Speciation is the process by which co-existing daughter species evolve from one ancestral species – e.g., humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas arising from a common ancestor around 5,000,000 years ago. However, many questions about speciation remain controversial. The Birds of Northern Melanesia provides by far the most comprehensive study yet available of a rich fauna, composed of the 195 breeding land and fresh-water bird species of the Bismarck and Solomon Archipelagoes east of New Guinea. This avifauna offers decisive advantages for understanding speciation, and includes famous examples of geographic variation discussed in textbooks of evolutionary biology.
The book results from 30 years of collaboration between the evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr and the ecologist Jared Diamond. It shows how Northern Melanesian bird distributions provide snapshots of all stages in speciation, from the earliest (widely distributed species without geographic variation) to the last (closely related, reproductively isolated species occurring sympatrically and segregating ecologically). The presentation emphasizes the wide diversity of speciation outcomes, steering a middle course between one-model-fits-all simplification and ungeneralizable species accounts. Questions illuminated include why some species are much more prone to speciate than others, why some water barriers are much more effective at promoting speciation than others, and whether hypothesized taxon cycles, faunal dominance, and legacies of Pleistocene land bridges are real.
These years of study have resulted in a huge database, complete with distributions of all 195 species on 76 islands, together with their taxonomy, colonization routes, ecological attributes, abundance, and overwater dispersal. Color plates depict 88 species and allospecies, many of which have never been seen before. For students of speciation, Northern Melanesian birds now constitute a model system against which other biotas can be compared. For population biologists interested in other problems besides speciation, this rich database can now be mined for insights.
Ian Sinclair - Peter Ryan - Birds of Africa South of the Sahara
Birds of Africa South of the Sahara provides unrivalled coverage of African birds in a single volume, and is the only book to describe and illustrate all of the birds found in Africa south of the Sahara Desert (the Afrotropic Region), including Socotra, Pemba and islands in the Gulf of Guinea. Despite its exceptional coverage, this guide is compact enough to use in the field, and follows the standard field guide format, with texts and range maps appearing opposite the color plates. Comprehensively revised to reflect changes in taxonomy. Illustrations show most distinctive plumages, diagnostic flight patterns and major geographic variants.
Ken Kassem - Eric Madeja - The Coral Triangle
The Coral Triangle, the area between the Pacific and Indian Oceans, is one of the greatest centres of biodiversity on Earth. Deep sea basins, shallow continental shelves and warm, shallow waters support the largest concentration of coral reefs in the world, along with their abundance of marine life. Published in association with WWF-Malaysia, this important book describes the uniqueness of the Coral Triangle region's marine biodiversity, its conservation importance and the stories, successes and struggles of the drive to maintain its rich marine life. The book gives a big-picture overview of threats and solutions as well as personal experiences from the people in the region affected by conservation. The stories come from the work that the world's largest conservation organizations - World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Conservation International and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) - as well as governments of the region, local communities and the private sector are carrying out. As the earth's single greatest repository of marine life, the Coral Triangle is also a great draw for SCUBA divers. Chapters cover an introduction to the region; the rich habitats of the Coral Triangle and a survey of each country within it - Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, The Solomon Island and Timor Leste - describing the endangered species and the status of conservation work. Eric Madeja's photographs capture the majesty of the underwater life, the magnificence of the corals and the vibrancy of the people who make their living from the seas.
Thane K. Pratt - Bruce M. Beehler - Birds of New Guinea
This is the completely revised edition of the essential field guide to the birds of New Guinea. The world's largest tropical island, New Guinea boasts a spectacular avifauna characterized by cassowaries, megapodes, pigeons, parrots, cuckoos, kingfishers, and owlet-nightjars, as well as an exceptionally diverse assemblage of songbirds such as the iconic birds of paradise and bowerbirds. Birds of New Guinea is the only guide to cover all 780 bird species reported in the area, including 366 endemics. Expanding its coverage with 111 vibrant color plates―twice as many as the first edition―and the addition of 635 range maps, the book also contains updated species accounts with new information about identification, voice, habits, and range. A must-have for everyone from ecotourists to field researchers, Birds of New Guinea remains an indispensable guide to the diverse birds of this remarkable region. 780 bird species, including 366 found nowhere else 111 stunning color plates, twice the number of the first edition Expanded and updated species accounts provide details on identification, voice, habits, and range 635 range maps Revised classification of birds reflects the latest research
Laura Amy Schlitz - The Night Fairy
You don’t have to be a follower of those mysterious winged creatures to love this unique fairy tale from 2009 Newbery Medal-winner Laura Amy Schlitz. The book’s heroine, Flory is certainly not your garden variety fairy. After losing her wings in a run-in with a bat, she must learn to survive among the hungry daylight creatures of the Giantess’s garden. Between pesky squirrels, cagey spiders, and stubborn hummingbirds, Flory's got her work cut out for herself. But, this fearless fairy quickly learns how skills like quick thinking, diplomacy, compassion, and acts of bravery can take her farther than her lost wings ever could. The Night Fairy makes an enchanting read-aloud story, as well as a gem to be treasured in the hands of readers of all ages. From its petite format and shimmering blue interior to Angela Barrett’s exquisite illustrations, every detail of this little volume is perfectly suited to its small, but mighty subject.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman - The Yellow Wallpaper
Best known for the 1892 title story of this collection, a harrowing tale of a woman's descent into madness, Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote more than 200 other short stories. Seven of her finest are reprinted here. Written from a feminist perspective, often focusing on the inferior status accorded to women by society, the tales include "turned," an ironic story with a startling twist, in which a husband seduces and impregnates a naïve servant; "Cottagette," concerning the romance of a young artist and a man who's apparently too good to be true; "Mr. Peebles' Heart," a liberating tale of a fiftyish shopkeeper whose sister-in-law, a doctor, persuades him to take a solo trip to Europe, with revivifying results; "The Yellow Wallpaper"; and three other outstanding stories. These charming tales are not only highly readable and full of humor and invention, but also offer ample food for thought about the social, economic, and personal relationship of men and women — and how they might be improved.
Laurell K. Hamilton - Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: The Laughing Corpse Book 3 - Executioner
Current queen of the book charts and soon to be the star of her own television film, best-selling author Laurell K. Hamilton's vampire hunter continues to take comics by storm! As The Laughing Corpse enters its haunting final act, Anita Blake thinks she has the deadly voodoo priestess who's made her life hell dead to rights... but the necromancer is about to find out her nightmare's only just begun! Find out why everyone in America is talking about Anita! Collects Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: The Laughing Corpse - Executioner #1-5.
Danielle Steel - Full Circle
The 1960s. Kennedy. Martin Luther King. Civil rights. Viet Nam. Tana Roberts comes of age in this turbulent decade, and begins a journey that will lead her from New York to the South during the heat of racial unrest. A thoroughly modern young woman, she yearns for a career and is willing to sacrifice everything to get it. And it's only much later that Tana discovers that she can have it all. Career. Love. And peace of mind. As she comes of age, at last, and comes full circle.
Janet Evanovich - High Five
High fives all around! The New York Times bestselling author of FOUR TO SCORE puts Stephanie Plum, America's favorite bounty hunter, back behind the wheel in her fifth high-octane thriller. What's Stephanie up to now? * Her Uncle Fred has disappeared. * A body turns up in a garbage bag. * She's got a nasty bookie following her around town. * Grandma Mazur has her hands on the stun gun. * Stephanie can't keep a car for more than forty-eight hours. * Two men are trying to get her into bed. * She has nothing to wear to the Mafia wedding. * And there's an angry little man (don't call him a dwarf!) who won't leave her apartment. Bail jumping in Trenton is down to small potatoes. Stephanie's only open case is a small bond for a small violation, committed by a small person who raises Stephanie's frustration level in big ways. So short of money and long on bills, Stephanie comes up with a plan --diversify! Signing on as an intern with entrepreneurial Super Bounty Hunter Ranger, Stephanie ventures into Ranger's mostly morally correct and marginally legal operations. None of this makes vice cop Joe Morelli a happy man. The cop in him can't help but wonder as to the source of Stephanie's expensive new cars. And the rest of him, the man who's been friend and lover to Stephanie, can't help but wonder if there's more to the partnership than meets the eye. The internship is downgraded to second priority when Uncle Fred goes missing. Even though Grandma Mazur is sure he was abducted by aliens, Stephanie sets out to look for Fred. He's a perfectly average senior citizen, and he's disappeared without a trace while running errands. He's left his ten-year-old Pontiac station wagon locked up nice and neat in the Grand Union parking lot, the cleaning is carefully arranged on the back seat, and his wife is at home, waiting for him to return with the bread and the milk and the olive loaf bologna. Locked in the top drawer of his desk are photos of a body, dismembered and stuffed into a garbage bag. And locked away in the computer files of a another average citizen are the clues that will lead Stephanie to Fred. Criminally original and stone brilliant, this Intermediate Bounty Hunting Survival Manual is blockbuster entertainment.
Danielle Steel - Sunset in St Tropez
Danielle Steel does it again with this moving tale of hidden secrets and second chances. In Answered Prayers, an unsatisfying marriage, the death of her stepfather, and the reappearance of a man from her past prompt 47-year-old Faith Madison to reassess her life choices and summon the courage to start anew, letting go of a lifelong secret in the process. In Faith, whose dilemma will be recognizable to many readers, Steel has crafted a vibrant, believable middle-aged woman in transition and cast her in the leading role. Loyal fans will undoubtedly look beyond the author's tendency toward repetitiveness and root for the complex heroine in this uplifting page-turner.
Victoria Schwab - The Archived
Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive. Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive. Being a Keeper isn't just dangerous—it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da's death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall. In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.
Karen Rose - Nothing to Fear
After kidnapping 12-year-old Alec Vaughn, Sue Conway poses as an abused mother at a shelter for battered women. However, the more shelter director Dana Dupinsky gets to know Sue, the more alarmed she becomes. The only hope may be security expert Ethan Buchanan, who has joined the search for the missing Alec--his godson.
Kathleen Tessaro - Elegance
Unhappy with her looks, her life, and her empty marriage, Louise Canova needs help -- and she finds it in a secondhand bookstore. A forty-year-old encyclopedia of style titled Elegance, this slim volume by formidable French fashion expert Madame Dariaux promises to transform even the plainest of women into creatures of poise and grace. It is a fairy godmother in print, an A-to-Z manual with essential advice that Louise vows to take to heart. But within its pages lie not only clues from her past, but also powerful lessons for the future. And as the old Louise gives way to the stunning new, she's about to find out that there's more to every life than what appears on the surface ... and that everything, even elegance, has its price.
Dan Brown - The Lost Symbol
The most anticipated publication of the decade, The Lost Symbol is the stunning new thriller featuring Robert Langdon. Six years in the writing, it is Dan Brown's extraordinary sequel to his internationally bestselling Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code. Nothing is ever what it first appears in a Dan Brown novel. Set over a breathtaking 12 hour time span, the book's narrative takes the reader on an exhilarating journey through a masterful and unexpected landscape as Professor of Symbology, Robert Langdon, is once again called into action.
Robert Ludlum - The Parsifal Mosaic
Michael Havelock's world died on a moonlit beach on the Costa Brava. He watched as his partner and lover, Jenna Karats, double agent, was efficiently gunned down by his own agency. There was nothing left for him but to quit the game, get out. Until, in one frantic moment on a crowded railroad platform in Rome, Havelock saw his Jenna alive. From then on, he was marked for death by both U.S. and Russian assassins, racing around the globe after his beautiful betrayer, trapped in a massive mosaic of treachery created by a top-level mole with the world in his fist—Parsifal.
Danielle Steel - Loving
Bettina Daniels lived a fairytale existence of glamour, endless parties, and luxury among America's top celebrities - simply because she was the beautiful daughter of famous American author Justin Daniels. Then, in one moment of tragedy, her father was dead, and Bettina discovered the truth - he had spent every dime he'd ever earned and run up millions in debt. At eighteen, penniless and alone, she had lost everything except her father's dearest friend, Ivo Stewart. A wealthy, handsome publisher of sixty-two, he offered Bettina a way out: marriage. But only for a time. What lay ahead for Bettina was a life filled with shocks and surprises - and eventually a chance to become a playwright, and a writer like her father. Having learned her lessons dearly, Bettina blossoms into her own person at last.
Amanda Quick - Quicksilver
Virginia Dean wakes at midnight beside a dead body, with a bloody knife in her hand and no memory of the evening's events. Dark energy, emanating from the mirrors lining the room, overpowers her senses. With no apparent way in or out, she is rescued by a man she has met only once before, but won't soon forget. Owen Sweetwater inherited his family's talent for hunting the psychical monsters who prey on London's women and children, and his investigation into the deaths of two glass-readers has led him here. The high-society types of the exclusive Arcane Society would consider Virginia an illusionist, a charlatan, even a criminal, but Owen knows better. Virginia's powers are real-and they just might be the key to solving this challenging case.
Peter David - J. Michael Straczynski - The Long Night of Centauri Prime
The beginning of an exciting new adventure that continues the Babylon 5 legacy . . . Bombed to the brink of oblivion, the planet Centauri Prime is starting the slow and painful process of rebuilding, under the watchful eye of Emperor Londo Mollari. But Londo is in turn being watched--and manipulated--by the conquest-hungry Drakh. The malevolent beings are reshaping the Centauri Republic into a secret seat of power from which to strike out at their enemies--especially the Interstellar Alliance. All but helpless to resist, Londo watches as his beloved Homeworld is transformed into a ruthless police state. And the Drakh have willing allies, including one of Londo's own countrymen--Durla, a powerful official with his own sinister agenda. As the abuses of the repressive new Republic escalate, the double-edged Drakh master plan begins to unfold. Their goal is to smash the Interstellar Alliance by assassinating its president, John Sheridan, and to obliterate Earth, using a fabled, monstrous Shadow weapon known as a Planet Killer . . .
Khaled Hosseini - The Kite Runner
Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the approval of his father and resolves to win the local kite-fighting tournament, to prove that he has the makings of a man. His loyal friend Hassan promises to help him - for he always helps Amir - but this is 1970s Afghanistan and Hassan is merely a low-caste servant who is jeered at in the street, although Amir still feels jealous of his natural courage and the place he holds in his father's heart. But neither of the boys could foresee what would happen to Hassan on the afternoon of the tournament, which was to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family is forced to flee to America, Amir realises that one day he must return, to find the one thing that his new world cannot grant him: redemption.