Cuckoo

Author: Nick Davies
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1620409534
Size: 50.12 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A gifted biologist's careful and beguiling study of why cuckoos have got away with tricking other birds into hatching and raising their young for thousands of years. The familiar call of the common cuckoo, "cuck-oo,†? has been a harbinger of spring ever since our ancestors walked out of Africa many thousands of years ago. However, for naturalist and scientist Nick Davies, the call is an invitation to solve an enduring puzzle: how does the cuckoo get away with laying its eggs in the nests of other birds and tricking them into raising young cuckoos rather than their own offspring? Early observers who noticed a little warbler feeding a monstrously large cuckoo chick concluded the cuckoo's lack of parental care was the result of faulty design by the Creator, and that the hosts chose to help the poor cuckoo. These quaint views of bad design and benevolence were banished after Charles Darwin proposed that the cuckoo tricks the hosts in an evolutionary battle, where hosts evolve better defenses against cuckoos and cuckoos, in turn, evolve better trickery to outwit the hosts. For the last three decades, Davies has employed observation and field experiments to unravel the details of this evolutionary "arms race†? between cuckoos and their hosts. Like a detective, Davies and his colleagues studied adult cuckoo behavior, cuckoo egg markings, and cuckoo chick begging calls to discover exactly how cuckoos trick their hosts. For birding and evolution aficionados, The Cuckoo is a lyrical and scientifically satisfying exploration of one of nature's most astonishing and beautiful adaptations.

Cheats And Deceits

Author: Martin Stevens
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191017604
Size: 26.80 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In nature, trickery and deception are widespread. Animals and plants mimic other objects or species in the environment for protection, trick other species into rearing their young, lure prey to their death, and deceive potential mates for reproduction. Cuckoos lay eggs carefully matched to their host's own clutch. Harmless butterflies mimic the wing patterning of a poisonous butterfly to avoid being eaten. The deep-sea angler fish hangs a glowing, fleshy lure in front of its mouth to draw the attention of potential prey, while some male fish alter their appearance to look like females in order to sneak past rivals in mating. Some orchids develop the smell of female insects in order to attract pollinators, while carnivorous plants lure insects to their death with colourful displays. In this book, Martin Stevens describes the remarkable range of such adaptations in nature, and considers how they have evolved, and become increasingly perfected as part of an arms race between predator and prey or host and parasite. He explores the work of naturalists and biologists from Alfred Russel Wallace to current research, showing how scientists find ways of testing the impact of particular behaviours and colourings on the animals it is meant to fool, as opposed to our human perceptions. Drawing on a wide range of examples, Stevens considers what deception tells us about the process of evolution and adaptation.

Cuckoos Cowbirds And Other Cheats

Author: Nick Davies
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 140813585X
Size: 15.81 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In this fascinating new book, Nick Davies describes the natural histories of these brood parasites and examines many of the exciting questions they raise about the evolution of cheating and the arms race between parasites and their prey. Brood parasites fill their armory with adaptations including exquisite egg mimicry, rapid laying, ejection of host eggs, murder of host young, chick mimicry and manipulative begging behavior: ploys shown by recent research to have evolved in response to host defense behavior or through competition among the parasites themselves. While many host species appear defenseless, accepting parasite eggs quite unlike their own, many are more discriminating against odd-looking eggs and some have evolved the ability to discriminate against odd-looking chicks as well. How is this arms race conducted? Will defenseless hosts develop defenses in time, or are there constraints which limit the evolution and perfection of host defenses? And why are so few species obliged only to lay eggs in host nests? Have host defenses limited the success of brood parasitism, or is it in fact much more common than we suspect, but occurring mainly when birds parasitize the nest of their own kind? All of these puzzles are examined in descriptions of the natural history of each of the groups of parasites in turn. Here is a book with wide appeal, both to amateur naturalists fascinated by this most singular and macabre of behaviors and by ornithologists and ecologists interested in the evolution of ecology and behavior. The story takes us from the classic field work earlier this century by pioneer ornithologists such as Edgar Chance, Stuart Baker, Herbert Friedmann and others, through to the recent experimental field work and molecular techniques of today's leading scientists. We visit brood parasites in Europe, Asia, Japan, Africa, Australasia, and North and South America, to look at some of the worlds most interesting birds and some of biology's most interesting questions, many of which still beg answers from ornithologists in the future. Brilliant illustrations by David Quinn illuminate the species discussed, showing many behaviors never before illustrated and conveying the thrill of watching these astonishing birds in the wild.

Nature Into Art

Author: Carl Woodring
Publisher:
ISBN:
Size: 10.66 MB
Format: PDF
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The nineteenth century began with reverence for nature and ended with the apotheosis of art. In this wide-ranging excursion through the literature, visual arts, and natural sciences of the era from Wordsworth to Wilde, Carl Woodring traces shifting ideas and attitudes concerning nature, art, and the relations between the two. The veneration of nature as aesthetic model and ethical norm was gradually eroded not least by the study of biology, which revealed organic nature to be wasteful and murderous. Darwin's work verified the growing perception of nature as amoral by stressing the role of chance in natural selection, a further blow to trust in natural law. Once nature was not worth imitating, art by the century's close could be an end to itself, free of responsibility to the natural. The author examines individual works by Romantic and Victorian poets; narrative prose from James Hogg and Mary Shelley to Conrad, James, and Stevenson; painters from Wilkie through the Pre-Raphaelites to Whistler--all within such general contexts as the picturesque, the sublime, natural theology, romantic irony, romantic Hellenism, realism, photography, aestheticism, arts and crafts, art nouveau, and decadence. Although Woodring focuses on events, movements, and creative minds in England, he also draws upon a range of seminal figures from the Continent and the United States: Alexander von Humboldt, Delacroix, Thomas Cole, and Hawthorne are prominent examples. Nature into Art will fascinate scholars and amateurs of movements in literature, art, science, and cultural history in the Western world after 1780.

The Cheat Sheet

Author: Rob Wiser
Publisher: Random House Australia
ISBN: 9781741661446
Size: 66.97 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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"A man is only as faithful as his options" - Chris Rock There are three types of men: 1. Those who cheat 2. Those who have cheated in the past 3. Those who will cheat if placed in the right (or wrong) circumstances As harsh as this may sound, it's the painful truth. But now there's a solution for women who want to protect themselves, and their relationships, from adultery. THE CHEAT SHEET is the first book to expose the secrets, lies and motivations of cheating men, and to provide 101 ways to build an adultery-proof relationship. Let's face it: it's a whole different ballgame today than when our parents hooked up. In today's sex-drenched culture, temptation is everywhere and the Internet has given cheaters a new universe of opportunities. Whether you want to make sure your man NEVER strays, or enter into a new relationship on solid ground, THE CHEAT SHEET provides the answers-as well as outrageous true stories, shocking confessions, and undercover research into the world of unfaithful men and their scandalous affairs. In today's society, NO relationship is immune to adultery. But armed with THE CHEAT SHEET, you and your partner can build a foundation of trust and honesty, avoid the pitfalls of cheating, and keep the flames of passion roaring. Don't say we didn't warn you. Whether you're in a committed relationship or looking for Mr. Right, this is the book that EVERY woman should read... before it's too late.