Read e-book online Eight Little Piggies: Reflections in Natural History PDF

By Stephen Jay Gould

ISBN-10: 0393311392

ISBN-13: 9780393311396

If Stephen Jay Gould didn't exist it'll not often be attainable to invent him. Who else between scientists who write reaches to date or grasps so definitely the "pretty pebbles" that jointly make up the amplitude of lifestyles?

Eight Little Piggies is the 6th quantity in a chain of essays, started in 1974 within the pages of common heritage below the rubric "This View of Life." Now numbering greater than two hundred in an unbroken string, they contain a different success within the annals of literature. and they're going to proceed, vows the writer, until eventually the millennium, in January 2001. So Stephen Jay Gould's readers, numbering within the thousands around the globe, haven't purely this current excitement but additionally a lot to seem ahead to.

Eight Little Piggies is a different ebook in different methods. In all of Gould's paintings, this can be the main contemplative and private, talking frequently of the significance of unbroken connections inside our personal lives and to our ancestral generations, "a subject of best value to evolutionists who learn a global during which extinction is the last word destiny of all and lengthy patience the single significant degree of success." This own view leads obviously to a space that has develop into, for Gould, of significant significance - environmental deterioration and the large extinction of species on our current earth. He chooses, quite often, strange and telling examples: the dying of the land snail Partula from Moorea (the Bali Hai of South Pacific) and why the conflict that raged over the Mount Graham purple squirrel of Arizona used to be worthy combating. There are, moreover, greater than thirty of these beautiful pebbles that make Gould's paintings precise, establishing to us the mysteries of fish tails and frog calls, of the color ofpigeons and the attention tissue of thoroughly bind mole rats. alongside the best way, we research what tale lies at the back of the bent tail of an ichthyosaur and the way listening to bones advanced and the way, most likely, we with our 5 palms and ft (subject of the name essay) advanced from ancestors that had six.

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These are the 31 California plethodon­ tid salamander species, which, of course, differ from this state’s other amphibians in that they are not dependent on aquatic habitats for any phase of their life history. Given this premise, what is it, then, about the natural history of California’s anurans and water-breeding salamanders that puts them at a far greater risk than all of their terrestrial-reproducing vertebrate neighbors? A Century of Ever-Increasing Aquatic Predation Pressure Except for that being exerted through hunting and collecting by humans, predation pressure on most terrestrial vertebrate species, including the plethodontid salamanders, appears to have remained relatively constant over the past few centuries.

Our review of recent books that address some of the amphibian and reptile species found in California and adjacent areas revealed that none are in full agreement with the others with respect to taxonomic nomenclature. Indeed, the senior author now feels that, as a young curator wishing to keep up to date the amphibian and reptile collections at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, UC Berkeley, he was often too quick to change specimen names, because many such changes did not persist. Given these realities, we feel that this problem can best be addressed in our complete coverage of California’s herpetological fauna by using those new names that appear most often in such books.

This is often a source of confusion to the field guide reader who has grown up, so to speak, with one name and is now asked to abruptly switch to another. The following is a summary of how most name changes come about. ) is usually initiated by a petition to the International Committee for Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), which then calls for written responses in support of or against the change. After the various opinions have been gathered and discussed, the Committee then acts as judge and jury to accept or deny the proposed change.

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Eight Little Piggies: Reflections in Natural History by Stephen Jay Gould

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