A Scientific Obsession and the Mavericks Who Solved the Mystery of a 270 Million Year Old Fossil
Author: Susan Ewing
A prehistoric mystery. A fossil so mesmerizing, it would boggle the minds of scientists for more than a century...until a motley crew of modern day shark fanatics decide to try to bring this monster shark back to life
Author: Susan Ewing
Publisher: Pegasus Books
A prehistoric mystery. A fossil so mesmerizing that it boggled the minds of scientists for more than a century—until a motley crew of modern day shark fanatics decided to try to bring the monster-predator back to life. In 1993, Alaskan artist and paleo-shark enthusiast Ray Troll stumbled upon the weirdest fossil he had ever seen—a platter-sized spiral of tightly wound shark teeth. This chance encounter in the basement of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County sparked Troll’s obsession with Helicoprion, a mysterious monster from deep time. In 2010, tattooed undergraduate student and returning Iraq War veteran Jesse Pruitt became seriously smitten with a Helicoprion fossil in a museum basement in Idaho. These two bizarre-shark disciples found each other, and an unconventional band of collaborators grew serendipitously around them, determined to solve the puzzle of the mysterious tooth whorl once and for all. Helicoprion was a Paleozoic chondrichthyan about the size of a modern great white shark, with a circular saw of teeth centered in its lower jaw—a feature unseen in the shark world before or since. For some ten million years, long before the Age of Dinosaurs, Helicoprion patrolled the shallow seas around the supercontinent Pangaea as the apex predator of its time. Just a few tumultuous years after Pruitt and Troll met, imagination, passion, scientific process, and state-of-the-art technology merged into an unstoppable force that reanimated the remarkable creature—and made important new discoveries. In this groundbreaking book, Susan Ewing reveals these revolutionary insights into what Helicoprion looked like and how the tooth whorl functioned—pushing this dazzling and awe-inspiring beast into the spotlight of modern science.
Great Expeditions in the Collections of Natural History Museums
Author: Christopher Kemp
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
The tiny, lungless Thorius salamander from southern Mexico, thinner than a match and smaller than a quarter. The lushly white-coated Saki, an arboreal monkey from the Brazilian rainforests. The olinguito, a native of the Andes, which looks part mongoose, part teddy bear. These fantastic species are all new to science—at least newly named and identified; but they weren’t discovered in the wild, instead, they were unearthed in the drawers and cavernous basements of natural history museums. As Christopher Kemp reveals in The Lost Species, hiding in the cabinets and storage units of natural history museums is a treasure trove of discovery waiting to happen. With Kemp as our guide, we go spelunking into museum basements, dig through specimen trays, and inspect the drawers and jars of collections, scientific detectives on the hunt for new species. We discover king crabs from 1906, unidentified tarantulas, mislabeled Himalayan landsnails, an unknown rove beetle originally collected by Darwin, and an overlooked squeaker frog, among other curiosities. In each case, these specimens sat quietly for decades—sometimes longer than a century—within the collections of museums, before sharp-eyed scientists understood they were new. Each year, scientists continue to encounter new species in museum collections—a stark reminder that we have named only a fraction of the world’s biodiversity. Sadly, some specimens have waited so long to be named that they are gone from the wild before they were identified, victims of climate change and habitat loss. As Kemp shows, these stories showcase the enduring importance of these very collections. The Lost Species vividly tells these stories of discovery—from the latest information on each creature to the people who collected them and the scientists who finally realized what they had unearthed—and will inspire many a museumgoer to want to peek behind the closed doors and rummage through the archives.
The Flowering of Early Animal Life
Author: Hou Xian-Guang,Richard J. Aldridge,Cong Pei-Yun,David J. Siveter,Derek J. Siveter,Sarah E. Gabbott,Ma Xiao-Ya,Mark A. Purnell,Mark Williams
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
The celebrated lower Cambrian Chengjiang biota of Yunnan Province, China, represents one of the most significant ever paleontological discoveries. Deposits of ancient mudstone, about 520 million years old, have yielded a spectacular variety of exquisitely preserved fossils that record the early diversification of animal life. Since the discovery of the first specimens in 1984, many thousands of fossils have been collected, exceptionally preserving not just the shells and carapaces of the animals, but also their soft tissues in fine detail. This special preservation has produced fossils of rare beauty; they are also of outstanding scientific importance as sources of evidence about the origins of animal groups that have sustained global biodiversity to the present day. Much of the scientific documentation of the Chengjiang biota is in Chinese, and the first edition of this book was the first in English to provide fossil enthusiasts with a comprehensive overview of the fauna. The second edition has been fully updated and includes a new chapter on other exceptionally preserved fossils of Cambrian age, exciting new fossil finds from Chengjiang, and a phylogenetic framework for the biota. Displaying some 250 figures of marvelous specimens, this book presents to professional and amateur paleontologists, and all those fascinated by evolutionary biology, the aesthetic and scientific quality of the Chengjiang fossils.
The New Science of De-extinction
Author: Helen Pilcher
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
If you could bring back just one animal from the past, what would you choose? It can be anyone or anything from history, from the King of the Dinosaurs, T. rex, to the King of Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis Presley, and beyond. De-extinction – the ability to bring extinct species back to life – is fast becoming reality. Around the globe, scientists are trying to de-extinct all manner of animals, including the woolly mammoth, the passenger pigeon and a bizarre species of flatulent frog. But de-extinction is more than just bringing back the dead. It's a science that can be used to save species, shape evolution and sculpt the future of life on our planet. In Bring Back the King, scientist and comedy writer Helen Pilcher goes on a quest to identify the perfect de-extinction candidate. Along the way, she asks if Elvis could be recreated from the DNA inside a pickled wart, investigates whether it's possible to raise a pet dodo, and considers the odds of a 21st century Neanderthal turning heads on public transport. Pondering the practicalities and the point of de-extinction, Bring Back the King is a witty and wry exploration of what is bound to become one of the hottest topics in conservation – if not in science as a whole – in the years to come. READ THIS BOOK – the King commands it.
Author: Kenneth P. Dial,Neil Shubin,Elizabeth L. Brainerd
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
How did flying birds evolve from running dinosaurs, terrestrial trotting tetrapods evolve from swimming fish, and whales return to swim in the sea? These are some of the great transformations in the 500-million-year history of vertebrate life. And with the aid of new techniques and approaches across a range of fields—work spanning multiple levels of biological organization from DNA sequences to organs and the physiology and ecology of whole organisms—we are now beginning to unravel the confounding evolutionary mysteries contained in the structure, genes, and fossil record of every living species. This book gathers a diverse team of renowned scientists to capture the excitement of these new discoveries in a collection that is both accessible to students and an important contribution to the future of its field. Marshaling a range of disciplines—from paleobiology to phylogenetics, developmental biology, ecology, and evolutionary biology—the contributors attack particular transformations in the head and neck, trunk, appendages such as fins and limbs, and the whole body, as well as offer synthetic perspectives. Illustrated throughout, Great Transformations in Vertebrate Evolution not only reveals the true origins of whales with legs, fish with elbows, wrists, and necks, and feathered dinosaurs, but also the relevance to our lives today of these extraordinary narratives of change.
A Guide to the State's Remarkable Animals, Plants, and Natural Features
Author: Susan Ewing
Publisher: Graphic Arts Books
This guidebook is organized into three easy-to-read sections: animals, plants, and the natural features of Alaska which is the largest and most varied of all the states in America. Entries in each section are listed alphabetically. This book contains fascinating factoids, line art drawings, and a state map along with entertainingly written entries. Whether you live in Alaska or are just passing through, you’ll discover a gold mine of nuggets, facts, and information that will give you a deeper understanding about everything you may encounter from reindeer, puffins, and Dall sheep to taiga, pingos, and fjords.
The Moving Mouth Dictionary
Author: Peter F. Bulmer
Publisher: Strategic Book Publishing
Do you want to learn The Lost Secret of Speaking Perfect English? The Moving Mouth Dictionary technique provides a very simple approach to perfecting English speaking and pronunciation. The book takes a down-to-earth approach for speaking clear English, as it breathes some fresh air into the stuffy corridors of academic learning. It is geared to help students and business people speak impressive and naturally clear English, taking much of the guessing out of pronunciation and spelling. English will become more of a physical activity, rather than a cerebral academic subject. The key is in identifying and improving specific types of reverse and forward mouth movements, actions based on using simple vertical mouth movement notations that have simple associations with key phonetics sounds for specific letters. The technique's forward and reverse mouth movements combined with a natural English rhythm also helps trigger and access vocabulary and verbs, while aiding in word retention, fluency and auto correcting. The book features a dictionary of over 11,000 words, including some of the most difficult words in the English language, which have been broken down, putting these notations into "mouthables." The process draws heavily on early humans' natural ability to howl and growl, using their mouths vertically. Hence, the lost connection between our near ancestors can aid our ability to speak clear English, an ability we have lost and need to rediscover. About the Author Originally from the Yorkshire Dales in England, Peter F. Bulmer developed his presentational skills as a marketing and export director traveling and selling to different cultures throughout the world. Now retired and based in Europe, he still coaches bankers, consultants, and marketing people in perfecting their English presentation and communication skills. Publisher's website: http: //sbprabooks.com/PeterFBulmer
Author: Susan Ewing,Evon Zerbetz
Publisher: Graphic Arts Center Publishing Co.
Category: Juvenile Fiction
With rhyming text, teaches the numbers one through ten by describing the plight of ten naughty ravens who, due to constant mishaps, continually reduce their number by one.
Author: Greg Palast
Category: Political Science
"Palast is astonishing, he gets the real evidence no one else has the guts to dig up." Vincent Bugliosi, author of None Dare Call it Treason and Helter Skelter Award-winning investigative journalist Greg Palast digs deep to unearth the ugly facts that few reporters working anywhere in the world today have the courage or ability to cover. From East Timor to Waco, he has exposed some of the most egregious cases of political corruption, corporate fraud, and financial manipulation in the US and abroad. His uncanny investigative skills as well as his no-holds-barred style have made him an anathema among magnates on four continents and a living legend among his colleagues and his devoted readership. This exciting collection, now revised and updated, brings together some of Palast's most powerful writing of the past decade. Included here are his celebrated Washington Post exposé on Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris's stealing of the presidential election in Florida, and recent stories on George W. Bush's payoffs to corporate cronies, the payola behind Hillary Clinton, and the faux energy crisis. Also included in this volume are new and previously unpublished material, television transcripts, photographs, and letters.
A Natural History of the Western Interior Sea
Author: Michael J. Everhart
Publisher: Life of the Past
Revised, updated, and expanded with the latest interpretations and fossil discoveries, the second edition of Oceans of Kansas adds new twists to the fascinating story of the vast inland sea that engulfed central North America during the Age of Dinosaurs. Giant sharks, marine reptiles called mosasaurs, pteranodons, and birds with teeth all flourished in and around these shallow waters. Their abundant and well-preserved remains were sources of great excitement in the scientific community when first discovered in the 1860s and continue to yield exciting discoveries 150 years later. Michael J. Everhart vividly captures the history of these startling finds over the decades and re-creates in unforgettable detail these animals from our distant past and the world in which they lived--above, within, and on the shores of America's ancient inland sea.
Author: Anthony J. Martin
Publisher: Pegasus Books
What is the best way to survive when the going gets tough? Hiding underground. From penguins to dinosaurs, trilobites, and humans, Anthony Martin reveals the subterranean secret of survival. Humans have “gone underground” for survival for thousands of years, from underground cities in Turkey to Cold War–era bunkers. But our burrowing roots go back to the very beginnings of animal life on earth. Without burrowing, the planet would be very different today. Many animal lineages alive now—including our own—only survived a cataclysmic meteorite strike 65 million years ago because they went underground. On a grander scale, the chemistry of the planet itself had already been transformed many millions of years earlier by the first animal burrows, which altered whole ecosystems. Every day we walk on an earth filled with an under-ground wilderness teeming with life. Most of this life stays hidden, yet these animals and their subterranean homes are ubiquitous, ranging from the deep sea to mountains, from the equator to the poles. Burrows are a refuge from predators, a safe home for raising young, or a tool to ambush prey. Burrows also protect animals against all types of natural disasters: fires, droughts, storms, meteorites, global warmings—and coolings. In a book filled with spectacularly diverse fauna, acclaimed paleontologist and ichnologist Anthony Martin reveals this fascinating, hidden world that will continue to influence and transform life on this planet.
Author: Tom Robbins
The whooping crane rustlers are girls. Young girls. Cowgirls, as a matter of fact, all “bursting with dimples and hormones”—and the FBI has never seen anything quite like them. Yet their rebellion at the Rubber Rose Ranch is almost overshadowed by the arrival of the legendary Sissy Hankshaw, a white-trash goddess literally born to hitchhike, and the freest female of them all. Freedom, its prizes and its prices, is a major theme of Tom Robbins’s classic tale of eccentric adventure. As his robust characters attempt to turn the tables on fate, the reader is drawn along on a tragicomic joyride across the badlands of sexuality, wild rivers of language, and the frontiers of the mind. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Visionary Scientists and a Siberian Tale of Jump-Started Evolution
Author: Lee Alan Dugatkin,Lyudmila Trut
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
In 1959, biologists Dmitri Belyaev and Lyudmila Trut set out to speed up thousands of years of evolution into a few decades. They started with a few dozen silver foxes from fox farms in the USSR and attempting to recreate the evolution of wolves into dogs in real time in order to witness the process of domestication. Within a decade the experiments had resulted in puppy-like foxes with floppy ears, piebald spots, and curly tails. Along with these physical changes came genetic and behavioral changes, as well. Dugatkin and Trut examine the adventure, science, politics, and love behind it all.
The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard
Author: Russell Miller
Bare-Faced Messiah tells the extraordinary story of L. Ron Hubbard, a penniless science-fi ction writer who founded the Church of Scientology, became a millionaire prophet and convinced his adoring followers that he alone could save the world. According to his 'official' biography, Hubbard was an explorer, engineer, scientist, war hero and philosopher. But in the words of a Californian judge, he was schizophrenic, paranoid and a pathological liar. What is not in dispute is that Hubbard was one of the most bizarre characters of the twentieth century. Bare-Faced Messiah exposes the myths surrounding the fascinating and mysterious founder of the Church of Scientology - a man of hypnotic charm and limitless imagination - and provides the defi nitive account of how the notorious organisation was created.
Author: Marco Mamone Capria
Retakes on Remakes
Author: Andrew Horton,Stuart Y. McDougal
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Category: Performing Arts
Play It Again, Sam is a timely investigation of a topic that until now has received almost no critical attention in film and cultural studies: the cinematic remake. As cinema enters its second century, more remakes are appearing than ever before, and these writers consider the full range: Hollywood films that have been recycled by Hollywood, such as The Jazz Singer, Cape Fear, and Robin Hood; foreign films including Breathless; and Three Men and a Baby, which Hollywood has reworked for American audiences; and foreign films based on American works, among them Yugoslav director Emir Kusturica's Time of the Gypsies, which is a "makeover" of Coppola's Godfather films. As these essays demonstrate, films are remade by other films (Alfred Hitchcock went so far as to remake his own The Man Who Knew Too Much) and by other media as well. The editors and contributors draw upon narrative, film, and cultural theories, and consider gender, genre, and psychological issues, presenting the "remake" as a special artistic form of repetition with a difference and as a commercial product aimed at profits in the marketplace. The remake flourishes at the crossroads of the old and the new, the known and the unknown. Play It Again, Sam takes the reader on an eye-opening tour of this hitherto unexplored territory. Play It Again, Sam is a timely investigation of a topic that until now has received almost no critical attention in film and cultural studies: the cinematic remake. As cinema enters its second century, more remakes are appearing than ever before, and these writers consider the full range: Hollywood films that have been recycled by Hollywood, such as The Jazz Singer, Cape Fear, and Robin Hood; foreign films including Breathless; and Three Men and a Baby, which Hollywood has reworked for American audiences; and foreign films based on American works, among them Yugoslav director Emir Kusturica's Time of the Gypsies, which is a "makeover" of Coppola's Godfather films. As these essays demonstrate, films are remade by other films (Alfred Hitchcock went so far as to remake his own The Man Who Knew Too Much) and by other media as well. The editors and contributors draw upon narrative, film, and cultural theories, and consider gender, genre, and psychological issues, presenting the "remake" as a special artistic form of repetition with a difference and as a commercial product aimed at profits in the marketplace. The remake flourishes at the crossroads of the old and the new, the known and the unknown. Play It Again, Sam takes the reader on an eye-opening tour of this hitherto unexplored territory.
Author: Susan Ewing
Suggests seasonal field trips to wildlife viewing sites in Washington and Oregon
Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time
Author: Michael Shermer
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks
Revised and Expanded Edition. In this age of supposed scientific enlightenment, many people still believe in mind reading, past-life regression theory, New Age hokum, and alien abduction. A no-holds-barred assault on popular superstitions and prejudices, with more than 80,000 copies in print, Why People Believe Weird Things debunks these nonsensical claims and explores the very human reasons people find otherworldly phenomena, conspiracy theories, and cults so appealing. In an entirely new chapter, "Why Smart People Believe in Weird Things," Michael Shermer takes on science luminaries like physicist Frank Tippler and others, who hide their spiritual beliefs behind the trappings of science. Shermer, science historian and true crusader, also reveals the more dangerous side of such illogical thinking, including Holocaust denial, the recovered-memory movement, the satanic ritual abuse scare, and other modern crazes. Why People Believe Strange Things is an eye-opening resource for the most gullible among us and those who want to protect them.
Tales of Intrepid Fossil Hunters and the Wonders of Evolution
Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Every fossil tells a story. Best-selling paleontology author Donald R. Prothero describes twenty-five famous, beautifully preserved fossils in a gripping scientific history of life on Earth. Recounting the adventures behind the discovery of these objects and fully interpreting their significance within the larger fossil record, Prothero creates a riveting history of life on our planet. The twenty-five fossils portrayed in this book catch animals in their evolutionary splendor as they transition from one kind of organism to another. We witness extinct plants and animals of microscopic and immense size and thrilling diversity. We learn about fantastic land and sea creatures that have no match in nature today. Along the way, we encounter such fascinating fossils as the earliest trilobite, Olenellus; the giant shark Carcharocles; the "fishibian" Tiktaalik; the "Frogamander" and the "Turtle on the Half-Shell"; enormous marine reptiles and the biggest dinosaurs known; the first bird, Archaeopteryx; the walking whale Ambulocetus; the gigantic hornless rhinoceros Paraceratherium, the largest land mammal that ever lived; and the Australopithecus nicknamed "Lucy," the oldest human skeleton. We meet the scientists and adventurers who pioneered paleontology and learn about the larger intellectual and social contexts in which their discoveries were made. Finally, we find out where to see these splendid fossils in the world's great museums. Ideal for all who love prehistoric landscapes and delight in the history of science, this book makes a treasured addition to any bookshelf, stoking curiosity in the evolution of life on Earth.