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Noteworthy Books Received by the Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 9, Number 2, 2010

Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 9, Issue 2 (2010): 406–412

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406 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 9, No.2 406 Noteworthy Books Received by the Southeastern Naturalist, Issue 9/2, 2010 Scientific Jefferson: Revealed. Martin Clagett. 2009. University of Virginia Press, Charlottesville, VA. 264 pp. $24.95, hardcover. ISBN 9780813928548. Well known as a politician and architect, Thomas Jefferson also made important contributions to science. He was elected the third president not only of the United States, but also of that most august of scientific clubs, the American Philosophical Society, following in the footsteps of Benjamin Franklin and David Rittenhouse. He penned what was arguably the most important American scientific work of the eighteenth century, Notes on the State of Virginia. He designed architecture that promoted a healthy mind in a healthy body and the prevention of infectious diseases, and devised codes and a cipher machine to shield the new Republic against threats of foreign espionage. In his new book, Martin Clagett explores these and other achievements, returning Jefferson to his rightful place as an innovator in the scientific realm. Scientific Jefferson: Revealed explores how science shaped Thomas Jefferson’s views on politics, religion, economics, and social developments in America. The first of all sciences for Jefferson was agriculture, to which he was attached “by inclination as well as by conviction that it is the most useful of occupations of man.” He introduced new and useful plants and livestock into America and advocated the study and practice of agriculture as a science. Perhaps most importantly, he brought forth his original invention of the mathematically precise “Mouldboard Plough of Least Resistance.” Clagett also highlights Jefferson’s endeavors in archaeology. Jefferson developed the scientific methodology of stratification, which is the foundation of modern archeological techniques, and because of this innovation, he is often called the “Father of American Archaeology.” In addition, Clagett examines Jefferson’s contributions to anthropology, ethnology, comparative linguistics, paleontology, and medicine. Scientific Jefferson is punctuated with color illustrations, charts, and documents that demonstrate Jefferson’s scientific talents, interests, and accomplishments. Clagett concludes with a broader summary of Jefferson’s scientific achievements and offers a fresh view of Monticello, the University of Virginia, and even Jefferson’s own gravestone as testimonials to his devotion to science. Life Along the Inner Coast: A Naturalist’s Guide to the Sounds, Inlets, Rivers, and Intracoastal Waterway from Norfolk to Key West. Robert L. Lippson and Alice Jane Lippson. 2009. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. 472 pp. $35, hardcover. ISBN 9780807833032. For decades, marine scientists Robert and Alice Jane Lippson have traveled the inner coast—the rivers, backwaters, sounds, bays, lagoons, and inlets stretching from the Chesapeake Bay to the Florida Keys—aboard their trawler, Odyssey. The culmination of their leisurely journeys, Life along the Inner Coast is a guidebook to the plants, animals, and habitats found in one of the most biologically diverse regions on the planet. This dense system of waterways contains an incredible range of salinity levels, from fresh to brackish to oceanic, and is host to flora and fauna that have adapted to both specific and broad ranges of ecological habitats. The Lippsons explore each habitat, from wooded wetlands, broad marshes, and sandy beaches, to the hundreds of piers and pilings thrusting into the waters, to the vast shallow waters rich in populations of fish, crabs, mollusks, and myriad other marine creatures. They describe more than 800 species that are beautifully illustrated with meticulous ink drawings and photographs and organized according to habitat type and geographic region. Ranging from the busy commercial harbor at Norfolk through vast expanses of marshlands of 2010 Noteworthy Books 407 the mid-Atlantic to the tropical mangrove islands of Florida, Life Along the Inner Coast offers readers a rich understanding of the relationships between organisms and the places they live. It is a valuable resource for naturalists, students, and anyone who lives or vacations along the Atlantic inner coast. The Armchair Birder: Discoverig the Secret Lives of Familiar Birds. John Yow. 2009. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. 264 pp. $25, hardcover. ISBN 9780807832790. Bird lovers, take heart! While the birding literature is filled with tales of expert observers spotting rare species in exotic locales, John Yow's The Armchair Birder reminds us that the most fascinating birds can be the ones perched right outside our windows. In thirty-five engaging, humorous, and even irreverent essays, Yow reveals the fascinating lives of birds you probably already recognize and naturally want to know more about—because they're the ones you see nearly every day. Following the seasons of the year, Yow covers fortytwo species, from the Carolina Wren that rings in the springtime to the Sandhill Crane croaking high overhead at the end of winter. Leisurely and entertaining, the essays explore the improbable, unusual, and comical aspects of their subjects’ lives—from the philandering of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird to the occasional dipsomania of the Cedar Waxwing. Rather than bare facts and field marks, The Armchair Birder offers observations, anecdotes, and stories—not only Yow’s own, but also those of America’s classic bird writers, such as John James Audubon, Arthur Bent, and Edward Forbush, experts who saw it all and wrote with wit and passion. With The Armchair Birder, backyard birders will take new delight in the birds at their feeders, while veteran check-listers will enjoy putting their feet up. All will applaud this unique addition to bird literature, one that combines the fascination of bird life with the pleasure of good reading. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia, 2nd Edition. Jeffrey C. Beane, Alvin L. Braswell, Joseph C. Mitchell, William M. Palmer, and Julian R. Harrison III. 2010. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. 288 pp. $55, hardcover. ISBN 9780807832790. Revised and updated to reflect the most current science, and including 30 new species, this authoritative and comprehensive volume is the definitive guide to the amphibians and reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia. The new edition features 189 species of salamanders, frogs, crocodilians, turtles, lizards, and snakes, with updated color photographs, descriptions, and distribution maps for each species. It is an indispensable guide for zoologists, amateur naturalists, environmentalists, backpackers, campers, hikers, and everyone interested in the outdoors. Mountain Nature: A Seasonal Natural History of the Southern Appalachians. Jennifer Frick-Ruppert. 2010. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. 256 pp. $20, softcover. ISBN 9780807871164. The Southern Appalachians are home to a breathtakingly diverse array of living things—from delicate orchids to carnivorous pitcher plants, from migrating butterflies to flying squirrels, and from brawny Black Bears to more species of salamander than anywhere else in the world. Mountain Nature is a lively and engaging account of the ecology of this remarkable region. It explores the animals and plants of the Southern Appalachians and the webs of interdependence that connect them. Within the region’s roughly 35 million acres, extending from north Georgia through the Carolinas to northern Virginia, exists a mosaic of habitats, each fostering its own unique natural community. Stories of the animals and plants of the Southern Appalachians are intertwined with descriptions of the seasons, giving readers a glimpse into the interlinked rhythms of nature, from daily and yearly cycles to long-term geological changes. Residents 408 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 9, No.2 and visitors to Great Smoky Mountains or Shenandoah National Parks, the Blue Ridge Parkway, or any of the national forests or other natural attractions within the region will welcome this appealing introduction to its ecological wonders. Language of the Earth: A Literary Anthology. Frank H.T. Rhoades, Richard O. Stone, and Bruce D. Malamud (Editors). 2008. Wiley, USA. 344 pp. $39.95, hardcover. ISBN 9781405160674. The complex relationship between humans and planet Earth is explored in this second edition of the landmark anthology edited by Frank Rhodes and Bruce Malamud. This volume provides a portrait of the planet as experienced not just by scientists, but by artists, aviators, poets, philosophers, novelists, historians, and sociologists as well. It contains a unique collection of writings by scientists, artists, aviators, poets, philosophers, novelists, historians, and sociologists including Charles Darwin, Dane Picard, Rachel Carson, John Muir, Mark Twain, and Archibald Geikie that bridges the gap between science and humanities, representing the human experience over the centuries, covering a span of 2500 years and reflecting the planet’s extraordinary physical diversity. The Landscape of Reform. Civic Pragmatism and Environmental Thought in America. Ben A. Minteer. 2009. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. 280 pp. $15, softcover. ISBN 9780262512558. In The Landscape of Reform Ben Minteer offers a fresh and provocative reading of the intellectual foundations of American environmentalism, focusing on the work and legacy of four important conservation and planning thinkers in the first half of the twentieth century: Liberty Hyde Bailey, a forgotten figure in the Progressive conservation movement; urban and regional planning theorist Lewis Mumford; Benton MacKaye, the forester and conservationist who proposed the Appalachian Trail in the 1920s; and Aldo Leopold, author of the environmentalist classic A Sand County Almanac. Minteer argues that these writers blazed a significant "third way" in environmental ethics and practice, a more pragmatic approach that offers a counterpoint to the anthropocentrism-versus-ecocentrism/ use-versus-preservation narrative that has long dominated discussions of the development of American environmental thought. Minteer shows that the environmentalism of Bailey, Mumford, MacKaye, and Leopold was also part of a larger moral and political program, one that included efforts to revitalize democratic citizenship, conserve regional culture and community identity, and reclaim a broader understanding of the public interest that went beyond economics and materialism. Their environmental thought was an attempt to critique and at the same time reform American society and political culture. Minteer explores the work of these four environmental reformers and considers two present-day manifestations of an environmental third way: Natural Systems Agriculture, an alternative to chemical and energy-intensive industrial agriculture; and New Urbanism, an attempt to combat the negative effects of suburban sprawl. By rediscovering the pragmatic roots of American environmentalism, writes Minteer, we can help bring about a new, civic-minded environmentalism today. Evolution: The Modern Synthesis. The Definitive Edition. Julian Huxley. 2010. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. 784 pp. $35, softcover. ISBN 9780262513661. This classic work by Julian Huxley, first published in 1942, captured and synthesized all that was then known about evolutionary biology and gave a name to the Modern Synthesis, the conceptual structure underlying the field for most of the twentieth century. Many considered Huxley’s book a popularization of the ideas then emerging in evolutionary biology, but in fact, Evolution: The Modern Synthesis is 2010 Noteworthy Books 409 a work of serious scholarship that is also accessible to the general educated public. It is a book in the intellectual tradition of Charles Darwin and Thomas Henry Huxley—Julian Huxley’s grandfather, known for his energetic championing of Darwin's ideas. A contemporary reviewer called Evolution: The Modern Synthesis “the outstanding evolutionary treatise of the decade, perhaps the century.” This definitive edition brings one of the most important and successful scientific books of the twentieth century back into print. It includes the entire text of the 1942 edition, Huxley’s introduction to the 1963 second edition (which demonstrates his continuing command of the field), and the introduction to the 1974 third edition, written by nine experts (many of them Huxley's associates) from different areas of evolutionary biology. Also includes a new foreword by Massimo Pigliucci and Gerd B. Müller. Manatee Insanity: Inside the War over Florida’s Most Famous Endangered Species. Craig Pittman. 2010. University Press of Florida, Gainseville, fl. 464 pp. $37.50, hardcover. ISBN 9780813034621. Loveable or loathed? Poster child for conservation efforts or impediment to development? Nuisance or in need of protection? For the past two decades, the quiet Manatee has been a flash point of frequent environmental debates. Included on the very first endangered species list issued in 1967, the docile creatures have stirred curiosity and passions for more than a hundred years. They are Florida’s most famous endangered species, as well as its most controversial. Manatees appear on hundreds of license plates, attract hordes of tourists, and expose the uneasy relationships between science and the law and between freedom and responsibility like no other animal. As passions have flared and resentments have grown, the battle over Manatee protection has evolved into a war, and no reporter has followed the story more closely than Craig Pittman. He’s flown with scientists trying to count Manatees from overhead. He’s been on the water with the leader of the biggest pro-boater group. He’s observed biologists dissecting the animals and politicians discussing their fate. Manatee Insanity provides the first in-depth history of the attempts to provide legal protection for the Manatee. Along the way, Pittman takes a close look at the major and minor players in the dispute, from Jacques-Yves Cousteau to Jeb Bush, from Jimmy Buffett to O.J. Simpson, from a popular children’s book author to a federal lawman who dressed in a gorilla suit for the ultimate undercover assignment. A colorful, factual investigation by an award-winning journalist and the author of Paving Paradise: Florida’s Vanishing Wetlands and the Failure of No Net Loss. Encounters with Florida’s Endangered Wildlife. Doug Alderson. 2010. University Press of Florida, Gainseville, fl. 192 pp. $24.95, hardcover. ISBN 9780813034768. Eastern Bison roamed Florida into the 1800s. Red Wolves disappeared in the 1920s. The Dusky Seaside Sparrow was declared extinct in 1990. It’s too soon to say whether the 116 threatened, endangered, or imperiled animal species currently found in the state will also fall victim to climate change, extermination, overdevelopment, or poisons. But as long as they remain, there will be men and women who work tirelessly on their behalf. Combining adventure, natural history, and cultural history, Encounters with Florida’s Endangered Wildlife features chapters tracking Panthers, Black Bears, Whooping Cranes, Manatees, sea turtles, and Ivory-billed Woodpeckers—which may or may not be extinct. Join Doug Alderson as he travels into prairies, woods, springs, and ocean to come face to face with these and other captivating creatures and learns firsthand about their strangled lives and fragile habitats. With a chapter on the impact 410 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 9, No.2 of non-native populations of Burmese Pythons and Rhesus Monkeys, as well as a chilling epilogue that imagines the peninsula one hundred years in the future, this book is a must-read for anyone who wants to know more about the current state of wild Florida. Moments of Discovery: Natural History Narratives from Mexico and Central America. Kevin Winker (Editor). 2010. University Press of Florida, Gainseville, fl. 416 pp. $75, hardcover. ISBN 9780813034171. Throughout the twentieth century, pioneering biological field work was conducted from Mexico through Panama by such giants in the field as Miguel Alvarez del Toro, Charles Sibley, John T. Emlen Jr., and many others. But the written reports and scientific papers detailing their discoveries leave out the adventure, sense of discovery, and unexpected humor of their time in the field. Moments of Discovery collects twenty autobiographical descriptions of the incongruous situations, captivating people and places, and the inevitable trials and tribulations that surround some of the greatest biological discoveries in Mexico and Central America from the 1930s through the 1990s. The anthology allows the entertaining and illuminating events that have mostly lived in oral history to be read and enjoyed by a broad audience. A significant contribution to the history of biological exploration, this book is a must-read for anyone considering biological field work in the region—or the amateur, armchair fieldworker who wonders what those trips were really like. The Wildlife of Costa Rica: A Field Guide. Fiona A. Reid, Twan Leenders, Jim Zook, and Robert Dean. 2010. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY. 284 pp. $29.95, softcover. ISBN 9780801476105. This full-color field guide is an indispensable companion to the most popular neotropical ecotourism destination: Costa Rica. Featuring all the mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods that one is likely to see on a trip to the rainforest (as well as those secretive creatures such as the Jaguar that are difficult to glimpse), The Wildlife of Costa Rica is the guide to have when encountering trogons, tapirs, and tarantulas. In addition to providing details for identifying animals along with interesting facts about their natural history, this guide offers tips for seeing them in the wild. Costa Rica, with an excellent system of national parks and reserves encompassing high-elevation cloud forest, dense rainforest, savannalike plain, or coastal habitat, each with a unique collection of animal specie, is one of the best places in the world for wildlife watching and nature study. This new lightweight field guide provides nature enthusiasts visiting Costa Rica with the best introduction to the country’s amazing diversity of wildlife. It is the first general field guide to Costa Rica to combine the most sought-after features: treatment of all major phyla in the country; coverage of the animals most likely and most desirable to be seen; more than 600 detailed illustrations integrated with the text (the preferred method of animal identification in the wild); full species accounts including ID points, range and habitat, size, and behaviors; a wealth of natural history information, including more than 20 photographic natural history features; and tips for seeing animals. Birds of Peru: Revised and Updated Edition. Thomas S. Schulenberg, Douglas F. Stotz, Daniel F. Lane, John P. O’Neill, and Theodore A. Parker III. 2010. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. 664 pp. $39.50, softcover. ISBN 9780691130231. Birds of Peru is the most complete and authoritative field guide to this diverse, neotropical landscape. It features every one of Peru’s 1817 bird species—one fifth of the world’s birds—and shows the distinct plumages of each in 307 superb, high-quality color plates,with subspecies, sexes, age classes, and morphs fully illustrated. Concise descriptions and color distribution maps are located opposite the 2010 Noteworthy Books 411 plates, making this book much easier to use in the field than standard neotropical field guides. This fully revised paperback edition includes twenty-five additional species. This edition of Birds of Peru features detailed species accounts, including a full-color distribution map; 25 additional species not covered in the first edition; and 3 entirely new plates and more than 25 additional illustrations. All About Birds: A Short Illustrated History of Ornithology. Valérie Chansigaud. 2010. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. 240 pp. $29.95, softcover. ISBN 9780691145198. Colorful, musical, graceful, easily observed—birds have always fascinated amateur and professional naturalists alike. This richly illustrated book tells the fascinating story of ornithology from ancient times to the present. Filled throughout with paintings, drawings, photographs, and diagrams, many of them in brilliant color, All About Birds is a fastpaced chronological account of the personalities and milestones that have shaped this most popular of sciences—from Aristotle, Audubon, and Darwin to Peterson and Sibley. These key figures and events are also documented in a unique twenty-page illustrated color timeline at the end of the book. Brief individual chapters cover antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the seventeenth through twentieth centuries. With its beautiful design and illustrations, and its concise and informative text, this lively book will delight anyone who loves birds. This clear and concise chronological account, from antiquity to the present, contains some 250 images, many of them in color. Species, Serpents, Spirits, and Skulls: Science at the Margins in the Victorian Age. Sherry Lynne Lyons. 2009. SUNY Press, Albany, NY. 259 pp. $75, hardcover. ISBN 9781438427973. Science permeates nearly every aspect of our lives, and yet, as current debates over intelligent design, the causes of global warming, and alternative health practices indicate, the question of how to distinguish science from pseudoscience remains a difficult one. To address this question, Sherrie Lynne Lyons draws on four examples from the nineteenth century—sea serpent investigations, spiritualism, phrenology, and Darwin’s theory of evolution. Each attracted the interest of prominent scientists as well as the general public, yet three remained at the edges of scientific respectability while the fourth, evolutionary theory, although initially regarded as scientific heresy, ultimately became the new scientific orthodoxy. Taking a serious look at the science behind these examples, Lyons argues that distinguishing between science and pseudoscience, particularly in the midst of discovery, is not as easy as the popular image of science tends to suggest. Two examples of present-day controversies surrounding evolutionary psychology and the meaning of fossils confirm this assertion. She concludes that although the boundaries of what constitutes science are not always clear-cut, the very intimate relationship between science and society, rather than being a hindrance, contributes to the richness and diversity of scientific ideas. Taken together, these entertaining and accessible examples illuminate important issues concerning the theory, practice, and content of science. Sexy Orchids Make Lousy Lovers and Other Unusual Relationships. Marty Crump. 2009. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. 232 pp. $25, hardcover. ISBN 9780226121857. Vampire Bats that regurgitate blood for roosting buddies. Mosquitoes that filch honeydew droplets from ants. Reptiles that enforce chastity on their lovers with copulatory plugs. Capuchin Monkeys that use millipede secretions as mosquito repellent. The natural world is full of unusual relationships, and negotiation between life-forms striving to survive is evolution at its most diverse, entertaining, and awe-inspiring. Picking up where her highly popular 412 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 9, No.2 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. Headless Males Make Great Lovers left off, tropical field biologist Marty Crump takes us on another voyage of discovery into the world of unusual natural histories, this time focusing on extraordinary interactions involving animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria. Sexy Orchids Make Lousy Lovers and Other Unusual Relationships illuminates the ceaseless giveand- take between species. Occasionally, both interacting parties benefit, like when hornbills and Dwarf Mongooses hunt together for food. Other times, like when mites ride in hummingbirds’ nostrils to reach their next meal of nectar, one individual benefits and the other is neither helped nor harmed. But sometimes one individual benefits at the expense of the other; you need only recall your last sinus infection to understand how that works. Throughout, Crump brings her trademark spunk and zest to these stories of intimate exchange. She introduces readers to penguins that babysit, pseudoscorpions that ride and mate under the wings of Giant Harlequin Beetles, and parasitic fungi that bend insects to their will. A lively companion to Crump’s earlier work, Sexy Orchids Make Lousy Lovers and Other Unusual Relationships captures the bizarre and befuddling aspects of the behavior of animals, plants, and microbes. After this entertaining romp through the world of natural relationships, you’ll never look at an orchid the same way again. Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America. Sixth Edition. Roger Tory Peterson. 2010. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, MA. 464 pp. $19.95, softcover. ISBN 9780547152462. Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Western North America. Fourth Edition. Roger Tory Peterson. 2010. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, MA. 512 pp. $19.95, softcover. ISBN 9780547152707. With all-new range maps, updated text, and 40 new paintings, the completely revised editions of two classic Peterson Field Guides are sure to be valuable additions to any birder's pocket or daypack. At a trim size of 5 x 8, they are portable but also beautifully illustrated. Photographs, while modern-looking and colorful, capture just one moment in time. The paintings in these guides, however, show all of a bird’s key field marks and use the Peterson Identification System to make bird identification easier for beginning and intermediate bird watchers. A team of professional birders has updated the text, the maps, and the art for these authoritative guides. Expert birders also created 35 entertaining and easy-to-use video podcasts, which are available to download. They make fun and educational viewing on a computer desktop or MP3 player. The best-selling field guide since 1934, the Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America is now in its sixth edition. With clear, succinct accounts of more than 500 species, accurate and beautiful paintings on 159 color plates, and 512 maps annotated with extensive range information, this is the most up-to-date and accessible field guide for bird watchers in eastern North America. Last updated in 1990, the Peterson Field Guide to Western Birds covers nearly 600 species on 176 color plates, with 588 comprehensive range maps, now included with the illustrations. Every bird watcher in western North America will want to own this long-awaited, up-to-date fourth edition.