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566 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 8, No.3
Received by the Southeastern Naturalist, Issue 8/3, 2009
The Good, the Bad, and the Deadly.
Taylor Lockwood. DVD format. Available
online at www.kingdomoffungi.com.
$24.95. This instructional video teaches
you the basics about toxic mushrooms
and their edible look-alikes. It’s an essential
tool for mushroom hunters, cooks,
parents, pet owners, and medical professionals.
In this video, Taylor Lockwood
dispels the myths about poisonous mushrooms,
gives you a close-up field tutorial,
highlights symptoms for eight groups of
toxic mushrooms, teaches many botanical
and common mushroom names, and includes
a short lesson on taking mushroom
photographs. The Good, the Bad, and
the Deadly is delivered in Lockwood’s
lively, down-to-earth style and features
his beautiful mushroom photography.
Part one provides an introduction and
gives background information on poisonous
mushrooms. Part two then lays out
the basics of mushroom identification.
Finally, part three categorizes mushrooms
by groups of toxins. Approximately 1
hour total running time.
Alien Ocean: Anthropological Voyages
in Microbial Seas. Stefan Helmreich.
2008. University of California Press,
Berkeley, CA. 464 pp. $24.95, softcover.
ISBN 9780520250628. Alien Ocean immerses
readers in worlds being newly
explored by marine biologists, worlds
usually out of sight and reach: the deep
sea, the microscopic realm, and oceans
beyond national boundaries. Working
alongside scientists at sea and in labs in
Monterey Bay, Hawai'i, the Woods Hole
Oceanographic Institution, the Sargasso
Sea and at undersea volcanoes in the eastern
Pacific, Stefan Helmreich charts how
revolutions in genomics, bioinformatics,
and remote sensing have pressed marine
biologists to see the sea as animated by
its smallest inhabitants: marine microbes.
Thriving in astonishingly extreme conditions,
such microbes have become key
figures in scientific and public debates
about the origin of life, climate change,
biotechnology, and even the possibility
of life on other worlds.
Dogs: Their Fossil Relatives and Evolutionary
History. Xiaoming Wang and
Richard H. Tedford. 2008. Columbia University
Press, New York, NY. 219 pp. $29.95,
hardcover. ISBN 9780231135283. Xiaoming
Wang and Richard H. Tedford have spent
the past 20 years studying the evolutionary
history of the family Canidae. Both are well
known for having established the modern
framework for the evolutionary relationship
of canids. Combining their research with
Mauricio Antón's impeccable reconstructions
of both extinct and extant species, Wang and
Tedford present a remarkably detailed and
nuanced portrait of the origin and evolution
of canids over the past 40 million years.
The authors cull their history from the most
recent scientific research conducted on the
vast collections of the American Museum
of Natural History and other leading institutions.
The fossil record of the Canidae,
particularly those from their birth place in
North America, are the strongest of their
kind among known groups of carnivorans.
Such a wonderfully detailed evolutionary
history provides access to a natural history
that is not possible with many other groups
of carnivorans.With their rich fossil record,
diverse adaptations to various environments,
and different predatory specializations,
canids are an ideal model organism for the
mapping of predator behavior and morphological
specializations. They also offer an
excellent contrast to felids, which remain
entrenched in extreme predatory specializations.
The innovative illustrated approach in
this book is the perfect accompaniment to an
extremely important branch of animal and
fossil study. It transforms the science of paleontology
into a thrilling visual experience
and provides an unprecedented reference for
anyone fascinated by dogs.
Shark. Dean Crawford. 2008. Reaktion
Press, London, UK. 224 pp. $19.95, softcover.
ISBN 9781861893253. The shark’s
basic design was perfected by Mother
Nature 100 million years ago, and she has
been mass-producing them ever since.
The shark is so superbly suited to its
purpose that it has outlived the dinosaur,
the mastodon, the saber-tooth tiger, and
the woolly mammoth. There have been
some 350 species identified to date, and
Nature is nothing if not inventive with her
designs: besides the “big four” predatory
species (the Great White Shark, the Bull
Shark, the Tiger Shark, and the White Tip
Oceanic Shark) there exist such unlikelylooking
creatures as the Goblin Shark,
which sports a pike above its mouth; the
Thresher Shark, whose scythe-like tail
accounts for 50% of its total length; the
Megamouth Shark, discovered in 1976
when one attempted to eat the sea-anchor
of a warship; and the ingenious little
Cookie-cutter Shark, which dashes in,
latches on to its much larger prey, and
corkscrews out a circular bite of fl esh.
In Shark, Dean Crawford explores the
natural and cultural history of a creature
that has a prominent place in mythology,
the imagination, and even religion.
He analyses the ways that the shark has
been sensationalised in literature and
film, as well as how it looms large in our
psyche, inspiring fear and fascination in
equal measure, and how our emotional
responses have encouraged the commercial
and recreational slaughter of shark
species. Ultimately, Shark is a celebration
of a beautiful animal ideally adapted to
its environment. Shark populations are
now threatened, not because of any fl aw
in design, but because of our own species’
irrational fear and misrepresentation of
them. This book is an inspiration to transcend
that fear, and to come to know and
respect this truly magnificent creature.
The Great New Wilderness Debate. J.
Baird Callicott and Michael P. Nelson
(Eds.). 1998. University of Georgia Press,
Athens, GA. 712 pp. $34.95, softcover.
ISBN 0820319848. An expansive collection
of writings defining wilderness, from
John Muir to Gary Snyder. The Great
New Wilderness Debate is an expansive,
wide-ranging collection that addresses
the pivotal environmental issues of the
modern era. This eclectic volume on the
varied constructions of “wilderness”
reveals the recent controversies that surround
those conceptions, and the gulf
between those who argue for wilderness
“preservation” and those who argue for
“wise use.” J. Baird Callicott and Michael
P. Nelson have selected thirty-nine essays
that provide historical context, range
broadly across the issues, and set forth
the positions of the debate. Beginning
with such well-known authors as Ralph
Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau,
John Muir, and Aldo Leopold, the collection
moves forward to the contemporary
debate and presents seminal works
by a number of the most distinguished
scholars in environmental history and environmental
philosophy. The Great New
Wilderness Debate also includes essays
by conservation biologists, cultural geographers,
environmental activists, and contemporary
writers on the environment.
Gardens and Historic Plants of the
Antebellum South. James R. Cothran.
2003. University of South Carolina Press,
Columbia, SC. 712 pp. $49.95, hardcover.
ISBN 1570035016. Gardens and Historic
Plants of the Antebellum South is a beautifully
illustrated volume that features botanical
prints, lithographs, garden plans,
historic photographs, and contemporary
photography to reveal the rich garden history
of the South. A pictorial splendor as
well as a treasure trove of cultural history,
this volume is unique in its field. James
R. Cothran invites plant enthusiasts,
gardeners, and individuals interested in
the history of the South to experience the
glorious gardens that fl ourished in the
region from 1820 through 1860. During
this period of enormous wealth, prosper568
Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 8, No.3
ous southerners built stately houses and
established high-style gardens in towns
and cities, as well as on plantations.
The South's mild climate, long growing
season, fertile soil, and traditional ties
to the land fostered an abiding interest
in gardening that encompassed the region.
Cothran's research included travel
throughout the South to examine a multitude
of historical sources—diaries, letters,
travel accounts, garden plans, maps,
paintings, photographs, nursery catalogs,
garden books, and agricultural journals.
In the resulting volume, he describes the
distinguishing features of antebellum gardens,
sources for seed and plants, and dissemination
of gardening information and
fashion. Cothran also identifies landscape
plans executed and plants cultivated
during the golden age of horticulture in
the South. Of particular interest to contemporary
gardeners is an extensive list
of ornamentals—American natives, European
favorites, and a wide selection of
newly introduced exotics from China and
Japan—that were hallmarks of antebellum
gardens and that remain mainstays of
southern gardens today. In addition, Cothran
provides profiles of prominent gardeners,
horticulturists, nurserymen, and
writers who, in the decades preceding the
American Civil War, were instrumental in
shaping the horticultural and gardening
legacy of the South.
The Evolution of Animal Communication:
Reliability and Deception in
Signaling Systems. William A. Searcy
and Stephen Nowicki. 2005. Princeton
University Press, Princeton, NJ. 288 pp.
$35.95, softcover. ISBN 9780691070957.
Gull chicks beg for food from their parents.
Peacocks spread their tails to attract
potential mates. Meerkats alert family
members of the approach of predators.
But are these—and other animals—
sometimes dishonest? That's what William
Searcy and Stephen Nowicki ask
in The Evolution of Animal Communication.
They take on the fascinating yet
perplexing question of the dependability
of animal signaling systems. The book
probes such phenomena as the begging of
nesting birds, alarm calls in squirrels and
primates, carotenoid coloration in fish
and birds, the calls of frogs and toads,
and weapon displays in crustaceans. Do
these signals convey accurate information
about the signaler, its future behavior, or
its environment? Or do they mislead receivers
in a way that benefits the signaler?
For example, is the begging chick really
hungry as its cries indicate or is it lobbying
to get more food than its brothers and
sisters? Searcy and Nowicki take on these
and other questions by developing clear
definitions of key issues, by reviewing the
most relevant empirical data and gametheory
models available, and by asking
how well theory matches data. They find
that animal communication is largely
reliable—but that this basic reliability
also allows the clever deceiver to fl ourish.
Well researched and clearly written, their
book provides new insight into animal
communication, behavior, and evolution.
Tropical Plants of Costa Rica: A Guide
to Native and Exotic Flora. Willow Zuchowski.
2005. Cornell University Press,
Ithaca, NY. 532 pp. $35, softcover. ISBN
9780801473746. Ranging from miniature
epiphytic orchids to towering trees, and
from mangrove forests lining coastal waterways
to high-elevation cloud forests,
Costa Rica's rich and varied fl ora dazzles
visitors and botanists alike. Tropical
Plants of Costa Rica, the first popular
treatment to include plants from all regions
of the country, is an indispensable
guide to native and exotic species found
in the neotropics. This book is beautifully
illustrated with more than 540 full-color
photographs taken in the field, each depicting
an entire plant or a closer view of
fl owers, fruits, or seeds. Instructive penand-
ink drawings of botanical details also
accompany many of the accounts. The
text clearly explains each plant's identifying
characteristics and reveals fascinating
facts about its natural history, chemical
properties, economic importance,
and medicinal and other uses. Sidebar
features throughout the book highlight
conservation, ethnobotany, and ecology;
their topics include unusual applications
for plants, distinct attributes of certain
plant families, and plants of particular
microhabitats. Tropical Plants of Costa
Rica is a wonderful resource for naturalists,
students, and researchers, as well as
both experienced and first-time visitors to
Costa Rica and the American tropics.
The Mammals of Costa Rica: A Natural
History and Field Guide. Mark Wainwright.
2007. Cornell University Press,
Ithaca, NY. 488 pp. $29.95, softcover.
ISBN 9780801473753. From the raucous
Mantled Howler Monkeys and the charismatic
White-nosed Coatis to the elusive
Jaguar, The Mammals of Costa Rica offers
authoritative accounts of the fascinating
creatures of the neotropics. With more
than four hundred spectacular illustrations
and a wealth of detailed information
drawn from firsthand observation, new
research, and synthesis of the scientific
literature, this book describes all of Costa
Rica's readily identifiable terrestrial and
freshwater mammals. The clear and entertaining
text is perfectly suited to meet
the needs of naturalists, students, and
researchers, as well as both experienced
and first-time visitors to Costa Rica
and the American tropics. The mammal
descriptions include key identification
features, range maps, vocalizations, local
folklore and mythology, and comprehensive
information about natural history and
conservation. The color illustrations show
not only the mammals themselves but
also their tracks, foods, and skulls. Also
included are illustrations of numerous
other animals and plants with which the
mammals have close ecological links. By
presenting mammals in a broader context,
The Mammals of Costa Rica provides an
entry point into a general study of tropical
ecology and conservation.
The Birds of Costa Rica: A Field Guide.
Richard Garrigues. 2007. Cornell University
Press, Ithaca, NY. 416 pp. $29.95,
softcover. ISBN 9780801473739. This
is the one field guide the novice or experienced
birder needs to identify birds in
the field in the diverse habitats found in
Costa Rica. It features descriptions and
illustrations of more than 820 resident
and neotropical migrant species found in
Costa Rica, all in a compact, portable, user-
friendly design. The detailed full-color
illustrations show identifying features—
including plumage differences among
males, females, and juveniles—and views
of birds in fl ight wherever pertinent. Additional
features of this all-new guide
include: 166 original color plates depicting
more than 820 species; concise text
that describes key field marks for positive
identification, as well as habitat, behavior,
and vocalizations; range maps and
texts arranged on opposing pages from
illustrations for quick, easy reference; the
most up-to-date bird list for Costa Rica;
a visual guide to the anatomical features
of birds with accompanying explanatory
text; and quick reference to vultures and
raptors in fl ight. 783 maps and 31 color illustrations
in addition to the color plates.
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.
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