The Oryx Guide to Natural History: The Earth and All Its Inhabitants

Overview

Ideal for librarians, instructors, and students, this superior, one-stop reference guide makes finding answers to natural history questions or doing research a breeze. More than just an answer book on natural history, this unique guide provides understanding into the history of science itself. Readers get rare insight into the beginnings of a scientific event, how it evolved, and who were some of the key scientists along the way. Recent scientific controversies also are included. Covering the history of earth and...

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Overview

Ideal for librarians, instructors, and students, this superior, one-stop reference guide makes finding answers to natural history questions or doing research a breeze. More than just an answer book on natural history, this unique guide provides understanding into the history of science itself. Readers get rare insight into the beginnings of a scientific event, how it evolved, and who were some of the key scientists along the way. Recent scientific controversies also are included. Covering the history of earth and its living creatures, this special reference contains 30 chapters on topics in geology, oceanography, climatology, meteorology, biology, paleontology, and anthropology.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA
In their preface, the authors suggest that this book is meant to be a compendium of the highlights of Earth's natural historya daunting task to condense 4.55 billion years of history into one 250page volume. In thirty succinct chapters covering amphibians through volcanoes, the authors succeed in producing an interesting, userfriendly overview of both the physical Earth and the organisms that inhabit it. The chapter on fossils opens with a brief introduction followed by a time line of events and discoveries germane to the topic. A detailed history of fossils concludes with even more specific definitions of key terms including dating techniques, fossilization, and trace fossils. A sidebar on "The Good and Bad of Fossil Fuels" and a blackandwhite photograph of a trace fossil round out this sixpage chapter. Other chapters follow this same format. There are many thorough monographs dealing with fossils alone, but for the student looking for a concise, accurate summary of the subject, this guide quite admirably fits the bill. One appendix offers an extensive list of careers available in the field of natural history and another offers a directory of Web sites. Although not inexpensive, this cogent dip into several billion years of natural history is worth the price. Glossary. Index. Photos. Charts. Biblio. Further Reading. Appendix. 1999, Oryx, Ages 12 to 18, 252p. PLB $69.95. Reviewer: Randy Brough
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-A history of the natural world from the beginnings of the universe to today. Thirty topical chapters, from "Amphibians" to "Volcanoes," each include a brief introduction, a time line, historical background on the subject including current research, and a detailed glossary. Sidebars contribute additional information. Average-quality, black-and-white photos, diagrams, and charts are scattered throughout. One appendix defines different careers in the field; another provides Web addresses. The writing is not as tight as an English teacher might demand, but is sufficiently clear. A mistake in the introduction of the first chapter ("amphibians were the first air-breathing animals to evolve onto land") is stated correctly later on: "amphibians-became the first air-breathing land vertebrates." There are also a few typographical errors. Nevertheless, the book is easy to use and its broad scope will satisfy students' requests for that elusive nonencyclopedia resource.-Nancy A. Andersen, OLC School, Erie, PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Booknews
A relatively succinct compendium of the more important topics in natural history, from the origins of the universe and planet Earth to the plants and animals inhabiting our world and the evolution of human understanding of them. Each of the volume's 30 major topics, arranged in alphabetical order from Amphibians to Volcanoes, includes an introduction, a timeline, a detailed description of early and modern highlights, and alphabetically sorted definitions of terms. For college and advanced high school students as well as for general reference. Few b&w photographs. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From The Critics
The Oryx Guide to Natural History provides a simple AZ reference featuring condensed version of the most important topics in natural history, from ataglance sidebar timelines of events to simple introductions to the topic and its importance. The Oryx Guide to Natural History isn't meant to be a comprehensive encyclopedia, but a quick reference covering the highlights, very accessible to browser needs for quick answers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573561594
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/26/1999
  • Pages: 266
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

PATRICIA BARNES-SVARNEY has an extensive background in the physical sciences and has worked as a geomorphologist, physical oceanographer, and geochemist.

THOMAS E. SVARNEY is a consultant in the field of failure analysis and has held positions at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as well as a major computer corporation.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables
Preface
Ch. 1 Amphibians 1
Ch. 2 Animals 7
Ch. 3 Arthropods 17
Ch. 4 Atmosphere 21
Ch. 5 Bacteria and Viruses 29
Ch. 6 Birds 36
Ch. 7 Classification of Organisms 44
Ch. 8 Climate and Weather 50
Ch. 9 Cytology 58
Ch. 10 Dinosaurs 65
Ch. 11 Earth 73
Ch. 12 Earthquakes 83
Ch. 13 Evolution 91
Ch. 14 Extinction 99
Ch. 15 Fish 106
Ch. 16 Fossils 110
Ch. 17 Fungi 116
Ch. 18 Genetics 121
Ch. 19 Geologic Time Scale 127
Ch. 20 Humans 132
Ch. 21 Life 140
Ch. 22 Moon 145
Ch. 23 Mountains 150
Ch. 24 Oceans 155
Ch. 25 Plants 166
Ch. 26 Protista 173
Ch. 27 Reptiles 176
Ch. 28 Solar System 181
Ch. 29 Universe 190
Ch. 30 Volcanoes 196
Appendix A Careers in Natural History 207
Appendix B Natural History Sites on the World Wide Web 211
Glossary 217
References 221
Index 223
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