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.
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
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.
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