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The Essential Naturalist: Timeless Readings in Natural History

Edited By: Michael H Graham, Joan Parker and Paul K Dayton

534 pages, b/w illustrations, tables

University of Chicago Press

Paperback | May 2011 | #189782 | ISBN-13: 9780226305707
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £34.50 $45/€39 approx
Hardback | May 2011 | #189781 | ISBN-13: 9780226305691
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
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About this book

Like nearly every area of scholarly inquiry today, the biological sciences are broken into increasingly narrow fields and subfields, their practitioners divided into ecologists, evolutionary biologists, taxonomists, paleontologists, and much more. But all these splintered pieces have their origins in the larger field of natural history--and in this era when climate change and relentless population growth are irrevocably altering the world around us, perhaps it's time to step back and take a new, fresh look at the larger picture.

"The Essential Naturalist" offers exactly that: a wide-ranging, eclectic collection of writings from more than eight centuries of observations of the natural world, from Leeuwenhoek to E. O. Wilson, from von Humboldt to Rachel Carson. Featuring commentaries by practicing scientists that offer personal accounts of the importance of the long tradition of natural history writing to their current research, the volume serves simultaneously as an overview of the field's long history and as an inspirational starting point for new explorations, for trained scientists and amateur enthusiasts alike.


From the Editors

A Foundation Built by Giants###Michael H. Graham

Inspiration###Robert T. Paine
- The Great Horned Owl (1927)-Edward H. Forbush
- Just Tigers (1944)-Jim Corbett
- Looking Back (1944)-Jim Corbett
- Forward to The salamanders of the Family Plethodontidae (1926)-Emmett R. Dunn
- The Wisdom of Instinct (1918)-Jean Henri Fabre
- The Wolf Spiders (1954)-John Crompton [pseudonym of John Battersby Crompton Lamburn]
- Contour Diving (1934)-William Beebe
- The Winter Journey (1930)-Apsley Cherry-Garrard
- Wombats (1963)-Peter J. Nicholson
- Journey to the Sea (1941)-Rachel L. Carson
- Notes on the Natural History of Some Marine Animals (1938)-George E. MacGinitie

Exploration###Gage H. Dayton, Paul K. Dayton, and Harry W. Greene
- Inaccessible Island and Nightingale Island (1879)-Henry N. Moseley
- The Islands Galapagos (1697)-William Dampier
- The Sea Otter and the Sea Cow (1741-1742)-Georg W. Steller
- Chapters from the Life-Histories of Texas Reptiles and Amphibians (1926)-John Kern Strecker
- Account of the Electrical Eels, and the Method of catching them in South America by means of Wild Horses (1820)-Alexander Von Humboldt
- Comments on the Cephalopods Found in the Stomach of a Sperm Whale (1913/1914)-Prince Albert I of Monaco
- On collecting at Cape Royds (1910)-James Murray
- A Submarine Gully in Wembury Bay, South Devon (1934)-John A. Kitching, T. T. Macan, and H. Cary Gilson
- A Briefe and True Report of the Newfoundland of Virginia (1588)-Thomas Hariot

Initiation###Nancy Knowlton
- Home range and mobility of brush rabbits in California chaparral (1954)-Joseph H. Connell
- Food recognition and predation on opistobranchs by Navanax inermis (1963)-Robert T. Paine
- Variation and adaptation in the imported fire ant (1951)-Edward O. Wilson
- Storm mortality in a Winter Starling roost (1939)-Eugene P. Odum and Frank A. Pitelka
- The dispersal of insects to Spitsbergen (1925)-Charles S. Elton
- A tenderfoot explorer in New Guinea (1932)-Ernst Mayr
- On the occurrence of Trichocorixa kirkaldy (Corixidae, Hemiptera-Heteroptera) in salt water and its zoo-geo-graphical significance (1931)-G. Evelyn Hutchinson
- Ecological compatibility of bird species on islands (1966)-Peter R. Grant
- Bivalves: spatial and size-frequency distributions of two intertidal species (1968)-Jeremy B. C. Jackson

Intuition###Shahid Naeem
- The Structure and Habits of Birds (1244-1250)-Frederick II of Hohenstaufen
- Of the Spider (1800)-Antony van Leeuwenhoek
- Observations Relating to the History of Bees (1758)-Jan Swammerdam
- History of a mussel bed: Observations on a phase of faunal disequilibrium (1935)-Edouard Fischer-Piette
- On a provisional hypothesis of saltatory evolution (1877)-William H. Dall
- On the Natural History of the Aru Islands (1857)-Alfred Russel Wallace
- Evolutionary criteria in Thallophytes: A radical alternative (1968)-Lynn Margulis
- Observations and Experiments upon the Freshwater Polypus (1742)-Abraham Trembley
- On the causes of zoning of brown seaweeds on the seashore (1909)-Sarah M. Baker
- On the causes of zoning of brown seaweeds on the seashore. II. The effect of periodic exposure on the expulsion of gametes and on the germination of the oospore (1910)-Sarah M. Baker
- The chalk grasslands of Hampshire-Sussex border: The effects of rabbits (1925)-Alfred G. Tansley and Robert S. Adamson
- The biosphere and the no#sphere (1945)-Vladimir J. Vernadsky

Unification###Peter R. Grant
- The Natural History of Selborne (1813)-Gilbert White
- Maupertuis, Pioneer of Genetics and Evolution (1959)-Bentley Glass
- On the Various Contrivances by which Orchids are Fertilized by Insects (1862)-Charles Darwin
- Lepidoptera: Heliconidae (1861)-Henry W. Bates
- Vertebrata: Aves: Drepanidae (1903)-Robert C. L. Perkins
- Geography and evolution in the pocket gopher (1927)-Joseph Grinnell
- Coevolution of mutualism between ants and acacias in Central America (1966)-Daniel H. Janzen

List of Contributors

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Michael H. Graham is associate professor at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories at San Jose State University.

Joan Parker is the head librarian at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.

Paul K. Dayton is professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.

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