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Sea Turtles: A Complete Guide to Their Biology, Behavior, and Conservation

by James R Spotila Johns Hopkins University Press
Pub Date:
11/2004
ISBN:
9780801880070
Format:
Hbk 240 pages
Price:
AU$82.00 NZ$86.96
Product Status: Available in Approx 14 days
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For more than a hundred million years, sea turtles have been swimming in the world's oceans. These magnificent, long-lived creatures spend their lives in the water, coming ashore to lay their eggs. Upon hatching, the baby turtles leave the nest and enter a dangerous world of storms and predators. The females will return to the same beach to lay their own eggs when they reach maturity a decade later. Today, there are seven species of sea turtle: the grass–eating green turtle; the sea sponge–eating hawksbill; the olive ridley; the Kemp's ridley, which is the smallest species; the loggerhead; the flatback of Australia; and the giant leatherback. Having escaped the mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs, these ancient reptiles today face new dangers that threaten their survival: pollution, hunting, and the destruction of their nesting grounds. Will this century be the last to witness their majesty? Will succeeding generations live in a world devoid of their graceful presence?

Marine biologist James R. Spotila has spent much of his life unraveling the mysteries of these graceful creatures and working to ensure their survival. In Sea Turtles, he offers a comprehensive and compelling account of their history and life cycle based on the most recent scientific data—and suggests what we can do now to save them. From the Kemp's ridley, which nests on a single beach on Mexico's Gulf Coast, to the nomadic leatherback, which can weigh up to a ton and is in the most imminent danger of extinction, Spotila offers a vivid description of their diets and mating habits, and the conservation efforts being made on their behalf. Illustrated with stunning color photographs by the world's leading nature photographers, Sea Turtles will inform and inspire readers of all ages everywhere.

Reviews
''This book offers what will be the most thorough and in-depth modern look at the basic biology of sea turtles in relationship to the many surrounding issues of conservation biology, politics, and historical influences.''—Whit Gibbons, University of Georgia, former president of Herpetologists' League

"A worldwide study into what is causing the decrease in sea turtles throughout the world. Going beyond just what is causing it, though, [Spotila] carefully explicates why the decline is so important to all living things."

James R. Spotila is a professor of biology and the Betz Chair Professor of Environmental Science at Drexel University. He is one of the world's leading sea turtle researchers and conservationists and the author of the award-winning book Sea Turtles: A Complete Guide to Their Biology, Behavior, and Conservation, also published by Johns Hopkins.