Streamlined and equipped with flippers, sea turtles seem uniquely adapted for water-yet remain firmly attached to land, where the females lay their eggs each year. They sport the many colors of the rainbow, range in weight from 100 to 1,300 pounds, and figure in the mythology and folklore of cultures around the world. And still, they currently risk extinction. In this book, marine biologist Blair Ernest Witherington, who has devoted decades to these ancient creatures, offers readers an in-depth look into their mysterious world. Accompanied by exquisite photographs, his descriptions comprise a personal introduction to these strangely graceful marine reptiles. Detailed, lively, and up-to-date imagery tells the story of sea turtles’ distant origins, their specialized form and undersea challenges, senses and life cycle, world voyages and navigational talents and their ecological roles. The most comprehensive overview of sea turtles to date, this book portrays each of the seven species in close-up, offering information on appearance, distribution, movements, life history, reproduction, diet, unique traits, and conservation.
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Blair Ernest Witherington has pursued his interest in sea turtles for twenty years. With graduate degrees centered on sea turtle biology and conservation, he has worked with Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Marine Research Institute and has held a number of appointments that have addressed sea turtle conservation problems including President of the International Sea Turtle Symposium, member of the Marine Turtle Specialist Group of the IUCN, Loggerhead Sea Turtle Recovery Team, and adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Zoology, University of Florida. Witherington’s published works include more than 40 scientific articles, monographs, and book chapters, and a volume on the loggerhead sea turtle which he co-edited. He lives with his wife Dawn in Floridana Beach and works as a biologist and research scientist at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in Melbourn Beach, Florida.From Booklist:
Biologist Witherington doesn't find it difficult to imagine a turtle with the elegance of a bird. He has worked with sea turtles for 20 years and shares his fascination with these ancient reptiles in this new introduction to the group. The seven species of sea turtles are found in coastal waters as adults and must return to uncluttered beaches to lay their eggs, a life cycle familiar to beachgoers and divers worldwide. Opening chapters cover the evolution of sea turtles and their physiology, anatomy, life cycle, and natural history. A chapter that will hold particular interest examines the nesting of sea turtles as the females come to shore to dig their nests and bury their eggs--an event that many enthusiasts have witnessed. Another chapter is devoted to how baby turtles make it to the open ocean and how adults navigate, followed by an examination of the turtles' role in marine ecology. A long section provides a description of each species of sea turtle, and the final chapter discusses their relations with humans. Beautifully illustrated. Nancy Bent
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