The Story of the Humpback Whale
The biologist Dr Phil Clapham draws on over 30 years of working with humpback whales to describe the lifecycle and migrations of these charismatic animals, their spectacular acrobatics and speculations as to their intelligence. He also tells the story of the ‘merciless pursuit’ by the whaling industry and the humpback’s recovery since the 1973 ban on killing whales. Clapham’s text is accompanied by extraordinary photographs, the result of Colin Baxter’s dedicated whale-watching, from Alaska to Australia.
A Story of Love and Loathing in Modern Britain
For some, the fox is a beautiful, intelligent creature; for others, a ravager of henhouses. Lucy Jones probes these conflicted attitudes, and examines her own family history of foxhunting. She investigates the animal’s behaviour and reputation for cunning, charts attempts to exterminate it from the Tudor ‘Vermin Acts’ onwards, and traces the fox through folklore and literature from Aesop’s fables to Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox.
A Naturalist's Guide to the Primates of Southeast Asia
East Asia and the Indian Sub-continent
Non-human primates in Southeast Asia are under threat, and this field guide lists 120 species with photographs, physical descriptions, ranges, unusual characteristics and tips for conservation-minded beginners searching for primates in the region.
Tales from Gombe
Made famous by the long-term studies conducted by Jane Goodall, the chimpanzees of the Gombe National Park by Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania have revealed previously unknown behaviours, such as the use of tools and meat-eating, and have shown that the apes have complex social relationships and individual personalities. This large-format photographic study captures the chimps over a period of more than ten years and contains notes on the history of the community and the lineages of its prominent dynasties.
Rough and Tumble
Aggression, Hunting, and Human Evolution
Anthropologists have traditionally viewed a coupling of aggression and predation as the evolutionary milestone that brought about ambush hunting approximately two million years ago. But Rough and Tumble challenges this view, since aggressive attack was a hopeless tactic for humans who were smaller and slower-footed than their prey. The author uses fossils, archaeological evidence and studies of humans and other primates to argue that it was the advent of new hunting technologies that allowed humans to stalk and kill large game.
How the Dog Became the Dog
From Wolves to Our Best Friends
Although the exact origins of the dog are disputed, it seems certain that its wild progenitor was the grey wolf, the two being closer genetically than are the races of humans. Mark Derr's study traces the domestic dog’s evolution from the first 'dogwolves', which, some time around the end of the last Ice Age, developed mutually beneficial relationships with groups of hunter-gathering humans, through centuries of natural and artificial selection to the multifarious breeds of today.
In Search of the Wild Otter
One of Britain's best-loved wild animals, the otter is making a comeback thanks to the efforts of conservationists. Otter Country follows Miriam Darlington's travels from her Devon home to the wilds of Scotland in pursuit of these charismatic beasts. Her writing evokes the beauty of the landscapes otters inhabit as she recounts meetings with ecologists, fishermen, hunters and poets and describes how the stillness required to track these elusive creatures brings its own wonders.