340 pages, b/w photos
Peter Pritchard is a multifaceted expert on turtles and tortoises. A cheloniological thread thus runs through his Tales from the Thébaïde, as he expands the study of his favorite animals into commentaries upon the universe itself, and includes brilliant, erudite, and always humorous accounts of his adventures in many lands seeking further insight into the shelled reptiles.
His wild adventures looking for tortoises in the Galapagos Islands make up a major section of Tales from the Thébaïde, as does his scholarly discourses on the taxonomic status of sea turtles.
There is a long section on why he set up his personal Thebaide, the Chelonian Research Institute, and his delight in the zany, sometimes unbelievable players of the past who launched their own Cabinets of Curiosities. Pritchard's reflections encompass his love of life, and his hope that his readers will share his delight in people, science, culture, conservation, argument, scholarship, and (of course) turtles.
"Agreeable [...] a pointed and rewarding conclusion"
– Virginia Smith, TLS November 9, 2007.
Chapter 1 The Master Turtler
Chapter 2 Tortoise Life
Chapter 3 A Walk to Remember
Chapter 4 A Tale of Two Cities
Chapter 5 Whatever Happened to the Pinta Tortoise?
Chapter 6 The Toughest Tortoises in the Galapagos
Chapter 7 Arribadas I Have Know
Chapter 8 A Response to Nicholas Mrosovsky: Sustainable Use of Hawksbill Turtles
Chapter 9 A Review of Predicting Extinction: Fundamental Flaws in IUCN's Red List System
Chapter 10 Ponencia Magistral
Chapter 11 Distribution and Conservation Status of the Black Turtle
Chapter 12 Life and Death in Oaxaca
Chapter 13 Les d'Entrecasteaux Enfin!
Chapter 14 Larceny among the Leatherbacks
Chapter 15 Turtle Conservation in the Guianas
Chapter 16 Old Masters Remembered
PERSONALITIES AND HISTORY
Chapter 17 Origins
Chapter 18 O.U.E.N.P.63
Chapter 19 Greenie Remembered
Chapter 20 Hal Scott
Chapter 21 Leo Brongersma - An Appreciation
Chapter 22 Jacques Fretey Award
Chapter 23 The Turtle Campaign
Chapter 24 Fundamental Dilemmas of Life
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Peter C. H. Pritchard, M.A., Ph.D., is best known as an authority on the biology and conservation of turtles and tortoises. Both before and after receiving his doctorate in 1969, he has undertaken extensive field work with turtles in all continents. He has established a permanent field station for turtle conservation in northwestern Guyana. Since 1998 he has been director of the Chelonian Research Institute in Oviedo, Florida, and is an adjunct professor of biology at Florida Atlantic University and the University of Central Florida. Dr. Pritchard has been recognized as a "Champion of the Wild" by the Discovery Television Channel, and as a "Hero of the Planet" by Time Magazine. In 2001, he was declared "Floridian of the Year" by the Orlando Sentinel newspaper.