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Posts Tagged "Books"

Anthropology in Practice

On My Shelf: Blue Jeans–The Art of the Ordinary

bluejeans

Blue Jeans: The Art of the Ordinary | Daniel Miller and Sophie Woodward | University of California Press | 184 pages | $24.95 (Paperback) I’m willing to bet you own at least one pair of jeans. Denim clothing—which will be used interchangeably with jeans for this discussion—is popular with people just about everywhere, with the [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Perspectives

IMG_3870

I was charged with moving my library over the weekend, and while I typically enjoy spending time with my books—in particular, feeling their heft in my hands—it was backbreaking labor to lug all of them up the stairs through the house to their new, sunnier home. It dawned on me—having professed to being a reluctant [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Confessions from a Reluctant e-Reader Adopter

How do you read? Photo by KDCosta, 2012.

I’m a bibliophile. And an avid bookworm. I bring books home the way some people do stray animals—I have a soft spot for books that have been thrown away, though I have been forced to learn some restraint in recent years as a result of space considerations. I’m always in need of more shelves. S [...]

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Budding Scientist

“Skull in the Rock” Brings New Paleo Science to Kids [Excerpt]

In 2008, the 9-year-old son of paleoanthropologist Lee Berger discovered a fossil that landed Berger’s team on the covers of the journal Science, of Scientific American, and on the front pages of  newspapers including The New York Times. Berger and his son, Matthew, discovered a clavicle bone in Johannesburg, South Africa that belonged to an entirely [...]

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But Seriously...

Annalee Newitz: Where did io9 get its name?

Annalee Newitz and Brian Malow

Today is Annalee Newitz‘s birthday (well, it’s still today in the most relevant time zone – uh, hers not mine). Annalee has been writing about the intersection of science and technology and culture for many years. It’s a busy intersection. Since 2008, she’s been editor-in-chief of one of my favorite websites, io9.com. If you don’t [...]

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Cross-Check

Cool Science Classics for Summer Reading, Part 2

book cover of Coming of Age in Samoa

Last week I recommended 20 great science books, in authorial alphabetical order from A to J, picked from my personal library. Here are 20 more, from K to W. Feel free to tell me if you don’t like my picks as well as offer some of your own. War Before Civilization, Lawrence Keeley (Oxford University [...]

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Cross-Check

Cool Science Classics for Summer Reading, Part 1

cover of Freud

I don’t know about you, but I like nothing more in summer than settling down with a great science book. So here are 20 recommendations, in authorial alphabetical order, from A to J. Next week I’ll give you 20 more. Some are new, some more than a century old, but they’re all classics. And since [...]

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Doing Good Science

A Hallowe’en science book recommendation for kids.

DropOfBlood

Sure, younger kids may think the real point of Hallowe’en in the candy or the costumes. But they’re likely to notice some of the scarier motifs that pop up in the decorations, and this presents as unexpected opportunity for some learning. A Drop of Blood by Paul Showers, illustrated by Edward Miller. The text of [...]

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Doing Good Science

“Are you going to raise the child picky?” Interview with Stephanie V. W. Lucianovic (part 3).

SufferingSuccotash

This is the last part of my interview with Stephanie V. W. Lucianovic, author of Suffering Succotash: A Picky Eater’s Quest to Understand Why We Hate the Foods We Hate, conducted earlier this month over lunch at Evvia in Palo Alto. (Here is part 1 of the interview. Here is part 2 of the interview.) [...]

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Doing Good Science

Scientific knowledge, societal judgment, and the picky eater: Interview with Stephanie V. W. Lucianovic (part 2).

SufferingSuccotash

We continue my interview with Stephanie V. W. Lucianovic, author of Suffering Succotash: A Picky Eater’s Quest to Understand Why We Hate the Foods We Hate, conducted earlier this month over lunch at Evvia in Palo Alto. (Here is part 1 of the interview.) In this segment of the interview, we ponder the kind of [...]

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Doing Good Science

Can science help the picky eater? Interview with Stephanie V. W. Lucianovic (part 1).

SufferingSuccotash

This summer, I reviewed Suffering Succotash: A Picky Eater’s Quest to Understand Why We Hate the Foods We Hate by Stephanie V. W. Lucianovic. This month, with the approach of the holiday season (prime time for picky eaters to sit with non-picky eaters at meal time), Stephanie and I sat down for lunch at Evvia [...]

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Doing Good Science

Book review: Cooking for Geeks.

Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food by Jeff Potter O’Reilly Media, 2010 We have entered the time of year during which finding The Perfect Gift for family members and friends can become something of an obsession. Therefore, in coming days, I’ll be sharing some recommendations. If you have family members and [...]

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Doing Good Science

Ada Lovelace Day book review: Maria Mitchell and the Sexing of Science.

Today is Ada Lovelace Day. Last year, I shared my reflections on Ada herself. This year, I’d like to celebrate the day by pointing you to a book about another pioneering woman of science, Maria Mitchell. Maria Mitchell and the Sexing of Science: An Astronomer among the American Romantics by Renée Bergland Boston: Beacon Press [...]

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Doing Good Science

Book review: The Radioactive Boy Scout.

When I and my three younger siblings were growing up, our parents had a habit of muttering, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” The muttering that followed that aphorism usually had to do with the danger coming from the “little” amount of knowledge rather than a more comprehensive understanding of whatever field of endeavor [...]

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Doing Good Science

Book review: Suffering Succotash.

What is the deal with the picky eater? Is she simply being willful, choosing the dinner table as a battlefield on which to fight for her right to self-determination? Or, is the behavior that those purveyors of succotash and fruit cup interpret as willfulness actually rooted in factors that are beyond the picky eater’s control? [...]

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Doing Good Science

Book review: Uncaged.

In our modern world, many of the things that contribute to the mostly smooth running of our day-to-day lives are largely invisible to us. We tend to notice them only when they break. Uncaged, a thriller by Paul McKellips, identifies animal research as one of the activities in the background supporting the quality of life [...]

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Doing Good Science

Book review: Coming of Age on Zoloft.

One of the interesting and inescapable features of our knowledge-building efforts is just how hard it can be to nail down objective facts. It is especially challenging to tell an objective story when the object of study is us. It’s true that we have privileged information of a particular sort (our own experience of what [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Deadly Snakes, Ugly Critters, Leonardo DiCaprio and Other Links from the Brink

Bothriechis guifarroi

A deadly but critically endangered snake, one of the world’s rarest birds and a heavily guarded flower are among the endangered species in the news this week. A New Snake with a Sad Story: A gorgeous but extremely dangerous new snake species has been discovered in Honduras. The new palm pit viper has been named [...]

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Guest Blog

The Logic and Beauty of Cosmological Natural Selection

Time and Space. (Credit: Brisbane Falling via Flickr)

I have a prediction. There is a scientific hypothesis, formulated over 20 years ago, that we will one day look back on, when the evidence is in, and say “Of course that was right! What a spectacularly powerful idea!” The hypothesis is cosmological natural selection, and its power, beauty and logic provide what may be [...]

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Guest Blog

Book Review: The Big Thirst by Charles Fishman

The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water, By Charles Fishman, Published in 2011 by Free Press, New York NY, ISBN 978-1-4391-0207-7 ____________________ Resorting only minimally to the standard statistics of water scarcity in various regions around the world, Mr. Fishman dives in to several specific case studies intended to help the [...]

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Guest Blog

A True Duck Hunt: interview with Donovan Hohn

For the author of Moby-Duck, Donovan Hohn, it all started with a school assignment. In 2008, he challenged his journalism class to find the "archaeology of the ordinary." A student, known to be a bit of an odd one, wrote his assignment on his lucky rubber duck. In passing, the student mentioned a newspaper article [...]

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Guest Blog

Overboard: 28,800 toys and one man lost at sea

Few things inspire wonder like seeing something out of its element: Christmas lights on a cactus, a flag on the moon or a yellow rubber duck floating in the middle of the ocean. This incongruity captivates writer Donovan Hohn, who decides to go looking for 28,800 bath toys 13 years after they were lost at [...]

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Guest Blog

Slabs, Sneakers, Gyres and the Grotesque

Book review: ‘Flotsametrics and the Floating World: How one man’s obsession with runaway sneakers and rubber ducks revolutionized ocean science’ by Curtis Ebbesmeyer and Eric Scigliano, Collins hardcover edition, 2009: ISBN 978-0-06-155841-2, HarperCollins paperback edition, 2010: ISBN 978-0-06-155842-9 With a touch of whimsy, tales of the grotesque, and the barest hints of essential mathematics, Dr. [...]

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Guest Blog

Cheerleader for science: A chat with Mireya Mayor, author of Pink Boots and the Machete

Today is the publication day of Pink Boots and the Machete, book by Mireya Mayor, physical anthropologist, National Geographic Explorer, and former NFL Cheerleader. For this occasion, we have invited Darlene Cavalier to conduct a brief interview with the author. Darlene: You discovered the world’s smallest primate in existence in Madagascar. Walk me through the [...]

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The Network Central

Announcing the Editor of Open Laboratory 2013

Usually this announcement comes out much earlier in the year, but the transition from Lulu.com to FSG has changed all the dates – the cycle is now different. But still, it’s high time to announce the Guest Editor for the next edition of The Best Science Writing Online, the annual anthology of the best science [...]

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The Network Central

Open Laboratory 2013 – the complete list of entries!

Open Laboratory 2013 – the complete list of entries! We just closed the submission form for the 2013 edition. Thank you all who submitted the posts. Below are all the blog posts submitted over the past year. I need to crowdsource some help first. In the comments, please let me know if you notice any [...]

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The Network Central

Open Laboratory 2013 – deadline for submissions is tonight!

Deadline is here, tonight! We are closing the submissions on Monday, October 1st at 11:59pm EDT! The submission form for the 2013 edition of Open Lab is here. Any blog post written since October 1, 2011 is eligible for submission. We accept essays, stories, poetry, cartoons/comics, and original art. Once you are done submitting your [...]

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The Network Central

Open Laboratory 2013 – last call for submissions!

Deadline is here, just three days away! We are closing the submissions on Monday, October 1st at 11:59pm EDT! The submission form for the 2013 edition of Open Lab is here. Any blog post written since October 1, 2011 is eligible for submission. We accept essays, stories, poetry, cartoons/comics, and original art. Once you are [...]

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The Network Central

Open Laboratory 2013 – submissions so far

The Big Deadline is looming! We are closing the submissions on October 1st at 11:59pm EDT – just a week from now! The submission form for the 2013 edition of Open Lab is here. Any blog post written since October 1, 2011 is eligible for submission. We accept essays, stories, poetry, cartoons/comics, and original art. [...]

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The Network Central

Open Laboratory 2013 – submissions so far

The 2012 edition is coming out tomorrow! Join us for festivities! The book can be pre-ordered at Amazon.com and Amazon UK. You can buy the last five annual collections here. You can read Prefaces and Introductions to older editions here. The submission form for the 2013 edition of Open Lab is now open. Any blog [...]

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The Network Central

Open Laboratory 2013 – submissions so far

Only half a month till the 2012 edition is out! Mark your calendars for September 18th! The 2012 edition can now be pre-ordered at Amazon.com and Amazon UK. You can buy the last five annual collections here. You can read Prefaces and Introductions to older editions here. The submission form for the 2013 edition of [...]

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The Network Central

Open Laboratory 2013 – submissions so far

Less than month till the 2012 edition is out! Mark your calendars for September 18th! The 2012 edition can now be pre-ordered at Amazon.com and Amazon UK. You can buy the last five annual collections here. You can read Prefaces and Introductions to older editions here. The submission form for the 2013 edition of Open [...]

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The Network Central

Open Laboratory 2013 – submissions so far

Only a month till the 2012 edition is out! Mark your calendars for September 18th! The 2012 edition can now be pre-ordered at Amazon.com and Amazon UK. You can buy the last five annual collections here. You can read Prefaces and Introductions to older editions here. The submission form for the 2013 edition of Open [...]

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The Network Central

Open Laboratory 2013 – submissions so far

It is now expected by the science blogosphere that I post the full updated listing of all the submissions every Monday morning. This serves as a reminder for bloggers to submit their (and other people’s) posts, and to some extent prevents duplicate entries. But most importantly, it presents a growing listing of some of the [...]

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Observations

Vote for the Best Summer Books on Science

Earlier this month, Scientific American editors and contributors published a list of this summer’s best science books, collecting titles from the “Recommended” page in our magazine and the “Books” section of our website. Now we want to bring you closer to the authors of these books. Below is a poll listing our top science books [...]

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Observations

Best Summer Books: SA‘s Picks and Yours

reading in the park

All year long Scientific American editors, bloggers and contributors mull over and write about recently published science books worth reading. These works cover everything from ancient quantum computing to surviving a mass extinction. The “Recommended” page in our magazine offers monthly reviews; we have a “Books” section on our Web site that features our eBooks [...]

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Observations

Book review: Pink Boots and the Machete by Mireya Mayor

As a little boy, I was always drawn to books about wilderness, exotic places, explorers and wild animals. I hungrily read accounts of real events, from Joy Adamson to Gerald Durrell, and works of fiction, from The Jungle Book to The White Fang, from Henryk Sienkiewicz’s In Desert and Wilderness to the entire Doctor Dolittle [...]

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Observations

First-edition works by Galileo, Descartes and Newton to be auctioned December 2 at Christie’s

Isaac Newton

Edward Tufte is a man of many callings—data visualization guru, author of widely praised books, professor emeritus at Yale University, proprietor of the New York City gallery ET Modern. Add to the list collector of rare books—apparently Tufte tends a research library that contains works by some of the greatest thinkers of the past several [...]

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Observations

“First fiction reading off an iPad” kicks off enthusiastic discussion of e-books

ebook reader

If a discussion Monday at a Manhattan bookstore is any indication, book publishers and sellers find e-books threatening, but writers, feeling generally abused for decades by publishers, are gleeful over their newfound digital access to readers—be that via the Web, iPads, e-book readers, podcasts or cell phones. The event at McNally Jackson bookstore started with [...]

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Observations

How Santa Does It: Clones, Wormholes and Memory-Elimination Devices

The truth about Santa

Perhaps you—like me—are disappointed by the amateur calculations done every December that purport to show how Santa couldn’t possibly deliver presents to all the good boys and girls in the world. Okay, fine: if Santa were just a dude in a sleigh (even one powered by some very fast reindeer), his task would be very [...]

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Oscillator

Cheese Cultures

9780520270183

Cheese is carefully rotted milk, an ancient domestication of microbial activities for human consumption. Humans work in concert with communities of bacteria and fungi to produce the hundreds of different kinds of cheeses, flavored by the metabolic excretions of microbes eating the sugars, proteins, and fats in the milk. The ecologies of cheese provide a [...]

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Oscillator

Summer Reading

I am one of those people that’s usually “reading” a lot of books at once. This summer I’ve been alternating between skimming and devouring, picking up and putting on hold a few new favorites and some less favorite books, which have coalesced in my head into an overarching narrative about the history and future of [...]

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PsiVid

Soooo….How’s the Summer Science Reading Going?

Ungifted, Animal Wise and Zombie Birds, Astronaut Fish and Other Weird Animals are the three books chosen by SciAm blogs readers in the summer science reading poll.

Summer is a great time to dive into those books that either sweep us away to a new world or ask more of us since we might have some time to participate in the subject matter. I hope you have found your summer science version of that book this year, but if not, Scientific American [...]

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PsiVid

8 Space Travel Books Worth Reading, A Video Primer

Today, the 44th anniversary of the first moon landing with Neil Armstrong’s and Buzz Aldrin’s first steps on the moon, I present to you some great books to read about space travel, each with their own video, whether it is a trailer for a movie made based on the book or a proper book trailer, [...]

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PsiVid

Remembering Challenger Astronaut Ronald McNair

On January 28, 1986, NASA Challenger mission STS-51-L ended in tragedy when the shuttle exploded 73 seconds after takeoff. The image of the explosion shortly after liftoff is burned into the memory of many of us, so revisiting the “major malfunction” may not be necessary, but is here for those who’d like to witness it [...]

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PsiVid

Using Videos to Promote a Science Themed Book

Video is everywhere, and it turns out that the book publishing industry and authors know to get readers, they simply must have a video of some sort out there! There are several different ways to promote a science book on video. One way is to put up a talk given on the topic of the [...]

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Roots of Unity

Really Big Numbers (Book Review)

Really Big Numbers by Richard Schwartz, will be published by the American Mathematical Society on July 3, 2014.

“Now and then we pluck numbers from the blur…numbers which have no names except the ones we might now give them…souvenirs from alien, unknowable worlds.” -Really Big Numbers by Richard Evan Schwartz Really Big Numbers by Richard Schwartz, a mathematician at Brown University, is the first children’s book published by the American Mathematical Society. (Disclosure: [...]

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Roots of Unity

How Not to Be Wrong (Book Review)

How Not to Be Wrong by Jordan Ellenberg. Image courtesy of Penguin Press.

How Not to Be Wrong by Jordan Ellenberg. Image courtesy of Penguin Press. How Not to Be Wrong, the first popular math book by University of Wisconsin-Madison math professor Jordan Ellenberg, just hit the shelves. In addition to a Ph.D. in math, Ellenberg has an MFA in creative writing and has been writing about math [...]

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Roots of Unity

When Numbers Are Used for a Witch Hunt

One of the original Victorian Courtrooms at the Galleries of Justice Museum. Image: Fayerollinson, via Wikimedia Commons.

I recently finished the excellent book Math on Trial by Leila Schneps and Coralie Colmez. In it, the authors collect examples where statistical errors have possibly altered the outcome of trials. This weekend I’ll be on a panel about using statistics in science writing, and while the book looked at numbers in the courtroom, many [...]

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Symbiartic

Original Gifts for Science and Art Geeks

13-048MWM3

Looking for a knock-out gift for the science geek in your life? Look no further. If you like art and you like science, these artists, all featured on Symbiartic at one point, have gifts that will impress even the most jaded gift recipients… Made With Molecules Jewelry by Raven Hanna, PhD. Raven Hanna, PhD. left [...]

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Symbiartic

Illustrated Books Are For Kids, Right? Nah.

Respectable books used to be illustrated. Then someone decided that picture books were for kids and boo hoo hoo, suddenly illustrations vanished from “serious” books. Well, I don’t know about you, but I like a book that’s secure enough in its content that it can throw a couple of illustrations inside and still call itself [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Chet Van Duzer’s Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps

Front cover of Van Duzer's (2013) Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps.

One of the most spectacular and visually fascinating Tet Zoo-related books of recent-ish months is Chet Van Duzer’s Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps, published in 2013 by the British Library. I said a few words about this book back in June 2013, and here (at last) is the proper review I’ve been promising. Lavishly [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Loxton and Prothero’s Abominable Science! Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids; the Tet Zoo review

Abominable Science!, already well more than a year old...

I’m an unashamed fan of cryptozoology – this being (for the two of you that don’t know) the field of study that revolves around those creatures thought to exist by some, but which remain unrecognised by mainstream science in general. These are the cryptids*: entities like Bigfoot, Yeti, the Loch Ness Monster, sea-serpents, and so [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Katrina van Grouw’s The Unfeathered Bird, a unique inside look

Katrina, Great bustard skeleton, and her drawing of it. You may recognise that the bustard has been posed in its characteristic display posture. This image comes from Tim Birkhead's site Bird Sense.

If you pay any attention to the world of zoological research (as you will do, given that you’re reading a blog called Tetrapod Zoology), you’ll know that the study of anatomy has very much come to the fore in recent years. Previously bemoaned as a Victorian pursuit that had had its day and was inferior [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Plesiosaur Peril — the lifestyles and behaviours of ancient marine reptiles

The storyline of Plesiosaur Peril is mostly based around the association between a juvenile Cryptoclidus and her mother. Based on what we know, there are good reasons for thinking that parental care of some sort really did occur. In this image, the mother and juvenile surface for breath. Image from Plesiosaur Peril by Daniel Loxton, used with permission.

Between the later part of the Triassic and the very end of the Cretaceous, the seas of the world (and some of its rivers, lakes and estuaries as well) were inhabited by the remarkable group of swimming reptiles known as the plesiosaurs. All plesiosaurs – so far as we know – were predators, the shapes [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Mark Witton’s Pterosaurs: beautiful, lavish, scholarly and comprehensive

Front cover of Witton (2013): an antlered nyctosaurid at sunset.

I assume you’re here for the Tetrapod Zoology. If so, you’ll have been excited and intrigued by one of 2013’s best tetrapod-themed books: Mark Witton’s Pterosaurs, an enormous, lavishly illustrated encyclopedia of all things pterosaur. Scholarly but highly readable, fully referenced throughout, and featuring hundreds of excellent photos, diagrams and beautiful, colour life restorations, this [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Tales from the Cryptozoologicon: BUNYIP

John Conway's cryptic Bunyip, from the soon-to-be-released Cryptozoologicon.

Regular Tet Zoo readers (and listeners of the TetZoo podcast) will know that John Conway, C. M. Kosemen and myself are soon to publish the Cryptozoologicon, a beautifully illustrated work focusing on cryptids, the (sometimes mundane, sometimes bizarre, sometimes nonsense) creatures of the cryptozoological literature. We’re just about done and are looking to launch soon… [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Hunter and Barrett’s A Field Guide to the Carnivores of the World

For all their popularity as the subject of dedicated books, cats, dogs, bears and their relatives have never previously been the focus of a single, field guide-style volume that treats all of them together. Luke Hunter and Priscilla Barrett’s A Field Guide to the Carnivores of the World (published 2011) is a beautifully illustrated, comprehensive [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Tet Zoo, the books

For no particular reason whatsoever, here are some montages featuring the covers of books I’ve written and/or edited. Long-time readers might be familiar with the backstory to Tetrapod Zoology Book One (Naish 2010a), Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Saurians: A Historical Perspective (Moody et al. 2010) and The Great Dinosaur Discoveries (Naish 2009), but I’d still [...]

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