Pub. Date:
Vanderbilt University Press
Threads from the Web of Life: Stories in Natural History

Threads from the Web of Life: Stories in Natural History

by Stephen Daubert, Chris Daubert


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780826515094
Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press
Publication date: 02/28/2006
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x (d)
Age Range: 11 - 14 Years

About the Author

The book is the result of an unusual collaboration between two brothers, one an "artistic scientist," the other a "scientific artist." Stephen Daubert has pursued science on the molecular level for thirty years at the University of California, Davis. His brother Chris Daubert is Professor of Art at Sacramento City College.

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Threads from the Web of Life: Stories in Natural History 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
VisibleGhost on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This is a delightful little natural history book. A lot of science these days is focused on the very large and the very small. It's beyond our natural senses. Instead of being able to observe, hear, smell, and touch it, it becomes abstract out of necessity. Natural history remains one niche of science where those senses can still be employed. Despite it being one of the oldest branches of science that has been renamed a number of times through the ages, there is still a lot nature that is unexplained or even studied. Like most forms of knowledge in the present the data coming in is increasing but is nowhere near being exhausted.This slim volume takes us on a journey that encompasses the land, the sea, and the air. From a coral reef with its cleaning station stocked with cleaning fish to some neon flying squid to the natural decaying processes of a dead whale. There are micromoths on the land, stoned field mice that ate the wrong kind of mushrooms and a owl that solved its parasite problem with a blind snake. Each essay is short and sweet and written in storytelling language. There is some conjecture which takes place on what might be running through a particular species mind but it remains plausible. Creative non-fiction if you will. There are source notes at the end of each essay citing the papers from which the conjectures arose from. The author's brother also contributed some creative photographs to accompany the text. The end result is a quite charming and not quite traditional natural history book.
Esta1923 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
¿Threads from the Web of Life¿ (subtitled Stories in Natural History) is a wondrous experience in reading. Author Stephen Daubert`s text (with illustrations by Chris Daubert) is enriched by the science notes and reference list that follow each story. Published by Vanderbilt University Press in 2006 it arrived in my mailbox recently. I hope I am fortunate enough to receive his upcoming ¿The Shark and the Jellyfish.¿Daubert says his tales ¿flow from what has been observed, to illustrate what we would predict.¿ He does a superb job of both observation and prediction.I happened to open the book on page 49 where ¿The Secret of the Cenotes¿ begins with this sentence:Despite the rain forest setting, the days can be hot and dry here in the Yucatan.This six page story carries readers into an oasis and its history. If you could have been with the hadrosaurs. . . Daubert tells what they saw sixty-five million years ago, what came next, and what effects the changing environment had on evolution. One of the most fascinating stories (tho it is hard to choose) may explain what truly WAS seen by those reporting an Unidentified Flying Object event. ¿Luminous objects. . . pure white lights. . .flying in formation.¿ This five and a half page story and the Science Notes that follow it establish a foundation for skepticism whenever rumors are spread.The ocean, the forest, the sky: each serve as background for beings and happenings. Day and night, all seasons, many eras : in every one Daubert finds something to tell us. In his final story he honors his readers by saying ¿you will continue to wonder about it all. . . . . you are part of the picture.¿[Personal note: A friend told me that she swam in one of the pools in the Yucatan whose formation is described in ¿The Secret of the Cenotes.¿ ]
cmbohn on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This was a lovely collection of essays, each focusing on a different scene. From ocean to forest to jungle, this book ranged all over the planet, explaining why nature works the way it does and how it got that way. It's hard to pick my favorite essay, but one standout was the one on the migration of squid. I also loved to read about the mysterious UFO also known as the white pelican. Sometimes the writing was a little too lyrical, but I loved the section at the end of each essay, telling about the science behind the story, and the section at the end, giving the reader options for further reading. A wonderful book for any nature lover.
ulfhjorr on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Threads from the Web of Life is a fine read. In vibrant and descriptive prose, Daubert creates quite nice pictures of different slices of the natural life of the Earth at many times and locales. For myself, I tend to look for a work that is more science-minded and -oriented than this work. It would, however, make a great introduction into the ideas of natural history and will make a welcome addition to my bookshelf in anticipation of passing on the love of the natural world to the next generation.
KWoman on LibraryThing 5 months ago
The photos, along with the accompanying stories are amazing. Not only did I enjoy this book immensely, but so did my 9 year old daughter! This book would totally be appropriate for any school aged child as well as adults. The author did a fantastic job of putting everything together so as to not make it a boring adventure. He brought the reader into each story.
bertilak on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This book is a collection of brief natural history narratives. Each is a few pages long and describes a few plants or animals of a particular species in its context and its relationships with other species in its habitat.There are a variety of types of habitat discussed: aquatic, forest, mountain, etc. as well as many biological themes such as migration, speciation, adaptation, extinction and mimicry.I found the book a bit slow at first, but I found a key: in the chapter on neon flying squid, the verbal image of photoluminescent organisms rising to the surface at night seeming to mirror the stars is one that Coleridge could have used. If Ray Bradbury had known about squid shooting out of the water like rockets he would have mentioned it in his stories.Each chapter ends with a brief discussion of how much of the narrative is based on actual observations and what parts are informed speculation. The speculations seem well-grounded; there are references to scientific papers and books in each chapter. Each also has a black and white illustration, photographically manipulated to emphasize one of the points in the chapter. The alterations of the photos or collages are easily spotted, so this is interpretation, not a means to mislead the reader.The book is suitable for general readers and as supplementary reading for an AP biology course. For use as a textbook it might be best to redo the illustrations in color: several high school students I know refuse to watch black and white movies because they are 'not realistic'.
lg4154 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I really enjoyed this book. The author is very descriptive and each chapter was really short. I loved the pictures and the writing equally well. I recommend it to students and adults alike, especially to those whom like environmental studies. This book is a very quick read, I read it in the afternoon.
Helcura on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This delightful book is rather like a rich dessert, best ingested in small portions so that one can fully enjoy each bite. The book consists of short stories, each describing a moment in an ecosystem. Lyrical, but without anthropomorphism or sentimentality, these stories are densely beautiful snapshots of the biological world. These would be excellent bedtime stories for scientists. I can think of little more pleasant than to be cozily tucked into bed with a warm voice reading one of these stories to me to inspire my dreams.Worth owning.
lg4154 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. The author is very descriptive and each chapter was really short. I loved the pictures and the writing equally well. I recommend it to students and adults alike, especially to those whom like environmental studies. This book is a very quick read, I read it in the afternoon.