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Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins: A Natural History

By: Ronald Orenstein(Author)

448 pages, 300+ colour photos, colour illustrations, colour distribution maps

Firefly Books

Hardback | Nov 2012 | Edition: 2 | #199932 | ISBN-13: 9781770851191
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £39.99 $53/€45 approx

About this book

Since this book was first published a decade ago, turtle, tortoise and terrapin species have continued to suffer from human intervention. Sought for food, as pets and for tortoiseshell they are under attack on land and sea and populations are in decline around the world due to loss of habitat and food sources. At the same time, however, humans have been working hard to ensure the survival of turtles, tortoises and terrapins. Understanding these species is not only interesting but critical to their future. Turtles, tortoises and terrapins have been on Earth since the Triassic Period, approximately 200 million years ago. It has long been unclear from which group of reptiles turtles sprang. Although the earliest fossils are clearly turtles, their anatomy changed dramatically over time. In addition, turtle species vary greatly in such basic characteristics as anatomy and habitat preferences.

Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins surveys turtle anatomy, their habitat and life cycles throughout the ages, bringing the knowledge up to date with recent discoveries and research. The battle to save turtles goes on, and this book provides an important voice in turtle ecology. Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins is the perfect resource for anyone interested in these amazing and diverse reptiles.

This second edition has 150 more pages than the first edition.

Praise for the first edition:

"With deft prose and engaging anecdotes, Mr. Orenstein takes us skillfully through a vast amount of information packaged to be remembered without undue effort. ... In essence, Mr. Orenstein's treatment is nothing short of masterly."
- Science Books and Films

"Abounds with excellent color photographs. Recommended for all public and academic libraries."
- Library Journal


Acknowledgements   6
A Word about Words  9
Preface: Why Turtles Matter   11

Part I: What Turtles Are
Chapter 1: The Essential Turtle   15
Chapter 2: Turtles in Time   45
Chapter 3: Turtles Around the World I: Sidenecks and Hidden Necks   77
Chapter 4: Turtles Around the World II: Terrapins and Tortoises   127

Part II: How Turtles Live
Chapter 5: Under the Hood   181
Chapter 6: Life as a Turtle   215
Chapter 7: 'Twixt Plated Decks   259
Chapter 8: The Endless Journey   305

Part III: Will Turtles Survive?
Chapter 9: Peril on Land   353
Chapter 10: Peril at Sea   395

Image Credits   423
Bibliography   424
Index   440

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Ronald Orenstein is a zoologist, lawyer and wildlife conservationist who has written extensively on a wide variety of ecology and conservation issues. He is currently the project director of the International Wildlife Coalition. He is the author of Ivory, Horn and Blood and Hummingbirds.

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