Turtles, tortoises and terrapins A natural history

Ronald I. 1946- Orenstein

Book - 2012

"Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins explains the astonishing ways turtles cope with their environment, explores the debate on their origins and describes the latest discoveries about their often surprising lives ... Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins explores the threats face around the world. on land and sea, and the efforts being made to conserve them. Fostering awareness about these unique and threatened creatures is among the main goals of this book."--Dust jacket wrap.

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 597.92/Orenstein Checked In
[Richmond Hill, Ont.] : Firefly Books 2012.
Physical Description
448 p. : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 29 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Main Author
Ronald I. 1946- Orenstein (-)
  • Preface : why turtles matter
  • pt. 1. What turtles are. The essential turtle ; Turtles in time ; Turtles around the world. 1, Sidenecks and hidden necks ; Turtles around the world. 2, Terrapins and tortoises
  • pt. 2. How turtles live. Under the hood ; Life as a turtle ; 'Twixt plated decks ; The endless journey
  • pt. 3. Will turtles survive? Peril on land ; Peril at sea.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Turtles are among the world's most endangered vertebrates, with half their species threatened with extinction. This work covers conservation issues—as well as all aspects of their life histories and evolution—from a comprehensive global perspective. This revised work (updating Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins: Survivors in Armor, 2001) features mostly new color photographs as well as updated entries based on recent research. Author Orenstein possesses impressive credentials as a writer and wildlife conservationist. His great enthusiasm for turtles, tortoises, and terrapins burnishes his prose. Written for a popular audience, the volume offers a descriptive narrative presentation. The topically arranged chapters cover three broad areas: what turtles are, how turtles live, and challenges to their future survival. Within those chapters, commentary encompasses basic anatomy and physiology, evolution, life histories of representative species, environmental adaptations, reproduction, sea turtle migration, and conservation issues. A multitude of interesting facts pique reader interest. (The yellow mud turtle can apparently spend as long as two years in a state of dormancy.) The section on the perils to turtles worldwide commands attention—loss of habitat, pollution, disease, use of turtles as food and medicine, overhunting, and the pet trade threaten many species. More than 250 large color photographs, illustrations, and range maps augment the text. Many photographs depict turtles in their natural habitats, including some spectacular underwater scenes. Use of a large font renders the text very easy to read. An extensive 16-page bibliography, arranged by chapter, provides books and scholarly articles to encourage further engagement. The index offers subject access to the contents. Notable for outstanding color photographs and highly accessible and engaging content, Turtles, Tortoises, and Terrapins merits high recommendation for all types of libraries. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Choice Reviews

Orenstein, a zoologist/conservationist and attorney, has revised and expanded his earlier work, Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins: Survivors in Armor (CH, Sep'02, 40-0301). This latest book is a detailed, superbly illustrated volume that summarizes much of the biology and natural history of world turtles and emphasizes conservation throughout. The volume's ten chapters are organized into three parts. Part 1, "What Turtles Are," deals with turtle morphology, evolution, fossils, classification, variation, distribution, and ecology. Part 2, "How Turtles Live," provides overviews of the daily lives of turtles and their survival mechanisms. The final part, "Will Turtles Survive?," discusses population hazards, conservation efforts, and expectations for the future of threatened species. This book, intended for popular consumption, is well written in an instructive and entertaining style, with an easy-to-comprehend vernacular and a minimum of technical terminology. Over 250 superb and well-chosen color photographs, distribution maps, charts, and monochrome drawings complement the narrative. This book will be useful primarily for the general public, as compared to the more detailed, comprehensive book by F. Bonin, B. Devaux, and A. Dupre, Turtles of the World (CH, Mar'07, 44-3620). Summing Up: Highly recommended. All public, high school, and undergraduate library collections. General Readers; Lower-division Undergraduates; Upper-division Undergraduates. E. D. Keiser emeritus, University of Mississippi Copyright 2013 American Library Association.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Praise for the first edition:With deft prose and engaging anecdotes, Mr. Orenstein takes us skillfully through a vast amount of information....[his] treatment is nothing short of masterly. --Science Books and Films Abounds with excellent color photographs. Recommended for all public and academic libraries. -- Library Journal The remarkable adaptations of turtles, tortoises and terrapins have helped them survive for over 200 million years. They are the most wide-ranging of reptiles, found in deserts, forests and the open ocean. But they are also among the world's most endangered animals. They face the multiple threats of habitat destruction, poaching, overhunting (for food and traditional medicines), deadly tangles with fishing lines and capture for the international pet trade. Around the world, turtle populations are under attack on land and sea. Many species are close to extinction and efforts are underway to save them. It is among the main goals of this book to foster awareness about these unique and threatened creatures. In this new edition, zoologist Ronald Orenstein describes the astonishing ways that turtles cope with their environment. He updates readers on the latest discoveries and explores the debate on origins of the turtle. Every aspect of their evolution, life history and conservation status is presented in 250 photographs and lively text supplemented with numerous maps and a bibliography. The battle to save turtles goes on. Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins is fascinating, informative and essential for anyone interested in these amazing creatures and concerned about their precarious future.