammal experts, this text provides an upto-
date assessment of the threats facing
marine mammals. Major threats, discussed
in separate chapters, include fisheries
bycatch, infectious disease, environmental
contaminants, algal blooms, and
anthropogenic sound. Recommendations
for further research and mitigation efforts
are proposed. Looking beyond the threats,
the contributors map out a scientifically
based plan for recovery of marine mammal
populations, and argue for a more
proactive approach to marine mammal
protection that identifies and mitigates
potential threats before they have an adverse
effect. An essential book for marine
mammal researchers, oceanographers,
regulators, and those called to help in the
effort to save marine mammals from extinction.
Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic
and Geographic Reference. 3rd
Edition. Don E. Wilson and DeeAnn M.
Reeder (Eds.). 2005. The Johns Hopkins
2006 Book Reviews 759
University Press, Baltimore, MD. 743 pp.
$125, hardcover. ISBN 0801882214. This
is a handsomely bound two-volume
checklist of all of the world's known
mammal species. Due to taxonomic revision
and the discovery and description of
new species, this 3rd edition has 787 more
listings than the 2nd edition, for a total of
5416 species. The format consists of the
scientific name, followed by the common
name, type locality, distribution, status as
endangered or threatened, synonyms (previous
scientific names), and comments relating
to taxonomy. There are no descriptions
or life-history details; this is purely
a taxonomic and geographic reference. A
must-have text for any professional mammalogist,
and a useful and authoritative
reference for scientists and students in
other disciplines. Extensively referenced
to the literature. S.E.
Kepler’s Witch: An Astronomer’s Discovery
of Cosmic Order Amid Religious
War, Political Intrigue, and the
Heresy Trial of His Mother. James A.
Connor. 2004. HarperCollins, New
York, NY. 402 pp. $24.95, hardcover.
ISBN 0060522550. Johannes Kepler was
one of the great, early astronomers and
mathematicians whose work and insights
made possible Isaac Newton’s discoveries.
Working in the early 1600s, just before
the bloody Thirty Years’ War and in
an atmosphere of religious upheaval and
superstition, Kepler was a devout
Lutheran who saw Gods’ order in the laws
of planetary motion and the science of
optics. This fascinating story of one of
the founding figures of science begins
with the trial of Kepler’s mother for
witchcraft. More than a biography, this
book tells the story of the Reformation
and Counter-Reformation, and the
struggle to reconcile the findings of science
with religious dogma. Using historical
records and Kepler’s diary entries and
correspondence, James Connor gives a
vivid portrayal of a great scientist and
man of moral conviction, as well as providing
a window into a tumultuous and
eventful period in European history. S.E.
Human Impact on Amazonia: The Role
of Traditional Ecological Knowledge in
Conservation and Development. Darrell
Addison Posey and Michael J. Balick
(Eds.). 2006. Columbia University Press,
New York, NY. 392 pp. $74.50, hardcover.
ISBN 0231105886. The Amazon
basin has had a long history of human
habitation and impact; it is estimated that
at the time of the first European contact in
the 1500s, there were already 5-7 million
people living there. This collection of
twenty contributions from ethnobotanists,
anthropologists, environmental scientists,
and others shows how historic and contemporary
human activities have made the
Amazon what it is today. It highlights the
need for collaboration with indigenous
Amazonians and respect for local values if
we are to avoid outright destruction of the
ecology of this unique and important region.
This is a technically oriented text,
referenced to the scientific literature, and
requiring some background in the issues
and science for full comprehension. Of
great value to anyone interested in policies
influencing the future of the Amazon basin.
Sea Turtles of the Atlantic and Gulf
Coasts of the United States. Carol
Ruckdeschel and Robert R. Spotila.
2006. The University of Georgia Press,
Athens, GA. 136 pp. $19.95, softcover.
ISBN 0820326143. This general and well
illustrated guide provides a concise but
well rounded education in the biology and
conservation of six species of sea turtles.
Beautiful color photographs of the turtles
in their natural environment are supplemented
with line drawings showing identifying
details of anatomical features of
adults and juveniles. The text provides
life-history details and discusses the conservation
issues for each species. A key is
included to allow for accurate identification
of either whole or partial specimens.
760 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 5, No.4
This guide will be enjoyed by anyone interested
in learning more about these ancient
and charismatic creatures. S.E.
Biodiversity and Environmental Philosophy:
An Introduction. Sahotra
Sarkar. 2005. Cambridge University
Press, New York, NY. 258 pp. $75,
hardcover. ISBN 0521851327. This
book is primarily concerned with the
philosophical problems raised by the use
of adaptive management as a framework
for the new science of conservation biology,
which has the explicit goal of conserving
biodiversity. It presents an anthropocentric
justification for environmental
ethics, rather than arguing from a
position of intrinsic worth. Epistemological
issues are given equal weight with
environmental ethics, making this text
unique in its’ emphasis. The author’s purpose
is to stimulate discussion and frame
questions, rather than to pose a definitive
environmental philosophy. The essays in
the first half of the book concern ethical
rationales for biodiversity conservation,
with the second half being an examination
of epistemological issues. This text will
be an important reference for anyone concerned
with the rationale and ethical necessity
of environmental conservation efforts.
Echolocation in Bats and Dolphins.
Jeanette A. Thomas, Cynthia F. Moss,
and Marianne Vater (Eds.). 2004. The
University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL.
604 pp. $45, softcover. ISBN
0226795993. This is a thorough and upto-
date compilation of 72 contributions
by international experts on bioacoustic
signaling in bats and dolphins. The six
major sections of the book cover how sonar
signals are made, auditory systems,
performance and cognition, ecological
and evolutionary aspects, echolocation
theory and analyses, and the possibility of
echolocation abilities in other mammals.
With many illustrations, graphs, charts,
and figures, this is a text by scientists and
for scientists. The great value of this effort
lies in the fact that it combines research
on two very different groups of
animals into one single volume, giving
scientists from either field a resource for
comparing their differences and similarities.
Well referenced to the literature, and
a valuable reference for anyone working
in this area. S.E.
Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals.
William F. Perrin, Bernd Würsig, and
J.G.M. Thewissen (Eds.). 2002. Academic
Press, San Diego, CA. 1414 pp.
$149.95, hardcover. ISBN 0125513402.
This massive volume covers all aspects of
marine mammals, with the topics alphabetically
arranged for ease of use. The 283
articles contained here were expressly
commissioned for this volume, and represent
the most scientifically accurate and
current science available on marine mammals.
The encyclopedia is generously illustrated
with photographs (including 16
pages of color plates), anatomical line
drawings, charts, and figures. It is extensively
referenced to the scientific literature,
with approximately 3000 bibliography
entries, and the appendix includes biographies
of famous scientists and a definitive
listing of all known marine mammals.
This text is sure to be an invaluable
reference on marine mammals for a large
audience of researchers, students at all levels,
and the general public. S.E.
On the Origin of Phyla. James W. Valentine.
2004. The University of Chicago
Press, Chicago, IL. 614 pp. $35,
softcover. ISBN 022684594. This ambitious
and important text was inspired by
Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. In the
150 years since the publication of
Darwin’s work, findings from the fields
of molecular biology, embryology, paleontology,
and other biological sciences
have confirmed his theory on how species
evolved, and have provided a foundation
that allows Valentine to examine and explain
how phyla have evolved. Most of
2006 Book Reviews 761
todays’ life forms first appeared during
the “Cambrian explosion”, which took
place over 500 million years ago. The
three main sections of this volume cover
the evidence of the origins of these metazoan
phyla, a description of the phyla, and
an examination of their evolutionary development.
This book is a crowning
achievement that is already a classic. S.E.
The Grail Bird: The Rediscovery of the
Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Tim
Gallagher. 2005. Houghton Mifflin Co.,
NY 286 pp. $14.95, softcover. ISBN
061870941X. A dramatic firs-hand account
of the year and a half leading up to
the announcement of the rediscovery of the
Ivory-billed Woodpecker in the swamp
forest of Arkansas. The author was one of
the original researchers involved in the arduous
field work leading to confirmation
that the species was not extinct. Provides
play-by-play detail of all developments
and sightings of that time period. Additionally
highlights the most neglected landscape
in America: southern bottomland
hardwood forests, habitat for the Ivorybilled
Woodpecker. An excellent story of
science in progress and of the careful considerations
those who care deeply about
the bird made before revealing its existence.
Once started, it is difficult to put
down. Recommended for all. S.O'M.
Florida Keys Wildflowers: A Field
Guide to Wildflowers, Trees, Shrubs
and Woody Vines of the Florida Keys.
Roger L. Hammer. 2004. Globe Pequot
Press, Guildford, CT. 231 pp. $23.95,
softcover. ISBN 0762725699. Useful visual
guide to Florida Key wildflowers.
Species descriptions include a full color
photo of the flower, identification would
be best done from the photo and flowering-
season information given. Organized
by flower color, not taxonomic group. Includes
translations and explanations of
Latin names for the specific purpose of
helping those unfamiliar with Latin names
understand their origins. Useful for identification,
but readers would have to seek
additional information about species or
family elsewhere. Interesting introduction
and description of native plant communities.
Recommended for Key residents or
A Land Imperiled: The Declining
Health of the Southern Appalachian
Bioregion. John Holt, 2005 University of
Tennessee Press, Knoxville TN, 435 pp.
$26.95 softcover, ISBN 157233326X. An
unflinching catalogue of environmental
problems on the Southeastern Appalachian
bioregion, organized around the
Smoky mountains and the drainage of the
Tennessee River. Treats problems chapter
by chapter, with an especially interesting
chapter on food-related issues specific to
Southern Appalachia. Offers several models
for sustainability and ends with future
prospects. An excellent resource for any
one living in the region; useful as reference
or text book. Recommended. S.O'M.
A Handbook for Stream Enhancement
and Stewardship. Second Edition. The
Izaak Walton League of America. 2006.
McDonald and Woodward Publishing
Co., Blacksburg Virginia 178 pp. $34.95,
softcover. ISBN 093992398X. A complete
guide to evaluating stream and watershed
health. Designed for community
groups with little hydrological expertise
who are nonetheless concerned about surface
water quality. Topics include an
overview of stream system basics, watershed
assessment and site inventories, and
stream enhancement techniques. An additional
chapter is devoted to rangeland and
pasture issues. 19 appendices. Full of specific,
practical advice and additional resources.
Guides reader through advanced
stream restoration techniques. An invaluable
book for community watershed
groups. Highly recommended. S.O'M.
Beneath the Surface: Critical Essays in
the Philosophy of Deep Ecology. Eric
Katz, Andrew Light, and David
762 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 5, No.4
Rothenberg (Eds.). 2000. MIT Press, Cambridge
MA 328 pp. $24.95, softcover.
ISBN 026261149X. Collection of essays
exploring the philosophical aspects of
foundations of Deep Ecology. Not a policy
book. Generally emphasizes and builds on
the works of Arne Naess, with some critique.
Especially interesting section deals
with new directions for Deep Ecology and
includes essays on links between Deep
Ecology and non western spiritual traditions.
Provides an outside perspective on
the movement and analysis of Deep Ecology
as a philosophical position. Like most
academic works of philosophy, this is not
for the general reader. Dense bibliography.
Useful collection for those interested in the
philosophical underpinnings of environmentalism
and students of and adherents to
Deep Ecology. S.O'M.
The Indiana Bat: Biology and Management
of an Endangered Species. Allen
Kurta and Jim Kennedy (Eds.). 2002. Bat
Conservation International, Austin TX
253 pp. $17.00, softcover. No ISBN. A
collection of scientific papers and previously
unpublished studies from 2001 symposium
on the Indiana Bat. Includes studies
on status and distribution, summer and
winter habitat, day roosts, ecology and behavior,
and effects of pollution. All studies
are of Indiana Bat, an endangered species,
but may hold applicable information
for other bat species. Discussions of management
and policy are limited to discussions
in scientific papers. A straight forward
collection. Useful for anyone studying
bats or involved in bat conservation.
Includes CD with digital versions of all
Lowly Origin: Where, When, and Why
Our Ancestors First Stood Up. Jonathan
Kingdon. 2003. Princeton University
Press, Princeton, NJ. 396 pp. $19.95,
softcover. ISBN 0691120285. A work of
popular science that examines human evolution
with particular emphasis on discovering
the conditions that drove the development
of erect bipedalism. Puts forth the
theory that the mechanism of change was
adaptation to new forest type with more
terrestrial feeding. Anatomy that enabled
ground squatting and foraging was the
precursor to bepedalism in author’s view.
Sees ecology and biogeography as important
factors, particularly with respect to
isolation of populations. Relates human
evolution to other vertebrates as well.
Concludes with an essay on greater implications
of the future of humanity. Enhanced
by inclusion of the author’s own
black and white drawings and paintings
illustrating concepts and significant steps
in hominid evolution. Referenced by
chapter. Readable and personable; of interest
to general reader as well as those
who follow competing theories of human
Reconnecting with John Muir: Essays
in Post Pastoral Practice. Terry Gifford.
2006. University of Georgia Press, Athens,
GA 201 pp. $39.95, cloth. ISBN
0820327964. A multifaceted book that
adds to a growing body of literary
ecocriticism. Author is a John Muir
scholar as well as professor and mountaineer.
The work introduces author’s theory
of the “post pastoral” in literary criticism
and environmental awareness. Examines
the writings of John Muir through a post
pastoral lense. Makes analysis of several
newer writers including Rick Bass,
Rebecca Solnit and Charles Frazier. Includes
discussion of mountaineering and
climbing literature. Especially practical
chapter on teaching environmentalism
through writing. Punctuated by 12 original
poems directed from the author to
John Muir. A strange and somewhat difficult
book. Sufficiently abstract to dissuade
the general reader. Meant for those
in the scholarly or ecocriticism field. Includes
3 appendices and extensive bibliography.
Book Reviewers: S.E. = Stephen Eddy,
C.R. = Cathy Rees, S.O'M.= Sarah