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Natural Acts: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature    by David Quammen order for
Natural Acts
by David Quammen
Order:  USA  Can
W. W. Norton, 2008 (1985)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Alex Telander

Prolific bestselling author David Quammen returns with a revised and updated edition of Natural Acts: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature. Originally released in 1985, this 2008 edition features a new Introduction, added footnotes on original articles (whose topics have since seen further research and development), and additional recent articles.

The book is split into four parts, the first three consisting of articles up to 1985 in Quammen's work for Outside magazine. These present fascinating insights into specific animals about which little is known, or - in the case of familiar animals - more facts, habits, and behaviors are revealed from Quammen's research and work; whether it's shocking discoveries about the habits of the octopus in The Troubled Gaze of the Octopus, or new findings about different species of anaconda in Rumors of a Snake, or even possible answers to why the dinosaurs died out in The Excavation of Jack Horner. The last part, After Thoughts, covers a selection of articles Quammen has written since the 1985 publication, including Planet of Weeds in which he discusses the extinction of species, and The Megatransect for National Geographic, for which Quammen walked across the Congo.

Whether you're an experienced naturalist or a lay reader who enjoys articles about nature and wildlife, you can sit back and enjoy Quammen's easy and conversational tone as he educates and informs you on the beautiful complexities of nature and science.

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