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Sea Turtles: A Complete Guide to Their Biology, Behavior, and Conservationby James R. Spotila
Synopses & Reviews
For more than a hundred million years, sea turtles have been swimming in the world's oceans. These magnificent, long-lived creatures spend their lives in the water, coming ashore to lay their eggs. Upon hatching, the baby turtles leave the nest and enter a dangerous world of storms and predators. The females will return to the same beach to lay their own eggs when they reach maturity a decade later. Today, there are seven species of sea turtle: the grass--eating green turtle; the sea sponge--eating hawksbill; the olive ridley; the Kemp's ridley, which is the smallest species; the loggerhead; the flatback of Australia; and the giant leatherback. Having escaped the mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs, these ancient reptiles today face new dangers that threaten their survival: pollution, hunting, and the destruction of their nesting grounds. Will this century be the last to witness their majesty? Will succeeding generations live in a world devoid of their graceful presence?
Marine biologist James R. Spotila has spent much of his life unraveling the mysteries of these graceful creatures and working to ensure their survival. In Sea Turtles, he offers a comprehensive and compelling account of their history and life cycle based on the most recent scientific data — and suggests what we can do now to save them. From the Kemp's ridley, which nests on a single beach on Mexico's Gulf Coast, to the nomadic leatherback, which can weigh up to a ton and is in the most imminent danger of extinction, Spotila offers a vivid description of their diets and mating habits, and the conservation efforts being made on their behalf. Illustrated with stunning color photographs by the world's leading nature photographers, Sea Turtles will inform and inspire readers of all ages everywhere.
"With its conversational writing style and exciting first-hand stories about researching giant sea turtles on rain-soaked tropical beaches, this beautiful illustrated reference should appeal to both students of marine biology and those with a causal interest in the sciences. Each of the seven kinds of sea turtle-from the 80-pound Kemp's Ridleys to the 2000-pound Leatherback-receives its own chapter, and sidebars highlight the contributions of individual scientists. Other chapters are devoted to the sea turtle's biology, history, life cycle and conservation. Photos range from magnificent underwater tableaus and stunning close-ups of cute, inquisitive young hatchlings to stark but accurate reflections of the dangerous world these underwater reptiles inhabit. Spotila, a professor of environmental science at Drexel University and founder of the International Sea Turtle Society, makes useful connections throughout to help readers better understand the sea turtle's biology, contrasting them with humans, dinosaurs and other animals ('Green turtles literally fly through the water using their front flippers to provide both lift and thrust just like the wing of a bird'). But the book's primary emphasis is on conservation. As Spotila writes, 'these beautiful swimmers have survived for 110 million years and yet are threatened with extinction after only a few centuries of exposure to humans.' Informative and entertaining, this guide will raise readers' awareness of the plight of these extraordinary animals and may even motivate some to take part in Spotila's conservation efforts." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
Spotila, founder of the Int'l Sea Turtle Society, describes seven species of sea turtles in this beautifully illustrated text. Initial chapters describe sea turtles' life cycles, biology, history, and the urgent need for conservation. Separate chapters are devoted to the different species. The text is accessible to the general reader.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Marine biologist James R. Spotila has spent much of his life unraveling the mysteries of these graceful creatures and working to ensure their survival. In "Sea Turtles," he offers a comprehensive and compelling account of their history and life cycle based on the most recent scientific data and suggests what we can be done to save them. Illustrated with stunning, full-color photographs. 0-808-8007-6$24.95 / Johns Hopkins University Press
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