"Intelligent Design" is being taught in our schools; educators are being asked to "teach the controversy" behind evolutionary theory. There is no controversy. Dawkins sifts through rich layers of scientific evidence—from living examples of natural selection to clues in the fossil record; from natural clocks that mark the vast epochs wherein evolution ran its course to the intricacies of developing embryos; from plate tectonics to molecular genetics—to make the airtight case that "we find ourselves perched on one tiny twig in the midst of a blossoming and flourishing tree of life and it is no accident, but the direct consequence of evolution by non-random selection." His unjaded passion for the natural world turns what might have been a negative argument, exposing the absurdities of the creationist position, into a positive offering to the reader: nothing less than a master’s vision of life, in all its splendor.
Horowitz introduces the reader to dogs’ perceptual and cognitive abilities and then draws a picture of what it might be like to be a dog. What’s it like to be able to smell not just every bit of open food in the house but also to smell sadness in humans, or even the passage of time? How does a tiny dog manage to play successfully with a Great Dane? What is it like to hear the bodily vibrations of insects or the hum of a fluorescent light? Why must a person on a bicycle be chased? What’s it like to use your mouth as a hand? In short, what is it like for a dog to experience life from two feet off the ground, amidst the smells of the sidewalk, gazing at our ankles or knees?
Inside of a Dog explains these things and much more. The answers can be surprising—once we set aside our natural inclination to anthropomorphize dogs. Inside of a Dog also contains up-to-the-minute research—on dogs’ detection of disease, the secrets of their tails, and their skill at reading our attention—that Horowitz puts into useful context. Although not a formal training guide, Inside of a Dog has practical application for dog lovers interested in understanding why their dogs do what they do. With a light touch and the weight of science behind her, Alexandra Horowitz examines the animal we think we know best but may actually understand the least. This book is as close as you can get to knowing about dogs without being a dog yourself.
A revelatory look at why we dehumanize each other, with stunning examples from world history as well as today's headlines
"Brute." "Cockroach." "Lice." "Vermin." "Dog." "Beast." These and other monikers are constantly in use to refer to other humans—for political, religious, ethnic, or sexist reasons. Human beings have a tendency to regard members of their own kind as less than human. This tendency has made atrocities like the Holocaust, the genocide in Rwanda, and the slave trade possible, and yet we still find it in phenomena such as xenophobia, homophobia, military propaganda, and racism. Less Than Human draws on a rich mix of history, psychology, biology, anthropology and philosophy to document the pervasiveness of dehumanization, describe its forms, and explain why we so often resort to it.
David Livingstone Smith posits that this behavior is rooted in human nature, but gives us hope in also stating that biological traits are malleable, showing us that change is possible. Less Than Human is a chilling indictment of our nature, and is as timely as it is relevant.
Anarchy Evolution is a provocative look at the collision between religion and science, by an author with unique authority: UCLA lecturer in Paleontology, and founding member of Bad Religion, Greg Graffin. Alongside science writer Steve Olson (whose Mapping Human History was a National Book Award finalist) Graffin delivers a powerful discussion sure to strike a chord with readers of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion or Christopher Hitchens God Is Not Great. Bad Religion die-hards, newer fans won over during the band’s 30th Anniversary Tour, and anyone interested in this increasingly important debate should check out this treatise on science from the god of punk rock.
Among the historical moments revisited here, a revolutionary nation arises from its environment and struggles to reconcile the diversity of its people with the claim that nature is the source of liberty. Abraham Lincoln, an unlettered citizen from the countryside, steers the Union through a moment of extreme peril, guided by his clear-eyed vision of nature's capacity for improvement. In Topeka, Kansas, transformations of land and life prompt a lawsuit that culminates in the momentous civil rights case of Brown v. Board of Education.
By focusing on materials and processes intrinsic to all things and by highlighting the nature of the United States, Fiege recovers the forgotten and overlooked ground on which so much history has unfolded. In these pages, the nation's birth and development, pain and sorrow, ideals and enduring promise come to life as never before, making a once-familiar past seem new. The Republic of Nature points to a startlingly different version of history that calls on readers to reconnect with fundamental forces that shaped the American experience.
For more information, visit the author's website: http://republicofnature.com/
* Over 400 professionally drawn illustrations
* Identification keys to find arthropod orders
* Comprehensive reading list
* Detailed glossary of terms
"I tried to have well-trained police officers and deputies. Bill is paying attention to the training of beekeepers." Johannes F. Spreen, retired police commissioner of Detroit and sheriff of Oakland County, Michigan.
"Honey's anti-bacterial qualities may make it valuable in treating microbes that have become resistant to antibiotics such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus-MRSA." Dr. Diane Holloway, formerly in practice at Presbyterian Hospital, Dallas, Texas.
"This knowledge should help you in minimizing any significant impact that the Africanized bee could have on your daily life." Fire Chief Robert Biscoe, Fire District of Sun City West, Arizona.
This well-illustrated text is perfect for beginning beekeepers, experienced beekeepers and their employees, entomology students, and the layman. It offers instructions and information for:
Problems with helpers, animals, people, health, and disasters Working with beeswax, pollen, enzymes, and package bees Dealing with diseases, mites, colony collapse, and Africanized bees Robbing, extracting, bee removal, re-queening and queen rearing
“A tear-jerking classic.”—Outside • Named One of the Best Books of the Year by Men’s Journal
On June 28, 2013, a single bolt of lightning sparked an inferno that devoured more than eight thousand acres in northern Arizona. Twenty elite firefighters—the Granite Mountain Hotshots—walked together into the Yarnell Hill Fire, tools in their hands and emergency fire shelters on their hips. Only one of them walked out.
An award-winning journalist and former wildland firefighter, Kyle Dickman brings to the story a professional’s understanding of how wildfires ignite, how they spread, and how they are fought. He understands hotshots and their culture: the pain and glory of a rough and vital job, the brotherly bonds born of dangerous work. Drawing on dozens of interviews with officials, families of the fallen, and the lone survivor, he describes in vivid detail what it’s like to stand inside a raging fire—and shows how the increased population and decreased water supply of the American West guarantee that many more young men will step into harm’s way in the coming years.
Praise for On the Burning Edge
“Dickman weaves a century of fire-management history into the fully realized stories of the men’s lives—the sweat, the adrenaline, the orange glow of fire within their aluminum shelters, and the chewing gum that hotshot Scott Norris left in the shower before telling his girlfriend, Heather, ‘I’ll take care of it later. I promise.’”—Outside
“Dickman offers a riveting account of a dangerous occupation and acts of nature most violent—and those who face both down.”—Library Journal
If chaos theory transformed our view of the universe, biomimicry is transforming our life on Earth. Biomimicry is innovation inspired by nature – taking advantage of evolution’s 3.8 billion years of R&D since the first bacteria. Biomimics study nature’s best ideas: photosynthesis, brain power, and shells – and adapt them for human use. They are revolutionising how we invent, compute, heal ourselves, harness energy, repair the environment, and feed the world.
Science writer and lecturer Janine Benyus names and explains this phenomenon. She takes us into the lab and out in the field with cutting-edge researchers as they stir vats of proteins to unleash their computing power; analyse how electrons zipping around a leaf cell convert sunlight into fuel in trillionths of a second; discover miracle drugs by watching what chimps eat when they’re sick; study the hardy prairie as a model for low-maintenance agriculture; and more.
In the late spring and early summer, as a bee colony becomes overcrowded, a third of the hive stays behind and rears a new queen, while a swarm of thousands departs with the old queen to produce a daughter colony. Seeley describes how these bees evaluate potential nest sites, advertise their discoveries to one another, engage in open deliberation, choose a final site, and navigate together--as a swirling cloud of bees--to their new home. Seeley investigates how evolution has honed the decision-making methods of honeybees over millions of years, and he considers similarities between the ways that bee swarms and primate brains process information. He concludes that what works well for bees can also work well for people: any decision-making group should consist of individuals with shared interests and mutual respect, a leader's influence should be minimized, debate should be relied upon, diverse solutions should be sought, and the majority should be counted on for a dependable resolution.
An impressive exploration of animal behavior, Honeybee Democracy shows that decision-making groups, whether honeybee or human, can be smarter than even the smartest individuals in them.
This remarkable medical parallel launched Natterson-Horowitz on a journey of discovery that reshaped her entire approach to medicine. She began to search for other connections between the human and animal worlds: Do animals get breast cancer, anxiety-induced fainting spells, sexually transmitted diseases? Do they suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia, addiction?
The answers were astonishing. Dinosaurs suffered from brain cancer. Koalas catch chlamydia. Reindeer seek narcotic escape in hallucinogenic mushrooms. Stallions self-mutilate. Gorillas experience clinical depression.
Joining forces with science journalist Kathryn Bowers, Natterson-Horowitz employs fascinating case studies and meticulous scholarship to present a revelatory understanding of what animals can teach us about the human body and mind. “Zoobiquity” is the term the authors have coined to refer to a new, species-spanning approach to health. Delving into evolution, anthropology, sociology, biology, veterinary science, and zoology, they break down the walls between disciplines, redefining the boundaries of medicine.
Zoobiquity explores how animal and human commonality can be used to diagnose, treat, and heal patients of all species. Both authoritative and accessible, offering cutting-edge research through captivating narratives, this provocative book encourages us to see our essential connection to all living beings.
As development and subsequent habitat destruction accelerate, there are increasing pressures on wildlife populations. But there is an important and simple step toward reversing this alarming trend: Everyone with access to a patch of earth can make a significant contribution toward sustaining biodiversity. There is an unbreakable link between native plant species and native wildlife—native insects cannot, or will not, eat alien plants. When native plants disappear, the insects disappear, impoverishing the food source for birds and other animals. In many parts of the world, habitat destruction has been so extensive that local wildlife is in crisis and may be headed toward extinction.
Bringing Nature Home has sparked a national conversation about the link between healthy local ecosystems and human well-being, and the new paperback edition—with an expanded resource section and updated photos—will help broaden the movement. By acting on Douglas Tallamy's practical recommendations, everyone can make a difference.
• Ants are world-class road builders, handling traffic problems on thoroughfares that dwarf our highway systems in their complexity
• Ants with the largest societies often deploy complicated military tactics
• Some ants have evolved from hunter-gatherers into farmers, domesticating other insects and growing crops for food
Well-illustrated with new examples, case studies and abundant photos, this eighth edition describes the importance and history of forests, evolution of policy, North American distribution of forests, and moves on to describe forest health strategies to combat insects, disease, damage from mammals, and fire. Ecological principles are explained as basis for forest management, with chapters on management of the associated resources of wildlife, watersheds and streams, range resources, outdoor recreation and wilderness. Market concerns and technology are embraced in chapters on economics, measurement and analysis, harvesting, and forest products. Concluding chapters describe management of forests and renewable resources by the federal government, by states, by private land owners, and in urban areas and communities. For forestry, natural resource, and environmental science students, involved citizens and resource users and professionals, this book is your reference and guide to forests and renewable resources.
Wildlife and Woodlot Management offers expert tips on such topics as:
Choosing the right piece of land for your needsMaintenance and management practicesImproving natural vegetationAttracting bucks, wild turkey, waterfowl, and small gameHow to love working and helping your land
With over 330 pages crammed full of information and chapters covering topics ranging from timber stands to trespassers, Wildlife and Woodlot Management includes all the know-how you need to make your land into a hunting destination. Packed with pertinent details and accurate, easy-to-follow advice, this is a book no land-owning outdoorsman should miss.
Hailed as a classic, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? explores the oddities and complexities of animal cognition—in crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, chimpanzees, and bonobos—to reveal how smart animals really are, and how we’ve underestimated their abilities for too long. Did you know that octopuses use coconut shells as tools, that elephants classify humans by gender and language, and that there is a young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University whose flash memory puts that of humans to shame? Fascinating, entertaining, and deeply informed, de Waal’s landmark work will convince you to rethink everything you thought you knew about animal—and human—intelligence.
In Driven Wild, Paul Sutter traces the intellectual and cultural roots of the modern wilderness movement from about 1910 through the 1930s, with tightly drawn portraits of four Wilderness Society founders--Aldo Leopold, Robert Sterling Yard, Benton MacKaye, and Bob Marshall. Each man brought a different background and perspective to the advocacy for wilderness preservation, yet each was spurred by a fear of what growing numbers of automobiles, aggressive road building, and the meteoric increase in Americans turning to nature for their leisure would do to the country�s wild places. As Sutter discovered, the founders of the Wilderness Society were "driven wild"--pushed by a rapidly changing country to construct a new preservationist ideal.
Sutter demonstrates that the birth of the movement to protect wilderness areas reflected a growing belief among an important group of conservationists that the modern forces of capitalism, industrialism, urbanism, and mass consumer culture were gradually eroding not just the ecology of North America, but crucial American values as well. For them, wilderness stood for something deeply sacred that was in danger of being lost, so that the movement to protect it was about saving not just wild nature, but ourselves as well.
Back in America after twenty years in Britain, Bill Bryson decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. The AT offers an astonishing landscape of silent forests and sparkling lakes—and to a writer with the comic genius of Bill Bryson, it also provides endless opportunities to witness the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings.
For a start there's the gloriously out-of-shape Stephen Katz, a buddy from Iowa along for the walk. Despite Katz's overwhelming desire to find cozy restaurants, he and Bryson eventually settle into their stride, and while on the trail they meet a bizarre assortment of hilarious characters. But A Walk in the Woods is more than just a laugh-out-loud hike. Bryson's acute eye is a wise witness to this beautiful but fragile trail, and as he tells its fascinating history, he makes a moving plea for the conservation of America's last great wilderness. An adventure, a comedy, and a celebration, A Walk in the Woods has become a modern classic of travel literature.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
On the afternoon of August 20, 1910, a battering ram of wind moved through the drought-stricken national forests of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, whipping the hundreds of small blazes burning across the forest floor into a roaring inferno that jumped from treetop to ridge as it raged, destroying towns and timber in the blink of an eye. Forest rangers had assembled nearly ten thousand men to fight the fires, but no living person had seen anything like those flames, and neither the rangers nor anyone else knew how to subdue them. Egan recreates the struggles of the overmatched rangers against the implacable fire with unstoppable dramatic force, and the larger story of outsized president Teddy Roosevelt and his chief forester, Gifford Pinchot, that follows is equally resonant. Pioneering the notion of conservation, Roosevelt and Pinchot did nothing less than create the idea of public land as our national treasure, owned by every citizen. Even as TR's national forests were smoldering they were saved: The heroism shown by his rangers turned public opinion permanently in favor of the forests, though it changed the mission of the forest service in ways we can still witness today.
This e-book includes a sample chapter of SHORT NIGHTS OF THE SHADOW CATCHER.
This book, a major revision and expansion of Peter H. Pearse's 1990 classic, provides this grounding. Updated and enhanced with advanced empirical presentation of materials, it covers the basic economic principles and concepts and their application to modern forest management and policy issues.Forest Economics draws on the strengths of two of the field's leading practitioners who have more than fifty years of combined experience in teaching forest economics in the United States and Canada. Its comprehensive and systematic analysis of forest issues makes it an indispensable resource for students and practitioners of forest management, natural resource conservation, and environmental studies.
Soldiers on both sides frequently complained about the annoying pests that fed on their blood, buzzed in their ears, invaded their tents, and generally contributed to the misery of army life. Little did they suspect that the South's large mosquito population operated as a sort of mercenary force, a third army, one that could work for or against either side depending on the circumstances. Malaria and yellow fever not only sickened thousands of Union and Confederate soldiers but also affected the timing and success of certain key military operations. Some commanders took seriously the threat posed by the southern disease environment and planned accordingly; others reacted only after large numbers of their men had already fallen ill. African American soldiers were ordered into areas deemed unhealthy for whites, and Confederate quartermasters watched helplessly as yellow fever plagued important port cities, disrupting critical supply chains and creating public panics.
Bell also chronicles the effects of disease on the civilian population, describing how shortages of malarial medicine helped erode traditional gender roles by turning genteel southern women into smugglers. Southern urbanites learned the value of sanitation during the Union occupation only to endure the horror of new yellow fever outbreaks once it ended, and federal soldiers reintroduced malaria into non-immune northern areas after the war. Throughout his lively narrative, Bell reinterprets familiar Civil War battles and events from an epidemiological standpoint, providing a fascinating medical perspective on the war.
By focusing on two specific diseases rather than a broad array of Civil War medical topics, Bell offers a clear understanding of how environmental factors serve as agents of change in history. Indeed, with Mosquito Soldiers, he proves that the course of the Civil War would have been far different had mosquito-borne illness not been part of the South's landscape in the 1860s.
This book is the basic introduction to the field, showing how botany, anthropology, ecology, economics and linguistics are all employed in the techniques and methods involved. It explains data collection and hypothesis testing and provides practical ideas on fieldwork ethics and the application of results to conservation and community development. Case studies illustrate the explanations, demonstrating the importance of collaboration in achieving results.
Published with WWF, UNESCO and Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.
"The most scientifically important dog in over a century." —Brian Hare
Chaser has fascinated dog lovers and scientists alike. Her story reveals the potential for taking out dialogue with dogs well beyond "fetch." When retired psychology professor John Pilley first got his new Border collie puppy, Chaser, he wanted to explore the boundaries of language learning and communication between humans and man's best friend. Exhibiting intelligence previously thought impossible in dogs, Chaser soon learned the names of more than a thousand toys and sentences with multiple elements of grammar. Chaser's accomplishments are revolutionizing the way we think about the intelligence of animals. John and Chaser's inspiring journey demonstrates the power of learning through play and opens our eyes to the boundless potential in the animals we love.
When a good friend with a severe illness wrote, asking if he might have his “green burial” at Bernd Heinrich’s hunting camp in Maine, it inspired the acclaimed biologist to investigate a subject that had long fascinated him. How exactly does the animal world deal with the flip side of the life cycle? And what are the lessons, ecological to spiritual, imparted by a close look at how the animal world renews itself?
Heinrich focuses his wholly original gaze on the fascinating doings of creatures most of us would otherwise turn away from—field mouse burials conducted by carrion beetles; the communication strategies of ravens, “the premier northern undertakers”; and the “inadvertent teamwork” among wolves and large cats, foxes and weasels, bald eagles and nuthatches in cold-weather dispersal of prey. Heinrich reveals, too, how and where humans still play our ancient and important role as scavengers, thereby turning not dust to dust, but life to life.
“If it has not been clear to readers by now, this book confirms that Bernd Heinrich is one of the finest naturalists of our time. Life Everlasting shines with the authenticity and originality that are unique to a life devoted to natural history in the field.” —Edward O. Wilson, author of The Meaning of Human Existence and The Social Conquest of Earth
IMAGINE A WORLD WHERE parasites are masters of chemical warfare and camouflage, able to cloak themselves with their hosts' own molecules.
IMAGINE A WORLD WHERE parasites steer the course of evolution, where the majority of species are parasites.
WELCOME TO EARTH.
For centuries, parasites have lived in nightmares, horror stories, and in the darkest shadows of science. Yet these creatures are among the world's most successful and sophisticated organisms. In Parasite Rex, Carl Zimmer deftly balances the scientific and the disgusting as he takes readers on a fantastic voyage. Traveling from the steamy jungles of Costa Rica to the fetid parasite haven of southern Sudan, Zimmer graphically brings to life how parasites can change DNA, rewire the brain, make men more distrustful and women more outgoing, and turn hosts into the living dead.
This thorough, gracefully written book brings parasites out into the open and uncovers what they can teach us about the most fundamental survival tactics in the universe.
At last, many unanswered questions about the earth’s creation can be resolved with confidence. For example, how long did it take? Where did it take place? What about evolution, fossils, dinosaurs and cave men? Well-supported answers are here.
For those who have been challenged to explain the earth’s creation from an LDS viewpoint, this book will be helpful and enlightening. And for those who enjoy contemplating both the discoveries of science and the revelations of God, this book will be extremely stimulating and thought-provoking.
Readers have commented:
Dan from Canada: “This book has enlightened my mind and given me the wonderful opportunity to see the intermeshing between science and our religion.”
Paul from Texas: “Well-supported viewpoint and thought-provoking reading.... I appreciate Brother Skousen’s heavy usage of scriptural references and quotes from trustworthy Church leaders.”
Kristy from Utah: “Answered a lot of questions I had from my geology classes and gave me a deeper appreciation for this awesome planet we live on and the creator of it.”
Kelly from California: “This book explained so much about issues that had previously confused or bothered me.”
Jerome from Georgia: “Life altering, made me a better person.... If you really want to understand the ‘Big Picture’ then this book is a must read.”
Dave from Washington: “One unexpected blessing received from reading this book was an enhanced Temple worship experience.”
Ed from Iowa: “If you are LDS, this will open your eyes to things that are incredible and you will not look at the world we live in in the same way again.”
Devon: “Scholarly material well presented for the layman.”
This eBook includes the original index, illustrations, footnotes, table of contents and page numbering from the printed format.
Integrated Pest Management covers these topics and more. It explores the current ecological approaches in alternative solutions, such as biological control agents, parasites and predators, pathogenic microorganisms, pheromones and natural products as well as ecological approaches for managing invasive pests, rats, suppression of weeds, safety of pollinators, role of taxonomy and remote sensing in IPM and future projections of IPM. This book is a useful resource to entomologists, agronomists, horticulturists, and environmental scientists.Fills a gap in the literature by providing critical analysis of different management strategies that have a bearing on agriculture, sustainability and environmental protection Synthesizes research and practice on integrated pest managementEmphasizes an overview of management strategies, with critical evaluation of each in the larger context of ecologically based pest management
In The Wolf's Tooth, scientist and author Cristina Eisenberg explores the concept of "trophic cascades" and the role of top predators in regulating ecosystems. Her fascinating and wide-ranging work provides clear explanations of the science surrounding keystone predators and considers how this notion can help provide practical solutions for restoring ecosystem health and functioning.
Eisenberg examines both general concepts and specific issues, sharing accounts from her own fieldwork to illustrate and bring to life the ideas she presents. She considers how resource managers can use knowledge about trophic cascades to guide recovery efforts, including how this science can be applied to move forward the bold vision of rewilding the North American continent. In the end, the author provides her own recommendations for local and landscape-scale applications of what has been learned about interactive food webs.
At their most fundamental level, trophic cascades are powerful stories about ecosystem processes—of predators and their prey, of what it takes to survive in a landscape, of the flow of nutrients. The Wolf's Tooth is the first book to focus on the vital connection between trophic cascades and restoring biodiversity and habitats, and to do so in a way that is accessible to a diverse readership.
Paul Falkowski looks "under the hood" of microbes to find the engines of life, the actual working parts that do the biochemical heavy lifting for every living organism on Earth. With insight and humor, he explains how these miniature engines are built—and how they have been appropriated by and assembled like Lego sets within every creature that walks, swims, or flies. Falkowski shows how evolution works to maintain this core machinery of life, and how we and other animals are veritable conglomerations of microbes.
A vibrantly entertaining book about the microbes that support our very existence, Life's Engines will inspire wonder about these elegantly complex nanomachines that have driven life since its origin. It also issues a timely warning about the dangers of tinkering with that machinery to make it more "efficient" at meeting the ever-growing demands of humans in the coming century.
This profound and elegant book derives both its title and its outlook from Samuel Butler’s 1863 essay, “Darwin Among the Machines.” Observing the beginnings of miniaturization, self-reproduction, and telecommunication among machines, Butler predicted that nature’s intelligence, only temporarily subservient to technology, would resurface to claim our creations as her own. Updating Butler’s arguments, Dyson distills the historical record to chronicle the origins of digital telecommunications and the evolution of digital computers, beginning long before the time of Darwin and exploring the limits of Darwinian evolution to suggest what lies beyond. Weaving a cohesive narrative of his brilliant predecessors, Dyson constructs a straightforward, convincing, and occasionally frightening view of the evolution of mind in the global network, on a level transcending our own. Dyson concludes that we are in the midst of an experiment that echoes the prehistory of human intelligence and the origins of life.
Just as the exchange of coded molecular instructions brought life as we know it to the early earth’s primordial soup, and as language and mind combined to form the culture in which we live, so, in the digital universe, are computer programs and worldwide networks combining to produce an evolutionary theater in which the distinctions between nature and technology are increasingly obscured. Nature, argues Dyson, is on the side of the machines.
Commencing with a brief introduction to mineral systems, and the properties of minerals in plane-polarised and cross-polarised light, the mineral key also includes line drawings, tables of mineral properties and an interference colour chart, to further aid mineral identification. To minimise the chance of misidentification, and enable less experienced petrologists to use the key with confidence, the key has been arranged to prioritise those properties that are most easily recognised.
Designed for simplicity and ease of use, it is primarily aimed at undergraduate and postgraduate students of mineralogy and petrology, but should also provide a valuable source of reference for all practising geologists dealing with rock thin sections and their interpretation.