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Other titles in the Australian Natural History series:
Albatrosses (Australian Natural History)by Terence Lindsey
Synopses & Reviews
and#160;andldquo;At length did cross an Albatross, / Through the fog it came; / As if it had been a Christian soul, / We hailed it in Godandrsquo;s name.andrdquo; The introduction of the albatross in Samuel Taylor Coleridgeandrsquo;s andldquo;The Rime of the Ancient Marinerandrdquo; remains one of the most well-known references to this majestic seabird in Western culture. In Albatross, Graham Barwell goes beyond Coleridge to examine the role the bird plays in the lives of a wide variety of peoples and societies, from the early views of north Atlantic mariners to modern encounters by writers, artists, and filmmakers.
Exploring how the bird has been celebrated in proverbs, folk stories, art, and ceremonies, Barwell shows how people marvel at the way the albatross soars through the air, covering awe-inspiring distances with little effort thanks to its impressive wingspan. He surveys the many approaches people have taken to thinking about the albatross over the past two hundred yearsandmdash;from those who devoted their lives to these birds to those who hunted them for food and sportandmdash;and discusses its place in the human imagination. Concluding with a reflection on the birdandrsquo;s changing significance in the modern world, Barwell considers threats to its continued existence and its prospects for the future. With one hundred illustrations from nature, film, and popular culture, Albatross is an absorbing look at these beautiful birds.
Book News Annotation:
This illustrated guide to albatrosses examines the mythology, habitat and behaviors of these large and hardy seabirds and provides a detailed glimpse of why they are able to endure some of the most inhospitable conditions on the planet. Lindsey, a noted Australian zoologist, ornithologist and writer, discusses the flight habits, courtship and nesting cycles, feeding habits and biological details of these birds for the benefit of ornithology students and bird enthusiasts. General audiences, however, will appreciate the drawings and stunning color photographs from remote locations such as Antarctica, South Africa and Australia. Distributed in the US by Stylus. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This work outlines the life histories of these spectacular birds, and explores some of the main strategies and tactics that have evolved to enable them to achieve mastery of one of the most hostile regions on the planet.
* Illustrated and accessible guide to this unique aviatorDespite their iconic cultural status, real albatrosses are largely confined to the region referred to by early mariners as the Roaring Forties and the Furious Fifties, otherwise known as the Southern Ocean. The single most distinctive characteristic of these birds is that they ride storms. Aside from a few close relatives among the petrels and shearwaters, they are the only animals (of any kind) that do this. They don t evade storms, or flee them, they climb aboard and ride them. The meteorology of the Southern Ocean is so extreme that the region might reasonably be viewed as essentially one enormous, endless storm. For any non-aquatic animal, this characteristic makes the Southern Ocean nearly as inhospitable as the polar wastes or the most extreme of deserts. To all but the albatross, that is.This work outlines the life histories of these spectacular birds, and explores some of the main strategies and tactics that have evolved to enable them to achieve mastery of one of the most hostile regions on the planet.
About the Author
and#160;Graham Barwell teaches English, media, and cultural studies at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia.
Table of Contents
1 Encountering the Albatross
2 Imagining the Albatross
3 Using the Albatross: Indigenous Cultures of the Pacific
4 Using the Albatross: Non-indigenous Peoples
5 Saving the Albatross
6 The Albatross Today: An Iconic Bird
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