Elephant

Princeton University Press
Free sample

A lavishly illustrated celebration of these glorious animals—and a poignant lament for their future

Elephants are among the most beloved of all creatures. Their behavior can seem almost human, from their complex social interactions to their need to mourn their dead. They are also among the most persecuted of animals, subjected to untold cruelty at the hands of humans through the ages. In this stunningly illustrated book, Errol Fuller provides a rich and moving portrait of elephants, exploring their natural history, the legends that have grown up around them, their unique place in art and literature, and their urgent need for protection today.

Fuller traces the evolution of these majestic animals from prehistoric mammoths and mastodons to today's African and Asian elephants, and looks at their behavior, herd dynamics, and social life. He examines the role of elephants in cultures around the world, from folklore and fine art to the exploitation of elephants as war machines and circus animals. Fuller also discusses the importance of conservation, warning that continued poaching and habitat degradation could send these iconic animals the way of the dodo.

Featuring many evocative photos never before published, Elephant is a fittingly exquisite tribute to these breathtaking creatures.

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About the author

Errol Fuller is an acclaimed writer and painter and a world authority on animal extinction and the curiosities of natural history. His many books include the award-winning Extinct Birds as well as Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record (Princeton), Dodo: From Extinction to Icon, The Great Auk, and Drawn from Paradise (with David Attenborough).
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Sep 3, 2019
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9780691195391
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Nature / Animals / Mammals
Nature / General
Science / Life Sciences / Zoology / Mammals
Science / Natural History
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A haunting, beautifully illustrated memorial to this iconic extinct bird

At the start of the nineteenth century, Passenger Pigeons were perhaps the most abundant birds on the planet, numbering literally in the billions. The flocks were so large and so dense that they blackened the skies, even blotting out the sun for days at a stretch. Yet by the end of the century, the most common bird in North America had vanished from the wild. In 1914, the last known representative of her species, Martha, died in a cage at the Cincinnati Zoo.

This stunningly illustrated book tells the astonishing story of North America's Passenger Pigeon, a bird species that—like the Tyrannosaur, the Mammoth, and the Dodo—has become one of the great icons of extinction. Errol Fuller describes how these fast, agile, and handsomely plumaged birds were immortalized by the ornithologist and painter John James Audubon, and captured the imagination of writers such as James Fenimore Cooper, Henry David Thoreau, and Mark Twain. He shows how widespread deforestation, the demand for cheap and plentiful pigeon meat, and the indiscriminate killing of Passenger Pigeons for sport led to their catastrophic decline. Fuller provides an evocative memorial to a bird species that was once so important to the ecology of North America, and reminds us of just how fragile the natural world can be.

Published in the centennial year of Martha’s death, The Passenger Pigeon features rare archival images as well as haunting photos of live birds.

ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR

A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes
Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In The Sixth Extinction, two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines, accompanying many of them into the field: geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. She introduces us to a dozen species, some already gone, others facing extinction, including the Panamian golden frog, staghorn coral, the great auk, and the Sumatran rhino. Through these stories, Kolbert provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.

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