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Giraffe Reflections

Art / Photobook

By: Dale Peterson(Author), Karl Ammann(Illustrator)

221 pages, ~120 colour photos

University of California Press

Hardback | Sep 2013 | #207518 | ISBN-13: 9780520266858
Availability: Usually dispatched within 48 hours
NHBS Price: £33.95 $44/€38 approx

About this book

The most comprehensive book on giraffes to appear in the last fifty years, Giraffe Reflections presents a magnificent portrait of a group of animals who, in spite of their legendary elegance and astonishing gentleness, may not entirely survive this century. Dale Peterson's text provides a natural and cultural history of the world's tallest and second-biggest land animals, describing in detail their biology and behavior. He offers a new perspective on the giraffes' place in our world, and argues for the stronger protection of these imposing yet endangered creatures and their elusive forest relatives, the okapis.

Some 120 stunning photographs by award-winning wildlife photographer Karl Ammann capture the grace and elegance of Giraffa camelopardalis. Both beautiful and informative, the images document giraffes' complex interactions with each other and their environment.

"In this stunning collection of Ammann's photographs, Peterson offers an engaging natural history of giraffes, as well as a look at their behavior and beauty [...] Ammann's exquisite photos portray the giraffes' majesty and just how impoverished our world would be if they 'march into a night of nonexistence.'"
Publishers Weekly

"Giraffe Reflections is a stunning compendium of animal photography and entertaining history [...] The real point of the book is Ammann's gorgeous photos of giraffes, both atmospheric shots and more prosaic ones of the animals going about their business. With Peterson's entertaining text as a filigree, the combination is an emotionally satisfying presentation."
– Bob Holmes, New Scientist

"An elegant and comprehensive volume. In a series of lushly visual essays, the authors delve into the evolution of giraffes' strange anatomy and the intricacies of their behavior, as well as their possible futures alongside humans. Marvelously – and despite the book's encyclopedic presentation – giraffes become even more mysterious by the tome's end than they were at its beginning."
– Lee Billings, Scientific American

"Giraffes are alluring animals about whom we previously knew surprisingly little. Filled with scientific facts and wonderful stories, Giraffe Reflections reveals many valuable lessons about who these skyscraping beings are. I highly recommend this well-written and beautifully illustrated book to anyone interested in the wondrous animals with whom we share our precious planet."
– Marc Bekoff, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals and editor of Ignoring Nature No More: The Case for Compassionate Conservation

"With that tall neck, striking pelage, gentle face, and graceful gait, surely no land animal is more wondrous and unlikely than the giraffe. In these exquisite pages Dale Peterson and Karl Ammann have captured this remarkable creature as none before. Thanks to these lyrical words and soulful photos, you'll never forget how blessed we are to have these prehistoric-looking animals on our planet – nor forgive the loss we'd endure should we allow them to vanish."
– Sy Montgomery, author of Walking with the Great Apes and Spell of the Tiger

"Karl Ammann's photographs in this book are stunning! They vary from mood sequences that fill the reader with awe to shots of male giraffes fighting in a style that has never before been documented."
– Anne Innis Dagg, author of Giraffe: Biology, Behaviour and Conservation

"A masterpiece about one of the world's most fascinating but least understood animals, Giraffe Reflections is utterly compelling – a page-turner with glorious photographs. A reader cannot ask for more."
– Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of A Million Years with You and The Hidden Life of Dogs


1. Spirits
2. Chimeras
3. Unicorns
4. Zarafas
5. Giraffids
6. Bodies
7. Behaviors
8. Mothers
9. Others
10. Kinds


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Dale Peterson is a Lecturer in the English Department of Tufts University and the author of numerous books, including Jane Goodall, Demonic Males, Visions of Caliban, and Chimpanzee Travels.

Karl Ammann has photographed wildlife throughout Africa, India, and Southeast Asia. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Outdoor Photography, Natural History, African Geographic, and elsewhere. Peterson and Ammann have also collaborated to produce Elephant Reflections and Eating Apes, both published by UC Press.

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